Friday, June 22, 2018

Filmic Friday 2

Movie: Under Siege
Format: VHS

The VHS bin has struck again. When our host rolled the first time, he went out to the box and checked what he’d landed on. In an unprecedented move, he returned and rolled a second time. He got the same number. That’s awfully hard on a 20-sided die. Very, very hard. We were told this was to give us a choice, as there had been a themed movie extravaganza earlier this year involving the lead actor from this movie.

Under Seige is a Steven Seagal movie.

With Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey.

And it’s as amazing as that sounds.

Three words for you: Busey in drag.

This movie is pretty aptly named, I guess. There’s a navy ship. It’s under siege by bad guys. Steven Seagal has to kill them all. It’s shockingly violent in places. I say this as a legitimate fan of action movies. All I can say is that there’s a bandsaw death and it was pretty shocking (not too bloody, though – there’s hardly any blood in this movie where people shoot each other with automatic weapons).


Seagal is a chef on a navy ship that’s being retired, and seeing the captain, you wonder how the ship is even still running, since the man would have probably been retired about a decade before this situation presents itself. The two days from retirement trope holds true – don’t get attached to the captain. It’s also captain old guy’s birthday! So Gary Busey’s character is angrily ordering people to plan a surprise party for him involving live music and a stripper cake with a Playboy Playmate (Miss July 1988, according to the characters).

The band leader is Tommy Lee Jones dressed as a combination of Jesse “the Body” Ventura and Paul Ellering (seriously, look him up, he’s a badass). And he plays the harmonica in a weird tiny band that in no way requires an entire troop deployment helicopter, but they’ve brought “catering” with them too, despite the ship having a shockingly unsecured and hazardous kitchen (that’s where the bandsaw death occurs, among others).

Seagal and his chefs are shown as close-knit for all of twenty seconds, dancing around and insulting each other in some of the worst Louisiana accents I’ve heard outside of a Maine classroom. I’m pretty sure Seagal isn’t from Louisiana. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s a Jewish/Lutheran boy from Lansing, Michigan. Regardless, this is the movie where the screaming “RYBACK” clip they’ve used on Botchamania comes from. Because Seagal’s character is named Ryback.

This is one of Seagal’s early movies, so not only is he under a thousand pounds, he’s also willing to lose the first fight scene he’s in! He loses because Busey wants everyone to report to the same place at the same time for a party, (Gee. That couldn’t be a trap.) and Ryback does not want to be told he won’t be cooking for the captain, since the captain doesn’t eat if Ryback isn’t cooking.

Ryback loses a fight against a bunch of military dudes loyal to Busey and they imprison him in the meat locker. There’s no evidence that the meat locker is actually refrigerated. They couldn’t afford dry ice, I guess… The rest of the first third of the movie is just Ryback trying to convince a very, very stupid navyman to let him out of the locker. Even after they hear live fire, the kid is told by the bad guys that it’s just firecrackers (which are illegal on a navy ship, last I knew, since points of ignition are heavily regulated), and he just believes them until they straight up kill him for no reason.

Kid’s dumb enough that he would’ve been the easiest patsy in the world, but no, let’s kill the stupidly loyal kid, but leave the chef with no personnel file untouched.

In the meantime, Gary Busey is entertaining the troops in a terrible drag costume and falsetto, parading around the mess hall with a couple of beach balls stuffed under a cardigan. He shows up at the captain’s quarters in this getup and that’s the last thing the captain ever sees. My god. Poor man.

Busey and Tommy Lee Jones are working together, and later it’s revealed that Busey is bitter that everyone in the navy can see that he’s legitimately insane, but Jones was a contractor for the CIA who’s pissed that the nation that used and abused him eventually tried to assassinate him. Somehow, Jones and Seagal’s characters know each other.

Also, Ryback was a Seal. Surprise.

