Friday, March 03, 2017

ECCC Day One Preview

Ok, I didn't actually GO to the first day of the convention this year, that was yesterday... but MY day one, Friday (today), was filled with lots of fun. And if I had any energy left I'd edit all the photos I took and post them all along with pithy commentary on how awesome cosplayers are. However, you are only going to get a small sampler, because I'm just too freakin' exhausted to do more.










Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Sunday Review

Eric and I finished watching the first seasons of Class and Timeless this past week. Both shows have an uncertain future, but both shows finished on a cliffhanger. Overall, I enjoyed them both and wouldn't mind seeing more.

  • Class, a Doctor Who spin-off, features a group of students at Coal Hill Academy who have to deal with alien threats and incursions due to rips in the timestream at the school. Yes, it's the same school that Susan went to and Barbara and Ian taught at in the first episode of the original Doctor Who. But the show itself is a bit over-the-top, like the deranged lovechild of Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, leaning a little heavily on the Torchwood side. While I liked the characters and the actors, the show never really gelled. It wasn't bad - it just wasn't as good as it ought to have been. At the end of the show I realized I would miss the characters if the show isn't renewed, but the lack of the show itself won't bother me. Which is a really strange way to look at it. Regarding the season as a whole: You do not put a rifle on the wall in the first act unless you intend to use it in the last act. I expected that finale, I just wasn't sure what form it would take. Last I heard, the show isn't going to be renewed.
  • Timeless is another time travel show, featuring a historian who is recruited to help stop a madman who stole a time machine and is trying to alter the past. Each episode peels away assumptions and beliefs, and changes who is considered a "good" guy or a "bad" guy. There is a central mystery to the series in the form of a diary that the villain claims was written by the hero historian. We don't quite find out how it came about by the end of the first series, but we get very close with two major hints and a few minor ones. Each episode tackles a different historical event, with the team trying to stop the villain from altering history. However, every single time they go into the past they alter history themselves - as seen in the first episode when the first trip erases the historian's own sister. I have to wonder at the cumulative weight of the changes they make. How is the timeline even slightly intact? If we get a second season, perhaps that question will be addressed.

  • DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jul 20th
    • Aquaman #3 - It's a bit depressing that the relations between the US and Atlantis are so bad that Aquaman doesn't even know the proper channels to go through to contact US leadership for a discussion. Add in the repeated references to the Atlantean attacks on the surface... well, this doesn't make for a good connection. Then you have Black Manta and ... BLACK JACK!?!?? Oh yeah, somebody has looked into Aquaman's past and found a little treasure trove. This could be excellent if it's handled right. Nice cliffhanger as well. Some of the artwork seemed slightly off model to me, but it was still very nice and did the job. Looking forward to catching up on this book more than any other. Obviously.
    • Justice League #1 - Massive world-destroying threat, taking out cities across the globe including Atlantis. *yawn* I don't mind "big" stories, but does the world have to end in nearly every story arc nowadays? Can't we have a few stories where people don't die because the heroes did their jobs before the threat became world-shattering? Please?
    • Green Lanterns #3 - I can think of at least one other person cured from being a Red Lantern. That said, it still argues that Simon has some abilities that way outshine other Green Lanterns we've seen in the past. The argument could be made that Lanterns are changing after all the events in the last few years. I just wonder where that road is leading?
    • Adventures of Supergirl #6 - Everything wraps up as Supergirl takes out the baddie - but not without help from her family and friends. The story of Rampage's sister was enough to make me sad, but it also echoed what happened with the Martian Manhunter in this DC universe. Overall, not a bad book for one based on a TV show.
    • Astro City #37 - Wow. This is one to savor. I literally had to read it about three times before I was ready to write anything on it, and even now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of story in this book - despite there not being a proper story. It's in three parts, starting with a framing sequence setting up our storyteller. Then there's the tale of Silverstring and his connection to Astro City. The third portion is about the legacy of music in the early pre-Astro City days and what came from that legacy. The book covers aspects of racism and ethnicity that I've never seen addressed before, mostly because those aspects are pretty much forgotten. The result is something that is almost hard to understand - a careful balancing act done by Kurt on how racism works in a world with superheroes. I almost want to see what ancient Greece looked like in that universe. In any case, powerful stuff. Definitely one to re-read.
    • Scooby Apocalypse #3 - I feel like I should hate this book, but every time I read and issue I like it more. It's certainly not the Scooby-Doo I remember, but it's a fun reimagining - an Elseworlds version if you like. There's room in my fangirl world for both the original and this. I am enjoying the way the relationships are developing, and it's fun to already have voices for all the characters. In short, this isn't going to be a book everyone likes, but I'm really finding it fun. Odd, but fun.
    • Usagi Yojimbo #156 - Inspector Ishida and Usagi don't seem to be getting much closer to finding out who killed two of Lord Shima's men, but the action continues as Usagi has a really bad nightmare and stops an act of destruction. What is the secret behind the painting? And will Ishida and Usagi manage to stop the killer before he, or it, strikes again? As usual, great stuff. I'm going to have to reread this story from the top when I get through it.
    • Back To The Future: Citizen Brown #3 - Wow, that took a really disturbing turn. Doc Brown is a 1984-type dictator in a utopia? I loved how he "woke up" when Marty showed him the time machine. But the story seems a little hard to escape... that's the best kind. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
    • Xena Warrior Princess #4 - Ah, still very hard to understand with mixed quality artwork. I think I followed enough of the story to understand it... but I'm not sure I care.
    • Jul 27th
    • Titans #1 - Garth wants to name the big bad "Keekblu" so they can stop referring to it as a massive interdimensional threat? That's... darling. Ahem. Lots of character development in this one, with a re-establishment of the Titans as they once were. It's kind of odd to see them working to fit into their roles while still remaining their new selves. I like that Garth thinks through the problem and makes a decent suggestion, but found it odd that none of them knew who Psimon is. As for the final few pages... oooh, I wonder how *that's* going to play out?
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 - So, Sinestro used Soranik and will now be enforcing his own rule with fear. Who didn't see that one coming? As for the rest... meh, it's not that exciting for me. I like Soranik, so I'm not sure how much this book is going to appeal to me in the future, unless she suddenly learns a way to fight back.
    • Future Quest #3 - Two shorter stories in this issue that introduce some of the characters. This was pretty useful for me, since I'm not as familiar with the characters as I'd like to be. I don't know if any of this was new or if it was all made clear on the original shows, but I still enjoyed them.
    • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #17 - Hawkman and Hawkgirl with the gang! I found it incredibly funny that the museum employee called in Scooby and his friends simply because she didn't know how to reach the Hawks. The cute explanations given in the comic nicely filled in the details for any fans of Scooby unfamiliar with the heroes. I enjoyed this one a lot.
    • Doctor Who 11th #2.11 - Alice witnesses the War Doctor in action, and provides a little bit of unexpected advice. The Volatix Cabal is frightening, especially when Alice is being examined by them. Very effective, as well. This is powerful issue.

    Sunday, February 19, 2017

    A Sunday Review

    DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jul 6th
    • Future Quest #2 - My lack of detailed familiarity with the characters makes this book oddly more interesting. I know there is backstory, but I don't know it. So what I'm reading is fascinating - but I'm not emotionally connected yet. I'm looking forward to finding out more. Great book.
    • Peanuts: Friends Forever 2016 Special - A solid little collection. I feel for Peppermint Patty, having to wear a dress. I despise dresses and hate wearing them for even a little while. The ending of that story was a beautiful moment for me.
    • Doctor Who Supremacy of the Cybermen #1 - Four Doctors, four storylines, lots of companions and a visit to Karn. It's a promising start... but a bit confusing as to how the storylines will converge. And, for that matter, when certain events happen in relation to the tv series. I'll just wait and see, shall I?
    • Jul 13th
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1 - Hal's hard-traveling villain schtick is finally over? Good. I was getting a bit bored with it. As for the rest - well, it's interesting that he decided to do what couldn't be done. Very Hal Jordan-y. But I'm guessing there will be consequences. I'll find out when I get to the new series, I guess.
    • Earth 2 Society #14 - A possible solution, but if it fails, everyone dies. That really does make for a compelling bit of tension. Add in the personal reasons behind Batman's interest combined with the current villain's unwitting use of a very important person - and wow, a pretty good tale with a nice punch at the end.
    • DC Comics Bombshells #15 - Now *THAT'S* a cover. Whew. Oooh-la-la! Arthur and Mera. The story picks up with the two romancing as Mera continues to heal. But all is not well, and she's reminded of duty even while she tries to enjoy her time with Arthur. One thing I really liked about this issue was the idea of Arthur singing to her. She seemed to enjoy it, so we have an Aquaman with a nice voice? Lovely. In any case, we get a little more of Mera's history in this one, which was also nice. Oh yeah, and the rest of the issue had some Harley and Ivy and Batwomen and stuff.
    • Doctor Who 4th #4 - With Sarah Jane out of the picture, the Doctor has a new companion to run around with for the extent of the story. As usual, the Doctor tries to take the high road, but it's also an uphill battle. And, as usual, there's a wrinkle. But then there's the cliffhanger. Oh Nellie, that's going to be interesting.
    • Doctor Who 10th #2.12 - Wow, that was a depressing end. Lots of creative problem-solving, but in the end the one person who needed to be saved wasn't. I thought the bit with Gabby figuring out that the Doctor had already left and come back was a particularly interesting moment between the two. She's developed into quite a companion.
    • Back To The Future #10 - A wonderful catch-up issue, in which we find out what happened to Doc Brown and why he lost his memories. All while an outside threat slowly becomes more threatening. I'm not seeing much of anything wrong with this book.
    • Legends of Oz Tik-Tok And Kalidah #3 - Well, the door led the trio into Ix, which is a well-known place from the Oz books. The strange girl is safe, but what will happen to her protectors? This one left me sad, but I hope that someday we'll find out why this was an important little chapter in this version of Oz.
    • Rough Riders #4 - Aliens, Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of history that isn't what we learned in school. I love it. This book has great art, a ripping tale of a story and some fun moments in history to cover. Can't wait to see more.
    • Spongebob Comics #58 - No Mermaid Man, but some truly surreal moments with Patrick. This book is entirely what you bring to it.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Trying to recover

