|I Am John's Stomach Pains.|
On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In Which I Prepare To Blog Again I stopped blogging a while ago. As it quite obvious. I blame the explosion of Facebook and Twitter, really. Much easier to comment on something immediately in a sentence or two than a full on blog entry. Same goes for links to things I find interesting... blogging became a hassle... an interruption into the ease of other online pursuits.
But my wife has hounded me to get back into blogging again, and I'm determined to answer the call. 2011 is gonna be a big year. And I want to remember it.
Let's see if I can step up. posted by Holz | 4:10 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)
Monday, April 13, 2009
Yes, This Means I'm Better Than You So after over two years of bitching about my dear ol' Saturn SC2, Azlea, I finally did something about it, and this weekend, purchased a new car. I officially entered the Green Era, and am now the proud owner (okay, okay, leaser) of a 2009 Civic Hybrid. Night Nurse and I have been looking to upgrade to a 4-door for about a month, and after some test driving, it came down to the ride I got and the CR-V. However, after deliberating and realizing this car was basically gonna be needed for commuting, I couldn't get the crossover... but that doesn't mean Night Nurse won't cave sometime down the line!
After test driving the Toyota Camry Hybrid (I didn't test-drive the Prius because it was the most uncomfortable car I'd ever been in), I was amazed at how quiet hybrids can be, which became a huge selling point for me. The first time I stopped at a light, I thought I stalled the car because the engine "auto-stops", and unless you have the A/C or radio going, you can't hear anything. It was awesome.
MPG is 40/45, which should make hitting the gas station less of a pain in the ass. So far, I haven't named the car yet, which I think is a guy thing... do girls do that? I don't know, I like naming things.
Anyway, I'm quite happy with my purchase. It doesn't have the power I thought I wanted, but the green impact and the future gas savings definitely help. Plus, the car looks awesome, and is comfortable as hell.
Labels: lifeposted by Holz | 3:45 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (14)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Who Watches, Yadda-Yadda-Yadda... Caught Watchmen on IMAX over the weekend - of course - and I loved it. I simply could not believe how faithful the flick is to the source material... I mean, when I saw the first teaser attached to The Dark Knight last year, I know I recognized multiple scenes pulls right form the book, but wow, Zak Snyder pretty much translated the page to the screen (as much as he could over course).
Of course, the big bitch that will come from fanboys will be the change in the ending. But you know what: I (and Night Nurse, who just finished reading the trade paperback a few days before) think that this ending works even better than the book. The book's threat is all made up, and something that the rest of the world has to watch and suspend disbelief for - as well as experience secondhand. The movie's threat is actually something that the entire world can understand and comprehend. Overall, I liked it. Also, FYI, my non-geek wife actually told me afterwards she caught the Squid anyway in an acronym on the computer... I missed it! My wife has surpassed me in picking up geekdom minutia.
Acting-wise, I found Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach (and more importantly, Walter) to be spot on. The entire prison scene was awesome. I didn't really know Patrick Wilson from anything but he treated Nite-Owl pretty much how I always pictured it... disappointed that the "impotent" line didn't make it into the flick, though. Malin Ackerman... eh, she was okay, just think she got the short end when it came to character... the book had much more of a defeated tone to her. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was spot on as The Comedian, and I was happy they were able to give him such a big part. Matthew Goode exuded self-righteousness quite well as Adrian, however I think a better actor could have done better. And Crudup as Dr. Manhattan... well, when you need a great voice, go with MasterCard.
I'm giving the flick 4.5 out of 5 Stars, mainly because I think it was hampered in the music department. There's no solid score recognizable throughout, and while some of the soundtrack was pitch-perfect (The Times They Are A-Changin' and Sounds of Silence were great!), some were downright laughable (especially Hallelujah for the gratuitous - but admittedly book-loyal - sex scene).Holz | 3:02 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (13)
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Behold the Wonder: 2009 Edition Three years ago, in the fledgling weeks of Night Nurse and I's relationship, I took her to a comic book convention. Amazingly, it all worked out for the best, and we've since married eachother. As Kate said at the time, that pretty much proved she was a keeper.
