Saturday, July 30, 2005

Adventures in San Diego: Days Three & Four

Day Three

I hit a snag. Got back to the hotel room after a long night, and found a message. Turns out that I’m getting charged big-time for accessing the Internet in my room. So I’ll hold off for now, and try to get online somehow tomorrow, if not Friday night.

Old Town

When I went to the old-time park five years ago, I didn’t have that much fun. I figured that it would be more of my mother’s speed, with the small markets and historical stuff. Turns out I was right.

The biggest bug was trying to find Bazaar del Mundo. Turns out that some company bought the park and renamed the area. So we went through several minutes of “Are we going insane or something?” before finding out. what was going on. We checked out areas with Mexican influence, including folks in period garb. Mom got a few mementos, I choked down hot lemon spice tea (seemed like a good idea at the time), and we met two donkeys on their way to entertain kids.

Balboa Park

We walked around for a few hours. Like I said before, there are a lot of museums in the area. The only one where we paid admission was the Hall of Champions, which honors sports in San Diego. The sad thing was that barely anybody was there. I’m hoping it was because of the time of day. It is a nice place to visit for a spell, with exhibits on baseball and football in the area, a local Hall of Fame, and an exhibit on bass fishermen. There’s even a big-mouthed bass swimming around in a tank. Try to find that in Cooperstown.

We also went to the Timken Museum of Art. If you want paintings, most of which are religious in nature, this is your place. Hey, it was free. The other thing I can recall is the lily pond, complete with bright red koi fish. We didn’t hit as much as we could, but it was a good place to walk around.

Petco Park

It hasn’t been a fun time for Padres fans these days. Even though their team were three games up on Arizona in the National League West, the squad was 50-50 overall. Worse, they were on an eight-game losing streak heading into tonight’s game against St. Louis. Even worse, there came a multitude of Cardinals fans coming over. Don’t ask me if they lived in the area or if they trekked a few thousand miles.

I got two upper deck tickets...not a smart move on my part. We could see most of the field, but it was bordering on nosebleed territory. All I wanted was a close game, for reasons I’ll get into later. But this was a game for the books. Consider:

1. St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujois steals second, and runs to third on catcher Robert Fick’s throwing error. With Dave Roberts not rushing to field the ball, Pujois goes for broke and tries for home...only to get gunned down at the plate.

2. The Padres tie the game at 1-1 in the third inning, and had the bases loaded for Ryan Klesko. He hits into a broken bat 1-2-3 double day to end the inning.

3. On a fly ball to deep centerfield, Brian Giles advances to second. Rather than pitch to Joe Randa, Jason Marquis tries an appeal at first base...and it actually worked. Giles was determined to have tagged up too soon, and was called out. I don’t think I’ve seen an appeal up close, and I can’t recall one getting upheld.

After wandering the stadium to get a better seat (and dragging my poor mother along), I ended up on ground level with some of the more enthusiastic fans. After eight innings, the score was tied 1-1. I was ready for some excitement...and I didn’t get it.

Let me explain. Five years ago, I went to a Giants/Padres game, back when the team was in Qualcomm Stadium. The Padres had a lead going into the ninth. Suddenly, a church bell started chiming. This was “Hell’s Bells” by AC/DC, the entrance music of ace reliever Trevor Hoffman. Seriously, who needs Mariano Rivera and “Enter Sandman”? That’s why I was hoping for a close I can get the same drama. Would the scoreboards cry out “It’s Trevor Time!” like in Qualcomm? How crazy would the fans get?

Here’s what happened: the P/A played a few songs. I couldn’t tell who was pitching until it was announced: Trevor Hoffman. What a letdown. The only logical thing I can think of was that “Hell’s Bells” gets blared only in save situations. Hoffman did earn his keep: after giving up a single and a runner-advancing fly ball, he walked Jim Edmonds intentionally. Just when I thought that we’d get a meltdown that I’ve seen from the likes of Branden Looper, Hoffman struck out John Mabry and got Mark Grudzielenk to fly out.

How did the Padres respond? Rather well, actually. Amazingly, Marquis was still in the game, batting for himself in the eighth. He got hit for a one-out trouble from Klesko. After intentionally walking Randa to get the potential double play. But we got Fick, and he singled to centerfield. Pinch-runner Damien Jackson scored, and the Padres won, 2-1. First major league baseball game I’ve seen since 2002, and I got a walk-off affair. Even more amazing, there were four other similar endings in the majors today. Good times all around.

