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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Hey all,

Coming out of SDCC I actually added some sweet new vinyl to my collection. I didn't really have a great place to take some pics of what I got, plus I worked right up until the last day on one of the pieces. There were three main things that I picked up. First was the black exclusive variant of Mr. Shane Jessup's 8 inch Bunny Dunny, made by Kid Robot. Limited to only 200 pieces, I felt extremely lucky to be number 200. I also got it signed so that was an additional bonus.

The second piece has quickly established itself as one of my favorites. Tara McPherson, one of my favorite artists, took a blank white 3 inch Do-It-Yourself Munny figure from Kid Robot and customized a very quick, but very cool figure for me. The hot pink marker and detail on the sign is just perfect, and one of my favorite pieces in my Tara McPherson collection.

The final piece is one of the best. Last year you may recall I took an 8 inch Black Do-It-Yourself Munny to Con and had some of my favorite artists draw on it. It is one of the best pieces in my collection, so I decided to do that again this year, instead using a 12 inch Blank Do-It-Yourself Teddy Troop figure from Flying Fortress. It is a large blank bear with a detachable helmet and I thought it had a lot of great surface space to draw on. Once again I turned to some of my favorite artists, as well as to some new blood, to create and draw on the figure for me.

Overall on the piece I got the likes of vinyl and urban artists like Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson, Attaboy and Buff Monster (all of whom contributed to last years piece.) As well as new talent like Kathy Olivas, Brendt Peters, Kano, Angry Wobots, David Horvath and Peak-a-Boo Monster. I think the piece turned out brillantly and I am really happy as to how it turned out.

I also thought it appropriate to include some pictures from the live art show that we went to this past Thursday, where artists like Buff Monster and Attaboy contributed to the gig. It was a very cool experience, and not just because of the free flowing boobs. It was intense seeing the level of art and detail that some of the guys went to. All in all it was a great time to be a fan of vinyl toys. Enjoy some of the pics below...

One of the wall pieces at the the Live Art Show

Another piece from the show

One of the live art models....

Buff Monster's model taking a photo...

Attaboy at work...

Top down on my custom Teddy Troop. I took several angles so you can get the full scope.

Front and back of the Shane Jessup Dunny.

Ahh Tara McPherson's piece.

Hope you enjoyed the pics. The vinyl front is pretty low until the next series of Dunny launch later this year, so I'll be back with another column then. Thanks for reading!

End of Line.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movie Time: Rewind: Country Girl

Hey all,

Time for this month's edition of the Rewind (as the one from earlier made up for spacing it last month.) I have covered an awful lot of movies and actors over the past few years and it is difficult to find new actors or actresses to spotlight. Especially considering how I watch movies. I tend to watch an actor or director and try to watch every film they have done, when I start to get sparse on that one, I move to another. While there are many great Spencer Tracy films, I haven't gotten to him yet so I run back into the great films that I have already seen. This month I thought we would look at a movie that shines the spotlight on a new actor, as well as 2 other actors who have made several appearances on the Rewind, 1954's Country Girl from Paramount Pictures.

Directed and adapted for the screen by George Seaton, it starred Bing Crosby as a washed up/has-been actor named Frank Elgin, once one of the biggest musical draws in the country, only to have succumbed to the effects of alcoholism. Co-starring Grace Kelley as his wife Georgia, she is the long suffering woman trapped in a one sided marriage to keep Frank alive and in work. When producer Bernie Dodd (the great William Holden) offers Frank a final chance at glory in a musical he is producing, its up to Georgina to keep Frank sober enough, through any means necessary, to keep working and keep that final chance at glory alive.

Underneath the hard and bitter shell of Kelly's character is a woman of passion, trapped by the responsibilities of marriage. Dodd's grows from hating the controlling and cold demeanor of Georgina to finding a soft and passionate center. The strained love triangle is nearly torturous as Kelly tries to keep the booze addled Crosby working, and Holden is torn by his dedication to Crosby as an actor and to the picture, and the burning desires he feels for Crosby's wife.

The Country Girl is a powerful movie, especially looking at the lead actor in Bing Crosby. Mostly known for light-hearted romantic singing fair, his dark turn as an aging alcoholic singer is a dramatic and unexpected turn from Crosby. It was the first time in a movie I really saw him act or emote, it was intense. So many of his films were comedies or musicals, to watch him play this role on the surface, the role he had been playing in film and radio for years, seems natural. Its that other level, the one below, where he shows off just what kind of range he had.

Grace Kelly is impeccable as always. Here she is at the height of her popularity, rivaled only by Audrey Hepburn as the biggest female star on the planet. Her performance as the tortured and lonely wife won her an Oscar that year, beating out what many people thought was a sure fire win for Judy Garland in A Star is Born. Kelly had a nearly unrivaled run in the the mid 50's, filming five films in 1954 alone. She had found early success with Gary Cooper in High Noon, but in '54 she filmed Dial M for Murder and Rear Window with Hitchcock, Green Fire with Stewart Granger, The Bridges at Toko-Ri with William Holden but it was Country Girl gave her her only Oscar. She made only 3 more films after 1954, before retiring from movies completely in the late 50's to marry the Prince of Monaco.

William Holden on the other hand was on the rise in the 50's. He had starred previously with Kelly in the Bridges at Toko-Ri, about a pilot on a suicide mission in World War 2, and was a natural fit as the fiery and bombastic Dodds. Holden and Kelly really captured the smoldering tension that lie underneath their characters in the film. Holden, angry and incensed by Kelly's character, whom he sees as the reason for Crosby's disillusionment and fear. Her domineering and shrewish ways, controlling and forcing Crosby to do what must be done, yet eventually seeing the truth beneath Crosby's facade, at the deeply flawed and troubled person that she has been holding together. The burning passion that waits beneath the surface for these two, and the stark reality of the effects of alcoholism and misogyny on a marriage.

Truthfully, these were stark and hard topics for a film in the 1950's. Where so much of Americana and sensibility was about the American way of life, this film dared to lay a truth to the dark effects of relationships and the dangers of addiction and failure. Crosby really found a level of acting he hadn't ever displayed before, showing us that beneath the smiling facade could lay an actor of depth. I have watched several Crosby films since this one, and never have I seen the same commitment or pathos in his performance. Kelly is steel and sex in the role, hardened until Holden cracks her shell, coaxing two tremendous performances out of each actor.

