Monday, March 29, 2004

i've been in a funk lately, actually pretty complacent, with things at church. i've been getting little out of small groups on fridays and even less out of service on sundays.

some of the sunday sermons lately have been kinda disjointed and fluffy. i mean, i listen to them and i feel there's little substance to them. some of the points are so generalized that i could've gone up there to preach and no one would know the difference. points like, "having god at the center of your life will bring absolute joy" and yada yada yada drive me crazy. it's the same ol' stuff that i've heard for years and i think it's something that a Christian should already understand. i think the times i get the most out of sermons is when the speaker takes the time to look up biblical and historical references to support and emphasize their points on Christian principles or applications. i appreciate when the speakers use specific and relevant examples instead of generalizations that most Christians (and even non-believers) should supposedly know. it's kinda interesting ever since i started keeping my notes for the sermons. i can notice if they speakers are ever 'recycling' material. =)

fridays haven't been much better either. personally, i haven't been very diligent in keeping up with my readings for "the purpose driven life". i also joined a small group earlier in the year because i thought it would be good to read / discuss with other people. however, it has not helped that my small group has been extremely inconsistent. lately, they haven't been meeting up to discuss the books since there have been some other programs and even when they do, it's only 2 or 3 chapters at a time. thanks to the combination of my own personal negligence and the lack of flow to my small group, i've been kinda uninterested. anyway, it's ultimately still my fault for not keeping up the readings. however, i guess the lesson is that you can't read this book periodically or only when you have time. it really requires you to read it consistently every day--for 40 days--to get the most out of it.

anyway, despite my grumblings, i do realize how important it is to keep supporting my home church. interestingly, i opened up "the purpose driven life" again today and one of the points was about being realistic in my expectations about the church. it said, "we should passionately love the church in spite of its imperfections." there is no church that will ever completely solve my so-called 'needs' 'cause each church has its own strengths and weaknesses.

and so i digress...

Friday, March 26, 2004

letting it simmer...

i've been meaning to blog about this--it's another case of learning your lessons once it actually happens to you.

recently a dispute came up when some matters were brought to light from last summer. these persons were upset about some things that were said and attributed them to me and some other people. first, the subject in question was actually pretty petty--something that i had no idea would cause such a stir. personally, i think it's just making a mountain out of a mole hill. but for the sake of argument, i'm not debating whether or not i was right or wrong. i'll admit that i could have been more sensitive to the situation.

however, what bugs me about this is that it's been stewing over the last 6 months and suddenly it was brought to my attention. what these persons were mad about isn't even relevant to anything current! if they had let me know at the time when the incident(s) occurred, i could have stopped what i was doing that was irritating them. it could have been settled there and then. instead, they waited 'til now to let me know they were mad about something that i (and others) thought was a joke. what's more, i feel like these persons are attributing some of their own problems to this incident--in other words, making me responsible for what other people were doing.

anyway, i'll readily admit that i've done the exact same thing before--bring something up from the past and use it against someone. i really feel stupid now that i'm the one experiencing it. the point is, if the situation or matter has passed, just forget about it and move on. otherwise, it's just reopening a can of worms and it causes people to get mad / frustrated at each other. still, what should the 'buffer zone' be--the length of time where it's ok for people to bring up something that happened? a few days, one week, one month? i understand that in some cases, certain incidents just require people to calm down before it can be resolved. well, i would say no more than a month. or else, people are just being unreasonble and bringing up crap. what do you think?

anyhow, i guess it i'll just have to swallow my pride in this situation and forget about it. :P

and so i digress...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.
-- Alexander Pope, "Eloisa to Abelard"

Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

last night, i went to watch "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" at bayview village with ebrian and ken. what a great movie. i definitely expected something weird considering it was written by charlie kaufman (who also came up with the just as bizarre "being john malkovich" and "adaptation"), but it was also a thoughtful, often hilarious, well-crafted movie. it had a very good love story, a crazy yet entertaining subplot, and great acting performances from jim carrey and kate winslet. it was kinda odd too 'cause jim carrey was playing the quiet and somewhat boring, joel, while kate winslet was the eccentric wild child, clementine. (and she had her american accent down pat too!)

