Saturday, July 08, 2006
Did you send in a Nomination to the Mellies? You did? Super.
Well, if you did, chances are you'll be getting a token of The League's appreciation in the mail.
Nothing much, mind you. You try to split a pie 16-ways, and suddenly all you've got is a sticky mess.
Luckily, Loyal Leaguer Nathan Pericles Cone was good enough to put together a truly kick-ass musical sampler. You all should be getting that and whatever else I had laying around that I could afford to send without the cost of the mailing costing more than the contents of the envelope . You dig?
Anyway, thus concludes the 2006 Mellies. Next time we're going to figure out a way to have a grand-prize winner so it's less work for me.
4:58 PM |
Onward through the weekend
Not much to report. We've been keeping a low profile since returning from Houston. It's always good just to spend time with the dogs and the cat. I got up yesterday with the pups, and no sooner did I rise than I had it in my head that I needed to re-read the end of DC's story "New Frontier". Also, I didn't feel like running.
If I was going to push the hard-sell on any of you Leaguers, one book would be this late 1950's/ early 1960's-set story of the dawn of a new age of superheroes. There are overtones of the optimism and paranoia which led to the space program, but there's also a lot of the wild imagination which led to the explosion of Marvel and DC Silver Age craziness.
Anyhoo, I tried very hard to read a lot of comics yesterday, also playing catch-up with the stuff I didn't get to read last week and the stuff from this week that I just picked up.
Did I mention what a brilliant guy my brother is? No?
Well, every holiday I hear from everyone in ear-shot how impossible it is to shop for me. What does one buy The League? Apparently folks think I would buy each and every comic right off the shelf, but that's not true. I have to be careful in what series I can pick up on a regular basis. Recently I've become very interested in Green Arrow, but haven't had it listed as an in-store subscription quite yet.
Anyway, Jason got me a subscription to Green Arrow and one to Hellblazer.
How does one find a way to earn The League's gratitude? Free comics. Yes, yes... my birthday was in April and it's now July, but whatever. I just gave him his birthday present last weekend and his birthday was in March. I hope he liked that "JLA: Rock of Ages" book.
I'll be honest, Jason's got a lot going on these days. Jeff is fairly stable, all things considered, but there's a long, long way to go and nothing is certain. Anyway, my brother is on my mind these days as much as Jeff, Mandy, Kim and Sigmund. If I were in town, at least I could go and hang out with him at the hospital and keep him entertained and distracted. Well, he's got a cell phone, so I just keep calling. That's probably getting annoying at this point.
Today I ran for the first time in a week. It was odd. I finished, still running, but I was just running so darn slow. I wasn't really uncomfortable. There was no cramping or anything, I just... couldn't... get... going... fast... enough...
I've missed the last few games of the World Cup. In fact, I missed the games that put France and Italy over the top. I'm picking Italy. Germany looked great today and wrapped up the tournament like the champions they should have been. (Darn you Brazil for not advancing!) If you didn't see the game, you need to check out the highlights to see the strikes and self-goal.
Hope all of you are having a good weekend. I'm off to go clean and organize.
2:13 PM |
Overheard at Uno's - Tales from RTF School
Huh. Somehow this didn't post. Well, I wrote it the night before we left for Houston.
So Octavio and I hit Uno's today for lunch as they have the greatest number of TV's showing World Cup. I was rooting for italy v. Ukraine, mostly because I'm hoping my folks brought me an Italian Football t-shirt or pin or banner or something.
The guys sitting at the next table over were deeply immersed in their very loud conversation, and not watching the game at all.
And then I heard one of them say "(blah blah blah) Lynda Carter!" so of course that piqued my ears. Then I heard "Marilu Henner. Carol Kane." I turned to look over to see what was going on, and I saw that the very loud guys all had 3-ring binders and cell phones out. "(blah blah blah) at CAA. (blah blah) at William Morris. Check their availability."
One of them picked up his phone and started barking into it. "Is Jason there? No? Is this Brian? Dave. Who? We're with (blah blah blah)."
