Simon FitzKit...In The Field!

More Than Meets The Eye

December 29, 2007
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1) Warren Ellis says:
“Theatre is only ever pointless when there‚Äôs only five people in the room.”

I believe theater is only pointless when the performers believe it’s pointless. I’ve done improv shows for 4 people –with 6 people onstage– and everyone present had a blast. I’ve also been in shows for 50 people that I felt were a complete waste of all of our time.

It all comes down to how you view the act of performance. If you hold it to a strict must-have-at-least-_____-audience-members requirement, and then you do a show for that many people and aren’t committed because “only a quorum showed up” …that attitude’s going to translate into a pointless –and most likely lifeless– show. But if you go into it with the idea that you’re doing this show especially for these four people, and you’re going to give them your attention (and, in the case of improv, gear your humor toward them in particular) …the show will be fun for both performers and watchers, and they’ll go home and tell their friends, “It was an amazing show. If only more people had come. Next time, you should come with us.”

Simply stated, perception is 9/10 of the law.

I assume that’s the gist of Chapter 4 of The Secret, so maybe you already knew that.

2) Baby exoskeletons?! (link)

Gotta Getta Gundam.


At second glance, it said something different

December 22, 2007
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Norton Antivirus has detected
the traitor on your computer.


I’ll Be Marvel When I’m Dead

December 20, 2007
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In my Inbox this morning:
——————————-
These messages were sent while you were offline.

11:46 PM Matt: Two word question for you: Marvel Zombies?
——————————-

MY ANSWERS:

1) Yes, I like the Marvel Zombies. I have read the books but do not own any for people to borrow; instead, I used the sneaky poor-comic-nerd tactic of “flipping through” each issue as it came out…flipping through page by page, panel by panel… good stuff. Really good, but what else does one expect from Robert Kirkman, zombie author extraordinaire? And every cover is a parody of a classic Marvel Milestone comic cover (same thing goes for every reprint, each with its own new cover to parody). I have also read and enjoyed Army of Darkness Vs. Marvel Zombies but only because I’m a sucker for new classic Bruce Campbell stories (especially since he’s stopped being quite as cool these days).

2) Marvel Zombies got started during a run of Ultimate Fantastic Four when Ultimate Mr. Fantastic opened up a portal to another dimension, supposedly the main Marvel universe. Now, creators of the Ultimate universe had already said in multiple interviews that if Ultimate Marvel ever had a crossover with Earth-616 (the interdimensional area code for the main Marvel universe), “you’ll know we’re out of ideas and we should stop.”

So fans were a bit nervous/disappointed to see this FF-crossover. BUT EXPECTATIONS BE DAMNED! It turned out that the alternate universe Ultimate Reed Richards had opened was actually another universe where all the superheroes had been turned into zombies. They’d retained most of their personalities, but now the desire to save people had been transformed into the desire to eat them as fast as they could.

Now, of course, we’re to the point where a recent run of Black Panther comics had Earth-616 run into the Marvel Zombies, so that technically means we’ve had a two-step crossover with Ultimate, but hey, who cares about the spirit of the law these days, right?

3) Yes. Really. Marvel Zombies. I’m glad there are people who can think of these things because otherwise I’d say you can’t make stuff like this up.

4) If I were a Marvel Zombie, I’d be Zombie Spiderman, constantly guilt-ridden from having eaten my loved ones, always making jokes that annoy the hell out of most of the rest of the zombie heroes (zombieroes?), always descending on a webline upside down and waiting until my prey turned to say a quick one-liner before grabbing their head and sucking out an eye.

5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Zombies

6) Except.


Hand The Beat Goes On

December 8, 2007
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Daft Punk.
Daft Punk.
Daft Punk.
Daft Punk.

Funny.
Funny.
Funny.
Funny.

Wait For.
Wait For.
Wait For.
Wait For.

Fifty.
Fifty.
Fifty.
Seconds.

I’d say the parody only stays funny through 1:18, but the Rule of 57 apparently applies; I laughed every time he did it.


