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Welcome...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jill and I closed on the house yesterday. We're homeowners! Yay!
Now we just have to bust ass and get it ready to live in.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hell of a story so far. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the follow-up.
Hey all-

I want to do some semi-regular posting on the Ocho but I can't think of a topic so I'm just going to post random things that I'm dying to share with people.

My pick for this time out is the Flight of the Conchords. My friend (and friend of the Rev.) K-Blah introduced me to them while I was in LA last week and I can't get enough of their YouTube vids. Let's start here -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agj0AIVDuA8

But seriously, anything they've got is friggin' hilarious AND musically brilliant at the same time. It's New Zealand's answer to Tenacious D, but (in my opinion) even funnier.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Comics Gnome POOTS! A Litanty of Disappointments

Recently, the Gnome and I were musing over the best new funnybooks in the stack when we came across a stinker in the pile. I won't reveal which title cut the cheese but it was a part a limited series I'm invested in. I've had a few recent stinkers in this run to boot. Akin to spoiled chicken or a bad potato...something stinks. Unlike produce, one bad apple in the bunch won't spoil the rest but we got to thinking about past stinkers and their inevitable disappointments.

What would be your Top 5 All-Time Clunkers. The Comics Gnome posed this question then clarified...not a title that was just bad but something that exceeded expectation then failed like an elderly person's bladder. I won't count MARVEL's HOUSE OF M failed event. That's way too easy...


THE RED STAR by Archangel Studios

This leads off in my opinion. Failed Greatness. The art & story were revolutionary...21st Century. But then it dropped the ball. One collection started this huge, magnificent, deftly-illuminated story. A Second volume continued...as well a prequel titled "SWORD OF LIES" was started. Volume #2 went 5 issues and left the story hanging...what a jip. What a dissappointment. I actually did a little journalism and asked them via their Blog.
"I'm wondering...why did THE RED STAR VOL.2 stop at issue #5. I've tried to RTFM and read an answer online but maybe just doing some Cub Journalism and asking you directly. Last we saw, the ship was boarded and there was no conclusions. I'm going on record as THE RED STAR being one of my favorite disappointments...sorry, guys. Look I know you'll have a cut & paste answer but can you shed a little light? What happenend to THE RED STAR...it's really a story in itself. What did you tell people in San Diego who asked "what happened"? Thanks, Rev. Sully.
Eric O'Sullivan, Boston, MA
http://thechannelocho.blogspot.com/search/label/Comics%20Gnome"

Link to THE RED STAR BLOG Post

I dunno if I'll get an answer from them but it was worth the try, eh? Not like I'd buy the TPB. I would by why waste on a story that's unresolved. There is hope...gimme a little and I'll come back. What went wrong? Did the company fold? Are the legal rights in limbo? Did the creative team have a break-up? As we all know in theater, the show must go on...or you're not really an enterainer or a storyteller.

From DC UNIVERSE come Judd Winick and Howard Porter's dud "THE TRIALS OF SHAZAM!"

Publishing delays can kill a book. Although once collected into trade paperback, no one cares. No one really remembers Frank Miller's original DARK KNIGHT RETURNS was plauged with lateness for a four-issue tome. But this redefininition of CAPTAIN MARVEL is really sad. Not as in "gimme a tissue, Tito" kinda sad but more of a snore, bore sad. On paper (what a pun), this sounded great. A change for the old Captain Marvel character, a passing of the baton. Judd Winick was one of my favorite writers in the DCU, Howard Porter's art I know from Geoff Johns THE FLASH was excellent. But like Winick's OUTSIDERS failed to get my money when released. I hung in for three issues until I gave up. It's a limted 12-issue run that began in August 2006 ande issue #8 (cover above) has an October 2007 release. I can't abide.

Also from the DCU was a great idea that turned sour...
ENGINEHEAD by Joe Kelly & Ted McKeever, DC COMICS 2004

The premise and the first few issues were great. A twleve-issue arc that stuttered, sputtered and ran out of gas. Take 6 out-of-circulation heroes (and even a villian) one unwilling participant and have a mad scientist give them one more chance at heroics as one composite being. I remember ENIGINEHEAD being macabre and fascinating. A talking helper monkey to boot! But it floundered and became a waste of time.
For the record, I have never seen this character again in the DCU since 2004. Not even killed in the BATTLE OF METROPOLIS in INFINITE CRISIS. What became of ENGINEHEAD, I dunno...

