This is the first post in an ongoing series of posts all sharing the name God, We Have Good Times. Whenever I get together with my group of friends (and you could set a watch to this) Ryan says, "God, we have good times". And we do. In fact, some of the best times of my life. I've never laughed so hard, debated so much, and felt so accepted in my life. Many would probably look at us as a group of misfits, and in some ways we are. I look back at my childhood and, in particular, middle school was difficult; being a boy who had no interest in sports and would rather spend his recess reading made me a target for all of the jock-wannabes and so-called "popular" kids. I'm 24 now and people ask me, why do you still read comic books? Why do you still collect action figures? Even my parents don't fully understand that, for me, comics are about so much more than just a desperate attempt to cling to an element of my childhood. It's because, for all intents and purposes, through all of those times I was bullied and picked on, comics were a realm I could escape to, where it was cool to be different, and, as lame as this may sound, The X-Men and the Fantastic Four and all of those characters were my friends. I read comics to this day not because I desperately seek to remain as childlike as possible, but because comics were what got me through some incredibly difficult times in my life and they mean so much to me that I can't even contemplate letting them go.
Now back to the topic at hand, when I get together with my friends, there's a kinship there, a mutual understanding and, I think particularly between Stacy and I, a shared past. Like me, there is nothing more holy to Stacy than comic books, and like me, he grew up being ostracized for it, and yet looking at him now, he's one of the most entertaining, creative, intelligent and hilarious people I know. He is a testament to the fact that, no matter how difficult your childhood can feel like, it's possible to grow beyond it. The tragedy of so many people's lives is their inability to let go of the past; most of them don't even realize the only one it hurts in the long run is themselves (though speaking from direct and recent experience, some people who choose not to let go of their past can be incredibly harmful to those who are simply trying to love and support them). Sufficient to say, much like I see the rest of my group of friends, I consider Stacy to be family.
So my parents have been out of town for about a week now in Hawaii, and I have the house to myself. Now, my house is very breakable, and my parents are very insular people, so I generally don't have company over too often, so when they're on vacation of course I'm going to jump at the opportunity to host as many nerd gatherings as I possibly can. Last night there was no agenda, which there usually isn't, so we spent the evening playing gamecube (with Mario tennis and Hunter: The Reckoning being the favorites of the evening), this was naturally peppered (heavily) with conversation of all things nerd, and the big topic of the evening seemed to be Wolverine Origins. Oh yes. Because I haven't said enough about that movie yet. I feel very validated in saying that, for the most part, my previously mentioned criticisms were shared by the majority of the group present, with Greg being the only naysayer (his argument that it was ultimately a good action flick; not something I'd necessarily disagree with, but it certainly wasn't a great action flick). The conversation also invariably came to Frank Miller. Now everyone in the world has that one person that, if they were presented with the opportunity, would fill-up one of those easy-shatter glass bottles full of piss and throw it at someone, well, my person is Frank Miller. I think before I did it I would eat just a whole bunch of asparagus (and I don't even like that shit) so my pee smelled really rancid, and then I would heat it up in the microwave so it was nice and warm, and then I'd just launch the bitch at Frank Miller's head and hope for the best. Extreme? I disagree. I'm not going to enter into a Frank Miller-related rant at the moment because there's plenty more blog for that, let's just leave it at I hate the man. Now the night's starting to get a little late and people are starting to get punchy and we're flipping the channel between the tail-ends of Star Trek: Insurrection and Resident Evil 3 and we're talking shop, and somehow Stacy drops the "Cock to balls.... err... I mean Kirk to Bones" joke and he lights up like a Christmas tree. It was possibly one of the best laughs I've ever seen the man have, and I choose to chalk it up to the fact that he was pretty exhausted. We start to call it a night, but before everyone leaves we have an enlightening conversation about sleepless Edmonton trips, the ambiguous sexuality of one of our mutual acqaintances, and another round of laughter inspired by a mis-communique between a dick and a nutsack. I bid everyone adieu looking in anticipation to tomorrow's festivities; it's opening night for the new Star Trek flick and we're all planning on lining up and getting our geek on. God, we have good times.