Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yeah, We Watch Y & R!

There's been some nasty rumors flying about that I watch daytime soap operas. Well, I'm here to stop those rumors once and for all...

Yes, I'm a fan of "The Young and the Restless". My wife and my mom got me hooked onto this slop back when I had just graduated high school, and before I got my first regular job, Mom insisted that I keep her updated on all her soaps on CBS. While Dee still had another year before she graduated, she asked me to keep her updated on "Young and the Restless". And I've watched all of these off and on for over 35 years.

As most of you know, the daytime soap is a dying artform. The internet, DVRs, shifting viewing habits, and downright pitiful ratings compared to even just seven years ago have drawn closing curtains on "The Guiding Light" and soon "As the World Turns" two of TV's longest running shows. "Y&R" and its sequel series "The Bold and the Beautiful", are still hanging in there, but mostly because the former is still a big money-maker for CBS daytime and the latter has a gigantic international following that keeps the half-hour serial in the black for the network.

Even my personal preferences for daytime have now been whittled down to only "Y&R". Now that I'm no longer working nights, Dee and I spend all our evenings together. The battle for the big screen TV is as bold and bloody as anything seen on Battlestar Galactica, but one thing we can agree on is to sit and watch "Y&R" after we get home and join in together as we MST3K every episode, as each one has some outrageous plot hole you could steer Gallifrey through or scripting that tips off that one set of writers has not been paying attention to what the other set has been writing.

One character, though, has us absolutely caught up in his evil, psychotic ways, and that is Adam Wilson, the sociopathic son of Y&R's complex hero/villain Victor Newman, who has tried to drive his father's ex-wife Ashley crazy, is directly responsible for the loss of her baby and blackmailing a molesting OBGYN into convincing Ashley that her baby was still alive, switching the dead baby with a live one that just so happens to belong to his brother's ex-wife whom he is now married to (!!!), and committing acts of industrial espionage that could land him, his father, and his brother in the county clink. And that's just the stuff he's done recently.

This guy is quickly approaching levels of soap opera evil that haven't been seen since Dr. John Dixon made life miserable for nearly everyone in As the World Turns' hometown of Oakdale. He hasn't quite reached that level just yet, mainly because Adam is mentally and physically ill, and therefore isn't entirely responsible for his own actions. John Dixon was a (OOLALA!!) who knew what he was doing every step of the way. But it is Adam's terrible flaws (and the great acting by actor Michael Muhney, whom I predict is heading for great things after he's done on daytime) and his ability to charm anyone that give him an unsettlingly human face and keeps us coming back for more.

But I do have a feeling his current situation is about to hit the fan. Almost everyone connected to him suspects that he's far more dangerous than even they realized, and his only support, wife Sharon, who's stood by him despite overwhelming circumstantial evidence, is finally questioning what she got into by marrying him. I can't wait until tomorrow...

Oh, my God. Did this crap really come out of my head?

Great Sunday

Man, am I glad it's Sunday...

We had a great time in church today, with many people giving testimonials on the miracles in their lives, including my Mom, who didn't have to undergoe any furthur invasive surgery for her clogged heart valves and was watched over by the same very caring nurse who helped her get through a very trying stress test a few months ago. She also got her new orthopedic shoes this week after two seperate bungles, and she says they're just perfect.

Even I had to step up and give thanks for all the extra time I put in this last couple weeks which put my usual paycheck way over what I had expected. And then we both got to pray and bless other folks all in lots worse shape than we are. Great service today, very emotional.

Finished up the last of the backlogged shows on my DVR... two weeks worth of Lost. Here's what I'm figuring... the bomb actually created two seperate realities... one where all our heroes are still on the island (only now in one time and one place) and another where Oceanic never went down and everyone went on their seperate ways and resumed their lives. But the fact that their lives in the latter reality continue to crisscross, and that Jack in the "normal" reality can't account for some of the nastier scars on his body, especially his appendix scar, leads me to believe that there is one hell of a bang heading our way.

Anyway, it was great to see Veronica Hammel back on TV again and still looking foxy freaky hot at 60+ years old playing Jack's mom.

Have two fully inked Mark and Dee strips and two more with fine-line work waiting for brushwork. Unfortunately, I have to go buy a new inking brush tomorrow as the hair tips warped, rendering the brush unusable. Fortunately, Hobby Lobby is just down the road and their prices are next to none.

