Mike Beversluis

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Funny stuff, onion

Mariners Improve To Eight Games Over .300

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Use your illusion



This is nifty: Shepard Scale Audio Illusion.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Food is good

FWIW: The Viet Bistro at the Eden Center is really, really good. Really. I mean it. Really mean it. A lot. Have I convinced you yet? The spicy beef appetizer, the grilled mussels, the sea-food hot pot, and the bun (vermicelli noodles) were all fantastic. This is going to become a regular dinning option, and the Eden Center looks like there are half a dozen places there worth checking out. Sometimes it pays to venture to the 'burbs.

Not so much in the burbs is a restaurant group in Alexandria that runs a couple of higher-end foodie places: Vermilion is the best of them, and I will be going back. Our waiter was very good, and I appreciated her advice. Rustico was okay- it's their fancy brew-pub eatery. I liked my goat cheese and pine nut dusted pizza, but I have less desire to go back; Same with the Majestic, which is the hoity-toity cafe slash diner. I had the meat-loaf, which was very comforting indeed. Nothing wrong with either, although the waiters were less smooth. If you're going to generic fancy place A, I am really starting to appreciate a professional waiter. I very much like the vibe of someone who is in it for a long haul.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weeds

Via Laura, The Weeden Brother's Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

[Two small things on] Tokyo monogatari

Tokyo monogatari, by Yasujiro Ozu (Japan 1953)

I limit myself to small observations because much in this movie just escaped me.

For the very few that didn't yet manage to see it, here you are a synthesis of the plot. An old couple in Japan visits their children in Tokyo, but the children are busy with their lives, don't have much time for them and indeed it seems as if they just want to get rid of them; the only exception being the daughter-in-law, widowed wife of one of their children who had died during WWII, who on the opposite receives them with warm affection. When the old man and woman go back to their village, the woman falls ill and dies; the children have to go to the village, are present when their mother dies, then leave. The daughter-in-law is the only one to stay a few days more with her father-in-law, she obviously has to leave as well eventually.

The movie is quite complex. I just focus on the final dialogue between Noriko (the daughter-in-law) and a younger woman who lives in the village (I am almost sure she is the youngest of the couple's daughters, still living at home).

The younger woman tells Noriko somtething like "You are not like them" referring to the different behaviour between Noriko and the couple's children, and Noriko answers "I will become like that too". The precision in the representation of certain feelings is in my opinion noteworthy; Noriko feels a strong conflict between the needs in her life (for example, getting re-married) and other things she considers important and just (not forgetting about elder people and I would say the thing could be extended to other ties and relationships that, while they do not belong to the most essential "survival package" list, many people have in their lives I think).

She realizes that the forces that push her toward new ties of the "present" time are enormous (and I am sorry I am not able to be more precise on what these forces actually are, but I bet many people will have recognized these forces in their life, maybe just when watching Ozu's film); the fact of feeling like one is surrendering to these forces implies as well a sense of a change in one's own identity, identity which is important to many of us, and a feeling of sadness. The younger woman apparently did not think about all of these things as long as Noriko did, so that she sees in all of this dynamical situation just the loss of value of her initial choices in life, and answers "Life is so depressing" (well, not that for Noriko the situation is much more joyful).

I let my fantasy run free but I think that Ozu is indeed referring to these things and this sense of an inner conflict. Going overboard with fantasy I would add that the same conflict is active in the inner life of all of the couple's children, and each of them reacts in a way that differs from Noriko's.

I have been a bit "long", I just note that the movie is directed with a rather bare style, so that buyer beware, that is if you want to watch it and you get too much distracted during your vision you'll end up not understanding what is going on (which character is which, what is happening and so on).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The killing joke

Michael Bay's Rejected "The Dark Knight" Script

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Politics and Prose is pretty Honky

I am thinking to go: Stuff White People Like Book Signing

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Can't Explain



A bit of wayback from The Who, and you won't really mind if Youtube narcs you on this one.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Online Library

Check it out (ha ha)

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