Saturday, April 30, 2005

So, as I write this, my Dad is in the hospital again, and I'm so upset, I can hardly think. I just came home from visiting him yesterday, and I can scarcely process the news.

It's weird; he's so excited about the new Star Wars movie, it's like he's... well, me, some 28 years ago. In fact, he had such a burning desire to find out what happens in the next movie, he bought the novelization and read it, weeks before the movie is due to come out. (It comes out on my birthday, by the way, and I've already bought my ticket.) He tried so hard to keep from giving any of the story away, but he's so excited and enjoyed it so much, he couldn't help himself. And now I'm excited about it in a way I hadn't been before, because now it's something we can share. (He even joined the Star Wars Fan Club so he could access the Hyperspace parts of the Star Wars web site, and hearing him talk about that, it made me want to do the same thing.)

When I went out, I brought the DVD and videotape of Cartoon Network's Clone Wars cartoon, which he hadn't seen. I wasn't sure if he'd like it; he's not a big cartoon fan, and he's not particularly interested in Star Wars stories beyond what's actually in the movies. But he really seemed to like these ones, and I'm glad we got to watch them together.

He gave me his copy of the novelization to read, after I've seen the movie, but in a strange way, that ended up prompting me to read another Star Wars novel myself, Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno. I had stopped at Dark Carnival, the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore I worked at in high school, and saw the book there. It's a prequel novel, set right before the new movie, and I thought he might get a kick out of reading it. He hadn't been feeling so good that day, and I thought he might appreciate a get-well present. And it was a book club edition that they were selling for only $12, which was a good price. However, once I got it back to the house and started reading it, I decided I wanted to finish it myself first, before I passed it on to him.

Now, it should be no secret to folks who know me that I don't mind reading books based on TV shows and movies and stuff. However, I've never been particularly interested in the books based on the various Star Wars movies. To me, the original three movies tell a nice, rounded-off story, and I'm not particularly interested in what happened next to Han Solo or Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia. (This, from someone who used to make up Star Wars stories all the time with his action figures. But that was between the movies.) And I'm not too interested in reading the Clone Wars novels that tell the wartime adventures of the characters between the current movies, either. At least, my interest isn't particularly piqued by the descriptions of the novels I've seen. But this one... I think it's because I saw how excited Dad had gotten by reading his new Star Wars book, and I wanted to feel some of the same thing. Only I didn't want to read the story of the new movie, so this was as close as I could get, reading this prelude. And, you know, it wasn't half bad. I'm still not overly interested in reading any of the other books--although maybe slightly more than I had been before--but I had fun with this one.

So, you know, thanks, Dad. Get well soon, okay?

And, to change the subject slightly, I also read this new graphic novel called Four Letter Worlds from Image Comics, an anthology based around four themes: Love, Hate, Fear, and Fate, done by all sorts of my favorite creators. (Folks like Joe Casey, Steve Lieber, Jeff Parker, Scott Morse, Chynna Clugston, Jamie Rich, Andi Watson, J. Torres... Can't be bothered to look up the links, but feel free to Google them if you like.) Not every story was a winner, but enough of them were to justify the purchase. Oh, and Jay Faerber and Steve Rolston's one about noisy neighbors... Complete slice of my life.

Not sure if I'm going to go see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tomorrow or not. May need the excuse to get out and be distracted. We'll see.
Once and Again - Press Release: Once and Again Season 2: "If you thought the idea of Once and Again season 2 actually being released was a dream, then this press release should be the pinch you need; you're not dreaming. Don't forget that this title is already available for purchase, along with season 1. Check out our Release Info page for more information.

Emmy Award Winner Sela Ward and Bill Campbell Star In

BURBANK, Calif., April 26, 2005 - Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents ONCE AND AGAIN Season 2, on DVD August 23. From Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, the creators of the acclaimed TV series 'thirtysomething' and 'My So-Called Life,' ONCE AND AGAIN stars Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Sela Ward ('The Day After Tomorrow') and Bill Campbell ('Enough,' TV's 'The O.C.') in the acclaimed drama series that follows the relationship of a divorced dad (Campbell) and a separated mother (Ward), and their ties to their extended families. Season 2 features the unforgettable proposal and marriage between the two stars and includes all 22 episodes from the show's second season in a 5-Disc DVD box set. Also included is episode commentary with creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz."

Longtime readers of this journal--both of them--will recall how much I loved Once and Again. When they put out the first season on DVD, I was overjoyed, only to have my heart broken (well, sort of) when not further seasons materialized. So, this is great news. Better news would be that the third season is guaranteed, but I'll take what I can get.

Apparently, one of the determining factors for releasing TV series on DVD is they need to appeal to a youthful demographic, because that's who buys TV shows on DVD. Which is why something like The OC gets released almost immediately, while there's still no sign of thirtysomething or JAG, two popular series that aren't "hip" choices for DVD release. Well, here's an idea. Maybe the sort of people who would buy JAG, or thirtysomething or Once and Again would be more likely to buy TV shows on DVD if the shows coming out on DVD were the shows they enjoyed? I mean, isn't this something of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Tru Calling - Best Buy exclusive season 2 set: "Reader Steven Serridge emailed us last night with the news that Best Buy had Tru Calling: Season 2 up for preorder, which was listed as an exclusive to the chain of stores. We tried to get more information from Fox, since Best Buy doesn't list much information, but we came up dry.

Here's what we know: the 6 episode set, which contains an unaired episode, will sell for $29.99. It'll be available on August 2nd. Hopefully we can dig up more information next week."

And while we're on the subject: thank you so much, Fox, for renewing the series for a second season, then truncating that second season to make way for series with better prospects (the almost instantly canceled North Shore and Pointless Pleasant), and then, not even running all the handful of second season episodes you did produce. So, yes, I will be buying this set.
'Jim,' 'Videos' in at ABC; NBC Drops 'Dreams' - Yahoo! News: "Meanwhile, word is that the fate of NBC's 'American Dreams'
has now been sealed, and the period drama, long considered a
long shot for renewal, will not return next season. NBC
declined comment Thursday."

Monday, April 25, 2005

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The florist is pleased and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money; I'm doing community service this week." The cop is happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card and a dozen different books such as "How to improve your business and becoming more successful".

Then a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: "I'm sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week." The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop. The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a
dozen Republicans lined up waiting for a free haircut.