Friday, October 31, 2003



There are two big reasons why I like Halloween.

Today on my way to work I saw a fairy princess, the Cat in the Hat, a dead Cowboy, a medieval maiden and the property manager for my office suite. AND Tom, my video guy, just showed up with this insane fake nose. It's gonna be a good day.

Oh, and there's candy.

Anyhoo, last night after dinner we carved not one, not two, but FOUR Jack O' Lanterns. I had to handle three of them as Jamie was reportedly "tired." But that's okay. We also made Jamie's traditional Halloween cookies which have orange zested into them, and are way better than I just made them sound. We watched "War of the Worlds" and "Young Frankenstein" and made a night of it.


It works every time.

I am not wearing a costume. I was going to come as my web designer, Eric, but I didn't get my act together. So I put on the Superman T-shirt and am going to have to roll with that again. S'allright.

I didn't carve this. I found it online. I'll give it a shot next year.

I hope all of you have a Happy Halloween, and get lots of treats and tricks.

"I got a rock..."

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hey Kids. Jim D. has sent me the link to a story on Alex Ross which appeared in The New York Times. I'm a big fan of Alex Ross's work, and I have several posters and prints (three of them signed, thank you) done by Mr. Ross.

Examples of Mr. Ross's work include the picture of Superman which appears right upon this page to your left

The decription of Alex's house makes me want to paint my walls blue, red and yellow and finally get down with my comic-lovin' self. However, Jamie still has some sense of decorum, and I am fairly certain a life sized replica of the Bat-Signal is nowhere in my future.

I do think it's odd that the article seemed more pre-occupied with Alex's knick-knacks than with the tremendous volume and quality of his work. His collaboration with Mark Waid on Kingdom Come and his work with Busiek on Marvels may be the two keystone books which brought comics back to form from the "anti-hero" path that superhero comics were taking in the early 90's. I know a New York Times reporter probably doesn't care too much about that, but at least a mention of the wide volume of Alex's work woudl have been nice instead of a piece on "look at the freak with the toys!" Sigh. Well, he was the one who chose to dress like The Phantom for the interview.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I have watched Rosemary's Baby and Picnic at Hanging Rock. I enjoyed both films and hope to make my way through all the Halloween movies.

BTW, was highly irritated that nobody suggested The Exorcist. And somebody shoudl have, because in addition to being kind of scary, The Exorcist is just plain wrong. Ay Carumba, how that movie scared me when i was 14 and saw it the first time. I saw this the same week I saw The Shining and A Clockwork Orange for the first time. Quite a week int the development of young Ryan's brain.

Mel is doing well and is pleased as punch about the arrival of Halloween. His costume is the pic you can see on this site each and everyday. he will proudly go as Krypto the Superdog again this year.

He is such a good boy, and he stayed up with me and watched all of the 2 hour ender of Joe Schmo, a show I once hated but grew to watch every darn week. Mel gets a 2 cushion spot on the couch (I get one). Poor Mel will be deeply disappointed when the new couch comes and he can no longer ride shotgun while we stay up to late and watch bad TV.

Last night CBS aired "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" which is still a favorite of mine. If anyone else saw it, did it seem like they cut out a lot of the WWI Flying Ace section? hmmm... conspiracies abound.

I have several dozen little comic books to give out on Halloween. One is "Spidey and the Mini-Marvels" and the other is a lame Archie Andrews Halloween comic. I may not like Archie, but some kid might. But don't worry, we will go ahead and assist in the rotting of teeth. We have many, many bags of candy.

About 9:00 I will begin watching The Shining. Please do not call unless you notice the roof is on fire (this may also work if it's the roof is on fire in the funky, George Clinton manner).

Hey, kids! It's up to you to decide who is too extreme! Vlad Tepes, the guy who impaled his enemies on stakes, or Ann "Nude Photos of" Coulter herself! But here's the great part... you can now have them play together!