While trying to take back the ship with nothing but a knife and his prodigious face, Ryback finds some dead guys in the mess hall (the bed guys were the band and catering, so the ship was overtaken in moments, because I guess the Navy sucks at repelling boarders?) and also the stripper cake that we have been told Miss July is supposed to be inside.

She was handed a bottle of Dramamine by Tommy Lee Jones and took about six. I’m no pharmacist, but that sounds like it would just kill you, not knock you out hard enough that you only wake up when a fake cajun bumps into the cue music for you. We do get to see her boobs and she’s wearing a thong, so there’s that at least.

Unfortunately, we’re stuck with her for the rest of the movie.

She was not in the original script – Seagal wanted boobs.

You can tell.

Sadly, she’s not the least competent character – that prize goes to a young guy with infinite faith in Ryback but zero talent with guns.

There’s a scene where Jones & Busey try to drown a bunch of guys in the lower decks, some older dudes are locked in a room, and Seagal begins to gather his forces (starting with the old guys). The old guys stop the water from flowing into the area with the sailors belowdecks, but no attempt is made to actually set them free until they start hijacking their own guns.

Meanwhile, the US government is actually trying to figure out a way to save the ship, the CIA admits fault, and it’s all really boring. And stupid. They give up after one attempt. Seriously.

Jones apparently wants to nuke Hawaii. Why? Because, again, the government tried to kill him.

The movie eventually ends with a lot of explosions, Seagal rips a guy’s throat out with his bare hands, and then he rips Tommy Lee Jones’ eye out before dumping him into the controls. Then Seagal jumps in a fighter jet and shoots down the nuke, I think? I got bored, to be honest.

All in all, though, this is a fantastic movie, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants a dumb fun action movie with a hint of boobs.

I give Under Siege an I-Beam Death out of 5

Go Enjoy Something!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Art Walk 2

I got lazy this week. All I have for you are is a photo of my cat, who decided to crawl into the sink while I was trying to brush my teeth.

She crazy.

Sorry for the laziness!

Go Enjoy Something!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesdaymania 2

Yesterday, news that the WWE has released pro wrestler “Big Cass” hit the internet. Release is, of course, a fancy corporate term for “fired”, but since wrestlers operate under contracts, firing is not really a thing in the WWE (unless it’s for a storyline, then they’re fired). Rumor has it that the reason Cass was let go was that he had “major heat” backstage. That’s as good a topic for a post as any, am I right?

So what is “heat,” in a pro-wrestling context?

There’s a few different meanings to heat, and they’re all related to where it’s happening. When you’re a bad-guy character (a heel), and you’re in front of the crowd, getting heat is the thing to do. That means you’re making the crowd not like you and cheer for your opponent. It’s possible to go too far, though. Look at the crowd’s reaction to Jinder Mahal – that’s an example of “shut up and go home” heat. If you look at a masterful heel, like Ric Flair (he was absolutely a heel back in the day before he was everyone’s tipsy grandpa), you’d see crowds that hated him and loved him in equal measure. That’s good heat. You want that kind of heat. You want the crowd to buy tickets to see you, even if it’s to see you get beaten to a pulp by whoever the good guy (or face) is.

There are levels of heat, like with a chili pepper. There’s no definitive unit by which to measure the heat, but there are names for the threshholds.

Good Heat gets a heel “over” - it means that the crowd loves watching them. Some masters of good heat have been Ric Flair, Rick Rude, and the Rock.

Bad Heat gets a heel dumped on by the crowd. They don’t want to see them. They’re still going to watch the match if they like the face/good guy, though. Bad Heat is what Jinder Mahal brings to the table. Weirdly enough, it’s also what Roman Reins has, so… that takes us to our next level.

Shut Up and Go Home Heat is what happens when the crowd loathes the match or the wrestler in question. I’d argue that a Jinder/Reins match has that heat. Prince Iaukea had this kind of heat with me – I do not like watching his matches at all, regardless of who else is in the ring.

