Friday, July 30, 2004

Surreal Moment of the Night…

Okay, Kathy and I took a break from watching a tape of this week’s Amazing Race to check out Kerry’s acceptance speech. Overall, I thought it was pretty good; I liked what he said, and occasionally liked how he said it. (I thought it was well-written for the most part, but I wanted him to take a bit more time with it. In retrospect, though, it was probably smart to get through it by 11.)

But in one of the many cutaways to the audience, who did we see but the man who must’ve written the speech, Toby Ziegler!

Actually, it was Richard Schiff, the man who plays presidential speechwriter Toby Ziegler on The West Wing. But seeing him in a genuine political context made me feel like I’d slipped into another reality for a moment.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Proud Uncle News

Kathy & I just got back from our beach vacation, and there's plenty to say about that, but I just learned something that takes precedence.

My nephew Daniel finally accomplished a lifelong dream. (My dream, his lifetime.) He's finally said it, complete with the hand motions:


Way to go, big man. That's huge.

Uncle Rob

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Just read what looks like it could be a really cool comic from DC. It’s called Bloodhound, and it seems to be about a normal-powered tough-guy ex-cop who chases down supercriminals. When I say “tough guy,” I mean in the Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood mold – the kind of cop who’ll go outside of the system to see justice served.
Of course, I don’t think Charlie or Clint ever went so far as to kill their own partners. But then, they were probably just a week away from retirement anyhow, and didn’t need killin’. Issue one starts with our guy in prison, being offered a deal to mitigate his sentence in exchange for helping the FBI. Then a prison riot breaks out, orchestrated so the inmates can kill him before he leaves. Really, if you want to see Cobra or The Dead Pool in comics, I think this is your chance.
I picked up Bloodhound as a lark, but I’m really happy with how good it is. It’s written by Dan Jolley, with art by Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs, using a much grittier style than they displayed on Supergirl.


Volunteers of America…
The other day there were a couple of women standing at my train station with clipboards, asking “Do you want to get George Bush out of the White House?” Well, I really want to get him out of the country, but I stopped anyway. They were from the Democratic National Committee, and were collecting money to fund voter registration drives. They were really friendly, and I gave them some money. I saw other people stopping, too. Mostly I was just glad these volunteers were out there, fightin’ the fight.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Their server can barely take the strain of the twelve of us, but check this animation out if you haven't seen it yet. (And until you go, how do you KNOW you haven't seen it yet???)

Furious @ George

Bear with me. I’m furious.

Newsweek has reported that the Bush administration is exploring the possibility of postponing the national elections. I’ve heard various shades of justification for this as an option – for instance, if there’s an attack on election day, or (more sinister by far), as a reaction to an attack before election day, to prevent terrorists from “influencing” the election (“like they did in Madrid,” as the familiar and off-key Republican refrain goes). Since the campaign is shaping up to be all about terrorism and our reaction to it, doesn’t it occur to anyone that they’ve already influenced the election, and the next half-dozen along with it?

As much as I hate to admit it, a contingency plan for the first possibility is a good idea. If an attack on the scale of 9/11 happens, it will certainly skew (and drastically suppress) voter turnout. But otherwise?

I admit, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil could influence the election. And SHOULDN’T it? If Bush and his cronies can’t protect us, shouldn’t we be kicking their asses out? What about if they capture Osama bin Laden on October 25? Would they postpone the vote because that would influence the election? Get real.

Whatever happened to "if we change our lifestyle at all, the terrorists have already won?" Does that just apply to shopping and gassing up our SUVs?

Look, we’ve all heard about emerging democracies that either have an election every few months or keep postponing elections for years. Neither situation is desirable, and neither is the sign of a mature government. If the party in power can keep changing the rules, it will stay in power, barring a violent overthrow of the government – the very thing that our voting makes unnecessary. But I listen to these news reports of these countries, and I chuckle a sad little laugh, knowing that whatever the faults of our system, that crap doesn’t happen here.

Except now it may. Thank you, George W. Bush, for bringing us to the Third World. Welcome to fucking Paraguay, you dimwit.

Look, every eye will be (or should be) on the Bushies this November because of their dirty tricks in Florida and elsewhere in 2000. And any movement on the date when we’re not smack-dab in the midst of a national crisis (other than the Bush presidency itself, that is) will be viewed with the utmost scrutiny. You’d think that an administration with such tenuous legitimacy would avoid any hint of taint. But it looks like that’s not how it’s gonna be.

