Thursday, October 26, 2006

11 years, Skipping Town, Good-bye Spider-Man?

I have promised Jamie I will go to bed in 15 minutes. I suspect that even when I told her this, I knew it to be a lie.

We are headed out for Houston tomorrow. A quick trip. We're off to see Richard W. of our merry, hazy days of higher education join in holy matrimony with a girl I've met twice. Once, while I was eating squash.

We are at that age now, when even the Richard W.s of the world are making honest women of their long-suffering girlfriends, the Peabo's have stumbled into fatherhood and some of us realize that Sunday marks the 11th year of togetherness with our significant other. 11 years. Can you dig it? The only other folks who I can think of topping this in my age bracket are: Jen & Reedo and Shannon & Josh.

11 years means:
a) I have no advice to give anybody in the dating pool. Especially when one considers my dating record prior to Jamie. So, you know, don't bring me your dating stories of woe. I will give you the jaded/clear-eyed instructions of a long-burdened grouch who thinks you're over-thinking things.
b) I have had a reliable source for knowledge as to the location of my keys for more than a decade
c) likewise, my shoes
d) having someone on hand who can now account for more than 1/3rd of my life.
e) being stunned that we still don't seem to run out of topics of conversation
f) having to admit that maybe the dog is not your best friend and that maybe the lady you wake up with is probably your best pal (which does nothing to diminish your love, respect and admiration for the dog)
g) not worrying when your significant other takes "your" car

One of the curious items about returning to Austin is the reconnection with folks and realizing how long you have known them.

JAL stopped by the Sunday cookout, and I introduced him as "a guy I played soccer with in 4th grade". Patricio stopped by, and I explained "I met Pat in the dorms in '93. 13 years ago."
Other Leaguers include Nathan, who I met longer ago than '93. I believe '91 (I need to schedule the Nathans up to Austin for a visit...). Reedo I met as far back as '86 or '87. Mangum, I'd hazard to say I met in '95, but whom I got to know in '96 when he criticized not my choice of bands, but the fact that I wasn't listening to HIS favorite Talking heads album when he stopped by. The criticism goes on to this day.

Today Jamie I had lunch with a former co-worker we have in common, Les B. Les B. worked with me at UT, and, later, with Jamie at Human Code. I have known Les since '97. That's 9 years. Les is doing well, cut off a goodly chunk of his hair, runs a recording studio behind TFB on SoCo, and is still very much Les.

The League is getting old.

We are getting old, all of us. Time to start picking those items on your list you really DO want to do before merging with the infinite.

Mine involves having my own game show. Preferably inheriting "The Price is Right" when Barker retires.

Today I was unpacking previously untouched crates full of my "collectibles" and had a brief moment of clarity. I appear to have collected a lot of Spider-Man action figures at some point. I do not remember intentionally collecting Spider-Man toys. I like Spider-Man. He's neat. But I don't necessarily want a room full of Spider-Man toys. I think.

What I do not want is: to keep boxes of stuff in this house which I never look at. I do not want to sit, Gollum-like on the boxes, feeling that I MUST keep the toys. What does one do when one hits the end of the road with a portion of his/her collection? When one says "Gee, my tastes in this stuff have somehow become even more compulsively nichey, and somehow, I think I can live without the Green Goblins all over the place"? Especially knowing that those Green Goblins cost money... But having to admit that maybe that one IS really cool...

The correct answer is: Sell it on eBay, I think. There's a "Will Sell Your Stuff on eBay" shop not to far from my house. I think it will be devoid of foxy Catherine Keener-like shopkeeps, but I am considering bringing the a portion of the collection down there before I get a job. Jamie likes it when I sell my stuff and I have money. But then she wants to spend the money on luxury items like food and electricity.

Is it truly growing up to be able to say goodbye to your Electro action figure? One could make a case.

But that one probably also didn't just hand Superman wallpaper border in their office.

I'm not sure what to call it. Let's call it "Ned".

I am now late for bed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Suggestions for Further Reading: Take 2

I haven't posted on comics of late, which I feel to be a bit negligent. Sure, sure... you guys seem to be getting along just fine without my helpful reading hints, but this is the site of a comic reader and fan.

Of course you want to share the things you enjoy, but when you're aware that you're involved in a niche hobby or reading genre, you don't want to bug people with your low-level compulsive behavior. So, it's doubly pleasing when I get e-mail or a phone call about a Loyal Leaguer having just bought a few back issues of this or that comic at a flea market or at the store.

So, with all that in mind, I am re-embarking on reviews and recommendations with another stab at SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING

Keep in mind, there's a comments section and recommendations are a two-way street. See something you like? Write it up and send it in. Loyal Leaguers will get an immediate post. Folks I don't know I'llt ry to fit in as time and space permit.

On with the show...

If you're a fan of the 1970's/1980's era Superman movies, you probably should be checking out the new run on Action Comics (starting with this week's Action Comics #844). Geoff Johns is currently DC's hottest writer and he's teamed up with his former boss, Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner to write several issues. After Infinite Crisis, the Superman universe is starting to look a lot more like the one from the movies (right down to those little crystals), which is actually working pretty well. The first issue of this new run was great, and Johns is showing a great knack for Superman writing.

Is it any good? Yeah! I enjoyed the heck out of this issue. Between John's understanding of the character, as well as his innate feeling of how readers wish to see Superman portrayed but rarely catch a glimpse... plus, the enormous mystery of the whole thing... This is a great place to start picking up a Superman comic.

Superman sidenote: The 14-disk Superman series is now available for Pre-Order. This includes Superman Returns and the previously unreleased Richard Donner cut of Superman II.

They've had a very nice ad for a single disc edition of the Donner cut in DC Comics the past two weeks featuring a letter from Donner. Very nicely done.

This weekend, Steven G. Harms disappeared for a while at the cookout and apparently read my copy of Frank Miller's "300" whilst sitting on my stairs and trying to digest a burger.

If you've not yet read Frank Miller's 300, I highly recommend this Graphic Novel. Inspired by a true story of 300 Spartans fending off an invading force built of thousands drawn from a vast Persian Empire, Miller spins his yarn in epic fashion. The story is gripping, but mostly this is Miller at the top of his form, working in perfect fusion with constant collaborator (and, I believe, wife) Lynn Varley.

Hollywood has, of course, decided to turn 300 into a movie. Unlike the average Alan Moore adaptation, the producers have decided that they will treat this film like Miller's last adapted work, Sin City. They're taking the imagery right from the source.

See the trailer at

Will The League see this movie? Yes, and we will feel like an utter Mr. Sissy Pants while watching the flick.

Jamie is currently wading through my George Perez "Wonder Woman" collections.

Look, The League really digs Wonder Woman, and The League really digs George Perez. We can only pitch high quality art and well-developed characters featured in crazy, mythology fueled action stories so many ways. So, now we're using Jamie's interest in the Perez-era Wonder Woman to fuel YOUR interest in George Perez Wonder Woman. Sadly, I think the two first volumes of the George Perez run are out of print, but still available at places like

That's all for this edition. I'll keep it light for my first time back out.

Next time: 52

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday Goings On

We had dinner this evening with a former elementary/middle school/ high school classmate of mine, Hilary, and her husband. I'd had coffee with Hilary shortly after arriving in town, and we finally found a day when we could meet up and grab some chow.

Hilary and Stuart are musicians and play a lot locally and around the state.

You can see their band's website here.

It's funny. I don't think I've been in contact with Hilary much more than a few sporadic e-mails since May of 1993 or so, but it's fun seeing her. And also, it's nice that her husband seems like a genuinely good guy (but what dark secret does he hold..?). I imagine she will get looped in to the Friends of The League, whether she likes it or not.

Aside from that, today we brought the dogs in to the vet (so far everyone has a clean bill of health, but Mel's lab work is being processed). Lucy has fought ear inections her entire life, but I think I have newfound faith in our newfound vet to get the fun in Lucy's ear canal under control.
Here's the big news: Melbotis is down to a svelte 94 pounds. He is even lighter than he was when we first showed up to join our family. He's been eating less and exercising. Mel weighed 117 at his last weigh-in, so we're all very proud of the work Mel has done to become a tinier dog. There's a moral in there, somewhere.

The only sad part is that I can no longer tell people "My dog is over 100 pounds".

I also got some shelving material which I want to hang, but I need a "stud finder". I am 98% positive The Admiral or Dr. McB got me a very expensive electronic stud finder circa 2002, but I can't find it in my boxes in the garage. The problem is this: If I DON'T have one (that 2%), I need an electronic stud finder. If I have one, then I need to find it. If I have one, I COULD go buy a cheap, old-fashioned magnetic stud finder, but those don't usually work terribly well.

What to do? I certainly don't want to drop $45 on an electronic stud finder if I own one.

Oh, and I took a large poster in to get it framed.

a) Michael's doesn't carry glass big enough to handle the job, and won't frame anything that large with glass, anyway. I had to go buy my own plexiglass.

b)I bought the plexiglass at a local shop and dropped it off yesterday

c)Today I was in the neighborhood of Michael's and popped in to see how they were coming along. We need to "drymount" the poster to foam core (if you don't, eventually teh poster will sag in the frame).
Now I learn Michael's doesn't carry foamcore large enough to match my poster. They were planning to seam two pieces together, leaving a crease in the picture. Apparently, some Michael's employees would rather jack up your poster than get the right materials.
Luckily, the girl working there took me aside and said "do not let this happen". Unluckily, she just moved here from Detroit and doesn't know were to get foam core. Luckily, I do.

d)I made one call to a local establishment with whom I had once done business, and I now have to go buy my own foam core.
I am grateful for the Detroit girl at Michaels who thinks they run their own shop like a monkey show

e) Nonetheless, I'm irritated that I am STILL paying Michael's ANYTHING for this job. I shall have a long conversation with the framing manager before all is said and done if I do not get a significant refund.
Holiday Doings

Not much to report.

