Monday, March 30, 2009

Comics You (Really) Should Read [Part 2]

Yesterday's post focused on the wonderful series of the Sandman. Today's post will examine Bill Willingham's Fables series.

Fables began in 2003. The comics, which are still in production, are produced by Vertigo, the same folks that brought us the Sandman. The series features prominent and puny fables from all over the world, including Prince Charming, Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Hansel & Gretel, King Cole, the Three Little Pigs, the Three Bears, and many, many others. The cast is enormous, and many characters are constantly in action.

The basic plot of Fables is simple. Each fable lives in a magical, faraway world, and each of these worlds are connected to other worlds. All was well in the worlds until one day the Adversary rose up, conquering and claiming worlds as his own. Many fables died under the oppression of the Adversary, but many others survived, fleeing to New York City. The refugee fables have lived in America for hundreds of years, their little town (Fabletown) constantly growing larger and larger, but always magically hidden from the mundane common folk. The fables are living their lives as normal as they can, but they still yearn to return to their Homelands.

Of course, not all things are perfect at Fabletown. There is a murder, that of Rose Red, Snow White's sister, in the series opener, and sheriff Bigby Wolf must get to the bottom of the caper.

The series has several smaller story arcs, but many are linked to the encompassing story, that of destroying the Adversary and returning home. Each story arc is unique, fun to read, and entertaining to look at. The shear magnitude of the story is worth the read.

For instance, we all grow up hearing various tales and legends. Everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty. She was magically awakened by the handsome Prince Charming and they got married and lived happily ever after. However, in the world Willingham has created, ever after wasn't too long. Charming, a Casanova-type, has been married and been unfaithful to Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and who knows who else. Each fable has their own back story, and these stories may not match up to your expectations.

The creativity and freedom Willingham has taken with the characters is beautiful. In fact, it is a hard choice to pick whether or not I like Fables or Sandman better. Both are wonderful, and I think my opinion would change depending on what comic was in my hands.

A comic would not be worth the read if the art wasn't appealing, and Fables has excelled in that department. In fact, there is a collectors hardcover issue containing all of the monthly comic covers for retail, available here.

I can highly and easily recommend Fables to anyone interested in mythology, folklore, or a general good story. Be warned, the comics contain some adult language and situations, so I wouldn't advise them to a young lad or lass, but for you fine, mature folks, I can say read on.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Comics You (Really) Should Read [Part 1]

I've recently finished the entire series of Neil Gaiman's Sandman. This is by far one of the best comic series I have ever read. Gaiman, a masterful storyteller, chronicles the actions of Dream of the Endless, the Lord of Dreams. The epic begins with Morpheus, the personified Dream-Lord, held prisoner by a cult, and he soon escapes and seeks his revenge. Once satiated (as much as an eternal one can be) he begins repairing his kingdom, returning the Dreaming to its glory. Dream is of the Endless, a group of immortals that are brothers and sisters. His family includes Death, Destiny, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and one other, but the last identity was not revealed for a while, so I shall keep it secret. The Endless each fulfill their roles and obey their rules, and Dream often interacts with his siblings.

The Sandman ran for 75 issues, with a few extras. I loved each and every issue. The artwork is simply amazing. Many different artists contributed to the beautiful pages, and each issue clearly has its own style. Part of the fun with the art is the fact that Morpheus' outfit will change with his surroundings, as dreams are never constant and this is only fitting.

But it wasn't just the captivating artwork that compelled me to read the series. The story is crucial, and the depth behind the story is grandiose. Gaiman's brilliance in mythology, philosophy, religion, and pop culture show up throughout many story arcs. For instance, Loki, the Norse god behind mischief and trickery, makes a few appearances throughout the stories, as does William Shakespeare. The story is addicting enough the keep the reader staying up well into the night.

Finally, the deeper thinking behind the comic series urges me to even write this post. I cannot say much about this aspect, as I feel that it would be a spoiler. Suffice it to say that these comics are very well written, and written by an author that is smart and wise enough to leave the reader pondering.

