Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix

>> Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Well, let me disclose my crime to you. I enjoy going to the suburban multiplex, pay for one ticket, watch it and then sneaking to another movie, my own do-it-yourself-buy-one-get-one-free scheme. I know a lot of people do it too, but I enjoy the guilty feeling and excitement that associate with it. It satisfies the kleptomaniac in me. Judge me if you want, I don't care. How else can you justify paying $15 for a medium popcorn and a medium soda?

So along with the Simpsons, I watched Harry Potter; Another franchise that is red hot right now with its last installment of the book being released causing quite a stir. I haven't been reading the books so my concept of the development of the storyline is a little vague. It seems that the story has departed from the world of academy and quidditch and into a much darker, scarier plot.

Much like in the Simpsons, the government plays the villain of this episode as the prime minister of magic thinks that the comeback of Lord Voldemort is a fabrication from Dumbledore as an excuse for him to gain control of the magic world. A new administrator has been sent to the school in the form of a seemingly nice but vicious auntie which coincide my image for a right-wing extreme bible thumper. Dealing with death and visions of Voldemort's crime, Harry trains a new group of students to fight back.

It doesn't seem to be a children's novel anymore. It deals with death, loss, evil, cruelty and revenge. Not everything in the real world is just and you can't trust people especially if they are in power. Of course it's ture and every grown up knows that but it's just sad to be reminded. It is also as upset to have a government so corrupted and false to affect so many screenwriters to write anti-government messages into movies. Isn't it enough that they are screwing up our environment in general? Do I have to be reminded of them when all I want is to watch a movie to relax and be entertained? Anyway, the special effects are great, the movie is nice, but not outstanding. C+


Movie Review: The Simpsons Movie

>> Monday, July 30, 2007

Of course, everyone who's writing a review of The Simpsons Movie have to mention how they have been huge fans of the TV series or how significant it is to the American culture in general and honestly, who doesn't love The Simpsons?

The story is about borderline retarded Homer adopted a pig and dumped its waste in Lake Springfield against the wishes of Marge and environmentaly concerned Lisa. The waste turned Lake Springfield into an environmental disaster and the government leads by President Arnold Schwarzenegger has developed a giant glass shield to cover all of Springfield to contain the pollution. Chased by his fellow Springfielders, the Simpsons escaped through a wormhole and decided to move to Alaska while the government announced its plan to destroy the town and make it the site to the new Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, the Simpsons family is at the point of falling apart due to Homer's shenanigans. Bart having been humiliated by Homer one too many times, secretly wishes to be adopted by the Flanders. So while Homer refuses to ever go back to Springfield, the rest of the family left him and go back to Springfield. It took an epithany for Homer to realize what he has done wrong and the Simpsons reunited and returned to save the day. (Did I gave away too much?)

I think the writers of the movie are pretty comfortable with the fact that the viewers have all seen and are deeply familiar with almost every characters of the show, so we don't see a lot of character development. I would have loved to see more of Crusty, Apu or Principal Skinner, but everything is focused on family interactions. We don't see big musical numbers with clever lyrics like we use to, instead there are a lot of political jokes. Funny, yes but I'm also feeling some important elements missing, though I still had a good time.

I'm have to say I'm slightly disappointed, but I'm hoping to go to a nearby Kwik-E-Mart soon so I'm not missing some major components of the whole Simpsons experience.

P.S. The best quote of the movie comes from President Scwarzenegger: "I'm elected to lead, not to read." C+


My Gay Asian Mentality

>> Sunday, July 29, 2007

Throughout the years, I've met tons of people on gay social websites. Honestly and surprisingly, not everyone on those sites wants sex. Some of us really just want to make friends with similar backgrounds in similar situations, so I get to know a lot of people. Especially Asians, we have a respectable amount of Gay Asians here in the city but the majority of them lacks masculinity and they all wants to be picked up by some rich, older white guys.

I do understand part of it. When I first came out, I didn't know anything about 'being gay'. I knew I like boys, but that's about it. I don't know who's gay and where to meet them, I remember going to a gay club when they opened at 7:00 pm and nobody was there other than the staff and then rushed home thinking to myself that there are not really that many gay people around. I wandered around greenwich village looking for gay people and establishments but not finding any because I didn't have a gaydar back then.

