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329822 Posts in 13520 Topics by 2179 Members
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16  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 13, 2014, 06:17:33 PM
I'm about 4 or 5 chapters into Allegiant (Divergent book 3), and so far I'm not digging it as much as the first two.  I'm invested in the story and everything, but the dual-protagonist perspective is not working for me.  Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of dual-protagonist perspectives and initially thought it was a nice change of pace (in Allegiant, the two POVs are Tris and Tobias), but the Tobias chapters have been limp.  Veronica Roth, so far at least, cannot write a male character effectively.  Tobias' chapters, so far, read kinda girly/emo-kid and too much like Tris's.  Tobias is supposed to be a tough guy and I don't read any tough guy machismo in his chapters so far.  I get it that thick-skinned tough guys often have traumatic pasts that made them thick-skinned in the first place and hitting that hot button can be emotional, but tough guys don't turn into dishrags and still carry themselves with bravado in the face of adversity.  

I hope Tobias's chapters improve, or at the very least have a different voice.  Right now, I have to keep referring back to the beginning of each chapter to remember who's narrating.  Not good at all. 

This could lend well to a classic literary discussion.  The idea of how well authors write characters of opposite genders.  It's easy to make blanket statements that one can't effectively write the other, but that would be false.  For example, we know George RR Martin writes female characters exceptionally well.  Ask anyone who their favorite A Song of Ice and Fire character is, and they'll likely mention one of the ladies, because they're awesome.  And in Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell penned Rhett Butler.  You can't ask for a more "man's man" than Rhett Butler.  When he delivers his classic line at the end of the movie, it's pretty badass.  It's manly, ya know?  EDIT: And though I haven't read Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy yet, I've been told that Peeta (the boy) is a more compellingly written character than Katniss (the girl).  
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 13, 2014, 04:37:41 PM
I posted this on FB this morning:
Aauugghh! It's driving me nuts. People trotting out the ridiculous "rule of three" now that Lauren Bacall has died a day after Robin Williams. I'm seeing it mentioned all over the place. Think for just a second about this supposed "rule". Where would it come from? Why would it happen? How would it even be possible? Things do not happen in threes. People do not die in threes. People die by the thousands every day! It's all just silly superstition, and humans trying to make sense of things they don't understand. Some days I truly do feel embarrassed for the human race.

And if you look at history, in all kinds of cultural and religious symbolism, the number 3 has always held some kind of mysticism.  Whether it be the holy trinity of Christianity, the Trimurti in Hinduism, the use of triangles (like in pyramids) all that stuff.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_(number)

Somehow the number 3 is hardwired into the basic human psyche.  How else do you explain that the number 3 holds significance in pretty much every continent?  Yeah, perhaps 3 is just a number, but the history surrounding that number is pretty fascinating.
18  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 13, 2014, 09:16:11 AM
Sorry to hear about your uncle Dagg.  It's one thing if someone dies from illness or age, but suicide- that's a whole different set of "feelz."  Hang tough, buddy.
19  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: August 12, 2014, 03:08:00 PM
Also on the fence on Ninja Turtles. I grew up with them in the 80s, but I'm wondering when do (you) or does anyone become too old for this stuff? Plus, I got no kids to partake in this nostalgia.

Never too old.  Remember, most of these movies based on comic books and such (yes, TMNT started as a comic by Eastman and Laird) are rated PG-13, so they're not necessarily "kiddie" movies and a lot of goers are probably people our age who, yes, grew up with this stuff.  It's kinda cool seeing my 10 year-old nephew being into Iron Man and the superhero/comic stuff I grew up with. 

And looking at more modern day comics from smaller houses other than DC or Marvel, many of them realize that a majority of comic book kids are our age now and create stories we'd like.  It's kinda like how the kids whose childhoods were harbored around 8-bit Nintendo are our age now, so video games grew up with us. 

As for Michael Bay, I've said it before and I'll say it again.  The best thing he ever directed was that Meat Loaf music video "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That.)"
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 12, 2014, 02:59:46 PM
Haps?  Along with everything else happening (both positive and negative), I'm wrestling with a hefty decision about my own life's trajectory.  I don't want to get into details, especially on a public forum.  Not yet at least.

I had this feeling that 2014 would be a year of change, upheaval, and a lot of big things happening, and that's how it's been.  
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 11, 2014, 01:07:02 PM
The ones I have planned out are 1 day events, but there are some that are multi-day.  The MS Tour-de-Shore (benefiting multiple sclerosis research and treatment) has several 1-day rides (ranging from 25-100 miles) and a couple of 2-day ones (75 or 100 miles per day).  There is also one I saw ads for during Tour de France called Ride for Victory that's a 2 day ride (75 miles/day) benefiting cancer research and treatment.

As far as cycling goes, I prefer hills and slopes.  Flats bore me and I'm not very skilled with sprinting on flats.  Climbs are more exciting and I'm actually a somewhat competent climber. 
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 11, 2014, 09:22:39 AM
Tomara, I wonder if that's perhaps due to the differences in cycling culture in EU vs US.  In EU, riding bicycles for daily use is common and you'd probably be a weirdo if you didn't have a bicycle or two in your garage.  So the fancy-ball rides entice those who want to make an ordinary activity extraordinary.  In the US, it's car-culture and we cyclists are seen as pesky flies, so being able to ride where at least the parade run (the first 2km or so of a race or ride) has roads closed off for us (it was magical riding among thousands of cyclists across the Ben Franklin bridge in Philly to kick off the ride).  For that brief moment, the roads are ours.  And I like how a lot of rides around me go into rural areas so it's like "tour de farmland" and it's like hidden treasures in New Jersey (a place that has a crappy pop-culture reputation.)
23  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: August 10, 2014, 09:43:28 PM
Last month, Pool of Thorns played Smitefest with 40 Below Summer (you may remember their songs "Self Medicate" and "Taxi Cab Confession" from the early 2000s), and I recently had a chance to listen to their new album Fire at Zero Gravity.  It has its highlights (some of their heaviest and most complex guitar riffing) and its lowlights (some songs are forgettable or run too long, the harsh vocals sound overprocessed and unnatural) but it's not a bad album.  

