Elnea FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

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from Illinois

  • Activity

    • Bank Job - Barenaked Ladies

      12 years ago


      For those of you that might have missed it over the weekend, Lauren AKA OboeCrazy wrote, directed, and edited an awesome Halo music video to the song "Bank Job" by BNL that was featured on halo.bungie.org on Saturday. Woot!

      This video was totally Lauren's creation - she's so clever! I'm particularly impressed with the great camera control she has in her shots. And, thanks to all the folks here who helped me convert those AVI and MPEG files, I was able to do two very brief special effects for the video, so I get to say I helped! Wee! The two shots go by quickly; see if you can spot them. She's got a shot near the end which is not what I'd consider a special effect, but is very cool, that was filmed live; she wrote a journal about the trouble she had getting it. You'll know it when you see it if you are familiar with the map on Zanzibar. And wait 'til you see what is waiting for the bank robbers in the bank. ROFLMAO! (Or as Spyton would say, ROFL-copter!)

      Okay, go watch the video (links are at the HBO article and/or at her post, or you can see the lower res version at YouTube here), and then tell Lauren how awesome she is!

      Now! Go now!

      PS: Spyton and I did get a chance to act in this video too. Spyton is a better puppeteer than I am. Watch for his gripping performance as "Policeman #3".

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      mutual funds

    • Now broadcasting from the tenor section

      12 years ago


      We had our choral concert tonight, and first I have to thank my son and mom for coming to see it, and also BigVig, who came by afterwards to say hi and introduce himself. I love meeting people from RvB in real life. Also, I will report that BigVig is, as advertised, quite big. (I can't speak to the Vig-ness aspect.) But I'm thinking we could get LouisWu, Burnie, Gus, Alsace and BigVig and start our own basketball team. If we were so inclined. Wee!


      The concert, from my vantage point, went really, really well, but what struck me as simultaneously shocking and funn- no, just shocking, was that many of the teens in the group (we were singing in combo with a high school) had their cell phones with them. On stage. Turned on. And were talking into them. During the show.

      *Slaps forehead*

      I think they must just not understand two things. The first is that it is totally obvious when one person isn't looking at the director or is talking. When I taught in med school there were about 150 students in the auditorium, and there would always be a couple folks who fell asleep. It happens, but they'd wake up and act as though I didn't notice. Or they'd sit in the back thinking I couldn't possibly see them back there. As Spyton would say, "Point, laugh, lol, n00b." Next time you get a chance, look at a big class from the vantage point of a teacher. You'll see what I mean.

      Okay, so we were in the back of the stage, so hopefully the audience wasn't close enough to see the kids talking into their phones, but the conductor could see. And... sheesh. At one point we went into the audience to sing and the high school choral director confiscated a phone out of one of the kid's hands. DURING THE PERFORMANCE. That people paid $22 per person to get in to see! Yes, people paid to see us. Well, not us. The symphony and everybody. But you know what I mean.

      *Now will follow a short rant.*

      So, RvB teens talking on the phone, are you paying attention? Because I'm actually giving some useful insight into how old people think that will help make your life easier. Okay, here it is. When someone is leading a group, your choir director, your coach, your teacher, your minister, whatever, and you are talking to the person next to you, or talking on your cell phone, that is the equivalent of you standing up and giving them the finger and screaming "F**k you!" at the top of your lungs. You may not mean that, and you might just be bored, and whatever. But to someone who has put work into preparing a lecture, or is responsible for making the group work well, when you disrespect them by deliberately talking or disrupting the class... that is the message you send. And to do that during a performance? A paid performance?! Holy crap.

      Here endeth the lesson.


      Okay, now enough finger wagging and on for some public humiliation! Of me! Yay!

      Remember last summer when I had those assignments to write a bunch of songs in Dorian mode and I was complaining that everything sounded like Halo? One of the things I wrote was a short choral piece to the words of the famous poem Ozymandias, which, in addition to being one of the most famous things Percy Bysshe Shelley ever wrote, was also a short machinima film made a zillion years ago (2002?) and I think the first machinima I ever saw.

