Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One Day, Love Will Find You

I've got Separate Ways by Journey stuck in my head. It's one of those songs I hear entirely too often at karaoke (not as much as Don't Stop Believing... please, for the love of God, stop believing). Today it was on the radio while I was driving to work.

There ought to be a law against butt-rock in the A.M.


Sunday, July 27, 2008


Ever been to Kongregate? It's a site of free Flash-based games, guaranteed to sap hours of viable time from your life. Games a sorted by genre and popularity, and you get a chat window through which you can view the endless stream of drivel that comes from internet-users.

I digress.

Kongregate is fun, but the games are, by and large, bricked to a greater or lesser extent. Sometimes it's not all that serious. Take the puzzle game Filler for example. In it, you are tasked with blowing bubbles that will fill a box--once you fill it up 2/3 of the way, you advance a level. You are obstructed by bouncy balls, and as the levels increase, the number of bouncy balls does as well. It gets quite tricky at the higher levels--tricky, that is, unless you're playing on a computer that can't handle all the flash info and starts giving you frame rate issues. This, effectively, slows the game down and makes it quite a bit easier.

This is pretty minimal, and the ranking nature of the site sends most of the defects to the bottom of the heap, where you will never, ever, ever see them. So for most of the games on there, you just get weird balance/difficulty issues. I've been playing one today called Pandemic II in which you create and control a disease. It spreads across the globe via natural borders, airways and waterways, and you win by wiping out humanity.

A touch macabre, I know, but that's not my issue with it. Winning the game seems to hinge on getting your virus into Madagascar before they close off the shipyards, which is the only way in, it seems. Madagascar seems to be a paranoid country, keen on closing off it's only border at the drop of, well, a hat. I had a virus spreading through water supplies that was completely asymptomatic (which, oddly, Blogger believes to be a real word). There was no reason anyone at all should have had any idea that they had this bug (I was saving the pulmonary edema until after I'd gotten a good foothold on Europe), but there they go, closing off the shipyards.

Also, periodically you'll get briefs about natural disasters in the world--earthquakes, which are extremely prevalent, and the like. These affect the game by doing fuck-all. Seriously. I don't know why they're even there.

But it's fun, and it's a great way to kill a few minutes. So, methinks I'm going to have another go at it.



PS - off to see The Dark Knight at the IMAX tonight. Woot!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New CD's

I just got in Beck's new album Modern Guilt and the new-ish Nine Inch Nails album The Slip. I got a free copy of The Slip several months ago (back, you know, when it was first available) but I'm a dinosaur--I like to have something tangible. Besides, it's a numbered run, so I can definitely say that no one else has #19,361, and that's got to be worth something.

Okay, perhaps not, but I think it's cool.

I've heard it already--it's okay. Not great, not as good as Year Zero, but on par with With Teeth. I just need to brush up on it for the concert next month (yay!). Gots to love the Trent.

So I'm listening to Modern Guilt right now, and I gotta be honest, I'm just not that into it. Beck and Danger Mouse collaborating may be one of those arrangements that looks great on paper but doesn't play out in real life. Halfway into the third song, and I'm not that impressed--although I allow that it might just need to grow on me.

You can hear the seams where Beck's writing hems up against Danger Mouse's production style--they're sort of getting in each other's way. It's disconcerting. Although by now I'm on track 4 and it's starting to grow on me a little more. I reserve judgment for now.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wedding, In Summary

It's 8 am. I've been married for, well, neighborhood of forty hours now. We have to check out of the room by 11, so time is a factor--also, I'm a bit tired, and those circumstance often lead to me typing like a drunken wildebeest. So if I leave any hoof-prints on this post, mea culpa, I'm sorry.

Vegas. It's like a slightly more self-aware Hollywood. It knows exactly why people are here, and it tells a few more jokes at its own expense. And the people there are funny--the wedding officiant was funny, the receptionist was funny, even the monorail had some good one-liners. But I get the impression that if you stayed around long enough, you'd start to hear the same jokes over and over again. Also, if you're ever in Vegas, walking around on the strip, be aware that there are people behind you trying to walk faster than you are!

