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Hello Bloggie Readers,
I missed you!

I was in a bit of a funk last week. (Fresh out of fun to bring)
My new job had a bumpy start. (I put them on probation…which really means nothing but makes me feel better)
Things began to turn around this week!
In one day I received my i.d. badge and keys to the office.
I was able to add some decorating touches to my new space.
But even more importantly, I caught a sensation I had not experienced for perhaps 4 years.

I got to be a counselor.

I met some incredible people.
I was able to find and dust off my magical counseling mirror and help people see some strengths they did not know were there.
It is really challenging to describe the feeling, other than to say I left work feeling a mix of peace and excitement.
It feels really, really good people.
🙂

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Frogs once posted on his lilly-blog about how certain topics got lots of comments and others got very few.

I didn’t pay much attention to it– because, well, 90% of the people we knew couldn’t post to our then-current blog anyway.

BUT NOW…..

The Goofy Thanksgiving post with all kinds of excellent, funny hyperlinks (if I do say so myself) garnerd [0] comments.

The uber-geeky, self-indulgent Super Hero Movie (thanks, Diana Prince, for some reason I like to add the extra “e”) post garnered [11] comments.

Please explain.

Apologies in advance for this post. I don’t think it will be a fun one. I’ll pay for it later, I promise.

When I was an undergraduate, I was working full-time (more than full time with two jobs) and going to school full-time. I lived hand to mouth at times. There were months, when I was in-between homes and crashed at people’s houses. There were months where I paid my rent and bills with money borrowed from family and friends.

At this time, I initiated a special “mode” of survival, I called the “Starving Student” meal plan.
The Starving Student meal plan was very simple. It had one rule.
“Never turn down free food.” (It also had a corollary: “Seek free food.”)

I became very good at finding free food. There were days where my meals were completely scrounged.

It worked well for me.

When C and were married, our money was still tight–though not as bad. (mostly because she was making money, I was still quite poor)
Occassionally, very occassionally, she would join me on the “Starving Student” plan.
Then I went to grad school– and we were unemployed for some many months.
And after that, we were living off C’s paychecks again… during these times, we fully embraced the Starving Student meal plan.

Today I had an epiphany of sorts– a few thoughts occurred to me.
–In my current job, there is a likelihood of a never-ending supply of free food.
–With our currrent jobs, we are no longer (as of this month) living hand to mouth.
–Twice in the last month, I’ve suffered from food-based allergy attacks.
(I am currently suffering from the effects of one — hence the un-fun post.)
–My diet and exercise plan that I started earlier this year has not been going well.

It is time to abandon the Starving Student meal plan.
Survival demands it, actually.

Of course, after fifteen years, it has become a default setting and a habit.
So, this may not be as easy as just saying that.

Or, maybe, it is.

We’ll see.

Some time ago, a geek-pal of mine asked me about my favorite super hero movies. (If I remember correctly, it was right after we had gone to one of the more recent super hero movies–Batman Begins, maybe?) Now, there is no shortage of lists like this (or like this) on the internet. Unfortunately, they are all wrong. (Sorry– but it’s true. “Spy Kids?” Really? You must be joking.) My list is not right either, so don’t get your hopes up.

In trying to come up with this list, I’ve paid attention to a few things.
1 – Was the movie enjoyable? A good, entertaining movie experience?
(Unfortunately, this weeds a good many of them out.)
2 – If based on an established hero, does it do the character justice?
(I’m not saying it has to be absolultely faithful– just not shockingly divergent.)
3 – Do they give away the Secret Identity?
(Don’t get me started on this one. Seriously. I’m this close to a massive brain aneurism when I start talking about his topic. C has threatened to buy a taser–and to use it on me when I start down this path.)

So, without further ado– here is my list:

1. The Incredibles
In a world where Super Heroes have been sued into obscurity, one super powered family tries to live in absolute secrecy.
Why: Normal family dysfunction mixed with super powers. Many, many in-jokes about comics and super powers. The scene with the super heroe costume designer is worth the whole movie. Especially the capes, part.
Why Not: It is animated. It is so much easier to make supers all super-like when you can just draw them that way.

2. X-Men
A group of mutants, outcasts in society, fight to save a world that hates and distrusts them.
Why: One of the best demonstrations of the allegorical power of supers movies.
Why Not: Some of the acting is less than stellar, but the movie still shines.

