NEWS AND NOTES: THE KETCHUP EDITION

Or the Catch Up edition, whichever your hearts desire. Unfortunately, after a two and a half month break, I may have forgotten a few things. For those that dig these, my apologies. Let's go to the video tape...

-We got a Wii. That was early September, and at least a small contributing factor for my absence. The last video game system I owned was the first Playstation, which bored me rather quickly. I think getting away from my strict Nintendo allegiance hurt my interest in gaming. The newer systems all went for realism in games, which I'm not all that into. After not having any interest in their Gamecube system, Nintendo definitely scored with me with the Wii right from the start, causing me and Marilyn to have a 2 year debate on it. We both loved the interactiveness of it, but were hesitant to get back in the "game". However, when Wii released the Fit this summer, that was the final swaying tactic. So now we're proud owners. The system is just what I needed too, a release and exercise vehicle with a mostly cartoony edge. So far we have Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Godzilla Unleashed, Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Lego Batman, and Ninja Reflex. If anyone has game suggestions please let us know.

-As a side note to that, I got Lego Batman for free from participating in a Lego Build Off contest at work. I got my ass kicked handily, but it was a fun way to get out of work abit, and I got a hot new game for my troubles!

-The DC Bullets softball team ended the season with a loss. It was a fun first year for me despite the losing record. I met a lot of cool folks, some of whom I now consider friends, and I already look forward to next season. Me and Pat are redesigning our logo so it'll be a fresh start all around. I'll show that off once we get final approval. I must say, I did get bit by the softball bug, and I'm now playing in a choose up league that goes year round! So far I'm batting .474, but playing blah defense. I seriously need to up my game in that department.

-Me, Marilyn, and her bro Anthony went down to Washington, DC in September to take in some sights, and watch The Mets play the Nationals. My cousin Anthony played tour guide for us. It was my first time to the capital, even though I've been to Maryland a trillion times. I gotta say I quite dug it. We didn't get to see everything because of our limited time, but I'm looking forward to a return engagement. I want to also mention that, so far, Nationals Park is the best baseball stadium I've been too. Just a gorgeous, inviting place. I suggest you baseball fans get down there next season.

-Speaking of baseball, the day after the DC trip cousin Anthony and I took in our final Yankee Stadium baseball game, fittingly against Ant's Baltimore Orioles. It was a hell of a classic Yankee game, with every possible Yankee moment happening like Jeter's signature spin jump throw and a Mariano save. I wasn't emotional till the end, but man I'm gonna miss that place. Lots of great memories there, the best for me being the 2000 ALCS championship win against Seattle. Great game and an excellent time was had by me and some of my best friends. That and all kinds of other memories rushed back to me at the close of the game. Well, goodbye old friend. Your son will do you proud I'm sure.

-One last DC trip side note, we took Bolt Bus down, and I highly recommend it. This is Greyhound's answer to the Chinatown bus, and I'm real glad they created a cheap safe alternative. It was clean, comfortable, driver was nice, and the bus (a brand new fleet) was just tremendous all around. Give it a check, they even offer dollar fares!

-I started reading two books this summer and didn't finish either. I kinda just stopped reading altogether once August hit, part of the funk no doubt, but then the itch hit again, and so I picked up and devoured Anthony Bourdain's Gone Bamboo. Excellent mob book with CIA overtones. I love this guy's writing, it just really speaks to me. I've quickly have moved onto his Bone In The Throat, which precedes GB. If you're going to read these don't read them in the order I have, as characters overlap, unless you want to create a sort of Pulp Fiction effect. Anyway his books, fiction and non, are fantastic so get to it.

-Speaking of Bourdain, we've been watching his No Reservations show on DVD lately. This is definitely the way to go with any show. Episodic TV watching is just not for me anymore. Give me big chunks at once and I'm much happier. Same goes with comics for that matter. I'm pretty much trades all the way now. Anyhoo, Bourdain's travel show is just perfect for a guy like me: smart alecky New Yorker travels the world, eats a ton, drinks more; what's not to like? I'd love to have a drink with this guy one day.

-Speaking of guys I wanna have a drink with, Bobby Flay fits that description as well. A born and bred New York chef that has transcended his profession, and leaked out into the mainstream consciousness, Flay has always hit the right key for me whenever he's been on the Food Network. We got to see Flay at a taping of the Yes Network's Center Stage. Host (and Yankee broadcast announcer) Michael Kay and Flay really provided an entertaining back and forth interview, NY style. I loved every minute of it. Flay said he's thought about going into NYC politics in the future and I would fully support the guy. I was actually interviewed outside for a show segment that got scrapped, oh well. Afterwards we hit Flay's Bar Amercain for a delicious lunch.

-Marco DiLeonardo's next art show is this Saturday night, here's the details: 9:30pm, Glascott Funeral Home 102-03 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375 US, F/R train to 71st St (Queens), walk up 71st to Metropolitan, take a left, you're there.

-Sad to say, but Brooklyn Original may be dead, however there may a Phoenix rising from it's ashes. Stay tuned!

-I probably jumped the gun on the BQE Press/Bio Boy news, however there is progress and some interesting decisions have been made. Look for more news soonish.

-Vengeance of the Vapor is moving forward again, with some hot new pages coming in from Jok just this week. Looking forward to wrapping that up and putting together a slick new trade. It's crazy to see pages again after a gap, but it's hella cool exciting. I'll prop some pages up soon!

-Couple of trades I've read recently include the Gotham Central hardcover and the Minx book Janes in Love. The GC book was excellent. For those that missed the series, this is one sweet collection. It's hard boiled action all the way, with plotlines that really make you think. The Janes book, unfortunately one of the final books of the Minx line, was equally as sweet, but for vastly different reasons. The Janes books have had great growing up into your skin tales with an underlying theme of infusing art as escapism for blandness. The art in both books, by Michael Lark and Jim Rugg respectively, has been expressive and strong, with excellent attention to details. I give a thumbs up to their efforts. These are great books for the non superhero set, even though GC has a little bit of that. Fans of CSI and Degrassi will enjoy these, spread the word.

-We've been recently hooked on DVDs of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Flight of the Conchords. I can't imagine that you can get any better off the wall writing than these two. Sure, they're both on cable, so they have more leeway, but still, this is funny, laugh out loud stuff! IASIP is my favorite of the two, with lewd, disgusting story lines ruling each episode. To take a quote out of a friend's book, "I can totally hang out with these guys and get drunk." It's a good thing than that the show centers on 3 friends that own a bar, huh? The acting is just so right on perfect it's ridiculous, with Charlie Day almost always stealing the show. This is must watch TV. FOTC is a great show in it's own right, powered by the insanely humorous songs that the show revolve around. I listen to the soundtrack daily! Rent these both, you won't be disappointed.

-I've been drinking Spaten and Sam Adams Octoberfest beers lately. Both are very good. Spaten is like a classier Heineken, while the Octoberfest is a more full bodied nutty tasting beer. The Octoberfest is limited, so make sure you grab some quick!

-I joined Facebook finally. Nuff said...

-Some things to expect on this blog soon are a complete break movie run down, the return of both Besball Talk and Scriptage, and some all new new stuff.

I think that's it, so I'll start building towards a new one. For now, that's the news and I am outta here!