Excerpt from a comic book (Why I love comics so much!)

“You know, there was this time after we met, when I found a way to bring Alanna back with me, to Earth, from Rann.
I thought we could live together, and see one another more often, instead of me having to travel four light yearsvia Zeta Beam. But on Earth, I… I was just a man, just an archaeologist with an adventurous streak.

Sure, next to the weak, infertile guys on Rann, I was a monster-hunter, a godlike physical specimen… Back on Earth, I was just like everyone else. We were just a man and a woman living in an apartment on avenue B. I got scared she’d leave me for a real hero…

I blamed alien intervention and sent her back to Rann, and we saw each other once a month for a long time after that. In my head, I was only a hero among weaklings. As a result I’ve become what you might call an over-achiever.

We’re falling towards a sun in a disintegrating vessel with zero power, except what’s feeding life support.
I can get us out of that…

spoken by the thinking man’s hero, Adam Strange,
in 52 #41 (14.Feb.2007)
Script by G. Johns, G. Rucka, M. Waid and G. Morrison.


The iron age, pt. II

I have my chin resting over my hands with my elbows lying on the window ledge on a warm Sunday evening and I’m sort of looking at the swimming pool in the building just across the street and there’s this young father, I figure about my age, playing with his son who’s around five or six and all of a sudden it hits me like some brickwall coming over at lightspeed:

“God,” I’m thinking, "I should get myself one of those Playstati*n things.”


The iron age, pt. I

So ***** comes up to me the other day and says they’re going to this restaurant afterwards and wants to know if I want in, only it’s a bit of an expensive restaurant. Would that be OK with me?
“Are you used to buying foreign comics?” I ask him in return. “I mean do you keep a comic book collection made strictly out of imports?”
No of course not, he tells me.
“Jesus man” I say with a half-smile “Then don’t talk to me of expensive because you have no idea what this word really means.

We end up totaling close to a DC Archives-per-person in local currency, considering not the cover price but the local selling price, due to the sh*tload of some fancy wine consumed during the meal.
That’s actually a little expensive indeed but doesn’t come even close to what the bookstore is used to billing me in any given month.

We call it a night with a joke: It’s not like junior will miss his lunch money anyway.


To-do list for today

- Review CTI re-routing for all incoming calls as per yesterday’s meeting with tech people.

- Convince Management we really should do a little re-working (tuning! Call it tuning!) on the lunchtime telephone menu recording regarding re-routing order as per item above.

- E-mail K**** to congratulate about his birthday which was like two months ago and D**** told me about a month ago. Also something about his getting engaged to R**** but I’m not really sure.

- Very important! Get the Week 12 Report done (done, period!) so that bossman may forward it to Herr Füh… to the President on Wednesday.

- Raise the bar on that 10-buck bet with the kid from Imports. I think I can manage some $15 on that one; else I could have it worked out so as I would actually lose the bet if the kid would push group results up in time for next week’s report. Hey I like this one already! Dibs on the evil genius plot!

- Check about (lack of) Oracle e-mail alerts for all Southern agencies, especially I**** and S****.

-Dude!!! It’s still like, a thousand weeks later and you still have zilch to show about the process analysis improvements: File this one under “Gotta buy myself some extra time”.

- Find some time to ask P**** (from the P*** agency) about that stock market thing he told me last Friday.

- Probably apologize to the sweet, sweet girl at front desk for my incessant half-seriously hitting on her. She’s too nice a kid for that and I’m zero, man.

- Doctor appointment at 2pm to see about knees (remember to use the “Gee doc, it just seems I’m killing myself in installments these days” line to break the ice).

- Meeting with the girls from sales after 6pm to… to… well, to something I suppose. Must ask Management if this about the Week 11 report. Downright Jurassic…

- Stop by the bookstore on my way home to pick up that Batman paperback reprinting team-up stories from the ‘60s. If my knees don’t hurt much.

- Also buy some orange juice. Maybe some p*rn too? I haven’t bought p*rn in ages but the orange juice is more important because we’re all out of orange juice for breakfast, buddy.

- Work on that Centurion outfit redesign for the current script: Ditch all superhero-y aspects and keep the shirt with the long sleeves instead. Go for the casual look. Keywords are, black denim.


The ballad of Pepe and Mr.E

People like us always have suppliers here and there and mine is called Mr.E. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m quite used to doing it through the regular channels: The bookstore I go for the TPBs and the HCs is one of the biggest, best in the city. Or the state, or the country I don’t know.
But certain regular cravings of ours just have to attended via illicit suppliers, ‘em Han Solos hauling in crates and crates and crates of tax-free stuff under the Millenium Falcons of their airmails.

