Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Well, it's the last day of January, 2006, and I live in Cambridge. So, what did I do today? What else? Spend hours waiting in line at the Cambridge City Hall Annex to get my 2006 parking permit sticker and visitor parking pass!

I ALSO got to spend an hour and change driving around to renew my expired-in-October registration, too! Bonus!

Yeah, so, what did I expect, right? I DID let my parking permit renewal go til the last possible day, but, whatev. I figured I'd wait a while past morning rush hour and then head to the city hall annex and probably hit an off-peak line, wait a while, do the deed, and proceed with my commute on into work, right?


I got there after 10am, and even with most of the seven windows open to help people at any moment, the line snaked around and back on itself, filling up the first floor before trailing up the stairs to the second and folding and flipping around the second floor overlook, and finally (so far as I could see, at least) turning into the main hall of the second story (thru the sculpture/archway).


I worked my way up the stairs to find the tail of the snake and at the top of the stairs spotted a checklist-sign that told me I should be ready with this many of this type of proof/s of Cambridge residence, the $8 fee in cash, check or money order (I'd brought a check, cuz the website said they'd only take check or money order), and a copy of my registration with a Cambridge address or garage address and a certain weight class of auto. Cool, I'd brought all that. Looking around at the moebius strip of people, tho, I figured it couldn't hurt to double-check. I opened up the envelope I'd put all my paperwork in and flipped thru it: check - check, my January 2006 "this amount overdue" verizon bill for the landline at the apartment - check, vehicle registration expiring 10/2005 - che--- *record scratch here*

Yikes! I've been driving around for three months with an expired registration! Oops.

So, I had to go and take care of that. Renew my registration, then come back here and get back in line and get my resident parking hooha taken care of. I felt dumb doing an about-face, but it was better to know right then - that's for sure - rather than two hours in line later at the window, right? And altho I knew I'd hafta come back for that, part of me was glad to be leaving the vealy-feeling lobby and waiting area.

I made my way back home to regroup. I checked online to find out where I could renew my registration. At massrmv.com I could renew online and pay by credit card. I called a contact number from the site to make sure that it would be an immediate status change once I completed the process. Alas, the human being on the other end said that there would be no guarantee that registration renewal would make it into the system immediately, or even the same day. The best bet would be to go to an RMV office where I would get my physical registration hardcopy stamped and handed to me right away. He told me there were two or three offices local-ish to Cambridge, but I should call and check to make sure they handle registration renewals. I thanked the man and clicked about the site some more. I knew the Watertown and Cambridgeside malls both had offices, but the Galleria one was sort of an "express" version of the typical full-service RMV, a la Watertown. At the RMV site, I found locations listed, and woo-hoo! The Galleria one handled registration! AND, according to the site, the wait time was 00:00:00. =)

I grabbed my papers and motored on over to the Galleria mall. I was extra pleased to find out that the Galleria RMV handled registration, cuz while there, I could buzz the Apple store and also grab some heroin chicken teriyaki lunch at the food court - next to Chick-Fil-A, probably my favorite food court offering. =)

I got in the short line at the RMV office, next to the Public Safety Station, which this afternoon looked to be manned by no one but some kind of security robot, standing against the wall behind some desks. Seeing that there reminded me of a wonderful piece-o-crap movie I saw on VHS in high school or college - CHOPPING MALL! A group of hormonal teen consumers decide to hide out and sleep over in the mall (What could be cooler? They did it on THE OC!) on the night the new automated security system happens to be launched. Coupled off, the kids attempt to make new shoppers, behavior that is strictly against mall policy, and thusly, the robot guards decide they should die, mostly by burning laser head and limb removal, from what I can recall. Dammit, I should've snapped a pic of that robot... Maybe I'll hit the mall again sometime soon...

* Did make it back to the Galleria a few days later and found Mr. Roboto once again at his post. I think maybe he's dating one of the parking garage ticket machines... Y'know, the cute one?


When I got to the front of the line, I spotted a sign behind the woman working the front desk that told me I could only pay for registration with a check or money order. I had a check w me, but I'd already made it out to the City of Cambridge for my permit fee! In a few minutes it was my turn, and having no doubt caught my look of dismay regarding the sign, the woman anticipated my as-yet-unformed apology-cum-question and informed me that I could get a money order from the Bank of America or at the CVS.

She's good.

I thanked her and turned to exit back to the mall, when she stopped me with, "What's your license plate number? Might as well find out how much it's gonna cost you..."

She's very good.

$38 to renew my (expired) registration. It seems a bit off, doesn't it? But whatev, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? (At least, in this particular scenario.)

The Bank of America was right across the mallway from the RMV, but I opted to go to the CVS, around the Benetton corner and downstairs. Between allergy meds, anti-lactard pills, and 12-packs of cola for the office, I'm a pretty regular CVS customer, and would much rather pay a fee to them than to a Monster Bank. After all, CVS is the only place I know where I can pick up my Futuro Sport ankle and knee braces, and every couple months, with my CVS card points or bucks or whatever it is they give me, I end up getting a Futuro coupon to knock a couple bucks off my next brace. Seeing as how I've taken to wearing some of them all day, almost every day, those have become quite valuable to me. I'm wearing an ankle brace on my left at this very moment, and TWO on my right...

Yeah, I pulled a sudden stop maneuver last night to keep from running down a teammate along with an errant pass, and apparently didn't distribute the shock past my ankle, bleah.

I forget the exact amount, but the surcharge on the $38 money order was less than a buck at CVS. I escalatored back to the RMV, got back into a new short line, and once I got to speak again with the nice woman, exchanged money order for goods and services. That is to say, I got my renewed and officially stamped registration, along with a nifty new green 07 sticker - huzzah!~

Fresh from the printer, the paperwork still had the perforated "crust" pieces attached. It's fun to tear along the perforation, isn't it? Before leaving, I asked why it is that I didn't receive a registration renewal notice in the mail. She explained that it could be because of an address change or outstanding tickets or violations. Yeah, okay. My move to Broadway did happen within the last two years...

Exiting the RMV in triumph, I decided to reward myself with some tasty vittles. I escalatored down to the court of foods, sampled freely a toothpicked hunk of teriyaki chicken, faked looking thoughtful about whether or not to buy the teriyaki chicken special or move on to Burger King, and of course, got in line to order my fixx...

Me: "Chicken teriyaki, no vegetables..."

Mr. Sakura (or is it Sakkio there?): "Fried or white rice?"

Me: "White rice..."

Mr. Sakura: "Extra chicken ninety-nine cents more?"

Me: "No thanks..."

Mr. Sakura: "Something to drink?"

Me: "A medium diet coke..."

Mr. Sakura: "Seven dollars. Thank you!"

I call it heroin chicken cuz of a fun theory Jim posited to me over a meal at the court of foods in the Prudential mall. We discussed what grade the chicken meat probably was - I think he went with "Z," I guessed "Q" - and I said something about how I really don't care if this is what it tastes like. Jim conceded that the taste was pretty irresistible, and suggested that maybe it's not exactly the taste, but more of a physical craving, an addiction, and that (along with the dozen sticks of butter) the secret ingredient is heroin. I couldn't comment for a few minutes as I had to finish my teriyaki chicken, but when I was done tearing up the styrofoam container and licking the pieces clean of the sauce, I agreed.

Then went back for more.

I didn't, really. But I'll bet I wanted to. I'm pretty sure now it could be anything under that sauce (except maybe brocolli or celery or sprouts or coconut) and I'd enjoy eating it.

I'd been carrying around my sketch/notebook all day, something to pass the time in line-world, and when I stopped to breathe between gulps of sauce with chicken and rice, I jotted down some ideas and doodled a bit on things Valentiney... It's Black Tuesday this year, I believe? Pondering coming up with a little digital somethin-somethin to comemmorate the day in a non-Hallmarkian way...

I suspect that in the end I will fall back on my Sweet-N-Sour Hearts. Jazz them up with some new words of roam-ants, maybe some diff tunes, but in the same basic package. Eh. We shall see what I'm up for motivating on...

Having killed my teriyaki stash, I managed to fight off the desire for another fixx with the mental image of a fresh parking ticket on my car tomorrow morning. I had to get back to the city hall annex to get my sticker! I made the trek from the court thru the mall and into the parking garage in record time. I'd gotten in my car and started the engine when I flashed forward in my imagination to the snaking line and the windows and my shiny new parking sticker and sparkling visitor pass...

I turned off the engine.

The website, and maybe the sign in the lobby as well, had specifically asked for a COPY of your registration to complete the permit transaction. When I'd done this before by mail, it made sense to send a copy, so that you'd still have your registration on you, but maybe once in their hands, mailed in or in person, a copy of your reg had to travel thru a number of hands to complete the process?

Frack. Where to get my reg photocopied? I started back into the mall. In the elevator foyer or whatever, between the garage and the Border's, I opened up my paperwork envelope to separate the valid reg from the copy of my expired one and spotted the green 07 rectangle. I picked that out and went back to my car and planted that sucker. Even if the rest of the day goes to poop, I did that. No frickin ticket for expired reg. Damn straight.

