Friday, December 31, 2010
My sister had already told me the girls were into video games but I never knew just how much until I had actually sat down and watched them play. I mean, the two of them are still very girly to be sure, but of all the things for them to take a liking to, gaming is the last thing I'd expect. My brother-in-law Charles is a gamer himself so that probably has something to do with it. At the same time, not every child is into what their parents are into, so it still amazes me that they dig the vid games.
Nakiah, is usually pretty quick to pick up on how a particular game works. If she loses a few lives, she may ask for help. Ava will immediately ask for help if she has trouble. I feel kinda bad for helping because I want them to be able to do things on their on, but I don't want them to fail either. So yeah, I get conflicted at times, silly as that sounds.
The best thing about my nieces being into gaming is that they are very flexible about it. They like old and new-school games. Perhaps it's due to their age but visuals are never even a factor on whether they can enjoy a title or not. So they can just as easily go back to watching their uncle R play some original Super Mario Bros. after beating each other down in Street Fighter IV.
Just as much as they enjoy playing, they like watching me play games as well. I wouldn't be fulfilling my uncle duties if I didn't show off the game skills for the kids.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The trip also took a lot out of us physically. I'm not used to getting sleepy at 12 and 1AM, so you can imagine my surprise when my eyes get heavy and the rest of my body starts shutting down quicker than what I'm used to. I was also disoriented for the rest of the week, constantly forgetting what day it was. I ended up taking a few naps during the week to get my energy back, which is rare for me.
Now for the good. The sights were awesome. Virginia is loaded with wall-to-wall mountains that seem to stretch on forever. I wish I could have seen them during the day time, but even at night, they still looked pretty. Maybe I was so awe-struck because I don't see stuff like this everyday. I only wish I had a camera! The image above is one I pulled off the google search engine.
We were surprised to find out that only a handful of people knew we would be coming. I mean, old friends coming to visit, you think that kind of thing wouldn't really stay a secret. We weren't expecting it to be, anyway.
In a way, most people not knowing we were coming made it that much more enjoyable. I don't think I've ever gotten so many hugs in my life. We were greeted with smiles, laughter, and love. I always draw strength from the people at New Life and the visit there was no exception. It was like no time at all had passed since we'd last saw everyone.
As I said before, the people at New Life are like family to me and they always will be.
Monday, December 27, 2010
December 17th, 2010 was my last day working at Boulevard Haus. I was only there for nearly 10 months but my time spent was memorable, thanks in large part to the people I worked with, many that I knew from my previous job at a place called Cena. Of course the new faces were just as awesome as the old ones.
Like any job, there are times were you just don't feel like going in to make the bread, but even when I felt that way, working at Boulevard Haus was still a good time for me, even when I was bored out of my skull or slammed with so much to do. Liking what you do for a living is very important to me so I'm glad I'm able to say that I very much liked working there.
My last day was pretty routine stuff. The thought crossed my mind that my co-workers might do something special seeing as how it was my last day. We were a bit busy so I figured they wouldn't really have the time for cake and what have you. I figured wrong. While I was talking to Ethan, one of the cooks, I heard the rest of my colleagues chanting my name. Didn't take a genius to get what was going on. After some reluctance, I finally walked out to find everyone smiling at me. We partook in cake, ice cream and I got a lovely card signed by everyone that sings a bit of Otis Day and the Knights' "Shout" every time I open it. Even though I didn't want them to do anything for my last day at work, looking back on it, I'm glad they did. It really is nice to know that you'll be missed by people you've known for years or even a few months. Makes you feel like you have value in other people's lives. If anyone from BH is reading this, know that the feeling is mutual.
The ride at BH was short, but sweet. I'll be lucky if my next job is half as fun as this one was.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The boxes are piled up and my one bedroom apartment of five and half years is looking pretty bare. It may not have been the most pretty-looking place but it was home to me and the neighborhood was really nice. Lots a good times were had in this place. Of course there were bad times too but mostly good, I'm happy to say. For my very first place, I think I did pretty well.
