Sunday, May 31, 2009

Let's Make a Change

Faced with two options - continue or stop - I've decided to choose the former in regards to the existence of this blog. 

The last couple of months have been slow for me hear. I've been more occupied with Twitter, probably because it's more immediate and takes much less effort to comment on something. That's all good, but sometime happened this weekend - the details of this I won't bore you with - that made me re-assess things. One of those things was this blog, and the opportunity it affords me.

So to go a bit further: I plan to recall this blog to life over the next couple of months. (I hope this post is not read in the next couple of months as pure bullshit.) What that means? Posts, for starters. And these will be posts where I actually spend some time thinking, then writing. Twitter is for immediate comment. This blog will be for something different. I hope that makes sense and I hope I keep up my end.

No time like the present is the cliché; I hope I can live up to it.

--Czobit

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Rematch

Last Prediction for the 2009 Playoffs

I didn't predict a Stanley Cup final rematch, and I don't think many did. But we have one, as rare as it is, and my hope is that Detroit does not repeat.

Looking, however, at these two teams brings me to a different prediction. I see weakness in goal for Pittsburgh, and I believe it's this hole that will allow Detroit to win the Cup in 6 games.

Hope I'm wrong.

--Czobit

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Loose Comics

Changing a Habit

Back in April my local comic shop burned down.

OK, not quite.

There was a fire in the shop's plaza, and the store suffered some damage. The damage was severe enough for the owners of the strip to decide to tear down a part of the mall, which included my comic shop. Because of the fire, the comic shop's account with Diamond, the comics distributor, was put on hold, effectively putting my monthly comic reading on hold too.

Last week I learned my comic shop had resolved its insurance claim and had signed off on a new location, which will not open until July. (All of this, I know, is extremely interesting to you.) But because the store's account with Diamond is on hold, it's unlikely I'll see any of the single issues that shipped between April and the new store's opening date.

At first I thought I'd need to search and get those comics I missed. I did and calculated the cost, realizing: a) it would be expensive (my paycheque is hardly thick) and b) there are few comics I have missed to justify that cost. What does this mean? Have I grown out of comics?

To answer the second question: no. 

The answer to the first: I feel I've fallen into that problem of habitual purchases, like what Warren Ellis described in his final "Come in Alone" column back in 2000. If all I'm doing is blindly reading the comic, what's the point? That's not to say all comics I read on a monthly basis are just habitual purchases that never entertain me. But my comic shop burning down gave me the chance to take a break from monthlies and realize there are some I followed for no reason. Not to mention, but I will, that I prefer comics in book format more than their original loose version.

There are some comics that need to be read immediately but the majority can wait. I know because I have a good few by my side that I haven't got to and they're hardly calling out to be read right now. No point buying something only for it to collect dust. 

The end. (That's how you end a blog post, right? It's been a while.)

--Czobit

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Playoff Predictions

NHL Playoffs, Conference Finals

My record is still even at 6 correct predictions and 6 not-so-correct predictions. All of this suggests what I've always insisted: I don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

Conference final predictions follow.

Easter Conference

Pittsburgh vs. Carolina: Will Paul Maurice go from coaching the Leafs last season to coaching the Eastern Conference champion? Will Cam Ward continue his playoff dominance in goal? Will Sidney Crosby continue to play like a Conn Smythe winner? And will Pittsburgh return to the finals a second year in a row? Um, what's my point? I pick Carolina.

Western Conference

Detroit vs. Chicago: I just can't see Chicago beating Detroit. But I didn't see them beating Calgary or Vancouver either. Have I learned my lesson? No, I pick Detroit.

So based on my (likely incorrect) predictions, it'll be a Detroit-Carolina Cup final.

--Czobit

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Book Blurb

Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

Christian Moerk's Darling Jim was published in 2007, but only this year made the voyage to North America. Set in Ireland, the novel tells the story of three sisters, their aunt and storyteller/confidence man, Jim, and how his actions lead to several murders.

It's hard to classify Darling Jim. It's part gothic, part horror, part mystery, and perhaps, part romance. Moerk uses third-person and first-person narration; the latter coming in the form of two diaries. My only problem with the novel are the diaries, which based on the circumstances they are written, make them less believable than the rest of the story.

What's enjoyable about Darling Jim is a plot that expands on a small idea. In his acknowledgements at the end, Moerk describes the story that served as the idea for the novel. From that real-life news story that probably came in around 200 words, Moerk has created a 285-page to be read one weekend when you're having trouble deciding on the type of book you'd like to get lost in. Moerk's story is a good one, and it's good to finally have been published here.

--Czobit