This is very cool and very weird all at the same time.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I like what it says on the map I got at the Visitor's Center. "Discovery Park's role is to provide an open space of quiet and tranquility for the citizens of this region - a sanctuary where they might escape the turmoil of the city and enjoy the rejuvenation which quiet and solitude and an intimate contact with nature can bring." Ah. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it.
I got there around 1o am, got my map and headed out. It is a rather large park. I got tired of walking after about 3 hours. The skies were grey but at least it wasn't raining. I simply walked, enjoyed the semi-quiet (the city still finds little way to intrude) and took pictures. I'll post the rest of my pics on my photo site or you can check them out on my Facebook page.
I still have some work to do on the book but I think I'll try to visit Gasworks Park one day this week. It's another one that I haven't been to yet. Might as well do some stuff since I'm on vacation.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I suppose I'll just see what comes up. Perhaps I'll take a day and wander downtown, seeing the sights like a tourist. If weather permits, perhaps I'll take an Argosy Cruise w/ our annual pass. I can always go stroll the beach. I just don't know.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Well, church and the party were cancelled on Christmas Eve so we took a long walk in the neighborhood, played Scrabble, ate the traditional Christmas lasagna, watched Charlie Brown and the Grinch, opened one gift each and then went to bed.
On Christmas day we opened presents, ate the traditional Christmas stollen, and braved the snow to have Christmas dinner and play Cranium with the Lawrence family. Since Sarah hadn't been out since her surgery, she was dying for some company other than me and the cat. We were all pretty stir crazy. We had a great time and only got stuck out in front of their house.
Today, the snow has turned into rain and should stay that way for the next few days. Hopefully this white stuff will be gone pretty quick. We're now on day 9 of snow for Seattle. That is too long. And speaking of 9 days, starting Sunday I'll be off from work for 9 days. I'm not going anywhere...just sticking around here. I have to work on my stuff for the collage book I'm going to be in and I hope to find some adventures to get into. I'll let you know if I do.
Iterations is a collection of short stories by Canadian SF author Sawyer spanning time from before he began his career to more recently. It was a mixed bag. Some I liked, others not. But in general, I still love Sawyer's work and plan on reading all of his books I can get my hands on.
The Five Fists of Science was a dud. It is a steampunk graphic novel about Mark Twain and Nicola Tesla teaming up to create peace on earth with a giant robot of Tesla's creation. I didn't like the story or the art. The rough, unfinished art in the back was better than what's in the finished story.
Add another Batman collection to my utility belt. I enjoyed this one. It was dark and noir and angsty and all things that Batman should be. Cooke, as an artist, has a retro style akin to Batman: The Animated Series which he worked on. The Catwoman story was nice too. I loved the character of Stark that was modeled after Lee Marvin. Too bad Marvin's not around anymore...it would make a killer movie.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Seattle obviously can't handle something like this but they have made the situation worse by being just plain stupid. In their lame attempts to be "green" they have refused to use salt on the roads. Their answer for plowing is to just smooth the snow down which just makes it slicker. Seattle: green but not so bright.
Sarah and I are going a bit stir crazy. I finally went back to work yesterday and, when I got home, we walked up to Fred Meyer to buy The Club. Basically, it's only a visual deterrent but it helps us have a bit of peace of mind after our vehicular violation. Anyway, back to stir crazy. Sarah's in worse shape than me since, in a week's time, she's talked to me and our apt. manager...and that's it. She really, really, really wants to get out tonight for church and partying. Here's hoping we can.
Monday, December 22, 2008
We've really been getting clobbered lately with crap. Gallbladders, vet and doctor bills, bad weather and now this. I hope our luck changes for the better soon.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Sarah seems to be having some bad reactions to the pain meds (nausea, itching). We talked to the nurse and she is switching to just Tylenol and Benedryl. I hope that does the trick. She's basically sleeping alot.
So, for now, we're homebound. Not sure how many days this will last but I wasn't going to be working much this week anyway and then the next week I am off. Check in later for snow pics.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I think my latest graphic novel binge is over with these two. I have depleted the stack and actually started on a book of short stories the other night.
Spider-Man Blue was interesting. I can't say it was as good as Loeb and Sale's treatment of Batman or even Daredevil. I think they are more suited to darker stories. Spider-Man isn't a dark character so it didn't work as well for me. It was interesting though.
I had forgotten about the Teen Titans story arc The Judas Contract. I enjoyed the re-read. I can't say I'm a fan of the character Jericho (don't think I was originally either) but I was a big fan of Deathstroke the Terminator. All in all, an enjoyable read.
