great news today: i finally got my check from client S, enough to survive for 5 more months. i was so giddy with excitement, it was like receiving a willy wonka golden ticket. of course this also gives me the green light to do a little online shopping. that f2.8 lens i've been pining over for the past month i can now finally order.

rest of the day i spent in my bedroom, watching television and actually doing some more work for client S (by tricking myself into thinking it's sort of a game). because of the all snow, an tao didn't go to work but instead was reading a book under the covers on the couch while watching tv as well. in the afternoon my mother and sister dropped by so i could follow them to the cafe and borrow the car for the day. when early evening came around, an tao and i paid a quick visit to market basket (probably our last grocery run, he's going back to shanghai in 2 more weeks) before we out to natick to watch 300 at the jordan's imax theatre. i figured before he returned to china i could treat him to an american style moviegoing experience (although the imax is far from traditional). the demographic was predominantly young males (some with dates) and by the time we arrived the line was already 3 rows deep. we ended up getting a seat near the front of theatre but still in the center so we had a good view.

i've already heard and read so much about the movie 300 that i almost didn't need to go see it. it could perhaps be the single most breathtakingly beautiful piece of cinematic carnage i can recall. it's such dazzling eyecandy that i just want to eat it, it's that delicious. and viewed on the imax? you're practically fighting the battle of thermopylae with the greeks and the persians. and the sound? when was the last time a movie rumbled your ass and traveled up your spinal column? there's something for everyone: plenty of T&A (both male and female), and the woman who plays queen gorgo? i've never seen her before but she's absolutely gorgeous. it was almost like she was made to play that part. and so much male flesh! i haven't seen this much muscles since pumping iron.

i thought the whole political machination back home in sparta was sort of extraneous, but it did give queen gorgo more screen time (it was like a watered down version of just about every single episode of rome). the character of xerxes was weak, sexually ambiguous enough to be almost a comedic relief in a film that seems to be fueled on seriousness and intensity. with all this talk of spartan freedom ("freedom isn't free," says the queen) and fighting the menacing persians (the ancestors of modern day iranians), it's hard not to see the analogy to modern day american foreign policy. if anything, this movie should've been made 6 years ago (although the technology wouldn't have really existed to make a film like this) or maybe years later, when it's not so topical. it's definitely a jingoistic picture, and although i'm sure the filmmakers didn't intend to make a administration propaganda film, i left the theatre with that aftertaste anyway. nowadays, words like "freedom" immediately make me cringe and feel defensive. nevertheless, political feelings shouldn't get in the way of enjoying this movie. it's beautiful, gory, sexy, scary, poetic, tragic, triumphant, patriotic, all at the same time.

we didn't get home until 10:30pm. in the car before we left i opened up a box of twinkies and introduced an tao to american's most favorite indestructable pastry snack. back in cambridge, i was lucky to find a parking spot so close to my house, since i figured i'd probably have to circle forever to find an empty space. we both heated up a can of soup for dinner. i drank the rest of my expired skim milk (not mine, but an tao's wife drank my whole milk while she was here) which is making me super irregular to the point where i have to wait for it to clear my system before i go to bed otherwise i won't be able to get any rest, having to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so.