It isn't easy to say goodbye. I've had several people I've known over the years move and they'd had to say the word. Now it's my turn to say goodbye but I'm not gonna say it. I'll be keeping in touch with my friends via Facebook and I plan on coming back to visit when I get the chance. So instead of saying goodbye, because it really isn't, I'll say something else.
Until we meet again, in the words of an immortal plumber...
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Many of the people I've encountered have said they either dislike Ohio or hate it outright. Those that say that are perfectly within their right of free speech to say so. More often than not, the reason for not liking life in the Buckeye state is "There isn't anything to do." At least, that was the one I'd always heard. I never really understood that. Maybe it's because I'm one of those weird, old fashioned types that's fine with having things be super simple in his life. As much as I want to visit New York City someday, I'm perfectly fine living a "boring" life as I've got nice folks to share my life with.
The people you let into your life can have a positive or negative impact on you. I've had some people I've had to sever ties with, but for the most part, I've been blessed to know some truly awesome people here. When I was a child, my parents took my sister and I to a church called New Life Worship Center. During the years I spent there, I grew up with some of my best friends. A few of them are married now, but whenever I see them, we pick up right where we left off. Many people at New Life are like family to me, which makes the decision to move a tough one.
Some people say co-workers shouldn't be counted as friends, but over the last four years I've worked with some truly great people. It wouldn't feel right if I didn't call them friends. It feels as if I've known them all my life. A few of them even helped me land a job at a time where finding work is tough. To have some of them tell me that they'll miss me after having only known them for four or five months is pretty touching. Four years ago, when I left my previous job, my attitude was more along the lines of "So long, suckers!" That isn't the case with my current job. Though I'll still be keeping in touch with everyone via Facebook, it doesn't making leaving them any easier.
So, yeah, as much of a wuss as saying it might make me seem, one of the main reasons life in Ohio was good was due to fact that I had good people in my life. I've no doubt good people live in VA Beach as well. I mean, I've got family out there, so I already know it to be true.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
In about a month or so, I'll be moving to Virginia Beach to start a whole new life. My father, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces and nephew live down there, so family is my primary reason for moving. My second niece Ava is 3 and I've never seen her in person, the same goes for my 6 month old nephew, Samuel. Sure, seeing pictures of them is nice, but I'd take seeing them in person any day, the same goes for my dad, sister, and brother-in- law.
The move does have me pretty nervous. Have to find a new place to live, get a new job, familiarize myself with a whole new city. I was scared about moving out on my own 5 and half years ago, but I knew it was something that I had to do. It was a good experience for me. I learned a lot and I'm sure I'll learn some new things in VA Beach. I feel like I need to take a chance and see what else lies in store for me outside of Ohio. It can be kinda tough to make a move like this when you're so used to saying in one place, but sometimes you just have to learn to let go.
It's sorta funny that I'm moving to VA Beach because I've never been to a real beach in my entire life. One of the things I'm looking forward to the most? Seeing the beach.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Despite knowing full well that a good chunk of the fan base loved and supported Spider-Man's marriage to Mary Jane, he went ahead and dissolved it because it bugged him that much. He thinks Peter is more interesting as a swinging solo. Or that he's more interesting with Carly Cooper, who's first name just happens to be named after his own offspring. Now again, I'll say I don't hate Carlie, but she was forced upon the reader and when just about every member of the supporting cast tells Peter that she's perfect for him, then you've got a prime case of Shilling the Wesley, and in the words of Sonic the Hedgehog, that's no good. On top of that, we're once more forced to endure the same old type of story notes we went through before Peter married MJ. Lame excuses as to why he's missed a date or was late. Why he keeps so many secrets from her ad infinite nausea.