In addition to the Vlad doll in the post from Oct. 28th at 11:16, one can now obtain this little piece of modern history.

Sure to be a welcome present beneath the tree of every hateful, spiteful little girl in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

An excellent case for OSHA
Oh, and before I forget, just to bring things into the realm of the stupefying...

The Vlad Tepes action figure.
I just remembered I saw Underworld. Why the fuck did I go see Underworld?
As many nerds know, Bram Stoker's Dracula (go here to read the whole book) takes his name from Vlad Tepes, a Romanian Nobleman famous for his taste for the brutal punishment of his enemies. More reading about Vlad can be done here.

But my favorite part of this, as I was telling Jamie just the other day, is how we've turned this 15th Century guy into, 1st, a horrific creature of the night. It's not enough this guy did a bunch of horrific stuff 600 years ago, but we've immortalized him as a bizarre member of the legion of the undead.

From book, to play to silver screen, Dracula has wowed folks for over 100 years, and will probably continue to do so long after you or I are around.

But as a figure of Popular Culture, Dracula has been routinely co-opted in a less than respectable fashion. From cartoons to greeting cards to comedies starring George Hamilton, the memory of the original Vlad Tepes has somehow dwindled in the imagination and has been replaced by something not nearly as frightening. However, perhaps Vlad has carried on to teach us all...?

But to be immortalized as a cereal character... truly, that must be the ultimate achievement. To know that hundreds of years after your death, some twinge of your memory, some part of who you once were as a great ruler, a feared and dreaded master of all you survey... indeed, to have that changed into a wacky character on the side of a cereal box (sharing an unholy alliance with a pink monstrosity and a blue ghost), is the kind of immortality most of us can only dream of.

So Vlad Tepes, this Halloween, I salute you. Unlike hundreds of thousands of others who dreamed their memory would linger on, the butchery which occured at your hands and at your command has been memorialized as a deliciously chocolatey treat that's a part of this complete breakfast.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Threatened with a lawsuit, the Laegue of Melbotis retracts any libelous comments made about Counselor Jim Dedman's deep affection for the early 90's sunshine fun band, The Spin Doctors. New information has come to light, and we no longer believe that Mr. Dedman does now, nor has he at any time, adored the Spin Doctors.

He does, however, love The Wiggles.

Bryan Manzo is in Seattle in a band called "Pleasurecraft." You may find their site, here.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Another great tragedy personally inconveniences me...

The wildfires in San Diego mean that Monday Night Football will be moved to the stadium at my employing university. Part of me was pretty excited, because I would either (1) go home early to avoid crazy football fans, or (2) go down to the staium and see Monday Night Football live!

But. I. Am. In. Class.

That's right, I'm taking a class which meets once a week on Monday nights. And because of this class, I can neither leave early, nor may I go to see this game.

BUT, I do get to deal with the insanity which will be prevailing.

SUCK IT UP!!! you say?

It was so bad during the Fiesta Bowl that I left at 2:00pm the day of the game. See, my window faces the main drag of Tempe, and now I will get to enjoy the hoots and hollers of thousands of football fans. Not to mention I have to pass the stadium just to leave at night.

Of course Al Michaels is an alum of my employing institution, so he's probably delighted. Well, AL Michaels, you are now my nemesis!
Well, I've returned from my trip to NASA, and while I may not have piqued interest in our programs to a single space-nerd, I sure like NASA. How many places can you go to that routinely assist in space exploration, both manned and un-manned?

On the whole, I didn't see much of NASA. In fact, I saw a "visitor's check-in center" and the lobby of a building where I sat for four hours. BUT, I sat under the base for a lunar lander the whole time. Kind of cool. Mostly I talked to the lady from Alvin Community College and the lady from Concordia Lutheran, but some old UT chums of mine were there in friendly competition.

I picked up an $8 model of the shuttle and a T-shirt. Hurray, NASA!

No, I took no pictures, but had I taken pictures, this is what the day would have looked like.