Thanksgiving 2015

November 26, 2015

Just a quick note since this is being typed on my phone and I am bad at finger typing.  Turkey Day really isn’t my favorite holiday and it doesn’t help that I’m in the middle of a nasty bout of depression.  There are certain things I dread about the holidays but thankfully some of those elements are missing.  I guess I should just try and be thankful for those who love me and accept me as flawed as I am.  Maybe the waves of anxiety and depression will give me a break soon.  I want to find my peace of mind.

Anyway, don’t let me get you down.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Be thankful for what you have and think of others this time of year.

Media Update 11/26/2015

November 26, 2015

AKA Jessica Jones

I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic/Television universe and the direction Disney is taking all of their properties. There are a few outliers at Fox and Columbia Pictures but those characters are mostly fine where they are. As part of the Netflix Initiative (separate from the celebrated “Phases”) there was supposed to be at least five shows. Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would each get an order of episodes. Daredevil was successful and already received a second season. The four shows would be followed by Marve’s The Defenders mini-series where all four heroes will team up. AKA Jessica Jones really got me even more excited for what’s to come. I’m not too far in but it’s really, really good. It’s hard to do the imperfect hero. This show takes an alcoholic, anti-social and pessimistic character and makes her inspiring. Krysten Ritter (an actress I already adored) is really believable and doesn’t falter a single step in her acting. In fact, everyone is spot on. The only warning I have is that the show is very, very dark which seems par for the course for Marvel’s Netflix projects. I’m so excited to watch the rest of this and see the future projects.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

I’m pretty sure I’ve stated how much I love magical girl stuff on this blog. If not, I really do love that stuff a lot. I have a lot of memories of ditching Dragonball Z and being really excited to watch Sailor Moon everyday instead. I moved on to Card Captor Sakura later as I was pretty sold on the concept. It even works for magial boys too like Ronin Warriors and Saint Seiya. So I instantly put Madoka on my Netflix list as soon as it was available. I didn’t check it out until this week and I was pleasantly surprised. Forgive me as there is no other way to put it but this show is really fucked up. I don’t remember the last time I watched the first episode of the show and yelled “What the fuck!?” at my television with a big smile on my face. The show follows magical girls (aka transforming pre-teen superheroes) who battle witches. However, this show takes a hard look at the realities of using such young soldiers in a dangerous battle against evil. The stakes are high and death is their final reward. It’s pretty chilling and a refreshing look at the genre. I also like that the witches are portayed by mixed media in the form of fabric arts and western-looking animation. The heroes are portrayed in clean anime style and it makes the situation even more weird and terrifying. I want to watch the second half of this series to see what happens to these girls. I have a bad feeling though.

Lilo and Stitch

I really needed something more light-hearted after the above picks so I decided to finally watch Lilo and Stitch. Missing Disney movies when they come out can be a pain in the butt as Disney has a tendency to lock them in a vault. I have legitimately become enamored of Hawaiian and Island culture ever since reading about it as described by Dwayne Johnson. From what I can tell online, the movie is a fair look at modern day rural Hawaii. The movie is very touching and sweet and funny. I’m no longer sorry I missed this one because that means I got to watch this now and not then. Much of the humor, at least for me, came from the older sister who I’m sure I wouldn’t gave identified with when this originally came out. She’s trying her best to manage an unruly little sister and the new addition of a space alien posing as a dog. Lilo and her sister Nani are some of the most accurate portrayals of modern human beings that I’ve ever seen. The alien stuff is merely fun background to three lonely and hopeless characters finding their place in a family unit. Also, the Disney record of making me at least tear up is intact.

Kaizo Trap

Day One

Pigeon Music Party!

Sweet Potato vs. Yam

Trains, Planes and Automobiles – Car Rental


– I’m really excited for Felicia and Jonah and MST3K
– I still wish that Mike and Kevin were involved
– I got my first Pro-Wrestling Crate and it’s awesome
– I have a few more Disney movies to check out
– Loaded this post on Monday because of holidays
– Happy Thanksgiving!

