Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Musings

It's the end of the month once again, and it's been quite a month, hasn't it? I don't want to discuss politics in yet ANOTHER forum, but I have been doing some thinking lately.

I started this blog almost nine years ago, mainly as a way to keep my sanity. After all that time, I still find this to be true. I know I've slacked off in recent years, only sticking to one entry a month, at the end of every month. My enthusiasm for long-form writing began to fade right when I started using Twitter, sadly. It was short! Rapid! And very effective to get across to lots of people. But its greatest strength is also its biggest weakness, in which my thoughts tend to go beyond 140 characters.

It's easy to feel powerless, with all the stuff out in the world out of your control. You just have to find some way to deal with it all. Well, this is how I deal with it.

I don't want to keep making listicles, but here's some GOOD stuff I did the past month.



Well, first of all I began the year by subjecting myself to the Bubsy pilot. You remember Bubsy, right? The annoying Sonic ripoff? Well, he got a pilot for a cartoon made back in the 90s and I'm not lying when I say that it's one of the most painful things I ever sat through. It was the embodiment of everything wrong with 90s animation: Terrible animation, being wacky for the sake of being wacky, ugly colors, ugly designs, annoying characters, annoying voices for those characters, and none of the jokes land whatsoever. Seriously, the they're using Jokerman for that title card, it's the ugliest of all fonts. And it's amazing that

Speaking of twitter, many of my twitter buddies had been live-tweeting shows, mostly anime, every day for the past year. I decided to join the fun by declaring 2017 "365 Days of The Bubsy Pilot." I only made it eight days before I dropped the ruse. And I only sat through the whole thing once, that's seriously enough times to do it.

If you must subject yourself to it, you can watch it here:


But remember: you were warned.



And now a recent ebay purchase: This original 1977 movie poster for a re-release for The Three Caballeros, my favorite Disney movie. When people are asked about their favorite Disney movie, they say stuff like AladdinLittle Mermaid, or maybe even Frozen. This is my childhood favorite: a film from 1945 celebrating our friends in Latin America.


It's one of those compilation film Disney made during WWII, and it's about Donald Duck opening birthday presents. It features weird birds, a flying burro, and Carmen Miranda's sister. The other two main characters are José Carioca from Brazil (the parrot), and Panchito from Mexico (the rooster). The movie is mostly about them traveling around Brazil & Mexico while Donald ogles at women. The last act is a far out peyote trip that rivals the Pink Elephants from Dumbo in weirdness and must be seen to be believed. Like, right here:



Not a bad buy for $31 after shipping. It's in mostly good condition, there's a tear near the middle and it pisses me off. Also, it's one inch longer than the frame I had lying around for just such a poster.


And now for weird food I ate. The Grand Mac (or YOU'RE GONNA NEED BOTH HANDS GRANDMA, as the box reads) is the latest in McDonald's latest saving throws to get people to like them again. At first I thought it was just a Big Mac with an extra bun, but it turned out to just be a bigger Big Mac. Well, I really DID need both hands, but I'll prefer to go somewhere else and reminisce about those changeable toys where the box of hot cakes turned into a dinosaur.


And here's something I ate just today: Taco Bell's Naked Chicken Chalupa, where the chalupa shell is a fried chicken tender. Who says America needs to be great again? THIS is the America that I know, fast food finding new ways to make us fatter. And it was surprisingly tasty. Totally better than the Grand Mac.


And lastly, a movie review. DC and WB Animation have been putting out animated superhero movies for the past few years, but Batman: Return of The Caped Crusaders is the first one that's set in the 1966 Batman tv show. Now that it's in animation, the fun, goofy show of yesteryear can finally run wild and do whatever the hell they want. It has everything: Adam West! Burt Ward! Julie Newmar! A villain team up! Dutch angles on fight scenes! The wall walk! A trip into space! Multiple Batmen! The Batusi! And yes, big ol labels on everything:


Not gonna lie, this is one of the best Batman movies I've ever seen. Sure, it's goofy as hell, and some of the plot points make no sense (How Batman & Robin keep solving Riddler's riddles are some of the best jokes in the movie), but it's definitely a good time and a must-see fo any Batman fan. It's pretty refreshing to see a movie of a Batman that isn't a PG-13 killing machine nor made out of LEGO (although that movie also looks amazing). I hear that there's a sequel coming soon with Two-Face voiced by William Shatner and I am hyped for it.

