Friday, October 29, 2010

To the Left!

I just typed "left-hand side" into a document and thought of this song. I'd say it holds up better than 90 percent of everything else that was on the radio in 1982.


Even the Ghosts and Ghoulies Don't Care

...about that thing I do, which I did once again. My weekly look at DC's digital releases is here once again.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

All gut, no brains.

Didn't take me long to fall off the wagon. This week's meeting (on Tuesday) showed I was up 0.6 pounds, or as much as the weight of this little contraption.

My problem was definitely all that I drank and ate during Jay & Nicole's Zombie party. In retrospect, I shouldn't have gone there without eating anything first. Big mistake, which I paid for in meatball sandwiches.

Plus, rum and beer. And candy and brains.

On the plus side, the bunch of us had a great time, killed plenty of zombie & played zombie tag.

Anyway, here's the ticker. Only took me 20 minutes to remember the PIN number to let me update this thing.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, P.U, Fish!

Last weekend, our brother-in-law gave us some delicious bluefish fillets that he caught. (Well, when he caught the fish, the fillets were attached.) Anyway, we cooked 'em, et 'em, reheated 'em and et 'em agin. And now, well... the microwave smells like bluefish. Any ideas on what I can do so I don't smell bluefish every time I reheat coffee?

Otherwise, well...


Friday, October 22, 2010

Panel of the Week

I've got a scanner, and I'm not afraid to use it. Well, maybe a little afraid, but only because it's so testy.

Anyway, I looked at this panel, and thought only one thing:


(From DC Legacies #6, by Len Wein, Jerry Ordway and George Perez)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oooh, Witchy Woman

Elvira has an important message for you. Especially if you're a voter in Delaware.

Elvira's Movie Macabre is showing at 2am on Fridays and 1am on Sundays on WPIX in New York and WPHL in Philly... more local listings are here. (Pdf download.)


Drop Gun

Crooked cops know to always carry a gun to drop, in case you have to justify a shooting. In my case, I dropped this awesome air rifle, weighing 2.4 pounds.

Which gets me off to a good start on my 42 by 42 campaign. All weeks won't be this easy, I know... but I'm glad this one was.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week One

Before the weigh-in, I figured I’d write a few paragraphs about how this first week has gone.

Exercise has been (almost) nil, but that will change. I managed to ride my bike to the coffee shop one day – with the proper amount of air in my tires, for once! Which meant they were round even when I got on the bike -- which is an essential shape for locomotion. Kathy won a bicycle pump at a raffle a couple weeks ago, when she got back from her 30 mile ride. The pump had a pressure gauge on it, so I was able to see that my tires, rated for 45-65 pounds of pressure, had about 15-20. I knew they were leaky, and was going to pump them anyway, but was able to pump much more air into them with confidence, being able to read the number on the gauge. Plus, it’s considerably taller, so it’s easier to get more air into the tires and I don’t have to bend as far. Because there’s nothing I like so much as getting on a bike when my spine feels like a question mark.

On staying on points, I did pretty well. I ate well, but cut most snacks out of my repertoire, and when I did snack, it was on an apple or yogurt. Sunday was a 70th birthday party for my mother-in-law (hi Mom!), and I went a little overboard on all the delicious food there (mmm… deep-fried turkey), but I had the bonus points to spare, and the day wasn’t a total disaster.

As for limiting pork & beef, I’ve had no beef this week, and the only pig I’ve had has been some lunchmeats at the party. I’ve consciously made choices for chicken or fish several times this week when I normally would have had pork. I’ve also made sure there’s been some low-calorie Tom Yum soup with shrimp around for me to reheat.

So tonight, we’ll see what the week has wrought. Assuming the Phillies game is over by the time my cult meeting starts. Otherwise, weigh-in might wait until tomorrow afternoon.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today's the First Day of the End of My Life

...and considering I'm not done living it yet, that's problematic.

So, in honor of my 41st birthday last week, I've begun a "42 by 42" plan -- that is, I'm going to try to lose 42 pounds by the time I turn 42, approximately 360 days from now. Because while I'm not sick, I'm sure not living healthy. And I'd like to make the end of my life last for a long time, culminating in a brief, hilarious fall off a cliff into a tank of robot piranha, which will have been invented (and perfected) by then.

Essentially, I'll be doing a modified Weight Watchers plan (hereafter referred to as "my cult"), with a few other limits I'm imposing on myself, such as the number of times I can eat beef and pork in a give week (I'm thinking two each), and my intention to have at least one vegetarian dinner a week... without using pizza as a crutch too often, since that defeats the purpose.

I weighted in last night at 237.2 pounds (with clothes and all, but damn!), so it means I need to hit 195.2 pounds by October next.

Luckily, I just ate a delicious bowl of seaweed, so I think I'm ready.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

No Soup For You!

Look, I'm a white guy, raised Catholic, so I just don't fit into a whole lot of minority groups. I don't get to see firsthand how people of different ethnicity, religions, genders or orientations are treated by society as a whole. (That's called privilege, everybody -- it's the luxury of ignoring a whole lot of -isms whenever I want to.)

But the fact is, you can't ignore it all, and of course, you shouldn't. And sometimes it's too blatant to ignore, such as when conservative bloggers and cracker-ass teabaggers get in a huff about this country acting like the pluralistic country it is. And so, as Campbell's has introduced a Halal line of soups, a Facebook hate group called Boycott Campbell Soup has emerged for these dumbasses to express their displeasure. Which is their entirely American right to voice their entirely un-American opinion.

