Thursday, December 25, 2014


This Christmas has been my most relaxed, least Chistmas-y Christmas ever, and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. As has become an annual tradition (or is becoming one now, since this is the third consecutive year I've done it) I'll tell you how I spent the day.

I started reading Pascin. Alec Berry sent me a copy a few months ago but I slacked off and didn't actually get to it until today. It's very funny so far, if a little over-the-top and growing repetitive. It's early yet, though, so there's plenty of time for things to shake up. Sfar's art is stretchy in a way that works for the jittery, off-the-walls personality of the title character. Pascin is a man I know nothing about, so the book is interesting from an educational perspective, too. It's late and I'm beat, but I'll try to burn through a handful of more pages tonight for sure.

I went to my in-laws' place in Plymouth, MA for the day. Had an awesome brunch and an even more awesome dinner—beef wellington, as prepared by my wife's brother's professional chef girlfriend. Thanks, Julia (who will likely never read this)! It was insanely, perhaps dangerously delicious.

We watched Armageddon on TV, starting like 10-20 minutes in and going to the end. I don't know if I have ever watched that movie all the way through from start to finish like this ever before, but I've seen it all in chunks over the years. It's pretty laughable all over, and some of the performances are dreadful. Liv Tyler always looks like she's straining to act, and Ben Affleck seems uninterested in being there, which makes their scenes together and whole romantic subplot pretty blah. The animal cracker thing has stood out as the worst part of the movie since the first time I randomly saw it as a kid, and seeing the movie in order today didn't change my opinion. He sticks an animal cracker into her underwear. What is that? Who's idea was that? Has anyone ever found that moment legitimately sexy or romantic? If so, I'd love to know about it, because to me it's like the most awkward, least funny joke of all time, but being played as straight romance. The rest of the movie is ridiculous, too, make no mistake, but the animal cracker bit is the peak of the ridiculousness.

We also watched The Interview, which my brother-in-law actually purchased to own through YouTube. Good on him for that, says I, because I suspect the success of this movie via its online sales will have a pretty major influence on whether or not other movies get released this way in the future, and if that were to become a trend, I'd watch way more movies. Way more. Seriously, movie companies, you're leaving my money on the table by sticking with the theaters. Sadly yet predictably, The Interview blew, and was not worth even a modicum of the hype it's generated. That this is a movie which will forever be historically significant is sort of a drag, and also amazingly hilarious. So much funnier than anything in the film itself.

Most of my presents were warm clothes. I also got warm sheets from my parents, so I am super prepared for winters to come. As far as comics gifts, my in-laws got me The Essential Batman Encyclopedia by Robert Greenberger. I read the preface, which was interesting in that it was all about DC's many, many continuity reboots and how they complicate the task of compiling the history of a character like Batman. Because the Encyclopedia was published in 2008, and doesn't cover any comics that came out after September 2007, the preface ends with a reference to Countdown to Final Crisis, and of course makes no mention at all of the New 52, since that was not a thing yet. It's amusing how a thing written entirely about the constant churning up of the DCU's status quo would be dated and rendered partially obsolete by that same thing. I haven't dug any deeper than that, but I skimmed through everything, and it seems pretty comprehensive. Also, there's some fantastic art.

Now I am home, watching The Office on Netflix with my brother. I'm about to go eat some of my wife's cookies with candy bars baked into the middle. It's been a very merry Christmas this year.

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