This is a metaphor for last night:
I was reading through this old Batman & Robin comic book… I think it was Batman #167 from November, 1964 and I was trying to guess both the artist and the writer without looking at the credits at the reprint index.
Now of course I can’t pinpoint with Stealth bomber-accuracy every ghost-artist that Bob Kane ever had but I was pretty sure it was not Sheldon Moldoff because the way the hands are positioned.
As for the writer it was pretty much a given: It was not a story with a moral so I quickly ruled Gardner Fox out. The sheer statistics of it made me rule out guys like Ed Hamilton (I think he did World’s Finest, by the way) and Frances Herron (more of a “Green Arrows of the World” guy anyway even though I think Bill Finger did that one).
I was, then, pretty much between Bill Finger and John Broome and for some odd reason which I can’t really explain I was almost going with Broome even though he’s more of a sci-fi writer than anything else and it even wasn’t a sci-fi story. I mean, the redwood tree-reference (most certainly picked from an encyclopedia) was definitely a hallmark of Finger’s and I do recall an interview in Alter-Ego from a few years back in which Finger’s son told about his father’s researching for funnybook scripting.

What really left me wondering was, why the hell was I thinking John Broome? Because people said so?!
God if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that 99% of humanity are f*cking apes and the very odds of my being right against something they said is just too immense not to consider.

I can’t believe I actually let my self-confidence wave away like that for so long.
In times like this it’s very important to have a cavalry to call upon even though the cavalry might end up trying to pick you up afterwards or something, ewww.

But hey, I’m 100% Bill Finger, babes…

This is not a metaphor for last night but a direct result of it:
Now please don’t make it look as if I care because to be very honest with you I really don’t think I do, at least not anymore.
Hopefully it won’t make me a lousy person in your eyes- god only knows what you think of me these days- still I woke up this morning with the distinct need of re-evaluating my position on pretty much everything and it begins with my position on what Biff did in Back to the Future II.
See, it all began when Biff or Biff’s descendant or someone even mildly Biff-related stole the sports almanac and traveled through time and created an alternative reality where everything was most foul and…
God it took me how many lines to reach a cliché this time around?

…I can’t whistle to this song in my head because I sure as hell don’t remember the melody only this specific bit from the lyrics anyway. I think I’m probably quoting from a U2 song, or from a book quoting from a U2 song, and it goes We'll slide down the surface of things…

So please don’t make it look as if not caring is bad because to be very honest with you I really don’t and it’s not because I’ve crossed to the dark side nor anything because I haven’t. That’s why I’ve got a “37” tattooed to my right calf, by the way: to remind myself that I’m inherently good regardless of all my immature, post-adolescent antics.
If it seems to you that I don’t care anymore it’s because I’m doing just that: I’m canvassing the boundaries of my own personal infinity, I’m sliding down the surface of things and whenever I pass you by if I ever do I’ll just smile and whisper, Glide…


A few last words, if any

I wake up on Sunday morning from this recurring nightmare I’ve been having for the past three years (which has to do with my not graduating from College, something like that) and my neck- which is a little stiff- goes absolutely taut once I start doing some push-ups.
I’m thinking of the Akira Kurosawa movie I tried to watch on the previous night but I was too sober for that and the actress, this old hag, was just way too ugly and I really can’t stand ugly people in the movies. Richard Gere was supposed to be in that movie too but I just couldn’t stick around until he showed up. Guy looks like a horse anyway.

I have come to call my place The Trimurti after the “holy trinity” of Hinduism because of the three-year plan it took me get it: It was Brahma the creator for the first year when I thought heck I can do this, Vishnu the preserver for the second year when things got rough and I had to keep it going anyway, and Shiva the destroyer-slash-transformer for the last year, this year, in which I just let it rip.
I’m telling you all this for no specific reason whatsoever other than hey I’m bummed, baby:

Oddly enough it’s still October, for chrissakes, it’s still two days into (or out of) October and it means I’ve got two whole months to spare.
Can you picture the restlessness raging in me?

