Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Anniversary Post

Well, what can I say. I've been doing this off-and-on now for six years and, while I have focused a little more on the Twitter and the Facebook of late, I do plan to continue with the blog for the foreseeable future. I still like having it around, for some reason. Possibly because those other forms of social media are not compatible with long thoughts or rants. 140 characters won't cut it when I want to go on about boxing day shopping, to use the last post as an example. I also still like the online record that I've left. You can go back through status updates or tweets, but nothing is quite like going back and reading through blog posts. It's like going through your old diary, looking back at what you've done, what you were interested in, and what you thought about it. A little meatier than the photo essays on FB.

Anyway, I'm not saying anything anyone with one of these doesn't already know. Just wanted to mark the occasion, blow the proverbial noisemaker in celebration and to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in 2011, the Year of the Rabbit, which promises to be pretty darn good for a lot of us.

Thanks for reading if you have been. Your patronage is appreciated.

With that, I take my leave to begin year 7. Maybe lucky number 7, eh?

mike

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day Shop-a-Thon

As per usual on Boxing Day, I and the rest of the family head out and grab some decent bargains on the kinds of things we enjoy: DVD/BD for me, electronics for the wife, games for the boy, and clothes for the girls.

Among my many other acquisitions, I finally managed to complete the Star Wars saga on DVD for very cheap. I have always had the prequel trilogy and the box set for the original trilogy, but when they last released the original trilogy in the two-disc packs with the theatrical releases included as a bonus disc, I only bought Episode IV. I felt the whole 'Han shot first' thing was important to have since the Special Edition version of events drive me batshit crazy. I passed on the other two, however, due to their few alterations and figured I would pick them up when they became available for a reasonable price (reasonable for a double or triple dip, anyway). Four years later, here we are.

One thing I have enjoyed about the box set and these discs is the fact that they are covered with different kinds of Star Wars art, poster or otherwise. The covers are photo mash-ups of the original poster art, then there is different poster art, or possibly production art, on the sleeve inside, and more art on the discs themselves. I remember there being a very expressionist style to the inserts on the box set. Just very nice efforts on the packaging, overall.

So, I now have one set of original trilogy on VHS and two on DVD, but I have a strong suspicion that the BD release in the next year or two will not include the theatricals as a bonus feature since George would rather they be forgotten, hence my desire to grab these while I still can.

Among my other boxing day treasures, I mostly upgraded many of my DVDs to BD versions. I always make sure there is something different about the BD before I do so, otherwise I just feel like a tool for spending money again. There has to be new features, or exclusive features or being totally remastered or something to justify it. So, I grabbed the X-Men trilogy, the first 30 Days of Night, Star Trek II, IV, VI & First Contact, V For Vendetta, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Chocolat, Hellboy II, Terminator Salvation and a couple others I'm probably forgetting.

Also grabbed some books over the holiday season like Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza, the second book in Stefan Petrucha's Timetripper series, and George Lucas' Blockbusting, which I've had my eye on for a while.

Oh, and Jen bought me Homicide: Life on the Street as my Christmas present this year. A good haul, overall.

Until next year!

mike

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Indiana Jones Comic Book Revue #5

All books are rated on a 0 to 5 Fedoras system.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #6
(Marvel Comics Group)

Plot/Script by: David Michelinie (from an idea by Archie Goodwin)
Pencilled by: Howard Chaykin
Inked by: Terry Austin
Cover by: Howard Chaykin & Terry Austin

"I actually enjoy saving a person's life twice in one day for no gratitude whatsoever."

Dateline 1936

"Club Nightmare!" reintroduces Marion Ravenwood to the world of Indiana Jones as our hero joins her in New York for the opening of their new business venture, The Raven. With all the money Marion received from "that lost ark mess", and Indy as a silent partner, she decides to open a club in New York. Eventually, she runs afoul of local gangster, Emil Marko, who wanted to be a partner in the business in order to use it as a front for a gambling setup. Marion tells him to go suck an egg and Marko puts the squeeze on Marion, jeopardizing her life and opening night!

This is a pretty good story and stands as one of the best since the Byrne issues right off the top. Michelinie shows some classic pulp sensibilities, giving the affair a nice '30s New York feel and populates the story with characters that remind me of many of the cast of Casablanca. The wonderful art by Howard Chaykin (also the best in the series since Byrne's departure) only serves to enhance the period look and feel of the story and he does an excellent job with the action sequences. It's a shame that he's only here for a single issue fill-in. At least we get to enjoy Chaykin's work in the future when he lends his considerable talent to some excellent covers for the series.

This issue was a really solid installment in the series. It was nice to see a straight up Indy adventure that did not take place in a jungle (unless you want to argue a concrete one), had no supernatural elements and worked like gangbusters (no pun intended) without relying on Nazis, communists or the occult for an antagonist or a MacGuffin. It was also nice to see Marion return even though this story (and this whole series, for that matter) clearly takes place outside of Indy canon. She was consistent, in character and a really good foil for Indy. From what I can tell, Marion continues on in the series for a few issues so we'll see if that trend holds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now That I'm On GoodReads...

