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.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"There's a war in Heaven and Earth is the battleground!In the cold, dark days of December 1944, as World War Two rages, Chris Stavros - an Amercian soldier - has but one goal: getting home safely to care for his son after learning his wife has died. But in the midst of battle and trying to stay alive, he finds the stakes raised as heavenly warriors emerge from the skies - resulting in an impossible task given to Stavros and his platoon: recover the lost Sword of God before a troop of arcane, unkillable German soldiers locate it and storm Heavens Gate! These American soldiers, this "Light Brigade," will now begin a supernatural crusade that will determine the fate of the world...one bullet, and one soul at a time!"
I really loved this graphic novel. I'd never heard of it but I saw it at the library and decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did. It's like Saving Private Ryan with zombies and angels. You can't really go wrong with a combination like that.
Knightfall parts 1, 2 and 3 by various artists and writers
I also found this at the library; the story arc chronicling Bane's defeat of the Batman and the rise and fall of Jean Paul Valley as the new Batman. I never read this when it first came out so I figured I'd give it a chance. It was okay. The story was interesting but most of the art left me cold. A story has to be some kind of fantastic for me to overlook so-so art. It had it's moments. I'm glad I read it...probably won't read it again.
But I'm still mad. Sarah and I just watched season 1 on DVD and it was great! Figures it would get cancelled. It has a great cast, great scripts, and an awesome visual style. Yeah, let's cancel that puppy!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I just read on my cousin's blog that they are tearing down the white buildings at my home church, Olive Baptist in Pensacola. Back when I was a tyke, the white buildings and the sanctuary (now Rousseau Hall) is all there was. I attended kindergarten in those buildings, played on the playground behind those buildings, went to Sunday School in those buildings. As I sit and think, there are so many memories connected with those buildings. Here are just a few...
- In the nursery, I fell off one of the box/benches that ran along the wall and cut my chin open. I remember my Nana coming to get me to take me to the doctor. They sat me up on the counter and Nana offered me a cracker to try and calm me down. I still have that scar.
- Going to Sunday School as a kid. One year, I was actually in the same room where my Nana taught for many years. She wasn't my teacher though. If memory serves, my teacher was Doris Martin and to this day I still remember Proverbs 17:17 from that very class.
- During another year of Sunday School, I remember sitting in a semi-circle singing songs while Aunt Nellie Parazine played the piano. We used to sing "Do Lord" all the time.
- One year during Vacation Bible School, we had these plaster Lord's Supper's that we painted gold. I remember thinking that was so cool.
- We had most of our rehearsals for the puppet ministry out in those white buildings. Those were really fun.
- On the second floor of one of the buildings, you could jump the rail and get up on the roof. It was like another world up there. In high school, you can just imagine what we used it for.
- On many a Wednesday night, after supper, we would steal the remaining bowls of pudding, sneak around between the white building and the Simmon's house and throw those bowls at passing cars. We also did some other juvenile things but I'll keep those to myself.
- I won't go into details but I also had some romantic encounters with some young ladies in some side rooms in those white buildings.
From kindergarten to grown man, I spent a lifetime in those white buildings. It's a shame I'll never see them again. I wish I had a picture to post but I don't. But I can see them in my mind's eye. I can see my friends as they were back then when the church and those white buildings were almost our entire world and not a bad world at that.
Addendum: I found a picture in a book about my church that I forgot I had. This was taken before Rousseau Hall was built. The white buildings were the sanctuary at that time. That was before my day. I also neglected to mention that the church is not only important in my history but in my family history as well. My mom grew up there and I believe our family started with the church in the 1920's. I don't know all the details...I just know we've had family at that church for a long, long time. My parents are members elsewhere now but I still have aunts and cousins and the like roaming those hallowed halls. I am 99% certain that I'll never attend there again but Olive will always hold a special place in my heart.