you're probably wondering what the movie is about. in a nutshell, joel and clementine's relationship didn't end well, so they go see a quack doctor @ Lacuna Inc. to erase their memories of each other in their mind. half the movie is about the erasure of joel's memories of clementine and the other part about them meeting again after they've 'forgotten' about each other. it's actually hard to summarize properly 'cause it's just such a strange / quirky premise, but i'm also hesitant to reveal too much 'cause there are a couple twists and turns that you have to see for yourself. i'm glad i didn't read too many reviews out there 'cause i found some of them told too much of the plot!

the movie brings about some interesting thoughts. would i want to erase my most forgettable thoughts from memory? my ex? ;) some of my last two years at university? while it's true that some of these things that i wish i didn't have to experience or i had a chance to do over, as the movie pointed out, along with the bad there is a lot of good. and those ones i'd probably want to keep. even though my relationship with my ex didn't end very well, somehow we've managed to develop a very good friendship over the years. we've even been able to laugh about all stupid things we did / said to each when we broke up. even though i had some tough personal challenges at school, i believe that's what gave me the inner strength to overcome other life experiences. you know, even if i could start all over again, it's very possible and likely that things would turn out exactly the same. perhaps, it's God's subtle way of reminding me that all the happiness and joy i do have in my life makes the occasional hardship and / or sorrow worth it. but i digress... :)

anyway, if you get a chance to, i would definitely recommend you give it a look. i think it's one of those movies that will only draw a select crowd and that's too bad. yesterday when i was calling around to see if some other people wanted to watch, as soon as i mentioned charlie kaufman / being john malkovich, people took a pass 'cause they thought it would be too weird. i'm disappointed that not more people are more willing to watch more artistic / inventive films, instead of the abundance of mainstream hollywood crap out there. :P

if you're interested in going, let me know. i think i want to watch it again. there's probably some good lines and sights that i'll be able to catch the 2nd time around! :)

Monday, March 22, 2004

the day / week just isn't long enough...

man, i've been exhausted lately. i haven't had much energy to blog lately or update my sermon notes. usually when i get home after work, i'm getting headaches or just too tired to try to think about writing something. i haven't even been able to watch some of the t.v. shows that i recorded. i've had to resort to reading recaps. ugh. anyway, i'm glad i finally had some time on the weekend to catch up on some sleep. i'm already feeling better this morning and my head is more clear. the last couple of weeks or so has been pretty busy...

work has been kind of hectic lately with the end of the fiscal year coming up, so i've been trying to wrap up a lot of loose ends. it's pretty nuts 'cause i've had to chase down a ton of people to make sure they submit stuff on time.

also, it's tax season so i've been trying to locate all my receipts for work. it was kinda funny last week 'cause my mom's accountant called me and asked some questions about my employment to see what kind of expenses i could write off. in then end, i realized that i could write off essentially NOTHING unless i wanted to be 'aggressive'. so now, i owe the government a bit of money. :) i realize from doing my taxes though that i gotta try to stay a lot more organized. everything is a mess. i gotta file things better so that i won't have to frenetically look for stuff again this time next year.

with softball season around the corner, i've had to attend some meetings and start planning for the year too. as i mentioned previously, some of those meetings have been extremely frustrating to sit through because of stupid people. we've also had some problems getting our team together 'cause some of the players are deciding to take some time off this summer for other commitments. so we've been desperately looking for female players. we were in such a tough spot that we were pretty much looking for a warm body. ;) well, things are starting to fall into place now and hopefully people won't drop out again. the next step is deciding what kind of fees to charge our players. it's interesting to see some of my work experiences apply to planning for my team. i defintely have a greater appreciation for spending other people's money. at work, when programs request dollars to purchase new items, i expect them to explain / justify the reason for their expenses. i would expect the same when i'm given that responsibility. it's a challenge to budget and plan how we want to spend money for the team where everyone will be happy.

