Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best. Shit. Ever.

So, we are now one week and change since Sherman's second surgery. For the sake of brevity, if you're not sure what happened see my facebook post about it.

When I took Sherman home, the vet sent a letter home with me:
Keep a close eye on Sherman during the next 5-7 days. due to the amount of adhesions in the abdomen, a repeat obstruction is possible. As long as Sherman is happy, comfortable, and eating, then I think we can continue to observe. If Sherman stops eating or seems to be in pain, then we may need to consider his happiness level and quality of life.
I'm sorry that I haven't given a Sherms update sooner, but the preceding excerpt  from the vet's letter, has kept my hopes grounded.

Sherman has always been finicky about his bowel movements. He normally goes in the exact same corner of the yard, every time. He also doesn't like to have me or other dogs around or watching him while he's doing his business. However, as I've needed to closely monitor his digestive track, we've had interrupt his regular routine.

In the early AM of today, Sherman woke me up to take him out. I put on my coat, boots, and hat to follow him outside. We went to the spot we've designated as his new place to do his sinful deeds, and I could tell he was antsy, pacing back and forth, circling in one spot and then another. At one point he returned to my side and sat down.

It took some coaxing, but in the pre-dawn light, Sherman had his first bowel movement post surgery that proved he was digesting the food I was feeding him.

Sherman is going to be on a strict dietary regimen for the rest of his life. And that's okay. I soak his regular dog food in water for a few hours and then mash it up with a can of easy-to-digest wet dog food. But he seems to love the food, and it's a very small inconvenience when the reward is another day with my best friend.

Michael Cera has been a champ during this own debacle. When we weren't sure if Sherman was going to make it out of the animal hospital, he laid on the bed with me, his head in my lap, and let me weep as I hugged him tightly. I feel closer to him because of this experience.

It's not everyone who get's to wake up and spend their time with the souls who mean the most to them, but then again, the three of us aren't everyone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Clerk Culture Review #2

Here're the podcasts I listened to at work on Saturday night/Sunday morning at the gas station. I've rated the episodes on a scale of four possible gas station burritos.


SONG EXPLODER
"Episode 35: Toro Y Moi"
Solicit:
Over the past five years, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, has made music that’s spanned a range of genres and styles. On his newest album, What For?, he shifted styles again. In this episode, Chaz explains why. He breaks down the song “Half Dome,” named after a landmark in Yosemite National Park, and how he made it using a $20 bass and hidden vocals.

My Rating:
3 out of 4 Burritos

ALLUSIONIST
"Crosswords"
Solicit:
Cryptic crosswords: delightful brain exercise, or the infernal taunting of the incomprehensible? Either way, crossword setter John Feetenby explains how they're made and how to solve them. He reveals how he composes clues (even one for 'Zaltzman'), why crosswords reign supreme over sudoku, and why 'jacuzzi' is rarely the answer.

My Rating:
3 out of 4 Burritos

THE TREATMENT
"Peter Bogdanovich: She's Funny That Way"
Solicit:
From Paper Moon to The Last Picture Show, women have consistently had significant representation in Peter Bogdanovich's films. The veteran film director shares the humorous development of his recent film, She's Funny That Way, and explores his draw towards female-centric filmmaking.

My Rating:
2 out of 4 Burritos
 

THE FLOPHOUSE
"Episode #186 – Guardian of the Highlands"
Solicit;
No show notes this week.

My Rating:
4 out of 4 Burritos
  

JUDGE JOHN HODGMAN
"Episode 225: Go Set a Tip Jar"
Solicit:
Two friends co-host a literary reading series as a labor of love. Should they begin to seek donations? This week we say au revoir, till next time to our wonderful Summer Bailiff Monte Belmonte! Thank you for everything, Monte!

My Rating:
4 out of 4 Burritos
  

99 PERCENT INVISIBLE
"Episode 188: Fountain Drinks"
Solicit:
On April 21st, 1859, an incredible thing happened in London and thousands of people came out to celebrate it. Women wore their finest clothing. Men were in suits and top hats, and children clamored to get a glimpse…of the very first public drinking fountain.

