Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XXXI
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag's Poodle-Hat

Saturday, May 24, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 21 May 2003 - Part II

Crossovers #5: There is no way possible for this book to keep up the pace. Simply put, it has to burn out soon because it's been so funny so far. However, this is not the issue in which it crashes and burns. If anything, it's been cranked up a notch. While not quite as funny as last issue ("Barketype!" Giggle), it manages to bring in a bunch of cliffhangers that can only result in fantastic mayhems... this is a really good one, folks. Check it out. 4 starfish

Green Arrow #26: I like the guest star. And I like the whole tale, too. It's nice to have something that isn't a crossover. This is a solid start to the new story-arc, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the issues. 3 1/2 starfish

Still to review: Smallville and Smallville.

posted by Tegan | 12:17 PM

Rapid Reviews - 21 May 2003 - Part I

Batman Adventures #2: I have said that I don't read the regular Batman books because of the continuity. It's clear from the second issue of this new Batman Adventures that this book plans on having some continuity. However, it's fairly minor, and both the main story and the back-up story introduce the concept as well as build on it, which is all I could ever hope for in a comic book. The stories stand alone as well as part of the larger story-arc. That's what's important. 4 starfish

Birds of Prey #55: I really am just counting time until the new creative team takes over... and that happens next issue, thank goodness! This one is a little better than the last couple of issues, at least. So, on to Gail Simone's version! 3 starfish

Amazing Spider-Man #53/494: What can I say? This is a consistently solid book. I like JMS's Peter Parker, I like the moral dilemma, I even like the cliche mob-boss' daughter bit. I think, despite my intense dislike of Jemas' Marvel, I'll keep getting this book as long as JMS is writing it. 4 starfish

A note on the numbering of Amazing Spider-Man: Apparently Marvel is going to dump the "new numbering" and go back to the "original numbering" on this title. That means that, starting with issue #59, the book will officially be at #500 instead. While I thought the original move to restart their high-numbered books was idiotic on Marvel's part, I'm not sure that restoring the high numbers is any more intelligent, as it makes the titles difficult to track and brings back the original problem that Quesada and Jemas claimed was the reason for dumping high numbers in the first place (new readers will be frightened by the high numbers). Well, we can expect such stuff from Marvel as long as it's the Quesada and Jemas show.

Still to review: Green Arrow, Crossovers, the Smallville comic book, and the Smallville TV show finale.

posted by Tegan | 8:32 AM

Comments (4)

So does that make it vol. 1 again or is it still vol. 2?

Frank | Homepage | 05.24.03 - 7:55 pm

I wish I knew.

Tegan | 05.24.03 - 9:11 pm

Well, it could still be volume 2, number 59 in parenthesis on the indicia, while being trumpeted on the front cover as whole number 500. Wouldn't you guess that the main reason they're doing this is so they can ballyhoo the Big Anniversaries in the media? ("Spidey is 500 this month!") Variant tin-foil covers for everyone!

Bill Sherman | Homepage | 05.25.03 - 4:36 am

Well, I checked the indicia on the latest issue, and it says "Vol. 2, No. 53, July, 2003" with no mention of it also being 494. So maybe the indicia will stay the same?

Tegan | 05.25.03 - 9:37 am

Friday, May 23, 2003  


I don't know if I've told this one before. I was reminded of it yesterday when a friend came by and mentioned that her daughter had been stung by a bee for the first time in her life. I quickly dug out my copy of Clan Apis to loan to the girl, and then retold my "bees" story. I also suggested that their family visit Jay Hosler's Website and check out his Killer Bee Story. If you haven't read Clan Apis, follow my link above to buy yourself a copy. You won't regret it.

As for me, here's my story about the bees:

When I think of my youth and all the adventures I've had, one stands out above the rest. When I graduated from High School, a group of my friends held a party for everyone who had started school together and gone to the same schools up through the years. We invited back many of the teachers who had to put up with our antics, and we had a great party. At some point during the event, a group of us went up to our old Fourth Grade teacher and said, "Mrs. Symes, do you remember THE BEES?"

The Bees
A childhood incident, remembered by Laura Gjovaag

I had been anticipating the field trip for weeks. We were going to go out on Puget Sound, in a ferry, and visit the islands. It was a science trip, and I was really looking forward to a long hike in a beautiful forest. Indeed, I was looking forward to it a little too much, because my young heart was shattered when the teacher sadly announced that the trip had been canceled due to the weather. I even begged to go anyway, declaring that I was ready for mud or rain or anything! But no, instead of a field trip, we got a normal day of classes.

