Thursday, July 27, 2006

burner day yesterday, earthquake today

CNN's breaking news banner says: 6.0 earthquake just hit Indonesia.
Yesterday of course was 4 Ahau, the day the world is supposed to end on 12-21-2012 according to the Maya. And of course this Sun is supposed to end with earthquakes (4 Ollin) according to the Aztecs. Plus it was a burner day.
More as I know it will be posted. 5 Imix 14 Xul

Sunday, July 23, 2006

movie review: War of the Worlds 1 Caban 10 Xul
I don't like Tom Cruise anymore. I never liked him much, except in that movie where he runs around in his underwear singing Bob Segar. I thought he ruined Interview with the Vampire (he was totally wrong for the part of Lestat) and after he started in on Scientology and jumping on Oprah's couch and all that, forget it.
So I didn't see the Spielberg version of War of the Worlds until last night, when it came on HBO. I wasted 2 hours of my life watching it and I wish I could get those 2 hours back to do something constructive. Like sleep. Or watch South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut again.
I'm sure HG Wells probably rolled over in his grave to see what they did to his story. (Spoilers ahead, but be grateful because you won't have to watch this piece of garbage.) The part that was most true, the aliens dying basically of colds, seemed tacked-on and fake and a deux ex machina. The internal premises of the movie, things the movie was careful to set up, didn't stay consistent.
The alien invasion starts with a weird storm and a bunch of lightning striking one spot repeatedly. All the power goes out. Cars stop working. Phones stop working. This is implied to be due to an EMP (based on news reports playing on the TV before the storm hits, which is a reasonable and clever way to get scientific and background information into the movie, since the main character was demoted from scientist to scientologist...I mean crane operator. And another thing, why waste the opening minutes on the character's crane operating skills if they never come into play again? Why not just show him arriving late to pick up his children?). If you go to the movie mistakes website, many of the posters explain that EMP only works on items that are TURNED ON at the time of the pulse. That's how people can be taking photos and movies of the tripods as they come out and start frying people. All right, fine, I understand that. But not every car in that city would have been turned on and running when the EMP happened, so why don't any of those cars start?
Tom Cruise's character (I already forget his name) tells the garage to put a solenoid into a van and that makes the van restart, proving that unused solenoids were not affected by the pulse. It would take no time at all for him to give out this information to the people who are walking and freaking that they don't have cars that run. Many mechanics had to have survived, and many auto parts stores and repair shops. He could have told the people in the news van, whose van and equipment survived unscathed, to put that report out over the air so when the EMP did hit, people would know what do to.
The tripods have a death ray that turns people into ashes, but their clothes remain intact. How does the ray know what to vaporize? And unless the ash is another type of fertilizer, this seems very wasteful. Later on they are grinding up live humans and using their blood to water plants--but most of the humans have already been ashed.
And that brings us back to the machines. Supposedly these have been buried all over the earth since before mankind evolved. So these aliens are very patient--they knew some kind of life would evolve here that they could exploit later to grow red weeds. (Why do they want to grow red weeds? I don't know. The movie doesn't say. I am holding off re-reading the short story, until I finish the review.)
But why couldn't they use dinosaurs as fertilizer? Why wait for humans? Ash is ash (assuming they used the ash) and blood is blood.
My husband raised the point--why were the tripods only buried in major cities? How did the aliens know where the cities would be millions of years later? I suggested that the tripods were buried EVERYWHERE (one does come out of a lake) and only those in major cities were activated. But that begs the question....why didn't we ever find one? With all our ground-penetrating radar and deeply buried subways and oil drilling, how come we never found even one sleeping tripod? Someone on the movie mistakes site suggested that the tripods crawled underground into place. That would have shown as seismic activity though, and the TV wasn't talking about recent low-key world-wide earthquakes.
Tom Cruise has a limited acting range. Aw-shucks gee whizz doofus, angry stern commander, and blank-faced. He tried toward the end to play the loving daddy but it fell flat and wasn't believable. His spoiled and pampered daughter was so shrill, that I didn't care if she lived or died. She added nothing to the plot except making the movie longer and louder. At one point he claims she's ten, but she acts much younger. The son was a more interesting character. He had his dad's measure as an uncaring slacker. He showed his father how to really help, not just stand around--when he ran to save the people on the boat ramp and when he repeatedly tried to join the military convoys. I don't remember the son questioning how they had a running vehicle, but he would have been the one telling people if he knew.
The plane got hit by the EMP and fell from the sky when they were hiding in the basement of Cruise's ex-wife's new house. But their van still started and amazingly did not get hit by any plane debris. The plane's occupants should have been splattered all over, but there were none.
The aliens in the basement were too cute. They had big eyes. Big eyes make humans sympathetic. Also, shouldn't they have had 3 eyes evenly spaced around their heads? They have 3 3-fingered appendages so why not 3 eyes? Obviously these creatures are NOT bi-laterally symmetrical. 3 eyes (even if large) would be gross to humans. The way they bumbled around, knocking things over, being in amazement over the bike wheel, makes them seem like endearing and harmless creatures, along the lines of ET. If one of them had been coughing or sneezing or showing signs of illness, that would have set up the ending. But they blow their chance there.
By the time Tom Cruise and his screaming monster of a daughter get to Boston, the tripods are dropping dead, the alien red weeds are dying and being eaten by crows. The soldier tells him the tripods started walking in circles and then fell over. Birds land all over a still-upright tripod which alerts Tom Cruise, the vigilant crane operator, that the shields are down. This makes NO sense. The tripods aren't alive. It's the aliens inside. And the sick aliens wouldn't turn off the shields and continue to blast things.

