Wednesday, January 30, 2008

He's Back!

Best. News. Ever.



The Bootylicious Gwen Stacy

It started out with foreign comics...

I'd seen posts in a couple of places linking to Brian Hughes' Again with the Comics. Hughes has displayed a bunch of Mexican Spider-Man comics from the sixties and early seventies, called El Sorprendente Hombre-Araña (The Surprising Spider-Man). Originally reprinting American Spider-Man comics, the weekly series eventually overtook the American publication, and new stories were commissioned for the Mexican book only. This also included new covers.

And boy, did those cover artists like Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy!

A lot.

Especially her butt.

It must've been a real kick in the pants when she died.

Anyway, one of the blogs discussing these comics is Occasional Superheroine -- and a commenter named Valen linked to a news story about how much people love butts. Valen offered it as evidence of Latin America's fixation with cheeks -- I see it as much more universal. The thing is, the story was in Spanish, so I ran it through a translator in order to attempt to read it. (Just copy the url into the box and select Spanish to English; I couldn't arrange a direct link.) Among other fun things, it coins the word culocracia -- a rough translation of which would be buttocracy, or, as it defines, "the government of the ass."

The translation is awkward and quirky, but it offers reasons why butts are so popular:
Unlike the mammary silicones, that are acquired and they are enjoyed the operating room when coming out, the beautiful ass demands intense and permanent work. Just now, which it is so easy to become of a prodigious advantage, desire moves towards another objective: most indefinite of the sexual symbols, the only one which nobody lacks. The obsession by those young, fibrous and hard tails also expresses to one more a more permeable society to the sexual ambiguity, in which travesti is the new queen of the conchero.
This just flat-out kills me. Wonky translations are fun. Wonky translations of pseudoscientific justification for instinctual desire? Awesome.

I also notice that while the story itself pays homage to both male and female butts, the accompanying art only shows the ladies. I can think of a couple reasons for this:

1) The photo editor is a guy who really knows what he likes.

2) I have some cookie in my browser that lets their website know the sort of butts I, personally, would like to see,


3) I got so distracted by all the ladybutt that I totally missed all the man-rump on the page.

Because if the editor thinks women don't like a nice butt, I can think of someone who'd strenuously disagree.

But(t) anyway, please raise a glass with me in celebration of "young, fibrous and hard tails." Ain't nothin' sexier than fibrosity.*

*I'm guessing "fibrous and hard" is a poor translation of "muscular and firm."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Again With the Hate

Since it's my last day across from the salescreep (I think he's out tomorrow, and I'm gone for a week after that), I thought I'd present a few choice quotes as I hear them. I'll update this throughout the rest of the afternoon.

We can basically own the sport. With golf you can't do that.

Europe has more of a luster factor.

I'll be out of pocket* all week.

He left early! Salescreep is gone!

*Okay, Word Detective has his back on this one (scroll down to Pocketapocketapocketa) -- he's using a lesser usage of the phrase to mean "off the grid" or "out of contact" -- but it still drives me nuts. Damn you, Word Detective!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008


Is there any song more insidious, and more wretched, than Paul McCartney's "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"? I swear, once it gets in your head it multiplies and scurries around like nutria.

HAAAANNDS ... across the water! (water!)


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Optimus Primed

Working together, Kathy & I painted the walls and the ceiling of the guest room with primer in about 4.5 hours. One step closer.* Booyah!


*Of course, we also found out that we can't hang our new ceiling fan on the mounting bracket of the existing one, so suddenly there's some trickiness involved with that fairly simple (to Kathy) project. Ah, well -- we needed to call an electrician in for three things already; might as well make it four.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here Come The Girls

WWOZ reports that Ernie K-Doe had a number one hit in England this Christmas, more than six years after his death in 2001. It's thanks to this clever ad for the cosmetics department of the Boots drugstore chain that uses his 1970 recording, "Here Come the Girls." The ad puts the song into a new context (and what a massive shoot that must have been!), and the music did the rest. I'd never heard this song before, but I'll be keeping an ear out for it.

