Archive for Slow

7:00 Movie Hour – The Thirteenth Floor

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by urbannight

In 2000, this 1999 film was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, losing to The Matrix.   I’m guessing it is, in part, because The Matrix is more obvious and a bigger thrill ride.

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The Thirteenth Floor is a murder mystery, pure and simple.  It is also a reality trip as you eventually realize that there are multiple realities going on and the reality you thought was ‘real’ may not be after all.

The movie feels slow.  In fact, it is not.  There is a lot going on and you switch scenes often and the plot starts fast and keeps going.  The reason the film feels slow is that so much of it has very little physical action and movement.  People are talking, People driving from point a to point be, people are standing at bars.  While the scenes change quickly, the physical activity of the actual people are minimal for most of the movie.  The result is the feel of a slow movie despite the rapid progression of the plot.

The movie starts with the murder of Fuller, an elderly gentleman who owns a massive computer company and had just created a new VR environment on a floor of his building.  His friend and protegé, Hall, wakes up to find a bloody shirt in his hamper and no memory of anything after he got back into town and when he woke in his bed.  He later meets a daughter of his friend that he never knew existed.  The film follows Hall as he goes in and out of the VR program of 1937 LA, tracking Fuller’s last movements, trying to find a letter Fuller left him.  Hall learns that reality isn’t what he thought it was.

The acting is well done and the movie is visually interesting as is partly a period piece.  The scenes set in the 1930’s are really nice.  But, overall, there is a muted, washed out quality to film.  It is more like the movie is done in sepia tones than anything vibrant.

While the story was interesting, the plot twist somewhat obvious but still engaging, and acting was good, the movie does not come off well.  The sensation of slowness, the lack of action, the lack of movement, and the dull colors and overall darkness (lighting issue, not mood issue) of the film brings it down.

If they were going to film it that way, the mental puzzles needed to be stronger.  I would say that if it is on sometime, go ahead and watch it, but it might not be the type of film you go out of your way to find.

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The Dimmest Bulb in the Box.

Posted in Education, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by urbannight

I read this article as my roommate was getting ready for work.  Since I was really early, I tried to access it but it was blocked.  So most of my quotes are not verbatim and therefore not marked out.  The one that is marked may not be exact.  I also don’t have the name of the second party to this comedy.  I suspect he must be a country artist but I never heard of him.

Last night, Clay Aiken made a twitter remark about a new drinking he was playing where they drink every time a black person takes the state at the Republican National Conventions.

Some other artist got all upset because this comment was so racist.  In doing so, he showed his own lack of intelligence as Aiken’s remark was intended to point out the racist nature, in general, of the Republican Party. 

When Aiken didn’t issue an apology, this other man takes another tactic and criticizes Aiken for using a hashtag with the word ‘sober’ in it if he is playing a drinking game. 

Again, he showed that he was a dim bulb.  If you are playing a drinking game in which you drink when something happens, and that something is not happening, then you are not drinking.  In other words, the statement is that the Republican National Convention was a rather white event.

When this other artists of whom I’ve never heard, makes a comment about how we are supposed to be inclusive, Aiken finally responds to him.  He says something to the effect of, “I am [inclusive].  How come your party is not?”

The question becomes, is it racist to use an indirect statement (perhaps as a form of irony) to point out the racist behavior of another group?

Things that are SLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!

Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by urbannight

A slug or snail creeping along the ground.

Molasses almost any time of year. This year, with the heat wave, it might be moving a bit faster.

Time when you are standing in a long line.

Any self-serve checkout lane.

Trying to run in water.

Trying to run in loose snow.

Trying to run in soft sand.

The hands on a clock when you are in a medical waiting room.

According to friends who had babies, the last month of a pregnancy.

The evening if you have great plans the next morning. For children, Christmas Eve lasts forever, unless you do gifts on Christmas Eve, then it is that day that lasts FOREVER.

The delivery guy when you order food. Unless it is Jimmy Johns.

Any movie you don’t like.

The first two chapters of Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Preparing and cooking homemade lasagna when you are really hungry.

Losing weight.

American trains in comparison to most other industrialized countries.

American internet speeds in comparison to most other industrialized countries.

The formation of glaciers.

Glacial Migration.

Work on a light day.

Of Bedtime Rituals, Beta Tests, and Ass Dancing.

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by urbannight

I wanted to make this more general and less about me. But it is too much about me and I couldn’t keep it to a minimum. I blame it on sleep deprivation. If you want to know about it, or you just want to get to the part about ass dancing, read on.