I have no idea how the hell did I ever stumble upon Mr.E but I recall being very unhappy with my then-current dealer. I remember reading somewhere-posted somewhere on the Internet- “If you want some great XXXXX just e-mail Mr.E at XXXXX”- so I e-mailed Mr.E and did some very small-scale business. Everything went ok and that first outing led to another. And another, and another, etc.
Slightly more than one year ago I switched suppliers full-time and transferred all my regular stuff to Mr.E- and boy, for a local he is very reliable.
In fact, Mr.E is probably the most reliable dealer I’ve ever dealt with and I’ve never even seen his face- it’s all very sub-rosa and stuff. It’s done strictly by e-mail:
Mr.E (his name actually is Mr. E****!) e-mails me saying he’s got XXX, YYYY, ZZZZ (ad infinitum) for me, then I e-mail him back once I’ve sent him the dough.

One time, I goofed up with the internet banking as I usually do and ended up not wiring him the money but the goods were delivered anyway and Mr.E never said a word about it (of course I paid up once I’d realized what I’d done).

M**** on the other hand found this guy Pepe on eBay and Pepe sends out his stuff with crazy things in Spanish written over the packets- Juguetes usados is my favorite. An Pepe is very fast. Most times, anyway.

Mr.E pops in my inbox for the second time this month- He’s sort of like Mr. Mxyzptlk in the sense he sticks to his deadlines- and lets me know he’s got the following stuff:

52 #44
52 #45
52 #46

(I do the covers A-B thing with my comics mostly because I can, which is fun in a Kali Yuga sort-of way)


Slingshot introspection

Today I woke up thinking of astrophysics, which is really odd because I almost flunked High School due to some little black square perennially moving from point A to point B kind of like when you remember about the ATM card you forgot over the dresser as you entered the elevator on your way to work on a given Monday morning. I goddamn hated that little black square. But I digress.

There’s this…

There’s this game kids love to play which is passing your hand through the flickering flame of a candle: quickly at first so you won’t get burned and slower and slower as your confidence builds up. This is pretty much a no-win scenario, see?, because the fastest are the losers and the bravest (the slowest, anyway) will end up burned anyhow.
The key to winning this game is a tad tricky; you only get to win if you realize it’s not about competing with the neighbor, but thrillseeking inside yourself: You get so close to getting burned… you get so close to crossing a line from which you won’t come back. Kind of like a conceptual HALO-parachute jumping. Or a slingshot effect.

Today I woke up thinking of astrophysics, I told you; I woke up thinking of the way rocket scientists use the gravity of some planets to get their probes to pick up speed toward a whole different target, shorten distances and save fuel. This is called a Gravity Assist, see, or a slingshot effect if you’ve watched enough Star Trek re-runs on TV.
The thing with the slingshot is shooting your rocketship or whatever toward the gravity field of say, a planet or a moon just so as it uses that very gravitation to build up enough momentum to increase its own speed and optimize its trajectory; then it breaks free from said body’s thrall and is shot towards its destination target, way faster than before. The trick is that your host-body both rotates around itself and around the sun which accounts for multiple vectors over the whole object re-routing thing. I mean if you’re up to your calculus, otherwise either you crash & burn or get stuck into somebody else’s G field. I mean, at least I think it works that way- The whole technique is supposed to be of Soviet origin so it’s some freaking wonder we’ve aimed for Saturn and not hit Washington instead…

It does work though: NASA actually pulls stunts like that every once in a while with their probes… So we’ll stick to the metaphor:

The worst thing about it all, in general terms, is that it pretty much shoots down any defense I might bring up about not having a good grip on reality while doing whatever it is I’ve been doing (or attempting to do) before the whole world came crashing down on me. Ergo, there goes the insanity plea…
“Oh God,” you’ll say- and trust me because this one will probably send a shiver up your spine when you realize what I’m talking about, which will probably happen many hours afterwards- “You then claim you know exactly what you’ve been doing?”


Proud Icarus fell upon soaring close to the sun on wings of wax yet I’m steering clear of that part of the cliché myself: I’m Icarus but with a rocket-pack (ouch) and a ray-gun (double ouch) going at the sun with a little Gravity Assist around the moon. Masoch*sm, after all, does not necessarily lead to suic*de (quite the opposite!).

Yet you know of curiosity & the cat…

(Cliff’s Notes for today quotes from Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing from about 20 or 25 years ago: Etrigan the demon telling the Phantom Stranger something like, “Kettle thou art black, said the pot”. But I’m not entirely black, mind you, I’m just a little-little-little gray walker myself with too much time to spare in his little-little-little gray hands…)


Batman vs. Dracula: Setting the record straight

Every three days or so DC Comics comes up with a new Batman vs. Dracula story, or so it seems. I think we’ve had about a half a dozen of those to this day, and every one of them inevitably boils down to an excuse for turning Batman into a vampire, as a leather-winged terror of the night, etc, and this is utter crap you know.

