Just Giblets

August Comics of Note

30th August 2009
by Michael

August Comics of Note

I’ve been on a bit of a comics jag lately, and the other day I picked up my semi-monthly haul of new comics.  After reading them (Friday night and Saturday) I decided to share some of my favorites of the month, since there were some pretty darn good ones in the mix.  It also showed me that I come firmly down on the DC side for the most part, with 7 of my top 10 coming from that company, and the other 3 coming from Marvel.  While I like some of the obscure Marvel heroines more than I like the DC characters, it’s clear that the writing and the stories that they’re producing are far superior (or at least more to my liking) than Marvel.  Anyway, here they are, my Top 10 comics of August.

  1. secret_six_12_page9Secret Six #12 written by Gail Simone, art by Nicola Scott.  Both of Gail’s titles  made the Top 2 this week, but I have to say, Secret Six #12 makes it to the top with the artistic aid of Nicola Scott.  The premise of Secret Six is this:  six villains (or at best, anti-heroes) band together originally to survive, and eventually because they enjoy working together.  In recent issues they got involved with a slavery ring, and discovered that Artemis, one of the Amazons, was a captive of the slavers.  This issues the ultimate Amazon shows up… yeah, that’s Wonder Woman.  She has an awesome smackdown with Jeannette, one of the more mysterious members of the Six, whose secret is finally revealed in this issue.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Diana captured as perfectly both in script or in image as this issues of Secret Six.  She is truly chilling and awesome to behold in this issue.  Take a look on the right.  DC Comics
  2. Detective Comics #856 featuring Batwoman written by Greg Rucka, art by J.H. Williams III.  I spoke a lot about Batwoman in my previous post so it’s really no surprise that she shows up so prominently in this list.  Again, the gorgeous art helps quite a bit, but Rucka’s writing is top notch.  Williams layouts take a little getting used to, but they sure are breathtaking.  You need to know a little bit of Batwoman’s brief history to follow this issue, but it also features a nifty meeting of Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer who share a spin on the dance floor.  The Question back-up story is a little lackluster, mainly due to Cully Hamner’s artwork.  It’s not bad, by any means, but it sure pales in comparison to Williams.  Rucka’s story is still compelling.  DC Comics
  3. Wonder Woman #35 written by Gail Simone, art by Aaron Lopresti.  Gail really knows how to write characters, and it’s such a thrill to see women characters in comics get such great treatment.  This arc is basically a Wonder Woman/Black Canary team up, and Gail really characterizes these two women wonderfully.  Now, if we could only get Nicola Scott to draw this title as well?  Awesome.  Anyway, this issue ties together a couple of storylines very nicely.  Diana and Dinah (Black Canary) are in Tokyo posing as underground wrestlers, in order to find one of Diana’s colleagues, Sarge Steel, who has been captured by one of her nemeses, Dr. Psycho.  Along comes the Pacific Islander goddess Pele, seeking revenge on Diana for her father’s death at the hands of Zeus.  Yeah, it probably sounds confusing to a non-comic reader, but this comic has it all.  Great characterization, kick-ass action, and an emotional wallop right at the end.  DC Comics
  4. gog 17Guardians of the Galaxy #17 written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, art by Brad Walker.  Marvel comes in with one of their cosmic titles, which is also the single most enjoyable title they are putting out right now.  Two of my favorite Marvel heroines are featured regularly, Moondragon (who only has a small part in this issue) and Mantis (who is absent from this issue), but this issue does guest star my second favorite Marvel heroine, Medusa along with the rest of the Inhumans Royal Family in this War of Kings follow-up.  The Inhumans have gone and detonated a deadly bomb to end the Kree/Shair War, and the result is a massive rift in time and space that threatens to destroy the cosmos.  The Guardians of the Galaxy go to confront the Inhumans for their actions, and to see if they can do something about the unravelling of the galaxy.  Naturally Medusa is a bit consumed by grief as it looks like her husband, and King of the Inhuamns, Black Bolt, has been obliterated.  As you can see in the image on the right, she doesn’t have much patience for Martyr’s “I told you so’s.”  Fortunately for the cosmos, Adam Warlock manages to stop the rift’s growth.  Unfortunately for the cosmos, the resulting timeshift causes him to become the villainous Magus.  It’s a pretty shocking ending, and great cosmic space opera.  Marvel comics
  5. X-Factor #47 written by Peter David, art by Valentine De Landro.  Pretty much the only X-title worth reading right now (except perhaps New Mutants, in my opinion) and that’s because of Peter David’s writing.  Humor, adventure, twists, emotional swings… Peter does it all, imbuing life and interest even into such cardboard characters as Longshot, Shatterstar, Strong Guy and his masterwork, Madrox the Multiple Man.  This issue is in the middle of a multi-part storyline, so it’s pretty darn confusing.  I’m not even going to try to summarize it.  Suffice it to say, Madrox, X-Factor’s leader, is trapped in the future with Layla Miller, trying to figure out a way to keep a nasty future from coming to past for mutantkind.  Meanwhile back in the present, a couple of Omega level sentinels are after Siryn and M, while Longshot confronts the apparent mastermind of the whole thing… who is shockingly revealed in the final panel.  Marvel comics
