Monday, October 01, 2007

Dispatches from the Abyss - Monday, Oct. 1

So I was a bad monkey yesterday and did not do any writing. I spent most of the day in bed or on the couch and then went to Casa del Rob for steaks, potatoes, and some hanging out. All in all it was a good day capped off by a VERY pleasant evening. Dinner was just Rob, D, Scott, and I. The food was good and the conversation as excellent as it was wide-ranging. I think if more people had friends like these and evenings like these then the world would be a better place.

Actually I spent most of this weekend hanging out with friends. First there was the rugby debacle of Saturday afternoon which I have already discussed, and then Saturday night I met Scott and Matt over at Downing Street for a couple of beers and the final Montecristo #2s from my locker. Looks like I will be dropping some coin on some more cigars before too much longer. We had a good evening of conversation and not too much drinking, but we did manage to close the place down. Matt did bring the first episode of Torchwood with him along with Sports Night, so when I got home I snuggled up with one of my laptops and tried to watch it. Sadly I started to nod off during the episode so I will have to watch it again (perhaps tonight after I am done posting this and ready for bed.)

Earlier in the day I managed to watch the season premier of Bionic Woman and made it all the way through Chuck without any interruptions. To be honest I was pretty disappointed in both of them. Bionic Woman suffers from being a two-hour pilot crammed into and hour as well as the writers embracing every cliche they could think of, which combined to deliver a story which was somewhat disjointed as well as somewhat disinteresting. I am going to give it a chance to get better, but I do not have a lot of hope for the show. I think my biggest problem with Chuck is that I REALLY wanted to like the show and it could not have lived up to the expectations I had going in. Two of my favorite movies when I was younger were Gotcha! and Cloak & Dagger, both nerd makes good with spies movies. I have not seen them in years so I cannot make a mature judgment about how good or bad they are, but my memories are of them being excellent movies. Chuck just did not strike the chord with me. Part of it is that they resolved the conflict between the CIA and NSA agents a little too quickly, and even though this rivalry continues in the second episode it just felt kinda dumb. Then there is the character of Chuck who seems just a little too pathetic for even my tastes. If they had cast Ben Stiller in the role I would probably not watch the show. As it is I am going to keep DVRing it for another few weeks but I do not feel any real urge to watch it while it is on.

Writing about Chuck reminded me about the Fox show The New Adventures of Beans Baxter. This was one of the shows Fox premiered when they became the fourth network. I don't think it lasted a season and the only things I really remember from the show are that in one episode Beans Baxter learns that women tape recipes in the bathroom stalls and that Beans' love interest was one Karen Mistal who, along with Real Genius' Michelle Meyrink, aroused *ahem* interest from a young James. They were probably two of my earliest star-crushes. Anyways, getting back on point, the premise of the show was that Beans' father was a spy and had disappeared and somehow Beans was getting pulled into the life, all the while having to maintain the appearance of being a normal teenager. Sound familiar? I thought as much.

That was pretty much all I accomplished aside from finishing the ripping of about a CD case worth of CDs to MP3 format. Tomorrow night I am going to update the tag info and load them to the iPod so the funkywoodjamz (yes, I named my iPod funkywoodjamz) can be even funkier. Oh yeah! Now I just need to sucker Matt's friend Sara into transliterating the song titles for the stack of Japanese CDs I have and I can get those done as well and have some truly funky music to drop.

I also finished almost all of my comics from last week, once again managing to staty ahead of the game. One of the comics which came out last week was JSA Classified #30, which features the second part of a Mr. Terrific story by Arvid Nelson. I think Arvid Nelson may be one of the most under-appreciated writers working in comics today. As far as I know the only other series he has worked on are his breakout series Rex Mundi and his new series from Dark Horse, Zero Killer. When Rex Mundi first came out a couple of years ago I purposely stayed away from it as it had the peculiar smell of a The Da Vinci Code rip-off, a stench shared by the movie National Treasure which I enjoy more than I should. While Rex Mundi can certainly be painted with this brush, Nelson brings MUCH more to the table. If you found the questions about the Holy Grail brought up by The Da Vinci Code then I think you will find Rex Mundi an interesting read. Nelson's current work in JSA Classified involves Nazis, rockets, and a government cover-up of a secret program. Plus Mr. Terrific gets framed for murder. Hopefully the finale, which I think should be next issue, will live up to the build up. I could really do without the artist, one Alex Sanchez. I have trouble telling which character is which.

Another comic which came out last week which I am REALLY enjoying is X-Men: First Class which is written by Jeff Parker. Parker is getting the notice he deserves, at least in the comicsblogosphere, for being a writer who is not afraid to have fun in his comics. I have yet to read anything from Parker that I would not let an 8 or 9 year-old read, which is not something you can say about most comics these days. On the flip side of that Parker writes stories that are as intellectually satisfying as any of the spandex books out there. If you enjoy good, fun comics you should check out either the first X-Men: First Class collection, which collects the miniseries which was so popular it led to the series being turned into a monthly book, or Agents of Atlas. My only complaint with this book is that in the second issue Hank was wearing a Utilikilt BACKWARDS (that is with the pleats in the front). It is stupid the things I will notice, isn't it? Regardless of the kilt faux pas the book is still worth checking out if you're into that sort of thing.

After spending most of the day thinking I wanted to order pizza for dinner I took the frugal route and cooked up some macaroni and cheese (aka. Kraft Dinner). Since I ate about three hours ago I have been burping this nasty flavor back into my mouth. I looked on the boxes and apparently Kraft Dinner has an expiration date. Who knew?

Right now The Simpsons Sing the Blues is ripping on my other PC. I can't wait to add that to the MP3 collection if for no other reason than "Do the Bartman." That is just made of awesome.

So I saw this today. There are some things which cannot be unseen however the first comment is true of just about everything. In fact I tried to convince my friends that the saying, "More luchadores" is the new "More cowbell." So far no one is biting, but I think with time this is gonna go my way.

Anyhoo we're running out of time here. I need to get this posted to the Opiate and then send out an email to some people about my birfday party plans. Drinking at the Kelvin Arms seems to be the way forward on this one. Saturday night. Should be fun. Oh yeah, remind me to talk about women tomorrow night. One in particular has been on my mind lately (AGAIN) and I need to bitch about it. See you tomorrow!

W. A. Mozart - Horn Concerto No. 2, K 417 - I. Allegro
Bach - Violin Concerto in E, BWV 1042 - 2. Adagio
Monty Python - I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio
Pat Benetar - Painted Desert (skipped)
Mannheim Steamroller - O Holy Night (skipped)
Beyonce - Me Myself and I (skipped)
Fallout Boy - The Pros and Cons of Breathing
Huey Lewis and the News - Perfect World (skipped)
Rush - Earthshine
Information Society - Something in the Air
Puffy AmiYumi - Atarashi Hibi
Evanescence - Bring Me to Life
Michael Penn - Invisible (You know this album might be the closest thing to perfect in my collection. There is not a song on this CD I skip.)
Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Kiss the Sky
ZZ Top - Rough Boy
Sting - Wilt Thou Unkind Thus Reave Me
Heather Nova - Walking Higher
Blue Man Group - Mandelgroove
DJ Peaking (The Veronicas vs. Pink) - U and UR Hand 4Ever
Shania Twain - Leaving is the Only Way Out (skipped. Too slow)
KISS - Any Way You Want It
Beastie Boys - Do It
Willie Nelson - I Never Cared for You
Wide Boy Awake - Slang Teacher
Star Wars Revelations Soundtrack - Sukaal's Vision
Shania Twain - Raining on Our Love (skipped)
Bowling for Soup - If You Come Back to Me

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