We saw a few free shows: the fountain at the Bellagio, very classy. The "Sirens of TI" outdoor stunt/dance thing at Treasure Island. Meh. The light show over Fremont Street. Meh, again. The need to be sexy and tap into that forbidden-fruit vibe is tempered with the legal obligation to be family friendly for such outdoor viewed-by-everybody affairs. The result is, effectively, G-rated porn. Long on innuendo and bravado, but ultimately not that entertaining.

We also saw Penn and Teller--and that was a great show. Then we got autographs and pictures with them, which will no doubt appear on Facebook some time this weekend. Penn kept saying "how you doing, boss?" while signing autographs, and Abby asked him if everyone in the audience was "boss" to him, and he told her that in a very real way, yes, we were. Again, classy.

I forced myself to gamble, but in the end I think I only ended up losing about $12. I might have played Blackjack if I could have found a table with less than a $10 minimum bet. Most of the table games have become derivatives of Texas Hold 'Em to capitalize on the World Series of Poker craze. Incidentally, America is officially over the WSoP, if the clearance racks at the gift stores are any indicator.

Anyway, I played some slots, but slots are excruciatingly dull. It's not like the movies, where you put a coin in, throw a lever, watch the wheels spin, and then your winnings come out of the bottom (when applicable). I didn't see a single slot machine that took coins or that paid money, it's all done with tickets now (although they accept bills). Most of them are completely computerized--only a handful had wheels. Lots had levers, but the lever was decorative, you could always operate the machine using buttons on the front. So, gambling came down to pushing a button over and over until your credit count reached zero. I stuck to the draw-poker themed games, where it felt like you were at least actively doing something between mindless button-pushes.

We came to Vegas to elope, but Abby and I seem to be incapable of doing anything in the traditional way, so we invited our families and friends to Vegas to join us. There were 12 in attendance. All of our parents, Abby's Aunt Sue, my brother Richard (who was kind enough to "witness" for us), my sister Liz and her husband Pat. Abby's brother Bill had military obligations that kept him from joining us, but his wife Denise was there, along with her sister Tina. Then a couple we socialize with in St. Louis, Beth and Kevin, also attended.

I don't know if the little chapel could have held a 13th.

No, we weren't married by Elvis. It was an "officiant", which is a like a minister only of narrower purpose and broader application. We elected to have the non-religious ceremony, because every religious wedding becomes a study of 1 Corinthians 13:4 and I've got that one down, thanks (okay, full disclosure, there are other reasons as well). So instead of hearing about how "love is patient" and how "love is kind", we were told to be "patient with each other" and "kind to one another".

Le sigh.

But it was a very enjoyable ceremony, and we have a video of it and lots of great photos. My favorite part was about three words into my vow when Abby's emotions kicked in--her lip began to quiver and she was wringing my hand to beat the band (what a horrible turn of phrase, mea culpa, it's the wildebeests). I jest, but it was very moving for me. And that was when the mothers began to cry.

Afterwards we had dinner at Casa di Amore, which has fabulous Italian food, a very professional wait staff, brilliant Chianti, and the scuzziest limo I've ever ridden in. They had a keyboardist with a very Italian face and almost-as-Italian fedora who played music in the bossa-nova/Sinatra vein. He started with Girl from Iponema which he played twice during his first set. Yeah. He had the artificial drum-machine going, so there was some cheese, but, hell, I liked it; I had hit the Chianti pretty hard, so I was bopping along next to my new father-in-law. We got some Bobby Darin out of him: Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea.

Liz and Pat requested some Righteous Brothers, since their "song" is Unchained Melody. Instead, they got You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', which, in addition to being a totally non-apropos song for a wedding reception, is the song that the DJ at Liz and Pat's wedding accidentally started for the bride and groom's first dance as a married couple. Incidentally, we got one of those, and I couldn't identify the song, but Abby was singing along. Hopefully she'll remember the title so I can write it down somewhere.

Richard watched the baseball game.

I'm beginning to understand the need for spectacle: why a wedding needs to be either a totally last-minute-what-the-fuck-let's-just-do-it or a long, planned-out, expensive ordeal. The reason is that guys are basically chickenshit. We need to be either completely taken off-guard by it, or we need to see that the train is too big and moving too fast to be derailed.

