Friday May 3, 2013
Iron Man 3 is my new favorite movie of the year. I had a blast at the 9pm show last night, and I'm seeing the film again tonight with my friend Alan (who has ALSO seen the film already.) Iron Man 3 is now my favorite of the Iron Man franchise (excluding The Avengers, which I probably shouldn't since a solid "Hollywood Formula" analysis shows that Tony Stark was the protagonist in that film.)
From my Twitter feed last night:
Had I more than 140 characters to work with I could have said more about what made Iron Man 3 so much fun, but I don't want to spoil it for anybody. Going in I was concerned that the trailers might have spoiled the film for me, but my fears proved groundless. Their trailer-fu was good -- they got me into the seat, but they didn't telegraph the good stuff. Of course, if you haven't seen any trailers the film could be extra-awesome for you. Just go plant your backside in a seat and enjoy the ride.
Sunday April 28, 2013
On Tuesday, April 16th I was supposed to meet with Travis Walton (our colorist) to talk about upcoming projects. It was going to be a fun time over food in which some of the financial support you've shown Schlock Mercenary recently could be applied to making new and better things.
Have you ever been waiting for somebody to arrive, and they don't, and you are frustrated, and then worried, and hope they're okay, and then it turns out they ARE okay and this was just a misunderstanding, they're at the wrong restaurant? That was how I expected this to turn out. Pretty surreal to have it go the other direction. Travis was in the emergency room getting stitched up from a car accident.
Well, piling on the mirth, that same Tuesday night I visited the ER on my own account because the fever and cramps didn't make sense, the nice doctor diagnosed me with a pretty scary bacterial infection, clostridium dificile, which I'm still fighting two weeks later. I'm not bedridden, but this has been similar to walking pneumonia in the way it wipes me out. The result is that I can't pick up the slack from Travis, and can barely get my own stuff done in a timely manner.
Enter Jeff Zugale, who has taken up the Schlock Mercenary coloring mantle for a couple of weeks. If you haven't noticed, that's because Jeff is just that good. His job is to make it seamless, so that Travis can get well. I'm still paying Travis the same as I would if he were doing this coloring, but I'm also paying Jeff to get the work done. You folks didn't drop six figures on me so that I can be stingy, and I'm certainly not allowed to be a jerk.
Jeff colored today's strips, as well as everything that airs this week and next. He did great work, and he did it at a time when he was no less busy than any of the rest of us, but just happened to be healthy enough to carry the extra load. Thank you, Jeff! You should check out his other work at Not Invented Here, and if you're hiring in the video game space, Jeff is totally your guy. He can deliver.
Wednesday April 24, 2013
This Saturday, April 27th, I'll be at the Writing For Charity event on UVU campus at the Sorenson Student Center. My appearance, thanks to the ongoing health issues, will be "wan and shaky," and kind of short. And maybe brief. I'm going to pill up and power up for a one-hour class on worldbuilding, and then, press of adoring fans permitting, sneak back home and crash.
(That's actually the worst-case plan. If I'm feeling good, I'll stick around for the signing. I expect to be well enough to sign and sketch stuff right after my session.)
Obviously, then, A Day With Howard Tayler is not the reason you should spend $55 to attend this event. You should spend that money because dozens of other authors will be there providing fantastic information (the "what to ask an agent" panel is worth the price of admission all by itself, except that one runs opposite me so forget I said that) and especially because the proceeds from this event go to the Children's Literature Association of Utah. None of the authors at Writing For Charity are paid to be there -- our time is being donated in support of your contributions to support literacy in our little ones.
The prescription says I'll still be taking this horrible battery of antibiotics, but for charity I'll carve out the time, harden up, and deliver.
Sunday April 21, 2013
In an upcoming Mary Robinette Kowal book whose manuscript I had the opportunity to read, the characters visit a clothier. They do not buy clothing off the rack. They get measured, and then make their way around the shop examining fabric and the pieces on display. Then, essentially, they ask for "one of these, but made out of this, and I'll need at least two of these in matching colors, but not identical."
Upon reading that passage I turned to Sandra (who had already read and loved this manuscript) and exclaimed "I want to buy clothing THAT way."
Well... I just did, only it was even better than in the book. A friend of mine, Dawnray Ammon, just got a job at a place called Dress Code, and posted on Facebook about it. They looked interesting, and I needed a new suit, so I contacted them, and one of their fitters came to my house.
That's right, he came to my house.
I got measured, and I was frankly astonished at the various stretchings of the tape he applied in order to ensure the right fit. We then talked about what sort of a suit I was looking for, and what kind of use it would see. I examined fabric swatches and photos, made my selections, and then he was off.
Six weeks later the suit was ready, and it was wonderful. As it turns out, however, I had lost or redistributed about 15 pounds, so the measurements were no longer spot-on. Well, they took new measurements on the spot, and then altered the garments at no charge.
I wear this suit every Sunday, and it is a delight. One of the things I used to dread about church was getting dressed for it, but now that's something I look forward to, because the clothing I'm wearing is comfortable, and I actually look pretty good in it. I'll be going back to Dress Code for a tuxedo at some point. I expect to use them for suits for my sons when I send them off on their own. And yes, I whole-heartedly endorse them for you. They're a small outfit (ahaha pun), local to me here in Utah, so the at-home measuring service probably isn't available in your area, but they do send their fitters abroad for scheduled measuring in all the major metros, so they'll meet you more than halfway.
By way of confession, I hope I can lose another fifteen or twenty pounds so I have to go back to them for a second suit. I feel so dashing in this one, I can hardly imagine how crushingly debonair I'll feel if I'm not actually carrying extra body fat around in the suit with me.
Friday April 19, 2013
Since I suspected I wouldn't be able to fall asleep Thursday night, I went ahead and caught a 10pm showing of Oblivion, a near(ish) future sci-fi film.
If you've seen the trailers, you already know that this is a mystery story with a healthy dash of action and suspense, and if you've mused upon enough of the trailers, you may think you've already figured out the mystery. Truth be told, there are enough of you out there watching trailers and speculating that I'm sure somebody got it right.
I got parts of it right straight from the beginning.
So... if you haven't seen any trailers yet, don't bother with them. The film is interesting, and pretty, and I'll let it slide under the wire on the science problems. I had a good time, but not a fantastic time. Still, the movie didn't disappoint -- probably because after seeing the trailers I figured I knew exactly what I was in for, and that happened to be exactly what I was in the mood for.
(Okay, by that standard maybe you should see the trailers.)
At any rate there's not much more I can say about the film without spoiling things. Oh, I can complain about the physical impossibility of a cataclysm that buries New York City in rock and sand to a depth of 300 meters while leaving the tallest skyscrapers still standing, but if I whine about too many of the technological, motivational, or strategic gaffes I'll give away the central conceit, and that wouldn't be fair to you.
I'll probably do that in the comments.