thehefner: (Hello Ladies McCoy)
Ever since Henchgirl started getting me into Star Trek: The Original Series, we've been waiting for Netflix to put it on Instant, which they finally did just in time for the comings months of sleep-deprived babydom! But in a Hefnerian twist, it's only the remastered version with new CGI bits added in.

Is there anybody else out there that finds this to be like a more distractingly annoying version than George Lucas' "remastered" Star Wars editions? Because apparently, no one else seems to HATE this the way Henchgirl and I do. I just don't get why anyone saw the need to do this. The new effects won't make any of the other crappy effects look not-crappy. You can make the Enterprise all slick and panaroamic as you like, but that's still papier-mâché on the walls in the next scene.

Besides, from what I can tell based on the episodes of TOS I've seen so far, the effects aren't the point. It's the writing. It's the characters. It's the ideas. If you tried sprucing up The Twilight Zone with CGI, you'd be missing the point the same way. You're not going to make the Gremlin (On. The. WingofthePLANE.) look any less silly, and the silliness never kept the episode from being considered an all-time classic in the first place, so why bother? Who are you trying to impress? What are you trying to improve? It's the exact same thing with the remastered TOS.

As time has gone by, TOS honestly looks strangely not-dated, as if taking place in its very own special point in the past, with only the occasional female character's hairstyle giving the 60's-ness away. The CGI, on the other hand, screams 2007, and thus instantly dates this version of an increasingly timeless show.

Saddest part of all? We watched some of Star Trek: The Next Generation and found that the 20+ year old effects actually hold up WAY better than the CGI remastered TOS episodes, if only because the effects are consistent within the aesthetic of the show.

... And to think, I started writing this post with the intent to do a major Triple/Quadruple Feature essay on the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine," compared to TNG's "Chain of Command, Pt. 1," (comparing Decker to Jellico and the sometimes-forgotten militaristic themes in ST), followed by a second essay which would compare "Chain of Command, Pt. 2" and the Babylon 5 episode, "Intersections in Real Time" (two of Sci-Fi's all-time great examinations at interrogation and torture).

That's what I meant to write, but yeah, didn't happen. How can I explain why in a way that's thematic appropriate to this post?





Ahhh yeah, that's the stuff.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Henchgirl and I give you a massive 11 lbs bundle of win now officially named Harold (Hal) Tiberius Hefner.





A couple people assumed we'd name our boy Harvey, but even I'm not that cruel and/or stupid. Even still, while we love the name we've chosen and think it's better than any other name we could come up with (it offers up a ton of options, including "Harry" and "Ty," and maybe he'll even be a "Hef" as well), it's a bit weird not to think of him as anything other than "Baybeh." And no wonder, considering that we call each other "Boy" and "Girl" and refer to my cat Giorgio as "kitty."

And yes, you read that right. Eleven fucking pounds. Some people haven't found this uncommon, but the hospital certainly did. Two hours after delivery, random doctors and nurses kept popping in to see the Giant Baby for themselves. On top of that, he's 24 inches long, making him too big for newborn clothes. Also, did I mention that Henchgirl didn't have a C-section? Because she didn't. Yeah, bow down before the most hardcore goddamn fangirl in the world.

There's a whole story to go along with the birth, and if I had the energy, I could seriously have whipped together a tense and frighting scenario of fears and complications which eventually resulted in the delivery room being flooded with about eight or nine scrambling doctors and nurses working against the clock. A couple different nurses on separate occasions later told us that the delivery was the event of the day, and that this baby was one for the record books.

The important thing is that we're all okay. Exhausted and cranky, but okay. Oh, and did I mention that I'm performing my multimedia-heavy solo comedy The Road to Nowhere at the Capital Fringe Festival THIS FRIDAY? And that's not even counting the tech rehearsal on Thursday! Tech rehearsal! With lines, and where I have to make sure that all the equipment works! HAHAHAHAHA.

But it'll be okay. If Henchgirl can bring this guy into the world, I can survive the next couple weeks. Well, months, counting Indy Fringe. By that point, I imagine that our family situation will start looking a little like this:





Fucking hell. I'm a "Paw."

I can do this. Now, time to make sure the sleep works, make some diaper, change the pediatrician's office, call up to make an appointment at the projection equipment, and make certain to catch a few hours of baby formula. Monkey banana raffle. 4 //. Itchy. Tasty.

...

Okay, maybe some of that stuff can wait for after a bit of sleep. I gotta take it when I can get it now, after all.
thehefner: (Default)
I think that one of the reasons I became a writer (as if it was an actual choice and not an ingrained compulsion) was due to a lifetime of feeling like I'm unable to communicate with people. Even now, I'm struggling to explain how I've struggled to explain for as long as I can recall. It's like having writer's block in your everyday life.

