Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday is a special day

Well, it was this week.

You see, the sun was shining and it was warm enough that I could throw open the windows and breathe in the delicious scent of lawns being mown for the first time this season.

I washed my car the old-fashioned way (car washes are fine and all but not as much fun as doing it yourself with a hose and bucket in the driveway). I then buffed and shined my car and armor-alled pretty much anything that could have armor-all used on it.

The roomie baked homemade bread (yum!) and then I watched a new set of webisodes I discovered called Playing Death that had me laughing like crazy and got some laundry done.

I even managed to clean up several piles of papers that had accumulated on my desk and get it organized again.

It was a very good day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shawna's Movie Review

Clash of the Titans

First of all I have to say DO NOT SEE THIS IN 3D

Trust me on this one.

That being said......

I am actually torn on this one. As laughable as it may sound I love the original Clash...partly due to the fact that this is a beloved favorite from my childhood. As a child it held everything that would further fuel my already fertile imagination: evil curses, flying horses, mythology (I went through a phase where I practically inhaled books on the Greek Gods...all because of this film). At the time the effects were amazing (remember gang, I was born at the end of the 60's). I sat there in wonder at how they made a golden owl fly, in disgust and horror over the battle with the giant scorpions and flat out amazement over how Medusa managed to slither about. At the time we didn't know the secrets of stop-motion animation like we do today.

The storyline was even plausible. Athena, offended by comments made by a vain queen in Athena's own temple, demands the death of the princess. Our hero Perseus, smitten by her looks, races to find the means to save her. Zeus, father to Perseus, helps him along here and there and the hero triumphs at the end. As cheesy as the film is, it took itself seriously.

And then you have the remake.

Remake is really the wrong word; even though the plot follows the same storyline to a point it really is its own tale. My flying gold owl is reduced to a 5 second joke in the storyline that the teens in the audience behind me didn't even understand. The new Clash takes a darker turn, yet throws strange humor in at the oddest moments. Our new hero is accidently discovered to be Zeus' son and takes on the job not to save Andromeda, but to bring down Hades (Zeus' brother) who had killed Perseus' adoptive mother and father. The new storyline is one of utter hatred and retribution.

Calibos (the original "bad guy") is now found to be a man betrayed by the Gods and deformed by Zeus rather than punished for his own mis-deeds. Jason Flemyng is scarcely recognizable in his burned state. The giant scorpions are bigger, badder and more deadly than before....and Pegasus is now the one black horse in a band of white (which is not explained...maybe the gray and brown Pegasi are hiding off camera? Oh, and as that question implies, Pegasus isn't the horse's name, but the name of his breed).

The special effects are pretty darn good...heck, every time Hades (Ralph Fiennes looking rather disheveled from living in the Underworld for so long) pops into view he is accompanied by a twirling black smoke that swirls into deliciously dark wings before dissipating. Medusa looks a lot better than her previous incarnation, and Charon's ferry to the land of the dead will make you shudder. For some reason Zeus wanders around in silver armor with a strong light shining on it, which I doesn't look as badass as it was intended to.

The story is where you start to get confused. Perseus is driven by revenge to kill Hades' Kraken and then use that defeat to send Hades back to the Underworld for killing his adoptive family. We jump around too much in the story though...side-stories seem to start and then are dropped, our hero's companions are only partially fleshed (nice nod though to Nicholas Hoult who has certainly grown up into a bit of a hottie since his "About A Boy" debut as the geeky Marcus). There is a new female love interest in the form of Gemma Arterton (from James Bond's "Quantum of Solace") who is cursed with not aging and has watched Perseus from afar ever since he was a child, and the inclusion of the D'Jinn (strange wizards/desert nomad that ride the great scorpions and are made of burnt wood and glowing blue eyes) had me wondering what was up with that. The other Gods on Mount Olympus stand around and say nothing, not even Athena who is still insulted in her temple, but it is Hades that comes forth to dish out retribution. Only one other God even voices his concerns against Zeus, but in the original everyone seemed to have something to say. The action also moved too fast at times for the eye to really follow, leaving me wondering what had just happened a few times too many.

