Archive for September, 2005

We did WHAT?

We are now officially the owners of a three bedroom two bathroom condominium. Because we are nice owners, we are leasing it back to the sellers until around Thanksgiving to give them time to close on their house and move in. Excuse me, while I go and pass out now.

The Alamo Presents “Serenity” at The Alamo.

Last night we hit our second “Serenity” premiere in as many nights, details mentioned a few posts back. We drove 45 minutes out into Austin hill country to the ranch where they constructed the sets for the movie “The Alamo”. This was one of The Alamo Drafthouse’s famous “Rolling Road Shows”. We came equipped as true geeks with our Jayne hats that Jess had knitted.
In the middle of a courtyard of a the replica of an old Spanish fort stood a huge inflatable screen. They had Chinese take-out snacks as their themed meal (they often do themed meals). Before the movie they showed an Alamo Drafthouse produced short called “How To Swear in Chinese 101”, where an older Chinese man (a relative of one of the Alamo’s managers, who was also emceeing the night) taught us how to say things such as “you stupid little prick”, “let loose a big stinky fart” and of course the obligatory “Fuck you!”.
they then brought out the night’s guests, Jewel Staite and Summer Glau (two of the movie’s stars) to introduce the movie.
The second viewing solidified that this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It is in my list of all time favorites. As intense as it was the first time, there were certain parts that were even more intense the second time. This weekend is very important for this film. See it. See it twice. Make your friends see it. Take a stranger to see it.
After the movie Jewel and Summer did a Q&A session, which was, naturally, very cool. My favorite story was when they were talking about an inside joke they had. The cast had all been watching a potential promo for the movie, with the classic movie trailer guy’s voice naming the stars, except that he mangle about three of their names, so Nathan Fillion started imitating the movie trailer guy and mispronouncing every name in the cast in amusing ways. I also got to ask them a question which can not be detailed here due to spoileryness.
I wish I could adequately express the coolness that is The Alamo Drafthouse, but it’s really something that must be experienced.
On a side note here, I know we constantly sing the praises of The Alamo Drafthouse, and shall continue to do so, but I can’t tell you how many times that Jess and I think “Will and Annika would love this,” about some event or homemade Alamo preview they show beforehand. One that struck me in particular was this one. Keep in mind, we’re moving into our condo at the end of November so we’ll have room for guests.
They always have custom made funny little clips from movies or semi-celebrities in clips about not talking during the movie. Their latest one is to show the clip from “Firefly” where book tells Mal that if he takes advantage of someone he’ll go to a very special level of hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre. They all end with a text tag line on the screen, in this case something like “Don’t talk during the movie or you will go to a very special level of hell with only child molesters for company.”
On another side note: the clientele at the Alamo Drafthouse all seem to be a sort of “kindred spirits”. The energy always seems so positive. At the screening people picked up after themselves, and surprisingly when I used one of the porta potties at the very end of the night, it was still in good enough shape that I would have actually taken a seat had I needed to. I think that says a lot about the crowd.

“Serenity” (spoiler free)

Go see this movie as soon as humanly possible and be prepared for a very wild ride. Incredibly witty and emotionally intense. You will be exhausted at the end, but in a good way.
Some of the best dialogue ever (as you’d come to expect from Joss Whedon), action scenes that can stand up to the best of them, and emotional involvement like I felt after reading “Lord of the Rings”. You feel as if you’ve been through an experience, not a movie.
[not really a spoiler but you might draw leading conclusions from this statement – highlight to read]
If you don’t cry at the end of this movie, I suspect you are at least part robot, alien or zombie. Even highlydisciplined ninjas would shed a tear
[End of semi-spoiler]

Serenity now!

I think that most of the people who read this blog are very familiar with the upcoming movie “Serenity“. This post is for those who may not be so familiar. I’d actually be surprised if anyone reading this falls under that category, but better safe than sorry! If there are people not familiar with this movie, then that needs to be remedied, and I am doing my part.

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2! 2 Serenity premieres! Ah! Ah! Ah!

