Thursday, September 30, 2004

My friend Jamar is using his art to support the American Diabetes Association. If you have the opportunity, this would be a great way to get some original commissioned work -and- help a great cause.

I had this idea: What would happen if I drew one commission a day until I ran out of commissions to draw, for charity? "Word?" you say? Well, that is where JAMAR-ATHON 2004 (See? It's like 'Jamar' with 'Marathon' in it! Two great tastes that taste great together!) was born. So here's my idea:

Starting October 1st, 2004, I am going to create a commissioned art piece from YOU THE LOYAL READERS in a first come, first serve basis, and chronicle all of this on my website, blog or livejournal to let everybody see where I'm at. My goal as it stands, is to get 31 commissions to cover the month of October, but if we keep going, THEN WE KEEP GOING! Wherever you fall in line, is what day I draw your piece.

My super-duper goal is to clear December 31st, but that's really up to you all. A huge chunk of the proceeds of this marathon will go to the American Diabetes Association, because that's my charity of choice, and because if you didn't know this already, I have it myself, along with all of my adult relatives. If I can do anything to help these guys find a cure for this, I'm gonna try.

American Diabetes Association:

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bush and OBGYN love

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

(from cuzi)

You cannot support yourself let alone your family on minimum wage in this country. Temporary solution: they'll give you credit cards until they realize you'll never make it out of being poor and indebted.

I find it interesting that in the computer lab, my students are more in awe of the automatic stapler than they are the computers in front of them. They're still stuck in the industrial age.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Press Release.

Silent Forest Television Parody Special in October Previews!

Silent Devil Productions is proud to announce that the Silent Forest
Television Parody Special is available for pre-order in this month’s
Previews Catalog. A 48-page black and white prestige format offering, the
Special features 4 great tales paying homage to our television culture!

The lead story is penned by Jake Black and has art by Chris Burke. It is a parody of the popular series Smallville, with A-Bear as our hero facing off against ShineCorp and the golf course! Bubba the Redneck Werewolf makes a guest appearance in “A Tale of Two Wolves” and Gene-E from http://www.legendlab.com drops by to help solve a mystery in “CFI: Crime Forest Investigations”, featuring art by Patrick Rodriguez and story by Fanboy Radio’s David Hopkins. Rounding out the book is “One-Eye For The Stray Cat” by Adam Beranek and Michael J. Bencik.

Click on http://www.silentdevil.com/sfspecial.php for a 5-page preview and http://www.silentdevil.com/sfspecial/sfspecial_cover.gif for the cover to the book.

Silent Forest Television Parody Special
48-pages B&W Prestige Format
Written by Jake Black, David Hopkins, Adam Beranek and Christian Beranek
Art by Chris Burke, Patrick Rodriguez and Michael J. Bencik
Letters and design by Nick Beranek
Cover colors by Hi-Fi Design
ISBN# 0-9752582-1-4

Diamond Order Code: OCT042921

For more information please visit http://www.silentdevil.com
For ordering info please visit http://www.diamondcomics.com

Jimmy Swaggart supports Bush (via dan):

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."

(shouts, applause)

"And I'm gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I'm going to kill him and tell God he died."

(laughter, applause)

"In case anybody doesn't know God calls it an abomination. It's an abomination! It's an abomination!"


..."I'm not knocking the poor homosexual. I'm not. They need salvation just like anybody else.... I'm knocking our pitiful, pathetic lawmakers. And I thank God that President Bush has stated we need a constitutional amendment that states that marriage is between a man and a woman."


Jimmy, you are another reason in a long list of reasons on why I hate being a Christian. In my most honest of moments, I seriously wish I weren't a Christian. Because being a Christian in America no longer means being associated with Christ... it means I have to be associated with you. And frankly, I'd rather not.

Why do the "strongest" Christians push me away from this faith? The "stronger" the Christian, the more intolerant, insensitive, and uncaring they are about the world around them. The wolf in sheep's clothing is not the gay or the marginalized-- it's the "strong" Christian. And I thought you were supposed to be weak, He is strong. Yes?

