May 30, 2009
Does Fox's Glee Fall Flat?
The reception for Fox's new show Glee seems to have been uniformly positive. Several friends have recommended the show to me knowing that I'm a huge vocal music nerd. But therein is the problem. I'm really particular about the vocal music I like. I heavily favor the male voice to female or mixed. I dislike a lot of sound effects and production techniques that seem to be in vogue right now. And I think contemporary a cappella covers are the best thing since sliced bread. But for me, Glee is like what the latest Star Trek movie was for Trekkies; mainstream audiences loved it, fans loved it, except that one guy. I'm that guy.
What's to like about Glee? Matthew Morrison, who plays the vocal teacher, is a handsome guy. There's a point in the show where his wife accuses him of not being the golden boy anymore. With his face, I'd have to disagree. Another cutie is the jock Finn, played by Cory Monteith, who looks like a young Jamie Bamber. Though the best part by far was a rival show choir's performance of Rehab. There's nothing as entertaining as a lot of handsome guys singing and being acrobatic. And the girls were pretty too.
Vocal music enthusiasts of past and present will find a lot of material to relate to, like the journey to stardom and the uphill battle that glee club may not be the coolest thing to do in high school. (Preposterous!) The soundtrack for the show seems to consist predominantly of a cappella covers, which I think is a first for television. The vocal music community will find them refreshing and fun to sing along to while regular viewers will simply enjoy their novelty and apropos.
The writing and direction swing back and forth. The gym teacher (played by Jane Lynch) and the former choir director were really funny (as was Jane's performance in 40 Year-Old Virgin). But everything else was awkward or boring, especially the female lead. I get it, she's supposed to portray someone who's neurotic and insecure. It's a bit much at times, and the height difference between her and Finn is jarring.
Are the show's technical background and handsome actors enough to keep an otherwise ho-hum plot afloat? We won't know for sure until Glee resumes in the fall. Although I'm not in love with the show, I will probably watch to support a cappella music in the mainstream.
I'm quitting to join Homo Explosion.
February 15, 2009
Titans Win It Against the Knighthawks
The New York Titans won their home game against the Rochester Knighthawks at Madison Square Garden, 15 to 8 (I think). The first half was quite the nail biter, both teams going toe-to-toe with one another. But somehow, the Titans picked up momentum and forged ahead.
I do have to give it up to some of the Knighthawks though, particularly #22, Gary Gait. Now, if you've ever seen Titans Captain Casey Powell play, you know how he's a fan of the behind-the-back pass, and he seems to be the only one to use it. Some games he looks like a douche and the move is completely unnecessary, but other times it seems to go well with the juke. Gary Gait however, and maybe one or two other Knighthawks, are in command of not only the behind-the-back pass, but a full on behind-the-back shot. This isn't some weeny trick toss. It's a full-fledged, surprisingly fast shot that went past Vinc once or twice. Like the guy sitting next to me was saying, it is incredible that anyone could shoot a ball over their shoulder like that so fast and so accurately. Even though Titans won, Gait's behind-the-back shot was one of the game's highlights.
Ed: I guess it's more over-the-shoulder than behind-the-back...
December 18, 2008
The Lighthouse's Tale
Right now, I'm listening to The Lighthouse's Tale by Nickel Creek, the group that does that insanely awesome cover of Toxic (by Britney Spears). The melody is really easygoing and catchy, but the lyrics are insanely depressing. Nevertheless, I think it is the hallmark of great music to move someone, either emotionally or physically. Someone on YouTube even made this animated music video to the song. Granted, it isn't the best animation, but the tale is so poignant, I can't help but love it to pieces.
December 17, 2008
Drinking at the Campbell Apartment
Just came back from the Campbell Apartment over drinks and chatter batter. It was nice to see some old faces and new faces, and see so many people in such a good mood. In these economic times, I think we can all use a little optimism.
The place is pretty nice. We stayed in the balcony up top, so it was nicely removed from the crowd below. But it was kind of hot and I was melting. Pretty embarrassing, actually.
December 16, 2008
Dr. Mark at American Eye Care
One of my stops on yesterday's errands extravaganza was American Eye Care. Dr. Mark is one of the most chill eye guys I've ever had. He's a stark contrast to the lady at Costco who berated me and told me I had eye cancer. I know, that's what I get for going to Costco for my eye care. But Dr. Mark is a cool cat.
What has been your experience with toric, colored lenses? Such is the price of vanity, friends.
December 15, 2008
Capital One sucks
For the past few months, I've been trying to unlock my credit card, which was locked by Capital One (for my "protection", surely). The ordeal ended today with a visit to Bank of America, at Capital One's suggestion. We ended up using Bank of America (with whom I also have an account) as a trusted medium to verify my identity, since many months, many phone calls, and many faxes weren't enough.
Big ups to branch manager DJ for helping me resolve everything. Initially, I was a bit worried because initially he'd never heard of any such identity verification process.
December 9, 2008
New York Titans Lacrosse 2009
It's that time of year again, when the guy from the lacrosse office harasses me about season tickets... I'm kidding, they're cool guys, but very aggressive. And it worked! I'm now a season ticket holder for the New York Titans Pro Indoor Lacrosse. I realize it's not a sport for everyone, but it has a very dear spot in my heart.
