Friday, November 02, 2007

Santa Cruz Halloween Report 07

Not much to say this year, unfortunately. I'm sorry to say that I almost didn't go out. I didn't even carve a pumpkin. As a bit of a last-minute plan, I went trick-or-treating at the mall. A lot of places were already out of candy by the time I got there, but I managed to get quite a few goodies. A couple places were giving out stickers and coupons. One of these years, I'm going to look into buying little toys to give away. I know there are catalogs like Oriental Trading where you can buy little trinkets by the gross, so it could be a viable alternative to giving away candy, but you'd have to order well in advance.

Anyway, while I was hoping to take pictures of cool costumes downtown with my cellphone like I did at Comic Con, that didn't happen since I didn't go there. I did take some pictures at the mall, though. Some were good, but most were clearly store-bought. Most of the adults didn't wear costumes, or at least not complete ones, but one guy was dressed like a colonial. It looked good, but I didn't take a picture of it since I figured you could probably rent a costume like that. It doesn't matter what you wear as long as you enjoy wearing it, but if you didn't make it yourself or have it custom-made it doesn't count as a "good costume" in my book.

Me? I kinda half-assed it myself. I wore the Kankuro costume I wore to comic con, but I didn't feel like wearing the make-up so went as a T-Shirt Kankuro, which is what Kankuro would be if he were a T-shirt ninja. To make a T-shirt ninja, just wear a black (or white, for snow-ninjas) T-shirt over your head like a hood so your eyes are visible through the neck and tie the sleeves behind your head. Viola! T-shirt ninja! It took some adjustments to keep my glasses from getting fogged up, though. A couple people recognized me as a Sand Ninja, though. The first was what I assumed was the manager at Lens Crafters. After his employee asked what I was supposed to be, he started laughing and saying, "He's a Sand Ninja! From Naruto. He's a Sand Ninja." Weird thing is, this guy was, like, middle aged and Latin. I'm guessing he caught an episode with his kids. I don't blame him for not knowing the character's name. I had to look it up on-line myself. The other person was a guy who I took a picture of. I showed him the picture, and he said, "Thank you, Sand Shinobi," and I bowed to him.

Since I only took four pictures, I will show them to you in order from crappiest to best.
  1. The first one defies single-term description. Also, I took it sideways and uploaded it direct from my phone, so you may have to tilt your head. I took this at the bus stop outside the mall. If you can't tell, he's got on a jester cap, a Spider-Man shirt, Pikachu pants, a Peace-Sign medallion, and, uh... Gorilla boots or something. I can't tell from the picture, and I can't remember. This is number one because I'm sure it's intentionally crappy.
  2. Monkey on a leash. Undoubtedly store bought, since this was one of three in the vicinity when I took it. Number two because it's so cute. Wish it came out better, though.
  3. Rubik's Cube. Number three because it's clearly home-made, but I'm pretty sure you can find instructions on-line or in a magazine. It's a simple design, but I can't prove they didn't think of it themselves.
  4. Tamagotchis. Tama. Freakin'. Gotchis. Somebody loves cosplay. And Tamagotchis. Probably the kids, since their parents weren't wearing costumes, but I wouldn't rule out M√ľnchhausen-cosplay syndrome by proxy. Those are some sweet costumes.
So, that's my Halloween. Not the best, but those Tamagotchis certainly made up for it. So, how was your Halloween?

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Last Year

Has it really been a year since my last post? Seems like it was longer. I suppose I better catch you up with what I've been doing. Although, I suppose it wasn't much, that I recall. Unless you count Comic Con '07 as "much."

So my brother got us tickets a few months in advance. By "us," I mean him, my step-brother, my step-brother's girlfriend, my half-sister, and me. Since I didn't finish my Kankuro costume in time for Halloween last year, I wore it to Comic Con. The costume was pretty good, especially for a first effort, although I didn't have the proper props, most notably his giant, killer marionette, Crow. An on-line friend convinced me to go with Kankuro's make-up from later in the series (yet to be aired in the US), as by then he summons his puppet rather than carrying it on his back. I had to get my sister to help with the make-up, though.

Since most of the group had work to get to on Monday, we only went to Comic Con on the second and third days (despite having a four-day pass) so we could leave on the fourth day (Sunday). We probably could've gone on the first day, but we spent that time trying to get to the place. By the time we got there, we decided to just head for the hotel since it was so late and the hotel was so far away. Seriously, the closest hotel we could get was a Travelodge literally a stone's throw away from the Mexican border. I forget what the town's name was, though, but we decided to take the tram rather than pay for parking when we went to Comic Con the next couple of days.

When we showed up, I was almost immediately glomped by cosplaying Naruto fangirls (they literally called out "Glomp Kankuro!"), who made me hug this other guy who also cosplayed as Kankuro, and then we all took a group photo. That felt incredibly awesome, and I hadn't even gotten into the con yet. Unfortunately, that was probably the high point of my visit.

Shortly after entering the con, we all took a moment to check the con schedule to see what we should be doing. I'm pretty sure I pointed out the nearby camera crew to them, but I think we all could've been a little more leery of them. I didn't feel like looking at the schedule, so I decided to space out and follow their lead when they finally came to a decision. A moment later, I noticed that the camera crew was beginning to move towards us. I thought to myself, "They're not coming over here, are they? Oh, crap! They are!" No one else noticed them draw closer, clearly attracted by my kick-ass costume, and it was a little too late to warn them so we could run. They only wanted to talk to me, though. I think I recall the interview going a little something like this:

Him: "So, here we have one of the denizens of Comic Con. Tell us, sir, who are you supposed to be?"
Me: "I am Kankuro from Naruto."
Him: "And what are your powers?"
Me: "I summon a killer puppet to attack my enemies."
Him: "How did you get your powers?"
Me: "Well, I used to carry it on my back, but about three years ago I was defeated by this kid with the power to control bugs. After that, I learned to summon my puppet magically."
Him: "And where do you keep this puppet when you're not using it?"
[I seriously had no idea.]
Me: "At home, usually."
Him: "So, are you here alone?"
Me: "We actually patrol in squads of three or four."
Him: "And where is the rest of your squad now?"
Me: "In the shadows, waiting to strike."
[Short pause]
Him: "Have you checked out the self-help booth near the front?"
Me: "Oh, there's a self-help booth?"
Him: "Well, we'd like you to have this."
[Hands me a cheap-ass award ribbon]
Me: "Oh, wow."
Him: "I don't know how I feel about killer puppets and assassins waiting in the shadows, but I'm sure Comic Con is a little safer with you around. Thanks for talking with us."
Me: "It's been a pleasure."
Him: "So, do you shake hands in Kankuro-land?"
Me: "Actually, I believe we bow."
[We bow.]