The House of Ideas, aka MARVEL COMICS for me became the "Hose of Ideas"...being we all got hosed with a bad editorial direction that nullified four years of great storytelling by a master storyteller...
I'm talking about May 2004's X-MEN: RELOAD.
The Short Version: X-MEN (vol. 2) was renamed NEW X-MEN at issue #114 in 2000 by its new writer Grant Morrison. Morrison had seemingly killed X-Men nemesis MAGNETO in the opening pages and a short while later in the X-MEN ANNUAL 2001 introduced a new X-Man named Xorn, a Chinese mutant held prisoner deep within China. From the very start, Grant Morrison intended this...

forgive the Wikipedia link and their tendency to Red X us hotlinkers...^_~
Xorn was actually Magneto. And by the end, Magneto had almost destroyed NYC, subjugated the normal humans into concentration camps and also killed Jean Grey. Wolverine beheaded him.
OK. Great conclusion. Morrison wraps up his run and leaves. Next comes a huge MARVEL edict called X-MEN:RELOAD in the spring of 2004. Back were gaudy costumes, myriad teams and also...Magneto. It appears the Xorn Magneto was an imposter. That Magneto survived the Genoshan Holocaust and was now secretly rebuilding the mutant island nation with Charles Xavier's help. What a giant turd to find in the punchbowl. I could have come up with a better explaination if that was the case. I felt really cheated. It was anti-climactic to see in the X-MEN: RELOAD at EXCALIBUR (vol. 3) #1 to see Erik Magnus Lehnsherr aka Magneto on the last page. Read a blurb here about Magneto & Xorn. It's really unbelievable...for a bloody comicbook about men wearing tights & flying in capes with extraordinary powers. What a let down...it really turned me off to MARVEL.
Grant Morrison to this day will not back down and states that he intended Xorn to be the real, one & true Magneto.

This one is my favorite example of comics companies not giving a crap about its readership: A Cautionary Tale to Any New Reader of Any Magazine...
Here's something good that never really got bad...just dropped like an editorially hot potato.
WILDSTORM's STORMWATCH: TEAM ACHILLES


I really liked this title a lot but when series scribe Micah Ian Wright was caught lying about his military record, he was unceremoniously booted from WILDSTORM. His creation was a continuation of the WildStorm STORMWATCH teams, this one specifically was mostly all-human and a multi-national United Nations military team trained to take out SuperHero (or villian) threats akin to Tom Clancy's RAINBOW SIX franchise. They were created as a human counterpoint and potential solution to WildStorm's THE AUTHORITY. 23 issues in it was cancelled mid-story when it was supposed to have been cancelled at #24. No resolution to almost two years of patronage. I bloody well hated that... I've kinda never forgiven WildStorm for that. Sure I've picked up a a little of Grant Morrison's new "THE AUTHORITY" but it's publishing delays and general waffling is proving my WIldStorm Embargo to be a sound decision (but I will get Warren Ellis' final issue of PLANETARY...I just gotta).

So if you got a least-favorite magazine to gripe about...tell the Comics Gnome & Myself here at OCHO!

'namaste...
THE SMOKING PUCK!

September 20, 2007
By Rev. Sully

The Pre-Season Has Begun!!!
aka: The Rest of the Laundry is In...


And they're OFF!!! The NHL 2007-08 Windmill Tilt is officially "warming-up". The Bruins won 3-1 over the NY Islanders in St. John's, Newfoundland in their first pre-season game Tuesday. The Black & Gold face-off against the New Jersey Devils at 6:00PM tonight in Manchester, New Hampshire, otherwise known as "Manch-Vegas: City of Lights". Meathead, Mario & I Once took in an AHL Game during “the Long Offseason”. We drove our hockey-starved asses up to watch Manchester Monarchs play the Philadelphia Phantoms but iDigress...

Since the NHL apparently is the Whipping Boy of the North American Big-Four Sports, there is no Television coverage of the pre-season. Perhaps one or two games by the end but nothing comprehensive. The Boston Red Sox have tonight off in the waning daze of their regular season...the New England Sports Network (NESN) would rather show its original programming of their dating-game/reality show "Sox Appeal" than disgrace their "airwaves" with Bruins Preseason Hockey. A long running argument of this Smoking PUCK has been NESN's complete lack of Hockey Sense & Respect. Hockey still is Life in New England...ask a Hockey Mom up at 5AM to drop the kids off at the rink. C'mon, NESN...it's still the same place to showcase your Dunkin' Donuts & W.B. Mason advertisements, we all know you could give a crap about anything but Red Sox Baseball. I really would watch the Bruins tonight if I could. There are more fights & hard-hitting from pluggers looking to impress & catch on with a team.