Go Ernie!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Six Ounces, by request

The Tofu-Powered Art Chick has asked me to lose or gain more weight, and I now realize I never put my cult update onto the blog. I lost 0.4 pounds last week -- not much, just about what this
Trillium Worldwide TWI-8001 Sun Zapper Innovative Glare Shield weighs. Two things about this 0.4 pounds that this glare shield tells me: One, it's "Easily removed for cleaning," so I can worry all week that those missing ounces are just off somewhere, getting scrubbed up; and two, it's "Ideal for elderly who are more susceptable to glare" -- so it probably didn't come from my shiny head. Also, being a sun visor, I doubt it came from my trunk, either.

Oh, and TPAC? If you need a fix and I've reached gravitational equilibrium, check Jayanada's blog. She's joined the cult, pictures and all.


Lotta Meetings This Morning

But now that it's noon, I can finally eat my breakfast.

Cold egg whites. Yum!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oh, No!

Dennis Kucinich is dropping out of the Presidential race. Now whose numbers will we have to compare with Giuliani's? Jayananda -- can you ask your mathematician hubby if they even make numbers that small?


The Very Model

I'm curious: Does anyone know of any rock/pop/folk/jazz tribute albums to Gilbert and Sullivan music? I've been enjoying the hell out of Richard Thompson's version of "There is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast" (Thanks, Brian!) and am looking for a comfortable way to explore more. Failing that -- does anyone know a good G&S intro collection?


Jazzfest in Our Sights

Kathy just emailed me the lineup for the 2nd weekend of Jazzfest in New Orleans:

Thursday, May 1
Randy Newman, Widespread Panic, Tower of Power, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Bettye LaVette, Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler, Deacon John, Donald Harrison, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ruby Wilson, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Porter, Batiste, & Stoltz, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, The Lee Boys, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Maurice Brown, Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Creole Zydeco Farmers, Walter Payton & Filé Gumbo, Music Makers’ Relief Foundation’s Blues Review featuring Boo Hanks, Macavine Hayes and Eddie Kirkland, Hot Club of New Orleans, Topsy Chapman’s Tribute to Dinah Washington, John Ellis feat. Jason Marsalis, New Orleans Rhythm Conspiracy, Philip Manuel's tribute to Nat King Cole, Dukes of Dixieland, Dillard University Jazz Ensemble, Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes, Panorama Jazz Band, Mighty Chariots of Fire, Kerry Grombacher, Codac, Dizzy, Betsy McGovern & the Poor Clares, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, Mark Braud, Joe Torregano, God’s House Westbank Cathedral Choir, Billy Iuso & the Restless Natives, The Melody Clouds, TBC Brass Band, Tony Bazley, Heritage School of Music, Small Souljas Brass Band, The Golden Wings, Red Hawk and Geronimo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Company, Charles Jackson & the Jackson Travelers, Bon Temp Roulez and VIP Ladies SAPCs, Olayella Daste, David & Roselyn, Second Mt. Carmel Gospel Choir, Basin Street Sheiks…

Friday, May 2
Art Neville, Stevie Wonder, John Prine, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Richard Thompson, The John Butler Trio, John Hammond, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave., Marva Wright & the BMWs, Terence Blanchard & the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Papa Grows Funk, Sunpie’s Tribute to Clifton Chenier, Zigaboo Modeliste, The Jackson Southernaires, The Lee Boys, Bonerama, The Bad Plus, John Boutté, Soul Rebels, Ingrid Lucia, Coco Robicheaux & Spiritland, Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet, Chubby Carrier, Bluerunners, Wanda Rouzan, Driskill Mountain Boys, Ann Savoy’s Sleepless Knights, New Orleans Jazz Vipers feat. Sophie Lee, Stoney B & Grampa Elliot, Gina Forsyth & the Malvinas, Clive Wilson & the New Orleans Serenaders feat. Butch Thompson, New Wave Brass Band, Tuba Woodshed feat. Matt Perrine and Kirk Joseph, Belton Richard & the Musical Aces, Eve’s Lucky Planet, Larry Garner with Henry Gray, Ritmo Caribeño, New Orleans Jazz Ramblers, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, Pinettes Brass Band, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, Legacy – the students of Alvin Batiste, Greater Antioch Gospel Choir, New Orleans Mardi Gras Rhythm Indian Section, Ebenezer BC Radio Choir, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Casa Samba, The Smooth Family, Eulenspeigel Puppets of Iowa, Original Big Seven and Original Four SAPCs, McMain High School Gospel Choir, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, New Orleans School of Circus Arts and ISL, Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, Rosedean Choir of South Africa, Scene Boosters and Old N Nu Fellas SAPCs…

