Saturday, January 31, 2004

I have a new obsession. But fortunately, this one is reasonably safe, and won't involve a restraining order. It's Netflix, an online service that allows you to rent DVD's through the mail -- an online video store if you will. On their website, you place movies you want to see in a queue (up to 500), and they send you movies from the top of this list. You can have up to three out at a time, and keep them as long as you want. No worries about late fees. They give you envelopes with the postage already paid, and once you're finished with a movie you simply slide it into the prepaid sleeve and stick in the mail. In a few days you get the latest movie from your queue.

The queue is where my obsession lies. It becomes a storage space for desires, a reclamation of childhood, a visible beacon of wanting to have lived in a different era. I add recent movies that I want to see. I add movies that I should have seen growing up but never did. And I add classic movies that I've heard about but never had the chance to see. But perhaps even more so, the queue becomes a device to test your memory. In your head you have an internal queue of books you want to read. But what happens when you walk inside a bookstore? The queue is immediately flushed and you can't remember a single title you wanted. You hover by the Dr. Seuess children's books hoping that the list returns. And then appears the Netflix queue. When you log onto that page you soon forget that internal list inside your head of those titles that you want to see. I've recently been like the guy from Memento who writes stuff down on sticky notes in fear of thoughts being forever lost. Scrap paper and yellow sticky notes sit across my apartment and in sketchbooks when I'm away. A movie title that spontaneously pops into my head. I jot it down since I know it will vanish otherwise. And thus I have slowly built up my queue to the number it stands at today.

96 movies. Or as I like to think of it: a list of movies for the next 3 1/2 years.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

What began as the Summer of Bry, and seamlessly expanded into my two year self-imposed sabbatical is officially over. Yep, I decided to grow up and finally get a job. On February 2nd, I begin work at Texas Instruments in San Diego.

It's been a good run. Starting the day sipping coffee at the beach, writing in my journal, while others scramble to get to work on time. Drawing naked college coeds on Wednesday mornings. Trips to Las Vegas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Nine visits to Colorado. And two highly memorable travels to Europe. These past two years have truly been a charmed life.

I recently returned from Denver and had a wonderful time. Kim and I went to a professional lacrosse game at the Pepsi Center where we watched our beloved Colorado Mammoth beat the Phoenix Sting in overtime. It was an absolute blast. The action is fast paced, the scoring abundant, and they beat the crap out of each other while music blares during play. And then you have the Wild Bunch dancers providing entertainment during the breaks. One person described their appearance as being one step above a stripper's. Upon seeing them, there was the tendency to recklessly whip out dollar bills.

One day we took a trip up to Boulder and walked around my beloved Pearl Street. We then proceeded over to The Hill, and sat in Buchanan's Coffee Pub. I was drawing Kim's portrait when huge flakes poured heavily down from the sky. We decided to pack up and return to Denver, hoping that dropping down in elevation would reduce the amount of snow we encountered. It only grew more dense. And for the first time in a long time, I was in the middle of a snow storm. In a few hours, we received five inches of snow. It created a beautiful scene.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Happy New Year!

I spent a fun holiday season among family and friends in Colorado.

It began in unique fashion. I attended a trial Kim prosecuted. It was a double homicide. A man had shot and killed his two friends. Point blank. In the head. Blood everywhere. The crime scene photos were disconcerting and jarring. And very sad. The trial lasted a week and a half. On December 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve, at 5pm, the jury returned with a verdict. Guilty. It felt great that justice had been served. What created additional intrigue to the case was that the defendant had confessed to the crime in a taped interview, however his confession was supressed by the judge since he had exercised his rights just before admitting the crime. As a result, the prosecution had to rely solely on circumstancial evidence. They did an amazing job. In an odd irony, the defendant's birthday -- the man who shot his two friends and was now sentenced to life in prison -- is December 25th.

After attending the trial, I descended south to Colorado Springs to spend Christmas time with my family. It had been three years since I had last spent holiday time in Colorado, so it was nice, despite not having a white Christmas (you expect those romantic notions when visiting Colorado over Christmas, especially while living in San Diego).

Following the holidays I returned to Denver, and Kim and I went to two Avalanche games and a Nuggets game. For a period of four days we lived at the Pepsi Center. Had a great time. We spent New Year's in understated fashion. Playing Scrabble and popping out onto her balcony to watch the downtown fireworks at midnight.