Monday, October 29, 2007

The Fly

Recently, I re-watched The Fly on HBO. Not the original Vincent Price movie, but the David Cronenberg remake w/ Jeff Goldblum. I've always liked the movie but hadn't seen it in a long time. Funny thing is -- and this is admittedly slightly twisted -- after watching it now as a parent, I looked at it in a different way. So consider this my Halloween-themed post.

In the movie, Seth Brundle becomes merged at a DNA level with a fly, ultimately becoming a human-fly. It's pretty gruesome and frightening, but you feel empathy for Seth. Seth and the fly are sort of combined as a gene splice. So, in my slightly twisted way (see above), I thought of producing a kid as a same sort of gene splice w/ my wife. And obviously I don't think it's gruesome or frightening (well, maybe a *little* frightening), but loosely the same idea.

And I think the movie touches on this when Seth realizes that his unborn child is being carried by girlfriend Veronica. After finding out, he decides that the best way to correct his problem is to horrifically combine himself (plus the fly), Veronica, and his unborn child into one being, in that way mixing up all the DNA together. Which again made me think of what a child is -- a combination of many generations of DNA. But of course, normally a child is it's own entity. Seth even makes the comment that by doing this he would be creating the ultimate family unit (or something to that effect).

Dunno, after writing this out it all sounds more than slightly twisted, but somehow I related this to producing another human and combining DNA with my wife. Horror movies often deal with science-gone-bad, or paranoid technology fantasies that produce terrible results. Same thing w/ The Fly. So I looked at it as a comment on gene splicing and manipulating DNA and how doing something as unnatural as that will only lead to trouble. Let mother nature take care of things in the proper natural way.

In any case, I do like the movie a lot, even though after watching recently I found Jeff Goldblum to be more annoying than I remember him being. He got a lot of praise for that role as I remember. Anyway, that's sort of my disjointed take on The Fly and babies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Up I-95 for the 95th

This past Saturday, we went up to Lancaster, PA to celebrate my grandmother's 95th birthday. It was a really nice family get-together. Most of my dad's side of the family were there, so everyone got to meet Jane. The event was also used as a way to have a family Thanksgiving too, with all the trad Tgiving food. My Aunt Rosa knocked herself out preparing all that food! Jane was great on the ride up, while we were there, and on the way back -- it would've been hard to imagine her being easier.

My grandmother has always been an active lady, mentally and physically. At 95, she has definitely slowed down but is still lucid. It's great to see her, and we had a couple of photos of her w/ her three great-grandchildren. Four generations -- wild!

It was a long day, but a fun one, and the kind of day we don't have often.

Today was spent chilling a bit and watching the Redskins squeak by.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jane at 5 months

This week Jane hit the 5 month mark. She's continuing to smile all the time (as you can see in the pics), she's getting good at propping herself up while on her tummy (although for short periods of time), she gets *very* talkative now (well, not talking... how about vocalizing), and she loves to thump her legs down on her bed while we're trying to get her to sleep.

Click here for the slideshow

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Amazonian mp3s!

This week I tried out Amazon's beta mp3 store, and except for a "challenging" issue, everything turned out fine. I wanted to get the latest New Pornographers album, Challengers, and since does not have it for some reason (they have other Matador releases, so what's up?), I decided to try out the new Amazon mp3 store.

The cool thing about the Amazon store is that everything is DRM free and the bit rates are higher than usual 128 (they use VBR). I wanted to check it out because I don't want to be tied to iTunes -- sometimes I feel a bit cornered by the iTunes/iPod model of propriety. Probably my fear of commitment kicking in... Plus, as an user, I wanted a place where I could buy non-indie music. I guess I'm still old school as far as how I "use" music: I want to buy the music anywhere and have it work on anything.

The downside to the Amazon store is that the selection is not huge. But hopefully that'll change in the future.

The problem I ran into was that the Amazon downloader software crashed on me after three songs had been downloaded. So I had to contact customer service, and they made the album available for download again since once you initiate the download process you cannot go back and try to download it again. When I went back to download again, everything worked fine.

So, their customer service was pretty responsive, giving me a fix about 12 hours after I had initially emailed them. And except for the initial problem w/ the software, everything worked fine. It is beta, I guess, but I was pretty annoyed that the software crashed on me. I still like the fact that it's a pretty good alternative to iTunes (or other music stores).

Here's a Cnet review of the Amazon store.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Crafty weekend

This past weekend was fairly busy but fun. And the beautiful fall weather didn't hurt one bit. I don't usually do a blow-by-blow, but here goes...

Friday night we went over to A&E's for a pizza dinner. We got to see their baby girl who is very cute and also their 2.5 yr old girl as well. So it was good catching up w/ them -- sounds like everything is going well.

Saturday afternoon my mom came by for a visit w/ Jane and brought over a bracelet that used to be my sister's when she was a baby. So I guess you could say Jane gets her first family heirloom. It's great to have that stuff. Saturday night we went over to T&R's for a party which was cool. We don't get to see them very often, so it was good to see them for a bit, plus we got to see their little daughter who ain't so little anymore. Jane came w/ us cos she likes to party. Well, only if it's early. Well, okay, she likes to party somewhat, and then when she doesn't, she really doesn't. So we left at around 8pm -- it was a quick stop at the party.

Later that night I watched Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, which is a Korean movie and part of a thematic trilogy about revenge and vengeance. The second movie in the trilogy was Old Boy, which is very good but disturbing. It was also controversial because there was speculation that the VA Tech shooter may have been "inspired" by the movie in some way. In any case, SFLV was decent but disappointing to me even though it seemed to get high marks from others on netflix.

Sunday, to top off our weekend, we headed down to Adams Morgan for the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair that was put on by the City Paper. We took the metro down -- Jane's first time! -- and walked over from our old 'hood, Columbia Heights. The development and building that's going on at 14th and Irving is pretty incredible to see. It looks completely different now that the structures are up for the DCUSA mall and the various condo/apt buildings. Wild. Liz and I couldn't help but speculate how bad the traffic will be once everything's up and running. But w/ the metro stop right there, hopefully that'll diminish traffic some...

Anyway, on our way to Adams Morgan we walked past Mt. Pleasant and were pleasantly (sorry) surprised to see that the DC Fiesta 2007 was going on in Mt. P. We didn't stop but I *did* manage to spot Ian MacKaye standing on Mt. P. Street. He's easy to spot, and I figured he'd be at something like that, but still I was pretty impressed w/ myself. After that I started singing Everybody Knows by the Evens in my head because there's a line that goes "Washington is our city". Don't know why really, but I did.

Got down to the Crafty fair, and it was crowded. Many, many booths. A big product being sold: t-shirts! I don't think there really is that much of a demand for t-shirts, but hey what do I know? I think every other booth sold t-shirts of some sort. But we did pick up a bib for Jane and some mounted photos of DC. Then we popped over to Lauriol Plaza for some Mexican for lunch and to feed Jane.

After lunch we hightailed it back to CH metro to get our girl home! She did really well while we were out. We were very happy with how she handled it, and she was in a good mood just about the entire time. We then got home and Milton came over w/ some Chinese for dinner, so we chilled out w/ him that evening.