Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hey, Asa

I was reading an old interview with Grant Morrison, and here's what he had to say about each issue of Seven Soldiers being stand-alone:
"It's a 'modular' approach, in the sense that every first issue is a complete origin story with a cliffhanger and ever subsequent issue delivers a stand-alone adventure."
So I guess just the first chapters have cliffhangers. But I guess we'll know for sure next month when the second issues of Guardian and Shining Knight come out. I read some preview pages from the first issue of Zatanna, and I'm psyched for it. Although remind me never to lend it to Frank. I'll never get it back.

Ebert on 'Sin City'

I made a little bet with myself to see if I could predict Roger Ebert's reaction to Sin City.

Turns out I was totally right. My favorite bit:
"It contains characters who occupy stories, but to describe the characters and summarize the stories would be like replacing the weather with a weather map."
The movie's still clocking at around 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, so you can rest easy knowing that I haven't steered you wrong. Or if I have, at least a majority of film critics were in the car with me shouting "Go THAT way!"

'Cause I guess we're all in the car together, and a certain road leads us to a theater playing Sin City? Maybe a drive-in? I don't know, man.

Brubaker vs. racism

Via Liz, Ed Brubaker starts a column over at Isotope and relates a hilarious tale exploring why it doesn't make sense for Batman to be black in some books and white in the others.

Also, I can never stay mad at Mark Millar, no matter how hard I try. He's a prankster, that one.

Oh, man

Oh, man. I have NOTHING to do at work today. My boss is out of town, and I've completed my major projects for the week, and even the large project that I work on in the background has mostly been completed, so unless I sort of dawdle I'll finish it before the end of today. This has just been the first part of what's shaping up to be a very long day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The trouble with comics

My friend Ben IMed me yesterday out of the blue. I hadn't talked to him for a while, so we caught up a bit. Then he asked me to recommend some comics. Specifically, ones with action. Even more specifically, stuff he could start reading from the beginning. I started rattling stuff off, Preacher, Powers, Ultimates. But no, he was more interested in something that had started recently, something that he could pick up in issue form that was awesome and he could get in with on the ground floor. That nearly made me laugh because there's practically nothing, is there? This is not an industry that's interested in new, accesbile ideas.

To be fair, I did suggest Seven Soldiers and Livewires, but Seven Soldiers required quite a bit of explanation ("So you see, there are seven miniseries, and they're all sort of tied together, and sort of not..."), and Livewires is only a six-issue miniseries.

In my magical pixie world, DC and Marvel pare down their core titles (no more than two books for each major character) and spend time developing new ideas that might actually appeal to someone other than their ever-dwindling fanbase. In reality, each company prepares mega-crossovers that seem to appeal only to their company faithful. Thank goodness for Seven Soldiers. That might be the mantra of 2005, but I guess we'll have to see how "House of M" and "Infinite Crisis" play out. (I'm off to get "Countdown" in about 15 minutes.)

So Ben, if you're reading this, I stand by my recommendations. You can't go wrong with Preacher, Sleeper, Ultimates, and Powers. I might add Queen and Country to that list, but it might be a little more low-key than what you're looking for. It's British spy fiction, but it's not James Bond. But all those titles are stuff you'd need to pick up in TPBs.

As for stuff in singles right now, it's occured to me that you might want to look into the current runs of Captain America and New Avengers. Both of those are less than five issues in, and both are pretty good (what I've read of them, at least). Say what you will about Quesada's "start them over with a new #1" policy as far as an attempt to goose sales, at least it gives you a good place to point and say "There's a spot to start."

Those of you who read lots of comics, if I'm forgetting something or you have a title to recommend that I don't read, let me know.

Monday, March 28, 2005


So, uh... not much to tell, really.

Mostly I'm just waiting for more interesting subjects to come up as the week progresses. Like I said before, I'm waiting to write about Sin City until I see it again Friday, although I may buckle before then.

I know I'll have something to say about Countdown to Infinite Crisis (other than about how dumb a title "Infinite Crisis" is) once it comes out on Wednesday, and I'll probably tie that discussion in to Paul O'Brien's most recent column for Ninth Art, but I still have to wait for the damn book to come out.

Um, anything going on with you guys? You holding up okay? How are your parents? Tell them I said 'hi.'

