Fat Dad With Glasses: Bachin’r

I was bachin’r last week.  That’s pronounced batch-in-er.  It’s derived from bacheloring.  Which, as far as I know, is also a fake word.  It’s when your spouse leaves you alone while they visit family or friends, and they take every other occupant of the household with them.  Wife, kids, pets, responsibilities of all kinds disappear for a period of time greater than one night but less than forever.  It’s also the reason I didn’t feel like blogging with so many other possibilities (video games) available to me.

I had been bachin’r since Sunday evening, when I got back from dropping Mel and Charlotte off at her parents’ place in the middle of Buttfuck Nowhere (BFN).  Here’s a map:

This is a null image.
Do not Google Image Search “Buttfuck Nowhere”.

The experience ended Friday evening when I returned to BFN.  Bachin’r is a wonderful time in a Fat Dad With Glasses’ life. It teaches you many different lessons that you need to be reminded of.

The first nights are wonderful.  Since it was insisted upon that the place be clean before we left, I got to return to a bright, clean, empty, quiet home.  After calling the family to say that I landed, I shut off the phone, and turned off pretty much every screen in the place, without having to put it on Yo Gabba Gabba or that goddamn Bruno Mars video with the monkeys.  My MMORPG of choice, City of Heroes, required an update, so that bought me some time to make food, perform 2 out of the 3 S’s, and watch stuff on TV that wasn’t fuzzy shit singing and dancing at me.

Once the update was done downloading, and applied and such, it was time to play.  I played like I was 20 again (i.e. pretty well constantly for the next 6 or 7 hours).  I had some beer.  Once that was over, I watched an insanely shitty zombie movie, read some of A Feast For Crows and went to bed.  Then… I woke up in the morning.  Not 4 times through the night to the screaming of my delightfully sleep-hating daughter.  I went to work, and the process repeated itself.

After those first few days are up, you slowly start to realize what your life would be like without your family.  That’s less than exciting.  But it’s great at the same time.  You appreciate your life and family and whatnot more, and you really look forward to seeing them again.  In my case, I also realize that without a female influence of some kind, I’m perfectly willing to live in complete squalor.  At least, you are until you realize that tomorrow you’ll have to head off to retrieve the family again and you need to suddenly make your home not look like it’s a warzone.

Pictured: Bachin’r, Day 3.
How am I going to clean up that tank without help?

Here are some of the week’s highlights and lowlights:

Brains…

‘Round about Day 4.


Advertisements

Re-Watching Dead: Guts



Two Down…

We wrapped up another episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.  This time, there’s more of everything.  More characters, more gore, more diversity, more shooting stuff in the head, more suspension of disbelief and more frustruating departures from the comics.

Read what we thought of the show’s second episode, “Guts” for a chance to win a free* puppy.

As Rick escapes from his sticky situation with the help of Glen, he fires off a ridiculous amount of gunshots drawing every extra that turned out to spend a hot Atlanta day in sticky makeup.  This greatly upsets Glen’s ethnically diverse group of tagalong co-scavengers.  They spend the rest of the episode sulking while Rick and Glen work their asses off to help them escape.  Particularly upset is a bald and racist Rowdy Burns, who doesn’t much care for anyone but himself.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Shane is making correct decisions based on the situation while coming off looking like a weasely chickenshit.

Things We Agree On:

Mel and I both enjoyed the episode overall.  Despite a few problems here and there, it is very strong.  It does a great job at suspense building.  The story isn’t entirely predictable, especially so if you hadn’t read the comics before watching.  The casting, acting and directing are fantastic.  The pacing of the episode is also great.  There aren’t many lulls in the action that aren’t neccessary or character building.

My guess is that someone in a boardroom looked at the first trade of the comic and said, “Hey… these are almost all white people.”  They likely did this because:
  • It’s true.
  • TV Boardroom types need to worry about this shit.

So, their answer was to, of course, recreate some characters from the comics as people who are other races and draw attention to the fact that their cast was now such an incredibly diverse rainbow of colours by adding a raging racist redneck as a plot device.

You sonofabitch.
You just made me say the “N” word.

The talent makes it work though.  Rick manages to take a punch like a bitch, and then summon his police training powers to difuse the situation with a cool speech and his trusty handcuffs, which surely won’t leave anyone in a Mad Max/Rorschach situation later on.

