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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in neilworms' LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 26th, 2010
6:42 pm
Via ns_kumio (I don't normally do meme's like this, but this had me written all over it ;) ).

- X what you saw
- O what you haven't finished or saw sizable portions
- Bold what you loved
- Strike what you disliked/hated or got bored of in my case
- Leave unchanged if neutral
- If the list is missing something important - add it!
- Also if you're an animation fan comment and recommend 3 films on this list I haven't watched


List of Animated Films:

CLASSIC DISNEY
-------------------------------
[ x ] 101 Dalmatians (1961)
[ x ] Alice in Wonderland (1951)
[ x ] Bambi (1942)
[ x ] Cinderella (1950)
[ x ] Dumbo (1941)
[ x ] Fantasia (1940) The pinnicle of classic American animation.
[ x ] Lady and the Tramp (1955)
[ x ] Mary Poppins (1964)
[ x ] Peter Pan (1953)
[ x ] Pinocchio (1940)
[ x ] Sleeping Beauty (1959)
[ x ] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
[ ] Song of the South (1946)
[ ] The Three Caballeros (1944)
[ ] Victory Through Air Power (1942)

DISNEY'S DARK AGE
-------------------------------
[ ] The Aristocats (1970)
[ x ] The Black Cauldron (1985)
[ ] The Fox and the Hound (1981)
[ ] The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
[ ] The Jungle Book (1967)
[ x ] The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
[ ] Oliver and Company (1986)
[ ] Pete's Dragon (1977)
[ x ] The Rescuers (1977)
[ x ] Robin Hood (1973)
[ x ] The Sword In The Stone (1963)

THE DISNEY RENAISSANCE
-------------------------------
[ x ] Aladdin (1992)
[ x ] Beauty and the Beast (1991)
[ x ] A Goofy Movie (1995)
[ ] Hercules (1997)
[ ] The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
[ x ] The Lion King (1994)
[ x ] The Little Mermaid (1989)
[ o ] Mulan (1998)
[ x ] Pocahontas (1995)
[ x ] The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
[ o ] Tarzan (1999)

DISNEY'S MODERN AGE
-------------------------------
[ x ] Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
[ ] Bolt (2008)
[ ] Brother Bear (2003)
[ ] Chicken Little (2005)
[ ] Dinosaur (2000)
[ x ] The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
[ x ] Fantasia 2000 (2000) - REALLY disappointing, not bad, but bland whereas the original is art.
[ ] Home on the Range (2004)
[ x ] Lilo & Stitch (2002) (its like a Pixar film in 2D!)
[ ] Meet the Robinsons (2007)
[ ] The Princess and the Frog (2009)
[ o ] Treasure Planet (2002)

PIXAR
-------------------------------
[ x ] A Bug's Life (1998) (the only Pixar film I didn't care too much for)
[ o ] Cars (2006)
[ o ] Finding Nemo (2003)
[ x ] The Incredibles (2004)
[ x ] Monsters Inc. (2001)
[ x ] Ratatouille (2007) (Classy pixar film!)
[ x ] Toy Story (1995)
[ x ] Toy Story 2 (1999)
[ x ] Wall-E (2008) (good but overrated 1st half would earn a bold)
[ x ] Up (2009) (One of the best American animated films!)

DON BLUTH
-------------------------------
[ x ] All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
[ x ] An American Tail (1986)
[ ] An American Tail: Fieval Goes West (1991)
[ ] Anastasia (1997)
[ x ] The Land Before Time (1988)
[ ] The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
[ ] Rock-a-Doodle (1991)
[ x ] The Secret of NIMH (1982)
[ ] Thumbelina (1994)
[ x ] Titan AE (2000)
[ ] A Troll in Central Park (1994)

CLAYMATION
-------------------------------
[ o ] The Adventures of Mark Twain (1986) I totally have to see more of this!
[ x ] Chicken Run (2000)
[ ] Coraline (2009)
[ x ] Corpse Bride (2005)(very disappointing for Burton)
[ ] James and the Giant Peach (1996)
[ x ] The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
[ ] The Puppetoon Movie (1987)
[ x ] Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
[ x ] Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) (I added this one, its quite fantastic, auteuristic animation).

CGI GLUT
-------------------------------
[ x ] Antz (1998) (better than a bug's life)
[ ] Happy Feet (2006)
[ x ] Kung Fu Panda (2008) (Saw this on a megabus with russian subtitles, if only the intro was the whole thing, it was awesome and 2D :P)
[ ] Madagascar (2005)
[ ] Monster House (2006)
[ ] Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
[ ] Over the Hedge (2006)
[ ] The Polar Express (2004)
[ x ] Shrek (2001)
[ o ] Shrek 2 (2004)
[ ] Shrek The Third (2007) (yuck)
[ ] The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

