Good-bye Starbucks (thanks for nothing)

Posted by Tim Posada On 11:54 PM 0 comments
I gave my two week notice at Starbucks today. After two years of coffee and tea(rs), I am almost free. I will soon be having my "Fuck Starbucks/Belated Graduation Party." I can't wait to burn my hat, apron, and work shoes and pants. This is all possible because I got a new job. Along with substitute teaching, I will be working part time for Beverly Press, which publishes Park LaBrea News. Check out their website at www.parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com. They gave me a test run in which I wrote them a movie review with a deadline of the next day. I wrote a review on 30 Days of Night (in three hours) and sent it off to them. They published it in the 10/25 (check archive for a PDF of the article). They called me for a second interview, and on Tuesday they offered me the job. It's part time but I'll be doing movie reviews, page layout, copyediting, and whatever else they tell me. Right not I'm working on a review of The Darjeeling Limited. It's good to be done with Starbucks and finally using my journalism degree.

The long day to come

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:59 AM 0 comments
Tonight of all nights I should be in bed, but my hope to one day become a vampire continues to effect my sleeping habits. Alas, my nocturnal yearnings will have to take a backseat to waking up at 6:30 to be at San Dimas High School by 7:15 in order to spend the day subbing for who knows what. I'm not complaining because I do enjoy my newfound career, but right when I thought stability was on the rise I received a call from Beverly Press, a newspaper in Beverly Hills. They want to interview me after I'm done subbing. Thus, I will be hustling from San Dimas to Melrose Drive, while finding a place to change into my interview clothes (which I just finished ironing [I also had to put together an updated version of my writing and designing portfolio]). And after this interview I have to head back to Glendora during rush hour traffic in time for my 6:45 shift at Starbucks (yeah, I'm gonna be late to that one).

For those who care, I sent out my resume and writing samples to the Beverly Press for a job opening doing movie and restaurant reviews. I explained that restaurants are not my background but can quickly become competant. I had given up on a call since I sent it out like a month ago (and the ad on journalismjobs.com has even expired), but they called back. They said they were looking for a writer and someone to help with layout on Wednesday. I explained that I am a strong writer (and they obviously liked something since they called) and that I have a background in layout using the program InDesign. They use Quark (as most places do, though I'm not a fan), but the guy said that he thought I could get used to it pretty easily. Well, they want to meet me and here we are. It's a part time deal, which works great with subbing and trying to prepare PhD stuff. Plus, he said it could evovle into something more perminant. Here's to, hopefully, putting my degree into practice...it's about fucking time!

TV series checklist

Posted by Tim Posada On 4:39 PM 0 comments
I hate regularly scheduled televison, but when shows come out on video, I'm quit the fan of marathons. I thought it would be fun to create a list of all the TV serieses I've watched.
Completely Viewed:
Battlestar Galactica
Lost
Heroes
24
Scrubs
Arrested Development
House
Friends
Firefly
The Office
Babylon 5
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Samurai Champloo
Undeclared
Seen most of:
Supernatural
The Boondocks
Family Guy
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
30 Rock
Mellenium
The X-Files
The OC
Getting into:
Bleach
Naruto
Entourage
Rome

P.S. 30 Days of Night was a pretty damn solid movie. The critics said that it did for vampires what 28 Days Later did for zombies and what Saw did for serial killers, and I rather agree. These were not the cliche vampires that enjoy the night life because of their twisted sexual desires. These were smart vampires that acted more like the ultimate hunter. The blood hunger of children of the night with movements similar to a werewolf. S.O.B., I really love vampire films. This one did it right, so fuck what a lot of the other critics said.

So it seemed like a normal day, but something was different. I went to bed pretty late but instead of playing my pre-sleep Halo session, I chose to go to bed around 2:30. This turned out to be in my favour as I received a call at 6:30 to sub for an elementary school in San Dimas. For today and tomorrow I'm a rolling sub covering grades 1-5. Grades 1-3 were quite a journey today. I began the day teaching big number subtraction to third graders. They were a pretty good class but I was actually stumped some of the stuff certain students had. Next, I went to a second grade class. The difference was huge. The first teacher gave me a print out with what students to keep an eye out for and exactly what to do at what time. The second teacher simply handed me a book told me to read it to the students and let them work on stuff. This was a hellraiser class. Kicking, screaming, blah, blah, blah. I took lunch and came back to finish the day with first grade. The kids drew vegetables and then we went out to recces. There's nothing like kids with energy. After that things got a little interesting. One student didn't make it to the bathroom in time and another threw up grass and leaves.

