Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

WARNING: this blog post contains spoilers of the movie Tomorrowland and has I high level of Disney nerd-ing and fandom. Readers should be well acquainted with the Disney Parks to fully appreciate this post.

When I saw the first teaser trailer for Tomorrowland I was very excited. I always wanted to write a movie about a future based off of Walt Disney’s original vision for EPCOT. However, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow OR Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (I’ve heard it both ways) was probably too clunky of a title for a feature length film and thus I can understand why they went with Tomorrowland.

After the first full trailer was released for the movie I was instantly turned off by the idea. I suddenly thought it look very bad and very different from the original movie that had been pitched to me. Thus, I decided to skip it when it was released in theaters. That said, after hearing my parents reaction upon seeing it in theaters, I decided too give it a second chance. That chance came last night when it was finally released on Starz.

Tomorrowland is a movie that is filled with wonder. What I mean is, it does something that all great movies should do; it transforms you into wanting to exist in the world that has been created on screen. I have always been a fan of anything with secret passages and hidden worlds. The idea that behind a doorway could be a portal leading to different world. Call it the kid in me or the fact that I still have a very active imagination, but the movie helps to bring out the dreamer that still lives inside me.

When I was living in New York, one of the first things I did was to visit Corona Park in Queens. That is the site of the 1964 Worlds Faire. When you enter the Queens Museum there is a whole section dedicated to photos and memorabilia from the Worlds Faire. It really does a great job of transporting your mental state to a different period in time.

The whole opening of the movie which takes place there and then transports to Tomorrowland is one of the most exciting parts of the movie to me. I would love to see Disney World update “It’s A Small World” to more closely represent what takes place in the version of the ride in the film.

Next, I was blown away by the actual visuals of Tomorrowland. I genuinely don’t know how they did it. The first time Casey goes there, I genuinely don’t know what is a set and what is CG. Some of it is fairly obvious but some seems like it was actually built, in which case, how big was their budget!? I loved the homage to “Space Mountain” as it is one of the buildings featured in the background of several shots that take place in Tomorrowland.

To me, I felt that Brad Bird did a great job of capturing the spirit of Walt’s vision, not only for Tomorrowland or EPCOT, but his passion for innovation, invention, imagination and adventure. The part in Paris when they’re in the Eiffel Tower and there are the wax figures of Tesla, Jules Vern, and the others; that felt like part of something from “Spaceship Earth” or “The American Adventure”. It feels very steampunk and reminiscent of a Disney ride. Specifically, not that I’ve been on it, “Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon,” at Disneyland Paris.

I will admit that it is not perfect. Tonally, the movie tends to shift from feeling serious, almost a PG-13 type movie, to feeling much more light-hearted and dare I say silly at moments. This does not ruin the movie but it does make it seem a bit unbalanced. I was not as blown away or amazed by this movie as I may have made it seem by all of my praise at the beginning of this post, but I did very much enjoy it. It was actually better than I thought it would be. I think partially because I was expecting to hate it.

In short, Tomorrowland is a very enjoyable film. It was very inspiring and, as corny as this may sound, is exactly the type of movie the world needs right now. An optimistic vision of the future. Something to wake the dreamers up and have them realize that with the right energy and action, anything is possible.

Extra thoughts I couldn’t organically fit in:

– I loved the bit at the end where he has to drop Athena in order to destroy that ball thing. It was very reminiscent of Metropolis (anime) when Tima lets go and falls to her death. That movie makes me cry, without fail, every time I see it.

– I loved that they included the 1939 Worlds Faire “logo” or whatever you’d call it, hidden as one of the buildings in the animated version of Tomorrowland that is shown during the end credits.

– It felt very much like Wall-E in the best way possible, a movie with a message about the human race and planet earth.

– Some of the Chevy product placement felt a little heavy handed. We get it, GM sponsors “Test Track.”

– It also reminded me of “The People Mover.”

– I loved the costume design for Athen at the 1964 Worlds Faire. Her dress with the color and the pattern were a perfect compliment to Nix’s shirt and tie.

– Working for Tesla makes me feel, in a small way, like I am contributing to the future of this planet and thus I feel like my thoughts and work very much align with the message this story tries to portray.

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Accommodations

I’ve written several posts about furniture and future living situation ideas that I’m interested in. When it comes to how I envision my future home -or apartment for that matter- less is more.

