Almost there...

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Kev sent me this link to Dictionarioke today. Unfortunately it wasn't working when I clicked on it, but it reminded me of one of the CDs we danced to on Saturday: Lounge Against the Machine. Some of your favorite alternative rock tunes done in Lounge Lizard style. Particularly disturbing was Closer with the ever so familiar Sesame Street loop in it. Of course, it was good to swing to!

So everyone seems to be talking about Planet of the Apes. The longer I'm away from that film the more I'm disappointed by it. The film started out encouraging. There was talk of the chimps on the space station being genetically modified to be smarter. Okay good explanation. Then I wondered if the monkeys on the planet were descendants of the apes on the station. It could give it a chance to play out as a whole anti-genetic modification parable. That path seemed confirmed by the brand that was put on humans. It was the same shape as the station. Ah-ha, says I in my head. 2 + 2. Okay so let's see how that plays out. Sure enough that's what happened. Of course, as Kevin points out, this does nothing to explain the horses. Hmm. In actuality, it does nothing to explain anything beyond the chimpanzees. They only visibly had chimps on the ship, but the planet had orangutans and gorillas and, well, horses. Where did that bio-diversity come from? So in my brain, I was working out this elaborate thing where it really was earth, and the chimps had taken over the ship and brought it down there. That didn't work out. Actually, after the ship was discovered to be the source of the beacon, the movie takes such a turn for the "I forgot what I came into this room for" that it deteriorates really rapidly from there. There's a heroic battle scene, but it doesn't really make any sense. There's Mark Wahlberg leaving the planet, even though he's the only one with enough historical knowledge to knit any of this together and help them create a new society. There's the much talked about kisses. When he kisses Ari (and everyone in the audience I was in said, "Ewwwww!), it sort of makes sense because he wouldn't have survived without her help and she gave up her whole world to help him.Then there's the random blonde chick who exists for no discernable reason other than to be scantily clad. Then he makes a special effort to go kiss her too. Ugh. Whatever. Frankly, I expect better from Tim Burton. I expect him to be a man with the capacity to understand science fiction and what makes it good. He took his eye off the ball on this one.

Monday, July 30, 2001

Ugh. I'm overwhelmed at work. I'm creating a storyboard for the PeopleSoft Concepts and Navigation WBL course, but I feel like I'm totally out there on my own. I don't have anyone to collaborate with, but everyone is going to have an opinion about my finished product. Bleh. My brain has stalled. Actually this happened late last week, but I wasn't sure if it was actually a stall or if I just needed to come back to it on Monday. Nope. Turns out I'm really stuck. I need to find a way to get this information across without being too text heavy, but while covering a bunch of details I don't feel are necessary to the greater understanding of the system, but which are pet details of those who will be reviewing/judging my work. Finally, it boils down to how do you convey information without words? Pictures is the obvious choice, but then I get dinged for being to graphic heavy. Oy. I'm stuck. There's nothing on my calendar for tomorrow. Maybe I can just spread paper everywhere tomorrow and figure it out that way. Maybe someone else will be around that I can bounce ideas off of. Maybe my brain will have a brilliant idea worked out overnight. Or maybe I'll just get to the end of another day feeling like this again. Bleh.

Friday, July 27, 2001

I'm sitting at a tiny workstation in the lobby at Yahoo! waiting for Kevin to come play air hockey with me. He is slow. Actually, he's apparently stuck on the phone. Anyway, I've got a couple of observations while I wait. First, this little tiny Compaq is a PIII. It's just so darned cute. Okay, cute tiny box, huge ass monitor. Life in the internet age. Oh wait, I sounded the death nell for the internet age earlier this week didn't I? Second thing I noticed was how supremely easy it was to slip into the building behind someone who was leaving. Who do they think they're kidding with badging in and out as a security measure. People usually think the best of one another and will assume you work there too and just left your badge on your desk. Just smile and give a quick nod. Anyway, I could've gone all the way upstairs, but there was this distracting free internet terminal (that's just so cute!) sitting here with free zippy access to the web, and well, now Kevin has arrived.

Big movie weekend. Went to see Legally Blonde last night. It was good, but I was kind of hoping for more. There were some moments where it tried to be almost serious, which really flew in the face of other moments like the dad drinking a martini during graduation. I just wished the rest of the film had been that much over the top. It tried to balance subtle humor with wacky humor and came out just kind of middle of the road. So it will never be a favorite, but it was fun. Tonight is Planet of the Apes. There I'm not expecting much but some good old Tim Burton moodiness. Officially tonight's movie outing is to celebrate Rachel's 30th birthday. All of my friends keep turning thirty. It's weird. We must be getting old or something. Oh well, still three years away for me.

