Let's see --

(probably some Infinite Crisis spoilers in here somewhere; if you haven't read the last issue, be careful of your eyetracks)

* * We hit several local comic shops -- Great Escape, the Zone, and Comic Book World -- during Free Comic Book Day, and between SuperGirlfriend and I, I think we have half a dozen of the free Wolverine HeroClix giveaway figs, white shirt and black. If anyone who reads this thing wants one, let me know.

* * We also picked up the last issue of Infinite Crisis while we were at the Zone. So far the new, post IC Earth seems to mostly be designed to correct changes that we old time fans have been screaming about since the first CRISIS. Wonder Woman is once more a founding member of the JLA. Joe Chill was caught, but Batman continued to protect Gotham City anyway. Superman had a career as Superboy.

All that is great, but, once again, DC seems to be largely leaving the new history vague so its writers and editors can fill it in on their own. This is the policy that led to disaster after the first CRISIS; I can only hope that this time around, with people like Geoff Johns and, well, my old buddy Slappy, doing some of the work, that we get a better product.

Did anyone else out there get a distinctly gay vibe at that panel in the end, when Bruce Wayne is saying good bye to Diana and Clark at the water front before embarking on a long voyage of rediscovery on his private yacht, and we see Dick and Tim waving from the deck, and he says "I'm not going alone"?

No? Just me? Okay.

The original Superman died heroically saving the universe from Superboy-Prime... you had to figure he would; can't have a grey templed Superman with the wrong chest emblem hanging around the Modern Age confusing the young idiots in the audience. Nor would it have made sense to have the FIRST Superman, the primal superhero, adopt a different super-identity. Hell, I have to give Johns props for bringing the character back at all. Still, remember that weird mystical amalgam thing they did with Hawkman, so that now the present day character is some odd synthesis of all the different versions of Hawkman? They could have done that with the two Supermen. In fact, when Alex Luthor was busy trying to fuse his father's essence with that of the various multidimensional Supermen variants, I kind of thought Johns might be laying the groundwork for that. That could have been a cool idea. Would have given the Modern Age version some much needed gravitas, to make up for that whole "I got killed by a big retarded spikey guy from space, came back to life, wore a ponytail, had electric powers, went psychotic for a while, and generally showed my ass to an extraordinary degree" vibe he picked up during the appalling post-CRISIS years. And it would have nicely offset all the Byrne arrogance and whininess, too.

Well, nobody pays me to write these things, so what do I know?

* * * My boss had a sit down with me the other day and basically, while the threat of dismissal didn't exactly get laid down on the table, she at least tipped her hand enough to show me she only needed one more jack to make the whole trip. I've been trying to concentrate harder and not hate our participants quite so much, but it's difficult. Many of them are nice enough to me, but many of them aren't, either, and I have difficulty giving "gold call customer service quality" to affluent people who are screaming at me because I'm not making it easy enough for them to avoid paying their taxes.

Still, I think I've been doing better, and I also suspect that the threat of dismissal is a bluff. There are other people there who have been working there much longer who are just as nasty to participants on the phone as I am.

* * * Hey, I just helped SuperGirlfriend dye her hair. Now that's an experience.

* * * Speaking of SuperGirlfriend, we have about 47 different bottles of salad dressing in our fridge -- okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but still, not much of one. A few nights ago, though, none of those 47 varieties would do, and SuperGirlfriend hauled several of the ingredients from our amazingly well stocked spice, condiments and general cooking ingredients cupboard out, and mixed up her own. For those who haven't experienced it first hand, SuperGirlfriend is a galaxy class cook... something she has only had vicarious joy from, since she went on her diet years ago. Now I'm on a diet too.. 270 lbs, and uncomfortably tight 44 inch waistline slacks, being the outside limit of gluttonous indulgence I'm willing to tolerate in myself... so I'll be experiencing her galaxy class cooking vicariously, as well, for the most part.

Still, I'm very lucky to have SuperGirlfriend in my life (always) but now, especially as regards help with losing weight. I've never had much luck doing it before (old friends like Opus would doubtless be startled to only recognize me from the neck up, these days, but I've been overweight since my mid 20s and other than for a brief time after Basic Training, my volume has slowly but steadily increased over the years since), but SG is a dieting expert (one of the many many reasons I admire her is that, upon being told a few years ago that she needed to lose weight due to various health factors, she went right out and lost weight -- something most of us mere mortals find nearly impossible to do). So with her doing the cooking and/or packing lunches for me, and her being able to run an instant calorie calculator in her head, all I really have to do is make sure I don't carry any snack and soda money with me to work, and never eat anything she hasn't approved of first, and I should be golden.

Or, at least, slimmer... by fall, I'm hoping.

* * * According to Mike Norton's blog, his mother's health has taken a grim turn -- just in time for Mother's Day, too. SuperGirlfriend and I are both keeping him in our thoughts, and now, all of you can, too.

* * * In our obligatory political commentary section, everybody over here on the left seems to be getting all excited about the possible implications of what most are calling "Hookergate", but what billmon insists on referring to as "Fornigate", in one of those coinages that is very nearly too clever for me to embrace. What us lefties mostly seem to be working ourselves into a lather of anticipation over is the possible revelation that not only were many Republican elected officials and political appointees reveling with prostitutes provided by "Duke" Cunningham at select poker parties in a Washington, D.C. hotel, but that some, most, or all of these sexual favors were being provided by male prostitutes. Josh Marshall, just for one, seems to be fairly salivating at the thought of actual photographic evidence of this stuff being introduced into the record.

All this is fine, but I think it's important to point out that the real story here is the hypocrisy of the "Family Values" party if it's proven they've been frolicking on the other side of the law with professional sex providers. That hypocrisy becomes especially striking if it should turn out their paid casual sex partners are same sex casual sex partners... but it's a fine line between abhorring their double standard, and descending into gay bashing ourselves.

Denouncing a Republican Congressman who has been elected and re-elected at least partially on a stance that plays to the homophobia in his district, after he's caught with someone's dick in his mouth, is one thing. Hell, I guess we can even revel in that a little; its very much their own petard these people are being hoist by. But it's the hypocrisy that's sickening here. Let's all remember, if Bill Clinton's sex life was nobody's business but his, Hillary's, and whoever else he happened to be doing at the time (and I very much believe that's true) then the same holds for these conservative poker players. The point isn't who they're boning in their personal time; it's who they are denouncing and repressing professionally, in order to get re-elected.

* * * My old friend and fellow MAOTE blogger Nate Clark is having a rough time with depression right now. Nothing we can do for him long distance that SG and I aren't already doing, but I just wanted to note that, so he knows we're thinking of him and sending good thoughts his way.

* * * In a final, slightly positive note, Mike Norton emails me to advise that apparently his mom's prognosis isn't as grim as we'd assumed, from his post. So that's good. Not great, but good.

SuperGirlfriend and I have tentative plans to see a movie today (probably something called Hard Candy, just because the options are so spare right now), so I'll close this and wish you all a very happy Sunday.

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