i've also been a little frustrated lately 'cause i've had to chase after FIDO. over christmas, i bought a cell phone for my mom and i was supposed to get a couple of months of free service. however, i've been getting billed for it and it's a pain in the ass to get it resolved with customer service. apparently they needed confirmation of my proof of purchase, and i was supposed to send this in. unfortunately, i was never made aware of this. ugh. so now their billing department is also chasing me down 'cause it looks like i'm not paying off my bill.

plus, i'm still trying to fit in some extra-curricular activities like floor hockey. in any case, i think i just gotta use my time a little more efficiently. i'm letting too many things pile up or leaving them 'til the last minute. and then when things get crazy, it suddenly seems like i don't have enough time in the day. no more computer games! :) i should have given that up for lent. hehe.

Monday, March 15, 2004

the good ol' days...

last night, a bunch of us went over to jason lam's house to watch wrestlemania XX on his big screen projector. it's been a while since i've watched wrestling. i mean, i occasionally stop to watch a few minutes when i'm flipping through the channels, but i don't watch it with any regularity like i used to in high school or university. i guess it just doesn't have the same appeal anymore. the drama isn't as interesting / exciting and i think they use way too much sex to sell the storylines. after a while, all the t & a looks the same. ;) or maybe i'm just getting too old to see grown men hurt each other in tights. :)

anyway, all in all it was still a very fun night. a couple of the matches were really good with plenty of blood and crazy stunts, while all of us were having a good time trashing the ones that really SUCKED. there were also a couple of funny sketches and it was nostalgic to see all the old superstars that we watched when we were young. good memories! :)

still, it was great just to having pizza, chips and drink and just chill out with the guys. we should do it again next year! thanks again jason!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

i really hate meetings.

on thursday night, i went down for a league softball meeting down in lower scarborough, or more affectionately known as scarlem. the purpose of this meeting was for the convenor to go through the league rules with all the teams so that everyone would be clear about them now and not bicker about them during the season.

it's incredible how stupid some people are. a meeting that should have lasted only 45-60 mins. took us over 1.5 hours to finish. our team is now entering its 3rd season in this league and i've read the rules numerous times and they're pretty straightforward. unfortunately, some of the other team captains don't see them as that simple. we spent way too much time arguing about petty items like which way people would wear caps, talking about every possible scenario, or straying away to topics that had little to do with the purpose of the meeting. not that there weren't any legitimate questions raised, but it was often made way more complicated than it should have been. that's probably partly the convenor's fault for losing control. however, one captain, who shall remain nameless, stood out as he wouldn't SHUT UP. every rule he seemed to ask, "what if this happened? or what if that happened?" it was so friggin' frustrating! the thing is, he wasn't even a new captain--he's been around for 4 or 5 years! me and the two other guys beside me were rolling our eyes and smirking every time this guy would open his mouth. i was getting so impatient that i spent half the time with my head buried in my lap, hoping that the time would fly by more quickly. (it didn't help!)

another thing, we spent about 30 mins. discussing on how to formally 'protest' in the event something happened during the game that we disagreed with. it was kinda funny 'cause all the people who seemed to be prolonging the discussion were the captains from teams who weren’t very good or middle of the pack. it was silly ‘cause people were asking how they could stop the game to check the rules or whether they could bring their rulebook out onto the field. i find that when people usually protest, it’s usually over the smallest of things which have little or no impact on the outcome of the game. plus, we're pretty much a recreational league, so i don't understand the point of arguing everything. i mean, our team has probably been screwed over by a couple of calls in the past, but usually we just bring it up to the ump once and move on. we just accept the calls and find other ways to beat the other team. i've seen other teams completely lose it and subsequently forfeit games. getting worked up for what? maybe it's a matter of principle, but we're mainly trying to have fun and we're not getting paid to play. argh.

