February 27th, 2010

Scorpio

Magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile

Chile was hit last night by a massive earthquake, 8.8 on the Richter Scale. Death toll last I heard was 122; sadly, there will be more, with a quake that huge. Tsunami warnings have been issued for Hawaii and many other areas in and around the Pacific; the Oregon Coast an hour or so from where I am has a tsunami advisory. (Waves are less of an issue there: currents are expected to be worryingly strong this afternoon.)

New York Times slide show of the damage.

Worried for everyone affected or who may be affected.
Whale fluke

"Hello, this is me speaking"

Something a little cheerier for this difficult morning: Roger Ebert on his new voice. And it includes Ebert phrasing like
This began a back-and-forth process with CereProc, which had to transcribe every recording with perfect accuracy so they could locate every word. The "normal person" may use 5,000 words, not all of them on the same day. A college professor may use 15,000. Shakespeare used more than 25,000, but he was making up a lot of them as he went along.
Me 2 (B&W)

An attempt at a comfort day

As worrying about people all around the Pacific Rim doesn't actually do much, I'm trying to do something else. True, I'm worried about the effects of the earthquake in Chile, and I've heard updates on what has seemed to be a far smaller than expected tsunami event in the Pacific -- in other words, knock on wood, this doesn't seem to be the 2004 tsunami again -- but doing other things is needed.

I'd actually considered taking a day trip to the Oregon Coast today, but I would've wanted to start early and when I woke up, I decided to wait, try to recharge my energy, and see if I'd be up for it a little later. Not push myself too hard, especially after the semi-insane work week I had. I've napped, though that was interrupted by a donation solicitation call that, honestly, I wish I hadn't answered; and the tendrils of a headache started to tighten on my head during that phone call, and I finally decided Okay, definitely not doing anything too strenuous. So it's been reading since then. Followed by a shower and planning to at least go out for dinner. Treat myself. I wanted to treat myself today, anyway, one way or another. More later once I've treated myself.

Stay safe.
Flavored Calories.

Comfort achieved

As I've said before, truck stop food is a special kind of comfort food. So's a lot of Southern food. My dinner treat tonight was taking myself to Delta Cafe on Woodstock, which specializes in that. I hadn't been there in almost four years (last time was a nice enough time that I blogged about it) and have kept meaning to go back. I'll be back quicker than another four years from now. A beef brisket po-boy (now I can spell it the right way (thank you, docbrite)) was my main dish, collard greens comprised my side, and sweet tea awaited in a jar. Thumbs up to it all.

(I've said it before, I'll say it again: collard greens are leafy greens with calcium. Mother Nature's a fantastic inventor.)

I read before and during my eating, 'cause I'm multi-talented like that. I neared the end of Vladimir Nabokov's King, Queen, Knave, which he wrote in 1928 and rewrote in 1968 (I had the 1968 version). I may have been the only person who's ever brought Nabokov to that restaurant. One of the several things I like about the book is how matter-of-factly it describes dream sequences. You know a character is dreaming, but it's neither confusing nor showy ("Hey! This is a DREAM SEQUENCE!"). I already have suggestions for more Nabokov to read, which is good, as I will.

Because there was a long-enough wait between buses and because I wanted to use some of the calories I'd just consumed, I walked all the way from the restaurant to some blocks past Reed College before I stopped at a bus stop, read some more, and waited for a bus to catch up. Got lightly spritzed by rain. I'll say that I'm watered. Or something.

Take it easy.
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Good Omens

You've been good. Here's a swearing superhero-costumed tween girl killing bad guys.

The red-band trailer for Matthew Vaughn's upcoming film Kick-Ass, highlighting the character who calls herself Hit-Girl.

It's red-band for several reasons that I think y'all will enjoy.

(I first saw the main trailer for Kick-Ass last night in front of Cop Out. Then today I saw the rather disturbing teaser trailer. Please be good, please be good, please be good...)
Blow My Mind

I laughed until I stopped. ;-)

I am not ashamed to admit I laughed last night while at Cop Out.

I am not ashamed to admit that it's definitely not a very good film, but I'm glad it happened. Kevin Smith was able to make a change of pace and do something different: it's the first film he's directed from someone else's script, and it's probably as close as he'll get to making a Fletch movie as he'd wanted to a few years ago. But Tracy Morgan's Paul ain't no Fletch, on account of how freaking unobservant he is. (Though I did like his almost Zen calm/amusement when he drives during the chase sequences. Good to be a good, calm driver in circumstances like that.) It's a film about cops written by guys who apparently know almost nothing about cops beyond the bad 80s cop films Smith and his writers are emulating. Maybe it should've more knowing about that, a little, no a lot, winkier.

Yeah, I'm re-imagining the film already, a sign that it's not all that good, but again, I was stupidly amused. (For an even more in-depth re-imagining, listen to the Friday, Feb. 26th episode of Cort and Fatboy with KOIN Local 6 critic Jeff Bayer. Heck, just listen to Cort and Fatboy in general.)

Also, it was an inspired choice, finding Beverly Hills Cop's composer Harold Faltermeyer to write the dumbly catchy synth score. I do wonder what sort of score the late Michael Kamen would've done for this flick had he been around to do it -- he did several films like this ("some of which I love, and some of which I can appreciate as commerce," he once said) -- but I'm still humming Faltermeyer's stuff. I did and do the same when I saw/see Top Gun, even though I can now more easily tell that Faltermeyer's score for it was basically Vangelis-Lite.

Cop Out's look is more "light-y" than Smith's other films, actively manipulating the light in a little more obvious way. David Klein (the director of photography on six of nine of Smith's flicks) even achieves a Bruckheimer-like glow in a couple of scenes, and as I'm an only slightly abashed fan of many Bruckheimer productions*, I approve.

Now how likely is it that Smith will next get to make his hockey film Hit Somebody? I want to see a Kevin Smith sports film. Another change of pace, but one that would probably fit his style better.


* And I absolutely adore Con Air. That's my kind of action insanity.
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    Michael Kamen's score to Die Hard 2: Die Harder