Friday, March 30, 2012

I Guess This Was Just a Round-About Way of Saying I, Too, Am Playing the Lottery Tonight...

So, have you guys heard about this crazy Mega Millions lottery madness? I'm not a lottery junkie, in that I don't play religiously every week. Boyfriend and I wait until the jackpot reaches over $1 Million and then we'll usually buy a few dollars worth of numbers. Most of the time, it yields nothing, but every now and again, we walk away with 2 whole dollars winners!  People are going completely nutty about winning this thing, though, it's sort of creepy. I bought 10 tickets this morning. I can't quite justify spending more than $10 on gambling (unless we're talking poker, I'm obsessed trying to win at poker.) My mom taught me the best lesson, I think when I was young. Some old lady won a big jackpot once in the Colorado Lotto and on the news they interviewed her and said that she played every week for more than half of her life. In my tiny rose-tinted brain I asked my mom why we didn't play the lottery, we could have a million dollars too! Mom explained to me that with all the money that lady spent just on lotto tickets for 40+ years, she probably pretty much broke even. Maybe it was because of that conversation, or maybe because I'm a little cynical as an adult, but I'm not really interested in gambling a lot. I find the idea of gambling fascinating, but I don't get excited when actually doing it.

Boyfriend and I took a trip down to Atlantic City 2 summers ago to see Penn & Teller. I've been fascinated my magic and illusions since I was a kid and the first time I saw P&T on The New Mickey Mouse Club (90's kids remember) as a kid, I was hooked and couldn't get enough of them! So I obsessed and drove Boyfriend crazy talking about P&T forever and since we couldn't afford to go see them in Vegas, I got super excited when they went on tour and were coming to the east coast. We took a bus from NY to AC and it was...interesting. AC is super ghetto and scary. I would suggest everyone to avoid it at all costs. I was honestly afraid we going to contract something non-curable just walking down the street. We totally saw a drug deal go down behind a church and everything. But I digress.

After some wandering around, asking for directions, and almost getting swindled, we made it to the casino where the show was to be. The ever-careful planner that I am got us there about 3 hours early. Excellent...maybe. We explored the casino, the shiny lights and the clang-clanging of the slot machines were all impressive at first, but then we noticed no one really looked like they were enjoying themselves. We thought we tried playing the penny and nickle slots ('cause we were po') and after about 10 minutes we were a touch bored. Yes. Bored.  We don't quite understand the appeal of sitting inside staring at a slot machine for hours on end with the empty hope of winning. Maybe if we'd been high-rollers and plaid craps or black jack or roulette, the casino might have held our attention longer, but, meh.

Short-story-long, P&T were awesome and everything I hoped they would be and I got autographs and pictures with them after the show and they were so nice and omagoodness I'm getting so excited just remembering the awesomeness of it that I'm typing a ridiculous run on sentence, but I don't care. So even though I felt like the 12 hours that we actually spent in Atlantic City were 11 hours too many, P&T were so worth it!


 

 It's so awesome meeting your heroes and they turn out to be just as awesome in person as you hoped!





What was the point I was trying to make? Oh yeah- I don't usually gamble.   Except this time because a half billion dollars is a lot of money, and without hope and dreams what do we got?


If I woke up as a half-billionaire tomorrow morning, I'd buy some ridiculously awesome shit:

-The Cinderella Suite in DisneyWorld. (That's right. I'd live in a castle. In. DisneyWorld.)

-Hire Penn & Teller for my own private magic shows. (You can all come too, don't worry.)

-1,000 puppies. (From shelters, duh, I'm not crazy.)

Fill a bathtub with cash and roll around in it. (Brand new bills only, I don't know where that shit's been.)

-Contract a biologist, a zoologist, and a geneticist to make me a horse pony.

-And a lifetime supply of duct tape. (Because I'm practical.) 


What awesomeness would you buy if you suddenly became a half-billionaire?


P.S Has anyone ever played the numbers from Lost and won the lottery? That's how I want to win.


P.P.S OK, nevermind.


P.P.S Does this post make my train of thought look derailed?

