The Haps, as they hit me --
* * * SuperWife woke up with one of her bad migraines this morning; the kind that make her see bright flashy floaties everywhere and cause her to be dizzy and nauseated. Despite my urging otherwise, she insists she has to go to work today, because should she shirk, democracy falls, or something. (I don't meant that to sound as snarky as it came out. I am fully aware that at her job, SuperWife is nearly as indispensible to her employers and co-workers as she is to me and the SuperKids all the time, and on days when she does stay home, virtually everything at her office comes crunching and thudding to a wheezing, steam leaking halt. I'm just very frustrated that I can't do more for her than put some Ibuprofin in a baggie for her.)
* * * It is officially autumn in River City, regardless of what the calendar says. I know this because temperatures have dropped precipitously from their blazing August apexes well north of 100 degrees, to relatively arctic daily highs in the mid 80s. Tomorrow our high is supposed to be 77!!! Woo and hoo!
Also, the Castle Anthrax living room is officially decorated for autumn, mostly meaning our mantle and entertainment center are draped in fallish type swag and knick knacks, and one bookshelf has a huge home made cornucopia on it that SuperWife expertly crafted yesterday, and which I nearly ruined with my own incessant clumsiness.
As we get closer to Halloween our scary decorations will come out and go up on the front porch. After Halloween, they go back into storage again, and the stuffed turkey I got SuperWife for her birthday last year will briefly reign on the entertainment center, until Black Friday rolls around and a freighter full of Christmas decorations explode upon the scene, sending that poor turkey scurrying for cover. (We try to start getting Christmas decorations up as early as possible, because as an adult I have come to believe that the Christmas season is much too short even at the best of times, and I want every single second of Christmas that I can squeeze out.)
* * * My chores list for the day presently runs something like this --
* Drag the garbage cans back from the alley. We completely forgot to take them out Sunday night. Luckily, one of our co-habitants of this large subdivided former one family house picked up our slack, dragging them out early Monday morning right before the trash hauling people showed up. We can't miss a trash day; with five people living in this apartment alone, and three more in the other three apartments, we cram our three garbage bins out back to full and overflowing in any average seven day period, and you don't even want to see how overloaded those cans are Christmas week.
Anyway, the way it works here (the result of an always unspoken social contract hammered out over the last year or so by a sort of blind, intransigent intra-neighbor kabuki I find otherwise indescribable) is, if we don't take the cans out to the alley on Sunday night, we have to bring them in Monday morning. Except I forgot all about it all day yesterday (yesterday I did floor maintenance on the apartment, which took up much of my free time) so I have to get it done today.
At least it's supposed to be relatively cool today.
* Do the dishes. This was a much bigger entry on the chores list yesterday. Every once in a while SuperWife does a meal that ends up dirtying nearly every pot, pan, plate, piece of silverware, cup, glass, and ceramic or plastic bowl in the house, and we had one of those (breakfast for dinner) Sunday night. One full load of dishes was left in the sink and strewn across the counter while another was running after dinner, so I batted clean up on that yesterday. Last night was sloppy joes, and most of those dishes fit into the dishwasher, but I have the big giganto-pan (last year's Christmas present from me to SuperWife, perhaps the most successful and well used Christmas present I have ever given anyone) to clean by hand, and a few plates and glasses to reload the dishwasher with, after unloading it. Yay.
* Clean the bathrooms. Floor maintenance yesterday involved sweeping the entire apartment and mopping the sections with linoleum -- kitchen, bathroom, Hall of Heroes (the hall outside the bathroom connecting the kitchen and bathroom to the rest of the house that currently holds two bookshelves full of comics and a lot of HeroClix, among other things). Today, I get to scrub down both bathrooms. Yay.
* As time permits, do some calculations to finalize SuperDependable Teen's latest character sheet for my roleplaying campaign. She never gets to play, because it's impossible to roleplay when SuperAdorable Kid is in the house (she simply can't and won't be ignored for five or six hours at a stretch), so we have to do it when the kids are over at the Bio-Dad's, which means, of course, that SuperDependable Teen isn't here. But she wants to play, so she wanted to set up a character, so I humored her. I wish I could figure out a way to make things work out better for her. It’s a nice character, and the very small party currently playing could certainly use the reinforcements, but finding a way to include her in our gaming sessions has, to date, utterly baffled my entirely non-genius mind.
