Calling all Leaguers!

Melbotis (Mel-boh-dis) Perkins is a 116 lb. golden retriever dedicated to Truth, Justice and the American Way.

The League of Melbotis welcomes all likeminded individuals willing to use their unique abilities for the betterment of mankind.

Comics, superheroes, giant robots, doggies, space ships, movies, personal journal, schadenfreude.

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    Items of import:
  • Nanostalgia: Collaborative Media Review
  • Melbotis Store! Melbotis items at CafePress
  • Phoenix Suns
  • University of Texas Football

  • Leaguers:
  • Dedman's site
  • Cowgirl Funk
  • Adventures of Steanso
  • Steven G. Harms
  • CrackBass
  • The Social Bobcat
  • Distorted Veracity
  • Michael Scaljon
  • Sugar and Splice
  • Houstonist
  • Digest: TST
  • Natalie

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  • Pay the Man
  • Dangerous Beauty
  • Razzberry Vinaigrette
  • cbgblog

  • Comics!:
  • DC
  • DC
  • Marvel Comics: Home of Spider-Man
  • Comic Book Resources
  • Newsarama
  • The Pulse
  • Comic Treadmill
  • The Beat
  • Dave's Long Box
  • Return to Comics
  • Comic Blog Legion
  • Comic Candy
  • Wonder Woman Museum
  • Emerald Dawn
  • Superman is a...
  • Hulk's Diary

  • Some sites worth looking into:
  • Arizona Rollerderby
  • Dames in the Media The League Once Dug
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Why Superman?
  • Texas Public Radio
  • Lunchtime with The League
  • Eddie Johnson's Jump Shot Club
  • Lileks
  • retroCRUSH

  • Blogs taken at the suggestion of others:
  • Mr. Jones
  • NFL Draft Review
  • The Black Table
  • Hammer!


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    The League Totally $@%*ing Sells Out!

    Are You HOT or NOT?

    Thursday, September 18, 2003  
    get back to work.

    4:24 PM |


    Hey, everybuddy...

    I love me some Halloween! It's the one night of the year we can all dress up and fight crime... I mean, be monsters or something... Honestly, it's a chance to get drunk and dress up like Cher, but we don't talk about that incident anymore...

    ANYWAY, I just had a GHOULISHLY bad idea. I am going to run a contest in which I allow you good folks to determine what SPOOOOOOOOOOKY movie I watch on HALLOWEEN NIGHT!!!!!

    But Ryan, you say, it's the middle of f**king September! Well, Leaguers, that's true enough! But I need to locate and purchase/ rent the movie before All Hallows Eve!

    So here's the deal...

    All entries will be listed in a laundry list of Halloween Movies that Make Leaguers Scared. The List will be published a few days before Halloween, so you can see what other Leaguers are watching! Hurray! Interactivity!

    I will watch 1) the movie with the most votes, and 2) the one for which I receive the best essay on why i should watch this particular Halloween movie.

    Rules for entering:

    1) Must be a movie which has something to do with the general theme of scary stuff. Does not need to occur on Halloween, and can be a comedy
    2) Each movie must be accompanied by a reason why this movie is so awesome, and why it will make me love spooky stuff even more. 1 sentence minimum.
    3) You may offer up to 4 entries. Each entry must follow official rules.
    4) Only entries I can actually locate via the internet, etc... are really eligible, so sending a link is helpful. E-Bay is not a link.
    5) Movies which are really, say, Sci-Fi movies (Spaced Invaders) or Ninja Movies (American Ninja 4) are scary, but in the wrong way. Do not recommend movies which are not SPINE-TINGLING!!!
    6) You must include your name and address (in case I decide upon a Halloween Prize!)

    I want this movie to be SCARY, folks. I want some real, creepy, scary, Halloween madness.

    I am considering a Halloween prize, so I'll let you know what that's going to be.

    3:01 PM |

    Greetings, Leaguers...

    Not much going on today, but I thought you might appreciate this story...

    This is why I send all notes to MY mistress by carrier pigeon.


    I don't run TTSNB all that often anymore, as the recurrent theme is: if you have this on the shelf, your chances for having sex will be greatly diminished. This may not be a major issue for much of America's adult toy buying public. I assume either these collectors 1) are unaware that this will diminish their chances for tawdry sex as the toy in question will make their intended nervous and possibly frightened... 2) have given up and know that the chances for any sex actually occuring are next to nil 3) married somebody and THEN sprung the toy thing on them. I more or less went for option 3. It works beautifully.

