Archive for November, 2019

Pokemon Dark and Light

November 30, 2019

(I had several ideas for the plots and design of Pokemon games that have banging around in my head.  Here is one of them)

The game would follow a former criminal thug who puts themself on the path of redemption by taking on the criminal enterprise he used to work for. He (or she) starts the game just before gang initiation. They get to choose between three starters but they are wild pokemon that lurk around the hideout. There is a Lilipup rummaging through the dumpsters out back, a grumpy Sandile living under the back porch, a Zubat fluttering around the hideout’s attic. You get a period of time to bully kids around the hideout and then you confront the boss of your local chapter as a gang initiation, Caleb.

Flash forward a couple of years with the gang on a job that goes wrong. You have earned the nickname of The Ace and are highly regarded in the Organization. You fight through some guards on a pokemon storage center heist. In the middle of the final battle, there is an explosion and people get hurt. Your character gets arrested and sent to jail. You flash forward to being released from prison. You’re approached by a contact at the cemetery while visiting the graves of those hurt in the explosion. They want to see how willing you are to atone. They have a plan to take down your old gang but to do that, you have to challenge Underground Gyms and defeat their leaders. After you have finished your mission, you are given permission to do the regular gym challenge.

You would have two rivals. The first, Detective Holloway, is a cop trying to bring you in and you face off as they try to apprehend you.

Her Pokemon:
Staraptor
Swanna
Fearow
Fletchinder
Trumbeak
Farfetch’d

The second is Caleb, the man who brought you into the gang, he constantly tests you as he wants to steal your reputation and take your spot. He is more of a traditional rival.

His Pokemon:
Weezing
Sizzlipede
Sharpedo
Pidegeotto
Vileplume
Machamp

 

Underground Gym Leaders:

The Chiller – Ice Type
Denton is the storage expert for the organization. His family has been part of the group going back many generations and he has absolutely no reservations about what they are doing. A blue-collar sort of criminal, he is at home in the secret warehouses where he flash freezes pokemon in order to store them for black market buyers.

His Pokemon:
Alolan Sandslash
Abomasnow
Sealeo
Beartic
Cryogonal
Sneasel

The Poisoner – Poison Type
Kira is a former student of Koga in the Hoenn region and was friends with Janine at some point. However, she eventually turned from the straight and narrow path and the example Koga set. She used the ways of the ninja to eliminate threats to the organization. She set up her own shadowy dojo where she trains others to strike others efficiently for profit.

Her Pokemon:
Seviper
Alolan Grimer
Skorupi
Salazzle
Croagunk
Dustox

The Darkness – Dark Type
Nora is the person that the Organization calls on when it needs a place for secret meetings or hideouts. As the daughter of a real estate mogul, she is an expert at finding excellent hideaways for performing criminal acts in safety. She operates out of a huge penthouse and controls several of the floors below her. She is accustomed to the finer things and is often seen indulging in the high life.

Her Pokemon:
Umbreon
Absol
Liepard
Bisharp
Morgrem
Mandibuzz

The Ghost – Ghost Type
Nobody is sure of the real name of The Ghost nor are they sure their appearance at all. They wear a costume that covers their face with bandages and a large hood. They are the expert at getting in and out of places that nobody wants them to go. They are also the member of the Organization they sometimes call to scare somebody into compliance.

Their Pokemon:
Spiritomb
Gengar
Cofagrigus
Mismagius
Chandelure
Banette

The Heavy – Ground Type
Doro is the go-to enforcer for the Organization. He likes to throw his weight around and it shows with the pokemon types he prefers. He likes to hit hard and can take a lot of damage before going down. He also happens to be the son of the leader of the Organization. He resides in a hideout below his favorite bar.

His Pokemon:
Donphan
Sandslash
Excadrill
Hippowdon
Golem
Onix

The Programmer – Steel Type
Roderick is the computer and technology expert of the Organization. He runs a computer data center under his own high tech casino which he is obsessed with. He is highly intelligent but suffers from overconfidence.

His Pokemon:
Klang
Aggron
Metagross
Magnezone
Magneton
Skarmory

The Thinker – Psychic
Angelica is the chief intelligence officer of the Organization. She prides herself on “know everything”. She monitors the authorities, the Pokemon league, and various informant sources to keep track of possible threats or opportunities for the Organization. She operates out of an abandoned library that she has filled with disorienting illusions.

