A year ago at this time I posted a list of 10 things I was looking forward to in 2008. Before I look ahead to 2009, I thought it would be fun to see how each of those things from 2008 turned out.
1. Ethan’s first birthday. This was as amazing and magical as I’d imagined. I’m looking forward to his second birthday with even more enthusiasm!
2. The New England Patriots Invitational Tournament. Also known as the NFL Playoffs, this one didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped or expected. But ah well, 18-1 is almost as good as 19-0. Right? Nah, not really. Alas.
3. Getting healthy. Sadly, this one’s still a work in progress.
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. In a word: Awesome.
5. Easter Island. I did indeed make it to Easter Island last March, and it was a great experience. Lingering health issues were kind of a drag on the trip, though, and I would much rather have traveled there with Penny and Ethan than go solo like I did.
6. Spider-Man: Brand New Day. The Spidey comics went from monthly to three times a month and featured an all-new, all-not-married status quo for Peter Parker. And, by and large, it was a great year for the character. I’m still jazzed about the series as we head into year two of the new era.
7. Creating… something. Last year was to be the one where I finally made some headway on either Rise of the Hidden Sun or my young adult novel. I chose the novel and managed to get about 45,000 words into it before losing steam around Thanksgiving. So, not a success but not an out-and-out failure, either. A work in progress.
8. New TV shows. I was really looking forward to Jericho (returning from the dead) and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Jericho only lasted seven episodes but tied up most of the loose ends nicely, and Terminator started well, then got a bit spotty before coming on very strong here in season two. Here’s hoping for a season three pickup in 2009.
9. The Red Sox in Japan. Wow, I completely forgot this even happened. It was a neat little sideshow at the time but, ultimately, not all that big a deal. I’m more likely to remember the Sox losing game 7 of the ALCS than anything about their time in Japan.
10. Climbing a mountain. This finally happened in October during our vacation to Acadia National Park. It was a wimpy little mountain, but the views were spectacular and it felt grea to be back outdoors. Maybe 2009 will be the year where I finally get back into hiking the way I’d like to, though.
Ever since I became a father I seem to have lost all ability to say no to children’s charities. The latest solicitation came in the mail today from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. How can you not give money to an organization that helps grant dying kids their once-in-a-lifetime wish?!?! Such a tear jerker.
So yes, Make-a-Wish Foundation, you win. I will donate.
Speaking of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I had the opportunity to see it in action first-hand 10 years ago when I worked at Marvel Comics. They flew Stan Lee to our New York office to meet a sick kid and give him a tour of the Marvel bullpen. See, now I’m getting all choked up just thinking about that again.
Maybe I’m like the Grinch. My heart grew ten sizes when Ethan was born.
Every World Series game should start in the sixth inning.
I still have a bunch of painkillers left over from my surgery last October. I’m saving them for election night.
Every time I ask Ethan where he wants to go for a walk, he tells me “Moon.” Maybe someday, kiddo.
With one more day to go, I’m 6,000 words behind on my monthly word count goal. I shouldn’t be blogging, but it’s so damn easy.
It’s too bad so few people are giving the new Amazing Spider-Man a try. It really is the best it’s been since Roger Stern’s run in the mid 1980s.
The best show on television this year? Chuck.
If I lived in California, I’d vote “no” on Proposition 8. What’s so bad about gay marriage?
This game looks phenomenal.
Ethan is dressing up as a dinosaur for Halloween. I’m going as a paleontologist.
Apparently Stephen Colbert will be bringing his unique brand of truthiness and justice for all to the pages of an upcoming issue of Amazing Spider-Man! From yesterday’s Hero Complex blog over at the LA Times:
Plenty of television comedy stars have hung with Spider-Man, but Stephen Colbert may be the first to swing with him. Colbert, the master parodist of Comedy Central, shares an eight-page adventure with the world-famous web-slinger in issue No. 573 of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” on sale October 15.
Nice. And just a day after my birthday, too!
Yes, I’ve been a little grumpy lately. (What’s that? You noticed? Really?) I’m stressed, I’m tired, and I’m irritated. All the more reason to remind myself of things that make me happy, though.
Obviously, my family is at the top of the list. Penny and Ethan make me happy in ways too numerous to count. I love them every day, but lately I’ve been less demonstrative about it than I should be. My goal starting right now is to change that.
Writing makes me happy. I like the way it feels to build a story from scratch, to put characters into action and watch as they do things that surprise even me. I like the sense of fulfillment I get on the days when I actually accomplish my word count goals. I like that I’m creating something from my imagination.
Not surprisingly, reading makes me happy, too. That’s the biggest plus to taking the train to work every day: It’s like I’ve been given an extra hour or two per day just to read. I love it.
My TV shows make me happy. Yes, I’m shallow, but so what? I love good TV. Hurray for the DVR!
The fact that my friend Eric recently sold his first story makes me happy.
Spider-Man comic books make me happy.
Entertainment Weekly makes me happy. It really does. Good magazine.
The fact that I have a job that I actually like, with coworkers that I actually like, makes me happy.