You have no idea how close I am to jumping. You can take your conferences, your bookstores, your postmodern/emerging movements, your t-shirts, your websites, your political agendas, your self-help programs, your tacky music, your celebrity pastors, and your god-awful sugar-coated hate groups and torch it all. I have never been more done with it, than I am right now. It's not Christianity that you're advertising. It's this messed up Americana-Christian culture. I'm sick of it. All of you have forgotten the Gospel. The Gospel. Does anybody freakin' remember the Gospel?! Does anybody remember the Gospel? Let me say it again. Does anybody remember the Gospel? You remember? What Jesus taught you? What he told you to do? How he told you to care for people, to love people, to forgive people? Why has every single person forgotten this? Why! Good God! It makes me sick to my stomach. All of you (you!) have forgotten! This is why I stopped preaching. This is why I gave up seminary and any sort of "professional" ministry. You are all so stupid! I can't stand it. No one listens to the Gospel anymore. No one goes to God for counsel. We all approach God with such an arrogant sense of entitlement. We are a stranger in this land. We are entitled to nothing. We deserve nothing. It is God who gives us this life, and now we turn our back? I'm done. Jimmy, you win. You can have these people, this jacked-up community. Obviously, you want to be right more than I do.
"...voters with passports supported Kerry over Bush by a margin of 55
to 33 percent."


But, as one of W's Yalie frat brothers tells Kelley, it's not the
substance abuse in Bush's past that's disturbing, it's the "lack of
substance ... Georgie, as we called him, had absolutely no
intellectual curiosity about anything. He wasn't interested in ideas
or in books or causes. He didn't travel; he didn't read the
newspapers; he didn't watch the news; he didn't even go to the movies.
How anyone got out of Yale without developing some interest in the
world besides booze and sports stuns me." New Yorker writer Brendan
Gill recalls roaming the Kennebunkport compound one night while
staying there looking for a book to read - the only title he could
find was The Fart Book.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Villain dialogue is fun.

How long have I been foiled at my attempts to bring Emily back to her rightful family? She’s a smart one. Emily is not easily tricked by my nefarious schemes. At times, I have let my desperation become too apparent. I’ve been a fool! I need to restructure my thought processes-- try something completely different. My pride will only allow for so much. These piteous contrivances are in vain. A genius I may be. Still. I must seek additional counsel.
Super Mom

I used to be able to stay up until 2 or 3 AM every night to write. Nowadays, I start fading at 12 midnight. It's getting to be a little frustrating. My alarm goes off every morning at 6:20, but I usually don't wake up until 7:20. This growing need for sleep is really bothering me. I need to become more strategic as to when I drink my soda. Maybe one caffeine kick at 11:30 will push me through the earlier hours to get some work done. Last night, I needed to finish a re-write to send to Brock and four summaries to send to a publisher. I'm half finished with both.

Kennedy started stirring at around 4:30. I usually don't mind getting up to check on her, because I can get back to sleep faster than Melissa. It's a uncanny gift. (Although, truth be told, recently Melissa has been tackling the majority of the late night duties.) This time, however, Kennedy was WIDE awake, and looked at me as if to say "you're not going anywhere, buddy." Okay. So I picked her up, and started rocking her, which had minimal success. She then appeared as though she was asleep (she was faking it). As soon as I layed her down, she started crying. Well, crap. Melissa came in, changed her diapers, and started rocking her again. Super Mom in action! I went back to bed. It took some time to get Kennedy calmed down. Melissa fixed her a bottle. Feed her. And eventually, Kennedy was asleep again. Melissa crawled back into bed. I thanked her, and I was out.

When I'm getting ready for work in the morning, Melissa is still asleep. These blogs sometimes become mine and Melissa's best mode of communication to each other! So, I'm sharing this story to thank my lovely wife for taking care of Kennedy and me last night. I greatly appreciate your love, your support, and your caring.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

i love slowtron.

how to bbq a man
(via dan) It's as if the United States had gone to war against the tribal system itself.