Saturday, May 3
Marcia Ball, Jimmy Buffett, Diana Krall, Steel Pulse, The Roots, Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. & the Greater St. Stephens Mass Choir, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Henry Butler, Aaron Neville’s Gospel Soul, John Mooney & Bluesiana, the subdudes, Rockin’ Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Ruthie Foster, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Savoy Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam, Charmaine Neville, The Dixie Cups, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, James Andrews, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark, Lillian Boutté, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Stephanie Jordan, War Chief Juan & Young Fire, Pine Leaf Boys, Bionik Brown, Treme Brass Band, New Orleans Blues Serenaders, Spencer Bohren, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Lil’ Buck Sinegal feat. Rudy Richard, Feufollet, Pinstripe Brass Band, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Tribute to Max Roach feat. Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis, and Shannon Powell, Tondrae, Chappy, Danza feat. Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott, Beyond Measure, Lil Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers, Rumba Buena, Rocks of Harmony, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, St. Joseph the Worker Mass Choir, Big Chief Ke Ke & Comanche Hunters and White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Leviticus Gospel Singers, Tulane University Jazz Ensemble, Secondline Jammers, New Generation and Undefeated Divas SAPCs, Trouble Nation and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Hunters, Archdiocese of New Orleans Community Choir, Bester Singers, Donald Lewis, Young Guardians of the Flame, Stephen Foster’s Mid City Workshop Alumni Ensemble, Westbank Steppers, Valley of the Silent Men and Pigeon Town Steppers SAPCs, Golden Blade and Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians…

Sunday, May 4
The Neville Brothers, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, The Raconteurs, Dianne Reeves, Galactic, The Radiators, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, The Derek Trucks Band, Keb’ Mo’, Rebirth Brass Band, Sonny Landreth, Snooks Eaglin, John P. Kee & the New Life Community Choir, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tribute to Mahalia Jackson feat. Irma Thomas, Marva Wright and Rachelle Richard, Vernel Bagneris: Jelly Roll & Me, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, DJ Captain Charles, Kenny Neal, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Elysian Fieldz, The New Orleans Bingo Show!, Benny Grunch & the Bunch, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, Jonathan Batiste, Rotary Downs, George French, Chris Ardoin & Nu Step, Guitar Slim Jr., Grupo Fantasma, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Ovi-G & the Froggies, The Revealers, Pfister Sisters, Salvador Santana Band, William Smith’s Tribute to Kid Sheik, Eddie Boh Paris aka Chops, SUBR Jazz Ensemble, Chris Clifton, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ensemble, New Orleans Spiritualettes, Zulu Male Ensemble, The Jazz Jam, Tribute to Tuba Fats, Highsteppers Brass Band, Black Eagles, Hardhead Hunters and Apache Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Lady Rollers and CTC Steppers SAPCs, Guyland Leday with Family & Friends Zydeco Band, Young Traditional New Orleans Brass Band, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Wild Apaches, Young Magnolias and Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians, Original Prince of Wales and the Original New Orleans Lady Buckjumpers SAPCs, Tornado Brass Band, Judy Stock, Minister Jai Reed…
This is why we go. One reason of many.