I was still riding the high from the fangirl-glomp earlier, so I thought I handled that pretty cool. Now that I think about it, it was probably pretty stupid. Considering the questions he asked, though, that was probably what he was going for. The release I signed was with Comcast Cable, which I don't get at home, so I assume it was some local show.

Me and my brother had differing opinions, I think, on what the focus of our visit should be. Basically, all I wanted to do was take as pictures of cosplayers, which I did, but I didn't take nearly as many as I wish I could've since we spent much of our time running from panel to panel. Even more unfortunately, it was during these inopportune moments in which I saw some of the best costumes. Not that the ones I did take were bad, so this might be a case of "the grass is greener on the other side." I took all those photos with my cellphone, partly because he didn't think he had the digital memory to devote to random people and that landmarks were more important. Suffice it to say, most of the pictures he took were of me with other cosplayers, some of which he had to delete to make more room. Ironically (if that's the right word for it), he later figured out how to turn the picture quality down so he could take more photos. I don't think it was really his camera, so it's not like I could blame him. Only perhaps three pictures that he took were of landmarks, and I wouldn't necessarily compare them to the Eiffel Tower.

The first two panels we went to were for Stargate: SG-1 and 24. The SG-1 panel was pretty cool. It was moderated by the guy who plays Miles (I think that's the name. All I know is that he operates the Stargate and shares a name with "Radar" from "M*A*S*H"), who gave us his favorite line he wished he'd get to say ("I don't know, sir. Teal'c was right behind me."), and the panel included Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter), Ben Browder (Cameron Mitchell, also Cryton from Farscape), and Christopher Judge (Teal'c). We got to see the trailer for the SG-1 movie (direct-to-video, of course), and learned cool stuff like how the various branches of our military competed over their support for the show. Also, despite warnings not to and the entire audience booing at him, some guy got up to the mic during the Q&A period to sing a song. He probably wouldn't've if Amanda Tapping didn't want to hear it (beat me to the punch, too). His mic was cut eventually, of course, and the SG-1 cast got a chance to play the American Idol judges. Then Miles said, "I believe the next person has a Haiku for us."

I begrudgingly went to the 24 panel. I'm not a big fan (no particular reason. I just don't watch it), but I was, admittedly, too scared to wander around the con myself. I don't think I can remember half of the panels we went to, though I do remember not going to the Kevin Smith panel. Sure, he's all that and a bag of chips, but the line went out the building and snaked around the lawn, and I was not in the mood to stand in the San Diego sun in a black ninja suit. (Seriously. How is it that the only ninja that actually wears black on that show comes from the desert? Must not be a very hot one...)

At some point, while wandering around the con, we met up with first fangirl I met up with, who I only know as "Shampoo" from Ranma, and her friend, an uncharacteristically shy Rock Lee. There was an influx of Naruto cosplayers in one of the entry halls, and since I was apparently part of her group she saw fit to lead me there. I had, in fact, seen that ninja nexus already, and left shortly after being teased for not having any scrolls by another Kankuro cosplayer (I forget if it was the same one. There were at least three of us). So, I stuck around a bit longer, and got my brother to take some photos of me. Two that survived the later delete were me fighting Choji and me with a cute girl (I think) cosplaying as Gaara. I wasn't sure what to do after that, and I was a little afraid of what might happen next, so we moved on. Probably a good move, since I heard later (from "Shampoo's" mom, I think) that there were a string of photo ops involving the "Thousand Years of Death" technique (also known as "Secret Finger Jutsu," I believe), a joke attack from Naruto that generally involves sticking something up someone else's butt, that got progressively crazier. I think there might have been a picture of it in the Summer '07 issue of Animerica.

I don't think I saw "Shampoo" after that. Maybe once the next day. Should I have gotten her e-mail address? Nah...

We met Matthew Atherton, also known as Feedback from the first season of "Who Wants to be a Superhero?". I know that my sister talked to him on his MySpace page and sent him a drawing of him struggling against a microwave monster (microwave radiation being one of his weaknesses), and when they met face-to-face I thought they were totally BFF. Later on, it seemed increasingly more likely that he had no idea who she was and was pretty much just playing along. She got to talk to his wife later, too, but it was mainly about how they literally got so much fanmail they didn't know what to do with it and how actually answering it wasn't exactly a brilliant move. At least we all got free Feedback comics, though I probably should've bought a t-shirt when I had the chance.

Speaking of my favorite reality show (next to pre-celebrity Mole), we stuck around late that night to see the first episode of it, as well as the first episode of the second season's Eureka. It was pretty cool, especially since we missed both due to the hotel not getting the Sci-Fi channel (for shame!). I knew then, and at the panel the next morning, that Hyper-Strike and Hygiena were going to the final round. They were the only two of the second-season heroes that were actually at the con. Too bad neither actually won. I would've liked to see Stan Lee take a crack at Hyper-Strike's anime-inspired goodness, and Hygiena's character (unlike the contestant herself) looked pretty hot on paper. The Defuser looks like it'll be a fun read, anyway, but I hope it's better than Feedback's comic. I don't think it was all that bad, but I'm glad I got it for free.

During the "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" panel the next morning, some interesting things happened during the Q&A session. First off the top of my brain was Man-Faye (a considerably unattractive male Faye Valentine, from "Cowboy Bebop," cosplayer) popping up from under a trench coat (under which he wore his Faye Valentine costume) to express his indignation for not being selected last season (he was the guy in yellow whose power was having a hairy ass. I blame copyright issues) and to announce he was publishing his own comic book starring himself. From various actual questions, we learned that they're brainstorming variations on the show, including "Who Wants to be a Supervillian?" among others not mentioned, that representatives of some country (in the UK, I think) asked them to do a "Junior version" of the show (a request they did not understand), and that Stan Lee wishes he could think of a format in which nobody gets eliminated. The thought occurs that he could do something like "The Real World" on MTV, but that'd be entirely unoriginal and probably boring.

