Saturday, December 02, 2006
Turkey Day is almost upon us. This year I shall do my part to make the Holidays totally rad for all. This year, I pledge not to:
-consume an entire 23 lb. turkey by myself
-collect a $7 cover charge at the door
0% 0 -votes
-keep asking if we can watch something other than football
-mention a single, solitary time how much Katie Couric bugs me if she hosts the Thanksgiving Day Parade for CBS
-hold Doug hostage
-teach the young ones about the circle of life by killing the turkey with my bare hands before their terrified eyes
-let Mel serve dinner
-force Jamie to dress as a turkey
-insist we pray for the success and safety of the Justice League of America as they protect our shores and skies from the Legion of Doom
-stay sober through dinner
16 votes total
Thursday, November 30, 2006
It is cold in Austin. We were something like the 2nd to last place in the contiguous 48 to get the cold front, but there you are. I headed to the Target today to buy a hat, gloves and a scarf. In Phoenix you don't need those items (or an umbrella) so much, so I'm having to purchase cold weather gear all over again.
The dogs are nuts. They don't want to go out in the cold (although they were happy to go for a brisk afternoon walk), but they also don't want to remain inside and calmly behave. So there's been a lot of following us around the house and attacking one another. I had to hide Lucy's ball so she would quit dropping it on me. It's kind of sad.
We hung out and talked to the neighbors last night for a while. It's sort of nice knowing our neighbors, versus our recent experience in Phoenix where we sort of guessed at who everyone was. We had "The Kansas People" who moved away and were replaced by "Successful Single Mom" and her BMW. Flag Guy. Arizona-Reed. Weekend Dad. The Crazy Nemesis Nurse, and "The House with an Indeterminate Number of Residents".
Here, we actually know some people's names, and even talked to Steve (with the stroller) for a while, finding out he's a bit of a recovering comic-geek, and he wants to set up a community rental system for DVD's on our block. Neighbor-Jason feels we've one-upped his Christmas deer as our deer lights up and is quite large. And then Chris apparently bought me a deeply discounted Superman Halloween Candy pail and gave it to me last night. I was shocked.
Grand Oaks isn't as weird a place to live as you'd believe when initially driving through.
Last night I just didn't have much to mention, and I was neck deep in new and old comics, so forgive me for taking a night off to catch up on my titles a little. (I need to start pushing comic reviews again. Go read Ex Machina.)
The weather yesterday was a mild high-70's with winds from the south. When the artic air hit, we got a heck of a storm. Jamie was already in bed when we lost power for a few seconds. The short popped the GFCI outlets where we have the Christmas lights plugged in. I, of course, had just entered our tiny hall bathroom when the lights went out, and was fairly certain there was no way this was going to end well vis-a-vis me exiting the restroom succesfully, when the lights came back on. I emerged into the living room, and proceeded to scream like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween upon seeing Jamie standing on the stairs. Usually I hear her moving around, but this time, no such luck, what with the buckets of rain and howling wind rattling the windows.
Yesterday evening we went to see "For Your Consideration", the latest from Christopher Guest and his troupe of improvisors. It's okay. It's NOT in the faux-documentary format which is the basis of most of Guest's movies, but it sticks with the same sort of bitter-sweet narrative arc that you've seen in the past two or three movies. Make no mistake, Catherine O'Hara is at her best in this movie, but the movie seems too full of unnecessary elements, and the actors don't share enough screen time to decide whether they're making a wacky movie or a movie on a bit more pensive note.
My personal feelings aside, every person considering acting for a living should be given a copy of this DVD and be forced to watch it once a year for the duration of their career.
I finally saw "Rocky" on Spike TV. It was pretty good, and I can see it winning awards in the 70's. As I suspected, the movie has been copied so many times (including the five sequels) that, like many films that launch a stylistic genre, the movie no longer is appealing simply for its too-often repeated story. It's the performances and details which remind you why this movie was thought of so highly that why it's been infinitely imitated, but rarely matched.
