Actual life

MCMTuesday, April 21, 2009

Last night I was searching through my Twitter history to find a tweet relating to an upcoming RollBots sequence (it's here, but it won't make sense for a few months), but thanks to the silly AJAX-y setup, I was forced to re-read all my 580+ posts. And what I realized is that I used to talk about a lot more than books and TV shows, and I used to be funny. Or, well, I thought I was funny. I was drinking wine while searching, so... YMMV.

So I thought I should try some non-worky stuff for a bit, if only to escape my 24/7 schedule for a few minutes.

The first thing is this: I find it highly unfair that it takes me almost 30 minutes longer to take 10,000 steps than it does other members of my family. See, a few months ago, my dad had a heart attack (he's fine now), and started a routine of walking at least 10,000 steps a day to stay in shape. I decided to do the same, if only to avoid similar heart attackiness in my future. I believe he hits the 10K mark at twice around the block, but I practically have to walk to Tofino before I crack 5,000. It's horribly unfair. Also, my feet hurt. Also, I can't find the Nike+ doodad for the bottom of my iPod. Etc etc.

And now for something completely different: TV watching.

My wife and I are bad people these days. We're so sick of losing a TV show mid-season that we basically give up on any series that seems on the bubble, expecting we can catch up later if we need to. I assume a lot of people are like this, which probably explains why so many shows die young. We gave up on "Kings" after two episodes, "Unusuals" after one, and have PVR'd "Castle" just in case. We only watch "Dollhouse" because of its heritage, because otherwise it hits too many of our "drop" flags to bother with. My wife is still horribly bitter about "Pushing Daisies".

That said, we watch an absurd amount of Japanese TV.

The best show I think I've seen in some time is Zettai Kareshi. It has the most absurd premise (so much so that I wanted to give up after the first episode), and a not-so-fantastic leading actor... but the execution is so genius that it sucks you in and makes you CARE about the characters by the time the series wraps. Whoever picks (lead actress) Aibu Saki's projects is obviously brilliant, because she also starred in the excellent Utahime, with a similarly silly premise that turns amazing in the last few episodes. Highly recommended.

On the other end of the scale is Bloody Monday, which is like a Japanese "24". It stars a freaky-looking teenaged hacker trying to save Japan from a bio-weapons attack by a religious cult. There's danger, drama, death, and funny hacker action ("I've cracked their security protocol!" --- oh really? it looks to me like you just gzipped your home directory) ("The attack was successful!" --- uh, dude, you DO know you just finished pingflooding, right?). And there are main characters who die, just like in "24". But the thing that makes the series unwatchable is the fact that the good guys NEVER SHOOT ANYONE. There are many examples, but the worst is a sequence where there's a Tarantino-style face off with the bad guys in a diner, except the cops outnumber the bad guys almost 2-to-1. The bad guys have a hostage, but then quickly let him go, and continue to back out of the diner while the cops (who all have cover and clear shots) just watch and grunt a lot. Not a single shot taken. The bad guys escape. And you're left thinking: if this is the elite supercop team for Japan, they're utterly screwed. I'm not a proponent of mindless violence, but I seriously dislike false drama. The writers had themselves in an interesting predicament, and they chickened out. It ruined the series for me, and I couldn't take it seriously from then on. Watch this only if you want to grumble unhappily.

(Wow, I sure can ramble on about Japanese TV, can't I? I'll try and vary my topics next time I do a post like this.

I feel better now. I am not so one-note anymore. I think I'll do this more often, if only to break the monotony.

And now I have to go back and write another 5,000 words before sundown.

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