a great movie, everyone should go see it. john depp utterly steals every single scene as pirate captain jack sparrow, channeling the spirit of keith richards. when i first heard that disney was going to make a movie based on one of their amusement park attractions, i rolled my eyes, like many people. sure i loved pirates, but i didn't think they could do pirates justice. my friends, pirate justice has been done, this is by far the best pirate movie i've ever seen (well, maybe it ties with princess bride). the plot was imaginative enough that i never knew what was going to happen next. this film satisfy two of the good movie criteria, which means it has pirates and it has zombies, though technically they're not zombies, more like cursed skeleton pirates, but they're pretty zombie-like. in a scene near the end, the pirates even appear to be ninja-like, which would then satisfy the third criteria of a good movie. do you have a love/hate relationship with monkeys? because this film features a monkey that hasn't been this hated since that indiana jones monkey who was a nazi sympathizer and ended up buying it due to some "bad dates". keira knightley (of "bend it" fame) is hot hot hot as elizabeth swann, the damsel in distress, but in this modern script, she can handle herself pretty well. know who else is hot hot hot? orlando bloom as will turner, blacksmith/pirate, and damn good swashbuckler to boot. there's a scene between elizabeth and will that's all, "your hands are so rough," "i'm sorry," "no, don't stop." geoffrey rush is good as barbossa, the captain of the black pearl, who though not as crazed a pirate as jack sparrow, is still a pretty good match. and i love this whole pirate's code of conduct (not rules mind you, more like guidelines), things like the right to parlay and leaving a man if he falls behind. i predict that because of this movie, come this halloween, there's going to be an influx of pirate costumes, mark my words. so what're you waiting for? go see this movie already! i think this film is the best movie i've seen this summer thus far, tying with whale rider. whale rider gets high marks for poignancy, but pirates of the caribbean has everything else: action, laughs, and did i not mention pirates? it's what every movie should aspire to! (with or without pirates).

i woke up this morning feeling a little bit empty and not just because i was hungry. i got up early for no good reason, despite having gone to bed late again last night. maybe i'm trying to set a new sleep deprivation record. i made an egg omelette with some onions, italian cheese, and some ham that andrew had bought a while back, now seriously reaching the point of no return. after i finished eating, i waited for the onset of food poisoning to take place, but it never occured.

today i was helping brooke, a friend of elias' up in vermont, do some minor html work for her website. when i wasn't doing that, i was calling bob my mortgage consultant, trying to see if i could secure my interest rate, despite it being so high now. he told me to wait it out some more, since the treasury bond market has been dipping in recent days, and mortgage rates usually mirror the treasury rates.

alex came by around 2pm, said he wasn't going out to dinner tonight despite it being his birthday, and handed me a letter from a credit collection agency with a large sum of overdue money he says he doesn't owe. i talked him off of the ledge of depression and told him everything would be all right. he then camped out in the living room in front of the air conditioner, occasionally using my ibook, occasionally watching tv, which was tuned into a red sox game (red sox lost unfortunately). when 6pm came around, alex said he was going to go home and sleep, so after a near lethal dosage of heavy persuasion, i was finally able to get him to go to chinatown for dinner. we walked to porter square and took the subway into the city.

we went to the taiwan cafe. i've been there a few times, and never really gave it much thought, but the food there is actually very good, and one of the few places in the greater boston area where you can get pretty decent taiwanese cuisine. being that i'm originally from taiwan, the food there really brings back some great memories. the two things i miss the most about taiwan is the yangmingshan national forest park and the food. the place was actually mildly crowded when we got there (sign of a good restaurant, and mixed ethnicity too) but we were able to get a table without any waiting, and a very rare window table at that (even though the windows were in desperate need of some cleaning).

i did the ordering since i was more familiar with taiwanese cuisine than alex: chinese watercress, smelly tofu with chinese kim chee, and spicy fried calamari. i didn't really care if alex liked it or not, i pretty much ordered my own personal favorites.


smelly tofu

spicy fried

after dinner (i of course paid, since it was alex's birthday), we wandered around chinatown a little bit, went by the tufts medical school (all the new buildings!), and over the mass turnpike bridge towards the south end.

there was some sort of traffic accident that we couldn't see, but it had completely jammed the turnpike, and we saw cars making u-turns back in the opposite direction through an opening in the road. we saw some cars move hesitantly, unsure if it was kosher to drive down the wrong way of the street. others were more aggressive, peeling out and spinning into a 180 degrees turn, road rage drivers angry about the stoppage. occasionally there'd be a semi-truck, and all cars would pause as it made wide turns into the opposite lanes. we watched the drama as the traffic was diverted, then walked back to boston common, where we saw some shakespeare in the park being performed, some modern day macbeth.

alex went back home while i stayed behind, meeting dan and mike at the boston common theatre to watch pirates of the caribbean. there's a large heating exhaust grate close by the theatre, often blowing people's shirts or skirts up in the air. an attractive blonde talking on a cellphone wearing a short skirt walked by me, in the direction of said grate. directly in front of me i saw a father pause with his young son then turn his head to watch the ensuing hot air peekaboo. i didn't bother looking back but i was tempted. behind me i heard a woman shrieking. "best view in boston," i thought to myself.

after the movie, i took the t back home, scribbling in my commuting notebook. i thought it'd be a great idea to ride the subway all day, using the air conditioned comfort of underground public transportation to get some writing done and maybe listen to some good music. perhaps look for that adventure in the near future.

frank sinatra - the way you look tonight