Usually there shouldn't be anything impressive to mention about the first pre-season game but here's an item. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara dropped the gloves for the first time in Black & Gold...why? 'Cuz now he's allowed to. In the 2006-2007 season, former head coach Dave Lewis forbid the Big Zee from resolving on-ice matters in the form of fisticuffs. Current head coach Claude Julien sees things from a more "old-time hockey" point-of-view. He's given the Super-Sized 6'-9" Slovak the Green Light to Fight. In the 80 regular season games played last season as the Bruins Captain, "Zee" got exactly 100 minutes in penalties. In the previous 5 seasons to coming to Boston, Chara averaged 142.2 PIM...so as we say here at the PUCK, "Do the Math, Mouthbreathers"!!!

Coming Soon:
The Smoking PUCK's Depth Chart. From the Head of the Snake all the way to the Rattle. We'll inspect the line-up, bench, coach and apparent paradigm of this Year's Beantowne Bees.

And the Latest Craze in NHL Sweaters this Year look...

Philadelphia Flyers

Whoa...wow. Uhhh...No. Uhhh...yuk. Those are terrible. How could you be a Bully in those clothes, only out of lack of self-esteem and lashing out at the world is what I think. They're not that bad, I guess. I think I was just lashing out.

Atlanta Thrashers

Their Home Darks are a knock-off of their older "home" jersey and former 3rd jersey. Do the Home fans really need to know the city name on the sleeve? Their Road Whites are a bit more pristine & elegant.


Buffalo Sabres

Great looking shirts! No change from last year's great improvement over the 1990's Red & Black.

Chicago Blackhawks

What a shock! Not a change.

Colorado Avalanche

I shook my head the first time I saw the Avalanche jerseys when they moved to Denver from Quebec City. I had the same reaction to this RBK EDGE shirt. Deja Vu all over again, eh?

Dallas Stars

I always questioned why when the North Stars moved to Dallas they weren't called the Lone Stars. The "trend" is numbers on the front and back. These Home Darks look good...but do their Road Whites look better?


Edmonton Oilers

Nothing doing here. Boring.

Los Angeles Kings

Same old, same old. Once the NFL Raiders Football Club relocated to Oakland, the Kings didn't feel the need to match in Black & Silver anymore...the Wayne Gretzky Years. The return to Purple, the Royal Color was in order. Not an improvement, same jersey as last year.

Minnesota Wild

Not too "wild" about these sweaters that look like a J. Crew knock-off.

New Jersey Devils

Change is the Essence of the Cosmos...the only change the Devils have this season is their address, moving from the Old Brendan Byrne/Continental Airlines Arena at Exit 16-W on the NJ Turnpike to their own personal H-E-Dubble-Hokceysticks in beautiful Downtown Newark at the Prudential Center..."The Rock".

Phoenix Coyotes

No change from last year...still a boring shirt. Goes well with the overall product.

San Jose Sharks

Good thing this was a well-kept secret. Ewwww!!! That's TMI..."Too Much Info"! Should have kept it in the Closet.

St. Louis Blues

Pretty uninspired. My first though was that the stock blue sweaters in the RBK EDGE hamper just had the Blues logo sewn on. And they were just fine with that.

But the Eternal Question is...
How will they look on the players on the Ice during the Game.


The Answer should be left to you...because my first impression was that the new sweaters look as though your 12-year old son had one of those overnight growth spurts...and now all his clothes are a bit too snug. I also thought to sausages for some reason as well...
The Hockey Jersey was once the Greatest Shirt in all four North American Sports. This might allow MLS Soccer their Place at the Table then...

The PUCK is dropping soon! Lace 'em up, put on the foil and get ready to learn both versions of the Canadian National Anthem.

'Namaste,

Rev. Sully


All Statistic used in this Smoking PUCK are courtesy of NHL Dot Com’s Statistics page. In the words of Doctor Hooey, “RTFM”.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yeah! Work it Voltron!

Great brunch the other day Sully... fantastic hollandaise on the eggs, and perfect calamari too.

We just got a tentative closing date. If all goes well, I'll own a home in Cohasset as of the 27th. Woohoo!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yay it's friday! Dance for me, supers!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Comics Gnome POOTS! A Crisis in Space!

It looked "pregnant".

Ripe. Full. Turgid. Brimming. Expanded. Like a 30GB iPod stuffed with 29.5GB of songs. A tummy after cleaning your plate of delicious Indian Food then realizing about how much rice you just ate.

I wasn't gonna be able to fit another damn Funnybook in the DC Longbox.

The Comics Gnome shook his head, took the corncob pipe from his chapped, weathered lips and started to fish the duct tape out of the toolbox. I asked him to stop...I don't even have a toolbox. We're just gonna have to get another longbox.

And it's time to file it creatively again. Sometimes as with couples, with once there were two are now three. And I had two longboxes, filed in a somewhat linear order but now it was time to expand. The DC Longbox was one dedicated file to the DC Universe. The other contained MARVEL and everything else but I had already took the DC CRISIS stories and filed them at the back of the MARVEL box. To save a little space. After DC UNIVERSE FIFTY-TWO, the COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS still on-going and unpacking and filing all my GREEN LANTERN trade paperbacks into alphabetical/continiuty order...the DC Universe Became Too Big of a Place. So Begat...THE MULTI-BOX!

