Monthly Archives: April 2013

Star Trek: The Best of Both Worlds: The Experience

My husband and I went to see the one night only showing of The Best of Both Worlds last night at the AMC with Dine In theaters at Downtown Disney. Theater 9.

I have been a fan of Star Trek for a long long time.  I used to watch the original series (in re-runs, of course) with my favorite cousin Michael back in the 70’s on WPIX NEW York.

I was over the moon when the new series was announced back in the late 80’s. My friends and I couldn’t wait.  My  year old mind was blown when I saw Encounter at Farpoint.

Fast forward to 2012 when the first  episodes of  ST: TNG came to the big screen.  It was Datalore and Where No One has Gone Before.  Alas I did not go.   I wasn’t making that same mistake twice.  So as soon as I saw @jonathanfrakes post about it on twitter I bought my husband and I tickets.  This is my husband’s favorite ST:TNG episode and I thought he would enjoy it.

We got the the theater early and the place already had a lot of people in there. We found some seats at the top and settled in.  Rotating on screen was pictures of people who had “Borged themselves” interlaced with stills from the series in their original and restored states, as well as Episode trivia.

The first thing we saw was a vignette called “Creating the Borg.”  It was a behind the scenes look at the episode with commentary and interviews with the major players, and production people.  These people were included but not limited to, Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby and Michael Westmore (makeup).  Also interviews and commentary by Seth McFarland (Family Guy).  It was a really fun look back and interesting to see what these people now look like.

The episode itself was very enjoyable.  Much more so for me on the big screen than it ever was on the small screen.  It is now one of my favorite episodes and looked beautiful completely remastered.

The next thing was the blooper reel which was hilarious.  Then the Sneek peak at the remastered Blu-ray release of season four of the series.

It was a really fun time and we had a great audience to watch it with.  That makes all the difference.

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Buddy Update 4-25-13

Today had another visit to the oncology vet today.

He still has several enlarged lymph nodes in his pelvic canal but no sign of recurrent anal gland mass.  His lungs and heart auscultate as clear and the rest of his assessment is normal.

His hematocrit (HCT) which was 35.7 is now up to 40!!  Yay!!

Buddy will continue on his Palladia 15mg given Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as before and will also continue to take his Pepcid twice a day as ordered.

Our next visit is not until May 6th at which time they will recheck CBC and take X-rays of this thoracic cavity. (to check for metastasis)

Buddy has even gained weight. He is up to 14.4 lbs!

He is doing well.  He is as spry as ever and eating well.  The only way I could be happier is if they said his lymph nodes were not enlarged.

He was in there for an hour again today.

Walt Disney World Resort Guest Relations

Did you know that you could chat with a guest relations  representative at the Walt Disney World Resort  in addition to emailing or calling them?   I found this out today when I discovered that I have misplaced my MyMagic+ pass.

I think chatting is much easier and much faster than emailing or calling the Disney World resort.

To try chatting with a representative go to:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq

and select “Chat” and ask your questions.

I have found that there is no charge to replace your MyMagic+ pass and I can get a new one at the ticket window since I’ve already upgraded.  At least that’s what the guy on the chat said.  We shall see when I get to the park to get my new pass.

Buddy Update 4-11-13

Big long day for Buddy

 

Buddy had his second visit with Doctor Lurie today.  Our appointment was for 10:45.  We arrived at 10:30 and Buddy promptly took a poop on the floor of the lobby.  Now Buddy is not the type of dog to poop in one place, he poops in multiple places.  He poops and walks at the same time.  So I chased behind him picking up his poop in the lobby.

We waited about 15 minutes in the lobby before the vet tech put us in room 16 and then we waited a few minutes and then they explained what was going to happen and then they took Buddy.

Buddy was gone for a long time. Upwards of 45 minutes before I started to get concerned.  I could hear what sounded like people horsing around in the back and doors slamming.  So finally I went to the desk and said “I’ve been back there a long time can you please find out what is happening with my dog?  His name is Buddy.”

The lady at the desk and a few minutes later she comes back and tells me he’s getting chemo.  I nearly had a heart attack!!  I said “My dog is NOT getting chemo!”   So I was nervous.  She said she could check me out and Buddy would be out soon and the doctor would talk to me.  So I made my appointment for May 6th.  The girl tells me that she just assumed that Buddy was having chemo because he was back there so long.  I’m thinking your assumption freaked me out!  I was not happy.  I wasn’t having a good experience.

Then the doctor came out and spoke to me, without Buddy.  He said that the progression of his anemia has halted.   That’s good news.  We are going to start the Palladia again but at a reduced dose (from 20mg to 15 mg) on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.   We should continue the pepcid and we can discontinue the sucralfate.

