Archives for the month of: October, 2005

just finished watching the director’s commentary for star trek: first contact. man, that movie is SO good. The Best Star Trek Movie, in my opinion. oh, there’s wrath of khan and everything, but the fact of the matter is first contact is almost perfect. i think a big part of what makes first contact so good (and what made nemesis so very very bad), is jonathan frakes and brannon braga and ron moore. nemesis, while well-meaning, was like a kick in the nuts. what kind of send-off for the franchise was that? the director clearly didn’t care about the character relationships or the history of the show, and i’m appalled that no one stopped him at some point to ask him what the hell he thought he was doing.

meanwhile, jonathan frakes was intimately familiar with the source material (the tv show), had a real respect for the franchise and knew how to capture the moments that made the audience feel the history of the characters and their loyalty and sense of family and all of those other fuzzy feelings that make a movie special (also, patrick stewart’s ripped arms. mustn’t forget the surprising sexiness of picard as action hero). brannon braga and ron moore wrote a script with fantastic pacing, a titillating premise and rich secondary characters – i cannot honestly, or in good conscience, refer to shinzon as a ‘rich character’. i’m not even sure that’s john logan’s fault – i think the movie was simply poorly executed. it was stylistically interesting, but where was the heart? no moment with geordi about the death of his best friend? wtf? sad. really really sad.

i think i’ll continue my nerd-day by either watching the commentary for insurrection or the hunt for red october (another facet of my nerdiness: submarines. also naval aviators. it runs in the family. the navy, not the nerdiness.)

this morning i decided i could no longer stand my duvet. it’s lovely and i like how it looks and it’s weight and how it makes me feel like i’m sleeping under a big fluffly cloud…but the damn thing REFUSES to get white again when laundered. i suppose i should’ve known better – it IS from ikea and is just made of cheap cotton, but i really liked it when i bought it and…well, i still do.

anyway, it was time for a change, so i took a trip to cb2 to buy a (slightly) pricier, nicer, hopefully longer-lasting duvet for my down blanket. i decided on the basic brown and white and was all ready to get out of there fast…but the pull of (semi-)reasonably-priced home decor items was too much for me. i ended up dropping like $160 – i got a few more plates for my 2-of-each-style dinnerware collection, a cheapy cocktail shaker since i didn’t own one before (what am i supposed to do with all of that tito’s handmade without one?), a candle that smells like a delicious chai latte, brown pillowcases, and a pillow i don’t need but damn, it looks good on my couch.

the point of all of this was that i didn’t really consider the logistics of carrying this stuff back to my apartment via the el since i no longer have access to a car. cb2 is pretty close to the addison brown line stop, so it wasn’t too bad, but MY GOD how do all of you people DO this?? today i had my first taste of how lucky i used to be when i had a car whenever i wanted it. how do people get their groceries home? what if you have a sudden urge to go to cross-rhodes for greek fries? you have to plan everything – train schedules and bus schedules and metra schedules…where is the spontaneity?

sigh. so this is city life. ok, enough bitching. time to eat a b!g sur bar and watch ghostbusters II. oh egon! i swear, i’ll always be true!…ok, except maybe for macgyver.

ps: on the train i was reading the hypochondriac’s handbook, an ill-advised san francisco metreon purchase (eric! ian! why did you let me buy this book?!). did you know that the flu virus can live for YEARS in DRIED spit??

check out this column, written by fred sasaki at new city. it’s based on something that really happened to my co-worker’s wife. it’s good to know that there are people out there perpetuating stereotypes such as ‘slick italian playboy’.

an excerpt:

URBAN BELINO: Your husband, does he work it out?

URBAN PIXIE: Does he what?

URBAN BELINO: Your husband. Does he lift the weights? (He flexes his arms, his big muscles bulging in tightly wrapped Lycra.)

mca stairwell

today eric and i went to the museum of conteporary art (mca) to see the dan flavin retrospective. i was going to be good and not take any photos (since they are only allowed in the lobby areas) but then i saw a guy blatantly taking shots of everything with his cellphone, so i got this shot of eric standing in front of one of the light sculptures. it’s basically the same shot that everyone gets when they see the flavin exhibit because this little room is back around the corner from a tunnel and there are no obvious cameras surveilling you.

the big exhibit at the mca is tropicália, a look at post-WWII brazilian culture. it is pret-ty wild. there is a whole room of stuff to interact with – sensory masks with mirrors in front of the eye-holes or scent sachets in the cloth, sandy paths to walk down, a pare of macaws in a giant cage, clothes to try on, interactive books and ‘poemobiles’. there’s also this cool a/v sculpture, some completely insane sculptures and giant framed swaths of fabric with huge zippers. tropicália – you have to see it to believe it; made me want to go to brazil.

