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Messages - Dincrest

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Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:22:21 PM »

Look, I know this video
Spoiler: show
 has been edited to only contain the worst responses to make you facepalm, but my kneejerk reaction was still, "How did nobody mention Harry Potter?  Or maybe... The Bible?!?!  I dunno, if I had a mic shoved in my face and was asked to name a book on the spot, I would probably say Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

Still enjoying my re-read of Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:38:57 PM » I guess it's safe to say that none of us will be buying Matrix's Lascivious Labyrinth: Big Boobies game then. 

As for Working Designs, my big issue with their text localizations were the pop culture references.  They always killed any immersion I had being in a fantasy world and would feel totally dated were I to replay it later on in life.  And I agree that some of their gameplay tweaks were terrible.  Silhouette Mirage would have been a totally fun game had they kept the original Japanese play mechanics and balance as is and not thrown a monkey wrench into its works for the US version, making it an absolute kick in the nuts to play. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:32:41 PM »
I think as Harry grows up, readers both love and hate him because he's believable.  My mom had an unpleasant kneejerk reaction to the aforementioned part in book 5 because irascible Harry reminded her of me when I was in middle school; my middle school years were a thoroughly unpleasant period of time to say the least.  And, for her, that was the point in the series when the wistful fantasy was shattered and things stopped being polite and started getting real. 

I'm still re-reading Hexed: Sisters of Witchdown and am around chapter 14.  I'm impressed that the author is keeping fairly thorough tabs on the consistencies between it, Fall of Cthulhu, and the Hexed comic series.  The only inconsistency throughout all of that is that the protagonist's indelible brand/mark/tattoo is on her left shoulder in some mediums and on her right in others.  But it's something I can more or less handwave away. 

I know some negative reviews talk ill of the protagonist occasionally losing her focus during the story and getting dreamy about what life would be like as a normal teenager, but they don't get it.  The protagonist has had to live an extremely abnormal life beyond the fringes of our reality and continues to live an abnormal life beyond that fringe, so her "anthropologist on Mars" fascination (and occasional consternation) with our mundane is endearing.  It's like how Arthur Weasley is fascinated by the muggle world and the stuff we think nothing of he finds marvelous. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 18, 2018, 06:02:41 PM »
And to footnote that, the Harry Potter characters aged over the course of the books and, as such, the writing matured too.  When Harry started raging at Ron, Hermione, and everyone at Grimmauld Place (I think?) in the beginning of book 5, it showed that Harry is not a wide-eyed, innocent, cute little kid any more.  He's a troubled teenager who's hitting puberty.  That age is when boys are monsters to deal with, because their glands are suddenly dumping tons of testosterone into their bodies and that makes them exhibit a natural form of "roid rage."  So, yeah, between hormones and circumstances it's no surprise that Harry was a dick at times and prone to lashing out. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 17, 2018, 06:22:36 PM »
I'm re-reading Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown.  When my old Kindle bit the dust, I'd been re-reading all my comics/graphic novels and since I finished Fall of Cthulhu and got a new Kindle, I need to re-read Sisters of Witchdown because it falls between Fall of Cthulhu and the Hexed comic/graphic novel series, and explains several open-ended things in the Hexed comics.  The novel is a good, fast read.  I'm around chapter 6, I think.  I feel like all the negative reviews of the book stem from the fact that it falls in the middle of a storyline continuum and that you need familiarity with the reading material outside the novel to glean the most from it. 

And at work, the English class I'm support staff in is reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  We just read about the Sorting Hat and did a Sorting Hat activity in class.  One thing I hope we impressed on the students is that although Slytherin is painted as the nasty house in the book, it's not a bad house to be in.  Gryffindors are brave, Ravenclaws are wise, Hufflepuffs are loyal, and Slytherins are go-getters and being a go-getter is a good thing.  And what's great is that we have a student who is a Harry Potter virgin and he's enjoying the book so much, that he reads it on his own time outside of school and during his lunch breaks.  How wonderful is that!

