This is Chris dot com
Music, Movies, & General Geekery: Life.
by Christopher Grant Harris

Friday, 27 February 2015

A Photo of Someone Else’s Flash

At the big musics show last week in Tacoma (the one at New Frontier Lounge), something very suh-weeeet happened. I was taking photos with my phone as is my habit. I did not have my flash on. However, someone else in the audience did. And by sheer happenstance, the two of us took a photo of Trees and Timber at the exact same moment, so that I took a photo using their flash! It looks so neat!

Trees and Timber: a Flashy Band!

Trees and Timber: a Flashy Band!

You know what we can do? We can solve the mystery: whose flash did I steal? Let’s take a look at that photo. The lead singer of Trees and Timber is wearing a baseball cap that casts a very distinctive shadow. Let’s line from the tip of the shadow’s brim down to the tip of the real person’s brim, and then continue that line down from there. Let’s also do the same with the back of his head. Since the shadow looms larger than his actual head, the two lines will likely converge (or get near each other) at some point.

That’s right! It’s time to…

TRIANGULATE!

(And just for good measure, the big shadow head on the right seems to belong to the guy standing directly in front of the drummer. So let’s draw a line across them, too). Here’s what we get:

Jumpin' Jack Flash!

Jumpin’ Jack Flash!

The lines converge on that guy in the lower-left! More specifically, they converge on the flash box of the camera that he is holding in his hands. Hey, waitaminute… I know that guy!

That’s musician, photographer, and all-around awexome guy Gary! I took a photo of him that night too… and it’s a photo of him looking at a photo…

Dutch angle, go!

Dutch angle, go!

WHAT IF GARY IS LOOKING AT THE PHOTO WHOSE FLASH I STOLE!? My head asplode.

Anyhoo, as is my nature I also made a couple of animated .GIFs of the bands that evening. Voila!

A GIF Gift for The Jesus Rehab!

GIF for Jesus Rehab!

A GIF Gift for Fruit Juice!

GIF for Fruit Juice!

I didn’t get a good .GIF of Trees and Timber or The Hoot Hoots, but c’est la vie.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Pictures.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

My Famous Friends: The Pink Fool vs Amazon eTextbooks!

Jake, you're doing it wrong!

Jake, you’re doing it wrong!

My pal Jake (aka the retired Pink Fool of Fools Play Improv) recently starred in a series of funny advertisements for Amazon’s new(ish) eTextbook service! They’re kind of a “Goofus & Gallant” series, where it shows the wrong way to do things, then the right way to do things (which always happens to be Amazon eTextbooks—weird how that works out). Guess who consistently portrays the wrong way to do things:

Oh, Jake, will you ever learn? Other than by using Amazon eTextbooks, I guess…

Categories: Fools Play, My Famous Friends, Videos.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Jesus Rehab & The Hoot Hoots are Coming to Tacoma This Friday!

The Jesus Rehab & The Hoot Hoots at New Frontier Lounge

The Jesus Rehab & The Hoot Hoots at New Frontier Lounge!

Okay, I know my last music post was about both The Jesus Rehab and The Hoot Hoots, but what can I say? They’re on quite a roll as of late…

…And they’re rolling into my backyard this Friday! That’s right, they’re both gonna perform at the New Frontier Lounge here in Tacoma! Joining them on the bill will be Olympia Band Fruit Juice and Tacoma natives Trees & Timber.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

NEw Frontier Lounge

Details:
THE HOOT HOOTS//JESUS REHAB//FRUIT JUICE//TREES & TIMBER @ the FRONTIER!! (Facebook event)
Friday, February 20th 9:00 PM
@ New Frontier Lounge
301 E 25th St, Tacoma, Washington 98421 (map)
21+, $5 Cover

Let’s do this, Tacoma! Invite all your T-town friends and meet me there!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Tacoma.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

