Saturday, August 20, 2005

The League Presents


You guys know Randy as RHPT, but did you know...?

In some patients with kidney disease a complex sequence of events can cause the parathyroid glands to become overactive and produce too much hormone. This leads to an excess of calcium in the blood, most of which is drawn from the bones which are thereby damaged. Some of this excess calcium may be deposited in other structures such as blood vessel walls where it may cause damage. This sequence of events is known as renal hyperparathyroidism (RHPT). RHPT may persist even when the original damage to the kidney as been corrected by dialysis or by transplantation.

read more here

As many of you may have read, Maxwell interviewed The League just the other day. Part of the routine is, of course, that once interviewed, you should try to interview others.

So I interviewed Maxwell (expect results on Monday over at Cowgirl Funk), and RHPT. RHPT has popped up quickly with his answers to my FIVE probing questions. Here, against my better judgement, I am posting Randy's responses in full.

1) You've long known Jim D. What, exactly, was Jim like in high school? Because he sounds a bit like George Will with a good record collection.

Jim D. in high school was very similar to Jim D. now, except there was a lot less faux cynicism and angst. I think Jim tried very hard to be Rob Gordon from High Fidelity. In fact, he was sort of a "hanger-on" to one particular high school band that some of his friends formed. I think Jim got his pick of the looked over groupies and/or mistreated girlfriend(s).

Three particular moments from high school, involving Jim sticks in my mind.

1) Days after convincing my parents to let me drive to school solo, Jim asked for a ride home. Trying to display my newfound coolness, I agreed. However, on the way to Jim's home, I was involved in a fender-bender (due to, if I recall correctly, trying to switch radio stations after Jim turned the dial). As you can imagine, I freaked out. Jim, being such a good buddy, ditched me and hitched a ride home with another friend who happened to be passing by the scene of the accident. Leaving me alone and scared.

2) During my junior year, the Journalism teacher, Ms. Cummins, was considering making me co-editor of The Oracle for the next school year. Jim, having been the sole editor during the past year, convinced Ms. Cummins to give me the title "Managing Editor" instead.

3) Jim drove a blue and white van during his later high school years. He used to tote me around town in it, and, being a van, it was fairly roomy, so I would occasionally put my feet up on the dash. Jim never said anything about it. However, once, while driving in my old '82 Celica, Jim props his feet up on my dash, leaving a big old nasty shoe mark. I got the hint.

4) In his first semester as editor of the aforementioned Oracle, Jim bored every student in the school with a 4-page insert about the 1992 Republican National Convention held at the Astrodome. (I think Jim had a press pass or something), and he followed that up with another 4-page insert about liberal elitism in the media. Heavy stuff. Of course, Jim also managed to get a press pass to the '92 Lollapalooza (you know, the good one), and out of every high school paper in the country, we probably had the best review of the concert. (To this day, I still do not know how Jim received those passes).

Jim also bought most of my CD collection at bargain basement prices ("The Great CD Purge of 1992", as he likes to call it). I think I used most the money to buy comics, but I don't think that has any relevance to the question.

2) You awaken with mysterious powers.
a) What are they?
b) Would you tell anyone?
c) Would you use them for good or evil?
d) Would you let me give you a cool code-name?

• I would have the "Fold-powers" like Arno in The Fermata
• Most likely, I would tell no one
• I would probably use my powers for evil - until Emily finds out and makes me use them for good.
• Sure, why not? (editor's note: All righty, Mr. Pause)

3) You are 16 but suddenly have all the knowledge you currently store. However, the Magic Fairy tells you that you cannot merely use this knowledge for financial gain. What three things would you do differently?

• I would not act like such a creepy dork and dressed better
• I would have insisted to my parents on going to Seattle University
• I would not have had such an inferiority complex

4) You get to punch one celebrity. Free hit. Whom do you hit and why? Also, head or gut?