Our second day wasn't as hectic, but god dammit if the panels we wanted to see both days weren't either too close together and/or too far apart (chronologically and physically). I only remember the voice actor's panel, which was surprisingly entertaining. Not only did we get to see an impromptu maiming of "War of the Worlds," but also that guy from "Animaniacs" singing "Yakko's World," from memory, without missing a beat. In case you don't know, that's the one where Yakko sings the names of every country in the world. He turned down the first request, but he had to oblige when the next guy asked as well. We also got this classic exchange with one of the audience members:
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Yeah, what's your name?"
"Matt."
[In Pinky's voice] "I think so, Matt, but if Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why does he keep doing it?"
Funny! Also, I admire his use of a stall tactic (asking the guy's name) so he could think of a punchline.

I also got to watch some anime in the viewing rooms, but that felt quite a bit like wasting time. I probably would've bought some anime in the dealer's room, but the only ones that interested me looked like they'd be chock-full of fanservice so I wouldn't want people to know I bought them. In fact, I didn't spend nearly as much money as I hoped I would. Frankly, I was expecting to clean out my bank account. I remember buying the following:
  • Food (the pizza was good, but the hot dogs sucked)
  • A plush Kanti, from FLCL (my brother convinced me not to pay out the ass for the figures, particularly the hundred-dollar-plus con exclusives)
  • A DVD, t-shirt, and posters for a animated series called "Revelation."
If I had bothered to actually read the DVD case, or even the title, I probably wouldn't've bought that last one. Apparently, it's set in the future (where, apparently, the Republic of Texas has its own standing army) and is based on the Book of Revelations from the bible. The disc contains only the first episode and the pilot (the latter somehow being more impressive than the former), and a short disclaimer from the artist's wife, who said, "Many people worked on this show, but only one artist." Apparently, none of those people were animators, because there is no animation that doesn't involve scaling or sliding. When they can't hide it, you can literally count the frames of animation without even trying. They'll just fade from one posture to the next, which is classier than just snapping into place. I could do better animation in Flash. It's not that hard. The art, voice acting, and writing is decent enough, I guess. I only spent twenty dollars, so I guess technically I got it free with the t-shirt (it says "Because reality sucks" on the front ^_^). They have a website at d7.com, if you'd like to see it for yourself. I think. I haven't actually been to it yet.

I'm a little disappointed that no one wanted my picture, though. Well, I think "Shampoo" and her pals have one, and I got my picture taken a couple times by GameFly. Pretty good pictures, but I discovered about a month too late that it was part of some sweepstakes.
Other than a Pokemon miniatures game, I can't think of anything else noteworthy about my experience.


Fast forward to today, since the rest of the years seems to be a blur. I am out of money, since my Dad is making me pay the phone (and, hence, internet) bill to spur me on to getting a job faster. (I'd probably be able to pay it in full if it weren't for my credit card bill. I'm sure no matter what I say, dad'll feel justified in his decision) Oh, yeah, I also don't have a job. Still. Considering that my employment is at the whim of the prospective employers, I don't think forcing me to spend all my money and cutting off my internet was the right way to go about it. I mean, I'm pretty sure I can find ways to keep myself from leaving the house without help from the internet. I was a TV junkie before I was an internet junkie, so I'm sure I'll find ways to waste my life between the television and the computer. What'd they repossess, anyway? I think my dad paid for most of this stuff. Well, the furnishings. I at least pitched in for the game consoles. Yeah, I'd miss the electronic stuff, but all it does is keep me from thinking I'm depressed, and if my self-worth drops too low there's no way I'm getting a job. For all I know, I'd just sleep all day. And it's not like I don't have my own motivators. I want to get a Wii by December third so I can play Super Smash Bros. Brawl on it. Have you seen their website? This game's gonna be awesome! I can't wait to go up against the subspace emissary. I just need to get about three-hundred dollars in two months. How can I do that if I think I'm depressed? I don't believe I'm qualified to do anything! How could I possibly convince anyone otherwise?

Well, acting, I guess, but that feels dishonest and could push me over my head.

Oddly enough, that was a bit of a tangent. I was just going to mention it and move on to the next thing. That next thing is that we're getting new carpeting, which may have to do with my dad's girlfriend moving in. The old carpet is stained with cat waste, which you can occasionally smell, as is the old couch set and the walls are probably dustier than crap-coated. So, we're cleaning the house top to bottom, painting some of the walls, and throwing out the old couch. We offered it to Goodwill, but they rejected it because the cats tore it up too much and suggested we try the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army wouldn't take it because it was stained. You couldn't see the stains, but they probably smelled them. Thus, my dad took the couches to the dump. The love seat fit well enough in his van, but the couch had to be cut in half. I'm not kidding. Clearly, the proper tool for this was a chain saw, but we only had a buzz saw. I told my dad before he started that it gave me a sense of foreboding, but he did it anyway. Afterward, we said stuff like, "What? This isn't a sofa-bed!" and "Yeah, I think it's dead now." Also, we found a black widow spider in it. It might be in his van now.

Anything else? Well, I was made a mod at my friend's Megaman X role playing board, Phaelin Era, and expect me to recruit new members. (Please do join. We'd love that ever so much.) Since, for some odd reason, I have an account on Gaia Online, I decided to recruit some members from their forums. Not being a big fan of spam-and-run tactics, I thought I'd stick around and try their message boards.

I soon realized why I tried it once in the past and then left: Too many damn people. Now, back in the late nineties, I could spend all night at AGNP despite protests from my siblings that I was hogging the internet. In its heyday, it was brimming with activity and I'd slog through it all on our WebTV. Now I have Outlook Express on a Gateway computer, and its patronage has dwindled to a mere handful. It was considered a bit of an achievement that it recently went from a low-activity newsgroup to a medium-activity newsgroup. (Clearly, AGNP is a BBS on the "Grow.") It doesn't take long to read it, so I've expanded into other, web-based message boards that I can also read all the messages of in one sitting. Sometimes, it takes longer than I'd like and other times not long enough for my liking. Regardless, I have little time for Gaia.

