Pirates of the Caribbean / At World's End : 3 of 5

For the most part, I really enjoyed the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but unfortunately I think it could have been a much better film if the story had been simplified a bit. If you thought it took a little thinking to keep track of everyone's motives in Dead Man's Chest, you will go a little crazy trying to figure out At World's End, which has as many double-crosses as the Black Pearl has holes in its sails! All of the characters have a secret agenda, many of which have little effect on the main flow of the plot, so my advice is just to enjoy the amazing visuals and exciting action, and don't worry so much about everything else (definitely not how you would normally watch a Disney movie!). On the positive side, the battles are fantastic (I really enjoyed the wedding sequence), the huge special effects sequences (like the massive waterfall and the huge whirlpool) are totally cool, and seeing scraggly old Keith Richards make his appearance was actually much cooler than I thought it would be. I only spotted one line from the Disneyland attraction, but it was great to hear it, especially as delivered by Barbossa, who in many ways out-pirates Jack! Geoffrey Rush is really fantastic, shouting his pirate dialogue with sheer gusto. Johnny Depp is fun as always, although I wasn't too fond of the multiple-Jacks idea. The ending was a big surprise to me, since it's definitely not a typical happy ending, but it definitely wipes the slate clean for the next possible film. Even though this trilogy's final chapter is my least favorite, it still makes for an amazing theater experience!

More mornings, please

I've often considered myself as both an early morning and a late night person, since I love to get up early and start the day, but I also love to stay up late! However, it's become more and more obvious to me lately that I can really only get things done in the morning - the evening is just for goofing off. Of course, these work against each other - when I stay up late watching anime (as I have been doing to finish Bubblegum Crisis 2040 again!), then I tend to miss the morning time before work completely. So, I decide I will get some things done after work, but then there's usually a Japanese lesson or a band rehearsal! The worst is when I do have a free night with several things I'd like to do, but I end up goofing off too much (or falling asleep too early). The weekends are so much easier, when my morning can be as long as I want! All of this is a long way to say that I wish I were writing more here on WEBmikey lately, so I guess I need to accept the fact that I just have to get up early when my brain is firing correctly.


Cutie Honey : 3 of 5

Even though I'm not a fan of the original anime, I simply had to see the live-action version of this sexy-action-comedy character, and I had a blast enjoying all the campy excitement! Cutie Honey is a girl who can transform into any costume she wants by yelling "Honey Flash!", as long as she has enough energy, which she gets by chowing down on mountains of onigiri (rice balls). She fights Panther Claw, an evil organization with lots of minions and special warriors, but during the day she's an overworked office girl who's overwhelmingly happy, energetic and cute! The first half of the movie is fantastic - there's a hilarious opening battle, Koda Kumi's fun theme song, cool animated titles, and the story starts off strong with lots of funny supporting characters and great over-the-top situations. There are a couple unexpected musical numbers thrown in for some surprise laughs (especially when Black Claw introduces himself), and of course Honey herself is nice to look at even when she's not exercising in her underwear. Unfortunately, the second half of the movie really goes downhill. The climactic battle gets overly emotional, leaving behind the campy style this story needs, and the final scenes of the film are so lame that I was totally shocked to see the credits start to roll! Most of this movie is still watchable, though, so I definitely recommend it if you like you cute female superheroes, cheesy Power Rangers style special effects, or any combination of both!

Saturday recharge

Sometimes (pretty often, actually) my schedule will end up with a week where I have something going on every night. It's always stuff that I enjoy, but going out night after night gets to me after a while, since I really need time at home every now and then to recharge. This was one of those weeks, but now it's Memorial Day weekend! Since I have an extra day to do my regular weekend chores, I decided to devote every minute of Saturday to pure relaxing! It was really cool - I watched a ton of DVDs, played Nintendo DS and Wii, read manga, listened to lots of music, built LEGO, and thoroughly enjoyed myself! It was actually tough for me to stop myself from doing laundry and paying bills and things (believe it or not), but it was worth it. Today I have a great Sunday planned with lots of activities, and then on Monday I'll catch up on everything I put off. I highly recommend spending a 100% no-work day to everyone!