An internet acquaintance was saying how he hates when othe Asians go to bar and stand in a corner acting all lonely and sad, how they don't socialize and avoid other Asians, like they are only their to cruise and nothing else. I have to admit I do act like that in a bar as well, that's why I hate going to bars, I simply don't know how to act. As a matter of fact, I still don't know how to 'cruise'. I usually do things for a purpose, and I'm taught not to look or stare at people on the streets and what other people do is none of my business. So I would never realize if othe people are looking at me. Sometimes, my friends would tell me that someone was staring at me after the fact, which I did not notice and probably would never know if they didn't tell me.

My first boyfriend was much older than me. He taught me pretty much everything about the gay culture. Now I know that people don't appear in bars until 11 at night or even later. But it comes with a cost, these "rice queens" are a special bunch of people. Generally, they have a pre-existing concept on how Asians are; docile, innocent followers and when they find out that this is not the reality they get disappointed. Some uses financial security to tie down an Asian trophy boyfriend in exchange of emotional support, given it is probably one of the most common version of marriage but that's far from real love.

Older white guys look for younger Asian boyfriends because they are much easier to acquire and the young gay Asians lack the self-confidence to find a younger counterpart and self-respect to rely on themselves financially. Maybe I'm just saying this out of jealousy, god knows it'll be so much easier to rely on somebody else, but then look at Anna Nicole and see how far it has gotten her. I just find being my own sugar daddy much more reliable.

The forementioned exboyfriend was a jerk and a racist, he first made a lot of racist comments about the Blacks and then towards Asians as well. He must be, how can you decide you will only be romantically interested with members of one race of people and not be racist? Just like Avenue Q's song "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", I'm racist too, but my point is I rather be loved for the person I am and not for my skin color or the perception of who I am or how I should act.


If Food = Love Then Food Contrains = Conditional Love

>> Friday, July 27, 2007

I have yet another theory. It is not uncommon for people to equate food as love psychologically; my grandma constantly feed us to show her affection and a bunch of people growing stuffing their face whenever they feel sad. I have to admit that this is part of the reason why I have been overweight, so I find people with self-inflicted dietary constaints very strange.

Well, let me clarify that. I understand the part about food allergies or medical requirted dietary change, but people like vegetarians or people that simply won't eat a particular kind of meat, or seafood is a bit strange for me in concept. Principe won't eat pork or shrimp or anything remotely hard like nuts or even portabella mushrooms.

For me love is all inclusive, to put constraint on love makes it conditional. It is not love anymore, it is trading, a bargain of sorts. I don't know if it makes sense, but people with dietary constrains always has some kinda odd personality. They seems to be more self centered, everything is about their choices and their likings. They seem to define themselves more of what they wouldn't do than what they would do and often disregard other people's preferences. Their constrain becomes a rule not only for themselves but for other around them as well, other people are constantly being reminded of what this person can't have and have to make changes so this person won't be offended. Does this person have those restraint just because he/she needed the attention?

I eat almost everything and I'm damn proud of it. Brought some stir fried shrimp once to an office gathering and my colleagues looked at me like I was trying to poison them, "We don't eat shrimps!" they said. A lot of people won't eat sushi and if you're bringing them to a restaurant other than a diner or a fast food restaurant, be prepare to explain everything to them. Aw... what a bore... have some adventerous spirit, try something new in your life. God forbit you might like it, and if you don't at least you'll know from then on. Quit hiding yourself from the world and explore a little!


Viral Video: Human Tetris

>> Thursday, July 26, 2007

About I was browsing YouTube and saw these funny Japanese game show clips and found them really silly and funny but didn't really think anything of it. But then apparently this show has created quite a hype, my friend sent me and email about them and it has become one of the most viewed series. So her they are, I especially like the big guy who keeps breaking every single one of them. There's two ways to play the game and he apparently found the better way.


The Big Gay Movie Festival (Part 2)

>> Monday, July 23, 2007

I just finished my last 5 movies and the better two happen to be foreign films.

