Friday, September 30, 2011


When there is no justice...
  1. Try to create your own.
  2. Fail.
  3. Despair.
  4. Withdraw.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stuff I Hate

This one might get me in trouble with a few people, but I hate comic books. These days it seems as if everyone is into comics, graphic novels, manga, whatever, but I just don't get it. When I was around 10 years old I read a few comic books, but those were based on World War II. In those days, I was utterly obsessed with WWII. I read everything from the Time-Life book series (sadly, I never finished although my grandparents bought me the whole set) to cartoonist Bill Mauldin's Up Front. But I digress...

When I open up a graphic novel (I haven't touched an actual comic book in decades, but I occasionally come across graphic novels in bookstores), I really can't make sense of it. I can skim a regular book to determine whether the topic and writing style interest me, but I can't even evaluate something written in comic book form. My brain just doesn't work that way. I could imagine taking months to read one just because it seems so foreign. People who grew up reading comic books probably can't comprehend my difficulty with them.

My hatred of comic books is probably the root of my hate for all things involving superheros, too. Whether it's a cartoon, a book, or a movie, if it's about a superhero I have no interest. People tell me I'm "missing out" on some good movies, but if the basic premise doesn't interest me, why would I like the movie? "Hate" may be too strong a word here -- it's not that I literally hate Superman or Spiderman -- but it's definitely more of an aversion rather than mere apathy.

I suppose all of this adds up to a lack of imagination on my part. It probably helps to explain why, although I consider myself to be mechanically a decent writer, I am a lousy creative writer. Aside from short-form stuff like blog entries, I have a hard time coming up with ideas. I don't know whether this is fixable or worth working on, but I do know it has cost me some opportunities.


Why is it that when people aren't who you thought they were, they are usually worse?

Kiss My Ass Goodbye

I want to fill up my car with books and CDs and leave town, never to return.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Stuff I Hate

I hate gas stations that advertise a discounted gas price with car wash. I especially hate those that use a smaller point size for "with wash" so you can't see that qualification until you're already pulling into the station. I never go through gas station car washes so I never get that price. But guess what? I don't buy any gas at stations that advertise that way either.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Bastard of the Day

Though he could beat the shit out of me if he read this, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is today's bastard. First he asked for a new contract because he says he has performed better than what he is being paid. Just for the record, he's getting $3.9 million this year, $4 million in 2012, and $6.5 million in 2013. That's right, he has three years left on his contract and he expects the Bears to renegotiate.

Naturally, the Bears told him to go pound sand -- renegotiating in the middle of long-term contracts would set a terrible precedent (though Brian Urlacher negotiated a one-year extension a few years ago for an extra $18 million, he was considered an exceptional case -- think of all the years when the only current jersey you ever saw on a Bears fan was number 54).

When you sign a contract, you acknowledge that there is a risk being taken by both parties regarding future performance. If Briggs had under-performed, the Bears would have had to overpay him (assuming he wasn't so bad that they cut him -- NFL contracts aren't guaranteed). But since Briggs over-performed, he expects the Bears to add to his compensation for that. Sorry, dude, that's not how contracts work. If you wanted the chance to make more money if you played better, you should have signed a shorter contract (taking on more risk for yourself).

Now Briggs' agent is demanding a trade ( Briggs has made this move before, back in 2007). Since he made an unreasonable request that went unfulfilled, he wants to walk away from his commitment to the Bears. No doubt whoever gets him will have to pony up the extra cash he demands. From a public relations/popularity perspective, this greediness makes Briggs look bad, coming at a time when most fans are happy just to have jobs even though they can't afford tickets to Bears games. But obviously it's all about the money for him anyway. Briggs is a great football player, but he's a bastard nonetheless.