Monday, June 17, 2013

Absolute Beginners Vs. Into The Night

* = Thank you Duke for the Meme.  Believe it or not it helped make a Monday bearable, and drastically changed my mood.  Sometimes its strange what the smallest gesture will do for you.  I'm going to have to keep that in mind and do similar things more often.  I bow to your wisdom on not only life sir, but more importantly on Godzilla!

I have this nasty tendency to get negative when things aren’t going my way or when I am having a hard time or stressed. Friday just didn’t come to fruition, real life got in the way of fake life. I applaud the fact that men I know take their responsibilities seriously and put them first. So I can’t really complain about that, nor should I. Father’s Day is the shits for me. It’s a twofold thing, I miss my Dad terribly. At times in life I have felt adrift in existence and he was always an anchor. Which is insanely messed up. He was a wreck a lot of the time, but he could always pull it together for me, always give me sound advice, always pull my sky high ideas at least into the clouds, and always tried to remind me to not let my emotions rule my life. I could use that. My job is my job is my job is my job is my job. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, and a lot of the time I’m not sure I even like it. I definitely don’t ‘like like’ it. Remember that from when you were a kid? Strange. Watching my wife’s family yesterday just hammers home that feeling of loss. It compounds my feelings of being ‘a part and yet apart’. Maybe I simply can’t assimilate that well? I’m stressed, or more realistically post-stressed after last week’s plumbing fiasco. It’s fixed, and although it touched us up for four hundo, it could have been worse. I feel like I live a lot of my life in the midst of “it could be worse”, I really want to know why it can’t be “Better”. Don’t get me wrong there are many things in my life that are self-inflicted wounds; I’m really good at that. However there is also a lot of stuff that just seems like annoying circumstantial clown shoes nonsense. These things form like a Voltron of neurosis that makes me feel like crap

Which is made all the stranger since I really did have a good weekend. Friday night was a wash, but I hung out with Cassandra and we watched Silver Bullet (*** out of 5).
Beyond the special effects that make the Werewolf look a lot like the Masturbating Bear from Conan O’Brian this movie sort of holds up. I think its most likely due to King’s crafting a fun little werewolf tale, Gary Busey being Gary Busey, and Corey Haim rocking out in a motorcycle wheelchair. The tale itself is really simple; Werewolf starts killing in a small town, no one can figure out who is the creature, kids figure out, no one believes them, and the we get the climactic showdown. It’s a standard enough tale, but seen through that quirky Stephen King lens of a small town where everyone has believable baggage hiding just beneath the Norman Rockwell veneer. While watching it I kept thinking that King and David Lynch have far more in common than I ever would have thought. That sort of idea that behind the face we show the world as a society there lies this seedy, dark underbelly where horribleness lurks. I’m going to have ask Mighty Mike his thoughts on this idea since he is far more versed in Lynch than I am. Something to contemplate. Just think all that came out of watching a decent Werewolf movie from the 80’s.

I think that is part of my problem in life is I can’t shut my brain off. It’s literally roaring all the time. I can split its focus to other things like D&D, or a comic book idea, or in the past Podcast stuff, or any other number of inane and useless information and ideas. The rest of the time it is deconstructing everything I do. In my rush to be a ‘better me’ I lose a lot of that in over self-analysis. It isn’t a bad thing or unhealthy, but I think it taints a lot of my life in a way that saps some of the joy out of my existence. I have a difficult time enjoying anything I ‘make’, I look at too many interactions with others as this long form game devoid of anything other than some sort of strange Machiavellian ‘end game’, and I struggle to take things at face value. Perhaps it’s because I have overvalued people in the past and been hurt, sometimes through my own fault, and so I’m always sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop with everyone. I try to describe myself as a realist, but the reality is I’m just a pessimist in sheep’s clothing. I’m learning to be more indifferent, which in some ways has been a nice change and has relieved some stress, but I’ve got a long way to go. I’ve got to work not let indifference just become a new, easier form of apathy.

