So last night after Trivia night, myself, Amy, Alex, Bob, Chris, Jason, Nick, and Lacey went and played Frisbee Golf at Westchester, as per typical post-trivia night tradition. It was a grand ol' time, even though I played only mildly well through the first nine and was putting very poorly, but that is neither here nor there. When we got through the first 9, we crossed the road and went back to start again, with most of us (meaning Alex, Amy, Lacey, Jason, and I) planning on leaving after hole 3, just because it was already 11 and it just seemed like the more responsible (less lazy? discuss) thing to do. However, there were about 9 people waiting at the first hole, so we said screw it, let's play the second hole instead. Everyone tees off, I luckily have a masterful drive and am situated not too far from the second hole goal. Exciting right?
Apparently this excitement turned me into a non-attentive idiot. As I went to pick up my disc after my par (sadly, only a par) I took a shot to the face (that's a Kevin Smith joke waiting to happen) and staggered from the pain, and then was knocked out. Somehow I felt it, and then was knocked out. Anyways, so I was out for like 10 or 15 seconds, and I woke up and everyone was hovering over me and my face was covered with blood. Awesome right? I had a pretty awesome gash over my left eye (Mr. Tough Guy right here) and my face was caked with blood. Besides that every thing was hunky dory. Of course, I guess if someone wants to be the center of attention, taking a frisbee to the face is a very excellent way to to do it. Probably not the best thing ever to happen to me, but it did lead to a most excellent day of telling people my ridiculous story, getting a free White Chocolate Mocha (thanks Amy!), and feeling really tough when I thought about my nice gash over my eye.
Of course, some people at work couldn't believe that disc could do that, but apparently these folks needs to learn about the destructive powerhouse that is the distance driver. This thing is a monster if put in the right hands (or anyone's hands for that matter, I almost died of shock when I found out who knocked me out with a disc) and I am excellent proof of that. I've never really had a black eye type thing before, and I think out of all of the possible reasons for getting one, catching a frisbee in the face had to be one of my top personal options...probably third behind only "tripping over my own feet" and "walking into a glass door." Have I mentioned I'm clumsy? Damn you height. Damn you to hell for making me naturally goofy.
!@#!ing Mariners losing 3 in a row upsets me though. Less upsetting than football though, since there are a zillion more games.This was a quote from Erik, who I am going to say is new to passionate sports following (to be fair) but is picking it up like a seasoned veteran. For those that have never followed sports, you will never really understand the pain of losing, but I am going to try and explain it. A certain genius named Bill Simmons once devised the 13 levels of losing (omg hyperlink! click to read the article about the 13 levels!) and what my good friend Erik is going through is what we'd like to call the "Achilles Heel" loss, which is essentially a series or game in which you find out something wrong with your team. In our case, we're finding out that the Seattle Mariners are secretly not that good at offense, after watching them rattle off 5 losses in a row, including both sides of a double header today. I'm sorry Erik, its true. We aren't that good offensively.
No less, back to the point, I've mentioned this before in here in reference to Bill Simmons most excellent book Now I Can Die in Peace, but I will go into a bit more detail. In 2001-2002, the New England Patriots were a bit of a Cinderella team in the playoffs. To the casual fan, they seem like the type you wouldn't put a ton of stock in. Well, as a Patriots fan, I was pretty much putting the entirety of my soul into believing in them. Well when they were playing the Oakland Raiders in the divisional playoffs, they pretty much lost. Tom Brady fumbled the ball in the snow and it looked like the game was over. I felt like dying. I was sitting in my room with Erik, Brian, and our old friend Jackie Jones, and they were all wondering why I was so distraught. The New England Patriots lost and they would not be making the Super Bowl, to atone for the horrible defeat at the demonic Green Bay Packers in the 1997 Super Bowl. This was what we would call a stomach punch game. My team was driving, down by 3, and then they were done.
Except they weren't.
The Patriots survived because of the "Tuck rule," an infamous rule that turned Brady's fumble into an incomplete pass, even though it wasn't one really. I was overjoyed. It was overturned, and the Patriots would continue on to the next round, no stomach punch and our Super Bowl hopes in tact. The point is, nothing can change as quickly as sports. You can be on top one second, and then you can be at the bottom, just by a simple ruling by a referee (I'm looking at you Tim Donaghy).