Cool, cloudy, windy days in October make me happy.
The fact that the word truthiness is in the dictionary makes me happy.
Getting an email out of the blue from a friend I haven’t talked to in ages made me pretty happy.
The Red Sox being in the playoffs again makes me happy. (For now, anyway.)
Last but not least, the fact that Ethan likes to run around the house yelling “HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!” makes me happy, happy, happy, too.
Best comic book movie ever? No, probably not, but The Dark Knight does deserve to be part of that conversation. It’s that good. (No one is more surprised than me.) It’s a fantastic popcorn movie that felt just slightly too long at two-and-a-half hours but had enough legit “wow” moments to justify the hype. Needless to say I liked this one a lot more than Batman Begins. Oh, and Heath Ledger was great, even if he did seem to be channeling Al Franken the whole time.
Every time I say something bad about Heath Ledger, things happens to me. Bad things. First there was this incident back in January.
Now this: Less than a day after I made a mildly disparaging remark about his death (and really, it was more about the media coverage of his death), a frickin’ MACK TRUCK strikes my parked car and tears up the bumper, tail light, and trunk. And I’m not even exaggerating. It wasn’t just a big truck, it was an actual MACK TRUCK.
The worst part is, Heather basically saw this coming. Again. I never learn.
Apparently I’m the only person in America who isn’t all that interested in The Dark Knight. I’ve never really liked any of the DC superheroes, or Batman in particular. I think Christian Bale is overrated. I found Batman Begins boring and bloated. And oh my god am I sick of hearing about Heath Ledger’s “tragic death” and “Oscar-worthy” performance.
Now Zap2It is calling The Dark Knight “the finest comic book movie ever made.” No, sorry, that would be Spider-Man 2, followed very closely by X-Men 2, or possibly even The Incredible Hulk. (OK, that last one was just for your benefit, Eric.)
Anyway, all I’m saying is I’m skeptical. Nevertheless, my parents have volunteered to babysit Ethan this weekend so Penny and I can go see the movie. She liked Batman Begins more than I did, so she’ll probably enjoy this one, too. Me, I’m only going because I feel like it’s my duty as a comic book connoisseur.
I’ve been a bit slow to post things to the blog this week. Not for lack of things to write, just for lack of time. Anyway, here are a few random thoughts and obvervations from the week that was.
- Things found in Ethan’s toy box: A plastic cup, a stick of deodorant, a pen, a book, a brush, and my sunglasses. The boy is a packrat.
- For the past 15 months I’ve sung The Ants Go Marching to Ethan at naptime to get him to go to sleep. This week, he started singing it back to me. (“Hurrah, hurrah” is “Ooh-ah, ooh-ah.”) He gets the rhythm and syllables perfect.
- My neighbor tore out the old wooden fence separating our yards and put up a shiny new white vinyl one. He managed to annex a few extra inches of our property in the process and dump dirt all over the grass on our side. I am so not pleased.
- The Sox are in second place for the first time in what seems like a decade. At least they’re still ahead of the Yankees.
- This weekend Penny and I are planning to hike our first mountain since Ethan was born. She even bought new hiking boots for the occasion. It will be Ethan’s first time on a real mountain. (Technically he was with us in Iceland two years ago, but he was just a zygote at the time and probably doesn’t remember.)
- Eighteen strait days of exercise for me.
- Penny and I are really getting into the homemade ice cream thing. So far we’ve made: Mango sorbet, chocolate, and chocolate mint. (Now you understand why all the exercise.)
- Today is new comic book day. On my pull list for the week: Amazing Spider-Man # 564, Astonishing X-Men # 25, Secret Invasion: Front Line # 1, Buffy Season 8 # 16, and Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods # 1. I may start stocking up on the all-ages Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for when Ethan’s a bit older, too.
- We finished Season 3 of the new Doctor Who series on Friday. David Tennant is inching his way closer to becoming my favorite Doctor. Right now he’s a close second to Peter Davison, and Martha Jones is a close second to Tegan. Could go either way in both cases.
- Tried watching a few of the old Tom Baker episodes last week. Oh my god. They really don’t hold up well at all. That kind of depresses me.
- Just ordered Season 1 of Torchwood to hold us over till the fourth season of the new Who comes out on DVD.
- Starbucks is closing 600 stores?! OK, now I’m starting to feel the effects of this economic slowdown.
Like I said, just some random thoughts.
Ten minutes arguing with Penny about cat urine. (Don’t ask.)
Nine issues of New Avengers read, bagged, and boarded.
Eight innings of baseball watched.
Seven really cute pictures of Ethan taken with my cell phone camera.
Six failed attempts at downloading those pictures. (F**king Verizon!)
Five episodes of Doctor Who watched. (Including this awesome one.)
Four miles walked in the woods at Ravenswood Park in Gloucester.
Three new words added to Ethan’s vocabulary (“up,” “hat,” and ”hot”).
Two long walks around Beverly with Ethan and Penny.
One minor foot-stomping temper tantrum by Ethan.
Zero effort put into fixing the back steps.