The Mystery Part 6

November 23, 2015

The Mystery

Scott was sitting in a corner of the back room when Heather opened the door and walked in. The lights flickered on. It felt like a parody of their usual ritual. He barely looked up before casting his eyes back down at the floor. He wasn’t there at the veterinary office. He was in the alley, trying to help that cop hold onto life. There was blood everywhere.

“Is that your blood?” Heather asked, kneeling down in front of him. Scott supposed this was one of those situations where you skipped ‘hello’ and other pleasantries. Although, as he thought about it, they never really did pleasantries.

“What?” He looked at her like he hadn’t heard the question. She gripped his wrists in return and looked into his eyes.

“Is this your blood on your hands. Are you injured?”

“No it’s not my blood.” Scott said and wrenched his arms out of her grip which was easy to do with the blood still being a little slick.

There was a long silence and she stood up and stepped away from him. “Whose blood is it then?”

“You don’t want to know. I don’t even want to know.”

“Why?” She asked, her voice stern. She was pushing him into answering her questions whether he wanted to or not.

“Because the answer is a bad one. I caused something horrible to happen.” He answered, softly.

She shook her head. “Look, I know who you are. You’re the Mystery. You’re the hero I’ve patched up over a dozen times so far.”

He looked up at her through the beginning of tears. “I’m not a hero. This is who I am.” Scott said and peeled his mask off and tossed it on the floor in front of him. He looked up from that spot and into her eyes. There was another moment of silence.

“If you were expecting shock, I hate to disappoint you. I don’t recognize you. Not at all.” She said. “Just tell me what happened.”

He sighed. There was no use fighting it, he had to talk to somebody. “I was just about to take down Trixshot but this guy in impressive gear took her down instead. Then he tried to recruit me I think. I’m not entirely sure but the answer was no. Then he shot a cop and I barely got away.” It felt good pouring all of that out onto the floor between them. There was no risk as the police already knew all of that.

“He sounds crazy. I mean, as long as we’ve had our arrangement you’ve helped a lot of people. I study you. I know you’re a good man.” Heather said. She pulled up a chair and sat facing him, her expression had softened a little.

“You studied me?” He asked, he looked up at her. He knew what the answer and the explanation must be but he wanted to hear it.

“I’m not going to donate medical supplies to just any crazy guy off the streets. I made sure you were helping people. I kept news clipping and asked anybody I could on the street for information. I found that you were honest in your intentions and that you really do want to help people. If it was any different, I would have called the police on you a long time ago.” Heather said. She grabbed a notebook off the back shelf and paged through it for him. It was full of newspaper clipping and scribbled notes.

“It doesn’t matter. I couldn’t save that cop. He’s probably dead now.” Scott said. Those words were the hardest of his life. He wanted to believe the man was still alive but a gunshot at that range was unlikely to leave a survivor. If Azaria and Parker had saved him it would have been a miracle.

“Maybe.” Heather said and her eyes went down, knowing just saying that hurt both of them. “But you’ve saved other people before. You’re also not responsible for this psycho’s actions. One way or another, he’ll face justice.”

He looked up at her and pushed himself to his feet. “Now there’s something I want to be involved with. I don’t know how to deal with him yet but I won’t let him kill again if I can help it.”

Heather smiled. “That’s the Mystery that I know.” She took the mask off the ground and pushed it into place over his eyes. “I recognize you again.” She grinned.

He smiled in return. Everything wasn’t sunshine again but there was at least a single ray of it. “I have to go.”

“Alright, where to?” She asked. “Or should I not know?”

“I’m not sure but I’ve got the start of a plan. And Heather?”


“Thank you for always being there.” He said. She had always been there since the night he had first stumbled into her clinic.

She looked down and blushed slightly. “You’re welcome. I kind of like being your sidekick.” But when she looked up, he was already gone.

