Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Stuff Vs. Damnation Alley

* = That's how I like my Spidey, 60's style ass hole!

It isn't like I've been slacking, honest.  I've just been crazy busy.  Life has been both as good as it has ever been and as difficult, sort of swirling storm of awesome.  So rather than try to have a central theme or one main thing to talk about I’m just going to let fly and throw out a heaping helping of…


-    I finally finished Joe R. Lansdale’s ‘The Bottoms’ (***** out of 5).  
I really loved this book, but it isn't the most pleasant read.  It is set during the Dust bowl in Texas.  The tale is about the coming of age of a young white boy whose father is the local constable investigating a series of murders involving local black women.  It’s a murder mystery wrapped beautifully in a tale about racism, family, and losing your childhood.  It isn't a pleasant tale the racism is hard to work through sometimes, the murders are brutal and terrifying, and the end game as nasty as it gets.  Mr. Lansdale’s writing is fantastic though, as you feel as if you are in a room with the main character who is recounting this tale of his youth.  It is lush, harsh, and captivating.

-    I think the cinnamon roll I ate last Friday gave me diabetes.
-    3 D&D Sessions in 4 days.  I’m not sure how I was able to pull it off.  Part of me wants to work through all three sessions and write about how they went, but I think instead I’ll just hit the high low lights with some…
    • 3rd Group went really well.  This was the first time that the group hit its stride as a cohesive group both Role Playing and tactically.  They were able to move through a pretty intense night successfully and instead of being effectively at each other’s throat they have a cohesive mission and have formed a very interesting alliance. 
    • 3rd Group also found a really incredible Role Playing groove individually.  The fact that they avoided two heavy combat encounters by using stealth and guile along with some outstanding Role Playing was really fantastic.  Coming out of that session I’m left really intrigued with how things will go from here.
    • 3rd Group went really poorly.  I won’t rehash what has already been beaten like a dead horse.  There were just some issues that came to a head.  It didn't end like anyone would have wanted it to.  I've got to be a better DM when it comes to recognizing the needs of the players, all the players, not just in game but out of game.
    • 2nd Group hit the end of the first big story arc.  I accidentally killed Chad with a quad damage double crit.  I felt, and still feel, sort of awful about it.  They really have become a super group to watch Role Play.  The banter, the voices, the little idiosyncratic reactions makes them just fantastic to watch and run for.  We finally got to try out some Sailing stuff, and honestly I need to figure out a better way of doing things.  I think the session really hit a snag the last 20 minutes as people were fried.  Hopefully when we get back to playing on Saturdays we all won’t be so damn tired.
  • Which got me to 4th Group’s first session on Sunday. I’m not sure how to explain this. By the time we got to this group I was in that completely overtired and somewhat insane creative head space where I was able to just cut loose. Sometimes that can be a mad incoherent mess. THIS was not one of those times. I was instead able to channel my inner 10 year old Shaw Brother’s style fantasy Kung Fu movie into a coherent tale, nice little encounters, some different takes on monsters, and some crazy role playing and in that give the players a great session. 4th Group is just fun. There is a sense of bizarre whimsy when you run at a table for a kid. They are seeing a lot of this for the first time so you have an obligation to your own childhood to make it something special. I hope I did that ideal justice.
  • We went to Julie & Chad’s Halloween gathering last Friday. Insanity and Pirate hats ensued.
  • I took some time and watched the Sound City documentary (Infinite *’s out of 5). 
    I was blown away by how incredible it was Dave was completely right. Just to see the history of that board was amazing. I’m not as into the technical portion of recording music, as I’m a black hole of musical talent, but the names, what they recorded there, and the process they went through was fascinating. And that wasn't even the best part that was reserved for the actual people who poured their hearts and souls into that place, and what Dave Grohl has done with it since. Seeing the former members of Nirvana recording with Paul McCartney and literally geek out over it was wonderful. This is a feel good documentary about what music means to musicians. It is a labor of love and a thing of beauty.
  • I had forgotten just how beautiful Alice In Chains’ EP ‘Sap’ was. It is sublime.
  • Diablo III is fantastic. And while I’m sure I’d love playing it on my own or just with Cassandra, playing with Julie & Chad online, and then with THE Karl & Kedrin on the couch is friggin’ AWESOME! This game screams for multi-player Gauntlet style ‘Kill, Loot, Level, Repeat’ button mashing while laughing and joking with friends. Cassandra and I already have three different characters with three different groups! I have to admit that the Witch Doctor is my JAM! I look forward to every chance I get to play this with our Friends now.
  • Tzatziki sauce was easier to make than I thought, AND delicious.
  • If you check this spot then you know that Sunday was straight up hardcore L.E.W.G.I. We recorded two podcasts, laughed a LOT, and watched Hell In The Cell. I won’t go into a bunch of detail here, because frankly that’s why we record the Podcast, but let me just state that I am always amazed by the fact that we can sit all five of us around a table with four mics and not fight for attention or talk over one another. It is this strange synergistic round table of opinion, passion, and humor that is one of the most fun things I've ever participated in. I hope you all have as much fun listening to it as we have recording it.
