Saturday, January 31, 2004

Game Texture

Just had a decent afternoon to check the open meet of the AEGIS group after reading much mention about their open meets held at every last Saturday of the month. Held off by a number of diversions, I decided to see this one out. I went over to the designated meet location and see a small group of gamers present. After some introductions and chat, I was told and put under the impression that this is one of the slow turnouts for such a meet at such times. It wasn't a total waste of an afternoon. I did get to chat and brush up a bit of stuff with two people I know from my college gaming group. Going through with chatting the other people I haven't met or know of plus one discussion from I know, it dawned on me later on with the matter of RPG system mechanics consistency.

Game systems per se are like food or candy bars, there's elements like flavor, consistency and texture for example. The texture in this case pertaining to the adjectives crunchy and mushy in this instance. The mention of these two adjectives indicates the extreme ranges to a game's amount of number crunching, pertaining to the simulation of reality aspect presented in the game. This is very obvious in the character generation details and more so in execution of task resolution and especially more intensive in combat.

Excessive number crunching as a whole in gaming is something that kinda grounds out the storyteller aspects of an RPG session. Excessive modelling of reality dynamics in gaming kinda relegates an RPG session, in my thinking, as one long mathematical simulation that harkens back to RPG's earlier roots, tabletop wargaming. All this excessive nitty-gritty attention to detail to reality really puts me off in one way or the other unless I have to give in and bear with it to its lure because a particular genre, concept or idea can work and take flight in said system. I guess it would harken more to my game style is of a storytelling matter then just a string of resolution rolls which may give results contrary to what you may have in mind.

I'm more keen with less "crunchy" kinds of RPG systems since the matter of flexibility is what I prefer to use. A stable, robust system would be a more current phrase for me to say. It also makes the character creation details with the players a more shorter affair. Of course, the price for simplicity becomes apparent when certain reality or skill related questions arise. This topic of crunchiness in a game system would lead me further on into a future post regarding the limits of people in respect to being into categories of players. Next time. *Waves bye and goes back into the doghouse.*

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Spaghetti Samurai and Ninja Burgers

Unusual food-oriented topic, neh? ^_^ It was an unexpected ideaspark that occured to me with dinner I had tonight and the movie I just watched earlier. The idea for this post title was technically started before when me and my friend Vincent bought takeout at Hotshots near the condo he stays at, about 2-3 nights ago. We were talking some Twilight Empire stuff and then mention of food sparked my mention of wasabi. The mention of wasabi consequently led me to this funny web site I go to before. Its located at Ninja Burger. The premise of Ninja doing food service was hilarious to see. The icing on this cake of fun is the comic strips located in the fun section. Never thought failure to meet customer request would be so...lethal. Same goes to obtaining certain supplies that run out inside the store. Its all for laughs for sure. That site and comic strip prompted me to try a cheeseburger with wasabi sauce. Some outlets would have a weak mix for wasabi while others may be so strong that I would quote "Its hot enough to make you think that you flossed your nose with a razor blade". Talk about hot stuff indeed.

That answers the Ninja Burger part. The Spaghetti Samurai thing is actually part food suggestion for dinner to my dad, part watching earlier The Last Samurai and previous 2.82 viewings of Kill Bill. Its just a juggle of thoughts with the mention of spaghetti, western and eastern themes and the use of katanas in that part. It was also to note how being on the end of a gatling gun while charging on a horse is no fun indeed after sustaining some earlier injury prior to that. It was also something else to seeing again ninja on film since the slew of martial arts and ninja movies back in the 80's especially those Sho Kosugi movies with the "Ninja" movies series done by Golan-Globus. Ninja item connects back to the Ninja Burger connection as well. So it fits well all in all. Quite a combination. Makes my mouth water too at the thought. *Gurgling drool a la Homer Simpson* Me better mosey for now. Next time.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Lyrics posting

Last minute posting of stuff for this day's post. Just wanted to post some lyrics from some songs of interest to me. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is one of my most liked songs in the Kill Bill soundtrack and more so for its use in the duel scene with Black Mamba and Cottonmouth of said movie. It goes like this:

Don't Let Be Misunderstood (Santa Esmeralda version)

Baby, do you understand me now?
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don't you know that no one alive can always be an angel
When things go wrong I feel real bad.

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Baby, sometimes I'm so carefree
With a joy that's hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that, all I have to do is worry
And then you're bound to see my other side

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

If I seem edgy, I want you to know,
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems, and I get my share,
And that's one thing I never mean to do

'Cause I love you,

Oh, oh, oh, baby - don't you know I'm human
I have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself, Lord, regretting
Some foolish thing, some little simple thing I've done

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Yes, I'm just a soul whose intentions are good

This second song was more of a challenge to me by my friend Vincent Simbulan since the mention of how unintelligible the song of "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners go in the 80's. Of course, hearing a remake version sang by the female vocals from the band Save Ferris makes its more motivated for us 80's fans to beg the question: "Do the lyrics get heard better and more clearly compared to it originally sung by its parent band?" I went about it on researching the lyrics online to find out. And here it is.

