Archive for February, 2016
The car ride was pretty quiet. Nobody really wanted to talk in front of the newcomer. Jun was nice enough and Felix felt kind of bad for her. Just a little while ago he was the newcomer and he felt he had gotten a little flak from Makoto. Jun getting the silent treatment and all the objections in front of her father was probably too much. Still, everybody was briefed and on the same page so there was not much to talk about.
They arrived in the neighborhood of the first group of addresses. Members of the Tengu were ordinary aware people and these were ordinary houses and apartments. Sure they might have an extra room or two not accounted for on the building plans but even that was pretty ordinary. The car pulled over and stopped by the curb and May shut the engine off. May was the first person to move toward her door but Makoto stopped her.
“You are with me, May-san. We shall go door to door and we find a lead no matter what. Ren, you are on overwatch. Let nobody see you. I know that you can accomplish this. The Doctor and the Lion Cub will stay put here in the car until further notice.” Makoto said. She pulled some sort of short iron rod from the center console. She turned around to look at Felix and Jun in the backseat but her eyes were unfocused as if she was looking at something else.
“Excuse me, Makoto. I am supposed to help you gather intelligence and eliminate this threat from Osaka. Would I not be of more use knocking on doors? Perhaps with the Doctor or I could pair with you.” Jun asked. She was very rigid and direct. This was obviously behavior that had been drilled into her by Sentinel training. In contrast, Makoto and Ren were stoic but somehow more relaxed. Felix felt that he and May were the same, able to be formal but generally causal people. That may have come from an American upbringing.
“You are still in uniform, Sargent. I do not want to scare anyone.” Makoto said and climbed out of the car without another word.
“Besides, we may need you as back up.” May said. “Just sit tight. I’m sure we’ll need you eventually. Keep her company, cousin.” Then May slipped out of the car herself. Ren was already just gone and Felix had not noticed at all.
Jun looked miffed although a stronger word might have been needed. It was harder for Felix to tell with somebody who kept their face so neutral. They sat on opposite sides of the back seat with Jun on the street side. Down the street, Felix could see May and Makoto walking up to the first door. From what he had seen of the list, it looked like there were quite a few houses in this area.
“So, you’re usually in the middle of the action?” Felix asked.
“No.” Jun answered. “My father has made sure that if I am not filing then I am on safe but prominent assignments and details. ” She sighed and watched out the window, here eyes following May and Makoto’s movements.
“I’m used to only being there just after the damage has been done.” Felix said.
“You are a healer, correct?” Jun asked.
Felix nodded. “I am strictly a healer. I have no training in combat and, so far, no experience in investigation.”
“No experience? No experience at all?” Jun asked with a very slight but still existent smile.
“Well, I am an avid reader. I used to sell comic books but once I became aware I started to read about Legends and aware history as well. I’ve learned a lot but mostly because I love a good story. I’ve learned a lot but mostly because I love a good story.”
“They are not all good stories. Some of them are very boring.” Jun said.
“Not really the case for Legends or at least that’s what I’m finding so far.”
“How long have you been a Legend?”
“Less than a week. I worked in a hospital in a pocket dimension below Baltimore before this.”
“What was it like? Being called?”
“Everything was suddenly very clear. I felt a huge surge of power and I was able to pull my patient back from the edge of death. I just knew what I was supposed to do.”
“I am envious.” Jun said softly. It looked like she was a little embarrassed by it.
“It can be a burden too. You can’t have a normal life.” Felix said. He was not upset about that, it was just a truth of the life.
“Who wants a normal life anyway?” Jun asked and Felix found himself smiling.
“Fair enough.” Felix said.
I have touched on this show in the blog before but I really did not sink my teeth into it. I remember when this show came out the first time. Saturday Night Live had been pretty good for a while (despite Jimmy Fallon). This was largely thanks to some good performers and a great head writer in Tina Fey. When she announced she was stepping down I was surprised but then she announced that she was writing a new TV show. The show stars Fey as a head writer on a sketch show and the craziness she goes through keeping her life and the show together. The show is fast-paced and full of great jokes and throwaway gags. Some things didn’t even hit me until I thought about them later. Tina Fey is really likeable and fun on the show as you might expect. Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski are beyond brilliant as a conservative, rich businessman and a spacy, vain actress respectively. I can’t reccomend this show enough.