Friday, March 25, 2005

Belated big ups and some more comics

Big ups to Liz, who got me into the screening of Sin City. I didn't publically thank her for it until now because I'm a heel.

Seriously, I really recommend that you all get that Fillerbunny comic. The Rape-bo gag alone is worth the price of admission. The two pages where Fillerbunny tries to make a new friend is worth the price of three admissions. ("That bee! His name is Beebee! I love him! Hahahaha!") Shit, that's funny.

There was also a new collection of Queen and Country out this week entitled "Operation: Saddlebags." The issues contained therein lead up to the Q&C novel A Gentleman's Game, and let me just say that book? Is AWESOME. Queen and Country is one of the best books out there, and if you're comic-averse (why are you reading this, first of all) then now there's the novel to read, which fills you in on everything you need to know about the characters and their situation. So very good. If you like spy fiction, it's absolutely tops. It's by Greg Rucka.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sin City in depth

I was going to write a full review of Sin City, but I think I'll wait until I see it again with the gang opening night. My thoughts on a movie always solidify after I see it again, plus everyone should go see it without plot points being spoiled by yours truly. Of course you could always read the comics (and I recommend you do), but that's your call. I will say that I think The Big Fat Kill segment works the best, while The Hard Goodbye works the least. But hey, only one more week until we can all talk about it.

Soon I can beat the cats at their own game

I'm beginning to get fingernails again. I'm trying very hard not to bite them to pieces, although I caved during Sin City and took down one of longest nails. But still, only one nail during a two-hour movie? I've been known to decimate all ten fingers in that amount of time. This is all part of the "self-improvement" kick I'm on right now (starting to run, drinking less). I don't know where it came from, but I'd better ride it for all it's worth. Right now I am seeking to fill the void in my soul that not biting my nails has left me.

With hookers.

Just kidding.

But not really.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

This week's comics

A few highlights from this week's purchases:

Fillerbunny: My Worst Book Yet! - Man, it's been waaaaaaay too long since Jhonen Vasquez gave us a comic. For those who don't know, Fillerbunny is an adorable pink rabbit bred in a terrifying genetics lab for the sole purpose of taking up space with his comedic hi-jinks. And since this is a Vasquez book, horrible yet hilarious things happen to him constantly. Fillerbunny's life is agony, and his agony is our amusement. Here's a quick quote! "Hey, ya think they'd like watching me sob uncontrollably for, I dunno, a few hours? Well, I could do a little jig dance while crying. How's that?" This issue, Fillerbunny is given a new friend: Aborto! Yes, he's just like he sounds. This book is pure comedic joy. Don't ever leave us again, Jhonen.

Livewires #1 and #2 - Whoa! Who commissioned this book? This is like something Marvel would have put out under Jemas. Maybe this whole "Marvel Next" thing will yield something other than teenaged, reverse-sexed versions of classic, older heroes. The basic story follows a group of humanoid robots, created by a "top secret quasi-governmental project" whose sole purpose is to destroy other top secret governmental projects. Beyond that genius premise, we also get dialogue like this: "Unlike my wussified, barely-superhuman chassis, her body is a massively hyperdense assembly of smartware tailored for 'Hulksmashitude.' So she's 500 adorable pounds of beat-'em-uppiness!" Characters include the likes of Gothic Lolita, Stem Cell, and Hollowpoint Ninja. This is the sort of hyperkinetic insanity that I can really get behind. Writing and layouts are by Adam Warren, basically the closest thing to Warren Ellis' style the States can claim. A remarkably fun read. And a new idea. From Marvel. I know. I'm scared, too.

Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian - How is it that Grant Morrison seems to be the only working comic book writer who can take crap old Silver Age ideas and make them really fresh and interesting while still retaining their original sense of wonder? Anyway, former police officer Jake Jordan passes the most intense job interview ever and becomes the Manhattan Guardian, the superheroic masthead of a newspaper interested in not only reporting crime, but fighting it, too. Oh, and there are subway pirates and a golem because why the hell not? To sum up, it's Grant Morrison and it's Seven Soldiers so it is safe to assume that I liked it very much indeed.

The Hard Goodbye

Sin City, I am pleased to report, is well worth your time.

