Tuesday, December 30, 2003

one thing i like about being out of the office for an extended amt of time is returning to a pile of packages w/my name on them.

waiting for me yesterday after the xmas holiday were:

Once Upon a Time in the West (special edition)
Battlestar Galactica (re-release)
China Mafia War (Takashi Miike)
Graveyard of Honor (Takashi Miike)
Perfect Blue (live action)

Psychotica - "Pandemic"
Ena - "Pink Gift"
Scarling - "Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole" EP

(the best gifts are always the ones i order for myself)

monday wasn't all good; i rec'd a citation for not having a city sticker on my car while i popped in the library to renew a book. 80 bucks. thanks.

so i own 5 of DVDTalk's top 20 DVDs of 2003. yay for me. also i've nabbed 5 titles of 10 of their top ten anime releases of the year. check the list -- there's some great stuff. unbeknownst to me (until now) there's a scheduled domestic release of Godzilla GMK and DVDTalk already has the early DVD review! i just recently picked up the region 3 import DVD and it's pretty cool 'cept Godzilla is the big bad.

I quote: "A word to parents: In this movie Godzilla is evil."

the domestic release of So Close was also reviewed and it sounds like this release isn't any better than the import i picked over the summer. however this edition retails around $20; mine cost $7. regardless, it's a damn fun flick. i highly recommend it!

oh btw, i once again smashed my previous high score on zoocube. gotta get off that game!

Sunday, December 28, 2003

been a nice quiet weekend. not enough sleep tho. jabber came up to visit his last remaining chicago friends and brought me a couple of gifts i wasn't expecting (added to the list below). it was a nice visit -- hit sweet tomatoes for dinner and stopped in mitsuwa's asahiya bookstore where i picked up the january hyper hobby that included a miniature mechagodzilla, which is very cool!

last night watched amazing HD programming on INHD while we chatted. apparently he met a chick from romania online and plans to visit her in february. strangely enough we never spoke about it. hit mrs. v's for b-fast then jabber split to visit another friend today leaving me w/the final NFL games and plenty of catch-up reading. despite jabber living in portland i've seen plenty of him this year... esp. after the week we spent in idaho traversing the sawtooth mts last september. his seasonal visit was short this time but still good.

oh yeah, i finally beat all the silver level oceans in zoocube to reach the gold level that is crazy insane. and i crushed my previous high score in the process. back to work tomorrow. fun.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

RE: xmas aftermath wrap-up

xmas day wasn't so bad over at Duck's house. she's a sweet, eccentric woman w/a multitude of shadowboxes full of tiny things spotted across the walls everywhere. she also has a "snowman" room. yep, a year-round display of her snowman collection. spent 6 hours there. i figure it's only one day of the year so what the hell... picked up past0r and hit the late show of Return of the King. very cool, if not a tad over the top, final chapter of the trilogy. look forward to the SE DVD.

here's a list of gifts one receives when no one asks for a xmas list:
microwave top cover
flannel pajama pants
gray sweater
navy sweater
beige sweater
forest green turtleneck
black fleece pullover
navy fleece pullover
box of chocolates
Boulevard Brewing sampler pack
Independent Cycle Inc. black long sleeve t-shirt
American Ironhorse Motorcycles black t-shirt
Lonestar Early Bronco Club 2004 calendar
HANA-Red "Panties on Fire" CD
Go-Torch alcohol stove & stand
Next Adventure t-shirt

interestingly enough i don't wear sweaters or turtlenecks let alone pullovers. considering i spent nearly $500 in the last month on clothes the last thing i needed was _clothes_ ...but no one asked. (can ya guess which gifts trukpro gave me?)

this year no games. no books. no dvds. no gift certs. that about sums it up. anyways, it's the thought that counts, right? ~sigh~

Thursday, December 25, 2003

well, it's officially xmas. yawn. rather uneventful thus far w/the abbreviated annual eve gathering @my stepbrother's. the family is divided this year all over the country for various reasons so the usual wasn't to be this year. fine by me.