Nuclear Heat is what happens when things either go to far (like if the wrestler has legitimately injured another person or if they’ve done something heinous in real life or if they’re so terrible in the ring/on the microphone that people want them gone). For me, the Nuclear Heat guy today is Taichi from New Japan, who I wish would stop wrestling. Seriously, the only things I like about him are his valet Miho Abe and he pimp ass opening. And then you realize he’s going to wrestle. Ugh.

None of these levels of heat are what get people fired. That’s the other kind of heat – backstage heat.

Backstage Heat is what people call the tension and dislike that surround any particular person when they’re not in the ring. Basically, it’s interpersonal problems that any other company would either try to resolve or just fire the problem. In wrestling, it’s more complicated because sometimes the guy with the worst heat backstage is the guy who’s making you the most money – Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan were notorious in the heat they got backstage. Sometimes, though, the heat is too strong, and out a guy goes. This is what’s happened to Big Cass, from what I hear.

It would explain why the cameras would always make it seem like his entrance video said “Big Ass” instead of Big Cass…

That’s been Wednesdaymania for this week, folks.

Go Out There And Enjoy Something!
(Maybe NJPW Dominion 2018… that is a very enjoyable show)


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Talk About Tuesday 2

I’ve been working on the story of Yokai this week. I’m not going to give too much away, but it’s one of three different stories I’m working on involving professional wrestlers. One is the story of a young man who is coming up in the business in the 1990s, his trials & tribulations, and eventually his success in Japan. The second story follows the same character, Yokai, in Japan after he’s retired from wrestling and runs a local izakaya (that’s a bar/restaurant) with his partner Dave. The third is about another wrestler named “Mac the Rack”, a journeyman wrestler who has held steady positions in a few companies over the years, training a kid who doesn’t want to be a wrestler.

I have a job interview today, so I’m going to have to be brief about what I’m busy with.

So far, with what I’ve written, a young Yokai has wandered into a small town gym for a sip of water and attracted a lot of attention, since he looks kind of like someone ran him through a meat grinder.

I’m having issues with punctuation and dialog – mainly, I don’t know where the punctuation in dialog goes, and I’ve been told many times that I do it wrong.

I’ll be working on that.

I think that about does it for this week’s update on writing.

If you’re looking for a book right now, I’d always suggest grabbing a copy of Grady Hendrix’s “Horrorstör”, which is about a haunted Ikea-like store. It has one of the best covers I've ever seen, since it looks like an Ikea catalog!

Go Out and Enjoy Something!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fiber Monday 1.2

Confession: I didn't work on the project much until this morning when I was drinking my coffee and watching someone play Dark Souls Remastered on YouTube. I did, however, manage to slam on over 25 rows of single crochet! I also changed out my blue hook for one in a gold tone because I think my blue hook went walkabout 😐

In other, unrelated news, while I was walking to a discount store nearby to pick up some fuel for NXT Takeover this past week, I saw something in a small patch of lily of the valley that I have to share with you guys.

Guys, that's a puffball fungus, I'm pretty sure. If you're a gardener or horticulturalist and you know how big lily of the valley plants are, you're probably a bit... weirded out by how huge that fungus is.

It's the size of a cantaloupe, guys. It's the size of a good-sized cantaloupe.

If I don't update, that thing spored off and my home town has become The Last of Us IRL.

Go Out There and Enjoy Something
just don't get zombified by fungus...


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Survival Sunday & Spice of the Week 1 (Genmai Ramen)

The S/O and I get Umai Crate, which is a subscription service which sends you a box of ramen and other delicious soups or noodles every month. We made a couple packets recently, so I decided to record our experience.

I had the Genmai ramen, which was a delicious mild sesame broth with brown rice noodles.

Oh hey, there's a caption button!

Umai Crate always sends these helpful pamphlets with their noodles

We forgot to add corn this week :|

I like to crack an egg into mine, so the broth thickens as the yolk (which I prefer to have firm) slowly dissolves into it.

both the spoon and the chopsticks came from Umai Crate, too!