It seems like today will be a very long day. I’m exhausted and back, shoulder, wrist, hand and ankles hurt. I feel like I spent an entire weekend gaming but it was exactly opposite of that.

My roommate preordered Guild Wars 2. This weekend was the beta event. But it took more of the weekend to download than he had left to play. He stared it Friday and it wasn’t finished until Sunday morning. Paying for a fast download speed is irrelevant if the server it comes from is sending at a slower rate and is very busy. This meant I couldn’t do any online games, WordPress would never load, and my email, home page, and FB loaded very slowly. Online stuff was out of the question. So was Netflix.

So I treated myself to a Firefly marathon Saturday. I also got a lot of stitching done. I got a lot done but didn’t quite make it to Serenity. Really great progress was made on the Elegant Pumpkins. Normally, stitching does not produce the same type of hand and wrist fatigue as gaming all day does. My my hand and wrist feel awful. Right up into my shoulder.

Which reminds me of something. Isn’t it odd how in formal writing we object to the incomplete sentence. But it is very common in novel-writing. And in natural speech. We say something, stop, and then add something to clarify. In writing, one sentence might give the impression that there was no pause or only a slight pause. But the reality of natural speech is that it is often a much longer pause. And novel-writing tends to reflect a more natural mode of speech than formal writing. We want people to really feel as if they are seeing and hearing the novel rather than reading it. Show us don’t tell us.

So, my weekend was a marathon of television and stitchery and not much of anything else.  Although I did play two hours of the Beta Test before bed. Not something I planned on. But it was going to end and there is still no release date for the game. So I figured if I was going to try it out, that was the only time to do it. Still, it wasn’t enough of a gaming stretch to bother my joints. At least, it shouldn’t have been.

Instead of getting ready for bed and relaxing at 9:00 I didn’t get started on that until 11:00. My normal routine is to get ready for bed and lay down on the couch and watch a cartoon. In the past, this was not an effective ritual. At the time, I was staying up later than my already late bed time so I could watch an hour and a half of Disney Channel Cartoons. Emperor’s New School, Replacements, and Kim Possible. These were great cartoons but boy were they on late at night. Saying up until 1:30 am is not an effective bedtime ritual.

After they canceled them, I tried to find some online versions of them. I discovered a good reason not to make a teenage cartoon for middle school kids or younger too sexy. There is a massive amount of Kim Possible porn out there.

But I did find a show that worked great for helping me relax and I almost always fall asleep during. Not because it is boring but simply because I’ve seen the show SO MANY times. Shin Chan. It is amusing, entertaining, short, mostly light, and once you know the show by heart, easy to unwind during and fall asleep with it in the background. Eventually, I watched it SO many times I wanted a bit of a break. Invader Zim is not so go for unwinding and falling asleep. But Phineas and Ferb is fantastic. The show is cute, the characters interesting, the format is always the same, each episode is two separate segments.

It is perfect for slowing the brain down to sleepy time levels and drifting off in the middle of the program. I wake up later, momentarily, to stumble into bed and fall asleep before I know it, with none of the tossing and turning that normally happens. Like on Friday and Saturday when I didn’t have my bed time cartoons available.

Recently, my roommate saw that I wasn’t watching Shin Chan anymore and asked my why. I told him I needed a little variation and P & F worked just as well. He said I must be waiting for Ferb to drop his drawers and ass dance. No, I’m not. He seems to thing that is the entire purpose of my watching Shin Chan. This is not true. It is amusing. But I don’t watch it for that. Although the episode totally devoted to butt cheeks is one of the best episodes.

Mitzy buys some dolphin goo for her face. Shin happened to see the commercial for it when he was at home while she was out shopping. He overhears a conversation between Mitzy and the neighbor lady and totally misunderstands. He thinks his mom is planning to use Hima’s (his little sister) skin to replace her own skin so she will look 5 years younger and have the skin of a baby. He and Hima then have an ass dance dance-off in which Hima can’t keep up but she wins because her butt skin glows and shines with divine baby light. Shin sees the bag for the dolphin goo and recognizes it and remembers that the commercial says it will take 5 years off. Since he is 5, he will have the skin of a baby too. He can save Hima. Mitzy walks into her room to see Shin in front of a vanity pouring the last of the entire bottle of lotion on his butt. It is very very funny. I’m not sure my description does it justice.

