amedia: (girl ninja power)
Watched this as a grading break over the weekend, with sushi and champagne. Enjoyed it immensely. My fave character was Chirrut Imwe, aka Secret!Jedi Master Po. And his friend Baze.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
Somewhere or other we acquired a boxed set of 50 "classic" sci-fi movies on DVD. We figured it was a treasure trove of really bad movies, and we were right! Laser Mission is actually one of the more recent flicks included, but oh, it's BAD. It's also fun - it's the kind of bad movie that's good with popcorn and laughter.

The hero and heroine were pretty annoying. Brandon Lee didn't get to fight enough or in enough different ways (he got to use one type of kick over and over), and Debi Monahan's character, also supposed to be a good fighter, sadly overlooked a devastating opportunity to use a stiletto heel against a bad guy. The rest of the cast were obviously having a lot of fun, especially the real bad guys and the comic-relief sorta-bad-guys. Most of the film looks very low budget, but they have some gorgeous desert scenery from somewhere and a lot of great explosions.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
Taking a short break from grading to catch up on describing some movies we've watched over the last few weeks!

no spoilers )
amedia: (ninja1)
Two delightful movies!

We watched Kung Fu Panda Monday night (with pate!); I thought it would be funny, but I liked it even better than I expected. I really, really liked what was written on the dragon scroll.

We watched Kiki's Delivery Service last night (with escargots). We've loved several of Miyazaki's movies, so we were not at all surprised to enjoy this one thoroughly. I'm lending it to a friend who has a 12-year-old daughter who particularly enjoys movies and shows with strong female characters (she idolizes Sam Carter and T'Pol).

ETA: Kung Fu Panda has a nifty extra feature that I forgot to mention here!
amedia: (Mad Skilz Glitch)
Fluffy popcorn flick, lots of chases, special effects, etc. One major source of frustration: the whole movie seems to be building up to a big martial-arts confrontation between Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, which is really a dream battle for aficionadoes. There is one, and it's gorgeous, but it lasts about two minutes. Bah!
amedia: (deadly ninja cuteness)
Rented and watched Batman Begins earlier this week in case we go see the Dark Knight in the theater. It had ninjas! I didn't really get emotionally engaged with the characters, but it was fun to watch. And there were ninjas! I was kinda distracted by trying to figure out if the girl was Katie Holmes (she was) and trying to divorce enjoying her performance with disliking the whole TomKat phenomenon. "But she's cute and spunky!" I told myself. Then my interior self did a perfect Ed Asner imitation and growled, as he did in the premiere episode of Mary Tyler Moore, "I hate spunk."

But there were ninjas!
amedia: (Ninja snack)
The trailer for this martial-arts parody was laugh-out-loud, wet-your-pants hilarious.

Alas, when you take that same number of laughs and spread them out over a ninety-minute movie, it wears thin pretty quickly.

Yes, it's one of those - all the best moments were already in the trailer!

Christopher Walken seems to be having a good time, and James Hong is a hoot as the trainer. George Lopez, whom I have seen primarily as a comedian, was very solid playing mostly a straight man (I mean, the person who sets up the jokes), which I understand is much harder than being the funny one. Aisha Tyler is awfully good as a Bond-style henchwoman. The rest of the supporting cast does their best. But the actor who played the central character just wasn't that great, and the material, while sporadically brilliant, was mostly just not very funny.

But when it was funny? OMG.
amedia: (Ninja snack)
Le Pacte des Loups, a.k.a. Brotherhood of the Wolf, was a pretty cool movie, though about an hour too long IMHO. TODS had seen the first twenty minutes on the plane to France and then they didn't have it on the plane on the way back, so we made a point of renting it. We watched it in French with English subtitles.