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Sandman comics. The series concluded aptly, and I do not feel like I've wasted my time reading rubbish. If you like a well crafted, beautiful story, then I highly recommend reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My 100th Post! A Composition

This is the 100th post here on the Rememorandom, and as such, it should be special. Just how special, you may ask?

Special enough to look at a few things. First, the evolution of a self-portrait.

This was done a few months back. I do wish that I would have taken one photo in the earliest stage, but, this shows the appropriate evolution. Soon, I think, I shall construct one of my lovely bride. I already have the paints, brushes, and canvas, and now all I need is the confidence to create something as beautiful as she on a piece of canvas.

Next is a link to something I found rather absolutely profound and simply wonderful. My friend Bill told me of this image, and indeed, it is beyond words. Click here to view it in its glory, or simply click below to enlarge.

Next, a video I found that made me smile a bit. Some of you may know, but I am an avid Star Wars fan. My love affair with this universe is extensive. I have Star Wars memorabilia of all kinds, and I'm thankfully getting my young brother-in-law quite interested. Below are two videos we both enjoyed. The first is quite humorous, the second is just cool.

Next to lastly, a link back to my cd I put out for the world to hear. I've had a few downloads, which makes me happy a bit, and I hope everyone enjoyed the tunes. I've gathered courage from my wife and my friends from the blogworld to step out and push myself. Thanks folks.

Finally, a thank you to all the readers of Rememorandom. This blog started out as just another medium to play with, but to me it has grown. I enjoy posting and communicating. I enjoy reading each of your comments, and I enjoy reading each of your blogs. Thank you for continuing with me, and I hope you stay on.

Trouble comes, and Trouble goes, and Trouble has a key to my front door.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On Gadgets

First off, I recommend you reading this article. It's titled "Gadgets That Make You Look Like A Jerk."

If you're too lazy to do so, the article lists 7 gadgets that you might just look cooler without. The aforementioned technologies are:

1. Blackberry
2. Bluetooth Earbud
3. TiVo
4. Apple's MacBook Air
5. iPod accessories
6. Linux
7. Segway

Personally, I don't own a Blackberry (or an iPhone), and if I did I don't think I would get much use out of it. My schedule, while busy, is not that complex and labyrinthine. As for the earbuds... well, I think those people look ridiculous. Sure, they're safer while driving, but probably not as safe as driving without talking on the phone at all. Sure, they let you free up your hands, but you still look like you're talking to yourself. TiVo? I don't know anyone that has TiVo, but I know people with satellites where they can record their shows and do all the stuff TiVo can. I have no qualms with TiVo. The MacBook Air is too light, too thin, too Apple-y, too sleek, too superfluous, and too much of a let down. I do own an iPod, which I listen to quite often. I don't, however, own any accessories, unless you count my awesome iPod cover. Linux is powerful, but cumbersome, and I'm not that tech savvy to get it. And the Segway. When I hear that word, I immediately think of Gob from Arrested Development, which makes me smile. There's no way that the Segway will ever succeed, unless everyone suddenly gets a crippling disease an prohibits walking.

Anyway, I just thought that I would share that with you. The list was interesting. The original article was, too. Good luck, folks. Be careful while you're shaving.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Personal Goal

I am starting on a new goal for myself. I do not intend to drink pop (that is, sodas) for one month, and quite possibly much, much longer. A friend of mine gave up drinking sugar-drinks for New Years, and he still is sticking true to his resolution. My senior year of high school I gave up carbonated beverages for over 200 days. I think I can do it again.

However, I am a huge Mt. Dew drinker. All people from Kentucky are huge Mt. Dew drinkers. The fall of 2007 I got a job marketing Mt. Dew on campus. Mt. Dew was doing this throughout the nation, involving around 50 campuses to see who could promote Dew the best. This was decided by having students submit Dew inspired art, in fashion, visual art, and Dew Games, and the best students received monetary prizes from Mt. Dew. I had around 60 cases of Dew to pass out on campus, plus any that I wanted for myself. At the end of the semester I hosted a campus wide event to attract folks to the new artsy aluminum bottles. There was even a giant ice sculpture!