Le Ciel Sur La Tete (Things Have Been Better) is about a successful son coming out to his parents and the consequences in towed. Jeremy has just been promoted to be the next bank manager of a prominent bank in Paris and he has paid a visit to his parents in the country to tell them the good news, plus the fact that he's gay and moving in with his boyfriend. His mother, Rosine is a reporter for a local news paper while his charming and cheerful left-wing father, Guy, is the CEO of a technology company. Shocked, the mom tries to consult his bitchy middle-aged bitter queen of a colleague and decided to love his son as usual, but the father is having a helluva hard time accepting that fact. He can't figure out what went wrong of his son's upbringing and his idiotic colleagues made it a whole lot worse. Soon arguments ensued, and his family is falling apart. The movie is very charming and studded with a lot of well written characters and a lot of laughs. It focuses more on the receivers of the news than the gay couple themselves, which is a nice change of pace. We forget the world around us sometimes. B

Cover Boy - The Last Evolution: I had a very hard time getting my head around this one. Ioan grew up in Romania and witnessed the death of his father when he was a child during the revolution of his country. His friend urge him to go to Rome together to look for better opportunities. After his friend get arreated, he stumbled in Rome looking for work and a place to sleep. Michele, a janitor of the train station took him in his apartment in exchange for part of the rent and companionship. Both Ioan and Michele had a hard time making ends meet, with Ioan on the edge of being arrested for not having a work permit and Michele getting fired first all the time because of the bad economy and he doesn't have a family to feed. They developed a strong bond as friends, and vow that one day they will open their own restaurant called 'Ioan and Michele'. One day on the street, Ioan got discovered by a female photographer and becomes a model but he has to move to Milan for the job. Michle is left alone still trying to make his ends meet. When Ioan has made enough money and going back to find Michele, all has changed. Cover boy is a sad story about loss and poverty as well as what people will do to survive. The only thing is, I don't really know if this qualifies as a gay film. It is too subtle and hidden that it could have been a film about two friends. I'm however always drawn to a good sad story though. B-

Turn around and I'm 32, aye...


The Big Gay Movie Festival (Part 1)

>> Monday, July 16, 2007

The international gay film festival is going on in town and of course, I got the ten pass again this year. Watched half of it and I've walked out on only one. I understand that gay films usually have really small budget, and not much can be expected of them but having said that, they are a lot better than I've expected. Maybe gay films have become more main stream, thanks for Brokeback Mountain.

The main focus this year is RuPaul's Starrbooty. A tongue-in-cheek comedy reminiscing of late 70's Blaxploitation film. RuPaul plays Starrbooty (think Foxy Brown) an ex-supermodel of the world turns top secret agent who tries to rescue her niece from her nemesis Annaka Manners, who kidnap hookers on the streets, cut them apart and sell the body parts to the aging upper class. So Starrbooty went and become a "undercover ho" as she tries to rescue her niece. The film tries to be as campy as possible with shocking images sprinkled all over the movie like fairy dust. With various sex jokes, scat humor and body parts, as Mecca Revlon had put it, it's very "Gag you just for gagging's sake's, serve you just to serve." RuPaul was there in full drag and did a little runway show for us as she introduced the cast as well as an after Q&A section. It is hard not to pay attention to her, she's a 7 feet tall drag queen in a big platinum blond afro wig. Compare to her, Ari Gold, Gus Mattox, Michael Lucas and Mike Ruiz seemed small and insignificant. Michael Lucas the big media whore and attention monger that he is has to take off his shirt and show us half his penis to get the applause and approval that he so desperately seeks. What insecure man would need to do that? Sad really. I never liked him much, he seemed so arrogant and fake. He must have begged to be in the movie, he does have a huge penis though. C+

The one movie that I really love is called Shelter and I am not exaggerating when I say I love this movie, I LOVE it!!! I can compare it to my all time favorite gay film - Beautiful Thing. It's a movie about a teenage surfer boy trying to cope with his own sexuality while taking care of his father and his older sister's son. Living in San Pedro, California, Zach has to take care of his nephew since his father is disabled and his sister Jeanie's boyfriend ran off ever since he found out that Jeanie was pregnant. Jeanie who cares more about her own social life than anything, constantly manipulates and guilts him into babysitting for her, while she spends most of her time away from her own child. For these reasons, Zach has abandoned his own needs and thoughts about what he could do with his artistical talents and focus to make ends meet. Other than babysitting and holding down his job in a diner, he hangs out at the beach with his friends and surf. When his best friend's brother comes back into town, a relationship starts to emerge with Zach and this old acquaintance. The story is so beautifully told that I almost cried. God, what wouldn't I give to have a relationship like this? His sister keeps him grounded, discouraging him to go to art school, so he can take care of her son. And him sacrificing himself just for the sake of the 'family'. These concepts are too foreign to me. Everybody should go see it. A


