Saturday, September 30, 2006


We got our pictures a couple days ago. All 1567 of them. We went through a few on the computer, but the system was responding poorly, and ultimately froze up. Then we got the idea to show them on the Xbox. Wow, what a difference. First off, it seems to have a better DVD drive, and can read the pictures quicker, second, they're on a 56" screen. Dang! That's the way to look at pictures!

Anyway, it'll take us a while to get through all the shots, but I've already found several that I want to put up on Flickr. They should be there by the middle of next week or so. Meanwhile, if you haven't checked out the honeymoon pictures, they're there now. Click on the picture link on the right.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Illusionist

We saw The Illusionist last night. This will likely be an Oscar contender. The story is brilliant, but it's really the acting that sets it apart. The film is about a great stage magician, who does amazing tricks that can't be explained through any natural means. Considering The Prestige is coming out shortly, I didn't expect him to be an actual, true magician, but the film has you guessing until the end. Whether or not he is, I'll let you see the movie. Anyway, he has a duchess as a childhood friend, and as children, they fall in love. They are forceably parted, and he travels, eventually coming back to Vienna to do his truly incredible show.They meet up again, unfortunately now, she's almost-engaged to be married to the Crown Prince. They quickly acknowledge that they've been thinking about one another ever since they were parted, and drama ensues.

It's a complex and excellent story, but the acting was freakin' amazing. Paul Giamatti plays the detective inspector who is in the employ of the Crown Prince, and it's one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen him do, possibly one of the more amazing I've seen anybody do. He was entirely different from his usual persona, and displayed his thoughts and feelings with a subtlety I haven't seen in a long time. Edward Norton, in the title role, developed a complex and dynamic character, portraying an exceptional showman with a depth that is pretty impressive. Edward Norton typically portrays deep characters, and is an impressive actor, but his performance was pretty much par for the course. This doesn't mean it wasn't good, just not exceptional. Another brilliant, but probably underrated, performance was Rufus Sewell, as the Crown Prince. I like Rufus Sewell, I think he's an interesting presence, but I never really considered him a great actor. I'm glad to see this show, because, much like Giamatti, he had a subtle performance and was completely unlike his usual role. Jessica Beil, as the duchess in question, was even pretty impressive, based off her usual performance. It was a moderately generic character, but she played it well.

I highly recommend this film. See it as soon as you can.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The 23rd anniversary of the world not being destroyed

Wikipedia is one of my favorite sites. In its pages are an impossible wealth of information about darn near anything. For instance, on September 26th, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a Soviet soldier monitoring his country's satellite early warning system, averted a fullscale nuclear war.

A few weeks before, their air force had shot down a Korean airliner that had strayed too far into Soviet airspace. 269 passengers had died onboard that plane, many of them American. The KGB at that time sent out a message to all their operatives, telling them to prepare for a nuclear attack. The entire government was on edge, preparing for a quick retaliation from an attack, and had a hairtrigger mentality. At 12:40 in the morning, Stanislov Petrov saw on his early warning system an American missile (which was a glitch in the computer). He had a few moments to inform his superiors of an imminent nuclear attack, but figured that if America was going to launch a nuclear attack, they'd send a lot of missiles all at once, not just one lone missile. He saw another one, and another, a total of five missiles being launched, all of which were computer glitches. He chose to trust his intuition and his instincts over his training, and saved the world from a nuclear cataclysm.

For disobeying orders and avoiding Armageddon, he was not rewarded, but neither was he severely punished. He was given a reprimand for improper filing of paperwork and reassigned to a less sensitive post, as his superiors found him to be unreliable. He now is retired in a small Russian town, and does not consider himself the hero that he is.

This information was made public in 1996, but very few people know about it. In 2004, he was awarded the World Citizen Award and given US$1000. In early 2006, he recived another World Citizen Award in a trip to the United Nations. A documentary will be realeased shortly (late 2006), called The Man Who Saved the World.

Incidentally, three months before was the movie WarGames, in which American missile command was given over to a computer, and through a series of apparent glitches in the program, a nuclear disaster almost happened. A few months after the event, ABC released the miniseries The Day After, in which people were suffering from the aftermath of a American/Soviet nuclear war.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I just finished my first audition in my "home studio." It's somewhat limited, but between the equipment Heidi already had, and her skill in figuring out what exactly else we need, we now have a limited home studio. Since my current job isn't flexible enough for me to duck out and audition in the traditional sense, and I'm sending my voice around, I'm able to do my auditions via email. Here's the thing, though. I did a good job with it, I think, but not a great job. I really need to regularly doing my vocal warmups, and that's where our schedule is kind of a challenge. We both are somewhat in-demand at this stage in our lives, and having an evening to ourselves is a bit of a luxury. Evening is pretty much my one available time to do my warmups, and frankly, I'd prefer to spend time with my wife when I'm home.

I know, I know, sucks to be me in a very microscopic way, but life hasn't really slowed down much from when we were planning our wedding. Now, between our various auditions and our general lack of social downtime, we're pretty much as busy as most of our wedding-planning time was (not so much the couple weeks leading up to the wedding, but most of the rest). Meh, I'll cope with it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well, Blow Me Down!

