The Night at the Museum Post

Over the Christmas holiday I went with my family to catch a Night At The Museum, the recent Ben Stiller vehicle. I have to say right off the bat that I knew what I was getting into when I sat down in the theater. I wasn’t expecting a great movie, nor was I looking to laugh particularly hard, be touched to tears or kick the seat in front of me with suspense. I did want, however to see a family friendly film, that would go down easy, require little effort, and be a nice movie to see with my family. Night At The Museum is just that. As a movie, its pretty bad. But as a Christmas family outing, its perfect. I enjoyed the movie very much, mainly because of my company and the season. With that said, as a film it’s more than flawed, missing pieces and decidedly anticlimactic.

As with most Ben Stiller comedies these days we see a bewildered Stiller placed in an awkward situation and watch his reaction. It worked a few years back…now not so much. His character is shallow, not very likable and distanced from the audience, so much that the conflict with his job and his family bounces off of the audience simply because our heartstrings are not getting any attention. Stiller doesn’t do a bad job at the flat role, and has a few good moments however. Compared to his costar Dick Van Dyke, he’s freaking Kevin Spacey. If anything, this movie serves as a testament that actors today are better than those of yesteryear. Dyke’s over the top cheese-ball acting is dreadful and doesn’t fit into the film at all. At no point do you forget that you are watching Dick Van Dyke on screen, and not the character he attempts to play. Same goes for Mickey Rooney’s bit part…just hang up the hats codgers, please.

The biggest disappointment however comes from Ricky Gervais’s cameo role as the museum curator. The whole concept behind his character seems to be ‘lets take the guy from the office, and all his office-speak, and shrink it down into a bit part’. Its funny for the first two lines, then once you realize what they are doing you’ll hate him or it. Oh yeah, and Robin Williams is in it too. Almost forgot his role (its forgettable).

The plot (yes there is one) is dreadful and the characters; cobbled together. The effects are nice, particularly the mini-battle scenes and the T-Rex, but the overall appeal is lost when stuck in the ho-hum movie. So yeah…pretty much is a poor movie, but a great excuse to get the family together and go see something this holiday.


The Best Week Post

This week wins for the official Best Week Ever (at Work) so far. It had a lot going for it right off the bat, what with Christmas being on Monday and all (you can’t top Christmas. Don’t even try Hanukah). So this week got off to a great start at work because…I wasn’t at work. Both Christmas Day and Boxing Day were paid holiday, so I didn’t loose out on earnings, but didn’t have to earn them. Pretty sweet.

Top it off with a trip to Tijuana Flats, Chipotle and a few other unhealthy places with the crew from the office, and it’s been a pretty solid week. Not to mention the promise of a 3-day weekend and New Year’s with Sarah coming to town starting tomorrow… a very nice way to end 06 if you ask me.


The Christmas Post

I’m back now at work after spending the holidays at home with the family. I had a terrific time over Christmas eating well (really well), spending time with my family, getting to see Sarah and the Hunts, as well as a night to Auld Sheebean for a sit-down with some of my good friends. All in all it was a wonderful trip, and I have to admit it was hard to come back after settling in. Something about the holidays makes me realize how much I need my friends and family around me to really be happy.

Santa was very good to me this year, as he tends to be, and I had an adventure stuffing my suitcase before I had to leave. Unfortunately I forgot about the whole ‘only terrorists bring liquids or jells in their hand-luggage’-rule, and had to toss my hair gel, face cream and shaving lotions at the security gate… irritating. I really liked that gel. Sigh…I must move on I suppose.

I got a new SD card for my camera, and snapped a few shots of the trip, which I plan on splicing together for a little slideshow YouTube style tonight after work. Had them running in a slideshow on the Wii before I left, which was quite heartwarming. Lots of good memories packed into a short trip. Stefan is heading off to boot-camp for 6-months come January, so I wont be seeing him for a while, so it was brilliant to get to spend some time playing videogames and watching Christopher Walkin sketches together before he heads out. Not sure when I’ll be back home myself (which is partially why I am more bummed about having to return back here), but with promises of family and Sarah visiting me in the early months of ‘07 I have some dates to count down to.


The Holiday Homecoming Post

Heading home tomorrow for the holidays, back up to NoVA. I am looking forward to getting to go back, seeing the family, friends and Sarah. I expect there will be much tearing of paper, eating of turkey and bowling of potatoes (ask Uncle Bob, he explains it best). Being that I’m permanent at work now I’ll be getting paid for Christmas Day as well as Boxing Day which is fantastic, as I kinda lost out over last break as far as earnings go. George will be bringing his kids over to play with Coolio while I’m away which is very nice of him. I do feel bad ditching the officially dubbed ‘Family Christmas Cat’ over the holidays, but bringing her back would close to double my ticket price and probably be pretty unpleasant for her considering the short nature of the trip.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and your family. Or Happy Holidays if you’d more PC well-wishing.


The Blog Upgrade Post

You may notice a few changes around these here parts. New features have been added to make the blog more streamline (for both me and you) and easier to navigate. Now everyone can comment on postings! Which is a nice update being that before you had to sign up to Blogger to say anything. Originally this was supposed to be a two-way venture, but it became too cumbersome for people to leave a comment. Now not so much, so comment away (please).

I was not sure whole often I’d update, nor if people would actually read this, so I was hesitant to make too much of a commitment to the Blog. But I’ve been getting positive feedback, and found myself posting fairly routinely, so I thought a little facelift was in order. Also of note. I have signed on with Whosahitmen to write game related editorials for their soon to launch news blog, so watch for that in the near future. I still want to keep this blog focused on my day-to-day goings on down here in O-Town, however I’d like to branch out and write for other non-Jamie-related blogs also. Hopefully the venture will work out.

