Friday, December 31, 2004

New blog and the day's travel

Since he now seems to actually be producing regular content, it only seems right to add a permanent link to McKenna's blog to the ol' sidebar. McKenna (I suppose you could call him Matt, but I for one know too many Matts to make that effective) is a droll fellow indeed. Here's a quick sample, reprinted with no permission whatsoever, but Matt's an arrogant sort, and I'm sure he'll appreciate my chatting him up.

"I want to do a short film about a caprapheliac (someone who is sexually stimulated by shit) moving to a new town and trying to find others who share his forbidden love of fecal matter. Every attempt to find an outlet for his fetish is thwarted. For instance, he gets invited to a scat party and he's all excited and he shows up to find everyone scatting like "sqweep dap da fweep dap tappy dap swippy soo..." You just see a single tear running down his cheek as people joyously scat in the background. Then he sees a sign on a billboard that says "CAPRAPHELIA!" he goes into the theatre only to find a Frank Capra film festival going on. Then he leaves the theatre, sad again, and misses the scene from "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" where Gary Cooper shits on Jean Arthur's face."

That's comedy, people! So you should all go and read about Frank throwing his soda cup at talkative movie theater patrons. Hilarity will then ensue. In your pants. Wait, what?


Let's not talk about the 10 hours of travel I had to endure today, when originally it was only supposed to be five. The airline cancelled my original flight so they instead had me fly down to Dallas, wait around, fly up to Fresno, wait around, and then fly back down to LA. And then I was in a shuttle with seven other people and I was the last to be dropped off. I was originally supposed to be at LAX by 10:30 AM! Home by noon! A whole day to goof off and store up energy for New Year's! Now it's all rubbish! Wait, I said I didn't want to talk about it.

I have to go get ready for the New Year's party now. It's at the Hollywood House, as these sorts of things are. And I, for one, am going to get stupefyingly drunk.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The year in comics

I've considered doing some sort of year-end wrap-up kind of thing, where I pick my favorite comics and whatnot. I may still do it, but I'd have to work up some energy. I will say that my favorite book this year was Astonishing X-Men, hands down, although Morrison's New X-Men finished up at the start of this year, so maybe that counts, too.

Anyway, Paul O'Brien has put up his end of the year review over at The X-Axis and I recommend it heartily. If you want to jump to my favorite section, where he examines how both writers and editors made a complete cock-up of the post-Morrison X-Men, you can just click here.

I think we can breathe a sigh a relief about Chuck Austen leaving though, right?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Why Jeph Loeb always loses

I've been thinking a lot about the state of comics, and where did all the "fun" comics go, and are DC's "All Star" books really the answer, and on and on and blah dee blah. Now the thought of Grant Morrison doing Superman is a good, happy thought. But I remember in the article where it was announced Jim Lee said something about how the "All Star" line was going back to basics, and giving new readers stuff they expected when they thought of Batman, like the giant penny in the Batcave, and I remember thinking "Really? The giant penny in the Batcave's been the answer all along?" So I had a typical Jeff knee-jerk reaction where I was thinking "You idiots! Undoing Crisis isn't the way to go! Giving new readers the Batman they remember from the Adam West series is doing both them and the industry a huge disservice. Just because most people perceive comics as juvenile, goofy kid's stuff is no reason to pander to that perception! That's just the sort of perception comics should be actively rallying against! Argh! Jeff smash!" and so on. Then I remembered that Grant Morrison's Superman will be a rockin' good time no matter what he throws in, be it Supergirl or the bottle city of Kandor, and maybe I should just relax. In the right hands, ideas that seem silly or dated can become fantastic, and never moreso than in the hands of Grant Morrison. So I took a chill pill and now await his All-Star Superman with baited breath, while pretty much expecting nothing from All-Star Batman and Robin.

This though process led me to think about separate universes (a la the Ultimate line) and what a great freakin' idea they are. Imagine if Superman/Batman took place in a different continuity, one that was more kid-friendly (or aging-comic-fan friendly, if you will). It could still be a fun, goofy lark, without completely ruining literally years of build-up to Batman and Superman taking down President Luthor in a way that wasn't directly insulting to intelligent readers everywhere! Why not? That way everyone's happy!