There’s gotta be places to go and people to see, stuff I haven’t thought of, and this is why I’ve come up with the not-so-bright idea of re-visiting old acquaintances, old haunts, the been-there’s-slash-done-that’s.

I think it’s high time for the world to remember.


Balance sheet

I’m thinking of some guy from the Bible and I think it’s Moses. He was the guy whom, right before dying, saw the Promised Land all spread out before him, from Mount Nebo to Mount Hermon, and died then & there.
It seems the guy never got to roll his double sixes. Memento mori.
What do you know.

I’m lying on my back on the carpet in the living room and it’s late at night and the skin on the inside of my right calf is sore and wrapped in pvc film. I have a tattoo on my leg (just fresh off the parlor). For the oddest of reasons I got brand-new Transformers toys scattered around an empty bottle of Stoli and on TV the James Spader character in Boston Legal is crouched under a desk kissing a drop-dead gorgeous brunette’s unmentionables.
I so wanna go down on a girl right now I can almost taste her stuff on my tongue. Jesus Christ.
Some things, man, go on forever.

All bank-related stuff regarding the apartment came through that morning so it means it’s actually mine now and even though I’m thinking “This is so cool” I’m a little lost as well because everything I did for the past three years I did with buying an apartment in mind. Because of that I’m feeling a little empty on the inside.
Whatever happens to you when your dreams come true?
Where do I go from here?

I’m thinking of A-Team reruns back from my childhood, still frozen in wonder that life ended up just the way I wanted to, and I’m recalling a line that Hannibal would always say at the end of an episode, it just killed me as a kid.
“I just love when a plan comes together,” he said.

So here’s to the next plan, then:
Here’s to the car.
Here’s to the home-theater.
Here’s to going down on girls & kissing their unmentionables.
Here’s to the next tattoo.
Here’s to being cool.
Here’s to seeing instead of being seen.
Here’s to living instead of surviving.
Here’s to saving the world.
Here’s to denting the memetics of the mundane, making the impossible look easy & making all our Kali Yuga dreams come true.

“Jailbreak” is thus accomplished.
I just love when a plan comes together.


Excerpt from a comic book

“I’m a hero, a shining example of the right way to live in the free world. I’m supposed to slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and put an end to world hunger.
“I’m supposed to control the influx of illegal immigrants and encourage a return to traditional moral values while discreetly ignoring those values in my personal life.
“I’m supposed to be eating roast duck in orange pine glaze at a quiet table with some impossibly attractive and dimwitted sex machine whose name I can’t remember.
“(…)I’m the Ray. I’m resourceful. I’m highly motivated and skilled. Society cannot afford to lose me. I’m an asset.”

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 (Nov.06)
by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
DC Comics


Parallel lives meet at infinity

I went to this Museum the other day and it was mostly modern art which is basically meaningless blotches of color and bas-relief and weird sculptures and despite the fact that I was mildly half-drunk at the time if such a thing exists, the only piece of work that actually caught my attention was this picture by this… I dunno, some Swiss guy whose name I did write down for further reference but I think I might’ve lost the little piece of paper on my way home…
Anyway. It was this ad written all in German with several colored stripes running in parallel against a black background, and the colors followed both ends of the spectrum sans the greens, yellows or blues. It was so cool, you know, all those violets and reds running in parallel against the black.
It got me thinking of something you told me once, long ago. I mean, those parallel lines.
Those straight parallel lines.

We were at this pizza place, dunno if you remember, and it was one of those places with crayon over the table so one could actually doodle and draw stuff while waiting for the food. I’d come up with the usual lightning bolt-themed, garden variety superhero stuff: The Flash and Captain Marvel, maybe Black Adam too, that kind of crap. You stood there, took a sip from your Coke, smiled and went on to psychoanalize me:
You said I was attracted to jagged, traced figures like post-Deco streamlined funnybook lightnings because of my inconstant nature, that you could me read me like a book for days until wham!, I’d break free from whatever it was I’d been doing, veering off in a totally different direction, etc.
I mean Jesus Christ, you called me Mr. Freeze a few weeks later and things were pretty much DOA after that.