  • Philosophical conversations on the couch at the butt crack of dawn are always amazing. ALWAYS!
  • Speaking of Podcasts, Wednesday night is the first episode of the Insecurity Blanket Podcast. It sounds like I’ll have four guests; Cassandra, ‘Magic’ Mike, Kedrin, & Kolie. My current plan is to talk horror movies, One Direction, and favorite Halloween memories. I recorded the opening and I think it works decently. It’ll get better over time, and if I don’t record it at 4am on a Tuesday. At least I’m becoming productive during my burgeoning insomnia.
  • I have yet to watch a full NFL game this season, does that mean they are going to come collect my ‘Man Card’?
  • So we are already into the next set of Pathfinder Battle previews, take a gander at the first flood of Wrath Of The Righteous! 
    First up is the Schir Demon! This is a massive Medium Common miniature, and a beautiful one at that. This is a great pre-paint Beastman, and will perfectly with my DDM Ibixians, and my Goatmen Cultists from Horror Clix. The reality is this is a far superior miniature to those three as well. The paint on this for a Common is outstanding, really stunning. There appears to be some really rock solid shading and washing going on here. I like, but don’t love the sculpt. It is pretty standard, and feels rank and file, but that isn't a bad thing either especially not in a Common. Overall, this is MUST BUY for me. 
    Next up is Alain, one of the Pathfinder Iconics. He is a Medium Uncommon. I've always liked and loathed the Wayne Reynolds’ art this miniature is based on. I’ve liked it because it is a burly dude in heavy armor looking a little scruffy, but ready for a fight. I've loathed it because he has like 15 weapons strapped to him and looks like he couldn't run if his life depended on it. In fact he has so much equipment he looks like he couldn't even swing a sword if he had to. The miniature is a pretty good representation of that art both good and bad. One of my main issues with this piece though is the face looks SO poorly painted that it is blob like. There is no definition in the eyes at all, which is a shame. The rest of the sculpt is solid, the paint hits all the marks beyond that face. This is miniature that makes a good leader, NPC, or even PC. If it is reasonable it’ll be a MUST BUY for me despite the face. 
    The Low Templar is a Medium Uncommon, and he is AMAZING! This thing sings from the paint job, which is fantastic to the hunched sculpt. This guy is the PERFECT Henchmen made manifest. When I saw it was an Uncommon I was starting to think about how many I wanted, but then I realized that the sculpt is just too damn good, I’m good with one. I’ll just need to crib the paint scheme and start hammering out some of my unpainted miniatures to match and form a retinue around him. This miniature just has so much character. If you can’t tell I LOVE this miniature, and it is a MUST BUY for me. 
    Paizo & Wizkids follow that gem up with Irabeth, a Half-Orc Paladin. She is a Medium Rare piece. I've resigned myself to the fact that the color of the skin on the Orcs and Half-Orcs is a little brighter than I would prefer to have in a skin color, so I’m not going to complain about it. I do love that we get another strong Female PC model of a demi-human race. I really like the ornate armor, and the equipment we can see, hell I even dig the standard static pose. I think what has me concerned in this set so far is again here; the painting detail in the face seems to be lacking. I’m REALLY hoping that it just the picture not doing this piece justice, so I’m reserving my final judgment till it has an ‘in hand’ picture. Until then it is only a tentative MUST BUY! 
    Oh My GAWDS! The Half-Fiend Minotaur, a Large Uncommon by the by, is INCREDIBLE! This thing looks massive. The sculpt has menace, a subtle bit of movement, and that face is utterly and completely perfect. The paint job is what it is. Much like the Sharks from Skull & Shackles sometimes less is more in these cases. This thing didn't need to have a lot of different colors to look amazing, it just IS. On top of all that, it is an Uncommon. UNCOMMON! So I’ll be gathering a few of these monstrosities to throw at the PC’s at some point. This is one of my favorite miniatures that the Paizo & Wizkids team-up has produced. If you can’t tell this is a MUST BUY for me. 
    Last, but not least in this run is the Mythic Chimera. This beast is a Large Rare. For the record I didn't care for this product line’s original Chimera, and this one doesn't do much for me either. It is an improvement, but leaves me sort of cold, no pun intended. The head sculpts look outstanding this time, but I can’t really get a good look at the rest of the body, and that worries me. Couple that with what looks like a drastic color change from head to body and I really don’t see me going out of my way to track this down. Which is sad, since it is a monster I do really like, oh well it is an improvement. This one is a PASS for me.
  • Tonight I pick up WWE 2K14. I will be losing a MASSIVE amount of personal time…
  • The Heroes & Villains Halloween Party is this Sat. and we haven’t started decorating at all. I’m not really worried as I think we can hammer it out relatively quickly, but we need to get on it and be efficient in getting things up. The items are basically gathered, although I have to figure out if I can build a Bottled City of Kandor out of LEGO’s, we just have to get them on the wall and make labels. I have high hopes for Saturday, I hope it delivers.

