Archive for September, 2017

Halloween Begins Monday!

September 30, 2017

Obviously, long-time readers know that my favorite holiday is Halloween. I dedicate the whole month of October to the holiday on this blog and I dedicate even more of the year to “Halloween Season”. Christmas is kind of a no-brainer. I was raised right so kindness and generosity are obvious to me and acting those impulses out yearly is merely a culmination of how I feel for those I love and respect. In comparison, Halloween celebrates the silly and the scary so its value is a little more esoteric.

Being silly is important in life because we all tend to take things too seriously sometimes. We work all day to pay to pay the bills and work at our lives to better ourselves. We need to unwind by watching ghosts and goblins or dress up intending to look cool or stupid. We need that because if we did not have pressure valves like that, we would explode ten times over. Lately, the world seems to be creeping ever closer to a bad place. It is important to work against that but the pressure is so high we also need to take care of ourselves.

The world is already scary but Halloween provides a scary service in that regard. It sets up scares that are inconsequential and ultimately harmless. These frightening situations are easily defeated. Besides being fun, it builds us up for the more difficult scares we encounter in everyday life. Freddy Krueger does not hold a candle to asking out your first crush. He does give you a little boost of confidence when you make it through A Nightmare on Elm Street at age nine. If you got through ninety minutes of Jason and Freddy, you might be a little better off when you face Cindy.

Anyway, this post marks the beginning of my annual Halloween tradition. I will be reviewing thirteen moves through the month (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) and then three movies on the 31st. I will also be continuing the tradition of Fanfictober with a continuation of the Aftershocks story I started writing two years ago. Media Updates will continue but they will be spooky as well. The above video should explain everything. Below, you will find the more copyright safe video for visitors from outside of the USA. The only difference is the song used.

Happy Halloween! Enjoy!

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Media Update 9/27/17

September 28, 2017


Kingsman: The Golden Circle

When the first Kingsman movie came out, I was excited because it was from the same director as X-Men: First Class, a great movie. The first Kingsman was a fantastic action/spy film with a lot of quirky humor along with some great themes. They tackled the clash between the upper class and the lower class in England, human aggression and a lot of other great stuff. This sequel once again follows Taron Egerton as a young agent who used to be a bit of a hoodlum. He has learned the value of self-respect and growing up to be more responsible (in the first move). Now, he continues that arc in trying to grow up by learning how to maintain trust and relationships in general. The villain is the delightfully insane Julianne Moore who just sparkles in every scene she has. Egerton is joined again by Colin Firth and Mark Strong but he is also joined by Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, and a surprise guest I do not want to spoil. Throughout all of the action and intrigue, he still has to keep things solid with his love interest from the first film (Hanna Alstrom) who just happens to be a princess. The film was very funny, exciting, and even touching in some places. I definitely recommend it.


Santa Clarita Diet

After watching stuff like iZombie and Shaun of the Dead, I realized that zombies do not have to be that boring on the screen and apparently the makers of this show thought the same thing. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant play a married couple who are real estate agents with a daughter. They live in the suburb called Santa Clarita on a little cul de sac. One day, Drew’s character dies and immediately comes back as a zombie. She suffers no loss of intelligence, mobility or lividity. Instead, she suffers an incredible craving for raw meat and a drastically reduced ability to control her impulses. The show is about how a suburban family in California tries to deal with the mother and wife suddenly becoming a zombie. Apparently, this is rare in the show’s universe because nobody knows what is going on. Instead of medical experts, they rely on information cobbled together from movies, television, and comic books. They try to keep under the radar which is hard since Drew’s character cannot restrain a lot of the random ideas in her head. There is a deep sense of unease through the whole show but that accompanies all of the comedy and action. I am only four episodes in and there are so many great celebrity guest stars and cameos. I also recommend this although be warned, it is very bloody.


The Good Place

I love Kristen Bell. This is a proven fact ever since I discovered Veronica Mars during a low point in my life (also the same period when I discovered Firefly). I will watch just about anything she is in, no questions asked. So, when I found out that they had given her a new television show, I just had to check it out. To my surprise, my mother had already watched most of it and, when I visited, we watched the season 1 finale together. I did not fully understand what was happening but I liked the characters enough to move the show up on my list of things to watch. The show follows Bell’s character who awakens in The Good Place (kind of like Heaven but not exactly) where she is told she has died and this is her eternal reward. Unfortunately, she realizes that the powers that be got the wrong Eleanor Shellstrop. The right one was a relief worker and charity foot soldier. Bell’s character may have the same name but she was a horrible person in life and now she needs to try to fit in or she will surely find herself in The Bad Place. The show focuses a lot on the character interactions as Eleanor tries to become a person worthy of the reward she received so she can stay blended in. The show tackles a lot of actual theories of ethics developed in the history of philosophy. I definitely recommend it if you like funny supernatural situational comedies with a strong cast.