All three of these actors made a lot of films, and while this may not be my favorite Holden film (the Wild Bunch) or my favorite Kelly film (Rear Window) {both already covered in previous Rewinds!!} it is my favorite Bing Crosby film, and easily rates among the better pictures that you can watch. Check out The Country Girl, from Paramount Pictures and remind yourself why movies are great.

End of Line.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hey all,

Here is the third poem I wrote while I was in Orlando two weeks ago. I actually wrote this on the return flight from Orlando. There was a very pretty girl sleeping just across the aisle from me and I wrote this poem while watching her sleep. I hope that doesn't sound creepy, she was just so serene and quiet that it inspired me to wrote this poem. A sort of ode to sleeping love and the soft moments alone with that special someone.


You closed your eyes,

And fell to dream.

A rest of quiet slumber,

Into the unconscious stream.

I hear your breath,

And your chest does slowly rise.

The sweet sounds of sleep,

As I watch your body lie.

Eyes so softly pressed shut,

Your lips pursed so sublime.

My precious slumbering angel,

For now until the end of time.

A halo in rest,

Around your bless'ed face.

Begging to be caressed,

The sight's more than my heart can take.

The blankets pulled so snug,

Nestled deep into your pillow.

I can watch you sleep for hours,

As all my anxiety grows mellow.

There is no easy way to say,

How it is you make me feel.

But when I watch you fall to sleep,

It all becomes so much more real.

So off now to find sweet sleep,

And close each shining eye.

My love is always yours,

For my until the day I die.

Slumber fast my heart,

As hours tick to wake.

Sound and perfect in your dreams,

I love you more than I can take.

End of Line.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flash Fiction: Noir Story

Chapter 12

I rolled out of bed and wiped the sleep from my eyes, a sort of a dry crust that came from too much booze and too much sweat. Annie was still asleep beside me, clutching a pillow with a faint soft snore. After the attack at the club, Annie and I had ducked out early and made our way home. Annie had been nearly wild last night, my back still a mess of teeth and nail marks. But it had been incredible. Annie always did get turned on when I beat the shit out of someone, it was the one surefire way to get her to forget about being mad at me. I leaned over and kissed her on the neck softly, and got up.

I took a quick shower, washing off the smell of Annie and the alcohol of the night before and changed into one of the clean suits I kept here. A little less threadbare than the last, with dark pleated pants and a dark jacket. I ran my hand over the growth on my face and left it alone, the stubble still not so bad I needed to drag out my razor. I drained the last of the orange juice out of the fridge and set the coffee on as I burnt some eggs for the both of us. I left out Annie's plate and fixed myself some coffee as I ate. The coffee was hot and black an I decided against spiking it and instead tossed a fistful of aspirin down my throat. It was far to damn early for me to be working, yet I knew I had a case to crack.

I gently woke Annie and told her I'd left breakfast and that I'd be back later tonight. I was gonna sniff around my perps last known address and see what I could dig up. I slid my gun under my shoulder and dropped my cell into my pocket and headed down stairs to hail a cab. I got one after a few minutes, the weather was cold and drizzly and I was glad I had my coat with me. I gave the cabbie the address Mike had given me and settled into the back sink with my smokes.

It was a long, uneventful car ride. It seems our boy Roger and Elsa had holed up in the Burrows, a section of the city over run with drugs, robbery and murder. I knew it fairly well as I had done a bit of my beat time in here, as well as from my days in Vice. You could find anything you wanted in the Burrows, if you know who and how to ask. The file I had briefed had been pretty bare, but that nagging feeling was there. The Burrows was the hardest of the hard places, I mean my neighborhood wasn't the fucking Ritz, but you had to have some real balls to live in the Burrow. I was beginning to think that I maybe, just maybe, this feeling in my gut was telling me that there was more to Roger Horner than some pumped up rich kid playing drug dealer.

End of Line.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel Blog: SDCC!

Day 5: The Recap!

Hey all!

WOW! It's Monday and we are finally home, posting my recap of Sunday (and the Con as a whole) from the comforts of my own Internet connection in my very messy office. It's definitely a bittersweet feeling, sad that another con has come and gone (number 17 for this old guy) and happiness that I am back at home. I will post up a quick Sunday recap, and then my thoughts on Comic Con as a whole.

Sunday is children's day at the Con, with most of the panels and large signings set up for the youth in attendance. As such there isn't a lot of panels or events going on and Sunday makes a great day for shopping, trying to find out those last second deals and key purchases. We only had two thing son the agenda today, one being my best friend Jason getting the chance to work behind one of the tables in the small pres area. Josh Howard, who creates a book called Dead at 17 (currently available through Image Comics) left the con a day early and Jason, along with his friend Matt Hebb (a really great penciler and friend) got to sit behind his booth and do sketch cards. They both turned out some really great stuff (Matt drew an excellent Spider-Woman [in COLOR!] for me) and Jason turned out some really intense cowboy and zombie cards, a bit of a tease for our (hopefully) upcoming collaboration. They hung out at the table and drew and talked to people so that was really cool.

The second was to get Autumn through James Jean signing. I had waited yesterday but Autumn had a panel to go to so she got in line today. James Jean is a wonderful illustrator of books, best known for his work on Fables as the cover artist. Autumn had picked up his new art book as well as his new book of prints. It was a pretty quick line, about 45 minutes, but he signed everything she had taken and even did some small sketching in the book. I also got to chatting with one of the very wonderful ladies from Tara McPherson's booth while in line so that was cool. We talked about art and music and general thoughts on Comic Con so I enjoyed that a lot. Being such a huge fan of Tara it was nice not to be looked at as weird by someone as close to her as she is, to be just a fan and be kosher.

I spent the big part of my day searching for some comic books. It wanted to get back to my Con roots and buy some comics. Over the past few years I have mostly bought imports or hard to find stuff, this year I wanted to dig up some old X-Men and Spider Woman comics, which i did doing one of my favorite comic con past times, trolling through the dollar bins. Well in this economy the dollar bins are closer to $2.00 bins but still I managed to load up on some seriously great X-Men, from the mid to late 100's and nearly complete my Spider Woman run. Don't ask me why, but my two favorite Marvel characters, Dazzler and Spider Woman, both have had series published around the same time ans both ended about the same time. The books were not teh greatest quality in terms of art of story, but it's more about the character and the times, rather than the content. The X-Men hold up really well, coming from the peak of writer Chris Clairmont's epic run.

