In addition to the fact that it looks like things are running somewhat smoothly again at work, I talked to the lady at the Registrar's orifice at Queens, and it looks like I will be able to have my June graduation after all. However, there is some paperwork involved as I filled my name in on the application as "Joshua" while their records have me as "Josh." I have to either change the name on the application to "Josh" or bring in - get this - proof that my name is actually "Joshua."
In the Firefly commentary tracks, there is an oh-so-brief mention of Alien Resurrection... and when I checked, it seems that Joss Whedon was responsible for the screenplay for the odious fourth Alien film... a shocking revelation considering how bad that movie is. It is clear, though, that he's not too proud of that particular film. On closer examination, however, there are certain things that make sense in context of his oeuvre, such as the concentration on a strong female central character and a spaceship crew that is clearly the model that would find a much more personable presence on Firefly.
In fact, I would say that there are a lot of interesting elements of the Alien Resurrection script, and I'd be curious to see how much it changed over development. Certainly the approach to Ripley's character is an interesting one, and might have yielded some decent dramatic meat in another project. The freak-show element of the film is very much the work of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and isn't too consistent with anything else I've seen of Whedon's. Jeunet is certainly responsible for the cartoonish nature of much of the movie, but some blame in terms of the fact that the crew of the Betty never really engenders much sympathy must go to Whedon. Either way, Alien Resurrection seems to be the one unmitigated black mark I've seen in his work.
It is nice to know, however, that the good idea that would eventually become Firefly (and now Serenity) didn't die with that ludicrous picture.