Aug 29, 2007

Slyde vs. Moriarty: Final Round

After our last encounter with the dreaded Moriarty (in which Slyde got a little revenge), it was a long, long time before we met with him again. Easily a year or so.

This final time we ran into him occurred at something called I-Con. It's an internationally known Science Fiction convention held at The University of Stony Brook here on Long Island for the past 27 years. Over the years it has grown to include anime, medieval re-enactments and comic-book related events.

It's fun to just people watch at this thing, or maybe I should say Klingon watch or something. There are always those dressed up as their favorite alien from their favorite sci-fi show or movie. And the guest stars are always fun. Slyde, particularly, had a great run-in with pre-outted George Takei that he wrote about a while ago on his site. I can't link to it but it is the first story in November 2005 on his archive page, if you are interested.

Anyway, so on this one Saturday afternoon, we decided to attend a lecture on "Women in Comics". I'm not talking about Wonder Woman or She-Hulk, but the ladies who create comic books and their unique take on the past, present and future of the genre. One of the guest speakers was Louise Simonson, wife of legend Walt Simonson, and a fairly big-time legend of her own. Not only had she broken through some of the early male-only barriers of the industry, she was also a role model for many up and coming female creators of the present day.

We get there 15 minutes or so before the lecture is set to begin. The guests weren't even present on stage yet. And out of nowhere, Slyde starts to reminisce about Moriarty. He wondered what happened to the guy, did he drop out of collecting due to his over-the-top bullying from the year before, etc...

It's as he is talking about this that I notice an extremely unattractive woman in a black Punisher t-shirt that looked all too familiar. I start looking around because I'm sure where there is smoke, there certainly must be fire.

Now the following events all happen in the matter of micro-seconds:
  • I take a deep quaff of some kind of soda or seltzer.
  • I find Moriarty and he is a mere 5 or 6 rows directly in front of us.
  • I'm about to swallow and let Slyde know that he is here, when Slyde abruptly stands up and shouts:
"THERE HE IS!!!!!!"

Then a whole lot of things happen all at once. Most of the crowd falls silent and turns to look at the maniac screaming at the top of his lungs like Capt. Ahab spotting the great white whale. This includes Moriarty and his evil sidekick, although I'm really not sure if they remember/recognized us at the moment. The guests from the panel started arriving at this exact moment as well, which must have been quite a shock to them since they were all women and they entered to a shout of "There HE is".

But the funniest thing that happened is that I started busting out laughing. Which wasn't a good thing, because I had a mouthful of soda that was about halfway down my throat at time. Yeah...the folks in front of me got the old Gallagher treatment as my soda came spraying out of my mouth and my nose (yeah...that hurts) at warp speed. Splech!!!

Slyde recovers and sit down only to find me hiccuping and crying like a baby. Some of the tears were from the soda exiting my nasal cavity, but it was mostly hysterical laughter that was doing me in. So much so that I couldn't contain myself. I'm covered in soda, snot and tears and I have to get out of there. So I exit my seat and I run blind up the stairs and out the door in search of a bathroom.

Bad timing, because as I am running out the door, Louise Simonson is walking in the door. I run directly into her, but I somehow manage to avoid doing her any permanent harm. Must have been my ballet training as a young adult kicking in. I had to have been quite a sight to her. Soda-soaked and covered in bodily fluids, I probably resembled Jodie Foster after her bad night out in The Accused. I was a mess!

After cleaning myself up in the bathroom and getting rid of my hiccups, I find that Slyde is waiting for me outside the lecture hall. We just didn't have the energy to go back in at this point.

To this day, he doesn't think that what he did was that funny. But it was the sequence of events that really did me in, almost as if it all happened in slow motion. That was the last we ever saw of our friend and his gal-pal. A year or so later we stopped attending conventions all together. But I have to say that we had our share of good times at those things and a part of me misses those weekends.

I wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Moriarty are still out there. Doing there thing. Wearing Punisher t-shirts. Annoying the masses. God, I hope so!

Question: Can someone tell my why the spacing gets all fucked up in Blogger's editor after you use bullet points? Happens to me every time. Fuckers!

Aug 28, 2007

But I digress...

Tune in tomorrow or Thursday for the continuing saga of Slyde and Moriarty.