  6. Madame Xanadu #14 written by Matt Wagner, art by Michael Wm. Kaluta.  DC’s fantasy/horror/crime imprint, Vertigo, spawned the likes of such popular titles as The Sandman and Fables.  Now they have scored again with one of DC’s b-list mystics, the mysterious Madame Xanadu.  Issue #14 is part four of a storyline with art by original Madame Xanadu artist Michael Kaluta, and while it’s beautiful, it doesn’t have the appeal for me as Amy Reeder Hadley’s fine line work, and I look forward to her return in a few issues.  This storyline is set alternately in 1940s New York, where Madame Xanadu must solve a mystical serial killing, and 1493 when the Spanish Inquisition was at the height of its powers.  This issue also features a great encounter between Madame Xanadu and the Golden Age Sandman, aka Wesley Dodds, who is trying to solve the crimes in his own way.  There’s a dramatic cliffhanger where it looks like things are about to go terribly wrong for Xanadu in the 1493.  Wagner has turned a stock character into something magical and wondrous, and whose adventures each month I look forward to eagerly.  DC Comics/Vertigo
  7. kingsWar of Kings #6 of 6 written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, art by Paul Pelletier.  As mentioned above, Medusa is one of my all-time favorite heroines from Marvel, and she and the rest of the Royal Family of the Inhumans is featured prominently in the War of Kings miniseries which reached its conclusion this month.  It comes down to an epic personal battle between Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, and Vulcan, man Emperor of the Shiar.  Black Bolt intends to detonate  a T-bomb, powered by his deadly voice, that will have deadly repercussions to the galaxy.  Vulcan intends to stop him.  Medusa comes to realize that Black Bolt will perish in the explosion as this epic war comes to a close.  Abnett and Lanning do cosmic storylines with finesse, action, political intrigue and great characterization.  Unfortunately, they tend to paint their characters in fairly broad strokes:  Crystal and Ronan are our heroes, and seem to make no errors in judgment, while the rest of the Inhumans Royal Family are nearly reduced to cardboard villains.  I would have rather seen more layers.  The miniseries was elevated by the fabulous artwork of Paul Pelletier though, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the next chapter in this saga.  Marvel Comics
  8. Justice Society of America #30 written by Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham, art by Jesus Merino.  The new writing team of Sturges and Willingham (of Fables fame) has breathed much needed new life into the Justice Society of America; enough to propel it back into the Top 1o of my monthly reads.  It’s not easy to handle the writing chores of a team of superheroes that features over 20 members, but this kick-off storyline does the job, and even adds another member (bringing in the new Dr. Fate in a very dramatic fashion.)  The JSA is nearly defeated by a horde of Super-villains, leaving only the Flash and Stargirl standing.  While Stargirl holds her own, Flash recruits the new Dr. Fate and the three manage to stall long enough for the rest of the team to recover.  When the villains flee, a rift forms in the team of heroes, with some wanting to pursue the villains and find out the reason for the attack, and the rest feeling it important to return to headquarters to see why Mr. Terrific doesn’t answer their call.  It turns out  that there is a larger plot at work against the team and it threatens to tear the JSA apart.  Oh, Merino’s art really adds a lot to the book.  I’m looking forward to seeing this new creative team’s work.  DC Comics
  9. batgirlBatgirl #1 written by Bryan Q. Miller, art by Lee Garbett.  I wasn’t going to read the new Batgirl series, as I wasn’t all that interested in the last young lady who wore the costume.  For some reason, when I found out who was going to be wearing the costume, I was intrigued, so I decided to pick up issues #1.  I’m going to spoil you about the new Batgirl’s identity, because it’s revealed very early on in the issue.  Stephanie Brown, formerly Spoiler, is our new Batgirl, and while I don’t really know all that much about Ms. Brown, I thought I’d see how she handles the role.  The art is terrific, and Brown’s Batgirl is a little uncertain of herself and makes some mistakes.  Clearly she is in need of a mentor, and she is apparently going to get one in the form of Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, and now the uber-information broker, Oracle.  Miller writes Barbara with a lot of pent up anger, which I’m not sure I buy, but I’m going to wait and see where that anger is coming from and see how the story develops.  In the meantime, I’m in.  DC Comics
  10. Power Girl #4 written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmotti, art by Amanda Conner.  DC is sure showing the ladies some love with all these female-led titles!  Power Girl is a great character… originally Earth 2′s answer to Supergirl.  She devolved into a large pair of breasts and an attitude in the 90′s, but her regular strong appearances in the Justice Society of America over the last several years have done a lot to powergirlpropel her back to serious status.  Gray and Pamottie are taking a slightly humorous approach to Power Girl (there’s a joke about her breasts in just about every issue) but they’re also doing a good job establishing her as an entertaining and strong character.  Amanda Conner’s art is a little cartoony, but it fits thebig adventures well, and she captures facial expressions really well.  I’m enjoying this title much more than I thought I would.  DC Comics

