Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tyler Perry's How to Train Your Dragon Too

Well, I suppose this was inevitable:

(via /Film)
Today, Dreamworks Animation announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2010. Not that much to report, but there is one tidbit that will be heartening for fans of How To Train Your Dragon: Hot on the heels of Dragon again winning the weekend box office in its fifth week, Dreamworks is making a sequel to the film, which will hit theaters in 2013. 
As much as I love, love, LOVE "How To Train Your Dragon" and, considering the frequency that I listen to the soundtrack (particularly while writing and jogging), you'd think I'd be a bit more excited about this.  But there are so many ways they could screw this one up. The advertising campaign for the original movie was simply awful (I had zero interest in this film and only saw it after hearing about it repeatedly on /Film) and my fear is that the same suits who nearly sunk an excellent film might be in charge of the sequel.

We'll see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thumbs up for Universal Studios Singapore

"Universal Studios Singapore's (USS) design team should be applauded for the awesome park they have created on the now even more awesome Sentosa Island.

I had the chance to visit the park for the first time (while it was still in its soft opening stage) a few weeks ago. I have also visited Universal Studios Orlando (USO), Universal Studios Hollywood (USH), Islands of Adventure (IOA) and now, Singapore. I can safely say that although USS isn't as big as Hollywood or Orlando, it holds its own with a style of park I call a 'hybrid Universal'.

The designers of USS have cleverly taken the greatest aspects of the rides from all of the Universal parks and combined them into single, well thought out and planned rides."
Always good to hear that Universal's ventures overseas are doing well.

Now, if only they needed a Japanese-speaking Doc Brown...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Here We Go Again

Well, it's that time of year. Time to age again.

At around 4:30ish this morning Eastern Time, I turned 36.

Weird year, 36. It's not really something major like 30 or 40 and it doesn't have the same anniversary feel as a 25 or a 35.  You'd think 36 would be a big deal.  It's like your second 18th birthday! That makes it sound a bit better, huh? (And by "better", I mean "soul-crushingly depressing".)

Actually, 35 wasn't a bad year for me at all.  A hot summer, a mild winter.  I got to see my parents in Seattle and got to take 2 trips back to Florida.  Ooh, and I got an iPhone, too! Love my iPhone. I also found myself excelling in my job performing as a Mad Scientist and found an odd, somewhat-comforting homeostasis with my other line of part-time work.  I also somehow managed to end up with a girlfriend.  I know, right? In fact, seems we're sneaking up on the 1-year anniversary of when she first picked me up at a coffee shop. For anyone who has known what a commitment-phobe I've been the past few my entire life, then you'll know what a big deal this is.

On top of all that, I've also gotten a lot of work done on the book. Christ, I still owe you guys an update, huh? Well, I'll elaborate a bit more later but, for now, know that it's over 500 pages and, while I'm reluctant to admit it, it's surprisingly not terrible. Really helped once I made a few revelations: finding a title, finding what to focus on, finding my ending and finding that I have grossly underestimated the amount of time and effort a huge-ass project like this might take.  But, the important thing is this: I'm excited about it again.  And that's good.

In other news, if you've been to my blog before, (you're awesome and) you've probably noticed that I recently made some changes.  As of yesterday evening, I did some rearranging, added some new feeds and finally got around to getting that third column I kept dreaming about. I'm hoping it makes the blog look a bit cleaner and easier to follow. I'd love to know what you think.

As for the content of the blog, yeah, well... I kinda dropped the ball there for a while. I think it was because I really wasn't sure what I wanted this blog to be. The more focus I found with my book, the less I had with my blog. I didn't want to just blog about my writing process for two reasons:
  1. Haven't really figured it out myself.
  2. Boring as hell.
I like writing about Japan but I like writing about the snapshot of Japan during my nearly 4 years there. It's hard to do a blog about a country I haven't visited in 2 years and haven't lived in for even longer.  Besides, there are so many other blogs doing the whole "gaijin living in Japan" thing much better than I could from my vantage point in Seattle. And, while I love "Back to the Future", there's only so much I can write about that.

Funny thing, though. I discovered that, while I wasn't blogging, I was finding other ways to communicate online. Facebook was great for a while, particularly for keeping in touch with all of my Universal Japan friends, but once the guy in charge of the reunion committee added me as a friend, he inadvertently opened the sluice gates of high school past, drowning me in a sea of conservative Republicans and baby pictures. Now, I only seem to check Facebook on my birthday. (Which reminds me...)

I have been tweeting a lot, which I love, but it was so convenient and so good at quenching my need for attention, that it smothered any desire I had to crack open the laptop and blog. I also started a little Tumblr blog on the side called Instant Coffee and Green Tea that gave me an outlet for random videos and movie quoting. What's left to write about?

So, I've decided to use this blog as more of a place to put full-length posts.  Things a step above "what I'm doing now" but just below a polished article. Perhaps I'll put a few rough drafts of chapters, get some feedback from you all. We'll see. Whatever I end up doing, I hope you stick around and enjoy the ride.

Well, my free coffee from Starbucks is just about empty and there's a certain young, lady who is going to be picking my up shortly to help distract me from the aging process. Until next time...