Friday, September 30, 2005 - 2:15 PM
The movie's in theaters today, and the teeshirts have arrived, along with
a very nice hand-written note from Milena, my Grace Hill
"contact". The teeshirts are brown (get it?) with the Serenity logo front and center, and I'm wearing mine
now. That leaves three to give away (sorry Em... you can borrow mine):
two XLs and one L. Milena tossed a Serenity Pin and a keyring dongle
into the box as well - my key ring is a little bulkier now, but I'll be
sending the button along to the first winner.
So go, watch, listen, then jot down the quote I'm thinking of and send it my way!
Update: The contest is now open to non-Americans. One of my forum
regulars made a sad face and I relented. It'll just take a lot longer
for the shirts to get to you guys, is all.
Update 2: I think I'm gonna give the first two shirts away that way, and
then save the third for a wildcard drawing - every correct entry I get by the
end of the weekend will go into a hat, and whichever one I draw out gets
it. Sorry for all the changeups - this is my first contest!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 4:10 PM
The contest is below. Here's the
I reported earlier that I refuse to sell out to things I don't like.
It's true, but what I didn't mention that if I do like something, I'll sell
out with a vengeance. Hell, I'll ask them if there's any
way I can sell out. Here's a cool example.
ruled. It's got some things that will turn some people off - stylized
dialogue, blatant symbolism and not an ounce of subtlety in the whole movie -
but if you let yourself fall into the rhythm of the thing, and allow Joss
about 1500 milliseconds after each groaner to redeem himself (and he always
does, usually with well-planned hilarity), then you'll start seeing some
things: phenomenal characters, deep and compelling themes, and - check it out
- the best god damn space battles that our generation has seen. There
are a couple of misfires, and plenty to criticize if you don't really get
the thing, but for my money it's the best movie I've seen this year. (I
got a deeper review coming later, but I ain't gonna shy away from spoilers in
it, so I'm gonna wait to post it.)
The thing this movie doesn't have, is marketability. The
trailers suck. There's no way to make a good
trailer, it's just that kind of movie. It's got no sellable, or even
summarizeable, premise - my boss
asked me what it was about, and I spent a good thirty seconds bumbling words
until I came up with the right answer, which is, "Just go see
it." Given this, a certain happy coincidence in the movie gave me
I'm gonna run a little contest for you
guys! The folks at Grace Hill were kind enough to agree to send me a
few Serenity T-shirts to give away, and here's what you do to get one.
Go see Serenity opening day (Friday), and e-mail me, verbatim, the exchange
I'm thinking of. The only hint I'm going to give is that it's between
the hero and the bad guy. You guys will know it when you hear it.
The first X-number of people that send me the quote, get a Serenity
T-shirt. That simple. X is however many they send me, which they
didn't specify - I'll let you know when I know. (The contest is only
open to residents of the continental U.S. Sorry guys.) Here's some contest rules [linkdead] I threw
together in mock-legalese.
So there you go - I sold out. I sold out because this movie rules
and because it's got themes that I think need to be heard, and because it's
going to be a bitch to market. Plus, obviously, I'm keeping one of the
shirts for myself. ;)
Story: Chapter XXVIII
Monday, September 26, 2005 - 5:00 PM
Chapter 28 is up, and with it, Part
Four is complete. Have a read, then come back here.
So. It's become a tradition that I take a breather between parts, to
get things in order for the next one. I'm going to be taking a little
longer break this time, with the help of someone I think a few of you are
There are a lot of similarities between this project, my story, and a
webcomic - there's periodic content, all relating to the same thing, there's
a rant section (here)... I talk about video games sometimes... and also, I
have great fans.
One of the things that most webcomics do is have guest strips from time to
time, and it's come time for me to dabble in that arena. So, starting -
I'm told - some time next week, I'm going to have a special guest author
taking the story in a slightly different direction, explaining what's been
going on with one of the story's other characters for a little while.