      Anyway, the words are possibly depressing (but wonderful), and my singing sucks (but is mostly on pitch) because I sang the tenor part when I had laryngitis, because that was the only way I could get down to a D below the D below C.... but I was listening to it again the other night and I thought, what the heck? Since I wrote this I know the poem by heart now. And if some of you remember the poem better after hearing it, that will fulfill my journal education requirement for this week!

      Click here for Ozymandias... if you dare!

      Okay, now go back to talking on your cell phones. I'm sure there is a soprano somewhere who has an urgent need to tell you about her manicure during Mozart's Requiem.

      *rolls eyes*

      Today's Vocabulary Words and Terms
      Percy Bysshe Shelley

      PS: On the way home, my mom told me that the first violinist (concertmaster?) went to elementary school with her and was a child prodigy violinist at age 13. She hadn't seen him in 53 years. She said he looked the same, but older and thinner. Freaky!

    • In defense of the sturdy ballerina

      12 years ago


      I'm still wiped out, as I was up the majority of the night walking around the neighborhood looking for Mazha. She's fine. What a dope. (I'm not sure if I mean her, or me.)

      I forgot to mention that at the rehearsal last night they had a student dance company there also performing with the Evanston Symphony. The kids did a nice job, but I was particularly impressed by one girl who looked to be about 5'9", 130lbs, with defined muscles within the normal values of a young woman... these kids looked to be between 16-24. (I'm sorry, everyone in that range looks the same to me). All the other girls were teeny tiny emaciated, flat-chested girls... one girl's elbows were thicker than her biceps.


      Now, I understand the practical reasons why you can't have a ballerina that is taller than the male dancer whose main job is to pick her up and hold her in the air... but... yikes. Some of the other girls looked so painfully thin. And none were wearing bras... so when the normal girl bounced up and down daintily... there was a lot of bouncing.

      Which, correct me if I am wrong here, I think a lot of men would find that very enjoyable to watch.

      I would expect that the group probably would have been happier without her, but to be honest, she was the most graceful one in the group. I'd bet she'd have had a shot at a lead role if she hadn't been 3 inches taller than the lone boy in the group.

      I think as a society we should prefer, nay, demand that our dancers be muscular, well-fed and, when appropriate, appropriately bouncy. I believe the era of the anorexic ballerina should go the way of the castrati (castrated male vocalists) or the um... okay, I can't think of anything more severe than having your nuts whacked off so you can sing high notes. But starving yourself out of your menstrual cycle is the female equivalent... hormonally speaking.

      As a side benefit to womankind, the male dancers required to heave these Amazonian ballerinas into the air would therefore have to be 6'4" linebackers rippling with muscle. And after watching the Bears game on Sunday, I can assure you that ticket sales to ballets would dramatically increase in the female demographic if they could see more of those kind of guys in form-hugging leotards.

      I haven't watched football in a while, but the uniforms just keep getting tighter and shinier every year... it's almost getting embarrassing to watch!

      I'm just saying... I mentioned Gene Kelly and his hang time earlier... and you kids might not remember Mikhail Baryshnikov... but there was an athletic dancer who the ladies went bananas for. These weren't little scrawny guys. They were solid. Like Gene, Mikhail would jump in the air and just HANG THERE. The way Michael Jordan would, you know, or Walter Payton used to.

      Walter Payton?

      *rolls eyes*

      Today's aside for whippersnappers: Back when I was one of those 16-to-24-year-olds, Walter Payton was a running back that played for the Chicago Bears... they called him "Sweetness" for many reasons, one being that instead of dodging around people trying to tackle him, he would jump OVER them.
      I miss Walter Payton. He died young. And if he'd been a girl, he'd have been an awesome ballerina.


      And since I mention the 1985 Chicago Bears to you guys, I HAVE to link to the most infamous thing they did that year, which was to record a "Rap Video" before they won the Superbowl. They were so awesome in that game, even the guy nicknamed "The Fridge" got a touchdown. But they weren't very good rap artists. Or dancers. Especially the white dudes. *cringe* But we didn't care. We loved those guys.

