Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Last weekend was one of my favorite weekends of this year or any other.  In Charlotte, North Carolina is was the 30th Annual HeroesCon.  Unlike most Comic Conventions such as San Diego which has become more of an entertainment media con, HeroesCon is all about the comics. I learned during one of the panels that 60% of the space is dedicated to the artists and writers which from what I hear is rare in the convention world.

You can't help but be in awe and inspired by all these people out there showcasing their talents.  Wish I had a ton of money just so I could support all these people.  As you walk through what's known as Indie Island, all the tables are filled with such amazing artwork that you want to stop at them all but at the same time it's hurts to have to walk away from a table not buying anything.

Jenn was probably the big winner in the finding new book department.  Twice while waiting in line for someone else she found books that she was interested in.  One was an author Alethea Kontis who has written some kids books that Jenn fell in love with and is so excited to bring them into her classroom.  The two books we picked up were The Wonderland Alphabet and AlphaOops!: The Day Z went first.  Alethea was great and I'm sure her table will now be a yearly stop for us.

The other book we found is Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian.  His artwork is so incredibly detailed and really looking forward to the release of the hardcover trade of the first volume.  We spent a good ten minutes talking with him and just staring at his artwork. 

We found Jeremy's work while waiting in line for Chris Schweizer who writes draws the Crogan's Adventure series.  Every book follows a different member of the Crogan family throughout history.  We of course picked up the first book because it's about Pirates.  So glad to finally pick this up after hearing about it for a few years now.

Jenn was also able to visit with Danielle Corsetto who she meet at HeroesCon 2009 and started reading her webcomic Girls with Slingshots.  We were able to pick up four of her books so I can get caught up since I'm horrible with keeping up with webcomics.

As for me I got a TON of books signed by some of my favorite people in comics and picked up a bunch of Uncanny X-Men books to help fill in my run and few trades been wanting.  Few stand outs were Scott Synder who probably would have kept talking to us for another 5-10 minutes if it wasn't for his long line, George Perez who is one of the happiest people you can ever meet, Skottie Young who gave us a quick sketch while talking with us and never looked down to what he was drawing, Tommy Lee Edwards who had a funny reaction to one of the books I asked him to sign.  Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith who we brought beer too after seeing a sign McCool had about liking beer.  Really I could name about everyone we talked to.  That's the best thing about comic people, you hardly ever meet someone who disappoints and are very appreciative to you being there and enjoying there work. 

The true highlight of the weekend was getting to meet Stan Lee.  He truly made Jenn's day because we had been told not to shake his hand or touch him because after all Stan is 89 years old and if he stakes thousands of hands everyday he's bound to get sick.  Well when Jenn went for the picture, he took a look at her and threw his arm around her like they had known each other for years .  ALL DAY Jenn would randomly say "Stan put his arm around me".  Stan's panel that evening was almost magical, he had that audience in the palm of his hand from the moment the door opened for him to walk in.  It's not everyday you get to meet the person who has helped shape your life and is truly one of your heroes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wedding day

My friends Liz and Justin are getting married today. It's been a great journey for them so far and it's been an honor to have been witness to it.

Few years ago, I remember driving home with Jenn and we were talking about Liz and how we wish she would find someone because she deserved it. I would like to say, it was few days later but truthfully I have no idea how much longer is was until we heard that she was introduced to someone.

It was a few weeks before we met him and once we did he just seemed to click with our group. We all are different but we get a long great and none would disagree that Justin has brought our tailgating to a whole other level.

Today we celebrate their relationship, and their love but this time is also a time to celebrate family and friends. It's a time to forget about our problems and daily troubles and celebrate our lives as we witness the beginning of Liz and Justin's life together as a married couple.

I wish them all the luck in the world and want them to know its not always easy but it is worth it.

Looking forward to our group all growing old together and hopefully we will all be joking and cutting up at their kids wedding someday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Town

Now for something completely different.

