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Monday, July 20, 2009

Check out my comic-con schedule!

I'm still working the bugs out on the time difference and how it syncs up with my phone. See you in San Diego! (actually, I'm already here).

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

I spent a lot of time in the office this week. We're really winning hearts and minds with our efforts. Ah, finally, after 2 and a half years people are finally understanding the benefits that my skillset has to offer. By Friday, going to see a concert was exactly the kind of reward I was looking for. What better concert to go to than one of my favorite local bands, The Mercers. It was a CD release party for their EP, "Hovercraft". Not sure what the title has to do with the collection of songs but, it's a title. I sent out an invite to about 30 people but, nobody responded to the e-mail. Strange. Anyway, Cory showed up at the house after I got home from work. We had dinner with Matt, who went to the bar on River Road for a concert with Nate who came down from Dallas for the show and some campin' and some toobin'. Matt has to work tomorrow... um... today but, he didn't want to have to drive back to Austin too late so, he took a sleeping bag.

Cory and I got down to the concert at The Parish about an hour before The Mercers went on so, we hit the bar next door. Daddie's, I think it was. I chatted up the waitress but, she acted too busy to talk to me. I never know if I'm being entertaining or annoying. Judging from most waitstaff that I've tried it on, I'm about half and half. Once the baseball game was over, the bar cranked the music again. Just in time to go back next door and watch the show.

The Mercers played a few random songs, then the 7 songs from the EP and about 3 more songs. I only recognized Disco Nixon (from the EP) and Un-America from their previous album. About halfway through the set, some chick ran her fingers through the hair on the back of my head but, when I turned around she had either run away or decided to blame the prank on her friend. I kept a smile on and gave her a "yeah, right" nod. I think she was tired of standing behind two 6-footers that were nestled up near the stage. I get that a lot.

Towards the end of the set, I scanned the audience looking for "shorties" and spotted Chris Stutsman who was a friend of Bo's and formerly the drummer of the band former known as Choking Ahogo (now The Mercers). I see him at Peter's and Brian's (and Eric's and Evan's) shows about 90% of the time. He had brought his wife (who's name escaped me then, and continues to elude me). I pointed him out to my brother and he waived them over. Cory, Chris (who is also over 6') and I were now a wall of meat no doubt pissing off the crowd from the stage back to the bar. I'm not as concerned as I used to be. If we hadn't started the show at the front, there would have been a huge gap between the stage and the crowd. I practically did them a service :P.

After the show ended, we headed back down 6th Street, which by now had been cordoned off so drunks can walk into the street without fear of a beat down from the bike cops. Most of the way up the block a group of concerned Christians were carrying signs about sinning and belting out dogma through a megaphone. Damn annoying. Worse still, the signs were condemning "drunkenness", which is kinda the point of 6th Street. Clearly, they missed the *point.

*I'm not asking for commentary on how I shouldn't be annoyed by concerned Christians, so don't bother.

Cory and I finally made it home, cracked open the last Coca-Cola from the fridge and split it into two glasses with Treaty Oak Rum, which made a nice night-cap. We both fell asleep on the couches in front of the TV watching Brendon Frazer in George of the Jungle. This movie is better with your eyes closed by the way. I woke up around... now, and decided to start blogging again. Not sure why but, why fight it? It's fun to do when I have the time and when I get inspired.

I'll try to get in a few words each day this week to cronicle my time in San Diego.

Hopefully, I'll be overhauling my site soon so I can post more pictures and incorporate other social-media crap-ola on the front page. Until then, enjoy more of the same.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend update. Well, and update on my weekend, anyway. I got home from work and relaxed while Mariah drove her way up to my house. We were going to see Cut Copy at Stubb's. I brought along a folding chair for Mariah, since she has been having some knee trouble recently. When we got to the entrance, the C3 presents guy told us we couldn't bring a chair in. Mariah informed him of her condition and he said, "talk to James over there, he'll put you in the VIP area". So we did, and he did. We got into VIP area in a sold-out show!

The first band Matt and Kim were really fun. I haven't seen a drummer smile that much since watching Taylor Hawkins drum for the Foo Fighters at ACL last year. It was crazy being so close and not having an army of people crushing you into the barriers. Truthfully, I enjoy the heat and energy you feel from being in a crowd but, it was pretty nice to sit down while while both bands rocked us out. Maybe I'm getting old...