Come On Eileen (Dexy's Midnight Runners)

Poor old Johnny Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio
He moved a million hearts in mono
Our mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them
Now you're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever
Go toora loora toora loo rye aye
And we can sing jsut like our fathers

Come on Eileen, well I swear (what he means)
At this moment, you mean everything
With you in that dress my thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty
Ah come on Eileen

These people round here wear beaten down eyes
Sunk in smoke dried faces
They're so resigned to what their fate is
But not us, no not us
We are far too young and clever
Eileen I'll sing this tune forever

Come on Eileen well I swear (what he means)
Ah come on, let's take off everything
That pretty red dress Eileen (tell him yes)
Ah come on Eileen

I did find some slight lyric variation with the Save Ferris version and the No Doubt version. Pretty startling divergences for such a well-remember though muddled in lyrics department for a rockabilly song, eh? I hope I got my mission down on the lyrics question for "Come On Eileen". Smiles Next time.

Easy Weekend

Another weekend ends. Not much incident really to it. Visited friend at his place in Las Piñas last Friday. Not much to go on since it was a matter of catching up on show and tell of stuff there and him presenting a prototype website design for our campaign. Some creative input was given at his request after looking it over with me and someone else. The Saturday following that was very much a family moment. Me, my parents, my mom friend and niece visited the hospital to see my brother and his wife, and most of all, his first born son. It was a moment of delight to my mom especially to see him. He looked so small and vulnerable. Of course, my mom and her friend have nursing backgrounds and they quibbled plenty on the details about procedures relating to nursery procedures and such. I guess such things brings out the old memories and training in them. Sunday was a bit of a stretch as I bought the VCD for The Lost Empire (aka The Monkey King) for my niece since she saw it before on Channel 23 and wanted to see it again. Of course, the Monkey King Legend happens to spawn a lot of anime and manga using it in loose sense of it. It harkens the time I remembered watching "Alakazam The Great", "Starzinger" (aka Spacekeeters) for starters. The Entire Dragonball franchise was inspired by this legend as well. Same goes with the anime and manga "Goku: Midnight Eye" End refresher item from that one. My niece really creates her brand of problems by doing these late evening recordings on movies she want to watch from TV but her bedtime gets in the way. The slight aggravation of it is that it effectively makes her stockpile VCR tapes at my dad's expense and mine. My mom is an exception in these cases with her soap operas, though she sometimes misses out on them herself. Recording matters aside. The rest of the Sunday afternoon was spent on another viewing of Kill Bill (Making it a total of 2.82 times watching it). I guess my limit has reached its end at this point. Its safe enough to say I can move on to watching other movies on my watch list. I'll get around to posting more interesting stuff next post. Next time.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Wierd stuff and not-so-wierd stuff

The day went okay. I was a bit more housebound due to recent happenings here at home. My bro's first born has entered the world at 4 lbs and 8 oz. A C-section was done due to a number of reasons. The news of this was considered a medical emergency to my folks. I'm an uncle again now to my bro's first born besides attending to my 10 year old niece. I wonder if the babysitting chores would be the same for as I attended to my niece down that long road. Of course, the situation is slightly different since the kid would be in good care of his dad and mom.

Wierd stuff of note was I never thought that Kill Bill can be considered as a Russian movie as it infers enough that Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is just as much Russian as well to them. Just did a random search on Google to look up Hattori Hanzo and I found said article here. Strange, eh? Just finished watching "Event Horizon" on Channel 23 earlier. Been a while since I saw that movie. It was like ages for me since I watched a sci-fi movie with this horror slant in it like this "haunted spacecraft" routine. Kinda reminds such mention in an old copy of Dune Encyclopedia I bought at a bargain back in my early years in college. Its always the case that in some sci-fi universes, there would have to be a "Ghost Ship" or "Flying Dutchman" myth circulating around to put some dark line regarding the progress of mankind's journey to the stars or use of untried technologies like the way the Philadelphia Experiment went. Makes me wonder if such a boogeyman's tale may apply in the setting of my friend's Twilight Empire setting. My friend Vincent Simbulan has celebrated his birthday as of this entry's date. Many more temporal cycles for you to go buddy!! Things are kinda patched up with me and my friend from my last blog entry. Things are kinda looking right for the meantime until another bump on the road to our existence.

I'll keep on going for the meantime. Next time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Responsibilities Neglected *Sniff.*

The title for this post kinda sums up some things after having a decent round of conversation with a friend of mine. It was much more so validated based on this bit of conversation over the phone:

Over The Phone:
(Start of the conversation went nicely until discussion of Kill Bill transits over to mention of blog matter)
Waterdog: "I wrote a lot of Kill Bill stuff on my blog, two posts worth."
Incensed, Disappointed Friend: "Don't tell me about your blog. You still owe me regarding your character journal."
Waterdog: Stunned silence for a few seconds "...Uh...fine, fine"
(After that moment, conversation resumes at a normal pace and tone.)