We ended the day browsing for souvenirs for work folk and trying to get some last second discounts from some of the vendors. Overall it was a great experience and a wonderful reminder of why i love coming every year so much. Con started out for me as an excuse to meet the writers and artists of my favorite books, and it still is that to an extent. Then it became about finding all the cool stuff or buying things that I couldn't get anywhere else. For a time, it was even about just being with my friends. Even the last year it was about checking out the vinyl toys. Con is constantly changing what it means to me, and this year, more than others, it reminded me of why I love Comic Con so much. Its the only place, and the only time, in the world where you aren't judged for what you like, what you read, or how you dress. Someone else is into the same things you are, likes the same people, and has the same interests. It is really one place where I feel welcomed.

I had a great time at Con overall, I am going to post up some of my favorite pics from the annual Masquerade and from out on the floor. Every year they run a great costume contest and put it on Saturday night, plus I'll add on some of the folk I saw just on the floor. Enjoy!

James Jean, one of my favorite artists.

The ruthless, terrorist organization Cobra. Great group work at the Costume Ball.

And the other great toy of my youth, He-Man's enemies Skeletor and Evil-Lynn. Great work on both of these costumes, using a vinyl based paint instead of a body stocking.

A really detailed Minotaur costume that impressed Jason and I a lot.

Next to Dazzler, Spider Woman is my favorite character.

Silk Spectre, of Watchmen. there where a lot of them this year but this was one of the better ones.

My all time favorite costume from Comic Con. The Comedian and Original Silk Spectre, as shown during the rape sequence in Watchmen. It was wildly inappropriate and wrong, and I thought it was genius. They posed for some really wrong, but funny pictures and even had blood on Silk Spectre's face. It was horribly inappropriate and wrong, but the black sense of humor worked for me. Is that wrong?

Well, that about sums up the end of Comic Con. There is still another branch of Travel Blog though next week as I leave for Chicago Sunday! Thanks for reading and I'll be back tomorrow with Sunday's missed Flash Fiction post.

End of Line.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Travel Blog: SDCC!!

Day 4!

Hey all!

Saturday is typically the busiest day at con and this year was no exception. It was pretty crowded but I had a great time. Started off my day making for the Attack of the Show autograph signing, with the G4 networks Olivia Munn, Kevin Pereira, and Blair Butler. The signing was a raffle ticket event, meaning you drew a ticket in order to stand in the line for signings that night. I was one of the lucky 400 who made it and I got to meet Olivia (and the rest) again. It was really cool, I even got my picture taken and hopefully will make an appearance on the G4 website for my kick ass shirt (which reads Hopeless Romantic Seeks Filthy Whore) It was a big hit! The drawing was at 10am, but the signing wasn't until 5pm, so I had some time.

After getting my ticket I made my way into the hall and chatted up several different artists, including current Captain America artist Steve Epting and Lenial Yu, New Avanegers artist. Then I made my way to finish my custom vinyl. Yesterday I had taken a blank Teddy Troop, a large vinyl bear with a huge helmet to get some of my favorite urban artists to sketch on it. I had done the same last year with a blank Munny vinyl, so this year we changed it up. All in all I got some really great sketches, By Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson, Attaboy, Buff Monster, Peak-a-Boo Monster, Brendt Peters, Kathy Olivias, Ron English, Angry Wobats, and Kano. The piece is packed. I promise posts on the new vinyl as soon as I get home.

In the afternoon I headed out to meet James Jean, another favorite artist of mine to get some stuff signed. At Con this year he released 2 new projects, the third volume of his art, called Process Recess 3, and a collection of prints called Kindling. I picked up both of course and had him sight those, plus a collection of covers he had done from one of my favorite series, Fables.

Then the rest of the day was devoted to the G4 AOTS line which took several hours, but it was fun and worth every minute of it. After the line ended, the con closed and we had a great meal at an Italian place called Buca De Beppo, sharing it with several of my friends. After one last stop at the con to take a few picks at the masquerade costume contest, we headed for the hotel and some sleep. There is an awful long day ahead of us tomorrow, a full day of con then on the road home.

Oh a quick note. I had my first traditional Filipino dessert from restaurant called Jollibees, a sort of fast food restaurant. I ordered a Halo-Halo, a drink I was told was made with ice cream and ICEE. This one was crazy but it had shaved ice, milk, ice cream, jelly candies, soy beans, and Ube, a delectable creamy topping.

I posted a few pics below, nothing major as the Internet is acting up for my today. Also I will do a separate post with all the great costumes I have seen. Thanks for reading!


Olivia says Hi!

Blair Butler, just before running off to an appointment.

KP signing at the show!

Crazy ass restaurant. Jollibees!

Okay. Expect another couple of updates Monday as we are traveling tomorrow night. Thanks for reading!!!

End of Line,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Travel Blog: SDCC!

Day 3!

Hey all!

Friday was one of the busiest days of the con for me. The plan was first off to go to the exclusive Olivia Munn fan meeting that was held. Now it was supposed to be for people with special invites only, but word got out and the booth was a giant clusterfuck. The booth was surged with people, so bad that they closed the booth down after about 30 minutes of the event. Olivia tried gamely to keep us going, but the Con Nazi's chased up clear upstairs and out onto the back patio. We got to meet Olivia outside, with the ocean and the boats behind her. We literally where running down the rear hall to get to the stairs and outside. It was a large running herd of folks that did trickle off a few folks. Once outside, we dubbed it the Running of the Munns. To keep things moving, she partitioned the line to fan group folks, and everyone else. I met a couple of guys from the forums and we got a chance to meet Oliva and take a picture.

She was totally cool, talking to everyone and signing autographs. Definitely one of the best things to happen period. It was cool being able to chat with some of these guys and kind of put a face to the name. After that I tried to get into the Attack of the Show panel with a couple of the others forum members but after a 2 hour wait we got cut off. After a few goodbyes, I decided to head down to the floor and see what I could see. I did manage to get some sketch work done on a custom blank vinyl toy by some of my favorite artists: Buff Monster, Tara McPherson, Frank Kozik,and Attaboy. I want to try to get a couple more tomorrow, maybe Kathy Olivas or a new artist named Peakaboo Monsters. Pictures of that to come when its done!