meraI wanted to mention a few other titles for various reasons, starting with Blackest Night #2.  I’m not as over the moon about this event as most of fandom.  Never been much of a Green Lantern fan, and Geoff Johns stories are wildly uneven for me, some being outstanding, others being overhyped.  But the big surprise in this issue was the awesome return of Mera in a big way (take a gander at left).  Mera is the long-suffering wife of Aquaman, who has basically been the ultimate expression of the wife/girlfriend character in comics.  Now that Aquaman is dead (and returned in Blackest Night) it appears that Johns is going to shine a little spotlight on Mera, and for that I must thank him.  She’s got tons of potential, great powers, and an outstanding visual.  She’s the Queen of Atlantis, and as you know from Marvel’s Medusa, I’ve got a thing for Queens!

Other mentions this month include a new creative team over in Fantastic Four, thank god.  I loathed what Millar and Hitch were doing to this title, and things look promising in the hands of new scribe Jonathan Hickman.  Vertigo’s Air continues to confound and to please.  It’s some pretty heady stuff, but nothing less than I’d expect from Peter Milligan.  Terry Moore’s Echo is moving along nicely and Streets of Gotham has me following yet another Batman title; but this time for the back-up story featuring Manhunter.  This month’s addition of The Huntress piques my interest even more.  Other titles I enjoyed this month include Nova, Justice League of America, Marvel Divas, New Mutants, R.E.B.E.L.S., Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers, Fables, The Unwritten, Greek Street, JSA vs. Kobra, and The Last Days of Animal Man.  Other titles that I have mixed feelings about include Justice League: Cry for Justice, Adventure Comics, The Mighty Avengers, Fallen Angel, and Avengers: The Initiative.  And two titles that I was enjoying before,but seem to have taken missteps this month are Gotham City Sirens and Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter.

posted in Comics, Personal | at 1:00 pm | 0 Comments
27th November 2008
by Michael

Gratitude

I usually don’t go for these holiday inspired blog posts… oh, it’s thanksgiving, what am I thankful for, but this morning, I guess I’m in a reflective mood.  I don’t often stop and think about what I am truly thankful for in my life and that’s probably not a good thing.  It’s so easy to take the blessings in one’s life for granted, and today, I’m going to take a step back and acknowledge the things I am most thankful for.

