A Bat Problem

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We get it DC, Batman is popular.

So, here I am reading through a new comic I was super excited about: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. Written by Matt Fraction, this book is a fun and very self-aware romp of cheesy dialogue and wacky scenarios. Overall it was a fun read. Then the book closes with Jimmy moving/being kicked out of Metropolis. Where does he end up? Well, Gotham City of course. Yes that’s right, Gotham: The home to such well-known superheroes like Flamebird, the Creeper and Freight Train. Also, there’s a dude dressed like a bat who has a severely hard time dealing with grief.

Anywho, as I read the end of this book, I thought back to something I recently heard at a symposium (twitter rant) by the enlightened sage of the comics industry and hobby podiatrist, Rob Liefeld,

DC Comics gonna drive off a cliff here real soon…..gotta get my popcorn…

I ain’t never seen a company in as much disarray as DC Comics. Thank God they have Batman to act as their Tylenol, Asprin, laughing gas… ‘more Batman will fix it!

~ Rob “Notice Me” Liefeld

Now, I don’t agree with Rob’s general message: That DC is somehow in the shitter and desperately grabbing any Batman themed rope they can to keep from tipping over the edge.

But there has been an AWFUL lot of Batman lately…
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Unanticipated Improvement

Sometimes unexpected changes to plans can be the source of lasting memories.

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A few weekends ago, Tee and I traveled out to New Mexico to visit my brother’s family. My parents were also gonna be out that way, so we figured it would be a good chance to get the whole family together in one place, a feat that is incredibly rare these days. So months before the trip, Tee and I made plans, booked flights, and got excited.

About a month before the trip, the airline we had booked with changed our flight in to New Mexico. Instead of a short layover in Denver and an arrival time of mid afternoon on Friday, we instead had a 6 HOUR layover in Denver and wouldn’t be arriving until late that night, effectively killing an entire day’s worth of time I could spend with my family. I decided to cancel the flight and find something new, which ultimately resulted in us having to pay almost double for tickets. During that struggle, I had an idea: What if we JUST flew to Denver, rented a small car and drove the 6 hours down to Albuquerque? I found a super cheap flight to Denver on Thursday night and an equally cheap hotel in the area. It felt like a crazy idea and a somewhat illogical work around. Why not just pony up the larger ticket price and fly in? Why add a six hour drive to an already long day of travel (we have to fly out of Orlando since the Gainesville airport is literally the most expensive airport in the state).

I can tell you right now, it was the best choice ever.
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The Favorites: Lazarus

Lemme tell ya a little bit about one of my favorite comics.

Lazarus, written by Greg Rucka with art by Michael Lark, is a phenomenal book. It’s set in a dystopian future where the world has been divided up amongst various pharmaceutical “families.” These groups control their portion of the world, running things how they see fit in caste-based societies that range from generally utilitarian to full on tyrannical. The series focuses on Forever Carlyle, who is the Lazarus for the Carlyle family.
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Roll Call: Gettin’ Dicey

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Yo, so let’s talk dice.

In just about any RP system you choose, you are gonna need a select few dice to perform. Whether it be the incredibly common d20, the also fairly common horde of d6’s or the less than common d30, dice are the main bridge between your imagination and the effectiveness of your choices. They dictate if you can do the things you want and which way the game goes. They are the deciding factor on questions like “Can I do a cartwheel while simultaneously shooting two dudes behind cover on that high ledge” or “Can I successfully seduce this lowly secretary to put herself literally in danger and give me access to every area of the freaky crime lair she works for?” The answer to both these questions is apparently yes, as my friend Matt has shown dice absolute love when he makes crazy choices. Way to go, Matt, you beautiful bastard.

Dice are important for any system, so how does one go about choosing dice? How many dice is TOO many dice? Is impaling your dice on stakes to send a message to other dice not to fail you TOO extreme? Honestly, the answer to all these questions is simple: it needs to be about what YOU are comfortable with. The additional answer to that last question is DO NOT ALLOW INSOLENCE WITHIN THE RANKS.

At the end of the day, the dice are your main vehicle for the game and you want to make sure you are happy with the dice you have. For some people, that means having new dice for every new character. For others, one set of dice is good enough for any character and any game as they build a bond with that particular set. For others still, having a plethora of dice to switch at depending on their mood and the mood of the dice at the current time. Find out which person you are and roll with it. You want to be comfortable with your dice set up so that you can comfortably play and you don’t feel like something is lacking. Just like you wouldn’t show up for yard work in a tuxedo, it’s important to have the appropriate dice loadout before hitting the table.

“But wait a minute” you’re probably asking, “are you suggesting that the dice themselves have personalities?”

