Non-Sequitur #58: I’m a Lazy Bastard

Sexy woman with brass knuckles by Francisco Ruiz Velasco just because…

Ok …I haven’t done a column in a looong time, just because I’m a Way Lazy Bastard, ok?

Train I Ride

A couple of weeks ago I was on the train and I sat behind a woman who smelled like coffee cake. She didn’t have a coffee cake with her  as far as I could tell, but she did smell like coffee cake. It made me hungry.

Last week I got on the Green Line El Train and they were using the fancy new trains! The trains smelled nice and were very clean. The seats are arranged differently in that they mostly all face each other. The idea is that during rush hour they’ll be able to squeeze more folks on to each car. But yeah, the train  cars smelled really clean.

Hurry, hurry here comes my stop

So, I was coming home from work on the bus last week and I was reading a local free paper. There’s a photo of a musician on the cover and a drunk guy felt it necessary to point out that the man was playing a trumpet. Cuz I guess maybe he thought I wasn’t aware of that? Drunk guy later tells me about how he’s able to meet nice girls but not keep them and this somehow segways into to him not being able to comprehend how some guys look at other guys romantically. Dude…I don’t know yer situation, but maybe, just maybe if you’d spend less time wondering what gay guys are doing and more time being not drunk, maybe the nice girls will stick around a little longer. I’m not judging…I’m saying this as one drunk guy to another.

I’ll be seeing you in Hell

One the same bus there was a girl with her boyfriend sitting a little in front of us. The young lady had a bag that had a bag with the logo of the punk rock band the Misfits. Right when I got off the bus, there was a young black man who was wearing a Misfits T-Shirt. It’s very interesting to me that The Misfits are one of the those bands you see their artwork everywhere and you start to wonder, is that person really into the group or did they just say,” That’s a cool shirt, Imma get one?” Either way it’s all good , I guess…I mean the band still gets their money, right? I ain’t  not goddam sonovabitch…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LOaEzmaPfU

Hmm…a cool comic book thing, I saw a girl (late teens maybe?) wearing a t-shirt with Capt America’s shield logo on it.

I saw a guy throwing up when I was getting on the Blue Line the other day. I wish I had something deep to say about this but…it was just a random guy throwing up…

I have a note written down that says “anthrax”. I can’t remember what this means. I probably heard a song by heavy metal group Anthrax in a place where I didn’t expect to hear it. But I really don’t remember now.

Here’s one I do remember! I was getting money at the bank and this was the song that was playing.

 

 

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Non-Sequitur # 57: A Chance For Folks To Meet

The Simple Things You Say Are All Complicated!

Yeah, so like I had a lot of stuff on my mind, then I forgot a lot of it,  then I thought of some other things to write about, then I got lazy, so um…let’s just jump in here…

I walked  to the grocery store early this morning and when I turned down one particular street, I saw  workers towing tons of cars. It was very weird then I remembered that they changed the route of the Gay Pride Parade this year and the starting point was actually in my neighborhood. I looked around and noticed all sorts of little signs on the trees that had messages about parking restrictions. I thought yeah, lots of people are gonna come out of these apartments in a couple hours and be PISSED.

A couple hours later I went to a different grocery store to buy beer. Masses of people had started to gather for the pride parade and then I thought, “Hey, this is the corner where those young dudes sometimes try to sell weed. I bet they won’t be out here today.”  Sure enough, as I passed their favorite awning, I walked by a dude on his cell phone pleading with one of his buddies, “But…Dude! Yer missin’ out on all this money! An’ I’m mad at so-and-so cuz I cain’t even get him on the phone!” I kinda wondered if his buddies didn’t want to come out because they were homophobic or if they were just more than likely concerned about increased police presence.

Sort of related to the above, yesterday, I passed the liquor store and there were a few guys  having a heated discussion out front. It was two wino looking guys  and one slightly younger dude in a shirt and tie. The tie guy was saying, “God’s not gonna go to Phelps ( I can only assume they were talking about the Father Phelps who goes around protesting gays at the funerals of dead soldiers) and say, ‘Ok, what was he doing…and what was he  doing…and what was he doing’…God’s gonna come and say, ‘What were YOU doing?” One of the wino guys replied, “But would YOU have sex with another man? Would YOU suck a dick?” I kinda thought…homie, if yer gonna get into a religious argument, ya gotta do better than, “But would you suck a dick?”  Understand, I’m not  making a case one way of the other for homosexuality, BUT…I’m not going to grow my beard out right now, that doesn’t automatically mean I think that people who do are morally suspect.

