Monday, March 16, 2009

Stress-Induced Ramblings

This is shaping up to be a wacky week, as I have a couple of days to get ready to go to New York. I felt like I had things more or less under control, since I'm even mostly packed -- I was planning and trying on outfits, and just put them in the suitcase as I went along. But I still somehow have a really long to-do list. Most of the items on the list are just things that need to be done before I go, not necessarily trip-related items. I'm packing light, as I'm trying to go with just a carry-on bag. I like checking luggage so I don't have to deal with it, but when they start charging for that, well, I'm not sure it's worth what they're charging unless I have a lot of stuff to carry.

This weekend's HBO viewing, while I was reading the Sunday newspaper and doing the crosswords: the latest Die Hard movie, the one in which Bruce Willis protects a Mac from cyberterrorists (which could help explain why Macs are safer from viruses -- who needs Norton Antivirus when you've got Bruce Willis and a machine gun) and then uses a Mac to hack into the cyberterrorists' systems* (and I think that most of the people who come up with those "why do they always use Macs to interface with stuff in movies when Macs aren't compatible with anything" comments must be PC users, because I've found my Mac to be compatible with everything -- I've got all kinds of convertors. I'm usually the one who can change things around to adapt to dealing with a PC, while the PC is powerless. I think there's even the "evil alien mothership" interface in the latest version of OSX). Basically, this movie seemed to be destruction porn with a plot that relied heavily on all the good guys other than Bruce Willis being total idiots (when vital systems everywhere are being taken down left and right, you probably need more security at crucial sites that aren't networked than a guy with a clipboard). And can we call a moratorium on wirework stunts in "real-world" movies? It looks cool for people who are supposed to have superpowers, magical powers, genetic enhancements, for killer robots from the future with ballet training and for stories taking place in alternate realities where the laws of physics may not apply, but it just looks silly when applied to characters who are supposedly human in the real world. I loved the original Die Hard, but the sequels have lost what made that movie work -- it was about the ordinary Joe who could get hurt but who was just too stubborn to quit. Having him do superhuman things and then wince is not the same thing.

*For those who don't get the joke, the "I'm a Mac" guy from those TV commercials plays a hacker Bruce Willis gets stuck protecting. Which is almost as much fun as the "I'm a PC" guy playing the doctor on Battlestar Galactica who does brain surgery on a Cylon and gets the Blue Screen of Death. And the advertising people for Microsoft who've countered with their own "I'm a PC" commercials have totally missed the point of the Mac ads, as those characters are not meant to be representative users of their respective computers. They're supposed to be anthropomorphic projections of the actual computers -- literally, a Mac and a PC, as they would be if they were human.

But enough rambling. I have fourteen more items on my to-do list. Ack.

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