Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Night Conversation

So, here we are again.

Yeah.  That's, uh..that's kinda weird, isn't it?  I thought this was supposed to be kind of a one-shot thing. 


 Okay.  So, uh, what do you want to talk about?


Good call.  My family and I went to St. Louis for a week to spend Turkey Day with Kim's family.  Parents, grandparents, sisters.  My nephew was there, too.  The side of the family won't get to do Christmas together this year because two of the ladies are nurses and are working on Christmas, so we made Thanksgiving a big deal.  It was nice.  The boys did SO well on both flights, thank God!  I was really worried about, for instance, trying to keep Isaac calm while we stood in line for the security checkpoint.  Thanks to the iPhone and classic Beatles, though, everything went fine. 


Yeah.  Isaac is a huge Beatles fan, apparently.  He walks around singing "Love Me Do" and "Eight Days a Week."  And with prompting, you can usually get "Yellow Submarine," "Hey Jude," and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" out of him.  It's incredibly cute.  Isaac just loves to sing, though. It's not all Beatles stuff.  He just likes to learn new songs and walk around singing them, banging out the rhythm on his own tummy.  He probably gets that from me.

I'm sure he didn't get it from Kim.

Well, yeah.

How's about your 365 project?  You should be done with that now, right?

Ha!  Yeah, actually, I should be.  Actually, I was due to post my last pic today, but it didn't happen.


I know.  Sad, right?  Thing is, I'm working on my last pic, and I know what I need to do to finish it, but somehow I lost my camera AFTER unpacking it when we got home from vacation.  And for this particular picture, I can't just use my iPhone, which is what I've been doing for a lot of my shots recently.  My camera probably went hiding because it's jealous of the iPhone. 

How about those Top 7's you mentioned last time?  Any progress there?

Well, I wanted to do a "Top 7 Boss Battles (in Movies)" list because the other day I rewatched the Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock fight on the train and the whole sequence was just awesome.  I mean, yeah, Spidey gets hit by a train and bounces RIGHT back at one point, and yeah the whole thing starts with Spidey and Doc Ock falling dozens of stories and landing on a moving train, then getting up and wrasslin', so it's a little far-fetched.  But if you can let that stuff go, it's just a sweet fight scene.  A lot of times, the best "boss battles" (I'm using video game terminology here, of course) are the ones in the middle of the film, not the ones at the end.  For example, the battle with the cave troll in Fellowship of the Ring is more epic than the battle against Lurtz (the leader of the Uruk-hai) at the end of the film, though the fight with Lurtz has more emotional impact.  So I wanted to look at my favorite fight scenes, which is kinda funny because I don't get into a lot of the movies that are hailed as being the best fighting films.  (Tarentino films, in other words)  Of course, lack of credibility on the subject matter has never stopped me in the past!

So what happened?

As you know, I like to include video clips embedded in my Top 7's, and a lot of these fights are hard to find in decent quality on Youtube.  Copyright.  Go figure.  So I never really got into the list-making stage.  Off the top of my head, though, some of the ones I was thinking about are the two I listed above along with Hulk vs. The Abomination from Incredible Hulk, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, Rocky vs. Drago in Rocky IV, Indiana Jones vs. the huge muscle-bound Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Incredibles vs. the robot  in The Incredibles, and Scott Pilgrim vs...well, pretty much anybody in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Your Top 7 lists totally show off your limited scope of pop culture.

True.  I could restrict it to top comic book movie boss battles (or more easily, most disappointing comic book movie boss battles), but eventually I want to to a Top 7 comic book / superhero movies  list, and I'd hate to be too redundant. 

You know what else I love?  Melee battles in movies.  Helm's Deep, the Battle for New York in The Avengers, the storming of Fort Wagner.  The end of Slap Shot (kidding).  When I was a kid, I LOVED the Lost Boys' attack on the pirates at the end of Hook.  That's one of those films I'm scared to go back and watch again because it's probably not nearly as good as I remember it. 

Hey, maybe that'll be a fun list someday.  "Films I Love and am  Afraid to Watch Again for Fear That They Actually Suck." 

Read anything good lately?

Yes!  I picked up Les Miserables, but then I lost it.  Several times.  I don't know how you can lose a 1,600 page books multiple times in one week, but I did.

Sensing a theme here...

Yeah, it's hanging out with the camera.  Anyway, I picked up a book I've been borrowing from a friend for a while (and that could be any number of books) and finally finished it.  But now I'm excited for the second annual Christmas Book Month!

That didn't go so well last year, did it?

What are you talking about?  That romantic comedy about the cat that tried to hook the firefighter up with the lady from the pet store was GOLD!

Any surefire hits this year?

You know what, I just put about four or five books with "Christmas" somewhere in the title on my hold list at the library.  I don't even remember what I'm getting.  Hang on a sec, I'll go check.  Let's see...I've got a Christmas murder mystery, a historical romantic fiction, a book on Christmas philosophy, Scaredy Squirrel, and a story about a stray cat who brought love into the life of an autistic child.  And those are all the ones I'll fess up to.

