Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vowel Sounds

Greetings! It's been awhile and I have lots of things I want to write about. But, first, for my 20th blog post, a short story:

I'm going to try my hand at writing down stories I tell, so please give feedback as this doesn't come as naturally to me as telling the story.

Oftentimes, when I don't have enough information about an issue I care about, I tend to assume the worst. Personally, I don't like that I do this, but I do take some solace in the fact that I'm not the only human being who behaves this way...

Several years ago, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things on a Saturday afternoon. Preferring a computer screen to a human face, I decided to stand in line for the "Self Checkout" even though the line had two people waiting in front of me, and all of the Self Checkout kiosks were taken.
This was when the whole concept of "Self Checkout" was still new, so we all waited in line patiently for a few minutes as the people at the kiosks bumbled their way through the screens, the scanner, the scale and the payment process. Finally, after an agonizing 5 minutes, the furthest-most right kiosk opened up.
There were two women ahead of me, and the woman at the head of the line was perusing the covers of periodicals when the kiosk was vacated. She didn't notice, and we all patiently waited for all of 10 seconds before the other woman in front of me declared, "Ma'am, you can go now." The lady at the head of the line briefly looked up at her, smiled and continued to read the magazine covers.
Puzzled, myself, the woman in front of me, and the 3 or so people behind me all waited, watching her, wondering who of us, this group of people who went into this line to avoid human interaction in the first place, was going to speak up. Again, it was the second in-line in front of me, "Excuse me, miss. The terminal is free. You can use it." This time, the lady at the head of the line didn't acknowledge this statement at all, having grabbed a magazine on the rack to start fingering through.
And we waited. Nobody wanted to be rude and I had already started to sweat, nervously. Incredulous, the woman in front of me raised her voice to a level that was heard throughout the front of the store, "Hello?! Are you listening to me?!" Peoples' heads turned. Conversations between checkers and customers stopped. Blips and bleeps from grocery scanners were silenced. The elevator music continued.
The woman at the head of the line looked up from her magazine and turned her attention to the crazed lady behind her who continued, "The lane is open! We're all waiting for--"
And at the moment, the woman at the head of the line cut her off, frustrated, "I ant eah u," while motioning to her ears.
She was deaf.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

WWoWD? Day In-Retrospect

When you work as much as those in the gaming industry tend to, it's easy to overlook the value of the simple pleasures in life. Personally, I struggle with the basics: eating healthy, sleeping, and exercise. My relationships suffer and get pushed off my list of "necessary to-dos".

It's often my wife who reminds me that simple things like drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, eating throughout the day, and connecting with family and friends more regularly can increase my happiness. I am often jealous of the joy that a simple lunch, a phone call, a massage or a card brings her. I tend to be a bit more high maintenance in that area; requiring explosions, fart jokes or videos of chimps doing ungodly things to toads in order satiate my appetite for temporary happiness.

So, upon finishing up Cars 2: The Video Game, a couple of friends and I expressed the desire to "hang out" over our obligatory time off after the project. Not content with the usual "Come over to my house and we'll drink and play games", and seeking time to bond, we devised a plan:

What if we followed our significant others' example and spent a day doing what they might do with their closest friends?

Immediately, ideas were brainstormed. Not all ideas were pursued, and some ideas will never, ever be mentioned again, but with the finality that only high fives and chest bumping can bring, two things were for sure: Tim, Devon and I would call the day "What Would our Women Do?" Day and it would start with pedicures.

So, pedicures were had by all. Conversation was delightful and appropriately light. We kidded. We gossiped. We giggled. Our attendants at The Nail Room were quite pleasant, and noted our conversational skills. Tim was exceptionally complimentary to the employees with quotes such as, "This pedicure feels fabulous!" and "Oh, what a treat!"
I was embarrassed of my Quasimotoe(c) and Shire feet, and Devon was initially apprehensive about his skin socks turning off anyone who glimpsed them. I have to say, they creep me out, but he managed through the embarrassment quite well by being the first to proclaim that he would love to have his toenails painted.