Also, arguably the most violent movie ever made. I think a fine drinking game would be to take a shot whenever a character's face is suddently splattered with someone else's blood. Or maybe when blood dribbles (or occasionally pours) out of someone's mouth. Either/or. There was one bit (from "That Yellow Bastard") I was simply certain they couldn't put to film. But there it was! And might I say, ouch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In synch

Grady's come back to PSI for a few days, I guess because there was some sort of massive overflow of voicemail and they called him in to handle the excess. Anyway, he's been around the past few days. The weird thing is, I only ever see him in the bathroom. Twice yesterday and once today our paths have only crossed in the men's room down the hall. What the hell? This happened all the time back in the old office, too. Apparently our bladders are cycling together.

I don't know, man. I'm out of sorts today.

I heard that

I'd be lying if I said I'd never heard any of these.

In fact, sometimes I still hear them.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Hmmmm, indeed.

I'm going to reserve snap judgements on this type of thing until I know more about it (I'll definitely buy it next week because, hey, 1 dollar for 80 pages), but I will say my skepticism is very high. It just strikes me that one will have to end up reading most of DC's output to follow this storyline. Of course, I'm sure the argement is that you won't HAVE to read all the titles and corresponding miniseries to know what's going on, but I just have a feeling that the proper context will be lost if you don't. I don't know if that makes any sense, or is even fair in the slightest, but that's my gut reaction.

Mostly I have this feeling because last week Leslie got both parts of the Wonder Woman/Flash crossover, and I found it seriously lacking. Basically Zoom and Cheetah team up, whale on Flash and Diana a bit, then leave. At the end you see them meet up with Wonder Woman villain Dr. Psycho, and there's the promise that they're up to something. How much you want to bet that ties into the upcoming "Villains United" miniseries rather than anything that's going to be happening in Flash or Wonder Woman? Quit wasting my time, massive company crossovers.

But maybe I'm wrong. Totally willing to admit if I'm wrong, here. But that's my gut reaction.

Oh, and I'm having similar fears about Marvel's upcoming "House of M" miniseries, too, before anyone thinks I'm just taking cheap potshots at DC. When I make cheap potshots at DC, I don't care who knows it.

Thanks goodness for Seven Soldiers. Fits nice and neat into its own little box, that one.

Movies to see while you're baked

Might I recommend The Apple?

Might I recommend making up your own lyrics to the title song?

Wacky apple
Crazy apple
Eat the apple
Drink some snapple
Doopy dapple
Flippy flapple

And on and on and on.

Everyone do the apple dance!

Um, this would make more sense if you'd seen the movie. But I promise, Paul and Frank lauged like crazy when they read this.

UPDATE: Leslie has more on The Apple, including a link to a better website than I found that has the COMPLETE lyrics to "The Apple." Here's the bit that's easiest to make fun of:

Holy apple, mystery apple
Juju apple, oh voodoo apple
Sacred apple, holy apple
Trust the apple
Yeah, bite the apple

Bite the apple
Take the apple
Whoa, praise the apple
Whoa, yeah, yeah, yeah
Take a bite

Truly this song proves that the only real rhyme for "apple" is in fact "apple." Did I mention the guy singing the song is wearing only a sequined G-string? I didn't? Well, he is.

Friday, March 18, 2005

New addition

What the-?!? Paul has a blog. I don't know how I missed that.

Paul is way smarter and funnier than me, so if you read this blog there's zero reason you shouldn't read his. Unless you just come here to hear my thoughts on comics. I have Paul totally schooled in that regard.

"Rock 'N Roll Friends," for the record, is a really funny Sifl and Olly song.

Matt and Trumbo also have blogs, I should note, in case they get mad that I didn't make a big to-do when I added them to the links list.

St Pat's

Went over to Frank and Jess's place last night for an impromtu St. Patrick's Day party. It was good times. And a nice turnout, considering the last minute nature of the party.

I thought I might have more to talk about than that, but no.

Hey, did you know that from 1 AM to 2 AM the area around my apartment turns into an electromagnetic black hole from which no cell phone signal can escape? Apparently that is the case! I don't know what was going on there.

Also, when I got home, Odin tried to eat me. Well, mostly the buttons on my shirt, but he did make a couple of tries for my fingers. That cat is full of beans. Beans, I tell you.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Leslie: Ace Reporter!