Then the other day I was reading Paul's copy of Wizard's Year End issue, and in it they have a four-way interview with Geoff Johns, Jeph Loeb, Brian Bendis, and Mark Millar, discussing Marvel and DC. Bendis was talking about how technically DC did the first "Ultimate" books with the post-Crisis takes on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman et al. And they brought up the possibility of an "Ultimate" DC these days (this was put out before the official announcement, natch) and Geoff Johns was for the idea, provided the creators were right, because he felt a seperate line that was more iconic, and got to the core of the characters would be a swell idea. And he's right, because Geoff Johns understands these things. Then Jeph Loeb jumps in and says he doesn't think it's a good idea. He said "Why not just do it in the book? You have an idea you want to do, just do it in the regular book." And that just cuts right to the heart of what's wrong with a lot of Jeph Loeb's stuff, doesn't it? Why create a new continuity where Supergirl could be around when you could just do it in the regular book, basically undoing one of the smartest decisions DC ever made? You don't like Crisis? Just undo it in the book. Yuck. Anyway, the big kicker to his comments was this. He said "As a fanboy, the one question you have is 'When is the Ultimate universe going to cross over with the Marvel universe?' You can't say it's not going to happen, because it's going to happen." That, for him, is the biggest concert with the creation of an Ultimate line. And seriously, in all honesty, the thought of those two continuities crossing over never, ever once occurred to me. Not even as a "Whoa, wouldn't it be stupid if..." kind of thing. Because it's a dumb idea. It is possibly the dumbest idea in the world. Bendis' response to "because it's going to happen": "It's not going to happen." Because it would be DUMB. What story value would there be to that idea at all? It would just be like the characters meeting alternate-reality counterparts like they do all the time (in the regular Marvel U, that is. Ultimate has thus avoided that). That storyline would do nothing but sully the Ultimate line with gross 70's-Marvel-Team-Up-esque cooties. Does that make any sense? This whole post is just off the top of my head, here. Excuse me for going on a bit of a tear. It's just that sort of myopic "the Ultimate universe was a bad idea" thinking that just drives me up the wall. Your audience is not dumb, guys. They can pick their preferred continuity and understand the differences. Because your audience is all off reading manga and doing exactly that, only with like 50 different continuities.

Anyway, if I had my way I would totally give Jeph Loeb his own DC continuity to play in. Geoff Johns could run the regular DCU, and Grant Morrison could do whatever he felt like doing at the time. He could write ten different Superman books in ten differenct continuities and I'd still read the damn things.

And if I'm going to prattle on about magical wish-fulfillment, let me just say that in my perfect world, Marvel starts yet another continuity, and they let me write the X-Men title, and it's a specifically finite series, and none of the other Marvel characters are in it, because they just muck up the X-world anyway. And it would the GREATEST COMIC EVER MADE. Uh, and John Cassady would draw it.

PS - In that Wizard issue they also listed what they thought the ten dumbest moments in comics were in 2004, and two of the moments were from Superman/Batman. And get this, they were the climaxes from each of the two storylines that that comic has had thus far! The text was like "Hey, we love Superman/Batman, but..." Uh, guys, when the book's only had two story arcs, and you think the climaxes of each of those story arcs were two of the dumbest moments in comics in 2004, then maybe you should make yourself take a long, hard, look at the book and how you feel about it.

Wow, this post was LONG. Sorry, folks. This is what happens when I think about something long enough and just start typing at one in the morning.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Continuing adventures in basic cable

Listen, there's not a lot to do in KC. If I'm not over at Paul's or eating with my family, then I am either reading my old comics or watching basic cable. And you know what's on every basic cable station? Reality TV. I have watched more reality TV over the last week then I have in possibly my entire life. Over my week of immersion, I have come to the conclusion that Xzibit is the most charming man in all of reality television. He's just so excited to pimp everyone's ride! He's also really amused by his own jokes. I also love all the guys at West Coast Customs and their really stagey delivery of what they're going to do to the car. Like the electronics guy is giving his speech about how he's going to put a giant TV in the back, and it cuts to one of the other guys nodding, like "Wow, great idea. A TV in the back! You've never done that before." It's so charming.

You know who sucks? Good Charlotte.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Further adventures in basic cable

It took me fifteen minutes to realize that this TBS airing of The American President is totally leaving in the word "shit." They've said it twice in the last couple of scenes. At first I thought I was imagining it, but then Michael Douglas screamed "Bullshit!" directly at the camera just now and I had to face facts. I'm so used to watching HBO shows that I don't really notice these things right away.

I just love how they say "shit" on basic cable now. I think it's just great. Does that make me a bad person?

