Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Serenity Review

[I am so bad at the technical part of blogging that its comical. I've now lost the picture I had formerly linked to, and my browser keeps crashing when I try to redo it. So, no pictures for you.]

Movie: GOOD.
PR: BAD. Or at the very least, obnoxious.

First, a synopsis, posted in good faith for the movie promoters:

"Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal"

Review: Although I never saw Firefly, this movie was easy to follow and engaging for a first time viewer. Of course, I was a big fan of Buffy in its later years, and I recognize the comical and witty dialogue that is so characteristic of Whedon. It was interesting to see it in a sci-fi setting. At any rate, it was a pleasant way to spend two hours, and having good company and a pleasant crowd topped it off.

Detraction: I certainly hope they didn't hire a PR firm for this movie, because it was done like a 5th grade class project. The idea was innovative enough: Get "blogger" to agree to post the synopsis, offer them a free screening, and get them to promise to review the movie, no matter what the content. I'm holding up my end of the bargain, if a bit delayed. But as Ms. Write Again Soon has already pointed out, the initial solicitation and the follow-up were worlds apart.

While we were promised "no lines" and seating in the "press" section, neither was the case. We were treated like all the other free pass holders. This wouldn't be a problem, BUT FOR the initial promise of expedited treatment. I'm willing to wait in lines for a free movie, but don't solicit me with lies! The e-mail said to find Universalal Pictures rep and say we were here for the Serenity Blogger Bonanza! Okay, that name was also very 5th grade projecreminiscentnt. The e-mail actually came from Grace Hill Media, which only has an address and a tag line on their website, which states "HelpinHollywoodod Reach People of Faith." This actually greatly amuses me, as I can't for the life of me figure out how this relates to Serenity, but whatever.

The long, detailed e-maifollow upup from Grace Hill Media had a laundry list of DOs and DO NOTs. My favorite: "DO NOT bring in a camera or a cellular phone that takes pictures. They WILL be confiscated, and you will NOT be allowed into the screening." The amazed me. I certainly wasn't going to leave my cellphone at work. And what could I possibly do with a grainy cameraphone picture? But more obnoxious was the suggestion that they would BOTH confiscate it AND remove me from the screening. WHAT!? Why would you keep my cellphone, you bastards? Again, like a 5th grade teacher saying I can have something back at the end of the school year.

In practice, nothing went too poorly. There was no Universal Pictures rep to speak of, there was no confiscation, and there were no press section. Still, I have no love Grace Hill Media.

Monday, September 19, 2005

World Tour, Stop #2 - Chicago

Time for a blog entry, this time coming from the back of a taxicab hurtling toward Chicago. My stop in Albuquerque came to an end, with a very fulfilling three days of work-related accomplishments, and a meager showing in the personal department, once again. There was a pleasant date with a quirky gentleman, with whom I’ve had a very long internet engagement. Suffice to say I’m not sure what he’s thinking, and I haven’t the energy to do more than ask. We’ll see if he replies.

After a brief stopover in Washington, I’m in my second city of the tour, Chicago. I’ve never been to Chicago. I’ve flow through it a bit, but not been to the city. At night from over the lake I’ve never seen a city more firmly routed in the grid system, as far as the eye can see. The airport is also NOT close to the city. But a convenient overhead sign just suggested that we have 16 minutes to go.

In the taxi line I was a bit shocked to hear the fare to downtown could be on the order of $40. What is this, Dulles? I grimaced not at my own money loss, but at my under budgeting this trip. Heck, my parking reimbursements for a week in ABQ were $5! But thinks looked up when airport taxi guy directed me to a “shared ride” downtown for only $19.95. Nestled in the back of a minivan taxi (a “mivaxi”?), we started out of the airport. And then the van stalled. As we hesitantly moved further around the drive and toward the highway, the mivaxi lurched and sputtered.

It was at this point that I made a few furtive comments from the back about how this might be a good time for me to get out, seeing as how we weren’t on the highway yet. Driver seemed to be focused on finding the right balance necessary to render my desires moot. He quickly found it. Equation: Acceleration = Not Stalling. As long as we maintained a constant state of acceleration, we were fine. There is a flaw in this equation, however. I don’t remember much from physics, but if I recall correctly, to keep a state of constant acceleration would eventually demand all the energy in the universe. I’m optimistic, though.