Now I am re-reading War of the Worlds online, and I will comment on what was changed in the movie, concentrating on the things I brought up in my review.
  • Book: meteors containing tripods landed. Tripods were not pre-buried.
  • Book: aliens have 2 huge eyes and "Gorgon groups of tentacles"--movie: aliens have 2 large eyes and but only 3 3-fingered appendendges. Since they changed the appearance in other ways, why not change the eyes too?
  • Book: no electronics in the world, thus no EMP and all the associated plot problems
  • Book: death-ray simply burns people, trees, and animals. Not selective to human flesh as in the movie and does not turn them to instant ash. "However it is done, it is certain that a beam of heat is the essence of the matter. Heat, and invisible, instead of visible, light. Whatever is combustible flashes into flame at its touch, lead runs like water, it softens iron, cracks and melts glass, and when it falls upon water, incontinently that explodes into steam."
  • There is a train, but it's not on fire. " Over the Maybury arch a train, a billowing tumult of white, firelit smoke, and a long caterpillar of lighted windows, went flying south--clatter, clatter, clap, rap, and it had gone....It was all so real and so familiar." Later on in the book there is a wrecked train, but it's not on fire, and it's not moving.
  • Book: aliens are "sluggish" and unable to move in our gravity. Movie: they walk about, not only freely, but clamor up and over walls like spiders.
  • Book: Narrator/protagonist is a married philosophy writer with no children. Movie: divorced crane operator with 2 kids.
  • Book: main character wants to be there when the Martians are killed. Movie: protagonist doesn't want to be there but his son does.
  • Book: artillery shells destroy a tripod with a direct hit. Movie: tripods have elaborate, invisible shields.
  • Book: dying tripods squirt "ruddy brown fluid". Movie: dying tripods excrete reddish orange fluid.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

really bizarre 2 Chicchan 18 Tzec

I just got this piece of spam. This was the ONLY contents--no link, no attachment:

The houses in the Plague Quarter were chipped and dead. How ever, the earth scientists and engineers could use. After all, many very important crashed into the clay like it was a ten-pound weight instead of a bolt. It in to his body, left only the narrow swept daggers of his wingtips

Very weird, huh? Sounds like a partial excerpt from something.

more on abandonment 2 CHicchan 18 Tzec
I saw Ladyhawke last night and the movers are taking her away on August 10, my dad's birthday. She's not even going to stay for the huge gem show at the Big E that weekend. She's given her notice at work and is officially retiring. I am glad for the retiring part--she hates her job--but I am not glad that she's moving so far away. She says it's not permanent, that she might come back in a few years.
And it's still difficult for me to see her sometimes when I think about her age. She's only a few months younger than my dad and the difference is astounding. Part of it, I know, is because she has a lot of very young friends (like me--I graduated with her daughter). The rest, well, simple bad luck on my dad's part. Bad genes. I don't know.
She said when she heard that the guy from Wallingford took out 29 (0r 27) people on Saturday she worried it was my dad until she heard he was 89. I can't imagine my dad being able to drive all the way to New London at this point. He can't even say "Happy birthday."