IMPORTS
-------------------------------
[ ] The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
[ ] Amazon Symphony (1951)
[x ] The Thief and the Cobbler (1995) (ONLY for the ReCobbled Version, which has some of the most beautiful animation ever! - what a horrid thing Disney execs did to this potential masterpiece. However the plot doesn't stack up to the animation.
[ ] Asterix the Gaul (1967)
[ ] Back to Gaya (aka The Snurks) (2004)
[x] Corto Maltese (2002) - Classy comic in the franco-belgian comics tradition brought to animation
[ x ] Fehérlófia (1981)
[ o ] Fantastic Planet (1973) - Animated film with a nod from Cannes. I really have to finish this one.
[ ] Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)
[ ] Hong Gildong (1967)
[ x ] Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998) - Oh no Nudity in a kids film! What are we to do. Seriously this is a good film, no surprise Takahata brought it to Japan.
[ o ] The Last Unicorn (1982)
[ ] Light Years (1988)
[ ] The Lost Letter (1945)
[ ] The Magic Pony (The Humpbacked Horse) (1947)
[ ] The Mystery of the Third Planet (1981)
[ ] The Night Before Christmas (1951)
[ x ] Persepolis (2007) - The comic and the movie play off each other, I wish more serious comic books would be adopted into animation (glares at Japan in particular)
[ ] Princess Iron Fan (1941)
[ ] Planet 51 (2009)
[ x ] The Plague Dogs (1982) - My favorite American animated film. This is at the level of something Takahata would produce.
[ ] Robot Taekwon V (1976)
[ ] The Singing Princess (The Rose of Baghdad) (1949)
[ ] The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (1976)
[ ] The Snow Maiden (1952)
[ ] The Tale of the Fox (1937)
[ o ] Titanic: The Legend Goes On (2001)
[ x ] The Triplets of Belleville (2003) :D
[ o ] Valhalla (1986) (sorry Jay, haven't gotten around to watching it yet, it looks pretty cool though)
[ ] Waltz With Bashir (2008) - I really need to see this one
[ x ] Watership Down (1978)
[ x ] When the Wind Blows (1988)
[ o ] Yellow Submarine (1968) - this is totally my kind of animation, but for some reason I haven't seen it the whole way through yet, hmmm...

STUDIO GHIBLI / MIYAZAKI
-------------------------------
[ x ] The Cat Returns (2002) - disappointing
[ x ] Grave of the Fireflies (1988) 'nuff said
[ x ] Horus, Prince of the Sun (1968) (One of the most important anime of all time! important<>best however, but its still a fun watch)
[ x ] Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
[ x ] Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) - This film has a narcotic effect on me, it reminds me of my trip to europe when I was in Jr. High...
[ x ] Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
[ x ] Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
[ x ] My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999) (Takahata is always at the cutting edge of anime as an artform)
[ x ] My Neighbor Totoro (1993)
[ x ] Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
[ x ] Only Yesterday (1991) - Another favorite, in how it subverts preconcieved notions of what kinds of films animation should do, totally deserved the oscar over Beauty and the Beast :P
[ x ] Panda! Go Panda! (1972)
[ x ] Pom Poko (Tanuki War) (1994)
[ x ] Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea (2009) - the intro sequence is one of my favorites!
[ x ] Porco Rosso (1992) *Can I do a double bold, this is one of my favoriet animated films period!
[ x ] Princess Mononoke (1999)
[ o ] Puss in Boots (1969)
[ x ] Spirited Away (2002)
[ x ] Tales from Earthsea (2006) - Awful, who the hell thought it would be a good idea to have goro direct something...
[ x ] Whisper of the Heart (1995)
[ x ] Animal Treasure Island (1970) (very early hayao miyazaki and takahata)

SATOSHI KON
-------------------------------
[ x ] Paprika (2006)
[ x ] Perfect Blue (1999)
[ x ] Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
[ x ] Memories (1995)
[ x ] Millennium Actress (2001) *I wish there was a double bold here, this film is great cinema, not just great animation!

SHINKAI MAKOTO (way overrated IMHO)
-------------------------------
[ x ] 5 Centimeters per Second (2007) - I liked this until the awful music video ending
[ x ] The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
[ x ] She and Her Cat (1999)
[ x ] Voices of a Distant Star (2001)

STUDIO 4°C
-------------------------------
[ ] First Squad: The Moment of Truth (2009) - I didn't realize this was out!
[ x ] Genius Party (2007) - not as good as the second, the intro and Yuasa's short are awesome though
[ x ] Genius Party Beyond (2008) Cannot recommend this enough! This is the best animation from the best animators in the world!
[ x ] Mind Game (2004) ditto, but Yuasa makes this film simultaneously bizzare and touching in an easy to follow but innovative plot.
[ x ] Noiseman Sound Insect (1997)
[ x ] Princess Arete (2001)
[ x ] Spriggan (1998) - this is the only really mediocre Studio 4C film I've seen, at least the animation is awesome though
[ x ] Tekkon Kinkreet (2006) - The first post-mindgame film, don't forget it was directed by an American Ex-Pat ;)