Music of the Week:

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

Yui – Laugh Away

Stitches – Brick In Yo Face

Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry

Old Crow Medicine Show – Caroline

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Keeping Secrets”
– I started watching Gotham Season 3
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched more Rick and Morty Season 3
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 4
– Halloween starts next week (Three days!)

Bron: Neverwinter Arrival

September 25, 2017

It had been a long trip from where Bron’s tribe roamed to the outskirts of Neverwinter. Bron found himself hesitating to check out the city. The thought of it was a bit overwhelming. Bron had been pretty careful to avoid civilization up until that point. The tribe had rarely been in towns before, preferring the wide open spaces and the freedom that lifestyle provided. The humans and dwarves and little folk towns he had seen had only been during attacks. Bron had been in orc towns on a few occasions and one goblin settlement to guard his tribe’s trade delegation. It was not a pleasant experience but nothing was really pleasant back then.

The Noonday Witch had told him to go West and this was the end of the west as far as Bron knew. Even if it was not, he did not know anything about boats and did not want to get on one. He did not know what to do about a city. What few thoughts he could manage were so tied up in that problem that he failed to notice the guard approaching him.

“Hey there, big fella,” the guard said. The man had a wary but amused look on his face. Bron immediately enjoyed the man’s apprehension. “Why are you staring at the city of Neverwinter? I guess glaring would be a better word, actually.”

“Is there a law against that?” Bron asked.

“No,” the guard said. “I don’t suppose there is but it will make people nervous. We get a lot of visitors walking past here and most of them are relatively clothed and clean.”

“I will go in when I am ready.”

“Do you need somebody to hold your hand?” The guard asked with a smile.

Bron narrowed his eyes. “I am Bron. I am scared of nothing.”

“Good,” the guard said. “The gates are open. My name is Aroc Blackstone. You behave yourself, alright?”

Bron was so taken aback by his manner of speaking that he simply just started walking past the man. He did not care who this little man was, Bron would show that he was not afraid. Bron had truly feared little in his life beyond the dark power of the warlock who lead his tribe. And even then, anger could be so much more powerful than fear. He walked through the gates and although he got a few second glances, nobody moved to stop him. He thought there would be several people trying to repel him. He had been raised to be the enemy and yet a lot of people paid him no mind.

He walked down the streets and saw all sorts of new things. His senses were in overdrive as he looked around. There were vendors shouting for people to buy their wares. There were all sorts of exotic looking people. Bron almost bumped into a Dragonborn woman. The woman did not apologize and neither did Bron, they simply stared at each other. If she was waiting for an apology, she would be waiting forever. She finally stepped aside and walked on her way and Bron walked on his. That was the first Dragonborn that Bron had ever seen. It was strange and Bron wanted to fight one immediately.

He continued to walk down the street. He saw men and women creeping in alleyways. He saw women hanging in doorways, calling out to men. He saw warriors, heavily armored and carrying gleaming weapons. He saw temples for the first time. People honoring gods outside of Gruumsh. There were the smells of good food and fresh ale. It was all so interesting. Bron had little experience with all of it.

“Where are you headed to?” A dwarf asked from the open door of an inn. For the second time, Bron had been caught off guard.

“My business,” Bron said. He started to walk

“Where are the rest of your clothes?” The dwarf asked, spitting on the street to punctuate the sentence.

“What clothes?” Bron asked.

“You’re as dumb as you are ugly, aren’t you?” The dwarf asked, narrowing his eyes.

Bron grunted. “I don’t care about thinking,”

“Alright. I’ll try not to tax you. There will be no thinking necessary,” The Dwarf said. “How about a job? A place of your own?”

“A place of my own?” Bron asked. He had never owned anything besides his weapons and the food he hunted or took by force. The thought of his own territory no matter how small was an appealing thought. He could start to make a name for himself here. He could show his strength and earn the respect or fear of those around him. Through those two emotions, he could earn power. Power to do as he wished. The look in his eye grew far too excited and he could sense the dwarf move a little nervously, a little bit of doubt creeping in.

