Monthly Archives: January 2011

Idea For Monster Movie

You know how Godzilla was created by nuclear fallout? And you know how a neutron bomb would supposedly kill everyone in a city, without destroying the buildings?

How about a monster movie where a neutron bomb causes a monster to be created? The neutron monster then rampages through a city, but only kills the people. It is only part material, so it strides through the buildings, but can reach down and grab people and crush them. It can control how solid it is. Perhaps it’s a little translucent.

It could also have some kind of psychological attack, to tie in with the trend for Lovecraftian horror, and to give people the Watchmen Squid they were denied in the movie. Neutron Monster, marching through downtown, no building is destroyed. It’s not as noisy as Godzilla. Only the screams of the insane can be heard.

One nasty special effect, perhaps reserved for the bad guy at the end, could be that the monster grabs the guy in its monster fist (it is man-in-a-suit anthropomorphic after all) and then crushes him slowly, and we see the crushing through the translucent fist. Actually there’s probably porn of that already.

Thoughts? Been done?

Wedding Tidbits

I got my suit at the weekend, after lots of back and forth around Union Square in San Francisco. I’m very happy with what I ended up with, but I suspect Cassie thinks I’m going to look like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack crossed with Nucky Thompson. I’m going for a more subtle vibe than that, but I think it’s going to look pretty good.

It came down to a choice between a suit by an Italian designer I’ve never heard of in Barney’s of New York, and a suit by an Italian designer I’ve never heard of in Couture on Sutter. I was leaning towards the latter, so I went to Barney’s to check out the former one last time, and decided to go with the latter. When I told Sean (the Barney’s salesboy) that I was leaving it, he asked where I was getting my suit. I told him, and he sneered and rolled his eyes. We asked what the problem was, and he basically said, “I thought you said you wanted a suit you could wear again”. Neither suit was cheap. Sean then refused to elaborate, and it became unpleasant. Here’s a tip, Sean of Barney’s of New York: you may not agree with your customer’s choices, but until you’ve been my tailor for ten years, you don’t get to sneer and roll your eyes as a feeble sales tactic to undermine my confidence in my decision. Either have a good reason I shouldn’t buy from a particular store, or shut up and go away.

We continue…

I’ve heard a lot of people describe people who have died as having “passed”. But when people ask about my parents and the wedding, and I tell them they’ve passed, what do they think?

“Hi Mum and Dad, would you like to come to my wedding?”
“Nah, we’ll pass, cheers”

…and here it is

muteboy posted a photo:

...and here it is

My bus to work at the Grateful Dead merchandise sweatshop

Sutro Tower

muteboy posted a photo:

Sutro Tower

Looks great from my bus stop

My TSA Opt-out Story

[Found this on my phone – I’d started writing it using the very good WordPress Android app, then failed to follow through – what are the chances?]

I’m in Legends of San Francisco, the sports bar near our departure gate at SFO. We’re flying to Las Vegas for Xmas – Cassie’s folks are there, and her brother and his family will be there as well so we’re all heading down there.

I’d forgotten about the new body scanning machines. They look a bit like the machine Sam Malone uses in Quantum Leap, crossed with a smaller version of the giant machine in Contact, but without the dry ice and catastrophic failure. I’ve read a lot about these things, and the horror stories about pregnant ladies, children, people in wheelchairs and so on. So here’s my less-than-dramatic experience.

After I put my stuff in the trays, I stood for a second, and then the TSA person waved me toward the scanner. I said I preferred to opt out. There was a flicker of annoyance on the TSA guy’s face, perhaps a very slight eye-roll, and I was asked to stand aside. I had to wait a second because it was busy (although not as busy as we’d expected) they had to bring someone over.

The guy asked me why I wanted to opt out. I said it was because of the issues surrounding storage of the images, and (stupidly) because of the dangers of the radiation. He said that there was no danger from the radiation, and that the images were stored in a computer “just behind that wall there”. Why the location of the stored images of my family jewels matters, I don’t know. I didn’t say anything to that, but it’s well know that despite the TSA claiming that the machines cannot store images, despite the unpleasant (and obvious) fact that they TOTALLY CAN.

