Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Scott McClellan's body isn't even cold...

Oh wait, Scott didn't die. He just resigned. And damn, I will so miss watching that inept baffoon be the White House press corp's punching bag. But the White House has apparently named a new meat shield...I mean, press secretary. Tony Snow, a hard-right Fox pundit and former Daddy Bush speech writer (I refuse to link directly to Fox News here).

I have no joke to follow that. I mean..I just..I can't. There's nothing that could beat that one.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Linky Linky

To direct your attention to the sidebar, I have added a couple of links I wanted to point out under "Other Stuff that Amuses Me".

One is "Liquid Metal Magazine", the latest creative endeavor of my brother-in-law (feels weird calling him that after all these years). He's put together a downloadable indie comic magazine with some other contributors. Check it out. Currently free, he intends to charge a small amount for future issues.

The other is "Evil Bunny with a Wrench", a little comic posted via LJ by a friend of Charley's. The art isn't staggering, just a simple drawn bunny (with a wrench), but the humor is fantastic. If you like "Something Positive" (my favorite webcomic) you'll like Evil Bunny.

Mattbear out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Update on an old post

Alright, nobody seemed to care about my old post about the Vandenbrink Carver One, but damn it I love the idea of that little sportster. I lamented in said post that they were only available in Europe. But now, they have announced that they have found an importer to bring the Carver One to the U.S.! Oh joyous day! Now all I need is the $50k to buy one....

Monday, April 17, 2006

30 years + birthday partay + paddle = Bruised Ass

Saturday was Loxie's 30th birthday, and we threw a little party for said event. There were some other plans that fell through for her birthday, and some confused discussion about what to do, so it wound up being a kind of last-minute thrown together thing, which I feel bad about. A good time was had by all, however. Especially after the kids went to bed. A fair amount of drinking was done, largely facilitated by the great bartender, my nephew Big Mike. Lots of vodka was used.

Now, anyone who has known us long knows of the tradition of The Paddle. The Paddle was purchased by my lovely wife specifically for the purpose of me receiving 30 birthday spankings on my 30th birthday. Everybody got a turn. It hurt. And tradition has been ever since that on the 30th birthday, all our friends must face The Paddle. So Saturday, it was Loxie's turn.

Normally, there are pictures of the main event, but this time I got it all on video. If you want to see it, you're going to have to ask.

Poor girl had it pretty tough between me and Big Mike. After missing a shot (my second or third, really) with The Paddle, I threw it to Launchpad and turned around real quick to give her a barehand shot that apparently stung quite a bit. Not to be outdone, Big Mike gave her a barehanded whack that lifted her about four inches off the floor. After about the 10th spanking she said her ass was numb anyway, but the next evening she wouldn't game with us because she couldn't sit down long enough. I guess her arse wound up black and blue, and quite sore. I almost feel bad about it. But I pretty much know how it feels.

I might think that this tradition is getting out of hand, that we're trying too hard to one-up each other. I might think we should back off and tone it down. But the next person to have a 30th is Big Mike - and Jen, Launchpad, Loxie, and I all owe him some big payback. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Mattbear.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Quick update

Saw the neurologist today. He didn't tell me much I didn't already now, except that my case of Bell's Palsy wasn't as bad as it could be and I'll probably recover in about a week. In the meantime, I'm taking 12 pills a day and have to put eardrops in every four hours. Oy vey.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Where did I stash that clone? I'm ready for a new body.

So, if you read the gruesome health problems I faced at the end of last post, here's an update. By Sunday I was doing better, the pain let up, I could survive without pain killers and everything. Then Monday morning it started hurting again. By Monday evening I was nearly as miserable as I was Friday night. In addition to the ear, I had wicked headaches, and the whole right side of my face hurt - at the time I thought it was because I had spent so much time lieing on my right side trying to get my ear to drain.

Tuesday morning I called the doctor's office to set up an appointment. I noticed I was having trouble being understood, but I got the appointment set up for 4pm. At work I noticed it was becoming a real effort to talk (keep your smartass remarks to yourself, thank you). I looked in the mirror in the bathroom and saw that when I opened my mouth, the left side opened all the way, but the right side only moved as far as the left side could drag it. This could not be good.

I tried poking my cheeks, and found that the right one was a bit numb. I kind of...panicked. I made some comments to Jen about "It might be a tumor," which I always say and to which she always replies in her best Governator, "It's not a tumor." But I was starting to worry that this time...maybe it was something serious.