Right. Back into the mall I went. I knew the public safety station was only robotted, and not manned, so I went to the customer info desk. I slowed down a bit to scan the machinery in the Ritz Camera store, but they didn't have anything as old-school as a simple copier. Foo. The young woman at the desk saw me approach and quickly ended a cellphone call to ask how she could help. Of course, I immediately flashed to the smarmy "Who Cares Wins" customer relations training video played on that episode of BBC's THE OFFICE when David Brent reveals that he was one a rock musician, well on his way to the level of fame and fortune achieved by the likes of Texas!

Of course.

See, there's a couple of roleplay skits featured on the video about how a salesperson engaged on the telephone can poorly and then positively welcome a potential customer. Poorly, she tells the customer to wait - "Can't you see I'm on the telephone?" - and returns to her gossipy personal phone convo, driving the customer to leave in a huff. Positively, she asks the customer to wait one moment, ends her call quickly - "I have to go. I've got a customer here I shouldn't keep waiting..." - thanks the customer for waiting, and proceeds to... whatever it is she's supposed to do.

This is my brain. And it's not even on drugs. Well, except for the teriyaki. Of course, it doesn't take quite so much time or so many words for these connections to zip and zap as it does out here, in language.

Well, info-woman was very helpful. I asked if there was a place in the mall that made photocopies. She directed me to the tailor's shop in the first sub-level, "across from the florist," and she pointed down thru the escalators to the downstairs garage levels. "He's got a copy machine."

I made my way sub-downstairs and into the tailor's shop. I think it's a tailor's shop, I'm honestly not sure. It sorta felt like a cobbler's/shoe repair place. I asked the (I'm gonna call him the) tailor if I could use his copier. He said sure. I handed him my registration and told him I'd like 2 copies (who knows what could happen between the mall and city hall, right?). He placed it on the flatbed of the copier, dropped the lid, and made my copies. For the gajillionth time in his life, he said with a straight face, "That's gonna be fifty bucks..." I told him, "In that case, I'll only take one." And then he gave me a look... kinda sad, sorta annoyed, very tired, and told me, "Forty cents." I fished the change out of my jacket pocket. He handed my my copies and the original. I slid them into my envelope o'stuff, and wished him a good day.

On to the Cambridge City Hall Annex!

*insert SUPERFRIENDS transition sound effects and spinning spiral animation here*

MEANWHILE... beneath Meg Griffin's sweater...

I took Broadway back from the mall so that I could pass the annex and see if there was any parking closeby. None to be had. So, I parked street next to my apartment, stopped in at home for an email check and to fix my hair, as I'm always doing, packed up my bag for workywork, and set out upon my morning mission once again... only about four hours later, almost 2.30pm. Phpthhh...

I hiked on down to the annex and was actually relieved to find that the line only snaked back and forth filling up the first floor! A bit of time lapse luck, that. Even so, I think it took about ninety minutes to make it thru the hairpin turns up to the windows. Along the way I spotted Patrick, of Tiffany and Patrick (and Samson), and we chatted a bit about the scenario, last possible day and all, and a bit about movies. After a few minutes the progress and non-Euclidian geometry of the line separated us for the rest of our journeys.

It didn't feel like it took all that long. I had my sketchpad to help pass the time, and the snippets of neighborhood convo floating at me from all directions. I think it also helped that everyone (except for a couple rambunctuous children) was patient and chill w the waiting situation. All very civilized.

I didn't hear a single complaint. I guess it's a unique situation, tho. Can you REALLY complain about having to deal with an hour and change standing in line if you're there on the last possible day you can get a new permit (without risking a ticket for parking on the street in Cambridge)?

I flipped thru my papers in the envelope again and came across the copy of my old registration, which I now noticed had my current address on it. When I changed my address w the RMV, they sent me address stickers to place over my old address on my license and registration. So... They knew my new address, and that would lead them... hooOOooome...

Sorry, scratch that Luke Skywalker bit and replace with...

...which means that I must've not received my registration renewal notice in the mail for some kind of ticket. WTF? Now that tickets are payable online, on the few occasions I've had to, I make a point of dealing with them right away. I didn't remember getting hit with anything in the last few months... I wonder if...?

I texted Rowan to ask if he remembered getting any tickets while using my car. He's only borrowed it for short shopping runs or for weekends out of town, and I've always sorta checked in w him about the car after those...

The line eked forward a while before I got a message back. "Absolutely not." That's what I thought. So... WTF with not getting a renewal notice? There must've been other reasons that the RMV woman didn't mention or I didn't hear or forgot. That's what I told myself, at least...

In time I made it up to window #5. I presented my proofs of everything to the woman working the computer. She asked how I was going to pay. I told her with a check, and slided that through to her. She tapped and typed a few things, then seemed to wait a while, and scanned my registration and Verizon bill again, then looked at me...

She: "What are you doing here? Today? You live JUST down the STREET! You could walk here any day you like!"

Me: "I was waiting for that... I've got no good reason. I will tell you that I also just renewed my registration today. Big day for me!"

And she printed my plate number on my new sticker, paper clipped it to the sparkly visitor pass, along with a booklet about having/parking a car in Cambridge, and my stuff (which she apparently didn't need to keep)...

She: "Oh, and your registration was expired! Last minute kinda guy, huh? Well, work on that. I don't want to see you here again next year!"

And in a mock-tough-love sorta way, maybe like the prophet in THE MATRIX, but younger and sharper, she shoo'd me away from her window.

On what felt like a day with supraoptimal potential for a craptacular experience, I hafta say, I encountered some very decent and helpful people in all the right places. Nothing extraordinary. No life-saving measures involved. Just, well, not bad. Not bad at all. I wish now I'd paid more attention to each of these people, or was the kind of person who could, like, ACTively connect w people in these short little interactions. Not like I'd be best friends w them... except maybe that tailor, heh. No, just so that I could somehow articulate my appreciation in something better than the everyday and mundane "Thanks" or "Have a good day," y'know?

Oh, but wait...

When I was leaving the annex, I paused outside at a bench to seal up a bit better against the weather, which had gone a bit more snow and a bit less sun, and a man on his way into the annex, steaming coffee in hand, and sweatered and hatted up policeman-in-snowstorm style, turned back while opening the door to address someone behind me...

"Ohhhh... That's coOOOooLD, man! That. Is. Cold!"

And I turned around to catch a similarly dressed fellow, waving the guy off, in dismissive "gedouddahere!" fashion, working on writing out a parking ticket for a car parked illegally. I saw now that the car behind it already had one. Last day of the month, and right in front of a city hall building - I shouldn't be surprised, right?

I forget the restrictions right there in front of the annex, but I'm guessing the cars were probably parked over a posted time limit. Inside I'd heard more than a couple of people in line, and even at the window while being helped, mention that they've been waiting so long they're probably gonna get a ticket...

Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes. (In my head, that's Zorknapp, doing William Shatner's Buck Murdock, AIRPLANE 2.)

And, speaking of a day with supraoptimal potential for crapulence, I should clean up a bit and take stock of menus and snacks before the kids arrive for some 24-ing...

Keep on keepin on~

* Note: Getting out of the annex at something like 4pm (yarr), I called the office to check in on what needed doing, and managed to get myself (what remained of) the day off. And thusly, I am home and hitting you with this attack of blogorrhea.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

toys R a bit depressing...

Did end up going back to the Fresh Pond shopping plaza late this afternoon. Spent most of my time doing laps in the Toys R Us, which was spiraling towards entropy at a rapid rate. I made several passes thru the aisles and piles, debating whether $70 was a good price for a kids karaoke machine ($100 discounted 30%), and how long a Fisher Pricey shower radio would last, and just how long I should expect it to last for just $10, y'know?

I decided against both, but did pick up an Etch-A-Sketch (the last one, in a damaged package) as well as a "My First Musical Instrument" (I think that was the wordy brand) laptop harp to keep in the living room.

Alas, the Legos section had been sacked pretty thoroughly before I got there. Only Bionicle and medieval knight sets seemed to remain, along with some Area 51-ish Lego ripoff brand sets. I didn't dare enter the video game/heavy duty electronics area, lest I leave the store with three game consoles and a couple of bandoliers of games.

There were some bins filled w wackily proportioned Playskool STAR WARS action figures, but after looking over the mini-catalog on the back of the Chewie figure, I realized I only really wanted the Artoo & Threepio set, which, of course, I couldn't find anywhere. Nyeah.

I also saw a pretty cool Sandy Cheeks figure... I picked it up and carried it around a while, but ended up putting it back. I just had this feeling that picking up one SPONGEBOB figure would open a door that would be hard to close later, y'know?

Sad how quickly parts of the store had descended into chaos and ghost town emptiness. And a little confusing and strange seeing tags and descriptions for the fixtures next to the discounts for the toys...

It was already dark when I left the store, and raining in a pretty serious way, so I only stopped by my parked car to snap a shot of the ex-theatre.