I'm not even sure how to handle Gaia's message boards. I feel like I have to babysit threads I wish to discuss or role play in. Anywhere else, I can post a message, then read other messages as I await a response, assuming whoever I'm interacting with is even on at that time. I could even leave and come back a day or two later with little fear of falling behind. At Gaia, I started a new thread and couldn't even find it when I went back to the index page. There were so many replies to so many threads, it had been pushed to the next page, and the trend continued so quickly I couldn't even chase it down through the subsequent pages. I had to use the search function to find it, and I doubt anyone else will be joining in with incentive. I was just experimenting anyway, so no big loss. I then tried to join another thread that was just starting up. It was three pages long in the span of an hour. There are threads there that number in thousands of posts long, and just keep getting longer. I don't know if I can keep up with that much activity. Maybe subscribing to threads may help...

And for a site that doesn't allow cybersex or anything else above a PG-13 rating, there are some kinky role-play threads. I've seen subject headers advertising a yuri or yaoi focus, vampire girls hunting boys, and even slave role plays. Those other items might not necessarily be hard-core in nature, but BDSM? Seriously, they're making characters that are either slaves to be sold or masters looking to buy, and then take it from there. Under normal circumstances, I might be inclined to think slave threads are just random anomalies amidst the constant ebb and flow of posts, but these threads are so freakin' popular that the RP board has special guidelines for them. Well, not so much special as in a reiteration of what is and is not allowed, such as hate speech and swearing. Not only is cybersex not allowed on the board proper, you're not even supposed to say you should take it to private messages as it would promote cybersex. It is undoubtedly happening anyway, but this is probably making it less likely for minors to get cyber-molested.

Bondage and domination, admittedly, have been among the various fetish-fodder floating around my sexual fantasyscape for some time, including lesbianism, anthropomorphic animals, fairies, multiple partners, and a few things I'm far too ashamed to admit right now but probably have on occasion. But, every once in a while, I see something that pushes a particular fetish to the forefront and it seems to be all I can think about. Lurid fantasies are created or remembered and dwelled upon into palpable intensity. I daresay I obsess over it. I don't know why. Do I find it so disturbing that it simply haunts me? Has newfound validation dredged up hidden desires? Did something seemingly unique stimulated creative inspiration? Whatever the reason, the idea suddenly seems to ramp up to "Wicked-cool," but soon enough settles down to "That's interesting, maybe," and eventually back to "Seriously, what the fuck?"

I'm not even sure I slept last night. I just remember laying in bed, thinking about slave threads, characters, and situations. I even masturbated a couple times. (Too much information?) I'm pretty sure it's not an isolated incident, but in the throes it feels like it is and actual incidents aren't all that frequent. For no good reason, let me list some of the things I came up with:
  • A young djinn. Djinn are technically genies, the kind that live in lamps and give three wishes, but this one is too young. She has reached the age of consent, of course, and like any good genie she is an enthusiastic, energenic, and willing slave, perhaps even an exhibitionist. She can't alter reality, but she will fulfill any wish her master desires to the best of her ability, even fighting people.
  • Playing slave. You got the daughter of a slave and the son of a master, possibly below the age of consent. They're forbidden from being true master and slave until they're at least 18, but they like to pretend. They don't have sex or anything, but there is a collar. Its simply a game to them, like "doctor" or "house," and they have a game they regularly play to see who gets to be which. While she (by which I mean whoever is slave at the time) isn't really obligated to do anything for him, she will do almost anything he asks her to do.
  • Slave Island. A thread idea I had for Gaia. There are all these slaves on the island, and the masters get to hunt them down and dominate them. Masters are identified by some form of jewelry on their person, and anyone without them (be they Masters who lost their ID or shipwrecked sailors) are fair game for slavery.
  • Slave walk. Alternate version of a story I'm writing. The main character puts a slave collar on her friends at the start of their journey through the wilderness and has them follow her naked. She could be naked, too. They have sex every once in a while.
  • Pokemon. Basically, I'd just play someone's Pokemon in a Pokemon RP. I've actually been kicking around the idea of playing someone's slave for a while, but couldn't think of a good place to try it. Gaia's an option, of course, but, well, you've read my problem with that site already. I doubt I'd try it in real life, though. The problem with many of the boards I go to is that I feel like I know them too well and I don't want their opinions changed of me.
  • A Pokemon parody. I call it "Slave Lord," I guess. I've come up with elements to make it into a video game. Here's the premise: in a world filled with magical humanoid races (elves, cat people, nagas, etc.), humankind manages to stay at the top of the food chain by enslaving other races (and each other). A Slave Master could actually go out and hunt down people to add to his or her collection, not unlike in Pokemon. There are even tournaments in which Slave Masters pit specially-trained slaves against each other. Your character, however, is out to change all that. A Slave Master yourself, you seek to conquer the tourney circuit, challenge the Slave Lord who rules the land, and abolish non-consensual slavery. You start off with a single, loyal slave who loves you dearly and soon catch a legendary rebel and make her your slave. She's got the same goal as you, but seeks to do it by freeing as many slaves as possible on her own. She clearly hates you for enslaving her, so it takes some convincing to get her to join your cause. In RPG fashion, you can choose to punish her into submission or try to earn her trust. She can become a willing slave, letting you have sex with her and discipline her, but only if she trusts you. Savage her, and she'll turn against you at some point during the plot of the game. Granted, you could beat her and rape her either way, but she could stab you in the back. I think it's an interesting mechanic, but I doubt it'd make it to the mainstream.

Well, it took about five hours, but I finally got to the thing I wanted off my chest. Not sure where to go from here. I guess I'll just watch TV in half an hour. I think this post got some of that slave obsession out of my system. Feel free to encourage me to explore that angle, of course. Maybe I just need the right environment.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

What I Got for Christmas 2006

Merry Christmas to you all, and I don't care if you don't celebrate it. Just take it as me wishing you to have a particularly good December 25. I can wish you a good day, can't I? Why not let me wish you one specific day to be good? You don't see people getting their panties in a bunch over saying "Happy New Year" in Winter when some cultures celebrate it in Spring.

Wow. That went sour fast. Is the holiday spirit wearing off already?

Anyway, since for some reason I feel the need to tell people, here's what I got for Christmas.

