"It is critical you pay attention at this time..."

I need to increase my readership haha
- JFav

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Christmas Wish List in January

So, every Christmas at our family get together, we usually have a Christmas exchange gift. Before the dinner/lunch, we secretly pick who it is we're supposed to be giving a gift to for Christmas. Then, after the eating and the picture-taking, we go open our presents and try to guess who gave us our gifts and basically have a good time searching for hints and tells on each other's faces. This is split into two categories: Adults (Parents, titos and titas) and Kids (My cousins and I). Last December, many of us asked for money or gift certificates (including myself). Well, after we had finished with it, one of my titas said that next year, we wouldn't be allowed to ask for money or gift certificates anymore, to make it more fun and exciting.

And thus, I get to do one of my most favorite things in the world, making lists. Below is the list of things I could ask for, next Christmas. Why do this now? Because in recent years, I've come up with things I've wanted but forgotten to ask for. I don't want to forget this year. Haha. And because, like I said, I like making lists. Time to get crackin'.

1. Ben & Jerry's Half Baked flavor ice cream
2. A bowtie
3. The Back to the Future trilogy DVD box set
4. ...
5. ...

Aw hell, I'll finish this list some other time. Honestly, the only reason I'm posting this is because I remembered how I hid a a pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked in the freezer of the grocery earlier today. I hid it, because I didn't want to spend on it yet, since I'm trying to save, and that thing is hella expensive. So very expensive. I haven't had some in a while but I also have a cold so I don't think I'd be able to enjoy it as much. Maybe next time. Or someone else could spend on it for me, next Christmas. Haha. So this is just me, acting out on that. You are welcome. *wink*

Friday, January 20, 2012

If I Could Draw

If I could draw, I'd draw you a picture of our future together, sixty years from now.

I'd draw us old and wrinkly, sitting on a couch surrounded by our children and grandchildren. Family photo-style, with everyone looking their best, the young ones itching to breakaway from the stillness and continue with their playing. It is, after all, a big house with sliding doors and spacious salas and a garden covered in inviting green grass, perfect for seven-year olds to play on. A classical family home with modern amenities and furnishings. Two cars and in the garage (older models but in good condition) and a porch with a swing. There would be a table of sisig and paella and other food somewhere in the background, since we'd be celebrating an anniversary or holiday (I haven't decided yet). You know I'd have to draw the food perfectly, complete with those squiggly lines rising from the dishes for added effect. The pudgiest of our apos will be so intently focused on the food and will be closest to that table. He's so adorably mischievous. Scattered throughout would be pictures of you and me: on our wedding night, our eldest's college graduation, our youngest grandchild's first birthday -- you know, just the important events. Like the one I'm trying to capture now. Of course, before finishing the picture, I'd make sure I got all our faces right. (The youngest, a wee baby, delighted by the flashing light, will be the hardest to draw because I have to capture her glee and astonishment.) Cheerful, smiling and content. Especially, yours and mine. Old and wrinkly and happy.

Wouldn't that be a beautiful picture?

That is, if only I could draw.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shadows and Promises

Remembering the past is always bittersweet. You're sad because it's over but happy because it happened. The thing they forget to mention about reminiscing about the good old days? It sucks when you know it won't ever happen again.

Case in point, whenever my mind wanders down memory lane (as it is wont to do), and it finds its way to the memories surrounding basketball, a small smile struggles to form on my face. There are a lot of good, even great memories of me playing basketball, from years of playing the game that I love. Enough highlights to last me at least an hour's worth of conversation, I would say. But as these blurry images become clearer and more focused in my mind's eye, they just as quickly vanish, like shutting off the television. Because it pains me to remember what I used to be able to do and realize that in my current state, I can't do those things anymore. It is a defeat more crushing than any of the losses I've endured. So final, so damning. I didn't stop being good; I let myself go. I am not the player I once used to be, a shadow of my former self. (And who I was before wasn't even that good as I have led you to believe, what more now?)

So here we are at the point in the movie where our protagonist has fallen and seemingly cannot get up. Whatever obstacles are blocking his way are there to stay. That is, until our hero decides that they aren't.