Oh, and I watched JimD's film "Pleadings". JimD wrote and produced the film (with his friend Alistair directing). You know, it's not easy telling your friends they've made a colossal mistake. Luckily, in this case, I don't have to do that. Jim's film is a tight, taught drama with well developed characters. Ah, hell, you need to just see it. I could talk it up, but it's going to be silly as I don't want to give much away and I don't want to sit here blowing sunchine up Jim's skirt. Well, I will say the space battles were impressive and the 23-minute homage to "Willow" was totally sweet, but I still don't understand the bit with Jim dressed as a penguin walking through the desert "pleading" for a sno-cone. Anyway, well done. Professionally executed. Worth seeing at your local multi-plex.
4 year old Power Ranger foils crime
Someone else YouTube's their Jones Soda Holiday Soda experience
Some awesome animation
Bad Superhero Names (yes, they are all actual characters)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This here is your second announcement regarding the 2006 Holiday Spectacular.
The tree is up. The lights are bright. We're filled with Christmas Fever. It's time for me to re-announce the 2006 Holiday Spectacular. We're begging for RSVP's, so please send one by clicking on the Justice League image at the top-left of this website or posting to the comments section. (definite "no's" are also welcome)
Where: League HQ (if you need directions, send me an e-mail and RSVP by clicking on the picture of the Justice League at the top, left-hand corner of the website)
When: December 9th. We open the doors at 7:00.
What: A festive holiday gathering.
What to bring: It's not a requirement, but we're suggesting that you BYOB. Sorry. I think we have a healthy number of people coming, and I can't afford to fill all of you with the Holiday Spirit. We will have some stuff on hand, but we appreciate a little extra help.
If you want to bring a snacky thing (as some have mentioned), go nuts. It's a party. Nobody is turning down any food.
What to wear: The temptation for Holiday parties is to get a little dolled up. I am not going to stop you, but if I have to guess, I think I'll be wearing jeans, a novelty t-shirt under a button down cotton shirt, and some sneakers. If you want to look fabulous, that's your call.
What not to do: Burn my house down, do anything to draw the attention of the authorities (such as burning my house down), declare S. Austin an independent state, pick a fight, let Mel drive. We will also be happy to call cabs for anyone who needs one.
Who should come: You. You're reading this, so I'd like for you to come. Maybe. And we're kinda-sorta cool with a friend in tow, but inviting the whole accounting team from your office is generally discouraged. The whole accounting team tends to draw the cops.
Some extra incentives for showing up:
-Jamie has been practicing some carols, so we hope folks will join her in singing some Christmas ditties. If you have requests, send them in now. Keep it clean.
-Door prizes! We will hit the "Dollar General" and have a drawing at some point in the evening
-Firelogs on DVD
-my iPod will have a rockin' Holiday-themed playlist
-It will be Cousin Susan's 29th Birthday
-If we're lucky, it may be Ellie Gamble's Birthday
-There is the possibility of a pair of extra special guests from out of town
-See Mel and Lucy in their Holiday Finery
-Steven Harms performs 1-Man, 8-Act version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
-We can even conference call in RHPT
-After too many eggnogs, Jason will make an awkward pass at a yet-to-be-selected girl, but give up half-way through
So RSVP!!! Let us know if we can expect to see you joining in the merriment and festivities. It's the @#$%ing Holidays! Let's get together and have some fun.
Monday, November 27, 2006
The house is about 65-70% done for Christmas. However, we are experiencing a Christmas Light gap. It seems our house, though well covered in lights, may be a bit dull by Grand Oaks standards. In my walk this evening, I noted that the traditionally "classy" plain white lights (with which we have wrapped the mighty columns of League HQ) have been supplanted in our neighborhood with color, strobing, chaser lights, changing colors, shapes, and all manner of lit nonsense. Sure, I still have to add the "snow globe" and our newly obtained animated deer to the yard, and perhaps that will give us a bit more character. But we have a Christmas Light gap.
