Saturday, December 31, 2005
Wow, did 2005 suck. Hurricanes. Tsunami after-effects. Political scandal. War. No Hot Tamales at the Gilbert WTC. Multiple hospital stays for Jamie. Cancellation of Arrested Development.
Yeah, you know what... @#$% you, 2005.
Anyway, Happy New Year, Loyal Leaguers.
The League of Melbotis 2005 Person of the Year
We name this person Person of the Year with some trepidation as we recently learned that Jim D's own mother reads this site from time to time. Mrs. D, I gotta ask that you forgive me for this one, but it was already in the works.
Without further ado, The League of Melbotis presents our first Person of the Year.
Congratulations, Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng. You are 2005's selection for Person of the Year.
Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng, well... I feel really awkward with Mrs. D reading this, but... you know... Anyway, he pulled a truck across a parking lot using his penis as an anchor.
That makes him not just Person of the Year, but, in fact, MAN of the year.
Article 1 on the amazing feat.
Here is Tu Jin-Sheng's own website, ironcrotch.com
Special thanks to Loyal Leaguer Dan Peters for informing me of this amazing feat.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Continuing the previous entry on this free-form topic...
TV Shows I watched regularly in 2005:
The Daily Show
Headline News (oh, Linda Stouffer, you dreamy eyed babe of the half-hour news..! )
Justice League Unlimited
The Office (US Edition)
the aforementioned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which I'm not sure I care for
TV Shows of Note that I caught Only Occasionally:
My Name is Earl
Comedians of Comedy
TV Shows I still will not watch for no other reason than because people keep telling me to watch them:
The Apprentice (both Donald and Martha)
Sopranos (in fact, anything on HBO...)
Commander in Chief
Special Mention: Lost. I do watch Lost, but it's because I love my wife dearly and she asks me to sit with her each week to watch the show.
Movie I've watched more times on cable this year than I really want to admit:
Movies I meant to see, but I didn't, so I hope they come to cable:
Good Night and Good Luck
Jesus is Magic
A History of Violence (funny story, that...)
Movies I saw which I thought were okay, but not great:
March of the Penguins (do none of you people watch Discovery Channel? Actually, Discovery would have inserted some science in there somewhere, not just wide-eyed wonder)
Madagascar (what was the moral? Try not to eat your friends? Thanks.)
The Constant Gardner. It wasn't bad, it was just so relentlessly depressing, I wasn't really sure why I was sitting there after the first hour.
Movie I followed until literally the last scene:
Memoirs of a Geisha. I had to ask Jamie, who'd read the book, what just happened there in the last scene before the credits rolled.
Times I had to tell someone to shut up in a movie this year:
At least twice. Star Wars I had to tell someone to hang up their phone during the Kenobi/ Anakin duel. King Kong, where I walked all the way across the theater to ask some kids to shut up. It seems like it happened another time, but it's not coming to me.
Album Cover of the Year:
Kanye West: Late Registration
Recommended Collection of 2005 (non-continuity/ affordable):
Recommended Collection of 2005 (non-continuity/ not-affordable)
Watchmen Absolute Edition (actually, the price I found here at Amazon is pretty darn good)
Recommended Series/ Collections of 2005 (continuity/ affordable)
Well, probably Infinite Crisis, but a special nod to Adventures of Superman by Greg Rucka. Includes collections Unconventional Warfare, That Healing Touch, and issues 640-648
Recommended Collection of 2005 (continuity/ not as affordable)
Absolutely heart-breaking. The controversy surrounding the scenes in issue #2 in a monthly format did this series a disservice that should have been foreseen and avoided. We can save the debate of that choice for later.
As a single read, the series works significantly better, and has the feel of a book rather than episodic, issue driven plot points. Definitely worth a review. And definitely not the comfort food provided by so many DC comics.
Well, that's it for Part II. I'm pooped. If anyone has any suggestions for additional categories, let me know and we may see a part III.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
The League is usually full of bad ideas, and, upon occasion, bad ideas that affect other people. Part of the new and improved Steans/ McBride gift exchange is the placement of "Santor" gifts under the tree.
This year, in addition to an unopened Richard Marx album which had been following The League around since 1996, Santor also gifted the visiting Steanso with the Jones Soda Holiday Collection. Apparently we got the National release vs. the regional release. In either case, I am fairly certain the results would have been similar.
Jeff the Cat takes a look at the collection.
