Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Thoughts

And the war is over. Well, not officially anyways.. but in all but name. That was quick. Not sure what to total casualty count was, but I saw 118 US dead, plus 4 MIA. The UK was 31. No figures on civilian casualties, of course. Probably in the 100's to 1000's. Nothing on the Iraqi soldiers either. The rebuilding of the country sure will be interesting. Much problems there.

Onto other, more happy stuff. I'm the latest crazy fan of The Delgados. Heard them a few times on the js.. then Mark R from work leant me "The Great Eastern". I was blown away, to say the least. I ordered "Great Eastern" and the previous album "Peleton" (these kids like their cycling, huh?). I'm waiting to get the newy "Hate" which also sounds very cool. I also have a review of "Aerogramme" who are signed to The Delgados label, Chemikal Underground. More power to em, I say. Good to see indies doing well.

I downloaded (yeah, I'm naughty) and watched the latest Dune miniseries from the Sci-Fi Channel in the US, Children of Dune. It was damn fine. Very, very good. The series was an amalgamation of "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune", but the story (by John Harrison) was done very well. Possibly a bit confusing and boring for people not familiar with the Dune story, but hey, that's not me.

As with the last miniseries, the production design was breathtaking. The costumes, the sets, the CGI was all good. The worms looked incredible. I still wished that they did Leto's sand trout "still suit" properly, IIRC it was meant to cover his whole body in a silver-gray suit, not just bits of it. But that's a minor point. Also, the music (score by Brian Tyler) was just brilliant. I'm definately getting the score CD, from the US if it doesn't go on sale here.. Harrison didn't direct this series, but new director Greg Yaitanes really does a great job. The DOP (can't remember who) was also really good, some of the sets (the throne room on Dune in particular) was just lit and shot briliantly. Created a real sense of space.. plus the outside shots of the very Pathanon-esque palace were amazing.

Onto the cast. More superlatives here. :) Everyone was superb, but special note of Alec Newman as the older, wiser and tired Emperor, and as the desert preacher. Also Daniela Amavia as Alia was just simply stunning. She could have just stood there and I would have watched. But she played Alia's fall from grace and eventual madness so beautifully... Edward Atterton (Atherton Wing from Firefly!!!!) and Alice Krige were agreat additions to the cast. Julie Cox as Irulan contibnued to amaze, playing Irulan with such sympathy, sadness and determination. Of course, the twins were great, James McAvoy and Jessica Brooks as Leto II and Ghanima really did justice to thier roles. Only sadness is that they won't be in the next Dune series (if they make it, but since this one did really well.. who knows?) coz in 3,500 years Leto the God Emperor will be a worm, and Ghani long dead. Least Atterton will be there as the Idaho ghola.. "Children" makes me so sad.. :(. I'm a big sook. :)

Anyways, I've stil got a whole heap of books to get through (not including the Dune stuff which I MUST re-read now). I got Brunner's "Stand On Zanzibar" after countless recommendations from my friends, and the bookstore owner.. Plus I have a bunch of Iain M Banks, the new one by Sarah Douglass "Hades' Daughter", Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" AND a whole bunch of George RR Martin stuff, coz Lu keeps pestering me to read em. AND I have to read all this stuff for Wireless and Capstone. yeesh!

Anyways, off to watch last week's Angel "Shiny Happy People" again. Apparently it's supposed to be funny. It seemed rather average last time I saw it, but maybe I was watching it with the wrong expectations. Anyways, over and out.

Saturday, April 5, 2003

I'm Bored!

Well, not exactly bored, but lazy. I have craploads of stuff to do, for Capstone, NPM, Wireless, cleaning up, exercise.. where to begin? But still, I can't motivate myself to do any of that. Yeah. I suck.

So, what's happened in the last two months that I didn't write.. Quite a bit, I guess. GulfWar II got started. Buffy will be wrapping up at the end of Season 7 (yeah, my priorities are all wrong. Bite me). Got started on capstone. Started turoring Network Planning and Management.And some other stuff.

Since everyone is writing about the war, maybe I should too. I think I can cover it in one word. Bleh. Is that a word even? I've been quoting that famous saying by Ambassador Kosh lately"The avalanche has begun, and it is too late for the pebbles to vote". Call me uncaring, evil,emotionally stunted, whatever.. It don't change squat. Once George W. Bush was elected (rightly or wrongly - that's up to the citizens of the US, not me), the Neo-Cons were always going to start this. With or without foreign support. I guess they are "lucky" that the UK and Australiawent with them.

Which brings the issue of domestic politics. This is an interesting one. I'm sure John Howard thinks he is doing what is best for Australia, and maybe even the Iraqi people. For me, the simple fact is that Howard was put into government post 9/11 by a huge landslide. The Australian people gave him the right to make this call. If they are so against war, they should have voted for the Democrats or Greens, who couldn't go to war under any circumstances. You vote in a Liberal (that's conservative, for the non-Aussies) government, you accept the consequences.