I, for one, cringe whenever I see a man with digits decorated, but with Devon's courageous upping of the ante, Tim and I accepted the challenge with declarations of our own. Each would get his toes painted in a unique color.

Blog Trivia!
My challenge to you is, can you determine whose toes are which color in the photo below? The first person to answer correctly by emailing me wins a prize. Sorry, significant others may participate, but cannot win. :(

Cringe X3

After our pedicures, we were famished. So, next stop: A sensible lunch. But where? We bickered over the best possible place to go, but finally settled on The Beehive Tea Room as delectable finger sandwiches, salads and quiche seemed like a perfect solution to the goal of a sensible lunch.

The atmosphere was cozy and intimate, affording us the opportunity to bond. We immersed ourselves in discussions of matters both personal and public, from games to women, from finger sandwiches to visits to the urologist. Ahem...

Sensible indeed...

After giving our stomachs time to settle, and tiring from frivolous conversation, cookies were in order, followed by a bout of frenzied shopping. We made our way to RubySnap:

Note that we bought enough cookies for our significant others to partake in them.

Caroline and Maggie:
If you didn't get any RubySnap cookies, you might want to have a talk with your men. Devon bought a LOT of them. The ride to the mall was long though...

We felt the Woman's Day cover was appropriate.

While the outlet mall was the desired destination for shopping, time was of the essence, so we settled on Fashion Place Mall. Have you seen this place lately? Uh...Mall Heaven.

This girl can shop -->

It's time for a drink.

And finally, to cap our day off, it was time for a drink. But, we didn't want the normal bloating feeling we get from beers. No way. Only cosmos would do at this point. So, to the Red Door...


Our day coming to a close, we reflected. We had laughed. We had confided. We had bickered, but never bitched.

Ultimately, we felt relaxed. We were at peace. Our friendships had reached a new level. We pondered whether our menstrual cycles would align.

And then, we toasted.

To our ladies. Thanks for showing us how to spend time well, and for inspiring us to do so. We owe you and we love you.

Being a diva is hard work.

I'm feeling crampy, so I think I'll take some Midol, drink some water and lay down for a bit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kelly's Big Trip to Pixar

I was fortunate enough to go to Pixar for the first time a couple of weeks ago for work. While there, I was able to briefly catch up with my friend Matt, but wasn't clever enough to snap a photo of him. Sorry Matt! But, I did get some other photos, below...

If you see this, it means you're at Pixar.

I don't know why I'm drawn to things that make me look even smaller, for instance:
  • Tall friends
  • A big dog
  • Long shorts
  • High-Tops

But I had to sit in this chair. Getting out of this was a doozy. Sometimes, little legs suck.

You can actually ride these around the studio lot. Me? I had a driver. Okay, fine. I rode in the basket.



This? Oh that's nothing. Just a case full of Oscars and Golden Globes and the like. Nothing much to see here (obviously), so I went to check out the Pixar urinals.

You thought I'd have a photo of those urinals, didn't you? That's disgusting. Shame on you. Here's a photo of an Oscar as punishment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Amicable Bureaucrats

Let me share a story about an endearing quality my wife has.

So, it often happens that my wife, Jennica (bless her heart) will get excited about a new movie, TV show, restaurant, band or actor and want to share with me her excitement. The problem is, Jennica is THE WORST person I know when it comes to remembering names or titles accurately.
Coincidentally, she's also THE BEST person I know at unintentionally creating new names or titles for things through association, thinking they are the correct names. For instance:
  • She swapped the band name "Sunset Rubdown" with the name "Midnight Massagers".
  • "Tin Angel", a restaurant we frequent in Salt Lake, she remembers as "Copper Fairy".
  • The TV series "Battlestar Galactica" was mistaken for "Battleship Gattaca".
  • Roberts become Rodericks. Tylers become Travises.
You get the picture.

So, as a consequence, it also often happens that Jennica is trying to relate a story to me about something with a proper name and I have no fucking clue what she's talking about. Tonight is one such example.
After finishing up dinner, we start talking about going to a movie this weekend. Jennica brings up a movie she heard about on the radio. Here's how she described it:

"So, there's this new movie that sounds really cool. We should go see it."

