daily preciousness

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

microsoft dinosaur

Had to laugh this morning at the little advert in the WaPo that Microsoft had done. It showed a sassy secretary and a dumb boss in an exchange where dumb boss accidentally emails everybody his salary. How appropriate that the characters in a MS ad are dinos! It nearly made me cough on my kiwi.

Ah... the simpler pleasures in life!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

In line for star wars

In line for star wars

"that's no moon!"

Will, Henrico and I had a blast watching the show. It was bigger, bolder and with prettier gee-gaws than ever.

I think the Baby Jesus butt plug would adore this movie. Because all the actors are so stiff in it, they have clearly inserted this product into their anus before each scene was shot.

Lucas is superb with the visuals and the action. Just don't ask him to work with humans. The humans in this picture should have prayed to their Baby Jesus butt plug for acting skills, instead of merely inserting him. Maybe then they could've included some human emotion.


Buy me some peanuts & crackerjack

Peanuts & crackerjack

I don't care if we ever go back. The Nationals lost big time to some out-of-town brewery. But Aaron and I were the *real* losers. The only beer that we could find in the entire ballpark was some domestic swill that must have been harvested from the sewers of Milwaukee. Yuck. And they served it in plastic bottles. One of our beer hawkers won big style points, however, when he showed off his battery powered bottle opener. It was great. Like some bionic Dilbert baseball bartender, the man served up two cold ones by industriously opening the can with his obviously homemade invention. Clever.

Wow. Randomness is great. I got an e-mail from Aaron. Would I like to go to a Nationals Game? Sure! I've never been to a baseball game... at least not that I can remember! It was fun. Very nice just relaxing, people-watching and snickering at the lameness of the sport. Too bad we arrived late I would've liked to have seen people try to sing the national anthem. (I like to make the sound of rockets and explosions during "the rockets red flare" part.)

Nationals game

Nationals game

Aaron feeling his nats

Thursday, May 12, 2005

perfect story

Here's how you make propaganda. It's easy. Just take a few elements that everybody can relate to easily, even if they have a grade school education.

First, take a handsome, all-American athlete. Just for the fun of it, let's say former NFLer Pat Tillman.

(Extra points if he has a better jaw line than most comic book heroes!)

Next, give him a full soldier makeover! Grrrr! You're so tough!


Now, add a rousing story of heroism and patriotic fervor. Here's one that the WaPo printed:

"Tillman died trying to save fellow members of the 75th Ranger Regiment caught in a crush of enemy fire," the story went. Tillman, said a friend and comrade-at-arms, had told his fellow soldiers "to seize the tactical high ground from the enemy" to draw enemy fire away from another U.S. platoon trapped in an ambush. "He directly saved their lives with those moves. Pat sacrificed his life so that others could live." [It was a] "storybook personal narrative."

Now, that's what I call true patriotism!

(And a source of ugly gif web memorials, too!)

And that's how a legend is born. News casts, radio shows, front pages... everyone sings the glory of the fallen hero. Yes, it's a story to be told and told again... a yarn worthy of EVERYONE's respect.

Except, of course, for those who like to stick to the truth.

Tillman was not the victim of terrorists or insurgents. He was not the victim of THOSE WHO HATE 'MERKA, as some are so fond of saying.

Nope. He was a victim of poor situational awareness.

Like when you get hit in a paintball fight by your own team. So-called "friendly fire."

But you'll never hear about that. It's too buried by other news to make much of a dent in popular consciousness.

So is it propaganda? Or just very well timed press releases? I'd say it's basically the same thing. Chalk up one more X-treme deception in the war against terror.

Oddly enough, the situation reminds me of a scenario from the video game...

"Richard Baxton piloted his Recon Rover into a fungal vortex and held off four waves of mind worms, saving an entire colony. We immediately purchased his identity manifests and repackaged him into the Recon Rover Rick character with a multi-tiered media campaign: televids, touchbooks, holos, psi-tours-- the works. People need heroes. They don't need to know how he died clawing his eyes out, screaming for mercy. The real story would just hurt sales, and dampen the spirits of our customers."

