Monthly Archives: July 2014

Marvel Team-Up #74

marvel teamup 74

If ever a comic was going to be great, this is it. Just look at that cover. Spiderman & Saturday Night Live! John Belushi doing his samurai bit against a real super-villain. And then you read it. And what should have been both action packed and funny is neither. It’s like they took two of my favorite things, apple pie and barbeque, mixed it up in a big bowl, and somehow, it’s no good. Even the layout, something I hardly ever notice is tight and claustrophobic. Yeah it’s supposed to be taking place in the small rooms and hallways of 30 Rock, but there’s little room for the reader, or any of the characters to stretch out in this thing.

Anyway, the idea is that Belushi mistakenly gets a ring in the mail, and he tries it on, and he can’t get off his finger. Here’s some of the hilarious banter surrounding that.


And the bad guy, Silver Samurai has been hired to retrieve it. Not to take over NBC or New York or the world. He’s there to get a ring from Belushi that Belushi would gladly give him if he’d just ask. It turns out that Peter Parker is attending that night’s airing of SNL, hosted by Stan Lee. Kind of a fun idea, right? A world just like ours, where Stan Lee publishes comic books, only in that world, the heroes and villains are real. Not only that, but the two grumpy old men from The Muppet Show also live in that world, not as Muppets, but as real men.

waldorf and statler

Ok, so Peter’s watching the show with Mary Jane when all this ring business starts to go down, and his spidey senses go off and he leaves to check things out. Silver Samurai has hired some goons to help him track down the ring, not super-goons, just regular thugs who pretty much run every time they see one of the cast members dressed up like a superhero. Bill Murry knocks one of them out with a rubber hammer. Dan Aykroyd and Laraine Newman overcome a couple with fire extinguishers. So, is this action or is it comedy? As I said before, it’s really neither. There is one fun bit where Garret Morris, dressed as a black Thor, distracts a couple of the goons while other cast members electrify the fire escape they’re all standing on, thus knocking them out.

black thor

Oh, and then there’s Spiderman. He knocks a few bad guys out with one punch or kick per each. Yawn. To be fair, things briefly get interesting when Belushi as the samurai character attacks the Silver Samurai, then realizes that he’s bitten off more than he can chew, and Spidey comes to the rescue. He kicks Silver Samurai as he’s trying to pull the ring off Belushi, and pop, off it comes. “Thanks for the help,” he says, and disappears into magic smoke and fire swearing revenge. For what, I have no idea. Then everyone says goodnight to the audience.

the cast

Look how young they look. Seeing that made me do some math. The publication date of this comic, 1978, is closer to D-Day—the storming of the beaches at Normandy—than it is to today, 2014. That’s a little depressing if you’re old like me. But still not as bad as this comic.



Plexiglass Matt


Cut this plexiglass bad boy out on the band saw back in 8th grade.  Notice the craftsmanship.  You don’t get those jaggedy edges accidentally.  You have to do a lot of stopping, realigning, and starting again to get that effect.  What’s scarey is I’m sort of our school’s shop teacher.  (Plexiglass is not part of the curriculum.)

My Nephew the Artist

Continuing with the family art theme this month, my nephew Zach did these two amazing pieces of my kids.  If you know my kids, you can see how sweet these are.  Even if you don’t know my kids, you get a pretty good sense of them from these two pieces.



Zach is part of web comic called Ramen Empire.

If you’d like a cool portrait like these, you can contact Zach at Fiverr, and I’m sure he’d be happy to oblige.


The Lost Communion Movie

It’s still lost.  Not just physically do I not know where this movie is.  Mentally I have no memory of it.  This is from July of 2007.  The prayers that I put together here from the Bible and Book of Common Prayer don’t seem to have much to do with communion.  But I’ve titled it “prayers for comm movie” so I guess that’s what it was for. I’m sorry that I don’t remember the occasion or the pictures or anything. Still, it’s a nice collection of prayers.




The Lord is my shepherd

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters

He restoreth my soul;

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.


sleeping kids

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let our holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always;

O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength:  By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God;


kids gathering/kiss

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy;


kids with fire

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world:  Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals.


Dear God, bless those who travel.  May your word be a lantern to their feet and a light upon their path, that at journey’s end they may safely rest in the knowledge of your grace and protection.



Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

Plainview #6

April 27, 2005.  In this episode we reference the legendary missing episode #5.  Other fun things you’ll hear here– stories of the legendary Liz G.; remember when hotmail was better than gmail; the F-word feedback; the classic Maly tries to get Daddy arrested story; good old Julia; and an idea for a podcast, or this blog, that is still on my to-do list.


This one makes me miss the days of teaching creative writing.  I tried to use the students’ writing time to write myself.  Partly to know the challenges the kids were going through; partly just to write.  Not on the state test, creative writing.  But it was fun to see the kids create amazing stuff.  Makes me jealous of the art & music teachers.




I look up from my work.

I’ve been crossing out lines

and writing new ones

and kind of forgot where I was –

on my stool – perched above

a classroom half-full of

high school students.


Some sit near one another,

others alone.  Their heads down,

pens and pencils move across paper.

Hands on faces – cheek, chin, forehead.

One chews a fingernail.

If you can hear thinking,

it sounds like this.


But this isn’t how it starts.

It starts always with questions,

questions I think I just answered.

“Sooooo . . . What are we supposed to be doing?”

A little chatting as I scan the room,

quietly reminding my students

why we’re here.


Then, like little girls at a slumber party,

they begin to drop off.

The sea of blue, black and

gray hoodies scribble silently.








It’s a boy


On the day I was born one of my dad’s friends brought this button by the hospital and my dad wore it proudly for the rest of the day. Ok, I totally made that story up. I know very few of the details of the day of my birth except that I was pink and I cried for two years and I was very well taken care of. Most of my baby pictures include some adult smiling or talking to me as I’m held or am sitting in the little 1960s baby seat. And the cigarettes are all being held well away from the baby.

Mom: The hospital may have given the buttons to new parents. You only had colic for five months. I am sure it was my fault as I knew nothing about babies and just practiced on you. You still make my heart sing.