Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Ugly Ones Vs. Bang Bang Kid


I am still sick.  I am still coughing, hacking, sore, and exhausted.  However I am better than I had been, it is just the ultimate slow crawl towards feeling healthy, and it sucks.  It sucks something awful.  Couple that with my stomach giving me all sorts of ‘issues’ and it has been a bit of a rough run.  Pun not intended.  The weekend was very relaxing overall, even though I didn’t get as much sleep as I had hoped, and I wasn’t near as productive as I desired.  Enough about stuff no one cares about, let’s jump right in with some…


 - I’m going to have to mow this coming weekend.  That sort of sucks.

- Still no news on the job front.  This coming weekend I begin my job hunt in earnest again.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit brokenhearted over the whole thing.  I really thought this place was perfect for me, however not hearing anything for this long really makes me nervous.  It they do call the offer on the table will have to be very good for me to take it.

- Congrats to Mary & Christina and the new addition to their amazing family!

- Cassandra and I watched Knights Of Badassdom (*** ½ out of 5) over the weekend for free on X-Box Gold.  I am not sure what I expected really.  It has a ton of people you know from other shows like Game Of Thrones, True Blood, Community, Serenity, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, etc., however none of them, with the exception of Mr. Dinklage, are really the ‘stars’ of their respective shows.  The premise of LARPers accidently summoning a Demon is equal parts funny, and carried out with an almost ‘slasher’ movie like efficiency is damn entertaining.  You can tell the movie didn’t have much of a budget, but it NEVER lets you get lost in that fact.  This is just a goofy, entertaining movie.  If you like ‘goofy’ horror movies, or movies that are HYPER self-aware, and are a Role Play or LARPer of any kind you will most likely dig this very offbeat flick.

- I can’t wait to get my grubby paws on Marvel Dice Masters and play against Gene-O-Machine-o!

- I was flipping through PWG’s DDT4 ’14 and two things made me burst with laughter.  First was Kevin Steen talking about making a Michael Elgin t-shirt that read, “…And God Created All Men Equal…” below that phrase is a picture of Elgin’s head and a word bubble reading, “NOPE!”  On the back of this imaginary t-shirt is Elgin power-bombing Jesus through a table.  If this really existed, I would need to own it, I would need to OWN IT SO HARD!    The second was an event, as the RockNES Monsters were going at it with YOUR newest favorite tag team, The Best Friends; Chuck Taylor and Trent(?).  So at the climax of the match ‘Sexy Chucky T’ told Trent(?) to go get the ‘Secret Weapon’.  Trent(?) went under the ring and grabbed a trench coat and proceeded to put it on.  Meanwhile in the ring Taylor crotched Johnny Goodtime on the top rope, Trent(?) got back in the ring and Taylor proceeded to put him on his shoulders.  This caused him to disappear beneath the trench coat creating a MEGA-GIANT WRESTLER!  This Trent(?)/Chuck amalgamation then choke slammed Johnny Goodtime off the top rope, and did the one foot, muscle flex cover and I lost my ‘S’.  I laughed so hard at the CHIKARA like ridiculousness of it, and the fact that the crazy PWG crowd embraced the moment with pure maniacal glee.  If Taylor is truly done with CHIKARA I will be crushed, but at least I will have all his amazing work elsewhere, and especially in PWG.  He and Trent(?) are truly Best Friends, and I hope it is FOREVER! 

- I’ve got to get my crap on Ebay this week.

- Sunday Gene-O- Machine-O and I got together and watched the Wild game, which why enjoyable was still disappointing as they lost.  We then retreated to the outdoors and grilled up some serious grub.  Cassandra had some burgers she made up that were amazing; we had some fancy sausages, and last but not least some very special pork.  I took a pork loin and trimmed almost all the fat off of it, then sliced into chops, and finally pounded it paper thin.  We topped that pork loin with some cheese and honey mustard coleslaw, and it was outstanding.  Gene, James and his Magical Beard, Diamond Dave, Samir, Cassandra, and I then bore witness to the Extreme Rules PPV on the WWE Network.  First off, holy crap there was a lot of buffering, which sucked.  Secondly, the whole little person kick off match was an atrocity, and it was one of those moments where I sort of felt ‘dirty’ for watching wrestling, thanks Vince.  The card wasn’t too bad, but it was a bit ‘squashy’ for the most part.  Although we did get to see the continuing push of Cesaro and Bad News Barrett, which in my opinion is ALWAYS a good thing.  The overall card though was saved in my opinion by the last ten minutes of the Evolution Vs. The Shield 6 man war which saw Seth Rollins hit a huge dive out of the balcony, and Roman Reigns destroying Bootista with a Superman punch and a spear.  Evolution looked old, they moved old, and in comparison to the big spot, frantic pace that all three members of The Shield use they looked plodding.  The Cena Vs. Bray Wyatt was an overbooked mess, with the whole Super Cena beating down three guys scenario that really makes me physically ill.  However no one will ever remember that because they ended the match with a creepy kid singing ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ allowing Bray Wyatt to dispatch Cena and get the win.  It was nice surprise, a bit hokey, but fun.  I don’t think this feud is anywhere near done, and I’m ok with that IF we finally get Wyatt going over Cena clean.  But we won’t.  We won’t because ‘Jern SuperCena’ doesn’t lose clean, and he never puts someone over, with the exception of Daniel Bryan and even then he had the built in excuse of the elbow surgery.  And if you don’t think that little nugget will come back up later when ‘Jern’ demands his rematch then I’ve got some swamp land to sell you.  Let’s face it, the ‘E’ doesn’t know what to do with ‘Jern’ anymore, the crowds have clearly decided that they are done with him, and he’s become worse than stale, he’s tired.  It has been ten years of the same gimmick, and it is tired.  It is a shame that they won’t mix it up, they won’t have him do a ‘clean job’ to Wyatt, and that worst of all we’ll still be on the internet bitching about ‘Jern SuperCena’ burying someone at next year’s Extreme Rules.  Sorry, end of rant.  Anywho, the other big match was the Kane Vs. Daniel Bryan match which was entertaining but unfortunately didn’t end their feud.  The reality is I just don’t care about ‘The Demon Kane’ thing they have going on as it bores me, which in turn is making me bored by Bryan as a result, which isn’t good.  The ‘E’ has booked itself into a corner by having a complete lack of credible heels at the top tier.  I surmise that this is the John Cena Effect.  When you build an antagonist and then feed them to your ‘Face of the Franchise’ and he goes all Super Cena on them they lose credibility.  I don’t think he buries guys purposefully, but with either his or management’s inability to put over anyone clean they have an upper echelon that is devoid of credible antagonists and that is a damn shame.  In the end thank you to Cassandra, The Geneius, James & his Magical Beard, Diamond Dave, and the visiting Samir for taking what was a mediocre PPV and making it a joy. 