Best song on the album IMO is Little Miss Happiness.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbMMIasCz1U (it cuts out before the end, though, which sucks.)
24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 10, 2014, 09:17:02 PM
Thanks for all the kind words and support, everyone.  I want to jump through the computer and give all of you a hug.  And super thanks to the 'fanners supporting the bike-a-thon I mentioned on the previous page.  It means a lot, words can't describe.  

I'm already planning out my bike-a-thon schedule for 2015.  I want to make the Cancer Ride I did back in July an annual thing (I rode this one with my coworker who's a survivor), the Parkinson's ride an annual thing (for my mom and my late uncle), and I want to do the Tour de Cure for Diabetes annually for my dad (and various other family; diabetes runs in my family.)

In other news, the band just got back from playing Nikstock 2, and it was a good time.  The road's been pretty rough on the band this summer and we're actually looking forward to recording in the studio now because we're burning out from touring.  One of our guitarists is a new dad, so he's on "paternity leave" from the band (thankfully we have a second guitarist now who's earned his wings flying solo), but he's itching to play shows again.  
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 07, 2014, 11:24:41 PM
It's a degenerative disease, so it's more debilitating as far as I know.  I don't think the disease itself is fatal, but complications that arise from it can reduce life expectancy.  

EDIT: I just found out a few days ago about this benefit bike-a-thon for Parkinson's happening near me, and I'm doing it:
http://www.shakeitoff4pd.org/pd500-rock-n-roll-bike-ride.html  

Here's my fundraising page: https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/NealChandran
26  Media / Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued on: August 07, 2014, 04:54:28 PM
You won't be disappointed in that series, Darilon.  Being so prolific, Sanderson's work can be hit or miss, but Mistborn is a hit. 

As for my reading, I just finished Insurgent (the second book of the Divergent trilogy).  I'm enjoying this series, but after reading the first two books in a row, I'm taking a breather so I don't get burnt out.  The big reveal at the end could be seen as predictable, but the tension of the writing kept it interesting.  I also enjoyed seeing all the dark little secrets all the factions do that show the chinks in the armor of the supposed utopias.  e.g.
Code:
Amity putting "happy drugs" in their bread to keep their people docile.
27  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: August 07, 2014, 04:45:55 PM
Been playing FFX on and off.

I have beaten the PS2 version so I just play it in bursts whenever I get in the mood for FFX gameplay. Just fought John Travolta for the first time. Actually, I had forgotten that I had actually liked a lot of Seymour's scenes in the game. The only thing that I really remembered from my PS2 playthrough was finding it really annoying when he kept popping up every five minutes. Totally overshadowed how much I liked his total indifference at Djose Temple.

Not really sure what to play next. Klyde and Klutz' posts about Borderlands 2 make me think I should give it a go. I really liked the first one and I have the second from PS Plus anyway.

I'm pretty sure Seymour's whole bit was that he was an asshat who, at his first glance of Yuna, made it his mission to get into her panties. The only reason he didn't succeed was because Yuna got wise to his casual patricidal tendencies at the same time because Seymour waited he he got to his swingin' pad to pop the question which, unfortunately for him, happened to be parked right next door to the nexus between the realm of the living and the afterlife, and that the afterlife occasionally leaks. This led to Yuna spending a solid quarter of the game trying to figure out if she should trust the asshat or not, then Tidus gets her into bed a lake with her, then she gets kidnapped anyway because Seymour is an asshat and he wants her to get into a lake with him, then she says "Screw you Mr. Patricide. I'm not a virgin anymore and I'd rather die then become your sex toy for the rest of my life." and jumps off a cliff. Then everybody gets pissed off at him for murdering his father and he dies, then he comes back as a zombie because he REALLY wants to get into her panties.

This gives new meaning to the phrase "giving up the ghost."
28  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: If I were to watch ONE comedy show... on: August 07, 2014, 04:43:11 PM
I don't know, was it? I don't watch the show. Are they all into comics now? Whatever I saw was met with complete indifference towards them.

It was.  I accidentally typed a ? instead of a . so I made no sense. Sowwie.

EDIT: And Big Bang Theory has a whole slew of people from Roseanne.
29  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: If I were to watch ONE comedy show... on: August 07, 2014, 02:03:10 PM
The episode where the girls were having a heated debate over a Thor comic was funny.

And, as far as contemporary sitcoms go, I still recommend The Middle.  I talked about it some in a previous post.  

EDIT: Changed a ? to a .
30  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: If I were to watch ONE comedy show... on: August 07, 2014, 01:53:03 PM
I enjoy Big Bang Theory and so does my family.  Some of the ridiculous stuff that happens reminds me of ridiculous stuff I did with the guys I shared an apartment with during grad school.  Same with my dad (and my mom, who moved into my dad's graduate apartment when they got married.) 

So I think the show is a bit overrated?  Yes.  Do I think the earlier seasons are better than the newer ones?  Yes.  Still a solid, show though. 
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