Saturday, November 25, 2006

Where we're at

I'd post on the Thanksgiving weekend a little more, but Steanso is doing a terrific job over at his site.


I'm still reeling from the UT game. They just looked awful, like the whole team came down with the flu but felt like they had to go out there and put on a game, what with all the people who showed up. As unhappy as I was with the offense, the defense just couldn't wrap it's head around A&M's admittedly spirited offense.

The late hit on McCoy at the end of the game, and the helmet-to-helmet hit he took before being carried off did quite a bit to sow some ill-will in what has become a lackluster rivalry.

A&M fans may be sad to hear this, but one of the revelations I had coming to UT from A&M-centric North Houston is that UT doesn't consider A&M to be it's primary rivalry. Sure, they want to win, but the OU game is the big kahuna of football rivalries. When I both went to and worked at UT, the A&M thing was great if we could win it, but mostly the lead up to the weekend involved being a bit mortified at A&M's pathological behavior as the game approached.

This year, of course, was a HUGE exception with bowl games still in UT's grasp. That said, a loss was unexpected, and hardly desirable. In a way, though, I think a lot of UT fans were just waiting for the other post-Vince Young foot to drop.

It's my impression from the post-game coverage that the consensus after the game was that the real concern wasn't over the score, but over McCoy's health (he's apparently okay and expected to recover). When your QB leaves the game on a stretcher, it takes whatever fun was left in the game and makes it all seem sort of dumb.

McCoy wasn't supposed to be this year's hero... he was our red-shirt promise for two years from now... Plus, you know, people seem to genuinely like the little guy.

Congrats, A&M. It's too bad your two cheap shots stained an otherwise impressive win. And it's too bad UT's entire team was apparently suffering from a massive turkey overdose.

I have to start decorating for Christmas.

I know this, because we have a Holiday party coming soon. Even JAL is coming. And he might even bring his long-suffering wife.

I also know this because (a) one house in our neighborhood already has up lights, (b) when I bought a pair of jeans today the store was blasting Holiday tunes, (c) News 8 has launched a new feature called "Sounds of the Season" where they show local bands playing Christmas songs, (d) the grocery has made the full conversion to festive Christmas mode, and (e) I've begun to crave nog. Nog is not something I seek out in July.

I suppose by next weekend, the house may be fully decorated. And that will be weird.

I took The Admiral to the comic shop today. There's nothing like bringing your old man to the comic shop to remind you how completely off-their-nut most comic shop patrons really are (grammar). Sure, I occasionally get irritated with the "it's our clubhouse, not a store" mentality some patrons seem to have, and the inevitable crude and crass conversations some folks seem willing to have without actually knowing the other patrons... But there's a whole subsection of the comic-shop audience that is a few more degrees skewed from the center than the average bear... the good folks who get involved in Cosplay, the sweet natured geeks who go to the parks and dress up as wizards and throws tennis balls/ "spells" at one another on the weekend, ...and the staple of the comic shop: the guy who believes he's a bad-ass because he reads titles like "Wolverine" and "Ghost Rider".

This guy ALWAYS knows more about EVERYTHING than ANYONE around him. Usually harmless, he physically cannot turn his voice down below 80 db's, and usually will ignore anything said by store managers, other patrons, or police officers who bring up any point which might contradict the reality he has carved out for himself. This might include topics as far reaching as the origin of an obscure comic character or the inner-workings of the NSA.

You never know what you're going to get in a comic-shop, and today we had The Expert, and "the Role-Player" (a lady wizard, I believe). Luckily, The Admiral is a pretty open minded guy, plus he was mostly interested in finding out why they don't publish Sergeant Rock anymore... so I don't know how much he actually had to listen to the two conversations going on in the shop, but it was all I could do to get the heck out of there my comics safely in tow.

I am fascinated with folks who voluntarily separate themselves from reality by creating elaborate scenarios that do not just exist within their heads. The folks who dress up as elves and wizards and run around in the woods are doing something that I have about fifteen mental signal lights warning me not to get involved with, and I think I've fallen pretty far down the rabbit-hole when it comes to aberrant social/fantasy behavior. I literally CANNOT imagine making the leap from bags and boards to "This weekend, I am going to buy this red material, make a cape, and go fling tennis balls at my friend at Pease Park". Yet I could watch these folks for hours if Jamie would let me.

I don't honestly see a lot of difference between the geeks in the home-made wizard capes and the folks who dress up as a soldier on the weekend to "re-enact" Civil War battles, people who build elaborate dioramas of long-ago fought battles, the guys who know waaaayyy to much about Japanese feudal society, folks who become "serious" Beatles collectors, the ladies who collect thousands of porcelain cats, guys who spend weeks of their lives managing their "fantasy" sports teams, and the millions of people who spend energy keeping up with the lives of celebrities as a hobby through magazines and by keeping Mary Hart of the air. It's all about cutting up reality and pasting it back in a way that works for you.

Heck, in a lot of ways, I sort of think that at least those folks are doing something that they probably know doesn't really jive with "reality" rather that being a stick in the mud who assumes their way is THE way.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the inhabitants of my LCS, I constantly waver between trying to be a "live and let live" sort of guy , and wanting to shake them and say "YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW THE NSA OPERATES! YOU ARE A BUS BOY AT EL POLLO LOCO!!!".

And that, Leaguers, is why I will never own or manage a comic shop.

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