OTHER ANIME FILMS
-------------------------------
[ x ] Akira (1989)
[ o ] Alakazam the Great (Journey to the West) (1960) - lots of fun
[ x ] Angel's Egg (1985) - Anime art film reminiscent of Bergman
[ x ] Arion (1986) - hahahaha
[ o ] Appleseed (2004) (1988 OVA was better!)
[ ] Appleseed: Ex Machina (2007)
[ ] Arabian Nights: Sinbad the Sailor (1962)
[ o ] Arcadia of My Youth (U.S. Title - Vengeance of the Space Pirate) (1982)
[ ] Astro Boy: The Brave in Space (1964)
[ x ] Back Jack: The Movie (1996)
[ o ] Black Jack: The Two Doctors of Darkness (2005)
[ x ] Belladonna of Sadness (1973) - Innovative anime that pushed the boundaries of art
[ x ] Cat Soup (2001) (pssst, yuasa actually directed it despite what the credits say...)
[ x ] Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2003)
[ o ] Cleopatra (1970) - seen the whole thing, but only raw, no subs
[ o ] Cyborg 009 (1966) - seen part of it
[ x ] The Dagger of Kamui (U.S. Title - Revenge of the Ninja Warrior) (1985) - the evil rintaro not the good one that brought us Metropolis
[ o ] Dirty Pair: Project Eden (1987) - only the awesome opening by Koji Morimoto
[ x ] DNA Sights 999.9 (1998)
[ x ] Escaflowne (2000) - I kind of wish the TV series was more like this, darker and more intense.
[ x ] End of Evangelion (1997)
[ o ] Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato (1978)
[ x ] Fist of the North Star (1986) - hahahahahaha, so bad its good :)
[ ] Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)
[ ] Fumoon (1980)
[ x ] Galaxy Express 999 (1979)
[ x ] Ghost in the Shell (1996)
[ x ] Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)
[ x ] The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
[ x ] Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (1998)
[ x ] Hermes: Winds of Love (1997)
[ x ] Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999) - I wish more anime was like this film...
[ o ] Jungle Emperor Leo: Feature Film (1966)
[ ] Lensman (1984)
[ o ] Macross: Do You Remember Love (U.S. Title - Clash of the Bionoids) (1984)
[ o ] Maroko (1990) - I've seen part of the OVA this is based off of
[ x ] Metropolis (2001)
[ x ] Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988)
[ ] Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors (Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei) (1945) - passed a chance to see this at otakon last year....
[ ] Momotaro's Sea Eagles (Momotarō no Umiwashi) (1943)
[ x ] Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji (1987) - Classy, but a tad dry and slow
[ x ] Neo-Tokyo (1986)
[ x ] Ninja Scroll (1993)
[ o ] Origin: Spirits Of The Past
[ x ] Patlabor the Movie (1989)
[ x ] Patlabor: The Movie 2 (1993) (when 9-11 happened I thought of this movie)
[ x ] Phoenix 2772 (1980) - wish it was as good as the comics
[ o ] Pokémon: The First Movie (Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back) (1998)
[ x ] The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)
[ o ] Project A-ko (1986)
[ x ] Robot Carnival (1987)
[ ] Robotech: The Shadow Chronicle (2006)
[ x ] Silent Möbius (1991)
[ x ] The Sky Crawlers (2008)
[ o ] Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
[ x ] Steamboy (2004) - Otomo spent too long making this beautiful but mediocre film
[ x ] Sword of the Stranger (2007)
[ ] Tachiguishi Retsuden (2006) - I want to see this one
[ o ] A Thousand and One Nights (1969)- only seen raw
[ ] Triton of the Sea (1979)
[ x ] Undersea Super Train: Marine Express (1979) - hahaha kind of terrible ;)
[ ] Unico and the Island of Magic (1983)
[ o ] Urotsukidoji: The Movie (1987)
[ x ] Urusei Yatsura: Only You (1983)
[ x ] Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984) - Best UY film, its kind of Oshii
[ x ] Vampire Hunter D (1985)
[ x ] Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (2000)
[ o ] A Wind Named Amnesia (1990)
[ x ] Wings of Honneamise: Royal Space Force (1987) - I'd bold this if the whole film was as good as the ending montage
[ x ] WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 (2001)

LEE SEONG-KANG (I need to see more of this guy's films, he sites Takahata as a major influence)
-------------------------------
[ x ] My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002) - Takahata-esque Korean animated film with an innovative and beautiful animation style
[ ] O-Nu-Ri (2003)
[ ] Texture of Skin (2007)
[ x ] Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox (2007) - sorry Jay, I didn't like this one as much as you did...

CARTOONS FOR GROWN-UPS
-------------------------------
[ ] American Pop (1981)
[ x ] The Animatrix (2003) - for morimoto's short and shinya ohira's skateboard scene alone!
[ x ] Beavis & Butthead Do America (1996)
[ x ] Cool World (1992)
[ x ] Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
[ o ] Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
[ ] Fire & Ice (1983)
[ o ] Fritz the Cat (1972)
[ ] Halo Legends (2010)
[ x ] Heavy Traffic (1973) - Bakshi's best film, which isn't saying much, it still has inspired moments in amongst the trashiness.
[ x ] Heavy Metal (1981)
[ x ] Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)</strike> (hmmm more like cartoons for adolescents)
[ ] Hey Good Lookin' (1982)
[ ] Lady Death (2004)
[ o ] The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974)
[ ] Once Upon a Girl (1976)
[ x ] A Scanner Darkly (2006)
[ x ] South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
[ ] Street Fight (Coonskin) (1975)
[ o ] Waking Life (2001) - I HAVE to see more of this film!