When you’re healthy, it’s so easy to take your health for granted.  I have been fortunate enough to be pretty healthy my entire life.  Sure, as a fortysomething-year-old man I should lose a few pounds, eat better, be more active, etc.  But I did quit smoking this year (last January) and I feel really thankful about that!

Friends and Family are such a blessing.  My family is happy and healthy.  Everyone is doing well.  I am especially thankful that my parents, both in their mid-eighties, are doing so well.  And as a gay man, friends are so important, and I’ve got great friends from so many different areas of my life.

Six months ago, my friends and family would be shocked to hear me give thanks to my job… but it’s true.  Of course, in this economic climate I’m thankful to have a job at all, but never in my wildest dreams since becoming a librarian did I think I would ever have this big a job.  And for the first time since I started this job, things are really looking up.  A new leader has really rejuventated by interest in my career, and although things are still pretty difficult in many ways, I’m so hopeful for the future.

Having been a homeowner for a couple of years now, I have to say I am grateful that we’ve got such a comfortable home and great condo-mates.  As Scot often reminds me, we could definitely spend a little more time focused on our home, and that’s something I think I’d like to try and do in the coming year.

In that home I have to give thanks to our kitties, Gertrudis and Parker.  The joy these cats bring me is sometimes astounding.  Gertrudis has been with me for over 14 years, and she is truly part of my family.  And I’m so thankful that we were able to provide a home for Parker and that he seems to have alleviated some of Gertrudis’ anxiety about being the only cat in the house (when she remembers to stop fighting with him.)

Finally, and most importantly, I am so thankful for my husband, Scot.  First that here in Massachusetts I can actually have a husband, and secondly, but more importantly, that he’s someone as kind, understanding, complex, and beautiful as Scot.  I don’t tell him this nearly enough, but it comes from my heart… I love you, Scottie, and I am so grateful that you are a part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

posted in Family, Friends, Gooey Stuff, Holidays, Personal | at 9:46 am | 0 Comments
17th October 2008
by Scot

My middle name

I was born Scot Alan Tannreuther.

For reasons I shouldn’t have to explain, I was eager to dump the last name in 199…6? and dropped my middle name in the process. And in 2004 I changed my last name to Colford cause I married THE RIGHT GUY. But I still didn’t fill in the weird middle name gap.

Guess what. I just chose one.

I am now Scot Hussein Colford.

How about you?

posted in Family, Memes, OMGWTFBBQ!?, Personal, Politics | at 12:20 am | 0 Comments
17th August 2008
by Michael

A Day I’m Glad to Celebrate!

Scottie and Peter Pan

Scottie’s got a lot to crow about, because unlike his buddy Peter Pan, Scottie is an adorable, whip-smart, compassionate, intelligent man who is celebrating his birthday today.  And I’m the lucky guy who gets to celebrate it with him.  I love you, Scottie.  Happy Birthday!

posted in Personal | at 7:41 am | 0 Comments
13th July 2008
by Scot

[title of post]

So this was the big night. We saw [title of show] on mother-scratching Broadway. Holey frijoles, I don’t have the words to describe it at the moment. We saw it before at the Vineyard Theatre, off-Broadway. Mainly I’m logging the event tonight so that I will be compelled to describe it in detail tomorrow when we train home.

[FYI, just noticed from the above link that Heidi is the only member who got a significantly new costume. Like the new one better than the stripes, so I'm not complaining.]

Besides getting to hang out with my dear friend (and superstar) Susan Blackwell, I got to hug Hunter Bell and shake Heidi Blickenstaff’s hand. Still haven’t met Larry Pressgrove. And Jeff Bowen smiled at me, but dammit. He has no idea that I’m the dude who cracked his showtune cipher and sported his patch all around town today. (Pictures of that and more tomorrow.)

As much as I’m tempted summarize the evening as, “I’m so proud of my dear friend who made her way from Ohio state school to Broadway,” I really have to say that seeing the show has kicked me in the ass. Again. My soul is re-energized having seen five honest people making good the right way. Basically, this show is (and hopefully will continue to be) proof that “laying it all out there honestly” is just the way to do things. All the people who claim “you have to play a game here or there” will hopefully have to find new excuses from here out.

