Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
10. "If George Bush had Dick Cheney's first name, his name would be Dick Bush and I'll tell you I'd listen to a lot more of his speeches"
9. "Did the Patriot Act take care of Mujibur and Sirajul?"
8. "Shouldn't Crystal Bernard be in 'Playboy' by now... I mean we did our part and sat through seven seasons of 'Wings'"
7. "Laura Bush killed a guy"
6. "This is the best moment in television since Mr. Belvedere sat on his own nuts and fainted"
5. "Did you know Jim Belushi had a brother who was in TV, too?"
4. "Hey Ben Affleck and Matt Damon we're all still waiting on that second Oscar-winning script"
3. "I have always wanted to do this...ladies and gentlemen, the Max Weinberg Seven"
2. "If Jay Leno makes you laugh, chances are I don't care for you as a person"
1. "We should all buy more American-made products which at last check are down to porn and cheeseburgers"
Friday, February 24, 2006
Sony has finally released an official image for Spider-Man 3 featuring Spider-Man wearing his infamous black costume
For those of you who didn't spend your childhood reading comic books and mastering the Atari 2600, the black costume implies that Spider-Man will be facing his archrival Venom, who sports an alien symbiote that merges with its host to give him that black costume with all its alien symbiote powers.
Damn you, childhood. Damn you all to hell.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Congress passed the "Patriot Act" in the name of security. When Dubya's domestic-spying program was revealed, Americans were told, once again, that the government did what it had to do to keep us secure.
Hell, Bushites continue to justify the invasion of Iraq -which had nothing to do with September 11th- as part of its war on terrorism.
But now, in an act that would seemingly send the terror alerts off the charts, the White House has approved an almost $7 billion deal that would place the nation's most critical ports in the hands of an Arab state with known ties to the September 11th hijackers. And just today? Today the White House tells us that Dubya had no knowledge of this deal 'till it hit the news. Is that supposed to make us feel better, or worse about our Stammerer in Chief?
Yeah... so much for national security.
For years, security experts have complained that our nation's seaports are the most vulnerable, and yet least protected, areas when it comes to national security. America's ports handle 2 billion tons of freight each year, according to the Investor's Business Daily, but only 5 percent (that's 100,000,000. Thanks Google!) of containers are inspected upon arrival.
But rather than strengthening port security, the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (say that five times fast!) has approved a deal that would grant management of the ports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans to Dubai Ports World. Dubai is a small state included in the United Arab Emirates, where much of the operations and finances for al Qaeda were based pre-September 11th.
If Dubya refuses to stop the deal, Congress must step in to ensure that the threat of terrorism that our government has repeatedly warned us about is not something that, in this case, it helped to import. Honestly, when did it become Congress' job to stand by and let the Executive Branch run roughshod over the needs of the nation, and hopes of the world? Why do we tolerate a Chief Executive who clearly sees Congress as "quaint?"
Seems to me, a President truly interested in bipartisan cooperation and the good of the nation would -instead of using his first veto on such a boneheaded cause- make the bill unnecessary by, oh I don't know... acting on his own to undo the ports deal.
Despite what the Hannitys and Coulters will tell you, Congress is right to resist the ports deal. The United Arab Emirates is an ally, sure, but its record in the war on terror is mixed at best. It is not irrational or "politicking" for the United States to resist putting port operations, arguably the most vulnerable part of our security infrastructure, under that country's control. Mary, Mary! Under any other country's control! It's the same reason I don't let my sister warehouse my comics in her garage: they don't mean half as much to her; why would I expect her to take the same care of them that I would?
Finally, what just knocks me on my ass about this situation is that Dubyaco has never hesitated to sacrifice individual rights in favor of "security," but it has been loath to do the same thing when it comes to business interests.
Why do we keep putting up with this? We're smarter than that... right?
(Thnx for the quiz, Scott!)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
"Making money in a corporation like McDonald's is not simple at all! Behind every sandwich there is a complex process you must learn to manage: from the creation of pastures to the slaughter, from the restaurant management to the branding. You'll discover all the dirty secrets that made us one of the biggest companies of the world."