still, all this talk about softball is starting to get me excited about the coming season. i can't wait until we get back on the field and start practicing. it'll be a challenge this year with so many new people, but i'm sure we'll still do fine. i have confidence in the coaching staff and my 'veteran' teammates to hold the fort. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2004

and the streak is over...

unofficially, tonight was the end of my raptors season (and likely the end of any playoff hopes the raptors had) as i went down to the acc to see the raptors lose (again!) to lebron james and the cleveland cavaliers. tonight's company included ebrian, nocturnalbear, and worms. with the lebron james being a big draw, not surprisingly, we also kept bumping into a bunch of people we knew. anyway, the raptors were just getting smoked in the first half. in continuing our tradition of getting some beer at the half, we figured that we should all get a glass since they had yet to lose when we drank at the game. it actually looked like that it might work as the raptors made a run early in the 3rd quarter and came close to tying it up. however, our hopes were short-lived and dashed as the raptors started making poor shot selections and shooting a ton of airballs--they must have had some beers at halftime too. thanks to the beer, the highlights of the game were:

  1. the raptor dunking over miss world.
  2. these suits right in front of us who didn't know very much about basketball.
  3. watching this crazy old guy cheer for the raptors. it's funny watching old people get riled up about sports. he was actually scaring us though 'cause he was getting pretty fired up. ;)
  4. cheering for lamond murray when the scrubs were coming in.
  5. cheering for the pizza point. at least, the raptors sent the fans home somewhat happy with some food. nocturnalbear, worms and i actually took advantage of the freebie and got a fresh, piping-hot pepperoni slice. yum.

Here's a season review of all the games that I attended this year, plus what I drank:

  • Oct. 29 v. Nets W 90-87 (Beer)
  • Nov. 1 v. Mavs W 77-71 (Beer)
  • Nov. 16 v. Rockets W 101-97 (Beer)
  • Dec. 14 v. Heat L 90-89
  • Feb. 1 v. Lakers L 84-83
  • Feb. 4 v. Magic W 110-90
  • Feb. 18 v. Spurs L 86-82
  • Feb. 29 v. Celtics L 91-82
  • Mar. 10 v. Cavs L 106-92 (Beer)

well, i was lucky enough to see 9 games (+ 2 pre-season games) this year. in those games, the raptors went 4-5. not bad. most of the games were pretty entertaining and close until the end, so i definitely got my money's worth. another observation: in the games that ebrian and i had some alcohol, the raptors went 3-1, but when we stayed sober they were only 1-4. what does this all mean? if we drank at all the games, the raptors might be in 3rd or 4th place right now! :) anyway, thanks again to ebrian for making the games enjoyable. it was good to finally find someone to go see a bunch of games and talk ball with. even though we often disagreed on the value of vince carter to the franchise, it sure made for interesting conversation--especially when the raptors would go 5 minutes between buckets.

it's a little disappointed though that i won't be seeing any more games this year--especially from the sprite zone with all the hardcore fans. it was fun listening to people trash talk vince, mo pete and lamond murray. i'm already looking forward to more action next year. with the probable hockey lockout, basketball is going to be the only major sport in town next fall / winter.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

do re mi fa so la ti...

this weekend’s worship @ TCCC is going to be amusing. to try something a little different, tim decided to ask a few people to help out this sunday on stage as a background choir / chorus. inexplicably, i offered to help.

well, yesterday night was our first and only practice. :) it’s a small group of only 6 made up of young & old, male & female. it kind of an odd group since i wouldn’t say any of us are musically talented—especially myself! the best way i can describe us is a bunch of ‘misfits’. haha. we went through all the music to make sure we were all on the same page with the melody / rhythm and, believe me, we needed the practice. ;)

oh well. as tim encouraged us at the end, even if the melody / rhythm isn’t perfect, as long as we sing together with confidence and come with a heart of worship, it will be fine. or maybe he was just being nice. ;)

but if you ARE there this sunday, please sing LOUD! hehe... :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

everything seems to revolve around the simpsons...