I was having a hard time keeping up with the game thanks to these chowderheads.
"We're thinking Jonathan Silverman and David Schwimmer."
"Martin Short. Rick Moranis. Or John Stamos." "What about Arsenio Hall? @#$%ing everybody knows Arsenio Hall."
"Aren't they twins?" "No, they're just brothers." "There's the one line that says (blah blah blah). That's why people think they're twins." "They should fight a lot more. Twins fighting? I think of the twins in Harry Potter. Twins fighting is just funny."
When I was in film school we'd sort of play this little game. It was the 'mediocre movie game', but we didn't call it that at the time. The unspoken goal was to come up with the blandest movie with the dullest casting you could muster. "He wears a leather jacket, never takes off his shades, chews on a toothpick. He doesn't take crap from anyone." "We'll call it 'Stingray.' It'll star Timothy Hutton."
Stingray, for some reason, sticks out the best in my mind, aside from when I played the game at my old office with Beta-Juan (the lesser of our two Juans). "It's a penal colony. In space. Bruce Willis is there for a crime he sort of committed, but he was justified. Self-defense." "He finds a mentor in Robert Duval, a guy whose been on the asteroid prison for 30 years." "Chris Rock is the smart alecky prisoner nice guy." "The prisoners riot and take over the space prison. Led by Ving Rhames." "He's turned on the boosters and he's flying it towards Earth for a ransom." "Robert Duval is secretly evil. After the ransom is paid, they can't shut off the boosters. He's so bitter, he wants to crash into New New York." "The movie is called 'SC 666'. Space colony 666. It's where the worst space prisoners wind up."
As I listened to these guys (who were getting louder as they were on their third or fourth round at 12:15), it completely reminded me of why I decided not to pursue my Hollywood dreams. They didn't seem nearly as interested in making a half-way decent movie as they were interested in hiring actors they used to like. They didn't even seem to understand their own script, and had plans to make it "edgy" by hiring non-SAG actors.
I was guessing their budget was somewhere between $250K and $500K based on the figures they were tossing around. And you just knew, these guys are going to spend all that money on a film that nobody... I mean NOBODY... is going to want to see. If it gets picked up, that'll be no small coup for these guys and their little indie film. But most likely, at best it will run after 10:00 on one of HBO's channels, sort of filling time so HBO doesn't have to put up color bars and 1K tone.
God bless 'em. Somebody has to make those movies. I'm probably just going to refuse to pay to see them.
1:45 PM |
Thursday, July 06, 2006 We are back.
As far as family visits go, despite the unfortunate events in Austin, Jamie and I managed to spend some good quality time with the Steans side of the family.
Jason was in until Tuesday morning when he and Susan departed. Cousin Susan was in on Sunday morning, coming through the gate while Jason, Jamie and I floated in the pool. Obviously being out in the desert means I don't see much of Susan, so I'm always glad when our schedules align and we can see one another. Sue is headed for China for a few weeks in the fall in some sort of Occupational Therapy exchange program.
Saw Shannon Lowry. Josh was a no show thanks to the rigors of the "telecommuting" world. Sucker! Shannon's still working long and hard for a life insurance company. Her job sounds pretty interesting, and I'm a little jealous. The Lowry's are headed for Arkansas to join up with Josh's kin for some post-Holiday fun.
Apparently my old high school buddy Nick has returned to the bountiful land that is Spring, Texas. He has a billboard on the side of the road announcing that he's gone into business as a realtor. So, you know, if you're buying houses in Spring, let Nick know. He will broker you one heck of a deal.
I was so taken with the idea that Nick's mug was now adorning billboards that I called him. I think he was a little surprised, but it made me realize I hadn't talked to the guy in years and years. Anyhoo, I'll bug him next time I'm headed back to Spring.