3. X-Men II
Our mutant friends are back, this time in a loose movie adaption of one of the best graphic novels in the X-Men series, “God Loves, Man Kills.”
Why: The allegory of anti-mutant fear as homophobia. It was timely in 1982. It is still timely. Sigh. Also, Nightcrawler, my favorite X-men joins the team.
Why Not: They take some liberties with the storyline, but not enough to object.

4. Spiderman
Our favorite web-crawling hero comes to big screen in a big blockbuster.
Why: Amazing camera effects. Wonderful acting.
Why Not: Some objections from rabid fans about web-slinging being biological rather than gadget-based. But I thought it was better this way. Main objection is really the silly metal suit for the Green Goblin. Over acted. Over designed. Over played. Hideous costume.

5. X-Men III
A “final” installment in the mutant franchise. Another great allegory. This time: What if there was a “cure” for being different?
Why: Two favorite X-men show up. Beast (played by Kelsey Grammar, quite well, I say) and Angel.
Why Not: It really is the weakest of the three movies. Too much going on– and the final battle is kind of a let down. Magneto is more powerful than they give him credit for.

6. Spiderman II
Spiderman matches up against his most famous villain, Dr. Octopus.
Why: The special effects, again. The acting, again. The story is well told. The scene on the elevated trains in Chicago are a masterpiece.
Why Not: The revisionon of Doc Oc is questionable but ultimately works. What is really wrong with this movie? (Ready your tasers if you got ’em.) HE REVEALS HIS SECRET IDENTITY. Not once (the people on the train). Not twice (Dr. Octopus). But, three times (MJ, Parker’s girlfriend).
Why is this offending movie still on the list?
First, because it is that good.
Second, because there is some basis in the comic books for this flagrant disregard for secret identity protocol.
–Spiderman doesn’t reveals his identity on purpose on the train, and they respect his wish to be anonymous. Nice touch, actually.
— In the comic books, Doc Oc actually does figure out Spiderman’s identity.
— In the comic books, eventually, Peter and MJ get married and she knows about Spidey.
I can’t fault them for breaking the rule when the rule was already bent in the comics.

7. Superman II
Superman has a run in with three visitors from his home planet. And, whoa, do they have an attitude problem.
Why: For it’s time, the fight between Superman and the other three kryptonians was rockin’.
Why Not: The reveal Superman’s identity to Lois Lane in the movie. (unintentional, and they decide it is a mistake– so they wipe her memory. No memory, no foul.) They also decided to have Superman give up his powers, sleep with Lois Lane, and play with some bizzare toys in the fortress of solitude. Odd choices, really.

8. Batman
A Tim Burton interpretation of a classic.
Why: Dark, brooding, gothic– exactly the way Batman should be. And Jack Nicholson as The Joker? Wonderful.
Why Not: 1. A little campy at times. 2. Music by Prince? 3. They give away his secret identity. (I would go on, but this is the start of this horrible trend and I just… I just can’t continue… )

9. Superman: The Movie
The first of the modern day superhero movies. 1978. This was an event. It was Superman–the way he was meant to be. Larger than Life!
Why: Christopher Reeve was a brilliant choice and understood the character.
Why Not: This movie was almost on the top of my list. Almost. I’ve said it before, so it should come as no surprise– EVEN AS A CHILD, I KNEW THAT SUPERMAN COULDN’T SPIN OUR WORLD IN REVERSE; AND EVEN IF HE COULD, IT WOULDN’T MAKE US GO BACKWARDS IN TIME. Were these people stoned? Brain damaged? Insane? People assume sometimes that comic book movies don’t have rules– they do and when you don’t follow them, you end up with young children saying “WTF!

10. Unbreakable
Ordinary Joe Schmoe (Bruce Willis) discovers he has super powers– and, unfortunately, some other trappings of the Super Hero biz.
Why: Excellent portrayal of a guy trying to come to terms with this oddness. Excellent portrayal of an evil genius super villian. Also reminds me of my favorite Spiderman comic cover (I’ll spare you.)
Why Not: Well, no tights, no cape, no costume–unless you count a rain poncho. Is it a Super Heroe movie?

