Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Mini Deception

In the past I've written about the random shopping cart that always seems to appear in the parking spot you are turning into. You hold out for a closer parking spot at the grocery store, get over excited, begin to turn and...son of a... Shopping cart! You start cursing the moron who just left the cart 2 wheels up on the mini tree island, and totally disregard the fact you've done the same thing with your cart in the past.

For the record: I always walk my cart back to the nearest cart docking station.

My new hatred derives from another small metal object with wheels by the mini tree island. I now hate Minis. Mini Coopers are shopping carts you can drive. They are so small they get lost behind trucks and other normal size vehicles in parking lots. You hold out for a closer parking spot at the grocery store, get over excited, begin to turn and...son of a... Mini Coop! The only difference between a Mini and a shopping cart is that a shopping cart holds more passengers.

Parking lots should start putting a section right next to the bike racks for Minis. I'm sure they use the same type of locks.

One should never leave their Mini in a regular parking spot. Mini owners must understand what goes around, comes around. Mini owners will also hold out for a closer parking spot at the grocery store, get over excited, begin to turn and...son of a...Mini Coop! The second Mini owner starts cursing the moron who just left their Mini next to the mini tree island, and totally disregards the fact they've done the same thing with their Mini in the past.

For the record: I would always drive my Mini back to the nearest Mini docking station.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Artist's Unofficial Comic Bookmarker

Dustin Nguyen, a signed DC artist (Batman Streets of Gotham), just posted two new 5 x 11 watercolor pieces on his blog. They are centered around Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin, but feature two of his prime nemesis: The Punisher and Daredevil. The characters intertwine in comic books just as these two new works of art intertwine in composition.

The Punisher's piece features shades of black/grey which emphasize outfit's tone. Obviously there are shades of red for Daredevil. I liked how the color seems to drip down from The Punisher's piece and how the color seems to drop down onto the Daredevil piece. The two seem to connect, yet they are separate.

I have created an unofficial combo of the two (posted to the right) that makes for a very cool bookmark. I have also posted a checkered version of "the Fisk's" below that you can try using as a tiled background on your computer screen. It may look a little too hectic, but you can give it a try.

I recommend checking out some of Dustin's other new watercolor posts such as his art inspired by the movie/book "The Road." Follow this link and enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Mr. Pepper to Me

When a person gives themselves a nick name we tend to hate them. We think they are being self involved, and no one likes a person conceded about there cleverness...unless they do it in a charming-awareness-of-the-stupidity-of-it kind of a way. So why is it that we, as a society, are expected to use the title of "doctor" on so many people?

"Please call me Dr. Willingham."

"Actually, it's Dr. Huffinpuff."

"I do not know of a Mrs. Shelly Johnston, but I do know a Dr. Shelly Johnston."

Really? You are demanding I call you doctor. It is considered a sign of respect to use the title when talking about or addressing people whom have received their doctorate degree in any given field of study. While this may be an accomplishment that many people will never achieve, it in no way deserves a special title. Why not create a title for those whom have climbed Mt. Everest, or for those whom have finished the "Ole 96er"?

The reason we do not create a title for those select few people is the same reason I do not respect the title "Doctor": I didn't choose for these people to do what they have done.

I never told these people to go to school for 12 years. It was not my choice to have these people commit themselves to a certain field in a manner that would commit their life to it. These people with doctorates are impressive for committing themselves to a field of study for so long, but that's as far as it goes. I respect you, but I'm not in respect with you.

I am sure that with in the community of doctors many doctors look down upon other doctors in lesser known fields. Do surgeons look down on dentist? Medical doctors down on Psychological doctors? Regular doctors down on diet doctors? They may taste the same, but they got their degree online. Doctor's have a saying, "a doctorate from Devry is the degree clip-on tie."

I'm not going to lie. I call these people "Doctor" all of the time. I hate it. But you know what I hate more? I hate dieing on their surgical table. Oh yeah. They'll do it. Well, maybe not. But I'm not chancing it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long Beach State Basketball Improves

The Long Beach State basketball team is beginning to turn heads. With today's first ever win (in school history) over UCLA, the 49ers not only become the 4th team to beat the lowly Bruins, but they also put themselves on the college basketball map once again.

Long Beach State is not going out of their way to stick to low level teams in and out of their conference this year; rather they are traveling to play the best. They challenge 6 AP top 25 teams this season and 4 of them are currently in the AP top 10 (Texas, Kentucky, Duke, West Virginia). To be the best you have to play the best...consistently. All of these games are away games: including their 3 losses on the season so far to Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Clemson (all AP top 25 teams), but they are battling no matter where the court may be.

In State's recent 3 game tournament run (the 76 Classic), sophomore T.J. Robinson averaged 20 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, while making 60.5 percent (23-of-38) of his shots. Robinson put up these numbers against tough Clemson and West Virginia teams, and the usually competitive UCLA.

For the future Long Beach is trying to build by recruiting more talent than in previous years. In 2008 rated State's recruiting class 10 overall among mid-major schools. This year has rated Long Beach 6 overall among the mid-majors. Leading this class is shooting guard Jacob Thomas from Minnesota. He is ranked 89th on's top 100 class of 2010 recruits. Mid-major teams like Long Beach State rarely get players ranked within the top 100 in the nation. says that Thomas is, "widely considered one of the most prolific jump shooters in the country." Thomas passed on schools like Notre Dame, Iowa, and Wisconsin: teams much more established than Long Beach.

So far believes Long Beach State is the team out of the Big West Conference that will prove to be the best, both this year and beyond. They have fought hard so far this season and with continued improvement in play, coaching, and especially recruiting, I think they can eventually rise to a national competitive level. We can one day get back to the golden years of 1970 to 1973 when we went to the elite 8 twice and sweet 16 twice. This being the 40th anniversary of that run I say...


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Multiple Christmas Lists

As I get older and bring more people into my life, I run into a problem around Christmas time. I want so many things and I don't know who will or could get it for me. Such a problem to have...

If I create a list of things I would like to receive and give it to everyone I may get several of the same gifts. Then I have to return one of the gifts and that can be a hassle. Also, if I have already received the gift from another person I have to put on the fake happy face.

"Oh what?! Firefly, the complete DVD set! Man, I love this gift so much I wouldn't mind having three...which is a good thing because this is my third. Oh, it was ordered online so I have to ship it back...not a problem! I'll use my cash and ship it to get your account reimbursed. But again...great gift! Thanks!"

Some people will say to me, "Maybe you shouldn't get anything then, if you do not want to get the same gifts. It is the only way to know for sure the gift won't be repeated."

I of course reply by calling them a dumb bitch and pointing out they could always just give me money, a gift card, or something I specifically told them. Granted I have just called them a dumb bitch, so I usually get nothing from that person. You call them one harmless name...

