Sunday, April 29, 2007
Yes ladies and gentlemen, I must apologize for my absence from my blog, but I've enjoying my time back in my parent's home, just chillin' and enjoying some high defintion watching. And let me tell you, if there's one thing that high definition was designed for, it was for the incredible BBC documentary series currently airing on DiscoveryHD and recently released on HD-DVD and Blu-ray: Planet Earth.
This series completely lives up to the hype. Never before have I been so enthralled by nature and what it has to offer. Not only does this series present some of the most incredible high definition shots of the world we know - but it also dives into some of the most exotic never before seen places. Seriously - when you watch this series, you think to yourself, how have I lived this long on this world and never have known about these places.
More than that - the series actually presents some really good story structure. Each episode actually is told really solidly leading to some of the most climatic moments I ever seen in a documentary - much less one about the sweeping landscapes of boring old earth.
My only regret is that I didn't get to tsee the whole series. I bought the Blu-ray disc on tuesday and didn't have time to watch it all. In fact, I only got to 4 episodes. But let me tell you, unbelieveable! The episode "Caves" absolutely blew my mind. You really have to see this episode to believe and understand what I'm talking about.
Without a doubt, Planet Earth is one of the best things in screen entertainment to come around in a really long time. I can't remember the last time I dropped my jaw so much and just said to myself, I can't believe what I've missed. It's one of those amazements that completely opens your eyes to something so new when you think you've seen it all. Planet Earth - everybody out there - you can not miss this series. Thanks for reading.
Monday, April 23, 2007
K. There are some movies in life where you just have so much damn anticipation that by the time you actually come to watch it, you fail to see the greatness of the movie. Your hype just overshadows all the elements that make it great. Then, there are some movies that are so overhyped because of twists, and turns, and shock endings, that all you concentrate on while watching the movie is solving the puzzle rather than, again, realizing all the other things that are going on to make the movie so great. Movies like Big Fish and Finding Neverland I was waiting for forever since the first trailers, and by the time I saw them in the theatre, I was dissappointed - just because of the hype. A few months later on DVD, I watched them again - and guess what, they're like two of my favourite movies. I finally got to sit them and watch them with no bias.
Its funny, though, in the second category, the one with the shock endings etc, it sometimes can have the opposite effect. If you go into a movie not knowing it has a shock ending, then the ending blows you away, and you think the movie is utterly amazing. But then, you watch it again, and you realize that the shock ending is the only thing good about the movie - the rest kinda sucks. Once you know the secret, it gets worse.
But as I originally stated, if its advertised with plots/twists etc, you can miss a really great movie because of your focus on the puzzle. Its really a two edged sword this shock ending deally. And there's one movie that I built up with so much pure awesome movie anticipation with a side of crazy shock ending that, again, I was blinded to the brilliance of the movie.
Let's take the movie itself. Directed by Chris Nolan (one of my new favourite directors), with a cast of Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johanssen, Christian Bale, and Michael Caine about Magic! I mean c'mon, it's gonna be, eerr,, magic! I was totally blown away by the preview and could not wait. But on top of that - promises of a shock ending, and a movie that plays out like a magic trick completely had me locked in again.
WARNING SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
The thing is, the first time I saw the movie, I was concentrating so much on Angier's (Jackman) magic trick, that I completely forgot that Bale's character had a trick to figure out too. Angier's was really simple to figure out, but really - the beauty of the film was concealing Bale's trick. Again that shift in focus completely threw me off - so when we saw Angier's trick - I was like meh, and then when we saw Bale's trick - I was, oh right, there was that trick too.
So, already the shock ending didn't let me sit and enjoy the movie.
Secondly - all that pure anticipation didn't let me sit and enjoy the movie - so really I came out of the theatre rather dissapointed.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I revisted the Prestige yesterday with a clean head and let me tell you - this movie is aboslutely amazing. It's weird. It's one of those movies that's actually better if you know the shock-ending. 'Cause then it becomes a game of figuring out how clever the director was in laying down all the hints - and believe me, there are a lot! Some are really subtle, but really smart!
K, let's strip away that, and look at the movie itself. This movie is a great tale of rivalry and never before have i felt so much pain for characters. The scene when Jackman's wife dies, the scene when Bale is shot, the scene when Jackman's birdcage trick goes horribly wrong, the scene when Jackman falls to hit a wooden board floor. Never before have I felt so much physical and emotional pain for a character. And the rivalry is just so amazingly constructed. Not only that - its a complex relationship - I mean really who do you root for. They're both viscious in the rivalry.
