Entry for September 18, 2006

Friends, I hope the arrival of autumn is going well for you. I'm going to try to mix up the format of these weblog postings a bit, and I welcome any constructive criticism. While I'll continue to provide updates on recent events, I also hope to add autobiographical information. as well as more in-depth political musings and entertainment reviews.

First off, here's the first installment of my background. My father was born in the rural province of Flanders in Belgium, and my mother was born on the island of Panay in the Philippines. Their small hometowns of Roeselare and Molo suffered under the occupation of the Nazis and Japanese, respectively, in World War II, but my parents and their many siblings had otherwise happy childhoods. They met in the Philippines in the mid-1960s before coming to the United States of America…

Much more recently, 0n Saturday, 2 September 2006, Janice and I hosted a D20 "Mutants & Masterminds" 2nd Ed.: "Drake's 7" superhero session. I ran a game during the long weekend instead of on that Tuesday night, since I knew that I'd probably be working later. The current characters defeated a sinister simian in his lighthouse lair and attended a masquerade ball. On the past few Sundays, I've continued playing the "City of Heroes" online multiplayer game with Dexter V.H. (or rather, having Blaster "Gwydion" knocked out by mutated gang members and revived by "Midnight Hand").

The following weekend, Janice and I swung by our old haunts in Norwood, Mass., including the New England Comics there. I bought more Halloween costumes and heard from Byron V.O. down in St. Louis for the first time in a while. This past weekend (Sept. 16), Janice and I went to Harvard and Central Squares in Cambridge, Mass., and to the new L.L. Bean outlet in Burlington. We then met Thomas K.Y. in Lexington and had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in Arlington.

We also watched the videotaped premiere of the Cartoon Network's "Fantastic Four" series. The latest adaptation of Marvel Comics' first family of superheroes was decent–I like the characters and angular style of the French animation, but the writing isn't yet up to the standard set by the Timm/Dini version of D.C. Comics' Batman, Superman, and the Justice League. While several of my friends still watch Fox's long-running Sunday night cartoon comedies, including "The Simpsons," I prefer superhero series such as "The Batman" or epic fantasy such as "Avatar: the Last Airbender."

We'll see how good the upcoming "Legion of Superheroes" is, as well as returning shows such as pre-Superman adolescent angst on "Smallville" and young-adult sleuth "Veronica Mars" on the new "CW" network. I've enjoyed military space opera "Stargate SG1," which will be replaced for a half season by the SciFi Channel's revisionist and increasingly dark "Battlestar Galactica" and the second series of the BBC's revived "Doctor Who." David I.S. and I are both looking forward to these. The only new network show I plan to try out is NBC's "Heroes."

In terms of old shows, I have to admit watching the reruns of the original "Star Trek" (soon to be digitally remastered) and "Star Trek: the Next Generation" on G4, as well as the WB's farewell broadcast of the pilots of "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel." It's interesting to note how influential those science fiction and horror classics have been on an entire generation of fans and later programs. Janice and I have also watched some professional football, since I'm not a big baseball fan.

Mainstream television that I occasionally watch includes the silly but sympathetic simpletons on "My Name Is Earl," the painfully funny "Office" (like chocolate and beer, I prefer the more bitter British version to the sweeter American one), and the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters." FX's "Rescue Me" and "Nip/Tuck" approach the level of quality of HBO's much-lauded melodramas, IMHO.

Tomorrow night is the last "Drake's 7" session for now, and this coming weekend, I'll be hosting high school friends Damon F.P. and Steve M. We plan to go into Boston's North End on Saturday and maybe go hiking on Sunday. I've also made tentative plans to meet Cliff & Eliza Y. in Framingham in the coming weeks for fondue, and Byron may be visiting in early December. So many friends to hang out with, so little time…