Strange Tides

November 22, 2015

The Zoefire sailed along at an even pace, far from its original port of call in Bevor. The naval insignia that usually would be afixed to the bow had been chiseled off days ago. It left a nasty scar in the wood but Captain Gavriel had been in too much of a hurry to let somebody dangle over the rail and paint over it. Here, nearly on the other side of the world from its origin, there was both safety and danger without that insignia. Trin stepped into the captain’s quarters and shut the door behind her.

“What exactly are we stealing, sir?” Trin asked, checking to make sure her pistol’s chamber was clean before replacing the magic crystal that served as ammunition. When the captain’s answer wasn’t immediately forthcoming, she glanced at Gavriel and rolled her eyes. However, she only did it a little bit and with the utmost respect for her captain.

“Stealing? What else would we be stealing?” Captain Gavriel responded, and when Trin gave him a look, he continued. “Does it have to be something specific? Our target is wealthy and there will be plenty to steal.” He took a moment to scout the horizon through the window with his telecope, ignoring further looks from Trin.

“You know, we have gone rogue, betrayed our commision and we stole a Navy ship. When we did all of that, I thought you had a very specific plan in mind.” Trin said, leaning in with both hands on his desk.

“Well, I am very fond of this ship. It was the first ship I served on ten years ago. I sailed under Captain Zufor for two years. When I attended Zu’s funeral a month ago, I was handed her journal. I guess I got nostalgic and asked for the Zoefire commision which they were only too happy to give me as they were going to junk her anyway.” Gavriel said which, of course, did not answer the question.

“Which you then stole.”

“I do believe we stole it, Trin.” He smiled, peering at his charts through those odd green colored glasses.

“Then why did we steal it, sir? Nostalgia aside.” She pressed.

“Oh well, lots of reasons I suppose.” He smiled and kept looking at all of those charts. Trin could not understand the charts. She was never schooled in such things. She had focused on martial training. She was a combatant and a sailor and she never expected that to change. Now she was a thief and she was till dealing with that.

“Name one, sir.” Her eyes narrowed and she leaned in a little closer. She often looked secretarial but now here eyes were a little intense. Intense enough to make Gavriel look at her although his amused, business-like expression did not match her intensity.

“Well, it’s made of enough enchanted wood to pass through most magical barriers. Like the ones around the cliffs of Cahm. ” He said, rather too casually for a place so guarded.

“Which is the direction you had us go. Hells, we’re almost thre. That makes sense. Sort of. There are gaps in the details of your plans, sir.” She said, one of the biggest understatements of her life.

“Yeah. It won’t be easy but I promise it’ll be memorable.” He said, casually.

“Not comforting in the slightest, sir.” Trin said. It came out mousier than she would have wished.

“Just keep the boat straight, Trin. We’ll be alright.” With that, Captain Gavriel looked back down at his desk full of charts.

Trin realized there was no use trying to anymore information from the captain and turned to leave without even an ‘Aye captain.’ The two had been close these past two years but she wondered how close they could have been. He was so tight-lipped that it made her curious and a little hurt at his silence. Didn’t he trust her?

Media Update 11/19/2015

November 18, 2015

Twin Peaks

I completely missed Twin Peaks since I was eight when it originally came out. Also, David Lynch is one of the weirdest directors to get studio funding. A lot of people find it hard to wrap their head around Lynch’s work and I am no different. Twin Peaks is probably closes to a murder mystery/soap opera with strange paranormal overtones and undertones. It is surreal in all the best ways (and I know I overuse that term). However, it can be a little complicated to follow and I don’t think it’s entirely because it’s a murder mystery with a lot of side plots. Some of the actors look too much like each other so that I got confused early on. Still, those actors all do a really good job with extra tips of the hat to Kyle MacLachlan and Ray Wise. The show is strange and dream-like and I feel like it takes repeated viewings to understand everything. However, I really like it and suggest people try it out if they like weird stuff.