I was a huge part of the fandom of this show when it was still coming out. The show was one of the first that I watched that really engaged with its fans over social media and the internet at large. It knew not to take itself seriously while still depicting characters that I really cared about and wanted to see happy. I saw a lot of myself in Shawn Spencer, a smart guy who just has not made it in the world yet. Throughout the show we knew more and more about each character without anything coming from left field. I also respected any show that not only said that psychic ability was hokum but also made light of it. As a pop culture sponge, I definitely appreciated that the show was almost non-stop pop culture references and homages while still making their own stories. I definitely reccomend checking this one out.
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Now this one is interesting especially lately. I have alluded to it a bit but I have gone back to school to get my paralegal certificate so I can either go into that field or have a new shiny thing on my resume for other jobs. Anyway, as I have been studying the law, I have started watching this show again with a renewed fervor. Is it accurate to the legal profession? Kind of. The show gets the basic structure of how law enforcement and trial by jury works. However, every so often it runs into a major legal faux pas or innacuracy that should be infuriating but it’s not. I understand that it is just a television show and they have to move the plot along. The show is very entertaining and very easy to watch. However, it also uses a lot of brutal and depressing cases for its plots so it can be hard to watch too many in a row. Still, if you’re the one person in America who has not seen this show you should probably check it out.
Links of the Week:
Avril Lavigne – Hello Kitty
The Rutles – Get Up and Go
Jay and Silent Bob Video Game Crowdfunding
Commander Holly – Birbs!
Last Week Tonight – Whitewashing
– Because of Magfest I’m writing about stuff I saw in the past
– I think I may have the conflu
– I still have to go to class
– I still haven’t seen Hail Caesar
– Things will get better
– Pee Wees Big Holiday is coming soon
I led the gang out to the edge of Farmer McCutcheon’s field, the one where I had found the sword embedded in the dirt. The magical sword was proving to be both a blessing and a curse. It attracted those things but it also killed them easily. There might have been other strange things that appeared out in the field. It was kind of a crapshoot but if those objects existed then they could be useful against these shadowy creatures. If anybody was going to get the upperhand, it was the Kings of Landon County. My gang lays down for nobody and that includes things from another world.
“Let’s go. We need to start searching while lunch is on.” I said, looking around to make sure the crew was good to go. Recent events had proved that we were not as unshakeable as I had thought but Landon County rarely saw so much carnage. This was an opportunity for growth. I saw Jase who looked a little pissed that he hadn’t given the order so I added “Right, Jase?”
“Right. We need to add to our arsenal. Move out.” Jase said, reassuming some of his authority he got by being the son of a real criminal. I smiled a bit at his confidence returning. We were going to make it through this alive after all.
“Everybody be careful and listen out for McCutcheon. I already have enough piercings. I don’t want anymore holes in me.” Helen said. She had tricked a girl at the local mall into giving her six ear piercings and one nose piercing. Her parents had thrown a fit but what were they going to do? We started into the field slowly and in a line like a real search party.
“She’s got a point.” Jase said and she did have a very good point.
I loooked back at Katya who was still remaining pretty quiet through all this. She was still carrying the machine gun from the fair. If things got hot and heavy we would need to find a source of ammunition but so far it was alright. Katya did not look alright. In this mood, her dark makeup and near-permanent scowl looked even more dark and forboding. The leather jacket added to the image but the tiara definitely took away from it. She looked my way and I smiled encouragingly at her but she turned and put her focus back on her search.
I saw nothing on the ground in front of me. I reached up and touched the hilt of the sword slung across my back for comfort. As soon as I looked away we had reached the corn and I got smacked in the face by a stalk. Thankfully, since the corn was thick, nobody saw it happen. I swallowed the expression of pain and surprise and moved on. I could hear the rustling of everyone else around me. The five of us were pretty loud and I hoped our rustling couldn’t be seen at the top of the stalks.
“I don’t see crap. I’d rather be tagging down at the trainyard.” Ricky said. I could tell that he looked sullen and impatient without seeing his face. We were a crew of delinquents, did anybody expect us to be like Delta Force or something?
“We all want to be somewhere else, Ricky.” Helen said “Just try to have fun sneaking. It’s not like we haven’t stolen fruit from McCutcheon before.”
