|Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XXIII
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag's Mimmoth-Free Zone
Saturday, March 29, 2003
You know it's getting to be Springtime in Seattle when we open up the windows and doors of our house to heat it up.posted by Tegan | 11:34 AM
Friday, March 28, 2003
I'm a bit of a coin collecter. Not terribly serious about it, to be honest. Much of my collection is worthless foreign coins that happen to look cool (though I admit to having a few that aren't worthless). All told, my coin collection isn't worth much, but I love it. It makes me quite happy.
When the 50 State Quarters program was announced, I was thrilled. After all, American coins are pretty boring, so any change at all is neat. And after a bit of waffling, I decided to go ahead and order a proof set of the first 5 coins. I got hooked. As soon as the US Mint offered a subscription, I signed up for it. Today, the 2003 coins arrived.
Illinois: "Land of Lincoln" with a silhouette of Lincoln inside an outline of the state, with a landscape in the background. Not too cluttered, but not really terribly striking, either. Because of the size of the coin, Lincoln is hard to see, on non-proof coins he's going to wear down quickly. But the detail on his outfit is impressive. Not bad.
Alabama: Seated image of Helen Keller with a banner reading "Spirit of Courage". Helen Keller's name is also in Braille. Very striking, if only because they had the strength to represent a person who battled agains the odds and won on their coin. The Braille is nice, but will probably wear away quickly on circulated coins... not that it's really big enough to read anyway. I admit I want to get one of these quickly so I can rub my finger on the Braille. Overall, pretty good.
Maine: I hope Washington's coin is this good. It's so simple. A lighthouse on a cliff. A ship. And yet it captures a mood perfectly. Yeah, I like this one a lot.
Missouri: "Corps of Discovery" with Lewis and Clark in a canoe under the Gateway Arch. Different than other coins, it'll jump out at you with the arch design. There's a lot of dates on this side of the coin: 2003 as the issue date, 1821 as the Statehood date, and 1804 and 2004 under the Corps of Discovery title. It's ok, not my favorite.
Arkansas: A diamond. A forest. A mallard. A lake. Hmm. What is this coin trying to say? Whatever, it's cluttered and not very original. The diamond is probably the most interesting thing about the coin. Not very impressive.
For a lot more information on the program, visit the US Mint's 50 State Quarters Program page. There's a lot of cool information there, including a complete list of coins to come (just click on a state whose coin isn't out yet).posted by Tegan | 7:51 PM
Zatanna Everyday Magic: A fun book, but not for the kiddies. I found it fairly amusing as well as slightly gross. The artwork fit the tone of the book, mostly.
Amazing Spider-Man #51: I can't say it's a completely original idea for a villain, but it's more interesting than quite a few we've seen lately. And it's nice to see that Peter's relationship isn't suddenly all roses, there's a build-up, and they are both working to solve their problems.
Ruse #18: While this is good, everything happens pretty fast, and my initial reaction is that it just goes by too quick after the glacial pace of the last few issues. While I bet my opinion will change on a re-read, my initial reaction is that it's just too much.
Usagi Yojimbo #65: I love young Usagi tales. He really got around as a child. And this particular story is both fun and leads to another mystery about Usagi's past. I'm looking forward to the second part of this tale, which we may see next week, or maybe in another ten years...
Next week: Thieves & Kings #41, Batman: Nevermore #1, and Justice League Adventures #18. What a small week!
On a completely different note, I found a note allegedly from Erik Larsen on this thread at Comicon.com, and couldn't help but laugh at it. Larsen complaining about someone's artwork being distorted???? Larsen, Mr I-won't-draw-it-unless-it's-distorted??? Larsen, who drew a cover to a Spider-Man book in which Spider-Man was so incredibly, and badly, distorted that it looked simply gross??? With his track record at drawing badly proportioned, bizarre looking, deformed characters both inside and outside books, he shouldn't be criticizing someone else. The cover he's complaining about looks a heckuva lot better than any cover I've ever seen drawn by him. I've had a hard time sitting on my opinion, but instead of responding in the thread and possibly causing a pointless flame war in an inappropriate place, I'll just spit out my disbelief at his utter gall here in my blog. Feel free to disagree.posted by Tegan | 8:14 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Green Lantern #161: Predictable, and not all that exciting.
JLA #79: Fairly predictable. Not very good, although there are a few moments of interest.
Still to go: Zatanna, Amazing Spider-Man, Ruse, and Usagi Yojimbo.posted by Tegan | 8:19 AM
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Aquaman Secret Files 2003: I meant to review more than just this. But I can't bring myself to read any of the other books. The first story in this book was written for me. Perhaps not literally (though that's a possibility too), but it certainly works that way. I have always been the single Vulko fan on the planet Earth, and this first story is about Vulko. And it says exactly what I've been saying about Vulko for years. I can hardly believe this, but I'm suddenly more excited about the current Aquaman series than I was when I first learned it was going to happen! I wish I could give this book five starfish, but there are flaws that, even through my haze of joy, I can see. But the redemption of Vulko makes up for an awful lots of flaws, and this book only has a few...