Her Pokemon:
Alakazam
Hypno
Espeon
Gothorita
Reuniclus
Mr. Mime

The Beast – Dragon Type
Marc is the leader of the Organization and a fearsome person that nobody ever wants to cross. He used dragon pokemon to forcefully conduct the raids that funded the creation of the Organization. Eventually, he retired from fieldwork but rules everything from his castle. As the player approaches him, he becomes more interested in hiring the player as his new right hand. Little does he know that his time is short.

His Pokemon:
Haxorus
Dragonite
Dragonair
Salamence
Garchomp
Noivern

Regional Gyms

Fire Type Gym
Charli is a celebrity chef, loving to feed people and the heat of the kitchens. She works with both humans and Pokemon to prepare feasts for both rich and poor. Her gym doubles as a restaurant.

Her Pokemon:
Magmar
Torkoal
Litten
Talonflame
Oricorio (Baile Style)
Fennekin

Water Type Gym
Kylie loves all sorts of aquatic Pokemon and runs an aquarium and water park near the sea. She is happiest while in the water. She runs an aquatic battlefield gym and has little love for drylanders.

Her Pokemon:
Polywrath
Seadra
Clauncher
Arrokuda
Azumarill
Whiscash

Grass Type Gym
Henry is a professional partier and people often invite him to their parties in the hopes that he will arrive and make it more fun. He often throws his own parties at his gym when he is not training or facing challengers. He enjoys being out in the open as a celebrity and uses an open-air public fields and gardens. He also supports several farms and orchards.

His Pokemon:
Ludicolo
Cacnea
Carnavine
Liligant
Tsareena
Bellosom

Normal Type Gym
Arthur is a gym leader in more than one sense of the word. He runs an athletic gym for both humans and Pokemon. He encourages people to get fit and get competitive. He loves strength, speed, and agility.

His Pokemon:
Slaking
Exploud
Snorlax
Bouffalant
Diggersby
Bewear

Fairy Type Gym
Marnie is the last princess of a fading dynasty and the youngest gym leader. She loves inner beauty and sparkles. She loves sharing her royalty and her privilege with the world.

Her Pokemon:
Wigglytuff
Clefable
Granbull
Galarian Rapidash
Gardevoir
Gallade

Bug Type Gym
Cody runs a gym that is constantly moving within the bounds of the forest of his hometown. He loves bug pokemon and the forests and the fields so much. He really just loves nature and lives simply in a treehouse.

His Pokemon:
Pinsir
Kricketune
Beedrill
Scyther
Heracross
Masquerain

Electric Type Gym
Fantana is a theater and performance enthusiast. She prizes putting on a show most of all. Her gym doubles as a theater for pokemon and people. She is a dancer and is constantly moving.

Her Pokemon:
Raichu
Electabuzz
Ampharos
Pikachu
Rotom
Oricorio (Pom Pom)

Fighting Type Gym
Dumo is a real superhero. He loves jetting around the world, fighting the Organization and any threats to the populace. He is somewhat mysterious and wears a mask. The player can catch sight of him during the regular game during several close calls.

His Pokemon:
Hawlucha
Primeape
Hitmonlee
Hitmonchan
Mienshao
Hariyama

Media Update 11/28/19

November 28, 2019


The Runaways

I am a huge fan of this comic book since it was the first new thing Marvel attempted in a long, long time. The comic is about a group of kids who find out that their parents are supervillains and go on the run to try and stop them. It was the first thing in Marvel that I had read that did not really stem from previous continuity. It introduced brand new characters that had virtually nothing to do with the rest of the Marvel Universe. It made the series a very self-contained, standalone sort of story at first. However, they were gradually sewn into the fabric of the universe in a natural way. The show is similar but provides enough differences to really keep things interested. There are strong performances from both the adults and the children. Out of the adults, I really enjoyed Ryan Sands, Brittany Ishibashi, Angel Parker, James Marsters, and Annie Wersching. Of the kids, I really liked Greg Sulkin, Ariela Barer, Rhenzy Feliz, and Virginia Gardner. However, everybody is awesome. I definitely recommend the show for mystery and drama.


The Gifted

I was not sure what to expect when I started watching this show but I knew that it was adjacent to the X-Universe. The show takes place in a sort of dystopian future after the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have disappeared. What is left is a human populace who are incredibly scared of mutants and a mutant populace constantly on the run. The show follows both mutant and human characters as they try to navigate an increasingly dangerous world. I have already seen interesting (and less used) mutant characters like Polaris, Blink, the Strucker children, Sunspot, and Thunderbird. There is also a really cool take on the Sentinels. One of my favorites (Amy Acker) also has a great role as a human caught up in everything and so far is the character most driving the plot. I love where the show is going so far. For one, as a law nerd, I definitely like how they are trying to dip their toes into civil rights, confinement, and probable cause. The show is grim without being completely dispiriting. I recommend the show, especially for X-Fans.


