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Watch Poker Face

The new TV show Poker Face on Peacock by Rian Johnson starring Natasha Lyonne, I mean. Not, like, the song by Lady Gaga or whatever.

We’ve watched the first four episodes, and they’re mostly stellar TV. The premise is that Charlie is a cocktail waitress who has a nigh-supernatural ability to tell when someone it telling a lie. You might think that would see her gaining fame and riches, and in some genres, she would. But this is noir, so Charlie’s ability just gets her repeatedly entangled in crime.

These are not whodunnits, even that we watch Charlie prove murders every episode. This is because we see the murder at the start of every episode and we actually are waiting for Charlie to catch up. The emphasis here isn’t on justice, either. Again, this isn’t a detective show. These aren’t whodunnits. This is much more in the tradition or crime or noir.

The writing so far has been far above average for this kind of show and the cast is all-star. Rian Johnson continues to impress the hell out of me. I’m so excited that we get a total of 10 episodes in the season!

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Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

Let’s pretend I didn’t l just write a post about how I fucked up, okay?

It’s Friday and that comes with great relief. I dove into my work week on Monday still not yet fully recovered from my terrible cold. I think the reason I have such a hard time with colds now is that it impacts my ability to sleep with a C-PAP. So not only am I sick, I’m also under-rested. Anyway, I hit the ground running this week trying to catch up and it’s fried me. I’m having a light morning of admin/meeting tasks and then I’m headed to the couch to rest and recuperate.

I’m really looking forward to watching Poker Face, Rian Johnson’s new TV show. And given that the kid is having a sleep-over, TV will be out of the question tonight.

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What does it take to form a habit?

Well. 25 days. That’s how long I went without missing a blog post.

I’m not beating myself up about it. Forming habits is hard, and yesterday was a day of many different tasks, including running my bi-weekly post-apocalyptic D&D game. This week, they met the priestesses of the Temple of Shells. They’re giant psychic eggs that never hatch. It’s a weird campaign. Anyway–

I’ve read books about forming habits and stuff, but I think they’re mostly aimed at younger people. I have found it incredibly difficult at this stage in my life to form new habits. I can practice a task for literal months, then suddenly fall off the wagon.

I used to journal in my Evernote. I went for a year and a half. Then I missed one day, and I haven’t done it in a year! I spent six months doing morning brain training games. I haven’t done it in several months. I don’t even really know when or why I stopped. I actually enjoyed those!

Is this a problem unique to me? The only habits I ever seem to develop anymore are bad ones. The ones I try to consciously develop always require effort, and I’ve yet to really succeed at forming one and putting it on autopilot. I guess I need to read more books about it or something.

I do find repetition incredibly difficult, and I get bored easily doing the same thing over and over. Novelty is what I crave in life. I suppose this trait and my failure to form habits might be related…

I’m cheating and back-posting this one to Thursday. Truth is, I realized I had forgotten to write it while I was in bed last night, so I sketched out this post in my head to post this morning. I’m calling that as fitting. I MAKE THE RULES HERE!

I’ll post another one later today. Hopefully for my six readers, the effect will be seamless…

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Miniatures for 2023 – 26 to 31

Yep, I’m still painting miniatures. I’m a week ahead of the game, even.

Miniatures 26,27,28 – ooze wizard, sorcerer, and fighter. Miniature 29 – a very jolly mummer with a giant hammer and even giant-er mustache. Miniature 30 – another sculpt of a very cool dwarf fighter. Miniature 31 – a very scary man in full plate. Miniature 32 – a simple city guard archer. Not in the exact order below because WordPress’s gallery block is weird.

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Human Society: It’s For the Birds

I’m not really a fan of this whole society and culture thing, and generally speaking, I’d rather not participate.

As it turns out, that seems to be increasingly true for many. So many in-person events seem to be dying off. Our board game nights have a fraction of attendance compared to what they once had. Did the COVID pandemic break something fundamental to our human spirits? Does technology eventually lead to alienation?

I’m no luddite, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the Internet has gone terribly wrong, and thanks to that, our societies are crumbling. Then again, they weren’t that great in the first place, were they?

Perhaps as an introvert, I should be pleased that civilization is so prepared to make it possible for me to live in relative societal isolation. It’d almost be cool, if I didn’t enjoy the company of smart people so much.

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Almost Ready to Capitalism Again and Velma

I’ve felt considerably better today than I did on Friday, which was a rare “day of little work” for me, but I’d say I’m still only at about 75% of my best. I’ll work tomorrow, undoubtedly, but I will have to be forgiving with myself if I don’t accomplish as much as a usual Monday. Gotta keep the wheels grinding.