check it out. it's a pretty funny story.

sundays are the best t.v. nights...

another enjoyable episode of "alias" on sunday night. well, there was nothing new that we had never seen before--the two perspectives has been done on some other shows too--and the storyline was nothing more than a plot device. but i like how they're continuing to develop lauren and sark's relationship. they are becoming great antagonists for syd and vaughn. they are literally becoming the anti-syd and vaughn. in fact, i look forward to seeing more of lauren and sark 'cause they're actually more interesting characters right now. they seem to have all the good lines, have all the fun, and get the 'hot' love scenes. ;)

an interesting point came up as i was reading a recap. why should lauren be mad at vaughn for dropping his gun, when she just had her fun with sark? the argument was that women could forgive physical indiscretions (as she saw her romp with sark as just work), but if a man gave his heart to another woman that would be inexcusable. is this true? are men the same way? or do they think sex is the ultimate sin? it was kinda funny to see how easy it was for sark to set this awkward situation up and play with people's emotions like that. it'll be interesting to see how this part of the story continues as vaughn has inadvertently openly expressed his feelings about syd in front of lauren.

anyway, i'm glad that the new episodes are back--esp. since there won't be any new episodes of "24" for a whole month. it looks like there won't be any more interruptions the rest of the season. woo! oh yeah, marshall still cracks me up.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

the passion of the christ

i finally went out to see the movie on friday night. even in its second week and on a late friday night at fairview mall, the theatre was full.

first of all, it's a very beautiful artistic film. i appreciated mel gibson's vision in trying to retell the last twelve hours of Jesus' life. it's a very difficult thing to take such a sacred story, tell everything accurately and keep everyone pleased. i loved the flashback sequences 'cause, for example, i almost felt like i was there sharing the last supper with Jesus himself.

however, mixed in with the beauty, it is a pretty graphic and violent movie. i found parts of the movie very difficult to stomach. yes, the depiction of jesus' crucifixion might be what actually happened to Him and it's supposed to help us understand / sympathize the pain / suffering that He went through to save us. however, for me, it got to a point where it was a little too much and i was starting to feel a little sick / disturbed. for that reason, i was not as moved by the scenes as some others around me--there were many people in the theatre who were sobbing or bawling at the sight of jesus' ultimate sacrifice.

perhaps, my lack of emotion might also be attributed to reading all these varying reviews / opinions by various critics. instead of immersing myself in the film, i think i tried to be objective about my thoughts 'cause i wanted to see how people came to their own conclusions. maybe if i went to see this movie again, i'll have a totally different reaction to it.

i still concur that it's a movie that Christians will understand and appreciate a lot more. so if you're someone who doesn't know the whole background regarding Jesus' crucifixion, i would suggest reading up a little on it beforehand. that was one of the issues i had with the movie. it did very little in 'character development' and explaining the reason for Jesus' persecution. many of the references were done in passing. for example, there was really little explanation of who mary magdalene was and why she was following Jesus--other than a short flashback of her weeping and kissing Jesus' feet.

anyway, i would still recommend seeing this movie. is it worth all the controversy? make a judgement for yourself.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

the view from the top...the very last row...

i went down to the acc tonight for leafs vs. sabres game with fayjan... what a waste of $50+! =P the leafs played absolutely horrible--just as bad as my floor hockey team!--as they lost 5-1. really, it was such a lemon that the crowd was pretty dead all night. the sabres actually played pretty good--a couple of nice goals on a 2-on-1 and a nifty breakaway. but then again, we pretty much handed it to them 'cause most of the goals came by the way of bad penalties & giveaways. the hilites of tonight's game were:
  1. the intermission entertainment - after the 1st period, we watched some little kiddies play some hockey. some of them had some nice moves and scored some good goals. we probably could have used them! then after the 2nd, they had a version of roller derby with goalies. it was pretty funny watching them pummel each other around the ice.
  2. the minor hockey kids in front of us - there was a team of kids a couple of rows down from us who tried to trash talk the sabres all night long. it was kinda funny 'cause they would boo them for pretty much anything. one of the parents must have been getting sick of it 'cause he asked them how come they didn't yell, "GO LEAFS GO!" but the kids just continues heckling them. =) but after a while they started getting a little annoying 'cause they wouldn't sit down. they were trying to get on t.v. with their sign / banner... and they eventually did!
anyway, as you can see there wasn't much to cheer for during the actual game. it was so hard / frustrating to watch that fayjan and i left with about 5 minutes left in the game. (i guess the honeymoon with brian leetch is already over.)