I wonder what will become of it? Would someone out there throw some money at the place to turn it into a couple of indoor sand volleyball courts, maybe with some ping pong and pool tables upstairs with viewing overlooking the courts, and a decent bar and lounge area? Purtypleez?

Crazy talk, I know it. *sigh*

The marquee in the shopping center still had some Wheel Of Fortune puzzle-in-progress-looking movie titles up on it. But I couldn't make them out in the rain. Actually, maybe there was a goodbye message up there... hrmmm...

Other than the Fresh Pond field trip, my day was mostly filled with viewing/knocking off some collected shows on my replayTV. I took down the last episode of last year's snow-covered teeny McG offering, THE MOUNTAIN. Not quality programming, but just enough cheeze to sucker me in, and man, that Blink 182 song as the theme always gets me teary-eyed. I deleted the episode I watched, but I'm keeping the one with the 20 seconds of latex-paint-catfighting. =)

Also knocked off the first two new SHIELDs. Forrest Whitaker just dives right in, in that disarming sideways manner of his - good crack! I also sampled and quickly deleted the so-called H.G. WELLS'S WAR OF THE WORLDS I recorded off of SciFi a couple weeks back. Poor C. Thomas SIDEOUT Howell...

Or would that be C. SIDEOUT Thomas Howell...?

After hearing a lukewarm assessment from Jeff and Kim of this week's GALACTICA, I've decided to wait til next weekend to watch this episode along w the next one. My replayTV system is another one of the few beautiful things I own.

Keep on keepin on~

there's a wild Fandango mounted over the fireplace

I cut through the Fresh Pond shopping center lot yesterday and noticed that the movie theater looked closed. The theater sign was in a state of partial undress - reading only "THEATER" instead of "LOEWS THEATER" or "LOEWS FRESH POND THEATER" or whatever it usedta/supposedta read. I didn't know to check out the marquee sign in the lot when I went by, so I don't know if there were any movie titles up. The by the building was pretty much empty, tho...

When I got home, I saw in an email from Loews/Fandango that AMC had taken over Loews? Wack.

No big whup I figure, except that now I should sign up again for an AMC moviewatcher card, cuz I don't know where mine is, and we get to watch that weird animated movie film loop flying around shooting stars from its butt before the feature instead of the paper bag Fandango freaks.

Hrm, I wonder if anything changes w Rachel's discount passes...

AMC always felt a bit crisper, somehow, than Sony-Loews. I wanna say it's got something to do with, or something about, the Loews carpeting and uphostery... Can't exactly explain that, that's just how it is.

Big week for buyouts, eh? Apple absorbs Disney (I know, I know, technically, Disney bought Pixar, but, well... we'll see... =) and AMC eats Loews. Damn, guess there's NO chance of the old jingle coming back now, eh? I mean, "AMC" is too many syllables to drop in place of "Loews," right?

Still, maybe that legally opens up the option for some sharp band, maybe OGRE, finally to thrash the jingle on the B side (are there still B sides?) of their first release from their new hit album!

Keep on keepin on~

* Later that day....

I checked out fandango.com and the Fresh Pond theater is no longer listed. Yes, it was a piece-o-crap theater, but, it had some... ummm... there usedta be a... errr... every once in a while they would...

No, it just sucked.

It did play a part in making for a dozen or so weekend biathlon escapes years back, when, carless, I'd T out there w friends to hit Lanes-n-Games for some candlepin action, pinball, and then chase it with a craptacular movie experience.

Oh, y'know what, maybe there's Something Bad going on w that location. Around the corner, the TOYS R US is closing! Hrmmm... Maybe I'll swing by there later to see what Lego sets they've still got... Y'know what would round out a trip like that perfectly? A movie somewhere nearby...

O well~

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Hey, check out who's on that hog in the rearview mirror!"

Michael is driving the car. Lindsay is in the passenger seat. Michael's son George Michael, his girlfriend Ann, and his cousin Maebe are in the back seat.

Up front, Michael not-so-quietly expresses his concerns to Lindsay about George Michael spending too much time with Ann, whom he doesn't really approve of (when he actually notices her, that is). Lindsay, however, is oblivious to everything but the hot muscular bounty hunter she's crushing on trailing their car on a motorcycle, and she exclaims, "Hey, check out who's on that hog in the rearview mirror!"

At this, Michael turns in his seat and yells out, "George Michael!" as if to stop his son from doing... umm... something.

C'mon! How can you NOT watch this show?

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT - Borrow it! Rent it! Buy it! Give it as a present! Watch it!

It tastes goooood... and hey, you'll swim better!~

Keep on keepin on~

"Well, yes, we COULD read your blog..."

After all the scrolling I made you do in my pointful Tuesday night attack of blogorrhea I thought I'd give your mouse a rest and just pass along a funny thousand-words-in-picture-form on blogging...

Some lighter editorial cartooning fare from Jim Borgman at the Cincinatti Enquirer.

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

tuesday night ramble...

It's 11pm and I'm just sittin down to reheated pizza, Diet Coke, and some ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. I know I probably shouldn't be diggin in again so soon - I had an excellent ham-n-cheese sandwich with white cheddar Cheetos, kindly and expertly put together by my friend Cyndee for dining by the DVD light of CONSTANT GARDENER. Thing is, I recently picked up this difficult-to-kick late night eating/snacking habit. Yeah, it just started up around a decade ago...

Bad bad bad, I know. But I like to think I offset it pretty well by not getting enough sleep...

I really dig CONSTANT GARDENER. Provided you're willing to pay attention, it does a fine job of tackling a vicious bottom-line-driven conspiracy, that of "Big Pharma" enlisting the aid of national governments and protection to exploit Africa's poor as bogus drug trial data. The sweeping story covers the crushing gears of the pharma machinery turning at many levels, all the while keeping a human face on the trespasses, crimes, activism, suffering, guilt, and sorrow they cause and inspire. A second unraveling of mystery also keeps things moving at a human scale, as Ralph Feines's Justin learns more and more about the woman he loves as he uncovers the details of the righteous and clandestine work that led to her demise.

Hopefully you've figured out that this is *not* the feel-good hit of the summer, but a very well-crafted WTF-is-wrong-w-the-world?! story. Would be a hell of an eye-opening downer of a double feature with SYRIANA. Triple your entertaining displeasure if you add SILVER CITY. Perhaps round out a foursome with MUNICH? How about a wrist-slashing inspirational quintuple experience with CRASH?

Love me some passionate bubbly Rachel Weisz as hippie Brit Tessa.

Y'know. I'm gonna hafta go back for another screening of SYRIANA. I tried to call it all up a few weeks after I saw it to discuss with Hilary, but I only managed to retain the broader strokes, and the details and motivations are not trivial.

Oh! When I remember it, I'm pretty keen on seeing BRICK. I caught a trailer for it on the CONSTANT GARDENER DVD and it looks like something I wish I could put together - an L.A. noir scenario, set in high school. How perfect is that? Hopefully it'll get marketed well enough and open on a decent number of screens.

Well, there go the last slices of sausage-n-pepp and chicken-n-Italian-bacon (which has a proper -sciutto type name that I cannot recall), from the two large pies seven-eighths consumed last night with help from Rachel, Jill, and Glen. They came over to watch the fifth hour of 24. See, we had some snow and ice and freezing temps yesterday (Monday) during the day, and league volleyball ended up being cancelled on account of the school being closed for a snow day and plowing whatnot. So, we got together to do the 24 thang.

Last week Rachel and Jill came over on Tuesday evening to watch. Originally, I was hoping to turn Tuesday into a regular movie night downtown, but coming off of the MLK holiday it was a bit difficult to motivate a posse for movie-ing. So, to fake my way into something I could claim to be socializing, I put out the call for some 24 viewers. I'd replayTV'd the first four hours of this season from Sunday and Monday nights and decided I'd give them all a go, back to back... to back... ummm... one, two, three, ayup, to back. Rachel and Jill answered the call, and Ray was spiffy enough to pick up some foods on the way over, and who knows, maybe a regular 24 night was born...

We shall see~

At the end of the night yesterday, everyone seemed friendly to the idea of a regular Tuesday 24 get-together. Rachel actually suggested making it every other Tuesday, which would mean we'd get to watch two hours back-to-back, but for the week between the two episodes, we'd have to dodge spoilers around the water cooler. That could be tricky.

Glen showed up before the girls on Monday night, and after I forced the end of a SciFi replay of SURFACE on him, I tried exposing him to some ARRESTED D. I played the first part of an episode from disk 3 of the first season and decided to shift gears when I sensed that the comedy seemed to be bouncing off of him. I think it would've been better received if I'd had an earlier disk in the DVD player. Alas, I'd lent out disks 1 and 2 as part of my AD proselytizing. We ended up flipping in and out of a BIKER BUILD somethin-somethin show that Glen was familiar with. Had some CK supermodel boy turned bike-builder competing with some more old school bike designers for something that I don't know what it is...

