December 29, 2007
Would you rush to the theater if I recommended a sort of art-house (Fox Searchlight) movie that deals with teen pregnancy? Not really? Yeah, I don’t blame you.
What if I told you that said movie was written by an ex-stripper who adapted the name “Diablo Cody“, detailed her work experiences on a blog called “The Pussy Ranch” and later wrote a book about it? That this is her first screenplay and that it’s probably the best movie that Victoria and I have seen this year (which means something considering, you know, that it’s December 29)?
Not that her past job experience defines Diablo Cody in any shape or form, of course. It just demonstrates a relaxed and groovy outlook on life. And that shows in the movie, which is funny most of the time and emotionally moving when it needs to be. Slang and teen speak run rampant and could have badly derailed the movie, but somehow they didn’t.
Jason Reitman (Ivan Reitman’s son) directs, Ellen Page puts on a great performance as Juno, and Michael Cera will no longer be stuck in my head as “the guy from that Superbad movie”. Which is good, because I really didn’t like Superbad too much.
We watched the movie at the Lark Theater, a setting that certainly didn’t hurt the reception. But no matter where you watch it, Juno is a cool movie, and I urge you to see it. Films like these often rely on brilliantly orchestrated grassroot campaigns in which unsuspecting bloggers tout the virtues of the movie until everybody who wouldn’t have gone to the theater otherwise goes to see it after all. You know, people like me. Who have no idea how they’re doing what the marketing department was hoping they would do right now. Good thing that ignorance is bliss…
December 29, 2007
Update June 2008: hah! it DID happen
My recent activity makes me think that maybe I should update and reorganize the page. The separation between News and Blog posts, which was quite useful at first, has become muddled and somewhat arbitrary. My archives are way too big. And just in general, right now feels like a good time for blind activism on my part!
When I set up Victoria’s and Missy’s blog a while ago I found WordPress to be really nice and easy to use. I still use it semi-regularly when helping Vicky with Stuff That Behaves Wonky(tm). Customizing WordPress for my own purposes would take a bit longer, especially in the looks department, but should be possible. So maybe I’ll finally invest some time after the New Year’s break. Assign tags for private blog posts and for “official” announcements, and add some missing structure to the page in general. Maybe. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, so this won’t be one. But you never know what might happen
December 27, 2007
Alldenjenigenwelchen, die der deutschen Sprache maechtig sind (und die evt. auf unserer Hochzeit waren), empfehle ich spontan einen Abstecher zu Tanjas neuem Blog.
Allen, die denken, dass es jetzt eh zu spaet ist, wuensche ich ein frohes Fest und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
December 18, 2007
My latest video is now available for public view on the official Infineon Raceway website. IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay visited the racetrack on December 6 and 7 to test for the new season, and I was there to document those two days.
Expect more of these kind of videos in the 2008 season. The Infineon Raceway staff are giving me great behind-the-scenes access, so the videos should turn out even nicer than the ones I already made this year. Go to my Youtube page to get your additional fix of IndyCar, NASCAR, Karting etc. at Sears Point
One of the necessary but unfortunate side effects of creating video for the web is the resolution. The movie is usually tiny and heavily compressed to account for bandwidth and dial-up users. So I thought it would be fun to post a few fullsize frames from the IRL Testing video posted recently.
As a sidenote, I’m still working fulltime on new game projects for our company. But you shouldn’t expect any announcements for quite a while, it’s still too early.
December 2, 2007
This is a music video that I created for Victoria’s dad and the Northern California Karters. Gokart racing around the big track at Infineon Raceway!
November 18, 2007
November 17, 2007
Dear Corporate America,
Please look outside your window. Is the ground covered in snow? Do you see half eaten turkey bones strewn about? No? Good, that makes a lot of sense. Because it’s the middle of November. So would you please SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT CHRISTMAS ALREADY?
It’s November. It’s November. It’s November. On the list of things on my radar, Xmas currently tracks somewhere around position #26, right between the question which girl is getting voted off America’s Next Top Model this week and whether we’re eating too much salt as a people.