Sort of a post.

Remember the Nerdlesque show I went to? I mentioned that the guys from College Humor were there filming and interviewing the dancers that night as well, but I didn't go into details. Well, now I can talk about it, because they finally posted their video!

They were there.  I was there. It was awesome. The End.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OK, I seriously need to get out from under my rock...

How did I not know about this?! There's a competition to be an UNCHARTED character?!?!? And I was unaware!?  Le sigh. I shall lower my geek flag to half-staff today in shame. #NerdFail
I blame my lack of coffee...

The Perdition of our Lack of Percolating Perks (and the Pandemonium That Ensues)


Source

My day job consists of essentially being a desk monkey. I go to work. I sit at a desk, I answer the phone, I type lots of e-mails, and do a lot of data-entry.  You know, the stuff the "American Dream" is made of...
Don't misunderstand, I am thankful to have a steady paycheck, I am thankful to have health insurance (even when they screw me over by refusing to pay for routine blood tests,) and I am thankful to be able to pay for a roof over my head and food in my belly. But this is America, is it too much to ask to want more than just eeking through life?


Today is the day that I have had it. This injustice will not go unpunished! Our office has run out of coffee! Our favorite of our (few) perks-yes pun intended. The office is a sad and angry place today.




Yeah, it's a bit like that.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Journey Review

I finally got a chance to play Journey last night. It was beautiful.  I had high hopes right off the bat, not just because the teaser trailers looked so promising, but also because the designers, That Game Company sound like my smart-ass 12 year old alter-ego named their studio. I applaud their mission to design artistic and accessible games.  Journey is almost a genre unto itself. It's part platformer, part sandbox, and visually stunning.  The gameplay is very simple with minimal tutorial needed. I really think that casual gamers and hard-core gamers alike can agree that Journey is enjoyable.
Some hard-core gamers may find the loose plot of the game incomplete and some may also find the lack of action in the game boring, or not their style.  The music is soothing and the graphics are amazing, but the overall "purpose" in the game is very subtle and isn't quite revealed until the end, and even then, the "story" is open to interpretation. There is no health bar, there are no weapons, the controls are very simple. The 2 joysticks move your character or move the camera view around the world. The X button allows you to leap and glide when you are given the ability by the various flying kites and scarves around the world. Finally, the O button allows you to "sing" to activate different trigger points to interact with the world and open up new pathways.
The game layout and basic design are very simple; your character is a hooded being with a small scarf, spindly legs and no arms. The more you play the game and the more secret triggers you find, the longer your scarf grows and the longer you can float/glide. The world is a desert wasteland, simple in its design, but beautiful and peaceful and interesting to explore.
My only complaint about the game is that it's not very long. I was able to play through it in less than 3 hours and I would have gladly spent 10 hours playing this game. However, despite the short playing time for seasoned gamers, there is potential replay value. There are 14 trophies you can earn for finding various hidden features in the game, and if you're a completionist like me, then that makes the game worth buying and playing more than once.   Because of my experience with Journey, I'm also looking forward to playing the other games produced by That Game Company: 


 Flower looks similar in gameplay mechanics to Journey, but probably with less of a through story-line.   

 Flow reminds me of a more graphically intense and visually stimulating version of Centipede.  

 Cloud looks like a sim dream builder with more of a story arc than the other games on this list.

Overall, Journey was fun, visually pleasing, and gave me a sort of wistful feeling while playing. While the game is very much an "art-piece" type of game, I do believe it accomplishes That Game Company's mission to be accessible and it raises the bar for graphics and visual expectations in game design. I can even see people like my mom or my sister (2 extremely casual gamers) showing interest in Journey or any of TGC's games. I can see this game resonating deeply with anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or gaming experience. Journey is worth playing; it is an enchanting experience not to pass up.

On my patented rating scale of 5 nerdy objects, I rate Journey 4.5 out of 5 controllers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

White Liars

As I've mentioned before, I'm a theatre geek.  I got the performance bug in sixth grade when I got cast in a school play.  I studied theatre and acting in college, and got my degree. I moved out to NY in 2007 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, but mostly I wanted to act. I want to write, and perform, and play video games. I don't think that's too much to ask from life, is it?

