Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well, I have no choice now...

Well, pretty clearly Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain have both been after my vote all year long. But how did Mr. Obama seal it up today?

From this article:

Said Obama: "Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth," a reference to Superman.

Really, it's like McCain hasn't even been trying to appeal to me as a geek. Where's invocation of The Force? His reference to his Spidey Sense? Oh, wait...

I believe McCain served on the USS Enterprise.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Politiks for 2Day

I did not watch the debate. Instead, Jason and I got swept up in a rousing meal at "Chinese Super Buffet" and then some Sci-Fi Channel. I think Jason knows my tolerance for the presidential debates is pretty low thanks to crippling ADD.

We did, however, watch Post-Game on CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

The most hilarious moment was not the punchiness of the CNN assembled reporters and analysts (who obviously all need a week off), but Fox declaring John McCain a winner by 89% of its viewership and trying to get Geraldine Ferraro to put some stock in the Fox viewership Text vote as a telling sign. I'm not saying CNN or MSNBC don't have bias, but sometimes I wonder what its like to work in a place dedicated to and serving a particular constituency where you constantly are trying to angle for Your Guy.

It DOES certainly make me wonder about the scientific basis for polls on CNN and elsewhere. But I assume CNN, etc... have a stake in working with 3rd party polling in order to maintain credibility. It would also be interesting to see a breakdown of how the news organizations manage the different candidates, and what would happen if they gave ALL of the candidates equal time in the debates. There are, like, seven candidates on the sample ballot I looked at online for Austin/ Travis Co.

I'm never really sure why we tend to consider anyone running in a party other than Dem or Republican to be insane. But we sure do. And that's too bad. It sort of reminds me of what they call "conversation enders", such as describing an idea to be "a no brainer", as if questioning the idea is simply beyond logic. Is what these 3rd, 4th and 5th party candidates have to say really any more less legitimate than the highly compromised platforms and big-tent appealing ideals of the big 2?

It just doesn't seem like its a good way to do much but fight to reinforce the attitudes of a constituency rather than driving new thinking.

I'm not 100% on board with any party these days, and I'm not particularly convinced My Guy is a prince in need of a coronation. If you can't question your own candidate in a democracy, and THEN hold them to the highest of standards when in office, it seems to sort of miss the point of having elected leaders.

I'm also in a weird position where I'm tired of the election coverage (the primaries made this election extra-long, it seems), but I also am curious to follow election coverage on a daily basis, hoping to hear something new that isn't just mud-slinging. I'm mostly curious to hear more on how each candidate is planning to deal with the economy at this point (my other major issues: international relations, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and healthcare have been covered pretty well). And, I want to hear from people with experience how those models could play out. However, guessing from how well anyone dealt with financial models the past few years, my guess is: they don't really know.

Here's some helpful reading material on economic plans:

McCain - lookout, this section has audio that kicks in
Obama - lookout, this is some logical but dull web design

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not Exactly a Crisis on Multiple Worlds

So one of the things that makes DC Comics a bit tough to get used to is the fact that the stories of DC Comics don't take place on just one plane of reality. In Flash #123, it was revealed that there was a parallel world to Flash's own where time was running slower. This enabled Barry Allen to team up with the original Flash (Jay Garrick).

Later, it was revealed that there were an INFINITE number of other earths that Superman, Flash and Co. could visit. One Earth might be a place where Superman and Co. are evil villains. Another might be a world where everyone is a cute, talking animal. Another might be a world where the Nazis won. Pretty typical sci-fi boilerplate by today's standards, I think...

That idea was kicked to the curb for about twenty years, but recently made something of a comeback as, really , hopping between dimensions and discovering evil images of yourself, (a la Star Trek's "Mirror, Mirror") is an idea comics just love coming back to, as well as just throwing our heroes into worlds where things are a bit off from the everyday.

Anyhow, I bring this up because any time Jamie is out of town for more than a day, I am sort of left wondering "what if"? What if, for some reason, I were left to my own devices?

At this point, I've now been with Jamie my entire adult life. We started dating 13 years ago this month. At 33, that's officially more than 1/3rd of my life. So I really have no perspective on what life would have been like had Jamie and never started dating.*

So, what is Ryan of Earth 2 like?

