I really can't even pretend these are happening weekly, can I? Anyway, here's the current batch:
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
I really can't even pretend these are happening weekly, can I? Anyway, here's the current batch:
Monday, May 30, 2005
Got Mom off to the airport safe and sound last night, after a fairly productive visit. We got the kitchen painted. Go us! It is now blue. Perhaps a bit more intensely blue than I might have ideally preferred -- paint always looks different on the walls than it does in the can or on those little swatches of cardboard, doesn't it? -- but it's much better than the pink it used to be. Not that it was a bad pink, as pinks go, but, well... in my opinion, the only thing for pink to do is go.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
You Are The Outlaw
"Sure, I'll do it. My way."
Just because you do not conform to the same laws and rules as everyone else does not mean that you are a bad guy. You travel your own path, separate from those around you, with your own reasons for doing what you do. Because of this and your own nature, it goes without saying that you are generally misunderstood. That does not matter much, though, as people love you for being who you are. You are pretty well set in your ways and have no real intention of changing. This can come across as a flicker of arrogance if your not careful. You do what is right for you, and God help anyone who stands in your way.
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Friday, May 27, 2005
Here's an interesting and amusing little article on continuity in Star Wars and other science-fictional universes, and the lengths to which fans will go to rationalize inconsistencies. (Note: This appears to have been written before Episode III premiered, and contains no spoilers for it that anybody who hasn't been living in a cave since before Jedi came out doesn't already know.)
For you see, any story must have a certain amount of internal coherence if we are to achieve suspension of disbelief. And we must achieve suspension of disbelief. For most people, that just means that a given fictional universe must hold together for the space of two hours: if the main character in a conventional romantic comedy, possibly some movie for girls featuring Meg Ryan or someone like that, says at the beginning that she is an only child, she should not have a sister present at her wedding at the end of the movie. Stories like that--about boring, conventional people with their petty love affairs and their tawdry sex antics, people whom one could not trust when the chips were down and an Imperial Battle Droid were attacking your spaceship!--are relatively easy to keep consistent. It is only the grandeur and majesty of a fictional universe the size and complexity of one like the Star Wars universe, the Star Trek universe, the DC Comics universe, or the Marvel Comics universe (and perhaps soap operas) that is truly difficult to maintain.Hey, it's true!
The writer also makes a comparison I've often used myelf, between fans and crank scientists. It's really quite apt, I think. Say, if you've got some great theory about Alien Species X, all you have to do is come up with a way to make it fit with what we actually see of them on the screen. And you're quite free to interpret what's on the screen however the heck you like. "No, no when Character A said Thing Z, what she actually meant was..." All it has to do is be plausible. If the show's already over, and there are no more episodes (or movies, or books, or whatever) being made, it's completely unfalsifiable! If there are more being made, then if you can twist any apparent contradictions that come up later to fit your theory, you're golden! Try that in science, and they'll laugh you out of the academy, and be entirely right to do so. In science, not all theories are equal. Some of them are true, and some of them aren't, and the goal is not to come up with something that sounds good, but something which is correct, and which makes useful predictions. In science fiction fandom, well, there is no real universe for things to be true in, and prediction isn't all that useful, anyway, so you can get as creative as you like. Which is fun, and requires a great deal less rigorousness and responsibility than doing actual science.
Speaking of Alien Species X, there's a comment in here about Enterprise doing an episode addressing the infamous Klingon Head-Bump Problem. Anybody know whether that's true or not, and, if so, what their explanation was? I quit watching Enterprise ages ago, but I'm curious.
Also, I totally think somebody should do the experiment this guy failed at, and force some completely unspoiled little kid to watch all the Star Wars movies in internal-chronology order and report back on whether they make any sense or not.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Well, I have now been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century (or possibly the 20th), because my mother insisted on buying me a cell phone. Apparently "you can't drive on the highway without a cell phone!" is the new "you can't go outside without a jacket!" Anyway, she's got this plan where you can buy umpteen cell phones for your family for, like, ten bucks a phone (once you've bought the first one, of course), and then you can call each other any time you like for free. (Well, OK, for the money you already paid.) So now I have, like, even less excuse for not calling.