Tintin: A BiographyTintin: A Biography by Harry Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Not a portrait of the artist so much as an analysis of Hergé's work. Granted, Hergé was not a person who spent a lot of time doing interviews or talking about his life, so the source material Thompson used to inform his book is sparse. Add to that the fact that the author did not have access to Hergé's estate and you have a book that is big on enthusiasm but lacking in any real meat-and-potatoes biography. The analysis of each album in the series does give Thompson an iron-clad structure and he manages to offer up some valuable information for the art/cartoon/comic historian/enthusiast. Still, for as much as it says about the artist and his work it still feels lacking. An enjoyable read, overall, and a good primer for the TINTIN neophyte, but I'll probably keep looking for the Hergé bio that sates my appetite. Not a bad thing, necessarily.



View all my reviews

Later!

mike

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ghostbusters Completed

About a week ago I was overcome with ennui and decided to throw in my Ghostbusters video game into the PC and finish it once and for all. When I stopped playing it a while ago I had left off on one of the last levels, I was sure, as the story was kind of wrapping up in a climaxy kind of way. I don't remember what it was that stopped me from playing it through at the time, but I'm sure it got overly difficult and I got bored and busy or something. Anyway, it had been sitting on the shelf for some time and I decided to dust it off and get it out of the way.

Overall, it's probably some of the most fun I've had gaming. Really. The story, acting, graphics, all were top notch!! And, as far as I'm concerned, the game was written by Aykroyd/Ramis, stars the original cast (even Atherton and Potts) and continues the story as if it was the third in a trilogy bringing everything back to Shandor, Gozer, and explaining some of the stuff from GB1. And the new character you play doesn't intrude at all on the story. Even without saying a word he is seamlessly interwoven and actualy interacts with the other characters.

This, folks, is Ghostbusters 3. Make no mistake.

Anyway, now that I'm done the game I seem to still have a bit of a GB jones so I'm probably gonna grab some IDW Publishing GB comics and get an extended fix. I was buying and following all the GB comics but kind of dropped off there for a bit. A lot of one-shots seemed to be coming out that looked hastily conceived and quickly produced, so I sort of stopped buying, but I'll probably go back and re-examine. I just bought the Halloween special written by Peter David which wasn't bad. There's a time-travelling mini written by Scott Lobdell which I'm sure I should be checking out, so that's probably the next step.

Take care!

mike

Friday, November 05, 2010

Check It Out

Watch the pilot episode of The Walking Dead courtesy of AMC. If you like drama, zombies or good storytelling, give it a shot. The books it's based on are great and I'm hoping Frank Darabont gets this right!



Later!

mike

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lap Time



This is getting to be a flattering and, ultimately frustrating, habit of one of our housemates. Whenever I sit down to work or play at my computer, Starbuck finds her way here, gives the weepy-eyed look and jumps up. Not only does my leg fall asleep, not only does hair get everywhere on me and my computer, but I can't really function while she's there. Maybe that's the point.

Oh well, Jen tells me it's adorable.

Later!

mike

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trick-or-Treat

Another Halloween come and gone again for another year. I didn't really do anything myself, per se, on the day (does seeing PSYCHO in a snazzy big theatre count?) but I took the kids out and they trick-or-treated in their costumes with their friends. Costumes are beginning to get more interesting as the years go on because of their changing/evolving interests and because they've started assembling them themselves instead of having us do it exclusively. Kate (with a little help) cobbled together this Hogwarts student outfit and Emma went as Buffy the Vampire Slayer after an aborted attempt at trying to put together an Envy Adams cotume (an expensive error in judgement, too). Simon used an old costume we had which was the Brandon Routh Superman tights with the colouring and fit from Superman Returns.

Overall, it was a good time, a good haul, and the yard has never looked better. I wish I had some pics to show it off. The last few years we've been collecting up decorations at Halloween sales and things have been shaping up nicely. We can finally start celebrating one of our fave holidays in a way we haven't really done in the past.

Anyway, pics of the kids below. Kate is the Gryffindor girl on the far right.



Later!

mike

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fringe Reading

This afternoon I finished reading the collected Fringe comic that Wildstorm put out a while ago. I picked it up because of my interest in the show and I'd heard that it was a not-bad read that did, in fact, enhance the viewing experience somewhat due to its exploration of the pasts of William Bell and Walter Bishop.

Well, the main story featuring the two oddball scientists was pretty lackluster so I was, overall, disappointed with the experience. I'll definitely keep to the show and avoid any more 'hidden tales' from the fringe. The shorter back-up stories, however, were pretty decent in a Weird Tales or Strange Science-Fiction Stories sort of way. In fact, it looks like the publisher is following this format for their second Fringe series called Tales From the Fringe which appears to be all shorter stories with twist endings and weird situations. The only real difference is the new series actually stars characters from the show like Broyles, Dunham and Peter, so it's a little more interesting to read.

Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts down on the experience. Not really recommended for anyone but the most die-hard of fans, so reader beware.

Until next time.

mike

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's Going On?

It's been a busy and somewhat hectic couple of months here at Jozic HQ. For starters, Jen has moved back from Regina (where she was working at the Provincial archives), my job has been downsized something awful, I've started the process of putting a business together with my brother, had some family health issues, and read and listened to a lot of really cool stuff.

