Category Archives: body issues

Project: Iron Man – Iron Man #24 “My Son… The Minotaur!” or Self Esteem Issues a la 1970

How do you wrap up a dangling plot threat and talk about self esteem issues in a comic book from 1970? You make the story about a Minotaur and contrast that character’s issues with that of your hero’s current love interest. And that is exactly what we get in Iron Man number 24. If you remember, the Midas story arc from issues 17-19 ended with Whitney Frost, AKA Madam Masque, ending up adrift in the ocean where it could have been assumed she was dead.

She was not. 

Turns out she ended up stranded on an island in the far Aegean. Frankly I didn’t realize that there was so much of the Aegean Sea that some of it could be considered far, but it was 1970 so I’ll go with it. As she comes to we are treated to a re-cap as to how she got here (which I was especially grateful for since it has been months since I’ve looked at my Iron Man stack).

She wakes up only to be knocked out again by the terrible Minotaur, whose name is Miklos. More on him later.

Meanwhile, a separate SHIELD investigation finds that Madam Masque’s mask has been sold to an international fence who gets busted. The mask is then examined and returned to our faithful SHIELD agent Jasper Sitwell since it relates to his investigation of the Maggia. 

Tony Stark is still upset about the death of Janice Cord and is trying, unsuccessfully, to “playboy” it off in Monaco. Lots of James Bond-y stuff here and all of the dialogue is CRAZY soap-opera-like. I actually had to make two attempts to get through this one because I just wasn’t in the right head space to deal with the melodramatics the first time.

And that’s the set-up, getting all of our characters on paths that are bound to intersect.

To get to the core of the issue we get a bit of back story about how Miklos became a Minotaur…

…and we see that Miklos has some serious self-esteem issues.

Oh, and that Miklos’s  crazy scientist father pawns all of the things that Miklos steals from the villagers to fund his research, and out of greed has decided to create an army of Minotaurs to steal from everyone. Meanwhile both Iron Man and Jasper are hot on the trail of Madam Masque.

Iron Man stumbles upon Miklos and they fight:

Dr. Vryolak attempts to transform Madam Masque,

But it all ends poorly:

All of this gets Miklos thinking about what it mean to be an outcast and how Madam Masque, who is horribly disfigured, still seems to be loved.

Then more fighting:

The fight shatters a rock that is holding up the cave and it looks like victory for our villains is secured:

But Miklos has a crisis of conscience and sacrifices his life, and that of his father, so that Madam Masque, Jasper and Shellhead can escape leaving us with these panels:

Oddly enough, even through all of the death and destruction, Madam Masque finds hope out of how Tony and Jasper feel about her and she wanders off to make herself feel worthy of their love.

This is actually a pretty heavy concept for something that was, essentially, a kid’s book. I do realize that much of the point gets lost in the fact that 1) there is a Minotaur and 2) the final point is reached with the death of the two antagonists, but this issue just goes to show that there has never been a time when young people haven’t felt like outsiders. If we look back on our own teenage years and are really honest with ourselves, I’m sure we can all remember times when we felt like an outcast. I know I can. And this issue’s message, that there is hope and that people who care about you care about you no matter what you look like, is still relevant today. With bullying being a major point of social awareness and unfortunate events like school shootings happening more than anyone wants it’s important to realize that the underlying issues are not new.

Now, I don’t think Iron Man #24 is going to solve any of these bigger world issues, but maybe the angst of a teenage Minotaur is enough to get some conversation going and conversation is something.

Do you relate to Miklos’ plight? Are you still dealing with feeling like an outsider? Let’s talk about it in the comments. At least you’ll know you’re not alone.

See you next time.

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Filed under body issues, greek, iron man, iron man 24, minotaur, mythology, Project: Iron Man

Eating Like a Girl? A No Sweets/ No Wheats Epilogue

For most of my life I was blessed with a very high metabolism.

Very high.

Couldn’t-keep-weight-on-if-my-life-depended-on-it high.

Combine that with an active lifestyle and I was a pretty skinny dude with a less than sensitive attitude about weight and diets and exercise. I wasn’t mean about it, but I never truly understood why people might not want to eat an entire funnel cake in one sitting or how they could worry about getting fat by finishing off a dozen Krispy Kremes all by themselves (a feat I do not recommend to anyone). In my mind all you had to do was chase your dog for 30 minutes or go dancing and all those “calories,” or whatever it is you count, just burn off!

But now I’m 36 and I sit in front of a computer screen for almost 10 hours per day and my metabolism is not what it used to be.

My lovely wife, Rene, is an actress and has been exercising and weight watching as part of her job for as long as I have known her. She’s very good at it and has written quite a bit about the subject on her BLOG.   She does calorie math in her head, knows the calories for her favorite foods in varying amounts and has a general catalog for good eating stowed in her brain ready to quick reference. I used to tease her relentlessly. But she’s not alone in this. Every adult actress I have ever know my whole life has been very conscious of what she eats and/or how often she exercises. It seems a bit crazy, and I do not envy women in this industry, but it is functionally part of their job to maintain a “look” and typically that involves being thin and fit. Emphasis on the thin. I don’t endorse this practice, but it is an important thing to note relative to how women in the entertainment industry program their heads when it comes to eating.

When I started No Sweets/ No Wheats I approached it in a mechanical manner: I can eat this, I cannot eat that. I set rules and was ready to follow them. It was poor planning. Rene heard about my challenge and her experience with finding ways to enjoy what you are restricted to came into play. Instead of just focusing on what I couldn’t eat (a surprisingly pessimistic view for me to take, even if it is pragmatic) she showed me how to focus on what I could eat. I started to notice how many calories were in things and just how many I was actually ingesting. I started actually reading the ingredient lists on things (and being surprised at what is in most food) and actually understanding them. I started to get serious about how much activity I got during the day. I found out that brown rice and vegetables (especially Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetables) is actually pretty good. I got past the angry carnivore inside me that that grunts and says “Western Bacon Cheeseburger!” whenever I’m pressed for time and need to eat something quickly. I discovered quick food over fast food. I found out that food I actually like can be made in new ways and so making the change wasn’t so bad.

I started eating “like a girl.”

Now, due to regular gym exercise and eating better, I’m getting back the body I naturally had in my 20’s – although more grown up and manly – and I’m feeling  much better.

Now I want to hear all kinds of diet stories. What do you eat and why? tell me in the comments.

See you next time!

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Filed under body issues, food, funnel cake, getting fit, getting old, health, Hollywood, rene

Project 365 8-31-2010 Razor Burn.

*NOTE: I know these are SUPER late!  Rene & I moved & it took forever for us to get internet up & running.  So between here and 9-13-2010 these entries are going to be brief.*

It is a little known fact that my skin is pretty sensitive – especially when I shave.  It’ the major reason why I do my best to only shave once a week and probably connected to the very reason I can have only once a week and not look like a mountain man – I grow facial hair like a 4 year old.  So I used a less than fresh razor and my face looked like this after:

Here’s hoping it heals quick.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under body issues, day in the life, medical, project 365 2010

The Tyra Show

When you work from home you get the opportunity to have the television on as you work. I used to turn it off, but I found that I lost track of the time so much easier when I didn’t half-hour/hour long shows to show me how time was passing. I’d listen to podcasts or Pandora and suddenly three or four hours would pass and I wouldn’t have nearly as much done as I hoped. I find that bad daytime TV, especially shows like Maury and Cheaters, are great as time monitors and, occasionally, you get some great mid-work moments like when Maury pulls out the DNA test and neither of the men that the girl brought on the show as the father of her child ends up being the father of that child. It’s horrible, but I’m not above schadenfreude.

However, when I work from Rene’s house, as I do from time to time, she does not have cable and I just leave the TV on one channel. Most of the day this is fine as background, until the Tyra show comes on.

I’m not a fan.

I don’t understand why this woman has this show. She is condescending, judgmental and regularly tries to force her opinions on her guests. Sometimes it feels like she brings people on her show just to point her finger and laugh.

I’m also not real big on how Tyra, a super-model and has been a super-model for most of her life, likes to try and play the “I’m a regular person” card. That is very frustrating. She makes broad moral judgements without any regard for her guests circumstances. I don’t like that. I can deal with, and used to really enjoy, hosts like Jerry Springer. They openly mocked their guests, but all of their stories were so extreme that even the guests could laugh at themselves, but Tyra takes on some very serious subjects and then applies only her myopic view on them. That’s just trashy television.

And the worst part is that her show is AMAZINGLY popular with teen girls. Very impressionable teen girls. At least for the most part Tyra rides her moral high horse, but when it comes to body issues and weight she sends two very different messages. On her talk show she is all about loving your body and being comfortable in your skin and “kiss my fat ass” but then you see her other show, America’s Next Top Model, and all they talk about is how fat a size 2 girl is and how a size 6 is a plus size model. How are these two messages supposed to jive?!?

Rene does a much better compare/contrast in her blog, but I saw Tyra’s show on teen pregnancy today and it just infuriated me. Now I feel better.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under body issues, grrr, TV