Friday is Pop-Tastic: Archer, Indiana Jones, Thundercats, & More!

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*Want to see 1000 hours of work smooshed down into 3 minutes? Gosh, I do! Timeplapsed Thundercat Painting is truly the very best way to start off your Friday.

 

* MTV Geek has released their Top of 2011 Animated TV Shows List and I actually agree with most of it. If you’re not watching Archer you have to start doing so. Much of it is on Netflix Watch It Instantly. H. Jon Benjamin is just fantastic and the mom from Arrested Development plays both a mom and head of a Secret Agency. The character she voices on Archer is pretty much the same character as she played in AD, which is a beautiful thing. I’m starting to think that may be just how she is in real life. And I love her.

 

*Almost exactly 30 years after her mysterious death, the L.A. Sheriff’s Office has decided to reopen the Natalie Wood investigation. This is based on new information the office has recently received regarding her disappearance on Thanksgiving of ’81.

 

*Anonymous is still determined to Occupy Wallstreet and they’ve got pretty creative ways to achieve this!

 

* Meet the King of the Geeks: A super nerd cracked the Jeopardy code. That lucky genius bastard.

 

* 17 Minutes of the newest Indiana Jones filumentary?! After this I’m going to have to go lie down from Excitement Overload.

 

* And, finally, those skinny bitches over at Victoria Secret are biting into my Geek Chicness, only they’re doing it with far perkier breasts. Hate them.

PS: I know Twilight whatever the hell came out today. And I don’t care. I don’t care about prancing, sequinsy vampires and their wolf frenemy that falls in love with a monstrous new born infant.

I don’t. Freaking. Care.

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Movie Review: Young Adult

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In a Super Secret Screening on Monday October 24th, the Alamo Drafthouse of Austin invited fans to a free showing of Young Adult, featuring in-person guests Director Jason Reitman and star Patton Oswalt. The film opens in limited release on December 9th and wider on December 16th.

Young Adult

Young Adult begins in Minneapolis, a city of industrialism without the prestige of Chicago or New York. Charlize Theron plays the washed-up ex-school socialite Mavis Gary, a ghost writer claiming famous author status, who returns to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota in an attempt to woo back her old high school flame. Darkness, rather than hilarity, ensues. Patton Oswalt plays Matt, an unexpected conscience and friend, who is just as guilty of being unable to let go as the delusional and pretentious Mavis. In usual Theron and Patton fashion, both play their characters as if they were built for them specifically, running a fine line between bleak truth and dark humor.

Young Adult doesn’t lack depth in its main character; Mavis’s failures and subsequent denial of them are more than evident through her boozing, inability to look at herself in a mirror before happy hour, and inherent conceit. The rest of the film, however, seems to barely scratch the surface by comparison. This story hits so close to home for so many that the script just isn’t enough to make Young Adult the home-run Juno was. The film does make attempts to get the viewer emotionally involved, adding a glimmer of back story outside Mavis’s ego. In a scene with an old flame’s wife, Theron portrays Mavis as not only naked and raw in feeling, but also unwavering in her blind egomaniacal sense of self when confronted with maturity. Another scene chances an impossible change of heart in Mavis while she shares a brief, but perfect connection with Sandra, played by the fantastic Collette Wolfe, but in the end it’s not enough. There are many questions the viewer will find unanswered, but that may simply be to drive home the fact that the universe revolves around Mavis; you’re in her world even though you don’t deserve to be. Almost twenty years after graduation, and with a career many would find envious, Mavis reveals herself to be just as sad as the hometown she mocks and resents.

While this film is enjoyable, Young Adult lacks a wow factor. The leap into something darker than Juno and Up in the Air is a adventure for Reitman that he pulls off well and Oswalt and Theron are fantastic with the story they’re given. The film, however, ultimately seems stuck deciding whether to be a drama or a dark, dry comedy of the ordinary. Theron is undeniable enthralling to watch, like a trainwreck that just keeps getting worse.

Stephen King once said “I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you,” and I agree. While everyone knew or – worse – currently knows a Mavis, seeing her on the big screen in all the glory of pitiful masochism and reminiscence is not enough for a truly fulfilling story. Young Adult begins well, truly tries in the third act, and its star and directors play their parts well. The story just simply falls short.

Star Wars Gifts, Doctor Who, & Other News of Nerdom

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*MTV Geek has created a short catalog for the Star Wars geek on your holiday shopping list. I personally feel it’s missing a number of items, including the Death Star “Too Big to Fail” Keychain. Everyone needs that in their stocking! It’s been around for a while, but not enough people own the Interactive R2. I know, because I nor any of my friends have one of these darling, battery operated family additions, and my pals are so nerdy that one had a dream last night that we were all stuck in the world of Empire Strikes Back.

