last night i slept soundly. not one peep. it actually scared me, not coughing (am i dead?). though i'm not 100% yet, last night was a transition point from unhealthy to healthy. i slept a full 10 hours before waking up this afternoon to watch the red sox game on television. a bowl of captain crunch cereal was my lunch. kurt schilling was pitching for the first time against the yankees and we ended up winning against mike mussina. whenever i cheered too loudly my voice would disappear, my vocal cords not completely healed yet (however, there's no volume control on wild ecstatic clapping). in between commercial breaks i'd switch to risky business playing on cinemax. rebecca demornay was seriously hot back in the 80's but i would've never guessed that a certain young actor by the name of tom cruise would make it so far in hollywood (either deal with the devil or scientology). i took a shower and decided to go out in the backyard to see how warm it really was. the temperature was in the 70's, a very pleasant day. this is one of the best times of the year because there aren't any flying insects out yet and you can open the windows and doors to left in some fresh air without worrying about bugs getting into the house. armed with my camera, i took photos of the spring flowers emerging in the backyard. my neighbor don was busy working his backyard, i kept on looking at him to get his attention so i could say hi, but he kept himself busy and never looked my way.



spent snowbells

the warm weather triggered an explosion of ant activities, ant hills busy with workers assembling the nest and drones leaving to start new colonies. ants are so common i usually don't pay any attention to them, but since these are the first insects i've seen this season (other than the lightning bugs i saw at the fells), i was happy to have them. it also gave me an opportunity to practice my bread and butter macro shots, since i got this new nikon back in october, and never had the opportunity to use it on insects yet.

came evening time (even though it was still light outside), i left for harvard square to catch the 66 bus into allston to meet dan and cymara for dinner before we went to fenway 13 to see kill bill 2 (where eliza jones was waiting for me). earlier, eliza had called to let me know she was going (and to tell me the harrowing story of how she got a flat tire in fenway after the baseball game and how two yankees fans ended up helping her fix her car). it's only fitting that we see kill bill 2 together since we saw kill bill 1 together 6 months ago, there's a certain closure to it all. even though it was warm, i was very suspicious of the weather and slightly overdressed just in case the classic new england thing happens and the temperature suddenly drops 20-30 degrees. harvard square was crowded with people (a huge line outside the movie theatre, playing kill bill 2 as well), the weekend plus the nice weather bringing folks out in droves (mostly young adults, my thirtysomethingness getting to me). with spring comes not only flowers but the reemergence of skirts and shorts, flashes of bare naked legs everywhere. the 7:30pm bus never arrived and i was forced to take the next bus 20 minutes later, even though dan and cymara were already waiting for me at our designated spot. i called to let them know and we decided to have dinner at brown sugar, where i'd meet them as soon as i got into allston.

my run training kicked in as soon as i got to commonwealth avenue. i ran while talking into the cellphone, letting cymara know that i just arrived and to order my food for me ("thai red curry chicken"). i wasn't tired at all, just a bit out of breath when i stopped running. when i got to brown sugar, the place was packed and dan and cymara had already been waiting 20 minutes. after 10 more minutes the hostess told us there'd be an additional 20 minutes of wait (the problem was we were a party of three, and most of their tables were either 2 or a larger party that isn't 3). we left (in my mind i was burning the place down) and went across the street to kayuga (1030 comm ave, brookline), a japanese restaurant, where it was less crowded. we got ourselves a semi-private tatami room (we shared it with two high-heel clad girls, then later a table of noisy asians, a few of them taiwanese). i ordered the bulgogi dinner, which was okay, but there was no spiciness to it (other than the small side dishes). i ate so much i almost had to undo my pants.

it took us about 5 minutes to drive down to fenway 13. while dan and cymara parked the car in the garage, i went inside the theatre to get our tickets (purchased online on friday) and to meet eliza, who was already there waiting for us. since i had to wait for dan and cymara, eliza was gracious enough to go in before us and save some seats, i giving her my coats as temporary placeholders. eliza found seats close to the same spot we sat at when we saw kill bill 1 (freaky, yes, almost like destiny).

SPOILERS ALERT i'd read a lot of positive reviews about kill bill 2, some critics even claiming that it's better than the first one. rolling stone gave the movie it's highest rating, likewise boston globe, and so did siskel and roeper. so maybe i was expecting too much, because after the movie, i felt it was a little off. don't get me wrong, it's a great movie, and i was thoroughly entertained, but some how i can't get over this slightly nagging feeling of disappointment. it's the same feeling when i saw jackie brown, it was a fun movie, but it didn't shake my world. maybe i was thinking there'd be more kill bill 1 style of action and drama. the style of kill bill 2 is entirely different, it's more spaghetti western with a sprinkle of cheesy chinese kung-fu for good measure. the pacing is slower and there's more dialogue and story compared to the first movie. also, less violence, but you can't entirely have a tarantino movie without some graphic violence (as eliza can attest, i noticed her flinch a few times). i remember after i saw kill bill 1 i was totally blown away, and i wanted to see it again, and i told everyone i knew to go see. not so with kill bill 2, i think you should only see it if you saw the first one, and i'm not sure if i'd wait in line to see part 2 again. the first one seemed to be to have a lot more coolness about it. the fight scene in the restaurant where the bride takes on the crazy 88's (shot in b&w), gogo yubari, the snowy swordfight with o-ren ishii, the anime sequence, the knife fight with vernita green, the hospital sequence, the pussy wagon, legendary hattori hanzo swordsmith, i could go on and on. the second one, the cool bits are fewer because the pacing is slower. i also liked the music in the first one over the second one. a few other comments regarding kill bill 2 (serious spoilers): even though budd is ultimately killed by elle driver through the use of a poisonous snake hidden in a suitcase full of money, the snake is a black mamba, which is the bride's assassin codename, so in essence she is symbolically killing budd. daryl hannah is really great as elle driver, the fight scene inside of the trailer is pretty cool, these two tall beautiful blondes just battling it out. i hope this movie kickstarts hannah's movie career again, the same way pulp fiction helped travolta. on the other hand, i never want to see david carradine again. i don't think this guy is cool, the only reason why he's famous is his kung-fu show, and only because the studio thought an asian lead character wouldn't sell (even if his name was bruce lee). i hated uma's hairstyle in part 2, if you can even call it that. it's just straight down like somebody poured water on her head. in part 1 her hair had more volume. i thought the buried alive sequence was interesting but nothing to rave about. that sort of claustrophobic feeling enhanced by the sound of dirt hitting the coffin lid, it wasn't very shocking for me. the sequence where pai mai trains the bride is one of the best in the movie. it's total homage to classic kung-fu movies, even down to the quick pan and zoom of leading characters' faces. when the bride (beatrice kiddo) finally finds bill and realizes he's been raising their daughter, i thought it entered lifetime movie territory, that tarantino was doing some sort of sentimental mama drama. i think up to the point of the trailer fight i was (gasp!) slightly bored (as bored as you can get in a tarantino film), and then it picked up again when we found out the surprise ending with the daughter. the death hand sequence was cool, and it saved us from having to witness david carradine's americanized kung-fu. so what can i say? a film like kill bill 2 you don't recommend, since it's just the conclusion of the first one. those who need to see it will see it, and those never saw the first one in the first place will have no reason to see part 2.

after the movie, the party disbanded. eliza was getting scootered up from her friend greg, while dan and cymara generously gave me a ride back to cambridge. i caught another episode of band of brothers on the history channel before spending the rest of the night writing this entry. sunrise and i hear birds outside.