Thursday, December 6, 2007

so bad

i got sick last night at practice, so i called in sick. i'm feeling better (12 hours of sleep will do that for you), but i decided to order "transformers" on demand. holy god. i think this is my favorite movie ever. it's so stupid. they really should have renamed it "gigantic robots hiding behind things." the first half hour was ok, i guess, but all of a sudden it's slapstick and robots like tripping over things and getting peed on by chihuahuas and saying, "my bad."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

this school is weird

i think i just walked in on two teachers canoodling. i think they were making out and i just walked right into her room. huh. weird.

Monday, December 3, 2007

one thing i will never get sick of

i know it's like hitting a paraplegic pinata, but making fun of rob liefeld drawings will while the hours away like nothing else.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

adventures in cooking

roast leg of lamb, with pear salad and cherry rhubarb vinaigrette.

ok, so when i moved in with the wonderful GF i found this untapped talent: cooking. all of a sudden, in an environment in which i would not hear my orangutan friends in the background hooting "FAG!" every time i tried to make something for dinner, my culinary green thumb has sprouted. my friend ben came up from LA for my 30th surprise bday party (more on that later), and i really wanted to hang out with him more, so when DD and me were at the (overpriced) embarcadero farmer's market, we got some good stuff for dinner. here's how you make this shit:

roast leg of lamb:

1 boneless leg (if you get a boned one i have no idea how to take it out, but there's all sorts of directions on the inturwebs)
garlic (i used 4 cloves, but whatever)
olive oil
lemon juice from 1 lemon
kosher salt
red pepper flakes
ground mustard
white wine (for the sauce)

so this marinade-thing is pretty much the basic one; there's variations but the oil, lemon, rosemary, and garlic are more or less the common denominator in all the recipes i found. i think i'll play around a bit with them more later because there were a few that sounded pretty fucking good. one had honey and mustard that sounded pretty rad, and there were a few more middle-eastern-y minty ones, but as long as you stick to the basics and just have maybe one or 2 standout extra flavors you should be fine.

materials: food processor/mortar and pestle; digital meat thermometer; casserole dish; tinfoil; gallon ziploc storage bags; knives, time, etc. i was going to make a rad joke out of listing the most mundane of obvious items for "materials," but i've decided writing about the joke with this meta-joke will work perfectly instead.

preheat the oven to 325-350 ish. if you can score the meat, do it now so the flavors can get into it, but we didn't really score it too much; i just poked some holes in it. plus, since it's in a casserole dish and we're making a sauce out of the juice that'll come out of the meat anyways, don't worry too much about the meat getting dry or anything.

toss some kosher salt on the meat and let it chill out while you make the sauce. throw the garlic, lemon juice (watch out for seeds), oil, etc, into the food processor and get it all smoothed out. i didn't measure too much for this, but start with the wet ingredients and garlic and then add the spices to taste. throw the meat and marinade into a ziploc bag and let it set for a couple hours at least. some say overnight, but whatever.

if you want to work on the salad while the lamb is marinading you can, but make sure you have some more lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning.

i used asian pears for this because i was kind of making the recipe up as i went along, but since it turned out tasty i'm ok with it.

pear salad with persimmon, cherry-rhubarb vinaigrette:

salad mix
asian pears (but any sort of pears will work)
candied/honey roasted walnuts
cherry-rhubarb jam (we used this just because i bought some at the farmer's market, but really any sweet/tart fruit would do, i think)
olive oil
red wine vinegar
lemon juice
kosher salt

cut the pears like very thin apple slices. i learned the hard way that this is difficult to do if you have shitty $2.99 ikea knives. cut the persimmons into either smallish chunks or thin apple-slice style as well. put them all into a ziploc container, put lemon juice on them, and put it in the fridge for later.

for the dressing, put about a quarter cup vinegar and at least 1/8 cup olive oil into the (cleaned) food processor. toss in at least 5 oz of the jam, maybe half a lemon's worth of juice, a pinch of kosher salt, half a teaspoon of sugar, and blend the shit out of it. add sugar/salt/jam to balance the flavor as needed.

after the lamb has marinated for a while, take it out of the fridge and let it get up to room temperature. once it's been out for about a half hour or so, put it into the casserole dish and get as much of the marinade out of the bag and onto it as you can. set the meat thermometer's alarm to 145 degrees, and put it into the center of the meat, and cover the whole thing with tinfoil. put it into the oven.