The Island at the Top of the World : 3 of 5

I've been such a Netflix slacker lately, since I rented this DVD back in January! I wanted to see this movie since I love Disney adventure stories, and The Island at the Top of the World definitely delivered - I was actually pretty surprised at all the action! The plot is about a wealthy Englishman who hires an American professor and a French inventor to travel to the Arctic to rescue his son (and they even pick up an Eskimo on the way). They travel in a huge dirigible called the Hyperion (nice Disney insider trivia there!), and just the voyage alone is pretty exciting, since they have to navigate around icebergs and eventually suffer a thrilling crash! They end up discovering a Viking village that has existed unchanged for thousands of years, and there's a ton of convincing Norse speech without subtitles, as well as great costumes and sets. Actually, nearly every shot is turned into a masterpiece by some terrific matte painting work (many by the legendary Peter Ellenshaw) - it's wonderful how the entire film is transformed by Disney's talented artists. There's still more action to enjoy, including a close scrape with volcanic lava, an underground icicle-filled cavern, and finally a battle with killer whales! I was really impressed with this movie, even though at times the acting was a bit stiff. Unfortunately, the ending is a little abrupt and kind of a let down, but I'd still recommend this film for fans of classic Disney 1970s action.

Walt Disney Treasures / The Hardy Boys : 4 of 5

I wasn't sure how much I would really get into this particular Walt Disney Treasures DVD set, but once I got started, I couldn't stop watching it! The original black & white Mickey Mouse Club ran this serial for four weeks in 1956, and each episode is almost exactly eleven and a half minutes. Disney took one the original Hardy Boys books and transformed it a bit into The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, and the result is incredibly enjoyable and fun (as well as addictive!). After a wonderful creepy theme song about pirates and doubloons, Frank and Joe (amazing child actors Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk) take the screen to solve their case involving stolen gold, a spooky mansion, and even railroad danger! The show is really well-made, with incredibly convincing neighborhood sets all built inside the studio, and the writing is fun, too (my favorite line is when Joe says, "I'd do anything to be a detective - even arithmetic!"). In addition to the complete serial, the entire Mickey Mouse Club episode that introduced the segment is included, along with some interesting info about the Hardy Boys books (which were actually written by a syndicate of different writers using the same pen name, which I never knew). Finally, there's a nice interview with the actors today, who are still energetic and full of memories, which is nice to see. I always feel nostalgic after watching a great series like this, even though I wasn't alive to experience those times - I think that just demonstrates that Disney quality is timeless!


A long time ago...

Yesterday was the official 30th anniversary of Star Wars! It's amazing to think that the original movie classic was released on May 25th, 1977, and like countless other 10 year olds (and every other age!), it's been a huge part of my life since then. So, I thought I would take a moment to share the beginnings of my Star Wars fandom.

When I was in grade school, Dad used to surprise me often by coming home from work with a few new comic books for me, which I used to take to school and read at recess and share with my friends. One day he gave me the first issue of the classic Marvel Comics adaptation of the film, which came out before I had even seen a trailer in the theater. I didn't even know it was going to be a movie, but I loved the comic! One day at school someone told me it was going to be a movie, and I couldn't believe it! Soon after that, I found the novel adaptation and bought it (probably around April 1977), and read it every day until the movie was out. I think I only got about a third of the way through the book before seeing the movie, but I remember I had a clear idea in my head of how scary Darth Vader would be!

I'm not sure of the date that I saw the movie for the first time - it wasn't opening day, but I didn't have to wait too long. My parents took me to see it at this giant domed theater, which made me anxious since the last movie I had seen there was Jaws, which gave me a million sleepless nights! It was a little scary just going to that theater again, but Star Wars overcame that previous traumatic movie experience by filling me with sheer wonder and excitement! I can vividly remember the opening theme and seeing the title blast into the distant star field, but my strongest memory is my first look at the "real" Darth Vader, when he boards the Tantive IV after the Stormtrooper gunfight. I can remember hearing his breathing for the first time, and when he marches towards the camera I remember focusing on the details on his costume and actually thinking to myself, "I'm going to see this over and over again!"

Of course, all of my friends became fans around the same time, and we saw it again whenever we could. My pal Mark Kempton's dad would take us to see it practically anytime we asked, so I must have seen it at least 10 more times with him, and still more times with my other pals! I started collecting things right away (I think my first items were a wall calendar and the Kenner board game!), and soon I got The Story of Star Wars, which was a book and record set containing most of the dialogue of the movie (condensed into about an hour). I listened to that so many times that I quickly memorized the entire film, which has become one of my secret talents to this day.

