December 28, 2004

Mood: Bit Ticked, Really.
Music: None.

Is there anyone on this planet who thinks that there’s going to be a hockey season this year?

I am simply dumbfounded. These people, who cannot manage their own checkbooks, will decide in a few weeks to cancel the 2004-2005 NHL season once and for all.

Their timing is not at all surprising. They knew months ago that they were going to do this, and they knew months ago that regardless of what the players offered, they were going to refuse. They are doing this so that the owners and NHL can declare an impasse under US and Canadian labor law. This will unilaterally enable them to dictate the terms of their next labor contract, under which the players can sign, or not play in the NHL. All while earning interest on season ticket holders’ money.

You might be thinking that the NHL has the right to do what they want in regards to their employees. And largely, I agree. The NHL is under no obligation to hire any of these players. They are under no obligation to pay them what they demand. They are under no obligation to offer admission to their games, sell tickets, or even play the games.

On the flipside, I’m under no obligation to pay money to watch what they call hockey.

The NHL is counting on me to pay money to watch replacement players, or players that have been bullied into playing through questionable tactics. Newsflash: I ain’t biting. I will not pay to watch replacement players. I will not pay to watch players who have been bullied into submission.

I am a die-hard Rangers fan. I have been going to games for over 35 years. My father took me, then I took myself. I spent my then-life savings on a ticket to see the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994. I was working in a copy shop, but there was no way I was missing that. I watched Stephane Matteau score on Martin Brodeur in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in double overtime to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals. I was there.

If the New York Rangers never play another game of hockey again, I saw them win a Stanley Cup. And my life will go on just fine.

I will say this: All that the owners and NHL are doing are preventing a new generation of fans from loving this sport as much as I do. They will NOT recover from this. They won’t. They still haven’t fully recovered from the last shortened season. That was 10 years ago. They won’t recover from this in my lifetime. And they certainly won’t recover from it with my money.

Speaking of which, they still have my money for my season tickets. Does anyone else think that this is complete and utter bullshit?

I guess I knew that this could happen…because I still have a picture of Messier scoring his last goal of the season on my computer, and I have saved the SMS message indicating the goal via TMobile.

I will honestly and truly miss the sport. I wanted to see Messier on skates once more. I really did.



December 23, 2004

Mood: Resigned
Music: Random Bhangra/House

At least the updated blog engine makes deleting 200 spam posts much easier. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

Got 99% of my shopping done and sent, which is probably a record for me.

This weekend will be dominated by game playing, making soup/stock, and probably risotto, and generally relaxing.

I’ll take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season, a brilliant new year, and I hope you get what you want from Santa.

Happy holidays, y’all.

The Apartment

December 21, 2004

Mood: Sedate.
Music: None…I’m working.

OK…I caved. Here are some pictures of the kitchen and living room in my new apartment, pre- and post-unpacking. I finally got around to it all.

The pictures of the bedroom will wait until I’ve unpacked some more, since I clearly need to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of this stuff.

Kitchen, Pre-
Kitchen, Post-
Living Room, Pre-
Living Room, Post-

I still need to hang pictures and such. But I’m mainly done.

And it’s pretty obvious I’ve figured out the images upload/storage for the blog. So I suppose I’ll have to post more pictures at some point. Although I’m not exactly sure what I’ll post pictures of.

OK…so it’s late. Sue me.

December 20, 2004

Mood: Rambunctious
Music: True Faith, New Order

So, Andy and I were IMing a bit, discussing the fact that he just completed the Holy Trinity that is the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD, Director’s Edition. (Side note: The actual Holy Trinity when discussing films are “Office Space,” “Baseketball,” and “Orgazmo.” Just take my word for it. Ron Huber taught me that…and while I was initially a disbeliever, I must admit that I have since caught religion, and I believe. Now…about those TPS reports….)

Now, as far as I’m concerned, the first two of the trilogy are fine, fine movies. The casting is excellent, with the exception of Elrond, and that’s only because we couldn’t stop saying “Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Baggins” in an Agent Smith voice. Hugo Weaving is basically done as an actor. Sorry, Hugo. These things happen when a decent actor plays the role of his life in a seminal masterpiece. Alan Rickman…great actor, right? He will always be cast in a frothing maniac role…between the Sheriff of Nottingham and Hans Gruber, he’s done. Yippee Ki-Yay, Muthafucka. But I digress.

The story remained faithful, to a fairly decent point, and although some minor liberties were taken with the story and timing, mainly to emphasize some very subtle storylines which were very important, nothing was TOO out of place. And no one missed Tom Bombadil, anyway.

But in the third movie, all hell broke loose, in my mind. Yes, the battle is great, and yes, the chaos everywhere flows beautifully. But there’s ONE THING…ONE THING…that shatters almost all of it for me.

Why does Frodo go on the boat with the elves?


OK, it goes without saying that this little fiasco of a scene does not appear in the books, nor is it even remotely hinted at. With that simple scene, you rip the heart out of the trilogy. What am I talking about? The trilogy is about sacrifice and love. It is only through great sacrifice and love that the story progresses as it does, and good wins over evil.

The sacrifices are everywhere. Bilbo must give up the Ring. Frodo must leave the shire. Gandalf DIES fighting the Balrog. Arwen gives up immortality and her family. Eowyn gives up her life and hope of being wife to Aragorn. The thousands of elves and humans that give their lives at Helm’s Deep and again at Minas Tirith. And ultimately, Frodo gives his finger and the Ring.

This is no small amount of sacrifice.

Then why does the boat scene annoy me so? Because arguably the most poignant sacrifice is that of Arwen. She gives up immortality, her life, and all that she knows, to be with Aragorn. Her father, Elrond, knows that this is foolish…to be happy for the lifetime of a human, only to be unhappy forever after. Yet Arwen believes that it is worth it…and her father cannot stop the leaving of the elves for her. She will be left behind. There is no turning back. Her father gives his blessing, and leaves elves to guard her…but he leaves! Galadriel LEAVES. Elrond LEAVES. They are GONE. No more elves.