once the meat's internal temp hits about 100 degrees, give or take, and take the tinfoil off the roast and crank the heat to 425 or so, which'll brown the meat some. put it back in and let the meat cook the rest of the way. make sure you keep an eye on it from here on out: if the juice that's collecting in the pan dries out and looks like it's going to burn, take it out and pour some white wine into the casserole, maybe a half cup at most, and then put it back in.

once the alarm goes off, take the meat out and let it rest to let the juices get reabsorbed into the meat. pour the juices into a pan on meduim heat. pour in some white wine and let it reduce, keeping it simmering and keeping stirring until it tastes how you like it. cut the lamb, pour the sauce over it, and serve.

if you want blue cheese to crumble over the salad, feel free. i kind of wished i'd had it. the dinner kicked my friend's ass, and i was hero of the evening.

i will post my sheperd's pie recipe later on. BOO YA.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

down with the sickness

the occupational hazard that looms largest for teachers is cold and flu season. you're surrounded by hundreds of squirming, screaming things, all of which revel in filth (well, the male ones at any rate). i've managed to dodge the sickness bullet until today, which is way, way longer than normal (every other year i've collapsed sick the moment i step on campus). so i'm sick, and i got soup for lunch from the chinese place down the street. it was delicious. and then the fortune cookie said "your health will be your wealth," and i was like: well, shit.

Monday, October 29, 2007


i made the mistake of reading some right-wing blogs today. they were enough to make me grind my teeth down to the gums.

Friday, October 26, 2007


is ok in my book, but making your own costume is kind of a pain in the ass.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

why i hate pitchfork

this from a "best new music" blurb on pitchfork's front page today:

"This Brooklyn four-piece follows its fantastic single '2080' with a debut packed with similar moments of pan-ethnic spiritualism. Like Midlake, Grizzly Bear, and Animal Collective-- who have all recently re-shaped tribal, primitive sounds into ultra-modern forms-- Yeasayer channel both a dystopian science-fiction sensibility and deep appreciation for the natural world."

oh. my. fucking. god.

i mean, i understand: if you don't like it, don't look at it. no one MADE me read pitchfork this morning. but come on, pitchfork. meet me halfway here. use your powers for GOOD, please. there's no need to use the fucking term "pan-ethnic spiritualism." this is rock music, not a fucking anthropological dissertation. you ain't smart for writing that.

Friday, October 19, 2007


on the way to work i was lost in thought, remembering this and already composing a blog entry, but then i read this which says it all better than i could have, and so instead of writing an awesome blog entry i bought this off ebay for way cheaper than its regular price.

it's a pretty guitar.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

you've never seen happy

until you've seen an autistic kid who, until this year, had problems with eye contact and speaking directly to people, giggles and does a little dance at his seat while listening to the strokes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


since getting my new faraway job i've all but given up on weeknight drinking, which, if pressed, i suppose is for the best. but tonight my illustrious Better Half is leaving for a week, so what better way to say goodbye than have a miserable, hungover day tomorrow? i have a feeling that's a trick question, but since i asked it, i guess... something. i dunno. shut up.

my asshole sister had her second baby. maybe now she won't be as much of an asshole. just kidding. my new niece, grace, was a couple weeks preemie but came out ok. i'm visiting on saturday.

my car got broken into. again. i have a beige-y grey '96 nissan sentra -- a.k.a. the car that looks exactly like every other car in my neighborhood -- which i bought for the grand price of $600, give or take a couple hundred for parking tix. a while ago someone broke into it near Better Half's old place by exploding the passenger side's door lock with a screwdriver and stealing a visibly broken digital camera and the $1.48 in my ashtray. they left the screwdriver. on monday night someone smashed a back window and took the .75 cents in the ashtray, completely ignoring the screwdriver and thus robbing me of something far richer than all the change in all the ashtrays of the world: the opportunity to sing "the circle of life" while telling this story. those bastards.

but now i have to fucking buy another window. i feel like putting a sign up in the thing saying, "dear people who break into cars: there really is nothing in here worth breaking any part of my car to get to, so please don't. if you DO see something in here and you want it, please leave a note because chances are we can work something out. but breaking into this car will be a waste of everyone's time, and although you most probably live in golden gate park and have quite the surplus of time, it's still a waste."