I feel like I'm back in that state of mind when I was first reading the books and am recalling stuff I pondered about.  For example, I realize that the books are from the point-of-view of Harry and, as such, Gryffindor is painted as the heroic house, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are just kinda there, and Slytherin is a wretched hive of scum and villainy since Harry, Ron, and Hermione's bullies are in it.  However, I think Slytherin would be the best house to be sorted to.  Slytherins are characterized as ambitious go-getters by the Sorting Hat, and I think to be a successful Slytherin you need to have the intelligence of a Ravenclaw to craft your plans, the work ethic of a Hufflepuff because you need to put in the work to make any ambition a reality, and the bravery of a Gryffindor to face the consequences of your actions. 

Plus, regarding Gryffindor,
Spoiler: show
 are they really the heroic house?  Who's to say they aren't capable of producing bad eggs and harboring bullies?  Gryffindors tend to be jocks, and I'd bet that most our youth's school bullies were jocks.  Plus, James Potter (Harry's dad) was a Gryffindor and a horrendous bully to poor misunderstood Slytherin Severus Snape.  And that's not even getting into Cormac McLaggen and Romilda Vane, who were both scummy.  Ravenclaws can be bullies too, in that they can be rather arrogant know-it-alls because they think they're smarter than everyone else.  I'd say most Hufflepuffs are pretty chill, but several would definitely have resentful chips on their shoulders since everyone thinks they're the house of rejects who are just kinda... there.  But if you mess with a badger... well, you'll never make that mistake again.  Honey Badger don't give a fuck.

EDIT:  And, you know, in the first book after Harry is sorted, Dumbledore announces the words "nitwit, oddment, blubber, tweak."  That initially had me scratching my head, but thinking about it now, it totally goes in line with my prior paragraph. 
Spoiler: show
Stereotypical Ravenclaws are stuck up nerds who think everyone else is a nitwit.  Stereotypical Slytherins are elitists who think everyone else is an oddment; not on their level.  Stereotypical Gryffindors are jocks who think everyone else is an out of shape blubber.  Stereotypical Hufflepuffs are stoner-types who think everyone else is an obsessive-compulsive tweak.  So Dumbledore is basically saying that your house makes you a biased and prejudiced little cretin.  That's something that kinda bugged me about Harry Potter- I didn't see all that many inter-house friendships.

Brush and Quill / Re: Standalone fantasy novels thread
« on: May 15, 2018, 02:34:44 PM »
Have you tried Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold yet? It can be a stand alone but the author has a few other novels set in the same world, all unconnected except for one (Paladin of Souls which follows a minor character from Curse after the events of Curse).

Demonic pacts, an older protagonist, Gods and politics.

I did try out a sample of it.  See Reply #21.

Brush and Quill / Re: Standalone fantasy novels thread
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:27:24 PM »
Yeah, I know this is a thread-res, but it could still be useful for anyone else looking for a good standalone fantasy novel to read. 

Anyway, I read a sample of "Blood of the Four" by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon.  I rather enjoyed the sample.  I can see this book being more fun "summer blockbuster" style action-fantasy rather than something with the deep worldbuilding and complex characters of something like Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, or The Stormlight Archive.  The story doesn't seem like anything we haven't seen before, but the writing is tight.  Such a contrast from the overly loose and, frankly, amateurish writing of Blackmark (which I opted not to finish.  Thank goodness Blackmark was a freebie.)  Plus, as with the other recommendations in this thread, Blood of the Four is a standalone novel and was conceived as a standalone from the get-go.

Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:15:01 PM »
Oh, another cheesecake fanservicey dungeon crawler?  I feel like those are becoming more and more ubiquitous these days, and none of them are really that good.  Matrix struck gold with Alundra, but everything else in their catalog has been meh at best.   And I'm seeing this new title as a washed-up one-hit-wonder grasping for straws.  I know Matrix also collaborated with other companies on several projects, like that DS RPG Nostalgia that they did with Red Company.  I was unimpressed:

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 12, 2018, 06:19:37 AM »
I procured a new Kindle as a birthday gift, so I read samples of The Curse of Capistrano (the first Zorro book) and The Scarlet Pimpernel, since those books are what originated the trope of the foppish aristocrat by day- masked hero at night we all love so much in comic books.  Batman wouldn't exist were it not for Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro, so as a comic book fan I felt I owed it to myself to pay my respects to the OGs.  Anyway, I couldn't really get into Zorro for some inexplicable reason, and though Scarlet Pimpernel was more appealing (I guess I just prefer that European style of writing), I couldn't get into it much either. 