I want to own as little as possible. I want the design to be as minimalist as possible. The fewer items you have, the less clutter you have and inevitably, the less stress you have. Above is a video of the “Vipp Shelter.”

Vipp is -apparently- a design company that makes household items. They designed what their perfect version of a house is and I am in love with it. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

I have been saying for a while now that I want my future home to be a shipping container home. This is not far off from that. Additionally, interior design is particularly pertinent as I am currently in the process of searching for an apartment.

The following is a link to a tiny apartment that I would be more than happy to live in. I have covered this in at least two older posts but it’s never not relevant. For a more in depth view of the “Vipp Shelter,” here is a link to the original YouTube video that alerted me to the home as well as the company.

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Fina-fucking-ly Pt.2

Let me start by saying that it could be better. Let me add that this was edited in iMovie. iMovie was never good, but ever since they came out with the latest version I feel they made it more difficult to use. Excuses aside, here for your viewing pleasure is “Shattered.”

Before you ask, no this does not take place in 1978; I would have been negative 11 years old. I just added that because that was when “Shattered” was released by The Rolling Stones, thus that’s when I envisioned this taking place.

This is a super rough idea of a concept I’ve had in mind for a really long time for a “music video” for the song. Unfortunatly, I am sometimes more concerned with getting things done than I am with quality, hence why I didn’t wait until spring/summer to shoot this. Also, I wanted this as test footage to make sure the camera actually worked/works. That’s also the reason I didn’t buy more than one roll of film.

Next, realize that I was editing only about 3 and a half minutes of footage. Anyone who’s edited before knows that more footage is better because it gives you a larger variety of coverage to work with. That is why some shots repeat and why I had to cut the song short (and there’s still a ton of blank space at the end). If I do ever decide to make this for real, I’ll actually storyboard and stuff like that.

PS I was able to fix the contrast in the post prod.

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Fina-fucking-ly

It took 4 years but I finally got my 8mm film digitized! The footage was shot in lower Manhattan in 2012. I was visiting my friends in Brooklyn and brought the Bell & Howell super 8 camera my grandpa had just given to me. My friend Tom and I had gone to B&H Photo Video to pick up some Kodak 8mm black and white film.

The main reason it took so long for me to get it digitized is because film is expensive. The 8mm film cost ~$15, it cost $24 to get it developed and then it cost another $125 to get it transferred to digital. That last part was the killer. The film sat in my desk drawer literally taunting me for years. After getting this job, I finally had enough disposable income to spend on getting it digitized.

Tom shot most of the footage with me shooting a few things myself. Note: 1) there is no sound, do not attempt to raise the volume, there is nothing to hear. 2) this is merely “raw” footage, it is unedited and has no meaning or order to it. 3) I don’t know why the frame rate seems to be off. 4) I don’t know why a lot of it looks “blown out.” Perhaps I can “fix it in post.”

Lastly, keep your eyes peeled as I am in the process of editing the footage and syncing it to music so that I can post something that may be somewhat interesting to watch.

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2015 Top Five

After listening to the last “hostful” episode of The Nerdist podcast for this year, I’ve decided to make a top five list of the most memorable moments from this past year. I think it’s easy to get down on yourself at the end of a year and think “what, if anything, did I accomplish.”

I saw a lot of people posted collages of their favorite memories from 2015 and it made them look so accomplished. My sister told me that she did a Top Five of 2015 on Facebook which I thought was a great idea. Thus, I’ve decided to copy her.

1) Moving to New York – Even though it didn’t end up being permanent, moving to New York was a great way to start out the New Year last year. I technically got there on December 28th of 2014, but I got to celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square which was a good thing to check off the bucket list.

While I was there I saw a Nics/Celtics game, held two jobs, met a lot of nice people, made new friends, lived in three different apartments, performed at an open mic, DJ’d at a night club, performed several nights of karaoke, got to do a lot of sight seeing, saw a Red Sox/Yankees game at Yankee stadium and, one of my favorites, I got to bike in all five boroughs as well as New Jersey, something I’ve always wanted to do.

2) Sold My Motorcycle – Ok, so this one’s not that exciting, but, it was something that needed to get done. It was a huge “splinter in my mind” to quote Morpheus and I was/am glad to be physically and mentally rid of it. I never rode it, got nothing done in terms of modifying it and all I did was sink money into it. Additionally, I’m glad that it at least seemingly went to a good home with a father and son who will be able to wrench on it together and, hopefully, put it to good use.