Whatever happened to the notion that Christmas time starts in December with the time of Advent? Or, for you marketing people who only see the world through dollar signs, with Black Friday – that delightful American demi-holiday that follows the Thanksgiving celebrations?
I just don’t get it. Are there really that many people running around thinking “OMG! Xmas will be here before you know it! Better start thinking about buying all those presents now, in the first week of November!” Have we really gotten that conceited? I remember walking into the mall last November and seeing one of those mall Santas all ready for action. I couldn’t help but rolling my eyes and making a face, he just looked way out of place. And I think the guy saw me do it, too, because the reaction in his face was one of embarrasment. Honestly, he was probably thinking the same thing I was: “Sorry dude. I know how ridiculous it is for me to be sitting here in my bright red Santa costume in the middle of November; and I’m feeling damn stupid. But what can I say? I need the money…”
Anyway, enough of that. Of course it’s up to everybody how he reacts to this commercial holiday barrage. Maybe it’s working and people are really buying tons of Xmas gifts already. Maybe. Personally, I’ll be ignoring every outlet that is spewing Xmas commercials on me right now. It’s my own little island of (totally ineffective) Holiday activism.
October 20, 2007
I’m loving it. Not because of any publicity that this might generating right now, but because of how matter-of-factly Rowling is treating Dumbledore’s sexual orientation. Dumbledore is gay. It’s part of his character; and now that we know it kinda makes sense. But so what, it’s no big deal! This fact was never essential to the story, the books work 100% without this knowledge. It just shows two things:
- Dumbledore’s potentially controversial sexual orientation (at least in some backward circles) is 100% natural to Rowling, as it should be. And she’s promoting that “it’s no big deal!” attitude towards children, which is great.
- Rowling really does have a deep understanding of her characters and there’s tons of backstory that we, as the readers, have (and never will) know(n) about. It turns each person into a fully realized, three-dimensional character. A memorable one, no less – and one that we automatically treat with respect when reading/watching/playing his story.
It speaks for the strength of the Harry Potter series that news like these make it onto the front pages of all major news sources, even after the last book has been released. But really, if we all follow JK Rowling’s lead this should be a “So what?” moment and not even be news-worthy. Maybe in a few years…
October 14, 2007
I’ve finally had some time to try out the Ratched & Clank: Tools of Destruction demo on the Playstation 3, and it’s exactly what I expected. And hoped for: a great-looking iteration of the established franchise for the PS3. Not much more I can say about it that hasn’t already been said – Ratchet & Clank has always been great, and the new game is no exception. It’s fun. It’s addictive. It works. Well done, Insomniac!
Where in Quark’s name is the option to invert the camera’s Y axis? I can’t believe that this isn’t included in the demo! If you’ve worked on a 3rd person control schemes (and who in this industry hasn’t?) you know that this issue splits games right down the middle: 50% of the development staff wants to push the stick forward to look up, 50% wants to pull the stick backward. So where in this demo is the option? Unfortunately Ratchet does exactly the opposite of my preference (I’m a “stick-puller”), and it’s screwing with my head big time. I keep looking down instead of up.
This isn’t the first high-profile title that does this kind of stuff. I remember almost quitting KOTOR because the camera controls were backwards for me. My brain/hands just couldn’t grok the controls, and the fact that the inversion option seemed like such an easy thing to do only made matters worse. I’m hoping this this was just an oversight for the Ratched Demo – and that the final game will fix the problem. It would be a shame if it didn’t.
October 14, 2007
Victoria and I got married last night! And it was the happiest day in my life – I don’t think I’ve ever smiled that much before Word can’t describe how much I love Vicky.
But it’s a lot.
An awful lot.
She’s awesome like a hot dog. Consequently, Victoria put on an awesome wedding (I helped here and there, but she did most of it), and I think everybody had a great time.
One more week of vacation, which I’ll try to spend without thinking too much about work and other “stuff”. My family and friends are still in town, so we’ll try to use the time to relax and show them around.
BTW, the first Friday the 13th that our anniversary falls on will be in 10 years. I take that as a good omen, I’ve never been superstitious about numbers