That would make me very happy. Just like this show does. Again, more details to follow tomorrow.

posted in Musicals, OMGWTFBBQ!?, Personal, Theatre, Vanity | at 3:15 am | 0 Comments
10th July 2008
by Scot

hatester

Okay, so this has probably been proposed by someone else and launched and failed miserably. But what the hell? I am all about the fool-making.

Why don’t we start a social networking site all about making connections with people we can’t stand? No, really. You log on, search for “Sharon Krafts” and then tag her as a “genial co-worker on the other side of a labor dispute” or whatever. We can define many sorts of work relationships. Or love relationships. Or family relationships. But the idea is that we don’t like these people. And we can get explicit confirmation that they dislike us as well.

What do you think?

posted in Mean People, Nonsense, Personal, Politics, Web | at 1:58 am | 3 Comments
20th April 2008
by Michael

Taking a Moment to Breathe

Hi. It’s Michael. Yeah, it’s been awhile. I’m the kind of person who sometimes forgets to take a moment and enjoy life because I’m too busy living it. There are pros and cons to that, but here, on a lovely spring day in Wellfleet (home of the famous Wellfleet oyster) I’ve decided to reflect upon the past month or so and say hello. It has been a particularly hectic few weeks and there’s more to come in the rest of April and May.

Award WinnersThe craze began with the lead up to the 14th Annual Chlotrudis Awards. If you’re reading this, I trust you know about the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. For those of you who don’t, you just need to know that it’s a film society that I started up about 14 years ago to teach audiences to view films actively. This past March 30 we celebrated out 14th annual awards ceremony at the Brattle Theatre with special guest Alberta Watson in attendance. We presented Alberta with an award for her career-so-far, and she was a delightful guest. Lots of fun to hang out with, very down-to-earth, passionate about the Chlotrudis-cause, and she gave a moving and heartfelt speech to boot. We gave out a host of awards, including Best Movie to ONCE, Best Short Film to Maria Gigante for GIRLS ROOM, and our own very special Buried Treasure Award (for a film that made less than $250,000 at the domestic box office and we feel deserves another look) to 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST. Also receiving a new awards called The Cat’s Meow, was board member extraordinnaire, Bruce Kingsley, without whom Chlotrudis might have dissolved during difficult times last year. (Maria, Alberta, and Bruce are pictured left). And on top of all that, we performed not one, but two fabulous musical numbers. Hopefully they will be online soon, as will pictures from the awards.

Preparing for the awards is a massive undertaking, and one that pretty much consumes my life for weeks prior to the event. Fortunately, in recent years, friends and fellow Board members have stepped up and removed much of the burden from me. Beth, Allison, Scot… there’s no way this thing would happen without you.

Shifting into work mode, anyone who has read the paper or listened to WBUR in the past six months or so know that there are big, disruptive things afoot at the Boston Public Library. This is not my forum to talk about work, but let me just say about the BPL in general, it takes up a lot of my time, both actual and mental. On the broader subject of librarianship and careers, let me mention last week’s trip to San Francisco to attend the annual spring meeting of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC). This was my first trip to ICOLC, which has been meeting for about 15 years, and for my job as Regional Administrator of the Boston Regional Library System, ICOLC is actually pretty relevant. Like any conference, there are moments where you wonder why you’re there, but overall, I learned some stuff, networked with a lot of great people, and really gained a valuable perspective about possibilities in my job. So while there was an emphasis on negotiating with vendors for consortial database licensing, I did get to generate some lively discussion on my favorite library topic du jour, using open source solutions in libraries. I’m still amazed at the resistance to even consider this among librarians, but it’s changing.