I am annoyed with myself for mentioning the radiation. I guess I was a little nervous, so I wanted to say what other people seem to be saying, but I know pretty well the “radiation” is a lower dose than you would get just be being at 30,000 feet anyway.

The second TSA guy took me aside, I stood on the mat with my feet in the foot marks, and he did the enhanced patdown. It wasn’t so bad, it was mostly like the regular one: all around the arms, legs, waist, back and front. When it came to the groinal areas, he went as far as the upper thigh and no further. There was no cupping. It wasn’t like the bit from Andrew Dice Clay about an examination at the doctors, “Then he starts jugglin’ my cojones like he’s looking fer ripe tomaters! I said ‘back off man this ain’t no fuckin’ social call!'”.

That was that. Cassie opted out as well, and she says it was the same for her with her TSA lady. All pretty friendly, and utterly pointless. But just to reiterate: There was no cupping.

Rockety Bye

I’ve been reading various snippets about a band in the UK currently getting hyped by the long-since-post-relevant NME and various other media as the “saviours of rock”. Music blog (and my chums) Both Bars On have alluded to them in passing tweets, and then yesterday I read this piece on The Quietus, which discusses the whole thing.

It points out that this band have had a number of different names and styles over the last couple of years. This isn’t a crime in itself – musicians do this all the time, but to jump from genre to genre and name to name just to chase the hype, at the same time as trying to make a name for yourself as gobby upstarts with an opinion on everything, playing proper rock and standing out in a supposed sea of mediocrity, smacks of dishonesty. If your shtick is that you’re raw and real and new, thereby implying that stuff that isn’t raw and real and new is inferior, you don’t get to have a history of cynically changing your shtick to get the press to like you.

Also, “new”? From what I’ve read, they sound like a sloppy pub rock band. “Oh but they’re so raw” – do shut up. “First four Oasis singles” – you too.

It reminds me of how Tiger Lily, an also-ran glam rock band from the UK in the 1970’s , changed their name and style and became slick New Romantic bandwagoneers Ultravox: a shameless switch to the new big thing.Although Love’s Great Adventure was pretty good, and I remember the battle for the top spot between Vienna and In The Air Tonight. It was a pretty divisive competition amongst the pre-teens of Plover Way, and I can’t honestly remember which side I was on, but I know I was right (even if that means liking a Phil “I Thought You Said You Were Leaving The Country” Collins song). I was young.

The Quietus makes a good point about how the not-so-hip not-so-young gunslingers of the traditional music press are pushing this lot, while the huge independent music blogosphere doesn’t give two shites about them, because it means that if they “make it” (whatever that means nowadays – playing a Buckingham Palace benefit?), then the press get to say “they’re ours”, and then proceed to drive them until they break, then pull them to pieces.

(And then later they get to write books about Royal celebrities, and claim they have GRAVITAS – had to get that in)

Meanwhile, people are making music, people are listening to it and going to gigs, and the world turns, all without the need for next-big-thing hype.

The band seem to revel in calling music from this side of the pond “that American shit” – but what do they mean? I’m no music expert, and my tastes have been calcifying with age as I’ve mentioned before, but they surely can’t be unaware of the amazing variety of music in the US and in the UK. Unless of course they mean the stuff that gets into the charts, and that would reveal a not-particularly-startling level of (studied?) ignorance. Surely they know the charts are barely relevant these days, and arguably haven’t been for years, perhaps decades.

It’s another example of the dangers of describing something as more real or authentic than then others: if something is “real”, then something else is unreal, unauthentic, and saying so can have a alienating effect. To be continued.

Take a Jumbo, ‘cross the water…

muteboy posted a photo:

Take a Jumbo, 'cross the water...

There’s fruit in it!