And Arwen is left to die with the humans. And a bunch of elves who decide to stay to honor the loyalty of the elves with the humans. This is no small sacrifice.

If Arwen goes, arguably, Eowyn is at Aragorn’s side. You can debate that Aragorn would never have anyone again, but you can make a perfectly good argument that, but for Arwen, Eowyn is with Aragorn. If this happens, who slays the Witch King? It is Eowyn, no man, who slays the Witch King. With a hearty help from a hobbit, of course. But it is her.

It is Eowyn’s sacrifice, made possible by Aragorn’s rejection of Eowyn, made possible by Arwen’s sacrifice, that allows the humans to win the day.

So naturally, at the end of the movie, Bilbo and Frodo get on a boat to go be with the Elves.

WHAT BOAT? ALL THE ELVES ARE GONE! The way is closed! Otherwise, why wouldn’t Arwen just get on board too?! Why can’t she go later? Sheesh.

By adding that absurd, unnecessary scene, replacing the hobbits going back to the shire to kick Saruman’s ass again (as in the book) is just a huge letdown.

The cost has been paid…don’t trivialize it by tying up a loose end with a pneumatic car welder.

The film SHOULD end with the hobbits going back to the shire, seeing all the horrible things that thugs and bandits have done to it at Saruman’s behest, and the hobbits, who have changed drastically, deal with the problem all by themselves. The biggest journey, the hobbits learn, has been taken inside themselves. They are not scared or confused, nor do they need Gandalf to handle a wizard any longer. A huge journey from the start of the trilogy indeed.

But instead, they leave the hobbits sad, confused, and crying, with Frodo being enigmatically dazed as if he were drugged, climbing on board a boat with people who should be long gone.

How disappointing.

One should not mess with the great works in such a manner. If you’re going to remain faithful, remain faithful. If you’re not, do what they did with I, Robot. Gut the story, use the name, grab a premise, maybe, a couple of names from within, and build it from scratch. I’m not saying I, Robot is a great movie…it’s not. But it is, at least, enjoyable.

I think I’ve calmed down enough now. More tomorrow.

I am SUCH a slut.

December 17, 2004

Mood: Baffled.
Music: The soundtrack to Metroid DS.

I caved. I now own a Nintendo DS.

Clearly I needed one. I’m not sure why…but I did.

It’s kinda hefty…feels like a thick Palm, oriented the other way. I like that it accepts both DS games and SP games. Decent sound, pretty graphics. Like the touch screen, and the fact that it comes with a stylus. The control schemas make it vaguely hard to use…but I imagine that’ll come with familiarity.

If the thing had a date/address book, instead of wireless chat and a calendar, I’d be pretty happy.

I suppose time will tell on games. Of course, if there’s Zelda…..

More later.

So much for the Conquering Hero bit…

December 14, 2004

Mood: Deflated
Music: Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani

OK…so once I actually tested the whole registration thing, I discovered that the service is not ACTUALLY operational just yet…but it will be in April.

So I guess I’m resolved to dealing with feedback from renegade putzes who peddle bad porn.

And no, I’m not talking about any of my friends.

My blinds came in last night, and I installed two of them before I settled in to dinner and WoW. And I never got back to installing the other two. Go figure. So I’ll install those other two tonight before I get started on my usual routine.

Still on the Christmas shopping thing. Sent a toy to Ethan for Hanukkah already…but I’ll send him more toys and such for Christmas. (Sorry…holiday giving period.) Ethan is my nephew, by the way…and he was 1 year old a few days before Halloween. He rocks. Plain and simple.

I’m actually at work, and spent about 90 mins just messing about with this blog. HH helped me with colors and stuff, but at the end of it all, I went back to plain white. I like it, and he thinks he prefers the way that the text delineates it’s own space, and I agree. I toyed with a beige scheme, and then a warm grey scheme…but it always looked not right. So I’m back to this. I might mess around with the textbox shaping when I’m not busy.

I am hungry, however, and I think I’ll go get something to eat…or at least order something.


1337 h4xx0rz!!

December 13, 2004

Mood: Triumphant
Music: Nothing…head hurts.

I woke up this morning with a headache…so I decided to take some Tylenol and go back to bed for a while. I did that, and my headache is slowly subsiding.

While I was waiting for my headache to go away, I pondered the problem of my mystery spammer. When I logged on this morning, sure enough, 200 more spam comments. Frankly, it’s getting more than a bit annoying. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to clear up all that junk.

So. I went to the MovableType website, and saw that there was an upgrade to the blogging engine that I use. I downloaded it, moved files around, juggled stuff…

And kablooie. My blog and comments were there…but the formatting? Pretty bad. And the admin/CMS tool was pretty much unusable. Took me about an hour to properly chase down the problem and fix it…but I did, and now I have a brand new, recently updated blog engine on the go. But WHY am I so excited?

I apologize to my loyal readers and friends, but you will now have to register to comment. I apologize for the necessity…and I won’t look at the commenters list if you prefer to remain anonymous. It kind of ticks me off that my friends need to be inconvenienced to prevent morons from ruling the world. It’s not fair.

On the other hand, it’s a pretty nifty piece of code, and once you’re registered, you can comment to your heart’s content, without fear of spam ruining your blog commenting existence.

I know a lot of you have been pestering me for pictures of the new crib. My chest of drawers came on Saturday, and I’m busy putting clothes away, and in a few days, the blinds should come. I will post pictures soon…I promise. No later than this weekend, come hell or high water.

Now, I’m going to go lay down before my head explodes.