    My writing lately has been limited to tweets and FB posts, along with the occasional attempts at a writing sample for job applications. It wasn't working.

    I decided to try something new, just to get my brain in gear. I've set my alarm so I will get up at the same time every day, and my plan is to write first-thing each morning. This morning I got through part of a fictional story, something I wanted to write that's been banging around in my head. It's not good, it's not even passable, but it's writing. Tomorrow I hope to finish it, then maybe I'll try to edit it. Or I'll start another story. But the goal is to structure my days again, and get back to "normal". I've been letting the anxiety and nightmares rule me for too long.

    I don't know if this will work, but I've got to try. I'm sick of being sick.

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    Shadow Cat

    Sunday, February 05, 2017

    Icicle? Hand? Handy Icicle?


    The weather can't make up its mind, but it's making a hand.

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Inkwell's Favorite Toy

    When my Mom, sisters and niece visited at the beginning of the month, they brought some presents for Eric and I. The presents, including a mix for pumpkin cheesecake which I made yesterday and it tastes fantastic, were packed in a large gift bag with tissue paper around them. Inkwell LOVES the tissue paper. He's been slowly ripping it to shreds, and "nesting" in it. Every night when I go to bed I can hear him careening through it and tearing it into ever smaller pieces. We pick up the little pieces and throw them away, and eventually he will run out of this gift, but right now he's in kitty heaven...


    Inkwell says, "I have the best Grandma EVER!"

    They also gave me a little electric mouse, which Inkwell loves to play with, but has to be monitored because he will eat the tail off if I don't take it away from him promptly. He was scared of it at first, but now he chases it around the kitchen, snags it by the tail and walks around the house with it, usually chased by me.

    Friday, January 20, 2017

    Ug.

    Happy birthday to me
    Life's really sucky

    Yeah, that's enough of that...

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Time...


    I blacked out the name of my friend because the post was marked to friends only...

    Tuesday, January 03, 2017

    A Day Out

    Despite the snow, my mother came out to visit with two of my sisters and a niece for my mother's birthday. The five of us packed into my sister's car and made a trip to Prosser to visit my mom's favorite fabric store (yes, she will travel across the state to visit a really good fabric store/quilt shop).

    While my sisters and mother ooh'ed and aah'ed over fabric, my niece and I chatted about being non-fabric people. Then we headed back to Sunnyside to eat lunch at Bon Vino's Bistro and Bakery.

    While I wasn't expecting any Christmas presents, Eric's parents sent a present home with him and my mother brought presents with her. I got some neat slippers from Eric's folks, while my little sister got me some very nice thermal socks. I guess everyone knows how cold my feet get?

    My mom brought a bunch of presents in a bag "wrapped" with tissue. Inkwell really likes the tissue and has been joyfully playing in it since the strange people left. He was more than a little frightened when they first arrived, hiding under my bed from them. But he came out because he was curious and I carried him downstairs to get petted by each of the visitors, and he warmed up to them quickly.