80 Things I Remembered About Paris

>> Thursday, July 12, 2007

I lived in Paris for 7 years between the age of 3 and 10. I thought that it was important for me to capture some memories I still have before I forget all of them. So this is what I remember during that time:

The little dingy apartment northeast of Champs-Elysees; Lots of dog poop; My crazy eccentric mean step-grandmother; Her pronunciation of Police in Chinese "BoLeiSi" which means "Glass Shit"; The much nicer two bedroom apartment on Rue Beaudoin; The trash shoot; The painted yellow giraffe in the orange water closet; The douche in the bathroom; Swimming in the bathtub; Talking to the little girl living next door through our balconies; The dog and cat that my grandma kept; The field of grass between the buildings; The black guy who broke in and kissed my mom; My father; His lavishly decorated Chinese restaurant which was once on TV; Being too nervous to sing the ABC song in front of him and then get called stupid at the age of 3; The Chinese restaurants' association; The seemingly nice lady Polish lady called Barbara sitting outside my father's restaurant who smiled at me, which my mom called her the "Evil Fox Seductress" (home-breaker/slut); Sleeping in 6 restaurants chairs lined up like a bed while my mom have late night card and mahjong games with the other Chinese restaurants owners; Buying Triple 5's for my grandma; One of the restaurant owners named her daughter "Puppette" and makes a mean Chinese salad with wood ear in her restaurant in Nation across a slaughter house; Dumping the whole can of fish food in one of my mom's friend's aqaurium and getting beat senseless for it; Gallette des Rois and the crown (Why can't I ever be the king?); Crepe stands on the street; Coconut and Pistachio ice cream; Swirling trash flying in the air in an outdoor shopping center (Very American Beauty); The Chinese groceries stores who sells "Big Buns" and rents out Chinese TV shows; Our VCR; Inpector Gadget; Watching Bambi and "Le Soupe de Choux" in a movie theatre; Listening to a lot of Prudence Tsui and Teresa Teng; Sitting on the floor of the supermarket and reading Smurfs comic books and children magazines; Eating chocolate sundaes in the supermarket's restaurant; Seeing dead rabbits hanging on a meat vendor's rack on a open air market underneath the Metro next to Place D'Italia (That's my Chinese Zodiac symbol and my favorite animal); The light board in the metro where I press things just to see it lit up; Pressing the stop button on an escalator to see what it does (Not Recommended); My mom's Singer sewing machine; The bull costume and the chef costume she made for me during day of LaFontaine; Asking my mom for a Superman's cape and get a detective cape outfit instead; My Bally shoes; My Mickey Mouse watch; The smell of Chanel; Going into Christian Dior; Lido and Moulin Rouge; The folding peacock in my mom's cocktail; Constantly causing trouble and get summoned to the principal's office again and again; Being teased by other boys and get into fights; Being invited for Fanny's 7th birthday party; Giving my teacher a Pierre Cardin scarf for my teacher for teacher's day; Making our own chocolate croissant with a croissant and a little bit of chocolate at school; Being bullied and one of them fuckers stole my electronic game; Seeing him play it across the street from my apartment outside my favorite patisserie; The baguette and buttery, flaky mini baguette that they sell; My toy accordion; My raggedy Andy bedsheet (Does anyone else think that Raggedy Andy looks too feminine?); My Monchichi stuffed monkey; Lego; The crying clown marionette hanging from a store; The moonlit bus trip to Luxemburg, Belgium, Lyons, Marseille and Nice with my mom; Skipping school again and again to go to London, Amsterdam, Monaco and Roma; Fireworks; Mont St. Michel and their buttery cookies; Cow tongue sandwiches; My own little leather suitcase; Spending a summer on my tonton Albert's country home; Going to the beach and catching escargots with my cousin; Eating them; Artichokes; Having an opera cake for my eighth birthday; The chocolate bar that have different animals on it; The art and craft book that my uncle buys and then he cut the pages out and made them into a house; The fights between my mom and my father; My mom asking me to go to the tool box and grab a hammer when my father's around so I can knock him on the head when they do fight; Me actually grabbing a hammer and waiting when he comes around again; My mom getting sick; The acupuncturist's visits; I told my tutor how my mom called her Pineapple Chicken (which means "Depends on the stickiness", which means she takes advantage of others, but I didn't know what it means back then so she flipped); My mom's hospital stays; Doing laundry and cooking for myself; Bringing My mom food from her friends' restaurants while I ate the hospital food; Going to a broken pay phone outside the hospital so we can call Hong Kong for cheap; Wearing pajamas to school thinking it was ok; Red anthuriums and tearing them to see if they are made of plastic.