What I was feeling before the call was overturned could best be described as the combination of an inexplicable desire to cry like a small child who has a severely skinned knee with the need to collapse from heart attack symptoms. It did not feel good. It felt like death mixed with you finding out someone else was dying. Now this may seem like a terribly insensitive analogy, but its pretty much what it is. Well this time, instead of me the Raiders fans got to feel that. Suck it Raiders fans! If you're truly passionate about a sports team, you go through this all the time. It is sort of like a relationship with the opposite sex, if everything is going well, you feel like you are on the top of the world...if it isn't you cannot stop thinking about "what went wrong."
The amazing thing about sports is that so many people in the world are so into them, when its essentially an eternity of lows combined with the fleeting hours of the highs. Look at the Mariners...2001 we won 116 games. Last year we weren't even a .500 club, and that was a good year! This year, we're teasing as a contender, but are we really one? Sometimes I'm envious of fans of teams like the Cleveland Browns or the Atlanta Hawks. Sure, they always suck (ALWAYS!) but at least they don't know what it's like to be a real winner. When you win 3 out of 4 Super Bowls and then come one Peyton Face away from going to another Super Bowl to play a team you already clobbered earlier in the season, you feel terrible. You could have had that again. It could have been yours. Instead, there I was...not answering my phone and refusing to go online, not being able to accept that my team, the New England Patriots, had just lost to the dreaded Indianapolis Colts.
The moral of this story is, to those out there who cannot comprehend why someone they know is freaking out about a game, think about the times where you are completely unreasonable about ridiculous things. Everyone has their own version of this, its just much more well known for people to do this about sports. Think about it, and understand...but whatever you do, never say these four words. There's always next year. No one ever wants to hear that.
Unless you are the Pats. 16-0 baby!
And to Erik and others who may be new to the feeling, it is a good thing. That means your team is doing well enough to make you feel terrible...which is strangely a good thing. Who decides these things? Sports are weird. Maybe it is just a temporary form of insanity, but this is coming from the guy who watches his Fantasy Baseball team every day and talks at least 2 to 3 hours of it daily as well. If it's temporary, then I must have gotten a really, really bad case of it.
Harry Potter does.
With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling has crafted her magnum opus. She has created not only her most fully realized, her most tragic, her most funny, and her best written book, but she may have raised the bar for all writers of series', filmic or book related. The final chapter of the series combined everything that worked so well in the first six books, fitting in nearly every character and giving many of them very triumphant moments, and actually managed to successfully tie up almost every loose end brought up within them. Sure it brought (many) deaths upon us, but none of it felt wasted, as nothing in the entire book did. No chapter, no word, no piece of punctuation. This is the fastest and most action packed book of the series.
At 1:30 pm today, 36 hours after I purchased the book, I finished the book fully satisfied, smiling from ear to ear, but with a hint of sadness, as I knew this would be the last time I read a new Harry Potter book. I had a bit of happiness however, as I knew any time I wanted to revisit the wonderful world Rowling has created, I just need to open the first book and start again. I just might.
One thing, I wanted to note. Harry Potter may not be literature, but it is a brilliant way to escape into an incredible universe full of wonderful characters, touching relationships, and simply magical atmosphere. If you are someone who discounts the book series because its a children's series, do not. Pick up the books and read them, they are worth every second you spend with them. Count me envious of you, I wish I could forget the whole series and read the whole thing again, for the first time. End diatribe.
Friday night was a doubly exciting evening. First up was Portugal. The Man playing their Anchorage CD release show at Club Oasis, and then immediately afterwards was the incredible release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Was there a single thought in my mind that this could be a remotely bad night? Nope. It was predestined that this night would be absolutely wonderful. It was, and then some. Real quick, did I mention I was spending this entire night dressed as Harry Potter? How could this night not rock.
Myself, Brian, and Kim before the show
To start, I will identify the key players. My crew: Brian, Kim, Drea, Amy. The band: Portugal. The Man. The Wizard: Harry Potter. The evening began with Brian and I going to pick up Drea over at her place, giving us time to get our ridiculouslessness on while Drea got ready. We watched some Rock of Love and made some bizarre jokes, while Drea was taking her sweet time (although in girl time it was like 45 seconds). After she was FINALLY ready we went to Sicily's to have a pitcher or two before the show. Down point of the night: Sicily's wisened up and raised the price of pitchers from $4 to $8. I poured one out for my homies. After that, we went to meet up with Kim and then head to the concert.