Luckily, in NYC there is no shortage of arty folks like myself, and I've gotten to do some really fun projects...and a lot of shitty ones. One not-shitty and very fun project I've had the privilege of being a part of is a web series called White Liars. It is written and produced and starring a good buddy of mine, and we've had so much fun making it. Season 1 premiered last summer and is available to view on their YouTube channel and on their website
Today, we shot one of the teasers for the Kickstarter campaign for the anticipated second season. I'm really excited, because I really think this season is going to be crazier and funnier than the first, plus I get to use a bow and arrow.  Here is the teaser from season one, enjoy! If you like it, please go watch the rest!

Pax East Passes

We has them!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Nerdy Knitting

I like to knit. I taught myself with books and YouTube videos. I'm not amazing, by any stretch of the imagination, but through trial and error I've made some stuff.  My first project was knitting an orange scarf for Boyfriend. It took a year (or 3) but I did it. My next project was knitting a Sackboy. This one was pretty tricky even while following the (unofficial) pattern because the man who made the pattern is an expert, but he's also British, and over there, they usually do Continental knitting, vs American knitting, so figuring out the slightly different terminology took some research.  Short-story-long, I finished knitting the sackboy for Boyfriend, complete with matching orange scarf.  I just need to add the details (eyes, mouth, etc). But yay!

Sackboy

 
Ok, I feel less impressed with myself after seeing this. Holy balls, that's awesome!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh. No. No. Just...NO. ~UPDATED~

This is nerdy and terrible and hilarious. And sad.  I wish I could blame Michael Bay.






P.S Fuck Michael Bay. I will "chill" when I feel like it, old man.

P.P.S At least he gave us this gem.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Worthy of a Blog Post? Uh, yeah!

Thank you, Japan.


I'm a Real Blogger Now!

Getty
This morning I received an e-mail. I received an e-mail from an author/blogger/writing consultant person who (unless he/she continues to e-mail me) will remain anonymous. Said person sent me a form e-mail pimping their book or something and trying to offer me some sort of free writing consultation/education package if I agreed to pimp their book on my blog.
So, let me get this straight: YOU want ME to take MY time to write about YOUR book (which I haven't read) on MY blog, and give YOU MY e-mail address for YOUR spam networking list and in return I get a "writer's consultation package" telling ME how to become a successful blogger and run my own Kickstarter campaign?
 So...if I need this writer's consultation package so badly to become a successful blogger, why do YOU need ME to pimp YOUR useless crap book on MY not-yet-successful blog so badly? Hmmmmm?


 So, it's official:  I'm a real blogger now!!! I'm getting asked to help sell other people's crap for free because that's what social media and blogging are all about! Before you know it, I too will be sending out snarky e-mails to PR companies! Yippee!

The Doom Cloud Returns ~UPDATED~


Getty

It always does, doesn't it?  No warning. No polite knock at your door. Sometimes there's a trigger, ya know...sometimes life just kicks you in the balls and the doom cloud slowly creeps in. But most of the time, it's just a violent trip on the sidewalk of life and no one is waiting there when you fall. No one, except the cloud.  You get lost in it. In the haze. Trying to grasp at anything that might deaden the pain, the emptiness, the guilt.  You want to reach out for help, but you don't know where to start.  And even if you did, there's that ugly gravely voice that points at you and says, "Why bother? You're not worth helping."  That voice feels like it resides in the depths of your soul, and it points its loathsome judging finger up at you, pinning you down, reminding you of your worthlessness, your uselessness, your shame.


I say it's time we break that motherfucking finger.

We are worth helping. We have no reason to feel shame. Mental illness is not anyone's fault, and there is no reason the stigma surrounding it should still exist in modern times. Let's conquer the doom cloud, even if it is only one small step at a time.
If you understand anything I just said, please keep fighting, I know so well how hard it is, but the only way we win is if we keep fighting. We are not alone.

