A few years ago I mentioned running into a coworker from Rovia several times since the companies unfortunate demise.
Well today I got a LinkedIn invitation from Matt, and it turns out he works a few buildings over here in the Arsenal complex. We’ve likely been working a few hundred yards from each other for the past 2+ years and not known it.
This weekend was all about entertainment and real estate. The Independent Film Festival of Boston is going on, and coco_b and I hit up a bunch of screenings:
- Fay Grim – This sequel to the 1997 film Henry Fool, which I have never seen, opened the festival. I really liked this film… Corinna and Audra have raved for a long time about HF, but I’ve never had a chance to see it. After seeing FG, it’s at the top of my Netflix queue. The story was well crafted, the characters were really interesting, and the actors did a fantastic job.
- The King of Kong – A documentary about the Donkey Kong world record. Obviously, I had to see this film, but my expectations weren’t high. This might have been the best movie of the festival. The documentary was fantastically paced, the subjects were fascinating, and the film made the trivial consequences seem like the most important things in the world. I knew a bit about Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies through nerd osmosis, but I couldn’t even begin to imagine the dirty dealings and shenanigans… Even Corinna, who isn’t a gamer by any stretch of the imagination, loved this film.
- Rabbit – A short film set in a kindergarten “learning to read” book, where all objects have their names printed next to them. It looked like illustrations from a Dick and Jane book, but with a far more surrealist premise. It was very enjoyable.
- Fido – I really wanted to love this one.. The basic premise is this: A idyllic world, stuck in the 50s, where Zombies have been domesticated and are effectively pets/slaves to humans. And that sentence makes it sound like a winner, but it was an idea that just shouldn’t have been stretched to feature length. The movie was effectively Lassie but with a Zombie instead of a dog. Lassie episodes were only 30 minutes, this film was 90, and the stretching was evident. I really loved almost everything about this film; The concept, the characters, the acting, the cinematography, etc. was all great, it the story just couldn’t support a feature length film. I think this would have been an awesome 45 minute short…
- Death Trike – A funny little short about a homicidal tricycle. I don’t feel I need to elaborate much more.. Very fun… From the director of Forest of the Dead.
- Black Sheep – Another huge highlight of the festival.. Genetically engineered sheep with a thirst for blood. Very much in the spirit of Peter Jackson’s early films like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Very well paced, very funny, and properly gory. Those Kiwis sure do know how to make a horror flick.
- Monster Camp – I was afraid this documentary about Live Action Role-Playing (LARPing) would be a bit to exploitative.. I mean, I think LARPing is hilarious, but I laugh in private.. My fear for this film would be a theatre full of people laughing at the people dressed up as lizards.. But thankfully the film was very delicate and well crafted.. The filmmakers weren’t playing for laughs even if there were plenty of them in there, and when people were laughing, it didn’t seem cruel.. That could be because it was a theatre full of Boston-area nerds, though, so I’m not sure… But I had the feeling that the subjects would have been able to laugh along with the crowd and not be terribly embarrassed.. It was a very fun film, and really provided insight into the LARPing scene.. I also think it made me a bit more sympathetic to LARPers in general… I think playing helps many of these people in a similar way I think Computer Science House helps people; A sort of “social primer” to help not-terribly-social people develop those skills they need in the real world.
To further Xtremeify this weekend of entertainment, Corinna and I went out to Providence on Saturday to see Stephen Lynch at Lupo’s. Before the show, we met up with Omar, an old friend from the Rovia days… He’s getting his Ph.D at Brown, but I hadn’t seen him in a few years, so we grabbed dinner and caught up a bit. The show was fantastic! Our seats were pretty good, and Lynch (who’s been on Broadway for a year as The Wedding Singer) was on his game completely… He seemed to have really missed being on his own… He had some verbal sparring with a heckler, but he seemed to have the upper hand.. It was a great show… Unfortunately, Corinna’s mysterious food allergy reared it’s head again, but she took enough Benadryl to keep it somewhat in check in order to enjoy the show. The Benadryl put her on her ass, though, so she slept the whole ride home and missed out on Black Sheep that night… She woke up with the flu, so fate is apparently not smiling upon her.. =(
On Sunday, even though Corinna was feeling shitty, we managed to squeeze in 5 open houses… Out of the 5, 3 weren’t even really worth considering, one was OK,but the last one turned out to be really cool. We haven’t made an offer yet, we’re hoping to have a few more viewings in the next day or two before we make our decision, but we’re both rather excited about this place…
Met up with several Rovia Ex-pats last night who I hadn’t seen in ages. Matt and I met up with Mario, Omar, and Ming in Kendall Square and then headed to PeNang in Chinatown to grab some grub. It was a total nostalgia fest, too bad the rest of the squad wasn’t around… We should have a big reunion at some point.