As always, thank you for visiting.
Cheers, -Jamie

The Mutant Turkey Post

Now my neighborhood isn’t the nicest place in the world, and the local inhabitants sometimes make you feel a little less than safe. But today my personal security had never been in more jeopardy. Today I was minding my weekendly business, vacuuming and shaking out cat hair from pillows (as one does on a weekend) and I notice something outside in the parking lot. I head down to check it out, and I find a MUTANT KILELR DINOSAUR BIRD! Seriously, I can deal with thugs (or at least avoid them like a pro), the occasional crazy and people rooting through my trash, but prehistoric vulture beasts? That’s a whole new level of creepy. The thing was just waddling around minding its business not making a sound (I was hoping to catch it leap onto a passing car and rip the roof off with its Jurassic jaws) long enough for me to head back in for a camera. Below are some shots I took if this fabled beast. Why this thing was wandering a city parking lot I have no idea. I recon its the result of some bizzare Thanksgiving experiment, that pecked its way out of the mutagen tank



The Slippery As An Eel Post

Here's a shot of the Grinch in my backdrop during testing. The green screen light makes him rather red vs. green, and casts a blue haze around him. But that’s what tests are for right!? I asked for a sexy pose and this is what I got. Sexy no?

The Permanent Post

I have a job! Sweet.

Colorvision needed to wait until I had worked 501 hours through my contract via Aquent (my temp agency) before buying out my contract and making me permanent. 501 occurred at 11:45am yesterday, and on the dot they offered me a contract. Same pay, same hours, same everything... but its permanent. Which is nice for the peace of mind if anything, knowing that I have a job to go to next week. I’m now eligible for health care, 401K and a bunch of other options. I’ll take them up on the health care, but I’ll leave the rest for now I recon. In three months I get a company membership to Costco too. Bulk purchases of Altoids here I come!!

The Ipswich Ripper Post

The Ipswich Ripper, as he has become know is making my hometown famous. Incase you haven’t heard this story, there are linked deaths cropping up in my merry little Suffolk hometown of Ipswich. The women that have turned up 5 or six I believe, are all prostitutes, (or believed to be) which is lending the Jack The Ripper connotation to the killer. I was told that this is the largest string of killings in British history over a short time span (5 days I think). Creepy really. I don’t know the details, only what I’ve heard from Sarah and my coworkers, and should probably read the article I’m linking here. But…I am late for work so it’ll have to wait till my lunch break. Just flelt the need to point out that my quaint little hometown has become ripe with murder, mystery and of course hookers.

The Evolution of Crazy Post

A new breed of crazy graced my apartment complex the other night. This time a half naked white guy was running around, doing bizarre stretches and banging on cars monkey-style, wearing only a pair of white boxers and mix-matched socks. He wasn’t causing any harm, and was only hitting the cars every now and then in his bizarre routine (which involved cawing, rolling in dirt, leaping into the road and pretending to fly and running with both hands stretched out art his sides a la Sonic the Hedgehog) but I still felt it my civic duty to call my apartment security. Just incase he ran into the road and caused an accident or something. Anyway, turns out you get a ‘DUN DUN DUUUN- I’m sorry, the Nextel subscriber you are trying to reach is no longer in service’ when you call my security in this FINE establishment. Called the Police non-0emergency line to let them know, and they sent some people out later to search in the bushes for the guy with flashlights, but he had long since ran off to another apartment complex across the street. Moral of the story is that Orlando citizens are baked out of their minds, and that security in my apartment complex is less than secure at the best of times.


The Un-Grinchmas Post

Universal Studios usually does a seasonal event called the Grinchmas, over in their Islands of Adventure theme park. They deck the whole park out with fake snow, Christmassy decorations and refit all the roaming characters with holiday attire. They also have themed shows, appearances by the Grinch and a lot of Dr. Seuss themed goings on in the ‘Seuss Landing’ portion of the park. Sounds pretty cool (as far as theme park Christmas go) however due to legalities there will be no Grinchmas this year. Awwww.

Reason being Jim Carrey owns the rights to the movie portrayal of the Grinch (the mannerisms, the voice the expressions etc) and doesn’t want anyone else using them. In addition to all other Seuss rights and book likenesses, Universal own the rights to the look and style of the movie-Grinch, however cannot legally have him ‘act’ like the real life version. This means now shows, no songs and dance and no talking to park guests. So their Grinch is pretty much out of commission, which makes ‘Grinchmas” kinda moot.

However they have decided that they will still advertise a holiday event, but not go to the same efforts as Grinchmas did in the past (before Carrey’s legal entanglements). The Grinch will be there, but he wont talk, or act like the Grinch from the Ron Howard film. Instead he will simply pose in an enclosed photo-stage for pictures with guests on a one-on-one basis. Amazing Pictures has landed the contract for the event and guess who is doing the graphical backdrop for the green screen? Yup. I am stoked. While all I am really contributing to the event is the graphic that will be dropped in over the chroma set behind the Grinch, it’s still a pretty cool opportunity.

I designed a backdrop that resembles the Ron Howard, live-action Whoville but didn’t use any official artwork in its creation, to avoid any possible legal entanglements for us. The final piece features a swirly mountain overlooking a Christmas town. Plus a nice fog that surrounds the guests, giving the flat picture a more dynamic feel…in theory (we haven’t tested them yet as they just began erecting the Grinch stage today). The final has been approved by the Universal higher-ups (which is a big deal as they are usually incredible nitpicky) and is offically out of my hands. Once the event starts (Dec 8th) I’ll see if I cant finagle some sample shots for posting.

If you look at anything that has the Grinch brand on it besides the movie poster you only see the Grinch’s hand, never Carrey’s face. Either that or it’s a cartoon version of the Grinch. Meh, whatever. I just think its fun to say that my work is directly affected by legal entanglements with Jim Carry. Makes me feel connected.