To make up for the missed trip, Mrs. Symes decided to take each science class up into the wooded area behind the school and do as much of the unit as possible in our own backyard. I had science late in the day, and remember the long walk up the hill into the woods. Still suffering from disappointment, I lagged behind the class kicking at the grass and being generally sulky.

Suddenly I heard yelling and screaming from the class up ahead. Pelting past me towards the school building came classmate after classmate as I stood in dumb shock. One of them, running by, yelled "BEES!!!!!!" and suddenly I was running too, down the embankment toward the classroom as fast as my legs could carry me. Remembering that run, I swear I was flying, I went so fast. When I reached the classroom with a couple of other classmates, we tried to get in but the door was blocked by students who had run faster. "Don't let them in!" they screamed, and I realized abruptly that there were several bees swarming around us angrily.

Maplewood Heights Elementary School had an odd setup of buildings. Every classroom had an outside door and an inside door, as did every bathroom. The classes were arranged in an oval around a central area that was "teachers only", so we usually didn't think about getting into a classroom through the inside. Today, however, we were desperate, and when someone suggested the bathrooms in a panic, we all dashed toward hopeful freedom from the buzzing danger around us. Into the bathrooms we went, into the teachers area from there, and into the classroom... almost. The other fourth grade teacher, Mrs Matthews, noticed us pelting in, and had heard the commotion from next door, and confronted us as we stood outside the door, in full view of the other class.

"Bees!" I said.

"Bees!" agreed my classmates.

"Bees?" said Mrs. Matthews, as her class erupted into chaos and amusement. One of my classmates nodded and gasped, "More bees than I've ever seen! They were a cloud! We ran!" Just then, a bee zipped past us into the classroom, then out again. Mrs. Matthews said something to her class, then ushered us into our own classroom, where panic ruled completely.

"SIT DOWN!" she said in a teacher voice that I can't forget. "DON'T MOVE!" We sat. The students blocking the door sat. More panicky students entered the room, some crying. They sat. A school janitor, who often came around and cleaned late in the day came into the room and had a quick conference with Mrs. Matthews. The next few minutes are jumbled in my mind. More students came in, and with them came bees. The janitor watched us while Mrs. Matthews got help.

Then the janitor, a HUGE black man, who was that day the most beautiful man in the entire world, told us all the sit very still like statues. With a rolled-up newspaper he hunted down the angry bees




and one by one took care of them. The last bee landed on my desk, right in front of me, and WHAM! the last bee lay dead on the desk until he gently picked it up with a cloth.

Sometime during that dramatic hunt, Mrs. Symes returned. She had taken all the students who had been stung to the office. When the threat was gone, she explained to us that when bees swarm the best thing you can do is stand very still so they don't think you are a threat. She described, so vividly that I can almost see it to this day, how she stood still, and s-l-o-w-l-y wiped the bees off her face and arm. And how she did that for the other students around her who had followed her lead. My skin still crawls at the thought.

Jennifer got stung fifteen times, and was sick for awhile. We were lucky. None of the students who were stung had a severe reaction. David, who had stepped in the bees nest in the first place, didn't get stung. Some of my fellow students described it like this: David stepped in a hole, and pulled his foot out and continued walking. The students walking behind him heard a very loud hum, then a dark cloud erupted from the hole. It took a moment to register, but when it did people panicked and ran, except for the teacher and a couple others. But even the students who hadn't been in the core group, who hadn't seen it with their own eyes, like me, still remember the Bees.

And so we come to that day, many years later, when we asked Mrs. Symes if she remembered... her eyes got big and the expression on her face told the story again for us. We laughed together. Who could forget?

posted by Tegan | 10:23 AM

Comments (2)


That was a wicked story!

Frank | Homepage | 05.24.03 - 8:00 pm

Which one, mine or the Jay Hosler Killer Bees?

Tegan | 05.24.03 - 9:12 pm


Rapid Reviews - 14 May 2003 - Part IV

Silken Ghost #1: Way of the Rat is a fun book, and I'm finding that I really enjoy the whole martial arts/action genre, so this is a natural fit into my reading pile. And it's pretty good too, for the starting issue of a mini-series. 4 starfish

Green Lantern #164: Last part of the eternal crossover. Not too bad an ending, but the entire crossover was just average. It seemed a little extreme to put such an average story in a weekly crossover. And I'm not too fond of crossovers anyway, even when I'm getting both the books already. 3 starfish

Ok, caught up with last week's reviews, now on to this week...