Other than that, I have high hopes for Chicago. I think I will like it, and I’m going to ensure that no mental energy is exhausted during the day, so as to allow full consumption of this metropolis in the evenings. I heart me some good metropolis consumption.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Comedores de los Hombres [aka My Gang] - WEbring Assignment #6

After much delay on this WEbring topic, admittedly my own, the answer suddenly became self-evident.

The topic:
If you were to form a gang right now, what would it be called? What would it do? What would your personal nickname be? What would you be known to be especially "hard core" at in your gang?

Name: Comedores de los Hombres [If someone who knows Spanish better than I would like to correct me, I’d happily fix that name. I’m sure its wrong. It’s Spanish, btw, because it will gain us extra street cred, as we might need to pair with MS-13 to exact our revenge.]

Purpose: I can’t help but think of Anyanka from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We would seek to eradicate the three main categories of loser men, currently stalking the singles of an otherwise tranquil metropolis (okay, we’d seek to teach first, but if that fails, we’d definitely turn to eradication).

Category 1 Men: The Avoiders
These are men that you’ve been on one, several, or, in rare cases, no dates with. At some point, their desires regarding you change. This is to be expected. It is, in fact, the point of dating: getting to know if someone is a good fit. However, they are the Avoiders because they fail, at the appropriate time, to say, “I’m just not that in to you,” and instead hope you’ll get the point. Sometimes, they try to convey this point by simply ceasing to be in touch. In the long run, this isn’t a great slight on you, and you get over it. But the RESPECTFUL thing to do, the time saver for you, at least, is to put in that call. Heck, I’d take an e-mail. In this town, there are legitimately busy people, who might be interested but have competing demands on their time. Because of the existence of those men, we are forced to assume that the Avoider is one such man. Who would want to write off someone genuine interested who just needs a nudge? Do I need to pass out instructions when I meet boys, explaining that I will respect them if they let me in on their thought process when they’ve reached such a conclusion, but not if they just try to disappear? In many communities (e.g., the gay community), you’re going to encounter these people again. Wouldn’t it be nice to run in to someone later and have it not be awkward? You probably have mutual friends. They might later want to date one of your friends. The Avoider should fear the sullied reputation. I know I said in rare cases no dates could even give rise to an avoider. Let’s turn to my files [what is this Animal Husbandry?] In June, Mr. J approached me at the Pride parade and engaged me in conversation. I was not attracted to Mr. J (no, I’m not just acting jilted), but he was very nice, and it turns out we had a lot in common. I am always happy to talk to new people, so it was a pleasure. Later, he admitted to spying me from an apartment along the route and came down to meet me. When I went to say goodbye, he asked if we could be in touch again. At this point, I decided that I shouldn’t rule out an opportunity. Mr. J gave me his business card. A couple days later I e-mailed Mr. J. I have never heard from him. Wasn’t I the one being open-minded? DON’T GIVE ME YOUR BUSINESS CARD AND ASK IF WE CAN BE IN TOUCH IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO TRY AND GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU! And, god forbid, if you do, and then change your mind, I guess you now have the burden of responding: “I’m just not that in to you.” Of course, I have seen Mr. J several times since then. We have never talked. Maybe we’ll laugh about it in a couple years. Perhaps while MS-13 is helping me treat him in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner.

Category 2 Men: The Deceivers
Similar to, but different from, the Avoiders. These men convey the exact opposite of what they are feeling. That is, they flirt with you, or perhaps talk about future plans they’d like to engage in with you, and give you the false hope of interest, only to immediately begin avoiding your calls, failing to point out that they are “just not that in to you.” Perhaps the Deceiver is confused. Maybe he doesn’t know how to not be a relationship flirt. Flirting that is not relationship flirting, of course, is okay. But a note to the Deceiver: If you want to sleep with me, you do NOT have to convince me that you’ll be making me breakfast tomorrow. Physical intimacy can be achieved without deception. “Hey, wanna f*ck?” comes to mind. If that were the case, it would be inappropriate to make plans for the next day that you do not intend to keep. Also inappropriate: cuddling and morning-after sex. Both of these are reserved for current and developing relationships, not a f*ck. A Deceiver need not be out for physical intimacy, of course. Sometimes the Deceiver simply shows throughout the entire date great interest, only to, again, immediately begin avoiding you. Say it with me: “I had a very nice time, but I’m just not that in to you.” [Its harsh, but as Miranda in SITC realized, harsh can be good, since it is something else as well: CLEAR.]