OTHER ANIMATED MOVIES
-------------------------------
[ x ] Animal Farm (1954) - not bad for a 50s adult oriented cartoon.
[ ] Animalympics (1980)
[ x ] Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon The Movie (2007)
[ ] Balto (1995)
[ ] Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World (1987)
[ x ] Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) - As a kid this was like batman the animated series which broke all rules breaking even more rules (OMG! THERE WAS BLOOD!), as an Adult I appreciated the more subtle character development in this film. Contender for best American animated film.
[ x ] Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) - That's not funny!
[ ] The Brave Little Toaster (1988)
[ ] Bravestarr: The Movie (1988)
[ ] Cats Don't Dance (1997)
[ x ] Care Bears: The Movie (1985)
[ x ] Charlotte's Web (1973)
[ ] Felix the Cat: The Movie (1991)
[ x ] Fern Gully (1992) - environmentalist tripe, see Miyazaki's films instead
[ ] The Flight of Dragons (1982)
[ x ] The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987)
[ x ] G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
[ x ] Garfield: His 9 Lives (1988)
[ ] Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986)
[ ] He-Man & She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985)
[ x ] The Hobbit (1977)
[ x ] The Iron Giant (1999)
[ ] Journey Back to Oz (1974)
[ ] Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
[ ] Lord of the Rings (1978)
[ o ] Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992)
[ ] Mad Monster Party (1967)
[ ] My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)
[ x ] The Pagemaster (1994)
[ x ] Pink Floyd's The Wall (1982) - this is counted??!! - I'd rate Gerald Schafe's animation as some of the best ever however ;)
[ x ] The Prince of Egypt (1998) (want to see that)
[ x ] Powerpuff Girls: The Movie (2002)
[ ] Quest For Camelot (1999)
[ ] Return to Oz (1964)
[ ] Ringing Bell (1978)
[ ] The Road to El Dorado (2000)
[ ] Rock & Rule (1983)
[ x ] Space Jam (1996) - Michael Jordan is Jesus Christ in this film...
[ ] Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
[ ] Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)
[ x ] Superman: Doomsday (2007) - was curious how the Bruce Timm team did one of the few mainstream american comic book story arches I read as a kid, kind of bleh..
[ ] Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
[ ] The Swan Princess (1994)
[ x ] Transformers: The Movie (1986) - overrated, but a ton of fun anyways, a guilty pleasure ;)
[ ] We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)
[ ] Wizards (1977)
[ x ] Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - A heartfelt tribute to classic animation and everything else that was great about america prior to the 1960s...
[ ] Wonder Woman (2009)

-=-

Jay's Edits:

Edit 1: I added Fehérlófia (1981) & Valhalla (1986) to the imports since they are awesome and deserve to be on the list. Also added Studio 4°C's films since they were a major missing element. There are probably a number of other films that should be added and I added a good few (how did they miss The Plague Dogs!) that I thought of such as The Princess & The Frog - I'm guessing the list was made before it came out.

Edit 2: I edited and added alot from the original and fixed some things other people had added (which were out of order). Dear gods, I'm a nerd.

Neil's Edits:

I had to include animal treasure island, more people need to see that really fun kids movie Miyazaki did in the early 70s. Kirikou, Corto Maltese and Fantastic planet were added to showcase a few of the more innovative french films done in animation. Finally I had to give a nod to Wes Andersen by including his kind of fantastic film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Thanks Jason, you wasted a lot of time in a really fun way ;)
Friday, December 26th, 2008
2:42 am
60 Degrees!
Today I walked around in 60 degree weather down in Raleigh, all I needed was a light windbreaker :)

Saturday we are hopefully going to the beach :).
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
1:01 am
WTF...
What I missed on TV not growing up in Chicago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_y1xfzV8dM

Its Eagleman!???!?
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
10:49 pm
Fun Viral Video
Done sort of in the style of Look Around You (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj2NOTanzWI&feature=related) it appears that a viral video has been posted urging us to come to the beautiful midwestren town of Milwaukee (only an hour and a half from Chicago!): http://thisismymilwaukee.com/
10:25 pm
Hmmm so much for Change - Hillary is part of Obama's Team
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/us/politics/23hillary.html?bl&ex=1227589200&en=17a6020edb96eb41&ei=5087%0A

Yeah I know this is old news, but I'm the type of guy to discuss old news even a few days after the fact in this hyper-information-soaked society of ours, so here I go. I'm not happy with Obama's choice of Hilary Clinton as his Secretary of State, it goes against the very platform on which he ran upon, and was a key reason for me supporting him - a break with older politics and a step away from what was looking like a development of a dynastic presidency.

Clinton is arrogant, smug and someone who's will stop at nothing to further the goals of herself and only herself, a complete opposite of the kind of image Obama successfully cultivated for himself and managed to attract many people to the electorate who never voted as a result.

I'm hoping that with his skills in leadership that this is just a symbolic gesture and ultimately he'll be able to work with her. I am hoping that Obama won't be like bush who very poorly managed his minions (except for ostracizing Colin Powell) and generally let them run amok, as evidenced worst by Donald Rumsfeld's terrible handling of the Iraq war, or the department of homeland security's inability to respond to Katrina.

I have a cautious faith in Obama, and am hoping that he'll repair the damage that 8 years of bush caused for our country, though I do not want a return to the bs of the Clinton years, while those years were prosperous and good, there was so much bs stuff like phony town hall meetings etc that I was not generally happy with them, they seemed to be demagogues who only cared about themselves.

I guess this all boils down to one statement in response to Obama's slogan "Yes we can":

We Shall See.
Sunday, November 9th, 2008
2:27 am
Funny Political Vid
Link courtesy my brother, produced by the onion: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_95F5e-Ac

:)
Thursday, November 6th, 2008
12:55 am
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
10:02 pm
Election
Watching crazy footage of the loop (downtown) Chicago, maybe I should go outside to see if I can hear the yes we can's from here... crazy totally crazy. To think that I'd vote democrat after years of supporting republicans its bizarre, my moderate libertarian background has made me bitter towards 8 years of fiscal irresponsibility, with shades of fundamentalist religious madness, and big conservative government all in the name of an ideology that has degraded, humiliated and bankrupted our country...

Thank god for a change! While I'm not 100% behind him, I hope Obama does a lot to repair the bullshit we have finally left behind!

Finally, I'm curious how my moderately pro-McCain parents will respond, I'm sure they won't be happy, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

Hey at least I'll sometime in the future be able to use trains as a viable option to going back home... I'm really looking forward to it.

And Chicago, well Chicago is going to get a boat load of awesome stuff, it will be a great time for the city.


I wish I wasn't so tired from last weekend (which was awesome btw!), I'd be staying up much later...