The Painterly Amendment Post

Tonight I spent some time working on the last painting (big blue as I refer to it), in an attempt to ‘finish’ it. I was never really happy with the emptiness of the piece. Plus it was pointed out to me that the Gorillaz music video for Feel Good Inc. features a floating island with a windmill on it. Yeah, I was pissed. And no, I didn’t see the video before I put this together. (Though I have the MP3). The damn windmill even faces the same direction and has a backwheel on it! And I dunno what that is hanging off the back, but if its an anchor I will freak out. I decided to add a second floating island with a lighthouse. Originally I was going to make the windmill a lighthouse right from the start, but decided on windmill after seeing a shot of a nice on online. I hate painting at night, mainly due to the awful lighting I’m stuck with (yellow like whoa), but also because I for some reason associate leisurely painting with a nice weekend morning… Anyway, here’s a shot of where it stands now. Is it 100%...meh, not sure, still not really happy with it, but I am worried if I do too much I’ll lose the bits I do like.


The Christmas Party Post

Last night was the Colorvision Christmas Party, down at Ball Hill Country club. It was a formal event with an elaborate four course meal, with live singing from Michael Andrew (a local lounge singer and Broadway actor) , carolers, professional photographers, a Santa, and lots of drunken coworkers. I had a great time. I’ve been to a few country club dinner events before back in Great Falls, but I always feel out of place at these sorts of things. It was cool to get to meet everyone’s significant other and hangout with everyone in a relaxed environment too. Open bar helped loosen people up too, some people got pretty trashed. Myself, I wasn’t drinking due to the wicked hangover I had been nursing all day prior (we went downtown the night before) and a series of unfortunate events from the night prior. They took your picture when you came in the door and handed you the framed final on your way out which was pretty cool. It uses a holiday graphic border I designed too, which was cool to see in use. Though it’s UGLY AS SIN. It did look good at one point… but the owners had their edits and changes and eventually the classy little design ended up looking like this… Oh well. Not my party. Great food, good company, fun times. Here’s George and I looking like idiots. I’ll see if I’m in any of the other shots the roaming photographers took when I’m in the office tomorrow.


The Thanksgiving Post

It was great getting to come home for Thanksgiving. I left Coolio in the hands of Laura, who did me a huge favor and stopped in to check up on her while I was away. Did a nice traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Ali and Bob’s again which was great as always. Tried Goose along with my traditional turkey for the first time, and enjoyed it alot. Picked out the family tree and got it standing proudly in its usual spot by the stairs. No lights or decorations by the time I left unfortunately, but we were crunched for time and people were coming and going constantly.

I found not having a car to be a bit of a bummer, but still managed to get some quality time in with Sarah (she was home surprising her Mum for thanksgiving), some Black Friday shopping and a few trips out with friends. Watched the always classic Ricky-Oh:
The Story of Ricky courtesy of Eric’s oddball movie collection at Ken’s place which was hilarious. Got to meet Ken’s girlfriend Marylyn too which as cool. Made it out to Auld Sheebean for a little chill session with a few of my good buddies too, which was really important for me. I am glad I was able to catch them on such short notice. Even got a lunch in at Potbellies. My cell phone died on my two days into my trip, so I wasn’t able to call people I probably should have, but unfortunately I rely on speedial and couldn’t remember anyone’s numbers to save my life. It was great to be home, and I am already anticipating coming back at Christmas.

The Graduate Post

Before heading back to VA for Thanksgiving, I wanted to wrap up my online drivers class (for my speeding ticket last month). I opted to take the course online vs. in a classroom for all the obvious reasons. Took about 5 hours of reading and note taking and then a 40 question exam. I fetched a 39/40 which I was pleased with, though the questions really ranged in difficulty. The one I missed was ‘What is the average cost of damage per victim in an alcohol related crash in the state of Florida?’ which in all honesty is a tricky question if you didn’t happen tow rite down that figure. But the test also featured such doosies as ‘Seatbelts are beneficial in accidents. True or False?’ and ‘The Blood Alcohol level in your body determines how much ___ is in your system.” So all in all I’m glad to have it over with finally, but I cant feel too accomplished being that half the questions would serve a chimp little trouble.

The Plates Post

One of the last remaining objectives associated with my relocation was to get my car registered down here and have new tags and plates issued for the Celica. My insurance has been slow to transfer, and I’ve wasted a few days driving to the wrong DMVs, inspection stations and state tax collectors offices, but it’s finally sorted. I no longer rock the bland, white Virginia tags; the Celica now has a cheesy green and orange Florida plate on the back (no tags on the front down here which works for me ‘cus it makes my car look sexier). I elected not to go with old LUCHADR for my tags, and went with the standard issue, orange-adorned state plate. ‘Luchadr was very much the Focus’ nickname. I wouldn’t feel right swapping the name over to the new vehicle (though I recognize I did that from my old Mercury…for some reason this feels different).

Once I had the plate in hand it wouldn’t be for another week that that I finally got it on the car. The old tags were so rusted onto the car that I wasn’t able to remove the stripped screws with the tools I have here. So I took it to a body shop off of the Trail… they got the front one off after a lot of work, but could get the back to budge. Took it down to the auto supply store and bought a beefier wrench and some anti-rust spray. No luck. Then took the car to Pep Boys early before work on day. All they were able to do was rip the head off of one of the screws leaving the majority of the little bugger in the hole, unable to be removed. Fortunately Victor at work is a very handyman when it comes to these sort of things, and brought in all the tools he needed to drill out the rusted screw, re-sink new holes and mount the Florida tags. I was very relived because for a while it looked like I was going to be driving on void tags. Cheers Victor.