The headliner Cut Copy had a real synth-pop appeal. It's a real treat to listen to a band that just now has enough material to play live. As an avid listener, you won't be disappointed when they don't play the track you liked the most off the new album. This is especially the case at Stubb's, since noise ordinances force bands off the stage at 11:00 (thanks to the nearby condos which Stubb's pre-dates).

Mariah! I was wrong. You sent out an e-mail to me on February 28th about Cut Copy, so I had plenty of time to listen to their music before the concert. Sorry.

Saturday morning brought me to Walnut Creek where I mountain biked from 10:20 to almost noon. Again, I was elected leader, since I had been to the park more than most of the people there. The guys following me were strong riders so, I pushed myself hard. Too hard at some points but, I only gassed out badly one time. I texted Tobin and Jared but, I found out the message didn't leave my outbox when I got back to the car. Turns out Jared was out of town and, Tobin was focusing on a video editing project, so it was all right that the message never got to them.

That afternoon I went to Staple! the Independent Media Expo where I met a whole host of artists (only half as many as I was hoping to, because of time constraints) from which I bought a moderately sized stack of comics. It was fun learning about their different projects. I saw a few artists that I wish I'd had time to talk with for a bit like Chris Onstad, and Stan Sakai. I even saw Scott Kurtz and Chris Straub walking around the Exhibitor's hall but, since they were there as attendees I didn't want to bother them.

Man, I really wanted to buy some original art from Stan while I was there, as it was the one thing that I regretted not buying last year at Comic-Con. Walked out of Staple! with regrets too, I guess. I'll see Stan again at Comic-Con this year, so I'll make it a point to get something cool from him in July.

I did get to sit front row at Stan's Q and A session which was amazing. I brought in my Usagi Yojimbo Cardboard Standee which would have been impossible to lug to San Diego this year. I tried to lean it up against the stage and the MC (who was going to pass the mike for questions) said that he would be walking in this space and it might get kicked. So he suggested that I put it up on the stage. When Stan saw it, he asked me if I wanted him to sign it. I said "YES!", and as the MC brought it up to him, I said he could stand it up next to him during the Q and A session. As he signed it, he said "Wow, this one's been used", which was obvious from the few bends in the cardboard and some sun bleaching.

I tried to find a picture from a blog or something of the event, since I didn't snap one from where I was sitting. From my angle, there was a microphone covering Stan's face.

Directly after Staple! I went down the street to see Watchmen with Bo, Cory and Betty at the Highland Galaxy theater (because they have DLP projectors). The movie was great, even for a fan of the comic book. Sure, there were compromises in the translation and edits due to time constraints but, this has to be the best comic to movie translation since Sin City. To be fair, I haven't read the comic since 1991 so I could be missing the most irritating changes. I thought the treatment of Rorschach and the selection of actor (and Jackie Haley's performance) was absolutely spot-on. It was particularly cool to see the slightest details replicated from the graphic novel, such as the broken passant on the shoulder of Rorschach's trench coat.

Sunday morning was a little later than I had hoped since an extra hour had slipped away from me during the night. I started the day in the planning on spending the morning back yard, putting in the edging around the planting beds. When I got out there, I found the back yard covered in leaves, so Amy and I worked until noon raking, mowing (and catching) and sucking up leaves. Ended up with 6 or 7 bags to put out on the curb on Wednesday. Hope it doesn't rain.

Once that work was done, I dug a trench for 40 feet of the edging to go into. I should be able to dedicate a few more hours to that work this week before Amy and I go to the Nursery on Thursday morning and pick up the plants that are missing from the layout that I paid for towards the end of last year. While I'm in Chicago this weekend, Amy should have time to put the plants in place and see if the arrangement looks good.

Cory dropped by and gave me a HUGE assist on the upstairs bathroom. We exchanged ideas on the tile and got started on moving the switches and outlet that were installed too low and would interfere with the wainscoting that was planned afterwards. This re-enforced the point "plan, then execute otherwise... re-work". Thanks for the help Cory! Now the upstairs bathroom is a little closer to done AND a little less dangerous.

Now it's Monday.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm here at comic-con in San Diego, awaiting the opening of "preview night". We've been shifted from line to line, and waiting for over 4 hours. So far, we've counted 6 Superman shirts. Updates to come...

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