    MacFarlane toys has a knack for realistic portrayals of sports figures, right down to musculature, etc... and for this they should be proud. But you'll never see these toys appear here, because they're kind of cool, and fun and a neat collector's item. But MacFarlane also spawned the absoludicrousness of the Spawn franchise. First a comic, then toys, then an HBO cartoon, and then a movie... Spawn is a high schooler's fantasy of poorly misconstrued mythology, history and religious notions, all wrapped up into a really goofy package and no comprehensible plot.

    But the real importance of Spawn is that it allowed it's creator, Todd MacFarlane, to create a toy building franchise. Which brings us to today's topic of MacFarlane's Wizard of Oz toys. Yes, these toys are disturbing, grotesque, and sure to drive PTA mother's to a frothing frenzy... but most of all, one has to wonder... why? What the hell was going down at MacFarlane central when they decided to take a 100 year old story and turn it into a Meatloaf album cover?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, please turn your head and do not look, because these are some toys that should not be...

    The Lion
    The Scarecrow
    The Tin Woodsman
    The Wizard of Oz
    Toto (no, really... this is their Toto...)
    and the piece de resistance! Dorothy! (please hide all children before clicking here...)

    Now I think it goes without saying that these TTSNB were designed by some dudes who are great sculpters, and who think anything that isn't "hard" is "lame"... and who pretty clearly have some issues with women. I just like to imagine their studios all tweaked out with fading Iron Maiden posters and groovy lights they bought at Spencers.

    Hurray, MacFarlane toys. You've taken something perfectly nice and made it stupid.

    9:42 AM |

    Wednesday, September 17, 2003  
    I have been led to believe I am not supportive enough of my brother's musical interests. I feel badly about this, and so, in his honor, and that of the Mono Monkey Music Experience, I ask that you visit his band's web-site. Which has broken links to the actual musical bits. You can, however, see a lovely painting of what appears to be the surface of the sun.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: The Monkeying Ensemblage of Musical Mononucleosis

    1:18 PM |

    whoa... has printed a review of Neil Gaiman's new work...

    11:36 AM |

    Y - The Last Man

    Finished reading Volume 2 of Vertigo Comics' Y - The Last Man last night.

    Vertigo puts out some real junk from time to time, but other times, they hit an absolute homerun. It seems like years since I've been really interested in what Vertigo was printing, but that's turned around with this new series. Y chronicles the story of Yorick Brown, who is the last man on earth. The story occurs in the present day, but follows a bizarre turn of events when every single male of every single species suddenly and inexplicably drops dead, except for Yorick.

    The story is not the tale of sexual conquest you'd expect, but rather a sort of Omega Man/ 28 Days Later/ Mad Max look at the outcomes of such an event. I wish I could say that this is a story with a beginning, middle and end for you to look forward to, but the second volume of the series only goes up to issue 10, so i have no idea how far the creators are planning on taking the series, nor do I have any idea where the series is going.

    I don't even feel terribly inclined to detail the fallout of the disaster, as the very real dangers of such an event are written in perfectly, and any review I would give would just do them a disservice. Anyhoo, if you're digging around for something new to try, I can't recommend this series enough.

    9:20 AM |

    I went to bed ridiculously early last night (9:00pm) for want of really having anything better to do, and trying not to be the zombie I usually am by Friday morning. I woke up before my 5:10am alarm after having a bizarre dream that I would rather not get into because it was both banal and disturbing.

    As I may have mentioned previously, the Superman comics have not exactly been stellar as of late... but this winter shall see big changes in the books. Not the least of these changes will be a return to the "realistic" (aka - non-Manga inspired) renderings of the core characters.

    here are some links to look at for what you will be seeing in the future of Action Comics. Supes and Captain Atom. Batman and thug. Superman and Batman escaping and explosion.

    At any rate, I am totally pumped about the new art direction for Superman. The pencils here are by Ivan Reis, a young Brazilian artist (Brazil produces some great artists...) Let's hope the inkers and colorists don't muck it all up.

    8:50 AM |

    Tuesday, September 16, 2003  
    oh, and there's this...