There’s this really lousy… ahh Superman story from 1988 that was supposed to re-introduce Supergirl to a newer audience, etc, and the story’s called “Parallel lives meet at infinity”, and I just love that title.

I’ve been thinking about my life lately, see, the way I have been doing things and thinking about doing things, and maybe I’m also thinking that hey, it’s not too late to change my lifestyle, maybe it’s not too late to find me some nice decent girl, settle down, have a baby, stuff like that. I still enjoy going to the park on weekends to watch young parents taking their toddlers to the playground.
But then I think of all the rest and romance bites the dust.

Sometimes it just feels like I’ve been walking a hundred, a thousand miles in any given direction and then all of a sudden I…

…reach an ellipsis?


Hell freezes over

…because I woke up with a distinct thought in my head and it’s that I should buy a vide-g*me. Like, a Playstati*n or something.

I woke up from this really odd dream about Halle Berry starring in some children’s movie- a Disney movie- in which she was sort of granted powers to control gravity by this cool-looking, green alien dwarf dude and so that she could now jump really high… then she enlists in the Army to help the war effort in… I dunno, Kuwait or Afghanistan or something. Once the movie was released, though, it was a total flop because the public opinion was all against it for promoting war, that kind of thing.
Then I thought of buying a Playstati*n for no good reason whatsoever.

Of course right upon waking up I nearly ripped the triceps in my left arm with some free-weights because I was listening to maybe Born to Run (30th anniversary edition on DVD) and got carried away. Took a hot shower just so that I could bring it back to life, then on to breakfast and finding that the orange juice supply I keep in the refrigerator has dwindled over the weekend, once I found out how good it tastes mixed with a little carbonated water and a lot of Stolichnaya.

Nothing changes the fact, however, that I have been thinking of buying a video-g*me for me in maybe the first time in ten years, also perhaps a dog as well, a Beagle, and yet on a totally unrelated sidenote (related to the dream anyway) I’m kinda wondering whatever happened to Kuwait, to the country, whether it still exists or not because I sure as hell don’t see it on TV anymore.


Thank god it’s…

It’s a little hard getting onto that bus near seven a.m. every morning to work and not thinking of the Divine Comedy as we move southwards and down the slope and through its many turns and breaks like an endless cycle of different levels of Hell, far from god’s light and wisdom (means, downtown), plunging deep into the cold darkness of etc etc etc.

Weather forecast for Sat-Sun tells me its getting cooler and can’t have that because every time I take my shirt off it’s like I’m Casper the f*cking friendly ghost. There’s this big public park near my place and I could definitely use it to see the sun for a while, especially now that I have been getting out-of-out of shape for the past couple of weeks.
I’m thinking of what the kid from P*** A**** would tell me last week, he’d say “Even if you die, man” to which I’d reply, “Bring it on.” It’ll probably bite my bank account a little too hard but what the hell: If there’s one thing I need is one decent weekend in the big city.

Skipped the beer last night in lieu of some orange juice. Also skipped the supermarket. Hence, no wine, no vodka, no spirits of any kind- all senses meant with that one. Not only that but I downright breezed through the bookstore during lunch on the day before. Went in then managed to pull out carrying nothing.
Oh it’s going to hurt in my bank account, alright, but what the hell. Live and let live and let live. Some people live to be seen but I don’t really care that much about the spotlight, at least not anymore. Best thing about being an adult is that you come to understand how much cooler it is to see, instead.