Thursday, July 26, 2001

Flames... on the sides of my face. Flames. Burning. Heaving... The good old boys sure did their job right electing this knob.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Drat it. Did I mention that Dirk and Tracey (and therefore Camryn) are moving to Seattle? Dangit dangit dangit. I've never fallen so totally in love with a baby before. Dirk got an offer from Microsoft to come back to his old position. Tracey is at her wit's end with Alta Vista and doesn't really expect them to survive the year. And they can trade in their 2 bedroom condo in San Francisco for a 4 bedroom, 2600 sq. ft. house in Seattle. Sigh. I'm going to miss them a lot. Looks like I have a bunch of plane tickets in my future.

Lately I get the feeling that I've lived through a great age and now it's ending. I wonder if the way the turn of the millenium will be remembered is with the "irrational exuberance" surrounding the world wide web? Oh heck. I don't know why this is on my mind so much lately. It must be all the For Lease signs on buildings everywhere I go. For Lease. For Rent. For Sale. Open House. I've started doing a wacky little thing. I asked my realtor to look up what a townhouse similar to the one we were looking at sold for two years ago. When the prices drop back down to that level (or at least closer to it), then it will be the right time to buy. I just don't think things around here are going to hold their value if something doesn't give real soon. So many places have doubled in price from what they sold for just three years ago. And they say there's no real inflation. Uh-huh. Sure. That's why everything costs more, right? Because there's no inflation. Right. I get it. Not.

Okay. Weird headphones experience. I was listening to a track on Saltimbanco. It really sounded like the drums were behind me in the room. How do they do that? I can imagine it with a good surround sound stereo system, but these are just cheap-ass headphones listening to an MP3 copy of my cd. Very strange. Cool though. Gotta love Cirque du Soleil.

Woohoo! I just got notice that I'm an official beta tester for a new Looney Labs game called Nanofictionary. We played this at the party when the Looneys came to visit. At the time, it was a fun goofy time. Of course, Lee, the most oddly funny man I know, won the game. I felt honored to come in second next to him. Lee is one of those people that I had to learn when to take bites of food and sip beverages around. There were far too many moments in our early friendship where I nearly choked to death or snarfed soda across the table.

Well the response to my fourth email to the folks at Lark came back a bit more reassuring. And they finally answered my question! I'm still wondering though if I shouldn't have followed suit with my friends and gone to Europe this year. Sigh. I do miss Paris so very much.

Monday, July 23, 2001

Aren't vacations supposed to be relaxing? My upcoming vacation plans are to go to Lark in the Morning Camp in Mendocino. For the last few years, my friends have been coming home from this absolutely raving about how freaking cool it was and how I have to go. So this year I finally had both money and time and heard about it at the right time. Ta-da! Very cool, right? Wrong. So far it has been nothing but torture. This is a camp that fills up so fast generally that you have to get your registration in within a few days of the form becoming available. Okay, fine. We downloaded the form from the web, and resized it for them since they .gif they put up was, well, seriously huge. Then we faxed it in since fax or mail is the only two possible choices, although I trust neither any farther than I can spit. They lost our form even though we had a fax log from two different fax machines saying that it was received successfully. Nearly a month later we re-faxed and were told there was no way we could get into the same camp as our friends. Fabulous. Strangers in a strange land, without any of our dozen friends to play guide. Still, we'd sent them the credit card number and it had been charged, so we were in that far. May as well keep going right? Oh we should've just turned back then. We never got an official confirmation of registration. Just a credit card charge for the right amount. We finally received their information packet about a month ago, which wins new awards for worst formatting. If only there was a Fork In the Head (R.I.P.) for print publications. Anyway, we sent our remaining fees in, and again got no confirmation or receipt. Just a cashed check. Hmm. Very odd business practices these folks have. Anyway, then I started receiving random spam from Mickie Zekley, apparently the owner of Lark in the Morning. I replied to one of these spam bits with an actual question about camp. I wanted to know when we were supposed to be there on Friday. The response I got was one line, no punctuation: Please email Mary not me. Uh, okay. So I write back: Who is Mary? What's her email address? I get back: It's on the email you received. Please read it. Uh, okay. After thoroughly checking the first reply, I confirmed that there was no email address for a Mary. Okay. So I write back again. On the third reply, he did finally explain who Mary was, but it turns out she couldn't have answered my question anyway. Oh, and he still hasn't answered my original question. What was it again? What time should I be there on Friday? Very simple. Now six emails have criss-crossed the internet, and I still don't know when I should be there. Sigh. Now I'm really sorry that this is what I have planned for my "vacation". This is the most stressful thing I've encountered all day. Grrr.