Current Mood: happy
Monday, October 20th, 2008
8:41 pm
Cab Drive from Hell
After heading back from Cleveland on a safe trip on the megabus, I wound up just about getting killed in a cab...

I decided to grab a taxi in front of Olgilvie because I was tired and impatient, wanted to get home quicker than the El would take me, (which is right now at least usually 45 mins). Unfortunately I wound up with a taxi driver that didn't understand how to drive on an expressway, didn't know where he was going (thank god I knew how to get back to my apartment from downtown).

On the expressway he was very jerky and would slow down next to nothing when changing lanes - keep in mind this is like a 10 lane expressway in a large city full of aggressive as hell drivers, we just about got hit. Every time he'd change lanes, he'd slow down and erratically jerk over, a couple times having cars swerve around him...

The worst part however was when we got off the expressway (which I had to explicitly instruct him where to get off) and he came to just about a complete stop in the slow lane, cars were slamming on their brakes and honking their horns as they wizzed past us, and at that point, scared for my life, I told him (GET OFF THE EXPRESSWAY! DO YOU WANT TO FUCKING GET US KILLED! MOVE!) he then moved foward and I told him, YOU LOST YOUR TIP, I"M SORRY SIR BUT DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!? We did jerked around like he was inexpereinced or on drugs up Ashland Ave to ravenswood, I got out near my apartment and preceded not to tip him.

I was shook up took me about an hour to get to sleep.

I know his cab number, and am going to place a call to the Chicago Cab agency, this guy should not be on the road...

Current Mood: angry
Sunday, October 5th, 2008
11:06 pm
Again poem
Deepest Sympathies

People the one thing
One sees outside
their own eyes

double take
their various sundries
and explore
the outer depths
of personal inquiries

Each day looking outside
Empty people look towards
and see the world of love
and of time

All time must end
all the world must find

another simplistic explanation
Surrounding the epileptic journey
through mental illness disability and of course
mental triumph

The world spins around
and two find the world
find it upside down

Each day the world tilts further upside down
as people fall further apart
The world flows closer
towards the clownish
meandering soul
of a simple
man.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
10:39 pm
Poem, something I haven't posted in a while
"Encompassing All"

Every day

Adventure awaits

Every Day

Adventure never stops

Here around the clocks
out on the streets

and times that never stops
Yet
each and every stop is like
another fruitless adventure conjured up
like video games were once picked out of open spaces

Open spaces
for me and you
and of course a thousand others
of course a thousand others

Thousands of people surrounding everyone
thousands of people coming and going
each day each way

burning outside lives
seeing the world around
nothing nothing much more

All these people senseless amazing people
running their daily tasks
finding their daily means
and these personifications of machines

working around the clock.

Every Day something happens
every day it always stops

dead

here.
Saturday, August 30th, 2008
7:52 am
Followup and Vacation Highlights
On a previous post I talked about my fixation on elaborate movie title sequences that were especially popular in the 1960s, in relation to this I found a short documentary on Saul Bass, who was the pioneer of such sequences, and often regarded as the founder of these sorts of sequences. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UU132IUU_o

Vacation Highlights (there are pics posted on my facebook, which as far as I'm concerned everyone here has access to, if you don't comment I will post the links)

Otakon:
-Seeing a giant Tetsuo mid transformation looking like a distorted baby running around the convention, the costume was literally 9 ft tall.

-Running a successful panel on Satoshi Kon and having conversation with a few cool people afterward about it over dinner.

-Actually visiting Baltimore beyond the inner harbor and going to an old style market. (for Cincinnati people kind of like a bigger Findaly Market) Inside the market was some of the best seafood I've ever had, oysters, crab cakes etc.

Philly:

-Seeing Streetcars still in service! (however not being able to ride them due to SEPTA workers all being horribly rude and not explaining how the subway - which used an antiquated token system worked)

-Seeing people celebrating at the top of the steps of the Philly Art Institute (ala rocky)

-Having my entire backpack searched just so I can see the Liberty Bell... oh the irony!

-Likewise, seeing a blockade and security checkpoint in front of independence hall... sigh Homeland Security is so fucking Orwellian.

-Meeting a really cool family at one of the best Philly Cheesesteak places - quite possibly the only non rude people I met in Philly.

-Putting a Penny on Ben Franklin's Grave

New York City:

-Hearing the following from a New Jersey Native: "The midwest you know where all the farms are." Then her daughter or someone else corrected her: "There are some cities there you know like Omaha etc its not like its all farms." I chimed in "CHICAGO is a city..." New Yorkers are really fucking myopic (granted in NYC you DONT need to know the rest of the country, but they seem to only know the west coast and the north east, anything in the middle is flyover country). I don't know how many times btw, I'd say I was from Cincy and they'd respond "Oh the mistake on the lake!" :P

-Riding the 3rd world like unairconditioned "Express Shuttles" which were in actuality legal jitneys in one of the few states (NJ) that allows them just so I could from Union City, New Jersey to NYC. See article here on them: http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/944226/ms_transit__jitneys_attracting_riders_rivals_on_patersontony_commute/index.html

I frankly didn't know if they were legal until I saw a plaque in them having the state of New Jersey's blessing...

They were a nice alternative late at night when the port authority building (500 bus terminals of HELL!)closed and busing became an even more confusing option.

-Trying to find Williamsburg in Brooklyn and realizing that half the neighborhood was Hasidic Jews, I felt pretty uncomfortable there, because I was the only non hasdic jew, and there were like hundreds of them around me. They are a group that also keeps to themselves so I got some strange stares.

-Also while finding it realizing that another part of the neighborhood was Puerto Rican... I didn't feel quite as much like a fish out of water there.