at least my stepbro came thru w/the blvd brewing xmas sampler pack. i love getting microbrews as a gift. after some much needed sleep tonight the festivities kick off at Duck's pad. not looking forward to that. if you recall, she's my stepmom's batty hockey groupie friend. she's a nice woman but way too much midwestern mentality for me.

i enjoy being home w/the 'rents for the holiday but i finally finished getting my a/v rig set up. had to bolt before getting a chance to put it thru the paces. i miss my gamecube too. i was on a zoocube roll during the wee hours this morning. i will conquer the Arctic Sea soon enough. i miss my cable modem. i had to complete a couple ebay paypal transactions which took about an hour on my dad's dial-up. ugh.

mom should be home from the late service any minute now. sleep is calling.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

first kansas this morning then this afternoon i spent some time w/my insurance agent's assistant who i am fond of... she doesn't have a name yet. my agent is out for the week so she took care of my business... no, no happy endings but we spent so much time hangin' out in the office i was about to send up the invite until she mentioned paying off her school loans.

egh. wrong answer.

but she is cute. hmm, i'll probably be back there next week when my agent gets back in the office.
i turn the corner into elliot's off-broadway deli this morning and guess who's standing there waiting for her order? yep, kansas. she looks over her shoulder as i stumble in and gives the old eye contact. the moment is frozen. i'm stunned.

it's like running into a supermodel at starbucks. 'course, kansas _could_ be a supermodel. as i enter the joint i exchange the usual pleasantries with Yun (Yung? Yoen? Yong? Yon? Jong? Jueng?) and kansas gives a couple more glances over my way.

the "what's she looking at?" thought bubble appears above my head.

"she's probably wondering what a disheveled, unshaven, bloated chipmunk-head is doing in her building."

up to this point i was fairly certain she had no idea i even existed. this morning confirms that belief. but now she knows...

as sean connery would say, "the game is afoot, trebek."

Thursday, December 18, 2003

surprise. surprise.

i'm still recovering from the company xmas party last night. i'm not sure if it was the heavy alcohol mix of wine-liquor-beer, smoking a cigar _and_ inhaling, or the 3"x3" half inch thick slab of butter i ate on a dare that did me in. probably a combination of all the above.

i wouldn't have gone in today if not for the morning meeting w/our chicago Google rep. and even that encounter was rough going. took an early lunch and chilled for a couple of hours... felt a little better.

there are "stories" from last night, in particular the near fisticuffs with a gaggle of women my wingman managed to defuse. it was tense for a while there. i won't go into details here but suffice it say i won't be going back to the bar at magnum's again. matter of fact, i'm pretty sure i'm no longer welcome there.

quote of the night:
"you haven't lived life until you've had at least one STD" - The Wizard

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

office xmas party in 60 so i leave you with only this....

gifts for those that have everything:

door #1

door #2

door #3

(thanks, pAT. yes -- feeling unoriginal today)

Monday, December 15, 2003

humorous end of day ICQ dialogue w/pAT...