Now, that’s an odd takeaway from this whole thing. I mean, here I am just trying to talk about how it’s important to select dice that make you happy and you’re reading between the lines. Well, I guess it’s the elephant in the room now, huh.

Yes. Dice have personalities. Contrary to popular belief, dice are not manufactured but instead birthed into tiny dice villages in various locales around the world like the city of Chessex or the great MDG mountains. Sometimes dice are grown in dice-farms like trout, such as those produced at Q-Workshop. They’re kind of like Oompa Loompas, except without faces and considerably more cruel. That’s why it’s important to BOND with your dice. And if bonding becomes impossible, then toss a d20 in the freezer overnight so the others can see what happens to those who disobey. Sometimes the best way to build a bond is through suffering, or at least that’s what my Tamagotchi taught me.

Anyway, when selecting dice it’s important to remember this old adage that I just came up with: There is no such thing as too many, nor is there such a thing as not enough. Pick dice that stand out to you because of their look. Pick dice that test roll better. Use a dice rolling app. Hand-carve dice from the wood of the great Uma-Tuk Tree. Bathe your dice in the waters of Lake Minnetonka. Whatever you gotta do, as long as it means you’ll be comfortable with the dice you have.

Happy rolling!

~C

Everyday

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Maybe the trick to doing something everyday isn’t to remind ourselves how important it is but to instead convince ourselves it’s run of the mill.

It is incredibly hard to do something every day.

I’m talking one activity or practice for some amount of time

Every.

Single.

Day.

For many things, like writing for instance, there are experts everywhere that tell you the best way to get good is to do it each and every day, even just for a little while. I remember a long time ago, my mom handed me “On Writing,” a book by Stephen King that laid out his memoirs and tips for writers. In it, he mentioned muscle memory several times (if my brain memory is correct) and how writing a little every day is better than just writing one day a week for a long period of time. Even back then, in high school (I believe) and having a world of time around me, I thought to myself, “How is that even possible?” Everyday is such a commitment. It includes weekends and holidays. It includes days we’re sick or generally not feeling like it. Everyday disregards the weather and our emotions. It doesn’t care how much we’ve eaten or what our sleep was like the night before. How is it possible to commit to an everyday? Yet, here is Stephen King, an immensely successful writer, telling me that Everyday is the key. And it doesn’t stop at writing. I’ve also heard this advice plenty of times from music instructors, personal trainers, meditation guides, hiking/nature advocates, dating/socializing counselors, foreign language teachers and plenty of other people in different fields. The topic may be different, the execution specific to the field, but they all agree on one the: the effectiveness of whatever you are doing is going to be at its peak with an Everyday mindset.
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Nobody Watching

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Keep your meditation and yoga, I’ll take private dance parties every day.

So there’s that phrase everybody knows: “Dance like nobody’s watching.” Ultimately this just means have confidence in yourself on the dance floor and that dancing should be about YOU and not being concerned about if your moves are good enough or how you look. I’ve talked in the past about how beautiful music is when you just let it consume you. It’s true, when you get to that point where you just gotta dance, you definitely SHOULD forget everything around you and just let go. It’s more than just dance-specific. I believe whoever originated this phrase really meant that whatever it is tugging at your passion, you should just let go and not be concerned about what everyone around you thinks. For me that concept most often manifests when I’m playing the drums. Getting into the music and just letting go, flailing like a madman. It’s a magical experience.

However, I honestly wonder how many people know what its like to ACTUALLY dance when nobody is watching. I think the prequel to the opening phrase should be “you by all means SHOULD dance when nobody is watching. You should take every chance you can to throw on some music and boogie. Shake parts of you that you don’t often shake.” But I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

Honestly, if you have never just had a solo dance party, you’re missing out. It is honestly one of the easiest ways to get hyped before a day of work. It is relaxing and refreshing. It fills you with confidence to approach challenges and energy to approach creativity. If you take it in the right direction, it can even be a good work out. I mean hell, why do you think there are so many dance-focused video games. The benefits of just absorbing some music and letting our bodies go is astounding. I don’t frequent dance clubs, but you best believe when I’m home I’m getting my Risky Business on.

I love it, to be honest. I never approach a day stronger than I do when I’ve let myself have a moment to just listen to some loud music and boogie, however that may manifest. And by all means, let your dance be specific to you. Wanna just bang head to some heavy metal? Tear up, satanicus! Maybe you feel like a private hoedown. Well then, do-si-do it to it, pardner! The music doesn’t matter, the moves don’t matter. All that counts is that you let the music grab you right in the emotions and you move the way it tells you to.

