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Saturday, August 16, 2003
Canadian Strikes Back
Heh. Well played, Mike. Well played.
Friday, August 15, 2003
I'm using lots of it right now
I have a hard time getting people to come over to my house. I don't know if it's the remote locale, or the psycho kitty or the Blair Witch living in my vast back yard, but the visits just keep on not coming.
This week was an exception. My brother made the trek from the San of Antonio and we commenced to undusting ye old PlayStation2 and christening it with Madden 2004, which now comes with so many options and gameplay modes that you end up spending more time telling the game how you want to play it than you do playing the actual game. (Much was made, as well, of the "widescreen" setting, which actually doesn't seem to look any better on a widescreen TV than the regular 4x3 setting stretched to widescreen by the TV itself. Damn you, EA! When will you tease some progrssive scan goodness out of the PS2? Oh, what, you can't? Well then, damn you Sony!)
We're also hitting some Silent Hill 3, maybe a little Virtua Fighter 4 tonight and last but not least, Knights of the Old Republic, which among Star Wars fans (I'm not really one of them) has caused a soiling in the pants and a wet-enning of the athletic cup not seen since maybe the original Star Wars arcade game. The one that told you, "The force will be with you, always." People are just going absolutely Wookie-shit over this game, going so far as to say that George Lucas should just give up the last Star Wars movie (currently called, it's rumored, "Return of the Inferior Trilogy") and let Bioware make it for him.
We may go hit Lan's Edge and maybe catch a movie tonight.
It's nice to have my brother in town. He's growing up way too fast.
But I just found you!
One of the dangers of reading online journals or getting actively excited about Web sites you just discovered (but ones that other people have known about for years) is that the minute you get addicted to them and have exhausted their archives, the person suddenly stops updating regularly.
You missed the boat. You didn't get the thrill of checking back an dseeing a shiny update, exciting and new. You're officially late on the bandwagon, and all that's left for you is crusty leftovers.
It's as if they knew you were coming, decided you were the final straw as far as undesirable readers go, and skipped town, leaving no forwarding address.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Movies this week...
Camp: I sorta tease the Broadway babies, but only because for a very short time in college, I was one. I was, for one semester in high school, in a show-choir type class (highlight: I was one of the guys in "Nothin' Like a Dame" from South Pacific in a revue we did. Oh, and I was Sonny in Grease), but I never really "knew" any broadway musicals until Rent came out. They sent me the CD when I was an entertainment editor at my college paper, and I swear I wore that thing out. I also was friends with some people on the college yearbook staff, and for a couple of weekends in a row, we'd all get together and drink a damn lot and at 4 in the morning, belt out songs from Rent, slurring everything, I'm sure. Um, which is all to say that this whole movie is sort of Fame for teens hooked on Broadway and I guess Stephen Sondheim appears in it. Go check it out, I suppose, if you hear the neon lights are bright on Broadway.
Freddy vs. Jason: I missed seeing the screening on Tuesday because of rehearsal, but opinion on this seems to be either, "It's awful!" or "It's so awful it's great!" I did a short little wrap-up of the Freddy movies for our entertainment section this week to go with our Camp Freddy Vs. Jason piece, and in writing it, I was shocked to discover that I'd seen all seven Nightmare on Elm Street movies. That's where my youth was spent, folks. Listening to Robert Englund make with the wisecracks after tearing someone a new orifice about the gut.
Grind: Gnarly, dude! Remember how bad Gleaming the Cube was? Man. that movie. Soooo bad. Is this one any better? Who cares? Adam Brody is in it! Adam Brody is currently the reigning king of TV in my house right now (well, him and five gay guys on Bravo) based on his damn fine performance in The O.C.. Is all that skateboarding he does on the show a huge shoutout for the movie? Who cares? I'm never going to pay to see it anyway.
Jet Lag: I know I'm supposed to really care about this movie because Jean Reno and Juliette Binoche are in it, and the mere mention of their names makes hip urban movie critics pee their leather pants. But really? Yawn.
Mondays in the Sun: Javier Bardem was amazingly fantastic in Before Night Falls even if the movie itself left me cold. I'm going to try to check this out. There was a movie on cable the other night with Bardem where he was some sort of phone sex guy. Let me tell you, this guy's not afraid to bring The Sexy on screen.
Open Range: According to the reviews, Costner has finally made a solid movie, one that is old-school maybe to a fault. But his name has come to mean "bloated, self-indulgent crap" and I'm thinking audiences aren't ready to forgive and forget. I think it's going to tank, big time, unless there's this huge demographic of people who love Westerns and have been waiting for one like this since Unforgiven.
Uptown Girls: The only thing I'll say about this is that I'm proud to have had a reason to get the word "skanky" into the paper. That is all.
