Raphdate 2014.7.29

Well… I wanted to update weekly. A few things have happened:

- Working on my room: the house has a spare room, which is now my office/where all my stuff goes. I’ve spent a lot of time unpacking/rearranging the room. I’ve bought containers and racks, and each time I do, I rearrange the room. I’ve done that about 4 or 5 times now. It’s a constant evolution. So I keep tampering with the room

- The biggest distraction from writing is Tammy’s nephews. We do board games or something every night, and some days I’ve had to do their summer lessons with them while Tammy was sick or taking the dogs to the vet. It’s fun and rewarding at times, but I also feel like I’m putting my life on hold for them, and that’s very frustrating. It also tells me that I won’t be having kids anytime soon. I have too much to do to dedicate my life to raising a child at this exact moment.

Then again, I JUST moved, I’m trying to settle into a new life, so it’s not a fair indication of what my life will be. Either way, I want to stabilize, and also do some sort of writing, before I settle down and have a family. I’d like to have some sort of writing career to help take care of my family. I feel like the older I get, the more it’s a pipe dream, and I feel like I’ve wasted my 20’s, but every writer has self-doubt. I’m plagued by it, but it’s not going to stop me.

Speaking of writing, I’ve been working mostly on The Last Bastion. I had been writing like any amateur would: just putting the words to paper. A few weeks ago, I actually set about plotting the entire first volume, therefore giving me a road map, and not falling victim to my fickle whims.

It’s about doing the work every day, and throughout my life, I’ve found excuses not to: I’m tired from work, I just moved, the boys are distracting me… even now this post was about the excuses as to why I haven’t posted here. It shows a lack of discipline on my end. And of course my first reaction is to promise to turn all of this around, to write every day, and to post every week, and to do all of this stuff.

But let’s be realistic, I’d fall off the wagon pretty quickly.

So for now, I’m going to try and post on my site weekly, I’m going to try to do a podcast this week. I’m going to work on The Last Bastion chapter 3, hopefully finish it in the next few weeks.

One step at a time. Then we walk, we jog, we run, we fly, we transcend.

Life Update: July 1st, 2014

A lot’s happened in the last 34 days since my last post. I’m doing okay in Fantasy Baseball. I’ve moved to Maryland and I’ve left Midtown Comics and New York City behind.

Yep. Moved 217 miles, about a week ago.

I moved for a few reasons, and all of them were important to me:

- My girlfriend, whom I’m pretty serious with. Her family has pretty much assimilated me, that includes her nephews, aged 8 and 14.

- Space: I liked working at Midtown, but the hours were long and I worked nights. I had erratic days off, and didn’t really do much with my life. I just needed space where I could be myself and not be in the hustle and bustle of Times Square.

- Space to Work: I also need the time and space to write and to podcast and pursue all the projects I’d like to. I’d still like to do some photo comics with my action figures and a green screen stage. I’d like to really get The Last Bastion and Mythals off the ground. I’d like to have some scripts done by the end of the year and have character designs and an artist lined up, maybe even a Kickstarter?

- Quiet: I’m a city kid. I was born and raised in New York City, the largest city in the country…. but I’m not a big city guy. I grew up on Avenue U in Brooklyn, which is pretty far away from Manhattan. Sure, I spent time in Chinatown and I work in a major tourist area, but I’ve gotten tired of the big crowds, the people who stop in the middle of the street, and the lack of etiquette on the subways and buses. It just wore on me and wore me out. I’m going to miss it, and I miss it a little now, but I also really enjoy the quiet. It’s soothing.

I’m not unpacked yet, but I’m getting there. There have been board games to be played, things to be shopped for, and a new puppy to take care of.

The day before we left for Maryland, Tammy and I went to visit the neighborhood I grew up in. Puppy City happens to be in that neighborhood. It’s a pet store that’s been in business for over 50 years, and I used to pass by it when I went to St. Edmund’s Elementary school. Puppy City is where my dad got my other dog Lucky from. We went in, and the place was sad. A snake oil salesman tried to push dogs on myself and Tammy, but we eventually settled on a Pomeranian. I probably could have haggled the price down, but he made me uncomfortable enough to make me want to leave. We consider the puppy a rescue. Her official name is Phoebe Kate Soohoo. Her unofficial name is Phoebe Kate Fluffnugget Fluffasaurus Fluffmuffin Pheebaleebadingdong Spidey Pup Potato Pheebus Weebus Teeny Weeny Houdini Soohoo. We’ve added those nicknames in less than a week. She’s absolutely adorable, but quite a handful right now. Kennel training has been the biggest challenge.

