Thursday, December 28, 2006

Who Will Win Marvel's Civil War?

I don't read much Marvel. When it comes to Civil War, I only get the main series. (Although I really wanted the one with Howard the Duck. My LCS only bought a few and they sold out that Wednesday. Ah, well.) So, all my opinions here are based on what I've read in those five issues, the stuff often found at Newsarama, and my view, ignorant though it may be, of the Marvel universe. So, here I go:

Let's face it, Captain America's side will win.


Let's start with the obvious:

He's Captain Fucking America.

He's Marvel's representation of the American ideal. He represents, or at least tries to represent, all that is good about the USA. He fights for freedom and justice. He supports honesty and strong morals. He believes in the ideals on which America is based. And he probably bakes a spectacular apple pie. In other words, Captain America is what we (or at least I) want the USA to stand for in the world.

If Captain America's team loses, then it'll be like Marvel telling us that the ideals of America have failed, too. Sure, he'll probably keep trying to fight, but Captain America a fugitive from the country that made him that he took his name from, and a long term terrorist against that country just can't work.

If his team loses, what are the story possibilities for all the characters who joined him? They all become outsiders hounded by the law? They all move to France to sip wine with the Thing and gripe about how America was better once upon a time? They all go underground and their books get cancelled? They all get arrested and "rehabilitated" by Iron Man? They move to Latveria and join Dr. Doom in his constant quest for revenge against that fool, Richards?

It seems to me that if Marvel has the pro-registration side win, half of their heroes will become criminals and that will make for a boring line of comics.

When Captain America wins, though, his group can go back to being superheroes sort of like before, and Iron Man's side can continue being government lackeys, or whatever you want to call them.

Just because, after Civil War ends, the government won't be drafting all the superhumans, doesn't mean that they'll close down the programs they created. Why would they? They already have a, probably, large number of people registered and trained, why would they want to let them out just because Congress decided to repeal the Superhuman Registration Act? That would be like dismantling the armed services just because there's no draft, stupid.

In the newest Wizard, Dan Slott talked about something called The Initiative and suggested that this is where the registered heroes, who wanted to stick with the government, will be. Once the new Thunderbolts break out of their collars, the government's going to need someone to track down all the murdering psychopaths they allowed Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic to use.

Having the anti-registration side win won't limit story possibilities like having the pro-registration side win.

If the anti side wins traditional superhero with secret identities stories can be told. Stories about the government training a next generation of super powered people can be told. There can be a book about a government task force of superhumans who police the activities of those who aren't registered. And the few mutants can die in peace.

One Thing...

One thing that I really like living by myself is that I know, most probably, that any pubes found on the soap in the shower are mine. I can't say the same thing at my parent's house.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

That Monkey's Gone to Heaven

Just found out that we get to leave today at three! And those of us who were planning on staying until five don't have to use any vacation time! HAHAHAHAHAH!

And since, because of this small change in fortunes, I find myself in a good mood, I'd like to put a quote one of my favorite Allan Sherman songs, "One Hippopotomi":
One hippopotami cannot get on a bus,
Because one hippopotami is two hippopotamus.
And if you have two goose, that makes one geese.
A pair of mouse is mice. A pair of moose is meese.
A paranoia is a bunch of mental blocks.
And when Ben Casey meets Kildaire, that's called a paradox.
When two minks fall in love, with all their heart and soul,
You'll find the plural of two minks is one mink stole.
Singulars and plurals are so different, bless my soul.
Has it ever occurred to you that the plural of "half" is "whole"?
A bunch of tooth is teeth. A group of foot is feet.
And two canaries make a pair--they call it a parakeet.
A paramecium is not a pair.
A parallelogram is just a crazy square.
Nobody knows just what a paraphernalia is.
And what is half a pair of scissors, but a single sciz?
With someone you adore, if you should find romance,
You'll pant, and pant once more, and that's a pair of pants!
Thanks you and have a really nice weekend.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ultimate X-Men

Originally, I was just going to write about issue 77, but as I sat thinking about the issue, I realized that my problems with this issue are endemic to the whole series since Millar left way back when.

The biggest problem is that since he left the longest time a writer has been on the book was Vaughan for twenty issues, so there hasn't been a long, consistent voice on the book for a while. (This has been an even bigger problem with Ultimate Fantastic Four, and many comics out there as a whole.) A long term, consistent voice can once again add to the characterizations of the team. Every time a new writer comes onto the series they pick certain bits out of the last one's run and drastically change others.

One of the things that I really liked about Millar's run was that the book wasn't just about the X-Men, but it was about the place of mutants in the world. Millar never forgot that the X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants were how the world saw all mutants. He showed them being violent. Even the good ones, the ones, supposedly, trying to promote understand between the two species, were out there smashing property and getting people killed. Who, in the eyes of the public, are the heroes? Millar also showed explored the mob mentality of the scared normal people through out the Sentinel and the public's reaction to learning that Magneto wasn't dead.

There were big ideas about the world and about the different people who live there in Millar's run along with some great characterization.

Then came Bendis and what should have been an Ultimate Wolverine mini, rather than a run in this book. Bendis took away the focus on the big ideas and wanted to focus on the characters during his ten issue (I think) run. That's a decent goal, but after him, the larger world was forgotten. What happened to the regular humans? Where were they? What happened to the consequences of the fighting? Gone, to the best of my recollection.

For me, Vaughan's run had the highest point since Millar with the Longshot story because it showed, as opposed to just telling me, that normal humans hate mutants. Still he seemed to want to focus on the people on the team rather than the team’s purpose in the world.

And now there's Kirkman and I'm still not sure about his stuff on this book. It's been merely okay. Nothing's wowed me. The "Phoenix?" storyline just sort of petered out. Who are right? Lilandra's people of the Hellfire club? I still don't know. I hope it get's better soon because I don't know how much longer I want to hold on to lackluster just because I used to like this book.

Not About Next Monday, I Promise

The last several days, it's been cold, for here, in the mornings. I think 25 was the coldest it got, which isn't too bad. You can still use water to defrost your windshields at that temperature, at least you can when it warms up to the fifties during the day.

Yesterday, as I was pulling some stuff off the gigantic and old dot-matrix printer when The Supervisor asked me, "Was it warmer out there today?"

To me, the difference between 24 degrees and 28 degrees is pretty indistinguishable. "Not that I could tell," I said.

"Yeah, I guess," she said.

I said, "Uh-huh." and went back to fiddling with the printer.

"I sorry," she said.

I looked over at her, furrowed my brow, and said, "About what?"

"That you have to walk in this weather."

"I don't have to walk in this," I said. "I choose to walk to work. I have a car."

She gave me this long look at me and seemed like she wanted to ask me something, but she didn't. I went back to work on the printer.

"I guess," she said, frowning, "that you save money by not driving."


"You save money."

"Yeah," I said. "I guess."

"Good," she said and turned away from me.

I went back to my desk and I'm still confused about the whole conversation.

Lyrics for Today

It's Not My Birthday from They Might Be Giants just seems right.

Especially the first two stanzas, or verses, or whatever.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More Christmas Bile

I don't hate Christmas. I really don't. I like seeing my family. I like watching people open gifts. I like the food, even if the turkey gives me a headache and the mashed potatoes are from a box. On Christmas day, I have a good time.

Leading up to Christmas, though, I'm sort of a Grinch or a Scrooge or some other grouchy character associated with Christmas.

When I was little, decorating the house was a family affair, sort of. It was my mom, my brothers, and me, my dad was usually off doing his own thing, on an afternoon, after school, after Thanksgiving. We'd bring the boxes of stuff up and staple or tape pictures of Santa and Frosty and snowflakes up on walls. (We had this great one of Santa's sleigh that had the reindeer connected to the sleigh and each other by yarn so you could decide how they were flying.) We'd clear a spot on a shelf to put up a great carved, but small, nativity scene. (I had no idea what the nativity scene was until I was in junior high. I only knew it was in the Christmas stuff.) We'd hang up an advent calendar that was made out of felt and had a tree on it and then twenty-five different things with a bit of velcro on them that could be removed from the day and then placed on the tree. The actual tree usually didn't come for another week or so and then all of us would decorate it together. I can only remember one year when we had lights on the outside. My mom put the up. I remember helping to take them down, though.