Yes...a Hand Came Down from the Heavens and...

"Oh, cut it out, Eric", the Gnome interrupts as he looks up from his Weekly Stack. "You're boring them, again...get to the point".

Okay, OK...where was I. Another CRISIS loomed for the DCU. So I took the ever-growing CRISIS story and gave the concrpt it's own longbox. S'posedly...the May 2008 FINAL CRISIS has been heralded as the "last crossover" for the DCU. This CRISIS Story has an end coming soon. And if you include the accumulation since June 2004's IDENTITY CRISIS #1 there already almost half a longbox worth of CRISIS stories. With an end in sight about November 2008 if Grant Morrison & J.G. Jones can publish the over-sized magazine monthly and the COUNTDOWN series chugging away weekly until Issue #0 of April 08, I can forsee how the CRISIS Longbox will be a great way to revel in my favorite DCU stories. I don't have a comicbook collection...I have a funnybook accumlation.

I hear the trailer to next May's MARVEL movie IRON MAN starring Robert Downey, Jr. as TONY STARK is out.

And what was POOT worthy of the Comics Gnome stack this week?

THE ALL-NEW BOOSTER GOLD #2

Following the Climax of FIFTY-TWO, BOOSTER GOLD> now finds himself as the DC Universe's Greatest Hero The World Will Never Know! The Ultimate "Bwah-Ha-Ha" of this title will be that no one will ever know about what Booster does to keep the DC timeline safe. He's out there in the Timestream with RIP HUNTER in his timeship, dealing with the secret of 52 and preserving the history of DCU's Terra Firma NEW EARTH. Great stories by Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz with art by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund. Jurgens created the Hero in The Wonder Year 1986. This online art-only cover lacks the wonderful Julie Schwartz Silver Age dialog baloons that grace my purchased copy.

DC UNIVERSE COUNTDOWN #33

A New CHALLENGER appears! That's what this group of heroes are called in the COUNTDOWN story; the Challengers are looking for PROF. RAY PALMER, the second THE ATOM. JASON TODD/RED HOOD II, DONNA TROY, BOB THE MONITOR are joined by GREEN LANTERN KYLE RAYNER. Wait a sec...aren't Geoff Johns & Ron Marz currently hogging up KYLE RAYNER over on the GREEN LANTERN title's SINESTRO CORPS WAR?

TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS PRESENT PARALLAX #1, Sept. 19, 2007 by Ron Marz, art by Adriana Melo.







I think there's more to this KYLE in the DC UNIVERSE COUNTDOWN than meets the eye. The Comics Gnome is also tuned into this FINAL CRISIS COUNTDOWN story in the new COUNTDOWN PRESENTS THE SEARCH FOR RAY PALMER spin-off mini-series which issue #1 was POOTed this week as well which follows the CHALLENGERS in depth.


COUNTDOWN: SEARCH FOR RAY PALMER #1

GREEN LANTERN #23

The SINESTRO CROPS WAR keeps on rolling. Why does HAL JORDAN have that crazy look in his eyes when wearing all that BLING again? And if I was sure that everyone knew the secret of FIFTY-TWO I'd tell you why SUPERMAN-PRIME has been hiding out on the Dark Side of the Moon and just cowardly called in the cavalry of creeps. The SINESTRO CORPS WAR comes down to NEW EARTH in GREEN LANTERN #24


And we wonder why the DC Universe Longbox got filled faster. But over at

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #114

Bendis!!! This issue's focus is on NORMAN OSBORN and his next plan to get his GREEN GOBLIN on. Really stellar storytelling and I'm loving new penciller Stuart Immonen's art. An escape from the Triskellion, beating up DOCTOR OCTOPUS on the way out and all looking for vengence against America's "Top Cop"NICK FURY and 15-year old Queens, NY high school student PETER PARKER. This arc is called "Death of a Goblin"...which Goblin will it be??? NORMAN the GREEN GOBLIN...his son HARRY the ULTIMATE HOBGOBLIN or would it even be MARY-JANE WATSON, the victim of an OZ injection and the unwitting & unnamed RED GOBLIN? 'Nuff Said, True Believers.