Another interesting part of the episode is seeing how Shane is ruling the roost over at Camp Dale’s Campertown.  Shane really is making (mostly) the right decisions, in my opinion.  Problem is, in a survival situation like the one these characters are in, the right decisions make you look like a weasel-douche.  They do a great job showing Shane’s relationship with Lori and Carl, though. He’s really developped a new family, which (thanks to last week’s too long car scene) was something you could tell he was really looking for.  It’s clear that the powers that be didn’t want anyone thinking Shane pulls an Anakin Skywalker later on.  They want the pacing and reasons behind his transformations to be perfectly clear.

Thing We Didn’t Agree On:

During the guts scene, Mel thought Rick’s pause was corny. It does seem a bit too reminiscent of Fight Club.  Still, I thought it performed its task well.  It’s there to show us that Rick hasn’t lost his humanity.  He’s really struggling to deal with this new world.  He doesn’t want to let go of the old. And then he hacks a dead dude to fucking pieces.

His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.

Random Rants:

Rant 1:  I remember reading after this episode aired, that several fans of the show were upset with Glen’s portrayal.  He steps up and makes a plan.  Some argued that this was against his character in the comic.  That he never steps up, and isn’t a planner.  I disagree completely.  Glen is the fucking Scarecrow.  The Wizard of Oz one… not the Batman one.  He comes up with some of the best ideas at any given time, but is constantly down on himself for not being smart, or a leader.  And in this episode, on that point at least, they fucking nail it.

Rant 2:  Mel thought that the zombies in this episode showed us that we’re dealing with a hodgepodge of different style zombies.  They’re slow.  They’re kinda fast.  They’re usin’ rocks.  They’re stumbling up ladders.  They’re climbing fucking fences.  She asked me what I thought of it.  I’m pretty sure she expected me to explode in anger.  But honestly, I’m more into consistency these days.  If this show puts forth a set of Zombie Rules, and it sticks to those Zombie Rules, that’s more what I’m interested in seeing.  At least until they pick up a gun and start firing.  I know Romero loves that shit… but fuck him.

Final Thoughts:

With enough suspension of disbelief, this episode is another great one.  If you can’t suspend enough disbelief to enjoy this…  then, probably, you’ve no business watching this show in the first place.  Despite showing some signs of heading down the wrong path we’ve still got ourselves a fantastic fucking show.

I’m not dead, I’m getting better.

*Free puppy subject to shipping and handling charges, and taxes and surcharges where applicable. Free puppy offer not available to Zombies. Free puppy may cause or contribute to the following illnesses: temporary blindness, permanent blindness, incontinence, outcontenence, supercontenence, mild cough, death, stomach discomfort, hoofenchoof, rabies, or chaffing of the thyroid.

Re-Watching Dead: Days Gone Bye



One Down…

Mel and I just finished watching the pilot episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. You might remember it from last fall, when it was one of the most successful and talked about new shows of the season. I think it was her 3rd viewing, and my 5th. It was also her first viewing since reading the trades. I’ve read all 14 that have been released, but Mel’s dragged her feet on reading volume 14. We’re working our way through the series again in preparation and excitement for the start of Season 2, on Oct. 16.

Read what we thought of the show’s first episode, “Days Gone Bye”, after the jump…

Fair warning:  This shit is going to get spoilery.  If you haven’t watched the whole first season, or read at least the first trade of the comic books, you may not want to read any further.  And did I just use the term “after the jump”?  Ugh…  Someone slap me.  Don’t ever let me do that again.

Things We Agree On:

This show opens with a bang.  Right from the get-go, the series is telling you, “Look, folks… this shit is serious, and we’re not fucking around.  If you think you’re getting funny zombies, go watch Dead-Alive again.”  One of my major concerns when I heard they were adapting TWD for TV was whether or not they’d have the balls to do what needs to be done.  I’m pretty sure shooting a little girl in the head answers that question pretty fucking quick.

This ain’t Sesame Street.

From there we jump into the opening credits.  Mel is always particularly impressed by them.  They do a great job of setting the tone.  I agree.  It feels very eerie.  True Blood and Gane of Thrones might be the only better credit reels going these days.

