Category Archives: movies


Hindsight motivational poster

But where’s the gunner and captain from the Star Destroyer who failed to fire on that escape pod with no life signs aboard? If you want a real fall guy…

via Amadis


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SXSW Film Fest redux

In the evenings after the interactive conference sessions, had a chance to catch some of the film festival. Here’s some of the highlights.

I didn’t get to see it (sessions ran late), but the family raved about Elvis and Annabelle (trailer).

Later that night we were able to catch Manufacturing Dissent (trailer). It would be better named Michael & Me. The thesis made enough sense: Moore plays loose with the facts, using half truths and fabrications to make his points. He also adopts the elusive tactics he criticized Roger Smith of in his breakthrough film Roger & Me. While enumerating some of the fabrications is useful, the film seems to fall short in the end. They never call Moore on his fabrications, only ask him repeatedly for interview time that he never provides to their satisfaction.

An interesting narrative moment that I was able to catch was He Was a Quiet Man (official site). There’s some cool narrative threads there, but nothing I can get into without spoilers. The bleak outlook of office life is a bit exagerrated, but there’s some solid performances and some great play with trust. A warning for the more prudish (like myself), there’s some scenes where you’ll want to avert your eyes. There’s also language you may not love, but likely nothing you haven’t heard walking down the street.

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Star Wars: Han Shot First edition, Sept 2006

Star Wars originalists rejoice, for the Lucasfilm hath heard your cries, and shall pour out its mercy upon you this September.

In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie and, as bonus material, the theatrical edition of the film. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.

Via tbone (Newsvine).

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Aurora borealis

Shinin' down in Dallas
Can you picture that?

Been in an Electric Mayhem place all day.

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6 months

About this time of year I tend to think back to what I was up to 6 months ago and how I’ve used the time. (And ain’t it awesome to finally get some real spring this week! Lucille’s been so excited… convertibles are great.)

This set of 6 ain’t lookin’ too shabby.

  • 6 months ago this weekend, I was in Waveland, MS with a work crew
  • Next day was my birthday
  • Started dating a gal I got to know during the Waveland trip
  • Finished up rehearsals and performed the radio show.
  • In the end we only had two traveling performances with veterans, but it was cool to talk with the WWII, Korea and Vietnam vets (the younger, more recent vets all came to the Roswell shows)
  • Did a great karaoke rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody with Jey and Cliff in front of all our friends
  • Followed by a really sucky version of Don’t Stop Me Now, which was supposed to be the easy one
  • Finally went contra dancing… or was that more than 6 months ago
  • Got back into superhero comic books something proper… thanks to DC’s Infinite Crisis event
  • Saw my comic book shop of choice close its doors forever
  • Dumped City of Heroes to start playing World of Warcraft with my friends from Tech and GSU
  • Got so busy with church stuff that I haven’t played WoW in a couple months, leaving my little gnomish trade empire in shambles
  • Had a great Thanksgiving with most of my family (so great it was even okay that we were in Utah)
  • Finally got to meet my li’l sisters boyfriend and realized that he really should be a full member of the family… when they’re ready
  • Started listening to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books on my iPod. Fun, fun stuff, especially the ones read by Nigel Planer
  • Left Comcast cable service for Dish Network, been very happy with it
  • Broke up with the aforementioned gal I’d been dating, learned some interesting things along the way
  • Had a great Christmas with Mom, Dad, Adam and Heather (even though Eric and Jo didn’t come… even though it was our year this year)
  • But we had a rousing round of We Three Kings, which made us feel okay about being abandoned
  • Purchased The Chosen Collection just as it went off the market, have celebrated by watching Angel instead when there’s TV time, because for whatever reason, I like that Buffyverse series more
  • Saw off my quorum instructor, as he moved into a new neighborhood where he, his wife, and their daughter will own their own house
  • Watched him bless his daughter with his tios, primos, and other family members
  • All of which makes more sense if you know that at the beginning of these six months, he wasn’t really keen on doing churchy stuff at all
  • Got my “professional/official” blog going (the one that’s not this one–where I talk about all that eggheaded information architecture and game stuff)
  • Hit South by Southwest Interactive for the first of as many times as circumstances will permit
  • Which is to say that I went to Texas, messed with it, and returned home safely
  • I got to baptize in the temple a time or two, which I love doing because I love saying the prayer (and all the Spanish names), and trying to make it a special experience for the proxy and the one getting baptized. That and working at the veil are the coolest things a man can do in life… well, almost the coolest
  • Said the occasional thing actually worth saying on the xuhoch blog. Mostly political and politics and religion stuff that felt important… though commenting on friends’ posts has been cool and helped reconnect with folks I’d been a bit alejado from
  • Got a few of the hermanos together before Priesthood session to have ice cream… anybody want popsicles or ice cream sandwiches?
  • I’ve been dressing more how I’d like (comes with that replacing old clothes thing)
  • Which has led to at least a few of those much needed Johnny Bravo moments in front of the mirror
  • Helped Mom and Dad get their media player working again so they could listen to General Conference together
  • Which is to say that Dad’s been making it a priority to listen to conference (even cut short a phone call with me so he could listen)
  • Which isn’t something that I did, but it’s mighty mighty cool
  • Visited some families with our branch president… today we even got to actually talk with a family instead of standing outside doors that wouldn’t open
  • That one makes a lot more sense if you know how awesome he is and how much he’s grown in the past 8 months
  • Was officially re-dubbed Superman at work (due to my failure to stop Katrina and subsequent 05 hurricanes, I was stripped of the title, just got it back on Friday)… it’s a sandwich shop thing, so it’s important but makes no sense without explaining a bit

Yeah, a bit of a haphazard list (for effect of course), but there’s the occasional northern California nugget in there.

