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ODDS AND ENDS

A'ight, a few things to discuss this week...

First; I will be at Wizard World, Chicago, next week so get your sorry asses out there and buy lots of my shit. I will be located in Artists Alley at table 3116 and I will look effing handsome as hell! I will charm the shit out of you and may even espouse some words of pearly wisdom if you're lucky. I will then proceed to allow you to tell me just how fantastic I am and, perhaps, even allow you to purchase me several pints of lager after the show closes. And if you are a smokin' hot babe I have had an aching back these past few months and might even give you permission to massage my massive musculature.

So that's for next week. Wizard World, Chicago. June 26-29th.

After WizWorld I'll be at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 24-27th...(see above for allowances and such).

This fall I'll be attending the Baltimore Comic-Con (Sept 27-28)run by the incomparable, Marc Nathan, who has invited me to have an "exclusive" release of a 3 GEEKS comic book! That's right, folks, an exclusive edition of all-new material that will only be available at that show!!! This is a pretty cool deal for me. So if you can make that show be there, man. (again, fans, see above for allowances and such).

Then it's the Minnesota Fallcon (Oct 4-5)! The boys at Fallcon simply run the funnest show on earth. Food, drinks, poker and oh yeah, there's a comic book convention, too. (At this show I do the massaging!)

Okay, so that covers my upcoming convention schedule. Onto other odds and ends because that is the title of this blog after all.

Some movies to see or not see...

KUNG FU PANDA. See it! Great fun, great story and fantastic animation.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD. See it! Daniel Day Lewis is an acting god! This movie has the type of pacing I absolutely LOVE. A slow-burn with a phenomenal ending.

INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL or whatever the hell it was called. Save your money!!! It started out...okay, and quickly deteriorated beyond ridiculous. Not only do they let any "cat out of the bag" right away so there's no big surprise with the whole alien thing (I'm not ruining anything here, trust me) but the whole chase scene in the jungle made me want to walk out. Swinging through trees like Tarzan, sword fights on two moving cars, driving a car over a cliff onto a tree that slowly bends them down into the river and allows them to then drive off of it gently and then snaps violently up and smacks the bad guys scaling down said cliff?!!!!...it was insulting. We all knew that Lucas lost his mind ten years ago after STAR WARS Chpt 1 but it now seems that his bud, Spielberg has also lost touch with his audience as well. After walking out of the theatre I wanted to be kind and give it a C- but looking back it's really no better than a D.

Softball. Well, the injury bug has taken its toll on me this year. My heel spurs kill me and now it's affecting my lower back. Surgery looms this summer (after softball's over. I have so little joy I need to play!). BUT! I did manage to go 3/4 Tuesday night and 4/5 Wednesday to break out of a pretty depressing inconsistent past few games. We won both games and I know that all of you reading this are getting hard nipples right now imagining me running, tight buttocks rounding the bases, crossing home plate with my pectorals rippling through the taut fabric of my jersey!

Okay, that's enough.

word.

r

THOR, ARE YOU ANGRY WITH ME?!!!

For my non-comic book reader readers of this blog let me explain the title of this installment before preceding with my usual clever witticisms. THOR is the Norse God of thunder and lightning and therefore RAIN also. Thor has the ability to control the rain. I like Thor as a comic book character quite a bit. He's always been one of my favorites in fact. I dressed up as him for Halloween one year and also wore the costume the one-and-only time I ever dressed up for a comic convention (it was during Halloween so don't think me too geeky)! So, I think I've paid proper homage to Thor.

So, then, why the Hell has he decided to deluge my house with so much friggin' rain?

Here's the scoop...as the whole world knos by now we in the midwest have been absolutely hammered (Thor's hammer?) these past couple weeks by flash flood thunderstorms and tornadoes. It's been all over the news. What you may not know is that the Tuesday of last week my roofers began re-roofing my house. They just finished today BTW but not without some minor...shall we say...difficulties and delays.

