Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A Belated Happy 4th

Well, since I took Friday, Monday, and the weekend off, I have a lot of updating to do, don't I? It was nice having a solid four day weekend and I enjoyed every last minute of it! Thursday night Kristin and I headed up to St. Cloud for the weekend so she could see her family, which she hadn't seen a whole lot of since she's been living with me in Rochester for the summer.

While we were up there I managed to put in a round of frisbee golf with Vu at Riverside. We would have went to Calgary, but they neutered that course last year, taking it from an 18 hole course down to a 12 hole course. The six holes they took out were also the six most enjoyable holes to golf on. As it was, I got showed up pretty bad by Vu. It was pretty apparent I hadn't been out in a while (and that I use an approach disc as my driver). Seeing Vu again and shooting some disc golf was really refreshing. I missed hitting the courses up there.

While at Kristin's house I also took plenty of time to relax and read a few TPB's that I've been meaning to for a little bit now. I first read Batman: The Long Halloween by Loeb and Sale. It was a pretty interesting look at Batman's encounters with the gangsters and first meeting of Two-Face, but the whole thing felt extremely padded. There was a definite lack of dialogue on each page. It would have been pretty easy to condense this book from the 350+ pages it was down to around 250 or less. As it is, though, I found it interesting and I'll hopefully pick up the sequel, Dark Victory, sometime soon.

Along with The Long Halloween, I also read Inhumans by Jae Lee and Paul Jenkins. As I started reading this book, I felt like it was jumping around and not really going anywhere, but about a fourth of the way in things started tying together and I found myself hooked. This is one of the best Marvel TPB's I've read in a long time. That may not be saying much since most of the Marvel comics I've read recently have not been so good, but really this TPB was a marvelous read. Lee's art is stunning, as usual, and by the time the story draws to a close Jenkins manages to create a tale that pulls at the heart of what it is to be a leader. Never has the campy phrase, "With great power comes great responsibility" rang more true than in how Black Bolt leads his people.

Since I mentioned Spider-Man's trademark phrase I might as well give my thoughts on the movie. Frankly, I thought there were way too many eyeball rolling moments, but if I were to ignore them, it was an enjoyable film. The fight scenes between Spider-Man and Doc Ock were simply amazing and Molina playing Doc Ock was perfect casting. These two things are what kept this movie from completely failing. Maguire and Dunst cannot act... at... all. There were so many terribly played out scenes between the two where they did nothing more than look at each other and eek out a word every few seconds or so. Most of the time I wanted to punch Maguire in the face because I hated his portrayal of Peter Parker. I know almost every critic and every person that went to see this movie loved it, but I'll stand firmly in the minority and say that it wasn't nearly as good as all the hype said it would be.

Now for the fourth I was back here at home. My family, grandma Meyer, and Kristin went to Rochester for the fireworks. They were very good, like every other time we've went, except for the grand finale. For some reason there must have been something wrong because the finale was broken up into about 4 mini-finales. Every other year the grand finale would end with a whole bunch of loud, flashy banger fireworks. When the finale initially ended this year there were no bangers. It just ended after a long volley of red, white, and blue sunbursts. I chalked it up to the people in charge just doing something a little different this year.

As is rarely the case, I was wrong. As we started putting our chairs back in their travel bags another mini-finale went off. It was funny to watch everyone as they were putting things away or walking towards their car suddenly stop whatever they were doing to stare up into the sky at the new batch of aerial explosions. Once they were over there was another round of applause as we continued to put our stuff away and head towards my grandma's van. As we were crossing the street there was another volley of fireworks. Now I started to suspect something must have not went right with the show. Later as we were driving away there was yet another dosage of fireworks, this one being the last.

It was interesting to have all of these little fireworks displays, but I would much rather have preferred having one uber-finale instead of the screwed up little finales they had this year. It was still a great fourth of July, however, and I enjoyed spending the evening with my family watching things explode.

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