Went to see Memento on Friday night with Kevin. I've never been to a movie that made me think so hard before. Let me just thank the gods again for granting me the wisdom to pee before the movie started!

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Woohoo! Kevin's home!

Ack! Hotmail changed their formatting overnight. I think in the long run it looks like it may actually be an improvement, but there's nothing like logging into your email and seeing something completely different from what you're used to looking at. And yes, I use hotmail for some of my personal email. It's quick, free, and can be accessed equally whether I'm at home or work or travelling. Now if only their junkmail filter worked better...

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Oh the terrifying joys of life. Last night I ended up calling from the stage at the Starry Plough for the first time. It was so frightening. Though I've been going there to dance for nearly ten years now, I realized that I didn't have the caller's spiel for that dance memorized. Yikes! Thankfully, Naomi will be back soon to reclaim her rightful spot at the microphone. She's in Paris right now housesitting for a friend. We should all be so lucky.

Monday, July 16, 2001

I saw Final Fantasy on Saturday. I actually liked it more than I thought I would. The plot, though imperfect, was actually engaging. Any holes in the plot were easily overlooked as you got sucked into just looking at the movie. No, these animated characters weren't perfect replicas of real human actors, but it definitely took a lot of analysis to figure out what exactly wasn't quite right. It wasn't the motion of their bodies, which is the traditional dead giveaway for me. It was much smaller things like their hand gestures weren't quite perfectly fluid. And one some of the characters, their mouths looked sort of rubbery when they spoke. This was especially true of Neil, a character voiced by Steve Buscemi. It was less true of Sid, the elder scientist. I think Sid's skin and face were as close to real as anyone, followed closely by Aki. There were other little things that weren't quite right, but those get into the level of triviality that I don't even bother to mention.

The bad guy in the film is voiced by James Woods, but looks like a dead ringer for Rob Lowe in Wayne's World. On the other end of the spectrum, Aki looks like no Hollywood actress out there. A pleasant suprise to me was that she was relatively flat-chested. Coming from a video game background, I expected some utterly ridiculous breasts on this character. The film has a very Japanese feel to it, especially in the storyline.

I was surprised today to find that Final Fantasy only took fourth place at the box office this weekend. Anyone who saw the preview must have wanted to see it. Of course, when have I ever been a good judge of movies that will be hits? Uh, never. Sigh.

Friday, July 13, 2001

Sight

Driving home the other night, I noticed the fog rolling over the hill just the other side of the freeway from me. It's one of the most beautiful things I can imagine. I've seen this before, but every time it's just spectacular. The most stunning example of this was one day driving up 280 on my way to the Starry Plough with Christyn. The fog was pouring over mountain and splashing and swirling. It was behaving as if it was a liquid. It was so fantastic that I was really thrilled when traffic started slowing down and getting bunched up. Then I could just watch it boil and spin. And then about ten minutes later we had driven far enough north that the fog finally engulfed us, wrapping us in it's damp fingers. I think about times like that and pray that I'll never lose my sight.

I wear glasses for an astigmatism. I can get along just fine without them, but the world has a richer tone and finer distinctions when I do wear them. When I slip them on after not wearing them, the first thing I notice is all of the leaves on the trees. Each one has it's own unique blend of colors and rich variations. Every needle on the pine trees outside my office window blows separately in the breeze.

Several friends of mine are passing through Venice this week. This of course reminds me of my time in Venice. The most amazingly beautifuly sky I've ever seen was in Venice during a summer thunderstorm. The skies were purple. Each lightening bolt revealed gently divergent shades of the richest violet purple you can imagine. As you stood on the piazza looking up, you saw the glory of the structures on the square silhouetted against the stunning artwork of the sky. It was the kind of moment that just makes you want to stand and absorb the falling rain with your arms flung wide.