Monday, November 17, 2008
After that, we scooted thru the Farmer's Market to get some honey. There were lots of street musicians around. The one in the pic caught my attention so I had to take a pic. We then went down to the Lockspot Cafe for fish and chips. My cousin Chris would love this place because there are autographs of all the fishermen from Deadliest Catch all over. The fish and chips were okay (certainly not as good as the ones we had in Friday Harbor) but the atmosphere was pure Ballard fishing community. After lunch we went over to the Locks for a minute, then headed back thru Ballard stopping at Archie McPhee's and a couple of consignment shops. On the way home we stopped at Larsen's Bakery because we had been curious about it. We bought a delicious dessert (cherry cream cheese twist) to take home.
The jeep was acting up so I took it in this morning. Our mechanic is Russian or something similar and he's a no nonsense guy. He called a while ago to tell me it's fixed. He's quick, dependable and reasonable. You can't ask for more in a mechanic these days. Guess I'll walk over and pick it up in a bit. I'll probably go by the bread outlet and the library on my way home. I had hoped to get some art done on my day off but I just don't think it's going to happen today.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The guys were, I think, shocked. I didn't think they would be. I figured they saw it coming. Guess not. They were kind, said a lot of nice things about me and reassured me that our friendships would not change. I knew that because they are good people. They are concerned about me and hurt for me because of the spiritual battle I am going through. We talked some about it and perhaps we'll have the opportunity to have more conversations. It would be nice to have someone to talk to about all this even though I don't know how to explain how I feel.
So, unless there's some intervention from on high, I will be stepping down as lead singer for Midlife Chrysler at the end of December. I will miss it. I love singing, music and performing. It's a great creative outlet for me. I guess that means I'll have to work that much harder on my art.
The music was good but the sound wasn't. It was very muddy. Another annoying thing about the show was that every instrumentalist had a solo...in every song. I'm all for soloing but...c'mon! Also, I know Ribot was positioned so he could see McCoy but he had his back to the audience. He's a guitar player. I want to see his hands while he plays.
There was a funny moment when, after 4 or 5 songs, McCoy got up, said something in the mike (again, terrible sound plus he has one of those raspy, jazz voices) and walked off the stage. None of the other guys said anything but based on the bass players face his inner monologue had to have been, "Where the hell is McCoy going? McCoy, get your ass back out here. We've gotta play some more songs." In a few seconds, McCoy strolled back on the stage, mumbled something in the mike about a broken watch then sat back down and played some more. I guess if you're 70 years old and a jazz legend, you can do whatever you want.
There were some interesting folks at this concert but none more interesting (my way of being nice and not saying annoying) than the ones directly in front of us. It was 2 couples; a dapper yet nerdy looking black man accompanied by a large white woman who wouldn't look out of place in a bowling alley and a white man (think bowling alley again) accompanied by a black woman who looked like she was going to church and apparently McCoy Tyner's biggest fan...sorta. The two women were slathered with perfume which caused my sinuses to rebel in a big way. McCoy's biggest fan sat thru the whole concert talking back like she was at church. She'd clap her hands and bob her head up and down, laughing and saying stuff like, "Yeah. Uh huh. That's right." But I suppose even McCoy Tyner's biggest fan has a limit. About an hour into the concert, they all just got up and left. Well, let me rephrase that. They made a big show of leaving. The concert only went on another half hour but I'm not complaining. My nose was thankful that they left.
All in all it was a good evening full of good music, good conversation with a friend and more than a healthy dose of people watching in Seattle. I won't even tell you about the transvestite on the bus. (think Fred Flintstone trying to look like Jackie Kennedy and you'll be close)
Friday, November 14, 2008
The wizard Margle the Horrendous takes special pride in never killing his enemies. Instead, he transforms them into various accursed forms and locks them away in his castle. His halls are filled with his collection of fallen heroes and defeated villains, along with a few ordinary folk who were just unfortunate enough to draw Margle’s attention.
It’s Nessy’s duty to tend this castle. It’s a lot of work, but she manages, taking pride in housekeeping talents that keep the castle from collapsing into chaos. But when Margle suddenly dies, everything begins to unravel. Nessy finds herself surrounded by monsters, curses, a door that should never be opened, and one very deadly dark wizardess.
