Sunday, August 31, 2008

Operation Redecoration

Over the labor day weekend, Princess Pineapple came over with a very important mission: to transform the upstairs into something a bit more hospitable. It was a lot of work as the place was really messy with random stuff lying everywhere, furniture arranged in non-optimal locations, and strange smells coming from the restroom area.

We ended up going to IKEA since they were having a labor day sale. We ended up getting a new chair, several containers, and even new shower curtains. After cleaning for an entire day, several rooms looked really nice. The computer room is now much cleaner and very uncluttered. The restrooms are soooo much cleaner and even smell nice! There is still a lot of work to do though, but time was running short so the project will be completed at a later date.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Perfect Excuse to Crash a Castle

Going to get a yearly physical examination on Wednesday. What was that you say? Castle Crashers just so happens to be coming out 12 am Wednesday morning! Did I plan it like this so that I can get a leg up on the competition, could I be so conniving as to plan a doctor's visit JUST for this? I say no....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moving Day

Spent the past weekend in College Station helping Princess Pineapple move in. Over the past summer, Pineapple had been practicing driving so this was the first big test. Despite impending dark clouds and some thundershowers, we all made it there with few difficulties. I got to meet all of Pineapple's MBA friends during a dinner party and I totally enjoyed the atmosphere as it reminded me of when I first came to the US and attended my parents' parties. Not particularly rich, but living a very happy life with lots of friends.
We played a different version of Mafia as well. The rules were significantly different and I think it made the game go by much faster. Rule changes were:

1. Multiple police and no medic. There were the same number of police as mafia but to balance the game, the mafia wins if they kill all villagers OR they kill all police.
2. Each person can only speak once per daytime turn. They talk, then say 'done' and the next person talks. I think this speeds up the game tremendously.
3. Deaths on first turn (night or day) have a chance to speak before they die.

We helped different people move in on Sunday and had lunch at another friend's apartment. Papaya gave me a ride back to Houston later that day and I treated him to dinner at Fuddruckers. Overall, a very good weekend!

Up next: Remodeling! Where Princess Pineapple transforms an ordinary bathroom and den with help from IKEA. Tune in next weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Prince of Tennis

I finally "convinced" myself to take up tennis after forcibly buying a racket a couple of weeks ago. I have always wanted to learn how not to hit the ball out of the court and so far, things look kinda bleak. The main problem the first time out was that I only brought 1 can of balls. It's amazing how unfun it is to have to pick up tennis balls every 15 seconds. I should have borrowed BlupnutMM's lovable lab to come retrieve the balls for us.

Anyhow, my main playing partner is Papaya who after playing that incredibly unsatisfying trial, decided to buy a basket and 48 balls. Drive A here I come!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Wii-eal Olympics

Sure sure, we have the Olympics going on in Beijing. The spectacular opening ceremony, the years of history, the records in the making. Who can forget the incredible come-from-behind victory in the 4x100 freestyle. (Freedom fries ftw!) However, the WII-eal Olympics happened over the weekend in my house. This spectacular event featured 9 competitors representing 3 nations from all over Texas! We had national anthems, national foods, and real Medals! (made in China...) We even had our own Olympic Mascot: Teddy the Lab!

The three nations represented were China, Hungary, and USA. Well, China was "slightly" over-represented, but with some creative naturalization, the BlupnutMM couple joined Papaya on team Hungary!

Breakdown of the teams:
He of Many Cousins

BlupnutMM's other half

Maximo Guru
Cousin of He of Many Cousins

We kicked things off with a spectacular opening ceremony consisting of Rock Band and dinner (Eat your heart out Zhang Yimou). The original plan was to light the Olympic torch before the event, but we decided to help the IOC out and lent the torch to Beijing to light some other Flame for some other sporting event they were having. FedEx couldn't get it back in time!

Breakdown of Events and Winners:

Pin the Medal on the Wii-lympian!
Tagline: How can this NOT be an Olympic Event??!!
Winner: He of Many Cousins

Tagline: There can only be one survivor!
Winner: PrincessPineapple

Into the Pool!
100m Freestyle:
Tagline: B is to recover Stamina, not A
Winner: BlupnutMM's other half

4x100m IM Relay:
Tagline: Miis only have 1 style apparently...
Winner: He of Many Cousins

En Guarde!!
Tagline: My name is Inigo Montoya!
Winner: BlupnutMM's other half

Onto track and field!
110m Hurdles:
Tagline: Obviously the most important event, only fitting that China wins!
Winner: Cucumbernator

Tagline: It's about how long you can flap your arms!
Winner: BlupnutMM's other half

Tagline: Big Game Hunters
Winner: He of Many Cousins

Tagline: A, B, B, B, A, Twist, B, A, B, Twist, B, B, B (for 30 lives...)
Winner: BlupnutMM

Single Sculls:
Tagline: You sank my Battleship!!!
Winner: Papaya (in classic come-from-behind fashion)

Table Tennis:
Tagline: In an event ruled by China, was there ever any doubt!!??
Winner: He of Many Cousins

At this point, we had a 4 way tie for Bronze so we had a winner take all event to break the tie!
Dream Race:
Tagline: Who the HELL hit me with all those stupid lightning bolts?????!!!
Winner: PrincessPineapple

China finished first in the medal count with 6 golds, Hungary was second with 5 golds, and team USA finished in 3rd. Of course, there are no winners and losers in the Olympics...but in the Wii-lympics there are, so take THAT team Hungary and USA! Did you all forget to eat your Wheaties??!!

