A Speedster, an Archer, and a Kryptonian Walk Into a Bar

I mentioned this a few posts back, but tonight is the start of a four-way crossover on all the CW network’s superhero shows.   It starts towards the end of tonight’s Supergirl, continues tomorrow on Flash, then on to Arrow on Wednesday, concluding with Legends of Tomorrow on Thursday.

This is the closest thing we’ve ever seen to a live-action Justice League.   It’s already better than next year’s Justice League movie with emo-Flash, Aqua-grunge-man, and Batfleck.

Just look at this line-up!   This picture contains Supergirl, Green Arrow, Flash, Firestorm, Atom, Vixen, and a bunch of other people!     Honestly, this is the closest we’ve ever come in live action to the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, which was always kind of amazing and wonderful.

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I’ve been enjoying the hell out of The Flash ever since his first pre-lightning appearance on Arrow in season two.  I love that they leaned into the comic book aspects and showed that not everything has to be darkness and grunge and pain.   In this respect, the DC television universe is infinitely better than the DC movie universe, which was so loathe to do Superman as bright and hopeful that they didn’t even call him Superman until the last few minutes of Man of Steel.

At the beginning of this season of Supergirl, they brought Superman onto the show and he was everything that the movie Superman isn’t.  He was charming and colorful and true to the original comic vision for the character.   He was optimistic and hopeful, which is how Big Blue is supposed to be.  I feel like the people behind the movie iteration have forgotten this, if they ever knew it.

On the television side, however, they definitely know it.  Superman, Supergirl, and Flash are all characters who inspire hope.  That’s part of why Arrow has floundered a bit since the first two seasons-  this version of Arrow is heavily Batmanned-   full of darkness and broody angst.   (And let’s face it- the 1941 first appearance of Green Arrow was obviously trying to cash in on the success of the 1939 first appearance of the Caped Crusader, right down to the Arrow-Car.)

It’s kind of interesting that although Arrow paved the way for the current crop of CW Superhero shows, it’s the one that is the least comfortable with embracing the fantastical nature of comic book heroes.  Arrow has, for the most part, tried to keep things grounded.  They didn’t do superpowers until after the Flash had premiered, and they waited until season four to bring up the idea of magic, not counting the Lazarus Pit.  Even with powered characters like Firestorm and Hawkgirl running around the “Arrowverse,” the show that started it all still prefers to work with non-powered characters.

That’s part of the fun, for me though-  one of my favorite parts of bringing the Flash into the Arrowverse was seeing Diggle’s reaction (and stunned disbelief) at what Barry could do.   The first time these two had a proper team-up, I was super psyched, even though Oliver is kind of a dick to Barry most of the time.

The cross-network Flash-Supergirl crossover last year was much more satisfying.  Barry is way more at home in Kara’s world than in Oliver’s.  The entire episode, from start to finish, is just fun as heck.   (Kara’s reaction when Barry demonstrated his super-speed by getting everyone in the room ice cream is one of the best moments on television so far this year.) The Legends of Tomorrow, while not the strongest show in the current line-up is still entertaining enough, and it takes its tone cues more from Flash than from Arrow.

Tonight, the whole lot of them start to battle an honest-to-goodness alien invasion.  It’s gonna be great.

And I can’t wait to see how Diggle reacts to Supergirl.

Are you a DC or a Marvel?   What’s your favorite live-action superhero adaptation?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

Three short thoughts about hair.

Sometimes, a string of  semi-random thoughts sits in my draft folder for so long that I give up on the idea that they’re part of a longer post and just use them as-is.  This is one of those times.   Just roll with it.    Longer posts resume tomorrow!

1) Sometimes, I use Amelie’s shampoo instead of my own. I just like the smell of it.  I’ve also learned over time that I really like the smell of coconut in hair products, but I can’t stand shaved coconut on pastries.

2) I hate shaving with the fire of a thousand suns, but I hate being unshaven, too.  I thought about laser hair removal for my face a bit.  I know someone who had that done and he only has to shave about once a month now.  I always have other things to spend my money on, though.  Besides, you never know when you’ll have to go on the run and will need to grow a disguise-beard.

3) Speaking of shaving, I think I have shaving gnomes.  There’s a large-ish bald spot on my left shin, close to my ankle.  It’s on the front of the leg, and it’s super smooth.  Logic dictates that it’s probably from the way I cross my legs at work, but I’ve spent lots of time crossing my legs in various comfortable ways to try to duplicate that rubbing, and none of them contact my shin on top of the bald spot.  I have not been able to figure out exactly how I’m rubbing my shin at the point of baldness. So: gnomes!   Gnomes with Nair!

I usually try to end my posts with a question, but I honestly can’t think of one for this topic that wouldn’t be patently ridiculous.

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

The Best Of.

Watching blog statistics is an infurating hobby.   I’ve been writing here now for just over five years, and no matter what I do, the same two posts are always at the top of my stats.

1)  ICE, ICE, Baby! (A Beginner’s Guide To The Deutsche Bahn) – Written in early 2013, almost halfway through my time in Germany, this is a fairly detailed how-to styled post about how to use the rail system in Germany.  I took a lot of time to write this one, and gathered a ton of photographs from my own travels.   I left the comments open for the first couple of years, and I would routinely get comments from people about to go on their first German rail adventure, seeking advice.    I still get the occasional question through normal e-mail about this one, and it is always, always, always at the top of my stats for the most visits on any given day.

