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by Jeff Wilkin

Type A To Z

A Daily Gazette life blog
Features reporter Jeff Wilkin on pop culture
 

Galaxy Quest

By Jeff Wilkin
Monday, May 5, 2014
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GALAXIANS

Dropped in at Earthworld Comics in Albany on Saturday, to drop off a few newspapers featuring Kelly Tenzyk.

Wrote a story in last Sunday’s Gazette about Ms. Tenzyk and her passion for “cosplay” — that’s costume play for the uninitiated. Folks in this discipline are devoted to authentic recreations of outfits worn by members of the comic book and fantasy worlds.

I was heading into downtown Albany anyway, as some friends and I were running the course for the upcoming CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge.

But I really wanted to see Kelly’s new costume. She always shows up at Free Comic Book Day, and this year was dressed as one of the characters from the current comic and upcoming movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” For any fanboys that read this blog, and I suspect there are none, Kelly was dressed as “Princess Gamora.”

It was an elaborate costume, featuring a form-fitting, carbon fiber black leotard covered by white plastic chest, shoulder, arm and leg accessories. Green and yellow make-up covered Kelly’s skin; a green wig covered her red hair. And she used yellow contact lenses for the character’s correct eye color. It looked great ... but it also looked a bit uncomfortable.

I’ll bet it was worth it for Kelly — judging from her appearances on Facebook over the weekend, she must have had her picture taken about 1,000 times! She was a sport about the whole thing — honoring every request with small kids and adults alike.

ZERO SPEED

Comic fans know there are a bunch of a guys in the fantasy world who can really turn on the speed. You’d have thought I might have soaked up some of their fast stuff at Earthworld, but running the Corporate Challenge course was a dismal challenge for my 58-year-old propulsion system.

I was with three other, faster friends, and the speed force was not with me. I kind of plodded along, ambling up Madison Avenue, turning on Lake Avenue, then Western Avenue and then heading into Washington Park. I looked like I was in slow motion ... which, in fact, I was!

Still, there may be hope for the race on May 15, which will attract eight or nine thousand runners. I felt pretty good during the Green Island “Runnin’ Of The Green” on March 15, and have not been logging many miles since. And a spring cold that showed up just after Easter brought me unbidden ailments such as chest congestion, general weakness and a deeper-than-usual voice. After hitting the thing with a bottle of Nyquil, the thing is mostly gone. So I should be getting a little stronger in my sneakers.

I’m not shooting for a personal record. I just want to keep a steady pace and not have to stop, wheeze and gasp for air on the course — something I see people do every year. And I want to finish with something that resembles the kick I used to have my high school 440s of 41 years ago. I’ll wheeze and gasp when I stop.

TULIPS AHOY!

The cooler-than-usual spring weather has been bad for my Saturday cookouts ... but great for my modest garden of tulips.

This weekend, I had about 30 in full bloom in the front yard. I planted them years ago, and they have never missed their late April or early May appointments. The reds and yellows are in great shape. I’ve got a bunch of “Queen of the Night” bulbs down under, and they’ve paid off topside with deep purple color. A couple tulips have been beheaded, and I suspect members of the squirrel nation are responsible. They had better keep their paws off for the next couple days or, like the crow nation in my neighborhood, this group will find itself on my enemies list.

KENTUCKY BLUES

Roses were the chief flower in Kentucky over the weekend, and cheers to California Chrome, the 5-2 shot that won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. The horses, from modest stock and connections, looked great charging down the final stretch. I’m thinking this could be the horse that wins the Triple Crown for the first time since Affirmed pulled off the sweep in 1978.

Now I’ve got a relative who covers horse racing for a Truly Unique newspaper in Albany, so I generally try to stay away from his beat. But as I watched my two choices kind of flounder — long shot Medal Count got eighth, Intense Holiday placed 12th — I was thinking these highly-regarded thoroughbreds might have had a better chance in a smaller field.

I think there are just too many horses in the Derby. On Saturday, 19 entered the “run for the roses,” and I’m thinking that’s about seven or eight too many. I don’t know how you pare down the field — maybe you really have to take the top, top performers in Derby prep races to build the roster. Other than that stunt, I don’t know how Derby chiefs can reduce the field.

I believe smaller groups would make for better, safer races. Nobody wants to watch a wall of horses run behind another, front-running wall of horses. And if I was a jockey — at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, that is a career that will now never happen — I’d be a little nervous bolting from the starting gate and trying to make it close to the rail, where I could save some ground and save some horse at the same time. Everyone has the same idea.

My relative might think I’m nuts. But that’s the way I see it.

 

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