I obviously have put some thought into this, and that is why I make multiple lists for different people. I access the giver's income, thoughtfulness, willingness to search for a gift, and overall mood when it comes to gift giving. I give different people different objects (books, electronics, random goods) per list and include the same type of gift cards on everyone's list.

Often times people will try to be creative and get me something off the list. Sometimes you get an unexpected gem and other times you get a 2 pack DVD combo: Police Academy 3/Big Mama's House 2. My mom is good at giving me a mix of gifts I want and things I didn't know I wanted. (Cologne? What is she trying to say?) She understands how my mind works and she makes every Christmas a good time.

In conclusion, I am not being greedy or ungrateful. I am being practical. I suggest every person make multiple Christmas lists.

...unless of course all you want are jars and jars of the popcorn flavored jelly belly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Short Poem For All Ages

I once knew a girl who made princess toys.
Well no, not the toys, but the boxes.
These plastic figurines were not made for boys;
Rather, they were made for children without coxes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Words That Sound Like Inappropriate Words

Once in a great while one will come across a term that does not fit its situation. Words that are spoken too quickly in certain situations can make someone appear to be an ass. The following example is one of my shining moments which will further explain exactly what I mean.

Once upon a time...

I was working at P.F Chang's China Bistro as a server late one night, when I received a table of two old black ladies in the mood for some dinner. The table started off like any other: I asked how they were, they were friendly, and we chatted briefly. By the time the old ladies were through with their meal we had spoken about different subjects and had pockets of nice conversation throughout the night. Normally that is where every story about a nice table ends, and in a way, that is still true for this story. Yet, just before I left and said goodbye to the old black ladies, they asked me one last question.

“We were trying to think of the name of this old horror movie we saw, maybe you can help us? Have you ever seen a movie where a woman is sewing a quilt together and when some man walks up to the lady she jumps up and stabs him in the eyes with her quilting tools?”

With some shock to such a random question, I quickly replied, with some emphasis towards the end, “No! But it sounds like that’s one crazy knitter!”

Looking back, I do not remember how long I stood there. The old black ladies and I just stared at each other in shock, confusion, and with a tad bit of horror. I only remember the quite walk back to the kitchen.

Was it subconscious racism that sparked such a witty comment, or was it sheer coincidence that the term I used was unfortunately similar to an ignorant slur? Either way, I hate the term knitter for being too much like a callous word.

(Knitting Needle stabbed into an eye - X-Ray)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween is a series of 13 issues (1996-1997) written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. It basically picks up in the Batman universe after Batman: Year One (Miller & Mazzucchelli), the origins of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jim Gordon. The Long Halloween tells the story of Batman, Gordon, and Harvey Dent's relationship towards each other and their attempts to save the rotting city of Gotham.

The story is at it's core a murder mystery or a "who done it?" It examines the bond between men with the same wants, but different ideas on how to achieve goals. The characters are fleshed out very well. From the examination of Bruce Wayne's connection to his deceased parents, to the Gotham city mobsters' connection to family and power; Loeb and Sale craft a tale that keeps you in suspense and keeps you guessing.

Going into this graphic novel I had only read one Loeb & Sale collaboration: Daredevil: Yellow (also really good). I liked Sale's art in Yellow, but it was still new to was growing on me. By the time I got through The Long Halloween I became a full on fan. Not a crisp style like a Steve McNiven (amazing artist), but rather a slightly exaggerated form of quick-hand drawings that give the characters personality through their visuals: a large Batman, shadowy Harvey Dent, and sleek Joker are some examples.

I am planning on picking up more of Loeb & Sale's work including their other Marvel "color" books such as: Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Grey, and Captain America: White. Along with The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory won the duo an Eisner Award for best Graphic Album reprint.

Being 13 issues long, The Long Halloween is quite the read. Affordable at no more than $20, it feels like you are reading an actual novel (non-graphic) which you must set down from time to time to catch your breath. I recommend this read for a rainy Sunday when you have no plans. It will make your weekend.

I believe in Batman: The Long Halloween.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Last of the Skipping Stones

Flat and round,
upon the ground,
the last of the skipping stones lie.

Others splash.
No skip, no dash.
They sink to the bottom and die.

Which to choose?
Without some grooves,
How does one tell them apart?

Not by size,
a solid guise,
but how it beats in it's heart.

Held in hand,
if pulse is bland,
disregard and go find a new.

On water,
sinks without her,
skipping heartbeats being with you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

5 Reasons to Watch the Browns This Monday

This Monday night the Cleveland Browns face the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN's Monday Night Football. The Browns have only one win on the season and have a total of 4 good players (that's counting the punter). It seams like a game any casual football fan may want to pass, but maybe not. I submit 5 reasons to watch Monday Night Football this week.

5. The Fantasy Impact

Sure the Browns are horrible, and most leagues probably don't have a single one of their players, but the are playing the Ravens. Most every player on Baltimore's roster is projected to have a huge game. I, myself (sounds redundant), have WR Derrick Mason who went for 118 yards and a touchdown against the browns in week 3. I also have the Ravens' defense who gave up just 3 points to the Browns while intercepting 4 passes. I do not expect this week to be any different then week 3.

4. Josh Cribbs On & Off The Field

Over the past 3 seasons Josh Cribbs has been one of the best (if not the best) kick/punt returners in the NFL. This season he has a punt returned for a touchdown and a kickoff returned for a TD. He is rated either 1 or 2 on most experts top returners in the league lists. He is a source of pride for Cleveland fans on the field, and more recently oof the field. In a display of his quality as an individual, Cribbs walked a high school senior-night with the son of his former college football coach. Cribbs late coach died in 2005 of lymphoma leaving behind his son Michael Drake. Cribbs, unannounced, showed up to walk Drake onto the football field and be there for the son of a coach who was like a father to Cribbs. Read the story here.

3. Brady Quin: Medicine Man?

With the lowest passer rating (36.2) and the lowest completion percentage (42.9%) in the NFL this season, Derrick Anderson has been benched by the Cleveland Browns. His 9 interceptions in 6 games has lead the team to turn the ball back over to their opening day starter Brady Quinn. A move, expected, but depressing. Quinn started week 3 against the Ravens: throwing one interception with a total of 34 yards. He was benched at the half, giving way to Anderson who lit up the Ravens by throwing 3 interceptions. Is Quinn, the former Notre Dame collegiate star, the medicine the browns need to turn things around. The numbers say no, but Sean Connery believes the Browns' flower has bloomed and revealed that Quinn is the rare ant that can cure the Browns' losing cancer.

2. The Lovable Losers

Who can honestly say they hate a Cleveland team? They once in a great while put up a fight, but they never win it in the end. If anything, they give your team a free victory. Besides LeBron with the Cavs, Cleveland has been a push over for more years than I have been alive. People love an underdog and the Browns are almost always the underdog. Secretly, I think most people would like to see the Browns win. If're either a front runner or from Pittsburgh. Either way, I hate you.