Friday, December 19, 2008
We're happy to be home, safe from the icy roads. Did you see the thing about the buses that crashed thru the guard rail and were hanging over the freeway? Crazy!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tomorrow, we head to the hospital for Sarah's surgery. Her appointment is at 1pm. Pray that the roads are clear so that we can get there and home without incident.
Talk to you later. Sarah and I are going to go for a walk in the snow.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
1) I have a scar on my chin from when I fell in the nursery at church. I remember my Nana offering me a cracker to try and get me to stop crying.
2) I used to perform with a lip-syncing group called "The Grandsons of the Pioneers." We did songs by The Oak Ridge Boys and the Imperials. As corny as it sounds, we had at least one paying gig and won 2nd place in a lip-syncing contest at the mall.
3) I don't like tattoos of any kind on anybody.
4) I never, ever skipped school.
5) The most memorable concert I've ever been to was Boston when I was in high school. Sammy Hagar opened up for them and nearly stole the show but Boston took the stage and totally kicked ass.
6) I never watch network television. I gave it up a year or so ago. I watch movies and shows on DVD and that's it.
7) I miss laughing. I don't laugh as much as I used to. The people that I know out here don't have senses of humor that match my own. I miss just sitting around, being crazy and cutting up.
8) After the party celebrating the completion of my performance thesis at seminary, myself and 2 friends hid in a garage and smoked cigarettes.
9) I have always had the dream of being the lead singer of a heavy metal band. Unfortunately I don't have the vocal chops or a body suited to spandex.
10) I don't like shallow relationships. If someone doesn't want to go deep, I really don't want to waste my time with them. On the other hand, I don't allow people to get close because I'm tired of being disappointed so...it's probably a no-win situation.
11) I think Back in Black by AC/DC is possibly the most perfect rock and roll song ever produced.
12) I love to fish even though I haven't been in years. There's just something about sitting on a boat out in the water with nothing but your thoughts. It can be nice.
13) My favorite television show of all time is The Andy Griffith Show. It's timeless and hilarious.
14) I love to explore abandoned spaces like old houses, the forts on Pensacola Beach, buildings, tunnels, etc. I am even more excited to be there if I have my camera.
15) I love telling people at my art shows that I used to be a minister. I usually get a strange look followed immediately by, "Oh really?" It's fun to mess with people.
16) When I was a kid, the first thing I can remember wanting to be was a zoologist. I loved watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. After that phase passed, all I ever wanted to be was an artist.
17) I have never been into videogames but if I had Guitar Hero, Rock Star, or Area 51 at my house you'd probably never see me again.
Okay, so now you know more about me than you've ever imagined you would want to. I'm not going to tag anyone. If you feel like doing this, do it and have fun with it. If not, c'est la vie.
Out of all of these, the one I enjoyed the most was the one I picked up on a whim. I really enjoyed Batman: Lovers and Madmen. The art is quirky yet astounding. The story is great. I really like this version of the Joker's origin. Again, another script that would make a better Batman movie than the ones we've been getting.
I didn't enjoy Batman: Year One as much as I thought I would. Miller's great but this one left me cold. The art is good and serves the story well.
The Titans, well, I always enjoy re-reading comics from my younger days. Makes me wonder where my head was at then vs. now. Nostalgia can be a good thing.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Yes, my graphic novel streak continues. After reading The Long Halloween, I had to continue the story with Dark Victory and When in Rome. This is really good stuff. I suppose that's the downside to not keeping up with comics anymore...missing the really extraordinary stuff. The upside is not being broke. I really like the way Loeb tells a story. So far, I've liked everything I've read by him. Sale's art continues to grow on me to the point where I think I like it a lot. He still does a few weird things that I don't care for but, for the most part, his moody art suits Batman to a T.
I also checked out a bunch of stuff by Perez and company, especially the Teen Titans stuff. I collected these the first time around. (Unfortunately I don't have them anymore) These first few issues set the stage for future greatness. The art and stories got better and better as time went on. I look forward to reading the other 2 collections I checked out. (Terror of Trigon and The Judas Contract) You'll be hearing more about these later.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We met Marshall and Joan there. Sam ended up coming too and he brought his 5 year old Max. He emailed me today to tell me that Max drummed all the way home and than again when he woke up this morning. He loved watching Steve on the drums.
The concert was good. I think they were better last time I saw them. They seemed a bit reserved this time. They were having sound and tuning problems and seemed a bit frustrated about it. (Been there, done that) But, all in all, they never disappoint. Good music, funny stories, and relevant yet irreverent spirituality...that's the Lost Dogs for you. I hope they keep coming back to the NW.
Bonus: When we dropped Phyllis off she presented me with a Lost Dogs shirt. She had bought it for me on the sly. She's awesome. Love you, Phyllis!
