Archives for the month of: July, 2009

a visual response by lawrence yang.

via eric

there were some really spectacular costumes at comic-con, and io9 has photos of the best: masquerade winners. my personal favorite is the samurai jack father-son costume.

owly cartoon

at comic-con, they had a cute video display at the top shelf booth showing the new owly cartoon! it is so so so cute. if you don’t already know owly, he is totally the best. i took a video of the whole cartoon just in case, but here it is online: owly in 3D!


crystal caste

  • awesome 12mm copper dwarven metal d20 – nice weight in the hand, and i can confirm it rolls spectacularly, as i had to chase it across the convention floor

dark horse comics

  • domo kun qee blind box – red! plus a part for the collect-all-6-and-make-a-clear-domo: a little foot.
  • hellboy qee – includes wee good samaritan

top shelf

  • owly: a time to be brave – signed by andy runton!
  • super spy by matt kindt – looks really cool and fun. i’ll probably read this one first.
  • 2 sisters by matt kindt

slave labor graphics

  • eating steve by j. marc schmidt
  • rex libris, vol. 1: i, librarian by james turner
  • agnes quill: an anthology of mystery by dave roman

quirk interactive mystery books


  • all three of their interactive mystery books:
    • dracula’s heir by sam stall
    • the crimes of dr. watson by duane swierczynski
    • batman: murder at wayne manor by duane swierczynski
  • free sense and sensibility and sea monsters poster

drawn & quarterly

  • berlin, book one: city of stones by jason lutes
  • curses by kevin huizenga
  • free d&q tote bag – cute!

telltale games

  • sam & max promo button that is totally cute

burn notice

  • sdcc 2009 tshirt with giant awesome half-tone michael westen head. i gave this to mark as a thank you gift for letting me stay at his place.


  • magic psychic ball – green magic 8 ball with such enlightening responses as, “yeppers”, “lookin’ good”, “definitely dude”, “wait for iiiit!” and “nooooooooo”
  • psych comic book, issue #0


  • 24-branded travel clock/alarm

true blood

  • red tshirt that reads, “it hurts so good”
  • true blood-branded paperback of ‘living dead in dallas’
  • true blood-branded notebook
  • coupon for the true blood drink! totally buying some of this for our next viewing party.
  • true blood drawstring bag


  • poster


  • the new york news – reproduction of the newspaper seen in william bell’s office during the season finale

stop! i'm a good guy!

got back home a bit ago, exhausted from the post-con traffic (and some truck trailer that apparently caught on fire) and 4 days of dealing with crowds, waiting in lines for hours, and an average of 4 hours of sleep per night. i have tons of photos of panelists, videos of most of the ‘the big bang theory’ panel, and tons of neat new books, but the high point was definitely seeing nathan fillion at his surprise signing today, just before i left. more to come – photos and videos will trickle out over the next week or so.

or as pat put it, the coldplay video with the evil squirrel.

via wired via eric, but i’m just quoting the whole thing here because it’s brilliant.

  1. Sea mammal blowhole. Any animal that spends appreciable time in the ocean should be able to extract oxygen from water via gills. Enlarging the lungs and moving a nostril to the back of the head is a poor work-around.
  2. Hyena clitoris. When engorged, this “pseudopenis,” which doubles as the birth canal, becomes so hard it can crush babies to death during exit.
  3. Kangaroo teat. In order to nurse, the just-born joey, a frail and squishy jellybean, must clamber up Mom’s torso and into her pouch for a nipple.
  4. Giraffe birth canal. Mama giraffes stand up while giving birth, so baby’s entry into the world is a 5-foot drop. Wheeee! Crack.
  5. Goliath bird-eating spider exoskeleton. This giant spider can climb trees to hunt very mobile prey. Yet it has a shell so fragile it practically explodes when it falls? Well, at least it can produce silk to make a sail. Oh, wait — it can’t!
  6. Shark-fetus teeth. A few shark species have live births (instead of laying eggs). The Jaws juniors grow teeth in the womb. The first sibling or two to mature sometimes eat their siblings in utero. Mmm … siblings.
  7. Human stomach. People can digest a lot — except for cellulose, the primary component of plant matter. Why don’t we have commensal bacteria in our guts to do it? They’re busy helping termites.
  8. Slug genitalia. Some hermaphroditic species breed by wrapping their sex organs around each other. If one of said members gets stuck, the slug simply chews it off. What. The. Hell?
  9. Quadrupeds. Let’s say you’re a four-footed animal. Now let’s say you get a wound on your back, or an itch, or a bug wandering up there. Tough luck, kid. You probably can’t do much about it. Hope there’s a low branch around.
  10. Narwhal tusk. The unicorn-like protuberance on a male narwhal’s head is actually a tooth that erupts through the front of the jaw and keeps on growing, up to 9 feet. Narwhal: “Doc, I have a toothache.” Dentist: “Indeed.”

great posts like this one about how niko tinbergen reverse engineered the seagull and beautiful site design. i wish his proposed redesign of the american airlines website would come to fruition because dear lord that site is a train wreck.

via eric

Thursday, July 2: fly into O’Hare at about 7:30. Take the blue line to meet Cecile and Matt at California, then we go to el Nandu for Argentine steak! Delicious steak and empanadas, plus super-dangerous sangria. Afterwards, Cecile and I hit City North for the 11pm screening of ‘Public Enemies’.