By the way, here's an interview with Kurt Busiek on Arrowsmith. And if you haven't seen the preview on-line yet, check it out.

posted by Tegan | 8:08 AM

Thursday, May 22, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 14 May 2003 - Part III

Power Company #16: Ah, the Haunted Tank! This is very much a mish-mash of story, but there's an awful lot there, and I'm doubly upset that this series is ending so soon. I hope there is enough time to resolve the storyline around Witchfire, and I really like the intro of the Haunted Tank. Man, I'm gonna miss this series. 4 starfish

Aquaman #6: When faced with his own demons, Aquaman is always at a disadvantage. In this issue, the demon he is faced with is, as he puts it in the corrected version, his "evil twin". It's all his rage and self-pity put into a clay form. Only, unlike all the other times he's faced down his inner demons, this time the threat isn't to him alone. It's to every river on the planet. Good job, Artie. You and Tempest have your work cut out for you. 3 1/2 starfish

Arrowsmith Preview in Horizon: The bit in French amused me, because I can't read much French, but I still figured out most of what they were saying before I went to Google to translate the rest. I'm now looking forward to this mini series. 4 starfish

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Poodle Hat: Another somewhat lackluster effort. By my count, there's six songs I never want to hear again, three songs I don't mind, and three that aren't too bad. The best effort is probably "Couch Potato", a parody of "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. I think this effort owes a lot to the original song for its strength, and I actually find myself interested in hearing an Eminem song now... whoa. The other two strong songs are "eBay" (parody of "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys) and "Ode To A Superhero" (parody of Billy Joel's "Piano Man"). I usually prefer Al's original songs to his parodies, but this album is a big exception. The extras were fun, including a strange home video of Al as a child, trying to prove that he's always been weird. I particularly like the sing-a-long lyrics. 2 1/2 starfish

I'm really working hard on getting my reviews all caught up to the actual books that are coming out... I figure I might be caught up by November at the current rate. Still to review from May 14th are Silken Ghost and Green Lantern, and I've got May 21st's books now too, including Batman Adventures, Birds of Prey, Green Arrow, Amazing Spider-Man, and Crossovers. And the Smallville finale, too. And I've got a couple of trades, a couple of DVDs, and some other stuff to review also. (and my little sister sent me something from my wishlist, thanks Lisa!).

posted by Tegan | 6:39 PM

No Thoughts

Not doing much blogwise today. Sorry.

posted by Tegan | 3:15 PM

Wednesday, May 21, 2003  

It's been going through my head

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

-Dylan Thomas

posted by Tegan | 9:41 PM

Random Links

I received some very sad news in my e-mail this morning that I'm still trying to deal with, so here's some links I've been collecting for later posting. I was going to try to make my comments a little more polished and intelligent, but I haven't got the will to work on it this morning. Maybe later.

God be with you, Leah, in this time of pain. My prayers are with you.

Here's a story that's being ignored a little too much. Basically, if this law passes in Tenessee, people living there will have to get permission from their cable company to hook anything up to their cable. So, if your cable company doesn't like TiVo, sorry, you are breaking the law by hooking it up. You want to put a router on your cable modem line? Sorry, you must rent the cable comapany's router instead. Why isn't this story getting more play?

Warren Buffett makes an effort to explain why tax cuts for the rich are dumb. The full article is here (may require free registration), and there's another summary over here.

I think I've finally found a viewpoint that makes the conservative optimism about the war in Iraq make sense to me. I don't know if it's right or not, but it definitely has allowed me to see the other side of the equation, something which I'd previously been unable to do (to my immense frustration). A nice summary is in the instapundit archive, and the full article is here. Do I agree with it? In part, yes... but I'm not sure... I'm just not sure. Bush and his aides lied to us. They told us they had proof of WMD and that they'd find them quickly. To date, none have been found. Can a conflict forced through by a lie result in good things? All is possible. But I still see our rights being eroded, and I see the chaos in Afghanistan, and I'm just not sure. We live in entirely too interesting times.

Also from Instapundit is a really solid critique of the BBC story about Jessica Lynch's rescue being faked. Whew.

posted by Tegan | 8:17 AM

Comments (4)

Laura, per Leah's request this morning, please pass on the sad news to the lists you two share as well; thanks.

