Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nowhere To Run To, Nowhere To Hide

The World Cup is held in a different international location every four years. This time around, South Africa is our host, which is bad for Americans, because they are about 7-10 hours ahead of our timezone. So games are happening very early in the morning. It's better than 8 years ago when the cup was held in Japan and Korea (now those were some early morning games), but it's still a bit of a problem.

Recently, what with the advent of DVRs, that time difference has pretty much ceased to be a problem. I don't have to get up at 5am to watch the soccer game. I let the DVR get up early for me.

Now, the problem is avoiding the sources of news that would spoil the results of the games for you before you can see them.

Friday, the USA was playing Slovenia. I asked my friend to record the game on his DVR. We planned to get together Saturday to watch the game together. I just had to make it one day without discovering the result, and I could have an entertaining few hours watching the game happen as though it were live.

At work on Friday, I informed everyone I thought might ruin it for me that I hadn't seen the game so they wouldn't blab what happened. That worked pretty well, since one co-worker when out and made sure that everyone else knew.

Then I got on Twitter to see if there was anything there I needed to see. I don't follow ESPN or NBC Sports or Sky Sports or any of those types of places. In fact, I only use Twitter for the podcast, so the people that I follow are book nerd kind of people. It's not a place that I expected to find scores spoiled for me. But I was really wrong there. I had to quickly unfollow a few people, while squinting at the screen to block out what people were saying. But I was safe, emerging still ignorant of any actual score. I did know, however, that it had been a closely fought contest, which I guess is good to know. Now I knew the game would be worth watching, right?

That evening, I was about to go to bed. I had navigated through the day without having anything spoiled for me. Before hitting the sack, I checked Rish's blog, to see what he might be up to. He had a post on there about his road trip to Vegas.

Now, if you don't think that we've done the joke to death, then you must not be a listener of the show. While most of us were having sex in high school, Rish was reading The Lord Of The Rings. He's not the guy who likes sports. He's the guy that was in the stands staring at the cheerleaders. When the game was over, he could tell you how many times each cheerleader's skirt flipped up revealing those little school-colored underpants they wear, but he couldn't tell you the final score, even though it was still on the scoreboard. So, I had no fears whatsoever visiting his blog while trying to avoid spoilers.

Yet, there it was. Spoiled as completely as possible. The final score, the controversy over the disallowed goal, everything. The last place I expected to have things spoiled, but it's always where you least expect it, isn't it?

I still watched the game, but it wasn't quite as fun as it could have been. I guess that just goes to show you how utterly omnipresent the World Cup has become.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I talked about this guy on the blog last year. Each year at my town's little summer celebration, there is a parade. Part of this parade has been a guy who dresses in fantastic homemade costumes and walks the parade route. The first time I saw him, he was Optimus Prime (sadly, the Optimus from the Michael Bay movie version, but the costume was still really great). Then the next year, he showed up in an awesomely realistic Halo costume.

So this year, I was really looking forward to what he might have cobbled together for us. Maybe a realistic Iron Man suit, or a Boba Fett or Stormtrooper costume. When I saw him though, I was sad. He was wearing his Halo costume again. A very fine costume, but nothing new since last year. Ah well. "In these tough economic times, we're lucky to have a parade and...blah, blah, blah."

Maybe next year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Writing Update

I got started on my Autism story that I mentioned earlier. I wrote l,lll words. Not kidding, all ones. I hope that the story will be somewhere around 3,000 words. So my progress stands at:

Here's a question for those of you who saw my description of my story idea. Do you think many people would be offended by my suggestion that the world would be unable to function if 9/10 of people were autistic? Is that unfair of me to say? Am I misinformed about autism? Should I come up with a different disorder to use in the story? I'm curious.

You Got Some 'Splaining To Do

I spoke on here before about my sister's kid who has a savant level amount of knowledge about DC characters, despite the fact that she's only three. I was blown away one day when I caught her pretending to be Black Canary while playing with her cousins. No, she wasn't yelling because she was mad, she was yelling because she actually knew that this B-level or perhaps even C-level character's power was her voice.

But I was talking with her parents the other day at a family birthday party, and they confessed that my neice didn't know much about Marvel. I said, "What!!!1!" This just wasn't okay. Marvel is the good one, after all. My brother-in-law called over his daughter, and, perhaps in some attempt at repentance, asked her to demonstrate her Marvel knowledge.

"What does Hulk say?"

"Hulk smash!" she replied.

So, there was that.

This morning, however, I had the perfect chance to test this comic book savant. She had spent the night at my house in a veritable frenzy of cousin craziness. School's out for summer, after all. So, right before I left for work, I pulled out my Marvel Comics character shirt (the one I'm wearing in the picture below), and asked her to name some characters for me.First of all, I started with the easy ones. Spiderman she got right away. I moved on to one I assumed she would also get, Wolverine. She seemed to have a spark of recognition behind her eyes, but the name wasn't coming to her. I shook my head, I might have to call Child Protective Services on my brother-in-law, because he was seriously neglecting this child's education.

Who should I quiz her on next? Another icon would be best. I pointed at Captain America. A blank stare was her response. SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW CAPTAIN AMERICA! That's like, unamerican or something. I'm sure Glenn Beck or one of those types could spend an hour on their show talking about the failure of all that's good when kids don't even know Captain America. I wonder if maybe she could have pulled it out if it was a full body drawing of Cap instead of just his head...

Next I pointed to Iron Man, but her cousins jumped in and shouted his name before she could even try to answer. Everyone seems to know Iron Man these days.

Lastly, I lobbed her a slow pitch, pointing at The Incredible Hulk. She nailed that one at least, but she already knew his catch phrase, so recognizing his face was no feat.

All in all, I was disappointed. My brother-in-law says that she learned all her DC knowledge from the Justice League Unlimited series, which he owns the DVDs of. I think I need to make Christmas gifts of some Marvel series DVDs like The Spectacular Spider-man, or something like that. Just to get this child out of the sad state that she's in.

It's just a shame. Kids today...

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that my own kids would be similarly at a loss when asked to name DC Characters, although I think they'd at least manage to get the names of the big ones, Superman, Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, even those crappy Hawk people. But they wouldn't likely have a clue about Black Canary, that's for sure. But, really, who cares? Marvel is the good one, after all (did I say that already? Sorry, but it bears repeating (can you put parentheses inside of parentheses? Or do you need to use brackets or something like that? What about parentheses inside of parentheses inside of parentheses. Ow, my brain is starting to hurt). My son can name every single character on my shirt though. I tested him, and he nailed them all, only struggling with Magneto and Juggernaut, because they both look similar in the head shot picture, red helmets and all...)