The Lights Are On, But Nobody’s Holmes

December 8, 2007
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I was at Borders earlier this evening trying to buy my father’s CMas gift (Shh. Spoiler Alert) when I ran across something he might like even more:


The Crimes of Dr. Watson: An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

Book Description From amazon.com:
Quirk Books is excited to announce the discovery of a never-before-published adventure from the pen of Dr. John Watson, steadfast companion of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. As the tale opens, we discover that Holmes has vanished and Watson has been framed for a grisly murder! Writing from a damp cell in Coldbath Fields penitentiary, the falsely convicted prisoner recounts the events leading to his arrest …and provides twelve removable, facsimile clues that point to the true culprit. Among them are:

An article torn from a newspaper in California
A puzzling manuscript ripped into several pieces
A catalog of Victorian medicines and marital aids
Plus a telegram, an arrest report, an empty matchbook, a train schedule, and much more

It’s up to you to sift through the clues and solve the thrilling whodunit. When you think you’ve identified the culprit, slice open the final signature of the book (sealed at the printer) to read the remainder of the story. With beautiful Victorian-style illustrations and first-rate production values, The Crimes of Dr. Watson will appeal to mystery lovers of all ages.

Wow, I thought, it has the entire story “The Final Problem,” comes with envelopes of letters for clues, and a sealed Answers section at the back? Dad’ll love this!

So I flipped it open to the first envelope. It was empty.

Hmm, I thought, maybe this clue is just the envelope itself.

The next envelope was also empty. In fact, the sentence on the following page made it clear I was supposed to be holding a train ticket of some sort. I wasn’t, so I began to suspect shenanigans.

I flipped to the back cover, thinking that perhaps they’d been worried that the clues would fall out, so they’d decided to put all the enclosures in the back with the sealed Answers section.

The clues were, in fact, with the Answers, but unfortunately, the Answers weren’t with the book. There were overlapping flaps of cardstock inside the back cover, suggesting that Answers should have been contained within their protective embrace, but they were as empty as the rest of the book.

How odd, I thought. Someone’s flipped through this Display Copy and removed all the useful bits.

I grabbed the copy behind it on the shelf. It was empty.

Eight copies of the book –every copy in the store, as it turned out– were all empty. I took the entire collection to the Information Desk and informed them of the problem, then waited a good 5 minutes while they checked my story against the reality of the books.

So bizarre. Those clues were, according to the book’s own blurb, the only things that could free Dr. Watson. Who could have stolen them? The publisher? The manufacturer? Did the author have a change of heart after realizing some of the clues implicated him as one of Watson’s persecutors? Did someone murder everyone in the Korean mystery-envelope-stuffing sweatshop? Or was it a jealous wife? Or an adulterous doctor? No. It was her employer: Ms. Scarlet. …Um… Miss Study In Scarlet?

To make a long story short (Too late!), I bought the book I’d originally planned on buying. Sadly, Dad will have to wait for his Interactive Mystery. …UNLESS I KILL SOMEONE AND SEND HIM THE CLUES!!!

…enh. I’ll probably just buy it for him for Father’s Day.


The World Health Organization’s on first?

December 8, 2007
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From My Inbox:
———————————–
SUBJ:
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
The company or e-mail address attached to this IP Address has been awarded the sum of Five Million United States dollars in WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION Award credited to file NO: M154S/WL04. You are to contact the claim processing department with the beneath requirement via email below.

1. FULL NAME: 2. AGE: 3. ADDRESS: CITY: STATE/ZIP CODE: COUNTRY: 4. PHONE NUMBERS: / FAX NUMBERS: 5. SEX: 6. OCCUPATION: 7. E-MAIL ADDRESS: ALTERNATIVE E-MAIL ADDRESS:

Hon. Marvin Valentino,
EMAIL; worldhealth_verificationdept02@yahoo.de

Co-ordinator,
Mrs. Jean Middleton.
———————————–

Oh, those rascally kids, Mrs. Jean Middleton and the Honorable Marvin Valentino(1), are at it again! I didn’t even realize the WHO had $5,000,000 to spare, what with their planning Conventions (while) on Psychotropic Substances and paying private eyes to continue AIDS surveillance, or whatever they do with their funding these days. Then again, they’re probably still getting residuals from the movie Tommy and everything from CSI:Here to CSI:Eternity, so perhaps I can’t fully comprehend just how large their petty cash drawer is.

Regardless, I’m curious as to what the requirements are to qualify for the World Health Organization Award (or WHOA for short). Since it’s being awarded to “the company or e-mail address attached to this IP Address” I can only assume it’s something I did online.

Maybe it was that googlechat I had with Tony about how awesome I think it is that none of us smoke; it wasn’t exactly a public service announcement or anything, but it could’ve been if I’d Fw:’ed it to a listserve. I could have made the Subject line something like “ty 4 /smkng” or “lol bc I still have a healthy larynx,” and that, my friends, would have been how you save lives.

Or perhaps it was my posting that picture denouncing malaria. You remember, this one?

I know, I know, people have been denouncing malaria for years (especially people who’ve seen The Streets at Southpoint), but maybe the world just needed my particular thousand words(2) to get the point(3).

Either way, I’m not going to let this go to my head. I have a responsibility to the World Health Organization to do the right thing with my newly acquired 5-mil. WHO cares how I spend their money, right? WHO gives a damn, you know? WHO indeed.

Also, their email (worldhealth_verificationdept02@yahoo.de) tells you in which country they’re currently based. And the World Health Organization’s base is most likely where some foul disease is, so I guess that means something is, in fact, rotten in the state of Denmark. …I’ll stop now.

(1) Sounds like the name Mel Brooks would use in a movie about Rudie Valentino’s less-than-charming younger brother.
(2) Or, technically, 1004 words, I suppose.
(3) The South point? Sorry, I’ll stop.


Finding Negative Space In Beauties

December 5, 2007
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I just downloaded the new (month old) Seether music video on my 360. “Fake It” is an awesome song and has a video that absolutely supports its message and tone. Of course, as lead singer Shaun Morgan says of it, “It’s a catchy song, but in a good way.” Take that as you will.

Intriguingly, the official youtube’d video has embedding disabled; apparently you’re supposed to embed directly from the Seether website. I’m not complaining though, as they’ve got a bad-ass widget-builder for the song. My personalized widget lies below.

…I feel like talking about Seether via correctly constructed sentences is somehow a breach of grunge-metal etiquette.

I will say, even though it’s making commentary on music-video conventions, there does seem to be a slightly ridiculous overload of scantily-clad sexy females falling over the band members. All it would take is a little parody of the commentary, perhaps less wardrobe and more blurred spots, and you’d have…well, why don’t I show you?

PARODY OF SEETHER’S “FAKE IT”
(music video should star Jack Black as Shaun Morgan)

Who’s to know if your boobs aren’t real at all?
Present them and impress the world.
You’ll lose your self-esteem along the way…ohwell!
Good god, you’re bursting at the seams now!
Good god, why not take a bow?
Good god, fulfillin’ all my dreams now!
You look so great, so strip yourself down! You’re just…

Naked! If you want some affection.
Naked! Girl, it can’t be wrong
to be Naked! Just show off your perfection!
Whoa-ho-ho, it’s great for f*****g, isn’t it?

You should know that your clothes won’t hide your flaws.
Who cares about your shoulder mole?
Or that the carpet doesn’t maaaatch…the drapes? Yeah.
Good god, you’re curvier than esses!
Good god, don’t be such a tease!
Good god, just rip up all your dresses
and panties, shirts, and cargo capris! And go…

Naked! Your entire complexion
Naked! I can see it all!
You’re so naked! Going without protection:
Whoa-ho-ho, it’s great for f*****g, isn’t it?

Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!
(sexy dance break)

Coed Naked Soccer! We. Don’t. Use Our Hands!
Coed Naked Skiing! Slalom on the slopes!
Coed Naked Rockers! World’s Most Uplifting Bands!
Coed Naked Tro-o-opes…

Who’s to know when your looks will fade away
And little bits will start to sag?
Let’s get the most out of you while we can! Yeah!
Good god, you’re grinding with your hips now!
Good god, your junk in the trunk!
Good god, you’re puckering your lips now!
If I may say: you really got spunk! when you’re…

Naked! Ready for a beef injection?
Naked! Out-uendo’s fun!
Yeah Naked! Can you feel my erection?
Whoa-ho-ho, it’s great for f*****g, isn’t it?

Naked! That’s my own predilection.
Naked! Won’t you come along?
And be Naked! It’s Au Natural Selection!
Whoa-ho-ho, it’s great for f*****g, isn’t it?


24/7

December 1, 2007
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I’ve been lied to.

Trusted friends informed me that they’d canceled the seventh season of 24 due to lack of fan excitement over Season 6. Today, I learned differently from a source apparently more reliable than all of my friends (namely mycokerewards.com). In fact, there will be a Season 7. The proof is in the pudding trailer: (SPOILER WARNING!!! EVEN I HAVEN’T WATCHED THIS!).

So what were my so-called friends talking about when they were brutally crushing my dreams of more contiguous action-adventure-stressfests? They were talking, it seems, about this:

“With only about 8 episodes completed (some reports say 9), the show, which is centered around their heavily serialized, 24 episode format, would be extremely off-balance were they to simply run those finished episodes now and then have fans go through a prolonged wait until the rest of the season was completed and ready to air. As the FOX press release puts it: ’24 PREMIERE POSTPONED TO ENSURE DAY 7 PROVIDES NON-STOP ACTION!'”

Oooookay, so it’s delayed. Good. I’m fine with a delay; that’ll give me time to watch my DVDs of Season 6 (which I’m asking my parents for this CMas). Man, if it’s delayed enough, maybe instead of watching Season 6 when I get it, I’ll just watch Seasons 1-5 again.

Mmmmm…6 24’s…gross.


I’ve Said It Before And I’ll Say It Again

December 1, 2007
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Last night, I went through a 2-3 hour case of deja vu. It lasted from the moment I walked up to the theater through about 20 minutes after the Mister Diplomat show was over. It included scenes from the show, random conversations before and after, and a very odd moment when I almost pulled lights but then thought, “No, I remember blacking-out this show on a different line.”

I mentioned this to one of my co-improvisers, and his theory ran as follows: “That’s what you get for being at the theater so long. ‘I remember Robin saying that exact thing before, only she was Olivia and we were in an ice cream shop.'”

I can’t agree with that though. Because, as many people have found out, I actually remember those kinds of things, and thus I don’t confuse them with deja vu. I have, in fact, seen improv scenes that are extremely reminiscent of improv scenes I’ve seen before (not surprising, considering I’m fairly sure I’ve reached the twenty-thousand mark by this point), and I’ve had conversations about the same things over and over, but neither of those compares to the very distinct feel of having lived a moment before.

I’ve never really wondered before what false memories must feel like; I’ve always left that particular angst to the professionals…


…but, man, glitches in the Matrix are disturbing when they last for longer than a couple minutes. I should go back and reread Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake with this newfound understanding.

Hmm. Is it just me, or does it seem fundamentally wrong to reread a book about longterm deja vu?


FELL from grace, FELL in love, FELL in with the wrong crowd

December 1, 2007
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From warrenellis.com:

“Ben Templesmith…is finishing FELL #9.”

For those who have not yet witnessed the wonder that is FELL, please click here and read the entire first issue online…for (legally) free!

The point of the comic has always been to provide stand-alone stories about a messed-up city’s brilliant-but-flawed detective-hero (hyphens awaaaay!) for only 2 bucks a piece. Each page is crammed with panels to make up for the low page count, and the format really adds to the intensity of the tales Ellis tells.

I, of course, have rendered that nice affordability gift moot by first purchasing the individual issues and then, just recently buying myself the first trade. Because I like it that much.

…I’ve let this journal sit here unposted for a good ten hours while I’ve tried to think of something else to say. Really, that was it: 1) FELL #9 is on its way and 2) If you don’t know what that means, you should.