Two things though.

a) we welcome anyone who would like some light entertainment on Halloween to stop by League HQ. We'll be distributing comics and candy to little kids, and we'll probably put some candy, soda and beer out for big kids. Try to let us know ahead of time if you're coming.

b) I know this is going to seem crazy early, but I sort of want to plant my flag now, so we're not doing this at the last moment...

We're thinking of having The League of Melbotis Holiday Spectacular on December 9th or 10th. If we go for December 9th, I am concerned we'll run up against work parties and the like. If we have it the 10th, it's a Sunday, so we'd probably have a mid-afternoon open house type-deal, which would culminate in the Steven Harms written/directed/performed two-act, one man show: "I'm the Christ Child! Get Me Out of this Manger!" (If you haven't seen Steven's previous work "40 Years? Holy Moses, Get a Map!", I highly suggest you come by for this sure-to-an-annual-treat's debut)

The League's Holiday Spectacular is scheduled to be an all-faith's inclusive affair, so whether you're looking for some Christmas Cuh-razy Fun, Kwanzaa Kookiness, Atheistic Apathy, or just a real mitzvah, hopefully, December 9th or 10th, League HQ will be the place to be (we cannot guarantee we will go out of our way to recognize those worshipping Molok, God of Fire).

Jamie is also hoping to have the party early in December, as, in her own words "If we have it then, maybe people won't already be sick of Christmas."

Perish the thought.

So, what do you think? The 9th?

Your feedback now could be the deciding factor.

Also, we may not do this at all.

I am happy to report I don't think I've seen a single Christmas ad yet. I'd have to dig back through the archives, but it seems like in previous years the ads hit as early as September, depending on what folks were selling (Holiday cruises for the family, etc...). This year, nada. Of course, once Nov. 1 hits, all bets are off, but this year, there seems to be some restraint.

That said, the Christmas stuff is already on the shelves at Lowe's, Target and Walgreens. Tis the Season.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ahoy, Leaguers.

This weekend was okay. Saturday was fairly quiet as we tidied and I fought off a world-class headache all day. I think that my caffeine consumption is somehow triggering these headaches, but I can't tell if I'm taking in too much or too little coffee.

Jason came over for dinner and we tried out "Culver's" down on William Cannon. Culver's is the sort of place you can go to once in a blue moon, not because its expensive, but because your arteries can only handle so much grease before hardening like little shoots of concrete. So, you know, maybe we'll go back at some point, but if my doctor has anything to say about it, nothing too soon.

We then came back to the house and watched a good portion of "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" which I am ashamed to admit I'd never seen before. You know, that Russ Meyer guy... he knows what he likes. You have to admire his very clear vision. I think.

So TODAY we woke up, tidied up the place and fired up the grill. Several Loyal Leaguers and Friends of the League were in attendance, including Steanso, Harms, JAL, several members of my old office, and, in a special cameo, Patricio. It was our first real shot at doing any entertaining in the new HQ, and I have to say, I think the layout here is very good for entertaining. Open. Almost enough seating, and the distinct possibility of breaking off into separate seating areas, should folks NOT want to hear geeky dissections of technology and tech strategy.

All in all, a marvelous day.

I do believe that we shall now entertain the idea of a League Holiday Spectacular. Expect an announcement shortly.

Thanks to all who showed up. You made us feel very at home here back in The City of the Violet Crown.

And if you didn't show up (La La), well, gee... that's okay, too. We can always fire up the grill some other time.

Steven and JAL managed to wear out the dogs. They were both asleep by 8:30 tonight. An extra special thank-you is extended your direction.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

In no way did UT deserve to win that game.


I'll take it.
Of late, Jamie's been waking me up at the crack of 9:30, and before I can have a cup of coffee or settle in to my hour of morning news, she's got me putting the leashes on the dogs, and headed out the door.

An oddity of our neighborhood that we did not know about when we purchased the house is that the neighborhood is ringed with trees. In some spots, the treeline is just enough to keep the cars on Manchaca from seeing into houses, but in other areas the density touches upon an unknown expanse of trees and a creek. I suspect that the area was not previously developed as no builder had the foresight to keep this little piece of what-came-before, but, also portions of the woods act as run-off from the neighborhood itself. Between the trees, the developer planted a very nice trail which we can enter about four houses down and then follow the entire circumference of the neighborhood. The dogs, of course, love it.

On Thursday Jamie woke me up to a chilly Austin morning, the heat had broken again and the temperatures a wet 50+ degrees.

On this morning, we were only 50 or so yards into the trees when Jamie whispered, "It's a deer."
It was not just a deer. I counted two more. Than three, then four more. All hidden just behind some trees, possibly thirty five or forty feet away. The deer did not move, just watched us and the dogs (who were more baffled by the deer than excited), and continued to rest in their spot. We walked on a little further, me whispering "You musn't ever go out onto the meadow...", when I saw another deer. And then another, at least a two-point buck.
We walked a loop of the neighborhood, taking a short-cut through a portion of the neighborhood, cutting ourselves short and not walking the entire trail. Back by the house, we cut up to the park so Mel could investigate and wag his tail at squirrels. Down below, the deer passed by, heading westward.

It was still chilly when we left for Las Manitas, and, of course it was plenty warm inside. We had migas and didn't really talk much. Just sipped on cinnamon coffee and looked around one of our old favorite places.

The owner of the building where Las Manitas is located has sold out to Marriot hotels. Las Manitas won't be here anymore in a year. The owners of the restuarant have put up a bit of a Quixotic battle to... I'm not really sure... But Marriot didn't do itself any favors when one of their executives recently complained publicly why a little restaurant would want to get in the way of a nice hotel.

In the end, the most Las Manitas can hope for is a moral victory, but it's not one that the folks who will stay in the Marriot will ever have heard of. They might walk out onto Congress and say "Hey, my friend used to come to Austin and said there was a great place to grab breakfast somewhere down here..." and then wonder what the fuss was about. Not just about the place, but, one wonders, about Congress itself.

Still, progress is progress. I hadn't been on Congress since we returned, and I had never been to the Frost Bank building. The Frost Tower is the new defining element of the Austin skyline, its architecture seems lifted from the exterior shots in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, and jutting far above the more mundane towers along the way, surely the first of what will be a handful more.

"Is there an observation deck?" I asked the gentleman at the Information desk. "No," he nodded, "But if you want to see Austin from that high, you can just fly up there," he moved his hand in a swooping motion and winked at the red S across the chest of my sweat shirt. Guys over 50 always love the sweatshirt. Yes, yes... we all love George Reeves.

We are enjoying our retirement, but we are aware that it can't go on forever. The job hunt is on. Jamie's looking, too, which makes me happy. Not so much because we could use the extra income, but because she's feeling well enough to work, and because she's antsy and ready to take on new challenges. The move has done us both well.

Today was lunch with Denby (who is doing fantastically well, thanks for asking), reading another forty pages or so of "In Cold Blood". I've picked up two books recommended by Harms (one of which is Time Travellers Wife, which I believe JMD4 also recommended to me six months ago). I'm digging out from under a busy Wednesday at the local comic shop and a stack of back issues I picked up last weekend.

The dogs are loving the cool weather. I am, too.

We're going to maybe make some hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill around 1 on Sunday. Feel free to stop by anytime after 12.

We're living in halcyon days, we are.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tuesday night we had a delightful dinner with Shoemaker and his lovely companion, whose name I can't spell. Hut's was still Hut's, as I suspect Hut's will be for fifty years after I'm but a distant memory.

What's interesting is seeing the area down near Hut's (East of Lamar and 6th) grow up. When I was a kid, that area was a lot of desolate parking lots and auto dealerships. Basically, just not a place there was a single reason in the world to hang about. Katz's, GM Steakhouse, and a few other establishments are still there. But with the new Whole Foods Global Domination HQ and other shopping, etc... in the area... well, go back and watch Slacker. There's a guy who walks into Gm Stakehouse on Lamar, just North of where Waterloo Records is... the area is unrecognizable.

But I digress.

What I meant to say was:

Save the cheerleader...
Save the world...

I am sure NBC did not mean to provoke laughter in me with their promo for "Heroes", but, gee... There's something that says "Well, if you're relying on a single, perky 15 year old girl and her startling Powers of the Herky to 'save the world...', Leaguers... Powers or not, maybe we should throw in the towel."

It's sort of mindblowing how cheerleaders are only tangentially in our lives for a few years of high school, but in the world of fiction, the spritely cheerleader is an all-consuming fetish. KOHS was a very typical, All-American sort of high school, but I don't even really remember the cheerleaders in high school, except wishing they would clear the court more quickly in my few high school basketball games. But, I wasn't too concerned with KOHS School Spirit, painting banners on strips of butcher paper or asking the opposing team if they "got spirit".

I also don't remember what are now called "mean girls", bullies picking on hapless nerds, jocks ruling the school, everyone dreaming of dating the prom queen, or any of the stuff of TV's depiction of the 9-12th grade experience. But, hey, the League spent high school doodling Spider-Man in the margins of his notes and trying to lay low until graduation. We may have missed all of that.