Because of the sickness, I missed a Friday RPG game that I run (Blades in the Dark) and a Sunday game that I play in. I will admit to enjoying having weekends off from time to time, but I’m pretty sure I begin to have a crisis of identity if I got more than a couple of weeks without running a game of some kind. Instead of doing the hard work of running a game for others, I’ve been passing the time more passively, and I have thoughts about it.

Today, I watched all four (so far) released episodes of the new TV animated series, Velma. You’ve probably heard that it’s an atrocity against our childhoods, the worst thing ever made, and the creators should be banned from ever working again in Hollywood. Well, that’s all bullshit with a side order of misogyny.

It’s not… good, mind you. Many of the jokes fall flat for me, but over the four episodes, I have seen some growth in quality and substance. A lot of the reactions online have been to how “different” the characters are, like they’ve never heard of the concept of prequel before? Also, Velma is deeply unlikeable and doesn’t have a clue who she is. This is a deadly sin to the haters online. It’s fine. Velma is interesting here, as are the others, and clearly she has a lot of growing to do. I’m interested in the mystery and also how they become the characters we know so well. I don’t give a shit about how the characters have been altered as far as race or sexuality. It adds depth, and is one of the aspects of the show that actually works out of the box. The absence of Scooby is no big deal.

I’m not entirely sure who the intended audience is for the show. Probably not people my age. Probably not me! And that’s okay! As usual, I think there’s a faction on the internet mostly just hates Mindy Kaling, and will take any opportunity to express it. Dumb. She’s a talented comedienne, even if she’s not my favorite. It’s okay to not like things, but when you make not liking something or someone your whole purpose for living, that’s pretty gross and sad. Entitlement is not a good look on anybody.

I do wish I could say that I loved it, and that it was really good. Nothing makes me feel more special than loving something others hate. Sadly, there’s a lot of room for improvement, and I don’t expect much. But it’s watchable. I’ll finish the first season, which is more than I can say for Willow. Shrug-emoji.

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Personal Life

Saturday Is For Recovery

I have done pretty much nothing for 24 hours except watch That 90s Show on Netflix (jury’s still out, but I have nostalgia for That 70s Show) and play a modded Minecraft pack (Vault Hunters, it’s infuriating). Also, cough, sneeze, and blow my nose. I think the split between activity and disease symptoms is about 50/50.

I do feel a little better today. When I was painting a miniature last night, snot dripped out of my nose and formed a pool on the table. I eventually shoved a tissue into each nostril so that I wouldn’t drip on the mini. I looked like some kind of deranged paper-based walrus. Today, I haven’t had to do that, and I actually managed to sleep almost seven hours last night. Progress!

Getting sick is definitely my least favorite thing about getting older. Colds used to barely register for me, but now they wallop me. And yes, I took a COVID test. I was negative–just a regular run-of-the-mill rhinovirus this time.

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Personal Life

Overturning Half-Orc Stereotypes

I’m still pretty sick but that sometimes gives me time to think about stupid stuff while I wait for my face to implode from the sinus pressure. Last night, around 3 AM, I got to thinking about the stereotypical half-orc background story from the olden days, and discovered what I think is a fatal flaw.

(CW: rape)

Right, so, I don’t remember where I read it, but in the 1st edition AD&D days, half-orcs typically had the following “origin story.” The mother was a human who was raped by raiding orcs. The half-orc grew up despised by his human family and neighbors, and set out as an adventurer to find a world where they could fit in. Tired, right? Boring, and offensive, too.

But, this origin story doesn’t work, because I posit that human women would have a very difficult time giving birth to half-orc babies, due to their size and stature, much like how there are some theories about the difficulty of homo sapiens mothers having half-neandertal babies (This might be an actual thing or it might just be something I half-remember from Clan of the Cave Bear). Such pregnancies would often result in death of the mother and baby, given the state of medicine. Magic would most likely need to intervene.

So what if we turn the equation on its head? Half-orc mother, and human father? Ah, now things get way more interesting. I don’t want to get any further into the distasteful subject above, but with these roles reversed, I find consent much more achievable, and the opposite, er, not.

With beauty standards stereotypically being very different between orcs and humans, you can pretty safely bet: half-orc children are the product of loving couples of human men who are into death by snu-snu and orc women who are into the orcish equivalent of 90 lb weakling nerds. Half-orcs must grow up well-loved in orc culture – can you imagine someone telling an orcish mother that her baby “isn’t an orc?” That someone would not last long. Half-orcs are not “half” anything to orcs in their own society. They’re just orcs. Human are responsible for that “half” nonsense.

So half-orc grow up in stable, loving homes, supported and accepted by their society, and they set out to adventure on a grand tour of human society out of curiosity as much as anything else. Experiencing half-orc discrimination probably comes as a huge surprise to them.

Anyway, a bit of a touchy subject with some very unpleasant tropes, but it paints an entirely different picture of people of orcish descent for me.

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