My Hero Academia

I had been hearing really great things about this anime but I am kind of a dub guy (especially since I am a fan of a lot of American voice actors through Critical Role). Finally, I have access to the dub through Hulu and this is the perfect week to catch it. The show is about a school for superheroes, in a world where people have “quirks” which is kind of another name for superpowers. Superpowers are normalized with about 80% of the population being super in some way. Superheroes save the day as a career path and obviously schools sprung up to teach people how to be better and more successful heroes. The show has some deep drama and definitely does a good job covering anxiety, ambition, and the cost of following one’s dreams. However, they also manage to keep things light and fun with all of the heroics. Like many anime series, there is a good degree of slapstick although albeit with a dark edge sometimes. I really like the world they built even though it is similar to other comic book and television series. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Kesha – My Own Dance

The 1975 – Girls

Halflives – Mayday

Young Thug – Hot ft. Gunna & Travis Scott

Baby Shark (Trap Remix)

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Young Heroes”
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 7
– I watched more Blindspot Season 2
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Stumptown Season 1
– I watched more Elementary Season 1
– I watched more Carmen Sandiego Season 2
– I started watching Justice League Action
– I started watching The Crown Season 3

Thanksgiving 2019

November 25, 2019

Here in the United States of America, it is Thanksgiving weekend so work should be pretty fun for the next few days. That was sarcasm. Getting a hold of anybody should be incredibly difficult and people have time off to use to blow up my phone at work. However, it is also a three-day workweek. It is a time to reflect and be thankful. So I will be focusing on the positive instead of the negative. I have a lot to be thankful for. My health is good. I am uninjured. In January, I finally landed the job I went back to school for and became an official paralegal. My boss and I get along really well and I am learning new things every day and we have fun. I have good friends both in real life and through The Bloggess community. My writing is still fulfilling and I love creating new worlds.

I watched a lot of good movies and started watching a lot of good television shows. I finally got my crap together and got a library card so I can download audiobooks for my commute. This year I was the last one to the party and became a fan of The Elite and then the pro-wrestling fandom was blessed with All Elite Wrestling. Hopefully, that leads to a new renaissance and elevates the product of all companies. We shall see. I also got access to both Hulu and Disney+ which greatly opens up the possibilities for entertainment. If paralysis of choice of movies and television is one of my biggest current problems, I am in a good place. I will probably be in Christmas mode soon and there are so many choices for new Christmas entertainment, something I did not care about previously.

Finally, I get to see my family this week and Christmas is looking like it will way calmer than usual (and possibly in NYC?). I will hopefully use plenty of time this week writing and relaxing.

PS. I am also thankful for all of you readers!

Pantheon Addendum

November 23, 2019

The following are more minor deities of the realms.   These are mostly neutral parties that did not take sides in the conflict that broke the world.

Ogun, God of the Forge

Ogun was a lonely and solitary god, who did not speak to most of the other gods. The only exception was his rare talks with Ioun and her entourage as they engaged Ogun’s intellect. He used them to inspire new ideas. He was mostly preoccupied with his creations. He loved to create, spending every day at the forge to create for the sake of creating. However, when the other gods learned of him, they sought him out. They tasked him with creating magical weapons and tools for them. He decided to take neither side and created many magical items for the various deities and their followers. He also discovered the secret of making sentient weapons and items, a skill that has rarely been replicated. He used a lot of the same techniques to give birth to living constructs. Many of them guarded his forge against both sides and assisted their master at the forge. He is not a very skillful fighter and he lost his arms and face while guarding his forge in the final conflict. He was able to construct new arms, even better-suited for his tasks. He replaced his face with a mask of metal and stone. After the Final Conflict, he was locked deep under the world at its very center. He was content to build and destroy his own creations and never see the world again. Ogun’s worshippers are makers, happy to get their hands dirty in order to make things nobody has ever seen before.

Nami, The Iron Maiden

Nami was Ogun’s greatest creation, a perfect living construct that he meticulously created over years of careful creation. Left to her own devices (as all constructs were) she made the choice on her own to assist Ogun with his projects. She quickly proved herself to be the most capable of his assistants and in return, he infused her with greater god energy, a spark from his own being. She became the mother of all constructs, from that date onward having a hand in the creation of every construct created. She became a true love and companion of Ogun after spending a few years on her own, as suggested by Ogun to make sure that she was not merely subservient to his will. She eventually had a few of her own projects. She organized the defense in the final conflict and she was the one who personally crafted the replacement parts of her true love. She gladly went into exile with Ogun after the conflict so that they could both create together. Nami’s worshippers often crossover with Ogun’s. If the world’s remaining constructs could talk, they might reveal that they worship Nami.