Looking back on my TwitterFeed (yes, I really do have to look back to remember) the kids and I celebrated Groucho Marx's birthday on the 2nd of Oct. by watching A Night at the Opera and it was received very well by middle child, Kate. Emma had already seen it and Simon remains uninterested in anything B&W, so to hell with him. Anyway, Kate got a lot of the jokes, which is impressive considering how much of it is wordplay, and I've even caught her quoting lines every now and then. "And if not, I'll be back. And with squeaky shoes!"

The kids and I also finished Season 3 of Doctor Who and started the fourth, and final, Tenant series. We've been having a blast with these episodes and if I could just convince them to explore some Eighth Doctor goodness with me, that would make things just perfect. It's a work in progress, to say the least.

I debated on starting a Human Target podcast. Could be fun, but am I really committed to the idea? Give it some time to simmer a bit, I think.

I kinda went off on Steve Rude in 'his time of need' on Twitter. In fact, you probably can't even call it going off on him, since he probably doesn't know about it. Comics journalist Tom Spurgeon did reply with some commentary, trying to put some perspective on my irk, which prompted my Rude post a week ago, but I just received a print that I ordered from the Rude Dude store and it was in rough shape so I'm pissed off again.

Started up with Netflix, which has been a ton of fun. Lots of docs and foreign films I've been wanting to see. Watched some other stuff, too. Well worth the $8 CAN so far. I urge anyone who hasn't to try it out.

Everything kind of wraps up with Thanksgiving, some DVDs and BD's I've bought and watched, and that brings us up to the current situation.

So, with that, I'll take my leave. There are some things I'd like to post about and they're just itching to get out but for whatever reason, they're not there yet. As soon as they are, I'll be back here in a flash.

Toodles!

mike

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Help a Dude Out

Okay, so I posted a new banner up top of the page and will continue to do so throughout the series of auctions being put on by Steve Rude and his wife Jaynelle. See, they're in a rough patch and their house is in danger of being foreclosed on and these folks are trying to unload a bunch of comic art and other merch in order to help pay some of the bills.

Steve is one of the finest artists to ever work in comics and his Nexus series with Mike Baron is possibly one of the finest series ever produced. There was a recent attempt to relaunch the book under Steve's creator owned imprint but for whatever reason that didn't pan out for the long-term, much to the dismay of all of his fans, this one included.

Anyway, if you are a fan yourself, love comic book art or just wanna maybe help a guy and his family out, click through at the top of the page and take a gander at what's being offered.

Take care!

mike

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sharing a Little Grace


It was on this day back in 1982 that Grace Kelly, Hollywood icon and Princess consort of Monaco, died when she lost control of her vehicle and drove off the road and crashed. I've never considered myself a huge Kelly fan, but I've enjoyed several of her movies, particularly To Catch a Thief, and have always appreciated her class and stunning beauty.

Grace was recently reintroduced to me through a Vanity Fair article which discussed he fashion sense (which I have always adored), and touched briefly on her life which, subsequently, stirred some interest in me to seek out a biography to get a more thorough picture of her, and her time in Hollywood. In the process, I ran across High Society by Donald Spoto, which seems to be pretty good so far and also subscribes to the same sort of interviewing and biography ethos I personally follow. There's a great deal of respect for the subject, and that's something I like to see. Torrid tell-alls are not mu cup of tea.

From what I've seen so far in Spoto's book, Grace was a genuinely nice, generous and real person, despite her status and fame; another thing I like in my celebrities.

I'll also never forget Lauren Bacall tweeting from the Oscars when she referenced the young girls there who all had beautiful gowns but also terrible posture and little refinement. She said Grace would be rolling in her grave.

So there it is, my odd little tribute to Grace Kelly. Maybe I'll watch TCaT again tonight. Or grab one I haven't seen. Either way, I'm gonna squeeze a little Grace into my day.

Later!

mike

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mobile Databasing

I downloaded a new app for my iPhone which is a database for my DVDs and BDs that I can take around with me. It's not a really important thing to have on me at all times, but I am asked often enough about my movies (a collection that is 1500+ unique titles strong) when I'm not at home that I thought it might be nice to have something like that available at my fingertips. I also kind of loved the fact that I can use my camera to scan each and every one of my movies and it automatically adds them to the database. So far, I've only run into a few that have stumped IMDB and those are easy enough to add manually. I was kicking around, relaxing and listening to some Fringe commentary and scanned, like, 100 discs into the database in the time it took to finish one episode. Not too shabby.

A lot of other stuff was done today, but for whatever reason the database app is the one thing standing out to me right now, so that's what you get on the blog.

Later!

mike

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Image Worth a Thousand Words



This image and cover makes me ridiculously happy.

mike

Thinking of DS9 Again

Just started watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine again and decided to look back at some of my earlier DS9 posts from, like, 2005.