Yesterday, I walked to the local comic book store. On one particular corner ( at a strip mall nowhere near the comic book store by the way)  I saw a dude dressed like a superhero just sort of standing there. His suit was white with gold accents and he had sort of a Thor looking head piece with wings on the side. Thing is, I’d seen him a few weeks ago at the corner near my house ( his name was Spear Guardian or something, I can’t remember exactly). At that time, I thought he must be going to some party or event or just cosplaying for fun or something. Now I wonder if he’s trying to become the Phoenix Jones of the north side or whatever. All I can say is do yer thing, bud…but be careful. There’s lots of wannabe drug dealers with drooping pants around here, but there’s also real criminals too, so watch yer back.

Um, what else? …Oh!

Last weekend I went downtown to an indie comics convention. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. It was right before the Puerto Rican Day Parade ( Yes, another parade. It’s Chicago. From here on in there’s not going to be one weekend without either a parade or neighborhood fest, just deal with it). The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo was at Columbia College downtownhttp://www.cakechicago.com/. I got down there a little early, so I killed time at a Harold’s Chicken on Wabash St. I gotta say, that Harold’s is way better than the one by my house. It was bigger and extremely well light. The small fries I ordered would have been a large at almost any other eating establishment.

I didn’t check out any of the comics for sale at the convention cuz I’d already spent my comics budget for the week and I was mainly interested in seeing one  panel about women and atuobio comics. I thought they’d have an unique perspective on the medium. The artists had pretty interesting things to say about visual style and how much of real life they choose to put into their strips. I was a little surprised when one of the women made a random Jack Kirby  reference, but what REALLY surprised me was all the 80’s punk rock music that was playing over the loudspeakers before the panel started. Here’s what stood out that I can remember…

7  Seconds – Clenched Fists Black Eyes

Black Flag –You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You

Fear-I Love Living In The City

Misfits –40 Eyes

Fugazi- I don’t know which song, but I know it was Fugazi

Ramones- Blitzkrieg Bop

I totally remember that stuff from my teenage years. Hearing it in this venue made me feel both young again and very old at the same time. Fuggin’ mortality…

Also, last weekend there a street fest right here in my neighborhood. It was Chicago Pizza Fest or something. Even though it was within walking distance, I didn’t participate. The food they had there was exactly the same stuff I can get any day of the week only cheaper. They had live music of course. The headliners were 80’s new wave pop stars Berlin   and a local group called Too White Crew.  The bands might have gotten  me out there, then I remembered I only like one song by Berlin. An’ no…not Take Your Breath Away, but Masquerade.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azr2ooLlfzQ The other group was Too White Crew, they’re a local group that  does hip-hop/pop cover from the 90’s.  I didn’t make the effort to stay. Then it turned out I needn’t bothered anyway cuz Too White Crew  were so loud that I could hear them from my apartment with the window up. Luckily, I guess, I like TLC and have nostalgic feelings for Bev  Biv Devoe, otherwise I might have been pissed.

Um, ok…as I finished typing that last paragraph, my internet went out. I figured, “Alright, I’ll go out and get some beer and come back to it.” Outside right now the streets are swarming  with young people. I guess because of events related to Pride Day. On the way back to my house , I saw two girls and one guy who I’m going to assume was gay walking towards me. It seemed they had just exchanged words with a couple of thug looking guys behind them. The guy was saying, “I thought I heard him call me  a bitch! I was gonna blah, blah, blah!”  I walked by the thugs, the bigger of the two I sorta recognize from the neighborhood. His partner, however, I noticed had his pants sagging in the stereotypical “gangsta” way. They were literally just past his ass. I’m thinking like, “You wanna make fun of a guy for being gay. but you have your underwear showing. Do you even know where that ‘fashion’ started?” OH, THE FUCKING IRONY.

Comedian #1: When Before Watchmen was announced I said I wasn’t going to buy this one. I was at the comic store and bought it anyway.I was disappointed. Fuck me.