1. Pst...Nothing is on

If you live on the west coast nothing else is on at 5:30pm worth watching. However, if you are on the east coast... I suggest starting with House (8pm) on Fox, laughing at the Browns for an hour on ESPN, then flipping over to Castle on ABC (10pm, one of my favorite shows).

Enjoy the game!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Lion and The Fly

He's a big ol' putty cat with a mane, crown of fur
The lionesses dig him, his scent, his allure.

The females crowd the king and lick at his face,
but his liege swats them away to give him his space.

He sits alone, licks his chops stained blood red.
Just the king in the shade of a tree old and dead.

One ear twitches. The tail jerks. Now both ears.
Slight touches. Light buzzing. Then he appears.

The pest of the dead, the speck of black in the sky.
Paradoxical in origin. The smell or the fly?

Again the king swats. "Away with you tormentor."
The fly takes no notice, and remains a dissenter.

Given no choice the lion lets his paws go,
he bites at the sky and tail he does throw.

The fly carries on. Land. Fly. Land. will.
While the king begins to tire from his illusive kill.

The lord falls to the dirt, pants hard, head on ground,
as the fly still continues to effortlessly dance around.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Owned by Hulu

Last month I did a post about how much I enjoyed the Marvel Spider-Woman motion comics. You can re-read that post here. This statement is still true, however, I do like Marvel a little less now.

The way to obtain these motion comic episodes it to purchase them through iTunes. They are $1.99 (less than what an average comic costs) and you keep them in your iTunes player. Currently, The Astonishing X-Men motion comics are being sold, and are the newest of Marvel's motion comic line. I am currently buying those episodes. But should I be?

The Hulu-loop

For awhile Marvel let viewers watch the first episode of Spider-Woman for free on their site or through an embedding on other's sites, like my own. Now, Marvel has released all of the episodes for free through Hulu. It may be for a limited time, but I still feel cheated in some way. I paid for the episodes and now they are just giving them away!

  • Hulu may just be showing them for a limited time only.
  • I do have the download to watch on the go if I choose.
  • I did get to watch the episodes when the first came out.

...But Still!

Oh well, at least by showing them for free this can expand the awareness of the Marvel motion comics line. Feel free to watch from the Marvel Hulu page, or the Hulu show page. freeloaders.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hate Love Dilemmas: Croutons

Air never tasted so good.

Who knew that when eating stale porous pieces of bread one could enjoy a salad so much? Croutons have become so popular that many different flavors and shapes of the dried out bread have been created. I, like millions, love croutons. And I, like millions, hate croutons.

To eat salad you stab the leaves or lettuce with a fork. Sure the veggies stay on the fork, but when a crouton is stabbed the crouton cracks in half and falls from the fork. This, of course, assumes the crouton isn't too hard to even be punctured. One ends up using the fork like a spoon to eat stale bread bits. My, how the might have fallen. The fork has been reduced to the depths of the spoon. Anything can scoop, but it takes a true tool to impale. I love and hate croutons.

While we're on the subject...

Like croutons, I do love myself a yellow apple and week old Mother's frosted oatmeal cookies. The yellow apple is an oddity. A mixing of both red and green apple. Not sour like the green, yet not crispy and solid like the red. A yellow apple is an inbred of the two. Not natural and almost rotten. Yet, that is how I like my apples...almost rotten. Just like the week old Mother's frosted oatmeal cookies.

Soft. Tasty. Almost rotten.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hate Love Dilemmas: Chunky Peanut Butter

I love chunky peanut butter. I am a crazy fiend for peanuts, so then I must obviously love extra peanuts in my peanut butter. Possibly the weirdest thing ever, yet it worked so well.

Chunky peanut butter really is an odd thing. They (the executive at JIF, Peter Pan, etc.) decided they would not grind up all the peanuts, but rather, leave some just broken. Not crushed. Just damaged.

Despite all of it's success, and even the amount of joy I receive from the damaged product...

I hate it!

Have you ever tried to spread chunky peanut butter on a piece of soft bread? It takes half the jar! It crumples up the bread as you spread, and it over powers the jelly on a PB&J like a strong wind to old people. Sorry Jelly. I never wanted it like this, but these are the thing that must be with chunky peanut butter. I hate and love chunky peanut butter.

Oh, and I hate telling people I like "peanuts." When you say it quickly it sounds like "penis." There is always a moment of uncomfortable silence while the person I tell registers that I have said "peanuts" and not "penis." Or maybe there isn't a moment and I am unknowingly gay...

(uncomfortable silence)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

13 Degrees of Neil No Knees

I didn't know him,
his existence and presence never in mind.
Yet somehow our lives,
Strangely and eventually became entwined.

I knew Slutty Sarah,
just as everyone does.
She slept with Mickey Molar,
well... just because.

Now Mickey had this dentist,
whom pulled out all his back teeth:
a dentist named Lack Luster Larry,
a molar pulling thief.

Larry's looks were forgettable,
just ask his ex wife.
It lead to their divorce,
and Move-on Malinda's new life.

Malinda's second marriage canned,
like the third, forth and fifth.
So she hired Yiddish Yente,
to see whom she'd be matched with.

Yente knew women and men,
she knew many straight, many gay.
She even knew Nancy Opel,
who played Yente on Broadway.

Nancy has also done TV,
including every Law & Order.
And like Bolder Bowling Bill,
She grew up on a border.

Bill loved his Kansas bowling,
which is done with rocks not balls.
His stiffest competition:
none other than Walter Waterfalls.

Walter cried like a baby,
every time he lost a rolling round.
Which angered Janitor Jerry,
who mopped his tears off the ground.

Jerry was a simple man,
who did as he was told.
Unlike his wife Commanding Camilla,
who controlled the young and the old.

Camilla was a Principal,
and read bingo numbers Wednesday nights.
She worked with Doorman Darrel,
who broke-up all the old people fights.

Darrel was surprised by old-folk scuffles,
and broke them up with care.
For he had heard all the stories,
of Mr. Hulking Harry Hair.

With green hair and large muscles,
Harry once knocked an old lady down.
The lady's son Victory Verdict Vincent,
got green Hair cut from the town.

Vincent leads us to our destination,
his oddest client, which everyone agrees.
The case of the missing lower joints,
the case of Neil No Knees.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Multiple Monkey Matters

In the beginning there was one. No name. Just one. When there is only one, a name is of no importance. He stood. He laid. He eventual found a knife. He would go days, weeks, and months holding his knife firmly (as if it was taped to his hand) and just stare at people. Intimidation is the past-time of the singular.

