Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Missionary Man Vs. Payback

My insides are melting. It is seriously what it feels like. I thought it was just the cough medicine which sometimes plays havoc with my insides, BUT it’s been over a week and my guts are still rotten. I’m pounding down the Pismol, and yet I’m still spending a LOT of time committing ‘War Crimes’ in the men’s room. As if any of you care, but at least that should tell you what sort of mindset I’m in as we hit the second day of the week on the way to Saturday’s inevitable birthday bash.

This year my lovely wife and ample posse of Friends, friends, cohorts, and co-conspirators set up a ‘Riffing-A-Thon’ as the theme, its one episode of MST3K, one of Cinematic Titanic, and one Rifftrax, the participants have 5 of each to choose from. I haven’t voted yet, but I currently like where things are headed. Friday night is a ‘Bash For Bobert’ at Zack & Christy’s swingin’ pad and then a Midnight Movie. I KNOW this will be spectacular because it will involve those people, board games, and a crazy movie. Speaking of awesome birthday gatherings, last Friday we had the ‘They Call Me Panda’ Birthday Bash for Hides. I think it was a smashing success as we ate some reasonably priced sushi at Oishi, we then played some friggin’ insane Crappy BINGO where Cassandra somehow won a brand new copy of Call Of Duty II: Black Ops on X-Box 360 which was NOT crappy, not at all. Oh and there was a box of shitty wine by bottle as a prize which was AMAZING. If that wasn’t enough we then wrapped up the night with some Cards Against Humanity. I’m hoping Hides has a great night, I had a suspicion she did when she looked at me in the waning hours of the night and said, “…I forgot just how loud you are…” and then laughed. As Cassandra pointed out the other day we have really been lucky to find a bunch of like-minded folks that we actually like spending time with, hopefully after this weekend everyone isn’t sick of us.

Two paragraphs about being sick, how about we turn to something that has NOT made me sick, in fact it has made my heart swoon. I just finished the indomitable Dave Gross’ King Of Devils (Infinite Quivering Palm Techniques Out Of 5!), and my mind was officially blown.
This is what happens if you take two of my current favorite literary characters, throw in a spoonful of Pathfinder (or D&D if you’re not hip to it), and mix with a fine froth of Shaw Brothers Kung Fu it is simply G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S-! Having read the other novels and tales of Radovan and Count Varian Jeggare I was always slightly curious as to how Radovan ‘lost his devil’, now I know. The two’s journey through the political machinations and mythology of Tian Xia on their way to dealing with two VERY intriguing and fun ‘villains’ is a true page turner. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the thing Mr. Gross does is he MAKES me want to play Pathfinder. He makes me want to adventure in the same lands that he so vividly depicts in his tales. He makes me want to run campaigns where the PC’s meet Radovan in a tavern, or have to assist Varian on a ‘case’. His tales work perfectly as a gateway drug to the world of Glorian, and although he doesn’t read this drivel Eric Mona should realize that he has an amazing ambassador for his game in Dave Gross. Enough gushing let me talk a bit about the book. So we get a year of Radovan & Varian separated in the foreign lands of Tian Xia. Instead of the normal chapter by chapter split told from both of their points of view Mr. Gross also tosses in the adventures of their dog Arnisant as he deals with the Kami and their place in the Celestial Hierarchy of Tian Xia. Varian spends a year dealing with duplicitous machinations within the Dragon Temple, which while not the ‘main tale’ in this book is still a damn fine and ‘humanizing’ tale. Meanwhile Radovan is trapped in his ‘Devil Form’ due to the techniques of Burning Cloud Devil who wants him to kill the Celestial Dragon for him. As these three separate situations develop they head towards an inevitable collision that changes all three significantly in my eyes. Varian becomes a much more understandable and relatable individual, Arnisant becomes SO much more than a guard dog, and we see the onus behind Radovan changing some of his ways. It’s another great read from Mr. Gross and it only makes the wait for the next installment after the short tale ‘Killing Time’, all the more difficult.