Well, this made me feel better, and I hope I did the same for you.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good Riddance 2016

What can I say about 2016 that everyone hadn't said about it already? People died, idiots were elected, we'll be lucky if we all make it to 2018.

Usually for end of the year posts I sum up what I did this year. For most of the big stuff, you can scroll down to the other 11 posts I made this year.

But here's some positive stuff that happened to me this year:

1) Finally got my two right wisdom teeth removed back in February.

Thankfully the whole process was a best case scenario - the teeth simply needed to be pulled and I was in and out in 15 minutes. I'll spare you the grisly pictures I took of the teeth, but they weren't pretty. I was mostly fine, just a weekend of slight pain and then phantom pains for about the next month. But other than that, I'm fine, It feels weird to not have a constant pain in my head.

2) I met internet friends!




I met up with @cuteordeath back in April, and @mikeyeddy at EternalCon in June and WinterCon in December. They were just as awesome as I expected them to be, and I hope to meet more friends in the new year!

3) Ecto Cooler!


Ecto Cooler finally came back, and sadly left again. But corn syrup aside, this is the exact stuff I drank in my childhood. It tasted exactly the same and I felt like I was back in preschool with every drink.

4) Crystal Pepsi!


Crystal Pepsi returned, too! I don't remember trying it when I was a kid the first time around, so I was excited to cross off another entry on the bucket list. Well...it certainly didn't taste like Pepsi. Did you ever mix Pepsi with 7Up or Sprite? It tasted like that.

5) A blizzard happened!



This was back in January. It was fun to look at, but not as fun to drive through.

I also ate a lot of Blizzards from Dairy Queen, like this one:


This was the "Singles Blizzard" they only sold on Valentine's Day. It had lots of chocolate in it.

6) Rogue One!


So the new Star Wars movie was pretty great. I'll admit that the first hour takes a little long to get going and I can't name any of the characters if you dared me to, but it finished spectacularly. Seriously, the last 15 minutes was some of the best Star Wars material I've ever seen.

7) I met Chewie at WinterCon!


Yeah, be jealous. I also met Peter Mayhew, the guy famous for playing him, He was super cool. I also met the guy who played Lord Humongous from The Road Warrior, plus the guy who voices Cyborg on Teen Titans.

8) I met Stan Lee...again!


With Stan Lee turning 94, he's announced that he'll no longer go to any more conventions, at least any outside of his own in LA. So with that in mind, I braved 3 hours in line at NYCC to have him sign this picture I got with him back during 2013's convention. It was $100 and he didn't talk to anyone, but it was worth every penny.

9) I met The Doctor!




Well, technically I met three Doctors. I already met Peter Davidson, the fifth one back in 2012 but this was the first time I got a picture with him. I believe I already talked about meeting Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in an earlier entry, but it's still awesome.

10) Pokemon Sun!


The new Pokemon games are finally here and I must say Sun & Moon are some of the best games in the whole series. The series was admittedly getting stagnant, but the new angle of these games gave it the perfect shot in the arm. New Pokemon forms, new story structure, new mechanics, it all feels new and exciting.

11) The Simpsons 600 Marathon!


FXX ran another Simpsons marathon this year, starting on Thanksgiving Day. It was an odd day, I was watching the Simpsons on TV, and watching the MST3K Turkey Day stream on the laptop.

12) New laptop!


Oh yeah, nearly forgot that I bought a new laptop. The one I've been using had turned 7 and it seemed like it was on its last legs. This new computer simply blows that first one out of the water. It's faster, it has a terabyte(!) worth of memory, and it's a touchscreen. You have no idea how hard it is to find a laptop these days that isn't more than a glorified tablet.

13) Saw "Oh, Hello" on Broadway!


If you're not aware of "Oh, Hello," it's a play about John Mulaney and Nick Kroll's characters George St Geegland & Gil Faizon on Kroll Show. Anyone who asked me what the play was about, I couldn't really describe it more than the adventures of two old Jewish men that live in New York City. And after seeing the play, I was mostly right. It turned out to be a play that was a parody of pretentious Broadway plays, where they start the show by making fun of New York and acting out various theater tropes. Like, you'll know when the play is near the end when everyone starts shouting the lines, and the theater goes black on the most random, awkward line possible.

