Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Do I Survive?

It's amazing I'm not robbed blind or murdered in my sleep. I went out to the garage to leave for work this morning only to find the garage door wide open. My car door was also open to the world. Think that's bad? The door into my place: unlocked. There was little good about the situation except that all my stuff was still there, the car managed to start, and no one messed with me while I slept. (Thank you for small miracles.)

But seriously - I've got to be a little more on top of things. This wasn't the first time I've left the garage door open and house unlocked overnight. Call it what you want, my head just hasn't been in the game for the past month.

Snap out of it, pirate. There are escapes, and then there are escapes.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Week of Loss - Mar. 29

This week I lost 2 lbs., and am now within 38.2 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Week of Escaping Tweets - Mar. 29

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week – complete with COMMENTARY!
Slow start to the day. When is the weekend? (Yes, I understand it is only Tuesday.) [That was my attitude all week long: longing for the weekend.]

Picked up the remastered Ten by Pearl Jam, and the new Papa Roach. Will be playing both while working tonight. [Big music week for me. Also downloaded some Shane MacGowan, The Bad Plus, and The Dubliners. All good stuff.]

The walk was needed. Had the chance to be tossed around by 30 mph winds while listening to the new Papa Roach. Feel so much better, truly. [Once again, the only workout of the week.]

Would love to stay home from work today and do nothing. Oh wait, that was last week. That was vacation. *sniff* I miss vacation. [The weekend went by too fast, as well.]

Wandered around the bookstore but could find only books I already owned and had not yet read. [Okay, so today I wandered again, and found a few books that I didn’t own and wanted to read. Tuesday there’s a new Coben book!]

Finally registered for RAGBRAI. More expensive this year to ride across the state of Iowa. [3rd hilliest, but at least it’s short. Looks like there will only be 3 of us this year. ]

If you are bald you can make surprisingly accurate game avatars. [The new X-Box Experience allows you to create avatars like the Wii’s Miis. Pretty nifty.]

Why do some people find the need to stand so close to me in line? If you can lick the back of my neck then you are too close. [I was like: step off woman; you’ll get your popcorn soon enough.]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

Week of Stories - Mar. 29

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

A Week of Stories by Italo Calvino.

Monday: “Conscience” by Italo Calvino * *
Tuesday: “Solidarity” by Italo Calvino * * * *
Wednesday: “Dauntless Little John” by Italo Calvino *
Thursday: “The Man Wreathed in Seaweed” Italo Calvino * * *
Friday: “The Black Sheep” by Italo Calvino * * * *
Saturday: “Good For Nothing” by Italo Calvino * * * *
Sunday: “The Ship with Three Decks” by Italo Calvino * * * * *
Sunday: “The Death of Jack Hamilton” by Stephen King * * * * *

My favorite story by Italo Calvino this week was: “The Ship with Three Decks”

From the review: “A successful folktale can transport you back to your childhood, when times were magical, and stories – especially those folk and fairy tales – filled you with wonder.

My favorite story of the week was: “The Death of Jack Hamilton” by Stephen King

From the review: “That someone has the patience, skill, and dexterity to accomplish such of a feat is unbelievable, but the thought of those white threads attached to the flies floating in the air is just as funny and beautiful to me as it was to the dying Jack Hamilton.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Revisiting American Gods

I've been rereading American Gods by Neil Gaiman, loving every page. I remember feeling the same type of joy when I first read the story a few years ago. It is almost as though the world shifts a bit and I find myself on the same journey across America with Shadow and Mr. Wednesday. This book is a trip. It will take a real effort to not read more than just a handful of pages a night before bed.

It's more than reading; it's an experience.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Green Grass and New Music

It was nice to see the green grass returning. We've had a lot of rain here in the Midwest over the past couple of days, and it's starting to show. The first highlights of green have returned.

It looks good on ya, Iowa.
Picked up the new Papa Roach - Metamorphosis - and the reissue of Ten by Pearl Jam. I'm glad I noticed that the $11.99, 2-disc version of Ten had the remix disc I thought was only available with the Deluxe Edition ($27.99). I never get around to watching the DVDs that come with those Deluxe Editions anyway.

Was contemplating the purchase of Coheed and Cambria's huge live CD and DVD box set ($79.99), but there were no copies left at Best Buy, and like I just mentioned: I don't get around to the DVDs, so what's the point?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Week of Vacation - Sunday

That's the end of it all. Vacation is over. All that is left is being able to wake up in time for work tomorrow. (Something which I am praying I'll be able to do. I am setting every alarm possible - loud as possible - in the hopes that I do not oversleep.]