On the other hand, as part of waltz weekend we did three cross step waltzes with our eyes closed. I've always thought that dance would be one thing I'd lose if I lost my sight, but I realize now that I would merely have to be choosier about my partners. There's a special feeling of release that comes from dancing with your eyes closed. If you can commit to it and enjoy it, it's even more magical than dancing is normally.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Feh. Late night again. Looks like this will be the week of late nights. Today a duel flamed up that means that I've got to have a major solution ready to go sooner rather than later. And it may all end up going unused in the long run anyway. I hate that. There are two project teams implementing PeopleSoft at Stanford: one for the Student Administration side and one for the HRMS side. The person who has done e-learning before on the SA side has always used Macromedia Director to create shockwave CBTs. I want to do something mellower in Dreamweaver. She has written up a pros and cons list that makes Director look like the way to go. So, my day has been spent replying to that and accelerating the production of my CBT in Dreamweaver. Do I want to fight this fight? Dreamweaver isn't the perfect solution, but Director doesn't resolve any of the issues I'm having and is far more expensive to buy for everyone and produces material that won't work for everyone. Ugh. I hate these kind of battles. I always end up looking bad. Add to this the politics of new managers for both of our teams and life is getting pretty tense around here. So I'm going to go home and recline on my new sofa. Yup.

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Clearly life is getting busier around the office since my entries here have become fewer and farther between. Never fear! I plan to keep writing all the trivial details of my life down even if no one else cares.

This weekend was Waltz Weekend at Stanford. This is an event I've been hearing about for years, had always wanted to take, and I was finally in the right place at the right time when it was announced and had the money, so with all the planets alligned, I signed up. It turned out to be every bit as fabulous as I'd expected. Rick also signed up but realized after the first ten minutes that he wasn't going to be up to the class. After the class that day, I asked Richard (the instructor) if it would be allright for me to bring someone in his place, but Richard suggested that he just refund Rick's tuition because there were already a couple more men than women and it would ultimately help the gender balance. So, Rick ended up staying home for the weekend and starting to build a PC for his car. (Don't ask. You can't imagine the level of super-geek this entails.) Meanwhile, I spent the next two days dancing with fifty different guys and learning everything from cross step waltz, to Valse Muzette and Java (1920's Parisian variations), to Zwiefacher variations (those wacky Germans!), to pivot turns, and so many variations that I can only remember about half of even now. It was so much fun. And another odd little perk of the weekend was that cross step waltz finally worked the last kink out of my back from my fall a few weeks ago. Woohoo!

So yesterday my grandparents came to visit. And they brought me a new sofa. Okay, so that sounds a little odd, but here's what happened. Back around Christmas my grandparents ordered a new sofa for their home: blue leather with recliner seats on either end. It sounded positively tacky to me, but it turned out to look really nice. The catch was that when they brought it home, the back of it was too high to work in their living room. So they tried to return it and found that there was a no returns policy, which was a big surprise. So then they tried to sell it. And finally they decided to give it away. Only no one wanted it. I initially said I didn't want it because just five years earlier my grandparents had recovered my sofa and it is great. Still, when I went up to see them around the time of Wendy's wedding, I saw the sofa and it's really nice. So I figured I could bring my current sofa to the office, take the new one, and be the girl with the most cool sofas. Or something like that. So yesterday my grandparents came to visit and brought the sofa. And they brought veggies. Oh boy. My grandpa has a garden that's much closer to a small farm. He brought 15 ears of corn, a flat of tomatoes, three cantaloupes, two zucchinni, a mess of green beans, some black-eyed peas, and several bunches of grapes. I'm really not sure how I'm going to eat it all. It's going to be fun to try though. It was nice to finally be able to show them where Rick and I live, and to show them around Stanford. They were really impressed with the main quad and the Memorial Church. We happened to bump into a walking tour that was designed for a group of high school juniors who are shopping for their next school. We joined in and got to hear some of the Stanford trivia. After that we went home and tested out the recliners on the new sofa. Grandpa took a long noisy nap and grandma and I walked to the market to pick up a couple of little things to fill out the dinner menu. I ended up making chow mein, green curry with chicken, onions, and zucchini, pot stickers, and broccoli chicken, plus an ear of corn for everyone. Yummy. We finished off with fresh strawberries and canteloupe for dessert. I love summer in California.

Monday, July 09, 2001

Okay so the holiday in the middle of the week totally screwed me up. If you'd asked me what day of the week it was during any part of the latter half of the week (Wednesday on), you would've had to give me three chances to get it right.