3) Built TARS – My TARS costume/puppet-thing was a very proud accomplishment for me this summer. One of the hardest things to do with an abundant amount of free time is to channel your unused energy into something positive. I am the king of coming up with projects and either never going through with them, or only going through half way. TARS is one of the few projects I actually saw to completion. Using the RPF, screen shots and behind-the-scenes special features on the Interstellar Blu Ray I conceived my own way to build a TARS replica. Not only did I build it but I was able to share it on Halloween and at a Mini Maker Faire at my local Barnes and Noble.

4) 23 Weeks of Bond – This is something that has been mentioned time and time again in several of my posts between June and now. Probably because it was a huge part of my Summer and Fall. Having something to do every week, something to loo forward to, was a great way to keep me sane while unemployed. Also, it was a great bonding (pun intended?) experience between me and my friends. You never realize how special or impactful something will be until it’s over.

5) Getting a job – Becoming a Product Specialist at Tesla was probably one of the most clutch moments of 2015. I had been searching for a full time job literally all summer, ever since I got back from New York in mid-June. Though having the summer off may sound glamorous, when you’ve got no income, all your friends are busy (at work), and you feel like you have no purpose in life, the glamor quickly fades.

Tesla is a company that I am actually proud to work for and I enjoy going to work every day. I hope to continue to grow with the company. As a bonus, having money coming in again is great and hopefully it will allow me to once again move out.

Of course there were many other things that happened in 2015. Not all of them were good and some of which were painful or even sad. This was merely a list of the things that stood out to me as noteworthy accomplishments. I’m not much for resolutions, but if I had to set goals for myself it would be to finally move out this year, get a girlfriend (that one always seems to be on the list) and to be more assertive.

I guess the goal at the beginning of every new year is to have a fresh start and to “make this one better than the last.” 2015 was pretty good to me, here’s hoping 2016 is too. But, since we’re finally in “the future,” I won’t rely on “the universe” to make my 2016 great, but instead I’ll rely on myself and end this post with a quote from Doc Brown, “The future is what you make it, so make it a good one.”

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Christmas 2015

Here is a breakdown of the things I got for Christmas. This is more for me than it is for you. Sorry for buying into the materialism that is Christmas.

1) Beer – my sister surprised me with a 6-pack of Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro; random but cool

2) Back To The Future book – I saw it when it came out and thought it was cool but did not expect to get it for Christmas. I look forward to reading through it slowly over the next month or so.

3) 50 Years of Bond Blu-Ray – I’ve wanted the complete blu ray set ever since it was released. Of course after our “23 Weeks of Bond” marathon I probably won’t watch a Bond movie until they’re released on a new format but oh well

4) Moonraker Mission Patch – super unexpected gift; very cool surprise from my sister

5) 1 Terabyte external hard-drive – I’ve needed a back-up drive for my computer for a super long time but knew I would never buy one for myself

6) Beard trimmer – I’ve had my current one (which sucks) since 2007 so I was overdue for an upgrade

7) VANS gift card – I need a new pair of sneakers anyway so now I don’t have to pay for them myself

8) Dunkin’ Donuts gift card – always a good thing; one less lunch to worry about

9) Money – always a good thing; I can get whatever I want

10) Volcom jacket – I’ve needed a winter jacket that actually fits me for years now so it’s nice to finally have one

On top of the gifts I received directly, I also benefited from  some of the gifts I gave. I gave my family Best of Bond… James Bond 50 Years which includes all of the themes from the films. Additionally I gave my Mom All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. That too I added to my iPod/iPhone. Lastly, I bought my mom a Felix clock, the one where the eyes and tail move… I/we’ve always wanted one.

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Recommendations

Being unemployed this summer gave me a great deal of time to get things done. I mainly didn’t get things done, but one of the things I did do was read. I feel like I go through spurts with reading where I’ll do a lot of it and then I won’t do it for a long time. I don’t know what got me started but for whatever reason, the theme of this summer was non-fiction, specifically autobiographies/memoirs.