Anyway, this past Saturday, we headed down to the city once again for WonderCon 2009. The schedule seemed to be fairly light compared to the previous time we went (no Bryan Singer, no Kevin Smith, McG seemed to be the big draw) so both of us assumed this year would be a little more low-key. In a word: Pshaw. WonderCon '09 was wall-to-wall jam-packed with geeks. Nearly every hourly movie screening filled up with 5,000 seats and was watched carefully by the fire marshal.
When we got there, we thought we'd have the same luck of walking right in since we had tickets already. No luck this time, as we had to get in a line that wrapped around half the Moscone Center, then re-wrapped itself around again. By the time we got in, it was about 11:15, and the Watchmen panel was scheduled to start 15 minutes later. Shockingly, when we went to get in, they informed us it was full and turned us away. Which, while it sucks we missed it, it turns out the panel was pretty much seeing the first 20 minutes of the flick, which I'd much rather experience this Saturday in IMAX (tickets already bought, bitches!).
Anyway, after doing some quick browsing on the floor, our first real stop was for a half hour discussion between Michael Chabon (Pulitzer-Prize-winning author) and Matt Fraction (rising writing guru for Marvel). It was quite entertaining, mainly focusing on Chabon, and how much he loves comics books, horror movies, and basically fandom, in general. It was quite an interesting discussion, and convinced me I really need to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Linds' has only been telling me this for like 8 years, heh... The Matt Fraction portion was a bit of a disappointment, not much shop-talk from him (I have a feeling that occurred in the Fraction/Brubaker panel on Sunday), but overall, I enjoyed it.
Our next stop was up to the Esplanade for some movie stuff. When we got in, they were just starting the panel for a 1950's sci-fi invasion movie homage called Alien Trespass. If your a fan of these type of flicks, it looks like they are really doing it justice. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it looked fun, really bad special effects, total over-the-top acting, exactly what you'd expect, and it seems like the cast (starring Will from Will & Grace, the T-1000, The Wonder Years' dad, and some random 4400 chick) has some genuine love for it.
The next one was the biggie: Star Trek. Now, I've been quite hesitant about this prequel/sequel take off. I mean, sure, they've got Sylar and Harold (of Harold & Kumar) , plus JJ Abrahms, one of my faves is helming... but really, I've always found The Original Series stories weak... always been a TNG and DS9 fanboy. But, seeing the new trailer (that's coming out with Watchmen) made me fall in love: This. Movie. Looks. Amazing. Like leaps and bounds beyond what I was expecting. After the trailer, JJ led the panel, and reminded me why I love him so much... the guy, even when he's not a fan, totally immerses himself in a project. Zachary Quinto was there (which Night Nurse loved... I think she has a new crush) and was quite cool. The new Uhura and Kirk were there as well, but they both left me kinda cold... honestly, this Christopher Pine dude they have for Kirk seems like he was pulled directly from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue.
After a quick jaunt out for lunch at a great sushi place in the Metreon, we headed back for some more Hollywood love. The line was excruciating... so excruciating, we stood by while it shuffled through for 3 or 4 minutes, then slowly joined them. Yeah, I'm not proud of it, but I wasn't missing the Watchmen panel AND the Terminator: Salvation panel.
So yeah. Terminator 4. The start of a new trilogy. Directed by... McG. I'll give the dude this much: he sure seems excited about this flick. He has his canned stories to get the crowd excited, but it doesn't seem fake. Screening wise, we got to see the new trailer (also attached to Watchmen) which honestly looks amazing. It sure looks like the work ILM had done on Transformers has really stepped up their game, and the effects look fantastic. I'm not entirely sold on the cast, though (other than Christian Bale and Bryce Dallas Howard). The fact that the panel seemed to push the "diversity" more than the "acting skill" of the group is a tad sad. We then got to see two full scenes (with temporary effects). The first one was a great attack scene followed up by a chase scene that may rival Matrix Reloaded. The second scene was a bit more... I don't know, emotional? It had John Connor chatting with the good-Terminator. It kinda fell flat with me, as I think you had to be invested in both characters to truly get it.
