Today we brought the current peak of the Rochlin’s patriarchal totem pole up to my Aunt’s house in West Hills to ring in Father’s Day with some barbecue and time out by the pool.
Let me tell you, there are few things more magical than having some ribs, taking a dip in the pool and swimming alongside a big, beautiful doggo as Grandpa Joe looks on with a smile.
He really seemed to have a good time. Which is great given how hard it can be to tell how the man is feeling sometime.
It’s hard to feel bad when you’re surrounded by family and dogs out by the pool.
Once we brought Grandpa back home I was able to snag this lovely picture of the three generations of Rochlin men together:
It took a bit of work to get Grandpa looking at the camera, but I’d say it was worth it. With this being our first Father’s Day after Grandma Rhea’s passing I’ve been thinking about how important it is to chronicle our time with the old man while we still can.
But of course Father’s Day isn’t only about my father’s father. Grandpa is only thus because I have a father of my own, and Father’s Day is just as much his — even though a lot of our activities were out and about.
This morning my sister and I went out to get Dad coffee and gave him the one gift that isn’t finished until Wednesday.
He vaguely hints on the off-chance something is written about it later.
Then when we came back home, we spent a few hours making him some pasta and pink sauce:
It was delicious, and I’m not just saying that because I made it.
We got his seal of approval. Promise.
So that’s my Father’s Day in a nutshell. Hopefully you had a great one too, or at least made it a good day if you have a more complicated history in that department.
Once more, with feeling: Happy Father’s Day Dad and Grandpa!
Kiss your wife and kids goodbye, it is time to ascend into the aether of purgatory.
God is dead. We have killed him.
Long live the King.
This is how April Fools jokes work, right? Piggybacking off of a company’s April Fools joke to make a different joke?
I’m assuming the pre-conceived notion that I enjoy writing about Fire Emblem Heroes might make people double take at this weirdly set-up post and have a nice chuckle.
However, at the bottom of this jokey joke I wanted to seriously address my recent absence from blogging.
Chalk that up to a combination of a party in Fullerton I went to Saturday that lasted until 4:00 a.m. Sunday, followed by most of that Sunday spent shopping with my parents while playing Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.
I’ve already blown through three campaigns in the span of a day or two, and if I were you I’d expect a review of sorts within the next couple days.
Hopefully I’ll be better with my writing in general this Spring Break. I have a bunch of extra time that I’ll mostly be using for homework, but I want to keep y’all in mind too.
All I have to do is figure out things to write.
So, if you have any ideas, let me know about them somewhere on the Internet!
In the meantime, I’m off to catch some Z’s. Because I didn’t expect to be up so late making this joke post.
Earlier today, my Cousin Erica said it was fitting that we held my Grandma’s celebration of life on the same day as the Oscars, because she loved that award show quite a bit.
To be fair the Oscars are only coincidentally happening on the same day. We held our gathering today because her birthday would be tomorrow if she was still with us.
I just couldn’t think of a better way to briefly express my appreciation for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated at the awards. Since that’s really all I cared about from the Academy tonight.
Family, including my great-cousins out from New Jersey, as well as friends on both my Dad and Aunt Mindy’s Rolodex came out of the woodwork to help us celebrate.
My Aunt’s house was absolutely packed with people:
Especially messy considering there were four dogs running around the house as well.
But all things being equal, it was a lot less of a mess than many of us had been expecting. Spending upwards of five hours this afternoon with such a packed house could have been an issue, but it wound up being a really chill, sweet time.
It probably helped that we had a ton of food lying around.
If we Jews know how to do anything, it’s how to lay out a hell of a spread for a celebration. Plus a lot of our extended guests were happy to bring extra food in consolation.
While the food, the schmoozing among friends and my cousin’s heartfelt tribute were all wonderful parts of the event, probably my favorite part was getting to go through a lot of really old family photos and documents with my family around.
