Beanball by Ron Carlson

12 10 2008

Last night I read Beanball by Ron Carlson. It was issue number 99/100 of One Story Magazine. The story struck me in several ways. It was beautifully written and full of characters with remorse about their pasts and guarded hope for the future. It was about the eternal hope that goes along with baseball. It was also about human greed.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I felt the story was going along fine until it got about 75% through. It seemed that the plot took a fantastical direction that wasn’t needed. A simple, straight forward ending would have been stronger, truer to the characters and world created in this story. I seem to remember from workshops in college that being simple and straight forward is the way to go. I just felt this story fell flat in it’s complicated and crisscrossing plot. In the end it was all to neat and tidy.





My One Word Review of the Dark Knight…

10 08 2008

Wow.

Now on to the rest of the week’s crap. I’ve fallen behind in my blogging lately thanks to work and a five month old who likes to bounce. Now that he’s asleep I can share a few items and thoughts for the week. Let’s continue with where I started… comics:

  • Marvel’s Secret Invasion continues and LOTR King reviews the latest Avengers installment.
  • He also reviews Thor #10. This title has been slowly getting stronger and stronger and has become one of the more interesting Marvel titles.
  • The AVClub has published its comics panel.  Not a whole lot that I’d read, but it’s still worth browsing.

Moving on to television, a few interesting things…

  • The AVClub reviews one of the most underrated televisions shows of all time… TV Funhouse
  • Electricity & Lust reviews Generation Kill. I’ve been really enjoying this HBO mini-series. Also, check out his new movie blog here.

In technology/Web 2.0 stuff, I found a new website I want to try, Fluther. Apparently the collective will answer your questions. I just wonder how you know if they’re right or not?

In words and the such, more good stuff from One-Story.

Finally, I’m also starting a new project for myself. As I find myself in airports from time to time, I thought I’d start a blog that covers travel. You can find it here, but I haven’t really posted anything yet.





Laziest Sunday Ever

27 07 2008

So after some work travel, a weekend away, late nights, etc.  I’m back to the blog.  I know, you all missed me so.  Actually, traffic has shot up like crazy from the odd 2-3 hits a day to hundreds.  Now before I go and get too excited it’s all being driven by Kirstie Alley searches.  Maybe she’s become popular again… who knows? 

So I’m going to start in comics.  There’s a shitload going on in comics.  Where to begin?

Let’s begin with the mother of all comic book movies, The Dark Knight.  Beyond smashing box office records and drawing repeat viewers and people who typically prefer Sandra Bullock movies, this movie is getting fantastic reviews.  I have not seen the movie yet, but here are the words of a few who have:

Ok, continuing in comics, a lot of quality books have come out in the last two weeks as well. Once again, Captain America is the highlight of my haul. Issue #40 has got me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what the hell is going to happen. This book continues to be one of the best written and drawn comics out today. Check out LOTRKing’s review. He also reviews Astonishing X-Men #25. So far, I’m a little unimpressed with it, but I think that’s in large part due to the great run Joss Whedon had on the Astonishing X-Men.

Finally, ComicCon has been going on this week, check out the AVClub’s coverage here for July 23, July 24, July 25, and July 26. Also, the Invincible Super Blog posts the true rumors here.

Whew, moving on to music. I found a few cool reviews and articles this week, including:
Sub Pop records turned 20 years old while I was away. A few people have written about it, including Cinematically Correct, and Electric LustElectricity & Lust’s Tumblr site.

  • Also in music, the AVClub reviews Nine Inch Nails new album The Slip. I downloaded it a while back for free.
  • I also have attempted my own version of the best albums of each year since my birth. Not an easy task (especially for the lean years of the 1980s).

In literature and books and the such, One Story Magazine dominates this week…

  • The editor points out how newspapers are cutting their noses off in spite of their face as they try to stay relevant. The latest cuts? book reviews.
  • Issue 106 Safe Passage has arrived in my mail box and landed on my to read list.

Finally, in movies, I have to point to Electricity & Lust’s movies since their birth. I don’t think I’ll try it myself, but I think they have a pretty good list. They also give us a little commentary on The Wackness a movie that intrigues me for some reason.

You might be wondering why I have a picture of ROM in this post…  Well, I heard they’re making a Tron 2 and it led me to wonder why there is no ROM movie??  Ok, that’s all for now. Back to my lazy, lazy Sunday.





Where’s Your Burpcloth?

29 06 2008

That’s the big question in my house for the 15th straight week as Sean continues to resemble Linda Blair. This week I’ve actually put a decent dent in my giant stack of comics, watched some Battlestar Galactica, and continued to listen to the new Jakob Dylan album while also listening to the new Mudhoney album (I wrote a tiny bit about it here). So before the baby spits up all over me again, let’s begin…

In comics this week there are a few good things to note…

  • LOTRKing gives us a Marvel year in review. Or at least the year so far. I half agree with his X-Men synopsis but can’t argue with the rest of his article. He also digs back into the archives and reviews Fantastic Four #124 from 1972.
  • The AVClub features a lengthy comics panel
  • Electricity & Lust pointed me towards Peter Travers’ review of The Dark Knight and it sounds quite amazing.
  • Zach Smith had a cool free comic called Satan P.I. on his website (it showed up in my reader) but the link has been disabled. When it comes back I’ll link to it, it’s really sharp and fun!

Finally in comics, I believe the comics world is off in Chicago (or about to return). I know the guys at my local shop, Ultimate Comics (as seen in the new Marvel book 1985) are there. I’ve also found the Invinsible Superblog.