It’s surprising that I finished Mr. Gross’ book at all since I have been literally CONSUMED by the Xbox 360, but more appropriately WWE ’13! The game is seriously incredible; the Attitude Era mode alone would have sold me on it, as you get to play some of the most fantastic moments of that part of wrestling history. Add into that the graphics which are so good they make my eyes bleed, the fantastic ‘Create’ modes, and all the ‘unlockables’ and you have a winner.
That says nothing of the WWE Universe mode, which is MY favorite mode. Currently David, Mike, & I have a stable together, The Wolf Pack, and we are feuding with a stable known as ‘The Industry’ on ECW. David is the European Champion and is trying to wrest the ‘Internet Championship’ off of the dastardly Zack Ryder. Dave had him beat in his last bout after using his finisher to put him through the announce table, he then chucked him into the ring, but he got bushwhacked by The Big Show who then proceeded to wear his out with a chair and then chokeslam him. This allowed Ryder to win by count out. Mike has been beating up on members of ‘The New Nexus’, but if the end of his last bout is any indication he’s about to face Cactus Jack! My guy has been feuding with the ECW Heavyweight Champion, The Big Show, who just beat me via an AMAZING chokeslam in a steel cage match that would have made me the #1 contender. I’m still peaking in and out of the other shows, but most of my time and effort is focused on the ECW ‘brand’ that I’ve built in ‘My Universe’, you should see the sweet arena I built. I haven’t even touched the storyline creator, because if I do I’m afraid that is ALL I’ll do, it is incredibly robust. As soon as all the DLC comes out I’m going to get an Xbox Gold membership for a month, download the content, get as many CAW’s as I can, and then restock my rosters. The DLC will allow me to unlock all the characters, belts, arenas, etc. that I haven’t gotten to yet and will give me the tools to build the universe I want! I know I have other games now, but DAMN it’s going to be hard for me to stop playing this one. It’s just a FANTASTIC game.

Let’s wrap this up with some…


- I’ll be 37 this Saturday, GAWDS I feel old.
- My stomach has GOT to get its act together so I can eat all the things I’m starving for; bland food just isn’t my style.
- There is the hope that we’ll give Cthulhu Gloom this week, but the way things are going I’m not holding my breath.
- Right now I’d punch a baby for a nap.
- Thank you David for the Christmas gifts!

You know if I had more to say I’d write more, but I just don’t…

“Went to the doctor, to see what could be given.
He said, "Sorry, but you've got to do your own livin'."
Went to the pastor, to hear what he would say.
He said, "Sorry, son, come back later sometime after judgment day."
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.
No mother ship will save you. So goes the rapture of Riddley Walker.
Churchyard was empty, schoolyard was bare.
Wind in the streets, wind in the air.
Pockets of diamonds, nothing to buy.
Scream out hello and get no reply.
Victims of zombies convene in the park
While any man with dignity makes an easy mark.
Heaven is a long ways away. Heaven is a long, long, long, long ways away.
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.
No mothership will come save you. The rapture of Riddley Walker.
How many-cools of Addom? Party cools of stone?
Hart of the wood shudder. Eusa roam.
Drop-John been climbing on Riddley's back. Follow the power, a natural fact.
Orfing & Ardship, hardship is plain. Hardly Goodparley is ever the same.
Shadows and phantom's convene in the snow.
Among the low whispers are voices you know.
Heaven is a long ways away. Heaven is a long, long, long, long ways away.
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.
No mothership will come save you. The rapture of Riddley Walker.
How many-cools of Addom? Party cools of stone?
Hart of the wood shudder. Eusa roam.”

* = It's true, I am...


  1. I had an amazing birthday party! Thanks to you and C! I can't believe you guys made me a cake on top of putting together a party. I loved the hole-in-the-wall sushi place. I don't know what I loved there more: more sushi than I could eat for $20; the inattentive and outright crabby staff there; or the awesome friends I was there with! Drunk bingo for crappy prizes was AMAZING. And yes, Ben you are one of the LOUDEST people ever, without even trying or being aware of your loudness in any way. So thanks guys for being the best hosts!

    1. It was our pleasure! I'm just glad you had a blast. By the by did Jason turn out to be ok?