A note: I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I've set a self-imposed limit of three blog entries per day. So I will always post at least one entry, but never more than three. Just so you know. This is the third, and final, blog of the day.posted by Tegan | 6:39 PM
I thought you would like it. I did, too. "Man-o-war" looks like he has potential. Breyfogle's art worked pretty well-for a one-shot but I would not like him as the regular. I've always liked him for Batman, though.
farsider | Email | 03.27.03 - 11:55 am
Now that I've actually got my bookshop up and running, I thought it might be fun to promote some of the cool books I'm putting in the shop (if nothing else it ought to get me to write up notes about the books on the shop page). If you choose to buy this book through the link to Amazon I provide, I'll get a tiny percentage in the form of credit. If you don't choose to buy it that way, I urge you to check it out anyway, because these are NEAT books.
Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships
Ok, I have to confess. Eric Shanower is a good friend of my husband. They both were in the Oz club early on. While hubby-Eric went on to write the most comprehensive Wizard of Oz website the internet has ever seen, Eric Shanower is an incredible artist and writer who's work is simply amazing, and his efforts to preserve and share early Oz artwork and music (along with his partner David Maxine) are admirable. That said, this effort of Shanower's has nothing to do with Oz.
Age of Bronze is a complete retelling of the story of the Trojan War, from Paris' emergence as a prince of Troy until... well, I don't know where it will end. We're only sixteen issues into it (as of March 2003) and it is consistently good all the way through. This collection, "A Thousand Ships" covers the kidnapping of Helen up to the first launch of the Greek fleet toward Troy.
To do justice to the story, Shanower has kept up with the latest archeological studies of the era. He uses the many examples of imagery from Greek artifacts to portray the Greeks, and went so far as to ask the leading expert on Troy, Manfred Korfmann, what the Trojans may have looked like. An extensive bibliography in the back of this volume will lead the curious to many other sources of Trojan myth.
Of course, this is just the first volume. The second volume, "Sacrifice", is currently being serialized in comic book format from Image Comics. You can find it at any good comic book store, or at The Age of Bronze website.posted by Tegan | 10:45 AM
My nephew has been born. He kept his Mommy and Daddy up all night, but he arrived into the world at 2:15 am East Coast time this morning. Poor kid. I'll always associate him with the arrival of the Aquaman Secret Files...posted by Tegan | 9:50 AM
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
He's a little early, I think. Don't know his weight yet, since all I've heard is that my sister-in-law is in the hospital. But my little brother Daniel is about to become a father for the first time. And I guess that makes me an aunt for the eighth time. Wow.
See, when my oldest sister had kids, it was no big deal. She's way older than me! When my third oldest sister had a girl, no big deal. At least she's older than me. When my older brother had children, well, that was a bit of a deal since he's only 18 months older than me... but still, he's older than me. But my little brother is four years younger than me, and he's having a son? Maybe I'd better think about having children if I ever intend to have them.
Maybe.posted by Tegan | 6:18 PM
David Dunham | Email | 03.28.03 - 12:34 pm
The last time somebody put up a piece of flash animation involving Aquaman, I got at least 50 e-mails from 50 different people telling me to check it out. It was funny, yes, but not that funny. In a probably vain attempt to forestall more e-mail, I'm letting you know about this latest piece of flash that someone has posted. This is Maritess vs the Super Friends. As is usual with these things, I suggest parents watch it before letting their kids see it, to make sure none of it is contrary to your philosophy of life.
This is a fairly long piece of animation, by the way. The link was first sent to me by Frank D'Urso via the Aquaman mailing list.posted by Tegan | 8:30 AM
Monday, March 24, 2003
A bit of human nature played out behind me in the restaurant tonight (hubby-Eric and I went out using some money he got from Birthday Express for selling party supplies through his website).
There was a woman and a man in the booth next to ours, both talking loudly enough that I had to tune them out fairly quickly or get annoyed. Thus I didn't pay attention to the remarks that led up to the woman saying in a much louder voice, "You knew?!! That was supposed to be a secret!!!"
"Well, yeah, Chris told me," the man answered.
"But it's a secret!" the woman stammered in reply, "And he's, like, telling everyone! He told John, and Mark, and a dozen other people!"
"Well," said the man very reasonably, "you just told me."
"That's different! You already knew!" She said.
"But you didn't know I knew when you told me." He replied.
"But you knew! And it was supposed to be a secret!"
I had to fight to keep from laughing. I think I actually may have let out a chuckle, but I managed to keep it mostly to myself, and the conversation between the two in the next booth eventually moved on to other topics in more normal tones.
