Zen And The Art Of Euchre

Back in grade school my dad, a friend, his dad and I went on a camping trip. Among other things–listening to Cheech & Chong, hiking and cooking over a campfire–they tried teaching me a card game called euchre. I wasn’t very interested at the time, so the game’s complicated hierarchy of trump and whatever-the-heck a bower was went over my head. I think I grasped enough to play for a little while, but most of the knowledge skipped away by the next day. Soon enough I was in high school though and, among my group of friends, euchre was the way to pass the time during lunch. I soon picked the game up and got the hang of it to the point where four of us would sit in pre-ordained seats (two on each side of the end of a lunch table), toss out that year’s deck of cards and play almost on autopilot while talking about who had a test coming up or girl problems or music. You’ve never seen a dirtier, grosser or more bent-in-half deck of cards in your life by the end of the school year thanks to hundreds of games and lunches.

It might seem strange to play a game that you don’t have to pay attention to, but I think we all found it kind of calming. No matter what kind of chaos was going on around us either at school or in our personal lives, I think the rules and structure of the game balanced out with some order. Everyone can use a little order, right?

I guess is a Midwest thing, though because, I’ve never met anyone from a state other than Ohio, Michigan or Indiana who knows how to play the game. One night during my Freshman year of college I sat around with some friends–two of whom were from Ohio even–and tried teaching them the game to no avail. Either I was explaining it poorly (very possible, though liquor was definitely not involved, as some of you might be thinking) or they just didn’t care, whatever the reason, we quit and played something else. I haven’t bothered teaching anyone since then. After nearly 10 years of no euchre I ordered a video game version for my computer earlier this year and recently downloaded the Euchre Online app for my iPhone (I chose that one because it’s free). I still find myself sitting here, mindlessly playing euchre after a long day of baby-watching, work, cooking and doing dishes. It’s a great way to decompress.

The post could easily end here, but I’m going to attempt to explain how the game is played. If you’re interested, hit the jump! Continue reading Zen And The Art Of Euchre

Casting Internets

Sam Sarkar’s The Vault is a pretty interesting book, check out the story I did on it over at CBR. Same goes for All Nighter, Mysterious Ways and Shinku.

I also did some goodness for Marvel.com about the upcoming Black Panther Point 1 issue!

The hilarious and awesome Rob Bricken of Topless Robot fame did an excellent FAQ based on the never-to-air Wonder Woman pilot.

In the last year, I’ve discovered I’m a big fan of gin, so Esquire‘s Summer Gin Guide was quite informative.

I thought John C Abell’s post on Wired about how eBooks are falling short right now was a fun read.

Ed Brubaker’s Criminal has never really lit me up, but his recent interview with Tom Spurgeon definitely has me curious about this new mini.

I’m linking to my buddy Ben‘s post about Batman being the worst JLAer not only because he name checked me in it, but also because it’s a convincing argument.

This might be a little creepy, but I actually wished I had these kinds of video glasses when I worked in the city because, as David Cross said, when walking the streets of NYC you’re constantly deciding whether to look at the most beautiful woman in the world or the craziest guy in the world. I also would have settled for simple camera glasses. (via Wired)

Anyone interested in comics, regardless of what kind, should be reading Jim Shooter’s blog. It’s fascinating. Take the one about the origin of the Dark Phoenix Saga as an example. I love this kind of behind the scenes stuff.

Speaking of behind the scenes comic book stuff, check out Ron Marz’s latest CBR column where he discusses what went into his decision to leave Witchblade. If you just thought “Pfft, it’s Witchblade, who cares?” I recommend checking out the first trade, it’s good stuff.

Wow, Jimmy Page came out to reprise his role as session guitar player for Donovan’s Sunshine Superman in London. I hope someone recorded it. (via Rolling Stone)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will have a new album out on August 30th called I’m With You with new guitar player Josh Klinghoffer. Their most recent records have been musically amazing, but not necessarily the most interesting records. Hopefully this one brings back more of the funk. (via Rolling Stone)

I’ve never been so interested in a headline and then immediately worried by a subhed as I was with this Rolling Stone.com example: JACK WHITE MAY RECORD MUSIC FOR ‘SCHOOLBOYS IN DISGRACE’ MOVIE Film version of Kings concept album is being developed by Bobcat Goldthwait.

Dig this crazy skate park designed like a pinball machine! (via Wired)

Kinect Star Wars looks exactly how I want it to. Can’t wait.

Speaking of lovely time wasting video games, Spider-Man: Edge of Time sounds pretty rad too. The fact that it’s written by Peter David is awesome. I’ve still got to get my hands on Shattered Dimension, but have plenty to keep me busy until the used price drops a little lower. (via CBR)

I’ve listened to and really enjoyed Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi records in the past (she’s an amazing vocalist), so I’m happy to see their new band Tedeschi Trucks Band got a good review for their first record on Rolling Stone.

Casting Internets

Hey look, I wrote a list about 10 non traditional Christmas movies over on Topless Robot. Any excuse to watch Gremlins and Batman Returns again is aces in my book.

While I’m tooting my own horn, go check out an interview I did with the Mattel guys working on the new Young Justice toy line for ToyFare which is now up on the general Wizard Entertainment blog Pie Monkey. Also check out the He-Man/Inception Twisted ToyFare Theater I helped work on here.

My buddy Sean Collins just kicked off the lotsa fun Superheroes Lose Tumblr.

I hadn’t thought about this up until now, but someone over on The Fwoosh‘s regular Ask Matty (that’s Mattel) column asked if, now that Vertigo characters are showing up in the DCU, will they be in the DC Universe Classics line. He specifically asked about Swamp Thing, but just think about the possibilities!If the Dalek Christmas tree doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit, nothing will. (via IHC)Speaking of Doctor Who the new action figures each come with part of the Pandorica and a CD! AWESOME! (via Toynewsi)

I know one person who will be crazy-excited about Marvel announcing their new CrossGen imprint. Dude actually has a CrossGen license plate, or did back when I knew him. Hey, at least they didn’t trying shoehorn the characters into the Marvel U like the Distinguished Competition has done three times in the past few years. (via Robot 6)

This parrot singing “Bodies” made me laugh harder than it probably should have. (via Super Punch)

Tim Heffernan‘s assessment of Marine General James Amos’ fear of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell seems dead on to me.

Esquire continues asking interesting people what they’ve learned from life. In case you were wondering, yes, Robert Redford is still awesome.

Ron Marz has a new column over on CBR. I dig the guy’s work a lot and liked the first column. Can’t wait to see what else we get!

Like everyone else on the comic internet, I found Brian Hibbs‘ assessment of the current comic market fascinating, specifically this bit “I think that the publishers are largely producing too many of the wrong comics at the wrong price point.”

Mmmm, I think a whiskey punch is in my immediate future. Thanks Esquire!

Finally, I think these Old Navy Techno Hoodies with earbuds built into the draw strings are freaking ingenious, but how do you wash them without getting electrocuted later?