Sixth grade, I think, I started bringing the boxes of decorations up and harassing my brothers and mother into helping decorate the house. At this time, I also took some lights to string up around my window so something could be seen outside to show we were celebrating Christmas.

In high school, I stopped harassing people and started just hanging the stuff up myself, when other saw me doing it they'd pitch in. By then it was a week or two after Thanksgiving had passed. Some of the decorations that had once decorated the walls for everyone had found their way onto the walls in my room. One year, when no one else was home, I tried to hang lights and fell off the ladder. I decided, after that, not to bother.

My first year of college when I came back, just a few days before Christmas, the walls were bare and the tree was sitting in a bucket on the back deck. The next day I brought the boxes up and started decorating again. The tree was brought in and the whole family decorated it.

The next two years, I was living with my family, again and I fell back into the high school habits, except I didn't bring up the wall decorations and I didn't put lights up in my window. I didn't see any point. And this time I had to harass people to get them to help with the tree.

The next two years I was away at college again, when I got back, nothing was set up and there was no tree. (The first of these two Christmases I used MS Paint to draw a tree, which I printed and taped under the TV and then placed my gifts to the family under it. The next year, I didn't.) When the tree was finally bought, it sat for a few days. Eventually, I dragged up the tree decorations. Everything sat for a day. I put lights on the tree and asked people to help me. They said they'd help that night. I waited. No one wanted to help that night. The next afternoon, I just started decorating. I got most of the way done when one of my brothers noticed what I was doing and asked why I didn't ask him to help and then he grabbed everyone else and we all finished the tree.

Things went on like that and then I was living with my parents, again, I said fuck it. I didn't do anything and I wasn't going to do anything. I thought about it, a lot. I felt bad that nothing was happening, but I just let nothing happen. Three days before Christmas, the tree was finally brought in off the deck and set up by someone. Two days before Christmas, my mom brought up ornaments and lights. The night before Christmas, I was getting yams ready for us to take to Christmas at my aunt and uncle's, when finally a brother asked me about decorating the tree. I said go for it. He sort of stared at me and wandered away. A little while later the other brother asked me about decorating the tree and I told him to go for it. He gave me an odd look and then wandered away. After a while, my mom got my brothers and dad together and they started decorating and then came to ask me to join in. I told her no and explained why. She said she understood, but I've never been sure if she really did. When I was finished with the yams, I went to my bed and read until the others were done decorating the tree, which was like 10PM or something. It seemed awful late when it was done.

That's pretty much when I gave up on the idea decorating for Christmas. When I lived in Cowcity, I decided not to do anything to liven the place up. (My roommate probably saw plenty of Christmassy colors, though; he was so high that Christmas.) Last year I lived here and thought about getting something to decorate but decided that there was no point, I wasn't going to enjoy it, why bother? Same this year. Why bother?

Giving up on the decorating thing made it so it didn't affect me like it used to, the thing that really gets me is one of my brothers, and it's a constant thing, not just a Christmas thing. It's just that it has been going on for so long and this fucking Christmas time and my other brother is flying in from Maryland for Christmas that I'm just really being bothered. Anyway...

A few years ago, my brother and his girlfriend moved to SF. At Christmastime he's asked if the two of them will be coming to Cowtown to be with family. The answer was "I don't know" or "maybe" or "probably" or "We're going to try" or something like that. I can't remember if either one of them were up three years ago. I don't think they were. I know they weren't in Cowtown last year. They had to watch a bird or something that can't be left alone for one day, and their car didn't have a window, or it did and it just wouldn't start and they didn't do anything to fix it, I can't remember. They didn't get their Christmas gifts from us until Easter.

This year, there was a moment when my brother said he was going to be there because an uncle was laying on the guilt. Around the first of this month his story changed to they may be there. A week or so ago I e-mailed to find out if they were going to be there or if I should mail their gifts so they'll get them before April. He wrote back and wrote back, "I'm looking for 'Boxing Day' with the fam if I can rent a car..." I don't live in England or any other of the commonwealth nations. I don't get Boxing Day off. I'm supposed to be at work that day.

Monday, I e-mail my mom, my brother, and his girlfriend and asked them all if they knew, with 100% certainty if people were going to be up the day after Christmas.

That evening, my mom wrote back to say she had no idea, but that she'd call my brother and ask him on Tuesday.

According to a message left by my mother on my machine while I was in the shower this morning, she spoke with my brother and they'll probably be up the day after Christmas.

According to the girlfriend in an e-mail I got today, there's 87% certainty that they'll be up.

I have asked for the day off. I have received the day off.

If they don't show up for Christmas Day or Boxing Day, I'm through with them. I've rearranged my schedule and taken days off to spend time with them. I even fucked up my Easter weekend in April to get them to come to the Bash. I like them. They're fun and smart. But if, after using a vacation day, they don't show up this year, I'm never going to do it again. They can rearrange their schedule if they want to see me. They can take time off work.

If they don't show up this year, the only way I'll ever rearrange my life or use a day off to see them is if they get married and I'm invited to the ceremony. Other than that, there's no fucking way. I'm tired of being the one who's always accommodating. I'm not going to be anymore.

And now that that bit of bile is out there, I feel angrier than I did at the beginning of this post. Right now, I wish that I wasn't going to Cowtown because even though I know I'll enjoy myself this weekend, right now I feel like dog shit that was eaten by a different dog and then vomited up on the sidewalk and then stepped in by some pedestrian.

So, like I said in the last sentence of yesterday's post, "Merry Fucking Christmas."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lots of Cursing

I locked myself out of my apartment last night when I took the trash out. Had to call a locksmith. It cost $105 to get back in.

Merry Fucking Christmas.

Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason #1

By John Ney Rieber and Eric Nguyen, according to the cover, for Vertigo Comics

The first thing I have to do is confess that I haven't read many issues of the original Sandman Mystery Theatre. I think that the number of issues I have read can be counted on two fingers. One of those two issues may have been a special. I'm not sure because I don't own any of them. (I'm not counting the brilliant "Sand and Stars" storyline from Starman.)

That out of the way, I'll start with what disappointed me about this first issue: no Sandy Hawkins. I don't remember any of the solicits saying anything about Sandy appearing in the mini-series (although I can't remember if I actually read all the solicits for the mini), but he's what I expected. He's going to be called Sandman in the new Justice Society book now, isn't he?

Still, that disappoint didn't affect me while I was reading the issue.

It starts in 1997 in Afghanistan with, what I assume will be, Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont's last adventure together. Dian gets kidnapped and Wesley fights, as best a ninety year old man can, to get her back. It flashes to Afghanistan today where an embedded journalist, named Marshall, is trying to snap pictures during a fire fight. Later, Marshall gets a "meeting" with Masad, the leader, apparently, of the men the US troops are fighting. The "meeting" is cut short with Marshall being dragged to a balcony where he's going to be shot. Flash back to Wesley fighting after, literally, being stomped on to rescue Dian, and failing. Back in the present, Marshall gropes around in a box, where a gas mask can be seen, and grabs a gun. It looks like Wesley's sleep gas gun. Marshall fires saying "Sleep" in wavy letters surrounded by a wavy word balloon. He jumps out the balcony saying "Sleep" again and firing the gas gun.

The art in this book is wonderful. Nguyen's art is a bit scratchy. Almost all the lines waver a bit, which helps to heighten the confusion in the story. The color pallet in Wesley's story is muted yellows showing the heat and blinding sunlight in his time. During the fire fight when Marshall is introduced, the predominate color is red which changes to an orange as the fight moves away and then to the same yellow as in Wesley's story and then back to read when there's some violence don to Marshall. Color is hard to talk about without being able to show what I'm talking about, but trust me, the coloring is outstanding.

Next month, I'll be picking up the second issue. I want to see Wesley and Dian's last moments together and I'm curious about what Marshall's going to be doing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today's Obsessive Song

By The Barenaked Ladies

It was the third or fourth song on my walk to work this morning and, even on my walk at lunch, I still haven't moved on to the next song.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Time Waster, the series continues

I have two goals for this weekend:

The first is to see For Your Consideration. I think that any movie that has people celebrating (sort or) Purim in the deep south has to be worth watching.