  • Socks and Underwear: I don't know if you've bought any recently, but this particular batch of underwear was really something. For one thing, they're tagless, like those shirts Hanes makes, with washing instructions printed on the material. Also, the elastic is now inside the clothe waistband. I can't actually tell the difference myself, but I felt it was worth noting. I just wish I hadn't noted it during dinner, because then people wanted to see them.
  • The Three Stooges DVD: Possibly bought from a dollar store. Features six shorts featuring the slapstick comedy trio, as well as three "Our Gang" shorts.
  • A Thermos: At least one of my aunts gave me something this year. I'm not even sure if I got gift certificates from them last year. Pretty sure I got money. Anyway, one of the dual-language selling points claims that this is the "Best vacuum insulated container you'll ever own" and shows a thermos half-frozen in a block of ice pouring out piping-hot coffee. Nice.
  • A shirt: 100% polyester. Pretty nice. I think I can wash it normally. I'm never sure about polyester.
  • The Far Side Gallery off-the-wall calender: The only problem is I think I may have read them all before. Gary Larsen is dead, you know. Or just retired. I forget which.
  • A new watch: I could use a new one, too. I had replaced a watch that got increasingly fast with a watch that got increasingly slow. Or was it the other way around? This one's pretty slick, too. Tells me the day of the year and week, can be set for two different time zones, has alarm, stop watch, and count down. Also, it lights up.
  • Nintendo DS Lite: I bought this for myself.
  • Digimon World DS: Ditto. I bought it to test for Wi-Fi in my neighborhood and got two access points from my living room. One's password protected, but the other isn't. I want to ask for permission to use it as a courtesy, but I don't know how to figure out where its coming from with just the DS. I've got theories, though...
  • Brain Age: Technically, I bought this for my Dad, but I plan to use it, too. And boy, do I need it. My brain age registered as 60. You shoot for a low score, the best being 20. Daya-, and might I add, -amn.
  • Final Fantasy V Advance: This'd be cooler if I hadn't already been playing it. Literally. It's the exact same cartridge I've been playing on since my stepbrother moved back in. It feels a little bit like being regifted, but it is his game. Or was. It's officially mine now.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Complete Animated Series 3-Disc Set: The coolness was initially lost on me when I discovered it wasn't "Gannon's Evil Tower," which you can find on my Amazon wish-list (see profile), but I used to watch this every Friday when I was a kid. I don't particularly remember this event, but my brother said that once our family was out driving and weren't going to make it home in time to watch the show, so he told Dad to get us to a TV. We got to an appliance store and Dad convinced the guy there to change the channel on the TVs to the show. Pretty neat story if you ask me. My brother wants to watch this with me.
This is the first Christmas I remember without my brother. He moved in with my Grandmother after Grandpa died to make sure she was taking care of herself. My Mom had originally put herself in a position to do this, but she got a job and my brother didn't, so she didn't have the time and he did.

It's kinda weird not having him here, but not as weird as it could be. He slept all day and stayed up all night, and I tried to keep respectable hours. We watched anime on Cartoon Network on Saturday evenings together, although I taped the late-night stuff and went to bed during Saturday Night Live. I stay up for the Sunday late night stuff, though. And now I find that I'm just watching the Saturday late night stuff, too, mostly because there's something wrong with the tape and I can't trust it to record anything if no one's there to make sure it's working.

Still, it's weird to visit him at Grandma's and just leave him there. We used to joke something along those lines. We'd hug Grandma goodbye, then hug Grandpa goodbye, hug other relatives goodbye, then pretend to get caught up in the moment and hug Mom and Dad and each other goodbye also, even though the four of us were leaving together.

Soooo... I wish I had more to say. Feels kinda awkward leaving on that note... Have I mentioned yet that I got a job at GameStop? Oh, yeah. I did.

Oh! I've got this DVD of photos taken by my Make Up and Masks teacher of the students wearing their make up and masks. I tried to show it on a DVD player at my Grandma's house today, but the teacher didn't put in any sort of interface. Also, for some reason, the DVD player only showed half of the pictures. I had to put in my computer at home to see the other half. Kind of a bummer, as I didn't get to show the half I wanted. I'll have to upload them to the internet to show them off. Maybe I'll post them up here, too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

PokeOps: Rift Stadium Brainstorming

Now that the semester has ended for me I have been considering promoting my Pokemon roleplaying board, Pokemon: Special Operations. I'm not sure how I should go about it exactly, but I'm sure it involves going to like-minded boards and advertising my board there. Of course getting them to come is one thing, but getting them to stay is another kettle of fish entirely. With a ruleset inspired by PokeWars! and the board itself inspired by Mega Man Crosswars, I set out to create a Pokedex for it but found I had no real drive to complete it. Now I'm thinking of adding something inspired by an aspect of Mega Man Crosswars that drew me in when I first arrived: The Reffed Arena. Since I don't have access to the data for it, though, I'll have to make my own Arena from scratch. I call it "Rift Stadium."

Now, you may notice that PokeOps has a Stadium forum already. That one is set up for free-form battling that essentially ends when someone gives up. Rift Stadium, like Reffed Arena, will use a stat-based combat system and a Game Master to determine a victor. Also unlike normal Stadium, this will have some form of continuity and maybe a storyline.

The first problem is coming up with stats. There are two systems I'm considering using and modifying. The first is the one that West End Games originally used for their Ghostbusters RPG. This one first asks the players to divide twelve points among four traits: Muscle (physical strength and endurance), Moves (speed, agility, accuracy, and perception), Brains (over-all intelligence), and Cool (grace under pressure), with each point representing how many dice they can roll when using said traits. Then for each trait they assign a talent, which can be anything as long as it fits the trait, which allows them three more dice when using that talent. For instance, if I had a Brains score of four, I could have an Occult Knowledge score of seven. Since this is all battle-based, though, I may do away with talents completely. Players are then given thirty Brownie Points, which, kinda like in the video game Killer 7, act as combination Health/Mana/Experience Points. I may do away with that, also.

The other system I'm considering is kinda the same thing as above, but with more points and Pokemon stats: Health, Speed, Physical Attack, Physical Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense. However, Speed may seems a little inconequential as turn order in Rift Stadium, like Reffed Arena before it, is more or less determined by who manages to post first. But I've already been kicking something around in my head that could make good use of Speed...

I call it the Momentum Meter. It has a minimum of zero, a maximum of 100, and all contenders start with fifty. At the beginning of each round, initiative is determined by rolling for each contender's Moves/Speed score. The highest roll gets a Momentum Bonus of Momentum Points equal to their Speed, but the lowest roll gets a Momentum Penalty and loses Momentum Points equal to their Speed. You can also gain your Speed score in Momentum Points by successfully damaging or casting spells on your opponent, but you can lose just as much by missing, failing spells, or getting damaged yourself. This is doubled for Critical Hits. Effects like Haste can earn you more Momentum per round, while effects like Slow or Paralyze can drain it. When your Momentum reaches zero, you become exhausted and can not act in the next round.