“There is a room upstairs. Unfurnished. I don’t suppose you need any furniture, though. You can stay here if you work for me as a bouncer,” the Dwarf said.

“A bouncer?” Bron asked. “What is that? Is it a kind of warrior?”

“You stand near the door. Anybody who is inside that I want outside, you make that happen,” The Dwarf said. “Anybody who is outside who I want to stay outside, you also make that happen. You exert my will on other people.”

“Will there be fights?” Bron asked with a smile.

“Sure,” the Dwarf said. “As much as you can handle and all the ale you can drink as long as you’re still standing enough to do your job.”

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Supernatural

September 23, 2017

WILPW

It is currently Halloween season and I love traditional lore when it comes to things that were supposed to go bump in the night. Of course, these things have not been proven to exist in the real world but they are ‘alive’ and well in fiction. I thought I would compare the lore of the world of Sports Entertainment with the world of the supernatural and see what I can come up with. Keep in mind that I am playing fast and loose with many different sources and, as usual, this is all for entertainment purposes.


Mil Muertes – Wight

A wight is an undead creature that is created when a person dies but part of their soul remains in their body. A quick note: I am not talking about the ones in A Song of Ice and Fire, those are different. Wights are more than zombies but are definitely not still living humans. They are fundamentally changed and no longer side with humanity. Wights are also often known for the ability to suck the lifeforce from their victims. Their description in Dungeons and Dragons is as follows: “A wight is given a semblance of life through sheer violence and hatred.” and then goes on to describe their life stealing properties.

Mil Muertes is most certainly dead. He is the Man of a Thousand Deaths and, like Fenix, each time he is killed (or defeated) he merely comes back stronger than before. When the monster Matanza killed him during/after their Graver Consequences match, Mil only came back stronger. When he died long ago and ever since he has been resurrected by the dark magic of Catrina. Through it all, he definitely has the sheer violence and hatred part down as he is one of the most dominant forces in sports entertainment today. He has also demonstrated that he can take life by touch when he killed his own Disciples of Death when they repeatedly lost matches. When he died during the mysterious earthquake, Catrina must have returned part of his soul but not all of it. He was fundamentally changed into the unstoppable death machine that he has become.


Gangrel – Vampire

A vampire is an undead creature that was once human but was attacked by another vampire in life. They arise from death with a thirst for blood. There is a lot of debate in the lore what the origin of vampires actually is but my favorite legend is that vampirism is the mark of Cain. It makes each vampire a part of an epic chain of cursed individuals. Regardless, vampires are frozen in the condition they were in before death and are made immortal. Beyond preternatural strength and speed, they also are often gifted with flight and hypnosis powers. It is very hard to put a vampire down for good.

Gangrel showed up in the World Wrestling Federation in the late nineties and he claimed to be a vampire. He drank from a goblet of blood which he also playfully spit into the air during his entrance. He would also use this blood to blind his opponents. While he never showed preternatural strength, he was very successful for a time in the ring. Eventually, he formed a faction called The Brood by inducting Christian and Edge. I do not remember ever seeing Christian or Edge drinking blood and since then they do not act like vampires. I can only conclude that Gangrel used vampire hypnosis powers on them (and later the Hardy Boyz).


Bray Wyatt – Elder God

The elder gods are creatures we really do not know much about mostly because knowing too much would simply drive us insane. The elder gods were creatures of immense power who ruled the land long before the creation of more “modern” religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and so on. They were so powerful and terrifying that the mere presence of them or their offspring could drive humanity crazy. Most of them are depicted as having horrifying tentacles and other alien features but according to lore, those depictions are only approximations and the real thing would be way worse. It is said that the elder gods are sleeping and when they wake they will only be interested in death and destruction.

Bray Wyatt has captivated people since he first appeared. His spellbinding voice and charisma have sent chills down my back just as much as the visuals connected to him. When he first appeared, he led a backwoods cult called The Wyatt Family full of people who were obviously unhinged from reality. One could assume that witnessing the arrival of an elder god could have done that to them. At first, Wyatt came off as a cult leader but eventually, he claimed to actually be a god. His madness is infectious as audiences have seen his cult grow over time. He is very powerful, having the ability to teleport himself or others at will and he once stole the Undertaker’s lightning and Kane’s fire. Finally, he seems to mostly be only interested in inflicting mental and physical pain on his victims. He laughs when he loses and only seems interested in winning if it gains him power or the opportunity to spread his influence.

