Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ahhhh...Vacation!!

So this is what I managed to do (and am planning to do) with (the remains of) My Summer Vacation:

  • Taught a test prep class for first through sixth graders for two weeks. This is not the first time I have done this, and here is my consistent impression of the kids and the course: First graders should not take this course as it is waaaay over their heads. The fifth graders all know everything anyways already and hate to be in the class, so that leaves the third and fourth graders as being the class I love to teach every time I have to do this course. But now, it's over and I am a few dollars richer for it!
  • Saw Superman Returns in the theater. Read my review down below. You'll see I quite enjoyed it.
  • Rented Batman Begins and Orange County. Batman Begins was good, and Christian Bale makes a good (young) Bruce Wayne I think. Even Katie Holmes wasn't terrible here. And I really appreciated how the movie had its elements of darkness and humor. (I'm of the impression that before, it was either one or the other. Except for when it was "Batman and Robin," and then it was crap.) The movie was a bit too long, but I'd be happy to see Christian Bale in the Bruce Wayne/Batman (hope I didn't give anything away there!) role one more time.
  • Met up with two friends of mine today (one whom I hadn't seen in what felt like years!) for what was not brunch (breakfast+lunch) but a lunch and dinner (Dunch? Linner?) at the Excelsior Hotel. I'm happy to report that with one of my friends, when it comes to matters of Brandon Routh, she is 12, too.
  • Went to hair salon with friends so one could get her hair cut. I'm thinking of doing something different to my hair once it grows more. First thing I want to do of course is grow it out more, and give it a better cut. Surely I can find a flattering cut for medium length hair that isn't a boring all one length bob. Once I do that, I may either a) get some sort of highlights (maybe blonde) or b) dye my hair brown to see what it's like to be a brunette. (People say to me my hair is blonde-brown already but I think it's more between red and blonde and when I dyed my hair in the past, it has always been a shade of red of some sort. A change might be good.
  • Made plans with my friends to go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" on the 3rd, the day we get back to work. Blah. The movie should be good though.
When I get back to school, I'm afraid there'll be a showdown of sorts about my air conditioner. It broke through normal use and the school wants me to pay for the repair. Yet I've always understood the point of the landlord would be to fix things when they broke and only ask for repayment if the tenant was at fault. If I'm wrong then fine, I'll pay but something just doesn't add up for me, and no, it is not the parting of money!

Anyways, I'm looking into this myself, and in any case, it's only another six months to go before I leave the Bizarro World that my job must be in.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dog Days Of Summer

It's getting a bit boring around here, as I have decided to work and that means getting up at a regular work-hour time, and also my friends have pretty much all flown the coop for the holidays. I do get a few days off before work starts up again, so that'll be good. I'll have to see what I am able to do in between now and then. I doubt I'll go anywhere extensive. I hardly think I'll even go to Macau. Maybe one day I'll spend time doing some nice window shopping or something, maybe buy another CD or whatever.

I'm glad I made some money, but having fun is key too. Ah well.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mini Movie Review: Superman Returns

It's my summer vacation now and I have nothing to do after three these days. So instead of fighting off a nap -- getting up for seven a.m. after 6 hours of interrupted sleep is nothing fun -- I decided Wednesday to see Superman Returns, after a month of hemming and hawing over whether I would actually spend the bucks to see it in the theater.

Like everyone else my age, I grew up with the Christopher Reeve versions of the movies, and for me, and many others, Christopher Reeve *is* Superman. If someone was to try to make another Superman movie, then they would really have to do a damn good casting job.

It makes me wince to hear who they were considering. Ashton Kutcher. Brendan Fraser. Josh Hartnett. And ages ago, Nicolas Cage. OH MY GOD! I am *so* glad that never happened, even though the one criticism I have with the movie is that it is just weird that 5 years supposedly have passed between what happened in Superman 2 and Superman Returns, and yet it seems like Superman Returns should have taken place back in time as Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder look heaps older than Kate Bosworth and Brandon Routh. (Even though yes, I know Christopher Reeve was also about 25 years old when making the first of his Superman movies.) But I am eternally grateful no one thought of that too hard and then said, "Yeah, he needs to be a super hero in his forties now and so we should go with Nicolas Cage."