pAT (04:32 PM) :
On another topic, I watched the first episode of that 2-episode Battle Of The Planets mini DVD. I had forgotten how bad the Sandy Frank version was. Truly painful. I also forgot that Casey Kasem did Jason's voice. I hate that fucker.
slickstakk (04:35 PM) :
hahaha! i wonder if i've seen that version? bring that by next time. i wanna check that out. in related other topic news, i started watching that Battlestar Galactica miniseries last night. call me easily impressed, but i dig it immensely.
pAT (04:35 PM) :
I'm glad. I discussed that with the other resident geek here and we agreed we weren't THAT nostalgic for BG.
slickstakk (04:40 PM) :
probably the best thing about new series is that it makes no apologies for the utter and complete loss of human life in cold, calculating Cylon ways. that's probably the most impressive aspect of it. sure there's the melodrama but when the Cylons drop the hammer, there is no mercy. and it is catastrophic. this is far and away not old school Galactica...
pAT (04:42 PM) :
Oh! I thought you meant you had started watching the classic series you bought. So how do you like the new one in spite of the massive changes?
slickstakk (04:44 PM) :
yes, i like it immensely for the reasons above: the Cylons are pure and evil dicks that kill every human in sight w/no remorse. natch, they are machines.
pAT (04:46 PM) :
I guess we won't be seeing the Enemy Mine-type episode with Starbuck and the Cylon trapped on the snow planet.
slickstakk (04:47 PM) :
which is aped from the "Gorn" star trek episode!
pAT (04:49 PM) :
Which one is that?
slickstakk (04:49 PM) :
where Kirk and the reptilian Gorn are trapped on a barren planet left to fight to the death.
slickstakk (04:50 PM) :
it's probably one of my fav ST eps.
slickstakk (04:52 PM) :
i'd love to have a nice 12" figure of Gorn!
pAT (04:52 PM) :
Yeah, but in that one they were forced by a superior alien race. I really don't see the similarity. Sure Kirk and the Gorn cooperate at the end but I'd say that's really not the same as that BG episode or Enemy Mine.
pAT (04:53 PM) :
yes, thank you. I know what a Gorn looks like.
slickstakk (04:57 PM) :
haha! well, you did ask which one was that when i said "Gorn" episode, the only ep in which he appeared. i think Galactica used the same idea, stick the best gunslinger/pilot on the planet w/the equilivant Cylon... and Enemy Mine was the same idea w/a different twist. not that the Star Trek version was an original idea. just looking at it from a sci-fi POV. man, we're facking geeks.
pAT (05:04 PM) :
You think that's bad, one of the guys here came over the other day and asked what that movie was with the blond being chased by an albino that also starred a comedian who was dead. I immediately knew he was talking about Foul Play with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase but I wasn't sure if the comedian he was referring to was Billy Barty who had a bit-part but whom I wouldn't really consider a comedian. Turns out he was referring to Dudly Moore who also had a bit part but I couldn't think of his name and had to look it up on IMDb.
slickstakk (05:06 PM) :
that was a good movie!
pAT (05:07 PM) :
Kojak! Bang Bang!
today i had the misfortune of crossing paths with too-much-cologne man on the stairs in my office building. the stink stuck on me and inhabited the stairway area -- when i returned over an hour later, it was still there looming. just thinking about it now is nauseating me.

i saw kansas leave for lunch. at this point i figure i'm only a few degrees away from stalker mode on this one. i'm crazy about that grrl.

The Creature arrived today and this is easily the most gorgeous figure i've seen from sideshow. and the packaging is so beautiful i almost don't wanna remove the poor guy. my digital eyes dvd order also made an appearance and apparently someone drove their car over the box b/c the plastic cases were crushed and shattered into tiny pieces. the DVDs inside appear to be okay at first glance but the cases are totally unusable. i'm going to snap some shots and see if DE will replace the cases. one is a 3-disc case too... ruined.

i'm too tired to be here today. i just hope i'm rested for the xmas party wednesday evening. ah, MNF tonite. couch dozing. here's to a dolphins victory.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

pretty much a throwaway day -- considering i spent a lot of it dozing on the couch while football played on the widescreen. that's what happens when stakk doesn't bag until 6am or so. hey the bears won again! yay for rex grossman. wanted to hit champs to take in that dallas/washington game but too tired and too cold out. brrrrrr.

between 4am & 5-ish something this morning, i demolished my previous zoocube high score. in huge fashion. and that was w/o playing for a week nor trying. yes, i am proud. spent the evening working on my dad's car wash site while watchin' the Red Dwarf 2 dvd set. so far i'm pleased w/how the site is turning out, considering i haven't designed a site in years and had to learn things all over.

just ordered another 100 DVDr blanks and fired up a frozen cheese pizza. this is what happens when one doesn't leave the apt all day. oh yeah, i found an "awful" little present in my inbox tonite. i laughed loudly at that one! spice, you kill me. been having a helluva time d/l torrent of gungrave ep01. after watchin' fansub of 06, i really wanna check that series out from the beginning. i believe it's scheduled for a '04 domestic release.

have i mentioned that i'm still freaked that webmama stopped by chimptalk yesterday? besides the embarrassment, i have no clue how to respond. suggestions?

pizza's done.
man, i _really_ need to get that new tungsten pronto.

so i go to the *good* BB tonite to use my free monthly rewards rental coupon before it expires on the 15th. as i've mentioned before, i intended to rent Gen-Y Cops eventually since my ghetto BB "lost" their copy when i was on that month-long rental binge...