I'm not saying that this friend of mine is being depicted as the bad guy in this case. I will definitely own up to the fault and reality for the way-late and current no submission of my character journal for my friend's RPG character journal requirement. The intent of the character journal was to depict events happening in a game session through a character's eyes. At first thought, it sounded good and thought that I can handle it. I was sorely mistaken. It was a monumental task of squeezing out all pertinent details out of my memory to get the details to the exact resolution to put into kilobytes.

The other contributing factor is also that this friend I speak of has been through a lot of rough times and major loads of disappointments and betrayal in his life. It makes him, very distrustful of other people, in spite sharing common interests or creative inclination. I'm surprised me and him held out our friendship this far since high school. I guess it the camel's back yet waiting for the straw to break it as of this part of temporal existence may break due to some unexpected strain to due failure to commitment or other.

I do have a lot going on my end, though I am pretty much a couch potato, net junkie, mallrat and slacker rolled into one disappointing package. I mean I can go about transcribing an episode summary of sorts for each game session we conclude but go into a lengthy amount of typing to go over ever aspect of thought process behind a character's actions and words may prove a bit overwhelming for me. I'm just an idea guy, mostly short, concise stuff I do not this lengthy, huge to compile stuff. Slacker/lazy viewpoint or not, I go about with things with least resistance to handle that one. I can tackle something that big if it is very awe-inspiring in its way then I may be that motivated to go into such exhaustive detail as I can.

Of course, that would be if I'm under the influence of the Muse. Of course, one's own Muse may vary for certain creative endeavors or media which can sustain either briefly or as a mainstay in the creative process. Currently, I don't have a Muse to motivate far into these things.

I will forgive my friend's mistrust with matters of commitment but everything else was okay between us, though his socializing skills are not up to specs or his tolerances for that matter.

I'll contemplate about this for while until I get sidetracked by something cool or otherwise as my distraction affinity gets to be high in these cases and times. Till next. Trudges slowly back into the doghouse before a heavy sigh was enacted.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Need A Fix

The recent weekend turned out okay, especially last Saturday. Saturday was pretty another round of consultation and brain-storming for the Twilight Empires and peripheral Blaqueguard stuff. There happens to be a measure of inter-connectedness with the things with those two projects since they happen in the same universe. Besides those exchanges of idea, it was also a moment of recalling and reminiscing the old high school days since the topic of 80's music was brought into the discussion thanks to the recent wave of remakes that sets upon our listening shores everywhere.

In spite watching Kill Bill around 1.8 times so far, it seems to me that I can't seem to get enough of it. It can be compared to an accident site, one tries to look away at it but gets the bizarre, twisted urge to look at it. Some movies can do that to you. Besides kick-ass swordplay, knife-fighting and a kawaii schoolgirl with a mean streak, my mind keeps imagining siege scenes from whatever siege event in some books I read because of LOTR:ROTK, another movie I may consider watching again even though I'm not sure of surviving another 3 hour sit-through of it. There are tolerances to a viewer as how long a movie they can watch you know.

With the mention of Kill Bill, I just happened to acquire the Kill Bill soundtrack CD at the local CD shop. I was excited to be able to hear at last "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by Santa Esmeralda in its entirety. Went to that track upon getting home and popping in into the CD player. I guess I begin to realize I'm a bit of a sucker for Spanish guitar or Flamenco music, more so in an action movie with duel scenes. The CD also contains also contains two dialogue tracks that were taken from the movie. One is the explanation of O-Ren as to the mention of her heritage after beheading Boss Tanaka. The other one is where Bill and Sophie were talking of her ordeal by Black Mamba's hands. So for those Julie Dreyfus fans, you'll have your listening pleasure.

I did some slight digging on IMDB and sniffed around at the message board and discovered mentioned that the original script for Kill Bill had a slightly different structure. It also purported that Go Go Yubari has a younger sister, by one year, by the name of Yuki Yubari. There was supposed to be a more of a vengeful gun battle scene between Black Mamba and Yuki where Yuki received the news last of Go Go's death by Black Mamba's hand. The scene also calls for the Pussy Wagon, Black Mamba appropriated from Buck, was shot up under sustained firing by an Uzi in Yuki's hands. Parts of the dialogue used between Go Go and Black Mamba in the House of Blue Leaves duel was supposed to be done for Yuki and Black Mamba. Here's a sample:

I know you feel you must avenge
your sister. But I beg you...walk

Yuki giggles.

You call that begging? You can beg
better than that.

Another amusing bit to seen is in the dialogue after Yuki gets clipped by Black Mamba's return fire during this gun battle scene. It goes like this:

You fucking bitch! You shot me in
my breast! They're not fully
developed yet, you fucking asshole!
Now I'm always gonna have a dimple!

The Bride answers Yuki back with an imitation of Yuki's
giggle, which makes the youngin blow her top.

Piss me off!