When you're a kid, you don't have the perspective to really convey how you're terrified by things which seem inconsequential to others. Adults can't read your mind, and others kids are little sociopaths who don't give a shit anyway, so you struggle and fumble and feel utterly impotent to get them to understand what you simply cannot put into words. In some ways, I feel like I haven't grown out of that.

I've gotten better, sure, but I had to go through alternate outlets. Being a withdrawn child who was extroverted only to those interested enough to offer their attention, I think that I pretty much gained the entirety of my socialization through movies, comics, and The Simpsons. I don't think I'm the only one to work this way. Geeks have a hidden language all our own, where we can hold whole conversations with other people's quotes.

Like many geeks, that still meant that I was still socially lopsided with everyone else in the world. That part still hasn't changed. Put me in a room with non-geeks, and I'll still gravitate towards some corner or find a way to vanish entirely, even if it's within myself. I've always identified with the song "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago, and there are often times when I feel like that's not such a bad thing.

Maybe it just happened out of necessity, but I came to enjoy my solitude. I mean, as long as I had the internet, where I can lurk and hide and then choose to make myself visible on my own terms. But that's been getting harder and harder of late. The geek landscape is changing into something that's as socially alien and unwelcoming to me as any neighborhood block party or distant-family reunion. For months now, I've been trying to explain the sense of loss and detachment I feel from comics and geek communities, how I increasingly don't recognize those who should be my kind, how my safe space has been renovated and redecorated when I wasn't looking, and co-opted by people who are only superficially my peers. Maybe it's always been like this. Maybe I've only noticed it now that I have the courage to reach out and try to mingle, rather than keeping to my own corner of geekdom.

...Damn, that's what I've been doing, isn't it? Keeping to my corner again. Dash it all, I liked my corner! It was safe, it was fun, it was a place to put all my issues (ha-ha, pun)! But I can't go back. I've gotten too big for it.

So I tried to go out and make a new corner, but this one would be in real life (well, theatre life, so only halfway real), and might actually make me money. Fringe Festivals have been amazing experiences which have forced me to interact with people, to summon up the courage to face a machine-gun blast of rejection whenever I hand out fliers for my solo comedy to a group of people lined up for an experimental dance show, with the hope that maybe one person might be interested and then I could afford dinner. It's been great, and I'm dedicated to doing it as long as I can.

But I still haven't quite learned how to turn off the invisibility switch. Four years in, and I'm still struggling to get audiences. It's not because my shows are bad, as I've gotten way more positive than negative reviews. Every festival seems to have another handful of audience members who love my shows and do everything in their power to talk me up to others. So yes, I'm very well-liked... when people actually see me. The problem is getting the interest in the first place. Four years, and I'm still flying under the radar. Lately, I'm just feeling weighed down by the utter lack of interest in anything I have to offer, and I don't know how to market myself better. I've learned so much, and yet it seems like Mr. Cellophane is too ingrained.

But I still perform. I have to. Garrison Keillor said it best: "If you're lucky enough to stay in it for a while, you realize that [storytelling is] a performance art in which the purpose is to gain intimacy with people whom you will never, ever know. To become intimate with strangers." To me, those words felt like an uppercut of truth. Thing is, Keillor meant it for older people like himself, saying that intimacy was "easier" for young bucks like me. God, I hope not. Don't tell me that this gets harder.

And it is hard, harder than I can get anybody to fully understand. Like, I so need to communicate what I've been going through over the past year, to cleanse myself of all these events with words, preferably funny words. But to do so, I'd need a book's worth of words to describe the whole picture. I've been trying for months now to explain how tired I've been, and the exact WAYS I've been tired. Trying and failing. It's not just the pregnancy thing, and even that alone hasn't been your typical experience for impending parenthood. There's the traveling, the RV situation, the moving, the writing, the not-writing, the death of a pet, all these things which most people have some experience, but not ours. Not mine. And if I can't get them to understand, I feel like I have no one to blame but myself.

... Oh, duh. God, I'm so stupid. Of course this is yet another thing that goes back to being the child of an alcoholic and mentally ill parent, isn't it? The inability to get people to understand something in which they have no basis of comparison. The desperate, burning need to communicate with a language that no one speaks. Not unless you've been in the area.

So thank god for Henchgirl. She gets it. She gets it better than I ever thought anyone else could get it. And I mean, all of it, everything from the parental stuff to the geek passion and all the invisible, intangible things that fly under my own radar, but are still there, still present, still represented. She gets it. Regular geeks speak the same language, but Henchgirl and I speak the same dialect.

We're the sole survivors of the same neighborhood in the same city in the same country of the same planet. And over two years, we've experienced the same way, suffered the same way, laughed the same way, complained the same way, been bored the same way, freaked out the same way, gone delightfully BONKERS the same way, and loved the same way. We've carved out our own little corner, but now--against all odds and reason--we're trying/having to make room for a third.