And all of the rest…

When I decided to do this entry, there were a lot of obvious choices. I chose instead to mostly try to pin down characters that were presented as vague supernatural characters. A lot of characters are marketed explicitly and specifically as supernatural creatures. In the WWE we have both Kane and Finn Balor, both of which are different kinds of demons. We have the Boogeyman who is a boogeyman. There is Drago in Lucha Underground who is a dragon who took human form. World Championship Wrestling’s The Yeti was basically a yeti who inexplicably dresses as a mummy. Maybe next time I’ll try to explain The Ultimate Warrior when he was in WCW and Mordecai from the WWE. Probably not. They both sucked.

Are there any I really missed? Do you have any suggestions of footage I need to watch?

 

Media Update 9/21/17

September 21, 2017


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

I like Guy Ritchie movies. He makes interesting films and has already proven that he can adapt things from a slightly different angle (see Sherlock Holmes). In this, he takes King Arthur and has him banished to the poor district as a baby. He lives in a whorehouse and scraps and fights to survive. This a little different from the usual boy king story we get in movies like The Sword in the Stone. It also has some pretty cool battle scenes including bare-knuckle fighting which Guy Ritchie is kind of known for at this point. Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur in his path to the throne and gives him a bit of a harder edge. We get a more diverse group of knights with Djimon Hounsou standing out above all the others. Instead of Merlin, we get a female magic user who is a little more enigmatic. We also got Jude Law as the usurper of the throne and he was sufficiently slimy. Parts of the movie did move a little slow for me but when the movie got going it almost never stopped being interesting and exciting. This is why I like watching a lot of adaptations of stories I love because I will see a little something different each time. I definitely recommend this as it was visually appealing and an interesting angle on an old story.


Warcraft

Back in the day I owned and beat Warcraft and Warcraft II and then I subscribed to and played World of Warcraft for nearly a year. The first two games were endless fun as real-time strategy games where you unleash an army on your enemies. WoW is a game I still feel conflicted about but not because of the game itself. The Warcraft franchise allows you to play as either of two armies (or part of either of two armies in WoW’s case). You can play as the Horde which is a coalition of invaders from another realm and assorted races that feel disenfranchised. You can also play as the Alliance which is a collection of races native to the realm being invaded. The movie similarly covers both sides neither of which are all good or all bad. Instead, both sides have an enemy in the dark forces of Necromancy. They went to great pains to fill both sides with sympathetic characters as they knew that there are still players loyal to either side. A lot of the work of world building and art direction had already been done throughout the games so all they had to do was present that faithfully. They did that well. Even more, they gave the orcs more expressive faces which allowed the viewer to sympathize with them more. It starts slowly as they struggle to wade through the exposition but it gets way better as it goes and gets into the meat of its story. I definitely recommend it although non-fantasy, non-Warcraft fans might not be interested.


Mythica: The Dark Spore

I am a huge fan of the Critical Role stream on Geek and Sundry, yet another Dungeons and Dragons show that I listen to religiously. Through it, I have become a big fan of voice actor Matt Mercer and when I found out he was in a live-action movie then I had to check it out. Mercer is great at embodying characters. As the Dungeon Master of Critical Role, he plays over a hundred unique characters throughout. In this, he plays an evil necromancer and he’s really good it. The movie kind of feels like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign distilled into movie form. The heroes have been through a lot together and each has their specific role that they’re good at. They try plans that go wrong until somebody gets a good idea. It was also interesting to see a necromancer as a good guy (not Mercer, a female necromancer). I have seen it in stuff like Anita Blake but not in high fantasy. The beginning is a little muddled as they deal with events from the first movie (which I did not see). The budget is low and besides Mercer, the only actor I recognize is Kevin Sorbo who plays an advisory role like Gandalf. I think the series has a lot of potential and I may check out the other ones. I recommend giving it a shot but I would understand if it is not your thing.

 

Music of the Week:
Nothing More – Go To War

Sifu Hotman – Embrace the Sun

30 Seconds to Mars – Walk On Water

Camila Cabello – Havana

Charlie Puth – Attention

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “High Stakes High Fantasy”
– I finished White Collar
– I watched more Bojack Horseman Season 4
– I watched more Rick and Morty Season 3
– I watched more House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2

Romance

September 18, 2017

I have been thinking lately of romance. It is not because I have met someone. In fact, it is just the opposite. I have not met somebody in a long time and I am alright with that. It is not that I am settling for something less than I want, either. I have never really pursued a romantic relationship in my life so far. I remember being at summer camp when we had dances with our sister camp Camp Netimus. We would travel to their territory or they would travel to ours. Under a big pavilion, we would have loud eighties and nineties music played at us and we would be expected to exist there until it was time to go to bed.