My Rating:
3 out of 4 Burritos
  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Clerks Culture Review #1

This was my first night at my new part-time job, graveyard shift at a gas station. I'm 1 part clerk, 1 part security guard and 2 parts janitor. I listened to some podcasts and read a comic (on my break). Here are the pieces of culture I ingested and a simple rating of them using NACHOS.

THE TREATMENT
"Jason Segel: The End of the Tour"
Synopsis:
Actor and screenwriter Jason Segel is best known for portraying fictional characters in such films as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You, Man. Today, Segel discusses his immersion into the world of David Foster Wallace for his newest film The End of the Tour, and the importance of truly understanding and properly portraying the innovative and troubled author.

My Rating:
3 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos.


MARVEL COMICS
"Captain America: White #1"
Synopsis:
From his re-awakening in the present day to his days on the battlefield during World War II, follow CAPTAIN AMERICA as he recalls a special mission during THE BIG ONE! • It's 1941 and the HOWLING COMMANDOS are just looking to kick back and relax.... But CAP and BUCKY are about to make their night a whole lot worse!

The EISNER AWARD-WINNING team of JEPH LOEB and TIM SALE reunite to tell a shocking story of CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY! • Extra-sized issue featuring CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE #0

My Rating:
4 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos

THE FLOP HOUSE
"Grace of Monaco"
Synopsis:
Straight from Cannes to Lifetime (TM), it’s the Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco. Meanwhile Elliott has a surprisingly deep well of Saved by the Bell knowledge, Dan speculates about Curly’s gold, and Stuart finds a new way to leave Dan out of things.

My Rating:
4 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos

I WAS THERE TOO
"Waiting For Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind with Deborah Theaker"
Synopsis:
Phenomenal actress and improviser Deborah Theaker joins Matt this week to talk about her roles in a trilogy of Christopher Guest films. Deborah tells us about how George Lucas helped her get her green card, how bombing with the Kids in The Hall made her fearless onstage, making herself essential in Waiting For Guffman, and the real tears she shed in A Mighty Wind. Plus, Matt finally answers listener mail during I Was There Q&A!

My Rating:
2 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos

iFANBOY
"Pick of the Week"
About every six months I think I'll try to give this a listen. These guys know their contemporary comics. Seriously, they are super super knowledgeable. Before they down-sized their website, the podcast had great audio. Since, biting the bullet and backing off their efforts, the audio quality has gone down... so much so, that every six months when I give it another try, I can't even make it to the first comic review. Great content. Horrid audio.

My Rating:
1 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos

SONG EXPLODER
"RJD2 'Games You Can Win (Feat. Kenna)'"
Synopsis
RJD2 has been making music since 2002. His song “A Beautiful Mine” was turned into the opening credits music for Mad Men. He’s a producer and beatmaker, but also a singer and songwriter. But for the vocals on the song “Games You Can Win,” he tapped Kenna, a Grammy-nominee who Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in Blink. In this episode, you’ll get to hear the parts that make up the track, as well as the unreleased demo vocals that RJ originally recorded himself.

My Rating
3 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos


99 PERCENT INVISIBLE
"Episode 187: Butterfly Effects"
Synopsis
Ballots are an essential component to a working democracy, yet they are rarely created (or even reviewed) by design professionals. Good ballot design is mainly a matter of following good design principles in general—familiar territory for graphic designers, but not necessarily so for election officials.

My Rating
3 out of 4 Gas Station Nachos

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Making Max and William Gaines Squirm - Goddamned #1 (SPOILERS)

Bible stories are nothing new to comic books. All-American Publications (and then Educational Comics) published "Picture Stories from the Bible" as early as the late 1930s. When Max Gaines died in 1947 and his son William took over Educational Comics, EC went from godly to ghastly. But William Gaines never attempted to cross the genres of crime/horror and bible story in his newly named Entertaining Comics. Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera do cross the genres in "Goddamned."

