I’m on The X-Cast‘s “podwatch” episode 7


Having already discussed “Ice” and “Space” on The X-Cast‘s “podwatch” of quick hits of two X-Files episodes in the ramp-up to season 11 of the show, I’m back in episode 7, as Carl Sweeney and I talk about “Fire” (generally hated because apparently nobody likes Amanda Pays’s Phoebe Green, even though she’s exactly the type of person college-age Mulder would’ve gravitated toward) and “Beyond the Sea” (generally loved because it’s a fantastic vehicle for Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully, not to mention superb guest turns by Brad Dourif and the late great Don S. Davis).

Check it out!



day 1 of promotion


I’m generally someone who sweats a lot when I exert myself. Very early on in my time training in karate, I started wearing a sweat band on my forehead, which is vitally necessary given a) how much I sweat, b) that I have a lot of hair, and c) I wear glasses. Without the sweatband, the sweat would pour off my hair and onto my glasses and into my eyes.

However, as I’ve progressed further in my karate, I’ve noticed that I don’t sweat as much. Mind you, it’s still an issue, but I’m not dripping all over the floor like I used to when I was a color belt. Not sure why that is — maybe just a byproduct of being stronger and in better shape, so the actual effort to do things is less than it was. It’s not like the old days, where my gi would look like it was gray, rather than white, after a particularly intense class.

I mention all this by way of saying that tonight, after the first of three days of promotion for my sandan (third degree) black belt, holy crap, was I drenched in sweat. And my gi was gray.

And it was fantastic. All seven of us showed good form, strong spirit, and good knowledge of the material. Usually, when Shihan or Sensei asks a question and the candidate asked gets it wrong, the candidate in question has to do push-ups. I’m pleased to say that none of us had to do push-ups tonight.

Well, extraneous push-ups, at least — there were lots of push-ups that were a normal part of the promotion, of course, including me, my fellow nidan-going-for-sandan, Charles, and Dylan, who’s going for his junior nidan, doing ten push-ups on jo staffs. Fun fun fun.

It was a fantastic night. I’m pleased with how well I did — I made a couple of small mistakes, but no big ones, I answered all the questions I was asked correctly, and all seven of us showed amazing spirit. I may have said that already. Hi, I’m tired.

Seriously, I’m pretty much wiped out and am amazed I’m coherent enough to write this blog entry. I’m’na go lay down on our nice, comfy, memory-foam mattress and be a lump until I have to go teach tomorrow.

(By the way, I also completed a short project. Tomorrow, I do the great superhero movie rewatch before teaching. Friday I dive back into A Furnace Sealed in the fond hope of actually finishing the fershlugginer thing.)

I’m on The X-Cast‘s “podwatch” episode 5


The X-Cast has been doing a daily “podwatch,” where they release a new episode each day that discusses two episodes of The X-Files, all as part of a ramp-up to the forthcoming season 11 of the show.

I was on Episode 5 discussing the excellent “Ice” and the somnabulent “Space” with Carl Sweeney.

“Ice” is one of my absolute favorite episodes, so that was fun to do, leavened only a bit by having to plow through “Space” after it.

Check it out!


Star Trek Discovery: “Choose Your Pain”


My review of the latest episode of Discovery — in which we finally get a main character in a Trek TV series who isn’t heterosexual, and in which Rainn Wilson shows up as Harry Mudd — is now live on Tor.com.

An excerpt:

It’s kind of appalling that it took until the last year or so for any Trek to acknowledge that there might be homosexuals in the future that aren’t in the Mirror Universe. Stabs were taken at it, particularly on DS9 (“Rejoined,” the aforementioned MU episodes), as well as TNG‘s spectacularly lame-ass attempt to address gender issues in “The Outcast,” but it wasn’t until Star Trek Beyond gave Sulu a husband that we even got a hint of it.

“Choose Your Pain,” however, goes full-tilt boogie, firmly establishing that Stamets is in a long-term, cohabitational relationship with Dr. Hugh Culber (played by Wilson Cruz, so it’s not only a male-male couple, it’s an interracial one!).

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Incredible Hulk (1977) and The Return of the Incredible Hulk


“Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Bill Bixby! Lou Ferrigno! Jack Colvin! Susan Sullivan! William Daniels! Kenneth Johnson! The great superhero movie rewatch tackles the two Incredible Hulk movies that led to the iconic TV series.

An excerpt:

Part of it is also that the essence of the Hulk was kept intact. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s original comics were inspired partly by Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and that duality of Banner’s Jekyll with the Hulk’s Hyde is very much intact here. In addition, Kirby has said that part of his inspiration for the Hulk was a story of a mother who rescued her son from a car—the very same tale told to Banner and Marks in their study in the first movie.

The best adaptations are ones that keep the spirit of the source material, and understand the basics of what makes the story what it is. Details can be changed or fixed, but as long as the story is still fundamentally what it’s supposed to be, then it can work.