Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 9 - Wonder Woman's New Look

With any change, there’s bound to be controversy. In today’s 600th issue, Wonder Woman got a new look. It is a radical change.

And boy is it not popular. (At least, according to online polls.)

It’s a departure from the status quo, sure. I mean, those are pants! and a jacket (everyone hates the jacket). That’s change alright. It’s supposed to be more modern, more urban – something a woman can wear and actually fight crime. All logical.

The OldThe New

And yet, still iconic.

Even without knowledge of a costume update, I’d know this was Wonder Woman. So, it’s successful. In fact, I kind of like it. I’m interested to see how different artists interpret it. I’m curious how long it will stick around. Will this be the costume of the movie Wonder Woman? Because, you know, it looks like movie version of a Wonder Woman costume.

Unlike a lot of people, I know it won’t stick around forever, so I’m willing to give it a chance. I say, give it a shot. Be open-minded. This is Wonder Woman, like it or loathe it, for 2010.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 8 - TOY STORY 3

I saw TOY STORY 3 today, and it was wonderful. It was just as good as the original, much better than the second one. It is hard to believe that it’s been so long since the first movie came out. It is not like I was a child when it was originally in theaters, but I was still kid enough to find it special. (Who am I kidding, I’m still kid enough to find most movies amazing.)

In this new movie I especially liked the addition of Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton) and Big Baby. There is nothing creepier/cooler than a giant, giggling, one-eye-busted, baby. There also some monkey action – loved the exploding barrel of monkeys and the security monkey. I also really enjoyed the intro cartoon, NIGHT AND DAY. It was slightly more adult in execution, but to tell the truth, those intro cartoons have always seemed to me a bit more geared to the adults in the audience than the kids.

Seeing it all in XD 3D made it an overall impressive afternoon in theaters.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 7 - Not Feeling It

I’m just not feeling it tonight. This is two days in a row that I can’t find a topic or the drive to write.

It’s not that I had a bad day. I actually had a great day spending time with friends, eating great food.

Instead, I’ll leave you with the trailer for HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Perfect Image

Makes me smile.

Day 6 - What I've Been Up To


I read the comics CLOSER, WITCHBLADE vol. 1, JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE vol. 1 and vol. 2.


I read the five most recent issues of ESQUIRE magazine.

I watched a multitude of television episodes, including WIPEOUT, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE LATE SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON, and THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR.

And there may been more than this, but on a night when I couldn’t even come up with something to write about, my mind is grasping at straws.

This week: bankruptcy stuff, biking, biking, THE LAST AIRBENDER, and more biking (hopefully).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 5 - Epicness

If I were a comic book character, this would be me

I would be dating her

And it would be epic.

I loved the Scott Pilgrim series before it became popular, before it became a movie out in theaters this August. It’s a perfect series for a fan of video games, love stories, and hilarity. And the movie looks to be equally amazing.

The above images come from the Scott Pilgrim Avatar Creator. It’s a neat little application that creates spot-on versions of a person as he or she would exist in the comic series.

There are five volumes of the series out in stores now, with the sixth and final volume due this July. I recommend you buy them immediately!


Also, I couldn't resist updating my Twitter profile icon with my new Pilgrimized portrait.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 4 - The Watch

People like my watch. I get compliments about it almost weekly. It’s nothing fancy, or too terribly expensive – a Fossil Arkitekt ME 1000 – but it does catch your eye, a silver thing of beauty. Something with a bit of heft to it. The left one-third of the face is open to the grinding gears inside, a small second hand spins a tiny circuit over the exposed cogs, the center of the face a circle of etched lines radiating out from the open chamber, and the only digits visible, a 12 and 6, occasionally masked by one small and one large blue hand.

Watches today seem almost obsolete. Everywhere you look you are confronted by the time in new ways. It appears on microwaves, ovens, coffeemakers, computers, iPods, DirecTV listings, etc. Even worse, cell phones. Why would a person even need a watch today?

It’s not a question of need, or even necessity. Watches are pure vanity.

And I couldn’t love them more for that fact.

I think everyone needs to have something superfluous and shiny.

I could very easily see myself – when excessively wealthy – purchasing an expensive, bulky, massive and shiny watch or two. Or ten. Just two that I’ve seen recently and think would look splendid on my wrist are the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date in 18 KT White Gold ($29,850)

and the IWC Aquatimer Chornograph 3767 ($6,300).

Now those are a couple of watches I wouldn’t mind glancing at from time to time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 3 - How Much for a Screw?

I work part-time at a large home improvement store. I suppose you can call it work, but I mainly just stand around and occasionally ring up a customer’s purchases. Okay, so we are a fairly busy store, but it is not like I’m performing rocket surgery here. I greet, I scan, I thank.

There are worse jobs out there.

I needed this part-time job to help with the financial woes I’d burdened myself with over the past…well, shit, lifetime of excessive spending. The pay is good and I am able to schedule around my full-time job. Also, the dress code is relaxed enough that I can get away with wearing shorts, t-shirt, and a ball cap. Actually, that’s a big thing. Especially when I find myself working the outside registers (my favorite location), in the heat and humidity of an Iowa summer.

