Free Comics on May 2nd!

Every year, the comic book community holds “Free Comic Book Day”, where you can walk into your local comic book store and get free comics. Hence the name. Anyway, I’ve loved comics since I was a teen, and am always trying to get more people to read them. Comic books aren’t all superheroes in spandex…there’s a lot of comics out there for all kinds of people. It’s great that comic book movies have done well, for the most part, since they bring in more readers, but I’d love for comics to be as popular as they were when I was younger.

Here’s some of my favorite comics that may interest you:

Y: The Last Man: Anytime someone tells me that they’re interested in comics, I usually give them my TPB of this comic (TPB = trade paper back, a compilation of several issues of a comic). What would happen to the world if all the males - human and animal, all died at the same time and women were left to rule the earth? What would you do if you realized that you were the only man left? This comic is about Yorrick, a twenty-something who searches for why all the men died, and why he is the only one left living. Along the way he has to survive in a world that has evolved into a society of women, some good, some bad, and all having an ulterior motive when they find out about Yorrick. It’s AWESOME. Excellent story by Brian K. Vaughn and art by Pia Guerra.

Fables: Imagine your childhood storybook characters living in present day New York. But they’re not the cutesy characters you remember, they’re much more real than that. Snow White and Prince Charming are divorced because he’s a womanizer. She ends up marrying The Big Bad Wolf, who really isn’t that bad, just really grumpy with a bad temper. Pinocchio is really pissed that he’s still a little boy. All the non-human characters live up at “the Farm”, because people would notice 3 little pigs walking and talking around the city. They’re all trying to live a normal life, and trying to get back to “the Homelands” where they escaped years ago after an invasion by “the Adversary”.

Shrugged: What if the angel and devils you see in movies that sit on people’s shoulders were real? What if there were beings that helped you make choices, big and small? Paper or Plastic? Left or right? Love or hate? Young teen Theo has been assigned the two sides of his conscience, Ange and Dev, who will try to sway him towards good or bad. In the end, though, their main goal is to watch out for him. Sweet art by Micah Gunnell, and story by Frank Mastromauro and the late (and incredibly awesome) Michael Turner.

So if you’re interested, head out to your local shop on May 2nd and pick up some free books - take a little time to browse the store and see if maybe something catches your interest! Check out the Free Comic Book Day website to see what free comics are going to be available. There’s some good ones there! Hugh Jackman wants you to ! (see the Wolverine trailer afterwards)

Giddy Goosebumps

Watching this trailer gives me giddy goosebumps…it was one of my favorite books as a kid, and this trailer feels like the movie will truly bring Max and friends to life. The music, “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire, suits the trailer perfectly. I admit, I teared up a little when watching this the first time because of its awesomeness.

Now I have to wait til October to watch!

Make Your Voice Heard

Just wanted to remind you all to vote - in case you weren’t aware, today is election day!

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for - vote for whoever you feel will make our lives better in the next 4 years, or at least put us on a better path. My father in law said that although he doesn’t support Obama, he’s not going to bother to vote for McCain, since Illinois will be going to Obama. His vote wouldn’t really impact the amount of electoral votes Obama would be getting. But I said to vote, even if he doesn’t think it would count - because to me, every vote counts. His vote could make the difference between Obama winning by a landslide or barely winning the state.

So even if you don’t think your vote is going to count, vote anyway.

Now, I shall get on a mini soapbox to tell you who I voted for, who I didn’t vote for, and why. Feel free to skip to the good stuff at the end.

I voted last week for Obama. I feel that it’s time for a change in this country, and Obama will bring that change. Sure, he doesn’t have a lot of experience, but I’m sure he’ll surround himself with people who do have experience. I admire McCain, and honestly think he’s a good man and that he does have the best interests of the country at heart. However, the chance that Sarah Palin could be president scares me. Any woman who was going to vote for Hillary Clinton and changes their vote for McCain just because Palin is a woman was never a true Clinton supporter - they are opposites on many different issues. Also, with Palin as VP (and possibly president), I fear that our country would take steps backwards instead of forwards - overturning Roe vs. Wade, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, less of a separation between church and state, no regard for the environment.