Esho, the Goddess of Time

Nobody is quite sure how she does it but Esho maintains the flow of time and keeps it moving forward. An enigmatic figure, she was rarely ever seen by the other gods and never by mortals. Still, scraps of her story have filtered down through the years. She was most likely the first deity to form into being and was alone in the void before creation. She is self-sufficient, a total loner who never needed any companionship. She did not take part in the Final Conflict as she needed to be completely focused on her job. She also had no attachments to the others and did not want to take sides anyway. After the conflict, she disappeared and nobody could ever find her. She passed beyond the planes but still obviously maintains the flow of time. She has a few odd worshippers but she pays them no mind. She gets annoyed when magic users cast time-based spells like Slow or Haste.

Fear

A truly sadistic force of nature, Fear never took a proper name and never allied itself with any of the other gods. A true shapechanger, nobody knows what Fear’s base form is. Fear delighted in invoking its namesake in all mortal beings, keeping them all beneath its heel. It absorbed the world’s fears and grew very powerful. Before the Final Conflict, the good gods banished Fear to the Dream Realm where it bides its time creating nightmares. Any worshippers are absolutely insane.

Uzas, the Goddess of Trickery

The Goddess of Trickery is a more innocent version of the Cyric (Corruption) and a more stable version of Akanay (Chaos). She is also the twin sister of Laverna (Luck). She is the patron of those who rejects society’s rules and often society itself. She believes that the world is more interesting if you sew a little confusion and surprise to spice things up. Uzas enjoys playing pranks on people and drawing a reaction from the world around her and therefore prizes those individuals who feel the same. She also prizes individuality. During the Final Battle, she fled in fear along with her sister (although Laverna came back) and she regretted it. Nobody is quite sure where she went after the conflict but there are reports of pranks being played in the various heavens.

Lady of Pain

The mysterious Lady who presides over the equally mysterious City of Sigil. Nobody is quite sure what the Lady looks like as most look down or away when they sense her approach. She is surrounded by chains and strips of cloth that seem to have a mind of their own and swirl around her, hiding her from view. Also, people can kind of feel when she is around. Nobody is quite sure what she is or where she came from either. What little that is known about her or her wishes are communicated by six lieutenants that see to the day to day operation of Sigil. She is not a deity, or at least she does not wish to be worshipped as one. Anybody heard worshipping her is usually gruesomely murdered by the Lady herself. She is known to defend Sigil from any major threat. In fact, there is a rumor that the Lady easily defeated and vivisected a Tarrasque sent to dominate Sigil. It is best to just avoid the Lady when possible, get in and out of Sigil quickly, and make sure you follow her rules.

Media Update 11/21/19

November 21, 2019


The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

I have been a Jim Henson fan since I can remember but it was only in the last year that I finally watched The Dark Crystal. The movie is dark but funny and fantastical. It has so much heart and the production design is so wonderful and beautiful, even the ugly bits. Unlike the Muppets and even Fraggle Rock, the movie world never felt like it was all puppets. I was excited to see that world again even though I was wary about what a prequel would be. I did have faith that whatever they came up with, it would be good and I was right. The series is an ensemble piece, following various characters as they try to navigate a mystery plaguing their world. The series keeps things light but there is some true darkness in the story, just like the original movie. With a bigger budget, the production design is even better. They spent the additional budget remaking a lot of what made the original good and then expanding it. The cast is full of brilliant voice actors/puppeteers both famous and new and praise definitely goes all around. I definitely recommend it.


Mission Impossible: Fallout

I have been a fan of the Mission Impossible franchise for a long time. The movies have always been action-packed with Tom Cruise at his best with a fun supporting cast. Tom Cruise may be problematic in real-life, but his Ethan Hunt is always an interesting character. Part of that is his dry wit but a lot of it is the crazy plans he always comes up with to save the day and his stunts are mind-blowing. Ving Rhames returns, charming and funny. Simon Pegg is always fantastic as well. Rebecca Ferguson returns and is basically allowed to be the female Ethan Hunt. Angela Bassett is a hard but interesting woman. Alec Baldwin is always entertaining and funny. The interesting new addition is Henry Cavill. I had seen him in Man of Steel and Justice League and he was not very impressive. However, this role was more like his excellent work in The Man from UNCLE. He gets to be a smarmy badass. The mystery has some neat twists and turns and, like most Mission Impossible movies, it really ramps up in the third act and gets really fun. I definitely recommend it.


