Thanks to everyone who offered up their insight and wisdom to answer my "what are these flowers?" inquiry yesterday. I think the consensus is that the first is a mock orange and the second some sort of azalea.
Watched Aeon Flux, and it would've been passable as meaningless SF fluff if it hadn't been Aeon Flux. Some of the imagery was excellent, faithful to the weirdness and mood of the animated series, and gave the beginning of the movie an otherworldly feel. However, they emasculated Trevor Goodchild, made him an altruistic goody-good without enough common sense to anticipate a coup (or dodge a bullet). And what they did to Aeon herself! Oof. Patently, with the two main characters so distorted, their relationship lost all the kick (literally and figuratively) from the animated series. Also, none of the clever, caustic dialogue from the animated series was in evidence, and the hackneyed, cliched effort to write a SF screenplay was truly pathetic. It seems that the screenwriters had never done SF before and it shows. They were also going to make Aeon pregnant, but fortunately, saner brains in Hollywood kiboshed that abomination.
Peter Chung was pretty aghast at what they did with his creation. I hope they paid him well.
Still, Charlize Theron was impressive, even more so considering that she did most of her own stunts, even after she'd herniated a disk ten days into shooting. That woman's got beauty and grace down pat, she does. The commentary track mentioned that she'd been classically trained in ballet, and that's pretty obvious to anyone who has a smidgen of dance background; the series of grand jetés she does in the movie, leaping from roof to roof, were absolutely flawless. Wire work or no wire work, you don't get that kind of turnout and extension unless you've had a teacher hound and harangue you about proper alignment during your formative years.
Also watched Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Or rather, I watched part of it and slept through the rest. Granted, I don't play the game. Actually, I don't play any computer games; I don't have the time to commit to a diversion with that sort of addictive potential. I don't really get the appeal of them--which is absolutely for the best and I'm more than content not to explore this cultural phenomenon on a personal level. But this movie utterly baffled me. The characters, their motivation, the storyline, the world, everything was one big "huh?" The animation was pretty enough, but not particularly engaging. I guess you need the background of the game in order to make sense of it. Even the battle scenes left me blinking.
fosteronfilm managed to sit through the whole thing. His review for anyone curious.
Hollywood has let me down. It's up to V for Vendetta to restore my faith in shallow, big-budget entertainment.
Finished up my Apex Featured Writer interview answers and emailed them to merebrillante.
Discovered, to my great amusement, that Galaktika is doing a poll for best story in issue #193. As of this post, "All in My Mind" (or "Minden itt van a fejemben" in Hungarian) is #1, beating out offerings from both Fritz Leiber and Frank Herbert. Woot!
I took a screen shot of the poll so that even if (as I fully expect) I get knocked from the top spot, I will always have proof that once, ye verily, I beat out Fritz Leiber and Frank Herbert.
Stuck a fork in my mongo freelance research project and sent it off. A world of hurray and a continent of whew. That was some big-time brain squeezings. But hard work and stress notwithstanding, I really enjoyed it. (I shall also really enjoy getting paid.) And I'm pleased with my final product; I think I did good. Moreover, I also feel like I did something worthwhile. Helping to put together coursework that will assist teachers in effectively imparting literacy skills to young children gives me a big ole sense of glowy validation.
I guess I hadn't realized how very much I missed being active in my academic field. I shoved all my regrets and misgivings about going into the private sector totally under the carpet of my subconscious, and they obediently stayed there for over a decade. Probably just as well. I had enough soul-sucking-induced restlessness at my day job without further dissatisfaction to gnaw at me.
Briefly, very briefly, I had a stray "maybe I should try to get my PhD" thought, but that's really not feasible, or the least bit realistic. But at least I can hope and aspire to do more educational freelance gigs.
If I can manage to get regular work lined up--enough to pay the bills, and that's a big if--this might be totally doable. I don't have a problem pulling 12-14 hour days when I love the work, and while I can't expect all gigs to be as ideal a fit with my interests and background as this one was, this is so much better than being a cubicle monkey.
Wow. Congrats on your continued success in Hungry, and other foreign markets.
Yippee. Congrats on completing an interesting and financially rewarding 'mongo freelance research project'.
'Briefly, very briefly, I had a stray "maybe I should try to get my PhD" thought, but that's really not feasible, or the least bit realistic.' Eh, going back to school may not be practical for you now, but it doesn't mean such thoughts are unrealistic or dangerous. Odd, I too have had thoughts of going back to school and getting a PhD or another masters. I could swing a part time masters. My daytime gig is making it difficult to take the courses I would like.
I think you could and will find the means to go back to school, if that is what you decide to do. But I do know that is difficult path without a steady source of income.
"going back to school may not be practical for you now, but it doesn't mean such thoughts are unrealistic or dangerous."
True, but I'm not sure if I can function in an academic environment anymore. I've been a part of the private sector for so long, and now I'm flailing about, trying to pull off this full-time writer gig, I don't think I could reconcile the different priorities.
"I could swing a part time masters."
They have those?? I did the last year of my MA part time--after I got a certain job offer--but that was only after I'd been accepted in the program and all. I don't think they would have considered my application if I'd stated up front that I wouldn't be a full-time student.
"I think you could and will find the means to go back to school, if that is what you decide to do. But I do know that is difficult path without a steady source of income."
Yeah, that's sort of the crux of the matter. If I had a steady income, a la a day job, I wouldn't have the time for school, and now that I (theoretically) do have the time for it, I can't see spending our limited financial resources on tuition, books, fees, and all the other expenses of continuing education. It's a big reason for why I haven't even considered applying to Clarion, although I'd dearly love to go.
I don't know how to vote in Hungarian. Doesn't it involve high-powered rifles?
As for the PhD, I'm still voting for the success in mega-bucks of the novel you've written or the one your idiot muse is about to spring upon you when you're least expecting to be trapped.