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
"In the meantime, the couple will live in his Beverly Hills home - though sleeping in separate bedrooms - through the summer. Then, presumably, they'll announce a separation - but Tom plans to buy Katie a home nearby so he can visit his child whenever he wishes. "They'll share custody," says the friend, who claims the couple are drawing up a legal document to provide for Katie’s and the baby’s financial well-being for life. "Tom will set up Katie and the baby," adds the pal."
Maybe this is some sort of Valentine's Day joke. Like the time my dad told me he was leaving my mom for a sexy blonde he met at some bar. And then he disappeared and never came back, occasionally sending postcards of him and his new family. That was a pretty good joke, Dad.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
(Don’t even ask me why we never went lo the many years we actually lived in San Francisco, alright?)
We’ve been to San Diego’s ComicCon, and it was amazing… but WonderCon was a better, cooler experience, tellyouwhat. The complaints I’ve heard about WonderCon are always the same: "It’s kinda’ small." Well my friends, that is precisely the reason it kicks so much ass.
It’s kinda’ small.
Because it’s one showroom of exhibitors, and one floor of conference rooms for panel discussions and such, it’s so much easier to actually approach the comic book gods and demigods there that it's just that much more enjoyable. I coulda’ picked Mike Mignola’s pocket Saturday afternoon. I almost spilled water on Peter Mayhew’s waist (which was right about at eye-level as he hurried past me on his way to what I can only assume was a portable, economy-sized toilet he must take with him from event to event. Seriously, the guy’s ginormous), and oh yeah! I chatted with Yvonne Craig and Sarah Douglas. If Dawn Wells had been there too I probably woulda’ just sat right down and cried…. They all pale in comparison to my beloved wife, of course, but sweet jews for Jesus! Sarah Douglas! And while she signed my autograph, she was whispering about the “freaky” guy who worked her booth for WonderCon, and who may have had an unhealthy crush on Ursa which he wasn’t ashamed to admit or display there on the showroom floor. That’s right… Sarah Douglas confided in me! We’re confidants!
Over the years, I've come to see these men and women in elaborate Star wars costu-- uniforms --as no different from people who join car clubs and host rallies to display their tricked-out hot rods or factory muscle cars... shining them up so everyone can appreciate them. A lot of work goes into these costumes, and while that doesn't make them any harder to ridicule, it does make them a little easier to respect. Plus this guy? He's dressed as Elvis... in a Stormtrooper uniform. That's a hunka' hunka' trooper love, baby.
That's right, Mike and Laura Allred smooching. Judging from what I saw though, that's probably not such an uncommon sight to see. They're the cutest couple in comicdom... count on it, true believers.
Yvonne Craig, meanwhile, gave us some sage advice for anyone celebrating a 40th birthday: she explained that the 41st year generally sucks for various (and colorful, as she described them) reasons. So, she said, celebrate “40,” then next year? Either celebrate “40” again, or skip to “42.” Then, the following year? Celebrate “42” one more time. Curse of the 41st birthday avoided, and all thanks to the woman who played Marta, Batgirl and any number of dancing debutantes in Elvis films.
'till today, Autograph Row always kinda' freaked me out. It used to bother me mostly because it creates a situation -- pay me $25 and I'll talk to you -- that somehow rings false. It would be so much better if the conventions could pay the actors, make it part of the admission price, and put them in a position where they could give their autographs for free.
I've been using the past tense because my stance on convention autographs has come full circle. While I've read Internet tales of D-list celebrities who act like jerks to fans, I've witnessed nothing but positives from the exchanges. This year, I sat back 10 feet and watched 85-year-old Noel Neill for about 15 minutes and she seemed to be having a particularly great time interacting with the appreciative crowd. If it doesn't bother her or the person paying, why should it bother me?
Two words: Bob Fuckin' Wilkins.