It's just a simple white egg. Any egg will do. Also, more stix from UC.

If you can't tell, that's me holding a slowly cooking yolk out of the water.

The froth is from the egg white

This would probably go better in the next section, but I'm lazy. That's the broth.

It came with a bunch of sesame seeds in the broth, which was nice, since I was about to go grab our sesame seeds, which I try to keep on hand, and dump a bunch in.

The noodles have just softened - soggy noodles aren't as good, in my opinion.

A completed bowl of genmai ramen! It was amazingly subtle & delicious!

There’s not much to say about the process of cooking up instant noodles, to be honest, but this is as decent a segue as any into the other part of my new cooking updates – the Spice of the Week!

This section is here to encourage people in trying new spices and building up a spice collection. There will be herbs and possibly other ingredients here, too over time, I’m sure.

This week’s spice is: Onion Powder.

Thanks Google...
Not to be confused with onion salt, onion powder is nothing more than ground up freeze-dried onion. It adds a powerful onion flavor to anything you add it to, and it helps punch up soups and other noodle dishes. You wind up with a stronger chicken flavor if you add it to chicken noodle soup. Just be aware that it can get overpowering quickly, so add it only a little at a time (like, pinches of it, not scoops or dumping a bunch on) until you get the taste the way you like it.

I understand that some people may not like onions, or they may be allergic, so I’m just going to put this here: In no way am I telling anyone that they absolutely have to own any spice or whatever I’m talking about. These are suggestions for people, especially those just starting out, to slowly grow a collection of ingredients so they don’t have to run to the store every time they cook. You don’t need any one of these to be a good cook. Just because I like something doesn’t mean everyone will, and just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean everyone else won’t.

I mean… I don’t like lobster, avocado, or cilantro, so clearly my tastes aren’t the same as the average.

Now, go out and enjoy something!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Game Day 1

I did warn you that titles were subject to change :P

Game of the Week: Pokefarm Q

Long, long ago, I heard of a game called Pokefarm on the internet. It’s a simple fan game, but not anything like the actual Pokemon games I’m used to. They came up with their own Pokemon designs, their own professors, their own world, really. Eventually, as all things tend to do, things went awry and the site split up like icebergs struck by global warming trends, and something new was revealed.

Pokefarm Q is the resurrected idea of a forum-based community surrounding a Pokemon game. It’s basically what it says on the tin – you farm Pokemon. Remember that old episode of the cartoon where Ash wound up on the Miltank ranch? Ever wanted one of your own? Now you can! And it’s absolutely free!

I’m not going to say much about the forums, since I never use them, but as a very casual player, I can tell you, it’s engrossing. You start out by making your trainer card (are you a boy, a girl, or gender-neutral?) and picking a name (I’m Tenleybean, y’all, come visit), and naming your farm (mine’s called Peacevale). Then you’re given the opportunity to pick your starter. And here’s where the game begins to show you what you’re getting into – you can start with any starter from any game. Wanna start with Pikachu or Eevee? Do it. Do you Liek Mudkipz? Do it. Do you wanna be a basic bitch and start with Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Squirtle? Do it. And do it with the knowledge that you will be able to get all the other starters at some point.

After you get your starter, you can start adopting eggs at the lab with Professor Holly. She’ll have an array of eggs at the ready. You have a party of up to 6 eggs at a time. They won’t tell you what they are until they hatch. Really, the game will hold your hand through the starting months – I’ve just lost New Farmer status (which they mark on your profile/name with a Bulbasaur bulb). You gain ranks by hatching and trading (yes there’s trading) and adopting Pokemon, which unlock special currency, special modes, and more.