She fires her machine gun around the corner, tearing up
everything around the Bride.

When the young girl stops firing, the Bride yells;

Yuki, in about two minutes there's
going to be an army of police here.
So if you're gonna kill me, now's
the time.

From her hiding place, Yuki snorts a line of baby blue
powder. It gives her energy.

So what's it gonna be bitch?

Slapping a new clip in her machine gun.

That fucking does it!

Another interesting bit that would have been done to illustrate that existence of Yuki was also supposed to be with Sophie's interrogation scene in the car trunk flashback. It goes like:

Okay, first things first. Where was
the other Yubari sister? Yuki?

Yuki's sick. She went home early.

Do tell? What's wrong with her?

She has a cold.

Awwww poor baby. What do you think
she'll do when she finds out what

She'll wail with grief.


YUKI YUBARI upon hearing the news of her sister's death...



She'll drink excessively.

Big bottle of sake in her mouth pointed bottom up.


She'll start trouble.

sitting at a bar in drunken stupor. An OLDER JAPANESE MAN in
a business suit sits next to her at the bar...he puts the
make on her.

Do you like Ferraris?

Yuki staring out into space, says with a drunken voice;

Ferrari...Italian trash.

She slowly turns to face the older Japanese man in the
business suit.

Do you find me hot?

The man in the business suit giggles at her boldness; she
gets annoyed;

The scene of her drinking and causing an older guy a lot of pain and possibly death was carried into the part describing Go Go's lack of age made up by madness bit in the voiceover.

I guessed the Yubari sister angle was nixed in the 1st Vol. unless it is yet to be seen in the second volume since Chiaki Furayama's name is still listed for it when I checked IMDB last time. If the possibility still exists then, Go Go fans would rejoice at her reappearance, no matter how brief it'll be again.

I'll still think it over as to indulge another round of watching LOTR:ROTK or Kill Bill before a new movie shows up by this coming Wednesday, "The Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise may be next on my watchlist since it also starred Hiroyuki Sanada, aka Henry Sanada. That Japanese actor appeared in "Ringu" and a certain 80's tokusatsu show that is borrowing a lot of influence from Star Wars.

I filled enough for my quota on this post. Till next time. Picks up daisho set and straps them on and walks back into the doghouse. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" playing.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Armored and Dangerous (or Idea Times of Old)

Just did some websurfing and decided to look up something that reminded me of the old high school campaign days which became the Twilight Empires project of my friend and a far cry from its initial Gamma World RPG roots. I was reading up again about Iron Man, a Marvel Comicbook Series. It was that title along with X-Men that got me more along the sci-fi trail for sure. That and a number of sci-books, TV shows and anime.

It was something of a wonder for me to look at such an intriguing piece of high tech. Fictional or not, its still pretty good tech to look over. It pretty much puts me in with the techie junkies, more of the conceptual sort than one who goes about building or drawing it up. Such exposure makes me fluent enough to have mastery of the language in obvious circles, as techno-babble.

It all started when I got a hold of copy of the earlier Marvel Universe Handbook series in which they had an issue called "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Book of Weapons, Hardware and Paraphernalia" which I bought a long while back when my comic-collecting days have just barely started in high school. All that technical illustrations and terminologies in it got me drawn in big time. Its a bit dog-eared due to my initial lack of comic-handling and preservation skills then, but it still served much as my initial foundation to refashioning the campaign setting from post-nuclear apocalyptic world to a quantum jump to the high-fantasy/space operatic setting that will become the Twilight Empires for my friend's project. It also kept me on the path of being a fiction-tech technologist. Even if matters of magic are brought in, I would try to put a sci-fi slant into it.

If one were to look at it, a la VH1's "Behind The Music", the entire enterprise of that world's building is all a matter of pilfering a lot of things we wanted to put in and showcase. It was an unspoken escalation of sorts as access to outside media and info because a task unto itself where basic creativity is not enough to pace with a lot of eyecandy and ideacandy becoming available to a high schooler's means and budget that time. Of course, this was back in the 80's, way before the era of the Internet, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM media, Network Gaming and tons of anime. Back then, one has to go about it the hard way, reading pocketbooks, encyclopedias, some magazines, technical and science books plus the occasional dip into that wordtome, the dictionary. Now in the early 2000's we have so much sources of information that the line on originality gets to be less defined and differentiated from the inundation of data, useful or junk, from the Internet and other media, especially from computer games and anime.

Negatives aside, the effort from all that idea and data trawling yielded an interesting mix and synergy of ideas and creativity which somehow makes an orderly sense in spite the apparent chaos from the culling of the data and ideas. I find it in retrospect, that some ideas trawled would have a time and place for it to be of use since it was retained by how many times the stories of the game have been retold with my many exchanges with my friends and fellow gamers in high school. As I said before in an earlier post, informartion is a commodity. No matter how irrelevant the information is, it can be refashioned, reformatted or repackage for use at the right moment. The occasional thoughtspark of an idea can occur to me whether as a sliver of an idea or question, it just happens after exposure to something familiar or occurs to form at unlikely times.