So what’s in my immediate future is: job hunting, unpacking, returning to podcasting, and returning to my writing. I’ll try to update this site weekly, if not bi-weekly, and keep the habit of writing going. I’m not the person I was before. I’m 30, I’m older, I’m ready to cut the crap and do what I want with my life. I had a job interview yesterday, went really well. I hope to get the job, but if not, I’ll keep applying myself.

That’s all for now.

Writers that pretend to be in the throes of some kind of genius-demon, some kind of possessing spirit that refuses to let them engage with Normal Life are bullshit artists of the highest degree, looking to excuse their antisocial tendencies and bad manners away with a flourish of vocabulary and the semantic waving of hands.

Matt Fraction (via comicquotations)

I won’t lie, when I’m in a groove, I will ignore people. But I know it’s me. Me and whatever insanity is in me.

(via evilmarguerite)

Movie Review: Godzilla

Godzilla was pretty good. It was highly entertaining, but I was disappointed with how they approached Godzilla. Spoilers coming.


Godzilla has played two roles in his movie career: Malevolent Destroyer or Guardian of Earth. The trailers made it seem like he’d be the former, but he ends up being the latter. I kinda felt a little gypped, but I like Godzilla in either role, it’s just that he’s cheesier when he’s the Guardian of Earth… like why would he stop? Why wouldn’t he just destroy everything he sees? It makes no sense for him… except that they gave him a specific role in this movie: hunter. He hunts. It makes sense. It didn’t ruin the movie for me, it’s just a nitpick.

The other nitpick I had is with the focus of the movie. The movie should’ve been called Kick-Ass meets Godzilla, because they really played the human protagonist element up. Now, maybe it’s just the difference in mentalities between Japanese and American film makers, but generally the people take a step back and we watch Godzilla whoop some ass, but Kick-Ass kept throwing his face in and interrupting the action. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch had ok chemistry as a couple, but it creeps me out more than anything. (Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the protagonist, hence the references to his roles in comic book movies).

This movie succeeded where Robocop failed… both movies were looking to reboot franchises in America, and while Robocop isn’t terrible, it’s sterile. The charm of the original Robocop is in the dated satire and political commentary, that’s pretty much pared down to Sam L. Jackson’s character. None 

Godzilla movies have always had varying levels of cheese, and while the movie isn’t totally cheesy, they put just enough in it for me to enjoy it. Like I said, I like Godzilla as a force of nature as opposed to a defender, but it makes it easier to root for Godzilla. Is he face palming because of stuff his son does? No, that wouldn’t make sense for the world Gareth Edwards and co. created, but all the cliche moments and stretches of logic work just right for a movie of this genre.

Pacific Rim, another movie I liked, had more cheese, but this movie was taking a semi-realistic approach to Godzilla. If anything, it reminds me of Man of Steel in that respect, except that you EXPECT Godzilla to knock down buildings and kill people. Superman shouldn’t be doing that. Godzilla is a gigantic, semi-intelligent lizard. Superman is a shining paragon of virtue and light. Godzilla succeeds where the other two failed, in balancing everything. Is this movie perfect? No, but it’s highly enjoyable and satisfies on so many levels.

Ultimately, the movie delivers everything I expected. The kaiju fights were cool, the human element was satisfactory enough, and didn’t get in the way of Godzilla TOO MUCH. I know people complain about Godzilla being “fat”, but if he’s supposed to be mutated from radiation, then it makes sense. He’s like a hulked-out version of the original Gojira.

I can’t wait for the sequel to come out, and with all the hints they dropped, I hope we see Mosura/Mothra, or even King Ghidorah.

Raphdate 05/10/2014

Didn’t get the Diamond job. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, and I am very disappointed. Does this mean I’m not moving? NO. Does this mean I’m delaying my move? NO.

