Books I’ve read, week twenty

34. The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect
Writer: Peter David Artist: George Pérez
A shame the run on the main title by Gary Frank at the same time is not available, because Peter David was still at his peak here. And Pérez’s hyper-realistic style is well suited to The Hulk meeting his ultimate enemy – a post-apocalyptic version of himself. A

35. Incredible Hulk: Tempest Fugit
Writer: Peter David Artists: Lee Weeks and Jae Lee Issues collected: V2 77-82
Peter David returns after a 7 year absence. Unfortunately The Hulk is back to status quo and it’s only ok, redeemed by the nice little story at the end with art by Jae Lee. B

36. House of M: Incredible Hulk
Writer: Peter David Artists: Jorge Lucas & Adam Kubert Issues collected: V2 83-87
An ok crossover – I haven’t kept any of the House Of M stories. The problem with “big changes” is you know nearly everything will be back where it started at the end. C+

37. Being Human (Star Trek:New Frontier: Book 12)
Writer: Peter David
Why stop the Peter David when I’m on a roll? This one’s important as the new comic series references events in here. A decent sequel to an old ST:TOS episode, although it ends on a cliffhanger… B

For fans of Neil Gaiman and Dr. Who

Neil just posted his take on David Tennant doing Hamlet:

To be, or not to be, that is the question. Weeelll…. More of A question really. Not THE question. Because, well, I mean, there are billions and billions of questions out there, and well, when I say billions, I mean, when you add in the answers, not just the questions, weeelll, you’re looking at numbers that are positively astronomical and… for that matter the other question is what you lot are doing on this planet in the first place, and er, did anyone try just pushing this little red button?

Indy tripleheader

My coworkers have been talking about Grand Theft Auto IV. For me, it’s more like this, but it did leave with a desire to pick up a controller again, and I played some Super Mario Friday for the first time in over a month. I haven’t had the urge as much since I passed 60 stars, but I did want to finish collecting the green ones.

Saturday was once more a cleaning day, but since we’d cleaned the inside last week, I turned my attention to the outside, mostly the shrubs (and weeds) in front and back. I also fixed the garbage disposal (turns out it’s pretty simple) and grilled some burgers for dinner. We had invited some friends over to watch all three Indiana Jones movies on Saturday night, and we had a good turnout and consumed a lot of popcorn. The flicks stand up pretty well, too.

Sunday I just had auctions and reading to do, but that took the bulk of the day. I took some leftover chicken, made a barbecue sauce for it and simmered for a while to get pulled chicken, and made some mashed potatoes and spinach to go with it for dinner. Not a busy weekend, and we didn’t go out (were thinking of seeing Lewis Black, but passed). That’s ok, summer’s coming and lots of busy weekends with it.

Prince Caspian

Tonight we headed into the city to Mazza Gallerie to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I got advance passes (only one day, but they were free) from the fine folks at Entertainment Weekly and didn’t realize until I looked it up that we did the exact same thing for the last Narnia movie. We got there early enough to eat and I’d planned on getting sandwiches at Booeymonger. I got a Manhattan and Jill got a Steak Special. We ate while we people watched on Wisconsin, then headed over to the theater to get seats.

I’m not a fan of getting there early in general, less so when there’s more passes then seats (like most advance screenings), but we did and it wasn’t bad. Unlike last time, the theater wasn’t filled (we speculated that it was because this one had a darker tone and less kids wanted to see it). Jill was disappointed in the movie as she’s a huge fan of the books and this one deviated quite a bit in places (the first battle was invented for the movie) and the tone was too dark for her. Me, I thought it was great, better than the first. The battles are epic, and the casting is good (Eddie Izzard has a great part).

Spring cleaning

Since we cleaned the house last weekend, now it’s time for the blog. In addition to the new theme, I’ve added a link on the left to my Google Reader shared items. Google Reader was already the best way to read websites, but now they’ve added the ability to not only share those sites, but also make notes on them. They also make a nice widget to show your shared items, but as of now offer no way to show the notes you’ve added except on your shared items page (when they do, I’ll probably change to the widget). So think of my shared items page as things I thought were interesting, but not enough to write a blog post about.