Leslie got her advanced copy of the Spring issue of Ms. Magazine, the first issue she worked on as a trusty intern. I was flipping through it, looking for the stuff she had contributed, and she said "Oh, it starts on page twenty something..." and we flipped some pages and then she said, "Here we go. It starts here and ends (several pages flipped) here." She wrote like five entire pages of this magazine! I knew she had been contributing stuff, but I figured it would be a short bit here, a blurb there, that sort of thing. Which isn't a slam on Leslie's writing but more that I didn't think they'd let an intern contribute so much. But she did this whole big chunk! It's totally awesome. Go buy a copy when it comes out. The totally bland cover was not her fault. And she did the calender, even though she isn't credited.

Whedon on Wonder Woman

Looks like it's official.

Emory and I got into a big fight several weeks ago about the possible success of a Wonder Woman movie. He was certain it would be a monster blockbuster, whereas I was sure that while everyone recognizes Wonder Woman, I was unsure of how many people would be genuinely interested in seeing a serious movie about her. Specifically, I thought men probably wouldn't be interested. I will cite current sales on the Wonder Woman comic as evidence of my claim. (If Emory and Leslie were swallowed up in an earthquake or something and no longer bought monthly issues, Wonder Woman would be one of the few titles I would strongly consider getting on a monthly basis, but the book still sells like ass.) But hopefully the movie will do well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fun with Statcounter

Apparently if you Google "Paris Hilton the lady in the background is creepy," I'm the first site to come up.

Why anyone would Google such a thing is anyone's guess. I have no clue.

Kindred directorial spirits

Yesterday I purchased two new DVDs: The Incredibles, because it fills my heart with song (specifically, Beethoven's 9th symphony, or alternately, that music that plays when Asuka starts kicking monster ass in End of Evangelion), and I Heart Huckabees, because I enjoyed it immensely last week when Emory Netflixed it, and I felt it would stand up to (or possibly be enhanced by) multiple viewings. Last night I skipped karaoke due to various fatigues in body and car and just watched the extra features on these two movies.

It's no secret that David O. Russell (writer/director of I Heart Huckabees) can be difficult to work with. I believe I read an article on Russell in which George Clooney threatened to slug him if he ever ran into him again. I think that article also said Russell made Lily Tomlin cry. I thought maybe the production documentary (much of it pretty obviously shot by Spike Jonze) would address this, but no, everyone seems to be having a great time. They totally love the movie, they totally love David, they totally love doing take after take after take. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this movie? It looks like the cheeriest movie shoot ever. Maybe Russell mellowed out somewhere between this and Three Kings. Granted, this wasn't a big-budget studio picture, so I can't imagine the pressure was the same.

Remember at the Academy Awards, when Brad Bird accepted the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and he seemed so shy and unassuming? IT'S ALL AN ACT. In rather stark contrast to the I Heart Huckabees production doc, "The Making of The Incredibles" goes out of its way to point out what a crazy tyrannical overlord Brad Bird is. In fact, the doc opens with one of the animators strumming a guitar, telling the camera that he's going to sing a song he wrote called "The 800-pound Gorilla." He sings, "There's an 800-pound gorilla/ He has red hair/ He yells at us..." It's hysterical. So the doc has lots and lots of footage of short, pale, splotchy Brad Bird yelling at people for various reasons. To be fair, it also has lots of footage of Brad Bird doling out justified praise, but it's really funny to watch him flap his arms and make unreasonable demands. It paints such a different picture of him than the one I had in my mind. At one point the producer is telling Bird he can't add in this one sequence in time and says, "I'm just trying to get us across the finish line." Bird responds, "I'm trying to get us across the finish line IN FIRST PLACE!" I really respect that kind of honesty in a production doc. The film stands on its own, regardless of what went into making it. Why not tell us how it actually was, warts and all?

Which isn't to say I'm accusing the I Heart Huckabees doc of presenting of false image of the film's production. But it's just so damn sunny, and David O. Russell's eccentricities have been so widely publicized, that one can't help but think that maybe they're hiding the warts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Thanks, City of Los Angeles!

So this morning my back right tire blew out.