The rest of the time spent at Wondercon had Night Nurse and I making our way through all the booths (I was within a few feet of Adam Baldwin! Sweet!), and did a little shopping. There was really only one thing I wanted, and that was volumes 1 and 2 of Mage: The Hero Defined, but after looking at half a dozen vendors, NO ONE had it. Finally, I got lucky at one, and found volume 2, but no volume 1. Then they all started to close down, and as we passed a vendor on our way out, I happen to ask him if he had it... and of course he did... but there wasn't time to dig it out. Which... sucked. Oh well, some other time.
Oh, on a totally unrelated note: I got a job! Yep, same company, pretty much same position, much better pay! I'm quite happy... plus, Loki has learned to roll-over this past week! Good times...Holz | 2:21 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (11)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Worst Week As some of you know, Night Nurse and I have gone through a bit of a rough patch lately. In the span of 24 hours, we were both laid off from our jobs, which was a sobering experience, to say the least. We have a few sticks in the fire at the moment, but nothing's definite. The fact that Kris passed her nursing testing (with flying colors, as if there was any doubt!) certainly helps, but amazingly, the California medical field just is not hiring like the rest of the country.
On top of the job shit we've had to deal with, my frakkin' Saturn thought now would be a good time for my transmission (or, part of it at least) to completely crap out on me, so we had to get that fixed.
Thanks to everyone who's been sending us well-wishes, I know the times are tough for alot of people, but we appreciate it...Holz | 11:10 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (7)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Honeymooners So we've been back from our honeymoon for a while, so thought it's about time to give a bit of a recap of our awesome time in St. Lucia.
Let's start at the beginning, which admittedly didn't go so well. Our flight was supposed to get off the ground just before midnight, and it was looking pretty good. We boarded on time, but after half an hour or so, it was pretty clear there was a problem. After a full hour, we get an announcement that the black box is broken, and we need to switch planes. Now, in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Well, if the black box is ever needed, I'm not gonna be around to care about it."
Anyway, after another hour of disembarking, and then re-embarking (never done that before), we took off for Miami. However, instead of a two-and-a-half hour layover, we had under 30 minutes, to disembark, hustle through the airport, and get to our connector. Good news: we did it. Bad news: our luggage didn't.
We get to the hotel in our San Fran civvies, so you can imagine we're not dressed for 80 degree weather. Add in the fact our bathing suits and toiletries were in our bags, the next 24 (really 30) hours were not going to be fun. Oh yeah, American Airlines for some reason couldn't send our bags until the following day on the same numbered flight, even though there were other flights available. I officially hate American Airlines. We had to go to the store at the hotel, and spent way too much money on some toothpaste, flip-flops, and t-shirts.
Enough of the bad stuff... after we got our bags the following night, it was all gravy. We stayed at the Sandals Regency, which is an all-inclusive resort in the southeast corner of the Caribbean. Throughout the resort, there were, I think, 5 bars (including two pool-based), all included. My personla favorite drink of the week was the Dirty Banana, which I believe led me to ingesting at least 2 dozen bananas in the span of 5 days. Healthy, eh? To top it all off, the hotel came fully stocked with various types of liquor we could enjoy at our leisure, plus our own personal pool... which, sadly, is nowhere near as cool as it sounds.
Aside from a fairly average buffet, the food was phenomenal. We ate at a french style restaurant twice which gave me my first time truly enjoying caviar (that wasn't simple 'roe' on top of sushi). There was a Benihana-style Japanese restaurant which allowed me to get totally blitzed on hot saki that the rest of the table didn't seem to enjoy (later that evening I had trouble distiguishing the men's restroom from the women's). For lunch, we nearly always went to a great outoor place right on the beach, which had some of the most surprisingly good pizza (my personal favorite was topped with squid, clams, and mussels). Probably my favorite aspect was that we could order room service (still included) at all hours of the night.
When we weren't eating, drinking, or sunning, Kris and I finally resumed our love of Scrabble with eachother. It had fallen to the wayside as of late, but the honeymoon provided a nice oppurtunity to rekindle that spark, and since we've returned, we've been playing more and more (especially thanks to the Facebook application, which is awesome).