“This is not fruit. This is veggies and I’m not interested in that.” Ricky replied. His tone was grumpy and bordering on insubordination. Well, it would be if we had any official rules or authority. We walked a line between being democratic and just doing what Jase or Katya wanted us to do. It worked most of the time.
“Here’s the spot I found the sword.” I called out. I tried to make the sound carry but not too far. Jase and Katya walked over to me and I pointed down at a barely noticeable hole in the ground. They both looked at each other and then back at me.
“Are you sure, Ewan? There’s not too much to it.” Jase said. He poked at the hole with his foot but nothing changed.
“Yeah. I marked the spot with a rock.” I said and pointed to a pretty angular rock which Jase picked up and examined. Katya sighed and started to look around on the ground. Jase eventually put the rock down which is when they started to hear footsteps running toward them. They barely had time to turn toward the sound when the gunshot rang out.
So for the past two days I attended Magfest 2016 down at National Harbor, MD in the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. This was my first time going to Magfest and I was really excited to be on a little adventure, something I could not have done a few years ago. I listened to Welcome to Night Vale, Ninja Sex Party and TWRP on the way down and I was pumped. I knew I would have to keep a head of steam up until at least midnight if I was going to accomplish everything I wanted to do. The National Harbor was as beautiful as I had been led to believe and when I stepped into the Gaylord I was blown away with how huge and beautiful it was.
The fandom factor was in full effect as it looked like the entire hotel had been taken over by fictional characters of every description. The cosplay was one of my favorite parts of attending the con. People put so much effort and skill into good cosplay and it was really cool to see. At times that I was tired or overwhelmed, I saw a character I enjoyed walking around and I smiled. That sort of thing has such a powerful effect. Here’s a short list of great stuff I saw: Mojo Bubbles, The Kingdom Hearts Cast, The Undertale Cast several times over, Carmen Sandiego, Waldo, Classic Harley Quinn, Mario Maker, Artemis and this gaggle of Ricks right here.
The con had a huge arcade that I went to the first day over and over. It was loud and heavily populated so it would become overwhelming. I played Bad Dudes, Fist of the North Star, Galaga 3, Killer Instinct 2, Wild Gunman, Tron, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Street Smart and Metal Slug for the first time. Arcade games are so much fun even though they all are pretty much super short on story. The gameplay usually makes up for it and it’s just easy enough to want to continue when you fail. In this arcade, the games were free so I could try over and over until somebody looked like they wanted the machine. Ten year old me internally high fived 33 year old me. I also visited the Museum of Computers and got to play Dragonfire on Intellivision, a game system that was obsolete by my second birthday.
I had a lot of fun hanging out and people watching and just enjoying the convention for what it was. I never once attended a panel but that was not what I was there for. I loved the energy of the convention. While waiting on a meet up with Barry Kramer, I got to chat briefly with some Game Grumps fans. Then Barry arrived and was promptly swarmed by us, the poor guy. I got his autograph and I was able to tell him how much I liked his work on Table Flip and Game Grumps.
Now it was time for the main event. I had come to the convention with several objectives but the number one mission was always attending the Ninja Sex Party/Tupperware Remix Party concert. So I went into the concert hall and watched the One Ups and they had a great set that was very chill but enjoyable. After that, I stayed put near the stage and chatted with NSP fans for a full hour. When I looked behind me at that point the place was mobbed and I was lucky to be about five people from the stage. I felt so lucky even though I was short and knew I would still have trouble seeing everything.
We flipped off Brian Wecht during the sound check and happily chanted at him as he and TWRP did their thing. TWRP hit the stage and, although I wasn’t as familiar with them, their mini set was absolutely electric. I need to pay more attention to them. Then NSP hit the stage and one of the loudest reactions I have ever heard nearly blew the roof off the place. NSP joined TWRP on stage for “The Decision” and “If We Were Gay” and we all sang along. Then they started in on there upcoming cover album with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Take On Me”. Finally they jammed out to “The Hit“, the first TWRP song that featured NSP. At some point in the evening, Danny informed us that 5000 people were in attendance. It was so awesome. I stumbled out of the concert hall like I had achieved victory and limped off and drove to my hotel room.