First of all I don’t think I can even consider the idea of a vampire living in a 21st-century metropolis such as Gotham City: I mean, the sheer ratio of modern-day blood pathogens-per-person alone… And second, Batman himself.
If I ever wrote a Batman vs. Dracula story, Batman would end up throwing his F-4 Phantom Batplane over the king of the undead, its wings loaded with holy water, and there would be this huge explosion, etc.
But then, pretty much all my Batman stories would end up with Batman throwing his jet-plane at the super-villain…

This is my attempt at coming up with a more original Batman vs. Dracula story, hopefully with an ending other than my omnipresent “Okay, Dick. Ram ‘im with the Batplane”:

Dracula: “Prepare to join my legion of the undead, oh thou mauve-and-blue champion of righteousness.”
Batman: “My costume is not mauve and blue, it’s gray and black.”
Dracula: “I’ll grant you the black bit as a result of traditional India ink comic book lightning and shadings effects… but the longjohns are definitely mauve.”
Batman: This is light gray and helps me to blend into the shadows of Gotham City and strike fear into the hearts of the criminal scum.”
Dracula: “That doesn’t even make sense: How can you expect to blend in the shadows wearing light gray spandex anyway?”
Batman: “Yeah, says the Victorian spook dressed up like a bad Vaudevillian performer…”
Dracula: “This is the garb of Transylvanian nobility! It has been in the possession of my family for hundreds of years!”
Batman: “Seems to me more like a family of 1920s stage-magicians, that’s what…”
Dracula: “Robin.”
Batman: “Gee how original… Mentioning Robin as leverage… That’s not even fair!”
Dracula: “I never really understood why the hell you ever clad a 12-year old in chainmail underwear, for chrissakes…”
Batman: “All of our crimefighting gear has been conceived to strike fear in the heart of the criminal scum…”
Dracula: “But in green chainmail underwear?!”
Batman: “You had a moustache in the original version… Whoever heard of a super-villain with a moustache?!”
Dracula: “The Thinker… Sinestro… Cesar Romero as the Joker in your own 1960s TV series…”
Batman (thinking): ”I seem be no match for the Prince of Darkness! I must use all my wits to overcome his evil dialectic powers!”
Dracula: “Again… Prepare to join my legion of the undead, oh thou mauve-and-blue champion of righteousness.”
Batman (into communicator): “Okay, Dick. Ram ‘im with the Batplane…”

--And fade to mauve.
I mean, to black! Fade to black!


Zen and the art of CTI clairvoyance

You’ve probably worked with CTIs before with the acronym standing for Computer-Telephone Integration, in which you have a software connected to your phone central so you can extract all kinds of data from it and coordinate incoming calls distribution through menu-based system, etc. A staple in telesales.

I work in telesales coordination (sort of…) but CTI for me has acquired a whole different meaning: Clairvoyant Technique for Interpretation and it works like this:
You implement a CTI structure with all the trimmings and the inner workings, then you buy yourself some allegedly nifty software which allows you to work wonders in data mining. So far so good, ok?
Then you call up Professor X at Marvel Comics or the X-Men Mansion or whatever and ask him for either a telepath or a clairvoyant to work on said software. If the X-Men are unavailable you might as well go for the disturbed, self-motivated (as in, “caffeine-addicted”) kid who just can’t say “no” to (what he deems) a challenge, then ask said kid to basically guess how the hell that damn system works.

Too easy, isn’t it? So let’s make it a little harder:

There are three catches to your plan:
1. No training whatsoever, obviously. We’ve all learned from too many Dilbert strips that it’s far better to get a cheap, unskilled but motivated workforce than to go for all those boring, demanding formalities. 2. There is technical support but the technical support must have even less knowledge than the clairvoyant-user himself. And 3. Last but not least, ”We aren’t entirely sure the database has a proper configuration” (and this is quoting from life itself!), so even if your clairvoyant operator is indeed some kind of intuitive whiz-kid busting his behind night and day to pluck a solution out of the ether that surrounds the visible world, there’s absolutely no reliance to whatever results he might turn up for the management.

I suppose you’ve probably declared all’s lost by now, the whole “Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth” routine, after reading the bit above.
You’re wrong though, and it’s quite entirely related to the application of the contribution of 19th-century mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius to Euclidean geometry, to the 21st-century Corporate World. I assume you’re familiar with the general concept behind a Möbius strip.
This is how it works, CTI-wise:

The way out of the data mining inaccuracy problem presented above can be easily circumvented by basically downsizing the flowchart of the information analysis gig into a flat hierarchical structure, in the same manner 1970s Jack Kirby comics would consider it an OMAC-initiative. OMAC stands for One-Man Army Corps.
Okay, before I totally lose you with the half-baked references this is what I mean:

If the person making the reports… is the same person who’s actually studying them… and is the same person making decisions based upon said studies… then you’ve pretty much leveled the problem by having it un-created- by isolating it in some dark, forsaken corner of a Möbius strip within an empty conference room at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon, etc.