As my blog becomes more stream-of-consciousness:

Hate. Him. SO. Much.


Why I Vomit.

The salescreep just told someone, "We're in the business of dreams." He's selling magazine ads. I'm dreaming of my foot up his ass.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hate Rays

The Company dropped a salescreep into the cube across from me for the rest of the month, who's yammering on the phone like a chimp who's learned to schmooze. He doesn't know it, but I'm showering him with hate rays from the moment I see him in the morning until twenty minutes after he's gone. His every word drips with slime.

It's only a few more days, but he just called someone "Hannah Banana," and I think I'm going to throw a chair through a window.


They Found My Thai Restaurant

...and I'm not happy.

The place was packed. There were probably three times as many people as there usually are for a Wednesday lunch. I sat down with a comic; they gave me a menu in five minutes; fifteen minutes in I'd seen people leave without ever getting their order, and another person sit down next to me, ask about the wait, and then walk out. After giving it a little thought, I followed her.

I don't know why everyone was there -- maybe someone wrote a review -- but whatever the reason, they weren't prepared to meet the demand. They better step up, or the crowds'll vanish as quickly as they appeared.


How Much Wood?

JtB has the scoop on the company whose booth we'll be staking out in the hopes of cadging logo swag. Go see what we'll be sporting if all goes well.


Pants Are Go!

Lost a pound last week, which I never got around to illustrating -- so let's just use pretend this British pound weighs sixteen ounces, shall we? Anyway, I've got another meeting tonight, and I haven't been terribly good this week (what with the late nights getting in my way, not to mention the celebrating afterward), so it's all old news anyway. But the really big news (to me) is this: Today I'm wearing smaller pants. I'm taking up less space in the world, and less fabric, pantswise. Otherwise, it's just an okay day: Work slowed down from its frenetic pace, and I have the time to into a few stories that need writing for the live pages. But in new pants, I'm giddy as a schoolgirl. Or make that the two and a half schoolgirls that could fit in my pants, down from three.


Monday, January 21, 2008

I Have to Admit I'm Relieved...

...but probably not so much as these guys...

Variety: Warner Pulls Plug on 'Justice League' Movie


My Heart Breaks Every Time

Working on the guest room, blasting jazz and blues from, New Orleans' public radio station's online feed. It's great listening, and great music to work to. But whenever they get to reading the live music calendar, I always find out there are four or five places I'd rather be.


Robots Are Strong

The Onion sounds the alarm about Our Robot Masters.

In The Know: Are We Giving The Robots That Run Our Society Too Much Power?


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Secret Ten: Fiddle Me This!

Continuing my meme of the Secret Ten, I realize there's still one more player to be revealed: The Mysterious Number Six. And today -- today is the day the veil of secrecy will be lifted, and oh so many of you will scratch your heads and say..."Who?"

We begin with Ami's question:

1, 6 and 10 get thrown into 5s continuity to help 5 in every way they can, do they prove to be useful?

Well, 5, as you might remember, is the fiddle savant Johnny from Charlie Daniels' song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Which is awesome: He certainly has a problem to solve: He needs to beat the devil in a fiddle-off.* (Good thing Spider-Man didn't show up. He'd cave so fast you could call him Altamira.)

Now if only Daffy Duck, Spider Jerusalem, and the Mysterious Number Six can solve it.

Daffy gives it a valiant effort, backing up Johnny with some cowboy gee-tar. Unfortunately, things don't go so well, sound wise, when the Devil (okay, Chuck Jones) plays a dirty trick on him and turns the volume down. Face it, kids -- that duck can't catch a break.

Spider, meanwhile, looks the Devil and Johnny over, and decides Johnny must be hiding something behind his good-ole-boy facade. Soon he's tapping away at his keyboard, digging into Johnny's past -- particularly his relationship with a girl named Frankie. Fact is, he was her man, and he done her wrong. Given the choice between the Beast and the Smiler, Spider once again backs the Beast, pounding away on his keyboard for the devil.

