my current obsession

the bin No Comments »

i’m just a sucker for hard to find items. have been all my life. just look at my CD collection. tons of out of print titles and imports. just don’t get me started. don’t tell me about an item that’s out of print, discontinued or rare b/c the way my brain is wired, i’ll get all worked up about it and spend a butt-load of time researching it and i’ll then try my darnedest to get the best deal for it. this is especially true for electronic gadgets, CDs, DVDs and video games. yeah, i know, i’m an easy target. i guess it’s just some sort of way to feel like i’m part of a special club/group or something. you know, to be set apart from the mainstream. kinda explains my lifelong obsession with Todd Rundgren, but that another story altogether. anyway, my current obsession - Korean DVDs. i’m not totally sure what triggered it recently. elaine and her mom have always been into Korean TV dramas and stuff for as long as i’ve known them. i guess now that Korean movies are getting alot more attention from Hollywood and the media in general, i just had to see for myself what the fuss was about. and since i’m sorta in hickville, korean DVDs are hard to come by locally which basically puts more fuel to the fire for me.

here are some of the limitations/requirements that i’ve come across through reading about my current obsession:

1) i don’t have a region free DVD player (although i’m considering buying one.) so right now, i’m only limited to Korean DVDs that aren’t coded for their region (region 3).
2) i’m not totally fluent in Korean so i’ll need english subtitles. which is fine b/c most of the DVDs have english captions-option available on the DVD. ahh, the wonders of technology.
3) no gang violence, depressing melodrama, traditional korean costume dramas, or kungfu movies please. some of the movies i’ve come across in the past had some brutal violence in them. not my cup of tea. as for depressing movies - i like to watch depressing movies every now and then like everyone else but man korean movies can definitely be depressing. yikes. case in point, our recent rental through Netflix. we just saw the korean movie Failan. now that was depressing. even though folks highly recommended the film, it was just too much of a downer for me. plus there was too much cussing going on. what’s up with that? maybe i’m just not used to hearing so many cuss words in korean. whatever. i just didn’t connect with the film. i got two more korean movies coming through netflix before i cancel the free trial so i’m sure i’ll post something about them in the near future.

i’m not sure how long this obsession’s gonna last. could be as long as my Rundgren obsession or as short as my interest in MTV VJ Martha Quinn many, many moons ago. :P all i know is that there’s a huge fan base out on the internet and it’s encouraging to see all that information out there about korean films and the variety of online retailers that offer these films. and i’ll probably be looking into the availability of korean TV dramas (soap operas) on DVD/VCDs for Elaine. boy, the last one she watched, Stairway to Heaven … ugh. i didn’t watch it with her but i sure did hear it in the house … all that crying, wailing and shouting. Elaine loved it.

related links that i’ve come across:

DVD Talk: newbie info on asian DVDs
Korean TV Drama InfoCenter
Darcy’s Korean Film website
KFC cinema reviews
Yes Asia online retailer
DVD Asian
Korean DVDs

another reason to love the internet #2598

miscellaneous No Comments »

in conjunction with our “hate all things AT&T!” campaign, we recently cancelled Elaine’s crummy AT&T wireless service. Elaine loved the phone but hated the service. but now we’re stuck with a perfectly good phone. a Nokia 8260.
whatdyado? put in on ebay of course! well, in prepping the phone for auction, i tried clearing stuff out of it’s memory. after punching some buttons, i realized that there was a security code that i didn’t have the number for. without it, i couldn’t clear out all the info from the phone. i tried the default code from the manual, all my common passwords etc. nothing. yup. it got a little frustrating. I looked everywhere in the house, receipts, manuals, my notes, my files, hoping that i had written down a code of some sort. nada.

so whatdyado in situations like this?

go to the internet, of course! and thanks to Howard Forums, where they have info on all things wireless - cell phones, service providers, hacks, mods, you name it, i was able to find the “universal nokia programming code” which allowed me to get into the phone firmware and delete out all my info including the phone number that was set up on the phone. cool. amazing what you can find nowadays on the net. love it. now the phone is ready for ebay, baby yeah. anything for a couple of bucks. heh.

monday madness

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Monday Madness

1. Skipping and Running
running. i really don’t need to look like a girlie man thank you.
2. Coke or Pepsi
Coke. there’s no substitute!
3. Rock or Hip Hop
Rock. there’s nothing like a distorted guitar. or a soaring guitar solo!! take it from Jack Black!!
4. Laptop or Desktop
laptop is the way to go, baby, yeah.
5. Cold Weather or Hot Weather
i’ll take HOT.
6. Swimming or Bicycling
bicycling. at least you’re going somewhere. you know, it’s less confining.
7. Chocolate or Vanilla
yum. chocolate.
8. Day or Night
day
9. Looks or Brains
oohh. toughie. i’ll say, um, brains. sure.
10. Cable, DSL, or Dial-Up
cable.