Excursions-wise, we didn't do too much, other than a single trip out snorkling for half an hour. The water was absolutely gorgeous though, sometimes it seemed warmer than all the pools at the resort. I saw a dead lobster. For some reason, I found that kinda cool.
Anyway, the trip back home was nowhere near as frustrating as the trip there, however it was still not the best ending to the trip. Our flight back from Miami took us to LAX at just about midnight. It was then we found out we would need to leave the terminal, get our luggage, and wait for hours for us to be allowed to re-check our luggage, then go through security again. Suffice to say, after spending hours in the airplane, sitting in the most uncomfortable chairs imagineable near the baggage claim exit for like 4 hours in the middle of the night was not the most fun one can have.
Well, that's pretty much everything I can remember. APologies to the wife for the month-long delay in blogging about it... I am such a procrastinator.
BTW, for those interested, this is my 1,000th blog entry!Holz | 12:43 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (2)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
More Things to Keep Me From Blogging I just opened up a Twitter account to go along with this here blog and my Facebook page. Two more areas on the interwebs that I'll likely have fun with with a certain amount of time and care, and then abandon because I'm lazy. Still, it's about time I got on Twitter, if only so I can reply to wilw on occassion.
My MySpace page has officially been left on life support. Good riddance. Only good thing MySpace ever did was introduce me to Jonathan Coulton.
Speaking of, Merry X-Mas, from Chiron Beta Prime.
Labels: holz on the internetsposted by Holz | 3:24 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (21)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Joe Quesada Hate: Take II It was a little less than a year ago where I gave a slight rant about JoeyQ's actions with Spider-man. I dropped the book (although technically I do have a stack of issues under my bed waiting to bed read if I ever get around to it). That was a rant on his writing/editorializing decisions.
This one is in regards to how he is running his company on masse, and how it is signalling the death knell for the monthly comics medium, along with other heads of comic companies.
I've been noticing lately my weekly haul has been pinching my wallet a bit more than usual. I thought it was because of events like Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, but the truth of the matter is that Marvel and DC have slowly been creeping the price of their biggest hits up to a base price of $3.99. This at a time when Marvel is running a 40% profit margin. Oh, but they say they are doing this to keep the struggling books at $2.99.
And this doesn't mean the issues are getting longer... it simply means that to enjoy an 8-11 minute read, I now need to dish out 4 dollars. Oh, they may say that it's "32 PAGES!". But you know what those extra ten pages represents? Usually some shitty sketches, and a advertisements for the next big event.
Keep in mind... my Netflix subscription costs about 4 times that a month. Endless DVD choices in a month = 4 comic books.
All in all, this means I need to start cutting back *substantially* on my pulls from now on, which likely means I won't be picking up any of those struggling books. I read the big ones because they happen to get the best writers and artists. I (might* pick up a smaller book, even one with a hgher price tag, if it gets good heat or looks interesting. But if I don't have that extra disposable income lying around, I'll ignore it.
The economics behind this decision simply boggles my mind.Holz | 2:41 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (10)
Thursday, December 04, 2008
The Pathetic Democratic Slouch Begins (Maybe) I've never been a big fan of Diane Feinstein, but over the past year or so, he stance against torture has been a shining mark in her favor.
How hard is it to have principles? How hard is it to say unequivocally "We. Do. Not. Torture."
Before the Democrats even take the reins of power next month, the caving begins, and "special circumstances" begin being thrown around.
...edited to add, apparently Sen. Feinstein has been on a clarifying binge all day. More here. Still, the fact she even put the idea of softening her stance is sad.
Labels: politicsposted by Holz | 11:26 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (2)
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Blog Apathy You would think after the stellar election season, me being the political junkie I am, I would have plenty of blog-worthy thoughts. But the truth is, I was simply burned out. I tried to get back into the swing of things with a few posts here and there, but the itch just wasn't there. I spent most of my time during the election scouring blogs and news sites hourly (with 538 being a favorite), that by the time I felt like giving my thoughts, I pretty much would have been parroting others. I think it was pretty clear I was a huge Obama supporter, and find his election victory amazing on numerous levels (not the least of which was conservative friends and family admitting to voting for the guy), that anything I said afterwards would have been pretty hollow.