I was leaving home, and about to get on the freeway and I thought "Car's handling a little funny." Then I was on the freeway and thought "Now it's a handling a LOT funny." Then I heard the oh-so-satisfying thumping and crunching of a tire being shredded to pieces. Fortunately I was already in the far right lane and there was a convenient spot to pull over. After calling into work (thanks, cell phone!) I began pulling out my tire-chaning implements from the trunk. I was a bit nervous, because I hadn't changed a tire in about, oh, 1 billion years, so I figured it was going to take awhile. Then I noticed that a white tow truck had pulled up behind me. I figured it was just some normal commercial tow truck who noticed I was out of commission and was hoping I'd need him to tow me somewhere. But no, it turned out it was one of those Metro tow trucks who totally operate for free! The guy helped me put on my spare tire and sent me merrily on my way in record time. I couldn't have been on the side of the road for more than half an hour, all told. I didn't even know this Metro tow truck service existed, but now I am all for it! Thanks, city of Los Angeles!

Ups and downs, strikes and gutters


And hey, a six-month turnaround is really FAST by DC trade standards! Maybe they're beginning to gently pull their heads out of their collective ass!

Wait a minute! 13 BUCKS??? For a three-issue miniseries? Man, Seaguy was only ten bucks for the same length, and that was STILL more than buying the individual issues!

I'm kicking myself because I'll pay it anyway, even though I have the issues. I figure it's worth it for one of the best examples of comic book artistry produced in the current century.

Monday, March 14, 2005


My magic powers are that whenever I go to Fred 62 on Vermont, I make a minor celebrity appear. Seriously, every time. I am now three for three!

The weekend went by at roughly ten times the speed of light. The highlight was a spirited and enjoyable party at the Hollywood House. Our old high school friend Bregan had returned from her off-continental travels and showed up. It was cool seeing her.

Umm, that's it, I guess. Oh, and Deadwood? Still rules.

Friday, March 11, 2005

So now who is it for?

This cracked me up. Remember when there was that backlash to Phantom Menace, and Jar Jar Binks in particular, and Lucas was like "Hey, now. These are kids' movies. They're not for you adults with your exacting standards of narrative fiction. Lighten up." Remember that? I guess he's allowing us back in his camp. "It's okay now, older audiences. You can come back. There's totally killing in this one! However, you kids? You don't get to know how the story ends. Sorry. Go watch those other movies I made. But only the special editions!" Sure, this new one has a darker tone, and I'm all for that, but I'm betting that wooden acting and laborious pacing will still rule the day. If Attack of the Clones proved anything, it's that Lucas and suck the drama out of any given scenario.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

More from "Quicksilver"

"Who could ask for a better career!" he exclaimed. "Slowly decapitating the men I went to college with!"


Only 100 pages to go!

Scariest thing ever

Last night I was over at Frank's and Paul was there, and we did some writing but mostly we just shot the shit and drank a little and had a good time late into the night.

Then, on my way home, the terror happened.

As I was heading onto the 101 I noticed that it was pretty foggy. Actually, it was really foggy. I didn't remember ever seeing it this foggy in LA. Anyway, no terror yet. Just some atmospheric fog. And by the time I got off the 101 to make my little sidestreet journey to the 134, the fog had cleared up. No big deal, I thought. So I turn right onto Forest Lawn, and there’s no fog, so I’m thinking all is well. But then the moment I’m far enough away from the intersection, the fog rolls in as if it is chasing me. I can barely see. Then I hit the point in Forest Lawn where there aren’t any street lamps AND where you can’t see any other city lights anywhere around you. I’m talking PITCH BLACK. Now pitch darkness is something you can come across fairly easily in Kansas City. Heck, there was a little road not five minutes from my house that didn’t have a single street light and was flanked on both sides by extremely tall, foreboding trees. It also had a rickety, single-lane bridge to complete the atmosphere. So pitch darkness is something I can deal with. But it’s not something I often experience in LA, so that combined with the extremely thick fog gave me a severe case of the heebie-jeebies. I just knew that this was the moment where the terrifying little girl from Ringu or Ju-On or Ring-On would leap out from the inky darkness and attach herself to my windshield like a remora, her black, twisted heart bent on my grisly murder.

Then I got to the part of Forest Lawn where there were lights again and all seemed well. Only it was the lights of the gigantic cemetery! And then the zombies attacked!

Rob Thomas interview

There's a cool interview with Rob Thomas, creator of my current favorite show, Veronica Mars, up at Television Without Pity.

Partake, 'cause it rules.

Oh, and here's part 1, where Thomas disses David E. Kelly. Always a good time!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Kittens are a double-edged sword

In the comments for my post about our new kitten Odin, I noted how on Tuesday morning he came into my room around 6 AM and adorably curled up and fell asleep next to me. Cute, right? This morning was a little different.

