I did it again. No entries for December yet, and it's the 31st. What can I say, life's been more than busy lately…

I bought a Palm to use as a logger for my car. The software is free, the cable costs like $25, and the Palm was had off eBay for $60. As soon as I get the cable I can log whatever the ECU tracks on my Plymouth Laser as well as pull “check engine” codes, etc.

That's all real cool, but I've been having a ball just playing with the Palm itself. It started with Arkanoid, a Memory game, and a Drawing program, but it's evolved into Solitare, Lemmings (remember? from the 486 days?), and now…

I found a program to track my finances. Ed's unbelievably good at tracking his expenses. I belived I've called him obsessed before (sorry Ed). But, I've never even balanced my checkbook! That's changing though, now that I've found the Palm program that tracks Expenses… Yeah, that program blows, but I found another online (for free) and it will track an unlimited number of accounts, and keep balances for you as you enter your transactions.

I was getting really good about entering all of my expenses via the Expenses program, but this one's even better since it keeps balances and I can customize the catagories, etc. I think this might make me keep track of things a little better. It may keep me in line and help me make my goal of $1000/month going to our Savings account so we can get a house this Spring.

Our tickets for the cruise are in hand! I received them on the 27th. I still can't belive I chose Carnival. My parents have heard bad things about them, and I've heard similar things from other people -too many kids acting like they're on Spring Break, and that the food, service, and facilities aren't as nice as other lines. But, I was going for a cheap vacation, and they had the best deal. Plus, a travel agent I talked to before booking our Norwegian cruise said that Carnival is a great line, you just need to know the ships to avoid. But, I did my homework, I read lots of reviews. It sounds like first-time cruisers love this ship/itinerary, and old seasoned cruisers have mixed feelings. Some are ridiculous -complaining about the heat on the islands, the fact that tables in the dining room are too close together (you are on a boat with 1000 other people!), etc. -I ignore those. I'm going in with low expections, but I can't imagine anything that would ruin my vacation on a boat, in the islands -on the beach in January.

Lord of the Rings! I was there -oh yeah! (But not at midnight.) No, I waited until after work on the 17th -bought my tickets 2 days in advance! We rushed home, changed, and headed to the theater. When we got there we had a plan, Ed was to go to the concession stand to get us some dinner (popcorn and a cinnamon pretzel), and I was to run and get in line. We were set. We got there a full hour before the show started as planned. I hoped it was early enough to get decent seats. We got our tickets, Ed ran one way, I ran in the direction of our theater, and… Well, I saw the line for the 7:00pm show… People sitting in a line… Some had pajamas on, many had hand-held games, books, and other things on which to focus while waiting for the time to pass -waiting for showtime. Uh oh, I miss-judged. We should have picked a later show so we could have gotten here earlier… I ran to our theater, but couldn't find a line… Where is it? I ran to the information desk… “Where's the line for the 6:15 showing of Lord of the Rings?” The answer: “They've already gone in.” My heart sank. You're kidding me. A full hour before the show? I ran back to the theater hoping I could at least find 2 seats together. As I entered my eyes fell upon my grandest dream (at the moment) -the whole bottom section was empty! I carefully chose our favorite seats (we're there far too often), and settled in a bit giddy at the fact that Ed would probably go through the same panic as I did (followed by the same relief).

I played games on my Palm while Ed played solitare on his pager while we waited for the show to start. Right before the show I left the theater to go to the bathroom (3.5 hours with the 1 gallon “Mega-Chug” sized soda is a looong time!) While in the bathroom I missed the Spiderman II preview :-( I got back just as the movie started. At the sound of the theme music my heart soared. I've been waiting a year for this, I hope it's as good as the others (and the book).

My impressions of the movie? You know it's hard to tell. I've found that my first viewing of the Lord of the Rings movies is not so much about the movie. I get so distracted looking at the world they created and thinking about how accurate and detailed it is, and comparing it to what I imagined while reading the books. It was definitely good. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. All the special effects were amazing. The story, the sets, the costuming, the acting… all of it was awesome. But, I viewed the movie just like that -in chunks. My second viewing is usually when I'm able to kick back and enjoy it for what it is -as a whole. So, I really have to hold my review until I can see it again.

Ed loved it. Jeff said it was way too long. I remember looking at my watch, but I was just trying to figure out how close to the end we were as a way of guaging what they were going to do with the ending, etc. Actually, I find it hard to sit for 2 hours in a movie much less 3.5 hours, and I never felt like I wanted the movie to end, so I'd say that I disagree with the “too long” statement. He also said that they could have shortened the movie by not showing people walking away for a whole minute and half to two minutes. He acknowledged that they did that to give the audience a feel for the distance that the characters traveled -of the time it took to get from one place to another, but he still felt like too much time was wasted in such scenes. I didn't notcie this, but I was probably looking at the background and wondering if it was real or created for the movie. -I'll have to pay attention to this in my next viewing. He also said that he was creeped out by the hobbits gazing into one-another's eyes, etc. I don't think he understands the hobbit culture. (No, really, I'm not a Tolkien freek.) There was genuine love between Frodo and Sam, how could there not be after they went through such an ordeal? That doesn't mean that they're sexually involved with one-another, there's just a bond there that was portrayed in a completely understandable (heterosexual) way in my opinion. I think he's just being immature in this particular complaint. Others on the 'net have complained that they grew tired of the fighting scenes. That they were in battle through-out the movie, and it just went on way too long. -It was the big battle, the one to save middle-earth.. What? Did they want it to be summed up into a 15-minute chunk of the movie, that would take away from the overall grandness and weight of the event, don't you think? I personally never felt it was overdone. You are kept interested by new troops being introduced throughout, etc. I dunno. Maybe if you're not into the story this is a problem. Again, I think I'm too close to the stories to be an accurate judge… I'll try to pay attention to this next time too.

Now, the real test is my Mom. She said that she saw the first movie on video, then saw the second one recently at a friend's house. She has plans to see the current (third) movie in the theater with this same friend. I think she'll have an accurate outsider's view of the movie from a totally different demographic. She's never read the books, doesn't know much about the story creation, etc. I'm interested in her take -watching it as “just another movie” (and “a long one” at that).

…and I thought I had nothing to say about my December. :-)

december_2003.txt · Last modified: 2010/06/16 13:42 (external edit)
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