But I digress...

What I meant to say was: Dinner with Jeff and Keora (sp?) went well. Keora is, of course, too good for Jeff.

Today, Jamie and I hit the comic shop, hit the grocery and took Lucy to the vet for her ongoing ear-issues. Poor puppy. We will get her better.

Note to JMD: This week's issue of 52? Ambush Bug. Seriously. I was ecstatic.

Jason came over for dinner, bringing Cassidy, which was a nice post-veterinarian treat for Lucy. We hit Hunan, then came home to watch some TV.

Jason was far, far more skeptical of the evidence provided on Ghost Hunters. I did vent a bit about my frustration re: Ghost Hunter's inability to remain at a location for more than a few hours of a single evening. The League is a man of science (fiction) and thusly believes in following sound scientific principles when making an observation. IF the Ghost Hunters find a location which presents evidence that the area may be "haunted", would it not behoove them to stake the place out for a longer duration and see if they can replicate and repeat the manifestations which they cannot explain? If, as was noted in the Tombstone, AZ episode, they DID see a full-body apparition, would it not benefit their research, teh world of science and (dare I say it?) all of mankind if they were to return for several more evenings with more cameras, more microphones, etc... Further, a longer duration and the use of the element of surprise upon their hosts might further guarantee that no evidence was planted in bad faith.

How would the world change tomorrow if these guys from TAPS and the Sci-Fi Channel production team recorded an honest-to-goodness ghost? I mean, presented real, live evidence rather than humanoid shadows and creepy sounds? I have NO idea. I assume we'd all lose a lot of sleep for a few days.

I guess maybe that could be the next generation of the Ghost Hunter shows. Sure, these gusy are skeptical, but shelling out a few extra bucks for a genuine research team to come in for more than a day seems like a small price to pay for something passing greater than circumstantial evidence of a world between this and the next.

Also, we should drain Loch Ness.

It's one thing to take recordable measurements. It's another to determine, without a doubt, the source of an anomaly in those measurements. It's yet another to show up on a second night and get a picture of the darn ghost with the right camera angle. Until that happens, it's all a bunch of yahoos tripping over each other in the dark and seeing what they want to see...

Wow. It's late. I'm tired.

Wagner may be coming into Austin tomorrow. or maybe Friday.

If anyone is up for anything this weekend, let me know.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

You know, Leaguers.... there's been a sad lack of participation around here.

So what are YOU doing for Halloween?

BTW, as we're not having a Halloween party, we're, instead, just going to have some extra food and candy on hand for any humans who want to drop by (no zombies, PLEASE).

Anyhoo, speak up. What's on your Halloween plate?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"New Delhi has an unusual urban woe, marauding monkeys. Its solution is even more unusual, and controversial - bring in even bigger monkeys",8599,1546980,00.html?cnn=yes

I recently returned from having brunch with Steven G. Harms and his lovely companion, Lauren. I have decided that I like Steven and Lauren enough that I shall begin to stalk them. Why, if they play their cards right and look out their window hard enough tonight, they may see me peeping through their blinds with a night-vision scope.

It is an odd thing, this meeting folks you have previously only spoken to online. Not awkward, but every once in a while I did have a little moment of clarity wherein I would think "gee, you'd think we'd done this before," but I guess that's the magic of the interwebs.

I look forward to seeing more of Steven, especially when he has no idea I'm staring at him from behind the drapes.

Tonight I am joining up with Shoemaker for a bite at Hut's. Jeff loves the burgers, and I love, specifically, the Ritchie Valens burger. I hope that my four year absence has not allowed them to remove it from the menu.

I also received a few pictures of Arden H-W, who is bracing himself for another K-Zoo winter.

Jill sent out photos with the following:

We are in the midst of fall and winter!! Arden's snow person, Vince, has melted--as it melted, he kept looking out the window saying, "Poor Vince. Poor poor Vince!"

A moment of happiness for Arden and poor, doomed Vince

I literally only caught the last 2:00 minutes of the game and then the post game highlights/ SportsCenter, but I only really see one of two possibilities:

(a) God loves the 06 Bears
(b) God thinks its funny to mess with the Cardinals.

Having lived in Arizona, I think its (b)

Read about the goofiest NFL game ever, right here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I did post a little over the weekend, so take a look and see the posts below, including a few photos of the new Austin house.

The weekend went well. In truth, as I'm currently jobless, there's not much difference between weeks and weekends other than my ability to call upon people. On the weekend I can call Jason and make him go to lunch. During the week I can upon businesses and services.

Example: When we moved in to our house, we bought two garage door openers as we have two garage doors. The installer finally came out, was here for five minutes and pointed out that one door was installed at an angle and the other door's rails come together near the floor. "I can install the openers," he said, "But the motors going to wear out pretty fast unless these doors are fixed."

So I called the builder to come out and look at the doors, but he said, "Well, the doors are only under a one year warranty. The previous owner should have fixed them. Also, they ran into the doors, so your warranty is void, anyway."

So now I have to call the garage door services people to come fix the doors they installed improperly the first time, and I have to pay them for it. All I want is to have a garage door opener and tro cruise into the garage without thinking about it. Instead, the whole operation is costing me time and money I don't have.

-Saturday we grabbed Steanso and headed to North Austin, visiting the intersection of Pond Springs and 183, which had once been a wee League's old stomping grounds. We popped into Austin comic shop "Thor's Hammer", which was having a massive clearance sale and table-top gaming tournament. The League does not play table-top games and must confess to being a little weirded out by the squeaks and squeals of nerdish delight coming from the gaming area. I know gamers and comic geeks may appear to share kinship to even a team of trained anthropologists, but I think we're a pedigree apart on the nerd-scale.

I bought a stack of back-issues for a dollar apiece, picked up three trades at 40% off cover, and had a moment of geekish horror when I unwittingly entered a trivia contest.

I was elbow deep in long boxes, desperately seeking out stray New Gods back issues when someone burst into the back-issue room.

"Quick! Who was the director of Empire Strikes Back?"
"Irvin Kershner!" some geek blurted. I looked around for a moment and realized the geek in question was none other than your humble League. The room was oddly silent. The other geeks looked a little stunned. The guy who had asked the question ran back out of the room.
I felt awkward, as if I had crossed some geek-trivia line and had somehow revealed myself as somehow even more of a knob than the guy yanking back-issues of old Image comics out of the stacks. I had assumed that knowledge of who sat in the director's chairs for Episodes V and VI was common knowledge in geek-circles.
A moment later, the guy asking the question shoved a DVD in my hand. "Your door prize!" I looked blankly at the DVD, turned it over in my hand and saw the title: "Star Wait". I use the term "documentary" loosely, as its really just somebody's home videos as they waited in line for the opening of Star Wars Episode II.
Not Episode I.
Episode II. When we all should have known better.

The DVD is very, very bad, and full of unpleasant geeks being unpleasantly obnoxious. I am very tolerant of Star Wars geeks for the most part, but geeks in packs are a danger more to themselves than to others. Unfortunately, when geeks mass for a geek related event, the lack of proper social acumen becomes a genuine liability. And, even worse, you may bear witness to geek-on-geek hook-ups, the most grisly of geek behavior.

Anyhoo, the trip north was good. "Thor's Hammer" was much nicer than I thought it would be, but has miles to go before its anywhere near the mecca of Austin Books. I might also point out that Austin Books does NOT cater to table-top gamers, instead using its vast space to provide a wide variety of comics of all stripes and eras. Plus, you don't have to hear some dude proclaiming his half-orc had totally made some other guy's halfling his bitch thanks to rolling a natural 20.

Some of us just want to look at our burly men in spandex in quiet.

Oh, and Ty (my LCS manager) has tapped into my utter geekness. My shop, South Side, is part of the Austin Comic Ring, owned by Thor's Hammer. Anyhoo, Ty had been called in to help with the event and had an excellent time making fun of me for heading 20 miles north in search of deals on comics.

Leaguers, Ty has only begun to scratch the surface.

-Saturday Night, Steanso and I headed to Alamo Drafthouse South to see a midnight showing of "Friday the 13th III (a New Dimension in Terror!)". I am not a slasher movie fan. I do not see the appeal. Unless, of course, there's 3D technology at work. I tell you, Leaguers, there's nothing like seeing an axe-handle protruding from someone's noggin when you feel like you could get smacked with that same handle as the victim looks surprised for a beat or two before falling out of frame. I just really felt like I was immersed in all of the blood splattering action.

As the gentleman introducing the movie pointed out: in order to provide the most out of the experience, the script was apparently written to take the utmost advantage of the 3D technology, occasionally at the expense of details like plot, dialogue and a coherent narrative.

All I can say is: ladies, when you see a dude slowly ambling toward you with a ski-mask and a spear-gun, do not make small talk. Assume the worst and flee.

-Today we met up with Cousin Sue, showed her the house, the grabbed lunch at Cherry Creek Catfish on Manchaca. Not much going on today, and even less when you take into account the hours I lost when I fell asleep on the couch reading those Superman back issues I picked up yesterday.

-Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A little football

UT wins! Well, it's Baylor.

Colt McCoy is not as dazzling to watch as Vince, but it will be very interesting to watch this already solid quarterback mature. He's not throwing any more interceptions than Simms, and he seems to have a better head on hsi shoulders... But when things go south on him in the pocket, he just isn't Vince Young. That's okay. He's good.

Of course, my favorite player this season is Limas Sweed. Limas looks like he's planning to get UT into one of the big bowl games all on his own if he must.