Once the credits wrap we come to our first gripe of the season…  The conversation between Shane and Rick in their squad car takes too fucking long.  At least it does the first time you watch it.  After seeing the whole series play out (and reading the comics) this scene becomes much more interesting than the first time you watch it.  It lays a groundwork for the characters that is much needed.  It also shows several ways that this story is going to be different from the comic.  The only problem is it does it too slowly.  Shane’s asshole diatribe isn’t quite interesting enough, and the scene really slows the pacing of the show down to a new viewer.  The same pacing problem appears in other spots throughout the episode, but never quite as bad, and once it really picks up again after Rick and Morgan leave the police station it never really lets up.

On the road again…
Just can’t wait to get back on the road again…

Speaking of after the police station…  I’m pretty sure there are several critics of directors like Zack Snyder that would love to show them the scene where Rick heads back to the zombie he found near the bicycle, or the hospital sequence.  They are fantastic examples of how you can use a comic as a storyboard, and let your audience see each comic frame, without using bullet time effects, or otherwise stopping time. (The Zombiephiles has a neat article showing some side by side character comparisons.)  Of course, the visual effects, zombie make up and acting are all fantastic.  You can clearly see that everyone involved in this show really cares about making it as great as they can.

Another great aspect is how this episode somehow manages to simultaneously stick to the storyline of the source material, but play with it slightly to create some surprises even for the people who have read the comics.  Every change made in this episode, particularly Rick and Lori’s rocky marriage and Shane and Lori clearly having more than just a grief-stricken one night stand,  are all great, and really add to the tensions that should be coming later on.

Things We Didn’t Agree On:

Mel thought that, for the amount of time Morgan spent saying how attracted to sound the zombies are, and how much he beats himself up for firing his gun in the street, neither He nor Rick really seem to give that much of a shit about it.  They both seem to take any and every opportunity to fire off a round into everything they can.  This really bothered her, given that she not that long ago read Abraham’s (a character that comes much later in the comics) tirade on stationary camps and gunfire.  It didn’t bother me that much… I guess I don’t mind it because early Rick is a dumbfuck when it comes to zombie common sense.  And as far as Morgan goes, I kinda thought that TVs Morgan has given up by the time he starts his sniping spree.

Mel also really enjoyed re-watching the end of the episode.  She said that even though she knew how it was going to turn out, it was still really tense.  I don’t really feel the tension of the scene anymore… but I do still think Rick putting the gun to his head and noticing the hole in the tank is awesome.  One of the best moments in the show, really.  That whole scene is one of those new additions that really work for both the fans of the comics and the newcomers, I think.

Random Rants:


I remember a lot of people who didn’t know any better shouting “Ripoff” when the show was first airing, over the fact that Rick wakes up alone in the hospital.  Supposedly the scenes were written independently around the same time, like some kind of crazy zombie Calculus.  I say, “Who gives a fuck?”.  The idea of it goes back much further than 28DL.  The Quiet Earth has an world ending scene involving a guy waking up to a deserted world too.  Not to mention all the various forms “The Last Man on Earth” has taken on screen.  Seeing a Ripoff Card played so quickly, and so poorly researched, drives me up the fucking wall.

Final Thoughts:

Even after 5 viewings, this episode of the show is still strong enough to make both Mel and I excited to watch more of it.  Great acting, great effects, great story and some of the best direction ever on the small screen.  The Walking Dead‘s first episode is definitely some of the best stuff ever shown on television.

I’d give it two thumbs up,
but the other one rotted off.

Re-Watching Dead

“Admit it. You only came back to Atlanta for the hat.”

With the second season of AMC’s amazing The Walking Dead starting in just over a month, it’s finally time for Mel and I to sit back, relax and pace ourselves through a month of revisiting post-Zombie Apocalypse Georgia.

Look to your left… Now look to your right.
Come graduation day, one of you will no longer be with us.


Sure, The Walking Dead‘s short but sweet first season may have wrapped up a while ago.  Mel and I watched it, re-watched it, and I’ve watched it yet again since. But that was months ago.

As I recall… the series is fantastic in its own right. It’s true that die hard fans of the comic, like myself, have often been a bit disappointed in some of the turns that the series has taken; but I remember these twists and turns working (for the most part). Before Season 2 starts I also intend to re-read (at least) the first 3 trade paperbacks of the comic.