The Wiiiiiiiii Post

Last night was the official launch of Nintendo’s latest system the Wii. Having already preordered I stopped by the Millennia GameStop at midnight to pick mine up. Stayed up far too late last night setting it up and getting online with it. Despite the name and the taboo that it’s a kiddy system or a non-gamer system here in the nerd realm, I gotta say, this thing is fun as hell. Playing baseball and tennis where I actual have to swing to hit the ball, pressure sensitive controls for arching bowling balls, and sword swipes being mapped to horizontal and vertical flicks of the wrist… all fantastic additions to the traditional game playing mechanism. Zelda (the only game I bought ontop of the console) is simply fantastic, and a definite must have for all gamers. Though graphically very last-gen, this little system is well worth the hype and 250 bones. I know I’m kinda alone in this opinion when it comes to my friends, (either being non-gamers or traditional gamers who don’t like change –you know who you are) but I felt the need to voice a positive vote for this quirky little system. Is it just a gimmick? Will it burn out after the holiday buzz dies down? Who knows? time will tell, but for now, I’m happy as hell and really enjoying this thing.

Got a few friends linked up online already, and while I don’t expect this to go anywhere I’ll stick my friend code online here if anyone wants to add me to their Wii: 2095 5973 6967 9388. Now if you’ll excuse me they are giving away Xbox 360 games at Burger King. Time for a chicken sandwich.


The Shaken Not Stirred Post

Last night I went to Movieco Theaters to catch opening night of the new James Bond flick Casino Royal. Elana and a few of her friends arrived at my place for some pizza and general chilling, and met up with Nathan and Bonnie at the show. The theater was maaaaasive, I’m talking twice the size (and then some) of the biggest screen I’ve ever been too, easy. Simply huge. Plus there were seats galore, which was a relief, as Elana implied that we’d be fighting for seats where all of us could sit together…not the case by a long shot. It was actually kinda dead, which was weird, because the theater is part of this Point Plaza area which has bars, restaurants and all kinds of stores. Seeing it empty was kind of creepy in a ghost town kinda way. If a place existed up in NoVa it would be the hangout spot. But I guess with all the tourist focused features down here, there are a lot more options available.

Anyway the movie:….awesome. I am liking it more and more after the fact to be honest. If you’re a Bond fan you’ll love this movie. If you had doubts about Daniel Craig pulling of Bond (as I did) fear not, he does a perfect 007. Just enough of the classic Bond, without the campy cheese that has plagued the last few. It was refreshing to see the bad guy not wanting to take over the world, or have super powers of some sort, and the Bond-girl this time around was a lot more than just another pretty face for Bond to bone as the credits roll. We get to see Bond molded into the suave spy we know and love from a cocky killer, which is a refreshing take on the character, With slight hints into his past, but no enough for him to lose his mystique. Actions scenes were terrific. All fisty-cuffs and good old fashioned asskicking. Don’t worry, Bond-purists, there are plenty of silenced PP7 take downs and more explosions than you can count too. I was extremely hesitant being that this film didn’t feature Brosnan (my favorite Bond), but the films overall quality, change of pace, and Craig’s performance more than mask that fact. I warn you, the story closes, then there is another ending, and then an obscure ending after that to wrap up lose threds…by the end of the whole ordeal you kinda just want it to finally finish. It’s no A.I. where you’ll actually be bored, but it does seem like they should just speed things up for the last 15 minutes or so.

Anyway, in closing definitely a much needed breath of fresh air into a rotting franchise worthy of praise despite the negative spin put t on by Bond purists. Go see it.

"Now the whole world will know that you died scratching my balls!" -James Bond


The Green Thumb Post

And by green thumb I mean scabbed and cut fingers. Seriously, I am such an amateurish gardener that transplanting a few plants into potters and arranging some large rocks left my hands bleeding like I’d been feeding lions. Small lions…kittens….ok hamsters. Today I decided to decorate my barren balcony with some greenery, primarily to block the view from the ground so Coolio won’t be seen by my landlord (I don’t want to pay pet rent). Until now I have kept the blinds close to closed every day to avoid ‘Cools from being spotted from below. Downside being that it cuts out a lot of light. Now the view is obscured from the ground and less drab from the apartment. Attached are a few shots. I don’t know, I’m hardly a gardener, but this is hardly gardening, so I think I can meet in the middle. Plus it’s just cool to be able to have a palm tree that wont die in the winter, yay tropics!

The 3rd Painterly Post

So some of you more dedicated readers may recall a few weeks back I picked up a very large canvas for painting. (and for those who dont recall...well I did) Well its been an on-and-off-again project but I’ve finally got something to show for it up on the wall. I’ll attach some pictures for your review. I am not 100% with this one yet, but I’m not sure what to do. I am considering adding water below by painting in just the highlights of some waves, but I fear I might loose the nice gradient effect with the blue. Any feedback is appreciated gentle or no.

Oh and P.S. sorry for the pompous beginning to this entry, upon rereading it I sound like an ass.


The Who? Post

So George brought it to my attention today that there is a remarkable resemblance between myself and the new guy who plays Dr. Who; a Scottish actor called David Tennant. I went online and looked up a few shots on Google, and while its definitely hit and miss, sometimes the guy looks a lot like me (if he had some facial hair, thicker eyebrows and less waifish hair of course). Check out this assortment of shots and judge for yourself? Do I have a long lost brother? He IS Scottish…. Is there something you’re not telling us Mum?


The Shiny Mt. Post

So on Halloween I went to the Groove Nightclub at Citywalk. It was kinda uneventful, but a cool venue, and I had a good time. I neglected to mention, in previous postings the characters we ran into at said club however. Two of which were a couple dubbed Shiny Mountain and Cracked-Out-Raver-Boyfriend. Shiny Mountain was a delightful 4 foot troll of a woman, complete with pug-like face and hair that looked like seaweed draped over a soccer ball (she was HOT), and was sporting a spandex, silver top (hence her nickname). She was with a crazy dude who looked like an inbred hobbit. He was sporting a braided ponytail, grilled beard, light up LED visor from Epcot (worn sideways of course) and a bag on a string (which he danced with). The two would make their way across the dance floor and Shiny Mt. would stand there looking pissed like Jabba the Hutt, while her raver boyfriend went apeshit dancing around her. Ridiculous dancing. We couldn’t help but laugh at the guy, and shoot this video. He’s the one with the bag and hat if you were wondering. If you look to the left of the screen Shiny Mountain briefly makes an appearance. Now while we were shooting footage on one idiot on the dance floor, we were unaware that a 2nd idiot was caught in the background. Watch the guy pointed to by the video prompt…he totally throws out his knee while attempting some bizarre ‘clap-spin-twirl’ move. Hilarious. We didn’t realize till back t the office the following day how bad the guy wrecked himself. Watch as he clutched his leg in pain…hahaha. Sorry, I just felt the need to share. I have a picture of Shiny Mt. up in at work as she chows down on some refreshments… but I wont clutter up my blog with such an eyesore (thank me later).