The first few times, I was bored out of my skull. I hung out with my friends but there was nothing to do. I wanted to sit and write or read or play Gameboy but it was not allowed. It was too loud to have a proper conversation. My friends urged me to start asking girls to dance. I had no interest in doing this. I love girls. I am attracted to girls. However, I felt like I was pressured into asking girls to dance. I did it poorly, I’m sure. For whatever reason, the majority of them did not want to dance with me. It was humiliating at the time to ask and get a no each time. Mostly because I did not want to ask in the first place. That probably showed.

When a girl did say yes, I had no idea what to do and I was so self-conscious and shy. I moved around like she did but my introversion made it hard to feel anything other than a nonexistent searing-hot spotlight. After a song or two, I would thank the girl and never see her again. I do not remember their faces. Somehow I remember their names even less. I remember that they were kind to me and I was not unkind to them but I probably left the impression of a shy, uncoordinated boy. I also remember asking a female counselor to dance (she looked young!) and her declining politely. Instead, she proposed a group dance, a construct used by middle school dances everywhere.

When it came to school dances, I was friends with a group of nerds, geeks, and outcasts and so we were more interested in fooling around and having fun rather than going after the girls. At that point, girls were friends and not potential romantic partners. It was a hormonal time so there was a lot of physical attraction but I never pursued anything romantic. I remember very clearly looking at one particular girl who I thought was pretty. I had gone to the same school as her for nine years. I thought that she would be the one that I would date if I was going to date. I knew nothing about her. I just thought that everyone was dating and that, as a point of pride, I should probably be dating. Thankfully, I never pursued that. It was such twisted thinking.

College was a time of crushes. There were many crushes that drew me in and were really fun to think about and even obsess over. For the most part, they were fun and nice young women who treated me well. There was one who probably easily figured out my secret crush. She definitely played with me. I would have done a lot for her. She said I should shave my hair and get a tattoo. I said I thought that was a good idea. But even looking back I cannot see myself spending a portion of every day with her. It was physical attraction and the desire for love in general, not romantic love. I wanted to feel special. That kind of thing is not real to me anymore.

That is to say, if somebody comes along that inspires real and romantic love then I will pursue it. However, I am not really looking for it. I like my life. Well, I like what my life is becoming. I am bettering myself every day through therapy, exercise, and general self-improvement. I really enjoy living alone and being alone and entertaining myself. I venture out every so often to hang out with friends and laugh and connect. I think that is exactly what I need right now.

Sabin the IV

September 16, 2017

Cordell and Edmun were helping Sabin into his armor. This was nothing really new as Sabin had put on armor almost every day since he had turned twelve. Before that, he was often caught trying to wear his father’s armor or his older brother’s armor which was met with amusement and only a tiny bit of annoyance. His father had custom armor made with the family crest put on it and, as he grew, new armor was often given to him on his birthday. It was a comfortable second skin just as a sword was a natural extension of his arm. What was different today was that Lady Elena was trying to talk to Sabin during the process.

“Elena, please,” Sabin said, trying to turn his head to face her which made the rest of his body move which made the job of putting on armor more difficult for the servants. “It is immodest for you to be standing there while I am getting dressed!”

“But Sabin,” Elena protested. “You must speak to me. I have heard that you are going on a journey. Why must I learn of this secondhand, my love?”

“I apologize,” Sabin said. He walked to her, his armor half on and hanging off of his body. He ignored the frustrated sighs of the servants. “I did you a disservice but I have only recently resolved to go on this quest.”

“What quest pulls you from your home and my side?” Elena asked. She pressed her hand to his cheek and he placed his hand on her hand gently.

“It is a quest for you, my love,” He said. “You are the only thing that truly matters.”

“A quest for me?” Elena asked with a quizzical look on her face. “Why, I am right here, my lord. You did not have to travel far to find me.” She smiled sweetly and Sabin knew it was a joke but it was also partly earnest.

Sabin laughed softly. “No, my love. I am journeying for your hand, by which I hope to have the rest of you. Your parents have forbidden our marriage unless I prove myself worthy.”

Elena frowned. “And how will you prove yourself worthy? As if you were not already worthy.”

“Through adventure!” Sabin said with a smile. “Only through great deeds can a man (or a woman) be truly great. I will return with such tales that will spin the heads of your parents on their shoulders. They will beg me to marry you.”

Elena remained frowning. “As attractive as that sounds, could we not merely elope? I desire you as a husband and you cannot do that if you are carried back here a corpse.”

Sabin shook his head, his long brown hair shaking a little as he did. “Have a little more faith than that, Elena,” He said. “Besides, I want to do this the right way. I want your parents and my parents and all of our family to proudly stand by while we exchange our vows. I do not want our bliss to be a point of contention between our families. Moreover, I do not want to drive a wedge between you and your family.”

Elena sighed. Her blue eyes studied Sabin de Lesartesse carefully. Elena Loncroft was of a noble bearing, one of the richest, well-bred, and well-respected families in the area. Her family obviously had its doubts about most who pursued their crown jewel as such a marriage would be immediately advantageous to the suitor and those advantages would only increase after the natural death of Elena’s parents. Sabin was a young man in the prime of his life, a man who eagerly heeded any call to adventure. At a tournament, he had met Elena by chance and the two had talked so long he had nearly missed his turn. He dedicated the subsequent victory to her but in private so as not to put her on the spot. Since then, they had grown fond of each other and that fondness had turned to love.

“There is wisdom in that and it touches my heart,” Elena said. “However, I also surmise that you are eager to go on this adventure.”

“I cannot lie,” Sabin said. “The idea of the wide open world does excite me. My mother used to read me tales of epic adventure. I always hoped that one day I would be the one they wrote stories about. Perhaps, a bard will write a song.”

“My nanny also read me those stories,” Elena said. “Very well, if your heart brings you elsewhere then I cannot keep you here.” She turned away, reaching to wipe away a tear from her cheek.

Sabin wrapped his arms around her from behind and hugged her close. “My heart does draw me away but it will also be what brings me back to you. I swear it.” He smiled and leaned over her shoulder, his hair falling against her hair, blonde mixing with brown. They stayed like that for a moment.

“I am proud of you, my lord, my Sabin,” Elena said. “As much as I hate to see you go, and that hate is considerable, I know that your journey will benefit us. You will come back stronger so you can protect me and, perhaps, our future children.”

“Elena, I would very much like to have children with you,” Sabin said. “As long as they take more after you than me.”

“You are beautiful to me, Sabin,” Elena said. “I would request that you remain beautiful. Make sure the brigands and monsters do not harm your face. I cannot stress this enough.” She smiled brightly at her own joke.

“I will do my best to make that request, each and every battle,” Sabin said. Both of them laughed softly. The sound was a little sad. “Go back to your chambers while I finish getting ready, my love. I will come and say goodbye when I am ready.”

Elena nodded and then turned in his arms and kissed him. Sabin kissed her back, his arm instinctually supporting her lower back as she went on tiptoe. That moment would be burned into Sabin’s memory along with a whole chain of similar memories. She broke the kiss eventually and stroked his cheek before leaving him to put on the rest of his armor.

Media Update 9/14/17

September 14, 2017


Silver Streak

I was astonished as I sat down with my folks this weekend, my mouth full of gauze from my wisdom tooth extraction, and started watching this movie. I thought I had seen it. Unless I was more drugged than I thought, I had not. I definitely would have remembered this movie. Gene Wilder was an absolute genius. His comedic performance often had an underlying depression and/or anger underneath it that just added such great layers to it. He is brilliant in this mystery aboard a train from Los Angeles to Chicago. There is plenty of slapstick, wordplay, great situational humor, and even some vaudeville style stuff. The other top-billed actor in this movie is, of course, Richard Pryor who does not show up for the first hour of the movie. This gives Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, and a great cast of character actors room to breathe. Richard Pryor appears in time to give the movie a good kick in the rear to get it going faster towards its conclusion. He works so well with Gene Wilder which is why they paired them together several times at the height of their careers. Somewhat inspired by movies like North by Northwest, this movie ups the comedy without losing the suspense of the thriller genre. I definitely recommend it.


Snowpiercer

If you look back at last year’s Halloween movie reviews, you will see how much I enjoyed Joon-Ho Bong’s The Host. It was a great take on what would happen if a city was actually attacked by a strange, alien creature. Bong is really good at taking fantastic ideas and then grounding them and making them relatable while still keeping them insane. This movie is about an Earth where the world released chemicals into the air to counteract global warming and accidentally froze the world. The movie takes place on a train that perpetually circumnavigates the world. The movie says a lot about class differences and what you are willing to forgive others for and what you are able to live with within yourself. It stars Chris Evans in arguably one of his most difficult acting roles. We also get great performances from seasoned professionals like John Hurt and Ed Harris. There is also Tilda Swinton in probably the best performance I have seen from her. Finally, we have Kang-ho Song, which adds a little more variety to this tense combination between a drama and basically a war movie. The movie is dark and not at all happy. Instead, like most futuristic stories, they show just what we are willing to do to each other. I definitely recommend it.