It was a really great day! I even got to see a really great costume of my all time favorite super hero, 1970's disco Dazzler! It was awesome! I know there is probably a ton of stuff I am forgetting, there is so much at each day it is nearly impossible to remember it all.

Enjoy some new pics below!

Olivia Munn, Queen of Comic Con, surveying all her subjects.

Olivia, Olivia have you seen me and Olivia?

Consternation, or maybe gas? This was snapped right after what is now known as the Running of the Munns.

Hand to God, I swear this is the coolest costume... ever. For real.

Con was its usual awesome self! Be back tomorrow with another update, thanks for reading! Oh, and for some reason the pics are posting funny, so sorry about that but my whole Internet setup is kind of messed up so hopefully you guys are okay with it.

End of Line.

Travel Blog: SDCC!

Day 2!

Hey all!

Thursday was an intense day with an even bigger day planned tomorrow. Headed into the floor and made my way first thing to the Kid Robot booth to get a hold of the SDCC exclusive 8 inch Dunny by Shane Jessup, a sweet black only variant. There was only 200 made, and I was number 200 so I feel really lucky to grab one. I waited in line and got it signed too so it was a bonus! That took several hours actually, but as one of only 3 items I was certain that I wanted, I had no problem waiting. Heck while I was standing in line I did an interview with Kid Robot's online web feed, The Kronichle so that was fun!

After that I tracked down renowned artist Bill Sienkiewicz and got a signature and a sketch. I really overpaid for it and am suffering a serious case of buyers remorse, but he is one of my favorite artists and drew one of my favorite characters for most of the series, Dazzler. So I did get a very cool Dazzler sketch, but probably not worth what I paid for it. Oh well. A few less foreign comics will now be bought eh?

Then I wandered the floor for a while, meeting comic great Jeff Smith as well as running into G4 correspondents Blair Butler and Alison Haislip. Alison gave me a signed photo and both posed for pictures. I spent a little more time at Tara McPherson's booth getting her art books signed and then started routing around for the other two items on my list, James Jean's two releases, the print set Kindling, and his new art book, Process Recess Volume 3. I got both and am very much looking forward to finding James on Saturday and getting them signed.

After the con we headed for some dinner at Joe's Crab Shack for some crab and drinks and after a pit stop at the car we headed out for a live art show downtown. Artists Buff Monster (who Jason is a big fan off) and Attaboy (someone I quite like) both where there painting, Buff even paint a live model. It was pretty hot. I took a bunch of pictures and will post a couple up today, be on the lookout for more as the week progresses.

Tomorrow is some exclusive time with one of my favorite celebs, Olivia Munn, so I am off to bed. Enjoy the photos!

Welcome to Geek Vegas!!!

The end of a very long line for an exclusive...

Vinyl artist Mr. Shane Jessup.

Alison Haislip and yours truly.

Blair Butler caught in the headlights. Fucking classy right? My shirt says so.

I will post up more pictures tomorrow, including stuff from the live art show and when I get back home I'll scan in my sketch.

End of Line.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Travel Blog; SDCC!

Hey all!

Day one of Comic Con has come and gone! Well technically it hasn't, just preview night, but still. For those out of the know, the San Diego Comic Con: International, or SDCC as I will hereby be referring to it, is the largest comic and pop culture convention in the world, with over 125,000 attendees every year. Everything from new movies and DVD releases, to vinyl toys, comic books (both old and new) to celebrities stumping their current gigs can be found there.

This marks my (gasp!) 17 annual trek to the show and by has it grown. Each day the hall is packed more and more, and preview night was no exception. The Con officially kicks off Thursday, but individuals who pre-register for 4 days get to have a sneak preview for 3 hours on Wednesday. As an old pro of attending, you know that Wednesday is usually the best day to spring forward on the Con exclusives and get the stuff you KNOW you are gonna want while supplies still last.

Truthfully, you don't so much see the con itself as run to each booth and pray that you are there in time to get access to the exclusives. We actually had a really good night, Jason managed to get almost everything he was looking for on the first night (which could be a bad thing) and Autumn found several items on her wish list. As for me, my exclusives don't drop until today, though I did find a wonderful black and white hardback comic called Bouncer from France. It is entirely in French so I can't read it, but I want to study it for purposes of the comic that Jason and me will hopefully be working on.

The highlight of my night was meeting one of my favorite artists, Tara McPherson again and actually having her recognize me. Kind of cool to be remembered as a fan that checks out her stuff every year and she signed a couple of vinyls for me this year, though I will make at least one or 2 more trips to see her and get some more stuff.

Today its all about landing my vinyl exclusive and just checking out the booths and the con hall. Taking some pictures and having a good time at the hall. I am not really on the lookout for anything else, except for a couple of early release products for artist James Jean. I will have pictures and more to update on as the con progresses. See you inside!!

End of Line.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Word Balloon: Astro City

Hey all,

With Comic Con just 2 short days away I thought I would lay out this month's Word Balloon choice. I have covered a wide range of books, from DC and Vertigo to main stream Marvel and independents. This month I thought we would look at a superhero book. Specifically Kurt Busiek's Astro City.

Astro City, originally published by Image Comics before moving to the DC/Wildstorm imprint is a book that is truly an homage to super heroes and the tales that many readers grew up loving. The book is created by author Kurt Busiek, who has been writing comics for nearly 30 years at both Marvel and DC and who happens to be a huge comic history buff. He teamed up with character designer and cover artist Alex Ross (of Kingdom Come fame) and veteran penciler Brent Anderson, another 20 plus year pro to create an entirely new world.

Astro City is meant to be Kurt's love letter to the comics he grew up reading, the innocence of the comics of the 60's that lead into the more psychedelic later 60's and early 70's. The dark times of the late 70's that gave birth to the grim and gritty anti-heroes of the 80's. They are all combined together in a world cobbled from the best parts of all the great characters. Kurt never rips off directly a character, but you can find all the archetypes you know and love, the Superman, the Batman, the Spiderman, the Daredevil, the X-Men, the Justice League, Shazam, they all exist in one form or another, tweaked or bent in such a way that Kurt can give each his or her own spin.