As to imagination and stories of old, I can sum it simply enough that sometimes the best ones or touching ones are those simply thought or made when one is a child. I'll leave it to these lyrics from "When I needed you" from Erasure's "The Innocents" album:

I’d like to be a child again
So many things to do
Playground noise, and coloured toys
And everything brand new

I’d like to be a pirate ship
In search of hidden gold
On ocean waves that swim away
And sail around the world

Where, where were you
When I needed you most
When I needed a friend
Where, where were you
When I needed you most
When I needed a friend

I’d like to be a soldier
A general I would be
In battle and in glory
With ten thousand men to lead

I could be most anything
There is so much to see
I’d live a different story
If you were next to me



I could be most anything
There is so much to see
I’d live a different story
If you were next to me

Where, where

Chorus to fade

Yawns. Enough of me talking. Will keep on posting. Till next time.Goes back into the doghouse. Seconds after entering the doghouse, sounds of machines, crackling of energy and other tech sounds emanate.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Thanks to a Friend

I would like to thank my high school friend, gamer and fellow creative person, Vincent Simbulan for mentioning my name and its linkage to my blog here. May our many sessions of brainstorming, critiques and exchanges of ideas and info bear fruit with your Twilight Empires project, which I was more than happy to run the campaign to its resolution like a long-running sci-fi TV series or anime series for that matter. I still have a lot of stuff to handle on my end since that sidestory in the Twilight Empires would still take time while doing duty filling in the gaps and facts for the main title. A whole lot of thanks to you my friend. Waves the banner for the Gamma Confederation

Long Dog Day

Had a busy day of the sort, paid some local fees to let the Philippines know I'm living here on its shores legally. The procedure in payment was done rather quickly and painlessly I am amazed to say than last year's usual round of waiting in line for a long while. I guess me and Dad got there at a non-peak time. I cringe enough how last minute applications and fee payments go for those planning to leave the country or pay their registration fees late. All in all that part of the day goes without incident.

The rest of the day went okay. Did some looking around at the Glorietta in Makati for my usual expedition there to scope out new games for PS2 and PC, books at the bookstores and some other neato stuff I consider buying or looking, within my means of course. Also watched Kill Bill the second time today since I failed to watch the earlier 20 minutes due to traffic towards SM Bicutan yesterday. I'll get to what I can say about the movie. Its brutal and bloody, just as much as straight in your face Quentin does with his earlier movies to some degree. I haven't fully finished watching Reservoir Dogs but I've seen how messy and violent and profanity-filled things go in it as much one sees all that in spades in Kill Bill.

Kill Bill is rather a homage/indirect parody with regards to those 70's martial arts movies, especially with the Japanese spin on it. That movie also touched more on the Avenging Samurai road as well like those in early Japanese cinema as well. There was that back-to-basics approach in depicting and handling fight scenes. Fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping gives a hand to this one. A very sought after expert with wire-assisted fight scenes, definitely the man to go to like "Fighting On Wire R Us" kind of thing.

The Crazy 88 massacre scene that happened in the House of Blue Leaves is definitely one up over the so-called fakeness done in Matrix Reloaded's infamous/famous Burly Brawl scene. A long fight scene not to be viewed for the squeamish for sure. I mean even the startup with Sofie Fatale's (played by Julie Dreyfus) arm cut off to get O-Ren's attention. A lot of blood spilt, limbs severed and a lot of maimed Yakuza people fall down to The Bride's (Soon to be revealed as Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba) Hattori Hanzo Original Katana. The ceremony of the katana's handing over to The Bride is very much like those old samurai films as to how samurai or ronin heroes get their well-crafted blades. The way Hattori Hanzo says that the blade he gave to The Bride is one capable of cutting god if she encounters on her path is a metaphorical but also a manner of naming the blade she holds in her hands.

It was a known fact that Quentin Tarantino went through a lot of films (anime and non-anime I supposed.) to put together his own brand of a samurai movie as I see it. He pretty much breaks the conventions in some respects about samurai/martial arts movies though some are keen to say that's its a parody (or stab) at the current crop of action movies that are riding on the wave of innovation and flash that the Matrix set the bar for. Of course, the Matrix movies pretty much saturated the thought of the viewing public as to how martial arts movies are done to some degree since its a phenomenon unto itself.

Technicalities aside, I liked it as an action movie, and occasional martial arts movie junkie. The soundtrack for this movie sounds great to me since I caught wind of one song played on a locally made TV trailer for it. In my case, it was the song "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (Santa Esmerelda version). Questionable song as it is for some music critics, but I kinda like that pseudo-Mexican flair with the guitars and the lyrics going with it. It also strikes me much that the sounds used makes me also see the movie as one samurai movie with a cowboy western thing to it. Very much how samurais and cowboys go as heroes go.

Enough on the critique of this movie. I'll get around to my review to my watching of Return Of The King soonest.

