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Gazing into the Abyss: Michael Rawdon's Journal


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Elkit in Wonderland is the blog of a fellow Apple employee, whom I met through the listening club at work.
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And Since That Time...

After Dad departed, I spent much of the next few days preparing for my fantasy baseball draft, which was on Saturday. We held it at my friend Syd's house.

Boy, was it long.

We started around noon - many of us having gathered as early as 10:50 to set up - and the draft lasted until about 9:30 pm, about two hours longer than I recall it ever lasting before. I'm not sure why it took so long. We do have more remote members who have to draft over AOL Instant Messenger, and the chat room was quite slow. But I think there's also a feeling that we have a more competitive league this year, and more people were spending more time deliberating about their picks, so it just took longer all around. I was completely wiped by the time we were done.

On the other hand, I do think I have a pretty decent team. Better pitching than in years past, and a decent offense with a bunch of upside. (Miguel Cabrera seems to have decided to take the Albert Pujols career path, as he cranked his 6th homer of the season tonight - in only 8 games played!)

The draft was fun, although I think we were all drained by the end.

Anyway, this little obsession which has filled so much of my time over the last month has come to fruition. I'll still happily follow everything for the full season, but the bulk of the time always goes into preparing for the draft, and now I have time to turn to other pursuits.


In my entry on my Dad's visit, I forgot to mention that Friday night we went to see Hellboy, the film based on Mike Mignola's comic book series. While it's an action-adventure film, it's not really a superhero film, as the characters are investigators, not heroes.

The film is very true to the comics, in both story and appearance. The main plot is cannibalized from several of the comics stories and holds together pretty well. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is a demon who was summoned by the Nazis with the aid of Grigori Rasputin in 1944 to help win the war. The Allies foiled their plans, and Hellboy was found by a troupe of American soldiers as a small, red child with horns and a tail - and a big stone hand.

Sixty years later, Hellboy is grown and the main agent of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, along with several other remarkable agents: The amphibious Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, voiced by David Hyde Pierce) and pyrokinetic Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). The agency is run by Hellboy's foster father, Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt) Confronting a demonic beast released in a museum, the beast turns out to be one cog in a larger plot by Rasputin to use Hellboy to bring about the apocalypse.

Perlman does a great job as Hellboy, playing him up as the sarcastic smartass he is, although his crush on Liz I thought goes a bit over the top. Abe Sapien looks great - the whole film looks great, with dark, moody settings (and hints of technology here and there), and seamless special effects. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro does a good job with all the action scenes, though I think the characters are left a little thin. In some ways that's okay, because the plot focuses almost entirely on Hellboy himself and his basic character arc from the comics is intact and works well.

Some critics have said this is the best comic book film since Tim Burton's Batman (1989). While that's damning it with faint praise (neither of Burton's Batman films were much good), this is a good, solid adventure film. I hope it results in a nice payday for Mignola, so he can devote more time to creating new comics. Now those are really good, and not to be missed.


In other news, I finally filed my taxes, after a back-and-forth with my CPA which was mostly due to my own (albeit unintentional) foot-dragging. I'm going to get a decent-sized refund this year (mainly from the state, only $27 from the feds). Every year I think maybe I should go back to doing my taxes myself, and every year there's some tidbit on my return which I wouldn't have understood myself, and I keep getting money back. And it's not like I can't afford her. So I stick with her. If nothing else, I can feel virtuous in helping keeping the economy going...

Otherwise, I have felt pretty slagged this week. I think the draft took a lot out of me, and I'm generally feeling a bit rundown anyway. I did clear the 10,000 word mark on my novelette last night, and I'm nearly done with it, so that's something. But otherwise I feel like it's taking more effort than usual to keep pushing forward.

Maybe I just need to get to bed earlier...

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