Again, Odin wandered in around 6 AM (probably roused by Emory's departure, or perhaps Emory simply threw him into my room on the way out). This morning, however, Odin was Spazmo McBoisterous. When I woke up to find him in my room, I patted the bed, intoning him to hop up and stay awhile (that sounds lascivious, but I refuse to retype it). Rather than amicably hopping up on the matress, he lept at my hand like a beast possessed. Of course, he's a kitten and his attack was meant in play, but considering the vigor he demonstated in his leap, were he a tiger I would have given up the ghost.

Once he was on the bed he refused to sit down, instead waiting for me to move under the covers so that he could pounce upon whichever body part was in motion, be it my feet, knees, or torso. Suffice to say, it made getting comfortable a bit difficult. This would be all well and good if he had interrupted me in the middle of an afternoon nap, or reading, or something, but this was 6 in the morning after I had only gone to bed a little before 2. I finally had to place him back on the floor so I could get a second's peace. The kitten removed, I dozed off.

About half an hour later I was again awoken, because Odin and Pagan had both come in, apparently taken with the idea of chasing each other around my room at top speed. I groggily got up, chased them both out, and closed my door.

I suppose the lesson here is that kittens are a lot like me when I was seven: often and inexplicably filled with tons of energy at six in the morning. Clearly I should teach the kitten to turn on the TV and watch cartoons until the adults feel it is time to get up.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Super teen extraordinaire

Man, why don't they release Freakazoid! on DVD? I would buy that in a second. Get on it, Warner Brothers!

For those who never saw Freakazoid! it was the tale of a high school nerd who was given the ability to transform into the blue-skinned Freakazoid, who was ostensibly a superhero, but was mostly just a spazmo head-case. He was given his powers by the internet (oooh, it's soooo 1996!).

Freakazoid was assisted in his "crime fighting" by his contact on the polic force, the grim-faced Sgt. Cosgrove (played by Ed Asner!) who more often than not would distract Freakazoid from his duty by offering the chance to see a bear ride a motorcycle or go and see Congo in order to tell the difference between a real monkey and a guy in a monkey suit.

The show had a real "anything goes" style, often just throwing as much comedy as possible at the audience in order to see what would stick. Freakazoid would occasionally give brief crash courses in French or Norweigian. The narrator was known to interject in order to recite some of his naughty limmericks. One episode even had Jack Valenti interrupt the action so he could explain the MPAA rating system and show footage of a man fighting a bear for no reason (it was really Jack Velenti, too). And let's not forget the spot-on Johnny Quest parody "Toby Danger," which featured the immortal line "Just let me throw a barrel at it!"

Man, that show was great. How about it, DVD-making people?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Helping out

Another true life miniature play!

(on the phone)
Frank: Are there any X-women or men who are robots?
Jeff: No, that's stupid.
Frank: No robots with mutant powers?
Jeff: No, because that's stupid.
Frank: I think think that's a really strong idea. Like a dog with Superman's powers.
Jeff: There's really only two ways you can go with that.
Frank: Yeah.
Jeff: I mean, there was Warlock. But he wasn't an X-Man, he was a New Mutant. And I'm really trying to avoid talking to you about Warlock. That's a dark path.
Frank: How do you spell "Mekanek?"
Jeff: M-E-K-A-N-E-K.
Frank: Oh, just one word?
Jeff: In He-Man, it's always just one word.
Frank: "He-Man" is two words.
Jeff: Yeah, but there's a hyphen. There's a bridge there.
Frank: I think "Evil-Lyn" was two words.
Jeff: No, that was hyphenated, too.
Frank: What was Captain Picard's name when he was turned into a Borg?
Jeff: Um... Locutus. Wait, how the fuck do I know that and you don't? I hated Next Generation!
Frank: I don't know.


That's just a portion of that half-hour conversation. Man, how do I not have a girlfriend right now?

The old order changeth

So Nemesis died.

Ha! Just kidding. He's totally still alive. But Emory and Leslie did trade him in for a new cat. I know! Isn't that heartless? "You should have been friendlier, Nemesis! Back to the shelter with you!" Let that be a lesson to all those other cats. So now there's a new kitten in our house whose name is Odin. He's black and tan (but does not beat the Irish*) and is a kitten, so he hasn't wised up to hating us yet. He'll actually allow you to touch him or pick him up. He's also the scrawniest cat I've ever seen. But he's sweet.