When I was in high school, I was sort of all over place, mentally. Trying to fit in, figure myself out, etc. Very Breakfast Club. But there was this one teacher that would offer me sanctuary whenever I asked. And I really appreciated how he gave me the room I needed to breathe. One summer, he asked me for a favor, aware that I work with computers. He wondered if I could work a video camera for sports. I said no at first, but I eventually relented. Two and a half seasons later, look at me now! I have the varsity letters to prove that I'm so cool. The sports I was asked to film were football and lacrosse. I don't think my footage was particularly good, but it seemed some footage was better than none at all. And like the rest of my school, we took a special liking to lacrosse, and I've kept that with me to this day.
So the Titans are back, and so am I for my third season. This time, their games are held at both the Prudential Center and Madison Square Garden. I have mixed feelings about traveling back to Newark. But I guess my ability to dodge bullets is getting rusty, so I'm due for practice.
November 28, 2008
Man trampled to death by Black Friday mob
Several news outlets are reporting the death of a Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death earlier today. To all the people involved in that early morning rush: Was it worth it? Has consumerism taken such a hold over you that being first to spend was worth taking someone's life? I hope you never forgive yourselves because you're retarded. And gay.
November 24, 2008
Pork adobo recipe
Serves eight, maybe?
Stir in one cup of soy sauce and 3/4 cup vinegar. Add black pepper and bay leaves. Toss in three packages (each < 1 lbs) of pork chunks (the one with the fat). Heat to a rolling boil, and then let simmer for 5 hours or more until the meat is tender. Usually it will "fight back" like rubber if it isn't done yet. When it is done, it will just collapse to a poke and be very soft. Stir occasionally. Best eaten next day, stored in a refrigerator (marinating, I guess).
Untested suggestions: at least one glove of garlic per pack of pork. Boil with vinegar only and then stir in soy sauce when tender.
Alternatively, be sure to mix the liquids thoroughly first, then add in the meat (regarding the first method).
November 19, 2008
Indian food and the epitome of 'nom nom nom'
The one gem that kept me going so far has been Baluchi's Masala down in the Financial District. Every time I eat Indian food, I feel like I'm being blessed with God's grace, no joke. And I'm not even that religious.
I prefer food to be easy to eat, and Indian food seems to be just that. It's usually very ugly and sloppy looking, but it doesn't detract from the experience at all since it's so tasty. Give me a bowl of rice, meat, and some sauce, and I'm a very happy boy.
As I recount my culinary-cum-religious experience to my roommates, I remember how I was just inhaling the food like I was a little kid. Eating is very serious business. And it was at that moment I transcended the dish and attained the state of 'nom nom nom'.
November 18, 2008
Relational Spice: When Two Become One
I admit, that's a terrible title. The angle I was going for was, if there were a sixth Spice Girl, her name would be Relational Spice. And in addition to spreading Girl Power, she would posit, what if the relational database engine and operating were one in the same?
These are the kinds of things you think about when you're bored in class, day two of SQL Server training.
November 14, 2008
Gotham City Songsters Keep the City Singing
It's always good to see a few familiar faces. I was a member of the Big Apple Chorus for a hot sec, but I could never shake that certain parts didn't mesh well with what I was looking for. Regardless, it was a night full of passion and talent, and I was really happy to see that New York City has such an active vocal scene.
I briefly considered joining, but I'd want to train up to it first instead of walking into it cold.
November 13, 2008
A Duo of Sushi and Cool
Tonight I went to the totally-not-worth-it Japanese sushi bar Haru with a cool coworker.
There were two red flags, even before we ordered. One, there weren't any Asian customers. I've learned from my parents that a good test of any ethnic cuisine is the presence of people of that ethnicity, aka "the ethnic test". Two, our waiter didn't speak much English. His accent was very fobby and abrasive, which soured our good mood. The only saving grace was the cool looking albeit fake jellyfish in tanks of water overhead.
The sushi was not worth the $80 we spent between us. I'm not a connoisseur of sushi, but I do know what I like. My latest fixation is with duality. Soft and crunchy, or hot and cold if you're lucky. The parts I liked a lot: the spider roll, smoked eel, and spicy salmon. The parts I didn't like: the Boston roll and sea urchin. Sea urchin is a favorite of my coworker's, but he agreed this particular one wasn't as good as he's had. That's probably the most uncool thing he's ever done, recommend me sea urchin. It was mostly bland and had a slight aftertaste. Bleh.
To top it off, the staff was really aggressive in turning tables, which made it difficult to unwind and spend some quality time with awesome coworker.
My review of Haru? Not worth the price, and a severe lack of Asian folk.
November 12, 2008
Soup Dumplings with the Internet
Tonight I went to Yeah Shanghai with people from both the Internet and real life. I was surprised at how smoothly the night went, mixing social circles like that. The only bump in the road was when one of my e-friends tried to describe what Stormwind was and I had to jump in and translate. Warcraft aside, it was good food, good friends, and good times.
The one criticism I have of Yeah Shanghai is the serving size of the soup dumplings; although delicious, they were significantly smaller than the soup dumplings I've come across prior. For a decent meal with soup dumplings, I also recommend Grand Sichuan, a spot favored by two of my previous employers.