Honorable Mentions:
Blade – Based on a Marvel comic character. Hated the fat vampire scene, though.
Batman Returns – Love Danny Devito as the Penquin and Michelle Pfeifer as Catwoman.
Mystery Men – Hilarious spoof of comic books, but The Spleen was highly unpleasant.
The Shadow – People hated this one, but I really enjoyed it. Could have been better.
Batman Begins – Great story. Nice acting. Good atmosphere. The Batmobile was just plain stupid. And he gave away his secret identity, AGAIN. Unforgiveable.
Hellboy – nominated by jinnis. Good adaption of a cool hero. More to come, I hear.

Hall of Shame:
Superman III & IV – Almost killed super hero movies single handedly.
Batman & Robin – So many reasons. One would be the Batsuit’s nipples.
Daredevil – A great comic turned into a horrible movie. And he reveals his identity!

Company – Congenial, pleasant. No injuries to bodies or egoes. No signs of dysfunction. It was…. nice. Highly reccomend Imaginiff as a fun game for family and friend gatherings. (Best question – if C were a dog, what type of dog would she be. We were all in agreement on that one.)

Food – Pretty darn good. Turkey was cooked in a manner suggested by our favorite celebrity chef (minus the brining). It was flavorful and moist and a booming success. It took longer than we thought it would–by aabout an hour–but we had no complaints. Mashed potatoes turned out great. C had a secret ingredient that made the dish. The gravy was the best I’ve ever made– another recipe from the magic sage, the internet. I don’t know where C found it, but I’ve memorized it. All in all– it was great. How do we know? Because my maternal unit 1 took a few bites and then said, “Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.”

Can’t do better than that, gentle readers.

Clean Up – OMG! First– do you know how much of a mess C & C can make of their kitchen under normal circumstances? Imagine that with a full Thanksgiving dinner. Daunting–Daunting, I tell you! Second, if you have to have a post-cooking kitchen disaster, you can’t do better than having C’s Maternal Units on the scene. HOLY CRAP! They would make Mr. Clean look like a slacker. Our kitchen was clean within an hour. And that was with us telling them to sit and rest—

Leftovers – Mmmmmm….. leftovers. ‘Nuff said.

(So, the last post, while necessary, was not entirely fun. And since that is our stated mission– a penalty flag has been thrown. I offer the following as pennance.)

Top 10 Goofy Things I’m Thankful For:

10. Silly Songs and Parodies
Like Superfrog or Life in the Bat Cave or White and Nerdy

9. You Tube
Creativitiy at its goofiest, free from around the world.
My current favorites:
The Gobble Song and Deadbeat Superheroes and Neo vs. Robocop. I hate to admit it, but I’m terribly fond of these guys, too. They just make me giggle.

8. The Funny TV Shows my Tivo records for me.
Like… The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and My Name is Earl

7. C singing Duets with me
What duets you ask? I’m glad you asked.
We like to sing Crazy Lovesick Fool and Moving Right Along

6. That Cats are not the size of Dogs.
(Yes, I know some dogs are as small as cats– but they don’t count. Those are really cats in dog suits. You can tell by the way they act.)
Imagine a house cat the size of a Great Dane. -shudder- Gives me the willies.

5. Poker Nicknames
I LOVE poker nicknames.
I love the professional ones.
Kid Poker, Jesus, The Poker Brat, Texas Dolly, Amarrillo Slim, The Professor, The Unabomber.
I love the ones in our poker group.
“Maverick”, The Eviscerator, Chip, Starbuck, Texas Shark, Stacks, Stacked, Unicef (click on “children” on this page).

C & C do not have poker nick names, yet. We suggested one for C, but it didn’t stick.
Others have suggested ones for me, but, thankfully, none of them stuck either.
Some day….

4. That C watches Super Hero movies and shows with me– of her own free will.
She also watches cartoons with me. And best of all, dear reader, she will watch Super Hero Cartoons with me. True Love, I tell you, True Love.

3. I know almost-embarassingly little about sports, cars, or beer.

2. Silly Hats
No, I don’t have pictures of all of my silly hats. It is on my to-do list.
I do have my current list of Silly Hats to Acquire
* Pirate Hat
* Solar Powered Beanie Hat with throttle control
* Horned Helmet (Viking style?)