Nessy doesn’t have might or magic on her side; she’s just a kobold: short, furry, and sensible. Her allies aren’t much better: a voice without a body, an angry fruit bat, a monster under her bed, a wizard in a jar (or some of him, anyway), and a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple, people eater. It would be smarter to walk away, but taking care of the castle is Nessy’s job, and that’s just what she intends to do.
If only she could find time to polish the silver while beating back the forces of darkness.
I have read all but one of Martinez's books. I have liked them all except for A Company of Ogres. I liked this one pretty well. It's not my favorite of the bunch but it was entertaining. I loved all the crazy characters that live in the castle and the fact that, even though they dwell under a curse, there's a family bond between some of them. The whole time I was reading this I could picture it in my head as an animated feature. So, nothing deep, a fun read.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The doc told us she thought his thyroid might be enlarged so we will make sure our vet checks that during his next blood test which is in a couple of weeks. Today, he's been sleeping a lot. When we got home last night he wouldn't come out of his carrier. When we got him out he hid in the closet. We let him be and this morning he got in bed with me. A little while ago he curled up on the couch next to me and went to sleep. He's still not eating great but his chemo ends today so we hope his appetite will pick up in the next day or so.
Sick cats are tough. I can't imagine having kids.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
For what it's worth I do understand why some people don't consider collage an art. I probably had some of those feelings myself before I actually started doing it. All I can say to all you naysayers is: Try it sometime.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I don't have enough brain power today to make this into anything profound. I guess I'm just mourning true, deep friendships. Sarah and I both miss that a lot.
Friday, November 07, 2008
As you can see from the pictures, JA is a very unique and beautiful space. The walls are curved which throws a unique perspective on the show. I don't think my art has looked better in a space.
After the show, we stepped across the street for a quick shot of the Seattle skyline. Contrary to what the sign says, Seattle has not been a dead end but an opportunity for me to grow as an artist. There are some things I don't like about this city but it's a great place to be an artist.
The great guys from Fox Plumbing came out and fixed the broken pipe under the Green Bean. They had to break thru the concrete to get to it. They were almost done when I left a while ago. Really friendly, dependable guys. I liked 'em.
Now, onto the server room. I showed that to the guys and they told me how to build a dam around a drain with asphalt patch to temporarily fix the problem. Once I swept all the water up and built the dam, the puddle along the wall in the server room dried up. I hope it's taken care of. I am going to check in on things over the weekend and see if it stays dry. We are going to have a metric buttload of rain over the weekend.
It doesn't rain in Seattle as much as they tell you it does but it's still a problem. Yuck!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link
2. Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page)
3. Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)
Band Name - Kobylinka
Album Title - How Little You Have
Album Art - (the pic in the post)
If you're reading this, it's your turn now.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thanks to my wife and crew of volunteers, Trunk or Treat was a great success. It rained all day but tapered off as the afternoon progressed. Then, as the start time approached, we got another downpour with a sunbreak which produced a rainbow. A sign that ToT would be a success? Perhaps. More likely just typical Pacific NW weather.
As you can see in the pics, folks went all out. Sarah herself was the queen of ToT as Marie Antoinette. She kept her head but did eat some cake. (a cupcake anyway) No pics of me this year. I wimped out, put on a smock and beret and went as an artist. One person said, "You're not in costume. You ARE an artist." Oh well. Sarah and I went whole hog 2 years in a row with our trunks (winning 1st and 2nd prizes) This year, I took the day off and spent the day doing what she needed me to do to get ToT up and running. It was a rough day but, in the end, it all came together.
This first book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series finds our Louisiana waitress heroine Sookie falling in love with vampire Bill. Of course, lots of folks don't approve and there's been a series of murders that seem to have been perpetrated by a vampire. Or were they?
I've known about these books for quite a while now but I avoided them because I figured they were geared more toward a female audience. I was right but my curiosity got the better of me because HBO and Alan Ball has created a series (True Blood) based on the books. So, I figured if I was going to eventually see the series, I should see if the books are any good.
The book was good but, like I said, totally more appealing to women. Way too much sitting around making goo-goo eyes, drinking each other's blood during sex, and that kind of stuff for me. I can see why the series is popular but I won't be reading any more of them.
Sarah, you done good.