Saturday, May 10, 2008

Massive May Update

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted on here. I've been busy, but also a lot has happened and I've been trying to find the time to write it all up. Here we go:

- Certainly the highlight of the past couple weeks was meeting Maxine Hong Kingston at the UCLA Festival of Books. She was there for a panel/interview in which she discussed her work, her style of storytelling, and the efforts she's made with her writing in changing the world around her. She spoke about how she tries to express oral storytelling in her writing; expressing oral storytelling traditions of myth and history that are intertwined and in many ways the same. She discussed the writing groups she's organized for veterans of war, encouraging them to express their memories, frustrations, and experiences in writing, and the 2003 protests against the invasion of Iraq, which she emphasized were still important even though they did not stop the invasion. After the talk I got to meet her in person and have her sign my copy of To Be the Poet. I've always loved her poetry and how through it she transmits reality, dreams and thoughts. It was an amazing moment to be able to speak to her face to face and convey how much her writing has meant to me.

- I've finished the Harry Potter series after a whirlwind marathon of books 5, 6, and 7. I've been reading the series for the past couple of years and wanted to catch up to the films. This time when I got through the fifth book, Stuart had the sixth and after powering through that one I had to read book seven. It wrapped up quite well; Rowling did a great job of expressing the danger and importance of the struggle against Voldemort, showing Harry maturing as he goes through these trials and challenges, and I was pleased with the way she wrapped up the series. All in all they're well written books and I was glad to go through that adventure, even if I see anything wand shaped now and want to cast spells with it...

- The new spring anime season has started and I've been reviewing quite a few of the new shows. There's so much coming out this season; I've watched about nine shows so far, there's at least five more I want to check out, and that's not even half of all the new shows coming out. The real stars of this season so far have been Kaiba, an adventure series with this gorgeous Little Prince/French science-fiction-looking animation, and Soul Eater, a wacky action show that has overtones of FLCL in its humor.

- I saw Iron Man last weekend with Vince, Evan, and Mahea. Frickin awesome. They really nailed the character and the story, with Robert Downey Jr playing a spot-on drinking, womanizing, playboy Tony Stark. Jon Favreau, the director, was the main force behind this fantastic adaptation, going so far as to bring in some of the best Iron Man comic book writers to work on the story. It's also the first outing from Marvel Studios, the official cinematic arm of Marvel Comics, and is a promising start to their production career.

- I'm becoming fairly adept at navigating the L.A. public transit system now that my car's gone. Last weekend I managed to get all the way to Redondo Beach and back via bus and rail. Of course I would have a much more difficult time without the L.A. Metro Trip Planning site. All in all it hasn't been a terrible experience, and I wish I had taken advantage of it sooner; I've seen a lot of cool places and shops along the bus routes that I'd like to visit, stuff I wouldn't have noticed driving.

- I've also gotten much more familiar with RSS Feeds and nearer-to-the-cutting-edge web technology. RSS Owl is totally my go to app now to keep up with Lifehacker and the other Gawker blogs, get news about everything from beer to new web apps, and updates from my favorite miscellaneous blogs. I've checked out Twitter and plan to use it in live-blogging anime episodes as I watch, and have tied in all my various web presences to FriendFeed. The future is here!


Nico said...

"ad astra per aspera!"

Fred said...

Wingardium Leviosa!