Don't get me wrong, it's fucking scary to bring someone else into our corner just when it seemed like we get everything just the way we wanted it. It's terrifying, and sometimes don't even seem fair. But even corners aren't meant to be static. Even if you try to keep everything as it was, you just end up like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Your corners change with you and they change around you. And you can have more than one corner, like I have at least one for comics thanks to [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, and like I shall continue to cultivate at Fringe Festivals for as long as possible. And eventually, you find someone else to share your corner, someone who likes the decor and digs the atmosphere enough to stick around. Then, if you're really lucky (at least I think it's luck), you can create your own corner together.

So that's what we'll do. That's what we're doing. That's the only way I can really describe it without photos, pie charts, PowerPoint, a few hundred thousand words, and probably Smell-O-Vision. So we'll continue to develop our corner and try keeping up with how it develops around us. And in the meantime, I'll keep trying to learn the language of strangers.
thehefner: (Default)
Life these days is a series of situations that are all relatively easy to deal with on their own, or even two at a time, all coming at us at once. I'd post about them more, but I can't help but feel like it'd be a whole lotta complaining about stuff that we're already on top of combined with the stuff that's out of our control. So I'm going to cut this post with images of owls with stupid expressions on their faces, just to make it all go down easier.





For my part, I'm tired. More tired than I've ever been, more tired than I was trying to pick up the pieces after Dad's death. And that tiredness has made dealing with my everyday neuroses just that much harder. And I was never that good at handling them in the first place! But after yet disappointing another Fringe Festival (and like all the disappointing Festivals over the past year, there have been entirely logical reasons WHY they were disappointing, but that doesn't help my emotional state), AND the moving situation, I'm wiped out and not really looking forward to doing CapFringe and IndyFringe this year. I've never been one for regrets, but I do so wish that I could go back a year and plan this all out better.





As for that moving situation, we're currently living at the beach while the Cabin John house... my home... is on the market. It's been repainted and rearranged to the point that it's effectively no longer my home anymore. It looks depressingly like... like a NORMAL person's house! Ew! But we can't stay there, since it's on the market, thus we're in Delaware. This means that we'll have to drive a couple hours to the hospital once she goes into labor, which should be within, what, a week? Two weeks? More? Any day now? We're just waiting, and we have to wait here, because our actual home has to be clean and free of people. Hard for prospective buyers to impose their vision onto a property with a fanboy and a pregnant Henchgirl squatting in the living room.





We're staying at the new house Mom bought in Delaware, which will be our main base of operations once renovations are completed by early next year. We're by Broadkill Beach, near Slaughter Beach. I fucking love that. In reality, it's not so much the site of a boobtacular slasher film as much as the nation's site for Horseshoe Crab Orgies. So, almost as good, right? That almost makes up for the fact that we're going to be living in Delaware.





In truth, living at the regular house in Rehoboth Beach is great, as we adore that place. But unless you all come to see my show at CapFringe in a couple weeks, and bring your friends and family and pets in people costumes so that they can be charged as adults, that beach house will be my sole source of income. Did you know that we're still renting it out? Because we totally are still renting out the house in Rehoboth Beach!





I guess what it all comes down to is the fact that we have a lot to do, all of which costs a LOT of money and causes a lot of stress, onlt some of which might possibly make us some money in the process. What I'm saying is, if you want a piece of Hefner, you have options!

Want to own the house where Hefner lived? Well, you can! Want to just rent a house where Hefner lives? You can do that too! Want to rent Hefner himself for an evening (I mean, as a performer? I mean, as a non-sexual performer? I mean, to talk about himself for an hour with jokes and slides?) Here's your big chance! And if you still want a piece of Hefner's creativity but aren't able to travel, well, I'm finally starting to post the Harvey Dent novel, chapter by chapter. For those who've read it already, I've changed a lot and I'll be changing even more after the acid hits. It's gonna be a whole different story by that point, and with Henchgirl as my editor, I'm going to finally finish this for good.






That's about it for now. Back to life. Mine, hers, and the brand-new little one that's about to arrive. Any day/week/minute now.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
I made it home after a long drive following a very disappointing Fringe experience, my body feels like a twisted series of Gordian knots after the seventeen-hour-drive, and it's all capped off by learning that DC Comics is on the verge of an incredibly stupid move (one which, if it fails, will completely screw DC Comics), one which has kicked off several essays in response ranging from tones of contemplation and exasperation.

But right now, none of that matters. Because I'm back with Henchgirl.

To quote a great physician, "Life was bad. But now it's good forever!"
thehefner: (Simpsons: Old Gray Mare)
I'm in Orlando for the Fringe, and I am alone. Sans Henchgirl. And it shall be this way until the end of the month. For those who remember the Hamilton Fringe debacle where Henchgirl and I were separated by our own billet, it's like that, but now the billet is GOD. But there's no way she could be here, as was confirmed to me yesterday as I spent three hours in the Orlando sun.