My Crystal Meteorites on the Moon Dream

Crystal Meteorite

Begaa Crystal Meteorite NWA 4910 LL3.1 – Photo by Jeff Barton Creative Commons License

Last weekend I had an awesome sci-fi movie dream. I haven’t head a good, memorable dream in quite a while (almost exactly a year ago as it turns out) so this was very exciting. This dream movie starred:

  • Me
  • My Wife
  • My Daughter (non-featured role)
  • An unknown, middle-aged actress with very short gray hair. She seemed very familiar, but I can’t quite place who she is. I bet I’d recognize her if I saw a photo of her.
  • Chris Pratt as “Chris Pratt.”
  • At least one other character, possibly an African-American male (non-featured role)
Chris Pratt is in this movie!

“No way. I’m in this movie? No way!”

The premise of this dream movie was that many years ago a lunar expedition (my brain thought it was probably robot-only, but that was never actually mentioned in the dream by any of the characters) set up a permanent structure on the dark side of the lunar surface with the goal of Terraforming the moon to have a breathable atmosphere and Earth-normal gravity at the surface. The six (or more) characters in the movie were all on a transport shuttle/spaceship of some sort (no idea where we were coming from or going to) that had a major malfunction and was forced to land on the lunar surface near this structure.

Whatever the malfunction, it completely wrecked the ship’s propulsion and communications. We were stranded on the moon with no way to get back to Earth or a way to communicate with Earth to let them know where we were. We setup residence in the fully-stocked structure.

This situation was rather depressing for some, especially the character played by the middle-aged actress, who sported a uniform very similar to Ripley’s outfit from the original Alien, leading me to believe she was the pilot of the ship. The dream started in earnest from that point:

Sitting forlornly in a 1960s-style spherical chair and gazing out the window, the Pilot mused about how we were stuck there. My wife, holding my bundled-up daughter (my daughter’s only actual appearance in the dream) more optimistically pointed out that the base was fully-stocked with more food than we could ever eat, and the view was lovely.

I looked out the large, circular window just in time to see a brilliant meteorite tumble down and strike the lunar surface some miles away. It was a very unusual meteorite in that it sparkled brilliantly with a rainbow of colors, and when it smashed into the lunar surface it didn’t so much explode as it set off a miniature pyrotechnic display of beautiful, prismatic colors that seemed to reflect off the ground around it like thousands of mini jewels.

“Wow!” I shouted. “Did you see that?”

The Pilot nodded, but seemed unimpressed. My wife agreed it was very pretty, but seemed more interested in making sure the moonbase was livable.

Chris Pratt came to talk to me some time later and informed me that he thought he’d figured out how to get the terraforming to actually work, but he needed my help.

Apparently in this dream I was some kind of engineer, because Chris Pratt and I got the terraforming process to successfully start, but it took weeks of work. During that time the sparkly meteorites continued to fall in the distance. It seemed like the frequency might be increasing, and sometimes now there were two that fell at the same time in close proximity to each other. Around this time I realized how bizarre it was that these meteorites would be so bright seeing as how there was no atmosphere on the moon (yet) to ignite them as would happen to a meteorite on the way to Earth.

Eventually the terraforming process took hold, and a long while (weeks? months? years?) later the moon had a lush, cloudless, blue sky, and we could all walk around outside without spacesuits. It was a bit chilly (probably in the mid-40s), but otherwise it was very breathable. And it had Earth-normal gravity at the surface. Much progress had also been made in repairing the ship; a bridge had even been constructed between the second floor of the moonbase and the main hatch of the spaceship. Meteorites continued to periodically fall, but falling through the atmosphere only made them sparkle even more brightly, with a blinding, glittery, white light instead of an intense rainbow of colors. They also seemed to fall very slowly, almost gliding down to the ground. They only ever impacted beyond the horizon, though.

It was when I was cranking a wrench in an open hatch on the ground level of the ship that a meteorite crashed to the ground right in between the moonbase and the ship, barely missing the bridge between them. I immediately ran around the spaceship, and though I missed the actual impact I saw its immediate aftermath.

