Movies Watched -- We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

98 minute running time so the perfect length, but it’s pretty slow, I had to watch it at 1.5x ffwd. A story about marriage, adultery, and friendship. Two youngish couples: 1) Older brother from Six Feet Under (Peter Krause) and Naomi Watts (yes, another in my Naomi Watts’ series of movies), and 2) gorgeous Mark Ruffalo and Laura Dern (Bruce’s skinny-ass daughter).

Mark and Naomi are having an affair. Both couples have young children. Both men teach at the local community college. Peter is a frustrated writer, Mark grades the occasional paper. Naomi drives an old Mercedes station wagon, so she has family money; there is a scene where she gets a check from her Mom. Laura Dern is broke, so there is a money/class angle they touch on, though briefly.

It’s a small town (Vancouver), Mark and Naomi would be found out immediately — it’s unrealistic. Later Peter Krause and Laura Dern start screwing … Bruce’s skinny-ass daughter looks like the Wild Witch of the West even when she isn’t screeching. Painful to watch these couples as they contemplate splitting up (since they have kids, otherwise I wouldn’t care). Gets complicated, arty drama, very restrained, educated white people stuff. You know, boring.

It wasn’t terrible, just sort of blah, who cares. Yellow rating at best.

Eleanor Ringel Cater got it right: “A movie as empty as its title. A lot of good acting is going on, but there's nobody home.”

It’s much easier to live with a woman who feels loved

It’s much easier to live with a woman who feels loved

Honor Thy Stop

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Another great Chat With Traders episode, this time with Nishant Porbanderwalla, a prop trader with Kershner in Texas … lots of great bits, especially his insights on patience and confidence, you should listen to it all closely, but this was my favorite bit:

“I spoke with a senior trader and he said if you have a stop, you respect your stop and get out. If you still like it, take some time, and get in again. I learned that the hard way.”

The original text from Buzzy:

Click to enlarge

Movies Watched -- Stay (2005)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

98 minute running time so a good length, but I watched it at 2-4x fast forward. Stars sock-less Ewan McGregor, playing a shrink, young Ryan Mouseketeer Gosling playing his suicidal patient ‘Henry,’ and Naomi Watts is girlfriend of the shrink, frustrated artist, at-one-time-suicidal-patient-now-girlfriend (yes, another in my Naomi Watts series of movies)… Mouseketeer Gosling can see into the future maybe? …looks like some kind of psychological mindbender, but an annoying one … Gosling’s parents killed in a car crash apparently, Henry was driving…. ah, I don’t want to spoil it, but things become semi-clear at the end, or not really, the ending may further muddy what came before.

You’d really have to be in the mood to watch pretentious nonsense like this, but I wasn’t. The critics universally hated it… Rex said, “This is the kind of flop that makes even the popcorn taste lousy.“ Roger Moore called it a, “heartless puzzle [with] many cryptic clues that don't really lead to that finale.“ Bob Denerstein says it “plays like an impenetrable collage.“ Peter Rainer may have captured it best by calling it “a great big blurry mess.“

Love that necklace

Love that necklace

Movies Watched -- Strange Planet (1999)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

92 minute running time so a good length… but the old DVD I got had poor audio and no subtitles so I couldn’t understand much and watched it at 1.5-2x then 4x fast forward. Terrible soundtrack. Another movie in the Naomi Watts series of movies I’m watching. Odd to hear Naomi speaking her native Australian English. Apparently a movie about relationships … Naomi and her two pretty girlfriends and a parallel three guys … also features the bad guy from Matrix, Agent Smith … Naomi plays a good girl, I guess. They eventually all fall in love in the end … it was probably pretty bad from what I could see at 4x ffwd, just boring, conventional, trite stuff. A chick flick. Red rating.

Student Naomi

Student Naomi

Diagnostic Criteria: Trading Disorder

Added on by C. Maoxian.

* For informational purposes only *

A. Persistent and recurrent problematic trading behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or

distress, as indicated by the individual exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12­-month period:

a. Needs to trade with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.

b. Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop trading.

c. Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop trading.

d. Is often preoccupied with trading (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past trading

experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with

which to trade).

e. Often trades when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).

f. After losing money trading, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).

g. Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with trading.

h. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity

because of trading.

i. Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by trading.

B. The trading behavior is not better explained by a manic episode.

Specify if:

Episodic: Meeting diagnostic criteria at more than one time point, with symptoms subsiding

between periods of trading disorder for at least several months.

Persistent: Experiencing continuous symptoms, to meet diagnostic criteria for multiple years.