    Inkwell got a present - a little remote controlled mouse. I got it out this evening and ran it around the kitchen while Inkwell watched suspiciously, then he started to stalk it, and eventually started to attack it. I got to the point where I could almost attack him back with it, but decided to leave it for our daily play sessions. After all, he's got the tissue to play with right now.

    My mother also brought various food items, including eggnog fudge, which I haven't tried yet. Eric's parent also sent him home with food - including some homemade bread and very strange organic smoothies that taste ok, but are very odd.

    We also received a couple of calendars and totally amazing dalek pillow cases. Eric got some retro ray gun water guns, which may come in handy out here in the summer but aren't terribly useful at the moment. I also received a Crazy Cat Lady coloring book and some colored pencils, which looks like it shall be fun.

    I also received a Mini Shark Puppet that I really wanted after I saw it on Facebook. Since it's made by my sis-in-law, that worked out well. I wandered around the house attacking Eric and Inkwell with it saying, "Yo soy un tiburón! Mi nombre is tiburón! Tiburón tiburón tiburón!" Eric rolls his eyes. Inkwell isn't sure whether or not to attack back.

    Sunday, January 01, 2017

    A Sunday Review

    DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jun 29th
    • Doctor Who 9th #3 - A nice wrap up to an ok story, as Rose's kindness makes an unexpected impact on someone that normally wouldn't have been inclined to be "good". Overall, I am enjoying this series - it catches the feel of the Ninth Doctor's era. But man, I wish we'd had more of the Ninth Doctor on the TV screen.
    • Doctor Who 12th #2.7 - If you see George Mann's name on the cover, the story is likely to be good. Certainly this issue lives up to the hope, with the Doctor meeting a new race of beings and discovering a horrible secret behind a colony that has no clue about its past. I can't help but think that, with the Doctor involved, everyone will know the truth before this arc ends.
    • Dirk Gently: A Spoon Too Short #5 - And that's the conclusion to this storyline, with a bit of romp and circumstance left as Dirk solves the mystery by setting people up with each other. I'm slowly, slowly warming to Dirk and his universe. It helps that Eric sat me down to watch the new TV series, which is set in Seattle. I noticed some tie-ins between this and the tv show, which is interesting. I may have to go back and read the original book again. It's been a couple of decades since I read it last.
    • Jul 6th
    • Aquaman #2 - A cycle of hate caused by Manta, but perpetuated by Aquaman, and now - ended? I doubt it. There's too much history there for this to be it, but Manta's life has been laid out as one devoid of anything but revenge many times. Interestingly, he's also been an orphan who didn't know his parents, so this take on his history - where his revenge is due to Aquaman killing his father - is newish. Manta's original motive was apparently to create a homeland for rejected people by taking over Atlantis, which is a strange way to go about it. I feel a "many faces of Manta" essay coming on. I should probably get researching.
    • Justice League Rebirth #1 - The Justice League faces off against an invasion, with each member of the team bringing their special abilities to bear on the problem. Knowing there is some messes in this universe, including the death of Superman and the existence of another Superman from another universe, this issue attempts to clear up the mess and make everything fit while also telling a bit of a tale of an alien invasion. I enjoyed Aquaman's role, which included getting information from the alien about the goal of the invasion and sending the Justice League's answer.
    • Green Lanterns #2 - I initially didn't like Jessica much, but she's growing on me. Especially since I've experienced crippling anxiety myself and realize just how real and horrible it is. Simon was always a cool character, but I found him to be a bit annoying and snooty in this issue. The interaction between the two that's being set up is going to be a fascinating study in writing - with lots of potential pitfalls all through. I'm curious to see if this book can live up to its potential. That said, I dislike the Red Lanterns quite a bit, so I'm not exactly a fan of this first threat. I guess I'll wait and see.
    • Batman Beyond #14 - A neat way to reset Terry's existence in this universe. I don't know what I'm hoping will happen, but there's so many different ways this tale could go in this post-apocalyptic world. I do love the fact that Matt and Tim are hitting it off and becoming allies, if not friends. I also like the way Matt was eyeing the Robin costume in that one panel - hmmmm. I know most people have already read far ahead and know what will happen, but I'm just getting this done and I'm liking it so far.
    • Adventures of Supergirl #5 - More of Kara's past comes a-haunting her. I like the show, and the relationship between the characters is faithfully portrayed in this book. I'm finding it a good read, and Facet is an exciting new baddie. The glimpses into Krypton's history are a bit distracting, though, since I find it hard to believe a civilization that advanced didn't have a lot of people in other star systems at the time of destruction, if not colonies. It makes the whole Superman story a little more odd if a civilization that was starfaring and had good relations with its neighbors wasn't more spread out.
    • Batman '66 Meets the Steed and Mrs Peel #1 - While I've seen a lot of the Avengers, I've seen little of the cybernauts - but even I knew the significance of United Automation. It's also not difficult to figure out who is controlling them, based on that knowledge. But that's not the fun of the book - the fun is seeing these classic characters interact. Seeing their reactions to one another was great, and this promises to be a fun book regardless of how the plot goes.
    • Spider-Man 2099 #12 - Time travel paradoxes make my head hurt, and this entire book is just a whole bunch of paradoxes wrapped up in a revenge plot. With Miguel making trips to different potential futures, and the future promising to visit the past, this story is mildly difficult to follow - and only promises to get more difficult in the future. Or the past. Or something.