"Goddamned" is about as far from a bible picture story as one might get and still consider the "good book" as source material. But issue #1 is definitely born in the bible (Genesis 4 to be exact). For those gentiles who skipped that day in Sunday school, Genesis 4 is the story of Adam and Eve's children: Cain and Able.
According to the Bible, Cain was the first to commit fratricide when he killed Able. There are many myths as to what happened to Cain after Genesis 4. For the sake of brevity, we can look at the popular myth that Cain was cursed to forever be a vagabond who would be murdered over and over again but unable to die (though the text of Genesis 4 doesn't imply any of that). Aaron has taken this myth of an unkillable Cain and run with it.

"Goddamned" #1 starts out with Cain waking up in a literal deadpool -- a pool of rotting corpses and human excreta. Guera's art is sufficient for some of the more gentile readers to be gagging in their mouths with his "picture stories" inspired by the bible. The rest of the issue is Cain exacting vengeance upon those who killed him, sevenfold (that actually is a line from Genesis 4). Cain's vengeance is just as gruesome as his beginnings in the issue. The issue ends with big reveal that the unkillable main, is in fact Cain, the first murderer, just as Noah enters the story.
In an interview with Vince Brusio, Aaron explains that this biblical-noir is wholly new, but does nod to previous work he's done with Guera.

"I'm quite confident in saying that there isn't another book quite like this one on the stands at the moment," said Aaron. "This series is a punch in the face and a kick in the gut but also a serious exploration of character and setting in line with what Guera and I previously did in the pages of Scalped."

In the aforementioned interview, Aaron expounds on the sand box of the pre-Flood setting he's playing in.

"I've always been fascinated by the story possibilities of the antediluvian world, of the world before the Flood," said Aaron. "Not so much from a perspective of faith or religion, but simply as a storyteller. There's good fertile ground. Bloody, but fertile."


If you feel this first issue of "Goddamned" is too in-your-face or too irreverent that's by design. Aaron doesn't want readers to be lead astray into thinking this comic doesn't deserve a parental advisory just because it's based in biblical history. Regardless of what your religious/historical/political views are of the Bible, if you want a primal crime comic that doesn't hold any punches (or decapitations that even William Gaines might have considered "in bad taste") then don't miss this title. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Be Part of A Part of Him

So... My computer shit the bed. All info stored on the hard drive was lost... including all of the bumpers used on the A Part of Him Podcast Network.

So this is a chance that you can join the talent  of the APoH Network. We need new bumpers.

We need a disclaimer bumper to start our programs and we need an APoH Network Identity drop to play at the end of our programs.

So if you'd like to submit your work, send three high quality audio files apartofhim.podcast@gmail.com

File #1 Script
The following program is not safe for work. The opinions and views expressed are for comedic effect and do not represent the views of Death Ray Comics, The A Part of Him Podcast Network, or any actual human being for that matter. Listener discretion is advised.
File #2 Script
You've been listening to another program on The A Part of Him Podcast Network.
File #3 Script
<there is no script for this one, just have fun and record whatever you'd like to hear as a bumper on the network>
Thanks in advance, and I hope that you will be joining team APoH!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sherman VS The Gloves


A photo posted by Trent (@apartofhim) on

A photo posted by Trent (@apartofhim) on


A video posted by Trent (@apartofhim) on

A video posted by Trent (@apartofhim) on

A photo posted by Trent (@apartofhim) on




http://apartofhim.tumblr.com/post/131696388956/shermantheberner-has-been-super-super-sick-for

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

They Don't Come Any Tougher

I was in the 7th grade when my mom first fought breast cancer. Tomorrow, after 20 years of only seeing cancer in a rear-view mirror, my mother will undergo a mastectomy as the cancer has returned.

Today she told told me, "I was first upset 'n then just decided I just HAD to quit feeling sorry for myself. Yes I am crying but it can BE WORSE!"

They truly don't get any tougher than the woman who raised me to be a man (and yes, just like my mother, I am crying too).
My tougher-than-nails mother, Bonnie, takes a couple of grandchildren for a ride with her team.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

History of the Comics Code: Werewolves, Dirty Cops, and Moral Corruption

During the red scare a censorship board for comics was created to make sure comics were "safe" for kids. The panel will discuss how the code was created, applied and ultimately disregarded.


Buy it here: http://amzn.to/1R8vBJb