Saturday, November 18, 2006

Interactivity: A List of Movies

I am feeling lazy, and rather than going on hiatus as planned, I am looking through my DVD's for inspiration.

Here is a partial list of movies I own that I can always kick back and enjoy, presented in as random an order as I can muster. How many have you seen?

The Right Stuff
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lawrence of Arabia
Superman: The Movie
Superman II
Superman and the Mole Men
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Haunting
The Killing
The Killers
War of the Worlds
The Asphalt Jungle
West Side Story
This Gun for Hire
Singin' In the Rain
Bride of Frankenstein
Mars Attacks
Phantom of the Opera
Cool Hand Luke
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Miller's Crossing
Ed Wood
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Once Upon a Time in the West (God bless you, Claudia Cardinale)
Once Upon a Time in America
Godfather 1 & 2
Batman Returns
For a Fist Full of Dollars
Batman Begins
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Spider-Man 1 & 2
Fight Club
Kiss of Death (original)
The Iron Giant
Iron Monkey
White Heat
Lord of the Rings
The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann version)
Fist of Legend
The Dark Crystal
Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
True Stories
The Big Sleep
It's a Wonderful Life
The Maltese Falcon
Terminator 1 & 2
Young Frankenstein
The Sound of Music
The Day the Earth Stood Still
King Kong (original version)
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Singin' In the Rain
The Quiet Man
Raising Arizona
Fritz Lang's Metropolis
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera

That's probably plenty.

Next time: Movies I have never seen, but probably should

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sorry about the lack of post from last night

I got to answering e-mails I had been negligent in responding to, got sleepy and went to bed.

I have nothing to really post about. Life is good. Weather is great. No job.

Here's some small items:

-Jason recommended a mechanic to me: Lopez Automotive, just off Manchaca and 71. They were shockingly honest and inexpensive. I now hold a grudge against my garage in Phoenix, whom I never really trusted and who never let me walk out the door for less than three bills. But they were also the only garage in spitting distance.

-I hi-jacked Cassidy this afternoon and took her to my house. Her mission: wear out Lucy so she won't spend another night dropping her ball on my foot. Mission was a failure. Lucy has been typically relentless.

-Re: Manchaca pronunciation. I give up. You win. It's Man-tsalk-ah, not Man-shack. Sure, it's been pronounced Man-Shack my whole life, and from what I understand, it's of Czech origin and even "Man-shack" is a butchering of the real pronunciation. But who am I to question the curious pronunciations of Austin streets? Koenig is not supposed to be pronounced "Kay-nig" (it's German and is supposed to be Coh-nig. Sort of), Guadalupe is NOT supposed to be pronounced "Gwahd-uh-loop", and Burnet is not supposed to be pronounced "Burn it". And I-35 is not supposed to be called "The @#$%ing freeway". But there it is. I shall begin calling Congress "Kone-Grease" and see how long it is until that's what they're calling it on News 8.

-Can we get double-jeopardy? Just this once? OJ's new book: If I Did It.

No, @#$%ing seriously.

-Thanksgiving is almost here (gobble gobble). I am excited, but a little weirded out that it's almost here. We're staying here and cooking at home. In addition to the usual suspects, I think Mangum and Juan are coming for dinner. It's gonna be nice. I need to assign Jason to a task. Perhaps wine duty? Usually that's The Admiral's thing. What to assign...?

-I bought my first Christmas present today. That's one person off the list. I do not know what to get Jamie. She was supposed to get a camera, but then her dad gave her his old one, which is better than anything I could currently afford, so I'm sort of out of luck.

Jamie is notoriously difficult to shop for, and unlike when I give other people things and they toss them in the closet and I forget what I got them a week later, I KNOW when Jamie isn't using something or isn't enjoying something. She's polite as all heck about it, but it's probably more disappointing for me when I get her something that never sees the light of day again.

-The new Crest Pro-Health cinammon flavor is awesome. It's like brushing your teeth with Trident gum.

-Also, there's a new Cinammon/Salty Chex Mix. The League says: Delicious.