I've been discussing this with married friends. I ran the gamut of bizarre emotions that guys run to prior to and during a wedding--emotions that any guy will understand and that any girl will certainly not. And it's not like I haven't wanted to get married to Abby for three-odd years now. The peak of it occurred around T-Minus 4 hours. I had been left unattended (seriously, somebody screwed up there) in the room with nothing to do except panic. I kept telling myself that it was now or never, and while "now" is a little nerve-racking, "never" is far, far more frightening. And then something remarkable happened.

A double-shot of Jamesons.

Not really (the Jamesons happened all right, but that's not what steadied my nerves). I put on my suit, and the panic abated. Largely. Part of it is because I clean up pretty well, and I was able to distract myself by looking in the mirror and saying things like "my God, I'm gorgeous" and the like (3rd Rock from the Sun joke... anybody?) More than that, there was something about donning the uniform of the groom-to-be that got my head into the game, as it were, so to speak, if I may mix metaphors.

Damned wildebeests.

And then Abby returned, in her dress, and admitted that everyone asking her if she was nervous was starting to make her nervous. And that was a comfort too. Then it was more like Kurt-and-Abby-versus-the-wedding. If that makes any sense.

And now I'm married. And things haven't really changed. Well, Abby occasionally breaks into pseudo-maniacal laughter and says "you're mine, now", but other than that...


Friday, July 18, 2008

Review: The Dark Knight + Trailers

The Dark Knight review in brief: believe the hype. Two-Face looks better than you've heard. The Bat-pod is cooler than it looks in the previews. Alfred is smarmier, Bruce is more of a playboy than before, and Heath Ledger's Joker is the unequivocal best super-villain I've ever seen. He is scarily, brilliantly unpredictable.

It's a big, beautiful film with real drama and complex characters. The cameo from Stan Lee was... oh, wait, that's right, there was no Lee cameo (nor was there a DC equivalent--I'm coming to a point here, don't quibble) because Nolan, Bale, et al, decided not to make a cinematic chapter in a comic book series (even a supremely-executed one like Iron Man) but rather to make a real film. Just as Pixar noted that just because Wall-E is animated and rated G, that doesn't mean it can't be really good.

I won't go into too much detail (about anything--honestly, who hasn't reviewed this yet?) except to say that this is better than Batman Begins, which was brilliant, if introspective and a bit choppy at times. The Dark Knight is self-assured and more grounded in reality. Gotham feels more like a real city. The combat feels more real, the plot-crucial mcguffin (a sonar thing--apropos for a bat, no?) is less out-there than the microwave emitter from the first (although still pretty out-there). Gone are Wayne Manor and the Bat-Cave. Batman, apparently, doesn't even answer the Bat-Signal all that often.

Okay, I've ranted enough. See it! On to the trailers.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Rob Cohen and Branden Frasier are reviving something that's been dead for years and should have stayed dead. Namely, the Mummy franchise. Rachel Weisz had the good sense to not show, and everyone else seems to be phoning it in. The CGI looks fake, except for the stone horses--but something tells me they filmed real horses and then added CGI elements, rather than creating them from scratch. Meh, meh, meh.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

While it has some compelling visuals and is based on a classic, it also counts on Keanu Reeves turning his head as one of the more dramatic trailer moments, and, frankly, I find Jennifer Connelly's emo haircut to be a bit distracting. We'll see. The global-warming undertones will make it divisive, and I could easily see this one being one of those films that should have been deep and moving but instead just leaves you feeling too awkward to eat your popcorn.

Body of Lies

Ridley Scott is borrowing some notes (and DiCaprio) from Martin Scorsese, it seems. Looks good. DiCaprio looks vaguely like my friend Evan and Russel Crowe looks vaguely like me, so I'm imagining it as a buddy movie more than a spy thriller.

But whatever. Ridley Scott rarely disappoints, except when he's making movies about wine.

Terminator: Salvation

This might not suck, in spite of the fact that it's being directed by McG, a filmmaker who's "name" would be pretentious if it weren't so damned infantile. Promising, looks almost like a post-apocalyptic action/horror, and it's got Christian Bale in it, and he hasn't made a bad movie since that one with all the gun-kata. Right? I'm cautiously optimistic.

