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Amazing Spider-Man 2

I saw this movie the night before nationwide release and totally loved it. Thought it was one of the greatest movies I'd ever seen. Later, I see someone I follow say they were unimpressed by it. Well, not everyone's going to like the same things I like, right? But then I get curious and check out more reviews and am completely puzzled by what I see. A 55% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes? A barrage of criticisms? So-so performance for a summer blockbuster? I thought it was darn near perfect, if a little long.

It was then I found myself recalling how I felt after Spider-Man 3 from before the reboot. While I didn't love that movie, I liked it better than everyone else who saw it (with reactions such as "What the hell was that?!") and felt the need to explain it, even if it didn't redeem it. But the difference is I think Amazing Spider-Man 2 really IS amazing, and I can see it years from now, appearing in "Why didn't we appreciate it more back then?" lists.

One common complaint I've seen is that the story is too complicated, or "overstuffed" or "unfocused." But everyone loves Game of Thrones, which has like 12 different stories going on at the same time? This is really the complaint I understand the least. It's not like I'm great at following convoluted storylines but every segment of the movie made sense to me and they all seemed to tie together nicely. Why did A happen? Ah, for B to happen. Why did C happen? Ah, for D then E to happen...

Other complaints are with the style. Some say the slow-motion scenes are too slow or jarring/confusing. A few people, however, understand it's meant to simulate Spider-Man's spider sense, and how he uses his abilities to pull off impossible stunts that you're not even sure Spider-Man can pull off. Others complain about dubstep existing in any form at all in the universe, and you know what? Deal with it. Too much of anything is bad but I felt it was used well here, with the electrical nature of Electro's powers.

"Too many villains? Guess they didn't learn after Spider-Man 3 yuk yuk!" No, it really only has two villains. They may have had separate goals but did have plausible motivations for teaming up (UNLIKE Spider-Man 3). There may be guys lurking in the shadows, but they're not the main antagonists and are more for setting up the plot of this and future movies (and one was present in the first Amazing Spider-Man). You might count Rhino as the third villain, but he's more fodder than anything else: someone for Spider-Man to seem powerful against in the beginning of the movie, and someone disposable to make him seem powerful again at the end.

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I just really want to see this movie again. I might be able to go with friends to see it this weekend, but if that doesn't work out, I'll just go by myself. I loved it that much. With Spider-Man 3, I just think to myself "Did I used to think this was okay?" when it occasionally shows up on weekend cable TV.

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Life Update

Probably prompted by that XKCD comic...

I got my BiPAP machine a little over a week ago, and it may be helping? I criticized my friend who got a CPAP machine but never uses it, but now that I have my own, I have to admit it's annoying. It makes sleeping no longer fun, which makes me sink a little. But I do seem to be improving at least a bit! I feel drowsy LESS OFTEN during the day, like while I'm driving. I may be more awake and alert. Today is the first time in a while I woke up feeling kind of well-rested.

Getting used to it took some work, though. After 7 days with it, I apparently would wake up in the middle of the night, take the mask off, then go back to sleep. Sometimes I didn't even remember it, and when I did, it was in some half-asleep haze where it somehow seemed like a good idea. Like it was part of an RPG quest or something. Eventually I came up with the solution of using the "ramp" button, which is what you can press at the start of your sleep so the pressure starts low and slowly increases while you sleep. Guess there's no rule against using it again in the middle of the night.

That said, I don't think I've had a single night where I'm asleep the whole way through, from the time I go to bed to the time I get up and start moving around. But to be fair, that wasn't happening before either... I just wouldn't remember all the times my sleep got interrupted by my apnea. I guess I just have to slowly get better until I approach something closer to normal.


Still no luck with jobs, not even getting paid for that temp work I did weeks (months?) ago. I'm trying to expand my search to include the West coast, since I would really love to move back there someday, and I may have friends who can help me transition over there. But I'm still doing my usual searches for here in the DC area...

I'm not sure what else to do. I really want to get out of here... Not like things are bad or unbearable here, but I feel like some things are really sapping my mental/emotional strength sometimes. While trying to work on my own problems, I'm faced with others' problems that I cannot help with, but I have the joy of sharing in the stress all the same. I have trouble dealing with too much negativity, even if it may be meant in jest. I guess I feel like I'm trying to carefully funnel my problems into a bottle while others around me are spraying them out a hose not caring who gets soaked.

Still... Although there are rough patches, things overall may be slowly improving. Once I get a real job again, things will start falling back into place.