Joseph Heller called it a Catch-22 in the book of the same name, by the way.

There is this Zen koan that goes something like this:
You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one hand clapping?


I’d like to see Brian Vaughn & Tony Harris top this one!

I was looking at this crude sketch B**** had done the other day- it was a map of the São Paulo metropolitan area- and until that moment I’d never realized the city, as seen from above, sort of looks like a duck’s head bent downwards & back as if the duck were sniffing at his own ass.


Dreaming up the perfect trailer for the perfect movie

Okay, I wrote this one about a couple of years ago but it’s too funny to be forgotten, so here goes nothing.
OBS, You gotta try and visualize the imagery and listen to the voices in your head, else the gig’s shot. Also, this is not a movie script in any sense, just the notes for the “perfect trailer” for the perfect movie.


Panoramic B&W shot of Paris, closing in & panning to the right in slo-mo over the roofs of the houses.

1. VOICE OVER: 1943...

Pan down to street level now in full-color as hundreds of NAZI SOLDIERS march through the streets.


PARTISAN SOLDIERS in rags BOW OVER a makeshift wooden table in the half-light. ALICE (blond girl, Victorian dress, about 16 years old) SITS CROSSLEGGED over the tabletop among the men, DRINKING from a steaming cup of tea in her hand.


3. ALICE: My, my! What adventures we shall have to-day!

Close on a PANZER TANK as it FIRES ITS CANNON against the base of the Eiffel Tower, effectively tearing off a piece of it.



A bird’s eye-view over the grassy hills of Europe closing in on Alice as she BOWS DOWN to ADMIRE a flower on the ground.


5. ALICE: This is such a wonderful place!

A squadron of 4 or 5 STUKA BOMBERS PLUNGE OVER Alice, BLASTING their machine guns.


6. SFX: Blam! Blamblam! Vuoooooosh! Blam!

Alice DASHES across London holding the Union Jack in her hands as GERMAN SNIPERS OPEN FIRE from the rooftops.


7. ALICE: We do this for England and the Free World!

Close on PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT laughs with his AIDE.


8. ROOSEVELT: Now we´re sending 16-year-old girls to war? Maybe I should go to war!

8. AIDE: May I remind you, sir, that you cannot walk?

8. ROOSEVELT: Well! Hahh! That never stopped me before!

DR. OPPENHEIMER, a scientist in a white apron and horn-rimmed glasses, MUSES OVER a blackboard filled with equations.


9. DR. OPPENHEIMER: Yes. Yes. I´ve been meaning to give the japs our plutonium farewell but I think we can take our little fat toy for a trial spin in secrecy into occupied Europe first...

[SCENE 10]
A VERY TOUGH AMERICAN SARGENT dressed in a tattered, dirty Uncle Sam costume, is INTERROGATED by NAZI SOLDIERS… then RISES and PUNCHES one of them in the face.


10 NAZI SOLDIER: And who are you supposed to be? Uncle Sam?

10. VERY TOUGH AMERICAN SGT: Naaw. I´m Santa for the dyslexic and the color-blind.

10 SFX: SOC!

[SCENE 11]
HIMMLER the Nazi official BARKS ORDERS at his SOLDIERS, while Alice is HELD CAPTIVE in chains on a stone wall in the background.


11. HIMMLER: Release the Zyklon! Kill the prisoner!

[SCENE 12]
A GIANT HUMANOID BROWN RABBIT [CGI] wearing a derby hat and a black leather jacket with the sayings, “Go Navy” emblazoned on the back and smoking a cigar, BRINGS DOWN three NAZI SOLDIERS by hitting them with his BIG FAT ASS.


12. EARL: Yeah! Goose-step this, ya damn bastards!

[SCENE 13]
An enraged HITLER SHOUTS at his officials.


13. HITLER: Off... with... her... head!!

[SCENE 14]
A steel swastika is branded against the stylized figure of a white rabbit. A lonely text, “Soon” appears right underneath after a metallic “clang”-like sound.



For each step forward…

Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one because you’ve already heard this one last year indeed: I busted my knees while running one again, which is becoming sort of an annual event in my life.
I can barely walk this week. This sucks. To tell you the truth I was getting in a pretty good shape, in fact I was in better shape than I’ve been in years, god I think ever since I was 16- which I’ve begun to realize I’m not anymore.