Books I’ve read, week nineteen

31. Incredible Hulk Visionaries – Peter David, Vol. 4
Writer: Peter David Artists: Jeff Purves Issues collected: 355-363
Bruce returns in the original him by day, Hulk by night scenario. Interesting, but Jeff Purves’ art starts to wear thin. B-

32. Incredible Hulk Visionaries – Peter David, Vol. 5
Writer: Peter David Artists: Jeff Purves, Dale Keown and Sam Keith Issues collected: 364-372
Dale Keown’s run on art coincided with Peter David’s best storyline – three personalities (Banner, green hulk, gray hulk) are battling for control. Unfortunately you can’t buy the conclusion in a collection right now. A-

33. The Incredible Hulk: Ghost of the Past
Writer: Peter David Artists: Dale Keown and Jan Duursema Issues collected: 397-400
The last couple issues of Dale Keown, might be hard to understand without knowing the intervening storyline. And the last collection of Peter David’s run on the main title, skipping nice runs by Gary Frank, Mike Deodato and Adam Kubert. The Leader returns, but the story isn’t really resolved. B


So Radiohead played Sunday night at Nissan Pavilion as four + inches of rain was coming down. Many people could not even get there and left, and some that did make it were turned away due to flooded roads. It wasn’t that great inside (though some were happy), but it was worse on the lawn. I’ve never had it quite that bad a show (though my Jimmy Buffet experience wasn’t great), but it leaves me with the knowledge that I need to get there 3 hours early in good weather, and 4 hours early in bad.

My favorite post:
Time spent at the concert: 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Time spent in the car getting to and from the concert: 6 hours, 50 minutes.

* 2 tickets – $66.50 each.
* 1 parking ticket for the only available (metered) space in my neighborhood when I got home at 1:30 am – $30.
* 1 ruined pair of shoes.
* 1 even more ruined pair of socks.
* Seeing Liars’ set.
* Any chance that I’ll ever go to Nissan Pavilion again.
* The credibility of Radiohead’s self-righteous prattling about the benefits of getting to the show via carpooling and/or public transit.

emmet swimming at Ned Devine’s

I see a lot of bands, and some I see a lot. More than any, I’ve seen emmet swimming (over 50 in various incarnations, not including various solo projects by lead singer Todd Watts). Saturday we went to see them at Ned Devine’s in Herndon, and it was one of the best shows I’ve seen of theirs. I won’t deny, it was shaping up to be a good evening, we’d had a good meal with friends and had gotten to the pub with plenty of time to see The Hypersonic Secret, which included a member of emmet (and all members of various local bands. They played a number of new songs, I particularly like “Evil Twin” and “All I’ve Got To Do Is Break Your Heart”.

The Hypersonic Secret

emmet swimming formed in 1990; I first saw them in 1994. I became aware of them through The Local Music Store, a distribution network that sold local CDs and we used at the new and used music store I co-owned at the time. They were a top seller and big on the local scene, but it wasn’t until I read an interview with them that I realized I’d gone to high school with the drummer (we were in the drum section in marching band together). I liked their music, and their live shows sold me – energetic and playful. Since I was living in Annandale and they were usually playing in Fairfax, it was easy to see them often and I did. They got a 3 record deal with Sony, had radio play, and seemed poised to break through – except they didn’t (blame fate, the label, whatever). Realizing it was doubtful they’d be able to make a real living (just like me and my store), they stopped touring in 2000 and got day jobs. Thankfully they continued playing, but now only a couple shows a year. I inherited the unofficial concert archive and continue to update it.

Like any band who only performs occasionally, and as much as I like them, I have to admit that some of the shows have been uneven. Some of the better ones have been at the 9:30 Club, and I wasn’t expecting too much as it was a small place and they hadn’t played in over six months. But it was great from the start – “Angst II” and “Fake Wood Trim” were good lead off songs, and “Stealing From The Joneses” and “Clean Water” had everyone going. The whole place pogoed like it was 1996 to “Boones Farm Wine” and “Jump In The Water”, then they took a break.

Erik and Todd from emmet swimming

After they started again with “Off Key Choir”, I was spotted and they gave me a shoutout, saying “the Mayor of Herndon is here”. They said they had a surprise I’d like – one of my favorites. “Broken Oar” was next, and it is my favorite emmet song (especially now that Scott’s in the band – he did the great duet on their live album), but not much of a surprise. Instead, they pulled out their cover of Lou Reed’s “Lisa Says”, which they didn’t think they’d played in 12 or 14 years, and I can’t argue with that. It was indeed one of my favorites from the days they played TT’s, and great to hear again – in honor of the occasion, there’s a version here from 1996.

Todd and Tamer from emmet swimming

They ended with the classic set enders of “Arlington” and their cover of the Police’s “So Lonely”. It was close to last call, but the crowd demanded one more, so they obliged with “You’re So Pretty”. Tamer’s drumming was on fire, Scott’s bass was lean and mean, Erik’s guitaring was tight and both Scott’s and Erik’s backing vocals slipped right behind Todd’s lead. The crowd gave back as much energy as the band put out, and even though we’re getting old, it was worth having to stand in a smoky bar for the duration.

Scotty from emmet swimming