Thursday, August 28, 2003
Bad Day Cometh
I'm normally not one of those downwardly spiraling people who once one thing goes wrong decides that the entire day is going to be The. Worst. Day. Evar., but this one's aiming in that direction. The day's events, in order of appearance:
-1). Try and put on nice pants for Focus Group Test that your game is going through this evening. Remember that you haven't unpacked your belt yet, and your pants will be around your ankles. Decide to go with crappy pair of wrinkled shorts instead. Make a note to do some laundry.
0). On the way to car, keys get stuck in crappy shorts pocket that's sewn through. This is what happens when you buy shorts from TJ Max.
1/2). Remember to bring dry cleaning to cleaners. Forget to leave early. Now running massively late for work.
1). Forget to bring breakfast with to work. No problem. We'll just get a yogurt out of the cafe.
2). At work, trying to get into office, keys get stuck in pocket. Again.
3). Get into cafe, realize there's no money in wallet. Normally would just drink water and suck it up, but hey, no money.
4). Figure there's still 10 minutes 'till McDonald's stops serving lunch (go Visa!). Must hurry if we're going to make it in time.
5). Run out to car. Keys are stuck in god-damned fucking pocket. AGAIN.
6). Get so mad at keys and pocket conundrum and decide to just pull real hard instead of fiddling with keys in pocket like we're playing pocket pool with ourselves in the parking lot. Manage to tear huge hole in shorts when the keys don't just give way.
7). Realize that you now look like even more ass in your crappy ripped shorts instead of nice pants with functioning pockets.
8). Get food uneventfully at McD's, then on the way out of parking lot almost get inverse rear-ended as the guy in front of you wildly throws his car in reverse to get out of the way of three people walking on the sidewalk. Much horn ensues. Dude. Pedestrians can walk the fuck around your car.
9). Later, find out there's only fifteen seats available for the focus group, and even though you're a Lead Animator on the team, you don't have a seat at the focus group. Ten out of the fifteen seats are going to Marketing, Executive Management, and other people who aren't actually working on the game.
10). Realize that there was shit that happened before you started with number one, and have to resort to integers and negative numbers because you're too lazy to renumber this lame-ass list.
To be continued, after I get thrown out of the focus group because I intend to crash it anyway.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Clive Barker, D.D.S.
There's no way in hell I'm going to a dentist that advertises a Hellraiser-esque experience. I don't care how good that person's teeth look in the after photo.
"For All Your Family Dental Needs." That include pin-heads, chachi?
Having that script on the blog here is now making me paranoid. Now I'm very much aware of every single person who's coming to read this who isn't seeing new content.
Hopefully I can remedy that today.
And the day after that.
Friday, August 22, 2003
Cool New Toy
There's this new script that a guy wrote, which many people find cool but unusable due to the nature of the script (this isn't something for people with insanely high traffic volumes), that I'm absolutely in love with.
It's linked down there in my links section (since the script creates a link, which is a feature undescribed by the creator, thank you very much. Not. Let me tell you, it was fun trying to figure out where in the site to place the script that the link would do the least damage and yet still do its job), but essentially the script has AIM send you an IM with the IP addy of the person who just looked at your blog (or at individual entries if you have it set up like that).
Essentially it's just a fun thing for me to do while at work. Everytime you come here, I get a quick IM that says someone's here looking. Not only do I find it neat, but I get all hot and bothered at the fun sexy spy-techy kind of feeling of having Trillian notify me via AIM every time someone visits my website.
Now if someone would just come up with a way to register an IP addy so that a Name is spit out rather than a string of numbers.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Somedays, I Hate Being Right
The cable company finally killed our cable. Liz came home, nothing but static on TV.
So I call for them to hook it back up in our name now.
After struggling with the slowest phone salesman in years (no, really, we're talking this guy was borderline retarded slow), he informed me that it would be three to seven days 'till they could have someone come out and switch the cable back on. Mind, you, they sent someone out to switch it off, and now they need to send someone back out to switch it back on.
This after I told them they could just leave it on and switch over the billing information. If they think I'm paying any kind of installation charges, they can go quickly fuck themselves. With a chainsaw.
So yeah. I'm going to miss taping FLCL from the first episode. Again.
I'm beginning to understand the Unimbomber's motives now...
Friday, August 15, 2003
The Murder of an Era
I'd call it the "death" of an era, but really, it's more like homicide.
This is beyond historic. It exceeds landmark status. This is the definition of failure. Those people who still mistakenly see Disney as a leader in the field of animation might say it's a sign of the times, but to those out there who know, it's merely an admission of guilt. After a decade of butchering and hacking the animated medium to a gory death, the House of Mouse has decided that "there's no money in 2D" and is going to venture into 3D.