The Bonfire Night Post

Remember, remember the 5th of November…

Being an official descendent of Guy Fawkes (see the Guy family history) I felt the need to at least acknowledge the holiday I am doing nothing to celebrate. I think in the future I’ll make a point of finding out if there are any bonfires going on down here (what with all the Brits about) and partaking in some traditional firework fun. I’d like to think that in the distant future it could be a holiday that I have people over to celebrate every year, and have a big party. It’s quirky enough that people would find it interesting, and unique enough that I don’t think I’ll have conflicting Bonfire Night parties to contend with. Plus since V for Vendetta, Guy Fawkes is cool, so I think my claim to his lineage will make them worth attending. I invite you in advance. Bring fireworks.

The Borat Post

Friday I met up with Elana and two of her UCF friends and went to see Borat. The 11:30 showing sold out way in advance so we ended up sticking it out for the 12:10. Dicked about in City Walk to kill time though didn’t go into any clubs because on of Elana’s friend said she wasn’t 21 yet. The movie was well worth the wait. Very good stuff and funny from start to finish. There were definite lapses where you could tell that Fox had put their foot down and forced Cohen to hold back on his character’s blatant risqué humor and oblivious racism, but for the most part I was laughing out loud at the screen. I will admit to being uncomfortable with the extended naked wrestling scene not being that fond of large foreign man’s testacies (that scene will scar you, don’t say I didn’t warn you). I am not sure how much of the movie is completely staged (there are some parts that are clearly all acted), and which are the traditional Borat style sketches with unaware participants. Some of the reactions were too real to be canned, so I am going to guess that maybe 50% of the scenes are unscripted.

It’s clever, its different and its pretty damn funny. Though the plot makes Road Trip look like a Tolkien quest by comparison, and besides Borat himself, the characters are very half baked.


The Stairwell Strikes Back Post

My stairwell apparently breeds crazy people. The other night I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to screams of “someone please can you call 911!?” I come to, and look out my window to see a strung out looking chick, in torn jean shorts and a guys jacket talking to Cincinnati (the crazy toothless old guy who lives downstairs) about calling the cops. He does so, and she attempts to leave. I cant hear what’s being said but I hear him shout to tell her to come back. She does, and hangs around for the 2 minutes or so it takes for the cops to show up. Three cars arrive under my window, and two look out at the chick and immediately leave. One stays and gets out. He walks over to her very nonchalantly and starts talking to her with an attitude (I still cant hear what’s being said). From his body motions he was angry and she was being very explanatory with exaggerated motions. I can make out the cop saying “well what did I tell you?” and she responds with high pitched, but aggressive explanations. He leaves, and she wander about outside very loudly for 10 more minutes or so. Two guys roll up, both Hispanic, fairly bulky and dress very well considering the time. They get into an argument with the chick. All I can make out is “where were you before you got here?” and “who did you call”. Her responses seemed the same as with the cop (exaggerated and overacted) and the guys looked about, stroked their chins and looked generally unhappy. I got tired and went back to be4d and they apparently disappeared. Not so.

The following morning I head down to pay my rent at the main office, and on the way back to my car the chick comes out of a nearby bush and asks me if I had a cell phone (while looking at my phone clipped to my belt/ I was about to head to work). I oblige and she says that it was a dire emergency. She calls a friend…no answer. She calls another number, apparently her mom. She convinces the woman to come pick her up (after aking me where she was) and according to her end of the conversation the mother was pissed about the favor. She then hands me back the phone, thanks me, insists that it’s a huge emergency and heads off to the corner of the parking lot to wait for her ride.

Weird. No ideas what’s going on with her, nor why she needed to call the cops. Why she didn’t know where she was, and why her mother had to come pick her up as she hung around a foreign apartment complex since 4:00 in the morning… Bizarre people in this area. Bizarre people. I think my stairwell is lined with catnip for crazies or something.


The Halloween Post

Yesterday Dawn brought in tones of food for Halloween, which as awesome. Being in the central area of the department the food was not 10 feet from my desk, so I spent all day snacking on chips, dip, pizza rings and donuts. After work Bruce and I headed down to Universal City walk to check up on the Halloween festivities. Unfortunately the place wasn’t that busy, which was very surprising. I guess the fact that it was Halloween didn’t outweigh the fact that it was still a Tuesday. Before hitting City Walk we checking in at the Orlando Ale House and the a Mexican bar who’s name I cant recall. Both were relatively unpopulated. Not barren by any means, but defiantly not the rowdy Halloween crowd from this past weekend. Apparently downtown was pretty crazy again, but the park district didn’t seem to be buzzing as I’d hoped.

Regardless of the lack of partygoers there are some awesome venues at City Walk that will kick ass on a weekend or whenever it is people decide to go. Multiple clubs and bars, all themed and very decked out. Light up fiber-optic dance-floors, DJ spinning decks on high-rises over the bars, live music at most... all in all pretty high class. Ate at the Hard Rock and posed for a bunch of ridiculous costume shots about the place.


