June 2nd, 2004

Got to see the Producers.

Mel Brooks managed to make Hitler funny, the movie is called "The Producers". I'm sorry I didn't get to see the theatrical version Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane starred in, but the original movie (Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel) is still REALLY funny...

I didn't use my two free Alamo Drafthouse tickets for this, though. I went by myself (of course), so I only would have used one, but I forgot monday is "dollar night", $1 admission, $1 small soda, $1 popcorn. Good deal, that. (I also got a pizza, because the girl next to me, who was extremely cute, had one and it looked good possibly due to proximity. This must be why they drape women over the hoods of cars, although it's much more effective in person, even when the woman in question isn't trying...) So altogether I spent $11 on entertainment monday. Woo, living it up. (I spent $100 on groceries today. I've spent more than $11 on nothing but beverages and video games...)

Monday wasn't my first attempt to see The Producers. Sunday I went to hit the 9:45 showing, but it had been cancelled in exchange for a special event showing of "The Warriors", with three of the original cast members there for a Q&A sessiona afterwards. Pity. I came back at midnight for the midnight movie, "Escape From New York", which has not aged well. (The post-apocalyptic future: 1988. Uh-huh.) I suggested to one of the alamo staffpersons that the "Mr. Sinus" comedy troupe might want to take a look at that sucker as their next movie to parody, the audience broke up a dozen times during the thing at scenes that were clearly not intended to be funny...

I didn't use one of the tickets for that, though. I bought an admission, hoping to find a date for the monday showing of The Producers. (Ha.) And since I hadn't used the drafthouse tickets after a full week, I gave them to two of the pretty girls who work behind the counter at Metro as tips. (Yes, I know they have steady relationships with their boyfriends. But it's polite to tip the waitstaff, and they get money all the time, so...)

After the movie, I went for a bike ride. Back when I lived up north, I used to walk down to Metro and back (four hours each way), but now that I live a half dozen blocks away, it's just not the same. For half a year, I wasn't going on the long insane trips because I had no destination, so I wasn't getting enough exercise.

I can't use a grocery store as a destination, because carrying anything heavy back is annoying after the first few miles. A destination needs to be somewhere that's open after midnight, because it's just too hot to start walking or biking until the sun goes down. (This leaves Trianon out, they close at 7.) Preferably, it would be somewhere I could take my laptop and thump on it for a couple hours before heading back; some place that sells caffienated beverages.

A few weeks ago I decided to look up the addresses of various strip clubs (which tend to be on the edge of town). Yeah, I know the idea of a nudist visiting a strip club is a bit odd, but they are open late, I can get caffiene there, and maybe if I get used to the presence of pretty girls I won't be quite so intimidated by them elsewhere. (Heck, the ones at strip clubs are paid to be nice to me, and there is absolutely NO possibility of any kind of relationship whatsoever so there's nothing to screw up. If I can't get over being shy in that context...)

The closest is "The Yellow Rose", which is too close to be a decent bike ride but okay for a short walk. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let me take my laptop in. (And inside it's a sports bar. And it was TACKY. The music was worse than Metro, if that's possible. When a black woman started dancing the musical selections included "smack my bitch up", and a song that had "nigger" as part of the chorus. I'm told the dancers select the music. Not to be judgemental, but I really think this woman needs psychological counseling. Then again, if she's in it for the money and that's what brings in the money...) I haven't been back, and am not planning on it. It just wasn't comfortable. (The food was ok, but it was too dark to read, they made me check my laptop at the front desk, and the music actually made me appreciate the horrible drivel they play at Metro.) I suspect that what I wanted out of the place, a late-night place to work with a different atmosphere, confused the staff. Right.

A week or two ago I tried again with "The Show Palace" (which, according to the incessant radio commercials about it over the past 5 years is at "501 east ben white"). After I got to ben white, I spent an hour biking around trying to find it, with no success. Later I found they've changed their name, and apparently their business model. Oh well.

This brings us to Monday night. I was looking through The Chronicle after watching The Producers and I saw an ad for "XTC", which I vaguely remembered because somebody on 6th street handed me a coupon for it a couple years ago. (I may even still have it somewhere...) The Chronicle ad mentioned the address, so I hit yahoo maps for directions. 7 miles each way is a nice bike ride, about what I'm looking for in terms of distance, so I set out. Unfortunately, parts of it turn out to be along 290, which is not a bike-friendly road even when it isn't under construction, which it currently is. By the time I got there (4 am), the club itself had closed, but that's no big deal since the real point was to get in a good bike ride. (I have no idea what XTC's hours are, they have no web page.)

On the way back, I stopped at a McDonalds with a 24 hour drive through, but they wouldn't let me bike through it to order stuff. (This is annoying when the only parts that are open require a car to use. I have a car, but it's not always with me. I could probably make some kind of discrimination case out of it, but I can't be bothered.) On the other hand, the inside bits opened at 5 am and it was 4:30, and I had a book and the light was good, so I waited 'em out.

This turned out to be a mistake. Ever since I discovered Jimmy John's, I hadn't eaten at McDonalds even once, and apparently my body forgot how to deal with it. (On the bright side, I've lost five pounds. Maybe the guy who did the movie "super size me" is on to something. Resuming biking again may have something to do with it...)

So after McDonalds, I biked the remaining five miles or so home while experiencing acute intestinal distress, which is not a condition in which you want to be performing aerobic exercise that involves a lot of bumping up and down. Just a note for the future, as it were...

Today I resolved to finally see either Shrek 2 or The Life of Brian at the dobie. In reality, I did laundry and shopped for groceries, before being informed of some consulting work I needed to do. A quick and dirty first pass at it took about 6 hours, which might get 'em by if I really wanted to let it go at that. A thorough job tracking down all the loose ends and producing a polished result I could take pride in would proably take all the time I've got left until A-Kon (and I mean _ALL_ the time, more or less round the clock; we're talking ten times as much work as the first pass, at least). I might take a stab at it, though. At $100/hour, the consulting invoice would pay to fly in all the Linucon GOHs without having to worry about preregistrations, and then if Linucon gets enough registrations to reimburse me I could dump the money into paying off my condo or something... (Of course I haven't done it for the money yet and don't intend to start now, but I _do_ currently have work sitting on my plate that I really should do a properly thorough job on...)

Speaking of which, I should get the new server up. I should finish and put out the Linucon "call for papers". I should clean out my car. I should make travel arrangements to head back to the northeast to work on the sequel to The Art of Unix Programming with Eric. I should whip together a linucon banner ad to advertise with KernelTrap... Heck, I've got so many to-do lists that just _collating_ them is a to-do list item in itself.

I've noticed deadlines are motivational to me, because I generally get stuff done when I have something to avoid. There's nothing like having a paper due the next day to motivate me to clean my room. (Well, avoiding something else gets me over the inertia of starting new things, and then once I'm going I can finish based on momentum...)

The only question here is will the consulting work motivate me to do my other stuff, or will the other stuff motivate me to do the consulting work? Hmmm...

Rob

(P.S. Yes, I type fast. :)