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“Careful! It’s razor-sharp.”

So I haven’t been here in a while, it seems. I’ve been sick a lot this winter, but also just completely worn down. I don’t know when either of those will relent for good, but I’ll aim for weekly posting and see if I can work up from there. If I have anything to say (and I do have a big post on identification festering, but it’s not written yet) I’ll try to get it up here somehow. For tonight, though, just a few quick truths with little analysis.

Vimanarama #2 made me cry a little, but only a little. Dig the Taj Mahal interior, though! I’m not sold on the coloring and I read a lot faster when the Fireborn are doing their thing. I wish this were going to be more than three issues long.

What’s up with the (potential) total depletion of other Kentucky comics bloggers? To make up for the gaps in my pseudopeer group, I’m pushing for a clique of comics bloggers who read manga in the bathtub. It looks like there may be some overlap with the comics bloggers who enjoy gin (a more casual grouping that exists only in my head, as far as I know) which suggests some clear options for socializing that I’ll bet we’ll never try.

Steven is on spring break and thus did a Wednesday comic run, which still seems sort of weird and obscene to me, but I hoped it would net us Project Superior, which the store had not ordered. They should have one for us next week, and I do realize that if we weren’t so passive and uncomfortable talking to people we would have had one now. So there was none of that and no manga for my bath, so I resorted to feminist essay collections. From Feminism Beside Itself, I liked Elspeth Probyn’s piece, “Perverts by Choice.” She writes of belonging/be-longing as “a loose combinatoire of being and longing, becoming and nostalgia, as composed of lines of desire that run along the singularities of sexualities, bodies, spaces and places.” (264) I quote this not to scare anyone off from drinking gin or enjoying bathtime manga, but because it’s something I’m going to be thinking about off-blog and possibly but probably not on-.

I know not everyone liked I ♥ Huckabees, but I think the mud sex scene was one of the most emotionally realistic portrayals I’ve ever seen in a movie. Anyone who disagrees is wrong, but that’s ok; I know beauty when I see it. I got the double-disc set as a birthday present (thanks!) and am looking forward to rewatching the film itself this weekend. I got very close to finishing a major in philosophy before dropping it, in large part because I hated so many of the other students, so I’m not sure if that means I’m more sensitive or less sensitive to dopey philosophy stuff, but nothing in Huckabees bothered me.

And continuing my trend of no real segues, I’m probably going to be teaching a class on sock knitting, so I’ve been doing a bit of it myself. I have a really hideous pair I made to test some techniques and a cotton/wool yarn (I’ll have to teach on larger than sock yarn, though, because apparently size 0 needles terrify new knitters) and I should probably put a picture of them up here so that the ugliness will be a good incentive to post something substantive to get it off the top of the page. The plus side is that they fit me perfectly and keep my feet warm when it is too, too cold in the apartment, which has definitely been the case over the last few nights.

I haven’t yet done any blogger interviews because I haven’t really done much of anything except work ridiculously long hours and try to sleep (well, and knit socks). I think I’m getting close to having my research done for the first, though. I’m hoping I live in enough of a shame culture that my commenting on this will push me to do it, but past performance has not been a positive indicator, to use work-speak. Maybe soon.


  1. Jog says:

    “My head! My knee! My knee… grazed beyond redemption!”

    I think I liked issue #2 a bit more than issue #1. The humor felt a bit more natural. I enjoyed the soldier’s line on page one… all the birds too…

    Gin is ok… or do you mean bloggers who enjoy gin while blogging? I’ve blogged while drinking once or twice; it’s kind of the same result for me only the jokes are 300% dumber…

    — 10 March 2005 at 5:05 am (Permalink)

  2. Rose says:

    Jog, I’m sure I’ve blogged while drinking at least occasionally, but I only meant bloggers who’ve praised gin in the past. I can’t always tell from reading who’s drunk and who’s not, which I hope is a reflection on me as a reader more than on the writers.

