George Takei, So Married!

The original Sulu is on Larry King Live right now!

And he looks goood!

He’s been with the same man for 22 years, and got married September 2008. Says it was the happiest day of his life!

He looks sooo happy.

His partner looks like such a nice guy. He talks about how he made George a pot of hot tea on the day they got married (Sweet, sweet. Self wishes hubby would make her breakfast in bed, prepare pots of hot tea etc etc. Perhaps she will make him read this post after he drags himself home from the office. Yeah, better still, she’ll do it right when he’s in the middle of watching an NBA play-off game!)

George says he owes so much to his partner, Brad. Brad helped him care for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s.

I looove his voice. It is surprisingly deep. John Cho’s voice has nothing on Takei’s!

* * *

The other thing self saw on TV today (when she should have been writing — yeah, she knows) was a video of a Filipino kid being stomped by some high school classmates. She didn’t know the kid was Filipino until afterwards, when they interviewed his younger sister. In the video, he’s completely motionless in a school hallway, and about three kids are stomping on him. He doesn’t move. Is he playing dead? Is he unconscious?

The minute the hooligans leave, some kids rush up to aid the motionless student. Judging by the speed with which they appear on-screen, they must have been in the same hallway, just out of sight, probably too afraid to approach.

The incident happened in December 2007. The sister kept quiet, the kid kept quiet, the parents kept quiet. They only came forward when the video surfaced on YouTube this week. The reporter said that the parents are sending the kid back to the Philippines to study “in private school.” (What school would that be? Ateneo? LaSalle? San Beda?)

Hello? Is this a solution?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Strange Web

Do dear blog readers recall that, a few weeks ago, self quoted from a blog named “a certain jen ne sais kwok”? Self read something about “Young Spock is Hawwwwt!!!” and it had her in stitches! Literally, in stitches! So, here’s the blog. Scroll down the “Gossip Girl” entries (“Gossip Girl” is Dearest Mum’s favorite TV show!) until you get to the picture of Young Spock and Young Kirk (Oh, Read the rest of this entry »

Upon Arriving Home From the Symphony

Self and hubby had, as usual, a grand time at Davies.  The featured performer, pianist Yuja Wang, was fetching in a crimson dress.  She had very white arms and very black hair.  Since self could see almost nothing of her face, she seemed (to self’s very blurred vision) like an apparition.  Something like the ghost in the Japanese horror flick, “Dark Water.” She made deep bows to the audience, flinging her long hair forward over her head.  This girl is a year younger than son.  Like Dearest Mum, she is a graduate of Curtis.  Self toyed with the idea that Yuja is what Dearest Mum would have turned out to be, if she had not gotten married and had five children.  She’d be traveling all over the world in crimson gowns, making deep bows to adoring audiences.  Mind-blowing.

The other interesting feature of the evening was the premiere of a new piece by a 31-year-old composer named Mason Bates (what a fab name!) who was raised in Richmond, Virginia but moved to the Bay Area when he was 23.  This piece was fantastic.  It was otherworldly.  A man in a tuxedo wielded a broom to make swishing sounds against a piece of wood which were then amplified, augmented by actual taped conversation from one of NASA’s first space walks.  It put self in mind of — of course — Star Trek!  Interplanetary travel!  Spock!  Interplanetary travel!  Star Trek!  Spock!  Hot Spock!  Hot!

It was an extremely enjoyable piece.

Upon arrival home, self and hubby approached front door with some curiosity.  Would son and Rebecca be home?  Would they have made themselves dinner?  Would they be watching TV?  Would they be in the garden?  Would the dogs have gotten on Rebecca’s nerves?

But when we entered the house, though all the lights were on, and we saw some of son’s clothes draped over a dining room chair, there was no one inside (except for the li’l crits, of course).  Hubby became insistent that self call son to find out where he was.  “If you think I’m going to call son while he is out . . . no way!  Go ahead, you call him if you want to!”  Which did the trick.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

(2nd) May 2009 Weekend Status Report

Good Lord, why is self so groggy?

Could it be because she and son caught the 10:05 p.m. showing of “Star Trek” (the Digital Projection screening) and before that self had been in the City and even further before that, was at Stanford with son, listening to him present his research findings on “Childhood Cognitive Development in the Global Community”?

