movies, tv, medical comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 8]

After talking to the rest of the guys in my department, of the folks who have seen Spider-Man, everyone agrees it was awesome. It looks like, according to IMDb, they’re making a sequel. That’d be cool. I hope it’s as good as this one.

I’m also hoping that the new Star Wars movie holds its own. When they released Episode I, I was stoked, but to be honest, except for the Natalie Portman action in there, it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. Maybe it’s the whole “can’t-live-up-to-the-hype” phenomenon I described in my Spider-Man review. Maybe it’s the fact that the Jar-Jar Binks character sucks huge donkey. Anyway, I hope this latest installment justifies the hype.

Alias last night was the bomb. You never think it could possibly get more intriguing or convoluted and then it does. It reminds me a bit of the first few seasons of The X-Files or La Femme Nikita. I hope they can maintain this breakneck pace. I’m loving it. I can’t wait until they bring it out on DVD. Besides… Jennifer Garner. ‘Nuff said on that issue.

Allergies: They suck. But I have medication now. Lots of it. I have Nasacort for daily dosage, I have Allegra to catch the stuff the Nasacort doesn’t, and for those “heavy days” I have Astelin. Oh, and I got an albuterol inhaler for when I can’t breathe, because, as it turns out, I guess I’m mildly asthmatic. It just keeps getting better.

I’m in the process right now of installing Visual Studio .NET. I’ve gotta figure out how to write a Windows service, and it looks like .NET does a lot of that for you. Here’s hoping. Point being, I’ve been installing this thing for the last hour and it’s showing no signs of slowing. What a pain.

movies, comics comments edit

Spider-Man has to be the best superhero/comic-based movie since the original Superman.

I went in on Saturday with high expectations. The previews for this thing hype it up to the point where I’m scared to even venture into the theater. I’ve been so severely let down by movies like Jurassic Park after seeing the commercialism surrounding them that movies with too much promotion are movies I usually won’t see. In 99% of cases, there’s no way a movie can live up to the expectations the promotion builds.

Spider-Man lives up to every last bit of the hype.

Spider-Man is (duh) the story of Spider-Man. If you don’t know who Spider-Man is, climb out from under the rock you call home and join us in the now. Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) and does a great job of giving us the “mild-mannered” treatment. You get to see his struggles through high school and understand what his state in life is. Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane Watson, the girl Peter desperately wants to date. Willem Dafoe plays Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin, the bad guy in the film.

Peter is a nerdy photographer in high-school who likes Mary Jane. He’s lived next door to her for years, but she somehow doesn’t know who he is. Mary Jane dates the popular kids, which is not what Peter is. On a field trip, Peter gets bitten by a genetically enhanced spider (which is slightly different than the radioactive spider that was seen in the comic) and gets spider powers. He climbs walls, he shoots webs, etc., etc. But the cool part of this is that you actually get to see him figure out how to use his powers. He just doesn’t instantly understand them - he plays around a bit with them and messes up a few times getting the hang of them.

Peter has a friend, Harry Osborn, whose dad, Norman is some sort of scientist developing products for the Army. Norman’s about to lose his funding, so he tries out one of the products on himself and *whammo* turns into a crazed lunatic with super strength.

Norman (as The Green Goblin) tries to kill the people who are taking away his funding; Spider-Man comes in to save the day. Sounds simple enough, right?

It is. Just that simple. And that’s the brilliance of it. The story is pretty basic, but you actually care about the characters. There was no point while watching this that I said, “What the hell is that guy thinking? This is stupid!” I left thinking “I want to be Peter Parker.” Sort of the same way I left The Matrix thinking “I want to be Neo.” You start to see what Peter sees in Mary Jane. You understand Peter’s struggles. And you almost wish you could help.

I went in wearing my brand-new Spider-Man baseball jersey, eating my Spider-Man sour gummy spiders, having just purchased a Spider-Man dual-action web blaster, and I loved every single minute of the movie. I want to go back and see it again, and I’ll definitely be picking it up on DVD.