1st, i can't locate it on the shelf. ask the kid to look it up. nothing. wtf? so i scan the action section from the beginning... and the dvd turns up, in the J's -- "jackie chan presents the Gen Y Cops" ugh. their system is so effed up.

so i take it home and fire it up while i'm sorting thru all my latest purchases... and immediately i recognize the flick. i've seen this before! and maybe i own it? ...but it's not listed in my database? but i have seen it! when, i dunno. movie channel maybe? but it scares me b/c until tonite i was under the complete impression that i had never seen this movie.

i'm sure this is just the beginning as more junk enters my mind and my mind continues to age. i really need to get my head around my compulsive obsessiveness. agh... i look forward to next weekend already.

btw, Gen-Y Cops is silly stupid. but Maggie Q is still smokin'.
Maggie Q-licious

pAT, have you watched that Naked Weapon flick i loaned you?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

left the apt around 2:50PM to catch the 3:45 matinee of Bad Santa out @streets. traffic wasn't bad - didn't take as long as expected to get out there and find parking in the holiday congestion so i scoped some sales at carsons w/plans to head back after the flick.

flick was great. profane as all hell and irrevocably offensive. i laughed loudly during a few moments as did most of the sparse "older" set watching w/me. i was happy for that. it's not often you'll find a flick as coarse as Bad Santa on the big screen. thanks to all who told me i _had_ to see it.

walked out into chicago's 1st snowfall and headed to carsons where i proceeded to spend nearly $200 on sale clothes. half i needed -- dress clothes of which i no longer have (until now) -- the other half were just crazy insane deals. sorry, i'm just not one to pass on $12.49 RuffHewn longsleeves (normally $36!).

so from there to tower records to peruse the magazines. bad move. picked up $40 in mags. christ, when am i gonna read all these?! also grabbed the bondage dorothy from mcfarlane's twisted land of oz. and i didn't have to pay $20 for this one!

flounder called while i was there. guess he was just leaving the same area and on the way home w/a new gamecube and 3 games in tow. he sez he picked up THUG used at BB. if so, he'll love that game.

now onto IKEA where i ended up closin' the place. i'm surprised they still close at 10PM during the season. only nabbed a few items as i was there mainly to check some things for new shelf possibilities. grabbed a couple 50 cent dogs on the way out and still hit the 10pc meal on the way home. ugh. ran over to the cool BB near me to use my free rental coupon before it expired and made it in just before midnight. i'm cashed.
still waiting for that update over at punch+it+up...

Friday, December 12, 2003

let's review. my bulk order of poster frames finally arrived while i was hob-knobbing @mccormick during the SES conference so tonite i made the effort to place all the corresponding posters/art in said frames.

i'm talking about four 27x40 movie posters, a 24x36 movie poster, five 11x17 original comic art pages/prints, and a 16x20 frame for 2 8x11 prints. these are FrameUSA frames you usually find in the stores but for a fraction of the price, i.e. a 11x17 @$4.15/pc. i wish i add the bucks for _nice_ framing jobs but been there done that and it's effing expensive. even the DIY jobbies. but for the low price, i think these will do for the time being and look decent.

now i gotta get all these up on the walls. that should prove to be an event by itself.

i did a sick thing this morning and placed a $177 order from YesAsia.com. five japanese toy mags for $62 + $13 s&h (i later discovered). along w/those -- and my original reason for being at YesAsia -- i finally ordered the 12" Kerberos Panzer Cop -- the Yamato Shop version -- for the bargain price of $102 w/free s&h. yes, this is the "Jin-Roh" cop.

how the Yamato Protect Gear ver. is different than the other 6 or 7 versions i'm not exactly certain since i've yet to see one of these incredible figures in person. there was a domestic release of this figure at the beginning of the year for around $75 but it sold out w/in a month. i totally missed the boat. the previous more expensive versions were long sold out before the US version. another option was the Japanese TRU exclusive for around $160+s&h but i kept passing on that one.

check out all the various releases of this amazing figure at the bottom of this page. some of these originally went for 100s of dollars and were extremely limited. if i was of money, a millionaire type, i'd be buying up most of the figures on that ArtofToy.com page... or hunting down those that are technically no longer available and probably going for $1000s on the secondary market now. it's a sick hobby for rich toygeeks.