Would I be living in Austin? Would I have followed my current career path (such as it's been the last year)? I can say that I made a decision to stay in Austin when graduating college rather than heading to NYC or LA (with film degree in hand) based partially on a sudden disinterest in film (I had visions of historical documentary and wanted to try for grad programs), and partially because Jamie and I were making long-term sorts of plans.

So unless you can peer into the crystal ball, it's impossible to know what would have become of me. Obviously when Jamie goes away for a few days, she's still coming home again (I hope) and, tellingly, we call each other multiple times each day when we're apart. So I don't think about some imaginary lady or something who would be around if Jamie were not (but I think it's safe assume I would now be Mr. Lynda Carter).

Left with no Jamie or Lynda Carter, what would Ryan do with his time?

Mrs. League of Earth 2?

Even that is difficult to determine. After all, I've got our joint dogs and a cat to contend with who are especially needy when Jamie isn't around to dole out an endless stream of attention and hugs. The TV I watch when she's around or not is pretty much the same as Jamie DVR's anything she thinks I might not be interested in (ie: Project Runway).

I think, were Jamie not around, I'd be a lot grouchier. Jason was always happy to comment on my surliness through my teen and early college years, and I think Jamie puts me in a much better place. I know Jamie has made me a better person in many, many ways. She's given me something to focus on outside of myself, and shown me what real strength can be in the face of incredible challenges, all while never becoming bitter. That's no mean feat.

But as I say, there is no Ryan of the past 13 years without Jamie. So who knows... Ryan of Earth 2 could easily have been a hobo drifter, a Dell tech support rep, a frustrated gaffer working on the latest Hilary Duff movie... Possibly a pirate. I've always been interested in starting a piracy (see: Mirror, Mirror). But we're pretty pleased with how things turned out on Earth 1.

This time around while Jamie's out of town, I actually have a pretty busy schedule. Mini-golf tomorrow. Then possibly catching up with a friend in town for a festival Saturday afternoon and the game Saturday night. My time to get the house back in order is a bit minimal.

*A quick qualifier: Jason will bring this up, because he can never leave well enough alone... It is true that I had been dating a great girl just prior to starting to date Jamie. It is most likely that was about to end for various reasons had Jamie entered the picture or not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things That Make Me Sad

1) Beverly Hills Chihuahua has been #1 at the box office for two weeks. It has earned $55 million domestically. here

2) There is a line of Beverly Hills Chihuahua stuff at Petsmart. Just say no. Dogs are not dolls.

3) Spoiler: Jonathan "Pa" Kent died in Action Comics #870 last week.

4) No matter how much time you have, it's never enough

5) This year when watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", I will know that both Charles Schultz and Bill Melendez are no longer with us

6) I talk a lot of smack about the future of comics being online, but I still only read Achewood and re-runs of Calvin & Hobbes and Peanuts online for the most part. Other than that, I depend on Leaguers sending me funny strips. I never made it through Zuda's "Bayou", as I decided I'd rather wait to see if they printed it. They did not. I never got around to spending $60 this year to read back-issues of Marvel.

7) I will never read 99% of what I probably should, and, that roughly translates to option paralysis

8) Movies like Ratatouille get forgotten in favor of lesser films

9) Sometimes I don't know what it is that Lucy would like when she obviously wants something....

10) Too much of the time, I am not the change I am looking for

The Neverending Story of the Floors and Not-Living in Your House

Our furniture is back in the house, but I am now struck with the realization that I (and mostly likely I alone) will be putting all the stuff back on the shelves, etc... while Jamie is in Berkeley yukking it up with Douglas.

No worries. I'm just glad to have the furniture back in the house so I can sit on something other than cement.

My blogging has been a little light lately, I suppose, at least from a content perspective. Probably a product of a busy schedule and that I haven't been thinking "what shall I blog about?" so much as "what's on the agenda today that I need to get done?".

Things should be slowing down considerably for the next few days, and I admit that I'm looking forward to less-to-do. But I am not excited that Jamie will be AWOL until Sunday. Ryan sort of go crazy when Jamie go out of town...

Happy B- Day, Funky L

You'll note we already had a bit of a celebration, but happy birthday to Lauren.