Unlike Jim, I am not opposed to celebrities. I tend to find them bemusing, and through People and US magazine, I live through them vicariously. So this is a difficult question, because there is no one celebrity that I just can't stand, no matter how obnoxious they act in public, because it is my belief that you, me, or Jim would probably act the same way if we were suddenly a famous person in Hollywood. However, if I had to pick, it would be the entire cast of Jackass, Viva La Bam, WildBoyz, and any other persons who has a show with a similar theme. Those are the most obnoxious shows on earth. I would bash them all over the head with a two-ton heavy thing.

5) What makes Randy tick? What gets Randy up in the morning? What keeps Randy from spiraling into the depths of despair? What makes Randy as gleeful as a little girl?

• Randy gets up in the morning because the prospects of being poor and homeless scare him to death.
• Psychotropic drugs. Lots of 'em.
• In the words of Hannibal Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together"


Want to play?

The Official Interview Game Rules:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below asking to be interviewed.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Editor's note: You can request to be interviewed by, The League, or both.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ahhh... Dave's Long Box.

Dave recently answered a meme, and things sort of spun, uhmmm...

Anyway, somehwere in the post and comments it was decided that "Airwolf" should be the new slang for "awesome" or "cool". It's totally @#$%ing Airwolf.

Read here.

And apparently Dave and I watch a lot of the same crap TV.
Blip #1: Well, due to the most pointless debate in the history of man I have going on via e-mail with my brother, I have no time to really blog.

Blip #2: In a strange continuation of the BK Chicken Fry Taste-Test Challenge, it appears that suburban rock gods, Slipknot, are suing Burger King.

Why? Burger King's ads feature a chicken themed band named Coq Roq, which is sort of a bad Nu-Metal band with a horror-chicken theme. It's actually pretty funny. Well, I know nothing about Slipknot except that the surly kids of Chandler, AZ seem to wear T-shirts with their name on them. I assumed they were another band like Korn or some other bunch of chubby dudes with bad dreads and a love for Twinkies (when did metal bands get chubby?)

It turns out that Slipknot uses costumes and stuff when they sing. And, apparently, nobody ever did this before. Not Gwar, not Kiss, nor Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson or the cast of Starlight Express.

Read up on the case here.

Why do I hope this is the first case Roberts has to hear if he's confirmed for the Supreme Court?

Also, thanks to Jim D for the link. This really should have wound up on Nanostalgia. Would have made for a good entry.

Blip #3: Randy sent me the answers to the 5 questions I sent him, and, Leaguers, this is good stuff. Unfortunately, for some reason, Randy sent his answers in a PDF file, and I can't seem to extract the copy out as text. I keep getting weird, garbled code when I try to copy and paste the interview.

Let's hope Randy is willing to send the interview back as .txt or something.

Blip #4: Maxwell is also answering 5 deeply probing questions. But she also shot my first question back at me.

Here it is


a) What is the one question you are praying to God that I am not going to ask?

b) What is the one question you're sort of secretly hoping I'll ask?

Answer A: Well, after having watched The Office last night, I must turn to the question posed by Michael Scott on last night's episode of the office "Okay, real quick. Let's all go around the room and name another race we're sexually attracted to."

See, that would have been awkward.

Honestly, asking me anything personal about my lovelife prior to Jamie probably would have had me choosing my words very, very carefully.

Answer B: I don't think I had one. It's nice to have questions to stroke your ego, and the wide and varied questions regarding high school gave me enough of a chance to talk about myself in minute detail, and if I didn't want to do that, would I be running this site, let alone asking to be interviewed? I dunno. Something about career, maybe. Only my job doesn't make for good reading, so I don't know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Interview

Over at Cowgirl Funk a friend recently interviewed Maxwell. The format: 5 questions of the interviewee's choosing.

Read the interview here

At the end of the interview, Maxwell suggested that anyone else who wanted to play could post to the comments section. Totally without any ideas for content this week, I opted in. Also, I was deadly curious to hear what questions Maxwell would toss The League's way.

This is how the interview went down:

1. I heard you like comic books. Oh, I don't know, a little bird told me. Do you remember getting your first comic book? (And if not, tell us about the first one you remember.) Where did you buy it? What
was the story line? Etc.