The Spirit

Gag a freaking maggot, this looks horrible. They expect it to do well because Frank Miller's name is on it, but no, this is going to suck. No amount of Samuel L. Jackson bad-ass-ery is going to fix it.


I'm not sure what to think about this. The trailer looks good, and it sports one of my favorite songs ever, Smashing Pumpkin's The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, which is the more ethereal kid brother of The End is the Beginning is the End, the single from the Batman and Robin soundtrack. There's potential there, but it looks like it might have some of the 300 brand crippling over-the-top-ness (I didn't like 300, by the way). It'll probably make me read the graphic novel, though, and see if the ending is as unfilmable as rumored. But Dr. Manhattan looks really fake, and Nite Owl's costume is... well... ridiculous. But, on the other hand, it's supposed to be something of a superhero deconstruction, so it might be very enjoyable for cerebral types like myself who actually liked Hancock for similar merits. We'll see, won't we.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

What's Up, Sweet Cake?

Right now I'm listening to the Seatbelts--I've got most of the Cowboy Bebop OST's, and I've been running through them throughout the day. I'm on the Future Blues album, disc 1 (hoping I'll finish the double-album before the day is out. Depends on how much the phone rings.

So, anyway, the starting track, 24 hours Open, is playing right now, carnival music overlaid with gunshots, alarms, and people screaming, and it occurs to me...

I've got some freaking strange taste in music.

But I love this stuff. For starters, Yoko Kanno is a genius. It's mostly jazz and rock fusion, with some bluegrass thrown in for good measure, but at it's heart, the Seatbelts are a band that play background music, so they tend to play whatever is called for by that particular episode: heavy metal, incidental, instrumental, a capella, whatever. It's fun to hear a very clever Japanese composer take a stab at the broad swath of American music.


PS. - Anybody who can guess what the title is a reference too wins a prize. Not a good prize. Actually, no prize. But write it in the comments anyway.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

They Can't All Be Mario

If you're looking for a good time-waster, I highly recommend Puzzle Farter. File under "things that have no reason to exist, and yet do anyway". That file is getting full, ya?

You know why this cracks me up? Twenty years ago we would have paid $30 to play a puzzle platformer like this, and it wouldn't have looked as good, and it probably would have sucked, because most of the puzzle platformers that came out in 1988 sucked.

So yeah, Puzzle Farter. It's slightly crude (I've been playing it with the sound off--bodily function humor is lost on me), but quite an enjoyable game.

Counting Down the Days

Wedding rings have shipped. Everything is in order. Any day now I should get my hard-won portable DVD player in the mail. Tickets for The Dark Knight midnight screening have been purchased.

I'm heading into a rollercoaster week which will culminate in me getting hitched, and I'm more than a little excited about it. Right now I'm playing the Freak-Out Alert level for comedy on my Facebook page (it's at red... where to take it from here), but overall, spirits are high.

Okay, this was random. Back to work.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hellboy and Nazis

I saw Hellboy II: The Golden Army over the weekend, and rather than put up a full review, I'll summarize it thusly:

Like its eponymous hero, it is big, dumb, violent, cartoony, and ultimately pretty entertaining.

More than one person I talked to after complained about the villains in the sequel. The first Hellboy movie pitted our, ahem, colorful crusaders against Rasputin and a clockwork Nazi, with some undercurrents of Satan and K'thulu. Jeez, it's a wonder there was anyone left for them to fight in the sequel. I actually found the villain in Hellboy II to be fairly engaging--he was a sympathetic character. You didn't like him or his methods, but you could at least understand his motives. He fights for his homeland when his kinsmen choose to wane and vanish. It provided a touch of realism in a film that was brimming-over with the incredible and unbelievable.

On the whole, I like a villain that isn't a villain. There's plenty of human drama to be found amongst the conflicting goals and moralities of everyday people without making them arbitrarily evil or giving them unconscionable greed or avarice without cause. And it's quite another thing to make someone truly, terrifyingly villainous without any explanation whatsoever. The classic example is Hannibal Lecter, one of the most fearsome monsters in cinematic history who was completely castrated by an origin story in Hannibal Rising. He stops being scary when you find out that he was made into a horrible creature at the hands of... Nazis...

Gag a maggot.