The second is to eat at the barbecue place that's right by the theater. I think I've been to the theater at least once a month since I moved here, but I still haven't tried the Q. It sure smells good, though.

I've been trying to go to lunch, since I hate going out when actual people are out, at places I haven't tried yet. I did the sushi place last week. It was good, but expensive, very expensive. The biggest problem I have with sushi places is they keep wanting me to order things with shrimp or octopus or squid in it. I can't handle those foods. I don't like the way they taste. And they make me vomit (or maybe there's just something out there that's totally unrelated to ingesting those creatures that makes me vomit after I eat them, I just don't know). So far my favorite place is the Mexican food place my mom and brother and I went to when I we came here to look for an apartment.

For next weeks place, I need some help. I want to try the Indian food place, but I've never had Indian food before. The one time I asked my brother about it, he told me it was good, but I might want to eat it on a night when I don't have anything to do the next day because I wouldn't want to be too far from the toilet. I also know about the Gilmore Girls suggestion of, when you order Indian take-out, burning down the house is the only way to get out the smell. So, I want to know, what should I order? Please remember that creatures with shells, creatures with shells and tails that swim or scuttle, and creatures with tentacles make me vomit, and not in the figurative sense.

And, just for the hell of it, here's a comic about cereal characters.

Justice Society of America #1

by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham, and Art Thibert, according to the cover, for DC Comics

Dear everyone who was involved in the first issue of the new Justice League of America,

This is how you do it.

This is how you create an exciting first issue and pull the entire team together in only one issue. Sure, the JSoA team had five more pages to do it in, but I'm sure you could have asked for them as well, but they wouldn't have helped with my problems with the book.

Good luck next time, fellas.

Anyway, as I declared in my opening statement, I'm a pretty big fan of the Justice Society. I even like the "old men in tights" era of the team. I was, to put it mildly, upset when I found out that JSA was being canceled. I didn't see any reason to do it because the book hadn't lost its way like JLA had. It could have, and I think should have, continued on with a name change. It could have, and should have, been able to hit 100. The only reason, that I can think of, that it was cancelled was because DC didn't want a Justice Society book to have a higher number than the Justice League.

But that's not really what I'm supposed to be talking about, is it?

What I really liked is how, even though the collecting teammates was, at times, kind of boring (albeit important characterization), it was surrounded by the new Mr. America's mystery. So there were the introductions and then there was this mystery that, literally, came crashing down on the Justice Society at the end of the book.

Maxine Hunkle seems to have been the one character that everyone was most surprised by in this book. I was surprised, too. I had no idea what to expect, but everything I expected led me to cringe. She was called the team’s cheerleader and that just took me to a bad place. Like just about everyone else out there, though, I was thrilled with her character. The moment she said it was time to defy gravity, I was sure that there's no way I can dislike her. (Unless a really unskilled writer comes along and turns her into an evil slut. But Geoff Johns has enough clout to keep that from happening for a long while, right?) Her babbling may fill up panels with lots of words, but it makes so much sense for who she is. I can't wait to see what she'll become.

It seems that the new Starman will be Thom Kallor from the Legion of Superheroes. But which one? Seeing Dawnstar's fringe suggests that he'll be from the Silver Age or Earth 2 or where ever, not the current Star Boy. (Oh, that was a spoiler, by the way.) And if he takes off his mask revealing a white guy, they we can all be sure which one he is. Will he go by the name Danny Blaine, though? That's what I want to know. I like how his mind is fractured, too. Time travel in comics always seems to be too easy and, I'm assuming here, I like the idea that traveling through time may have hurt his mental capabilities. Eventually, it'll be fixed, but for now I can enjoy it and I look forward to his first meeting with The Shade, unless they've already met and we all missed it.

The only thing about the issue that I have the slightest problem with is the art. Eaglesham is competent, but his characters don't have much weight to them. And I'm not talking about waist and hip size. (Although there is a picture of Power Girl where I thought it's lucky she has a super strong spine or else her breast would be down to her hips because her spine would compress until it practically doesn't exist any more.) What I'm talking about is a sense of gravity. Like the characters are standing solidly on something. In this book, gravity seems to have a low effect on all the characters and if the wind blows too strong even the ones who can't fly will be blown away.

Of course, part of my problem is comparing Eaglesham and Thibert's work with work of Stephen Sadowski and Michael Bair's first issue in the last book incarnation of the JSA. Sadowski and Bair are probably my favorite penciling/inking team to touch the JSA, ever.

One more art thing before I wrap all this up: To the colorist, whose name escapes me since I didn't bring the comic with me to work, your use of the big color dots in this book was far superior to their use in the first issue of Justice League of America, but I want to remind you for the next time you use it that from the dawn of comic book until the sometime in the '80s, the shading on characters was pretty much non-existent or done with lines from the penciler and inker. So, when you do the initial color pass be sure to block those panels in solid colors and leave the shading out of it. It just looks wrong.

Overall, this book was so spectacular that the grade shoots up the scale into letters that have yet to exist in those higher planes of existence magical character are always talking about. The next issue can not come out soon enough for me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Favorite Lines

From my favorite Monkees songs:
Oh, I could hide neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings.
The six o'clock alarm would never ring.
Whoops its ringing and I rise,
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
My shavin' razors cold and it stings.
Up, up, come on get up off your street.
If you can only make it from your hands to your knees,
I know you can make it to your feet. wooah!
Floatin' down the river
With a saturated liver
And I wish I could forgive her
But I do believe she meant it
When she told me to forget it
And I bet she will regret it
When they find me in the morning wet and drowned
My pappy taught me how to float
But I cant swim a single note
He threw me in to teach me how
I stayed there floatin' like a mama cow
Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul
and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray,
to places far away
I need a change of scenery
You cant begrudge her style, your Auntie Grizelda,
She couldn't budge a smile and do it for free.
So righteous making fudge, your Auntie Grizelda,
So proper judging others over her tea.
She used to bring me my newspaper
cause she knew where it was at.
She used to keep me so contented.
But I can teach a dog to do that.
Now they've darkened all the windows
And the seats are Naugahyde
I've been waiting for an hour
I can't find a place to hide
The being known as wondergirl
Is speaking, I believe
It's not easy trying to tell her
That I shortly have to leave
Just thought I'd share a little more of my Monkees infatuation.

newuniversal #1

by Warren Ellis and Salvador Larroca, according to the cover, for Marvel Comics

My first thought, after I finished reading newuniversal, was, "So, that's where the idea for Rising Stars came from." I don't know much about the original New Universe stuff, but I do know that it came out in the mid 80s, long before Rising Stars and I'm assuming that the flash from space was part of the original story. (I remember reading somewhere someone comparing this book to the TV show Heroes. Well, I've never seen Heroes, so I can't make that comparison. How accurate is that comparison?)

when I pick up a first issue, I always hope for something to happen. newuniversal sort of had something happen with the flash of light, but like so many number ones out there today there wasn't much beyond setup. (The ultimate example, in recent memory is the first issue of Justice League of America. Not much has actually happened in the first three issues (I don't have the fourth, yet). Hell, the team hasn't even been brought together, yet. But that has nothing to do with this issue.) The people who I assume are going to be the main characters are introduced.

There's the goth girl (Woman? She looks like she's in her mid to late twenties in the artwork. And maybe she's not really a goth and the coloring was off in that first picture. I don't know.) who lives in San Francisco who talks to, what looks like, Brother-Eye in her dreams. There's the guy from Oklahoma who, probably, put the newuniversal symbol in a field, and burned his girlfriend up. There's the cop that comes back from almost dead with the power to pull his penis into his body so the audience can't see it and won't be offended by it. And there are the scientists digging around in Latvia and discover a skeleton with the newuniversal symbol in its skull (which immediately made me think of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials books with the people who chiseled holes in their heads to gather more pixie dust, or whatever it was).