Overall, though, I hated the job. It was marketing, and it required a lot of work. We had to set up booths and pass out fliers and Dew to students. We had to put up posters all around campus. We had to meet with campus officials in order to even set up stuff and have events. There were two of us working that semester, but my partner did not do much at all. Seriously. I don't want to moan and complain about it, but suffice it to say that my wife and I did practically everything in order to fulfill our contract. Sure, I could have told my manager about my partner's nonchalance and lackluster attitude, but I didn't want my partner to lose out on making money. So I stuck with it. I would not have gotten through without the extraordinary help from my wife and my great friends, and I still say thanks.

In the end, the University of Louisville came in around 4th or 5th out of all the campuses, which was just shy of making extra money. However, I made my dough and said I would never work in marketing again.

Another bummer about the job: taxes were not taken out of my lump sum from Dew at the end, which totaled around $2500 or so, and so I wound up owing quite a bit in when it came tax time.

I realize that this post evolved from my personal goal of not drinking pop to a revelation about me working for Mt. Dew. Regardless, Dew or not, I shall abstain henceforth.

Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rubber Cement

The fact that we're just soft tissue and blood speaks a lot about us.
If we were, for instance, a harder tissue, then we would be invincible.
At least physically.
If we had no need for blood, we would have no need for a heart,
and we would be invincible.
At least emotionally.
But the fact remains that we're simply breakable flesh and hearts.
To be human is to walk and fall, to profess and to be hurt.
Every person makes mistakes,
over and over again.
To live is to learn from these mistakes and continue on,
but it's also to make the same mistakes and continue on.
It's like there's some rubber cement on us and our problems,
and no matter how hard we pull, we can't break it.
But, with help, the glue will come off.
It may leave a slight residue, but it will no longer bind.
It may have a stink, and others may wrinkle their nose, but smile on.
Over and over again, we march.
Despite what others say, despite our mistakes, we press on.
It's to be human. To love,
it's to be human. To fail,
it's to be human.

And so we must stay true to ourselves and true to others,
especially during trials. Forgive. Love. Trust. Help.
God, who gives us our soft tissue and blood, does the same for us.
He forgives, and so must we.
He loves, and so must we.
We must live this life our best, and that's all we can do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Yesterday was quite a day. Stella got spayed yesterday morning, and the poor pup's been sluggish all day. She'll probably be a bit slow for the next week or so. For the procedure, they had to shave a part of one of her front legs for an IV to go in, and the picture is pretty cute.

Also, last night Clint spent the night with me and Keisha and we all sat down and watched Bolt. The movie was pretty funny, and the story was fun to experience, too. The themes of the movie are quite applicable to life, and it's so easy to relate with the super-dog. Clint fell asleep during the movie with a Jolly Rancher in his mouth, and once we woke him up, I had to take a picture.

I had to clean up the large blue, drool stain on the couch. Furthermore, he was quite reluctant to spit out the candy once we woke him up and told him to get ready for bed.

Remember to brush 'em every night, cause if you don't they'll probably fall out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Songs For The Dark

I have officially posted my cd up on the internet now. It's available here. The cd has taken a long time to work on, but I'm proud of the final product. I hope you all enjoy.

And let me know what you think once ye've given it a listen to.

Oh, and by the way, my favorites are "Mourning's Melody", "Midnight Dance", and "If Hollywood Don't Need You (Honey I Still Do)".

(I'm not really sure about the grammatical way to put punctuation inside quotes.)

Confession of a Fantasy Reader

I have a confession to make. You all know, if you follow my blog, that I am an avid fan of the fantasy novel. I've read fantasy books and science fiction for as long as I can remember, but there are two major series' that I am missing from my "Have Read" list.

