"So this is the foundation for my
internet diary - searching for the
truth and seeing what else comes
along on the way."
05.19.99 diary entry
Cast of Characters
Pink and Black
July 30, 2002
Quote of the Day:
�Just because a guy�s in his underwear you assume the worst.�
It seems I had a penchant for pink and black last week. As I was sorting my laundry this afternoon I noticed that every pink shirt I own (two short-sleeved, one polo, and one long-sleeved) was in the dirty clothes basket. Then, as I was taking the clean laundry out of the dryer, the first three shirts I folded were black (two short-sleeved and one polo). Usually it�s my red shirts that get worn the most, but I guess my tastes have been elsewhere recently. Just another symptom of my crazy life.
Not that my life is crazy in general, but this has been no ordinary summer internship. The transition between east and west coast, undergraduate and graduate school, free to expensive education hasn�t been a smooth one so far. I�m making a permanent move for the first time. The biggest hurdle is going to be finances. I haven�t really had to worry about money in college and now I am going to have to stick to a budget. With out-of-state tuition, rent, and other expenses my bank accounts will shrink quickly in the coming months. That�s just one of the many things that has me worried lately. For the most part, however, the transition is progressing well.
My big accomplishment in the past week was renting an apartment in the UCLA area. Last Thursday I left Seal Beach at 7:30 AM, arrived at UCLA at 9 AM, got as much accomplished as possible, left UCLA at 5 PM, and got home at 6:30 PM. I spent a total of three hours on the freeway. On the drive home during afternoon rush hour I started listening to my CD version of Lord of the Rings to pass the time. But back to the important things that happened that day. Besides deciding which classes I am going to take during the fall quarter, I relieved my biggest anxiety by finding a place to live while attending school. It�s not everything I could have hoped for, but for the price, size, and location I don�t think I could have done much better. The balance of my move-in cost is going in the mail tomorrow morning. At least I get paid on Thursday.
Now that I have �rent an apartment� checked off my list of things to do I need furniture. People seem surprised that I don�t own so much as a bed. Let�s remember that I drove from Florida to California and my little Neon isn�t exactly a U-Haul. So my most important task in the next two weekends, before I go home for a week, is to look for furnishings for my new studio apartment. The questions of new vs. used and rent vs. buy have yet to be answered, but I probably won�t procure anything until I get back from Florida. That gives me time to plan my purchases. In theory getting cheap stuff is preferable, but I don�t want my apartment to look trashy. If everything is old and mismatched it will look like the Goodwill store I visited this afternoon. No thanks. Hopefully I can find a few decent items (bed, dresser, desk) and then the rest won�t be so important.
My lease starts two week from tomorrow. I�m taking a day off then to sign the lease and move a few things into the apartment. My goal before August 14 is to get a futon. K-Mart had one in their Sunday advertisement, but the stores around here don�t seem to carry such large items. I probably need to try a store that specializes in futons. Add it to the list of things to do this weekend, behind getting a computer battery and going to the Orange County Marketplace.
Previews and Prequels
Quote of the Day:
�I�m glad to be off the Enterprise and to be directing a movie where people have pockets in their pants.�
Jonathan Frakes (TV Guide Channel interview)
Dan and I went to see �Men in Black 2� on Saturday night, but the previews were the best part of the movie. First of all, we intended to see "Minority Report" but the 7:15 PM show was sold out by 6:30 PM when we tried to buy tickets. The 7:10 PM MIB 2 show wasn't, to our surprise, so we got tickets for it instead. I wonder how it made so much money last week with so many empty seats?
Anyway, the first trailer was for "Star Trek X: Nemesis" which looked very dark and ominous. It led me to believe that this is the last movie for TNG. Then there was a preview for "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Even though Eowyn is highly annoying, she is one of the few females in the story, and it was exciting to see her on screen for the first time. After the wispiness of Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett in �Fellowship of the Ring� seeing a girl swinging a sword at Aragorn is certainly different. You�d never know she was in love with him. So after these two previews that left me wishing it was December the next one was quite different. It had surfer girls. Even with the seemingly heart-wrenching (*gag*) storyline, "Blue Crush" appeared somewhat shallow after Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. Who cares about some overly masculine girl with a surfboard when the forces of good and evil are getting ready for a major battle on the previous trailer? But that�s just my opinion.
Speaking of previews, I should have left "Scooby Doo" after the previews since I caught a glimpse of �Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.� It was certainly the best few minutes I spent sitting in that theater. Recently I bought a previously viewed copy of �Harry Potter and the Sorcerer�s Stone� at Blockbuster and I just finished reading �Chamber of Secrets� for the fourth time. Let�s just say I am saturated with Harry right now and leave it at that.
Apparently sequels were popular this week. Dan and I rented �Austin Powers 2� on July 4th. Since the third movie is coming out in a couple of weeks, and since neither of us had seen the second one in years, we figured we had better refresh our memories. �Austin Powers 2� came out three years ago, the same summer as �Star Wars: The Phantom Menace� (Episode 1). I remember the TV previews saying, �Now that you�ve seen the best movie of the summer, come see Austin Powers!� It fed off the success of Episode 1. Funny coincidence: this summer we get �Star Wars: Attack of the Clones� (Episode 2) and �Austin Powers 3�. Probably this is just a coincidence, but it still amuses me.