Originally I made the decision to watch the series in its entirety, since I never had before, and since I was probably looking for content at the time figured I would do reviews of the episodes as I watched them. Looking at them now I'm actually happy with what I was doing at the time but I also noticed that I stopped reviewing episodes after Season 1. I'm sure that it had something to do with nobody commenting on them at the time and me deciding that it wasn't worth the time and effort, but I'm considering going back and doing Season 2 and catching up to where I currently am on Season 3. Right now I am, literally, in the middle of watching episode 17, "Prophet Motive", so there would be a bit of catching up to do, but I am finding that every time I come back to this show after a lengthy hiatus it never gets stale, I'm never not in the mood, and the stories and characters keep getting better and better.

I was just talking to my wife about guilty pleasures or junk food TV (she watches Grey's Anatomy and Friday Night Lights for her silly fix, for example, while I have been known to occasionally watch Smallville) and I also mentioned how I used to consider DS9 just that. But the quality of the show (despite dragging along 30 years of franchise history and the baggage and clichés of two previous series) and my enjoyment of it elevates it beyond that, I think.

So, I'll give it some thought, maybe revisit the idea as I continue to run through the series. If anyone has any opinions on the matter, feel free to voice them.

Until then...

mike

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cleaning Up

I noticed that I have a crapload of links that I've snagged and left in my bookmark folder and decided to clean a few of them out with a good ol' fashioned linkblog. Haven't done one of these in a while so I'll just get started and perhaps there may be something of interest to someone herein:

This post by Valerie D'Orazio is from her blog Occasional Superheroine. It's a couple of years old but I always loved the story and the punchline is gold.

A few months ago I was on a big Hannah Georgas kick and this Q&A grabbed my attention for some reason. It might have been the description of the song meanings or perhaps the story about the children vocalists. Either way, if you're a fan or a curious observer, there may be some tidbit of interest there for you.

This link will take you to a Rian Hughes video where he talks about his career in design and comics. If you're interested in graphic design, comics, typography, that sort of thing, it's worth checking out.

After The Golden Compass hit theatres, I found this interview with the author of the Northern Lights trilogy, Phillip Pullman. I quite liked the interview at the time and thought Pullman was an interesting subject.

The Cerebus: A Diablog site is the brainchild of Laura Hudson and Leigh Walton where they read and discuss each issue of Cerebus from #1 on. It's pretty interesting to read, to be honest. I think they are at #11 or #12 at the moment, I could be wrong. I suppose I could always click on the link to find out, couldn't I? Well, so could you if you were so inclined.

This is an article from RodSerling.com discussing the adaptation of Planet of the Apes from novel to film. It discusses changes made and what-not. I was on an Apes or Twilight Zone kick a bit ago and dug this up around that time. Kind of interesting reading for those interested in the film series or Serling. I also remember digging up Pierre Boulle's script for the proposed sequel, Planet of Men or something like that, but that's another link for another time.

The Magic of Shazam! blog was created by Mark Kunkel to document his experience while creating the first 5-or-so issues of that series. It's a good read if you care about that series or Kunkel in any way, shape or form.

io9 gives you 13 Alien Languages You Can Actually Read. 'Nuff said, I think.

John Adcock wrote an article called "Runyon on Herriman" which, if you recognize any of those names, is worth a read.

On a more recent note, Bryan Singer talks Matthew Vaughn and the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie over at AICN.

Eddie Campbell interview with Forbidden Planet International. He talks about the big Alec book and other stuff.

Hmmm, that's a few of the links that are cluttering up the ol' PC. I hope some of them are of interest to people. At the very least, they're not taking up space on my end and I can hit the blog whenever I want to check one of them out, which is the whole purpose of doing this anyways, isn't it? Perhaps I will attack with another set in the near future.

Cheers!

mike

Monday, August 02, 2010

Kudos To Red Hood

I gotta give credit where credit is due here, and the bulk of the success of Batman: Under the Red Hood lies in Judd Winick's screenplay which he adapted from his own work on the Batman comic books (I think it was in Batman but it could have been Detective, I don't know). I mean, sure, the show looks good, and has some good action sequences, and decent art direction, and great sound design, and pretty good music, and the cast is not bad, but I honestly think it's the pacing and structure of the story that really makes this thing work better than most of the D2DVD Warner/DC animations to date. Everything from Superman: Doomsday to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths suffer in one way or another and never truly feel like a fully fleshed out and complete story. Every one of them, with the exception of Green Lantern: First Flight and Batman: Gotham Knight because of its anthological nature (is that even a word), feel compressed, rushed, and squeezed into their limited running times.

Despite my previous misgivings, I have to concede that Under the Red Hood was an entertaining experience and had many good moments in it. The only weak points it really has stem from some lame CGI and my own lukewarm reaction to the Red Hood storyline when I first read it a while ago.

Anyway, disjointed and rushed though they may be, those are my thoughts on the movie and I'm moving on to work on some other stuff. I just wanted to sound off while this was fresh in my mind.

Take care!

mike

Monday, July 12, 2010

Under the Hood

Not looking too forward to this although I cannot deny some curiosity:



Probably a renter rather than a purchase. Haven't really embraced any of the DC Animated films since Wonder Woman, which wasn't all that strong. Actually, Green Lantern: First Flight was pretty good, now that I think about it, but I haven't bought any of them since WW.

Anyway, time will tell. Released on July 27th, if I'm not mistaken.

Later!

mike

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Not Sure What To Post...