This opinion is obviously hugely and grossly WRONG, but they've obviously seen that their 3D films (honestly, Pixar's 3D films) have been making mad money, and the 2D ones haven't, so they decide to drop 2D. The only problem with this logic is that the medium is irrelevant. People don't see Pixar movies for shiny graphics and mind-blowingly well done CG. They go for the CG; they stay for the story.
And that's where Disney has failed. Not since Beauty and the Beast have they been able to pull off a compelling story (O.K., I'll give them Emporer's New Groove). Sure, they've been pretty, but come on. Let's be honest. Treasure Planet?! Nothing more than a cheap remake of an old classic. And evidently test screenings of their most recent films have been even worse.
If 2D is truly dead, then why are you still importing Miyazaki films? If 2D is truly dead, then why am I constantly amazed by shows from Japan like FLCL or Cowboy Bebop or Big O? Why am I constantly being drawn to amazing character design and art in the 2D medium from Japan? Why did the Wachowskis decide to go with mainly 2D anime companies for their Animatrix DVD?
The answer is simple: other companies are generating strong art, concept, and story, and Disney is still rehashing old properties because they've lost the ability to innovate. Trying to say that "there's no money in 2D" because you haven't even made a half-hearted attempt at it doesn't mean it's true. Spirited Away was like, the highest grossing animated film, ever. Kinda hard to argue with that level of success for a 2D animated film in the past year.
While I feel sorry for all of my bretherin still working in the 2D animation business, I have to say good riddance to Disney. Get out of the way and let the other companies out there willing to do creative and stylish 2D epics have a go.
I'll be more than happy to give them my money.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
No, Really, I Insist!
So we all know about the new house. Big, wonderful, smells like old people. We're working on that.
But what's perplexing is the fact that neither the phone company nor the cable company seem to want to allow us to throw money at them. So far, my call to the cable company went like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to switch my cable over to my new address, and pay you for your service.
Comcast: Sorry. No can do. Someone else is paying for cable at that address.
Me: Let me get this straight. You won't let me pay for cable at my own house?
Comcast: Right. Someone else is paying for cable to be piped into your house.
Me: But they don't live here anymore.
Comcast: Prove it.
The long and short of it is this: So long as someone else "claims" to be living at that adress and paying for cable, I, the homeowner, cannot change that pre-existing order. For those of you who are as diabolical as I, yes, you could theoretically order nothing but Playboy and Spice Channel cable for your prude neighbor and there's not a god-damned thing they could do to turn it off. Basically, the cable company is hinting that I should just continue to enjoy the free cable, until such time as the previous owners realize that they're still paying for it. And then it will shut off while I'm trying to tape FLCL, most likely.
Then, we're on to the phone company. Liz was thoughtful enough to call the phone company three weeks prior to our move-in date, because we've heard from friends of ours that it can take up to three weeks for them to transfer your existing number over. Amazed, we were, when I called our house phone on my cel and the phone rang on our move-in date. They're actually on time!
But that's not the problem. The problem is when I spoke to our DSL provider (Speakeasy, if for no other reason than we like things related to Al Capone here in Chicago, bang bang), and they told me that my phone number is not a current or valid phone number.
Me: But I'm talking to you on it right now.
Speakeasy: Well, that's not what my records show.
Whatever. After jumping through eight hojillion hoops, and calling not only SBC, but Speakeasy and eventually COVAD (ask Lileks. He knows "why COVAD"), it turns out that the phone company has switched my phone number over, but failed to update their billing records five weeks after the order was made. Again, as with the cable, I had phone service, but wasn't going to be billed for it.
Tonight, I'm going to ask Direct TV to come over and install eight separate dishes and a receiver for each room in my house. We're talking Satellite TV in bathrooms and closets, people. I mean hey, if no one's going to bother billing me for this shit, I might as well go for broke.
Monday, August 11, 2003
Lamest Post Ever
O.K., I know it's not all that interesting or even remotely entertaining, but I feel that I have to share this very important announcement with the rest of you:
Under no circumstances are you to try, consider, or even look sideways at the new Chicken Pizziola from Subway.
I know it looks delicious in the ads. I understand you'd like to try it. But don't. Here's how it's made:
1). Take bread and put the same lame-ass flavorless cheese on it that goes on every other sandwitch.
2). Put bone-dry, plain as day chicken strips on it that taste great when cooked in the teriaki sauce, but are flavorless when served as-is.