I have lived in Greenville North Carolina since 1997 (damn I've been here for 15 years).  That's a long time and defiantly wouldn't have expected that when I first drove down highway 264 with my car packed on my way to Aycock dorm which would be my home for many years.

Having lived in one place for a long time you tend to take things for granted and twice this week I have had Greenville surprise me.

First one was when Jenn and I were going into the mall and both of us noticed what a pretty scene it was.  While walking through the mall I kept thinking how I need to take a picture of it and figure out a way to blog about it.  Don't think I took the best picture here but it is.

On Monday while driving down a road I hardly ever go down I start passing these crazy iron structures.  They were so cool I took Jenn down the road later that night and on Tuesday instead of going home I went and walked up and down the street and took pictures of these amazing works of art.  If you live in Greenville these are on Dickinson close to downtown.

I hope I did these justice.  Really are something to see in person to see close up the random objects used to create these works of art.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


So I have a question, what is your stack?  How high is it and how long has it been sitting there?  I have multiple stacks and I feel they will never be cleared because I keep adding to them.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, stack is your stack of books, movies, chores, project cars, pinterest stuff, whatever.  
Mine is daunting.  It stresses me out and if I didn't love it so much I would just get rid of it.  I have multiple stacks, all which are pretty high at the moment and they all are glaring at me jumping up and down screaming pick me like I'm the doorman to some New York nightclub.  Just the other day Jenn and I were looking at our dvd stack and she says

"uhm Patrick you got Inception two Christmas's ago and before you got it kept saying how you couldn't wait to see it again and how amazing it was yet here it sits unwatched"

I'm sure everyone has these dvds but we probably at least ten.  I have no explanation why this is just like I don't know why I have the same three movies sitting on the bluray player from blockbuster (yes I still use blockbuster, it's stockholm syndrome) that I couldn't wait to get and now that they are here, I haven't been in the mood to watch them.

Above is my stack of books to be read, give or that a few that I have read but somehow made it back to the to be read file.  They do not include the other two Hunger Games books I still need to read or the Nick Hornsby book I'm currently reading.  Below it my stack of last 2 weeks of comics I still need to read and Wednesday is coming quick and I think it's going to be a big week. (Side bar few will understand: Byran K Vaughn is back this week!!!  This book will not make it to the stack and will be read on Wednesday.)

To sum it up our dvrs are always full and games are not being played.  That's just the fun stuff.  I have a stack of things that need to be done to my car, stack of things to write about and one closet that is stacked so high I'm worried it's going to kill me every time I open the door.

I know I'm not the only one, I'm sure all of you have stacks surrounding you.  My question is why do we do this to ourselves.  Why do I keep buying books when I have enough to probably last me year?  I haven't finished Sons of Anarchy season 3 yet I really wanted to buy Game of Thrones dvds this weekend. Why?  Does your stack stress you out like it does me?  Do you feel guilty for having a life because your stacks are sitting at home missing you?  Have you ever wanted to quit your job just so you have time to get through your stacks?  No? That would be crazy talk right?  Seriously how can I add to my stacks if I don't have a job to paid for it.

Enough of my sharing what are your stacks and how to you cope with them?

Monday, March 12, 2012


Lets start with an update.  While I have not posted anything lately, I have been writing daily.  Well almost daily, I'm a few days behind but should be able to catch up this week.  I have written two things that when they started were meant for this blog but one went to a place I wasn't ready to share and the other was about Walking Dead show and just didn't like how it turned out.  Sounded good in my head but by the time I got to writing it, those thoughts and ideas were gone.  To sum it up I get why people are hating on the show but I am loving it.

Very ironically, this post has been planned for awhile.  I would like to talk about our greatest enemy.  It is the same for everybody.  It is a person you trust and place your life in their hands even though they continually let you down.

This person is your "futureself".  I first heard the term futureself by Kevin Smith on a podcast probably a few years ago now.  It affected me so much that not many days has pasted since then that I haven't thought about it.  Futureself is the notion that you put stuff on futureself that present you can't do, doesn't want to do, isn't smart enough to do, etc, etc, etc.  We do it with simple stuff like

"I will do laundry tomorrow."

