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Happy Birthday Marvel Comics

August 14th, 2009 No comments

Ok, I know I’m a couple of days late on getting this one out there, but I wanted to say it anyway.  Happy Birthday Marvel Comics.

On August 11, 2009, Marvel Comics celebrated its 70th birthday.  That’s a long time to be making comic books.  As a big fan of Marvel Comics, I certainly appreciate many of the storylines that I’ve read throughout the years.

Some people know that I’m a huge Spider-Man fan.  My wife got me the Amazing Spider-Man DVD for Xmas a couple of years ago that contains every issue of The Amazing Spider-Man from issue 1 to 531.   Spider-Man made his debut back in 1963 in Amazing Fantasy #15.   The character was well liked, so he got his own comic.  So that means that there has been 45 years + of Spider-Man comics.  Wow.

I have an active subscription of The Amazing Spider-Man to keep up to date.  I’ve purchased every issue from #532 (where my DVD leaves off) and last week received issue #601.  I’m still reading issue #600 (it’s like quadruple in size) though.

Since then, my wife has purchased the complete Fantastic Four comic DVD as well as the X-Men comic DVD.  I’ve been nibbling away at those from time to time, but it does take a while to get through.

I’ve got several Marvel T-shirts in my closet that I wear just about all of the time.  I also feel the need to see every movie based on a Marvel character just for the mere fact of supporting the franchise.  With that said, I’ll take a few moments to look back at movies based on Marvel characters…

1986

  • Howard the Duck.   (not one of their best)

1998

  • Blade

2000

  • X-Men

2002

  • Blade II
  • Spider-Man

2003

  • Daredevil
  • X2: X-Men United
  • Hulk
2004
  • The Punisher
  • Spider-Man 2
  • Blade: Trinity
2005
  • Elektra
  • Fantastic Four
  • Man-Thing
2006
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
2007
  • Ghost Rider
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
2008
  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Punisher: War Zone
2009
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I have most of those on DVD and trying to upgrade those to Blu-Ray (with my wife’s consent of course).  I’m also looking forward to what Marvel has on tap in the near future:
2010
  • Iron Man 2
2011
  • Spider-Man 4
  • Thor
  • The First Avenger: Captain America
  • Deadpool
2012
  • The Avengers
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2
So there appears to be a lot more Marvel goodness on the horizon.  Here’s to you Marvel! Keep writing them, and I’ll keep indulging.
Categories: Ramblings Tags:

Party Invitations

August 13th, 2009 1 comment

At what point did party invitations become something to stress out about?

Seriously. 

Trace’s 9th birthday is coming up, and he’s decided that he wants to have his party at Laser Tag of Baton Rouge.  I like this idea because quite frankly, they do everything.   The kids are entertained, the cake is made available, the food is provided, the drinks are provided.  It’s just an all-around win win.  We’re even given a party host to assist us with handling the gifts and all of that stuff. 

Anyway, Laser Tag provides some invitations (which is included with the price of the party), but for some reason these invitations weren’t good enough this year (he had his party there last year as well).   Trace has repeatedly stated that he no longer wants character anything.  His backpack for school has to be a solid color (or two; as long as one of those two colors is black) and all of his school folders need to be a solid color.   Gone are the days when I could pick up a Transformers lunch box and he’ll be happy with it.  Gone also are the days when I can pick up anything with a Marvel Superhero on it and he’ll be happy with it (much to my chagrin).   So imagine my surprise when he said that he wanted a Pokemon themed party.

To be honest.  I’m tired of this damn Pokemon phase.  It’s gone on way too long and I think someone somewhere needs to put a stop to this Pokemon crap once and for all.  I’m tired of stepping on those cards.  I’m tired of being asked to buy more of these Pokemon cards.  I’m tired of hearing about all of these Pokemon games that he must have for his Gameboy or DS.   What’s even worse was the news that we got that the last 3 Pokemon games that were released all had the same story.  The only difference was the ability to acquire a “special” Pokemon from one to the other.  WTF?  I just spent $30 for a game that he’s already played who knows how many times?  It’s ridiculous, but I digress, back on topic now…

So my wife buys 2 packs of these Pokemon invitations that will be used in lieu of the Laser Tag ones to invite children to Trace’s party.  Trace began chomping at the bit to disperse these invitations, but failed to realize that when you buy these invitations as the store, they don’t come already written out with the information concerning Trace’s birthday party (although that is certainly a service that I would pay for).  He continues to argue his point that he wants to give the boy that lives across the street an invitation, I tell him that he needs to wait until momma fills it out first and that giving Cole an “blank” invitation serves no purpose whatsoever.  He finally relents and decides to wait.

