Wednesday, June 28, 2006

midnight viewing of superman returns

Call me a nerd...okay, Oscar did already. But I donned by blue Superman t-shirt and went to the midnight showing of Superman Returns.

It's like Titanic, only without the whinning presence of Leonardo DiCaprio and much more flying.

Superman take a bullet from a Vulcan cannon, like those found on attack helicopters, right in the eyeball. The pictures shows what happens. It pretty much deforms from the hydrashock and flattens to a metal pancake, then falls to the ground. The whole sequence is incredible.

The movies starts with Clark Kent, Superman, returning from a 5 year visit to the debris of Kypton, his homeworld. He goes back to his job at the Daily Planet only only to find the love of his life, Lois Lane, has a child of about 5 years old and is shacked up with another guy. During this time Sups saves lives, puts out fire, and generally does everything with great CG effect and style.

In comes Lex Luthor. He has gotten out of prison from a technicality - the defense called Superman, and since he is in outer space, Lex gets out of jail free. He appearantly seduced a very wealthy elderly woman named Gertrude in the manner of Anna Nicole Smith. "You gave me pleasure that I have never dreamed of..." said Gertrude as she lay dying, her 98 year old shrivled hand tightly grasping Luthor's. That scene made me throw up through my clamped teeth. Now Lex is going to use all this money he inherited to fund a Superman killing agenda.

Lex goes to Antarctica, where Superman's Fortress of Solitude resides. He finds the Kryptonian crystals which has the ability to grow into continents, building, weapons, and hold knowledge from 28 other glalaxies.

Back to Lois and Clark. Superman takes Lois on a romantic fly in order to get some. It didn't work. Shit, I would have done it even though I'm not gay. Anyhoo - Lois end up finding out about Lex plan, and gets caputred on his yacht. They are going to the middle of the Atlantic and use the crystals to create a new continent - a continent laced with Kryptonite which Luthor stole.

At one point, a thus beats Lois because she's trying to fax the coordinates of where they are and get help. At the point the thug is about to insert a rock into Lois' inner cranial membrane, a pinano lands on him. There were three people in the room. Lois, lying helplessly on the floor. The thug, lying with a piano on top of him. The kid, 5 years old, who just ploped the piano on the bad guy trying to off his mom. Guess who's the father?

Ok...enough spoilers. Go watch the movie. It's good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

heat wave

It's been so friggin' hot the last few days that when I walked outside, I swore the fluids in my eyeballs were boiling. It's hot enough that I went to PSU with the top up, and the A/C cranked as high as it can go. Interesting thing the A/C in my the second fan speed it is blowing out more air than any other cars I owned. At full blast, I was actually getting cold. I think I saw my breath.

Heat makes me lazy. And with 4th of July approaching I decided I'll just do the ultimate lazy thing - take 9 days off and stay at home. I wonder how long that will last.

3 more weeks and I'm done with this master degree thing. I can milk one last trip to China through the exit project. I think I'll do Shenzhen, Donguan, Guangzhou, and Chengdu all in one shot. Have to remind myself to build in some R&R time though...

Oh what will I do post masters education? All of last years graduates have pretty much shitty jobs worse than what I got with just a bachelors degree. Oh well, better be nice to them just in case someday I need them to find me a job...

My back hurts...I think I'm going to lay down...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grand Hyatt Beijng and Shanghai

Past few trips to Beijing and Shanghai, I have stayed in the some pretty crappy hotels. The Grand View Hotel in Beijing was suppoed to be a 4 star hotel, but I would rate it around .75 of a star. The roach motel I stayed in New Orleans for Mardi Gras was much better.

But not this time around. My room in Beijing is exquisite. Located next to Wanfujin and about 1 miles from Tiananmen Square, this is one of Beijing's best hotels.

My room has a king size bed. The bathroom is all marble. I have a kitchen, a dining area, and a living area. The work desk is all glass. Oh I I have two TV's with HBO.

The view extends into the back of the Wanfujin shopping area. There is a restaurant below, and everyday around 5PM, all the workers come outside and they do a dance show. I get free access to the executive lounge, which equates to free continental breakfast, free midafternoon tea, and complimentary evenin cocktails from 5PM~8PM.

A man can get used to accomodations like this. Too bad the smog and air quality is so bad that the visibility at time is less than 2 kilometers.

Onward to Shanghai.

I was to stay at the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai, in the Jin Mao building. This is the one of the tallest buildings in the world, and is currently the tallest hotel in the work. The lobby is at the 54th floor, and rooms go up into the upper 70's, with a restaurant and bar topping off the 83rd floor.

So where was I? On the 68th. The view from a top isn't too bad. The first day there was actually clear enough that I can get a good look of how big Shanghai really is. Damn the city is comparable to Manhattan. Looking down and around is almost like looking down from the Empires State Building. Hmmm... I'll have to dig up those photo's and do a side by side comparison.

The room is smaller than that of the Beijing Hyatt. But because of its design, every room has a view. The core of the hotel is hollow, so once I get out of the room I can see the all the floors. At the very bottom is a lounge bar. Juvenile thoughts of spitting down occured frequently, but a measure of control took over. I only managed to flick my gum wrapper over the railing.

The beds in China are hard as the marble slate they use in the bathrooms. Maybe that's why I started getting a back ache halfway through this trip.

There is a sign telling the hotel guests to keep the shades drawn because of frequent window washing. Don't want patrons to be caught in compromising positions. I kept my curtains open the entire time hoping to catch workers in action. Sure enough, they came by. I think they were amuzed by the fact that I was pointed out spots where they have missed from the inside.

Only one TV here. But I get HBO and Cinemax.
The view of Shanghai, when visible, is always breathtaking. From my room I can see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and much of the PuXi area.

But I think I'm getting tired of Beijing and Shanghai. I've been in both cities weeks at a time, 3 times in the past 18 months. It's time to explore the rest of China.