Salvador Larroca's line work is wonderful. I've always like the way he draws and it's interesting seeing how he inks his own work. The line doesn't look as crisp as it did the Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra or X-Men, but it's still nice. The coloring, though, doesn't work for me. I like, and I'm sure I'm in the minority here, the way his art looked with the flatter color that was used in those other comics mentioned. The digital painting (I assume Corel Painter is what's been used) is nice, but I think it would better serve the story if it was used to separate the moments of the woman's dream from the real world. How great would it be if her dreams were hyper real compared the real world? I think it would be wonderful, but I'm not in charge here and I don't work in the comic industry, what do I know?

Some mystery is set up: What was the flash or white event, which is what it's being called in the comic? Does the symbol that appeared on the woman's face create scanty magic armor or at least that tight black number in the real world? Should "Dueling Banjos" start playing in the jail scenes? How long before these people get together? And is Brother-Eye trying to create a new version of OMACs in this book?

I'm not sure if I'll be picking up the second issue because I wasn't excited at the end of the first issue. I like the art, I like Warren Ellis, and I trust that the story will get interesting, eventually, but I'm not sure if I want to wait for three or four issues before it does. I guess we'll see when the next issue comes out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Spattering of Thoughts

So, I passed the test and I can't really think of anything to say, but because I don't want to work and I want to look busy and I like practicing my touch typing (crazy, I know) I'm trying to write something any way.

Just read that Peter Boyle died this afternoon (evening in New York, I guess). He was the monster in Young Frankenstein. He was the only reason to watch Everybody Loves Raymond. He seemed like a funny man.

Is it odd that when people die (so far, even the people I know) I don't feel bad about it? I just sort of think, "Well, there it is, then." and move on. Maybe I'll react different when a grandparent dies, but I don't know. Last Thanksgiving, when my grandpa was sick and in the hospital, my parents and the one brother who came to Cowtown all sort of prepared for the possibility of him dying. I didn't feel bad about that. He's in his 80s. He's had a long life. I didn't see anything wrong with a man that age dying, even if he is my grandpa.

What else, what else?

I like listening to The Monkees. Have I ever written that here? I can't remember. I like their music and I like their logo.

Okay, it's nearly time to go and I'm ready.


I passed the test yesterday!

Now I can start worrying about so many other things!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Next Day

On the next day (or this day, if you're reading this on the next day), I will be in Cowcity taking a test. I don't know how prepared I am for this test, but I'm not really worried, either. I just hope I pass it and can move away from where I'm at.

That is all.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fruity Oaty Bars Make a Man Out of a Mouse

Been pretty much ignoring this place this week, haven't I?

The week did start off with me having actual work to do since I had several hundred files at my desk that needed to be boxed and shipped to storage. I got them boxed, but the state's (or the department's) contract with UPS expired so I wasn't able to ship them. Now they just sit in the back in a pile waiting for the state (or the department) to get all up in DHL's face and get a new contract so we're not using a service that cost three times as much as we used to.

Been singing certain songs over and over again in my head. Beatles's "Girl" has been going through my head a lot lately. As has the Fruity Oaty Bars song from Serenity. There's no logic to any of it, they're just there on alternating cycles.

Been thinking a lot about what a waste going to college was. My job isn't dependent on having gone to college. I'm still more than ten thousand dollars in debt. I didn't make any lasting friendships. I was told by someone, who I had a huge crush on, that talking to me was just like talking to her sister, right after I asked her out. (Up until that point, I thought that line was just made up by John Hughes or some other teen angst writer.) The moments of academic enjoyment were few and far between. I think, if I had the chance to, I'd stop my high school self from going to college. I'd encourage the younger me to sign up for the test that I took 18 months ago and go work for the state. I'd tell me that I could go to a JC part time and eventually work my way to a university if I wanted to. I doubt I'd be any happier or healthier, but I wouldn't be so paranoid about money and maybe I'd have done some interesting things in these past nine years. Also, I can't see how me making a decision like that would negatively effect anyone around me.

That's one of the two points in my life that I can look back at and see that if I had just made one simple choice, things would be different. There's no way for me to know if they'd be way better, but I know that a couple of things would be better. Not going to college/university right out of high school would make money better. The other point would make a different thing better, but money would probably be pretty much the same.

Everyone can see moments like those, right?

We all think like this sometimes, right?

The weirdest thing is that I don't want to go peeking into those two worlds in the MWI because I'd hate to know if there's another me who's worse off and I'd hate to be the me that's worse off.

Does that make sense?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The Slow Dancer
Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer (DGLDm)

Steady, reliable, and cradling her tenderly. Take a deep breath, and let it out real are The Slow Dancer.

Your focus is love, not sex, and for your age, you have average experience. But you're a great, thoughtful guy, and your love life improves every year. There's also a powerful elimination process working in your favor: most Playboy types get stuck raising unwanted kids before you even begin settling down. The women left over will be hot and yours. Your ideal woman is someone intimate, intelligent, and very supportive.

Your exact opposite:
The Hornivore

Random Brutal Sex Master
While you're not exactly the life of the party, you do thrive in small groups of smart people. Your circle of friends is extra tight and it's HIGHLY likely they're just like you. You appreciate symmetry in relationships.

ALWAYS AVOID: The Battleaxe

CONSIDER: The Maid of Honor or The Sonnet
I've changed OkCupid catagory. I used to be The Boy Next Door. Now I am, apparently, more deliberate than random. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

For the Love of Doug

As long as Doug isn't on the receiving end, that would just be inappropriate.

And now, the art's for sale.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Finally answered Alliya.

Oh sweet Duck Christ, do I even make sense when I write things like that?


I was just handed a card to sign for someone who is going to have a bunion taken out.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Always Wondered...

What a Baldy Award looked like and why it was named what it was named.

Now I know.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I'll just ignore that second paragraph because nothing I've experienced in my life has shown it to be true.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ends 'N Odds

I forgot to go on my break this morning. It's no big deal because I was sitting here reading Websnark's thing about Goats and playing Dice Wars.

Yesterday, after I wrote the post, I found it hard to concentrate on anything for a long time. I tried to read on my break, but couldn't focus. It was like I was excited because I had written something that seemed important and relevant and interesting, to me at least. I felt like I should have kept going. I just didn't have anything else to say, though.

Does anyone who's read Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon know why he uses the term "Nipponese"? To me, it makes sense to have the guys in WWII say it, but, honestly, how many people use it now? Don't most of the people in the US today say "Japanese"? Do the Japanese call themselves Nipponese? If I wanted to be correct, should I be calling Japan Nippon?

I don't know when it'll be on the air, but you can watch one of the songs over on YouTube right now. It's called Guy Love.

That's all I have today. Be well, peoples.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Proper Word Usage

Last night, as I was drifting in that awkward state between awake and asleep, I thought it would be a good idea to write a post proclaiming that Kurt Busiek is a misogynist, even though I don't think he is, based on the most recent issue of Astro City: Dark Ages. It would be easy to do because there are only two women in the book and neither one is a good role model. One woman is a gold digger who spends all the money her husband makes on herself. The other woman is a "superhero" who murdered a man. It's obvious that through these two women Busiek is saying that all regular women want to use a man for his money and women with any sort of strength and independence are out to eliminate men because they are threatened by the power men have. I mean it's totally obvious, right?

I realized, before I fell asleep, that it would be a bad idea because if people actually read it and even if I wrote at the bottom of the my intentions for writing it, they would probably be ignored because people tend to be blinded by the one bit that they want, whether that bit is a good or bad thing depends on the reader and his or her state of mind while reading it. (I do it, too. I'm not trying to say that I'm better, I just want to say that I realize it's going on within me as much as it is within every reader out there. Otherwise, how could you explain so many different religious takes based on one book?)

The whole reason I wanted to write it was to point out how by using a word in a place where it doesn't belong the word starts losing it's meaning.

There's this great strip over at Penny Arcade that helps to illustrate my point. Gabe is proposing to his then girlfriend, now wife, and says,
"It is not enough for me to say that I love her. I have used this same word to describe my relationship with milk, my television and those little bagel things with the pizza inside. So, to use it to describe the immense feelings and emotions that she elicits in me seems wrong."
Which is really good point. Do you think he loves his wife like he loves milk, his television, or those little bagel things with the pizza inside? I hope not.