If you, or someone you care about needs help, I hope you'll direct them here.
Or here:
Silver Ribbon Coalition
iFred 
Don't ask Siri for help

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Are You Doing For St. Paddy's Day? SCIENCE!

If this song had been around when I was in school, I would have paid more attention in chemistry class.



Sláinte!

P.S It is PADDY, not Patty.

Artifacts of the Apocalypse

If you enjoy sci-fi, creative writing, and blogs, and you haven't stumbled on Artifacts of the Apocalypse yet. Go. Go now. The blog doesn't have a boatload of entries yet, but I was so impressed with the concept when it was first shared on a 20sb message board that I got the same feeling I get when I play Fallout: the feeling that you're transported to a new reality and it's exciting and fun but heart-breaking at the same time.  Maybe that's just me, though.

Anywho, check out the blog and if you like it, share it, spread the word.  I know they are looking for contributors as well, and yours-truly is trying to come up with something to write for it. Lady inspiration just needs to pay me a visit first.

This picture is beautiful, too bad it came from a nutjob website.



In light of new evidence, I retract my previous judgement about the 2012 prophecy nutjobs:

God Help Us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Strange Blog Stats, or Welcome to My Random Brain (It'll Probably Just Get Worse from Here, Run Away While You Still Have a Fighting Chance)

I was very excited that I had 4 whole comments to moderate this morning when I checked my blog stats AND none of them were trolls or spam. Delightful! Thanks for reading! When I got around to looking at my other stats, I noticed something funny in the search keywords people are using in Google to find my blog:



I don't recall ever writing about gladiators on monkey bars, but...neat. Maybe I should do that. 

Oh wait! No!  Lies.  I'm a liar. 

Once upon a time on my about page, I wrote this crappy poem describing myself (I was having a "deep" moment.)  I mentioned that I used to play American Gladiators on the monkey bars at recess with the other boys in my class.  I got along better with the boys because they did cool stuff. All the girls in my class thought I was weird and crazy and going to catch cooties. True story.  
Ok, mystery solved!
The End.


 This bitch totes has the cooties.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Journey

I had an emotional breakdown last night. A bad one. I don't want to go into it in detail, but because of said breakdown, Boyfriend bought us a new game to cheer me up. I'm so excited to play Journey. I'm also excited to review it and share it with you, my reader(s). So, just a sneak peek, I guess. Plus by telling someone I'm going to do it, it'll make me bust my ass a little more to do it...in theory.



This game looks stunning! I'm so excited to play it! I'm also excited that "art piece" games like this and Dear Esther are being made.

P.S Blogger spellcheck is telling me that Esther is spelled wrong.  Lies. 

P.P.S Now it's telling me the word spellcheck is spelled wrong too.
 W. T. F?

P.P.P.S Apparently, spellcheck is incorrect, but spellchecker is acceptable. Seriously Blogger, what gives?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not Really a Post, or My Train of Thought Has Violently Derailed

I'm sitting at work my desk pondering about unicorns (as I am known to do.) I was just wondering, What ever happened to Charlie the Unicorn?  I love him. Why did he go away?




This guy gets it.

Mari Kasurinen gets it. (And if you haven't seen her amazing My Little Pony sculptures, get out from under your rock!)

And this post did have a point, but I forgot to make it somewhere. So...um...Oh look, a unicorn on my boobs!

 (This has been a lesson in randomness and pandering to the crowd.)


In all seriousness, though: why ARE there so many song about rainbows?


These are a few of my favorite things.




P.S. I may be high.


*This message brought to you by Clonazepam.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why are there no good walkthoughs?! ~UPDATED~

I've said it before, but I will say it again: I love Dragon Quest! RPG's may not be for everybody, but I think they are a genre that will continue to thrive even when other genres may wane.
I don't know how many hours I logged playing Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King on Playstation, but we're talking months of my life dedicated to completing that game. Twice.
The thing that really helped me beat the game twice was my trusty guidebook published by Brady Games. I used that book so much it literally fell apart and I had to transfer it to a 3-ring binder. The guidebook was much more helpful than anything I found online. 