...but I sort of have a bit of momentum going. I think I've posted something just about every day this week. Considering my previous output, I consider this nothing short of a miracle.

Anyway, not much going on right now.

I could mention I went to the Star Wars: In Concert show a bit ago, which was cool. The performance itself was solid and one tended to stare at the big screen as opposed to the orchestra so it wasn't much in the way of concert experiences, really. Seeing Anthony Daniels was a treat, though, and getting to see the traveling exhibits was also very, very cool.

Each case was incredibly crowded and it was almost impossible to get any photos of myself with them since I was alone, but I snagged a few and took straight shots of everything else for the ol' FaceBook album. I had to use my iPhone so they didn't all come out great, but at least I have a record of the event, which is more than I can say for many other things I've seen and gone to in the past.

If you're a FaceBook buddy of mine you can head over and check them out. If not, I'll maybe post more pics another time. For now, though, here's me and the Dark Lord of the Sith, himself.



Peace!

mike

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Thank You BRMC

I've gotten a bit of a respite from my disastrously bad mood in the form of some kick-ass BRMC tunes. I don't know what it was, exactly, that lifted me from my funk, but lifted I am. It could be temporary, and I'm prepared to take that as it comes. For now, though, "Bad Blood", "Howl", "Promise", "Weight of the World", "Shadow's Keeper" and a few others are life-savers of the best kind. Whether it's the lyrics or the music or a combination of the two, I don't care. I've been enjoying the last few hours and this is good.

I just thought I would share.

And speaking of sharing:



Later!

mike

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Something That Made Me Go Hmmmm

So, I'm sitting in the car after work, having just driven up in front of the house, and I started putting some touches on another poem that I started writing at work (yeah, don't even ask) and waiting for the rain to die down before going in. I had Death Cab For Cutie playing on the stereo because I had been listening to them all day, off and on. So, they're right in the middle of "The Ice Is Getting Thinner", right when that agonizingly lonely guitar comes in for the solo, and just as I stopped writing the sky opened up and down came the the rain in a torrent. I couldn't see out the windows, I couldn't very well get out of the car, and there was just me, the music and the weather. It was an interesting moment. I'd use the word poetic but that would just seem like a crass pun.

Although it is entirely unintentional, I'm also finding it not entirely coincidental that I'm in the middle of reading a Nick Hornby book and listening to a lot of DCFC. Hornby has always been the one writer who seems to know me better than I do. Alternately, Ben Gibbard has quickly become a favourite songwriter for writing many, many lyrics that seem torn from the pages of my life, thematically if not literally. I've always had a passing interest in the band but their Drive Well, Sleep Carefully DVD sort of put it all over the top for me. Now they are on heavy rotation in the ol' iTunes.

Anyway, I'm kind of trying to organize a snack run of some kind so I'm gonna blast.

Later!

mike

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

Among other things, this weekend involved some new acquisitions which I thought I would make mention of here. While out and about with Jen we hit a local used bookstore and I found a very nice copy of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, something I've been meaning to buy but never have gotten around to. I took the book out of the library once, years ago, and had to return it before finishing it so I look forward to taking another crack at it. Maybe I'll watch the movie when I'm done. Not the Farrely Bros. one, the one starring Colin Firth.

I also grabbed the first issue of what appears to be a new Batman Beyond series. I had not heard of this (which shows how unplugged I am from mainstream comics these days) but I curious and excited to explore what lies within. Writer Adam Beechen knows his animated properties and the artist, Ryan Benjamin, looks pretty decent so I have high hopes for reading it. I was, and still am, a huge fan of the television series this comic is based on and any chance to see Terry McGinnis again (as long as it's not complete shit, anyways) is a nice surprise.

Update: Just read it and I'm pleased! Art and story were well done. A little out of my comfort zone style-wise to really embrace it as 'of the series' but I'm very much looking forward to seeing how this six-issue series pans out.

I also grabbed an official guide to Battlestar Galactica which covers the relaunch, the mini-series and the first season, if I'm not mistaken. So far, from what I've read, it's pretty darn good. Moore is not pulling any punches and, short of covering all the failed attempts to bring the series back, it's an informative read coming from primary sources.

Nabbed a couple of albums by Pinback, which were recommended to me by Jen. The jury's still out on the band but so far I'm liking what I hear.

Kate picked up Lego Rock Band and we have been rockin' out for most of the evening to some cool tunes by some of our favourite bands. I have to say I'm happy to see The Kooks, Vampire Weekend, Glasvegas, Blur and Phoenix all represented amidst the Big Ones that you expect to see. It warmed the cockles of my heart.

Oh, and while she was doing that I picked up a discount copy of Mothra vs. Godzilla for, like, $5. I haven't opened it yet but I doubt I'll return it. Simon might have fun watching it with me, he's a bit of a Godzilla nut. I mean, he's 9, what do you expect?

So that's it. I could mention the cannelloni dinner I made today, which was fabulous, but that's less of an acquisition and more of a 'see what I DID today' kind of thing. Maybe post on it later. I'll be taking some samples in to work to let the proles sample some of my wares.