I’d like to think I’ve grown, but honestly, I’m around myself too much to see many of the changes. I got more proactive at work and started organizing things with friends from church so I can see them more than just FHE or institute night. I’m socializing a bit more in those amorphous large group situations (post-institute) that I don’t really like. (I really just typed that “out loud,” didn’t I?) I’m getting a better fix on how to encourage the hermanos to get out and visit their home teaching families more faithfully.

Still doesn’t feel like enough though. So much more to do. We’ve got families having tough times, we still haven’t quite worked out how to get everyone on the same web standards “page” at work, spiritual matters could use more attention, as could a number of the friendships that I hardly seem to have time to maintain.

And as Cassiel reminds, there’s that whole “find a girl, have a family” thing, but not all of us have Damiel’s luck on that one. (Of course, Marion doesn’t shine her brightest until the follow up.)

Anyway, looks like I’ve got some things to shoot for these next 6… hope I can hit ’em.

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One of the joys of being in a development heavy cycle at work is the leftover brainpower that’s not getting used while performing repetitive coding tasks. (Yes, best to automate repetitive tasks, but the legacy code I’m working with doesn’t automate well.)

So as my days melt away without my understanding where the time’s gone, I’m able to maintain a sense of flow by devoting some of my attention to podcasts. During normal “I need to concentrate” sorts of days, I tend to fall behind on my list of downloaded news programs, short stories, arts, and local interest shows.

Studio 360 is one that I enjoy. This week’s cast had a fun segment about Ibsen and his continuing popularity, despite the fact that he wrote in the 19th century. (They also interviewed überdirector Wim Wenders (director of two of the best movies ever) and had a great segment with Samina Quraeshi about an experience from her childhood in Pakistan.)

Back to Ibsen: Since reading An Enemy of the People for a class I TA-d, I’ve loved his plays. (Though I have to admit, A Doll’s House wasn’t nearly as meaningful for me as it was for many of my friends.)

Years later, Enemy still strikes me as terribly relevant at any time. (If you’ve seen Jaws, the main story arc’s roughly the same.) Whatever our circumstances, we must be willing to recognize unfortunate facts or problems before us and address them rather than burying our heads in the sand and pretending that we can make a problem go away by silencing anyone that points at it.

The same thing could be said at the personal level… what facts or problems might I be hiding from that I need to get resolved? Which is more important to us in our lives, comfort or authenticity? (And are we living in such a way that we can have both, or does one come at the price of the other?)

Anyway, I’m tired and not especially eloquent at this point, and I’m making Ibsen sound more didactic than he is (though that’s a criticism of his work that might not be entirely off the mark).

Anyway, cheers to the father of modern drama. Thanks for letting us see the bird fly her guilded cage and Richard Dreyfuss get his fish.


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hey, I breathe with those!

It finally happened… I finally saw Million Dollar Baby.

I really could have timed this better. I’ve only wanted to see it for a year and a half. I knew the “surprise” that makes the film about something other than what the ads suggested.

It was not especially good planning to see this on vacation late at night when everyone else would just go to sleep. The movie keeps standing on my chest and won’t get off.

Strange in a sense… some people cry in the face of a well crafted tragedy, some get fired up over this injustice or that. With a movie like this, my lungs just decide to stop inflating until I work through the psychic shock… which usually involves talking with people… and everybody else is now asleep.

And seeing as I don’t know how many of you fine readers have already seen the movie and how many plan to see it someday, I can’t bring myself to…

Now that it’s only those of us that know the story… I still don’t know what to say. I feel as lost as Frank. (Which is as it should be with a movie like this… for a while.)

You open your heart to someone after hiding from your pains for years, and fate beats her down so hard that all she wants from you is to be set free from life. How do you handle that? It was almost like getting back the daughter that would never come back to you, almost like your own blood, you helped her find her wings and she soared. Now her wings have been ripped free and she just wants you to let her go.

Powerful movie. No wonder people couldn’t contain the conversations about euthanasia all those months ago. I may have to do the same once I’m up for it, though between Austin and SXSW adventures, I’ll be squeezing in the blogging material as it is. (Though much of it’s for the colder, more professional blog. Rants about cluetrains, kicking ass, findability and cybermoms. Fun stuff, just not a great fit for right here.)

Anyway… my ribcage is a bit concave this evening, and I’m feeling mighty thankful to have story spaces in which to examine these sorts of emotions from an empathetic but ultimately observational distance.


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