People talked. They would pass by and wonder. Understanding of the loner with the knife was limited. Some laughed. Big mistake. Most went about their days and never knew his purpose or meaning. They soon found out.

Look Who Came Swinging Into Town

It was months ago now, but still fresh in his mind. Hanging over there in "his" jungle like corner. An oasis of performance. A regular tropical skeeze sector. Later "he" moved inward. No big deal everyone thought. Most people cared not for the new. "He" was quiet. Kept to himself. Didn't wield a knife.

"His" presence alone destroyed the singularity of his existence! Something must be done! He scratched his cap with his trusty knife and remembered a line from his favorite movie...

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Fifth Ninja Turtle

The lesser known, and often forgotten 5th ninja turtle, Jimmy, attended a Halloween party a couple of nights ago. He came alone. He left alone.

Do You Know Your Jimmistory?

Jimmy, the older brother of the well known teenage mutant ninja turtles Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo, was raised by Splinter, yet was treated much differently. Jimmy excelled in school in communication and was the captain of the debate team. He did not attack with weapons, but rather he assaulted his enemies with his mind and words.

He went to college but took out plenty of student loans due to Splinter spending all of his money on weapons, elbow and knee bands, and pizzas for the younger turtles. Jimmy received a degree in philosophy, learned Splinter's teaching were bogus, and moved out to Los Angeles. After that Jimmy slipped into obscurity...until this Halloween.

Jimmy hanging out with some of his pals.

Jimmy and Dog picking up some chicks.

Jimmy with some younger brother impostors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

Specially ordered, I picked up my Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer graphic novel today. The story of a wooden boy who has the ability to lie, grow a longer wooden-stake nose, break it off, and then kill an undead blood-sucker with worth any amount of money. Luckily it was only $10.95.

The story was written by Dan Jensen and illustrated by Dusty Higgins. The book is smaller than a conventional comic in height and width, yet is still a graphic novel length of read. The art is all black and white except for the cover...which is black, white, and red. The intro art (which retells the classic tale) is bloody simplistic yet charming. It captures the quick-paced fun tone of the book in a brief 3 page sequence.

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer picks up on the fable of Pinocchio after the conventional tale, but before he turns into a real boy. He remains splintered and string-less with a knack for vampire slaying. There is a bit of romance, a lot of action, and plenty of puns. I love puns.

Overall the story is good. I wanted it to be the best thing I've read in a while but it's no Old Man Logan (which came out in hardback today - Mark Millar & Steve McNiven). The fast pace story doesn't leave a ton of time to get to know the characters very well, but it does allow for a story that delivers many scenes one expects from a book about a vampire killing puppet.

I have always understood that a book focusing on a unique story idea, or even gimmick, does not have to have the best art. The art should be fun and make for quick visual recognition, but it should not take away from the story or tone. Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer has art that sinks-up with the level of story and takes nothing away from the adventure. It is clear, the characters have distinct designs, and the backgrounds are not overly detailed. The art actually reminds me of a basic Mike Mignola style. Not quite to his creative ends, but the hint of his style is there.

On a scale from "1" to "destruction of night walkers", I would have to give Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer a B...adass +. The plus indicates that the book is a great shelf or coffee table book to share with friends when they stop by.

Fun to read. Awesome to own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

True Love to Conquer the Damn Yankees...Just Not This Year

I want the Yankees to win the World Series.

I am not a New York Yankee fan, nor am I a Philadelphia Philly fan. I am not a front runner, nor am I looking for pin-stripe victories based on a bet. I want the Yankees to win for the simple fact that they are the Yankees.

Step by Step Reasoning
  1. I am from Cleveland.
  2. I love the Indians.
  3. I believe one day the Indians can win the World Series.
  4. The greatest team of all time is the Yankees.
  5. Going through the Yankees to get a World Series win legitimizes the win.
  6. Cleveland becomes less of a joke to the outside world.
If the Indians can not win, due to the fact that they have been out of the playoffs since late May, then I would rather the great get greater. If the Yankees pick up another championship it will be their 27th. It will add to the legend of those damn Yankees. So, when my team is out of it, I like the Yankees to win.

I like the Yankees because I love the Indians.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Always Fashionable Marvel

Though Disney has recently purchased Marvel, the 2 companies will not affect each other for quite awhile. Once all of the final contracts our worked out and signed the creative teams of Disney and Marvel will start to meet.

Disney, well known for it's animation division, may be surprised by the wide array of current animated projects Marvel has operating. Without getting into straight to DVD animated features, Marvel currently produces Ironman: Armored Adventure, Wolverine and the X-Men, and The Super Hero Squad Show. Marvel also has other shows currently on television and in pre-production, but these three are maintaining excellent ratings in the youth market.

Of the previously mentioned shows, The Super Hero Squad Show is doing quite well in the under 10 years of age demographic. I sat in on a viewing of two of the upcoming episodes and recognized right away that the target demographic was a young child (it was painful). Unlike Wolverine and the X-Men target market of young teens (and comic lovers of all ages), The Super Hero Squad Show has very basic plots and slapstick comedy. There are hidden bits of info only Marvel comic fans will understand and appreciate, but the show is made to be loud and quickly paced for the current A.D.D. culture of children television.

When I was young shows like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 90's X-Men animated series were made in a different style. TMNT was fun for kids because there was action, but they could also understand what was going on differently. The characters talked slower and the show was not one dramatic scene followed by another. Attention spans have changed and with the advent of so many program choices and recorded television, loud noises and constant intensity is often needed to keep the channel from changing.

The Super Hero Squad Show is not only fashionable on TV these is also keeping up with the community of the growing amounts of children on the Internet. The show has it's own section on Marvel's animation page, and includes some very cool interactive features. The coolest feature: the create your own comic section.

Using a simple type of Flash, you are able to either create a mini comic strip of a couple panels or a full comic book with several pages! The give you backgrounds, characters, dialog balloons and many other options to create your own original stories...using the Super Hero Squad Show characters, of course.

You may recognize "My Lovin' " strip inspired by En Vogue.

Create your own comic here. Have fun with it. Oh and one more thing...

A'Woo Woo Wooo!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Dire Outcome for Mr. Bloom

Not by explosion
Not by blood loss
Not by a rabid animal on the streets

Not by plane crash
Not by snake bite
Not by accidental stabbing by cleats

Not by knife
Not by fire
Not by drowning in a pool of oil

Not by stroke
Not by heart attack
Not by a dirty infected old boil

Not by cannibalism
Not by cancer
Not by an allergic reaction to an apple he took

Not by virus
Not by old age
Not by an accident with a grapple: type hook

It is true...
There was a dire outcome for Mr. Bloom
And yet still...
We cease to know what caused his death and his doom

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Bid With One Name

Tonight I was on a mission. Recently, Ruben Martinez, an artist who's art work I check in on from time to time, created a piece titled "Sleepy Hallow." It is a wonderful depiction of the Sleepy Hallow story which I came to find out...was up for silent auction. Martinez had created the art for a charity auction Matel (the toy maker) was sponsoring for the Children Affected by Aids Foundations (CAAF). Randomly, the event was held down the street from where I live so I thought...why don't I go and see if I can bid the highest for "Sleepy Hallow."