I'm so happy to have been a Star Wars kid! I think being the right age at the right time made my childhood even more magical and exciting, and 1977 will always stand out for me as one of the coolest years ever. So, I'll chime in with the millions of other blogs and thank George Lucas for making it all happen! I could go on and on about how my fandom has continued to evolve, but instead I'm going to celebrate today by watching Episode IV: A New Hope and building a LEGO Y-Wing fighter!


Manga Mentions 5.07

Here we go with five more blazing-quick manga reviews! Let's get the embarrassing stuff over with first. Suzuka Vol 2 was actually much tamer than the first volume, but I guess I'm really reading it because I hate not continuing once I start something. There's far less of the unsavory girls next door this time, leaving more time for Yamato and Suzuka to wonder what the other is thinking, so now I'll have to keep reading to find out if they ever start dating. Gacha Gacha: The Next Revolution Vol 2 has the typical hot springs story, but balances it out with a pretty funny and heartwarming Christmas plot, so it's not too racy. Dr. Slump Vol 12 is hilarious as usual, especially with the final story of King Nikochan returning to his home planet, and there are also some funny photos of Toriyama making fun of his typical workday. Genshiken Vol 8 finally gets interesting again (previously I was a little disappointed in the second arc of this story), since Ogiue and Sasahara finally confess to each other (in more ways than one)! It's a nice weird love story about coming to terms with geeky obsessions that I really enjoyed. Finally I decided to start a new series with To Terra Vol 1, mainly because I was itching for more science fiction and the cover design was so cool! The plot has a fascinating beginning involving telepathic powers in a computer-controlled society, and this is a nice thick volume that kept me busy for a while, so I'm looking forward to the next one!

Hot Fuzz : 3 of 5

I really had a movie-filled weekend, since my pals and I went to see Hot Fuzz together as part of Ernesto's birthday celebration! This is a super-quirky film with some hilarious scenes, but I have to say right away that it was a little too disjointed for me. Even though I had a fantastic time watching it, I couldn't help thinking that the filmmakers couldn't decide what kind of movie they were making, so they just combined farce, mystery, thriller, slap-stick, situation comedy, and everything else into one plot. I guess this makes for some interesting shock value (like when you think you're watching a funny show and suddenly there's gore all over the screen), but I prefer a consistent genre (call me old fashioned!). Hot Fuzz is the story of Nicholas Angel, a London cop who is so good that he makes the rest of the force look bad, so they send him to a rural town where there seems to be no crime at all. Of course, his super-cop senses find crime in everything, and eventually he does uncover the most bizarre crime wave you can imagine! Along the way there are some incredibly funny action sequences, paying homage to classic cop fighting scenes - it's hilarious to see elderly men and women dueling with rifles and suffering flying kicks! Besides our main character, there are plenty of other townsfolk and police officers to enjoy, particularly Nick's partner Danny, who idolizes action film stars - there's some great interaction between the two of them. I'm sure I'm in the minority with my ho-hum review, but don't get me wrong - Hot Fuzz is still great entertainment and I definitely recommend it for an evening of laughs!

Shrek the Third : 3 of 5

I was happy to help Shrek the Third break some box office records on its opening weekend, and my pal Melinda and I really enjoyed the movie. I recently re-watched the first Shrek just for fun, and it was interesting to me how the jokes just aren't as funny the second time around. I'd say this is the major flaw with trendy animated comedy, which is a formula so many features have been following lately. This time around is no exception, but that doesn't mean I didn't laugh like crazy during the best moments of this movie! I've always loved the Gingerbread Man, and there's a fantastic Six Million Dollar Man spoof when his life flashes before his eyes! I also really loved seeing the princesses decide to take charge and kick some butt - Snow White was especially cool during this Kill Bill tribute. The main characters are just so-so, though. Shrek never really does anything really ogre-ish, and Puss in Boots and Donkey are practically wasted during their body switch. Of course, there's the usual set of pop tune montages to sell soundtracks - the typical "emotional" number seemed particularly out of place this time. Overall I definitely enjoyed myself at the theater, and I'm always thrilled that animated features are getting so much attention these days, but I think the Shrek-esque formula film has run it's course, and I hope the studios can break out of it's money-making mold to provide some timeless entertainment in the future.