And I’m vindicating the bookstore tonight after work and that’s for sure. Then it’s straight to the supermarket for some ammo, then home and a shower and then…
God I just realized I’m a little low on good clothing. It’s not that’s it’s really below me to spend a Friday night at the Shopping Center but I’m pretty sure I could find better places to go. Regardless of where I go Friday night should be about where to eat.
Actually where to eat is the mantra for this weekend.
It’s waking up early-ish on Saturday, cleaning the apartment (which I really enjoy, go figure) then buying some stuff it’s sorely needing- then out for a walk in the sun if there’s any sun. If there’s not I’ll just stay home and read something.
Lunch on Saturday should happen late but not too much and at a cool place, probably at that fancy place a couple of blocks down the street with one of the best Middle-Eastern fares in town. Dinner on Saturday should happen in Heaven or somewhere as close. If Heaven’s not available I’ll just have to find a pretty good, solid, respectable restaurant myself. But then, I’m counting six or seven places within walking distance from home where I can have some of the best burgers in the city and only one of them is a gay bar (which is, huh, good). Of course there’s the gray zone between lunch and dinner and god only knows where it’s gonna take me. Somewhere really expensive, I’m afraid… even though it’s a little too vague right now. Saturday afternoon will most certainly require more thought.
Now, choosing a cool place to have dinner on Saturday is a little tricky because I’m not a millionaire nor anything so it would pretty much limit my options for the rest of the night and I want to go somewhere I can get really loaded and meet interesting people for a change, supposing there’s still interesting people out there in the world. And all that.
I mean, as long I don’t have to get a taxi back home.

Sunday morning is left apart for doing nothing, maybe reading and not getting out of the apartment before noon regardless of the time I wake up (I seldom oversleep).
I’ll have breakfast out, I think at that funky veggie place with the rice-and-cocoa milk which tastes a little like soap but it’s interesting enough for a visit anyway.
Lunch on Sunday should happen maybe near three or four in the afternoon, I’m thinking pasta for some reason even though I’m not the biggest fan of Italian food in the world. For some odd reason, probably memetic or something, I’ve learned to associate pasta with Sunday lunches like the rest of mankind.

Whatever remains of the Sunday after that, twilight et. al., I’m thinking probably a movie (supposing there’s any dough left!) because I haven’t been to the movies ever since that last Adam Sandler thing with the universal remote control which was actually not bad but what do you know, and I really could use a movie to take my mind off things like work, work, work, right now.
Then I’ll probably eat something at home watching Boston Legal on DVD (James Spader rocks), maybe even the odd Superfriends episode with the Legion of Doom in it (Solomon Grundy rocks even more), then read something, take a shower, go to sleep, hopefully never to wake up.
The perfect weekend.

Oh yes. I forgot.
If all else fails there’s always getting that tattoo…


Two excerpts from another book

“I really can’t see [those specks], baby,” Peyton says, still on the floor.
JD sighs. “Even Peyton can’t see them Victor.”
“Ask the vampire to take off his f*cking sunglasses,” I snarl. “Spare me, man.”
“I will not tolerate being called a vampire, Victor.” Peyton pouts.
“What? You tolerate being sod*mized but not being called Dracula in jest? Am I on the same planet? Let’s move on.” I wave my arm, gesturing at something invisible.


“Shhh, I’m playing,” I tell her. “Yoshi’s eaten four gold coins and he’s trying to find the fifth. I need to concentrate.”
“Oh my god, who gives a sh*t,” Alison sighs. “We’re dealing with a fat midget who rides a dinosaur and saves his girlfriend from a pissed-off gorilla? Victor, get serious.”
“It’s not his girlfriend. It’s Princess Toadstool. And it’s not a gorilla,” I stress. “It’s Lenny Koopa of the evil Koopa clan. And baby, as usual, you’re missing the point.”
“Please enlighten me.”
“The whole point of Super M*rio Bros is that it mirrors life.”
“I’m following.” She checks her nails. “God knows why.”
“Kill or be killed.”
“Time is running out.”
“And in the end, baby, you… are… alone.”
“Right.” She stands up. “Well Victor, that really captures the spirit of our relationship, honey.” She disappears into a closed bigger than the bedroom. “If you had to be interviewed by Worth magazine on the topic of Damien’s Nint*ndo stock, you’d want to kill Yoshi too.”
“I guess this is all just beyond the realm of your experience,” I murmur. “Huh?”

