Friday, September 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Mrs Smash

Went out for a little happy birthday get together with the Smashes, Joanie, Gracie, Dave, my wife and a mystery blogger who will not be named to BJ's Brewery.

We had pizza (which I've been making from scratch lately, mine might just be a little better) for dinner and for dessert a huge pile of ice cream on top of a pizza sized peanut butter chocolate chip cookie (a.k.a. love handle pie) , below is a picture of Mrs Smash making her wish "hmm, now what do I want?" (sorry couldn't find one where you didn't look silly ;-P)

Above is Gracie and my lovely bride.

As usual when we all got together a good time all around. Next event we our plan is to have Firefly playing in the background.

You see what bloggers are saying about Serenity? I'm not the only one out there that thinks it's the bomb Rotten Tomatoes as of right now is giving it a 86%, critics give it 78% and Users are giving it 93%. Not too shabby!

Orson Scott Card who is one of my favorite writers also has a few words to say about Serenity, what are you waiting for, go buy tickets.

Moment that touched me in the movie? The look on the face of the girl sitting next to us with tears running down her face reflecting the screen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My totally shameless plug for Serenity


(rewrite of a post I did Monday night)

I received an invite to preview Serenity a couple of days ago along with a hundred or so other San Diego bloggers and Browncoats. This might have been the biggest effort by a motion picture company to use bloggers get the word out before a movie. I know if you see it, you won’t be disappointed (well most of you anyway, there are some with an inborn dislike of Sci-Fi).

After being on the wrong side of a multiplanet wide civil war, Captain Mal Reynolds and his battle buddy Zoe, buy a ship from a junk yard, assemble a crew to run the beast which he names Serenity and they all set off to make money any way possible and in the process, try sticking it to the man any way possible (is it just me but does this remind anyone of Cowboy Bebop? Wonder if Joss ever saw that?)

From there and into the mind of Joss Whedon the show blossoms, tight plot line, the series runs like a dream. Each episode a work of art and now the movie Serenity which draws many of the mysteries to a close yet at the same time acts as a good welcome into the ‘Verse to the non-Browncoat. Each show can be a stand alone or as part of a bigger tapestry.

Action, comedy, a couple of romances that have been brewing, the movie will make you laugh and want to cry. The special effects, fight scenes, battles, the movie kicks some serious butt. Joss couldn’t have put the movie together any better. With a comparatively shoe string budget which is way more then he’s used to, he weaved magic. The movie meshes seamlessly with the series. Not that it isn’t great as a stand alone but after you are done seeing the movie, you’ll want to see the rest. At least you can fill your craving with a quick trip to the video store and 14 episodes later (800 minutes of Firefly total…) Afterwards, the question sure to pop up, when is he going to start the series again.

To show how much of a geek I am, I was the only one in the theater wearing a brown coat and I was with the cute pink haired girl.

Here are some other reviews if you don't trust me:

Massawyrm (I have to agree with Beth, this is the best damn review ever)
The Primary Main Objective
… (Heather and I sat next to Kevin)
LT SMASH (Scott was our Firefly Sacrificial Virgin, the only thing he knew about the movie was that it was free and a bunch of SciFi geeks were talking about it, good review)
Blogcritics (hat tip for some of these blogs from the great Blogcritic)
TBOTCOTW (The Blog of the Century of the Week)
Whitney Matheson, USA Today
Salt Lake City Weekly (MaryAnn Johnson)
The Vodka Pundit
Internet Freedom Trail
Game the World
Ga Mongrel
G. Bob's House o' Blog

"Fox, where good TV shows go to die." my wife 27 Sep 05.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What happened to Firefly?

In 2002 Fox pulled the plug on one of the best Science Fiction TV series ever made and there was a great sigh heard all around the world and grown men (and women) wept. Now it's time for the Brown Coats to rise again and join the crew of Serenity.

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly has finally got his featured film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. His crew is a bunch of under dog outcasts, complex, very human, flawed and will transport you to a dark existance 500 years into the future. I would be doing this amazing series a disservice by using my poor writing skills trying to explan the twists and turns that the crew go through or how tight the plot is plugged together. This is by far Joss's best work (sorry Buffy fans!)