I’ll stop for now. Tomorrow, I got the zoo and the Gaslamp Quarter.

Day Four

No trip to the Gaslamp after all...after a long day, Mom wanted to chill without taking another trip. No online for me...after trying to go wireless with borrowed equipment, I gave up. I was connected long enough to find out that I had messages on my e-mail account, and that was it. I’ll have to check when I get back home tomorrow. For all I know, it’s all spam.

I went to the San Diego Zoo for the third time. This time, I had a time limit, thanks to the hotel shuttle schedule. Not that I ever spent all day there; both times, I had stuff to do afterwards (Padres at Qualcomm in 2000, comics and Preview Night at CCI in ‘03). Also, as I was getting ready, the local news reported that one of the panda bears might be pregnant, which I found funny. We have HBO in the hotel room, and Anchorman was on last night. Even funnier, not only is the film is set in San Diego (hey, Will Ferrell just smacked Jack Black with a burrito...on the Coronado Bridge!), but a pregnant panda was also a plot point.

Wanna know a secret about pandas? They’re not that exciting. The first time I was there, the line to see the pandas was so long, I didn’t bother. Second time? No was in a tree motionless, the other was lying on its back. I swear, with the paws up in the air, it looked kinda dead. Today, we only got to see one panda, and it was lying in the tree. It’s a surreal walk it, forced to talk in a normal tone of voice, while a zoo guide doles out facts on a microphone. If anybody has seen a panda up close and actually walking, let me know.

The real stars of the Zoo? Has to be the orangutans. They’re big, bright orange, and always moving around. The big one is Clyde, whose cheeks are so big and droopy. When he comes, the others scatter. I saw him fool around with a box. I also saw two orangutans fool around with each other, and got to see a zookeeper throw food at them. With no sign of chimpanzees or gorillas around (did I miss the exhibit? Were they not on display? Late for work?), the orangutans were great to watch.

Other fun stuff to watch? We got to see polar bears fool around with giant bottles and swim in the water. The hippo looked the same as always...hung over. Actually, the big fella moved around this time, and I got some good pictures. Most of the animals were barely moving, either from the heat, lethargy, or from being held in captivity...but they seem to be cared for. Of course, when it comes to staying in trees, there aren’t many experts like the koala bear. The ones outside sat serenely, while those in an indoor exhibit moved around a little. The rest is a blur, as I led my mother from one end of the zoo to the other. She’s a trooper...I walk frequently back home, but she’s not used to it. We took the tour bus and the cable Skyfari cars to lessen the burden. We missed a few things, but nothing too important. It’s good to share the sight of a hippo pressed against the glass, you know?

And that’s about it. We had Italian for dinner, and we’re getting ready for the trip home. My mother was impressed with her first trip to California, and she’d like to come back. As for me? Well, next year will be the tenth anniversary of Kingdom Come, the unbelievably great comic book miniseries, and that book had an unofficial message board that would evolve into Comic Book Resources. The posters in those forums made up the first online community I ever joined, and I can’t think of a more appropriate reunion venue than CCI. Also, I should be getting my passport in the next few weeks, just in time for a trip to Toronto in late August. Lame that I’ve yet to go off-continent (been away from the U.S. for about five days total), but my possibilities are going to be more open soon. One day, I’ll get a life, and I’ll be able to get a heckuva lot further than San Diego. But with temperatures that top out around 80 degrees and beautiful scenery, that’s not a bad thing.

PS: The panda mamma? Pregnant with twins. If they both survive, it’ll be a license for the Zoo to just print money.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Adventures in San Diego: Days One & Two

It’s Tuesday night here in San Diego, some three thousand miles from Staten Island. I have just completed two days of vacation with my mother, with two more to go. I’ve been here twice, both times for Comic Con International, the four-day geek love-in. Aside from that, I did the tourist thing. I’ve been to the San Diego Zoo and marveled at pandas that barely seemed alive. Got my camera messed up by a water-swatting whale named Thunder at SeaWorld. Explored the seemingly endless museums of Balboa Park and beheld the thrill of “Trevor Time” while watching the Padres. While there were some headaches (as well as warmer weather the last time I came here), I had a lot of fun. Of course, my mother wanted in on the action. Rather than have her explore the city solo while I tried to fill my sketchbook, we decided to come over two weeks after CCI.