This is the comeback. This is the uphill climb. Cue the music, it's time for the training montage. For my own sake, I gotta get back up there. I gotta give it one more try. I've got to, because ever since six months ago, I've got more at stake. Simply put, this is the time of my life where I have to be the best that I can be. I'm in the prime of my life, wasting it would be a crime.

So this is the promise. This is where I gamble and bet on me. This is where I tell you, and begin to show you. This is where I get my Druid on. (For everyone who won't get that reference, read Marvel Comics' Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman, you won't be disappointed.) It's in writing now, on the internet, I'm not taking this back. Hear that internet? I'm making a promise and I'm writing it on you. You know I'm serious.

I'm putting this all here so that I can look at it everyday and remind myself that I need to do this. So that if I fail, I know where to look to get back at it again. And so that when I succeed, I'll know when and where it all began.

As I type this, I've already worked out tonight. Let's keep it up. Everyone loves a good comeback story, right? Cheer for me internet. It's time to put on a show.


I now understand why my life had to play out this way.

It is clear to me now that this was all part of the plan.

This could not have happened any other way.

No doubt about it.

It was meant to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Comicbook Post

So I picked up my stack of comics the other day. Here's what I thought about 'em:

Secret Avengers #20 & #21
The Warren Ellis series of one-shots on the book concludes with a bang! Since taking over the book back in issue #16, Ellis has told six stand-alone stories that have seen the team take on various threats such as killer trucks, otherworldly dangerous minerals and plain old monsters. The neat trick Ellis and his all-star collaborators (artists for the last two issues were Alex Maleev and Stuart Immonen, respectively) have pulled is that they've infused a great deal of action and heart into as compact a space as possible. There's no room for error for the Avengers black ops division nor the creators and they both succeed at it.
Best moment (#20): The Black Widow mourns the death of one of the allies she picks up along her time-displaced journey.
Best moment (#21): Steve Rogers turning away and letting his colleagues begin torturing the suspects.

Black Panther The Most Dangerous Man Alive #527 and #528
Three words: T'Challa is awesome.
Best moment (#527): Luke Cage and Falcon joining the fight.
Best moment (#528): "Check and mate. Now we take Shadowland and destroy Wilson Fisk."

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #5
I love Miles Morales. Making Spider-Man a legacy hero was a great idea, and Miles is showing us why. Great book. Miles' best friend Ganke is the secret weapon of this comic. Every panel with him is gold. Solid writing and fantastic art make for a very good, very poignant read. What more could you ask for?
Best moment: "You're officially Spider-Man." Gets me every time.

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #5
This issue features almost no action whatsoever, which is a welcome change of pace from the blitz of violence and mayhem the first four issues gave us. However, the way we got to this point is a little strange because it feels like the Ultimate shouldn't be taking a break.
Best moment: Nick Fury finds Captain America and asks him to come back.

Uncanny X-Men #3
This book is the professional X-Men book. Not saying the others aren't of that standard, but Uncanny X-Men is the book you want to read for straight up X-Men taking on world-class threats action. The cover is a bit misleading though and the way it ends is too abrupt (especially since it isn't touched on much in the next issue) but I suspect rereading the entire three-part story will yield a much richer reading experience.
Best moment: "Welcome to the danger room."

Uncanny X-Men #4
Saw a review for this issue that was overflowing with praise. I don't necessarily disagree but I was hoping for more with this stand-alone tale. Had less screen time been devoted to the enemy and more of it given to the X-Men (their scenes, I found to be excellent), I think I would have liked this a whole lot more. Enjoyable read though, nevertheless.
Best moment: "I don't need the power, I want it."

Avengers #20
This issue was just alright. In the wake of Norman Osborn's accusations, the team splits up to look for him and as each team investigates a particular location, they don't find Osborn but they do find trouble. Mostly set-up here but at least the action is starting. The art's not that bad either.
Best moment: Captain America being visibly annoyed and troubled by the sudden turn of events as the media have turned on the Avengers.

