HIFF 2006 summary
Monday, October 31, 2005
it's been another fun, busy HIFF festival: i finished the week with 11 films! a new record (including 3 films in one long day)! a special thanks to AK, KN and LC for your movie-time and passes. i had such a great movie-week here with you... i hope you had fun too. 5 more months until the spring festival!
movies in brief:
kamikaze girls really grew on me (my most favorite movie). i loved the main character (momoko) and the wacky storytelling cause: 'people are always cowards when it comes to their pursuit of happiness...' / shutter was spooky fun. while it wasn't new in the asian horror genre, it was definitely a fun ride (and made for a good nightmare). / sad movie was a great surprise (my second favorite movie) and my first film ever with LC. four heart-warming love stories gone sad. go see it. / wayward cloud was another (bad) surprise. i thought it was a weird, artsy, love story flick, but it turned out to be a chinese softcore porn... sorry KN :( / tre was an interesting dark film made by a local director. it's a work in progress that definitely gets under your skin. is 10 seconds the test of infidelity? / funky forest is beyond words. a collection of many fun, strange, short stories with a funky beat... be ready for side b, folks! / dumplings was another dark film that's not for the squeemish. fetus dim sum anyone? / crying fist was a small downer. it was trying, but i was expecting a little more... / initial d was a fun kiddie-movie based on a drift-driving manga. / neighbor no. 13 was ok. good concept and promise, but i think we had more fun at shutter... / bittersweet life has style to burn (my 3rd favorite film). a cool action packed story of revenge and love with gangsters and a great anti-hero. another must see! / i did miss the glamorous life of sachiko hanai and karaoke terror on my original list though... oh well...
that's about it~ now go out there and watch some movies!
i dreamed about a ghost ex-girlfriend after watching a thai scary movie (shutter) at HIFF last week. the ghost ex follows me everywhere and won't let me go. so i try to make-out with her... but it's just too creepy. i can't do it. i need to get to work. will she follow me there too? spooky...WAKE.
football bonding 2: UH 49 - NMS 28
Saturday, October 22, 2005
i took my 77 year old dad to aloha stadium to watch UH football last saturday. it was his first trip out to aloha stadium. we got there extra extra early to avoid the parking traffic rush from the homecoming tail-gaters. we're here for the university of hawaii warriors game versus visiting new mexico state aggies. mac-nuts, beer, angus hamburgers, super nachos... i think we're ready! we were seated in the nose-bleed brown section which offered a great tv-like view of the game (but you couldn't see the numbers on the jerseys from here~ watch out for those stairs!). it was a fun game nonetheless, with lots of offense action for both teams. in the end, the home team remains on top and the crowd goes wild: UH 49 - NMS 28. we beat the spread! go team!
i dreamed that i was shopping in a packed crowded 3 story mall in thailand (or japan?). i was picking up many souvenir t-shirts for many people. one here, one there... there were so many! I couldn't decide. i then went to visit my family. my brother (who had passed away many years ago) was there. my niece was there too, but i think they were arguing cause they both went back to their rooms and locked the door. i tried to step in and reconcile the dispute, but it didn't help much. i went back downstairs to chat with my mom. she wondered if i could help her with $800 per month for home expenses because she wanted to go to the temple and be a nun for a year. i wanted to be a temple monk too, i thought to myself. i was kinda surprised by the request, and did not know what to say. WAKE.
i finally made it to town restaurant (twice) after a much extended wait. town is a new trendy boutique restaurant on waialae's 9th ave featuring a fresh local fusion cuisine from chef ed kenney. the atmosphere and the service was just perfect for a elegant but casual night out. we started the meal with a great mint/honey lemonade and some good house bread. we then had the black mussels appetizer dish that was excellent and a shrimp bisque that was ok. i tried 4 main dishes in two visits: tombo, duck, shortrib, oxtail and i must say that the oxtail was by far the best dish there followed by the duck breast. the clipboard menu changes regularly so drop by often, and don't forget to bring your own alcohol ($3.95 glass charge) for a fun night. reservations recommended.
after a great late night dinner at town restaurant on waialae the beautiful waitress comes up to me and ask me if we've ever met before cause i looked so familiar. caught surprised, i uttered "no..." (though my heart was thinking: maybe later maybe?). she then asked if my name was 'mr. lam' (which is not even close to 'neko') and continued asking if i worked at the airport for hawaiian airlines. then it struck me! it was my evil twin brother at honolulu stations. this man must be my identical twin cause this is like the 3rd time that i've been mistaken for him. all i know about this man is that he works at stations, is bald, wears glasses, and dates beautiful waitresses... i like him already! :)
my other evil twin brother use to be an IT lab tech working at the TIM school computer lab. i see him at TIM alumni functions and starbucks ward. when i attend alumni functions i get alot of hotel people calling me 'victor.' they always ask about my successful brother 'frank' alot. i usually play along if the company is attractive... "frank's doing fine... yeah, he's still at princeville..." (and then the real frank will pop out from somewhere in the crowd as i slip away~)
have you found your evil twins yet?
