Friday, December 14, 2012

A moment of silence

My thoughts are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown, Connecticut.

There are no words, and so I'll not try to provide them.  Take a moment for the families, and one for your loved ones.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saw Louis CK and other Bits into the Weekend

Somehow we wound up with 6th row tickets to see Louis CK at the Moody Theater this evening.  Right on the center aisle.  Kind of crazy.  I insisted to our friends who had seats a bit further away that you could feel the comedy spraying across us from that close.

Louis's brand of comedy isn't for everyone, and certainly his show on FX isn't something I'd likely watch with my folks.  I do find his work challenging (the last bit this evening on 'Of Course' vs. 'But Maybe' isn't necessarily going to be for every audience and runs the risk of being misunderstood by some audiences).

If you know Louie (the oddly misspelled showname of Louis CK's FX program), you might like this. NSFW.  Sorry.


I didn't get to watch, but UT's Women's Volleyball team is once again headed for the National Championship!  We've got as good a chance at winning as not, and no matter what happens, it's been a great year for the squad.

But it'd still be amazing to see a National Championship.

Unfortunately, I never get to watch the games.  They broadcast on the controversial Longhorn Network that I don't have, and I travel so much, I never buy tickets, even though they play across the street.  I mostly keep up via articles online or asking one of our Sys Admins who goes all the time.

The Weekend

We're in San Antonio as of tomorrow as this is the weekend of the wedding I'm officiating.  No Hobbit for me this weekend, I guess.

Looking forward to the wedding.  Of course seeing Julia and Bill get hitched from the best seat in the house is a treat, but Matt & Nicole will be there, as well as other pals like Jonathan and Billie.  This is going to be all right.

After the wedding, I plan to come home, finish Christmas shopping, then lay very, very still before Dug and K arrive for the holidays.  I have a feeling that when my feet hit the ground at the start of January, work is going to be nuts.  I need to plan summer vacation now or its not going to happen.

Trailer for "Pacific Rim" - summer 2013

This is a movie by a big name director who decided to make a movie about giant robots fighting kaiju.

I don't know how I'm not supposed to see this movie.

Yes, it looks ridiculous, but it's a summer movie, y'all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: Lincoln (2012)

I'm feeling a little punchy, so let's make this clear:  I liked this movie, and I think you might enjoy it, too.  I was a bit afraid my less than reverent tone might suggest I did not like the movie, but that's not true.  

Jamie, Juan and I finally caught Lincoln (2012), the recent release about Old Penny-Face.

Ann Miller brings some Holiday Cheer

Hey!  Christmas Eve is in less than two weeks, so it's time to start panicking.  But not Ann Miller!  She's adorned her tree with a spear head for some reason, and she's already got a mess of presents ready to go.  It looks like she's standing in moss in an infinite void, so she's got that going for her, too.

I wonder why Jamie doesn't dress fancy like that for the holidays...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Man of Steel Trailer #2 - Because, really, what else are we going to talk about at this site?

A second trailer with greater plot detail has surfaced for the coming Superman movie, Man of Steel.

When I think of how superhero movies have traditionally been shot and edited, even recent Marvel event films that I quite liked, I have to tip my hat to the cinematographers and editors of Man of Steel.  While you can almost taste the filter effects, it at least doesn't feel like a disposable popcorn flick from jump that even the Iron Man films tilted toward.  The look and feel may not have been how I would have done things, but I can dig the "I saw a Terence Malick film once" vibe they're going for in an effort to make this film on what appears to be a scale more epic than Donner's Modern America Myth of Superman: The Movie.

I desperately want to fling myself on the alter of fandom and get excited.  I really, really do.  But...

To get it out of the way - the trailers for 300 and Watchmen were also amazing spectacles, but as movies, both based on works I knew very well, I found the actual product terribly disappointing.  And, as every nerdling knows, Zack Snyder directed both of those films as well as Man of Steel.

I gave up hope for an ideal Superman movie when I heard Snyder had been hired - a move I found shocking with Chris Nolan attached as producer.  But pretty clearly, Nolan is receiving a paycheck and isn't really involved.  The studio is just riding off his story treatment with Goyer and the good name 3 Batman films and an Inception earned WB and counting on the fact that John Q. Public has no idea what a producer actually does and how fungible that term becomes when money gets thrown around in Hollywood.