I also read a sample of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.  It's basically about what happens to a bunch of average ordinary everyday kids who live in a town where something weird is always happening, some chosen one is always combating it, yet the big worries on these regular kids' minds are things like getting through history class, asking out your crush, graduating, etc before the school blows up... again.  I like the theme of "what if you were just some random Hufflepuff who just happened to be attending Hogwarts the same time as Harry Potter" but the sample did not grip me at all.  It felt like it was going out of its way to make these average kids seem really boring, which is a disservice to what the book seemingly wants to do.  Plus, the prose felt choppy and the dialogue felt stiff.  This sample is one of those cases where I like the concept more than the execution.     

Anyway, while my Kindle was out of action I was re-reading a lot of my old comics.  I recently finished Fall of Cthulhu by Michael Alan Nelson and will now re-read Hexed: Sisters of Witchdown, as it takes place between Fall of Cthulhu and the Hexed series (which is my favorite comic book series.) 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: May 05, 2018, 09:35:50 PM »
Ehhh... that's not for me.  I'm not into tribute bands or cover bands at all.  I only like to go see original bands who compose and perform their own music.  Nothing against tribute or cover bands (or original bands busting out a cover or two to hook an audience), but I'm more interested in what music is and could be rather than what was. 

EDIT:  I had a rollicking good time going to a bunch of comic book stores for Free Comic Book Day dressed up as a Team Rocket grunt.  Even had random people take photos with me.  Some of the freebies are really good, like Stephan Franck's "Silver." 

And I have a new favorite meme:

I'm too old to begin my Jedi training

I didn't find a wardrobe to Narnia when I was 8

I never got my acceptance letter from Hogwarts when I was 11

I managed to reach age 19 without getting reaped

...So Gandalf better come knocking on my door when I'm 50!

Either that, or I encounter The Doctor. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: May 02, 2018, 05:43:14 PM »
I can definitely dig that, @Frostillicus .  It's still crazy to think that Mick Jagger is in his 70s and still has that swagger on stage, though him doing those "sexy" moves like he did at age 20 look somewhat creepy now.  And like I said before, I look up to the 60-70 year olds in my bicycle club who ride 50, 100 or more miles a week and I want to be them when I grow up. 

Even young bands can be painful to watch and listen to if it feels like they just started the band because they were bored and it seemed like something fun to do and maybe meet girls.  You can definitely tell based on that intangible "vibe" whether a band is in it for the right reasons.  Being in a band is actual work, believe it or not.

Grampa Simpson's wisdom:

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:55:15 PM »
Not everything had to do with fame though, right Neal? It sounds a little judgemental to think those guys creating art and putting passion into their music and craft on stage are pathetic just because it's unlikely they are going to be famous.

Yeah, that honestly didn't sound like you, 'Crest.
Gotta do what you love and feel passionate about. Age and others' opinions be damned.
My wife will tell me stories about people in their 60s and 70s tearing up the dance floors at the night clubs she goes to with her girlfriends. I think that's just great.

Guess my time in gigging bands (especially Pool of Thorns) left me jaded, but that is how I felt during gigs when I saw some of those "midlife crisis/dad bands" on stage trying to be cool/look cool and just coming off like a bunch of man-children still stuck in 1987.  Also, no one was there to see them (because everyone they know is adulting and can't come out to shows), people at the show didn't care to see them (since they were mostly folks in their 20s who wanted to see cool bands with people their age and not "dad bands"), and I don't know... it just felt like I was watching a plant wilting.  Perhaps, objectively speaking, that's "wrong" but that is how I gut-felt. 

Maybe I'm turning into that very thing I despise and becoming a grumpy old man. 