I am very tired of UT looking like deer in the headlights in the 1st quarter, but they do seem to wake up in the second quarter... I just can't believe UT gave up so many points. To Baylor.

A moment for OU's Adrian Peterson and Sooner fans. Geez... well, he'll be back maybe before end of the year. Maybe.

A&M, well done again this week.
Picture Parade

Recently, the in-laws came to town. Jamie's Dad (that's Dr. McB to you, mister!) took some photos and sent them our way. We're not really done with the house, but this might give you an idea of what we're up to.

If you're looking for a house in Austin, btw, I totally recommend our realtor.

Why, look! It's a comforting suburban street in Anytown, USA!

This is our house. There are many like it, but this one is mine. You will note the upstairs and downstairs patios. A big selling point.

These are the shelves we painted red. Now many Supermans and Batmans dwell upon the shelves. It's probably a little overwhelming, but not nearly as much as my office will be when I finish. Yes, these shelves are in one of the two living areas which comprise the downstairs.

And there's me with my giant Spider, Mr. Spider. He was a gift from the in-laws. Mr. Spider used to adorn the walls of their home every Halloween, but Judy decided to give Mr. Spider up so now he has a new Halloween home. And given the number of spiders we've found in the house, Mr. Spider will have lots of friends.

the photo was taken before Jim Deadman had been constructed. photos of Jim Deadman will hopefully be forthcoming.

Friday, October 13, 2006


-Leaguers, I often remind you to take my opinion of your favorite programs with a grain of salt. I am but a deeply opinionated and intellectually bankrupt blogger trying to find television programming which appeals to my own particular brand of amusement. Keep in mind, I still giggle and clap when someone turns the key for me on one of those wind-up cymbal monkeys.

With that warning, I've been watching a lot of Sci-Fi Channel's original series "Ghost Hunters".

It's October, our spookiest month, and I feel I can ponder the supernatural a bit. "Ghost Hunters" is all about attempting to debunk ghostly evidence while simultaneously creeping you out. Honestly, The League is not one to believe much in ghosts, flying saucers, the Loch Ness Monster or most traffic laws. I confess that I do believe in El Chupacabra. Too much damn evidence.

If you have basic cable and a free Saturday afternoon, you really can't miss all the programs which bring us re-enactments of mysterious visitations, hauntings and horror. You may have seen one of the programs such as "Most Haunted", "Secrets of Area 51", "World's Scariest Places" or "Bigfootville". Basic cable has a made a mint out of promising to present compelling evidence of the mysteries of our childhood, but the programs never really deliver. After all, it seems unlikely at best that if someone WERE to capture video footage of The Yeti of Norman, Oklahoma, the first place you might stumble across it would be on a Saturday afternoon rerun of a two-year-old one hour basic cable show.

But, what the heck... I like "Ghost Hunters." Mostly, I like the fact that two blue collar dudes have parlayed their otherwise cynical nature and problem solving skills into a successful Ghost Hunting business (whose services may be, I think, available pro bono). Each weekend these gentlemen jump in the car with some friends and go videotape old, creepy houses. But I DO think they try to be skeptical, and I do believe them when they see something they can't explain (I've seen things I can't explain, such as Jamie's ability to put away a 1 lb. bag of Skittles).

As you may know, The League is currently jobless, and we think Ghost Hunting may be the next exciting career opportunity we should explore. Jamie has already declined to join me in my investigations, stating, "You know, I don't believe in ghosts, but there's no way in hell I'm sitting in a dark house all night waiting to see if something jumps out at me." So, looks like I'd be flying solo if I were to pursue this to its logical conclusion. That's where Mel comes in. Mel with a flashlight strapped to his head.

-Today I assembled my new front porch decoration. I have named it: Jim Deadman.

Jim Deadman is my latest version of The Great Pumpkin. I took one of the artificial Jack O' Lanterns from Target, drilled a hole in the head, put an eyelet in the porch roof and attached string. I attached two "skeleton hand" gloves to a beige bed sheet and then suspended those from some eyelets. All of this creates a nice "ghostly" motion for Jim Deadman and allows Jim to sway in the breeze. Unfortunately, I was trying to be careful and removed the bulb from Jim's artificial head, and in the process of replacing the bulb, I dropped it. So. I need to go buy Jim's head a new bulb.

Home-made decoration construction tip #1: Zip ties. Everything can be solved with zip ties.

-I decided to go out and hang Jim Deadman today as the weather finally broke. It's cool outside. It feels like Fall. I am inclined to put on jeans tomorrow. And maybe take a shower if Jamie is lucky. I have not lived somewhere that has Fall in a few years. I plan to enjoy it.

It was so nice out, in fact, that Jamie and I sat on our upstairs patio and ate dinner. I tell you, Leaguers, you cannot go wrong with an upstairs patio. Add an upstairs patio to your home today.

-I spoke with an old pal from years gone by. Some of you WW Warriors may remember Shauna C. from the checkout line at K-Mart circa 1991. I remember Shauna as a mean dancer and the person who pointed out that a McDonald's cone is less than a dollar (circa 1994). Anyhoo, Shauna has landed on her feet in sunny LA and is doing quite well for herself as a bit of a writer.

You know, normally The League loathes hearing success stories about people with whom he once shared a cafeteria. After all, The League is currently unemployed and hasn't bothered to shave in a week (we've decided that The League's outward appearance must match the grimness of his career prospects). So it's nice to hear a success story about someone to whom you don't want to immediately respond "That @$$hole? His own plane?"

Those sorts of conversations inevitably end with the League standing on a cliff overlooking the pounding surf, staring into an empty bottle of wood grain alcohol while contemplating the injustices of being born into this meaningless existence.

Then you hear one of the good ones did well for themself and it's punch and pie all over again. Good for Shauna C. Hopefully she'll be willing to spend her hard-earned monies funding my ghost investigations.

-This evening I cracked open my first Halloween movie, finally attached the DVD player to the TV and enjoyed. In a fit of Elvira love, spawned by my post from earlier this week, I watched my recently purchased copy of "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". It was nostalgia and my memory of Elvira's final dance number that got me through the movie. In some ways, the movie was a lot funnier now than when I was 13 and watching it for the first time, but in many ways... well, if you want to borrow it, you know who you can call.

-Also, I watched an Elvira hosted original version of "Little Shop of Horrors". I've been a fan of the film musical starring Ellen Greene, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin since the mid-80's (Ellen Greene as Audrey probably deserves her very own DITMTLOD). However, this was the black and white original, which I'd never seen.

Film legend has it that the entire movie was filmed in two days for a few thousand dollars, but is probably just as famous for including a very young Jack Nicholson in one of his first roles (he plays the masochist part you may recal Bill Murray took on in the musical). It's worth noting that the movie is actually pretty funny in parts, and certainly never seems concerned with being taken seriously. I'm not sure if the characters were each given business and a base personality by Roger Corman (the film's director and producer), or what happened, but in a lot of ways, the film almost reads like the actors were entertaining themselves as much as trying to get the film made.

Occasionally, Elvira pops up in the movie (it's a menu selection before you start the movie), and while her comments are welcome, the technology isn't as seamless as it should be to make this work.

-You may note a lack of Halloween Contest this year. Sorry about that. I'm a little pre-occupied. Maybe next year.

-Hope all Leaguers are doing well.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Because I can think of just too many Leaguers who might find this amusing...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

From Television Without Pity regarding the Season 3 Premier for "Lost"

Closeup on an eye, which turns out to be scanning a CD rack. A hand reaches out and grabs what is recognizably the case for Speaking in Tongues by the great Talking Heads, and since I am one of those guys who have to know these things and let everyone else that I know these things, I immediately announced, "Cool! Talking Heads!" to everyone watching with me. Much to my chagrin, Petula Clark starts warbling "Downtown," instead. That is not a song I hate. But it is not Talking Heads. And I can only surmise that either a) Lost planned to use a Talking Heads song but couldn't work out a deal or b) this person is a natural enemy to music geeks like myself: that person who takes CDs from the player and puts them in the case of the CD they now want to listen to instead, such that none of the discs match up with the cases in their collections, and when you want to listen to something, you have to work your way backwards until you suddenly find the Talking Heads CD in, like, the My Bloody Valentine case or some such. And forgive me if it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but those people are the greatest evil mankind has ever known.

Besides, for this show, the Talking Heads album you want is Stop Making Sense.

I went through almost this exact same inner-monlogue while watching the opening scene, going so far as to blurt out "Talking Heads!" when they exposed the interior of the CD case. The person in my house with no respect for CD's v. CD Cases? Jamie, and her blase attitude toward making the two jive.

Her acquisition of an iPod saved our marriage.

For those of you who've never been there: Television Without Pity

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


On the coattails of Lost's success, several would be contenders have leapt aboard the "One Hour Drama Mystery Train" this season. Kidnapped. Nine. Heroes.

Well, Hollywood, The League would love to make an easy buck, and will be happy to let you buy my idea for a show. My show is called "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%".

On "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%", several people who seemingly have nothing in common come together in, oh, say... Cincinatti. And really bad stuff happens to them. It is key that nothing is ever explained as to why these bad things happen, but we will hint that there is a mysterious agency at work which will always have seeming omniscience. And make the protagonists (who seemingly do not have any common bond) really upset alot. Too bad they can't get along. Or just walk away when they smell trouble.

