in may i helped three different people move to their new place, the most moving i've ever done in a single month. there was that little new york city trip, hopefully just one of many such outings to the city i love to hate. this month 4 permanent employees from my office left and now everybody is a little bit on edge, not knowing what's around the work corner. a few freelancers were gone as well, klea being one of them. this month also marks the sort-of conclusion of my year long project, and at one point i was running myself in the red. the summer movie season kicks off, and i got to see spider-man, star wars 2 (twice), and the sum of all fears (also about a boy, but that's not one of these summer blockbuster movies). return to castle wolfenstein finally came out on the mac, and i spent many pleasant nights of may killing nazis. being that may is a spring month, there was a lot of floral photography going on. this month the ice cream truck returns to srm, the familiar jingle playing from the roof mounted speakers every afternoon in the parking lot. i made a visit to the zoo, and i don't think i'll be returning anytime soon. may marked the end of the celtics postseason, going as far as the conference finals, first time in a long time, the playoff drought now finally over. on the homefront, i finally signed my mortgage agreement papers, now less than a month before i am officially a home owner and find myself paying the kind of mortgage that i get embarassed telling people about because it's so obscene - obscenely expensive that is. this is my last full month of being a codependent, last full month of adultolescent, i tried to enjoy it as much as could. overall, may 2002 went by quick, i was busy, and being busy has a way of doing that. i think june will be interesting.
my father and i went to the fresh pond cinema to catch the 10:40pm showing of the sum of all fears on opening night. when my father saw the trailer on television a few weeks ago, he knew right away he had to see it after realizing that somehow a nuclear explosion would be involved in the storyline. that was my line of reasoning as well to see the movie.
the sum of all fears is like a monster movie, but instead of a maneating shark lurking underwater or a 50 feet tall gorilla living in the jungles, the monster in the sum of all fears is a small nuclear bomb secretly shipped into the US and set to detonate by terrorists. and with all good monster movies, there's the big payoff when you see the monster in all its glory, whether it's jaws lurching out of the waters or king kong scaling the empire state building clutching fay wray, likewise in the sum of all the fears the payoff is the atomic explosion.
how was the choice of ben affleck to play jack ryan, the role made famous by harrison ford? while it's true they probably needed a younger actor to play the as-yet-in-his-life more inexperienced jack ryan character, does ben affleck have what it takes? armageddon, reindeer games, pearl harbor, affleck has become the new designated action hero of hollywood. i think he does a pretty good job in this movie, as long as he doesn't give his infamous toothy smile. benny, please, if you want a longer lasting career, please make sure you never give another toothy smile again (for example, the ending of reindeer games).
although the sum of all fears seems like an action movie, it isn't. there's a little bit of action involving secret agent john clark (liev schreiber), but for the most part, the action isn't physical, it's all mental. it definitely fits in the smart political thriller/drama genre. this is not the peacemaker (1997, george clooney, nicole kidman), about stolen russian nuclear weapons, nor is it broken arrow (1996, john travolta, christian slater), stolen nuclear weapons once again. although they're all about terrorists using nuclear weapons, the sum of all fears is differently because it almost seems like a documentary, taking you step by step to the final conclusion, so you could see for yourself how we could come to the brink of world war iii.
i thought the love story between jack ryan and his girlfriend was sort of contrived. having never read the novel, i don't know if this was a part of the original book, but it seems like a cheap plot device, to add a love story for the sake of a love story, to cater to the women demographics, to make it so that when the bomb explodes there's more a sense of tragedy and urgency because jack ryan's girlfriend was working close to the epicenter and is she or isn't she still alive after the attack? i could've done without the love, but bridget moynahan sure is easy on the eyes!
i thought the villians in the movie were kind of weak and two-dimensional. a conspiracy of international neonazis? suppose in the movie this is true, but what would they have to gain if the US and russia start a nuclear holocaust? you can't really be an effective bad guy if you're looking to inherit a world of perpetual nuclear winter saturated with radiation poisoning and the destruction of all life on the planet.
the sum of all fears is definitely thought-provoking. if you're like me, and you saw the trailer and didn't know what the movie was about except that it seems like there's a nuclear explosion in an american city, then you should satisfy your curiousity by going to go see this movie, you won't be disappointed. you might even leave the theatre with changed perceptions about the nature of nuclear arms and the possibility of terrorists getting their hands on them. poor baltimore!
my morning started in harvard square where i bought my new mbta pass for next month. i called amanda on her cellphone to ask if she wanted one, her voice expressing some fear and confusion over why i'd be calling her this early in the morning.
when you see any sort of fluid on the t, always assume that it's a puddle of urine, because most times that's what it is. so it was this morning, when i saw a puddle. i bravely walked by it because i'm an optimist, and even though i know the golden rule, i had high hopes for my fellow men that they'd be civilized enough not to urinate in public. i was wrong. even though i didn't want to, i involuntarily breathed when i walked across the area, and sure enough, the telltale stink of somebody else's number one.