This means I have to humble myself and I have to get desperate and persistent. I have no pride or ego, a job is a job. My parents have taught me that. My mom has been a seamstress, a house cleaner and a home attendant. My dad worked in shitty restaurants making little to nothing. Just because I didn’t get a cushy office job where I could sit and make phone calls doesn’t mean I can’t find work.

I will do whatever it takes to move. I will take whatever job. I will make it work. I’ll stop reading comics, I’ll cut down on needless purchases. I’ll eat leaner. As long as I get paid money, I get time to write, and I get time to make my girlfriend happy, I don’t care. My happiness is in pushing my life forward. Getting a minimum wage, shitty job is not a step back. It’s an obstacle. As long as I have time to write, develop my stories, and eventually publish, that’s happiness. Being with Tammy is happiness. Having a future with her is happiness. That’s what matters.

I kinda wish life and it’s obstacles were living, tangible things, so I could punch the shit out of them. It’s so much easier to hit things in your way. Life doesn’t work that way. Life doesn’t destroy you and life doesn’t give you what you want. Life just is. It doesn’t care about you, but it doesn’t hate you: it has no feelings. It moves on, it continues, whether you do or not.

Guess it’s the hard way.

Life Update: 04/30/2014

So I got a call Tuesday morning. I had submitted my resume Sunday night to Diamond Comics Distributors, and they called to set up a phone interview with me. I think I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tiny bit nervous, but really I’m not all that nervous about interviewing for Diamond. Everything I’ve done since I was 19 has been to get me into comics. And to have fun. And to not deal with adulthood.

Now… the weight of moving is really hitting me though. Like what’s going to happen, and how do I say good bye to everyone (for now, and it’s not like I’m out of touch with everyone), but I’m making the right choice. I’ve laid out my life and what I would like to do and how I’d like to make things work out, and none of it happens without my girlfriend Tammy . You, meaning me really, go through life and everyone tries to live a good one, or do it to the best of their capabilities… and sometimes people fail you. Through no fault of their own, they just can’t be what you want from them, what you need from them. And when those people are the people who bring you into this world, it kinda defines you. Sure, we can all brush off mommy and daddy issues, but those two people are fundamental to what you become. I’ve had a huge hole in my heart since I was 9 years old. Like an emotional void. And I’ve been hurt, I’ve been angry. Very angry. For a long time, even before 9. And then you don’t understand why you feel the way you do and you just want someone to. And no one does, or they get freaked out by it, and then you think it’s such a burden, that you’re a burden to other people, so you make yourself agreeable. You lighten your load on others, but what about you? So I’ve finally found the person who is willing to share my load, and to share their life with me. All that anger and fear and neglect and isolation has started to go away, and I’m much better for it. So is it worth it to move a few hundred miles, move further into the industry, and have some piece of mind? Yeah. I like to think so.

I am completely open about my life I think as a result of that hole in my heart, but I also want people to understand the importance of how you affect others, especially children. I’ve learned a lot of things about life in 30 years, things I completely didn’t expect. Did you know that turning a specific age doesn’t mean you fundamentally change who you are? I’m not kidding around when I say I act like I’m 5… the person I am is pretty much the same person I was when I was 5. I like toys. I like cartoons. I like comics… I actually figured that life would mold me into an adult by this point, and I haven’t really been molded. I just am. That’s the big thing my parents never helped me understand. Sure, they lectured me and yelled at me… but there’s a certain coldness to my relationship with my mom, and my dad was mentally ill. Just a hard mixture to deal with.

So yeah, the move has become much more real to me. I have a job interview. I have less than two months to go. I have a lot of packing to do still. I have a future ahead. The gears in my head still turn day after day, night after night. Doctor Doom doesn’t scheme as much as me. It just is what it is. It’s life.

NY/MD Maulers Month 1 Report Card

A month in and let’s see where we rank eh? God… I’m obsessed with fantasy baseball.


NY/MD Maulers

25 - 22 - 1. 7th place (out of 14).