Shiver me timbers! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and I didn't even remember it until about 3 o'clock today. I had been plannin' a whole mess of promotions ahead of time, but with the nuptials and bein' away and all, I plumb fergot. Ah well, can't win em all, and this next year will be one to remember!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

We're home, and we're both pretty heavily jet-lagged. I was up at one, unsuccessfully tried to sleep for an hour and a half, and then decided to get up and take care of dishes and laundry, and finish up the massive blog post. Our thorough honeymoon post (in five chapters) is here. We were both glad to be gone, but we're glad to be back. Now the marriage starts for real. Rock on!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Honeymoon Update 3: Roman Holiday

We've just gotten to Rome, which is exciting but has been a bit of a chore. I'm getting moderately good with my Italian (I can now order breakfast and pay for it without speaking a word of English). Unfortunately, my camera battery has been dying since we left our place in Tuscany, so I've only gotten a few pictures of Cinque Terre (which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, but really had to be seen to be believed... I'll write more elsewhere when we get home). Today I'm hoping to find a camera store that can help me charge my battery, but we may not have much of an option beyond a disposable camera. In any case, by the beginning of next week, flickr will have a lot of pictures of Tuscany, hopefully we'll get a sizeable amount of Rome, but we'll see what happens. At least we'll have a whole heap of loot to remember the trip by.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Honeymoon Update 2: Driving in Italy

I don't have a great deal of time, and punctuation is difficult on an Italian keyboard, so I'll just discuss a facet of my time here: driving. I'll start with a brief summation: aw hell, it's fun!

Italy has much narrower roads, and Italians tend to drive quickly over windy mountain roads. I haven't had such an exciting experience driving since I left California, and even that has a tough battle to match this. Again, everywhere you look is a postcard, and it makes for an incredibly cool experience. In a lot of places, you can keep the car in neutral and just coast down the mountain roads (this is actually how we get to our place, most of the time). Street signs don't mention any road numbers or directions, just that you go this way, you get to this town. It makes it crazy easy to navigate, if you know what is on the way, and you really never have to look at a map unless you've made a mistake. Driving in a city is a crazy trip, because you have all those experiences, plus trying desperately to avoid other cars and the innumerable scooters around the way.

For this reason, cars tend to be in good shape. It's pretty rare to see a beater car, as you need great brakes and a smooth clutch in order to get anywhere safely. We rented a little Fiat Punto, which has both in spades.

More to come...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Honeymoon Update 1: Under the Tuscan Sun

Right now, I'm sitting in an Internet Cafe in Firenze (Florence), Italy. I have pictures aplenty so far, but I don't think I'll be able to get them uploaded till I come home. In any case, our flight in was long and torturous. We mentioned to the guy at the counter in O'Hare that it was our honeymoon, and asked if that would get us any special treatment. It looks like it did, but it was all negative. We ended up in the middle seats right by the bathroom on both flights (so if someone wanted to go to the bathroom, they'd have to come right by us and squeeze past anybody else waiting for it, leaning into me). Once we arrived in Italy, however, things went unusually well. We got a car quickly, found our place with no problem, and were able to get a lovely meal from the local market. Our place is in the Chianti hills, near Castellina in Chianti (a gorgeous old fortress town that's been updated to cope with tourists), so there's fabulous wine to be had at the drop of a hat, and almost anywhere we look, we see something that should be on a postcard. Last night we sat by the pool, looking at the stars (yes, actual stars), drinking our fantastic wine, and listening to the complete silence (with the exception of a small woodland creature here n' there).

We decided to hit Firenze today, and have been bargaining with the local merchants, seeing the gorgeous sights (there are a lot of pictures of the Duomo, but you won't see those for a couple weeks), and eating wondrous food. We're about to do a bit of haggling, a bit more eating, and then take in the stars again tonight.

Internet points are pretty common here, so I'll post more later. I'm not sure I've ever taken a vacation like this, but I could really get used to it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Big Day

I just posted about the Big Day on the wedding blog. Go here to read it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Goal Update 7

Here's the goal update for this month. I don't have anything clever to say about it right now, as pretty much all my creativity is going into wedding stuff.

1. Get Married:
Happening tomorrow. Bout damn time.
2. Move to a new place: Done
3. Get a different job: I have a job, but it's insufficient for my needs. Still an active goal.
4. Get back in the gym, and establish a regular routine: Haven't done anything with it. Right now, it's as much a time thing as laziness.
5. Get at least one Voice-over gig: I have one agent, I'd like to get more, but right now I don't really have time to think about it all.
6. Brew at least three batches of beer: Brew #1 worked out pretty well. Two more will happen after the wedding.
7. Travel at least four times: 3 down, 1 to go (and that fourth one will be a doozy)
8. Write a script: Thought about it.
9. Read the Bible from beginning to end: It's been kind of an odd month. In any case, I haven't been reading much. My prayer life has flourished, but mot so much with the reading.