Bret Easton Ellis


Excerpt from a book

"Your fertility deities are worse than Marxists," he said. "You think that's all that goes on between people. We were just friends for a time, but she is too hard on her friends and so loses them."

Lord of Light
Roger Zelazny


Nothing special, really

You know, this doesn’t happen very often but I really can’t think of anything I want to tell you right now.

Well, I did buy a Sinéad O’Connor DVD a few nights ago because I was in the mood for something a little different (as if Richard Wagner and Big Country didn’t count!) and also because I wanted to listen to Nothing compares to you… which is so cliché but got me wondering whether you liked Sinéad O’Connor or not anyway, but not really.

I mean, not too much anyway.



I. The Big Bang theory
I was browsing through You Tube, I was looking for the trailer to Less Than Zero but somehow I stumbled upon the trailer to Tuff Turf instead. Figures. Both movies have James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. in them.
Funny thing was, I’d totally forgotten about that movie- I hadn’t thought of that movie in years and in hindsight it’s pretty clear to me that’s where our Cool came from, J.P.’s and mine, back in say, third grade or something. Good thing those mid-1980s teenage movies was, they really taught you to question authority and think for yourself.
Attitude, man.

II. The weekend before the week to come
To be quite honest with you the last thing I remember like, well before passing out was Siegfried-the-tenor slaying the marshland monster-looking dragon on the 20” bluescreen at home, several empty bottles of this strong beer by my side (the same brand I’d drink back in College), and an empty bottle of this rather expensive Chilean wine, too.
I woke up a couple of hours afterwards lying on the bathroom floor, my head on the small shower mat and drying vomit everywhere.
From then on it mostly flashes.

I remember throwing up a lot more, and I remember fumbling around the living room and almost dropping a bucket full of cleaning products over the carpet.
I remember showering, finally, and hitting the sack with my head no longer spinning. The next morning the bathroom was surprisingly clean (the perfect crime!) but I cleaned it up once more until it got downright spotless.
It was mostly penitence, I think, and Big Country was coming from the TV, some show back in Eastern Berlin, 1988.

Passing out drunk on beer and wine while watching some German Opera all by yourself on any given Friday night at home after some ghoulish day at the office… on one hand it’s freedom you won’t find anywhere else.
Still, it’d been quite some time since I’d last done such a thing and it reminded me how my lifestyle will probably end up getting the best of me. This addictive personality thing is consuming me.
What do you know.

Of course I sort of mellowed out the next evening and did nothing, really, but bought a couple of DVDs or something.
Also, I found a 24-hour p*rn video rental store very close to my home and I went to check it out, it was maybe eleven at night and there was an ungodly huge amount of p*rn but I got kind of annoyed because it was mostly uncategorized and I really hate to see uncategorized stuff.
People say that spotting patterns is what retards do but I left the store anyway. Maybe I really have Asperger’s or something after all.

III. Even if you die…
…is what this guy would tell me as we went from bar to bar back in P**** A**** the past week and I was pure & simply falling in love with that city.

…and of course we never died, though, not even last Thursday which was a national holiday and we drank beer non-stop from 2pm to 10pm, not even when it got down to the cooler, crazier stuff.

IV. When all your Kali Yuga dreams come true
Regardless that my computer crashed on Friday the 13th, that the course lasted until Saturday at noon, and that I did some sloppy job with the complimentary ice-cream on the flight back home, turns out my ex-girlfriend is engaged to some guy and they are getting married in a year or so.

Engines to full stop now.
Pay attention now because this is the part where it gets both tricky and serious:

All it takes is any given weekend and driving to her place. I can make everything right again, I can save the world- mine, hers, ours, everyone’s- with a five-minute monologue. I’m not speculating, I’m telling you.
It’s different.
But of course that’s where the line is drawn, isn’t it? It’s where intervention becomes domination or something to that effect. Why would you actually do something that you can?
I’m kind of tired of living it like this and I have been thinking of letting it rip once and for all, regardless of what the Pa Kent in me says.