I hate Guy Gardner, with a passion but, I know he has his fans and I wouldn't kill him off just to appease my personal disdain for the character. Likewise, Joe Q should have just learned to deal with Peter being married. But hey, the man taut us an invaluable lesson that some things just shouldn't be tampered with.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
And boy howdy, has MJ been hit with character derailment here. She went from being one of the toughest women in the Marvel U to being an S-class wuss all so Joe Q could break them up. It's OMD all over again. Characters acting in ways they wouldn't in order to tell a sad excuse for a story. She breaks up with Peter because in here own words she "isn't strong enough" to handle him being Spider-Man. Some fat dude trying to kill her made here realize she's always in danger. So let me see here. She's been threatened by Venom, two versions of the Green Goblin, the Chameleon, Tombstone and who knows how many other super villains. In other words, she's been threatened by professionals and she still stood by Peter. But all of a sudden, she gets weak-kneed when some fat dude comes after her? Give me a freakin' break!
Oh and Peter feels "free" after he and MJ are done talking, going so far as to say it feels like a "brand new day." Sorry, Peter but you're still locked in a cage known as bad story-telling and when you'll get the key to come out, God only knows.
Why couldn't Paulo Rivera just draw the whole issue? Bad enough to endure crappy writing but Quesada's depiction's of MJ are just HIDEOUS! You cannot look at this image and tell me that it's right.
So the crapstorm of OMIT has ended. In the words of Andrew Reiner when he review C: The Contra Adventure and mirroring Gerard's review over at Crawl Space, I give this issue, nay this whole story "two thumbs down and two other fingers up."
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The doctor has a talk with Peter about how aunt May's live was saved. The doc's answer? In his own words "love" is what saved aunt May. Love.
Now let me say that I am a firm believer in miracles but the doctor actually saying that love saved a dying women out loud is so unbelievably bad that it HURTS! Heck, even having it written in a comic book is awful. Really, Quesada, this was the best you could do? Peter's love saved his aunt? This story was already wallowing in it's own suck with parts 1 and 2 but this arguably trumps your past efforts, if they could indeed be called such. It's as if each part of the story is competing to see which part can out-bomb the other. Since part 4 hasn't come out yet, I won't declare a winner but I digress.
It gets even worse. The doc isn't even going to look into the matter any further of how aunt May was saved. That's it case closed. He rushes on out of the scene probably because he wants to get as far away from this crapfest of a story as possible.
A nurse who works for the Kingpin informs him that Peter's aunt has managed to survive. So what does Fisk do? Why, he tries to knock off MJ and her aunt Anna! Obviously tubby doesn't remember the humiliating defeat that was Spidey, beating the absolute snot out of him in a prison full of a dozen convicts. In fact, he looks like he was never battered around at all, which raises even more question, but then I remember that Quesada does not do a little thing the rest of us call logic.
So the fat fool that made Spidey miss his wedding in the first part of OMIT tries to kill MJ and he ends up giving her a concussion, which Dr. Strange is able to heal. And yet he can't heal may's gunshot wound...
Moving on... Peter admits that unmasking during Civil War was huge mistake and he goes to Dr. Strange to ask him to make the world forget he is Spider-Man. Strange actually has to consult with Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man about this. Um, why is this? Someone that is master of the mystic arts should be able to handle some mind wipe spell without any help from those two. Whatever.
I was sick of this story when it started and I'm beyond ready for it to end. The only good thing I can say about part 3 really is Paulo Rivera's art continues to impress. It would have been better if Quesada drew nothing at all because his scenes are just painful to look it.
Bottom line, the story was bad when it started and it continues to be so. Let's just get part 4 over and done with.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The Good: We're actually treated to a touching moment where Mary Jane regrets telling Peter to give up being Spider-Man as it would be akin to having him give up part of who he is. It's probably the only good things about the issue that comes from Quesada.
Also good is Paolo Rivera's art. Again, this is one seriously talented artists and it pains me that he's been shafted with a story that just wreaks of anus. Someone please get this man on a good book.