Boyfriend bought me Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for my 3DS a while ago to cheer me up after a bad day.  I was super excited! I figured that the Internet and the gaming community have changed quite a bit since DQVIII was released on Playstation 2 and that finding a helpful walk-thru for DQIX if I ran into trouble spots or couldn't find an alchemy recipe would be no problem. Between the hundreds of forums online and websites like IGN, GameFAQs, and the thousands of Wikia articles, you would logically think that somewhere out there would be a complete free guide or walk-thru or decent hint page.  Stupidly, I thought so too.

Anyone who has tried to look up a game walk-thru online knows that often you have to weed through the crappy ones written by people with grammar like a 10-year-old before you find one that is complete and works for you. This being said, there are some great wikia articles out there to help with tricky spots in games. (The Fallout Wiki is amazing. Kudos to all the countless authors who contributed to that!) 

I'm almost through the main story arc in DQIX at this point (that pesky thing called a "day job" keeps interfering.)  I think I only have one or two major bosses left to battle, so it's just grinding and treasure hunting at this point so I don't get my ass handed to me in the final boss battle. The problem is this:  The game was released in North America in July of 2010; it's been out for almost 2 years, and any of the trustworthy walk-thrus online on IGN or GameFAQs are incomplete-they only go up to the halfway point in the main story!  Well, that's helpful.

I've read mixed reviews on Amazon about the DQIX game guide, so I don't want to pay full price, but with the lack of helpful info on the interwebs has made me frustrated, so I'm caving and buying a used copy of the guidebook.
I'll let you know how it turns out.


UPDATED: 3/13/12 My game guide for DQIX finally came in the mail today!
I'll let you know what I think about it. Thank you to The Game Kingz for your excellent service! (No, they did not pay me to say that.)


UPDATED: 3/15/12 I'm not overly impressed with the guidebook thus far. Brady Games really dropped the ball on this one. I'm reeeeeeally glad I didn't pay full retail price for a brand new copy. I'll dedicate a separate post to my review of Dragon Quest IX game and the accompanying guidebook, otherwise this would be the longest amendment/update to a post in the history of history.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Domain

OK, I finally got around to buying my domain, mostly because I was tired of typing such a long web address every time I wanted to check on my blog layout. So if it looks all screwy for the next couple of days, that's why.

Also, in case my post yesterday didn't reach the nerdy expectations of nerdiness that you've (probably) come to expect from me, never fear, PAX East is only 27 days away! This year will be even better than last year (and not just because I'm medicated now)! Get excited!










Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh, It's On

Boyfriend bought us a new game to play!





IT'S GONNA BE ON LIKE...well...like Donkey Kong, der.



P.S. In case Hasbro (makers of Jenga and other awesome things) or Bobble (the green bottle in the background) are interested in a free plug (or if they even want to send me free samples) I totally love their products.

International Women's Day

This is a short post in honor of women everywhere, especially to those who are fighting much harder battles than I am. Keep fighting the good fight, ladies!







Educate yourself!


Inspirational Quotes


International Women's Day


Washington Post Blog


My Life As A Grown-Up















Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Woman in Black

Last night we went to see The Woman in Black, a Hammer Films production starring Mr. Daniel Radcliffe (or, DanRad as I like to call him.) The movie is based on the book, and there is also a stage adaptation of the book in London's West End where it's been playing since 1989. A friend of mine has seen the stage version and she said it was the scariest thing she's ever seen movie/play or otherwise. So naturally she and her boyfriend went to see the movie and they were both very impressed by it.


I've been dealing with a rather severe bout of depression lately and I was getting desperate, so I thought maybe scare therapy would help me, since it worked for Allie Brosh. I loooooove scary movies. Probably because they make me feel something deep and primal and it reminds me I'm alive. Boyfriend does not like scary movies. He gets very stressed out watching them.  When I rented Paranormal Activity, Boyfriend begrudgingly agreed to watch it with me and we had to pause the movie in the middle so that he could chill out for a moment because he was so uncomfortable. *Sigh* I hope I don't give him a heart attack some day.
We are both fans of DanRad-we love us some Harry Potter-and after having seen him on stage last year, we were really excited to see The Woman in Black even though the preview alone made Boyfriend crinkle his face and start sweating a little.