Specify if:

In early remission: After full criteria for trading disorder were previously met, none of the criteria

for trading disorder have been met for at least 3 months but for less than 12 months.

In sustained remission: After full criteria for trading disorder were previously met, none of the

criteria for trading disorder have been met during a period of 12 months or longer.

Specify current severity:

Mild: 4–5 criteria met.

Moderate: 6–7 criteria met.

Severe: 8–9 criteria met.

The Grammatically Correct Charlie Rich

Added on by C. Maoxian.

The great Charlie Rich … when singing along, I always change the line to “Because I believe she’d do the same if she were me, and I wouldn’t know where to turn if she were gone.”

Pause and Retract Claws

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Sounds like Tal has been working on her singing (most think of it as “unremarkable”) … I think she’s great.

Movies Watched -- Flirting (1992)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

99 minute running time so the perfect length. I really enjoyed this one. From Australia so subtitles, which my DVD thankfully had, are required to understand the English. I spent the whole movie thinking I was watching young Ben Mendelsohn, but the lead was another guy from Melbourne born in 1969 named Noah Taylor. I got this one because it’s another in my series of Naomi Watts movies … Naomi was born in 1968, Nicole Kidman in 1967 — features all these talented young Aussies when they were in their early 20s.

The female lead is a stunningly beautiful mulatto girl named Thandie Newton (born in England in 1972), the daughter of an actual Zimbabwean princess (I believe it) and an English father.

Teenage love story with an interracial spin, set in the boarding schools (one for girls, one for boys, separated by a lake) of 1965 Australia. Racism, honor, jealousy, friendship, and the usual boarding school horrors.

Sweet story, good writing, good acting. Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote: “a winner of many prizes in Australia, this lovely feature deserves them all,“ and I agree! Green rating.

Just flirting. (Young Naomi second from the right)

Just flirting. (Young Naomi second from the right)

Movies Watched -- Persons Unknown (1996)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

99 minute running time, which is the perfect length, but this was a terrible movie. Continuing my Naomi Watts series of movies … she’s good in it, but the story is so bad and the writing is so bad and the acting is so bad and the budget is so low — just awful, it wouldn’t even be shown as a made-for-TV movie, straight to the dumpster. Made in 1996, but it feels so out of date, like it’s 100 years old, not twenty. Red rating, avoid like the plague, unless you want to see Naomi tear up on demand in scene after scene.

Nerdy 70s glasses with matching VW bus .. shadow created the pencil mustache

Nerdy 70s glasses with matching VW bus .. shadow created the pencil mustache

Movies Watched -- Eastern Promises (2007)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

100 minute running time, so the perfect length. The second in my Naomi Watts series of movies. This one wasn’t terrible like The International, but it also wasn’t very good — it’s slickly made but the story is kind of lame. Stars Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, who plays a Russian mobster (with a twist, no spoilers). It’s based in London so Naomi gets to work on her British accent, and Aragorn speaks Russian at length, I wonder how well?

There’s one great fight scene in a bathhouse which Aragorn does completely nude. There’s always been a double standard when it comes to full frontal nudity in the movies, so I was glad to see Aragorn willing to put his uncircumcised dingle-dangle on display. The guy who plays Kirill, the main mobster’s son — an old guy with bright blue eyes, really eats up the role. It’s a pity that the lack of long winters in London has turned him into a homosexual. Orphan baby rides off into the night on an old Ural (without sidecar). Yellow rating.

Peter Bradshaw said it was “clunky and inauthentic,” and Tony Lane asks “Must [Cronenberg] cling to his schlocky reputation at all costs?“

Goodbye, Anna Ivanovna

Goodbye, Anna Ivanovna

Movies Watched -- The International (2009)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

119 minute running time so at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. I’m on a Naomi Watts kick, trying to watch every movie she has ever been in, which may be a mistake. I think she’s super talented and she looks just like the Australian version of one of my closest Chinese girlfriends from back in the day.

This movie was terrible. Clive Owen can’t act, but he has the designer stubble, cleft chin, and deep brown puppy dog eyes that got him some work for a time. Dumb story, badly written. No one is interested in criminal banks, even if they are led by Kai Proctor (god, I loved Banshee). One interesting thing they did was build a Guggenheim Museum set and shoot it up, but this was so idiotic, so incoherent, so pointless. Poor Naomi having to take roles like this with embarrassing expository dialogue. Lots of drone shots of fabulous locales, but just lousy, not thrilling, not interesting … a total waste of time. Red rating, avoid.

Edelstein called it a “slow road to nowhere,” and Rex (sorry, no link) said it “makes no sense at all.”