i got some new records... and actually BOUGHT a few, instead of downloading! i actually kind of amazed myself there. i got:

the new jose gonzalez, which manages to be simultaneously more nick drake-y and less nick drake-y. the new iron and wine is balls-twirlingly good, except for a couple songs that kind of made me forget what was happening because there was too much going on. i got that kevin drew, broken social scene-connected record, and it's ok, i think. i haven't been able to listen to the whole thing in one chunk yet. the new aesop rock is awesome, too. it's way bouncier and more fun than the other stuff i've heard by him. i had all this shit i was going to write about these records, but i'm too tired and annoyed to try right now. maybe later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"sombody gonna get pregnant."

scene: golden gate park, at around 6:30 p.m. clear skies; bright, close sun; smooth breeze; indian summer evening. the kind of time you wish you could call everyone you love and say: hey, get over here, let's get drunk in the park and whatever. walking home from the comic book store, crisp new "52" trade paperback under my arm.

i'm walking fast, down 9th, into the park. bikes whiz and joggers plod past. there's a guy up ahead of me with a shopping bag, one shoulder lower than the other. i'm enjoying the evening.

i get closer to the guy. it looks like his bag is heavy. i'm right behind him. i then see the lcuky's bag he's holding is completely full of bloody, dripping red meat*. there's meat all the way to the bottom of the handle loops. it's got to be at least 10 pounds of meat. dripping meat.

mood ruined. entirely replaced by confusion, with a shot of amusement running through it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

oh, and by the way

barry bonds' son is my t.a. how weird is that?


it's back to school night! FUCK YEAH! MINIMUM DAY AND WE GET OUT AT 1:55 AND SHIT... oh, but wait. i live 40 minutes away from work. and i have to be here from 7 to 9 tonight. well, then. i suppose i'll just... um... blog? and sit here, shoes off, feet smelling remarkably like sourkraut, necktie over a booger-encrusted student chair, desperately ignoring the billion and ten things i SHOULD be doing right now. fuckin a.

the upside: i called in sick tomorrow because of my fucked up ribs. they're a lot better, but i figured i should call in sick friday because i didn't call in sick when it REALLY hurt, on monday. trust me: this makes perfect sense. this is known, in business circles, as "paying it forward." no, wait. i mean, "the law of aggregate returns." or something. whatever. all i know is i'll be able to sleep another hour or two in the morning, which is the most important thing that each of us should take away from this conversation.

so, yeah. in a week i've torn through almost the entire ultimate spider-man run and i have to give it a grade of B. the first fifty issues were pretty spot on, character-wise, and, relatively speaking, art-wise. after issue fifty it all kind of turns into this weird, oddly self-referrential mush. i mean, come on: ultimate moon knight? ultimate master of kung-fu? who has a fucking BOWL CUT (p.s. bagley, what's the deal with you and bowl cuts? there are way too many of them in your stuff)? ultimate RONIN? bendis, shame on you for giving the world ultimate ronin. i understand how it all fits into the story, but that's like dj shadow sampling himself. wait, no. that's like dj jazzy jeff sampling himself. the story wasn't good enough to let that be "clever." it was more "silly."

in the middle chunk of that fifty-issue run, though, mark bagley really kind of started stepping up in the art dept; i really, really don't think he's a very good artist, but he had a run that was, relatively speaking, flawless. the first couple arcs are really bad, and the last few arcs are even worse (hello? BOWL CUT?). stuart immonenn, though, is fackin amazing (r.i.p. nextwave), and i think the book may have a renaissance thanks to him being hired. i certainly respect bagley being a workhorse and churning out issues nonstop, and comics needs guys like that around to show everyone how it's fucking done, but in the end i would rather just have a trade paperback with steve mcniven or travis charest art that took five years to finish than a timely, average book which doesn't do much other than give us totally underused ultimate b-list marvel characters and an ultimate daredevil that's... exactly like the normal one.

next time i write about bendis, remind me to talk about how it seems like his stories are made up as he goes, as if he's constantly dictating what he thinks would be cool to an ever-present comic geek stenographer. ok, i have to do work now. bye.