There’s Darth Vader in an Ugly Christmas Sweater and even a motorized AT-AT Walker for the purchaser who’s purse string know no bounds. I’m holder out on getting an AT-AT Walker until there’s one large enough for me to ride. This only just scratches the surface of Star Wars gifts, because, let’s face it, Star Wars is just as big as ever. Perhaps even more popular than it’s ever been. I’m sure you’ll see many more posts on star wars gifts as I find things that move me. Hey, have I ever shown you my Star Wars tattoo?

This is right after I got it, close to two years ago now. It is actually borderless, the dark outer edges were from the stencil put on my leg.

* In Uber Creepy News, someone over at MTV has compiled a list of “Famous Last Tweets”. It is exactly as it sounds: The last thing celebrities tweeted before their deaths. Ugh.

*Do you know Marcel? Marcel the Shell with Shoes on? I love him. I first saw him when Jenny Slate created him after getting kicked off of Saturday Night Live for saying “fuck” during a skit. She was horrified, everyone laughed, she finished the skit, and was shortly thereafter fired. I’m talking about Jenny, of course. Marcel wasn’t fired; that would be ridiculous. This is Marcel:

This makes my day every time I watch it. Anyway, he’s come out with a new video: Marcel 2. Enjoy.

* The next Star Trek will arrive in 2013. What are you more excited about: The second part of the Hobbit or Star Trek?

*I really don’t know who hires the writers at Blastr, but they need to be fired. The posts are riddled with grammatical errors and the pieces are simply not thought out well enough. In fact, I think most aren’t even written by real fans. This post is 11 Actors who should play Doctor Who in a Movie, written by someone who apparently has never gotten into Doctor Who – not just “watched”, I mean really gotten into. What are you, kidding?! This is awful. Jude Law?! He can suck it seven ways ’til Sunday. Natalie Portman?! Has the author even ever seen  anything she’s been in?! And, just as a point of fact: An American Doctor would never be truly accepted. Not ever. Oh, this burns me up.

* This is the closest I’ll come to seeing the Twilight movies: staring at muppet parody posters.

*In more Star Wars news, iO9 has picked up on Lucas Films purchasing 3 rather curious domain names. Everything is speculation and no one is talking so we’ll just have to wait to see about this. If Skywalker Ranch wants to keep something private, they’re well versed in doing so. Blue Harvest.

* I don’t know how they’d do a Lego Movie per say, but I LOVE the video games, so I guess anything is possible. Seems like Hollywood is SERIOUSLY out of ideas, though (and has been for years).

* I’m all for the $99 Kindle Touch with Special Offers over the Nook $99 ereader. Yes, it’s annoying and complete bullshit that there are ads, but they only pop up at the bottom of the screen when you’re not reading and I just really prefer it’s look and interface. Above all, though, is Amazon’s far more extensive book selection. And they keep your junk on the Cloud. Boom.

* And finally I was forced by someone to watch The Menagerie episode of Star Trek TOS four times recently. When I wanted to find that person a Christmas gift (because in light of the repeated viewings I still love them), I had to look no further than Hallmark. Some weirdo there thought the horrible disfigured Capt. Pike would make an EXCELLENT ornament – his ‘lil red light even blinks!

 

Paying For Batteries in Cash & Dignity

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September 2010 OpenSalon Editor’s Pick

“Okay…8 pack of  double A batterieeeees…Anything else?”

“Nope, that’ll do it.”

“Okay, phone number area code first?”

“Excuse me?”

“Your phone number, area code first.”

“I just want to buy some batteries.”

“Yeah, we have to enter everyone’s phone number for every sale.”

“Why?”

“Um…Cuz.”

Luckily, like most girls, I’m practiced in the art of giving out a fake number when need be. I just never thought I’d have to do it to buy batteries.

I am thankful for the Information Age. We’ve got dating sites and this new thing called “social networking”. We’ve got twits doing tweets and we never have to leave our house for Christmas shopping. Amazon.com is my personal savior.

I love online shopping. Buy those shoes you need while on your lunch break, without even getting into your car.  I only buy from sites I know, sites with those security insignias all over, long established sites and only sites that promise my information will not be sold. But I often wonder if these sites can be trusted. I only ever enter information when I’m purchasing something and I only enter the information necessary for billing and shipping; I generally don’t have a problem with it.