The narrative structure is even amazing - albeit at times hard to follow - but the idea of someone reading someone's journal who's reading that same man's journal was a really nice device. The acting was top-notch, the setting was amazing - I was watching the making-of and Nolan talks about setting it as a period piece with a very contemporary feel.
Basically - if you've watched the Prestige and felt a little disappointed, look at it again. Seriously - the second time I watched it, it went from being a good movie - to a great movie. I guess that's why they call the second act the turn.
Thanks for reading.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Ok, here it is. I've danced around topics on Top Gear - but finally I've decided today to post my thoughts on why Top Gear is the greatest show of all time. I was just browsing around the Top Gear website, and read Jeremy Clarkson's blog - where he asking the fans just what the new series will look and feel like and its got me all excited about the show again.
So where did it start? Well, really - with my roommate Aaron (from the NELSON blog). Usually, he and I would watch TV together like Futurama, Simpsons, Family Guy and some sitcoms here and there - and occasionally while one of us was doing homework the other would pop on a show that the other one didn't watch. Top Gear was one of Aaron's. I remember the first time I watched it I had sat in on one of the awards shows and I remember just being really confused as too what the format of the show was. I couldn't understand the live audience, and the studio setup etc. It was just very different from any North American show - radically different from any North American car show.
As time went on, I caught more and more episodes that Aaron would watch, and he'd always mention the production values but I never really took notice. The transition from knowing nothing into hardcore fan was actually pretty damn subtle. I'm not really sure when and where I said - man, this show is good.
Now, I live in North America, so its not like we get it on TV here - so we acquire it through other 'methods'. But basically, one summer, I asked Aaron to give me every episode thus, far. That was 7 series (seasons) at the time of 60 minute shows (no, not 44 minutes + commericals, true 60 minute shows). I went through this phase where I was watching at least one episode a night and that's when I really grew to appreciate the brilliance of the show.
K, let's rhyme off the reasons why its so great: its informative, its funny (really funny), its stylish, it has some of the greatest cinematography, editing, music supervision, and overall production I've ever seen, and more. Let's start with the car reviews - what the show used to be solely about. These sequences are filmed so stylishly that it just makes anyone who's handled a camera drool. And the beauty is - this is one place where its justified. Like if you put all the stylistic elements they shoot into a feature film - everyone would criticize the lack of substance and abundance of flash. But on a car show - that's all you want - flash. Now, granted - some people criticize the car reviews and being kind of vague. When Jeremy Clarkson describes every car he drives as "the greaetst car he's ever driven", its hard to guage just how good that supercar is. But if you strip away word for word analysis, the car reviews are actually quite helpful - they give you the overall impression that Clarkson, May, or Hammond have when they drive a car. I mean basically they'll give you the feel of whether or not you'd be happy with the car. Top Gear alone shattered my 20 some year opinion that 911's were the most gorgeous cars on the planet (they sold me on the DB9). They even convinced on cars like Honda Elements! The car reviews also feature great writing and it helps that Clarkson, May, and Hammond are great narrators. Yeah, nuff said about the car reviews - the segments are just so well put together its just unbelieveable.
Let's move on - how about challenges? To keep the show interesting to non-car buffs, Top Gear also features a whole whack of ssegments that would please anybody. For example, in the last series - they build a space shuttle out of a car in one of the greatest things I've ever seen on TV. How about triple challenges featuring Porsches for under 1000 pounds? Best of all - they feature amazing races across Europe (a Bugatti Veyron vs. a Plane for example!)
That not enough for the non-car buffs? How about a star in a reasonably priced car? This is where basically Top Gear becomes like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They have celebrities come on every week to have a track time in a cheap car. Stars in the past include Ewen McGregor, Simon Pegg, Hugh Grant, and Michael Gambon.
Now, in recent seasons, the show been taking a different direction in that it seems that car reviews are becoming more scarce and the other segements are starting to come into the spotlight (especially in Series 9), but I think the shows run recently has just been a little unstable in terms of its contract with the BBC and stuff like that.