To spice things up on NMS, the agency will occasionally kill cast members and find ways to beat them up. As a rule, all members of the agency will spend a lot of time looking off camera and refusing to blink. Oh, and they will have a seemingly decent pretty one who will play traitor to our "heroes".

It is of the utmost importance that absolutely nothing anybody, hero or villain, ever says be the truth. Why, what better way to keep our audience guessing than to make sure whatever they THINK they understand to be what is happening is actually a tremendous fib. THAT'S how you keep folks coming back week after week. You THOUGHT you were watching a show about people in Cincinatti? You're so stupid! The characters only THINK they're in Cincinatti. They're actually on a huge floating platform built to resemble Cincinatti in every way! Suckers. Or are they actually in Cincinatti? You can't tell? The mystery deepens...

The great thing is, we'll keep dropping "clues" for the audience to figure out what the "Nonsensical Mystery @#$%" means, but as the writers, we won't actually know what the clues mean ourselves. Or remember what half of the big clues pointed towards.

Don't worry, when the show limps into it's final season and we have to finally poop out a conclusion, the writing staff (most of whom will be new to the show by this point, the original writers having left before season 4 to chase new projects) will have a retreat in Vegas. As a "producer", I will lock our hung-over staff in a ballroom until we find a way to tie most of the major plot points and clues together. No, it does not matter how weak the "big reveal" shall be. When a lot of the conclusion makes no sense to die-hard viewers (who helped buy our mansions and Mercedes) we'll post internet interviews making fun of them for taking a TV show too seriously. Dorks.

In case you can't tell, I thought the season premier for Season 3 of "Lost" was pretty awful. Granted, I only watched a few episodes of Season 2, so I don't actually know what's going on, but I don't think that really matters at this point. Tonight I watched the three characters I do know get treated inhumanely for an hour by people I was unfamiliar with. It was the "Saw" of TV shows.

Is it too much to ask for characters on a TV show to occasionally answer a question anymore? Yes, it's MYSTERIOUS when people walk out of a room after being asked a question like "what's going on?" or "where am I?", but, to me, it's lazy writing. How long can I be expected to care about what's happening when I have no idea what is motivating a character? Even our creepy island people? And, really, what can they possibly be doing other than taking extreme measures to protect their perfect island intellectual retreat... blah blah blah...

I know this is a TV show and this was but a single episode, but if this were a movie, I would have walked out after half an hour.

Also, "Lost" producers, 110 pound girls cannot knock out muscle bound dudes with a single punch to the jaw, especially when they're thrashing around in the water. And especially when the punch leaves no visible mark in the next scene occuring a few hours later.

All sci-fi shows should be 22 episodes. And there should be a moritorium on anonymous, omniscient evil government agencies on TV for at least the next five years.

Remember when Lost wasn't about unlikely people living on an unlikely island under unlikely circumstances acting in a completely unlikely fashion for unlikely reasons?

I miss the possibility of a giant monster on the island. As much as the idea now seems almost quaint, it now seems insanely original, even if it did parallel Land of the Lost.

Sleestacks! Now that was a show...

Monday, October 09, 2006


It took the words of Randy to remind me I needed to update the poll. I have now done so. This month is particularly lame. C'est la vie.

Here are the results of last month's poll.

Based on these results, I suspect we must all take Randy's word as Truth with a capital "T". I am saddedned more people do not want to send me money, or that we can't fit McDonald's into our religion, but I am excited by the prospect of wearing a Commodores outfit.

Obviously Melbotis is a higher being and The League is but his mouthpiece. - 24% 4 votes

Randy worship. - 24% 4 votes

It is not we who read the comics, it is the comics which read us... - 0% 0 votes

we're not sure, but we not only will we dress like 70's era Commodores, we'll also take the lyrics of "Brickhouse" to heart - 12% 2 votes

We're just really, really, really not giving up on Pluto being a planet. - 18% 3 votes

all we can tell you is that it involves party hats, an unsuspecting cat and a trebuchet - 18% 3 votes

The true path to enlightenment involves mostly watching TV and sending large, unmarked bills to The League - 0% 0 votes

...his name is Ronald and we, like his apostle Grimace, bear witness to his hamburgery truth.. - 0% 0 votes

Behold the Oprah! - 6% 1 vote

What do you mean you don't like Superman...? - 0% 0 votes

17 votes total

Sunday, October 08, 2006

UPDATE: We are not having the party. Apparently we got our dates mixed up. We will actually be attending a wedding that weekend. A wedding we knew was coming, but, for whatever reason, we thought was the 21st.

Soooo.... no party. Sorry, Leaguers. It was going to be a good one.

I assure you, getting an e-mail asking "But aren't you coming to the wedding?" from Loyal Leaguer Shannon L. was not how I wanted to begin my morning.


Hey, Leaguers...

So Jamie sez to me: Are we having a Halloween Party?
So I sez to her: I don't know (translation: I'd love to, but I am one lazy League)
So, she sez: We are.

Both fascinated and horrified, two who dared to witness the Spooktacular...

So! Leaguers, come one, come all to the 2006 League of Melbotis Halloween Spooktacular!

Here's the dealy-o...

what day is good for you? Friday the 27th or Saturday the 28th?

We're really trying to figure this out as we suspect we may be a bit late in trying to match everybody's Halloween and concert-going schedules. We are not having a party both nights. We just can't afford that much candy corn.

Ladies, this guy may corner you and ask about your major...

What you can expect:

-Jamie in her official League of Melbotis "Iron Butterfly" costume (plus, a demonstration of Iron Butterfly style kung-fu)
-Melbotis trying to get attention
-Spooktacular movies sort of playing in the background
-Some nifty Halloween decorations
-I suppose we may provide some food and drink
-Maybe Shoemaker will spin a record or two if I can get him to committ
-In the spirit of Halloween, Steanso will kill and eat a party-goer before our terrified eyes

Heck, it's really just a house-warming party, but it befits the League to make it a costume party. When are you available?

Post here by October 19th so we can make a formal announcement!

We guarantee this guy will be all partied out by midnight...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: official by-laws of The League of Melbotis state that if we do not receive enough or appropriate responses, no party shall occur

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dames in the Media the League Once Dug: October Edition
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

We're creeping up on Halloween once again, Leaguers. And this year, I thought I'd pay tribute to one of the sirens of the Halloween screen who did so much to really screw up my notions of womanhood.

I speak of none other than Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Each Halloween I try to find some excuse to post a picture or two of the Elvira, so this year I'm bringing up my favorite cheesy media figure in the context of DITMTLOD.

(It should also be mentioned that for a short while I've been picking up Elvira's Claypool Comics series, and I believe the series will soon be coming to an end.)

On with the show..

Sweet guacamole... if you were a goofy, sci-fi/fantasy/horror/camp movie loving geek-in-the-making, you stumbled upon Elvira at some point. Played by actress Cassandra Peterson, Elvira was somebody's answer as to how to fill those odd hours on a Saturday night with an imminently watchable and often hilarious host for the cheaper creature features.

Elvira's television persona did not just depend upon her wit and agile mind.

Unfortunately, Elvira's program didn't actually air anywhere I lived. Texas in the 80's loved a woman with Elvira's assets, but may not have actually known how to deal with an intentionally campy, funny, vampire-lookin' lady showing really bad movies. At least I never saw her on TV. It's possible I saw a few of her cameos in the 80's on shows as diverse as The Richard Simmons Show or ChiPs (I turned up cameo listings on Cassandra Peterson's IMDB listing that made me both miss and mourn the 1980's).

It's my guess that Elvira was a bit of a local phenomena in LA and that she sort of blew up into a celebrity based by accident. I suspect she was booked for guest appearances on prime time TV based on local LA celebrity, and that mixed with her presence in beer ads had far more folks identifying her than might have been actually watching her program.

I first recall seeing movies for rent back when The Admiral and Karebear broke down and finally bought a VCR (which Karebear had fought tooth and nail, convinced that the VCR would mean a second mortgage) and we would go to Video Station up on 620 and 183 to rent movies. I recall lingering in the horror movie section and trying to figure out who this Elvira lady was, and why she was on the cover of so many movies. I eventually puzzled it out, but I could never work up the courage to bring that box to the counter for Mom's approval.

Would not have received the KareBear's approval for movie rental in 1987. Curse my inability to rent my own movies...

All of this was going on as I was more or less "discovering girls", but wasn't actually terribly interested in the girls around me. Somehow the girls in the brass section of the Canyon Vista Middle School band just didn't hold the same appeal as a buxom lady in a slinky dress hamming it up and who was seemingly interested in intentionally goofy jokes and bad movies. Like all the twirling I wanted to do alongside Wonder Woman when I was 4, I thought Elvira seemed like a decent sort of dame with whom I could watch the endless line of cheesy movies I took in every weekend via USA's "Up All Night" (a program which apparently only bored teenagers and those in our penal system enjoyed).

Receiving the media attention she deserves

And then came Elvira's big screen debut in "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". Finding no way to actually ask my Mom to drive me to the theatre to see Elvira without suffering the usual endless line of shame and ridicule which accompanied such a bold request, I finally saw the movie on cable. I then predicted there would be no stopping Elvira as she moved from cult-celebrity to media mainstay.

Well, The League was wrong then, and I'm going to be wrong again in the future. So just be prepared for a few of my crystal ball predictions to be a little less than accurate.