I’d been losing the gut, gaining muscle, improving breathing, pushing the stamina up to a new level, etc and now I’ve come to a halt for the full week.
This time wasn’t so nasty as last year with at the paintball match because I was smart enough to stop before it got ugly; also there’s another reason: The Pet Shop Boys gig is tomorrow and I’ll probably kill myself if they play Suburbia and I’m standing there & not moving like an assh*le because my knees hurt.
Friday nights are supposed to heal anything so I’m counting on a miracle with this one as well: I’ve got enough medication to down a rhino, I’ve got a pile of the month’s comic books mostly unread and I’ve got vodka and Doritos too. Also, thanks to M**** I’ve got Bela Lugosi’s Dracula on DVD as well so as long as I stay put tonight I think I’ll make it alright. Get rrrrrrready for Operation: Couch Potato!

And coming to think of it in a rather sad, particular way I guess I’m kinda like that guy Dorian Gray, only sans the trimmings so far: I’ve been living my life as if I were perpetually 16 years old then going to a Pet Shop Boys concert…? Plus: Slim, neat, organized, perpetually single with a rather mysterious social life, likes sophisticated stuff, behaves in a slightly-off manner, etc…?
Jesus Christ, no wonder people have been Mitchell Hundred-ing me for the last few months. Only, it’s not really fair because when it’s Bruce Wayne doing it people suspect he’s Batman which is pretty cool… well, not that Batman ever attended a Pet Shop Boys concert anyhow but you get the general idea.

Anyway. I’ve got a 10-day vacations period coming right up so I guess I’m taking… No, wait. Scratch that. This just in: So I guess I should be taking the next week-and-a-half off but the management has just grounded me again because the Corporate World soooo can’t get enough of über-tacky Power Point presentations with colorful 3-D pie-charts all over them… at least so we can get to clog the e-mail servers for an afternoon or two by sending out hundreds of MBs of allegedly-very useful files to a rather large number of people who’ll never get to open the damn mail anyway unless you call them up later on to ask about it… yuck.
I’d like to tell you I’d be back here two Wednesdays from now but from the looks of it, see y’all next Monday. Gee. And hopefully still a biped.


Prose sketching for a comic book script

Okay this is a quick bit I came up with a few nights ago because I really couldn’t get any sleep and I was sort of taking mental notes for this particular superhero comic book script I’ve been promising myself I’ll get to write one day. I mean, eventually get to write one day.
I did this full text, in prose, just to get the characters’ rhythm, so as to test the beat of the dialogue, etc. The seaside scenery really shouldn’t be taken into account because I’ll later switch it to a more urban setting (chose the island thing for this bit because I was listening to some Irish pop rock, I think either the Pogues or the Waterboys and the lyrics just kept saying stuff about the British islands, so the thing pretty much stuck in my mind like a meme).

I’m painfully all-too-aware it ended up reading like bad High School poetry but again, this is just a sketching: To err here, not to err elsewhere.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So stood Lauren and Peer before the great divide splitting the mainland from the chain of small islands perpetually floating into the great beyond like buckshot anchored all across the horizon.
Peer spread out his arms and lifted his chin up, eyes closed in a soft silent smile so as to greet the first droplets of the fine rain about to pour. Lauren said nothing for a while, kicked a pebbled and waited.
“Did you ever think we’d get this far in life?” asked Peer without opening his eyes. “And I don’t mean the geography, man.”
Lauren pondered for a full minute as her gaze fell over the ocean line, then said, “It never really turns out the way we plan, isn’t that so?”
“Laurie, man,” said Peer putting both his hands over her shoulders and facing her up front. “It turned out just the way I’d hoped.”
“Just as long as don’t tell me you…”
“That I love you? Jesus, man, I really do,” added Peer.
“No you don’t. You love the idea of loving me,” said Lauren gently brushing Peer’s hands aside. “And I can’t thank you enough for that.”
Peer turned his back to her and faced the islands under the light summer rain.
“Is control over the self supposed to make you feel more secure?” he asked in a serious, honest voice. “Because that’s what it is all about, isn’t it? Running from the little girl scared to Hell into the woods? Or something like that?”
She took a deep breath and stretched her arm just so that it touched the hairs on the back of his neck. “So for how long do you plan on loving me this time around?”
Peer turned to her once more and held her hand in both his own. He attempted to sketch an answer upon his lips but returned just an ironic though honest smirk instead.
“Do you plan on loving me for at least as this day is long?”
“We can keep the sun from ever setting, you know,” said Peer bringing her hand to his lips and kissing it just above the knuckles. “If we try hard enough.”