NEW AVENGERS #34

More Bendis! He makes SPIDER-MAN fun to read. WOLVERINE gets his manhood shot-off, he said "It'll grow back...maybe bigger this time". ECHO walks into the bathroom to find CLINT BARTON in the Shower to which he has the classic HAWKEYE sting of "in or Out?". She slams the door..she couldn't hear the water running; she's deaf. As Kevin Smith had Ben Affleck explain in "Chasing Amy", "Dick jokes for Underweight & Overweight Guys who Can't Get Laid"...works everytime. I was cracking up out loud at my Saturday Morning Funnybook Lunch.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #544

Still only 399 Cents! Wickid Pissah! I own mostly every issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN so I can come and go on this title when I please. ONE MORE DAY!!! It's the next seminal plotpoint. Wait...Calling Doctor Hooey, Dr. Hooey to Grammar Please. Can I actually say "Next Seminal Plotpoint?" BABYLON 5's J. Michael Straczynski has been writing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the flagship of the SPIDER-MAN franchise since June 2001. With pencils by MARVEL's very own Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada is bringing SPIDER-MAN into the next stage of life as PETER PARKER and as his web-slinging alter-ego now that his Secret I.D. is Public following the Superhero CIVIL WAR. I'll be tuned into this...

Also out and "amazing" is...

BLACK SUMMER #2

Availble from AVATAR PRESS by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp

"I've always said I'm not going to publish superhero comics at Avatar until I can do them better than Marvel and DC. I just did."
--Avatar Press Editor-In-Chief William Christensen


Here's Warren in his own words on the Motives Behind the Masks in his BLACK SUMMER story and his team of the SEVEN GUNS. There is a spoiler warning about all you need to know is the white-clad, almost Sgt. Pepper look to good-guy JOHN HORUS on the Issue #0 wraparound cover to know what has happened in this Fictional Universe.


Issue #0 Wrap Around Cover thumbnail.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THE SMOKING PUCK!

September 12, 2007
By Rev. Sully

If I've Done Anything This Year To Piss You Off...Please Forgive Me
aka: No One Likes A Quitter


The dual holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan are upon us! What does that mean for a Spiritual Hockey Fan? Well I went to a Bruins game one Lent in the Paschal season wherein I gave up drinking for 40 Days & 40 Nights. The other partial-season ticket holders who sat behind us immediately noted the difference in my behavior but iDigress...

I also see an irony in the name of this "grass-roots" Boston-based Hockey column seeing I gave up smoking for Ramadan in 2005. The first 40 Days were between God & Myself, anything after that would be between Me & Myself. So nobody likes a quitter, right? A pack-a-day smoker for 12 years. The only place people shouldn't like quitters would be on the Ice.

Maybe the Bruins could use an opportunity such as after the Jewish New Year to say to the fans, "if I've made you mad at me this year, please forgive me". I once read people sitting in sidewalk cafes in Tel Aviv, Israel say this in the spirit of the day of forgiveness Yom Kippur.

Coming up with a month to go and training camps opening all across the NHL. And there's not much to mention still...sigh.

And more from what will be fashionable in the NHL...
The craze these "daze" will be the Reebok EDGE shirts. All NHL teams will have new shirts when the Puck drops in October. Some sweaters are as guarded as the Coca-Cola recipe such as the San Jose Sharks. Only a few teams remain in the dark but the shelves at the Pro Shop will be sporting a few of these:


Anaheim Ducks have changed nothing but the brand in their Stanley Cup defense.


Carolina Hurricanes show off their great-looking 21st century shirts at a press conference earlier today


Les Canadiens de Montreal have only gone with the new shirts as well, keeping their Original Six "look".


Toronto Maple Leafs barely change a thing and also unveil their AHL Toronto Marlies jersey to boot.


You might have to squint but speaking of the AHL, the Providence Bruins have released their RBK Edge Shirts.

Coming Soon!
An exploration into the Bruins Depth Chart only in the way the PUCK can provide. More new Uniforms! Pre-Season Musings! Free Pork Rinds for Every 100th caller!

So please forgive me if I have pissed you off this year by reminding you about the limitations of current Bruins Hockey. But I ain't giving up watching Hockey for Ramadan, Lent or even for the Bruins Themselves.

'Namaste,

Rev. Sully


All Statistic used in this Smoking PUCK are courtesy of NHL Dot Com’s Statistics page. In the words of Doctor Hooey, “RTFM”.
Law, Liberty and Luck - A true story
Part II

With the blue lights upon us, we pull over and all try to keep our cool. The officers exit their vehicle and flank both sides of ours. Jim’s window is open and he begins to inquire to the officer on his side about the reason for being pulled over. While the officer begins to explain the reason we were pulled over, the officer on the other side is checking both Terrence and myself out, looking through the windows of the car, checking it out for anything that might be suspicious. Meanwhile, the primary officer is telling Jim just why he pulled us over. He inquires of Jim whether or not he realizes that he’s driving a vehicle with two different license plates on it. To our surprise, yes, Jim has indeed done something that stupid, having only changed the rear plate of his vehicle when he purchased it from his ex-girlfriend, and this is what he tells the officer.