If all goes right tomorrow, we might go check out the "Book of Eli" still playing at the Kerasotes. Brother Tim gave it a real high recommendation, so I think we might take a chance.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Household update

I'm finally catching up on all the shows I've let go by on my DVR, and should have almost all of them finished by Sunday night/early Monday.

I hate to say this, but I'm really disappointed by this year's "24". Almost every year, even at its worst, it was never less than balpines-to-the-wall action and suspense, with Kiefer Sutherland clearly in charge as Jack "Suck-it-Captain-America" Bauer. This year, Jack is barely in this fight, and this story is having trouble keeping me, a diehard 24 fan, glued to my seat. When I can let nearly a week pass before I watch a new episode, something is definitely wrong. It certainly can't help that production had to shut down twice this year, first because the storyline was having problems, secondly because of medical problems with its star.

Anyway, I can't wait to get tomorrow's work week over with and have a lovely two days off to work my evil will over this land. Hee, hee, hee....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can't Wait for the Weekend

Work has been just one huge drudgery this week, and I just can't wait to get tomorrow and Saturday out of my hair (or what's left of it). I just finished the Gallifreyan Gazette for February, and I have to really jump into the next issue to have it ready for next Friday's Whoosier Network meeting. The great news is is that we finally have somewhat of a standing date for the new Doctor Who series... April 14th on BBC America, and possibly April 3rd in the UK. We should get more details this weekend.

And I'm currently starting the new MARK AND DEE serial, for which we may have to run an earlier storyline for those of you new to this blog and have not seen some of my earlier work. In fact, some of the earlier strips I was not happy with, so we may have to redo a couple of them for good measure.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Done with work for the day!

I had a three hour shift today at my mundane job at Subway, just filling in some time while the manager took the day off and others came in in her place. Of course, we couldn't leave scott free without it leaving a mark, and as sure as God makes the little green apples, minutes before I left I cut my left pinky on the vegi slicer. That's always a good signal that you've been working too hard.

So I'm back home after picking up Mom from dialysis and a foot doctor appointment, and here is where I'll stay. I'll be working on the next batch of Mark and Dee strips, finishing an overdue Gallifreyan Gazette for the Indiana Doctor Who fan club The Whoosier Network, and do a little more experimenting with the logo for my blog. The one I've just placed is okay, but I'm certain I can make it a whole lot more attractive. I may even be up for a name change. We'll see how the day progresses.

Also, I'm trying to get through some new movies from Netflix: Coraline, which ought to be the Oscar-winner for Best Animated Feature (but will undoubtedly be beaten by Up)and Knowing with Nicholas Cage. What can I say, I gotta get geared up for Kick-Ass with Nick as Big Daddy. Just a little over a month away!

Oh, yeah, and spend the rest of the day with the woman I love. Hope the wife doesn't find out....


Man, Dee, don't you think vengeful wives with frying pans are a little cliche?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MARK AND DEE: Star Trekkin' 20

Little late, but here's our stirring conclusion!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Doctor Who Promo!

Spectacular new promo for the Eleventh Doctor and his new companion Amy! You can find it here!

Sci-Fi TV: My Picks

One of my regular news haunts, Sci-Fi Wire, has posted a rundown of the surprisingly great variety of sci-fi and fantasy shows available this year and the possibilities of their renewal. You can find the post by clicking here.

Among my faves already guaranteed a return engagement are The Big Bang Theory (newsflash: Evil Wil Wheaton will be back this spring to taunt Sheldon Cooper a second time!), Saving Grace (Holly Hunter is hotter than any 50 year-old has any right to be), and True Blood (still have yet to see its second season).

Dollhouse was kind of a tough watch for me, as it was a lot more episodic at the beginning than most of Joss Wheadon's series, and far more complex. But I always mourn the loss of a series that challenges the sensibilities of its audience, and while I won't greatly miss the show, I'm really hoping that Wheadon's next project (rumored to be heading for the FX network) will give him much more control and less network interference.