Three nightmares

This is a quick note about three nightmares I’ve had recently:

The one in which Lex Luthor sent out carrion birds to eat my kidneys.
As odd as it might sound I dream about comic book characters once in every three or four years, I kid you not. It was, therefore, with great surprise that I woke up screaming in the middle of the night from very odd nightmare, in which I was tagging along the silver-age Hawkman and Hawkgirl as they set out to storm Lex Luthor’s secret laboratory or something. And to make things even dorkier, Luthor was teaming up with the Cheetah of all super-villains. I mean, god damn it, you’d expect the world’s smartest man to be a little more picky, right? Anyway.
So in order to stop the pinioned paladins (and myself, apparently) Luthor sent out this veritable cloud of flesh-eating birds (I’m not sure whether they were robot birds or actual birds); I vividly recall Hawkman boasting his body was treated to withstand the rigors of outer space or something very 1960s like that, so he wouldn’t really have to worry about it… just as the birds were pecking at me, rendering the flesh off my sides, eating away at my kidneys… tons of blood, gore, pain- then I woke up.

The one in which people were fused with animals, only to kill other people.
This one’s a pretty vague because it was full of lightning and stormy skies and explosions, and whatnots, and there was thing big blue glowing thing in the heart of the storm and it was merging people nearby with animals, and with stuff like cars and poles and etc, so that the people became like… these really weird, giant creatures with claws that killed and maimed people upon sight.
I did survive this one, though.

The one in which there was a centaur with the face of an old chinaman.
My subconscious mind definitely has to do more reading: I mean, it was supposed to be a dream about a centaur, and everybody in the dream referred to the creature as a centaur, only he had two animal legs instead of four, and his legs were like a goat’s; kind of like a faun if you really think about it. Also, he was Chinese and had white hair. A white-haired Chinese faun, for crying out loud!
And not only a white-haired Chinese faun, but a dead white-haired Chinese faun: The faun was dead and for some unmentioned reason what I had to do was, basically, to move the head of the dead white-haired Chinese faun from point A to point B, whatever, only S*tan wasn’t really comfortable with the idea. Yes, S*tan.
So I did haul the faun’s head pretty successfully, only it really upset this group of old ladies who were d*vil-worshippers; one of them clearly turned to me in the end and said, “We will enjoy t*rturing you in Hell for all eternity for what you’ve done to us, young man.”
“Well I’d like to see you try ma’am,” I told her with a proud, cocky half-smile, then I woke up.


More disturbing things to tell other people

Whenever I have to create a new temporary file for data storage at the office I name it after a famous monster either from comics or the movies.
A few examples:


Of course it often causes some very weird dialogue between me and the management.

Mngt: “I was going through the week 06 reports and I have a few questions.”
Me: “Okay.”
Mngt: “What is a Bride of Frankenstein?”
Me: “I think it’s a Boris Karloff movie.”
Mngt: “A movie?”
Me: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a movie with Boris Karloff in it.”
Mngt: “Why do you have movie stuff in your week 06 report folder?”
Me: “But I don’t keep any movies in there.”
Mngt: “What is a Bride of Frankenstein, then?”
Me: “I think it’s a Boris Karloff movie.”

It really upsets me that I’m the only on who sees the inherent logic to this procedure, but then it probably explains the nightmares I’ve been having…


The hawk and the dove

One heck of a puzzling question:
Why the hell the public opinion tends to view left wing-leaning people as passionate and cool, and right wing-leaning people as nothing but complete jerks?

And please do note the keyword leaning here; I do solely mean people whose political beliefs merely veer more toward either side. I don’t mean extremists, zealots or fanatics.
Also by left I don’t mean necessarily “liberal”, okay? I’m thinking more of this neo-populist trend all of a sudden on the rise once again especially in poor Latin America countries. I think what I really mean by left is populism, essentially… and by right, pragmatism.

Before you get all militant on me I want to… no, scratch that. Here:
There is this bit from a Michael Cunningham novel and I’m thinking either A home at the end of the world or The hours in which one of the characters who’s sort of a… a… you know… “militant”… turns to this other character who’s more of a…a… okay this is a bit awkward so let’s stick to the basics: This character who’s more of a “in your face” kind of a liberal turns to this other one who’s more of a conservative and says something like, “When they’re rounding up the freaks and the deviants, you think they aren’t coming for you?”

I do understand that being unusual even at the slightest sort of puts you (and myself, up to an extent) there against the line of fire so here’s what I’m driving at- The whole “right-wing leaning” thing only considering economics and maybe politics.

In reality this is just to show you that since right-wing leaning people can quote from famous gay writers maybe they are human beings too… Hehh.

I have just looked up the definition to “demagogue” in the dictionary, anyhow (out of pure spite!) and it says both emotive dictator and popular leader in ancient times.
I do tend do disagree with its chronological placing, though.

The sheer beauty of worldwide politics applied to the Kali Yuga: Spoiled rich College kids fed on Diet Coke and Kellogg’s sporting Che Guevara T-shirts to go with their Nikes marching against international Free-Trade agreements, globalization and carbon gas emissions, then driving home in daddy’s Japanese model-of-the-year.