Aside: Before the concert, one street over from the church there was a house that turned on it's Christmas lights. It was so remarkable that it got everyone's attention. After the concert, we drove over to take a look. It was amazing. Pictures don't do it justice. This one shot is from the lobby of the church. I shot some video but have no way to edit it to a point where I can put it online. I'll just say it put the Griswold house (from Christmas Vacation) to shame. We all thought they were calling the Mothership.
PS: The pictures suck. I can never get good pictures at a concert.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The show was okay. I've never seen the movie before so I went in not knowing what to expect. It's an old-fashioned show so it was what it was. It was a good production for what it was. It kills me that Seattle audiences love a good old fashioned show. Weird.
I'll include some more pics in the next entry. Tonight we're going to see the Lost Dogs. I hope to get some pics there too but we'll see. If I'm not near the front it might not be worth it.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Because we haven't had to do that this year, we have been able to take advantage of quite a few comps for shows that have come our way. So far we've seen You Can't Take It With You and Black Nativity. Tomorow night we're going to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Wednesday night we're going to see The Lost Dogs Christmas concert. Friday night, we're going to the Taize service at our church which includes the art exhibit Stations of Christmas. On the 17th we're going to see The Christmas Foundling at Taproot and on the 19th I have an art opening. On Christmas Eve we'll be at church and then off to a party with friends. On Christmas Day I'm sure we'll end up over at some other friend's home to play games. As you can see, we're pretty busy this holiday season. We will both be quite ready for some time off by the time Christmas rolls around. Sarah is taking the week of Christmas off and I'm taking the week after off. It's too bad we couldn't take a week together but our work schedules just wouldn't allow it.
So, don't worry about us. We're plenty busy. I'm really looking forward to January when things slow down again. The holidays wear me out.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Since I read Batman:Hush and liked it so much I decided to try some more stuff by Loeb. I am becoming a fan. Everything I've read by him has been really good. The Long Halloween is especially good. It would make a much better movie than any of the other stuff they've been doing with Batman in the cinema. Up until now, the only art I had seen of Sale's was on the television show Heroes. His art is quirky and so very influenced by Frank Miller. I wasn't sure I liked it at first but it's grown on me. There are a few things he does that I don't care for, like his design of Batman's mask, but overall I've been satisfied.
I left the library the other day with a stack of graphic novels so I've got a lot more reading to do. I don't know why I've been on this comic kick lately. I guess I just feel like catching up a bit.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Last night, Sarah and I attended the Christmas auction at church. They raised nearly $17,000 for various mission work around the globe. We couldn't afford to get in on the bidding but we each donated a piece of art for the cause. Steve and Michelle ended up with both pieces. At one point, my piece was stolen from him (white elephant style) but he got it back later. He was so determined. Afterward, the folks it was stolen from asked if I had more to sell so I gave them my card. All in all, it was a fun night.
Ackerman made monsters cool with his magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. I read it voraciously as a kid and it's quite possible that it might be responsible for my love of monsters and my particular brand of smart ass humor. Well, that and Mad Magazine.
Forry, I've missed your magazine for a long time. Now, I have to miss you too.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. From the first moment it starts you can't help but have a smile on your face. It's funny, inspiring, touching and everything in-between. The music is incredible. There were many great singers and the band was amazing! The performances were outstanding...and these aren't all professional actors, dancers and singers...many of them were just radiant, no other way to describe it. Sarah remarked as we left that this was the first time since we moved to Seattle that it felt like we had been to church. I'll second that. Black folks are just good at church. If you live in Seattle, you simply must see this. It's the best thing I've seen in a long, long time.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sarah and I saw You Can't Take It With You last night down at Seattle Rep. Before the show, we wandered around Seattle Center taking in the Christmas lights and toy train/village they have set up. It was very foggy...so foggy that you couldn't see the top of the Space Needle. Spooky!
The show was fun...a madcap comedy from the 30's. I didn't get the meaning of the title until the third act. Grandpa talks to a worldly businessman about what's really important in life. Is it about working your tail off, risking your health to make more and more money or is it about family, having just enough, and having fun. That's a no-brainer for me, folks. In a world where store employees are trampled to death by a crowd wanting a $400 plasma TV, this is an important and relevant message for today.
Things are awakening in the city. Things that have a nasty habit of leaving mutilated bodies in their wake and it all reeks of demons and dark gods up to no good. Owing a favor to his lazy ghost cop buddy Trotsky, Wormwood, the gentleman corpse and his oddball entourage are brought in to investigate the case (or at least hopefully not stuff it up too much.)