The hardest part of the job is quickly finding the prices of the loose screws and fasteners that customers throw on the counter without any regard to item numbers. Come on folks, that’s why we have those nifty bags and pens for marking such things down.

However, all is not roses and ice cream. The people in charge are often the source of all my troubles with the job. As easy as I may think it to be to respect someone’s scheduled availability, I don’t think there’s been but a few weeks in the 6 months I’ve worked there that my schedule actually matched my availability. Seriously, I know the scheduling is all done on the computer, so how hard is it to work me only when I say I’m available? I know it’s not a huge deal, usually a half-hour or hour difference, but still. It’s the principle of the thing.

And while I’m ranting, if you schedule a person until a certain time, there is no reasonable excuse to keep them late. More often than not, the head cashier in charge simply forgets to send in the replacement cashier so that I can go home on time. Happens easily once a week.

Also – and this may upset some people – why do I have to do all the work that the women supposedly cannot do? I mean, in the job description it states that an employee may have to lift and handle things weighing 40+ lbs. All cashiers are responsible for pushing in carts from the lot. All cashiers are responsible for helping in other departments when it is slow at the front end. And yet…it’s always me. It’s not even always because everyone else working that shift is a woman, most of the time it’s me because I will do the work and I won’t complain, whine, or slack ass.

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be a responsible, efficient, conscientious worker. Or at least it doesn’t pay any extra.

Complaints and all, there’s probably not a better part-time job out there for me. It’s been good for me to get out of the house, especially in the summer when I have so much time off, to talk with people other than myself, even if it is superficial small talk. At least I’m out there, doing something, making money, part of the world.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 2 - The Problem with Perfect

I have a problem with perfection. It is nearly always unattainable. The perfect story, the perfect woman, the perfect life – good luck with that, buddy. Still, I look for perfect – I expect perfection – and more often than not, I’m disappointed.

Perfection is also subjective. One person’s perfect does not mine make. Praise, reviews, endorsements, and advertising lead to expectation. I can be told that this is the best, and I can be shown a clever cut of what I hope there to be in the final product, and yet I can still be sorely disappointed. So where does that leave me?
Struggling to find enjoyment in the imperfect world.

I went to see KNIGHT AND DAY this afternoon. After watching the previews, I expected a humorous, actiony, enjoyable time at the movies. Summer movies should be fun.

I was not disappointed. This time.

I was actually surprised that I was not disappointed. I’ve been having that feeling a lot recently at the movies. With nothing really of much interest out in theaters the past few months, I found surprising enjoyment in THE A-TEAM and THE KARATE KID, movies based on 80’s ideas I probably could not force myself the rewatch now. I kept the expectations low for those two and ended up the better for it.

High expectations met with KNIGHT AND DAY, low expectations surpassed with THE A-TEAM and THE KARATE KID. Where does that leave me? Should I hope for that uncommon perfection or lower my standards to enjoy what is typical?

It’s a tough call. For ever good day, like today, with its thoroughly enjoyable entertainments like KNIGHT AND DAY (in theaters), JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE (comic hardcover), A PERFECT GETAWAY (on DVD), and THOSE CHILDREN WHO COME AT YOU WITH KNIVES (finally at a bookstore near me), there are days filled with more of the same, like just another repeat episode of LAW AND ORDER.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 1 - Things Left Unfinished

Dig a hole.

I’d fallen into a bad habit of leaving things unfinished. Books stacked up, shows filled the DVR, dishes littered the counter, and goals were unfulfilled. I found myself…overwhelmed. I wanted things to change. I wanted a cleaner life. (I wanted to be happy.) It seemed to me that I’d dug the hole too deep. There was no escape.

And then I woke up this morning, not early like I’d planned, but suddenly motivated.

I’d received a text or a tweet from my brother, @crshaver, last night suggesting that I try 30 days of blogging to get me back in the habit of writing. Some combination of that challenge and my waking motivation resulted in progress today.

I finished the cleaning I started last week – the cleaning I’d put off for months. Seriously, months. It was disgusting. I was living in filth.

That simple thing done, a clean house, has left me feeling hopeful that all the other obstacles stacked up and in my way can be overcome. There is just something about uncluttered countertops, straightened piles of magazines, sparkling floors, and a lack of dust and cobwebs in the corners that eases my mind. I feel like I can do anything. I feel that I can:
  • Put in some training during these 32 days before RAGBRAI
  • Finally file that 3 year old stack of work-related documents
  • Eat less, better, more healthy foods to restart the weight loss needed
  • Begin running in anticipation of that marathon in January
  • Enjoy the summer before starting back to work full-time in August
  • Meet the challenge of blogging for the next 30 days straight
Dig a hole.
Fill it up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back at 30

I'm back. It hardly seems like half a year has gone by since I posted last, but it's true.

Time does move quicker the older you get.

And 30 I am today.

It's been a good brithday, a mix of work around the house (I was up cleaning my bathroom and bedroom at 6 AM) and time spent with family (lunch with my brother and supper at my mom's). Throw in some presents and the epic new international trailer for SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD and it was a good day indeed.

I could watch this trailer over and over again. Here it is, my birthday present to you: