Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Part Time Opinions

Impressions of "A Part Time Sorceress" . . .
The Cover. A lot of pink . . . I suppose not TOO much though.
I read this book second, and how I came to seek it out will be outlined further in another post, probably my next regular update, as I intend to review her second book as well.
After finishing reading this book, the only things I really learned were more about the living habits of  modern semi-feminist/girly girls from the East Coast, their mothers proclivities, how they put upon their significant others, and the social circles they cultivate. As for what I would consider the "meat" of the book, it was comprised things I already know, surrounded by anecdotes and tips on how a "normal" female can get into D&D. I was happy that it was a very fast read and was able to finish it before I got to a point where it might have become totally unreadable.
The Author with someone whom I believe is one of her co-workers.
Having said all that, I highly recommend this book . . . to almost any female who doesn't read this blog, or understand any of the posts with "RPG" or "Table top" in the tags. Then again, my fiancee has been with me for almost a decade, played in a few campaigns, including different systems (not just Wizards D&D) and I think she will enjoy this book immensely. Also, I would probably still recommend it to any lady gamer I know who isn't exactly like me (that's a terrifying thought, what a slutty lesbian that would be). I am constantly trying to understand the opposite sex, ESPECIALLY the gamer/geek type as I will be the first to admit there are disparate misconceptions across the genders, and I'm not sure why, but I think this book would speak to many femme fraggers. More simply put, I don't think it was a bad book, on the contrary I would even say it was good and worth a read. It's just that I could barely stand it. Don't understand how those two statements can be true? I think you might be on the wrong blog, OR ask me for my review of the Watchmen movie some time.

Then again, I'm confident there are some ladies out there who agree with my more snarky side and see this as yet another brick in the marketing wall from Wizards that is an attempt to make D&D accessible to everyone from "bros" to housewives regardless if it maintains it's soul (whatever that is) as a game. I don't want to get into my feelings on 4.0, or any "x.0 vs -whateva system" at this time, but it does feel like they tie in to each other when you come from that perspective. Maybe I'm just a bitter gaming-conspiracy theorists but, I thnk most people might understand where I'm coming from on that one.

So yeah, get the book if you know girls, it might help. And since I usually throw a vid in somewhere, try THIS ONE > > > >

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3rd 4 t3h NRRD: March '12

I know, I know, late, but worth the wait. This month, while everyone is at SXSW living the dream only rivaled by PAX's & Nerdapalooza, I give you, DALE CHASE!
I like to think he's thinking "I wonder if Mandalorean gals wear the same things Scot's wear under their kilts. Yeah."
A fixture on the Nerdcore scene for a number of years now, many collabs with almost every other artist, he is a smooth operator. His voice is even, calm, always in tune and his cadence melds with his beats. A consummate Geek among geeks, it would seem he keeps himself lyrically sharp as well as up to date through his random Tech Week Remixes. The couple I watched were interesting, worth giving a listen.

Mr. Chase is a Scrub, and in a good way, that link takes you too a couple of his albums. I have long ago devoured them and incorporated them into the hard drive I have dedicated to nerdy music. (No thats perhaps not that impressive anymore, but still, I needed space for mah games!) And fret not, unlike some of the artists I've done in the past, he seems to be consistently active around the webs/world.

As mentioned above, he's active, peep some pics of his exploits HERE and I hope he makes it onto the next Nerdcore Now Album . . . if another one comes out. Well, either way, I look forward to more music form this sleek geek. I would admit, it would be worth . . . the Chase . . . .    YYYYEYEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Different 2.0

Damsels & Dragons II: Femmes Seek Funds!
Cleric, Rogue and left hip of Stone Golem . . . With Sai!?!
I know I like to give the fairer sex money if it means I get to watch, there are costumes involved, and they are very talented at what they do. I've mentioned this crew before and bemoaned the apparent drop in activity. Thanks to The Mary Sue I heard about a renewed effort to activate the shelved series.

