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Friday, December 02, 2005
I play videogames
A review I wrote of SSX: On Tour is up at austin360.com and I just finished writing a first-impressions take on Turner Broadcasting's new retro "GameTap" service over at Videogamey.com.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
In a rarity for a Tuesday night, I got off work early enough to get home, make dinner and watch a movie with my marriage-based life partner.
We watched Shattered Glass about disgraced "journalist" Stephen Glass who wrote for The New Republic and fabricated a big chunk of his articles. Part of the fun of the movie was watching Hayden Christensen turn into a giant puddle of goo with glasses, but also keeping in mind that Tom Cruise executive produced the movie while noting that no one in the movie at any point in time suggests that Glass might need to see a psychiatrist. It was also fun watching Rosario Dawson portray a journalist who seems to do no work whatsoever, but still whines to Steve Zahn that she wants a co-byline. Yeah, good luck with that, Rosario.
Rebecca and I talked about the movie, about being an editor, about how easy it is for someone to get away with what Glass did. I really don't buy that scene about how each article "goes through this layer of editing, then that layer, then a third crunchy copy editing layer, then a fourth layer of fact checking and sprinkles" and then the process is repeated four times, each time with the story going back ot the reporter and assigning editor. Maybe they're just anal at New Republic, but if stories really went through that, someone would have thought to google the company in Glass' hackers piece. There's a lot fewer layers of editing in newspapers, and that still gets done.
Amazon's ratings for Glass' post-disgrace novel The Fabulist are either one-star reviews or five-star reviews, with very little in between.
My favorite thing of all: Peter Sarsgaard's indigestion-meets-severe nauseau facial expressions as he realizes what Glass has done.
You could make them real millionaires
The Damn Millionaires, comprised of some very talented and cool people, have released a long-awaited album that you can order here.
Go give them some of your money, because they've certainly worked hard enough for it.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Things that happened over my four-day weekend:
I made more mashed potatoes than I ever have or probably every will make in my life again. You know those giant Russet Potato sacks they sell? I made that entire bag worth of mashed potatoes. I think I overestimated how many people would be at my parents' for Thanksgiving and figured that the only thing worse that lugging in tubs of spuds would be for us to run out at a critical gorging point in the feast. There were plain mashed potatoes and garlic mashed potatoes, although, truth be told, I'm not sure you could tell them apart by taste despite our attempts to roast fresh garlic and pile it in there.
We saw Harry Potter and the Growth Spurt of Ire, which was good considering it tried to do 700 pages worth of story in just over two hours. We also saw War of the Worlds on DVD, which had a shit ending, but a very, very convincingly scary hour and a half before that. I guess you could say the same about Minority Report. My suggestion for future Spielberg/Cruise pairings is that they simply lop off the last 10 minutes of any of their movies. Just stop production right before the ending and go straight to the credits. Then you'd have two kick ass movies right there.
Speaking of movies, I'm playing The Movies, a diabolically addictive game where you run a movie studio. It's pretty much a mix of The Sims and those tycoon games only you get to make your own little Sims movies and the tools included to do that are easy to use for adding voice-overs and subtitles. I'll see about posting a short movie here sometime this week, I hope. I have discovered, through a process of micromanagement and failed dreams, that I am no Michael Eisner. Hell, I'm not even Hallie Kate Eisenberg.
I spent my Friday getting an overdue haircut and getting my car serviced. The Toyota dealership I take it to has Wi-Fi which is very nice, and on this day they had their big-screen TV set up for the Texas-Texas A&M game. I tried to get some reading done for a book review I was working on while at the same time ignoring the gnawing in my stomach from growing hungrier as the minutes stretched into hours while my car got some recall stuff taken care of. Their post-Thanksgiving spread consisted of (I kid you not): a foil tray full of Doritos, a foil tray full of Ruffles, one canister of sour cream (not sour cream dip, just sour cream) and an ice chest full of generic bottled water, which they ran out of around halftime. I won't lie: when I got hungry, I dipped into the Ruffles and sour cream.
Caught up on Gilmore Girls and Daily Show.
We had a very oily Mexican meal on Sunday in New Braunfels. We don't expect great Mexican food in town as a rule, but these enchiladas were like fried tortilla sea creatures in the Orange Ocean. It was disgusting. The waitress said that's how they make them and that she was sorry if we didn't like them. Rebecca sent her enchiladas back and didn't really want anything else to replace them, and they were kind enough to take it off our bill. One of the owners came by and said, a bit snidely before we left, "Was your meal all right... except for all the oil?"
I saw my friend David, his wife and their baby on Friday, along with Jessica, my long-lost pseudo sister. I hadn't seen Jessica in a year, which seems insane since we only live about 30 minutes apart. Everyone's doing well and David and his wife have one of those preternaturally calm one-year-old babies that lull you into thinking you could have such a child -- one who sleeps through the nite and can grab a rib and chew right down on it without hesitation at Chili's. You think to yourself, "If they can have a baby who at 1 can fucking throw down with some baby-backs, surely I can have a child who can hold their beer by 4." You think that, I'm told, and then you have a baby that screams for hours on end, poops on your most precious possessions and then sues you for emancipation at 9. These perfect children of your friends are dangerous, because you know that raising a child has to be much, much harder than these well-rested, rational and fit human beings make it out to be. Stop with your lie, perfect people! You may have a beautiful kid, but where's our guarantee that we won't have a Daemon, a drooling devil with fangs on its fingertips who rips our hearts asunder with cute terror?
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