Steanso carefully considers the journey upon which we are about to embark.
The collection includes five Holiday Dinner flavors, a spork and a moist towlette.
We took a wee wiff of each flavor before beginning the taste test.
Turkey & Gravy
Wild Herb Stuffing
Cranberry. Which we spilled all over the counter and floor. It's okay. It's a taste test, not a "let's drink the whole bottle test." We used to have those, but it didn't involve soda. We called that "college."
Allrighty. Each of the Bros. Steans got a tiny, holiday and/ or animal themed cup with a tatse of the soda, plus some ice to keep it chilly.
The League hates Brussel Sprouts more than we hate Candian Baby-Eaters, but we also brought this upon ourselves, so it's up to us to go forward and take the first drink. At this point, the smell was already getting to me, and I wanted to call an abort on the whole plan. Unfortunately, the Bros. Steans are really good at egging each other on into unknown and foolish territory.
We had picked Brussel Sprouts first, knowing it had, by far, the foulest smell, and we might as well get it out of the way.
If evil has a taste, it's Brussel Sprout soda. Mother of Christ. Every animal instinct in my body kicked in, fight or flight alarms going off in my head. I almost vomited, even with just the tiniest taste of Brussel Sprout Soda in my mouth.
Luckily, Jamie was on hand with a canister of Tic-tacs.
At this point I beg for an abort and to discontinue the process, but Steanso is having none of it.
Steanso takes a sip. Unfortunately, the reaction shot here isn't really captured. I believe his exact words were "Jesus Christ (Bleep)".
He also had a Tic-Tac.
Steanso was up at bat and went for the Turkey and Gravy Soda.
Don't be fooled. It's not a smile. That's the same look Steanso gets when he's about to stand up and punch you in the mouth. You can't punch Turkey & Gravy Soda in the mouth. Notice, he's sweating. His fight or flight instincts have also kicked in.
The League also finds Turkey & Gravy soda unpleasant, but after Brussel Sprout soda, T&G tastes like a fine wine. It really has little taste at all, for which, in this case, we're eternally grateful.
Next up, Wild Herb Stuffing. We LOVE herb stuffing. Just not so much in soda form. It doesn't really smell like much of anything, but the color is that of a day-old colostomy bag. Nothing good can come of this. But, when we're done, we have only two more sodas left, and they're desert sodas. So, bottoms up.
Ughhhh... not good. And now my stomach is hurting from tasting bad things. We don't want to ever eat anything ever again.
Pumpkin Pie! Mmm-mmm! Steanso takes a sip, hoping for the smooth flavor of Mom's pumpkin pie. He is non-plussed and a bit repulsed.
The League almost throws up again. Pumpkin-pie is delicious. I have no idea what those bastards at Jones Soda were up to, but this ain't pumpkin. I spit and spit, feeling my stomach trying to squeeze out the poison which isn't even there.
This one was a surprise. I had expected it to be sort of okay, but instead it was like getting kicked in the crotch by your favorite aunt.
Last soda! Cranberry! Or, more accurate, gelatin cranberry sauce artificial flavoring! Steanso gives the "sign of the devil" as he prepares to take his final sip.
Delicious? Well, it didn't cause wretching.
It smells like cranberry juice cocktail, which The League likes a lot.
It doesn't not taste like cranberries, but our stomach is full of glass shards, our mouth is going numb and, if we were alone right now, we'd probably sit in the corner, rocking and crying ourself to sleep.
All in all, a Christmas Day miracle.
What you can't tell here is that I'm angry. I'm not really sure why, but it's that same sort of angry you get when you've just been through something pretty awful, like almost getting hit by a car, and you're just pissed. That's how I felt pretty much until I went to bed.
A novelty soda is a novelty soda, and The League had to learn this the hard way. Steanso deserves a gold star for putting up with this taste test, let alone partaking.
After reviewing the Taste Test post, Jamie asked if I would do this over again knowing what I know now.
I want to say "Of course!", but I'm gonna be honest with you... I wouldn't voluntarily drink any of these things again. Did I learn anything? No. My sense of smell forewarned me, my sense of taste confirmed it. My lizard brain knew enough not to drink this piss, and I went ahead and did it anyway. Sometimes you should really go with your gut.
Apophis, a gigantic meteor, will probably destroy the earth in 2036. I'm cancelling my IRA now. Read more here.
Superman entertains little kids in Germany. You don't see Batman doing that, now do you?