-Visiting the Hipster Mini Mall and paying for Wifi (when I could have just gone to a public square and gotten it for free :P)

-Standing outside of a Bob Dylan concert at prospect park in Brooklyn.... I can't believe he's still doing them! I could generally hear him very well.

-Having an entire day of break, where I explored La Ciudad de Union and felt like I was the only English speaker around for miles - I got my laundry done and played arcade games and was also the only non Latino at the laundromat.

-Union Square: A consistently awesome place, fight club has been held there! (article after blurb) The place was always packed, even late at night and they were all native new yorkers not tourists. In the many times that I visited there I encountered the following:

+ Groups of people Playing with soccer balls in a frenzy of awesome footwork
+ Live music featuring a salsa/jazz band
+ crazy religious people passing out pamphlets
+ Late night breakdancers (at something like 2 am in the morning)
+ A woman from New Zeland trying to feed her cute toy dog ice cream (luckily the dog didn't want to eat it) I wound up chatting with her for a few mins.
+ A large farmers market
+ chessboards (with players) next to the large farmers market in a classic new york city fashion.

(also fight club which I didn't see but here is the article: http://www.psfk.com/2008/05/fight-club-in-union-square.html

-A night that I didn't have anyone to hang out with I went to Barcade. Barcade was a bar that also was an old style (like circa 1989 or so) arcade that had excellent beer, good music and nostalgic games. It was hard to find though, and it was raining. I went into a CVS and they didn't have road maps of the city!

-Riding my bike around Central Park, which was a blast, I made it as far north as Harlem, and in the process of riding around encountered Battles (the band) and a Jazz combo playing in the park. It was awesome!

-The many many awesome bars that blueonblack and Mikhail showed me. Everything from a Japanese Dive bar, to a coffee house / bar that served cake to the oldest bar in New York City still around etc. etc.

-The Punjabi Market (correct me if I'm wrong on the name) that literally had everything from curry dishes to repackaged batteries (which came in handy!).

-Eating Lunch with co-workers at the New York City office on a street in the financial district that looked like it came out of the early 1800s. The food was yummy too, steak hamburgers.

I've probably missed something, but New York City was like a chaotic whirlwind, a mess of creativity, intensity and culture all wrapped into an impossibly large package to conquer. I think its going to take several more trips to get through it all...

I'd like to thank everyone who helped me on the trip, from random cool text messages which were a nice break to showing me really cool bars. Thank you!
Sunday, April 27th, 2008
9:53 pm
Artsy Awesomeness - this weekend
2 really cool things this weekend:

1. There is this video store down in Wicker Park called "Odd Obsession", for those of you from Cincy its like Bughouse video on steroids, a quirky video store specializing in hard to find and weird movies. In there I found something quite surprising:

http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php?c=1&more=1&p=112&pb=1&tb=1

Indie anime... woah. The clerk it turns out is really into the stuff, even had the dvds from I promptly gave him a link to anipages daily, (which of course had an article on this animator) and suggested if he wanted something somewhat more commercial, but still amazing that he check out Mindgame...

I hope the shorts are good, this guy does charcoal animation, and I always like seeing such stuff. Anipages Article:

http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index.php?c=1&more=1&p=112&pb=1&tb=1

He said that next week he was stocking a dvd full of Kihachirou Kawamoto's award winning puppet animation... win :)

2. A friend of mine invited me to Artopolis (not the greek place in greektown), an enormous art gallery/trade show spanning 3 floors of the merchandise mart! It was like going to a complete contemporary art museum, many awesome paintings (my favorite was actually an electronic piece made to look like a microsopic organism with a liquid flowing through it, that when you looked closer actually was sped up footage of people doing everything from Dancing at a club to commuting back and forth from work), including some of Yoshitomo Nara's superflat stuff. Overall it was a lot of fun.

These two things are the sorts of things that make me happy to be in chi-town :).
Thursday, April 24th, 2008
11:46 pm
I got a bike!
Last weekend I went by working bikes a charity that refrubishes bikes and sends them to third world countries. They also sell bikes to raise money to run their operation, and I managed to get a really nice bike very cheaply see Pics below:










Rode it up the lakeshore bike path yesterday, feeling the cool breeze coming off the lake, as the many towers that line the lakeshore in chicago wizzed by, it was awesome and liberating!

I haven't rode my bike since I was a kid, and I had almost forgotten how much I love to do it!
Monday, April 14th, 2008
11:40 pm
New Masaaki Yuasa anime!!!
Check out the intro here, the name of hte show is Kaiba:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x51zjn_kaiba-opening_creation

Its astonishingly beautiful, and from what I've seen of the first episode, very different. :)

Current Mood: Tired
Sunday, March 16th, 2008
4:06 pm
Random Tidbits part II
Hmmm this one didn't make it in last night, must have been way too tired, so I'll include it:

10) A friend of a friend who moved back to the suburbs, would like to be in the city again. He's looking for a roomate. Hopefully this is an opportunity to live in a different area, and larger apartment. It also should be good for me meeting locals, he seems more outgoing than I am - not only that he's a good friend of my best friend - I'm hoping that this goes through!


And...

11) Super Smash Bros brawl is amazing, even the single player mode!
3:35 am
Yes I am still alive
Random Tidbits:

1) A woman who sounded like a female version of the stereotypical jazz singer worked as clerk on the late shift at the Walgreens in Lakeview, I was more amused than the time me and a friend of mine were served by an elvis impersonator.