Finished Battlestar Galactica today. Spent a good portion of the day watching the final episodes from my DVR. I am pleased to announce that I was immensely impressed with how the series ended. Everything felt right. I can't think of another show that ended as well as this series did. Bravo! (I will not go in to details here, because I'd hate to spoil the end - this entire series - by talking about the ending. Watch it for yourself - you owe it to yourself to do so. It is that great.)

I am off to finish the night with an issue or two of Starman. I can't think of a better way to end my day, my week.

Week of Escaping Tweets - Mar. 22

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week – complete with COMMENTARY!
Little bit later start to the day than I planned. That'll teach me to try "plan" a vacation. Only setting myself up for disappointment. [Vacation went nothing like I had planned. Disappointment I did feel, but also realized I was relaxed, which was truly the point of this vacation.]

Driving home from Iowa City. Good day spent with great friends. [It was great to see the friends again, but kind of disappointing (for me) to hear they may be moving away (but great opportunities for both of them – so I’m happy for them).]

This life of leisure has its downside. Very little is being accomplished. [Still early in the week when I was worried about the lack of accomplishments.]

2 mile walk at a quick pace on a brilliant night. Aside from every little thing (too much horror on my mind) scaring me, it was great. [My one workout for the week was too quick, but also wonderful.]

A trip to the comic shop only made me want to dig through my back issues and reread old comics. Is there anything out now truly exciting? [A week of many, many comics has convinced me that my love for them will never truly die.]

I absolutely love sitting in a theater, waiting for a new movie to start. [Only one movie this weekend – a vacation weekend! Found too much of interest on the DVR in the form of shows I’d fallen behind watching.]

Wow, a four CD, five DVD box set from Coheed and Cambria...only $80. Interesting. Also, new Papa Roach. Good music week for me. [Going to be getting some new music this Tuesday, but how much?]

I am IMMENSELY satisfied with the ending of Battlestar Galactica. Can't think of another show that ended as well as this one did.[Simply an amazing series throughout its entire run. Bravo!]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

Week of Loss - Mar. 22

This week I gained 5.4 lbs., and am now within 40.2 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Week of Stories - Mar. 22

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate. (A week of two tales per author each day - the free time of vacation.)

Monday: “Making Do” by Italo Calvino * * * *
Monday: “Dry River” by Italo Calvino * *
Tuesday: “Return to Pleasure Island” by Cory Doctorow * * * *
Tuesday: “The Super Man and the Bugout” by Cory Doctorow * *
Wednesday: “20th Century Ghost” by Joe Hill * * * * *
Wednesday: “Pop Art” by Joe Hill * * * * *
Thursday: “Not Yet the End” Fredric Brown * *
Thursday: “Etaoin Shrdlu” Fredric Brown * * * *
Friday: “Deadman’s Road” by Joe R. Lansdale * * * * *
Friday: “The Long Dead Day” by Joe R. Lansdale * * *
Saturday: “A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman * * * *
Saturday: “October in the Chair” by Neil Gaiman * * * *
Sunday: “Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King * * * *
Sunday: “Graveyard Shift” by Stephen King * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Deadman’s Road” by Joe R. Lansdale

From the review: “I had been in the mood for a western – not old-timesy and tame, but something brutal and fierce. The addition of a supernatural element only added another level of pleasure to this tale.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Week of Vacation - Saturday

I was of a mind that my week was wasted, that my vacation was ruined, but now, at week's near end, I find I am at peace with the week. Did I accomplish the goals I set for myself - not a one.

Did I relax? Yes.

And in the end, that was all I truly wanted - needed - on this break from work. I let myself down on a lot of fronts, but it only gives me something to come back from. Will I turn things around right away, starting Monday? Probably not. But I will try. And trying is all I - anyone - can do.

Today I started the morning off rough. Something was wrong with me - with my stomach? - last night and I couldn't sleep. I maybe caught an hour of sleep between the pain and uncomfortableness of whatever was wrong. I decided to finally just start the day around 6 AM with an episode of Dollhouse and one of Smallville. I then read my short stories, 10 of the weekly comics, and watched 1 more of Fringe and 3 of Battlestar Galactica.