Fear, like comedy and beauty, is subjective.  What scares the daylights out of me makes someone else laugh. Usually at me. So I won't go on and on about how scary I thought The Woman in Black was, 'cause holy swiss cheese it was scary.  Whether or not other people think it was scary, it was beautifully made; the cinematography and costumes blew me away. I don't care who you are there was some damn fine acting in that movies too.  The story itself is not anything new-a fairly typical ghost/haunted house type of plot-but the movie as a whole was very well-made. A lot more goes into making a film scary other than just having a bunch of "boo!" moments that make you jump (but there were several good ones in this one.) I think the whole package needs to be complete: the acting needs to not feel like acting, there needs to be enough build-up to the scary parts, but the pay-off needs to be there, and the film needs to follow the rules it sets to maintain suspention of disbelief.  This movie fulfilled all of those requirements for me. It is definitely on my list of favorite scary movies. 

While the movie didn't scare me completely out of my gloom, it certainly gave me an ass-kick in the right direction. I'm feeling a little more "normal" than I have been, but I know it's not something that will just go away right away.  It's a process.  I do know, however, that between The Woman in Black and Samara from The Ring. I may never sleep again.


Yep.  Never. Sleeping. Again.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Nerdist Way



Source
 I recently finished reading The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) written by Chris Hardwick. The book caught me off guard at first-I'm not sure why-I must have missed the memo.  I bought the book expecting it to be an autobiography (which it is in a way) but the book is styled as a self-help for artistic nerds, i.e Nerdists. That all being said, once I got over the initial surprise of the book being stylized in a different way than I expected, I really enjoyed it. Chris Hardwick is not only funny in his typical self-deprecating character, but he also displays heartfelt and poignant moments that I found very comforting and helpful.

Chris Hardwick reveals many of his own inner demons throughout the book in an attempt to connect with the reader and to show by example how not to succeed. He uses humor, examples from his own life, and D&D/video game analogies to write an effective guide on how to channel your artistic and nerdy selves into one powerful unit of awesomeness. In fact, he is so effective in his writing, that there were more times than not that I felt like he wrote the book just for me. So much so, that I found myself tearing up a couple of times. It was so comforting reading words written by someone I admired and looked up to as he recounted his own struggles with anxiety and addiction and having to live with poor choices, and yet he found a way to turn it around and build an empire of nerdy greatness. It was inspiring and freeing for my soul.

Ok, I got all mushy there for a second.  Seriously, though, if you haven't read this book, you are missing out. I highly recommend this read, especially with anyone who is struggling with lack of direction in their life. Hardwick has a way of weaving together hilarious yet focused musings on the world and how to be a successful nerd with whatever success means to the reader.


I give The Nerdist Way 4.5 out of 5 studious babies
Source


John Dies At The End

I recently finished reading John Dies at the End By: David Wong.  I first stumbled upon it last year in a Korean bookstore near my office in midtown. I picked it up, thought it looked intriguing and made a note to myself to purchase and read said book at a less-expensive establishment. Fast-forward to February 2012: I was at a friend's house and saw the book on his bookshelf, I asked him if he liked it since I was considering reading it, he said he liked it and asked, "You know they're making a movie of it, right? It looks awesome." He showed me and Boyfriend the trailer and I promptly went to the online bookseller of my choice and ordered my very own copy.


The prologue is like a stand-alone short story in itself, but it does exactly as it should: it sets up the rest of the story and sucks you in, even while at first the book is sort of difficult to wrap your head around. If you've read any of David Wong's hilarious prose on Cracked it still won't quite prepare you the brain-fuck (the good kind...I think) that is this book. I wouldn't even know how to outline the plot in the book to someone who has not read it without explaining the entire thing, and thus ruining it because my words cannot do it justice. It's a dark comedy horror novel, filled with dick jokes and the stuff narcotic induced nightmares are made of that I would strongly recommend only to people I know really well. If I advised a co-worker or simple acquaintance to read it, they would probably back away from me slowly and never speak to me again...unless they're secretly into this sort of fucked up humor, then maybe I 'd make a friend for life.