W/ Bob & David

So I did not discover Mr. Show while it was originally airing. My friends and I were probably busy fawning over Monty Python and various other legitimately good but older things. Eventually I saw a clip and I was sucked into watching the rest of it as I struggled to DVR what I could. Now it’s years later and they have put up five episodes of a new show on Netflix. The show may be even better than it was. It’s very self-aware and intentionally very silly. One sketch flows into another without pause and then sometimes we’ll revisit an earlier sketch before moving on again. In many ways it is a spiritual cousin of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Kids in the Hall. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have a great energy that is contagious. They also make good use of guys like Tom Kenny, Brian Posehn and a bunch more funny people. Definitely check it out.

Late Night with Stephen Colbert

Fair Warning: I haven’t watched a lot of the new Late Night. Of course, I didn’t watch a lot of the old Late Night either. I respected Letterman and preferred him to Leno but the truth was that I watched neither of them because I either had to go to sleep or there were other things on. I’m a huge fan of Stephen Colbert through The Daily Show and The Colbert Report so I knew I would eventually have to check his new show out. Now, I have. There was a lot of speculation and anxiety people had concerning the possiblity that Colbert would fail without the character he cultivated on his two previous shows. He does just fine without it because comic timing and good jokes do not rely on character. He still makes me laugh and the best part is that he’s allowed to be himself now (as much as yourself you can be as a network tv host). The comedy is also pretty grownup but still allowed to be silly. The interviews are smart and the segments are great. Check it out if you get the chance but I won’t blame you if you fall asleep before it comes on.

Links of the Week:

If Ronda Rousey Was in Street Fighter II
Bruce Campbell’s Colbert Impression
Dark – Hot Pepper Game Review feat. Ninja Brian
Jim Henson’s Diary Found (Fake)
Grumpcade – Dogs


– Started watching Z (The Zelda Fitzgerald show on Amazon). It’s good
– Congrats to Jonah Ray for MST3K but Mike and Kevin are still not involved
– Blacklist just gets better and better
– The Muppets is great but I worry about the upcoming reboot
– I am enjoying playing Fallout 3

Why I Like Pro-Wrestling: Kayfabe

November 13, 2015

So two days ago one of my favorite sports entertainers, The Undertaker, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and tombstoned a guy wearing a turkey costume. In a bubble, the skit was actually pretty funny. You can watch the video above for context but context doesn’t really do much for that sort of humor. In the interest of full disclosure, I will state that I have disliked Jimmy Fallon in the past because I felt he ruined Saturday Night Live while he was on it. I have since released my grudge but I still don’t really care for him but I respect that he is popular.

I can see why they chose Undertaker for something like this, seeing as we are coming up on Survivor Series. For those unaware, The Undertaker character made his debut during Surivivor Series 25 years ago in 1990. The guy must be close to retirement at this point as he only shows up for big payperview matches and those matches are farther and farther between. The Undertaker also has historically had some of the best pyro and has a history of showing up and beating up everybody just because.

Now, the above video is why I am a little upset at WWE for loaning out the character. Back in the day there was a more strict adherence to something called kayfabe. Kayfabe is a term in backstage lingo that evolved from the secret language of carny workers. The concept of kayfabe is that promoters, writers and performers create a world that the characters live in that has its own rules that are usually strictly followed. Kayfabe is used to enforce a code of acting both in and out of the ring that helps with the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief. A heel performer might even refuse your autograph request and insult or threaten you to keep up the illusion.

Let’s stick with The Undertaker as our example. The Undertaker started as a creepy individual who was brought in by Ted Dibiase. He felt no pain and locked people in coffins and was billed as a near unstoppable monster. With a height of 6′ 10″ and a dead-eyed expression on his face, it was easy to understand how crowds would be intimidated by him. Then the character was killed in an event that took pretty much every heel in the promotion and even then it was a close thing. He was instantly ressurected and since then he has been a supernatural entity. He’s basically a horror movie monster but strangely he’s spent much of his career as a babyface. I think it draws on the desire a lot of us have to root for the horror movie villain. He grants that desire by only hunting heel characters.

