Friday, November 27, 2009

Third Wheel Blues

I find it quite interesting that I can't seem to escape being the third wheel. Even in my own home. One of my roommates is married. Her husband is staying over for a couple of weeks. Now, it's been a little while since they've seen each other. I understand that. And it doesn't bother me that the husband is here. He and I are also good friends. But within minutes of them being together, I got the distinct sensation that I'm intruding on their time alone. Mind you, we're in MY apartment, in MY room, watching a movie on MY computer and I'm intruding on THEM!

I understand it's not intentional. They've just not been together for awhile. And (hopefully) it might dissipate over the course of the next few days. Here's the thing. The problem with being a third wheel is that when you're in the situation, you want to get away from it. It's tiresome, annoying, and exceptionally uncomfortable. Normally, what I'd do is make some excuse to go away and get back home. But what happens when the situation is IN my home? Then what? How do I get out of this?

My home is the place I go to feel comfortable. Where I don't have to maintain the facade that allows me my marginal acceptance into society. In my home, I do what I want, how I want, and damn what everyone else thinks about it.

It was bad enough having to adjust to having roommates. Now, I'm the third wheel in my own house.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

V 2009

Okay, it's been 3 weeks since the new version of the classic sci-fi series "V" arrived on ABC, and I have to say, I like it.

It's difficult to gauge a show by it's pilot episode. By it's very nature, a program's pilot ep is far & beyond what a normal ep would be in order to capture the imagination of some tv exec looking for the next big hit. However, the new "V" has started in excellent form. Casting was full of excellent choices, the writing is exceptionally well-balanced allowing the story to flow smoothly from one facet to another. The directing follows the writing with an even handed style that allows the viewer to pull their own reactions about the events rather than forcing an emotional response. In watching the pilot episode with a friend that's NOT a sci-fi geek, I was amused by her reaction," It felt like a movie."

I couldn't agree more. The first ep of V felt like the first hour of Jurassic Park. Interesting, informative, laying the ground work for larger things to come.

Now, I watched the original mini-series, and I've heard that some viewers were complaining about certain story lines being accelerated (mostly about the resistance to the V arrival), but I think it's a better way to tell the story. If paying attention, one can see the similarities in the tactics of the humans and the V, which lends more weight to the motivations behind those tactics. V is making the "Why" of an action just as important as the "How" of that action. It's a fascinating process to watch unfold.

The other benefit to accelerating some of the original story points is to capture viewers. A great many shows (like Joss Whedon's DollHouse) try to pull you in with a unique back-story and make you wait for interesting episodes. Back in the 90s, that would work, the X-Files is the perfect example of that. But given today's climate, it's more profitable to start a series with the interesting events (the public arrival of the V, the coalescence of the main resistance into a more effective form, etc) and then fill in the back-story as the series continues.

After watching the third episode, I find myself able to predict events and story point revelations which is a drawback, but not enough to warrant the show's dismissal.

Overall, I like the show. It's a good remake of a classic sci-fi program. I plan to keep watching, dear reader. Will you?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The S*** Has Hit The Fan!!

Well folks, I'm sorry to say that I have to take my place on the long line of folks in UnEmploymentLand. Yes, I lost my job. Funny saying that... I know where the job is. The location of it hasn't changed... I'm just not charged with those duties any more.

Many people in my situation would be fuming, plotting evil schemes against the company, or whining in self-pity and sorrow. Crying "Woe is me!!" for all to hear. Crying for attention, pity and hand-holding from those around them. Well, F*** THAT! I'm too much of a realist to let that crap slow me down. Why I lost the job doesn't really matter. The company has to protect itself at all times, and especially in these tough times. They made a decision to protect themselves. That's it. It's not some conspiracy against me, or some evil cosmic being punishing me.


The point is I need a steady source of income. Meaning, I NEED A JOB! So, instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself or hosting a pity party, I'm going to get back on the band wagon, and start hunting down a new paying gig. Being the logical person that I am, I came up with a plan.

Step One: Figure out if unemployment benefits apply to me. If they do, get them started.

Step Two: Revise my resume and put it back in circulation

Step Three: Bring my development skill set up to current technology.

Step Four: Develop a demo project or three to show prospective employers

These particular steps should put me in a strong position to acquire a new job. If, dear reader, you wish to help me, then by all means, I welcome it. Just don't sympathize. "I'm so sorry..." doesn't help me. Giving me job leads, resume tips, or ideas on coding projects that I can do. That helps me.

As a parting thought, think on this:
Most of my life, the worst things that happened to me happened during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday seasons. This event counts as a Bad Thing(tm). And I have a 20+ year backlog of this. Can you at least understand why I HATE this time of year?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Most you who know me out there in the BlogSpace (subset of Cyberspace) know that I am not a huge fan of the holiday season. I'm not out there campaigning against them, but I can't really bring myself to jump into all the so-called merriment and spirit of the season. In that light, I have decided to look ahead into next year!

