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Dec. 28th, 2007

Return from Lengthy Hiatus

Hello to all! I've been around, but not so much in the blogging mood. Why now? Not so sure, but probably has something to do with me being bored out of my mind.

Anyways, I am currently on Winter Break, having just finished fall quarter of my senior year of college (only two more to go!). It was probably the most chaotic (but most rewarding) period of my entire academic life. On top of four classes and my job, I went through the very long, sometimes stressful recruiting process. Fall quarter of senior year is that time when all the accounting firms do their on-campus recruiting, and I was well in the mix. It was very hectic, going through the extremely competitive recruiting process where I was going up against not only fellow students, but also students from other schools. It was tough and worried me to death for about a month, but I came out alive and managed to land a couple job offers. I accepted a job as an entry-level audit associate with KPMG, one of the big four public accounting firms. I felt a tremendous amount of joy and relief because this was the culmination of all the sweat, blood and tears I put into college (not that it hasn't been an absolutely amazing experience) the past 3+ years. I do look forward to starting my career in the demanding and challenging world of public accounting, but I am definitely going to miss those moments of just being young and immature and just having fun without worrying [too much] about repercussions and consequences.

So what do I do when I'm not swamped by school stuff and have time to waste? Definitely have to keep up with sports and my super awesomely addicting weekly TV shows (though it is currently being severely hampered by the very tragic and unfortunate Writer's Guild of America Strike, which has prevented the production of new episodes for basically ALL of my favorite shows). Not so much into videogames, but I have found myself highly addicted to mastering Guitar Hero, the videogame sensation that lets you live out your fantasies of being a rock n' roll legend without actually having the talent or skill. It only simulates a guitar on a very superficial level, but it's still an absolute blast to play. Still working on five-starring every song on expert (and cramping up my hand and fingers many times in the process).

I have to put in a good word for Pushing Daisies, my favorite new TV show of the fall season. It is about a man who possesses a special ability to bring the dead back to life with the touch of his skin. However, it is governed by a couple rules. When he brings someone or something back to life, they can only live for exactly one minute. Once the minute expiries, he must touch them again to return them to their lifeless state. If he does not do so, something of equal "life value" will drop dead, in the form of balance. Also, if he touches something that he has revived again, they will be dead forever.

I personally enjoy it tremendously and would highly recommend it. It's cute, sweet, and a lot of fun to watch. The characters are very likable and I love watching them interact with each other. The narration and storytelling has the feel of a fairytale, which adds a lot to the show. The story revolves around a group of characters who solve mysteries, but it is also about managing relationships and exploring the meaning of what it really means to be alive. The only problem is that the show has only run for nine episodes and is on hiatus because of the Writer's Guild of America Strike. Absolutely kills me.

Anywho, Happy Holidays to all of you (probably less than five)!

Jul. 9th, 2007

TRANSFORMERS! Robots in Disguise!

Having been a fan of the old Transformers cartoon show many eons ago when I was but a young lad who was barely learning the ways of multiplication and division, I was quite excited when I heard that they were bringing it to the big screen months ago. Naturally I had my reservations because these sorts of movies generally don't turn out so well, but I couldn't help but get all giddy about seeing cars transform into giant robots that blow the crap out of each other.

And the verdict...?

Had an absolute blast watching it. The story was simple enough, and it was needlessly corny at times, making me want to tell Optimus Prime to shut the hell up with his preaching and whatnot, but it was a relentlessly intense, action-packed, absolutely entertaining 2 1/2 hours of explosions, explosions, and explosions. My blood was boiling during the first sequence when we got to see one of the Decepticons transform for the first time (not to mention the subsequent blowing up of everything in its path). Optimus Prime making his first appearance and showing off his ridiculously elaborate and awesome transformation was absolutely amazing. The many actions scenes were very well done and intense with explosions left and right. I couldn't help but watch with a giant grin on my face as the Transformers got a super, ultra, mega-fantabulous facelift from their prehistoric cartoon days.

