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May 17th, 2004

Van Helsing Happy

Look, I know that Van Helsing is a minor movie; Troy unseated it this weekend, Shrek 2 is gonna blast 'em both out of the water next weekend, and Harry Potter hits the weekend after that.

Nevertheless, I loved it, so today I went out and got a bunch of Van Helsing schwag while I still can! I bought a couple action figures, the soundtrack, and the half-hour animated direct-to-DVD prequel Van Helsing: The London Assignment, which sets up the teaser with Van Helsing vs. Mr. Hyde at the beginning of the movie.

The figures are pretty cool, the soundtrack is excellent, and the animated show is enjoyable (and way better than the Saturday morning version of The Mummy that WB embarrassed us all with a couple of years ago), if not quite Cowboy Bebop.

I gotta say, I like Van Helsing a lot, if only because he reminds me so much of my character Soloman, not to mention Soloman's inspiration, Vampire Hunter D, and D's inspiration, Solomon Kane. In fact, he's more like Solomon Kane than any of the others, now that I think about it, with the exception of being in 1800s steampunk instead of 1600s weird fiction. I hope that it spawns sequels; I'm curious as to the character's backstory. :)

And now, I'm off to bed. G'nite, all!

-The Gneech

Cats and Dogs?

Or introverts and extroverts?

Sinfest, by Tatsuya Ishida

Or is it the same thing?

-The Gneech

Tidbit

I hadn't picked up on it before I saw it mentioned in a review, that Hugh Jackman's character is Gabriel Van Helsing, while Bram Stoker's character is Abraham Van Helsing. What, if any, significance there is, I can only guess. Maybe it's a subtle way of acknowledging that it's actually a different character all together...? :)

-TG

Edit: Turns out, it's basically so that Sommers now has a copyrighted character. Abraham Van Helsing is in the public domain. Gabriel Van Helsing is not. It makes sense, but is woefully unpoetic.

Memories of Productivity Past

With the Cape May Furmeet on the way, I figured I'd better make a big push to clear out some of the junk that's collected on the Too Much To Do List, including once again getting ahead on the strip. To that end, I took today off and spent the day workin' on stuff, which brings back fond memories.

Back in my dot-com days, when LifeMinders was flush with cash and everybody was still throwing money at us, I asked that in lieu of an annual raise, I keep the same pay and shift to a 32-hour week, Tuesday-Friday. And they went along with it! (That ends up being something akin to a 20% pay raise if you look at the hourly rate rather than the annual salary, so I was worried they'd balk at that -- but I think after the 50-60 hour weeks I'd been working the year before, they kinda felt they owed it to me.)

I managed to arrange a 4-day work week one other time in my life, for which I had willingly taken something like a $450/mo pay cut. It lasted for three glorious months and then both laurie_robey's and my car both died abruptly ... and the new car payment for Bruce ended up being exactly $450. So back to work for me. :P

If we weren't skating on the edge of "just getting ahead of our finances" and I could afford the pay cut, I'd take it in a shot to get back to the 4-day work week I loved so much. All I require of my day job is that it pay the bills and stay out of the way of my Real Work; having Mondays to dedicate to that Real Work, so I can spend the weekend giving due attention to familial obligations, chores, and actually doing some relaxing, enables me to get a lot more done.

I was unfortunately somewhat mired in depression for some of those Useful Mondays, and I also had a tendency to expect too much of them -- like getting angry if I didn't get a whole week's worth of strips drawn in one day. But there were also plenty of times that I spent the whole day writing or drawing and finally felt like I was actually putting my life to the purpose for which it was intended ... which is a great feeling. :)

Of course, shortly thereafter, I had a whole friggin' year off from work, which turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing ... but that's for another ramble.

-The Gneech

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