Monday, January 30, 2006

Comic Book Education #1

Welcome to the first part of a semi-weekly topic, Comic Book Education. In addition to sharpening my vocabulary, comic books have also schooled me in other things as well. This first installment may come in handy next summer...

From Marvel's G.I. Joe #20:

How to Attempt to Survive Falling From the Sky Without the Aid of a Parachute

I have this plan that if I lose enough weight, I'm going to jump out of an plane. Unlike, G.I. Joe teammate Clutch, I plan to be equipped with a parachute, and an instructor strapped to me, who'll kindly rip the chute open before I complete my journey towards Terra Firma.

However in the event that say my chute doesn't open, or I happen to say fall out a plane sans chute, I know from G.I. Joe issue 20, that I need to create the most resistance by making stretching out my body as flat as possible. Without the aid of jetpacks however, I will eventually make contact really really hard with the ground, unless my fellow parachuters use their momentum to catch up to me and save me. Thus ensuring I get to read the end of Planetary, Alex Ross' Justice, and the days Mike Sterling devotes his blog to Swamp Thing Fan Fiction.

Thank you Marvel for my education. Knowledge is indeed Power! Yo, Joe!


Friday, January 27, 2006

Lefty's Friday Three Questions

It's been a while, but it IS for those who haven't played here's the rules. Every Friday I ask three questions. My answers are in the comments section, where you are welcome to leave your own answers as well.

1. When's the last time you were beet-read embarrassed? What happened to cause it?

2. How many tattoos do you have? What's your favorite tat? Is there a story behind it?

3. Next Tuesday is the State of the Union...or as I affectionately call it, The Lefty Scream-A-Thon where I proceed to yell at the T.V. and call our President names that would make sailors blush. Anyway, here's your chance to name one or two out-of-the-blue, off-the-wall ideas that may or may not make an appearance in this Tuesday's speech. A few years ago it was sending a manned spacecraft back to the moon, and a couple years back it was making sure our baseball players don't use steroids. What will it be this year?


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lefty's Weekly Top Ten

Here's ten things that been on my radar this week:

1. The Shield Season 4 DVDs I tore through these as quickly as Netflix could send them. It was not the best season, but has some very compelling stories, and I liked Glen Close's work on the season. The things that go unsaid between characters speaks volumes. The final scene between the just-fired Captain and Vic Mackey was one of the best moments on the show.

2. All-Star Superman #2 (DC Comics) Now I don't consider myself a huge fan of Grant Morrison, and I'm not exactly head over heals in love with Silver Age Superman stories, but I have to say this second issue of the All-Star Supes was one of the best Superman stories I've read in ages.

3. Infinite Crisis #4 (DC Comics) I've must have read this issue four times now, each time trying to search it for any insight as to the fate of the Flashes, and what may lie ahead for the rest of the DCU. That's what big events in a superhero universe should do.

4. The Walking Dead TPB (Image) I picked up the first three trades of this fantastic series because it was nominated for a 2005 Brownie. So far I am blown away by how engrossing the series is. Robert Kirkman is now on my list of writers I now seek out when picking up a series.

5. The Gilmore Girls Season 2 DVDs My wife calls this"my missing penis TV show"...she just doesn't understand what attracts me to this very good show. First of all I blame Roger Green for getting me hooked on this show. Second, my favorite part of this show isn't the lover triangles, but rather the problems Lorilei has with her parents, particularly her mother. The issues on both sides feel real, genuine, and not easily overcome.

6. The Comics Journal no. 272 & 273 Wow. I've always been periphally aware of the TCJ, but never really picked it up until now. I may not dig everything in the Journal, but man the criticism, the news, and the interviews are all very well done, and at the very least thought-provoking. I really dug the review of Alan Moore's Promothea series, and I'm eager to read the Eddie Campbell interview. I'll be picking this journal up monthly.