Chuck, Heroes, 24, and Big Bang Theory make Monday Ubergeek Night here at the Dooley household, though 24 this season has paced a lot slower than in previous years. We're hoping things will just explode this Monday when Dana Walsh deals with her ex, Kevin, and his partner in crime and we get a glimpse of her true nature. looks like there's a good chance this may be 24's final TV season before Jack Bauer gives us his worst day ever on the big screen.

Fringe started off as another tough watch for me, but with things really ramping up with the alternate dimension, I'm so on board. Has there ever been a better mad scientist than Walter Bishop, played by the magnificent John Noble? He can leave me astonished at the utter evil nature of his past experiments, and yet drive me to tears as he deals with the situations he's helped create.

The Human Target is getting better with each passing episode (I very much appreciate the opening title sequence resembling a modern-day graphic novel), and anything that keeps the great Jackie Earle Haley on screen gets my undivided attention.

Medium is one strange show, and in a good way. It depicts a really tightknit family whose matron just happens to have psychic powers, and yet it also has some of the most gruesome murders I've ever seen on TV outside of a typical CSI episode. Still, NBC's loss has certainly been CBS' gain, and it's doing very well on Friday nights.

Smallville... why don't they just call it Metropolis? We rarely ever go back to Clark's hometown outside of brief returns to the Kent farm or the Talon (and with Chloe now firmly esconced in the Watchtower, not even that). But we're slowly getting to Clark's letting go of the "Blur" in favor of the blue-and-red ensemble, especially with his discovery of a whole passel of legendary super-heroes in costume still muckin' about ("Absolute Justice" made me squeal like a little girl). The good news is that the scripts are getting much better episode to episode, and if they avoid botching the season finale (last year's Clark/Doomsday battle was beyond horrible), this could be the best run of the series ever.

Another big favorite of ours is Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which is just a long-time comic book fan's wet dream. I hate that we won't see new episodes until the end of March, and that they're making me wait for the first full-blown appearance of Captain Marvel, Dr. Sivana, and Black Adam. Holy Moley!

As for the return of Doctor Who this spring and the possible return this year of Torchwood? 'Nuff said.

So chime in, folks! What's been among your favorites this year?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No snow?

Well, now my local newspaper says that not only are we not going to get more snow, but that temperatures this weekend will be around 35 to 40 degrees.

Which means my front yard is going to become prime real estate for Dr. Alec Holland.

And unless some apocalyptic event hits town, this is the last time you will ever see a weather report on this blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More snow on the way....

Our local meteorologists (dare we ever call them "weathermen" again?) have predicted yet another huge pile of snow heading our way here in Columbus by Saturday. You know, I don't care, as long as it lands after I get home from work. More than likely I won't have to take Dee to work Sunday morning, as she has a ride in on her weekends she has to work, church will probably be cancelled if the roads get exceedingly bad, and I can stay home and finish up any number of projects and not set foot outside. It would be a great day to banish all the remaining shows I have built up on my DVR. What a plan!

What is going to happen is that I'll be shovelling a ton of this white sky poop out of my driveway, walkway and back walk to the garage... again!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Three times a day I check in on Harry Knowles' Ain't-It-Cool-News website for updates on TV and film, and last week his correspondent "Scorekeeper" set up a contest for five people to win the long-awaited CD release of John Williams' film score to Black Sunday from 1977. It is one of the few soundtracks by Williams that have never been printed on LP, CD, or digital, and is being released under Film Score Monthly's limited edition label.

The rules were simple: briefly tell Scorekeeper why he should send you the CD, what your favorite John Williams' movie score is, and what your favorite sports related soundtrack is. So I hopped into the Wayback Machine and reminiced about how Black Sunday, at the time, was one of the few movies I felt compelled to go back and see more than once.

With this and the previous year's Jaws, even as a young fledgling in cinema back in '77, I knew that the Maestro was a force to be reckoned with in the composition of great orchestrated movie music.

"Force" was the key word here, because a mere three months after Black Sunday's release, Williams' music would be hummed by nearly every man, woman, and child who ever walked into a movie theater when Star Wars exploded onto movie screens and changed almost every aspect of Hollywood filmmaking forever. And for this callow youth who drove almost 50 miles to the only theater playing the movie in central Indiana with his fiancee and kid brother, the legendary Eastwood Cinema, my life would never be the same.

