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Friday, July 25, 2014

Dude, I Just Watched Lucy

I usually don’t give numerical ratings, but they’re a handy way to show my polar-opposites reaction to Lucy.

I give it 2/5 if I’m watching a movie that takes the cringe worthy 10% of your brain premiss seriously. Early on I involuntarily looked away from the screen, too embarrassed to watch, while Morgan Freeman speaks inanities to a lecture hall full of academics hanging on his every word, who then raise their hands, and, with straight faces, ask equally inane questions back at him.

However, a little bit after this, Lucy, on the phone to her mother, struggles to explain what’s happening: “Mom,” she says (I’m paraphrasing), “I feel my bones growing; I feel gravity; I feel everything!” She’s speaking in pure hallucination. Might this movie be, Dude, I Just Found the Other 90% of My Brain? i.e. Could Lucy be the most over-the-top acid trip movie ever made? I mean, dude, if it is, I give it, like, 4/5.

Really; I’m not kidding: as an acid trip, it’s a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hey, it was My Birthday

My birthday was yesterday, July 14th, also Bastille Day. These are the highlights of my 64th birthday. Generally, I don't celebrate birthdays, but thanks to internet commerce, I did two significant things today: one silly, one profound. Try and guess which is which.

Marco's Pizza; the local franchise is two blocks away; sent me an email birthday deal: 1 free medium pizza with one topping if I buy another of equal value or more. I took them up on it. Two medium pizza! They'll be feeding me for four days. 
1 pizza with ham and pineapple --- basic Hawaiian
1 pizza with feta cheese and jalapeƱos --- nothing basic about that! (they didn't charge me for the extra topping on the birthday pizza --- in case you've been keeping count.)

I subscribe to the Tor Books email newsletter. They must have a birthday daemon, and I must have signed up using my Facebook account so they know my birthday. The daemon sent me an "exclusive" birthday story, just for subscribers: A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star, by Kathleen Ann Goonan. I hadn't read anything of hers before, now I have to.

The Tor description is as good as any one sentence I've tried to compose, and doesn't come any closer to touching the quiet, emotional depth of the story. Tor says, "[It's] about the daughter of a rocket scientist in the post 1950s who wants to go to the moon, despite being discouraged because 'girls don't do that.'"


The story begins with a simple prologue: a list of dates and events beginning in 1901 with the birth of Walter Elias Disney. It ends in 1950 with the birth of Carol Elizabeth Hall, the girl. From there on the story is about her, her relationship with her father (who dies when she's 13), her relationship with her mother, the lingering effects of World War II, Tomorrowland, The Jupiter-C rocket, the moon landing, Fantasia on acid, and what it's like being a girl, then a woman, in the second half of the Twentieth Century, who wants to be a rocket scientist.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2014

Note to self: Never try to foretell, at the end of a blob post, what the next post will be about — it never is — and never claim to predict when the next post will appear — in never does.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in less than a half hour from now, from just now, as I am typing the first draft of this. If I'm lucky, this post will be ready by midnight. I've been spinning my wheels for a couple of years. I don't know if anything will change. 

Fun tool note: I'm late to the party, but I'm typing this on my iPad Air using a Bluetooth keyboard. Why this and not my MacBook? I like this higher resolution screen — no hint of aliasing; it's easier to look at, and the iPad has much better battery life. My MacBook Air is acting as a desktop computer most of the time.

Writing tools: I'm trying out a combination of Ulysses on the desktop and Daedalus on the iPad. They  store files on iCloud and Dropbox, giving me the computer and iPad collaboration that is still only a promise from Scrivener. It neither has all the cool toys of Scrivener, in fact, they use basic Markdown formatting.


Two minutes to midnight; gotta go!