And probably two or three more things that will eventuate during the day.
* * * Let me take a moment to note I was pleasantly startled by the SuperKids' Bio-dad when we dropped them off for the weekend Saturday morning. Usually he just ignores me if it's at all possible (with contemptuous hostility radiating off him like microwaves from a cell phone tower), and responds to me in monosyllabic grunts if we absolutely have to interact. This Saturday, he insisted I come inside (I usually don't on Saturdays, as it's only a weekend visit, the kids don't have big heavy luggage for me to help them get into the house) and then offered to burn me a disc with any of the games he has on his laptop, if I saw something I liked. It was a very nice, if shocking, change in his general behavior towards me, and while I am baffled by it, still, I appreciate it.
* * * After nursing the trade along through three weeks of intermittent forum outages and inexplicable postal delays, I finally got a package in the mail yesterday containing my Cap and Bucky Super Rare. It also held a Wasp Super Rare and a Union Jack, among the last pieces I'm looking for from the AVENGERS HeroClix set. I am utterly delighted to own the Cap and Bucky piece, although, again, it looks unlikely I will ever get to actually play a game with it. Still, it's nice to have it. The trade cost me my Ultimates Hulk Super Rare from the same set, but that's a price I'm more than willing to pay.
I now only need the Super Rare Hawkeye and Super Rare Quicksilver to complete the AVENGERS... not that I have anything like a full set, but those are the last two pieces I really want from the expansion.
The completist in me would also like to get a full set of Ultimates, too, since I'm now very close to one... although, admittedly, my idea of a 'full set' probably isn't the same as another collector's might be. What I want is the best possible representation of each Ultimates character (by which I mean, characters with the actual Ultimates TA on their bases) that has a clix figure. With a common Ultimates Iron Man coming out in AVENGERS (of which I now have about half a dozen)
-- breaking in for a moment to note that emptying both garbage cans has been added to today’s chores tally. However, I’ve brought in the trash cans from the alley and just finished unloading and reloading the dishwasher – there were so few dishes, the giganto-pan actually fit inside it. So that’s all done, and I’m going to go knock off cleaning both bathroom and then come back and dig into finishing this blog post, and maybe doing one for the poli-blog, too. No promises.
…okay. With the very common Ultimates Iron Man piece from AVENGERS coming out, it seemed like I might have a decent chance of getting a ‘complete’ set by my standards, lacking only Ultimates Thor, who is still one of the toughest to get, most collectible pieces in HeroClix. I had an Ultimates Hulk (the original figure, from the ULTIMATES expansion) then sold it for rent money, but pulled one of the new Ultimates Hulk Super Rares from an AVENGERS booster. So I figured what the hell, might as well try to get them all, and over the next couple of weeks, managed to get Ultimates Captain Britain and Ultimates Quicksilver included in a couple of trades. I pulled the new Ultimates Scarlet Witch (and already had the original version, again, from the ULTIMATES expansion), an Iron Widow, an Ultimates Wasp, and the new, truly wretched looking WWII version of the Ultimates Captain America. Along with the original Veteran Ultimates Cap, Veteran Ultimates Hawkeye, Ultimates Giant-Man, and Natasha Romanova LE, I had ‘em all, except for Ultimates Thor.
But, now I’ve traded away yet another version of the Ultimates Hulk. And, honestly, I hate the Ultimates, so I shouldn’t care at all. It’s just the OCD (Obsessive Collector’s Disorder) rearing its maniacal, gimlet eyed head.
The release of the latest HeroClix expansion, JUSTICE LEAGUE, snuck up on me, although when I check old posts on various blogs, it would seem that it’s actually overdue, as it was originally announced for August. Whatever the case, it apparently came out last Wednesday. Nate wanted to check out a local geek shop looking for specific Magic cards Thursday, and I saw the boosters on the shelves and had to pick some up, along with some AVENGERS.
