Monday, October 22, 2007

Dispatches from the Abyss - Monday, Oct. 22nd

Well I ended up being busy and social until I fell asleep on Saturday and due to unforeseen sleeping complications Sunday ended up being a broken day for me, so it looks like I owe myself a couple hours of writing. I have already taken care of part of that with the posting of my review of The Children of Hurin and here I go to knock out another hour of writing. Have we all got our helmets on? Good then, let us begin.

This weekend was alternately really good and kind of bad. We'll discuss the bad parts first so we can end on a high note. The only bad thing about this weekend, besides the fact that I came home with more beer than I started with AND I did not manage to stay drunk the entire weekend, was the sleeping arrangement. I was put on the futon in the living room. The futon was nice and it was nice to be able to stretch out however sleeping in the living room meant that I had to wait for everyone else to sack out before I could crash AND it meant that any time someone went in to the kitchen they would disturb my slumber. This is honestly not a big deal, although the person who felt the need to get ice water could have shown some common courtesy and skipped the whole ice cracking thing, and avoiding sleeping in a smaller than James sized bed was worth the trade-off. The time this trade-off was not worth it was when, on Sunday morning, one of the girls decided she needed to read her Harry Potter book at six in the fucking morning and to do this she had to turn on the kitchen lights. Since the kitchen, living room, and dining area were all one big space this really meant that she was turning on one third of the lights where I was sleeping. Seriously, what the fuck makes you think this is okay? I could buy the excuse that she did not know I was sleeping in there until I woke up and made some noise except for the fact that according to Nikki and others I am not a quiet sleeper. Even so, we will give her the benefit of the doubt and say that I was ninja-like in my sleep that night. Once she knew that she had woken me up she should have packed up her shit and gone back to her room, or outside, or something and let me get back to sleep. She didn't. Her compromise was to turn off the overhead light in the kitchen and take one of the lamps to the other side of the room. This reduced the ambient light in the room by an insignificant amount and at this point she had been rattling around long enough that it did not matter. I was awake and there was no chance of me getting to sleep again before people starting fucking around. At this point I was so fucking pissed off at the girl that I opted to pack the car and leave rather than stick around and be dickish and snappy at people. Too bad because Scott was doing pancakes and they would have gone down much better than the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits I had on my way home AND I had wanted to stop at the LSFM Sunday before heading out, but since I was on the road by seven in the morning I did not bother to stop by.

The good parts about this weekend? Pretty much everything else. The house was pretty cool and way the hell down Galveston Island. I think this is the furthest I have driven down the island with the exception of one of mine and Nikki's trips to Galveston (for her birthday if I recall correctly.) I got there much later on Friday than I intended too because of this bitch paralegal and her inability to do shit right, but once I got there the fun began and it did not end until sometime on Sunday. I got to hang out with friends that I do not get to see that often plus some of my friends who I see all the time. Saturday was a fairly lazy day with Heidi cooking super spinachy quiche's for breakfast and then people doing their own thing. I got some reading done in The Children of Hurin, I think I might have taken a nap, waded in the ocean, and just hung out until a group of us decided it was time to go into Galveston proper to visit Col. Bubbie's. Now Col. Bubbie's is a place that childhood dreams are made of. It is a jumbled maze of military surplus items from all over the world. Along side the requisite redneck fashion t-shirts you can find Red Army mess kits from WWII, dress jackets made for the British Army, leather jackets from Italian motorcycle police, de-miled hand grenades, helmets of all sorts, entrenching tools, great coats, boots, caps, ammo pouches, Jerry cans, and anything else you can think of all wrapped in a vaguely musty and moth ball ridden smell. All of this material is thrown together in a haphazard maze which I could happily spend hours exploring.

When I was a kid my mom and some of her college friends used to get together and rent a condo for a long weekend on Galveston during the summer. One of the things I insisted we do each year was to check out Col. Bubbie's. I could spend HOURS in there as a child. I remember two of the things I always wanted from there were a decent pair of combat boots and a tankers helmet with the goofy ear pieces. I never got either, although I did spend some time trying on the tanker's helmets this weekend. If I had found one that fit well enough I totally would have bought it and worn it around the house. Maybe even taken it in to work just to mess with people.