The Hand

Well, Asa and Alex have worked and slaved and now at last the first issue of The Hand is up and available for viewing, and it is good fun indeed. Check it out.


The Elektra movie could go either way, I suppose, but is anyone else creeped out by the ads that claim the movie is brought to you "by the forces that brought you X-Men!" Not the producers, or the studio, but the "forces." I keep looking at the credits, expecting to see things like "Executive Producer: The North Wind!" or "Associate Producer: Gravity!"

Comics I forgot I owned

Wow, remember when I said that because I was home, I would post more? Ha!

The first thing I did when I got home was to break out the three big longboxes full of the comics I bought during high school. And lo and behold, there were a few I forgot even existed. These are their stories.

Tonight's edition: The Amalgam Comics!

Oh, the 90's. When Marvel and DC buried the hatchet and allowed cross-company crossovers to once again occur. In the thousands. But the big one, of course, was the big ol' Marvel vs. DC where Marvel characters and DC characters fought and fought and fought on the flimsiest of pretenses. At one point in the "plot" the Marvel and DC universes fused, and the result was a series of one-shots under the banner of Amalgam Comics, featuring characters who were freakish combinations of Marvel and DC characters. Captain America and Superman combined into Super Soldier, Wolverine and Batman combined into Dark Claw, etc, etc.

I think there were twelve one-shots in all, but I only bought three: JLX (JLA meets X-Men), Spider-Boy (Spider-Man meets Superboy), and X-Patrol (X-Men meets Doom Patrol). See, those were some Fun Comics. Characters like Shatterstarfire and Nightcreeper fighting villains like King Lizard and Dr. Doomsday. You could just tell the writers (including Mark Waid, Karl Kesel, and Gerard Jones, at least on the three books that I bought) were having an absolute blast, cramming in as many random amalgamations as the poor pages could hold. Just madcap and goofy and a good time for all. These are definitely coming back to LA with me.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Adventures in basic cable

I'm in Missouri! No HBO here! At least, y'know, not at my parents' house.

40 Days and 40 Nights was on Comedy Central tonight. That movie? Not the biggest fan of women.

Speaking of things that are not the biggest fan of women (zingaroo!) I'm watching a season 1 episode of West Wing. I'd forgotten how much I intially enjoyed this show. It's the episode "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet." This first season, where they're floundering around, afraid to stick to their principles, getting kicked around by everyone? That's some good stuff. I think the series really went astray when it was so focused in season 3 on Barlett's re-election. I mean, we know he's going to win. Of course he's going to win! He's won Emmys and stuff! No drama there. And then the show got more and more centrist, and what the hell is the point of that? If I'm going to watch a TV show about a fictional President, I'd like him to be Magical Liberal Fantasy President, not Realistic Mushball Middle President. That's just depressing.

What a weird idea that Grown-Up Rugrats series is. I think Nickelodeon should follow them through their whole lives. It would like the animated equivalent of the 7 Up movies.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

More to come

I know, there hasn't been much updating this week. This weekend I've been very busy, what with packing, concerts, parties, and GTA: San Andreas. (I'd be lying if I said that most of the weekend hasn't been devoted to that last one.) Anyway, tomorrow I'll be back in KC with nothing to do all day buy yap and yap on this blog. So expect plenty of joy in the coming weeks. If by "joy," I mean "blog posts." Wait, why wouldn't I just say that?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Shameless self-promotion

Concert tomorrow!

If you live in the LA area, my singing group LAVA (sigh) has a holiday concert tomorrow in Eagle Rock. Concert starts at 8 PM in Eagle Rock. For those of you who go to karaoke, it's very close to All Star.

St. Dominic Catholic Church
2002 Merton Ave
Eagle Rock, CA

Admission is FREE, with a donation suggested.

I'm just posting this on the off-chance that someone might be interested, despite not one buy two parties happening tomorrow.

The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever

I defy you to find me a better Christmas special than the Invader ZIM episode, "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever." It just takes everything great about that series and multiplies it by a thousand. Plus it concludes with a horrific Santa monster (think Santa combined with Tetsuo at the end of Akira) duking it out with a giant robot. I'm trying to think what the funniest part is. Is it ZIM disguised as Santa, bellowing like a professional wrestler? Is it the woman screaming "My heart explodes with joy!" and then falling over dead? Is it Dr. Membrane's secret hatred of Santa? Is it Mini-Moose and how he only speaks in squeaks? It's too tough to call. Simply put, it is a condensed, 22-minute bomb of hilarity. It's on the third volume of the Invader ZIM DVDs. Go get it. Right now. Or come over to my place. I'll gladly watch it again.