This is probably what would’ve happened (too) if Karl Marx had been ghost-written by Douglas Adams on the Communist Manifesto…


Boy wonder, interrupted

I should be on vacations since Monday but I’m not; I totally forgot about it.
Oh this isn’t one of those cases where I’m officially on vacations on a given date but actually go out later: This is the “later” bit already. This bites.

G**** is getting married, you’re getting married yourself and Jesus Christ, F**** is getting married as well whereas me, buddy, I’m just running on empty and if I’m to be very honest with you I don’t want to go on vacations and it’s not even because of money problems this time around but because I don’t have anywhere to go or no one else to go with.

Living life like this is kind of cool in a unique sort of way, like, it’s heaven nine out of ten times because I get to do all these really odd stuff and say tons of crazy things and behave like a f*cking lunatic time and again without a care in the world, but every once in a while gravity checks in and weighs me down like an anchor of the mundane and I get to glimpse at the mess I’ve been making out of life in general and I so want to pull back, to bail out, at least pause the movie but we’re all in this freaking big theatre you know, and there’s the choir singing some cliché crap like “life is not a dress rehearsal” and I’m telling them, Come guys knock it off, but they keep on going like the Energizer bunny. I keep on going too but I’ve been running on empty for the last five years or so and by now I’m just beat, burnt out, downright spent.
Trick is to breeze through the good days so as to pack enough momentum to coast yourself around the bad ones only god, F**** is getting married and I suddenly feel like I’ve gotta coast around the whole Atlantic seaboard just after I’m done with the Pacific…

There’s just gotta be a good Batman joke somewhere within all this, see? Because it’s the secret meaning of the universe: A good Batman joke tucked in every corner, hidden behind every angle… if you can just find it… and pluck it… Whoa.
F**** never really got the good Batman jokes, though. But then, no one ever does…


There goes the neighborhood

So the US President is comin’ to town and he’s staying at this hotel only a couple of blocks from the office here: The neighborhood is a veritable mess- policemen everywhere, some streets have been closed down, hamburger trailers are being towed away, stuff like that.

I remember when Reagan came to Brasil more than twenty years ago and I’m not really sure why, he landed in this city near my hometown and my parents took me there to see the airplanes- I was fascinated by aircraft when I was a small kid and I think I still carry some of that jazz to this day- and I was totally psyched seeing not only Air Force One but those C-130 Hercules man, they were downright amazing…

I wonder, though, how many parents will take their toddlers to see Bush’s planes today… which speaks books about the lack of a certain wall and its impact on international politics.
Punchline is, the James Bond movies aren’t what they used to be anymore.


Customizing Hourman: Rex is a chemist, Rick is an artist, and I’m neither

So the other day I firmly set my mind on customizing my brand-new Hourman collector’s action figure from DC Direct. See, Hourman- namely, Hourman II (Rick Tyler), the son of the original Hourman (Rex Tyler) is one of my favorite current comic book characters and I so love his new uniform: The way the pitch-black cowl with the yellow lining adheres to his face yet cascades loosely down his head, and those extra cool gauntlets with red trimmings!
Thing is, DC Direct released the Hourman II action figure with his fingers painted black as if he wore a full glove under the those gauntlets… But noooo, Hourman wears fingerless gloves under the gauntlets- and my task was pretty much cut out for me:
I was adamant in painting his fingers!

Finding the proper flesh-colored enamel paint was a cinch even though I did argue with the hobby store clerk because I thought he was pushing me the wrong color, thus I ended up buying two different shades (and as it turned out he was right).
Now, Rex Tyler- the original Hourman- is a chemist and his son Rick- the second Hourman- is an artist. Me, as you can probably tell, I’m neither. This, therefore, was what came to pass:

I put a CD on, I think it was A-Ha (I know, I know, but corny activities require corny music) and decided hey, I’m just trying out the paint. Seriously, since I wasn’t gonna do a thing but check if the color matched the figure, I figured no harm done to put some thinner in a plastic yogurt cup (empty). I mean, of course there was the possibility of the thinner eventually eating through the plastic- but as I said, I was just testing the color, wouldn’t take me more than a minute… No harm done, right?

As it turns out I sort of got… carried away with the painting and the CD was halfway through when I noticed the god-awful stench of the thinner, and the thinner itself slowly oozing through this month’s National Geographic and over the whole desk.
In the end, despite the casualties topping the hundreds in dead African elephants and Australian sharks (actually I’m guessing they were Australian because I hadn’t read that bit yet) the Hourman figure was alright. I mean, not only Rick Tyler survived the chemical flood, but his now-fingerless gloves ended up looking pretty neat!