The AVENGERS pull immediately near paid for itself when I scored The Colonel, a Super Rare Ultimates villain who doesn’t have the Team Ability, so I don’t need him for my Ultimates set, and whom I otherwise couldn’t care less about. So I sold him back to the shop for cash.
The JUSTICE LEAGUE pull got me a Big Barda & Mr. Miracle Super Rare duo figure, which is cool looking but apparently from an Imaginary Story I will probably never read. So I’ve traded that for a Kingdom Come Hawkman and one of the new Firelord figures from the recent Galactus event and a few other things. Since then, I’ve also managed to pull a Guy Gardner Super Rare, which is okay, because he’s a Green Lantern and I’d like a complete set of Green Lanterns, but otherwise, I wouldn’t care about, because, you know, he’s Guy Gardner and Guy Gardner sucks.
Probably my favorite thing I’ve pulled from a JUSTICE LEAGUE booster to date is Bouncing Boy. He’s only a common and if I buy more boosters I’ll probably end up with twenty of him, but right now I only have the one and I’m just delighted with the piece. The sculpt looks fabulous, his dial is reasonably well designed, and while his special power should have more ‘oomph’ to it (it only lets him bounce into another opponent on a critical hit or if he rolls doubles, when he should do it with every attack), still, Seth at least got the basic idea correct.
I keep pulling Batman. In fact, so far, JUSTICE LEAGUE looks like the booster contents could best be described as ‘four randomly chosen figures plus Batman’. I mean, this is a pretty good Batman – his special power, “Out of the Shadows”, which lets him basically move sneakily from one piece of hindering terrain to another without opponents noticing, is one of the coolest powers Seth has come up with yet, nearly making up for the lack of Incapacitate on the front of his dial – but I don’t need seventy three of him.
Other than many Batmen and Bouncing Boy, I’ve mostly shown the remarkable ability to pull a great many figures I couldn’t care less about, like Bulleteer and Zauriel and Plastic Man and the female Dr. Light and Emperor Joker and Batzarro, while giving a clean miss to the stuff I’d really love to get, like the new Flash, and the new Zatanna, and the various Flash Rogues, and Batman and Robin, and Dream Girl, and Chronos, and Hector Hammond, and Black Hand, and Hourman, and like that.
I have managed to pull the new Parasite, who looks useful, as well as Granny Goodness and Mento and the Golden Age Vigilante. The last of which I’m not thrilled with as he’s pretty much useless, and as far as I know there are no other Golden Age Seven Soldiers of Victory figures to place him with. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool that WK would give such a hoser character his own figure, and I admit, the sculpt looks pretty good. And Golden Age Vigilante stories were a pretty constant part of my adolescent comics reading experience, although it's not like I sought them out, or anything.
I’m glad to get Mento as it puts me a step closer to a complete Silver Age Doom Patrol. Here’s hoping that when Negative Man finally comes out, they don’t put him on a flight stand. I simply have no idea what to do with a Negative Woman whose shadow self can taxi other figures. It’s just insane. And, having said that, here’s also hoping that when and if we finally get the Chief, he’s a full figure, not just a pog.
Oh, and I got a Professor Ivo, too. He's really ugly.
Okay, I really need to go clean the bathrooms now. So talk quietly amongst yourself or something.
* * * Okay, I’m back, to note in closing that I have a good solid lead on a local call center gig that I’m hoping fervently turns into something. It’s odd to find myself in a position where I’m hoping fervently to go to work at a call center again, but, well, with the next Great Depression looming, I think it would be a great thing to be employed again before it hits.
I don’t think Dick Cheney minds the idea of another global Great Depression at all. Depressions are fabulous times to be rich, even more so than the rest of the time, because in a Depression, nearly everyone else is so wretchedly poor that they’ll do absolutely anything for a mug of soup and a cot to sleep on. People like Dick Cheney really enjoy that. Which may very well be a major contributing factor to the economic and financial cataclysm that is about to overtake the entire planet.
What, you waded through all the incredibly boring HeroClix nonsense just for that? Well, I will happily refund your money, but first you would have to pay me something for doing all this nonsense, and I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.
Now I’m going to clean the bathrooms for real.