Anyway, onto life.
I ran my second mafia game on HCR recently, based on The Dark Tower. It was alot of fun, and probably syphoned off any of my remaining creative writing juices. I think this one went over better than my first one (even though one of my favorite roles - played by Chris - was killed off night one!). My next game is gonna be based on The Princess Bride, but won't take pace til' after my honeymoon next month.
Work has been a tad crazy lately, as my company is undergoing a huge upheaval staffing-wise, and it's sort've like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my entire team, as we don't have any clue as to how our group will look come January '09. I'm hoping for the best, but ya' never know.
Night Nurse is only a few hours away from living up to her alias, as she has only one more day left in her preceptorship (basically an unpaid internship) before she can get a job as a nurse. She's been coming home with some kick ass stories that are certainly a nice tease that I will be entertained for a long time, even if my cable goes out. She's been getting great comments already, and just as all her friends and family knew, she's gonna be a great nurse!
Comic book thoughts of late... Secret Invasion has been awesome, Final Crisis is a shitfest of epic-proportions, and Ultimatum certainly looks pretty, but I'm not quite sure how it's shaping up. The jewel of late, however, has been Fables, which has gone into a whole new direction since Geppetto was dethroned. Jack of Fables, however, can be ignored. It's too cheeky.
Movie-wise? Let's just do some quick hits:
Netflix has been fun, as we're seeing a bunch of ones we missed. And I'm glad we didn't spend the money in the theater. Get Smart was pretty weak, The Other Boleyn Girl was hampered by crappy acting, Thank You For Smoking was nowhere near as good as friends advertised, Rendition ended too abruptly, and Ratatoulle, while visually amazing, did nothing for me.
Still: Zombie Strippers was pretty cool.
Well, there's more I can say, but I've been getting hounded to get *something* up here, so hopefully this will get the juices flowing again.Holz | 1:50 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
To All Those Blaming Minorities This Slate article is pretty informative on the questio that when the government tried to implement more loans to discriminated minorites for homes, it was the cause of the financial crisis we're in. It wasn't. Surprise.Holz | 2:02 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (3)
Monday, October 06, 2008
Woo-Hoo! $5,000 Health Credit! Oh, wait, now that I actually review what McCain's plan is, it's a load of crap.
Here, let Professor Krugman explain it
Labels: politicsposted by Holz | 2:51 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Holz: Fortunate Son? I don't think I ever mentioned this before, but I have some political blood flowing through my veins. My great-great-great-grandfather, William Rufus deVane King was Vice President of the United States, for Franklin Pierce.
Last weekend, Andy Rooney mentioned him on 60 minutes in a section on vice president. Here's the link if you care to see it.
And yeah, I read the gay rumors, too. Make all the jokes you want.
...ETA: according to this link, King died un-married, and I haven't found any mention of children. I'm wondering if he's only a great-great-great-granduncle. If so, that's a family story alot of us have taken for granted.
...hmph. I actually found his will online, and there's no mention of children. He was pretty generous though. His nephew got 65 of his negroes.Holz | 8:10 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (3)
In the Car As I went out to get my weekly comic book haul (surprisingly light!) this afternoon, I was at a red light. From my rear-view mirror, I caught the driver behind me eating corn on the cob. And not a KFC cob on a stick, this was a full two-handed job.
Dude... I know some people like to eat in the car, but if the activity takes two hands, a spinning motion, and quite possibly something that will block your view... just pull over.
Labels: random thoughtposted by Holz | 3:51 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (0)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Hacking Your Comcast Remote Recently, my Comcast remote's DVR controls started acting wonky. One of my buttons that previously rewound my DVR 15 seconds now was rewinding 5 minutes. That didn't really help (until I found my Page Up skipped forward five minutes).
Anyway, I wanted to figure out if there was some way to make my own 2-minutes skip (the 5 minute skip is fairly useless). A quick Google search provided this helpful "hack" into my Comcast remote control:
Labels: random thoughtposted by Holz | 7:59 PM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (2)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The ABCs of My Summer '08 Hiatus As you may have noticed, I've been pretty lax when it comes to blogging lately. Plenty of reasons (although Kris would say there's really only one... found below, under 'B'). Here's a mix of things I've been up to, been thinking about, liking, hating, and pretty much experiencing.