The Wheel of Time
The Sword of Truth

I realize that both of these have had a rather large impact on the fantasy world, and I think that I should probably read them at some point. See, I know your not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I've never really been attracted to the covers of the Wheel of Time books, and so I've never picked them up. As for Mr. Goodkind's novels, people have told me they're great, but I've not had the chance there, either.

Have you fine folks read them? Should I definitely do so? Do they deserve to move up the ranks of my "To Read" list, or can they sit comfortably somewhere on the list?

That's all for today. Maybe. I might get a chance to express myself more later, but if not, I bid you all a humble farewell.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Few Things

It's late, and I should be getting to bed. My period button is not working properly. Stella is getting spayed tomorrow. She sure has grown a lot. Spring Break is mostly over, as I've got a lot of work to catch up and do before Monday. Plus, we've been looking for our first home, which we've possibly found, but I still have no job. Been praying and praying that that'll come through soon, as I've applied to a few, but the situation requires more of an explanation than I care to elaborate on right now. Instead, I think I'll go read my Bible and then go to bed. Goodnight everybody.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Joe Purdy New Album Released

The cd is finally out. I've not yet managed to listen to it completely, as internet connection is fickle whilst on break, but I just had to post it. I'm sure it'll all be fantastic. Take care folks. The blog will be updated around the weekend for those of you who care.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Brief Respite

I'm off, friends. I'm heading to the wilderness of western Kentucky. I'm going to take it really easy and only do a little homework. I think I'll do a bit o' resting and reading and maybe even some writing.

Farewell for now. And remember, let the Wookie win.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Miscellany

Next week, I'm excited to write, is Spring Break. My very last Spring Break ever. I'm going to soak up all the sun I can get back in the western part of Kentucky. Even though it's forecasted to rain for several days and be 60 degrees-ish, I don't care. Even though I'll be doing homework out the wazoo, I won't care. It'll be spring break, which means that I won't physically have to endure class and lecture for a week. And after the break I'll only have five weeks or so left of classes and then I'll be graduating! May 9th is when I'll officially, ceremoniously, graduate, but my semester will end April 28 or some time around there.

Since I've been hit pretty hard with spring fever, I feel like listening to the Beach Boys. Almost. Really, that doesn't hit until it consistently stays above 85-90 degrees for a while. Then it's Beach Boys time.

But, really, I'm more of a Beatles man. And an Old Time/ Folk/ Bluegrass/ Acoustic man. I noticed that itunes changed its genre classification of folk music; now the folk category is reclassified to Singer/Songwriter. I like Steve Earle, too. And Johnny Cash. Iron & Wine. My Morning Jacket. I don't want to give the false impression that I'm totally obsessed with the Counting Crows and Joe Purdy, because I'm typically not one to obsess, unless it's over a video game I can't put down.

By the way, Marky, I beat Fallout 3. I'm not sure whether or not you have yet, but I did, and I was disappointed. I don't really know what I expected, though. It seems that all games where you can completely control and choose your path has a certain branch of endings to which you are confined. I want to play a game that is truly unique, one where that if you kill the ArchEnemy early in the game, someone else rises up and takes his place. Or one where there really isn't a conclusion. I almost would prefer a non-conclusive conclusion to a crappy resolution.

And when I'm in an aggravated mood, or when I've been working for several hours on a project or something and I feel ready to die from school, I like to play Linkin Park, the White Stripes, System of a Down, or something loud like that.

The White Album or Abbey Road. It's really hard to choose between the two. A lot of folken really like Sgt. Peppers, and I like it, too, don't get me wrong, but I just don't enjoy it as much as the aforementioned. And The Band. That's another great one. Of course, as a folk connoisseur, I have to like Bobby D, the Zimmerman, the legend and master of folk, Master Dylan. And Simon & Garfunkel, who I got to see in concert my senior year of high school in Nashville.

If I could take Print Screen of my life, it would be a nice mosaic to see. Unfortunately, I don't have a Print Screen button. In fact, I don't have any visible buttons, only those ones that are internal that people like to push on sometimes.

