Archive for February, 2016

Shield of the Ishim 5

February 7, 2016

Ishim Shield

A very average train pulled up next to the platform at Penn Station. The breaks squealed and hissed like a real train. The horn sounded just like a real train. The muddy sounds from the overhead speakers warned people to step back like a real train. Maya was confused. She was completely and utterly confused. Maya and the sisters were holding magical tickets to the Spirit Train which was not a cheerleading term. A Spirit Train ticket was an extra rare magical artifact. Maya kind of expected a secret train platform or at least a secret door or something. Instead here was the same ol Penn Station. Not that there was anything wrong with that. It was just a little disappointing.

“Don’t just stand there. All aboard, Maya!” China called out and reached down from the train and pulled Maya in by her armpit. Ivy was already standing nearby and smiling but China moved so she was blocking the view. “Earth to Maya! Are you with us?” China said.

“I am. Yeah. I thought we were riding the Spirit Train.” Maya mumbled, steadying her self against China and stepping back.

“Aww! Were you expecting a big, colorful magic choo choo?” China asked with a playful flip of her hair and a wicked grin. China was so punchable sometimes. Maya narrowed her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh.

“Take it easy, sis.” Ivy said. “Just because you knew what’s going on doesn’t mean you get to tease her.” She pushed past her sister to give Maya a friendly hug. Ivy had been nice the whole time and Maya really appreciated that. She hugged her back.

“But I don’t know what’s going on. That’s very true. Does somebody want to fill me in?” Maya asked. These sisters obviously had a different magical education and those differences could be annoying. Magic was a wide and varied field of study that was mostly exclusive to people with the natural talent to perform spells. Now that magic was public some without the talent were gaining knowlege but they were miles behind. The fact that the sisters knew how the Spirit Train works put them in strange and important company. Maya wondered about that but more immediate was her need to know how the train worked.

“There’s no time. Here comes the ticket taker already!” China said urgently in a stage whisper. She promptly vanished into thin air. Invisibility was a real neat trick among the adept but Maya knew it often created a rippling and crackling feeling when those spells were activated. There was nothing like that this time.

“Listen, Maya, just focus your will into the ticket. That’s all you have to do. It’s simple.” Ivy said, pressing a ticket into Maya’s palm which Maya nearly dropped but she mangaged to awkwardly grasp it.

“Wait but I usually don’t do that. I was taught never to do that.” Maya tried to mutter.

“Just do it!” Ivy spat and then she vanished into thin air too.

Maya hesitated, looking at the grayish silver ticket and then she looked up at the rapidly approaching, smartly dressed ticket taker. She shut her eyes and focused with everything she had in her and, if she thought about it, she would realize that came from panic. She felt the mental and emotional feeling of her magic flow down her arm and into the ticket. It flowed like a river after a rainstorm and smashed into the ticket.

“Um, you can open your eyes.” China said softly. There was something like concern in her voice.

Maya slowly opened her eyes and was shocked to watch the ticket woman walk through her body. She felt panic spasm her body before she realized what was happening and she started to breathe evenly again. The life of an Ishim was strange and full of surprises. She brushed herself off even though there was nothing to brush off but the tension.

“I’m sorry I snapped at you. You have to learn to trust us, Maya. If we’re working together for now then it’s absolutely necessary.” Ivy said.

“I know it’s just that when Coyote trained me he said to never just channel my magic into an object without knowing how it works. That’s how he lost most of his arm.” Maya said.

“I’m sorry I didn’t explain the ticket, Maya.” Ivy said. “We’re sorry, right?” She looked at her sister.

“Sure.” China said and Maya believed her even though it looked like China was trying to act like it was no big deal. Maya nodded back at them and waved it off.

“It takes a month to weave all of the spells in the ticket. They eventually set in the materials like ink drying and they’re examined for any flaws. The ticket phases the user into another plane of existence very close to our own. It allows us to hitch a ride without paying. That’s important because we don’t actually know where we’re going. At any moment we could disappear from this train and appear in a bus or really anything. We’ll keep switching vehicles until we’re dumped at our destination.” Ivy explained.

“Wow, um, thanks for the explanation.” Maya was grateful to know what exactly was happening but it didn’t make the knowledge less intimidating. That was one hell of a spell.

“Speaking of the ticket. Make sure you don’t drop it. If you do, you might be flung out of a moving vehicle and I bet that’s not pretty.” Ivy said.

Maya reached for the ticket and her fingers were so sure and then she panicked. The ticket was gone. She looked up at the sisters who both looked at her and then at each other.