"Oh yeah? Which movie?" I ask, naively thinking I'll know all about the movie she's about to mention.

"It's this movie with ghosts who hate their bosses, and they go around and...I don't know."

I'm stumped, and intrigued. Ghosts are cool. Ghosts with bosses? So I ask, "A movie about ghosts and their bosses? Is it a comedy? Is it animated?"

"I'm not sure. I just know it sounds good," she declares.


"I have no fucking clue what you're talking about."

"It's called..."The...Amicable...Bureaucrats". Look it up on your iPad," Jennica challenges.

Confused, I do. I pull up movie listings and start moving down the list. Eventually I see "The Adjustment Bureau".

"You mean the Adjustment Bureau?" I tease.

"Yeah! That one!" Jennica is excited that I found the movie she was talking about."Sorry. It wasn't Amicable Bureaucrats."

"This isn't about Ghosts." I state.

"Watch the trailer." She challenges again.

So, we watch the trailer. During the first 15 seconds, while watching Matt Damon looking heroic on the screen, Jennica confidently states, "I love Marky Mark. He's such a good actor."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Road (the film)

Last year I read Cormac McCarthy's book "The Road" based on a suggestion from a friend.
Yea for me! I read a book.
Needless to say, I loved the book as I find myself drawn toward all things melancholy and depressing, and I definitely appreciated it for its ability to evoke strong emotions in me while reading it.
Anyway, the film: I watched it last week for the first time, and it stuck with me. I found it to be a very faithful adaptation of the novel.
What I loved the most about The Road was that amidst the seemingly hopeless, desolate backdrop of a post-apocalyptic U.S. ruled by chaos and a loss of humanity, the director allowed the actors tell a story of love, discovery, hope (yes, there is hope in the film) and humanity. What dialogue is present is often poignant and metaphorical, and where there wasn't dialogue, focus was placed on the actors using long close-ups or mid-shots to allow them to portray an emotion or mood, often without words. Striking imagery is used to startle the viewer into the reality of the situation, but then, small, soft moments lessen that harshness. The everyday joys in life that we often take for granted are relished not only by the characters in the film, but by the viewer, and should be recognized.
When I hear people talk about the film, they comment as if they were let down by it; that it deceived their trust in its portrayal of a world and a family without hope; that it was too depressing. Yes, it is depressing and bleak, but it also celebrates what makes us bond as humans, and shows that with complete loss comes appreciation for life's simple pleasures, however rare they might be.
There was, as my friend Chris pointed out, a moment where the main character makes a decision that was hard to buy into, and it was an important decision. And, honestly, I don't remember why he made the same choice in the book, and if the reasoning there was stronger than in the film. (I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm being really vague about what the decision was). Honestly, that's my one issue with the film other than some slightly egregious product placement near the same part of the film.
I missed the film in theatres and took my sweet time renting it, so this post comes out of left field a bit. I recommend watching it with an open mind. And if you saw the film, what did you think?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Handsome Boy Modeling School

The day before Christmas I received a package from an unknown source. Naturally I opened it, and to my surprise, footy pajamas were included within. Not knowing who they were from as there was no message nor invoice that didn't have my name on it, I promptly put them on. Whilst home I've been wearing them as much as possible.

As the holidays went on, I gave credit to many people:
My Mom.
My Mother-In-Law
Any of my In-Laws
A secret admirer?
My mistress?
She doesn't like me in pajamas.

Oh well. Fearless and comfy, I continued to wear them.

Yesterday, I received a cryptic text message from my friend Ben. It went something like this:

"Hey dude. Blah blah blah. Did you get something strange in the mail?"

I replied:

"Darn, I was hoping my secret admirer was hotter..."

He responded:

"Blah blah blah. Actually, Shin Shin had the idea."

I thought, but didn't write:

"Shin Shin IS hotter than Ben. Yes!"

So thanks to Ben and Shin Shin of Eugene, Oregon on sending me doggy footy pajamas for Christmas. You guys rule. I'll try not to trip on the feet and cut my head open while wearing them, but I can't promise you anything.

Photos and Dapper looks:
Kelly Murphy
Hair: Bed