As a kid, my father told me that constantly. "Eso es Satanico" referred to Ninja Turtles, Smurfs, Garbage Pail Kids, and even Madballs. I tried to convince him that Scooby Doo wasn't 'satanico' because the monsters were actually angry old men who ran county fairs and not at all related to the devil or he-who-must-not-be-named.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I just read The Last Lonely Saturday. I gave this little book to Beth for Christmas because last year I gave her another Crane book and she spent a good bit of Christmas morning smiling, reading, and ignoring the rest of us. She looked so happy.
This year I put The Last Lonely Saturday in her stocking and she looked at it and was excited to see it, but decided not to read it right then. I was surprised that she didn't push out the rest of the world to read her new Crane book this time, but I'm glad she didn't. She read it that night, I think, after I'd fallen asleep. The next day she warned me that it was a pretty devastating read. I figured as much, because the front cover made me think of the movie Up!
This book is devastating. There's almost no dialogue, and each page contains only two pictures. There aren't many pages, either. The entire book took maybe five minutes to read. Five minutes to bore itself into my chest and destroy what is in there. But then it was kind of happy, too. No way to explain it without spoiling it. I recommend it, though, to anyone looking for an emotionally resonant comic book experience.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
When the going gets rough, take a spinning class.
That's what I did today. I felt bad all day. A mixture of an awareness of my weight, my job, and the speed at which time is passing me by--this is what defined my day at work today. I listened to an entire episode the Best Show on WFMU and smiled, even giggled a little, but nothing changed. Beth and I emailed some and really, that's the best part of my day. My mood and state of gloom, however, stayed put. I refused any conversations at work today, sticking to my headphones and podcasts.
Enter the gym. I went right after work. I finished to an episode of the Slate Culture Gabfest that I had started listening to at work and switched to something more workout-able: Blu and Exile - Below the Heavens. A hell of an album. Really- I can't believe how good these guys are. The rhymes and production on it are so impressive. I took in the music and I had a decent workout. I thought a lot about whether or not I would hit the music store after the gym, and what I would buy if I did. I did a chest work out that left me sore (I went easy on the weight, though. I hadn't really done more than one chest workout in the last month.) and I walked/ran a couple of miles on the treadmill but I still felt the weight of that funk on my shoulders. I wanted to learn to dance, get a new job, build a house, write a novel, save a life, and finish school. I felt like I needed an injection of pride. Then I noticed a spinning class was starting. I noticed that a girl who I'd seen working out earlier was the teacher. I thought about her and the fact that she'd worked out but still was going to teach an hour-long spinning class. I wandered in and sat down on a bike. These are more streamlined versions of the stationary bikes one usually sees at gyms-- thinner and smaller. Nothing electronic about it. No dials, counters, etc. I sat down nervously waiting and doing what other people were doing-- spinning their wheels and stretching. Some girl walked in and asked me if I had removed a towel she'd placed on the bike. I guess she was saving her place on that bike. But there wasn't any towel there when I came in and I told her so. I was immovable. It was hard enough just walking into that room and getting on that bike. I wasn't leaving because some girl wanted to save her spot.
The music started, and the instructor, who had a bike in front of everyone else in the class, spoke through a headset microphone. She drove us hard and seemed nothing short of merciless to me, but she didn't give me shit when I slowed down and I really appreciate that. I could barely keep up with the class. I spent the entire hour moving, but a lot of the time when the rest of the class was doing stand up pedaling, I just fell onto the bike. This thing was hard to do. My hands were slipping off the handles from all the sweat and my shirt was so wet that it became a part of me. I kept looking at the clock and wondering when it would end. I wondered what the hell I was doing there, in a spinning class. I didn't belong there, I'm too damn fat. Everyone's always talked about how hard a spinning class is. My ass hurt bad from the stupid seat. I thought about all the pain I would be in tomorrow and I felt embarrassed every time the instructor looked my way and I wasn't standing on the bike pedals the way the rest of the class was.
I didn't stop pedaling, though. And I didn't walk out. And that feels good.
I may even do it again.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Including movies. I've been to the movies, and that pretty much guarantees that I'll finish them, but I haven't watched anything at home, by myself, in a while. Only one movie, Sin Nombre, a Mexi-Salvadoran thriller about immigrants and murderous gangsters who hop trains to get into the states, have I been able to get through. Sin Nombre is a movie I totally recommend, by the way. A little generic--you know where its going for the entire film-- but it still managed to enthrall me with the violence, setting and characters.
3.5 stars, if Netflix had a .5 setting.
I also have only been to the gym a couple of times since late in November. Its been rough. I've thrown caution to the wind and eaten everything in sight. I've put on some weight.
Still, I did read one thing. It may not be a proper prose book but IRON MAN: Demon in a Bottle is the one graphic novel I've read in the last couple of months. I liked it, too. It was so much a product of its time in ways that I hadn't really noticed in my years of reading comics. It is rife with thought bubbles and commentary from bystanders. It even has an origin retelling so that new readers wouldn't be lost. They used to do that every few months and I always thought it was kind of neat that they did that. Everytime Iron Man did anything, someone in the background would offer something up like "Dickie! Come quick! Thar's a man in red-an'-gold armor just crashed in ahr back yard!" or after Iron Man flies away from an aircraft carrier, two of the sailors onboard have this exchange: "Hey Cookie! Y'all evuh see anything lahk that back in Omaha?" "You kiddin', Beau? A flyin' man in shinin' armor? Shoot, we don't even see stuff like that after tokin' corn silk!"
Clearly the writers and editors at Marvel of the late seventies thought the world was just crawling with hicks. Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle also deals with Tony Stark's alcoholism head on. Tony's a millionaire playboy with a big mustache and Burt Reynolds good looks who loves his scotch and his brandy, and his wine. Demon in a Bottle collects eight issues or Iron Man from 1978-79 (at least one of them was released while I was being conceived) and at least once in every issue someone notes the alcohol in Tony's breath or says "well, uh, you have had three already, sir. Are you sure--?" While Tony thinks things like "well, I am drinking for two men..." Himself and Iron Man, get it?! The whole book is a great if not a little-too-campy look into old style comic-booking. I don't know what 'age' its supposed to be (possibly silver age?) but I never paid too much attention to that stuff. There are other adventures and ridiculous villains along the way, but the underlying theme is that the world coming down around Tony and he hits the hard stuff to deal with it sometimes.
I'm just glad I read it and that Tony Stark got some help. The lush.
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