All-in-all....I really would like to give this movie another shot. I think if I just tried to enjoy it for what it has to bring, I would like it more. I kept waiting for more of the original storyline to come into play. There was also that terrible 3D distraction with my first viewing...I found myself staring more at how everyone's head and body was horribly elongated rather than following the storyline. If you have ever looked through a ViewMaster then you will have a good idea of what I am talking about. Even the director has commented on how bad the 3D effects are and how he was overridden by the studio based on how much money Avatar was raking in with the 3D sensation.

Best bet? Wait for the dollar theater or rent it from Redbox.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Not sure what to think

I got a phone call on Friday from my previous employer....

Apparently they want me back.

I have no idea what happened with the gal who I trained as my replacement as I didn't actually receive the call (it went to my voicemail) but the office manager DID mention that the owner asked her to give me a call and see if I was interested.

It wouldn't be full-time hours, unless that was a deal breaker...then they would be willing to work with me.

Not that I would leave my current job, but it has me wondering if they would be willing to let me work maybe 20 hours a week and I'd just run over there after I get off work.

It doesn't hurt to ask.....and it would be a great way for me to save some money.....just not so sure I want to work for that employer again.

Guess I will give them a call tomorrow and check it out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What a strange day

I awoke to a car covered in white that stuck just enough to the windows that the scraper was necessary, but at least the roads were fine. I can't say the same for the steps this morning....the mat outside was slick slick slick but I managed not to fall...or trip over the stray cat waiting for his breakfast and getting underfoot (yes I feed the local strays).

After getting to work the morning has just dragged along....which is a good thing since I have a lot to do here today. I have orders I am still coordinating, product that I just discovered has been discontinued by the manufacturer so I am trying to find a suitable replacement, and orders to fill. Sometimes I feel there are not enough hours in the day!

Out of the blue this morning I got a phone call from an old friend who is driving into town today with his dad (from out of state) who wants to get together for a visit while he's in town. Ben is hoping to get in tonight but with the snow he's driving through (welcome to spring in Utah!) he might not get in until tomorrow. Regardless, it'll be nice to catch up with him as I think its been about a decade since we last saw one-another (I am pretty sure the last time I saw him was a brief visit in 2000).

Sweet story comes to mind about that last visit....I was getting divorced and living in my own place. I had made cookie dough which I kept in the fridge for about a week, noshing off the raw dough when I woke up early in the morning feeling sick, headed for the bathroom only to pass out and smack my head into the doorframe and land face-first on the floor (no that's not the sweet part). I came to with a pair of black eyes, a broken nose (ouch!), 2 swollen lips (I bit through both of them) and a nice concussion. Wouldn't you know who shows up on my doorstep not more than a day later with me in all my bruised glory? Yup, my old friend Ben.

He took one look at the mess I was and quietly asks if he needed to come in for a moment. Me, clueless as ever was thinking "what? why?" (I blame it on the concussion) and then he clued me in....he thought I had been battered by someone who was hiding in the apartment! As wrong as the assumption was I felt so grateful to have someone there who cared so much. He insisted on looking through the apartment (which I allowed) but I still remember that feeling. It was good to have confirmation of how much some people cared about me when I was in a dark enough place to not be feeling much of it for myself.

Oh yeah, catching up with this guy will not be a problem. I've been friends with his sister Corine since we were kids (more years than I care to count). We used to play together while Ben and my brother Jason ran around doing whatever it is that boys do when they get together. Of course Ben and Jason are pretty good at ganging up and teasing me mercilessly (I am so freaking gullible) so I expect a bit of torture to be included at some point before the weekend is over.

Oh (side note)....I no longer eat raw cookie dough.

Well, my break is over and I have to get back to the much to do, so little time! More later....and happy April Fools to all of us gullible gals out there!