Saturday, September 18, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife

The essential question that the Resident Evil franchise asks is this: Can you ever have too much of Milla Jovovich in skintight clothing fighting outrageous numbers of enemies, most of them undead, in ways that routinely defy the laws of physics?

If your answer is a resounding no, as any sensible person's should be, then you should skip this movie, its predecessors, and its inevitable sequel.

If, on the other hand, you're always up for a hot woman with a gun and you don't require that your movie plots make any sense whatsoever, then you won't want to miss this one.

My answer varies with my mood, but recently the right mood (Or was it the wrong one? That's a moral question I won't address today.) struck me, and so off I went to view this cinematic masterpiece.

It really was bad. Most of the actors are themselves the walking dead, cashing paychecks and then moving on to something that they hope they can tell their parents about. Jovovich has three expressions: flat, flat with a hint of anger, and flat with a hint of sadness. I was really hoping for a sex scene, so that we might get a glimpse of flat with a hint of excitement, but no such luck.

The movie is also entirely a video game, each installment just a level that immediately follows the previous one. This one ends--don't worry, spoilers can't hurt this film--with the enemies for the next level--um, movie--massed in the sky and staring at our heroic survivors.

Yet for all that it was terrible, I still had a good time, because sometimes dumb shoot-em-ups are just the right entertainment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 9

The cab ride to the airport set the tone for the day, as the driver turned an ordinary run into an unpleasant journey by spending way too much time near the edge of the fog-covered elevated freeways.

No bandwidth was available on this plane--the same one for both legs of the flight. Instead, I was treated to massive overcrowding and fried like a sardine in a gigantic George Foreman grill made of sweaty ass. You know you need a shower when your seventeen-year-old son, himself reeking of funk from spending all day in his room working on college applications, says, "Damn, Dad, you smell."

For the few minutes I was in O'Hare airport I was desperately trying to do email, but the bandwidth sucked so massively that my notebook couldn't hold a server connection. Fortunately, I was prepared: my iPad's 3G capabilities let me keep typing up to (and a little past) when the attendants on the plane told us to turn off our electronic devices lest we somehow take the world to DefCon 4.

Still, the planes landed early and safely, my luggage arrived in a timely fashion, I'm home, and a hot shower washed away all the ass stench, so I have to count the trip as a success.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 8

Another work day, another bunch of interesting stuff I can't discuss. Nature of the job.

I can mention that I got to eat lunch at one of my favorite burrito joints, the Pancho Villa Taqueria in San Mateo. I enjoyed their al pastor burrito and one of my all-time favorite beverages, their mandarina.

We kept lunch short so that I could briefly indulge in another favorite activity: browsing the shelves at the lovely M Is For Mystery bookshop. I managed to keep myself in check almost entirely and escaped only with a single book; my control is rarely that good.

Dinner was an amazing truffle-covered burger at Hubert Keller's Burger Bar on the sixth floor of the Macy's on Union Square. The food tasted sinfully rich, and the view of the fog-blanketed square was lovely.

Morning will come entirely too early tomorrow, and with it my long trek home will begin, so I will sign off early tonight.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 7

Beyond work, which was interesting, today's highlights included a very tasty sushi dinner at the wonderfully named Blowfish Sushi or Die. Everything we sampled was at least good, and some of it was downright excellent. A few of the online reviews faulted the service, but ours was quite good: fast, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Dessert was at Bi-Rite Creamery, where the ice cream was as delicious as always.

On a completely unrelated note, I've recently received multiple messages saying that my novels appear not to be available as ebooks. Nothing could be further from the truth: every single one is available directly from Baen in a wide variety of formats. To find them, just go here and scroll past the interview with me. You can buy any of them for just six bucks--and there's no DRM. At that price, you should collect the whole set!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 6

Snapshots from another day here:

Lots of work that, of course, I cannot discuss.

Best recent line: "Me, not fun? I'm more fun than a barrel full of whippets on crack." I'm not actually clear on whether such a barrel would be fun, but it certainly would be active.

Lovely Italian dinner at Pazzia Cafe and Trattoria with some work colleagues from another company. All the dishes seemed authentic and were definitely tasty.

A later treat of ice cream at Humphry Slocombe. Many of the flavors are quite odd, but all that I sampled were excellent, with the Chocolate Smoked Salt a true standout.

In announcing my role as Toastmaster for their con, the fine folks at CONTRAflow referred to me as a raconteur. No one has ever done that before.

The battery lives of all of my electronic devices are proving to be more than adequate to meet my requirements this trip--a wonderful first!

I'm out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 5 (and an appearance announcement)

The conference I'm attending is the Intel Developer Forum (aka IDF) at the Moscone Center. It's always an interesting event, and it makes enough news in techie circles that you can follow it easily enough online. That, though, is about all I can say about that.

Dinner tonight was at Oola, a fun little restaurant where the food was tasty and the portions on the large side.

I promised an announcement: In about fourteen months, on the weekend of November 4, 2011, I will be the Toastmaster at CONTRAflow, a new science fiction convention in (well, technically, near) New Orleans. I'm already looking forward to visiting New Orleans again!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On the road again: San Francisco, day 4

Work and the conference are ramping up, so I will be able to discuss less of each day for the rest of this trip. Today's non-work portions included some time walking in the Haight, which was a pleasant break in the afternoon. We enjoyed a good lunch at Cha Cha Cha, where the Cubano was as good as any I've had in a very long time.

The temptation of ice cream was too strong to resist today, so we hustled over to the Bi-Rite Creamery for some of their justly famous ice cream. I wouldn't rank them as high as Jeni's, but it was still mighty darn good.

Our small team held its pre-conference dinner at the nearest Max's, one of their Opera cafes, and I once again was unable to resist the patty melt. I keep hoping to have a better one elsewhere, but to date that hasn't happened.

The day was cool here, the night cooler, and back home the temperature is also dropping. Fall is coming, summer is fading, and time keeps chugging along at what feels like an ever faster pace. I long for each day to last longer, to have more hours, to give me more chances to accomplish something of value, but of course the standard twenty-four are all any of us get. I wish it felt like enough.


Blog Archive