...The United States military, unable to relate to a tribal society, finds itself the player in a nationwide blood feud. To understand the intensity of these feelings of honor and kinship, read "Othello" or watch "The Godfather." This is how many tribal Iraqis perceive the world. It is not necessarily a lack of sophistication but a mark of being outside the West. Tribal culture in Iraq goes back thousands of years. When an Iraqi man loses a family member to an American missile, he must take another American life to even the score. He may not subscribe to the notion that some Americans are noncombatants, viewing them instead as the members of a supertribe that has come to invade his land.
For lunch, one of my chess club students brought a tub of tuna fish and a spoon. Oh my.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I have great news... that I'm not allowed to share.

Monday, September 20, 2004

From Mike's Action Guide--

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, due process has disappeared from the American judicial system. Everyone has a right to a lawyer and a trial, right? According to the Bush administration, not anymore.

Here's the catch: if you're not charged with a crime, you don't get the right to a trial.

The Bush administration has used this loophole to their advantage. Classifying detainees as "enemy combatants" avoids having to be consistent with all those messy international human rights standards like the Geneva Convention. Detainees at Guantanamo Bay have received a lot of attention recently, despite the Bush administration's attempt to keep things quiet. Not only have top intelligence officials confirmed that none of the prisoners are high-ranking terrorists, but they also verified that less than 24 of the over
600 detainees
are even suspected to be members of al Qaeda. Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials have justified their illegal, unethical treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo by declaring that they were the worst of the worst, but clearly this isn't true.

Reports of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison are not isolated incidents. A rapid increase in suicide attempts at Guantanamo prompted many human rights organizations to suspect similar conditions of torture. The ACLU and Amnesty International are among the groups calling for an independent investigation to document previous human rights abuses and prevent further torture from occurring. While the US plans to release secret documents that prove torture was not condoned by high ranking Bush administration officials, they are not releasing other documents that provide legal justifications for torture.

In fact, Ashcroft will not even discuss them with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Washington Post (4-9-04): "Bush has yielded the stage, remaining largely out of sight at his Texas ranch as others in his administration explain his policies."
One Thousand Reasons ~ Relentlessly documenting the failures of the Bush administration
Welcome to Monday!
"I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment, nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes." - President George W. Bush - 1990

"I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country." - Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell - 1995


Saturday, September 18, 2004

For those of you that follow this blog (thank you, by the way), you know that I have reserved my Mondays to pick on George W. In fact, every Monday from now until the election is "Piss-Off-Bush Monday". But you know what? I just couldn't wait. It's too easy to pick on him.


Friday, September 17, 2004

Christopher Reeve.

To walk again.

That's my New Year's resolution for 2003. Just as it was for 2002, 2001 and every year since I suffered my spinal cord injury. And if I don't walk this year, then I will resolve to do so again next January.

Today after school, Kennedy and I are driving to Fort Worth for the 2nd annual "Jazz By The Boulevard". I thought it's time to give Kennedy her introduction to jazz.

Time Travel Fund
Wish you could see life on Earth 500 or so years from now? Leveraging the powers of human greed and compound interest, this site comes up with a clever (if slightly tongue-in-cheek) plan for bribing your way into the miracles of time travel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Got my vote
The Question of God on PBS

I wrote this e-mail to a friend...
Just finished watching a fascinating show on PBS. It covers the lives of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, using their ideas to create a conversation on the subject of God. Since I've always found myself to walk a fine line between skeptic and believer, it was very interesting.

I know you're fond of C.S. Lewis' work, so I thought you might be interested... another episode of the show is airing next week.


I've read a few of C.S. Lewis' books-- Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy, a few of his Chronicles of Narina, and Out of the Silent Planet. It was some formative work for me; he presents ideas which, even at my most cynical moments, still entice me towards Christianity. Anyways, thought I'd pass it along.

I guess the "dot com" boom is over. No money in my paypal account. :) Nobody just throws money at a person with a website anymore? What gives?

I guess I need a good or service to offer. Economics 101.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Hobbes-Tyler Connection
Here's hoping. If you are rich, please donate.