The original "Boomer" from Battlestar Galactica! Reading a paperback! His homemade Battlestar Galactica sign made me laugh out loud... 'till it made me cry while I watched passersby sniff dismissively at it as they hurried past to talk to Lassie's "Timmy."
When we made it upstairs we were treated to an hour with Kevin Smith, and sneak peek at Clerks II. I have to admit I haven’t been optimistic about this film, but the clip was awesome! And would someone tell me, please, when Jason Mewes transmogrified into a supermodel? The guy looks great! Even while he mugged to “Goodbye Horses” in an uncomfortable nod to Silence of the Lambs. It’s enough to make me consider chasing the dragon for awhile, then quitting so a portly pal will write a movie for me.
The main event was Bryan Singer’s Q&A to an SRO crowd late in the afternoon. He brought the same reel he took to ComicCon last summer. It still brought me to tears. He looked really uncomfortable, and only relaxed a little when he unexpectedly called out a surprise guest… Mr Brandon Routh!
Nancy actually swooned.
The two of them (Bryan and Brandon, not Brandon and Nancy. Jeeze, she swooned but she didn't abandon me) took questions from the audience, commented on how scary it was to be up there, and generally displayed such respect and love for Superman that we all left confident that these men are fine caretakers of the Man of Steel.
The Superman Returns crowd was filled with die-hard fans, not industry types, so no one was impolite enough to ask about the budget that gossip column types say is soaring out of control. Instead, Bryan and Brandon answered questions about the size of the "S" on the costume (some fans think it's too small) and the size of Brandon's codpiece (some fans think it's too big).
Brandon fired off a pretty good line saying, "Frankly, I don't see the uproar about it, but I suppose you can file it under good news," before describing the codpiece as "like a baseball player's protection, except softer because I don't have to worry about getting hit."
And that, somehow, summed up the day for me. Spending the day at WonderCon with Nancy... happy and safe, my wonderful, patient, indulging wife at my side.... For all of the crap we endure day to day, and all the shit that gets thrown at us... Saturday?
I didn't have to worry about getting hit.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
New pictures from Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep show that fans of comically large hands and bands in cat suits have something to look forward to with this one. I've heard it's a bit disappointing, but I'm still excited about this film. It looks like Gondry has really captured the skewed reality and complete absurdity of dreams. Or at least... what I've heard dreams are like.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Seahawks lost. Dammit.
I was hopeful they’d win… I was even confident… but I knew it’d be tough. The Steelers had proven to be tough, they had some serious momentum, and there was all that talk that their 3-4 defense would stymie the poor Hawks…. Of course, I still don’t know what a 3-4 defense is, but if it’s something that could stymie my beloved Hawks then I am four-square against it.
So yeah, I was obviously hopeful, and full of stalwart belief, but I knew it could be very, very tough for the little blue men.
What I didn’t know was the Seahawks would be fighting the officials too. Sure, the Hawks made plenty of mistakes (what the hell happened at the end of each half, anyway?), but take away the bogus penalties –and hell, I’m magnanimous, leave the Rothlisberger TD on the board- and it’s Matt Hasselbeck hoisting Vince’s phallic symbol.
The worst part of it? The worst part is that those bogus calls were just part of the tone of the entire game. Judging from the pre-game coverage, and the n-game comments, you’d have thought this was the Steelers' game to lose… even while the Steelers did nothing but go three and out for the entire first quarter.
After their second three and out, Al Michaels started conjecturing on what the Steelers would do if they won the game. They’d shown no offense for 7 minutes, and Al’s wondering where’ they’re gonna’ display the trophy. After 12 minutes, Al suggested that Hines Ward was a likely MVP candidate. He hadn’t caught a ball!
Granted, the Seahawks only managed 3 points in the first half, but they were setting the pace of the game, and containing the Steelers for most of the first half. If not for Big Ben’s “TD,” (and a few ridiculous calls for holding and pushing off) they would have gone into the locker room well in the lead… instead they faced a four-point deficit, and had to feel powerless against the vagaries of the officiating crew.