Now we got to the show right as Portugal was supposed to start, and there was an opener just about to start up. 10:30 already and the book release was starting up at midnight. Choices, choices, do we go at Midnight or stay for the whole show? Little did we know, the night had an idea for our posse that was not like our original plan, and that was entirely fine. Brian and I went upstairs as the opener started up to go play some darts and get another drink, slightly dismayed because of the delay to Portugal starting, but ready for some fun.
As we walked up to the bar, I recognize one of the guys from the band and go over to start chatting. Soon there after, Brian, he, and I are having a drink together: Two jager bombs and a Gin and Tonic. Delicious! We talked about the two times I'd seen them before, what they'd been up to since they got back to Alaska, and how the whole band was generally amused by the fact that the guy dressed as Harry Potter had seen them live before. The band was excellent to talk to, and I even had a pow wow with most of them that started in the bathroom. Which sounds really weird when I type it...but it wasn't. I had no problem talking to them either, which is oddI always have a terrible problem with talking to bands!
Kim, Brian (mildly drunk), and Amy
No less, it was great chatting with them, but after a while Brian and I went to go play some darts and hang out with Kim and the recently arrived Amy. Point to make, and this is a key one. Ladies love Harry Potter. In fact, everyone loves Harry Potter. I received everything from guys yelling "Harry Potter!" and then motioning me over to talk about the new book to girls who really, really like Harry Potter. You know. Let's just say I've never had more girls come up to talk to me or ask me to dance in my entire life. It was pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. Ladies Love Cool Harry. If I was a rapper, that'd totally be my name (LL Cool H).
Portugal. The Man rocking on stage with my ripped arm dominating the picture
After being at the concert for an hour, believe it or not, a band that I wanted to see did play. It's hard to believe after all that time, but Portugal. The Man did indeed play and they rocked the house, ripping through a 15 or 16 song set (I don't actually remember how many, but that's what the bassist told me they'd be doing) and having plenty of time to lay it down and be funky as well. Loved the set, they played all of my favorites, and I quite enjoyed their new expanded lineup. There were something like 7 or 8 people playing on stage! Way more than the 5 and 4 I saw them with before.
Of course, it wasn't all fantastic. There was still really...we'll say attractive...girl that came over to talk to me during the beginning and I pretty much thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but this devil woman shoved me out of the way and told me she was standing there. Now if you've ever been to a concert before, you probably realize that there is no such thing as "your" spot. You have your spot for as long as you have it, no more, no less. There's no dibs system. There's no anything. It's a fluid situation and you stake a claim for as long as you can. No less, her shove combined with the show starting and the aforementioned fluid nature of the audience led to super hot girl being swept to the front, which she spent most of the night up there with some other guy, who could have been me. Sad panda! Rejected by that Slytherin girl Pansy Parkinson, whom I will now eternally imagine "spot" girl as.
He really is the man...that Portugal
A highlight of the night had to be when Portugal had 4 songs left and they actually announced "Alright everybody, we have four songs left and we wanted to send out a special thanks to Harry Potter. We know he's had a pretty busy week and we really appreciate him coming out." I feel as if, coming out of the show, as I was really a memorable part of the concert experience for everyone there. That fills me with a pretty large bit of warmth if I do say so myself. After the set, I went up on stage, talked to the drummer, and was hooked up with a most excellent wand. Now it wasn't quite a holly and phoenix feather wand, or even the Elder Wand, but it was a drumstick from P.TM, so it was pretty cool. Thanks Portugal!
Like I said...LL Cool H
So before going to get our books, we all had to go out and dance our little feet off. I had to laydown the special moves I learned at Hogwarts, most of which involved casting spells on girls while I danced with them and tossing my "robe" all around the place. It was sort of like the dice dance from Knocked Up, except probably 450x more amusing. I had an amazing time dancing, although the girl who kept grabbing me to dance with her and telling me her boyfriend was watching us was alternately really cool and fantastically creepy. After probably an hour of making my wonderfully large presence felt, we left to go snag our book and close our night in the best way humanly imaginable. With the final book of the classic Harry Potter series in our hands.