Anyhow, when Rachel and Jill showed up, we still had almost an hour to kill before 24 started. I decided to introduce them to the NBC's THE OFFICE series, starting with the most recent two shows. Excellent frickin show. Throughout the first short season of the American series, I maintained that the BBC original is superior, but now I'm thinking that the American show may be equal in magnitude of goodness, but different in direction and flavor, y'know? They started out with an almost identical pilot and ingredients, but the characters and relationships have evolved in new and perhaps more American ways. Good crack.

Crazy TV fantasy - Would LOVE to see an episode featuring some kind of management executive foreign exchange program where we could get a "Mirror Mirror"/Bizarro thing going... Get Ricky Gervais and Steve Carrell in the same room for a while...? Maybe everyone and their counterparts, like when SHAUN OF THE DEAD and posse cross paths with Yvonne of the dead and posse? Brilliant!

After two OFFICE episodes (the one where Michael burns and then bubble-wraps his foot, and the one where Michael just can't keep Jim's secret), we were only six minutes into 24, and we'd all agreed that we should only start playing the show at least eighteen minutes in, so that we could skip commercial breaks and always have some 24 to watch. DVRheads will know what I'm talking about, yeah? So, I jumped back a few OFFICE episodes and hit them with the "Booze Cruise" one, to show them how Roy and Pam set a date for their wedding and Jim decides to confide in Michael about his feelings for Pam. I was really impressed with Michael's character in that ending, and was kinda disappointed in how the most recent episode had him screwing Jim's trust over so badly. But, well, 99 out of 100 times, that *is* Michael's character. O well~

After 24-ing, Rachel was more than a little anxious. This is the beauty of the show. That digital ticking clock, y'know? To try to televisionally talk her down and decompress, I played us one more OFFICE, "The Fire Guy." I think that helped. Like the way the stories are told in PULP FICTION... Travolta's Vincent Vega is killed on the toilet by Willis's boxer-w-his-dad's-watch, right? But the story segments are revealed to you in such a way that the movie ends with the dorkily dressed Samuel Jackson and John Travolta struttin out of the Denny's clone and into the sunset. Happy =)

THE OFFICE is one of the shows I give a generous chunk of room on my replayTV, partly for those random afternoons or evenings of nothing to do, when I can play six collected and yet unwatched episodes in a row, and partly to always have a few handy in case of emergency. Other shows that get priority space - BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, BOONDOCKS, FAMILY GUY, FUTURAMA, THE OC, THE SHIELD, SMALLVILLE, and VENTURE BROTHERS (there are no new ones, but I've kept all of the episodes from the first and so far only short season of the show =). I always let THE DAILY SHOW and COLBERT REPORT collect up to a week's worth of themselves as well.


Keep on keepin on~

Prezzy's take on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN...

When asked in Manhattan, Kansas yesterday if he'd seen BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, W (for "wiretap") replied...

"I haven't seen it... I'll be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

When You See The Robot, Drink!

It may be time to go back to the FUTURAMA!

Billy West (according to posts in message boards at billywest.com says that he's supposed to start recording four new FUTURAMA straight-to-DVD movies!

Haven't seen any confirmation of this news anywhere obvious, but there's apparently been some buzz about the possibility in the last few weeks. Alas, not the series fully revived, but... damn, I do miss Fry, Leela, Bender, and the Planet Express gang! THAT is some good and loveable sci-fi comedy crack!

That's right! That's Captain James Tiberius Frickin' Kirk facing off against Leela on some craggy desert rock! From the most excellent FUTURAMA episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before!" William Shatner, along with almost the entire original crew (minus DeForest "Bones" Kelley and James "Scotty" Doohan; Leonard Nimoy and Nichelle Nichols played roles in other episodes as well) participated in this 31st century shakedown of the STAR TREK mythology. Comic genius. =)

If you left a voicemail on my cellphone before the fall last year, you probably got an earful of one of my favorite bits of dialogue from the show, from "Love and Rocket," between Lrrr, leader of Omicron Persei 8, and fan of 21st century Earth television, and his wife and mate, Nd-Nd. The Planet Express crew has just delivered barrels of a few million chalky sweet-(and sour)-heart candies...

Nd-Nd: And what is this emotion you humans call "wuv"?

Lrrr: Surely it says "love"?

Nd-Nd: No, "wuv". With an Earth "W." Behold!

Lrrr: This concept of "wuv" confuses and infuriates us!

If you've left a voicemail since then, you've been treated to an exchange from "Fry and the Slurm Factory," between Leela and Fry and the Slurm queen, regent of Wormulon, the civilization that created the most addictive soft drink ever - Slurm! You may be more familiar with their spokesworm, Slurms MacKenzie, the original party worm! =)

Leela: How can you trick people into drinking something that comes out of your behind? It's disgusting.

Slurm Queen: Is it? Honey comes from a bee's behind. Milk comes from a cow's behind. And have you ever used toothpaste?

Fry: Whose behind does that come from?

Slurm Queen: You don't wanna know.

Such frickin goodness! You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do. Watch it and BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS! =)


Caught a 5.30 show at the Brattle of the Werner Herzog film, WILD BLUE YONDER. It's something I might've better appreciated under the influence of some mind altering chemistry, heavy on panoramic nature and documentary visuals, light on storytelling. Crayzay Brad "Wormtongue" Dourif plays the role of an extragalactic visitor to Earth, part of the third wave of a mass immigration from his water-covered homeworld in the Andromeda Galaxy. Their planet was facing a global ice age and could no longer support their species, so they built spaceships and headed out in all directions in search of new homes. Upon arriving on Earth, Brad and friends envisioned making a huge impact on the technology and civilization of the planet. However, after hundreds of generations in space travel, their knowledge and intellect had become diluted, and in the end, the best they could do was try to fit in and survive on a planet that was facing environmental crises of its own.

I really like that idea. That alien visitors, stereotypically envisioned to be superior to humanity in all ways (except maybe for being vulnerable to water... or germs... or a certain frequency of somethin somethin... or perhaps the emotion we call "love"), should arrive on earth, only to be revealed as average joes and janes, with nothing more to offer than plans for a really great shopping mall.

The movie feels like a bedtime story that dad conjures up on the fly for a kid who likes space travel and underwater creatures.

The film uses what plays like interviews and animation from episodes of PBS's NOVA, as well as footage from Shuttle Galileo mission STS-34 and an undersea diving expedition beneath a pack of arctic or antarctic ice to support Brad Dourif's narration of his journey to Earth and humanity's own search for a new planet to call home.

Can't recommend this to everyone. If my description and comments so far sound entertaining enough, grab your pipe and look up this film. =) If you're a NASA/shuttle-phile, you'll dig the STS-34 day-in-the-life stuff. If you like Discovery Channel undersea specials, you'll dig the below-the-ice segments (the creepy and beautiful underseascape, along with its natives, does play as very otherworldly, I must say).

Hrmmm... I wonder if this is actually just a documentary about Brad Dourif...? I mean, it's no mistake he plays the sci-fi/fantasy crazies, this would certainly help explain why. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Overheard in Harvard Square on my way to the Brattle:

It's worse than Jdate! My parents are setting me up with people!
---a girl on cellphone in front of ABP

...and I went out with him a few times, it wasn't that bad. His mom was friends with my mom...
---a girl on cellphone in front of Uno's

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Titanium tech support...

I brought my Titanium into Mac-man Jeff's Garage today for a check-up and repair.

That's Jeff there giving me a look under the hood of the touch-screen tablet he put together himself. He took my laptop apart and put it back together, testing for certain things along the way.

I owned up to dropping my beloved Titanium several months back. I had an external PCI wireless card in the side port. When I first got the wireless card, I tried to be diligent about removing it when I'd shut the machine down and travel, but after a couple weeks (of course : P) I got lazy and ended up keeping it in the slot all the time. The design of this card is such that when it's connected, it juts out a half inch or so beyond the casing...

When I dropped the laptop, I was taking it out of my bag to place on a desktop, and when it slipped from my hands, it fell on its left side, the side with the PCI slot, the side with the half inch of plastic and metal card sticking out of it. That card pretty much took the full force of the drop. I totally freaked out, but once I got the hyperventilating under control, I set the laptop up and found that everything was working fine. The keyboard was a bit uneven, physically, so I popped the keys off and looked at the guts. A part of the internal frame that holds in the PCI components was bent out of shape and pushed up out of the even surface beneath the keyboard. I flattened it back again as much as possible, and put the keys back over it. Everything was working fine and the bump wasn't pronounced enough that it pushed into the screen, so, I considered myself incredibly lucky and moved on.

That drop caught up with me over the past couple weeks. First, my CDrom drive went. It wouldn't fully accept disks anymore. Then, a few days later, the wireless card seemed to fail. After removing it and testing it on another laptop and finding it worked fine, I concluded it was my PCI slot that was dead. Ack. Then last week, just after my eyes (I admit it! What do you want from me? I'm a boy! A boy with needs!) wandered, my laptop stopped booting up, and when she would, she would end up freezing on me after some random amount of time. Sensitive, no?

Well, once Jeff opened 'er up, we found several places where components and wiring were physically out of alignment. The CDrom drive and external PCI slot were not fully connected to the motherboard. Jeff relocated and reconnected, and along the way tested and powered 'er up in various states of undress. In the end, we found that most components worked fine together while he had the laptop opened up. Once it was all sealed up again in its case, though, powering up successfully became a roll of the dice. Frack.