Anyway, on that note, I will depart. Take care, stay warm, keep fit and play safe.

mike

Friday, July 02, 2010

Packaging Fubars



For an explanation of what this is and means, click through to Jerry Beck's post at the Cartoon Brew blog.

This is almost as good as the "Rob Liefeld's Shaft: 7 Inches, fully poseable" ad that ran in Diamond Previews several years ago. Although, only comic book people saw that so I guess this is not as funny but more universal.

Anyway, 'til next time.

mike

To Airbend, or Not to Airbend?

I was planning to go to The Last Airbender this week (being a huge fan of the animated series) but the reviews are kind of scaring me off. I look at the Tomatometer and it has a 9% fresh rating right now. That's terrible. Still, the last X-Files movie had a 12% and I loved it to bits, so maybe TLA isn't that bad. But then I hear the fans responses, and Ebert's review which was painfully scathing in its dislike of the film (Ebert, btw, loved the last X-Files movie) and I have to wonder. The Avatar community is also pretty heated in its hate for the film. I don't know if it's just expectations that were too high or what but it's enough to keep me away, possibly until it hits the discount theatre or the kids push us to take them.

Every time I try and overcome a negative with this movie I always manage to find something to make me pull back and away, again. Maybe that's enough reason to stay away.

mike

Thursday, July 01, 2010

On a Happier Note

I`ve been listening to a lot of Charlatans lately so I thought I would share this live version of `Oh! Vanity`.

The Charlatans@Ray Ban Unplugged Primavera Sound 2010 from VICE España on Vimeo.



And, if anyone cares, the mood is a little better today than yesterday.

Cheers!

mike

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seriously?

I'm not gonna explain why, or who is involved, or what it's about, but I'm so angry right now I want to break things. It's times like these that I wish I boxed or belonged to a gym or something and that I could just go and punish myself physically or beat on something for an hour until I couldn't muster the energy to bother anymore.

I don't remember the last time I felt quite this way. I suppose I could get a lot of cleaning done around the house with all this anger built up inside.

And with that I take my leave. I just had to verbalize it, or say it publically to help take the edge off and that mission is accomplished.

Hopefully there will be something more cheerful next time you hear from me.

mike

Monday, June 14, 2010

Surprise Return

Just when you thought you'd seen the last of me for another two months, here I am.

I'm kind of sitting here at my computer, doing not much. I'm waiting for someone to contact me who I'm beginning to suspect will not, in fact, contact me, so I decided to head over to NPR and stream the new Stars album which is bloody fantastic!!! I also figured I'd pop on and do another posting. Go figger.

I don't have much to say, really. A lot of weird stuff has been going on at Meanwhile... HQ and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that is, but there's been some soul searching, some examining of life changes and choices, and lots of other boring stuff that nobody wants to read about, I'm sure. It's part of the reason that I haven't been blogging. I've never made this much of a personal forum, reserving it for my pop cultural predilections, so this end kind of gets neglected when I'm in one of these moods/phases.

Anyway, That's all for now. Will post again soon. Promise. Hopefully it will be more interesting than this.

I will leave you however with this:



mike

Friday, June 11, 2010

Been a While

So, yeah, like the title says, it has been a while since I've posted anything here. That's partly because of my other online social networking accounts, but also because I'm just finding I have less patience for sitting and posting on here. I figured I would pop on and do something, though, since I've left it to flounder for something like 2 months.

Since coming back from Ottawa I had this really strange dream which may or may not be slightly influenced by being at the National Gallery only days before. It was this weird amalgam of a Jacob's Ladder type surreal experience with a They Live like twist for flavour.

I was in this enormous gallery/mall where there were doors on certain levels that would take you to another dimension where everything was red or everything was blue or yellow exclusively, and each colour would correlate to a behaviour or mood. Red being aggressive, maybe yellow was passive or cowardly, I don't know what the rest were anymore. So, occasionally a person would slip through accidentally and they would be prized by the denizens of these alternate worlds because they wanted to use the openings that you accidentally created to slip through into our world and take your place.

I remember there was this large open area, like an arcade or square, that was enclosed in glass. There were these giant dancing female creatures with crazy twisted/monstrous features which I think only I could see. This may or may not have been an effect of what eventually led me to the other world or not. Possibly a precursor of the walls breaking down, or something. Now that I think about it, the gallery art and certain details would change as well depending on the world you were in.

I somehow slipped into the red world and everyone there had transparent skin so you could see the musculature and bones and eyeballs underneath. They knew that I was wrong when I reacted to their appearance. I'm guessing if I kept my cool thay might not have clued in but they ended up chasing me, trying to capture me, before I could get back to where I came from.

Sounds kind of silly typing it up but it was pretty weird and discomforting while I was in the dream.

Maybe there's a story there.

Anyway, that's perhaps not what one might expect from a comeback post but that is what I have got, so...

Take care and we'll see you later!

mike

Monday, March 22, 2010

You Gotta Take Your Medicine Where You Can Find It

Kinda rediscovered a little band by the name of Medicine not too long ago. They're probably most widely known for contributing a song, "Time Baby 3", to the soundtrack album for The Crow. It is, in fact, the first place I ever heard of the band. Their stuff is a pain-in-the-ass to find but I did run across these videos which give you a taste for what they sounded like (and looked like, I guess).