The Commuter

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it looked pretty good. Ever since Taken, Liam Neeson has regained a badass reputation as an action star. However, this movie is more like Nonstop or Unknown (in fact it has the same director as the latter). It is a train-based mystery that turns into a thriller/action movie. I really liked the pacing of the movie as it steadily built up steam and then went all out near the end. Liam Neeson is the perfect person for a detective-like role as he is friendly but also believable as a tough guy. He is surrounded by a huge ensemble cast of interesting characters played by people like Vera Farmiga, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill, Florence Pugh, Andy Lyman, Patrick Wilson, and many more. The movie is kind of a combo of Nonstop and Murder on the Orient Express. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol – The Cincinnati Tilt

Sean – Ataraxia

Doja Cat – Bottom Bitch

Calpurnia – City Boy

Joywave – Like a Kennedy

– This week’s theme is “Questioning Allegiances”
– I finished Veronica Mars Season 4
– I started watching Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I started watching Bob’s Burgers Season 7
– I watched more Blindspot Season 2
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Scream Season 1
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Elementary Season 1
– I watched more Blue Bloods Season 9

The Bloggess Family

November 18, 2019

It felt like ages ago but it was only about ten or eleven years since I found a blog called The Bloggess. It was created by author Jenny Lawson before she was a published author and long before she was a New York Times Best Seller. At the time, she was telling funny stories about her interactions with the people around her and her interesting thoughts. She was transitioning from being pigeonholed as a “mommy blogger” and was just writing whatever she wanted. She had already amassed quite a following. Her words had flow and had me constantly laughing as I read back through her archives and then impatiently waited for each update.

She was the main inspiration for me starting this blog that has gone through various iterations before the most recent branding (years ago). She made me want to get my own words out there and make my own mark on the words. It helped me in my fight against depression and anxiety and, although I was just shouting into the void, I felt better doing it. Writing has always been a compulsion of mine, something I must do or the words and thoughts will build up and then I will explode or burn out.

I was a fan for years before Jenny (as I and her other fans call her) published her first book, a memoir of her early years called Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It was such an interesting dive into who she was as a person and I learned so much about her and found more in common with Jenny than before. I was so jealous of her flowing style and worked harder on my own style.  I also wanted to be more open and less fake with my potential audience. I buckled down on my blog, working hard against my own depression to try and keep posts coming. People started to read them. I was astonished. People started to like them. I felt like I had a sliver of what Jenny has.

Years later, I started to pay more attention to what Jenny at the time called her Bloggess Tribe. (A side note: some people are iffy about using that term as they feel it is potentially offensive while others don’t feel it is. The jury is still out.) I identified heavily with Jenny but I also found a lot of kindred spirits among her fans. It is probably the only fandom I have experienced where I have yet to find a bad egg. Jenny preaches positivity and it spreads through the people who like her work. The group also tends to be incredibly creative, the kind of friends that I always attracted. While it is true that the fandom is primarily female, I have never felt unwelcome as a male. I am so thankful for that. I have especially enjoyed interacting with people on twitter and learning and supporting each other.

Most recently, I finally read Jenny’s second book Furiously Happy which had been in my To Be Read pile for far too long. I actually listened to the audiobook even though I have a hard copy because I wanted to hear the book in the author’s own words. It is delightfully insane in the best ways. It is a book full of essays written by Jenny with the theme of it being about battling her anxiety and depression. I myself had undiagnosed depression and anxiety for a long time before finally getting diagnosed and starting on Xanax. Jenny’s is much worse (as she has a multitude of additional disorders) but she is an inspiration. The book is her mission statement in being “furiously happy” instead of succumbing to depression and anxiety. I would almost call it “spitefully happy”. If you have a chance, I would check the book out maybe search for our group online.

In Fear of Sundown Pt. 4

November 16, 2019

“A Goddess of Light?!” Westcott asked. “But there is no God but Leotas.” This was well known and spread by the churches in Sunwood before Deputy Westcott was born. Leotas was a kind and simple god, preaching love and understanding.

“There is no such god,” the right Sister said. “Leotas is a lie meant to keep the world passive.”

“The lie of Leotas keeps your kind from the truth,” the left Sister said. “the truth that the true gods went away a long time ago.”

“Went away?” Afa asked. “Maybe you should expand on that. We’re completely in the dark here. Let’s have us some storytime and explain some things. Please.”