I guess at some point paranoid parents decided that Halloween was too scary for kids or that their kids were all going to get snatched away (note to parents: My Dad took me trick or treating every year through fourth grade... what exactly are you doing that you're so busy you can't walk your kid around the neighborhood once a year?). Anyhoo, it all evens out as Halloween has since been embraced as a holiday for adults. Time for Betty in accounting to dress up as a pirate and crack open a bottle of rum, I guess. And who better to embody that spirit than our very own Mistress of the Dark? She seems like someone who might be fun at a party, does she not?

Well, I hope so, because Elivra declared last Spring that it is her new mission to be as identified with Halloween as pumpkins and black cats. I don't know exactly how one lays claim to a holiday, but The League is here to assist Elvira in her madcap scheme. My gosh, we owe her that much after all she's given us.

Looking back, it's now no surprise I had some odd ideas about girls

Some people come and go. Others are created and stick with us.

So this Halloween, raise a glass to Elvira, the hardest working late-night movie host.

Click for more Dames In The Media The League Once Dug.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What it is

-If this were Steanso's blog, I'd talk about how last night I went to Mandy's house to watch Project Runway. How we ate dinner before we went over but other folks enjoyed some food from Central Market prior to the show, and then how we all ate a cake and watched the show. I'd mention that Elie, Donna Rene and Kellie were there, as well as Mandy and Steanso.

But I'm not Steanso, so I won't.

- I want to help out Team Bridenstine with their Amazing Rocket Racing Team. How? Leaguers, send in ideas.

- So I finally watched a pilot I DID like the other day, NBC's "Friday Night Lights". Sure, Peter Berg already worked through this material once from a well-received movie based on an extremely well-received book based on a successful real-life team, but... heck. And if you missed Mack Brown's 20 seconds of "acting" (Mack Brown played a local who looked and acted suspiciously like Mack Brown) you missed 20 seconds of the finest TV this season.

No idea how they will pull the show off for a whole 22 episodes when that's about 5+ more episodes than games played for even championship teams, but I'll watch for a while longer.

- I was cleaning today and left the TV on CNN while performing various tasks about the house. The Mark Foley scandal was taking up a pretty good amount of time, but even more so was Hastert's accusations that the Democrats and ABC News were somehow to blame for the flap. The logic is that ABC News has a liberal bias and the Dems (specifically Clinton somehow...) pulled the trigger on the story leading up to the November elections. Possibly. This may possibly be true (though I think the Clinton connection is dubious at best). But what Hastert isn't mentioning is that this doesn't really change the line of details coming out regarding the Foley scandal.

As much as I'm disgusted by Foley's behavior, it's not a national emergency. Properly arming and equipping US Troops and giving them the tools they need to successfully defend themselves in an increasingly volatile conflict (20 US troops dead in October) is important. North Korea supposedly about to test nukes is, to me (and this is just me) what Americans should be far, far more concerned about. American jobs, education...

I am not suggesting the Foley story be swept under the rug, but we have hundreds of thousands of cases like this in the US on a routine basis. We KNOW what the course of action should be, and we KNOW what should happen to those who covered it up (if that can be proven in the investigation we KNOW should occur). There isn't even a questionmark floating over this one.

I did find the comments of former US Rep JC Watts (R - Oklahoma) on CNN to be interesting. He was much more concerned (and maybe this is the unspoken story) about the culture of the Congress when a cover-up is what people can expect, not to mention a constant, ongoing line of scandal on both sides of the aisle.

And, honestly, I'm still not certain why this scandal should pertain to any voting (which is the big threat played up by the talking heads) for local reps. And I doubt Ma and Pa Kettle in Goober Springs, Alabama are going to see any connection between their local rep and Foley, or even Hastert. Nor is there a solid reason that they should.

Just my opinion. Take w/ 1 grain salt.

- This evening the in-laws arrived for a three day visit. I am quite pleased that (a) they are here, and (b) the house isn't a TOTAL wreck.

No idea what's on the agenda for the weekend, but we may be doing some painting. We'll see. It's all about a lot of blue when we paint my office. And maybe some red and gold stripes. We'll see how fancy we can get.

- No word from Harms. Donde esta?

-I still haven't seen Hollywoodland, Black Dhalia, Flyboys (not supposed to be too good, but when's the last time you saw tri-planes in a dogfight?), Idlewild, The Illusionist, The Science of Sleep... I probably never will. Odd. You'd think being unemployed that I'd have more freetime.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Infrequent Blogging

Howdy, Leaguers...

Yes, it's been a while once again since I've hunkered down and dreamed up a decent post. We've been enjoying our return to Austin and visiting with friends, etc... But also we are still unpacking.

Last week my new shelves from Neal's Unfinished Furniture arrived. We primed them Thursday, put on one coat Friday and a second coat on Sunday (which Steanso happily participated in). Lesson #1: I am a bad, bad painter. Lesson #2: Check your feet before walking across the carpet after painting.

I am now enjoying my shelving which has allowed me to unpack my comics and some of Super-collectibles. I'm not entirely done, but I feel like we're making progress. It's funny how things sort of have to happen in order so that we can fully unpack and finish moving in. Next we will paint my office, and possibly Jamie's office. When the paint is dry, then we can put that furniture away and I can move my comics and crates of other stuff from the dining room. And Jamie can square away her office.

Saturday night I grabbed dinner with irredeemable Matt Mangum, the irreplaceable Juan Diaz and the irrepressible Nicole. I honestly didn't recall caring too much for Castle Hill Cafe, but maybe my palate has changed in the desert heat. We came back to the Fortress and chatted for a few hours until Jamie was ready to be put back in her stasis chamber. Sunday we got up at the crack of 11:00 and drove to Central Market for a coffee and pastry. I ran into Chris and Kelly C., whom I had seen at the same Central Market just over a month ago when we'd come to look at houses. Long ago Chris was in my employ. He was a good worker, but perpetually tardy. Unwilling to fire Chris for his tardiness, I tried negative reinforcement. Push-ups for each minute late didn't work as Chris was in good shape, so I began to force Chris to eat circus peanuts, one for every minute he was late. Oddly, I have no recollection regarding whether or not this method was effective in increasing Chris' punctuality.

No sooner had we seen Chris and Kelly than John and Glen, some old pals from work/ outside of work made an appearance.

Today I was scheduled to have lunch with my former manager. Not two minutes on campus and I ran into our networking specialist, who immediately recognized me. I even stopped off to check my grafitti in the restroom, and, sure enough, parts of it are still legible 8 years later. I am glad to report, my grafitti is exactly as hilarious today as it was when I had not yet graduated.

It's good to be back, Leaguers.

Oh, by the by... Steven, how's Tuesday or Wednesday evening?

Sunday I went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Mike Judge's latest, "Idiocracy". The movie is funny, I am happy to report. Unfortunately, some of the best gags in the movie fall in the first twenty or thirty minutes. A lot has been said about "Idiocracy" receiving no wide release (it's playing in 7 theaters nation-wide) and having received no studio build-up or marketing.

FOr those looking for goblins in the shadows, I don't see a studio conspiracy, but I also don't think the movie was going to play well in Goober Springs, Alabama. Some folks who eventually see the movie will get a little irritated with the basic premise, so I'll be curious as the movie reaches wider release to see if there's any negative backlash. My guess is that "Idiocracy" will wind up a cult movie with a smaller audience than "Office Space". Most likely, the studio just wants to see if Judge's cable and video-release success from "Office Space" can be duplicated once the DVD hits the market.

To the point, the movie satirizes the culture of instant/ mindless gratification, and everyone but subsistence farmers is going to, in some way, recognize themselves as willing participants in Judge's vision of the future. Some folks may take more umbrage than others at the steps that will lead us all there. But I think that's the nature of decent satire.

The Fall TV season is upon us.

I know that I, as a warm blooded mammal, am supposed to like "Studio 60". I have covered this with RHPT and Jim D.

I watched the second episode of "Heroes" (a first episode for me) and felt as if I had been dropped mid-way through the second season of "Lost". I didn't know who anybody was or what was going on. This is a very, very bad way to grow an audience. To comic-fans, all of the bigger and smaller story-arcs will have a certain ring of familiarity. A little from X-Men, a little from Rising Stars, a little from this comic or that comic... add in shadowy organization who knows absolutely EVERYTHING already... I dunno. I guess I was hoping for more of a Misfits of Science that would develop a mythology, not a show which is so locked down that the predestination feels like a heavy weight over the whole show. To my eyes, the show doesn't even qualify as episodic, it's chapters in a longer narrative that I'm being asked to buy lock, stock and barrel.

"Lost" has been a huge phenomena for ABC, despite it's required "pay attention to the details" mythology and narrative demands on viewers (thank God for DVRs, huh?). Unfortunately, for every "Lost" there are five "Invasion"s and other "mystery" shows which hope to hook the viewer and create a cult phenomenon.

Oh, and just from a narrative standpoint from a mystery show that asked viewers to be similarly engaged... remember in Twin Peaks how we found out Bob was living in Leland Palmer, so it was creeeeeeepy when we found out the dad was a bad guy? Remember how well that worked? Well... mayhaps the writers of "Heroes" could take a page from that kind of storytelling and less of the "Ha Ha, what a bastard am I!" sort of drawn out thing they've got going on with the cheerleader and her dad.

Also, lighten up a little, for God's sake. Your characters are super heroes and villains and they all look and behave like mopey models who couldn't land a "Gap" ad.

I'm not sure I buy all of the characters and all of the storylines. I just wanted to follow that Hiro guy around and see what he was up to. Somehow the guy who basically couldn't speak English was five times more believable than any other character/actor, which isn't a good sign for either the writers or the actors. I sort of liked the "mind reading Cop" guy, but you could see that coming from a mile away...