Any recommendations?

Yes.  The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry.  Laugh-out-loud funny and a surprising amount of heart.  Also, for nonfiction fans, The Man Who Invented Christmas by Lee Standiford is about Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (obviously), how it came about (an interesting story!), and the effect it had on English society at the time. Those were two gems picked out of the rot last year in Christmas Book Month.

Well, it's getting late....

True.  I'd planned on going out to see a movie tonight, but the baby went to bed so late it didn't pan out.  Just as well, I'd probably better get to rest.  Got a whole day tomorrow with  no running water at home.

Awesome!  It'll be just like Little House on the Prairie!  


What?  I've always wanted to live in Little House on the Prairie.


Everyone's always so happy!

Dude, there was a major trauma every other episode!

Whatever.  I'd be buddies with Pa Ingalls.  Ain't nothin' that man can't handle.

You do have a point there.

Plus, I had a crush on Melissa Gilbert growing up.

I knew it!

You did, too?

No!  But pretty much any guy who says he liked LHOTP growing up had a crush on Melissa Gilbert.

Hey, did you know there's a Little House on the Prairie stage musical?

What?  No, I didn't.  I thought we were wrapping this interview up...

Do you remember the episode where Mary went blind? I cried!

This is getting weird.  I'm going to go to bed.  I don't know why we're talking about little house.

Okay, okay.  One last question, and then we'll be done.

All right.

Who would win in a fight: Laura Ingalls or Anne of Green Gables?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dave does it better

Here's another thing stolen from Dave.  (Fun fact: if there's anything cool you've seen on this blog, I probably stole it from Dave.  Shuffleblog?  Stolen.  Link-dumps?  Stolen.  All the good stuff.  Except for the birthday mad-libs, those were all me)

A while back, Dave returned to his blog after a lengthy hiatus and, instead of trying to do the usual catch-up-and-apologize entry, he put it in the form of a personal interview.  And I liked it.  So I'm going to do it, too.

Only, Dave did it better.

Until he got the fever and (apparently) died. 


Hey, Will.

Hey, Interviewer.  How are you?

I'll be asking the questions here, thanks.

Oh.  Um, okay.

So, how are you?

(You stole that one from me)  I'm doing pretty good.


You know what, almost every time I talk to someone I haven't seen in a while, they do that.  They ask how I am, and if I say I'm good, or fine, or anything like that, they press with, "Really?" As though they think I'm lying.  And I'm not sure what that says about me, because I think I've always been pretty straightforward and told people when, you know, I wasn't fine.  Because I know there are a lot of people who'll say they're fine just because they don't want other folks to worry about them.  But I'm pretty sure I've never been that way.  When I'm not fine, I want somebody to buy me a pizza or something, you know?  I'm a wimp that way.  But yeah, lately, nobody believes me when I say I'm doing well. 

Maybe it's because you haven't been blogging for a long time.  


Like, a long time.

I know, I know.

So what's the story, Wishbone?

Ha, nice.  No, you know what it is?  And this is the plain truth, and it's going to sound kinda harsh, but I promise it's not at all.  It's just a fact.  Truth is, I've had more important things to do.

Since last June?

Actually, yeah.  Since last April, actually.  I actually had a job over the summer.  I know I talked about that a little on here before my disappearance, but I had a job, and I would work every  night for a week at a time, and then when I had time off I wanted to spend it with family or catching up on reading.  Or there was my church work. Man, summer is probably the craziest season of the year for my church job.  There's VBS, which I'm in charge of, there's camp, which I have to go to , and I scheduled those during breaks in my other job, so when I wasn't working one place I was often working the other.  Plus, I was keeping both boys every day all summer.

Aww, poor you.

I know, it sounds like I'm complaining, right?  I promise, I'm not.  It was a good summer.  Busy, tough, but good.  Just meant that blogging was not an activity I saved a lot of energy for.

How much energy do you really have to save for blogging?

You'd be surprised, actually.  Oh, and then fall came around!  Can I talk about fall?

Sure, why not?

Okay, well in September I started rehearsals for a touring show that traveled to schools, mostly in the Katy area, as part of a literacy program.  We actually had our last performance this past week.  At Robbie's school.


It was.  And they've invited me back for the spring tour as well.  Now, since we are a one-car family, and I had to get out to Katy twice a week, that means I took a lot of buses.  Sometimes 5:30, 6 in the morning.


Yeah.  I'm not so much a morning person.  So again, too tired for bloggity blog.  Plus, Isaac has been having issues getting to sleep at night, so I've spent a lot of time staying up way too late rocking him, too.

So despite the business, and early mornings, and the late nights, it's been all sunshine and roses?