7. Leftybrown's Video iPod project I've really been enjoying my video iPod. Shortly after getting it for Christmas, I picked up an external hard drive, and started extracting my entire CD collection. It's been about a month, and I'm nearly finished with the "L"s (I'm at Los Lobos' Good Morning Aztlan). It'll be great to have this project down, so I can easily switch out music (even 30 G of space can quickly be filled up), and also be available to create my mix CD's. I haven't used the video portion of my iPod all that much, but have enjoyed a free episode of Monk, and the free SNL "Chronic(les) of Narnia" music video. Both were best viewed indoors with the headphones on.

8. 24 Season 5 (Fox) It seems every season of 24 starts off really, really good. This is no exception. It's been lots of fun watching this with Mrs. Lefty, and so far I'm 2 for 2 in figuring out who the moles are. CTU should really get a better H.R. Manager.

9. Matisyahu "Live at Stubbs" I've been really enjoying, where for $20 a month I get 90 downloads. I recently heard a track by Hasidic Jew and reggae rapper Matisyahu, and decided to download his latest "Live at Stubbs". It's great positive music that also tickles my jamband fancy as well. It's playing practically everyday on my video iPod here at work, and I'll soon be adding his other music this weekend.

10. My Health Look for a few future posts on that, but for now I'll just say besides my recent illnesses, my health has been a huge focus as of late.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

On Millstones

Yesterday a colleague at the university I work at was arrested on child porn charges. He was a joyful and good man and by all outwardly accounts a good Christian, but I guess he got involved in some serious ugly and heinous activity. When I heard the news last night, I felt like throwing up. I work at a Christian university, so to have a fellow Christian involved in something like this was especially tough. I also got angry, because this person knew what he did was wrong and evil. I'm still angry because of the devastation his actions brings to his family, and it also tarnishes the image of our university and its mission. We're asked to pray for him and his family, and I'm finding it hard to bring myself to pray for him.

I never would have imagined this stuff from this guy, which makes me realize that there's a lot of sin and dark stuff hidden away in many Christians lives. I'm intelligent and enough of a realist to understand that Christians (myself included) can be fucked up. Hell, that's why God sacrificed Himself for us.

Anyway, that's where my head and heart is at this morning. I'll try to post on more cheerful news later on today...and my weekly Top Ten will be returning as well.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

2006, the Road Ahead

Note: I wrote this prior to 2006, but never finished it. I added a bit more this morning.

The Brownies awards are over and done with, and next on the docket are those pesky 'Best Of 2005' lists that give me at least a week worth of blogging material. I blog about politics, and comics, and entertainment...and all of which this year has been pretty lackluster.

This year the comic industry has pretty much convinced me that TPB and hardcovers are the way to go versus those weekly floppies. There are a few titles out there that compel me to pick it them up month-in and month-out...but pretty much I have a better reading experience reading a collection of the stories. Plus they make better presentation on a book shelf rather than in a comic book short box. I think 2006 will usher in a bevy of eBay auctions as I begin to dump my floppies and pick up trades. I'm just not into much of a collector mode, save for picking up the odd miniseries or what-not.

In the world of politics, we continue our march towards facism under the Bush administration. We don't torture prisoners unless we need to...or unless they resemble someone who looks like a terrorist. We don't spy on our citizens unless they belong to a peace group, pro-Palestinian group, or look at us funny. Oh, and don't worry, what you read in the news is completely objective and not tainted by a paid-off or made-up journalist courtesy Bush, Inc.

In 2005 we learned Bush hates Black people (thanks Kanye for cluing us in), in 2006 we are already learning he also hates old people too...especially ones on Medicare. Maybe Wilfred Brimly can announce that on a Medicare Disaster Relief Benefit. Sometimes I wonder if it's really gross inepitude or a rather secret plan to "drown the government in the bath" as G.O.P. guru and asshat Grover Norquist once remarked.

And now we're already gearing up the MOACE (Mother of All Congressional Elections) as moderates and liberals try to restore some fiscal, social, and moral sanity to our government. Here's Abramoff's scandal is able to bring down a few senators or congressmen (republican or democrat, if they're dirty they gotta go).