Enjoying the moment

I need to take a moment to say life is really wonderful, especially when you enjoy all the simple things. Last night I had fun playing with the Ernesto Marquez Sextet - it wasn't our best show ever, but we still entertained everyone, and afterwards we all went to The Gallery (the super cool club on top of the Continental Club) to have some drinks to celebrate Ernesto's birthday (which is today!). It was so cool too all hang out both as a band and as pals, talking about all kinds of stuff. Today I slept in, had a nice phone call with Mom & Dad (as always), then saw Shrek the Third with my pal Melinda, and we had a great time laughing together. Afterwards I went to the Arboretum to look at Austin map books for my friends Matt & Kumiko, who will be moving here from Japan soon (another reason I'm in such a good mood!), and the weather was so nice that I just had to do my exercise walk, which felt great. As soon as I got home I hit my lounge chair outside - what could be better than sunshine, beer, two and half volumes of manga, and Japanese girls singing in my ears through my trusty iPod shuffle? I feel so great right now, and the weekend isn't even half over! I need to let myself relax like this more often!


Happy Anniversary!

Today in 1963 my parents began their life together! I feel like the proudest son in the world to have such a wonderful mom and dad who love each other so much, so I'm always happy each year when May 17th rolls around. One of my treasures is an album of original wedding photos, so I decided to quickly scan a few of them today to celebrate! Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad - you'll always look like movie stars to me!

View photos: Wedding Day 1963

Genki ippai

Genki ippai is an expression you could translate many ways, but it pretty much means "full of energy" or "full of life". (Although I have a funny Japanese book that always translates genki as "vivacious", which cracks me up!) I really like that expression - I really want to be that expression! Yes, this is another one of those posts where I ramble on about how there are so many cool, fun, meaningful, super-neato things in life that I'll never be able to see and do it all. There are places like Niagara Falls that simply amaze me - I'm not really one for "adventure" vacations, but there are still lots of places I'd like to visit. There are practical things I want to do with my living environment and finances. There are definitely improvements I want to make to stay healthy so I can live as long as possible to do all the things I love. There are a million great times coming up to enjoy with family and friends. And yes, there are way, way, too many books, anime, manga, DVDs, CDs, and toys that I want to collect and devour! Some people I know would say that my "goals" in life are a "waste of time", but I say, "No time to waste!" My most difficult decision in life is figuring out what kind of fun to have next, because I don't think I will ever run out.

Stuck with my old devices

I think the era of the PDA is just about over. My Palm is so old that it makes me look like a hillbilly! (Sorry, I stole that line from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and I love using it!) Palm still sells a couple of models, but I'm pretty sure that's the end of the line. Everyone wants their PDA software bundled into a phone, so now there are a jillion ugly smartphones to choose from. I think they're all too big and ugly, and I don't want to keep a giant keyboard in my pocket when I just want to make a call every now and then! Besides, I'm a Graffiti master - I even have my current Palm hacked to use the old Graffiti since I've learned it so well! Of course, the iPhone may be the answer for me, but I'm not too psyched about an all-in-one device, no matter how cool it is (that could all change the moment I see one in person, though!). I think what I want is nice PDA functionality in my iPod - so I want an iPhone without the phone! Then again, I hate my phone now, too - it's thick and burning battery life like a big-ass truck burns gasoline. Anyway, I've got to get some new devices sometime this year. I will certainly miss certain applications on the Palm, though - mainly kanji studying and countless hours of solitaire on the potty. I love upgrading my toys, but it's awful when I don't know what to buy next!

Bunpou ga daisuki

Lately I've become obsessed with studying Japanese grammar! When I first discovered the fantastic JLPT Study Page, I was pretty far into my Level 4 studies, so I didn't use it that much. But now that I'm itching to discover every inch of Level 3 material, I'm really excited about the complete list of grammar concepts and constructions. I've been going over all of the examples with Kazki in my weekly lessons, and I think it's great practice (it also really helps with my kanji reading, since there's no furigana). Of course, I've read lots of language learning discussion that says boiling a language down to grammar is actually a bad way to learn - they say it's much better to absorb correct sentences and let the grammar follow naturally. I can definitely see how that could be true, but my analytical brain just loves interpreting Japanese like a math equation! Right now I'm studying another Level 3 grammar book from the Complete Master Series (from The Japan Shop, mochiron), and it's been great. I learned the useful -te kara construction just before a conversation with Mikie-sensei, and I used it a lot in my sentences! I guess getting excited about grammar is just about as geeky as you can get over a language, but since I'm proud of being a geek, I guess that's appropriate for me!