Last night, I won a Feldman Award for best solo show! I should mention that the Feldman Awards are handed out at random, before the festival even started. So between that and my coveted Patron's Pick award from 2009 (which I won by default of being the ONLY show in my venue, and therefore was the best-selling), I'm now the king of meaningless awards at Orlando Fringe! I wonder if I can use either of them in press materials without feeling like a fraud. I don't feel like I'm beloved by the people here enough to pull off something quite that shameless.

Opening night is tomorrow, and I'm terrified. The tech rehearsal went a little TOO well. It's a trick, get an axe. For now, I'm just going to market like a motherfucker, handing out fliers and testing to see how much stronger my tolerance for rejection has gotten over the years. Of course, if the world does up and end this Saturday, I either won't have to worry about getting audiences, or it'll just be me with the heathens. Which, of course, is pretty much everybody at the Orlando Fringe Festival. We can start our own self-sufficient community, performing experimental theatre for food! Really, how is that any different from what I'm making now?
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
I've known about it for months, and yet it's only now sinking in: I'm moving. I'm actually leaving the DC area.

Maybe it's because I only started telling people about it a few days ago. It was the same when Henchgirl got pregnant. It was one thing to know about it, to be aware, to plan for the future. It was something else entirely to tell others, to deal with their reactions, to hear their questions and often fumble with your response, whereupon you truly realize just how much you don't actually KNOW.

So yeah, we're moving. Me, Henchgirl, baby, Mom, the Captain (who will be down here at SOME point, dang it), all going off to live around Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Mom's already bought a new house, in addition to the beach house which we have for renting out. She'll be selling our current house soon, and I imagine we should fetch a decent price for it, even in this economy. For a myriad of reasons (many of which are beyond my understanding), this HAS to happen, and it HAS to happen now. I understand that. Fact is, when Mom had the house built--her dream house, which she has planned and designed for many, many years before it became a reality--we knew we'd have to sell it. It was simply too costly to maintain. We were damn lucky to get eight years there. Damn lucky.

To quote [livejournal.com profile] box_in_the_box: "And yet... and yet..."

More and more, I realize that I don't want it to happen at all. It's probably just fear of change. Of the few friends I actually have in the area, I barely see anymore. Most others have scattered to the winds, gotten their own lives, or are internet/Fringe friends who already live far away. What will I miss about the DC area? Not much. Mainly regular visits to California Tortilla and Big Planet Comics. Clearly, I don't exactly embrace all that the DC area has to offer.

But I've lived here all my life. No matter how much I've traveled, no matter how much I've preferred hiding away at the Rehoboth Beach house, I've always called the nebulous area of Bethesda/Potomac/Cabin John my home. But there's no good reason for me to stay. Another reason to leave would be to fully separate myself from the ghosts of my past, mainly concerning Dad.

But when I think about the fact that I won't be driving past Glen Echo Park on a daily basis anymore, somehow that doesn't seem like comfort enough.

It has to happen. I am an impoverished actor with a child on the way, going where the whole boarding house family unit must go. Rehoboth Beach is a good area, with pretty much everything we need in the area. Everything except a comic shop. Hopefully that's not a bad omen or anything.

In the meantime, what can I do? Start selling stuff on eBay, clean and pack stuff, and most of all, prepare for the baby. Oh, and three more Fringe festivals (Orlando, DC, and Indy). A lot of changes are coming my way, all at the same time. Sometimes, I think it's the frivolous fan stuff I do at [livejournal.com profile] about_faces which keeps me healthy, and gives me mental breathers between thinking about the big stuff.

If I sound morose, it's only because I'm exhausted from having spent the day doing Two-Face posts and editing pages on ComicVine.com, trying to establish cred as a geek authority there. I promise, I'm actually in way better spirits than this! I just needed to let that all out a bit. Carry on, we now resume your regularly scheduled geekery, already in progress. :)
thehefner: (Propoganda: Drive with HITLER)
As promised, Henchgirl has finally finished the story about our epic Winnebago fiasco of the past ten days. Read, laugh, cringe, laugh some more, facepalm, do a bit more laughing, and finally, pray for our safe return home.
thehefner: (Simpsons: Old Gray Mare)
Henchgirl is currently composing a post detailing every step of the fiasco that is our current road trip. It's going to be epic. It'll take you an hour or so to read, but trust me, it'll be worth it.

I never mentioned that we got a Winnebago, a Minnie Winnie to be exact. Before we left DC for Fresno two weeks ago, I'd planned to give the RV a grand introduction right here on LJ, along with a full description of how she's the ideal long-term investment for traveling performers like us. Just think of all the money we'd save on motels and restaurants, and what a perfect way to transport a child and someone else to help with baby and/or show needs! The RV was Mom's idea, as she wants to use it as well, but Henchgirl and I were both totally behind this investment. Everything about it seemed perfect.

