Archive for the ‘Reading, Watching, Listening’ Category.

Saw Seven Pounds

I liked it a lot.

I was blindsided with the surprise ending. Don’t learn the spoiler before you see the movie. It’s kind of Fearless meets The Crying Game. No it’s not. I liked it anyway.

From The ‘Hood to the House

Last week I got to attend “From The ‘Hood to the House”. This year,  the Glide Church annual holiday festival was held at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House on the 12th. It was quite an affair with Maya Angelou, a huge church ensemble singing, dancers, musicians and Cecil Williams celebrating his 45th anniversary running Glide Church.

I have to thank Cindy for inviting Charlotte and I to volunteer for the event. We got to help folks (I helped Cindy in the office much of the day), see most of the show and try a zillion tasty foods. :-)

The Departed, The Four Hour Work Week, Dr Karl

I just saw The Departed. Good cop. Bad cop. Entertainment!

I’ve been listening to The Four Hour Work Week. I just made it to disc 3 and all of a sudden I’m getting disappointed. When the author says he checks email once a week for an hour and checks his voicemail once a week without any adverse effects, I begin to doubt. But I won’t stop listening. He is saying a lot of good stuff.

And I still love listening to Doctor Karl on Australian radio. Catch the RSS audio feed of his shows here

Recent Music

Some artists I’ve heard recently…

brad paisleyI saw Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley in concert at Shoreline  Amphitheater  in Mountain View on September 25th. Charlotte, Rick and I went along with 40,000 screaming Daisy Dukes. It was a lot of fun! I enjoy his common-man lyrics.. (IE I’m Gonna Miss Her starts, “Well, I love her, but I love to fish…”) (photo credit)

brad paisley in mountain viewOn October 3rd, I got to sit 5 feet from and listen to Yacouba Diarra from west Africa play. Awesome!

I give a hearty “Thank You!” to the Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP)!  They get people excited about San Francisco art and local performance!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

cloudy_teslaThis movie is a lot of fun! I saw it with Charlotte at the Metreon.

I want the poster that is on Flint Lockwood’s wall proclaiming “Nikola Tesla Rockstar Scientist”! Tesla is standing in a classic rock and roll pose and it looks like he’s playing a lightning bolt like a guitar.

Nikola = Awesome

I grabbed this image from another Cloudy/Tesla fan :-)

I’m a good listener

I’m a good listener. In the last few months, I’ve listened to:

Art of War by Sun Tzu – a fantastic reading of a vital treatise. You should read this.

Cat’s Cradle byKurt Vonnegut, Jr – I’m slowly becoming a Bokononist.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond – I just finished yesterday. Once I got past the super-uptight voice of the reader, I rather enjoyed learning about the pleistocene and modern era.

Next up is the 22+ hours of the abridged Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.

Movies of Late

National Treasure 7-3-09  A fun chase scene

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy 7-3-09.  Read the books instead, they are much better. Maybe it’s the British thing but it seemed that every line in the movie was delivered wrong. :-(

Sin City 7-5-09. 52:10 “Hi, I’m Shelly’s new boyfriend and I’m out of my mind.” Shivers down my spine. Lots of shivers. Very very cool.

Night of the Living Dead 7-10-09. Holy crap, that is a scary movie. It stands the test of time and then some. And the ending really really flipped me out. See Night of the Living Dead free on

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

Thumbs down on this book.

I got about 1/2 way through listening to the unabridged “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)”. I couldn’t finish it. Not enough science, too angry, too snarky, too jerk-like, too monochromatic, too… a lot of things. And the reader amplified those emotions.

Here is my simplified version of the book:

You’ve seen this a million times before: some jerk cuts you off on a highway on-ramp at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, you speed up to see who this moron could be and he waves apologetically at you! What could this doo-doo head possibly he possibly be thinking? There was a study about this. It said that most people on the highway aren’t really jerks. But let’s get back to this idiot who cut you off.

I kept thinking it would get better, that the author would dive more into the ample quantity of interesting studies he’s read, that he’d bridge together ideas from across the story-arc. That he’d propose some ideas that didn’t sound like they came from some white-knuckled, road-raged jerk. But that didn’t happen.

1.5 out of 5 stars. (0.5 stars for choosing a good topic)

Movie Watching Mayhem / Netflix Class Action Lawsuit

As part of a dumb class action lawsuit, I received a 1 month 3-DVD-at-a-time subscription to Netflix at no cost to me. I’m sure the lawyers were richly compensated. See section 1.2 of “Amended Settlement Agreement” below for the specifics of the lawsuit.

(Frank Chavez v. Netflix, Inc. Class Action, San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CGC-04-434884, local copy of  Amended Long Form Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement, local copy of Amended Settlement Agreement.)

These are still on my list… didn’t have time to have them mailed to me:
The King of Kong
Robot Monster
S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale
Waking Life

So here’s what I rented in 30 days… (reviews to come eventually!)

The Omega Man
Failure to Launch
The Bucket List
Strange Culture
The Departed
Psychos in Love
Children of Men
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
A Scanner Darkly
The Illusionist
X2: X-Men United
National Treasure
Stranger than Fiction
Sin City

Movies Seen: Batman:The Dark Knight and V For Vendetta

Batman: The Dark Knight on 2-27-09. Intense. Quite a ride

V For Vendetta 3-28-09. I came out of the movie thinking it was completely excellent. After a few minutes of mulling I can think of many plot holes and unexplained bits. So I’ll just say that the theme and visual elements of the movie were excellent. A little something was missing… maybe it got lost on the editing room floor? Still a worthwhile movie!