Poor Mr. Blair. His party is falling apart around him. I'm not quite sure what his rationale behind the US support. I didn't think "New Labour" was so anti-Europe. The UK have clearly sided with the US, against Europe. Interesting times.

I was following the military movements on the ground for a while.. but reliable informationis too rare.. so I don't bother anymore. Someone tell me when it's over. Can we go back to regular TV please. I don't like all my favourite shows being interrupted with war coverage.

Anyways, onto marginally happier (but still sad) things. Sara Michelle Gellar announced that she won't be renewing her contract with Buffy after Season 7. I guess it's a nice round number, and this season looks like it's gonna be a big one (more on that later). It's good to go outon top, before jumping the shark. Same with Angel.. There are gitters about renewals for Season 5.. but this season has been soo kickass! Plus Joss and Greenwalt and Co apparently has big plans for next year. Pls Electro-Gwen! Schweet! :)

Don't read the next few paragraphs if you've only seen the AU/UK Buffy eps.

Things are really getting a move on. I just love Spike. Now that he's got his groove back..Kicking Woody's ass was overdue, and much enjoyed. Fury and Goddard went nuts on this episode.Actually, everyone is in top form. Jane's "Storyteller" was very cool. This years very own "Superstar". Goddard was awesome with "Selfless". This boy can do no wrong. He had some of the best lines ever!

Olaf: Ha ha ha! Sweet Aud! Your logic is insane and happenstance, like that of a troll.
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Aud: I don't talk to people much. I mean, I talk to them, but they don't talk to me, except to say that, "your questions are irksome," and, "perhaps you should take your furs and your literal interpretations to the other side of the river."

I want to see more Goddard! One season of Ultimate Drew aint' enuf.

Anyways, the big bad isn't as badass as it's making out.. But we know that's gonna change when Mal "Captain Tightpants" Reynolds (also known as Nathan Fillion) drops by for his Priest-From-Hell (literally!) role. Can't wait. Oh yeah, don't like the Buffy-Giles no-talkies either. Ithought Giles was pretty dumb in trying to kill Spike, but still.. It's GILES!

Oh yeah, can't wait for Willow to bring along Faith. This is gonna be a major rumble. I don't think that Faith will get quite the welcome she got in LA.. I just hope that the show doesn't end on a downer. I've seen some spoilers (THEY spoiled me! I didn't even look! Bad spoiler people!) and it looks ominous for our Buffster. But I have faith in Joss and Co.

On to Angel. Just saw "Inside Out" the episode written and directed by "Pantsless" Steve DeKnight. It was a great ep, and expained everything. Well, except for the major "ick" factor with Connor and Cordy. I mean, eeew! Right, where were we? Oh yeah, what' Gina Torres supposed to be? Some kind of mean ass Glory knock-off? Must remember mantra "Have faith in Joss!". I mean they kind of even explained Connor's serious lack of brains (this is Angel's son? Where did all the brains go?). Apparently Connor can't think for himself. Not some kinda medical condition, just coz that's the way he's been trained. But still.. killing a girl in cold blood is not on. Bad Connor. Can we kill him now? Please? And Cordy too. I want bitchy Cordy. Good Cordy and lame-ass Evil Cordy suck ass on a massive scale.

Faith kicked ass tho. She can't not kick ass. "Faith is soooo hot!" Thanks Kitty! :) Oh yeah, mean-ass Wes is cool too. I mean compare season Buffy Season 3 Wes to Angel Seson 4 Wes. It's not even the same person. More shout-outs to Gwen, coz she's just cool. Plus our man Andy Hallet made the main creds. Of course in the Jossverse that means he's gonna die.

Onto spinoffs. Joss wants more stuff in the Buffyverse. So do we. I'm MAJORLY miffed that the Faith / Spike show fell apart. That would have been too cool for school. Eliza! We want you back! There's still a slim hope.. but eh. Willing to wait for Joss to work his magic. I'm sure whatever he does will be worth becoming a slavish fan over. :) Unless of course a bunch of dumb-asses *cough*fox*cough* screw it up.

Right, moving on. Capstone is up and running, but I'm just not motivated to do a lot of work at the moment. Dunno why. Want to shrink me? Of course I'm tutoring Network Planning and Management, which is going OK. I'm still not happy that UTS Engineering don't have a proper UNIX course for undergrads. This should be essential. The new Wireless subject with Sandy is pretty good too, though a lot of information to absorb. I still have to read up on GSM. Waaay too much to learn there. Not hard, but plenty of it.

Hmmm, that's all for now. Me hungry. Plus Ed is back on today!