Teary on demand

Teary on demand

Office Art

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I had the classic Al Ross (Abraham Roth) cartoon (from December 1981) framed for my spare bedroom, er, home office. The framer did a great job with it.


Stabilizing Transactions

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From The IPO Decision by Jason Draho:

“Short covering: The underwriter can take an initial short position in the stock by overselling the IPO. Short covering in the open market creates additional demand that supports the price when there is selling pressure. The short position can alternatively be covered by exercising the overallotment option (OAO). An OAO is a standard feature of IPOs and it grants the underwriter the option to purchase additional shares from the issuer and resell them to investors at the offer price. The typical OAO is for 15 percent of the offer size and is exercisable for up to 30 calendar days after the offer date. The underwriter can completely hedge the upside risk if the short position does not exceed the size of the OAO, yet still maintain buying power to support the price when there is a sell imbalance.

Share repurchases by the underwriter in the open market are referred to as syndicate covering transactions and are subject to the same Regulation M disclosure requirements as penalty bids. In practice, investors are not informed that a particular trade is a short-covering transaction. The underwriter only has to include a statement in the prospectus indicating that it may engage in stabilizing transactions in conjunction with the offering of securities.”

And the same is true for every following offering of securities, although “Stabilizing is prohibited in an at-the-market offering.“

Movies Watched -- Green Book (2018)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

129 minute running time which means it was at least 30 minutes too long … I would cut out the punching the cop scene / Bobby Kennedy phone call and the YMCA rescue scene, since they were both no doubt fictionalized to give the movie a little more drama, but frankly it didn’t need it and moviemakers should always be looking to cut cut cut.

Stars Aragorn, son of Arathorn (who has put on 50 pounds in around 15 years), and Remy Danton, acting ever effete … never forget that Jimmy Breslin called Mayor Dinkins "a fancy shvartzer with a mustache."

This wasn’t badly made, but it was pretty heavy-handed (Barry Hertz called it “Racism for Dummies,” which made me laugh) and also didn’t spare the heartstring music, which annoyed me. Nice to see Linda Cardellini get some movie work (I loved her in Bloodline … well, I loved everything about Bloodline). The Negro Motorist Green Book itself does interest me, it was more than the black AAA guide, it was a directory to all the service providers who didn’t discriminate based on skin color, put together by a black postman and his network of other black postmen. That’s fascinating.

Solid yellow rating for sure but doesn’t get the coveted green go.

Dick Brody hated it and called it a “bland, regressive flip on ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’” which may seem overly harsh, but I see what he’s saying and largely agree with him.

Christ, I’m blacker than you are!

Christ, I’m blacker than you are!

Movies Watched -- Siberia (2018)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

97 minute running time, which is a good length, but this was a terrible, terrible movie. I got it out of a Red Box on a lark, and regret it. A Rotten Tomatoes score of 11% (which I learned after the fact) is generous.

An idiotic non-story, badly written. Multiple gratuitous sex scenes, completely unrealistic for a 51-year-old guy (even if he is fit), except for when he was performing Keanulingus. His Russian (actually Romanian) lover was sort of different because she had buck teeth and weird bones — I liked that.

Keanu still can’t act, everyone knows this, including Keanu, but he looks good with his stubble and no eyelashes (1/4 Chinese after all), and thankfully doesn’t open his mouth much, except to perform Keanulingus.

Blue diamonds, private jets, jacked-up Range Rovers, comical Russian gangsters … these are things that might appeal to a certain kind of teenage boy, but even he would throw up his hands about this one.

It’s a complete mystery to me how movies like this get made. Who funds them? Taxpayers in Manitoba? God almighty.

Rex hated it (“direction looks phoned in from a toll booth in the Ukraine … the screenplay is incomprehensible”) along with everyone else.

Burn the house down (with the movie producers trapped inside)

Burn the house down (with the movie producers trapped inside)

Movies Watched -- Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

121 minute running time so at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. I didn’t hate this one. The story of the World Tennis Association is interesting, though they whitewashed Bille Jean’s relationship with Marilyn (which ended badly). The girl who plays Billie Jean King is much more attractive than Billie Jean ever was, and Steve Carell is good as Mike Myers playing degenerate gambler Bobby Riggs. Good production values, slickly made. Also works in some pro-homosexual propaganda, as Hollywood likes to do these days. Not a green rating since it’s overly long, but a solid yellow for sure.

My favorite old fag and brilliant movie critic, Rex Reed, predictably loved it.