As I understand it, we can expect the slow-driving light-peepers in our neighborhood. I suspect the war of the Christmas lights is just beginning. I am choosing to lose the battle this year.
Well, I am betting nobody else has as many Superman decorations on THEIR tree...
Normally The League is a big supporter of giving the gift of Superman, as well as decorating your home with the bold visage of The Man of Steel. However, Nathan sends this along.
From the article: Incredibly, families are further instructed to "[un]plug the product when leaving the house, when retiring for the night, or if left unattended."
I don't like to speak for The Last Son of Krypton, but I assume he'd be upset if he knew there was a product on the shelf sporting his face which not only MIGHT burn your house down, but pretty much promises it's going to leave your home a smoking cinder.
Hey, here's a Superman fan in the news that we can all feel proud of.
A ton of Superman stuff will be released on DVD on Tuesday. This will include the Donner Cut of Superman II and Superman Returns. Be a Loyal Leaguer. Pick up a copy. Or pick up the 14-disc uber-collection. I have been given instructions NOT to pick up any Reeves or Routh Superman stuff, and, thusly, shall wait until Christmas.
I, personally, am awaiting the arrival of the Kirk Alyn Superman serials (with a young Noel Neill) and the final seasons of The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves in glorious color (and a slightly more seasoned, if no less fabulous Noel Neill). I had forgotten that a very tired League had purchased these items on Amazon long ago, and was reminded with a "your package has shipped" e-mail.
Oh, and Action Comics #845 was really good. Actually, it was very, very good. Hope you're picking up this run.
Apparently the Klein Oak Panthers are making a go of it with the football team this semester. It seems that the football team is no longer a source of shame!
The KO Panthers have entered into the state play-offs. If you went to KO in the 90's, then you know that just batting a .500 for the season is a victory in and of itself.
Read some here.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Thanksgiving fell early, and traditionally, in the days after Thanksgiving, one must start thinking about Christmas (well, if you are of the Christian or secular-present swapping Christmas variety). So, I guess we're sort of stretching the Holidays a bit this year, but that's okay, provided I am not totally sick of Christmas by the 24th.
WE ARE STILL HAVING THE 2006 HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR. So come by. BYOB.
So today I made some Kirby Lane gingerbread pancakes for breakfast, then we inventoried a bit as to our Christmas Decoration stash. I tell you, Leaguers, it is hard to maintain my war on Christmas, what with my love of the season.
Anyhoo, we were just supposed to head to Lowe's and pick up some lights, but after living in Austin for close to decades, I decided to finally head to The Famous Christmas Store. The FCS was pretty neat, but I was surprised how limited the merchandise was at a store which had dedicated itself to Christmas decorating. There was just a lot of repetition of themes and a lot of stuff that was surprisingly expensive. We did, however, find several bulb ornaments which will live on our tree.
We then went to Hoover's Cooking for our big meal of the day. Some people love snails or fish eggs. Some people love a fine cheese or an elaborately prepared sushi dinner. Not The League. Give me Hoover's Cooking any day. Half of a perfectly smoked chicken, green beans, okra and delicious sweet potato pie... Sure, I didn't need all that coming off Thanksgiving, but it was my first trip back to Hoover's since getting back to Austin.
Unfit to do much more, I headed to Lowe's, picked up several strings of lights, a garland/light combination, a red bow and headed home.
We've got the tree up, undecorated. The garland is hung on the stair-rail. We've got stockings over the fireplace (including Jason's stocking), but we still have quite a bit to do, especially outside.
Seem early? A lot of houses in the neighborhood already have lights on (including three on my street) and several had lights partially or fully up, but not on. I am hoping we are NOT a neighborhood that people will drive through to see all of the lights, but I am not planning to be a house-light slacker. At the same time, despite the weak effort put in during Halloween, these folks are stepping up to the plate in a way I am not sure I am ready to go bankrupt outdoing.
