Saturday, September 15, 2007

ACL Fest Day 1

Hey all. I'm not sure what report Jason is putting together, but here's my nickel rundown.

Well, despite the fact I took Friday off, I wound up working for about two hours Friday morning. At home, watching ESPN, but I worked, darn it.

I headed over to Jason's around 1:00ish, applied a layer of 50 SPF sunblock, and we were off to ACL.

Saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones first, and, its a bit odd to report that they were exactly as perfect as one expects them to be, but, hey... how long have those guys been playing together? Anyhow, they were really good.

We then wandered over to see Peter, Bjorn and John at the Dell stage. It got really f-ing hot out during that show, but those Scandanavian dudes really kicked it up for the show. Despite the wilting feeling I had, I had fun.

We ran into my next door neighbor, Chris, at the show and chatted for a while, and then we sat through a part of some guy's set we'd never heard of while we got a Pepsi, but... man. Not my thing. So, we picked up and headed over to a spot near the Crowded House show. We caught part of that before LCD Sound System got going on the stage we were in front of.

LCD Sound System put on an insanely good show, especially considering how hot out it still was. We got to the main AT&T stage for Spoon. Now, I'm not a huge Spoon fan, but I do like them. Unfortunately, I think we got there a little late thanks to LCD Sound System, so we were pretty far from the stage. BUT... they have these jumbotron screens, so we could still see the show, and it was a good, solid set.

We skipped the Reverend Horton Heat so we could creep closer up for Bjork. We then had some time, so I ran and bought some food for Jason and me, and saw the Rev, who is still pretty much doing what he was doing when I was in college. Seriously. Pretty much the same deal, playing songs I knew from the early 90's, which was sort of his zenith, I suppose. I guess that's where the Rev is in his career now.

We then caught Bjork, who puts on a big show for a tiny pixie. It was a lot of fun, even though I knew maybe three songs from her 1.5 hour set. She had her all-girl brass section, a phenomenal drummer and two guys handling what I'll call "electronics". All in all, a good, fun show.

Plus, you know, LASERS!!!

It is true that during Bela Fleck there was a big fire on the other side of Zilker. I'm not entirely clear on details, but we saw a large ugly black smoke plume that just kept going for about half an hour.

Later, during Bjork, one of her speakers blew up and caught part of the staging on fire, so that was also exciting, if not a bit dangerous.

Anyhow, we're heading down a little later today. Which is okay. It was hot as heck yesterday. I'm feeling a little beat up and I have two more days to go.

Traffic did, indeed, suck getting out of there. It was really pretty bad, but, fortunately, most traffic was headed north once we headed for Lamar, so once we finally made it to Lamar (thanks, Hippies, for just wandering out into traffic), it was smooth sailing. But that was, like, a half-hour or more after we got in the car.

Then, Lucy decided to come in the bedroom and just whimper at me because Jamie and I weren't up. So, tomorrow, I'm sleeping in the guest room and nobody is allowed in.

Of course this si sort of why I took the day off on Monday, so I can be lazy and sleep.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Out of Pocket

Hey, Leaguers.

Sorry for the light blogging.

Went to go see Stuart and Hilary play tonight at Hickory Street on Congress. Tomorrow is the Mono E Rollerskate Party (consider yourself invited) and then ACL Fest.

So, blogging isn't likely to get much crazier until, like, Monday. I'm letting myself off the hook.

If you're going to ACL Fest, I'll be joining Camp X-Ray for the first time. You can find us under the Crack flag. I don't know where we're setting up.

White Stripes canceled, which simplifies things, even as it complicates them. I wasn't sure if I was seeing them or Arcade Fire. Sounds like I'm seeing Arcade Fire.

Anyhow, hope to see you at the Rollerskate Party and/ or at ACL Fest.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Welcome Brandy Ellen Bridenstine!

Cousin John and his lovely wife, Julie, ushered in a new era for clan Bridenstine on Sunday when Julie gave birth to 7 pound, 1 ounce Brandy Ellen Bridenstine. She was 20.1 inches at birth and is really into sleeping and adjusting to not floating in amniotic fluid.

Congrats to John and Julie!

Things I Could Do Without Seeing In Comics Ever Again

I warned you guys when i quit comic blogging at Comic Fodder that it would come back to haunt us all. If you make it to the end of this post, you get a gold star.

DC Comics have been around for 70 years, give or take. Superman himself has carried multiple titles for decades. Add in team books like JLA, hundreds of series that didn't quite make it, books that did make it, and tons of one-shots, mini-series, etc... And, anyway, multiple all that by comics coming out monthly, and you've got a whole lot of stories they've tried to tell over the years.

I'm not saying comics are creatively bankrupt, but there is a certain point at which story ideas are recycled. Unfortunately, in an industry where your writers are mostly lifelong comic fans, you tend to get a lot of similar plot elements woven into the fabric of comics. There seems to be a tendency to write to what you know. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that the fanboys writing the comics only know how to go to the well and tend to repeat themselves over and over.

There are just some odd conceits of comics that make me roll my eyes.

1) Mind-Control used against Superman. You aren't going to top "Sacrifice" in the foreseeable future. Busiek handled the tendency for the topic to get overplayed a bit in "Camelot Falls".

2) Prophecies. Seriously, you're giving away the ending, and if everyone is a "Chosen One", nobody is a chosen one.

3) Revolving Door of Death. DC claims to measure the importance of a death and if it was a good idea and was the impact severe on the DCU. And yet Jason Todd runs around the DCU, featured in Countdown. In some ways, I think it speaks ill of DC editorial's understanding of how death effects people in real life.