This and That
Quote of the day:
� �Let�s proceed under the assumption that fairy folk do exist, and that I am not a gibbering moron.� �
Artemis, Artemis Fowl
How many engineers does it take to change a lightbulb? Today at work a projector informed us that it was time for "lamp replacement" and no one knew what to do. Eventually the solution was to use another projector (there are six in the auditorium). So the answer is, no matter how many engineers lend a hand, the lightbulb doesn't get changed.
Music from "Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella" filled the air: "And the dearest love in all the world is waiting somewhere for me." Strangely enough, I was in the bathroom at the time. Going into the women�s bathroom on my floor at work is like playing �Name that Tune� and I always take a minute to see if I recognize what�s coming from the speakers. Music from �Cinderella� is pleasant in instrumental form, but other musical genres don�t translate so well.
I love an excuse to drink Coke. The one that applies at the moment involves staying awake during all-day meetings. The only problem is remembering to get the Coke out of the fridge at home before leaving for work in the morning. A bottle of cold water and webpages to read on my Handspring are helpful, but they don�t provide the caffeine my eyelids need to stay open.
This afternoon I sent a transcript request fax to UF because I need to prove to UCLA that I actually graduated last month. The response I received from everyone I told was, "Well, did you?" Why else would I be digging around the security office looking for a cover sheet for the fax? Of course I graduated.
A certain amount of jargon doesn't bother me, but this program is driving me nuts. I understand that there are business aspects to our work, but why should we adopt the use of otherwise meaningless terms and give strict definitions to everyday words? When I use the word �edit� it means �to correct� or �to revise,� but when I used it to describe some charts to a person in the publications department he panicked. What I should have said was �change.� After I edited my request he calmed considerable and said he would be glad to help. We�re engineers, not businessmen, for heaven�s sake!
1) 5/15: Tallahassee, FL to Monroe, LA (529 miles)
2) 5/16: Monroe, LA to Childress, TX (547 miles)
3) 5/17: Childress, TX to Gallup, NM (521 miles)
4) 5/18: Gallup, NM to Page, AZ (312 miles)
5) 5/19: Page, AZ to Bryce, UT (250 miles)
6) 5/20: Bryce, UT to Springdale, UT (85 miles)
7) 5/21: Springdale, UT
8) 5/22: Springdale, UT to Las Vegas, NV (158 miles)
9) 5/23: Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA (280 miles)
TOTAL: 2682 miles
I Was Right
Quote of the Day:
�Fans are very opinionated, and that�s good. But I can�t make a movie for fans.�
George Lucas, Time Magazine interview
I can�t claim that all of my predictions came to pass in �Star Wars: Attack of the Clones� but I can report, with pride, that there was truth in three of them.
1) �I have a bad feeling about this.� It has been said in Episodes 1, 4, 5, and 6. I waited most of the movie to hear those seven words, and when they came out of Anakin Skywalker�s mouth I grinned from ear to ear. (Well, that and I used my loudest movie theater voice to shout �Hah!� and gesture wildly in my father�s face. Then I grinned for the rest of the movie. That�s how it really happened.) After hearing the phrase from Obi Wan Kenobi In Episode 1 I realized that every Star Wars movie would contain it. It was only a matter of who spoke it and when.
2) Shmi Skywalker Somehow Anakin was going to turn to the Dark Side and there had to be a reason behind it. After Episode 1 I predicted that his mother would be killed and that his anger would drive him to the Dark Side. I admit that this didn�t happen exactly as I prophesized, but the general theory was sound.
3) Jango Fett Considering that it was almost guaranteed to happen I can�t be completely satisfied with this prediction, but I wanted to mention it anyway. (Truthfully, having a list with only two items wasn�t too impressive so here�s a third.) I figured that Mace Windu wasn�t going to make it through Episode 2. So I was wrong about that. Then I figured that if Samuel L. Jackson was going to survive to swing his lightsaber again three years from now someone else would have be sacrificed. And the only other candidate was Jango Fett. Killing him off not only gave Windu a purpose in Episode 2 (something that was missing in Episode 1), but also gave his son Boba something to be angry about. Much like Anakin Skywalker, in fact.
(As an afterthought, I knew Count Dooku was going to make it to Episode 3 simply because he was in possession of the Death Star plans. This simple deduction conceived while watching Episode 2 seems more intelligent in retrospect. Most people thought of Count Dooku as the enemy of the moment and figured he would die at the end of the movie, much like Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. Besides the fact that Dooku was my favorite character, I was hoping that a decent adversary would last longer than a lightsaber battle. Even one with my favorite character from Episode 1, Qui-Gon Jinn. When the Death Star plans were thrown into the fray I knew the Count would be that adversary.)
Now that I have completely dissected the movie itself, let�s move on to the presentation. As soon as my dad and I got to Las Vegas I started calling movie theaters to see which one had a digital projector. Since Attack of the Clones was filmed entirely in digital format we wanted to see the movie the way George Lucas intended it to be viewed. The Orleans casino turned out to be the place to see digital Star Wars in Las Vegas. It was absolutely amazing. The difference between digital and film is akin to the difference between DVD and video. The clarity (i.e., the lack of lines and spots on the screen) made every detail of an expression or a costume noticeable. If a director really wants to draw a viewer into a movie then digital is the way to go. That, and having a great story to tell (i.e., Star Wars).