Medicine - The Pink (1993)

Medicine | MySpace Music Videos



Medicine - Never Click (1993)

Medicine | MySpace Music Videos


It was always difficult to listen to an album all the way through without getting a headache, but when the mood struck it was brilliant chaos blasting through the speakers. Still is, really.

Anyway, I'm so freakin' tired I'm falling asleep in my computer chair so I'm gonna sign off.

Cheers!

mike

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Small Update to the Site

Just went in and updated the sidebar with new items from the Amazon store which, of course, is all stuff I have worked my grubby paws, eyes and ears through over the last little while. I've also added an old friend's blog to the sidebar links. Just check under Citric Sugar and click through to see my friend Carly's regular updates, projects and thoughts.

As for casa Jozic, not a lot happening around here right now. Spent a lazy Saturday watching Hot Fuzz with my eldest daughter and a late night last night watching (500) Days of Summer, which is now also my absolute favourite rom/com of all time. Just trying to keep things on the downlow, overall.

There may be some news to share soon but until then I'm gonna keep mum on the subject.

Oh, and I guess I could mention that I've been writing a bit these days. Even tried my hand at writing song lyrics, but that proved painful and I abandoned it after a day or so. Still, I've made some progress on the forever unfolding Smitten and look forward to seeing where things go from there.

And last, but not least, I just went and spent a schwack of dough on some comics at a big sale at my LCS. I completed a number of sets including Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye, Savior 28 (although the 5th issue has a buggered cover), Agents of Atlas (the proper monthly as well as the X-Men cross-over), got current with Mike Allred's Madman up to #17, I think, most of the first year of X-Statix, X-Men: First Class: Finals, some issues of Incognito, B.P.R.D. 1947, the last three issues of Millar and Hitch's FF run (although Hitch didn't actually finish it), and some random singles and magazines. It was a good haul. Gonna be reading for a while, I think.

I guess I could mention that I purchased the new Gorillaz album and The Flash Season 1 for a steal, but I'll maybe comment on those at a later date.

So, until then...

mike

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I am not a number!"

I know it's yet another video post but I've started watching AMC's Prisoner remake and it's got me in a McGoohan state of mind. AMC is also streaming the original series and I thought I would link to it here.



Cheers!

mike

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Made Me Jump Up & Down With Jubilation File

The only thing better than a new album is the fact that they'll tour it and I get to go see them again. Woot!



Peace!

mike

Made Me Smile File

Saw this when Ebert tweeted it. Love Phoenix and this arrangement is pretty cool.



Hope you like it as much as I do.

Later!

mike

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Tweet Tweet

Yes, as the title suggests, I've begun a Twitter account. I'm still not sure what practical application Twitter serves, but seeing as how most of my blog posts, if I wrote down every idea that popped into my head, would be about 140 characters long I figured I would give it a go. More often than not, I'll get an idea while driving, at work or just wandering around in public and by the time I get home and start thinking of how to put it together in a blog post, I've already lost interest. Fickle, I know, but the cold, hard truth of the matter.

I'll still be writing meatier bits here, but when the lightning strikes me, I'll probably fire it off there first and see what happens.

Cheers!

mike

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Send In the Clones


So, a little while ago I bought the first season of the Clone Wars animated series on Blu-Ray and apart from being just amazed with the overall quality of the presentation, I have kind of been rediscovering these early episodes and seeing them in a slightly new light.

Stories that seemed a little 'meh' on first viewing stand a little taller when watching them in a clump on this set. I've started to really appreciate the writing more, especially in light of where things have gone with the next season. I also think I've started appreciating their time and dollar budgets a little more and have been cutting them some slack for any early missteps. Again, when you see how far they've taken things in season two, you start to see these things from a certain point of view.

One of my favourite things that has really stood out have been the textures on the show. Everything from the characters skin to the sides of buildings and the clone armour have been textured in such a way that they have a very painterly feel to them. And when I made the connection between the crews love of early Star Wars production artwork and the look of Ralph Mcquarrie's artwork, it was like a lightning bolt to the head. Everything on the show is, essentially, a three dimensional, walking and talking Mcquarrie painting. It's great.

And there are so many other tiny details and minutia that make this show a truly underrated effort. I know it is popular, but it doesn't get talked about much outside of Star Wars fandom and the playground. I would actually love to see someone who has lost their Star Wars mojo post-prequels try this show out and see what they think of it, to be honest. I think they might be surprised.

Anyway, that's my Lucas-related post for the month.

As always, more later.

mike

Sunday, February 28, 2010

ILM on CNET discussing the future of special effects in film and television. It's a 30 minute clip but I enjoyed it so...



Later!

mike

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

To Return Or Not To Return

Last week I ordered a couple of books through Amazon.ca and they both arrived today, albeit in a damaged box. There was a big gaping wound in the corner, probably from someone putting a heavier box on top of it and it just popped. As a rsult of this packaging malfunction, the corners of my book are a little beat up and I'm trying to decide whether or not to return the book and, hopefully, get a new un-crunched version, or if I should just suck it up and keep the book as is.