The meter-wide meteorite had smashed open. It was, in fact, a very thin shell with a rocky interior but an interior like a brightly-polished mussel shell. It had shattered into thousands of inch-wide triangular shards that littered the ground for a few meters around the impact site. It was this site, though, that really grabbed my attention.

Around the center of the impact site a ring of emerald crystals had formed, maybe a meter in diameter. And from the center of this ring came sprouting a most fantastic crystalline structure. It grew upwards (think of Elsa’s castle from Frozen) in all the brilliant gemstone colors, with offshoots reaching out from a central ruby stem like brittle glass petals in fantastic emerald, sapphire, tourmaline, and clear colors. At the head of the stem was a bright crystalline structure that seemed to be lit from within. It looked remarkably like the classic illustration of the head of a virus:

Crystal Virus

Virus structure. Source

As I watched it rapidly grew to about four or five feet high, then began to list over to one side and slow. Soon the internal light died out and it stopped growing completely. I stared at this fantastical structure for several seconds, then excitedly yelled for Chris Pratt to come take a look at this! He poked his head out of the spaceship’s main hatch, then quickly scrambled down to join me in gawking at this marvelous thing.

Cut to: Chris Pratt and I in a classic moon buggy, racing across the lunar surface under a bright blue sky. We skid to a halt at the site of another meteorite impact miles away from the moonbase and get out. The ground around the impact site is completely littered with those thin, triangular shards that were rocky on one side and highly-polished on the other. Thinking back to the first meteorite that we saw, I remembered how the ground around the impact seemed to glitter brightly and realized that the ground had already been littered with these reflective shards before that meteorite struck. But unlike the recent strike near the moonbase, this impact site had no evidence of a virus-looking crystalline structure.

We got back in the moon buggy and drove to several other impact sites. In a handful of them we found similar-looking, leaning-over structures like the one near the base. But most of them were empty. The further out we got from the moonbase, the more the entire lunar surface seemed to be covered in those weird, triangular shards.

Eventually we headed back. Chris Pratt said that the ship was almost fixed, and that the best thing to do was concentrate on getting us all home, then we could come back with some actual scientists and study whatever-the-heck was going on.

A few days (?) later is when I made my discovery. I was walking around the moonbase, when I discovered something in a cranny in the exterior of the structure. I didn’t notice it at first, because it almost looked like just a natural grouping of rocks nestled up against the building. But the sun caught them in just such a way that they sparkled, and I veered over to take a closer look. It wasn’t a pile of rocks; it was a pile of what looked to be random glass things. About two to three inches long each, there were a variety of shapes that were all vaguely sea-shell or crustacean looking. It looked kind of like one of those places that makes tiny glass baubles in the shapes of animals had just dumped a bunch of rejects into a pile.

I leaned closer, wondering where they could have come from. I picked one up that looked kinda like an unrolled pill bug (aka potato bug). It fit neatly into the palm of my hand, and looking closer at it I saw that it looked like a solid, crystal shell filled with a clear liquid.

I bent to put it down and pick up another one, but before I could even let go of the first one they all scattered like cockroaches from the light, dozens of little glass baubles skittering off in every direction! The one still in my hand sprouted several pointy legs and grabbed onto my hand with them. It didn’t hurt, but to say I was startled would be an understatement. I instinctively shook my hand to dislodge it and it flung up into the air. I watched, and the movie went into a slow-motion closeup of the crystalline entity. As it flew though the air it transformed from a crystal into a glob of clear liquid, that splashed when it hit the ground. I looked around and noticed a handful of the other scattering glass creatures were randomly splashing against rocks like that.