On Thursday, Rick and I had plans to go to dinner with Sean & Elizabeth. Of course, we all forgot that until midway through Thursday. After a lengthy debate about where to eat dinner which ultimately came down to either High Thai or Macaroni Grill, but then I decided to try calling La Fondue on a whim. Much to my great surprise, La Fondue had more than one table for four available that night. I picked the 8:45 table and called Elizabeth. She was as excited as I was. When we got there, we decided to share a meal for two amongst four. For the first time, I left La Fondue without feeling like a total whale. Between hearty helpings of the Stinking Rose cheese fondue and the bittersweet chocolate fondue for dessert was the Fondue Feast where we simmered our own meats and veggies at the table. We had wild turkey, ostrich, swiss chicken, Chicken Japonaise, shrimp, and duck. It was fabulous as always. And it was really nice to sit down and really talk with Sean and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is about seven months pregnant now and has the radiant glow of a soon to be mother. I'm so happy for her. They have decided not to find out the sex of the baby before delivery, so it's either Rhianna Jane or Logan Conner. Either way, I'm looking forward to having another little one to spoil soon.

Friday night marked the start of Waltz Weekend here at Stanford. Unfortunately, Rick wasn't in the right mood for it and gave up after about ten minutes. Luckily, there was a slight imbalance of women to men, so Richard (the instructor) offered to refund Rick's tuition. I came back on Saturday and danced myself silly. Perhaps my favorite part was learning Valse Muzette and Java, 1920's Parisian popular versions of the waltz. Fun. Now I want to go back to Paris and see if I can find this happening there. Supposedly it's still a living tradition. Waltz Weekend was a great experience. I finally formally learned Crossstep Waltz and now fully appreciate why it's a great version, and a good one to teach beginners. There's just something magical about waltzing with a group like this all weekend. Instantly there was the kind of bonds forming that usually take multiple trips to Gaskells. It was a very safe comfortable place to learn. And Richard Powers is every bit the great instructor that I'd heard. Funny, light-hearted, witty, and able show you just what you may be doing wrong without being the least bit mean about it. He would occasionally call a time out sort of moment and have everyone sit down on the dance floor for a quick talk about something, then right back up and start dancing again. Lots of laughs and smiles, and yet, I still was working hard and learning a lot. It made me wish that I'd encountered him earlier (like when I was at Berkeley). Then I might have seen a future in actually teaching dance. Who knows. Still, I don't think I'd trade away my past experience and current life so easily. Just makes you think. He has the same views as I do about social dancing versus competitive ballroom dance. They are very different things. Social dance is fun, safe, and warm and fuzzy to me. It is based on leads that can be followed by anyone with a little experience rather than routines that are memorized. There's a magical thrill to dancing beautifully with someone you've never met before. I got a whole lot of that energy this weekend.

Of course, on Saturday evening after dancing 9-4:30, all I wanted out of life was a hot shower and to sleep. Maybe watch a movie if I got really ambitious. So after a shower and a nap, we rented Pay It Forward. Interesting flick. Nothing fabulous, but definitely highly skilled acting from the three main characters. Unfortunately it felt a little disjointed all in all. Still, it was just the right speed for last night. Then I curled up to dream happy dreams and to waltz again the next day.

What a life. I'm not complaining at all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

I'm weak. Here I sit in the Bay Area thinking it's too hot to live. I grew up in Sacramento for god's sake!!! I'm a wuss. Of course, everywhere I ever lived in Sacramento had air conditioning. Neither my home nor my office has it here. I seriously had a thought at one point today at work that I should just shut the door to my office, strip down naked, and keep working. I didn't do it of course, but I thought about it for a good three minutes. Bleh.

As long as we're on the nostalgia bandwagon, last night as I drove home I heard a familiar little tune on the radio. It seems that Disneyland has finally recognized that they prematurely retired the Main St. Electrical Parade and have brought it back. Not to Main Street, but to California Adventure. OK, whatever. Nonetheless, this will definitely motivate some die hard fans to plan a weekend trip.

Now if only Disneyland would do something to actually replace MSEP on Main Street. Their last few attempts have been dismal at best. Light Magic was a total flop. Touring the day parades at night is just kind of lame. Sometimes it seems like the real heyday of Disneyland showmanship was about ten years ago when they came up with Fantasmic and the Lion King Parade. Both of those were masterpieces. Now if only they would bring back the Lion King parade.