I started thinking about this a while ago when I followed a link to a link to a link and came across some one's blog post where this woman wrote about why she wasn't going to read a certain online comic anymore. (I looked for the page, but I couldn't find it. Please pardon my memory if I really fuck this up, but I don't think I'm going to.) I don't remember what strip she wasn't going to read anymore because it wasn't a strip that I follow, but I do remember a comment. The person who wrote the comment said that she was no longer going to be reading PVP because Scott Kurtz, the creator, had written about (to find it you have to scroll down to the post titled "Jade," it's most of the way down) how he felt Jade had become a reactionary character, someone who stood in the corner, rolling her eyes, and telling the guys in the strip how they screwed up and that he wanted to make more time for her in the strip to flesh out her character more and then the next storyline happened to be one where Marcy and Jade tricked Francis and Brent into having a romance contest. Then she called Scott Kurtz a misogynist for doing that.

I got angry and wrote a horrible comment. I erased the post pretty quickly because I think a person should pause, count to ten, and reread an angry comment to decide if it was appropriate. And I didn't want to be pounced on by the people who would ignore what I actually wrote and be called a misogynist for it. Basically I didn't understand how a man can be considered a misogynist for writing that he wanted to take a closer look at a character he created and then doing a story about romance. Does that really make a man a misogynist? I don't think so. I think calling Kurtz one is a misuse of the word and takes away from it's intent and meaning. To know if Kurtz is a misogynist, the person who wrote the comment would have to know him, and I don't think she did.

Along the same lines are the women who jumped up (and those who continue to jump up) and say that Ron Marz is a misogynist because he created Alex DeWitt to be killed within the first few issues of Kyle Rayner's tenure as Green Lantern. One of my favorite pieces of writing on the subject is Kalinara's "Women in Refrigerators" post from way back in her first week of writing.

When people use a word like this too much in the wrong context, it reminds me of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Let me put it to you like this:
Dave Sim is not a misogynist because Cerebus raped his wife, Astoria, and then divorced her. (It's in "Church and State.") Cerebus is a nasty bastard of a character that Sim created. Cerebus did the raping, not Sim. Plus, Cerebus and Astoria aren't real. They're fictional.

Dave Sim IS a misogynist because of the writings of Viktor Davis (who is a thinly veiled stand-in for Sim) in "Reads" (where he says that men are points of creative light and women are emotional voids trying to absorb the male creativity) and an essay called "Tangent" (where he agrees with what he wrote as Viktor Davis and bashes feminism and homosexuals and calls women beings of emotion who don't have the ability to be logical).

Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe I'm not allowed to even think like this since I'm not female and I don't think of myself as a feminist.

But I really hate to see and hear words with strong meanings lose their meanings. I don't say that I love those little bagel things with the pizza inside, I only say I really like them.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nothin' Much

I've signed up for a test to get me out of this job. It's in thirteen days in Cowcity. I can bring a calculator with me. (I guess that means the math on this one will be harder than the math on the last one I took.) The pay is better. Whether this'll lead to a job and a place that I want, I have no idea.

After all, there's that song which says, "But how can you know what you want / 'Til you get what you want / And you see if you like it?"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Few Bits

The First Bit:

I'm not going to finish the NaNoWriMo thing. A couple of weeks ago my main character started to become me and I really lost interest in writing it. I'm hoping to get another 2000 words out so I'm at least over the 20000 word mark. I may not, though. Who knows.

The Other Bit:

While I enjoyed my time back in Cowtown, part of me wishes that I hadn't gone because it just makes me loathe being here. The city is okay, but it's about to go through a growth spurt that will ruin the small town feeling that it's somehow kept even though there are over one hundred thousand people. Next year starts construction on two buildings in the downtown area that are going to be fourteen stories tall. If I wanted to live in a city with buildings that tall, I'd have moved to one when I started this job.

One More Bit:

I'm also going through a bit of post holiday self loathing. I'll try not to let it overflow here, too much.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I have ten minutes before I leave. I've been catching up on work all day long. (Well, I've paused to catch-up on blogs that I didn't read over the weekend and the comics as well.)

For some reason, when I take a day off, The Supervisor, in her infinite wisdom (I hope you caught the sarcasm there), puts a stack of work in my basket. When other people take a day off, she distributed the mail only to the people who are here and then splits up any extra mail in the missing person's basket among those of us who are here.

Aren't I lucky?

There are other things that can, and possibly should, be said, but they won't be around until tomorrow, if I remember.

Is It Too Much To Ask?

I got this in my spam:
"Want to be BETTER then pornstar?
Amaze youre girlfriend"

Is it too much to ask that the spam people send me uses proper or, barring that, reasonable grammar?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks

I a few short hours, I'll be on my way to Cowtown for Thanksgiving.

I had a much longer post in mind, but then I read that Robert Altman died and decided to sit and read about his movies and think about his movies.

Be well, everybody.

Civil War #5

Anyone else think that Civil War #5 was kind of boring?

Don't fret, because Tetsubo Productions has made it much, much better.

Have a read.

(Via Blog@Newsarama)

Monday, November 20, 2006

It Has Returned

From July through the beginning of September, there was a turquoise Plymouth Belvedere parked along the road on my walk to and from work. Every day as I walked past it, I'd slow down a little to enjoy it. Sometime's I'd reach for it, but I wouldn't touch it, I'd just trace the lines around it, trying to get a sense of the shape.

And then it disappeared.

At first, I just assumed that the owner's work schedule had shifted and that's why I didn't see it anymore. But it wasn't there on weekends, either. One day I ran back to my apartment on my lunch hour and it wasn't there. I figured it was gone for good.

Saturday, walking to the post office, it was back. Parked right where it had sat before, as if it had never left. (Here's a picture I found of one online for those of you who can't picture what a mid-50s Belvedere looks like. It looks a lot like the one I see.)

I've never been much of a car guy. I don't car about power and torque and the rest of the crap that goes on under the hood. I'm not a fan of muscle cars or massive trucks. I have, however, always liked the way that American cars looked in the mid 1950s. They're the cars that make me stop and stare.

There's something about the basic design so many of the cars had that just tickles me. Especially the hood.

So, until it disappears, again, I'll be taking a pause on my walk to and from work to stare at a car. I hope you don't mind.

(And for my mom, here's a 1957 Nash Metropolitan, another beautiful car design. These things were works of art, I tell you.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Because Sometimes We Need Some Help

"Snappy come backs" from Jazz.

I have to agree with one of her commenter, "A hard-on doesn't count as personal growth." is my favorite.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Work Woes

If it's okay for an employee to sit her cell phone talking about her kid's grades and the grades of other kids, loudly, at her desk for twenty minutes, why am I not allowed to put my headphones on?

Today, I found out that something that was rather simple to do will probably be turning into a real pain in the ass. If a copy service is hired by another copy service, we need to find out who they ultimately work for.

Why? I asked.

To protect the injured worker. I was told.

From what? I asked.

We're not sure. You have to ask to find out. I was told.

And what if the copy service company doesn't know? I asked.

Then they need to find out. I was told.

What do I do then? I asked.

After you find out, you find out why they need to look at the file. I was told.

Why? I asked.

To make sure that the employee doesn't need to be notified. I was told.

But weren't we told in that painful "meeting" a couple of weeks ago that the only time we need to notify the injured worker is when it's for employment pre-screening which is a box that's supposed to be checked on the file request form so I have that answer already? I asked.

Yes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't check, even though we only notify the employee for employment pre-screening. I was told.

And after all that? I asked.

You get the file redacted so the copy service can look at it. I was told.

So, nothings really changed except I have to waste more time frustrating myself and the person who works for the copy service by asking questions that don't pertain to anything relating to the actual copying of the file because I can look at the request form to find out if the file needs to be redacted easily? I asked.

Yes. I was told.


Someone here just said, "I'm trying to find Maxine's file."

"Hunkle?" I asked.

She stared at me for a bit and then said, "No."

She didn't get it.