see all photos from today’s trip to the mca here.

talk of earthquakes over at meghan’s weblog – oddly, i’ve experienced two and my first was…in illinois.

tonight was the reception for the alumni art exhibition at elmhurst. lindsay’s photographs were selected and they were awesome! all of the work was pretty cool, even if some of it really creeped me out. the exhibition is installed at the accelerator artspace, which is the first floor of the little physics building that houses an actual particle accelerator – a kevatron first built in the 1940s for the university of chicago, then moved to elmhurst in 1973. on the refreshment table was a little cake with digital numbers (very cool – eric wants some for his next birthday) flashing ’32′ for the accelerator’s 32nd year at elmhurst. you can see the accelerator – it sits right there in the middle of the room and is giant and silver and red and very futuristic looking. i took some photos which i’ll post soon (i know i know. i swear i’ll post photos soon) you can see here.

also, what a sweet car. corresponding back-story here (title: thirty is the new thirty).

qoop is still in beta, but they’ll print up a book of photos from your flickr photostream! awesome!

the trip to california was awesome – seeing friends in la, driving up the coast, eric’s birthday party in sf and excellent food during the whole trip. i have a bit of a photo backlog right now, but i have posted pics from my birthday party, finally. eventually i’ll get to the california ones.

big changes here in chicago – sort of a crappy week on all counts: work, personal life, health. i’ve been sick since getting back to illinois and i think the overall crappiness of everything is sapping my recuperative energy away from where it’s needed.

today i was waiting for the bus in front of the high school near work when suddenly i heard the all-too-familiar thud of bass drums. soon i could hear the whole drum line practicing their cadence. i was overcome with sentimental feelings about marching band – pretty odd considering that i dreaded marching band and all of the sweatiness and smelliness and aerobicizing it entailed. but still, i could feel my legs automatically trying to get in step and my ears perking up, listening for the whistle commands.

i guess i never realized how good of a time i had in marching band – all of us music warriors, down in the trenches, suffering for our art, trying to look our best, make our movements snappy or fluid as need be, spending hours circling that black-top student parking lot practicing the perfect barn-door turn and learning to mark time properly. heh. i guess there were actually some pretty exciting/fun/interesting parts, like a bunch of hormonal teenagers changing clothes together in a cramped bus, playing cards and trading cds and those long night-time bus rides [insert eyebrow raise here]. i do believe it was on a band trip that i took that incriminating picture of brandon making out. nothing like flash photography on a pitch-dark bus to scare an adolescent on the make.

tonight i saw the neil gaiman-penned ‘mirrormask‘ and it was…AMAZING. and i don’t mean it was good or cool or gee-whiz, you should see it – it was The Most Breathtakingly Original Movie I Have Ever Seen. i’ve seen a lot of movies and i’ve never seen one that looked so incredible.

it was produced by jim henson’s shop and it’s sort of a modern-day ‘labyrinth’ or ‘neverending story’. except that it completely blows those movies away visually. ‘mirrormask’ also has one of the best credit sequences ever – right up there with ‘seven’, ‘a series of unfortunate events’, ‘catch me if you can’ and ‘fight club’.

currently ‘mirrormask’ is in limited release, but if you’re lucky enough to live in a city where it’s playing, you really should make the time to see it in a theatre. if you’re interested in neil gaiman (and joss whedon – i’m about 1/3 of the way through ‘firefly’), here is an interview with both men from TIME.

headline reads: Now even the CEO can edit the company Website!

kara: did you see that ad at the bottom left?

kara: the headline strikes fear into the heart of developers everywhere

kara: what developer is going to buy that?

kara: that is HORRIFYING.

eric: what ceo wants to edit the website anyway?

eric: don’t they have better things to do?

eric: like coke and whores?

kara: you’d think

kara: that’s what i’d be doing if i were a ceo

eric: i think i might actually get involved with the site

eric: but only out of a perverse desire to screw with developers

eric: just think how much trouble you could cause if you actually did know what you were doing

kara: ha

kara: what schemes would you concoct?

eric: hmmm

eric: i think just removing random close tags would keep people guessing

eric: transposing letters in php variables

eric: string -> srting – something like that would take a while to find.

kara: LOL

kara: that is SO MEAN

eric: i know. i’m just kidding

eric: anyway, it’s probably way more destructive when real ceos screw things up

eric: cause eventually i’d be able to tell people exactly what i did, but they’d have no clue what they’re doing.

kara: ah. they’d be like, uh….huh? you needed those dollar signs?

kara: or whatever

eric: yeah – i opened it in word to take a look and then when i saved it all the line breaks got weird!