I am going to go back downstairs and read some - maybe comics, maybe a novel (or 2) - but then I'm off to sleep. Tomorrow will hold something. I'll see it when I get there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week of Vacation - Friday

Feel as though I did very little today. Can't even say that I read a lot today, because I didn't. I just spent a lot of the day, wandering around. (I suppose some people call it shopping, but when you don't buy anything - or very little - is it really shopping?)

I did go and see Knowing, * * *, starring Nicholas Cage. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The more I think about it, the less sense everything makes, but at the time, while watching (which is the only time you should truly consider), I was completely absorbed. If you are in the mood for a good science fiction tale, you could do much worse.

Read only a couple of the weekly comics today. No novel reading. My two short stories, both by Joe R. Lansdale were great - one amazing.

Watched Seth Rogen, Guy Fieri, and Chris Cornell on Leno tonight, and it was a very good episode. I kind of want a Bob toy from Monsters vs. Aliens.

Who knows what tomorrow will entail. I know what I should be doing...but that doesn't always mean much.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Week of Vacation - Thursday

Read a ton of comics today. Single issues (10+, I don't feel like going to count), trades (Green Lantern: Secret Origin, Air, Midnight Nation, House of Mystery) - just a lot of comics. I also read my short stories, finished a novel - The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief, and worked a bit on The Graveyard Book - which I'd like to finish in the next few days (the three days of vacation left to me).

While reading all those comics I realized I'm not as discouraged by the current state of comics as I was yesterday at the comic shop. There are some good titles being put out each month; I've just fallen far enough behind that I couldn't remember them at the time. I want to write an entire post about this, but not now. Maybe tomorrow.

I also watched Role Models tonight. I really enjoyed the movie in the theaters, and it was just as funny tonight on DVD. I'm glad I shelled out the money to own this film. This is one I'll watch over and over again. As I Tweeted earlier: there are many quotable - and inappropriate - lines of dialogue.

Still feel as though I've wasted this vacation. All my plans - nothing to show. I keep thinking I just need some inspiration, some motivation. But instead of waiting for these things to just show up, I should be DOING something about it.

It's simple, really: GET OFF MY LAZY ASS. Get up out of the chair. Do my work. Stop feeling sorry for myself because I've wasted my vacation - there's NOTHING to be done about it now other than spend the next three days doing what I set out to do all along.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Week of Vacation - Wednesday

I was pleased to share a nice lunch with my mom at Olive Garden. I had a huge herb-grilled salmon fillet, and it was good. Both my mom and I are busy people, and it seems like I see her less and less, but it is always nice to get together, even if it is just for a meal.

Got the call from the comic book shop, as I was driving there, that the copy of Starman: Omnibus #2 I ordered had come in. I was waiting - impatiently - for this ever since I missed it by mere hours a couple of weeks ago during its release. Almost picked up a copy Monday when in Iowa City, but knew, just knew, that if I did it would surely arrive today. (And it did, so I'm glad I waited.)

Spent a good portion of the day reading stories by Joe Hill (they were both excellent) and finishing On Writing by his father, Stephen King. Also read a handful of weekly comics - still no where near current with these - but have, as of yet, not read my goal of one collection daily.

Contemplating exercise or a bit more reading with the remainder of the night.

Finished On Writing

Finally finished (after what could be close to two years) Stephen King's On Writing. The book, part memoir and part advice for writers, was more than I hoped it could be. I expected to find some helpful advice, and more importantly, inspiration, and I was not disappointed. What I didn't foresee were the autobiographical parts - the entire first half of the book - and the life that shaped the writer King has become. His postscript, "On Living," was particularly moving. In this section he described his accident while out walking - an event fictionalized, to some degree, in the final volume of his Dark Tower series. Just as it did before (the aforementioned Dark Tower telling), the accident struck home with me in all the wrong ways, making make me angry, and sad.

But I digress...

I was - am - impressed with this book. It is one I know I'll reread from time to time, when the inspiration falters, or the toolbox need dusted off.

New Novel From Niffenegger

I am a huge fan of Audrey Niffenegger's first novel, The Time Traveler's Wife. It may just be my 2nd favorite novel of all time. (There's something about time travel that I thoroughly enjoy.)

I am pleased to read that she sold her second novel for a staggering sum. This is one book that I can't wait to read. (It sounds strange - probably as strange as a book about a man bouncing through time interacting with his wife at different points in her life, from childhood through eventual marriage - but wonderful.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Week of Vacation - Tuesday

Spent a lot of time indoors reading and watching TV today. Normally, I wouldn't complain. These are things I enjoy. I'm on vacation. I should be doing things I enjoy.