If there is one thing I resent above all else, it is the improper use of Nazi's as villains in cinema. It's not because I'm overly sympathetic to the German National Socialist Party. Nor do I have anything against Jews. I just find the practice of employing the Third Reich as a go-to bad-guy unpalatable... no... lazy. We could make an exception for films that take place during or before World War II, but even then it's occasionally a stretch (Raiders of the Lost Ark, in my mind, pushes the envelope for Nazis-as-bad-guys about as far as it will go).

Moreover, the fact that we've demonized them in our understanding of history has prevented us from ever truly understanding their history. Posit: The Nazi's were ordinary people who found themselves in a situation that compelled them to do horrible things. To me, that is frightening. Utterly terrifying. But rather than explore that, we regard them as simply evil people who made Hannibal into a cannibal.

You're starting to see the same thing with terrorists, specifically militant Muslim jihadists. It's easy to take a cheap shot using something that people already fear. To me, it's far more compelling to not think of a terrorist as purely evil, but as a normal work-a-day person who was compelled by... something... to do vicious and horrible things.

Frankly, I was glad to see the Hellboy franchise take a step away from that nonsense, even if it is only a step towards other nonsense. At least this new nonsense was, well, new.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kurt Responds to: Kaboom!!!!

Lots of posts today.

A friend of mine went on an amusing rant about the demonstrably nuclear Iran and how the innocent (like, you know, us, relatively speaking) have a serious chance of being caught in the crossfire of a Middle-East ethnic war.

I can't help but have a moment of reflection. Is this how the rest of the world felt when The U.S. and Russia were in perennial detente? Follow the thought process if you will: we cannot prevent other countries from developing nuclear arms programs, much as we'd like to. There are 300 million Americans (only a few thousand of which care enough to act) and, apparently, billions of people in the world. Other countries are also going to hate each other for reasons that defy all sensibility (that is to say, religious reasons). Other nations are going to experience the joy of brinksmanship. How do we protect our own?

Well, we could start by not getting, you know, involved, so much. Honestly, do you think the Belgians were all that scared in the 60's?


Dear Internet!

Your feeble website is not and has never been important enough that it has the right to re-size my browser window without my permission!!!!

That is all!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Politics Shmolitics

Obama is going to win. Unless he flies a plane into a building (too soon?), he's going to win. It doesn't matter what the polls say, it doesn't matter who you think is a better candidate, it doesn't matter (that much) whom he selects for a running mate. He will win by a substantial margin. A gaggle of economists and political scientists have weighed in on this (do social scientists travel in gaggles?), and several have developed models that can predict presidential elections more accurately than polls. Three things matter: the state of the economy, the duration of the incumbent party, and the approval rating of the incumbent party. Notice something that's not on the list? That's right: what the voting public thinks about the candidates.

Now, when we get a little closer to November, the polls and the reality will veer more closely together. Right now people are discounting the future, giving answers that they have not genuinely thought out. Let's break this down, shall we? Here's the theory:
  1. In a presidential election, people vote for a party, not a candidate.
  2. If the rate of change of the economy is dropping, regardless of how good things actually are, people will vote against the incumbent party.
  3. If the approval rating of the incumbent president is low, people will vote against that president's party.
  4. If the president's party has been in the white house for 8 years or more, people will tend to vote against that president's party.
The only thing that a president actually has any direct control over is his approval rating. So for all the campaigning, all the rhetoric and rigger-more-all, the election is determined by factors that are largely out of the candidate's grasp if not completely out of the candidate's grasp.

Follow the data as far back as you like. The above conditions hold pretty well, outside of acts of God/terror. McCain will lose. It is what it is.

That said, watching the groundswell under Obama has been entertaining.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Silly Dark English K-Ni-Gh-T's

It's less than two weeks until the release of The Dark Knight, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Nolan's franchise re-booting Batman Begins. Early buzz is good--very good. I think we can expect mid-to-lower 90's on Rotten Tomatoes, slightly lower on Metacritic. And it's a good thing too, because expectations are quite high.

For starters, this is Batman. You've got a legacy of film to go up against with this character. He was on the big screen in 1943 and 1966 before Tim Burton's genre-defining 1989 interpretation, and all that's in addition to the 1960's Adam West series and the celebrated animated series' of the 1990's through today.