Like I said, I always find that getting a little groove in is great way to clear my mind and charge up for the day, but it’s not just me saying it. There have actually been studies that look deeper into the mental health benefits of regular or occasional dance, as well as groups that use dance as active therapy. There is seriously a ton of literature out there about different effects dance and music have on the mind as well as the body, and while the full effects are still being recorded and re-recorded, the overall consensus is that dancing both freely and as part of a organized group is one of the most beneficial activities you can take part in. It explains why we as humans are always so drawn to it. Hell, our modern concept of popular music is almost exclusively driven by the ability of a song to be “danceable.” We have had dancing and rhythm focused video games for literally decades. Popular group exercise programs like jazzercise and Zumba have been popular for literally as long as I can recall. We as people WANT to dance, however that movement might manifest, so if you haven’t just let go in the safety of your own home, then you’re severely missing out.

I invite anyone who reads this to dance. By yourself, with a friend, with a significant other. At a club, home alone, in the street (maybe not). Dance while running on the treadmill (carefully). Dance while vacuuming. If your jam comes on during the pre-show at a movie or in the waiting room at a mechanic or while you’re trying to find the ripest honeydew at the farmer’s market, then dive in and boogie-oogie and also oogie.

I also think if it’s something you’re interested in, consider finding a class or group and start doing that. Not only are you getting the benefits of regular dance, you’re getting the benefits of socialization and meeting a bunch of people with the same interest. You don’t have to be the next lead background dancer in the next [Insert Popular Music Personality Here] video (gotta keep these blog posts relevant for years to come). You just have to let go and get your groove on. Dance for yourself and follow where your body wants you to go.

Just dance like nobody is watching.

Some of my dance jams:

StandoutProf
Genghis KhanMiike Snow
Pork SodaGlass Animals
WowPost Malone
Check Yo SelfIce Cube
PARAD(w/m)ESylvan Esso
LazarettoJack White
SuperpositionYoung the Giant
Something for your M.I.N.D.Superorganism
bad guyBillie Eilish
Wintergreen – That Handsome Devil

[Hardest part about writing this post was not making this longer than 10 songs. Honestly, it just gets less relevant and weird the longer it gets.]

~C

A Heavy Load

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Do you guys ever stop to think:

“Man, what would I do if I straight up pooped my pants right now?”

Seriously, what would you do?

Like, you’re just sitting at work and for whatever reason, you just poop your pants. Maybe it was a fart you shouldn’t have trusted. Maybe some sort of gastric bug finally achieved its final form. Maybe your brain just disconnected from your body for a little bit to take a smoke break only to come back and find you soiled and sobbing. How do you react to that? Regardless as to why, how do you react if you suddenly find yourself dropping the dumplings in the fryer?
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On a Break

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So, May is crazy.

Trips and changing things around and working on projects. So much going on this month, I’m not even sure I’ll make it out the same on the other side. I mean, April was  busy enough, but MAY? Holy Toledo…

Like that shit, right there. “Toledo.”

When did I start saying “Holy Toledo?”

Anyway, I’m going to take a month off from the blog. I have a few chainsaws in the air, so I want to have more time to focus on them.

What chainsaws you ask?

This one: RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

And this one over here: VRRRRM VRRRRM VRRRRM

And a few others that I don’t have anything definitive for right now. (I’ll add chainsaws as they come up)

Catch me on instagram if you want to keep up (it’s really the only social media I use anymore). Going to MegaCon in May, so probably get some good stuff on there soon that isn’t just me complaining about food related things.

I am going to try and still have content pop up, maybe some guest blogs. So we’ll see.

Catch y’all in June!

~C

Fan Scars

Being a fan is tough work. I’ve recently come into a bit of distress after the most recent Star Wars celebration. We had game announcements, show announcements, and of course the Rise of Skywalker trailer. Honestly, it should be a great time to be a Star Wars fan. Star Wars fans should be ecstatic for all the goodies to come.

Honestly, I’m not.
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Music to My Everything

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I’ve recently been going back and listening to albums that I listened to years ago. Some are still fairly new, in the grand scheme of things, while others are a decade or more old (which hurts me). Songs and bands I was all about in college or high school or shortly after. Things I haven’t heard in years due to no longer getting radio play or just not popping up in the slurry of internet radio like Google Play or Spotify. It’s been a fun way of connecting with my past and generally succumbing to a wash of nostalgia.

I absolutely love music. That’s really the only take away here. This is just me gushing over music. I’ve probably made it painfully apparent in the past. Hell, my first real post on WordPress was about music bringing people together.


For those too lazy to click that link, it comes complete with this gif:

^^^I will always love this gif^^^


Music is the best, fam.
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