    Saturday, December 31, 2016

    My Final Day of 2016

    After helping Adi and the posse see out the year earlier in the day, I've spent most of the evening playing the original Fallout, a post-apocalyptic video game with radiation mutants and desperate people trying to survive. I found it cheerful.

    Friday, December 30, 2016

    THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1787

    THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1787

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016

    Just Frickin' Stop Already

    I cannot handle any more of this rotten year.

    Tuesday, December 27, 2016

    No more

    This year can just stop now.

    Sunday, December 25, 2016

    Christmas Thoughts

    The blank page stares up at me...

    I really don't have much to say. It's been a long day. Eric and I have watched a bit of TV together. Inkwell threw up to give us a Christmas present.

    I played a couple of video games - The Room, Fallout (the original) and DC Universe Online.

    Now we're watching a "It's a Wonderful Life", which is both good and bad. When George is having his worst moments, I really empathize with him. Sometimes it all becomes overwhelming, and that evil Potter saying "you're worth more dead than alive" was a moment that makes me want to smack someone.

    I'm also annoyed by the fact that the worst thing that could've happened to Mary is that she became a librarian. *I* wanna be a librarian.

    I need chocolate.

    Saturday, December 24, 2016

    Various freewritten thoughts

    I'm just going to write, I don't know what will come out... read at your own risk.

    Friday, December 23, 2016

    Some Links

    I hope Carrie Fisher fully recovers. She has no idea how many fans echoed her heart attack when they heard about it.

    The thing about this story that makes me very curious is why the letters are sent to that particular address in the first place.

    Yes Virginia, there is a Spider-Man.

    Here's a gingerbread creation I can get behind. I want a C64!

    I was delighted to hear a great story about my hometown police department:

    "Adrian and I were driving on Lincoln Ave. Towards Wal-Mart when I saw a police car with 2 officers and they were talking to a lady and her little (maybe 3 year old) daughter I thought something must have happened...Well it did in front of my eyes I witnessed these 2 policemen handing the little girl a wrapped present from the trunk of the car...I was almost in tears and I gave the officer a thumbs UP and a Honk of approval and he waved back . It made my Christmas seeing this Act of Kindness in my Town !" -Betty Lynn Garza on Facebook

    I love this video that sets two pug puppies against a mostly indifferent kitten. The fact that the puppies aren't sure whether they should be playing with each other or trying to get out amuses me.


    I still haven't been able to wrest control of my Twitter account from Inkwell. At least he is still allowing the blog posts to go through.

    A new vaccine developed to protect against ebola was apparently 100% effective in a trial during a live outbreak. If that's really the case, it would be an amazing success. A total of 5,837 people were given the vaccine. Two people had serious side effects (including an allergic reaction) while many others had general soreness. The World Health Organization has a good summary of the results. While the vaccine only protects against one strain of ebola, it's a good start and the trial is definitely promising.

    Author David Brin answers the question "Is Government Useless".

    Question: If you are pro-life, are you for preventing unwanted pregnancies, or are you for punishing people who have unwanted pregnancies? Because there are many ways to reduce abortion that don't involve making it illegal and punishing people who are in desperate situations - but the pro-life movement rejects them all. Which suggests to me that the movement isn't about preventing abortion as much as it is about punishing people who have sex.

    Thursday, December 22, 2016

    Ug.

    I shouldn't have promised myself I would post something every day...

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    A Bunch of Videos

    After the fold, of course, to keep the main page a little tidy...