-"Mythology for Profit" -Morgan Stellartots Keynote Speech

Just like in the video game, the administration has used this man's death to promote the war on terror, pushing the truth out of focus so as not to "hurt sales and dampen the spirits" of the citizenry.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

sick chick

The boys at the CDC know a thing or two about the bird flu. But I bet they don't know how much fun it is to watch these little guys sneeze. One of them let out a big one. Hope it's not the flu!

my peeps

Now that I'm beyond the age of 30, people might say that I'm no spring chick, but these guys sure are. Nothing says spring like the smell of my peeps have freshly dropped!

Friday, May 06, 2005

the screening

Of course, everyone is nervous for their first time on the red carpet. The strobe-like flashes of the hungry tabloid paparazzi... The chatty interviews outside the theater... the tight-fitting little black stretchy number that your dashing boyfriend wears... And then there's the booze party at the bar and the cheek-kissing greetings of cast and crew...

Joan and Melissa were very generous with me during my first red carpet approach. There was not a single callous remark. It's a good thing that I'd threatened their plastic surgery with outrageous library fines, or they might have castigated me on my less-than perfect hair or my "loaner" jewelry from Overstock.com Tiffany & Co.!

What a complete and total blast! The energy was really good and the talent there was outstanding. I feel that our film was perhaps 4th or 5th place of the 10 shown. And the top 3 could have easily been a real feature film... they were amazing! Great writing, acting, creative talent... the technical side of things was definitely low, overall, but that didn't really distract from the amazing artistry. One in particular, from Washington Improve Theater, was great. It was called "Occupational Hazard" and was a romance about an office worker that went to "war" against a corporate takeover. Sweetly written, my favorite scenes involved sensitive and tear-jerking scenes of letters written home and to the war front, of how supplies are low (toner) and the boys are taking heavy losses. Very impressive!

"hOnc" was our group's film. It was a light, cheerful and funny short about some picnicking time-travelers who travel back to cavemen times. The travelers, dressed stylishly in gold lamé, accidentally leave behind their hOnc, which the local cavemen find and enjoy. (Production note to sci-fi geeks: take "hOnc" and change each letter one place over in the alphabet, just like they did with "HAL" in 2001, and you'll find the modern equivalent.)

Mike, our leader, was so sweet and kind to me at the screening. He took me aside, putting a hand on my shoulder and said, emphatically, "Jeffrey, you know you were SO MUCH MORE than a gopher. You really helped us out and I appreciate it." How nice; I'd had a full day of sincere compliments at that point and this was just icing on the cake.

Patrick had printed up some wonderful posters of our movie. In it, he used my picture of cute caveman Chris.

He made a nice addition to the stylized (and heavily photoshopped image) of our two beloved time-travelers. Nice job, Patrick. Photoshop props to ya!

The screening was so much fun for me that I was crying from laughter. I had to wipe my eyes several times, just to see the show! Will, Chris and Greg were amazingly funny in their roles and really stole the show. My favorite part was hearing the audience's reaction to Will's unearthly screaming. Go, Will!

Finally, seeing my name up in lights at the end of the show, when the credits rolled, was very nice. But I suspect that I got more of a rush with the feeling that our team really pulled together, 12 people with not much in common, to create an original, funny, creative work of art. Nice job, Team Anjou!

Can't wait for the DVD to come out....

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

52 hour film project

It all came down to the last few hours. And we couldn't create a film in time. Call us ambitious, call us totally pie-in-the-sky amateur arteests, just don't expect for us to be on time!

After the whole weekend, we missed the deadline by just a few hours. So the 48-hour film project came to something closer to 52... which is much more reasonable, I'm sure you'd agree, right? Oh well... at least we still get to show our short at the American Film Institute! It rocks like a big, glamorous, rocking thing.

Although I'm not sure how good the film will look, at least I know that we looked good making it. Nope, pictures don't lie and we looked pretty darned cute in our little gold lamé body suits. (-: