Feb 21 2009

Taken : The Dad Flick

Published by under Movies,Uncategorized

I recently took in the feature Taken, mainly because it received an insane number of positive votes on IMBD, and I really like Liam Neeson. But since Neeson isn’t exactly the poster child for an action hero, I was interested to see how the claims that the movie “flies by” could be held up. So I went. Glad I did.

On the whole this is a  revenge movie – daughter gets taken, dad gets her back. More than this is what I’ll dub a “Dad Flick” – cousin to the “chick flick” and the “guy movie”. In Taken, the dad does what every father secretly fantasizes about what he’d want to be able to do should such a circumstance occur: have the resources and ability to undo the harm, and kill everyone who had a hand in it. Neeson does this – killing quickly, efficiently, without remorse or consideration, and with extreme prejudice. My only complaint is that he kills too quickly – cleanly and professionally – yet it’s up close and personal. He kills at close range – even when using guns, with his targets knowing who he is and why they’re dying. I only hope that when this makes it to DVD that there’s a director’s cut where the targets suffer.

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Dec 30 2008

I’m in the credits! I’m somebody now!

Published by under News,ST:P2

That’s a weak cribbing of the famous Steve Martin line from The Jerk where he goes bananas because he’s in the phone book. Well, it’s important to see your name in print, because it means that in some small way you’ll be remembered for something you did.  I just finished downloading the Star Trek Phase II episode I worked on in the Summer of 2007, and they just got around to releasing the first part of it. As I have been severely sleep deprived since coming to New York, I’ve just taken 2.5 mg  of Zolpidem and fading fast. So I skipped to the credits and there I am – listed first in the production crew credits. Woo Hoo!

While my work on this episode was rather gut-wrenching because of the intense homosexual bent both in the subject matter and the director – it was still fun and I accomplished all I wanted to – which was to see how films are made. But, I do need to do another episode so it will be totally fun without having to bite my lip so much as the director stands on his soap box declaring how he is going to save the world from homophobia with a Star Trek fan film.  Ulp – sorry – I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Keep the faith. L8er.

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Dec 02 2008

I know what you’re thinking

Published by under News

You’re thinking – what’s Gary been up to lately? Where does he stand on the Obama/Hillary marriage and all? Well, let me first assure you that I have not dropped off the edge of the planet, but I have been so insanely busy with my new job that by the time I get back to my “quarters” at night I have no will to write. I’m getting better, so stay tuned. I have a lot to say – you know me.

Cheers! – glh

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Oct 12 2008

Duke’s Ain’t It

Published by under New York

As my quest for enchiladas was less than spectacular, but did expose me to Paul’s, I decided the next quest would be to find an authentic chicken fried steak. Being from Texas, I’ve eaten a ton of chicken fried steak, and I know what the best looks like. The steak should be fairly thick and properly tenderized, seasoned and breaded but not battered, and lightly fried until crisp but not crunchy. The gravy is a white cream pan gravy that is thick but not pasty, and lightly seasoned – as in “that’s what salt and pepper shakers are for.” You serve the steak on a platter with one-or-two mounds of mashed potatoes topped with the same cream gravy, and a hot green – such as beans, peas, sprouts or the like. This is all topped off with a slice or two of Texas toast – to sop up left-over gravy after you’ve devoured the steak and potatoes. That is chicken fried steak.

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Oct 09 2008

New York Used Bookstores Suck

Published by under Books,New York

One of the neatest things about living in New York is that I get to use my commute time to read. Rather than sit behind the wheel and listen to music or the radio, I get to actually stand in a crowded, sometimes air conditioned car next to complete strangers and work on my reading stack. It’s worked so well, in fact, that I’ve had to go out any actually buy books to read to keep myself busy.

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Oct 07 2008

Revisiting “The Andromeda Strain”

Published by under Books

IIRC Michael Crichton’s novel “The Andromeda Strain” was the first “adult” novel I read as a child. I believe I was nine and it was given to me by my brother, and I read it during one of the road trips my family used to take to central Texas to visit my maternal grandmother. I’ve always regarded it as one of my favorite books, but never bothered to read it again – although I know not why. Not too recently, they did a “remake” of Strain for television which was an abomination – to the book and to the movie – but mostly to the book. So I decided to re-read it.

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Sep 22 2008

The Best Burger In New York City

Published by under New York

So I’ve been in NYC for five weeks now – living off of sandwiches and Chinese food mostly. I decided this past Friday that I would go get some Mexican food, specifically Tex-Mex to see how it rates with home. Plus I wanted to actually sit down at a table to eat for once. So I google around and find a couple of places with really good reviews, and settle on Mary Ann’s Tex-Mex Cafe on 2nd Ave and 5th Street (4X to Union Square then 6 to Astor, one ave E to 2nd Ave, then four streets south.) The first thing I find about Astor is that it’s a college section of town – with a major NYU campus just to the north. (Actually, the first thing I found out about Astor is that there’s a K-Mart with an entrance in the subway – could come in handy.) So, there are tons of college kids around – and I mean tons – scurrying here and there. Being Friday night all the street vendors are out selling – interestingly enough – belly rings, tattoos, body piercing and piercing jewelry, shirts, hats and other jewelry. Along St. Mark’s Place all of the brownstones have been turned into shops and boutiques of all kinds – all catering to the college crowd. So I walk through all this, taking it all in until I reach 2nd street and turn right – because I know that will take me south and ultimately to enchiladas. The first place I pass is a dive called Paul’s that brags the “Best Burger In New York” in red, white, and blue neon. I don’t know if this is self proclaimed or earned by some survey – but I press on.

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Sep 15 2008

NYC at Four Weeks

Published by under New York

Today marks my fifth Monday in NYC – so I’ve completed four weeks of urban living. My status is that I’ve secured a “decent” room in Brooklyn for $800/month in an apartment with three-to-five roommates (depending on how you count) where we split the cable, electricity, and gas bills. We don’t pay for water. The guy that had this room before me split leaving unpaid bills and his security check bounced, so although the landlord gave me two weeks free rent, he’s asked me to chip in for his part of the bills that he left unpaid, to the tune of about $100. Since $100 for two weeks rent is a bargain in any town, I agreed.

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Aug 27 2008

My New York City Blog

Published by under New York

Okay, so I’m “borrowing” a neighbor’s wireless connection to write this, so I have to be brief. I’ve taken a job in New York City that pays pretty well, but I’m having all the expected troubles of adapting to urban life. I hope to chronichle it all here, but I have to get internet connectivity first! And, I don’t even have a TV. Right now I’m renting a room in Brooklyn and have five roommates, all of whome are less than 30, and all of whome stay out until 3am. More on that later. I have to go.

Thanks to all for your letters and prayers – please keep it up.

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Aug 01 2008

UN-CANNED! (Tentative)

Published by under News

Yes, after just under three weeks of exile, I have foiled the evil plans of my enemies and secured gainful employment. Mostly. They’ve tendered an offer and I’ve accepted so there’s a verbal contract, and now there’s the paper work, background check, credit check, and the piss in a cup thing. The whole thing should resolve and my reporting for work in a couple of weeks. FedEx has come with the offer materials as I’m writing this. I’m not giving any details about the position until it’s inked. In the meantime, I’m still on a full-time job search under “full disclosure” because I’ve lived long enough to know that the deal ain’t done until the ink’s on the paper and then it’s STILL not done until you’re about half-way through implementation. So, until I have the OK to start work, I’m still logically unemployed, although I have informed the companies I’m still working with that I’m considering an offer, so if they want to continue they can. No one has backed out yet.

So more details as things firm up over the next few days. Exciting and scary news is afoot.

P.S. Sorry I’ve been so silent these past couple of weeks. I updated WordPress and suddenly posting wouldn’t work for security reasons, and then magically it does again.

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