Posts Tagged ‘Captain America’

Class Reunion/Free Comic Book Day 2016

May 9, 2016

So every year there is an event that I look forward to almost as much as Halloween and it’s Free Comic Book Day. Of course, this year Free Comic Book Day was on a day that was also scheduled for my Friends School class reunion. This was year fifteen so you know I was going to be there. In fact, since I attended the 10-year reunion, I promised myself that I would do whatever I could to keep attending reunions. A lot of these people were people I spent twelve years studying alongside and we grew to know each other whether we wanted to or not. Friends School is also an important place in my life as it was where I spent a lot of my most formative years. I knew I was in for a packed Saturday so sadly I had to skip out on tabletop gaming and going to see Captain America: Civil War with my friends.

I saddled up in the morning and somehow climbed out of bed even though excitement and nervousness had made it a little hard to sleep the night before. Also, I had very little sleep the day before but more on that Thursday. I hopped in my car and drove over to the school and I was surprised to find all of the parking in the world open to me. For some reason, I thought that everybody would be attending events all day like I was. I got my name tag and headed to the Math/Science building to meet up with my first event. I had signed up to go on a short birding trip mostly because of my relatives (Jack and Sandy). Everybody in the group was at least twenty years older than I was but it was still a lot of fun. The teacher and alumni who led it are bird experts and their interest was contagious. The coolest thing we saw was a Red-Tailed Hawk having a dogfight with an American Bald Eagle. I talked with another relative by marriage who (surprise!) is also a graduate of Friends. I also talked with a few other alumni who were very nice.

After that, it was time for a break from the school which was great because I was getting hungry too. I took off toward the Senator Theater and parked. I walked past Batman who was hanging outside of The Amazing Spiral and headed inside. The Amazing Spiral is my comic book shop when I’m in Baltimore because the staff is always knowledgeable and extremely courteous and welcoming. They always have a great selection of trade paperbacks and graphic novels which are usually what I spring for. I walked around and took the place in. There were people dressed as animals, superheroes and Disney characters and everybody had a smile on their face. Free Comic Book Day happens the first Saturday of May and is a nationwide holiday for geeks like me. I picked up my five comics and the second trade of Squirrel Girl. I also picked up Hawkeye #1 and an issue of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. I then drove north and grabbed a Qdoba burrito and headed back to the school to eat and listen to Chris Hardwick interview Bruce Campbell. After, I read a little bit of my haul as I relaxed.

Having observed the holiday the best I could without seeing Captain America again, I shut my eyes for a little to conserve my energy. I got bored of that after a while and I decided to walk around the campus for a little while to check things out. The campus had changed a lot since I went to school there and I wanted to walk around the place to see the new stuff and drink in the nostalgia of the old stuff. I ended up doing a lot of walking since it is a huge campus. Eventually, it was time for my schedule tour and I really enjoyed seeing all of the new stuff inside of the buildings. The school is a really good one and it seems that it is even better than when I went there. It made me sad that Baltimore public schools did not get the same advantages and awoke my liberal/progressive spirit at the unfairness. Seeing all of the stuff that was the same as when I went to school there was like a boxer getting hit with body blow after body blow. I felt swept up in memories every step I took and it was a really powerful tour to take.

Finally, we got to the cocktail party and I was excited and nervous since I had yet to run into anybody from my graduating class. I walked around the party and ran into Mr. Watt but time ticked by and I still had not seen anybody from my class. I thought for a moment that they had all blown off the event in favor of starting our private party earlier. Finally, I ran into one classmate and slowly that became four and then we were all together. Talking to them was like no time had passed but also felt like a million miles away from high school. High School really sucked and by the end of twelve years of being together, I never wanted to see my classmates again. However, as time has gone by it’s easier to remember all of the good times and forgive all of the stupid mistakes we each made. These people are all pretty good people and it was really a joy to have great conversations with them. We ended the night at Cosima’s at Mill No. 1 which was a little fancier than the places I like but it was a nice atmosphere to share with the handful of classmates who decided to show. I had a great time and I can’t wait until next time. It’s going to be a long five years.