And that’s the tone I’m talking about: the whole day was about the Bus’s last ride, and the Steelers getting one for the thumb. No one gave the Hawks credit for rampaging through the NFC West, or for getting to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. They gave them shit for not scoring, but glossed over how effectively they were stopping the Steelers. They joked about the bad calls, but never commented on their significance.
Nancy (who got even more excited about what went well for the Hawks than I did; her cheers and yelps were the highpoint of the game, believe you me) pointed out how one-sided the poignant player photos were throughout the game. You know the ones: black and white portraits of various players clutching at the Lombardi Trophy like it was made of mercury. I counted 18 of those portraits throughout the game. Three were of Seahawks. Three! Jumpin’ Jim Zorn! That’s messed up!
The Seahawks won the toss, and we weren’t treated to the obligatory, annual graphic of “In 39 Super Bowls, 23 teams who have won the toss have gone on to win the game.” The Seahawks scored first, and we were denied the obligatory, annual graphic of “In 39 Super Bowls, 33 teams who have scored first have gone on to win the game.”
The Seahawks had more Pro Bowl players. The Seahawks had more players who had actually played in a Super Bowl before. The Seahawks had a coach who had been to four Super Bowls, and left two a winner.
It’s a fundamental lack of respect, my friends. The Seahawks? They were the Democratic Party of Super Sunday. They outplayed their opponent for most of the contest, and still walked away losers… and since all anyone ever said was “They’re outmatched, and such an unlikely competitor” no one blinked when the media-fulfilled prophecy came true.
But not me, dammit. I believed in them then, I believe in them now. They are the little team that could, and next year? It’s their year, baby!
Sunday, February 05, 2006
The Seahawks got off to a rocky start on their 2005 campaign but it would end with their first Super Bowl appearance. They lost their first game of the season on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-14. In Week 2, their home-opener was against the same team that they beat on the last game of the 2004 regular season, the Atlanta Falcons (21-18). The following week at home, they dispatched the division rival Arizona 37-12. The following week, they were on the road against the Washington Redskins. Kicker Josh Brown missed a game winning field goal attempt late in regulation. The game went into overtime and the Seahawks lost 20-17. The Seahawks rebounded, however, and went on an eleven-game win streak. First, they went to the Edward Jones Dome to face their fierce division-rival, the St. Louis Rams. Not only did the Seahawks win 37-31, but they also ended their four-game losing streak against them, which dated back to the late 2003 season. Afterwards, they went home for a Sunday night game against the hapless Houston Texans. The Seahawks easily won on the power of RB Shaun Alexander by a score of 42-10. When the Dallas Cowboys came to town the next week, the game came down to the wire. It wasn't settled until second-year DB Jordan Babineaux intercepted opposing QB Drew Bledsoe's pass for 25 yards, setting the stage for kicker Josh Brown's game-winning 50-yard field goal as time expired. The Seahawks won 13-10.
After their Week 8 bye, they then traveled to Tempe, Arizona and finished the sweep of the Cardinals by a score of 33-19. Afterwards, they went home and finished the sweep of their much-hated division rivals, the Rams, by the score of 31-16. When the Seahawks flew to Candlestick Park to take on the division rival San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks were leading 27-12 going into the fourth quarter. The Niners started to rally, however, and in the final seconds, the 49ers got within two points with a 1-yard touchdown run by Maurice Hicks. Fortunately for the Seahawks, the Niners couldn't tie on the two-point conversion and Seattle held on for the win (27-25). A week later, the Seahawks went home and played a close game with the eventual NFC East champion New York Giants. With the score 21-21, opposing kicker Jay Feely missed three chances for a winning field goal (one as time expired in regulation and two in OT). The Seahawks won on a 36-yard Josh Brown field goal and the final score was 24-21.
When the St. Louis Rams lost on December 4, 2005, the Seahawks clinched their second straight NFC West title after playing only 11 games.