Current plans therefore include being reborn as some goddamn two-ton rhino and making a dent the size of a battl*ship on those memetics of the mundane.



I’m going South to this agency of ours for a week, for the implementation of this thing, and it’s a good thing because I’m pretty much beat right here, right now. The mundane seems to work like my very own kryptonite, sapping my strength, ebbing away with my motivation.
You can’t change the world while there’re still people in it; people who think small, dream small, and cannot fly.
Ground-level office-politics and small-time backstabbing suck big time. It’s so petty. It’s so ordinary. All it takes is for somebody smarter than the rest of them to get into the game as well, just like that, and it’s over- So why even bother?

...and the same boring talks about sports and crappy remarks about politics and TV shows and the same half-ass*d jokes and the same lewd comments on the cute brunette walking nearby and...

I’m thinking of those and I’m thinking of you for no reason whatsoever. No, scratch that. You can fly- so why can’t everyone else?
Any issues I might have at the office are slowly mixing and intertwining with the other issues I have in my personal life and looking at them now, early morning, no phone ringing, a veritable sea of tranquility despite the cleaning-lady with the vacuum cleaner, they seem to be pretty much related to my not accepting that we have to level things down to regular people instead of…

Today’s tagline is,
I’m waiting for Prometheus but he never comes; should I try eBay instead?


Two promises to keep and one to let go

It’s past eight pm and somehow I’m stuck at the office again. I’m stuck at the office because I was teaching this course the whole afternoon and the boss called a meeting afterwards in which everyone had their notebooks ready and were writing stuff on them, mostly annotations, but probably not. Myself, I just doodled.
I drew comic book characters, “Eclipso” battling “Black Adam”, until the subject got a little too boring and I switched to nude women doing heinous acts better not described here instead.
People say that the likes of me are pretty good at brainstorming. I don’t know about that. There were a lot of jagged-edge lightning bolts on that notebook, though.

I imagined the bolts to be golden for no special reason whatsoever. But I like to talk and voice my opinions anyhow.

I like to place my opinions for everyone like it’s not really an option to choose otherwise because I’ve thought long and hard about well, everything and the kitchen sink well before a meeting starts so I don’t wanna listen to what other people have to say. They are wrong most of the time anyway.
Hey, Democracy kind of sucks. At least that’s my opinion on it, too.

Every time I’m being such a lunkhead with something, like, downright stubborn, my father tells me it’s because I’m very immature. Know that bit about the “mark of the immature man”?
Kind of like that, yeah.

I made a lot of promises back when I was a kid and for sheer immaturity I insist on keeping some of them to this day. I’m not entirely sure why, but I suspect it’s because of all those mid-1980s “coming of age” movies and cartoons about not letting go of your inner child when you grow up, stuff like that.
I was mostly impressed by things like that, back then.

It’s past eight pm and somehow I’m stuck at the office again and I’m thinking of three specific promises I made to myself when I was a kid and even though I had to give in and let go of one of them, the other two remain strong.
Cases in point:

I. Not taking Spanish lessons = (kept!)
When I was a kid I swore to myself I would never get Spanish classes because it sounds too dumb and because it’s so damn similar to Portuguese, I’d be losing my time. For some yet unknown reason, known only to Fortuna herself, it came to pass that I’ve come to work for this Chilean conglomerate, what do you know.
But have I survived so far or what!

II. Not taking MS-Excel lessons = (kept!)
Now what do you know: Not only I got to work for this Spanish-speaking company, I got to find myself in a position that relies very heavily on advanced use of MS-Excel and boy, I know zilch about those damn spreadsheets and formulas and whatnots.
I spent over an hour over a formula that had eight lines of text in it and I had to well, understand it before altering it whatever it was that I had to do. It took me the first ten minutes to spot a pattern in the formula and have a realization as how things worked (it was surprisingly similar to HTML, by the way, all those open/close tags and stuff). The rest of the time I spent tinkering and experimenting on the formula.
But have I survived so far or what, too.