So my wife starting filling out these invitations on the way to the cub scout den meeting last night because he wants to invite some boys from his den to the party.   Since he’s not inviting everyone, I offer some suggestions on doing this discreetly, but it falls on deaf ears.  Instead he’s running around with the invitations in hand waiting for the kids to show up.  Luckily, the only boys that showed up for the meeting are the ones that he was going to invite anyway, so no feelings had to be spared.

So this morning, my wife finishes filling out the invitations and has decided that she would offer to bring some of the boys in the neighborhood to the party with us to avoid it being such a strain on some of the parents.  Seeing as we live 30-35 minutes away from Laser Tag, I welcome this idea.  However, my wife becomes conflicted as to how to accomplish this task.   I suggest that she put a little note in the invitations that are going to the these kids informing their parents that we’re offering that service for them.

Susan: What time do you think we’ll be leaving for the party?

Bob:  Huh?  We need to decide right now what time we’re going to be leaving for a party that’s 2 1/2 weeks away?

Susan: I wanted to put on the note that we’ll be leaving at X time and that if their son was riding with us to be at our house at that time.

Bob: Why not just offer and have them get back with us?

Susan: No, I don’t want to do that.

*Sigh* Whatever.  A few minutes later, I’m questioned as to what color sticky post-it note should be used to relay this message to parents.

Susan : “Should I use yellow, purple, or pink post-it notes?”

Bob:  “Seriously? You’re concerned about the color of the post-it note?”

Susan: “Well, do you think pink will be too girly?”

Bob: “Too girly for what? The note is coming from you.  Besides, no one is going to look beyond the color of the post-it note and think that Trace is a little fruitcake because his mom chose pink to send them a message”

She decides on purple anyway and leaves the room to prepare the message for the neighborhood parents.  A few minutes go by and I decide that I need my second cup of coffee.  Immediately entering the kitchen, I’m ambushed by my wife yet again concerning the message on the post-it note; which read:

<Child’s Name> is welcomed to ride with us to the party. 

Super.  It was simple and to the point. 

Susan : Do you think I need to say anything else?

Bob : Umm, no.  If their child will ride with us, I’m sure they’ll let us know beforehand.

Thank goodness we’ve decided that this is the last year of the big party for him.

Categories: Ramblings Tags:

Class Reunion

August 10th, 2009 3 comments

This past weekend, East Jefferson High School’s Class of 1989 had its 20 year reunion.  I’m still in awe by that, but anyway, I have to say that I had a wonderful time…

As my wife and I were heading into town, we stopped off at the Esplanade Mall to do a little shopping.  Not that we were looking for anything in particular, but it had been a while since I had been to that mall, and my wife never passes up an opportunity to do a little gratuitous shopping. 

After the mall, we went to go check in at the hotel.  My wife opted to stay in the car as I checked in because she hadn’t put any makeup on and was concerned about people seeing her without it.  I thought that was quite baffling because if I didn’t care, why should she?  Anyway, knowing I was bound to run into someone else checking in from my class, I eagerly awaited who it would be… To my surprise, it was Eddie Carrick.  Which really would have been cool, but I did just see him 2 months earlier at the Haynes reunion and I would be seeing him again an hour from that point because some of us agreed to meet up for dinner before the reunion and the Carricks were going to be there.

I got to select where I wanted me room to be, which I thought was quite neat.  I don’t recall ever having that option before with a hotel.  I opted for a room on the first floor, real close to where the reunion was going to be held.   I figured it would serve a dual purpose:

1)  When my wife gets bored, she can easily get back to the room without issue, and

2) After my wife left the reunion and got bored with sitting by herself in the room, she could easily get back to the reunion. 

We got dressed and of course we were late getting to dinner.  Go figure.  I put this dinner thing together and I’m late getting there?  Nice one Bob.  We met Michelle Ensley (Rigdon) and Dana Teppen (Rome) at Olive Garden and we were seated at a table for 10.   Eddie Carrick and his wife joined shortly thereafter, but Kevin Lee and his girlfriend were a no show.  Damn Kevin.  We haven’t see you in ages!