2)  Germany’s Most Dangerous Export: Kinder Surprise Eggs – This post from late 2013 is the second busiest post on my entire blog.  These little chocolate eggs are illegal to import into the United States, with a very steep fine per-egg if you get caught bringing one through customs.  I see them for sale from time to time in places like Sawgrass Mills, and I haven’t the foggiest idea how they got them through customs.  Rumors persist that the ban has been lifted, but I haven’t seen anything official to confirm that and I guess regular google searches about Kinder Eggs bring up my post.

The third place for top post is usually the most recent thing I’ve posted.   There are a few older posts that I really enjoyed putting together, though.  Sometimes I wish some of these would be in the top stats instead.

1)  Grokking Expatriates in Sci-Fi – This is another post from early 2013, and it’s one of the few posts where I got really geeky.  I went through an insanely long list of television, movie, comic, and literary characters out of the sci-fi genre who could be considered expatriates, and I grouped them into categories I made up.  This post was so much fun that it’s the first and only time that I’ve ever been Freshly Pressed.  (Thanks again for the nomination, Rara!)

2) Last Looks – I wrote this in late 2014, as I was preparing to move back to the United States.  It’s a long list of things that I thought I would miss about Germany, and things that I wouldn’t miss.  I also mentioned a lot of stuff that I was looking forward to about being back in the US, and I was right about everything except the cell phone signal.  That still sucks.

3) – Hunting Krampus in Berchtesgaden – Besides being a fascinating look into holiday traditions that are a little bit less tame than modern Santa, this post is a very fun look at the time in late 2013 that I went on a Krampus hunt with a friend from work.

4) Any of my travel posts.   I’ve written up many fantastic trips, with lots of great photos.  For some of my favorite examples, check out Cairo, Budapest, or Reykjavik.  I’m immensely proud of some of the posts I’ve written up about my travels.

What gets the most traffic from your blog?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

With perfect clarity, I suddenly realize.

I have a memory of camping, when I was a pre-teen Boy Scout.

It was the summer of 1984, and I was eleven years old. I was exiled to a week at the Camp Tanah Keeta’s summer camp for Boy Scouts in Jupiter, Florida.  I say exiled because I really don’t think I wanted to go.  Both of my brothers were Boy Scouts as well.  They each attained the rank of Eagle Scout, and Jonathan also reached Order of the Arrow.   Where my brothers saw community and fun, I saw something that kept me from television.  I would much rather have been home watching new episodes of Automan than going to meetings.

ghostbusters-original-movie-soundtrack-cassette-tape-1984This particular run at summer camp was during the summer of 1984.  I know this because when we went to the mess hall to get dinner one night, someone was playing the brand new Ghostbusters soundtrack on a portable boom box near the dinner line. Music is always memorable to me, and to eleven-year-old me, the original red plastic cassette box of delight that Arista used for the Ghostbusters soundtrack was like catnip.

This is also the summer that I nearly got lost in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, but that’s a story for another time. Besides which, Jonathan Dickinson is only a few miles wide. No matter how immense it seemed at the time, I wouldn’t have been lost for very long.

Back to the camping.  A few lucky souls had cabins, and some of the cabins even had air conditioners.  I was not so lucky-  my camping area contained pre-set canvas tents set on wooden slabs.   There were cots.  On the bright side, I did not have to pitch my own tent or sleep on the ground.  I was still sleeping in a tent, though, and it was open to nature.

i-regret-nothing-your-garbage-was-deliciousA recent post by Controlled Chaos recounts a time that she was sleeping in a tent and was terrorized by a small (and probably adorable) wild animal getting into their stuff.  That post made me remember a similar experience from Tanah Keeta.   During that week of summer camp, I had a box of Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies zipped into my duffel bag.  One day I came back from the day’s activities to find the cookies gone.   A tiny rip in the side of the duffel bag suggested that a raccoon had gotten into my bag and had made off with my cookies clenched in tiny paws.

Except I’m no longer convinced that it really was a furry masked bandito.   The post by Controlled Chaos mentions “tiny little nibble holes,” but the rip in my bag didn’t have that shape.  It looked like two straight-line rips.   The box that had previously contained the cookies wasn’t nibbled through or torn either, and there was no cookie dust around the scene of the crime.

With perfect clarity, I realize now, more than thirty years later, that some kid ate my cookies and staged a crime scene to frame the local wildlife.  What a dick!

Have you ever realized after many years that your perception of a past event was incorrect?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

At least a third of my readers are in countries that don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving, but that’s happening today in the US and it’s going to keep me pretty busy.  Because of that, I’m going to cheat a little bit on today’s post by sharing a selection of my favorite Thanksgiving joke images.  Enjoy, and I’ll see you here tomorrow with more actual words!

dc-villains-thanksgiving jabba-the-gobbler sesame-street-thanksgiving-sesame-street-1705164-210-320moo-moo-moo turkey-cannibalsklingonturkeys

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?