Jamie's been practicing some carols, so hopefully all who attend the Holiday Spectacular will be able to gather round the 'ol piano and sing along (JAL will be solo'ing with "Christmas in Holis").
Hey, Leaguers. Larry Lee is an old friend of Jason's and Steans' in general. He's a former Marine, a lawyer, a father of three, a husband and a coach of some sort. In short, he's already done more with himself than The League shall probably ever accomplish.
LL loves him some music, and somehow scored seats at the American Music Awards (an achievement as I don't think he's been involved with music since quitting the trombone in 9th grade). When word of this opportunity came to light, Lt. LL suggested he take the opportunity to share. An opportunity I jumped on.
Reposted from the comments section (Lee, I have e-mail, man...)
Still waiting for Reed Shaw's report on the final Phish tour from three years ago.
Here is my report from the American Music Awards:
1) The seats: I was fourth row, center stage. They were phenomenal. Face value of $750 each, though nobody pays for them, so who knows how much they really cost. Most of the show I sat two rows directly behind the dudes from Nickelback, who seemed genuinely happy to be there and to win an award for best something or other. To my left, only a couple seats away, was William Shatner and his wife. In front of him was Mario Lopez (Saved By The Bell/Dancing with the Stars) and in front of him, Snoop Dogg. That's right...the D.O. double G himself. Odd to me that Mario Lopez had better seats than William Shatner, but good to see things were corrected with Snoop Dogg's seating. I sat in front of Tori Spelling (she's five months pregnant) and a few seats to the left of Paris Hilton, who was text messaging furiously for most of the time that I saw her. At one point, Nelly Furtado sat immediately in front of me. The stars rotate seats depending on their performances and if they win, etc. The coolest celebrity sighting was Beyonce (she sat front row), who I saw walk in on the red carpet and then later, when she and her entourage nearly ran me over backstage on her way to the stage for the opening act. She was amazingly beautiful to see in person. She seemed to be a star in every sense of the word. Only her and Jamie Foxx were like that out of every celeb I saw. They just had something about them that nobody else had in terms of sizzle.
2) The live performances: Mary J. Blige was the best, hands down. She was amazing. I've never heard a better voice live. Next, Jamie Foxx. He's got the chops, man. Honoring the history of the AMA's was Lionel Richie, who sang All Night Long and the crowd went absolutely nuts for him, including yours truly (I was on t.v. briefly shaking my booty during Lionel's performance). He's still got it and looks great, too. Another throwback artist was Barry Manilow. His voice was still good, but he's had waaaaaaay too much plastic surgery. Jay Z was good. I got a big kick out of watching Beyonce dance to her man's music while he was onstage and she was in the audience. Also very good and extremely pretty was American Idol Carrie Underwood. Dixie Chicks couldn't have looked less interested to be there, but the biggest letdown was probably Tenacious D, though Dave Grohl gave them a sweet introduction. They just didn't rock like I thought they would. They did have lots of fireball effects in their show and said their song was about their battle with Satan, so they were kinda funny.
3) The venue. Held at the nearly falling down Shriner Auditorium in Los Angeles, near the campus of USC (which is basically in the middle of Compton). A total dump. It was filthy and disgusting inside. Probably sat 5,000 or so, with a balcony. I understand that next year they are holding the AMA's in a new theater being constructed across the street from
Man, I guess I wrote too much. The only other cool story is that I met Weird Al Yankovic at the after party. He was walking by with a plate of food, stuffing his face, when I saw him and said, "Loved what you did with 'Eat It'". He stopped, paused for a moment, got the joke, and then laughed genuinely, saying, "That's pretty funny, man". Somebody with us asked for his picture and he happily agreed, but our camera battery died an extremely untimely death, so Al scooted off to finish his food and alas, no photo was had. Such a bummer. It would have made for a great Christmas card.
All in all, good times. If you ever get a chance to go to a music award show, don't miss it. And wear a jacket. With the exception of the musicians, all the men wear jackets to award shows, even in Los Angeles. But don't wear a tie. Only the body guards wear ties.