I do have a major problem, however, with stores that request personal information when I’m checking out in person. If it’s not being mailed to me I don’t understand why any of my personal information is necessary or why I should be expected to give it out.

After my trip to Radio Shack, to which I gave the number 867-5309, and received both my batteries and a dirty look, I went to Payless Shoes, where I was requested for the same information.

“I don’t give out my phone number.”

“Not a problem,” replied the sales woman and continued with my purchase.

At least she was able to finish without having to enter anything false.

At lunch my husband and I went to a chain Japanese restaurant.

“Two for lunch, please.”

“Sure! First and last name and zip code.”

“Is there a wait? It looks empty.”

“No, no wait. Name?”

I raised an eyebrow. Had I missed a memo? In an age when identity theft is both relatively new and on the rise, why are we so pleasantly expected to give information everywhere we go? Perhaps there was a criminal on the run, the local authorities only knew her name and that she liked to frequent fake sushi places. Surely that’s the only reason anyone would need personal information to sit you at an empty restaurant.

“Kate Doe. 78704.” The hostess typed it in.

“Birthday?”

“I don’t give that out.”

“Would you like to give your email to rece-“

“Actually I would just really like some lunch.”

“Oh.” She paused. “Okay.”

Lunch? In a restaurant?!? What a novel idea!

Though I was asked for information when ordering, it was just salad dressing preferences and type of rice, data that actually had relevance to eating. At the end came the bill and… an info card, which we received a full debriefing on by our waitress: Give them our information to do whatever with and we’ll receive coupons periodically…amongst other wank in our email box.  That was the last straw.

I just laughed.

“What?” My husband asked me. “We’ll get coupons and it says they won’t sell our information.”

“No, they won’t. But the third party that holds our information, archives it for them, does.”

I used to work for a bookstore while I was in college, we’ll call it Edges. Shortly before I quit, they implemented a customer card system. I watched coworkers get fired because they did not push this card enough. Edges’ policy was that there was no reason why anyone should leave the store without one. I watched customers get into fights with managers that wouldn’t drop it, I watched people complain and scream to workers young and old  – and make them cry – during the heart of the holiday season because Edges forced their employees to push this past the point of “No.” According to them “no” never means “no” because “there is no reason why a customer should leave the store without this card as it saves them money for free”. This policy means, of course, that Edges has the personal information of everyone who has ever shopped there.  And, sure, as stated, Edges doesn’t sell the phone number, name, address, and email of those shoppers who signed up for the card. But the company who handles the information sure as hell did and does. That’s what’s known as a loophole.

Part of the problem is that we live in the age of corporations. I went to Payless because it’s all I could afford. I went to Radioshack and the lunch place because they were near the other locations we had to visit. We could dive into facts, conspiracy theories, etc. denouncing the faceless corporations for feeling entitled to the personal information of those it keeps living in hovels. I know my information is out there and it makes me nauseaous. The fact of the matter is that I made the decision to shop where I did on this day and if I want to keep my information private I now have to consider that in where I buy the days necessities.

It’s an acknowledgment of a ridiculous truth and it’s completely infuriating.

The Boots Zipped Round the World

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Two new things in the *very* limited world of GeekFat fashion: The boots and a bra.

First thing to discuss is the boots. These are the boots that inspired GeekFat, so they deserve a high and mighty spot. Thusly I’m calling them “The Boots Zipped Round the World” (not just because they were inspiring, but also because they actually zipped up and fit around my massive, massive calves). The boots are brown leather with a stretch backing, a very basic riding boot and I actually really like the dark brown back with the caramel brown front. It’s the Naturalizer Array and I heart them.

No big deal, right? Well they’re huge to me AND for the first time in literally about 6 months it is raining in Austin; I’ve conditioned the leather and am wearing them right now with slim jeans and a cool puff sleeved black shirt – I feel like a jedi. And I got them with combined coupons and in store sales up the wazoo, but we’ll get more into my cheapness later. The above picture was taken of me yesterday before an outing to a sports bar for wings,  food so fried and cheese smothered that it could only be called “food” if using quotations, and sports gaming where men played with both balls and pucks and I cared little about neither. I have a friend who loves her Packers and I support her happiness. So there you go.

THE bra.

No, it’s not that I just started wearing a bra. I love bras. Think they’re fantastic, albeit incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t like not wearing a bra unless I’m sleeping. On top of being chubbs, I’m also an admin, which means I am incredibly cheap. Though I’m currently cheap by necessity, I’m not sure I wouldn’t remain cheap if given substantial financial means. What I’m trying to say is that I needed a new bra, my others are less than steller, but a ladies undergarments are not inexpensive. For a remarkably little amount of cloth, these items are off the charts expensive, many costing more than dinner and a movie for two.