What Olympics would it be if there wasn't a signature vocal performance? To cap the night off, we all went out to sing Karaoke. PrincessPineapple dazzled the crowd with Faye Wong vocalizations while Papaya wowed the masses with a mastery of Chinese lyrics.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Cliffs of Insanity!!!!

Thanks to tropical storm Edouard, I got to spend the day yesterday away from the office. I was hoping for a storm of epic proportions, but it ended up just being lots of rain..what a a letdown! However, I was able to watch Red Cliff. I have always been a fan of the Three Kingdoms periods and overall, I think John Woo did a good job with Red Cliff. Here are my general impressions of how each of the characters was played and how they matched my "vision" of what they were supposed to be like.


Liu Bei: Decent, the movie portrayed him as little more than a peasant. He had no martial abilities, no general vision for his future, and primary Musou attack was "fix straw shoes for everyone." They did emphasize his deeply righteous beliefs on how a ruler should act.

Zhuge Liang: Totally did not match the impression in my head. He doesn't speak eloquently, seems insecure all the time, and generally just frowns a lot. Also has Brokeback scene involving zithers with Zhou Yu which totally didn't work for me. He also fondles horse uterus.

Zhang Fei: Pretty good, they toned down his drinking, but kept his general profile to what I envisioned. Loud, obnoxious, always looking to pick a fight, and having strength of 100 men.

Guan Yu: Dynasty Warrior. Face not Red enough, no Red Hare, but they obviously paid tribute to Dynasty Warriors with this incarnation of Guan Yu. Speaks little but absolutely slaughters legions of troops with a single stroke of his halberd. It's almost as if troops were just walking up and impaling themselves since no matter where he swung, heads rolled. I could totally see the body-count counter rolling up every time he appeared. I think the best scene in the film to illustrate this is when Zhang Fei is trying to hold Chang Ban against overwhelming odds, Zhuge Liang rides in and Zhang Fei asks him "Where are the reinforcements???!!!" Zhuge Liang simply points, and you see Guan Yu mysteriously emerging from the fog of war and then proceeds to slay about 40 soldiers with 1 swipe of his halberd

Zhao Yun: A good portrayal. Loyal and fearless. The movie actually featured the battle of Changban bridge and I thought his charge was a lot more realistic in the number of enemies he slew.


Sun Quan: For some reason, all the leaders were portrayed as these frail little things that had no other abilities other than sitting there. Basically does nothing the whole movie except frown and make fun of Sun Shang Xiang (SSX).

Zhou Yu: Wow, he was portrayed really well. He's basically the perfect commander. Brilliant military tactics, superior martial abilities, and exceptional love-making skills. He demonstrates all three to a high degree in the film. In fact, I think his sexiness is so powerful that Zhuge Liang could not resist.

Gan Ning (Named Gan Xing in movie for some odd reason): Same attitude, same elite fighting abilities, no bells. Pretty good portrayal

Xiao Qiao: Token female. Passes the days petting horses and passing wanting glazes toward Zhou Yu. Her lines sucked, "Cao Cao has army of death bringing and will surely destroy all of us, but he lacks one thing that you have....friends!" all in that super high pitched annoying voice. This is one character that I wish matched its Dynasty Warriors counterpart. Give her some fans, and watch her run amok.

Sun Shang Xiang: My favorite character from the movie. This was the best portrayal and basically matches my impression of her perfectly. Sassy, sarcastic, me-against-world mentality, and total self confidence. Even though she has a relatively small role in the film, her scenes were always the ones I enjoyed.


Cao Cao: A little too conniving, backstabbing, plotting, and generally evil for me. In history, he was a very charismatic leader with many good traits. In the movie, he is basically portrayed as obsessed with bedding Xiao Qiao. They did perfectly portray his rashness and arrogance as a military strategist.

Zhang Liao??: Can't remember which general it was, but he is the only named general I remember on Wei who does anything significant. Basically gets his army destroyed, and runs away.

Various other Wei Generals: Only job is to provide the other generals with stat power-ups and morale boosts. They slay a few foot soldiers or peasants, then immediately gets cut down by a Shu or Wu general.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hans Zimmer roXXor!

Was just looking around youtube and stumbled upon some Hans Zimmer music from movies. He's such a great director, I wonder if there is a "greatest hits" CD that he offers? It would really be cool too if somehow Harmonix scored these for Rock Band!

Crimson Tide
The Rock (Not the Wrestler....)