Of course Brian, Kim, and I were all mildly intoxicated at this point, so going into Border's to get our books was going to be...suspicious and as hard to do as breaking into 12 Grimmauld Place is in the 7th book, but you know what? We pulled it off with ease. We had our books, and as you can see...we were pretty stoked. Afterwards, we all went to Taco Bell, and went back to my place to celebrate a wonderful night of fun and to clutch our treasure, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, tightly to our chests and dream wonderful dreams of Wizardry throughout the night. The next day would be reading throughout, and I could hardly wait. Also, throughout the night everyone was taking pictures. They are on my MySpace if you so desire to see them. They're pretty ridiculously fantastic if I do say so myself.
Me, Sean, Sam and Bob at our summer home in Sicily
I've been going out way too much lately. The combination of girls finding me interesting (yay!) and Sicily's magical $4 pitchers has made me absolutely love Fridays and Saturdays. I've been having an amazing time going out and being ridiculous pretty much constantly. I love it. I didn't get home til 6 am on Saturday and 7 am on Sunday! Out of control! But a good out of control, just having a lot of fun. I love summer in Alaska.
Sadly, I may have to retire the Hammer from my Frisbee Golf bag. It is decimating my shoulder and I can barely even play right now after playing roughly 1,000 holes this past weekend. It was more like 80+, but seriously, too much hammering. Although I did shoot even on Kincaid, which is an incredible effort if I do say so myself.
Also, I never updated this but on the 9th of this month I managed to go into court and get the wonderful Judge to overturn my seatbelt ticket very, very easily. It only makes sense because it was the right thing to do, but I was very happy no less. Take that stupid cop! That's what you get for pulling me over for a fictitious traffic violation.
Very lamely for the second time in my life my entire CD collection was stolen. This time it was in front of my place, and it was stolen along with $675 in gas cards and a Blackberry (Pearl) 8100. Very angry! Those were prizes for good employees at my work, and some terrible person had to come and rob me of them. They were in my car, which was unlocked (I know I'm an idiot) but still, since when did we get to the point where the person who gets robbed is supposed to feel dumb instead of the thief who should feel like an absolutely horrendous person?! I mean come on. Crazy place we live in I swear.
I'm almost finished with Bill Simmons' book Now I Can Die in Peace, which is a collection of his Boston Red Sox pieces (and associated articles) over the entirety of his career as a sports columnist which perfectly encapsulates his journey as a destroyed Red Sox fan suddenly transitioning into a ridiculously happy man who is the fan of one of the most improbable and exciting champions of the past...history of the human race? I mean seriously, the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 was probably the most unbelievable comeback since Reggie Miller scoring 25 points in the 4th quarter of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals to carry the Indiana Pacers over the New York Knicks. That was Herculean. This was Zeusean. No less, I'm nearly done and to anyone who has ever met someone and said "Why do they get so into sports?" Read this book. That's to you Katie, the person who once asked me during the 2003-2004 Indiana Pacers/Boston Celtics opening round series, "Why do you care so much?" This book will make you understand why some people live and breathe for a single sports team even if it makes absolutely no sense. Great stuff, although I may be just a little biased because Simmons may be my favorite writer ever.
Lastly, this Friday/Saturday will be the best combo ever. Portugal. The Man doing a home state CD release show at Club Oasis starting at 9 pm...I'm going to watch them dressed as my boy Harry Potter and then immediately going to the midnight release party for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and it will be as glorious as any night ever. I guarantee you there will be a post from both events. I can hardly wait. I'm so excited, I can barely handle it! Anyways, that's what is going on in my neck of the woods. And Sheri, I do want a shirt. Hook me up! It better be ready by when I come down from the 1st to the 9th. And I am...here I come Seattle/Portland, this guy is visiting from the 1st to the 9th of September! Yay!
As most anyone that knows can tell you, I'm a bit of a Harry Potter freak. Or even a super freak. Myself and my friend Brian even call ourselves Hpotheads for god's sakes. Even today, I was working out and contemplating to myself whether or not I wanted to get a shirt made for myself that had a drawing of Harry Potter on it and underneath it it simply said Hpothead. Would that be too controversial? Who knows these things. Or maybe a take off of the old "Ohio is for Lovers" shirt that said something like "Hogwarts is for Snoggers." I decided that one is too ridiculous, but the former one is clearly in consideration.
