Friday, January 29, 2010

adidas Star Wars Celebration

All I did was ask my husband if I could go to New York next week, and I sent him the copy about the event from He re-edited the copy. His "improvements" are in bold.

The REAL story...

If you're in New York on February 4th, join adidas Originals and Foot Locker for an Imperial March to celebrate the launch of the adidas Originals Star Wars collection. Led by some pompous short guy from the 501st in platform shoes and a Rubie's Darth Vader costume, the march will begin at Foot Locker (43-45 W. 34th St.) at 9:30AM with a celebrity guest, most likely some asstard that appeared in the background in one of the prequels for half a second. Or Andy Dick. joining at the Times Square Foot Locker (1530 Broadway) at 10:00AM.

The first 50 customers to purchase a shoe at each location will receive a special Star Wars gift, being anally raped with a Hasbro lightsaber while on-lookers gasp and cry "You paid HOW MUCH for fricking shoes with Star Trek stickers on them?" Everyone will have the opportunity to get their photo taken with Star Wars characters, actually more of the self-loving losers from the 501st who are still savoring the smell of the smoke Lucas has blown up their asses while laughing at them for being a free PR machine for his empire. The March will continue south and culminate at the SoHo ('cause it sort of sounds like Solo, y'know from the movies) adidas Originals store (136 Wooster) at 11:00AM where the special celebrity guest will break wind whilst staggering around in a drunken stupor and hitting on the least fat female fans and then unveil the adidas Skywalker shoe , which will be available for purchase for the first time in the US. DJ Neil Armstrong will be on hand spinning for the crowd. By "spinning" we do mean break dancing. And at his age, once he hits the ground he likely to break every bone in his body. Or at least the ones that haven't been replaced with space bone by his alien overlords. Nerd.

Oh, and he nixed the trip to the Big Apple.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Few Thoughts on "Avatar"

Hubby and I saw "Avatar" on Sunday afternoon in 3D. It was playing to an almost full house, not completely sold out but quite a good crowd for the movie being out for several weeks already.

Beware of spoilers ahead!

We'd heard a lot about the story, and for us nothing that happened in the movie was very unexpected. Certain plot points were set-up well in advance, and maybe we're just old and jaded, but for example, as soon as they encountered the large orange dragon-like creature and told the story that only five leaders had even ridden one, we knew that Jake Sully would be the sixth. When they tried to save Grace by transferring her into her avatar, it was obvious that Jake would choose that option and it would work, because he was not so weak. Immediately after the film, Tim commented that Grace would become the Obi-Wan character, if Jim Cameron made a sequel, and since then, he read an article that said Sigourney Weaver would be back for the follow-up.

The computer effects were very good for the most part; there were only a few moments where I noticed poor CGI. Notably they are the shot where Neytiri reached out to grab Jake when he's first following her through the forest and nearly fell, and then later when the guys are all climbing the vines to get to the creatures that they're going to try to ride. It's like their biceps weren't flexing at all, so it seemed there was no effort to the climb. For only a couple of moments to jump out at me as being poorly animated in a movie with this much CGI, that's pretty good.

The 3D effect was very well done. I must say, I did not have any "reach out and grab" it moments in the theatre, which I have felt like doing at Disney World -- but
I think it's because the Disney 3D movies were designed and filmed to capitalize on the 3D effect, whereas Cameron was telling a story that just happens to be in 3D. I must also say that whenever a shot seemed to call particular attention to the 3D aspect of the film, it pulled me out of the moment. They missed a few opportunities to take advantage of the 3D, such as when Jake is first trying out his avatar and his tail is knocking things over. Something could have been knocked towards the
camera or the tail could have flicked by our faces; Tim believes Cameron chose not to do that, because it would have pulled the audience out of the moment and reminded them that they're watching a film.

The designs of the hardware were good, but also kind of disappointing because everything Cameron does features very similar machinery. We saw the hunter-killers from "The Terminator" and the power loader from "Aliens." Very early on,
I heard a clip of music that was probably right off the "Aliens" soundtrack, thus confirming for me that the hack James Horner did the music. Most of it was good and seemed original, although after becoming disillusioned with his work after hearing
so much of the "Star Trek II" & "STIII" music rehashed in "Aliens" I have not gone out of my way to listen to his music. For all I know the pieces that sounded like Native American flute music could have been rehashed Celtic music from "Titanic"
played on a different instrument. In the final fight between the Sarge (was he a Sergeant?) and Jake, ooh, surprise, the same "thrilling moment" music Horner used in both "Trek" films, and "Aliens" and "Clear and Present Danger" and "Krull" and everything else he's ever done. I suspect he probably used it in "Titanic" but it wasn't as recognizable being played on Celtic instruments. And Lord save me from the "hit single" that was played over the credits. That was painful.