Circulate them fun things kids! And peep the vid on my old post (click "before"), it's still the one I laugh at most. And there aren't many other vids online that aren't the episodes themselves. Gogo!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DisneyLand Left

It seems that every time I go to the Magic Kingdom for Theatreg33k's birthday we end up with some kind of crazy story.
Did you ever hear the one about the two blondes who wanted to go to DisneyLand on a whim? Yeah, two smokin' hot babes in a bright red convertible, sunglasses, top down, hair blowing in the wind cruising up I-5. They get into Anaheim and see the road signs "DisneyLand. Left."
So they turned around and went home.

I tell you that bad joke to tell you this story, plus a little more.
We went down the day AFTER the 24 hour day and missed a whole lot of our friends who were down there just for that event. (Un)fortunately Theatreg33k had a rehearsal that night and even if we had driven down that night, we MIGHT have gotten in if the park wasn't full and we MIGHT have gotten there before it closed at 6 A.M.
Apparently the park had to stop admitting people 3 different times as DisneyLand was at capacity. But people got cool pins, buttons, shirts, sweaters, even mickey ears that said things like "One more day of Disney." And that was nice, but we were actually a little glad we missed it as it was a madhouse.
So, we took a pleasant cruise down 101 as I detest I-5 with a fiery passion, leaving reasonably early, and finally managed to hit the park around noon. They closed at 8?10? Sometime "early."

Funny story, THREE separate times, park guests confused Theatreg33k for a Cast Member in two different places. Two asked for fitting rooms and another asked . . . I don't remember, I think it was how World of Color worked or something? We concluded it was her awesome sweater we bought her a few years back thats all "50th anniversary" and has a very clean design, not one of those hoodies with a graphic on it. Plus Lanyards, and I say, we look very comfortable while we're there, not the usual touristy types.
Yeah, we at D-Land all the time. Iz Koo.
 We were also accosted by two different younglings who were ravenous amateur pin traders, but they were polite and respected our designated pins-for-trade. (I like to show off, so one side of  my lanyard is not for trade. Although I have considered the hip lanyards, thanks to my buddy Jewnathan, but my pins are so heavy they dangle like a yo-yo, so maybe a two lanyard system, or even now they have these crazy Uber-Lanyards that are double think and feel like seatbelt material.) Both of them sort of just stepped up dead in our tracks, thrusting their lanyards out, eyeballing our lanyards in turn, parents slightly aghast and apprehensive as to how we would react. No fear from these kids, it was great. Crazy sentimental crap like that helped make the trip. As well as a couple young ladies who had just gotten into trading that trip chased me down to ask about a couple pins I had, so we traded some knowledge as well as overpriced tin. And apparently I look like a serious trader as I had two separate cast members plus a guy who runs a pin trading site say as much to me. Oh yes, my ego was adequately stroked.
One of the inquiries was on a particularly obscure pin that no one could figure out. We saw it three separate times that day, and the final time, Theatreg33k snagged it just so we could look it up more adequately when we got home to full PC's and some free time. The first couple times we saw it there were guesses that he might be from Star Wars which I confided in T1nk that that was not possible as I can usually recognize 99.9% of that universe even if I don't know who it is immediately, I suggested Captain Eo or some alternative sci-fi as he seemed to be green, wearing a sash, and had small curly horns. T1nk did not recall him from Cpt.Eo. T1nk then investigated the back of the pin. It said something like "2005 Happy Hauns LE 25" on the back so t1nk began to use her crazy new smart phone to try and track it down. She came to the conclusion from others who were discussing it on other forums that he was originally part of a full set but was scraped from a display set and released on his own. We traded for him and asked a few "pro" traders who were set up in the park that day but didn't manage to ask any hard core sharks, just re-affirmed what we already knew, that it was an older pin and that it was crazy limited, only 25 around, and that it was originally from Disney World. Cool. We get home, start looking it up in earnest, and I don't know why, but as soon as I saw the Pin on a computer screen, my brain clicked and I almost shouted as T1nk read out loud what my brain had just told me. Cesar's Ghost, from the Haunted Mansion. Bam, mystery solved, rare pin acquired.
So, if you know anyone who works in the Pin Trader shop in FrontierLand, or a couple people who had to stand outside Midway on March 2nd, OR a young lady who was prepping for the Pixar parade/show in DCA right outside the theatre where they show Alladin, also on the 2nd, let them know we figured it out. We don't know anyone on the inside anymore, but we know people who do, so, pass it along, they were just as stumped as us.