3). Smother in the meatball sauce from the meatball repository. No, don't use pizza sauce. That might taste good. We're trying to make sure that we save money here, so use the bitter, dark, meatball sauce instead.
4). Add tomato slices.
5). Throw entire concoction in the microwave oven and set the dial to soggy.
It's an amalgomation of ass.
In other news, which you may or may not find entertaining, I courteously got off my cel phone in order to not be rude while ordering my sandwitch, only to have the clerk taking the order screw up three times while making mine because he wouldn't get off the phone.
This led to me waxing over the spelling of the word phonetiquette, and summarily whether or not convention etiquette (conetiquette) could be confused with a very small U.S. State.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Ahnold fohr Ghovahnor
Well, it's official. Conan's running for office in California, and I couldn't be happier. I mean, when you end your very first campaign speech with "Hasta la vista, baby!" (a very overt reference to the previous California governor being ousted by the people), this can only mean more exciting catch-phrase speeches to come. We're talking President by 2012 folks.
A look to the future?:
1). "You mess with America, you're Terminated fahckah!"
2). "If you liked the last fohr yeeahs of mee in office, maybee yoo'd like mee to stick around!"
3). ::Arnold shows up naked to a debate with his opponent:: "Give mee yor clothes, yor boots, and yor sunglasses."
4). "America will heeah the lamentations of your wimmin, and see our enemies driven befohr us!"
Feel free to post more in the comments as you think of them. I'll add them up here.
Catchphrase President is go!
[Update: While talking about this with a friend at lunch, I was reminded of (the 12th?) amendment that states something to the effect that only native born citizens of this country can run for President. Thus, Ahnold couldn't. However, in the movie Demolition Man, there is evidently a joke/throwaway line about a President Schwartzenaegger, and when pressed about the impossibility of the matter, the person continues on that the (12th?) amendment was repealed in a unanimous vote in order to allow Ahnold to be voted in as President. Remember, truth is stranger than fiction, so I'm still sticking by my Pres by 2012 prediction].
It is done. We are in the new hizouse, and everything (so far) has been going well. Previous to Tuesday, things were not going well. Some of the snafus which led to ownership:
1). While noticing how neat the rain looked pouring down the loading ramp to the truck, I realized I had left the windows open to the 24 foot behemoth U-Haul truck we rented, and was overjoyed to learn that I had soaked the cabin so badly that there was a half-inch of standing water on the floor. Of course, I got soaking wet just running the length of the truck to get to the cab to roll up the windows, and just as soon as I had closed it up, it stopped raining.
2). The close on the sale of our previous house ran so long we were late by about 30 minutes to the close of the buy of the second home.
3). The close on the purchase of our new house went so poorly I was calling our lenders Nazis and wondering if letterbombing their office would be a sufficient enough outlet for my rage (the loan processor for our mortgage broker thought this was a laugh riot, incidently). Seriously, you don't ask your borrower to provide a bank record you know you didn't ask them for previously at 4:51 pm on the day of close. It's not going to happen. Fortunately the sellers were gracious enough to allow us take posession of the house a day early, so we didn't have to sleep in one of our cardboard boxes like homeless people.
4). Upon attempting to move the truck into the driveway of the new house to move in, it was realized that I had killed the battery by leaving the dome lights for both the cab and the cargo bay on overnight (they were turned on during the flood sequence so I could see). It's important to note at this stage that there are no indicator lights or beeps or sounds that would otherwise notify you that you have left the dome light on. Calling the 1-800-I'm-Screwed Roadside Assistance number gave me the following helpful tip while on hold: "Did you know that the number one cause of dead batteries in U-Haul trucks is leaving the dome light on?" No shit. Maybe you fucktards might want to actually do something proactive about that instead of letting us know how stupid we are while on hold?
I'm not trying to brag, but we can't believe how big it is. If I come home and yell "Honey, I'm home!" in the Laundry Room (attaches to the garage), Liz cannot hear me if she is up in the Master Bedroom. For you grammarphiles out there: I realize I'm capitalizing the rooms of the house. As you may be aware, locales such as countries, states, counties, cities, and historical monuments are all a capitalizable commodity. It is our most sincere belief that the house and the rooms that make it fit in there somewhere.
With the DSL installation forthcoming, and assuming I don't get lost somewhere in the bowells of the Bowler Manor, I should be posting here again with a bit more frequency.
Friday, August 01, 2003
No, I'm Not Dead Yet
Only lost in the throes of Star Wars Galaxies and packing boxes. I'll post a picture of what the house looks like tomorrow. Imagine boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.