Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Promo Trailer DONE

Also, check out the completed SCRIPT FRENZY promotional video if you haven't already.

New York City (Part 1)

NEW YORK CITY (PART 1)
The Trip Down

Okay, so this took an inordinately long time to write and I'm sorry. I'm going to torture you all even more by dragging it out over two (possibly three) posts.

Eight hours. That's how long it took to get from my house to our lodging in New Jersey. We stayed with Jay Krall at his home. Let me just say he has an awesome home and he also knows where to get some good eats.

But before we could arrive at Jay's and plop down on his criminally comfortable couches we had to get there. Just what does one do to pass the time during an eight hour car ride? Some people try and see as many different state license plates as they can. Some try to read the alphabet in order off of road signs. Most just listen to some tunes, Shaw, Grace, Lindsay and I? We listen to books, argue about musical ADD, laugh at each others tired, confused ramblings, give the GPS system a name and a personality, take photos of everything, and attempt to get the occupants of other vehicles to wave at us.

We keep ourselves entertained.

I rode with Grace and Lindsay down from Winthrop to Portland to meet Shaw for the rest of the trip. On the way to Portland I tried not to look at the speedometer and argued with Lindsey about music. I can understand if someone doesn't like country music (she can't stand it) or some of the random alternative stuff I listen to but what I don't understand is that even when we listened to songs she did like she would skip them halfway through. It was only when she started listening to "mash-ups" that she would listen all the way through. I suppose it's just like skipping through songs except you are saved the trouble of hitting "next." Sorry Lindsay, but I officially diagnose you with musical ADD.

Despite Lindsay's ADD about music she was surprisingly attentive when Shaw popped in an audio book. A six CD audio book. We listened to I, Alex Cross for nearly the entire trip down and probably half the trip back. The book was a murder mystery set in a series which revolves around the character of Alex Cross. I'd never listened to more than a few seconds of an audio book before. It was kind of cool, allowing multiple people to share in the same "reading" experience at the same time. Though sometimes I did miss parts due to conversation or simply inattention. You can't just reread the sentence again like a book, and backing up is a hassle.

Solemnly guiding us through the entire trip was the trusty Global Positioning Unit which we named Vera. (Yes Bailey and Don, I suggested the name, despite it not being a Callahan full-bore auto-lock). I say she was trusty in that we got where we were going and we got home. Vera was less that trustworthy in that she didn't like staying stuck to the window. Also Vera lead us straight through the Bronx on our way to NJ and would randomly decide we were not where we were supposed to be and "recalculate" our route. Once or twice Vera even claimed we had teleported several miles and were perpendicular to the road. Overall though, we were all happy with Vera's performa...*In half a mile, left turn* Yes, thanks Vera, we were ju... *Turn left..then..Turn left* Alright, we get ..*Turn left* 

....Moving on....

We had one other GPS friend by the name of Dorothy. Dorothy was built into Jay's car and was our guide into the city. ...Had we followed her guidance I would probably still be lost in New York.

Here are a few sights we saw along the way.
Big bird on a truck.
 
The  human beehive. Seriously, how can people live that close together?
I found my street.
And finally... RESPECT THE FISH
Stay tuned for PART 2
Into the City

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tomorrow

Tomorrow!
Tomorrow!
I'll post here.
Tomorrow!
It's only a day awaaaaaay.

Yeah....

Quick story before I forget though. I was up at Hannaford the other day and I parked next to an enormous white Hummer. I really don't see the need for anyone to own a Hummer unless they tend to encounter RPG assault or Mount Everest between them and their destination. Going to pick up groceries? No. So I went in and bought a thing or two and then came back out. The white Hummer was gone but lo and behold ANOTHER Hummer (this one red) was parked two spaces down.

I live in Winthrop Maine. Why are there multiple Hummers in close proximity? Weird.

Three other car related things real quick. One, I saw a hippie limo up by Wayside Theater (cool name, bad website) in Dexter, Maine. No joke, it said something about hippies on the side of it in a company logo. The vehicle was a bit run down, but not too bad, it simply looked like an older model of limo. It also had stickers evenly strewn about the car body.

Two, I saw a "Human Patient Simulator Lab" rolling in to fuel up at a gas station in Newport. I didn't know what to make of it at the time, but after looking it up online it seems to be a full training lab for physicians. Again, little strange.

Finally, I saw a vehicle parked up by Mia Lina's with flashing lights that had a funny looking camera mounted where the passenger side mirror is. Printed on the side of the car was something indicating that its purpose was to inspect utility poles. I can't find anything about it online, though it would help if I could remember the exact writing on the car. I didn't realize Maine had the resources to send out vehicles solely dedicated to the inspection of utility poles.

I am going up to the Middle School around lunchtime tomorrow to talk to some students about film and help them with a project.

This weekend I am going to the Winthrop Methodist Church to give a presentation about Mechuwana using the promotional video I created.

The Script Frenzy promo video is complete and available here on YouTube. I encourage you to send the link to as many people as you can. I'm very happy with the way the silhouettes at the end turned out.