Monday, July 02, 2001

I am so terrified that this will suck beyond all reason that I nearly dare not mention it. Nearly. My favorite tv show as a kid wasn't something like the Brady Bunch or the Facts of Life. I've always loved sci-fi. My favorite show was Battlestar Galactica. My dog Rover got to play Muffy in our backyard on many occasions. So now, after years of rather bizarre efforts on the part of the chap who used to play Apollo, it looks like Battlestar is coming back to tv. Now, as we've learned from Star Wars Episode One, more isn't always better. I think something was actually lost by giving us Episode One in all it's Jar Jar Binks glory. Still, I'm going to have to watch it. I hope they bring back Starbuck. I think Dirk Benedict truly was my first Hollywood crush. Heck, he was the ONLY reason I ever bothered to watch the A Team in later years. Sigh. Gives my little heart a flutter. Looks bad for those hopes though according to BattlestarGalactica.com.

Okay, so clearly my brain checked out on keeping up with this last week. Every day it was, "Geez, I've got to save a few minutes tomorrow to write." Never happened, which is a pity considering what a wacky wild week it was.

On Wednesday I went to the Irish Set dancing class at Scruffy Murphy's for the first time. I was amazed at how warm and friendly the group was. I mentioned that I'd done some Irish dance at the Plough and the instructor said, "Well then, I'll have to dance with you for the first dance!" Panic quickly set in since there is a distinct style difference between ceili and set dancing. I've only done set dancing once or twice in my life. Still, after the first dance, the instructor was convinced I was a good dancer and ready to try for the advanced stuff. Uh, okay. And it was fun. Really fun. Lots of different age levels and skill levels. Kim shuffled through her first few dances. It was great fun. I'll definitely be back in 2 weeks at the next session.

On Thursday, I got together with Emily Q and friends for a belated birthday dinner at a lovely restaurant called Picasso's Tapas. Family owned and run in that charming old world style. They had the best baguettes I've had since Paris. The older gentleman asked if we had called earlier for reservations since he was expecting another group our size. I said no, that we were just here for Em's birthday. He said, "Oh, is she turning 22?" I said no, but that that would flatter her terribly. About five minutes later, he brought out a flaming bread pudding sort of thing while singing Happy Birthday. Emily enjoyed her pudding, which the older gentleman said that his wife makes. It was such a nice meal. I'm looking forward to having another excuse to eat there. The one trouble with the place is parking. Rick was running late, but spent a half hour looking for a place to park and finally giving up in favor of meeting us at the theater where we were going to see Fred's latest play. I had parked on Santa Clara street just down a half block from the restaurant. As we were leaving the restaurant, I had a bit of a near-death experience. While watching the oncoming traffic to find a safe moment to sneak around to my car door, I stepped off the curb, took another step, and then found myself on all fours with my head sticking into traffic. My keys flew about six inches away from my hand and were promptly run over. Picking myself up, I looked behind me to find a small (six inch diameter) access hole for water or sewer or something that was lacking a cover. It even had a nice little plant growing in it. I was remarkably unhurt. My knee was pretty well scraped up, and my right palm had a bit of road rash, but considering what nearly happend or what could've happened, I was pretty happy with the results all in all. I didn't get my head sheared off by an SUV and I didn't break a leg. Just a little bruised, scraped, and a bit of a nasty kink in my back the next morning. My keys even survived being run over. Amazing. We went on to the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was significantly less dramatic than real life for the day.

On Friday, Kevin, Emily, Thomas, Kim, Rick and I went to see A.I. at the Mercado. I bought tickets online through MovieTickets.com, but I had quite a lot of trouble with it. I ended up doing it in three separate transactions due to problems with the systems. Then there was some scary problems with the credit card information. After all that trouble, we got to the theater and couldn't get our tickets from the self-service kiosks because the terminals were down, so I ended up having to wait in line to get tickets anyway. Gak! Well, at least the movie turned out to be pretty good. Not a masterpiece exactly, but definitely a thinker. And the makeup and special effects were fabulous. I think they should win an award for making Jude Law look not quite human. There was definitely a push and pull between the styles of Spielberg and Kubrick. If it were Kubrick's movie, it would've ended 15 minutes earlier with David praying to the Blue Fairy. Spielberg had to give it a happier ending. Anyway, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi, but it's not exactly a general audience film (which is by no means a negative statement). Oh, and bring some Kleenex.

For now, I seem to be fighting a cold. Hopefully I can pull the cotton out of my forebrain this afternoon and get some real work done. Wish me luck.