      It goes without saying that every radio station played "The Superbowl Shuffle" non-stop for months. We couldn't get enough of it.

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      Walter Payton

    • Music separated at birth

      12 years ago


      Okay, I mentioned in my journal yesterday the issue of songs that sound the same...

      -I brought up the hooks of "Theme from Oblivion" and the "Theme from Pirates of the Carribean"
      -Digital Dren made a video comparing "Quake II" and "Heavy" by Collective Soul... lol.
      -VertigoX commented:"There are some songs from the Red Hot Chili Peppers that have some guitar rift tie-ins with Sweet Home Alabama"
      -Stonesword mentioned "Now between "Ghostbusters" and "I want a new Drug"..."

      I have another one: Sarah McLachlan's "Building a Mystery" and Nina Gordon's "Tonight and the Rest of My Life" Two songs I really like... and frequently sing on top of each other. LOL.

      So, c'mon. Let's have some more. I got some mod points left over. BTW, I don't mind links to YouTube videos, but NO LINKS TO DOWNLOADS! *Hopefully that goes without saying*

      And for those of you with a desire for a really insane desktop background, here are the desktops I made for my HAFT screens... (Mod points also to the first person to correctly identify the evil satellite.)

      ...and here is my desktop. I like it because there is a lot of black in it. smiley8.gif

      By the way, I know my journals have been teh suck these last two weeks... I've been so frelling busy... if there were only more hours in the day! Ah crap, in fact! I'm late for an appointment. Umm.. Vocabulary words, vocabulary words.. uh... uh... okay... let's see. I'm looking at Sparky trying to get inspired.... okay:

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      recidivism... um...
      mendacious uh... frell, I can't think of anything...
      incontinent and ... um errr.....

      Okay, gotta run! Wait, gotta put on pants. Then run! Ta!

    • My Sweet Whoops

      12 years ago


      So there's this famous case of litigation where a guy sued George Harrison (one of the Beatles, a famous pop band from the 1960s, for you young people) for a song called "My Sweet Lord" because he said George plagiarized the tune from his song "He's So Fine". The guy won some portion of the suit... I don't know what the settlement was... but the point is, you have to be careful about ripping off other people's work.

      The thing is, there are only 12... well, 11 notes in a Western scale. I think it is pretty darn amazing we've got such a variety of tunes that we do! And in pop music there are a limited number of chord changes that are generally used, (which is good for the Mash-Up artists) but all the songs are starting to sound the same to me. (Ya rotten kids! Now get off my lawn!)

      Today Spyton was playing Oblivion, and is it just me, or is the main title music for Oblivion the exact same music as the main theme from Pirates of the Carribean, give or take a few eighth note rhythms here and there?

      Ah well. It is a great tune, so who cares? I mean, other than whoever was the first guy/gal to write the tune? *cringe*

      At least that is better than Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which p***es me off... (to digress for a moment) because if you listen to the opening music from that, there is no actual tune. It sounds like whoever was the composer for the score to that game just bought a library of "Cinematic Orchestral Hooks" and strung them together randomly. It is really annoying because in a few places it ALMOST sounds like there might be a tune.. but no. It is such a tease. Gah.

      The music is what drew me to Halo originally... we'd leave it on Demo mode and pump it through the stereo and play it while I did housework, lol. Also, the soundtrack to Xena is what got me into that show. I guess I'm a sucker for good soundtrack. Huh.

      I hope game developers make an effort to get some decent composers for their games in the future.

      Okay. i'm done. And I assume you skipped down anyway to the comic. This took me a while because I had to resize the screens for EH and Chuck. Please note that I have the most evil possible music I could think of in Higgins's iTunes. He is so black-hearted!!!