A few years ago, and I went into Newton to see A Mighty Wind at the Newton cinema. On the way there, I look over and in the car next to me is Matt Kenslea, one of the sales guys from Rovia (where I used to work). We chit-chatted it up a bit at a stop light and then went on our merry way.
Last night, Corinna wanted a few supplies and accessories for her bicycle, so we went to a bike shop, and on the way back we stopped at the Bertucci’s in Newton. We were sitting around waiting for our service, as they were very busy, and I look up and see Matt Kenslea standing there getting a table for his family. I went up and talked to him for a few minutes, we updated each other on where we were working these days, and the usual “haven’t seen you in ages” conversation bits. I know Matt lives in Newton, but I don’t venture into Newton all that often, so it is surprising to have run into him again… I miss (most) everyone from Rovia….
I haven’t really talked about what’s been going on in life for a few days, so here’s a bit of catch-up:
If you enjoy the work of William Gibson then I highly recommend watching the biographical documentary “No Maps for These Territories” if you can. It’s a well-made documentary and it is an interesting look at Gibson. And as this is an independent film being released on video/dvd independently, if you can you might want to consider buying the film.
Today I cleaned my “bed clothes” (as some of you seem to call them). I can wash my sheets here, but my comforter needs to go to the laundromat (it’s oversized queen and also overstuffed, so it would burn my washing machine out real-quick-like). It didn’t really need to be washed in the “dirty” sense, but it was shedding lots of little fuzzies and I figured a good wash might get rid of some of that. Unfortunately, though, the dryer I picked was apparently busted and it took me 2 rounds of putting quarters in, leaving, coming back, finding it wet, and repeating before I realized it was busted.. I moved to a different machine and everything was hunky-dory..
Adam and I met up with a bunch of Rovia peeps for lunch at Redbones, which was awesome. Adam and I were supposed to go see Gangs of New York today but the douchebag decided he didn’t feel like going… Hopefully someone will go with me before it exits the theaters, or else I am going to have to go alone, which feels way too Kaczynski for me…
Tomorrow I am going to see Chicago with my new friend Corinna in Harvard Square… Up until this point I have always maintained that I never found Catherine Zeta-Jones that attractive, but the trailers of this film have definately changed this opinion.
Not *great* news, but “I will have a job at least through the end of the year” news, which doesn’t hurt… It will make me sleep a bit better at night.
I think I am going to take off in a little bit.
I had Thai food for lunch at this place Rod-Dee II, and while I am not a HUGE fan of Thai, I can have it from time to time. It was pretty good today, given the price.
We are having our company meeting at 2pm today… There are lots of people around here in suits, which leads me to believe that things are good…
I think it is time for lunch… No company meeting yet…
Getting up this morning wasn’t as difficult as I had expected, I guess my sleep schedule didn’t get too wacked out in Rochester. I had a great time seeing all the CSHers again, and graduation was fun as well. My family came up for the festivities, and they seemed to enjoy getting to finally see me walk across the stage. Many thanks to all the family, house members, and friends who cheered me on as I walked across the stage. The Dean commented on the size of my cheering section as I shook his hand. :)
So that phase is now unarguably complete now; no longer can people argue that “well, you haven’t really graduated yet”… It was nice seeing everyone, but living like a nomad is always a little uncomfortable for me. I am glad to be back in my own place again. :)
Supposedly we are going to hear some “really good” news later on today, which makes me curious.. I hope it is good enough to keep me from worrying about looking at Monster for a year or so. :)
There is a new feature in the Mozilla nightly builds, the “-turbo” command line flag (Win32 only). If you pass this switch, it will start mozilla in a windowless mode, running in the background. The next time you start mozilla, it will pop up almost instantly, since it is already residing in memory. This will be a nice retort to the people that believe that Internet Explorer is so much faster because M$ pulls the browser into memory on startup (since it is “part of the OS”…)
I have been feeling lousy for days now, and this morning I had a creeping alarm clock. After the 4th reset, I decided to call in sick to work. I don’t actually have any sick days yet, which means that I guess I am using a personal day, which kinda blows, cuz I will use my last one on Friday for graduation, but I haven’t been getting any better by trying to will this cold out of existence, so perhaps a day of sleep, blankets, and NyQuil will help. :)