Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Today is WHAT IF CATS AND DOGS HAD OPPOSABLE THUMBS? DAY. Who decides this stuff, anyway?

bibliophilia: two comic book trade paperbacks
Finally got to read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2 and Arkham Asylum: Living in Hell. If you haven't read the first title yet, stop reading here, as this contains spoilers.

Let me summarize League vol. 2 for you: England is attacked by Martians, and the English government stops them with bacterial weaponry. That's it. If it sounds like this has nothing to do with our heroes, the eponymous League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and one extraordinary lady), that's because it really doesn't. They do nothing of import whatsoever. Okay, the Invisible Man beats up Mina Murray, after which Mina Murray sleeps with Alan Quatermain, after which Mr. Hyde sodomizes and kills the Invisible Man. If that's the kind of thing that floats your boat, go on and pick this book up; otherwise, pass on by, folks, pass on by. The occasional cameo by famous fictional characters, I'm afraid, simply fails to make up for its basic lack of story value.

In contrast, Arkham Asylum: Living in Hell was a terrific read. Ostensibly it's the tale of a white-collar criminal who, pleading insanity in an attempt to evade a prison sentence, gets thrown into the asylum of the title. What it really is is a fascinating look into the worst nuthouse in current comics continuity. Bad shit happens in Arkham, and it may not just be the inmates who are crazy. There are lovely, spot-on portrayals of well-known villains like the Joker, Poison Ivy, and Two-Face, as well as some very interesting, lesser-known baddies like Jane Doe, Doodlebug, Junkyard Dog, and Humpty Dumpty. There's some great plot and character writing here; although it gets a bit murky with the supernatural bit towards the end, the writer manages to pull his own fat out of the fire in the denouement. A good concept, excellently executed-- it's like a car crash, gross and creepy, but you can't look away.

in the news today
A man named Carst Kijlstra was thrown in jail yesterday for refusing to use a shopping basket in the local supermarket. The 32-year-old Dutch citizen picked up two pieces of veal at the Eddah supermarket meat counter, and refused the counter girl's offer of a basket "because it was nearly closing time". The girl then summoned her manager, but Kijlstra told them both: "Don't be ridiculous," left the money on the counter, and went home. He was preparing the veal for dinner when a police car arrived at his home to take him to the police station.

Perhaps the Dutch police have become bored since prostitution was legalized...

I like this mythology thing; it doesn't require research. So what's the Enuma Elish?

answer to yesterday's question
Ratatosk is the squirrel who runs up and down the World Tree Yggdrasil in Norse mythology. He is known for carrying insults back and forth between the dragon Nidhogg (who gnaws perpetually at the roots of the tree) and the unnamed eagle (who is sometimes described as a rooster) who dwells at the top of the tree. It is theorized that Nidhogg symbolizes the destructive force, whereas the eagle represents creative energy. This would imply that Ratatosk is a preserver, similar to Vishnu in Hindu mythology.

What I didn't know (and Ariel did) was that Ratatosk is also a small network of people into Scandinavian forms of magic. Additionally, it is the name of a cattery (a place for the keeping, boarding, and breeding of cats) in South Africa.

Little Myth Know-It-Alls: Gabby, Vin, Dean, Drew, and Ariel, even if that's not exactly what I meant. And the sole Smartypants for this one is Alex. Running point totals for the Trivia and Smartypants awards will be posted every weekend, so check your score!
Nikki bit in at 12:37 PM :: ::
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