Monday, December 27, 2010

And the Aftermath...

Well, Christmas this year was far from the usual dysfunctional disaster it has been in previous times. Not that I didn't give it my All-American effort...

My all-around gift to everyone to the families was a print of my Eleventh Doctor portrait, fully framed, just right for the empty spot in the attic. It matches well with the official stuffed Sarah Palin's Alaska polar bear. You know, the one with the bloody bullet hole in its forehead?

I won't go into the circumstances of the booty getting, other than that, for the most part, everything I predicted bore out. But that's okay... I'm so much more into the giving part of things than I am in the getting. I'd just as soon not get anything for Christmas, as it just doesn't seem to be the point of the whole holiday. And besides, nobody likes shopping for me, especially the in-laws. They don't wanna have to explain to the youngsters why Uncle Mark is getting cooler toys than they are.

"Wahhhh! Uncle Mark got the Spider-Man action figure with the kung fu grip and web shooters and all I got was a Star Wars toy! Why? Whyyyyy????"

'Cuz I'm cooler than you kid. Now, sheddup!

Another reason is is that both sides of my family either fear, or have no understanding of how, to shop online. If they did, all their Christmas shopping for me would be done in no time and I could direct them to places where they could save a bundle. Now, the fear part I can understand. Both sides of my family have had encounters with identity theft, the worst case being my brother's wife. She's still dealing with the reprecussions of an encounter a few years ago that still rears its ugly head now and then. I myself had someone hack into our account a couple of years ago and nearly wipe us out (fortunately my bank saw the red flags and took all the necessary steps so we didn't lose anything). But I find there's just as much risk, and perhaps more, of doing in person transactions with a debit card as much as there is on the net. One way or another, there's always a chance the horse is gonna throw ya. The best thing to do is brush yourself off and get back in that saddle.

But I can't seem to convince them to just try it out. Save a little money. Find a bigger variety of items out there. At any rate, if you just go down to the graphic novel section the local Waldenbooks at the mall, I can give you a list and various 40% off coupons. Somehow, I still get the perennial sweaters, pants, socks, undies, and more aftershave, cologne, and deodorant than a man would need in three lifetimes. I'm not that offensive....

But I did have fun at the in-laws this Christmas, much in part to the three crazy dogs they have there. The moment I showed up, they all wanted various degrees of lovin', and I was more than happy to oblige them. While we were waiting for dinner to be served, I went downstairs to the rec room where my nephews were busying themselves disposing of zombies in Black Ops, and to join in on the fun, I hunkered myself down with Vols. 3 and 4 of The Walking Dead softbounds. Below everyone's feet, we had turned the basement into Zombieworld.

Of course, once we got back home, I couldn't wait to turn on the DVR and catch that Doctor Who Christmas Special... during which I fell asleep ten minutes into it. But I did catch it all Sunday... another brilliantly realized Steven Moffat script, with an ingenious twist where the Doctor actually does too good a job at reforming a heartless villain. And, of course, we got a scrumptious teaser trailer for the next season in April. The Ood will be back. The faux TARDIS will be back. The Doctor comes to America (for real, this time!). Musketeers! Stetsons! River Song in various stages of clothing! And the Fez may once again rear its tacky tassel...

I'll be back with more later in the week, along with new episodes of MARK AND DEE. See you then!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings from the MARK AND DEE gang!

Yeah, I know... I've been extremely neglectful of this blog for a while, and I'm hoping to turn that all around this week as I go into a lovely and much-needed three-day weekend that hopefully will give me a chance to catch up on the MARK AND DEE strip, the next in the Doctor Who watercolors I'm doing, and kick back with some fabulous Christmas movies, starting off with my annual Christmas Eve viewing of Bob Hope's The Lemon Drop Kid. Screamingly funny film, one of the last truly great Bob Hope comedies before television claimed him and his steady stream of film comedies began a downward spiral. I wish this was running on TV somewhere because, like so many other Christmas-based movies, it just seems special to just sit and watch it on netwrok and cable, knowing there are other folk out there discovering this lost gem and laughing at it too. Having it on DVD is great, but it just seems a tad empty as an experience. That's why I'm grateful that NBC still runs It's a Wonderful Life twice during the Christmas season, and particularly on Christmas Eve. It gives that great film a national audience.

Yes, Christmas is tomorrow, and I'm not really looking forward to it, as I have always felt that Christmas Eve, the anticipation of it all, is always better than when you get there and it kinda sucks. But I think I can handle it for one really good reason: even if I don't get a darn thing I really wanted for Christmas (and this year especially it's looking more or less that we're heading that way), I still get one thing that's really special: a brand-new Doctor Who episode on BBC America. This year's DW Christmas Special, entitles "A Christmas Carol", will actually air on the same day here in the States as it will in Britain, no stalling for two or three days (or even longer). So Christmas Day won't entirely suck tomorrow, because after all the running around from one family gathering to another, the bloating of my stomach, the yuletide dysfunction, and weariness of the whole bloody mess, I will still get to come home and spend an excellent hour with the Doctor, Amy and Rory.

Sometimes, in spite of it all, things do work out.

Have a lovely holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

MARK AND DEE: The Journey Parts 10-14

And a day and two months later...

Yeah, I've been extremely neglectful of this blog, so my apologies to all those who were wondering "WTF"! I do have a lot to comment on from the last couple of months, but in the meantime, let's start the make-up process by giving you a whole lot of MARK AND DEE. Merely click on the images for a bigger view.

As you might recall, Tandy Breckinridge, our antiquities dealer and favorite British person has more or less kidnapped her boyfriend Mickey Walton to help with a job for her father. They're currently winging their way aboard her family's private jet for parts unknown. With the exception of Mick's aversion to air sickness, things have gone smoothly until Tandy heads to the pilot's control room...