And, hey, you get some Kirsten Dunst nip while you’re there. Could it get any better? I think not.

Go out and see Spider-Man. It’s well worth it.

movies, home, tv comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 11]

Well, as everyone knows, Spider-Man is out today. And, yeah, I wanna see it. I wasn’t so hot on it the very first time I saw the preview, but as I saw more about it, it grew on me. Then when I saw that, true to style, Sam Raimi stuck his car in there, I was sucked in. (I should have figured the car would be there, it’s always there, but seeing it made me happy.)

As such, I’m wearing my Spider-Man shirt today, even though I wore it on Monday (yes, it’s clean), and I’m really tempted to head down to Toys R Us and get some of the web-shooting gloves so I can combine them into one, cooler-than-cool Spider-Toy. I really shouldn’t spend the money on it, but it’s so cool. Besides, I’m starting to get that “it’s only money” feeling anymore.

Then again, I really do need to save up so I have a reasonable down payment for a house. I’d like to get out of apartment living ASAP since I’m tired of my neighbors downstairs cooking some sort of stew that smells like sour tomato sauce. The stench filters upstairs into our bedroom and makes it difficult to sleep. I’m also tired of the four-year-old next door yelling at his mom at 2:00am about how he can’t find his underpants.

I just heard on CNN that The Osbournes may be renewing for another season. Apparently, this season they only got $200,000 for making the show; next season they may get upwards of $20,000,000. One-hundred times as much. Somehow, while I’m not the guy paying the money, that makes me a little irritated. How come I don’t get $20mil to have someone run around filming my daily life? (Probably because the fortieth day of me sitting on my ass at work would get a little old.) I guess it goes to prove that some folks just have too much money.

For those who are bored: The “Poke Alex In The Eye” game has been updated. And for those who’ve never been there, you’ll also want to check out “Brad The Game.”

tv, music, medical comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 13]

I’m never the first to jump on a bandwagon. For some reason, I always find out about cool stuff after everyone else has already thought it was cool. Sometimes I find out about it after everyone thinks it’s cool and then wears it out until it’s not cool anymore.

The latest bandwagon I’m late to jump on is MTV’s The Osbournes.

For those who, like me, are late to jump on the bandwagon, this is a [sort of] reality TV show that’s basically a camera running around Ozzy Osbourne’s house and filming the daily life of the Osbourne family.

Normally, I’m not into the whole “reality TV” thing. I’ve watched my share of The Real World (which should actually fall under the “drama” category and be called The World No Person With A Normal Income Can Afford) and Road Rules. I currently watch Survivor and The Amazing Race. But, for the most part, I’m not a huge fan.

This Osbournes show, though, is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. You get to see how Ozzy lives, and you realize that, regardless of the whole “Prince of Darkness” show that gets put on, he’s just a guy trying to get by. You see how his family bickers (maybe a little more than most) and the dysfunctional stuff they do to each other. And the only word you can really, truly understand Ozzy saying is “fuck.” Seriously. When they get the guy on camera, you hear (in an English accent) something like “mumble mumble fuck mumble fucking mumble mumble.” It’s crazy.

Last night I watched an episode where the Osbournes were having Christmas dinner. Ozzy carved the turkey and cooked some gravy that he seemed pretty proud of. Too much. Then Ozzy got a James Brown puppet thing that sings and dances to “I Feel Good” when you press a button on it. Ozzy wouldn’t stop pushing the button. Reminds me of something my dad would do.

The thing about this show is that I don’t think it’d be funny if it wasn’t Ozzy. I mean, okay, if you stuck, like, Angus from AC/DC in a show like this, it would probably be just as funny. Or maybe Alice Cooper. But, like, watching Eric Clapton’s everyday life? Or Billy Joel? Interesting, maybe, but not nearly as entertaining. The dichotomy of “Prince of Darkness Rock Star” and “Everyday Guy Trying to Get By” is what makes the show what it is.