Wattstax: I don't really do concert films at the theater, but I bet this one will be a good DVD to check out. Bonus: Richard Pryor in his prime is featured in it.
DVDs: Saw Kiki's Delivery Service which was great, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Mr. Show third season DVD, which I'm starting to watch. I've seen all the episodes, but the real reason to own this is the commentary. Also looking forward to seeing the new Animal House DVD edition having never seen the movie in its entirety.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Ways to tell you're the only sane person in a crazy world:
You notice every day that SOMEBODY is buying beef jerky out of the work vending machine. And it's not you.
Unexplained fits of expertly contained anger and sadness.
You were not invited to be in a flash mob
You're not on the Atkins diet
You're not really jazzed about Matrix: Revolutions
You think traffic is for suckers.
Your credit card statements
A third season of Temptation Island
The fucking weather lately
Department store concierges
Your e-mail inbox
How that guy in front of you smelled at the post office and how he was wearing green suede pants and a heavy suit jacket in 105 degree weather. That is fucking crazy
The Texas legislature
Sex in general. Moreso on late-night cable TV.
Those things guys stick in their earlobes to give themselves four-inch ear holes
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
The Apocalypse (Lite)
It's like the world is ending over here.
Last night, a freak storm broke our 100+ degree weather. All of a sudden, it was raining everything but frogs. In the middle of rehearsal, our lights went out. The major highway that runs through Austin was blocked off as power lines and debris hit the expressway.
Today, I got to work and the Internet was gone. Poof. Bye Bye. Even though our newsroom is full of Macs, which are immune to the latest Microsoft-targetted worm, we have servers in the building running Windows, so the panicked plan was to just disconnect everything from server the gateway server in Atlanta.
That left the entire newsroom with no e-mail and no Web access. People (me included) freaked the fuck out. It was insanity. Fact couldn't be checked. Contacts couldn't be retrieved. It was like somebody had dropped a Luddite Bomb. People were reaching for their phones, clutching their snail mail, just wounded. I snuck away and used my laptop and dial-up account to check my messages, but because everything is routed through my main e-mail address, e-mail had dribbled down to nothing as well.
Meanwhile, most of the outside world was just humming along, mostly oblivious to the panic we were feeling here. Some people said they were glad to be cut off from the online world, like they'd rather be spearing fish and talking to a volleyball than dealing with penis enlargement spam.
It was harrowing. People were talking about survival and desperation. I expected zombies to burst thorugh the window, projectile vomiting blood and making us reach for our Pepsi's and shotguns.
Somewhere in all the madness, my Xl Blog entry got posted. Not sure how that happened given that we were adding up numbers on abacuses and re-learning shorthand, but there it is. (And yes, I realize I plagiarized myself on the Chicago DVD bit, but the rest is all fresh, I swear.)
Awful mood: Contained
... And then, late at night, when the house was quiet and the only sound was Dido playing on the computer (shut it. It was the only CD in the room. I swear.), I did something I should have done weeks ago. I wrote a letter about an opportunity I'd failed to pursue, maybe out of meekness or fear or just not wanting to put my name out there in a place where it could be rejected.
But writing that letter lifted a tiny weight from my shoulders and suddenly, my dad day ended on a better note. If I could do this, I thought, in just a few short minutes, think what I could do with the rest of my week.
Watch out, Tony Robbins. There's a new inspirational fucker on the block.
Monday, August 11, 2003
I'm in an awful mood and have been for most the day. It's one of those bad moods where you'd like to wear a T-shirt that says either "Handle with Care" or "Walk the Other Way" just to warn your friends to stay away before you say something you'll have trouble taking back later.
It's not any one thing that did it, either, just a long day of petty annoyances, rushed assignments and the dawning discovery that I may have been severely fucked over in a way that I almost didn't realize. The kind of fucking over that may domino in effect to create Major Life Change.
Nothing for you to worry about, honest, and it may just be that I'm tired and haven't been to the gym and just have a lot of anxiety and negativity swirling around right now. It may be nothing that a hot shower, a good night of sleep and some Knights of the Old Republic on Xbox won't be able to fix.
Remember on Friday how I was all bored at work and wanted everyone to update their sites so I'd have something to read?
I take it back! Karma has found me a tasty target and has unloaded the floodgates of work upon me. I'm swamped! Drowning! Flailing! Help!
That crazy new Internet craze
A front-page article in today's paper focuses on blogging, and specifically Adam Weinroth, the guy behind Easy Journal. If you follow blogs or are in the blogging world, nothing in this article will strike you as particularly new except maybe the burgeoning popularity of Adam's site.
I met Adam a few months ago at an Austin Journalers' get together and he was friendly and smart. Glad to see his work is paying off.
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