    Oh yeah the Bones II Kickstarter ended.  I spent way too much...
I figure I should have something else, but I just don’t, I think it because I’m fried mentally…

Look at your face
When all I could see was myself looking back at me
And all I could do was think about sleeping next to you

What would it take to make a women like you
View a wolf like me for what I really might be
Listening to the lyrics only here's what I allow
You gotta try and make me testify for here and right now
Let’s have a confrontation over a cold one
I'll give you conversation just to see if you can hold ‘em
I play so dumb
Because I know some of these star struck small talk art fucks is no fun
I'm the blood type that goes straight for the guns
Like before you even spoke already knew what your loves like
So what you thinking?
Because I'm thinking we should jump into your ocean
Let's go girl this ship is sinking

Look at your face
When all I could see was myself looking back at me
And all I could do was think about sleeping next to you

Now there's no reason to lie, I've had a lot of lovers
In my reality it’s impossible to avoid it
But there’s one reason for life gotta provide some supper
Gonna build a family just to watch someone destroy it
Do you really think you really wanna get to know me better
Don't you see the drama
Don't you feel the pressure
Don't get me wrong it would be my pleasure
To sing a song that could remove your shoes and your sweater
Bartender let me get a shot of bean
Cause this girl over here is trying to get me out my jeans
And she doesn't seem to believe I'm just another thief
Came to take a piece and make you stutter when you breath

Now girl you too smart to be a tour mark

Set to play correct from the start with your pure heart
And when your all alone I’ll sing into your phone
If you don't know the words you can make up your own

The first time she met the devil was at first avenue
Went back stage with him into the dressing room
Sexy ego trip
Taller than expected
About six foot three
Seemed to thrive on his misery
Critical observant big words
Sweaty hair sunken eyes and thick nerves
She said ill make ‘em smile for the simple fact that he needs it
I'll make him smile just so I can kill it an eat it

You look like you were built for me
You talk like you want to steal my drink
You kiss like you already came
And that's a Lifter Puller line for those without any game

It's like damn baby
You know you can't save me
But you should still tell your people that your leaving with the band
Maybe you can show me your hustle
Neither one of us would be so lonely
If only you would come over here and hold me
I caught you trying to hide your smile behind your glass
But all of your secrets become a swing set when you laugh
And all of your regrets that you're carrying a burying
Don't mean a damn thing if there's nobody to share them with

We've been following each other all night now
We ought to be all over each other like right now
I don't like crowds let’s take flight now
Cause that face that you make
Reminds me of my life now

Look at your face
When all I could see was myself looking back at me
And all I could do was think about sleeping next to you

Only trying to find myself inside of you”

* = I don't know maybe 60's Sexy Stripper Pose Spidey is the best...

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