The writing was really good in the movie, too. I think comic book movies have to have some kind of humor in them. While most super heroes have troubled pasts, filled with murdered relatives, botched scientific experiments, shattered planets, I think comic book artists and writers realized with the limited amount of space they had to convey a story, they had to go larger than life at some points, a bit crazy, with the art work and the story line. There were a lot of funny moments in the movie and some throwbacks to the legacy of Superman: The Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s TV show appears as a bartender in this movie. The woman who played Lois Lane in the same show now plays an old dying woman who has just been swindled out of her fortune by her new husband Lex Luthor. There's a moment where a shot of Superman in the sky Jimmy Olsen captured on camera is so small that they throw in the well-known "It's a bird, It's a plane, No, it's..." dialogue before being interrupted.

In one scene, where Lois and her son are trapped on Lex Luthor's ship, Lois asks her son to play on the piano in a ship to keep him occupied and he does, only to have one of Lex Luthor's henchmen join him on a duet of "Heart and Soul." God.

I loved Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, though I kept thinking of his cameo as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movie in the Goldmember movie. Parker Posey also did a great job, playing his screwball companion. I loved the scene where she is careening through the streets in her car, gets saved by Superman, and then just can't seem to let go of him. And then there was the nutty plot of how Lex Luthor was going to sink half the world under water save for one piece where he would make a killing on real estate. Again, it reminded me of something Dr. Evil would do, but that's what makes those movies fun and what Mike Myers was celebrating in the first place.

In any case, I don't mean it as a criticism, but I think Brandon Routh basically played and updated Christopher Reeve's version of Superman/Clark Kent, but why try to reinvent the wheel when something has worked so well in the past?

And somewhere during the course of the movie, I found I had leapt onto the Brandon Routh bandwagon. He's...(as Superman)...wow. Just...wow. Ha ha...I promise to stop here so I am in no danger of regressing to my 11 year old self.

The next movie won't be until 2009 and I'll be really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Teen Angst at 29

I don't remember if I ever mentioned this but ages ago I wrote my dad telling him I was feeling a bit homesick and how would he feel if I visited him during my April vacation. I don't know wat I was thinking, some ticker tape parade homecoming or something like that but I was really hurt when not only did he say no because he didn't have the room, but he completely shot down my idea of finding a place to stay in Atlanta so we could see each other but be out of each other's hair too.

And then to make it worse, he decided to go off on how Atlanta was such a bad city for me to be in because it is predominantly black, blah blah blah. So it was like, no I don;t want to see my daughter even if it's been close to 3 years and while I'm at it, let me tell her not only how much of a racist I can be, but how condescending as well. (Like I wouldn;t have checked where the bad neighborhoods are. Like Atlanta being a black city couldn;t possibly have doctors and lawyers living in it, and teachers and just anyone trying to live their life without hurting anyone else.)

So I wrote him a letter saying how hurt I was by what he said to me. And then, for months, nothing. It was such a long time, I was actually beginning to think that OK, so maybe I pissed him off to the point where he doesn't want to talk to me anymore. I was preparing for a life where I go it alone without much of a family to speak of. That's fine. Whatever will keep me sane.

Anyways, I got an email from him last night. A typical Dad-style 2 liner, meaning whatever I told him, he chose not to acknowledge. And so it goes with my dad. I have a problem with something he says, he buries his head in the sand. And while I know I might have been a bit heavy handed with whatever I said to him, by not bringing it up at all, I have no chance to apologize or clarify or restate anything I said.

My dad is a man who never liked me to express myself, because I am too different from how he was raised, I bet. I'm someone who can not keep a stiff upper lip for too long without cracking. But this is my family's way of doing things.

I don't even want to tell him of my plans to move home because I just have bad memories of how much I needed him when I was growing up, how much I wanted him to understand me, and yet what I got was "It's not your fault you have no common sense, lots of book smart people don't." I got him putting the fear of dying in a wreck in my heart when I wanted to learn how to drive, and have some form of independence. If he never wanted the job in the first place he should never have signed up.

If I write him again, I'll probably just tell him off again which he will ignore again and lather rinse repeat. Maybe it's just not worth it anymore. In a way, I am sad, as if the man you're supposed to be attracted to is most like your father, then maybe it's better I am single. But then again the guy is my dad and I don't think it's that wrong to want to have some sort of functional relationship with with him. It's sad I feel I can not talk to him, but maybe that is something I need to learn how to accept.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Interesting Quiz

Maybe the blogging bug has flown away from me. I have not much to say these days, and maybe it's the end of the school year, thinking of the end of my time here (yeah I know, already), the fact that a bunch of good friends are leaving here, but I am feeling quite uninspired in here, not really sure what to really write anymore.

I took a music quiz which claims to draw parallels between the kind of person you are and the types of music you like to listen to. I'm not sure if it's correct, but as my brain is fried on this Sunday afternoon, after a morning of eating and sitting in the sun, it'll have to do for now.

My Music Personality