Day One

In a change of pace, I flew out of JFK Airport. My standard operating procedure had me taking Continental Airlines out of Newark. Instead, my mother found a good rate from JetBlue. It’s a helluva operation...there’s no in-flight meal aside from snacks and beverages, but you get DirecTV in flight. Even better, you can see what states you’re flying over on screen, as well as speed and altitude.

Sadly, the flight was the highlight of the day. We checked into a hotel, found it too removed from mass transit, and ended up making reservations at a hotel I stayed in back in 2000. On the plus side? I had a good net connection. First time I’ve brought my laptop with me...figured I’d write about the trip and do research as needed. Bottom line: we didn’t do much save for having overpriced dinner at a nearby restaurant. The room had a weird smell, I couldn’t get ice from the machine (I need a card, but which one?), and it would be a hassle to get around.

Day Two

After a quick breakfast, we went to the new hotel. I barely remembered the details from my last trip. It’s in Little Italy...nearby, there is the La Pensione Hotel, where I stayed during both trips. It was a nice place, but with no air conditioning. Even in a temperate paradise such as San Diego, the ceiling fan doesn’t cut it. The current accommodations are nice, even if the connection is at a blazing 31-something kbps (at opposed to the 54.6 maximum back home...I know, I suck for using dial-up).

We went exploring, and I’m happy to say that I got to see some new stuff. First, there was the Embarcadero, the local waterfront. The Maritime Museum is basically five ships you can tramp around inside. One of them was used in Master & can see props from the movie. I went solo on the Soviet submarine. Yes, there is a sub, and it is a tight squeeze. You wonder how stressful it was for the sailors to operate during the Cold War, wondering if they would have to risk their lives for a common cause. Or if you’re like me, you start humming, “We all live is a Russkie submarine” over and over. I’m weird.

After having a light snack and observing folks lying in the grass who might have been chemically influenced, we took a ferry to Cornonado. If you want to see some beautiful scenery, this is the place. There’s a beach, lots of waterfront joints, and a relaxing atmosphere. There’s also the Hotel Del Coronado, but that was on the other side, and we were already dog tired. There was a plan to see the Padres at Petco Park, but my mother was drained, and I wasn’t far behind. So we went back to our room, rested up, and went out to an Italian restaurant I had visited a few times. The food was delicious, but I don’t remember having to wait so long. Then again, considering that we didn’t have to wait 30-40 minutes for a table, so maybe it all evened out.

Tentative plans? Tomorrow, there’s Old Town and Balboa Park, then trying Petco. Thursday, we can take the hotel shuttle to the Zoo, and spend the day there. Along the line, I’ll have to think of stuff to see and/or revisit. Minimum, I have to reacquaint myself to the lemonade at Hot Dog On a Stick. I got hooked on the stuff two years ago. But the main goal is to have a good time, and show my mother what this city is all about.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Blast From The Past: Tagging Along

I am not a hockey fan. Back in 2001, that didn't matter.

I was in the final semester of graduate school at New York University, enrolled in a Sports Jounrnalism class. I was expected to cover one game of baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Baseball? Too late and too lazy to go for press credentials, I go into the stands of Shea Stadium, and watch Armando Benentiz blow yet another game against the Braves. Football? I covered a close game at Fordham? Basketball? Took a train as far as it could go before covering the Manhattan Jaspers beat the Denver Pioneers.

Hockey ended up being a little trickier. I had to do another assignment: follow a reporter as he covered his beat. After many attempts, I got to follow John Dellapina, who covered the New York Rangers for the Daily News. On December 6, 2001, I followed him before, during and after a Maple Leafs/Rangers game. The following article was my finished product, released today to commerate the return of the National Hockey League.

The date is December 6, 2001. The New York Rangers are set to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden. After a tepid 4-5-1-0 start, the Blueshirts have become a hot ticket, going 17-10-2-1, good for 37 points and the lead in the Eastern Conference standings.

While Daily News beat writer John Dellapina has a choice seat at MSG, not to mention the ability to talk to the Rangers before and after the game, he shows no sign of being egoistic. Of course, he immediately acknowledges that he invented the “FLY Line.”