Dinner was The Counter on California Avenue in Palo Alto.  Hubby had the 2/3 lb. beef burger, self had the 1/3-lb. beef burger, and son had the “Burger Special of the Day,” stribs of sirloin steak.  The burgers arrived looking like little erupting volcanoes, draped in fried onion rings, chopped green onions, avocado, horseradish, lettuce and tomatoes.  There was also the appetizer sampler:  fried sweet potato strips, french fries, and deep-fried potato skins.  Afterwards, when waiter inquired if our party wanted dessert, self felt there was something highly obscene about the question.  Yet all around us were very thin teen-agers of all possible races, scarfing down burgers and fries and thick, gloppy milk shakes and, yes, ordering dessert.

Later, walking around downtown RWC with son at 10 p.m., the streets were full of strolling families, and the restaurants next to the movie theatre —  Citrine, Portobello, and even over-priced Marble Slab Creamery  —  had lots of customers.  When we exited the theatre, a little past midnight, downtown had turned into a ghost town.

Most of the audience in the theatre last night were couples, a majority Asian.  What’s up with that?  Young Spock is still hot.  Chris Pine is improving on longer acquaintance.  Simon Pegg is ha, ha, ha funny.  Self still loves it when Uhura says, “I’ll be monitoring your frequency.”  Red matter and J. J. Abrams are still the coolest things in the current universe.

Now that self knows that Clifton Collins was a Romulan, she noticed him on-screen and all he did was snarl, but very convincingly.  Also, there is something asymmetric about his face.  Do dear blog readers know that Collins is the Romulan who gets tossed off a causeway by intrepid Jim Kirk, near the end of the movie?

Reading New Yorker story of almost a month ago (“Vast Hell” by Guillermo Martinez), self is struck by how much he sounds like T. C. Boyle.  Or perhaps he sounds like Roberto Bolaño.  (“They’d come from the city the previous summer, at the beginning of the season, and when Cerviño opened his barbershop I remember thinking that he’d soon send Old Melchor under, because he had a hairdresser’s diploma and had won a prize in a crewcutting competition, and he owned a pair of electric clippers, a hair dryer, and a swivel chair, and he would sprinkle vegetable extracts onto your scalp and even spray some lotion on you if you didn’t stop him in time.”)  But she doesn’t know anything about him, so perhaps it is the other way around:  for all she knows it is T. C. Boyle who sounds like him, ditto Bolaño.

Son drives back to San Luis Obispo today.  What has happened to the weekend?  All self did was blink —  then it was gone.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Mind-Blowing Discoveries of the Day

This morning, self has just made the following interesting discoveries:

  • Clifton Collins is the name of the one-armed guy who was so charming as the diffident cleaning-shop owner who becomes Amy Adams’ only true friend in Sunshine Cleaning. And he is in Star Trek, the new movie. As a Romulan. Say what??? (Just to show you how good Collins’ performance in Sunshine Cleaning is, self actually thought he was a one-armed man!) 
  • Self has read several reviews now, and the consensus seems to be that Angels and Demons is a surprisingly good (or, anyway, not as bad as expected) movie (Once again, self is forced to eat her words — Please reference last week’s post on Star Trek)
  • Jennifer Aniston has made a movie that is opening this weekend. Self has seen not one single preview: poor Jen! In this one, she is stalked by a creepy Steve Zahn (Steve Zahn was perfect playing a creep on Sunshine Cleaning. Apparently, playing creeps is his latest career move! Way to go, Steve!  Self can tell you’ve been putting in some serious hours at the gym!  Exhibit A:  In Sunshine Cleaning, your arms were really, really, really buff!  In fact, from some angles, self forgot you were Steve Zahn and almost confused you with Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber!)

If dear blog readers would just indulge self in one more “Star Trek” movie review quote —  as it’s so sooo rare for a summer action movie to be so satisfactory on all levels, not since “Ironman” etc etc (Wait a minute, wasn’t that only last year???  But, self digresses)  Anyhoo, this one’s from the Buzzsugar review (whose title, “Move Over Kirk, Spock Is Hot” perfectly captures self’s feeling about the entire movie):

There are moments when seeing these good-looking youngsters in such a well-known uniform feels a little bit like the Trek version of Muppet Babies.