Monday, September 13, 2004

'Folly of Empire' Offers Critique of U.S. Imperialism
Losing Julie: Teen's Suicide Blamed on Zoloft

Doctors have written millions of prescriptions for antidepressants called SSRIs for American children. But that practice has become controversial in light of research that suggests these drugs may increase the risk of suicide attempts and suicidal thinking in children and teens.
I officially declare every Monday from now until the election to be "Piss-Off-Bush Monday". He is the most detested U.S. President since Hoover. George W, Dick, and Rumsfeld do not belong in positions of global power. We have the freedom of speech, and the resources of a global community to push public opinion.

Heck, if we could simply get more young people to vote, we could unseat this administration. Politicians depend on low voter turnout to displace the voice of the masses, so instead only the priviledged get to participate. For instance, if election day were on a Saturday instead of a Tuesday, imagine how many more could vote. What if it were an election weekend and not just an election day?

I'm registered to vote. I have been since I was 18. I voted in my first primary and presidential election while in high school. I haven't missed a national or state election in nine years. I write letters to my state, local, and national representatives. Protest. Petition. Boycott. Speak. Use your rights, or it will be taken from you.

Rock the Vote
As part of "Piss-Off-Bush Monday", here's an interesting bit of satire from Mad magazine. (Historical sidenote-- Mad was created by EC, a popular comic book company from the early days of the industry. During the '50s, EC was destroyed by a government council researching the involvement of comics in contributing to juvenile deliquency.)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Kennedy says "hello". I think she likes her hat.

Just finished watching the series premiere of Jack and Bobby on the WB. I saw a poster advertising the show while at the mall. I had to do a double take. Intially, I thought, "Awesome. Someone's doing a television show on Jack and Bobby Kennedy. How original." But when I read the tagline, "In 2041, one son will be President" I realized it was something else. Normally, I wouldn't care about this show one way or the other-- but I found out Brad Meltzer was one of the co-creators. We had interviewed Brad on Fanboy Radio, and he was a cool guy to talk with. (Seriously. I don't mention this much... but Fanboy Radio is so great. A few times each month, I go to the KTCU studio and spend an hour talking with some of the most creative storytellers in the country. It's an opportunity most people don't have. I'm fortunate.) So anyways, I thought I'd give the show a chance, since Brad worked on it.

The show was okay. The "WB melodrama" is becoming so common (and predictable); it makes me wonder whether that company will ever be able to produce something truly remarkable ever again. I thought it was interesting how they flashed forward to 2049 with commentary from his political associates and close friends, and then flashed back again to the present day. The schtick of this particular show was who will become president-- Jack or Bobby? Eh. The future commentaries were intentionally vague and misleading, so to lead the audience back and forth on who it would be. The gimick wore thin... fast. However, I did like some of the dramatic irony it created. And it did confuse the hell out of me (one or both will be a governor and/or congressmen? they both marry the same girl? one and/or both die young? huh?). I wouldn't want to spoil it... but at the end, they more or less stated who it would be. Unless, it was a red herring and they want to play the game some more. I hope not.

Best line of the entire episode: "Sorry I stole your pot, Mom." wtf?

Like any "WB melodrama", there had to be the parent/child conflict in which the child said something hurtful, the parent slapped the child and immediately felt bad. And then, before the credits roll, they reconcile with greater understanding of the other. That is, until next episode.

This show could be good. I like the idea of it starting at the beginning and the ending... and then moving toward the middle. Definately, a unique approach. I like that it focuses on a truly great individual. While I tend towards writing the reluctant and flawed antiheroes (hence the website, antiherocomics.com), I've often thought of writing a story about someone pure and good. Someone who inspires others. The kind of people who are truly rare and precious in our world... if they exist at all. Once again, this show could be good, if it weren't on the WB. Their programming tends to devolve. And by the season end, it will be a goofy teen soap opera. HBO has been better at handling high concept material.

Speaking of Jack...

