Archive for December, 2007

18
Dec
07

this is the most important geek news you will read today

Actually, if you are truly worthy of the moniker then you won’t have needed me to tell you this, but I’m so pleased I’m going to anyway.

Ready?

So, you right remember a little series of films known as the Lord of the Rings, possibly (I’m too lazy to do actual research) the most successful fantasy film franchise ever outside of those associated with Hogwarts, and certainly first in my heart. Apparently after the films were made there was some disagreement regarding money between Peter Jackson and Newline, and plans to film The Hobbit fell to the wayside, much to the distress of Tolkien nerds the world over. Horrifying visions of Disneyfied cutesy hobbits and dwarves filled our eyes, and we learned to suppress our yearning to see Bilbo’s first real adventures portrayed with anything like the same quality and vision that Jackson brought to the LoTR.

However, today the scifi blogs are all abuzz - Jackson has settled his differences with Newline, and has agreed to executive produce not one but two Hobbit films, the first to be released in 2010. Sadly he will not be directing, but I’ve seen more than one suggestion of Guillermo Del Toro (a very not-disney director), an idea that does not offend.

Go forth and celebrate in fine hobbit style my friends! I suggest a half-pint and a dance on the table or two.

17
Dec
07

recap

Work is kicking my butt lately but I have a breather for a little while so I’ll just catch you up on things, shall I?

  • I spent the entire weekend sewing Christmas presents – managed to get 3 and 1/2 finished, just a couple more to go and I’ll be quite pleased. My favorite so far is made of a repurposed Ikea pillowcase that I got at a thrift store, I’ll have to post a picture once the season has passed and the possibility of spoilers has ended. I also made orders from Threadless and ThinkGeek, so far my goal of staying away from the malls and the shopping madness has been easy to attain, unless you count my visit to the mega-bookstore – which I don’t, because I go there all the time anyway.
  • While I was sewing I listened to Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon on my iPod – there’s nothing like an audiobook to keep you from getting bored or distracted when you have a manual task to do – I don’t know how I ever cleaned my house before I got my iPod. I barely do it now. Anyway, I really enjoyed the book – normally I like neither dragon stories (Eragon, Puff the Magic Dragon, Reign of Fire) or navy/ship stories (any navy or ship story), yet this one somehow manages to combine both into something fresh and new that kept me surprised throughout. Highly recommended.
  • During my other projects I took time out here and there to watch Flight of the Conchords. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this show is frakking HILARIOUS. Watch it, watch it, watch it.
  • Folks, I have had a breakthrough. For a while I was teetering on the edge of 100% nerdiness, but you’ll be relieved to hear that I have finally overbalanced and plunged right over. The last things left to me? Getting into comic books and becoming addicted to video games. The comic book love finally happened when I got addicted to Y the Last Man, and I fully intend to get into the Buffy, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica comics. Yes I know that those are mostly based on television, but it’s a gateway right? Any suggestions will be appreciated.As for video games, I have spent several hours (when not working, sewing, or watching Flight of the Conchords) over the last week playing Portal. There are several reasons why I am not normally into gaming which are worthy of a blog post in their own right, but suffice it to say I dislike games where the point is to kill things and I dislike games that are so hard you either have to play for 10 years or be a Hawking brain-alike. I’m not dumb but neither am I a genius, and I do not find frustration to be at all entertaining. Portal fits into my narrow gaming requirements quite nicely, and the script for the computer character has a dark humor that I quite enjoy. This video is the reason I got into the game at all – I saw it posted around on a few blogs and it became ingrained in my brain. This is actually the end credits of the game, which is a song written by the awesome Jonathan Coulton and voiced by the computer character.Catchy, no? Anyway, after listening about eleventy-billion times I decided to research what the game was all about. Basically your character wakes up in a deserted complex and is presented with a series of tasks/puzzles to complete during which you may or may not die, all in order to test the function of a unique gun – it creates portals on just about any surface, and you get to chose where the entrance and exit are, like a wormhole. This leads to cool stuff like following yourself around and around in a loop, or placing one end of the portal high on a wall and the other down a giant hole so you can build momentum while you fall into the lower one and then come out the upper end and shoot across a chasm. You’ll find yourself setting up all kinds of fun portals just to see what happens. And remember, the cake is a lie.
  • What else, what else. Hmmm…. I don’t know. Ok, here’s something – I’m thinking about what to make food-wise for christmas. So far I have truffles, shortbread cookies, toffee, and gingerbread men (with chocolate chip buttons, so cute). Thoughts?
06
Dec
07