Apparently today I’m just stream of consciousness writing, because I have no idea where that last paragraph came from. Oh well, just sit back and enjoy the wave I suppose. It was another week so we received another Paizo/Wizkids preview, but this time it was NOT Skull & Shackles instead we received our first look at the next ‘Gravity Feed’ style release; Undead Horde! Just like We Be Goblins this will be a small set with some new stuff and some repaints. I’m not going to talk about the re-paints because I’m lazy, instead let’s talk new and shiny stuff!
First up is the Wight! This one fits the nautical theme of Skull & Shackles perfectly which is VERY cool. I really dig this miniature. The noose around the neck is outstanding, the colors are muted and understated, and there are a lot of small details like the barnacles on the midsection that give it a lot of personality. The best part about it is it doesn’t have to be a Wight. This bad boy easily could be a Zombie, and would be a perfect Zombie Crew member for any type of Undead Pirate Crew that may or may not be pestering the 2nd D&D Group at some point. This is a nice solid piece and a MUST BUY for me.
Next up is the Zombie and it is a perfect concept to sculpture example of Paizo and Wizkids partnership. I really dig it. The arrows sticking out of its torso, the slack jawed stare, and the drawn and gaunt skin all fit together to give us a rock solid Zombie. I have to say that I do dig that doesn’t feel the need to rely on gore to tale the tale, which was one of my problems with the DDM Zombies, too much intestines sticking out, not enough cool and interesting character to the models. I also like the stumbling, arms out, classic Zombie pose which to me screams FUN! This one has personality, looks like a Zombie, and isn’t dripping body parts or organs unnecessarily. For those reasons alone it becomes a MUST BUY.
Last but not least is the Graveknight! This miniature would be a PERFECT stand-in for Lord Soth if I was running something where I needed that particular character. It has a very knightly feel to it; it’s covered in strange accoutrements, and just has a cool look to it. I think I especially like the crazy helm and then the shield with the severed heads on it. Paizo & Wizkids make sure to pack these miniatures with a TON of personality and that helps take a relatively average miniature and elevates it to something special. I think this on is going to be a MUST BUY for me as well.

Speaking of tiny plastic ‘men’ I think my Reaper Bones Kickstarter package is VERY close to being shipped.
The picture shows the scale of Kaladrax and Nethyrmaul. They are both GIGANTIC! Hell even the ‘Frost Wyrm’ in the background is enormous compared to the 28mm basic, Medium characters. Looking at those miniatures it starts to set in just how LARGE a box of these bad boys is headed my way, and just how much painting I have in my future. I think Kaladrax won’t be overly difficult as it is going to be mainly Bone colored due to it being a Dracolich, but the shading will be really important, that and its monumentally cool looking base. THAT will be a challenge. I’m hoping this one really catches Cassandra’s eye and that takes it on as a project. Nethyrmaul will be even more difficult with all the dead flesh on his frame, especially in the facial region. At least with these massive pieces I can sort of try out some techniques that so far have been too difficult for my clumsy hands on smaller miniatures. Just seeing these makes me really wonder just how enormous Cthulhu is going to be. I’m thinking my package from Reaper is going to be GI-normous and way a ton. I’m very excited, as if you couldn’t tell.

Saturday night we hung out with Bobert, Zack Attack, & Lady Christy. We drank, we grilled, we drank, we board gamed, we drank, we hot tubbed, and we drank some more. There were burgers on the grill, which turned out pretty damn good. There were olives and jalapenos in my beer which was more than pretty damn good. Then we busted out some Pandemic (*** ½ out of 5) and some Zombie FLUXX (** ½ out of 5). I dug Pandemic; it was a lot like Zombie State but more cerebral and a tad less competitive. I think my brain was a bit pickled by the time we got to Zombie FLUXX, so while I enjoyed it I wasn’t blown away. I’ll need to give it another go. The group was a BLAST to play with and I think that made the game for me. The reality is anytime I board game with those four I have a great time. They are my ‘King Ghidorah Of Friendship’ and the bee’s knees of Board Games. Eventually there was hot tubbing and then a round of Cards Against Humanity. Before we realized it the clock was hitting 2:30am. I was exhausted and had to have my lovely better half take me home. I needed that night, so thank you to Cassandra, Bobert, Zack Attack, & Lady Christy.

