Saturday, August 2, 2014


is a hot mess of a film, one of those rare movies I just can't make up my mind about.  Some in our group found it horrible, most of us mostly enjoyed watching it, and no one loved it.  After much thought, I've come to the conclusion that Lucy is exactly what writer/director Luc Besson wanted it to be, the realization of his particular vision of the singularity--and that his vision didn't make for a very satisfying movie ending.

The film starts well, with Scarlett Johansson--and, later, others--being abducted and operated on so that they could act as drug mules carrying bags of blue crystals in their abdomens.  As the trailer shows, other bad guys hurt Johansson and break open her bag, causing the drug to leak into her system, and we're off to the singularity races.

The ensuing events range from vaguely logical--her getting smarter--to absurd--I won't spoil it for you, but the scenes on the plane come to mind--and then we're in Paris, where the plot kicks into high gear. 

With the exception of the absurd scenes, the movie more or less hangs together until we reach the conclusion, at which point Besson avoids anything resembling a satisfying ending and instead follows his vision to its logical conclusion.  I can't say you'll like the ending, because no one I know has, but I've come to respect it.  Besson went where he wanted to go, and that's kind of a cool thing.

If you're a Besson fan, a Johansson fan, or a fan of movies about the singularity, Lucy, problems notwithstanding, is a must-see.  For everyone else, if you're up for eighty percent of a good action film, you could do worse.

For me, I'm glad to have seen it, and I like that Besson followed his vision.  I just wish his vision had included a more interesting conclusion.

Friday, August 1, 2014

On the road again: Austin, day 5

I'm home, and I'm very glad to be here. 

Morning was work, followed by the usual fun process of checking out, driving to the airport, checking in, etc. 

Lunch at the Austin airport, though, was a true treat:  brisket and sausage from The Salt Lick, followed by a small cup of Amy's ice cream.  Those two options make the Austin airport the best place to eat of any airport I know. 

Now, to unpack a bit, and then to crash.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the road again: Austin, day 4

Once again, I can't talk about all the very interesting meetings today.  Sorry about that. 

Dinner was a tasty meal with friends and clients at Perry's Steakhouse & Grill, a classic steakhouse.  In keeping with tradition, I had a Caesar salad and an eight-ounce filet.  Both were delicious.

One of our group ordered the bread pudding.  It arrived with the largest marshmallow I have ever seen sitting atop it.  In this picture, the marshmallow has fallen off the bread pudding and is closest to the camera.

By way of context, that chunk of bread pudding was nearly the size of my fist.

That was one Texas-sized marshmallow!

Tomorrow, I fly home!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On the road again: Austin, day 3

Another day of interesting meetings and cool technology, another day of stuff I cannot discuss.

Another 19-hour workday, another day on the road.

Dinner was a lovely meal with a client and friend at Uchiko, a light and delicious Japanese treat.  I've recommended Uchiko before, and I wholeheartedly do so again.  We followed the dinner with dessert at a nearby Amy's, always a treat. 

Now, I fall over and go boom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On the road again: Austin, day 2

Work filled almost all the hours of the day, so there's not much I can talk about.

Around 8:00 p.m., the evening turned absolutely beautiful, balmy and breezy, but most of the day was very hot.  I do not heart the Austin summer heat.

Dinner this evening was at Frank, a sort of Austin-hip hot-dog joint.  The food was good but not great, with healthiness not a consideration for most of the menu.  My favorite oddity, which of course I had to try, was The Notorious P.I.G.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Yeah, that's macaroni and cheese on top of a house-made sausage and underneath some barbecue sauce.

If you're into odd hot dogs and sausages, Frank is worth checking out. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

On the road again: Austin, day 1

I didn't sleep a ton last night, but I slept more than the previous Sunday night thanks to a far more reasonable departure time today.  I was also blessed by upgrades on both flights, a big treat indeed.

I'm also happy to report that I encountered no egregious etiquette violations on either flight, though my row mate on the first leg was enough of an asshat that our interchanges were terse and infrequent.  (No, I'm not a demanding row-mate; I just don't think you should stick your banana--I mean a literal piece of fruit here, no hidden meanings--on my half of the drink area and then be a jerk when I ask you to please move it.  Okay, maybe I did encounter an etiquette violation.)  

I enjoyed a green salad on a plane and then a Red Mango parfait for lunch.  Yum. 

After an amazingly slow time with the rental-car attendant, I finally hit the hotel and got to work.

Dinner was my normal first-night-in-Austin tradition:  barbecue at The County Line By the Lake, followed by ice cream at Amy's.  Delicious, as always. 

Tomorrow morning quite early, the meetings begin, so I'm going to cut this off and crash.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

After a few weekends of disappointing summer action movies...

...I am really counting on this one to deliver the summer action goods.

I've yet to see the second installment of The Purge, Lucy was interesting but hardly a summer blockbuster (I may write about it later), and I'm probably going to wait for DVD on Hercules.  So, I'm hoping that Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy make next weekend a grand one for movies. 

I'll let you know what I think after I've seen it.


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