At parts of the book, I laughed until I cried, and at times, I wished I wasn't eating while I was reading. There were also moments (quite often really) after putting the book down for the day, when I started to doubt my own sanity. After reading the poetically disturbing words crafted carefully by the madman that is David Wong and having his bewitching story-telling snake its way through my brain like a pregnant python, I'm confident that the only one who could write a review worthy of and doing justice to this book, would be Wong himself.

Would I recommend this book? Probably...depending on who you are and how long I've know you, and whether or not I know your moral stance on book-burning. But seriously, it's a very entertaining disturbing engrossing read.
I give John Dies at the End  4 out of 5 cute zombies.
I truly look forward to the movie and I have high hopes for it considering the caliber of talent that is involved with making it.  Mostly, though, I'm really curious as to how it will translate from page to screen. It's going to be one helluva ride, that's for damn sure.


Graham Chapman Keeps the Birds Away (Ammended)

So, remember how NY squirrels are evil? Yeah, the birds here are way worse. Birds are the devil. I'm not even referring to just pigeons, either, (don't even get me started on those little bastards, that's a whole other blog in itself) I'm talking about those damned little sparrow things. Those little shit-bags fear no man!

Holy crap! I just googled sparrows to make sure I was talking about the right bird. Did you know there are over 40 species of sparrow?! *shudder*
(BeeTeeDubs, I have a slight fear of birds. They have dead soulless eyes.)



Anywho, We had a fairly mild winter in NYC this year, but in comparison to last year, I think only the second ice age itself could have been worse (not the movie, the actual ice age...although the movie was pretty bad.) In the past couple of weeks, the weather has sort of been showing signs of springtime (you know, like actually seeing the sun). Because of the slight rise in temperature, the birds in our courtyard have decided that it's officially spring and time for them to chirp chirp away starting at 6am every day.
Fine. You do that birds. You chirpy chirp chirp.


There is one ornery fat little sparrow whom I have nicknamed Rosemary's Budgie. EVERY morning for the past couple of weeks, he lands on our window sill next to the ghetto cardboard patch in the A/C unit and screeches his little birdie brains out over and over and over. At 6am, this is not acceptable behavior. Every morning, I will crawl out of bed (since I'm closest to the window) and bang on the glass and the A/C unit to shut him up. He will stay silent for the exact amount of time it takes me to stumble back into bed, pull on the covers and get comfy again. Then it's back to "SPREKEH SPREKEH!" (That's as onomatopoeia-y as I can get) Finally I will leap out of bed, pull back the light-blocking curtain, scalding my retinas in the process, I shove my face onto the window pane and bang on it. Rosemary's Budgie now knows I mean business and he darts away over to our fire escape and stares indignantly at me with his inky soulless eyeballs.
Once I put the curtain back in place and get all warm in cozy in my bed, I slowly drift back to sleep...for a whole 15 minutes and then I have to get up for work. Stupid bird.

Ever since the squirrel incident, I've been telling Boyfriend we need a wooden owl statue to put on the window to scare the critters away, for their own safety, otherwise I might snap and decide to teach myself taxidermy with the critters in the courtyard as my practice specimens. He sort of chuckled at me and gave me a patronizing "Ok." But, since Rosemary's Budgie wakes him up in the morning too (and apparently comes back to screech at the window after I've left for work) Boyfriend got more serious about my wooden owl proposal.

But then I started thinking. I hate owls. They're fascinating in an I'll-watch-it-on-Discovery-Channel-if-there's-nothing-else-on sort of way but they scare the Bejeebus out of me in the the-only-reason-the-movie-The-Forth-Kind-was-scary-was-because-they-kept-showing-that-damn-barn-owl-all-the-time sort of way. Because of this, I realized I don't want a life-sized wooden owl on my window sill, if we did every time I open my curtain, I would have an anxiety attack. So, I suggested we print out a picture of an owl and tape it to the window, that way I don't have to look at it.
 
