Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 4:13 p.m. | 0 comments

An All-Star Cast... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Or at least made.

It seems I wasn't the only gamer to get excited about the debut of X-Men Legends. It was billed as the definitive X-Men game that fans had been waiting for. A brawler of an RPG that would take about 30 hours to finish, feature 15 playable characters, as well as 4-player support.

No wonder the guys at Penny Arcade liked it.

I've 'borrowed' their cartoon this week to help pimp out the game that absorbed nearly 20 hours of my time during the three days I rented it. The amount of time was actually probably a little more than what I'm reporting here, but I don't want to seem like that much of a geek.

It was great timing that Paul and Josh made their way into the big city as it gave us a chance to take a squad of characters against Magneto and his Brotherhood. Jer opted for Wolverine most of the time while Paul and I bickered over Cyclops or Storm. Josh liked characters that could fly, but failed to make them do so which, in effect, killed them more than helped them.

I was just getting to the point where taking the game back when I was so close to the end was actually physically painful... mainly because I rented it from Dundas West which is quite a trek from here but the stupid Blockbuster around the corner didn't get it in with what I would call a timely manner. Hell, they still don't have it.

So, who can you use in the game? I had just gotten to the sweet spot where I unlocked all the characters. The 15 are Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Jubilee, Gambit, Rogue, Colossus, Psylocke, Iceman, Beast, Magma, Professor X, and Nightcrawler. The enemies include Juggernaut, Marrow, Avalanche, Pyro, Blob, Mystique, Sabretooth, Apocalypse and Magneto.

Through in appearances by Multiple Man (the real treat of the game), Moira MacTaggert, Illyana Rasputin, Forge, Healer, Sentinels and a host of others and you have an x-fan's wet dream of a game.

It's pretty damn good.

The guys at Penny Arcade capture the frustration of lost squad members perfectly making me wish, once again, that I still had the game in my hot little hands.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, September 24, 2004 at 11:16 a.m. | 0 comments

Truffle's bum on a warm September morning... Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
I woke up this morning feeling good.

That may not seem like an important statement, but in the past two weeks that's been a rarity. Since working late nights changing lights with Bob I've been feeling less than animated in the morning. Today, however, I had to get up bright and early for a job interview with Performance Auto & Sound magazine. A car magazine.

I'll give you a minute to stop laughing.

Still waiting....

Done yet?


Anyway, we all know that my chances of getting a job in an area requiring huge amount of knowledge on tricked-out cars is less than stellar. They're willing to train and wait a little provided that the skill is up to par (I assure you it is) but I'm still not going to jump up and down for joy yet.

Still, it feels good to get the interview. I've applied for a few other places lately that I think would really suit my skills and talents (again, stop laughing) and I'm hopeful that I'll get a few phone calls. I'm still waiting to hear about that job I'm reasonably certain I might get, but not wanting to get my hopes up I refuse to put all my eggs in one basket.

At any rate, I'm feeling pretty good today. The title of today's post refers to my degu, Truffle, who had her butt hanging out one of the tubes in the cage this morning. As far as I can tell, she was just lounging and relaxing in the sun to heat up her rump. Still damn funny. Being the nerdy Dad, I took a picture and I'm now sharing it with friends. If she was a person, she'd hate me in 15 years. I can't wait to annoy my own kids one day.

So that's that. Tonight is date night with Catherine where we celebrate the tradition of dinner and a movie, likely Anchorman with Will Ferrel. I'm down with that.

Posted by Parallel
Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 10:49 a.m. | 0 comments

A professional's day off... the last issue of Weapon X tainted by someone's idiotic statement: "I want this issue to be finished and over with. I don't like slogging through the last issue of a dead book but I'm a pro so I'll do what I have to do and won't blow it off." Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
You have to love when someone thinks they can slip a joke or something into a book, past an editor, and have it all printed up nice and sweet looking.

The issue comes out, you pick it up, and giggle non stop to your friends about how clever you are. Then, of course, somes the realization that you're an idiot.