The Great Train Robbery (2017)

In 1963, 2.6 million pounds (which is 49 million today) was stolen from a train transporting cash through the Royal Mail system. After they got some inside information, a gang of fifteen thieves was able to get away with the money without firing a shot. Recently, a new dramatization of the crime was released on Netflix. I watched the first of two parts which was basically a movie about the heist itself. The movie follows the careful planning of the crime, its completion, and then the immediate aftermath after the criminals were not immediately caught. I am looking forward to watching the second half which is the investigation and arrest of the whole gang based on the mistakes they made. It is an interesting concept because I spent the whole first half getting to know the criminals and a lot of them are portrayed as likable. None of them are guilty of much violence and each of them walked away with a small fortune. They come off as kind of heroic so you forget that they are definitely criminals. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Fluids – Creatures

Chvrches – Broken Bones

BUCKY BOYS – Shadowpeople

TWRP – The No Pants Dance

Fab 5 Freddy – Change The Beat

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Mysteries and Secrets on Trains”
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I finished Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I watched more White Collar Season 6
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I started watching the Mae Young Classic
– I started Bojack Horseman Season 4
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1

Wisdom Teeth

September 11, 2017

I am sitting here seven hours removed from getting half of my wisdom teeth and a broken tooth removed. The surgery was a success and was fairly brief despite a few extra complications. I promised my brother I would try to write this post. We both thought it would be funny to read a post written while I was high as a kite. However, as you can see, I am a bit disappointed in that regard

I am currently on Hydrocodone. It took a while to kick in for this first dose, turning my torture into a dull roar. The bleeding is going down bit by bit but it is still impressive. So far so good. However, I am a little disappointed that I’m not goofy and babbling. You see, I really have never done drugs. I occasionally have a bit of whiskey, I have used Tylenol PM, and I have been in the same room while people smoked pot. I thought this might be my big chance to get high with a good excuse but no dice.

I will tell you a few things I remember from the event this morning. It’s blessedly little. I got to the office and signed in and was escorted to my throne. I talked to one of the nurses and got a chance to bash Tom Brady a bit together. I noticed that while I sat there, they were blasting classical music in the hallways. Curiously, this included the French National Anthem and the 1812 Overture. Great, I was going to get teeth extracted while the French Revolution was going on in the hallway.

Then the surgeon walked in who is a really suave straight shooter. The first words out of his mouth were how Hurricane Irma had just canceled his 35th wedding anniversary in January at St. Bart’s. This should have been in poor taste but it made me laugh, disarming me. (Edit: This is now in poor taste again). Then he put me out and I woke up to be taken to meet my family members who were waiting to haul me out of there.

I noticed that I had an ice pack tied to my head. I thought I must have looked like Jacob Marley. Everybody kept insisting on talking to me while my mouth was full of gauze. Then they told me not to talk. No fair. But, I can’t fault my loved ones for trying to engage me to make sure that I was alright and to keep me from worrying about the impending pain and blood. I am sitting here desperately waiting to be able to take the gauze out so I can talk again. I have so far only gobbled a single yogurt all day today. (Edit: In the next 36 hours I only had yogurt).

The medicine does make me doze every so often. I will wake up and watch some YouTube or browse the web on my phone but social media are forbidden until I can trust myself. I’m already bored! I’m allowed to be. If I do get loopy, I will post it here in whatever form it takes.

Edit: It is now Sunday night and things are looking up. There is not much pain but the left side of my lower lip and part of my chin are still numb. I have a huge bruise on the left side of my face. I am carefully chewing food on the right side of my mouth but it makes me paranoid. The bleeding has long since stopped and the swelling is down. This has been no walk in the park and it is not over but I feel a lot better about everything.

Redcross Pt. 10

September 9, 2017

Redcross

Sarah poked her head through the door to the street and saw Reverend Simmons on the roof of the church carefully unloading his rifle at even more beasts that were running in the streets. There were a few others firing from their windows in the night. She watched as a bullet landed on one of the beasts and it slumped to the ground but then it got back up again in a moment. She aimed her own rifle and started to fire but she worried it would not do any good. Still, she managed to land a few hits of her own which at least slowed the things and kept them from attacking anyone.