-PS3 is coming out Friday morning. I saw people camped out at three different stores today. If those people don't know they're advertising the PS3 on Sony's behalf, they should all be told and sent home in shame. The League owned a PS2 for about nine months, then resold it. No gamer are we. I sincerely wish the gamers out there (who wrongfully stole the name "gamers" from the Dungeons & Dragons players) good luck in your purchase. We'll see you next August when you resurface.

-I am once again hooked on Ghost Hunters after the results show from the Stanley Hotel and the Irish Attack Ghost. Now, I'm much more interested in trying to figure out a rational explanation for "evidence" which isn't simply a trick of the eye, but voices, etc...

-For some reason this week there's been a flurry of communication with folks in AZ. Okie, Juli, Maria, Eric P. and even Al have been e-mailing and calling. It is nice to be missed, I think.

-"My Name is Earl" isn't very good this season. Apparently I went to high school with the guy who plays "Crab Man", but I don't recall him. The latest episode was clunky and teh animation wasn't funny enough to warrant its existence. The funniest thing in the episode was a throw-away joke involving umbrellas, a pool and the opening credits of "Friends".

-Tomorrow I venture to Austin Books for a back-issue sale. God help me.

-After the comic shop I have to start organizing all the post-move garbage in my garage and getting it ready for pick-up on Monday. Wheeeeee...

-I'm finally caught up on the Batman titles which I'd fallen behind on. I'm loving Dini's run on "Detective Comics". In "Legends of the Dark Knight", Bruce Jones managed to stretch out a two issue story into a six-issue waste of Ariel Olivetti's considerable talents on art. I hear Legends is not long for the world. That's okay if this is what they're doing with it. But they're just replacing it with "Batman: Confidential", another ongoing series looking at "untold tales from the Dark Knight Detective's formidable career". I tell you, what other medium but comics would you find people reading stories with an absolute certainty that nothing of consequence would happen to the lead character?

-I think I'm finally digging the new "Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis" series. It's just like RHPT underwater. Only different.

-Can anyone recommend any new music? I haven't picked up any CD's in a while. I've given up buying music through iTunes until I get a new computer and I'm going back to disks.

-Erica is getting married. Get your suit pressed and buy some new panty hose. Let's hope there's an open bar.

-That's it. Hope all is well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Something other than public health

Okay, I feel a little bad that all I posted about tonight was a brief rant on the importance of getting a flu shot.

Today was mostly uneventful. We wound up the day by going to The Shady Grove to have dinner with Pat, Jeff and Keora. I still like Shady Grove. It wasn't even completely over-packed. We're making a bit of an effort to keep up with folks and not just let it go at a single dinner to welcome ourselves back.

I've been trying to make it through a stack of comics which somehow accumulated both before and after we left Phoenix. Somehow I'm two issues behind on things like "Uncle Scrooge" (which I enjoy, so blow it out your ear) and four issues behind on "Outsiders".

All of this is reminding me that maybe I should cut back on single issues and move over to collected editions on books like Outsiders and Aquaman.

I also finally got my office in a semi-working condition and have had a little bit of time to draw. I'm no great artist, but it's something I like to do. I am terribly embarassed of the quality of my work, which shows no signs of maturity and has the rendering quality of a drunk elephant with a paintbrush.

The comic artists I admire number in the dozens, and I feel my work is nowhere near the quality of what they are putting out. So, I just do it to relax and enjoy myself.

I don't know if most folks assume you're fishing for compliments if they catch so much as a glimpse of your work, but I get more than a little uncomfortable when they insist you throw away your salaried job and insurance coverage to, I guess, sell your work at local art fairs or something. It's nice to think people like my stuff, but, c'mon... My rendering of anatomy, if accurate, would represent a land of grotesque monstrosities.

The other night Jason, Mandy and I were at Jason's (where he has hung a photocopy or two of some stuff I did a few years ago) and Jason walked out of the room. Mandy said something nice about a picture I had done, and I said thanks and braced myself for the usual hyperbolic compliments. Instead, she said, "So it's something you can do just for yourself but you can share."