Where it has gotten me the most is things like:

"I'll do theater when I get to college"

"I'll start running and working out in the spring when it's not so cold outside" followed by "It's way too hot to go running today, maybe tomorrow will be cooler."

"This year is the year I write something"

We do this because we are scared to fail, because we don't think we have the time or knowledge, or money.  We think some magical spell it going to happen and instantly know how to do whatever is it you put off on futureself.

Futureself is built up to be this amazing person that travels the world, has the perfect job, is healthy and plays on the local softball team when he isn't feeding the homeless.  The fact is that futureself is YOU.  At one time you said the futureself was going to get this done and that time has arrived and pastself is disappointed. If there is a futureself there has to be a pastself and pastself was lazy and didn't want to learn anything.

Didn't mean this to be a downer.  It should help me defeat futureself.  I want present self to be doing those things.

On Friday, my best friend posted a picture of a car and said

"In 5 years, I will be buying one!! Watch!!"

I followed it with "what have you written today"  I said that because futureself is looking at him laughing.  He said he's going to print that picture with what I wrote as daily reminder.  That's what we have to do can't just wait for futureself to magically do it, we have to meet him there.

I'll end with another thing I said to Tony that I swear I must have stole from someone because it's too good for me to have come up with it.

"You have to work today to celebrate tomorrow."

Monday, February 27, 2012


Just finished watching the Oscars and have to say I love every minute of it.  I love the opening number, the corny jokes, the award for sound editing.  It's so inspiring to see people achieve their dreams.  Often my favorite acceptance speech is from someone I've never heard of.  This year is no exception and goes to the father and daughter, what a great moment for both to them. 

Jenn and I did really bad this year and didn't see many of the nominees.  We did see The Artist which I wrote about and you can read on this blog.  So happy that it won for actor, director and best movie.  They deserved every bit of it.  Also happy the Iran movie won, while I haven't seen it I have heard of it and Lord knows that country needs any happiness available. 

Every year since I first started watching the Oscars as a kid along with probably everyone else I write an Oscar speech in my head.  This year would have started with me finding and looking at Steven Spielberg and thanking him for making me love movies then apologizing for not seeing War Horse.  Follow it with typical thanks to the wife and kids I don't have(I am so thankful for that), everybody in the movie and then end it like I have since 8th grade that I would like to unthank my 8th science teacher Mr Kimbel who once said he wanted to put my head through the door.  Then put my arm around whatever actress presented the award and walk off stage.

Last thought for the night, Angelina Jolie needs to be reintroduced to food.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Hobby

    Jenn and I lately have found a new hobby.  Well it's not exactly new but we have rekindled our love for it.  The hobby is board games.  If you haven't looked lately board games have expanded greatly and is not just monopoly, life, and risk anymore.  There is a plethora of what are called designer board games out there that I am sure you would fall in love with.  Some are really easy to learn while others take some time to figure out.  Actually we still have one we haven't gotten into yet because haven't had the time to figure it out yet.
    Our latest game that we got and is really addictive is called Ticket to Ride.  I had been hearing good things about this game and then saw on Twitter few weeks ago that the iPhone version was free so we both downloaded it and Jenn especially is hooked on it.  We were so hooked that for Valentines Day I got us the board game version it has been great Really looking forward to introducing this one to our friends.  Last time I checked the app was free so you may wanna check it out.

    Some of our other games are Settlers of Catan and Dominion which both are really good.  Catan you try to collect resources so you can expend your settlement through roads and towns and try to build the biggest settlement.  Dominion is a card based game probably similar to Magic (which you probably have heard of).  One of the most interesting things about those two games and even Ticket to Ride is that there are expansions to the game that add different ways to play so if you are getting tired of playing these you get the expansion and add a whole other experience to the game.

    The best game we have to get people to play with out too much coaxing would be Wits & Wagers.  Basic idea is you read a card with some crazy question like "How far in miles is it form earth to the moon?"  Then everybody makes a guess and you make bets on who is closest without going over.  A new rule needs to be made though.  You can't have iPhone's Siri close by because she just told me it is 249,215 miles.