Of course, the movie wasn't perfect. It has its laundry list of issues. The story wasn't particularly deep, and the characters not especially compelling (though they were pretty entertaining). I also got a huge kick out of GMC's ridiculously blunt and shameless advertising of its automobile lineup. However, it was all I could have really hoped for and expected. Cars transforming into super-awesome giant robots who blow the crap out of each other with gigantic guns. Sweet!

On another note, I had recently gone through and finished all of Monster, which was an absolutely outstanding show. It was quite the amazing and intense show, especially the final few episodes. It was my first round back into the world of anime after a fairly lengthy hiatus and was treated with quite the pleasant experience. Good stuff.

Jun. 26th, 2007

Monster... Holy Freaking Crap

So with only taking a couple classes over the summer and having alot more free time than I am normally accustomed to, I began getting back on track and watching Monster.

WOW. Unbelievable. Amazing. Sensational. There really are no adjectives that I can properly use that can do this series justice because it is that damn good. I left off on episode 24 a couple years back and started watching yesterday. 21-episodes later I'm absolutely stunned at the events that have transpired. I was slightly confused at first since it had been a while but once I got back into the groove of things I have been completely enthralled in its amazingly deep and compelling storyline to go along with its fastinating, complex, and intriguing characters.

The story unfolds at a picture perfect pace as every episode feels as if it is important to its progression. It is so tightly written and directed that even though there seem to be so many things going on and many new questions are raised throughout it always feels very focused in what it is trying to accomplish. Even seemingly meaningless details that may be overlooked are significant and intricately woven into its plot. One of the reasons I find Monster to be so compelling is that I pay close attention to what is going on because every little intricate detail could potentially be significant (and I'm sure I'm still probably missing alot of stuff).

I feel like its pacing is impeccable as it never feels like it is rushing through something or dragging on. There are plenty of those "holy crap did that really freakin happen?!" moments along with plenty of nasty cliffhangers to keep you begging for more. The most recent WTF moment for me came in episode 44: (SPOILER, highlight to view) When "Anna" goes back to the apartment and reveals that he is really Johan. I was absolutely floored as my jaw dropped to the floor.

There's still another 30-episodes to go and I cannot wait to get through them all and see how everything plays out. It's almost unbeliveable to me but the plot just gets more and more compelling with each and every new twist. I highly, highly reccomend this to anyone and everyone who has not had the pleasure of enjoying it because I really cannot say enough great things about it.

Jun. 22nd, 2007

(no subject)

I still can't help but grin everytime I think about it. I believe it is probably the first and only time in my life where a group of people actually legitimately applauded for me. It wasn't like the numerous group presentations that I've done where the whole class basically claps out of general courtesy (even if they thought I stunk). *continues to helplessly and relentlessly grin*

To pearlmagic:
I taught two sections, each of them "supposedly" has 25 students. Only about 10-15 show up since it's on a Friday and attendence is not mandatory because I don't have the authority to do that (I'm only an undergrad). To be honest, I was actually so overwhelmed that I was about *this close* to tearing up.

Anyways, Black Lagoon should be cool. Actually, I watched the first episode way back when it first came out and actually thought it was quite entertaining. However, as always, I got ridiculously sidetracked and kind of left the show hanging. I'll put it somewhere near the top of my priority list. I've seen all of Gantz way back when it came out, and I actually did like it quite a bit. I stopped in the middle of season 2 after the painfully cruel arc concluded. Ack, that was depressing... >_< (you probably know what I'm talking about...)

To bakanekosama:
Ack. As much as I would love to go to Anime Expo that's pretty much impossible. I'll be up in Santa Barbara for summer school and I am almost certain that I won't be home (LA area) for that weekend. From what I hear, though, they are still looking for volunteers, which basically means you get a free pass to get into the expo and a free room, though since you're probably not going to be able to be there for long it might not work out. Rawr, sorry.