    I don’t know about the birds, though. The pigeons on that double-page spread of the wreck of the store are just weird. It’s as if their wings are misattached or something, and it freaks me out. Not as much as some of the Photoshop effects, but I did find it profoundly creepy.

    Oh, and we got Concrete: The Human Dilemma #3, and while the solicitations/covers you mentioned did spoil the story for me, the main plot twist is exactly what I expected, so I guess I’m not disappointed. Well, I’m a little disappointed because it would have been interesting for a story like that to go somewhere else for a change (I say, despite being able to think of only one example of a parallel setup right now) but I’m willing to see how it plays out.

    — 10 March 2005 at 11:29 am (Permalink)

  3. Dave Lartigue says:

    I have little tolerance for woo-woo pseudophilosophy myself, and I really enjoyed Huckabees. I think it treated everything with just the right sense of humor. Have you ever transcended space and time?

    — 10 March 2005 at 12:49 pm (Permalink)

  4. Steven says:

    I think the problem with the birds, maybe, is that they’re drawn semi-realistically, which makes them look weird juxtaposed with Bond’s regular blocky cartoon style. Plus maybe Bond just drew them weird. And the coloring, sometimes it seems too busy for Bond’s art, sometimes it’s bad Photoshop coloring, sometimes it’s OK. I think Bond’s art generally needs flatter coloring. But, ooh, the art is still lovely, and I think you’re right, Jog, about the humor. Issue #2 is better at being funny and serious at the same time, showing the ironic worldview of a guy who suspects he ought to take things more seriously but needs the help of ancient Subcontintental superheroes and world-destroying demons to figure out how. Which is a kind of story I seem to really enjoy right now. I really need to write about Shaun of the Dead… and now it occurs to me that several characters from I ♥ Huckabees are also ironic young people, yay.

    — 10 March 2005 at 1:16 pm (Permalink)

  5. David says:

    Rose, you can put me down for both the “bathtub reader” and “pro-gin” factions, and any crossover organization. And while the idea of a group of bloggers sitting in a con hotel hot tub reading digests and ordering another round of Tanqueray-based beverages is intriguing, it’s also strangely… haunting.

    — 10 March 2005 at 2:11 pm (Permalink)

  6. Dave Intermittent says:

    Another vote for the gin, though of course I only drink it for the anti-malarial benefits.

    — 10 March 2005 at 2:33 pm (Permalink)

  7. Rose says:

    Alas, Dave I, I think the quinine in tonic would only be effective if you were drinking lots and lots and lots. And I don’t mean to imply that you aren’t!

    Legomancer Dave, it is the humor that keeps it afloat, I think (maybe also true in Vimanarama), and also that none of the characters are smart, complete people who do have the answers. They have answers, maybe, but just ones that work for themselves and that patently don’t translate well to others. I find that pretty encouraging and rare in a movie about communication and understanding and self-awarenes.

    — 10 March 2005 at 2:58 pm (Permalink)

  8. Bryan Lee O'Malley says:

    Gin is the only drink I drink, and thanks for reminding me that I ??????? Huckabees exists on DVD. DVDs are chillingly expensive on average, though, are they? I want to buy it, but the price is giving me pause.

    — 10 March 2005 at 10:28 pm (Permalink)

  9. Rose says:

    DVDs are definitely too expensive for me, though I sometimes buy them anyway. My argument for a long time had been that we might as well not go out to movies since two (overpriced) tickets are the same price as the DVD, but now DVDs are getting more expensive and I’ll be left to just be forlorn about it all, which I guess means Steven will be in charge of all of our film entertainment choices until I get over it.

    Huckabees was worth owning for me because it was one of my favorite movies last year and is the sort of thing I’ll probably watch over and over. I used to argue that books were worth buying if I planned to lend them to people, so at least I’m getting more selfish as I age.

