Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taking Care Of Business

Channeling Pika

Speaking of movies, I managed to watch the film, "District 9," last night, directed by Neill Blomkamp, and produced by Peter Jackson.
"Who's that?" my lovely case manager, Erin, asked me yesterday as we walked back from Yoga Class. She had seen the movie the night before with her conservative boyfriend, Shane (what kind of name is "Shane" anyway? Sounds like some 1950s cowboy movie).
"He's a director, producer. You may have heard of some of his work, like 'The Lord of the Rings,' and 'King Kong...'
She was familiar with his work.
I thought the film was great. Inspired by certain actual events in South Africa during apartheid, the movie told the story of a ship of extraterrestrial refugees who take sanctuary in that country, who soon become a problem for the local population and are subsequently segregated into their own little district, District 9, where they buy cat food as a delicacy off the black market and struggle to survive while being treated like crap by humans. One bureaucrat who takes on the job of forcibly evicting and relocating the aliens (in a remarkable performance by South African actor/producer/director/talent scout Sharlto Copley) accidentally becomes infected with an alien virus that slowly transforms him into one of the aliens, and his point of view towards the extraterrestrial visitors understandably alters somewhat.
There is a lot of CGI (Computer Generated Images) special effects, explosions, and people getting shot and blown up, so it would be a perfect film for our Movie Day. Accordingly some critics have dismissed the film as just another alien shoot'em up fest. And their right to a degree, but its much more than that.
Erin and I both recommend it. Our tastes are exceedingly discerning. Besides, how many movies come out set in South Africa?
I can't believe they made the movie for only 30 million dollars! Ten years ago the budget for a film like this would have been over 100 mil. As I write this, Box Office Mojo tells me District 9 has made $50, 178,081.00 since it opened last Friday, foreign and domestic.
Also yesterday, during our walk to the Hippie Kitchen, I told Erin that it was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.
"I wish I was at Woodstock," she told me. See, she really is a little hippie girl.
Later, I Emailed to her the picture of the Channeling Pika, pictured above. She loves pikas.
We also finished (finally) the 1000 piece picture puzzle we had been working on for better than a month at the Drama Free Support Group. Hardy, Jose, Paul, and I labored laboriously for each and every piece we infrequently found, while our breezy friend, Erin discovered piece after piece without difficulty, snapping them into place, while exhorting, "Yeah!" or some similar irritating exclamation, again and again. It was like watching John Nash effortlessly decipher code in "A Beautiful Mind."
"She gets so many because she cheats," I told Jose. "She looks at the box." I was referring to the picture of the box cover that represented the puzzle when completed.
"That's not cheating, Rick." Erin told me. "That's what you're supposed to do."
"That's too easy, we should really be doing this while blindfolded."
It took awhile, and Erin stayed until after five o'clock, something totally unheard of, in order to finish the puzzle.
And like all puzzles of this nature, there was one piece missing. One freaking piece!
I've had enough of jigsaw puzzles for a while.
Later that night, just after watching the District 9 film, and finishing up a little administrative work (I've fallen behind in my RSCON paperwork (Residential Service Coordinator (case manager) Observation Notes, and was in fear that the Client's Committee would chastise me quite harshly for falling behind), when I injected a blank DVD into my computer in order to burn part of the "Woodstock," movie for Erin. Nothing happened. Usually when one inputs a blank DVD disk into a computer, something happens, usually an automatic prompt asking what to do with the disk. But nothing happened. I tried a different blank disk, Nothing. What the? It had been working earlier in the day. I tried a DVD movie, then a CD, still nothing. I rebooted, I tried to troubleshoot, I tried different methods of intervention. Nothing. I gave up and went to bed, watching Stephen Colbert discuss the upcoming marriage of Archie and Veronica on TV.
Up at four the next morning, I tried it again. Nothing.
I hate it when stuff like this happens. I decided to take it back to Frys, where I bought it.
I have until December 7th on the warranty I purchased after buying my HP Slimline, so money was not an issue. And this clearly seemed to be a hardware problem (possible optical reader failure), not software, which is not covered under the warranty. But Frys is all the way in Burbank, near the airport there, and a long and boring bus trip awaited me.
I bucked up though. I left my box just after seven, taking my collapsible dolly (conveyance consisting of a wheeled platform for moving heavy objects) incase I had to cart a loaner computer back home. I took my computer in my backpack) with me, was at Frys by eight twenty, was told that what was causing the problem was just a software glitch which was easily adjusted (so Windows was at fault. Damn you, Microsoft!), he adjusted it, and it now works, left Frys and was back downtown by ten.
And back in my box typing. As a matter of fact I'm typing this right now.
I'll type some more later.

No comments:

Post a Comment