Watching some of the unaired season 2 episodes on that third DVD volume, it's a damn shame that they cancelled that show when they did. The second season episodes are all so excellent that it's really apparent that the writers had finally found their footing and just started cranking out great stuff on a regular basis. There are also more full half-hour episodes, although the shorts are great too, particularly "Zim Eats Waffles," which features GIR putting a plate of waffles in front of Zim while screaming "These gots peanuts and soap in 'em!" Truly, MTV is the kind of dangling great shows in front of me, only to yank them from the schedule. (See: Clone High, Sifl and Olly, etc.)

Identity Crisis

Well... um, that was a bit of a letdown, eh? Yeah, a bit of a letdown. I'd expound a bit more, but I'll let Alex and Asa tell you their thoughts. They're the DC boys 'round these parts. But yeah, more of a letdown the more I think about it.

The thing that really bugs me is that this is just fuel for the fire of all those IC haters who just hated the idea of messing with long-standing characters more than the actual story itself. Now they can claim the story's a disappointment (or, if you listen to the messageboards, a basic affront to all that is good and decent in this world). Petty as it may be, giving those people a foothold really ikrs me. Thanks, Meltzer.

I'm working on a post about "fun" comics these days. Expect it, um, someday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Because you can't get enough of our stupid inside jokes

Emory and I recently borrowed the DVD set of Harsh Realm from Frank. If you haven't heard of it, I don't blame you. They only filmed nine episodes, and only three of them actually aired. As Frank noted, "It's the most cancelledest show ever!" Probably the only reason it made it on the air at all was because it was developed by Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, a scrappy little show that you may not have heard of.

The premise is that a young army officer is brought into a secret virtual game world that looks just like our own world, but is, y'know, a computer program. While in this world our young hero must fight against the tyrannical military overlord of the Harsh Realm, played by Carter veteran Terry O'Quinn, who most of you know as Locke on Lost, and his army of followers. Oh, and there are murmurings that our hero may be some sort of prophesized liberator or chosen one. And D.B. Sweeney is in it, as a grizzled Harsh Realm veteran, but that's neither here nor there.

Virtual world, tyrannical overlords, chosen one... sound familiar? Anyway, this show premiered in the fall of '99, just in time for all of America to not give a damn about virtual worlds that didn't grant their protagonists awesome kung-fu powers. If I could think of a clever euphamism for "bad timing," I would use it.

So long story short, Emory and I are now going to substitue any references to The Matrix with references to Harsh Realm. Here's an example:

Me or Emory: "I think those castaways on Lost are actually in a computer program. Y'know, like the Harsh Realm."
Some dude: "Don't you mean the Matrix?"
Me or Emory: "The what-trix?"

Your sides are splitting already, I can tell.

As my life goes down the drain

Despite the title, this is not some self-pity party a-go-go post.

I haven't been very productive on this blog, lately. I actually started two perfectly decent posts at the end of work yesterday, with the intention of finishing them when I got home. Then when I got home Emory was playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and I asked to play when he was finished, and he gave me the controller and then when I looked at the clock again it was 9 PM and I had to shower and eat before karaoke.

God, that game is great! There's all sorts of new elements, like eating and dating and controlling territory. And that's just in the first city! That game is a black hole from which I will not escape until I complete it.

Next Monday I'll be heading back to KC for ten days, so I'll have loads of free time to yammer on to y'all. Until then, I have gangs to run and snitches to ice.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Good weekend

Yes, a good weekend indeed. Saw Blade: Trinity on Friday, and while it certainly sucked, Ryan Reynolds and Parker Posey's amusing performances nearly saved the day. Once again, Jessica Biel was hot to the point of distraction (see: Texas Chainsaw Massacre). That girl is ripped.

The performance of Beethoven's 9th went swimmingly on Saturday, at least as far as I could tell, since I was in the upper left corner of the choir and could barely hear my own section, let alone anyone else's. Still, a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd is always nice. Afterwards, Kim, Mabby and I went to Maggie's going-away party, but we got there pretty late so it was pretty wound-down once we got there. I did get to see Angela, Soren, Jesse, and Morgan, though. I don't see much of any of them anymore, so that was nice. It was Mabby's 21st birthday, so we were trying to get her drunk, but she just kept sipping her beers. She only finished two, but was really tra-la-la after finishing the last one, so she must have been a little buzzed. Then we went back to Kim's to drink further, but Mabby fell asleep the moment we got there. Then I drifted off, too, and eventually woke up and wandered home.