My hand was uninjured; no puncture wounds or anything. So I squatted down to look at the minuscule puddle on the ground near my feet. It slowly started to condense, and a tiny, virus-looking crystalline structure rose out of the liquid until there was no liquid left; just a crystal lying on the ground. Looking around I saw the skittering had mostly stopped; a couple of the creatures were just randomly ambling around. I walked over to another little puddle as a crystal started to rise out of it. I put my finger out and touched the crystal, and watched as two little “legs” formed out of the liquid and lightly grabbed the tip of my finger. Looking more closely at the liquid I could see that there was a tiny dark spot floating in it. Maybe a nucleus? I slowly lifted my finger upwards, and the crystal hung on, coming upwards with it and pulling the glob of liquid off the ground below it. It was dangling from my finger, half crystal and half liquid. I carefully moved it over and put it right into another little puddle and watched as it shifted entirely back into liquid and merged with the puddle on the ground. Now I was looking at a puddle with two dark spots in it. It formed more crystal legs that grabbed back onto my finger, and as I lifted it up it formed into a delicate, jellyfish-looking solid structure. But peering through the surface I could see the interior was still liquid, and the two dark spots seemed to look out at me like two expressionless eyes.

It crawled up into my hand, and as it moved I realized that it didn’t really have joints or anything. The parts that moved turned into liquid and then re-formed as crystal. I realized that this was a creature that could control its own phase-shift between liquid and solid. It could crystallize itself at will, into presumably any shape.

The way they moved didn’t seem to imply any great intelligence; they moved across the ground like your run-of-the-mill insects. It was obvious that they’d come from the meteorites. I remembered that many of the impact sites Chris Pratt and I had visited didn’t have a big, crystalline structure sticking up out of them and I wondered if the huge, unmoving structure that I saw rise out of the impact site was indicative of a failed landing. The meteorite had died when it hit, unsuccessful at releasing its living contents for whatever reason; a stillbirth. The sites missing the big structure had successfully formed these little crystal creatures, which I presume had randomly scampered off.

Needless to say, this was all terrifically exciting.

I ran off to show Chris Pratt. I saw him walking across the bridge between the moonbase and the rocket and shouted up to him. He looked down at me, then seemed to notice something out of the corner of his eye. He looked up and shouted, “Oh sh–”

I followed his gaze upwards and saw a meteorite—the biggest one yet—screaming down out of the sky, straight for Chris Pratt. It smashed through the bridge just inches away from Pratt, smashing the bridge to splinters and slamming into the ground with such force that I was knocked onto my back. I looked up just in time to see Chris Pratt flying backwards off the shattered bridge… and straight down onto my head.

The screen was black for several seconds, then I could hear muffled voices (my wife and someone else), and could feel hands trying to simultaneously drag Chris Pratt off my face and drag me out from under him. I assume I’d been knocked unconscious. I vaguely heard someone say, “Lazer Blast is dead!” but I didn’t know to whom that referred. Was that the Pilot’s nickname? It had never before been said before about anyone in the dream. I wasn’t sure if Chris Pratt was dead or not, but his limp body was eventually removed from my face and I saw my wife asking if I was okay, and there was someone else there (possibly an African-American male in the same Alien-style uniform as the Pilot had been wearing earlier) looking down at me.

Beyond them I saw a massive crystalline structure rising up between the ship and the moonbase, already taller than the shattered bridge had been, and part of it was scraping against the moonbase and tearing it pretty much to shreds. It slowed and stopped as I watched, its interior glow dying completely out when it was almost as tall as our spaceship.

“We gotta go,” my wife hissed at me as she tried to haul me to my feet. “Chris Pratt fixed the spaceship, we gotta get outta here.” The sky was beginning to fill with brilliant streaks as more meteorites entered the moon’s atmosphere.

The movie kinda puttered out from here. We somehow successfully blasted off in the spaceship (though it never showed us getting into it nor taking off) and got back into space. Chris Pratt wasn’t actually dead, but he was knocked out pretty badly by the fall. Again, the dream movie didn’t actually show me that; I just kinda “knew.” We weren’t on the lunar surface anymore, so I guess we’d essentially “won” the dream, and I woke up shortly thereafter.