The first comic I remember reading was a Bugs Bunny comic book where he was singing "I Dream of the Genie with the Long Pink Ears". I didn't get the joke. But I liked the pictures and I could hear the character's voices in my head as I read along. No idea where it came from. I just had it.

The first non-kiddie comic I remember was either an adaptation of “The Last Starfighter” or “Clash of the Titans”. I didn’t actually see Clash of the Titans until high school, but I knew the whole movie back and forth from reading and re-reading the Marvel Comics adaptation. The art was fairly good, and the story really lended itself to the comic format. I think I got it through Troll Book Order.

The first superhero comic I remember reading was probably a DC 80 Page Giant with a lead story about the Teen Titans. The story was that all of the adult superheroes had died or disappeared and only the Teen Titans were left to fight the bad guys. I have no idea what the comic was, but I do remember being totally freaked out by the death of all the adult superheroes. If anyone could ever tell me what that comic was, I’d be eternally grateful.

The comic which got me to begin following a comic (and I am ashamed to admit this) was West Coast Avengers #13. Some dude named Gravitron was working with other supervillains using the various forces inside of a atom (Gravity, Strong force, Weak Force, Electro magnetic force).

I think I got both this comic and the Teen Titans comic at the Chicago airport.

None of this held a candle to X-Men #210 which launched me into a lifetime of obsessive behavior.

What is the best superpower ever and which superhero uses it?

The best super power is probably being able to show no discernable talent and still have your own TV show and best selling album, and that honor goes to both Jessica and Ashlee Simpson.

Most of the powers are pretty self-explanatory, but in the 90's, you sort of had to like Kid Eternity. Kid Eternity's weird-ass power was to be able to summon dead people from the afterlife to assist him in his adventures. Stuck on a physics problem: BAM! Nikola Tesla at your service.

Shade the Changing Man's power was that he was crazy, and whatever craziness he was perceiving would become reality around him. I think. The book eventually collapsed in a black hole of it's own weirdness. Actually, the 90's was a great era for Vertigo-style weirdo's, wasn't it?

2. My ten year high school reunion just happened.
Naw, I didn't go, but it got me thinking about the early 90's. You know, you were there. Answer these questions from the perspective of high school you.

Favorite shoes:
Being a complete bad-ass in high-school, I wore only cool shoes. I had the pre-req Doc’s and Chuck’s, but I honestly really liked wearing black, high-top Nikes. I admit, I still but new ones every once in a while. The early 90's continue to thrive on the feet of Ryan Steans.

Favorite shirt: 90’s? Oh, whatever concert shirt I thought made me look the most alt-rock. I had a very worn out Jane’s Addiction shirt I was quite fond of. Also, any solid black t-shirt was welcome. Yes, I was "that guy". Trying depsrately to be dark and mysterious, but, like everyone else, it's hard to be too tortured when you have doting parents and college-plans.

Favorite book I had to read: Like an assignment? I was the only person in my class who I think liked Scarlet Letter. But that’s probably because I deeply enjoy anything about people with red-letters printed on their chest. Also, I like reading about tramps.

I have little memory of what we were forced to read. I like Huckleberry Finn.

Favorite place to take a girl out for dinner: Well, The League was not a man of great means, and was more or less locked into taking 1 girl most places for most of high school. And we sort of don’t remember. It was probably the Bennigan’s at I-45 and 1960. Jesus, Spring was @#$%ing lame.

There was nowhere to go back then, and as I had a regular girlfriend I was footing the bill for, I was also the frugal boyfriend.

Favorite place to eat with my family: Marco’s! We all loved Marco’s Mexican Restaurant! Sure, we all got horrible gas and we all knew the stories about the recycled chips and we all knew people who worked there who would look really, really bored. But there was never any wait, I knew the menu backward and forward and it was loud enough that it drowned out the honking sounds my family tends to make when we're all at a single table.

Favorite before rehearsal snack: I’m not sure, specifically, what I liked to eat, but I do remember if I knew I had a kissing scene to work on that day I would eat a bag of “FunYuns” before rehearsal. I also would get the sandwiches from the gas station over by North Hampton. Also, Fritos.