The Bad: Boy howdy, is there bad. And while it may not be as bad as Satanic pigeons, evil bricks and falling fatsos, it will having you going for the aspirin. Lots and lots of aspirin.
The reason MJ wanted to get married? Kids! She wants to have kids! But because Peter being Spidey is similar to her abusive father with a shot gun (MJ's words), she doesn't think Peter and her will ever be able to bring a child into this world. So she'll stay with Peter because she still loves him but she doesn't ever want him to ask her to marry her again because she doesn't want to go through with being jilted again. Also, no kids.
Um, so according to MJ, the whole reason to get married is so you can have kids. You only wed to have children.
I REALLY need to make an appointment with a wall so I can furiously bang my head against it because that doesn't make a lick of sense to me and makes Mary Jane look like a complete imbecile. And Peter, by extension, agreeing to these terms and essentially settling for less is just as moronic. These new revelations also make the Clone Saga even more convoluted (didn't think that was possible), because MJ was pregnant during that time. What's the PR line gonna be for that one? MJ just got fat for nine months?
But wait! It gets worse! You know how all those other chumps couldn't save aunt May from a gun shot wound? Peter saves her! With... CPR. What was the point of One More Day again?
To get more visuals from this story, check out this post from scans daily.
Again, not as bad as part one, but with one small ounce of good in this installment and a huge load of bad, the train still looks to be going full speed ahead to Suckville.
Friday, July 23, 2010
In 2007, Joey Q had finally set out to end what kept him awake at night (I'm not making this up, he seriously lost sleep due to the marriage of fictional characters) and ended Peter and MJ's wedding in the four part story called One More Day. OMD is widely regarded as one of the worst Spider-Man stories ever printed, if not the worst. Calling it an abomination sin would be a grave understatement. What's worse is that OMD led into Brand New Day and while there are fans that say BND is the best Spidey has been in years, you've also got fans that view BND as one of the darkest periods in Spider-Man history, some even referring to it as part of the dork age. Worse still is that there would be an eventual follow up to OMD, a story most fans would prefer never to revisit, but alas, if we were to find out just how and why Peter and MJ never wed, we would have to get the answers from One Moment in Time, OMIT for short (and possibly a jab at fans by Quesada)
Anything good about part one of this story? Paolo Rivera's art. I've been a big fan of his work and it sucks that he has to illustrate for such a crappy story.
And the bad? every-freaking-thing-else.
Right off the bad, MJ looks like the bad guy. We finally learn what she whispered to Mephisto and it is basically her saying she knows Peter will never agree to this deal, (even though ASM #545 clearly shows him agreeing to it, but then, logic got tossed out the window nearly three years ago in the ASM books) unless she asks him to, and she asks him to leave Peter alone, forever. Let's forget that Mephy has always screwed over those he made a deal with. Johnny Blaze anyone? I digress. So Mephy, presumably makes it seemed like the deal never happened.
Seeing as how Joe Q was the mastermind behind OMD and he'd be the writer, I never had high hopes for OMIT. I knew coming in that the story would be cluster-f bomb of epic proportions. But we're only at part one of the story and it. Is. BAD!
In a sorta, kinda nutshell, a devil pigeon (Mephisto) unlocks the police car door for a crook Spidey just caught and said crook gets free, causing all kinds of mayhem. This climaxes when Spidey goes after the crook, gets hit in the head with a brick, and the crook, which happens to be fat, by the way, lands on Spidey, knocking him out.
Excuse me, but Spidey has taken abuse from plenty of super villains up to this point and still remained conscious. Yet a brick and a fat guy KO him? Sucky writing at it's finest, folks! But hey, you don't have to talk my word for it! A lovely review for part one of OMIT over at Crawl Space does a lovely job, better than what I've done here, of picking this issue a part and giving the 411 for why and how badly it bombed.