So I went.

I knew going into the event the art started at about $100. I was cool with spending a little more then I would normally spend on art because it was for a great cause. I went thinking I can spend a little over $200. I have a shot! Or so I thought...

The show had a nice set-up with art lining the walls of a small venue. Most guest were in casual nice clothing of slacks, sports jackets, and casual dress attire for the women (I had jeans and a hoody). The event was catered with snacks, wine and beer.

As I toured the paintings, wine in hand, I was pleasantly surprised by the art. Some pieces you could buy instantly, and thus, steal a gem. But most pieces were silent auction. I made my way past the He-Man original art, which Ruben was bidding on with other high spenders, and finally to Ruben's "Sleepy Hollow." It had a black laser cut frame which included a pumpkin on top. It wasn't a large piece, yet it was just about the best of show. After viewing the art I turned to view the silent auction sheet to see what I would have to bid, and that's when I saw it.


The current bid was held at $225 by Peterson. No first and last name. Just Peterson. I was in trouble. Unless this guy was Brazilian, no body goes by just one name unless they are a certain type of person. They are confident to the point of almost cocky. They sign their name as the nick name or shortened version of their name everyone in the office calls them as they walk by giving the Fonzie thumbs-up saying, "Ehhh!" They know what they want and they get what they want. Always.

As I stared at "Sleepy Hallow" I noticed a couple of good enough guys in their early 30's in nice casual suits. One fella was talking about all the pieces he bid on. He pointed at Ruben's work a few times and smiled while he proudly told his friend he was the top bidder on "Sleepy Hallow." He genuinely liked and wanted it.

A woman my age walked next to me.

"This is a problem," I said. "He has one name! How do you beat a man with one name?"

"Maybe you should place your bid with just one name," she replied.

"I should. Or maybe even just a letter. Or a number. Or a I was the Artist formerly known as Prince. He would see the symbol and think, 'how do I beat a guy with just a symbol for a name'. Or maybe I Should sign, I will kill you if you out bid me Peterson."

The woman thought that would be my best shot. She wished me luck and moved on.

I finished my second glass of wine, took a deep breath and grabbed the pen. Dom Gazzuolo $250 I wrote in child's hand writing. I smiled, put the pen down, and stepped back. To my right I could see Peterson walking back towards the painting. Peterson and pal noticed someone had just out-bid Peterson. He looked around frantically until he stopped his gaze on me.

Eye to eye we stood for a brief moment. It felt like a life time. He knew. I knew. And just to make sure he knew...I folded my arms lifted my head high and said in a bold voice so he couldn't be mistaken,

"I've got all night Peterson!"

Startled, he grabbed for the pen and jumped my bid. He violently wrote Peterson and placed the pen down.

Frick'n Peterson!

He made a face as if to say "there, it is done." He then gave me a smile and punched me in the shoulder like a couple of buddies just playing around. It was amazing.

I of course was playing around. I could bid no higher, and though I did not look back at how high he out-bid me, I imagine it was by a pretty good amount.

I found Ruben and complimented him on his excellent work of art and told him the brief story of Peterson. I said I tried to beat a man with one name, but like Pele, he will go down in history as a winner and a legend. Ruben thanked me for coming and for the compliments. I let him know it was my pleasure and that at the very least, I made it so Peterson ended up giving more to charity.

It's all about the children after all.

I never saw Peterson again, but I suspect he is at peace. Peterson and "Sleepy Hallow."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Special Halloween Banner!

In honor of Halloween the artistically talented Erin Clark has made me a special banner.

It includes the basic themes of Halloween:
  • Monster (The Creature)
  • Mad Scientist (Dr. Frankenstein)
  • Goofiness
  • A look of horror
Check out Erin's own Halloween banner at her blog, Inked in Red.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Universally Established

Some things are just known. These are a few...


Most people will have to go to an auto shop and have to deal with a car mechanic at least once in their lifetime. This is unfortunate.

What they do know:
  • You know nothing about cars.
  • Your car is broke and you need it to (essentially) survive.
What they don't know:
  • Not one person trusts an auto mechanic.
How can they not know that every person thinks they are shady. In Seinfeld we first meet David Puddy (the voice of The Emporor's New Grove's Kronk...for you Disney love'n type), Elaine's on-again off-again boyfriend, who is a mechanic in New York. Jerry is unsure of the quote he is getting on his car, so Jerry trys to get Elaine to get Puddy to give her price estimates while they are sleeping together. Sound confusing? Watch The Fusilli Jerry episode of Seinfeld.

We call mechanics grease-monkeys but as Puddy from Seinfeld points out, "I don't know too many monkeys that could take apart a fuel injector." The bottom line is we don't know how to fix our cars. The mechanic can charge us a ton of money just because they want to or because the tow-truck left your car with them. These Decepticons love money and hate fairness. Plus, they hate soap. Don't shake their hands.

We're Still Doing This?

Who is still spitting their gum out on the street or any type of walk way? I stepped in a piece outside of the grocery store yesterday...yesterday in the year 2009! Years ago when gum became wide spread it may have become uncommon to step in gum, but still!? I thought by the 80's it was established that chewed gum dispensed all over the ground was a big problem. Not only does it stick to shoes, but it ruins the floor and appearance of it's environment. Gum droppings attract birds, bugs, and bums.

The bottom line is not only do we hate stepping in gum, but we really hate bums.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bathrooms, Sensors, and Bots! Oh My!

Bathrooms have become hands free. An experience in the bathroom begins with a toilet or urinal which includes a sensor to recognize when the user is which point it flushes itself. Next we arrive at the sink where the faucet is on sensor to pour water on our hands for cleansing. We then dry our hands with a paper towel which dispenses towels based on motion. All of these motion detectors are designed to save on water and allow as little contact, with germ-possible areas, necessary.


I like the sensor bathroom idea but I think bathrooms should be taken a step further. Let's begin with a sensor door. It can slide open like on the Starship Enterprise or in a grocery store (for you non-nerds). The next step would include a robot that can take my pants down, clean me, and zip me up when I'm through. Maybe even put a coin slot on the bathroom-bot's head for tips. The next step of cleaning your hands is only necessary if you tip bathroom-bot. Use the sensor faucet, sensor soap dispenser (I like the sound of that), and sensor air drier. Walk back through the sensor Star Trek doors and you are done.