A3 did fine on letterman tonite w/the standard "all on black" -- commendable. finally killed that finale of average joe and i knew that idiot would pick the stupid pretty boy over the way cool adam. that clown that she picked has almost as much depth as the 3rd finger on my right hand. man, i'm tired.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

made the mistake of taking Milwaukee Ave home from lincolnshire tonight around 11:30...

Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival of the Five Continents of the World

...kicked off @maryville this evening (corner of central/milw) and it was clusterphuck of the five continents of the world. yep, i passed on the Procession of the Holy Eucharist...

believe it or not, i'm still feeling the funk of the alcohol haze which started early evening tuesday and cont'd until around 3am this morning. why i am surprised? this latest binge was almost equal to that 4 day bender w/flounder & spice last month.

tues ended with extreme gluttony for my part @Marche but rather fun dining between B Squared and Sweet B plus a few clients. after devouring my lamb shank and finishing Sweet B's ribeye and an amazing dessert i was beyond uncomfortable -- nearly at crisis level. when i finally woke up the next morning i was stiff as a board from sleeping in the same position for 8 hrs.

once i became mobile i headed back down to mccormick place for another day @SES and more cocktails. Overture are biggest in the business and it's nice to be strategic partners w/them as they know how to entertain. after SEMPO's cocktail party, we hit Overture's mixer then shuttled over to GoToast's open bar @Bar Louie Dearborn Station. that was sick fun esp. with the overly friendly, inebriated Web Mama making the rounds. i love that woman.

by the end of last night/this morning, i almost didn't get my car out of the mccormick parking garage -- the entire joint was gated off! gettin' up this morning was rough going. and i'm still feeling it... i'll be glad when the week is over. and to think the Overture party resumes when i fly out to Pasadena next month to hang w/them for a few days. agh, those guys can drink.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

interesting weekend. quite the learning experience as well... let's start at the beginning, shall we? Friday: ended up staying at the office until 8PM working on that same massive ticket broker project. ugh. it's immense and i will be relieved when my participation is completed. grabbed grub on the way home, ate, and crashed... yep. no crapple. :/ --on top of that, we have 2 sick ppl in my immediate office and i'm deathly afraid of viral infection, esp. when my immunity's down from lack of sleep. so i slept. and slept. ah nice rest. 'cept fer waking up in the middle of night wide awake! ack.

so... zoocube. got the highest score ever. then i decide whether i should travel to gurnee mills at 8AM saturday. nah, back to sleep. nice sleep. had a weird dream that i hooked up w/linda cohn (yes, the sportscenter anchor) only she looked like rena sofer (most recently of coupling -- she was great in The Chronicles). did i mention that she also had tendrils growing out from the bottom of her feet and shoulders? anyways, it was a cool dream in a weird way.

so my shopping trip aborted i decided to stay inside and work on putting together my rig. that was a pain in the ass. not only have i still not figured out my widescreen entirely nor my Pannie XP30 dvd player, learning to use my new Yamaha a/v receiver is like learning a 2nd language! it's ridiculous. also learned my dvd player cannot be multi-region hacked only chipped so that was a bummer.

had to quit that since i ran into a wall when i realized i didn't have enough cables. so i got online and started d/l bittorrent fansubbed anime. it still amazes how far advanced the fansubbing community has become. it's certainly a high-tech cottage industry yet i still don't see where they get the resources ($$$) to do this. bittorrent is hellishly cool tho for fansubs. oh yeah, came close to breaking my all-time score on zoocube, and i wasn't even trying.

so today arrives and stakk decides to brave the cold and clueless by heading up to gurnee mills. i left during the Bears/Packers game hoping for less traffic and shoppers. and it wasn't bad. still plenty of folks out doing their thing but bearable. picked up another pair of black Bed-Stu shoes only these are mids and instead of costing $60 (on sale) these were marked down to $20! w00t. at the Borders outlet i bought 6 new manga books@$3 each that normally go for $10-$12/pc (i.e. Tomie!). got 4 more jeans and 4 more BR boxers. then sat in the line to leave almost as long as i was inside the joint!

hit worstbuy on the way home to get some more component cables, a digital optical, and some banana plugs. came home to some exciting michael vick football and more bittorrent d/l. as i worked on my rig. after bouncing back and forth between manuals i finally got my dvd player to play thru my rec'r w/video & audio. damn. this is a learning process...