However -

I didn't follow my diet. I didn't workout like I wanted (I am going out for a walk as soon as I finish this post - with probably only minutes to spare before midnight comes and changes today into tomorrow).

But -

I did read through two trades (WE3 and RASL) and 6 of my weekly comics. I caught up with Smallville (2 episodes), Caslte, and watched 1 of 4 recorded episodes of Fringe. I also read 110+ pages of books sitting on my shelf. On Writing by Stephen King is simply amazing. I'll finish it tomorrow. It is inspiring, to say the least. I also started re-reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman - like I need another book going - just because I was in the mood for it.

I also played around with Stanza (an e-book reader for the iPod Touch) and read my two short stories on the iPod today. It worked rather well. I also downloaded a book by an author I enjoy (Tim Pratt) that I am adding to my collection of novels started, yet not completed.

And I did laundry.

Now, the midnight hour approaches, and I need to be walking.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week of Vacation - Monday

The day of traveling made it difficult to follow the vacation plan - but that was expected. I did have a great time hanging out in Iowa City with my friends. It was great to see them again (we don't get together nearly enough), and to walk the Ped Mall in Iowa City once more.

Made stops at Prairie Lights (bought a novel by Deb Olin Unferth and the 2008 Edgar Award-winning novel) and Daydream Comics (bought We3, volume 1 of Aaron's run on Ghost Rider, and the over-sized trade of Smith's RASL - all three titles not stocked at my local comic shop). Had to pass up the second Starman omnibus - even though I really want it - because I have asked for it to be ordered at the local shop (but it's been 2 weeks!).

Managed to read my double stories, but didn't get the other reading goals accomplished. Watched the newest episode of House, but didn't make it to the gym. Ate out twice in the same day, and snacked more than I should have, but didn't go too overboard with anything.

All in all, it was a great day. Just not as productive as I hope the rest of the week will turn out to be.

Week of Vacation - Mar. 16th - 22nd

Double the Fun

In an attempt to double the amount of fun had this vacation, I’m going to try workout twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Now, this might not work everyday, but it’s something to shoot for, especially after a week of nothing like last week (I know, I know; I said I’d not dwell on that - much.).

I will be able to read and review two short stories a day this entire week. There are quite a few collections I want to delve deeper into, and this is a great opportunity to do just that. I haven’t decided if I’ll focus on one specific author all week, or look at a theme. I’ll decide that this first day.


While on vacation from work I want to accomplish something. Many somethings, really. These are all the projects or goals I’ve set for this week:
  • Create a budget – something that will involve a look at my finances, something I dread, but need to do.
  • Read 100 plus pages a day in the many novels I have half-completed, or just started. It would be nice to clear these books off some of the many Shelves of the Unread.
  • Get current with my weekly comics. There are more in this stack than you may believe.
  • Along the same lines as the reading goal, I want to complete one comic collection (TPB or HC) a day.
  • Clean my entire home – thoroughly. It is “spring cleaning” time.
  • File my piles and piles of papers, two years worth and growing.
  • Backup computer files on both computers. I say I’ll do this and I never do, and it has come back to bite me in the (you know) with the laptop.
  • Start a Flickr account in the hopes of pursuing the whole photography thing. I think I’d enjoy it if I just knew a little more, and this might provide the motivation to learn.

While the blogging has kept me writing nearly every day, it is not the type of writing I wish to pursue as a future career. More creative writing is called for. To that end, I will write one short story this week. I’ll also work on developing a weekly comic strip that I can post up on the blog. The illustration may not be great (but it does provide me the opportunity to practice and become stronger), but hopefully I can create something worth checking out weekly.


I’ve been doing the whole exercise and diet thing sort of willy nilly. I’d like to develop a workout plan that moves me toward a goal, but in a way that doesn’t seem too rigid, I honestly believe that the flexibility of a plan is the key to its success. I’ll also try and work on something of a diet plan that incorporates all I’ve learned so far (fruits and veggies, hydration, fiber), and that will easily allow for new learning as the year and challenges continue.