P.S. Go Go Yubari played by Chiaki Kuriyama is one nasty psycho-bitch of a schoolgirl. I don't want to meet one for sure, kawaii schoolgirl uniform or not. Quickly retreats back into the doghouse.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Return from a 3-hour Viewing

Whew!! Just got back earlier from watching Lord Of The Rings: Return of The King (LOTR:ROTK for short). It has quite a lot of fighting within those three hours. All that clatter, rumbling and screeching one would have to brave through with a movie theater's jacked up sound system. Did the movie thing after paying off this month's Internet bill in order to continue with my websurfing, email checking and the periodic updates to this blog. I also noticed that comment script I used on this blog had been inactive because of the its connecting server account has been suspended. I had to do some script replacement on my template to restore any comment posting functions on my blog. Nearly got me panicked there. Not much time to fill up more stuff on this post for the blog due early departure plans the following morning. Late nights are usually the best time to do updates but my brain is not up to the task of churning out something of import. Maybe next time I'll have something interesting to put up. Trudges back into the doghouse, tired and weary.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Slow Day, Sort of....

Monday was just a slow day like Sunday yesterday. Napped the whole afternoon. Just had 30-45 minute session on my PS2 to try my mettle at playing Fatal Frame II, after holding it off for a bit. I did play a bit of it yesterday for like 30 minutes before losing my nerve and what I would think as maximum exposure time. Playing the game pretty sets you on edge after turning off the PS2 and setting down the controller for sure. Makes one antsy when you walk in a dark hall or dark area of the house. Me and my niece would holler or scream whenever a ghost battle occurs in the game. These ghostly encounters in the game pop out without some slight measure of warning compared to the earlier Fatal Frame game. Some of the non-combat picture taking in the game can be freaky with the kind of ghostly apparations caught on film. Shudders and shivers I told my niece I had to call it quits for this session on account of my tolerance wearing out for scary stuff. Also went through some panic and withdrawal from a malfunctioning VCR after a brief dose of a power interruption that froze and locked out any control function. Dumb luck solution I did, disconnect it from the outlet for like 2 days. At least I can move back my PS2 to my room with the VCR functioning again. Some day I have, even though slow I call it. Next time. Waves bye and goes back into the doghouse, tired and exhausted with frayed nerves. Camera held limply in hand.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Censored in Silence

*Occasional guzzling of Cherry Coke while typing up this post.* Sunday was a lazy kind of day. I was tempted to go watch Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King, the final installment to the Lord of The Rings. But I was held back on prior experience that this movie would be flooded by the newly anointed masses who became insta-fans for watching this thing but of course, gamers and geeks would know this spectacular series it came from. I would agree with my friend that these people are crazy to think that the books are the adaptation of the movie when the reality of it is, the books predate the movies and was the basis for it. Silly people. Speaking of silly people. My mom was asking about which Blade movie was showing on Channel Seven this Sunday night. Watching the first few minutes clued me in that its the 1st one and I told my mom that. I decided to watch it a bit for the meantime while attending to doing waterboy duties of getting water into the house's storage for the evening. An every-other evening ritual I go through. Anyways, while watching Blade on Channel 7 and expecting the blood shower sequence in the starting part, I was sorely disappointed when it suddenly cuts to Blade standing and the blood shower stopped. Damnit! Kinda much cuts out the usual idea of imagining a Sabbat Dance Club when such skipping happens. What makes it worse was the obvious cuts in the fighting with all that gunfire, slashing and stake usage with attendant ashing effects removed. Gah!!! If they allow some gunfire footage to be shown, they have to mute out the gunshot sounds. These people can literally reduce an action movie into an inanimate mess of moving images and sounds. They keep doing this everytime to any action movie they show on air. What's with these people behind the editting? Its like you have to make the viewers scratch their heads in thought and have them really on their imagination (Defective or not) to fill in the gaps. Sometimes those gaps are very important to understanding the whole story. It would be like tantamount to running a movie without sounds and all you have to go on is your imagination and ability to read responses and such. Believe me, its no picnic. I remembered well enough when me and friend of mine watched "Lost In Space" that the sounds cut out in the first few minutes and it was so crazy that we kinda heckled to fill in our own sound effects as if it was done in Mystery Science Theater 3000. Its just so plain crazy how sloppy editting really guts a movie as storytelling ability vehicle for the sake of censorship. What a ship of fools we are riding if these kind of senseless things go about in spite their claims of doing the common good for all. Retardation is more like it. Anyways, next times post would be more pleasant or sensible to hear. Finishes the can of Cherry Coke. Properly disposes the can. Picks up Camera Obscura and checks it out. Heads back into the doghouse to do more ghostbusting via camera,