Ten minutes later the doctor brought out Buddy himself.  I wondered where Buddy was this whole time.  Some cage in the back? What was all the sounds of horseplay going on?   I wondered if he was scared.

Buddy has been eating so well since he went off the Palladia.  Or maybe it’s because of the iron supplement we put on his food twice a day or perhaps it’s the new food that makes him eat more.  He likes the taste of that iron supplement.  And perhaps that helped his anemia as well.  I hope going back on the Palladia doesn’t kill his appetite.

The doctor wanted to see us back in 2 weeks so we are going on April 25th but we have still kept the appointment for May.  We will see by the next visit if we can extend his visits to monthly.  I hope we can.

The Evil Dead, now and then

Yesterday my husband and I went to see Evil Dead (2013) in the theater.  We also watched the original The Evil Dead with Bruce Campbell in the evening.  I hadn’t seen The Evil Dead in 20 years at least.  If you haven’t seen the new one stop reading now…..

This is the first in the evil dead series not directed by Sam Raimi but rather by Frede Alvarez, a director from Uruguay.  It is however co-written with Sam Raimi and Diablo Cody and produced by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.  While I do not want to tell the tale of both movies here I wanted to touch on some compare and contrast points between the movies.

Cast (2013)

Jane Levy – Mia
Shiloh Fernandez- David
Lou Taylor Pucci- Eric
Jessica Lucas- Olivia
Elizabeth Blackmore- Natalie
Inca – Grandpa the dog.

Cast (1981)

Bruce Campbell- Ashley (Ash) Williams
Ellen Sandweiss- Cheryl Williams
Hal Delrich- Scotty (the token asshole)
Betsy Baker- Linda
Sarah York- Shelly

Setting:  Both The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2013 are set in a creepy broke down isolated cabin in the woods. While the first is in Tennessee, the second cabin is located I believe in Michigan (although filmed probably in New Zealand.) The Cabin from 2013 looks a lot more creepy on the inside than the outside and the 1981 film is the complete opposite, in my opinion.    Frede Alvarez says this about the sequel,

“Now, the way I personally like to see Evil Dead (2013), it’s as a story that takes place 30 years after The Evil Dead ended. The car is there, the cabin is there (a family bought it and did some work on it more than 20 years ago) and the book has found its way back to the cabin… New kids will encounter it and suffer its wrath.”

The Set Up:  Evil Dead 2013 opens with some back story about the Book of the Dead and a young women who is burned at the stake to “give her peace.  That was pretty grim and gruesome as it turns out it is her father who does the burning.

“Evil Dead 2013 spends much more time in character set up.  We get to know these characters beyond what you do the characters in The Evil Dead. It seems that the original cast of characters were college students from Michigan State (and some of them wear Michigan state sweat shirts to illustrate this fact.) The new cast seem a bit older in their 20’s as they are all working and Olivia is a registered nurse (important for the plot.)  Mia, our protagonist, is a heroin addicted young women who is up here with her friends at another attempt at detoxing herself. (with the help of Olivia who somehow has access to all these medications.) She is there with her estranged brother, his girlfriend,  Natalie (the token dumb blonde), their friend (the 70’s called and they want their hair back) Eric  and Olivia the RN.  There is some back story to David and Mia’s story.  Apparently their mother died in a mental hospital. This fact figures strongly into the plot later.  In The Evil Dead (1981), they arrive at the cabin and jump right into the action, not major character development.

The Catalyst:   In Evil Dead (2013) the group finds the Naturom Demonto, or Book of the Dead wrapped in a plastic bag and Barbed wire. This book which is bound in human flesh contains spells and incantations.  Eric opens the book with wire cutters and looks in it.  He takes rubbings from the book and says the incantations that you aren’t supposed to say out loud, unbeknownst to his fellow cabin mates. It is his fault that the events of the movie occur although the rest of them don’t know that until much later in the film.  Who reads something you are clearly told not to??  Obviously, 70’s guy.

The Evil Dead however, they kids find the book and a reel-to-reel tape recorder which they play and it is a professor talking about the Book of the Dead and his experiences in the cabin and he reads the incantations. So it is through no fault of their own that the events unfold as they do.

The Tree Rape: Both The Evil Dead and Evil Dead (2013) have a ‘tree rape’ contained in the story line. During her  detox, Mia saying she cannot stand the smell anymore (of the skinned animals hanging in the basement,) and seeing images of a white yellow eyed girl,  she runs into the woods and is attacked by the possessed tree vines in what can only be described as a rape.  Shortly after Mia becomes possessed herself.

In The Evil Dead, Cheryl hears demon voices and goes into the woods looking for the source of the voices.  She calls to them and ends up getting attacked and raped by the possessed tree vines in the woods. She soon becomes possessed.