I'm still searching diligently for a job. Still looking for a civil engineering position or an environmental engineering position. And Keisha and I are also beginning to search for our first house and to get out of the apartment lifestyle, but before we can commit to a home, I must first find a job.

I do hope you all are having a fantastic day, a great week, a blessed month, and a wonderful year. I hope the music never stops playing in your head, especially if it's anything like mine. Sorry for the rambling, but the pump don't work, cause the vandals took the handles.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Arrested Development

I've just started watching Arrested Development. All I can say is that I've been very non-productive for the past couple days, and I finished Season 1 last night. Several of my friends have recommended the show to me, but for some reason it kept slipping my mind to check it out until about a week ago. I don't know if there has ever been a show to rival its humor and I'm not sure if there ever will be again. The entire plot, the demise of the Bluth family, is so twisted and awkward, and somehow driven by love and selfishness, that I can't help but laugh several times each episode. There have been several moments where I've had trouble ending the laughs. Even as I write this I can think back to certain situations and bust out laughing (and I'm sitting in the middle of my computer lab on campus!)

It's hard to pick a favorite character, as they all have an amazing uniqueness and charm about them.

Michael: The good son of George Sr. Michael is motivated by love for his family, to provide for them and keep them safe (and usually out of jail). The protagonist of the show, but not the funniest character.

Gob (George Oscar Bluth, II): The eldest son of George, he is a magician, and definitely one of the funniest characters on the show. He is driven by selfish desires, namely that to succeed and be better than Michael, or anyone else in his family. He has the funniest quotes and memorable lines, in my opinion.

Buster: The awkward son of George, Buster lives with his mother off-and-on, and he is not exactly solid in the head. Buster is motivated by his mother and his desire to make her happy, but also to find acceptance and sugar. Buster provides slapstick comedy to the show, and the awkward humor as well.

Lindsay: The only daughter of George, Lindsay is typically driven to make sure that she is in the spotlight. She is an avid protester and picketer, though she often does not care what she's protesting or picketing. Lindsay has some funny moments.

Tobias: The son-in-law of George, Tobias is married to Lindsay and he is as awkward as Buster. Tobias is heavily played to portray homosexual tendencies, which is typically obvious to everyone except himself. Tobias is a nevernude, which is exactly what it implies. Tobias has several very funny moments and quotes.

George Michael: Michael's son. George Michael fell in love with his cousin, Maeby, during the first episode when she kissed him to get even with her parents. George runs the Banana Stand and is mostly motivated to gain Maeby's attention and to get his dad's approval.

Maeby: Daughter of Tobias & Lindsay, Maeby is driven to get her parent's attention/ to not have her parent's attention. Maeby is constantly scheming to get even or to not get even with her parents. She's not necessarily a funny character, but she provides an impetus for George Michael to get into funny situations.

George: The paterfamilias of the Bluths, George is serving time in prison for so many reasons it's hard to pick one. He is motivated by selfishness, corruption, and love for his family. George provides several memorable quotes and funny situations.

Lucille: The mother of the Bluths, Lucille is often cold, sharp-tongued, and intoxicated. She loves her children, though it is rarely seen.

Onyong: The adopted Korean child in the Bluth family, his name is actually Korean for hello, though the Bluth's do not realize this.

In all, the entire Bluth family is best taken together. They live and feed off of each other, and the comedy is layered and ingrained with them all. As a family, they are extremely dysfunctional, but they provide wonderfully funny situations for laughter. I'll end with a funny quote by Gob.

"The zero hour, Michael. It's the end of the line. I'm the firstborn. Sick of playing second fiddle. Always third in line for everything. Tired of finishing fourth. Being the fifth wheel. There are six things I'm mad about, and I'm taking over."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Stepping off the Edge

Well, friends, you've convinced me. I apologize for the images, but I didn't want to just put no images, so I added a few random ones. I really like the way the music sounds with the song. You can hear the original here. The video may need to take a moment to buffer and load for it to play correctly. If not, you can download the mp3 here.

