today was our soon-to-be-ex project manager amy dionne's last day. at 2:30 we had a company wide break (freelancers included, hooray!) to thank amy for her service. some people shared their favorite amy memories. earlier, amanda and carrie had gone out to buy a cake, a half chocolate half vanilla masterpiece o baking expertise with yellow frosted roses on one side. as is customary in the office, the "birthday girl" has to cut her own cake, which in this case would be amy. i think that's a lame rule! if my special day ever comes, and somehow cake is involved (as opposed to free back massages, which is what i always ask for on for my special days), i'm pretty sure i'm not going to be doing any cutting. on my special day, somebody cuts for me! rebecca later took over for amy, cutting out cubes of cake and serving them on paper plates. with not enough forks to go around (there might've been more in the kitchen, i was too lazy to go look), i ate my chocolate cake with my fingers.

(l-r) matthew, paula, amy, rebecca, alex, todd, liz, eliza

(l-r) james, anuj, dan, rose, amanda, (bill), carrie, lisa

(l-r) bill, carrie, lisa, scott, ryan

i chatted briefly with eliza, who is such a hedonist that she had to have milk with her cake. she tried to steal our best coffee but was unsuccessful. she also tried to start an argument with me over which kitchen (upstairs or downstairs) was better based on how many carafes (aka coffee pumps) we happen to have, and i revealed to her how i wanted to work at macdonalds or someplace where i was demeaned by customers or had to wear a uniform. i've never been a waiter before nor worked behind the counter of a fast food joint. somehow i feel my work wisdom is missing something because i lack that experience. while others might reminense about summer jobs working at someplace unfullfilling, i can only dream of having that experience. that's why i think i should get a second job at someplace like that, so i can know firsthand what it feels like working at someplace like a fry guy at burger king or maybe a clothes folding expert at the gap. i wouldn't do it because i needed the money, nor driven to that kind of job because i can't find anything else. i mean, i have a job already! but the fact that i would voluntarily want to work there for nothing more than the pure fun of experiencing something that i've always dreamed about experiencing is what i'd really be getting from it.

after work i went down to the new england aquarium to meet john miller to catch a movie at the newly built imax theatre there. the movie was into the deep, about the kelp forest of southern california, and it wasn't just any old imax movie either, but rather it was imax 3d. after i got my ticket (there was a brief moment of possible crisis because i tried ordering online and by phone and neither of them was successful, so i was afraid the movie would be sold out) i went to the long wharf marriott hotel to find a pay phone. i think pay phones are now officially old school, since so many people have cell phones nowadays. it took me 15 minutes of wandering around and asking 3 different people before i finally found the phones. i made some calls, then went and used the bathroom right next to the phones. ah, hotel bathrooms! so clean, smells so nice, i just want to stay there!

fanieul hall


long wharf

i left the hotel and went back to the imax theatre, where minutes later john and a mysterious friend of his whom i've met once before arrived. i loaded up on movie food (popcorn and a soft drink) and went to wait in line. half of the people there were kids, i guess these imax movies are a big draw for families on weekends. after we got our tickets clipped, each one of us were handed a pair of 3d glasses, which resembled over the face visors, either the latest fashion trend in geriatric eyewear or something from elton john's closet. i didn't know whether to watch the movie or start singing tiny dancer! we grabbed the best possible seat in the theatre, dead center and straight up on the topmost row, so we're looking down at the 6 stories tall screen instead of looking up. when the movie started there wasn't a build-up into the world of 3d cinema, we were just thrown into it. the first few minutes, i was more interested in how this 3d business was actually working, periodically lifting up my glasses to see the image on the screen as it really was, which were double shifted images. after the initial adjustment period, i sort of just eased into the watching the film, immersing myself into this 3d realm. i think imax movies in itself is already 3d because the image is so huge, but then to add actual 3d effects to the movie, that's just nuts! but it's quite a trip. the film started off with the camera flying over the rocky coastlines of california. 3d, yes, though nothing too mindblowing. the next scene we're halfway submerged in the water, the surface of the ocean littered with floating bits of seaweed. it was absolutely amazing, i felt like i was bobbing up and down in the water, and the seaweeds were hitting my face! i could see throughout the audience kids (and some adults) grabbing at the screen because it seemed so real! and when the camera actually went down underwater, it totally reminded me of snorkeling in cancun and southern turkey, how i'm just suspended over this alien landscape and there are fishes and plants all around me, a place teeming with life.

into the deep was a short documentary, listed as 35 minutes long. the subject matter itself is nothing new, you can easily see shows like this on the discovery channel (just not 6 stories tall and in 3d). the message i got from the movie was that undersea life is either about eating or reproducing. into the deep wasn't shy when it came to showing sea creatures having sex, although it balked when it came to seeing them eating other creatures. the sex: a brilliantly colored male garibaldi bred with a female garbibaldi then chased her away from the nest (otherwise she will cannibalize her own eggs), a swarm of squids gathered for an undersea orgy, the male tentacles turning red whenever they scored. the eating: an octopus narrowly escaped being eaten by a moral eel, a beautiful yet sinister jellyfish catching nothing with its poisonous tentacles, brittle stars ran out of the way of an arriving giant sun star. the only times we see actual consumptions are during non-violent feeding (since it takes place in the pacific ocean of course!), like sea lions and bat rays scavenging on the dead bodies of squids or a sun star slowly covering up a seemingly inanimate sea urchin.

the underwater landscape lends itself perfectly for 3d conversion, since there's stuff floating and swimming all around you. i don't think the kelp forest is the best underwater landscape. for that, they should go visit a tropical reef somewhere. some parts of the kelp forest were too murky, and if it wasn't for the amazing lighting they used, everything would be so drab looking.

seeing a 3d movie brings me back to the last time i saw a 3d movie. there was a time during the 80's when there was a resurgence of 3d films. the very first 3d movie i ever saw in a theatre was this weird adventure movie called the treasure of the four crowns (1982). that movie was total crap, but it was in 3d, and being 8 years old and seeing a 3d movie for the very first time, it totally blew me away. i saw a few others over the years, but the last 3d movie i saw (and probably the last 3d movie that was ever widely distributed) was freddy's dead: the final nightmare (1991), at the time supposedly the last freddy krueger movie ever to be made. it wasn't all 3d either (i guess by then they'd already realized 3d movies weren't too lucrative for the time and money they spent making it 3d), just a small section towards the end, when you're deep inside freddy's subconscious. i think a little icon started flashing on the screen alerting you to put on your special 3d glasses for some trippy 3d action. it was 3d, but very gimmicky, a lot of stuff coming at you kind of crap (there wasn't any of that in into the deep, everything was already 3d, no need to purposely jazz it up). i remember i went with a bunch of my high school buddies, to the fresh pond cinema as a matter of fact, i think right after school in the middle of a summery day. good times!

this was my first time being at a 3d imax movie. i've been to other imax films before at the museum of science, but none of them were true 3d. i think everyone should go to a 3d imax movie if they have the chance. the ticket price wasn't that expensive either, just $7.50, cheaper than a regular movie, although it was only 35 minutes long - but the 3d more than enough makes up for it. i'm totally sold on this 3d imax business, i can't wait to see another one!