It seems like there are problems in several components. The best we could figure out, and I can currently manage, is to start up successfully one out of four times or so, and success depends a in different parts on the physical position of the power plug in its socket, the position of the keypad, and even, it seems, on the angle that the screen is sitting at.

It's like trying to get a better signal on the old TV set by sitting or standing in a certain way in a very particular part of the room, y'know?

And y'know, even after it gets to the screen with the Apple logo and the spinning tequila worm, it will still freeze-crash at some random moment later on.

Jeff provided me with some spare hardware (he's got quite a collection, thanks to some friends and family who have come to consider their Mac purchases as disposable within a couple years, heh) that I can use to do a transplant of my hard drive to an Apple desktop case or perhaps another Titanium shell, if I can locate one on eBay or thru friends. Apparently laptop owners will pretty regularly try to unload an otherwise functioning machine because of a bad or dead screen, and at sub-basement prices. I haven't checked into that yet.

* A short time later...

I wrote all of the above on the Titanium after getting it up and running for a while after the garage visit (and in between calls from a friend telling me I shouldn't stay in computering on a Saturday night), but didn't post because I wanted to include the pics and still hadn't downloaded them from my camera. While I was downloading, I lost 'er. I'm now finishing up on my blue-and-white G3. Frack.

I will start looking seriously at the new laptop now. I just hafta skip... what? A couple years of McLunches, and that oughtta pay for it. Oh, and a few months more for the AppleCare...


Keep on keepin on~

Friday, January 20, 2006

(Stewart on) Bush on "diplomacy"

On THE DAILY SHOW earlier this week, Jon Stewart comments on the "President's" reaction to Iran's revived nuclear weapons program. He sets up Bush's sound byte by describing the situation... a Muslim country, developing weapons of mass destruction, led by a man who hates America, in repeated defiance of the United Nations (sounds awful familiar, don't it?)... President Bush, take it away!~

And...cue the press conference segment: Bush states that his plan is to solve the issue using diplomacy. Bush goes on to give a quick down-home definition of the term "diplomacy," explaining to the press corp that diplomacy is "talking to friends, allies, and others, about a common objective." Stewart steps in between clips here with his Bush impression...

Now I'll use it in a sentence: Yale, is where I got my diploma, see? Henh henh henh.

I do dig me some Jon Stewart =)

Keep on keepin on~

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pierce is fun in MATADOR

Saw MATADOR last night w Jim, who was in town overnight for work. For some reason after a 4-somethin show, the Boston Common theater didn't have another showtime until 9.55pm. I guess they must've had some special screening or event in between. Eh, I don't mind the late show, so long as I can T myself home in time, and the theater's just down the road from the red line at Park Street. No biggie.

We met up at about 7.30 or so, grabbed some dinner at Rock Bottom around the corner, didn't feel like lingering there until the movie, so we hit the theater on the early side. On the way out, I pointed out the root beer barrels. Next time I'll hafta remember to grab a few for Glen. Altho I wonder how well he'll take to root beer when it's not presented to him by a fetching lass, heh.

At the theater, I used two of the passes I'd gotten from Rachel a few weeks back, so our evening tickets only cost $6 - I'm already enjoying the movie, heh. Like I said, we were early for our 9.55 show, but whatever was on previously in our room, theater 1, was already done, so they let us in. Before we stepped all the way into the auditorium, Jim asked me how many people I thought would be watching the movie tonight. Ever the sucker-optimist, I said 20. Jim went with 6. We walked ourselves all the way in to find the room completely empty, heh.

We took center seats in the first elevated row and talked thru the Screenvision countdown of commercials and "Did you know...?s" This Coca-Cola/Screenvision show featured some animated shorts from students at CalArts and such. I wondered how much the students got paid for rights to play their work, or if they got paid at all. Oh, the ScreenVJ gal mentioned undergroundfilm.org as the place to look for more shorts, so maybe they're all in cahootz in screwing over young indie filmmakers. Or not, I dunno. I'll have to have a looksee over there...

...eventually (eh).

Well, a giggly pair of drunken fratboy types took seats way up top. Another couple of people came in and sat a few rows behind us, and sometime during the real and true trailers (not ads), a person materialized in the very front row, center seat. So, 7 people total. Jim's answer of 6 was closest without going over.

He's good like that.

I really enjoyed MATADOR. Pierce Brosnan does an amazing job playing Julian Noble, a socially challenged crass horndog of a professional hitman. He'd tell you he'd rather not be called that, tho - "hitman." He prefers something that reflects his professionalism and reputation, something along the lines of... mortality consultant. Kinnear is very Kinnear (which is good for this) as the straight/everyman slice of American cheese who strikes up some late night Mexico City hotel bar convo with the visiting stranger. It takes a little while for Julian to let down his professional/paranoid guard, but he finds he can't help but like Greg's (I can't remember his character's name) total normalness. It's something he's finding more and more appealing as life, and work, go on.

The two men play tourist buddies in Mexico City for a day and at Julian's insistence, go to a bullfight together. It's there that Pierce, who's been dancing around the subject of his profession, finally gives it up. Greg is skeptical, and to convince him, Pierce takes some extreme measures to demonstrate how he executes one of his jobs, in broad daylight. Greg's shaken, but also exhilarated. But at the end of the day, they part ways, each moving on to their next bit of business, each man certain they'll never see the other again.

Flash forward six months. Julian shows up at Greg's suburbian door. He explains that he's losing it, on the verge of a total nervous breakdown, burnt out, and because of the flagging quality of his recent work, he may be in danger of being terminated, so to speak. He's come to ask Greg for a favor that may save his life. And the wacky hijinks continue.

Julian has a wonderful penchant for the most colorful turns of phrases... In the Julian Noble useful phrasebook, it's not, "I'm so frickin tired," but, "I feel like a Bangkok hooker on Sunday morning after the navy's shipped out!" It's great how his character is so frickin unpleasant, driven by his bloody job, with his only pleasures being drinking and screwing. You see it in his face and attitude when he talks about people, and even sometimes when he's listening to Greg, just how insipid he thinks everyone's average life is, but in his strange and real friendship w Greg, and the breakdown crisis that follows, he reveals a genuine wish, desire, and appreciation of good, small, important things that we all give a damn about.

Bleah. That's not all that eloquent, and a bit Hallmark cliche, which perhaps the turns of MATADOR's story may be, but I certainly did enjoy those turns as made by Pierce and Greg.

I'd heard Pierce was up for a Golden Globe for this (but didn't win, right?) and there's some Oscar buzz (which is kinda kooky, considering the role, but he IS damn good in it), but I dunno... Hope Davis plays Greg's loving fearless true believer sweetheart just right.

It's got a fun soundtrack with a great and surprising drop of Asia that I particularly enjoyed. Also, the flick pushes some rich and luscious visuals, provided by cool framing of scenes in a swank Mexico City hotel and its environs, and some swell supercaptions.

I didn't think the film felt short, but it turned out to be maybe 80-some minutes I think, so I suppose it is pretty short. (Maybe it would've felt short for $10? =) I would've liked to see more assassination action to sort of round out the film and tinker w the pacing a bit, but all in all, this Julian character kinda rocks just doing anything.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, January 16, 2006

did you say MFK...?

A thoughtful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of rest and/or service to all y'all.

Or perhaps, y'both, is more accurate...?


I hope everyone recorded or watched "The Return of the King" last night on BOONDOCKS? If not, I invite you (those of you whom I know, not that I expect a lot of strangers are stumbling over this particular bit of digital tumbleweed blowing across the internet wasteland) over to watch at my place this evening. I've got it recorded and saved, but unwatched. Hit me w an email if you're into it. =)

Walking from Boston Beerworks to the Fenway theater Friday night to catch GLORY ROAD, Sara and Glen leading, Steve and I following, Steve mentioned MLK Day being a holiday, and a Monday without volleyball, and joked about getting people together for a party for it, and Sara looked back and asked, "An MFK party?" And that cracked the other guys up a little bit. They started throwing some familiar names back and forth and saying, "Glen gave me another one I couldn't answer, what was it again?" and "Oh, I'd definitely kill her, doesn't matter who else is there..." and "Of course, I'd marry YOU!" All accompanied by knowing glances and chuckles.

After a couple minutes of this, I figured out that MFK is a sort of reversal of an ages-old slumber-party type fortune telling game... or so Sassy magazine once told me...

Just the one issue...

It was FREE!

Well, y'know, it was bagged with another magazine that I did actually buy... What was I gonna do, throw it away?!

What magazine did I buy? Ummm... errr... I don't really remember...

What? Can't I not remember? Oh, okay, fine! Sassy was was free with my copy of... Dirt...
Fine. You happy now? Yeah, I was the guy who bought that magazine.
At least.
And yeah, it came with a copy of Sassy...
At least.
I forget who the Cute Band Alert was that issue... But y'know, let me just look that--Oh hey, what am I thinking, I certainly didn't KEEP it!