Tonight I went to go witness the unveiling of the new movie, the filmic adaptation of the 5th book called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Needless to say I was blown away, but of course I really do think every movie throughout the series has improved on the previous one. I won't go into any plot details because odds are you've read the books, will read the books, will see the movie, or something of that sort (will have it spoiled for you by Gen May mayhaps?). The point is that I think director David Yates really captured the essence of the story as well as you possibly can do. His impossible task was to successfully adapt an 870 mammoth into a movie that was 2 to 2.5 hours long. Simple right? Throw on top the fact that the Hpothead community (my name but the collective can borrow it for the sake of this blog) are a fiery bunch who will of course ask questions like "Where was Harry getting angry?" or "Where was Quidditch?" or "Why didn't Dobby find the room the DA trained in?"
As a passionate Harry Potter fan, I only have to say this: Get off his back. It is a RIDICULOUSLY long book that he and his crack team of writers successfully tightened up into the lean, mean fighting machine of a film he created. This baby weighed in at a taut 2 hours and 18 minutes and it was ready to go for all 12 rounds. It was entertaining, funny, dramatic, and chock full of all the delicious wizardry us Hpotheads crave. Gotta get my fix! Of course, I do understand the point-of-view of the reading community. I am part of you and I do get frustrated at things being cut out, it apparently simply bothered me less than it bothered others (but that is because I suck at remembering...right Kim?). Great movie, great adapation. Cheers team, you did good.
With all that said, this is the little leagues. The heavy hitter is coming out next Friday/Saturday. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is coming out the 21st at the crack of midnight and it is going to dominate all forms of communication for a while. Deservedly so too. If there is one thing in the world I am certain of, it is that I will enjoy the hell out of this book. My current plan is to dress up, have ear plugs if any suspicious audience members decide to blurt out certain plot points, party with my people, and go home and read 'til my eyes shut permanently or I finish. Come on body...it's you and me...and I'm not losing. David Harper vs. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Stay tuned for next weekend, because this one...well, this one is going to be epic.
The point is, for the longest time I have been terrible at Frisbee Golf (or Frolf...or Disc Golf...speakers choice) and I could never figure out why. I could never throw it far on my opening throw, I couldn't consistently do anything right...I was just crap pretty much. But I continue to play it because its something nice to do outside and a lot of friends play it. Near my house (roughly a minute and a half away) is Westchester Lagoon and the Frisbee Golf course that goes along with it. It is a mostly easy to intermediate course that I somehow consistently shot between plus 4 and plus 8 on, in only nine holes. I sucked. My putting was very solid, I normally made it pretty consistently once I got within 15 feet or so with a decent shot at even longer puts, but my drives were so putrid it was taking me 3 throws just to get in that position. Bad news bears right there.
So one day, when Colver and I were both playing two discs simultaneously, I decided to only throw Hammer style as a joke with one of them. Turns out, I am very good at throwing the Hammer. This joke turned into utter seriousness, as I found my key to success in Frisbee Golf, and it is based around throwing it Hammer style. For those not in the know, the most common throw is the backhand (the natural way to throw a Frisbee) with the forehand being the second most commonly used style. It is basically the opposite of the backhand...shocking right? The Hammer on the other hand is a throw in which you essentially throw the disc like a football, and is traditionally difficult to throw it far or accurately, and even more difficult to do both simultaneously. Not this guy. It works perfectly. The distance on my throws are increasing daily, and I'm getting closer and closer to the goal every round. Here's an example below, taken with my camera phone on hole 7 at Westchester. This is where my disc was after the drive.
Awesome right? I now love Frisbee Golf. My typical score on Westchester has went from an average of plus 6 down to a negative 4. That's a 10 shot turnaround! Yes! I even went and played by myself today because I was so enthused with my newfound ability at the game. I think the moral of the story is that I need to learn to not give up on something too early on just because I'm not good at it. If I do it a few more times and just get more comfortable with what I'm doing the rest will just fall in place. I need to not quit so early and just stay with it. Shouldn't be too hard to do, but actual application to life is not necessarily a sure shot. We'll take it a step at a time, but Frisbee Golf was a solid first step as it is. Now if you don't mind, I have some sweet, sweet Fooseball to play.
See it. Now. The phrase "more than meets the eye" works perfectly for it, as it cleverly disguises itself as crap. It may be crap...but it is ridiculously entertaining crap.