Friday, January 20, 2006

Lefty Was...Is Here.

In case you were wondering, I've been sick. I've been down and out for close to two weeks. Not a great way to start out the new year, and boy will I have some catching up at work to do....but look for new postings next week (maybe even this weekend, if I get around to it).

So yes Thom, I'm still around. Never fear Roger, new posts are a' coming...not to mention that spiritual mix I promised you.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a very special Saturday 3 Questions.

And just how freakin' cool is All-Star Superman? The second issue was like stepping into some stellar Silver Age story fused with Morrison's quasi-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. Great stuff.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Short Takes by Lefty Brown

1. Note to self: Bring a camera with me to work, so I can take a picture of the Sierra Nevadas. After all the rain that fell recently, I am convinced that snow-capped mountains are God's rainbows. It's so dang beautiful.

2. Catching up on my serial reading. Bill & Melinda Gates through their foundation have saved over 700,000 humans beings from dying of treatable diseases. Blows my freaking mind. As much crap his company takes for some of their products, this is an achievement that deserves much praise.

3. There's a new feature coming soon on the blog. Watch for it tomorrow. It's going to be titled, I Learned In the Funny Books (or something similar).

4. I'm starting a new more personal blog. I don't want to reveal it yet, but I need some time to get things under my belt.

5. Got my first fan email this morning...unfortunately it was for the singer/hip hop artist Chris Brown. I'll just pretend it's for me:

Hi chris brown, I love everything about you. I love
your dance moves,and your smile. You are so so so
cute. Areyou and Trey songz best friends because I saw
you in his video and trey in your video. Chris brown I
love your songs I think you are realy cut.

E-mail me back at [name extracted]

Dear [name extracted],

Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate your devotion to my career. With hard work, God, and lots of support from family & friends, my dance moves have become 'da schnizzle fo' dizzle. Remember to vote for my video, Run It, on TRL.

Much props,
Chris (this is not the Chris you're looking for) Brown

6. Santa (aka the in-laws) brought me a video iPod for Christmas. Since then I picked up a 100G external hard drive so I can put every single CD (not counting bootlegs) I own to create perfect playlists. However the work of extracting over 400 CDs takes a buttload of time. It's a major project, I started it on New Year's Eve and I just started extracting the Beatles catalog. Note to Roger Green: That CD exchange project we're working on may be pushed back until the end of January so that I can get the bulk of my collection extracted.

7. About this mining disaster....yes there was a big mistake about the misinformation being passed along. However aren't we taking our eyes off the ball when we should be looking into how this company got away with running a dangerous coal mine after hundreds of violations. Also...I'm halfway expecting George "I don't care about black people" Bush to come out and say that we could avoided such disaster had we opened out ANWAR to drilling thus reducing our dependancy on coal.

8. Thank God it's 2006. It's going to be an incredible year full of change. I'm looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead, and the new opportunities that are around the bend.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Top Ten of 2005 in Comics

First off, the floppies:

1. Seven Soldiers Miniseries
2. Gotham Central
3. Ex Machina
4. Desolation Jones
5. Local
6. She-Hulk
7. Justice
8. Astro City: The Dark Age
9. Astonishing X-Men
10.Infinite Crisis

Now the trades & OGNs:

1. Tricked
2. Absolute Watchmen
3. Invincible: The Ultimate Collection vol. 1
4. Fables: The Mean Season
5. Losers: Trifecta
6. Scurvy Dogs: Rags to Riches
7. Full Moon Fever
8. The Long Haul
9. Batman: Under the Hood
10. Showcase Presents: Superman vol. 1


Top Ten of 2005 in Television

1. The Shield (FX)

2. Arrested Development (Fox)

3. My Name is Earl (NBC)

4. Lost (ABC)

5. West Wing (NBC)

6. Veronica Mars (UPN)

7. The Office (NBC)

8. Entourage (HBO)

9. Everybody Hates Chris (UPN)

10. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)