Enuff negativity! Let’s remember sweet, sweet music! Martha and the Vandellas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdvITn5cAVc

 

Non-Sequitur #29: All Those Rich Kids in Oak Park Take Acid

A lovely illustration of Gwen Stacey by Steve Rude

I Deserve Everything Bad That’s Going to Happen To Me: I haven’t been to Burger King in almost three years. Not because of any deep reason…it’s just a little out of the way of where I live and if I want junk food there’s a McDonald’s literally down the block from my place. But one particular day I made an effort to go to Burger King just to  take a walk on a nice day and to break from my normal routine. I decided to try a Triple Whooper with Cheese. It’s been at Burger King  for a while, but I’d never had one. It’s  exactly what you think it is and it’s maybe a little obscene…1230 calories, 225 cholesteral, 550 sodium. This processed mess was served to me piping hot and cost $6.40 for just a sandwich. I choked the whole thing down and I swear I felt dizzy. I’m lucky I didn’t have a heart attack right then. It was one of the worst fast food eating experiences  I’ve had in recent  memory. Of course, I’m dying to try it again.

Oh Canada! More and more my local NPR station is adding shows produced in Canada. I don’t have a problem with this, I just think it’s interesting.

In this issue of Marvel Adventures Black Widow..Wait! That's Veronica from Archie comics! Marvel lawyers are you out there?

“All those rich kids in Oak Park take acid”: That’s what I over heard from a couple of skate board kids on the El not too long ago. It was a few hipster looking youths with a couple of girls they apparently just met. One of the kids took down  an overhead CTA map and stuffed it in his backpack. It seemed like they were all on some sort of elaborate prank maybe? At first I was thinking, “fuggin’ kids…”  Then I thought, “That’s probably more punk rock than anything Fallout Boy ever did.” I’m not hating on Fallout Boy, I’m just saying.

“Hey, Rocky…Watch me revamp the DC Universe!”

“Again? But that trick never works!”

“This time for sure!!”

Veronica #206: So, I’m out spending more money that I can’t afford to spend and out of the corner of my eye I see this issue of Veronica at the local comic book shop. At first i thought it was an all ages Black Widow comic from Marvel. I guess it’s supposed to be a parody and I’m not an expert on copyright law, but hmm…  The comic has something to do with Betty and Veronica leading double lives as sexy super spies. In the first half of the issue, the girls stop a break in at Lodge Industries. They tie up the crooks in a “cocoon” they fire from their wrist gizmos. Like I said, hmm… The second half of the issue concerns Betty and Veronica investigating why the children of Riverdale are all of a sudden acting too rowdy to babysit. Turns out there’s subliminal messages in the children’s television shows causing them to behave outrageously. The conclusion of this story will be published in Betty #192.  Overall, I guess it’s innocent enough. The ads in this issue are a little curious. There’s two ads for the Archie married stories and FOUR for the upcoming Kevin Keller mini-series. I understand wanting to push your new product, but is it necessary to have four different ads for the exact same comic?

Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates #4:  I’ve been really disappointed with the Ultimate comics recently (hey, they’re going to get a reboot too!) , but the cover to this kinda drew me in. This is a tie in with the Death of Spiderman and it’s not terrible. The two Ultimate teams fight. Nick Fury is being set up. There a plot twist. More hi-jinx next issue. Not amazing, just ok. I enjoyed the art in this issue by Lenil Yu and Stephen Segovia. Some people don’t like Lenil’s sketchy style, but here it’s a lot more tight than in other places I’ve seen it.

It’s too bad these guys aren’t more respected

Non-Sequitur #28: Revolution Is Not an AOL Keyword

One of my dumb fantasies is to see a comic book adaptation of this movie drawn by Frank Cho

To paraphrase the Clash, I been drinking brew for breakfast…

The Nice Ladies at My Job Are Nicer Than the Nice Ladies at Your Job: So, my birthday was last weekend. A couple weeks ago, a co-worker suggested doing something for it and even though I told her not to, she made it clear that she’d plan something anyway. She kept asking me what kind of cake I liked. I half jokingly told her I didn’t want any cake, I’d prefer pasta! Sure enuff, this Wednesday she brought sandwiches and pasta for everyone. This is the same woman who made me pork chops last year and who periodically brings spinach dip for the office. The running joke in the office is that if she ever dumps her husband, she’s going to marry me. Another woman brought me a black birthday balloon. All we needed was either a circus motif or a bit more existentialism and it could’ve been a Fellini film…