My assumption here is that one of the art team, unhappy with the current choice of assignments, slipped that little nugget of text into the current issue of Weapon X. As Sinister plays around with one of Wolverine's eyeballs in the final issue of the series, his notebook has an interesting statement.

It reads: ""I want this issue to be finished and over with. I don't like slogging through the last issue of a dead book but I'm a pro so I'll do what I have to do and won't blow it off."

As a journalist, you hear about this kind of thing from time to time. We affectionately refer to them as career killers. As a joke, someone down the line has slipped in a bit of text expecting their editor to see it and get a chuckle. More often than not, the joke isn't noticed, no one says anything, and then it winds up in print. That makes the editor look bad, the writer look bad, and everyone else associated with it look bad. The result is that the offending party, and often the editor, are canned.

You see it in cutlines, the first letter of each paragraph that spells out a word, lots of little things. Some of them are quite harmless, but when it becomes offensive or crosses a line to being outright bold then you're in trouble. I have no doubt that the remark was made tongue in cheek, but putting it in the final issue of a series where the writer has been struggling to drum up fan support to ensure that it continues is just a cruel final blow.

If I were Frank, I'd be downright pissed.

How do I know it wasn't Frank? Well, I have a lot of info about what he's up to these days, nor does he actually get access to final drafts of art. It goes from artist to inker to editor and colorist. That's about it. Odds are that the new creative team on the book had something to do with it, though in the interest of not pointing fingers, I'll just say that these things happen.

Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall of that office when this shit hits the fan. We posted this as an article about two hours ago on the site, and I'm waiting to hear some of the fallout.

I'll write about it when I find out.
Posted by Parallel
Monday, September 20, 2004 at 9:37 a.m. | 0 comments
• Get a video camera and microphone and chase a local TV news crew around. Interrupt on-the-scene shots by shouting questions like “Where have all the cowboys gone?”

• Ask strangers if they have change for a nickel.

• In the bathroom at work, utter loud, pain-wracked screams, then emerge holding a large hen’s egg.

• Call National Acme Co. Ask if they have any products you could use to kill a roadrunner.
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at 1:44 p.m. | 0 comments
How indeed? It seems as though U2 has unveiled the title of their latest album and it has me both impressed and a tad confused. After all, they seemed to be doing so well through the 80s and 90s with very brief and short titles like 'Boy', 'War', 'Zooropa' and 'Pop'... then came the new milennium and a lot more verbiage.

I was one of the few people very impressed by the last album's title when it was first announced. 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' is much longer than U2 typically goes for, but I thought it said a lot about the band coming back to their roots and delivering a solid rock performance. Just because it was a little out of left field/left brain didn't necessarily make it bad, just different.

It helps, of course, that the last tour was unbelievable and that Catherine had the distinct honour of being in the front row for the show. Then sort-of meeting them the night after at Much Music was a nice capper on an incredible weekend.

So, the new album, 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb' has the honour of being one of the more out-there titles of the year so far as I can recall. It's quite a mainstream title as far as bands today go, but serves as a departure for the Irish rockers. I'm down with it so far, though I must admit to it being a bit of an eyebrow raiser. Rumours for ages had the title as being 'Vertigo' which fits in the one-word scheme for most of U2's albums, but lacks the same kind of punch and intrigue that 'Atomic Bomb' has going for it.

'Vertigo' as it happens is the name of the first single for the band's new album and is due on radios some time next week with a single being released on Nov. 8. The album itself will be out on November 23, just in time for my birthday. This can only be a good thing as it means, more than likely, someone else will buy it for me. And I'm just fine with that idea.

So there you have it... new album, new song, new reasons to love this band. Hopefully it blows their last effort away as god knows I'm more than a little pumped to pick it up.
Posted by Parallel
Friday, September 10, 2004 at 1:15 p.m. | 0 comments
There's nothing worse than feeling like an idiot, especially if you don't think you've behaved that way or done anything to earn the name. Lately, my life seems to be about making a complete idiot out of myself.