Which leaves Johnny in bad shape, with only the Mysterious Number Six to turn the tide for him. Luckily, that's truly his ace in the hole. Number six is Fflewddur Flam, from Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain books. (I talked about my love for them in this post last May.) Flam is a bard beyond compare, whose harp strings had the unfortunate habit of breaking whenever he stretched the truth (except for one enchanted string that would never break, no matter the circumstances). And while Daniel Webster might not want him on his side his battle with the devil, he's just the guy for Johnny. Fflewddur's harp brings a heavenly counterpoint to Johnny's down-home fiddle, and the two of them send the devil packing doubly fast.

There are a few images of Fflewddur from Disney's The Black Cauldron, a not-very-good adaptation of the second book in the series. So I'm snubbing them in favor of Patrick Ball, a harpist who performed a one-man show, O'Carolan's Farewell to Music, years ago in Wilmington. And if you go the the reviews on his blog, and scroll down to the one credited to "Arcade Suburban Publications?" That's from my review.


*And if this sentence is any indicator, he also has a spastic colon.

A Long Time Ago...

Ah, the original Star Wars trilogy...


Get Lit with the Raconteur

This sounds like a good time...

Field Trip
Group meets at The Raconteur and proceeds en-masse to New York City (via NJ transit). Stops on tour include The AlgonGet quin Hotel (home of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of NYC writers/wits that included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley & Harpo Marx), McSorley's Old Ale House (the oldest Irish tavern in Manhattan and the focus of several now classic articles by New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell; Brendan Behan and ee cummings were known regulars), The KGB bar (named "best literary venue" in NYC by New York Magazine and The Village Voice), Chumley's (a celebrated former speakeasy, notable scribes who imbibed there include Anais Nin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Norman Mailer, Eugene O'Neill, and J.D. Salinger), and The Whitehorse Tavern (where Dylan Thomas famously drank himself to death one night in November 1953). $35.00. Cost of tour includes literary history/bon mots, train fare and one round of drinks. 25% discount for all Raconteur Society Members*.
I'll be back from Vegas for a few days by then (I have a feeling the date is meant to be Sunday, Feb 10th, since the 11th is a Monday). Maybe I'll be able to get it together enough for Kathy & I to go. But it's equally likely that I'll be drinkied out by then (or at least will need a weekend to recover before the next weekend's Tardy Gras party. Doesn't mean it's not a good idea for you, though...


Saturday, January 19, 2008

R.I.P., Allan Melvin

Allan Melvin, who played Sam on The Brady Bunch and about a zillion other things, passed away last week. Mark Evanier has a nice write-up on his site, including some personal experiences with him. Mark points out that a number of obituaries have emphasized his role as Sam the butcher, to the detriment of his other work. And while that might not be fair (and might not be particularly professional, even), I think it's a natural reaction. I personally think The Dick Van Dyke Show is a much funnier TV show than The Brady Bunch, and would probably say the same about Sgt. Bilko and All in the Family, were I more familiar with the shows themselves (I've only seen a couple episodes of Bilko, and was too young to really appreciate All in the Family when it was originally airing). They're all good sitcoms -- great ones, in fact.

But The Brady Bunch wasn't so much a sitcom as a phenomenon. And while it certainly has a bigger hold on some people than others, the series somehow provides my generation with strange communal memories of vacations to the Grand Canyon and shampoo that turns hair orange. (I'm still always a little nervous when I measure out laundry detergent, thanks to an incident that never actually happened in real life, but somehow marks me to this day.)

I think by saying "Sam the butcher has died," obid writers are acknowledging Melvin's place in those communal memories, in much the same way that when Christopher Reeve died, he was Superman. Yes, it ignores many of Mr. Melvin's other acting accomplishments. But what it does do is pay our respects to a man who never existed, but who Allen Melvin made us think we knew well.

Rest in peace, Mr. Melvin.


Friday, January 18, 2008

It's Done!