I was completely unprepared for someone to actually say what I always try to get around to saying. I think I flubbed something about it not really being in my professional interest, but what I really wanted to do was grab her by the shoulders and say "YES! Why can't everyone just let it go at that!"

God bless you, Mandy Wilson.

I think I shall now go upstairs and doodle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Get your @#$%ing flu shot.

Today The League and Jamie headed down to the Toney Burger Center and got "free" flu shots. I don't know what the story was, but they were doing some sort of time trial or something. If they wanted to get good numbers, they got 'em. We were in and out of the place in under five minutes. I even thought I would wind up on Channel 42 5:00 news (who was there collecting footage), but I didn't. Which is good, because I winced like a weiner when I got my shot. And I don't need all of Austin seeing me discouraging people from getting a little needle in their arm.

I've gotten flu shots on and off throughout my life, especially once Jamie started insisting. But a few years ago I got macho, and had been suffering from flu-like symptoms when I got shots, so I decided to take my chances.

Well, here's the deal: If you go to work sick, you will make people (like The League) sick against their will. Stay home. Do not be a plague carrier.

For healthy people: Assume all people with young kids are probably carrying horrible germs. That's awful, I know. But little kids are germ factories.

Also: Some people are immune-compromised and really shouldn't be exposed at all. So if you go to work, you can expose someone like me, who has to go home and carry your germs with him to his immune-compromised wife.

So, Jamie aside, last year I finally got the @#$%ing flu. Bad. Not "put me in the hospital" bad, but "why can't I stop with the stomach cramping and horrible sweating?" bad.

I've wished I were dead maybe four times in my life. One I chalk up to vodka and college, one to gin and college, one to being stuck in the most boring conversation in the history of Christmas parties, and, lastly, when I was kneeling in front of the toilet at 2:30 AM.

Here's the deal: On the scale of possible flu's, that was a light one.

Leaguers, you need to get your flu shot so we don't get La Grippe.

Read here.

and here

No, seriously. The flu pandemic of 1918 was some seriously bad hoodoo. It KILLED 675,000 people. And this is without airplanes jetting people all over the world and a proliferation of CiCi's Pizzas filled with germy, germy kids.

The League loves life. I do not want to die because you thought you probably would not get the flu.

And even if you're a completely self-absorbed jerk, do you really want to spend several days in dire straights which you could otherwise avoid with a quick shot?

this site may help

and from the CDC

Monday, November 13, 2006


You have asked for my e-mail. Here is the trouble... You did not send me your e-mail address. If you look in the left hand menu bar, there are instructions for how to e-mail The League of Melbotis. We will then follow up.

Oh, and I hear congrats of some sort are in order.

So today we went to see "Borat".

It's not often you spend a good deal of time watching a movie wondering how they completed the film without winding up in jail. Really, only the Jackass movies spring immediately to mind when you apply that sort of criteria. And, like Jackass, while viewing Borat, you will spend a good deal of your time wondering how anyone could lack the filter most of us walk around with that prevents us from (a) making others miserable, and (b) doing things that the average human would most likely not do for love or money.

Many people will see Borat and they will laugh. My parents would not be among those people. Well, you never know what the Karebear is going to dig, but I'm willing to bet that Borat comes and goes as a cultural phenomenon and she will never know. All for the best, probably.

Honestly, I wasn't nuts about the film's insistence on using a framing device and a storyline. I think Borat is relatively self-explanatory, and the interstitial scenes of Borat and his producer too often took the wind out of the movie.

I know Borat has been sued by some of the folks who appeared in the movie, and late-1990's internet phenomenon, Mahir, is apparently attempting to sue the filmmakers for stealing his persona. If this were possible, I think Randy might have a lucrative case on his hands.

A few weeks back I was at a wedding. I mentioned that Josh had gone into battle with an elk. Here is my evidence:

Josh is ready for action. The other guy, Frank, was trampled and lost his despoit from Al's Formal Wear.