Sounds ambitious for a week, I know. Still, I need something, or I’m positive I’ll find myself sacked out in “the chair” in front of the TV all week long. That is not how I want to spend my vacation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week of Escaping Tweets - Mar. 15

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week – complete with COMMENTARY!
Reread issue 1 of Seekers: Into the Mystery for what must be the 100th time, and still find it to be an amazing piece of writing. [This nostalgia prompted me to pick up the reissue of Transmetropolitan this week at the comic shop. First issue in that series is also very good.]

The "idea" of half-marathon training has totally ruined my once healthy obsession with going to the gym. Can't drag myself there tonight. [After being so gung-ho – if only in my mind for a day – I decided to not do this half-marathon. Just too much too soon.]

Another day with no good excuse for my behavior, for my lack of any action. My mantra seems to be: "Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow." [Which turned into nothing – absolutely no working out – for the entire week!]

Finished work a little early. I'm on vacation now! [I LOVE being on vacation. Not having to work, or worry about getting ready for work. It’ll be a week of projects, but also relaxation.]

Big Bang Mini on the DS is highly addictive and a BLAST. A ton of fun for $19.99. [This is the type of game I can enjoy. Simple controls. Highly addictive. Smooth learning curve. It’s just now getting difficult, but pleasantly so.]

Going to change out of the Cobra uniform and into something respectable for a baptism. Even evil follows a dress code at church. [After the baptism and dinner I went to a movie with an uncle and then stood around talking in the chilly parking lot afterwards. Was a very nice night.]

I need to Follow more people (or get a life) - I keep flipping back here hoping for some new, exciting post from someone... [Life. I need to get a life. ]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

Week of Loss - Mar. 15

This week I gained 4.6 lbs., and am now within 34.8 lbs. of my goal weight. (First weight gain of the year.)

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Week of Stories - Mar. 15

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Don’t Ask Jack” by Neil Gaiman * * *
Tuesday: “Estoppel” by Bentley Little * * * *
Wednesday: “Juan the Cell-Phone Salesman” by Deb Olin Unferth *
Thursday: “The Man Who Shouted Teresa” Italo Calvino * * * *
Friday: “The City of Dreadful Night” by Rudyard Kipling * * *
Saturday: “The Flash” by Italo Calvino * * *
Sunday: “Suffer the Little Children” by Stephen King * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Estoppel” by Bentley Little

From the review: “That’s one of the powers of fiction – good fiction – it allows you to live vicariously through its creatures and creations. To be as good or bad as the story, or your imagination, allows.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Music Purchased - Mar. 10

This was a big week for music for me. A lot of great sounding tunes to keep me rockin'. (It also depleted my reserve of Best Buy gift cards - but rest assured, I still have Amazon gift cards to keep me in the music.)

Scream for $2.99

Chris Cornell's new album, Scream, is available at Amazon.com today for $2.99. That's a heck of a deal. It even comes with an exclusive bonus track. (The deal may only last the day, I'm not sure, so act fast.) Supposedly the album is a bit of a departure for Cornell - has a more produced, R&B sound to it. "Experimental" is the word being tossed around by critics. Sometimes you can get burned by albums like this. At least with a price of $2.99, if you don't enjoy the album it's not like you are out much. And if you do enjoy it, it is a fantastic deal.

(This is the second week in a row I've picked up an album I wasn't sure about for a very good price through Amazon's very slick, and very affordable digital download store. Bravo, Amazon.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rocco De Luca & The Burden on Leno - UPDATED

Rocco De Luca & The Burden will be performing on The Tonight Show this evening. I love this band. They have a new CD out tomorrow that I will be picking up. I've been waiting for a new album from them since the moment I finished listening to their debut the first time.

I'll be running the DVR for this as I'll either be at the gym or asleep by the time they come on. I'll put a link to the episode and performance up here tomorrow.
UPDATED: Here's the promised link. If you want to skip to the performance, select Chapter 6 of the episode.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Comics? Check.

I did succeed in reading three comics a day over the past week. It simply reminded me how much I enjoy my comic books. I'll continue to try read about three comics a day. I'll get caught up soon enough, and maybe even get through some of the many (100+) unread trades and hardcovers lining my bookshelves.

Week of Escaping Tweets - Mar. 8

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week – complete with COMMENTARY!
Almost didn't go for the workout, but did, and am very happy I did. Feel rejuvenated and happy. Gotta love those endorphins! [This was a week of only ½ as much workout time and miles. It was just a tough week to make it to the gym. Apathy won out in most cases. High hopes for this week: start training for a half-marathon, and my weight is right at 200.2 lbs., just a bit more and I’m down under 200 lbs.]