Elayne Riggs | Homepage | 05.21.03 - 8:00 am

I've done that now. Thank you for letting me know so quickly, Elayne. This is the second death of a friend's spouse I've dealt with in less than three weeks, but I'm not close enough to give Leah much-needed hugs. Sometimes Seattle really does seem too far away.

Tegan | 05.21.03 - 8:55 am

Laura, I promise that on May 30 I'll hug her muchly and repeatedly for at least the both of us. (See my blog entry today as well.)

Elayne Riggs | Homepage | 05.21.03 - 11:22 am

So sorry to hear of Leah's loss.


farsider | 05.21.03 - 12:51 pm

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 14 May 2003 - Part II

Powers #31: Uh, what? If you "read" this issue, be absolutely sure to read the first column of the letters' pages, even if you don't normally. (Hubby-Eric thinks I should mention that I'm giving this 3 1/2 starfish because after I read it a second time I decided I knew where Bendis was going with it and thought he accomplished it.) 3 1/2 starfish

Superman/Batman Generations III #5: This one held together well as a standalone story. It was a lot of flashback, and you need to be passing familiar with the Batman mythos to get some of the references, and passing familiar with the Generations mythos to get the rest, but overall it wasn't too bad. 3 1/2 starfish

JSA #48: Billy and Courtney, huh? I am utterly uninterested in Dr Fate, but the kids make for a good plotline, and the cliffhanger was a dandy. 3 1/2 starfish

More comics to review: Power Company, Silken Ghost, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and some others.

posted by Tegan | 5:49 PM

Rapid Reviews - 14 May 2003 - Part I

Super Friends! Aquaman & Black Manta Deluxe Action Figure Set: If there was ever an evil-looking Aquaman, this is the one. His eyebrows are arched in typical evil fashion, and the grin on his face connotes the mayhem he just finished achieving. Unfortunately, he's supposed to be the hero of the set. Black Manta, hiding under his helmet, comes off much better. In fact, he's really cool. And the cute little manta-ship is... well, cute. Still, I've seen worse. 3 1/2 starfish

Titans/Young Justice Graduation Day #1: Huh. I thought Tempest had left the Titans? He really shouldn't be appearing in this storyline at all. Not that I mind too much, as it means I get to see more of Tempest. But he should be either in Atlantis with Dolphin and Ian, or hunting down Aquaman. Anyway, the story itself wasn't anything to write home about. 2 1/2 starfish

More comic book reviews coming. I'm a little slow this week for various reasons. Still in my pile to review is Power Company, Silken Ghost, Powers, Generations, Aquaman, JSA, Green Lantern, and some other stuff. Since we're about to see the season finale, it's time to review the first part of Smallville's last story:

Smallville: Calling: This is the first part of the two-part season finale. And it has some interesting developments from the soap opera-ey side. Yeah, Lionel is pushing Chloe, and Clark thinks his dreams are coming true with Lana. But what is the ship up to, and is the identity of that voice a clue as to how Smallville will continue to differ from the regular DCU? This is, I think, my favorite Elseworld right now. 4 starfish

As per usual, check out the Smallville Ledger, the Smallville Torch, and now the Chloe Chronicles.

And, since I'm directing you to further entertainment on the web, remember to visit the BBC's re-recording of Shada by Douglas Adams, episode three now up, at the BBC's Doctor Who site.

posted by Tegan | 7:45 AM

Monday, May 19, 2003  

Fire Fighting

The Seattle Times had an article about the Washington Firefighters Calendar, in particular, about the selection of the models for the 2004 calendar. This is one calendar that I'm always proud to hang on my wall. One statement in the article really stood out for me: "In 2002, the project, between public appearances, auctions and calendar sales, raised a record $262,000 for burn research, education projects and burn victims". And it's fun to look at, too.

posted by Tegan | 1:09 PM

Sunday, May 18, 2003  

In Memorium

Sunday, May 18th. Ten seconds past 8:32 am.

This is to the 57 who died in the eruption of Mt St Helens.

posted by Tegan | 10:54 AM

Comments (3)

May 18, 1999

Ruby Nielsen Riggs died

Maggie | 05.20.03 - 6:05 am

Amazing. I've blocked that out of my head. Almost completely. It was so painful I just erased the date and the hearing about it and everything.

Tegan | 05.20.03 - 6:43 am

I hadn't realized it was the same date as Mt St. Helens. I find that interesting, no?

Maggie | 05.20.03 - 7:58 pm