Maybe it wasn't entirely happy, but it's the only period where I spend with my mom so I do cherish these memories.


Japanese Humor

>> Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Here's a clip of slapstick Japanese humor:



>> Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I finally made up my mind to go back to the gym. Hell, I was paying $69/month for the membership, I might as well use it right? No more nose bleeds, no more strep throat, so I guess I don't have much excuse not to go there. So I spent couple days in the gym already, but I don't really want to jinx it. My schedule is three times a week after work with the occasional Sunday Yoga, if I can wake up early that is. Why don't they have any classes on Sunday afternoon.

On top of that the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is coming up next week. I got tickets for 10 movies. DC usually accompany me every year to the shows, but since JEW is around, I don't think he will join me much. I guess it's for the better.

It's been so hot these few days, I really don't wanna be outside much. Since I got so addicted with Puzzle Pirates, time goes real fast. A friend is also forcing me to get a webcam, but I really don't wanna do that yet. Pushy people...


Missing Home

>> Thursday, July 05, 2007

I had a rare chance to chat with my girlfriend last night to catch up on the latest news of our mutual friends and recount the past. With all their busy life, it's hard to get people to come together and see each other. But then she told me the problem is some of the friendships has fallen apart and when you invite one of them, the other might not show up because they might not want to see each other.

It's the classic story, really. Two guys wanting the same girls and then one of them got her, and the other gets jealous. Why do they think there's only one girl out there? Why not expand your circle? Half of the human population are girls. Former best friends goes at odds because of one girl. That's just dumb.

Recounting my past how I've fought with my then best friend for some misundertandings, it does seem completely silly. If I see him now, maybe I would give him a nod or a smile, but I don't know if we can reverse the damage.

God, I miss my friends and Hong Kong.



>> Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I finally got high speed internet from Comcast, what can I do? There are really not much choices out there. I was waiting for the citywide wireless service to come around, but they are moving quite slow. I hate the monopolizer that marks everything way high, but (exhale) I have to play my games online.

So I'll probably be online a lot more and it'll be way more convenient when I need random information. Try to marinade some cucumber and carrot vietnamese-style, I think I know how, but I can never be too sure. So it's convenient like that. I use to do all my online activities at work or the coffee shop round the corner. I guess this will allow me to stay home a lot more.


DC Rant

>> Monday, July 02, 2007

This time I'm talking about my trip to Washington DC instead of my friend DC. Actually I was quite looking forward to go to Washington this past Friday with Principe. Since the city is still abit new to me, I was looking forward to get to know the place better. On our way to DC, there was this asshole sitting behind me. I don't call people asshole this easily, but this guy just got on my nerve so much. It's the kicking of my chair for half the trip, given I never lower my seat, I find that inconsiderate. But not only that, this guy trashed his seat and the empty chairs behind him with his cup of soda, fast food wrappings and boxes, it's like a hurricane have blown the trash through. And then he yelled at a baby's mother because the baby was crying. "Give him a bottle or something, people can't sleep." Though the baby didn't even cry for an entire minute. What an asshole, I thought to myself, as he pushes his way off the bus. Sometimes, I wish I have the recklessness of punching people on their face, before thinking about the consequences.

DC was rainy. Principe has his heart on getting his passport, but when we get there, they say they can't do it until the end of August, and she told us to be there at 9am. Why can New York's embassy do it and not Washington DC's? "It's a different procedure." That explains it... Instead of coming over the night before and spending money on hotel room, I told Principe to just pretend we are from the states under New York's embassy's area. I used to live in Rhode Island, we'll go to New York next time and use that address. Just use a different voice and hopefully they won't be able to recognize him.

We walked around Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and had lunch afterwards, there is actually nothing much to see. The chinatwon in DC don't have basic essentials like barbershop and pastry shops anywhere, which leads me to believe that it's there just for show. I've heard there's a big Chinese community across the river on Virginia's side. We ended up coming home early because there's nothing much to do there. Home is always better anyway.


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