Time for a baseball geek update:

  • The Yankees are breaking my heart. They are still only two out of the Wild Card race, but they are beginning to damage my calm. Losing to the Tigers last night was bad. Losing 16-0 was utterly embarrassing. FUCK!
  • Curtis Granderson has reached one of the goals I set out for him (yeah, that's my bidding Bee-yatch). He has surpassed 20 triples for the year. Now he only needs 3 more home runs to join the rarefied air that I spoke about here.
  • Even though the Yankees suck right now, it's awfully fun to watch the new kid, Joba Chamberlain, pitch. 15 K's in his first 9 innings pitched. Niiiiiice!
  • Two years after reaching the World Series against the White Sox, the Houston Astros fired both their general manager and Phil Garner, manager. Considering the fall of the White Sox as well, could it be that the 2005 World Series was jinxed? How long will Ozzie Guillen last now that his counterpart is gone?
  • Back to the Yankees (because that's all I really care about anyway), when oh when are they going to sit Mike Mussina so that they can slip Ian Kennedy into the rotation? Moose has been a good soldier for the past few years, but his last three starts have been horrendous!
update - Joba now has 17 K's in his first 10 innings. Thank you very much!
updated update - Yanks announced last night that Ian Kennedy would start in Mussina's place on Saturday. WTG!

Aug 25, 2007

Slyde vs. Moriarty: Round 2

Over the next month or so, Slyde and I found ourselves making fun of this Moriarty character more and more. Our fun at his expense didn't mean that Slyde was any less angry with the dude. On the contrary, it grew and grew every time he thought of the asshole. He couldn't wait to see him again, for there would be Hell to pay!

We didn't have to wait long.

We were at a comic-book convention at the Nassau Coliseum the next time we ran into him. Actually, we saw his Punisher-clad girlfriend first. As soon as we did, Slyde began to surreptitiously follow her around in hopes that she was there with Moriarty. After 10 minutes or so, she led us right to him!

I asked him what he was going to do, but he didn't really know. So he decided to ruin his day much the way he ruined Slyde's day a few weeks before, by trying to instigate a fight with him.

So he approaches his nemesis who is looking through some back issue boxes at one dealer's table. He situates himself right next to him...shoulder to shoulder...and he starts rifling through another box. Then he starts to lean and push against him. Basically just pushing him out of the way. Now, I'm watching from behind and I can see the guy start to get annoyed. But he doesn't say anything. He appraised the situation and decided to move on, knowing that he would probably get his ass kicked if he said "boo".

The above scene repeated itself four or five more times after he moved on. He would move to another dealer table, start looking through back issues, and then Slyde would move right in next to him and just lean and push him away. With more and more force each time. Then Slyde started just staring at him instead of looking through the bins. Just hoping for him to say something, anything to get into it.

(note: bullying people is bad, but this asshole deserved to be beat down)

Finally, the guy had enough. He gathers his girlfriend and with a sheepish look in our direction he heads out the exit door.

So he didn't get to kick Moriarty's ass, but he did get to ruin the guy's fun for the day. And it made me that's good. It maybe even kept him away from conventions for a while. I don't know, because we went a year or so without running into him.


Next: Slyde, Louise Simonson, and emergency exits.

Aug 21, 2007

Slyde vs. Moriarty: Round 1

One day at work about 15 years ago (we were kids...25 for me, 23 or so for Slyde), Slyde gives me a call or takes a walk over to my office and tells me that his favorite comic-book writer, Peter David, is going to be at a comic-book shop in Port Jefferson signing books for us geeks.

Peter David is an uber-prolific writer, with titles ranging from Aquaman to X-Factor and everything in between. He is also a big draw for the Trekkies for the dozen or so books he has written in the Star Trek-iverse. Slyde, as I mentioned, is a huge fan. Not as much for me, but I was a fan of his work on The Incredible Hulk and Spider-man. So we were both kinda excited to go meet the man. Slyde, in particular, wanted to ask him about a certain sub-plot that he introduced in The Incredible Hulk that he had previously written a letter about.

Wow...that looks incredibly fanboy-ish written out like that. Seriously, it wasn't that bad. Just something cool he wanted to talk to the man about. Something that they had already traded correspondence about, and Slyde wanted to see if Mr. David remembered him. That's all.

So, early one bright Autumn morning, we take a ride into Port Jefferson to see that a line had already formed outside the shop with about a half-hour to go before the signing. We dutifully take our places at the end of the line, behind this tall, unkempt younger guy and his seriously unattractive girlfriend (who was wearing a Punisher t-shirt...this becomes important in Rounds 2 and 3). The two in front of us are almost out of their skin with excitement to meet Mr. David, and they are starting to annoy every single person in the line with their geeky comments and attitudes.