Atonement - Caught the movie for the first time this weekend, and... I think I liked it. Honestly, it's not a very easy movie. Thematically, I was quite lost. I took a very nihilistic message from the movie... in light of thousands upon thousands of death, the lives, lies, and misunderstandings of a family really amount to nothing. Of course, the message might have been the exact opposite. I didn't find it worthy of the praise from the Oscars last year, but it was interesting at least. Pretty hot sex scene, too.
Barenaked Ladies Mafia - After playing a bunch of Mafia games over at HCRealms for the past few months (thanks Stan!), I'm in the middle of moderating my first mafia game, based on the music of Barenaked Ladies. Yeah, kinda weird, but I'm having fun with it. Already looking forward to running my next one, based on either Stephen King's Dark Tower series or the music of Jonatan Coulton. Of course, it depends on how the players feel this one went come end-game. I already feel I've made it too mysterious. Oh well, I'm having tons of fn with it, and it's getting my writer's juices flowing
Chrome - I've been an avid fan of Firefox for a while now, but over the past week, I've been using the new browser, Google's Chrome, and I have to say I like it. Some definite problems in comparison to Firefox (Ctrl-B doesn't bold things, it takes your Bookmarks toolbar away; no drop-downs across the top is confusing). Still, it's never crashed on me (like FF does often), and I like the windows that come up on a new tab.
Day of Sharing - Did some community service last week at a food bank in Sonoma called Food For Thought, a foodbank for those afflicted with HIV. We spent a few hours cleaning out a garage, then another hour picking vegetables in an organic garden. Fun time. My company sets up a day or two a year that we can take off and give back to the community, which is quite nice. Feels good to give back.
Election '08 - Us Democrats have been in a bit of a tailspin these last few weeks, but thankfully we appeared to have recovered. The Palin nod certainly threw the campaign for a loop, but seeing as it gave some of fence-sitting donors (like me) a quick kick in the ass, triggering $66+ million last month, I think it's a short run play that will lead to an even bigger margin of victory come November. Now, it's not to say I'm not a bit worried... the American people can deeply stupid sometimes, and there will be a certain portion of the population that will be snowed in my what's been happening. They're not sheep... they're ostriches, sticking their heads in the sand, ignoring everything going on around them (and to them), as they stick with the long held beliefs that Republican economic policy is better for them (and America) than Democratic policy (which, surprise, surprise, is utterly false). These final weeks are gonna be exciting and scary...
Fantasy Football - Ugh, I am in 4 leagues this year, which I'll never do again. Simply impossible to keeps things straight. One benefit though is I only had Tom Brady in one league... and Colston in another. Week one I only won 1, and it was close. Sadly, I'm just not feeling it at the moment... maybe if Carson Palmer starts MAKING SOME FUCKING COMPLETIONS... *sigh*... there's always next year.
Golf - As a sure sign that I'm getting older, I can officially say I've become a golfer. I was given a full set of clubs for my birthday by the Outlaws, and went on my first full 18 hole excursion with Captain Awesome (my brother-in-law) and others the day before his wedding. I'll say this... I beat my weight. Still, I had a great time (actually getting 3 or 4 bogeys, which I was happy with), and I've already had an actual training session, and hit the driving range on numerous occassions. What can I say, I've been bitten by the bug. Now if I can just get rid of this slice. It's wicked.
Hurricanes - I truly hate this time of year. With nearly all my family down Florida, I have to keep an eye out daily on the weather, as to whether (okay: hee!) I need to be worrying alot, or just my normal worrying. They got off lucky with Ike... but damn, was Texas spanked. Holy hell, just scary as hell.
Indignation - More posts to come, I'm sure, but can I just say how disgusted I've become with John McCain? I used to have respect for the guy, but jeez, has he become the ultimate sell-out. I have tons of problems with the man's policies, but the selection of the worst Vice Presidential nomination in modern history, simply made it clear to me the man has lost any right to the presidency. And the lie after lie the campaign is vomiting out into the ether day after day is disgusting. McCain should have held a press conference apologizing for that "sex ed" advertisement alone, it was the ugliest thing I've seen since Willie Horton.