Let’s put it this way: if someone drops the big one on election day, survivors will be able to see my charred shadow on the walls, proudly going to the voting booth to serve this moron with his walking papers, so he can scuttle back under whatever Connecticut fridge he crawled out from under in the first place.


(like I said, furious)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Cidade De Deus

Kathy & I saw City of God last night. It’s a Brazilian film about street gangs in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s absolutely masterful. If you like Goodfellas, rent this puppy. It’s a visual treat, and the story absolutely won’t disappoint. It’s set in the “City of God,” the name for a slum in Rio where the poor are shunted to keep the main city safe for tourism and business. The plot focuses on a young guy who wants to be a photographer, but is inevitably linked with the various street gangs and factions in the slum. He’s surrounded by numerous hoods and very few heroes, and the film allows you to take in each of them and their own stories. The movie is fresh, the filmmaking is dazzling and kinetic and will make you feel good about style without sacrificing one iota of substance.

Don't believe me? Here's what Roger Ebert had to say. From what I recall, he also called it one of the 10 best films of 2002.

The director, Fernando Meirelles, is now directing The Constant Gardener, a John LeCarre thriller starring Ralph Fiennes. This is your chance to know him when.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Spins a web, any size...

I have to admit, this is pretty Amazing. One might even say Spectacular.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


I just had some excellent teriaki chicken for dinner, and I figure SOME of you haven't seen this. And those who have might like to see it again.



Monday, July 05, 2004

Adventures in Moving

So we’re in. The house is ours, after a few hiccups in the closing – this was only the third real estate deal the sellers’ lawyer had ever handled, and our attorney found plenty of mistakes in the deed and kept sending it back for correction. He told us “It was like they’d never done a deed before.” So remember, when you hire a professional, be sure they’ve done the deed.

Consequently, although we did all the signing we needed to do, the deed wasn’t actually ready until the next day. But the sellers gave us the keys beforehand, and we had even already moved some of our stuff into the house, so all was well, if not yet legal. So, to break the month-long tension, we went out to see Dodgeball, and laughed a helluva lot. “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” is my new motto.

We moved the next day, on Tuesday. At 10, we drove to a service station to pick up our U-Haul, and discovered that the guy who handles the truck rentals wasn’t in yet, and could we come back in an hour or so. Luckily, our movers weren’t due until one, so we had a little time.

We went home, fiddled around with some stuff, and came back for the truck. Kathy drove it, and it was in dire straits. The check engine/gauges lights were on and beeping to get her attention, it was leaking antifreeze and low on oil. Once we got it back to the apartment, Kathy called U-Haul and they sent out a guy to look at it, who showed up an hour or so later, when the truck was half-full. Luckily, he was able to change the oil, see that the battery was charging properly (in spite of what the gauges said), and so forth. I asked him if it could go 50 miles or so, and he said sure. After that, it was U-Haul’s problem, and I was fine with that.

(By the way – the service guy said he gets a LOT of emergency calls for U-Haul trucks. He said they run their trucks into the ground. He uses Penske when he moves, since their trucks are in much better shape.)

The three guys we hired from Cranston moving were crackerjack. We had a ton of stuff (actually, that’s certainly an understatement), and they fit it all into the 24-foot truck we’d rented. They used every inch of space, accommodating my comics, thons of boxes of who knows what, and a bunch of furniture. I don’t think there was any air left in the first half of the cargo hold, things were packed so tightly.

My mom and my brother Jim were here at the house to help unload and to see the house, and they were a big help. Soon after the unloading was done, Kathy’s mom came by, as did her sisters, brother-in-law, and assorted nephews and niece. Exhausted as we were, it was good to see them. Once they left, we hustled over to a local diner to eat – our first food since before going to get the truck the first time.

Since then, it’s been unpacking and cleaning and what-have-you. I’m trying to focus on the what-have-you, but there’s a lot of other stuff to be done.


Just remember: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.


Celebrating Independence Day

What better way to do it than to lock up protestors? I know! Lock up folks for wearing T-shirts!

From the AP:

Two Bush opponents, taken out of the crowd in restraints by police, said they were told they couldn't be there because they were wearing shirts that said they opposed the president.

Are restraints really necessary? Did they check other protestors for anti-bush boxers or push-up bras? Who knows what sentiments people were concealing!

Thanks to Atrios for the link.