And that’s it!  End of quote!  That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Not all was movie-mania today:  self also went to the library and checked out a copy of Eveyln Waugh’s Vile Bodies (Took a peek at the Preface and the first line went:  “This was a totally unplanned novel.”  Sold!)

Also, she discovered that all five copies of Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way are still checked out.

Also, she started to read another book by Jim Harrison, True North (How can self describe her feelings for this author, whose writing she discovered with The Summer He Didn’t Die, just a few months ago?  Perhaps it’s a little bit like going out on a great blind date, and getting really happy, because it could all have gone so wrong . . . )

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

The Weekend Upcoming

Dear blog readers, self seems to be caught up in the “Twitter” craze — that is, with her multiple postings in one day, she is beginning perhaps to confuse this blog with a “Twitter” (whatever that is).

It was just ridiculous, when she was watching the San Francisco Giants first game of the season, it was announced that several of the Giants had “Twitters,” and then self was treated to excerpts of a few players wondering what they were going to wear, which lucky-talisman shirts would be most propitious, etc etc!

Hello! Stop Twittering and concentrate on your game!

Self was hardly surprised when Giants lost.

Now, self feels she must call son to impart some bit of bad news: the washing machine is broken. It went kaput last weekend, hubby pulled it out of the wall to examine the water hoses, got stymied, but forgot to push it back into place. Self has been demanding that we get a new washing machine, but hubby stubbornly insists he can still fix the darn thing. Self’s trip yesterday to Best Buy was supposed to be surreptitious. Best Buy salesman assured her that $599 was indeed a “steal” when it came to front-loading washing machines. Self left the premises feeling quite “down.”

Anyhoo, after imparting to son the bad news (and, as self foresaw, he was planning to bring loads and loads of laundry back home with him), she then inquired if son would like to watch “Star Trek” again with her. For son, being self’s progeny, is just about as movie-mad as herself. And he saw “Star Trek” last weekend. But he did express willingness to see it again, and self discovered that her local cinema has certain showings that are “Digital Projection.” Here’s the definition of “Digital Projection” on Fandango:

DLP™ shows are projected digitally rather than using conventional film. DLP™ technology is a revolutionary display solution that uses an optical semiconductor to manipulate light digitally. The result is maximum fidelity: a picture with impressive clarity, brilliance and color and a lack of scratches, fading and flutter.

Sounds absolutely amazing!

Self wants to get the tickets in advance, for she’d hate to show up at the theatre and be told that the shows were sold out. Son says he’ll get back to her.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Obeisance to Anthony Lane

Self has a short list of movie reviewers she considers “iconic.” (Caveat: These are all post-Pauline Kael.) One was Anthony Lane, who some years ago propelled self toward a little action movie named “Speed,”, on the basis of one sentence in The New Yorker. If self remembers correctly, the sentence went something like this: “When I first heard about the plot of Speed, I did not stop laughing for a week.” Self saw it: love for Keanu was born.

Another was Andrew O’Hehir of Salon.com in its early days. He reviewed a movie called “Ravenous,” a kind of vampire movie set in the Old West, and said it was one of the best movies he had seen recently. Self was mighty intrigued, especially since O’Hehir revealed the director to be a woman. Self tried with all her might to get hubby and son to see it with her, but in vain. So she went by herself and found that she was only one of two people in the audience. And this was opening day. The only other person in the theatre was a man. Thankfully, he was seated many rows away, or self would have squeaked with fear. She saw “Ravenous” and could not sleep well for almost a month.

When Stephanie Zacharek came on board as Salon.com movie critic, self admits she didn’t like her. Self was particularly incensed over her review of “I, Robot,” and wrote in to say so (Her letter disappeared into the ether, mercifully). Then, last week, self sat down and read Stephanie’s review of “Star Trek.” Now, self had already developed quite a hatred for this new movie, on the basis of having seen a few trailers. She didn’t like the punk who plays young Kirk, and seeing Quinto as Spock (who she recognized right away as Sylar in “Heroes”) made her yawn. But, this was before she read Stephanie’s review. The next day, as self and hubby were discussing how to spend their wonderful Saturday, self mentioned to hubby that Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com had given “Star Trek” the equivalent of a glowing review. And, with that, hubby said, “Let’s go see it.” And we scampered to the downtown RWC Century 20, and got there just as the second show was starting. And lo and behold, the theatre was not full (though, as we left, we saw there were already lines forming for the subsequent shows).