The Downtown Post

Last night I went downtown with Buck and Lola from work. Buck is a DJ and both are heavy into the Orlando music scene and electronic techno. Being a fan of the genre I decided to tag along with them on a trip to a club downtown called Suite B. Not being able to dance and very new to the going-to-clubs scene I was a little skeptical, but wanted to take Lola up on her invite. I had a terrific time. The tunes were awesome, the environment was cool and the costumes were as skanky as can be. (what a terrific holiday Halloween is).

They roped off roads in downtown and it was a mess of partying, costumed college kids. Lots of fun. I went wearing my luchadore mask and smokers robe…yeah its not a ‘costume’ per see, but it worked considering the short notice. Before heading downtown we stopped in at a friend of Buck’s house who was having a party. Apparently I was looking in the wrong area of town for apartments, because their place was very nice, and put mine to shame. The area is a lot less crime ridden too (which is always a plus). Oh well, something to consider in a year when my lease is up. Daylight savings time afforded us an extra hour of downtown debauchery, which was brilliant. Didn’t end up back at my place till well after five…er four, I suppose. All in all a great night out and a terrific first foray into the downtown scene. I look forward to going back.


The Sideburn Post

Sideburns apparently equal maturity. Since deciding to grow sideburns about a month ago, I have only been carded once down here when going out for a drink. I’ve actually sat with people older than me who have been carded and not been asked myself. I’ve had my dances with ‘burns in the past, primarily during my ‘lets see how much facial hair I can really grow’-phase (middle school) but lopped them of early High School. Now they are back and in full force. No chops or crazy wings on the side of my face, just your standard trimmed sideburn affair.

I don’t blame my perceived maturity entirely on the sideburns (though I think they are a big part of the equation). I have also been wearing dress kakis, button up shirts and collared polo, as part of the company dress code, and have often gone out right after work. Maybe that’s it? Or maybe facial hair really does have magical properties.


The Lake Walk/Dad Visit Post

Before I start with this post I want to let it be known that I’m using a microphone to type this versus my keyboard. So far so good, with the occasional wrong word here and there. (I cant seem to say keyboard without typing “ Mickey-board”).

This weekend Dad came down from Atlanta (where he’s on a business trip) to visit me, so we can get the new computer working properly. Previously the computer would not recognize the hard drive as a hard drive but instead would recognize disks as the C-drive, making it very hard to install software and get the thing working properly. Now, barring the use of dual screen’s the computer is working as it should, (unfortunately without Photoshop because we left the disk in Virginia). As a computer, this new one is pretty kickass; running on a dual Pentium core, 2 SLI graphics cards, and more memory than I know what to do with. This computer, (which I’m going to call the Black Pearl) is a graduation gift from my parents. With it, I plan on making a really advanced portfolio of 3D. work for my application to UCF. No more crashing whenever I have to run Maya! (*NARF*)

On Saturday I went to Kissimmee for a charity walk benefiting Alzheimer’s disease. Dawn from work, organized a team to raise money in memory of her grandfather and I was more than willing to help out (I also have had family members who have suffered/are suffering from the disease). The walk consisted of a brief jaunt around a local lake which was really quite pretty. I will post pictures when I have Photoshop on the computer (until now you’ll just have to go with the fact that I thought it was nice). After the walk there was a raffle and Dawn won an all-expenses-paid cruise out to open-water on a casino liner, for her and 10 friends. I assume I’ll be invited when she goes, which will be loads of fun. Not being a big gambler, I don’t know how well I’ll fit in on a boat full of slot-jockeys, but it’ll be an experience nonetheless.

In other news Michael’s had a 40% off sale (with coupon) today and I picked up a new canvas for my third piece. In an attempt to challenge myself, while at the same time saving as much money as possible with my little coupon, I bought a massive canvas that is at least four times the size of my previous ones. I don’t know what exactly I plan on painting on it or even what color or where it’s gonna go at this point, but I’m sure it’ll be a fun project. I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one.


The Second Painterly Post

Finished up my second painting project today after about a week of sitting on it partially completed. The piece is a 3-part landscape spanning three separate canvases, with the main color being red to fit the format of my living room. I wanted something to span the entertainment center that would tie the room together (or at least fill the huge white expanse of wall over the TV). Like the first project, this one has a stylized tree in bloom, and a three-tone color set. I spent more time pushing this tree's blossoms to look more stylized than the last and added a foreground/background vs the graphic effect of the first. Being that this is only #2 of many, I'm still trying to find my style, but I can honestly say that I am as pleased with this attempt as I was with the first.

The Stairwell Visitor Post

Ok, so two nights back I was having a hard time getting to sleep. Not because Coolio was winging, not because it was too hot, and not for any of the usual reasons. This particular night I couldn’t get to sleep due to a cracked-out guy rampaging in my stairwell. This guy was wailing and moaning like he’d been shot and was making a huge amount of noise. I couldn’t see him from my window so I assumed it was maybe the guy downstairs throwing up or whatever. An hour went by and there is still moaning, and no one has done anything about it (I was half hoping that another neighbor would call it in to the apartment security). This was 4:00 in the morning mind you, so I was pissed.

Shortly after a large banging started up, as well as stomping sounds and lots of scraping. By this point the man had moved into the light in front of the building and was viable from my balcony window. He was banging his head on the poles that hold up the balconies, and spitting on a boom-box he was holding. He’d then shine the stereo with his shirt and attempt to \listen to it. It was of course a large, wall-powered stereo, so it didn’t work. This angered him apparently and he punched it into the concrete. He’d then pick it up, dust it of, and spit shine it again. The whole time wailing and moaning like the undead. This went on for a good five minutes while I tried to make sense of the situation. He was wearing a Fubu shirt, that seemed cleaned and relatively new, as well as nice sandals and sunglasses on his short cropped and neat hair. Simply put the guy did not look homeless. But the box of lamps and stereo equipment he has with him dragging along the floor would lead you to think otherwise.

