20th Anniversary Skimboarding Season: Session #01

May 26, 2007

That is what I thought as I sat upon my trusty bamboo mat after a surprisingly hardcore 90-minute skimboarding session this afternoon. … As always I began by walking through Shinjuku station like a Hero, on my way to platform #1 to catch the 2pm Shonan Shinjuku Tokaido line express train. … I even was able to get a seat right from there, which is quite rare.

…It was good to lay eyes on all the familiar sights of Chigasaki station and the long street leading to the Sea. A few new buildings went up since I last walked it in November, and to my horror, instead of seeing Very, Very Strawberry finally open for business again, the whole restaurant, building and all, was gone!

…I kind of intended to go sans wetsuit and just Man-up as usual, but the water was still very arctic, and I saw no reason to be uncomfortable the whole afternoon.

…I only expected to maybe get an hour session in, just get back a little rhythm to start the season off. And with the conditions not looking good, I thought I’d be lucky to do even that. … When I spotted a wave I wanted to ride, I would start my run, and then once seeing where exactly I wanted to drop my board I’d burst forth with such acceleration I felt it was not my legs carrying me, but like speed I’d have only in a dream. Such is the ecstasy I felt upon returning to the Sea, that I could summon speed I can’t remember having for a long time.

…This allowed me to whip across waves on the front side, hitting them with great velocity and fluidity, rocketing back toward the shore after ripping a huge flair. … I got into a rhythm where I was skimboarding not just for the heck of it, but rather to save the world. I thought if I could just run fast enough, time it just right, hit the incoming wave in enough harmony, that it could save the world. … I got surprisingly close, and might have, if not for having to suffer a huge disturbance in the middle of my session from a damned steam shovel!

…It was great to be there with other surfers, wind surfers, and even the spongers. … I even had a great experience when I first got to the beach going into the local surf shop to pick up a tide chart. … I was even able to communicate to her this was my 20th year of skimboarding, which made her say wow.

THE PRESTIGE [2006] review

May 26, 2007

This is my second attempt at writing this review, as the first was lost. I had written at length about how it was peculiar that often Hollywood produced two movies with the same theme in the same year (i.e. comets with “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”). So when both THE PRESTIGE and THE ILLUSIONIST were released in 2006, Hollywood had done it again. Now, in my ILLUSIONIST review I wrote how it was the best movie I had seen in quite some time, and no doubt it was my favorite of all 2006′s movies. THE PRESTIGE is very different in tone, and features far less mystifying magic for the simple fact that it reveals how too much magic is done. THE ILLUSIONIST smartly reveals almost nothing, and perhaps truly nothing.

THE PRESTIGE is very well made and very well acted, and I liked all the scenes with Tesla, but like so many movies these days, there isn’t a single character to like. Both main characters are very unlikable people throwing away perfectly good things in order to one-up the other (both are magicians). The ending was violent and most unsatisfying.

Michael Caine, however, was outstanding as usual, a long-time Jacked-in fave.

Thursdays = LOST

May 24, 2007

People in the real world may watch LOST on Wednesday nights, but for me, LOST is synonymous with Thursday nights. Due to living in Tokyo and being some 13 to 14 hours ahead of U.S. east coast time, it just works out that way. And this has become, as with all things important to me, ritualized. LOST is ingrained into Thursday nights for me. Though I can’t remember clearly, I presume starting with the pilot some 3 years ago almost, I watched LOST around 11:15pm on Thursday night. In the second season especially, the Thursday night ritual was at its strongest. At times I even did other great things earlier on Thursday nights, then came home triumphantly knowing LOST was already safely on the Powerbook’s hard drive waiting to be viewed upon my return.

The glory of those such Thursday nights is no longer possible, but still, I feel radically different when I know LOST is waiting for me after work on a Thursday. No matter how hard I may be on the show, each and every week I still look forward to it as the highlight of my week (nowadays), and settle in, connecting the Powerbook to the grand AQUOS, and prepare to be engrossed for the next 43 minutes. The whole second part of season 3 has been viewed on the AQUOS, and this has added greatly to the LOST viewing experience.

So as I now prepare this Thursday afternoon to watch the season 3 finale later tonight, I feel great expectation, and sadness. My Thursdays will not be the same for a very, very long time, possibly as long as 9 months!

I am preparing for watching this episode as though it were my last.

Jason