gwalla: (halloween)
Hey [livejournal.com profile] merri_chan, I gave that banana idea I was talking about a trial run.

~3 inches of a banana, muddled
1/4 oz molasses
3/4 oz Nocello
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 shot bourbon
1 egg white

Proportion FAIL. Way too much Nocello (I always forget how overpowering that stuff is), and too much liquid overall. The fizz didn't really fizz, it just got a foamy layer on top. I knew I'd blown the proportions before I even added the egg white. Still, I wanted to see it through. Next time I'm going to try 1/2 oz each of the molasses, Benedictine, and Nocello, and maybe just 1 oz of bourbon. I think part of the liquid problem is that I muddled the banana with crushed ice, and that all melted by the time I added the egg white.

Garnished with the remainder of the banana and some cinnamon on top. I think I'll stick with that.

Tamer

Sep. 27th, 2010 11:16 pm
gwalla: (buckaroo salute)
I probably should have mentioned this a while back, but my dad's been writing a Western novel set in Gold Rush-era California, titled Tamer, and posting it on his blog. He's been having a grand time doing all the research to fit the fictional events in the real historical timeline.
gwalla: (dave & chester zonked)
1/4 oz Creme de Violette
1/2 oz Galliano
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge

split that in half (roughly) and mixed one half with 1 oz Tanqueray Rangpur and the other with 1 oz Hendrick's gin. After initial sips, each got a dash of orange bitters (which improved things), then a splash of soda water (also an improvement). Not bad in either version. Goes down easy. The Hendrick's version was better than the Tanqueray Rangpur before the soda water, but after dilution there was less of a difference.

This is a closet cleaner cocktail. I'm not a big licorice flavor fan so I've been trying to find something to do with the Galliano. Also, we've ended up with two bottles of Dubonnet Rouge; I like the stuff, but that's excessive. The Tanqueray Rangpur is also something that's been sitting in the closet taking up space for a while now (the Hendrick's, on the other hand, is good stuff I bought recently). The only thing I've been trying to find a way to use up that isn't in here is Cynar, which I know wouldn't mix well with the others.

I'll probably try a 1/4-1/4-1/2 proportion next. Also, try using soda water that hasn't gone flat...
gwalla: (blow me)

Smash Bros.
by *Robotpencil on deviantART

I want-a you to hIT'S A ME, MARIO! as hard as-a you can.
gwalla: (bea arthur has a posse)
1 shot rye
1 oz Faretti Biscotti Famosi
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Becherovka
1 splash Stirrings blood orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
shaken

Not bad at all. Maybe could use some tweaking, I dunno. Pretty good as is. Needs a garnish and a name.
gwalla: (o blaarggag?)
This morning I woke up with a phrase (title?) in my head:
How to poop on a flying helmet
My brain, ladies and gentlemen.
gwalla: (language buff)
A recent discussion about the grammatical terminology regarding adjective comparison on Conlang-L has got me thinking that, instead of giving Ilion adjectives distinct comparative and superlative forms, I should give them an elative that does double duty. This goes against my usual pattern of adding one more distinction to a category than an English-speaker would expect (e.g. adding a distinct iterative aspect, which English expresses sometimes with the perfective and sometimes with the progressive) and my (already rather loose) "rule of three", but it does add an interesting twist that isn't terribly hard to understand, and works well with other parts of the grammar, particularly unadorned nouns in the oblique case as adjuncts to adjectives.

Iron Man 2

May. 10th, 2010 12:17 am
gwalla: (Default)
...was surprisingly good. I'd say on par with the first one, which was a damn good movie. Most of what I'd heard about it boiled down to "entertaining, not enough action, too talky". I thought it had plenty of action, and was very well-paced. Robert Downey Jr. continues to own the character of Tony Stark. Don Cheadle did a great job with Rhodey (Terence who?). Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko/Whiplash* steals almost every scene he's in with quiet menace. He doesn't chew the scenery as much as you'd expect. Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer is annoying, but that's part of the point. Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts gets some great talking-over-each-other banter with Stark. Scarlet Johansson doesn't really get much of an opportunity to build a character; as "Natalie"/Black Widow, she's really there to be beautiful and to kick a whole lot of ass in one scene. Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is...Samuel L. Jackson. Gary Shandling, as a U.S. Senator, is only in a couple of scenes, but is a lot of fun in them.