    And I will drink certain other things, but gin is definitely my drink of choice. I’ve been sort of shocked for some time that I’m not alone in the blogosphere in this regard. Yay.

    — 10 March 2005 at 11:57 pm (Permalink)

  10. Johnny Bacardi says:

    Well, I’m a rum guy myself, but what did you expect? I like gun OK, it smells nice, but I rarely drink it. I have friends who love gin n’ tonic, but it’s too bitter for me.

    And it’s been three weeks, I’ve spoken to the HR guy from Pittsburgh once last Monday- he was late to catch a plane, apologized and asked if he could call me when he reached his destination…and never called again; I’m not so sure that I’m going to be leaving my old Kentucky home just yet.

    I didn’t even notice the birds in Vimanarama 2; just like the volleyball in #1 they must have been under my radar. I’ll have to look when I get home. Myself, I think the coloring is just fine…but maybe I’m just so happy that it’s bright and color-full instead of dreary and dull that it blinds me to a multitude of sins. Wouldn’t be the first time!

    — 13 March 2005 at 2:31 pm (Permalink)

  11. Tom Bondurant says:

    Well, I don’t drink (anymore), I’m not a big manga guy, and I have gotten used to showers, so I’m out of the new group.

    Still, I’m in Kentucky for the time being. Sorry I haven’t had time to schedule anything with you guys, Rose — my wife and I are smack in the tumultuous middle of buying a house in Williamsburg, and it’s been crazy both here and there. If you and Johnny B. don’t mind, though, I’d be more than happy as an emeritus member of the League of Kentucky Bloggers….

    Sorry I don’t have more of substance to contribute. Gotta go anyway — it’s tournament time in Lexington, which means a long basketball lunch. Take care.

    — 17 March 2005 at 3:37 pm (Permalink)

  12. Rose says:

    I’m sure you’ll both still be part of the original Kentucky comics bloggers even if that’s not where you finally land. I think Steven and I are fairly settled for now, but who knows how long things like that last?

    There’s no time for long basketball lunches here today, which has some of my coworkers grousing. I’ve never much liked men’s basketball, because I tend to like sports less the more flashy and ego-driven they seem. So I prefer college basketball to professional and women’s to men’s at both levels. This is probably because I have some weird morality of sports (it took serious will control to keep from yelling at booing/heckling fans to shut up when I was going to my brother’s high school football games) and think that “unethical” teams should be punished. When I played basketball in sixth and seventh (and eighth?) grades, I was superb at foul shots and no good at anything else, so I got put in for a while to boost the score and then pulled out again, which was fine with me. I refused to foul on command when we were supposed to do that to shake things up or stop the clock or whatever the rationale really is, because I insisted that even if it was for strategic reasons it was totally morally unacceptable to break the rules of the game (they’re called fouls for a reason, right?) for any reason. And so I always had to run suicides at practice after the games. I was a conscientious objector to selling Girl Scout cookies, too, lest you think my extreme dorkiness somehow ends with sports.

    Johnny, I love gin and tonic and also dark and ugly coloring. (Really it’s that the over-shiny stuff makes me grumpy more than an active love of muddiness, I guess.) Does that say something about me?

    — 17 March 2005 at 4:24 pm (Permalink)

  13. Tom Bondurant says:

    Yeah, I have a little bit of a cognitive disconnect with UK basketball. The older I get (can’t you hear the ol’ bones creak as I type?), the easier it is for me to see these guys as just college students. Not NBAers in training, not idols, but young men playing sports — and it’s hard for me to link my self-worth to their wins and losses. That still happens, of course; it just makes the losses harder to take.

    So I don’t think your conscientious objections were dorky. In fact, I’ve always thought those fouls committed late in the game to force free throws and change possession should be considered intentional fouls, because that’s what they are. Good for you for not “gooning it up.”

    (I never played sports in school, by the way; I was always in the band.)