Let’s get back to my point, though, about the Wyatt Family taking on the Brothers of Destruction and the larger point of kayfabe. As I type this, there is currently a storyline running where Bray Wyatt is calling out the Undertaker and his brother Kane. I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed this before but Bray Wyatt is a backwoods cult leader with a vaguely defined Cthulu-like mythos. He and his family recently took out The Undertaker and abducted him to who knows where. Wyatt claimed to have consumed his soul and later demonstrated that he had control over Undertaker’s spooky supernatural powers. On Monday, November 9 the Undertaker (and Kane) returned to face down the Wyatts.

So what am I getting at? If the Eater of Worlds can’t keep the Undertaker down, how can Jimmy Fallon summon him on a whim for a comedy sketch? It’s actually not that big a deal these days but it raises a lot of questions when a character appears outside of their domain. How did Jimmy get the Undertaker to come? Why does Taker hate the guy in the suit? But, like I said it’s not a huge issue. The slight pin prick of annoyance did make me think about how much I love kayfabe though. It’s ridiculous, it’s strange but everyone plays along with the story and we get to immerse ourselves into a strange world that I enjoy.

Oh Death!

November 12, 2015

Aadhya pulled the hood of her sweatshirt down lower and tucked her long, damp hair back in place. She had to stay hidden, she had to keep moving or she was toast. She did not know who was after her but she knew that no forcer on Earth could help her now. The crowd milled around her but she always felt alone and helpless, even in the middle of a crowd. He followed her wherever she went and nobody would believe her. This was the third city she had been through and she knew he was still right behind her.

She had been desperate the week before, tired and hungry and scared out of her mind. She felt she could not stop for long but she had tried to research how to ditch somebody tracking you. She hadn’t attended any of her high school classes and she had ditched her cell phone weeks ago. It had not worked at all. She had left town, using fake names on public transportation and had done her best to cover her tracks. Yet she still had glimpsed him every time she stopped running. If she stayed in one place for longer than a few hours, he appeared.

She wished she knew who he was. She had been walking home from school one day alone after drama club and she had spotted him by chance two blocks away. Fear had stabbed into her heart as if it was a primal instinct. She had run home, ducking through alleys and backyards but he had found her. Her parents didn’t see him and eventually she had to fake calm in order to slip away before the morning sun. She went to the police but they were no help and only tried to detain her but she kept running anyway.

One night she had broken into a bookstore to find somewhere to sleep, mostly because she noticed it had a back door. After a few books on the occult, she had a new perspective and a new plan of action. Weeks before she would not have believed but after seeing what she had seen, she was either losing her mind or believing in magic. She had researched symbols, runes and spells and had come up with designs she felt could protect her, mask her. She used the henna skills her aunt had taught her to draw the symbols all over her body, using a mirror when necessary. She noticed that she had quite a bit more time to stop now but she had to keep moving.

She also had to keep covered up. She noticed that when adults caught sight of all the henna tattoos, they were either scared or concerned. Last week a nun had stopped her and tried to wrangle her into the system. She had slipped away but realized that she was now on her own. At best, nobody would believe her. At worst, they would think she was crazy or a demon worshiper or something. But she knew that he was real. He was out there somewhere all the time and he wanted her. He had even almost gotten her once.

It was in the New York Subway. She was pushing her way through a revolving gate when a hand shot through the bars and caught her jacket. She looked back but she could not see his face and that scared her more than anything ever had. She fought hard and her jacket had torn and she had gotten on the train and far away. A lot of nights she woke up in a cold sweat with that image and feeling burned into her brain. She would often get up and go at that point, unable to get back to sleep. The whole experience had led to more exhaustion. She was just so tired.

“Enough!” The voice rang out like a festival PA system. It was impossibly loud especially in the middle of a busy city street. Aadhya looked around and was shocked to realize that all the people were gone. The cars were gone too, even the parked ones. There was nothing between her and that man.

“What do you want!?” She screamed at the figure. He was somehow becoming clearer but also somehow his features didn’t register in her mind. She blinked a few times to clear her vision.

“Aadhya Kumta, you have lead me on a merry chase but the time for running is over. It is time for you to accept your destiny. You will come with me.” He said.