2) I think someone might be trying to hook me up with someone else... I recieved a text message from a friend back in ohio to call one of her friends (a mutual friend). She's someone kind of on my list of people, but I feel she lacks a lot of maturity, if I was still a young teenager I'd probably go for her. She and I get a long pretty well, have a lot of similar interests, have a comparable set of values, but when I talk with her I feel like I'm talking to a child version of me, all the annoyingly weird things about me when I was like 3 years old are brought out of me. I think the two of us if together would drive the whole world around us mad, and that's not a good thing :P.

3) Chicago Winter Death took a reprieve last week. I amazingly didn't need a hat scarf and gloves, and even walked with my jacket open. If I was still in S. Ohio, I'd probably be freezing in the weather I just described. For a second I remembered exactly how much I loved being in this city. Sadly this weekend its back, warmer temps but higher winds = same horrible cold bullshit. This was one of the worst winters in the last 10 years at least according to the Tribune, just my luck :P.

4) My job was in shitty shape, the whole group is poorly run, everyone speaks the language of finance and not IT, yet 2 good things happened, a new boss and a new hire that really have their heads on straight. Hopefully good will come soon - though there was a job offer I'm considering from elsewhere, would put me in the building the Union Pacific Line terminates at, but it would have me writing tedious reports all the time, without the variety of my current job... hmmmm plus its in MS Database, not IBM or Oracle...

5) The Mythical hipster dive coffee house that is open late was finally found! Though its all the way up in Evanston :(. I shall keep searching for a new one. The bartista thought I was studying for exams :D, when I went there to get bills paid/research Barack Obama's policies (so I can answer the question about his policies if I talk to my dad again about politics, in an intelligent manner)/work on programming Anime Punch. I tried a few other coffee houses, one that was perfect, just down clark street, except for 3 things - 1) the food sucked 2) no wifi 3) WTF! why does shitty pop punk get played in a coffee house in a trendy neighborhood decorated in bold colors that's open 24 hours! Chicago has many awesome places including ones that are open late, but we are seriously lacking in the kind of coffee house the Highland was for me - a place where I could hang out late at night and soak up the atmosphere. I wish Wicker Park wasn't so yuppie, and that a suitable replacement for it (in pilsen or humboldt park - more on it later) can be found soon.


6) I'm still dealing with unresolved personal stuff from Cincinnati, being stuck inside a lot due to the horrid weather has kind of brought them back to the fore. Letting go of stuff is so hard sometimes... and I keep telling myself how things would be if they could right themselves. On the other hand, one area has become more clear, there were a lot of rotten people I delt with back there, and leaving them behind has made me not an emotional wreck that I was right before I left... (though there are other more personal factors that bug me).

7) Humbolt Park, where a few friends of mine from High School (er 1 friend, and 2 of her friends from college including her boyfriend) live, was featured in a documentary about latino gang warfare that made my dad cringe, he was wondering how far it was from where I live, and I told him that many streets in chicago are infinite. Lake street goes from the loop all the way out to the second westren outerbelt for instance! Sheridan Road goes from the northside all the way to Milwaukee etc...

8) My dad voted for Ron Paul! A friend of mine and I joked about him a lot, he even stole a campaign sign and put it in is room! - He's a hypocrite, not as libertarian as his campaign would want you to believe. This election has caused insane divisions, swaps etc, I never thought I'd vote democrat when the reps were dominated by a more fiscally conservative wing - on the other hand I think I've gotten more liberal overall :P. I hope Obama wins, he can heal some of the horrible damage Bush has done :P.

9) Microsoft wound up producing the best collection of independant animation i've seen since Liquid Television! Who would have thought! These commercials are fucking amazing! See the link: http://www.zune-arts.net/ - you can even download them! Hell yeah!

I guess that's a summary, I can't wait for Anime Punch, hope to see a lot of great people there :) - programming video is a blast too :).
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
11:17 pm
Film geekyness - and movie intros/title sequences
This is really disorganized, bear with it, there is lots of cool stuff here! :)

I went to the local weird/rare movie rental place in Chicago known as Odd Obsession (amazing selection, and they allow week long rentals! - sadly they don't have much of an animation selection though), and got two films, one of which was "Dial Northside 411" a film from the 1940s set in Chicago about a man (Jimmy Stewart) who finds a newspaper ad asking for a $5,000 reward for someone who can free her son. He writes a series of articles in the Chicago Times (which strikes me as having the sort of gritty working class ethos/sensationalism that the current Sun-Times has) and tries to crack the case. The film was good with kind of a documentary style, with lots of on location shots of long torn down Polish enclaves in the older areas of Chicago, I recognized a few areas even, but they looked radically different....

But it isn't that film that made me want to post this, its the other one I found, "Blow Up" a famous British film film by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. I popped in the dvd just to like get a feel for the movie (I haven't watched it yet) and noticed 2 things that I love about 1960s english language cinema:

1) Jazz Sound Track - by Herbie Hancock - I found that my favorite genre of jazz is specifically the intense very lively, sometimes rock influenced work in the 1960s that was made specifically for movies, you anime fans in who read this - think stuff like Cowboy Bebop, really fast easy to listen to jazz, that still is real jazz, doesn't lose the intellectual integrity of the genre but is a bit more peppy.

2) Intro sequence "In Technicolor":

From the late 1950s with films like Vertigo, to about 1970, English language films had really awesome movie intros, ones with lots of color (and it was the kind of faded intense color that one found in early technicolor that has been lost.) Not to mention they had the strong jazz - jazz/rock sound tracks that make the era so awesome (think james bond type stuff).

I did searches on youtube a few months back for film intros, and found the absolutely amazing work of Saul Bass, who I think did the best, and really hit is peak in the 1960s.