Enough of the ‘touchy feeley’, how ‘bout we wrap this shindig up with some…


- I’m started scripting out my idea of a comic/web comic/strip type thing that came to me on the trip to and from Mankato. It is based around the songs off the first disc of David Bowie’s greatest hits. I need to find an artist to work with. It revolves around a Superhero in therapy. It incorporates a lot of stuff I’ve had floating around in my head since I was a kid, but it’s a bit more skewed, a bit more influenced by the Venture Brothers, and a bit more personal at the same time. I don’t know if it is any good or if the idea makes sense, I really could benefit by having a co-writer, oh and an artist, to give me direction and rein me in a bit. And I need an artist, did I mention that. Desperately. Either way it’s another creative iron in the fire.

- Tonight we are going over Diamond Dave’s house to watch us some ‘Rasslin’. I’m disturbingly excited about this.

- I need to sit down with Mighty Mike and fill out our Deadzone survey, SO many good things there, so little cash.

- It sounds like Josie and I are going to smoke some more fish here pretty soon. My friend the world travellin’, jet settin’, IRS job havin’, coin collectin’, Transformer playin’ son of a gun made another giant haul of Salmon on his last fishing excursion and we need to cook it up. I’m looking forward to sitting around, getting caught up, and cooking some delicious fish!

- Speaking of Kickstarters, my favorite webcomic, Guilded Age is doing a Kickstarter to publish a collected Volume 2 AND do some short animations!

- We need to go see Man Of Steel and This Is The End immediately. This isn’t a suggestion, this is a DEMAND! You hear that Cassandra, not one, but TWO date night movies I’m throwing out there to you. Make it happen!

- It was pointed out to me today that it has been awhile since our last Fire Pit, I might have to rectify this very soon.

- Saturday is 2nd Group D&D. I’m very excited to see how it all shakes out. I’m going to try to ramp up the High Adventure vibe, incorporate the ‘2nd Great Darkness’ into their current situation, and pick up the pace of the game. I’ve changed my ideas on where things were heading, if I can capture a vibe I want to capture that first portion of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, with the tomb raid and the chasing natives. Except with more Dragons, Kobolds, sunless skies, explosions, and Dinosaurs. I think I can pull that off…

- My brother sent me a picture of my Nephew on Friday. He’s chilling with his new Mohawk. I lost my shit(s). I’ve realized that he’s growing up without me. That’s a tough thing for me. Sean & Maddy are amazing, they are fun, smart, and cool little kids. I love them with all my heart. Luke is my blood. When I’ve got to spend time with him it has cut a bit of the sting from not having children of my own. He’s into the same Nerdery I am, he’s smart like his father and mother, and is very gregarious. And to him I am this super cool Uncle who knows about MODOK, plays with LEGO’s, and watches cartoons with him. Sean and Maddy are far less interested in me that way. That coupled with the Father’s Day just really had it hit home that with my decision to live far away from my family I am choosing to be on the peripheral of their lives, and that is sort of a bitter sweet pill to swallow at times.

On that note, I think I’m done…

“With your long blonde hair
and your eyes of blue
The only thing I ever got from you
was sorrow
You acted funny trying
to spend my money

You're out there playing your high class games of sorrow

You never do what you know you oughta
Something tells me
you're a Devil's daughter
Sorrow, sorrow
Ahhhh, ah, ahhhh

I tried to find her
'Cause I can't resist her
(I tried to find her)
I never knew just how much I missed her

With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue
The only thing I ever got from you was sorrow
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh

With your long blonde hair
I couldn’t sleep last night
With your long blonde hair”


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