Momentum Points can also have other uses. For instance, you can spend them to buff attacks, perform extra actions, substitute for mana, or on Signature Attacks /Abilities. The default will be to multiply your Muscle/Attack by your Moves/Speed, and use that as the base stat of an attack, which may cost upwards of 50 Momentum Points. Using it too soon or too often can result in exhaustion. If you spend Momentum Points, you won't be able to gain them in that round or win the Momentum Bonus next round.

Something I assumed was unique to the Reffed Arena in Mega Man Crosswars is that, like the Blue Bomber that inspired the board, each character gets a Copy Unit that allows them to use the Signature Attacks/Abilities of fallen foes. This is alot like being a Blue Mage, which can copy the abilities of enemies. Since this will be on a Pokemon board, Rift Stadium will give each character a complementary Snag Machine. This device, featured in the Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness games, will allow players to capture certain enemies using PokeBalls, Dark Rings, Blank Cards, etc., and use them in later battles. I'm not sure how to implement their use just yet. Allowing each player to have a character's pet(s) fight along side them may make battles a tad character-heavy, while allowing the pets out for a single attack in any one round feels like I'm under-utilizing them. Maybe I'll find another solution, and I'll probably include a Beastmaster class anyway to specialize in their use. For the most part, I think giving your pet a command will cost Momentum Points.

Last, but not least, is the part of the Reffed Arena that most appelaed to me: the Hazard and Wyld Surge systems. These were events with random effects that could help or hinder or just be plain weird, sort of like Chance cards in Monopoly and other games, only crazier. One round you could recieve an e-mail consisting of twenty-seven random words, the next Kirby could show up and swallow everyone whose names begin with the letter "D." This is the part I most want to replicate. It adds a touch of insanity to an otherwise plain system. Its also the part that makes me think I shouldn't work on this alone...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Warning! Life Changes Ahead!

Well, it happened. It had to sooner or later, and the sooner the better. Best of all, it happened right where I wanted it to happen. However, I'm not sure this was the best time to have it happen.

That's right. I finally got my first job. I'm a "Game Advisor" at Game Stop, a video/PC game retail store. The position isn't nearly as glamourous or important as the title. Basically, I'm a sales clerk.

It was cool because I didn't think I was doing any better at this interview than at previous ones, and whether or not I'm right is beside the point. I've signed up for the Christmas shopping season, which begins immediately after Thanksgiving. In fact, I start work that week (Gee, I hope they train me before the rush...). Anyway, the interview went normally enough. I was asked things like why I wanted to work there (the games, duh), how I handle stressful situations (I said, "Pretty well," though I'm sure I haven't experienced the type of strees I'm about to before), what three words my friends would use to describe me (I only came up with "Trustworthy" and "Funny," and I'm not sure that's even true), and what I'd do if I saw a co-worker stealing a game (Rat him out, of course, because "that's just wrong."). Lastly he asked three questions to test my video-game knowledge, and coincidently the first two involved the scant bits arcane knowledge that I knew: What Nintendo made before they got into video games (playing cards, as in poker, which I believe was about a hundred years ago), what "Sega" stands for ("Service Games," as they supplied video games to the military), and what the nickname of the Wii's processor was (he tells me it's "Broadway," sounds like I should've known it). I got the last one wrong.

I was pretty much hired on the spot, which came as a bit of a shock as the first two places I got an interview with said they'd call me back and never did (the third did and said the position was filled, and I had done better than, like, 80% of the other applicants). They put me into the payroll computer, gave me the cash card I was to be paid with, as well as a bunch of paperwork I had to sign and return in a couple days, and said I start work the week after next (this was last week, by the way). I imagine I get Thanksgiving off, although not so much that it's a holiday as I told them I wasn't available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Let's see, what else happened...? Oh, yeah. Have I mentioned I'm taking both a "Make-Up and Masks" class and a "Clothing Construction" (read: Sewing) class? I did it so I could take advantage of them for Halloween, but it didn't really pan out. I've only recently gotten anywhere close to done with the costume I had intended to wear this year. I would've gone with my second choice, Indiana Jones (I found this old leather jacket in my closet over the summer, and I was pretty sure I had access to a whip), but since my Creative Writing class met on Halloween this year my teacher wanted the class to come dressed as characters they have written and I felt obligated to obligde. If you've been reading my MultiPets: Chimera Knight novel blog, you may be familiar with the character Katrina Arden. She was my third choice, as it was a simple costume requiring only a pair of blue jeans, a white sweatshirt, and a black wig. Unfortunately, I only owned the black wig (see last year's Halloween report), so I went with my fourth choice: Orion Chardonnay from the same novel. I'm so unenthused about it I'm not even going to tell you what it looks like. A couple days later, I realized what I could've done was dress up like Indiana Jones and said I was Orion (or Katrina, for that matter) dressed-up for Halloween. Hey, whose to say I'm wrong?

That's a bit of a tangent. Anyway, both classes require a kit, which I keep in seperate tackle boxes. Since I don't like having both hands full while... well, doing anything other than playing video games, I crammed both into a duffel bag that I carry to school every Tuesday and Thursday. Also, having been asked to drop out of a hiking class a couple years ago by the teacher, I walk to and from school during daylight hours (and nighttime during bus strikes). The trip takes me about forty minutes at my normal walking speed, and is a real pain with the duffel (I'd probably keep one in a locker at school if I didn't have negative-twenty minutes between the two classes - don't ask). Recently, my Make-Up and Masks class had moved on to life masks, thereby no longer requiring me to carry both kits around but I had been carrying both of them anyway just in case. Today I was about halfway to school when I started wondering if I was really going to need my make-up kit for the rest of the semester (I won't until the final, by the way). That is when I realized, quite ironically, I had left both kits at home. Fortunately, I had made a habit of arriving two hours and forty minutes early so I could feed my various internet addictions in the computer lab, so it's not like I was pressed for time. In fact, I probably should've realized something was up when I noticed I was making good time and hitting the crosswalks just in time for the signals to change. Not that the duffel prevents such things, but, as the saying goes, if everything seems like its going smoothly you've obviously overlooked something. To make it just a little more awkward, right as I was realizing this some guy walking towards me makes a comment, which in turn makes me not want to look like I was stalking him. My mind is crazy like that. It actually made me consider not going back for my kits.