But you know what? Boyfriend had a better idea:

The weirdest part about this, is it freaking works!!! No Rosemary's Budgie for almost a week now. Crazy.
Thank you,
A Liar's Autobiography panel at NYCC 2011, we now have a scare-graham.

Ammendment: I would like to clarify that not all birds are the devil. Penguins, you are reprieved of the title. You are adorable. I can't be afraid of something so cute and affectionate:




"It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry."
-Joe Moore

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New York Sqirrels Are Evil (Updated)

Normally, I like squirrels just fine. They're cute and fluffy and I like the way their little tails twitch. They're cuddly-looking little critters...from far away.
In Colorado, where I grew up, we had Fox Squirrels:


Photo by Sylvia Murphy

Fox Squirrels are supposedly the biggest squirrels in North America, but the Eastern Grey Squirrels here in NYC somehow seem much bigger:


Image: Photobucket.com

Case and point: here in NY, there is squirrel hunting season. Your daily bag limit is 6. I will repeat that: during hunting season, you are allowed to kill 6 BAGS worth of squirrels PER DAY. I wish I had known this in dealing with my own squirrel problem. (Correction: Boyfriend has just informed me that the daily bag limit of six means 6 squirrels, not 6 bags. His exact words were, "You're so cute with your not knowing about killing animals.")

A little background:

Last April, Boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment. When I say, "new apartment" I mean that it was new to us, as in, we have never lived their before. To say the apartment itself was new would be ridiculous. From day 1, living in this apartment has been...oh what's the word? Shit-tacular. Literally, the day we moved in shit started to go wrong. But, I digress this post is not about that, this post is about squirrels.

We have a courtyard in the middle of our building with some grassy/dirt area and shrubs. Living in the outer boroughs means there are a lot more trees than in Manhattan, and that means a lot more "wildlife" around us. During the summer it is really hot and humid, and so we had to invest in a second air conditioner for our apartment so we could have one in the living room and one in the bedroom.

Early one Saturday morning, not long after we installed our new A/C unit in the bedroom window, I woke up to a violent scratching sound. I'd been having a somewhat odd/scary dream, so I woke up sort of freaking out thinking something was trying to get at me through the wall or some nonsense. Once "sleepy brain" cleared up, I realized something WAS trying to claw inside. At first I thought it was a bird pecking at the A/C and I freaked out even more (I'm afraid of birds). I walked over to the window and stared at the little movement flexing against the accordion screen. I peeked out the curtain above the A/C and saw a bushy grey tail. Aaaw, it's a squirrel, but HE'S INTERRUPTING MY SLEEPING-IN ON A SATURDAY!

My solution to the situation was to poke the accordion screen to scare the squirrel away. This only intrigued him and made him scratch at it harder, so hard that he was starting to rip a small hole in the screen. I started banging on the window. This commotion woke up Boyfriend who told me to go back to bed because I was dreaming. The squirrel eventually got annoyed with me and ran away. I found some gaff tape and did a little patch-job on the A/C and went back to sleep.



After this day, nearly every morning around 7am we would wake up to the rustled scratching of that damn squirrel at our A/C unit! After a couple of weeks of this, I came home from work one evening and went to the bedroom to change. To my horror, I found that the squirrel had finished the job he set out to do:





I flipped out. I suddenly became very paranoid. Boyfriend was still at work, and I was home alone with a squirrel loose somewhere.
I grabbed the broom and a saucepan and slowly walked around our entire apartment sing/screeching and banging the pot waiting for the squirrel to leap out at me like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. If any of our neighbors were watching or gave half a shit, I'd be locked away. After I was satisfied that the squirrel was not in the apartment, I jimmied a patch for the A/C unit-turned-doggie-door-for-critters out of gaff tape, packing tape, and cardboard.

Tres ghetto chic, non?