It was an interesting experience and I'm looking forward to doing it again. I had one student who didn't speak any English, another kid who was voluntarily mute, and several other students that didn't like listening to English. By the end of the day, students in each class started calling me Mr. P. It's funny what people do when they can't pronounce a person's name. I find it rather endearing. The rest of the day would have been a haze if it weren't for the fact that I had to go to work at the land of coffee and broken dreams.

I just watched The Descent again with one of my room ates and his girlfriend. Some people hated this film, but true movie lovers and fans of horror saw that it was an important contemporary film that gives hope to the future of horror. With Halloween coming up, more films are showing their colours (which are normally red 'cause, ya know...blood). I am so excited about two in particular: 30 Days of Night and Saw IV. 30 Days of Night is about a small community in Alaska that must survive the 30 days of night when the last remaining vampires in the world have come out to feed. I love vampires. Blade, Dracula, and Buffy are just a few of the blood-thirsty friends I've made over the many years of this fascination...and, I dare say, fetish. 30 Days of Night is also created by the same writer/director team that created the disturbing and uncomfortable film Hard Candy. Such genius team of arthouse filmmakers are the perfect editions to the vampire metanarrative.

I know that Saw IV is a different story. I am constantly given shit for my love for these gore-graphic films. But I am drawn to them. There is something going on in them that hasn't happened in the horror films of the past. Racial and gender stereotypes are being questioned. Moral issues are being updated. And predictability is becoming less obvious (though, obviously, not gone). But even more than that, the Saw franchise has done something all other franchises have not. They are a continuing story. Author Steven Johnson discusses how TV is proof that people are getting smarter. Shows like Battlestar Galactica, 24, Lost, and Heroes require people to continually tune in. More is required of the viewer than an inconsistent commitment. To get the story you have see it from the beginning. The Saw films are doing that. Of course they are not perfect films, but they are the first series of films to expect more from their viewers. Characters return and ambiguous moments from other films are explained. They are first horror films, but they forcing the genre to become smarter. I say "forcing" because the Saw franchises' success cannot be ignored. Gory movies making over $100 million each is not normal. They are soon to become the most profitable franchise passing up Freddy, Jason, Michael, Leatherface, and, the most profitable before Saw, Scream.

If horror movies are getting smarter, what does that say about the rest of pop culture. I am rather excited to see where things go. Granted reality TV is still mind-fucking the intelligence out of everyone and MTV is truly doing their best to make the most money at their worst, but the power of the cultural underdog just might overtake some of the giants.

My Journey into Anime

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:33 AM 0 comments
As the years go by in my life I have come to terms with a lot of things about myself. I will have back hair in the future. I am sarcastic and can only hope that it will not scare off people or offend people to the point of tears. And my personalty will make some people think I'm okay. But I have found that I am okay with how nerdy I am. Thanks to my friend Casey, I came to terms with my love for sci fi, as we sat through the entire series of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica's three seasons. The latest installment of my nerd power comes in the form of anime. This comes as the natural progression of my enjoyment of the films by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. His films are not anime, though they are often placed in that category. I was also introduced to anime through a cartoon my roommate got me into called Avatar. These are not anime but considered as such simply because they are Japanese fantasy cartoons. Alas, watching these masterpieces gave me the in to a lot of other things. I began watching everything I had heard of in the past or seen at Hollywood Video: Ghost in the Shell (1 & 2), Akira, and Appleseed (me and Garret watched Appleseed and were rather disappointed). But none of these did it for me, so I gave up...until my roommates found some new stuff. Another roommate started bringing in other things like the TV series of The Ghost in the Shell (which was much better).