Next week is apparently the last episode in the season. I don’t know if they’re going to do another season, but I hope so. In the meantime, I’m going to have to catch the episodes I haven’t seen yet when they rerun them.

I also went and bought one of Ozzy’s CDs since watching the show got the music into my head. Figures, eh?

On a whole other note, my allergist appointment is today. The Allegra I got at the general practitioner isn’t working as well as I’d like - it’s kept me less congested than normal, but now my nose runs a lot of the time - so maybe I can get a different medication. Jenn is liking her Claritin… maybe that will work for me, too. Either way, they can’t test me for new allergies today even if they want to because I got the notice yesterday that tells me I’m not supposed to take prescription antihistamines (Allegra) for 72 hours before an appointment. As if they didn’t have all last week to tell me that, or even tell me that when I made the appointment. Oh, well. If I can come out of there with something to un-stuff my nose and keep it drip-free, I’ll be a happy camper.

And, last (but definitely not least), SuperDiamond, probably my favorite concert band, will be playing at The Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, May 11. I’m thinking Jenn and I may just have to go.

movies, auto, tv comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 14]

I pre-ordered my copy of Real Genius yesterday. I’m stoked. Jenn doesn’t understand why I’m so all over this thing. I asked her what she thought of the movie. “It was okay, but I didn’t think it was as great as you did,” she said.

Great? I think this was one of the defining movies of my very being. I wanted to be Chris Knight (Val Kilmer). I still want to be Chris Knight. Watching Real Genius gives me the warm fuzzies as I relive all the good memories associated with that time in my life. I guess I just sort of assumed it was that way for everyone. Maybe just not with this movie.

(Oh, and I’m still irritated the soundtrack for this isn’t out.)

Anyway…

My friend Mike quit smoking recently. Or, at least, has begun the attempt to quit smoking. I think that’s cool. Smoking, while socially acceptable, is probably one of the nastiest habits ever. I would almost rather deal with an alcoholic than a smoker; I can smell the smoker from further away than I can smell an alcoholic (yes, even the really drunk ones), and I’m not allergic and stuffed up when I sit next to an alcoholic, whereas the smoker really gets to me. So I’m really happy for him that he’s on the patch and giving it an earnest try. I hope it works for him.

I have a couple of tiny rock chips on the side of my car (probably 1mm diameter) so I bought a bottle of touch-up paint. The thing is, I’m scared to death I’m gonna mess it up. If there’s a way to screw this up, I’ll find it, so I’m sort of stressing about it. As it is, I’m going to have to go get a smaller paintbrush because the one in the cap of the bottle is too big. I’ll probably do that this weekend - wash the car, do the touch-up, wait for it to dry, and wax the whole thing. My car is in desperate need for some love.

This past Friday was the series finale of Lexx, one of my favorite shows. I am sorry to see it go, but then, I’d rather have it go out on a high note, when it’s still good, then to languish in mediocrity and die miserably like some other shows I know.

It was my donut day today at work, so I got the donuts, then noticed that Haggen carries POG. Yay, me! So I picked some of that up because I haven’t had it since I was in Maui, several years ago. Tasty!

For the geeks out there: I hate Active Directory. Absolutely hate it. It could have been as simple as LDAP, but instead, Microsoft made it x-times more complex (by adding “features”) so now it’s a bitch to program against, at least for me. The current thorn in my side revolves around the fact that somehow our Active Directory server won’t let me list the groups a given user is a member of. Interesting, since that worked last week. Of course, nobody’s changed anything, at least according to the folks who maintain it, so I’ve got a support call in to Microsoft to see if they can figure it out. And just so ya know, if you put a call in to Microsoft, unless you mark it as Urgent!!! (yes, with three exclamation points minimum), they take their own sweet time about it.