And also, the characters host a prank show called "Too Much Tuna," where they interview a different celebrity every show, and then give them a sandwich with a crapload of tuna in it. Among people they've pranked were Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Jones, Henry Winkler, Amy Schumer, Fred Armisen, Matthew Broderick, Tina Fey, and Katie Couric.


My celebrity was Alia Shawkat, best known as Maeby from Arrested Development. What I liked about this part of the show was that the interview was all improvised, and then John & Nick used what they talked about during the rest of the show. She talked about the time she shoplifted a turkey from a supermarket when she was younger, and it was brought up several more times.

It's only running for a few more weeks, but I definitely recommend seeing it.

14) My name was on TV!



Well, kind of. My Twitter handle did, and on a rerun of Clarissa on The Splat many months back. It's blurry, but it was a short story I told about going to Nickelodeon Studios a few times when I visited Florida as a kid.

15) I won contests!

Holy crap, I actually won a few contests! The first one was getting this Conan funko pop during July:


And I won a raffle to get on line at the coveted Funko booth during NYCC.


That one wasn't much of a contest, but Funko Pops are still serious business and access to its booth this year was by lottery only. And if you told anyone you won, suddenly you gained dozens of new friends wanting you to buy something for them. One person aside I told all of them to go to hell. And getting a place in line does NOT guarantee you to everything, quite a few figures were sold out by the time I got to the front, like their set of Golden Girls action figures.


Yeah, that's a thing and they're sought after like crazy.

16) Christmas!


And here's the requisite post about my Christmas haul. I didn't ask for much this year, because I realized that I reached Peak Stuff. Mainly I now know that I'm running out of the room for all the crap I buy and I feel too attached to get rid of any of the old stuff. What you don't see are several gift cards that have already been spent.

First off, my Reddit Secret Santa delivered this Space Ghost pop:


It goes well with the three other Space Ghost pops I have:


I also got this Orange Bird plush & Nintendo epoints card from my friend Steve:


These Steven Universe Pint-Sized Heroes from my friend Cat (I got Peridot, my favorite! I'm happy):


And this cool stuff from my friend Vinny:


It's an awesome Tshirt, and it'll go great with the literal dozens of shirts I already own.


But I needed these new pajama pants, though. These were from my cousin, and without a moment to spare. I needed more than one pair of comfortable pajama pants, and these do the trick well in this cold weather.


So that's my 2016. It wasn't...THAT bad, but I can only hope that 2017 will be better. I hope.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thankful - 2016

I guess this is that time where I usually write down what I'm thankful for this year. Well, I think we can all agree that 2016 pretty much sucked. But that just means that I have plenty to be thankful for.

1) I'm thankful to be alive. Simple.

2) I'm thankful that I have a job and a roof over my head. My job could pay better, but I'm happy that I have steady employment. And a house to live in.

3) I'm thankful for my car. It's fairly new, it needs new tires, but other than that it won't crap out on me any time soon. Living where I do, I need a car to get, well, anywhere. The fact that I have one in working condition makes me happy.

4) I'm thankful for the Simpsons. Yes, the Simpsons 600 marathon has been running for the past week and I'm sure it's been saving my sanity lately.


Also thankful for: Steven Universe, South Park, The Flash, The Goldbergs, MT3K, Rifftrax, plus Pokemon Sun. Little more than halfway through it and it's one of the best games in the series. There's an actual story here!

5) I'm thankful for my cat. She's a doofus, but she's my doofus. Just look at her.


I can't stay mad at this face.

6) I'm thankful for the weird, odd thing I collect. Either my Transformers, my Disney guidemaps, Funko Pops, Amiibo, whatever. I like the hunt. Lately I've been getting into enamel pins and I really wish I didn't. I picked this one up the other day:


I can't believe that they made a pin for this and I had to get it and I can't believe I bought it.

7) I'm thankful for my friends, family, and you: the readers. You folks are the reason I'm still around, why I do the things I do, why I continue to update here when I'm much more active on Twitter. I keep saying I'll post more but I think we all know that's not gonna happen.

So thank you everyone! I'll see you in December (hopefully before New Year's)

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Anything Can Happen At Comic Con!