Justin Hammer reminded me a lot of the younger executive from Robocop. He's the guy with money and power who thinks that means he's in control when dealing with a murderous psycho. Unfortunately for him, Vanko is the type to not really care what happens to him so long as he achieves his aim. He's not suicidal, just completely unconcerned with whether he lives or dies.

The weakest part of the movie was anything having to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury is basically a deus ex machina. Whenever Samuel L. Jackson appears on screen, you can be sure he'll deliver some random exposition to jumpstart the plot. The strings really show in these scenes. Pepper Potts is even more harried in this movie than in the first, and Paltrow projects being fed up with putting up with Tony's bullshit perhaps a little too well, since there's still supposed to be some attraction there. Black Widow is under an assumed identity for most of the movie and basically doesn't get to have a personality. Also, the actual final showdown with Whiplash was a bit short.

The action scenes were excellent. Only a few big ones, but they're placed just perfectly in the movie. Also, they managed to work in some great mid-fight quipping. Why couldn't they have done that in the Spider-Man movies? I liked Spider-Man 1 & 2 (didn't see 3), but I feel like they really missed an important part of Spidey by not letting him crack wise when in costume.

Trailer notes:
  • There is an explosion in the Robin Hood Dances With Gladiators trailer. WHY IS THERE AN EXPLOSION IN FUCKING ROBIN HOOD?!
  • The Last Airbender looks to be filmed entirely in slow motion.
  • Nothing else made much of an impression
  • EDIT: forgot I saw the trailer to The Sorceror's Apprentice, which should tell you how much of an impression it made on me. At least Nicholas Cage isn't running around with a flashlight in this one.


*nerd note: This character seems to be equal parts Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo.
gwalla: (king crimson finger)
The new expanded cut of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, with 25 minutes of previously lost footage restored, will be playing the Mayan Theater and Chez Artiste starting June 11.

Just thought you should know.
gwalla: (lon chaney)
Going to see Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" with live musical accompaniment at the SF Symphony on Friday evening. Then there's the SF Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival on the weekend proper. I'll probably take my camera for that (though I still haven't posted the photos from my trip to Kyoto last year...)
gwalla: (comics code authority)
Psylocke. Not the most flattering photo of this particular cosplayer, I'm afraid.

I wonder what he's an interpreter of? Grunts and growls? Dogslobberese?

Spike of Templar, Arizona and R. K. Milholland of Something Positive

That Psylocke again, with a few others. We have here a Deadpool bunnygirl of some kind (Deadpoolina?), Harley Quinn, Lady Gaga, and a female Punisher. And a couple of dudes I do not recognize at all. I didn't even notice the fortuitous placement of that CD character's face until uploading these photos.

Tried to get a better shot of the Deadpool girl, but some asstard stuck his head in front of the camera. Tried to salvage it as best I could. Yes, she has grenades in her Easter basket.

Overall I wasn't really feeling it this year. I think it may be partly be because I haven't been following anything very closely since scans_daily got shut down, and especially since having to stop at home to pick up my bogu before Kendo practice means I can't hang around downtown and browse Comic Relief. Plus there just wasn't a whole lot that was new to see. The only sketch I got was of Terra's head, by Amanda Conner.

I only went to a few panels. I got there too late for the big Disney/Pixar panel on Saturday, and for Andrew Farago's panels today. Yesterday I saw the Gail Simone panel (fun) and the CBLDF Art Auction (fun, and some sweet art, though I didn't buy anything). Sunday I went to one of the Comic Art Conference panels, but the one presenter whose talk sounded like it would be interesting (on urban environments and the cyberpunk they inspired) never showed, and the first guy's talk was so completely dull that I ended up walking out. It seemed like a case of signing up for a talk with a specific thesis in mind, then discovering during the course of research that the thesis wasn't really supportable, and just never coming up with anything interesting in its place.

