Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FixFlix 11

Hmmm. I think it's fair to say that these will spill over into October. Sorry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

FixFlix 10

This one's for my buddy Jeff.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Stranger" redux

So, a week or three ago, I posted about how much I was loving Stranger In A Strange Land, but I must have forgotten to knock on wood, 'cause almost immediately afterward, I started to NOT love it so much.

I'm embarrassed to say this, since I so rarely blog about books, but maybe it's 'cause I don't talk about books that I ought to amend my original post. There comes a point in the book where the storyline suddenly changes. It's like night and day, when there's a shift in storytelling technique, and from that point on, almost without exception, the book was never the same. It started to get really strange, what with the Fosterites, and then the time at the carnival, and the sharing of more than just water, and eventually the whole Mike starts his own religion thing.

I have to admit that I considered quitting on a couple of occasions (something I do a lot more with books nowadays than I used to; if a book starts to lose my attention or rub me the wrong way, I just dump it, because whatever I paid for the book is no longer the overriding concern in reading it), though I would have missed that great joke at the end where some guy in the mob that attacks Mike demands that he "stop the goddamn blasphemy."

Really, Stranger In A Strange Land was two books, and it's the second half, the second book, if you will) that has touched so many lives, inspired so many people to think differently, and encouraged them to leave their puritanical upbringings in the dust, never looking back. That I didn't respond to it, appreciate it, or really, even "get" it says a lot more about me than the novel.

But hey, somebody's got to buy those "Star Trek" tie-in books, kids.

Rish "Juvenile Fiction" Outfield

Monday, September 21, 2009

FixFlix 8

I should've arranged it so this came out the same day WOLVERINE hit DVD. Sorry, God.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And Then There Was NUN

I don't watch television. I know that sounds like a gigantic lie from a dude who blogged every episode of "Dollhouse," but I don't have cable (and, wow, it finally happened, I can't pick up even local stations anymore thanks to the whole dreaded analog to digital conversation), and I watch stuff at my friend's house or check out movies via Netflix or on the internet. But my mom went out of town yesterday and I was flipping through her channels just now, and came across a movie called THE NUN.

I would've kept on flipping if it hadn't been for the brilliant and/or hysterical copy the cable had about the film.

THE NUN (2005)
Anita Briem, Lola Marceli
A group of Catholic school girls are tormented by a sadistic nun. And if that isn't worth the price of admission, it gets even better. The girls fight back and end up killing the nun. All is good, until twenty years later, when it isn't Jesus who returns.

I swear, except for capitalizing "Catholic," I didn't change a word of the description. Whoever wrote that deserves a huge raise in pay.

Guess what I'm watching as soon as I turn on the sprinklers?

Rish "And then she unzipped her jumper" Outfield

Friday, September 18, 2009

FixFlix 7

I really should've reeled myself in with this one. I'm fond of those writing exercises where you have to tell a story in 500 words or only a hundred, since I invariably have to hack away at my writing like the world's fattest ice sculptor, trying to say in one sentence what first took my three. Ah well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Funereal Post (that's a strange word, isn't it?)

My uncle's funeral was today. He was buried beside my Grandma and Grandpa in the village where I grew up (and which seems not to have changed in all these years). It was an interesting day.

About a dozen years ago, my dad's little brother did something that a couple of his siblings felt was unforgivable. When I heard about it, I think I felt closer to my father than I had in years, because his part of it so reminded me of me.

Jeez, it's weird to be writing something so personal in what is essentially a public forum. Maybe I shouldn't write this here, in case there's a Sony lawyer looking for a chance to make me lose another job. But hey, just because there are strangers (indifferent, or the snide, blood-sucking kind) who COULD read my blog doesn't mean that they are.

I'm just going to go ahead and type this anyway, because if it were a celebrity instead of an uncle, I would've written my thoughts and feelings (and also because I have never once gone back and read one of the entries in my private journal, so it may as well not exist).

I was a pallbearer, and I know I was out of place because I had no real connection to my uncle except for some small shared blood. So, it's kind of the opposite of when my best friend didn't choose me for Best Man at his wedding, isn't it?

Bottom line: the man had screwed up in many ways, and he was despised for it for a long long time. But none of that mattered on September 17th, 2009, when his funeral was held and he was buried. During the service, most of the attention was placed where it belonged, on his seven year old son, who stood by the casket with a combination of stoicism and bewilderment that would have emotionally bowled me over, were I not feeling so gosh-darned sour right now.