By the way, I do appreciate North American car shows, and I do appreciate the limits they have in terms of places to shoot, the culture of cars here, and the censorship that exists in North America - but really if you've watched a North American car show - you have no idea what you're in for when you watch Top Gear. I can't stress enough how different this show is. So don't pass this off as your typical car show that's just better quality. It's a completely different genre of show.
Basically when it comes down to it - yes Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, Frasier, Seinfeld, Lost, Felicity, The Wonder Years have their place in the top TV shows - but really in terms of overall production, humour, information, frequency of good shows - really, Top Gear is the greatest show of all time.
Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Y'know, if you browse through my blog, there's a lot of posts about cars, movies, electronics, music, etc. But there's one hobby that's a major part of my life that I've seemed to have ignored - my guitar.
Last saturday, I had a nice day off, so I decided to go to the music store and try out some new guitars. As a guitar player, its always nice to keep up to snuff about what's on the market. For the first time, I had the opportunity to play a Paul Reed Smith - a McCarty model at that. Actually, the first guitar the guy handed me was a Custom 22 - and there's always this etiquette with guitar stores. You don't really ask to play the nicest guitar first - because you have to establish a trust. I mean, when you're dealing in the $2000+ range, you shouldn't blame them for being reluctant to hand you a guitar. So, I played the Custom 22, and once the guy saw that I had some decent skill, he handed my the McCarty model.
I'm a Les Paul player- and to date, the nicest electric guitar I've ever played is my Les Paul Standard. But I gotta say, the Paul Reed Smith's are definitely close. I still think the Les Paul is better, but the Paul Reed Smith's definitely have their advantages - the number one being its body. The Les Paul is a heft guitar and can become quite cumbersome after awhile - but the Paul Reed Smith almost feels like a strat (well, not quite, but definitely on that end of the scale). So, its really like the best of both worlds- the fat, robust sound of Les Paul with the jump-around-the-stage lightness of a strat. Not to mention its looks. PRS's are gorgeous guitars - especially the ones with the bird inlays. The tops are sweet too.
The other guitar I tried when I was there was the Gibson ES-335. Now, when I started playing guitar, I was big time into Oasis and Noel Gallagher at the time was a big advocate of semi-hollow Archtops. Since that time, I've bought a Epiphone Supernova and am quite happy with it. The narrow neck is a very nice touch. Anyway, back then, before I really knew what I was talking about - I went to a guitar store and tried an ES-335. It must have been the first $2000+ guitar that I tried. Back then, the store clerk was staring me down when I played it, so I never really got a good feel of the guitar. That must have been 7-8 years ago. So that's how long its been since I've picked up an ES-335.
Last saturday, I decided to revists my love for the archtop - and let me tell you, I was rather dissapointed. Now, granted, it's really hard to tell how good a guitar is in a guitar store - but overall, I wasn't very impressed. Both clean and distorted tones were kinda ugly - the overall playability was shabby, and the newer models were rather heavy. I'm sure if I had more time with them, my opinion might change - but maybe not. As it stands now, it must say, rather dissapointed.
Not last saturday, but awhile back, I did try an amazing guitar though - The Taylor T5. This is a sick guitar! For those who don't know, it's in the realm of the Chet Atkins SST and the Godins - basically an acoustic that's designed to be plugged in. Of al those guitars- the T5 is for sure my favourite. I plays an sounds so nice. The Chet Atkins SST has been a favourite for a long while (mainly due to Dave Matthews), but the Taylor T5 (now played by Dave, and Jason Mraz) is taking the winners seat. It is such an amazing guitar. What completely blew me away was how good this thing sounded even unplugged.
When all is said and done, in my life to date
-The best electric guitar I've ever played is a Les Paul Standard
-The best electic/acoustic guitar I've ever played is a Taylor T5
-The best straight acoustic guitar I've ever played is this 10 year old Yamaha 400 series
Thanks for reading.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I'm not really sure how long its been since the introduction of High Definition to the public, but it has definitely been awhile and the world is still taking its sweet time easing into it. I don't blame the world either - 'cause really, to upgrade to HD, you have to spend a lot of freaking money. Lets take the jump from VHS to DVD as a counter example. When DVDs first came out - people were asking the same question that they are asking now, "Is it really that much better?" I actually remember the first time I realized the sharpness of DVD. I was in a Sony store and they were playing a Bad Boys trailer - besides everything just looking so great - I remember that the "This Preview has been approved for all audiences" text on that green background looking crazy clear! And very shortly after I could answer the question, "Yes, it really is that much better!"
