Thursday, April 28, 2005

Free Comic Book Day!

This coming May 7 will be the fourth annual Free Comic Book Day. Many participating retailers have announced events around the country with special sales, signings, and other activities designed to appeal to comics fans and attract new readers to stores. This reminder brought to you from the fine folks at the Comics Buyer's Guide.

The headline above will link you to the Free Comic Book Day site, where you'll find more information including some of the comics being made available. I didn't have a chance to visit any of the shops last year, but I'm going to try this time.

The first year of the event the shop I was going to really did a great job and I walked away with a nice haul. By 2003 the same shop barely acknowledged the event and less then a half dozen titles to hand out. I'm not sure what I'll be doing that Saturday, but there are a few shops in the area I might check out.

If you are a comic fan or just want to see some of what is available you should check the website for a list of nearby shops.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Weekend wrapup!

I had to work this past Saturday at the Library, but it wasn't a total loss. We had a program on "Urban & Traditional Georgian Music" which I was fortunate enough to monitor. The group was absolutely amazing and I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I would have thought.

Both the Red Sox and the Mets are doing very well so far this season. Also the Yankees are appearing a bit shaky, so I couldn't be happier.

Speaking of happy, I think that I and other Xena fans were delighted to see Lucy Lawless last evening in the CBS made-for-TV feature LOCUSTS. Personally, my favorite part was probably in the first fifteen minutes when we saw the ex-Warrior Princess drop her robe to reveal bra and panties. Yeah, I know it's wrong of me to say that, but I'm trying for honesty here! :-)

Seriously, LOCUSTS was a combination the "nature goes wild" and "man perverts nature" type of thing which fills the weekends over on SCI-FI. Personally, I love that type of thing and can happily sit through the absolute worst garbage. Poor Mike Farrel had barely fifteen minutes of screen time, playing Lawless' father, with Dylan Neal (of DAWSON'S CREEK fame) playing her romantic interest.

The bad guys in this one turn out to be a group in the Defense Dept. and Homeland Security actually saves the day. I was wondering what they were doing with the billions they've been budgeted.

I'm really curious what the budget for this thing was and why CBS decided to put it up. As I say the folks over at SCI-FI run hours of this type of thing, but generally don't have name actors. Then again are either Lawless or Farrell really 'names' any longer?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Sunday at Shea Stadium

Thanks to the Queens Library, my friend Pete & I were able to attend yesterday's Mets game. Last week was National Library Week and as part of "Library Workers Appreciation Day" the system supplied a pair of tickets to a weekend game to all employees. Since Donna didn't want to go I asked Pete and we headed out to Queens from Brooklyn.

Since it was opening day weekend at Shea the place was jumping. Hundreds of fans had gotten there early on a beautiful, sunny day and were all over the parking lot tailgaiting up a storm. The smell of grilling hamburgs & hotdogs was everywhere.

We had seats in the Mezzanine, between First & the foul pole, which were far better then the last few times I attended a game. Sadly, I think I must jinx the team, since they lost 5-2 to the Marlins, whom they had been ready to sweep. This stopped a nice six game winning streak. Tom Glavine just didn't have the right stuff on the mound with a 0-2 record this season) and only the Mets' Victor Diaz getting a homerun.

Over on the Bronx side of things Boss George is none too happy with the highest paid team in the majors. The Bombers are in last place and their owner was letting everyone know that things had better change and fast! To which we say, "hee hee!"

My Red Sox are 7-5 so far and only a game out behind Baltimore (who just happened to be the team that swept the Yanks in a three game series). The Yankees are back in town tonight to meet the Devil Rays, while the Sox are in Fenway hosting Toronto (who have a half game lead on Boston).

Friday, April 15, 2005

LONESOME DOVE: kind of a review

LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry

I remember watching the mini-series based on this novel a number of years ago, but except that it starred Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones I don’t recall much else. I really should try to rent it again one of these days, now that I’ve been reading McMurtry’s series of novels. The thing about having seen that series is that I can picture Duvall and Jones as the characters. It is their voices I hear as Call and Gus speak, argue and make their way over the deserts and mountains.

