Saturday, December 31, 2005
OK. I am a geek, and really excited about the new X-Men movie. The trailer promises a good Phoenix story. I was also caught off guard by the quality of these HD previews online. I remember a few short years ago telling clients to not even consider online video due to the low quality. ha. ha. ha.
Warning: The X-men site seems a bit buggy. The sound effect would not shut off after I left the site ... then it wouldn't even shut off after I closed ALL browsers. I had to go shut-down the actual process. Not too much on the site yet anyway.
Eleven things I’ll always remember about 2005, in no specific order:
- the wedding kiss
- feeling Lake Michigan’s cold, soothing water after the Dune Climb
- the quest for the Belt of Deltora with Sam
- seeing the Pre-Raphaelites at Manchester Art Gallery
- Erik buying ice for the Bears tailgating
- meeting Lucas Cameron Wilson
- fantasy baseball draft
- celebrating Mom’s 60th birthday with her
- eating crabs with the family in Annapolis
- bee-sting in my mouth
- starting a blog
Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
We saw Brokeback Mountain yesterday. It really deserves all the attention it is getting. Everyone is of course discussing the controversial love story at the heart of the movie and Heath Ledger's performance, which are both amazing. (Coupled with The Ice Storm, Lee is obviously very talented at making viewers feel incredibly uncomfortable about love circles.) However, I was taken back by Lee's mouth-gaping capture of the landscapes. WOW! Of course, the natural beauty is only on display during the time the guys are together. The other scenes in the movie have pretty mundane backdrops. Very well achieved Mr. Lee. Another recommend on my side.
I am not going to explain all the rules, write me an e-mail if you really want more. But the basic gist, is you pick 8 people that all the game-players know to write on the board. Then through the random roll of a die, one person is selected to be the subject of a question. All questions start with, "Imagine if" and then it would be "Cameron were a superhero, who would he be?" or "Imagine if Mary woke up in a burning house, what would be the first thing she grab?" Then they give you 6 multiple choice answers. And everyone has cards numbered 1-6. You put it the answer you think face-down and then the people who agree on the most popular answer get to move forward. [The above answers were Batman and family photos.]
If you are a brand-planner-strategic-type-person (like I am on occasional days ... although, as my Dad pointed out yesterday, he (like most people) isn't exactly sure what I do.) this game is something that we already play with brands. Pick-it up for brainstorming and expense it.
If you aren't in the industry, the game is still great. We found out some interesting things. For instance, we felt the piece of advice that Sam would fulfill was "always tell the truth" (with statements like, "this is not the best dinner I have ever had" or "when I hit the ditch the bike seat hit my penis.") He felt it was, "Trust no one." Which I guess as a parent you feel very safe with that.
Anyway, highly recommended game. We used both cats as characters, it worked well. Although poor Dixie's answers were always food oriented. Furthermore, the game recommends using celebrities and characters. Hmmmm .. if Napoleon Dynamite were on a crashing plane, what would he do? Bust out the tots, for sure.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
It'll all be wireless.
Anyway, my new favorite music provider is courtesy of our friends at Pandora, where I currently have three stations: Chill Out Music, Rock Radio and Soul Sounds. "The Music Genome Project" seems to make some great recommendations on new tunes... The cool thing is if you are just in the mood for one performer, you can set a station to that person and get music that is ONLY synced with that one artist, or even one song. [Side note: Can someone explain to me why the Blogger spell-check does not have the word 'blog' in its dictionary?]
J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye/ Nine Stories
Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Shakespeare’s Hamlet/King Lear
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye
Keats' Eve of St. Agnes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Ode on a Grecian Urn
George Bernard Shaw’s The Arms and the Man
Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
George Orwell’s Animal Farm
OK, I know I get no politically-correct points because I picked 10 dead white British/American guys, but oh well. And I am not saying this is the best stuff I have ever read, or even the best required stuff I ever read. These were just the works that I read and something clicked … I understood why these collections of words were so great and so important. It was partially these works that got me from failing 9th and 10th grade English to getting nearly a 4.0 in my English classes in college as a major. (I would have a 4.0 if it weren’t that darn Moby Dick paper where I had to try and fly in the face of my professor’s teachings. I should have just done Young Goodman Brown like everyone else. Oh well.)
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
We made it to half-time. Lost one of our members to trespassing (on the field … I’ll fill you in on the details as soon as the judge removes the gag order.) I could tell you about how this same person bought ICE for our tailgating, but you wouldn’t believe me. And my head nearly split with a headache created by some Norse god of hate.
It was AWESOME. Go Bears!! I had a blast. And every time I am cold for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to say, “Sure it is cold, but not cold like at that Bears game!!”
Sunday, December 18, 2005
The special effects went beyond anything I had expected. As a zoology freak (anyone still looking for a present for me? “The Life of Mammals,” “The Life of Birds” and “The Blue Planet” DVD boxed sets are always a safe bet), I was amazed at how real King Kong looked. You really had to stop and think … wait I am not watching an actual giant ape. I cannot imagine anyone ever creating a better King Kong. You simply can’t mimic an ape any better. The fight scenes were the best giant monster battles of all time. The raw power and carnage was total fun. The scene did a great job of capturing depression era New York.
There was something missing from the relationships of the characters in the story. This is really the only complaint I have, but it is kind of the core of what makes the great movies great. But, I am not going to elaborate. I hate to color perceptions. Personally, I had a tough time connecting with the characters and I also believe it has more to do with the script than the acting. The acting was amazing. Some of the reactions they had to what you know must have been a gigantic green screen were phenomenal. Funny to think how today’s acting schools probably have a whole class devoted to “reacting to the green screen.”
Anyway, go see this movie … the movie theater was created for this type of experience.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
No really, this is Alabama. Who had any idea? Anyway, I had the joy of experiencing Talladega National Forest right after a major rainstorm. The reason there are so many pictures of waterfalls is because (a) they are easy to make beautiful and (b) they shout at you to come see them. Check out some tranquility here
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Last night, Sam and I were talking about his school friend Carter. I asked him, "We should have him over; where does he live?"
Sam said, "I don't know..."
Later that night, he jumped online to play this game RuneScape. He is a mage or ranger or something, scouring the world, slaying spiders and fellow competitors. While playing, he said, "Where's Carter?" A light went off in my head as I noticed he was more concerned about where Carter was in this online world than his actual residence in our neighborhood. RuneScape-- where Sam can be playing with a kid in Japan just as easily as next door...
OK, time for me to build a RuneScape character.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
So, please ... e-mail me your phone numbers so I can enter them into my new phone. Thank you.