Now here's the thing - with the advent of DVD there was only one thing you needed to buy - a DVD player. That was the beauty. You could use all your existing equipment (i.e. your existing TV) to enjoy the beauty of DVD. Now granted, it was also the first time you could enjoy 5.1 surround sound - which required you to buy a 5.1 system - but even if you didn't have that system, you could still marvel at the beauty of DVD quality.
Well, now HD has been introduced and you can probably tell what I'm getting at. The question is being asked again "Is HD really that much better than DVD?" Well, its a tricky issue. I find that HD isn't as consistently better than DVD as DVD was better than VHS. Like you could pick up any DVD back in the day and it would blow the VHS equivalent out of the water. With HD on the other hand - there's quite a range. And its really due to the range in HD material that exists out there.
For example, lets start with the output. Already HD doesn't have one standard. You have 720p (720 horizontal lines of resolution) and 1080p (1080 horizontal lines of resolution). So right there, some HDTVs look "that much better", and some don't. Secondly, lets talk about transfers. Because DVD was a pretty sharp format to start out with, HD transfers to Blu-ray and HD-DVD have to be excellent to be "that much better". And from the reviews I've been reading - not all the transfers are coming out that great. (For those who don't know, basically the source material that's shot needs to be compressed down to the Blu-ray and HD-DVD format. This transferring process can vary in quality). Just as a comparison, I own House of Flying Daggers on Blu-ray and Invincible - and there are worlds of difference in terms of how great they actually look.
Another issue I've found is projection size. Sometimes you really can't appreciate how good HD material is until you blow it up to a theatre size screen. HD is the first video source to rival the resolution of film. Thus, it is "that much better" in the way that when you project HD material to a theatre size screen - its still really sharp, unlike DVD. You probably wouldn't notice as big a difference on a smaller screen.
The last issue I've noticed in comparing SD (standard definition) and HD material is what the source is shot on. For those who don't know, there's basically 3 things they transfer successfully to HD output: material shot on film, material shot on HD-video, and CG material. The thing about material that is shot on HD and CG, the transfer is almost flawless, if not flawless. That is, the digital material is transferred perfectly. However, stuff shot on film has to go through a process of scanning each film frame into a digital equivalent. And sometimes this isn't done so successfully. Actually, sometimes its done perfectly successfully, but just the nature of film - it doesn't look as sharp and clean as HD. This is completely fine artistically - like I'll definitely argue for the film look over HD look in some cases - but if we're talking about seeing "how much better HD looks than DVD", the best material you have to consider is stuff that's shot on HD. That's why I still stand by, the absolute best stuff I've seen in HD is stuff like Jay Leno or Conan O'Brian - because the source originates from an HD camera.
While on that topic - sometimes what constitutes something looking so much better is how the film was shot itself. Because HD is so sharp - you notice stuff that's out of focus (usually on purpose). So really, to appreciate the magnificence of HD, you have to have a shot that has a extremely large depth of field. Than you start see details.
Oh, and details? Well, sometimes, CG material really isn't the best material to compare. Again, since DVD is a pretty sharp medium to start off with, sometimes DVDs capture all the detail that a CG artist has rendered. I mean, when you look at CG skin, a CG artists may render it pretty flat and smooth. Well, when going to HD, you can't really get anymore detail out of that skin. Whereas with really life stuff, you can always get more detail.
So with all of that said - what HDTV your watching it on, the size of it, the source material, you can see how HD may not conivnce people. But the problem is the people aren't watching the right HD material that showcases how good it is. So with that said, in my opinion, when you take the best DVD material and the best HD material that
HIGH DEFINITION IS TRULY THAT MUCH BETTER THAN STANDARD DEFINITION.
You just need to find the right stuff. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, back to the point of using your existing equipment. Again, when DVDs came around, you didn't really need taht much new equipment. With High Definition - you pretty much need to completely overhaul your home theatre/TV that you watch. 'Cause quite honestly, SDTV sucks on HDTVs. DVDs look alright, but even then. I mean, to truly make HD worth your while, you need to get at 1080p TV (say $2500-$3000 CDN), an HDBox (extra $20-$40 CDN a month), a Blu-ray/HD-DVD player ($500-$1000 CDN) - so it all really adds up. The only thing that you can use from the past is your 5.1 surround sound system. So it is a lot to convert to HD.
