January 2009

Truly, this is a film – no, a movie – that dies kicking.

It is not good, but I adored The Boyf’s take: “I’ll take an ambitious failure over a timid success any day.” So true.

There are scenes, I should point out, that are very powerful. There are songs that I loved. It is undeniably a life experience. It is one of the most stylish movies I’ve ever seen. I would not rush to watch it a second time but I would absolutely watch someone else watch it.

I suspect this is how people felt when they walked out of “Phantom of the Paradise” all those years ago.

Today I braved the cold to go spend a few minutes taking pictures downtown. There’s a tall parking garage (six stories) behind the American Tobacco campus that made a pretty decent spot for some pictures. My batteries died about five minutes in but thanks to my new camera using AA’s instead of some ridiculous, proprietary battery, I ran to the gas station and back and kept going. It was unbelievably cold. As katastrophes put it last night, the temperature was “negative ass.” The sky was exceptional, though.

Before this I went to Circuit City to see if they were really trying to sell me something and found that it was a bit bullshit as clearances go: videogames with a $20 price tag half-covered by a newer $60 price tag that was, in turn, half covered by a 10% or 20% discount sticker? No thanks. I don’t need to pay $54 for a videogame I can buy for $19.99 across the street at Target. Lots of people were milling around but not very many were buying. I texted The Boyf to tell him I would bet a nickel that the price was better yesterday on almost everything I looked at.

Between the two I stopped in to try Piper’s Deli after reading about it on a local foodie blog. Very, very yummy. While I was there the bartender greeted two other patrons by name as they walked in. It’s a place that knows its people, and that’s awesome. I want to go back and try their vegetarian burger; the turkey burger was delightful. I didn’t notice until too late that the special of the day was a vegetarian lasagna.

Friday night, 7:30, The Carolina Theatre of Durham: John Carpenter’s The Thing. Who‘s super-stoked? I am super-stoked. I also used this as a way to experiment with creating events on Facebook, so if you know me on there and you want to go, let me know and I will send you an invitation. There is, of course, an awesome trailer on YouTube:

I think it might actually kill me to wait two days.

In other news, I bought a new camera with a gift card from the holidays: Fujifilm S2000HD. I’ve been playing with it a bit and am totally in love. Those are just random shots taken without having yet read the manual so that I can see how they turn out with zero education.

After having read this story when it was linked from Unfogged earlier this week I have been unable to stop talking about the idea of real-life superheroes. Back in the day, Aaron used to run a group story project thing and in it were a few “normal guy superheroes.” Eventually, if I recall correctly, those of us who wrote some of them threw in the concept of there being a sort of combination farm league and trade union made up of all the Normal Guy Superheroes – Flash Gordon, for instance, or Ash from the Evil Dead movies.

At any rate, the more I talk about this idea that real people decide to put on a costume and go bust crackhouses or whatever – becoming, as I said to The Boyf, the middle ground between the saying “be the change you want to see in the world” and Katmandu’s fabulous “be the trouble you want to see in the world” t-shirt – the more obsessed I become with what Durham’s local superhero would be like if we had one.

The way I figure, she or he would pretty much have to go by the monicker “The Bull’s-Eye.” Given our architecture and the general Faded Glory/Urban Decay prom theme we have going downtown, she or he would need to be one of the trench-coated, goggled, fedora-wearing types. The calling card would be the obvious emblem of a bull’s-eye. They would need to be more a criminologist than a ruffian. Durham would happily play home to a Batman or a Golden Age Sandman but not so much a Superman or The Flash. They would be the detective type, collecting evidence and leaving bundled baddies on the steps of the police station.

Now that I think about it, that actually happens in The Dark Knight, doesn’t it? See, that’s what I’m talking about.

Such trains of thought naturally lead me to wonder what would result if this were to happen in the World of Darkness version of the Triangle inhabited by more than one of my group’s tabletop games over the years. Were Withrow to encounter the Bull’s-Eye running around Durham he would be so horribly miffed. What the hell does some crazy mortal mean, claiming to be a superhero? Withrow is supposed to be the brooding superhero, don’t they know that? It would be amusing.

Thus, I may have found the topic for next – I mean, this – year’s NaNoWriMo or, even better, this year’s Script Frenzy.