Also, we had a CRAZY, MOMENTOUS, SLAP YO MOMMA GOOD, dinner at the Mountain Winery. My soup was good, and the deserts were stupid delicious, just on the edges of being too sweet or tart or whatever, but never crossing that line, they were phenomenal. But the entree . . . Filet Mingon, Med. Rare, WOOOHHOOOOOoooooH! You want to talk about some Disney magic. PLUS!, so, Theatreg33k/T1nk is a full vegan now with light on the carbs, so, a lot of the time its like "what do you eat?" but we barely mentioned these potential restrictions, because T1nk wanted to know what was in certain things so she could plan accordingly(she was semi-vegetarian this trip as its hard to avoid a lot of things at the resort, kudo's to them, not as hard as you might think) And our server, Alex, was like "I got this, HEY YO SEAN! Sean's da chef, like a boss." (I'm paraphrasing of course, it was all very smooth and professional) and Sean comes out in his whites with the cool round coffee filter hat and is like "Whadup!? Check it, dont eat the bread, it hangs out with cheese, instead of butter, we got olive oil, and instead of deserts full of dairy, we got the banginest fruit cup you eaver put your tongue into. BOO-YA!" I was all like "yeah baby, I helped set this up, right?" I'm sure T1nk will have something to say about it on one of her blogs, if not, you can ask her yourself how awesome it was, lemme know.

Then, we got Fast-Passed for reserved sections of World of Color. Apparently, if your all up close, your gonna be wet as many of the spouts shoot in every direction, including towards the audience, in order to get the correct angle. And this is mostly true, assume it will happen, as we saw one section that was DRENCHED, I think it's worth it to do it once, but after that, take some higher ground. plus, its like sitting on the sidelines of a sporting event. It's cool, it's right there, but it's hard to get the whole picture cause you have to keep turning your head and being hyper-aware. Magically enough, we found the magic sweet spot where no water splashes. Maybe a light mist once or twice, but honestly, when the fire kicked in, it all evaporated off. Real funny though, as I mentioned, less than 10 yards from us, Soaked people. So, keep that in mind. Gallagher style up close and personal, or mezzanine status. Not sure how cool other sections are.
Yes, you gonna get wet. We were so close I could have probably pissed into the jets, made the distance, and no one would have noticed.
So, every time we go to Disneyland we forget they have a bag hold service for anything you buy at the resort, so T1nk & I were working under the assumption that we didn't want to be trying to juggle everything we had bought on and off rides all day. So, T1nk was like "we show up last day before we drive home, buy all the stuff and take off." Sounded like a plan. Oh boy, always expect the unexpected.
The biggest casualty of the days events I believe was the fact that theatreg33k wanted a particular fascinator that was a Nightmare Before Christmas Mini Top Hat. They had every other version; Tink cameo, cheshire cat, new Johnny Depp Mad Hatter, but ALL SOLD OUT. WE literally went through every shop in both parks plus downtown trying to find this thing. So, next time you go down there, see if they have one for us and give me or T1nk a call please? we'll pay you back.
Now that wasn't the unexpected though, that just sucked. The unexpected was when we got out into the parking lot and more people than one might expect were heading back to their cars. I even remember hearing someone say "it's closed" but I don't listen to random people until I hear something from someone official. Then the Trams weren't running. The Cast Members were simply directing people to the footpath that takes you up into downtown Disney. "Curious" we thought, but we strode on, to see what adventure was in store.
In hindsight, I think this could have been handled a little more efficiently from the initial contact perspective, since I feel charging people for parking, then letting them get all the way up into downtown Disney with little-to-no information was not a great idea, but overall, Mad props to everyone I met and interacted with, Guest and Cast Member alike for staying calm, patient and understanding through the ordeal.
To get to the point, there was a bomb scare. An "item" was discovered in a tree near a ticket booth, so at 7:10 everything was put on lock. Apparently, someone wanted to leave a good will message to the park goers and the dude even called the police to let them know it was him and just some paper when he saw the commotion at the park was going on. Apparently some people were even stuck inside the park when it happened. Sucked to be them. *eyeroll*
Yeah, Disneyland was closed Willy Wanka Chocolate Factory Style for almost four hours, while the bomb squad was called in and that guy tried to explain to the police his message of good will. Although, now that I think about it, T1nk & I did not particularly seek out an official explanation. We asked a couple random Cast Members what they had heard, but ended up giving them more information as we were checking net feeds for info. We did feel sort of bad for some of the Cast Members though as we saw A LOT of managers out and about figuring that some cast members had gone home after that much down time.
BUT we finally rolled into the park proper around 11:30 (The park re-opened about 10:50 but I did NOT want to be part of the barbarous multitudes rushing the gate, so we hung out in Downtown just a little longer) and scoured for above mentioned hat, could not find, and left with what spoils we could. had some late Chipotle in S.L.O. (HATE I-5, love 101) and came home to an indifferent cat, as always.
So, if you want a crazy Disneyland story, try and come with us next year, evidence shows it wont be boring.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Memeorable: Llameme