The Big Four are done. The Little Reg'lar's done. It's all done done done done done!

Long time comin', this one was.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Leaving Work at 10:30.

Ugh. Over the hump, I think, but still.

Happy (yawn) Monkey Tuesday.


Tales of the No-Gun Kid

So on Saturday, I sliced into the tip of my index finger on my left hand. Not too bad, though it still throbs a little as it's healing.

Late last night, while obsessively peeling blue masking tape from the walls and floors of our guest room, I managed to jab a splinter deep under the nail of my right index finger. Kathy got the splinter out, but it's still kinda painful to use. I'm doing the typist equivalent of limping right now, using my middle fingers more than I ought to, because it hurts when I type.

It. Hurts. When. I. Type.

So here I am, looking at gun gear right and left, and I can't even make finger guns. Shootin' down the walls of heartache? Click, click.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Secret Ten: The Reckoning (Part One)

Okay, I've abandoned doing these Secret Ten posts one at a time, because hey, life's too short. So here are the answers to two more of Ami's questions.

First of all, we have:

2 sets 7 up on a date with their (2's) best friend. Would 7 be happy?

#2, as we know, is Margie Gunderson. I'm not entirely clear on who her best friend is--it's been a while since I've seen Fargo (Although I saw The Man Who Wasn't There just tonight, meaning I can once again say I've seen every Coen Bros. movie)--but I know she knows a guy who desperately needs a date. Desperately. Mike Yanagita, her poor acquaintance from high school, may just be the loneliest guy in the world. Here's a clip (start around 2:33), where you can see the entirety of Steve Park's performance -- an awkward pass at a married woman.

But Marge handles it with aplomb, and decides to set him up with #7 on our list:

The Church Lady.

The Church Lady is more than happy to get a date, especially since she's unaware that Mike was more than willing to break Commandment #7 in Margie would have only given him the chance. But by the time they get past the salad course, even the Church Lady finds Mike too clingy. Things go poorly after that.

Leading the Church Lady to make a fateful decision, spurred by another one of Ami's questions:

7 is planning a wild exhaustive night of smex with 8 and goes into an adult smex toy store for supplies, what does s/he get?

Yes, the Church Lady decides to get it on with Liz Lemon (#8). The mind boggles.

(No wedding, Liz. Just smex.)

The Church Lady paces outside the adult smex toy store for hours before walking away emptyhanded... she simply cannot bring herself to go in there. So she shows up at Liz's door with the kinkiest, sexiest thing she can think of...

a pillow.

Church Lady is all about denial. When not flagellating herself, she sleeps in as much discomfort as she can muster without breaking any laws. A pillow to the Church Lady is like chocolate body paint to you or me.

Liz, not surprisingly, is taken aback by the Church Lady's affections. And yet, when all is said and done, the Church Lady is left with a night she later refers to only as...


More Secret Ten answers as I can get to them. I haven't forgotten, I'm just incredibly busy right now.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Honestly, I Just Got Tired of Looking At Mitt Romney's Smarmy Mug

There have been some comments over at the feminist comic blogs I read about this upcoming Playboy cover,

but not nearly the firestorm I expected to see when it was first brought to my attention. The objections seem to be more nuanced than to many similar things -- in some cases, the issue isn't about comparing the model to Wonder Woman as much as it it comparing her to Lynda Carter (as some interior copy does). The way I figure it, the image is appropriate for the venue, and I've got no real problem with it on those grounds.

But DC and Time Warner? They should have a problem with it. Playboy is making money off of their trademark, almost certainly without authorization. Yes, it could be considered a parody, and likely will be permitted under the First Amendment. But DC is obligated to protect its trademarks, and it really should act in this case. (There's a nice long discussion about this in the Beat's comment section.)

Anyway, Romney's gone, so mission accomplished.

UPDATE: As always, Val brings up some interesting points.


Guest Room Update

Finished with the wood -- it's been stripped, sanded, stained and glossed. Next up is primer & paint.