Monday, July 10, 2006

new cemetery 1 Kan 17 Tzec
Now there's a green cemetery in New York. They're getting closer.
It's not that I want to be eaten by worms. But it's more natural than being pumped full of formaldahyde and then put into a wooden box, a concrete vault and a metal liner to grow mold and lay there for eternity. Maybe the Egyptians would have liked it, but it grosses me out. When I think of my grandpa lying there in his box covered with mold all shrivelly and black 18 years after his death it pisses me off. I'd rather think of him as a clean white skeleton or even entirely dissipated into the earth. And really, honestly, once I die, who will care about my grandpa? No one. Our graves only need to be marked for as long as those who loved us are alive. A tree, a bench, a wooden plaque--all these make more sense than an expensive engraved hunk of granite. And sure, bury someone else in my spot in 50 years. What will I care? Cemeteries are a waste of space the way they are set up now. They might be called "Memorial parks" in some places but parks they are not. And they should be.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

abandonment issues & Vegas debacle

I've been feeling very abandoned and alone lately. I'm not sure what it is I have to work through or why I have to go through this.
One of my best friends, Joyce (LadyHawke) is retiring and moving to Louisiana as soon as her house sells. We are concocting a business together where she will make clothes for full-figured women which I will model and we will sell on my website which will force us to keep in touch. So I'm sad about that and trying to spend as much time with her as possible while she's still here.
My best friend (and I want to put that in quotes) has her almost 2- year old and she's really got no time for me anymore. Last week I actually saw her 2 days in a row--she came to my cousin's stag party and the next day her and her husband with their daughter and her husband's friend came over to kill the keg with Will. But she blew off my birthday party a couple of weeks before that and yesterday I left her a message that it was my birthday, Will's in LA with Tom and I didn't want to be alone and she didn't even call me back.
Will's in Los Angeles with his brother for 2 days (coming home tonight) and I was sad to be alone on my birthday.
The Vegas wedding thing was a disaster of epic proportions, leaving me literally in tears. I hated the fact that my husband was best man, knowing that meant he'd be occupied doing manly things and wedding things and manly wedding things and leave me alone. My cousin vehemently denied this, and also reassured me that I WOULD eat the food at the reception and I WOULD NOT have to sit alone and eat said food because there'd be no head table and no segregation of the wedding party from the wedding guests.
One word.
We got to Vegas late Tuesday night (early Wednesday morning). Wednesday afternoon Will had to leave for several hours do get the tuxes (his didn't fit right; he blamed me) and do wedding crap. I went shopping in the hotel mall by myself.
Thursday he had to go to the wedding chapel several hours early do whatever it was they needed to do. My cousin told me to be at the chapel at 3:30 (4:00 wedding) and I got there around 3:25 (it was a long walk, alone, and I didn't know how long it would take). I was left sitting there in the anteroom even after greeting the bride and her party AND the groom and his party. Only when more guests arrived and ALSO talked to me was I given leave to enter the chapel with them. Not that the wedding parties were in the chapel so what was the difference?
After the 7 minute (I timed it) wedding more pictures had to be taken, etc, and most of the wedding guests were smoking in the hallways (you can smoke EVERYWHERE in Vegas-hotel rooms, casinos, restaurants) so I told everyone I'd start walking to the reception. I figured they'd catch up but they didn't even though I had to stop and sit a few times.
When I got to the restaurant they wouldn't let me in. I was literally told to "go take a walk" even though the reception was supposed to start at 5:00 and it was 5:08. I took out my phone and called Will and left him a message while standing right in front of the hostess, saying "They won't let me into the restaurant for the reception." Then I went to a nearby bench and sat to wait. Eventually Will called and asked where I was. No one had told him I walked ahead and the hostess didn't tell the other guests that she had turned me away (but no one else was turned away). I told him I was sitting on a bench in between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. He came to the doorway and the hostess helpfully pointed me out. I wanted to smack her. She knew she turned me away. She knew I was sitting there. Yet she told no one I was there or that she had sent me away to take a walk. So there was problem #1 with the reception.