      Now, Halo Action Figure Theater: The Steve n' Lois Chronicles Presents
      Episode 36 On Demand ("Au contraire, mon frère")

      Today's Vocabulary Words
      The Beatles <--I was horrified the first time my baby sister asked who they were. Last week Spyton asked who Mick Jagger was. I am so friggin' old.
      Sir Mick Jagger <--Not a Beatle. He is in a different old group called the Rolling Stones. And strangely, a knight. Weird.
      The Rolling Stones <---Also a book by Robert Heinlein

    • Sleeper

      12 years ago


      I would just like to say, once and for all, that putting on scrubs and a surgeon's mask is NOT a good way to sneak into a hospital facility, especially if you are attempting to clone a patient directly into his suit.*

      I'm not going to tell you again.


      Today's Vocabulary Words


      *One of my favorite movies of all time.

    • Raisins and Eggnog

      12 years ago


      Raisins and eggnog and whiskers on chickens
      Farscape and root beer and black spiky kittens
      Homestar, Church, Tycho and Buffalo wings
      These are a few of my favorite things!


      Thanks to everyone who helped with our video problems. I've got one of the edits (the AVI file) done and the other one turned out to be a MPEG-2 file, not an MPEG-4... which as Mac folks know requires a separate reader... which is weird. Whatever.

      Our Thanksgiving was marked by a phone call from my liberal cousin Jack in New York who announced that he and his wife are expecting, and my baby sister (she's 28) and her GoogleMac genius hubby also announced they are also expecting. Babies! Spyton has been the only grandchild in the family (on both sides) for far too long. Seriously, birthdays and holidays (and we celebrate Hannukah AND Christmas) were, as the saying goes, "an embarrassment of riches" for him. Yuck. A few years ago I had to make the rule that all gifts to Spyton had to fit in a shoebox. Now he will know the true joy of being the way older kid who gets to babysit at family gathering.

      I'm gonna be an aunt! Yippee! I want to be the crazy eccentric aunt that Jan is worried she will end up looking exactly like!
      (And if you know what I'm talking about, you are old as dirt like me, ha!)

      Meanwhile, Spyton is hard at work at his WoW machinima, and I've had to puppet for one or two shots... I've been so busy I really haven't played much WoW. it lost a lot of its charm for me once I got high enough level to stealth around most of all the maps. For me the fun was opening up the maps. And fishing. And making money in the Auction House buying low and selling high. I'm weird. With the MacPro the images are so gorgeous, and the picture so smooth I have to admit that yesterday after I got home from Thanksgiving I did end up running around on WoW for something like 7 hours straight just saying "OoOOooOooh & AhhhhHhhHh!. I was up 'til 4am... and today paid for it with a massive migraine. I am a bad person. I have SO MUCH WORK to do! But I finally got to level 53. I was level 52 for like 4 months. Wee. But look how pretty!


      ...and that is just a teeny piece if the capture. So nice. Ah well. The thing that gets me is that I figured out that with the monthly subscription we've spent like $600 on WoW.... which is completely insane. But the monthly charge is low so you don't realize it is slowly sucking away your cash. It's a lucky thing I don't smoke or drink or need to pay for gigolos or anything, because I would never be able to pay for that AND World of Warcraft. Sheesh.

      Oh, and here is a picture I found in my files of a fashion show from Beijing where the models were wearing meat. It reminds me a bit of Monty Python's "Being eaten by a crocodile competition."

      Today's Vocabulary Words


    • AVI? I got your AVI right here.

      12 years ago



      So, I have this glorious computer that I want to marry and have babies with... along with the 360 of course (and possibly the Wii) ...I mean, I am getting no sleep because I am up every night until 4am writing music... with 50 tracks and no stutters. Glorious.


      Lauren AKA OboeCrazy just sent me a movie file to do some special effects editing in and she sent me a MPEG-4 which historically I've never had luck using with my Mac software. So I asked for an .AVI which at some point I was magically able to start using in Motion 2 back when we were making River Styx 2.

      Since I've moved to the Mac Pro with its Super Duper Intel guts now all I get when I go to look at the AVI file is a white screen.