Saturday, January 10, 2004


This is not a Ringu or Lion King oriented topic. Its more in keeping with the company gets to be in. I had a decent afternoon earlier by hanging around at my friend's comic book shop, even though he arrived rather late. As to elaborate on the mention of circles, it was something that dawned on me after meeting a number of people with similiar interests or preoccupations. Being in such company of people have a certain synergistic effect of inspiration or motivation. A cynical way of looking at it is just trying to go above and out of the shadows of these selfsame people one deals with on a day-to-day or occasional basis. That and possible some matter of hubris or envy that goes into it. Anyways, as I look at it, being in such presences has a its own pros and cons. Major pro would be one gets to be in a company of people who can help inspire or motivate oneself, especially in my case to date, creativity. The con of it would depending on these selfsame people you associate it with it also marks you as part of the group or having such preferences to these kinds of people. I can be guilty under such but I take matters of association seriously as a means to create a network as one would say in this age of Network Marketing or in the more shadier Pyramid Scam vernacular. I guess the popular saying of "No man is an island" surely holds true in this sense of things. Its helps in exchanges of idea, critique and relevant information and news. It gives one the means to be able to have a finger on the pulse, to be current so to say. Information is something of a commodity in some circles or not but information is exchanged nonetheless. I find it that interconnectivity is what makes a civilization flourish and grow and yet provides the means to its destruction. Two-edged sword this matter of information exchange. Kinda reminds me that book "Snow Crash" by Neil Stephenson, one of my favorite writers after reading that book and "Diamond Age". Still yet haven't gone about reading "Cryptonomicon" which I have a copy sitting in my room somewhere. Have to dig it up sometime when I clear out my current reading cue. Shrugs and goes back into the doghouse to dust away stacks of books and look for the some titles to read for the interrim.

Friday, January 09, 2004

One More Time!

No reviews or anything of the sort for this spot. Pretty dull here in the doghouse. Supposed to visit a friend's place but that got rain-check due to health reasons. Went online to look up some stuff, no biggie on that one. Skimmed through a number of message items about Fatal Frame II on GameFAQs. Reading some of the message posts with regards to certain encounters in that game makes my skin crawl and sometimes make me paranoid. Shudders. On a more non-horror note, got an Instant Message from my bro that he just got his copy of the Interstella 5555 DVD from the US. Interstella 5555 is basically the definitive OAV that rounds up the open ended story established by Daft Punk's songs "One More Time", "Aerodynamic", "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from their "Discovery" Album. I was pretty blown away on seeing the music video of "One More Time". I caught "Aerodynamic" subsequently. I missed out watching the music videos for "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" while I was staying in Seattle. I was able to watch them off the Internet though some search engine inquiries. It was obvious to note the art style of Leiji Matsumoto of Space Cruiser Yamato, Galaxy Express 999, and Captain Harlock fame as he was approached by Daft Punk to collaborate on this project. Interstella 5555 answers and concludes the story established in those 4 music videos and it looked pretty impressive. Daft Punk really hit it good this time to fans of techno music and anime for sure. I'm looking forward to borrowing it from my brother when he's done watching it. The wait was worth it for sure. As the line from the 1st Daft Punk song from Discovery album would go: "One More Time...." :)

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Those Two Guys from New Jersey

Had an entertaining afternoon, my brother was able to lend me his DVDs of "Mallrats", "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back" and "Cowboy Bebop (The Movie)". I decided to check out "Mallrats" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back" (JaSBSB for short for the remainder of this post.) and table "Cowboy Bebop" for later viewing. It was long delayed for me to watch JaSBSB since I watched the earlier Kevin Smith movies, "Clerks", "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma". Most of these movies I watched at home, either videotape or DVD except one, Dogma, which I luckily watched in a movie theater when it had a brief run here in the Philippines. JaSBSB is features those two stoners, Jay and Silent Bob, who appeared in the earlier 4 movies prior to this one. I'm not sure exactly which of these films totally comprise the so-called "New Jersey Trilogy" as Kevin Smith puts it. If five movies comprise a trilogy then I would harken that to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" as the same since it took five books to round up the entire thing. Online critics lambasted this movie to death which becomes all too moot on grounds of profanity, the burden of listening to Jay's constant stream of profanity and street talk, the overused jokes and satire. As Jason Lee says it: "Critics Schmitics". I watched the movie and got myself amused at what's there to see. It was good that characters from the earlier movies do show up, especially at the near end of the movie. It was really funny at the end when Jay and Silent Bob visited all the people who were bad-mouthing them on the I-net and beat the holy crap out of them. Ahhhhh...payback. :) Not much else to think on. I'll just go about my business for now and post more stuff as it is. Goes back into the doghouse to dig up some stuff in its depths.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Freedom fighting at home and a momentary glimpse of a frame most fatal