Hit Bedrock City comics and picked up some Superman back-issues. I was pretty excited as, while doing my wandering around the store, I noticed they were selling all Superman merchandise at 20%, so I was able to grab a few DC Presents issues I wasn't sure I could afford. Well, I got them. And an issue of Promethea whose cover I didn't previously have.
On the 3rd, Jason and I went and blew a collective $36 on fireworks, putting on a minor extravanganza in the driveway (Jason was already scheduled to leave town on the afternoon of the 4th). I shot off my first missle of my life, and I'll be honest. It was fun. I did feel a little bad about seeing all that plastic disappear into the sky. I guess I thought the little plastic fins would be left behind. Not so. Ah, well. All in all, I think the fountains were my favorite. Lots of bang for your buck and no plastic hurling into your neighbor's yard.
Steve Magsig joined Rick, Jamie and myself for a stellar Cubs v. Astros game on the 4th. We had a great time, although I missed a great bottom of the 8th when I ran out to the hat shop to grab an 80's-style Astros cap. Oh, well. I've now seen the D-Backs play both the Astros and Cubs and the Astros and Cubs play one another. That's got to be some sort of sign of baseball synchronicity or something... By the way, if you haven't been, Minute Maid Park is really cool.
Yesterday we didn't get up to much of anything, but the day sailed by. We went down to some far-off portion of Houston to my Dad's office. The Admiral took us on le grande tour of his offices' facilities. They just moved in, so I spent the whole time geeking out over their AV systems in their training and conference rooms. While I'm surprised they skipped the AMX control systems, they managed to come up with some good analog solutions (that saved them a LOT of money).
Mom seems determined to get me fatter. She feeds us continually while we're home. We have fun, we do. We played some Uno, swam around the pool and spent some time tooling around Spring. Lots of hanging out with the folks, but she did ride to Austin with Jason on Tuesday and fly back that same night, so you know what kind of super trooper she can be.
I'm a little tired, and although it's 10:15 AZ time, it's now 12:15 Houston time. I'm headed for bed.
Hope all of you are doing well. Thanks for the well-wishes for Jeff.
9:55 PM |
We're flying out of Houston in a few hours and leaving for the airport in an hour, I think.
No doubt I'm going to be feeling even more useless in Phoenix than I've felt in Houston over the past couple of days.
Jason has been up at the hospital quite a bit with Jeff, but as he's in ICU, he can't stay in the room for any length of time. He's made two posts on Jeff, Kim and Sigmund's status, and I suggest sticking with Jason's blog to get updates.
Meanwhile the Austin media has picked up on Jeff's story. They've done their due diligence and located Jeff's blog. And they're quoting from it.
I'd feel worse about what I feel is a bit of an invasion of Jeff's privacy, but they are getting across Jeff's incredible energy and his determination to make the most of his life. Sort of. And Joe Turner (who I don't know) had some spot on things to say.
Oddly, the Steanso/ CrackBass band "Crack" also gets its first public mention in the article.
We're back to Phoenix as of tonight. I'll be pointing back to Jason's blog on a regular basis as events warrant.
9:11 AM |
Tuesday, July 04, 2006 NEWS
If you've been keeping up with "League of Melbotis" or "Adventures of Steanso", you are probably familiar with Jeff Wilson. You may know him as CrackBass.
Last evening, while leaving a concert outside of Austin, Jeff and several others (including, I believe, Sigmund and Kim Bloom) were struck by a motorist. Jeff is in critical condition in the intensive care unit at one of Austin's finest hospitals. Sigmund received several injuries, and I believe Kim has a broken leg and is under observation for possible internal injuries.
At this time, I don't have many details. Jeff is not conscious. My brother, Jason, left Houston at 8:00 this morning to get back to Austin.
Jeff has many, many friends, including folks on this website. As I understand it, there has been a stream of visitors from all over Austin to see Jeff and lend his wife, Mandy, a hand.
I'm asking that you guys keep Jeff and the others in this accident in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days.
And for the love of God, please remember Jeff, Sigmund and Kim when you decide to get behind the wheel after you've had a drink.