Monday, September 17, 2007


as in, i totally munched it on my bike last night. i rear-ended mike, the other guitar player in touch committee, going full fucking speed and let me tell you: this fat man FLEW. when i hit i basically elbowed myself in the ribs, so they're either bruised or cracked a bit, but other than that i'm pretty much okey dokey. it was kind of scary when it first happened, but no traumatic brain injury no foul i suppose.

i have been reading the entire ultimate spiderman run after never having read any of it. i just hit issue 51 and i have to say that my support of bendis is wavering. i think he's done some great stuff, but i think that great stuff tends to be finite things: avengers: disassembled, the illuminati stuff, secret war, that kind of stuff. but having an infinite sandbox to play in... i dunno. he gets the characters, for sure, but it's just so... so... drawn out. i mean, 50 issues in and there's been like 4 story arcs. i can blow through them and nothing really happens. i'm all for decompression in comics -- and i don't think that's the argument i'm trying to make, anyways -- but bagely's art is "meh" at best (i seriously have no idea how he's gotten the props he has) and the payoffs, in my mind anyways, simply DON'T.

but maybe the rest of this shit will blow my mind. and, frankly, maybe it's the art, because i've read some stuart immonnen stuff and loved it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

cobwebs, dust, etc.

i just heard a hum song on a cadillac commercial, starring that guy from "the ring." weird.

i kind of can't believe that my last post was in may. i managed to go the ENTIRE summer without posting anything. truth be told, i kind of hit a funk this summer; i holed up and played a shit-ton of video games (including a lot of "lego star wars" with deidre, a game i highly suggest everyone play with their significant other because the co-op play makes you work through a lot of relationship shit while playing), which, normally, i rarely do, and occupied myself with reading comics and not leaving the house. but everything's going pretty good still. i got a new job at a new school that pays... twenty thousand dollars more a year than my last gig. yeah. i almost crashed my car when i drove away from signing the contract. it's a pretty cool place, too. all the other teachers i've met are cool, and i get to work with my friends aaron and lexie, which is also very cool, but the principal and i don't really understand one another. it's not that i dislike her, or that she dislikes me (although she very well may dislike me, let's not be presumptuous, right?), but it's that almost every conversation we have is utterly confusing. we NEVER get off on the right foot. every single interaction we have tends to be under "perfect storm" circumstances, and, like, NOTHING goes quite as it should. so i have this feeling that i may not be asked back nexy year, which sucks because of how much money it pays, but in the end i'd rather teach somewhere i feel comfortable and that gets me. because i'm hella complicated.

music: the new animal "too cool"-ective is "meh," the new liars is "meh," i like maritime, i like old al green, and i'm pretty sure i heard some other stuff that i liked but i can't really remember it right now.

movies: superbad wasn't as amazing as i'd hoped, but it was a lot of fun

comics: dude, what the fuck is DC doing to itself? countdown is ass-chunks. world war hulk is a billion times better than civil war was, and i think the new avengers is kind of falling apart. i like bendis, but man. it's fucking time to finish all this stupid avengers disassembled shit and get somewhere else. they keep talking about how the marvel universe needs change, and i agree, but it feels like these stories that are causing the changes are going on too goddamn long. the fact that they keep saying the whole m-day storyline will be resolved finally or whateever, it's just... marvel, you guys are good. really good. so just fucking stop it, already. stop it.

anyways, if spencer is blogging again, and i'm blogging again, then maybe all is really right with the world. i mean, except for the whole iraq thing, and the housing market thing, and the irreparable damage caused by the bush administration thing. and the global warming thing. and the end times thing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

i called it

breaking up a fight? check.

got super fucking sunburned? check.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

it's just like...

you know how the teddy bears had a picnic? today, the special ed kids get a picnic. here's to taking the day off in the name of "social skills."

the funny thing is that although this field trip to the park is ostensibly to teach social skills, we will have to break up at least one fight or bust a kid smoking pot in the bathroom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


as in: my breath has been taken away by all the shit that's rained upon my furrowed brow as of the past few weeks. jesus fucking christ. i'm dying over here.