I had been carrying around two coupons I received to Victoria’s Secret. I generally only shop at VS once a year to eighteen months and only during their “We have to get the undies that are two years old out of our stock at any cost” sale. The stuff I wear is beyond last season out of style. It wasn’t even in style when I was a freshman in college. Super Out Of Style. The coupons, however, were really enticing. For one, they expired yesterday, meaning I felt the pressure to splurge. And secondly, one was for a free pair of underwear, no purchase necessary. I might as well walk in, I mean, they were just gonna GIVE me free panties. So, yeah, I completely fell for the ploy of merely getting the customer in the door.

I’m miserable. Just general, all around miserable. I like my shopping missions to be search and destroy, no eye contact, surgical strike, and no pushy sales people. To be fair all the ladies in VS have been, in my experience, very nice. They want to help, but are totally content to leave you alone if that’s what you indicate. I wove through their selection looking for something that defied gravity, weightless, will last an eternity, and is pretty. I like pretty, what can I say? And I’m wasn’t finding much – well, not much in my price range, which, even with the $10 off coupon, was pathetic. Finally, I decided if I’m going to buy my first non- so-on-sale-you-might-as-well-be-a-recluse-if-your’re-buying-this-out-of-style-crap bra, that I better get on with it and take the leap.

And that’s when I saw it. A great coverage, mega plunge, right amount of lift over the shoulder boulder holder. It was made of the material I could only imagine Susan Sommers would demand her personal space suit be made of. And it didn’t even have strap adjusters because the fabric adjusted itself to you. It was the iPad of braziers.

As I searched for my size a sales woman approached.

“Ohhhh, are you thinking about that bra? That’s an amazing bra!”

She helped me find my size and twittered off on her way. I putzed around a little while longer picking out my free underwear. While doing so I was approached by a second sales person.

“<gasp!> OHMYGOSH, your getting that bra?! Oh, man, that bra is greeeeeat!

Mmkay. Thanks.

That’s when I decided it was time for me to head home, I’d had enough of being a girl for the day. I headed to the register.

“Can I use both these coupons today at the same time?”

“The free panty and $10 off? Sure, that shouldn’t be a prob – ARE YOU GETTING THAT BRA?!”

She continued with – I shit you not – :

“<Sigh> Congratulations, that is the best bra you’ll ever own.”

I was essentially congratulated by three people, one literally, on my bra purchase in a 10 minute span.

Once I got home I simply had to try on the bra that couldn’t now possibly live up to the expectations created for it. And yet damned if it totally did. I’m wearing it now.

Well, duh, of course I’m not going to put a picture of me wearing a bra on here. But that is the actual bra. Also, I love horribly, horribly executed photo editing jobs.

The bra is truly so comfortable that I had to look up its style name so I could look for it in the future, in another 18 months, when I have the urge to spend so much on something great.

It’s called Incredible.

That’s it. I was a little perturbed they didn’t go with IcrediBra, which is what I insist upon calling it. Still, it’s no AbracadaBra.

Doctor Who Movie & other Nerdom news

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*Wasn’t I JUST talking about this? It seems a Doctor Who movie may actually be in the works, Capt. Jack Harkness’ preferences be damned. David Yates, of Harry Potter film fame, is said to be directing. It is rumored, however, that neither Matt Smith nor David Tennant would be the Doctor on the Silver Screen. Interesting…

*Because people are capable of being both Geektastic and Politically Aware, someone decided to make an Occupy Legoland model. It’s awesome, of course.

* It’s finally happened: Mario has come to life. Over the weekend in Times Square Mario 3D Land was erected and, man, do I wish I could go play. I have to admit, though, that this doesn’t seem like it’s the right season to have this setup. Snow is coming soon, and who wants to jump over turtle shells and ride Yoshi in a heavy winter coat?

* The International Space Station just blew my mind. I’ve watched this a number of times already, but it simply doesn’t get old to me. The video is time-lapsed photography taken by the ISS and shows our home in a whole new light. I hope to one day see Aurora Borealis or Australis in person, but until that time this video does them incredible justice in conveying their beauty.

* Another Twilight is coming out soon. I don’t care, but Hallmark does. The last thing I want fouling up my tree is Kristen Stewart’s sourpuss face.

* And the full Hunger Games trailer is finally here.

Are You There, Spock? It’s Me, Katie.

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2010 Editor’s Pick on OpenSalon.

