Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Views from the past week...

From the hotel in LA, classic radio towers and old deco style.

Pulling into the Fox Lot for the Simpson's screening.

After the show, barbeque!

Mmmm, ice cream!

A visit to Grauman's Theater on Wednesday night,

Where Vic, ever the Steve McQueen fan found what she was looking for.

The sails of the San Diego Comic Con. And if you look a little closer,

A ship carrying about a dozen yachts drifts by.

At the con, hanging out with Richard Starkings at the Elephantmen booth.

Goofing off with Laura and writer Shane McCarthy.

Fletcher and the wonderful crew at the DC booth. I love these guys!

And another reason to close the curtains before engaging in an evening tryst. Especially when your condo is across the street from a hotel full of bored tourists with cameras.
On the flight home, a great view of Mount St. Helens steaming away on a sunny summer morning.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Aw dude, is the airport even OPEN at 5am?

I've had an hour's sleep. It's not fair feeling this crappy when there's such an incredible bed just a few feet away.

Dreaming of home.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

You know that groaning noise Krusty the Clown makes, that UUUUUUGH sound? That's what this weekend has been like.

Woke up with a crazy charlie horse or something in my calf, leg just went TWANG and now I have an excuse to sit here and finish these Treehouse pages that have been kicking my ass all week.

Got to meet Zack Gallifinakis at the Hyatt last night, chatted about how much we all like Vancouver. His hair is wild!

I think Vic has decided to toss today and hang out at Laguna with Laura. Best idea ever. I hope she finds a lovely pool to relax in.

Lots of conversations, lots of meeting readers which has been great, lots of planning for the future. And of course geeking out. Back to work...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh Los Angeles. Thanks to our friend Dean we snagged a couple of really nice rooms at the LA Athletic Club, a dead charming facility that has cured my insomnia of the past few weeks. Huge bed, dark and quiet, sleeping like a baby. Love it.

The halls are filled with super creepy paintings...

And though it looks a lot like the hotel from the Shining, the haunted vibe is less serial killer/beribboned twin sisters than old timey boxers with handlebar moustaches singing jaunty tunes.

The lounge was perfect for working on those last Treehouse pages

And plotting the takeover of the world

And pointed out by Ian, the LAAC logo looks just like Woody Woodpecker!

Tomorrow we head out to Comic "Caanes".

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Despite being exhausted from still more wonky sleep (I'd been up since 3am Friday morning and had about an hour's nap prior to midnight), we headed out to get our copy of the Deathly Hallows. The store was packed with people, some in bits of costume, a witch hat here, a maroon and gold scarf there and a trivia contest was going on. I swayed sleepily while Vic and Ian joked around. Got a glimpse of the latest issue of Details and the photo spread of Daniel Radcliffe backstage at Equis on the West End. We saw the theater when we were in London and despite being Ian's favourite play, it felt a bit odd to get tickets what with all the crazy, distracting hype over the nudity. I would like to read the play someday. Anyway, got our books and with the combination of excitement and rain I was a little more awake.

Back home we jumped right into it, me reading aloud to Ian while he made a quick dinner. After breaking between chapters two and three for some shrimp and angel hair pasta I was reading to Ian again and didn't stop until five in the morning when the pull of sleep was too much for both of us.

I thought all this tired would mean a good, solid stretch of unconsiousness but here's how my brain loves to sabotage my life: five hours later and I'm awake, if you can call it that, and not able to fall back asleep. Crap!

I feel very drained and am presently wondering how the heck I'm going to be able to concentrate on all this work. I'll be tackling the last of the Treehouse story today, hopefully getting most, if not all of it done before our flight tomorrow. Working on the road is not fun, working on two separate projects even less so.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Got a bit of work done on Y today but my sleeping schedule has gone all wonky so the main attack will be tomorrow after some more sleep.

We managed to get airline tickets all sorted out so I can now mention the neato news. Bongo sent Ian an invite to attend the preview screening of the Simpsons Movie! And it's at Fox studios! Woo! We were already flying into LA on Wednesday because we couldn't get a flight into San Diego in time for a Thursday panel so it wasn't too difficult to bump the time up a couple of days. Of course this means more work to do beforehand but it'll be worth it.

Oh, and Venus Zine just posted an interview I did with them a couple of weeks ago.

Okay, I need to go to bed now. Guh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Whew, long days of working here. I've got 4 pages of the Treehouse story out today (crazy happy about them!), 4 more to get done for this weekend, and then 5 pages of Y to finish up this week (should take a couple of days).

Heading to California next week for nerd prom. We were originally set to leave on Wednesday but it looks like something has just come up that might require us to leave a couple of days sooner. I'll post more about it when everything is cemented. Could be fun!

Over the weekend we got out to see Order of the Phoenix with Roger and Louise, this time at the Silvercity in Richmond. We couldn't get in to the IMAX show but the regular screening was still fantastic. What a huge difference from the dismal experience at the Van East Cinema! And yes I can finally give my little critique of the actual story.

Naturally it was heavily condensed from the book but a considerably better job of abridgement than the fourth film. The transitions were smoother and the story just flowed well. The actors had more time to deliver some sweet, honest moments that made it feel... I guess quieter is the word I'm looking for. Less of the frenetic amusement park feel of the first two films, more grounded but still missing the richness of the third.

