This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Holy thuddawwwappppp, Batman!

As mentioned earlier, I tend to think in the style of whatever book I'm reading, and as also mentioned earlier, I'm currently reading a lot of graphic novels... lately, I've been picturing my life as a series of panels, featuring me and mine at interestingly askew angles, with thought and speech balloons which feature random words boldfaced and italicized...

Spin your primary, do si do...

I suppose I might be looking at what I linked to in the last entry in the wrong way; after all, Dean never said that he was the "atheist candidate," but I guess I was hoping he would be different than other candidates in bowing to the Obligatory Jesus Reference.

But, perhaps, his acknowledgement that he will be talkin' 'bout Jebus while in South Carolina proves that he is what all the conservatives have been gleefully asserting he isn't--a savvy politician.

After all, if emphasizing your religion in the South while downplaying it in the North isn't the tactic of someone who knows what they need to do to be elected--then what is?

It's really sad when a patently false move makes me more confident in a candidate, not less... because it makes him seem more "electable."

The atheist candidate?

$%*&#$* Howard Dean...

(link courtesy The Raving Atheist)

Monday, December 29, 2003

From her to me.

The best Christmas gift of all is the one you really, really wanted, but didn't know you did.

Somehow, this year my wife managed to score a hat trick. Oh sure, there were the things I had hinted and hinted in a subtle fashion (subtle like those advertising planes over Ocean City), like the Indiana Jones and Looney Tunes box sets (hey, is that the fourth DVD, Indiana Jones and the Looney Tunes?), but she also managed to get me the latest They Might Be Giants compilation, which she bought before I started listening to Flood and Lincoln obsessively two weeks ago. But I've liked TMBG since college so that's not too much of a stretch. The real surprise...

...well, it just left me speechless.

It started with the DVD for Unbreakable, which was a movie I really enjoyed but hadn't hinted about at all. For those not in the know, Unbreakable is in large part about comic books. Then, I opened my next present, a history--with illustrations--of D.C. Comics, home of Superman, Batman, and other favorites. And another--a treasury of the art of Alex Ross, a well-known comic artist whose background is painting, not cartooning.

How did she know?

I was never a collector of comics at all. But in my youth (I hate that phrase, "in my youth," mostly because at nearly 32 I don't feel like I've left it) I devoured anthologies of all the classic D.C. and Marvel superheroes, including gigantic ones of Superman and Batman which included comics from the thirties to the seventies; and of course, like everyone else in the eighties, I was stunned by Frank Miller and his work on Batman, and later on by Alan Moore's Watchmen. In other words, I wasn't enough of a fan to have brought my interest into adulthood, but I still have a keen interest in the history of both the characters and the books themselves. And K bought me not one, not two, but three comic book related gifts that I hadn't even thought of. I read the books immediately; we haven't watched the movie yet because of the severe backlog (I bought her what amount to the complete works of Joss Whedon on DVD).

This blog entry seems so inadequate for the rush of feelings I have--not for the gifts themselves, but for their appropriateness--so perfect, yet I didn't even know. I don't have words to express how happy she made me--so happy that I continued the comic book theme and bought graphic novels with the Barnes and Noble gift cards I got from other relatives (including the aforementioned Watchmen, which I always wanted but never got around to buying). Nine years of marriage, and she still surprises me. What else could I ask for?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Blank verse.

I don't believe in God or Fates,
I only believe in Bill Gates.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Silver and crunch.

This year, our Christmas tree is a real beaut--a Fraser fir, probably about six and a half feet tall, perfectly shaped and full. It is also drunk, based on the number of times it's fallen.

Christmas Eve, it fell directly onto our son D as he was fooling with the lower branches. I was right there but I wasn't in time to stop it. Instead, I used my superhuman strength to pull it off him and return it to its place while K used her superhuman vacuum to clean up the broken ornaments.

The second time it fell was last night, apparently because of the cat, as K and I were settling down for the proverbial long winter's nap. It was a thunderous crash, and we went downstairs; this time I employed the vacuum.

We have a particular favorite ornament which we got for our first Christmas together back in '95; it's a simple glass ball with silver stripes, but very classy. Remarkably, it stayed on the tree after the first fall; after the second it was on the floor and I picked it up.

"Is it okay?" K asked.

"Yep," I said, examining it. "Not a scratch. Incredible!"

I put it down on D's drawing table while I started to help cleaning up. I placed it a little too close to the edge.

Do I really need to describe what happened next?

Thursday, December 25, 2003


Well, this annual thing that our family does, which we call "Christmas"--I don't know why, no one's named Chris--went well. We bring a tree into the house for a few days, usually an evergreen of some sort, and then we put presents under it, wrapped up. This year K and I had a brainstorm and told the kids that a magical person would come down our chimney and leave extra presents for them, but only if they were good.

"Why a chimney?" I asked. "We don't even have a chimney."

"Because I don't want to leave the door unlocked," answered K.

Anyway, it didn't work as behavior modification; the kids were just the same as always. But watching their faces as the presents were opened was worth it. I wonder if anyone else does this sort of thing; it could really catch on, I bet.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Don't worry, folks, I'm still alive! As always, the holidays make it tough to do much of anything. But I have many a blog on the hopper. So to speak.

(vast, canyon-like silence)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The weebles, falling from the oyster...

I've never done drugs and these days I don't drink, so this pleasant buzz from Tylenol Cold is about the most dangerous high I've had in many a month. Wonder if I shouldn't drive at the moment.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

No, waiter, it's not a fly.

This is how my son renders Buddy Holly's most famous song:
Baby Soup,
Baby Soup,
Pretty pretty pretty pretty Baby Soup...

Dear me. Is that an appetizer, or a main course?

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

At the start of 2003... [George W. Bush] was prosecuting a mostly clandestine war on terrorism, which even included--on at least one known occasion--the CIA covertly assassinating suspected enemies with remote-controlled drones in Yemen. (David Corn, The Lies of George W. Bush, page 241)

Remote-controlled drones? Doesn't that seem like it deserves an "according to..." or at least a footnote? Suddenly, in the middle of an otherwise carefully cited book which seeks to base its criticism of President Bush on facts instead of rhetoric, we're deep in the mud of Conspiracy Land.

It turns out this sentence is true, admittedly. But gee whiz, David, couldn't you have at least said "as reported in Newsweek"?


If things have been slow, it's my fault; I've been busy sharing bandwidth with people.

Isn't this the coolest thing?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Dear Santa...

First comes Godfrey with a link to this video about iPod's battery life. Then comes Medley, confessing to the world her newfound iPod lust. Now Mike has linked to this NYT article about the iPod.

Is the blogosphere trying to tell me something?