But now the conversation moves away from the license plate. The reason for this is because the cop smells the pot that we just smoked, or as he calls it "the odor of burnt marijuana". He asks us if we’ve been smoking, to which Jim replies, “Maybe someone smoked and got inside the car”. As brilliant as that may have been ... well, needless to say, the cop didn’t really buy it. This is particularly true since we had also just picked up rolling papers, and they were sitting on the dash, in plain view of the police officer, which he happily points out to us. At this point, Jim gives up the location of the bag of pot in the front seat of the vehicle, in hopes of avoiding a search of the entire vehicle, but the officers already plan to begin their search.

The officers ask us to step out of the vehicle. Jim is handcuffed and put into the police cruiser. Terrence and I take a seat on the curb, and surrender our licenses to the officers so they can check up on us as well. Meanwhile, the younger assisting officer begins the search of the front seats of the vehicle. Eventually he produces the bag of pot that Jim had informed them about, as well as a pipe. He moves onto the back seat of the vehicle, as we continue to sit and wait. The other officer comes over to Terrence and I and asks us if either one of us can drive Jim’s vehicle, since they plan to let us go, but take Jim down to the station and book him on possession charges. I reply that I have a license, and that I’d be happy to drive the vehicle. About right now, I’m feeling a tentative wave of relief, thinking that we might just get out of this mess before it begins to get really messy. I was wrong.

It was just about this time that the officer searching our vehicle finished with the back seat after finding nothing, and went around to the trunk of the vehicle. He was having trouble opening the rear, so I helpfully aided him in opening it, thinking cooperation might just give them the idea that we have nothing else to hide. Regardless of my help, he begins searching the contents in the rear of the vehicle. His first choices are the two coolers we have. They are both filled with meat meat and more meat. The officer compliments us on our fine selections, and we go into chatting about the fact that we are going to have a good time on the Cape this weekend, and that we got all this meat at a great price. Just making small talk with the officer, trying to keep things chill. The officer finishes with the coolers, and moves onto the first bag. It is a black bag, and it just so happens it is mine.

This time, our hearts not only jump into our throats, but seize up and explode into frightened little pieces.

End of Part II

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do not forget. Never forget. Never forgive either.

When I was still living at home about 19-20 years old, my mother's best friend Roxanna, who was originally from Peru came into some tough straights. Mom offered to help her out so Roxanna, her (at the time) 4 year old daughter Betzabet and her 12 year old son Joey...actually..."Joey" is his nickname...his birth name is Manuel but Roxanna called him her little "Yo-Yo" because he ran back & forth...so we ended up calling him Jo-Jo from the accent and eventually Joey. He hates his given name...it's his Dad's and he's a Junior. But Joey grew up as we all do.

Joey went to NYU to be a film student as of the Academic Year 2001-2002.

One day in the month of September, I came to work at Harvard Law School six years ago...as normal I was early. I got a phone call from Meathead...most of you know him as "Scotty". Scotty tells me that a plane just crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Go find a TV! Go find CNN! Now...this held my suspension of disbelief for an accident. On July 28, 1945, a U.S. Army plane crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building due to heavy fog killing 14 people (news source).

I went to the Student Union with a co-worker seeing I work at a prestigeous Ivy League University. The TV was on and a crowd had formed. It was about 8:55AM. One of the towers were smoldering. I noticed something weird. A commercial plane came into the frame of the live shot. I thought...that's strange...shouldn't commercial airplanes not be flying that close and low to a city...especially after what just happened. And then it collided with the other tower. I said out loud to a student, "we didn't see that did we?". He replied, "yes...we did". I didn't need to see anymore. I went back to the office. Of all things I listened to was Howard Stern. Now I am a Stern listener...for gutteral enjoyment. But the man that day had to be like Edward R. Murrow. Staying on the microphone until well after 12 Noon. Being an aural lifeline to what was going on in NYC. Thank you Howard.

Later on we found out about the Pentagon. And a little later, the field in Pennsylvania. We were under attack. And I remember feeling scared not for me personally but that there might be outbreaks of choas. And America did not submit to that.

We were given the rest of the day off. Dr. Hooey, another Harvard-ite and I joined up and went to a pancake house. Then we went to JRBarnes' place to smoke dope, drink beer and play videogames. Keep our minds from the madness but to also do something "normal". Dr. Hooey went on to see a songbird. I stayed and hung a little longer.

The next morning...I was in my kitchen, looking out the window, regarding my Skyline...my Skyline. My City. The Hancock Tower was still there...".

Joey was in NYC. Scotty and I practicing our "Allah Akbars" in the car the day before in jest...perhaps. True story.

