Schadenfreude and other thoughts

We often say that in Malaysia, things usually almost work. Yesterday was no exception.  We came home yesterday from an evening out all ready to watch England-Portugal on either ESPN or Star Sports, but they weren’t showing it.  Instead, we could watch old World Cup matches that we had already seen.  So that was annoying.  But we were happy to wake up this morning and see that France had beaten Brazil.  I (TP) haven’t felt this good about a non-US World Cup match since mid-July 1998.

We’ve been seeing ads for a special Nusantara Crafts Festival being held here this weekend, so today we went and found it.  (Nusantara is the Malay/Indonesian word for Malaysia and Indonesia; it corresponds roughly to “archipelago,” but it only refers to this one.)  It was fun to walk around and see all sorts of arts and handicrafts and textiles and stuff.  We saw lots of batik, pearls, and silverwork.  We also enjoyed ourselves watching two Malay girls playing with a kitten.  It was cute.

Over lemon chicken and hot-and-sour soup last night, JM and I were discussing movies.  We had planned to see a movie last night, but we couldn’t find a single thing worth seeing.  This is pretty amazing–in Malaysia, movies only cost about $2.50 a person, so we’ll see almost anything.  The problem is that all movies these days are bad remakes of old movies or TV shows.  For example, Superman.  We were thinking, can anyone think of a single movie remake that is as good as the original?  We cannot.  We did think of some that are not bad movies (Ocean’s Eleven, the Italian Job), but neither of these are  even close to the originals, which were fantastic movies.  It can be argued that Charlie’s Angels is better than the TV series, but that’s because the series, in reality, was pretty awful.  Can anyone think of a remake that’s good?  If not, why doesn’t Hollywood stop making them?

On a personal note, a member of my weekly poker game has won a seat in the World Series of Poker.  I like to think that I taught Matt everything he knows about poker: how to take money off of a crappy player, how to read a bluff, how to identify a tilt, and why you should let your opponents be the one who drinks 10 beers at the table.  Best of luck to him.