And so here is self this morning, getting ready to go to the post office to mail off an application to what one of her friends recently called “a very eccentric, creepy place.” Too bad self didn’t have a conversation with this friend before she sealed the envelope! Anyhoo, as self was saying, she was browsing The New Yorker website for movie reviews, when she stumbled upon a hysterical review by none other than Anthony Lane, about the new “Star Trek.” And he says many many things (it’s a two-page review), among which is this nugget:

The crew is well sketched, with Simon Pegg making a late but amiable entrance as Scotty, and with Chekov (Anton Yelchin) apparently nudging puberty; mired in his Russian accent, he mixes up his “v”s and “w”s, (“wektor,” “inwisible”), a tongue-slip that Dickens pretty much exhausted for comic value in “The Pickwick Papers,” but I guess the old jokes are the best. Similarly, our heroes keep clinging to brinks by their fingertips, as if to prove that a proper cliffhanger needs a genuine cliff—a curiously nostalgic approach, although the director’s fondness for the retro is crucial to his non-stop knowingness, with its hints of both hipster and nerd. He gorges on cinema as if it were one of those all-you-can-eat buffets, piling his plate with succulent effects, whether they go together or not. Hence the red ravening beast that pops up on a random planet, clearly left over from the props cupboard of “Cloverfield”; the man-to-Romulan fistfight borrowed from “M:i:3”; and, I regret to say, a dose of parallel universe.

He does not like the inclusion of old Spock, and says some unkind things about Leonard Nimoy (who by the way self thinks is fan-TAS-tic!) and about the parallel universe plot device but says: “On the other hand, it does mean that we get more of Zachary Quinto, whose very name sounds like the sacred text of a superior race, and who, in his role as the youthful Spock, is the most commanding reason to see this film. He alone prepares the gray matter. Bowie-thin, solemn but not humorless, tacitly quoting Sherlock Holmes, and nipping around like a sixties groover in his skintight costume, he wipes the floor with Kirk, while making time for a Vulcanizing smooch with Lieutenant Uhura (Zoë Saldana), the resident linguist, who is said to have “exceptional oral sensitivity.”

Oh my God, can that man write, or what?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: “Live Long and Prosper” (\\//)

The day is exceedingly beautiful.  Self has already marinated a half-dozen chicken thighs for barbecuing (as it’s such a splendid day, who wouldn’t want to be outside as long as possible?)

Marinade consists of:  grated orange peel (from oranges growing in self’s backyard), orange juice (from oranges growing in self’s backyard), a dash of Tabasco, some cranberry jelly (This one self added just at the spur of the moment) and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Oh! Also some freshly ground black pepper.

Self and hubby went to see movie self has been derisively referring to, for some weeks now, as “the teeny bopper Star Trek.” The reason self is no longer calling it that is:

This “Star Trek” movie rocks!  Star Trek lives!

  • They found a great actor to play Spock!  In this version, Spock is hotter than Kirk!  (The most revisionist scene in the movie takes place between Spock and Uhura.  Never mind what it is:  dear blog readers can guess!  When self saw it, her jaw nearly dropped to the floor.  She couldn’t help tugging urgently at hubby’s sleeve and hissing:  That never happened!  That’s revisionist! Hubby’s response was to maintain a stoic silence.)
  • Guy who plays Scotty is the same guy who made self almost die laughing in British comedic gem, “Shaun of the Dead” (Simon Pegg)!
  • Hubby’s in heaven.  Because he got to hear again that signature line:  My name is James Tiberius Kirk!

Want to know how good this movie is?  The audience in the Redwood City Century 20 actually clapped at the end.  As summer movies go, it just blows “Wolverine” out of the water.  And one cannot, of course, watch a movie of this nature without coughing up $5 for the large bag of popcorn, with butter.

Go see it, dear blog readers.  Self gives it five stars.

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