Astro City itself is the name of the titular town that many of these heroes inhabit, where each street and suburb is a thank you note to the creators who first birthed these 4 color worlds. My recommendation is to start at the beginning, Astro City: Volume 1: Life in the Big City. The first trade is a slice of life look at the types of stories you can expect from Kurt. Not straight up super hero fights, but the inner workings of each character. They are six stories that can stand alone, but when read together form a greater narrative. The first story is about a Superman archetype, Samaritan. A character who spends nearly every waking hour of his life fighting crime and diverting disasters on a global scale while trying to cling to some semblance of a normal life. But as you read on, you discover he really only wants to do one thing. Fly. With no purpose or reason, just fly. It is a brilliantly poignant tale that I didn't get the first time I read it. I was expecting another super hero romp but in the end I found a deeper story.

Each issue has its own theme, told from a perspective that isn't always the heroes. For example what does a small time villain do after seeing a cape unmask, or how do we view our heroes when our point of view is being told from a person with an underlying objective. There is also a great story told from a journalist who was involve din a major super hero clash that stopped the end of the world, but had no journalistic evidence to support it. There is another tale told from a woman who lives in a section of town that still clings to old world beliefs. How can that woman adjust to living in a city that doesn't know what goes bump in the night. The final tale brings us full circle and tells one more story with Samaritan. What would Superman on a date be like?

Each story is so different and special than what you come to expect from a regular comic book. They offer an insight an homage to a world that seems so familiar, but is just a bit off the norm. Kurt is a truly gifted writer that can take a super hero tale and through character perspective, tell an unconventional story that has all the trappings of a familiar tale. Whether its through the hero's eye, or the man on the street, each story arc has its own unique voice and spirit, channeling any number of decades or style.

Cover artist Alex Ross designs many of the characters with a style and flash that helps the book get noticed on the shelf. He creates characters uniquely individual to this world without losing any of the cache that the characters draw from so that they still seem familiar to the reader. Interior penciler and designer Brent Anderson may be one of the most under rated pencilers working in the business today. There is no scene he is incapable of drawing, or style of story outside of his range. These creators come together to create a perfect mix of storytelling and illustration to make It one of the most unique books on the market.

The best part of this series is that it just gets better. Life in the Big City collects the first 6 issue miniseries that would later launch the title into an ongoing title. Despite that the book eventually got overwhelmed by this pace (Busiek an the team opted for a series of mini-series approach for the current run) the story arcs keep getting better as we delve deeper into the mythos of the comic book world. The third trade in the lot, which I will highlight and some point, may be one of the top 10 comics I have ever read.

Take my word for it, check out DC/Wildstorm's Astro City: Volume 1: Life in the Big City, by Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Brent Anderson. It is one of the best super hero books out on the market right now.

End of Line.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Hey all,

I actually caught Potter 6 (as we will call it for brevity's sake) on Thursday after my flight from Orlando landed. i have just had so many other entries this week its been tough to squeeze it in. Now my brother, not the most active of readers mind you, devoured the books like I did and is hugely into the Potter franchise. He wanted to see it with me, so in agreement he picked me up from the airport and took me to the film, where we also met Jason and Autumn late Thursday night.

It should be said that The Half Blood Prince is probably my second favorite book, after The Prisoner of Azkaban, as I felt both of these books ratcheted up the tone for the following books (or movies even). The Prisoner of Azkaban showed how author JK Rowling could tell a really complex tale where everything isn't as it appears, but keep it on the level of her readers. It also took the franchise in the next step towards the much more darker and adult books (or movies) that followed. While Potter 1 and 2 are great books, it was Potter 3 that set you up for the darker tidings in books 4 and 5. Potter 6 does that again in the books, setting the stage as the penultimate chapter and preparing us for the darkness that the final Potter will surely hold.

Potter 6 starts off with Dumbledore recruiting Harry to help him convince a new teacher to return to Hogwarts School, Professor Slughorn. Initially reticent, he agrees knowing that he will have the opportunity to teach the famous Harry Potter, and he convents influencing famous people. After he agrees, Dumbledore tells Harry that he must get close to Slughorn, for he has a memory that Dumbledore wants to obtain concerning Voldemorte's time as a student at Hogwart's.

Throughout the school year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore continues to show Harry memories he has obtained about Voldemorte and his origins, while Harry also deals with his best friend Ron and his annoying girlfriend and the pains of unrequited love between both Hermione and Ron as well as between himself and Ron's sister Ginny. Harry also has to figure out what machinations that his arch nemesis Draco Malfoy is up to as Harry is convinced he has been branded a Death Eater. In the end, Dumbledore and Harry learn that Voldemorte cannot be killed as he has split his soul into pieces, trapping them in a Horcrux, a powerfully dark piece of magic. Dumbledore and Harry must capture these items if they have any chance of stopping Voldemorte. There is also one last challenge the duo must face, the true reason Draco Malfoy is at Hogwarts this year.

To be honest, the film falls short. There are things that indelibly get cut from prose to film adaptation, but I feel that they lost to much out of this one for it to be great. It wasn't terrible mind you, just unfulfilling. The changed the beginning a bit and that was understandable simply keeping the films run time down and moving scenes together. What hurt where two key elements that I feel they missed out on. One was adapting Harry's relationship with the people he was teaching in Potter 5, The Order of The Phoenix. Anyone who has read the books knows how much they influence the final fight in book 7, and not taking the time to establish Harry as the leader of the school in this book I feel ultimately robs the character.

The second scene that really hurt to lose was the final battle at the end of book 7, Voldemorte's Death Eaters against Dumbledore's Order of The Phoenix and Potter's classmates. It was a great and epic battle that culminating in Harry fighting the one person he has never liked or trusted. While they kept that fight, to deny everyone else the fight once again failed to establish in the world of Harry Potter, he really isn't alone. He has friends and people that believe in him that are there to help him. It also robbed the film of what I thought should have been a more climatic ending.

That is not to say that the movie is all bad. Casting is still one of the strongest bits in the Potter franchise. Harry (played by Daniel Radcliff) is the perfect Potter, able to blend the dark undertones of his character, anger and fear, while balancing the role to remind us why Harry is the Chosen One. Hermione, played by Emma Watson, and Ron (played by Rupert Grint) have really developed into thier own characters and bring a great level of both comic relief to a very dark movie. The Hogwarts staff, Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, and the wonderful addition of Jim Broadbent as Slughorn is superb and they all lend legitimacy to a film that could easily spin off into silly fantasy.