Back to Reality

The sensor faucet intrigues me. I always wondered how the faucet turns itself off once it is flowing. Shouldn't the water continue to run since the motion sensor recognizes movement at the running water's distance? I needed to run some tests.

First I turned my hand flat and parallel to the sensor and slowly moved it closer. The water turned on once my hand was under the water. This meant the distance the water pours at can trigger the faucet to run. So why does the water not continue to flow? I got it! I flattened my hand, thumb pointing up, and moved it straight under the faucet towards the sensor. The water did not trigger.

Just as I suspected! The sensor only recognizes motion to the left and right of where the water pours.

Bathroom technology is advancing quickly and so must our understanding of it. How else will we recognize proper bathroom-bot tip etiquette when that day comes?

Spider-Woman & Motion Comics

Yesterday, the final iTunes episode of Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. was released by Marvel. Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. is a comic book written by Brian Michael Bendis (New Avengers, Dark Avengers, everything Marvel) with art by Alex Maleev (Daredevil). This comic is a motion comic in that the backgrounds and images move, the lighting changes, and there are voice actors speaking the lines that would normaly be read in a comic book.

This first attempt at an original series debuting as a motion comic has gone quite well for Marvel. The first installment debuted as the #2 top selling television show purchased on iTunes. There are 5 episodes in all and they run between 10 to 12 minutes. Watch the first episode below to get a feel for what a motion comic looks like.

After completing the series I was quite impressed. The look alone, largely due to Alex Maleev's art, is worth the $1.99 price on iTunes. A standard printed comic book cost $2.99...a dollar more. Plus, at a run time of at least 10 minutes, it takes longer to watch the motion comic then it does to read a traditional comic book.

Story wise I like the idea of the motion comic because you hear the tone the writer is going for when penning the story. The pace of the book is set, the inflection of vocal moments are hit, and the settings literally come to life.

For traditionalist Marvel still offers the comic book in print. It generally comes out well after the episodes, but the art and story is the same. I personally do not like reading comics online (Marvel Digital Comics), but i thoroughly enjoy the motion comics for their mini-motion picture feel.

Though Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. has completed it's motion comics run Marvel still has some upcoming stories in motion comic form. On October 28th Marvel is starting a run on Astonishing X-Men. Astonishing was written by Joss Whedon with art by John Cassaday. Their 25 issue run is considered one of the best X-Men runs ever written. Check out the trailer for Astonishing's motion comics below.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

INGOLT: Rubber Bands

Survival is not just about living physically. Food and water may be essential to staying alive, but if one can not mentally stay intact then one may lose the ability to meet their physical needs. A mental tool is today's "I'm Not Going Out Like That" survival item. Not a standard book or travel mad libs to keep the mind sharp but rather a flexible wordless tool to secure not just our sanity but much more.

A British entrepreneur, Stephen Perry Bobstein, invented and patented the rubber band in 1845. This elastic loop can hold two objects together, one object in place, or snap an eye-ball out...if aimed properly.

For women, hippies, and guys stuck in the 80's, this band of rubber (synthetic rubber now), replaced the string as the number one hair holding devise. String manufacturers started seeing a decline in profits in the late 1800's as women scoffed at string and clamored towards the rubber band. Adjustments such as cloth out siding have been added so as to not pull the hair to tight, but the same concept remains in modern hair bands.

Besides basic rubber band functions, such as holding a newspaper paper or poster in a cylinder together, the rubber band is also useful around the house.

I have cabinet drawers that will not stay together when closed. I use a handy rubber band to hold the 2 knob handles together to keep the doors' swing in check. Also, I have used rubber bands to keep chip bags closed after being opened.

The rubber band has so many uses in ones life but the problem is coming across one. Have you ever noticed to have random rubber bands lying around when you do not need them? Should you save them? They always look a little too used and dirty. But can you just throw them away too? You know they most likely will take a billion years to decompose, and I have never seen a rubber band bin for recycling container. Glass, plastic, paper, rubber bands...not once.

In the end I toss the little guys like old greeting cards. But the next day...

Shoot! I need a rubber band!

Unless you are Tom Sawyer you will never have a rubber band when you need one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Does Disney Still Own the Angels?

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim recently swept the Boston Red Sox to move on to the ALCS. After the game I caught a short interview with Bobby Abreu. I did not see the interview, but I heard it from the other room. This is when I figured it out. Disney still has their mouse hooks in the Angels.

Have you ever looked at or listened to the Angels players and swear you knew them from somewhere? At first you may think you know Reggie Willits as the cashier at the local Starbucks, or John Lacky as a serial killer on some MSNBC show...but you would be wrong. They are former cartoon characters.

Sounds (or reads, in this case) crazy...I know, but lets take a look at a couple of examples that can not be disputed.

Cinderella Clothed a Scared Bobby Abreu

Watch this clip of Bobby Abreu being interviewed. Look at him and listen to his voice. After that watch the video below.

Bobby is Gus Gus!

They look the same. They sound the same. It is to exact to be a coincidence. Plus, Abreu loves beads and cutting things with scissors.

Admittedly I do not know how Disney is turning their cartoons into real people...I never saw "Enchanted." All I know is that it is happening. Or should I say, it Izturis happening.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm Not Going Out Like That

"I'm Not Going Out Like That" is a new series of post which will have to do with survival in one form or another. This series will also be known by it's totally catchy acronym INGOLT. Based on a lot of movie and television watching (mainly McGiver) I pretty much know what is necessary to get you by and out of tough situations. So let's start this off with an easy one...

Got a light?

Not only does a carrying a Zippo make you super-cool, but it can also be a great tool if you are in the cast of Lost. (Unfortunately, you would have to put a lighter in your checked bag. You can not carry a Zippo on a plane.) The obvious reason for a lighter is to be able to produce fire quickly. If you are stranded somewhere and must survive by hunting and gathering you will need it to start fires to cook your hunted and gathered dead animals. Oh, I forgot to mention that by "gathering" I also meant animal base. You may be trying to survive on an island or in a jungle, but that doesn't mean you have to be a pussy and gather berries.

What about after the lighter runs out of lighter fluid?

The best thing to do with a Zippo lighter is to simply open and shut it. Most people who already own one don't often even produce a flame with their Zippo. Try this:
  • Lean against a wall (brick if possible...and outside a bar)
  • Take the Zippo from your pocket
  • Open and close the lighter a few times
  • Smirk at chicks walking by (ladies, also look at ladies)
  • Put the lighter away
  • Repeat
While the previous technique for survival has to do with the survival of being fucking awesome, this does not mean a fluid-less lighter can't help you survive "stranded style."

It is going to be tougher to start a blaze, but you can still use the striking part (the thumb wheel combined with the bit of flint inside) to make a spark. The spark can help you catch dried out paper, plants, or organic matter on fire. That's right. Burn an old dead body if you have to.

