Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Caution: Flying Sharks

First, a little crowdsourcing/survey: Does anyone have any experience with the Megabus line? They've started operating in Texas and have direct service from Dallas to San Antonio. It's much cheaper than either driving or flying and probably a little faster than the way I'd drive (if they stick to the posted schedule). Their baggage policy would allow for about the same amount I'd pack, though there is a limit so I wouldn't be able to just throw in whatever I want. However, there's no restriction on stuff like liquids, so I could bring a full-size bottle of hair gel. There's the same downside of flying in having to adhere to someone else's schedule, but then there's also the upside of having someone else do the driving while I sit and read or knit. I'm curious what the experience is like, what the clientele is like (would it be safe for a woman traveling alone?), etc.

Then again, the very name "Megabus" makes me twitchy. When we lived in Germany, we took a spring break trip to Spain that was a package tour for American military personnel. The bus was a double-decker with accordion extension, and it held something like 160 people. The guy sitting across the aisle from us dubbed it "Megabus" and didn't shut up through the entire trip from Frankfurt to south of Barcelona, narrating the adventure of Megabus driving through the night. His kids had that handheld Battlestar Galactica electronic game (this was the late 70s), and to this day, when I think "Megabus" I hear the particular pattern of beeps that went with that game.

In other news, I finally watched the infamous SyFy movie Sharknado. It fell into the category of stupid fun, but you really had to turn your brain off. If you've even watched a little of the Weather Channel, let alone actually been anywhere near a tornado or hurricane, it just doesn't work. For instance, there's a hurricane heading toward California that's driving all the sharks in the ocean toward LA. When the storm surge hits, the sharks are washed ashore to swim in the floodwaters. But the beach is full of beachgoers enjoying a sunny day when it hits. Generally, the rain bands of a hurricane hit first, so there are torrential rains even before the storm surge and the worst of the winds. There might be a few idiot surfers out enjoying the waves, but you wouldn't have crowds of people on the beach in their bikinis. Then once the tornadoes start attacking (that part reminded me of the episode of WKRP when there's a tornado and the station's only disaster communication plan is for communist invasion, so they read that, switching the word "tornado" for the word "communist."), they managed to CGI in the tornadoes but not the tornado damage. A major tornado goes through downtown LA, with the only damage caused when it flings a shark into something. Not to mention the people out swimming in a pool during a hurricane that's spawning tornadoes. Or maybe people in LA are that dumb.

But still, I actually kind of liked the main characters, and once you got beyond the stupidity of the situation, their story worked. They bothered to develop characters, and the acting among the leads wasn't that bad. The actress playing the barmaid needs to get cast in a series because she took a bimbo role and made it work. It helped that she wasn't written as a bimbo in spite of her wearing a bikini through the whole movie, but she also came across as believable, credible and sympathetic. Normally I cringe at the acting in these things, but she impressed me. It was the "name" actress who was painfully bad.

And, you know, it wasn't quite as stupid as the episode of Under the Dome I watched afterward.

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