Doubt The League at your peril.
veterans' day addendum

Jamie pointed out that her dad, Dr. Dick McBride, was in the Army for several years. I cannot believe that his service escaped me in my Veterans' Day post, especially as Judy and Dick practically live next door to Ft. Sill, the army base from which he was discharged. And that, of course, is where Jamie was over the weekend.

A thousand apologies to my father-in-law, with whom I would be honored to share a fox hole.

What an orthodontist would be doing in a fox hole, I have no idea...
The Weekend and Daredevil

Wow. You're probably reading this at work. I wish I had a job.

The weekend disappeared into a colossal loss. I wish I could say it had been more productive.

Last night Mangum (Matt, not Dusty) came by to watch UT beat KSU. Boy, did that not turn out well. Well, the Mangum coming by part worked like a charm. The "UT is going to beat the tar out of these 6-4 hosers" part didn't pan out quite how I'd hoped.

Still, it's always nice to catch up with Mangum.

Today, Jason woke me after 10:00. We went and got breakfast at Maudie's, and then returned to my house to digest Maudie's. This took more than an hour. We kept trying to think of something to do, but I didn't want to go spend money, and Jason was planning to head to a movie tonight, so that was out. Eventually we both acknowledged having chores/errands and parted ways.

I ran an errand or two, played with teh dogs in the yard and enjoyed the lovely Austin Fall day, did some cleaning up, and then went to get Jamie from the airport.

Returned home, and watched the Bears defeat (to my surprise) the NY Giants. That's about it.

Leaguers, you know I love my DC Comics, but that doesn't mean I don't read the Marvelous competition. And one comic that I am addicted to like old people try to mainline "The Price is Right" is Daredevil. Sure, the Affleck/Garner inflicted movie set back the franchise 20 years, and the subsequent "Elektra" movie was a dud, but the comics have had a few good runs that rival any storyline from X-Men or Batman you want to pull out of your hat. No, really.

Daredevil basically follows the adventures of Matt Murdock: blind attorney by day, super-hero with radar sense and ninja-like training protecting the streets of NYC's Hell's Kitchen by night.

I highly recommend the Frank Miller-era stories (which were the basis for the Daredevil movie and which spawned Elektra) which truly redefined the urban vigilante and made a lot of long-time comic fans finally take ntoice of the character. You can find these currently as Daredevil Visionaries 1-3, and Daredevil: Born Again.

Miller established the device which makes Daredevil work: Completely destroy Matt Murdock. Kill his friends. Make his girfriend betray him, etc... have the biggest crime boss in NYC go after him in his civilian identity... and when all hope is lost, let him start fighting back.

In the late 1990's, Marvel relaunched Daredevil under the unfortunate pen of movie-maker Kevin Smith, who put together a barely plausible storyline... But at least Smith got the title up and running again.

Brian Michael Bendis took the title over shortly therafter, and delivered several years worth of stories, all under one continuous storyline as Daredevil's secret identity is compromised.

The storyline was a bold call, and Bendis' treatment of the idea was well thought-out, and believable as could be expected in a book with superheroes. Many comic readers and Daredevil fans took umbrage when Daredevil would fail to actually don tights for several issues at a time, but I think those readers were missing the point of what Bendis was doing with the greatest superhero "what if?" storyline in recent memory.

While the end of Bendis's run was phenomenal, the truth is that as long as the comic continues to go to print, it's not entirely clear HOW they will ever wrap up the storyline. And that's got me hooked.

Of late, crime-comic scribe Ed Brubaker has been given the reins, and brought Gotham Central artist Michael Lark with him to the comic. I've just finished reading their first collection, "Daredevil: The Devil Inside and Out", and while the story is definitely Brubaker and Lark's, the continuity of Bendis's excellent stories seems to have given Brubaker some excellent territory to mine. In fact, I wonder if Brubaker isn't willing to take the brakes off even a little more than Bendis.

Great stuff.

If you're looking for something to start picking up in collected format, I highly recommend. Heck, I'll even try to point you to an online service or comic shop to help you out, if you'd like.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

RE: The UT/ KSU game