It’s easy to see why this book was so popular and why McMurtry received the Pulitzer Prize. He has created a fascinating cast of characters, both male and female, whom he brings to full life. Not only are the main heroes, former Texas Rangers Gus and Call, vividly portrayed but secondary characters who are only briefly introduced become ‘real’ enough that we care about their fates. Even if you had not read the earlier books (Dead Man’s Walk & Comanche Moon, which show us the early lives of the Rangers) McMurtry gives us enough back story here to make the reader sympathize with them.

We travel with the Hat Creek outfit from their livery stable in the Texas town of Lonesome Dove through their journey of several thousand miles to Montana, driving over a thousand head of cattle and horses. They encounter natural hazards and the human kind, both of which can be fatal. Along the way we meet new characters whose lives cross those of the main cast, the meetings do not always end pleasantly.

Since I started reading this series with DEAD MAN’S WALK, I was sometimes surprised to see that certain events mentioned in passing in LD did not exactly match the events in the earlier novels. We don’t find characters returning from the dead, but McMurtry seemed to feel it okay to make some changes in how and where certain characters met. Of course, the author went back years later to these characters, but it some cases it seems that he didn't bother checking his own book rather making small changes to events as he pleased. Guess you can do that when you created the characters to begin with. As a long time reader of comics, a continuity glitch or two can't be me too worked up.

It is good to see characters like Deets, Clara, Pea Eye and others who we got to know in the ‘earlier’ books. We learn their fates and see how they have grown from young adults to middle-age. I’m hoping to pick up the last book in the series, which is STREETS OF LAREDO, where we take up the story of an older Captain Call. So far none of McMurtry’s books have disappointed me.

I'm looking forward to reading some of his other western novels, once I take a break with several books of mystery short-stories. I've picked up a few old issues of Alfred Hitchcock anthologies recently and they are next on the agenda.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oh well!

Last night wasn't meant to be I guess. Curt Schilling wasn't meant to get his first win on his first day back and Mariano Rivera was able to thumb his nose at the Red Sox fans.

As we Sox fans always say, "It's early in the season yet!"

To be honest, I felt I should post just to prove that I'm not only to be here when we win. Although, I hope that the wins will greatly outnumber the loses as the season progresses. :-)

It also looks like Jason Giambi may be able to hit a ball minus the juice after all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Curt Schilling back on the mound

It will be interesting to see how Curt Schilling performs tonight at Fenway. This will be his first appearance on the mound before the home crowd since he helped the Sox win the World Series. He had a rough time the other day in a Triple-A start, but being a bit shaky first time out shouldn't really worry the fans. The guy is a trooper!

Papers report that tonight may be the last time that Roger (The Rocket) Clemens will pitch his last game in New York. He'll go up against the Mets tonight with the Astros sitting at the top of the NL Central Division.

A good night for baseball fans here in the city!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

National Library Workers Day!

I generally don't duplicate posts here and over on PARTING SHOTS, but I wanted to make an exception today.

This is from an e-mail sent to all staff at the Queens Library:

Tuesday, April 12, is NATIONAL LIBRARY WORKERS DAY, as designated by the American Library Association, and timed to occur during National Library Week. It is intended to recognize nearly 400,000 special people whose efforts in libraries across the U.S. serve the public’s need for information and literacy.

Hats off the my fellow Librarians, the clerical staff, pages and volunteers who work to provide service to millions of Americans each day. We don't earn nearly enough money, but we continue to do our jobs to keep the Libraries open for the public.

Monday, April 11, 2005

This weekend in sports & the Sox get their rings!

Hard to believe that even this early in the season we find both the Sox and the Yankees a game and a half out of first place. The Blue Jays of all teams find themselves on top of the AL East. Be interesting to see how long that lasts!

Tiger Woods finally beat his own jinx and won his fourth Masters tournament. I believe this is his first major victory on at least two years. Folks have been blaming his fiance, but I think part of it is that the other players don't freeze up when Tiger is around as they formerly did. They've discovered he can be beat and are doing just that.