A call I had once heard long ago. I could not remember where. I heard it again around the turn of the year while I was in SoCal for the Stage Combat Workshop. One of the Coordinators, The Prez himself of the organization, his name is Karl. One of the other instructors, a petite firecracker of energy and enthusiasm would constantly bray his name in this fashion, especially when anyone needed something from him or he had "misplaced" some itinerary or equipment.
The entire workshop began to follow suit soon after we attempted to follow him back to the hotel one grey and foggy night where he apparently forgot we were following him. The transcript in my mind recalls it, something like this, "Kaaaarl, we were following you to the hotel, kaarl." and the next day, or so it seemed, someone pulled up their smart phone during a break and initiated everyone else into Llama's With Hats.

And apparently, there was once Llama's 5 with trolling action!

One last thing kept bothering me about these clips and it was how familiar they seemed to me. Perhaps I had heard them long ago in Jr. High when my net days were really taking off, or perhaps it was because these were the same guys who'd done Charlie The Unicorn. Either way, these clips still haunt me as now at work, we will often say each others names in that sign songy nasally voice and say "that kills people" to which I will often reply with something pithy like "That's the idea" or "Ah, that explains my explicit moans of pleasure." You know, trying to stay true to the source material.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ready to Rumble?

This post is partial filler, partial real post and, like most posts, completely self promoting. As some of you may know, I perform, teach & direct stage violence,

 and this year I terrifyingly became a "professional" and am enjoying the fruits of my labors.

One of my most recent exploits is with Pioneer High School, and I was thrilled to be asked to help with choreographing the infamous Rumble. Although VERY enthusiastic the guys were VERY respectful and attentive. We worked through the fight, I acquired some fantastic stage weapons for their use and at the end of just a few rehearsals it was looking good enough for an opening night. This was back in February, so as long as they keep polishing, the Fight captain getting on their case, it should be a smash. Here's the flyer, go check it out. The little bit of musical rehearsal I saw was fun and I think the cast is diverse yet doesn't detract from the source material. All the actors seemed to want to be there and have a passion for theatre. Hope to see ya there!