Friday, July 3: wake up early and take photos of Cecile peeling the tongue. Spend the afternoon/evening/night with good friends eating exceptional food. Cecile’s tongue pie is the best meat pie I’ve ever had! And putting red pepper flakes on the pineapple before grilling it is a fantastic idea – sweet and spicy!

We played the Battlestar Galactica game (I was finally a Cylon! I was finally on the winning team!) and then a few other board games – Crazy Cat Lady, Monster Squad – before Andy and Virgina had to go. then Jon, Cecile and I watched ‘Ghostbusters’ as a drinking game and pigged out grade-school-sleepover style on junk food.

Saturday, July 4: a rainy and kind of gloomy day, but we made the most of it. In the morning, Trent made breakfast for some of his friends and I got to meet some more new people who are aces with me since they let me share their food. Cecile and I left for Nora and Kate’s apartment as it was starting to sprinkle, and were very nearly there when we were sidetracked by the bargain store called ‘Pay Half’. We went in for the duration of the harder rain and came away with some dresses and cute purses – all pretty cheap.

Kate and Nora put on a great BBQ – delicious brats from Paulina Meat Market, pretzel buns, Mustard Girl spicy mustard (???), quinoa salad, cucumber salad, potato salad, sauerkraut, fresh watermelon and chili-chocolate brownies with what I think was a fleur de sel sprinkled icing. DELICIOUS! Oh, also some really good summery ales. Which we’d all had too much of, because when we sat down to play VCR Clue, we were all totally confused for about the first half hour.

The hour grew late, and I wanted to stop by Lindsay’s BBQ, so Cecile stayed to watch a movie with Nora and Kate, and I headed to the Ukrainian Village. Lindsay was throwing a cookout for her friend’s birthday so I got to see the tail end – grilled meats, dessert and present-opening. Most of the guests left for the California Clipper, and I stayed to talk some more to Lindsay. Outside, we stopped to watch some fireworks on the other side of the church across the street, and marveled at their proximity and the sheer number of fireworks displays happening in the neighborhood. As we drove around we saw they were EVERYWHERE! Every street in Chicago had a fireworks display going off – the whole city was celebrating.

Back and Cecile’s, I texted Katie to see about another BBQ and crazy fireworks display, but then started to feel the effects of three straight days of eating more food, richer food, and meatier food than I normally do, so I watched ‘Firefly’ on Hulu and did Kakuro until I fell asleep.

Sunday, July 5: Cecile left in the morning to go to Bikram yoga, and I got ready to meet Mark for breakfast. Our first choice restaurant was closed, but we went to our old standby, the Flying Saucer. Then, Mark came back to Cecile’s with me, and while I changed into kayaking clothes, visited with Lindsay who had come to pick me up.

Lindsay and I drove to Erehwon to get kayaking gloves for me, but they were closed, so we checked out the new big Whole Foods instead. Then we met Katie R. at the kayaking place and got started. We kayaked for two and a half hours and went six miles round trip. The view of the city from the river is fantastic, and we even got to hear bits of the architecture tour as those boats passed us. Kayaking is fun, but definitely work – my shoulders and hands will be complaining tomorrow, I’m sure! We also all got pretty wet, which was horrifying considering how dirty the Chicago River is. Every time a drop of water splashed into my mouth or, worse, my eye I felt a little panicky that maybe my face was going to rot off.

After kayaking we were all pretty hungry, so we went to Pockets for a quick bite. Lindsay dropped me off and I (thank god) showered and made plans for dinner. Cecile and I met Jon, Katie and one of her friends at Crust. I had a flight of two shots of their infused vodkas and they were really good, as was the arrabiata pizza and apple tart. We sat outside on the back patio and the night was perfect.

The next week I spent at home in the Quad Cities, where I went to eat at the usual places (Shanghai, La Flama) and saw a few movies. My mom and I also went to the Quad City Botanical Center. I got some great photos of the flowers and plentiful (and ginormous) bumblebees. I did the Bix at 6 and pushed myself too hard (again) but got to take a day off from activity before going to the John Deere Classic for the last two days of the tournament. Mom and I walked the course, following my Dad’s group (he’s a scorekeeper) around.

On Tuesday Mom drove me back to Chicago and I had dinner at Irazu with Lindsay and Scott, whom I hadn’t seen in years. After that I met Cecile at City North and we saw the midnight screening of Harry Potter. The next day I flew out – I good-length-ed and well-balanced vacation!

my parents usually have turkey bacon for sunday breakfast but a few weeks ago my mom fried up some real bacon she had leftover, prompting dad to say yesterday, out of the blue:

there are probably things we should carry regular bacon in the house for. …like, everything.