However, really the point of this entry was to say that, once you have converted to HD - its amazing the power it has over you. Particularly - the power it has over you to watch things you would never have watched in the past. I haven't made the complete conversion to HD yet, but I have a bunch of friends who have. And I can't tell you how many countless hours people will watch the same Coldplay concert over and over again. Or how people who have never watched sports in their life start to watch sports. Or how much of a kick you get out of watching a helicopter flyby shot of landscape.
Here's the thing about HD that's unlike DVD. DVD kind of revolutionized how we watch movies, the quality was great. However, HD - takes that approach and applies it to everything that we watch! Not just movies, but tv shows, the news, sports games, etc. I mean when DVD came out, the resolution of hockey games stayed the same. But with HD, everything got upped!
And that's great - 'cause it gives documentaries like the much takled about "Planet Earth" a real home. I mean EVERYONE's talking about Planet Earth and how brilliant it is. And I think its highly due to the fact that it is done in HD. The same filmmakers did a documentary called The Blue Planet and no one kicked a fuss about that. Granted Planet Earth is a way bigger project - but still, I think its publicity has gotta be at least 50% due to the fact that it looks so gorgeous.
So yes, HD is that much better than SD. Yes, to upgrade to HD, its a huge chunk out of your wallet. But the thing is, if you do, you'll will be pleased with how much stuff you'll be watching again. I mean you'll basically fall in love with your TV again. It's almost like you stop watching the show for the show and more for just how good it looks.
I leave you with some things you should watch if you have an HD setup. And be sure to visit www.highdefdigest.com for all your Blu-ray and HD-DVD needs.
-Invincible on Blu-ray
-Planet Earth on DiscoveryHD or HD-DVD or Blu-ray
-The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
-Late Night with Conan O'Brien
(my list is limited 'cause I myself don't have an HD setup)
Thanks for reading.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Alright, so to go along with my Fit To Live series, my Mix of the Moment today is my running mix. These are some of the songs I work out too and I think are great songs to run to. Enjoy.
1. Trains to Brazil by the Guillemots
2. Get By (Remix) by Talib Kweli f. Kanye West, Jay-z, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes
3. Man Burning by Josh Ritter
4. All These Things That I've Done by The Killers
5. How to Save a Life by The Fray
6. Gone by Kelly Clarkson
7. Touch the Sky by Kanye West f. Lupe Fiasco
8. Save Me by Remy Zero
9. White Shadows by Coldplay
10. Definition by Black Star
11. Knife-Grey Sea by Pilate
12. We'll Never Know by Lifehouse
13. Blinded by Third Eye Blind
14. Numb/Encore by Linkin Park/Jay-z
And actually most of the stuff from my hip hop mix of the moment works well too, and some of the stuff from the movie version of the RENT soundtrack works quite well. Thanks for reading.
Alright. So as most Macophiles know, we received some bad news today - the much anticipated Mac OS X Leopard was delayed until October. The amazing new iChat, Spaces, and of course Time Machine capabilities will just have to wait. The reason? Well, it's due to possibly the most coveted electronic device to come around in a long long time: the iPhone.
This post has really been a long time coming. I mean everyone knows about the iPhone, everyone knows just how amazing it is. But really, because of the long period between its annoucement and its release - that steam sometimes fades. Seriously, for those who have put the notion of the iPhone on the shelf since its announcement, may I invite you to revisit it. Take a look at the keynote speech again, watch the many YouTube videos about it, or whatever - just reacquaint yourself with this device. Because I did last night - and man - THIS THING IS FREAKIN' AMAZING!
The thing I love about Apple - is they're all about interface. And it's a different approach to interface. It's not just about making it the easiest interface to use in my opinion. The way they design their interfaces is that yes, they are easy to use, but moreoever - they're really fun to use! I mean, all you're doing is scrolling through artists to get to the song you want to play - but the click wheel actually made that process fun. When iPods first came out - when you saw someone scrolling through a list - you wanted to be doing that. When I first got my Powerbook - it had such a gorgeous display and perfect keyboard (to date, the best keyboard I've ever typed on) - that I wanted to find work just so I could be on my Powerbook.
