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Archive for the ‘geek’ Category

Jurassic world parkThe makers of Jurassic World worked very hard to repeatedly reference the first Jurassic Park. What follows is a list of what could be called either “callbacks” or “homages.” (Spoiler warning, obviously.)

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The Wolverine

The words above him are from some French homework, translating an interview with Foucault.

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After lifting weights at UIC, I hurried to the Loop to catch a screening of Iron Man 3 at the River East 21. Actually, I wanted to see Star Trek Into Dorkness, but the Reader had given me the wrong times, and IM3 was the next non-3D screening.

So I watched that. (Brief review: I thought it the best of all the recent Marvel movies.) Emerging from the theater, I discovered that I’d just dodged a sudden downpour. After grabbing an iced latte at Fox & Obel, I walked along the lake, listening to a Magic podcast and worrying that the storm to the south might overtake me:

Lake Michigan 1 (30 May 13)

Lake Michigan 2 (30 May 13)

Lake Michigan 3 (30 May 13)

But it swung out east, over the lake, and I got to see some pretty lightning. (Nature trumps superhero movies.)

When I reached North Avenue Beach I headed into Lincoln Park where I ate supermarket sushi and got a haircut, then headed home.

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titallation

[sic]

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Photograph by Martin Schoeller

Photograph by Martin Schoeller

I’ve had my pocket picked. It happened a few years ago in downtown Chicago (the Loop). As I was leaving a sushi place, two men walked over to me. One stepped in front of me and one stepped behind me. The man in front paused in the doorway, dropping the smoothie he was carrying. He apologized and fumbled with the cup, as though trying to mop up the mess. The other man pressed up behind me, as though he hadn’t been paying attention, and was trying to walk through the door. He was carrying his coat over his arm, I remember. I noticed him but my attention was focused on the man in front of me. That guy apologized again, then hurried out the door. The second man pushed past me, and took off in the opposite direction. A few moments later, I realized that my wallet was missing. I hesitated, wondering if I’d left it inside the place. I looked back. By the time I decided I really had been robbed, both men were gone.

The two guys were pretty clumsy, I think (how repeatable is that M.O.?), but I was sufficiently distracted by them, and they got me easily. And this despite the fact they were memorable—I noticed them the second I entered the place, two middle-aged men in nice suits. (They were also black, and when I realized my wallet was missing, I at once chastised myself for thinking that they had stolen it—white liberal guilt in action. Hence my looking back into the place to see if I’d left my wallet on the counter.)

I was reminded of this experience because I recently read Adam Green’s excellent article on Apollo Robbins in The New Yorker. The two of them also made a wonderful short video in which Robbins demonstrates his craft. Many things described in both the article and video rang true for me. The primary tool used in robbing me was directing my attention away from my personal possessions. I also know now (from the article) that the first man was the “stall” or the “stick,” while the second was both the “shade” and the “tool.” (And there might have been even more men operating as part of that outfit, such as a “duke man,” who gets handed the wallet so the other men are clean.)

As for what happened to me and my wallet after the robbery …

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This is without doubt pointless and moot, since I imagine the powers that be have already decided who’s going to direct Episode VII, if not the entire Sequel Trilogy. And even if they haven’t, there’s no way they’d listen to someone like me. So this is more a thought exercise than anything—but hasn’t Star Wars always been all about wish fulfillment?

Here are the rules: I tried to pick plausible choices. Obviously I’d love to see Woody Allen’s take on Star Wars, or Wes Anderson’s, but that’s seriously never going to happen (although they should let Wes Anderson direct a new Star Wars Holiday Special) (Update: with Miranda July!). The director had to seem capable of making something recognizable as Star Wars. I also picked directors I think would do a good job—i.e, filmmakers whom I like, or at least respect. After an hour or so of thought, I ended up with one dozen choices, listed after the jump in order of least to most exciting (to me, of course).

Before we start, here are some of the names not on the list—i.e., they failed one or both of my two rules: Luc Besson, Kathryn Bigelow, Tim Burton, James Cameron, John Carpenter, the Coen Brothers, David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma, Jon Favreau, Peter Jackson, Terry Gilliam, Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch, Michael Mann, George Miller, Sam Raimi, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarrantino, the Wachowskis (even though I personally would love that), Marc Webb, and Christopher Nolan.

So who is?

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I was tired of not having a decent digital camera (my phone takes sucky photos), so I bought an iPod Touch. I figure, if I’m going to buy a camera, I might as well also be able to put music on it, and videos, and browse the internet and such. (Right?)

Now I can take all the photos I want! And so I will probably start posting more photos at this blog. Here’s one:

Look at how proud I look to own new tech!

Those are copies of Amazing Adult Fantasy behind me. (Michelangelo is guarding them.)

I also took some photos of my neighbor, the author Kyle Beachy, whom I ran into at the skate park near our respective apartments (I was taking one of my signature long walks):

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