Kevin Smith marathon postgame

It was good to see everyone who came over tonight. Hope you all had a good time. We'll have to do this again sometime, but with, you know, other movies.

Watching Clerks, more than any other film, I think, takes me back to high school. It was probably the most pivotal movie of my teenage years, along with The Crow, of course. Kevin Smith just has a way with words, a way of understanding a particular mindset. Or, at least, my particular mindset, especially during that time in my life.

Anyway, yeah, I need to get to bed so I can wake up and finish working on these damn papers. Later...


Quesada on Colbert

The Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, Joe Quesada, was just on The Colbert Report and he killed. He was just great. Very funny. Colbert loves comics, so it was a very kind-hearted conversation, not contentious like some of his other interviews.

I'll throw it up on the Links site when it shows up on YouTube.


Too many papers...

Okay, so I finished the first draft of my report article on the history of the comic book industry. It clocks in at nearly ten pages when it was supposed to be between five and eight. I think I have some editing to do with that one.

I was finally able to interview Acadamy Award-winning film editor Mike Hill Monday morning, for yet another paper. I need to transcribe the tape before I can start writing his profile. That will be tomorrow's job.

I have a general idea of what I want to write for the travel article I also need to start. That will be the weekend's job.

And I also have a four page paper due in my Native American Lit class next week, about a book I'm about 50 pages into. (Thankfully it's only 220 pages long instead of, say, 520.)

Saturday night's Kevin Smith marathon (Come one! Come all!) cannot get here fast enough. I think I already need a break from all this.


Clerks II

If Kevin Smith were here right now, I'd give him a big hug.

I can't think of a single other filmmaker who can write something so wonderfully juvenile (and, at times, disgusting), yet so pure and heartwarming all at the same time.

I mean, who else could create a feeling of love and romance during a donkey show?


Take the Clerks quiz

I got a 91% (I didn't read one of the questions closely enough). How well do you know your Clerks?

Nerd Prom 2006

Yes, it's that time of year again, when legions of fanboys descend upon the poor, unsuspecting town of San Diego (still stayin' classy!) for what can only be described as an orgasmic collision of all facets of pop culture, Comic-Con, the largest comic book (amongst other things) convention in America.

A few years ago Kelly Sue coined the phrase, "Nerd Prom," and there is certainly no more apt term than that. This is the event comic book geeks around the country have been waiting for with a drooling fervor akin to hysteria.

Oh, how I wish I were there. The sights, the sounds, the smells...wait, scratch that last part. Fanboy aroma is not a good reason to go. I think the convention organizers should hand out gift baskets filled with soap to all attendees. Perhaps then they would get the hint that bathing once a week, especially when you're going to be crammed into an enclosed building, albeit a nice, big one, just doesn't cut it.

But I digress.

The aforementioned Kelly Sue has set up a flickr group for convention-goers to upload photos to. It's already brimming with all manner of strange and unusual-looking folks, like Darth Vader and a clone trooper.

The various comic book news sites, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and countless others, will be posting news all weekend, and the bloggers will surely be working overtime trying to scoop one another with the big announcements of the weekend.

Comic-Con is an insane experience, a bombardment of all your senses (except touch - the booth babes don't like it when you touch). By the time Sunday night rolls around, you feel as though you've participated in a triathlon, with aches and bruises and massive, massive hangovers. If you can keep up with it, it's an incredibly fun weekend. And if you can't, well, then you don't deserve to be called "fanboy."



Eureka is the best new show I've seen in a long time. You gotta see it. Catch it when SciFi re-airs it or download it or do whatever you gotta do, but you totally have to see this show.


Summer School

My two summer classes are going fairly well, I guess. It's tough to cram a full semester's worth of work into six weeks, but that's what we're doing. I have four or five papers due before the end of the first week of August. Wheee.

One of the papers is supposed to be a profile of a teacher or alumni of the UNO School of Communication. I picked film editor Mike Hill's name out of the proverbial hat. As yet, I have been unable to figure out how to contact him. If only there were a section in the Yellow Pages for Academy Award-winning film editors.

Other than school, not much is going on around here. Don't have time for much else. Though I'm planning on having a little Kevin Smith marathon the last weekend of July, whatever that Saturday night is, the 29th, I think, in celebration of the release of Clerks II, which is out next weekend. (I'll probably be checking it out sometime on Friday, during the day if possible, if anyone's up for that.)

New seasons of the Stargates

I missed the last seasons of both SG-1 and Atlantis, and I saw that the new season premieres were tonight, so I thought I'd tune in and take a peek.

I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on.