Chriso and meThe trip to San Francisco wasn’t all work however, as I got to meet an online pal for the first time. Chriso is one nifty fella. He’s the drummer for a very hip band; he’s a total superhero comic book geek; he’s warm, friendly and a super host; and he’s adorable as all get out. We got together a couple of times and he showed me some different SF neighborhoods, including the Armory building where he works, the Mission District, the Castro, Moby Dick, and a couple of cool comic book stores where we spent a lot of money. We also shared some way fun conversation about the high points of the Legion of Superheroes (where I discovered that he’s my long lost comic-twin) and muxtape. Hey, you nice boys out in SF… he’s single. (I used the picture Chris took of of us because it came out better than the ones I took.)

Sarah, Gianna and Scottie on Commercial St.Of course, when you’re out for nearly a week, returning to work can be hellish; and it was, but only for one day before I conveniently took off for a long weekend with my peeps (that’s hubby Scottie, and our best friends Gianna and Sarah) to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Those of you who know me well know that the Cape (and particularly Provincetown) has been taking on a great significance in my life and may have a great impact on my future plans. Any chance to go to the Cape is a welcome one, so when a friend of Gianna’s offered us her vacation condo, we jumped at the chance. The four of us travel incredibly well together, and we’ve got a beautiful weekend to do it. True, we did spend a frightful 40 minutes or so meandering along backroads in South Shore suburbs after getting a little lost trying to find Route 93, Me and Gianna at Herring Cove Beachbut we took care of that and made our way to Wellfleet on Friday night. Saturday was a beautiful day, where we remarked on that oh-so Cape quality of light. It’s unique and just stunning. We spent the afternoon in P-Town, grabbing lunch, strolling and doing some shopping (both couples making some fun impulse puchases at M.G. Leather. Then we sent some time on Herring Cove Beach (we were not nude, as it was not nude sunbathing weather!) before returning home for tacos and a mini-David Lynch film festival. (We watched the European pilot for ‘Twin Peaks,’ which was pretty lame in our opinion, and Mulholland Drive.) And now it’s Sunday. What will we do today? It’s another beautiful day. We’ve got lots of movies to watch (like GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA and FOUL PLAY!) and an extra day off tomorrow. Of course, Gianna and Sarah aren’t awake yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Then it’s back home and the next couple of big events. Next week is the Independent Film Festival of Boston, which happens to coincide with both my mother’s birthday and my friend Mameve’s book release, just to make things even more hectic. And the week after that is the Massachusetts Library Association’s annual conference, which Gianna and I run. Maybe I’ll be able to take another moment to relax when that’s over.

posted in Comics, Friends, Libraries, Personal, Travel | at 8:40 am | 1 Comment
11th February 2008
by Scot

Two Weeks

Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything for a while, but what the heck. Michael and I were both sick as dogs with the flu a few weeks ago and he did the sensible thing and stopped smoking. That’s much harder for me to do. But after we were more mobile, he still didn’t start again. After much hounding on my part, I got him to admit that he was trying to quit. Knowing how much of a bad influence we are on each other, I figured it was time for me to try again myself.

Nicotine CandyNow, Michael can just up and quit. I don’t know how he does it. But I’m pretty physically attached to my nicotine so I knew I’d have to use some little aid. I’d had good success with the patch before. (Quit for four years. The four years before I met Michael!) But this time, I thought I should try one of the oral nicotine substitutions. I started off on the lozenge things called “Commit”. Yeah, they taste nasty and sort of burn your mouth a bit. And you’re not supposed to chew them or even swallow much of your spit or you’ll get stomach and throat ulcers. But that’s okay. The hard part was just getting the damn things to dissolve. They are supposed to dissolve in 20-30 minutes, but mine were taking upwards of 90 minutes to turn into a chalky mush that was hard not to swallow. You can’t eat or drink while it’s in your mouth or for 15 minutes before you start sucking. And you’re supposed to have at least nine a day for the first six weeks! That’s, what? Like 13.5 hours of sucking where you can’t even drink a glass of water. Add in over two hours of that 15-minute buffer time and I’m likely to dehydrate and starve to death in a couple days.

So, I switched to the patch and I’m doing pretty well. I still have a stash of the lozenges for the really strong cravings. I don’t think you’re supposed to use them and the patch together, but I’ve not had any palpitations yet.