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Huh. How Bout That?

Daily Kos feels the Mittmentum in Michigan.


Secret Ten: A Happy Tangent!

Since I can't get the time together to reveal more of my own Secret Ten, but I'd really like to cheer Ami up, I'm happy to report that KTBuffy has joined the Secret Ten meme! She's in the thick of it, so read this post then navigate forward in time (it's easy -- you've been doing unconsciously for all of your life).


("Ten Blue Eyes" by Kazuya Akimoto.)

Back on the Horse

So, I went back to my cult for a weigh-in and meeting tonight. I'm up 2.8 pounds -- which honestly isn't bad for a month of cookies and beer. I'm honestly beginning to believe that some -- not enough, but some -- of the good eating habits I've been following when I'm on the program have started to rub off on me. Two point eight pounds is about as much as this little fella weighs, and it honestly could have been a lot worse.

We had a new group leader tonight, and at one moment she got herself a little flustered amd embarassed. In explaining how your clothes might start fitting better even though you're not registering significant weight loss in a give week, she said:

"What it says on the scale might not have anything to do with how you feel in your pants."

Oh, so very true.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Told You Once, You Son of a Bitch

So, Spider-Man made a deal with the devil to save his Aunt May's life, and now he's single again, because the devil reshaped reality to take his marriage away and, for some reason, bring his friend Harry back to life and make everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. That's what I hear from the Interweb, anyway, about One More Day, a storyline that's being hailed far and wide as the stupidest thing written since the majority opinion of Bush v. Gore.

I have my doubts.

Not that dealing with the devil is a smart thing to do. You generally have to be either a world-class lawyer or fiddle player to come out on top in those deals. But I simply doubt that we're supposed to look at the end of One More Day, with Spidey's new, single, status quo, and think, "the end."

I have a feeling that the events of One More Day aren't over, and the deal with Mephisto will be an ongoing problem. And this quote from today's Newsarama interview with editor Steve Wacker seems to back up my suspicions:

NRAMA: Not so much lighting round, but…did Peter get a better deal out of the bargain with the devil than most do? I mean, Peter didn't get a shiny fiddle made of gold, but he seems to have come out of this deal with far more in his column than Mephisto has in his...he still has MJ's relationship in his past and can still reunite with her, Aunt May doesn't know, the world doesn't know, he seems to be relieved of the physiological changes of The Other, his best friend is back from the dead, his high school friends seem to be revitalized...and Mephisto got...a marriage? Where’s the O. Henry ending, the downside for Peter? Is the turkey dry?

SW: On the surface you’re right, but the devil doesn’t always reveal his plans on Day One. He plays a much longer game.
Sooner or later, this deal isn't just going to cause problems for fans, but for Spider-Man as well -- and probably the MU as a whole. I'm becoming more and more certain that this isn't a reboot -- it's a story about a reboot, like House of M was. Chances are, they don't know everything about how things will shake out down the line (gauging fan reaction to the various changes this storyline affords them), but we're getting the first slight hints that Brand New Day won't last forever. When all is said and done, Peter & MJ may still not be married if the fans wind up going for it, or Harry might remain alive, or at the very least Peter's ID will remain a secret. But there are very few stories that end with "and he made a deal with the devil and lived happily ever after."

I'd expect that Peter's final status quo won't be nailed down for good until the devil bows his head because he knows that he's been beat.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Unintelligible Grunt.

Well that's another 14-hour day down. Making progress, though. Maybe the dreams about drowning will stop. More trains going through tunnels, please.


Caption Jack Will Get You High Tonight

My favorite message board has a running photo caption contest. (Because after a long day of writing captions, I like to kick back and write some captions.) Every now and then, I'll share one of my entries. Here's the latest.

The shape was perfect, but Eddie and Phil couldn't find enough yellow snow to match the flavor.


A Happy Idiot?

Long day today. Worked from when I got on the train at quarter to 9 to when I got off it at 11 tonight. And when the morning light comes streamin' in, I'll get up and do it again. (Amen.)