To hystericallemur:
Did someone say Monster?! You're right, it is a terrific show. I followed it up until episode 25 or so then I got sidetracked and for some reason stopped watching it all together. I think my plan at the time was to wait until I could get a big chunk of episodes and just go on a crazy marathon so that I wouldn't have to painfully wait each week for another episode because if my brain is too fried from all this school work and functioning properly I recall there being some pretty nasty cliffhangers. This one is definitely on the top of my list.

I also need to get back to watching One Piece! I was browsing through my computer and came accross my anime music folder. I listened to a few songs (heavy nostalgia started kicking in) and then the One Piece theme started playing (and some really heavy nostalgia really kicked in). I started remembering Luffy and the gang and how awesomely fun and entertaining they were. I stopped somewhere in the 90s, right before the Arabasta Arc. I'm waaaaaaay behind, so I have plenty of catching up to do. *starts remembering Luffy's goofy antics*

Thank you all for your suggestions. It should be a more than satisfactory load of anime to catch up with during these long summer days where I'll be cooked until I'm medium rare...

Jun. 15th, 2007

Absolutely Unbelievable

So the most unbelievable incredible thing happened to me last Friday. It was the last set of sections that I was to teach for the quarter. I finished teaching my first section and thanked my students for coming to class and giving me the opportunity to teach them. I asked them to fill out evaluations and the most pleasantly unexpected thing happened... they spontaneously started clapping and applauding me. It was... amazing. I was speechless and so incredibly flustered that I could not help but have a big, gigantic grin on my face for the next couple minutes. It was such an incredible nice gesture that it just made my day. Didn't matter what happened because it put me on such a high that I simply could not be brought down. I work hard to make sure that I do the best job I can possible do to teach my students and genuinely care about helping them as much as I possibly can (and I am dead serious when I say that this is not an ego-trip at all). This gesture is them telling me that I did a good job and I cannot fully express how highly appreciative I am of that.

I just had to share that, I really did. I don't think I have ever been this flattered or flustered in my entire life (it was that amazing to me)...

On another note, another year of college passes by as I am finished with finals. I'll actually be hanging around school this time for the summer (which should be fun). Also, since I'm not going to be nearly as busy during the summer, I am welcoming any and all suggestions for anime that I should look into checking out. As you guys know I've been out of the anime loop for quite a while and I'm looking to satisfy that itch. So far I've basically only been following Bleach and I'm definitely going to look into Death Note. Any and all suggestions are welcome, so throw 'em out there!

May. 18th, 2007

Update on some stuff...

What happened to me? I am [kind of] trying to contemplate why I have made such a big shift from watching a crap load of anime and very little American television (outside of sports) to watching alot of American TV shows and very little anime. Maybe my brain has just become too fried from all this reading and studying that I was not accustomed to doing in my high school days and I've gotten too lazy to read subtitles. Or maybe I need to multi-task and do work while I watch TV and watching American TV where I can understand what's going on by listening and periodically watching allows me to do so. Anyways... many of my favorite TV shows will be concluding (season-wise) this week and next. These include Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, The Office, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, The Sopranos, and Entourage. Hmmm, maybe when all all these shows end and I'm not being constantly bombarded with school stuff I can actually get in a significant amount of anime outside of Bleach... hmmmm.

Anyways... this past week we did some mid-quarter TA (teaching assistant) evaluations, which mainly serve to identify what I'm good at and what I suck at so I can make the proper amendments to better serve my students. Evals were fine, most of my students don't seem to hate me nearly as much as I think. Naturally, quite a few made comments about how I can at times talk incomprehensibly fast. On a hilarious and totally awesome side note, some of my students drew pictures (nothing bad or naughty!) of me on th evals! hahaha. And oh yeah, I get to hold a review session on Saturday afternoon for the entire class before their exam this coming Monday. What does that mean? It means that I get to teach in front of anywhere from 200-250 students all the material (kind of) that they need to know for the test all by myself! (No pressure... right?)

Anyways, my brain is cooked. I've spent too much time studying the past week for Corporate Finance (someone, please shoot me now) and I have to teach tomorrow. I need this week to be over badly so I can just RELAX!

(I think I'll probably always be sleepy when I'm writing one of these things...)

December 2007

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