Yeah....I wouldn't necessarily put it that way.  I've had my ups and downs over the past couple months.  I mean, that's life, right?  But for now, things are good.  Hey, I got to see my parents the past couple of weekends!  They were on their way down to Galveston for a cruise, so they stopped in to play with their grandkids while they were gone.  Also let Kim and I get out to dinner one night, and Kim ended up getting a kiss from the Houston Texans' mascot.


Yeah.  It was pretty random. 

Okay....well, what else is new in your world?

Let's see...Robbie started kindergarten...Isaac is singing Beatles songs...I finished the script for my first ever musical (Thumbelina, I think it's going to be pretty good)...Kim and I celebrated our 7th anniversary...we're flying to Missouri in about a week...

Hey, what about that picture thing you were doing?

Oh, my 365?  Yeah, that's probably another reason I wasn't blogging.  Some nights, those pictures take a lot of time and creative energy. 

And then sometimes you just take a picture of yourself reading a book.

It's a series!  And anyway, trying to find the right place to put the camera, the best lighting, and all that jazz, can take some mental gymnastics if you're like me and not a very good photographer.   Still, it's been a cool project.  I'm actually almost done.  Actually, I would be done, if I'd actually gotten something every single day, but I'm still pretty close.  But you'll always be my first love, blog. 

What about the book blog?

Oh, man!  That is so behind!  You know what, I was actually going to update that once over the summer, then somebody posted a comment about "Hey, you haven't updated in a few months."  Literally, the day I had planned on updating.  And then I thought, "Well now I can't update it, because people will think I just did it because of the comment, and then they'll start leaving comments like that every time I go a while between entries, and I don't want that!"  So I sat on it for a while longer, and then I actually went a while without reading anything for some reason.  So yeah, ball dropped.  But I'll pick it back up at some point.  I can tell you I've read some pretty good stuff.  I read The Green Mile, which was excellent.  Also, Shutter Island was very good, and I was very impressed with Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.  I've always been sort of underwhelmed by the storytelling aspect of the popular musical; I was amazed to discover that there's actually a really compelling and frightening story in there!  Let's see, what else...The Boys of Winter is a must for any American hockey fan or just anybody who loves the story of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.  Peter Benchley's  Beast is great, if you're into monster stories in the vein of Jaws.  (And I don't just say that because it's the same author; it really is quite a bit like Jaws.  Only with a giant squid, a chainsaw, and an epic final battle)  Oh, I also finally finished the first Percy Jackson series.  Super-fun books. 

I'm surprised you haven't logged on to blog about the hockey work stoppage.

You know what? I really don't want to blog about that. I've been following the whole thing very closely.  On the one hand, it just makes me furious.  On the other, I'm actually kind of over it.  See, last time they had a lockout (2005), when they lost a whole season, I at least understood the reasoning behind it.  This time, I totally understand where each side is coming from...but they're both being unbelievably stubborn and foolish.  The whole thing is just dumb.  The players' side is being dumb.  The owners' side is being dumb.  It's remarkable how utterly stupid the whole mess is.  And I'm kinda like, you know what?  If they want to lose a whole season over this, fine.  Whatever.  The AHL hockey is phenomenal this year.  But if they think they're going to step right back to arenas full of loving supportive fans when this thing is over like they did in 2006?  Man, are they ever in for a nasty surprise.

Okay.  Yikes.  Well, any plans for the blog?  Are you "back on the wagon?"

Oh, I don't know.  Probably not really.  I'll probably never be an almost-daily blogger like I used to be.

Why's that?

Several reasons.  One, and this is kinda like I said earlier, I've got more important things to be writing.  I just finished Thumelina, like I said.  I plan to have Jungle Book drafted before Thanksgiving, and a script for my church to use at Easter done before Christmas.  Those three projects will all have to have rewrites, of course.  I've also got another couple of plays I plan to work on. Maybe even something for grown-ups. 

Shock and disbelief!

I know, really branching out, right?  I also have some idea for kids' picture books that I think would be kind of fun.  Really, though, I want to get back to my novel.  It's been way too long.  I think there's something good there, though.  It's time to rewrite. 

And then?

Wealth and fame, of course.

Of course.  So, you're not blogging any more?

Well, not necessarily.  There have been a few posts I've wanted to write lately, but not many. Actually, I have a ton of Top 7's I want to do.  Those actually take quite a bit of time, you know.  But hopefully I'll get to some of them.  I do want to write the occasional blog, if for no other reason than I know I have a few friends and family who like to read it from time to time.  You won't need to check in daily, because I won't be posting all that often.  But I'm sure I'll still lurk around here from time to time.  Hopefully, there'll be some exciting new things in my life that I'll want to share, and I may drop in here for some added insight on what I'm working on.   Maybe someday I'll finally go on my full-out rant on how stupid MLB's new playoff system is/was.  Who knows?  But you'll see stuff on here sometimes.  And on the book blog, too, once I figure out the best way to get back into that one. 

I see.  Well, anything to say in closing?

Um...not really.  I'm kinda tired of talking, actually.

I love you, man.

Oh.  Okay.  Um, thanks.