Most of you probably don't get it, either. But that's okay.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Four, It's Not The Magic Number

Been tagged by Jazz, who was tagged by Choochoo.

P.S. I'm not hunting down pictures, no matter what it might add to the reader's experience.

Four Jobs I've Had During My Life:

Worked at the front desk of my dorm building my first year of college. Mostly, I sat back there and did my home work, read, or played Solitaire (sometimes on the computer, but mostly with real cards). I was probably the only student who went to that school who had his homework done before midnight on Fridays.

I worked at a sandwich shop making, duh, sandwiches. I was there for about 18 months. I saw all the tourist freaks who came up to the mountains to get away from the city, but wanted all the conveniences of the city near by. "What do you mean the nearest movie theater is fifteen miles away? Isn't there one closer?" I'd be asked. "There's only one in the whole county. If you want to rent a movie there's a place right near store," I'd say. "But I wanted to see [insert crappy action movie starring Will Smith name here]," I'd hear. And then I'd charge that person for the sandwich I was making the whole time. Sometimes, I marvel at the fact that I still have all my original fingertips.

I did the Starbucks thing for nearly three years. It's pretty well documented in the archived sections here between December 1, 2003 and September 2, 2005.

Now I work here trying to look busy so I can spend time reading things on the 'net.

And those are the only four jobs I've had where taxes were taken out of my paycheck.

Four TV Shows I Like To Watch:

Only reruns of Frasier and my DVD collection, right now.

If I had broadcast TV I know I'd be obsessively watching Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Lost, and The Office. (Well, not Lost anymore, since the idiots decided on a "no rerun" policy and yanked it until February. That's a long wait.)

If I had all the happy cable channels, I'd have kick out one of those to put Battlestar Galactica in.

And then in January 24 is back on TV. Argh! So many good things to watch that I can't watch.

But I don't have either broadcast or cable, so I'm currently working my way through my parents' copy of the first season of Star Trek.

Out of the ones that I own and can (and often do) watch whenever I want:

Star Trek: Deep Space 9 - The best of the Trek, I'm still missing the sixth season, though.

South Park - I only own up through Season 5, for now. "Scott Tenorman Must Die" is one of the funniest things ever produced on TV. The last line of "Here Comes the Neighborhood" is awesome, too.

Wonderfalls - All of you who didn't watch it when it was on TV screwed up. You got a great show cancelled. Shame on you. Shame.

Daria - Simply the best.

Four Places I've Lived:

The question here is how specific do I want to get?

Is writing "Only in California." enough?

How about writing that I've lived in Cowtown, Cowcity, North Bay, and College-ville?

To clarify a bit:

Cowtown: Where I lived between the ages of 5-18, 19-21, 23-24, 26. My hometown.

Cowcity: Where I lived between the ages of 24-26 and thought I'd be going to Grad School.

North Bay: Where I live now.

College-ville: The city with my second university which only claim to fame was the fact that it had a university in it.

Four Foods I Eat Too Much Of:

Fresh, soft, super sour sourdough bread. The smell. The texture. The flavor.

Ice cream, in general, is one of the greatest things ever. In particular: mint chocolate chip, rocky road, vanilla, fudge brownie, and so many others.

Pasta. I just have a general desire for the stuff. Slather it in red or white sauce with our without meat (unless it's shellfish, in which case I'll send the pasta right back up onto the plate), in a salad with olives and bits of cheese, dry and crunchy straight from the package, it's all good.

Four Movies I'd Watch Over and Over:

Fantasia - It's simply the best movie I've ever seen in my entire life.

Clerks - I can't help it.

Sleepless in Seattle - It makes my insides melt every time I watch it.

I'm gonna reserve the fourth slot for everything else that I've already watched over and over.

Four Places I'd Rather Be:

This is assuming infinite money and no need to work ever again, right?

Europe, just in general. That's where the history of my history begins. That's where most of the stories that I love first came from. That's where more has happened to shape the world than anywhere else. It's dirty, dark, cold, beautiful, old, new, totally wonderful, and where I'd like to be.

I'd like to be in New York City walking off a nice meal and heading toward a theater to see some new play.

On a beach where the water is clear, the breeze is light, and the people are few and far between.

In a house on a hill in a snowstorm with a fire going a book in my hand and nothing to worry about.

Four People I'm Tagging:

I don't want to tag anyone. If you want me to tag you, leave a comment and I'll edit the post.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How To Have a Three Day Weekend And Fall Even More Behind On Your NaNoWriMo Novel

Be in a really bad mood on Thursday. So bad that you forget that it's Thursday and think it's really Friday and plan on going to a movie to make yourself feel better.

Get to the theater and realize that the movie you want to see starts the next day.

Wander around the town for an hour with no purpose other than to try to get rid of your mood.

Stop in at the comic shop and pick up some comics, but don't bother to read them because you're in such a bad mood it'd only ruin the experience.

Wander some more.

Eventually, get back to your apartment, turn on reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, even though you don't like the show, and heat up leftovers that aren't fuzzy and don't stink, yet.

Call the good movie theater to see what's playing there.

Go to the only showing, the last showing, of Death of a President, which isn't the cheeriest movie out there right now but is still excellent.

Climb in bed and sleep as soon as you get back.

The next morning, actually sleep in, but wake up with that bad mood hanging on like a tick on a dog's stomach.

Stare at the sausage that's been in the freezer for three months and wonder if it's safe to eat.

Cook it and eat it with scrambled eggs.

Call the downtown movie theater to find out when the movie you wanted to see yesterday is playing.

Shower, get dressed, and walk to the movie theater for the first showing.

See a huge line and offer a quick prayer to Cricket Christ that they're all there to see Borat or The Santa Clause 3 and not Stranger than Fiction.

Sit back with popcorn with lots of greasy fake butter stuff to enjoy the movie.

Laugh out loud at parts you think are funny, even if the rest of the audience isn't laughing.

Feel a little better, but don't head back to your apartment.

Instead, look at new shoes since two of the three pairs you own have holes in the bottom and the other pair is so old that there's only most no traction left, especially when it's wet out.

Find shoes you like, try them on, and walk around a little.

Don't buy the shoes because you're not sure how much money you have in your checking account at the moment and you don't have your credit card with you because you leave it out of your wallet so when you are going to use it you actually have to think about using it to decide if it's really worth it.

Don't go right back to your apartment to find out how much money you have or grab your credit card, instead keep looking at shoes and then expand into looking at all the things you can not, should not, and would not buy.

Dream of what you would do with all the things you can not, should not, and would not buy.

Be horrified at the "shoe stores" that devote more room to hats and hoodie sweatshirts than actual shoes.

Watch the people walking around the mall and marvel at how people of all races and religions can get along here, but not at a high school football game.

Wonder if the only true form of worship in this day and age is the accumulation of money and stuff.

Get bored and head back to your apartment.

Cook ramen for dinner.

Turn on your computer and promise to sit down and start writing soon.

Put on headphones and listen to music.

Sit down at computer.

Instead of typing, get up and change the sheets on your bed.

Clean the toilet.

Wash the dishes.

Decide you're tired and want to sleep.

Take off headphones, turn off the computer, promise you'll work hard tomorrow, and climb in bed.

Wake up early the next morning.

Gather clothes for trip to the laundry because socks should only stand up when they're on your feet.


Go to the laundromat and wash and dry and fold clothes.

While there, try not to stare at the better looking people.

Stop by the store on the way back to your apartment for milk and batteries.

Find milk and batteries.

Wander around the store just in case there's something you forgot you needed.

Find many things you forgot you needed.

Chat with the girl at the checkout counter about the weather.

Hope it made her day better because all it did was waste two minutes of your day.

Drive back to apartment.

Carry everything, including the clean laundry, up the stairs in only two trips.

Read a comic book to celebrate.

Turn on your computer and plan to get to work soon.

Put milk and other perishable groceries away.

Replace batteries in smoke detectors.

Read two comic books to celebrate.

"Clean" the pile of comics on the floor of your bedroom by pushing them around the floor while trying not to read any of them.


Find a game you haven't played in a while in the pile and decide to play it, but only for a little while because you have to write more.

