This past week kind of sucked for the most part with a fair amount of stupidity and nonsense that I just did not even want to deal with, but then again a few enjoyable things happened to take the edge off. Overall, I am glad the week is over.
Friday Slice of Heaven
Comics bought this week - Last week I never made it down to the comic store, which should qualify this entry for the Slice Into the Woods section, but thankfully I made it down last night and was able to pick up the following: 5 Days to Die # 3, 5 Days to Die # 4, Brightest Day #10, Secret Avengers # 5, Berserk #34 and I picked up The Goon Volume 4: Virtue and the Grim Consequences Thereof. Another thing that should go into the Slice Into the Woods section is that I was dumb as dirt and did not add Morning Glories to my pull list and the second issue is long gone. Same with Birds of Prey # 5, which might still be at the store, but I will need to have a look.
Runaways Volume 1 HC - Written by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Adrian Alphona and published by Marvel Comics. Okay, I have not actually read this out of print book that collects the first 18 issues of this highly-rated series, but I did at one point read the first six issues, which were great. I happened to find this one sitting around at Borders and I had to pick it up. I cannot wait to reread it and catch up. Now to find the other two oop volumes.
Fallen Angel Omnibus Volume 0 - Written by Peter David with art by David Lopez and published by IDW. I am over the halfway point of this thick, yet reduced size book that contains the first 20 issues originally published only in comic book form from DC comics, before the series moved to IDW. The story centers around the city of Bette Noir, a city wrought with corruption, evil and supernatural forces which run free through the city each night. Only "Lee," the Fallen Angel, stands in the path of evil, but
seeking her aid can be a mixed blessing that can back fire horribly on the requestor if their intentions are not completely pure. Some of Lee's actions are not completely becoming of an angel and at times she more resembles a demonic force as opposed to a guardian, especially when she brutally tortures Black Mariah, a force of evil in Bette Noir. A complex book with a an evolving plot that is just beginning to play out. Thus far very recommended and I need to track down the now out of print Fallen Angel Omnibus Volume 1.
Phoenix live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on Sunday, September 19, 2010 - I did not want to go to this goddamn concert. I forgot that we had bought tickets months prior and this was just another obligation in a long string of obligations keeping me from revising the novel. I am so very glad that I went. After a horrendous string of events involving my attempts to "fix" things around the house, which had me wanting to retreat to my bed at 4:00pm and count the day as over, I went to the concert. The show was fantastic, the band was amazing and I have been listening to their album Wolfgang Amadeus non-stop. I stood in the general admission area with people shorter than me standing in front, I was on my second Firestone beer and jumping up and down to the songs that I had heard before, but did not necessarily know beyond that. My wife even turned to to tell me that it was nice to see me back to my old self...which says something about my state of my mind, and is somewhat distressing. Great, fabulous, fun show that I would gladly pay money to see again. This leads into the opening band...
Neon Indian live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on Sunday, September 19, 2010 - While we hiked up the hill to the stage, I heard this band begin to play and didn't really give it much thought as my hearing sucks (too many concerts in the past) and it wasn't until I had bought my beer and was buying a shirt that I began to notice Neon Indian playing. We hurried into the general admission area and I now greatly regret missing the first three songs. Neon Indian was fucking outstanding. All eight of us were bobbing up and down and grooving to the music and after the first song, I leaned over to Amy and said that as soon as the set was over that we needed to rush the merchandising booth to pick up the CD; she wanted to buy a T-Shirt. Supposedly, the mastermind of this band is a barely-old-enough-to-drink guy, who is fully deserving of the critical attention that I am sure is bound to be coming his way. Also, worth mentioning is that the crazy long-haired guitar player had a guitar with some sort of LCD built into the body itself that was flashing and displaying psychedelic images on it; I have never seen anything like it. Sample their album, then just buy it (for sale Tuesday, download today) and keep an eye out for when they play somewhere nearby in the future. The album to buy is Neon Indian Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed, I like the song "Should Have Taken Acid With You." Great!
Slice Into the Woods
All of Sunday, Pre-Concert, "Fixing" Things Around the House - If I can avoid paying money for someone else to fix relatively minor things around the house, I will do it. Over the years I have figured out how to perform various minor tasks around the home such as hanging shelves, replacing shower heads, and spackling among a host of other things, but Sunday...fucking Sunday was not to be my day. I started off with installing the new toilet paper dispenser, since the one that we did not really like anyways fell apart. I intended to move it to left wall, which should have been a relatively simple task, but eight holes in the wall later, I had to move it back to the wall where it was originally located. I persevered after accidentally installing the the plate from the old dispenser, but I got it done...finally.
After that I decided to "fix" the toilet that would not stop running by cleaning up one of the parts. Here come the disasters.
We have an old Swedish pull-top Ifo Cascade toilet with nearly impossible to find parts, and in removing the lid, the pull-top knob, slipped from my hands bounced and dropped in-between the toilet and the floor boards...gone forever. Shit. Then, the plunger and the plastic bucket inside the bowl, after about 25 years of being submerged in water disintegrated in my hands. No more using the toilet. Son of a bitch.
I then went to clean the hair clogging the drain of the bathroom sink, and succeeded in freeing up the water flow, but also succeeded in making the plug not work anymore.
After three failures in a row and over the span of a couple of hours, I was considering throwing myself from the secondary floor, but decided against it, since I would probably land on a water heater or some other plumbing related device and fuck up the bathroom even more than I already had. Thankfully, the plumber who showed up on Monday and Friday confirmed that I had not done anything to the toilet and that everything had rotted away naturally, and the sink issue was something that he fixed in 10 seconds for free. I still felt bad though. Oh well, after about $280.00 later, the toilet is fixed and with all new guts inside. Thank you Jerry the Plumber in Goleta!
The Suicide of Billy Lucas - 15-Year-Old Indiana High School Student - I just heard about this after listening to Dan Savage's Savage Love Podcast this week and I am saddened that this teen decided that the only way to escape what looked to be even more years of torment was to take his life. Having been the victim of emotional and occasional physical bullying for the entirety of eighth grade because of my weight and refusal to try drugs, I am certain that I got off easy in comparison to what this poor kid had to endure. In remembering that one horrendous year of my life, I would venture to guess that Billy was tormented by a handful of kids, but primarily was harassed by one or two individuals in particular. If the school admins had been made aware of what was occurring, then they are partly to blame, but with vast overcrowding at most schools it can be very difficult for anyone in a position of authority to notice or catch anyone in the act of bullying. The real blame falls on the children engaged in the harassment, and the main offenders need to pay and be made examples of to show that this type of behavior is not only wrong, but that their harmful actions will not go unpunished. Criminalizing bullying will not bring this boy back, but it might help other children needlessly suffering at the hands of poorly-raised abusers.
"Kids will be kids" is complete bullshit, and responsibility for one's actions has to begin somewhere. Those being bullied need to realize that this moment in time is temporary and that options are available to them for seeking support and possibly relief. This information needs to be READILY available at schools for ALL forms of bullying. Furthermore, additional resources for gay teens need to be made available as their form of abuse goes beyond what someone like me had to suffer through...I changed the overweight problem, this is about who they are. Fuck the assholes who cry this is a lifestyle choice and indoctrinating our youth into homosexuality, it is simply preventing people from ending their life prematurely in response to an unending criminal harassment. See Dan Savage's You Tube Project "It Gets Better." I'm sorry this happened.