    One of the downsides to these designer board games is that they are not cheap.  You aren't going to pick these up for $20.  When I went to Barnes & Noble for Ticket to Ride, it was $50 but I was able to pick it up on Amazon for $38.  The really nice thing about these games is that they are not cheaply made and everything we have has been great quality so it's a little understandable.  I think the price is worth it especially if you get a lot of playing time out of them.  The other downside seems to be barrier of entry, it's not easy to bring out Dominion and get people interested in playing it, especially when the see all the cards envolved.  My advice would be to start easy.  Anybody would enjoy Ticket to Ride and super easy to get started.  We started with Settlers of Catan and that wasn't to hard to get used to playing a different type of game then you are probably used too.

    So instead of sitting around the house watching TV or going out to some bar, go out and get you a board game, junk food and maybe some alcohol and invite some friends over to try something new.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today is Ash Wednesday and first day of Lent.  I had planned on writing about Lent and talk about being a Catholic but something interesting happened at Mass today which made me change my mind.

I will say instead of giving up something I plan on writing everyday for these 40 days.  Some of it you will see and some you won't.  This is very intimidating and will show more resolve and strength than anything I could possibly give up.  Well, maybe TV would be harder but we all know that's not happening.

I'm hoping in these 40 days somewhere will come the idea for the short film I would like to do this year and hopefully this will start the habit of writing daily that I have wanted to do for so long.  If you had a question on Family Feud that was "Advice writers give on being a writer"  the number one answer would be to write everyday.  Sounds so easy doesn't it.  Wanna be a writer?  Well... write something.  It has taken me years and probably decades to finally take this advice.

I just remembered that one year ago I made this same vow to write everyday for Lent.  I made it one day.  I just read it and it's very depressing.   I realize I'm in the same space and still haven't changed.  Today has to be that day.  Tomorrow has to be that day.  The day after that has to be that day.  Forty days from now has to be that day.

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Sunday, February 12, 2012


What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday I had planned on writing about how I finally got the new iPhone 4s and how it caused me not to write about anything because I've been playing on it constantly since Friday.  Alas, here I am listening to Whitney Houston wondering what should I say.

We has such an old fascination with celebrities, we love them and adore them but more than that we love to hate them and tear them down.  Surrounding all the facebook and tweets yesterday of people saying Whitney died were people making jokes, madly asking why are we surprised and stuff about being a drug addict.  Weird how this always happens.  We saw it with Michael, Steve Jobs, now Whitney.  Never get how people attack others for talking about events like this.  No matter how you feel about that person, to others it may be a big deal and if they feel the need to speak about it and what better place than social media?  I am sure tomorrow we will all go back to posting about what we eat and what the kids just did.

Whitney had her issues but now that she has left us shouldn't we praise her achievements and not her failures?  The truth is she was an amazing singer and could be the best pure singer to ever get behind a microphone. 

Who doesn't remember her Star Spangled Banner?  We all now compare everyone to her and nobody hardly ever comes close.  That was the best the Star Spangled Banner has ever sounded, and I'm sure many of us remember her singing it before the Super Bowl in that American jacket and ribbon in her head.  Hey!  Who remembers who played in that Super Bowl? 

Greatest Love of All was one of my favorite songs as a kid and remember singing it often.   If it wasn't for Whitney Houston I wouldn't know that one of my Grandmother's favorite songs was I Will Always Love You and used to sing it to my mom all the time.  I don't have many memories of my Grandmother but I now tear up every time I hear that song because of that little fact.

She brought so much joy to people's lives and her music will live on not the unfortunate turn her life took. 

Plus you always have to admire someone who went out there and achieved her dreams and became the best at it.  How many of us can say that?  As a person still searching for that dream I know I can't.