Still no Starman Omnibus Vol. 2, but I did pick up the Seekers: Into The Mystery TP (this series has one of the best issues I've ever read). [It’s late now. And I wanted to finsh the newest 39 Clues book, but I may just have to read that first issue of Seekers - it is simply amazing.]

I know he doesn't read all the Twittering he follows, but how cool to be Followed by amazing author, Harlan Coben. [What? I can geek out if I want to.]

It is beautiful out. A cool rain after a long, hot workout feels amazing. [Love the rain. Always have.]

Go NOW and watch the new Star Trek trailer. NOW. [Best 2.5 minutes of the week.]

Finally current with Lost. Best show EVER! Simply amazing. [The more I think back over the past 4 and a half seasons, the more brilliant I find the show to be.]

Alone in the gym - near midnight - and all I can do is imagine evils lurking in the shadows, hiding behind the mirrors. [What? So I’m a chicken. Sue me. I have a more than great imagination.]

To Dollhouse haters: it's not that bad. Only seen the first ep., but the writing has wit and flow, only lacking Whedon's normal humor. [Have now watched two episodes and am really getting into the show and its underlying mystery.]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

Week of Stories - Mar. 8

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “Minor Robberies” by Deb Olin Unferth *
Tuesday: “Dress of White Silk” by Richard Matheson -
Wednesday: “Maybe A Superhero” by Deb Olin Unferth * *
Thursday: “Johnny Cash Is Dead” by Jordan Harper * * * *
Friday: “Berlin Wall Piece” by Sam Shepard * * * *
Saturday: “The Dream of Duncan Parrenness” by Rudyard Kipling * * *
Sunday: “The End of the Whole Mess” by Stephen King * * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Berlin Wall Piece” by Sam Shepard

From the review: “This story, for instance, ends in a way that hints at its extra layers, and I’m like a climber, holding on by fingertips, straining to pull body over ledge and into understanding and enlightenment.

Week of Loss - Mar. 8

This week I lost 4.6 lbs., and am now within 30.2 lbs. of my goal weight. (I’m over HALFWAY there!)

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oh MY...

I wish I could embed the new trailer here, but I can't. All I can do is provide the link. You MUST go watch this trailer.


Forget the comic book movies, forget the terminators and transformers, and forget all the other "must-see" films of the year.

Star Trek is the movie to see this year. Hands down, this trailer is amazing.

(Yes, I know I'm gushing, but I was impressed. And upset that it wasn't attached to my copy of Watchmen yesterday, like it should have been. It would have been awesome to see in the theaters.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen - Movie Review

Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
2 hours 46 minutes
Adapted by David Hayter and Alex Tse from the graphic novel
Directed by Zach Snyder
Starring Jackie Earl Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, and Billy Crudup

* * * ½ (Good/Great)

I never understood the label “Best Graphic Novel of All Time” attached to Watchmen. It was good – great, even – but still probably not cracking my top ten. So, this in mind, while expecting great things from the movie, I had less invested in this film than some of the more die-hard comic fans.

Did I enjoy the movie? Yes. Were there parts that were amazing, and parts that were cringe worthy? Yes, and yes. Would I recommend Watchmen? Yes, but it is not for everyone.

What didn’t work for me were the more superhero-y aspects of the film, which sounds strange considering the movie is a deconstruction of superheroes. I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the movie featuring Rorschach and the Comedian, and even the excessively wooden Dr. Manhattan was not as glaringly cartoony and fake as the segments featuring the remaining cast of heroes. All of my favorite movies based on comic books (e.g. The Dark Knight, Spiderman 2, Superman Returns, and Iron Man) more seamlessly integrated the comic book aspects into reality. And I believe that is what made them as great as they were.

There is violence, gore (more than you expect to find outside of a horror film), and a bit of sex – all of the adult trappings of an R-rated film – but none of that changes the fact that this is a film tailor-made to please only a small audience – its appeal (due largely to the massive marketing push and phenomenal success of comic book movies in 2008) is not as all-encompassing as advertised, or hyped.

As a comics fan, familiar with the source material and the countless other stories of similar natures and themes, I can enjoy this movie for what it is: just another good – maybe great – look at the ugly, tragic, hopeful, and heroic lives of heroes. Will the average movie patron see the same? I don’t know. I’m so far removed from “average” when it comes to comic books and movie adaptations that I only see through comic panel-tinted glasses.