Best band ever, man: I was all about the Jane’s Addiction in high school. My mother was always very upset with my Jane’s Addiction posters. Pixies, Violent Femmes, Siouxsie, The Cure, Pink Floyd and a host of less memorable bands. These days, Jane’s Addiction makes me sad. I mean, Dave Navarro, what sort of VH1 whore have you become?

It has been very strange to see Jane's Addiction become a standard for frat boys over the years. I sort of wish I'd done more than just watch 120 minutes to pick my bands.

I made a mix tape yesterday.
It started with: The Cure, “Killing an Arab”
It ended with: Pixies “Digging for Fire”

For lunch today I had: The hot lunch, whatever that was. I never liked the KO snack bar with the burgers and pizza. Also, the KO snack machines had these banana-flavored Hostess Pies that nobody else in the school liked. About once a week I’d get one of those. And every single day I tortured my dentist by getting a pack of “Now & Laters” from the book store.

Later I'm gonna watch: I didn’t watch normal TV in high school. I didn’t know what Home Improvement was until it went into syndication. Big, big fan of “USA Up All Night” movies and “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. I watched the Channel 2 News every night and I had a pathological hatred of former weatherman, Doug Johnston. That guy is such a @#$%.

This weekend I'm going to Lowes to see: Anything that comes to Lowes I perceive to be sort of snooty. Sadly, this is Lowes, so that means going to see something like “Dances With Wolves”. We also bypassed Lowes and drove up to the AMC at Greens Crossing.

The other day, the craziest thing happened: I learned that the Green Room in the theater is clothing optional. Other items I’m going to have to plead the 5th on. I am kicking myself trying to think of something crazy which I feel would be appropriate for my mother-in-law's reading pleasure, and nothing is coming to me.

There's this one janitor that likes to hug people: And I tried to hide from her under the benches in the lobby of the auditorium, but she grabbed my belt and literally drug me out from under the bench to give me a hug. And when I mentioned it to my parents, I found out weeks and weeks later (to my eternal horror) that my mother had called the school to yell at them about the janitor hugging me.

3. So, you live in the desert. Ever been to Sedona?
I hear it's a real hippy town.

This is a lie, and, sadly, no… I’ve never been there despite the proximity to Phoenix.

Sedona was once a hippy town, and then rich ass-wipes went to see the crazy hippy town, bought all the land and turned it into a vacation spot for the wealthy. Because Sedona is pretty, and not a bleak armpit like much of the Valley, the town is officially a playground for people who no longer have to work for a living. Houses run well into the millions, the shops are all over-priced antique boutiques, and the traffic getting in and out of town on the weekend is a nightmare as all the boring middle-class ass-wipes drive up to Sedona on the weekend because, aside from golf, there’s @#$%-all to do in Phoenix on the average weekend.

I have heard there are still a few hippy towns and communes scattered around Arizona. No idea where they are as we never leave The Valley of the Sun.

I have a buddy who lives in Sedona who got some insane retirement package and built a house with mountain views, but somehow we never plan far enough ahead to go and mooch off my pal.

According to the photos I see and the endless hours our PBS affiliate dedicates to showing elsewhere, AZ is a stunningly beautiful state. Just not around here.

4. You once said you would make yourself available to casting directors trying to cast blockbusters. Who would play you in a movie?

Clearly, Andy Richter would play the adult League. Young League would be played by someone curiously thinner and better looking. Maybe Taye Diggs? Mrs. League would be played by Kerri Kenney, Jeff the Cat would be played by Jean Reno (in a cat suit), Melbotis is played by Jeff Bridges (in a yellow dog suit), and Lucy would be played by a very drunk Dakota Fanning.

Also, Steanso would be played by Christopher Walken in a bear suit.

5. What is your favorite Starbucks beverage and why? How do you think this reflects on your personality?

The Cappucino. The League has been trying to get a good cappuccino since leaving Austin (the coffee shop at the RLM had a barista who made insanely good cappuccinos), and one must also consider the fact that The League is rigidly, suffocatingly traditional. We don’t need any fancy double-decaf mocha freezes. Just give me like five shots of espresso and some foam, dammit.