the good thing is that me and my awesome lady got us a place on 7th and fulton, which is right next to golden gate park, haight street, green apple books (the best bookstore i've ever been to, hands down), the inner sunset, and all manner of cool shit. i love my city. so all i have to do is hang in there for 2 more weeks and then i'll be ok.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

looking for a new job

is butt doody. i have spent so much fucking time rewriting my resume, working on cover letters, etc, etc, etc.



anyone want to pay me six figures to hang out around them and be witty all day?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


so hung over. i haven't left my bed all day. it's been fantastic.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

i don't understand

i really, really don't get it. i mean, i have a lot of ideas. every day i have ideas. all kinds of them. the other day i had this idea about jetpacks. that was a cool idea. yesterday i had an idea that i should make a joke about my girlfriend's weight. that was a bad idea. some ideas are good, some ideas are bad. the trick, as i found out when i had the idea to dive for a softball, even though i had no idea how to properly dive and ended up breaking my collarbone, is to not follow up on the bad ones.

it seems like marvel has a lot of ideas, too. and they should, too, because they've got some really creative people working there. the problem with marvel, it seems, is that they'll just take any idea and run with it, whether or not it's good or bad. i mean, how else do you explain this? how did marvel get to this? don't they understand that the continuity of this whole civil war thing, although potentially cool, is falling dead on the floor?

they really should have done what DC did with 52: PLAN THE FUCKING THING OUT BEFORE STARTING TO PUBLISH.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


1) spencer is crazy.

2) yesterday in my desk at home i found a $30 gift certificate for a comic shop. i had completely forgotten about the thing, and it was a great way to start the week out. last night i burned it all (plus 15 bucks), and got some great shit:

girls, vol 1: conception

MAN. i was so into this thing i ran to the computer and downloaded them all so i could find out how the fucking thing ended (and rest assured i'll be buying all the trades cuz it's awesome). a while ago i had somehow stumbled across the penultimate issue of this series and was completely fucking confused by these identical naked girls hatching from eggs and running around, beating up women tied to poles, and then said naked girls having their heads chopped off with hatchets. but after reading the first trade, it all made a lot more sense. well, as much sense as something like that can make. despite the last couple issues sagging and dragging, worth reading for the giant homicidal sperm alone.

agents of atlas hardcover.

i haven't read the whole shebang yet (because of that fucking creepy giant sperm thing from girls that i got hooked on) but i was pretty into what i got through last night. the art was better than i expected from the covers, and the dialog was snappy. snappy. i just said the dialog was snappy. i think i deserve being hit for that.

i looked everywhere for the new issue of iron fist. the fuckers at that store file shit confusingly, to say the least.

NEW TOPIC: is it poor form to read comics at the store when you're on the fence about them? like, is it ok to go expressly with the intention of getting the stuff you want, but then spend another hour reading other books out of curiosity/disdain? just wondering.

special little snowflakes

1) i have the coolest girlfriend in the entire world, and will harp on this fact for all it's worth. how cool, you ask? so cool that after me blathering on and on about how i've seen both spider-man movies at midnight showings, she bought us 2 tickets. man. i love that girl.

2) yes, i teach special ed. and, yes, i will harp on this fact for all it's worth, too. yes, it's hard. but it's also one of the funniest jobs you can have. people often ask if the kids in my classes are... you know... like, retarded or just learning... disabled? and i have to tell them that no, they're not retarded, on the whole they just have processing difficulties and it takes them about a week to learn what other kids can master in like a day. where the synapses in some kids' brains are highways, the synapses in my kids' brains have sections like this

often this manifests itself in something you could describe as a general slowness: it takes them a longer time to respond, you gotta repeat stuff a lot, etc (although every kid, yes, is a special little snowflake, yes, and all have different strangths/weaknesses). so, as their teacher, what i do is try to find alternate routes around their roadblocks, finding a way to get curriculum shoved into their brains. most of them don't really like learning, or thinking, because it's just a lot harder for them than playing video games or just sitting there, doing nothing. i think of it like having to do wind sprints whenever you want to take a nice, leisurely walk. often they don't really have that creative spark, so if you want to do creative writing with them you really have to pump them up, give them a lot of examples to use as templates, and just be generally weird.