Youngs Chocolate Stout

Is quite delicious, but also causes extreme sleepiness. I was in bed at 9pm last night, slept until about midnight, read for an hour, and then slept straight through to this morning. Now I remember why I generally avoid happy hour.

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Just to complete the beer and pizza tradition, I give you my culinary masterpiece: spicy pineapple and turkey bacon pizza with homemade crust. Delish!

pineapple pizza

04
Dec
07

christmas special countdown: 21 days

Forget presents, I need Doctor Who!

While we wait here’s a video (thanks jlynn) that combines two wonderful things (three if you count the phenomenon that is John Barroman), Wicked and Doctor Who.

03
Dec
07

Highlander:The Source wins the battle, but the war isn’t over

I started working on my recap/review of Highlander:The Source last night, after fortifying myself with a glass of wine (or a couple). Two chocolate martinis and 2,000 words later, I’d made it 15 minutes into the 90 minute film. Folks, this project may kill me. I suppose I could lay off the snark a bit and just write an abbreviated recap, but I just don’t see how that kind of inattention to detail would do this classic movie justice. I took some time off tonight (I’m reading “Stardust” again to let the power of the Gaiman heal my wounded soul), but tomorrow is a new day, and I won a bottle of shiraz in our office dirty santa exchange!

highlander the source

The first part is high on exposition and low on Adrian, so I’m thinking it will get easier. Gods I hope it will, otherwise the mushroom cloud caused by the meltdown of my brain will be viewable around the globe.

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stardust cover

Different topic: I love how the lion in “Stardust” purrs like an earthquake. Too bad that scene got cut from the movie – if you haven’t read the book you are missing a lot of lovely little bits like that, though I will admit that the Captain in the movie version is much more entertaining – and if you haven’t seen the movie, then shame on you! It runs laps around the current box office fantasy winner Enchanted.

To demonstrate:

Stardust trailer

Enchanted trailer

I’m sorry, that just looks mind-numbing to me. Hold the frilly dress and cheesy music and give me some Beowulf style gore or a snarky fallen star instead please!

03
Dec
07

pretend you’re excited

The newest SciFi rumor that has me in tizzy? SCI FI Wire is reporting that The Pretender may be returning! Not only that but star Michael T. Weiss has been approached about reprising his role as Jarod.

the pretender

For me the show took a shark-jumping turn when it started bringing in supernatural elements instead of sticking with the ‘super-genius on the run from a shady evil corporation’ formula. Watching Jarod outsmart the Centre every week while trying to discover the secrets of his past and how they intertwine with those of Miss Parker and the other Centre minions never got old, watching him chase ghosts and mystical prophecies or whatever it was (I’ve blocked it out) was painful.

If you’re a fan of The Pretender here are a couple of vids you might like.

Jarod and Miss Parker moments:

Video created by the group campaigning for a third movie:

In honor of the season – a pretender Christmas:

03
Dec
07

Heroes finale

I think most Heroes fans would agree with me when I say that I have wondered many, many times during this sad little beleaguered season of television what exactly Tim Kring was smoking all summer. The plot and characterization problems have been enormous, causing me to almost want to stop watching. I held out hope for improvement and finally got it in the last couple of episodes, but this series needs a reboot like nobody’s business.

heroes title

This sophomore slump is especially disheartening because the outrageous success of Heroes last season brought the networks around to the idea that science fiction in prime time is not only doable, but when done well is just as good as any drama or procedural out there. I think the mistake they made was in assuming that the first seasons success gave them carte blanche to jerk the fans around and that they would be forgiven. Not so NBC! True science fiction fans are some of the most demanding entertainment consumers to be found on this planet. Their devotion levels are unlimited, their ability to forgive not quite so much. NBC and Kring had better have learned their lesson well if they want to keep me as a fan – I’ve dropped shows before (The X-Files, *sob*) and I’m not afraid to do it again.