If you want to play along, feel free to raise your hand down in the comments section. The League will ask 5 questions. You may post to your own blog, or we shall post here, if you like.

In the next day or two I'll be sending Maxwell questions, and we'll see how it goes from there.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Okay okay okay

The League can take a hint. No more posts on how we organize our comics.

Dames in the Media The League Once Dug:

Mary Kate Danaher from The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man's Mary Kate Danaher as portrayed by the lovely Maureen O'Hara

Ah, Maureen O'Hara. It may have been in Miracle on 34th Street that I first noticed you, and that hung-over Sunday morning in San Antonio when I tried to make it through Against All Flags that I noticed you could poke out my eye with a cutlass, but it was your role as Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man that won me over.

In Miracle on 34th Street, Maureen plays what we in the business call a "Yummy Mummy"


Sure, this DITMTLOD is a little different as it doesn't focus on a TV character from my youth, but this is my damn blog, and if I want to talk about Maureen O'Hara, by gum, I'm a gonna do it.

Released in 1952, The Quiet Man tells the tale of a boxer born in Ireland who immigrated to the US as a child. The boxer, Sean Thornton (played by John Wayne), has ended his career for mysterious reasons and chosen to return to his family's home in Ireland. Here, Thornton meets Mary Kate Danaher and has to adjust to the local Irish customs in order to woo her. The movie is directed by the legendary John Ford, and while it's not a western, Ford certainly handles the material with his usual flair.

No golden lasso or talking car, but still noteworthy

Really, it's a very fun movie and was recommended to me by my high school biology teacher, Mr. Bryant, who I owe a lot to. Mostly, I thank Mr. Bryant for not sending me to the principal upon the numerous occasions when he had very, very good reason to do so.

Every Irish stereotype you can think of is trotted out for the movie, and lovingly embraced by the Irish actors playing all the major roles. It should also be mentioned that Maureen O'Hara actually is from Ireland, so the casting there was quite intentional.

So, what does Mary Kate Danaher have that makes her League-worthy

1) While not a brunette in a form-fitting one-piece uniform, Mary Kate manages to make a blouse, skirt and smock look very nice.

Here, Mary Kate hops up to plant one on John Wayne playing the role he knows best: John Wayne

2) Mary Kate ain't afraid to slap around John Wayne. Mary Kate is given to fits of wild temper, which, we learn, may be why she ain't quite landed herself a husband yet. These fits of temper tend to lead to some plate throwing and whatnot, but it's all in good fun.

Yeah, she's yelling at him

3) Mary Kate has a fun family. Sure, the conflict between her brother and John Wayne is a major part to the story, but it just goes to prove there's nothing a few pints and an extended slugging match can't settle.

Even in this silly hat, Mary Kate Danaher looks quite fetching

4) Mary Kate is multi-talented. From herding sheep to more domestic chores, Mary Kate seems to be a quick study.

5) Responsible for one of the greatest screen kisses of all time. Sure, Spielberg actually referenced it frame for frame in E.T., but there was a reason Steve-o picked that particular scene for his movie. I hate to give away the context of the scene, but with a storm blowing through the doorway of their new cottage, Sean and Mary Kate pretty much seal up the running for best culmination of romantic tension.

Sometimes romance ain't all puppy-tails and flowers.

Ah, but she's a ravishing red-head, she is.

I'm not sure what category The Quiet Man falls into. Romantic comedy? Romantic dramady? I want to point out that this movie isn't a western, it doesn't have a single ape, superhero, robot or starship in it, and I still find myself watching it over and over. The League highly recommends this movie.

Wayne and O'Hara re-teamed for the comedy-western McClintock!, which is a pretty good movie right up until the final scenes where you really, really start to feel uncomfortable as a 21st century human being. The movie was, I should add, filmed in AZ.

For the previous "Dames in the Media the League Once Dug", click here.
BTW, Kurt over at "Return to Comics" has an interesting closer to his adventure into Manga from last week.

