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Published August 25, 2008

Looming deadlines, exhaustive reading assignments, and late night study sessions – it’s all rushing back to me now. Though I’m completely overwhelmed by the size of the Champaign Urbana campus and back to square one on the social front, it feels good to be a student again. I’m sure this sentiment will change in a few short weeks when I’m downing (heavily caffeinated) Dews and stalling out on my lead paragraphs, but right now the “professional journalist” title seems within my grasp. I’m just one “intensive” year away.

The bad news is that this fast track comes at a price. If I learned one thing from last week’s orientation, it’s that I’m going to have very little time for recreation. Couple that with the discovery that my dormitory internet connection is tenuous at best (though this probably will change as the semester progresses), and it should come as little surprise that I will need to drastically decrease my involvement in The Rumble Pack Podcast. Believe me, this is a hard sacrifice to make, but my perpetual loafing had to come to an end at some point. That doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving the show completely. Right now, we’re considering pre-recorded addresses or rants to tag to the end of our shows (think Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes,” except maybe even more crotchety), and you can check back here for weekly blog posts every Monday and reviews every Tuesday Saturday.

Again, I’m sorry to disappoint my co-hosts and our listeners, but the academics always need to come first. Maybe if I’m lucky, the workload won’t be as bad as advertised, but I’m not leaving anything open to chance. Stay patient…I will be back in full capacity soon enough.

Just know that 1) this week’s shirt features a huge spoiler! 2) the statute of limitations is up when mine arrives in the mail.

On an unrelated note, the third season of “The Venture Bros.” was incredible. I know some fans have been displeased with the mythology-heavy episodes, but I think they brought the show that much closer to the parody/homage nirvana that Edgar Wright and crew reached with “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead.” Though we saw shades of this last year, I think the Monarch’s arc and the exploration of O.S.I./Guild origins demonstrate that Venture creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer have truly embraced adventure cartoon conventions. We’re now getting real stories instead of just the occasional nods to Johnny Quest saddled between endless Star War references and bodily-fluid humor of the first season. The action in season 3 was truly riveting.

Plus, even if you’re not an animation nerd, how can you not love Sergeant Hatred leading Hank’s “Christmas presents” into battle?

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