Anyways, we landed in Phoenix, which I have now renamed the Big Shitty. I'm thoroughly unimpressed. It's a very NONpretty city, both people-wise, and otherwise... mentally, you could say, as well as physically.
For one thing, it's HOT AS FUCK.
I mean, I know we're in the desert and all that jazz, but c'mon. That's just wrong. And I think it just makes people crazy. Like for realz crazy. Within the first few weeks here, Charlie was mugged on a morning walk, had his head bashed open and his wallet and phone stolen... our coworker Tess was roughed up during a night out at a bar by some guy, a fight broke out next to me at the Trader Joe's (for those not from the U.S., TJ's is a hippie[ish] grocery store, the last place you'd expect a fight).... so yeah, I think people's brains are just fried out.
Not to dwell on the negative, the natural side of Phoenix is pretty nifty. LOTS of cool cacti and succulents around.
This one up above is one of my favorites... like a giant artichoke. I'll be getting one to mail back home before we leave here, that's for sure.
It's hard to tell with no sense of perspective, but these are HUGE. The golden barrel cactus in the very front is about 3-4ft or so.
We also got to see a haboob last week, which was pretty swell... if a bit (understatement) gritty. I'd seen it approaching off to the west when I was on my weekly comic book run, and it rolled into town a little while later. You can't even tell in the photo (or just barely) but there's a many-storied building in the background, obscured by the sand/dust.
Sadly, the overbearing heat has kept us from doing much exploring of the surrounding countryside on the weekends. It's just really fucking hot out there, ya know? I realize the whole country is sweltering, but 105 degrees seems cool compared to 115 to 120 degrees. You'd think that after a certain point it just wouldn't matter, but it does. I long for the days of low 100's.
Today we played it smart and went and saw Prometheus (finally) during the heat of the day.
I'd been looking forward to seeing this ever since I first heard about it, but all the activity prevented me from doing so until today. At first, I was a little let down by it, but that was mainly due to having really high expectations for it. Always a bad idea. Now that I've had a few hours to "digest" it, I'm liking it more and more. As a basic (if slightly more in-depth, philosophy-wise) "people in outer space discover mean things" type of movie, it's fully functional. There's several forms of creepy (and occasionally sexy) aliens, there's giant spaceships, there's intrigue, etc.
There's also Charlize Theron playing another Stone Cold Bitch, and nailing it perfectly. Seriusly, she should stick to these kinds of roles from here on out, she's got it down. She slips between the lines of cold and clinical to creeptastic so smoothly.
What truly made me appreciate this movie as part of the whole Aliens mythology was the introduction of the actual alien that we're familiar with from the original movies, and how it comes to be created. We've established in the earlier movies that the alien assumes a shape that is similar to that of it's "host." Here we see the "birth" (both literal and figuratively) of our good ol' slimy-toothed alien, and why it has the form it does... and here we also see a return of an ongoing theme of all the Alien movies that have preceeded it: The Dark Mother, the introducer of violence and destruction. Without the actions of Shaw, the alien in its current form would not have come to be. While Sigourney Weaver's character of Ellen Ripley may have fought the monster at first, unintentionally released it upon others later, and eventually became the monster, here we see the true mother of the monster.
All righty, that's all for now! Off to play ketchup and see what folks have been up to!
Theme song for now, and possibly the foreseeable future: