Monday, March 31, 2014

Japan Trip, Part III: Yen

I want to talk about Japanese currency for a bit. I spent a whole week using this stuff, and I've developed an opinion.

PAX Preparation

I enjoy attending most conventions. They're a great place to meet people and feel like a part of the community, and it's always cool to visit new cities.

It's a lot of work to attend a convention, but it's usually worth it. Our biggest conventions are the PAXes, however, and we're not sure if they're entirely worth the amount of work we put into them.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Japan Trip, Part II: Immigration

If you ever fly to Japan, do yourself a favor and make sure your plane arrives sometime during the day late afternoon at the latest. Unless you have a car available, the cheapest way to get around is the public transit system, but that all shuts down at around midnight. After that, all you've got is taxis, and that gets real expensive real fast.

So, as our plane landed at 10:30PM or so, we were in a big damn hurry to get through customs. Unfortunately, it seems like every international flight landed at once, just in time to make sure we weren't getting out of that airport until well past midnight.

Movie Review #12: Ted

I could probably do an entire separate blog post about Seth Macfarlane specifically, but i'll save that for another time.

Ted was the first movie I watched during the flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Short review: I laughed out loud twice. Although it's dressed up in Seth's sense of humor, the story itself is pretty formulaic. I don't really recommend it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Japan Trip, Part I: A 12-Hour Flight

I scheduled a post about flying, which I believe got posted the day I spent in travel. I didn't really know what I was in for, so I just talked about my past experience with flying.

Now that I'm back, I can give a first-hand account of my experience traveling across the Pacific Ocean in a metal tube.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back to Work

As you can see, I've missed quite a few blog posts while I was in Japan. Clearly, I'm slacking.

Now that I'm back, I've got a lot to do. Where to even begin?

Friday, March 21, 2014


How long have I been involved in the Fangamer Podcast now? It feels like it's been ages.

The Fangamer Podcast have changed dramatically over the years, and I've been involved in every iteration in some way. Rather than talking about my history with podcasting, though, I'd prefer to talk about what I hope to accomplish with it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kirtan "Muffin" Osbaston

Fair warning: we're getting into my OCs here. You might want to just back away slowly and go read someone else's blog for a while. Maybe George R. R. Martin's Not a Blog, in case you're into Game of Thrones and New York football teams (although that's probably not a big deal right now, since football season is over).

If you really want to hear about my OC, though, read on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crossing the Pacific

As this blog post goes up, I'll be crossing the ocean toward Japan.

I've already discussed my Japan trip in another blog post, so I'm not going to go into it too much here. Instead, let's talk about airplanes as a mode of transportation.

Movie Review #11: The Terminator

Yikes! I'm behind both on blogs and on movie reviews!

The Terminator is one of those movies I've heard about and have watched a lot of stuff around it, but have never actually seen the original. I mean, I've seen Terminator 2 and bits of Terminator 3, but I think think I've really seen anything from The Terminator before now. Which is a shame, because I think the first one might be my favorite one.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

D&D Profile: Akito

Jenna's character Akito is an elven Fighter, apparently based on one of Jenna's existing characters.

It's hard to be a straight man in this party, but Akito often attempts to do just that.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

I've been looking forward to this game ever since it was announced. I've been a fan of Trey Parker in particular for a long time, and knowing that he and Matt were actually going to be getting involved in the game (unlike previous South Park video games) made me excited to see what kind of story they could tell with the video game medium.

Short answer: a good one. They did not disappoint. For more, read on.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gender Identity

Last week I finally go the chance to release a podcast I've been looking forward to for months: an episode on gender identity. It's probably my favorite podcast to date, and I recommend giving it a listen.

As I say in the podcast, I don't think any of us hosts struggle with our gender. We're all more or less cis, which is a term that's short for "comfortable in skin," I believe. A cis person is comfortable not only with the body they were assigned at birth, but also their assigned gender roles, to some degree. I think? I'm actually not too clear on that.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

D&D Session #35: JEAGER

In all the excitement of the various things we have going on, escaping into the fantasy world of D&D isn't precisely our highest priority. Instead, we enjoyed ourselves by watching some episodes of Legend of the Hidden Temple and Nickelodeon GUTS for a while before we actually got things started.

Still, in many ways this session was spent inching steadily toward a metaphorical cliff, preparing for a jump.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Dark Ages, Book 1: Chapter 3, Part 2

(Continued from Chapter 3, Part 1)

Cyrus was watching Glenn strike at a dummy made of straw when Reace arrived at the stables. It was quiet on this side of the keep, and the only sounds were of Glenn striking the dummy and the occasional whinny of the horses in their pins. The smells of the stables were comforting and familiar to Cyrus after his harrowing hunting trip, so he was well at ease while he offered Glenn tips on holding and swinging his practice sword. Now all he had to do was watch, as Ser Devon did after a lesson.
The baron’s son glanced at Glenn curiously as he made his way to Cyrus’s side.
“Who’s the toddler?”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pima Canyon to the Dam

Hello Tucson
That's Tucson. Yes, that's a city down there.

For this month's hike, Laura, Jack, Jenna, and I went to Pima Canyon to hike to something called "the dam." According to the description, the hike was supposed to take us through beautiful scenery along a stream, complete with waterfalls.

I'm here to tell you that the given description is not entirely accurate.

On Avatars

I've spent much of today editing segments for an upcoming episode of The Fangamers and, listening to some of their stories, I noticed a common thread for many of them: the use of female avatars in video games (or other gaming) being an instrument in coming to understand their identity.