The hero reminded me of Stephen Maturin from the Patrick O'Brian books - not physically, but in his scientific approach to things. His Iroquois sidekick suffered from some "noble savage" stereotyping but in the fight scenes, he was poetry in motion. Mm, mm, mm. The plot didn't make a lot of sense, but it was fun to watch. There was an interesting inversion of the usual association of chaos/evil with wilderness and cosmos/good with civilization, and a very peculiar perspective on the Revolution (the film takes place about one generation before).
amedia: (girl ninja power)
Hubby and me, watching a Chuck Norris flick about ninjas:

"What did you think of that move? Was that a ninja move?"

"Not really. I liked the way it was really quick and without warning, but it was a low-percentage kick."

"Ninjas don't do low-percentage kicks, do they?"

"Huh-uh. I would've used a punch to make sure I got the target."

"You know, dear, it's a little disturbing hearing you refer to the male genitalia as 'the target.'"

"Heh heh."
amedia: (Woo hoo!!!)
I'm very tired so details will have to wait, but...

I passed my black belt test!


May. 17th, 2004 04:56 pm
amedia: (ninja1)
I really appreciate the answers to the questions in my last post! Thanks to everyone for taking the time.

It seems only fair that I give you my answers as well.

The positive impressions I had before I started martial arts:
    I was attracted to the philosophy (as most of you know, it's my profession), and I had gotten the impression from shows like Kung Fu and movies like Karate Kid that martial arts ideally integrated the philosophy with the physical training. I've always found Oriental culture fascinating as well. And I was looking for a physical activity, if not to lose weight, at least to gain health.

The negative impressions that I had:
    I thought people like Master Po and Mr. Miyagi were the exception rather than the norm, and that I would never be lucky enough to find such an inspirational teacher. I also thought that martial arts were for younger people in better physical shape than I was. And as for ninjutsu, all I'd ever heard of ninjas was that they were sneaky mercenary assassins.

What positive impression finally got me into it?
    Well, I enrolled my son in martial arts because he needed a physical activity and soccer was SO not working out, and because he has ADHD and I'd heard that martial arts is good for that. (It is.)I was also positively inclined toward it on his behalf for the aforementioned reasons - interest in the philosophy, exposure to Oriental culture, etc., which I figured would be good for him - and although the only school in the area whose times were compatible with his schedule was a ninja school, I figured they wouldn't teach a ten-year-old to be an assassin. While watching his lessons, I came to realize that the training was adapted to all different ages and levels of physical capability; that ninjas are not what I thought they were; that the training at this school integrated philosophy in just the way I had always dreamed of finding; that the head instructor was the kind of inspirational teacher I thought I would never be lucky enough to find (and a Trekkie! yay!); and that it looked like FUN. So I signed up, and I've been enjoying it ever since! I'm still a pudgy person, but I'm a much more flexible, coordinated, healthy, and confident pudgy person.

In fact, I test for my black belt at the end of this month - wish me luck, y'all!
amedia: (dragon fractal)
I'm trying to get a handle on how people feel about martial arts - it's one of the ways I can become a better ninjutsu teacher. If you can take a minute and answer these questions, I'd *seriously* appreciate it!

If you are into martial arts...

Before you got into martial arts, what did you think about it? What kind of positive/negative ideas or impressions did you have of it? What was the positive idea that finally prompted you to become active?

If you're not into martial arts...

What's your impression of martial arts? Both good and bad impressions are valuable to know about. Is there anything you've heard/seen about martial arts that makes you want to try it? Is there anything you've heard/seen about martial arts that makes you not want to try it?
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Moffitt)
I was on three panels, plus attended a fourth.

My absolute favorite had to be the Sunday morning panel with Lorelei, Anita, Linda, and Glenda on "Coming out as a Slash Fan." Basically we all just swapped stories, some from the panelists, some from the audience, on our experiences - voluntary and involuntary - when people found out we're slashers. I shared the story of my son's recent introduction to slash (one of my friends told him about some Harry/Draco stories she was writing - instead of going, "eww" he began giving her story suggestions). One of our audience members told a great story about how her mom found out one day by walking in and catching a glimpse of what was on the computer monitor, but didn't seem altogether upset. Some time later, the audience member's *sister* spotted one of her zines and was horrified. She took the zine to their mom, slammed it down in front of her and said, "Do you know what your daughter is reading?!!!" The mom looked up calmly and said, "And your point is?"