Voldemorte's crew, led by Ralph Finnes as Voldemorte himself is just as impeccable. Helena Bonham Carter as Belltrix Lestrange is maybe one of the best bits of casting ever, as well as the excellent casting of Alan Rickman as the double or perhaps triple agent Severus Snape is just as good. Rickman weaves a character so thoroughly hateful and malicious but adds just the right undertone so that you never know just what side he is really on.

Overall the film was average, though personally I would qualify it as the weakest of the 6 Potter films. It is the one that strays most form the source material without changing something for the better. I know that sometimes (okay a lot of the time) I fall into the purist role, not wanting things changed that do not need to be, but in terms of movies I can usually go with the flow if a change makes sense. I understood changes in the first 5 Potters, even more recently in Watchmen, but here I thought they just made some poor script and directing choices. A few simple expansions and maybe cut a bit of subplot and you could have a far tighter film, one where even somebody not immersed in Potter lore could have an easier time understanding. It didn't seem like they tried to make this film accessible to anyone who hasn't watched the previous 5. While you don't have to explain everything, fleshing out a story is not a bad thing.

In the end, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is only average. The production values and effects are top notch as well as the casting. A little more effort into the story and you could have had a great film. This is one of those movies I really want to love, I just can't bring myself to look past its faults, especially with the strong track record of this franchise and its history of being so good. I figure between not liking this film and Transformers 2, I pretty much am no longer the target demographic of most movie makers now. Anyway, I will try to catch another flick this week, either Bruno or Public Enemies and get that review in. Thanks for reading!

End of Line.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flash Fiction: Noir Story

Chapter 11

The cabbie dropped me off in front of the Lady and I knew something was amiss. The bouncer was off the door, leaving it unattended. I threw a $20 in the front seat and bolted out the door. I hit the wet steps of the club in one leap and plowed through to the chaos within. I looked and saw Tiny and the doorman surrounding another man who had a knife to a girls throat. I moved in slowly, listening to him rant about how his wife had left him and that he was so tired of being alone. Rant about how this girl had loved him. She had told him so. Crazed thoughts that she was cheating on him with all these guys.

I breathed a small sigh of relief that the girl wasn't Annie he was holding. She was a petite blond with breasts at least 2 sizes to big for her frame. I looked around but didn't see Annie anywhere. I continued creeping up on the john. He had the look of a man on to much of something, drugs, liquor, whatever. His hand shook as he held the knife to the girls throat. He wasn't pressing hard, sort of just wavering it about and I knew I could make a move if the time was right.

Tiny caught my eye as I crept around behind him. All the attention was on him and he kept spewing rants about how this girl loved him and all that. Tiny shook his head no every so slightly, like that was gonna stop me from making a move. Tiny and the bot bouncer kept close as I snuck around behind him. He was still shouting as I brought my arms up in front of me. The perp had reached near sonic pitch as I came up behind him and I watched a trail of piss run down the strippers leg. This shit was gonna end now.

In one move I darted in, throwing my right arm under his and driving it wide. I could feel him flex against my forearm but I steeled my muscles to lock them out. The knife drew wide but away from the girls throat as I brought my left hand into a fist, punching his kidney as hard as I could. I felt him grunt in pain and his body swing around, my arm losing its hold on his knife hand as he swerved to face me. As his arm came back around I threw myself closer, driving my forehead into the bridge of his nose. I could hear the cartilage break and feel the wet, hot stickiness as his nose was crushed. Staggered now, I threw another punch across his jaw before Tiny and his boy grabbed the perp. They dragged him towards the rear exit, where I knew he was about to receive a far worse beating than the one I gave him. A couple of the other girls helped his hostage up, and I saw Annie staring at me from the stage entrance, a smile on her lips. Score one more for the good guys.

End of Line.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Hey all,

As promised a bonus post today, here is one of the poems I wrote while I was in Orlando. This poem was not a finished work, unlike the one I posted a few days ago, or the other two that are in my journal. This was written from scraps on an incident that actually happened at con. One of the female managers in our group sat beside me at one of the learning electives and asked me to put her arm around her because she was cold. She was young and pretty and to be honest it felt nice.

There were rumors that she was dating one of the head Ops directors in the state and that they were currently on the outs. I can' confirm or deny that they were, but things did seem a little strained between the two of them. Maybe it was my imagination. There were several times through the week that we were together, and I always caught just a hint of melancholy off of her. Even at the Disney Studio, when some of the supervisors conspired to get the director to sit with another attractive girl that was there alone (and subsequently adopted by our group) I could feel something sad in her. We sat together on a few rides and I felt bad for her.

Look maybe I was simply imagining it too. I don't know. All I do know is that sitting with her on my arm, head on my shoulder, felt nice. The story and the words that are in the poem are from my head, but the feeling was there. Hope you enjoy.


You sat beside me and huddled close,

Put my arm around you, seemed so morose.

Told me to hold you tight and not let go,

So sad and alone, heartbroken moreso.

Hot, salty tears that ran down your face,

No one to turn to in your disgrace.

I rubbed your arms, they felt so cold.

Your hurt so deep into the fold.

Shaking sobs, I couldn't quell,

At this dark place you chose to dwell.

Yet in your pain I felt alive,

In my arms I felt my heart thrive.

Distraught and hurt, but you're so close,

But in my arms I find repose.

A dulling ache that flushed bright,

As I hold you close, so tight.

So sad, so lovely in your pain,

What I feel I must then feign.

To raw, to real to say it true,

I want to feel that way about you.

But I hold my tongue and offer faint word,

Murmurs of comfort that won't be quite heard.

Soft caress across pale skin,

Wishing I knew just how to begin.

Crying out all your sweet tears,

Trying to release all those pent up fears.

I kiss your head, so gentle and sad,

The smell of your hair as you recall what you had.

Your skin is so smooth, your heart is so rough,

As I utter some words to make you feel more tough.

So here I will wait as you run yourself free,

Of the anguish and pity and all that disagree.

I hurt like you but its locked inside,

Each moment that passes a little more has died.

I found comfort where you found rejection,

And I will hold tight to the connection.

Your warmth and heat at arms reach,

Waiting for a chance of speech,

Of love, or loss, or requiems kiss.

Instead of the sad truth of remiss.

End of Line.

Travel Blog: Orlando!

Day 4

Hey All!