Here’s the preview for tonight’s finale. Looks like it will be action filled, usually a recipe for a good episode in this series.

02
Dec
07

speaking of giles

That man can work some fishnets.

02
Dec
07

Buffy Season 1

Jumping into a fandom after its heyday has mostly come and gone is not a new thing for me (Firefly, Highlander) but none of them quite measure up to Buffy levels in terms of numbers and internet presence. I’ve given up on trying not to be spoiled, even the most innocent of googling turns up droves of information about the Buffyverse, and since the TWoP recaps for season 1 were actually written during season 4 I can’t even count on them to be spoiler free. Oh well, that there are so many fans out there generally is a good sign, and I can’t wait to start watching season 2. (I would like to point out that if there was much decent current television I wouldn’t feel the need to go back to the 90’s for my entertainment. Thanks, hollywood, for sucking so much.)

buffy

More of my season 1 impressions:

  • The clothes are all beyond awful. Xander’s shirts frighten me, Buffy alternates between middle aged and slut, and I don’t even know what to say about Willow, though I tend to prefer her weirdness to Buffy’s micro-minis.
  • I take back everything I thought about Giles in the first episode (Grant you were completely right), he is awesome and I want one for myself. He can organize my bookcases and make me tea.
  • The episodes were 80% completely predictable, but the ventriloquist dummy one threw me. Loved it.
  • Hated the witch one and the praying mantis one, though Buffy’s spazzing out was entertaining to behold.
  • REALLY hated the whole demon in the internet thing. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It’s only redeeming quality was that it introduced the computer science teacher/supernatural expert character, her arguments with Giles about the merits of technology were quite entertaining.
  • The white dress paired with the leather jacket in the last episode was the kind of overt symbolism that hits you over the head with it’s obviousness, but it seemed fitting. However, what was that fabric that could survive being submerged in a murky pool and rolled around on a cave floor and still look pristine? I need some!
  • The master storyline felt a little anticlimactic. They build it up for 12 episodes, and then Buffy throws him into a glass ceiling (snerk) and he’s dead. Poof. I hope the zoom in on his skeleton (and why does he get a skeleton when the rest turn completely to exploding dust?) means that he will be back later.
  • Angel’s tattoo is pretty. Angel’s shoulders are pretty. Angel’s personality is kind of boring. Xander would win with me any day.
  • Buffy and Veronica Mars have some interesting similarities, what with both of them starring smart-ass little highschool blondes who fight evil and solve crimes. Mac and Willow remind me of each other quite a bit also (highly intelligent geeks with a unique fashion sense). I wouldn’t be very much surprised to learn that Rob Thomas is a Buffy fan.
01
Dec
07

the wga strike continues

And Battlestar’s fate continues to hang in the balance. Gods willing they will be able to cut a deal soon.

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Ron Moore is reporting via his blog that you will be entered into a raffle to win a personal phone call from one of the show actors (though sadly not Katee) when you show your support for BSG at the Pencils2MediaMoguls site. I have no idea what I would say during a conversation like that besides gushing praise, so I don’t care if I win or not, but the cause is a worthy one nonetheless.

Oh, wait – his next post has an update – instead of a phone call Jamie Bamber is donating towels worn by him on the show. I still have no idea what I would do with that (really), but man the picture accompanying the post is a prize in itself.

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In a case of my blogging worlds colliding, Battlestar writer and producer Jane Espenson who I’ve started reading in the last couple of months has discovered and linked to Pamie, veteran blogger, novelist, and writer for Samantha Who who I’ve loved and read for forever. Both of them have been posting interesting, entertaining and informative strike information.

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Check out this video of various actors showing their support – not too many geeky faves, but there is a bit of Robert Patrick. I’ve almost forgiven him for his stint on The X-Files. Almost.




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