I relaxed a little the next morning in my hotel room wih some free breakfast, the first real meal I had had in a while. I slide back over to the convention and did some more people watching and exploring as I thought about the day before. I started to wait outside the autograph area for Danny and Brian to show up for autographs. While I was waiting there, the Game Grumps fanart I was carrying attracted some interest. I got into a great discussion with a girl with pink hair and two Grump/NSP fans from Puerto Rico. We reminisced over great moments in Grump history and the concert the night before. After three and a half hours of waiting, they opened and closed the line and I did not get an autograph. It was disappointing but there were thousands of people who were also disappointed so I sucked it up.
I ate a big meal at a sports bar inside the hotel and rested my poor tortured feet and legs for a bit. Then I went and sat in a hallway and did some writing for the blog and played Pocket Mortys for a while. More people watching happened. Finally I rolled on over to the Commander Holly tweetheart meet up and I had a lot of fun. I met Kati Schwartz and let her know that she inspired me because she is a writer and I am a writer too. I met Kati’s friend PattNardz I chatted with some tweethearts and then guess what happened? Ninja Brian himself wandered into the meetup and graciously signed my poster. That was the perfect topper for the weekend and I drove back to Baltimore to crash in my own home.
Here is the Game Grumps poster with the three signatures I was able to get. There’s Barry’s signature, Brian’s signature and Kati’s signature hiding down near the bottom. Thanks to @OnstaMonster for the art!
I went into this movie with so much hype I was nervous that it wasn’t going to hold up. I like Ryan Reynolds a lot because he’s a funny and charismatic guy who seems to put everything he has into each role he gets. He has now been in five comic book movies and until now none of them were really considered a hit. Two of them were flops. Now, you may remember me defending X-Men Origins: Wolverine on this blog and I stand by that but I agree that it could have been much better. This was much, much better. This was maybe 300% better. Do yourself a favor and watch some of the promotional material for the movie such as the cancer PSAs or the Australia Day promo. Get yourself in the mood for a raunchy, silly movie. Don’t get me wrong, the movie also has a lot of heart too but it primarily made me laugh from beginning to end. See this movie. (But be warned it’s a hard, hard R movie)
Wow. So I have to assign some blame here for this one before I begin. While sitting and waiting for Deadpool to start I mentioned I had not seen this movie. Afterward, my friend Liz suggested I watch it on FX that evening. So I did and you can tell already what I thought of it. However, the movie was not without merit. It was a very pretty movie as the effects were all professionally done and the cgi was very believable. The story was alright but it felt like it wandered a little. The movie is a love letter to the US navy but alot of the navy men and women came off as emotionless or just plain assholes. It reminded me, yet again, why I never went into any sort of armed service. The two main characters were unlikeable at best and the main main character should not have been in the movie past the frist fifteen minutes. The movie was way too long and I would have cut at least 45 minutes by eliminating characters and plotlines. Stay away from this movie unless you’re drunk among snarky friends.
So there seems to be a lot of Science Fiction shows that started up recently. As I’ve stated I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction because it gets a little bogged down in talking about technology. I prefer science fantasy but I will give science fiction a fair shot if it looks interesting enough. Colony is about a world after aliens have successfully invaded and dominated the Earth. They killed a lot of people and divided the city we see so that any resistance cannot communicate and merge into a larger faction. The main character is a former FBI agent (or something equivalent) who is pressganged into working for the human representatives of the aliens. While he is working for the transitional government and trying to subvert it from the inside, his wife is working for the resistance. It’s kind of a sci-fi spy thriller but the emphasis is on the thriller part. It’s a pretty good show and, while I won’t be watching every week, I’m interested to see where it goes.
Links of the Week:
Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance
The Misfits – Where Eagles Dare
Fall Out Boy – Alone Together
Deadpool Australia Day
Neil Degrasse Tyson – Diss Track
– I am going to Magfest tomorrow
– I am watching a lot of Lucha Underground
– I’m watching the Indiana Jones Mythbusters episode right now
– I ran into somebody deprived of TV during their childhood
– The above person did not know Family Feud
– Not much else to talk about today
I was thinking recently about my past. Specifically I was thinking about my teenage years which is usually a bad sign. People work pretty hard to forget their teenage years because they are horrible. Well, I actually can’t speak for everyone. My teenage years were pretty awful. They were the years where my introversion hurt me the most just as my creativity was revving up into overdrive. Those two things were intensified by my emotions and I started to believe everybody was personally rejecting me at every turn. Of course there were people actually trying to hurt me and others but looking back it’s harder to tell which is which.