On December 5, 2005, the Seahawks shut out the Philadelphia Eagles 42-0 with three defensive touchdowns (two interceptions, one fumble return) to tie the largest margin of victory mark in Monday Night Football history and set the mark for the greatest margin of victory in an MNF shutout, as well as setting the NFL record for scoring the most points with under 200 yards of offense. A fourth interception return by Michael Boulware fell just short of tying another Seahawks NFL record of four defensive scores in a single game, set during a 45-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in 1984. When the game had finished, the Seahawks had handed the Eagles their 3rd worst defeat in team history (Seattle also handed the Eagles their 5th worst defeat since 1998, the last time the Seahawks played in Philadelphia).
On December 11, 2005, the week after their Monday night rout of the Eagles, the Seahawks defeated the San Fransisco 49ers 41-3, making their margin of victory for the two-week period 80 points (team record), and marking the first time in team history that the Seahawks had recorded three forty point or better games in a season. With some starters playing less than three quarters for the second game in a row, the victory put the Seahawks at 11-2 with three games remaining, just one win shy of their franchise record 12 wins (12-4 overall) in 1984. At least four team records were set during this game, including the lowest yards ever allowed by a Seahawk defense at 113, the biggest two game margin of victory, the first time the team has posted three forty point wins in a season, and the franchise record for wins in a row at 9.
After smashing the Niners, the Seahawks traveled to The Coliseum to face the Tennessee Titans. Coming into the second half, the score was tied at 14. After the third quarter, the Seahawks trailed 24-21. However, they wouldn't be denied as QB Matt Hasselbeck threw a game-winning 2-yard pass to WR Darrell Jackson, to end up with a 28-24 victory.
On Christmas Eve, the Seahawks beat the Colts 28-13 setting the franchise record for wins in season with 13. Shaun Alexander scored three touchdowns in the game and tied Priest Holmes for the NFL record for touchdowns in a season with 27. The victory also clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the Seahawks assuring them of a home playoff game during the weekend of January 14-15, 2006 against the lowest remaining NFC seed (which turned out to be the Washington Redskins). Interestingly enough, the Colts-Seahawks game set records well before kickoff. The game featured the highest scoring and winningest teams against each other, and each looking to set a franchise record for most wins in a season. In addition, the schedule makers set a record with the first regular season game where the teams combined for at least 25 victories.
On January 1, 2006, despite losing to the Green Bay Packers 23-17, Shaun Alexander broke Priest Holmes's record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season, with his 28th touchdown coming in the 2nd quarter of the game. He also ended the season with the league's most rushing yards for the season with 1,880 yards. Four days later, he was named the 2005 NFL MVP.
Seven Seahawks players were selected for the 2006 Pro Bowl, tying a franchise record set in 1984. The players included MVP RB Shaun Alexander, QB Matt Hasselbeck, LT Walter Jones, LG Steve Hutchinson and FB Mack Strong. C Robbie Tobeck and rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu were added to the Roster after injuries to Chicago's Brian Urlacher and Olin Kreutz.
After having the first round bye in the playoffs, the Seahawks hosted the Washington Redskins in the Divisional Playoff Round. Shaun Alexander suffered a concussion in the first quarter, but the Seahawks managed to prevail by a final score of 20-10. The win ended the franchise's 21-year playoff victory drought.
On Janurary 22nd, 2006 Seattle clinched its first Super Bowl berth in franchise history as they beat the Carolina Panthers 34-14. Seattle will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Super Bowl XL in Detroit on February 5th, 2006 for the NFL championship.
Friday, February 03, 2006
I'm sure there are those of you who missed Oprah tearing into James Frey on her show last week. If you're not familiar with the story, James Frey wrote a book called A Million Little Pieces which is an account of his six weeks in drug rehab. It became one of Oprah's Book Club selections and then got super popular. Well it turns out James Frey made up a bunch of the story, and Oprah was none too pleased about it. But considering she's Oprah, Frey should be grateful all she did was yell at him, as opposed to physically destroying him with the insane power she wields.