What grabbed me most was the fight scene at the end with wands and spells flying spectacularly in all directions. I was reminded of the disc fight scenes in TRON, with the flicking around the head and bright white light against the deep blackness of stone and marble. The added dialogue between Voldemort and Potter was eerie and right.

I know there are a lot of people who'll find a lot wrong with it but myself, I enjoyed it for the good, engaging film it was.

I'm not reading any Potter related threads until I've finished the last book. There are too many rumours screaming through the net right now and I really don't want to be spoiled. I managed to avoid them last time but Ian didn't and it just took away from the experience.

Oh Saturday...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

After seeing the last two midnight screenings of the Potter series of films over at the Van East we decided to check out the Order of the Phoenix there last night. Nostalgia played a part sure, but also the fact that line ups aren't as crazy there and for a buck more you can snag some sweet views in the balcony seats.

It's a cheap, grubby little theater, very 1980's brick and the title board outside is in need of repair, but it has a nice local feel to it. The kid working the box office doesn't really know what he's doing, slowly punching totals on a dollar store calculator, handing out tickets from a raffle strip, a little blue stamp for the balcony seats. The popcorn is decent, not as artificial tasting as the big chain theaters.

But the charm wore very thin once the movie got going, even with the welcome absence of commercial ads before the trailers. The film was very dark which hinted at the management trying to save money by not using all the bulbs required to light the projector. Okay, a drag but still okay.

At the scene where we see Dolores Umbridge's first class is where the problems began, the "projectionist" who obviously wasn't an actual projectionist but some kid hired to push buttons didn't properly spool the reels and when the it changed over the frame was offset and divided by a third. Feet could be seen where the heads should've been. People yelled but there wasn't anyone in the booth and it took a long while for someone to be notified and the frame to be cranked back into place. Annoying, whatever, the movie continues.

About twenty minutes later, another reel change and it happens again. More yelling, this time Ian goes to tell the management about it and after another annoying pause, it's fixed.

And then yet again, this time at the scene in the Ministry of Magic where the first of the Death Eaters appear. Crap. Ian goes again, again the delay, crank, fix... but not really. There's an obvious chunk at the bottom and Ian goes AGAIN to talk to the management. When he comes back he's LIVID, the guy won't do anything about it, tough. So we sit fuming at this offset picture and it just stopped being fun. Afterwards Ian related the management's rude indifference and it just made me mad.

So to the Van East Cinema: you'll take the time to take our money but you won't make sure the picture is played properly. Well, you've lost a patron. I'm never going to see a show there again and I'll encourage anyone to do the same. Screw local flavour if it's going to taste this fucking sour.

And oh yeah, way to turn off the air conditioning halfway through the night. The place turned into a sauna.

I'll talk about the actual film when I've seen it in a better theater.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I've gotten back into the routine of things but there's still a lot of work to deal with. I spent the weekend finishing up the first half of the Treehouse story, it just went out the door. This week I'm back on Y to get caught up there. I'm hoping to get a batch of that out by the end of the week so I can tackle the last half of Treehouse on the weekend.

I'll be happy to be back on a single book again.

Found this neat little bit of trivia about the history of the ampersand over at (where else?) Neatorama:

The Ampersand
Origin: This symbol is stylized et, Latin for "and." Although it was invented by the Roman scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro in the first century B.C., it didn’t get its strange name until centuries later. In the early 1800s, schoolchildren learned this symbol as the 27th letter of the alphabet: X, Y, Z, &. But the symbol had no name. So, they ended their ABCs with "and, per se, and" meaning "&, which means ‘and.’" This phrase was slurred into one garbled word that eventually caught on with everyone: ampersand.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Got a batch out yesterday, not as much as I'd like but again, stupid cold. That and the recent humidity seem to have aggravated the asthma I haven't had any problems with for about 4 years now, I'm still coughing at certain triggers. Bleh.

On the lighter side, saw Ratatouille on Tuesday and loved it. It's a beautifully done flick with wonderful design, storytelling, and humour. Absolutely recommended, even more so for those who love to cook.

While I was sleeping off the all-nighter Ian went and saw Transformers. For a man who cried at the first Transformers movie I was very surprised to hear he walked out before the halfway mark. He couldn't be bothered to have his life wasted sitting through such a huge pile of crap. Wow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How can I take the Transformers movie seriously when the lead chick looks like this? Is she just waiting for something to transform itself into a hot car so she can drape herself all over it for an FHM shoot?

Is she oxygen starved? Does she need a sandwich? Does she have trouble holding her head up? What the hell?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Very busy weekend. Working on pages to get caught up from all the time lost due to this ridiculous cold which has barely let me breathe or sleep all week.

On the super cool side, Ian got laser eye surgery on Friday and now he's seeing 20/20 after years of terrible eyesight. It's pretty overwhelming for both of us.

Last episode of Doctor Who for series 3: Oh my. A bittersweet end to a fabulous set of episodes this year (okay, the Daleks two parter was a mess but everything else, lovely). I'm really happy to see a show like this out there, stories that never forget the kids in their audience, smart and funny and never condescending with just enough scare to keep the 'watching from behind the couch' tradition alive and well. And adults can get a lot out of it too. It's Harry Potter for sci-fi fans.

Happy Canada Day! I'm guessing this means FedEx will be closed tomorrow.