Archive for March 2009

March 26th, 2009

Max Power

Where the Wild Things Are was the #1 children’s book in our house when Kate, Kevin, and I were growing up, so I am monitoring this trailer with intense scrutiny.

Some initial thoughts:

  • I am worried. With the exception of the first two X-men, Spiderman, and Batman movies, every film based on a beloved element of my childhood has felt soulless and haphazard. (See The Grinch, The Polar Express, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Superman, that new Indiana Jones, the Star Wars prequels, Scooby Doo, and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory to name a few).
  • Ok, this looks amazing. No traces of cheesy CGI to be found.
  • I guess I’m seeing some evidence of the new subplot(s) that will be necessary to turn an 11-word-story into a full-length movie. I wonder what Dave Eggers cooked up.
  • I also wonder if they worked in the classic lines from the book that kids love so much. (“Please don’t go, we’ll eat you up we love you so.”, “They gnashed their terrible teeth and showed their terrible claws,” etc.) Hard to say if those will work here or not.
  • Great choice of song for the trailer. I was fearful that Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” would kick off in the background, and I’d have to rip my computer off of my desk, hurl it across the room, and flee to a cave in the Appalachian Mountains where I would spend the rest of my life.
  • Ok, this is just a knee-jerk reaction based on incomplete information, but these wild things might be a little too cute and friendly to be in keeping with the book. In the context of this movie, I suppose there could be a valid reasons this.
  • Also, this kid might be a little too sweet. Max was an utter terror at the beginning of the book. Again, could be a valid reason for this.
  • I hope this kid can act. Nothing ruins a film like a crappy child actor.
  • Spike Jonze is the director and it seems he hasn’t made a bad feature yet. In fact he made Adaptation which is one of my favorite movies of all time.
  • After much deliberation I have settled on my stance towards this movie and that stance is “cautiously optomistic.”

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March 16th, 2009

Secret Park Hill


  • 1920×1200 (works at 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1280×800)
  • 1920×1080 (works at 1920×1080, 1600×900, and 1280×720)
  • 1600×1200 (works at 1600×1200 and 1024×768)
  • 320×480 (works on the iPhone and iPod Touch)

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March 14th, 2009

Pictures I Never Took

Steph and I are back from our trip safe and sound. The trip itself — hanging out with Kate, walking and riding the tube and train and buses all over London, visiting Bath, drinking the superior coffee and beer — was fun and eye-opening and everything else a trip abroad should be. I’m glad I can still admit this to myself, because right now I’m feeling pretty down. It seems I left my camera case, along with my Canon Rebel and three memory cards containing about 1250 photos from our vacation, in the airport in Philadelphia.

The blame rests solely on my own absent-mindedness. We had a four-hour layover in Philly on Thursday afternoon, before our flight home to Raleigh, and I cleaned out and moved things around in the backpack that I had hastily stuffed full of everything I wanted to carry with me at Kate’s house, at about 7 am London time. In the airport, I distinctly remember taking the camera case out and laying it on one of the seats surrounding us at our gate. Steph remembers me doing this, as well. I didn’t let the pack out of my sight or even open it again until we got home last night, and the camera was nowhere to be found. It seems, in our jetlagged state, we both overlooked it and left it sitting next to us as we got up to board our plane to RDU.

I’ve made calls to the airline and the airport, but it wasn’t turned in to their lost and found.

Losing this caliber of camera equipment obviously sucks, but what I’m really torn up about is the photos. I’ll scrimp and save and get another camera (which will be newer and better than my aging Rebel anyway) and a case and memory cards. But no amount of money can recreate the experiences we had and my attempts to document them.

I do have over 500 photos from our first trip to London, also to see Kate, in 2007. These images include many of the same places we went this time around. I’m thankful for this, but I’m also cognizant of the effort I made to do things differently on this occasion, capturing new lighting and angles. There were many times when I made myself, against my better judgment, be an ugly American and pull out the large SLR and accost Kate’s polite British friends in her house and at the pubs, because I thought we’d all appreciate the images I was making further down the road. Now that I’ll never see how these efforts all turned out, it feels like it was all for nothing.

I am so unusually sad about the loss of these objects that, I do realize, are luxuries in our day-to-day lives, that I must assume I’m supposed to be learning something here (other than the obvious “keep up with your shit” moral to the story). Perhaps it’s the importance of “just living in the moment?”

The only thing saving me from utter despair is that I have maybe 50 decent snapshots and a few videos from a secondary, point-and-shoot camera I took with me. These aren’t like what I was trying to capture with the Rebel though. Steph and I can only afford to take vacations of this scope every few years, and I was counting on the Rebel to give me good representations of at least most of the things we did.

“If we don’t have photos of it, it didn’t happen.” My immediate family recites this line a lot, usually as no less than three of us are shooting some event from the exact same angle at the exact same time. It’s important to each us to capture big moments with at least a few purposeful releases of the shutter (real or virtual).

“If we don’t have photos of it, it didn’t happen.” Something about this idea has always made me feel justified in hoisting up a camera when most others are sitting quietly off to the side, or even tossing me dirty looks because I’m being an annoying tourist, or getting in someone’s way. Right now, this saying is not helping me feel any better.

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