Still nothing

Well it's been a while since I posted here, but nothing major has happened. After I got laid off, I figured I couldn't afford to keep my house, so I set up to move out and sell it. I've been staying at a friend's place, hoping to find a new job, but not finding anything concrete. I can't stay here forever, though, so I'm not sure what I will do. Will I end up staying with someone else and looking for jobs somewhere else? I guess I'll see.

It's taken a long time, but my house finally sold a couple weeks ago. I ended up losing money on it, but at least it wasn't too much, and now I'm free of the mortgage and utility bills.

My unemployment benefits ran out several weeks ago. All along I've been making occasional withdrawals from my "retirement account" (as if there'll come a day I could retire) to meet my obligations. At least selling the house helps make sure I'll be draining that much more slowly.

I guess I've also felt like doing more lately. Without worrying about the house all the time, lately I've felt more like studying and learning things again, and working on personal projects again. I'm still applying for whatever jobs I can. I actually got some temporary work a few weeks ago... but I've never been contacted back for more work nor have I been paid. So that's fun.

One positive thing about this year has been getting health insurance once again, thanks to Obamacare. Little did I know, when the issue first came up all those years ago, that I'd be one of the people benefiting from it. Since I hadn't been on medication for a while, my blood pressure apparently shot up to dangerously high levels. My new doctor was so worried, she immediately sent me to the emergency room to stabilize my blood pressure before setting me on prescriptions again.

It was only after all that blood pressure stuff that I was finally able to address my sleep problems, which felt like they were getting way worse recently. Like, falling asleep while driving. Sleeping maybe 2/3rds of the day sometimes. After two sleep studies, it was determined I still had sleep apnea despite my deviated septum surgery all those years ago, and that I needed a BiPAP machine (instead of a CPAP). While health insurance has gotten me this far, it unfortunately won't help with the cost of that... But I should be getting it in about two weeks.

For now though, Lulu and I are still here... Helping my roommate when I can, making small progress with my life when I can.

Further Away

So I got laid off again!

Brief recap: Last year around April, I was laid off due to lack of money at the office. Things sucked for a while, but I had enough money to make it through for a bit. And although unemployment benefits were not enough to cover things, combined with my other funds, I was able to stay afloat a while. The job hunt was going horribly, but luckily enough for me, the office was able to re-hire me after two months. I thought, well, I better try studying so I can be a better job prospect in case this happens again, but I should be safe for a little while...

Turned out that "little while" was just over a year. Two weeks ago, just as I was preparing to go out to eat somewhere (the EXACT same scenario as last year), the boss called to say I was being laid off again. Because they ran out of money again. They were expecting big money from two sources, one of which they'd been waiting on SINCE THE LAST TIME I WAS LAID OFF, and the other was a government job that had its funding cut due to the government sequester.

When people chant "Cut government spending!", it would be nice if it cut, you know, the enormous salaries for the people in Congress that made the sequester happen in the first place. But no, it "trickles down" to people like me, who aren't even government employees...

Anyway, I am in way worse shape than last year. After I got my job back, I was eventually doing well enough to be able to afford to go on trips again, but I still had a few debts to pay off. I've also been trying to help out other people who needed it. But whatever the case, at the moment, it left me with almost no money. Of course I had to be laid off the day AFTER I started sending extra payments to whittle down my bills. I figured I wouldn't be able to coast by until they offered to re-hire me again, and I didn't think I would ultimately be able to keep the house I am living in. So I figured I'd lost everything, including everything I ever invested into the house, and I'd have to get rid of it all and move on.

It may not be that dire, though... Some friends told me about the idea of hiring a rental company to rent out my home, then use that to pay off the mortgage each month. So I'd remain owner of the place, even if I couldn't live there. So for the past two weeks, I've been trying to get that rolling, and it looks like we're on the way.

I still had to get rid of a lot of stuff. Last weekend I had a garage sale and I tried to get rid of everything... DVDs, games, collectibles, clothes, etc. Luckily I got rid of most of the bulky things and almost all the furniture in the house. Tonight there's even someone coming to buy the expensive speakers I bought three years ago, though since it's a relatively high amount of money, I'm a little worried something shady might go down. I really want to haunt my old office, I really do.

Everything's gone. One of the beds is gone, and I'm getting rid of the other one. The TV is gone, which is a real shame. A lot of my old media collection is gone, but I can probably rebuild it someday, if I can ever feel safety and security again. Tables, chairs, couch, everything gone. But at least I sold enough I think I can handle another month of the mortgage if we can't find a renter soon enough.