I think that brings me more or less up to date with the goings ons of my life. Anywho, this did turn into a full post. Despite my many broken promises to you, my readers, I really do plan on posting about New York tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not what you expected.

I imagine you all want to hear about my trip to New York right? Well, that would be what this post is supposed to be about but as I'm still not done writing my New York post due to a variety of factors, the main one being vacation-induced laziness, you'll just have to deal with the topic of my age instead.

By the time you read this (unless you are weird and read my blog half an hour before midnight) I will be considered an adult by our culture. Weird!

Hooray? It's kind of a let-down really. I think it'd be kinda neat if our society still did some sort of "rite-of-passage." When I say "rite-of-passage" I don't mean what is today often passed off as the key to manhood. (sex, drinking, breaking the law, owning a car, abusing said car, etc)  No, I mean like battling a woodland creature with a sharp stick and a slingshot. Or, less violently, having to solve some tricky riddle that would impart some small gem of knowledge to help in the transition to adulthood. I'm certain there are some rites out there that would fit the bill for what I think should be the new way to "become a man."

The only problem with rites-of-passage is they are (at least in contemporary times) invariably stupid. They often involve needlessly dangerous or insane tasks. I don't have a problem with an element of danger, (as you will see in my future post on urban spelunking), but risk-assessment isn't being a coward, it's being smart.

Before I go and head to my last night of childhood dreams I want you all to know that I don't think a rite is nessesary to become a man, but that it would just be kind of neat. A way to break up the pattern of the typical birthday.

So I, the childhood of Spencer, bids you all goodnight. If our culture is right about the timing, I die tonight and adult Spencer is born. Goodbye 17 year old me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Archive

Well over half a day of travel time to and from the premiere of The Putt Putt Syndrome took a lot out of me. Tomorrow I should have a full detailing of the trip up on the blog. With videos, pictures, and stories, the post should be interesting to say the least.

I promised you all my new favorite site in my last post and was unable to deliver what with all the hubub about Winter Carnival and the scramble for New York. Now I present to you what I believe to be one of the coolest sites on the web.

Enter the Internet Archive and you will find a treasure trove of fascinating content. The archive is an attempt to catalogue the information on the internet into a sort of library accessible to anyone. At first I thought of Wikipedia. But instead of being a place to bring sources together into an article the Internet Archive contains the original documents, videos, music, audio, etc. The archive isn't just trying to preserve facts either. It's trying to preserve cultures.

This quote from the "about" page shows just was the Archive is trying to do.

Digitized information, especially on the Internet, has such rapid turnover these days that total loss is the norm. Civilization is developing severe amnesia as a result; indeed it may have become too amnesiac already to notice the problem properly. The Internet Archive is the beginning of a cure - the beginning of complete, detailed, accessible, searchable memory for society, and not just scholars this time, but everyone."
Stewart Brand, president, The Long Now Foundation


As I mentioned before the Archive has videos and music, not just text. It also has a function called the "Wayback Machine" which allows you to view the internet as it appeared in the past, in some cases all the way back to 1996. I haven't had the chance to fully explore the site and it's capabilities yet but what I have uncovered is fascinating. Here is an article someone else wrote on the wayback machine. It's kind of cool to see what the internet looked like long ago.

Mostly I've been focusing on the "moving images" portion of the site. They have feature films that have run past their copyright and are now available for free. I found a few that are pretty neat that I plan on watching including "Things to Come" which looks like a very impressive sci-fi film for being made in 1936. I also found "Nosferatu" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space," both films I had planned on watching at some point. I've been giving examples of really old videos but there are much more modern ones as well.



The Archive isn't the easiest site to navigate and it can be difficult to know just what it is you are looking at sometimes but the possibility of finding gems in the pile of records is exciting. If however you don't feel like sifting through the archives yourself the curators update frequently with some of thier latest favorite videos, texts, songs, and more. You can also simply check what people are downloading the most in each section of the Archives.


The archives are stored on massive banks of computers in multiple locations to add redundant protection should something happen to the archive. Every day new information is added and catelogued. The process is really fascinating.
The Archives are like a Barnes and Noble store to me; I could go in and look around for hours, endlessly entertained, and never find just what I'm looking for. Or I might find something I would never have expected.


So check out the Internet Archives and see what you can discover.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Apparently I do. Who watches this blog though? I mean, really, I can't even come up with a creative blog post title. I observed (it feels weird to say "watched" in this case) the film Watchmen on Monday with my father. I have not read the graphic novel it is based off of but I did watch a few chapters of the animated graphic novel prior to watching the film. I do not think the knowledge I had helped or hindered my appreciation of the film.