The two sisters looked at each other and then nodded. The left Sister spoke up. “In the dark, indeed, Afa. The world slept in darkness until the gods arose. Seven shining gods who brought life, shape, and happiness to the world. Genii, the goddess of light. Callebus, the god of knowledge. Ori, the goddess of nature. Cherbus, the god of fortune. Honus, the goddess of magic. Clairen, the goddess of life. Nepta, the goddess of justice. The seven championed the people and fostered civilization. Life was good.”

The right Sister took her turn. “But all was not completely bright and good. There were also evil gods who were bent on the destruction and domination of mankind. They appeared uncalled for and wreaked havoc on the world. Luckily, these gods did not know how to work together. They worked at cross-purposes but their chaotic efforts brought the world to the brink of oblivion on many occasions. Finally, the seven had to do something drastic to end it. They sacrificed themselves, fully intending to remove themselves from the world along with their adversaries. They only succeeded in putting all gods to a deep sleep.”

“So what about Leotas?” Westcott asked.

“Leotas is a manifestation of the energies from the sleeping Oulas, Lord of Lies,” the left Sister said.

“His energies created a mass delusion,” the right Sister said.

“Shit. What does all of that have to do with us?” Westcott asked. He was a lawman in a small town. This was way over his head.

“They are all waking up,” the left Sister said. “the first was Meggron, goddess of darkness.”

“She is responsible for the deaths and disappearances in both of your homes,” the right Sister said. “They are assembling in the darkness.”

“Who is assembling?” Afa asked. She was so close to solving the mystery she had been trying to solve for a long time.

“The children of Meggron,” both Sisters intoned together. “She is turning the people against their own kind. They must be stopped.”

“So some of those people who disappeared are still alive?” Westcott asked.

“Well,” the left Sister said. “They are alive but they are no longer human. They must be eradicated. Think of them as insects if it helps.”

“If they were responsible for the deaths of my friends and family, they are as good as dead,” Afa said. She had revenge in her heart and she was close to solving the mystery she had traveled across the world to solve.

“On that, we agree,” Westcott said. “I can’t abide killers out there somewhere.”

“Then I suppose you have accepted your mission,” the right Sister said.

“We will help you,” the left Sister said.

“How are you going to help us?” Afa asked.

“I’ve rarely seen you out in the town,” Westcott said. “You’re gonna come with us and hunt these things down?”

“No no,” the right Sister said. “We cannot leave this place for long. We have made something for you to locate the aberrations.”

“Made something?” Afa asked. “What did you make?”

The right Sister walked over to a curtain that Westcott and Afa swore had not been there before. She pulled it down and a very young girl was standing there. The girl waved awkwardly but otherwise did not move.

“We have made you a tool to track the aberrations,” the left Sister said.

“You made us a little girl?” Afa asked. She looked at Westcott in shock. “What is going on?”

“You made her?” Westcott asked. “I think somebody ought to explain the birds and the bees to you.”

“This is not a human girl,” the right Sister said. “This is a tool for locating children of the evil gods. It is infused with the energies of the seven.” The Sisters faces were covered but both somehow looked pleased with themselves.

“Uh, thanks?” Afa said. “I guess we’ll use her the best we can.”

“Does she have a name?” Westcott asked.

“Why would we name it?” the Sisters asked simultaneously. They cocked their heads in unison as a sign of confusion.

“Come on, then,” Westcott said. “Let’s go a hunting.”

“We’ll call you Isa,” Afa said. “Hello, Isa.”

Isa smiled and waved but said nothing.

Media Update 11/14/19

November 14, 2019


The Prodigal Son

I was a fan of the psychological crime franchise Silence of the Lambs, where the minds of killers are explored. The same goes for Mindhunter and various other series. The idea of the son of a serial killer consulting with his father on criminal cases sounded really cool. Add onto that the brilliant performance of Michael Sheen as the manic and congenial serial killer in question. His son is played by Tom Payne and he is also delightfully eccentric in a completely different way. Television legend Lou Diamond Phillips plays the police lieutenant who is Payne’s mentor and wise leader. Payne must also deal with the rest of his family played by Halston Sage and Bellamy Young, a sister and mother who are also still dealing with the past. There is also a fun ensemble in the police as well, filled out by Frank Harts, Keiko Agena, and Aurora Perrineau. The characters really drive the show but there is also an underlying mystery and an exploration of abnormal psychology that I am so interested in. I definitely recommend this.