There isn't a whole lot that happened on day 4 as it was mostly a travel day. We had a late flight out though and went for a great little lunch at a wonderful seafood place where we had mango salsa shrimp and crab meat and butter dipped crabs legs. As my main entree I had some really excellent fresh fish tacos. After that we took a cab back to the hotel and caught the shuttle to the airport.

We had a very fast flight and were home nearly 30 minutes early. It was a smooth trip and I got some really great reading accomplished, finishing both the Groucho Marx Autobiograpghy I had picked up as well as some new comic graphic novels, Transmetropolitan Volume 1 and Planetary Volume 2, both written by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertson and John Cassaday respectively. Mostly I listened to my IPod and read, but I did manage to get a total of three poems written in the interim. One I posted earlier this week, the other two I will post over the next week or so.

My brother picked me up from the airport, as I had agreed to see the new Harry Potter film with him this weekend and decided to see it after the flight. We met Jason and Autumn at the theatre and I will also post up on that over the next couple of days.

In the end, I think that the Convention was both a good thing and a bad. Despite the good times I did have, there were long stretches, typically on the convention floor, where the whole affair seemed insular. Like there was some group that I just didn't click with. I never stayed with one person to long on the floor, and would wander with different people in and out of the exhibits at my leisure, sometimes just preferring the solitude to some of their company. I know part of it is just me, but another part really felt alone in that big hall. Alone because I will never have that same level of camaraderie with people that I don't really want to know, for the most part. Maybe I just need to shut up and play the game, but then again, I never really wanted to get ahead that way.

I will be back online later tonight hopefully with a bonus poetry post and again tomorrow with new Flash Fiction. Thanks for reading and enjoy a few more random pics of my time at McDonald Peak Convention.


At the PEabody Hotel, they keep ducks in the lobby, lounging by a fountain in the center entrance hall. The ducks are led out after an hour or so.

Duck gone ass up!

Another pic from the Disney Hollywood walk, Mickey's Sorcerer's Apprentice hat. They launched some great 3D fireworks from the hat.

Thanks again.
End of Line.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Travel Blog: Orlando!

Day 3

Hey all!

Day 3 started off with the after effects of a bad hangover. We had an awful lot to drink Tuesday night so Wednesday kind of dragged into a harsh fucking wake up. On a bit of a personal note, I don't travel well when it comes to using the bathroom. I tend to block up internally and explode when I get home. Well after the drinks and events of the night before (and one dry heave) I didn't feel well at all until all of that came unlocked but as soon as I did, I felt loads better.

Wednesday was the big day though. The last day on the floor and the day I had to sing karaoke. We went in for the the con (gratefully skipping breakfast) and I polished off the last two event booths I had and my final learning elective. I finished up around 2 and had a few hours to kill before the closing ceremony so I wandered the floor and boned up on my IPod to prep for singing. I did manage to sample some of the new food items we are going to be offering, like frappes and smoothies. The smoothies were excellent. Strawberry and banana and wild berry. The frappes were pretty good too, but I am not much of a coffee guy.

After the closing ceremony where they gave away an assortment of cash prizes and a vacation to Orlando, Oh and a new Ford Escape (no worries, I didn't win) I headed back to the hotel to freshen up. There was a final gala party for all the managers that was held at Disney's Hollywood Boardwalk. It was incredible! I got to go in as a VIP as a part of the karaoke team early to have a private meal (sausages, fajitas, barbecue chicken and pulled pork) complete with free drinks! OK, it was just beer and wine as well as a specialty fruity mixed drink that wasn't bad. I ate and was actually pretty nervous about singing at this point.

See for the second round the rules changed. We would sing accapella one song to either a casting producer or director of American Idol. No music, no screen with lyrics, just you, a producer and a barrel full of nerves. I sang Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues (the damn song had been stuck in my head all day). I tried to put all the emotion and stage presence I could into it but I could feel myself laying an egg as I did it. After 30 seconds we stopped and he said that I was not the next American Idol. Basically he said I had no vocal range and jokingly said, "On the bright side, at least it's over!" I headed back to the VIP room in shame, but not before getting a tour of the stage and the singing area.

By this point all the rest of my team had gone through general admission and eaten so we met up to hot some of Disney's great rides. First off, Star Tours, the Star Wars themed ride that is basically a motion ride. It was fun to ride on but a little disappointing in the end though the sets were incredible! The Park had a couple of really fun rides, the Aerosmith Roller Coaster was a lot of fun, entirely indoor and in black lights and neon, it starts off incredibly fast and rockets into 360's, loop the loops and corkscrews that was a lot of fun. Next up was the Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror, a ride that that starts you off in an elevator, then you plunge up and down over and over, each time varying when and where the drops will occur. I actually came out of my seat multiple times we had so much force being applied! The best part was one of our supervisors, who we tricked onto coming on. He loves roller coasters, but hates those drop rides. We told him it was another coaster and he freaked out!!!! He was screaming like a girl it was hilarious. Th picture it snaps actually show him clutching to the arm of the female manager next to him. Funny!

We actually rode both the Tower of Terror and the coaster twice, before heading to Disney's Great American Film Ride, a sort of animatronic salute to some of the greatest movies of the past, with a little live action thrown in. A lot of our party hated the 15 minute ride, but I loved it. Animatronic versions of some of my favorite classic stars, John Wayne, Jimmy Cagney, Gene Kelley, Indiana Jones, and a great Wizard of Oz scene with an animatronic Wicked Witch of the West that was almost lifelike. I think a lot of people don't have the same appreciation for classic cinema that I do, but that's okay, I had a great time. My only regret was missing the Muppet 3D movie as everyone saw that while I was auditioning at American Idol.

The final action of the night was free Ice Cream and popcorn as we watched a special 3D fireworks show that highlighted the McDonald's theme of the night. It was short, but visually very cool. Then it was back on the bus and to the hotel. We stopped for a late night nosh in the diner at the hotel and then actually went to bed at about 1:30am, early considering the previous nights exploits. I was tired and exhausted, so that is why this is up late. I intend to post a brief post on the last day of travel from Orlando later today, but for now here are some of the pictures I snapped.

Caught in the sights of an AT-AT in front of Star Tours!

C-3PO directing traffic inside the ride.

A group of us on The Great American Film Ride (before they told us to stop taking flash photos!)

My one shot to be the Next American Idol....

An early Day shot of The Tower of Terror!

Hope you enjoyed the sampling of pics I took. I have a few more of the last day in Orlando that I will post up later, as well as some poetry and a movie review over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

End of Line.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travel Blog: Orlando

Day 2
Hey all,

Sorry I missed the blog dump last night. Let's just say it involved a lot of drinking, but I will get to that in a bit.

Tuesday morning came bright and early and with a minimal amount of fuss. I did have a few drinks the night before, but there were almost no after effects the next day. We headed down to the convention itself for the opening ceremony and to prowl the convention floor. Mind you this IS a McDonalds convention, so its not always the most thrilling stuff you are looking at, but all the convention staff try really hard to keep the events and activities fun and exciting. The bummer was that cameras were not allowed on the convention floor itself, so I don't have that many pictures.

I spent most of the day on the floor completing my booth activities, we have to do this punch card of 15 booth experiences, plus 2 learning electives or the whole day and get a special pin at the end of each one. I actually did all but one of my electives, and 2 booths the first day, so my second day would be light. Overall I learned a few valuable assets that I can apply to my business and did a bit of networking.

That night though is when things got out of control. We had a "free night" which actually meant an organized dinner with our whole market. We went to B.B. King's Restaurant, which offered a variety of soul and seafood combinations, mostly barbecue. I had the catfish and the B.B. House Brew, a nice amber flavored beer. For dessert, Deep Fried Snickers Pie (YUM!) and a PINT of Pabst. After dinner we headed to a bar called Adobe Gila's and proceeded to get our drink on. I seriously had to much to drink and lost actual count after about hour two. It is very hard to quit when people keep buying you free rounds of Rusty Nails...

We did leave and hit up a popular dance club, but got bored quickly and went back to the bar, where we stayed until it closed. All I can say is that there was a lot of drinking done and honestly in the morning most of us was feeling it, especially me. Up until today, I have had exactly one hangover. Now you can mark me as having two. To be honest, I shrugged it off after a couple of hours, and an extensive stint in the restroom throughout the day but mostly I just think it had been a long time sine I drank that much.

OH! I also broke into the second round of karaoke! Amazing right? I entered it as a goof, but actually made it in on my Johnny Cash cover of "A Boy Named Sue." It was a huge surprise and the grand prize is an all expenses paid trip to Vancouver to carry the Olympic Flag at the next Olympics!!! We have to sing in front of one of the American Idol producers or directors for the show on the final night, one accapella song and 2 others of a set play list. I am nervous but excited. I will post an update on that as soon as I get the results. Down below are a couple of pictures that I did manage to snap. Enjoy!

Myself and a few of my co-managers outside the hall.

Fried Catfish at B.B. Kings!

Now that's what I call dessert!

End of Line.

The Bad

Hey all,

Quick bonus post today. I tried to do some work on my laptop on the plane, but space was tight and I couldn't get the screen opened all the way. So instead I just grabbed my journal and wrote a couple of poems. Don't know if they are that great, re-reading them now 2 days later to transport them to the blog and they don't resonate the same way I would like them to do.

That Jenny Lewis concert was so touching and moving, she got me back into wanting to do some moody emotional stuff. Below was my first attempt. I tired to use a repeating pattern but I don't know if that helped or hurt the poem. Enjoy it as you please.

The Bad

I thought impure thoughts,

And prayed for unholy wroths.

Dreamed the darkest dreams,

Pulled at the worlds failing seams.

I fought losing fights,

And fell hard from dizzying heights.

Failed at all life's test,

And suffered just like the rest.

I hurt unseen hurts,

And soiled even the blackest dirts.

Stained every soul I touched,

And robbed each fool as such.

I lived a foul life,

And relished it's pain and strife.

Broken every trust I had,

And warmed myself in all the bad.

I bled out my blood,

And watched my life turn to mud.

Poured from each vein I cut,

And my life became an endless rut.

I died another death,

And saw no one grow bereft.

Buried beneath a cold slate,

And found welcome at Hell's Gate.

End of Line.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Travel Blog: Orlando

Hey all!

Welcome to what will probably be a fairly rare recurring feature, though over the next few weeks will see a huge blog dump. I decided since I will be doing so much traveling, Orlando, Chicago, and San Diego over the coming weeks that I should keep a travel blog. Anytime I do any kind of trip, I will attempt to update the days activities on the blog.

Departed Phoenix around 9 am this morning and had a fairly mild flight, just over 4 hours non stop. I had really hoped to get some work done on my laptop, but the seat arrangements made it impossible to get the screen all the way open,, though luckily I brought my journal and managed to write some poetry. I will attempt to upload them over the next few days. Mostly I sat and listened to my IPod, easily one of the best purchases ever. I also finished a really wonderful book, the autobiography of Groucho Marx, entitled Groucho and Me.

After arrival we checked into the quite luxurious Peabody Hotel, the one that has the ducks that walk through the lobby once a day. After a quick freshening up, we headed for the opening ceremony.his year the opening ceremony was really just a meet and greet, not the usual RAH-RAH chants of the past. See usually it consists of a series of speeches by corporate big wigs who tell us how great it is to work for us. Then it will be interrupted by some bands or music and games, then more speeches. This year was a very casual setting, better meal services than in the past, but at least the bar was open. Beers and wines only of course. Still I entered the annual karaoke contest, doing both Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" and Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" I pretty much sucked but at least it was fun. In the spirit of fun though I did get one of those Henna tattoos. You know, where they airbrush a stencil on your you. I got a pretty sweet Tramp Stamp (on my lower back) of a heart with angel wings. I was laughing so hard that it is totally crooked but damn it was funny to see people's expressions. The only downside is that I am gonna be scrubbing at this thing for a good week! Ahh, the fickle price of comedy.

After a few hours of revelry, we headed back to the hotel for another fresh up, and proceeded to hit a few bars with some of the corporate team. Hey, I got a series of free drinks so it was all good. Eventually we settled on a piano bar that was playing some pretty good music. We stayed about 2 hours, listening to everything from more Journey to AC/DC. I think everyone had a good time, plus it didn't cost me a penny and that suited me fine, especially 4 Rusty Nails later.

A quick jog home and it finds me in my hotel I decided to throw this post up, and I will try to post every night I am here. Down below you can see a few of the pics I snapped. See you tomorrow.

Me singing some Johnny Cash

Me at the "American Idol" Kareoke Judging, Dawg.

Out on the Town

Crazy building that was Closed, built totally upside down, right across from our hotel.

End of Line.