A single wolf’s howl rang out in the night and then a chorus of howls answered it. A pack of wolves ran into the town and before Sarah could aim, she watched one of the wolves slam into one of the mountain lions. The wolf sank its teeth into the hide of the big cat and there was a spray of blood onto the dirt. Sarah was astonished. Why would a pack of wolves run into town to fight a pack of mountain lions? That was stepping around the odd thought of why a pack of mountain lions would randomly storm a town like Essex.

Sarah raised her hand high and shouted. “Hold your fire! Don’t hit the wolves!” She could almost feel the confusion in the air but the gunfire stopped after a moment. She could feel the Reverend’s gaze all the way from on top of the church. She chose to ignore it at that moment and instead watched the wolves and the mountain lions fight. The fighting was fast and bloody as animals almost moved faster than the human eye at times.

After a few tense minutes, the mountain lions decided to turn tail and run out of town. The wolves gave chase, nipping at their heels. One of the wolves stopped in the middle of the town, a few feet from Sarah and looked at her. Sarah stared back into the eyes of the wolf, stunned. She held her hands up, knowing that accidentally looking it in the eye could be seen as aggressive. She tried to look as innocent as possible, holding her rifle above her head. The wolf cocked its head and then ran to catch up to its pack. Sarah let out her breath and looked around the town.

“Is everybody alright?” Sarah called out.

She could see a lot of the men and women of the town filtering out of their homes. They looked rattled but nobody looked injured. It looked as if the town had been very lucky. She scanned the buildings and saw that the door of the doctor’s house had been torn apart. She jogged over and made her way past the broken pieces of the door. She kept her rifle ready.

“Doctor?” She called out. “Are you alright?” Her heart hammered up against her rib cage and she took two deep breaths to calm herself as she made her way up the stairs. The doctor appeared at the top of the stairs.

“I’m alright,” She said. “The thing had just about gotten through the door when somebody shot it in the back. My guess is I have the Reverend to thank.”

Warren made his way through the door behind Sarah slowly. “Is everything alright?”

“We won’t be needing your services, Mr. Chilton.” The doctor said. Sarah had to smile at that little joke.

“I’m glad of it, ma’am,” Warren replied with a smile. “I don’t really want my skills to be in high demand.”

The doctor descended the stairs now that she knew that things were as safe as they were going to get. She was in her nightgown, her spectacles balanced on her nose. “Are you alright, Sarah? I can see the sheen on your forehead.”

“One of them attacked me outside of my home,” Sarah said. “It broke the back door of my office when I ran. I scared it off.”

“With that famous Redcross marksmanship, I suppose?” Asked Warren.

“Yes,” Sarah said. “But after I shot it, it had the nerve to get back up. It was not natural. I have never seen anything like it.”

“Curious,” The doctor said. “Healing of that magnitude is definitely not natural.”

“Do you not also find it curious that these beasts tried to get into the both the doctor’s office and the sheriff’s office?” Warren asked. “I have long scratches on my door that would seem to prove that these animals had an agenda.”

“What kind of agenda would a pack of mountain lions have?” Sarah asked. “And why would a pack of wolves have an opposite agenda?”

“There is more at work here than is normal, I believe,” Warren said.

“Are you actually considering he supernatural, Mr. Chilton?” Marion asked.

Warren waved the question away with his hand. “Ridiculous. There is still no proof.”

“I don’t know about that, Warren,” Sarah said. “Things are getting really strange around here.”

“And do you recall the wounds on our mystery body?” Marion asked. “I told you that I thought they looked feline in nature. Now we are invaded by wild cats. Is that merely a coincidence.”

Warren was about to say something but Sarah cut him off. “No, it can’t be,” She said. “I believe those animals are the same ones that killed the man. Now, what that means is still up for debate.”

“I agree,” Warren said. “Surely we must gather more evidence before making a conclusion.”

“Of course, I agree as well,” Marion said. “However, even though my hypothesis would have me laughed out of several universities, I still believe that we are dealing with the supernatural.”

“I don’t know whether I want you to be wrong or right, Doctor,” Sarah said with a shiver. “Either way, we better be on our guard from here on out. You should stay with me until we can get your door fixed.”

“You’ll get no argument from me, Sheriff,” Marion said. “I promise to be a good house guest. I know you have your rounds ahead of you, I will meet you back at your home.”

“Goodnight ladies,” Warren said. “And be careful.”


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