Sunday, January 06, 2008


Figure I'll do a quick and dirty mediaverse post at the beginning of the month, just to show y'all what's been entering these eyes and ears recently.

Sandbaggers on DVD. I'm on the last disc of this excellent BBC spy series. And did you realize that Roy Marsden (who plays Director of Ops Neil Burnside) made an appearance in the most recent season of Doctor Who? He's the smug hospital trainer in the first episode with Martha Jones.

Weeds on DVD. Just starting this series, on the recommendation of a number of friends. Good shit.

The West Wing on DVD. For some reason I practically freebased this series over my week's vacation, watching about a dozen episodes from seasons 1 and 2 while I was home. I didn't start watching until late in season 3 (maybe four) so these are mostly new to me.

On real TV, I've recently turned onto the Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He's a really personable, goofy host, and I'm happy he's back on the air (with writers! hoo!). Looking forward to Lost starting up again, too.

Movies. Not much there. Saw The TV Set, and didn't dig it.

Books. I finished Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold last month -- it's a fun, sometimes moving piece of historical fiction along the lines of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Magic tricks, old vaudeville, and President Warren G. Harding being dismembered on stage hours before his death? I really liked this.

Now I'm dipping into Born Standing Up, Steve Martin's retrospective of his standup comedy career. I find I'm rarely interested in behind the scenes celebrity stuff going on now -- but put some years on it, and I love tales of old showbiz. Martin's one of my favorite writers and performers, so getting me this for Christmas was remarkably intuitive for my secret Santa coworker.

I'm also listening to William Gibson's Spook Country on Audiobook -- and since I do that when I work on the guest room, and the first coat of stain on the windows is dry, I should take that as my cue to go apply the second. So here's a brief list of music currently in my earbuds:

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings: 100 Days, 100 Nights
Richard Thompson: 1000 Years of Popular Music
Frank Zappa: Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Anders Osborne: Ash Wednesday Blues
Tom Waits: Small Change

Gotta Stain!


Some Quick Observations

As I was riding the elevator the other day, the little news screen had the headline: 11-year-old Critical After Shooting. "Of course I'm critical!" he said. "I was freakin' shot. Get off your asses and catch the guy!"

The other day I saw a guy doing pull-ups on some of NYC's ubiquitous scaffolding. I wasn't impressed with his strength so much as his willingness to touch the crossbar with his bare hands in sub-zero weather.

Later on that day, I was driving home from the train station and was stopped by an apartment complex. I could see into one of the apartments, and at first I thought the people inside were playing ping-pong. Then I got a better look: One guy was had a cricket bat and the other guy was bowling to him. If they move cricket indoors, you know it's cold.

Tonight we stopped at a pet store, and I noticed in the shopping center a liquor store: Wine Country/Liquor City. Good they they didn't switch that geography around, eh?


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's a New Year

And now that it's actually a new day in a new year, I realize I should say something about it.

2007 ended as it began: with me drunk on a couch. So that's a plus.

But there's no reason to dwell on 2007 when 2008 is spread out in front of us. Personally, I have a month of extreme business, followed by a weeklong work trip that combines pleasure and pain in such high doses that it's like I'm the cruise director on the S.S. Marquis de Sade. Or possibly Isaac the Bartender.

After this next bumpy month, I see smooth sailing ahead. I'm sure there'll be some changes -- there always are -- but I hope to navigate them with humor and optimism. I had a fairly rough month in the tail end of 2007, but have spent a week at home, and have enjoyed an almost complete recovery.

My hopes for 2008?

Getting some comic stories published.

Finishing up the guest room and moving on to the dining room. And finishing that.

Writing more.

Reading more.

Dropping another 30 pounds.

Electing a president I can be proud of.

Spending more time with my wife, and spending it better.

Learning to cook new things.

Meeting more strangers.

And, of course, health, happiness, and fun surprises.

Here's hopin'.