When I was fourteen years old I got my first job at a recycling plant for the town of Danbury. I made ten dollars an hour at that time, which, at twenty eight years old with a BA and an MA, is pretty close to what I make now. After the summer gig at the recycling plant I started work at a coffee shop at the age of fifteen. I was underage, but they hired me anyway, and that job really helped shape my high school life. Well, it shaped my extra-curricular high school life anyway. I also worked at clothing stores, and while looking cute was an integral part of my persona, folding clothes was not.

My mother worked for what we’ll refer to as Cashline.com at the time and got me a job doing receptionist work and IT Help Desk stuff. When I worked the Help Desk I would help the technologically inept (“My computer froze. I hit Ctrl-Alt-what?” and “How do I change my background?”) and I would wait on hold when the Help-Desk itself needed help. When I would work the receptionist desk I would…I won’t say I would do my best because that would be lying. I couldn’t slack off too much because my mother would have my head if I gave her reason to be anything but proud of me. I was, however, adequate and did well for a kid. There was this one regular caller in particular who really made up for any slacking off or fooling around. For legal and mental health issues I’ve forgotten his name.

As these days predated Caller ID (or personal cell phones for that matter) I never knew when this individual would be calling. On the evenings that he did get through I imagined he was calling from somewhere along the Pacific border. I don’t know why, I guess because he called each evening, after 4pm, and I just thought his type of call was better suited as a middle-of-the-day activity. So he would call, and I, a now sixteen year old, ego maniacle punk would answer, “Thank you for calling Cashline Executive Offices. How may I direct your call?” And he would respond “I want to speak with William Shatner.”

Me 'n some friends.

I enjoy the Geico commercials, or at least I did when they first premiered years ago during a Super Bowl. It would never occur to me, however, to call Geico and ask to speak with a caveman or British lizard. Be that as it may, in my few short years so far on this earth I have learned that reason and logic elude many. Many.
“William Shatner does not work here, sir,” I’d respond.
“Yes, he does. I’ve seen him in your commercials.”
“I know he does our commercials, sir, but he doesn’t work here. We don’t even film our commercials here.”
“William Shatner DOES work at Cashline and I demand to speak with him!”

At this point the guys voice would be at the level of making a sixteen year old girl cry. A weak sixteen year old. Being the opposite of weak I was merely an ass and, it should be noted, less articulate then this recreated conversation may imply. This call would happen almost every day and after time I knew what he looked like. Well, my teenage imagination did.

I always imagined this particular gentleman older, but not OLD, maybe in his mid-sixties, sitting in a 1970’s a corduroy Lazy Boy that had seen better days, duct tape on the sides and arms, an over used and beaten seat he referred to as his captain’s chair. I imagined he wore the same outfit every day, stuffing far too much flesh into far too little polyester, black pants with a red top, of course, and an embroidered or even hand drawn communicator just above and to the left of a probable by-pass surgery scar. A pale, hairy and slightly pink gut desperately trying to escape the confines of his get-up would be exploding from between pants waistline and repressive shirt. That’s what I thought, anyway.

On and on he would ramble: Cashline did this, his flight was awful, the Captain rescues people – never works WITH the bad guys! Shatner working for Cashline was like him cohorting with Klingons. I didn’t watch the original Star Trek series at this time and this experience may be some of the cause behind that. My favorite part of his calls always came after he started yelling:
“THE CAPTAIN OF THE ENTERPRISE WOULD NOT ALLOW SUCH SCAMMING TO OCCUR. YOUR COMPANY SCAMS PEOPLE AND I INTEND TO ALERT THE CAPTAIN!”

Well, Sir, why don’t you just hit your communicator and ask to meet him in the Halodeck? There you can reveal the evils of Cashline over a Saurian Brandy or a Romulan Ale.

Did I ever actually say that? Nah, I wasn’t that cool. I, in all honesty, would nod as if he could see me and “Mmhmm” like I had been there. I always got him of the phone calmer, but, then, he did always call back.

So why is this important and why does it matter? Because every day as a teen I learned that people are different and you must have patience. Granted once I know you I have no patience for you and you’re finished in my book, BUT every day I would get a little more evidence that either the world is crazy and I am fine or that there is simply no sanity and we’re all screwed. Either way I learned patience every day, in one way or another, and even get  chances to demonstrate such patience, brief as those moments may be, every once in a while. When you’re young you first learn of differences from sight, you visually see that others are different. But this, this, taught me that people may have skeletons – not in their closets, but in their mind – and they seem all “normal” and you think you’re making ground and then – THEY GET YA! And that’s just the way it is, I guess.