In television, thanks to Cinematically Correct for posting the preview of the new season of 24. The question is, will they sucker me in again?

In books and other misc. words, a few things I noticed this week…

Electricity & Lust has two interesting posts this week. Their Diggin post talks about the New Hold Steady (among other stuff), and they provide the usual great mix of links per usual. Many weeks they help me keep up on stuff in ten minutes instead of searching for hours. I’d add them to my RSS if I were you.

And finally, George Carlin died a week ago. I’ve posted a few thoughts from others below, but my favorite was when Howard Stern asked Gilbert Gottfried if he had any bad stories about George Carlin and he did. Apparently George told Gilbert to get the hell away from him and to leave him alone once.

  • Cinematically Correct mentions it here.
  • The AVClub here.
  • The New York Times here.




Quiet Week

22 06 2008

Once I finished the The Corrections it’s been a pretty quiet week. I tried to plow through a bit of my pile of old New Yorkers and basically picked over articles and stories. Nothing too exciting. So here goes nothing:

In short-fiction, I did read a few things. Like I said, I’m chipping away at a pile of New Yorkers and a few One-Story issues. I also started The Boat by Nam Le (so far it’s fantastic).

In not-so-short fiction, Shannon tells you to go read The Hobbit.

In music, Guns ‘N Roses’ long awaited album was leaked for like 13 minutes this week on the interwebs. I write a little about it over here.

  • Also, I keep meaning to link over to Plain or Pan? a really great music website from a Scot with a huge collection of stuff.

In television, the AVClub interviews Billy West of Futurama and Ren & Stimpy fame. I, however, was introduced to him via the Howard Stern show where he did such imitations as Marge Schott and The Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley.

In links, the following sub-finds…

  • I found Wordspy a site that introduces you to newly coined phrases.
  • In art, I found a site this week that gives you cheap options for art. It’s called 20×200 and gives you the option of buying a $20, $200, or $2,000 version of the same piece. My problem is that I think some of the pictures from my vacation are better and I can’t figure out how to sell them here!
  • Not so much art as photography, I did try a very cool site affiliated with Flickr this week. It’s called MOO and enables you to make postcards, notecards, mini-cards, etc. from your own pics stored on Flickr. I’ll let you know what I think when I get the first pics back.

I’m behind on comics and don’t have anything to report this week. Hopefully I’ll attack the pile this week and have something to report back on.  Hope all are having a good summer.





Happy Memorial Day

25 05 2008

A horribly busy week followed by a three-day weekend means that my post this week will short and sweet.  Plus, Sean (the comic book geek in training) is next to me and kicking me in the ribs while I type.  I’m currently awaiting the new Black Angels album to come in the mail, but Amazon.com’s shipping is slow.  I’m starting to think they hold up super saver shipping to encourage people to pay more.  Again I ask my readers to let me know if there are any quality indy record stores out there with a good web pressence. 

First, let’s start with comics. i thought it was going to be a light comics week but then my pile grew yet again with all kinds of good stuff. Some day I’ll be sharing my thoughts on comics’ arcs from a year earlier, confusing everyone. In the meantime some place to check out include:

In music, a few things to note:

  • Mudhoney of all bands is getting some love. Their early work is being reissued, and they have a new album, The Lucky Ones coming out. It’s nice to see the best band who never got noticed by the public finally get some notice.
  • Tom Petty has gotten back together with Mudcrutch. I’ve heard some of it on Sirius and it’s not half bad.

In fiction, the New York Times remembered Ian Flemming, and One-Story has released issue #103.

Finally, who says that video games have no redeeming social value, suck up too much time and make kids fat?!? Now we have the Wii Fit.   Oh yeah, and I guess a few big movies have come out but something keeps stopping me from being able to go. Have a great weekend everyone!





Another Week Another Post

3 05 2008

May means spring is here in North Carolina, the summer movie season is starting out, and another week has passed meaning I need to update this site before my readers get bored and go elsewhere to read about God knows what. So what’s up this week? Well, let’s jump right in…

In books, I finished Neighbors by Thomas Berger.  What a demented book.  It’s a great novel covering the events of one night when new people move in next door to Earl Keese.  Harry and Ramona then proceed to torment Earl in a way that makes me (even more than now) want to never speak or look at my neighbors again.  You can buy it here at Powells or here at Amazon.

Continuing in literature, One-Story magazine has published issue #102.

In pop culture, Electricity & Lust is back to the general pop culture posts. Also, thanks to Electricity & Lust for pointing us to a trailer to the new Hulk movie. I might be one of the few people excited about seeing it.

Also, Iron Man has come out. I’m looking forward to seeing that too!

Cinematically Correct wrote his weekly Lost thoughts. I’m very jealous as he went to see Jack White and the boys in concert Thursday night.

In the interwebs, Google has added new artist themes to the options of stuff you can add to your iGoogle page. It’s some asshole artists and some good stuff. It’s at least worth checking out.

In technology, I saw a couple of cool things this week. Most are for the road warrior. They include:

What else? A few loose ends…

  • Former nerdy teen Patrick Dempsey has released what I want to nominate as the dumbest, worst movie of the year: Made of Honor. This movie sucked the last six times they made it.
  • A few new comics came out this week, but Secret Invasion #2 is on the horizon for next Wednesday.

And a final word of advice for all of you out there shopping for Mother’s Day. It comes from my lovely wife Shannon who is a new mother (just 8 weeks) herself.

Don’t buy me anything for Mother’s Day that the television tells you to buy.