Metropolis, Illinois is erecting a statue in honor of Noel Neill, First Lady of Metropolis.
A trailer for a movie I can't believe actually got made for many reasons.
Rove is up to his old shenanigans again.
Official site for the upcoming "Miami Vice" movie. Thanks to Randy for the link.
Now, from Mattel, an impossible to obtain (literally) action figure of Hal Jordan for JLU.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The entire cast and crew from League HQ wishes you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or however you want to celebrate this season. We're shutting down here this evening, but we won't be out of touch. Don't hesitate to call or e-mail to get the latest details of what Melbotis, himself, is up to.
Travel safe. Be good. Be good to one another.
I've made my Christmas list:
- Peace for myself and my family.
- Peace for the world and a little understanding.
- A bit of joy and happiness.
- Strength to do the right thing.
- Wisdom to know what the right thing might be.
- Hope for a better tomorrow.
- And time. Time enough to let those I love know what they mean to me.
Merry Christmas, Leaguers. I don't thank all of you enough.
and Merry Christmas, Jamie. Next year will be better. I love you, sweetie.
Jamie and I will not be in Houston or in Texas over Christmas. We are staying in Arizona. Lucy is at a critical juncture in her flight training, and it would be remiss of us to take her out of pilot school for even a few days.
Steanso will be coming into town on the 23rd, so we won't be totally abandoned out here.
If you were planning to try to get in touch, sorry about that. Hope you can somehow struggle through the Holidays without The League's own personal brand of Holiday cheer.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Did you know it's Jim D's birthday?
Jim is now an ancient, creaky 30 years old. He has no longer allowed to be an angry young man. If this were 1850, Jim would expect to live about another 5-10 years.
Happy 30th, Jim.
Supergirl is here to make Jim feel young again.
Things are a little goofy this year as Jamie's ever-fluctuating health has meant we declined to travel to Houston for this year's Christmas fun. Well, my grandparents had already booked their trip to Houston, and my parents wanted to see both fun ends of the generation spectrum. Hence, my folks are here this weekend.
For you Loyal Leaguers, this means reduced blogging going into Christmas. Which, given participation of late, probably won't be a big deal (hey, it's the Holidays. I know you kids are busy).
Just when I thought Nanostalgia.com was on life support (Jim D. and Randy had been MIA), Steven G. Harms picked an hilarious fight with a reviewer from "The Stranger", and apparently got her irritated enough to respond in full in the comments section. Steven G. Harms, I bow before you once again.
I made some fairly immature comments in the comments section, too, but I'm not on my usual computer where I bookmarked my log-in to Nanostalgia, so you can read my $0.02 on the issue which was not very well self-edited. Most likely, I would have preferred to have not posted my second comment at all. The first one was sufficient.
Ah, well. I'm a jack ass. This is not news.
We sort of had Christmas today. Woke up, ate Jamie's once-a-year Roll Wreath (ambrosia, Leaguers. If anything every demanded a recipe posted, it's Judy McB's Christmas Roll Wreath), some bacon and had some coffee. Showered, went to church (got lost on way to the church), grabbed lunch, fell asleep for a long time, woke up, played with dogs, opened Christmas presents, played with dogs, ate a delicious Christmas dinner, did dishes, watched "It's a Wonderful Life."
At this point, December 25th is sort of moot. I did my Christmas. It was very nice. Anything Steanso brings to the table during Christmas visit next week will be lesser and a bit of a let down. We'll do Channukah instead, just to mix it up.
Oh, man. I think the cat just farted on me. Ewww.
Anyway, ya'll have a good one this week. Safe traveling. Safe shopping. Safe everything.
(Oh, and here is my secret message to all my fellow revolutionaries in The War on Christmas: The Fat Man is in the Sleigh. I repeat: The Fat Man is in the Sleigh.)
Buwahhhhh-HA HA HA HA HA HA
Friday, December 16, 2005
You know, somehow Christmas and Wookies keep intersecting here at The League.
Longtime Leaguer Peabo sends along this Christmas entertainment that's fun and safe for the whole family. No seriously. My co-workers enjoyed this, too.
Crank up your speakers, especially if you're at work.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Best of luck on your upcoming elections.
I don't pretend to try to understand the vast social issues and religious/ ethnic issues that seem to make-up most news about Iraq. I am not sure how the whole thing is going to play out, but I'm also a glass-half-empty kind of guy.