Man of Steel Trailer is GO

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pardon us as we deal with some new technology. I bought a new device/ laptop/ tablet.

One thing that I do that drives everyone I know absolutely crazy is:  be perfectly happy with Microsoft products.

Well, sort of.  A few years back I obtained a new laptop PC with Windows 7 to replace my dying Windows Vista desktop box.  Well, the Windows 7 laptop had been acting up for a while, and I have now upgraded to a Lenovo Yoga with Windows 8.  It's a sort of tablet and PC in one running a full version of Windows 8.

"But, Mr. Blogger, why do you stick with MS devices?"  I work in MS all day long, and it generally works fine.  Except when it doesn't.  And I'd rather eat my own hat than deal with someone called a "Genius" while getting my ankles nipped at by mall rats.

2012 - Hollywood Memorial from Turner Classic

Once again, Turner Classic remembers actors, directors, composers and so much of the talent that passed in 2012. Many names you'll know, even more you won't, but you'll be glad they took a moment for each of them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: I sort of watched "Hondo" and "The Mistle-Tones" and all of "The Blues Brothers"

I watched the movie Hondo, a John Wayne oater I hadn't seen since high school.

It's not my favorite movie, and if you're going to watch a western with John Wayne, this is one of them.  It also stars Geraldine Page, who was apparently the wife of Rip Torn and a well known Broadway star.  It's Apache v. the white folk with a bit more of a sentimental streak for the Apache, even as the movie ends with everyone agreeing "well, that's going to be about it for The Apaches."

By and large I recommend skipping this one and going straight to The Searchers.

I also watched parts of several Lifetime and Hallmark Channel holiday movies, but watched the better part of something called The Mistle-Tones, which was not very good.  It did check off the boxes of an over-worked single person finding romance, someone who loves Christmas too much, a dead relative who also loved Christmas, Tori Spelling and one of the girls from Sister, Sister.

This morning I got up from going out last night and having a drink called an "Orange Whip".  I was, of course, very excited about the Orange Whip, because for twenty years, thanks to this scene, I've wanted an Orange Whip.

Well, I drug myself out of my post-Orange Whip evening and found the 1980 classic The Blues Brothers playing on cable.

Blues Brothers is one of those movies that's probably not, technically, the best movie, but it's nonetheless a great movie.  Terrific walk-ons from legends of American music, great gags, and the best car chase to ever occur in any movie, ever...

The deadpan delivery by Aykroyd and Belushi is legendary, and it's a terrifically quotable film.  If you've not seen it, see it.  f you've seen it, you know of which I speak.

Saturday Round-Up

Yesterday I realized this week is going to be exceedingly nutty. We're finally seeing Lincoln on Tuesday, Thursday we've got tickets to see Louis CK, and Friday we head to San Antonio where, on Saturday, I'll be officiating a wedding.

Friday night we stayed in and didn't do much. I was tired, man. I wound up sleeping til very late in the morning. I did walk the dogs and then we headed down to where Northcross Mall used to be (I had no idea that place had just sort of disappeared).

We went down to go see Superman collector and purveyor of finer super-objects, Tim Gardner, at the Chemical Toy Fare.  I picked up a really cool Superman clock and a handful of nice prints from Tim.

There, I also met Batwoman:

and Jamie spied a pretty fancy Batmobile.

It was a small fare, but reminded me a LOT of the "comic conventions" that we used to see in town back in the mid-80's when I was getting into comics.  Two mid-sized rooms, tables set up and lots of people who know each other.  Friendly, but not particularly crazy.

Also, we inadvertently and briefly met the actor who played the voice of John Redcorn on TV's King of the Hill.  He's a very nice guy.

Last night we headed out for Violet Crown Social Club here in town for Mikey's birthday.  Part of the East 6th Street scene that I'm a little too old for, but is still pretty welcome.  If you're familiar with Austin's "6th Street", it's not really what it was 10-15 years ago.  It's worth seeing, but it's different from what it was and not as much of a destination for music fans or even for just going to get a drink.  East 6th doesn't really have a music scene, but it does have decent bars where you can get a seat and a cocktail.