I started the summer off by reading Lena Dunham’s “tell all,” Not That Kind of Girl.

not_that_kind_of_girl_by_lena_dunham_WEB

Being a huge fan of her show Girls on HBO, I knew that her writing style, humor and sensibilities would be right up my alley. After reading it, I went back and watched some early episodes of Girls and it was really cool to see how many things from her real life made it into the show. The interesting thing is that when you watch the show, it feels that way. It feels like a heightened version of her reality.

After finishing that book I moved on to a manlier title, Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman.

offerman-pyoc

Paddle Your Own Canoe is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I read very slowly but I got through that book super fast. Not only was it easy to read, but it made you want to keep reading because it was so interesting an funny. It gave a great sense of the struggle it takes to get into “the business” but there was also a great deal of insight and life lessons the basic gist of which was follow your gut, do what you love, work hard and things will work out for you.

While listening to the Nerdist podcast I came across the Felecia Day episode. In it, she was promoting her new book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and so the next time I was in the library, that was what I checked out.

weird-internet

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), like the previous two, was about following what you believe and doing what you love. It too was very funny but it also offered interesting insight as to the struggles faced by women on the internet and in work environments. It dealt with being proud to be who you are, nerd or otherwise.

I have had the book Mo’ Meta Blues on my radar for a long time but it wasn’t until this binge of memoirs that it resurfaced to the top of my brain as something I should read.

quest

I really didn’t know much about ?uestlove before reading Mo, other than the fact that he was great in the Chappelle sketch about drums vs guitar and that he drums for The Roots. The book had a lot of cool stories in it about people he met and things he’s done as well as his lifelong love affair with music and how he has worked to make a career in it.

One day I was in Newbury Comics and I saw the book Modern Romance on a shelf. I had heard Aziz talk about the subject of modern romance as a stand-up topic on the Nerdist podcast but I had no idea he had plans to write a book on the subject.

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After seeing it in Newbs, I immediately went home and took it out of the library. Like Paddle Your Own Canoe, there was not a single chapter of this book that failed to make me laugh-out-loud (to be clear, every chapter made me laugh-out-loud). On top of that, the book was very informative and insightful as to the trends in relationships, hook ups, and other forms of romance today. I highly recommend this book as it was definitely my favorite of all of them.

I don’t know if was because I read Modern Romance, if I had just been seeing and hearing things about it or if I was just curious, but a while after reading it, I started watching the show Masters of None.

I really liked the show right away. Not only is it laugh-out-loud funny but it is very well written. It deals with a lot of the same topics Aziz covers in his stand-up as well as the ideas expressed in his book. Because of that, Masters of None is a perfect companion (<–better word needed) to Modern Romance. Additionally, being a twenty-something year old looking for a relationship in our modern, technology-driven world, these subjects are very relatable and thus make it easy for me to be interested. I’m also just a sucker for great writing, great characters, humor and romance.

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“Irresponsibly Fast”

I recently started a new job as a Product Specialist for Tesla, at their new Boston location in the Prudential Center. When I started the position, I was told I would be able to -at some point- take a Model S home in order to familiarize myself with it. Little did I realize that opportunity would come at the beginning of my second week working there!

PeterIannacoPhoto-Tesla_ModelS_P90DTesla Model S P90D – photo by Peter Iannaco

On Monday night I “took delivery” of a Model S P90D. Being that I had to drive the car back to work the next day, I wanted to maximize the amount of time I could spend with it. With a pick up time scheduled for 8pm, and factoring in that I typically go to bed at around 1am, I only had about 5 hours to really explore the car. I needed to organize a way to get the most out of that 5 hours.

I wanted to include as many people as possible in my opportunity to very temporarily “own” a Model S. Knowing he would want to come, I brought my Dad with me to pick the car up from the Pru. After a short pre-flight inspection, I set the navigation for my home address and the adventure began.

I literally have never driven (a car) through Boston before. I know how to get from point-a to point-b on my bike, but a bike is a different story than a car. On my bike I can scoot past traffic, go down one way streets the wrong way (if necessary), ride on the sidewalk (if necessary) and many other things that just won’t fly in a car. In a car you need to adhere to the rules of the road.

Using my knowledge of the streets of Boston, combined with some playing around with Google Maps before heading into the city to pick up the car, combined with the GPS (as a back up), I was able to get us home without a hitch. In the parking lot of the Pru I had connected my phone via Bluetooth. While on the way home I used the cars connectivity to call my Mom. I asked if she would want to come out for a short drive. At first she refused because she was already in bed, but after a bit of convincing, she agreed.