But two others have stuck out: Samari Champloo and Karas: The Prophecy. Champloo is a one season series about to samurai masters traveling with a 15-year old girl in search of the samurai who smells of sunflowers. It's a samurai show with good action scenes and great wit. Even though it's a period piece, it remains incredibly funny and modern. The soundtrack is completely hip hop and scenes change to the sound of a record scratch. There are several jokes about weed, sex, and whatever else. It's so good. Karas: The Prophecy is a rather confusing film about the spiritual and real world's coexistence. Awesome fight scenes and animation and, once you understand it, a very intriguing story. Karas is the protector of Tokyo. He flies around in the shape of a crow and when he finds trouble becomes the ultimate ninja warrior I have ever scene. He has this contraption that allows him to morph from a ninja warrior into fight ship that shoots at whatever he's chasing...and at random moments his crow wings come out. It's all visual beautiful and intellectually jarring.

I've seen bits of the shows Naruto and Bleach and very much want to get into those too (even though they cost about $70 to buy each season). Hopefully, getting an online renting account will make this latest obsession a little less financially injuring.

Resident Evil 3, now there's a bad movie

Posted by Tim Posada On 6:38 PM 0 comments
I know I shouldn't be a surprise, but Resident Evil 3: Extinction was a terrible film. I saw it with Casey on Saturday and we were physically in pain. I hate watching films where the premise seems easy enough to create something entertaining and they just fuck it up. The previews for Resident Evil 3 looked pretty good and its predecessors were minutely good. But the third was just not good. I was watching wondering how this film went through its writer of origin, re-drafts, read-throughs from producers, actors, and execs and finally, brought to life by a director-all the while being viewed by sound engineers, graphic designers, cinematographers, and who else had to suffer through this film's creation.

Let's begin with the plot...and we're done. The plot came about 30 minutes too late, and it wasn't strong enough. Oh yeah, and that part in the preview where Milla Jovovich is standing in the middle of an apocalyptic Las Vagas...that's only one seen. The rest of the film feels more like a bad remake of Mad Max with a quarter of the intelligence and even less of the entertainment. The characters were everywhere and most just died in one scene. The other's were written off. The big boss battle at the end was so anticlimactic. And on top of everything else, our leading lady who started as a super soldier turned genetically enhanced super soldier could, all of a sudden, move things with her mind. And they never explain why she can do that.

The Resident Evil franchise has become one of, if the most, popular video game movie series. That's a little sad. I actually like Jovovich as an actor. She was amazing in The Fifth Element and does decent in her other films, but like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, she just picks bad roles. In the end, what a piece of shit.

Trying to live

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:40 AM 0 comments
Life has been rather unique these past view weeks. For my loyal audience of three, you know that I've graduated and am hoping to move beyond the borders of the land of coffee and broken dreams. To coincide these unique events, I'm churchless and one of my closest friends Casey has moved back to Arizona for a little while. Needless, to say life is going to be different. To compensate for the lack of educational motivation I've been tracking down websites that will publish me (expect a few more film reviews on some other sites in the next view days and weeks). I have a new motivation and sense of urgency in my desire to write (today I even began mapping my eventual book The Gospel According to Horror Movies). I'm rediscovering my love for music (I saw As Cities Burn play the other night, and their new album continues to move me). I've even begun to branch out of my usual daily gang to meet some new faces, though I'm still not ready to return to church yet. Crossroads are weird thing. I hate them yet can't avoid them. I know we're supposed to like change, but I can't remember the last change that I've actually been okay with. Everything's always forced. For the love it would be nice to have some stability. Either way, life is good...so's TV.

A Good Day

Posted by Tim Posada On 10:25 PM 0 comments
Today was a pretty damn good day. I did, however, have to go to work, but I won't let that spoil anything. I got my summer grades today, and the final scores for my grad career are A, A, A, and A-, brining my GPA to 3.63. I also have had some articles published online at the websites Getyourtournament.com and rednow.com. Me and Casey are over half-way through season six of 24 and just finished book two of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Life is pretty good. All I need is a real job and a real girlfriend. Until then, Buffy the Vampire Slayer here I come.

Either than that stuff, life is interesting. I've been trying to read Culture Jam but it's just no an interesting book. The concepts are fine but the practical application isn't there and the pessimism is a major hindrance to motivation. On top of that, I can't find the book. I'm hoping to start reading Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy and finish reading Teaching to Transgress. I've begun mapping out my musical (my emo love story musial). I'm writing some other articles for rednow.com and trying to get some others published on other websites. The diet is gonna start any day now, and hopefully subbing will go through soon so I can quit Starbucks (and hopefully find my soul again). Life is good.

DEATH & REBIRTH: CAPTAIN AMERICAN TAKES UP ARMS