GOTM: War of the Monsters PS2

miscellaneous No Comments »

Game of the Moment:

War of the Monsters

Well, it’s the summer and Ethan had some extra time on his hands. so i let him play some games on the PS2. He’s gotten pretty good at this one.
actually, i’ll probably need to do some extra practicing while he’s asleep. heh. oh, and i found a pretty good strategy guide on the web for some added advantage. mmuuhhahhaahhaaa!

got green thumb?

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apparently the landscapers came by yesterday. it was hard to tell b/c they didn’t do much. i was expecting them to redo some of the flower/plant beds. looks like they just did some trimming. elaine was home and she said that the workers seemed that they weren’t really sure what to do with our yard like they weren’t really given clear instructions from their supervisor. so, elaine had to tell them what to do. this is a great first impression. i’m paying for this?? i’m going to give them a month and if they don’t do an impressive job with the yard they’ll leave me no choice but to kick ‘em to da curb. now, how do i go about getting me one of those green thumbs??

bad, bad santa

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man, what was i thinking. i’m 0 for 2. we just saw two awful movies in the last two days. thanks to the two week free trial with netflix, elaine and i are catching up on some movies. (OK, we’ve been catching up for the last few weeks but this time it’s FREE through netflix! heh.) and good thing it’s free b/c we just watched some horrible duds. Matrix Revolutions - we knew going in that it’d be bad b/c of all the bad press but we thought there would be a slight chance that it might be good since we just saw Reloaded and thought it was alright contrary to alot of other opinions. but man, revolutions was terrible. definitely not worth even a rental fee. The Wachowski bros. should have left things well enough alone with the first movie. now, matrix is forever tainted. :( The other stinker was Bad Santa. And it got rave reviews from critics!!??!?!?!?? it was humorless, mean-spirited, foul-mouthed and just totally crude. about every line of dialogue in the movie had the f-word in it like the writer had some kind of bet going or something. yeah, i bet i can cram as much profanity in the script as possible and make people laugh their fannies off. yes, i know it’s a black comedy but still, with the word comedy in it, i would have thought their would have been some instances of humor in it. the great thing about netflix though is that there’s a distribution center in our state so turnaround time is really quick. but even so, we’re probably not going to go beyond the two week trial since the monthly fee is sort of on the high side. my target price is $15. but at netflix, $15 limits you to a total of four movies a month tops. so here are my other options:greencine : they have a $15 plan at two out at a time. the downside is that their distribution center is in california. so turnaround time might be too long. but they have a variety of titles including some korean titles that aren’t available on netflix or blockbuster.cafeDVD: has a $15 plan. but again they’re on the west coast. but they have a wide variety of titles like greencine.walmart: has a $15 plan. but only mainstream titles. their distrib. center is in georgia, i think.blockbuster: $20 for three out, unlimited. it’s currently in BETA but it looks like if you subscribe, you also get two free local store rentals per month so that’s a nice perk. and i’m not sure where they’re distributing the DVDs from for our area.i’m might try greencine next, but currently they aren’t offering a free two week trial so i might not. same goes for cafeDVD. since both walmart and blockbuster online offer free trials i might try them next. :)

M. Night

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OK, i admit it. i got suckered into watching the M. Night Shyamalan special on SciFi last night. What a waste of time. i didn’t know it was going to be three hours long! it sucked beans. i sort of knew ahead of time that they were going for that “Blair Witch” format but sorry M. Night, it was just plain boring. I just kept on watching, thinking to myself that it’d get better toward the end. i was thinking that maybe there would be some sort of “payoff” or “twist” at the end of the show… ya know, like the “twists” in his movies … but NOPE. NOTHING. NADA. just one long boring badly done infomercial on M. Night and his upcoming movie. it’s sad really. unless he redeems himself with “The Village” he just well on his way on become one of the many writer/directors that couldn’t “deliver” after his stunning debut film.

i’m just so darn recognizable!!