I emailed Joey. I hadn't spoken to him in years. He responded to my email that day...a few hours later actually. This is what we had to say...

>From: "Eric O'Sullivan"
>To: betzabet52@...
>Subject: Hi!
>Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 09:37:04 -0400
>
>Hey Joey!
>
>I was worried about you and I hear you're OK. Except for the conditions of
>the City et al.
>I just wanted to drop you a line and see if you need anything. Hey, if you
>feel like getting out of the city and coming to Boston, I'll pick you
>up. Your mom said that you wanted to stay in NYC (they call it Gotham for
>a reason, buddy) but if you change your mind or if things there get hairy,
>give a call or email. OK? Well I hope to hear from you soon. My home
>phone number is...
>
>Take care,
>
>Eric


Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 18:32:58 -0400
Subject: Sep 14, 2001
MIME-Version: 1.0


Eric,

How are you?

Thanks for the concern. I am living on 14th St, the point from which the
city was closed until last night at midnight. The local multiplex has been
showing movies for free, but that stopped yesterday. However, I did take
advantage of it and saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which I liked.

If you haven't already heard of the smell, let me tell you about it. The
only other place that I've smelled it is in Lima and there you attribute it
to the diesel gasoline the cars use and the burning trash and tires. Just
to give you an idea of what exactly it smells like, however it's a lot more
sinister than that because you know that the stench of charred and rotting
flesh is mixed in with the smell. For the past few days, buses and trucks
covered in black plastic have been going up and down the avenues, carrying
bodies. People were walking in the middle of streets and the sound of their
shoes on the concrete was the only thing that you could hear when you were
out. There were no cars allowed and nobody was talking. The sound of their
shoes on the concrete was particularly unnerving because the echo carried up
and down the alleys and streets.

There's plenty of food and most stores are now open, however my school did
have 5 dorms right around the WTC and 1800 students have been displaced. I
work at the housing office so I learned that the school is going to be
putting them up at hotels on Central Park and the surrounding area, giving
them free meal plans, 200$ stipends for clothes, free phone cards, free
books. When they evacuated, a lot of the kids didn't get to take anything
and they won't be allowed back to get their stuff for another 2 weeks.

I've been fine, though. I saw it all happen while I was walking to class
and while I was in class. From a distance seeing the silhouette of the
plane crash into the South Tower made it seem very unreal and it was only a
few days later when I saw a picture that clearly showed an unsilhouetted
plane about to go into the building, a picture which was so stunningly
frightening and detached precisely because you could make out the plane, the
colors of the logo on its side, and see the sun shining off it. I say
detached, also, because the picture captured the plane before impact so
everything else in the picture looks very normal, the only incongruent
element being the plane, which, if placed in an ordinary picture of the sky,
would fit in quite nicely.

I had a friend who worked at Doloitte & Touche at the WTC and she got out
fine, however when she got home she was covered in soot, dust, and blood.
Apparently, upon exiting her building, fire, debris, and body parts rained
down from above. Torsos, heads, feet with shoes still on, and other limbs
already littered the plaza. Up until she told me that, the aspect of death
and pain there was fairly removed for me. All you hear in the news is the
body count. It's very rare to actually hear someone recounting something as
specific as that on the news. The channels are wise to avoid it, I think.
After she told me that, though, the realness of it all struck me so quickly
and strongly.

I know this is a spectacularly grim email and I am sorry for it, but it's
very difficult to not let, at least, some of it weigh you down just a
little. For the past few days, my head's been swimming with images like the
ones I've just described, among others.

Thank you for the offer of coming to pick me up. I do appreciate it,
however classes have already resumed and, even though very few kids are
actually going, I think it would be best for me to stay here.

My number is ..., if you want to call.

Joe


God Bless New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC and you. Please feel free to post what you were doing that day.


Sully

Thursday, September 06, 2007

iSpeak
"Ken, ani Americai, aval ani mevin ksat evreet... ksat. Lo kolcoch tov. At mevin angleet?"

I'm working for a very cosmopolitan company these days, and as it was founded by Israelis it's common for Hebrew to be spoken around the office. Since I have a bit of a commute into work, and since I have an iPod, I figured my time would be well spent listening to instructional language tapes in the morning. After all, if it worked well enough for learning Swahili that I was mistaken for an immigrant while on vacation in Kenya, I figure it's worth a shot. So far, so good. I'm on lesson 4, and I can already say "Yes, I'm American, but I understand a little Hebrew... a little. It's not very good. Do you speak English?"

Having just recently unlocked the educational potential of my little black box, I was excited also to find that I can download video podcast lectures from a bunch of universities. Once I'm able to ride the train to work, I'll be taking classes in Algorithms, Electronic Circuit Analysis, and Calculus I.