Again, picked this up at the library on a whim. I enjoyed Templesmith's art on 30 Days of Night (the movie sucked) so I thought I would give this a go. It's very dark and very gory so if you're not into that sort of thing, don't read this. The story is simple enough...Wormwood is a sentient worm who uses corpses as host bodies. He investigates macabre, paranormal crimes with his cyborg sidekick and a stripper/assassin in tow. The writing is nothing to write home about...servicable...enough to tell the story. I'm more interested in the art. Templesmith has a unique style that is difficult to pin down. He explains his technique (vaguely) in the book so I know he uses Photoshop quite a bit. It's a cool look.
The Brave and the Bold: The Lords of Luck by Mark Waid and George Perez
Sometimes they fight; sometimes they work together. But one thing's for certain: when the brave and the bold team up, action's never far away!This all-new series of superhero team-ups sees Green Lantern, Supergirl, Batman, Blue Beetle and Lobo joining forces to investigate a weapon that alters probability! Marvel as Supergirl takes on all comers in the gladiatorial arena! Recoil at the horror of Cyborg Batman! Howl with laughter as Lobo and Supergirl spar in the stars! Thrill to the action-packed finale! Superstars Mark Waid ("Kingdom Come") and George Perez ("Crisis on Infinite Earths") have their own team-up to create the last word in thrill-packed superhero action!
Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds. Story-wise, it's a mess and pretty stupid. I checked it out because of the art. George Perez is one of the greatest comic artists there is. He's especially good with team books (Avenger's, Teen Titans). I can't say this is the best art I've seen from him but it's still classic Perez. It's too bad the story is so dumb and confusing.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
If you ever thought your life was boring and that you never seem to have a story to tell, move to Seattle. If you hang out on the street or ride the bus long enough, you'll have a story...or two...or a dozen.
Uh oh. This almost turned into a rant. My bad.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she's no longer constrained by a worn-out body either. But suddenly Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.
Like many of Sawyer's other books, I really enjoyed this. It's true that sometimes the science is a bit over my head but Sawyer never let's science overshadow story or character. And boy, Sawyer's stories almost always make you think and this was no exception.
Invincible by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker
Invincible is the teenaged son of Omni-Man, an extraterrestrial superhero of the Vilitrumite race, recently revealed to be more than he seems. Invincible inherited his father’s superhuman strength and ability to fly and he has sworn to protect the Earth. He has had trouble adjusting to his newfound powers and coping with the reality of his origins.
I grabbed this at the library before I had to hop on the bus to go pick up the jeep. I finished it on the ride there. It was an okay story with okay art. The art could be much improved if they got an accomplished inker to work on it. The basics are there. I guess I just don't like the way the artist finishes his art. Story-wise, a couple of things bothered me. First, how matter-of-fact everyone is about everything. Second is how easily every problem got wrapped up. I suppose this is the way it was designed. It was a nice diversion...nothing more.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We've really been hit with a lot of junk lately. The jeep's been in the shop 3 times this month and we had to take Mickey to the pet ER a couple of weeks ago. We hope all this junk will abate soon. We're kinda tired.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Hush is a 2002-2003 comic book story arc that ran through the Batman monthly series. It was written by Jeph Loeb, and penciled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams and colored by Alex Sinclair. The story depicts a mysterious stalker, head wrapped in bandages, called Hush, who seems intent on sabotaging Batman from afar, and utilizes a large number of guest appearances by Batman villains. It also emphasizes the romantic feelings between Batman and Catwoman.
I really, really liked this graphic novel. In the book, Batman is dark, moody, haunted, and pissed...the way I like my Batman. The writing is top-notch. I've never read anything by Jeph Loeb before. This won't be my last. I've always regarded Jim Lee as a talented artist but after he arrived on the scene too many people started emulating his style and it got old fast. I was hesitant to read this because of Lee. I'm glad I overcame my bias. This is the best art I've seen him do and Scott Williams inks over Lee's pencils is perfect. I also liked the watercolor art that is used to show flashbacks. I think I would eventually buy this graphic novel for my collection. It's that good.
Batman: Harley and Ivy by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and others
The sexy, madcap super-villain duo of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy plan to take down Batman once and for all in this uproariously funny volume. But first, Harley has to convince Ivy that she has what it takes to be a villain in
Yes, it seems I've been in a Batman mood of late. I've just lucked out and found some graphic novels that I've actually wanted to read at the library lately. That said, I also enjoyed this book but especially the stories illustrated by Bruce Timm (or in his style). Timm is the main guy behind the visual greatness of Batman: The Animated Series. I love the retro/modern look of his art. Besides that, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are great characters especially when teamed. I wasn't as big a fan of the Joe Chiodo illustrated story. He is very talented but I can sometimes be a purist when it comes to comic book art. Most of the time I prefer the penciled/inked look over a painted one. This time that proved to be the case.
Riding the bus in Seattle is never boring.