It's a pretty nifty phone, I admit. It's got a camera and everything. Though it plays really annoying music when you turn it on or off.
And, no, you can't have my number. I'm keeping the thing strictly for emergencies and, I guess, for calling my family. The main reason I've resisted getting a cell phone this long -- well, OK, besides cheapness and laziness -- is because I don't want anybody to be able to reach me anywhere at any time. It's the same reason I don't have call waiting, and don't keep IM running on my computer. If I could get away with turning off my home phone for long periods I probably would... Oh, wait, actually I do, but usually only when I'm sleeping.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
According to this article, "The number of books sold dropped by nearly 44 million from 2003 to 2004, even as the annual number of books published approaches 175,000." Which I suppose makes sense for a number of reasons... For one thing, as the article notes, book prices are going up, which leads more people -- especially students -- to turn to used books, instead. And, of course, there's the fact that with DVDs, videogames, six billion TV channels, and the entire internet at our disposal, even the attention of a dyed-in-the-wool bookworm is likely to get diverted a bit from the good old ink-on-dead-trees stuff.
Still, some irrational part of my brain is convinced this must be my fault.
Monday, May 23, 2005
OK, it's roughly weekly...
Wow. That was even more full of obscurely geeky references than usual. I feel like I ought to offer some kind of prize to anybody who actually gets 'em all.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
There were religious folks out on the streets yelling at people through bullhorns today while I was driving through town. I couldn't make out most of what they were saying, but one woman shouted, quite clearly, "Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven! Religion won't get you there, friends!" And, OK, I think I can make a good guess as to what she meant, but, honestly, that was one of the more bizarrely self-contradictory statements I've heard in recent memory.
I also can't help but wonder who on Earth could possibly believe that random strangers can be induced to change their religious beliefs by means of shouting at them on a street corner through a staticky bullhorn. The only thing I can figure is that it must be an easy way for them to tell themselves they're doing God's work and give themselves happy pats on the back without expending any real effort. Fortunately, it seems religion won't get us to heaven, so I guess it doesn't actually matter whether they succeed in selling us any or not.
Friday, May 20, 2005
According to the Futon Critic, the Sci Fi Channel is going to be showing repeats of Firefly in the near future: "The network's July schedule lists the series as joining its Friday lineup on July 22 at 7:00/6:00c." For those who missed it on Fox and are interested in taking a look before the big-screen movie, here's your chance!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I've been seeting this movie meme all over the place, and figured I might as well play. So...
How many movies do you own? 44 on DVD, according to a quick count, and another ten or so on VHS, if you don't count duplicates. That's just movies, of course. If you add in the TV stuff (including miniseries), the number's much larger.
What was the last film you bought? The Muppets Take Manhattan. I'd just been thinking that, really, I ought to do something about completing my collection of Muppet movies, because I only had the first one and the incredibly disappointing Muppet Christmas Carol. Then I happened to walk past a display where they were selling it for, like, five bucks, and I gave in to the serendipity.
What was the last film you watched? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I talked about a little bit earlier.
What are five films you watch a lot and/or mean a lot to you? Oh, wow, let's see...
1) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Sure, I've become a bit jaded and cynical about Trek, even if it was the first and more obsessive science-fictional love of my life. But TWoK continues to hold up amazingly well. It's not just good Star Trek, it's a darned good movie. Unlike certain Trek offerings I could name, it doesn't sacrifice depth for mindless action and snazzy special effects and it doesn't sacrifice excitement and suspense for intellectual pretentiousness. Plus, it's got Ricardo Montalban! And, even though I know perfectly darned well he's back by the end of the next movie, Spock's death still makes me sniffly. I've seen this well into the double-digit number of times, and although I'm no longer watching it at least once a year the way I did in my teens, I'm still expecting that number to keep on creeping up over the course of my lifetime.
2. The Muppet Movie: OK, possibly I'm only thinking of this one because I've had Muppets on my mind. But, man... This was one of the very, very few movies my parents took me to when I was a kid, and it was on near-continuously on HBO the very first month we got cable TV in the house. I must have watched it three times a week that month. And, unlike a lot of things from my childhood, it holds up flawlessly. The jokes are still funny, the characters still lovable, the songs still catchy. I still love it to pieces.
