Saturday, June 23, 2012

Big Geek Saturday

I didn't mean for Saturday to become a Super Geek day, it just sort of happened that way.

The day started early enough, sometime not too far after 10 am. I managed to get up, get dressed, and set out into the heart of Minneapolis' fast-food-bags-in-the-gutters district to meet Mark Teats, famed fellow Agent of the Scribblerati. Saturday was a big day.

It was John Scalzi day.

Who's John Scalzi?

John Scalzi is a Science Fiction author, current SFWA president, and--I gather--a lover of bacon and the ukulele. He's written some pretty entertaining books and his blog--which I linked to above--is kind of a geek Internet hub, home to the nerdy and the uber-nerdy alike, sure, but it is also home to a lot of informative writer/industry type of stuff, some personal life stuff, the occasionally controversial discussions, and it's a place where authors can get some exposure for their new books. Also, he was once on Oprah.

So, Mark and myself went to lunch--Manny's Tortas in the Midtown Global Market (delicious)--and then we walked over the Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore, the dusty and tightly packed old hot-box sweat lodge of a grandfather of the Twin Cities genre scene. The place has more books then you could shake a stick at and a very ineffectual air conditioner. I broke my self-(and Little Ms. Super-cute wife) imposed moratorium on new books, broke it with gusto. I picked up Mongoliad, despite concerns over a possible quality consistency issue due to so many authors being involved. I got The Magician King, which could be most easily described as "the American Harry Potter", but that's not really accurate and totally not dark enough. I also purchased The Drowned Cities, the companion piece to the excellant post Peak Oil set book Shipbreaker. And finally, I got Redshirts too, of course, so that Scalzi could scribble down his name in it for us (which was the whole point of being there). So, we waited in line with all of the other sweaty degenerates and fringe folks in questionable outfits often involving vests and/or fedoras and usually fanny packs, in general, a crowd that wore their OCDness like a badge... or maybe a cloak... We waited for Scalzi.

He looked pretty much like I expected, just like his photo.

We chatted. We seemed to get on. He seemed to be a pretty nice fellow. Surprisingly wee, but then he was sitting down, and I am impressively large. Either way, I am reasonably certain that I could take him in a fight. Although to be honest, at the end of it, it probably wouldn't be the most flattering of rows for either us...

Anyway, he signed my book: "To Jon, who is NOT the worst person ever."

Which is nice.

Afterwards, Mark and I went to the comic book store and I bought my weight in funny books. I've long been a big Marvel head, but DC recently rebooted their entire universe, stopping every book and starting them over from scratch. Unfortunately, most of the new books are terrible as most of DC's current stable of writers and artists are the same guys who were considered D-list hacks back in the 90s when they were working at Image, and they haven't gotten any better in the intervening years. That being said, the Trinity? Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman? Well, all of the sudden, all three of them are chugging along with great, really great books, so I'm buying those. I'm also picking up Hickman's Fantastic Four books, a title I've never been interested in at all, but I guess the old adage is true: "If you make it awesome, I will come." Hmmm... unfortunate phrasing... fuck it, I'm leaving it. Anyway, I'm still reading Ultimate Spider-man too, the one starring the new biracial Spider-man Miles Morales. Remember the controversy? That book started out great and has only gotten better. Other than that, I think I'm getting tired of Walking Dead, maybe it's been too stained with the wretched stink of the fucking God awful TV show at this point, but for now, I'm still buying it. In a few months from now, who knows? Also, I'm dropping some of the Avenger titles, the art is just too crappy.

And then on the way home, I swung by Filmzilla, returned a couple of flicks I had been sitting on for too long and picked up one of Tuesday's new releases to watch this weekend.

And what did I get?

Did I bring home the multiple Academy Award winning movie, The Artist, the film most likely to be considered an obnoxious, gimmick based waste of time in the very near future?

No, I did not.

Did I get the surprisingly funny 21 Jump Street, a film that proved that despite the massive amounts of information carried in our pockets and right at our fingerprints, people are really dumb and prefer to not only stay that way, but like to advertise it to the world?

No, sir.

Did I pick up the award winning and beautifully shot Belgium film Bullhead, about shady cattle farmers and growth hormones, a film about crime and punishment and destiny and waaaaaaaay too many steroids?


Did I decide to try out the winner of the "How the fuck did this film happen" category Mirror Mirror, a film that is apparently some kind of idiot slapstick film version of Snow White starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, and Nathan Lane, even Sean Bean--a man who has never met a film script he didn't like--and directed by Tarsem Singh, in what has to be some kind of penance for the box office failure that was Immortals?

Good God, no.

What did I get?

Wrath of the Titans.

The monsters look cool, but it's gonna be soooo stupid. People, really. It's gonna be so stupid. I mean, it's got Sam Worthington in it, it's not like there's any other option but to be really, really stupid. I also like how the Nu-metal version of "Sweet Dreams" has taken over for "Let the bodies hit the floor" as the international sign of "here there be cinematic poop". Should be fun.

Tomorrow, I've got to mow and do some writing, but right now, later tonight, I've got to do some reading for the next Scribblerati meeting and if I get most of that done I'll play a little Batman: Arkham Asylum. You see, the sequel Arkham City, the new edition with all the downloadable content, is available now and I want it (mostly because I want to play as Nightwing), but I won't let myself buy it until I complete the last one.

70% done...

And I didn't even have to use my AK,
I gotta say it was a geek day,


the library bird said...

sounds like an amazing day. wish i was there!

Mark Teats said...

It was fun. I'm excited to read Red Shirts.
Scalzi's comment to me seems true, "I don't want to hear about your pain, Dude."

Jon said...

You did go on and on...