The “Spam” email list at work is a wonderful thing. For many reasons. For example, I may have never found the true religion without the spam list. More importantly I am now going to not one, but two “Serenity” premieres because of it.
First, I heard about a website where they were putting bloggers on the “press list” to get into to a premiere on Tuesday as long as you write about the film afterward. Then, this morning, Athena posted a link to a contest where you could write a love poem to River, Kaylee, Mal or Jayne for a chance to win two VIP tickets to a special premiere put together by our favorite theatre, The Alamo Drafthouse and Ain’t It Cool News. I originally had some very entertaining ideas for comedic poems about Kaylee and River. I decided to go with River as I thought she was easier subject material. Then I decided that since Haiku has become a sort of running “thing” with me I should take that route. Maybe it would add some extra novelty value to my entry. When she sent the email there was only about 15 minutes until the deadline, so there wasn’t really any time to really toil over it too much. Even though I really wanted to go comedic, the haiku just sort of went where it wanted to go and ended up being more serious, much to my disappointment. Since it was then about 4 minutes until the deadline, I sent it off any way and ended up winning one of the may pairs of tickets. Athena won a pair also with her much more entertaining poem to Jayne.
Here’s the details:

Ain’t It Cool News and The Rolling Roadshow will be hosting a sneak preview screening of the film on Wednesday, September 28 at 8:00 along the streets of an old west town near Austin. Details and directions will be given to the ticket holders. Stars Summer Glau (River) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee) will be live in person at the screening and will conduct a Q&A after the film.

So it looks like it’s 2 premieres in 2 days for me, and one on the set of the Alamo replica that was built for the movie “The Alamo” which was filmed near here with a Jewel Staite and Summer Glau. Nice.

River

River, so serene
Yet sometimes, agitated
She is Yin and Yang

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The end is nigh!

Or so you would think from the way people are acting. Here’s the deal: Houston and areas closer to the coast have a real and immediate concern. From what I understand, Austin does not.

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Fall TV Premieres!

Adding my comments to the post started here

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Bloglines are clogged!

*edit*
Things seem to be coming through now so maybe it ahd to do with the maintenance they were doing yesterday. I am now once again endorsing bloglines with a watchful eye…

So I’m going to have to hold my full recommendation Bloglines for the moment. It seems totally awesome if I can get it to work right. At the moment very few of the blogs are showing any new entries since I added them to Bloglines. If I get it sorted out I’ll let you know…

Syndication!

I’ve been meaning to learn more about all this “syndication”, “feed” and “RSS” stuff for a while now and I think I’ve finally got a start. I also think I’m digging it. Many sites produce a “feed” or a summary of your web content in a generic form that can be read by feed readers. Movable Type, Word Press, Blurty, and Live Journal seem to be doing this automatically, since I had no problem adding feeds from any of my friends on those services even though I’m pretty sure many of them have no idea what a feed is. Blogger and Blogspot can produce feeds but only if you turn them on and set them up in the settings>Site Feed section. By default they’re turned off. You can choose RSS or Atom ( the two major formats).
I discovered all this after trying Bloglines. It’s a web based feed reader. I just typed in the URLs of the blogs I read and if there was a feed (or several formats of feed) to be found Bloglines found them and let me subscribe. The immediate appeal of this is being able to go to one web page and see all the blogs I read, much like a “friends” page on LJ or Blurty. At first I thought I wasn’t really going to like Bloglines for several reasons. First, I like to see people’s individual styles and personalities on their websites, and second, unless you know what you’re doing and customize your own feed, comments are usually not included. Then I realized that Bloglines was still an awesome tool.
Normally I open all the blogs I read (using Firefox I right click my blogs folder and choose “open in tabs” which opens every blog in the folder in its own tab). I then have to look at each one and see if there are any new entries to be read. Now with bloglines, I just go to that one page and if anyone has updated since the last time I looked, the entry will appear on my list (as well as the number of new entries appearing in parentheses next to the feed name on the left). Any entries I’ve already seen will not. I can, if I choose however, view all content from the last hour, day, week, etc. I basically use it as a notification tool. If there are any new entries I will click the link and go to that person’s blog to be greeted by their personal style and see all the comments on the entry. I think syndication is probably going to become more and more popular and widespread.
For my site, MT produces three different formats of feed by default. I go a step further and use Feedburner for my feed. This is a website which allows you to put in the URL of your feed (any of the formats) and it provides you one link to put on your page so that no matter what format people want, they can all use that same single URL and feedburner will provide whatever format they need.
I’m still very new to this myself so I can’t really say if Feedburner always works, and I’m really just beginning to comprehend all of this, but I would highly encourage any bloggers to try and learn more about it. If nothing else, try to provide a feed of your blog for those who do prefer to use feed readers to keep track of their content. It seems most blogs are pretty much providing some feed capabilities without any user knowledge being needed, but as previously mentioned, in the case of Blogger or Blogspot you will have to do st least some minimal setup. I know you’ll need to turn feeds on, but I’m not sure what you would put in the required fields. I’d be happy to help any of you who want to try and enable it but don’t know what to do.