Anywhoo... here's my new top 10.
1. Pimsleur - Hebrew Lesson 04
2. Eric Clapton - Nobody Knows You
3. Paul Simon - Crazy Love
4. John Butler Trio - Damned to Hell
5. James Brown - Ants in My Pants
6. Bob Marley - I Know a Place
7. Bob Dylan - Girl from the North Country
8. Ben Harper - Forgiven
9. Desmond Dekker - Israelites
10. Dick Dale and his Del-Tones - Tidal Wave

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's funny... I was riding a totally different MBTA #66 bus in Boston on Monday. It's the one that shuttles folks from the airport to the waterfront passenger ferry. It's weird they would have two lines with the same number.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Comics Gnome POOTS! Much Ado About Nuthin

The best thing about not writing about comics...is because you're too busy reading them. I had the happenstance of being stranded by the bus, I missed the bus today by minutes!!!

Since I've moved, I've trimmed my 45min-1 1/2hr. MBTA commute into a 25-minute door-to-door walk "to and from" home & work. Everywhere I've lived in Boston & Its Surroundings has had the trusty MBTA has a conduit of "goods for services". A lot to put up with. But when armed with an iPod & a stack of fresh funnies, the world simply drips away into a wash of 2 second segues between songs and peeks "up" to not miss the stop.
So when not taking the "T" all the time, times present themselves to read. For me, that's what I refer to as "Saturday Morning". Lately it's been excellent. It's on the Calendar as what most call "Thursday". I know what you're thinking. Sully, the Comics Gnome POOTS on Wednesday! Well...I'm a bit of an iconoclast. So it's more like Sunday Morning...but iDigress...

I'm a cook. My weekend is Wednesday & Thursday. New Comic Book Day is Wednesday. I still have Saturday Morning Cartoons.

All Hail the Comics Gnome.

But I was stranded. I was in Allston to boot. I missed the Bus by minutes! Literally...it stinks to be walking up the street and see your bus pass 4 blocks up at the Corner. With the stop being another 3 blocks across unless you're WALLY WEST then you're not gonna catch the bus. I waited 15 minutes for McDonald's Break'est...the McRiddle & Coffee. The Arches Coffee Blows BTW...Newman's Own For Real. It was Labor Day in America. I work because I'm an underpaid cook. I don't even get "time and a half". As well...next bus hadn't even yet shown. The Bus From Allston to Harvard Square...a Sunday Schedule for a Holiday Monday. Talk about Elasticity of the Calendar...and you musta thought I was bad. The 66 Bus from Allston to Harvard Square is a Blood Vessel for blue-collar people. The Bus was packed before the Charles River...with people all going to work on Labor Day. Since it was so Bloody close to Sept 1st when Beantowne Faire's Population rises, there were a few over-chatty college chicks in the mix. I was happy to drown them out with the help of my esrtwhile sidekick, Solaris the Tyrant Sun...and a stack of my FunnyBooks being returned from OCHO's very own "El Post".

So what did I read?

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #12

This came out less than a month ago...I try to keep Posty as Current as Possible. He Knows the Secret of FIFTY-TWO. The Secret has nothing to do with Brad Meltzer's final issue of JLA but it wraps up a great introductory year of new stories with a new JLA team...an amalgam of the Super Friends and the Silver Age. It works. Fine stuff...

and...

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD by Mark Waid and George Perez, issues #1-6. All cover art by Perez


Issue #4
SUPERGIRL and LOBO? Already???


Issue #5
This Issue has the FINAL CRISIS clue in an old-fashioned "asterisked" Editorial Note Caption "Events Take Place Before JLofA #10". BATMAN versus THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES...I think it was JLofA #10 at least...


Issue #6
Ever since GREEN LANTERN HAL JORDAN and BATMAN made-up as friends in the big DC UNIVERSE over-story, their interactions are pretty keen. Their Team-Up bookends the 6-issue introductory arc. We keep the battery of writer-artist in the following arc, yet to be released...


Issue #7...The Next Issue
Featuring POWER GIRL & WONDER WOMAN.

Hubba hubba. I'm still getting over George Perez' art of STARFIRE in TEEN TITANS #50

By The Way...

The End is Coming.


The Anti-Monitor is back and he's busted out the biggest threat to the DCU with his SINESTRO CORPS...and re-named him SUPERMAN PRIME.

Uhh...Sorry, Superbrat but I think that's someone else. And HE should come back to set that straight seeing Grant Morrison's writing the FINAL CRISIS but once again...iDigress...

Being late for work stinks. Losing a few minutes pay burns but having a distraction from that when you're waiting for a late bus on a holiday can be an advantage. Maybe you too brought something goos to read.

'namaste...