They were only able to work sporadically that first week doing some prep work--getting things ready and fixing some of the overhang, gutters, trim, etc. before going full-steam ahead on the tear off and re-shingling. They couldn't go full-steam ahead the first few days because we were getting rain here-and-there. Nothing too major but steady. Then, on Saturday of last week they finally started the real work of tearing the old shingles of the north side of the house. They got about 4-5 hours of heavy duty work in when the skies to the west turned very dark indeed. The news started reporting frightening accounts of rain damage to our fellow Wisconsinites to the west and warned everyone here to get to shelter and fast...the storm was heading our way and fast!

So I go out and tell the roofers to batten down the hatches and get the hell out of Dodge. They said "Thank you, okay" and I headed to the basement with Sandy and Stella. 25 minutes later it hit! Our tenant even joined us in the basement with a plate of pizza and we all road out the storm together. She mentioned seeing the roofers on the back stoop of the house and I scrambled up and asked them to come inside. They politely declined. What could I do?

So, the storm finally blows over and I notice some water seeping into the basement. Not a lot though really. Nothing overly serious. But I start cleaning it up as the girls head upstairs. 2 minutes later Stella comes running back down screaming for me to get upstairs...there's something wrong in my room! So I run up to our bedroom on the second level (we own a 3 story duplex) and Sandy's in there freaking. We've got water running--RUSHING--down the walls of our bedroom! The floor is getting saturated and the window well filling up. We start blowing fans on the walls and throw towels along the baseboards trying in vain to soak up as much water as we can.

Then our tenant calls and reports the same thing happening in her room directly below us! Then the ceiling starts to drip from a few little spots! So now we're running around putting buckets down and running a fan and more towels downstairs for our tenant! Then Sandy goes up to our 3rd floor where my comic book room is and, mercifully, there's no water there but our studio where we work has water coming down the walls as well! F**K!!!!! This quickly becomes worse as the rain continues to batter the house...No, it never stopped, folks, the warnings of tornadoes were canceled but the flash flood warnings are still in effect. I run outside to see if the roofers are still here and if the tarped the roof like they were supposed to!

No and no.

OH. MY. GOD. We are in deep shit.

I run back inside and call the owner of the contracting company we hired and tell him what's going on. He freaks. He can't believe they didn't tarp the exposed roof! It's too late now to do anything and he says we have to "ride it out" and hope the rain stops soon.

It doesn't.

It pours for the next 4-5 hours and the water continues to invade our home. It's now coming in from several spots in our ceiling and still running down the walls. By 10pm the ceiling in our bedroom is starting to bow and the water is no longer dripping from it but actually running like a faucet from several spots. The buckets continue to fill up and we have about 14 of them on the floor (thank goodness we saved all the empty litter buckets!).

We slept little that night and it rained throughout.

The next day we assess the damage. The ceilings in our bedroom and studio are seriously damaged. By noon on Sunday the one in our bedroom collapses from the weight of all that water it's soaked up.

We find that the carpet up in the studio is soaked as well and several boxes of my comics are waterlogged. The walls in our bedroom and the tenants bedroom are visibly bulging out and will obviously need replacing and thoughts of mold begin to scare the living bejeezus out of us.

Calls begin to the contractor and his insurance company. The nightmare is far from over as more rain hits us Sunday. Thankfully Skip (the contractor) has his crew out here early tarping the roof so no more rain gets in...well, some did but just a little. Monday we get a reprieve but Tuesday we get more rain. And more on Wednesday and the next day and I lose track.

As of today we sit here with 8 fans and 3 dehumidifiers (I had to go out and buy 2 dehumidifiers and a wet vac Sunday morning) still running continuously throughout the house. The celing in the studio has held but it's bowing out. The house is in complete dissarray as we've had to move everything on the north end out of harm's way. We're sleeping on the couch and futon until the repairs can be made.

And we're still waiting to hear back from the contractor's insurance agent.

Thor, what did I do to piss you off?

word.

r

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