Cuz that would be weird...


Instead of flipping over your cards or fondling your palm and then telling you who you will marry, boink, and how many kids you'll have in your giant mansion, castle, or box by the side of the turnpike, your friend gives you three names, and you hafta decide who you could stand to marry (but not necessarily mambo), who you could manage to frack (just once), and who you would kill - MFK.

Hey, I did say "sort of reversal." I dunno... It's just that that sort of slumber party fortune telling thang just popped into my head when I realized what everyone was talking about. Y'know... just before the lingerie-clad tickle fights...

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. I made multiple attempts at massive and then not-so-massive file copies from my laptop to the LaCie drive and they all quit part way through. I'm gonna try it at the office on a Mac with a more recent OS X and hope that that manages the copy process better. I miss my Titanium.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I heard the TEEN TITANS theme song on the radio yesterday. I'm not sure what station it was, but it was one of my presets, and it was definitely not NPR, so it must've been something kinda pop-rocks, like 98.5 or 104.1. Is that possible? I mean, I totally dig the song, but y'know, that's ME. I love the soundtrack to XANADU! Is this something that's getting lots of requests? The song is done by a J-pop band called Puffy Amiyumi. I don't know exactly how popular they've gotten in the states, but they've won themselves their own animated show on the Cartoon Network, which I hafta admit I've only skipped past during random moments of channel surfing. I have no clue what it's about, could be they've got special abilities and vehicles, like G-Force, could be they stumble into mysteries between gigs, or perhaps in an accidentally shanghai'd spaceship, a la Josie and the Pussycats. I really don't know...

I wonder if they have a monkey...

I DO know that the TEEN TITANS show (catch it on Cartoon Network) does kick ass - if you grew up on the Superfriends, collected (or still collect =) DC superhero comics, or think you'd dig Japanese-ish animated style applied to superheroic action, you should really give this show a try - they're doing it right! They've done a great job of re-inventing the Titans (for the show they've got Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg as the core team) for a good action cartoon, and rebuilding some great mythology for the characters, telling the story of Raven's fate, as set by her demonic dimension-conquering father Trigon, setting up a pointed obsession-slash-rivalry between Robin and criminal mastermind-seeking-an-apprentice Deathstroke, and even doing an excellent job of connecting the dots for Beast Boy between life with the old-school Doom Patrol and joining the new-school Teen Titans. Pretty damn thorough, creative, and well followed-thru on. This current season, the Brotherhood of Evil, the Doom Patrol's longtime nemesis, ends up setting their sights on Beast Boy and his new team, which has expanded to include a whole generation of young heros on its roster, including the likes of Speedy, Kole, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Pantha, and Jericho.

I just saw what looked like a season finale this weekend and it was a helluva final confrontation between the Titans and the Brotherhood, a who's who of DC superhero-dom and villainy. Damn satisfying! It reminded me/resonated a bit with the JUSTICE LEAGUE UMLIMITED finale that played in the fall. I don't think JLU is played anymore, but I hope it'll come back in some form. New episodes of the TEEN TITANS have been playing on the weekends and reruns play just about every weekday. Check them out/sample a few with your DVR. It's some really good animated candy! =)

This message from nerdboy central brought to you by the letter "T" and the number "5."

Keep on keepin on~

blogging from the battle bridge...

Okay, I don't have a battle bridge* just the blue and white G3 Mac. I would post from my beloved Titanium, but just now she is being bitchy w me, apparently jealous/pissed off about my making eyes at the new Intel-chipped Apple laptops...

Of course she doesn't focus on the whole "beautiful" bit I wrote about her, oh no. All she's thinking about is how I happened to look at another laptop.

As punishment, she's withholding. Y'know... action. And I have a feeling she may seriously be considering a separation. I would NEVER have pushed for that. You read it, didn't you? I'd never just drop her, y'know, desert her. I mean, not that I'm, like DEFINITELY looking to get myself a new model, y'know, in a serious way, at least.... y'know... not, right away...? But I'm being punished now just for LOOKING? C'mon... Have you seen them? I mean, hey, look at them!

How could I NOT?

Frack. I'm probably doing more harm than good talking about it. She'll find out, of course.

By common law, or at least possession, she's got full custody of all my music and photos.

Not good.

Okay, what's going on, or what seems to be going on, is that my hard drive on the Titanium is not spinning up on start-up (I push the power button, and I can see the caps-lock key light up when I hit it, but the Mac never actually starts up), or when it does, it eventually spins down and stops, and the Mac completely freezes up (the mouse/cursor stops responding, as does the keyboard, and I hafta hold down the power button to shut it off). I've tried zapping the p-ram a few times, and while it did start up a couple times after doing that, I don't think it's having any real effect.

I'm hoping that I'll get the drive to spin up again a few times later today, so I'm heading out to the Apple store to get a big fat hard drive to copy whatever I can when I do get lucky like that. Bleah.

I know I could get cheaper hardware at MicroCenter, but I feel like spending my money at Apple for now. Maybe build up some Apple karma. Also, I can get some chicken teriyaki at the food court (Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays... frickin frackin God : P).

If you've got any other ideas or advice on how to retrieve stuff, or somehow trick my hard drive into behaving, please feel free to leave a suggestion. I'll run the problem by the GeniusBar if I can get some facetime with one of their staff today, too.

Keep on keepin on~

* Battle Bridge. In STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION, the Enterprise could be separated into two spaceshippy components: the saucer section and the rest of the ship. I think they only did it twice, in the television premiere and then in GENERATIONS, the movie, where no one finds out who'd win in a fight, Kirk or Picard. Anyhow, the saucer gets the bridge as its control center, the one everyone knows, with the giant screen TV and the comfy chairs w the drink holders, and the rest of the ship - maybe it should be called the battleship? - is commanded from a smaller, stripped-down version of the bridge, the battle bridge.

Later that day...

Mac-man Jeff got in touch to advise me of some options. And my trip to the Apple store backs him up on them. I ended up picking up a LaCie external drive to use as backup storage space. When I get to work tomorrow I'll shop around online for a decently priced replacement for the internal hard drive on my laptop. Right now I want to get all of my photos and music (together about 30 gigs - most of that is digital pics!) along with some of my animation files duped somewhere safe.

The key thing that Jeff told me about, and the Genius Bar staff reiterated, is the ability to power up the laptop as an external firewire hard drive. With my particular laptop, you can do that by holding down the "T" key when pushing the power button. Once that's done, it can be read by another Mac as an external firewire hard drive. Those Apple boys are pretty frickin smaht. =)

I'm doing a massive file copy right now, having mounted both my laptop and the new LaCie drive on the blue and white G3. Thing is, the G3 is running OS9.x and the laptop, when she's not freezing me out, runs OS10.2, so I wonder what files of mine might be incompatible. So, I'm gonna try this, probably have to let it run overnight, see how successful it is. I expect there'll be SOME kind of difficulty w part of it, foo. So I'll bring all my hardware with me to the office and try doing the same thing thru one of the machines at work running OS X. I think we might have a utility that will not just copy the files, but actually dupe the drive. Then I could dupe that onto the replacement internal drive I end up getting.

Dunno that this entry will help anyone out out there, but I sorta needed to write it out for myself to see it in front of me as something resembling a plan, y'know? =)

I've got a couple other entries started, but only saved as drafts... I'm holding back/slacking on completing, cuz I don't have all the resources I usually do when I'm working directly on the laptop. Hopefully that won't hold back my rambling for too long... Don't want to go back to loading and unloading the gun, right?



Keep on keepin on~

birthday girl Jackie | Hey, "Dottie" rhymes with "hottie..."

"Hey! 'Dottie' rhymes with 'hottie'..."

"What, you never noticed that before...?"

It's about 2.30 am and I'm just home from Joshua's shindig for Jackie's 25th birthday. A good ridiculous ass-smackin time had by all!

Whether they liked it or not. =)

Originally I was on the fence about attending, as my baseline mass socialization factor is pretty low to begin with, and lately, it seems a bit lower than usual... Post-Thon partem malaise, perhaps? Or maybe post-holidaze...? Anyhow, I'd been waffling on yay or nay for a couple days, but when the day arrived, well, I just thought about Jackie, and Jackie goodness, and realized that I didn't want to pass up the chance to be there when she steps into Josh's place and everyone jumps out and yells, "Surprise!"

Of course, that's not quite how it actually went down, but I gotta say, Joshua and friends/accomplices did a damn fine job of keeping Jackie in the dark about the partay. Listening to Jackie explain how her best friends duped her, she sounded pretty seriously pissed off at a few of them for (apparently) blowing off her birthday. One of them helped lay the groundwork a month ago, telling Jackie that she'd be out of state the weekend of her birthday (this weekend). Nice work, eh?

Well, as this is my blog, I'll just fixate on what rides highest in my short term Hard Lemonade soaked memory, y'know, before I crash. Which I really should.