This will lead us to a future survival item...

An old dead body

Friday, October 9, 2009

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

This post is inspired by events that take place in Lost, season 1.

At the end of episode 4, John Jock stares at his wheelchair going up in flames with the dead bodies and rotting innards of the Lost group's crashed airplane. Him smiling at the engulfed chair symbolizes his joy of not being limited anymore. He can now walk and no one can tell him what he "can't do."

I have a problem with his emotion over the melting wheelchair. I could not help but think...poor wheelchair. Lock had been crippled and rather than crawl around in the dirt, elbow over elbow, the ol' reliable chair of wheel contraption allowed him to maintain some sort of respect and mobility.

Apparently Phillip II of Spain had a wheelchair made for him in 1595. This invention was truly a tool built for kings! To scoff at Phillip II chair would be an act of dishonor to the king and would surely result in the loss of one's head.

But I understand John. Losing the ability to walk in a world on the move is devastating. You can't dance, kick bums, or go on "Walk-About" trips. It sucks. But consider not being able to even get around. Having to hire someone to carry you is cool for about a week, but then it just gets embarrassing...even if it's a midget. The thing that really takes the cripples' hand and supports them through a tough time is a wheel.

While some views may have watched and cried for Lock's freedom of the chair, I cried for the chairs lack of respect or a thank you. The wheelchair is truly the "Velveteen Rabbit" of the cured.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chiclee! Chiclee!

When in Mexico, There are a few things one can count on: the poverty, the heat, and the chiclets.

Oh God...the chiclets. As soon as one hits those streets of Mexico, children swarm like bums outside the post office. "Chiclee! Chiclee!", they cry out holding up their hands packed with square wrapped gum. Understand that I do not hate the children, which many (my two readers...) may have assumed that's where I was going with this rant. I hate the product selection.

Selling Orbitz you say? Some Bubbleyum? Big League Chew!? I'll take two!

A chiclet is possibly the worst gum selection a person could choose. Chiclets do not have any flavor...just different colors (like that old zebra-print gum). The pieces aren't even individually wrapped!

Oh, and who decided gum is what everyone wants in Mexico? Maybe a bottle of clean water would better fit the Mexican market. Plus, this just in! Immigration problems solved! Mexicans can come over to do the work Americans will not do and make money to buy better gum (in bulk from Costco) for their children to sell in Mexico. From the tourist to the Mexican...everyone wins. I do believe Mexican children would be sought out if they sold a higher quality gum that could last a little longer.

Speaking of "last a little longer," even Big Red would be a better choice, and Big Red is a cinnamon gum. Why, by the way, doesn't cinnamon gum taste like a cinnamon bun? Why does cinnamon taste differently depending on what it is on?

I hate inconsistent cinnamon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Patch of Racism

In 1965 a film about a blind woman and black man titled A Patch of Blue was made. If this movie was made today you may assume it was written by Tyler Perry or star Anna Faris and Martin Lawrence, but you would be wrong...or maybe racist. I'm not sure.

A Patch of Blue starred Sydney Poitier, Shelly Winters (who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for this film), and Elizabeth Hartmen. The movie tells the tale of a blind woman (Hartmen) who meets a friendly stranger in the park. The two spend time together and eventually fall in love. The movie takes place over a racially divided American landscape and tells a story which takes color out of our world. We discover "love is blind."

So, if that is what this thought provoking movie is about...what is with this original poster?

Does it seem odd that a movie exploring pointless racial inequality would make this poster? It has a large picture of the actress playing the blind woman, a lot of blue (involving the movie's name), and down in the bottom left corner is a tiny little picture of Sydney Poitier. It looks like they just used his head-shot to fill some space. He is the most well known actor in the movie, in the leading male role, and this is the image they came up with.

I can see (no pun intended...or was it intended since I have clearly taken time to type "no pun intended" where as I could have just deleted this whole beginning and not written this whole bit?) what the main theme of the poster is going for. The poster would be better suited if it just left his image off of it completely. The 2 well known stars (Shirley Winters is the other) could have just had top name billing and that would be fine. But to taunt the idea of equality which this movie preaches by installing a random smile from Poitier is reckless. It subconsciously says the characters, and thus races, are not equal.

Then hypersensitivity towards racism may mean I am covering my own hidden racism.

This blog post is my small picture of Sydney Poitier.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My First Con

I just completed my first weekend at a Comic Con: the Long Beach Comic Con. A Comic Con is a convention that brings comic book writers and artists to their fans. There are also appearances by entertainers (such as actors), video gaming companies, and other pop-cultural relevant companies and people. Basically, if you are not into probably like something here.

I went to check out the many different artists' work. I picked up Ruben Martinez's new book "Extinction" and a couple of prints by Dustin Nguyen (posted below).

While at LBCC I went to several panels. Some of my favorite panels included:

The Comics on Comic panel with Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex writer) and Amanda Conner (The Pro & Power Girl artist) was funny and interesting. Hearing insiders takes on the Disney/Marvel merger was intriguing. Plus, they talked about the state of DC comics and crazy Allen Moore. I was able to asked the panelist a question the last question, too. This was a fun panel, and my first.

The Web Comics panel was very informative. I asked a question (which I will reveal in a bit), and learned that it is very difficult to make a living with web comics...even if they have a large following.

My favorite panel was the "Robot Chicken" panel. Seth Green, the writers, producers, and director were very entertaining. They had great "behind the ideas" stories and were very quick with snappy jokes. Green made a couple of fans' lives by asking them up on stage and getting an autograph and picture during the panel questions section. The group also showed the attendees footage from the new season. The hall was packed and very enthusiastic...especially when Seth Green did his Chris Griffin voice from "Family Guy".

Last Day Mad Libs

On Sunday, the last day of the Long Beach Comic Con, I took a mad libs book with me. I asked writers and artist to come up with the words. Some felt the pressure to be creative and had a tough time, but all of the writers/artists that I asked happily played along. Richard Starkings (creator, writer, letterer, legend in the business) was the best and most into the mad lib. His best word: llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

I brought the mad libs into a panel and used the words from their answers as my mad lib fill-ins. Though I was short a color, I simple asked the panel "I am doing a mad lib and I need a type of color." They quickly answered "green." The panelist and previous mad lib participants all signed their mad lib and were very nice. I like to think a gave them a little bit of a different and fun experience that both they and myself enjoyed.

Mad Libs Participants:

Pepe Moreno, Christos Gage, Richard Starkings, Dave Kellett, David Malki, Jeff Zugale

Enjoy my blurry picture with the Predator. (You'd shake too in the presence of a Predator.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Give Mel Gibson the Oscar Now

In one of the most anticipated movies since The Empire Strikes Back, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and Beverley Hills Cop 3, comes a film about a man and his...beaver?