I went into the restaurant and followed my husband to sit with him. I was immediately and firmly directed to the farthest away corner of the table and told that was my place. (I keep forgetting that although Dennis is my cousin, that his parents don't consider me family even though my dad lived with his mom as her foster brother and is her first cousin)--so as "not family" of course I'd be placed in the seat of dis-honor far far away. Problem #2.
I sat down in my corner and picked up the menu card. The top of the card said in big mis-spelled letters CONGRADULATIONS and went on to be grammatically incorrect in many other ways. Including the 3 food choices, none of which I would eat. Garlic-crusted chicken--too much garlic makes me nauseous. Fish-never eat it. Veal-never eat it. Problem #3.
My husband walked by me without saying anything, with the wedding party, heading god-knows-where. I looked at my lonely seat. I looked at his seat far away. I looked at the menu card with its unappetizing choices. I put down the card, picked up my bag and walked out of the restaurant. I had to practically chase down my husband to tell him I was leaving and not returning. He didn't get it. My cousin was baffled--I didn't like that food? Why not?
I was very calm. I did not throw anything. I did not shout. I did not cry. I did not make a scene. A few years ago I would have done all of those things but I'm trying not to be dramatic anymore. I went back to the room and waited for my husband to call me. I couldn't get it through his head that I wasn't going to sit ALONE in a restaurant that had denied me entry and not eat the food.
At 11:00 he called me and said he was in the restaurant bar drinking and he'd be home in an hour. I reminded him that I needed to be at the airport at 4:00 a.m.
At 2 a.m. I woke up alone in the bed. I called his cell and it was turned off.
Then I got a little irrational. I know I still have all kinds of crap in my head based on my ex-boyfriend who cheated on me and beat me up and lied to me and certain things trigger it and it's like a truck with no breaks going down the hill. Although I was exhausted from crying and not sleeping properly for several days and I had to be at the airport in 2 hours and my legs were already aching beyond belief from all the walking, I got dressed and walked all the way back to Mandalay Bay (down the long hallway, down the slanty elevator, across the casino, up the escalator, through the mezzanine level and across the mall) to the restaurant and found it--surprise--closed and shuttered and dark. No wedding reception. No drunken wedding party. No one.
I called my cousin's cell. It was turned off too.
I walked back into the Luxor and went through the casino to the sports book because I know you can't have a cell phone on in there and I also know my cousin was betting on sports that day. It was dark and empty. I couldn't face walking back to Mandalay Bay and looking for their sports book area.
Of course when my husband finally came back everything was my fault. I ruined the wedding. I spoiled it for everyone. (Yup--they hadn't noticed when I wasn't there at the restaurant to begin with so I highly doubt they cared that I was gone. I did note that except to ask me what I was doing in the chapel so early the bride DID NOT SPEAK TO ME at all while we were in Vegas.) What is my fucking problem with always having to know where he is? (He never did tell me where he was.) Yaddha yaddha yaddha, with me crying and him angry and drunk. A beautiful scene.
And then he carried my bags to the cab and sent me home and went to LA without me.
Yesterday for my birthday I didn't want to be alone so I called a bunch of my friends and left a message that basically said, "Hey, it's my birthday today and Will's in LA with Tom and I don't want to be alone come over tonight around 5 or 6 and hang out with me."
I spoke to 3 people and left messages for everyone else. Of the three, one said no, and I was fine with that, because it was last-minute. Of all the messages I left, only ONE person called me back. I can't imagine one of my friends--any of those people I called--leaving me such a message and just blowing it off. At the very least, doesn't common decency compel you to call back and say "Happy birthday, I wish I could make it but I have plans"?
So only 2 people came to hang out. We waited until 7 and when it seemed no one else was coming we went out for pizza.
Happy birthday to me.