another thing about tonight... i really still can't believe i sat in the last row in the upper bowl and the tickets cost over $50. pretty ridiculous. i mean, the view is still pretty good and you can see all the players clearly. still, if you compare it to a raptors game, i can get a ticket for $13 and sit in the first couple rows of the upper bowl. that's one of the reasons why i actually follow the raptors more closely than the leafs this year. i've been able to check out about 10 games this year and it's cost less than $200. and with an nhl strike / lockout looming next year, i might eventually forget about the leafs. but i guess the leafs can do whatever they want 'cause they will always have die-hard fans who'll pay pretty much anything.

oh yeah, i finally found my security pass card on my lawn the other day. i lost it in january when i realized it came undone from my clip. i figured i must have lost it in the snow somehow when i was shoveling and i wouldn't find it until the snow melted. of course, i was proven right! =) anyway, i already replaced it, but maybe i'll keep it as a spare and see if it still works. haha.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

mark burnett is a genius

"survivor" was interesting tonight. sue quit the game 'cause she felt she was sexually violated by richard hatch on the previous episode. i have some mixed feelings about her leaving, but all those "survivor" message boards out there are talking about this enough. so go read them if you actually want to debate about whether she was justified in leaving and blah, blah, blah. still, mark burnett sure knows how to make a bad situation into entertaining television. being able to catch everyone's thoughts and reactions on camera in the aftermath was impressive. getting people to show their 'true' selves was classic. it just made us love or hate the 'characters' even more. however, i hope this is the end of the 'somebody quits' shows. it totally takes all the anticipation / excitement out. you knew something was up when they didn't have a reward challenge until the show was 2/3 done.

i also decided to check out "the apprentice" (another mark burnett show) for the first time tonight. i have to say it's a pretty good show. it's pretty good drama to see how cutthroat all these players are. they're bitching, backstabbing and making the 'executive decisions'. riveting. =) i also like how people have to truly earn their keep to stay in the game. if you stink, you'll get fired. and it's kinda funny to see teams compete and have one of them fail miserably. man, donald trump is pretty arrogant / pompous. but i guess that's why he owns half of new york. :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

adding salt to the wound...

we played another floor hockey game and unfortunately tonight was not a good night. we were short players 'cause a couple of the guys and girls couldn't make it. so most of us had to take extra long shifts. plus, the gym was just nasty hot.

anyway, we ended up getting absolutely SMOKED. 10-1. damn. the other team's guys AND girls were pretty good. it made it pretty tough just to get the ball by them into their zone. add the fact that our team also doesn't have very good positioning or teamwork--i swear, we converge on the ball like chipmunks!--and it had the makings of a blowout. their guys were wide open all night as we left our goalie out to dry. playing shorthanded didn't help 'cause we just got too tired to play the man-to-man all game. by the end of the game, even their girls were taking slapshots at our goalie. pretty funny, in retrospect. =)

to make things worse for me, somehow i twisted my right ankle. i don't even know how. it just started hurting real bad. and then, adding insult to injury, as i'm walking towards my car my left calf just cramped up. first time it's ever happened--i've never had that kind of pain before and i just dropped all my stuff. luckily, frances and esther were there to help me. they helped massage the muscle to help it relax. i dunno, it must have been from the mugginess in the gym and losing a bunch of salt and water from all that sweat. (i'm actually feeling pretty dehydrated right now and getting a bit of a headache as i'm writing this...)