Classic movies

I’m terribly sorry but that Letters from Iwo Jima was ungodly dull. I like war movies like anybody else but that one just drifted aimlessly, man! I mean, it’s like their doing an event-centered, basically plotless movie during its first half, then they let go of everything and pour everything in the characters, when it’s just too little, too late.
So once I got the hell of the cinema I got this craving going for good movies. A quick stop at the DVD store- during a full lunar eclipse, no less!- and here’s what I ended up bringing home and watching with lots of diet Coke, Doritos, Absolut vodka and beer:

Regardless of how cliché you might deem watching this movie these days I think it’s still probably unsurpassed as a war movie, Ingrid Bergman is just way too cute, and Bogart kicks some serious ass!
(even though I still have no clue as to what the f*ck “Here’s looking at ya, kid” really means…)

You know, that Polanski movie from the 1970s… because, well, first and foremost because we could speak at length for ages about every each and every minute of this movie because oh it’s so freaking good but may I be perfectly honest with you? The bit with the Jack Nicholson character having his nose bandaged during most of the film always killed me, as a kid. Loved, loved, loved that bit.
And incidentally- and keep in mind this is the first time I’ve seen this movie in fifteen years or something- I’ve just realized the guy who plays the hoodlum who cuts Nicholson’s nose is Roman Polanski himself.

The Day the Earth Stood Still
I’ll tell you a secret: Everybody’s got a soft spot in their hearts from classic 1950s sci-fi, regardless whether they’ll admit it or not, and regardless of how bad Gort-the-robot’s suit seems today.
This one is just like… I don’t know, the first girl you’ve ever kissed? Cereal with milk for breakfast? It’s a staple of the Western world, what can you do, and I sure as hell wouldn’t mind seeing it re-made today with CGIs and the whole post-9/11 zeitgeist thing going.

I did have Blade Runner with me as well but as you can probably figure, came Sunday evening I was pretty sick of playing couch-potato. I mean, good god, I ended up looking like a tanned Solomon Grundy on Monday morning with deep dark circles beneath my eyes and a very foul mood…


Life, geocentric

“This is like, total crap,” she tells me when I present her with the proper instructions to operating the software. “You’re such an assh*le, you know that?”
“Whoa baby,” I smile back at her. “Did Dante ever badmouth Virgil for the ride?”
“Who’s that?”
“…And I’m Virgil, okay? And it’s not even like Virgil was in Hell for being wicked in the first place!”
“You’re not making any sense,” she barks back at me. “What’s a ‘virgil’ anyway?”
“Jesus,” I say as I close my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger. “Mellow out and listen up, willya…”


Looking for some guy named “V”, CONT’D: Shoving my temper down my own throat

Okay, would I like fries with that or what?
Here's what came to pass a mere couple of hours after I posted my boasting below:

Last week I was working on one of P****'s old spreadsheets and found a field which seemed superfluous, with a rather complicated formula which I really didn't want to waste any time understanding. So I came to the following conclusion:
"P**** is such a wuss! Look at this bit willya! He's such a showoff he can't come up with a simple formula for the life of his! I'll show him how a MAN works this out!"

Working on this week's reports, I found some odd figures which prompted my attention; "Something smells," I thought intuitively, then found out the key to the problem: The seemingly superfluous field I changed from P****'s old files.

This is why I hate not be the world's smartest person: I'm pretty smart and I usually underestimate people, I'll grant you that, but I'm not the world's smartest person regardless of what I think. P**** for one thing is actually a lot smarter than I am plus he doesn't suffer from the same temper-from-hell as I do (also known as adult attention deficit disorderin some parts of the Earth I suppose).

Looking for some guy named “V”

It’s kind of amazing, see?
Up until a few weeks ago the mere thought of the VLOOKUP MS-Excel function would leave me baffled, downright lost in the stars and perhaps wondering just who the f*ck was this guy “V” anyway. WEEKNUM, then, sounded like something from outer space, not to mention the rest of the gang.

I have since spent the past two or three weeks totally immersed in Excel spreadsheets and got this close to throwing the towel, you know? I mean, the whole thing was gargantuan in scope: My weekly reports have more than 100MBs of spreadsheets, over fifty files… and naturally, no one to instruct, teach or guide me through it all (apart from P****, or course, who was kind enough to throw me a lifesaving, sage-like advice or three via instant messaging).

VLOOKUP now stands for Veni, vidi, vici; given enough guinea pigs I’m pretty confident I’m smart enough to handle brain surgery on my own.


Summer, 2007

I’m sitting on a vast spread of lawn at the park on a Saturday morning with my shirt off, my legs stretched out before me and my arms supporting my back against a small rock nearby. Daylight savings time ends tonight despite the sun scorching overhead and glistening over the statue of an aviator clad in a 1940s flight suit and a brass plaque with the etchings of a USAF P-47 underneath.
“This is pretty cool,” I’m thinking. “But tomorrow I’m definitely bringing some reading material.”

Next morning’s literary contention will eventually result in an Iron Man limited series winning over a book of short stories by Edith Wharton.