I called the apartment security who showed up half an hour later (great response time. I’m glad there was no real threat) and spoke to him for a while. He wasn’t making much sense and from their body language they were puzzled as to what to do with the guy. After he rambled about domestic abuse and guns, and jail they escorted him off to his ‘apartment’, which he claimed to not know where it was, but insisted he lived in the complex. Weird. I got to sleep shortly after, and woke up cranky.


The New Face Of Universal Post

This weekend I was at both Universal parks for a set of photo shoots for Amazing Pictures. They needed people to be photographed on some of the rides to be used as samples for the 'buy your ride photos'-posters that you see when coming off of most of the park's attractions. Universal paid for my ticket to both parks and I was cut to the front of every line, often multiple times, and didnt have to wait for a single thing, which was pretty awesome. I went with Bruce and his family (who had to pose for all the family and little-kid shots) and I was there for the coaster pictures. All in all, a pretty cool expereicne, would have been nice to have subsidized parking... but I really cant complain. Next time you go to Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios look for my face on all the ride signs, and then be jelous that you're pictures arnt nearly as handsome. I'll see if I can't fenagle a poster or two from the Universal rep for apartment (and blog) decoration next time he's in.

I got to see some if my recent work in use in the park, which is an awesome feeling for a designer. I saw families posing to have thier faces mapped onto Shrek templates I designed aswell as examples of my borders and frames in various stores accross the park. Bruce and family posed for a few of my 'Shreks and they all worked perfectly (I was worried ther would be some sort of error...or ten). Stayed at the park all day for the shoot, and wandered about City Walk after they closed down for the night. I plan on heading back there at somepoint, there were lots of interesting bars, clubs and stores there plus the Orlando Hardrock and a massive theater.


The Cribs Post

Ok, so now that I have some sembalence of an apartment set up I decided that the small pictures from a few weeks back didnt do the place justice. And while this video is far from 'good', its at least closer to 'better'. I hope you enjoy the god-aweful voice over as I ramble, repeat myself and say odd phrases like 'key' and 'kitted out' (I have no idea why) as well as my ridiculous MTV transitions. And with that fantastic introduction...Enjoy!

The 'Speed Demon' Post

So I got my first ticket today. Not three days after owning the flash new car I get busted for going 13 over the limit at a light a few hundred yards from my apartment. Honestly if I were in my familiar Focus, I recon I’d of been going faster, but either way I’m hit with $155 fee as well as an additional $72 for not having proof of insurance on me (relocation is slowing that down). So great, that’s $250 bucks I wasn’t planning on spending before lunch today. Hopefully I’ll be able to stomach the hit as far as my bank account goes. Damn this red car, it’s a magnet for getting pulled over (Dad was numerous times), but I can’t claim to not be at fault here (48 in a 35). I’ll spare the sob story but it was one of those situations where you’ve got open road ahead of you and you were just about to hit a light, but 100feet before you get there it changes green. So I speed up…and get tickets. It was kinda scary though (well not really) because I was pulled over next to a group of guys who’d been pulled out of a truck and we being padded down and handcuffed not 3 feet from my car. They were just kinda staring at me as they were being ‘processed’.


The Coolio Post

‘Coolio Antonio Banderas’ has been my roommate now for almost a week and she’s adjusting very well to her new home. She’s picked all the primo seating to become her spots and has marked her territory with an abundance of shed hair. I try to keep up with it with numerous lint rollers and special de-hairing gloves from Petsmart, but having black cushions is doing me in. Whatever, its worth it to have her here. We kitted her out with a giant box to sleep in last weekend, and she routinely picks that over her plush bed I bought her (go figure). Its hard to imagine that she’s 12 years old. She doesn’t act like an old cat by any means, and is definitely ‘all there’ and not one of those senile old house cats. She gets her exercise by chasing my lazerpen and beating the crap out of her new toys Mum and Dad picked up for her (see below).

The Blacklight Lounge Post

Last night was the 2-Year Anniversary of the Glo Lounge, a nightclub and bar off International Drive (tourist central in Orlando). Bruce and I received invitations as part of the ‘service industry’ at Cici’s Pizza place last week and decided to go. Free drinks at the bar all as well as a sushi bar and free wraps, not to mention a white-chocolate fondue fountain, made the whole ordeal very much worth checking out. Its called the Glo lounge for a reason, that being that everything is bathed in blacklight effects. Fortunately I was wearing a very light shirt, otherwise I image the lint and cat hair that must be allover me would have been very visible. Had a good time, met some cool people, played some neon pool, and drank Newcastles on the house. Afterwards we met up with Greg from Universal and headed over to Fridays for some wings and to watch the Shamrock/Ortiz fight, which unfortunately was as disappointing as it was predictable. Going to see if I cant get a few guys together to get the UFC PPV this weekend, could be good.


The Celica Post

So Dad and Mum handed over the title to the Celica to me, so its officially mine. Owning a car is a new experience to me, as I’ve always driven their cars. I mean, there is no doubt that I considered the Focus “my car” when I had it, but it never belonged to me, and was very much the family's property (that I was the constant user of). Now that the Celica is officially mine, it feels different. I love the car for starters, and want to put in the effort to keep it looking good. There are some dings, dents and chips that I’d like to sort out, as well as some interior bumps and bruises that are associated with an older (its only a 2000 though) car. I’ll take it out to a body shop for an assessment when things die down. First and foremost I need to sort out getting it insured down here, including sorting out the catalytic converter and getting the emissions tested, so that will be my focus (no pun intended) for the upcoming week. Though I miss my Focus, I am loving the new car, and am very appreciative of the fact that Mum and Dad have passed on the keys to me. Now all I need to do is hope that I can afford to keep it on the road.