Dreaming Is Free: So, I know I’m feeling better about things because I’m starting to have weird dreams again. When I’m depressed, I either don’t dream or I don’t remember my dreams. When I’m in a good mood, I remember the goofiest details of my dreams. Hence, Jennifer Aniston invading my sub consciousness. In the dream it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying to catch the El in Chicago. The El looks like it’s from the 40’s and in dis-repair. It’s literally about to fall apart.  Some guys I kinda half know come along and we decide to go to their apartment and chill. Jennifer is there and we all watch TV and hang out. One by one the other guys gradually leave the room and me and Jennifer get “romantic”. When they come back I think, “Hmm…these are Jen’s guy friend, I wonder if she had them set this up?” Please understand that while I think Jennifer is an attractive woman, I’m not a super-fan or anything. I don’t go to see her movies and I haven’t watched Friends in years.  Yet here she is getting her buddies to set me up with her…

AGGHH! FUGGIN’ COMPUTERS!! IT SAVED HALF MY DRAFT AND THE REST WAS EATEN UP BY CYBER SPACE! Anyway…

This was a pretty interesting story regarding ageism in advertising  http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/episode/season-5/2011/05/28/season-five-ageism-in-advertising-1/

Secret Avengers #12.1: I know, I know…the ” Point 1″ initiative is Marvel’s marketing dept bending over the fans. But at least Nick Spencer’s a gentle lover and he brought some stimulating lube ( er, I know…disturbing metaphor, let’s move on).  I really like the cover by Mike Deodato. I kinda think it’s funny that Hank McCoy’s face is the only one that’s detailed, but I guess if it weren’t, he’d be a shadow under Steve Roger’s armpit. Readers might wonder who’s legs are behind Steve. Comics Alliance ( I think) did a snarky review calling it Capt America vs Wicki-Links, but that’s not far off. A person dressed in the old US Agent’s costume leaks government secrets in the name of justice, but the information will put the lives of many  govt double agents at risk, so Steve and the gang have to bring him down. The story does work as a stand alone issue and manages to touch on currents events in the news that I don’t think will be too dated a few years from now.

Secret Avengers #13: Wow, I’m going to miss Nick Spencer when he leaves this book. This is a very well crafted story that ties into Fear Itself . The Beast tries to save an old friend who’s holed up at the Senate while Washington DC is under attack. This story is able to combine current Marvel continuity, civil rights, superhero action, AND still work as an entertaining  stand alone story. Nice art from Scot Eaton too ( although he draws cat-Beast). Boy, do I wish more superhero comics were this good.

Batman Inc #6: I’m still having fun with this title. In this issue we get a further explanation of Bruce’s idea for the Batman Inc concept that almost makes sense. We also learn a little more about the threat that Bruce is assembling his Bat-Army to fight. Complex, yet breezy and fun,,,this title makes me wish I could be a comic book writer.

Astonishing X-Men #37: A straight forward tale about the X-men fighting a giant monster in Tokyo while Armor attends a family funeral. I mostly bought it for the Jason Pearson and Sara Pichelli art. Heavy, detailed, cartoony, and energetic all at the same time…I really enjoyed the visuals. I might hunt down the previous issues. The thing I didn’t like…this issue ends on a cliff hanger, yet the next issue starts a new story with other members of the cast and a different creative team! Wha?

A Political Song For Michael Jackson to Sing: I was listening to a radio interview with Mike Watt, bassist of the legendary punk band the Minute Men. The part that stuck in my mind was when the guys ask Mike about the jazz influence in the band’s sound. Mike says something like, “We never knew about jazz when we were kids, so when we heard it, at first we thought they were like punk guys who were old. We didn’t realize that Coltrane had died years ago and that this music was done in the 50’s.”  Check it out if yer so inclined here, I think…http://www.soundopinions.org/

Gil Scott Heron passed away. Sometimes I wonder if the revolution WAS televised, but we were all too busy to realize that it got co-opted.