Then there’s the complex badge system. You can, eventually, go talk to a Jirachi named Ravyne (who I’m pretty sure is also one of the Mods, but again, I don’t use the forums, much). This Jirachi will take the gems you gain from your Pokemon hatching and turn them into badges which give you bonus XP when hatching and leveling specific types. You can only fully construct these badges by evolving Pokemon. All of this is conveyed in a manner so hyperactive and incomprehensible that the page automatically translates Ravyne’s suger-hyped speech into plain old English (or whatever you’re using for a language, I’d imagine).

If you’ve gotten bored with the old Pokemon, fear not, they have Fakemon to make you happy here, too. There are puffballs that evolve into spiders, something that looks like a cross between a Deerling and a Houndoom, more foxes than you can shake a stick at, and colorful snakes that you’ll be super jealous of other people owning.

Now, this blog isn’t supposed to just be me telling you how to play a game, but here’s the basics – you click buttons. That’s how you play. You click on a berry to feed your Pokemon (which grants them XP), you click on people’s names to visit their farms and click berries to feed their Pokemon. You click a button to go fishing, where some dialog pops up now and then to set the mood for you before you click another button to reel in the Slowpoke, Carvanha, Surskit, Magikarp, etc. Yeah, you can catch Goldeen, Slowpoke, and Carvanha with an Old Rod, which I dig. Also, you don’t battle these caught Pokemon, you chuck rocks in their faces and then beg their forgiveness with bait (please don’t run, level 12 Slowpoke, Tenleybean needs you!) before you pelt them with your free balls.

You can also buy balls and bait with in-game currency, called credits, which you get for, you guessed it, clicking on people’s Pokemon to feed them. This includes your own. You can be as self-centered as you like and you’ll still advance.

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed seeing are the new ideas that this group has brought to Pokemon. Besides the Shiny Pokemon we’ve been enjoying since that Red Gyarados in the Lake of Rage, they’ve come up with Albino, Melanistic, and Delta variants. Albinos are, of course, white or washed-out pallet variants of the normal mons, but if you have an Albino variant who also hatches as a shiny? Then you get a Melanistic (black or darkened) version! As for Delta, I’m not clear on that one, since I’ve only seen the name once on someone’s field where all of their Pokemon were surrounded by a colored outline. Very odd.

Besides the awesome variants (god, I want a melanistic Ninetales…) they have also come up with their own Mega Evolutions for various Pokemon. Their Mega Druddigon is fascinating. You have to earn the mega ring doing certain tasks (viewable in the Party tab), but after that, it’s a matter of scouring up, buying, or earning Mega Stones.

Scouring is one of my favorite aspects of this game. You select up to three Pokemon in your party or fields, you send them to one of several locations (Ocean, Volcano, Desert, Forest, etc), and they come back in a couple hours with swag. This might be stuff you can dress up your Pokemon with for one of the many contests the site runs, or it might be berries, or it might be evolution items, mega stones, credits, currency, boxes, or they might come home empty handed. Different Pokemon have different preferences – Your female Squirtle who prefers Spicy berries and hates Sour ones and has a Sassy nature may love the Ocean and hate the City, but another identical Squirtle may love the City and hate the Volcano.

The boxes you sometimes find while scouring are a crapshoot – you don’t know what you’re gonna get. You will, however, get something. It could be the second type of currency, gold Poke, or it could be more dress up accessories, or evolution items, etc. But you’ll always get something. And since they’re free, it’s awesome. Also, you can sell anything on the Marketplace tab for credits.

There are three currencies: Credits (which you earn via interactions), Gold Poke (which can be earned through missions or found in boxes), and Zophan canisters, which are the only thing you have to pay for that I’ve found, so far. These canisters are used for premium content, which, yeah, makes your life easier, but you can also earn the premium content through missions, I’ve found. The only reason to buy canisters is to support the site itself and keep the forums open.

I haven’t even begun to touch on the humor of this game, the deep lore, the great illustrations, but that’s what the link is for – you should definitely check it out for yourself!

Happy Gaming, everyone

and pay poor Tenleybean a visit – he’s lonely.