Suddenly realize it's 9:30 and you haven't eaten anything since you got back from shopping and you're hungry.

Eat something then turn off the computer and go to bed, after reading the rest of the comics you bought.

Enjoy Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius: Happy Franksgiving! and Phonogram 1 and 3 quite a bit. (You bought 2 the month before because the cover is beautiful.)

Wake-up the next morning later than usual, but earlier than you'd like and wander around your apartment trying to figure out if there's anything that you should be doing that's important.

Watch an episode of Star Trek while eating breakfast.

Clean the bathtub while showering.

Watch another episode of Star Trek.

Turn on computer and sit at it saying to yourself that this is the time to get cracking.

Play Minesweeper and Solitaire and Hearts and Spider Solitaire and Pyramid for an embarrassingly long time.

Finally open the file and look at it.

Play another game of Minesweeper and promise yourself that it'll only be one game, this time, but know that you're lying to yourself.

Turn on the TV and watch an info-mercial about a little blender and one about coins; switch quickly between the two in case you miss something important.

Put on another episode of Star Trek.

Play the game from yesterday, but only for a little while; help that by setting a timer for two hours.

Make dinner and watch another Star Trek while eating.

Turn off the TV after you've flossed and brushed your teeth.

Sit down at your computer once again.

Put on headphones and turn on random music.

Skip to a song you like.

Finally start writing.

Write until you get enough words to put you at where you should have been at the end of Thursday, if you had been on time then.

Turn off the computer, climb in bed, and go to sleep with the feeling of guilt gnawing away at your stomach.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Unhelpful Idea

If the fucking doughnut shop that's on my walk back to my apartment was open, I'd eat until I started vomiting.

Since that's not going to happen, I'm going to the movies and buy popcorn coated with fake butter substitute.

A Mood

Maybe it's because tomorrow's a holiday, maybe it's because The Supervisor is a lazy bitch, maybe it's because I stayed up late (for me) and wrote far too little, but I'm in a bad mood right now.

It's the kind of mood where I want to kick a dog that's being walked by its owner. It's the kind of mood where I want to walk up to an insecure person and tell him or her that he or she is fat. It's the kind of mood where I want to be a big asshole to everyone around me.

I'm never really an asshole, though. Occasionally, I'll do something that I consider asshole-esque, other people don't think it's asshole-esque or they just don't call me on it. And when I do those asshole-ish things on purpose, I want to be called on it.

Those moments are very few and very far between.

Still, I really want to kick a dog or make some poor woman burst into tears right now.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Grok the Vote

As many out there know (hopefully close to the number 300,000,000, since that's how many people live in the nation now), today is Election Day in the United States.

While I'd like a lot of people to go out and vote, especially in an off year, I don't expect it to happen. And I totally expect the block of wood to become the Governor, again. So, I'm not really going to talk about that.

Instead, I'm going to talk about how stupid it is to have Election Day be on a Tuesday.

Way back in the day, it made sense. Men (because that's the only gender which could vote) who lived on farms could leave their farm on Monday, ride into town that evening, spend the night getting drunk and whoring it up even though they had a wife and kids at home, vote on Tuesday morning with their heads pounding, do some shopping for supplies and such, and head back to their farms that afternoon to arrive that night. It was like this for that day of travel and to keep people from traveling on Sundays because God wouldn't like that (Unless the person was Jewish because then God didn't want them to travel on Saturday, but back then all Jews were Satan's children; or Native Americans who were kept moving around the country or drunk.), so no voting on Saturday or Sunday.

Today, that doesn't make much sense. I'm betting that that even a farmer who lives in Wankerville, Nowhere has a car that can get him, his wife, and any voting children into town on voting day, any day of the week. (I guess God doesn't mind people traveling on Sunday. Hell, He doesn't mind them going to Denny's and that's a sin, right?) Folks who live in the suburbs and work in a city (or worse, live in Lancaster or Victorville and commute into Los Angeles) have the problem. They live an hour, or more, away from where they work, but they have to vote near where they live. (And, let's face it, most people aren't going for the absentee ballots or the early voting. I don't understand it, but there you have it. Maybe all the states should go the way Oregon did and just insist on mail in ballots.)

So, on Election Day, our voter, who lives in the 'burbs, has to be at work by eight, but to get there on time, she has to leave at 6:30 to ride in the car pool. Polls don't open until 7, so that's no good. She does live in California, which means her employer has to give her "reasonable time off to vote," but according to the poster hanging in the break room "reasonable time" is an hour, that means she could vote at seven and then drive herself to work, but by then, traffic is so insane it'll take her more than two hours to get to work, not to mention trying to find parking and paying for a temporary permit.

The polls, though, don't close until 8, so maybe after work. Work ends at 5, but since she left with the carpool in the morning, she has to wait for everyone to get back to the car, which means they won't leave until closer to 5:45. The drive that takes about 80 minutes in the morning always take closer to 100 minutes in the evening, which gets her home close to 7:30. That would be, barely enough time to get to her polling place, if she didn't have a family, who she could probably take with her, but she's so exhausted it's easier to pop a frozen lasagna into the oven and sit down and try not to fall asleep before the food burns.

I know that's all a little over the top, but still wouldn't it be easier for nearly everyone if Election Day was on Saturday. That way, the only thing most registered voters can blame not voting on is not wanting to wait in line. And, honestly, if not wanting to wait in a line is your reason for not voting, maybe it's good that you're not.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Thought

One of my favorite bands, right now, is (are?) The Dresden Dolls.

When I lived in Cowcity, I remember hearing their song "Coin Operated Boy" (low-res video) (which many of you have probably heard) and thinking it was clever and funny, but not much more. About a week before I moved one of the two radio stations I listened to, that weren't NPR based, played some snippets from a concert The Dresden Dolls had performed a month or so earlier and that's when I heard the song "Girl Anachronism" (the mp3) and I knew that this was an album I had to have. I didn't buy it, though. I was about to move and I didn't have the income to justify buying a CD.

About a year ago, I finally bought it. It was better than I expected. Odd and twisted (the song "Missed Me" (its mp3) is my favorite example of that) and wonderful. The piano isn't always used as an instrument, but as something for Amanda Palmer to take her anger and other emotions out on while playing the melody.

I don't know what it is, but there's something in their music that's haunting and lovely and frightening all at the same time and I can't seem to get enough of it.

I just got their new album, Yes, Virginia, but haven't been able to absorb it yet. This writing thing has pushed my musical appreciation off until the end of the month because I don't write so well while listening to music I've never heard before, but I'm looking forward to the time that I can sit back and really listen to it.

But that's not my thought.

My thought is that I want The Dresden Dolls to be huge. I want everyone to have experienced their music, even if they don't like it, because I enjoy it so much. If they become really popular and other bands start cloning their sound, will they be as interesting? Is it better for me, as a fan, to have them stay as they are, less known than they could be, because that keeps them more free to do as they please in their music?

I'm not sure.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Walk Sleeping

I only wrote about 800 words last night. I wasn't feeling well, though. I shut the computer off and climbed into bed around eight and pretty much fell asleep right away. (Well, after I read the latest issue of 52. I don't want to be confused when Newsarama posts their weekly interview with the editor of the comic.)

I woke up this morning just as tired as I was when I went to bed, but I climbed out of bed and shuffled to the kitchenette and made a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich for breakfast. (I wanted strawberry jam, but it's gotten a bit old and sort of crystallized to the jar.) The food didn't wake me up, neither did the shower, nor the walk to work. (No rain today, just clouds that I'm hoping will open up and dump down on us.)

I'm afraid this means I'm approaching the ill event horizon. I'd like to pull away before I get caught in it, but if it's unavoidable, I'm ready for the ride. The main thing I wonder, though, is why, if I'm going in, it had to happen on the weekend? Couldn't it have held off until Sunday night so I could ditch work on Monday?

If I'm out on Monday, which I doubt I will be I'll probably be just fine then, I'll spend the time that would have been spent at work watching Wonderfalls, which I had returned to me last weekend. It's a good way to spend a sick day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's Just Been

It's been raining today, though it's not right now. The building smells wet, but not in the good clean way that outside smells. It smells sour. And it's been hot in here all day. Why, when it rains, do people automatically assume that it means cold?