"Get 'em while they're young" seems to be the lesson, here. Plus, Nemesis' swift removal should send a strong message to Pagan not to be such a goddamn pansy. The ol' cat switcheroo. Yessir.

*(Only historical joke I will ever make, so write that shit down)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Like oil and water

Where do Jeff and Frank NOT belong on a Saturday night?

If you guessed "the trendy Hollywood club scene," you'd be absolutely right!

So Saturday night I was invited to this club Element in Hollywood, because it was apparently several people's birthdays, including my good friend Lindy, who was coming down to LA from Seattle (where she currently resides) specifically for this occasion. So I was on "the list" with one guest, and I brought Frank, since he is who I turn to for social occasions such as these. Long story short, Frank and I ended up standing outside for half an hour, waiting to be let in. Once we were almost to the front of the line, we heard the people in front of us being told that the cover was 20 bucks for men. Frank and I both kind of looked at each other, then Frank said "Do you maybe want to go back to my place, drink, and watch The Wire?" Yes. Yes I did. Very much. We scampered off, relieved. 20 bucks to get in, plus God knows how much for drinks, plus crowded, sweltering conditions? NOT MY SCENE. On the drive back to Frank's Liz and Emily called and invited us over to Hollywood House, where we drank and watched choice episodes from Angel season five. That was a vastly more satisfying evening, I think.

Man, some people do that EVERY WEEKEND. Can you imagine that? I can't. Of course, I can't imagine going out to a cramped and stifling bar every weekend, either. Why pay exorbitant prices for drinks just so you can be cramped, hot, and uncomfortable? Why not just go to someone's apartment, drink cheaply, and enjoy good company in a relaxed atmosphere? I suppose I'd change my tune if I had ever met anyone even remotely interesting at either a bar or a club, but I haven't, so suck it, cool kids. I'm not interested in your reindeer games.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Best Buffy episodes

2010 UPDATE: This is the post on this blog that still garners anything resembling traffic, so I figured I'd note that I'm re-watching all of Buffy with my girlfriend, and might update this list accordingly once we've completed it. We'll see!

What time is it?


Work has been soooo slow this week, that I've had nothing but time to think about whatever, including, it seems, what my favorite Buffy episodes are. Would you like to hear them? Now I admit a few of these visit some pet themes of mine or whatever, so I can't really say that, academically, these are the BEST episodes of Buffy (although there certainly are some of those), but they are my FAVORITE.

And if you haven't watched Buffy well, what are you waiting for?

10. The Zeppo - Xander feels useless, and gets a new car to compensate. Then he gets pulled into a wacky adventure involving zombie teens, a bomb, and the loss of his virginity. Meanwhile, Buffy and co. ward off yet another apocalypse in the background. Basically Buffy's answer to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and about as funny. Watch out for that mailbox!

9. Lies My Parents Told Me - Flashbacks reveal Spike's rather twisted relationship with his mother, while in the present Principal Wood conspires with Giles to bump Spike off. Awesome final scene between Buffy and Giles. A high point in season 7.

8. The Wish - Yes, I am a sucker for alternate realities, thank you for asking. Cordelia wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, and Anya makes it happen. Suffice to say, it's not pretty. Introduces hot evil Willow. Back when Marti Noxon was not a detrimental force on Buffy.

7. Who Are You - And yes, I am also a sucker for body switching. But this may be the best body switching episode of everything, ever. Faith has one of the most satisfying arcs of any Buffyverse character, and here she gets a taste for heroics after literally walking in Buffy's shoes. This episode is the light at the end of the tunnel of Faith's redemption.

6. Fool for Love - Spike's secret origin! See how William the bloody awful poet became Spike the two-time Slayer-killer.

5. Hush - The Gentlemen arrive in Sunnydale and steal everyone's voices, and Riley and Buffy each learn the other's secret. One of the few episodes of Buffy that's genuinely scary.

4. The Body - The fallout from Joyce's sudden and unexpected death. Just a study of how each major character reacts to the news. Totally devastating.