4pm came, not nearly soon enough. Diagnosis: in addition to the fluid in my inner ear (which was not infected) the middle and outer ear have become infected. Two types of antibiotics for that. And the face thing? Bell's Palsy, a temporary and partial paralysis of the face. Apparently can be caused by viral infections of the facial nerves. Yay. Don't worry, I should recover fully in a few days. But I have two more meds for that (an anti-inflammatory/steroid and an anti-viral) and I have to go see a neurologist tomorrow to make sure there won't be any permanent damage.
For right now I look kind of Sly Stallone-ish when I talk (Sly's facial paralysis is from a birth complication). My boss jokingly called me his "little stroke victim" today.

Anyway, another update on my health soap-opera will come tomorrow after I visit Bellevue Neurology. Mattbear out.

Monday, April 03, 2006

How the same movie plot can go well...or go rotten

A couple of weeks ago we took a kid-free, "adult-time" weekend. During said weekend, we went to two movies. One I hoped would be good, and I was not disappointed. The other I was near certain would be awful, but wanted to see it anyway. I was also not disappointed.

Both movies had a heavy, "1984"-ish repressive establishment at the center of the plot, and both featured a violent rebel bent on its overthrow. One used the plot as a fertile grounding for themes about strength, spirit, and the need to question authority. The other used it to show off Matrix-esque sword fight scenes involving a half-assed bio-engineered vampire and a bad guy whose big line was "Are you mental?"

By now, if you've been paying attention to the movie scene, you know I saw "V for Vendetta" and "Ultraviolet".

The first one we watched was "Ultraviolet", starring the lovely but relatively talentless Milla Jovovich. I knew it was going to suck. I went anyway. It sucked even more than I thought it would. One of our friends who was with us, who admits readily that she enjoys bad movies, sat there at the end saying, "What the fuck was that? That didn't make any sense." And indeed it didn't.
It was written by Kurt Wimmer, who wrote and directed the also-1984-ish catastrophe "Equilibrium". He also had a hand in writing "The Recruit", which was actually a passable film - but directed by someone else, and I think that's why it stands out from his other disasters. Aside from clinging to this oppressive 1984 rip-off theme he seems to have going on, Ultraviolet tries to rely on "plot twists" that just don't make any sense. I mean none. They are so arbitrary...half way through the movie, I thought I had one of the "twists" pegged. But no, he wasn't that predictable. He tried a different twist that a) didn't make sense and b) had no grounding in the story other than he wrote it that way. The villain's motive was the same way. So if you are looking for a plot, there really isn't one, and it winds up hurting your head. And if you want to see Milla looking hot and doing some dance-fighting-type-stuff, you're better off watching "Fifth Element", which had better writing and better fight coreography even though it was just Luc Besson sucking up to his wife by having her referred to as "perfect" some 30 times in the movie. If I ever meet Kurt Wimmer, I'm going to punch him in the face and say "That's for Equilibrium," and when he recovers from that I'm going to kick him in the nuts and say, "and that's for Ultraviolet."
Hey, it's better dialogue than he can pull off.

Anyway, next day we went to see "V for Vendetta". It also relied on an oppressive, big-brother type government. It made good use of it, however. The movie is based on a "graphic novel" (aka comic book) by Alan Moore. I have heard that Alan Moore wanted his name removed from it and not to be associated with it. If that is true, I think it probably has more to do with the aftermath to his reputation from the last movie adaptation of one of his comic...err..."graphic novels", "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". As a writer, I'd be afraid to have my name attached to a movie after that piece of shit, too.
"V for Vendetta" was written (in terms of the screenplay) by the Wachowski brothers, who probably titled their drafts of the screenplay "We're really, really sorry about the second and third Matrix movies. Really, our bad." But this story was really quite good, following a sensible plot full of political commentary (albeit thinly veiled) about the state of our country, and about our duty as citizens to protect our rights against those who would usurp them for their own power.
Combine the good plot with some excellent cinematography and the acting chops of the excellent cast including Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, and Stephen Rhea, and you have yourself a very good movie.
In case you saw the movie but aren't big on history, yes, there really was a Guy Fawkes.

There's my movie reviews for now. In other news, I went to the emergency room this past Friday because I had the worst earache I've ever felt and was in excrutiating pain. Apparently, a bunch of fluid drained from my sinuses and was trapped in my ear, pushing my eardrum out of shape. OUCH. Seriously, it's the worst pain I've been in that didn't require surgery. So I've spent the last three days doped up on Vicodin and holding wet washcloths and a hot-water bottle against the side of head to get the fluid to drain out. YUM. Just a little nastiness for ya there, because I know you wanted those delicious details. I'm getting better, but it is still a serious bitch.

Enough for now. Mattbear out.