Lest you think I didn't enjoy the movie, I was entertained, I cared about the characters, and I had a good time. It just wasn't as special as the $1.6 billion+ box office would suggest. If the plot were quite so simplistic and predictable, it could have been an excellent movie instead of mediocre. I suppose mediocrity doesn't really matter when you're getting butts in seats and winning all kinds of awards for the cleverness of getting butts in seats.

Before the film, they played several 3D trailers, which surprised me. I wasn't expecting that at all. "Alice in Wonderland" was one, plus "Shrek Forever," "Piranha 3D" (interesting choice, since Cameron directed "Piranha 2" when he was first starting out as a filmmaker), and something else about a supervillain and his young nemesis but I can't recall the name.

So, that's my review of "Avatar." It's not the best review the movie will get, nor is it the worst. Ultimately, it's making Cameron even richer, and I suppose that's all that really matters to Hollywood.

Oh, my aching back

I'm tired all the time, but when I get the chance to sleep in, I wake up achy. I blame it on the mattress. We bought our mattresses at Koala Mattress in Pensacola probably seven or eight years ago. Very soon after we bought them, hubby heard some of the wood supports in his start to crack. It was under warranty, but it's a major headache getting the mattresses home, much less borrowing a truck to take it back to the store and doing without while it's being repaired. So, they've just continued to get worse. Funnily, we were looking at a mattress-in-a-box option at a local department store and talking with someone else who was looking and he said (with no prompting from us), "Don't waste your time with Koala Mattress." So, we are not alone in our bad experience.

Right now, I am pinning my hopes on winning a new mattress from Sealy Posturepedic. Sealy is giving away several of their new Sealy Posturepedic Innerspring Signature 11 Series mattresses through some of the popular blogs. The winners get to choose the size mattress they get.

Here are some links where you can enter:
Mommy Mandy
Bizzie Mommy
From Dates to Diapers

Hubby and I use two Twin XL mattresses on a Queen frame, and all our linens are Twin. If I win, clearly I'll have to choose Twin XL for the size, and hubby will be on his own, because I will claim the new mattress in the name of Spain (my birth country). If the mattress helps me sleep soundly enough, maybe even the tag team of Wicket and Kali will not be able to disturb my slumber. One can only hope.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Power of the Pea

I just ate my fourth bowl of black-eyed peas of the day and will be dipping in for more in a few minutes. You see, when I was a child my Pap-pa told me that for every black-eyed pea you eat on New Year's Day, you'll earn a dollar in the coming year. I figure that if the going rate was a dollar per pea in Pap-pa's day (when a dollar a day was a good, living wage), that the value has to have gone up by now. Eating a crock pot full of black-eyed peas, therefore, will ensure a very successful year.

So, how exactly does this work? Because it has seemed to work for me these past few years. I've won a good amount of cash and some valuable prizes. I think it works for me because I believe in the power of the pea.

A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend who's as avid a sweeper as I am and another old friend who saw our sweeping chat on Facebook and wanted in on the action. They've both read The Secret - the popular book about the Law of Attraction. I've never read the book, but I have seen a few minutes of the video online, and I've read about it. I was introduced to the concept some 20 years ago, by an actor friend who had read Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This friend told me that when she was looking for a new place to live, she imagined the perfect townhouse in the perfect neighborhood at a great location in the city, and she turned down a street and there it was, just as she had imagined, down to the color of the buildings and the layout of the rooms.

Ms. Gawain was not the first to write of this concept. On Wikipedia, you can read The Science of Getting Rich written by Wallace D. Wattles in 1910; he called the concept Thinking Substance.

Imagine what you want. Believe it will come to you, and it will. That's the Law of Attraction. Creative Visualization. Thinking Substance. The Power of Prayer.

I remember hearing a story long ago about a friend of a friend who was not well off financially, she may have been disabled, and she really wanted a piano. She prayed and prayed for delivery of a piano. When out of the blue things fell into place in such a way that she was offered a piano at no cost, she gave credit to God and prayer. My dad told me the story of helping their new preacher move into a parsonage house recently purchased by the church. Standing in the room designated for the preacher's youngest daughter, the church members offered to re-paint it. Not necessary, the preacher said, for his daughter had prayed that in their new house, her room would be pink and purple, and that's exactly what it was.

Gives you chills, doesn't it?

So when I eat my bowl of black-eyed peas, I'm believing in the goodness and prosperity they will bring me over the next 364 days. Perhaps a grand prize win of thousands of dollars cash. Maybe another trip to New York or L.A. In the past year, I've won a laptop computer, a jousting helmet, DVDs, free food coupons and gift cards, books, and all kinds of products.

I credit the peas of 01/01/2009.

As you go through 2010, believe in yourself, be steadfast in your dreams, and may the year bring you everything you desire.