Especially Slyde and I.

We even try turning our backs on the duo, but they just keep at it with inane shit like "Hey, remember when Peter David wrote about the Hulk fighting Wolverine...wasn't that cool?" Yeah, dipshit. It was stop talking to us, ok?

Now Slyde had a bit of a temper back in the day. I'm talking a long time ago...15 or so years. He has mellowed into a semi-mature adult these days. But back then all it took to send him in a rage was a jackass like this. A jackass who was about to ruin his day. Peter David hadn't even shown up yet, and he (and I, to be honest) just wanted to kick this fuckhead's ass. Just for justifying the stereotype of geeky comic-book fans to the rest of the world.

Finally, the line starts to move. Jackass has forgotten about us for the time being as he is concentrating on the task at hand. He and his Punisher-clad girlfriend get up to the table and they give him a couple of books to sign and they begin to engage in the kind of questioning that comic-book creators must absolutely hate. "So what were you trying to say about the Hulk's state of mind on page 12, panel three of issue 276 when he was playing with the clock?" Just inane shit. See the beginning and ending of Mallrats for clarification.

He was starting to hold up the line, so a store clerk came up and asked him to move on so that Slyde, I and the rest of the line behind us can get our shit signed. He says "Oh, sure...I'll just move over here so we can keep talking." And that's what he does. He stands to the side and he keeps talking while Mr. David, trying to be nice, replies with a lot of "Uh huhs" while quickly signing the rest of our books. You could tell the man just wanted to get out of there at this point.

Slyde is furious now. Peter David signs his books while barely looking up to see us because he has this asshole chatterbox on his hip, firing one stupid question after another. He tries to interrupt, but asshole is having none of it. After a half-minute or so of waiting, the store clerk comes up to us and asks us to move along.

Slyde and I aren't going to be beaten that easily. We move off to the side, but this asshole keeps on talking. And Slyde just keeps getting angrier and angrier. You wouldn't like him when he gets angry...just like the Hulk. After 5 or 10 minutes of this we finally decide to get out of there. I literally don't think I have ever seen Slyde this mad. He was so pissed on the ride home, and I have to say that I probably wasn't a big help there. Because when he gets mad, I start laughing. And it just makes him angrier.

Now, as 20-somethings will do, we begin to come up with stupid names for this tool. We settle on "Moriarty" - a nod to Arthur Conan Doyle, and Slyde on that day swears that he will someday get his revenge. Vengeance will be his!

Next: "Someday" comes a few months later at a convention at the Nassau Coliseum.

Aug 20, 2007

Slyde vs. Moriarty: prologue

Here it is. The beginning/prologue for the first of three tales about our good friend Slyde and his encounter with someone we only know as "Moriarty". First...some salient, if rather boring, details:

For those of you who don't know, Slyde and I are comic-book geeks. Well, I try to say that I was a comic-book geek as I stopped collecting about 12 years ago, but one can really never escape from one's true self - as the saying goes. So right after college (around 1989, Earl fans) I had my first real job and, for the first time in my life, excess cash flow. I was up in Boston visiting a college buddy. When we get to his house, I see that he has comic-books everywhere.

I find out he has been collecting since he was a kid, and now that he had some extra coin in his pocket, he has started again. And lo and behold, comic-books had grown up since I was a kid. Thanks, mostly, to the Brits in the genre...Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, etc...

I was hooked.

I started out small. Going to my local shop once a week to pick up a few titles and rifle through the back-issues bin. Then I started pre-ordering books from my shop. First a handful, then up to as many as 25 or 30 a month. It was addicting. I would pick up my books on Friday and spend my downtime during the next week reading and bagging my goodies. Good times!

Then I met Slyde, and we kinda took it to the next level. He was only buying a choice few books every month, but he had been collecting since he was a kid. I helped change all that by introducing him to some independent and DC titles (Slyde was mostly a Marvel guy). Soon his monthly pre-orders were rivaling mine.

We would also spend Saturday or Sunday afternoons going to different comic-book shops, going through their back issues, trying to fill out our wish-lists. And comic-book conventions, ahhh....comic-book conventions. We would pack up our favorite books in hopes that our favorite writers/artists could sign them. Total loser fan-boys! Well, we tried to tell ourselves that we weren't but please refer to the second paragraph above.

We certainly didn't look like fan-boys. We didn't dress in Spidey or Dark Knight t-shirts. Well, Slyde had a couple of Dead World shirts...but they were kinda cool. For that crowd, at least. Honestly, we spent just as much time making fun of the crowd as we did looking for back issues of Iron Fist. Really!

This went on for a few years. Then around 1994, I stopped collecting. Cold turkey. I don't really have a reason for it, I just decided that I had had enough. This pissed Slyde off to no end. I ramped up his comic-book buying by a shitload, then I left him out there on his own. Oh, I still stop in to the shop every year or two when something cool comes out. Frank Miller did a second Dark Knight story in prestige format a few years back...had to have that. Last year Joss Whedon wrote a Firefly/Serenity short series that I needed to own. But mostly, I stay away.

Slyde has cut way back too. I think he only gets 1 or 2 books a month, unless something special comes out (World War Hulk), but nowhere near what he used to buy.

But it was during those peak 4 or 5 years that our story takes place. Going to various shops, conventions and weekend shows at VFW halls. Pizza and beers for lunch, lunatic comic-book fans and a lot of money spent on pictures drawn on paper.

Next: Peter David, Port Jefferson and our introduction to Moriarty and his evil sidekick!

Aug 14, 2007

A request, then some cat pics

First off...whenever I talk to Slyde about the blogs we enjoy, he always says that he wishes he had more fun stuff to write about. So he posts YouTube videos instead.

I'm here to tell you that it's just not true! He has tons of funny anecdotes and stories from our wacky past that he could write about it. He is either A) too embarrassed about this stuff or B) too lazy to write about it.

Methinks it could be a combination of the two.

So I am asking you, dear readers, to let me know if you would like me, your humble servant, to tell one such of these tales for the poor lad.'s actually three tales, and it involves Slyde, Slyde's arch-nemesis, Peter David, myself and comic book conventions. Interested?

I promise to not place any kind of blame or shame on him. Well, maybe a little...but it's funny stuff, kids! So let me know in the comment section if you would like me to pull the sheet back a little on our good friend reveal the inner-Slyde, so to speak.

Now for some kitty pics:

Here is another shot of Big Syd sleeping away the day. He is literally starting to grow hair on top of his hair. Sometimes when he is sleeping he tucks his face into his under-mane (?) so that you can't even see the little fella. 1...2...3....awwwwww!

This pretty, little kitty is named Mina. It's short for Thumbelina (not sure how that becomes Mina, but OK), because she is a Hemingway cat. Six toes, ya know. She is one of Gia's mom's cats, and this is her favorite place in the world. Don't be fooled by her come hither stares. She's a killer. All the birds and chipmunks in the area fear her. Even hanging bells on her collar doesn't stop her from her critter rampage. She is Death a grey coat.

Aug 10, 2007

Attn: baseball geeks

So I did something stupid last night. I played around with Barry Bonds' career stats. Those seasons before he allegedly took steroids or HGH between the 1998 and 1999 seasons and those after 1998.

It had to do with something that Bob Costas said in an interview on ESPN a couple of days ago. He stated that he had a problem with those folks willing to give Bonds a pass because "he was a Hall of Famer before he started bulking up". He stated that Bonds, while a great player, was never mentioned in the same conversation with the all-time greats like Aaron, Williams, Mays and Musial before 1999 and that it wasn't until after that he became this super-human player.

With all due respect to Mr. Costas, I beg to differ. And this, in no way, goes towards my approval of his alleged boosting. I'm just trying to make a point. Here are some stats from Barry Bonds career total after the 1998 when he was 33.

1917 411 445 1216 .290 .404 .556 .960

Pretty incredible career stats for a 33-year old, if you ask me. At 33 he became the only player in major league history to amass more than 400 home runs AND stolen bases. Oh yeah, he was also Rookie of the Year, MVP 3 times and in the top 5 for MVP 4 additional times. So sorry, Bob, but he WAS being included in the conversation with the all-time greats before he became the Incredible Hulk.

Now, let's go in the way back machine and pretend like he never became Superman after 1998, that he never took anything to change his body. I calculated where Bonds would be after this season by taking the years 1996-1998 and using those seasons to project where he would be after the 2007 season. Here are the assumptions that I used:

  • Barry stayed healthy for the next 9 years. This could be a reach, but I believe that many of his injures in 1999 and beyond could be a result of his expanded bulk. He only played 14 games in 2005, fer crissakes!
  • I assumed that he would keep up his pace he set from 1996-1998 for the next three years.
  • I assumed that, starting in 2002 at age 37, his skills/output would start to deteriorate at a rate of 5% a year for the next three years.
  • For the final three years, 2005-2007, I assumed that his skills/output would deteriorate at a rate of 10% a year.
With those rather broad assumptions at hand, the following is the projected career total I calculated, his actual totals through the other night and the difference for each total.