Then you've got the pantheon of Bat-Men. To whom shall we compare Christian Bale? To Adam West's stodgy pun-infused Batman (my favorite line of his will forever be from the '66 film: "The bat-arries are dead!") To Michael Keaton, who played Bruce Wayne as a slightly awkward, neurotic billionaire playboy. Or perhaps Val Kilmer, an atrocious Batman if a credible Wayne. Or George Clooney, just the opposite (I may have those reversed--it's been awhile, and I can't bear the thought of revisitting them). Will Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent have the same effect as Tommy Lee Jones (God, I hope so--I really hated that film) or Billy Dee Williams? And, of course, the big question is about Heath Ledger's swan song performance: how will it compare to Jack Nicholson?

Well, if the early buzz is true, we needn't worry there. The cast holds up. Maggie Gyllenhall is a welcome replacement for Katie Holmes, who has been transplanted out of fanboy fantasies and firmly into the Scientology-makes-people-crazy camp. The regulars? Well, how can you go wrong with Gary Oldman and Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman? And as for Ledger, I understand his Joker will leave you saying "Jack who?"

Then there's the summer-movie expectation, and all things considered, it's been a hell of a summer. Between Iron Man, Wall-E, the upcoming X-Files 2 and the it-sucked-ass-but-people-are-still-watching-it Indian Jones 4, there's a lot to compete with. We're about movie'd out, here at the Pankau-Haworth ranch. But we're stoked about the new Batman film. One might easily confuse our excitement over The Dark Knight as being slightly more intense than our excitement over our upcoming nuptials. But I assure you, it only seems that way. No, really.

Still, the almost-here TDK and the recent Incredible Hulk re-vamping got me thinking. The Hulk was the flagship of a new branch of the Marvel franchise, and it reviewed well, but fans hated it, and now it's been replaced with a slightly-campy-but-nonstop-action brawler. The sputtered-out Batman franchise under Joel Schumacher and Tim Burton had sunk into camp-without-purpose (or much effort, it seems) and was re-vamped with Batman Begins, a return to the grit and realism that had endeared us to the character in the first place. But the original Hulk film and the re-vamp Batman film have an awful lot in common.

They both involve ordinary men who've created a dark and brooding monster-hero because of unresolved issues with their fathers. Both films are start-to-finish origin stories, with the character not coming into lovable, recognizable form until the third act. This last fact, while dispariaged in The Hulk was lauded in Batman Begins. Come to think of it, the recent (wildly successful) Iron Man also fits the above mold. But the Hulk franchise re-vamp and the Burton Batman films glossed over origin stories and dove straight into the action. Spider-Man was also mercifully brief on origins, also the X-Men films.

I guess it all comes back to expectation. People had already seen a Batman that was senseless fun and gadgetry, all style and no substance, all bait and no tackle. They wanted something new and based in reality--an exploration of the character, which is admittedly less appealing when applied to a film about a giant green gorilla. People expect a Spiderman movie to over-narrate. They expect an Iron Man flick to be snarky and saucy, with just a little Tony Iomi. They expect X-Men to turn into a bloated treatise on intolerance. They expect a Hulk film to not be very good.

I expect The Dark Knight to kick serious ass. I'll find out first hand in just under two weeks.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Captions and Coffins

So last night I found out that I won this week's Insert Caption The Wackness Contest on Cinematical. The results won't post until tomorrow (I think), so the link above will take you to the entry page, which is also the results page for last week, in which I took second place. Prizes vary by week--last week I won a Guru Pitka Magic 8-ball, which will be joining me on next weekend's float trip (and probably not returning). This week, the prize is a Sony Portable DVD player--which should arrive in time for our plane trip to Vegas.


In spite of the badass-ness of the prize, there weren't very many entries (mine is #8 in the list, and as of my notification, there were only 31), especially when compared to the contest for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which had 94 entrants vying for a poster, soundtrack and
making-of book. I'm guessing that the anticipation of the movie being lampooned is much more of a factor, and I guess I lucked out in that most people aren't that jones'd about The Wackness.

And in sadder news, this evening is Kimbo's funeral, which I will be attending.