January 07, 2006

Gadgets and Chocolate

2006 is turning into the year of the gadget - at least so far. As a holiday gift, my brother bought me an MP3 player. Coolishness. A Dell, not an IPOD, but pretty decent - with room for 100's of songs. I am slowly figuring it all out, downloading songs, etc. I feel hip in a soccer mom sort of way; in that I will put old, unhip music on it or pop songs I end up liking from exercise or other things that I actually pay for or rip from my own CD's. I also plan to download radio shows and podcasts and stuff and listen to them on airplanes. If you are seated next to me - sorry.

I am also finally replacing my PDA - I was a PALM PILOT early acquirer (actually, one of my clients bought it for me as a gift, figuring I would learn how to use it and he would call for tech assistance). That got left on an airplane at some point, and replaced by a new Palm, which lost memory one time too many (its still around somewhere) and got replaced by a Handspring Visor. That recently got flakey - so a new Palm is finally en route. Color, lots of memory - I've been without a decent calendar / address book / etc. for too long. Hard to be a professional maven without information, hard to be an adult ADD sufferer without PDA games to distract.

And the piece de resistance - we got a NETFLIX subscription, which has been working out pretty well so far. Which brings us to Part II - Chocolate.

We watched the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. All in all, weird and good. I enjoyed comparing it to the Gene Wilder version - embarassingly I have never read Mr. Dahl's book....

* Johnny Depp was peculiar and oddly attractive and sublime - a less creepy version of MJ. Loved the androgyny and the hair. Loved the nastiness under the surface. MUCH better than Gene Wilder....

* I *hated* the old movie in that Charlie and his Grandpa did something wrong - equally egregious to the other kids, and did not get busted - which never sat right with me. This Charlie Bucket is a lot purer in spirit.

* The mushy "world of pure imagination" ending stuff was also problematic in the old one. I like the new ending better.

* The effects were wonderful. The boat was great, the goggles were great.

* The Oompah-Loompahs were a riot (and far less objectionable than the old movie, although there has to be a bit of a problem when a tribal population is imported to do factory work). The songs were pretty funky. I loved that they had one actor playing all the Oompah-Loompah roles.

Next up on the Netflix watch list is a slightly different vibe: Fassbinder's In a Year of 13 Moons. And then Daughters of Darkness.

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