Monthly Archives: March 2004

Twenty-Nine, and You Know I’m Lyin’

On Thursday, March 25th, 2004, I turned the ripe old age of 32 29. Yep. Uh-huh.

My roomate asked me earlier this week what I wanted to do on my birthday, and I made mention that I’d like to do that bowling outing we had planned a few weeks ago; thought it’d be fun. And he did the rest. The group of my friends and buddies, most of them from the IRC channels I hang out in, got to the bowling alley just shy of 9pm; we went in, reserved some lanes, and proceeded to the snack bar. It was there that my roomate presented to me a birthday card signed by all who attended and a few sheets of paper that comprised a pet adoption form from the Town Lake pound. They thought I should get a pussy for my birthday, and they chipped in the money to make it happen. It’s a nice gesture. Heh.

Well, the bowling was fun. I discovered, with much curiosity, that I seriously need to get my heart in shape. The act of getting up and throwing my ball made my heart pound. Yep. Get in shape. Heh. The ten of us had two lanes; I and my lane bowled two games, the other bowled three. My top score was 95 pretty damned good. The score sheets from the rounds are– My lane:Game 1, Game 2 — Other lane:Game 1, Game 2, Game 3. Naturally, we all went by our IRC nicknames. Naturally. Seeing that I had to work on friday, I went home after the gathering. But I had a good time.

Friday night, though, my roomate had another surprise waiting on me. Seriously, I gotta stop telling him my plans and stuff. Remember back two years ago when I was planning on throwing a “Triple X” birthday party, for when I turned 30? Well, he tried to make something similar happen. So, here I am, off of work, I run through the shower and get cleaned up for my usual friday night hanging out with my group of buddies. I go down to Flight Path to meet up, and hardly anyone from the group is there. Slowly, a few people show up, get “bored”, and decide to leave, asking me if I want to go hang out with them at the Love Shack. I finally relent and head down there with them. After noting all the cars in front of the house, which didn’t seem out of the ordinary, considering there’s usually a party or get-together at the “LS” every weekend, I park and we walk in. Everyone inside shouts “SURPRISE!” Surprise? Well, they had decided that I would at least have my porn party; some badly-produced porn, the most funny kind, was playing on the TV. (Never send gay men out to get straight porn. Heh.) I walk around, make my greetings to everyone, and grab a drink. It was going to be a long night. And it was. Went home around 3:30 this morning, sleepy and feeling ok.

Woke up around 11:30. Made some Gatorade to rehydrate myself after the lengthy sleeping-in and grabbed a snack bar. Got the strangest craving for some Genesis, so I’m ripping my two cd’s by the band, “Invisible Touch” and “We Can’t Dance”. That band really had their days; shame they withered away after “We Can’t Dance.” But that’s the thing about the lifetime of anything. Life is a bell curve. Life grades on the bell curve. Being just on the front side of the ascending apex of the curve gives me some perspective if I look around. A long view.

But, now, it’s time to attend to the matters of the day. Later.

Went to Hellboy and Back

That. Totally. Ruled.

I was dragging ass today because I stayed up super-late last night doing what? I took my roomate, and my pass for two, downtown to the Paramount Theatre, stood in line for 3 hours, and watched the never-before-shown-to-anyone world-premier of “Hellboy” a whole three weeks before its April 2nd release. And It. Was. Good.

My friend Bart informed me on friday that Austin Books, a comic shop down the street from my house, was handing out passes to the super-sneak preview presentation of “Hellboy” (site), the new movie from director Guillermo Del Toro (“Blade II”, “Devil’s Backbone”). I’ve never read the Mike Mignola-created comic, but I understand that it’s high-quality stuff, and with what I’ve gathered about the comic, I’ve concluded that Del Toro did an excellent job on the adaptation. The role of Hellboy is played by none other than Ron Perlman. Naturally.

So, back to the showing. I and several of my friends went: my roomate and I got there a little later than our friends, so our place in line was much further back. Ah well. Since we didn’t have V.I.P. passes, wristbands, or anything cool like that, we couldn’t sit in the floor seats; it was the balcony for us. But, nevertheless, our seats still commanded an excellent view of the stage and screen. The South-By-South-West movie festival is currently underway, but this screening was privately held, kind of a rush job. But the stars were still out: director Del Toro was there, as was Mike Mignola, Ron Perlman (yes, he really is that huge), and a guest presence in the audience by Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles (yes, he really is that huge, har). Earlier in the evening Kevin Smith was in the theatre screening his new movie Jersey Girl, so he hung around for a little bit and left. I didn’t see him, but one of my buddies did. Suppose that’s good enough. Heh.

Del Toro introduced the movie with his tough-to-understand accent and light-hearted demeanor. When the show was done, and the audience was satisfied with its thunder of applause, Del Toro took to the stage again, this time joined by Mignola and Perlman, for a half-hour audience Q&A session. Lots of questions good and poor, sure, but a friend of mine managed to get a good question in, which was cool.