Nothing terminal has happened, really. Just minor things. Take today, Mark Millar, writer of books like Wolverine and the Ultimates, passed along a first issue preview of his new arc on Wolverine for us to post and write about. The natural assumption of the leading members of the CXF website was that we were to publish these pages and write a review to go along with.

So I did that.

Turns out, that saying 'first look', 'preview' and all other words are code for don't publish any of this, just write a review. Things would have been a lot simpler, and a lot faster, had the instructions and request been much more clear. As a result, yours truly looks like a dumbass.

But I get that enough anyway that it doesn't come as a huge shock. I've recently irritated Erik Ko over at UDON, other Marvel-ites, the CXF staff, myself due to the ongoing and fruitless job search, and I'm sure Catherine, Aaron and Jer who have nothing better to do (in my limited vision) than listen to me complain non-stop.

I'm sure they're thrilled.

Add in a bit of frustration over how Ron is handling this WHA magazine and that any attempts to reason with him is like trying to teach physics to a banana. At this point I'm reasonably sure you'd have more luck with the banana.

Other frustrations this week:

* Couldn't get the Clerks X dvd... because because BECAUSE... it's on a different schedule for release here in Canada. There's no explanation for why this would be as I can't think of any other time this has happened. Oh well, I really should be using the money to buy my helmet for karate.

* Truffle still hasn't bothered to start pooping properly and Catherine and I are sitting on the fence on the issue of the vet. We both believe that there's nothing that can really be done except to wait it out. Two weeks and change in, though, makes Brian a nervous puppy.

The list could go on and on, but really, who's going to bother reading it? I was bored in typing it.
Posted by Parallel

The Politics of Looking Dumb and Having Wolverine Slice Your Ass Off Because of It. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 1:50 p.m. | 0 comments
David Letterman interviewing George W. Bush on Late Night:

LETTERMAN: “How do you look so youthful and rested?”

BUSH: “I fake it.”

LETTERMAN: “And that’s pretty much how you’re going to run the country?”
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, September 05, 2004 at 10:06 a.m. | 0 comments
Brilliant marketing idea: Hire superstar musician Eric Clapton to be a part of Anheuser-Busch’s “The Night Belongs to Michelob” advertising campaign.

Oops: Clapton was an alcoholic. Shortly after the ad was filmed, the guitarist checked himself into a drug rehab clinic . . . and was actually in treatment in Minnesota when the ad premiered on TV. The first time he saw it, he said, “I was in a room full of alcoholics, myself being one of them, and everybody went, ‘Is that you?’”

Anheuser-Busch quickly pulled the ad.
Posted by Parallel
Thursday, September 02, 2004 at 9:55 a.m. | 0 comments

Men and their balls. There's no closer relationship. Posted by Hello
Posted by Parallel
I thought for sure I was going to be cursed to continually move throughout life constantly missing friends and loved ones. Each time a major event occurred, I invariably left someone behind or went to the same place as one friend only to have them move just before I got there.

It was quite frustrating.

All that ended this week. I busted my ass yesterday helping Jer and Aaron move into their spacious new digs on Bathurst. There were a few hitches (there always are) but they're in, safe, and hopefully quite happy in their love-nest.

The main hitch came when the elevator broke and Aaron and I waited four hours in the lobby for it to get fixed. We were dumb enough to try and move the heaviest item, a dresser, up six flights of stairs in the meantime. Let me give you advice: DON'T DO THAT. Whatever you do, for the love of mike, don't do that.

But, I digest. It's all done. They're in. Phone should be up on Friday, meantime if you have a message you can try email or else give me a shout and I'll be sure to pass it on. I'm sure Jer has sweet-talked most of the women in the building by now, so this mainly applies to friends of Aaron.

Later today they're off to Humber for an orientation (I'm going with them on separate business) and then back home. I'm trying to convince them to see Dodgeball at the Bloor with me. It's only $3.50 and I'd pay twice that to see Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn hurl their balls into each other's faces.

Posted by Parallel
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