although i am already in the final stages of buying a house, i still receive a daily e-mail listing what's new in the local real estate market. and even though i know not to look, 1) because i already have a house (sort of), and 2) there could be the off chance that i see a place that's bigger, better, and cheaper, and it'd make me feel bad about my own place - even though i know all this, i still look. maybe i'm a masochist (how many times have i said that before?). maybe i want to play this game where i look because i want to that all the other new properties are actually smaller, worse, and more expensive than what i got, and i feel even better about my house.
during lunch i went down to south station to exchange some cd's with adam smith at squid country safari. the last time i was down at their office was back in november, for katrinka's birthday party, and that was after work. i can't remember the last time i've been there during normal work hours. coming up to the building i saw a familiar face from a distance, took me a few seconds to register who it was - debra may, my old project manager from newmarket network! i had forgotten that the legacy of newmarket network has its office in the same building as squid. i was too surprised to say anything and just let her walk pass me. i also noticed that the telescope store is no longer there! wonder if they relocated, went out of business, or was driven away by the increasing rent. after the exchange, i went back to south station where i saw the new high speed acela train for the very first time.
during a visit to the downstairs office, carrie offered me some gourmet spinach spiral chips while relating the story of how her car just got booted again by the city of cambridge. spinach spirals good, getting the boot again bad.
today was rebecca's last day at srm. we were former coworkers at screen house, before i got laid off november 2000. later she left tsh to come work at srm (along with john miller), and now she's leaving. i'll be quite honest, i feel sort of numb. after james, after alex, after matthew, my ability to be shocked, to feel sad or angry or happy when a coworker leaves, i just don't feel that anymore, there's just been so many recently, my emotional well is dry. i wish i could offer more in terms of a decent and proper farewell, but i just can't. since i've been here a year and a half ago, more people have left srm than i can keep count with fingers and toes. some were freelancers, who's contract expired and left. although i knew they had a limited shelf life, i still felt bad when they left. good byes are always depressing! then there are the permanent employees, who either left because they got fired, or left on their own, whether it's school, another job, or in some cases, just wanted to get out. if nothing else, at least the people who worked at srm, whether their stay at the company was short or long, the people who worked here were all interesting folks. i felt privileged to be working amongst such an entertaining group of coworkers, and most definitely my life has been very much improved by all this stimulating exposure. add to this list one ms.rebecca ketcham. when she's gone, there will be no more full-time xtsher employee other than me. i won't have anyone in the office (other than the few remaining freelancing xtshers) to wax nostalgic with.
close to the end of the day we had a discreet farewell celebration for rebecca. i don't think these events celebrate an employee leaving, per se. i don't know about my other coworkers, but i'm actually sad to see rebecca go. i think the celebration is more about saying thank you for a job well done, wishing her good luck in the future. when they're not officially endorsed by the company as a whole, it leaves a bitter taste in people's mouth. carrie had gone out to get a carvel ice cream cake, the same kind we had for matthew's bon voyage get-together. that's good stuff, i'm tempted to buy one for myself even though it's not my birthday. what i like about the carvel ice cream cake, besides the chocolate crunch layer, is the fact that there's no cake layer, just two layers of ice cream. it's funny, but when i want ice cream cake, i actually just want the ice cream, not the cake.
coming home, it started to thunderstorm. walking home from the bus stop, i actually put away my umbrella despite the fact that it was still raining, just so i could stare up into the darkened grey sky and see streaks of thunderbolts crisscrossing the storm clouds. the flash of lightning, and then seconds later, the crackle of thunder.
tricks of the trade: sometimes i write stuff at work and e-mail it to myself. inspiration doesn't always strike me around midnight when i'm trying to piece together the events that transpired for that particular day. it makes it easier to have little notes or whole complete paragraphs to work from during those nights when i can't form a coherent sentence to save my life.
although today i was using my newly fixed yet still probably broken nikon coolpix 950 without any problems, when i got back home it started making that horrible racheting sound again. i tried gently tapping it a few times, hoping maybe it'd dislodge whatever lens mechanism was jamming, but it didn't work this time. looks like this camera is going back to the shop again, for the 3rd time. when the nikon 4500 comes out, if it isn't too expensive, i think i will get that one to replace my 950, regardless if it gets fixed or not. heck, maybe if they can't fix it they'll offer me $200 credit for a new nikon ($200 was the amount i paid to get the 950 fixed). the 4500, after reading advance previews of all its features, appears to be a worthy successor to the 950, which in my opinion is better than the 990, 995, and 2500. and yes, i do follow digital camera news religiously, at least when it comes to the nikon line.
and finally, tonight the celtics postseason ends as the new jersey nets win game 6 at the fleet center. i never thought they'd get this far, i would've been happy for them to have just gotten into the playoffs. but when you do come this close to the championship and then lose it, i think it's a different kind of hurt, the hurt of a team that expects to win, and that's something we haven't had in boston basketball for a while. it'll be interesting next season. the celtics are definitely back. new jersey nets, i will root for you in the upcoming finals.