“I have the written proof,” he said, in regards to the acronym of the starting line of Theoren Fleury, Eric Lindros and Thomas York. “It’s a rare line that works from left to right.”

The scene from the pressroom at the Garden is never totally serious. Dellapina jokes with his fellow writers as he prepares for the game. He kibitzes with Joe Benigno of WFAN about the NFL. He even takes part in a few online fantasy leagues with the other scribes. “You have goals, assists, penalty minutes, goals-against-average and when a goalie wins,” he explained. “It’s a fun way for us to razz each other, but it’s also a way to keep us interested in other teams. You get so absorbed into the Rangers, that you don’t pay attention to the rest of the league.”

For Dellapina, there is no better job. Growing up in Astoria, he was an avid Rangers fan. In college, he combined his love of sports and newspapers, although it took a while for him to realize there would be a career in sports journalism for him.

He worked with various small newspapers, including the Bergen Record and the Middletown Times Herald-Record. He landed with the Daily News as a beat reporter for the New Jersey Devils during the 1993-94 season, which ended when the Rangers defeated them in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. The following season, he became the beat writer for the Rangers, and he has been following the Blueshirts ever since.

While Dellapina likes his job, it occasionally wears down on him. Travel takes him away from his family: his wife, Joy, his son, Andrew (age 7) and daughter Abigail (4). The summer brings little rest, as he has to follow the Rangers and their offseason moves. “I’m on call like a doctor,” he said. “I’m going on vacation next week, but I have to take my laptop, in case the Rangers make a major move.”

On a typical day at the Garden, Dellapina checks in at 4:30 p.m. He makes himself at home at his desk in the pressroom, sifting through a folder of statistics and notes provided by the Rangers. Soon, he walks into the arena, stepping downstairs, through a tunnel, and into the entrance of the Rangers locker room. The players are prepping themselves for the game. A few of them use power tools to make their hockey sticks game-ready. The writers stand in the hallway, looking for a good pregame quote. Dellapina has a few words with Fleury, who has one ankle wrapped in a towel.

“Hockey players, to me, are the best people to deal with,” Dellapina says. “They’re very humble, very accessible, very agreeable. They’re good people to get to know. With other sports, that’s a down side of the job. With hockey, that’s a positive part of the job.”

So, what does Dellapina expect from the game tonight? “There’s not much of a rivalry, so they don’t hit each other much. Both teams have skilled players, so they can rev it up both ways.”

In their last game on Tuesday at Washington, Steve McKenna of the Rangers fought the Capitals’ Stephen Peat. And former Ranger Tie Domi, known mostly for his enforcer work, is on the Maple Leafs roster. “[Fights] don’t have an effect on the game,” says Dellapina. “The only effect they have is if one team is really dead – at home, especially – the guys start to fight and the building gets alive. If Tie Domi fights Steve McKenna, the crowd will have a good time, but I don’t see what effect that will have on the time.”

Before the game, Dellapina has a variety of plots to choose from:

1. Eric Lindros facing the team he wished to be traded to last season, when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers.

2. Bryan Berard’s first meeting against the Toronto. In March 2000, as a Maple Leaf, he was accidentally struck by a hockey stick, which nearly cost him his right eye.

3. The first meeting of the year between goaltenders Mike Richter (Rangers) and Curtis Joseph (Leafs), both of whom are expected to make their Olympic teams come February (for the United States and Canada, respectively).

4. Toronto head coach Pat Quinn seeking his 500th career victory.

Dellapina opts for the goalies. However, Joseph is resting tonight, and Corey Schwab is chosen to fill in. Also, Fleury is scratched from the starting lineup by a stomach flu that has been going around amongst the Rangers.

Before long, game time arrives. Dellapina and the rest of the press corps take their seats, in a section slightly above one end of the rink. Although the writers are handicapped by the view, which makes action on the far side hard to see, monitors placed on each table allow the scribes to follow the game.

The first two periods are rather hectic, with a little bit of everything for the sellout crowd. Fleury enters the game and scores a goal, but it is disallowed because an illegally high stick from teammate Andreas Johansson deflected the puck.

A few minutes later, Rangers captain Mark Messier scores his fifth goal of the season, putting New York up 1-0. The play is physical with a little roughhousing between the teams.