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the Serenity Movie website. The TV series out on DVD in all of the stores and in less then a week, the rest of us are going to be flocking to the nearest movie theter wearing our trusty Brown Coats. The series has been my best entertainment buy this year, come out and join us on the 30th and you'll know why they can't take my land.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How many times do you get a second chance in life?

I’ve been a constant visitor to New Orleans since the early 90’s, there are weeks of my life missing due to being extremely inebriated, I’ve been in every shop on the French Quarter but there have been times when I’ve become lost and suddenly within the passing of a street found myself transported into the twilight zone. I’m a person who’s been to house parties in South Central LA (admittedly completely out of his element), see the worst of what the West Coast has to offer, been shot at in Iraq and have never been as scared as I one time I turned down the wrong street in New Orleans. One morning after a night of good times, a couple of buddies and I were driving about checking out the sights without a map. Hung over from the night before, we weren’t at our sharpest, just turning down roads that looked interesting when we noticed that there was trash and broken tree limbs in the streets, boarded up windows and the normal sounds of traffic has faded. We’re driving down a street that’s wide enough to have five lanes but the paint is faded, there’s not another car on the street that’s moving. Huh? I look at my buddy in the passenger side seat and because I’m looking that way, I see a large group of black men pouring out of a house and running towards my car, some of them had bats in their hands. I stomp on the gas, my tires squeal and we’re gone. What in the hell was that? Between one heartbeat and the next, my safe world had changed, since that moment I’ve been watchful of where I go. I have developed a mild amount of paranoia about stepping into the unknown, especially in strange foreign cities.

I know Katrina cost countless people their livelihood, but for some folk who were living in that twilight zone existence, this might be a blessing. An opportunity to start fresh with no baggage, there’s an entire nation who’s willing to pull these people back into the light. I hope that neighborhood got washed away and there’s not one brick standing on another. I hope that the people who were living in that borderland place decide not to go back to New Orleans and take advantage of the help that is offered to start anew. I hope they’ve been scattered into the four winds so when I finally take my wife down there, which I will someday when they rebuild, I won’t have to worry about wandering into that nightmare neighborhood again.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Best of Craig's List

Craigslist is a great place to find deals on the internet or sell something. During the hurricane the site has gained much fame for helping find missing relatives, finding jobs of those misplaced, housing and has a nice list of Katrina support sites. Today I found the holy grail, if you haven't been reading the Best Of you're missing out, some good humor going on there. Warning not for the best materal for reading at work.

Other news, haven't been called up to go to New Orleans and discovered that my wife makes excellent Sweet Apple Pork Chops and her pumpkin pie with oreo crust sticks to my ribs in a unmilitary like manner. Must work out more.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I used to think Katrina was a cute name..

Like the days following 9/11, half of the country is glued to the news. Satellite pictures, blogs, weather channel, Fox and CNN, I’m starting to feel News Saturation sinking in again. Katrina has been the most documented natural disaster in history, satellite pictures up within a day, hourly accounts through blogs, personal photos, unlike 9/11, there was something new happening by the second. Stories of horror, miracles, anger and sadness, strangers showing goodwill, acting like animals, total chaos being rebuilt into a semblance of order. Clearly someone dropped the ball.

All of the different facets of the human condition seen in the past week. American government officials breaking down and crying for help on live TV, thousands of people saved from roof tops and a picture of a storage lot full of buses underwater. Hope dashed as levees started breaking in the middle of the night, a week later and 60 percent of the city is still under water.

Unlike with the twin towers, I know people who are missing and my units other corpsman, her roommate still hasn’t head from her mother, this is touching everybody I know. My roommate is from Louisiana (his family is fine), one of his friends is coming to stay at our place till he gets back on his feet.

Meanwhile, the military all over the country is geared up to move forward at a moments notice, there is already 60 thousand troops in the area, I know my guys are ready to go. I’ve spent weeks in New Orleans and love the place, it carries a lot of weight in military circles as the place to go. Now I don’t know if I’ll every be able to go to that place and the only thing to hold in my head are the memories and photos. I’ll always regret no being able to take my wife there while I had the chance.

Donate to the Red Cross or check out Instapundit, Glenn has a huge list of places to donate.