All that said, the opening credits are a lot of fun, and Haley’s Rorschach steals every scene. If you are intrigued by previews, and have the chunk of time to spend (and a tolerance for the harder R), there are worse ways to get a fix of superheroes in all their messiness.

Sleep Interferes

So I had the brilliant idea to get a couple hours sleep before going to the midnight showing of Watchmen. My 2 hours of sleep turned into 10.5 hours of sleep. No Watchmen, no working out.

But I feel rested. Most sleep I've had in a month.

I'll be going to see Watchmen after work tonight and working out after that.

I'm trying to be upset with myself...but the sleep was nice, welcomed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Midnight or Not?

I'm toying with the idea of taking Watchmen in at midnight tomorrow night. I know I'd be able to stay awake during the movie, but it would be the time before and after, and work the next day that I worry about.

But I really want to see the film. And I do enjoy the midnight showings of movies...

I guess I'll just make the call tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Terminator: Salvation Trailer

Oh my...

This movie just shot up on the list of must-see movies for this spring/summer season. Looks great.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Only 4 More Days...

Only 4 more days until Watchmen arrives. I'll be there Friday after work.

And maybe again Saturday.

And Sunday.

(I love me my comic book movies.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

To Read Comics Once Again

I haven't read a single comic in over a month. I've been that busy.

That, however, is all going to change. I'm making it a point to read at least 3 issues a day until I am current with my weekly comics.

This will be in addition to my short story work, my 1-2 hours of exercise a night, and my regular couple hours of work. Nothing like keeping busy.

Now, if I could only find time to watch TV and read novels...

Week of Stories - Mar. 1

Stories read this week from over at A Year of Stories, Pirate.

Monday: “To Be Honest” by Deb Olin Unferth * * * *
Tuesday: “Brevity” by Deb Olin Unferth * *
Wednesday: “Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman * * *
Thursday: “The Long Count” by Sam Edwards * *
Friday: “The Braindead Megaphone” by George Saunders * * * * *
Saturday: “Blue Yodel” by Scott Snyder * * * * *
Sunday: “Stationary Bike” by Stephen King * * * * *

My favorite story of the week was: “Stationary Bike” by Stephen King

From the review: “It’s an amazing thing when you connect with a story, when your life and thoughts mix with those of another, imaginary (character) or real (author).

It was a tough week for choosing a favorite story, especially with three 5-star stories ending the week. Not that that is a bad thing – three excellent stories in a row is hardly a thing to complain about.

Week of Escaping Tweets - Mar. 1

A collection of some of the escaping thoughts (tweets) from the past week - complete with COMMENTARY!
Nothing like the feeling of watching thousands (yes, thousands) of dollars disappear in the tiny envelopes of monthly bills. [I really hate paying bills.]

It's such a warm and beautiful day. I'm going to have to do something outside tonight (and still probably go to the gym). [I got off of work and was excited to get back to the great outdoors…]

Turns out exhaustion trumps even the most beautiful of days. No workout for me tonight. Thus ends a streak of 11 straight days. […but I was damn tired.]

I think I just volunteered myself for the biking part of a triathlon? [Was approached by a lady from work to see if I’d be interested in joining their team. The more I think about it, the more I hope it works out.]

Hung some sketches, a comic, a clock, and a sign up at my place. Starting to finally - after 1.5 years - look like someone lives here. [I can’t stop from pausing and staring at this new addition to my domicile – I need to get some more frames, some more art.]

Seems as though I spend a good part of my life sweating now. [I’m just happy I’m still enjoying it all so much.]
As always, follow the Escape Pirate over on Twitter.

February Movies

I saw the following movies in February:

Coraline * * * *
Taken * * *
Push * * *
Confessions of a Shopoholic * * *
The International * * *
Slumdog Millionaire * * * * *

Movie of the Month: Slumdog Millionaire

# of movies seen in February: 6

# of movies seen in 2009: 10
# of G rated: 0 (0% of total)
# of PG rated: 2 (20% of total)
# of PG-13 rated: 3 (30% of total)
# of R rated: 5 (50% of total)

Movie of the Year: Slumdog Millionaire

Week of Loss - Mar. 1

This week I lost 4.4 lbs., and am now within 34.8 lbs. of my goal weight.

Continue to monitor my progress and other health and wellness information over at A Year of Loss and Health, Pirate.