The Parental Visit Post

This weekend Mum and Dad made it down with the Celica to visit and do a swapping of the keys for my Focus. The stuffed the car with more of my belongings that I was unable to fit in the car on my initial trip down here; Including my TV and Coolio. Also coming down with them were all the parts for my new computer, which Dad spend the majority of the weekend assembling. More on that in a future post. It was great to see them again, and having people in my usually empty apartment made me realize how much I really did miss all the little things that come with having family with you. We didn’t waste any time, and spent the weekend getting furniture, building bed frames and searching for various items that I’d been lacking. Christmas comes for me in October this year, as Mum and Dad opted to kit me out with everything I need for my apartment now, versus waiting till I came back up for Christmas. They have set me up really well, from a bed frame to s-video cables, my place is pretty stocked (even the fridge is brimming!). I’ll get some shots of the apartment on here soon, once I get everything sorted and sussed, but the place is looking terrific, and is much further along that I would of ever anticipated this early into my relocation. Thanks a million both of you!

Coolio apparently made the trip without fuss, and is doing really well here. Claiming the couch pretty much the second it was assembled; she’s spent most of her time exploring the apartment and lazing about in her new surroundings. I’m glad she’s adapting so well, I was worried she’d be very sad and/or effected by the drive. Apparently Max is missing her pretty badly bad home though.
We also had cause to celebrate, as Dad received word while on the way down here that his new job offer went through. So he’ll be starting at the new company with his old boss Steve next month. He’s really excited and it’s a terrific opportunity, congrats again Dad. We went out to McCormick & Schmitt’s for dinner to celebrate and I tried the Seared Tuna, which was fantastic (if not very different from what I was expecting). I’d never been before, but it was brilliant food, and even more amazing desserts. Definitely would recommend.

All in all this was a brilliant weekend, it was great to see my parents as well as get so much accomplished towards the apartment. I feel very spoiled. The only downside to it all is my fantasy team has sat neglected for the past two weeks, and are doing pretty awful. There goes my perfect record… oh well, I think it was worth the sacrifice.


The Free Lunch Post

So yeah, title says it all. Cici’s Pizza, a local brand of all-you-can-eat style pizza runs this thing twice a year for all service industry employees, where you eat and drink for free, as much as you want. Pretty crazy, and good food. Apparently someone in the office kinda-sorta counts as service industry, and printed off enough invitations for the whole department. End of the day, I ate far too much and feel like I don’t fit behind my desk now that we are back at work. In other unrelated news, I was talking to some of the guys from the Warehouse department and apparently two hookers were caught filming a porno by the lake right behind our office building. Somewhere in the office there is a picture apparently, but nobody remembers where its hidden. Not that I want to see it of course. But we are close to “The Trail” (Orange Blossom Trail Rd) which is notorious for hookers, so its pretty believable. Mum and Dad are in later today, bringing Coolio, my TV and a few other goodies. Not to mention the parts for my new computer, which we will (hopefully) be building this weekend. I’m stoked, even if it does mean I gotta sleep on the air mattress.


The UCF Bars Post

Last night I went out to the UCF Area to check out a couple of bars with Duncan’s friends Alana and Nathan. Had a good time, the bars were pretty good and had a lot of stuff going on (trivia stations at the tables, bar tab bingo, loads of TVs with the UCF game on etc.) UCF actually won a game (apparently it’s uncommon) so the place was pretty crazy. The guy selling Bingo tickets hooked me up and let me play for free which was cool of him, didn’t win of course, but that was to be expected. The whole area out by the university is really nice; the plaza these bars were at was absolutely massive. I would like to make it a regular haunt simply due to the variety and the fact that that’s where the student go to chill, but its pretty far away from me (45 min down a toll road) and Orlando traffic is pretty crap, especially down the 408. But yeah, it was great to have a night out and do some socializing, even if I did come in last place in the trivia contest (twice).


The Lunch Break Post

Yesterday I went out for my lunch break with the Art Department crew to check out Backyard Burgers. It’s a Five Guys-eske fast food burger joint, with excellent food, or so I’d been told by coworkers. I ordered a Big Chili Burger, and man was it awesome. Messy. But Awesome. Joined their frequent customer club and got a card for stamping (free burger after 9 stamps, oh yeah!) All in all, highly recommended, cheap and fast food. I’m sure I’ll be taking visitors there in the future as converts. They make pretty much every type of burger possible, and it tastes like its right off of a BBQ. Great stuff.

So what’s the point of this seemingly meaningless post? Well besides to share the joy that is Backyard Burger with you, I wanted to segway into my trip out for lunch today. George and I went to Chipotle, a long time favorite of mine. First off, its a lot cheaper down here, like by two or three bucks on every item (including the beer) which is awesome (for me). However, that comes at a price. That price being they don’t cook their meat. I had a very inedible pile of moldable, almost blue meat underneath my lettuce and salsa. Normally I don’t mind rare-er meats, but this was just gross, I couldn’t chew it. So I flagged the manager, who was uber apologetic and made the chef come out and apologize. Apparently, working a cooking surface in an assembly line warrens the title ‘chef’ these days, but whatever. She instantly whipped me up a well cooked, and oversized replacement, and gave me a coupon good for a free meal in the future. Not bad really. Hopefully I wont get salmonella, or e coli, or whatever you get from uncooked meat.


The Painterly Post

Today I finished my first canvas painting. I decided I want to decorate my apartment with my own artwork, in an attempt to make the plain white, gallery-eske, walls more homely. This first attempt at painting is an effort to tie my room’s colors together (white walls and comforter; green sheets and pillows; and a black desk). It’s roughly 20 x 30 inches and features a green wash-back with a contrasting stark black and white stencil of a tree. I am really pleased with the result, and am a little upset that these pictures don’t capture the subtle shifts in the background tone. I’ve always considered myself to be the artsy-fartsy type, but have never tried my hand at canvas painting before, I am very pleased with how this first foray turned out, and look forward to working on future pieces for my apartment or whatever the need may be. I’m a big fan of minimalist style, as well as stark contrast and vibrant colors, so I assume my future works will build upon this aesthetic. Hopefully someday I’ll know what I’m doing! I look forward to developing this as a hobby.