“No. I won’t!” She yelled, backing up as fast as she could but it suddenly felt like walking in thick mud. “What do you want from me?”

“I want you to become who you are supposed to be. I want you to be what you are supposed to be.”

“What is that? What am I?” She asked, her voice faltering.

He was suddenly in front of her and he placed his palm on her forehead, her hood falling away. He released her and she staggered backwards. She looked down and saw all of that henna ink dripping onto the pavement. That just wasn’t possible. She turned and faced a plate glass window and watched her skin grow pale and her hair turn white. She turned back towards the man, a helpless look on her face.

“You have become Death, Destroyer of Worlds. You are the first of the four Horseman.” He said with an amused chuckle. “Sorry, I guess the term is outdated now.”

“I don’t understand.” Aadhya said softly.

He smiled. “Come with me, my Death. I will explain the coming days. Come with me and we will join with your sisters in bringing this world to its knees.”

Media Update 11/12/2015

November 12, 2015

The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore

I’m finally getting around to talking about this show. The Colbert Report quickly became one of my favorite shows with its razor sharp parody and near perfect comic timing. So when Colbert was tapped as an obvious replacement for David Letterman who would take over that slot? The immediate announcement was that Larry Wilmore would be taking over the spot. Like Colbert, Wilmore had gotten his start on the Daily Show and was graduating to get his own show. Wilmore was the correspondent they often tapped when they needed a sarcastic black perspective when they weren’t using Jessica Williams. Most of his segments revolved around eventually flummoxing Stewart (and the audience) with white guilt. They were clever but they kind of pidgeonholed him. As host of the Nightly Show (a clever name for the show) he offers his comedic insight about the news as Stewart, Colbert and Oliver did before him. He puts his own spin on it and, yes, he does offer a unique opinion from a black man but that’s not all he does. The only part of the show I don’t like is the second part. It’s a roundtable discussion which doesn’t seem to be scripted and is often too messy and clumsy to be funny but maybe it will eventually find its footing. Definitely check it out after the Daily Show.


I hate Man of Steel. I made that clear when I reviewed the movie over a year ago and I still really hate that movie. When I found out that they wanted to set the Supergirl show in that world, I despaired a little. However, as I also reported here, when I saw the Supergirl trailer I got excited. The costume design of the show is by Colleen Atwood who did design work for Arrow and Flash. The show thankfully borrows as little as possible from the Man of Steel series of movies. They even make a point of not referring to Superman as Superman. The show is paced really well and it just has an overall sunnier disposition and I love that. More than that, I really like all the characters. The action and effects are all spot on. I just got this feeling that I get when I see a good comic book show or movie. I shout “See!? This is what I spent my allowance on all those years. I walked four miles for just a taste of this every Saturday!” I just sat there and smiled.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

I love the Evil Dead movies and Bruce Campbell. There’s such an indy comedy/horror quality to the trilogy that feels like it has a lot of heart without much money. I also loved the movie My Name is Bruce for breaking the fourth wall and portraying Bruce Campbell as an aging, selfish hero. This show felt like it married those two concepts and combined two great tastes. Ash has been through some tough days and it really shows how his character works. He’s only good at one thing and that’s being a hero. Otherwise he’s a selfish jackass who you don’t really want to hang out with. In hero mode, you’re drawn to him and that’s really fun. I also like that, despite the bigger budget, they were able to keep the feel of the Deadites from the movies. The Deadites are probably my favorite horror villains because they have no rules. They just do evil stuff and are constantly showing off new tricks just because they can. I can’t wait for more episodes!

Cool Links of the Week:

Seth Rollins Betrays the Shield (Get Well, Seth!)
The Night Crew
How Deadpool Spent Halloween
Join Team Pointless
The Daily Show – Ben Carson

– I’m a little disappointed in the MST3K Kickstarter
– I finished Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy. Wow.
– I also finished Bones Season 10 and that was powerful. Should have ended there.
– I’ve been listening to a lot of Harmontown again. It’s so good.
– Blacklist continues to be excellent
– I think Criminal Minds is underrated.