Which brings me back to last night, where I lay down at 11:10, put on a 20 mintue episode of Phineas and Ferb, both of whom are too smart to find ass dancing a good use of their summer vacation. I drift of to sleep. Then I half wake up and go to bed. I wake all the way up at 2:00 am and can’t sleep. I end up being up until 4:30. I want to run screaming out onto the balcony, ripping at my night-shirt, yelling,”WHY? WHY?”, Marlon Brando style, which would look a little funny coming from me. I’ve been working really hard getting myself to go to bed earlier and get eight hours of sleep at night. Instead I had a 3 hour nap, was up for 2.5 hours, and then got another 1hr 45 mintutes of sleep.

I was glad this wasn’t a Monday where I had to drive to work. I wasn’t sure I was awake enough for driving. I was really looking forward to a good hour to 90 minute nap after work before gaming. But now I have to go do some emergency dog siting for a couple of hours after work as the one owner is out-of-town on an emergency and the other owner had finals and couldn’t get home between work and classes.

I’m glad I stopped at the gas station to pick up Rooster Booster slushy and two 5 hour energy shots. I just may survive today after all. Hey, where’s Perry?

Morning Out of Time

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by urbannight

It was a very strange morning today. I left for work and wondered if my clocks were wrong. But there area a lot of clocks. They couldn’t ALL be wrong?

The parking lot was full of all the usual cars. The usual cars for the evening. It was like no one went to work today.

I know it is Tuesday. I had a weekend and I worked yesterday. It was game night on top of everything. So I know it was a Monday last night. That means Tuesday is today. Unless someone forgot to tell me the calendar was changed.

Given that it looked like no one in the entire apartment complex went to work today, there was a great deal of traffic. I don’t know where they were all going but when I got to work the parking garage was unusually empty as well.

As far as I know, there isn’t a new holiday that happens on Tuesday. It isn’t July yet. But the 4th is on a Wednesday. So why is it so empty?

And things are very quiet today. And slow. The whole day feels odd. I just hope is doesn’t drag this much all day. Maybe I should go run an errand at lunch. To cut up the day. Or not. I have my happy tea and my happy book and my happy Pomegranate Greek yogurt.

It’s been over an hour and I swear, it still feels like this day is somehow happening out of time. It’s an odd odd morning.

Snail Day

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by urbannight

As I mentally masticate over the information for a blog I plan to finish for tomorrow I have one, and only one, overwhelming thought.

Today is a house on the back of a snail trying to cross a corn field.

The Vanishing Voice

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2012 by urbannight

I intended to write more last year.  I made the same promise to myself this year.  I am not getting off to a good start.  On the other hand, I’ve been knitting a LOT more this year and I started playing a pen and paper roll-playing game and I started playing Star Wars The Old Republic.  I have more hobbies and interests than time for them all.  Too bad I couldn’t clone myself. 

But that is not the voice that is vanishing.  It is my literal voice.  The sound that emerges from my throat when I make shapes with my mouth and pass air over my vocal cords.  I blame it all on Yankee Candles.

I love candles.  I don’t have a problem with them.  So long as there are not too many concentrated in one location.  I can’t handle candle stores.  I didn’t even go into the candle store.  All I did was walk past it while looking for a gadget store that is no longer in the mall.  On one hand, it was a complete waste of time.  On the other hand, it killed my cords.

The intense mix of scents that permeated the passageway in front of the store triggered a coughing fit.  One that continued all evening and all night long.  I would feel perfectly fine until I started coughing.  Then it cased a weird, sharp pain in my throat.  Not a normal sore throat. 

When I got up this morning, I sounded raspy and weird.  As the morning has gone on, and I work at a job that requires me to take calls and talk to coworkers, my voice is getting odder and odder.  I feel perfectly fine until I try to talk. 

The only thing I can compare it to is the time I got laryngitis about 21 years ago.  I should probably stop talking to my coworkers and save my voice for the phone.  But it is a tediously dull day.  I thought it might be busy.  Another unit has all of it’s compilers out, so we are covering for them. 

I was hoping for a nice busy day.  Busy days fly by.  If I’m tired after a busy day I sleep well.  If I am tired as a result of boredome from a slow day, I end up wide awake in the late evening and unable to sleep at night.  The sad thing is that I never used to get bored.  We had a reorganization and restructuring of departments and job duties and now I have started suffering that stange contion. 

It isn’t that there is nothing to do.  It isn’t that kind of boredom.  It’s a mental condition.  If I have nothing to do with my hands, I can find things to do.  But unlike the past, finding things to do no longer properly engages my mind and I start to drift off into a general state of mental ‘blah’ that I define as boredom.

The end result is that I can’t chatter at people (not that I’m all that big on chattering) and I have less to do than planned so it is harder to distract myself from my painful, vanishing voice and make the day end sooner.