3. Starman: I apparently imprinted on this movie as a teenager for some reason. Maybe because it was the kind of love story I could actually appreciate. Maybe because it's one of the best films of the "alien gets stranded on Earth, learns about humanity and teaches us Emotional Lessons" subgenre. Maybe it's because Jeff Bridges' smile breaks my heart. I suspect the beautiful, haunting musical score has something to do with it, too. Roger Ebert described it as not just a good science fiction film, but "a great road movie." One of my friends, somewhat dismissively, referred to it as a science-fictional "chick flick." I think they're probably both right: it's a SF road movie romance, and maybe it's just the fact that that works that makes it special.
4. They Might Be Giants: An undeservedly obscure, very strange little movie starring George C. Scott as a guy who believes he's Sherlock Holmes, and Joanne Woodward as Dr. Mildred Watson, his shrink. It's sweet, funny, completely off-the-wall in a bizarrely low-key sort of way, and it's got tremendous heart. I discovered it quite by accident on A&E one night some time on the late 80's, fell in love with it utterly, and was overjoyed when I realized they were repeating it in the small hours of the morning so I could tape it. I've only very recently managed to find it on DVD.
5. Man, I have no idea what to name as #5. I keep coming back to the movies I watched over and over as a child (The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), as a teenager (Wargames, Logan's Run), and as a young adult (The Lost Boys), which, at the very least, hold considerable nostalgia value for me now. For all of those, there was almost a ritualistic aspect to the watching of them. The once-a-year or so TV broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were major childhood events, with the family gathering before the TV. And, as for the others, well, should they happen to pop up on late at night on cable or late in the afternoon on the independent broadcast stations, they simply had to be watched all the way through. In this fashion, they worked themselves pretty thoroughly into the fabric of my life. I suppose if I had to pick just one, I might settle on Logan's Run, because it's actually quite a good movie, entirely independent of the personal associations it has for me. In fact, the older I get, the more resonance that movie has, for reasons that may, perhaps, be obvious. The Lost Boys is awfully fun, though...
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
| You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.|
What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
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Well, I definitely do consider myself a materialist (in the philosophical sense, not the "gimme stuff" sense). I believe that the universe consists of matter and energy (not that those are actually two different things), and the rules that govern their interaction. That last bit's important, I think. I'm not necessarily a strict reductionist the way they're saying here, though. It's quite possible that there are systems whose higher-order behavior is so complex that the human brain, at least, is fundamentally incapable of understanding them in terms of their component parts. And, even if it is theoretically possible to understand, say, human societies by starting with fundamental particles and working your way up, it's probably not in general a very helpful way to proceed. Still, for an abstract enough definition of "can be explained by," I do, indeed, agree with that assertion.
I'm curious now what their definition of "existentialism" is, since I scored so high on it. Not curious enough to go back and retake the test to try and get it as an answer, though.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Well, I was waiting on tapes from Canada, but I recently received an offer of the first six episodes of the new Doctor Who on disc from someone who had gotten them from, erm, an Unnamed Source. Needless to say, I could not possibly refuse. They came in the mail on Saturday, and so this weekend, which was supposed to be spent doing useful and productive things, was instead passed in a veritable orgy of Who-watching.
Some spoiler-free comments, cribbed from babblings I've expressed elsewhere:
I have now finished watching the first six episodes, and am enjoying it immensely. I hadn't realized how much I'd been craving this particular sort of SF TV since Farscape ended: this feeling of being thrown headlong into a strange and wonderful universe where absolutely anything can happen and probably will. Battlestar Galactica, good as it is, just doesn't scratch the same itch. (And, of course, there hasn't even been that on my TV for weeks.)
As for the characters... I've very quickly come to like Eccleston's Doctor a lot. He's marvelously complex: amusingly snarky one moment, full of exaggerated but infectious enthusiasm the next, and rather disturbingly dark the next. There are layers to him, and he's clearly been affected by the things that have happened to him since we last saw him on our TV screens in ways that invite exploration. Oh, man, I'm now feeling really bummed out by the thought that we're only getting one season of him.
