Thursday, May 15, 2008

Getting Some Writing Done & Iron Man

I actually got a little writing done! Yay! I'm not yet ready to post, but I have made a little progress this evening. We'll see how long the groove lasts.

I went to see "Iron Man"! In fact, I've seen it twice. I really, really loved that movie. I think that Robert Downey, Jr., and Jon Favreau (the director) really made something special. Mr. Downey worked very hard to prep for this part, and it shows. I know people who have seen it who were not comics fans and loved it. The story was very accessible to those new to the Iron Man canon, but it was also great for longtime fans of the title (like my husband).

During the scene when he was doing the first systems check of the golden armor, I leaned over to my husband and said, "Excuse me while I geek out. WOW!"

If you haven't seen it yet, it is definitely worth the time and the money (over nine bucks here to see it at night now, I know that's cheaper than elsewhere, but OUCH). If you go, MAKE SURE you stay all the way until the end of the credits. You won't regret it.

And the sound track rocks, y'all. I write code to it at work -- and when it's playing I just get into the zone and keep coding and coding... great work all around. I really hope that RDJ knows what a great piece of work this movie is, and that he made something that made me happy and forget my stress for a couple of hours, and actually made me interested in working with software again. For a while, I BELIEVED Tony Stark was a real guy, and that he really could be the mechanical genius that he was.

And Jeff Bridges... what a great bad guy he made! I've been a fan of his since I saw him in "Star Man" many moons ago. I enjoyed the versatility displayed in his acting here.

Ms. Paltrow was a very good Pepper Potts, as well. Definitely look forward to seeing her play again in the sequel. I think she played out her underlying attraction to Tony well. She's not just attracted to him, she's attached to him. They are, in a way, the only family either of them has.

In my opinion, as far as comic book movies go, this ranks up there with "Batman Begins", "X-Men" and "Spiderman", which is a real compliment. The creators really took the genre seriously -- and those movies that take it seriously are the best. It was exciting and fun to watch, with a good balance of action and humor. There were some truly funny moments in it that were a result of the director's timing and RDJ's sense of humor, and the first-night audience that I saw it with howled with laughter.

Another thing -- there was a good theme in there, but I'm not sure if it was intentional or not. Basically, we have a superhero that is not a Boy Scout. He has flaws in his character, just like the rest of us. But those flaws do not stop him from doing good things. It's good to see that I don't have to be perfect myself before I help other people. I am more like Tony than I am like Clark Kent. It is impossible to be that perfect while I'm still in a human body. But that doesn't have to stop me from trying to do good. I think that's a great thing to take with you when you leave the theater.

To the cast and crew of "Iron Man", I would like to say thank you so very much for a job very well done. I'll be waiting on the sequel!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A New Design

I've been so brain-dead lately that I haven't been able to write much. However, there are a few things I can do when I am absolutely mindless. Cross-stitch is one of them. Here is my latest one, a rendering of the "Raven" symbol from the 1982 "Tales of the New Teen Titans" mini. I have always loved this graphic, especially the colors.

If I ever stitch it again, I'll use 3 strands of floss instead of 2. I see way too much of the background fabric on this one. Still, I'm pretty proud of it.

I stitch on a wooden frame. I am not a fan of hoops for most cross-stitch, as they tend to warp the Aida fabric into shapes that are hard to press out once you are done. Hoops have their place, though, as long as the finished design is smaller than the hoop... or if the hoop IS the final frame! I'll remove this from the wooden frame and then have it framed for real at some point. The fabric is basted onto tabs attached to the dowels. You can buy frames that don't require basting, but I don't like them very much. I've looked at them at the store... the dowels are never sanded down enough and there are too many splinters for my taste! I'll stick with basting it on, thanks.

There are a few spots I would fix if I did this again. I've mentioned using 3 strands instead of 2 for stitching the body so that less fabric shows through. I think I'd change some of the outlining on the letters as well. I think there are a few fractional stitches that are out of kilter. Overall, though, I like the design.

It took about a month of obsessive stitching to do it. There are more stitches there than you think! And only 3 colors!

I'd like to do a rendering of the new symbols used for the Titans in their new comic. -sigh- so many designs, so little time. I have other things queued up before I can tackle those renderings, let alone stitching them!