Jogging - For the first time ever, I participated in a 5K run last week... I wanted to beat 45 mintues, and actually came in at 39 minutes... not even close to stellar, but really, at least I finished period. I may have lost some weight, but I haven't been exercising that much lately, and I've lost what little endurance I have been building up. Next year, I hhope to be able to come in under 30 minutes.
Kristine: Political Junkie - It's official: I've created a monster. Maybe it was overhearing hours upon hours of rants from Olbermann in the background as I watched Countdown each night. Maybe it was the constant flipping of AM stations while in the car. Whatever caused it though, my wife has officially become a political junkie. You know how I called Palin the worst Veep candidate in modern history? Well multiply that feeling by 5 for Night Nurse. She's dove head first into this thing, guns blazing. It's fun to answer her questions on things ranging from tax policy to Israel to the Supreme Court to just who Karl Rove is. I just hope others are getting as fired up as her. I told her this weekend she had her Howard Beales moment, and that she's mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore. She stared blankly. Gotta watch Network, now.
Loki - Puppy is getting big... she's 7 months old now, pushing 45 lbs, and has learned how to talk. And by talk, of course, I mean bark. And bark loud. She barks when there's a noise outside. She barks at her toys. She barks at her sister when Chloe is chewing on something Loki wants. And she likes to get right up to my head when I'm on the computer or watching TV and bark right in my ear, making me deaf for a good few minutes. But... still love her. She's cute as hell, and she's great with strangers. Aside from a growing case of the poopy-foot (she steps in her pile while shitting, then tracks it in), she's perfect.
Marriage - Married life is treating me well, after more than a month... I recommend it :-) In case you couldn't tell from the pictures, the wedding day went off absolutely perfect. My wife was stunning... and even I cleaned up pretty good. As I hinted at earlier, my groomsmen and I entered to the Star Wars Imperial March; the table assignments were all comic book/fantasy locations (head table was Asgard, natch); we entered the reception to Metallica's Enter Sandman (frakkin' awesome); and my girl played White & Nerdy for me, giving me a chance to show my kick-ass white-guy dance moves. I pulled out the lawnmower, the sprinkler head, and the running man. Yeah, I went there.
Netflix - Night Nurse finally got me to cave, and we're now Netflix subscribers. And we're loving it... so much easier to put crappy movies on a list and not feel guilty. Plus, get to see flicks I probably never would have (see: Atonement, above). For anyone like me, who had a habit of buying movies because they thought they'd like them (I'm still apologizing to Night Nurse - and myself - for spending $20 on Ghost Rider) it's worth the investment.
One Hundred Five - That's how many days until Night Nurse and I head out for our actual honeymoon in St. Lucia. It can't get here soon enough. I am really glad we waited to go on our honeymoon though, as if we had headed out right after our wedding, I think we would have slept during half of it. Plus, it gives us something to look forward to.
Philly Cheesesteaks - It's finally arrived: a cheesesteak shop worthy of the name "Philly". The Cheesesteak Shop opened up 20 minutes away last month, and it is everything I've been waiting for: thin steak, great toppings, Whiz optional, and most important, Amoroso rolls. When Kris heard about the grand opening on the radio, she surprised me with a trip, and it was sheer heaving. My 15" over-stuffed King of Philly was gone in under 2 minutes. And the best part? Tastycakes for dessert. Simply awesome.
Quick & Dirty - This was my first season coaching a softball team, and while I think we did well, we took third, getting spanked 20-1 in the final loser's bracket game, while I was on a business trip in Minnesota and our star first basewoman was out sick. Not fun there. But as we lost our entire infield - save me - from last year, this was a bit of a rebuilding year, and the team actually meshed really well.
Rachel Maddow - The liberal-radio talk show host I can listen to has been given her own show, following Keith at 6, and as expected, I'm a fan. Rachel avoids the pitfalls that plague many left-wing editorialists, in that while she does have a righteous anger, she tried to back it up with a clear set of facts, and does not allow herself to get blustered. I also appreciate that she's already had people on from the right, especially her interactions with Pat Buchanan, which always is a good back and forth between the two. The only problem with the show? They really need a new sound engineer, because I can hear cell phone rings and things dropping on the floor in the background constantly.