I threw a couple of them up on my social media in tribute:
We’re looking through old family photos at my Grandma Rhea’s celebration of life party and found one of her 1955 wedding photos with Grandpa Joe: Still going strong.
But our collection went all over the place. From mid-1900s pictures with my close family to much more ancient stuff from the 1800s, before parts of that side moved to America during the turmoil of WWII in Eastern Europe.
Another one of my favorites was this piece, my Grandparent’s marriage certificate.
Yet, it would be remiss of me not to spend at least a little bit of time talking about the doggos. I’m fairly convinced she liked those cuties a bit more than the rest of us by the end, anyway.
Which frankly is only half a joke. She loved these pups.
So here I am, becoming the king of the mutts:
That cute guy on the left is Rocky, who was my Grandma and Grandpa’s dog before they couldn’t really take care of him anymore. Though I do much prefer my photo with Rambo on the right.
Such a fluffy boi.
… Oh, and yes they are both named after Sylvester Stallone characters. Can’t tell you if that was intentional or not.
Though I can tell you that my doggo magnetism must run in the family, as I also got to see the original king of the dogs at work:
Look how happy he is. Gotta love it.
I’ve been a little silent about my Grandma lately, as we’re all just kind of chugging along trying to get used to that feeling in the back of our hearts. But realistically, that feeling might never go away.
It just so happens that days like today are really helpful to move forward with a smile and remember the good.
If you haven’t, hug your family everyone. You never know how many more chances you’ll have.
That particular comic was a different experience, however. My time with it was more concentrated to high school where updates were exciting events. It was much more of a social, community-driven interest for me.
I spent a good amount of time reading fan theories on Tumblr (recently in the news) and fan fictions on Wattpad (which I was surprised to find out still exists).
I went as Dave Strider to Anime Expo one year.
I even started planning out this big Dungeons and Dragons-esque fan roleplay with my friend Sam.
Finding out that video is almost seven years old hurt my soul… So let’s move into contemporary subjects.
More of the webcomics I read today are quiet, personal experiences. Super fun and often passionate projects from individual creators and small teams that haven’t reached the scope of something like Homestuck.
The most recent of which, Kid Midnight, being my spark to finally talk about them.
The elevator pitch for this comic is simple: Imagine if the monster from The Ring was actually a lovely, sociable woman who married a human that writes horror novels.
The comic centers around their young daughter — Erma — as she goes to school, spends time with her friends and does supernatural stuff.
It’s honestly one of the most adorable things I’ve ever read. You get a brilliant contrast between horror tropes and “scary” images that are followed by Erma watching Warrior Unicorn Princess with her babysitter.
The comic begins with one-off stories like you might see on the funny pages. But eventually there are sprawling story arcs — the current one about Erma and her family going to a Yokai village in Japan to meet her Yakuza-esque grandfather.
It’s wonderful to see the passionate community blossom over time, and the author has recently announced plans for spin-off comics being drawn by other artists and a phone app. There’s a lot to love!
For the final stop on my tour, I’m going to go in a bit more of an obtuse direction.
The story centers around a Riolu named Leon and a Totodile named Vagus as they get sucked into conflict with a demented band of Pokémon and their feral underlings who hope to… Well we don’t totally know yet.
Presumably destroy all of the surviving members of an ancient civilization so they can take over the world.
We just haven’t gotten the full backstory at this point.
The story is quite long with no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and there are just as many quiet, enthralling character moments as there are swashbuckling Pokémon battles in a gruesome, more realistic style than you’ve probably ever seen.
I would argue the art direction of Tales of Elysium is its strongest selling point. Every single panel is immaculate — almost TOO good for a project focusing on Pokémon.
Though I wouldn’t say that because I adore Pokémon.
Also because the story and characters that have been created for that world more than justify a beautifully dramatic art style.
So there you are. Three different flavors of comics for your viewing pleasure.