Sunday was the Glee Club reunion over at Gabe's house. I gave Vasil a ride over, even though since he's still in school he wouldn't know the majority of the people there. There wasn't a huge turnout, but everyone who did show up were people I liked and wanted to talk to, so that was a huge plus. Got slightly drunk, sobered up, went home. Poor Vasil coped with not knowing anyone by getting hammered. Always a fine strategy.

Anyway, not a weekend for the record books or anything, but extremly pleasant.

Oh, except for when Leslie's car got broken into because our stupid landlord didn't fix the gate to our garage so it's just been open for days for anyone to just walk in and, say, steal Leslie's stereo. Bastards! So that sucked. But otherwise, good times.

Friday, December 10, 2004


I'm broke. And not in the way most kids my age would say "Aw man, I'm so broke!" I mean I have zero dollars. I can also not drive anywhere because I'm really close to being out of gas, and I can't afford any more! And the cable bill is overdue and I have a credit card payment due Monday and if I don't pay they'll stick me with another overage charge and my mom will be pissed. The frustrating part is that come Wednesday I'll be flush with cash. Just five more days to go! Good thing I stocked up on pasta!

Remember how I said I was going to start jogging? Ha, ha. That didn't really happen. I have started jogging home from work the last two days, though. I get winded after like ten steps. I am one unhealthy son of a bitch.

Today was my two-year anniversary with my company. Two years of a job I've never particularly enjoyed, while I've let things I actually like doing fall by the wayside because I'm lazy.

If I come back here sometime and I tell you that I've kissed yet another girl while I was drunk, I want you to slap me.


Yet somehow, right now, I feel fine about all of this. This'll be the last bit of self-indulgent whining for awhile. I'm kicking it to the curb.

Hot TV action!

Whoa, Lost must have heard me complaining about it, because suddenly it's all like "I have an actual plot now!" The last two episdoes have been really good and (gasp) actually had something happen on the island. I thought Charlie was done for, didn't you? Although someone will have to explain how Jack's flashbacks tied in to the actual themes of the episode. It felt like they were stretching that a little, but at least the stuff on the island was cool. And for the first time it was more interesting than the flashback! Hey-o!

Veronica Mars remains entertaining, and The Wire is about to wrap up its season. They brought back Brother Mouzone! It's like they read my mind.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Work crush

Oh, grad school intern, even though you have a boyfriend and we've only exchanged maybe five words and you usually avoid eye contact with me, I really think it would work out between us. Seriously.

I was thinking about it, and I develop one of these flight-of-fancy, go-nowhere crushes whenever I change jobs. At Hy-Vee there was Adrienne and Lisa, at Worlds of Fun there was Stephanie, and I know there was someone at Patina, but I can't remember who it was. The Box Service Hostess? No, that was Mike. (By which I mean Mike was the one with a crush on the box service hostess, not that the box service hostess was Mike.) One of the servers, probably. And you know, even though it's been (God help me) 7 years since Hy-Vee, the thought of Adrienne stills makes me flustered. She just had the most heart-stoppingly beautiful face along with this dyed electric-red hair and, wow. Be still my heart. But anyway, I always have to get these crushes, like I won't be able to work properly without one. Unrequited love increases my productivity, apparently.

This has been part of a continuing series of posts entitled "Jeff Needs a Girlfriend." Let's hope they wrap up soon, eh? For all our sakes.

Last night's karaoke anecdote

You know, "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" takes on a whole new comic dynamic when you sing it with another guy.

Yes, I sang the guy part. I'm a bass, for God's sake.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Ode to Joy

So, Beethoven's Ninth this Saturday. That snuck right up on me. Time has no meaning to me. On the Symphony's website the chorus is listed as the combined choirs of Occidental College, so it might throw some people off to discover that 3/4 of the group set the age bar a wee big higher than college. But we sound very good, yes we do.