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while eating lunch with elaine and the kids at the dog house today, two guys that i knew from a former company i worked for years ago sat at the table next to us. it has been over five years so i really didn’t expect them to recognize me so i didn’t say anything to them. the whole time we were eating they kept on looking over at us but i really didn’t want to talk to them. they weren’t really colleagues of mine, more like support-staff workers and furthermore, i wasn’t at all that ‘chummy, chummy’ with them so just to save me from all the awkwardness i really didn’t want to acknowledge them at all. ….but, you guessed it, while we were getting up to leave, one of them said ‘hey’ and so i had to go over and talk to them. as i suspected all along, it was awkward especially since i learned from talking to them that they were still one of the remaining few (of the group of people i knew from there) that still worked at that company. i had moved on to bigger and better things while they were still at the same job, sort of frozen in time. but shoot, what bothered me the most about all of this was that i probably looked like an assh— for not coming over to say ‘hey’ to them in the first place.i don’t know, is it just better to go ahead and acknowledge anybody & everybody that you run into that you vaguely remember having some sort of dealings with from way back from your assorted past?i’m beginning to think so.

ahh, paint fumes…

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we finally had someone come in and paint our bedroom. the original color was a badly done greenish/blue pastel-like color which definitely got on our nerves to say the least. elaine and i initially got some paint and all the rest of the supplies thinking that we’d do it ourselves but as always, “life matters” (children, appointments, work, eating out etc.) continually took precedence over painting. since our Ethan Allen bedroom furniture pieces are slowly trickling in, we had to go ahead and get the room painted before it got too crowded in there. so we hired a company to do it and they did a great job thankfully. (our last experience with some painters getting our former place painted was truly sad. enough said.) It’s now sort of antique white with a mix yellow in it (sorry i’m terrible at describing colors. i’m a man, whatdya expect?!) once the rest of the furniture get delivered i might take some pix of it for the site. so stay tuned.now i don’t want to sound like a total yuppy suburbanite dweeb but we also recently hired a landscaper for weekly upkeep around our property. yes, i’m still doing the mowing - i’m not totally useless!! but i’m a total brown-thumb (as opposed to green) when it comes to plants and flowers. so in order to “keep up with the jones”, i had to get some help with the yard. man, and keeping up with the jones is taking all i got, captain!!

mudd on face

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it happened. and i was there to witness it this morning. a clip from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” came to life in front of my very own eyes while driving in to work. I happen to be following a large non-descript truck going through a construction zone (one of way too many in the area, i might add.) After going under a bridge, the truck passed by a poor unsuspecting construction worker standing by the side of the road waiting for the traffic to pass by and all of a sudden the truck hit a pot-hole full of brown, icky, muddy water and you guessed it- fully soaked the construction worker just like you’d see on those comedy clip shows. …my mouth was totally open, frozen ajar while i passed this mudd-faced dude. i didn’t know what to feel - half of me wanted to point and laugh hysterically while the other half felt sorry for the guy. he was probably looking forward to work this morning and was probably even feeling pretty good about himself …. up until that very moment. …. i don’t know but i’m pretty sure that just about ruined his day.

good eats

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we’ve been eating out like crazy lately. with a newborn and his two older siblings, there’s just not much time to do much cooking at home so at the Lee household, carry-out/take-out tend to be the words of the day. here are our current top picks in our area at the moment:

shabashabu : a great japanese and thai place. love the wasabi rolls and their spider rolls. yummy.

kuki’s : one of our oldies but goodies. we’ve been going there for years. again, the service is pretty spotty but ya can’t find the quality of sushi and rolls anywhere else in raleigh.

bali hai : again, one of our old favs. mongolian stir fry. we go there almost once every week.

the cheese cake factory : not good if one’s watching their figure. it’s carbo-city. but if you’re like me and spit-in-the-general-direction at watching weight, this is the place to be my friend.

PF chang’s : we’ve noticed that the one in Raleigh is SO much better than the one in Durham as well as the one in Virginia Beach.

