And now I’m back, happily.

And now I'm back, happily. Tired and dehydrated after what seemed an extremely long plane flight, one in which I finished the book (The Red Rose Crew, excellent!) I received this morning for my birthday. Boston was cold. Very cold, and I remembered that I like the cold, even as it froze my cheeks walking home through the North End in the late afternoon after several hours at the Aquarium (during which we saw baby penguins!)

In no particular order, Boston summed up: Castaway, the Nutcracker, champagne, burnt stuffed clams, scallops both broiled and fried, a huge glass of Maker's Mark on the rocks, sleeping until 11:30 three days in a row, chats with grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles, cold air and clear blue skies and howling winds, family time, and all of it, passing so fast, it now seems like it was just a dream.

Up next? Idaho and my birthday, in that order. But first, a day to just be home. To just be.

Off to Boston this morning,

Off to Boston this morning, and though I'll regret saying this, I'm looking forward to the cold. Maybe it will even snow!

If this upcoming holiday is one in which you partake, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hopefully it will snow where you are as well.

Chinese movies are good. Chinese

Chinese movies are good. Chinese movies with women are even better. Chinese movies with fighting are even better than better. And Chinese movies with women fighting are the best of all. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was amazing: the camera work, the wire work, the top-down shots of the fights, the costumes, the props, the plot. You name it, it's got it. Far and away my favorite movie of the year, hands down. Stop reading this site and go see it now! Really. (Oh, I forgot about Best in Show, which was also good, but still, this is certainly my second-favorite movie of the year, absolutely.)

And it reminds me, I'm going to learn how to fight so I can kick ass like the chicks did in CTHD. Here's an (old) taste of what I'm capable of. Be scared, be very very scared.

Something came over me this

Something came over me this morning, and I was forced to redesign the site. Granted, I've redesigned many times, but until today, I haven't bothered to actually try and finish anything (not that this is really finished either, mind you…). So behold, a new very bare and simple megnut for 2001. At some point, I'll add in some nav so that you can get to other content. But I couldn't deal with it today. I just wanted it simple and clean. So here it is.

And now I should really get back to what I should have been doing all day: getting ready to go to Boston tomorrow for four whirlwind days of family and friends. Which means cleaning and packing and dishwashing and all assorted junk like that. Of course all I really want to do is take a nap. Maybe I'll do that instead.

Brad sent a giant box

Brad sent a giant box of goodies to the office today: toys and spray snow (which I used to spray a really really lame snowflake on the door) and candy (chocolate reindeer and santas) and lights and little trees and stockings for each one of us. It was so damn thoughtful and sweet and nice, and how can I repay him for it? By encouraging you all to go read his site, yes, please, go visit The BradLands, send him some holiday cheer, and tell him I sent you.

Since Sunday I’ve seen Gladiator,

Since Sunday I've seen Gladiator, Princess Mononoke, and Requiem for a Dream. I think I've had my fill of blood, guts and gore for a very long time. Every time I close my eyes now, something horrific from one of those films bubbles up from the recesses of my brain: a woman chopped in half, an amputated arm, an arrow decapitating a samarai. So disturbing, yet I enjoyed (if that's possible) all the films: Gladiator for its grandure and epicicity (I'm making that word up, but you know what I mean, epic-like), Princess Mononoke for its Asian insistence on fuzzy, with no discernable good guy or bad guy (granted, it left me feeling confused and I wasn't sure if the "right" person won in the end, it certainly fucked with my western mind…) and Requiem for a Dream just because. Because the cinematography was outstanding, because the performances were so right on, because I was on the edge of my seat as every character made the wrong decision over and over, bringing me to tears and horrifying me at the same time.

I think I like my movies lighter and fluffier than those I've viewed recently, on the whole. But there's something about a film that sticks with you for days on end, leaving you to question what you've just seen, and what you continue to see around you. I don't think I'll ever watch Requiem for a Dream again, I couldn't bare to, yet still, for all its horror, it's so well done, I almost want to recommend it to you.

Oh, and tomorrow night? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I've already got tickets. After that, it's all Disney 'till the end of my days…

Dave Pell has some really

Dave Pell has some really great stuff to say today, about what's coming in the year 2001, about the crash and the finger-pointing, and about why the web is still great. (I highly recommend his daily newsletter, Davenetics, by the way. It's filled with links and tidbits of commentary.)

What's interesting about what Dave's written today is that I've been thinking so many similar thoughts. But I've been too distracted and lazy to write about any of it. So thank you Dave, now I can just point people to what you've written instead. (so lazy…)

My first job after college

My first job after college (not including my stint as a pie baker) was in desktop publishing. I worked at a financial company in Boston, in the publishing department, where we spent our days creating annual reports and prospectuses for mutual funds. It was pretty fun as far as first jobs go, I learned a lot, it was right downtown in a modern office building, I had a really nice, large cube, and our work week was only 35 hours long (9 to 5, what a way to make a living…).

Every year, on a rolling calendar, we'd create a new prospectus for a fund. Each fund issued a prospectus explaining what the fund was about, who ran it, etc. etc., and this was given to all investors and potential investors for review. But sometimes a prospectus would require a change, for whatever reason. Maybe the fund manager quit, or started a new fund, or whatever. When that happened, we'd "sticker" a prospectus, and a sticker would actually get stuck to the front of the prospectus, explaining which pieces of the prospectus' contents were now incorrect. We'd wait until the next year to change the actual prospectus.

Somehow, somebody someplace decided the prospectuses should be available online. And of course, which group should undertake such a task? Why, the Publishing Department, of course. I volunteered to learn HTML and lead the process, so throughout late 1995 and early 1996, our group happily (well, me at least) produced web versions of our prospectuses. And then, a sticker…

There was this legal department that sat across the hall from our group, and they were always underlining all our documents and sending them in for changes. And they were also the ones who'd put in requests for stickers. So we handled the sticker for the printed prospectus no problem. And then we realized the real issue at hand, How do we sticker an online prospectus? Easy, I said, make the changes to the document itself. No no no, said legal. Then the online version will be out of synch with the printed version. But that's ok, I said, since there's a much lower cost to changing an online document. Heck, that's what's cool about this web thing! I said. Oh no, said legal. No No No. We must put the sticker text at the top of the web page, indicating that contents further down the page are incorrect but unchanged.

Guess who won that battle? I think that was about the time I realized I got the web. I think that was also about the time I realized I had no interest in being a lawyer.