Serenity is the New Star Wars

Yesterday morning I read this quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon about his movie directing debut, Serenity:

“I worked for a long time to come up with something epic enough to be a Universal movie and not just a glorified episode of Firefly. I wanted to make a movie that made me feel or made people feel the way I felt the first time I saw the first Star Wars.”

Yesterday evening I went to a pre-screening of Serenity, and I’ll just say that as dangerous as it may be to compare a movie to the original Star Wars, in this case it’s not a bad idea.

Go. See. Serenity.

It opens Friday.

(For those really geeking out, I’d also recommend the Time interview with Whedon and the Amazon Whedon sale [Oops, guess it was yesterday only]. Just for kicks, yesterday and today Firefly was among the top 10 selling DVDs on Amazon.)

Update: I’m feeling like I should really qualify and explain the comparison to Star Wars, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say the greatest similarity is in the movie-going experience. Once more people have seen Serenity we can get into the details.

10 Things I Hate About Blogging

I love blogging. Why else would I keep doing it for almost seven years? But still, some things about it just annoy me. So I present the Top 10 Things I Hate About Blogging.

10. The Name of My Blog.
Thoughts. What a stupid name. It started as Daily Ponderings and then became ReAL Thoughts and is now just Thoughts. Stupid. All of them. The problem is I can’t come up with anything better. As dumb as the name is, it sure beats Kevin’s Blog.

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The Vertigo Tour: U2 in Minneapolis

On Friday night I sat behind the stage, which isn’t quite as good as back stage, for the U2 show in Minneapolis. I first saw U2 in 2001 during the Elevation Tour when I was just becoming a fan. This time around I think I can say I’m more than a fan.

U2 has become far and away my favorite band. And I didn’t realize it until Friday night, but many of their songs have become worship music for me. I found myself pumping my fist along to “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” but also looking past the rafters and raising my hands to God during “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The concert was more of a spiritual experience than a musical one. I think Tim said it better than I can.

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It May Cause Suffocation

I bought a new office chair today. It’s been a long time coming and basically happened because I had a coupon that expired today.

While putting the chair together I was glancing over the various warnings and I just loved this one:

Dispose of packing material properly, Do not use plastic cover as head covering. It may cause suffocation.

You know, I never would have thought of using the plastic cover as a head covering. I think it just might be the up and coming fashion trend dujour. You’d probably look a little something like this guy. I mean, he’s cool.

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign

If you haven’t seen Dove’s newest ads, they use wrinkled, freckled and full-figured women–instead of skinny waifs–to hock beauty products. What a concept, huh?

But it wasn’t so easy to convince some men on the marketing team that most advertising makes many women feel inferior. How did they help the men understand? A nice little analogy:

“Imagine thinking every day that your dick isn’t big enough. Men just aren’t surrounded by images that make them feel deeply insecure.”

They got the message. Read the whole story behind Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.

Ultrasound: It’s a Girl!

Baby Hendricks Ultrasound pictureWe went for the ultrasound today and the verdict is in: It’s a girl! We think. Ultrasounds aren’t certain, and we didn’t get a great look. Apparently our girl is modest and likes to stay curled up in the fetal position. Appropriate, huh? But we did get one solid look and the nurse thought it was pretty clearly a girl. So we’ll go with it (and if it turns out to be a boy he’ll now have something to blame any lifetime failures on).

I’m already starting to freak my way through the various duties that having a daughter will imply. At least Speak is used to being dressed up. In pink no less.

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Target is Cheaper than Wal-Mart

Despite its image as the upscale discounter, Target is actually cheaper than Wal-Mart. A recent Star Tribune story explored whether or not Target’s upscaled status would turn into a liability when rising gas prices force consumers to focus on price over style.

As part of the story they did a comparison shopping test to see which store was cheaper. Of 14 identical items from various departments, the total at Target came to $106.08, 87 cents cheaper than Wal-Mart and $17.08 cheaper than K-Mart.

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My Cross-Dressing Dog

Our dog Speak made another appearance in the Target ads. And yes, he’s a well-paid cross-dresser.

I actually took him to this photo shoot, and it was pretty interesting. What you can’t really tell in the picture is that he’s also wearing a lovely pink fur coat with rhinestones. At this point there’s no living this down, so you might as well roll with it.

I think he managed to look a little less miserable in this picture. He still doesn’t look happy, but he doesn’t have the tortured look he had last time.

Overwhelmed by Katrina

Nobody really cares what someone a few thousand miles away has to say, but Hurricane Katrina just overwhelms me. Initially I paid little attention to the news reports. It sounded like another hurricane. Sucks to live in the path of a tropical storm. Made me appreciate the midwest.

Then on Wednesday I started to hear stories about levies breaking and dire situations. On Thursday I finally tuned in for real and it just blew me away. Everything about it just breaks my heart. And pisses me off. And then breaks my heart again.

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Hurricane Katrina Aftermath

I’m shocked watching the news about everything that’s happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It saddens me that there could be so much devastation and so many people killed. But it maddens me to see that the response hasn’t been enough, that it’s too little, too late.

Sheesh, this is America.

Why is it so hard to mobilize a relief effort? We put a man on the moon 40 years ago, but we can’t stop the chaos after a hurricane.

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