Category 3 Men: The F*cktwats
No need for a cutesy name here. These men get the full array of Geneva Convention violations. These are men who can’t seem to figure out themselves enough to decide if they are in love with you, and thus resort to leading you on for a year before finally having the epiphany that “Oh, I’m just not that in to you.” Am I the only one that gets a good feeling about someone after the first dozen dates or so? Once someone has reached “boyfriend” status, its pretty much a given that I’m very in to them, and its likely only going to be a conflict later on that drives my feelings away from them. Neglect, assault, infidelity, and moving come to mind. Yes, I’ll express my Love for someone relatively early on. [Not lesbian early on, but early on.] It’s really just the result of a chemical reaction, combined with innate urges of dependency, anyway. But the “I’ve had a wonderful time, but I’m just not that in to you” line is really only appropriate for the first few months or so. Dragging that shit out is highly unacceptable. I mean really. REALLY. Did you really just date me for a year cause you wanted to be good and sure first?!

Please note: I have not listed the category of men that fall out of love. This, I suppose, is “natural.” I’ve never fallen out of love, so its hard to understand, but I’m not going to expect men to be tied down for ever if its not working.

Wow. What was this post supposed to be about? Oh yeah, my gang. I suppose its obvious my gang has sufficient rage to go about seeking out and “educating” these men on what might be more appropriate. Not the f*cktwats, of course. They are a lost cause.

My gang nickname: Pink Panther
I’d be hardcore at: Being smug and self-righteous in my vengeance. Perhaps by extensively lecturing the accused.

For more gangs, read Friends to the right:
Write Again Soon
Wish To See
A Little Meryment
Post No Bills
A Prize in Every Box

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

World Tour, Stop #1 - Albuquerque

Where have I been? Apologies. I ended my stint at DRS, and started back at my old job with TCR. Day 1 was putting out several fires. Day 2 was more of the same, and has lead me to Albuquerque, where I now have a lull (and free wireless connection - thank you Hilton) to check in.

A few observations:

#1 - I am so tired of DFW (Dallas-Ft Worth airport). I have been there over a dozen times in the past two years. Its my own fault, as I like to fly out of National (note the name). Its far away, but not that far, because there are still long flights on the other side, regardless of where you are going. Its like purgatory for me at this point. Damn you American Airlines, for having the most frequent flyer miles in my account, forcing me to continue my allegiance to you.

#2 - Always make sure you have full prescriptions, especially of things you don't use to often. I seem to have run out of meds for the stress-related ulcer I used to get. Apparently Day 1 and 2 got to me just as I was leaving, because now I'm out here with nothing. Let's hope I can have a prescription called in to a drug store.

#3 - Per my on-going "F*%# You, You F*%#ing F*%#!!!" thread, I have failed to replace my drivers license. Guess what you can't rent without a DL.

#4 - Albuquerque sucks a fat one. At least so far. Granted, I haven't seen much, so I'll give it a few days to grow on me. But I will say that I have already grown tired of the southwestern motif that adorns EVERYTHING, including the airport (or "sunport" as someone who didn't respect my gag reflex has termed it) and lobby of my hotel. Its like being back in my parents' family room all day long. And there is no real city here, just little colonies (the Hilton) along highway exits. Everything is car-required. Please see #3 above.

I hope to have more positive news tomorrow. At the very least, I scheduled a half dozen meetings YESTERDAY (I'm very proud of how efficient I can be), so I should at least be productive.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Buzz it?

So, I'm thinking... perhaps once I get to my goal weight of 165 (I'm only at 158 or so), I might shave my head. Not bald, just a buzz cut. An expensive one (not that expensive, just not a $5 wackjob). Thoughts? Tanned, thicker, those beautiful brown eyes. ;)

Just an experiment. I throw myself at the mercy of the blogosphere...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hub-and-Spoke, man

Yesterday, we mailed a FedEx package to an address six blocks away. FedEx picked it up, took it to Dulles, VA (understandable), FLEW IT TO MEMPHIS, TN, flew it BACK the same night, and delivered it the very next morning.


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