All of that aside, let me get a little more specific. I was thinking about all of the weird things I did as an artsy teenager that make no sense now. I had a reason back then but now they seem a little silly. All of these things were just begging for a reaction or questions on what they meant. Keep in mind that I have never really talked about this before but maybe I can exorcise a little embarrassment by exploring a few interesting moments.
The Altar of Bad Luck
I spent a lot of my time in my teenage years hanging around the theater. I made the leap from high school theater to the charm and excitement of community theater. I fell headlong into the world of the theater and accepted and absorbed all of the myths and ritual pretty much immediately. This was the time period that I believed in ghosts and wholeheartedly feared the supernatural. One of the theater traditions I was fascinated by was the tradition of wishing somebody to “Break a Leg!” instead of “Good Luck!”. Wishing somebody bad luck mysteriously had the opposite effect within the walls of a theater. So, I internalized that and probably took it in a weird direction. Around that time South Park had become a thing. Kenny McCormick was a character who had the bad luck of being killed in every episode. I sought to harness this bad luck by putting a little doll of him on top of my sound equipment. Not only that, but I surrounded Kenny with tails up pennies. I wanted concentrated bad luck to harvest and turn into good luck. Nobody ever asked me about it.
The Black Coat
I am not even sure where I got the idea for this one. During and before my teen years there was a lot of fiction that came out that featured characters in a long black coat or cloak. Some of them were good guys but a lot of them were bad guys. Of course, it was the late nineties so bad guys were cool and tough and strong. As a geek these were the things I wanted to be but I was not. Well, you could debate that I was “cool” because I did my own thing but I wasn’t popular. Still, when given the choice of what coat to buy, I chose the black coat that went nearly to my knees. It wasn’t canvas or some other cool fabric and was in fact just a thin winter coat made mostly of synthetic materials.
Over time I realized that long coats had a ton of pockets and my coat regularly weighed a ton because I packed it full of books, tools, snacks and drinks. Unfortunately, long black coats started to get a bad rap after the Columbine tragedy and many people stopped wearing them. I refused to let my habit get taken away from me and I wore mine well into college. I heard later that several people incorrectly feared me because of the Columbine connection and my introverted nature. Of course, I deeply regret that and I was really embarrassed when I found out.
The Earth Emblem
I initially made fun of anime when I found about it in my freshman year of high school. A friend of mine had discovered it through trips back to his ancestral Korea and I enjoyed making fun of it a little bit. Then Funimation teamed up with Cartoon Network to introduce people to Dragonball Z and I actually liked something I had previously made fun of. Several anime shows were introduced on the network because the ratings must have been great. I loved the dubbed versions they showed because they made the material more accessible to an American like me. Finally, they released Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network and I didn’t know what to think.
At first glance it was so girly but I watched it and I fell in love with the characters, plot and animation. As a life long fan of superheroes, I loved the concept of magical girls and I wanted to know all about Serena and the Sailor Scouts. I taped the show on VHS to watch alone later and I really loved it. I redesigned and modernized the show several times in probably my first attempts at fanfiction. I loved that all the scouts had devices that helped them transform and use their powers. However, the only male hero Tuxedo Mask didn’t seem to have a device. In my first of two cosplay attempts to date I created a little Earth symbol over a clip-on safety light and carried around for a long time before it went through the laundry.
Just a quick Valentimes message today. Love is a strong word but not one that should be withheld so do not be afraid. I love my family even when they are driving me crazy and I love my friends even when we disagree. Maybe I love them more in those moments because I don’t just walk out and leave them behind. I have loved romantically and hope to again in the future but I will never push the issue. I love to laugh, I love to read, I love movies and I love to explore the world and my own mind.
I am working to love myself more. This is the hardest thing to do, at least for me. From what I’ve learned it’s also the most essential part of life. You can’t love anyone properly until you love yourself or so they say. Some days that is difficult but I know that’s true of a lot of people in this world. It is hard to accept both the darkness and the light. Every day I feel a little better about myself.
It is important to remember that being alone is OK, especially today. A lot of people go through life looking for their “other half” which is a horrible thing to do. Thinking like that puts you in the mindset that you are an incomplete person. You are your own person. You are complete and beautiful in your own way. Do not look for someone to “complete” you. Look for an equal partner, a best friend and a lover all wrapped up together. Above all, please have fun with Valentimes and every single day to the best of your ability!