Spent most of the day going online to websurf but also finished a Playstation 2 game called Freedom Fighters by EA Games, developed by IO Entertainment. Playing this game would harken you back to that 80's movie, Red Dawn and other similiar scenario movies involving a Russian invasion of the U.S. Of course, it would seem very familiar to the more recent generation and crowd to the premise in the Command & Conquer's Red Alert 1 and 2 storyline. High-tech fluff of Red Alert far removed in this game, Freedom Fighters is a more straight-forward tactical real-time squad game. You play the hero Christopher Stone, a New York Plumber (Imagine a better looking non-mustachioed Mario with an AK-47, Molotovs and his trusty monkey wrench, and there you go), who's thrust into the role of a Freedom Fighter to liberate New York from Russian Occupation Forces due to circumstances of him being at the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn't fight the never-ending fight alone for freedom and the American way, nosirree, he has help. Of course, that help requires charisma, (Its an attribute or quality, not a woman as you think, sheesh) that grants you the force of personality to recruit other like minded people to your cause, the kind who has guns and knows how to use them too. The plot is rather thin but serviceable to make you go through the trials and turns of the liberation campaign called for. As to the other item in the title, I popped in another Playstation 2 game disk into the console, Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly by Tecmo, for a look at the game in its demo mode. Letting the demo movie play was pretty intriguing yet unsettling to say the least. This game has a direct tie-in to its predecessor title Fatal Frame. Under the survival horror genre, this game is far different than the likes of Silent Hill or Resident Evil. As I recall a comment on some message board or review: "If Silent Hill is like watching a David Lynch film, then Fatal Frame is like Ringu". (Ringu is the original Japanese movie that inspired the Hollywood version called "The Ring".) As I can vouch for the game itself, this game is creepy like heck. Tecmo really did an outstanding job on using the Japanese folklore and ghost stories to full effect as well as the intent of evoking psychological terror for our fear of the unknown. The unique trademark of this game is that the only weapon you use in the game is a camera. "A camera?!" you'd say. Its no ordinary camera to say the least, it has supernatural abilities to exorcise and sense supernatural entities or phenomena in range of its viewfinder. Watching or playing the game with or without people nearby is pretty startling enough. The game is something that few people would dare play without the lights on and with full sound at maximum. It would probably scare the daylights of most people except a jaded minority for sure. I'll touch on other things next time since I note that this day's entry is long unto itself. Till next time. Loads up a Machinegun and packs a camera as afterthought and trudges back into the doghouse.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Reminiscing Kingdom Hearts

My niece sleeps now to the soundtrack of a favorite Playstation 2 game of mine, Kingdom Hearts. I remember well enough that me and my niece finished that game about a year ago, same time the Playstation 2 unit was bought by me. I was so caught up with it upon seeing the commercials for the game back in Seattle and the hook that reeled me in was the music. It was the song "Simple and Clean", PlANITb Remix version. That song was actually reworked into English from the original Japanese song "Hikari" by Hikaru Utada. Its still quite good to listen it. As to the game, its a rather unique blend of Disney characters and Squaresoft's famous Final Fantasy characters set with a unique storyline and setting and focuses through Sora, the hero of the story. The characters of Disney in the game would possibly merit an automatic "kiddie" game but its not, the themes are pretty much a tad like those used in Final Fantasy VIII, which is for the non-kiddie set, is rather saccharine for their tastes and something that makes some hardcore macho gamers cringe in afterthought. The game's ending scene is heart-warming yet sad in a way that makes a hopeless romantic like me gets his eyes moist on watching it and listening to the dialogue. A sequel to this game is still in the works for its English version since the Japanese version is underway. This kind of review is kinda done to death but I decided to use it as a springboard to start other things later on with this blog. Test rambling done for now.

Privacy Compromised

Not exactly a title for one of those Hollywood Movies, its more of how I value my privacy. The only domain of privacy we know to have and live in away from the routines of day to day life is one's own room. It was something of short supply for the less fortunate who don't have a more spacious home like the more fortunate, myself included. As of yesterday, its compromised on account of my brother staying over due to a possible flu infection, which wasn't thankfully serious. Just a slight fever and a bout of weakness, I guess stress from work and the arrival of my soon-to-be nephew this coming February. Tonight I have my 10 year old niece sleep in my room since my mom complains of how much squirming my niece does in her sleep. The timing was rather bad since I was supposed to catalog and prepare files to be burned into CD and privacy is what I need in this case to focus on the task at hand without being bothered. Of course, this is to be a feat unto itself if I proceed. *Sighs.* I'll have to do what I can until the period of compromise is over by tomorrow. Still doing some tweaking and recalling my HTML skills at the interim. Still looking for some nice blog templates though to use. *Shrugs.* Back to doghouse. *Goes back into the doghouse.

Monday, January 05, 2004


Jumps about in joy. Success!!! Got this posting function to work finally after over 30 minutes of exploring. My basic HTML skills are resurfacing again after so long. I can now get started to get things going for the coming post. Its still a shakedown phase until I get a definite flow of things. Hope you enjoy the ride as much I as I do.

First Post

Hello there, wandering netizen!! Just got started on this weblog business after seeing some of my friends having set up their and it was rather appealing in a sense. I see it as a way to get back into doing creative stuff after being caught up in things banal and routine. I'll do what I can to post what's on my mind as soon and best I can. Thanks for dropping by. Walks back into the doghouse and disappears into its spacious interior.