I do kind of recall a tradition of a birthday spanking, or "spanking machine," from childhood birthday festivities, but, well, what went down at this party, well, this was kind of ridonculous. But I suppose I should mention that the hand-to-bum action was not limited to the birthday girl.

Plain and simple, there was a lot of smackin of ass, as seems to be the custom among Jackie's people. "Jackie's people" being, so far as I can suss, New England volleyball players. Specifically, the subset of women players. I've observed the custom at many a tournament, indoor and outdoor, over the past three years or so, but never dared venture close enough to those involved to examine the practice at close quarters.

Tonight, I was privileged to not only witness this wonder of nature, but also blessed by two particularly strong practitioners who bestowed upon me most impressive (as in leaving an impression) slappings of the rump... Thanks very much, Mlles Dottie and Denise...

I also discovered that the ceremony includes other physical interactions, including the presentation and rubbing of the bum, the pinch and/or tweak of the nipple, and the hand-grabbing of the busoms, and can be practiced by the males of the species as well. Furthermore, such interaction is delivered in a co-ed fashion as well as amongst the same sex, with... ummm... varying degrees of acceptance, comradery, respect and... how to describe it? Retaliation.

Some individuals will apparently form alliances, but none of them prove to be very lasting. For the first time ever, I witnessed a technological advancement in the practice, the incorporation of tool usage in the custom, extending reach and leverage, as well as contact area.

Dangerous stuff.

Steve had a charming self-deprecating comeback in response to a backside smack attack, from the birthday girl, I believe...

"Ha! Can't FIND it, can you?"

Allright, I can't keep tapping away here. Due to some technical difficulties, I'm having to write from my blue-n-white G3 instead of my laptop, and it's just not flowing so well. Time to lull myself to sleep with some late night SciFi... Oooo... 2010! Love me some trippy Arthur C. Clarke goodness!~

Happy birthday, Jackie!

Keep on keepin on~

Friday, January 13, 2006


This came up while I was home for the holidays in December. Zorknapp came over to hang one night and some of you might not believe it (of me, at least), but we can just talk and talk and talk, and a good fun chunk of it has to do with what's entertaining us lately...

Somewhere between lamenting Fox's moronic treatment of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and my confession that I actually watch and enjoy PRISON BREAK, Zorky brought up the little gem of a scary-esque movie, LAKE PLACID (heh heh).

We both seem to recall it being a very fun link in something of a chain of odd beastie movies that came out one year. I think that BATS (which is "stab" backwards) and DEEP BLUE SEA (SUCH a crisp and fun bit of "B," w one of Samuel Jackson's greatest roles - the best of course being his bit on BOONDOCKS! =) were adjacent links in the chain. Zorky had said that he'd just watched it again, or maybe it was that he remembered the Defense of the Dark Arts instructor (from HARRY POTTER AND THE FOURTH THINGIE) as being the sheriff in PLACID...? I hadn't seen it since we saw it in the theater, but I remembered flashes of its goodness... that Defense of the Dark Arts guy was definitely the sheriff (frack, can't remember his name, and I *just* read about him in my H!ITG guidebook - frack!)... Bill Pullman as good guy park ranger type, Bridget Fonda as city girl fish out of water and cute grad student, Oliver Platt as world-famous croc worshipper, and Meredith Salenger as boobsy, Corey's dream girl.

Oh, and Bettie White in her greatest role ever! Kindly lakeside recluse and rancher's wife... with the mouth of a teamster - yow! Even if somehow you don't enjoy any other moments of the movie, it's worth it just to see Miss White cut loose in her scenes. =)

It also brought to mind perhaps my one and only perfect encapsulated review of a movie ever...

LAKE PLACID... You think it's a movie about a giant man-eating crocodile, but really, it's about small town life. See it. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Man, I really want one of those new Apple laptops! One of the few beautiful things I own is my Titanium laptop. An "old school" 550mhz G4, pre-aluminum bod. I wish I could get my current case refurbed and fit with the new high-speed innards. Still, I'd also like to keep this laptop as part of my Mac evolutionary collection. It starts with a Mac Plus from the late 80s. It had a curly telephone cord type cable connecting the keyboard to the CPU! The next link in the chain is my Mac SE FDHD (WTF?) that got me thru college. Then I've got one of the "pizza box" LCIII/Performa 450s from Apple's confused era (I remember from some print interview round that time, Jodie Foster had one on her desk at Egg films). I had to buy an FPU chip for it to render 3d images on it, bleah. Then there's my beloved, evolutionary dead end of a mutant Mac - PowerWave 604/132, the Power Computing near equivalent of an 8500. After the tower of Power, there's the blue-n-white G3 that's still running some old apps for me on OS9. And finally, my kickass distressed Titanium (which actually predates the G3, purchase-wise).

That parenthetical about Ms. Foster's computer is gonna get me flagged (again) on some list at the FBI, eh?

Took a break for a late lunch at Silvertone with my friend Cyndee. I got there a little early, and she was held up a while at work. So, I planted in the bar area, got myself a diet coke, and while getting myself annoyed w the world via close captioned CNN, I overheard one of the servers talking to her coworkers about how a friend of hers gave her a membership to the Brattle for a Christmas present. Yay! She followed that up with a bit of what she thought was irony, I suppose, telling her coworkers, "...before she found out that the place was going out of business in two months!"


She did seem to know her movies, tho. I heard her talking about THE PASSENGER, a Michelangelo Antonioni flick from the 60s starring Jack Nicholson. She also mentioned BLOW-UP, probably the most mainstream movie by Antonioni, and the film that inspired the American Travolta thriller, BLOWOUT, as well as a decent chunk of Mel Brook spoofage in HIGH ANXIETY. It sounded like she thought that was all that was playing this week, when in fact, PASSENGER would be playing on the weekend. I wanted to explain that KISS KISS BANG BANG was playing tonight, and push it on her, but you know me, I'm not gonna start up any little bit of convo with a woman I don't know without expecting a face full of pepper.

Tonight I met up with Jill, Keri, and Rachel for some foods and film. The plan was to meet at Silvertone for dindins. Originally, I thought Flash's, but the gals came up w Silvertone, and I only found out after my lunch there. I wasn't gonna complain, cuz I totally dig the place and their meatloaf and mac-n-cheese. Besides, I figured it might give me a chance to push KISS KISS, altho, of course, if the same waitress was working, it would probably be too late to get to an evening show, but, whatev, Brattle on!

Well, I beat everyone to Silvertone and found it way crowded, requiring a 45 minute wait for a party of four. The back room was in use for a private party, and there was a jammed-up glob of folks filling the bar and waiting area hoping that hostess Maureen would call them next. I couldn't spot the shiny new Brattle member working the room. O well. Maybe she was already at KISS KISS? Next time I'm there I'll try to make a point of pushing some Brattle fare.

Well, with Silvertone mobbed, we did some quick cellular networking and ended up deciding to rendezvous at Rock Bottom, around the corner from the Boston Common theater. There was no wait there and we killed a nice hour and change with some drinks, eats, and convo that ranged from sensible food portion sizes (Jill and Rachel are making some modest bucks participating in a fortified orange juice study and had talked to a nutritionist type or somethin earlier in the evening) to conjecture as to why the STONE would be so depressing for Rachel's friend (she warned Rachel that it's way sad compared to how it's promoted and what you'd expect) to *surprise surprise* volleyball, altho, really not as much as usual.

On our way out Jill grabbed a couple of "root beer barrels" from a little bin by the door. I had no idea that's what these things were or were called... little root beer flavored sucker candies in the shape of a barrel. I thought they were just some kinda mint. Not a fan of root beer, I passed on barrelling.

On our walk over to the theater, we crossed Tremont next to the Masonic temple or lodge or whatever it is, and I pointed out the sigil or standard or whatever it is, and tuned in my lame dirty birdy voice for... "Beavers...." Jill described experiencing a bit of deja vu, as I'd done the exact same thing when we walked over from Flash's to the theater a week ago to see BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

I'm so easy.

Heh heh.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

overheard (only) in Cambridge...

Random firing of synapses in idle mode brought this up to the surface from a week or so ago...

On an evening walk back home from Harvard Square, I was on Mass Ave, just getting to the end of the block w that Adidas store that seems to sell ground effects for shoes, and some chatter and shuffling in the chunky snow drew my attention down the street there that goes to Tommy's, towards the river. There were two guys in overcoats half-marching, half-stumbling down the road, kinda criss-crossing each other, and one of them suddenly stops and demands, "Where is this *bleepin* place? You don't know where you're going, do you?"

His buddy spins around and keeps on going down the road, backwards-ish, and explains, "It's right down here, I know it is. Icarus. They're gonna meet us there..."