The thing is Apple designs interfaces that if you're not using them - you want to be. Or if you try it once, you just want to keep playing with it. They make the mundane fun.
The iPhone in my opinion is probably the greatest demonstration of this. Let's take a few examples - the flicking of your finger! How cool is that! Everyone will have so much fun when they do that to do a relatively boring task - I mean all you're really doing is scrolling through lists. How about resizing pictures? The dual thumb-finger deal? Man, how fun is that going to be.
Basically - Apple makes they're interfaces so smooth and so perfect, you almost feel like you're not playing with a real thing - it's out of this world and some mini-man is just interpreting your movements and controlling the device for you. (what the hell does that mean? not sure really) But what I'm trying to say is - do you remember Minority Report? Do you remember how Tom Cruise browsed through the files with those cool gloves and how everything just moved so smoothly? He'd just flick his wrists, twists his hands and found the killer? Well to me, Apple's interfaces are the closest thing we have to that.
The iPhone is an absolutely incredible device and although costing an arm and a leg - I think it's totally worth it. If I'm lucky enough in life to own one - there's no doubt in my mind it'll be the nicest piece of technology I've owned since my Powerbook.
So, again, I invite you guys, revisit the iPhone and fall in love all over again. Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Alright, people, this one's long overdue. Really, it's almost like it should have been a "...of the moment" segment, but whatever. Basically, I have my favourite cars of all time in my head that changes subtly over the years (with the 911 Turbo and Aston Martin DB9 topping those charts), but then there's just my favourite cars of the moment. There's a lot more to consider when compiling a list like this. Because, it's really what impresses me at the moment - like when the Audi TT was released, it was my favourite car of that year just because it was so bold and stylish for its time. It was by far not the greatest car, but the year it was released it was a great car. So basically what I'm saying is that the list below isn't my favourite cars of all time, it's just my top 10 of the moment. What currently is impressing me. One thing that kind of goes big into the equation is previous models. For example, the Mitsubishi Evo has always been a gorgeous car, but the Evo Prototype X is just stunning. Also, to be fair, I'm only putting down cars that are in production, or will very shortly be in production. So without further a due, here's my top 10 cars of the moment. Thanks for reading.
10. Nissan Altima Coupe
9. Jaguar XK
8. Honda S2000
7. BMW M3
6. Porsche 911 Carrera
5. Bugatti Veyron
4. Ford Mondeo
3. Mitsubishi Lancer (Evo X)
2. Audi S5
1. Aston Martin DBS
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
Alright, I apologize for the lack of updates over the Easter Weekend. If there's one thing I hate, it's how all internet updates (or most) stop during the holidays. Of course I understand it, but it just sucks. But the fact of the matter is, I've just had nothing to write about over the weekend. My easter weekend's been pretty good. Saw SharkWater which was good and bad. Lots of good things in it - but not sure about that narration. Ah well, still worth a look.
Anyway, as such, I still really have no update today either. So I'll do the easy cop out and just port over one of my posts from my old myspace blog. Enjoy and thanks for reading.
A League of her own...
You know, you go through life accomplishing a lot of just building your confidence and stature and succeeding at everything. I'm not trying to sound cocky or boastful here - but I'm damn proud of everything I've accomplished - my work with film, my work with music, my grades in school, my breakdancing and free-running - heck I'm even pretty happy with my personality. And of course I'm not for everybody - there's a lot of people who hate me out there - but I don't care, no one's loved by everyone.
You go through life and your head is up high and you think - I'm a pretty decent guy and deserve anybody that comes my way. Even though everybody might not be my taste - I at least go through life thinking I deserve any one of them. There are times where of course I've been rejected - but in the end I always end up saying - y'know what, you deserve better and those who reject you are just trash and don't deserve you.
But then it hits you.
Every now and then - and although it's happened twice this year - it happens very seldomly. And it pretty much kills you:
You actually meet someone who truly is out of your league.
You tell yourself the old cliche that I just mentioned about deserving better, but time and time again you start to find out more about these people and realize that - wow - they really do deserve better than yourself. I've met 2 girls in the past year that I truly feel this way about. Now again - don't get me wrong - I'm not down on myself and am not feeling sorry for myself. I really do think I'm a pretty frickin' amazing person. But let's face it - they really do exist - girls that deserve better. All I'm saying is that it sucks sometimes. Why am I writing about it now? Well, tell you the truth, for some unknown reason - I just woke up thinking about one of them this morning - and thought - man that sucks!