I don't know who half the characters are, who the bad guys are, why they're fighting, nothin'. I think I give up. I'll just wait for the DVDs and save myself the headaches that I know will come from trying to figure these shows out.

The worst thing is having to wait til freakin' October for more Battlestar Galactica; however, there is a new show starting on Sci-Fi next week that looks promising. It's called Eureka.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

It seems that about half the reviews I've glanced at disliked this sequel because of its bloat and excess. "Too much," many of them said, whether they were referring to the action sequences or the 2 1/2 hour running time. And to these naysayers I say, "Lighten up."

Yes, the movie is a bit long in the tooth. And yes, there were a couple of moments where I looked at my watch, not so much because of the film's length, but out of boredom. The action set pieces were fantastic...and, yes, maybe a little lengthy. But so what? In the days of $10 movie tickets, shouldn't we get a little more bang for our buck?

This movie is fun. Isn't that what summer blockbusters are all about?

I will heartily concede that the first Pirates is the superior film, which is not to say this one isn't good, because it is, but for different reasons. The original had characters and plot you could really sink your teeth into, whereas this one, well, we already know the characters, save for the evil(?) Davy Jones, and the plot, well, it doesn't exactly wrap up all nice and neat at the end of the film. That's what next summer's part 3 (At World's End) is for.

But, as I said above, this film is just plain fun, from the witty one-liners to the insane stunt work (the 3-way sword duel atop a rolling mill wheel is a sight to behold) to the spectacular special effects (the enormous sea creature, the kraken, and the barnacled crew of Jones' Flying Dutchman, not to mention Jones himself, are exquisite in their details).

If you want to get away from the world for a few hours, to clear your head, this film will definitely take care of you. There's no thinking involved. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Aargh, I love being a pirate!


Shakespeare on the Green

Tonight was the final performance (I think) of Taming of the Shrew for the summer, so I was glad I finally had an opportunity to see it (Sunday night is the final performance of Antony and Cleopatra). I had briefly stopped by Thursday night after class to say 'hi' to Becky, but since I didn't show up until intermission, I didn't want to hang around and watch the end of a play of which I didn't see the beginning.

It was a beautiful night for the Bard, though a little humid at first. The sun gradually went down and it became quite nice out.

The cast did a wonderful job and the play's setting translated better than expected to the glitz and glamour of Vegas. Very humorous. Good times were had by all.

I wonder what plays they're going to perform next year...


Shuttle Discovery

No matter how many times I watch a shuttle launch, I'm always left with a feeling of awe and wonder. Did anyone else watch it? It was so freakin' cool. The camera angles they can get nowadays are nothing short of spectacular. I Heart NASA.

There is so much out there in the vast darkness of space. There has to be. I refuse to believe that this is it, that Earth is the only planet capable of supporting "intelligent" life, which is not to say I think there are little green men flying around in UFOs.

As certain as I am of there being something out there, I'm equally certain that it looks, behaves, and thinks absolutely nothing like us. It would be ridiculous to make such a presumption. The universe is over 13 billion years old and we've been around for a mere eyeblink of that time.

Happy 4th of July

To steal a line from the always funny Ken Levine, have a great day, display your flags proudly and celebrate the wonderful country that was America - 1776 to 2000. We had a good run, I guess.

Remember the Fallen. And never forget who is responsible for their deaths.


Cantor Emilio

Had lunch today with my parents and the previous cantor at Beth El, Emil Berkovits, who's in town because he performed a wedding last night. Emilio moved on from Omaha, what, five years back, I think, and semi-retired to Florida. He and his wife now live in Swampscott, MA (which is just a great name for a town) where he's cantor of a surprisingly (to me) large Jewish population.

Here is a fairly old (I can tell because of the hat) picture of the two of us. I have no idea when this was taken or for what occasion, though it looks like it was taken in my kitchen. Part of me wants to say it was taken around the time of my sister's wedding six years ago, but for some reason I think it's older than that.

Always did like Emilio. He and my father have stayed in touch since he left town, and I've seen him a few times since then. I half-jokingly told him that I hadn't been to the synagogue since he left, in protest. Half-jokingly because, odds are, I wouldn't have gone very often had he still been here, but the chances would have been greater, that's for sure.

Ever since Emilio left, and the old rabbi, too, I dunno, the synagogue doesn't feel the same anymore. I don't know any of the new people, which is certainly my own fault as much as anyone's, but, I dunno, I guess I don't like the idea of starting over at my own synagogue. For as long as I can remember, Emilio was there. He helped me with my Bar Mitzvah, like he'd done with my brother's and sister's, too. He was there for my sister's wedding. And then he left and the place just didn't feel as inviting as it used to.

But, oh well. That's life, right? Things change.

Things change.