I also like Rose much, much better than I expected to. Contrary to all expectation, she's not just a pretty face; she's actually one of the most useful, sensible, and level-headed companions he's ever had. The dynamic between them is great, too, very different from the kind of relationship he usually has with his companions. I think the difference is that, with perhaps the single exception of Romana, the Doctor's companions have always treated him with a certain kind of deference. He may occasionally be exasperating, and is certainly someone who can be argued with, but there's always the feeling that he is, in some sense, the superior being. He's like Yoda to everyone else's Luke. But Rose treats him very much as if she thinks of him as an equal, and it makes for a refreshingly unusual Doctor-companion dynamic.
This week's batch:
Friday, May 13, 2005
One of the cool things about moving into a new house is that it gives you an excuse to buy stuff. I got three packages in the mail yesterday, containing the following nifty items:
An air cleaner. OK, that's not actually all that nifty. But it is useful. I had one of these in the trailer, and I think it did help a bit with the cat hair and the dust that cause my respiratory system to go haywire. One was barely adequate for the trailer, though, and there's no way it was going to be effective on this entire house. So I now have one in the computer room and one in the kitchen, pretty much on exact opposite ends of the house.
A framed print of M.C. Escher's "Relativity," which is now hanging in the bedroom. Yes, apparently the extent to which my tastes in decor have changed as I evolve from College Student to Independent Homeowner is that now my geeky posters are in frames! Well, one of 'em is, anyway. I really need to get a frame for my Procrastination poster. Actually, I need to replace my Procrastination poster, 'cause it's gotten kind of battered. I'm disturbingly tempted by the professionally framed version, but is there any way on Earth I can justify paying $100 for a poster?
A rolling library stool. This is the niftiest item of all. Seriously, I have no idea why, but I've always kind of wanted one of these. And I now have all my as-yet-unread books on the built-in shelves in the workroom, some of which are just a little hard to reach... So it gave me an excuse. And my home is now one step closer to being indistinguishable from a library.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Shortly after I moved, a friend asked me, "So, have you started having the 'homeowner's dreams' yet?" I didn't know what he meant, so he explained that a few weeks after he bought his house, he started having anxiety dreams about the water heater blowing up and things. "So, you'll have that to look forward to."
Well, I just woke up from a dream where the whole house burned down. Because, of course, I was a bad homeowner and neglected to check the smoke detectors. Strangely, the only thing that comforts me is the realization that, for some reason, the house in the dream was two stories, and thus could not possibly have been my house. Still, what a sucky way to wake up...
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
| Robot |
You are 100% Rational, 14% Extroverted, 28% Brutal, and 28% Arrogant.
You are the Robot! You are characterized by your rationality. In fact,
this is really ALL you are characterized by. Like a cold, heartless
machine, you are so logical and unemotional that you scarcely seem
human. For instance, you are very humble and don't bother thinking of
your own interests, you are very gentle and lack emotion, and you are
also very introverted and introspective. You may have noticed that
these traits are just as applicable to your laptop as they are to a
human being. In short, your personality defect is that you don't really
HAVE a personality. You are one of those annoying, super-logical people
that never gets upset or flustered. Unless, of course, you short
To put it less negatively:
1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.
2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.
3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.
4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.
Your exact opposite is the Class Clown.
If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you
The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid Free Online Dating|
So, about ten minutes ago, there was a knock on my door. Now, I am not usually inclined to buy anything being sold door-to-door, and definitely not inclined to fall prey to the old "I'm selling magazines to earn a college scholarship!" line. But, damn that kid was a good salesman. Somehow she got me looking over the list of magazines, which is farther than anybody else ever got.
Me: "I don't know, most of these look pretty lame..."
Her (having shrewdly taken note of the Star Trek bumper sticker on my car): "How about Analog Science Fiction?"
Me: "Ooh! Where?"
I hope she's going to business school.
Now that I've got my unread books all nice and neat on shelves instead of lying in random piles around the bedroom, I went through and counted them all.
The total? 522.
And that's after getting rid of a couple of books I turned out to have duplicate copies of and culling out a few that I know for a rock-solid fact I'm never actually going to want to read.[*] Sigh. And here I thought I was making progress...
[*]That took some internal debate, let me tell you. "Hey," says part of my brain, "I have every intention of reading that!"