Some highlights:

  • Del Toro said, “Previously, a studio would buy an option to adapt a comic book to film. The comic audience is happy about the news until the studio picks some poorly-fit director and they change too much of the comic storyline and so forth. Finally, we’re seeing studios allowing geek movies to be made for geeks by geeks.” The roar of applause was testament that we totally agreed.
  • Mignola was not only advised to, but required to get his hands dirty in the production of this film; since he’s the creator, his input was essential.
  • Del Toro essentially directed “Blade II” to fund the filming of “Hellboy,” his 5-year dream.
  • “Hellboy” originally had a budget request of $90-million, which Revolution Pictures had agreed to greenlight, but they later talked Del Toro down to $60-M when they discovered his choice of Perlman for the starring role; Del Toro wouldn’t sell him out in exchange for more money.
  • The studio was considering doing a fully-CG Hellboy character, with Perlman doing voice acting, and was almost sold on the idea, but finally relented to Del Toro’s wishes to have someone actually acting the part instead of just reading lines. Seems studios don’t see much logic when preferring CG to real actors.
  • Perlman spent around four hours each day to put on the prosthetics and makeup before each day’s shoot. For days where he was shooting shirtless scenes, it took six.
  • Del Toro is starting another project to shoot a movie that’ll be a kind of bookend to “Devil’s Backbone”, which promises to be good.
  • Del Toro joked that the “Passion of Christ” fanatics would view this movie as a pyriah and deem it as something worthy of protest without ever going to see it. I mean, c’mon, it’s a red devil-looking demon hell guy who fights, smokes, and cusses! What more do you need a good, Bible-thumpin’ picket line for? It’s Jesus versus Hellboy! (never mind that Hellboy is a good guy with pragmatic morals and a good heart)
  • When asked about the subtleties of the love relationship between Hellboy and character Elizabeth, Del Toro went on to discuss the very character of this particular relationship, how it was kind of a “Beauty and the Beast” relationship. His talking was interrupted when the audience built-up a slow, dawning laughter, after which Del Toro stopped, looked at the audience, then exchanged glances with Perlman. They shrugged, smiled, and he continued on his discussion.

There is so much more to the evening that I really wish I could talk about to a further extent, but that would be just a little too, um, MEAN, wouldn’t it? :) Yes, I believe it would, yes. Aaah, and for once, I’M privy to something; I get first dibs (damn, I love this town). But seriously, people, when “Hellboy” comes out to wide release next month, do yourself a favor and go see it. A whole lot of action, a whole lot of monsters, a whole lot of Lovecraft, a whole lot of wit, humor, and comedy, and a whole lot of in-jokes. Del Toro and cast did a wonderful job.

And, no, Lobster Johnson isn’t in it. But they might shoot a lunch scene between him and Hellboy for the DVD. Who knows?

Busy Elsewhere

Took care of some minor yet ongoing business today. Started the day off a little too early, not enough sleep after going to bed so late last night. So, I took my time waking up and getting started. Even went back down for a nap, just some time alone in my warm bed, the grey light of the rainy day seeping in through the blinds. I got up around 3 o’clock.

It’s interesting to me, after living for three and a half years in Austin, that I still get surprised when I walk into a business where only one person speaks English. Suddenly, my knowledge of Spanish is out the door, and I find myself making my words long and drawn out as if I was speaking to retards. One of my stops this afternoon was to a tire shop to get a rim for my full-sized spare tire; the place was two miles from my apartment, and I knew they’d be open today. After visiting that shop, I have a new idea of what day-to-day business is like in Mexico.

The next stop was the laundromat to start a wash of whites; nothing like having to wear stuff from the “emergency pile”. So, on the way, I picked up a new box of detergent and some Febreze for the house. Started my load and took my car to the shop next door to the laundromat to get my oil changed. Stop three. Finished before the wash cycle ended.

Back at the laundromat, I started the dry cycle and left for another stop: lunch. Small meal: chicken quesadilla, taco. Watched some crazy chick run up to the trashcan next to the restaurant and start frantically rummaging for empty cups. Seems the insane people are out in droves these days. Weather’s warming up. This spring’s going to be interesting. Lunch done, back to the clothes, then back to the house.

Spent some time working on my little DOS-mode gaming PC. My old P133 computer; got it outfitted with 32 megs of RAM, a 2.1 GB drive, cdrom. After dealing with MS-DOS 6.22, I completely remember what it is that I now take for granted in the newer Microsoft operating systems. But, I have it set up; wish I could easily configure my sound card so I could hear my games, but ah well. That’s down the road. Played some Duke Nukem 1, some Dragon’s Lair (the CDRom edition with video captures from the original laserdisc), and some Magic Carpet. After dealing with high-resolution displays and powerful graphics cards over the years, it’s humbling that at one time I considered those low-res games as being clear, crisp, and high-quality. Now it’s like I’m watching a television through muzlin cloth.

So, now I’m here at the coffee shop. Same place as last night. Same plans as last night. Working on Chrontium. It’s turning out quite nicely; getting better with each chunk of code written. Spending time rewriting, optimizing, and testing; last night was highly productive. As long as I can keep busy with the code without my usual distractions, it’ll get done.

Feeling Insecure?

My apartments are the bestest. My neighbors are really neat. All of them. I got home ten minutes ago. Right now there are 4 police cruisers and 5 police officers in my apartment complex. They’re talking with some of my really neat neighbors. That’s so neat.

Can you guess what today’s secret word is? No, that’s not it. Try again.

Yes, there you go. Can you spell today’s secret word? Try it.

G-H-E-T-T-O

Very good! I knew you could.