That caused me to think about my own avatars and what they mean for me. I think a lot can be gleaned about someone from seeing how they present themselves in a fantasy space, but I have so many that I'm not sure what they even mean. I suppose I should explore that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Saga is On Hold

Today my subscription to Star Wars: The Old Republic ran out. Considering the fact that I'll be away from home for weeks at a time over the course of the next month, I've decided not to renew my subscription until I feel ready to return.

If I ever decide to do so at all, I mean. Let's see what I've accomplished in my 60 days of The Old Republic, shall we?

Learning Katakana

With my trip to Japan coming up quickly (just a little over a week away now), Lindsay suggested that we all learn to read katakana before we go.

As someone who has tried to learn two other languages in the past, I had my doubts about actually learning this stuff. However, it turned out to be pretty easy, and I think most anybody can learn katakana if they want to.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

D&D Session 34: Tyrant's Pass

In this session, Heidi was absent due to not feeling well. The party made due without their druid, but we kept the session relatively brief in order to not have her miss anything too important. We started kinda late, then watched the D&D episode of Community before starting the session proper.

As the party came out of the swampy lair of the hydra, they found themselves entering Tyrant's Pass, where the road passes near a popular nesting ground for the dreaded tyrannosaurus rex.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Dark Ages, Book 1: Chapter 3, Part 1

(Continued from Chapter 2, Part 3)


“I still can’t believe you took that boar down so cleanly,” said Reace, riding just ahead as appropriate. He turned and looked at Cyrus. “Weren’t you frightened? It came this close to ending you.” He held his fingers less than an inch apart.
“Of course not,” said Cyrus. “It was me or him, and I decided it was going to be him.” In fact, Cyrus had been terrified, but Reace didn’t need to know that. When the beast had been flushed from his nest it was supposed to be heading straight for Reace, but the boar proved unpredictable and went for Cyrus instead, catching the stable boy off-guard. He had a spear ready, but in his shock he didn’t even think to use it until the last moment.
But Cyrus was proud of himself for felling his first boar. His father had never even been allowed to go hunting with the baron, so it was a great victory regardless of Cyrus’s bravery. And having done it once, he suspected he’d do even better next time.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Picky Eating

I'm well known as a picky eater. I'm not as bad as I used to be, but I still have a steady diet of only a few select, approved foods.

I'm not ashamed of the fact that I'm picky, but people love to try and pressure me to eat things I don't want to, calling me childish if I don't. However, I don't think childishness has anything to do with it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Hate Alarm Clocks

For a long time now, I've had the pleasure of living a life practically free of alarm clocks. This is good, because alarm clocks are one of the most stressful inventions ever invented by man.

However, I recently enacted a standardization of hours at the office, meaning instead of coming in when we feel like it everyone figures out a schedule that works for them, then attempt to stick to it. So, yesterday I woke up to an alarm clock for the first time in months. It was awful, and it reminded me that the last time I tried to return to the stressful world of alarm clocks I may have woken my worst enemy.


I don't normally remember my dreams, but when I do they're quite vivid and, if I'm not careful, I could almost mistake them for memories of real events.

In a particularly odd turn of events, I remember two dreams from last night. And, for whatever reason, I awoke with a profound lack of self-confidence, which followed me through half of the day, manifesting as a strange sense of my mind and body being disconnected.

I couldn't shake the feeling that this feeling of diminished self-worth and my dreams were somehow connected.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Movie Review #10: The Wind Rises

Much like Terry Gilliam movies and the Dollars trilogy, I plan on watching a new Ghibli movie I've never seen before each month until I've watched them all. Chronologically, I was scheduled to watch Spirited Away next, but apparently The Wind Rises is out in theaters now, so I went watch that with Laura on Saturday. Luckily, movie night's not exactly a hit, so nobody showed up to watch Spirited Away with me. So, rather than overdose on Miyazaki, I decided to move that one to next month instead.

That said, The Wind Rises is in select theaters right now. You should go watch it, even if you're not usually into Ghibli movies. It's really good. That's my spoiler-free review. If that's not enough, though, then keep on reading~

Sunday, March 2, 2014

On Equality

An old friend of mine posted something on Facebook, which brought up the story of a barber who refused service to a woman due to religious reasons: he was Muslim, which barred him form touching any woman to whom he was not married. The teller of the story said this: “When we talk about rights in Canada we talk about rights [that require] someone to do things for you. I don’t see that as a right at all.” Although the story was from Canada, it was obvious that this was in reference to the wedding photographer in New Mexico and Arizona's Senate Bill 1062.

After considering the problem for a few days, I finally posted a response to the story:

D&D Session 33: And Two More Shall Take Its Place

(Continued from Session 32)

The party, with its full contingent of spiders, weapons, and comrades, set off from Lucky Village toward the Tyrant's Pass, with vague notions of leaping from the cliff with their goods in order to shave off more time from their journey.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Dark Ages, Book 1: Chapter 2, Part 3

(Continued from Chapter 2, Part 2)

Not two months later, Ozzie stood on the deck of the first ship of the Fiendlord’s army as it crossed the narrow sea between the fiends’ homeland and their future conquests. They will never see us coming, thought Ozzie.
Fiendish raiders terrorized human settlements often, and some particularly ambitious groups might even attack a town on occasion. Never before had so many fiends banded together to form an army that could actually threaten the humans, with their knights and their fortresses. The humans were divisive and quarreled amongst themselves, but the fiends were worse. Blood feuds, class conflict, and the simple ruthlessness that was their nature had held the fiends back from greatness.
Until now. Until him.