Saturday, August 28, 2004

Despite my earlier misgivings, I've been gradually warming up to Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network. Tonight's episode managed to win me over completely. Now, I don't want to be one of those guys who worships at the altar of writer Paul Dini--though I guess I am--but this is easily the most fun episode of Justice League (of either series) I can recall seeing. I mean, there have been other good episodes, but this is the first one that felt like it remembered to pull the stick out of its ass and have a good time with the concept, instead of telling a deadly-serious straight-faced episode, or an out-and-out wacky comedy half hour. No, this had wit and style and a good, suspenseful superhero story with some surprising twists. And it had Zatanna, one of my favorite superhero characters of all time (due to be revived/revamped by superstar writer Grant Morrison in a miniseries next year). And finally, the series gets points for developing romantic sparks between Wonder Woman and Batman, instead of the more obvious Wonder Woman/Superman route that the comics always toy with.

Which just means that next week will probably feel that much more disappointing...
So I ended up going out for an expensive-but-worth-it dinner at the Artistes Steakhouse at Paris Las Vegas with my brother last night. When we got there at around 7:30 or so, we were concerned that we--particularly he, wearing his shorts--were underdressed, but they sat us in the "casual" section. By the time we left around 9:30, the place was full of people dressed like him, obviously tourists. So much for class. At least he had the courtesy to be concerned.

He also told me that he had been at a small casino the other night and seen a man starting a fight with his wife. Nobody else was doing anything, so he stepped in and stopped it. Once again, I am amazed at the family I come from.

I've been watching this new show on Cartoon Network, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and it's nice, but I'm not sure I'm going to stick with it. I think I'm into it more for the design than the stories. The main character, Blue, is a completely selfish little brat, and while it is sort of funny to watch him get his comeuppance each time, I don't know how long that's going to continue to be interesting. We'll see.

And I'm a little disappointed, because I haven't gotten my comics from two weeks ago yet. The post office has a history of losing my mail--two packages and one magazine for sure, and quite possibly more--so whenever something doesn't turn up in a timely manner, I get anxious.

Going to probably go watch Seabiscuit, unless I get bored and watch a superhero TV show on DVD.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Since I really enjoy Ed Brubaker's work on Catwoman, this is disappointing. However, since he says he was feeling less enthusiastic about writing the book at this point, and a sense of burnout, I guess I'm happier that he's leaving before that starts to really show in the writing. And, depending on who the new writer is, it might mean one less comic for me to buy in the future, which is always something to consider. (Although, apparently, Scott Morse is writing three issues before the new, as yet unnamed, writer comes on board, so I'll be getting those, at least.)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Having trouble blogging by email (thanks so much, Blogger, for the innovation; thou giveth tech, and thou taketh away). Pain in the butt. Anyway...

Penelope did come home yesterday evening after all. I picked her up on my lunch break. As it happens, I got a cat health magazine in the mail yesterday with an article about pet insurance. Did some checking online today, and it looks like it would run me about $300 a year to buy her health insurance. I've already paid more in the past week, so this will definitely be something we'll be doing. (Although it'll be weird to explain the whole insurance thing to future cat-sitters.)

Finally saw Johnny English, thanks to hi-def HBO. Not a bad movie, but it should have been way funnier. Between this and the Mr Bean movie, it's as if they felt compelled to rein the humor in. It's like watching one of the weaker Jackie Chan American movies, like The Tuxedo or The Medallion, where they can't quite figure out just what the hell they're trying to do, so they take a relatively straight concept and shoehorn a comedy character into it, instead of going all the way. Comedy pussies.

Tonight, planning on watching my hi-def recording of Open Range, the Kevin Costner Western. I love my DVR, but hi-def recordings eat up a huge amount of space, so I'm planning on watching the movies that I currently have stored this weekend (that would be the aforementioned Costner movie, and Seabiscuit; apparently, it's horse weekend). As it happens, I have an extra day off this week, because I had planned on taking a trip to Disneyland, but Penelope's illness has pretty much sidelined that. As it also happens, my brother is in town, so I get to see him, so that's cool. And I can get caught up a little on some of the DVDs I've gotten recently.

Speaking of which, Warner Home Video announced that they're releasing the second set of Batman: The Animated Series and the first set of Superman: The Animated Series. According to, the Superman set will only be two disks, with the first 18 episodes. I guess they're afraid it might not be as huge a seller as the Batman ones or something (because the Batman ones are four disk sets with 28 episodes). Frustrating, because it always allows for the possibility that they won't release future sets with the rest of the episodes. I love getting TV shows on DVD, but if I'm going to buy a series, I want to buy all of the series, not just parts of it. (Thank you, Touchstone Home Video, for only releasing the first season of Once and Again on DVD, you bastards.)