On an even less interesting note, a couple nights ago I fell asleep during the Colbert Report. I woke up about an hour later thinking I was still watching it, but it turned out to a Pablo Francisco stand-up special. Fortunately, I was about to catch the rerun of the same episode (of Colbert Report, not Pablo Francisco) the next morning. I think I was able to pinpoint the exact moment of the show when I lost consciousness, 'cause I remembered having seen the intro graphic to the "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger" segment, but not anything after that. (Did you see him wag his entire body at that guy? Hil-freakin'-larious)

That reminds me, I missed both the Colbert Report and the Daily Show last night because I was in my room playing Final Fantasy II on the SNES (otherwise known as Final Fantasy IV on the Super Famicom in Japan and on the GBA) for, like, four hours. My brother would've told me it was on, but he had thought I had gone to bed. I had to watch it this morning, too.

OH! Did I forget to mention that my step-brother gave me his collection of old video game consoles and games that he got from a mutual friend of ours? I catalogued the whole thing, even the random crap that also got into the boxes, reorganized the collection to fit in two boxes instead of three, and tested all the ones I could hook up. I don't want to go through the entire collection right now, but I basically have every system emulated by the Wii's virtual console, plus a Jaguar, an Intellivision, and a Pippan. Don't know what a Pippan is? That's because it never came out. There are no games on it, so all it can run is an SDK disk (like an old mac OS) and audio disks. The only systems that work reliably are the ones I've already mentioned by name, a TurboGrafx 16, and a Sega Nomad. There's also a somewhat tempermental Genesis. I have a Sega Master System and two NES's that're defunct. In case you were wondering, I now own three defunct NES's. The collection also included games and controllers for systems that weren't included.

One last thing that I also don't remember mentioning before: Sci-Fi's reality show "Who Wants to be a Super Hero?" has been picked up for a second season. All I know is that casting begins early 2007. If I can get away from work and school for it, I may try out. First choice is a technorganic cyber-assimilator call Tech Weaver. If I can't get his costume done, which I think I can do with found/bought items, I'll go as the time-bending Captain Retro. I have a jacket that, when combined with a scarf, makes me look like a World War II fighter pilot. I should probably get a longer scarf, though.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Who Wants to be a Superhero? I do! I do! Pick me! Pick me!

I think Who Wants to be a Superhero is now my favorite reality show. It might just be cooler than The (pre-Celebrity) Mole. Reality shows may have their twists, but only Stan Lee can twist them like this.

Most reality shows are about physical challenges and coalitions. The Mole was about that and perception as you tried to figure out who was hired by the network to screw the other players. Who Wants to be a Superhero is all about character. Stan Lee tasks the players to the spiritual standards of the superhero, such as honesty, integrity, and perserverance. During the elimination ceremony, Stan Lee can call out a player on questionable performance, ignoring civilians in distress, or even making fun of another hero's costume.

The twists started early in the first episode. After assembling the heroes in a mansion, Stan Lee has them all transported to a secret lair that all but one contestant will enter. One was eliminated before the first commercial break! Turned out, Stan Lee had placed a spy in their midsts: the traitorous Rotiart (which, as he points out, is "Traitor" spelled backwards. I was cursing myself for not noticing all week!). Rotiart snitched on the questionable characters of Levity, a toymaker by trade who planned to sell action figures of himself for $500 each, Creature, who was flirting with the other heroes, and Iron Enforcer (Steel Chambers can't be his REAL name, can it?), who Stan Lee doesn't like because of his huge-ass gun. Of the three, Stan eliminates Levity, which I'm sure has nothing to do with the fact that he was gay.

Their first physical challenge was, starting in civilian garb in public, to secretly change into superhero form when summoned and run to the finish line. What Stan Lee didn't tell them, however, was there was this lost little girl near the finish line (planted by him) crying for her mother. Of the ten superheroes, only Cell Phone Girl, Fat Mamma, Lemuria, and Major Victory lent a hand. Major Victory in particular hammed it up as much as possible, especially on the way over, and called out for the girl's mother a couple times before taking her to the security office. Cell Phone Girl looked to me like she had got on to Stan Lee's game just after passing the girl, because I could've sworn she had a crafty look on her face. As for the other players, Feedback cooly and indescretely slipped behind a barracade to change, Monkey Woman (who I keep calling Monkey Girl) changed in a tree, and Tyvyculus (or however his name was spelled) changed behind a portapotty, which my brother tells me was labelled "Construction Workers Only."

As you can imagine, Stan Lee wasn't pleased, but he could only call out three of them per ceremony and eliminate one of them. Called out this time was Nitro G, who didn't bother to hide while changing, Monkey Woman, because she apparently looked right at the girl (but so did Creature, didn't she?), and Iron Enforcer, because Stan Lee doesn't like his gun. Each had to say something to convince Stan Lee not to eliminate them, but in the end, Nitro G was cut.

The second episode begins with Stan Lee reading questions written by the heroes. In question was Major Victory's previous job as a male stripper, Fat Mamma's fatness, Creature's unwashed dreds, and Iron Enforcers body odor and apparent use of steroids, which he neither confirmed nor denied but definitely defended.

Next, the heroes were taken to a house where an old lady had locked herself out. All they had to do was go around back to let her in... while being bitten by trained attack dogs. Fortunately, they were given protective padding. Iron Enforcer got within a foot of the back door before giving up. Tyvyculus managed to wrestle the dogs to the goal at the back door, while Major Victory impressively carried the dogs by letting them hang from his arms. But what was really impressive was Monkey Woman. Win or lose, the other contestants finished in under a minute. Seeking to make up for her earlier disgrace, Monkey Woman was dragged around by those dogs for a little over nine minutes before she reached the door. She was probably helped a little by the fact the dogs' goal was to keep her down but not necessarily away from the door, as they had a tendency to drag the players in that direction. I liked her before, because she reminds me of the Monkey King of Japanese folklore and has that skimpy outfit, but now I'd have to say she is my favorite hero on this show just for fighting those dogs so long.

Then there was another elimination. On the chopping block this time were Cell Phone Girl, for complaining about a headache and quitting after four seconds, Creature, for laughing while losing, and Iron Enforcer, for quitting inches away from victory. Cell Phone Girl gave the weakest speech and was eliminated, which I don't mind since she had a lame gimmick anyway.