"You've had every intention of reading it since high school!" says the sensible part of the brain. "It's not going to happen!"
"It's a textbook! It's a quarter-century out of date!"
"I'm taking it off the pile."
"Fine, cry. But you'll have to do it internally, because at the moment, I have control of the body! Bwahahahahaha!" And it removes the books from the pile and puts them in closet while the other part is busy sulking.
Current clothes: Blue jeans (which are really quite baggy on me since I lost weight). My black "so many books, so little time" t-shirt. Black belt with silver stars on it. Black socks.
Current mood: Not bad. I dunno, though, I've still got that slightly melancholy feeling that's been lingering since I've finished unpacking. I've discovered, much to my surprise, that, being in this big (OK, bigger) house by myself, I'm feeling something almost completely unfamiliar to me: loneliness. I don't quite understand that, because the last thing on Earth that I want (other than a terminal disease) is a housemate. Eh, I'm sure it'll pass.
Current music: I think the last album I listened to was They Might Be Giants' Flood.
Current annoyance: There are roaches in this house, damn it. I'm debating what to do about that. I'm reluctant to use poison because I'm afraid the cats will get into it.
Current thing: Computer Boggle. Having completed my three weeks of frenzied house-moving activity, I find that I am feeling all lethargic and unmotivated, and that I really don't want to do much of anything but play computer Boggle all day. It's probably just as well that I'm back at work now, really.
Current desktop picture: It's still the same Battlestar Galactica picture. Time to change it!
Current song in head: Ye gods. I just stopped and listened, and apparently it's The Brady Kids singing "Time to Change." Man, oh, man, the inside of my head scares me sometimes.
Current book: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Took me a while to decide whether I liked it or not, but at this point, I've become really absorbed.
Current video in player: I think I stuck a tape with a Battlestar Galactica episode on it in to make sure it was working when I hooked it back into the TV, but nothing since then.
Current DVD in player: Most recently, a rental copy of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it managed to capture the spirit of the books.
Current refreshment: Irish breakfast tea.
Current worry: I've got a couple of people who expressed an interest in buying my trailer, but I haven't heard from them in a couple of days. Not a worry, exactly, but something that's on my mind that I'd like to get dealt with soon.
Current thought: The Brady Kids?!
Monday, May 09, 2005
I've been collecting these for a while. Time to dump 'em!
Sunday, May 08, 2005
You Are 56% Femme and 44% Butch!
80 - 100% Femme - You're the girly girl of the century. Or Clay Aiken.
60 - 79% Femme - Girl? Almost certainly. If not, you've got some major man boobs going on.
40 - 59% Femme - Girl or guy? Even your best friends can't figure this one out.
20 - 39% Femme - You are likely male, or the toughest, scariest lesbian around.
0 - 19% Femme - You are 100% male. You make cowboys look like pussies.
More Great Quizzes from Quiz Diva
For anyone who cares, I've just gotten an e-mail saying that the newspaper article I talked about before has been delayed to June 5th, rather than coming out May 15th as I'd originally been told. Apparently, we got pushed back in favor of a piece on wheelchair basketball. Damn those wheelchair basketball people!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Yes, it's time once again for the weekly cavalcade of interesting search requests!
Friday, May 06, 2005
So, during the times when I wasn't frantically unpacking over the last few weeks, I did finally manage to finish watching through the first season of Forever Knight on DVD. And, I gotta say, that show... was not nearly as good as I remembered it. It's often rather sloppily edited. They didn't exactly manage to consistently get Canada's finest actors for the guest roles. It's a little too clearly designed to appeal to the late-night sex'n'violence crowd. Those deep thoughtful examinations of the issues of guilt and redemption and stuff aren't quite as deep and thoughtful as I remembered them being. And the plots tend to be a bit repetitive.
And yet, I did enjoy it, enough that I'll probably pick up season 2 in the not-too-distant future. If nothing else, the main actors/characters make it worthwhile. I'd happily watch 45 minutes of Geraint Wyn Davies doing his laundry, to be honest, and Nigel Bennett was just born to play Evil. Natalie's awfully likeable, too, and there's just something bizarrely cute and cuddly about Schanke. Plus, yeah, there's at least an attempt at thought-provoking thematic content, some cool Vampire Cop Action, a certain appealing stylishness, and lots of flashbacks to pretty people in pretty period costumes.
