Saturday, July 2, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Yeah, we went there. I know the first one was dumb fun, and the second was mostly just dumb, but what can I say? It's summer, it's nearly the Fourth, and so it's time for Michael Bay to blow up some shit.

And blow it up he did. T3 opens with the usual pretentious voice-over and then a whole lot of back story. We spend some time wading through a bunch of establishing characterization so we can basically catch up with the cast. Megan Fox isn't here, but her lips are, though now transplanted onto the even hotter but no more talented Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The sense of humor that had vanished from the second film was back, and it helped--as did the presence of Leonard Nimoy as the voice of a key character.

After something over an hour, we hit the big action scene, which one might reasonably conclude would begin the conclusion of the movie.

In this case, though, the scene runs over an hour, kind of like a trailer that never ends.

I'm mocking the film, and on many levels it deserves mockery, but I nonetheless had a fine time watching it. It was exactly what I expected, so I left the theater happy.

As we were gathering in the lobby, the sprawling outdoor mall complex that includes the theater began its fireworks show. So, we rushed outside and caught almost all the fireworks. Watching the sky explode with color on a warm summer night is a wonderful thing, a fine end to an even louder, more explosive movie.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The longest interview with me yet published

Baen Books, my SF publisher, distributes a couple of email newsletters a month. (You can sign up for them on the Baen home page.) The July 1 issue features a link to a Q&A interview with me. Tony Daniel, a Baen editor and also a fiction writer, provided a great set of questions, and I spent a fair amount of time answering them. Some of the answers provide information I don't believe I've ever shared in public before.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the road again: Austin, day 4

Today passed in a blur. Early wake-up. Work. Shower. Check-out. Drive. Check in. Work. Fly. Grab lunch (health food: a pretzel dog and a Red Mango parfait). Work. Fly and work. Wait for bags. Ride. Work.

You get the picture.

Despite the timestamp on this entry, it's after five in the morning, but I'm finally caught up with Thursday's work.

Time to crash.

Morning is already almost here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On the road again: Austin, day 3

Another long work day, and of course I can't discuss it.

It was well after nine before we could head to dinner, and by then I had a powerful craving for some Amy's. So, we drove to the nearest one, which is in the Arboretum, and then searched for a nearby place at which we could grab a little supper first. We ended up at a Manuels, where the food was pleasant enough though unexceptional. What was exceptional, however, was the setting: we ate under a sprawling tree next to a simple fountain-fed trough of running water. Listening to the splash of water in a cooling evening while under the shade of a beautiful old tree is a great treat in itself, enough of a treat to more than compensate for the plainness of the restaurant's fare.

The Amy's ice cream was, of course, delicious.

The rest of the evening went to work.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the road again: Austin, day 2

Work filled most of today, and of course I cannot discuss it. I can note that it is quite hot here, with the high each day over a hundred. Even with a white towel covering it, the steering wheel in the rental car is hot to the touch each time we return to the vehicle. I know the heat here is drier than the one back home and so some would claim it is not as bad, but I don't care; it's damn hot here.

Dinner was a very good meal at Congress, the best of all the restaurants I've tried in Austin. Executive Chef David Bull and his team delivered tasty dishes that blended modern American cooking with local ingredients and a clearly Texan heritage. Captain Jay Hume and his team provided service that kept pace with the food. If you're in Austin and seeking a memorable dinner, do not miss Congress.

I'd write more, but despite what the timestamp on this post says (it lies because I can set it to whatever I want), it is very late, so I am finally crashing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

On the road again: Austin, day 1

My biggest hope for airplane travel days is that they be uneventful, and today fortunately was. The flights ran on time, I got an upgrade on the longer leg, and I even had time to grab some Red Mango in DFW. Hard to complain.

Most of the day and late into the night went to work, but I did follow my Austin tradition of eating dinner at The County Line by the Lake and then enjoying some ice cream at the Arboretum Amy's. Sitting by the water in the fading light of early evening was a treat, and the County Line folks seemed particularly on their barbecue game tonight, so dinner proved to be meaty goodness with a side of lovely scenery. The ice cream was as good as it always is, which is to say, it was great.

In completely unrelated news, Lynn sent me a picture of her holding a paperback copy of Children No More, so apparently it is out! I have yet to see a copy myself, but I hope to do so soon. I'm certain to mention this many times more in the days ahead, but if you buy a copy of the book, you're doing a good deed, because I'm donating 100% of my take from the novel--all editions, print and electronic--to Falling Whistles to help rehabilitate and reintegrate child soldiers and children affected by war. As the Web site for this program says,

Lose yourself in other worlds. Do good in this one.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Serenity and the NC Browncoats

Earlier tonight, the NC Browncoats held their annual showing of Serenity in support of Equality Now and Kids Need To Read. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I decided to become a sponsor of the event, and we ended up holding Rana's birthday party there, as about twenty of us gathered to eat, socialize, and watch the movie. Jennie and I also agreed to join Sam Montgomery-Blinn, editor of local SF magazine, Bull Spec, as the judges in the costume contest. (Organizer Jen Hilton is a persuasive, very nice, and very organized woman indeed!)

So, it was an evening of fun and fun work, because picking winners from among the many costume contestants was difficult indeed. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of entrants and the amount of work they had obviously put into their costumes.

I also donated one shirt from each of my stand-up shows and a personalized copy of Children No More to the charity raffle the NC Browncoats held. To my great pleasure, the winner was a veteran, a retired Army Major, whose wife's father had been a Marine. They already knew of and fully appreciated the book, so signing it to him and his wife was more than compensation enough for all I did this evening.

The movie itself was a joy to watch on the big screen. I do love this film, and I found it as engaging and moving as ever.

If you live around here, I highly recommend you attend next year--and buy your tickets early, because it sells out. All profits go to two very deserving charities, and you'll have a swell time. I hope to be there, schedule permitting.


Blog Archive