I've been going to New York Comic Con for the past five years now, and each year I come home happy, broke and exhausted. From my past experiences, the best part about NYCC is just how BIG it is. It attracts nerds of all colors, sizes, and fandoms. And with a crowd this massive, you don't know what you'll find or see or do at this convention. This entry, dear readers, is dedicated to the crazy, random crap I saw at this year's con.


Starting with this giant bin full of dice I found at booth run by something called "Dude Games." It was a booth that ONLY sold dice. Traditional six sided dice, dice with odd numbered sides, really huge, expensive dice made from gems. And of course, your D20s. The centerpiece was that huge bin you see above. It was a hell of a deal: 50 cents per die, or $15 or $20 if you want a small or large scoopful. The few times I passed by it, it was swarming with people. Some were choosing which dice they wanted, others were pretty much going all Scrooge McDuck on it. And I would have as well, if I wasn't concerned with all the germs that thousands of dice in a bin touched by thousands of people held.


Still, I stuck my hand in and pulled out the first D20 I found, because for years I seriously wanted my own D20. It's a lame dream, I knowm but I finally have one. The other die was from a "just stick my hand in and buy whatever I pull out." I'll admit I'm not a fan of six-sided dice with the numbers actually written on them, but I like how it looks.


Only at NYCC can you find a TMNT arcade cabinet made out of wood. $425, but it looked really cool.



And speaking of TMNT, I went to the annual panel at the Hammerstein Ballroom. It was a great time, most of the cast was there and previewed some upcoming episodes (Super Shredder!) As you can see above, the wrestler Sting just happened to show up near the end. You see, they announced WWE crossover figures in the vein of the old Star Trek crossover figures from long ago.

 Leo was John Cena (because they're the lame ones), Mikey was Macho Man (awesome), Donnie was Undertaker (strange, but my favorite turtle as one of my favorite wrestlers is an automatic love for me), and Raph's figure had him dressed as Sting. And naturally, they brought him in as a surprise, entrance music and all, to do his thing and express his love for the turtles.

Of course we all ate this up, but it made the panel end about 20 minutes later than scheduled, so I had to utter the phrase "Sorry I'm late, the Ninja Turtle panel ran long because Sting showed up" to multiple people. Worth it.


Here's a neat prayer candle I picked up from a booth selling all kinds of merch of various pop culture "Saints." The Dude of course was there, as were Scully & Mulder and Jules from Pulp Fiction.


Awesome.


It wouldn't be a convention without a guy in an inflatable T-Rex costume.


This was a poster I wish I picked up. There's not enough Food Fighter tributes in the world.


And of course since it was Comic-Con, Deadpool cosplayers were everywhere. But since there's so many Deadpools, the ones that stood out had to go in the mashup direction. You got Deadpope, Winnie the Pool, and Kawaii Deadpool there, plus this awesome Deadpool Galactus:


and even Left Shark Deadpool


But this year there was one cosplay that rivaled the Deadpools in popularity: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. I didn't get a picture with any even though I should've, but this picture is a pretty accurate representation of NYCC this year:


I'm Homer. Harley Quinn has always been popular, but THIS version of Harley was just pervasive. And like the Deadpools, the Harleys came in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages. Harley was popular among the young and the old and the less said about all that, the better.

But of course there were lots of great cosplayers this year, and my favorite were the deep cuts.


Like Squilliam from Spongebob


A girl as the Comedy Bang Bang mascot.


Bob aka Baseball Lapis from Steven Universe. Steven Universe was VERY popular this year. Not the only Bob cosplayer I saw, either.


Dippy Fresh from Gravity Falls. I apologize for the blurriness.


Spider-Ham!


When you see a seven foot tall Reinhardt from Overwatch walking around, regular Halloween costumes just don't cut it for me anymore. Hell, Overwatch cosplay in general was insanely popular this year, hopefully it eliminated most of the League of Legends cosplayers.


This parade of Luigis was actually a roaming bachelor party. The bachelor in question was the one guy dressed as Mario.


Plus...this guy. I saw him at the tail end of the con, but he was pretty awesome. He was mostly covered in zip ties and kept saying things like "stop the humanoid! Reload! Reload!" through a vocorder or something. Apparently he goes to lots of conventions dressed like this, mostly to satirize the security standards.