Indeed, a common theme among the stories was that people are often not as shocked as we expect them to be.

I went with Lorelei to her panel on "New *Old* Fandoms" - that is, recently-developed fandoms centered on shows that have been around a while. Westerns seem to be developing young fandoms, apparently because the Hallmark Channel has their Rough and Ready Saturdays where they show many classic Westerns.

The panel was subtitled "Can you say Rat Patrol?" but we didn't actually spend too much time on RP, which was very restrained of us given that Lorelei and Linda were on the panel and Carol and I were in the audience (all of us Ratties to the max). I did bring up RP at the dead dog panel, which I caught about the last half of. Jan Meeks, who ran programming, was asking what panels we wanted to see next year. We talked about hot fandoms that were underrepresented this year because they were unexpected; I mentioned Master & Commander and Pirates of the Caribbean as present hot fandoms. So what will be the big hot fandom next year? Jan wondered. "Rat Patrol!" I said. "Get over yourself," she scolded, but in a fond way. I believe she's planning to leave some slots open for unpredicted hot fandoms/topics.

I also participated on a panel Friday afternoon called "The Great, the Bad, and The Ridiculous," which was about blogs. Anita, Kaytee, and Elf were on it as well. The subtitle was: "Live Journals: Why do people read and/or write them?" but we actually spent a good chunk of time simply explaining what they are and how they work; very few people at the convention were familiar with them.

Saturday I thoroughly enjoyed the "No Holes Barred" panel, in which Annie, Beth, Candy, Jan, and I tried to explain why we slash. Beth's explanation was my favorite: "Because it's fun!" Jan asked us what we thought of a new theory she'd read recently, that said women are taught to be ashamed of their own bodies and thus write slash because they can take pleasure in men's bodies but not their own, which rules out writing het. I said that I didn't disagree with the premise (i.e., our society does encourage women to be ashamed of their bodies), but I didn't like the way it was used to support the conclusion, which implied that if women did love their own bodies, they wouldn't write slash; in general I dislike the pathologizing approaches that start from the assumption that we write slash because there's something wrong with us. I much prefer Beth's explanation - that we do it because it's fun! - and we'd do it no matter how we felt about ourselves/women in general.

There's more to recall, but my glittery fingers are getting tired and I'll have to finish another time! (They're not sparkly bronze anymore, btw; I painted them black and them frosted them with silver glitter because I had a ninja belt test tonight and I thought perhaps having ninja nail polish would help me get in the mood. I got my new belt, so perhaps it helped!)
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
I've made my first attempt at icon-making! Another sign that [ profile] pocketwitch has succeeded in pimping me into the LJ community hook, line, and sinker!

People like [ profile] elke_tanzer and [ profile] gblvr were so kind to make them for me - it didn't really occur to me that I could try making one myself until just recently.

I took along a camera to my son's recent belt-test at the dojo where we both study taijutsu. I was only going to take pictures of his test, but I had nearly a roll to use up and couldn't resist snapping a few shots of the other people who were testing that night. A picture of [ profile] cirobi came out especially well, so I cropped it, put the words "badass ninja babe" on it, and sent it to her.

Then after I turned off the computer and went to bed, I kept worrying, "I forgot to check properties - what if it's too many k? What if there's an etiquette rule I don't know about, against posting icons with people's actual faces on them? What if...?" Then I fell asleep. The nice thing about ADD is that I can't concentrate on *anything* for too long, include things to worry about. :-)

The icon - and her reaction, which was immensely gratifying and sweet - can be seen here:

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