Milton’s : for their pasta and their oohh soo good calzones. again it’s carbo-city. plus they got great service! :)

or how about some burger’s? chargrill and backyard burger are our usual choices. :)

yumm. OK, let’s eat!!!

vegging out baby yeah!

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instead of keeping up the momentum and continue working around the house, Elaine and i have opted to veg out lately. (OK, more me than her.) it’s like there’s just too much stuff we want to do and we don’t know where to begin so we just hang out and watch some rental DVDs. here are some thing we’ll need to do soon:
- get to the remaining boxes lying around and find space to put the items away.
- go furniture shopping. we already have our bedroom furniture ordered but we still need: formal dining room, formal living room and various stuff for the bonus room, Alec and the baby’s room and more storage cabinets here and there. (that’s a lot of furniture. yikes!)
- replace the garbage disposal. yuck. the one that’s installed is just too darn loud.
- replace the kitchen faucet.
- organize the office. bills, bills everywhere.
- painting
- accessories, accessories. nick-nacks etc
.- yard work and more yard work.
- need to get an outdoor grill.

exciting stuff huh? ah the joys of home ownership. (you’re going to hear that from me a lot i can tell you that right now. maybe it should become my website slogan?)

anyway, here are the movies we watched instead. ya know we had to catch up on the DVDs sooner or later. we missed all the releases because of the baby and moving and all.

- identity : thumbs down. a thriller that wasn’t that satisfying

- bruce almighty : loved it. it was sort of uneven but elaine and i watched that “bruce’s revenge” scene over and over again. we were on the floor laughing until our stomachs hurt. baby Christian was just watching us wondering what in the world was going on with his parents i bet.

- love actually : loved it. again it was uneven and depended too much on old pop songs but it worked as a whole. and the scene with Colin Firth butchering Portuguese is priceless.

- matrix reloaded: yes, we’re probably the only ones left that didn’t catch this flick yet. we sort of avoided it since it got so much bad press but it wasn’t that bad.

- 21 grams : OK enough with the “out of time, non-linear sequence editing gimmick”!! Momento and Quentin Tarantino have been there and done that. but overlooking the gimmick, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts were superb in it and even though it was thoroughly depressing, i still have to give it a thumbs up.

- cat in the hat : OK, this one was for the kids but actually it’s not the greatest kids movie. too many adult references and language. it’s just Mike Myers doing his “schtick”.thumbs down.

- big fish : superb. loved it. gotta buy the DVD. sort of reminded me of Don Juan DeMarco for some reason. i’m not totally sure why since i haven’t seen Don Juan DeMarco in years. anyway, a tear jerker ending so get out your hankies.

- mystic river. rented it but we didn’t get to watch it yet.

- oh and it’s been a good while since we saw this but i still wanna mention it: lost in translation: loved it. probably want to get this one for my collection too. loved the ambiguous ending too.

man that’s a lot of dvds. maybe we should consider netflix or the walmart online dvd rental program. i’ll have to investigate more about it. anyone out there using one of these services?

photos of baby ethan

Family Talk No Comments »

i just uploaded some old photos of Ethan as a baby. After looking through some of these old photos, Elaine and I both realized how much Christian looks like Ethan!
take a look at this one:

now, doesn’t that look like Christian?
to see what i mean… here’s a baby picture… now, tell me who it is: is it Ethan, Alec or Christian? or is it Elaine as a baby?

man, years from now, if i don’t clearly mark these photos, i’m not going to be able to tell who’s who in these old baby pictures. especially when they’re wearing ethan’s old hand-me-downs.

check out some more baby pics of Ethan here

ahh, the ridiculously mundane, redux

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how wonderful. i’ve come full circle. back to where it all started. my own home website. well, after spending some time over at Roy’s Tabulas (for a year or so…), i’ve decided to spend more time on my own domain especially since i’m paying for the space and all! So, i guess i’ll start back posting thoughts about “nothing” and the truly mundane right here in this section of my site. i’m currently playing around with the templates so things are still in the state of transition. but please let me know if you see any errors and stuff. Life has really gotten hectic lately (house, yard work, babies, work etc)… so posts may be pretty infrequent but please continue to visit. i’ll try to post as much as i can.
laterz!

Daniel


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