I highly suggest you read the Manga posts as well as Kurt's follow-up.

The Fan-Dad Cometh, indeed.
The League Presents
Suggestions for Further Reading

OCD: The Comic Book Way


I'm working on bagging, boarding and boxing comics. Well, most of them were already bagged and boarded. But I haven't popped open my boxes in quite a while.

My comics organizing is sort of done by theme more than alphabetically. I don't just have Action Comics followed by Ambush Bug, followed by Blue Beetle. I have my Superman boxes, Batman and X-men boxes. It sort of works, I think.

A typical comic "long box"

Currently I've got about 9 short boxes and around 12 long boxes. And I'm beginning to appreciate the guys who wisely live in their mother's basements with enough space to store all of their damn comics. Now, Jamie doesn't want to move in with my parents just so I can turn Jason's old bedroom into a comic storage space, but I like the idea. I mean, he's only there at Christmas and, like, Mom's birthday. And he LIKES cardboard boxes.

Anyway, I have a lot of work ahead of me as it's been about ten months since I actually got all of my comics in order (by title and number). I read about four Superman comics, so right there that's about 40 comics. So when you add up the JLA, JSA, the five of six Batman comics, and, oh, man... why do I hold on to these things?

It's gotta be some form of OCD.

The thing that's sort of killing me is that, apparently, about 7 or 8 months ago I, apparently, didn't sort my comics. I just stuck them all in a long-box after bagging and boarding them. So it was an issue of Promethea, an issue of Aquaman, an issue of Black Panther... So after I thought I'd sorted and stacked my comics in preparation to start pulling out boxes, I had to go through a shortened version fo the process and then go through my existing stacks and shuffle in the missing issues.

The League's preferred bags. We like Silver Age bags and boards.

I now have to pull the boxes down and try to squeeze the new comics in. When they don't fit, I have to choose a title or two which will have to be resorted and find a new home. For example, I have a "Batman Family" box with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Gotham Central, etc... stuff that's Batman related, but titles I may not pick up every issue. Well, I DO pick up Gotham Central every issue (and you should, too... this is a great cop procedural, and I norammly stand indifferent to cop procedurals. Let's just say Law & Order is different when teh criminals look like demented clowns and Batman is usually three steps ahead of our boys in blue), and had picked up a lot of "Batman Family" books due to a lot of cross-overs such as "War Games".

Anyway, I pulled Gotham Central out of the Batman Family box, and I'm not yet sure where it's going. Probably a temporary spot while I sort through my other Batman comics.

It is very much a personal library system, and a fun one to maintain.

I will admit to being probably more careless with some of my comics than I should be, just for sorting purposes. They all get bags and boards, but one of the most oddly expensive items in comic collecting are the plastic dividers one is supposed to place between comics. For a pack of 25 dividers, most folks will charge you in the neighborhood of $12.50. That's like $0.50 a divider. I'm fairly certain that I could find some other way to identify comics, but you can probably guess that I don't want to identify every comic I ever bought but didn't necessarily want to throw away.

This doesn't really get into the actual book shelf organization of the graphic novels and trade paperbacks. That's sort of an artform unto itself as well, but I'll save that one for a later day.

As I've complained before, I am literally running out of space. And while I do have all my comics in order, I still haven't built a comprehensive database of my comics. The amount of time it would take to actually enter each comic into a db seems a little overwhelming, but I suspect I should. Really, I'm looking for an online service, partially for insurance reasons.

One option is These guys seems to have the right idea, and it doubles as an auction site, so I could, in theory, turn around and sell my comics through these guys. And with dwindling space, unloading large chunks of my collection is beginning to seem like a good idea.

The industry standard is called ComicBase, but as far as I know, they aren't online quite yet. Maybe this year, though, and then I'll do some shopping.

I could use Excel or Access, but, honestly, I'm way too lazy to enter in all that data when somebody else may have already created a place where I can use a radio button to indicate what I have and determine the net worth.

I really don't have even a rough estimate of the number of comics I own, but it would be interesting to find out.

Well, for me, anyway.

For the last Suggestions for Further Reading, go here.