Do I really need to cue the maniacal laughter at this point? Insane, desperate cackling was implied by that lead-in, right? Either way, just wait until she's finished the post. We might actually have a new show in the works from this trip alone, but so far, it's not so much a story as much as a series of unfortunate events... and punishing windstorms... and sideways snowstorms... and wanton property damage... and carbon monoxide. Yes, that too. And we're not even halfway through this trip.

To think, I've almost forgotten that my first performance of The Road to Nowhere is tonight! Be sure to check out www.johnhefner.com for local CBS news coverage of the festival, featuring a special cameo appearance of my blue bowler derby. Also, Henchgirl's posted screenshots of my latest interview with Chuck Leonard. I love how she's totally on top of things even now.

I should be rehearsing. Instead, I'm just going to focus on breathing. I never knew that could be a luxury until this trip.

YAY ADVENTURRRRRRRE.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
We didn't really have plans for HOW we were gonna announce this, not even when we decided to do it via the mall's photo booth. Probably not the best of ideas, but hey, at least the most important one came out mostly kinda okay:





Hopefully that gets the idea across. :) And before you ask, no date's been set yet.

I'd show you pictures of the actual ring, but I fear it looks kinda terrible on its own. On her, it looks perfect. Somehow, it fits perfectly, in more ways than one. On its own, it's... very QVC. But it was the only one I could find that actually said something from the heart, and while the ring is not that great, it's definitely ours.
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
This concerns all you DC/MD/VA/otherwise-local-ish friends who have any interest in seeing me perform.

SO... I've been accepted into the Capital Fringe Festival. Hooray! Except... ticket prices are now $17.00. I've never seen a festival charge that much. $17.00 per ticket? For a Fringe show? And yet, bear in mind, this would be my only chance to perform here, short of finding another space to rent out, or trying to get a professional theatre to take on my show.

So what do you guys think? Would you be willing to pay $17.00 for a ticket? Because frankly, I wouldn't, and neither would Henchgirl.

Considering the costs of performing ($575 venue fee, plus $200 insurance fee!), I don't know if I'd even make that back, depending on where they'd stick me. First year, I made a great profit, followed by barely breaking even the next year, and it all had to do with location. And with a baby on the way right before the festival--or possibly during, as I understand that first kids are notoriously late--that's time and money which might be better spent.

Really, what are the benefits of performing The Road to Nowhere at CapFringe? There are three, from where I sit:


1.) The possibility that maybe someone from, say, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will see the show and want give us a few performances, something I'm not sure will happen since my show is more geeky and romantic rather than political and social and thus not of interest to DC audiences

2.) Performing for friends, especially those who haven't yet seen me perform. You guys comprised about 80% of my audiences for How Hefnerian, after all.

3.) Getting more reviews.


Writing this all out, it kinda feels like I've already made my decision. But I want to know what you guys think. Neither Henchgirl nor I can objectively consider this now, as we're both CRAZY STRESSED over our impending trip to Fresno, among several other HUGE factors in our lives. I think I have a couple more days to accept or decline CapFringe, so let me know.

Alternate possibility: host a performance of the show (at my house or someone else's) and take donations? If I'm just doing it for friends, perhaps that'd be the better way all around.
thehefner: (Curse you Richards Kitty!)
A few weeks back, Henchgirl and I went to Zelienople to visit [livejournal.com profile] captaintwinings, thereby reuniting the entire team from the Durian Smoothie fiasco. Henchgirl also wanted to spend some quality time with her estranged kitty, a corpulent and none-too-bright tabby named Harvey (Bullock, not Dent). Unfortunately, Harvey stank of kitty litter, which was bad for preggers Henchgirl. So, naturally, there was only one thing to be done.





If you're short of time/patience/JOY, then cue the video to 4:45.

And if you crave precious, precious closure, here's a quick epilogue to the fiasco:


thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
I woke up much earlier than usual. Which isn't saying much, considering that our sleep schedules are so screwy these days that we often miss daylight entirely. And yet, I still hadn't expected waking up at around 8am, like normal people do. More than that, I hadn't expected to wake up alone.

Clearly, something was afoot. And that something... was pie.





She woke up at 5am, went to the store, and proceeded to spend five hours making an apple pie from scratch. And she'd never made apple pie before. The bar she was shooting for was sizzling orgasm pie like the kind found at this one particular diner in Claremore, OK, and I dare say she made it.

It helps that she literally used a pound of butter. A pound. Of butter. In PIE. And it was AMAZING.

I don't care if I have a coronary before my kid turns two, BEST HENCHGIRL EVER.