Let me give you some friendly hints from your Ol' Uncle League on living in a quasi-democracy.
I've decided to make this a print out so you can clip and put in your pocket as a quick study guide while getting ready to vote.
THE LEAGUE'S GUIDE TO ENDURING THE JOYS OF DEMOCRACY
1) Your candidate will probably lose. Especially in a plural-party society, which is what I think you guys have. Yes, this is frustrating as hell, but as a registered Democrat in AZ and formerly in Texas, I can assure you that you soon learn that the feelings of despair will go away. Do not pick up a gun to remove all opposition. This will not lead to more elections which will go your way.
Try liquor instead.
2) You will stand in a curiously slow moving line for a great deal of time. Yes, old people in front of you will seem not to actually know what they are voting for and you will hear some lady brightly declare whom she is voting for and why, which will reveal the fact that she has completely misinterpted or confused what she heard on the radio during the Wacky Morning Wake-Up Show's 1 minute of news between the Brangelina update and a Paris Hilton fart joke. Yes, she still gets to vote. Do not get discouraged. Do not pick up a gun to try to shorten the line. This will not lead to a speedier voting process.
Try liquor instead.
3) The winning candidates will assume God wanted them to win and suggest that God does not like your candidate (ie: You). Do not pick up a gun to try ot convince them otherwise. This will not lead to God liking your candidate (ie: You) more.
Try liquor instead. Or prayer. Maybe they pray better than you. You call that piety? My grandma's more pious than your infidelic ass. Shit.
4) An oddity of the democratic process is that sometimes really stupid things which appeal to people but which aren't actually a good idea in the long term will win the ballot. Do not pick up a gun to try to change the situation. This will not lead to you getting light-rail in your area.
I would suggest liquor, but that won't get you to work any more efficiently. Perhaps coffee?
That's my guide to democracy. I don't know what it's actually like to have your opinions carried by your representative or for a candidate you selected (unless you count the time I voted in the Blockbuster Movie Awards), but something like 1-in-5 of you will experience a shred of that joy. I'm heard it's joyous. I still don't really know.
Oh, and no matter how much it seems to make sense at the time, do not vote for Ralph Nader. You will spend years (yes, YEARS) wishing you hadn't decided that you'd chosen that particular moment in the booth as your chance to take a pot-shot at the two-party system.
Again, if you do vote for Nader, liquor helps. And maybe a gun. That's still up in the air.
Your Uncle League
PS: Pro-wrestlers and actors make suspiciously likable candidates but get mixed results in their actual jobs once elected.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
It's the end of 2005. Well, no, I mean, we've got a few weeks left, but we imagine we're going to be rather indisposed during those crucial weeks. And if VH1 can already have it's 2005 Year in Review show, The League can slap together our own little list.
Moment I Wish I Could Quash Forever From My Mind: Watching the news all day after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and hearing the various local leaders pleading for assistance and knowing none was coming. The effect was doubled by FEMA's arrogant insistence that they had the situation under control when they very clearly did not, especially the interview in which FEMA learned of the folks holed up in the Convention Center.
And then bracing for Rita. Actually, just quash late-September thru Halloween. Thanks.
Best Addition to League HQ: Lucy "Goosey" Pumpkinpie. The little nipper has been nothing but a peeing, poop-eating bundle of joy. I'd feel worse about the terror Jeff the Cat now lives in, but he sort of deserves it.
Oddest Moment of the Year: Standing in the Post-Op room after Jamie had her Thanksgiving Friday surgery, listening to soft-rock Christmas songs with the nurses and recounting for Jamie's amusement the Suns game I'd watched while she was in surgery. I didn't get into too many specifics as I knew full well she was under so much anaesthesia, she wouldn't even know I'd talked to her. And then in the morning she didn't remember talking to me, but she knew the Suns had won.
Also, being woken up in the waiting room at 3:00AM by some person telling me "The cafeteria's open for another half hour!"
Greatest Personal Acheivement, 2005: None. I can't think of one useful thing I did in 2005. Did I do ANYTHING? I can't remember. It sure doesn't seem like it.
Greatest Personal Letdown: Realizing I did nothing in 2005 about ten seconds ago. Well, this year hasn't been a super amount of fun, so, you know, I guess it stands to reason. Still... Hmmm.
Ya'll excuse The League while he goes off to stick his head in the oven.
Okay, we're back! Electric oven.