Why? That's simple because, I believe that next year will be a major milestone in what is becoming known as "The Age of the Geek". I hereby dub 2010, THE YEAR OF THE GEEK! Not since 2003 (the Year of The Matrix) has there been so much upcoming goodness for all geeks everywhere! For example:

Horror geeks have the following to look forward to:
The Wolfman
A Nightmare On Elm Street (my favorite here)

Fantasy geeks get:
Alice In Wonderland
Clash Of The Titans
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows 1
The Last Airbender (The REAL Avatar!!)
Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time (YEAH!!!!)

Eighties Geeks get:
The A-Team (I love it when a plan comes together!)
The Karate Kid
Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps

Anime Geeks get:
Black Lagoon: The 3rd Barrage
Iron Man
Planet Hulk

And Sci-Fi geeks get:
Iron Man 2
Tron: Legacy (Soon to be the GREATEST SCI-FI FILM OF ALL TIME!!!!)

And that's just what I was able to find in about 20 minutes of looking around! What are you going to be geeking out about in 2010?

Two Week Anniversary

Well folks, as of yesterday, I completed two weeks in the new apartment. It's still a bit weird living in a new space, but I find myself getting used to it much faster than I initially thought.

It still doesn't feel like "home" though. But I guess that's because things aren't running the way I want yet. At least not in MY section of the apartment. But it takes time, I guess.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thoughts on... Halloween

I always rejoice in the spirit of Halloween. The one time of the year where my interest in magic & the occult becomes socially acceptable. I almost feel like I fit in with everybody. It's nice to hear people talking about ghosts and their own experiences with the supernatural. Seeing friends trying to scare one another, or band together for strength and support as they watch their favorite horror films. Not that they're scared or anything, it's just cooler to watch it with a crowd of people....

It's a good time. This year, I didn't get to celebrate Halloween the way I usually do with my Halloween Horror-thon. But if I did, this would be the list of movies I would have watched. A mix of old classics, and some new favorites.

The Exorcist
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
The Ring
Saw V
and then go to the theater to watch
Saw VI

Alas, this was not meant to be. But in the spirit of reminiscing, what would be YOUR horror movie list?

MOVIE REVIEW: Law Abiding Citizen

I have to admit, the movie "Law Abiding Citizen" didn't even raise a blip on my radar. I had no clue as to the film's existence. But when a friend of mine suggested it with comparisons to the movie "Se7en", I decided to check it out.
So here's the story: Our citizen, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) witnesses the murder of his wife & daughter. Expecting the criminals to be put behind bars for life, Clyde's dreams of justice die when the new hot-shot D.A. Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal with one perp to send the other to death row. Ten years later, the two criminals are murdered and Clyde is the only suspect. This begins a battle of wills between Nick & Clyde, as Clyde reaches out from prison to cause chaos and mayhem for all working his case. Fearing for his life, and that of his own wife & daughter, Nick races against the clock to figure out Clyde's master plan.

Sound's good, right? I thought so, too. When I checked out the trailer, I was even more enthused by the promise of a psychological battle between two masters, each with serious worldviews, with many lives on the line.

And for the first part of the movie, it looked like that's what "Citzen" was going to deliver. The set up for the miscarriage of justice, the look of pain as Daddy dearest walks away, the delicious twist as the murderers die and there's only one person who could have killed them. Then a strange thing happens, the intensity that was slowly building to awe-inspiring levels... dissipates. As the two main stars dance around each other in an interrogation room that must have been a reject from the Saw movies, the focus of the movie switches from the mental chess game between an arrogant D.A. and a vengeful victim-turned-criminal to a mindless rollercoaster ride of bullets & explosions.

Don't get me wrong, the action here was exceptionally well done and there were some masterful death scenes, but the violence was supposed to be a side show to the battle between the cruelties of the modern justice system and people it's supposed to protect as represented by D.A. Nick & Citizen Clyde. That was the beauty of "Se7en", while most remember it as an excessively violent film, there wasn't much gore in it. The violence comes from the battle of wills, the philosophies presented, and the harsh conclusions the movie forces the viewer to make. And while Gerard Butler kills the American accent, he and Jamie Foxx have the acting chops to pull off that battle of wills. The scenes between them in the interrogation room were engrossing, but lacking in the moral weight needed to truly bring emotions to a boil.

"Law Abiding Citizen" should have been another entry in the level of film-making in which "Se7en" resides. Instead, the director turns what could have been a masterful thriller into a slightly above average action flick.

So, if you're looking for kills & explosions with a better than average backstory... this is a good choice. Personally, I hope the inevitable release of the "Director's Un-Rated Cut" is a better movie.