My Dad and I pulled up to our house and my Mom was waiting outside. She hopped in and we drove to the commons so that my Dad and I could switch and he could drive for a bit. He basically took the car up and down a few blocks. Part of me wanted to suggest that he take it on the highway and open it up, but I wasn’t sure if he wanted to. Also, I wanted as much time driving as I could get and so, after a short jaunt around town, we ended up back at our house.

With my parents “dropped off” and the Model S safely in the driveway, I began to send text messages and make phone calls. I texted my friend Christian but he didn’t respond. I then called my friend Pete and he said he would let me know as soon as he got home. I then made my way back into the car to play around with a few of the features that had stumped me, or figure things that I still wasn’t sure about.

After fiddling around for a bit I got a call from Pete (which I answered through the car) that said he’d be home shortly, I pressed the brake (to turn the car on), selected drive and headed over to his house. He and his Mom came out to greet me. His Mom hopped in the front and asked if I would take her around the block. Pete got in the back and I took them on a quick loop before returning to Pete’s house to drop her off.

Pete got in the front seat and suddenly we were faced with an excellent problem; what to do with a $120,000 car at 9pm on a weeknight? The obvious answer, go for a cruise. We headed up and down a couple of different highways to stretch her legs a bit. I tried Autopilot for a bit and it was quite weird. It was really cool to see the car follow the curves in the road and maintain the distance from the car in front without any input from me. A few times it disengaged because there was not a strong enough line delineation.

Though it worked well and would probably be nice on a long road trip, I was never fully comfortable using it. This is not the car’s fault, but mine. I don’t even use regular cruise control so this was quite a leap for me to take. I think over time though, it is something that I could get used to.

One of the things I had mentioned to Pete, being that he is a photographer, was that we should do a little photo shoot while we had the car. We drove to Assembly Row, to the top of the parking structure where he was able to get the great shot at the top of this post with the Boston skyline in the background.

After that we were kind of stumped. I had wanted to stop by Highland Kitchen to grab a drink and to see if my friend Tyler was working. I was gonna park out front, point to the car and tell him it was mine. However, by the time I remembered this part of my game-plan, HK was already closed. I knew I needed to get up early to drive the car to work the next day so I didn’t want to stay out too late. At that point it was around 11:30pm so I decided to drive home.

Pete and I chatted while we sat in the car in my driveway and messed around with the settings. We discovered that the child locks were enabled, thus why my Mom had to be let out from the back seat. After a bit of general catching up conversation I drove him home. Along the way I may have enabled Ludicrous Mode and tried a nice acceleration run.

The next day…

…I got up super early so I could leave for work at a reasonable time. Being that I never drive into Boston during rush hour, I had no real idea -apart from the advice given to me by Google- how long the commute would take. I like being early for things and so, despite Google telling me it would take an hour and twenty-five minutes on the route I had selected, and despite the fact that my shift wasn’t until 9:30am, I left my house at seven.

Listening to my music on the way via Bluetooth and using the Hold feature to keep the car in one spot without having to keep my foot on the brake made for a relaxing commute experience. I felt undeniably cool in the car and thought, “Ha ha, everyone’s looking at me.” I was almost compelled to pick up a few people waiting at the bus stop to give them the chance to experience the car, get them out of the cold and to, in general, make their day a little better. I decided against it simply because it wasn’t my car but now I’m regretting it; that would have been cool.

The commute was fairly uneventful apart from the nightmare of traffic on the rotary in Everett. Despite taking the same route I would if I were biking to Boston, I had the GPS fired up just in case. It did help to reassure me a couple of times and it even told me what lane I needed to be in for certain turns, which came in handy.

Driving through early morning Boston on routes I’d only ever biked before was strangely exhilarating. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was amongst traffic or that I was in such a fun car or a little bit of both, but I actually enjoyed the commute much more than I thought I would. Eventually I got to the Pru, pulled into the parking garage, parked it at the charging station and plugged it in. That was it, no more Model S for me.