I'm of a very fickle nature. I go through favorite things like most people go through underwear. Ask me hours apart and you will get two different favorite comics out right now. My favorite band recently changed, and as recently as three years ago it would change seemingly weekly. Since I started really watching TV "seriously" I've went through a number of favorite shows. My favorite shirt depends on my mood. I don't know if you've caught what I was doing there, but I was showing exactly how fickle I am...which is pretty darned fickle.
Which is why it's absolutely amazing that I have kept the same favorite movie since 1998 (ish). In late 1998/early 1999 (I honestly don't remember, I remember it was a few weeks before it was released but I don't remember when exactly it was) my Mom got tickets to go see Rushmore, the new movie by Wes Anderson. I had seen Anderson's first movie Bottle Rocket at the old Capri Theater here in Anchorage (coolest theater ever, just a tiny room with a little screen and only about 15 seats and it only played little independent movies) and I had really liked it, so I was very excited about seeing what he'd come up with next. That night I fell in love with this movie, and have loved it ever since, with it actually managing to maintain its position as my favorite for the entire time (and if I ever said otherwise, that was just my voice speaking not my heart. Yes that is the cheesiest thing you will ever hear me say or see me write...forgive me).
No less, I just rewatched it tonight because today while having coffee with my sister we discussed our favorite movies of all time and while she gave me a list of three favorites, the only movie I could give her as an adamant favorite was Rushmore. This little movie written and directed by Anderson and co-written by no less than Mr. Owen Wilson is amazing for many reasons, but here are a few...
- Max Fischer: Greatest lead character ever, Jason Schwartzman makes this alternately insanely dorky and should be unlikeable 15 year old impossible to not like.
- Herman Blume: Bill Murray's best performance ever and the fact that he didn't WIN an Oscar for this, let alone the fact he didn't even get nominated, is a travesty.
- The soundtrack: All British Invasion, all awesome, plus a score by Mark Mothersbaugh (formerly of Devo).
- The script: Incredibly quoteable (watch the movie and then look over the names of songs on various punk/emo bands of today's albums...ripoffs), amazingly touching (see first scene at the top), wonderfully subtle while always making you grin but not laugh hysterically. It also has some of the most honest relationships you'll ever see in movies, especially between Fischer and Blume.
- Direction: This, in my opinion, is the one movie Wes Anderson has made that properly gets the balance between keeping interactions succinct and vaguely cold while still feeling very warm and touching at the same.
- Montages: This movie has three of them, and they are all awesomely awesome. See second video for a taste of one of the montages
I mean come on, how can a movie NOT be awesome if it has three montages. Three! That reminds me of a certain part of Vanilla Sky where Cameron Diaz is going on about how four...somethings...means something. Well in terms of montages, one is great, two is pushing it, but three...three means something. I openly admit that this movie is not one for everybody. It is a very personal movie to me for some unknown reason, be it a connection to the lead or it just hit me at the right time or something else, I don't know. All I know is you owe it to yourself to check out my favorite movie, if only because if you are reading this page you likely don't hate what I have to say and what I have to say is you need to see this. Now. You're nearing a decade late and it is starting to just get sad.
To close...a quote from the movie (one that wasn't said but was written in a book that Max is reading in the movie) that is actually Jacques Yves Cousteau:
When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.
A wondeful quote that we should all choose to live by. Au revoir my fair readers!
Today I went into Bosco's to buy a single comic, and it wasn't even my typical Bosco's, it was the one I never go to. Yet my quick trip to pick up a single comic ended up lasting 20+ minutes, discussing the massive dropoff of quality in DC Comics line since Infinite Crisis, the contradictory nature of Sinestro Corps being amazingly awesome (it's a DC book), and how far ahead Marvel Comics really is right now in terms of the race for best publisher. I had never, ever spoken to them before, yet I sat there and talked to them at great lengths like they were my best friends of many years. For a medium that has such an intense stereotype (anti-social folk who are either massively overweight or wear dark clothes and are pseudo goths) it is amazing how incorrect it really is. If you know what you are talking about, you immediately become a friend to them. It is as if you are speaking a special coded language that can only be understood by the two of you at that time. I'm sure everyone has their special language that stems from a topic that they deeply love, but that is mine. Maybe I am fluent in another language...and that language is comic-ese.