Bought a bunch of stuff, of course. Con haul:

  • From the overpriced out-of-print soundtracks booth: soundtracks to Willow, Big Trouble In Little China, Labyrinth, and Robotech
  • Gunnerkrigg Court vol. 2 and Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
  • a set of six art nouveau-inspired robot mini-posters from a guy in artist alley
  • a poster of Power Girl giving someone a sock to the jaw, by Amanda Conner. Also, got my copy of the PG trade signed by her.
  • Lackadaisy Cats
  • Richard Stark's Parker: The Man With the Getaway Face, adapted by Darwyn Cooke

Also, I re-upped by Comic Book Legal Defense Fund membership.

I thought I might check out Bamboo Blade in the anime room, since one of my coworkers has been going on about it since I started doing Kendo, but I was a bit late.

That was pretty much it. Pretty busy but not crazy crowded. Not a bad con, I had fun, but I dunno. Something was missing, and I think it may have been something in me.
gwalla: (question is a geek)
The JLA were there, of course

Yes, those are Dalek and Police Box costumes (And yes, Miss Dalek is holding a plunger). I admit I don't get the wedding dress with "Where the hell are my POCKETS skinny boy?" written on a paper moon. Hopefully some Whovie can fill me in.

Totoro!

Allllways I want to beee with you and make belieeeve with you and live in harmony harmony oh love


THERE'S NO RELIEF FROM THE 'GIEF
gwalla: (magma)
A trip to take back a couple of movies turned into a much longer walk when I decided partway through a shortcut back through the Cal campus to take a detour up along Strawberry Creek. The Campanile had started playing a tune, and there was still plenty of sun, which seemed like a good reason to linger. I wandered up past LeConte Hall and crossed the creek at the bridge near the Faculty Glade, went down to look at the North Field and the back side of Hearst Gym, spent some time looking at the stream from another smaller bridge, then doubled back up past the music library and out past Kroeber Hall. Most of this part of campus was not that familiar to me. I'd intended to head down College Ave. and straight home, but on the spur of the moment trekked up to Piedmont Ave.

I got hit with a mild but insistent nostalgia bomb along the way, starting as I crossed the bridge at Sather Gate (looking unsuccessfully for a sign for Cal Animage Alpha; I wonder if the club still exists, as anime fandom has changed so much since I was in high school) and gaining a bit in intensity as I walked past my old elementary school and along a path I used to take to get home after school. Appropriately enough for my frame of mind, the cherry trees in Berkeley are in full bloom. Despite the gnawing feeling of the most useless emotional response ever, it was a pleasant walk.

Also, I encountered a cat with thumbs. They're evolving. We're screwed.
gwalla: (drop bears)
gwalla: (blow me)
CANABALT

A giant robot battle rages in the city around you. Trapped on a high floor of an office building, you can feel the structure is about to give way. The only way to escape is to run. Run! Run run run!

Very similar gameplay to Robot Unicorn Attack (this one came first), but even more minimal: your only button is jump, and there is no double jumping. The terrain is the roofs and hallways of buildings, and the occasional building cranem so it's basically flat, with the only variations being in building height. Scoring is completely by distance traveled, with no bonuses. On the other hand, there are small obstacles that slow you down if you run into them, crumbling buildings start to collapse as you run across them, the bombs will sometimes land on the rooftops, making instant obstacles, and for really tall buildings you have to aim for and smash through windows, action movie style. The graphics, while entirely grayscale, are surprisingly sophisticated and evocative: birds on rooftops take wing when you land a jump, the silhouettes of hulking mecha wander among clouds of billowing smoke in the background, aircraft buzz by overhead, and glass shatters into bouncing bits. And the music, an ominous chiptune with IDM-like snare rushes, is fantastic.

It doesn't have the over-the-top campy charm of RUA, but it's a great little indie game.
gwalla: (buckaroo salute)
"What are the requirements for transforming a book or movie into a cult object? The work must be loved, obviously, but this is not enough. It must provide a completely furnished world so that its fans can quote characters and episodes as if they were aspects of the fan’s private sectarian world, a world about which one can make up quizzes and play trivia games so that the adepts of the sect recognize through each other a shared expertise.... [A cult movie must be] ramshackle, rickety, unhinged in itself.... Only an unhinged movie survives as a disconnected series of images, of peaks, of visual icebergs. It should display not one central idea but many. It should not reveal a coherent philosophy of composition. It must live on, and because of, its glorious ricketiness."
—Umberto Eco, "'Casablanca': Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage" (1984)

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Garth

December 2011

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