- 5/14/14 the return of the Antagonist Relations Podcast!

- Team TrollStrong met last night and started Burnt Offerings with an additional mega-spell card that Gene-O and Sassie Cassie picked up at PAX East.  We also found out we’d been doing a few things incorrectly which made things even more challenging.  It was one of those rare nights where I was hitting on all cylinders and was a kill crazy Warrior of unstoppable proportions, while the rest of the group was equally as efficient.  I had a massive headache so I was a tad detached as I felt like I was playing the game down a long tunnel from everyone else, however once the end game was set in motion my focus got VERY sharp.  Sassie Cassie made a small tactical error which was going leave her dead, ‘PERMA-Dead’ in fact.  The Geneius wracked his brain to figure out what to do, and in the end it was a total party effort to finish off Ripnugget!  THE Karl sacrificed a Blessing permanently to shut down the last remaining location that the Villain could have fled to, Cassandra, James & his Magical Beard dropped Blessings on Cassie to ensure her first victory and El Gene-O-Machine-O and dropped the F’Ning HAMMER to finish off the Goblin Chieftain.  By doing this we prevented the ‘PERMA-Death’ that was hanging over Sassie Cassie’s head.  I can’t state enough how much I love this game, and I think it is mainly due to the 5 people I sit around a table with a few times a month and have a blast with.  Thank you Team TrollStrong!

- My stomach is a bottomless pit right now; I just can’t get enough to fill it.

- I plowed through James Sutter’s ‘The Redemption Engine’ (**** ½ out of 5) last week.   This is the sequel to Sutter’s previous Pathfinder Tales novel ‘Death’s Heretic’ following Salim in his duties to the Goddess of Death.  The rub is Salim was an atheist from a country in the Golarion setting that actively pursued a war on religion.  In a moment of desperation he reached out to the Goddess of Death and now is ‘forced’ to serve her as ‘problem solver’.  The premise is great, and overall the surly protagonist is smart and dangerous.  This tale revolves around someone taking souls of rapists, murders, and slavers and using magic to force their souls away from judgment and subsequent damnation and forcibly ‘saving’ them.  This causes the tenuous balance between Heaven, Hell, and the Goddess of Death and Judgment to be skewed heavily.  Salim’s job becomes to track down the responsible parties across the Prime Material Plan, Heaven, and even Hell in order to dispense justice.  Mr. Sutter does a FANTASTIC job of giving you all the nuances and differences that makes Golarion its own fully fleshed out fantasy multiverse.  The hierarchies of Heaven and Hell and their strict adherence to ‘Law’ as a concept, and the idea that those concrete ideals can be manipulated interpretation.  There is a great underlying theme of choice versus fate as a thread throughout the book, and it brings Salim’s complex and complicated relationship with the true believers of the Goddess he is ‘forced’ to serve all the more interesting.  There a great deal of fun and interesting secondary characters that keep things moving and allow us some perspective both into Salim and his investigation.  I was also VERY happy to see the Caulborn, a Pathfinder-centric monster that I find to be VERY cool, get some serious spotlight time.  In the process the idea of them was so perfectly expounded on that I NEED to find a way to move them back into my D&D campaigns.  I’ll be interested to see if Mr. Sutter has another tale of his heretical investigator up his sleeve.     

- Congrats Kedrin, last semester midterm mark ACHIEVED!  Just a month or so left of Grad School and then you’ll be graduating at the top of your class!  That is an amazing feat.

- You know it is funny I went through two weeks of just miserable illness, roaring high fever, and I’ve coughed so hard that my sides actually hurt, BUT no seizures.  Apparently I had an Aura last night, but I don’t really recall it, I do recall get blasted by an epic migraine for a while during the Pathfinder game, but not the Aura at the onset.  That means for the first time in like ten years I ran a fever, a SIGNIFICANT fever, and had no seizures.  I can’t tell you what that means to me.  To even have the inkling that what I’m doing might be making a difference makes me feel like there might be a light at the end of this tunnel, and that I might finally be reaching it.

Hrm, that was far more than I thought it would be…

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