4 days in dallas
Friday, October 21, 2005
it was a fun, busy 4 days at the airline conference in dallas meeting RO (mr all at sea) and the other industry people. monday was the travel rest day. i met up with RO and went to lunch at my favorite cajun seafood restaurant chain: 'papa deaux.' i had the best andouille/seafood gumbo there followed by an awesome fried crawfish/crawfish etoufee combo. we then drove to the mills and galleria malls for souvenirs and two starbucks sessions. for dinner we drove to addison for 'chow thai' restaurant and 'sherlocks' bar with live music and $2-dollar-you-call-it drinks (= 6 stoli's). just getting ready for tomorrow...
tuesday presented a full day of meetings followed by a organized dinner/casino night at the west end union station (with north america airlines and air jamaica company) followed by more drinks at the hotel bar (650 north restaurant). i got called-out here for patron tequilla shots by miss air wisconsin and enjoyed some drunk flirty company on my lap after 7 shots. after the hotel bar closed, i took a cab out to deep ellum's coyote ugly bar with a crazy japan airlines guy who did not speak any english. i got sick at coyote ugly as the sexy wild female bartender on the counter was trying to lasso my head off the bar there. i left my drunk japanese friend and caught a cab back to the hotel. i hope he made it back ok~
wednesday had more meetings (with a hangover) and a short train trip to the north park mall (still looking for that big buckle belt...). i went out to olive garden afterwards with RO and dropped by sherlock's bar again for more music and crazy happy drunk people-watching there (including a lady that started stripping to a melissa etheridge song and got escorted out of the bar topless). one more day of meetings and we leave on thurday afternoon. at the airport, we got bumped on 2 flights to los angeles, missing the 4pm connect but finally made it back to honolulu at midnight after a 15-hour travel day.
in conclusion, this dallas trip was quite successful. i learned about new product releases, chat with industry people, met with RO, had a few drinks and a lot of good stories. what more can one ask for? good luck in dallas, RO! it was great coffeeing with you again! cheers to good times, man~
Monday, October 17, 2005
yeee haa! i'm blogging from dallas, texas! the land of cowboys, letti and mr all @ sea (RO). not seeing too many cowboys or letti here in downtown dallas... but i'll be lunching with mr RO in a few hours. 3 days of conferences await tomorrow after that. to be updated! :)
Friday, October 14, 2005
it's 11pm here in waikele and i hear a moaning in the dark. and it's not the ghostly kinda moaning either. the ceiling is rhythmicly beating and creaking to a crescendo until: silence. as if the world had stood still. it must the neighbors upstairs. someone is making love. darn you loving people! you sure know how to torment a lonely man! :(
in the distance, i can hear the dryer beeping for me... i guess my laundry's done. oh well... have a (loud) loving night, people...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
before rising gas prices, there were rising movie prices. i still remember the days of $5 movies... that was not so long ago, but $8.50 - $9.00 is now the norm. that's not too bad for a GOOD movie, but full fare rates for a crappy film is just painful. so restaurant row's wallace theaters finally came to the rescue. giving up on their unsuccessful arthouse cinema scene, wallace theaters offers us a whole new paradigm : $1 movies! you can't even catch the bus for a dollar these days, but hell~ you can sit in a small, dark, dank theater and watch cheap movies for 2 hours! what a deal! even the hotdogs are a buck, but sodas will cost you ab0ut 3.5 movie tickets. the crowd is sketchy, the uncomfortable seats smell of wet-dog, the sound is awful, and the screen is small, but you get what you pay for: a dollar-movie. no disappointments or surprises here, it was only a buck. we normally hit the theaters late at night, so we'll hangout at the row bar for a few drinks before the flick (note: row bar drinks will cost around 5-7 movie tickets). for a fun, low-cost, and low-maintenance night out: call a cheap date (or a good friend) and visit the restaurant row theaters...
3 things that people don't know about me
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
this tag is from sweet elmo from last month. thank you for waiting! this tag is kinda tough cause this blog is over 3 years old, and i'm a pretty open fella. but let's see... let me think here...
1. i had a small bean-bag snoopy with me for 7 years. it was given to me as a gift from a girl in saudi arabia when i was 6 years old and it travelled the world with me on family vacations. my comfort sleeping partner. i handed-down the dog to my neice years later and never saw it again :(
2. the first novel that i ever remember reading (for fun) was ray bradbury's 'the halloween tree' back in the mid-1980's in bangkok. it's still my favorite bradbury novel (i read 10 more books by the author after). i think i discovered the book in a box somewhere under the stairs.