I think what's worse sometimes, is that because they are such great people - they're never really mean or jerkish to you, and they never lead you on, etc. Like - you basically have nothing to be mad at them about. All you have is the situation to be mad at. Bascially to sit in your bed in the morning at think - man - this kinda sucks.
But I guess there's always the bright side. And I truly believe in this - it's not some kind of self-consolation. I'm talking about the revelation that these people give you - they reveal to you that people like them exist in the real world. You start to think sometimes that your standards are too high, but then these people always validate them for you - and in the end, despite the sucky feeling - you're usually overcome with the feeling and notion that it was a privilege to even meet them. They'll never be in your life again to any significant extent, but at least you got to know an amazing person who'll do amazing things in this world. They're out of your league, sure, but all it does it force you to be a better person.
Or at least that's how I feel. Thanks for reading.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Wow, this is kinda old news for the hard-core fans, and I do consider myself a hard core fan, but I just forgot to read up and get my updates recently. But some really sad news has hit.
Damien Rice is one of my favourite artists of all time. "O" is one of the best albums of all time. And as great and amazing as he is, one of the best parts about listening to his music is listening to his vocal partner in crime, Lisa Hannigan. God her voice is amazing. That raspy compliment to his raw hatred of relationships was always great.
Unfortunately, it seems that their professional career has run its course. Damien Rice's official website (www.damienrice.com) had an official statement where Lisa Hannigan would no longer be singing with Damien Rice. And for Rice fans, this is a huge hit. I can't believe it. I guess it makes sense for her to pursue her own endeavours, but man, it's sad to see her go.
So as a tribute, to our beloved Lisa Hannigan, I'm gonna list my favourite moments in Damien Rice's music that she added:
Top 10 Lisa Hannigan Moments:
10. Her Harmony in the bridge of Volcano
9. Her harmony on the live version of The Professor & La Fille Danse
8. Her harmony in Face
7. Her harmony in Toffee
6. Her part in 9 Crimes
5. Her part in Unplayed Piano
4. Her part in I'll Remember
3. Her duet with Damien during the bridge of The Blower's Daughter
2. Her singing of "I'll get a cheaper ticket next time" in Woman Like a Man
1. Her amazing live performance in Delicate (you really have to see this, at the end of the song when she hits those high notes, holy wah!)
Thanks to www.eskimofriends.com for being the best update site for Damien Rice and thanks to you guys for reading.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
K, just got some house-cleaning news bits to deliver to the public. First up, the new Mac Pro. It seems that Apple just isn't satified with 4 cores to run their powerhouse of a computer. The new Mac Pro houses 8 cores - that's right, essentially 8 parallel processors for all your computer needs. Why am I excited about this? Well, here's the thing - I don't even own a Dual Core computer and never have. So by the time I do buy a new computer, they'll be up to 6 billion cores (ok, maybe not that much), but it just may feel like it for me. Another benefit of owning a mac - you'll own it for awhile and by the time you're ready for a new comptuer, computers will have advanced so much that you'll actually feel great about your new purchase.
Secondly, while Subaru seems to be questionably redesigning their iconobile (yes, that's a Casey-ism, no charge), BMW seems to be staying true to their "design the sweetest cars" motif. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the official M3 photos are out - no, not the M3 concept, the actual production model. Although looking a lot more tame than the concept (that's a given), the new M3 is looking every bit as good as any new M3 when its released. Not to mention its new V8, over 400 BHP engine! Will this bring Clarkson back onto the M3 team? (Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the RS4 and actually put it above the M3 for the first time). We'll have to see. Jump over to www.caranddriver.com for more info and pics.
Alright, that's it for now. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
I know Alayne will take note of this one. Do you remember back in the day when no one really knew about Subaru? Do remember when the four wheel drive on every vehicle mandate didn't really matter to anyone. Remember those australian outback commercials showcasing, well, the Legacy Outback? Remember how no one cared?
Well, at least the general public didn't seem to care. That is until the words "Street Legal Rally Car" starting popping up. I'm talking of course about the car that single handedly made Subaru one of the coolest car companies in the world - the Subaru Impreza WRX. Winning Rally Championships all around the world, it was sweet when they finally decided to give the public their best product. Not to mention the STi shortly after.