The Style:  The Evil Dead was a comedy horror or a “hormedy” of sorts with it’s silly demon possessions and dialogue.  The original was funny and didn’t take itself seriously.   Evil Dead (2013) is serious business.  Nothing funny there.  I watched much of the film slackjawed with disbelief of what I was seeing.  I only laughed once and it was a nervous laugh like a I had just had a scary “jump” moment.

The Gore Factor:  The Evil Dead was a little gory. A few squished eyes, skin cuts, etc.  Nothing too bad.  The stop motion practical effects were okay and you could definitely tell the real from the fake.  Give it a break, this was 80’s stop motion special effects.  Certainly you have seen other low budget 80’s horror films, no?

Evil Dead (2013) was a complete gorefest. Arms were cut off, people were chainsawed in half, people are burned, the sky rains blood and it doesn’t end there.   Holy shit, this was graphic. Not for the squeamish for sure.

The Evil Dead still holds up after all these years as an enjoyable film which spawned two sequels, The Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness.  Evil Dead (2013) was good in it’s own right and a really good ride.   A sequel for Evil Dead (2013) is already in the works.

I can’t wait.

 

 

Trailers

Redband Evil Dead Trailer.

The Evil Dead (1981)

 

MyMagic +

On my last weekend off, my husband and I went over to EPCOT to claim our new MyMagic+ passholder tickets.

We went to the Odyssey Center that is next to Test Track because that is where they were doing the swap out.  I had never been in there before because it’s just a space for conventions and special events (like cooking classes during the food and wine festival) so that was a treat.   What’s inside the Odyssey center?  Looks like a restaurant with a bunch of different spaces in it.  Not that bright either.   But whatever.  We were immediately escorted to one of the several long tables set up with computers on them manned by cast members.  We presented our current passes and photo ID’s and we were done in less than five minutes (for both passes)

We were given a short presentation on our way out about what kinds of benefits these new passes will afford us now and in the future.

Photo Mar 24, 10 21 31 AM
Our passes

First these great new passes are plastic and we had a choice of four characters to choose from: Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy . We chose Goofy and Minnie respectivelyThis new pass offers easier and quicker entrance to the main entrances to the parks.  All the parks are currently set up with this new “touch to enter” technology.  I am guessing that alternate entrances such as the back entrance at EPCOT are not yet available but will be in the future. We tried it on our way out of the Odyssey Center and I didn’t even have to take it out of my wallet!!

Later this year Disney anticipates a new and exciting feature for pass holders, regarding obtaining Fastpasses for the most popular rides at the parks.  In conjunction with the new Mobile App My Disney Experience or online you will be able to reserve up to three fast passes in one park for one day before you get to the park or even when you first get there.  That’s exciting. You’ll be able to reserve access to even more attractions—plus shows, parades, fireworks and Character Greetings!  The mobile app also allows you to make resort and dining reservations and coordinate your Disney experience with family and friends who also have the mobile app.

Soon there will be Magic Bands available.  These bands are lightweight and flexible. connect you to all the vacation plans you make using My Disney Experience. MagicBands can be used to enter Walt Disney World parks, access FastPass+ attractions and more. MagicBands will be provided to Passholders whose passes provide admission to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Magic bands are not yet available but soon we will have more information regarding them.  A bonus only pass holders will enjoy! They will come in many colors.  They look like this.

Magic band
Magic Bands

You can start exchanging your paper passes now.   Through May 19 the only place to do this is at EPCOT’s Odyssey Center.  EPCOT is an easy monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom and a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios. Just bring your paper pass and a photo ID and it will be easy as pie to get your new MyMagic+ pass.   Conveniently, this is going on during the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT so come on down and enjoy the beautiful flowers and fauna at EPCOT today!

Guest Blogger: Buddy

So this is my life now, pills morning and night and this yucky liquid in the morning and at night. I don’t like it and I struggle to keep from having to take it but I take it for mommy.

I saw my new doctor today. Mommy’s GPS took us way out of our way into the old neighborhood which I heard mommy say she loves and used to drive through all the time before she met Daddy. So we were late for our appointment but that was okay because they were running behind anyway.

There were amazing smells and lots of other dogs that had cancer, like me there in the waiting room. I barked at some other dogs like I owned the place until mommy put me on her lap.

The doctor examined me and says that he could feel some tumors in the dorsal side of my pelvic canal, whatever that is. I just know he put his finger in my butt! He seems nice though. My doctor speaks in a funny way which mommy says is a South African accent.

They took my blood again!! In never used to have my blood drawn this much now it seems like all the time! they had the results right away. My hematocrit has dropped a little bit further since I last had my blood drawn a few days ago. They mommy is not happy that they want to stop my anti-inflammatory medicines for my back but I can still have to tramadol for pain.

Mommy has to bring me back a week from Thursday for more blood work.