In the end, I want this to be a better world for Ben. A world free of discrimination, where our country takes some responsibility for our ecological imprint we’re leaving on this planet, who cares about the futures of the youth - giving them a well rounded education and more help for higher education, and to not grow up while we’re at war.

If you’re still having a hard time deciding who to vote for, rather than tossing a coin, maybe you should ask yourself, “WHO WOULD WIN IN A DANCEOFF?!?!”

One last thing - I don’t live in California, but I wish I did so I could vote NO on Prop 8. It blows my mind that it’s even an issue and that people care so much to STOP gay marriage. Why is it such a big deal? Why are people so scared of gay marriage? Is love such a bad thing? The gay couples I know are just like any other couples…they’re not sexual deviants, trying to spread their disease to little kids they run into. They’re loving, caring, normal (well, better dressed than normal) people. Don’t throw out this “sanctity of marriage” crap, either - the states that have banned gay marriage have some of the highest divorce rates. I want our country to move forward and be more accepting of what is different - not backwards and teaching fear and discrimination.

Get out and vote!

2008 Election

Happy Halloween!

Changed my site to celebrate my favorite holiday. Hope everyone has a good holiday, and gets lots of yummy candy.

Also, as a little Halloween treat, here’s a video of Ben in his turtle costume dancing to his favorite tune, “Mony Mony”.

I’m a PC

I admit, I started out as a Mac user in college - the Photoshop software (like, 2.7 or something like that) and scanner were only hooked up to a Mac. But later, PC’s were just easier to use, and I’ve been using them ever since. Nothing against Macs. I’m just resistant to change.
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The Mac commercials that have been on the air in the last year or so bother me. I know that Justin Long is being presented as a cool guy who kind of feels sorry for the bumbling PC guy, and the commercials aren’t supposed to come across as mean spirited, but to me, they kind of do. Which makes me, a PC user, want to kick Justin Long in the face, even if I DID like his character in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Apple was talking down to “us”.
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So when I heard that Microsoft was going to run some ads to improve their image, I was excited. “Yeah, let’s make PC’s cool again!” I thought. But then they brought in Jerry Seinfeld…who I loved - in 1998. The commercials came off as a little weird and uncomfortable. Is this what Gates is doing with his billions and his time?
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Today, though, I saw one of the ads that they’re using for “Phase 2″ of their re-imaging, and I think it’s definitely the right direction:
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Ahh yes! Anyone can be a PC user! We’re normal people - teachers, writers, scuba divers, French basketball players, astronauts. We’re all over the place!
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I like it.
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I’m a PC.
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…and if you’re wondering why there’s periods separating my paragraphs, for some reason my photo album plugin that I use for my Alaska pictures are messing up the formatting, so the period is a workaround. :-P

I Just Don’t Get It

I’m planning on writing an Olympic review eventually (is it just me, or do the Olympics feel extra exciting this time around?) but in the meantime, there’s something that has had me scratching my head. US Cellular has been running an ad during the Olympics that I just don’t understand. For those of you who haven’t seen it (since I was talking to my sister in Detroit on the phone when it came on and she was seeing something else) I’ve linked to it below:

So what’s up with it? Are people smiling at the phone dude because he’s laughing and smiling as he’s talking on the phone? Because for me, when I talk on the phone people just look at me like I’m crazy - then again, I’m often grunting or making cackling sounds into the phone. And what’s up with the Snuggle fabric softener bear coming to life and walking with the little girl. Is it just me, or was that totally out of place? Are we in an alternate universe where a walking teddybear wouldn’t get a second glance on the street? Also, fireworks in the middle of the street? Really crappy fireworks?

I don’t get it.

But ironically, Ben does. He loves the commercial. As soon as he sees that guy, talking on his cell phone, he yells “Balloons! Balloons then fireworks!” Then he watches intently until his favorite parts come.

Too bad he’s too young to buy his own phone…I’m sure it would have been US Cellular if he could!

Hmm, Maybe He’s a Little TOO Techno-Savvy

As most of you know, I work from home. Most of the time it’s great, but there are some downsides. One thing is that sometimes customers don’t know I work from home or what timezone I’m in, so they call really early or late.