New Avengers #20
You know what? I loved this issue of New Avengers. In fact, I think this might be one of my favorite issues of the series ever. It's certainly one of Brian Bendis' "fight" issues. To me, every quip was spot-on, the choreography was engaging and made sense, and the conclusion actually had me looking forward to the next issue.
Best moment (tie): The last page reveal that the fight isn't over yet. + Norman Osborn throwing Luke Cage into the ocean.

Daredevil #7
Honestly, after the brilliant first six issues (which I did not pick up initially), this issue was a bit of letdown. The high-octane adventure from the previous arc has taken a break and we have a stand-alone holiday tale. Bummer right? With what the creative team has accomplished with this series, a "letdown" is still pretty damn good. Crisp writing and stunning art are the norm for this book and that is still on fully display here. In the hands of the magnificent Mark Waid and the legendary Paolo Rivera, this issue is another worthy addition to what is being called one of the greatest Daredevil runs (if not all of comicdom) ever.
Best moment: Daredevil is saved by the kids.

Journey Into Mystery #633
This is a very cute, very scary book. Like a fiarytale but without the cuddly animals and more evil fear gods. I love it. Kid Loki is the best new character of 2011 and 2012 looks to be even better for our little god of mischief.
Best moment (tie): The recap page and the diner/milkshake scene.

Scarlet Spider #1
This is the emo-Spider-Man book and I have to say, it's just alright so far. I'll need to see Kaine in action as the Scarlet Spider first but I put this comic on my pull-list because I was hoping it would be starring Ben Reilly. Kaine's going to have to win me over.
Best moment: Kaine swinging through Houston for the first time.

Wolverine and The X-Men #3
This is as close to "family-friendly fun" as the X-men can get. That's the best way I can describe writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo's opening arc. The school is attacked by evil kids, the adults prove helpless to stop it, the good kids strike back, they put an end to all the violence and no one dies. This is clearly not Uncanny X-Men. The Schism has really taken effect and its a good change of pace to the all gloom and doom, all the time period before the split.
Best moment: Everyone ignoring Quentin Quire.

Wolverine and The X-Men #4
Solid book by all involved. After the big opening arc, this issue brilliantly mixes character development and "downtime" effortlessly. The students and faculty all get a chance to shine in the context of just another day at school. The glimpse into the future, with the older versions of the student body was great too.
Best moment: Quentin Quire, Idie, Kid Gladiator and Broo as the future X-Men (along with Krakoa and Deathlok) with Genesis having become Apocalypse.

Amazing Spider-Man #676
A full issue dedicated to the Sinister Six? I went into this book thinking I'd hate it but after reading it, I have to say, I'm pleased to be wrong. In fact, this has convinced me that there needs to be a Sinister Six on-going or mini. Spider-Man's rogues gallery is as fun and complex as the hero they all hate and are worthy of our attention. Can't wait for The Ends of the Earth later this year that focuses on these guys again.
Best moment: Sandman and Wizard are about to join forces and go their own way when Doc Ock sends the latter into space.

Amazing Spider-Man #677
Part one of the crossover with Daredevil featuring Black Cat. Good start, but I'll be able to judge this better when I get part two.
Best moment: Spider-Man trying to be cool in front of Black Cat.

Annihilators: Earthfall #4
Space has been the staging ground for some of the best stories Marvel has put out over these past few years. With Annihilators: Earthfall, some of that action has spilled to earth, necessitating a team-up with Earth's Mightiest. This last issue of the mini was the best, but honestly, that's not saying much. Right from the get go, bringing in the Avengers, whom we know are having their own adventures essentially kills all the suspense, because you know nothing so huge is going to happen to upset their status quo. The art hasn't helped either. DnA have churned out better stories so I was expecting a lot more. I think one of the main reasons this mini didn't excite me in the first place was the choice of which space heroes would be interacting with the Avengers. The Annihilators haven't clicked with me outside of their first appearance in The Thanos Imperative. I think I would have been way more excited for this if the Guardians of the Galaxy involved in this, since the quirky group would be more interesting to juxtapose to the Avengers. Plus, that group was way more fun. The back-up Rocket Raccoon and Groot story had great art and a decent enough hook for me to enjoy it more than the main story.
Best moment: Quasar to Captain America: "I am the line."