I decided to return the favor by making Thai green curry chicken for dinner. But the less said about that, the better.
thehefner: (Default)
On Tuesday night, [livejournal.com profile] fiveseconddelay and [livejournal.com profile] tommx were awesome enough to treat me to a Boys Night Out* which, somehow, had the unspoken feeling for all involved of being a "last hurrah."

Thing is, I only have a few days left of having no life before... well, before life gets to have me, following by me quite literally getting a life.

Soon, we'll have to prepare for the journey to and from the Rogue Festival in Fresno, CA, to perform The Road to Nowhere, which we'll also be taking to Orlando Fringe in May. Along with the baby's due date as June 30th, and there's talk about us moving to Delaware permanently. There's going to be so much more preparation, and there's going to be so many things for which I simply don't know how to be prepared at all. My days feel distinctly numbered.

But it's not a bad thing. Speaking purely for myself, I'm ready for my life to change. At least, as ready as I can be. I just don't know what to expect. From ANY of it. I just feel adrift, knowing that land is finally in sight and ready to set foot there, but uncertain of what I'm going to find waiting for me.

Five years ago, I'd have been scared shitless. Now, I'm just waiting to see what comes next. No matter what, I think it's going to be great. I'm certain that the best years are still ahead. I just don't know, and it's the uncertainty that I'm feeling most right now.

Soon, I'm going to do two posts. The first will be to announce I'm accepting 2011 reservations for rentals of my beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As I'm doing less Fringes than usual this year, my income will be largely reliant on rentals, so I have to get the word out.

The second will be a list of baby-related stuff we'll be needing, if any of you family folks have extra stuff left over that you're willing to pass on. Henchgirl and I are compiling a list of what we have, what we'll need, and what we can get ourselves. Economy, naturally, is key here.

Will post other stuff too, hopefully featuring the glorious return of my sense of humor. :)





*I can't believe I'd never heard of Sidebar in Silver Spring, but dear lord, it's my new favorite bar ever. Although I probably won't feel the same way when 1.) I'm paying, 2.) I'm driving, and 3.) it's crowded like it's supposed to always be. So seriously, thank you again, [livejournal.com profile] tommx and [livejournal.com profile] fiveseconddelay, for a great time out and letting me get spectacularly drunk on amazing gourmet cocktails I may never get a chance to drink again.

Except for the bacon whiskey maple drink. I don't care if it's ten bucks, I AM getting that again.
thehefner: (Rorschach and Deadpooooool)
Did I mention we went to Disney World? Because we totally went to Disney World. Also Epcot, which I'm still amazed to discover that I loved. If I ever get a few hundred bucks to blow, I'm going to eat from every single country, get blitzed out of my brain, and buy tea from all around the world. I bet I can do it while still being less obnoxious than most of the Americans who go there. God, I can only imagine the stories Epcot workers must have about dealing with idiotic Americans.

Disney World was wonderful too, especially Mickey's PhilharMagic (a model for what all 3D cinema should be, which also singlehandedly reminded me why I love Donald Duck) and the Haunted Mansion. Dear god, did I love the Haunted Mansion. It was like an EC Comic brought to life. We were seated in such a way that the cheap BOO! scares came too early to affect us, so we were just taking in the glorious creepiness of it all.

Henchgirl demanded that we ride It's a Small World. Twice. In all honestly, the second time was much better, partially because we were virtually alone that time (the line was SO HUGE before. Is the ride still that popular, or is it riding on pure infamy at this point?), and Henchgirl converted me to appreciation of the sheer technical expertise of the ride. View it as a technical marvel and a living storybook from the 50's, and--dare I say it--It's a Small World is rather cool.




"Always agree."


Really, the Disney experience was only marred by a thunderstorm and... and whatever the hell it was they did to the Tiki Room. Dear god, what the hell did they do to the Tiki Room? I may never be able to love Gilbert Gottfried again. Ever. Do you know how much that tears me up inside?