2 years ago, i had a student named andrew. he was the strangest little man ever. he was more unique than most kids because he was really creative, but he kind of didn't know it. he would give these bizarre answers to mundane questions, but not because he was trying to be weird so much as those answers were genuinely his opinion. for instance: andrew loved vacuum cleaners. LOVED them. whenever there was a sale at like best buy, andrew would come in to class, all smiles, and march right to my desk and show me the sunday advertisement with the one he wanted. he was the maestro of cleaning, and vacuum cleaners were his string section.

andrew transferred schools for some reason, and i kind of miss him. looking through my desk yesterday, i found an old vocabulary story he wrote. i used to teach them 10 vocab words, and then as a review exercise i'd give them a story topic and have them write a story about that topic using the 10 words, which they'd underline. i have decided to transcribe it here, for you, because it's standardized testing ALL WEEK and i'm bored and you all need to know why my job is rad. without further ado, andrew's story, verbatim, written in class, straight out of his wee head, misspellings his. the boldfaced words are the vocab words.

the day i built a robot

I, Andrew always want to build a robot, humanoid, or robotic to see it like us. I invented the three laws of robotics, A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law. A robot must protect its existence, as long as this does not conflict with the first or second law. I hope this is not inferior. I worked with Sony & this day we are going to build Qrio the robot it can walk, talks, runs, dances, plays ball games, surfs the web, recognizes voices & faces, can differentiate between sounds. It's height is 2 ft (61 cm). Some of the equipment was savage. So we bought new ones. This robot is not colossal. that's good the the robot is not unstable. Many years ago we invented a girl robot names Maria. Qrio was trying to woo at her & it was intention. We are the most valor people making robots and robotics. We hope not that a instruder won't come in the lab or we will go to the den. Few days have pass & I went to a rite at church & my teamates scorched some of the extra equipment. What a thing we invented a few days ago.

this writing exercise pales in comparison to his district essay proficiency essay. that one he chose the topic "how i would improve the world," and basically rewrote plato's republic, but with a flying robot police force

and him as general andrew, president of the world. i'm not joking, and neither was he.

Monday, April 30, 2007

they are assholes

sometimes working with kids is the best thing in the world. other times, it's so infuriating you want to either beat the shit out of them or just quit and walk away. and then there's the days you want to do both.

Friday, April 20, 2007

...the FUTURE.

here are some predictions for the year 2000, written in the year 1900 for the ladies' home journal. some are right, some are wrong, and some are just plain awesome -- particularly the one about aerial forts and war-ships. mostly they just predict things getting HUGE, and airplanes not being particularly important.

APE is tomorrow. i'm stoked. and i plan on getting spencer carnage very drunk and having him barf on the dog. or my trainwreck roomate, angela. degrees of difference, i suppose.

Monday, April 9, 2007

the joy of teaching

the best thing, hands down, about being a teacher is the breaks. i'm on spring break right now. whenever i have breaks and nothing scheduled for myself to do, i'll come up with little assignments for myself. this week, i've given myself the assignment of watching the entirely of "lost," season 1 and 2. in the last 2 days i've plowed through something like 20 hours of television. it's nice to feel like you're accomplishing something, even when you're not.

Monday, April 2, 2007


i've been consuming a lot the past couple weeks. a quick rundown:

the host --
not quite as good as i'd been led to believe, but still a lot of great moments (i never really know if foreign movies are good or not; often i feel like subtle things are either lost in translation, or that the narrative just plays out differently in its native culture). some scenes went on way too long (all the shit when the family's in the hospital seems like they're trying to figure out how the movie's supposed to go while filming), but the basic stuff the movie was made of -- the fucked up family, the love despite it all, the awesome fucking monster -- was great. well worth supporting, and if a decent director gets a shot at the american remake it should be awesome.

godland: another sunny delight TPB --
if i knew how to type that o-with-a-line-through-it thing i would, but i can't. this makes me feel like a failure, as a teacher and as a man. sigh. regardless, i've managed to get both the godland trades used for super cheap and i have to say that although i like them, i don't think i like them enough to pay full-price. the art, as anyone reading this would know, is good-ish jack kirby styled (although i could do without some of the cartoonier aspects of scioli's stuff), and is the selling point for a lot of folks. but for my money the dialog is where it's at: joe casey's writing reads like it was ridiculously fun to write, which is my favorite thing in writing. the ideas don't let up, and although the main character's kind of a pussy (i know he's learning as he goes, but he never actually does anything right), the characterization isn't too shabby either. i deem this a good read for when i come home drunk and want to stare at something before i fall asleep/good hangover reading material.