So just what did I think of the film? Going into it I was skeptical, thinking it could very well be another comic-book inspired flop. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I have two big comments for this film. One, the pacing was near-perfect. There was an excellently choreographed balance between fast and slow scenes. There were no ridiculously long chase scenes and no fifteen-minute conversations (Tarentino I'm looking at you). When the movie needed an action sequence, lo, there was an action sequence. When a flashback or a discussion of morality was needed, that's what popped onto the screen. The styling of the film, dark and gritty, was unique and showed it's grapic origins. The dialogue is excellent and has a lot of depth owing to it's origin in the novel. In the novel the dialogue had to carry a lot of weight to keep the reader from just looking at the pictures and the translation from text to speech is carried out spectacularly. Which brings me to my second comment. This film felt like a modern day Shakespearean play. Sort of. The way the characters spoke was fluid and intelligent. Each word was painstakingly planned. I just got the impression of a masterpiece.

However, like a Shakespearean play, while I recognize the artistic value and copious talent that went into it, I don't particularly like the film in terms of casual enjoyment. Watchmen has a bit too much meat on it to pop in the DVD player anytime. It requires some concentration and thoughtfulness.
From what I could tell the film also stayed as faithful to the original graphic novel as possible which should keep fans happy.

Watchmen isn't without fault. In a few places it was a bit confusing and my dad did complain about it's length. The acting was a leeeetle bit cheesy at times and I think there must have been one or two important scenes from the graphic novel missing in the film because there were spots where I felt a gap in the story, one that could be ignored but would be nice to have filled.

I hope all that made sense because I'm really tired and wasn't sure if I would make it to the end of this review.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the unveiling of my new favorite web site. You'll want to use it, trust me.

EDIT: I give Watchmen a seven out of ten.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CARNIVAL MADNESS!

HOLY SMOKES! I had 10 people (two locusts) at my house today working on Winter Carnival Hallway stuff. I am EXTREMELY TIRED and accidentally uploaded tomorrow's post here. So instead of giving you my review of Watchmen early I'm going to proofread it and post it tomorrow. Which is probably a good thing because looking at that post again I forgot to even put a rating on the film.

ALSO, STRESSING OUT about The Hazards of Love. I should have expected people to be busy during vacation but I was hoping to get the Rake's indoor scenes done with. More on that later.

TOMORROW there will be popcorn being popped, sodas being dropped and snores being snorified. Yorick will rise again and Aztec's will be aced. It's totally cool if you have no idea what I just said. You may find out eventually.

We're all mad here.

G'night

And the Momeraths.....

Meant to post this Sunday but haven't had the chance. Crazy busy. Here's a quick rundown of the latest news.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of The Putt Putt Syndrome. The premiere was held at the Winthrop High School in the Performing Arts Center. Somewhere around 400 people were on hand to watch the film in its large-screen debut. It was an exciting experience and when the film was over the reaction to the film made it clear it was a resounding success. At least in Winthrop. Next week I will be heading to Tribeca Cinemas in New York City for the east coast premiere. Very excited for that. I've never been to New York before. In fact, it'll be the farthest I've ever traveled from home. As of yet the farthest I've ever been is to Battleship Cove in Massachusetts.

I also went to the Mechuwana Youth Rally over the weekend (though I missed 99% of the Saturday night dance while I was at the premiere) and I had a lot of fun seeing old friends. Only one more rally before I graduate. Crazy.

Finally, I've been out straight working on Winter Carnival stuff. Here are some photos of the progress so far. I have until Thursday evening to do everything I can towards the hallway.

Tomorrow look forward to a review of Watchmen, (yes, I know I'm  behind on the times.)

 
One of our awesome card people        Spears for the cards      The white rabbit's house

We have a catapillar.                                 A cat.                               And MOMERATHS


 
....and more cards

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ever want to be knighted?

NOW YOU CAN BE!

It occurred to me today that anybody who reads my blog could be called a "SIR reader," right? Therefore, I hereby declare that all readers of my blog are knights. Knights of the Order of... hmmmm. What should our Order be known as? Please leave your suggestions in the comments!

There are a couple of other stipulations to becoming a knight. The first is that you must become a follower of this blog. I've added a "Knighted Readers" section on the sidebar. All you have to do is click "follow" and you will become a knight. Don't worry, if you don't want your profile showing up in that box you can check the "follow privately" box and you'll be a dark knight.. If you don't click the follow button but you still post a comment every now and then you can be a squire.

Hold on though, is there such a thing as a female knight? I don't want to alienate my female readers, but I don't know if you want to be called knights.

(five minutes later, after several Google searches)

Yes! Indeed there are female knights! For a long while though, there weren't any. Women were not allowed to take up arms throughout much of history. In modern times female knights have become more widespread. It appears that there are a few options for the title.

Simply "knight" is acceptable

Dame (equivalent to "Sir")

Chevalière (French feminine version of "chevalier," or horseman." So literally, "horsewoman.")

The Knights Templar also allegedly had a class of "warrior nuns." I can't seem to find much info supporting that, but it equals awesome.

So, in review. Please click the "follow" button to be knighted. Or post a comment now and again to become a squire. Post your ideas for the name of the Order and post your vote for the female knight title. (I'd make a poll but I don't think it's worth it).

Oh, one last thing, if any of you are still interested in completing my long-overdue graphics contest, might I suggest a coat of arms for the blog? That would be amazingly awesome.

So, my good readers, get to it! Tally-ho!