Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cloverfield = Dramamine (Spoilers)

I thought the movie was fine, neither great nor horrible, but I had a lot of trouble enjoying the last 45 minutes of it as the shaky-cam made me nauseous. I have the same issue with certain first person shooter video games.

I wish I had taken a Dramamine. I was sick for hours afterwards.

That said, I thought it was a well made movie. While I didn't think it was great, I appreciate that they stuck to their guns and kept it a one camera film, and screw the tape length - it's like John Woo's bullet count.

And the details were good - the fact that I had little 9/11 flashbacks the entire damn time showed an attention to NYC logistics that was impressive to see, except of course for the fact that our illustrious crew of hipster protagonists were apparently all Olympic-level runners (see-below).

I didn't mind the sappy and extremely predictable ending. I was a little confused as to why the monster would spit the camera guy out instead of just eating him. I thought the little spore monsters were a little contrived and unnecessary; I realize they wanted to do Aliens-esque scenes indoors and underground, but, well, whatever... I'm sure there'll be plenty of people geeking out about them and that's fine.

And I while I appreciate the idea of leaving out the details and just going from a civilian perspective, in the end I realized that what I like about sci-fi movies is the background. I'm hoping that if they do a sequel they just go ahead and satisfy our curiosity in a traditional film. With NO shaky cam.

I thought the acting was fine, though the camera man, Hud, was not nearly funny enough to provide the "Hud"son (yet another Aliens reference anyone?) comic relief he was there for. I could have done with about 5 minutes less party exposition as their hipster actor pool was about as interesting as a pool full of hipsters.

In the end, would have been much better had it been Godzilla. Though, even with my near vomiting, it was still better than I Am Legend.

I did kinda geek out myself over the Star Trek trailer before hand.


Anyway, as a little Nerdcore exercise, I worked out the distances and timing on the 59th Street run the characters make in the third act of the movie. I'm almost positive I've missed some details, events and extra time, etc... I was pretty sick by this point and don't necessarily remember everything that happened on the way to the Time Warner building.

I believe I saw the guy's watch when they came out of the military camp and it read around 4:30. Giving them an hour and a half to get to the dust off point at 6am.


0.86 miles - From the 59th street 6 train station to the Time Warner building at 59th and 8th Avenue.

Time Warner building is 69 stories tall.

1.46 miles - From Time Warner building to 40th and Park Avenue.

Total run: 2.32 miles + 138 flights of stairs.

Let's pretend for a moment that these three hipsters are coincidentally former Olympic-caliber athletes - Amanda Beard, Lance Armstrong and Apollo Anton Ohno go to a SoHo party when the city is attacked by a kaiju. We'll give them a 7 minute mile pace, even though it'd more realistically be around 12 minutes, considering one of them was a girl in heels and the camera guy was dying after running like 10 blocks. No matter. 7 x 2.32 = 16.24 minutes on the ground in a flat-out run. And that's with no debris, screaming hordes, cars, or giant monsters in their way.

They get to the 69-story-tall Time Warner building. The Empire State Building, by comparison, is 86 stories tall. The record time for running the Empire State building stairs is 9:33 for men and 11:23 for women. Let's say Hipsters 1, 2, 3 take a ripping step aerobics class at Crunch Fitness and are absolutely ready for the challenge, footwear and all. 69/86 x 11:23 = 9 minutes up and 9 minutes down, or 18 minutes on the stairs. 5 minutes in the penthouse pulling the girlfriend off a piece of rebar, a minute fighting the pseudo-Alien in the stairwell makes for a total of 24 minutes.

So 24 plus 16.24 minutes equals approximately 40 minutes tops to get to the building, rescue the princess, and get to the choppers! 50 minutes to spare!

In a magical fairy land called Hollywood.

Real time would have been like 2 hours, if not more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008 so far... ?

Kinda sucks.

Here's the scorecard so far:

- Finished a Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge

- Started off the year with a 100+ fever
- Lost my voice the following week
- Temp agency promised me a month of work then called me last minute to tell me the job had been canceled. AFTER I bought a month unlimited subway metro card.
- My subtenants in my old apartment turned deadbeat, not paying any rent, meaning that I'm basically paying double rent this month.
- Those same deadbeat subtenants have left the apartment messy and in disrepair, making it hard to find new subtenants.
- It's freezing and our heat broke for a few days
- And don't even get me started on my romantic life...

I'm just feeling so blah these days. Nothing's really getting me going, and I have to force myself to leave the house for exercise and to eat.

Anyway, whine, whine, emo, emo...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

History of our Homes

The building I live in has had an interesting run. Several years before I moved in there had been both a brothel and sex club called Acquiescence on the upper floors. I think some version of the Vault had even been in the building at some point. I remember when the city finally shut them all down, for months afterwards random middle-aged men would wander up to the door, ring a buzzer, and then notice the Board of Health signs indicating their destination had been closed. They would shuffle about for a few moments, confused, not quite knowing what to do with themselves and their now outlet-less libidos, and then wander away.