Topic the League has been Far Too Obsessed With: Infinite Crisis. If you think The League talks too much about comics here, Jamie has to put up with it at home. I suspect her many trips to the hospital have been in order to escape my endless ranting on the genius of DC Comics this year.
Best Moment on TV: imoscar.com
Best Moment on JLU: The Flash taking out Brainiac. If you missed it, I pity you. Go, Wally.
Athlete of the Year: Vince Young. Wait... what was your answer? You are wrong. I have pie graphs and star charts which prove you are wrong. I, personally, want to pick Shawn Marion of The Suns, but this year, I gotta go with Vince.
League's Actor of the Year: Steve Carell, for The 40-Year Old Virgin and the under-rated American version of The Office. If you're one of the folks turning your nose up at the American version, get over yourself. You're missing one of the funniest shows on American TV. But we pick Steve mostly for not becoming an annoying celebrity.
Actress of the Year: That one red-headed actress who is in like half the commercials on TV. Way to go red-headed actress. Your agent is really working overtime!
Politician of the Year: Nobody won this category this year.
Greatest Injustice Which isn't Really an Injustice of the Year: Cancellation of Arrested Development. We knew they were pure evil at Fox for cancelling Andy Richter a few years ago, but then keeping The War at Home?
Best Comic Moment of the Year: Infinite Crisis #1. Batman tells Superman "The last time you really inspired anyone was when you were dead." Ouch. Immediately followed by the return of Superman from Earth 2.
Comic fans who didn't enjoy this issue are dead inside.
Worst Comic Moment of the Year: So many, many to choose from. I would have to say realizing that the 12-issue "City of Crime" story in Detecetive Comics wasn't going to get any better in issue #8, and knowing all too well I would still finish out the series anyway.
Best Comic Movie of the Year: Batman Begins. Yes, yes... Sin City was more daring, and A History of Violence was on all kinds of critics' lists. But Batman Begins was the Batman movie I'd been wanting to see since I was 12. Plus, it made me fall in love with the Batmobile all over again.
Most Unnecessarily Exciting Moment of the Year: Trailer for Superman Returns on Smallville.
Most Unnecessarily Depressing Moment of the Year: Aquaman on Smallville.
Loyal Leaguer of the Year: Jim D. for hosting the Superman screening in Beaumont, Texas. Yes, Jim, the projector broke and all the bars were closed, but none of that can be considered your fault. I blame Randy.
Thing I would Normally Never Admit, but I Shall Admit Here: Every week, without fail, I watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". I don't even like it, but I watch it every damn week. Why is that?
This is sort of fun for me, even if it's not fun for you. I decided this was only Part 1 a while ago. I shall do a Part 2 later.
Keep your eyes peeled. And if you have any other ideas for categories, just put them in the comments section below. Thanks!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Nathan Cone of San Antonio based Texas Public Radio has asked The League to do a review of the recently released Adventures of Superman Season 1 DVD collection.
Nathan posted The League's $0.02 on the series. Click here to read The League's review.
Also, I've reposted the review on Nanostalgia.com, which I am sure nobody is visiting.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Welcome to Christmas Time at League HQ!!!! It's our annual tour of the same crap you saw last year. Only different! Hey, if you look closely, you can see my Wonder Woman ornament showing some gam in this picture. HOO-AHHH!!!
You can click on any picture for a slightly larger version to REALLY get the detail.
Jamie has decided we're doing Nutcrackers. Lookitem. All the cute little nutcrackers. It's Pirate, Soldier/ Drummer, Weird Uncle Nic, and Drunk Bavarian. Plus 4 little people nutcrackers.
Our Rudolph toys. Huzzah!
Stockings! 6 this year. From left to right:
Jason, Jamie, Ryan, Melbotis, Jeff and Lucy
My ma sent this last year. It's the magic bell from Polar Express.
Our table awaiting Christmas Cards. Oh, look. It's a card from a certain Loyal Leaguer!
The Nativity set. This is an awful picture. Sorry.
Our tree. The new fake tree, all adorned and merry. You can see Jeff walking off frame.
Great Rao! A red star for Christmas?
See if you can see Superman anywhere on my tree.
Any luck yet?
Jamie and Jeffer.
Outside our house.
The yard in the dark.
Judy brought this all the way from Oklahoma. It's the highlight of our yard. So very festive.
Jeff and I wish you a Merry Christmas. And I need to go back to the gym. Jesus, look at that.
Jeff plans a long winter nap.