The guest author wishes to remain anonymous (and has so far neglected to come
up with a pen name!), and so I won't be divulging his or her name. But,
rest assured, I know first-hand that he or she is a good writer, and I'm
looking forward to what he or she comes up with.
And don't worry, doooon't worry, we'll be coming back to Horse in
due time. ;)
Story: Chapter XXVII
Monday, September 26, 2005 - 1:00 PM
This is a bit complicated. If you haven't had your coffee yet, just
skip the next paragraph.
As seems to happen round about the end of every Part, I've had to
rearrange the chapters slightly. Chapter 25, a.k.a. the "Talking
Heads" chapter, has been split in two. What I had posted of
Chapter 26 is now the beginning of Chapter 27. The final chapter of
Part Four is now Chapter 28. Got it? Good.
The rest of Chapter 27 is now
up! I'm nearly finished with Chapter 28 as well, and as promised I will
be posting that today, within a couple of hours. Keep your eyes on this
page for updates.
Friday, September 23, 2005 - 6:30 PM
So my friend IMs me the other day and tells me that since we both have a
blog, we may be able to get "press passes" to a pre-screening of
the upcoming movie Serenity,
a movie which I'm fairly excited about. I said, "Damnit, Tony, I'm not a
blog!" out of sheer pride, being as I can't say the word with a straight
face, but then I thought hmm, I could be, for a day, for a
prescreening of Serenity...
So I signed up, and then my internet failed (like it does), so I didn't
find out if I got in or whatever: until a mysterious e-mail arrived today
("Congratulations, Albatros!") from a mysterious Anne Leininger,
whom I believe wears dark sunglasses at all times. The creepy thing is,
the e-mail used the same font that my site does. Do you know me, Anne
Leininger? DO YOU?
They want me to post the company synopsis of the film on my site, and tell
you guys about how I'm going to go see it. So excuse me while I sell
out for a moment:
Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the
worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now
applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts
500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The
film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing
side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small
crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small,
eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling,
insubordinate and undyingly loyal.
Oof. That kind of hurt inside. But theoretically it means I
get to go see Serenity next Tuesday, four days before it comes out.
They want me to talk about it here after I've seen it, and I aim to: I ain't
gonna sell out all the way, and believe me I'll tell you if it sucks.
But the fact that they're letting us grassroot geeks, we unwashed masses, in
to see the thing ahead of time, means that they have real confidence in
it. And why not: I mean... Joss Whedon, and all. Any geek cred
I've established would vaporize in an instant if I didn't have faith in that
name, at least.
Apparently I'm also supposed to link to the site using the official
graphics, which sucks because a) I'm all text, and b) the FTP site is flooded
with geeks nationwide trying to do what I'm doing. So, for now, no
official graphics. Sorry, Anne Leininger. You guys should all
click over to the official
site anyway, so they know I posted.
In conclusion. On Tuesday evening, I will have either an advanced
review of Serenity for you, or an embarrassing-but-amusing story about how I
Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 4:30 PM
The last half of Chapter
Twenty-six, Part Four's finale, will be posted some time during the day
on Monday. Get psyched, guys. Spread the word. Tell your
grandma. It's gonna blizzle
(That was a little dramatic, but it was
fun. and true. >.>)
I'll also have a pretty cool announcement about the next bit of story
coming up on Monday. It's been in the works for more than a month, and
I'm mad excited about it, yo.
Fun with Translations
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 3:20 PM
guy who started translating my story is finished with Part One. The
are still giving me some priceless responses to it: For instance, this guy, who says,
я думал я
is apparently trying to tell us,
thought I one fan murlocs. it appears it is possible to open whole 'sect' of
So... seriously. Does anyone speak Russian? I'd love to say hi
to these guys.
Edit: Oooh, my name in Russian is
Nintendo = x
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 2:00 PM
where x is an unknown quantity. Another good way to put it: Nintendo
= what the flippin flippy I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS BUT I WANT ONE!
flip flippity... which works out to the same thing.