Secret Invasion - Brian Michael Bendis' grand opus he's been planning since Avengers Disassembled is in full gear, and in my opinion it's come off amazingly well. The Skrulls have always been a bit of a joke in Marvel comics, but Bendis and the entire Marvel crew have really brought the fear-of-the-other full force. The main book is stunning to look at, and jam-packed with excellent dialogue, and the "flashback" stories taking place in New & Mighty Avengers give a great foundation to the house being built. Even sidebooks like Avengers: Initiative (they made 3D Man cool!) and the Young Avengers/Runaways mini were a great read. In comparison to the shitfest Grant Morrison is spewing out in Final Crisis, this is how you orchestrate an epic masterpiece.
Three-Ply Toilet Paper - Got this link from my boy Lushy... but I had already bought a 24 pack a week ago. And yeah... it's as good as it sounds. Two-ply? That's like saying I'd only use a two-blade razor (mine has 5, bitches!). And I don't care if that article says it's aimed at 45 year old women. It's my sanctuary, too
Ultimatum - Even with Secret Invasion going full force, Marvel and Bendis are setting up a truly intriguing storyline in their separate Ultimate Universe. While I've never been a huge fan of the Ultimate X-Men book, the Spider-Man and Fantastic Four core books have proven to be some of the most original comic book stories out there. I was afraid Ultimate Spider-Man was going to be hurt with the departure Mark Bagley (one of my personal faves), however Stuart Immonen has stepped up to the plate. I can't wait for the "end of the Ultimate Universe"... the foundation book Ultimate Origins has been quite mysterious.
Vampires - Finished reading Book One of the teen-romance vampire novel, Twilight on Night Nurse's urging. It actually wasn't half bad. The author has taken some unique liberties with the notion of vampires, and its actually intriguing. Although I'm usually not a fan of first-person narrative books (Koontz has burned me on 'em), I actually find the protagonist well fleshed out and believable. Really looking forward to how they do the movie in a few months.
Weddings - This seemed to be the Summer of Marriage, and Night Nurse and I found ourselves sandwiched in between friends and family, all outdoors. First was Michael Scott and Ms. Teacher, who had a great ceremony in Calistoga, then us, and finally Night Nurse's brother, Captain Awesome to his beautiful bride Blondberry (although Kris says she needs a new nickname now). Anyway, their wedding was simply awesome, taking place in Reno at the Montreaux golf course. I was a groomsman (had to returnn the favor for him doing me the solid of being one of mine!), and after a ceremony that had an appearance by a mini-horse (I kept my composure, don't worry), we had a great time at the reception. I'm not saying there's video of me making an ass out of myself doing the epitome of white-boy dancing... but I'm also not saying there isn't.
X-Factor: Layla Miller - I've said before I stopped reading the X-books a while ago, however I still read Peter David's run of X-Factor which has been spectacular. Honestly, I don't think there's a cooler character in the Marvel universe today than Jamie Madrox. That being said, there was a recent one-shot focusing on the Bendis-created character Layla Miller that was simply phenomenal. If you're a comic book fan, I highly recommend picking it up, it could quite possibly be the best Layla Miller book you'll ever see. Plus, you get to finally see what The Summers Rebellion is that was hinted at dozens of time after Bishop hit the funny books in the 90s.
You know what... it's not easy coming up with a Y. Let's skip it.
Zombies - I recently read the latest trade paperback of the stellar zombie-epic, The Walking Dead, volume 8: Made To Suffer. For fans of horror, I don't think you'll read a better presentation of a world infested with zombies than Robert Kirkman's genius opera. I will have to say, the latest trade - which takes the story up to issue #50 - has some of the most gut-wrenching panels in it. Characters die in ways that you won't easily shake, and Kirkman does things you won't see coming from a mile away. 2 pages in particular (Stan will know the two I'm talking about) still make me queasy.Holz | 9:49 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (9)
"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole."|
100 Bullets #42