Can you believe it? Part one of OMIT and we're already waist deep in this crap storm! And there are three more parts to go? Ugh!!!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I had a craving for a Batman and Superman trade and there was so much of both too choose from. Then I spotted a few JLA books and realized that outside of the Death of Superman JLA tie-in issue, I hardly read any JLA stories. This is actually sorta surprising since Justice League/Justice League Unlimited is one of my all-time favorite cartoons. After much hesitation, I picked up JLA: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, which compiles various JLA stories from the silver age to the modern age.
Having read three of the eight stories in this book, I must say, it ain't too shabby. The first three tales shift League rotation membership and everyone gets a chance to shine, even Aquaman, who ends up being a key player in saving the heroes from Dr. Light in the third story, The Great Identity Crisis. I was surprised to see that Snapper Carr was an honorary League member much in the same way Rick Jones was for the Avengers in the earlier days. There's a story where Snapper betrays the League thanks both in part to the Joker who is in disguise and his own doubts of the League, feeling inferior to the heroes because he has no super powers. I find it of particular interest that he seemed to either forget or didn't mention that two members in the League, Batman and Green Arrow, have no super powers and that should have provided him some sort of stability but it looks like Mr. Carr chose fear over reason. Its a tale that leaves you something to think about when all is said and done and that's always a plus in my book.
JLA: Greatest Stories Ever Told may not rank among my personal favorite TPBs but it's still a fun read and I look forward to finishing it and picking up other JLA trades sometime in the future.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
As for Kai, I've watched some subtitled episodes and it's pretty good stuff. Funimation is not only redubbing the Z Kai, they also intended to use the original Japanese score for Kai, which, in my humble opinion, blows the original BGM for the Japanese version of Z out of the water. The first part of season one contains 13 episodes and it will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray. The first set is due out on May 18th so if you've got some money to kill, by all means, pick it up.
Monday, April 19, 2010
"But, Reg, we're getting an Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon in 2011!"
And because said cartoon is coming, this means the death of Spectacular. Why create another Spidey show so soon when they already had a the best Spidey show ever and an amazing crew handling said show? Does not compute.
At any rate, I'd love for Spectacular to be continued somehow. If not in animation, perhaps in comic form. I'd love for Marvel to just give Greg a comic to let him continue his work but, but it doesn't seem likely. Speaking of Greg, he really seems to be a "take it on the chin" kinda guy. Truly, he's one of the best in the business and just an all around great guy.
Ultimate Spider-Man will have to be one incredible show because Spectacular pretty much raised the bar for Spidey in animation. Lots of fans are already ready to bear their fangs at Ultimate, and it's not hard to see why. I mean, this show did kill off Spectacular and if a whole new crew is involved (which seems to be the case way things are going) then Ultimate could end up joing Spider-Man Unlimited as one of the most forgettable Spidey shows. I suppose we'll have to see how things pan out.
I'll be picking up the season two DVD of Spectacular whenever it comes out and I'll try to give Ultimate a chance.
R.I.P, Spectacular Spider-Man. I guess only the good really do die young.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Personally, my hopes are not pinned on a reasonable explanation and they haven't been for the last two plus years. One More Day was without question one of the worst Spider-Man stories ever created and with One Moment in Time, it's being revisited. If Joe Q couldn't come up with a good way to split them apart, why on Earth should we expect him to come up with a plausible story telling us just why they didn't tie the knot? I think Joey is a decent artist (I prefer his earlier work) but he should leave the writing duties to others.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Animal House tells the story of a rag-tag frat group called the Deltas, the worst frat on the whole campus. The Deltas are on their last legs. One more screw up and they are history.
As with most college films, I was expecting this one to try to teach me something, to instill some kinda knowledge into my mind. You know, maybe give me some kinda moral to walk away with. This is one of the few movies that did none of those things. In fact, it doesn't even trying to. If Animal House has some sort of message that I could get from it, that message would be that you have to stop and laugh yourself silly every now and then because the movie made me do just that.