May this next journey around the sun be greater than the all those before, but be just the first of many, greater journeys to come.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend and Whatnot

Lauren's B-Day at the Salt Lick

I have no photos, but on Saturday evening we headed out to the Salt Lick to celebrate the birthday of Lauren. Unfortunately, Jason and I took the "all you can eat" option as some sort of physical challenge, and so when Letty presented us with rum cake and Lauren with Pumpkin Pie, we could only have a bite of each. Jamie ALSO took the thing as a challenge, but I don't think she walked away with the same food-baby that Jason and I wound up with.

Anyhoo... this week is Lauren's B-Day, so everyone wish her the best as she turns... I'm not sure. 39? 17? Something in there.

We saw some friendly faces, caught up with Letty and Juan G. who recently visited Yellowstone, met some friends of Lauren's I'd not met before, and all-in-all, had a swell time.

In-Laws Now 100% More Texan

In the madness this week, I failed to mention that my in-laws, Judy and Dick, have moved to San Marcos, just south of us by about 30 minutes.

They've lived in Lawton, Oklahoma since the 1970's. Judy grew up in Central Houston (by the Bell building, if you know it), and then they did a stint in San Antonio when Dick was in the service (the Fighting 101st Dentists, I believe). Now they're safely tucked into the edge of the Texas Hill Country, not far at all from Wonder World Drive (if you know the area).

We are, of course, thrilled to have them here. I think it's safe to say Jamie and I are pretty close to both sets of parents, so not having to drive six hours to see them will be a welcome change.

My folks are actually closing on a house next week, I think, in Steiner Ranch, with plans to move out there in 2011 or so.

Wow, that sounds so futuristic.

Saturday - Day

The dudes finished at our place on Saturday, painting the living room and kitchen. It looks very, very different.

I've long wished for something other than white walls (a major issue for me in our house in Arizona), but it's pretty clear the builder assumed you were going to paint, and only put up the cheapest of white paints around the house to begin with.

So that's done. Sort of. We need to get the base-boards touched up.

We then watched the Red River Rivalry game at Jason's house while the guys painted, grabbed lunch with my parents at Central Market, then headed back to pay the guys.

We are moving everything back into the house on Tuesday morning. Then we'll probably have to move things so we can put down rugs later, but we need to save up for a while before that happens.


We picked up a water-splatter mat for Lucy and Mel's waterbowl, then headed to Taco Express (aka: Mary's, Maria's), which in true Austin Institution fashion has mediocre service, decent food, and a horrible layout which is all but a people-mill.

But, as with most places with decent food, once you sit down, you sort of forget about the hassle.

Last night Jamie and her mom went to the "So You Think You Can Dance?" tour. Which, you know, I'm not judging anyone... They seemed to have fun. Jamie's dad (who is devoid of a cool nickname, so we'll need to come up with one) and I did some stuff around the house, then hung out til Judy and Jamie returned.

Return of Dogs

A special thank you to Jason for housing my dogs since Monday night. They're a handful, especially with Mel's stubbornness and Lucy's endless energy, so my kudos to the man.

They came home yesterday, and were obviously terribly confused by (a) the lack of furniture, and (b) the new slidy-ness of the floors. Mel took a few minutes to adjust. We'll have to put some rugs down for Cassidy, I'm thinking.

Last night Lucy came and slept in bed. I woke up this morning with Lucy sprawled out near me and Mel on the floor (he rarely comes upstairs). Neither came down with me when I left for the day. I think they're sticking to familiar territory and carpeting.

UT Hits #1 in rankings (this week)

I'm not talking academics, I'm talking about what really matters for alumni: Football.

Mack Brown's kids soundly defeated OU, and for some reason, the AP Poll vote talleys placed them at #1. A dangerous place to be, as this now changes the game to "who can knock the #1 team off their pedestal?"

And the UT season is really just heating up. We've now got to face other competition such as Tech (always a hard opponent) and Missouri.

I'm happy as heck if we stay high enough in rankings to end up in a BCS game. To me, that far exceeds a winning season. As every Texas fan knows, the games that matter are OU and A&M, so we're now 1 for 1. But A&M also always goes nuts on UT in that game (see: last year).

Anyway, UT has already exceeded my expectations all year. Hopefully they can win the rest of the season, too.

Hook 'Em.