3. i used to spend hours and hours alone in the darkroom developing black and white prints when i was in high school in concord, massachussets. i think i had a lenny kravitz tape blaring on the stereo then. we photographed old barns and new england woods there (in addition to figure-painting and an architecture project). oh well, so much for those artsy days~
how's that for 3 things? i still have 2 more late tags to go! see you then~
it's HIFF time again! the hawaii international film festival will be in full swing from oct 20 - oct 30 this month~ so get your movie on! and catch some exciting new movies from asia and all around the world. i've been attending these festivals for at least 7-8 years now and it gets better and better every season. for this fall's picks we've got all the fun/crazy movies lined up:
-10/21 - the glamorous life of sachiko hanai (japan)
-10/22 - kamikaze girls (japan)
-10/23 - shutter (thailand)
-10/24 - karaoke terror (japan)
-10/25 - wayward cloud (china)
-10/27 - funky forest (japan)
-10/28 - dumplings (hong kong)
-10/29 - neighbor no.13 (japan)
it's going to be a busy film week! for more information check out: http://hiff.org. cheers!
super bike in the hotel dream
Monday, October 10, 2005
i dream that i was in some hotel hallway somewhere with a big group of friends. one of them had built me a new super street motorcycle and i was suppose to test it in the narrow carpeted hotel hallways here. the bike was cool, fast and sharp. you need to start it up with a lighter to ignite the small wick-like part on the handlebars! the wick was lit and my jacket sleave was caught on fire! i had to shake my arms around wildly to put it out. it was like a crazy firecracker. the machine was a monster and i almost spilled it on a sharp hallway turn. i reached the end of the hall and can see all the hotel staff in the lobby through the grass doors. they were looking at me with concern and bewilderment before starting the chase. i needed to rush back! i wind my way though the halls and meet up with my friends again. we all snuck and hid in a small hotel room there before the staff could find us. yee ha! that was a close one, baby! WAKE.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
more adventures in the life of bachelorhood dining: hotdog-week. this consists of a half-dozen buns, and a pack of jumbo franks from foodland. microwave frank for 45 seconds wrapped in a papertowel (for easy cleaning). insert frank in bun, add ketchup and diet coke. voila! dinner! this is a bit lighter in calories than chili-frank-plate-week, but not as much empty calories as saimen-week. bon appettite!
(p.s. this is why i eat out, mandy)
eating-neko: shokudo japanese restaurant
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
after a long extended wait, i finally got to visit shokudo japanese restaurant last friday with BV. shokudo is located on kapiolani blvd near ala moana shopping center and serves good izakaya food in a bright and trendy atmosphere. the crowd was pact on friday and i was famished waiting for a table and my guest. we started off with 2 bottles of un-filtered sake and then proceeded to order too much food. we had the sear-it-yourself fresh sword fish, the not-so-special steak, the awesome chicken karaage with tartar sauce, a mediocre raw potato salad, and a pretty good rainbow sushi row. we missed out on the unagi rice dish that seems to be very popular with the crowds here. the serving sizes were quite big (to my surprise), and the 5 dishes eventually overwhelmed us. overall, i loved the atmosphere and the service was ok, but the food was good but not great. i did not find any true must-eat dishes here to my disappointment. maybe it was my stuffy-head cold? i must definitely give this place another shot in the near future... kampai!
i am neko the slug
Monday, October 03, 2005
i am neko the slug. i have been glued to the couch in my pajamas all day today. how much discovery channel can one man watch in one day? the test continues...
beat the demons dream
Saturday, October 01, 2005
i dreamed that i was fighting with 7 demons one night. they were all disguised as someone/something else. i had to find, face and destroy them one by one. the dream was like a ninja anime movie mixed with horror and part thriller. lots of gore, lots of twists, and action running around through dark old houses and swimming through dark waters. in the end i was able to defeat all of my demons... but at what costs? WAKE.
this post is dedicated to my good friend KT who never loved me... a few weeks ago i started taking on the role of neko-sensei again during my afternoon/midweek coffeetalk sessions. somehow, i got suckered into summary papers for the 'principles of fire and fire-fighting'. a class on fire? what the hell~ i thought she was taking child development? if this isn't true love and friendship, i'm not sure what is... though that little evil guy on my shoulder still whispers little evil thoughts in my ear: 'you are a fool! why are you doing this? she does not love you! she only wants white guys!' and yet i trudge on. that's what friends are for... i guess. to KT, my favorite coffee partner, my good friend: more fire papers? sure. anytime, love. anytime...
it was quite a stressful work week after my unproductive weekend. my procrastination just seemed to have caught up with me all at once and it didn't help that i got sick on monday either. the cost of procrastination? aside from scoldings and sleepless stress, i missed 2 drinking nights, a coffee session, a foriegn film, spent $50 on a football game ticket in PHX which i did not attend, and missed another vegas trip. but i plug on this past week and things have cleared up a bit. my head has cleared up a bit. so i apologize for my frustrated post earlier and thank you for your support and concern. it's good to know that some one cares... boy, i sure got a lot of catchup reading and blogging to do! thanks...
i joined DT at her company's bowling gathering last week friday. it was league night at the busy aiea bowl and we had to wait until 10pm before the lanes openned up for regular games. we had almost 30 people in the group and the 2 rivalries were strong: DT and her coworker V. i was just hoping to have at least one decent game. as 10pm rolled around, the league crowd went home, the younger kids came in, the lights dimmed, disco-lights flashed on, the music blasted through the speakers and the games were on! DT performed flawlessly in 3 consistant games, bowling more than 160 points in all 3. i bowled 110, 158, and a miserable 98 in the last game (at least i got second place in the second game). bowling made me reminisce a bit about how i used to join my parents when they bowled in saudi arabia back in the early 1980's. my how time flies... til the next match ladies! i'll be ready ;)