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

    9:49 AM |

    Jamie made me like football.
    I didn't watch football as a kid. Anything not involving magic swords or light-cycles was kind of off my radar scope, and my folks never expressed much interest in the wide world of sports. My dad worked something like 80 hours a week the entire time I was growing up, and would occasionally watch the University of Florida play, or maybe the Miami Dolphins. When this occured, Dad went silent for the length of the game, eating popcorn and encouraging us to play with Legos on the floor so we would remain pre-occupied. Anything louder than a low whisper would result in expulsion from the TV room.
    In 7th grade all of my friends went out for football, and, being an absolutely ridiculously large kid, I was happily recruited by the coaches. I played left tackle. And here's where things get weird... Dad's "be quiet and play with Legos" policy backfired. I had not absorbed one thing during a single football game. I played football for a season without ever understanding what a "down" was. Not a clue. I knew I was on offense. I knew that when certain plays were called out, I had certain actions to perform, but I wandered around without the slightest idea as to what I was doing or what was happening.
    When my string went in, I ran onto the field behind them. Whistles blew, I got screamed at a lot, and I sweated profusely. But I didn't even know why you kicked for an extra point versus a field goal. But unless you count the little magnetic games where you line up players and they run in circles, I'd never watched a game of football.
    I have no idea how, between 7th and 8th grade, that I came to understand the rules of football. 8th grade went much better, and I even made an interception that year and had some success as a 1st stringer. I also took to watching the sport. Particularly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who really, really sucked back then. But they sucked so bad they were charming, and I made a habit of following them for a few seasons, at least reading up on them in the paper.
    When high school loomed ahead, I decided I was going to be a basketball guy. When approached by the football coaches in the hallway at school that first year (standing a full 6'3" and weighing in around 190 lbs.) I declined, stating I didn't believe in bleeding on Friday nights. The coach didn't think i was funny, either.
    But I made a decision at age 15 or so that I was no jock. I was a drama guy! I wasn't going to be a walking stereotype seeking a letter jacket and a flat-top (which was actually popular at the time with the team). I decided to be a jerk about the whole thing and make a bad-80's movie out of guys I'd been friends with just the year before. Jocks were stupid jerks... not smart guys like, say, me...
    Then in the mid-90's, I started dating Jamie. And Jamie loves the Cowboys. It made me nervous... my high school girlfriend was as bad off as I had been that confusing 7th grade season... and I was comfortable with that. It was something we could mutually agree not to be interested in. I don't even remember discussing the issue with other girls I dated... But Jamie... Jamie loved her Cowboys. No fair-weather fan is she.
    And so Sundays and Monday Nights in the Fall have received a new significance. It is football time, and nothing is to come between Jamie and her Cowboys. It was fun in the mid-90's. Emmitt, Irvin, Aikman... didn't matter which Coach... and all was fun and well. But we all know what happened to the Cowboys. Under Dave Campo, Jamie's beloved team fell apart, but still, every Sunday, we watched the damn Cowboys clown their way up and down the field.
    Enter Coach Parcells, and last night's victory at the Meadowlands. What the hell was that? 21 points from the kicker? Who cares! Cowboys win, 35-32 on a Monday Night game. The game was, for lack of a better term, a complete clown-show. 21 points by the kicker? Quincy Carter having a career high for yardage? Not that I foresee great things this season, but...

    I still like things with light cycles and magic swords. But I've made room for football, too. The truth is, the sport is still a complete mystery to me. I have not a clue what a "West Coast Offense" is, nor do I understand half of what is coming out of Al Michaels' mouth. But I don't really care. What I do like is that I can watch the game with Jamie, and she's more enthusiastic than me. She gets Sundays and Mondays for football, and I have no reason to complain. That, and it gives me some leverage when I want to watch my Superman DVD for the 80th time.

    9:38 AM |

    Monday, September 15, 2003  
    One of the things which is entailed in moving far from family and friends is the cost inherent in travelling. I'm no Jack Kerouac. I've no illusions of roadside fun or white line fever. It's more of an endless procession of switching out albums and staring into expanses of nothingness between what I recognize as civiliation. And a lot of feeling awful whenever I linger in towns with populations under 10,000.

