Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pre-Retreat Question

I'm in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, helping out on an 8-day silent retreat.  Not sure I'll be posting much still for another week or two.  

But -- a strange question that came to me as I took a shower at my parents' house over the weekend:  If they can make shampoo that doesn't make your eyes burn -- like the Johnson's & Johnson's my parents keep for when their grandchildren come -- if they can make shampoo like that, why in God's name don't they make all shampoo like that?

Deep thoughts...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Something's Coming... Could be... Who Knows?

I have not been much with the bloggery of lately.  Perhaps because I have been more with the packery and the movingery and the saying goodbye to my friends at America.  

I hope to be back at the keyboards at the end of the month, or thereabouts.  For now, some little wonderful things.  

A Hummingbird

Watch the Milky Way

Cat in Love

Monday, May 4, 2009

Last but Not Least Nasty

Lastly, Here's something I hope doesn't happen to me on the plane...


I'm traveling to Milwaukee tomorrow for two days.  I'll try to post from there, but who knows...

In the meantime, a few things to entertain you:

First, Lex Luthor seeks a bailout.  

Second, a Bert and Ernie Sing-a-long, 2009 style:

The King of Small Talk

I was invited this evening to see a reading of two plays in progress by a former classmate whom I haven't seen or talked to in over 2 years.  The plays were great; lots of really good material that made me terribly jealous.  

But I had my own little scene, too, when I first spoke to my classmate.  I call it "Socially Awkward, #3247".

Enter Me.  Just next to the door stands Her, welcoming everyone as they enter the reading room.  

Her: Hi!

Me:  Hi! 

Me and Her embrace.

Me: Thanks for inviting me!

Her: Thanks for coming! It's great to see you!

Me: You, too! You, too. I can't wait to see your shows. 

Her: Thanks.  I can't wait for you to see them!


Me: So, how have you been?

Her: I'm good, I'm good. How are you?

Me: Oh, good, good. 


Me: I can't wait to see your work. 

Her: Yeah, me neither.  I look forward to hearing what you think. 

Longer, horror-filled pause.

Her: How's Fr. O'Hare??

Me (desperately relieved):  Oh, he's good.  He's good.   Still thick with that Irish charm.  


Me: He could talk water from a stone! (Internal Monologue: What the heck are you saying?)

Her smiles. 

A long pause.  

Me:  I can't wait to see your work.  

Her: Yeah, I can't wait for you to see it. 

Me scuttles off to beat himself senseless in whatever corner he can find.  Her breathes a great sigh of relief.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Life and Times of Wolverine (in 900 Words)

The Secret to Wolverine's Super-Close Shave

So, a new X-Men movie debuts today, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." It's the sweet tale of a semi-well-intentioned mass murderer trying to make good in a world that wants him dead. The character of Wolverine, who debuted over 30 years ago in the comic books, has been one of the most popular comic book characters for decades, on a par with Batman and Superman for overall popularity. One of the core alllures of the character has been the mystery surrounding his history; he has no recollection of most of his past, other than when people from it show up to try and kill him. But he's got a nagging feeling it isn't pretty -- and he's right.

Below: a funny little history of Wolverine piece. You don't need to know anything about him to enjoy it.

See you at the show...

The History of Wolverine in 900 Words
Wolverine is the story of a superfast-healing Canadian mutant named James Howlett who has issues. He can’t remember who he is. He leaves a trail of bodies and claw marks wherever he goes. Oh, and people are always killing his girlfriends.

James’ dad was not really his dad, but Logan, the caretaker of the house. His best friend was Logan’s son Dog. And he had a redheaded girlfriend named Rose.

When James’ dad gets killed, James gets so upset he flies into a berzerker rage, killing his real father and injuring Dog with sweet pop-out claws. Totally traumatized, he blocks the event from his memory and flees, living like an animal in the woods.

Years pass. James, now called Logan, runs into Rose in the town where he’s working as a miner. She is engaged to another man. Logan is totally bummed, but whatever.

Dog shows up to kill Logan. Rose is accidentally thrown onto Logan’s claws. She dies. Logan flies into a berzerker rage. Totally traumatized, he blocks the event from his memory and flees, living like an animal in the woods. Again.

Years pass. Logan is in involved in a war. Logan meets Silver Fox. They fall in love. She calls him Snuggles. She gets killed, he flies into a berzerker rage, goes back to the woods.

I miss you when I'm not here.

Years pass. Logan gets involved in World War I. He meets Captain America, totally posts it on his Facebook page.

Years pass. Logan is a loner.

Logan learns the way of the Samurai. Now he knows kung fu.

Logan meets a Japanese woman, they fall in love, they get married, it’s neat, she gets killed, etc.

Logan joins Team X, a special ops military group with a name that doesn’t mean anything. They wipe his mind, he does bad things, escapes, years pass.

Logan is kidnapped by Weapon X. They wipe his mind, spend billions to bind unbreakable metal to his entire skeleton, but before they can use him he escapes, killing most of them. So, not the best investment.

Logan joins Canadian special forces group, drinks beer, takes a new name. Years pass, during which he has no girlfriends murdered nor his mind wiped. Little does he know, he’s been brainwashed. I hate when that happens.

Wolverine, acting under his long-term brainwashing, visits the X-Men to kill their founder, Professor X. He wipes Logan’s mind and then Logan does good things and drinks beer for a long time. It’s a nice change.

Ok, mostly good things.

Wolverine falls in love with a redheaded mutant named Jean Grey. She is in love with another man. Logan is totally bummed, but whatever. She’ll probably die anyway.

She dies.

Years pass.

Wolverine the loner falls in love with a Japanese woman, Mariko Yashida. She doesn’t die for a really long time. It’s weird.

Wolverine the loner becomes the surrogate father for a Japanese orphan. He tries to set a good example, apart from all the killing.

Wolverine the loner with one surrogate daughter becomes the surrogate father for X-man teammate Kitty Pryde. He tries to set a good example, apart from all the killing.

Wolverine the loner with two surrogate daughters becomes the surrogate father for a girl named Jubilee. He tries to set a good example, apart from all the killing.

Wolverine returns to Weapon X, discovers he is not who he thinks he is. He is like, duh.

Wolverine goes to see Mariko. She is poisoned with a painful chemical, makes him kill her. FINALLY.

Silver Fox is discovered to be still alive. They are reunited happily and then she gets killed.

Super villain Magneto rips the admantium out of Wolverine’s body. Wolverine decides magnetic powers suck. But at least nobody wiped his mind.

Super villain Apocalypse wipes Wolverine’s mind, rebinds the metal to his bones and makes him do bad things until he escapes.

Wolverine returns to Weapon X and Weapon Plus, learns he is still not who he thought he was, wonders if it’s finally time for a therapist.

Jean Grey (who it turns out was never really dead) dies again. Wolverine begins sessions three times a week.  

Things take a terrible turn when the shrink asks Logan to talk about his love life.  

Wolverine is kidnapped by terrorist organization Hydra, has mind wiped, does bad things, escapes, needs people to know he feels really, really frustrated.

Wolverine joins the New Avengers, drinks beer. More pictures with Captain America.

Me & Cap: BFF!

Due to a magic spell by the Scarlet Witch, Wolverine permanently regains all of his memories. It turns out he killed a lot of people that he hadn’t even remembered. Frak!

Wolverine the loner with five former or current lovers and wives and 4 surrogate children becomes surrogate father for Armor. he tries to set a good example, apart from all the killing.

Wolverine the loner with five former or current lovers and wives and 5 surrogate children becomes surrogate father for his clone, X-23. She’s totally into killing, so it’s all good.

Wolverine the loner with five former or current lovers and wives and 6 surrogate children discovers he has a son with a really scary name, Daken. He’s been brainwashed, kidnapped, murdered untold numbers of people, and also lived in the woods. Oh, and he has claws and healing abilities, too. So they have a lot to talk about.

Decades pass. Wolverine is finally happy, has lots of friends, drinks beer. A super villain brainwashes him, inspiring a berzerker rage in which he kills everyone, wakes up, is traumatized, flees the woods, refuses to use his claws anymore and marries a redheaded woman.

The clinical term is regression.

Wolverine, by Vincent Van Gogh