1. You
Well, you in general. You, the person who reads all of this. Even more so if you read it and then leave a comment. Only thing goofier than taking the time to write all this, is taking the time to read it all (and click on the links). Thank you for your form of goofieness.

What goofy things are you thankful for?

So, tommorrow is Thanksgiving Day.
Since we are hosting– that means we will most likely be busy frantically preparing our apartment for guests. (As if they don’t know how we live normally.) And after the guests arrive, we’ll be busy preparing food and being all hosty-like. Which means we may forget to do the most important part of Thanksgiving–

Giving Thanks.

So, before we lay our heads on the mutitude of pillows (why yes, we did ask Santa for more, why do you ask?), I thought we might share a few things that C & C are grateful for.

1. Our new apartment.
C & C can both cook in the kitchen at the same time. We have a garage. We’ve had deer peeking in our bedroom windows. We like where we are living.

2. Our Jobs
For the first time in …. well… forever, both C & C are gainfully, rewardingly employed. Sure, we’ve both had jobs at the same time before– but now we both have jobs that match our skills and our souls– and we are making good money. Its been a long time coming. It is hard to express how thankful we are that the time has come. My place of work is filled with wonderful, dedicated, faithful people. C’s place is still on probation, but we have high hopes.

3. Being Home
Not a week doesn’t go by that we don’t encounter some thing or some person that reminds us that we are back in our home state. People are nice here. (Well most people are most of the time. There are some unfortunate exceptions.) We are also closer to C’s Daddio and C’s Mudder (1 and 2). We seem them 2 or 3 times a month. And that is a wonderful thing. Other benefits include favorite stores, favorite outings, favorite drinks… and did we mention the clean air. We give thanks for air that isn’t chewy.

4. Our Friends
Where to start? Really, I don’t know where to start here. We’ve moved closer to a few of our friends. But much further away from many others (you want links? Look at the blogroll.) And yet, we are grateful for their continued presence in our lives. By phone. By email. By blog. Some have joined us on retreat. Sure, we hope to make new friends. But we don’t plan on trading in our old ones. They are our blessings, and we cherish them.

5. Each Other
Together now for 11 years. I could list all the reasons I am thankful for C being my partner in this wonderul life of mine–but the blog would be too long and most-likely too mushy. Let me just say these two things. One, I remember what my life was B.C. (before C) and it was a hollow shadow existence compared to now. And two, doesn’t matter where I’m at, where I work, where I live, what I do, how much money I have, or where my friends are, as long as C is by my side. ’nuff said.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Well, will you look at the calendar…
Tommorrow is Thanksgiving.

Our first Thanksgiving since…well, since ever, that we are hosting at our place.
Time to get “Busy, Busy, Busy.”

I’m not in charge of the menu nor am I the Top Chef. (I’m the Sous Chef. According to wikipedia, I should have an area of focus as a Sous Chef. Perhaps I should just call myself the Grunt Chef. Nah… I like Sous Chef better.) But I think I know what we have on the menu for the holiday:

Turkey – of course
Stuffing – fried pork sausage, sage, onion– the traditional, none of this oyster stuff
Sweet Potatoes – some fried, some baked (not yams)
Mashed Potatoes – I’m in charge of those.
Green Bean Caserole – Why, yes, we are from the Midwest, why do you ask?
Buns – C’s mom’s recipe. Mmmmm.
Cranberry Relish – C’s mom requires this. From the can. Ewwwwww.
Gravy – Pan Dripping, of course. I’m in charge of that, too.
Pumpkin Pie and Peacan Pie

And with a menu like that… you might be asking who all we are hosting in our abode. C & C, C’s mom and partner, C’s dad. That’s it. (And C’s dad is questionable right now due to an injury.)

1) We are cooking for thrashers.
2) Next time, we might have to invite more people.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

SO… C chose the original host site for our first forray into blogland.
It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t too bad.
Except… it was.
Many people couldn’t post comments to our blog. Reason? No idea.
Often, we couldn’t get to our blog. Reason? Unknown.
Finally– enough was a enough!

So, we’ve moved.
Unfortunately, all of our posts haven’t moved with us.
A final reason we hate iblogs.

But we are unbowed. We shall carry on.
There are people out there depending on us.
There is Fun to bring.

So… On with the Show.

Welcome to the next incarnation of
Bringing the Fun