    Flying isn't much better, but it's generally faster. The adventures of overnight stays in far-off places, the delays and hang-ups one comes to expect are not something which fill me with a rush of adrenalin. THe seats are cramped, the food presently non-existent, and the manners of others on planes has such a "me first" ring to it, that it's a miracle fist-fights don't break out every day.

    I've gotten to the point where, due to my frequent bad experiences, I always carry a backpack which i don't have to place in the over head bin. In the backpack I carry a fresh pair of underwear, contact solution and case, glasses, a clean t-shirt, toothpaste, toothbrush and two books. Being stranded overnight just once has taught me the value of having these thigns onhand. The backpack is absolutely necessary as anything in the overhead bin is fair game and can and will be crushed by the little wheeled suitcases experienced travellers now carry so as to avoid waiting for their luggage to come off a plane. Somehow these little suitcases have been designed to be just small enough to make it past the flight attendants, and just large enough to not fit properly in overhead storage. Hence, you get the pleasure of watching a perfect stranger grapple and crush your own luggage as they struggle to fit their suddenly enormous bag into the tiny overhead bin.

    Suitcases are lost, flights changed, delayed, overbooked. Clerks have bulletproof shells which are invulnerable to your harshest criticism. Once in the air, there's no escape. Being booted from a flight from Dallas to Oklahoma is almost funny to them (not so much to my wife). Service from in-flight personnel has gone the way of the do-do, and everything from "ticketless travel" to the necessities of baggage x-rays has made just getting to your gate a nightmare.

    But still, I'm now more than a thousand miles from my folks' house, and the idea of driving home for the upcoming holidays is too mindbending to endure. As such, we are flying.

    Due to the above mentioned misadventures of the past year, Jamie and I had accumulated $566 in travel vouchers, which I put toward our flight home for the Holidays. But purchasing tickets online doesn't show any clear way to apply vouchers, and so I decided to call the American Airlines reservation line in order to apply my vouchers toward the cost of our flight.

    I waited thru a few minutes of chirpy airline spokesperson voice telling me junk I already knew before an operator was able to take my call. The woman on the other end sounded down, even as she greeted me.

    Online, I had already found my selected flights and was able to simply relate times and flights to her. When i mentioned the vouchers, she grew short with me, somewhat snippy as suddenly she knew the call would be extended as we walked through how all of this was going to work.

    At long last, we worked through all of the paperwork, confirmation numbers, addresses, etc...

    I don't remember what was said immediately before, but suddenly she threw in: "Sorry if I sound a little hasty."
    "Uh..." I kind of let it hang. She had sounded hasty, and it annoyed me. Bad customer service is something one expects, especially over the phone. She'd been cranky at every turn, sounded vaguely distracted, and had kind of berated me for failing to correctly identify the proper code she'd been looking for of the dozen or so codes on the voucher stub.
    "Yeah, well," she said, cancelling out the short and un-prepared speech I was about to deliver. "Sorry. You're my last call."
    "Oh, end of the day." It was 4:30 my time, PST. I guessed she was Central or Eastern time. Sunday night dinner was probably ahead, no weekend to speak of behind her. Probably a weekend of getting yelled at by geeks like me.
    "No, after this call, I'm done. They're shutting down the St. Louis call center."
    "I'm your last call?"
    "Yeah, this is it..."
    I was quiet for a moment. Should I extend the call, push her job that much longer? Get her another 15 minutes on the clock? Or was she salaried... was she done and out the door to spend Sunday night, god knows where in a St. Louis apartment, knowing that tomorrow, she was out of a job, out of money...? Were there kids? A husband or partner? Anything...?
    "Oh, God. I'm really sorry."
    "Is there..." anything I can do? I started to say. "Hey, well, good luck." I was picturing a bar, some poorly strung Christmas lights and a half-empty bottle of booze in this woman's immediate future.
    "Thanks. Is there anything else I can do for you?"
    "No. I guess not."
    "Well then, thank you, sir," she said too quickly. "And thanks for choosing American Airlines."
    And before I said anything, she'd hung up.
    I'm not looking forward to this flight. If this is any indication fo things to come, I'll surely be stuck in Dallas overnight and into Christmas Eve. And I know I'm going to be spending my time on this flight wondering if this woman has found work yet in order to have herself a merry little Christmas.

    9:07 AM |

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