it was weird leaving my old nikon coolpix 950 at home when i went to work this morning. this was the camera that i took with me virtually everywhere, it had sentimental value. during lunch i brought it out for a test drive. the 4500 is smaller than the 4500, and the LCD screen is brighter even though it's not as large as the 950. i went to king fung garden for food, ordered the lamb noodle soup. king fung garden is special for several reasons: i've seen it reviewed before on the phantom gourmet and they gave it a pretty good rating and it's one of the rare chinese restaurants that has an english name which matches its chinese name (most of the time that's not the case). the lamb noodle soup didn't turn out to be anything special.

today is chinese independence day, celebrating the birth of the chinese republic and the dismantling of the last imperial dynasty, the manchus. it's celebrated both in taiwan and china, one country, two opposing ideology. there's a secret war in the streets of chinatown actually,

that's fought with colorful banners. everywhere you look, there are taiwanese flags (red with a blue quarter containing the koumintang insignia in white) next to american flags festooning the streets. it's misleading, because mainland china is the real china, but on the streets of boston's chinatown, you wouldn't know it from all the taiwanese flags hanging around. if you look carefully though, you can spot a few people's republic of china flags (red with yellow stars), but they're always up high, away from people who might want to snatch them off. i'd say most established chinese immigrants aren't from mainland china. they're either from hong kong or taiwan, which would explain the lack of PRC flags. chinese immigrants actually from china is still a relatively recent phenomenon which continues to grow every year since china has a surplus of people.

i went to go see kill bill again after work in harvard square. it was sort of a last minute thing, i saw online that there was a 7pm showing just about when i arrive back in cambridge. second time around, i was more able to listen to the audience reaction, and kill bill has plenty of things to react to. unfortunately i had a little too much to drink beforehand and had to go use the bathroom in the middle of the movie, clearing out a path for myself through an obstacle course of unsuspecting legs. lucky it was during a slow part of the film, when the bride is picking out her hattori hanzo steel. coming back to the screening room, an usher sitting outside asked, "how is it?" referring to the movie. "oh, it's great," i told him, "it's my second time seeing the movie. it's funny, it's cool, and really violent." "i knew it," he said. apparently he hadn't seen the film yet but was excited to see it eventually.

after the movie i came home, went grocery shopping, checked out with one of my favorite cashier (this tall woman with glasses who talks to herself), and cooked up a trio of hot italian sausage over the foreman grill, stinking up the whole house in the process.

approaching midnight, i drove out to coolidge corner for the midnight showing of shogun assassin, touted as this gory samurai film in the tradition of the "lone wolf and cub" storyline, it was one of the inspirations for kill bill (which later i found out wasn't exactly true, it was something clinton mcclurg made up to drum up more interest for the film, although kill bill definitely draws some influence from this film). i got there first, saved some seats, dan came afterwards, fresh from some movie hopping of his own, after having just seen intolerable cruelty and kill bill at the boston common theatre then fenway 13. just two guys running around greater boston walking movies on a friday night! we like to do our part to support the movie industry i suppose.

i didn't think shogun assassin was that interesting. after seeing kill bill, i'm so jaded when it comes to geysers of blood spurting out from an opened sword wound. yawn. the movie was dubbed in english, and narrated from the point-of-view of the shogun assassin's little boy, whom gets wheeled around in a little wooden weapon-ladened shopping cart by his father, a disheveled bag ronin, heavy, double-chinned, oily, with dead eyes, not a guy you'd think when you think "shogun assassin". father and surprisingly son find creative ways to fend of ninja assassins which can happen anywhere and anytime. i brought contrabands, a can of soda and a bag of pork skin. at one point i felt nauseous after getting an eyeful of gore while snacking on a piece of swine. i feel asleep at one point during the film, i hope dan didn't notice, waking up to a strange scene where the shogun assassin has stripped naked a female ninja and is in an awkward bear hug with her and his son, in order to "stay warm" he says. the ninja thinks about killing them both, but has second thoughts when the little boy starts playing with her breasts, I AM NOT KIDDING. that woke me up. the movie ended abruptly, like we were just watching episode 1 of 100 episodes. the shogun assassin never gets to kill the shogun who murdered his wife.

i dropped dan off on my way back to cambridge.

earlier today: kids buying chinatown bus tickets!