Work really screwed me over this time. I know I should have had a safety cushion saved up, but I've never had a significant amount of money in savings. If I wasn't lending money out to people who needed it, I was paying off old credit card debts. Every single dollar was used every single month. And the funny thing is, before that phone call, I actually thought my situation was looking good. I'd have been able to pay off some of those monthly bills and had more money for myself each month and been more comfortable overall. But every time you think you're about to climb out of that hole, someone kicks you back in.

Anyway... I have to leave my house, but it may work out okay in the end. Friends have offered me places to stay and alerted me to possible job prospects. I've lost so much, but it may be a good shot at a new start. It's been an incredibly stressful two weeks, but I'm struggling through thanks to the support from everyone.


Oh yeah and I guess I've been playing Animal Crossing lately too

Away

Ugh, looks like I've been away for a while. Things have been busy lately.

Since cutting ties with the folks last year, I decided I would try to move. Northern California was my choice since it's the place I've most enjoyed living, and prices have really gone down since I last lived there about 10 years ago (though it's still expensive). It seemed to be the best place for health issues like my sinuses.

But that didn't work out. Though I've been trying to get things packed and cleaned and fixed up around the house, I got around to talking to my realtor and she explained the market is not looking good right now. Crunching the numbers, I would walk away with no money in my pocket, meaning I wouldn't be able to afford a new place, no matter how cheap. So I guess I'm stuck here for a while as I wait for things to improve (and they are improving, slowly).

January was the long-planned trip to Hawaii with Shelby, and it was an awesome trip! Kind of worth losing touch with my folks to visit my homeland with one of my best friends. Shelby was still living with her parents, and really wanted to move out on her own, so sort of on a whim she ended up moving in with me. We were both hoping to find better opportunities in California, but that'll just have to wait a while...

I have been so broke this year, which is part of the reason why home improvements have taken so long. But I think things are slowly getting better. Not where I want to be right now, so I guess I just have to keep working on it...

Holidays

Lately been trying to pack and clean stuff in preparation for a possible move next year. Along the way, threw out a lot of things, sent stuff to recycling, and donated stuff to Goodwill. Less clutter, less stuff to lug around! Though things are kind of a big mess right now.

The past several weeks, the weather's been ping-ponging back and forth between spring and winter. We might actually get snow for Christmas. When it gets too cold I just don't feel like moving...

Getting ready for the trip to Hawaii in just a few weeks! Hotels booked, flights booked. Everything seems in order. I haven't been back since dealing with my father's estate stuff, and I should be able to go wherever I want to go this time. So it should be lots of fun!

Today's one of those really cold days, though

Getting fun

The Wii U launch event weekend was a lot of fun! It started out pretty rocky, though. When I arrived in NYC, I thought I'd just take a bus and ride the subways from the airport to Times Square. And this WOULD have worked perfectly, except when I got to the subway station, it said the trains I needed to get into Manhattan were not operational ONLY FOR THAT WEEKEND. I spent days reading up on routes and trains to take and all of it was useless because of those changes. I eventually got to Times Square but it took hours longer than it should've and I got lost along the way. I also got lost trying to find Nintendo World! I kinda felt like I was dying, because I guess I didn't eat or drink anything all day until I finally made it to my destination.

The wait for the midnight launch was fun, though! Like previous occasions, Nintendo came out with snacks and free goods, including hats, which seemed geared especially for out-of-towners like myself who underestimated how cold it would feel. They had people wearing giant masks, dressed up like Miis, to prance about and entertain us. They had grilled cheese sandwiches and hot drinks! It all made the wait easier.

However, once midnight hit, it was a different story. Everybody not directly involved with selling Wii U systems went home. And there was some kind of problem with the line interfering with Good Morning America or something, so for a full hour, people past a certain point in the line DID NOT MOVE AT ALL. It felt so terrible and was colder than anything before midnight. But eventually things got moving again and we all finally got to make our purchases.

We were staying in a cool hotel (even if it was super small and kinda lacked privacy), but we couldn't hook anything up to the TV. It wasn't until we left that I saw they offered "TV hookup equipment" at the desk... But I guess it was just as well, since we were short on time as it was. We walked around the rest of Times Square which was lots of fun! I got tons of StreetPasses on my 3DS, as many as I would have gotten from an organized meetup. Even from other countries! It was just tons of fun to visit NYC again and hang out with friends I hadn't seen in a while.


After I got home, I set off on another trip! I had absolutely nothing to do for Thanksgiving so Shelby invited me over to her family's place. It was relatively close so I just drove there. Actually, flying would've been cheaper than the gas for the car, but I had my dog boarded for the NYC trip and I wanted to be able to travel with her and I wasn't prepared to fly with her. Also, I was planning to ask Shelby's family to look after the dog during the Hawaii trip, since I have no friends at all near me, so I thought it was a good time to get her used to the place.