Friday, January 22, 2010
It astounds me how foolish Disney continues to be with it's properties. Kim Possible, one of the greatest western shows ever, and one of the best things that has ever had the Disney name attached to it, STILL has no season DVD sets in America. If you want your Kim fix, you either have to watch Toon Disney (or whatever the channel is called these days) or watch the episodes on YouTube. To this day, only a handful of episodes and both movies, the aforementioned Sitch in Time, and So the Drama are on DVD in the west. Regardless, it's nice to finally own A Sitch in Time. I'm hoping to get So the Drama as well. For now, I'm not holding my breath for season DVD sets.
Animanicas was a bit of a successor to Tiny Toon Adventures. I always liked Tiny Toons better, but I can't say Animaniacs isn't raw deal. The show had witty, clever writing that was fun for both kids and adults, the later half of the audience that may very well have gotten the best out of the show. This show was pretty famous for sneaking things past the censors. Some of it was subtle, but a lot of it was so blatantly obvious that you have to wonder if S&P ever saw the show or they were just asleep at the wheel.
Anyhoo, Animanicas Vol. 3 is actually the first DVD of the series that I own. For some strange reason, it was on sale for $14.99 while other volumes were higher. But Animaniacs is the kinda show that you don't need to watch in order to appreciate it. Outside of the first episode, you can come into the series at any point and enjoy it. In the words of Yako, "Good night, everybody!"
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I care nothing for the holiday itself. They pull a giant rat out of a hole, and it matters not if he sees his shadow, winter will still continue for another 6 weeks. Now Hedgehog day, I can get behind. But I digress. I'm talking about the 1993 blockbuster comedy hit, Groundhog Day, staring Bill Murray.
If you've just come out of a bomb shelter or woke up from a coma, Groundhog Day tells the tale of a jerkish weather man named Phil Connors who finds himself trapped in a time loop, which just happens to fall on February 2, which is, you guessed it, Groundhog Day. Phil is the only one ware of the time loop so he uses it to do all kinds of things like sleep with hot women, start police chases, and steal money. He just decides to wrongfully take advantage of it because it doesn't matter what he does. Each time he wakes up, it's Groundhog Day again. And Again. At first, Phil is thrilled by the reoccurring events but the ride is short lived as he slips into despair. He searches for ways to end the time loop, mostly through repeated attempts of suicide but each one fails and he's back to square one.
Growing desperate, Phil confides in his coworker, Rita (which he also has the hots for). At first she's skeptical until Phil demonstrates the vast knowledge he's accumulated by giving her the 411 about people around him. Rita's skepticism soon vanishes and she opts to spend the rest of the day with Phil, later encouraging him not to look at the time loop as a curse. From there on, things get better for Phil. Not only does he change for the better, he escapes the time loop and wins Rita's affections.
Groundhog Day is not only a hilarious movie, but an inspirational one. Sure, its a hoot to watch Phil driving with a kidnapped groundhog, fleeing from the fuzz and punching out his annoying former classmate. All that stuff was fun for him for a while, but as mentioned above, he grew tired of that and wanted to escape. He was also unable to win over Rita because he acted selfishly. What I find really amazing about the romance aspect of the film is that, it wasn't until Phil put others first and helped them out that Rita really began to notice him. Phil had only done a 180 in a day's time from Rita's perspective, but for Phil, that took a lot of work, God only knows how much work. By acting selflessly, Rita fell for Phil.
The particular version of Groundhog Day that I picked up is the 15th Anniversary Edtion. I got it for $7.50 at Wal-Mart. There's some nice extras on here like directory commentary, documentaries and such. Some could argue for more, but I'm pleased with what I got. I meant to buy this movie about two years ago, but I never got around to it. I watched this movie a lot when I first saw it back in 1994. It's as great now as it was when I first saw it. Really, everyone should watch/own this one. It's dirt cheap and in my humble opinion, one of the best movies ever made.