The only thing I enjoyed about the updated Tiki Room was the introduction by two parrots voiced by Don Rickles and Phil Hartman, whom I seriously thought was Billy West doing his Zap Brannigan voice until I looked it up on Wikipedia. Here I thought West's voice was just a pale imitation of Hartman's. That's awesome, even it's a sad reminder of Hartman.



~~~~HEY, COMPLETELY RANDOM TANGENT TIME BECAUSE I HAVE COFFEE IN ME WHEEEEEEE~~~

Best interview I've read recently: the AV Club feature where Jon Lovitz discusses random roles he's played over the years. That might not sound like the most interesting thing in the world, but it was surprisingly entertaining, revealing, and thoughtful. I've always loved Lovitz as a performer, but now I think I love him as a person.

Highlights include revelations that The Critic was inexplicably canceled at the height of its popularity, the fact that Dan Aykroyd is basically the nicest guy ever, the main creative reason why SNL was sucked for the past fifteen-plus years (story structure? What the hell's that?), and--most poignantly--what he has to say about filling in Hartman's shoes in Newsradio. I've never read any other interview where the interviewee said more by saying so little.

Still, I'm sad that we couldn't hear his first-hand recounting of the time he beat the shit out of Andy Dick. He's the better man for not talking about it, but let's face it, that's a story worth hearing.



Oh, and while I posted this to [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, I figured there were several folks here who might appreciate this:





This is definitely one of those jokes for a select audience. Personally, as a Mac owner and a Two-Face obsessive, I'm very disappointed in myself that I hadn't thought of that sooner every time I looked down at the dock. Maybe that's just an encouraging indication that I'm not as much of a dork as I feared. Yeah, let's go with that.
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
Henchgirl and I saw this at the Safeway:





Okay, look, I understand the "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" stuff, I do. But "Team Bella"? She's not a team! She's the ball!

Eh, it's not worth worrying about. Not tonight, on this holiday's eve, which has somehow also become a holiday in its own right. It only today occurred to me how weird that was, as I realized that all the banks were closed. It's like how the college students in The Rules of Attraction throw a "Pre-Saturday-Night-Party Party."

Still, Henchgirl and I are getting into the spirit in our own way:





Now, in my defense... while the idea had certainly occurred to me while we were shopping for fake trees in the Target, it was my Henchgirl who suggested we actually do this.

Have I mentioned how supremely lucky I am to have found her? She actively encourages me to be as flagrantly geeky as I'd never allow myself to be in public. The decorations were her idea too. I love how the silver works on both sides. Really, all that's missing is a giant coin tree-topper.

Have a good one, folks. No matter what you do, no matter what you celebrate, stay safe and stay sane.




Well, at least until I pull together the Hugo Strange New Year's Eve post for [livejournal.com profile] about_faces. Funny how the next post in my series actually ties into the holiday. Go me, accidentally!
thehefner: (Green Lantern: Orange "Mine!")
Green Lantern: The Larfleeze Christmas Special was even more delightful than I could have expected.

I was so worried that Geoff Johns was going to beat the character into the ground, a fear reinforced by the fact even Larfleeze now apparently has to have aaaaaaaangst. But this issue was marvelous, a pure joy all around. I was already delighted when the issue opened with Larfleeze waking up on Christmas morning, appalled to discover that there were no presents left for him, that the soot in the chimney was undisturbed, and worst of all...

"The Christmas barter!" Larfleeze sneered. "The cookies we left out for the red-suited giant! The cookies are still here."

Which immediately gives way to...





So of course Henchgirl had to:





We were skeptical throughout. Henchgirl is a cookie goddess, and she wasn't sure how the hell they would turn out. We actually tasted the cookies without the icing, and they were okay, but definitely missing something. Then we applied the frosting, and it was like a Mandarin Orgasm.

These are seriously some of the best cookies I've ever had, right up there with Henchgirl's White Chocolate Macadamia Nuts Cookies of Death.

To hell with Darkseid. DIE FOR COOKIES. COOKIES IS ARE BE.

Psst: guess which part *I* helped with?





If you guessed "the incredibly failtacular attempt at home-made orange icing gel which resulted in a blobish mockery of the Orange Lantern symbol," then you're correct! ME AR HELPFL CHEF.

Poor thing. I simply have no choice but to put it out of its delicious, delicious misery while I try to help Larlfeeze out. I know he'd certainly want my assistance. And my wallet. And my house.





Seriously, Henchgirl is the best girl ever. I love her as much as Larfleeze loves stuff. It's no coincidence that Henchgirl and I frequently grip onto each other with a feverish, intense, "MINE." I know Larfleeze would be proud, even while he'd be using my credit card to buy eBay. All of eBay.
thehefner: (In the Mouth of Madness: Blue)
I spent two hours last night composing a list of the three things that happened over the past week which left me feeling very, very depressed as a comics fan. The post, long-ass as it is, remains unfinished. Maybe I'll get back to it if the bad mood hits again. And it might, depending on if anything happens next in regards to the whole debacle with a famous Spider-Man writer clashing with Henchgirl on her LJ.