III. Building a second, intermediate floor on a one-floor apartment = (nope)
As it turns out the operational feasibility for living in a one-floor apartment with a makeshift in-between second floor sandwiched between ground and ceiling is kind of nil, really.
I mean, it’d be like living in one of those Hobbit houses if you really think about it…


Reading list for Sep.06

Title: A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
Year: 1980 (but written during the 1960s)
Publisher: No idea.
What: A comedy; the story of one Ignatius Reilly, a fat, lazy adult still living with his mother in a poor New Orleans neighborhood. He is allegedly an intellectual person- but borderline insane- and lives off his mother… until the day his mother decides he must find a job and help with the bills. What ensues is a series of absurd events as Ignatius attempts to impress his highly-twisted ideals in a real world he believes to be populated by the ignorant and the confuse.
This is a book with an interesting, sad background: The author wrote the book in the 1960s but failed to have it published in the following years, which prompted his s*icide shortly afterwards. The book was finally published in 1980 thanks to his mother’s efforts, who fought long and hard so people would ever give the manuscript a shot. It ended up winning the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Go figure.
Comments: Simply put, this is the greatest movie NEVER made and reading it makes your head hurt because you’re wondering all the time why the hell hasn’t Hollywood taken this gem to the silver screen?!
Not every book manages to make a reader actually laugh instead of just smiling time and again; this one delivers it.

Title: The Informers
Author: Bret Easton Ellis (<-no kidding…)
Year: 1994
Publisher: Clueless.
What: It’s a series of 13 independent but interlocked short stories all (or mostly) set in Los Angeles during the early-to-mid 1980s. As all of Ellis’ previous works, this one’s also based on the premises of a moral & spiritual vacuum that our way of life has brought about: People drifting aimlessly through life, having meaningless s*x with each other, going on dr*nken binges all the time, heavy dr*g abuse, wasting money on the superfluous, etc.
What really gets the book going is the manner in which the tales progress and interweave like a tapestry; the leading character in the first story becomes has a supporting role in the second, then is barely mentioned in the fifth, and so on. Also, some of the characters from Ellis’ other books appear here, like Timothy Price (a minor character in American Psycho) and Sean Bateman (one of the leading characters in The Rules of Attraction).
Comments: Terrific as always and I have come to expect no less from the author, who’s become my all-time favorite. If you’re ever looking for a solid portrayal of the 1980s in literature, search no further.
Also, the author even gets to try his hand at a slightly different theme; one of the tales actually features a club-land vampire (!) as a leading character and your first impression is, “no, it won’t fit in with the author’s over-realistic atmosphere” but the guy goes the distance and not only pulls the trick, but downright makes that story one of the best in the whole book.

Title: Ex Machina vol.I: The First Hundred Days
Authors: Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Tony Harris (artist)
Year: 2004
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics.
What: A graphic novel, kind of a political debate thinly-veiled as a superhero comic book. It’s the story of Mitchell Hundred, a NY engineer-turned-superhero after getting the ability to talk to machinery in a freak accident. Once 9/11 hits and Mitchell is able to actually stop the second plane, he becomes an overnight sensation, ditches his alter-ego and is elected the Mayor of NY. The story is told in flashback, with Mitchell telling the reader about his years in office.
This paperback edition collect #1-5 into the ongoing series, with the story of Mayor Hundred struggling to see the city through a major snowstorm (and plowdrivers becoming the target of a mysterious killer), as riots erupt in the streets after a City Hall-sponsored exhibit of questionable taste opens at the Museum.
Bottom-line is, those guys are good. Jesus Christ. You never see it coming and Whamm!, hits you like a brickwall. I’ve totally, utterly, completely fallen in love with this comic; the way in which the post-9/11, real-world implications of the existence of a “super-hero” are treated simply blow you away.
Of course, Ex Machina was recommended to me by a smart person, so there…