I wonder if the woman ever realized just how ironic she was being in getting angry that someone else had already spilled a secret she was busy spilling?posted by Tegan | 8:14 PM
Salam Pax has posted again, after a couple of days with no internet access. I don't think he realized that he's become a major celebrity. Doesn't matter, what he said made me ill. Yes, we are hitting the targets we want to, but the buildings around our targets are getting badly damaged too. That's the nature of bombs.
I just hope this thing ends soon without more death.posted by Tegan | 10:33 AM
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Was anyone really surprised at Michael Moore? Anyone?
Ok, Eminem was a bit of a shocker.
I liked Steve Martin. His dry humor is quite good.
It seemed to be going pretty fast at first... too bad they had all those musical numbers to slow it down so much (and, ironically, the winning song itself was not performed).
A nice waste of three and a half hours, I guess.posted by Tegan | 9:04 PM
I haven't mentioned my religious beliefs much, mostly because I hold them very strongly but very close to my heart. I have a lot of thinking to do about them, and I didn't really think that my views on religion should matter too much to anyone else. However, I keep seeing articles and mentions of my religion, and it pains me to see it misunderstood so completely by otherwise well-meaning people.
What I'm about to write, and what I write under the title "Theology Class" is all my opinion. It has nothing to do with any organized religion, including and maybe especially the one I profess to believe in. This is entirely my viewpoint. My interpretation, right or wrong, of my beliefs. You can argue with me all you want, even tell me I'm completely wrong, and it won't matter much since it's all opinion anyway, and not scripture. Don't take it as an endorsement or condemnation of any particular religion, because this is entirely about my beliefs.
First off, I'd better start with my philosophy of religion. My desk dictionary says that religion is "a set of beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of the universe." That's the first definition. The second is "an institutionalized system of religious beliefs and worship." And that's actually how I look at religion.
The first and most important part of religion is a set of beliefs, a gospel. I'll be using that word, gospel, to refer to the beliefs themselves. In my philosophy, the gospel is the ideal of the religion. It's perfect, because it is what the religion aspires to be. Yeah, I know "gospel" is a Christian word, but I was raised in a Christian faith, so whaddya expect?
The second and lesser important part of religion is the organized side of things. See, the problem with organized religion is that it involves people. As soon as you put people into the equation, things go wrong. If there were a way to teach and propagate religion without involving human misunderstanding and misinterpretation you would have a perfect religion... but then you wouldn't have a church. That's my word for the people side of things, by the way: church.
These are very deep philosophical ideas I'm trying to convey. I'm not sure I'm doing a good job of it, and I won't know unless someone responds with a comment or question that shows that the person "gets it", and since I don't actually expect anyone to read this far, I don't expect for that to ever happen. Still, this blog has always been for me, to prove that I can order my thoughts on a daily basis, so I'll plough ahead.
Anyway, the bit that some of you no doubt kept reading to discover: I was born into and raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known by the name "Mormon". I stopped attending church regularly in late High School and haven't gone to church regularly in years. To the Church (note the capital "C", that's how I'll be referring to it in future blogs), I'm an inactive member married to a non-member (hubby-Eric was raised in a non-religious family). I consider myself as a member who has a whole lot of problems to work out before she's willing to go back. See, I strongly believe the gospel of the Church, but I really have some serious problems with the church side of things.
To illustrate, I'll use a different church to show you an extreme example. I'm going to pick on the Catholics. See, how can anyone in their right mind believe in the Catholic church after this whole thing with their priests molesting people? How can you trust a faith that allows that to happen, and even tries to cover it up? Ah, but that's where my difference between "church" and "gospel" comes in. Just because some incredibly stupid and sick people are in positions of authority within the Catholic church does not mean that the beliefs of its members are automatically invalid. It's the exact same thing with just about any religion. The beliefs of the religion must be evaluated alone as well as in the context of the organized church. You cannot always count on the leadership of any church to correctly represent the beliefs.
Unfortunately, it's some hang-ups I have with the current and past leadership of the Church that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for me to currently attend services. Those problems will never go away, but until I learn how to deal with them, I can't go back. And, unfortunately, when I've sought help within the Church itself for the resolutions I need, I've been unable to find it. I'm afraid it's something I have to work out for myself.
Right, off I go on another tangent. Anyway, I'll try to keep these "classes" to a minimum. I don't expect anyone to read them. But hopefully the exercise will clear up some of the cobwebs about religion in my head. Who knows.posted by Tegan | 4:25 PM
"It's perfect, because it is what the religion aspires to be."
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
This is the only time the Bible uses the word "religion" in a favorable way. I don't think God is very pleased with most of what passes itself off as religious.
farsider | Email | 03.26.03 - 10:57 am
It looks like it worked! No more mimmoths!posted by Tegan | 12:28 PM