The day previous a customer had come into the showroom and told me that his brother owned one. He described the car as “irresponsibly fast.” I really liked this description, so much so that I used it as the title of this post. Do you really ever need to accelerate from 0-60 in 2.8 second? No, of course not. Do you want to be able to and is it cool to say you can? Absolutely. Model S stands for more than just a useable fully electric vehicle, it maintains the joy of driving that “true driver’s” love about cars.

This “short term review” was much less a review than it was a detailed description of my experience with the car. Of course with long term ownership you might find more things to critique. However, for the short time I got to spend with it, I couldn’t have been happier.

 

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The End Of An Era

We did it. Last night Dan, Pete, Kyra and myself went to the 10:10pm showing of Spectre. We finally completed the slowest marathon never run.

Part of me is happy to be done with it. At the same time, it is a little sad. It does sort of feel like the end of an era. It’s also sad because of the fact that we all had so much free time to dedicate to this. It’s weird because it directly shows the passage of time and how fast it goes by. In other words, because it was a weekly thing, I can mentally chronologize what I was doing each week for the past ~23 weeks.

Spectre_OpeningNightMe, Kyra, Dan and Pete at the Jordan’s Furniture IMAX in Reading.

It all started in a Brooklyn pub back in June. I was out drinking with my friends Guto, Harry, Zach and Katie whose couch I was crashing on. That weekend their friend Dan (whom I’d met a few times but wasn’t really tight with) had come down to New York, and was out drinking with us. Somehow, I got to talking with him about how, ever since I started listening to the James Bonding podcast, I wanted to go back and re-watch all of the Bond films.

I had watched all of them as a kid and they were a really big part of my life. However, my love affair with Bond tapered off with the inception of the Craig films.

I had gone to Guto’s apartment a few weeks earlier to watch Skyfall (the only Bond film they owned) as a means of satisfying my craving for Bond, and tiding me over until I could go home and watch them all. I asked Dan if when I got back to MA, he would be interested in doing a Bond marathon (watching one movie a day) with me. He said he was down, but I figured it would never happen. So many drunken plans like this are made at bars, but the people involved never follow through.

On my way to work a few days later, while listening to This Is Only A Test –the official podcast of Tested dot com- Norm mentioned the fact that as of that date, you could watch one Bond movie each week for the next 23 weeks and be finished with all of the previous Bond movies in time for the release of Spectre. I immediately texted Dan, my sister Kyra and my friend Pete (whom I had clued in to the original plan) and asked them if they would be down to start an epic adventure over the next ~4 and a half months to watch the Bond films. All of them were in. On June 19th, the day after I got home from living in New York, we began our “holy mission” with Dr. No.

There, we established the template for the weeks that would follow. The guest would bring a 6-pack of beer, we would watch the movie and then follow it by playing GoldenEye (or Mario Kart, or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, or The World is Not Enough) for the N64 on mute while listening to the corresponding James Bonding episode.

The two constants of this plan were me and Dan. We alternated each week between watching the movies at my house and his apartment. Throughout the weeks there was a smattering of guests. Pete was a fairly consistent guest watcher. Kyra would come fairly often as well, but when she couldn’t join us, she kept the marathon going at her own apartment; keeping up with the films each week and listening to the podcasts. I was glad to have my friend John Papp, a huge Bond fan, join us for both Goldfinger and Thunderball. Additionally, our friend Katherine joined us for Diamonds Are Forever and Kyra’s work friend Alex joined us for The Living Daylights.

I am proud that for once, something I engineered, something I planned out, something I masterminded finally came to fruition. There are so many times I’ve tried to plan things that no one either ever responds to, or shows up for. That was not the case for this plan. Not only were people great at responding to my text messages and emails, but people were great at being flexible with their schedule in order to attend as many of these screenings as they could. Additionally, I’m glad that through the James Bond films, I was able to become good [better?] friends with Dan and John.

I just want to thank Matt Gourley and Matt Mira (Katie Levine and all of their guests) for making the James Bonding podcast. Without you guys, none of this would have been possible. I also have to thank the Nerdist podcast for making me aware of James Bonding and the Nerdist Network for producing and hosting the podcast. I have to give a shout out to the Tested podcast, specifically Norman Chan, for giving me the idea to watch one Bond movie per week for 23 weeks.

It goes without saying that I have to thank Ian Fleming for creating the character of James Bond. In addition I need to thank Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Michael G. Wilson and everyone who has been involved in making films about the character we’ve all come to know and love.