Things seemed real tense at dinner, well until Eddie and his wife arrived.  We got conversation going.  Laughing ensued and drinks started being drank.  Afterwards we all dispersed and went to the reunion.

I saw Rick Philibert at the table and he looked up at me.  I could tell he had no clue as to who I was.  That’s when I asked him, “Are you serious?  You don’t know who I am?”  He replied with, “Yeah I know who you are.”  But he still had that look on his face that said otherwise.  He was rescued by Darbi saying, “that’s Bobby Laurent…”  Of course Rick knew who I was then.  I immediately reminded him that in addition to the three years at E.J., we spent 3 years at Haynes.

Now, I have to say that I downplayed the whole reunion thing beforehand.  I thought perhaps it would be a few people that I would talk to.  I would keep to myself and a select few friends, and I would not abandon my wife once.  However, I had a truly wonderful time.   I made my rounds like I’m assuming most people did, but all in all, everyone was quite friendly and a pleasure to be around.

I was surprised to see Scott Glendenning there to be honest.  He didn’t go to E.J. but I knew Scott from some other circle of friends that I hung out with during my high school years.  So that was a nice treat.   I was also amazed by the number of people that have managed to defy aging.   Some of them looked exactly the way they did 20 years ago. 

The night went by rather quickly.  I learned something rather important as it was winding down.  Crown Royal does not taste all that great straight up.   Michelle’s husband and I made an attempt to down an entire glass of the stuff, but could only make it half way.

With the night being so young (11:00 PM) we headed to the hotel bar and I immediately received the sticker shock from a $6 beer.  Instead of blowing all of my money at that bar, some of us decided to head over to the daiquiri shop which was conveniently located next door to the hotel.  However that didn’t last too long (although it didn’t feel that way) we made our way back to the hotel bar.

I ran into Ann Ledbetter at the bar and found here to be quite friendly as well.  She and I didn’t share any classes together, but we were in the same homeroom class for the 3 years I was at EJ.  Conversing with her for a few minutes eventually brought up the name Robert Laurent, which is my name, but was also the name of my complete opposite at EJ.

I had the distinct pleasure of having someone with the same name as me in high school.  Talk about cause some havoc during my days there.  Whew.  There was trouble from day one.  My homeroom teacher through my papers in the garbage because she thought there was a mistake.  He was Robert G. Laurent, and I was Robert L. Laurent.  But she didn’t look at the middle initial (why would she?).  It’s not like I have a common last name or anything, but to have the same first name as well?  It was crazy.

Ann referred to him and I as being like night and day.   I had my run-ins with the school office during my tenure too.  Who would have thought that my being tardy (only once) would end up costing me a detention because I had supposedly exceeded the number of tardies allowed?   I got out of that detention though.  I think I just refused to show.  Perhaps he got in trouble for that.

I ended up having a long talk about politics with Patrick Cockran (who I don’t remember ever being so damn tall in the past).  I typically don’t engage in political discussions with friends because I get to be very passionate on my beliefs, so unless they lean the same way I do, I just don’t even start.  I don’t know how it started in this case, we were both drunk.

I could go on and on about who I saw at the reunion, but then it would just get boring.  I’m going to give a shout out to Leslie (one of my readers) and wanted to let her know that it was nice seeing her again. 

I’m looking forward to the 25.  Which will be even more rewarding because I’m not going to have to wait 10 years for it.

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20 Years Gone In a Blink of an Eye

August 7th, 2009 No comments

I graduated from East Jefferson High School at the young age of 17.   I have one of those late occurring birthdays (November) which allowed me to see the majority of my classmates turn 18 before graduation.  Anyway, I remember thinking back then how time seemed to flow so slowly.  A year back then was an eternity.

If you think about it, time is a relative concept.  A year to a 17 year old is 1/17th of the lifespan.   Whereas a year to me now is 1/37th of my lifetime.   So a year back then would be somewhat equivalent to 2-2.5 years of how it would have been interpreted back then.

My classmates were counting down the days back in May 1989 until we would no longer be in high school.   Each day seemed longer than the previous, but of course we all got through it.

Since then however, the time that has passed seems to have gone by faster and faster (as I mentioned above).  But I’m having a hard time grasping that it’s been 20 years since then.  Wow.  Where did 20 years go?

Something to ponder:

  • The kids that graduated this past year (2009) where not even born when I graduated.

I guess I’m having some nostalgic moments now because I’ll be attending my 20 year class reunion tomorrow.   Crazy.

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