If nothing else you should at least be reminded of how short this life is and you have to make the best of it.  Go out there and enjoy your time with friends and family.  Sing your favorite songs loudly and proudly.  Praise people instead of bash them and enjoy them for the short time that we have them.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

I am sure right now most people are traveling to, getting ready for, standing in line, holding a table for a Super Bowl Party.  Me, I'm sitting in my house by myself listening to the dryer/dish washer typing this blog for two reasons.  One: I have challenged myself it write a blog few times a week.  Two: Figure out why I hate Super Bowl parties. 

I love football.  Favorite times of year are ECU Pirate football on Saturday and Dolphins/Panthers football on Sundays.  I grew up watching football and playing it on the streets of Arran Lake.  While most people learn football from their fathers, I learned from my mom.  My dad enjoys football and watches a lot of it, but my mom loves it.  I grew up listening to the stories of them at football games and some lady screaming how much she hated Joe Namath and when he got hurt and was carried out, the same lady screaming "we love you Joe".  The stories of when they lived in Washington DC area and people cussing them out because of the Dolphins license plates.  The countless stories of the 1972 team and how the 1973 team was better. I could go on and on.

While at lunch today Jenn was going though the Super Bowl games to see if I could name which teams they were (I did really bad.  How is it that I remember Kansas City was in first Super Bowl and not Green Bay? WTF)  As she went on I remembered the first Super Bowl I really remember watching 1991 Giants-Bills where Giants won with a field goal.  I remember Mom, Joe and I screaming like we were Giants fans for 10 years.  I remember the next day when teacher ask who won and how I was the one who answered the question.  Not sure why I remember that one and not the year before or after. 

First year of college I went to first Super Bowl party and everyone was excited we are going to eat, drink and watch football.  I remember sitting though the game bored.  Nobody cared about the game but how dare you talk during a commercial.  Figured it was the people I was with.  Every year was the same and many I don't really remember.  There was the Titans almost come back where my friend Rhett missed it because he left to drive home early.  There was the first Patriots SB where I actually went for them (only if I knew what was to come) because I was sick of hearing how great the Rams were.  The Carolina SB which was fun because I was at my brothers with best friend Tony and people cared about the game.  But I do remember talking to my mom about that Titans Super Bowl and standing outside of Aycock dorm trying to figure out why we are going to actually cheer for the Patriots and all the convos after the game.

For the most part for the last 15 years I have watched Super Bowl with people that don't care about watching the game. They care about all the food, drinking, commercials, catching up with friends, etc, etc.  Me I just wanna watch the game and don't wanna be bothered with everything else....

Unless that person who wants to have that Super Bowl party is my mom because that is the only Super Bowl party worth having and if I don't do that rather stay home and yell and scream at the TV in peace.

Now you may be asking yourself, "umm hey dummy what don't you just go home for the Super Bowls?" 

That's a good question and my answer is that I'm an idiot and two, until today when I decided I needed to write about something and struggled to figure out what to write about I didn't realize what my Super Bowls have been missing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Artist

Saw an incredible movie today that has potential to be one of my favorite movies of all time.

It was so brilliant in so many different ways.  Great acting, characters you will fall in love with, music that really should be in the top billing as a character in the movie, dialog....

well... there is no dialog,

and to see it on a big widescreen screen in full color...

well it's in black and white not in widescreen.

This movie is The Artist and is a story about a silent film actor from late 20's.  When you say it's a silent black and white film I can see how that may turn you off but trust me it works and you will reach a point where you don't miss the dialog.  People always talk about no original ideas in movies and in a sense this isn't an original idea either because it's basically a silent film from the 20's, it just done to perfection.  There are so many scenes I wanna talk about but I don't want to spoil it for you, go in without knowing more than I've already said.  I will say that I love the sound of a film projector and with this movie it added that extra layer to it that I will definitely miss when I watch it in my living room.

If you are still on the fence: the dog in this movie should have been nominated for best supporting actor.

 Really hope you seek out this movie and that you will enjoy it as much as I did, plus as a bonus when it wins best picture at the Oscars you can say you actually saw it (admit it you never see the best picture winner).