Sashi the Brave

November 7, 2015

Sashi wiggled her dagger in the lock uselessly. Her sister was the thief, not her. Sashi was born for the freewheeling life of an acrobat. Lately she had found it necessary to add sellsword to her resume as well. Truthfully, her sword figthing wasn’t up to the level of her tumbling. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much call for tumbling these days. Well, not as much as there was need for a decent swordhand. The world was troubled and you either learned to run or you learned to fight.

Her sister, Kariah, had learned to run pretty quickly which was why Sashi was stuck tring to pick the lock on the chest. Her sister had been way better at larceny. The chest had the General’s plans in it which the government apparently couldn’t ask nicely for. However, they could pay handsomely for the plans which was coincidentally the right price to hire the Leva Troupe for this sort of mercenary work. It would have helped if the locks were more cooperative though.

As it was, the distraction provided by Abelli and Rista would cease being so distracting pretty soon. At that point, the guards would return and the game would be over. The lock was never going to surrender to such clumsy approaches though.

It was at this moment that Caban’s axe came down hard on the chest. With a grunt, Caban pulled his axe from the wood and something cracked near the lock and the thing popped open. Sashi shot him a look that was equal parts frustration and gratitude. He responded with a trademark sheepdog grin.

“Getting bored. It is open. Grab papers?” He asked.

Caban’s native language was not Etlyan. From what the rest of the troupe could tell, his native language was hitting things which made him the perfect strong man. He had come from Ceylar which explained the thick accent and why he spoke only broken Etlyan. He was a broad-shouldered man with a strong jaw and a prominent brow. He looked big and scary but he was kind to those who were kind to me and especially delighted in putting smiles on children’s faces.

Sashi grabbed the papers and tucked them into a leather bag and cinched the bag to the small of her back. She arranged her cloak over the pouch and ran for the door. She could feel Caban close behind her like a sprinting grizzly bear. She looked over her shoulder and locked eyes with Rista for a moment. A split-second later and Rista and Abelli vanished in a cloud of smoke. Their distraction was gone and they had to get out now or risk a life in chains in the capital.

They reached the wall and Caban braced himself against the wall and bent down and offered his hands. Sashi stepped into his hands and Caban tossed her up and over the wall. She smiled brightly as she felt that familiar thrill as she tumbled through the air. She somersaulted and landed carefully in a crouch at the base of the wall. She looked up and saw Caban’s massive hands suddenly appear at the top of the wall and then he vaulted over the wall with a massive grunt. She cleared the area as he landed with a massive thud.

“Come on, rendezvous on the King’s street.” She yelled as they navigated the alleyways. She knew they all wanted this job done as soon as possible. The money was good but the risks and complications could be huge getting involved with the military and the government. Maybe this job was a mistake but they all trusted Leva to take the jobs they could handle.

They rounded the corner and Sashi stopped short.

“Why stop?” Caban asked.

“Our contact is supposed to be here.” Sashi said, drawing both of her swords. It never hurt to be prepared.

“Your contact? And just who would that be?” A tall, spindly man said as he pushed open a shop’s back door and stepped into the alley. He wore all black and he was carrying a long, silvery chain that looked strangely menacing.

“Why is that your business?” Sashi asked, holding her swords between her body and the creepy man in black.

“Well, we must have spooked your contact and we would very much like to know who it was. In the meantime, we would also like the papers from your satchel.”

“Hell no. That would be a breach of contract. Come on, we’re getting out of here.” Sashi said, walking toward the busy street just a few yards away. Caban fell into step behind her.

“I don’t think so.” The man said. He opened his coat and fingers of smoke trailed from underneath. The smoke turned into seven armored soldiers, armored in flat black armor. The soldiers soundlessly drew swords as they blocked the path. “Hand over the papers.”