This Week in Steves 3

February 25, 2015


Let’s start with some Steve Quickies

Scuba Steve

An acquaintance of mine recently called me Scuba Steve while my friends and I were all online together. I smiled at the time but I couldn’t quite place the reference. I knew I definitely recognized the reference but it took some quick googling to figure it out. Scuba Steve is a fictional toy in the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. Scuba Steve is a stand-in for a real toy named Diver Dan which is obviously a worse name. Of course, count on Adam Sandler to introduce something derivative and unoriginal. However, Big Daddy is one of his more tolerable films and they had the good sense to cast Jon Stewart at least. I have nothing in common with a child’s toy.

Steve Priest, The Bass Player from The Sweet

The Sweet is a British rock band most known for the song Ballroom Blitz which is a song that always gets me going. I first heard the song in the movie Waynes World, an underrated film from an overrated comedian, where the song was sung by Tia Carrere’s character Cassandra. Later, I heard the real version and, although it wasn’t sung by a sexy, screaming rocker chick, it was just as good. At the start of the song, when Brian Connolly yells “Are you ready, Steve?” the answer is always yes.

Steve – O

Steve – O is a member of the appropriately named Jackasses from the MTV television show of the same name. I was never a fan of the show as I don’t really like gross out humor or shock humor jokes. I like slapstick sometimes but I’m not the greatest fan of that either. I hated that this guy had my name and I hated any comparisons of him to me. I went to college in New Jersey so I met quite a few Jersey guys who shortened everyone’s name and added O at the end. I insisted on being called Steven partially because of this guy. Now I don’t really care one way or the other but Jackass was a sore point for a little while. It’s a shame since they seemed like OK guys.

Steven Spielberg

Few directors had as much as an impact on my childhood as Steven Spielberg and especially if you disqualify television directors. At one point, I wanted to be Indiana Jones and I will always be grateful to Spielberg for those movies. I owned an official movie fedora and bomber jacket when I was little and I would have picked Indy over Han Solo any day of the week. Jaws, Hook, The first two Jurassic Park movies, Saving Private Ryan and even Close Encounters of the Third Kind were beloved films. Unfortunately, he also made ET during that time but I guess I can forgive him for that. Afterall, he later put out such great films as Indiana Jones 4, Minority Report and the wonderfully weird A.I. Unfortunately he also crapped the bed again with The Terminal but they can’t all be winners. What I’m trying to say is that Spielberg is a great artist.

He’s also a great businessman since he’s produced way more than he’s directed which is saying a lot. He’s made sound financial decisions even if they were not always the most artistic decisions. I mean, he executive produced all of the Transformers movies and had the common sense to not broadcast the fact too much. He must have made boatloads of cash on that. Thankfully he also produced stuff like Super 8 so he retains some sense of balance. I hope to work just as hard artistically as Spielberg even if I never achieve even a thimble full of his success.

Steve Rogers, formerly Captain America

I have a been a fan of Captain America from way back in the day. I used to read Avengers comics that I bought with my allowance and Captain America was almost always a key feature of the team (although not a founding member). I watched Steve Rogers get defrosted in back issues and I saw him fight the bad guys. I watched him become the Nomad and then saw him return to the stars and stripes. Eventually I saw him fight Iron Man in the Civil War and take command of SHIELD. The character is currently super-aged and retired from the superhero business but who knows, he may return some day. I have followed him in comics, cartoons and multiple movies and, with the exception of the 1990’s movies, they were all good.

Of all the versions of Captain America though, I think I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe version portrayed by Chris Evans the most. They put a lot of heart into this version of Steve Rogers and it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to the character. In Captain America: The First Avenger it’s Steve’s brains and heart that win the day and also the heart of Agent Peggy Carter. His athleticism is a handy tool but not the weapon that brings victory. In Winter Solider, his heart alerts him to the hidden danger in time to save himself and a similar thing happens in the Avengers. I try to fight for what’s right but also I try not to just follow the crowd. I want to be honest, steadfast and true just like Captain America.

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