January 18th, 2008

Iroh slurpy noodles

Teach a Man to (Eat) Fish

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my six frickin' long vacation posts and leave comments! They took me many, many, many, many, many hours to write (and none of those "many"s is excessive), so I like to hear when people enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Among the tens of thousands of words, however, was buried one important fact: I ate fish for the first time. It was salmon, and it was good.

Now, however, I have no idea what to do. I don't know how to proceed. I'm not sure what the next step is in my pesceducation.

I've gone twenty-six years without eating fish, so it's not like I have a big fish-shaped hole in my diet. I would probably be just fine never eating fish again, except I'm sort of an all-or-nothing kind of person, which means that since I ate it once I might as well become One Who Eats Fish. It's healthy and stuff!

So how does one become One Who Eats Fish? What should I know? What should I try next? Remember that I've only ever eaten bird, so my first impression of salmon was "melty chicken," and I accidentally had tuna once, so I think it tastes like "weird chicken salad."

I think I will have to ease into the rest of seafood; I'm not sure I'm ready to eat things that still look like themselves. But people seem to like the stuff, so, since I've crossed the line, I've allowed myself the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about eventually.

I don't yet know to what extent I will incorporate fish into my diet. Fish is generally expensive, and I'm cheap. Also, I don't know how to cook fish or whether I can put it in my Rice-a-Roni. But maybe now I can find out why the Brits love fish and chips so much. And sushi still confounds me. It's raw! Why is it so popular?!

When I told jeeperstseepers I had eaten fish for the first time, she went on for twenty minutes about the wonderful new world of fish I was now privy to. I expect that same level of excitement and advice from all of you: go!
Live fast

The Sushi Monster That Ate New York!

So it turns out you guys really like fish. Jesus God.

Inspired by the many helpful suggestions, I declared to Lisa (danea) and Rick (ellric) that I wanted to have sushi for dinner before seeing Cloverfield. And although they had just had sushi last night, they were more than happy to have it again. That is the power of sushi!

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After months and months of anticipation, it was time for Cloverfield!! Which was totally sweet. I thought it was very successful at being The Blair Godzilla Project, and its flaws are just part of the genre (thinly drawn characters whose actions sometimes leave you with a bit of the ol' WTF).

It does a great job of capturing the experience of what it might be like if a giant monster randomly started destroying New York. The way our civilian heroes don't know what the hell is going on (in a normal disaster movie, you'd be getting the military perspective too, but the style of the film forces a certain POV that works to restrict the audience's knowledge believably). The way you only see glimpses and parts of the monster for most of the movie (I've seen some criticism of the monster design when you finally see it, and while it may be a little odd, that's not the point: the movie is not about the monster; it's about our civilian heroes). The way most of the movie is spent running and hiding because they're not the ones fighting the damn thing; they're just trying to survive.

Props to Drew Goddard, though, for getting in some truly hilarious moments generally courtesy of Hud, the man behind the camera (who, of course, requires the most suspension of disbelief because OH MY GOD PUT DOWN THE FUCKING CAMERA).

The special effects are pretty fucking fabulous, too, and all the more impressive given the filming style. There's one attack scene where the camera is going every which way, and I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to properly track the effects in the scene so that however erratic the camera movement was, it still looked like it was filming something real; that is, the computer effects had a mapped placement in the real environment. I did notice some animatronics in the credits, so that would have helped. I described this scene as "fucking psychotic," and I wouldn't dream of spoiling anything about it for you.

The movie is extremely effective at drawing you in, as was clear from the audience reactions. There were gasps and shrieks and all that good stuff. I found myself reacting to things on screen, moving around in my seat. When the movie ended, there were some boos, but that just means they wanted more, right? I wanted more myself, but I also didn't care because what we had gotten was so effective at what it was doing. From the moment the monster attacks, you're in a state of constant tension. The movie actually clocks in at a mere 74 minutes, but I honestly did not notice: it felt long enough due to the extreme pacing.

When the credits for The Blair Witch Project rolled, I noticed that my right hand had gone numb because I had been gripping my wrist so tightly during the final sequence. When the credits for Cloverfield rolled, I realized I was still gripping my thigh and leaning back, tense. That doesn't sound as extreme, but that's because all the intensity of Blair Witch is packed into the last ten minutes. Imagine that lasting an hour, and you have Cloverfield.