When I started, though, I signed up for the GlaxoSmithKline Commited Quitters program that goes along with the little not-candy-they’re-medicine things. The idea is that this friendly drug company writes up a personalized quitting program for you based on this lengthy questionnaire you fill out. But really it just means I get emails like this every week.

Dear Scot,

It has been two weeks since your last cigarette. Have you noticed any changes in your breathing? You may be coughing up more phlegm now that your lungs are beginning to work better. This is normal. Your body is clearing itself out with every smokeless breath you take. How is your sense of taste? Is it improving?

You may also be feeling more comfortable as a nonsmoker. Are you finding new ways of socializing or dealing with stressful situations? Your withdrawal symptoms may be subsiding, but you still need to be aware of your triggers to smoke and use the strategies you have learned to manage them. Don’t forget to review your personalized program on the Committed Quitters® Web site for extra support.

Oh, it’s so encouraging. I love that phlegm bit. And my sense of taste. Yeah, the phlegm tastes great.

Wish me luck. And don’t ask me how it’s going or I’ll bite your head off. (Ha.)

posted in Family, Health, Personal, Vanity | at 4:44 pm | 0 Comments
19th December 2007
by Michael

When your nephews and nieces grow up

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and the other blogs I read, and how various blogs will occasionally irritate me, while others make me pause and think I should be writing more personal stuff in my own blog. All that is just a preface to the discovery that my nephews and niece are growing up.

I went to my MySpace profile (to delete it, actually) when I naturally started to take a look at my friends profiles before leaving. During this perusal, I discovered that my nephew has a blog. I think I’d noticed that in the past, but I took a look at his last couple of posts and was mildly surprised to find out that he’s a really funny guy! I thoroughly enjoyed his dry, matter-of-fact humor; something I’d never really had the chance to notice before never having any access to his writing style, and basically spending most of my time with him at family gatherings where there isn’t a huge amount of time to converse meaningfully.

Now, my nephew was born the summer between my high school graduation and my first year of college. A time when you’re just starting to feel like an adult. The fact that my nephew is now 27 years old, and he didn’t even exist until after I was already an adult (well, at age 18, I could vote at least) is a curious sensation. He was a child for such a long time in my adult life, it’s an interesting experience to now keep reminding myself that he’s an adult. In fact, I have friends who are younger than him! I need to hang out with my nephew more. By the way, his myspace profile with that amusing blog are over here.

Then there’s my niece, and she really shook things up in the child/adult continuum earlier this year by getting married. The first of that generation to do so. Huh? I was just babysitting for her the other day! And coaching her middle-school basketball team! Now she’s married? And teaching developmentally disable kids? Okay, I knew she was going to turn out pretty special one day… she was a pretty special little kid… but to have that day here, a beautiful young woman getting married to a beautiful young man… well, it’s a little surreal. Next thing you know, there’s going to be another generation of Colfords showing up, and that will be a real adjustment.

There are a couple more nephews in the family… and thank god, they’re still in school. Of course the older of the two is now in high school, and he’s my godson, so that’s a little odd. And he’s one of those interesting and cool high schoolers, pulling out of that sullen, leave-me-alone middle school phases. The younger… the youngest in our extended family, just entered middle school, and thank god he still acts like a kid. At least the whole world hasn’t shifted yet.

So what does this all mean? I’m getting older? Well sure, I know that, and I’m even okay with it for the most part. It is a little unusual that I’m experiencing, albeit to a much lesser degree, what parents must feel as they watch their kids grow up. I just find it so interesting that as an an individual, I don’t really feel any different as I age compared to when I was a teenager. When I am relating to a friend who is 10 years younger than me… even 15 years younger than me, I often forget we are different ages. (Granted, when I am talking to a friend who is nearly 20 years younger than me, I do notice the difference.) So, here’s to getting older! In so many ways, people really do get more interesting the more time they spend on this planet.

Anyway, I didn’t end up deleting my MySpace profile. What do you think? I know MySpace is passe. If you’re not checking your profile anymore, should you delete it? Just ignore it? Stop by once a month or so just to see what’s going on? I’d love to hear what you think…

posted in Family, Personal | at 11:18 am | 0 Comments
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