I've felt off all day today. I think it's the heat and the smell and the bad for me breakfast I had this morning. Hopefully once I leave I'll be my normal self. No promises, though.

I only wrote about 1250 words of my "novel" last night. More than I thought I'd write, but not as much as I should. If I keep up this pace, I'll get about 37500 words written by the thirtieth. Except I have to load the stuff at work, so I suppose it'd really be around 36250 words. I posted an excerpt on my profile page, but I'm having trouble just loading the profile, let alone the excerpt. It's the beginning of the story.

I should be working, but I don't want to. And I don't mean I don't want to in the playful sense, I mean that I don't want to work. At least I don't want to work here. Maybe it's because there are leaks coming through the ceiling like there are every time it rains. Maybe it's because people won't stop talking about SUSM's panic attack yesterday. Maybe it's the way everyone points out the obvious. (There's only so many times I can hear someone say that it's raining. And then there are those who passed by while I was getting the mail ready and each one asked, "Are you getting the mail ready?" I know it's a rhetorical question, so I don't answer, and then they hover. They're not interested in learning how to use the mail machine, they're just hovering. I can't just tell them to fuck off because that'd be rude, even though that's all I want to do.)

I have enough money saved for a deposit and first month's rent or first and last month's rent, but I don't quite have enough for all three. (I did, briefly, but I decided to pay off a student loan instead.) I should have all the money I need by the first of February, if nothing goes wrong.

I need a new job.

I need a new location.

I'd like a new state or country.

I want something different.


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes
I've lived in California all my life. I guess it was the TV that did it to me, huh?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Comic Book Wednesday

Last night, I discovered that I've been reading too many comic blogs with a feminist slant. (The two that I check every day are Pretty, Fizzy Paradise and Written World.)

How did I make this discovery? When I finished reading the first issue of the Geoff Johns/Richard Donner Superman, my first thought was, "Superman really should have talked with Lois before deciding to adopt that kid." My second thought was, "Shouldn't Lois be with him while he's asking John and Martha for help? She is his wife, after all." And my third thought was, "Why can't the people at DC leave well enough alone and keep Superman as the only Kryptonian left alive?"

A few months ago, I would have complained about the extra boy from Krypton, first, but not now, apparently.

I'm one of the (few, probably) people who really liked it when Superman told Lois he was also (and really) Clark Kent and I was thrilled when they finally got married. To me, it made perfect sense.

Since they got married, I've only picked up a few issues here and there of the Superman books. I often thought that the superheroics, after Jeph Loeb left, sort of missed the mark and tried to ignore the fact that he was in a marriage. The recent stuff by Busiek has been better. More give and take between the Lois and Clark. Geoff Johns helped to write the first arc after the one year later jump and I figured he'd help Donner to keep the marriage in the book. It didn't happen that way.

The only appearance of Lois in the issue has her sitting at her desk working. Superman flies up to her window and speaks with her for a while. She asks if the kid who crashed is from Krypton. Superman says that the government isn't sure, but he has a feeling. Lois writes an article for The Daily Planet saying that another Kryptonian has been found.

And that's it for her.

The next day, Superman goes to visit the kid and learns he's been taken. Superman threatens to zap Sarge Steel's head off using heat vision(tm). Then Superman takes the kid and goes running to his parents for help.

I still think the should have grabbed his wife along the way or let her know that he's got the kid. (I know, she's smart, she'll know right away.) Marriage should be a partnership, especially with a strong woman like Lois.

The thing is, I think I know why Clark/Superman wouldn't speak with Lois about it, she's not the sort of woman who wants to have kids.

Lois is the sort of woman who likes her job. She good at it and she knows that and she loves doing it. She knows that kids take a lot of time and effort that would be taken away from her job. She's smart, so she know that if she has a child to take care of, her work and the child will suffer. She can't be a full time mom. She wants to be out in the middle of the Pacific ocean watching the Navy test it's newest vehicle and be able to write a first hand account of Blank Manta trying to steal it. But with a kid at home, she wouldn't let herself to that because she'd have to be a mom first and even if she doesn't mean for it to happen, she'd resent the child a little for taking away the life she used to have and love.

On the other hand, I think she'd make a great aunt. She'd have all sorts of exciting stories to tell her nieces and nephews. She'd bring then gifts from exotic locations. She'd love them as much as she'd love any child she had on her own, with out the possibility or resentment.

Maybe it's time for Lucy to have a kid and to leave the rest of the Kryptonians where they should be, dead.



Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Have No Candy

Last year, I had candy. I bought it at the beginning of the month and nibbled. After two weeks, the candy was gone. I went back to the store and bought more candy, some to nibble on and some to hand out. My plan didn't work, though, I nibbled and gorged on the candy and had to return to the store on Halloween, bought more candy and poured it into a big bowl when I got back, just in case.

There was no case last year. There was not one ding-dong from the door bell. There were no rap-rap-rapping or tap-tap-tapping on my door.

The next day, I was left with much candy, which I devoured with gusto. At the time, I greatly enjoyed it. How often does one get to see how many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups one can fit in ones mouth and still chew? (I started gagging at eight and got twelve in there before the drool got too bad. The secret is to have them all unwrapped before you start and use your cheeks, it's amazing what can be fitted in there.)

Even though candy went on sale late in August, I've been a good boy (especially for being a fat boy who likes his peanut butter wrapped in chocolate) and I have not bought any candy. My mother offered to buy me some when I was in Cowtown this weekend and I declined because, well, it may not have made it back here. Some may have, but it's very questionable if there would be any candy today. I'm guessing very little, if any at all.

Well, all of that was a pointless way of sharing that I'm driving up to the grocery store for some candy, just in case, and probably a pizza, because why make dinner when you're already going to the store and pizza is on the way?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Meeting, Sort Of

We had a "meeting" at three. It was over the phone with all the other WCABs in the state and the people "in charge" of setting up the system in which people can view public records.

In the "meeting," I learned that there are only supposed to be two people who take requests to view files and process them. These two people are supposed to have their own phone lines so messages can be left for them after hours and when they are on breaks (hopefully not at the same time, but this is the state and we don't actually do things that make sense). These two people are also supposed to handle any redaction that needs to happen. My office has decided to ignore that guideline (or suggestion or rule or whatever they want to call it) and keep our current system of whomever happens to be at the counter or happens to answer the phone first.

I also learned that if it's requested, we are supposed to charge people for copies. The injured worker gets charged $.10 per page plus any postage (although I was told to use "common sense" and not charge an injured worker if they don't want many pages copied; when I asked how many pages wasn't too many, I was told I already know). Anyone else who wants us to make a copy for them gets charged $1.00 for the first copy of each page and $.20 for additional copies of a page. (That means if you're not the injured worker and you ask me to make three copies of three pages, you have to pay me $4.20 for the nine copies before I hand the copies over to you.) All people who are not the injured worker must pay with a check or money order. The injured worker may pay with cash, but we do not have petty cash to make changes, so if the injured worker wants to pay in cash but doesn't want to run down the street to the bank to get dimes, he or she has to give up the whole bill. (I'm looking forward to the day I'm handed a twenty for copying 15 pages and I get to tell them that I'm keeping the $18.50 because the state doesn't allow us a bit of petty cash, but that he or she gets a nifty receipt saying that he or she was charged $1.50 for the copies.)

I was told that we are not allowed to ask to see ID because the person does not have to identify his or herself. I am, however, allowed to ask to see ID if I want to verify the person's identity.

If the person who wants to view the file doesn't want to fill out the request to view form, I'm supposed to read that person the questions and fill it out for him or her.

I learned that there are people to contact if I have questions, but not to actually contact them until I'm sure the question hasn't already been answered for someone because the people I'm to contact to ask questions will be busy answering questions. Oh, and I'm not to contact the person who did most of the speaking over the phone and who also put together the packets everyone had (and the new forms we use) because that person now works for another department. No one was trained to replace the person who created the packet (and the new forms we use).

Now that was a productive 90 minutes or work.