well, just to play it safe, i asked fran to drive for me. i didn't want to risk having my leg cramp up on the d.v.p.! that would not have been a good scene. :) anyway, thanks again to the fran and esther for helping me out there. i probably would have been stranded there if it wasn't for them...

on the brighter side, the leafs got brian leetch! woo! perfect timing for me as i'm going to this saturday's game against the sabres!

alrite, i'm out. gotta massage the leg some more before i got to bed so it won't get too tight. i hope i don't wake up tomorrow morning screaming in pain (as ben has warned). ;)


i was hoping to watch "eurotrip" last night. not typically my 'kind' of movie 'cause i usually look to watch 'quality' movies. but after watching a couple of intense dramas / thrillers over the last while and with the plan of seeing "the passion of the christ" this friday, i was definitely in the mood for some lighter fare. unfortunately, people couldn't get together until after 9ish. by that time, most of us were too tired to really go out.

anyway, i just spent the night updating my tccc blog. i put in last sunday's notes and gave the layout a new look 'cause i was looking for something a little simpler. anyway, what do you think? it was a good thing that i got some feedback from ebrian first though. i downloaded the template from BlogSkins and gave it a few modifications, but i failed to look at the link that credits the person who designed it. on the page was this HUGE picture of a topless asian (?) woman who covered her breasts with only her arm. (if you're interested, see for yourself.) thanks again to ebrian for saving my ass. otherwise i would have been burned at the stake for blaspheming the church. :)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

i have been quite hesitant to go see 'the passion of the christ'. why? i think i have been weary of all the hype. especially all the talk about it being THE movie for Christians to bring their non-Christian friends to. it's supposed help people finally understand the pain and suffering that Jesus had to go through. i have a couple of friends who have already seen it and the general consensus seems to be it preaches to the converted. it doesn't surprise me that this is the case. i think a Christian, who already knows God and has an understanding of who Jesus is, can sympathize and feel for Jesus' pain. they are not thinking about, "why are they doing this, why are they doing that?". on the other hand, an atheist or someone who doesn't know the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, would probably be appalled by the brutality in this movie. many critics have complained about the gratuitous violence and the graphic nature of the movie. as some people have put it, all they could see was a two-hour sadistically violent torture session.

still, it doesn't necessarily mean that a non-Christian shouldn't see the movie. i would just say it depends on 'who'. i think someone who has some interest in knowing who this Jesus character is, would be open-minded to this film. but i would suspect if you brought the wrong person, it could possibly turn them off Christianity altogether. they might not feel or understand the nature of His sacrifice.

despite my reservations, i am actually pretty interested in watching it. i'm looking forward to watching it this friday with some friends. more so since i went to mitchell's with ebrian the other day. i saw the companion book to the movie, so i decided to take a look. it consisted mostly of still photos from the movie. as i was flipping through, i was struck by how powerful the images were and i was quite moved by them.

anyway, an excellent article by richard roeper puts it best: before we make any judgements, we should see it for ourselves, "with an open mind and open heart." besides, it's just a movie.

What are they saying in 'Translation'?

i actually came across this article last week... i think it's hilarious, so i thought i should share it...
(AP) --In one of the funniest scenes in "Lost in Translation," aging actor Bob Harris, played by Bill Murray, is on a Tokyo film set waiting to shoot a whiskey commercial.

He's trussed up in a tuxedo, uneasily sunk into a leather armchair, studio lights casting shadows on his face.

A director with a rocker's dyed hair, tinted glasses and trendy jacket barks flamboyantly at Harris in Japanese. The interpreter merely throws a few scraps of English the actor's way. It's clear something is being, well, lost in translation.