BATTING TOTALS

Totals (Rank) Won-Loss record

RUNS: 105 (10th) 1 - 3 - 0

HOME RUNS: 35 (2nd) 4 - 0 - 0

RBI’S: 109 (6th) 3 - 1 - 0

SB: 5 (14th) 0 - 4 - 0

BATTING AVERAGE: .241 (13th) 0 - 4 - 0

OPS: .742 (11th) 1 - 3 - 0

THOUGHTS: Lot more power than usual for me: 6 players with at least 5 home runs. No average or stolen bases though. Trout, Aviles and Aoki all have 3, I expected a little more from Trout. Brett Lawrie is a perfect example of a player on my team: .179 Avg, 6 HR, 20 RBI, .612 OPS. I may need to make a deal soon, for some speed. High average and power don’t mix. I could maybe look for an average/speed guy for my infield. I’m gonna give it a few more weeks. April is not indicative of the rest of the season.

PITCHING TOTALS

Totals (Rank) Won-Loss record

WINS: 10 (13th) 2 - 2 - 0

SAVES: 17 (tied for 2nd) 4 - 0 - 0

STRIKEOUTS: 219 (5th) 4 - 0 - 0

HOLDS: 7 (5th) 2 - 1 - 1

EARNED RUN AVERAGE: 3.87 (11th) 2 - 2 - 0

WHIP: 1.25 (10th) 2- 2- 0

THOUGHTS: Similar issues with offense: power. Power pitchers can get pounded hard if they leave their stuff elevated. Danny Salazar up until recently has been one of my worse problems, and I was ready to drop him. Ditto Zach Wheeler. Both have very good K-rates, with Salazar ranking 4th in baseball. I have a pretty balanced Holds/Saves mixture… only two other teams have as many holds as I do AND have as many saves. It helps that I’m in the top half of the league. Wins are random, so I can’t help that… I can only hope Salazar, Kenley Jensen, Brett Cecil and Wheeler lower their WHIP. ERA is a little more controllable than Wins.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m so jealous of Pete’s Dragons… he has a lot of sleepers I had targeted that I missed. I badly botched a large portion of my draft. Here are some of my preliminary duds.

Round 5: Wil Myers. Struggled early on, I expect him to perform better as the season goes along. He’s not Trout, but he is a damn good hitter.

Round 6: Mike Minor. Still has yet to pitch for me.

Round 7: Brett Lawrie. Feast or famine. Home runs, no average.

Round 8: Brian McCann. Started season like 0 for 20. Picked it up recently. Still probably a .260 30 HR guyer.

Round 10: Kyle Seager. Similar to Lawrie: lotsa power, no batting average.

Round 11: Danny  Salazar. Got shelled a few times. Last start was good, Here’s hoping?

Round 13: Avisail Garcia. Out for the season.

Round 14: Jhonny Peralta. Another guy hitting under the Mendoza line with like 5 or 6 homers.

Round 18: Luis Avilan. Gave up on him.

That’s most of my mid rounds. Notice something? Almost everyone is under 28, except for McCann and Peralta. In the future I may want to consider more proven talent, It’s hard to know for sure who’s going to do well and who’s going to flop, but I gotta pay better attention. Particularly in spring training. I’ll get the magazines and all that, but all of that stuff is more 2013 review, and it’s all done before January usually. Guys can indicate how well they’re gonna do, like Yasiel Puig last year. Patience, I’m over .500, in the middle of the pack, and I think things will get better. If Minor and Walker do well off the DL, I can trade for pieces I need.

wearecomics:

I’m Janelle Asselin.
I started reading comics 20 years ago. I became active in the comics community 10 years ago. I’ve been working in comics for 7 years. I grew up being told I could be whatever I wanted to be based entirely on my own talent and commitment, without fear. I’d like to see comics be a place where that’s actually true.I’m bi, I’m feminist, I’m a geek, I’m a editor.
I am comics. 
Submit your photo here!

Comics fans, creators and other professionals come in all shapes and sizes. Embrace it, accept it, because that’s life. Life is not one thing or another, it’s all things.

wearecomics:

I’m Janelle Asselin.

I started reading comics 20 years ago. I became active in the comics community 10 years ago. I’ve been working in comics for 7 years. I grew up being told I could be whatever I wanted to be based entirely on my own talent and commitment, without fear. I’d like to see comics be a place where that’s actually true.

I’m bi, I’m feminist, I’m a geek, I’m a editor.

I am comics. 


Submit your photo here!

Comics fans, creators and other professionals come in all shapes and sizes. Embrace it, accept it, because that’s life. Life is not one thing or another, it’s all things.