It was eight on two and neither Sashi nor Caban had any armor on. Suddenly an arrow whistled through the air and found a gap in the armor of the soldier right in front of Sashi. It slumped to the ground with an arrow in its neck. There was a stunned silence and then more whistling arrows found their mark. Then, from the other direction, knives flew through the air and more soldiers slumped to the ground. Sashi drove a sword through the last one. Somewhere during the action, the man in black had slipped away.

Abelli and Riva hopped down from the north wall. “You keep getting into trouble.” Riva said, slipping her bow over her shoulder.

“And you keep getting me out.” Sashi said with a grin. “I have no idea what’s going on.”

“She alerted us to the danger and we got here as soon as we could.” Abelli said.

“She who?” Sashi asked, sheathing her swords.

“How about your sister?” A familiar voice asked from up high. A shadow dropped from a window and when it landed, she took down her hood. It was Kariah, the prodigal sister.

Media Update 11/5/2015

November 5, 2015

Walt Disney Animated Studios Short Films

I had been waiting for this collection to be released for quite a while. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a huge Disney nerd. I love short animation because there’s so much freedom when you don’t have to worry about setting up a sequel or a second episode. Disney is definitely a master of the animated short and they include them in a lot of their DVD/Bluray releases as a bonus. I was surprised by how few of these I had seen. Out of twelve shorts I had only seen one (Paperman) and that is because I haven’t snapped up all of the DVD releases. So how were the shorts? Brilliant. Some of them made me cry and I don’t mean just tear up. Disney has an impressive ability to hit me right where it hurts the most but I end up smiling through the tears. I’m not ashamed to admit it. All of them were great but I especially loved Frozen Fever as I could spend forever with those characters. I was most surprised by the quality of John Henry because it was so cute, sad and joyous all at the same time. Definitely check this out.

Back in Time

I saw this on Netflix and I had heard some buzz about it and the timing seemed perfect since Back to the Future Day recently passed. I love the Back to the Future franchise a lot. I think the second one is probably my favorite but only because the original built such a strong foundation. Hell, I can’t decide. Anyway, I was excited to learn some more about one of my favorite franchises. The documentary opens with Dan Harmon (Co-Creator of Rick and Morty and story structure expert) which allowed me to wade into the movie slowly at first. Then we got all the reminiscing and explaining how things came together. We even got some footage of Eric Stoltz which was understandably underwhelming but neat to see. They don’t pull any punches on the Stoltz or the Crispin Glover stuff which was nice to see. I did end up turning it off about two thirds in because it became less about the movie and more about fan response to the movie. I say watch it for the cast and crew memories but you don’t have to watch a guy propose to his girlfriend after building a replica time machine.

Chinese Zodiac

So I decided it was about time for another crazy Kung Fu movie from China as a great palate cleanser after all of the intensive Halloween experience. I have been a fan of Jackie Chan ever since he made landfall in the United States. However, I went back and watched a lot of his movies from before Rumble in the Bronx and they’re brilliant. There’s a lot of charm and excitiement that goes into a Jackie Chan movie and little to no CGI or wire work. All of the fight scenes are amazing and full of innovative use of the environment or props. This movie was a lot of fun from the first frame until the last. The action almost never stops and neither does the comedy. However, the movie was interesting as it dealt a lot with the antiques market and the counterfeiting of antiques. It also deals with the ransacking of China by European nations over a century ago. It’s actually pretty fascinating to see them deal with the issue of differentiating the people who committed a war crime with their (sometimes) innocent descendants. This is definitely worth a watch.

Cool Links of the Week:
Justin Tucker Dances
Plague Mask Video (Analysis)
Terry Gilliam – Deleted Animations from Holy Grail
The New Adventures of the Wonder Twins
Sleepytime Junction

– Blacklist continues to be excellent
– I want to see Bridge of Spies. Maybe this weekend.
– I will buckle down and watch Supergirl. Probably tonight.
– Jon Stewart inked a new deal with HBO Now. Exciting!
– Supernatural episode “Fan Fiction” was perfect
– I ordered Squirrel Girl Vol. 1. It’s in the mail!


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