Again, recognition goes to Don Williams, the original singer & songwriter. Thanks for listening, folks. Feedback is encouraged....gulp. Splat.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Indecision and Artists

I'm not big on indecision. I used to be pretty indecisive, but I soon realized it was a waste of time and really didn't matter anyway. For instance, back when Keisha and I were dating we would play the "What do you...?" and "I don't care, whatever you want..." game back and forth. This continued for a while.

Somewhere down the line I realized how pointless being indecisive is. Now it's like "What do you want for supper, Logan?" "I don't care, whatever you want to fix." "I don't care. It's up to you." Pause. "I think I want tacos then."

I give the window of opportunity for one considerate indecisive moment, and if the choice has not been made, then I pick. Or, at least this is my goal. Furthermore, apathy is death according to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II, and so I try to limit it.

But I've reached a point where I'm not sure about something. I've been toying with a few ideas about some posts, but I don't know if I want to do it or not. In a way it's like stepping off the Grand Canyon and hoping the impact isn't too rough. See, I've recorded a song with vocals and I think it sounds okay. I kind of would like some feedback on it, but I'm not sure really if I really want any or not. I've also got several stories I've been writing on, and I'm thinking of posting a prologue here, too, for similar reasons.

I consider myself an artist. I like to draw/paint/etc. I like to sing and play music. I like to write creative and sometimes thought-provoking pieces. I love theatre, but I'm too busy and too big a chicken to try out, so I watch it instead.

The way I see art is like there is something inside of me, needing to get out in the form of expression. There are times when I simply feel that I have to pick up my guitar and put something out. There are times when I feel that I must write something, anything. These are times when I feel particularly creative. Then there are times when I just want to express my feelings and ideas, and they take the form of song or canvas or prose.

Artists are fickle folk, I think. In that I mean that we're typically subject to our creative whims. The introvert doesn't want to put their stuff out there for the world to see, while the extrovert longs for global fame and recognition. I'm also an engineer, which tends to make me a bit pragmatic and realistic, which tends to fight against the artistic whims.

Ah, well. My rant is over. I've got to get to class. Perhaps I'll reach my decision soon. Lord knows I hate being indecisive.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Getting Over the Quasi-Flu

My beloved, Keisha, has been sick for a few days now. We went to the doctor last week and he said that if she had a few more symptoms then she'd have the flu. The following day, she got more symptoms. However, since it wasn't diagnosed by a doctor, I call it the quasi-flu, as it is most likely the flu but we're not 100% sure. She's really been in a weak state, exhibiting signs such as headaches, fatigue, hot/cold switches, soreness.

Being a good husband, I went to Wal*Mart and bought some Minute Maid orange juice and some Theraflu. Minute Maid cause OJ is the way to go when you're sick; Theraflu cause Keisha didn't like Nyquil. I also made some homemade chicken noodle soup, using my own recipe and making do with what I had available.

12 cups water
1 bag egg noodles
2 thawed, boneless chicken breasts
2-3 sliced carrots stalks
2-3 sliced celery sticks
10 chicken bullion cubes
2-4 tsp parsley
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary
<1tsp ground sage
salt, pepper, garlic pepper, chopped onion to taste

I realize this looks like a lot of bullion cubes, but I didn't have any chicken broth. Furthermore, I found a recipe that said to make chicken broth, equate 1 cup water to 1 bullion cube. Anyway, mix all ingredients but noodles, bring to a boil, let boil for about 15-20 minutes, stirring, then add noodles and drop heat to low-med and stir occasionally for about 15 more minutes. Serve and eat and enjoy.

Now, a few days later, she's feeling better, and her throat still sounds hoarse/weak, but over all she's much better. In fact, she's going to go to her Girls Bible Study here pretty soon, braving the crowds.

I just wanted to document this. I don't like it when she's sick, but unfortunately it's something we have little control o'er. You can pray that her blood pressure will go down, as it was 139/108 the other day, which is pretty high.

Don't let the world move on without ya, may it do ya fine.