At the 2:12 mark in the second period, Johansson scores his eighth goal of the year, giving the Rangers a two-goal edge. The Maple Leafs respond, as Grant Roberts brings the Leafs to within one goal. Initially, the goal is credited to Domi, prompting the crowd to chant “Domi sucks! Domi sucks!” Roberts would strike again at 17:29, tying the game. Less than a minute later, Steve Corson puts the puck past Richter, putting the Leafs up, 3-2.

Between the second and third periods, Dellapina begins to write the article, or rather, a part of it. The bottom two-thirds of the story is constructed in this time, as the third period decides the tone of the lead and the first few paragraphs. “You write leads that say something is going to happen,” he says, “Then everything switches at the end, and you wind up saying, ‘Oh, it appeared this was going to happen.’”

Sometimes, this procedure is practiced on a grander scale, as Dellapina reminisced about Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final in 1994. “We all had our stories written about how the Rangers choked again and the whole 1940 jinx and then – bing, bing, bing – the game changes and Messier [who guaranteed a Rangers win to force a Game 7] becomes God. It’s amazing how it happens. There are still copies of the Daily News of what the back page would have looked like if [the Rangers] had lost.”

The third period begins with promise for the Rangers, as Vladimir Malakhov ties the score at 3-3. From there, everything goes downhill for the Rangers. The Leafs score three unanswered goals. One of them comes from Roberts completing a hat trick. The frustrations mount, culminating when Darcy Tucker of the Leafs slaps his stick into the back of Manny Malhorta and does not get penalized for it. Before long, a fight breaks out, an example of the ugly stereotype assigned by non-hockey fans. Domi, McKenna, and the Rangers’ Sandy McCarthy are given misconduct penalties, taking them out of the game. To add injury to insult, Messier is hurt, forcing him out of the game. The Leafs win, 6-3, tying them with the Rangers for first place in the Eastern Conference, along with the New York Islanders, who had won earlier against the Capitals.

Dellapina stops briefly in the pressroom before hitting the lockers. He steps into a small room, where other writers have sat down, preparing for Rangers head coach Ron Low to come out and field questions.

The meeting is brief. “Everything tonight was a one-on-one breakdown,” Low states. “We had guys we should have pinned them on the wall. They beat us often and that created two-on-ones in front of our net.”

Dellapina pitches a question: “Does it bother you to have a 2-0 lead in your building and have guys like Roberts and Domi just take it up a notch and have your guys not respond?”

Low replies: “I thought we played with a lot of emotion tonight in a lot of areas and we didn’t respond well in a couple of areas. We had a lot more jump than what he had in Washington, but we certainly didn’t play much smarter.”

Low attempts to take the pressure off Richter, trying to absolve him of giving up a season-high six goals. He says that Messier’s back is bothering him, and that they would find how bad it is tonight or tomorrow.

With the conference over, the writers go into the locker room, where the Rangers are in various stages of dress, ranging from undergarments to towels to suits. Since Sherry Ross, an assistant beat writer from the News, is not here, Dellapina is forced to stick with the Rangers, as opposed to going to the visitors locker room.

In several spots, individual Rangers talk to a cluster of reporters. Dellapina gravitates towards Lindros first, sticking his tape recorder near the center’s face (it is in good company; other writers use recorders along with notepads and pens.) Satisfied with the responses, Dellapina hits up Brian Leetch and gets a few quotes from him.

Soon, Dellapina joins a growing number of people, as they jockey for position. The location is the locker of Mike Richter. As Richter sits down, the press throng pushes in, trying to get a good quote. Richter is pleasant enough, at least for a goaltender that has given up eleven goals in his last two games.

Once he is done with Richter, Dellapina talks with Igor Ulanov, then with Fleury. He starts to leave, but makes a u-turn to talk with Messier. Turns out that Messier suffered back spasms, forcing him to leave.

Dellapina asks: “You think this is the first time in a while at home a team took it to you instead of you taking it to them?”

“I wouldn’t say they took it to us,” the captain replies, using an audible voice honed from two decades worth of experience. “I think we had the 2-0 lead, we did what we wanted up until that point they got the first goal. They made some plays that broke down our zone.”