If you haven't read Penny Arcade yet today, don't, yet: go watch this video first. It's the preview for the
controller to Nintendo's next game system, and the first indication we've
actually gotten of what the Game Cube's successor is going to feel
like. My reaction? You'll find it one paragraph up.
Okay, now go hit up P.A.
It'll make a lot more sense than before, a.k.a. more than none.
(Unnecessary Warning: the p.a. boys make heavy use of immature language, so
don't click that if you think the mere presence of the F-bomb renders a joke
unfunny. Mom, I'm looking at you.)
If you're into academic pursuits, then here's an article which addresses some of this post's
central questions. Again, care of Penny Arcade.
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 12:50 PM
So a bunch of you guys noticed that my site (and my webhost's site) went down
on Monday, during peak time, and it brought my traffic for the day down to
like weekend levels. Before Monday, I'd been really impressed with
Dreamhost, so I was a little surprised.
The Dreamhost folks sent out an e-mail
today with a full explanation, which it turns out involved the brief blackouts
that hit southern California. The explanation is suitably technical,
for those of you that are interested in such things, and I found it quite
acceptable: I like them again. (Plus if you need a host and you go with
them, tell them www.albatrosbits.com recommended you and I get some kind of
fee reduction reward or something...)
Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 10:30 AM
So while all you folks were running around patch 1.7 last night, havin a good old time, I was in
class having a grueling discussion about policy goals and the
responsibilities of a good analyst. It hurt. It got me in a fightin' mood though (Me and mortarman have a pretty good
discourse going at that link; I'm not convinced I'm right, so if you got an
opinion you should jump on the pigpile), and that put me in a civic awareness
mood: so here's a story about the Bush administration's new U.N.
I got some free time this evening, so I should be able to map out Chapter
26 and get something written for weekend posting. As always, though, no
And now for something completely different: a blast from the fairly recent
past and a blatant attempt to cater to my female audience: Puppies!
Kids these days
Friday, September 9, 2005 - 7:00 PM
Anyone from my generation and older than, say twenty-one, should
appreciate today's Ctrl-Alt-Del: boy does that bring me back.
Speaking of stuff, someone not much younger than me told me yesterday that
the Red Hot Chili Peppers were before her time.
Screw you, someone not much younger than me! I was born in 1982 and I
never told anyone that Freddie Mercury was before my time....
Seriously though, they're my favorite band, and if they're before your
time, then damnit I'm glad I'm old. A full rant will follow eventually.
(someone not much younger than me, if you read this, I'm joking... mostly)
Story: Chapter XXV
Friday, September 9, 2005 - 12:30 AM
So. Classes started this week. I've got a full-time job, and
I'm taking two graduate classes per semester, and basically I go crazy every
semester. I did start The Murloc
is Lonely towards the end of last semester, but I had a lot less
responsibility at work then. (go me) And, I mean, I've got a whole book to read for next Wednesday!
The moral of the story is that the story is gonna be coming out slower
now. I was getting a good chapter a week for a while there - now it's
gonna slow down. Sorry, guys, but that's life.
Now don't think that I'm walking away, and as proof to the contrary I got
another couple pages of
Chapter 25 up and ready. This still isn't the end of the
chapter, but I hope (*HOPE*) to get the rest written and polished over the
weekend. Then comes the exciting stuff... >=)
Friday, September 2, 2005 - 5:00 PM
I noticed that all of the webcomics
have charity links up, and then I was like wait a minute, people read my site
If you live in the U.S. and you've got a functioning set of either eyes or
ears, you know that Hurricane Katrina did a number on the south coast.
There are plenty of places that need your money (I gave to the Red Cross,
despite some questionable practices by that good-but-not-perfect
organization), and a short list is here. Feel free to throw up others
up in the
(quick note on the story: I've got pretty much the whole chapter
rough-drafted out. Polish is going to take some time, though. As
promised, I'm dedicating pretty much the whole weekend to it.)