Last but not least, I want to thank my friends, Dan, Pete, John, Katherine, Alex and my sister Kyra for joining me on this journey. It was long and arduous but we did it. We started out with 23 James Bond films; a new one on the slowly approaching horizon. We whittled them down week by week, until there were none.

Mission Complete!

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Back In Time

Let me start by saying that I am fully aware of how ridiculous all this is. That being said, the nerd in me couldn’t help getting caught up in it all.

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. My brain has been inundated with various news updates about Back to the Future. For those of you who don’t know, yesterday October 21, 2015 was the date in which The Doc and Marty go to the future (in Part II ) in order to prevent Marty’s son from getting sent to jail.

YouthJailed-USAtoday-MartyMcFly-NewspaperUSA Today actually released a newspaper with the Marty McFly headline.

There was a lot of buzz around the date because for 26 years (the movie was released in 1989) people have been waiting to see if the future would hold up to what the movie predicted. Sure we don’t have hover-boards, but there were a couple of things the movie got right, most of which were fulfilled by various brands trying to cash in on the hype.

The most anticipated of all of the collaborations is the Nike Mag. Ever since they were featured in Back to the Future Part II, fans have awaited the day that the fantasy of auto-lacing sneakers would become a reality. Back in 2011, Nike did a release of the Air Mags, however, they didn’t feature the auto-lacing capability.

At the time, they said that there would be a pair on the market by 2015. Sneaker-heads and movie buffs such as myself awaited patiently the next four years to see what would happen. Sure enough as of yesterday, Michael J. Fox received the first pair of self-lacing Nike Mags.

As was the case with the 2011 Nike Mags, the auto-lace versions will be limited to 1,500 pairs and will be release via eBay. The proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox foundation which researches potential cures for Parkinson’s disease. The auction is set to take place in Spring of 2016. However, in addition to the Mags, Nike also re-released the Bruin, the sneakers Marty wears through the duration of the rest of the films.

Probably the second most anticipated collaboration that was set to happen was between BttF and Pepsi.  There was talk about whether or not Pepsi would release Pepsi Perfect, the drink Marty buys at The Cafe 80s in Back to the Future Part II. The plan was to release 6,500 bottle’s at midnight on the 21st. However, it was unclear where they would be sold and by the time people like me found out, they were out of stock.

As it turns out, the bottle were not being sold on Pepsi dot com, but instead on Amazon and Walmart.  Not only that, but instead of waiting until midnight, they apparently went on sale at 10pm so even if you knew the location, you still probably got screwed.

The Amazon price was an appropriate $20.15 (get it… 2015) and the Walmart price was set at $19.85 (get it… 1985). However, the next day Amazon and Walmart were slated to sell a few more bottle’s at 9am. My friend Pete was actually able to score a bottle from Amazon for $27 (which included shipping).

Apparently however, because of this massive “ball dropping” by Pepsi, they will supposedly be releasing more bottles next month.

The next collaboration that I was looking forward to was the one between BttF and the street-ware clothing line, The Hundreds.

Apart from just doing a bunch of t-shirts and sweatshirts with images and logos from the movies, The Hundreds also recreated some of the iconic costumes from the films, including the vest, the denim jacket, the multi-colored hat and the red jacket from “the future.”

Additional Links:

Back to the Future dot com, Back In Time – BttF documentary, Delorean, McFly Toyota Tacoma 2015 concept truck, History Channel Special – Back to the Present, Jimmy Kimmel – Michael J. Fox interview, Rock Em Apparel – BttF Socks, Nice Kicks – Air Mag 2011 release story, Amazon – Back to the Future: Ultimate Visual History, USA Today – BttF page, The Hundreds – Bob Gale full interview, The Hundreds – Back to the Hundreds collection, The Hundreds – Back to the Hundreds Lookbook, The Hundreds – Lookbook Behind the Scenes, The Hundreds – a look back at previous BttF collaborations

However, my personal scavenger hunt began today. I had heard that USA Today was going to be releasing a copy of their newspaper with the cover story featured in Back to the Future Part II. Because this was set to be the least expensive of the memorabilia, and undoubtedly the one with the highest volume of release, it seemed to me that it should be the most accessible. However, because it was the most accessible and because no one sells newspapers anymore (especially not USA Today), it made it very difficult to find.