Going to go watch my horse movie now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Penelope is back at the vet's, having blood and urine drawn. Apparently, her bladder was too small to draw urine this morning, and between them giving her fluids and my work schedule, she's probably going to have to spend the night again. So, once again, not happy. She seems perkier the last few days, and the vet says she doesn't feel as full of poop, but I'm not finding anything in her litter box, and that's worrisome. So, we'll see. And while it's not like this is all consuming...

Actually, you know what? It pretty much is all-consuming, without being crippling. I mean, I still work, I still do stuff around the house, all that, but being concerned about her health is very much on my mind. And not having her at home doesn't help at all.

I did watch last night's episode of the Amazing Race. As predicted, the twins' scatterbrainedness cost them big time. They lucked out, since this was a non-elimination round, but now they have no money and have to survive on their wits. These would be the same wits that compelled them to doubt their own abilities and follow another team on the wrong route last night, instead of following the route flags that they had seen. Meanwhile, Colin and Christie got themselves into trouble--almost arrested, in fact--by Colin being a selfish bastard, and they still came in second. Proof, once again, that nice guys really do finish last. I should hate the values that this reinforces... Actually, I do hate the values that this reinforces, which is why I'm glad the twins and the moms are still in the race, but I know in my heart that the nice-guy teams are the ones most likely to be eliminated next. I can only hope that Chip & Kim manage to hold out until the end, because they seem like a decent mix of humanity and brains.

Monday, August 23, 2004

More than a little bothered by the fact that Penelope still isn't pooping on a regular basis, so this will be short:

I'm not eager to see Aliens vs Predator, much as I love both series individually, because it just sounds like it falls short of what it could be. From interviews I've read with the director, and from friends who have seen the movie, it's more than a little ways into the film before we even see the Aliens and Predators. The director, Paul WS Anderson, claims that this is an homage to the original films, which built suspense by keeping the threats hidden for the longest time. Well, that's fine, but this isn't the original movies, this is the fifth Aliens movie and the third Predator one, and it's called Aliens vs Predator for a reason. If I'm going to pay my money for a movie called Aliens vs Predator, there are pretty much just three things I want: Aliens, Predators, and them fighting. I don't want to see the human drama; that would be Under the Tuscan Sun With Aliens and Predators or Lost in Alien/Predator Translation. I don't want to see the critters held back for the sake of some bullshit attempt at suspense, either. Says Aliens vs Predator on the freaking poster; are we supposed to be shocked when it turns out to be them lurking in the shadows? I want what it says on the box, and from what I'm hearing, I'm not going to be getting that. And I'm not interested in paying my money in hopes that my misgivings turn out to be wrong, because that's never happened in a theater.

And it's set in a pyramid or ancient temple or something, which is Hollywood for low budget. Might as well set it inside a warehouse. If I'm supposed to be excited about Aliens and Predators fighting it out on Earth, I want to see them on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles, and on the Vegas Strip. What's the point of setting it on Earth if the part of Earth will be played by the walls of a soundstage?

And I'd still see this before I'd see Anacondas...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I was just asked, "Have you seen some kids yesterday?" Well, I didn't work yesterday, but the odds are, being that I work in a children's library, I probably would have seen some kids.

Penelope came home yesterday morning. Apparently, the fluids the vet gave Penelope Friday were enough to get her pooping (the vet's words, not mine). The vet also described her as more "spunky" yesterday morning, which was probably just her being polite. Penelope is many things, but tolerant of strangers and new situations are not really among them. She was sent home with some medicine, which I have to give to her twice a day. It's a liquid, so I feed it to her with a syringe, which is just a blast. Done it twice so far. The first time went pretty smoothly. This morning, there was a bit of a chase, and I had to stop her from spitting it back up all over the carpet. And, Penelope being Penelope, it's just going to get harder and harder over the course of the week. Still, if this is what it takes to get her better, this is what I have to do.

Watched a couple of movies yesterday. One was Under the Tuscan Sun; just how gay is that? Actually, since part of the motivation was looking at really pretty Diane Lane, I shouldn't say that, except it is the complete woman's movie. Which is fine, except that's not me, and I'm not sure I took much away from it besides an impression of Tuscany as a really beautiful place, and Diane Lane as a really beautiful woman. Still, sometimes that's enough. I want to say it's very Peter Mayle, except that I've never actually read anything by him.

And last night, I finally saw Spy Kids 3, and that wasn't anywhere near as good as Under the Tuscan Sun. Understand, I really liked the first two Spy Kids movies, and this one was just stupid. The first two were these clever, entertaining, James Bond meets Willy Wonka hybrid things that showed a tremendous amount of imagination on the part of writer/director Robert Rodriguez. They also focused on the family relationships between the characters, giving the movies a soul beneath all the weirdness. This one wasn't about the family, it was about one of the kids. By sticking Juni (the Spy Kid) into a video game, it felt almost as if Rodriguez were more interested in showcasing his special effects studio, rather than coming up with a story which then justified using the special effects. (You know you've got problems when the worst part of a movie isn't Sylvester Stallone's acting...) Very disappointing.