    Not having ever sold Girl Scout cookies, what was the objection there?

    — 18 March 2005 at 3:12 am (Permalink)

  14. Rose says:

    I played sports through elementary school becuase my parents thought I needed to be socialized and I guess group violin lessons weren’t quite cutting it. I enjoyed volleyball most, probably because it didn’t involve touching people much. I would have been in the band if I’d gone to a school big enough for that sort of thing. Instead I was in our sort of frankenband for school plays, with lots of pianists and electric bass and flutes and violins.

    My only objection to Girl Scout Cookies, besides being an extremely shy kid who didn’t want to go door-to-door selling them, was one that no one takes seriously. I just thought it was morally wrong to be selling cookies that were clearly entirely overpriced to people who would buy them just because I was a cute little kid selling them. It seemed manipulative and I remember arguing passionately about it, which is why I didn’t stay a Girl Scout after age 9 or so. Everyone disagrees when I tell this story and says that the cookies are so addictive that they’re worth the money, but I still think there’s something sleazy about it even though I understand how fundraisers work.

    And congrats to UK, and to EKU who look from the score like they put up a good fight. So hooray for Kentucky basketball in general! I have nothing against it, even if it’s not my entertainment of choice.

    — 18 March 2005 at 3:33 am (Permalink)

  15. Johnny B says:

    I finally had my phone interview yesterday, and am now supposed to be flying to Steeltown on Monday, April 4. The plot thickens!

    I’ve been a lifelong UK basketball fan- I really had no choice. My Dad was among the hard core faithful, would listen to Cawood on the radio when they weren’t on TV, and would watch TV with the radio on…once in a while we’d go see a game. Some of my fondest childhood memories are watching the Cats with my Dad.

    I can’t stand to watch the NBA, though- even though I’m aware that there has to be some sort of strategy going on, the regular season games just look like playground ball to me, and the players just seem to be going through the motions. The playoffs seem to mean more, but I just can’t make myself watch. I do follow certain teams in the standings, and keep kinda updated via sportstalk radio, but I’d rather watch dust settle.

    Everything you say about Girl Scout Cookies is true, but for my money there are few foods on God’s green Earth that are more delicious than those Samoa cookies.

    — 18 March 2005 at 8:41 pm (Permalink)

  16. zack soto says:

    A purely selfish note to say that I hope you guys write something on Project Superior once you’ve finally gotten and digested it.. I enjoy your slightly closer readings of comics than what we’re accustomed to in the “blogosphere”.

    — 26 March 2005 at 11:45 pm (Permalink)

  17. Joe Rice says:

    Do former Kentuckians count? Sure, I’ve been in New York or Brooklyn for some nine years, but I spent twice that long in Ashland.

    Speaking of which, what’s all this gin and rum talk? At least I’m faithful to Mama Bourbon!

    — 29 March 2005 at 1:36 am (Permalink)

  18. Rose says:

    Zack, I have finished and digested almost all of Project Superior, but I haven’t managed to feel motivated to do much except stomp around the house lately. I, too, hope I’ll write about it and other things soon (probably other things first) but do plan to get to it someday. I guess I shouldn’t have disappeared and left everyone with the impression I’ve been doing nothing but close readings of gin labels, but I’m hoping to have a real post up tonight or tomorrow and move back into the land of the living from there.

    Joe, if indeed the post-Kentucky posse gets bigger than the current Kentuckians one, you’ll fit in even better. I don’t know about bourbon, but that’s because my experiments with it have been brushes with the cheapest sort available to quizbowl players, so I’m fully willing to believe that better brands are, well, better.

    — 29 March 2005 at 7:52 pm (Permalink)

  19. Joe Rice says:

    Old Whiskey River, Blanton’s (the Ladies Bourbon, according to the future sis in law), Woodford Reserve, or (especially) Elijah Craig will all treat you real nice-like.

    — 30 March 2005 at 4:55 am (Permalink)