Once we got done with Col. Bubbie's and wandering the Strand a bit we then went to the Mosquito Cafe for lunch. I have heard rave reviews about the Mosquito Cafe but I have to say I was a little disappointed. I had the chicken breast sandwich with bacon and the garlic-herb mayonnaise overwhelmed the flavor of the bacon. The sandwich wasn't bad but it was a chicken sandwich not worth writing home about. Rob raved about his back cheese burger and Scott seemed pretty pleased with his steak sandwich, so I may have just chosen poorly. Also for my side I chose potato salad however what I got was the bastard child of potato salad and coleslaw which, seeing as I pretty much hate coleslaw, is not a good thing. Basically it was coleslaw in which the cabbage had been replaced with potatos and while this substitution made it more tolerable than coleslaw, it was still not potato salad. By definition potato salad involves mustard and onions of some type and as far as I could tell this had neither. After that we hit a grocery store in which I found a very obscenely shaped yam, Wal Mart where we failed to find any kites, and then back to the house.

Once back at the house we continued to fuck off for the rest of the day. I walked the beach and took some photos and just generally chilled for the rest of the day until it was time to sack out. As I said, a rather nice weekend all things considered.

As I indicated in my review of The Children of Hurin I have recently begun frequenting a couple of the Star Trek fan film forums around the internet as well are reading the Trek Movie Report for all my Trek news needs. Now that casting is completed for the full crew, the bitching about the movie has started in earnest. I have mixed it up a little on the boards attempting to point out that as sci-fi fans we ALWAYS bitch and moan about stuff when we hear it but most of us are generally pleased with the result. Just look at Battlestar Galactica. I was one of the legions of fans who harumphed when we heard that the new BSG was going to be a reimaging of the series, even though it was not entirely clear what reimaging meant at the time, and my negativity continued through my viewing of the miniseries. It finally took Don and Rob to convince me the show was worth watching, and they were right. I suspect the new Trek is going to be much the same for people. Of course Trek fans suffer a bit from battered spouse syndrome, no matter how big a pile of crap Paramount puts out, as long as it says Star Trek on it an appreciable number of fans will check it out. (Lets face it, I bet more than one of you out there owns Star Trek V in at least one format.)

So all of the whinging and moaning about the cast and the fact that J.J. Abrams has been going on in full-force for a week or so when I stumble across this gem from an interview with Garfield Reeves-Stevens*:

Remember Star Wars is one long epic story, whereas Star Trek is a context for storytelling. So you have your bubble universe of Deep Space Nine where things are not quite as perfect or you have your pocket universe of Voyager where instead of exploring you are going home. And you can have the rough and ready approach of The Original Series and have the more mature and corporate approach of The Next Generation.

(The full interview can be found here. The emphasis is mine.)

It is really nice to hear someone out there talking sense about Star Trek in this manner, almost as though Star Trek could be considered a sub-genre of science fiction rather than just a science fiction milieu. I wish more fans would take this to heart and stop saying things along the lines of, "JJ's new movie is not going to be real Trek," and the like. Quite frankly it makes them sound like they are religious fanatics of the worst stripe. Can you imagine it? The TOS Crusade followed soon thereafter by the TNG Jihad and DS9 Intifada?

Oh well, that just about does it for this installment. I wish I had something funny to say here, but I don't really. Except to point out that I have done this in the past. Until next time may the Force be with you. Peace out!

No soundtrack tonight. I found as I was listening to Breaking Benjamin's Phobia I was thinking thoughts about my half-formed Shadowrun fan film series. Perhaps I will dedicate some time this weekend to seeing if I can get some more of the bible written for the series.

* Garfield Reeves-Stevens and his wife Judith are well-respected authors who have a long connection with the Trek franchise, their first novel, Memory Prime coming out in 1988. Their work with Trek continued through assignments as story editors and co-producers for the final season of Enterprise and their latest novel Academy - Collision Course which was co-authored with none other than William Shatner himself. They have a lot of street cred with Trekkies.

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