But before Star Wars, Williams' magnificent score for Black Sunday helped put me on the edge of my seat to John Frankenheimer's terrorist thriller. I'm very happy, honored, and a bit flabbergasted that I'm one of the five people to win a copy of that soundtrack.

Man, almost 35 years ago. Who the heck knew?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Operation Snowdrift: Phase 2

Okay, there is one thing I don't like about this snow: shoveling it twice in one day. But at least the falling snow is leveling off and I was able to get the driveway cleared off, as well as the walkways out front and leading from the back of the house to the side garage door.

Meanwhile, I finally got through the two episodes of Human Target (which seems to be getting better with each episode), today's installment of Young and the Restless (it's the only thing that Dee and I can agree on watching now that we're both home in the evening), and I'm working on last week's Leverage and hopefully squirrel away two episodes of Ugly Betty before we hit the sack.

Tomorrow evening I should have the final installment of Star Trekkin' wrapped up and on the blog. Hope you tune in then!

Operation Snowdrift: Phase One Completed!

Here in Columbus, IN, we're getting hit with one of the biggest snowstorms we've had in the four years I've lived here on 22nd Street. I just finished digging up the driveway and the walkways to get to the house, but I fear this to be a futile gesture, as the snow is still coming down with no hint of letting up.

Still, if I need to get to the grocery, we're only two blocks away from Marsh, so we should be okay for the next couple of days.

Of course, Deena hates every second of this, but despite the backbreaking work I had to do out there, I love, love, love it!

Star Trekkin' 18 and 19

Star Trekkin' 16 and 17

Star Trekkin' 14 AND 15

Star Trekkin' 12 and 13

Star Trekkin' 10 and 11

Star Trekkin' 8 and 9

A Neil Gaiman Doctor Who epsiode

Okay, now I have to live until next year, if for nothing else than to see a Neil Gaiman-scripted Doctor Who episode. How off the wall do you think that will be?!!!

Gobsmacked by snow!

My entire neighborhood is covered in snow, and on my day off. I don't have to pick up Mom from dyalisis today, so I'm pretty much snowed in until the plows show up. Good for me, good for you, since I have no pressing projects other than the Whoosier Network's January Gallifreyan Gazette to finish up, and I can spend the rest of the day posting the Star Trekkin' series and experimenting with my new blog. That and try to clear my DVR's harddrive of stuff that's built up for days.

Star Trekkin' 7

One of the things I loved about that night was that we did have a few people in costume, including a Klingon guy and an Andorean girl holding hands in public. What's next, dogs and cats living together?!! Ewwww!

Star Trekkin' 6

Star Trekkin' 5

I had to check in with Misty Bulthius about this angle with the story.

"How would you feel about hitting on Raj?"

"Do what you want. I think he's cute."

Star Trekkin' 4

Just to let you know, the only "Actual" part of this Actual, Semi-True Adventure of Mark and Dee is that we did go with the Bulthiuses to the IMAX premiere of Star Trek, sans costumes and meeting with the Big Bang Theory gang. I could never fit in my Deep Space Nine costume again. Deena, on the other hand, has room to spare. Doh!

Star Trekkin' 3

My goodness, that actually worked! What a happy boy I am!

Star Trekkin' 2

That last one was a little big, but I think you'll get the full size by pressing the thumbnail.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Star Trekkin' 1

We're going to try to post up the first of the Mark and Dee Star Trekkin' series, which I've had so much fun with over the past few months. I really meant to have it all finished long before now, but life happens

Okay, so I've got a blog. Now what do I do???!!!

Okay, okay, I'm taking a hint from my friends and workmates: "Dude, you have a million things rushing through your head! Why the heck don't you start your own blog and quit comin' to us with your crap!"

So, here we are, on Valentine's Day, starting my own little journal about my everyday exploits. Can't say they'll rise above the level a a quick trip to Wal-Mart to buy some light bulbs, but we'll see...

One thing we will be doing is posting my ongoing comic strip, THE ACTUAL, SEMI-TRUE ADVENTURES OF MARK AND DEE, which, while I get no pay for it, gives me the forum to tell some pretty nice stories about myself, my wife Deena, and our many good and weird friends and families.

Hope you'll all enjoy what you find here. We might even solve the world's problems while we're on the way...