Projected 3168 720 535 2161 .294 .418 .574 .992
Actual 2916 757 514 1983 .298 .445 .608 1.053
Difference 252 -37 21 178 -.004 -.027 -.034 -.061

Bonds should actually have more hits and more RBI by the end of the season than he is currently projecting. All that with 720 home runs. Good enough to finish second to Aaron for career best, and who knows...with his reported work-out regimen he might have played until he was 44 just to catch Aaron. Whereas, in my opinion, I think he is done after this season and maybe sometime before the end of the season partially because of the added bulk to his frame.

Now I wanna repeat, this is by no means a slap on the back to Mr. Bonds. I think steroids and HGH have diminished his accomplishments a great deal. Then again, I was one of the screaming fans in 1998 rooting for McGwire and Sosa to smash Maris' record. Can't have it both ways.

I'm just saying that I believe Bonds was going to wind up as one of the 3 or 4 best players of all-time before he bulked up and I believe that he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible. His combination of power and speed is just undeniable.

At least to me.

Note - While the above post has to do with a lot of the negative things that are going on in my favorite sport, it is also important to remember the positive. Like this: former pitcher and notorious wildman Rick Ankiel (at the end of his rookie season in 2000, he transformed into Nuke LaLoosh, before Crash Davis got to him) started in the OF for St. Louis and in the 7th inning he hit a 3-run HR. I have to admit, I got a little verklempt over this. His collapse in 2000 and after was absolutely heartbreaking. Great story!

Aug 6, 2007

Not that there is anything wrong with that!

So what's up with the ambiguously gay ad campaign that the folks over at Hanes have going for them?

First we have their tag line: "What till we get our Hanes on you!" sung in very happy tone. Obviously a play on "getting our hands on you", and its kinda creepy.

Then last year we had Michael Jordan and Kevin Bacon lounging around in their undies in a sterile white apartment/bath-house or something. And they were playing peek-a-boo games with a bunch of grapes. I shit you not!

Now we are subjected to a new campaign with Cuba Gooding, Jr. (guess he needed the work) and MJ. Cuba is reaaalllly excited to meet Michael, and he just can't keep from hugging him and rubbing his face on his chest. Because his t-shirts are so soft, ya understand. He's not gay or anything.

Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Looks like someone's got a secret. Teeee-heeee-heeee-heeee!

Aug 4, 2007

New Stuff

Our good friend badgerdaddy has invited Slyde and myself to join him in panning bad films on his new site, MOVIEGRENADE! Our motto is "We throw ourselves on the worst movie grenades - so you don't have to."

Check it out. He has posted reviews of 28 Weeks Later and Hollow Man 2, while I have joined the fray with a review of Into the Blue.


Aug 1, 2007

Things I hate...

...and they all have to do with going to the movies.

1. Commercials that air before the previews. I fucking hate commercials at the movies! I pay my $10 bucks or so and now I have to sit through fucking commercials! They even do commercials of movie trailers before the coming attractions sometmes. If I were Emperor of the World, I would cease and desist all commercials at the theater!

2. The idiots who work behind the concession stand. Why does it take 5 minutes for these high school kids to take my $15 and give me a large popcorn and a large bottle of water? If I were Emperor of the World I would kill these fucking idiots!

3. Paying $15 to get annoyed by the idiots at the concession stand. I think the actual cost of a large popcorn and a large soda is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 cents or so. How is it possible that the theater owners can mark it up by 2000%. I'm not exactly sure on the validity of my math there, but it's marked up a fucking lot. My math skillz deteriorate when I'm pissed, yo! But what can you do. Gotta have your popcorn at the movies. It's like crack to a, er, um, crack-head or something. If I were Emperor of the World there would be free food for the masses! At least cheap food for the masses...when they are at the movies, ok?

4. The fact that they won't let me watch my movies in the theater while dressed only in my undies. Well, I don't really hate that, but it is my preferred costume while catching a flick at home. If I were Emperor of the World I would have "Clothing Optional" theaters as well as the normal, uptight ones. Sheesh!