      And now my old Powerbook won't open the AVI as it says I need something new for my Quicktime Pro... although I have everything that is on the stupid site. And DivX for Web refuses to look at it.

      I can open the MPEG-4 on my old Powerbook with Quicktime Pro. On the MacPro I can open the MPEG-4 with DivxPro and RealPlayer but not QuickTimePro. And the DivX Converter won't touch the MPEG-4. And Flip4Mac is in some sort of catatonic coma. I've also tried something called "VLC" which had a icon that looked like a orange road cone... which also didn't work.

      Nothing opens the AVI file she has uploaded at her website as anything but a white screen. I don't know if there is sound because the clip has no audio.

      I've tried shutting everything down and restarting and rebooting and erasing the caches and all that stuff. I've got the updates and have registered (paid for) versions of all these programs and none work... Very annoying!

      I COULD just refilm the MPEG-4 with my SnapzPro (which works like a champ on the MacPro and is what Spyton is using for his WoW machinima) but I hate to do it since the original film Lauren shot is so loverly.


      I need to get back to what's really important. You know, taking photos of action figures, or sewing hats for my pets!


      For everyone who either can't help me or lost interest after the second sentence, here are the links to the complete recipe for an entire Thanksgiving meal. Just in case you realized only now that you have to do Thanksgiving and don't know what you'll need to buy at the grocery store.

      Mashed Potatoes
      Pie Peas Rolls Drinks <--Yes, I am lazy

      Ummmm..... and here is Mazha's Annual Thanksgiving message of Peace and Love:

      Today's Vocabulary List
      Snapz Pro X <---Worth every penny
      Motion 2 <--Also wonderful, but best to have your parents buy you as a holiday gift as it is $$$. Thanks, Dad!

      PS: I thought today's RT Comic was great. Let's all burn together!!!

    • 10 minute journal

      12 years ago


      I have ten minutes to write a journal.

      I don't think it is obvious, hopefully, but my average journal here at RvB probably takes an hour to compose, once you add in all the corrections and formatting and linking and images and photoshopping and time spent watching cartoons about pigs because I couldn't remember the exact spelling of onomatopoeia and did a google search of "word sounds like sound oink".

      Then of course I post and there are at least 7 minutes of agonizing editing as I realize that I accidently misspelled "pharmacy" with an "f" or some such and then decide to take out the vitriolic paragraph about how I was annoyed by a carload of teenage guys that insisted on giving me the finger because I honked at them when they decided to stop in the middle of the road to leer at a pretty girl. Like on a 50mph road.... just stopped on a dime. Jerks.

      Because I don't want to alienate the kids...

      And then I have to remove the photoshopped weird picture I did because I think, "OMG, what if one of my old patients saw that and they recognized me. That would really be embarrassing."

      You know, I try to be circumspect about that sort of thing.

      But tonight I just turned over some fishsticks and I have ten minutes.

      What to talk about?

      Okay. I have something.

      You know how when you rub your eyes and you see little flashes of light? THat is one of many weird things that happen in your eyes collectively called "entopic phenomenon". Basically, "weird things you see that aren't from and image coming in the regular way." I've mentioned before that your retina is lined with nerves that can basically sense light/dark and color (and their positioning and cross-talk tell you about contrast and movement). But you don't have pain receptors in your retina. Just these light nerves. So, when you rub your eyes and see those little flashes, you are stimulating those nerves and seeing flashes.

      Yeah... ever since I learned about this I never rub my eyes hard either. Yikes.

      Okay, fish sticks are done.

      World record journal!

      *high five*

      Today's vocabulary words

    • My Biography

      12 years ago


      Due to discrepancies in ballot counting and some hanging chads, I've made it into the first round of voting for "Miss RvB", which means I am required to hand in a photo and biography. This is really weird. So, uh.... here ya go. It is actually all true. Freaky.

      For those of you (rightly) uninterested in reading about my lame life, here is an article about some angry Austrians. Please enjoy!