This has nothing to do with the television show, but I always find this photo to be particularly moving. I get all choked up inside, and I don't know why. It's so beautiful, such a simple moment with the iconic American couple.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Life Aquatic (movie trailer)
An interesting article. The Lessons of History by Gene Callahan

However, the very idea that history contains such "lessons" is false, and rests upon a misunderstanding of what history is and what it can achieve. History is the historian's effort to construct a coherent world of the past based on the evidence available to him in the present.
Did that hurt? (Melissa's blog 9.10.04)

Now before you get all "Damn the Man!" and "do what makes you happy and screw everyone else," I have to say that I am too entirely sick of wondering if my family, whom I love and adore, really appreciate me for who I am or if they wish that I might have turned out differently: i.e. spokesmodel for the Baptist version of the Gap.

I love you. :)
I'm sorry you've had such a tough week.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

From Oni Press News & Junk mailing list-

Does everyone remember how after Sept 11th, VP Dick Cheney was sequestered to an "undisclosed location"?

Turns out, he was in a large underground complex called "Site-R" underneath Rave Rock Mountain in Raven Rock, PA.

Here are two good informative websites about this facility and its history:
(complete with pictures and satellite imagery)

Here are some funny stories about Site-R:

Here is a report of loud noises believed to be the construction of a new bunker going on by the VP mansion.

Here is a report about another "secret" bunker called Mount Weather:

I wish I had a secret underground lair.
Top Five '80s Movie Deaths
(as compiled on a Tuesday night by David, Joshua, Kristen, and Bethany)

5. Jason Dean in Heathers (1989)
It's not so much about Christian Slater with a bomb strapped to his chest, as it's the fact that when he blew up-- it lit Winona Ryder's cigarette. A nice destructive teen moment.

4. Apollo Creed in Rocky IV (1985)
Carl Weathers got his ass handed to him by a Commie. He was acting like a fool, and the last thing people will remember about him is that just moments before he was dressed up as Uncle Sam singing along to "Livin' In America" by James Brown. Truly tragic. Hey Rocky, this time... it's personal.

3. Vizzini in the Princess Bride (1987)
You poor dumb bastard. Both the cups were poisoned. Duh. Wesley developed an immunity to iocane powder. "Never go in against a Sicilian, when *death* is on the line." Inconceivable.

2. Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi (1983)
I'm still confused as to how he died. Yeah, yeah-- Luke took off his mask. Underneath, Darth Vader was an unimpressive white dude. Was it the Emperor's lightning trick? Was that it? If so, Luke took a bigger beating than his dad, and he still survived. I'm sorry. I don't understand. One thing is for sure... after Luke burns the body, the Ewoks start dancing, and the ghost of Darth Vader/Anakin is standing with Obi-Wan and Yoda waving. So odd. This is the big finish to the sacred Trilogy?

1. Goose in Top Gun (1986)
The only guy in the movie who wasn't an ass, dies. Tom Cruise shows he's a sensitive guy and cries. Within mere days of Goose's death, his fellow pilots ask him to "get over it" and "move on". Mavericks throws the dog tags into the ocean. Gee, I hope Goose's wife and child didn't want them or anything.

Monday, September 06, 2004

by Derek Kirk Kim
Gee whiz, maybe it's not a good idea to drug our kids.

Kennedy and I were watching Happy Days on channel 27. What the hell?! Leather Tuscadero is disturbing on so many levels-- the mullet, the clothes, the name, the "rocker attitude", and of course, the mullet. All allegedly set within the late '50s - early '60s. Very disturbing. I put Ms. Tuscadero on my list of inherently frightening phenomena, along with clowns and Danzig.

In fact, Happy Days is a textbook for the bizarre and unnatural:
* A guy nicknamed "Potsie"
* Frequent guest appearances of Mork the alien
* Pat Morita replaces Al Molinaro
* Joanie and Chachi get married
* Ted McGinley


Friday, September 03, 2004

The Kennedy Creeper

"God made us number one 'cause he loves us the best. Well he should go bless someone else for a while, and give us a rest." - Ben Folds

Still Fighting It by Ben Folds (music video)

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