13 February 2010

The Department of Lost & Found

Listening to: Mountain Brothers, "Galaxies." Chinese guys who rap? What was this? The MBs were the first Asian American rap group to hit it big (relatively). Over a decade ago, I saw them perform at a Taiwanese conference my freshman year and then put their CD on repeat until the music wormed its way into my head. So hearing this track now, off an album I haven't touched in years, brings it all back. So what are the Mountain Brothers doing now? Like any good Chinese kids, Peril-L and Styles have careers in the medical profession. Chops is still in music though, as a much respected and sought after producer. Video of them performing is here.

Lately when I get home I've been cruising through my basketball DVDs. I used to just watch the highlight videos over and over again but I started getting box sets of entire series and games and just pop those in now. The beauty of it is that I can work and listen at the same time. Currently I'm reliving the 2008 Celtics championship one glorious game at a time. I need it because the 2010 Celtics are in total collapse right now. We knew they were built for the short term but I don't think anyone expected them to fall apart so quickly.

Kevin Garnet is still not the same after last year's mysteriously lingering knee injury. His days as a top defensive player are over, barring a miracle. Paul Pierce is banged up and seemingly a step slower. Ray Allen is erratically steady and still a beautiful shooter, but there's talks he'll be traded. I'd hate to see him leave but he's got a fatty expiring contract. Free agent pickup Rasheed Wallace has been horrific. I can't even stand watching him lazying around out there. I seriously try to avert my eyes when he's on the court. Thanks Detroit, way to give us a lump of dirt. The good news is that point guard Rajon Rondo finally made the All Star game, and he's currently ranked third in the league in assists and first in steals. He's ridiculously amazing and fun to watch. And Kendrick Perkins is getting better with age too.

I'm pretty sure the Celtics are struggling because I haven't blogged about them yet this season and without a public display of my support, the entire franchise wobbles. So after this, post-All Star break I'm sure they'll get right back on track and fight to the Finals to dethrone the odious Lakers. I'm excited already.

With football and Jersey Shore over, there's not much I've got going on TV wise. The solution to that is back to the Netflix queue. Recently I watched Charlie Kaufman's "Synedoche, New York" and Pedro Almodovar's "All About My Mother." Synedoche blew me away, like I was reeling afterwards. It's a movie that's so complicated yet superbly simple and I wanted to rewatch it immediately. Very roughly speaking, it's about living but being dead inside. Kaufman has a gift for taking a crazy high concept idea and then executing it beautifully. Watch all the extras on the DVD, it's well worth the time. Watching All About My Mother, a film that's been recommended to me from many sources, made me regret that I never learned Spanish -- and made me want to live in Barcelona, as always. I haven't loved all of Almovar's films but this one hit home hard. It's got death, transvestites, morality, faith, and is ultimately about parental love. Highly recommended.

"On the surface, it might seem that Almodovar has dug into his usual rogues' gallery for some of All About My Mother's characters. After all, the film features a pregnant nun and a pair of half-men/half-women. However, instead of accentuating the bizarre characteristics of these individuals, Almodover concentrates on their humanity. They are not developed as caricatures; they are brought to life as people worth sympathizing with. Every relationship in this film, regardless of who the participants are, is built with care and consideration."