I really wish they'd included some decent extras on the DVDs, though. Or, y'know, any extras at all.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Holy shit, I'm done. Totally and completely unpacked. Wow.
I mean, OK, there's still a few tasks around the house that ought to be done at some point, and a few purchases I haven't had the cash to make yet, and I might change my mind about whether Stuff X really ought to go in Drawer Y. And I still need to get rid of that refrigerator.
But all the boxes are unpacked. All the furniture is arranged. Everything is organized and functional. I'm no longer moving in. I'm moved. I live here now.
It's weird... I almost feel a bit melancholy about it. Sort of like post-partum depression, I suppose. I've labored for three weeks to give birth to a household... Now what do I do?
Happy Cinco de Mayo! I don't know if that's a big deal where you are, but it certainly is in New Mexico, which probably explains why people have been partying in the plaza all week.
Today is also marked on my calendar as a "National Day of Prayer," to which I am responding by instead celebrating the National Day of Reason, which, among other things, has the advantage of not being blatantly unconstitutional.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
The winners of the Saturn awards have been announced. Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars took three, which makes me happy to see. I also note that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won Best Science Fiction Film, which I guess answers the question I remember discussing with a few people via e-mail a while back of whether it qualifies as SF or not. See? Told ya it did!
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
One of the hazards of unpacking is finding interesting things you'd forgotten you had... While I was arranging my computer discs, I discovered a Boggle game that, for some reason, I'd never installed. Well, I've installed it now. I have the disturbing feeling that the rest of the week may be a wash.
Monday, May 02, 2005
So, I mentioned some time back that I went nutso buying Star Wars toys for my nephew for his birthday, including a Darth Tater that, I admit, I mostly just wanted an excuse to put in my shopping cart. Well, I got an e-mail from my sister today saying that he enjoyed all of them, and also offering this delightful piece of news (I figured she wouldn't mind me quoting the e-mail):
I must say that Aaron got his first joke/pun. We read him the box of "Darth Tater". And said hahahaha Darth Tater and pointed laughing at the box and every so often during the evening he bursts out laughing saying "Darth Tater" hahahaha. :)That's right. I have initiated a four-year-old child into the joys of cheesy, geeky puns. I have such a sense of satisfaction right now.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
I took yet another break from the moving thing last night and went up to Albuquerque to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'd read some fairly negative reviews of the movie, including a couple that complained that it took out all the best jokes and replaced them with less funny ones, but the trailers looked great, and I'd read some interviews with the movie's creators that made me feel pretty confident that they Got It. The upshot of all of which is that I went into it with very few expectations at all, or at most the expectation that there would be some aspects I'd like a lot and some I wouldn't. Which I think ended up being exactly the case. They did cut out some of my favorite lines, even in spots that could have accommodated them perfectly. And they monkeyed around with the basic storyline a lot, which I expected, and which I have no particular negative feelings about, given how flexible said storyline has been over its various incarnations in different media. They did make a particular character-oriented change at the end that struck me as odd, and not much in the spirit of the original, but for the movie, it seemed to work.
I gotta say, though, watching the first scenes -- well, OK, the second scene, after the intro -- was a weird experience, because there was such an air or familiarity to it that it was almost surreal. I kept having flashbacks to the old Infocom text game, for one thing. Arthur gets out of bed and puts on his bathrobe, and I'm thinking, "OK, now, in order to get out of the room, you have to find the aspirin in the pocket..." and actually feeling vaguely surprised when he doesn't do it. And then, as he's lying in front of the bulldozer, I'm thinking, "OK, how sad is it that I actually remember the name of the bulldozer guy? And, hey, they cut out the 'beware of leopard' line, damn it!" As internal monologues go, it was kind of distracting. Fortunately, as it began diverging a bit from familiar territory after that, eventually that hyper-geeky part of my brain shut up and I was able to sit back and just enjoy the ride. And I did enjoy it. It wasn't the best imaginable adaptation of HHGTG to the big screen, but it was fun. I'm really hoping they do Restaurant soon.