I Still Don't Know Jack

I've been a You Don't Known Jack fan from the very first version of the game, back when it came out for the Mac in 1995! I've always loved the crazy categories and questions (most of the fun of the game is figuring out what the "real" question is, since it's usually buried in some clever pop culture reference), and the game show style announcer Cookie is always hilarious. A few years later I picked up the Playstation version of the game, but for the past few years I had completely forgotten about it. Now there's a totally new online version of the game, ready for anyone to play on the You Don't Known Jack website! They have a full-blown episode of the game every week, and a new Dis or Dat mini-game every day, and you can even register to keep track of your scores (and mine are pretty awful at the moment!). I've always loved the text-centric design of the game, and now it looks even cooler since Flash animation has come so far. I'll definitely be checking in to play every now and then (and I need to try all the past episodes that I've missed)!


Wonderful waterfall

My parents and I always take a vacation or two together each year, and this year Mom decided it would be nice to visit Niagara Falls! It was really a fantastic trip for so many reasons. There's nothing like actually seeing the falls in person - I had seen a million photos, of course, but I was still absolutely amazed at what it was like to actually be there! The Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls are both beautiful, and it's incredible to think of the sheer power of all of that water. Our hotel was really nice and had a great falls view, but the best feature was the enclosed walkway to the casino next door, where we spent most of our time! It was fun getting Canadian money and blowing it on the slots, and we found some really fun games (I even managed to play non-stop for several hours on a single $20 once!). We took a wonderful tour to get in all the major attractions, such as the Skylon Tower (terrific view), Journey Behind the Falls (which is mind-blowing just because you can actually look out through the rushing water), and of course, the Maid of the Mist! The boat goes right up to the Horseshoe Falls, and I loved getting soaked in the mist and screaming the whole time! Everything about the trip worked out nicely - we had beautiful weather, a super-friendly driver from the airport and a great tour guide, and I even got to be together with Mom on Mother's Day, which hasn't happened in years. As always, it was a wonderful family vacation!

View photos: Niagara Falls
Watch video: Niagara Falls Vacation


DVD mini-marathon

I'm back from a fantastic trip to Niagara Falls! Hopefully I'll write about it and get some photos up tonight, but last night I was still in vacation mode, which means I didn't feel like doing anything but relaxing. I have so many DVD sets waiting for me to enjoy, but I can never decide what to watch, so I just decided to have a mini-marathon and watch a little of all of them! It was a blast to watch so many shows in one night, one after another. I started out with an episode of Bubblegum Crisis 2040, then moved on to Ultraman (working my way through the second DVD set), and then took at look at the 1980 animated Astro Boy (which is a really fun show so far!). After that, I started Kamen Rider V3 (which is great since I miss watching Kikaida), started re-watching Chobits, and then started watching Sailor Stars, the final season of Sailor Moon (it was nice to see old familiar characters again). Then to top it off, I watched a few episodes of the old Hardy Boys serial from the Mickey Mouse Club! Of course, now I have to keep up with all of these DVDs at once, so I don't forget the plots! Anyway, watching everything in one evening definitely cured my indecisiveness.


Jazz weekend

Besides being a great weekend for geeking out with free comics and Spider-Man, this was also a weekend with two fun gigs for the Ernesto Marquez Sextet! On Friday night we played at North by Northwest, which is a nice brewery/restaurant with a large outdoor patio venue, and we had a nice crowd of people enjoying the food and our tunes. We played a three-hour show, which meant we could be a "real" jazz band and take all the solos we wanted, since we had plenty of time. Lots of friends showed up to see us, too! On Saturday night we played our first show at Tree House Italian Grill, which is a wonderful restaurant with a huge outdoor eating area surrounding a massive tree. Fred, the guy who runs the restaurant, made us feel like stars - he fed us a fantastic meal, bought us a bottle of wine, and even piped our music into the restaurant so folks eating inside could enjoy us, too. It was a great experience, and it must have went well, since we have three more gigs booked there in the near future! Check out the official band website for details, and enjoy a few photos from last night (with thanks to Shawn for the action shots).