Title: Ex Machina vol.II: Tag
Authors: Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Tony Harris (artist)
Year: 2005
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics
What: Collects Ex Machina #6-10. A serial-killer stalks the streets of NY, and he/she may be connected to events in Mayor Hundred’s past, and the accident that gave him his super-powers.
Also, the Mayor decides to celebrate NY’s first gay wedding, which leads to protests, and the questioning of his own sexuality.
Comments: OK, the above description doesn’t give this story justice because it’s by far the best comic book story’ve ever read but I’m kinda of late to two meetings right now (if such a thing is possible) so just trust me on this one and go read the damn book willya…
I mean, that last-page cliffhanger at the girl’s front door simply… wow. Some things, man… just wow.
If you were looking for a substitute Sandman or Preacher, there ya go, buddy.


Thinking of the Gmork the all-out nihilist philosopher, also a very large dog

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me but I have been second-guessing myself so much for the last few months that now I’ve come to the point where I’m second-guessing second-guessing in itself.

I sort of tried to come up with a list last night of everything that’s been bothering me lately and the list got so out of hand, got so huge that I actually had to trim it down to one condensed item, me.

Okay then. Enough with the “coasting my way to safety” routine.
I’m back.


1995: C**** and his sister

We stood there in line yesterday, to vote, a gray Sunday morning approaching lunchtime and it’s at this old school, possibly the oldest in my hometown and it’s been built sort of in that old colonial style (Portuguese) and the ceiling is so high and covered by half-eaten wooden boards. Four sets of fluorescent lights dangle down from a set of four chains each, dangling I think five feet down from the roof and still well above out heads.

C****’s sister votes in the room next to mine and I hadn’t seen the girl in say, ten years or something. I knew C**** from J.P., whom he was friends with, and since J.P. was pretty much the only other nine year old whom knew who Norman Bates was and would thus get all the jokes, I was fast friends with him and with C**** too. C**** really wasn’t very talkative in those first years and as time went by it was pretty clear to everyone he was sort of a dumb kid- or scratch that- a dumber kid than most; then it turned out he was a little autistic, really. Also, by the time we were all 15 or something and J.P. had dropped out of school and C**** had already failed too many years to count, he was diagnosed with leukemia and it wasn’t really pretty.

His young sister, tall and pale and dark hair and big eyes, stood by his side 24/7 and never let us bullies hassle him on the bus back home.
I kind of stood up for him too, in that awful year that was 1995 for him and he’d wear his red baseball cap to school all the time because his hair was falling down from all the chemotherapy or whatever it is that he was undergoing at the time.

Come last Sunday, though, and she was looking great, she’d grown up and become quite the looker: Tall, slender, big eyes still shining bright, cool dark hair coming down her milky-white back, a body to die for; oddly similar to Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada coming to think about it and all I’m thinking is, “Come on you damn assh*le, go talk to her or something”.
…The kind of girl that really makes me like girls instead of just tolerating them.

I couldn’t take her off my mind for the rest of the day, though, because that little strap of her black bra showing from the shoulders of her tank-top had driven me utterly and hopelessly insane
What do you know.

Despite coming up with this great “How’s C****?” routine and taking the first step towards her I sort of recalled this party during College, 1999 or 2000, and I think it was either L**** or G**** that told me the cancer had kicked back in and C**** had actually died earlier that same year.
I don’t really remember that much about College, but hearing somebody telling me the kid was dead was kind of scarred-clear over my brain and I lost heart, then & there at the line, and held back, never got to talk to the girl.
Didn’t seem fair, for some reason.

The thing I miss the most about 1995 is, in hindsight, looking out the window of the bus en route to school, six-thirty in the morning, and we’d pass by C****’s grandparents’ house and his grandma would toss this small chocolate at C**** and his sister, fully ready by their windows, and they would seldom miss their marks.