Watch this spot in the future, as I intend to post our different feelings on each episode as we revisit the misadventures of Rick Grimes yet again.

In the meantime… here’s a trailer for Season 2 that played at this year’s Comic-Con.

Awesome.

Being a fat guy with glasses can be hard sometimes. There’s this gigantic urge inside you to tear apart everything that you see, bitch and moan about it on the internet, and feel better about yourself as a person. But there are some things… things that are so special… so unimaginably awesome… no amount of nitpicking, growling, ranting, pissing or moaning can make them unawesome.

These things include (but are not limited to) in no particular order:

  • Finding money.
  • Video (Home or Professional, it makes no difference) of Explosions.
  • Zombies. (Important Note: I said Zombies, not Zombie movies. The fictional monsters themselves are incredibly awesome beyond belief. They are not, however, awesome enough to make anything that features them automatically awesome. That’s right, I’m looking at you, “The Zombie Diaries”.)
  • Fucking. Both the word and the act.
  • Having the ability to fix shit that’s broken, without paying someone.
  • Fireworks.
  • The original PSA of Astar the Robot.

A Glimpse Of Hell

I meant to write about this experience Wednesday night before getting Lost. But the blocky adventures of Tetris with Mel kept me from writing.

You see, around 6pm Wednesday night, Mel wanted to go look for a canvas, and then go to The Salvation Army to buy a cushion or a frame or some kind of bric-a-brac that someone bought at the dollar store and then gave to their grandmother on her birthday, who then died a couple weeks later and had the executor of her estate donate it to The Salvation Army.

So, after looking for the canvas with Mel, I followed my first inclination when dealing with TSA. And my first inclination when dealing with TSA is, of course, to stay the fuck away. The reason for this is because other than maybe looking at a couple boxes of records that they have packed away in a corner near the shitters, there’s nothing there that I’m interested in.

So, while Mel goes to TSA, I head to the Co-op to get some Diet Pepsi™. As is pretty much always the case, this took much less time than scouring TSA for the perfect cushion, frame, or Dead-Lady-Garbage, and I headed over to TSA to tell Mel that I was heading to Cockbuster Video to look at their used games.

Immediately I notice something odd. The parking lot surrounding TSA is solid fucking full of cars. Not just parked cars, but cars hovering about looking for spaces like it’s December 23rd, 1996 and Walmart is having a half-price sale on Tickle Me Elmo. After nearly getting T-Boned by a half dozen crazy old women in a Buick Century, I manage to find a spot about a quarter mile from the store. I park, and freeze my ass off as I head for the store.

Inside the door, I see the cause of all the kafuffle. Apparently, every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm it’s HALF PRICE ON ALL CLOTHING at the Salvation Army. Which, obviously, is something that everyone everywhere needs to be a part of.  It was my own personal hell.

Normally, the musty smell of TSA (or any 2nd-hand Clothing Store) over powers me.  But on this occassion it mixed in with the smell of cold elderly and made me cringe.  The line up for the cash registers–that’s right, registers, 3 were open–had about 25 people in it when I entered.  Rows and rows of clothing racks had women of all ages in them, sorting, lifting and judging.  But more noticable than anything, was the noise of the coathangers as they screeched across the steel racks incessantly.  By the time I had found Mel in the DLG section, I was ready to snap.
I told her where I’d be, and bolted for the door as fast as I could without looking like a complete lunatic.  But noticed something odd as I was headed up the aisle.  There, at the end of the aisle was a woman, mid to late 30s, leaning against her shopping cart.  Her appearance just barely betrayed that she was mentally handicapped.  Her hair was red, and curled in a perm.  Her eyes were small, but the irises huge.  She and her cart were stopped at the end of the aisle, taking up about 3/4s of it.  And as I walked the entire length of this long aisle, she never once stopped staring at me.  Not even long enough to blink.  Coupled with the screeching, it was about the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.  I quickened my pace, arguably reaching the point where I did indeed look like a complete lunatic, shot passed the woman as she slowly turned like a zombie, and raced out the doors for the car.
Safe once more from the threat of the nearly dead, I headed out to look for videogames.  As it turns out, I picked up Left 4 Dead for the 360.  It’s a game about Zombies.  I really hope there’s no Salvation Army level.
…blouses…