I couldn't forget these guys. They're not just the Powerpuff Girls, they're dressed as a trio of criminals that dressed up as the Powerpuff Girls from one episode.


The deepest cut I saw, I just love it.


Oh...I have to mention this. I found some guy dressed as Arthur, and had him act out the "clenched fist" meme,


We both had a good laugh out of it and he told me that I wasn't the only person to have him do that. So, I do what I do when I see great cosplayers and tweet about it and thought a few people would find it funny.

"A few people" turned out to be over 16,000 people. For a solid week my phone simply blew up every time someone RT or liked it. For the first time in seven years, I had to turn off the notifications on my phone to get it to stop. At first I was excited, this wasn't the first time one of my tweets had gotten some attention. Then scared, because it just wouldn't stop. The likes kept coming in waves. They would slow down for a few hours then blow up again. At first a few people liked it. Then, looking through my feed, it turns out Black Twitter found it first. Then Spanish Twitter. Then Gamer Twitter (gah). Then tv critic Alan Sepinwall RT'd it. Then a few other people with the checkmark next to their name RT'd it. You get where I'm going with this.

It's slowed down since then, but now I have newfound respect for the famous tweeters. How the hell do they handle all the attention? Well, they ignore it. But now I guess I will, too. But I'm not famous enough to ignore attention yet. But after a while, I started feeling regret. This guy became quasi-Twitter famous for a few days and I never asked him for his name.

It turns out, thanks to the magic of the internet, he started a twitter feed of his own and tracked me down. His name is Brandon and can be found here.


Onto other things, this is one of those "If I Won The Lottery" things. Those are actual cels of title cards from Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Pixie & Dixie. They even have Hanna & Barbera's signatures on them as a kicker. It's totaly worth $900, if only I had that kind of money...


Speaking of stuff I wish I got, here's a funky movie poster from the 60s. Looks like Vincent Price in his campy phase, and it only cost $85. Sadly, I didn't have the money nor do I have the space for it. Also, it turns out you can just find a print online for around $15, but the authentic poster is RIGHT THERE.


And here's something I DID get. This is a sweet print of a poster for the classic Year Without A Santa Claus special, drawn by the great Tom Whalen. He and another great artist named Dave Perillo share table space every year and I urge you all to check them out. Be warned: Tom Whalen's stuff isn't cheap, that poster set me back $65 but worth it.


I finally got Stan The Man's autograph! This was his last NYCC appearance because, well, he's getting old and this was the first time he actually sat at a table. Usually some booth hosted him and you had to pay an outrageous amount of money in order to meet him, but this was the first time his line was open to the public so of course that line was really long every day of the convention. Seriously, it took me three hours to get to the front because he took half hour breaks but I was okay with it because he's 94 so he can do whatever the hell he wants. I gotta admit, he's looking kinda frail these days, I'm almost sure that the good people at Marvel will never tell us that he's died, they'll just do a "Weekend at Bernie's" thing with him so he could keep making cameos in movies.

But I was excited to get his signature on this pic I got with him at 2013's NYCC. That Funko Pop Stan Lee I'm holding in my hand was the one they sold at that year's convention for $25. He goes for about $80 now,


And speaking of photo ops, I finally got to meet Matt Smith aka the 11th Doctor! MY Doctor, and I finally got to meet him! He was rad, as were Jenna Coleman (Clara) and Alex Kingston (River Song, who I already met). Peter Capaldi (the 12th Doctor) was also at the convention, but he was was only attending a panel at MSG and I didn't think I'd ever encounter him.

Well, it turns out, I was walking around the show floor on Friday looking for one booth selling old toys, when I run into this:


Eep. Turns out he was trying to find the live stage that's on the show floor and was on his way there. I just stood there like an idiot and trying my best to not attract any unwanted attention to the guy. He probably would've signed something for me (which would've made 7 Doctors I had signatures from), but I just froze and forgot I had something for him to sign, Next time, I guess.

It took me two hours to come down from that high of a random celebrity encounter. I said above that Matt Smith was MY Doctor, and he is, but I didn't feel much of anything whe I met him and got his picture. Maybe because I knew I was meeting him?

Anything can happen at Comic Con, folks.

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