This thing is hilarious:

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:09:16 PM »
Tomara- it's similar to me and my bicycling club.  I'm somehow the "kid brother" in my club, where most of the folks are older than me.  I look up to them big time, though.  I want to be like them when I'm in my 60s- riding 50, 75, even 100+ miles a week.  Still, I'm playing bass on the musical project of this one dude in my club who's becoming one of my best friends (he's 50 but looks like he's 35.)  We both feel too old to do the late night gigging/touring thing, but we still want to play and make music, hence this studio project.  And one of my younger friends (who's 25) actually asked me if I wanted to play bass in his new punk/hardcore band.  I was in a pretty raucous punk band, but my current project is taking more of my effort. 

Still, a part of me wants to feel that thrill of playing live again.  I always loved performing live and haven't played a live show since 2015.  But I don't want to be that old guy on stage.  I don't want people looking at me like, "Yo, this 40-something fogey needs to grow his ass up and forget the rock star dream.  He's not 20 any more.  That ship has sailed."  I feel like the only time it's acceptable to be an oldhead performer is if you're already famous.  Plus, people my age have adult responsibilities, so there's no way they're coming out to shows the way high school and college age folks do.  I've seen local bands of dudes in their 50s and though they're killer musicians (since they're been playing their instruments longer than some of us have been alive), it's almost sad to watch.  It's like, "Guys, give up the dream.  You're not famous, you'll never be famous because record companies ain't signing oldhead bands, and you just look like pathetic desperate anachronisms trying to recapture your lost youth." 

Sometimes I wonder if I'm outgrowing video games.  Instead of playing games, I'd rather enjoy a good book or graphic novel.  And since there is an archery/gun range near my house, I'm interested in trying out archery.  I enjoyed it in middle school PE class and it was one of the few sporty things I didn't completely suck at.  It's like, my tastes are growing up.  I'm maturing, but not growing old.  I don't need to be young and hip.  I earned my veneration.  But I don't want to retreat back into rose colored nostalgia of the "good ol' days."  I don't want to be that guy who only listens to the music he grew up with.  I still want to check out new, interesting, underground, obscure bands (like Cyborg Octopus.) 

I guess, philosophically speaking, I want to remain current but in my own way.  The biggest fear when getting older is getting left behind. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: April 28, 2018, 08:20:39 PM »
+1 on the encouragement.  Just be careful not to fall into the trap of "I feel just fine, I don't need meds any more" because it's the meds that are mimicking neurotransmitters in your brain to make you feel normal, and that feeling of normalcy is subtle.  And utilize the psychological help and trust the process.  They're there for you so let those hourlong therapy sessions be all about you.  Reflexively, many of us are wired to resist because we don't want to be one of "those" people who go to therapy. 

Psychological/mental health is no joke and I'm glad that progress is being made to have it not be a stigma.  We take sick days and medicine when we have the flu, yet we don't when our minds are sick?  You can't just "snap out of it" when it comes to anxiety or depression.  It's a legit illness and should be treated as one. 

As for my haps, I thought that over the last 10 years or so I had come to grips with getting older and prepared for the eventual existential crises that come with it; but now that I'm on the doorstep of 40 (I turn 40 on May 8), a different sort of existential crisis has presented itself and I'm working out how to best deal with it in a positive manner.  Instead of reflexively resisting, utilize the Bruce Lee wisdom of water becoming the cup and teapot.  Instead of seeing the crisis as a liability, how can I turn that into an advantage? 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:27:21 PM »
...I would be reading more, but my Kindle decided to breathe its last a couple of weeks ago.  I had that thing since 2010 and it was great.  So until I buy a new one, I've been re-reading most of my comic books and graphic novels, since those are real books and I don't like reading those on digital devices.  However, I've found that I like reading novels on a basic e-reader because I can easily change font sizes, access a digital dictionary for words I don't know, and it's more portable than a big ol' 1000 page tome. 

When I get a new Kindle, I don't plan on continuing Blackmark.  The more I read it, the more it felt like a mishmash borrowing from every fantasy trope and cliche I've read a kajillion times before.  Plus, it wasn't written very tightly at all.  It was an okay freebie, but I'm not invested in that series.  Once I get a new Kindle.  I might re-read Hexed: Sisters of Witchdown since it takes place between the Fall of Cthulhu and Hexed graphic novels, which I haven't re-read yet. 

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