Friday, December 05, 2003

so last night... er, this morning i was up zoocubing until 5:14AM. advanced 2 more levels to a crazy insane level (Arctic Ocean) where a new animal pipeline opens beneath the cube. and the animals are flyin' in. but i killed my high scores w/some new techniques i learned. sweet stuff. like you care, right?

did get about 3hr sleep. started watching The Good, Bad & The Ugly dvd last night... such a classic. looks like no speakers today. but my region 3 godzilla dvds arrived and a $15 cert for Ballbuster Video. can always use that.

i'm gettin' crushed at work but at least being busy makes the time fly... next week we have a trade at mccormick place. that should be interesting. it feels like my eyes are about to fall out of my head... crapple looks doubtful tonight.

okay, off to see my realtor. yep, he still calls me.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

hey kids, it's thursday and stakk didn't sleep last night. yeah, i know, so what else is new, right? ok, so i watched Funny Face (killer audrey hepburn flick -- man, is she smokin' in that) then settled into Mario Sunshine for an hour afterwhich i mainlined ZooCube until 4-sometime. attempted sleep to no avail so i went to the 'net for some authoring research around 6am.

came in early and back to grind. gettin' back to work after my extended holiday wasn't so bad b/c i'm working on a massive project that involves 5 team members. it's a ticket broker and i'm responsible for concerts and theatre. it's tedious monkey work but doesn't require much thinking, which is exactly what i needed this week.

my region 3 godzilla dvds still haven't arrived from HK. that concerns me. my bulk picture frame order still hasn't arrived. that concerns me. however, my cambridge satellites and subwoofer have shipped! sweet jesus if they arrive by the weekend. doubtful.

update: trukpro & dogs made it back safe & sound in a short 19hrs straight thru. sis & baby are doing well. and i'm still looking for my next fix of ZooCube.

back to the wheel...

Monday, December 01, 2003

whew. nice to be home... finally. i suppose i miss being home much more when i have so many new shiny toys to play with... and a solid (re: fast) 'net connection.

sunday was warm... all the way around. after a Bears win, visit @my stepbrother's to see his new Argo, and some minor shopping excursions, we capped the evening by taking my mom to the Machine Shed for dinner for her b-day. her friend, Duck, invited herself to join us... oh, thank you. Duck epitomizes the stereotypical midwestern mindset of which i have such little tolerance. listening to her is like hearing scratching fingernails on a blackboard.

this morning trukpro & i got our things together and split. it was sad to see the dogs one last time -- Sixx, Lucy, Chopper, and the little guy Shelby. by the next time i see the kids again, Shelby won't be a "little" guy any longer... he's only 3 mos old now and we expect him to become a big dog soon. those dogs are awesome. i miss them already.

the 2.5hr drive returning home always seems like the longest... ugh. i was killin' to be back. of course, ain't nothing compared to trukpro who is still on road back to new mexico at the moment. i feel for him. i'll be less anxious when i hear from him... esp. since he's travelling on cash only and no ID.

on the way back to chicago i got the call -- twice -- that there's another new member in our family. my stepsister had a healthy baby girl this morning! her first. it's big news for reasons i won't go into.

after returning i made the mistake of visiting ABT electronics to scope a new a/v rec'r -- ended up walking out w/an open box Yamaha 6.1 model $105 off the $399 price. sure i was looking for a new rec'r but wasn't expecting to nail one down so soon. damn, i had to get out there... almost was sold on a $650 Bose surround system. yikes. advice: avoid doing a comparison listening w/the Bose and any other speaker system. the difference is sick.

agh, fightin' the sleeps all night. i must retire. back to work tomorrow. fun.