starman: sins of the father/starman: night and day TPB:
this comic's amazing because: a) its run started in '94, a dark time for comics in general due to the overarching theory that spandex and FUCKING retarded superheroes drooling and fighting made for good comics, and b) it ran for something like, what, 80 issues? that's fucking awesome, especially for a comic whose main character actively avoided costumes and only was a superhero after being kind of forced into it. even then he only did it part-time, when he wasn't running his vintage store.
my review of starman is this: a superhero comic written by neil gaiman that wasn't actually written by neil gaiman. i deem it: something to read when i have time to sit and actually digest it and enjoy it (a.k.a. a rarity). although the trent reznor vibe of the main character is kind of freaky -- he is a very, very good summation of mid-90's dude (the tattoos, the haircut, the vintage clothes thing, the boots; i keep looking for the front 242 record in his collection) and it makes me feel like i'm in high school again, which isn't really the best possible result of reading a comic.

battles, mirrored:

fact: ian williams, the insanely good, weight-carrying guitar player from don caballero's american don days, and the kinda-superstar of battles, makes me so jealous of his melodic and rhythmic sense that it makes my balls hurt. fact: battles' last couple records, B ep and ep C, were both totally underwhelming, with a couple tiny exceptions, especially considering the other band members included john stanier from helmet on drums, tyondai braxton on weird avant garde jazz blips and bleep noises, and some other dude doing everything else. fact: it should have been an amazing group, but it wasn't. fact: the new battles record is fucking amazing. BALLS-HURTING amazing.
x-factor #17 --
peter david rules, but for some reason i've not been able to reread this issue. i think i'm getting too old to buy comics as they come out; all i can think of when i pick up an issue of 52 is how much i'd rather read it in the trade all at once. i'm a dick that way. i have faith that this x-factor arc will pay off, but waiting is not my strong suit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


not that i'm the dramatical type, but after civil war #7 and the whole death of captain whogivesashiterica, marvel has managed to keep me from buying most of their comics. i mean, they have some sweet talent and i'm all for a lot of the titles, but i can't keep buying all this connected shit that's not connected enough and not compelling enough and not written well enough to be worth my time. i'd rather be having sex, or drinking, or reading "real" books again.

exit exam = me eating donuts in peace

usually these kids are trying everything they can think of to either get my attention or get out of working, but yesterday they started taking the wonderful little think i like to call the california high school exit exam, a.k.a. eight-plus hours of peace for mr. miller. even though i'm covering 2 classrooms and running around a lot helping these poor little bastards, for the most part they are working their asses off, trying to pass. this welcome and encouraging (read: short lived) self-sufficiency and go-gettiveness (and silence) is awesome. yesterday and today i have:

1) looked for new jobs
2) read everything on the internet, ever (that the district servers allow me to see, anyways)
3) broken the high score on "super collapse 2" on my phone while in the bathroom
4) eaten a ton of donuts
5) listened to the sweet, sweet sound of silence; a sound the special educator rarely, if ever, hears unless 6 of the 8 kids in the class don't come to school for a day, which has happened, come to think of it
6) worked on this blog, and on raising my notoriety in the blogosphere, which i like to imagine as the atmosphere in that there are probably a few layers.

all this has given me the opportunity to think about a couple things, one good and one horrible.

the good:
for once in my god-forsaken life i'll fucking be able to go to the alternative press expo in san francisco, because it's finally not in the hazy months of january/february/march; months during which the days, i guess, seem to blend into a fuzzy, rainy mush and my memory turns firmly to shit. every summer i always say, "i should go to that again," and then promptly forget it. i got to work at one when i worked for slave labor graphics (which was a fun job except for the fact that i thought dan vado wanted to kick my ass [which my friend, joe, who still works there, said wasn't entirely untrue], and despite the best attempts of my fellow order-filling-packaging-mailing-out-bitch to make my time there miserable) and it was really neat. ever since, though, i've wanted to go and don't remember until the san diego comic-con comes around, which i've also managed to forget about until it's too late. in essence, i forget a lot.