Media Update 2/4/2016

February 4, 2016


I never really liked the Rocky movies all that much. I mean, I liked them well enough but they aren’t anywhere near the top of my list. Rocky 4 is somewhere near the top of my bad movie list though because a lot of it is so goofy and cheesy that it’s great. All of that aside, I’m pretty well versed in Rocky lore because of my trivia sponge brain. The first thing this movie solves for me is that I don’t really like Sylvester Stallone in most things. He has a diminished but very important role and spends most of it as comic relief. I suddenly really liked Stallone for the first time since Demolition Man. Phylicia Rashad does a great turn as a very sympathetic and inspiring character. Tessa Thompson blew me away as Bianca and by the end of the movie I wanted to just hang out and talk with her character. Michael B. Jordan was so great as Adonis and I think he was robbed of an Oscar nomination. The movie was shot so beautifully too. I laughed, I cried and I had to keep myself from cheering at times. It was such a great movie.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Now, I used to be in show business and so I love hearing about the process of putting a play or movie together. It’s not about seeing the sausage get made for me because I have already been involved in making the sausage. This movie is great if you want to see inside the mind of a Hollywood producer. The really interesting part is that this a look inside the minds of two of Hollywood’s most insane producers, both of which are also directors. Menahalem Golan and Yorim Globus created Cannon Films which created some of the craziest movies, most of which were genre or exploitation films. They also produced way more movies per year than the average movie studio. Eventually they burned out and succumbed to massive debt after they overextended themselves. The documentary is really fun and they managed to interview a huge amount of celebrities and film professionals. I was intrigued from start to finish.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

In my quest to catch up on all the Disney animated films that I have missed, I decided to give Atlantis a shot. I had never really heard too much about this one from anyone but I remember the posters and promotional material. The first thing that was readily apparent was that there are no musical numbers in this one. They focus more on action sequences than musical numbers which is different but not necessarily bad. I love most Disney songs and they really help a good movie to become great. So let’s set that aside. The movie is a period piece set in 1914 with some great actors in Michael J. Fox, James Garner and Leonard Nimoy. The movie was fun and interesting although I feel that it took a while to really get under my skin. The art and the linguistics involved in making it are truly inspiring. The movie just didn’t do it for me like other Disney films. It’s worth watching on a bored afternoon but there are far better Disney films out there.

Links of the Week:
Mortal Kombat: What Happens If You Don`t Finish Him?
O’Keefe Music Foundation – Duality (Slipknot Cover)
Punxsutawney Phil 2016
Stitched Up Heart – Is This The Way You Get to Hell?
There Be Monsters

Weekly Updates:
– They took the first episode of X-Files off of on demand so…
– I just wrote a review for my annual Halloween celebration
– Deadpool and Hail Caesar out soon!
– Still gearing up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge
– I feel like I’m a Community cast member lately
– I love Uncle Deadly on the new Muppets show

Interview Questions

February 1, 2016

There is a certain class of questions which I call interview questions although I suppose they could also be questions used in a show like The Dating Game.  They are designed to reveal something about your personality and thought processes while being really weird.  I thought I’d post some that I had to answer recently.  If I find some other fun questions I might do this again.  It’s good practice and it’s really fun to come up with the answers.


Do you prefer a good book or a good movie?

Although I love a good movie (and sometimes a bad one), I prefer a good book. A good book is a more intimate and personal experience. The images, sounds and memories the written word can evoke are unique to each person who reads a book. I carry with me memories of every good book I’ve ever read which adds to my life experience. We can learn from fictional characters and, in the case of autobiographies, real people through books in a more thorough way than a movie provides.


Would you rather be a tree or a flower. Why?

I would rather be a tree. A tree is strong and usually not as delicate as a flower. Trees live for centuries if they are undisturbed. They provide shade and oxygen for human beings although I suppose that wouldn’t be my concern anymore once I was a tree.


Which mode of transportation do you prefer between trains, planes or automobiles? Why?

I love a good train ride. There’s a lot of freedom on a train that you just don’t get on other modes of transportation. You are free to sit back and enjoy the ride and see the sites outside of your window. You are also free to get up and walk around or eat without stopping your trip’s progress. The ride is steady enough to read a book without getting carsick and sometimes there’s wifi to access the internet. You can easily divide your time between work and recreation as needed. In a car you have to do all the work and planes are now swamped with security and feel far too cramped.


If you were a piece of candy, what kind of candy would you be? Why?

I would be a peep. Peeps are such a polarizing candy because most people I talk to either love them or despise them. I happen to like the texture and taste of them though I only eat them maybe twice a year because of their extremely high sugar content. If I’m going to be eaten, I would want it to be by somebody who is really going to look forward to it and enjoy it.

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