Defenders #2
Loving this book. Loving the Dodsons' art, loving the cast, loving the writing. This is a very fun book. Can't wait for the next issue.
Best moment/scene: Everything inside the cage. Iron Fist being useless, irritable Namor, creepy Doctor Strange.

FF #13
You know, the art could be better but all in all, I like this book. The Future Foundation's kids are worthy of their own series. Also, Doom.
Best moment: "Because...I am Doom. Destroyer of worlds...What gods dare stand against me?" (So awesome.)

Fantastic Four #601
Johnny Storm is back and it feels like this book is firing on all cylinders. Turning the Human Torch into the Annihilation Wave's leader? Brilliant. Can't wait for the next issue.
Best moments: Johnny lighting the sky with the Fantastic Four signal once again, Ben telling the Kree sentries what time it is, Kal Blackbane referring to Johnny as their leader, "I have my own..." This book is pure awesome. (Jonathan Hickman is steadily becoming my favorite writer.)

Avengers Annual #1
Actually very disappointed with this one. For an annual, there was too little action and too many talking heads scenes (as is typical for Brian Michael Bendis' poorer efforts). I wish we knew what was up with Simon though.
Best moment: Wonderman seemingly disappearing from his energy bubble confinement cell.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Perfect Food

The McDonald's Cheeseburger.

Magnificence on a plate.

Eating ecstasy.


How could you argue against it?

Juicy, tasty and flavorful.

Affordable and light.

Mmm, I can just imagine eating one now...

Holding it in your hand you notice the bread first. Firm, yet soft, and at the right temperature for proper handling. The first bite is like saying 'hello' to a friend or lover. It's so familiar and warm and reminds you of all the good times you've shared. The next bite comes a little quicker, more eager. The juices coat your tongue and your senses are flooded with salty, meaty goodness. Your next few bites are spaced out, trying to make the sandwich last. Right about this time, you're tasting the pickle, ketchup and onions. Quirky characteristics that set it apart from the rest that others try to replicate either too greedily or too meekly. At this point, the burger has almost been completely devoured - we haven't even gotten to the cheese yet! A smooth, slightly melted sheath of cheese goes a long way on top of the patty. It's such a thin slice, contributing only a fraction to the sandwich's total weight but its presence is so vital and important to its overall success. After all, it is half of the name! And before you know it, you're down to the last bite and have to say good bye. Mournfully, you pick up the remains between your thumb and index finger and unceremoniously deliver it into your mouth. Finished, time to go. All good things must come to an end and yet, you aren't left with a heavy, burdened feeling. Instead, satisfaction and a longing for more, the way any good meal should go. The perfect food indeed.

So the next time the discussion goes to the best food anyone's ever had, and your friends start throwing out foie gras, lobster and truffles (all great too), why not let them in on the secret and present to them your case for the cheeseburger. If they still aren't convinced, hey, that means there's more to go around for you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting Over

So this blog of mine hasn't seen a new post in almost a year. Clearly, this journal has seen better days.

It isn't likely that I'll ever go back to those 3-posts-a-day times, not with Twitter around. However, like my girlfriend (Hee, this is the first time I'm going to mention here, hi babe! So kilig.) has promised to update hers once a week so I'm going to try and match her output.

So yeah, big change, I've found someone. She's awesome. It really feels like we're meant to be...OKAY, I'll stop there before I turn off the two people still reading this (Like, I ever had any readers). Basta, it's been great.

I still read comicbooks. I still don't have enough money to buy all the comicbooks I want. Hasn't stopped me from buying as much as I do, unfortunately. There really is something special about holding a good comic in your hands, flipping through the pages excitedly and getting struck by a profoundly awesome line or panel. All I really look for in a comic is a moment, something I can latch on to, something that I can look back on and smile about because it happened. I know, I'm romanticizing the medium. But I love comicbooks so how could I not?

That's all for now I guess. I promise to post more because I miss writing like this.

To new beginnings. Excelsior!