Honestly, it's going to take quite a bit to get me to watch "Heroes" again next week. But, heck... maybe... I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've never been a "weekly episode" show kind of guy, and I doubt that's likely to change in the future. But I'm also only batting about .500 on criticizing new shows before they prove me wrong. So I want to give it another chance, but I can't shake the feeling this is a hokey cable show (ie: The 4400 or any regular series on Sci-Fi) with better production effects.

So that's about it for tonight. Hope that helps you guys out.

In case it's a while before I blog again, here are a bunch of videos courtesy of YouTube...

Is it just me, or could Luthor's diabolical genius be better spent doing something other than trying to discover the source of peanut buttery goodness (especially at such a low, low price...)?

I don't want to hear anything else about the "Can You Read My Mind?" scene...

More Superfun from our friends overseas

I don't know what's going on in this scene, but with his mask off, Spidey's cuter than I remember him being...

How I should have abruptly ended my employment at my last job...

Weird Al is back... discuss.

Portions of this are all too accurate.

Better than Episode II!!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Random Comments: September

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I believe I've made my new LCS manager a very happy man. He was all too excited to see me today when I came in the door.

It didn't hurt that this week was a big haul for DC. I walked out with a nice stack of books and a decent discount. All told, I'm fairly happy thus far. I admit that I find the lack of back-issues disheartening, but I'm getting used to the idea, and it should make my weekly Wednesday trip go a lot faster if I'm not digging into piles of old issues of The Atom.

I had two 2nd interviews today. Thusly, I never removed my tie from 9:00 until 3:00. I know the lawyer-Leaguers will tut-tut me for not tolerating the tie, but The League only likes to wear ties when presenting to a group of strangers or when he's trying to make everyone else uncomfortable at the dinner table at Christmas. "You didn't find Christmas Dinner to be an occasion worthy of looking nice? Well...." I've sort of quit doing that in recent years. At work I prefer a sort of casual-everyday style. but I am well enough aware that wardrobe will be dictated by the office. Both jobs are great opportunities, and both have something different but equally appealing to offer, so... anyway. We'll see what happens. Someone has to want to hire me first.

We also finally got our gas turned on, so that's a plus. We can now take a hot shower or bath. We can cook. It's no longer 1863 in our house. We also have cable, our own internet and will soon have a land-line phone. When they connected the phone, we dialed the number that came up on caller-ID and we got some couple elsewhere in Austin. It was awkward. Time Warner is trying to fix this.

For those of you who may not have dug around in the comments of late, Cousin Jim of the US Navy has recently joined up with the upstart organization: The Rocket Racing League.

Jim had this to say in my comments:

Hello Leaguers,

Thought you might be interested in my new venture into the Rocket Racing League. Here are a few news articles regarding the announcement of my team, the Bridenstine Rocket Racing Team: 4275.aspx .v=67

Here is the Bridenstine Rocket Racing Team website:

Here is the Rocket Racing League website:

Of course, Jim being Jim, he offered me some vague opportunity to help out a while back and I couldn't take him up on it. It's too bad, because I've long dreamed of launching Jim into space, but most folks assure me he would find a way to come back. In addition to thinking working with/for Jim sounded good, I've always dreamed of somehow working with jets or rockets in some capacity. In my office I've always kept pictures of spacecraft and astronauts nearby to remind me I was working with engineers, and those guys might be helping to launch folks into the air.

Well, I don't know what Jim had in mind for me, but I had visions of The Right Stuff dancing in my head. I could foresee cold, crisp desert mornings on the flightline, the crew standing around the rocket while Jim jumped into the pilot's seat, said something hilariously dark to get us to laugh off the jitters. When the others dispersed, I'd give Jim a stick of Beemans and then signal the crew that he was ready (I might have to use my own wad of gum and some duct tape to lock the cockpit door down). Jim would go and break some speed records while I wore cool aviator sunglasses and listened to the flight radio out on the tarmac.

Needless to say, you may note that this imaginary sequence (that sounded so cool in my head) in no way includes Jamie. So. Anyhoo, Jamie wasn't too nuts about my dream of moving further out to the desert while I ran around all day smelling like rocket fuel and chewing on matches (cool guys chew on matches. and stylishly out-of-style gum. I promise you.). That and I have absolutely no practical skills of any sort which could assist Jim or his team. So, my dream of joining Jim's team evaporated like a vapor trail on a clear, blue afternoon.


So, I'm pretty sure working at a computer all day managing eLearning projects is exactly as cool as shooting Jim into the stratosphere. Right?

Ah, well. Maybe some day Jim will give me the grand tour.

elearning is so not Alan Shepard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What goes on

-Not a hoax! Not a dream! Maxwell and Motolove are going to bring life onto this fragile marble. I cannot wish them more luck. Maxwell is completely fit to be a mother. Especially when you get past her lengthy criminal record. I hope little Maxwell II is half the earthling as his/her mother.

-Sort of took today off and saw Jet Li's "Fearless". Supposedly based on a true story, but seemed oppressively formulaic. Also, this is the second Jet Li movie I've seen in recent years where it seemed the Party leaders wrote the dialogue toward the end of the movie. Still, a good afternoon martial arts film with a good narrative arc. But mostly eye-popping fights.

-Why are all horror-movie trailers the same, and why do they try to give me a headache? And why does none of the non-strobing effect look remotely frightening? Why did they make a second Grudge movie? Why a remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Why? Why? Why?

Why can't someone take the Creature from the Black Lagoon and update it? Oh, yes... because nobody fills out a swim suit like Julie Adams...

Wait, IMDB tells me there may be a new Creature movie... sweet! Still, no Julie Adams.

-We have an insane number of framed pictures. Big. Small. Medium. I am not sure I want to hang them all or find flat surfaces for them. The question becomes: What do you do with a nice framed picture of Theodore Roosevelt on the campaign trail when you can't find a good place for it in the house? Help me, Leaguers.

-I think I've found my local comic chop. It will be a nice, new shop named "South Side Comics", about two miles from the house. It's run by a chipper guy named Ty who seems to really have his act/ shop together. I'm excited. One oddity: no back issues. Apparently this is one of four shops and they've centralized all back-issues in North Austin at a shop called "Thor's Hammer". "Thor's Hammer" sounds less like a comic shop and more like a punchline to a joke I might have dreamed up in college. I am told the shop is huge, so i may beg Jamie to go with me this weekend and look for "New Gods" back issues.

-I need to test paint colors tomorrow, plus iron a shirt and bring Jamie's car in to the shop to get the alignment checked out.

That's it for me. I'm going to bed early. I went from AZ time to central and adjusted already to getting up early central time. C'est la vie.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So it's been intermitten blogging, as promised. But I thought a lot of you might feel your Monday was not complete lest you get an update from The League.

As previously mentioned, as of Wednesday, we're in the house. Of course we welcome anyone interested to pop on by. Say hi to Mel. He'd love to meet you.

I have to take time out for a special thank you to the KareBear.

As many of you might not know, The KareBear heard we were planning to abandon our digs in Chandler and immediately volunteered to be a part of our madcap scheme. She offered to assist in packing and many of the other painful duties of moving, and, good to her word, wehn I was looking for someone to jump in the car and drive cross country with me with two smelly dogs, she didn't hesitate to sign up to be Chewbacca to my Han Solo. She flew herself into Phoenix the day before we left town, then jumped in the car the next day and chatted with me, keeping me frosty for the 16 hour trip (no, she did not drive. Nobody is allowed behind the wheel of the Krypton Kruiser but The League and Jamie. It is far too formidable of a vehicle for an amateur to handle with its four valves of earth-shattering power). The KareBear saw us to Austin safely. She was willing to spend a brief evening in a hotel room with two smelly dogs and her equally smelly son.

This weekend, a mere five days after leaving, she returned to assist in the unpacking, did some significant house-shopping with us (yes, we all agree... when it comes to a guest bath you cannot go wrong with monkeys...), and assisted us in our duties from morning until evening from Friday midday until late on Sunday. Thsi is not to mention the many small and not-so-small financial contributions the KarteBear helped with, picking up the tab for some meals and a very nice house-warming gift I hope to highlight in the near future.

KareBear, we salute you at the League of Melbotis, and we hope that you will accept your honorary membership as a reserve member of The League.

What else...

Oh, heck, Leaguers... it's mostly been all about the move. Poor Jeff the Cat didn't get to leave Matt the Human's apartment until Saturday night (and in the middle of the nasty storm which delayed the UT game). Matt the Human deserves mad props for hosting Jeff the Cat for such an unexepcted amount of time, but, Leaguers... that's how things fall out when you agree to pet sit for the League. We might say four or five days, but we really mean four or ten days. Besides, Matt the Human loves cats. Or at least he used to. Jeff has that effect on people.

Doug the McBride gets wild applause for his handling of Jamie during the car ride and subsequent hanging out with Jamie and The League as we went through the rigamarole of moving in. He was here right up until the last box was delivered, and then was whisked away to the far off land of Berkeley where we will now count the whiskers on his cats and plot his next move. Thank you, Doug, for your over-and-above-the-call-of-duty role in our little drama. Now get K out here for a visit. I think there's a house for sale on the next street over.

Speaking of McBride's... Thanks to Judy and Dick for their not-so-small role in all this.

Thanks to The Admiral, not just for double-checking my proposed solutions to the refrigerator, washer & dryer, and doorbell issues, but his implementation of said plans while I stood idly by. Also, for killing the very large spider.