I began my day by receiving a text from my buddy Pete who told me he had been to four stores on his way to work, but was unsuccessful in finding a copy of the paper. He asked if I could try and find one while he was at work, and if so, if I would get a copy for him. I was already planning on hunting for one and so, after my phone interview, that’s exactly what I did.

I began my search by going to our local Barnes and Noble; Pete’s suggestion. After a quick look around and asking the cashier, I was out of luck. Apparently B&N doesn’t sell that paper. Next I made my way to Shaw’s where I knew they sold USA Today, as I had seen it there the day before having mistaken the release date of the paper. (The Doc and Marty go to October 21, 2015 to prevent the headline the next day -October 22nd- from happening). Unfortunately they either never got them or, more likely, were already sold out by the time I got there.

Following that, I went to Stop and Shop in the next town over. I asked a worker if they sold newspapers and if so, where they were. He pointed me to the front of the store where I found a newsstand. Upon my arrival, I found that I wasn’t the only one looking for a copy. Another man a little older than me was clearly on the same mission. When no issues of the paper could be found, we began chatting.

“You lookin’ for the paper too?” I asked. He told me he was and that he had gone into a few other places nearby with no such luck. We then got to talking about our love of Back to the Future. He told me he had gone to a screening of Part I and Part II the night previous at the AMC in Danvers.

After a bit of nerding out we parted ways. However, before we did, I asked him his name. He told me it was Joe and asked if I wanted to give him my number so if he found a copy, he we give me a call. I handed him my business card and told him I’d do the same.

On the way back to my house I stopped at a liquor store and a convenience store I saw along the way, both with no luck. After that I went to the nearby Econo Lodge thinking that maybe they would have some extras, since motels usually put USA Today’s outside of hotel rooms, but alas, they had none. I guess they don’t do that anymore.

Finally, I decided to throw a Hail Mary. I made my way to Oak Grove and hopped on the train. I was determined to get a copy and could think of only one place that would [most likely] have one… The Airport. The train seemed to be going impossibly slow and though I knew that it’s speed wouldn’t effect the outcome of my adventure, whatever will be will be, I still just wanted to get there already.

At the State St station I transferred to the Blue line where I had to wait five minutes for a train. At the Airport station I hopped on the free shuttle that takes traveler’s to Logan. On the bus I nervously waited to see if I had chosen wisely. I tried to use my phone to check if they would have the store that I needed at the terminal to which I was headed but my LTE was getting very poor reception.

Finally, the moment of truth was upon me. As I arrived at Terminal B, my heart began to race. Looking through the glass I noticed a pre-security Hudson News, exactly the store I was looking for. However, I wasn’t out of the woods yet, I still needed to find an intact copy of the paper.

As the bus pulled to the curb, I quickly assessed which door had the least traffic before hopping out the back. I made my way through the crowds of people and luggage and entered the Hudson News. I began frantically looking for the section where they kept the newspapers as if I were Jack Bower looking for a bomb. I could see magazines, snacks, drinks and books but couldn’t find the newspapers; did they not have them?

Then, in the corner of the store, I found the paper stand. I began scanning the shelves of the paper racks, beginning at the middle and looking up and down. I saw the Post, the Herald, the New York Times but not what I was looking for. Then, finally my eyes centered and I found it. There it was right at the top, the first paper on the rack, USA Today! I was elated, I couldn’t believe my gamble had paid off.

I grabbed three (one for me, one for Pete and one for Joe) and turned to head to the register. Before getting to the front of the one person line, I turned around and grabbed one more. I knew I would regret not getting an extra one just in case. As it is there were still at least six or so left. I briefly considered cleaning them out, or, at the very least, buying a couple more to have as either back ups, or to try an re-sell for profit at a later date. I decided against it and stuck with the four I had; I didn’t want to be greedy. I made my $8 newspaper purchase, then headed back to the shuttle to take the train home.

In total I [we] went to eight places to look for the paper if you include the Mobile gas station my mom went to when I told her about my adventure. Even though it was just for a stupid piece of paper, I’m glad I did it. To me and to BttF fans it’s more than a piece of paper. It’s a piece of movie memorabilia. We can say we were alive in a time that was immortalized by a piece of cinematic and pop culture history. A piece of history that was 26 years (my whole lifetime thus far) in the making.

In the words of Doc Brown, “Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

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