Stumptown

I had heard good things about this show and I had already fallen in love with Cobie Smulders from her time in The Avengers. In this show, former military intelligence (played by Smulders) decides to act as a private investigator. Smulders is tough and hilarious and instantly a character I wanted to spend time with. She cares for her brother played by Cole Sibus who just might be the smartest character on the show and hands down the best portrayal of Downs Syndrome I have seen on television. Jake Johnston plays Smulders’ bar owner friend who is often the comic relief on the show although everybody is fairly snarky. Michael Ealy plays a cool-headed and calculating detective who believes in Smulders. His boss is a no-nonsense detective played by Camryn Manheim. There is also Tantoo Cardinal who plays an enigmatic casino owner and representative of the local Native American population. She is not exactly a villain but is instead a neutral party who has fingers in all of the pies. It is clear that the series is drawing from some great source material and I cannot wait to see where the fun goes next. I definitely recommend it.


Elementary

I had originally dismissed this series because the BBC series Sherlock was so good and another American remake did not interest me. Except, then I started to hear that the show was really good. So, I finally decided to give it a shot. This series reimagines the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. This time, Dr. Watson is Joan Watson an ex-surgeon hired on to be Holmes’ sober living companion after a stint in rehab. Jonny Lee Miller plays Holmes, a man with a mysterious past and a manic spirit tempered by a vast intellect. He is easy to like no matter how much he tries to get people around him to leave him alone. Watson is played by Lucy Liu, Holmes’ human connection to the world who has her own secrets. She is stern but immensely likable. Aidan Quinn plays the gruff lieutenant who ‘befriended’ Holmes a long time ago. Jon Michael Hill plays the young detective who is the lieutenant’s best man and often gets paired with Holmes. He doubts Holmes’ methods but comes to rely on them too. I was wrong. The show is not a retread of the BBC series and they found a way to make the material fresh and own it. I definitely recommend this show as well.

Weekly Music:
Nine Inch Nails – CLOSER (Featuring the Muppets)

Qveen Herby – Vitamins

Kesha – Raising Hell

The Muffs – Weird Boy Next Door

Donny Benét — Working Out

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Private Eyes”
– I watched Teen Titans: Judas Contract
– I watched Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
– I watched Justice League vs. Fatal Five
– I started watching Veronica Mars Season 4
– I started watching The Good Place Season 3
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 2
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 6
– I watched more Blindspot Season 2
– I watched more Stargate Atlantis Season 1
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Scream Season 1

OK Boomer

November 11, 2019

Image result for ok boomer graphic

I wanted to take a little time to talk about the “OK Boomer” catchphrase that is going around. If you are wondering what my opinion is, I definitely support it. Although, my feelings of support are somewhat complicated. I have talked before about how it ticks me off when people are dismissive. I have to bite my tongue when friends put down rap music, video games, pro-wrestling, or other things I and other people like. Being dismissive is one of the clearest paths to me ignoring you in the future. I have embraced positivity in my life in recent years and I want to rave about things and I have little desire to crap on things I do not like or understand. So normally I might hate this phrase but its dismissiveness is actually what is so attractive in this case.

I am a Millenial, a box that I did not immediately embrace. I was born in the last week of 1982, a baby born between Christmas and New Years Day which puts me very close to the line between Millenials and Generation X. My generation used to annoy me and I clearly identified with the stuff that Gen X grew up with. However, as I got older and got over myself, I grew to like stuff from all generations. However, the moment I embraced my generation was when the Boomers started to attack it. The Baby Boomers are the generation that was created when the United States military came home from World War II and had boatloads of babies. They are also the generation most responsible for ruining the environment, keeping the evils of capitalism alive, and holding back social evolution.

As I said, the moment that I embraced Millenials was when the Boomers started to attack it. They started blaming my generation for being self-centered, killing old businesses, and not falling in line with the establishment. What they objected to was evolution. I see the so-called “self-centered” attitude as us learning to love ourselves. Our generation is also way more interested in saving the world and all of the people in it for very little benefit for ourselves. As for the rest of it, we are just so angry about where Boomers have put us. The establishment is not helping and we have lived through an increasingly uncertain economy. I will probably never retire because of what has been done to the economy. Likewise, the environment is in critical condition and will likely never fully recover thanks to generations who prized profit over future generations. It makes us angry.

So what better way to get back at a generation that has dismissed us and our concerns? Cutting them off with a stinging and condescending “OK Boomer” hopefully will make them rethink their strategy for life. If nothing else, it is a rallying cry to continue on without them. To work toward a world we can be proud of instead of what they have given us. However, “OK Boomer” is not directed toward all the people in that generation. I and many of my generation recognize that there have been Boomers (and GenXers) fighting for the cause longer than we have been alive. I would invite them to chuckle along with us when somebody says “OK Boomer”. They earned their ally status and are not our enemy. Not my enemy at least. The rest of them better mind their Ps and Qs going forward, though.