To Steanso, who opened his house to me, my wife and our two smelly dogs. And who didn't mind that I made coffee in his house, drank his bottled water, tried on some of his clothes and put them back on the hangar, and didn't mind that I used his toothbrush for four days. On Mel. Thanks, Steanso.

I knew when we started this madcap plan that the League reserves would come out of the woodwork. That's what superheroes do during a huge summer-time crossover event. There are a lot of people who aren't listed here. Folks who offered moral support (which, believe me, we needed), folks who offered to help us move, folks who scrambled to get their contacts contacted and handed them my resume when they heard I was coming, folks who told me it was time to get out of Dodge...
And, of course, to Jim D., who managed to pull off his own miraculous escape.

I hope all of you know who you are, and know that I thank you.

And special thanks to Jamie. For keeping us on track and keeping those detailed notes on each and every thing that needed to happen, from bank transfers to calling moving companies... Jamie worked more than 40 hours per week on the move. Now that we're here, I expect her to turn that energy to making sure all three pets can read and write by the end of '07.

Today we stepped out the front door to go grab some breakfast items at HEB and the temperature had dropped abruptly (just another Central Texas weather change), and we could stand in the cool wind, smiling at each other, knowing we had made the right decision.

It was all worth it. Every bit.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We are in our new house. Surrounded by boxes.

Actually, we're currently at Steanso's house surrounded by dogs. It turns out we can not get gas (and thus heat, hot water or be able to cook), nor any Time/Warner services until next Wednesday (internet, cable, phone). So it's all a bit odd. We are camping in our own home.

My biggest dilemma is unpacking versus seeing people. I want to see all of you. I want to not live out of a box.

I want a job.

Hope everyone is well.

I slept in my own bed in my own house in Austin last night, and that's got to count for something. Unfortunately we couldn't find the comforter, so it's kind of like that right now...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today we met with the title company and our realtor, Kerry. We are now proud owners of a lovely two-story abode. It is teal. Not green. Teal.

When I was at my former employers' offices, co-worker Juli would pop into my office as my time grew increasingly short and ask, "Does it even feel real?"

"Yeah," I'd answer, rolling my eyes a bit inwardly. After all, we spent most evenings packing or doing something moving related. All of that tape, cardboard and other accessories seemed pretty darned real. As well as the hassles of buying one house and selling another.

But she was right, of course. It was when I emerged from my office last Wednesday where I'd holed up with Jeff the Cat while the movers collected our goods, and walked out into the now-empty house that it suddenly shifted into the dream-like quality that in a year I will barely remember. The house was empty, and rather than the collection of colors and semi-organized chaos which had defined all of our recent homes, the place was a bare shell, ready to be filled by someone else.

Of course the days in a hotel in your own town are a little off, especially when your time is filled with a lot of sitting and planning your next meal. Add in a two day car-ride through the empty hills and praries of the Southwest, plus a stay in my brother's semi-occupied house...

It was in Southern New Mexico when I saw the endless line of billboards advertising a road-side attraction/shop where I had no intention to stop that it really hit me: The last time I saw these signs was when I drove into Phoenix. I may never pass this way again. How did this happen?

I wasn't entirely sleep deprived when we rolled into Oak Hill, but we were past Dripping Springs and safely within Austin, as most folks would define it. The mishmash of Oak Hill is both Austin of my childhood (we'd drive out to a shop called ZooKeeper where we'd buy rats for Jason's snakes) and much changed from the days when Oak Hill was almost its own sleepy little town. That, and they've plowed down the diner that stood on the corner.

I had to remind myself every hundred feet that, for good or ill, there is no house in Phoneix we will return to with all of our worldly possessions and our usual routine. Everything is a blank page. And every once in a while the idea hits me like a sledge hammer all over again, leaving me a bit stunned, like I'm looking back at the tank of water I've just managed to free myself from and I'm still dripping wet and I can't believe I'm alive.

This happens every few hours, and new things trigger it. I've been in our hosue three times since we've arrived. A total of four times. How is it that I will live here forever, maybe? How did this happen? When will I walk on the floor with bare feet and treat it like it's mine and not some stranger's house in which I feel obliged to tread lightly?

Though I have no intention of doing so, there's no turning back, and while I've always laughed about folks who fear change, when everything is new, the caveman part of your brain that worries about what might be creeping at the edge of the campfire starts to work overtime.

In a month the feeling will be gone. In the meantime we'll adjust.

But, yes, Juli... you were right. None of it seems real. But that's okay. This is one dream I can ride for quite a while.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well, I am tired. And I don't feel particularly great. Sure, I partially blame that on eating curry when I haven't had curry in a few months, but my internal clock, digestive track and sense of time and space is all pretty out of whack.

At least the jabbing feeling behind my left eye went away with some Tylenol.

We moved our stuff out of the house in AZ on Wednesday. One of the movers broke the nozzle seal on the hot water for the clothes washer, so we ended up turning off all the water to the house and then cleaning. We finished with the plumber at 8:30 PM and left our house for the final time.

KareBear arrived Thursday. We ran a few errands and then spent a nice hour by the pool, ate dinner and then got some shut eye.

We left Friday around 1:30 after picking up Doug from the airport and the pets from PetsHotel. Before even leaving PetsHotel we got a phone call from our realtor telling us that when they moved our refrigerator, they didn't properly close off the water to the fridge. This meant that when we turned the water main back on, water slowly dripped out of the wall and seeped into the carpet in the next room rather than pool in the kitchen. This, Leaguers, is why you hire the companies listed as "bonded and insured".

We drove out of town, passing through Tucson and Tombstone, and wound up staying in El Paso for the night. By this point Lucy was going berserk in the back seat, and I didn't really blame her.

We got up at 7:00 and walked the dogs, trying to convince them to go patty. By 8:00 we were in the car. There's honestly not a lot between El Paso and Junction, Texas. So KareBear and I mostly chatted and drove, occasionally yelling at the dogs to lay down. We had to stop about every three hours for gas, to let the dogs out and stretch our legs.

Last night we rolled in around 6:30. Steanso is, of course, partaking in ACL Fest and is, thusly, not around. That hasn't stopped us from setting up The Hop-a-Long Lounge as a center of operations.

Jamie dropped off Jeff the Cat at Matt Mangum's apartment, grabbed Matt, brought him back down to H-a-L Lounge. Literally just off the plane from Paris and then immediately on the road, The Admiral arrived shortly after we did. Cousin Sue appeared and we all went for dinner.

After dinner Jason showed up at 10:30, played me his new Doctor Octagon record and we chatted until fairly late as he came down from his day at ACL Fest.

This morning I had breakfast with JAL and CBG. I don't think all three of us have sat down together since the late 90's. It was fun. I really missed those guys.

Jamie and Doug came from the hotel and we all jumped in the car to see the new house. We couldn't get in today, but we're scheduled for a walk-through tomorrow.

So we're back. It's a new chapter, I suppose.

Despite the curry-related upset stomach and the stabbing pain behind my eye, I'm feeling good. I did some driving today while Jamie and Doug went to a movie, and I still know this town. It's like what they say about not seeing a good friend for years and when you run into each other, no time has passed.

But time has passed. They've torn old houses to build new ones in the neighborhood I used to live in just north of Hyde Park. It's new architecture. Fun architecture. I'm glad to see the neighborhood is a living, breathing, thing.

This morning at The Omlettery our granola waitress butted into our conversation to let us know Backstreet Boys was one of her favorite bands (yes, Backstreet Boys had come up).

This is why I missed you, Austin. I missed your trees and your ridiculous signs up and down Burnet. I missed the Frisco. I missed your hills and your twin devotions to live music and football. I missed the weather changing five times in 7 hours. I missed kids in shorts and cowboy boots and hats walking with their moms up to Central Market. I missed knowing that my loan officer was secretly an aspiring film-maker with a deep knowledge of kung-fu films and what makes Bruce Campbell just work, dammit. I missed knowing Thursday night is (was and always shall be) Mariachi night. I missed people lining up in the rain to show tribute to a one-term fire brand governor as she lays in state. I missed bats under bridges and overgrown oak trees. I missed getting right on 35 to get onto the ramp and knowing that turning onto 290 from Loop 1 is a left exit. I missed picking up the phone and asking a friend to watch my cat for a week and him saying to come by whenever and paying him back with an enchilada and a margarita. I missed rickety metal stairwells and wall-units. I missed an orange tower on Saturday nights and the hope of hundreds of thousands embodied in that edifice of an arena just off the freeway. I missed couples standing in the ice-cream aisle at 10:30 at night looking like they just rolled out of bed and knowing that they've looked like this all day. I missed your gentle hills and your white limestone faces where they cut you to make way for the roads. I missed a million, tiny little details that whisper to me and say "that was where you learned to drive," "That was where you learned to love learning," "That was where you kissed her for the first time," "that was where on that one Tuesday afternoon you cut out early and you and Justin tied one on because it was sunny out, but it was too early in the year to be hot," "That was where you jumped in the water and you thought your eyes would pop out," "that was where you decided you were coming back here to go to school", "that was where you figured out this was forever, and over there by the peacocks is where you made it official."

I missed you, Austin.

You change but you never do. For the third time you welcome me, and for the second time you treat me like we can pick up where we left off. Just put down your bag and grab a drink. And how's all that been going...?

I am glad I am home.

No limits.

No limits.
We made it. We're here.

It's raining. We will move into our house later this week, so in the meantime I'm at Steanso's Hopalong Lounge.