Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 10/22/2010

Let's do this thing, peoples....

Slice of Heaven

My 40th Birthday Bash at HobNob - Last Saturday I celebrated my 40th birthday with about 30 people at the HobNob here in Santa Barbara.  We took over the entire back patio and despite initial heavy precipitation everyone appeared to be having a great and mellow time.  HobNob had a little placards with pictures of me--I am guessing Amy supplied the horrendous pictures--and gave me photo of myself to wear as a badge that said, "Yes it is my birthday.  Yes you can buy me a drink!"  Embarrassing, yet funny and a nice touch.  For food, we had a giant bowl of freshly made potato chips with a blue cheese sauce on the side, trays of bruschetta and a platter of chicken skewers; all of which were delicious and gone in no time.
For drinks, I ended up using about 70 red poker chips which I distributed at least two to each guest, allowing them to order any drink that they wanted.  Some people ordered dinner, some ordered extra shots (ugh) for me.  By the end of the evening, I had a Manhattan, vodka tonic, a cucumber press, two shots of Patron, and some hellacious concoction called a "Mind Eraser"...thanks, Alex.  Of course there was a giant chocolate cake from Anna's Bakery in Goleta, which I love and they even went so far as to put a cityscape with a plastic Spider-Man toy atop it, reminding me of all the nutty cakes I used to have when I was a kid--I'm looking at you Crystar the Crystal Warrior cake from my childhood.
In the end, people were brought to HobNob to celebrate my birthday, but this year my hope was to have a miniature celebration of those who make my life fun, joyful and happy.  I think I succeeded. Thank you all for coming and I love you all dearly.  Also, thank you HobNob for putting on a wonderful event and I will tell everyone to grace your establishment, and we will be back soon.  I could not have asked for a better evening.
Happy Birthday to me, bitches!

The Goon Volume 6: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker - Written and illustrated by Eric Powell, published by Dark Horse Comics - The first page of this volume says it all, "This Ain't Funny,"and boy howdy was Eric Powell not kidding...jesus....  This book breaks from all the "Knife in the eye, " slack-jaw (zombie) pounding shenanigans of the prior six trades (incl. 0).  Although I would normally be sad that characters such as Dr. Alloy or my favorite Spanish-speaking Lagardo do not appear, the heavy emotional story presented in this book is amazing and almost seems as if from a different series entirely--I did not mind in the slightest.  There are few if any jokes in this volume that finally answers the questions of how the Goon received his scars and what happened in Chinatown.  I was left more than fully satisfied with the reveals and I am still thinking about the incredibly real depictions of a man's reaction to something so staggering painful that it may very well affect him for the rest of his life.  Sure there are zombies, werewolves and other monsters walking around, but this issue left me with the same feeling of loss and sorrow found in works such as Strangers in Paradise and Blankets.  Unlike most comics, things don't end up going well, but that's okay.  In fact life can be pretty fucked up and that's just something that has to be dealt with and accepted.  Page 80 through 89 are some of the most heart wrenching sequentials I have ever seen and they almost did me in.  Who hasn't been through something that didn't work out according to your dreams?  Who hasn't been wronged for no apparent reason?  Real life involves not saving the kitten in the tree, defeating the evil foe, or achieving your heart's desire.
I highly recommend this book, and I definitely want my wife to read it, and as a stand alone graphic novel it is an odd little noir tragedy.  But, to really feel the emotional power of this book, it helps to know the characters so that the change in pace is more jarring...for that you kind of need to read the first volume and the rest.  Where my wife is concerned, the problem is that "Knife in the eye" and fishmen may not really be her bag, but I am still going to try to get her to read it.  A truly devastating and beautiful book.  Crap, gotta go cry...whatcha lookin' at you slack-jawed palooka?!

The Goon Volume 6: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker
The Goon Vol. 6: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker ...or kick me in the heart and put your cigarette out on it while you're at it. 

The Goon Volume 7: A Place of Heartache and Grief - Written and illustrated by Eric Powell, published by Dark Horse Comics.  Okay, after Chinatown, things get back to bloody, nutty and offensive.  In this volume the Priest gets whats coming to him, but what replaces him could quite possibly be much worse.  Old foes are back, and someone thought long dead returns from the grave...or has he.  The immensely hot cock-teasing harpies are back and oh yeah...a four-foot tall hobo riding an alligator in the swamp.  What more could you ask for.  Do I even have to say it?  Highly recommended.

The Goon Volume 7: A Place Of Heartache And Grief (Goon (Graphic Novels))
The Goon Volume 7: A Place of Heartache and Grief...or Kids love fish squeezin's

The Goon Volume 8: Those That Is Damned -  Written and illustrated by Eric Powell, published by Dark Horse Comics.  Damn...can you guess what I have been reading for the past week?  Obsess much, Donist?!  What to say without giving anything away...the story continues from volume seven, and Frankie and the Goon consider leaving town after the Buzzard reveals that the town is forever damned, but despite all of the sin the pair have committed, it is still their home and people need them.  Death, curses and further torment for the Priest are found in this volume and the Goon crosses a major line of cruelty when he captures a traitor in his midst.  Oh yeah, all that and the corpse mother, too!  You guessed it, highly recommended.

The Goon Volume 8: Those That Is Damned (Goon (Graphic Novels))
The Goon Volume 8: Those That Is Damned...or  "Happiness is for pussies"

Apple Magic Trackpad - Some very cool friends of mine--who were not supposed to give me anything--gave this to me as a Birthday gift at the HobNob party and I was totally surprised.  I love this device so much more than the wireless Apple mouse that I was using that I don't know what I did before it came into my life.  It took a bit of tinkering with to get it to function the way that I wanted and there was a learning curve to all of the subtle little movements and tricks, but in the end it makes life much easier.  The only small gripe that I have is that it is a little awkward when I need to highlight things or click and drag, but this is probably user error and something that I will figure out in time.  I love this thing.  Shucks, guys, you shouldn't have!

Slice Into the Woods

The End of Mad Men Season 4 - Not that this season finale was a let down--it wasn't--my biggest problem is that now I have to wait seven fucking months for season five.  What will I do without my weekly dose of Joan?  Oh wait...The Walking Dead starting on October 31st from AMC.  Okay, things will be alright, at least for another five weeks.
*btw - this was an excellent episode, not at the same level as the season finale of season three, but pretty damn good none the less.

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