but, yeah, so it's at the end of april this year so i'm totally going. last time i was there i managed to accidentally make fun of jhonen vasquez by trying to compliment him, and confused judd winick by saying hello. let's see what kind of damage i can do this time!

the horrible:
i've been reading a book about the massacre in nanking in the late 30's. i'll say this: "the rape of nanking," while an essential piece of reading, should NOT be read at bedtime. you know when a fucking NAZI is the voice of reason, chasing away soldiers who are trying to rape anything that's not nailed down (but now that i think about it i guess being nailed down wasn't even a mitigating factor; they actually nailed people down and raped them) something is fucking amiss. the japanese soldiers had killing competitions, seeing who could kill the most the quickest. ponds were so full of bodies the water disappeared. they bayoneted babies and tossed them into boiling water. they raped to death girls anywhere from aged 10 to 80, according to the author.

i wish i was making any of this up, but i'm not. well, some people think it's made up. there's a lot of back and forth between japanese scholars who either question the severity of the specifics or dismiss the event outright, but if even half of the story's true it's chilling, regardless, and well worth learning about.

in some passages, the way japanese soldiers are described in terms of their raping habits almost sound like cockroaches when the lights get turned on. i mean, jesus: the estimate is that they were raping around 1,000 women A NIGHT, which doesn't even account for the daytime raping! they were climbing over fences, breaking down doors, everything short of dressing like a woman and infiltrating the safe zone to get at the women. if it wasn't so creepy, and didn't so often turn into raping someone to death (emphasis mine because the idea of raping someone until they die is such a foreign one i really, honestly cannot imagine it), it would maybe be funny.

the really gross thing, though, is that although war crimes trials were held and executions happened, for the most part what happened in nanking got swept under the rug because of the US's desire to trade with japan and our distancing ourselves from communist china.

an open letter from the fraternity of Gamma Wamma Bush

ooh. geez. yeah, um, about that whole “war” thing… sorry, rest of the world. we had a lot to drink that night because our friend came in from out of town, and then we were all reading all these CIA reports and stuff, and… man. we had no idea what happened after that. all we know is that we woke up and a bunch of stuff in the reports was crossed out and re-written in crayon, and, like… we were killing the shit out of people. and then these dicks were like, “dude, why are you killing the shit out of people?” and we totally blanked, and like, remembered something about dancing on the desk in the oval office with no pants on, pretending we were sadaam, and so we were like, “dude, we’re killing the shit out of people because of FREEDOM. and if you like FREEDOM, you like killing the shit out of people, you dick. comprende?” and we gave them these crazy eyes when we said that shit, and got all scary and stuff, and you better believe they backed the fuck off. and then we kept getting free stuff every time we yelled “FREEDOM!” at people, like braveheart and shit, so we just kept doing it and kept getting like free french fries and shit.

so, yeah. our bad! lol!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

post christmapocalypse

took off from rainy san francisco to do my boyfriendly duty of hanging with the girlfriend's family, who are a very animated (read: drunk) bunch.

after being in michigan during what is, apparently, the worst blizzard in 10 years, i'm fairly certain the "wonder" part of "winter wonderland" is less an expression of snowy beauty than it is an expression of wonder akin to "holy fucking SHIT that's a lot of snow." this is the weather report for today in battle creek. any time visibility is .3 miles, and that's a best case scenario, you know you're in trouble.

the funny thing is how proud the midwesterners are of their life-threatening weather. 6 months out of the year there's a chance of you dying just by being there. in summer, people drop like flies due to two of the four scariest words in the english language: "heat index." the other two pop up in the winter, "wind chill," which can be just as deadly. they like to make fun of the californian for being a weather fag, but shit, dude. don't pretend like you wouldn't be stoked if all of a sudden shit got nice year-round. house prices would soar through the roof. people would actually want to live there, due in no small part, i'm sure, to the fact that the chance of weather-related death no longer loomed around the corner of every other coming season.

i think they're just jealous that our weather is good and that they have like 20 types of natural disasters for each 1 of ours, and that our main form of natural disaster is more like a rollercoaster than anything they have.

but the food? oh shit. deidre's mom's cooking is almost enough to make me move into their garage out here. sheeit. midwestern cuisine finds ways to put ham where you didn't know it could go.

in closing: god bless you, the midwest. just ease up on the blizzard stuff, ok?