4) Third Person Descriptions of Batman's insane thirst for justice. I got it. He's a big, spooky guy. But it breaks the first rule of writing: Show, don't tell.

5) Time Travel (Legion excepted). It's too complicated and its rarely handled well. The Legion is just kooky enough to keep me from thinking too much about the ramifications. They get a pass, even if the whole Mon-El thing makes no sense.

6a) Female Superheroes and Villains in heels and improbable outfits. You can't fight in heels, run or do much but walk around. And, really, who decides their action suit means they need to show as much cleavage as possible?
6b) Female Superhero costumes that shred but leave tatters in convenient locations

7) Endless armies of anonymous henchmen in million dollar armor. I've never really understood how any supervillain was supposed to gets o many goons on their payroll and then outfit them better than the average US soldier.

8) Heists that appear to cost more than the take. If your technology is that good, you'll do far better selling the technology to the US government or a contractor than knocking over banks.

9) Teases for the return of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash. You're not bringing him back. Stop yanking my chain. That said, I can't say "No" to a whole army of speedsters. On this, Didio and I will just have to disagree.

10a) Two Superheroes meet for first time, immediately fight one another
10b) Two Superheroes who turn a disagreement into a reason for a fistfight. Both of these sceanrios make the hero look like a hotheaded idiot. You don't catch a well written JLA slugging it out over petty disputes. That's because there's an understanding that these guys are pros.

11) More muddling of Aquaman. Could a character be more mixed up? For the love of Mike, how little faith do you have in your own writers that you can't trust someone to just restore the original Aquaman to his place in the DCU? He doesn't need his own title, just... fix it.

12) Awkwardly written flirting scenes. It just reinforces that comics are written by dateless geeks for dateless geeks.

13) Another teen hero who gets picked on in high school. Was there ever an actual high school where things were so bad for quiet nerds who kept to themselves as the ones they portray in comics? Another sign that comics are written by geeks for geeks. Not everyone needs to be @#$%ing Peter Parker.

14) Writers who forget the meaning of the term "supporting cast". If all your hero does is heroey stuff all the time, and spends his life thinking in caption boxes, it can get dull pretty fast. A Lois Lane for your hero to talk to can do wonders. I think the dirty secret of why Blue Beetle is such as fun comics is that Jaime has a large, colorful supporting cast. Robin has... Robin.

That's my list...

What have you got?

Iron Man Trailer Now Online!

Iron Man trailer is up! And it looks like its going to be a heck of a popcorn movie.

Must have QuickTime or other Apple Media player.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Defuser, Football, the gym

Hey, Leaguers!

The Defuser Patrols Austin

Firstly, I want to congratulate a man I will probably never meet. Austin's own Police Detective Jarret Crippen was the winner of this year's edition of "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" Or, rather, Austin's own superhero "The Defuser" will now have an action figure, a comic, and may get to participate in a Sci-Fi original movie.

I was cheering for all three of the final four contestants (plus Basura, for less heroic reasons). Parthenon, Hygena and Hyper-Strike all seemed like good options and seemed to "get" the show much more quickly than the participants from the first season, which stands to reason.

While I was amused by Mr. Mitzvah, he disappeared sort of early on. However, the real story is the real life of Mr. Mitzvah. Google Ivan Wilzig. It's kind of fascinating. heck just check out his Wikipedia entry.

He really was a billionaire playboy trying to become a superhero...

Anyhow, it seems that my parents' visit this weekend stunted my chance to meet The Defuser in person when he appeared at Austin Books on Saturday (thanks for the tip, Jim D!) along with Ms. Limelight (she of the unknown powers).

Austin, being what it is, I suppose I shall have other opportunities to meet The Defuser and get his autograph. Perhaps when his comic debuts?

UT puts in a UT-like effort

Saturday UT played the TCU Horned Frogs, and while the first half of the game was mostly not shown due to a really, really good game between A&M and Fresno State, the part of the first half that was shown was kind of grim.

My folks were here, so we cooked out, Matt and Nicole popped over, and I saw less of the game than I would have liked as I got food together.

The second half, however, was a real game as UT's offense woke up and scored something like 34 points to TCU's 3. And that ain't bad.

McCoy simply isn't the same athlete as Vince Young, but, man, he's trying. And Charles and other players looked really good. It should also be noted that UT's defense played a pretty darn good game (with the one TCU touchdown scored as an interception return, I think. I was out cooking burgers on the grill.)

Anyhow, I have a little more faith in UT at this point. I don't ask for even a BCS bowl game, but... man, I want a good showing.

NFL Starts Up

Dallas is playing this evening. Now, I know most folks like to bag on the NFL, but I like it, even though pretty much everything about the presentation of the games is overblown and ridiculous.

It doesn't have the same joy as college ball, but its still fun, and, hey... its not exactly like the first two months of NBA play where folks screw around for about twenty games before they get settled down.

Back to the Gym

Jamie has decided to get in shape. I prefer my shape to be somewhat panda-like, but I do worry when I have to stick my finger on electric sockets every once in a while to get the ol' ticker going again.

Anyhow, I finally made it back to Gold's Gym for the first time since I signed on the dotted line a few months back.

I was pleased that my body was not in screaming agony, and that I rode the elliptical for forty+ minutes. My game plan is to do mostly cardio for a while, and then get on the weight machines in a month or so. We'll see. First things first is making sure I don't wear out on the weight machines ten minutes after getting to the gym.

Jamie's been really impressive lately. She went to the gym without me, she's been eating really well, she and Carla have been hitting some dance classes, and I know she exercises in front of her cd player at home sometimes.

Part of me was also watching The Bourne movies and realizing I couldn't win in a fist fight because I'd probably get winded. That's kind of an uncomfortable realization. So its back to the gym for me.