I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

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.

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posted by Holz | 9:49 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (9)


After reading A thru Z, minus Y, T was by far my favorite!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/25/2008 11:26 AM  

That was very impressive...

By Blogger Lindsay, at 9/26/2008 12:33 PM  

You purchased Ghostrider? I am going to go vomit now.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/26/2008 6:22 PM  

Dude, you can have my bucket, it's only 3/4 full.

By Blogger Holz, at 9/27/2008 10:34 AM  

So although I have no idea what you are talking about in B - I am thrilled that something has you writing again. A-Z - very impressive. Y = how about some Yuletide plans. Palin; rep's...please give women some credit; McCain; how badly do you want a nomination to sell out so cheaply.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/27/2008 11:26 AM  

My parents are convinced that Sarah Palin is the devil incarnate

By Blogger Lindsay, at 9/28/2008 9:13 AM  

Good to see that you can get a decent cheesesteak. And that you are jogging too. My excercising has fallen off the map lately, but I hope to get back on track. H should be for Heroes now. I thought that was a badass beginning to the season. I was glad to see the changes that went with the latest Walking Dead too. I thought it was getting a little stale, but now everything is shaken up.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/28/2008 9:04 PM  

"My parents are convinced that Sarah Palin is the devil incarnate"

And if I understand Judaism at all, that's saying A LOT!

"H should be for Heroes now. I thought that was a badass beginning to the season."

I agree, really liked the opening episode, and while the Sylar "reveal" didn't surprise me too much, it was pretty interesting, makes me really look forward ot the rest of the season.

I'm wondering if Nathan isn't really Peter's brother... opening up a possible non-pseudo-incest love story with Peter and Claire.

By Blogger Holz, at 9/29/2008 12:37 PM  

Heroes opener was great - but I got to say I liked Supernatural even better

As to Palin as Lucifer - I think he would be play the part much smarter


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/29/2008 4:08 PM  

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Right Now I'm Probably...
Lost, Heroes, 24, Criminal Minds
Brobdingnagian Bards
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Final Fantasy XII
Running... hopefully
My Amazon.com Wish List
Comic Quote of the Week
"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"

"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"

"You took mine."

Wesley and Angel, Angel: After The Fall #15

Who Am I?
Name: Holz
Home: Sonoma County, California
About Me: I'm a comfortador.
See my complete profile

Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely
Kicking ass for:
29 years
UWing Systems Design Specialist
Walking Theme:
Believe It Or Not by Joey Scarbury
Most watched movie:
The Princess Bride
Most read book:
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

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Blogs I Will Most Likely Steal Ideas From
The Past
Some of My Favorite Entries
"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