I was going to put blow up here, but youtube nor its clones have the intro...

Nor do they have the intro to the 1960s version of bedazzled, damn.

But they do have a great collection of saul bass intros:

Vertigo - which doesn't quite fit the whole James Bond Swinging 60s feel I was talking about...
But features the amazing design and wonderfully protracted credit sequence that I love which were common in films of the era:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz46qS38OgM

Anatomy of a murder is closer to capturing that wonderful Mod feeling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbgb3E7l_KY

hmmm while looking through youtube I found this amazing parody: (marmijade take note)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z25t-PQDn5A

Maybe the reason why I like these intros, is that oftentimes they were the works of animators, and the bold colors and weird visuals are something that I like just in general, like with the kind of anime I get into... Another reason, is I like having a sort of relaxing segment that sort of sets the tone of the film, its something that makes me more likely to shift my attention to suspending my disbelief for a movie if I see a credit sequence that really grabs me.

Not to say that their weren't good intros in later eras M*A*S*H (the film) had an amazing one that's my favorite part of the film- its kind of amazing to hear the lyrics to the song that played only instrumental in the TV version (which I watched way before the film):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z25t-PQDn5A

Or contemporary films aren't incapable of having good intros, like with "Catch me if You Can":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mkM-XCE3v4

Or even American Splendor:

http://www.stage6.com/user/knob2/video/2183711/American-Splendor-:-title-sequence

I'd talk about more, but if you have an opening sequence that you thought was cool feel free to post it... I'm getting tired
Monday, January 28th, 2008
12:11 am
A strange occurence
I didn't really write about this when it happened, but here it goes:

I was in McDonalds one morning right next to where I work in the financial district, ready to grab breakfast, and heard the song Chicago by Sufjan Stevens...

I was totally blown away, I always thought McDonalds was the place where you heard crappy smooth jazz and Lite 99.1 FM stuff, never a song like that... Not something that at least at one time wasn't all that well known... maybe he's starting to become popular in the mainstream....

(or of course the rock n roll McDonalds which should be playing wesley willis but instead plays nothing but real jazz to give it a really cool vibe that makes it feel like you are eating at a resturant that is way better than Chicken McNuggets).


What's also really cool is that Chicago is a song I think of every time I wonder why I moved to chicago in the first place, its my song for moving to this city, because even though it does have religious overtones and what not, if you take it very literally its about starting over and renewing ones self after a time of hardship... In my own crazy little mind, that's how I intemperate it on an emotional level.

It means a lot to me, and hearing it during a tough week at work really was just what I needed...

Who would have thought the song would be played at McDonalds though...


Here is the link for those who are curious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDRrqcZbdPU

Current Mood: Introspective
Thursday, January 24th, 2008
7:51 pm
Neil Proves he's still kind of a fanboy - The Oscars Suck!
That's right anime is the subject of today's post, I've been quite out of the loop until Mike B decided to make me video head at the convention he runs, which has left me scrambling to catch up... This leads to a strangely familiar rant about the lack of oscar recognition of the anime films that deserve it.

Anime got snubbed yet again this year with the Oscars. Michael Arias' film Tekkon Kinkreet which was totally in good company with Persepolis and Ratatouille got snubbed in favor of the artistically relevant and well produced "Surfs Up" which was far better than Tekkon cause you know penguins are cute and stuff...

On the Other hand in Japan, the Media Arts Festival and the Manichi Film Concourse are a good way to see what the Japanese thought about animation in an artistic sense and an interesting contrast to "Surf's Up" in america:

Media Arts Plaza Online 2007
http://plaza.bunka.go.jp/english/festival/2007/

Every year, a competition is held in a variety of contemporary artistic areas, from video games, to fine art, and consequently anime and manga are included.

While tekkon wasn't selected (for one thing it was released in japan in 2006 so it wouldn't be eligible), the pool is much larger in this competition which includes independent and films that weren't released in the US.

This years grand prize went to a film called "Summer Days with Coo".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFHCHkWqUpA

I feel this movie seems a bit saccharine for my taste, but buzz out of Japan and the few film festivals its been shown at is generally positive - I'm looking froward to watching it but have a bit of cynicism.

Excellence Prizes, a sort of runner up prize was awarded to Gurren Lagaan, and Denno Coil. Both series deserve such an honor. Most interesting is the justification written up on the website for Gurren Lagaan where it seemed the critics had a hard time justifying the award on critical terms, but instead enjoyed it so much that they awarded it anyways smile.gif - making the show pierce the heavens like it promised. Kind of what I felt about the show.

Manichi Film Concourse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainichi_Film_Concours

Secondly is the Mainichi Film Concourse, an animation award that is divided into two different awards with different criteria. The Animation Grand Award is usually awarded to more commercial, but artistically significant works (like Miyazaki films, Place Promised in Our Early Days, Jin Roh etc) whereas the Noburo Ofuji Award is usually (but not always - like in 2000 when it went to Millennium Actress) reserved for independent animation produced by individual creators with smaller budgets.

This year the Grand Prix went to Coo as well (hmm I still think the trailer is mediocre), and the Noburo Ofuji went to a short film from Koji Yamamamura who was nominated a few years ago for best short animation oscar for Mt. Head .

I guess its interesting to see how much artistic credit the Japanese give to anime these days, the government helps fund the Media Arts Festival, while a major newspaper is behind the Mainichi Film Councourse. Its really refreshing...

This was originally posted with some edits on the anime punch convention forum (yeah that's the con I'm running video for)...

Current Mood: cold
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