THE END

I want to give a big thanks to the dream people in my head for crafting such an excellent dream. Bravo, folks.

Categories: Dreams.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Band In Seattle = Animated Hoot Hoots & Jesus Rehab!

Two Great Bands that Band Great Together

Two Great Bands that Band Great Together

Last Thursday I was invited (thanks, Hoot Hoots!) to go to a live taping of the relatively-unknown TV show called “Band in Seattle.” This show airs Saturday nights on CW11 in the Puget Sound Area, and in each of its 22-minute episodes it showcases one or two local bands. Well, this week they were taping the season-2 episode that would be showcasing two amazing Seattle bands, The Hoot Hoots and The Jesus Rehab!

Understandably it was a pretty badass show with two such amazing, rockin’ groups taking the stage one right after the other. You might have noticed that I do happen to be quite a fan of both bands. And, as is my way, I made some Animated .GIFs of the evening. Take a look!

WHODAT1

Hootie Hoot!

WHODAT2

Dance, Jesus Rehab, Dance!

I’m not sure when the episode is actually gonna air, but you’d best believe I’ll let you know. I was standing right up front for both bands’ sets, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I got a few seconds of screen time here and there! *winku* After all, who wouldn’t want to see this face on TV:

Project: Handsome Runway Man

Project: Handsome Runway Man

Honestly, I wasn’t even aware that “Band in Seattle” was a thing until I was invited to it. But it looks like an excellent way to discover some great local talent. Season 2 just premiered on Saturday night featuring none other than another one of my favorite bands, Leeni’s Prom Queen! The episode isn’t available to watch online yet (that I can find), but you can see Prom Queen’s performance here:

Highly recommended!

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Pictures, Videos.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

My Famous Friends: Miranda on Bunny Island!

Miranda on Bunny Island

So cute! (And the bunnies are pretty cute, too *winku*)

A while back my friend Miranda (lavender hair in that photo up there) went on a vacation to Japan. While she was there she visited Ōkunoshima (“Disapproval Island”), which is also informally known as Usagi Jima (“Rabbit Island”) because it is basically overrun with wild (yet extremely friendly) bunnies. BUNS BUNS BUNS!

Miranda took many photos and a couple of videos, and she submitted them and a description of her visit to the Cute Overload website. Last month Cute Overload published it all as an article! It’s terrifyingly adorable, so you should head over there to read it (and see many more cute photos).

Rabbit Island

BUNS BUNS BUNS!

Categories: Links, My Famous Friends.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Back Again! Fools Play Improv Returns to Tacoma in February!

Fools Play Returning February 8th

The Fools put the “ruar” in “February!”

Hey! This weekend there is a Fools Play Improv show in Tacoma! It’s at Tacoma Youth Theatre on Sunday, February 8th at 7:00 PM. Fools Play hasn’t performed on a Sunday for prolly more than 15 years, so it should be interesting! What else you gotta do on a Sunday night?

AND THAT’S NOT ALL, DEAR READERS! Fools Play will also be back the following Sunday, February 15th!

Fools play february

Twice! Twice as nice!

You have absolutely NO EXCUSE to miss BOTH of those shows! I therefore expect you to be at at least one of them (preferably both). No excuse, I say. No! Shut up! Shut your filthy, filthy mouth and just show up and let us cram some laughter into that gaping maw instead!

Details:
Fools Play Improv
Sunday, Feb 8 & Sunday, Feb 15 7:00 PM
@ Tacoma Youth Theatre
924 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 (map)
$10, All-Ages (though content may be inappropriate for younglings)

And just look at how hard the Fools are working to be funny at these shows JUST FOR YOU:

Fools Play: Working Hard for You

♫ Workin’ hard, now… ♫

I SHALL SEE THEE THERE!

Categories: Fools Play, Tacoma.