I'm sure most people would look at the 'damage' and just shrug it off, but I'm a little anal with my stuff and it was an expensive coffee table book, so my expectations are a little higher than if it was a $5 paperback. I'm dying to rip the plastic off and check it out but I need to make the call before I do that, which leads me to this post and my very public ruminating on the subject.

I may leave it 'til the morning to decide.

In the meantime, I think I'm gonna go watch some Fringe or Clone Wars or something. I may even play the new AvP demo I downloaded.

Take care!

mike

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Absolutely Smitten by Jenn Grant

A few days ago I went to a local watering hole and saw the inimitable Jenn Grant perform. I could go on at length about how amazing the show was, and how personable and funny she was, and how she and her band came off the stage to perform an acoustic number which happened to land her inches away from myself and my friend, and how she was so great after the show to sign some CDs for us and chat, and how I got my picture taken with her, and how I caught her as she proceeded to fall off a chair she was standing on, but I won't. Mostly because, if you have been anywhere near me within the last 120 hours, you have probably already had to endure my endless nattering and praise about the show, and the artist, already.

I managed to record a few of the performances but the audio gets a little buzzy since it was recorded it with my iPhone. I'm sure to ears that didn't attend it would sound terrible, but I still like to revisit the few tracks I caught. A couple of them were newer, unreleased tracks, too, so that was kind of cool. Still unsure if I should post any of them to YouTube, as a result, but you never know.

My only regret of the night was when I erroneously thought I was recording the aforementioned acoustic performance but wasn't. A malfunction of the finger, perhaps, relegating the experience forever to my memory. I think the song was "Rainy Day", but I can't be sure. Truly one of the most sublime experiences I have ever had at a concert.

Here's a video of hers for the song "You'll Go Far" which she says is about going away and having to come back because you've run out of money.




Cheers!

mike

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kevin Smith on Prince

We all have guilty musical pleasures and one of mine happens to be the that I like Prince. Ever since '83, I think, when I saw the video for "Little Red Corvette" (not my favourite Prince song, btw), he's always been on my radar to some extent. I'm not fanatical or anything, and I have nothing close to all of his albums, but there is a body of work within his discography which I think is bloody brilliant. I think he's a great composer, has some fantastic moments lyrically, and he's a hell of a showman.

I remember a while back he announced that he would be coming to Saskatchewan Place for a show, which was pretty cool. I also remember the ticket prices as being pretty steep, even at the lowest of three tiers. Still, I was totally going to figure out a way to go and see him because it wasn't the kind of act we normally got around these parts, and how often was I going to get the chance to see the guy perform?

Before I even had a chance to figure out a way to afford a couple of seats, he cancelled the show almost as quickly as it was announced. An article in the paper the next day spoke of how Prince's representation informed them of how he operates. He likes to do shows like an army does a beach landing. He comes in quickly, makes a splash and before you know it, it's over. They also said he could just as easily cancel on a whim because he felt the vibe was wrong or some jive like that. It maintained the spectacle of a Prince show, and shone a spotlight on the strange quixotic personality of his royal badness.

The point of that story is just to lead in to this Kevin Smith bit from his Evening With Kevin Smith DVD where he talks about his week up at Paisley Park and his experience with Prince and a documentary they were supposed to produce together.









Later!

mike

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Omar's Garage



Went over to a friend's place tonight to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and I noticed something for the first time. Omar's Garage is part of a scene that I've seen millions of times but, for some reason, I never managed to connect the dots. In the scene prior to the truck chase, Indy says to Sallah and Marion that he'll meet them back at Omar's. After the truck chase, they drive the truck with the Ark in it into Omar's garage and hide it. Why have I never noticed this before?

It's also an entertaining little tidbit because Sallah's brother-in-law gets another mention in Last Crusade during one of the chase scenes. I know, the whole movie is a chase scene, but it's in the desert, involves camels to repay his brother-in-law for the car that got blown up.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind right now.

mike

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Women Drivers


Now, before I start a lynch mob here, I just thought I would post this article because it sort of ties in with my last post since they are both related to driving. Well, this article is about parking but you get the picture. Anyway, apparently it was scientifically proven that men are better at parking than women. I thought it was cute. Judge for yourself.

mike

Monday, January 04, 2010

Trucks and Traffic

I hate coming on here and ranting about other drivers but the last few days have made me angry enough (and the blog has been silent enough) that I thought I would come on and do a quick rant and retreat.

Why is it that if you have a truck, you have to drive like an asshole? I've had many, many, many bad experiences with trucks and SUVs over the years where the drivers of said vehicles have absolutely no consideration for anyone else on the road. They treat it as if they are the only ones there and it is their God-given right to drive wherever and howsoever they pleaseth. I hate to stereotype (since there's always the exception to the rule) but when I'm driving home from work on a two-lane freeway and there are three or four trucks all around me and their all speeding, following ech other and others too closely, changing lanes regularly and just generally driving recklessly, I can't help but make the statement that people who are predisposed to buying these types of vehicles must be assholes, or the vehicles make them that way. It has to be one or the other because the trend is just far too consistent. It stands up to the scientific method.

I know this will probably kill any chances of anyone ever helping me move furniture that won't fit into my wagon, but I just had to let that one go.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

mike