KRIS

KRIS is the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, TX (Channel 6). Their website can be found at KRISTV.com, though there’s no real reason to go there if you’re not from Corpus Christi. It is interesting to note that—at the time of this writing—it is 93 degrees in Corpus Christi, and it feels like 103 degrees. Compare that to 72 degrees in Willoughby, OH.

Seventy-two is comfortable. Really, it’s pretty close to the upper boundaries of my comfort zone, a boundary which is undoubtedly determined largely by the layers of insulation/body armor I have meticulously built over the past ten years. Simply put: 93 degrees is far too hot for KRIS, and 103 degrees is somewhere beyond far too hot.

Corpus Christi is also home to KAJA, a Telemundo station, the programming schedule of which can be accessed via the KRIS website. KAJA is also 97.3 on your FM dial in San Antonio, TX. If the fact that the format of 97.3 in San Antonio is Country & Western surprises you, please ask the nearest adult to verify that your head is properly attached.

Kaja is also the name of Phil Foglio’s wife and partner over at Studio Foglio. That’s neither here nor there, it’s merely interesting (to me).

I think what I’m trying to say is I’m glad I don’t live in Corpus Christi, TX (or San Antonio, for that matter). I mean, 93 degrees. That’s far too hot.

Movie Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SIth (DVD)Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Ahmed Best, Jimmy Smits, Christpher Lee and Boba Fett

Directed by George Lucas

I know how you feel, I thought as I watched Anakin Skywalker struggle against the tempation to turn to the Dark Side. I feel it, too. Luckily for the family of five seated behind Laura and me, I am stronger than Anakin was. I was able to find patience within me and resist the siren call. I did not take the easier, more seductive path. Lucky for them I was able to calm the molten hot rage building inside me, rage fueled by the jostling of the back of my chair, popcorn thrown at the back of my head, and the general unruliness of the children. In the final moments of Revenge of the Sith, I was a paragon of restraint as behind me an argument over whether someone did or did not have to use the restroom completely distracted me from the scene laid out before me, in which Yoda was imparting some final bit of wisdom upon Obi-Wan Kenobi. A lesser man would have taken up his weapon and struck them down with all of his hatred. It is fortunate for them, then, that I am not a lesser man.

Revenge of the Sith isn’t about a man who triumphs over temptation, but one who succumbs to it. Anakin Skywalker’s ultimate triumph over anger, fear and hatred is another story, one that is old and familiar. The story of his downfall has — until now — been merely speculation built on vague references. But is the latter worthy of the former?

(Caution: Spoilers follow.)
Continue reading Movie Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

More of a Fall pie.

“What kind of pie should I make for Easter dinner?” Laura asked a couple of years ago.

“Pumpkin,” I replied.

“I’m not going to make pumpkin pie for Easter,” she responded.

“Hey,” I said, “you asked, I answered.”

“Pumpkin is more of a Fall pie,” she said, and proceeded to make a not-pumpkin pie.

My in-laws love me, though. Perhaps almost as much as I love the pie of the pumpkin. That occasion aside, my mother-in-law has made sure that empanada de la calabaza is on the dessert menu at every third family gathering or so, regardless of season. Last Sunday, when we gathered for some late Mother’s Day and birthday celebrations, my grandmother-in-law gave me two pumpkin pies.

I had pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning. Just a little wedge of gourdly heaven before work.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Starring Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell, Warwick Davis, Alan Rickman, Thomas Lennon, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and John Malkovich

Directed by Garth Jennings

Though I don’t consider myself a hardcore fan, I am at least somewhat familiar with all previous incarnations of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve read all five books, played the PC text-adventure, watched the television series, and used to listen to the radio version about once a year (and still would, if I had it on CD instead of cassette).

The versions are all different and all brimming with Adams’ unique sense of humor. Whatever he changed to suit each new medium, Adams always managed to keep the story smart, original and hilariously funny. It’s no surprise, then, that Adams’ script for the new big screen retelling would have new characters, locations and situations. The core elements remain, the ultimate quest is preserved, but — as with previous iterations — some of the particulars regarding the journey have changed.

Unfortunately, one core element seems to be largely missing: Douglas Adams’ quirky, intelligent humor. Somewhere in the midst of a sea of fairly impressive visual effects (the Magrathean factory floor is especially memorable), that eccentric, surreal wit is all but lost. The only remnants are familiar scenes that elicit a chuckle not on their own merits, but because I remember other, superior versions.

The movie falls flat on almost every front. The characters have very little depth (except for Bill Nighy’s surprisingly touching portrayal of Slarty Bartfast), the comic rhythm is off, and the new material simply doesn’t measure up to the old.

Ford Prefect and Trillian are nearly invisible for the bulk of the movie. Marvin the Paranoid Android is only spared from fading into the background by his gargatuan head and one of the best casting decisions in the film. Zaphod Beeblebrox is loud and boisterous, which is probably about as much as one could expect. And poor Arthur Dent is simply there. His quest for a decent cup of tea is so downplayed as to be inconsequential, and the love story between him and Trillian is like Splenda: artificially sweet.

I wanted to like Hitchhiker’s, I really did. I’ve enjoyed every other incarnation of the story, even the incredibly cheesy (but still very funny) BBC television series. Unfortunately, the movie turned out to be a huge letdown. It’s a mixture of old and new that manages to lose the charm of the old and fails to introduce anything exciting in the new.

Help me take this mask off…

Having spent nearly 25 years on your planet, one might expect me to have outgrown such things as the Darth Vader Voice Changer Mask.

Darth Vader voice changer mask

One would be quite mistaken, for the mask can be adjusted to fit even my enormous skull, a fact I was delighted to learn when Miscellaneous G™ presented the mask to me as a gift yesterday. I can even, with a bit of careful maneuvering, fit the mask over my glasses. This is a good thing, as I have no desire to get contacts again. I look like a dork in contacts.