But remember all those smoke-screens about "respect for the dead" and "hallowed ground" that were used to obfuscate the protests against the so-called Ground Zero so-called mosque? None of that is in play here. It's just a line of soup intended to feed some people who would like to eat soup. That's it. But it's all of a piece with the racist protests of that construction project: Just a bunch of people who found a reason to hate another bunch of people they never met. For wanting to eat the same brand of soup that they want to eat, which they didn't give a moment's thought to for years. For being different from them. For existing.

They're called bigots, boys and girls. They're called racists. And I am so, so, so relieved that when I clicked onto that Facebook hate page, it didn't tell me we had any "mutual friends."

A favorite phrase of these assholes is "America: Love it or leave it." But forget it, Jake, this is Crackerville, and love in this context is the kind of love you see on COPS: some idiot in an undershirt beating his wife until she gets fed up, but who's then cowed into submission when the authorities come to take her man away. That's what love of country is to these people: Do what I want or I'll hit you. It's all about meting out punishment to those who don't comply. Boycotts against companies that dare to serve another client base. Hate campaigns against public servants who stand up for equal protection under the law. It all the amounts to the same thing: some damn thug in a teeshirt, holding up his Bible Belt, threatening to swing.


P.S. In the time it took me to write this post, 24 more hateful shitheads joined the Facebook hate group.

One Fine Saturday

Well, I played hooky from my niece’s first birthday party this weekend, and my nephew’s third. With fourteen (soon to be fifteen) nieces and nephews, it’s inevitable that sooner or later I’m going to fall short on the uncling duties every now and then. On the other hand, I had the best excuse ever: boobies.

Yes, it was once again time for the New York Burlesque Festival, and like last year, we went to the Saturday Night Extravaganza at BB King’s. More on that in a moment.

We spent the first part of the day at Manhattan Theatre Source, enjoying the first week of the Estrogenius festival, which has grown into a sprawling, five-week celebration of women-produced, women-centric theater. (That isn’t to say that there are no men involved; there are, at every level. But there are women central to every short play; the Bechdel Rule wins the day here.)

(Incidentally, this seems to be a habit for us. Each year, before we go the the NYBF -- which, while a woman-centric art form, has at its core an admitted amount of objectifying -- we've gone to see other woman-powered art. Last year was a collection of short films by Chick Strand at the New York Film Festival.)

This week’s plays were produced by TheatreSource’s executive director (and my good friend and first—albeit fictional—wife) Jen Thatcher. Five short plays that ranged from two older women rather testily discussing the college dean that bound them together to a zombie attack in the land of fairytales. Quite a range, and every play in the show really hit the mark. For the fifth week of the festival, one show from each of the four weeks will get an encore, as determined by audience demand. Me, well… as much as I loved Olivia Rorick’s performance in Katherine Clark Gray’s “Pussycat,” I’m hoping for more zombies. (That play, by the way, was called “Snow White Zombie,” written by Brenton Lengel, directed by Lita Tremblay.) Estrogenius continues through October 30.

Then, after a stop for crepes, we were off to the Burlesque Festival, meeting our friends Mike and Maria in the line outside of B.B. King’s. And oh, what a show! There was a little something for everybody, as the show began with Mimi First dressed like a cross between Zatanna and a magician’s rabbit, stepping (one leg at a time) out of a giant top hat. There were classic peels, as done by Miss Indigo Blue and Adora Derriere (who used sound effects to great advantage, following the advice of animal sounds telling her to remove fur, feathers, and eventually, a whalebone corset). There were sillier moments—such as Delilah’s attempt to climb into a giant pint glass of PBR, but her tight dress was simply too constricting to get the job done properly, Dr. Lucky’s portrayal of Marie Antoillette, or when the Evil Hate Monkey, well… peeled his banana. There was room for a little geekout: witness Lux La Croix’s energetic robot dance, or Gigi La Femme’s transformation from Episode IV’s diaphanous Princess Leia to the Leia costume Jabba prefers. And there were a few social statements as well: Ms Tickle made a thought-provoking transformation from blow-up doll to a Live Nude Girl, still trapped in the same station; later, Tigger took on the persona of a merman in the oil-choked Gulf of Mexico to a lounge version of “Black Hole Sun.”

As Lyle Lovett sings, there’s more I remember, and more I could mention —and hell, let me tip my hat to the amazing Miss Saturn, who managed to disrobe whilst twirling hula hoops!—but description to a certain extent diminishes these acts. These were amazing, eye-popping performances that pasted a smile of disbelief on my face and kept it there all night.

And there’s only one word for that, as emcee Murray Hill well knows: Showbiz!


Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares about This Thing I Do

I've got a new installment of my DC Digital column over on the Captain Comics board. Now with more justice!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Now Read This

Just read Matt Taibbi's most recent article on the Rand Paul and the Tea Party in Rolling Stone. Taibbi's a terrific writer, and he takes square aim at this frustrated, thinks-they're-disenfranchised cult of personality. Here's an excerpt:

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.

Go read the whole thing.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

This Week's Best Thing Ever

Despite the unfortunate typo in its name, KarmaSheetra's Kama Sutra-on-a-sheet looks like the world's best Twister game.

Then again, maybe your karma is that you'll get laid Friday night. In which case, the world thanks you for your good deeds.