Archive for July, 2010


July 19, 2010

Finally got around to seeing Avatar the other night.   (For the record, it’s not that I never see movies when they’re still in the theater, but when it started costing me about the same to own them on DVD as it would to hit the theater, my priorities started to shift.)

Avatar definitely had its moments, none of them subtle, but the appeal of Avatar isn’t in subtlety, but in its distinct lack of subtlety; packed with in-your-face moments (both visually and philosophically), Avatar really satisfies.  The good guys are the ones with the white hats . . . pardon me, I meant the ones with blue skins (either naturally or by association), so you never get bogged down wondering who you’re supposed to be rooting for, and there’s never any real doubt that Nature and bows and arrows will triumph in the end against heartless Science and Greed (this may have something to do with the fact that at one point, the best Science can do is give a man in a mechanized battle suit a giant knife so he can go mano-a-mano).  And as alien planets go, Pandora is remarkably familiar looking when it’s not going for the “wonder shot” showcasing some quirky alien marvel, so don’t worry about getting lost.  Even if you don’t recognize those things on the screen are thinly disguised horses, rest assured the narrator will call them horses several times to remind you . . . just in case.

I know, I know.  It sound like I’m running the movie down (which I am, but only a little bit, I swear), but speaking as someone who going into the movie already believed, for instance, that life is more important than the money to be made from rocks and pebbles dug out of the ground, I figure I’m obligated to make it clear when an idea I agree with is hammered against my skull to the point where I found myself wishing for some sort of protective helmet.  (I also would have liked to see a bit more reluctance on the part of the troops to open fire on what was, for all intents and purposes, an unarmed village of civilians, but if I start on that point I’ll be here all day!)

Bottom line, I had fun with this movie, and, in the end, that’s what counts.

But between you and me (and my cynicism is definitely showing here), I hope there’s never a sequel to Avatar, because I already know the plot to that one.  Some years later, taking into account the time it’ll take for forces and equipment to be mobilized, the space marines return, nuke Pandora from orbit, and resume mining operations.

It’s the only way to be sure, after all.

An Outsider’s Perspective On Pregnancy (Part Two)

July 16, 2010

But most of the time though, it’s not that bad . . . just someone sharing a bit of advice about something that they wished they had known back then, and that’s almost always appreciated even when it’s not always helpful.  You see, the more advice that one collects, the more one starts to notice just how much the advice is beginning to contradict itself, which is a limiting factor on its usefulness.

Something else one starts to notice after a while is the repetition of a particularly odd pattern:

“Oh, the pain was so awful for me, dear!” it has a little too often been said.  “But don’t worry about that, the memory of all that will just fade away to nothingness in the light of your baby’s smile.”

Heartbeat.  Heartbeat.

“Let me tell you some more about the pain . . .”

Insert your own “Much Ado About Nothing” joke here.

An Outsider’s Perspective On Pregnancy (Part One)

July 15, 2010

I’ve noticed that pregnancy tends to put one in a “club” of sorts (and I don’t just mean the pudding club).  Friends and associates treat the pregnant one differently, but I expected that; what I didn’t expect was the effect pregnancy can have on strangers.  When strangers hear of a pregnant one, the most common reactions I’ve observed have ranged from “That’s great!” at one end of the spectrum, to some variation of a cry of “BABY!” really more appropriate from the lips of a six-year-old girl than a grown woman.

Exactly what happens after that varies, of course, but the sudden camaraderie that follows (particularly if the stranger has a pregnancy story to tell) has been almost as surprising as the kinds of details strangers suddenly feel the need to open up about.  In one particular case, I observed a stranger suddenly talk for what felt like thirty minutes straight on her recent pregnancy, including a painstakingly detailed account of the delivery.  (Unkind it may well be, but when after twenty minutes or so when she reached the part about how surprisingly quick the delivery turned out to be for her “Like the baby just wanted to be born,” I found myself thinking the poor tyke was probably desperate to get as far away from her voice as possible, if only for a little while.”)

Another Short On Time Day

July 14, 2010

Hospitality, n. – The virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain persons who are not in need of food and lodging.

– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Counting On You To Hear It Wrong [Completely Innocent IF You Are Too]

July 13, 2010

There’s something very, very wrong with how much this amuses me, but I’m short on time today, so let’s pretend I’m using this as some sort of anti-censorship message:

The Count Censored (Caveat:  I’ve no control over what you might see in the comments section, so that might very well have something Not Safe For Work in it when you look.  It didn’t when I did.)

It Begins

July 12, 2010

I won’t bore you with details until something interesting happens, but my agent search officially began today.

It’s The Best Advice I’ve Heard All Week

July 9, 2010

“Never slaughter a chicken in front of a monkey.”

— Li Chun, a Chinese farmer whose monkey companion has since killed around 80 of Li’s chickens

The “Monkey See, Monkey Do,” article I read this in.

Another Thing That Might Just Be Me

July 8, 2010

But have you ever told yourself the plan was to hit the ground running, and then said later, “Well . . . I hit the ground, and up to that point everything was going entirely according to plan . . .”

Maybe It’s Just Me

July 7, 2010

But have you ever been cleaning up your place for an impending guest and thought “Perfect.  Clean enough to show that I respect them enough to tidy up (and in the process falsely imply that my home is always this neat), but not so clean that it looks like I’m trying to impress them or hide something.”?

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

July 6, 2010

There’s an old backwoods saying about the difficulties of fixing a leaky roof that goes “You can’t fix ‘er when it’s rainin’, and when it’s not rainin’, the roof don’t leak.” 

Sure wish I wasn’t thinking of that for a reason . . .