Sunday, April 17, 2011


Accretion [noun] (uh kree shuhn)
  1. A growth in size; an increase of amount

X-Men: First Class makes its US theatre debut on June 3, 2011.  At this time, I'll be traversing the wonder and delight of the Emerald Isle, but make no mistake: the fact that I can't be in line for a midnight showing in the States doesn't change the accretion of my affection for this movie.

I love X-Men.  The 90s television series on Fox was one of my favorite Saturday morning shows - the fantasy, the action, the drama!  Even the sociological aspect of the plot struck a cord with my pre-adolescent brain: Why are the mutants discriminated against?  What makes this prejudice okay in society?  How does one fight a government that is against ones very existence?  How can I get a cool hair streak like Rogue?

Okay, so maybe the last question wasn't exactly sociologically motivated.

Although the only time I picked up the actual comic was when my parents would bring me a few issues when I was sick (say it with me, "Aw!!!"), I never felt out of the loop with the characters or the progression of the series.  I felt like I understood these outcasts because weren't we all like them more than other superheros?  I was not an altruistic alien like Superman.  I was not a millionaire with a vendetta like Batman.  I wasn't a masochistic nerd (...geek: yes.) that was bitten by a radioactive bug like Spiderman.  But I was a little lost, a little on the edge of clicks at school, and a little bewildered at my own brain, let alone the status quo and how it seemed to be stacked against like me.  I was an X-Men.

What this love-fest comes down to is that I am excited about First Class.  The first and second X-Men films* made me extremely happy, so to have this prequel about the beginning of my favorite duo - Charles and Magneto - emerge is truly exciting.   If I could pull it off, I'd find a theatre in Ireland to view the film, like I did with Terminator Salvation in China.  But I don't think, for some strange reason, that is in the planned itinerary.  Bummer.  Therefore, I insist on geeking out over snippets from this film - and even fan-made ones like the title sequence below.

X-Men: First Class Title Sequence from Joe D! on Vimeo

This is what the opening credits for First Class need to be:  First Class!  A ode to the decade, an ode to the long time fans, and ode to the source material  Is this what you're envising for the style of the opening? 

*And no: We do not talk about X-Men 3. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Aver [verb] (ay vehr)
  1. To declare positively

I must aver that I woke up at an ungodly hour for a sabbath day this morning.  I'm a morning person, but even I have to curse at the sun when confronted with the fact that while I traversed desolate streets, hundreds of others were tucked into bed, relishing the Sunday lull.

Bitterness: it happens.

Of course, my wake-up call did have a purpose.  A purpose that made complete sense at the time of conception, but when juxtaposed to sweet, sweet slumber seemed rather obtuse.  While questioning why in the world I used words like "conception" and "obtuse" at such an hour, I hopped on the highway, free of traffic, and got off three exits down.

It was all for Eggs Benedict.

Velvet hollandaise, with just a enough lemon juice to make your taste buds twinge.  Perfectly round poached eggs, with bright yellow yokes. Seared Canadian bacon, with just enough snap to let you know it cares. And then the English muffin, homemade and grilled, not toasted.

This was the gastro-treat that tore me from my bed.  This was the petit dejeuner that called to me like a siren.  This was what compelled me to get out of the house in time to be at the restaurant at 8:00 a.m. to avoid the infamously long line.  And this is the breakfast that is sitting in my stomach as I prepare for a Sunday afternoon nap.

It was worth the effort.  But I won't be duplicating said effort next week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Obviate [verb] (ob vee ayt)
  1. To anticipate and prevent
  2. To make unnecessary

I had every intention to summarize my takeaways from SxSWi tonight, but the more I think about my conclusions, the more I think others' conclusions obviates the need for mine.  Don't take that as a pity party - I've had a blast talking about the friendship of legal and social media, the gamification of marketing, the mobile phone as your augmented mouse, and the joys of ROI (note ROI is for your execs and KPIs are for your team) - but there's only so many times you can see recaps about "the game layer" and "how you should be measuring social media" before it all begins to sound like, well, gibberish.

"Tsk-tsk.  What a cop-out, m'dear," I hear you think. "You chatted with everyone about the glory that is SxSWi and yet you refuse to share a single tidbit of information with your loyal, if digital, companions."  

Fair enough.  Fair enough.  You have shamed me into a state of unrest.  I will share 5 personal takeaways that are not related to the panels, okay?  I'm sticking to my guns on this one - don't give me that elephant lip, mister!
My low-tech notes.  And my spectacular shoe.
  1. Book everything early.  The second you register, get your flight and hotel in order.  While the location of my hotel this year was equidistant from the Center and the Hyatt, I also paid through the noise for it due to my booking procrastination. Never again.  Never again.
  2. Take advantage of free transportation.  FreshBooks sponsored a shuttle from the airport, Chevy's fleet of vehicles roamed around Austin to offer a lift (Marilyn was my favorite driver, personally), and the rickshaws are tip only.  Pay not for your transportation - that's what sponsors are for. 
  3. Avoid the official parties. The unofficial gatherings - whether they are, in fact, just poorly promoted parties or random tweet-ups at a restaurant - tend to be less crowded and more authentic. 
  4. Be trustworthy.  This is a weird one, but here's the thing: When someone asks you to, let's say, watch their iPad2 while they got to the bathroom, do just that. Perhaps this will eventually become another entry about my apparent trustworthiness (people ask me to watch their things, give them directions, and recommendations for restaurants all the time), but I've found SxSWi to be full of people living by "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." It's a conference of camaraderie; no worries over losing your spot in line or having your iPad2 walk away.  Trust, it's a beautiful thing.
  5. Please remember to have fun while you're learning.  I attended 22 panels from March 11 to March 15.  The vast majority of the panels fell under my legal-regulations-measurement goal, but some were out of left field.  And you know what?  Just like in college, the sessions that had nothing to do with my objective turned out to be some of the most useful.  Social Psychology, Seth Priebatsch, and Improv for Everyone still have my mind racing.

There?  Are you happy now?