Dellapina heads back to the pressroom. Inside, reporters are seated, playing and rewinding tape recorders, laptops opened and operating. A few view a tape of the game to check on minutia. Press releases appear on a table, covering statistics as well as game quotes. Dellapina has less than an hour to make his deadline. He has elected to make the Rangers’ defensive breakdown the focus of the story (the Leafs had gotten off 42 shots, the fourth-highest total Richter had to deal with this season).

“The Rangers had so much sustained success,” he says. “While people think that’s great for writers, it’s not. Anything that happens always the same a lot of times in a row is not good. This was a relapse back to some of the mistakes they were making earlier in the season, shows they’re not perfect, gives you something new to write about. Sometimes, the mistakes are more interesting than the success. Success is tough to keep describing over and over again.”

Dellapina files his story at midnight. He then departs for his Randolph, N.J., home. Traffic is light is this time of night, so the 40-mile commute will be hassle-free. He will head to Toronto with the press to follow the Rangers, as the team completes the home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs. After that, he will go on vacation with his family to Orlando. However, should the Rangers make a major move, Dellapina and his laptop computer will be at the ready.

“You’ve got to be willing to move,” says Dellapina about covering hockey. “You have to go out on your own, work in a really small place, some place far away from where you live. This business is hands on. The education’s great, you need it. You have really got to learn the job by doing it.”

Not bad, huh? I still have my one-day press badge. One thing I didn't mention was something really surreal...sharing an elevator with Mark Messier and his wife, among others. I mean, I'm not a hockey fan, but damn, I knew who he was. He was asking about plans for a new stadium, and I told him about the effort to bring the Olympics to the city (I had written an article or two on the subject back then). Anyway, I'm hoping Dellapina enjoyed his lighter workload this past year. With the Rangers stinking up the joint prior to the work stoppage, his life is about to get more hectic.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Summer Blahs

Here's the thing with my blog....I don't want to be boring. Most of my life is dull agonies which seem trivial to other people. I'm trying to get my own life. I'm still writing articles for the local newsweekly. I'm trying to fill the time...I know it's not all about waiting for the next Challenge.

One stupid thing happened last week. After my aborted effort to see the Mets in Philadelphia, I decided to go to Shea Stadium. Why? For one thing, I wouldn't have to drive. Just take the local rail to the ferry station, take the ferry to the city, and take a few subway lines to the stadium. And this was a "bronze" game. Let me a bizarre and dumb move, the Mets have five tiers of ticket prices. "Platinum" is reserved for Opening Day and the Yankees homestand, "Gold" is for the marquee teams and dates, and so on down to "Value," which is for crap teams like the Nationals. Actually, the Nationals were crap. Now they're on top of the National League East. So are the Padres, and their games at Shea are "Bronze." The Giants get higher status, but Barry Bonds has been out all season. Do you see the problem? Guys, you're not the Yankees. They got ten straight seasons of October games, the giant baseball bat, and a legacy that chokes the opposition (at least until this year). You guys have a crap stadium and a team that runs hot and cold. Drop the damn prices!

I didn't go. Why not? First, there was a forecast for thunderstorms. Secondly, I had bag issues. Everywhere I go, I take my backpack. Problem is, management has certain restrictions. If your bag is larger than their specs, kiss it goodbye. The night before, I worked myself into a lather, grabbing bag after bag, measuring each dimension. Nothing fit. I just wanted something to carry a few books in for transit reading, and taking home any souvenirs I might buy (scorebook would be minimum...I always keep score). I woke up, heard the weather report, and decided to screw it. Spent much of the day worried that Pedro Martinez would throw a no-hitter and I'd miss it. He ended up winning the game, and I decided to try again in a few weeks.

That day, I went to see Batman Begins. I am such a pitiful example of a comic fanboy, seeing a movie weeks after it launches. I wasn't disappointed. While the screenplay tweaks the origin to include stuff that's not cannon in the mythos...but it works. It all works. Batman? Works. Scarecrow and Ra's Al Guhl? Works. Alfred Pennyworth and Lucuis Fox? Works. Katie Holmes? I'm not holding her romance with Tom Cruise against her. The Schumacher follies are a distant memory, and DC Comics has running room for their Superman and Wonder Woman flicks.

That's it. If something interesting and fun happens, I'll write about it here. I'll be playing tour guide for my mother later this month in San Diego, and I'm planning a trip to Toronto for late August. And who knows? Maybe I'll have more reasons to write here than before.