There was a picture on my grandma's kitchen wall all during my childhood of my uncle with a frog and a pollywog (what my family called tadpoles before I decided I'd start pretending I was something I wasn't), and that is, essentially, how I will always remember the man. That photo was there on the table with a bunch of other mementos, and I remarked it to my cousin, who I haven't said a word to in twenty years or more.

And during the tributes/speeches/eulogy/talks, everybody focused on the positive, the brightest memories, the happiest times. My dad talked about his little brother as though he was still a child, how much their mom and dad loved him and how great he was at high school sports. How much he loved the outdoors, how great a golfer he was, how much tougher he was than everyone else, how talented he was at killing deer and elk and fish and touchdown passes.

That's human nature, I guess, to sanctify the dead, overlooking their flaws, and shining light at their noblest moments, their most extraordinary traits. Maybe everybody does it, and that's why Michael Jackson sold more albums in 2009 than he did in the last dozen years.

But I'm going to choose to respect my old man a little more because of it, if that's alright.

And it made me wonder what will be said at my funeral, if anybody bothers to show up. Hopefully people will forget that I have been unhappy for pretty much as long as I can remember, and that I was never one to smile on the fortune of others. My dad will forget he used to refer to me as "you no-good brother," and my mom will casually forget that she gave birth to the laziest person for miles around (even at a recreational wheelchair expo).

I hope they remember that I was good for a laugh, from time to time, and that I loved my niece and nephew, and that I wrote a really good story once and spent the next twenty years writing it again. Perhaps my love for Eighties pop songs, comic books, Pepsi-Cola, frogs, scary stories, and the word "chalupa" will suddenly seem endearing, even if me crying during an episode of "Punky Brewster" shall never be. Oh, and somebody better mention my Sean Connery impersonation. I'm not kidding.

My uncle wasn't a great man, but people loved him, and in the end, that seemed to be--not all that mattered, but mostly--what mattered.

I've been around for a while. You woulda thought I'd have learned that by now.

Rish "Doogie" Outfield

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FixFlix 6

Oh, would that it were so.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Devilish old photo

My mom gave me a box from our old house that had, among other things, old pictures from my childhood in it. I looked through them, only vaguely remembering the circumstances behind half a dozen of them.

One, though, struck me as particularly strange. When I was in Kindergarten, our school did a Halloween program, and our contribution was all of the girls dressing up as witches, the boys as ghosts, and me . . . as The Devil (which I capitalize out of respect).I have absolutely no memory of this, except for having that devil costume, the horns, and the pitchfork for years afterward.

The only reason I post this is that I find it absolutely mind-boggling that an American elementary school class could present witches and Satan in a school program. Seems like that would get the school burned down in 2009.

Only one way to find out, I guess. My niece is in elementary school right now . . .

Rish "El Diablo" Outfield

Saturday, September 12, 2009

FixFlix 5

WARNING: I'm going to keep these up unless I am stopped. By you.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

FixFlix 4

Just imagine how stupid the cartoons I DIDN'T include were.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

FixFlix 3

Boy, it's harder than I thought to add the text to these things. It shouldn't be, but I guess I should take a remedial MS Paint course at the local community college.

Saturday, September 05, 2009 a Stranger in a Strange Strange Land

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about how many movies I'd seen versus how many books I'd read. The final verdict was that I have seen more movies than is probably healthy, but that I'm rather ignorant when it comes to all the books out there.

And then, Big and I did an episode of our podcast the other day about a collector of old Science Fiction books, and how magical a lot of those classic and/or forgotten stories were. So I decided that I would try and read something, a book, a Sci-Fi book. The one I chose was "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert E. Heinlein.
And wow, I am totally loving it. Some of the future the man wrote about is still futuristic to us, some of it is archaic now (especially the quaint, almost amusing sexism and racism, and the old fashioned way of talking and advertising), and some is right on the button.

I am so glad I picked this book up. Hopefully I'll actually finish this one, instead of abandoning it partway through, like I have . . . Wow, have I ever finished a book before?

Rish "Oh Learned One" Outfield

Which reminds me, I used to see "I Grok Spock" bumper stickers and buttons from time to time, and not having read SIASL I always thought they were incredibly stupid. Now that I get the reference, I realize that they were just incredibly nerdy. Fair enough.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

FixFlix 2

This is pretty much the reason I created these cartoons (and the conversation I had with Jeff that inspired it).Rish Michaelangelo Outfield