If you're not familiar with a Harvard Square bar/lounge called Icarus, no worries. It doesn't exist, so far as I know. The name of a bar/lounge that IS in the area, and in the direction the two fellas were headed, is Daedalus. Easy mistake to make, right? Sure enough, if you've got it in your drunken head that Icarus is the son of Daedalus, both figures from Greek mythology, Daedalus being some guy what escaped his fate of imprisonment in a labyrinth by crafting wings made of bird feathers to fly out above the walls. At least, I think it was a labyrinth. Was it the Minotaur's? Frack, I'm not sure... I'll hafta see about renting some Kevin Sorbo HERCULES dvds to make sure. He meets all the big Greek myth types in his amazing adventures! =)

Right, umm... Daedalus. Yeah, so he fixed the wings to the arms of his son and himself using wax, and warned his boy Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, lest the wax melt and the wings fall apart. Once in the air, of course, young Icarus cannot resist redlining his wings, and -you guessed it!- he flies too close high, the heat of the sun melts the wax, the wings fall apart, and the boy falls to his doom.

I thought it was kinda funny... the mixing up the names part, not the falling to one's doom part...

It is funny, yeah? Kinda, sorta...?

Of course, it would take a Cantabrigian nerd to spend a half hour spelling it all out, wouldn't it?

I'm just sayin...

Keep on keepin on~

that bit from FAMILY GUY...

Peter: Everybody, I've got bad news. We've been cancelled.

Lois: Oh no, Peter, how could they do that?


Lois: Is there no hope?

Peter: Well, I suppose if all those shows go down the tubes, we might have a shot.
Please pardon any misspellings of the shows. Even I couldn't watch or become familiar with some of those blinks of the Fox primetime eye. The live-action TICK, w "Putty" as the Tick, was pretty damn good, and HARSH REALM is another one I had yanked out from under me. Heh, I remember now that a disposable character in an episode of X-FILES made a comment about how good it was (along with MILLENIUM, they shared creators and writers).

Gosh, this can't even be a complete list, cuz STRANGE LUCK isn't included... Or did that die before FAMILY GUY was Foxcommunicated?


Keep on keepin on~

quick notes on BROKEBACK...

Tonight I rendezvoused w Rachel, Jill, and Glen for some foods and drinks at Flash's, then hit the Loews Boston Common theater for some 1960s gay rodeo action on the big screen! That's right, FUN WITH DICK AND JANE!

Heh. I kid, I kid. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Stark and beautiful visuals. Scenes from a tragic forbidden love story. Still sorta processing I guess, but wanted to get down a few things (SPOILERY things, some of them!) that came up in post-movie discussion and thoughts w the gang...

I still can't remember what turn of the phrase there was in that last exchange between Ennis and Jack before leaving Brokeback that last time...

Some other bits I do sorta recall, probably more in paraphrase than quote...

Camp/sheep owner (played by Randy Quaid): "I'm not paying you to let the dogs tend the sheep while you two stem the rose..."

Ennis (Heath): "If you can't fix it, you just gotta stand it..."

Ennis (Heath) to Alma: "You don't want to have any more of my children, we can stop this right now..."
Alma (Michelle): "I'll have them if you'll support them..."
[Dig that crayzay pillow talk!]

Now I'm totally spaced on which of the two said this, but I think it was Jack (Jake) to Ennis...?

"...I wish I could quit you..."

In the end, it really doesn't matter what event or incident led to Jack's fate, sadly, it's a revelation of his character as destiny... at least, at that time and in that place... He was definitely the more daring, careless, impatient, and/or reckless of the two, as far as keeping their relationship under wraps, and more and moreso over time.

If I had to choose an incident from the encounters revealed to us in the film that directly resulted in the Jack's downfall (we were discussing this in the empty theater after the credits), I'd say that Jack Twist was done in by that last dalliance, w the husband of the "if-I-could-ever-get-a-word-in-edgewise" Ana Feris sorority girl. I think that bringing that man home to his family's farm would've been a bit much for anyone who was paying attention. I think the exchanges w the Brokeback Mt. rancher (Quaid), and then the rodeo clown at the bar, were passing incidents and encounters, and not directly connected to his ultimate fate.

Although they did seem to get a decent surprised "ooooooh" reaction from the audience. Everyone waitin for the other spur to drop, donchaknow.

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Who's not watching ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT?!

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT! Gawldingdangdammit - Tivo this sucker! Every episode! Don't let stupid F'in Fox kill another great show!

At least, not without watching a few of them before they're gone... : (

Anyone catch the opening bit to "North by North Quahog," the season premiere/return-to-TV episode of FAMILY GUY? It's a sort of epilogue to their first run, when Peter announces to the family that their show's been cancelled, they ask him if there's any chance that they could get back on the air, and Peter begins with something like, "Well, I suppose it's possible, if great Fox shows like..." and he recites a long list of all the shows Fox picked up and dumped in the three (?) or so years FAMILY GUY was off the air - including some personal faves of mine like ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE, GREG THE BUNNY, LONE GUNMEN, and of course, FIREFLY - and finishes with... "If all those shows fail and get cancelled, then maybe we've got a chance!"

Granted, not all of them were winners. Some were no doubt duct-taped together from scripts and ideas deemed too lame for better shows (THAT 80s SHOW?), but were quickly moneyed up to at least put SOMETHING "fresh" on while they tracked down another quality FIREFLY to launch and then smother... So frickin telling of the impatience and cluelessness of Fox programming...

And this time, it's, like OUT IN THE OPEN how amazing the show is!

It almost reflects "real world" political and media behavior...

Just F'd up.

WATCH THIS SHOW! And ask me if you want to borrow a season 1 or 2 DVD! (Thanks, Zorky!)


Saw THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER tonight. It is a ton of sweet and clever and shameless fun, complete with exceptional co-stars Charles Grodin (as Kermy's rival for Piggy's heart =) and Diana Rigg and great cameos from the likes of Peter Falk and John Cleese (opposite that woman w the hearing aid from FAWLTY TOWERS =). A classic ensemble tongue-in-cheek "road movie," done Muppets-style. I guess that IS Muppets-style, actually, eh? I'm gonna hafta see about getting MANHATTAN and CHRISTMAS CAROL watched sometime soon. Yup, I do have some odd little blind spots in my movie viewing.

Frack. I don't know how I passed this movie up when it was in theaters during my kidhood. Maybe I thought I was growing out of the Muppets then? That would've been third or fourth grade, and I really don't think I ever counted the Muppets as uncool. Although... Maybe being in military school in Texas might've turned my head around a little round that time... Hrmm...

Even though for a while I did fight over the TV with my sister on early Saturday evenings to watch SPACE: 1999 instead of THE MUPPET SHOW (there's a strong association between them in my head cuz of the spinning ITC logos they both closed their credits with), I'm pretty sure we both watched just about every episode. Almost as much as Looney Tunes did for classical music, the Muppets introduced me to more contemporary classics, of all kinds. Who doesn't have "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," "Close To You," "Manah-manah (Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo)," that "Tally Me Banana" song, and "Jaberwocky" burned into their brain thanks to Henson and company?

Yeah, I have no idea how to spell that "Manah-manah" thingie... =)

I really don't feel like I ever outgrew the Muppets. I'm not exactly "up" on all the latest additions to the Sesame Street neighborhood now - I sorta zoned out when other grouches and Elmo appeared on the scene, bleah - and being a cable-less kid, never got in on the FRAGGLE ROCK thang, but I do know that there's a mountain range in Hawaii that has the same silhouette as Mr. Snuffle-upagaus! =) And in general, I feel I've got a soft spot for muppet-dom in many forms. Even now, I still like the Ewoks in JEDI, even though I KNOW they were some kind of Lucas suck-up of a compromise. He wanted a final battle on the planet of the wookies, but the battle was supposed to demonstrate a stone age culture taking down the advanced tech of the empire, and he'd already blown the notion of backwards wookie tech by making Chewie the copilot of the Falcon (and the disowned 1977 STAR WARS Christmas special - SO fried =), so, he spelled "wookie" sideways, shrank them down, dialed the cuteness up about 200 percent, and *bam* ewoks! Who just happened to be big hits w the kids.

Got a bit of STAR WARS on the brain, it's true. Even a little more than usual, as residue from CAPER, actually. Part of the movie involves busting through a high tech secure vault protecting the Lady Holiday's prized, one-of-a-kind, Baseball Diamond. Well, the hardware the thieves hafta hack thru and deactivate is Death Star Imperial surplus! Really! It's made from parts of the machinery and sets used in Death Star scenes in STAR WARS, or maybe from Star Destroyer or Bespin bits of EMPIRE... Have a look!

I know there's always been a bit of a symbiotic relationship between Lucas and Henson. I don't know the intellectual property details, but y'know, STAR WARS gets Yoda and Salacious Crumb, and the MUPPET BABIES cartoon (which I could never watch for more than a minute) gets STAR WARS stock footage and sound effects to use whenever they like.

The theater wasn't packed, but it was a decent crowd for a Tuesday night in Harvard Square, complete with some pre-teen representation. Heh, I could swear I heard Paul laughing in the audience, but I may have been imagining it cuz he mentioned that he'd be into catching the Brattle's Muppets offerings if the scheduling was a bit friendlier. Anyhow, I hope the next couple of Muppet evenings draw more and more people in. Wednesday is MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN, and Thursday, starting at 6pm, is a Muppets trifecta - MUPPET MOVIE, CAPER, and MANHATTAN. Check it out!

Keep on keepin on~