View photos: Ernesto Marquez Sextet

Spider-Man 3 : 4 of 5

Spider-Man 3 is a terrifically fun movie, full of incredible action and effects, along with an entertaining story - definitely quite a departure from the comic books, but managing to capture the spirit of the characters really well. I've been extra-excited about seeing this movie, since my pal Jerry worked on it, and seeing the specific scenes that he worked on added an entirely new level of coolness for me! I really enjoyed the sweeping camera movies in the action sequences and all the creative fighting moves, and I loved Spidey firing web bombs and the giant Sandman scenes. I thought Tobey Maguire did an especially good job this time around, and it was hilarious to see him as the "bad Peter" as the Venom suit starts to affect him (though I have to say, the entire jazz club scene was a little silly and could have easily been cut!). Even though it was tough to weave together a plot with these multiple villains, I really enjoyed the result, although the ending was such a low-energy moment after all that action. My biggest complaint is about the brief moments of narration, which are totally unnecessary (just imagine the opening sequence without it and it's so much better!), but that's just a pet peeve of mine. Spider-Man 3 is an awesome roller-coaster ride, one of the best superhero movies ever, and a spectacular effects showcase! I'm sure I'll be seeing it again!

Free Comic Book Day

I hope everyone had a great Free Comic Book Day yesterday! Even though I don't buy very many comics during the year, I always get excited about the first Saturday in May, since it's fun to grab a bunch of cool comic books for free! I usually go to Dragon's Lair (it's a great store and also carries manga), but since my schedule was a little tight yesterday, I decided to visit Thor's Hammer instead, since they are so close to me (they don't have manga or the charm of Dragon's Lair, but it's still a fun shop). I was expecting there to be a limit on how many free titles I could take, so I had already read some reviews of the free stuff to narrow things down, but when I asked what the limit was, the guy thought I was crazy and said, "Um, one of each?" So, I got about 15 comics for free! Way to go, Thor's Hammer! While I was there I browsed for a while, and I really wanted to buy just about everything. I was thinking it would be cool to be locked up with all those books for a least a week and do nothing but read!


George and Me : 3 of 5

I heard about this DVD on several Star Wars fan sites, and since they recently started selling it online for a cheap price (due to the upcoming 30th anniversary of Star Wars), I decided to check it out. Sky Wilson is a kind of web celebrity in the UK who has made several internet video projects about Star Wars fan films. For this new documentary, she decided to look at fandom in general, and so she travels around in both the US and the UK interviewing lots of fans, most of whom are pretty interesting. Of course, she covers Celebration (the huge yearly convention), but I would have loved to see more footage of the show itself, rather than only interviews. Sticking to her fan film roots, there's a long segment on Revelations, one of the best and most professional fan films ever made, which was really fascinating. There's also a nice overview of the 501st Legion, the huge group of costume enthusiasts (mainly Stormtroopers) with over 3,000 members worldwide. Overall, this documentary is really well made, with slick production values, transitional music and effects, and definitely stands above most independent documentary films of this kind. It was fun to watch and enjoy fandom from different perspectives, and I loved the positive view of everyone's obsession! Now if only the title had been better - George and Me is a catchy name, but it really doesn't fit the movie at all!


Small changes are better than none

In case you haven't noticed, I've been trying out a few navigation changes for WEBmikey. I've taken a bunch of links that used to be in the sidebar and moved them to the new About and Archives pages, and I've added some of the labels (tags) I've been using to help you find what you want to read. I've also tweaked some things with my site feed, and added a random Flickr photo just for fun. Finally, the search has been moved all the way to the bottom, since I think I'm the only one who uses it anyway! Yesterday I made an attempt at a total redesign, but I couldn't come up with anything I really liked, so I figure I'll just make these small incremental changes instead. WEBmikey is slowly evolving again!

Toy museum paradise

It's organizational update time! I now have two tall square shelves in the toy room (one on each side of the window), and these are perfect for displaying a Disney Big Fig on the top, so I have a Mickey Mouse on each of them! I completely filled one shelf with my Disney die-cast ride vehicle collection (which hasn't been on display in months), and the other one is basically free for future toys to come. Because of my plan to fill all the walls with toy shelves, I moved anything hanging (such as my animation art) up to the top of the wall (close to the ceiling), and I even got to hang some Disneyland 50th Anniversary merchandise that has been sitting in the closet since I bought it. The room is finally starting to look like a toy museum paradise, and I'm really excited about it! This weekend I worked on the garage, and now its just a matter of figuring out how many garbage days I will need to dump so much junk. I also hung some old posters on the walls out there, so even my garage is going to look cool! In the digital world, I have completely finished moving all of my bookmarks to Delicious (over 1,500 of them), and they are all tagged and ready when I need them. Now Safari just has the things I need on a daily basis, and I think it's great!