Mel Gibson will star in The Beaver as a man coping with his problems by having a beaver hand puppet be his friend. The film reunites Jodie Foster and Gibson. This duo produced the classic poker western Maverick. The two actors chemistry was so enjoyable it is strange a follow up film has not been attempted until now.

Reportedly the film was originally going to star Steve Carell, but he backed out for unknown reasons. Once Mel Gibson came on Foster was not immediately sold. Later she was told the film would have plenty of Beaver in it. She immediately signed on.

For early pictures of Mel Gibson with his beaver click here. To refresh your Maverick memory take a look at the video below.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lean to Me

Have you ever seen an episode of "Lie to Me" on Fox? Don't lie to know you've seen it once. It stars Tim Roth as some expert on lie detection. After watching that one episode you too can be a lie detection expert.

To become an expert all you have to do is study Tim Roth. Here are some quick reminders of what Tim Roth looks like as he detect lies.

Catch it yet? Take a look again, and this time...lean your head.

There it is! You are now a lie detection expert. If you ever need to cut through some one's deception, let half of your neck go loose and tilt that head. One episode in and you and your friends are lie detection experts.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heath Ledger Loved Showtime

Last year Heath Ledger won an Oscar for supporting actor. Tragically, he died before he received the recognition for his iconic performance. As his performance won him awards, both director Christopher Nolan and his family accept his various winnings, thanked voters, and acknowledged Ledgers colleagues. While their speeches were fine, they did leave someone out.

Thanks to the show "Dexter" (on Showtime) Ledger was able to find his inner "Joker."

If you have yet to see Season 1 of "Dexter", and plan on doing so, do not continue to read this post.

Spoiler Alert!

In Season 1 of "Dexter", the story line's villain, or antagonist, is played by Christian Camargo. On the show his name is Brian Moser a.k.a. "Rudy". While I was watching Camargo I recognized some of his devious expressions and even subtle lines. I've seen this performance before...sort of.

The line that connected Camargo to Ledger was "It's all part of the plan."

Though this line has been used before, this time the line was used in the same context by a villian playing a series of games while leaving clues to the protagonist. Go back and watch the last 2 or 3 episodes of "Dexter" and "The Dark Knight." It's subtle, but it's there.

Seeing as season 1 was aired in 2006, well before they filmed Ledger's Joker scenes (2007, the movie released in 2008), I think it is fair to speculate that Ledger could have watched Dexter. He may have liked the show already or heard of it's characters who were strange, psychotic killers. Either way, I believe he may have used some of Camargo's performance in his own.

This is nothing new. Actors will emulate or use parts of other performances to create their own original take on a character. Also, I am not implying it is wrong. If in professional sports athletes will watch other athletes to help their game. Lebron James admits to watching Kobe Bryant in hopes to improve on basketball skills. While Camargo is no Kobe, he still put on a fine display.

If Heath Ledger was still alive, and I could ask him one question, I would ask...

Do you watch Dexter?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Every Lonely Body Part Bleeds

And as I held your head, which rolled off of your neck,
your face was still alive and unaware of the wreck.
And my last vision, your smile, insured our love would stay,
as our hearts, like the car, slowly burned away.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

See This Movie!

I just got back from a limited showing of the new Michael Moore film "Capitalism: A Love Story," and I am still in awe of Moore's film making ability. This movie cements Moore as one of the great documentary film makers of our time.

Through small private incidents to large public problems, Moore reveals the effect of Capitalism on the United States. He is able to capture heart felt raw family emotions, humor through sarcastic and real imagery, and mix them with video of experts, politicians, religious leaders, young people and old to produce a discussion. A discussion about what is right, just, and everyone.

Moore's villain, Capitalism, is lit in a light that shows it's main flaw: greed. Republicans and most certainly Democrats are not spared in this murder mystery where 95% of the population is the victim. "Capitalism" tries to expose the real Professor Plums and Col. Mustards by revealing capitalism's candlesticks. The film comes off as a "who done it?" and the film watcher leaves with the intent to bring capitalism and greed to justice.

I reccomend this film to everyone. Unless your ideology centers around greed or hate, this film is for you. I would also recommend "Sicko": Moore's documentary on the health issues in the United States (namely care and insurrance). Enjoy the trailer below.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Forgotten Friend

One day they were made,
these long wooden things.
While sporting an eraser,
you could draw wings.

Oh everyone loved,
this brand new tool.
The pencil was the best,
it was definitely cool.

But then one day,
something new came around.
It had a ballpoint,
no eraser to be found.

It glided across paper,
with the greatest of ease.
The pencil had grip,
and screwed up the g's.

So now everyone wanted
this new pen friend.
Too bad for the pencil,
was this the end?

But some still remember
the pencil's great skill.
I use the forgotten friend,
and I always will.

I wrote this poem in a freshmen English course in high school. I turned it in rather than the actual written assignment on "Romeo and Juliet." I was given a B for at least making something up which was fun to read (as apposed to trying to fake the assignment...those always suck).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Try Asking Politely

It's football season once again and I think we all know what that means...commercials. Football games have more commercials than any other sporting event. Soccer, though annoying and bad, only has commercials during the half-way break. Baseball shows the whole half inning (excluding pitching changes) and Basketball plays until a time out is called or the end of the quarter.

Football is a game of constant stop and go. There are commercial breaks when there is a timeout, a change of possession, an injury (due to the nature of the game, there are many), the end of a quarter, a timeout, and an occasional television timeout. At a certain point the commercials start repeating...

...and the hate begins!

My current most hated commercial is actually a campaign of commercials: the Carfax commercials.

This series of commercials does not bug me because of the sheer stupidity (Car Fox), but rather because of how rude and mean the potential car buyers are. The customer basically picks a car they like and then impolitely says, "Show me the Carfax." Not, "Please, show me the Carfax" or "Would you be so kind to show me the Carfax details." They rudely, and repeatedly (this is key to my annoyance level), demand to see the Carfax like a Nazi looking for hidden Jews.

"Show me the Jews!"

"Oh, you mean the Jew Fox?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Feared Cat of Timbuktu

There once was a cat from Timbuktu.
He had ten thousand claws and 5 tails too.
He ripped through tourist from France and Spain,
and washed off their blood while he danced in the rain.

He purrs to the sound of his food while it dies,
and chopsticks his eat'ns like Miyagi with flies.
He gets stuck in trees just to waste time,
and thinks, "Meow...which is better? Lemon or lime?"

His fur balls consisted of fur and some bones.
His litter box gags skunks and is smelt through the phones.
He mocks male dogs by stooping their bitches,
and fixes his wounds with his whiskers as stitches.

I urge you! Fear the cat from Timbuktu,
because Mr. Jiggle Bottoms will gladly kill you.