Arena football lost a player during a game this past weekend. Al Lucas, a former NFL player was injured and went into a coma from which he did not recover. Lucas was transported to the hospital but emergency procedures could not save him. I'm certain that there will be an investigation into the event and NBC may be wondering about their continued partnership with the sport.

The BoSox picked up their World Series rings today, prior to trouncing the Damned Yankees. Man, is that icing on the cake, or what?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Domino's Pizza

I've love pizza since I was first introduced to it as a kid. Now this was back in Taftville, CT in the early 1960s, so I don't know what you would expect. The local place was called M&M's and was operated by a Greek family. I guess I probably thought they were Italian, until my mother told me different.

Growing up I had the opportunity to have pizza in dozens of cities around the U.S. and even in other countries, including Italy and Israel. Hard to believe, but I think the best pizza I've had is from right here in Brooklyn. There's a place on 18th Ave. in Bensonhurst who continue to make the best pizza I've had since moving here. J & V PIZZERIA on 63rd Street is amazing!

Anyway, the library had a 'going away' party for me today, since I'm being transferred to another branch. The staff decided to order Domino's, which doesn't make any sense to me since there are two "real" pizza places with a few blocks from here.

Can anyone tell me why anyone within delivery distance of a pizza restaurant would EVER order the doughy thing which this franchise passes off as pizza? Bland and tasteless, even with toppings, doesn't go far enough to express my disappointment.

I guess some folks much love it since the stores seem to be making a fortune. Still give me a slice from any of the hundreds of neighborhood places here in New York!

best and have a good weekend if I don't get around to posting later!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Finally we win one!

The final score (which I heard while at dinner) Boston Red Sox 7, New York Yankees 3 at Yankee Stadium. The Sox now have one in the Win column, for which we are grateful

Winning pitcher Mike Timlin actually had support both from the bullpen and some hot bats. I do hope that Derek Jeter wasn't hurt badly by a bad pitch by Timlin which struck the Yankee captain in the shoulder, bouncing and hitting Jeter in the head. He was taken out in the eighth after the hit.

Even though he is a Damned Yankee, Jeter does seem like a nice guy and I'd hate to think he got injured.

The next time the two teams meet, in Fenway, the Sox will be getting their World Series rings at the home opener. I hope I'm home to catch that!

Not so good start!

I can't blame starting-pitcher Matt Clement of the Red Sox for yesterday's loss to the New York Yankees. He held the Yankees off fairly well, as did Pedro in the first game. Unfortunately, as in the season opener, the relief pitching didn't come through. It's also the old story of the Yankees coming up in the final inning with the winning run or two to end the game. This time it was Yankee captain Derek Jeter getting Keith Foulke's 3-2 pitch and sending it over the right field wall.

I'm hoping that this isn't going to be typical of what we'll be seeing from Boston this year. Naturally, it's only the first few games and guys have to get into the groove, but let's hope that it doesn't take too long for the bullpen to get it together.

When I go to dinner later the third game of the series may already be over. I'm working tonight so can only listen to the highlights on WFAN or ESPN-radio later. Finger's crossed that Alan Embree has a better time today than Matt & Pedro. It would be nice to duck a sweep this early on.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Off to another start

Well, I suppose it was in the cards, that the Sox would lose the first game against the Yankees. Randy Johnson had his usual great stuff and David Wells had nothing! It was probably some cosmic payback for the end of last season, but let's hope that Boston will come back and demonstrate that last year was not a fluke.

Despite the loss Sunday night, it was a kick seeing Johnny Damon on the TODAY SHOW yesterday morning. He was plugging his book and joking around with Jimmy Fallon, who is in the new movie FEVER PITCH. The film is about a Red Sox fan who tries to balance his new romance and his love of the game. Looks like a fun movie, with plenty of scenes shot at Fenway, including the final game of last year's WS. What a perfect end for the movie, huh?