Though I’m still fresh to Kid Midnight, I would definitely say it fits into my pantheon of weekly reads alongside Erma and Tales of Elysium. Catching up on my comics each Friday has become a favorite wind-down activity for me.
However, I’m always looking out for more!
If there are any webcomics out there that you love, please don’t hesitate to let me know about them. I’d love to expand my scope even further.
When I watched Sony Picture’s “Venom,” my major take-away was that the post-credits preview scene from “Into the Spider-Verse” was the best part.
Little did I know how right I was when I said my time could have been far better spent.
I just walked out of this Spider-Man adventure, having seen it with my friend Juan. Frankly I regret every single day that it took me to see this movie.
Firstly because it’s an absolute joy visually and from a narrative standpoint. It hits things out of the park in every category. That’s also from someone who isn’t very knowledgable about Spider-Man lore, so there are whole other categories I can’t appreciate as well as others!
But I also regret not seeing it sooner because holding off has left me in a very enigmatic place as far as what to say.
It took me 20 minutes of staring at a blank screen to figure out where to start because despite the unadulterated passion I had walking out of it, just what can I add to the conversation at this point in the film’s life cycle?
Yeah I know what you’re going to say, “Jason this is the Internet, it’s the place where opinions thrive.”
I get that. I probably wouldn’t have bothered writing anything if I didn’t feel like I should at least spread my opinion that “Into the Spider-Verse” is a film everyone should see, regardless of their feelings on comic book blockbusters.
The only problem is… I know for a fact I’m not the only person who has that opinion.
For weeks, all I’ve heard about this movie is that it’s phenomenal. The best comic book movie in years, if not ever.
I knew they couldn’t be lying, because the trailers did look great. Though I expected to walk out feeling like hype drove my expectations too high.
Yet… That’s not at all the case.
If anything I walked out of the theatre floored at how much this movie ruled IN SPITE of the over-hyped praise.
Not only does “Into the Spider-Verse” balance six different art styles at once with various Spider-people, it does so after proving itself with a masterful blend of comic book aesthetics so engrained in the narrative that not a single flashy effect feels superfluous.
Take notes Ang Lee, this is the movie you wanted to make with “Hulk” back in 2003.
But even with such a complex dance of art styles and truly fluid, engaging action , somehow the story doesn’t falter. Any joke or meme you could make about previous Spider-Man movies are addressed in the first few seconds, leaving audience members open for something completely novel.
From there, every single character is given a perfect amount of exposition.
There wasn’t a single person in this film that was not relatable or well-developed in some way. Other than some brief cameos who didn’t need anything to appear and be awesome.
It’s not a joke to say that “Into the Spider-Verse” crams in seven or eight origin stories and tells you just enough with each to feel invested better than some movies handle an entire 2-hour origin story.
Plus most of it is so comedic that barely any part of the film is dull. The sensory overload is welcomed.
The only moments that could be described as ‘duller’ in terms of that overloaded sensory splendor are poignant, emotional character-building scenes that all seem to appear exactly when they need to.
But with all that film fellating, the thing that truly astounded me about this Spider-Verse film was how little got spoiled for me.
If this were “Infinity War,” it would have been dangerous to go anywhere online because people like to slip spoilers into unexpected places. For this movie, I’ve seen nothing but praise and still got a ton of surprises.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this movie has one of the best “secret villain” reveals I’ve seen in ever. I won’t say anything more.
The problem, however, is just that. I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that wouldn’t spoil a thing, or that you wouldn’t get out of some big media site review.
Especially since you should just see the damn movie!
After three Sam Raimi movies, two Amazing Spider-Men, a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances and enough cartoons to choke a small village, the biggest piece of praise I can give “Into the Spider-Verse” is that it is truly fresh and original and an absolute joy to behold.
If you’re writing your list of New Year’s resolutions, be sure to add ‘watch this movie’ onto it if you haven’t already. Or even if you have already seen it, go see it again!
Just give this movie all the money, people. What more can I say?