3. Once More, With Feeling - Possibly the most technically impressive episode, because man, musicals are hard. It certainly helps that a good deal of the original music is actually really good. Buffy inadvertently reveals that she was pulled out of heaven when her friends resurrected her. You know, Joss Whedon would make an awesome lyricist, although he should probably have some musical backup.

2. The Gift - Buffy dies (again). I think we can all agree that if the series had ended with this episode, it would have been a mistake. Buffy should live on, after all. But while "Chosen" (the series finale) is certainly better on a second viewing, this really feels like the last episode. The personal stakes for every character just seem so much higher than at the end of season 7. And Buffy telling the gang that she'll kill any of them who try to hurt Dawn? And Giles killing Ben? AWESOME. Yeah, I'm a sucker for big climactic finales, but this was a corker.

1. Becoming, Part 2 - On my first scribbling of this list, this came in somewhere in the middle. Then I realized that this episode has everything that makes Buffy great. Buffy must make an uneasy alliance (sucker for those, right here) with Spike in order to prevent Angelus from destroying the world. Think how much great stuff happens in this episode. Joyce finds out Buffy's the Slayer. Xander conceals Willow's efforts to re-ensoul Angel from Buffy. Buffy must kill Angel to save the world, even after he gets his soul back. Buffy leaves Sunnydale. It's the climax to the season that showed everyone how good Buffy could be.

Runners-up: "Restless," "Prophecy Girl," "Dopplegangland," "Earshot," "Dirty Girls," "Passion"

Jeff vs. cats, part II

Nemesis went briefly insane last night, and sprang from the floor to the futon and from the futon to the window in one short burst. Unfortunately, I was lounging in his way, so he simply used my exposed arm as a springboard to the window sill while going approximately 130 miles and hour. Naturally, for traction he used his RAZOR SHARP CLAWS. So now I have these two long welts/gashes on my arm. When it happened, Emory and Leslie laughed. They LAUGHED.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

"They played us for suckers!"

Listen, I'll stop linking to Dinosaur Comics when they stop being so goddamned funny.

Cats vs. tube

I have found a new delight.

The other day I found a long cardboard tube in our apartment, presumably left after one of Leslie's artsy craftsy projects. As I am wont to do, I started carrying it with me everywhere, swinging it around like a sword. Yesterday, I learned that the cats, specifically Pagan, do not like the tube. It's not as if I swing it at him and he runs away. I need only point the tube at him, and he rushes to get as far away from the tube as possible. The tube doesn't even need to be close to him. Last night Leslie and I were watching TV and Leslie was calling Pagan. He hesitantly poked his head out from the hallway, and as Leslie cooed at him I picked up the tube and pointed it at him from all the way across the room. His eyes grew wide and he took off like a shot. So now I can terrorize him with an absolute minimum of effort. There was a point when I thought I should try and get him to like me, but this is proving to be much more satisfying, not to mention easier. Pagan will even flee from Leslie when faced with the tube. Remember, between love and fear, always bet on tube.

I am a bad person.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Listen, I know the blogging has been light. It's just that my life is 100% boring right now. That is the cue for a ravishing woman to waltz into my life and sweep me off my feet. Also, she is a pirate.

Tonight's Lost was kinda dull as usual, but at least we learned stuff about Hurley. But again, just another piece of the nonsensical puzzle that won't even begin to come together until May. But I do like Hurley. (Tonight's episode was also co-written by my boy David Fury.)

Girls, what's my weakness?

It's sort of comforting to know that no matter where Trumbo does karaoke, he will sooner or later be mobbed by crazy drunk women. Last night it was a pack of Canadians!

When I got to Brass Monkey last night, someone had discovered that the karaoke book included Partners in Kryme's "T-U-R-T-L-E Power" and everyone became really insistent that I perform it. I begged off for most of the evening until Alan secretly signed me up for it by substituting it for a song I had already signed up for. The reaction was more positive than I anticipated. Several times I noticed the bartender with her hands in the air going "Woooo!" 20-somethings just love Partners in Kryme! Later I was in the bathroom and this guy was in there and he started going on and on about how awesome it was that I did "Turtle Power" and I thanked him and as he opened the door he turned and yelled "Shredder ain't shit!" then scampered away. Hilarious? Yes.

I am also pleased to report that Brass Monkey's version of "Shoop" has the "Not you. You." bit at the beginning and the part with Wicked G at the end. All Star's version did not. He's gonna have you sounding like a retard!