Early this morning, I heard my work phone go off in the other room, my “office”. I decided to let it go to the answering machine, since I was still in bed. I heard the answering machine go off, and instead of hearing my voicemail greeting, I heard Ben’s little voice blabbering. It turns out, he figured out how to change the greeting on my machine, which isn’t an easy feat since you have to click on the settings button and then click on the record button right after.

I’ve been so proud of him for learning how to use a computer mouse to play his games and how to click the Wii button to shoot ducks, but I think I need to start teaching him that not all electronics are for little boys to play with!

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So You Think You Can Dance

Tonight is the finale of So You Think You Can Dance, which I have been absolutely loving this season. My favorite is Katee, who has always been entertaining. There have been so many awesome performers this season, it’s been hard to choose just one, but Katee seems to have it all and deserves to win. I also have a soft spot for Joshua, because he’s like a loveable big-butted teddybear. Whenever I think of him doing the Disco, it makes me giggle inside.

Anyway, here’s Joshua and Katee’s awesome Wade Robson routine from last night (how I’ve missed you, Wade!).

Also, here’s the final four group dance. When I see it, I think of little kids, out of school, dancing, playing and just enjoying life. A little quirky, but that’s Mia MIchaels for you! (no need to watch all 8 minutes…)

I need to say something - last week when my friend Jen was over we were talking about Cat Deeley, the host of So You Think You Can Dance. I think she doesn’t get the credit she should…sure, she doesn’t come up with quick one-liners, and sometimes wears things that makes me want to cringe, she is absolutely adorable. She’s cute as a button, and it’s obvious that she cares about the contestants. She’s like a little den mother to them, chatting up with them, giving them hugs, and even sticking up for her little pups when the judges are being too harsh. They’ve got an Emmy for reality show hosts now - too bad she’s not nominated!

Font Conference

Got this video from April…I admit that I’m a bit of a font whore - there was a time when I could look at a font and name it. I think that anyone who has an appreciation for fonts will like this - if fonts were people, and they had conferences, would would it be like? I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite fonts - Century Gothic, make an appearance. Wing Dings even comes in near the end…

Speaking of fonts - I’ve changed my layout - click on the sidebar to see the default or “peaceful” layout. Slowly, very slowly, I am revamping this site!

Yes, I Think They Can Dance

Is anyone else watching this season of “So You Think You Can Dance?”? I’m really loving this season. All the dancers have been awesome, and there has been some incredible choreography! It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I would say that Katee, Joshua, Twitch and Kherington are my top four.

Last week, they went international and did some Bollywood, which I really enjoyed, especially after all those India Nights in college:

Yesterday, Twitch and Comfort (who I also love, and for some weird reason reminds me of my sister Claudine…could be her height and chipmunk cheeks) did a hip hop routine that had me bopping my head and tapping my feet the whole time. It was just fun, and I always enjoy the hiphop routines.

Both these clips suffer from youtube compression, but you get the message!

Bringing the World Together

Once upon a time, a guy who had quit his job decided to wander around Asia. His buddy was videotaping him in Hanoi and suggested that he do his signature dance, which he started to do in every location he went to. His videos ended up being quite popular, and he got a lot of fan mail asking him to dance in their countries. He even picked up a sponsor who loved what he was doing and wanted to help him out - no strings attached. So he told his fans he was going around the world again, and this time, to join him.

The following video is the result of that 14 month, 42 country journey:

I love this video…it just makes me feel happy! The music fits the mood perfectly, and it’s so wonderful to see all the people dancing. Sure, you can say, “how much money is he spending?” or “how much gas was spent shuffling this guy around the world?” (comments I’ve seen on the video in youtube) but I feel that this video is worth it. He wasn’t taking private planes, or bringing around a 10 person entourage, and he was sponsored by a company. This isn’t a big production - just a guy traveling around the world who wants to dance.

You can visit Matt’s website here: “Where in the Hell is Matt?”

You can visit his youtube page here: MattHarding2718

Happy Monday!