Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Behold the IceCar!

Yesterday, I drove from Chicago to Minneapolis, a road trip of about 380 miles or so. If you also live in the Midwest, you’ll know full well that yesterday also happened to be the day a giant ice storm coated several states in snow and ice. Driving along I-94 yesterday was an interesting challenge, and one I don’t recommend taking upon yourself.

The good news is that my passenger, my car, and I survived without injury. It was a long day (the normally 5.5-hour drive became something like 8 hours), and we had a couple close calls, but as they say: slow and steady wins the race.

When I arrived home last night, my only thought was to get indoors, eat Chicago leftovers, and drink beer. Thus, I didn’t notice the state of my car until this morning.

I am amused that my car seems to have selectively kept a couple of icy souvenirs of yesterday’s drive.

Icy Car Accessories

Icy Car Accessories

Icy Car Accessories

I wonder how long it will be until I can see my front license plate again?

Why You Shouldn’t Drink and Blog

Omegacon2012

Photo by Peter Verrant, taken at Omegacon 2012.

I had a beeeeeeer!
A beer that’s a brew, babeeee!
I’ve drank enough for two, babeee!
Though I think that’s too few… but babeee…

I feeeeeel SWELL! I feel GREAT!
Gotta be on a podcast at eight!
Starting beer! Starting now!
Honey, EV-RY THING’S COMING UP BOOZES!

BA-DAH! BA-DAH!

 

Big Fun Logo Funtime!

big-fun-radio-funtime-iconSo, tonight there’s this new thing at the Bryant Lake Bowl: Big Fun Radio Funtime! It’s the first of several new shows pouring out of the new Fearless Comedy Productions folks, whereupon local comedy people make an old-timey radio show in front of your eyes and ears. I am told that there will be live foley. LIVE FOLEY RULES.

Though I am not directly involved in the show, I wanted to announce it because a) I’m pretty sure it will be awesome given the people involved, and b) I designed their logo! Yay! (Though I still have to convince them to let me add a little color to their logo. Hmm…)

Anyway, the show rolls onstage at 10:00pm tonight, with doors opening at 9:30pm. Since it’s at the Bryant Lake Bowl, you can eat good food and drink good beer in the theater. And it’s only $8 at the door! Show up and be entertained!

Mama and Feminist Horror

mama
Mama
, the new horror film from producer Guillermo del Toro, comes out today, and I do recommend giving it a look. Here’s why:

1) It’s a cracker of a horror film. Once the movie gets going, nearly every scene delivers a new, creepy element. In fact, the creep-factor delivery is so reliable that it almost seems like the film peaks after about 20 minutes… and then sustains a plateau until the end credits. It feels odd, but it works.

2) The main reason it works is that the film respects its characters, and much of the horror branches from the push and pull between their personalities.

3) Unlike 90% of films that aren’t specifically touted as a “chick flick”, Mama’s four main characters are all female. And they talk to each other about things other than men.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I often harp on about roles for women in the movies. It still feels like a hard sell to get a genre movie where one of the main characters just happens to be female, and she’s not a love interest / mother / witch. Even Mama, as you can guess, is a horror film about motherhood, and the four main characters are two mothers and two daughters. Still, Mama‘s approach to motherhood is interesting, and the fact that the film has a keen understanding of its characters drives it into lady-friendly land.

The film begins with a tragedy that strands two young girls (one toddler age, one a little older) in an abandoned cabin. When they are found several years later by authorities, they are alive but feral, skittering around on all fours. After a psychologist studies them for a while, he hands custody of the kids over to the girls’ uncle, who is determined to give them a normal life.

The film swiftly shuffles the uncle off to the side, instead focusing upon his rock guitarist girlfriend, who is thrust unwillingly into the role of being the girls’ adoptive mother. Jessica Chastain plays this character deftly: this is a woman who had very different plans about what she wanted to do in life, and now she’s stuck in a house with a couple of creepy kids who may or may not want her help.

The kids are creepy not just because of their feral behaviors, but also because they keep referring to a something named Mama, which might have kept them alive in that cabin all those years. When the movie starts delving into what Mama might be, it’s off to the races.

If you choose to see Mama (and yes, you should), note how the quartet of girls/women contrast with each other. Note also how the ending of the film is very odd… and yet the only way it could be resolved with any sort of satisfaction for the characters involved.

Mama does have its flaws (oh, so many clichés…), but it does work quite well as a whole, and it sports a script that is smarter on character than you would ever expect. Give it a look.

PowerPoint Karaoke TONIGHT!

PowerPoint KaraokeThat’s right! PowerPoint Karaoke takes the stage again tonight at the Bryant Lake Bowl!

Thursday, January 17th
Bryant Lake Bowl
10:00pm (doors at 9:30pm)
$7 at the door / $5 with a Fringe button

We weren’t able to have our usual last-Thursday-of-the-month timeslot in January, so we’re taking over the 17th as our own. Join us as four presenters battle their way to PowerPoint glory! Also, you can eat food and drink beer in the theater! Good food! Good beer!

If you want to buy tickets ahead of time, or if you just need the address, details are here.