I'm excited, of course. Singing the Ninth at the Hollywood Bowl was easily one of the most memorable performances I've been involved in, and this one promises to be impressive, as well. I need to get my tails drycleaned. And also I must finally acknowledge that my tux pants are too short. Apparently I have grown a bit since I was eighteen and originally fitted for that tux. How will I let out my pants without the help of a tailor or anyone else who might even remotely know what they are doing? Why, therin lies the ADVENTURE!

I'll probably just pull the stiches out and use duct tape. You heard me.

Wonder Boys

Kim and I watched Wonder Boys last night as part of our ongoing Post-Reherasal Film Series (I guess that'll be curtailed after this weekend). I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that movie. It hit the proverbial spot after my bout of gloominess last week (see self-pitying diatribes below). I think the movie's only big flaw is that it gets a little too pat and saccharine near the end. The very moment it gets too cute is when Vernon and Oola are giving Tripp and Crabtree a ride back to campus and suddenly the dialogue just seems much triter than in any scene previous. Like the movie had been walking a tightrope the whole time between being sappy and being geniune, and it just tumbles into sappy for the last few scenes. But before that moment everything just goes so, so right. Plus I had forgotten Alan Tudyk was in in. He's the janitor at the auditorium. He only gets high when he's working. Working at flying a Firefly-class starship, that is!

But anyway, I love that movie. Even with the screwball-comedy elements, it doesn't ring false. Most of the time. I remember having high hopes for the first Harry Potter film because screenwriter Steve Kloves did such a good job adapting Michael Chabon's novel. We all know how that turned out. But interviews I've read with Kloves about Harry Potter 3 seemed to read as "Hey, they finally let me cut stuff out this time!" so I can't really blame him for those first two movies.

But anyway, Wonder Boys. Good times.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Bounce back!

That Space Ghost episode with the Aqua Teens heals all wounds!

Master Shake: "Collect all four cups featuring the entire Space Ghost gang. Space Ghost, Zorak, Brak... and NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace."
Moltar: "What about my cup?"
Space Ghost: "You scare children, Moltar."
Master Shake: "Your cup tested very poorly. Children didn't want to put their lips to it."


There are times when the lonliness becomes a bit much. Like you kiss a girl and you think "You know, I really miss kissing." And that just sets you off on all the other things you miss about being in a relationship, like sleeping next to someone, etc, etc, onwards and upwards. This has not been my most successful year. I went out with four girls, two of whom I didn't want to continue dating, while the other two I liked quite a bit but who ended up not being interested in me. Nice even fifty-fifty split, that. I'm sorry to go on like this, but the truth of the matter is that I haven't had a proper girlfriend since I graduated, and I'm in a bit of a funk, so.

Maybe Closer wasn't the right movie to see tonight.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fun with the EMT exam!

We've got these new EMT items coming in at work, and my co-workers and I have spent the whole afternoon reading the grosses question out loud. One dealt with a situation where a patient is leaking cerebrospinal from his nose or ears. Not the cerebrospinal fluid! You need to keep that in your cerebrospine!

It's more interesting stuff than your average construction item, at least.

Brevity is the soul of wit

My friend Brooke recently contacted me on MySpace. Her entire profile?

"No, I don't want to date you."


Hey, kids! Concerts!

I was going to put up an image promoting the two upcoming LAVA concerts, but I can't seem to figure out how to do that right now. This evening, probably. Wait, it's Friday. Man, what am I doing tonight?

The Occidental Chorale (with some assistance from the Oxy Glee Clubs) is also doing Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Pasadena Symphony in a few weeks, but that's really expensive and also almost sold out, so I doubt you all would have any interest.

Wow, this post is a failure on every conceivable level, isn't it?

At least it didn't eat the whole thing

Blogger was rather tempermental last night. It double-posted one post and then didn't post the other one at all. I really don't feel like re-typing the second one, so here's a quick summation: Ultimate Fantastic Four #13 is a good start to the new storyline, New Avengers #1 is neither horribly offensive nor particularly remarkable, and Ultimates 2 #1 is a bit uneven, but has some great stuff and lots of potential for future storylines. I went on a bit more than that, but that's the gist of it. Perhaps we're all better off.

Then this morning I came in to work and tried to load the page, and all that would come up was the first few words of my last post. Naturally, I completely despaired and thought my blog had been lost forever to the Void Which Binds (Simmons shout-out!). Then I logged in to Blogger and everything was fine. Well, good.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Press secretary

I mentioned Leslie's friend Erika a few posts back, and Leslie just brought this interview with her over at Sequential Tart to my attention. She mentions her work on the next Flight anthology that she's drawing, with a script by our very own Leslie and Emory. Hilariously, she can't remember Emory's last name. Soon my roommates will be COMIC BOOK CELEBRITIES. Oh, how I will ride those coatails. I'm all over that shit.