It was super cold and kinda lacking Internet but it was lots of fun! We went to a relative's place for a huge Thanksgiving dinner and I brought the Wii U and people LOVED it! We played Nintendo Land and the kids were addicted to Mario Chase. Some of the kids were super young and couldn't understand any of the other games, but just about everybody got Mario Chase. It was just really cool and fun.


I only got back home this week Sunday. It feels good to be back, but it does feel kinda blah at the same time. A few months ago, I was packing up my things because I was afraid I would lose my house. Now I feel like maybe I'll be moving in another year or two, so I'm trying to keep working on packing. I'm trying hard to organize things and pack things well, like throwing out everything I really don't need to keep, eliminating empty space, balancing box loads, etc. I'm going for near-perfect packing this time!!

Maybe if things go well I can sell my house and move next summer. But I'm not really set on it, so it's no big deal if things don't work out on that timeline. I've been thinking northern California is the best place for me... The weather really suited me and it had just about everything I wanted! After that super cold Thanksgiving trip I feel like I really need to be someplace like northern California, which is where I lived in my college years... It was great there!

Brr

An entry a month may not be so bad. Well, this week I'm excited and getting prepped for a weekend trip to NYC for the Wii U launch! Things are looking good! I'm going to have to get the local vet to board the dog for a few nights. I'm a little worried but it should be okay. It's just three days...

Earlier I had counted on asking my folks for help but that's gone forever. My mother got the crazy idea that one of my friends was spending all my money (when actually that friend was paying my way a lot of the time) so she decided she hated that friend. After all, spending my money? That's her job! So I, an adult person, was forbidden from blah blah blah because that's a thing.

Thing is that my friend and I have been planning a trip to Hawaii for years, this coming January. It's the place of my birth and my friend is again covering a lot of the costs. But since my mother doesn't like it, I'm not supposed to go! To the place of my birth. She even tried to tell me, "Oh, we'll go someplace that matters instead!"

THIS MATTERS TO ME.

So I just said I was gonna go, no matter what, and just walked away. Haven't heard from her since. And I probably never will, unless someone dies or something. This morning I had a dream that she barged into my house just to yell at me (which is something she would actually do), so today I propped a chair under my door so it can't be opened while I'm home.

Yeah, it made me think of the time that I was on a trip and my mother called me at 4AM or something because she let herself into my house without my permission, started throwing away food from my fridge, and saw a lemon pie from a neighbor and got mad, and had to call to ruin my trip.

Forget this! I've had enough of this. I've tried to help her out as much as I can. I did want her to be part of my life. But this just kind of reached the tipping point of crazy and I can't deal with this anymore. I know she's as stubborn as I am so she probably won't try to talk to me again ever. Fine by me!

So I'm on my own. My step-father understands but he has to stick by her so I probably can't rely on him for anything. But I've been alone before. I've been surrounded by friends yet alone before. I guess I need to figure out what I want to do next, where I want to go next...

In the meantime, I have a couple trips that have been a while in the planning. This weekend is one of those trips. January is the other. After that I can figure things out.

Oct. 10th, 2012

Wow I have been neglecting LiveJournal lately.

Work has been picking up lately, which gives me more confidence I won't be laid off again anytime soon. I've been trying to do some small programming projects on the side to try learning some new things. And it's going slowly, but I seem to be recovering financially from the layoff this summer as well.

Things are looking up! Earlier this year I wasn't sure I'd be able to do this, but it looks like I'll be able to meet up with friends in New York City for the Wii U launch. They haven't announced such an event yet, but we were all there for the launch of the Wii back in 2006, and they even did a similar thing for the 3DS. Plus it'll just be fun to visit NYC again, even if just for a short while.

Aug. 5th, 2012

Starting to get back to a normal paycheck schedule with work again. Now I just need to pay off the credit cards I relied on while unemployed!

For about two months, I had Shelby over as a houseguest. We caught up with movies, saw some new ones, and watched all of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We also played through Tales of Graces f, which felt like a bit of a letdown after playing through Tales of Vesperia and Symphonia in the past. And of course we ate at tons of places! We also visited Shelby's friend in Dallas, and we did some touristy things like checking out the Fort Worth Stockyards.

It was fun having a guest over, though things were rough since I was still recovering from the bout of unemployment. Also, the summer heat is making things really terrible. Just about all my plants are dying and all the grass everywhere is completely dead. It gets frustrating trying to water the few plants that survive only to watch them slowly die like all the others. It's just so damn hot. It may not be as bad as last year, but that's not saying much...