      * * * * * * * * * * *

      Elnea. Tall, blonde, leggy, old as dirt. Gamer. Not what you'd expect. "I remember when I shot my first Wumpus," she says, waving her hand around her office, decorated with gaming and sci-fi paraphernalia. "I knew where I'd end up."

      From her early days playing Pong she knew what she wanted to do. "For my 7th grade science fair project I wrote up and ran Basic computer versions of Hammurabi and Star Trek that I'd gotten out of some computer magazine. The judges in the state competition thought I was crazy. Then as a teen I had a summer job working at the University of Illinois as a computer graphics gofer, but all I did in my breaks was play Zork. I was so hooked."

      But there were dark times as well. "Yeah, well," she says, wiping a tear from her eye, "1985 to 1998... I didn't really game at all. I mean, I tried a little DOOM, but... I lost my way. I thought all those degrees and doing cancer research and getting medical training and being married and having a baby were important. I mean, being an eye surgeon is a little like video gaming. You look through a camera and shoot things with a laser." She chokes up, unable to continue.

      It wasn't until her son introduced her to Halo that she found her way back to her true calling. Her blossoming interest in blowing things up with a rocket launcher and a chance encounter with a kid at the door selling subscriptions introduced her to Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine where she wrote her infamous Letter of the Month: "Grudge Match: Halo Vs Your Boyfriend." Then an article in EGM led her to RedVsBlue.com.

      Elnea brightens. "Yeah, well, when I heard Church say, "I f*ckin' hate you" in Episode One I thought, 'These are my people. This is where I belong.' Then one thing led to another... after Halo2 came out and the first guy on XBox Live told me to turn around so he could hump me I wrote the parody song "Blow Boys Away" and sent it to my friend AmandaJ3162 who put it online... it turns out some of the FragDolls actually heard it and liked it. Which was, you know, awesome. And I started drawing Spartans, and LouisWu put the pictures up at halo.bungie.org which really inspired me to take some drawing classes to get better. I've done some experimental machinima (RiverStyx) with my friend OboeCrazy and from the scoring I did for SSPH I was inspired to reacquaint myself with music theory. I'm writing actual classical music now. I've even got a website and have made many new friends, and of course I still game all the time with my son Spyton. It's all been so good for me."

      She glances up again at her desk, littered with action figures, a model of an eye, books about LogicPro and orchestration, modeling clay, a sewing kit, some bills, a hemostat, a ziploc bag filled with Canadian currency and a framed baby picture of her son. She winks. "I mean, sewing up eyeballs is all good and fun, but sticking a grenade in the middle of that snow field in Assault on the Control Room with the Banshees screaming down on you? That's heaven."

      Linnea AKA "Elnea" in her natural habitat. Much controversy exists over the meaning of her display "Crichton with Rubber Chicken."
      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Today's Vocabulary Words

  • Comments (3262)

    • Killer117

      14 years ago

      You are one awesome Mom! I love your pictures! Power to the Girl Halo Players! I'm tired of being made fun of because I'm a chick that plays Halo on xbl. But they don't make fun of me anymore once I kick their asses to the ground. Great stuff.

    • PissedKitty

      14 years ago

      A forty-year-old! I didn't know they made those on the internet! Most people are eighteen and younger. X3

    • otto

      14 years ago

      Favorite Music
      Any type of music other than free-form jazz.

      I hate you.

    • Silmeluin

      14 years ago

      you're pretty cool mother!

    • lord_smurph

      14 years ago

      wow, the one and only game i have ever got my mom to play was a Mario and yoshi game on the NES and that was a test in patients.

    • holes

      14 years ago

      I hope I'm this cool when I turn 40!

    • _HK_47_

      14 years ago

      Farscape - rocks, all your movies rock, you wicked hot, you like video games... i envy your husband.

    • PrototypeGTX

      14 years ago

      im a lightish red spartan

    • Sergeant_Hak

      14 years ago

      I have a friend thats a pink spartan way cool it takes courage to be pink

    • Tucker_Q218

      14 years ago

      <----a pink spartan---it gets people mad when they're killed by one

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