(via gimpnelly)

Life Update: 04.08.2014/Fantasy Baseball Results

I’m exhausted. Watching Raw… I guess that’s just something I can’t let go. I’ve been watching “professional wrestling” since I was like 4, it’s more out of momentum than anything. I don’t have any energy to even write about that or Wrestlemania or anything.

Here’s a brief look at my results from Fantasy Baseball Week 1

LEAGUE: CGS League (14 Team 6 x 6)

Team                  R    HR    RBI    SB    AVG    OPS    W    SV    K    HLD    ERA    WHIP
NY/MD Maulers 25         22      1    .225      .715      4      4     59    2        3.54    1.30
Watchmen          31    2       14      4    .279      .748    0      2      37    0        6.64    1.64

WON 8 - 4

LEAGUE: Friend’s League (12 Team 5 x 5)

Team                              R    HR    RBI    SB  AVG    W    SV    K    ERA    WHIP    Score
The(Hipster)Dodgers    30     1        16    4    .272    3        8    58    1.98    0.95      7
Team APunk                  24    8        21    3    .191      4         1    44    3.26    1.23      3

LEAGUE: Midtown Comics (10 Team 15 x 15)

Team                      R    H    2B    3B  HR RBI  SF SB CS    BB    K    E    AVG    SLAM    DPT   Score
The Captain #2    32    60    18    3    2    24    1    3    0    26    50    5   0.259     0          17        4

Way Cool Jr.         34    68    13    0    7    31    2    4    0    35    57    3    0.286    0         15       9

Team                    IP    W    L  CG  SHO    SV  ER    BB    K    HLD    ERA    RW    RL    QS    BSV    Score
The Captain #2  53.1    2    4    0    0         6    19    25    62    1         3.21    1         0       4                10

Way Cool Jr.       51.1    3    5    0    0          5    24    21    43    0          4.21    0        2       4      2           2

WON 14 - 11

Overall, in this young season, the pattern seems to be that my starting pitching is very strong, and my hitting is not so much. I always seem to stumble when it comes to offense. It’s still early, and I’ve already made a few adjustments. We’ll see. 

 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NOTES 04.03.2014

Just some notes for the season thus far.


NY/MD MAULERS

-        Lawrie, Aoki are 0 fers. Really annoying. I overrate Lawrie and I’m beginning to realize. Aoki hopefully will get used to the league and adjust.

-        DLed Taijuan Walker and Mike Minor, A

-        Added  Erasmo Ramirez (who’s pitched very well) who starts for Mariners

-        Added Carlos Martinez, reliever for Cardinals. Martinez very middling, just filling a spot in case I only have three relievers going.

-        NA’ed Oscar Tavares, added Rickie Weeks.

-        Dropped Rickie Weeks because Mike Aviles has started out better and sees more action than Weeks. Weeks is pretty much a lefty specialist.

THE CAPTAIN #2

-        NA’ed Byron Buxton, added Archie Bradley (ace in waiting in Arizona)

-        DLed Jurickson Profar, added Khris Davis (great cameo last year),

-        DLed Hishashi Iwakuma, added Sergio Santos (potentially awesome closer with great K-Rate) 

-        Dropped George Springer and added Tyson Ross (great potential starter in SD, compared to Peavey). May re-add Springer if Khris Davis doesn’t work out.

HIPSTER DODGERS

-        Dropped Kelly Johnson, added Travis D’Arnaud. Wanted a backup catcher. Might regret letting go of Johnson, or he’ll sit on the waiver wire.

-        DLed Taijuan Walker, added Jose Quintana, fantasy expert darling starting pitcher.

-        Added Aroldis Chapman, dropped Jose Quintana. Quintana had a bad start after I dropped him, but he’s expected to be very good. I wanted to DL Stash Chapman. League only has 1 DL spot, so I stashed him and un-DLed Walker.

-        Dropped George Springer, added Francisco Rodriguez. Needed K-Rod to make up for the loss of Chapman. Also, Springer means less in a league that doesn’t have keepers. Springer isn’t due up until June, which annoyed the hell out of me (and him). There’s no guarantee that Springer will be any good this year.

It's me, Raph. I talk about my life, about comics, baseball, whatever really. Trying to do it every day.

twitter.com/DatRaph

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