In Fear of Sundown Pt. 3

November 9, 2019

Deputy Westcott paused in the doorway, immediately put on guard by the large open room. Afa blew right past him and entered the huge hall. She spun around in a circle in the cavernous space, trying to take it all in. Westcott had drawn his gun, clearly spooked, and tried to search the shadows around them. Afa obviously seemed way more excited than scared. There was a damp chill to the air that clashed with the dry desert heat of Sunwood just outside the door.

“How is this place so big?” Afa asked, making plenty of noise. “This is crazy!”

“I have no earthly idea,” Westcott said. “I’ve never been inside of here before. It ain’t natural. Maybe it’s a good idea to keep it down?”

“Maybe I’m trying to wake the so-called Sisters, Deputy,” Afa said with a smile and a wink. “Did you think of that?”

“That’s sort of what I’m worried about,” Westcott said. “The Sisters are spooky.”

“Only because you fear what you do not understand, Westcott!” A voice rang out through the castle. It was loud enough to send vibrations through the bodies of Westcott and Afa.

Westcott did not see Afa move but suddenly she had both of her revolvers in her hands, slowly turning in a circle to look for the source of the voice. Westcott stepped into the room to join her, looking around for what had to be the Sisters. However, they sounded stronger somehow, more ethereal. The front door slammed shut and Westcott flinched. Afa only glanced at the door.

“Also, we do not sleep, young Afa,” Another voice said. “No need to wake us up.” The voices seemed to come from all around with no apparent source.

“Neat trick!” Afa yelled. “We just want to talk.”

“How ’bout you show yourself!” Westcott yelled.

“You both bear the mark of Gennii,” one voice said. “This is wise. We were worried your kind would reject it.”

“Come into our chambers,” the other voice said. “We would speak with you although you have violated our threshold.”

“Uh,” Afa intoned as she looked back at the door they had kicked in. “Sorry about that.”

“There are more important things at play, young Afa,” the other voice said. “We must talk.”

A small mote of light rose up from the floor and started to swirl around almost playfully like a moth. After floating around for a moment, it headed down a hallway.

“I reckon we’re supposed to follow,” Westcott said. He and Afa shared a look and then started walking after the light.

“I just wish they would stop calling me ‘young Afa’,” Afa said. “They didn’t call you ‘Old Westcott’.”

“Easy now,” Westcott said. “Words are hurtful.”

The two of them stepped into another chamber, this one draped in deep red velvet. Neither Afa nor Westcott could detect where the flickering lights were coming from. The door shut behind them again. They both turned toward the sound and when they turned back and the Sisters were standing there. Westcott had seen them before and they had been hunched-over, old crones. Now, they stood straighter and they were wearing odd porcelain masks but somehow Westcott still knew it was them. Afa and Westcott moved to point their guns again but the Sisters held up their hands, fingers spread wide and impossibly long. The skin was as pale as the porcelain. More motes of light swirled behind and around the Sisters as they stood calmly, imperiously.

“You do not need any weapons,” the left Sister said. “Calm yourself.”

“You will come to no harm in this realm,” the right Sister said. “You are safe. For now.”

“This realm?” Afa asked.

“What in the Hell does that mean?” Westcott said.

“We are no longer on your plane of existence,” the right Sister said. “You have ascended to a world beyond yours.”

“Time is limited,” the left Sister said. “You cannot last long here. Not safely.”

“Thought you said we were safe,” Westcott said but Afa shook her head and waved away the question. Westcott looked annoyed but stood by. None of this sat right.

“You said Gennii earlier?” she asked. She exposed her tattoo to the Sisters. “What does this symbol mean?”

“The symbol of Gennii,” the Sisters said in unison.

“It protects against those who creep in darkness,” the left Sister said.

“We introduced it to your village,” the right Sister said, pointing at Westcott. “And yet you are from far away but still bear the mark.”

“Yeah,” Afa said. “My people found it in a cave. We kind of lucked out.”

The Sisters looked at each other and then back at Afa. “There may still be hope,” the left Sister said. “The signs and symbols are still out there. They may yet be awakened.”

“What are you talking about?” Westcott asked. “Where did you get this protection symbol from?”

“Protection symbol?” the right Sister asked. “No, it is a symbol of the Goddess of Light. If the symbol worked, it means she is starting to wake up.”


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