Anyway, it's awesome.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Now I DEFINITELY won't see it

I was in Border's yesterday, reading the second trade of Supreme Power (still good!), when I noticed the music being piped in over the loudspeakers. It took me a minute or two to figure out it was the soundtrack to The Polar Express. Let me just say that I opposed the film version of The Polar Express to start with, but now that I know an elf played by Steven Tyler belts out a number entitled "Rockin' On Top of the World" at some point in the film, I can easily call it an abomination without ever having to see a frame. And there's a toe-tapping number about hot chocolate! God, I hope they're not playing that the next time I'm in there.

Speaking of filmic abortions of children's classics, did anyone see The Cat in the Hat? It's started showing up on cable and Emory and I decided to watch the beginning. It truly has to be seen to be believed. You know the situation is dire when the Cat says "That's how I get from my world to your world!" What? The Cat has a "world?" We had to turn it off about forty minutes in. Unbearable.

Not Fade Away

If you haven't seen season 5 of Angel and still plan to, don't read any further.

I am specifically looking at Jenni, here, but if this applies to someone else, heed my advice.

Now that those people are gone, we can begin. Man, how great is the last episode of Angel? I mean, season 5 as a whole is excellent, but that last episode is just amazing. What made me think of it again, you ask? I was over at Frank's the other night and he's been making his way through season 2 on DVD, and we watched that great episode with Lindsey's evil hand. That's also the episode where Lindsey leaves before coming back in season 5, and before he drives away he warns Angel "Don't play [Wolfram and Hart's] game, Angel." Cut to two seasons later and Angel is totally playing Wolfram and Hart's game, but he's had just about enough of their rules.

Angel has always had a strong theme of redemption, and it's really impressive how the second half of season 5 has all the characters do something they want to set right. Angel and Spike, of course, are trying to atone for their multitude of past sins as a vampire duo of evil, but everyone else gets a motivation, too. Wesley remembers his betrayal of Angel in season 3, Gunn realizes his selfishness led to Fred's death, and Illyria struggles to come to terms with her past a demon goddess from Hell, while learning WHAT IT IS TO LOVE. Only Lorne isn't dragged down with the rest of them, which is for the best. It's why he gets to live at the end.

And how cool is that final scene with Lorne and Lindsey? "You kill me? A flunky? No! Angel kills me!" Doesn't it just make you pity Lindsey for never facing up to his villainous inadequacy? Lindsey should have thought of a better answer when Angel asked why he was willing to fight with them. You just know that's the moment when Angel decides to do away with him.

Then there's those two heartbreaking scenes. The first one is when Wesley dies, and as he bleeds to death he says to Illyria, "It's good that you came." Aw, he got the horrible beast who possessed his true love's body to prove her worth to the side of good! This is particularly sweet considering his failure with Faith over on Buffy. The other moment is when Conner comes to help Angel fight Hamilton, and Angel tells Conner to run before the wrath of the Senior Partners comes down on them, and Conner says "They'll destroy you!" and Angel responds, "As long as you're alive, they can't." No, I didn't cry. But ALMOST.

And they all meet in the alleyway, and the apocalyptic army of demons are coming for them, and Angel says "Let's go to work." Annnnnd SWORDSLASH! The end! Because Angel realized that the fighting is what's important, not whether you win or not. You can't just complacently run hell's lawfirm on earth and expect to change them from the inside. Angel's true job is to fight them, any way he knows how. "Let's go to work," indeed.

Emory and Leslie will occasionally mention that maybe the cast survived the fight (Mostly they contest Illyria's line about Gunn not lasting more than ten minutes. Did she mean ten minutes no matter what because he was mortally wounded, or ten minutes in the big fight?), because I suppose they're hoping for TV movies or whatever. Personally, I like to think they all died fighting.

Whew! Just had to get that off my chest. Reeeeeeally dull day at work. Thanks for indulging me.

Enough's enough

Okay, friends from high school, time to knock it off. No more announcing engagements, no more pregnancies, no more of this "settling down into an adult life" stuff. Your example is even beginning to affect those of us who live the hedonistic swinger lifestyle here in LA.

Seriously, stop it.