Next, everyone got a costume makeover which some cool transitional effects. Everyone's upgrade was pretty cool, though I preferred Monkey Woman's original costume (more jungle-y), except for Tyvyculus and his feathered helmet. Feedback, who looks like a movie superhero now, went as far as to say, "You are now officially Stan Lee's biggest fan." Tyvyculus pretended to like the new costume at first, but, after an unsuccessful modification, went back to complain about it, at which point Stan Lee told him to put his old costume back on. Iron Enforcer's new costume was pretty good, but Stan Lee couldn't help but think something was missing...

Immediately after the makeovers was another elimination. Stan Lee called out Tyvyculus, for not being honest about his outfit, Feedback, for making fun of Tyvyculus's costume (I bet you thought I was kidding!), and, yet again, Iron Enforcer, for defending the use of steroids and because Stan Lee didn't like his gun. I was pretty much able to guess who was going to be eliminated in the previous rounds, but this one had me stumped. None of these guys felt to me like they should be cut out at this stage. I was definitely suprised that Iron Enforcer got eliminated, since he was such a solid antagonist for the other players. Apparently, Stan Lee felt the same way...

As Iron Enforcer was walking dejectedly down the street, Stan Lee appears to him again. He finally figured out what was wrong with Iron Enforcer's makeover. Iron Enforcer just didn't make a good superhero... but he'd make for a terrific supervillain. Stan Lee gives him a new makeover befitting his new role of standing in the player's way, and transformed him into The Dark Enforcer!

Now, up to this point, Who Wants to be a Superhero seemed pretty cool, but hadn't really done anything to make me at all excited. But when that happened, me and my siblings couldn't help but exclaim, "That is so AWESOME!" several times, as there was simply no other way to express how awesome that was. No other reality show that I know of really had that sort of twist. Sure, The Mole had a villain, but Who Wants to be a Superhero not only gives you a villain, but an origin story to boot! "Rejected by Stan Lee, Iron Enforcer returns as the villainous Dark Enforcer to thwart our heroes!" Did I ask how cool that was yet? Because that is cool. And just as wacky is Tyvyculus' reaction in the preview to the revelation: "What treachery is this!?"

This show is awesome, man. Wish I had known about the tryouts so I could've been on. Of course, first I'd have to have had made superhero identity and costume. Maybe I'll try out for the sequel, probably as Tech Weaver. Now I just need a costume...

storm
I am Storm!

I am very strong and very protective of those
I love. I am in tune with nature and are
very concerned with justice and humanity.
Unfortunately, certain apprehensions and fears
are very hard for me to overcome, and can
often inhibit me when I most need to be strong.


Which X-Men character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, July 31, 2006

Was It a Dream? Or Maybe a Vision?

For some reason, whenever the word "Dream" is mentioned, I feel compelled to make the above Escaflowne reference. For some other reason, I can't change the image at the bottom of the previous post because my browser keeps freezing whenever I hit the "Publish Post" button. Hopefully, this won't happen with this post. Otherwise, I'll have wasted all this time and effort without even having a post to read.

Anyway, I had this weird dream last night. In the 1940's, there was immenent threat of attack by Space Godzilla. So this one scientist sequesters himself in his lab as he attempts to build a weapon capable of destroying the creature. Sixty years of near-ceaseless work later, he sets up a both outside his building so he can start selling the weapon capable of defeating Space Goji. Thus, I'm walking to school, seeing signs everywhere for the device, and wondering how in Hell we're going to defeat Space Godzilla with the Video iPod Nano with color.

Then I see my dad driving his bus. Instead of driving it from the inside, however, he's pushing it from behind on a bicycle. Then we're off to this theatre (or, at least, that's what it turns out to be later), and in the lobby there's this canvas sheet with two holes in it so you can see a pair of eyes looking out from the picture behind it. Some old scientist in my group says the hidden picture is of the bald-headed alien standing next to me, which the alien denies. So the scientist lifts off the canvas sheet, and while it is shaped like the alien's head the picture is clearly a collage of eyes. Rather than admit he is wrong, the scientist explains that the picture is instead integrated into the numerous bas-releifs of other faces in the black walls of the lobby, which you could see if you stand back far enough.

I lose interest at this point and enter the theatre proper. The first thing I notice is that above the projection screen is another screen showing an image of ghostly people like on the computer screen in the movie Pulse. Walking in deeper, I am suddenly beset by a vertible marathon of ghosts running in the opposite direction. However, I soon realize that the ghosts are just sepia-tinted holograms because I recognize my still-living brother among them. Apparently, we had been in this theatre some months ago and helped record the footage for this effect. Even though I knew this, I found the effect so creepy that I decided never to set foot in this theatre again.

And that's all I remember before waking up. Then I fell back asleep and had another dream where I start making popcorn with a frying pan, get all upset when my half-sister puts a different pot on the same burner despite the free one right next to it, and find myself unable to properly articulate my feelings on the matter. She also has a pink cell phone for some reason.

On the topic of things that really did happen yesterday, my dad took us to Costco to buy that big-screen TV he promised us a month ago. Unfortunately, they were no longer selling the 46-incher he had his eye on. After some grocery shopping there, we decide that the 50-inch TV they were selling should be able to fit the modified entertainment center we had just fine. After we get it on the dolly, we realize that it might not actually fit in the van. Another customer told us that he bought a similar TV and had to take it out of the box to get in his van. After borrowing a tape measure from the store, we come to the conclusion that we can fit the TV in the van if three of us took the bus home. There was a delivery service, but they couldn't pick up the TV today.

After buying our groceries, we decide to go to Sears to see if they have the TV dad wants. While my dad, his girlfriend, and the sales associate mess around with of the TV's, I take to watching Space Balls on another set. Not long after I figure out how to turn up the volume, my half-sister tells me to turn it down. I can barely hear Lord Helmet talk about how he always drinks coffee while watching the radar, and somehow it's keeping her from enjoying The Matrix: Revolutions at the opposite end of another isle. Eventually, I'm bored, my dad's girlfriend is hungry, and my dad has had about as much of this particular sales associate as he can stand (having had to deal with him twice already on seperate visits), we all go home and have mushroom burgers.

The end.

Okay, so below is the same image as in the previous post, only larger. Blogger shrank it for some reason, and, like I said, my browser won't let me change it. I don't know if this will even work now, so if you don't see this post let me know. ^_^