For today, I was distracted by all that. First, by seeing Tron: Legacy (full review forthcoming, maybe. I'll say this much: for better or worse, that was definitely a faithful Tron sequel), and then by having a fight with Henchgirl, during which I ended up making her cry. In the Safeway. In the frozen foods section.

As punishment, she forced me to watch Frank Miller's The Spirit. I had it coming.

In the meantime, while I formulate my Tron: Legacy thoughts to post here or at [livejournal.com profile] box_in_the_box's review (where is it?! WHERE?!), I'd like those of you who've seen it to rewatch the awesome teaser trailer that premiered in July 2009:





Notice any major differences in that trailer vs the final film? Notice Flynn's location in the scene and the design of the programs' suits and faces in particular. I'm curious as to what happened between the making of that trailer and the making of the film. Bear in mind, if you've seen the action figures, they're more closely modeled on the characters here than in the film.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
How do I even begin summing up this situation? It's hard to say where it started, because as with all stories in real life, every beginning is just a collision of other stories already in progress.

The recent fandom kerfuffle with Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott telling a fan to "Go fuck yourself" (and controversial fandom figure [livejournal.com profile] box_in_the_box being one of the very fucking few people NOT praising Slott for doing so) has taken a weird turn today, with Slott himself picking a fight on Henchgirl's LJ. This, of course, resulted in an explosion with "Box and Friends" joining in, and Slott only digging himself in deeper.

Thing is, she was ALREADY feeling stressed from the fact that two of her posts (Boom! Yummy) have started getting widespread internet attention, and she's concerned about any fallout that may result from those who disagree with verbal pitchforks. On top of that all, she's still pregnant. So yeah, she's a bit exhausted.

Over in Box's own LJ entry about the situation, I left a comment which received replies from Henchgirl (in the other room on her own laptop), Box (our good friend who sees himself as the Flynn to our Yori and Tron), and [livejournal.com profile] punishermax, a guy who has turned comics criticism into high satire sketch comedy. What follows is a dialogue version of our comments:


***


ME: I'm just standing by ready to supply tea and hot chocolate as needed. That's the extent of my involvement here.

HENCHGIRL: You are a wide man, John Hefner. (Pause) O.O! Wise! WISE! I MEANT WISE!

BOX: No, you meant "wide" as in "the girth of his manhood," RIGHT? See, you COULD have talked your way out of this and flattered him in the process, but noooooo ... :)

HENCHGIRL: I don't think even THAT would have flown. The Boy is increasingly sensitive about his looming fate to Shackroyd (Shatner/Ackroyd) out.

BOX: Boo hoo. I went from looking like Mike Myers on SNL to looking like Jack Black. He'll survive. :)

HENCHGIRL: ...don't tell this to the girl who had a raging crush on Mike Myers for two years as a teenager.

ME: That's it. When we get back, I'm doing Wii Fit every day. Stupid sympathetic pregnancy weight gain.

HENCHGIRL: Sweetie, you're not fat. ... Now, blowjob or Monopoly?

ME: ... First the latter, then the former as consolation after you kick my ass and humiliate me as usual.

BOX: The correct answer is always "blowjob." :)

HENCHGIRL: Wrong! [The Boy's] answer is always the correct answer. Because I'm so much more enthusiastically apologetic after crushing someone's spirits thoroughly.

PUNISHERMAX: I feel like I just watched a sitcom.

~Eighties soft rock guitar riff as we oom in on a home~

"Honey I meant WISE! Not wide!"

"Sure! And when you said you had a headache, you really meant my ASS made you ache!"

~laugh track~

"Honey, how about some monopoly! Then we can see if I can go on down...to Baltic Avenue..."

~Audience woooooooooos~

~door suddnly bursts open and box comes in~

~crowd explodes in applause~

"Did someone mention something involving sex?"

"Box, you live 20 miles away! How did you even know!?"

"Well you know me...when it comes to sex...~he turns and winks at the camera~ this box...knows about boxes!"

~crowd explodes in applause and cheers~

Show me that smile again
Oh, show me that smile
Don't waste another minute on your cryin'
We're nowhere near the end
We're nowhere near
The best is ready to begin
All in a cloudy daze
I look into your eyes and see them shining out
Holding you close this way
Holding you this way
Is like having summer everyday
Ooh, ooh
As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin' right in our hands
Baby, you and me
We gotta be



***


Henchgirl hasn't seen that part yet, as she's still in the middle of a well-deserved nap. But I dare say she'll agree that punishermax isn't too far off. Only I feel like [livejournal.com profile] surrealname might be Box's main competition for being the Larry Dallas of our lives.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. But I'm here, and it's still going. If only we had a camera crew.

untitled.

Nov. 30th, 2010 04:54 pm
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Scene: on the bed at 3am, as Henchgirl--dressed in sexy lingerie--attempts to wrest her boyfriend's attention from the Nicktoons channel

HENCHGIRL: A-hem.

ME: Mm?

HENCHGIRL: A-hemmmmm.

ME: Y'know... there's something I've been wondering for years now.

HENCHGIRL: Mmmmyyesss?

ME: How the hell does Catdog poo?

HENCHGIRL: (pause, violent lurch)

ME: Does poo? Do poo? Is it singular poo or plural poo?

HENCHGIRL: Not... not the sort of question you should be asking your nauseous girlfriend. I literally almost threw up in your lap right now.

ME: I think it's "do."

HENCHGIRL: ... How you managed to get me pregnant, I'll never know.

Fin.

September 2012

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