Now the thing is - ever since the WRX came to the public market, there's been a significant debate about its styling. The original Rally Car that the public WRX was based on had nice little slit rectangular headlights. However, its street legal brother sported circular, bug-eyed, almost beetle-esque headlamps. I don't think I've ever heard so much controversy stirred up just because of 2 pieces of round plastic. But I must admit, the rectangular headlights did look better.
But then another generation came out that would become my favourite. It was a subtle change, but the round headlights became half rectangles (on the outer brim), and half circles (on the inner front). This styling in my opinion was definitely the best of all the WRX's. It was big and bulky and in your face - on top of which, it was beautiful.
What happened after? I'm not sure really. It seemed like for the sake of change, Subaru added this funny piece of front fascia - this weird arch right at the center. Granted the new headlights looked pretty good, but that stupid thing in the middle just made the whole thing bad. In fact so bad that you didn't realize that the rest of the car was actually pretty nice. My old roommate pointed this out- cover up that middle piece at the front, and the rest of the current generation WRX actually looks as good as the generation that preceded it.
Why did he bring this up? Why am I writing about the WRX? Well - Subaru, it would seem, has pulled a Volkswagon. That is, they took a pretty good looking stylish car, and made it look like a bland Toyota (cough, the current Jetta). That's right folks - Subaru has released official photos of the new WRX, and if you're reading up to this point, you've already seen the photo I've posted. And is it just me, or at quick glance, does it not look like the new Toyota Camry? What the hell? The aggressive street legal rally car now looks like the bland family car of the decade? Don't get me wrong - I love Toyota (in fact, I used to own one), but Toyota has its niche, and it's good at it. Toyota is not good at say making a street legal rally car. So when a company like Subaru takes its best product and makes it look like a new Camry - I have to question it.
Ah well, not all is bad. Upon closer inspection, it doesn't look too shabby. And I do respect the bold move to make such a radical exterior redesign. And knowing me, I'll probably grow to like the styling. But as it stands now, Subaru's release of the 2008 WRX official photos is a pretty sad showing. Head to www.caranddriver.com for more pics. Thanks for reading.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Alright, so there's a lot of cool things going on around the world including DRM being dropped by EMI, cool episode of Lost being aired (but that's a given), I just went to a decent auto show, and so forth. But I thought I'd talk about something else today (well, considering this isn't a news feed, this may not be much of a surprise).
Let's talk about Materialism vs. Enjoying Materials. 'Cause something I can't stand is the misjudgment of people who just enjoy materials but aren't materialistic. I guess the reason I can't stand it is that I think at times I can be judged to be materialistic. Just so we don't have any discrepencies of the bat, let's define what I believe as being materialistic: putting great importance on material items, even more importance that people values (spiritual, moral, family, etc.).
I am the last person to judge someone if they own a certain car, a certain computer, a certain TV, or a certain cell phone. Now, the thing is, I'll think it's cool that they own say a Porsche 911, or a Nokia 8801, but I'll never judge them as a person for owning those possessions, nor will I judge someone for not owning them.
Now on the other hand, I love materials. Like, I love Sony 1080p TVs, I love Samsung's ultra slim slider mobile phones, I love everything Apple's released, I love cars, I like nice clothes, I like nice guitars, I like nice sound systems etc. But I'd never put their importance above people. When I grow up, if I own a 911 Turbo, and my kid asks me to drive it, of course I'll let him/her. I'd never value my car over my kid.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, people shouldn't judge others as being materialistic just because they enjoy material goods or just because someone owns a lot of nice stuff. Somewhere along the line, being successful and being able to enjoy what you want to enjoy became a bad thing. If I've loved the Porsche 911 Turbo all my life, I shouldn't be ashamed in the future if I can afford one. If I worked hard to earn the money to afford one, and I buy one - I shouldn't be labelled as materialistic. I guess some of that hatred comes from jealousy rather than a true judgment of materialism - and that's understandable- if there's someone who sympathizes with jealous people, it's me.
Now, if on the other hand, I only hang out with people who own $50,000+ cars, then yes, you can label me as materialistic. But the day that happens will be the day that I think the 911 sucks. That is, never. Thanks for reading.