The occupant previous to my roommates moving in over a decade ago had left in the midst of turning our floor into a recording studio, leaving large windows and odd sound insulation in various walls. He was also prone to firing guns in the apartment; bullet holes were to be found in random parts of the flat.

And today, something new...

As I was fumbling for my keys this afternoon, my bag full of groceries and subs for today's playoffs, an older gentleman walking by asked me if I lived in the building. I told him I did and he looked upwards, pointing to the upper floors and proceeded to tell me about a boxing gym that used to be on the fifth floor called the Solar Sporting Club, where he trained in the 70's.

Now, I love boxing, so immediately my attention focused on this man; slightly taller than me, dark-skinned, with a still lean and powerful build under his down vest, hooded sweatshirt and many layers (it's quite cold today). I quickly forgot about going upstairs, tucked my keys away and listened as he told me his story. His name was Michael Dominguez, a NY Golden Gloves champion in 1981.  He told me how the Puerto Rican National Team lost a member and he, as the top Spanish Champion in the area, took his place, winning a Bronze Medal in the boxing World Cup, losing to the Soviet Union's fighter. Apparently the famous Gleason's Gym used to be a few blocks up on 33rd Street before they moved to Brooklyn. He listed a long string of boxers who had trained here at Solar, some I had heard of, some I hadn't. He reminisced about a time when all the floors of my building used to be factory floors. One of the companies produced elephant pins and one day he grabbed huge handfuls (he had pretty big hands) and handed them out at the fights.

We shook hands and I asked his name again as he turned to leave, and he repeated it; "Michael Dominguez," strong and proud.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So I finished 30 yoga classes in 30 days and all I got was this lousy shirt!

Actually the t-shirt was rather nice. I generally hate the whole American Apparel style, but damn if they don't make a nice t-shirt.

So this past week I completed the "30 Classes in 30 Days" yoga challenge at my local Bikram Yoga, which I mentioned in an earlier post. I had meant to post more updates along the way, but it would have gotten rather repetitive to keep writing, "Went to class, got sweaty, girls pretty, eat food now."

And yeah, look, I'd be lying if I said attending a class of toned, sexy folk wasn't a major motivation for strapping on my yoga mat and heading out the door every day. Maybe I'm missing out on some of the "meditative" benefits by stealing glances at the hot, stretchy goodness all around me during class, but if it gets me in the room, I'll take it.

And I NEEDED it - I hate to be yet another in a long line of Bikram preachers, but really (for me anyway) the practice is pretty close to miraculous. It does so much to repair my joints (knees and hips in particular), improves my strength and flexibility, as well as my cardio-vascular fitness level. I've slimmed down and toned up, and even though I'm going to have to start layering on other workouts to get back to the physical level I was used to at the beginning of this decade, it's still a great kick start.

So here I am, 30 days later, and my body's feeling MUCH better, and I have a rather nice new t-shirt.

I still seem to be beginning my sentences with conjunctions, however.

Monday, January 7, 2008

So I Got Made... a YouTube Partner

That's right, after months of whoring myself on YouTube, scrambling for subscribers, views and comments, YouTube finally invited me to be part of their Partner program, so that I get revenue sharing from views and/or click-throughs on the videos I upload.

So that means if I get 100,000 views on a video, I'll be able to afford a taco! Rang-a-dang.

Hopefully it'll encourage me to actually shoot and edit some of these ideas scrawled on my mirror.

Musharraf blames Bhutto for Her Own Assassination

"For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone. Nobody else. Responsibility is hers," Musharraf said in the interview taped on Saturday morning.


Yeah... oh, and this just in: the Kennedy "Assasssination" has now been ruled a suicide. JFK brought it on himself... with all that "having his brain inside his head where anyone can shoot it" nonsense.

Musharraf is an idiot. An idiot with brass balls, but an idiot nonetheless. I can't believe he has the nerve to sit there and blame the woman for her own death, a women he for all intents and purposes had killed. Sure he provided her a security detail, but that detail consisted of two scarecrows and a plunger. And by some reports, it may have been the security detail who killed her (frakking evil plunger...)

And this is the Bush Administration's GUY! THIS is our "ally" in our "war on terror." THIS guy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2007 Roundup: HOT BLOODED! Check it and see...

I got a fever of 103!

No seriously, I have a really bad fever. This week's sudden cold snap nailed me, as it does every year. Sudden changes in temperature are my Kryptonite. Like, Smallville Kryptonite, in that it's a really lame weakness and it's overused.

I apologize to the two readers of my blog for not updating the end of the year happenings, which were actually rather eventful.

More later when my head isn't spinning quite as much.