Here's the scene in English:

Director: Mr. Bob-san, you are relaxing in your study. On the table is a bottle of Suntory whiskey. Got it? Look slowly, with feeling, at the camera, and say it gently -- say it as if you were speaking to an old friend. Just like Bogie in "Casablanca," Here's looking at you, kid -- Suntory time.
Translator: Umm. He want you to turn, looking at camera. OK?
Harris: That's all he said?
Translator: Yes. Turn to camera.
Harris: All right. Does he want me to turn from the right, or turn from the left?
Translator: (To director) Uh, umm. He's ready now. He just wants to know if he's supposed to turn from the left or turn from the right when the camera rolls. What should I tell him?
Director: What difference does it make! Makes no difference! Don't have time for that! Got it, Bob-san? Just psych yourself up, and quick! Look straight at the camera. At the camera. And slowly ... with passion. Straight at the camera. And in your eyes there's ... passion. Got it?
Translator: (To Harris) Right side. And with intensity. OK?
Harris: Is that everything? It seemed like he said quite a bit more than that.
Director: (To Bob, gesticulating wildly) Listen, listen. This isn't just about whiskey. Understand? Imagine you're talking to an old friend. Gently. The emotions bubble up from the bottom of your heart. And don't forget, psych yourself up!
Translator: Like an old friend. And, into the camera.
Harris: OK.
Director: Got it? (Bob nods) You LOVE whiskey. It's SUNTORY time. OK?
Harris: OK.
Director: OK?
(Bob nods)
Director: (To crew) OK! We're rolling! Ready! Action!
Harris: (Turning to the camera) For relaxing times ... make it Suntory time.
Director: CUT! Cut, Cut, Cut, Cut!! (Rushes up to Bob) You don't seem to understand, do you? (Grabs the bottle) This is Suntory's Hibiki. Suntory's most expensive brand. Put more luxurious feeling into it. It's not your everyday whiskey.
Translator: Could you do it slower and ...
Director: Give it everything you've got!
Translator: More intensity.
Director: (To Bob) Suntory time ... (To crew) We're rolling! Ready! Action!
Harris: For relaxing times ... Make it Suntory time.
Director: CUT! Cut, Cut, Cut! I'm begging you, begging you ...
(Bob's Suntory smile fades into annoyance)

Monday, March 01, 2004

one crazy night.

i had this movie coupon for two that was expiring today, so my original plan was to watch "in america". unfortunately those plans didn't work out at the last minute. so i'm calling / messaging people at 9 PM on a sunday night to ask them to see a movie. people must have thought i was crazy considering everyone had school or work the next day. i just didn't want the coupon to completely go to waste.

anyway, i ending up watching "the butterfly effect" at yorkdale. thanks to ben for coming out so late tonight since the movie didn't start until 10:40. it was, surprisingly, an entertaining movie--probably 'cause i wasn't expecting much. pretty good thriller with some interesting twists and turns. however, i thought the ending was a cop-out and way too predictable. also, there were times that all i could think was, "hey, that's kelso running around!" and then i would start chuckling in parts that probably weren't supposed to be funny. :)

i have to also say it's friggin' EXPENSIVE to watch a movie on a regular night. the two tickets had a value of $27.90. crazy. that means a date at the movies on saturday night would cost close to 50 bucks!--two tickets, two drinks & a popcorn. damn!

i also re-learned a couple of valuable lessons tonight:
1) i shouldn't make promises that i can't keep. fairly or unfairly, i was a little annoyed when my plans didn't work out tonight. when plans change at the last minute, it's very difficult to re-arrange my schedule when you're depending on certain plans to happen. anyway, i know that i've probably done this to my some of my friends before too. tonight i just realized how those people must have felt. (still, i understand that under certain circumstances, people may have completely valid reasons for changing their plans.)

2) procrastination is BAD. ultimately i couldn't really be mad with anyone 'cause i waited until the expiry date to use the coupon. so it was my fault that i was calling people in a frenzy and, consequently, getting worked up about something kinda petty.

alrite, it's been a long nite (and i didn't even get a chance to watch the oscars). time for bed.