Dorky 70s Eyeglasses

Dorky 70s Eyeglasses

Movies Watched -- The Disaster Artist (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

103 minute running time, which is a good length, but I found it sort of unbearable and watched it at 1.5x. Tells the story of a brain-damaged guy named Tommy Wiseau who, along with his friend Mark, made a movie called The Room, which is apparently so terrible that it became a cult classic — I’d never heard of it. It’s a sad story, an awful story really about this deranged guy and his efforts to write, direct, and star in a movie. Maybe Tommy got the money from a medical malpractice lawsuit? He spent $6 million apparently, and the people who helped make the movie were happy to take it, the lowlifes. Red rating, avoid.

Dick Brody also wasn’t thrilled.

I feel you.

I feel you.

Trading Wisdom

Added on by C. Maoxian.

You have to figure out if you’re trading to win or trading not to lose. You need to trade to win. A bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush. You don’t have an edge. Every trade is a coin flip. Your only edge is trade management: cutting losses short and letting winners run. Don’t double down. “… quite a few participants felt that some sort of doubling down, or Martingale betting strategy, was optimal, wherein the gambler increases the size of his wagers after losses “ Keep your bet size consistent and in line with your bankroll. You have to be able to lose and lose and lose and lose and lose and keep your bet size consistent. You want to bet bigger to “make it back,” and you want to get revenge, that’s only human nature. Recognize the urge and resist it. Hide your P&L to conceal both your losses (which are known, but cumulative) and gains (which are unknown).

When I was a kid I worked as a photocopy boy in an H&R Block office. They offered something to customers called the “Rapid Refund,” which was a high interest loan on a tax refund. People would pay the $20, $30 whatever fee to get their $100 tax refund a month earlier than normal. This struck me and the lesson it taught is forever in my mind as I trade.

“… individuals’ usual tendency to attribute winning performance internally and losing performance externally“

I have no idea why the academics call it the “disposition effect,” but it’s natural for human beings to cut their profits short and let their losses run … it’s also human to attempt to add to a loser to dig yourself out of a hole. The struggle against your own natural tendencies is real and all-important.

Trying to find something that works, you’re going to go down a thousand dead-end roads. Be willing to give up on your cherished ideas when they prove to be worthless. Every one of your brilliant ideas has already been tested and discarded by somebody who is smarter, richer, and faster than you. Don’t be naive. You might think for years that VWAP or Fibonacci or Elliott Wave or whatever is the end all be all, so you won’t be able to drop the idea even when you find no value in it. You have to be able to cut your losses in the idea realm too. Sunk cost fallacy is real.

From Tom Basso: “When you find the proper level [of dollar risk] to trade for you, everything will seems easier and less stressful. If you are just starting out, start with as small a size as you can. As you are successful with trading and are starting to notice a long run of sticking with your strategy, having discipline, and feeling comfortable with the process, you can always dial it up a little at that point. The more experience you have, the more size you can tolerate and still feel comfortable that you are right-sized. Err on the conservative side.”

From Jack Schwager’s interview with Stevie Cohen:

“Q: Has that been something you were always able to do—that is, turn on a dime when you think you're wrong?

A: You better be able to do that. This is not a perfect game. I compile statistics on my traders. My best trader makes money only 63 percent or the time. Most traders make money only in the 50 to 55 percent range. That means you're going to be wrong a lot. If that's the case, you better make sure your losses are as small as they can be, and that your winners are bigger.”

“Use a wider initial stop (say 3 ATRs) … once the market starts moving in your favor, tighten up the stop … use a time stop as well as the initial wide stop … doesn’t hit proft target or stop within X bars, just get out.” — Linda Raschke

(I’ll add more when inspired.)

Movies Watched -- The Big Sick (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

120 minute running time so at least 20 to 30 minutes too long. Culture clash rom-com. Promising beginning, but then it became mawkish or soppy and started to drag on and on and on. My big problem with it was the guy was a wimp… a feminized, milquetoast-y, Millennial-type. He didn’t tell his parents straight up, “I’m not marrying a Pakistani girl, I’m in love with Elia Kazan’s granddaughter,” he just sort of strung them along. Tiny Holly Hunter (mom) looks good for her age, but I didn’t care for her foul mouth, and there was old mumbling Ray Romano (dad) in disguise (beard and glasses). No discussion of the girl’s health care expenses in the corrupt American healthcare system (that would have been interesting). I wasn’t thrilled. Yellow rating at best.

Dick Brody gets it right: “‘The Big Sick’ suffers from an excess of pleasantness, and this very pleasantness thins out its substance, blands out its tone, weakens its comedy … wan and flaccid … [the movie] labors under the curse of the relatable, the likable, the admirable.“

You can lose your family… for love

You can lose your family… for love