Online Gaming #Board Games #RPG #TTRPG #gaming

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

This is a short one. I really love that there’s technology available for people to play long-distance. It allows you to reconnect with friends or make new ones. It also proved very useful in the pandemic. We all know these things, but they just don’t matter to me. I hate online gaming.

Gaming is a social affair. It’s about sitting around a table, eating pizza, drinking Mountain Dew, and rolling a physical set of dice. I’ve done it online, and at times it was better than nothing, but only barely. I’m forced to do it again this weekend, as a player in my new home game will be dialing in from out of state. Our first session was about a month ago, and I don’t want to put this one off any further, but I just don’t like it. On the other hand, I like having online hangouts with friends. Perhaps the difference is that I grew up with a telephone that allowed for (quasi-)hanging out when not in person, but gaming has always in person. 

Whatever the reason, it’s just how I feel. I don’t expect you to feel the same way. It’s not an objective truth, so as with all things, YMMV. 

And that was your purely destructive post for the day.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc

Happy birthday, Alissa. R.I.P.

Improvisation in Avengers: Endgame @karengillan @RobertDowneyJr @Russo_Brothers @MarvelStudios #MCU #Nebula #Avengers #Endgame

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I move away from the for a short commentary because of an anniversary. Two years ago to the day, I published a long post arguing that Nebula’s character arc in the MCU was the greatest redemption arc in cinematic history. In it, I specifically pointed out how brilliant Karen Gillan‘s performance was in the second scene of Avengers: Endgame. While Robert Downey, Jr.‘s performance was typically wonderful, Gillan acted circles around him and yet doesn’t get the credit she deserves for that scene. I also pointed out that Gillan has the chops to win an Oscar one day (for whatever that’s worth).

I have a friend? What’s a friend?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an article in which Gillan states that that entire scene was improvised. I point this out only to say that the jobs both of them did are all the more impressive.

But especially Gillan’s.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc
Follow Karen Gillan @karengillan
Follow Robert Downey, Jr. @RobertDowneyJr
Follow the Russo Brothers @Russo_Brothers
Follow Marvel Studios @MarvelStudios

Good Watch: Four Masterpieces @JamesGunn @VancityReynolds #movie #cinema

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it. Other posts in this series can be accessed by clicking here.

James Gunn was (as of the writing of this post) the latest in a long line of people tweeting the following meme (image at the bottom in case the tweet is deleted).

Well, it’s been a pathetic week (or so) of posts from me, so I’m doubling down on stupid with an obnoxious response.

I really do like Green Lantern.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc
Follow James Gunn @JamesGunn
Follow Ryan Reynolds @VancityReynolds

In case the tweet is deleted, here’s a screen shot of it.

Classic Movies: Movies That Scar(r)ed Me as a Kid @bernieh #movie #ClassicMovie #GoodWatch

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it. For other entries in the Good Watch category, click here. For other entries in the Classic Movies category, click here.

A couple of days ago, I pointed out two, unassuming songs that filled me with dread for some unknown reason. Today, I’m going to try to remember the movies for which the trauma they caused to me endured the longest.

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

This is the earliest movie I remember generating a long-lived fear. We saw it in the theater upon its release. For the life of me, I don’t remember a single frame from this movie. I could watch it in its entirety on YouTube, but I doubt it’s worth two hours of my time. I still haven’t watched Archive 81 or the final season of Ozark. I have higher priorities. Here’s the entire movie.

I feel like I just challenged myself to watch it.

The Fly (1958)

This was the one movie that traumatized me the most and for the longest period of time. I was fine throughout the entire movie, but this final scene is what wreaked havoc on my elementary school psyche.

I became a huge fan of Jeff Goldblum because of the 1986 remake.

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

This movie is perhaps not as bad, but it road on the coattails of The Fly. This scene was the kicker.

I’ve had an irrational hatred for bugs ever since. All of them. Not just spiders.

Alligator (1980)

Do you know how you handle a monster like this? Shoot it in the head. Problem solved. But nope, “once it escaped, there was no way to stop it.” This has to be the dumbest one on this list, but I was 13. I sincerely thought that there was no way to stop it. I remember trying to calm my nerves and fall asleep after watching it, but I heard breathing from under my bed. (There was nothing under there but dirty laundry.) Here’s the trailer. Try not to laugh at it or me.

On second thought, laughter seems appropriate for both.

Exorcist III (1990)

At this point, I was too old to be afraid of movies, but I’ll be damned if this scene didn’t freak me out. Go to 0:40.

Seriously, the only scene that made me uncomfortable was an elderly lady crawling atop the roof unnoticed. I guess that it’s because I’ll never feel safe knowing that elderly ladies are capable of kicking my ass.

I also remember seeing a TV documentary on astronauts and suddenly being afraid that gravity would stop working. I didn’t want to float off into space. And while the Alien franchise didn’t particularly scare me even as a 9 year old watching it for the first time at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC, one of my few recurring dreams are nightmares of the Xenomorphs chasing me. Some things just stick with you.

Alien Loves Predator #14: Speed Dating
C/O Bernie Hou

I wish I know what made each of these movies scary for me. At some point before I was 9 years old — I remember I was still living in Silver Spring, MD — being the rational intellectual I always was, I realized my fear was irrational. I said to myself, “Even if such a creature exists, how would it know to come to my house to kill me only after I saw a movie about it? Why didn’t it show up last week? In the case of a phenomenon, why would it not manifest until I was made aware of its existence? That makes no sense. So, be afraid. Eventually you’ll fall asleep, and when morning arrives, you’ll wake up alive and well, showing you how stupid it is to be afraid of such things.” I was between 5 and 9 years old when I thought about this, and it kept me from being afraid of the dark for most of my childhood. But these movies still rattled me. There’s got to be a pattern, and it’s clearly not as simple as bugs (or even animals generally). It probably involves immediate circumstances of the time lost to my memory.

But it’s okay. Unlike the songs, these movies no longer have any effect on me. In fact, I find them (and all horror movies) silly considering the relatively primitive movie-making technology they use (not to mention the premise and execution of horror movies generally), but there you go. That’s what made me uncomfortable.

Again, I should see a shrink. if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc  
Follow Bernie Hou @bernieh

Stevie Nicks Songwriting Stories @StevieNicks @FleetwoodMac #music

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

I was browsing Google headlines today and came across this article detailing my second favorite Stevie Nicks songwriting story. The jist of it is this: Stevie wrote Stand Back while listening to Prince’s Little Red Corvette, and the influence was too great. So, she called Prince and asked permission to use the riff. Not only did Prince grant permission, but he flew out to Los Angeles and played the keyboard part on the song. Prince was credited on the album as Alexander Nevermind and shared 50% of the revenue from the song.

See the source image
This is a pioneer, right here.

My favorite story? I learned of it only recently. One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs is Silver Springs. In 1975 or 1976, Stevie was leaving a concert at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, riding along the Washington, DC beltway (I-495). As she passed the exit for New Hampshire Ave. (Route 650), she read the sign, “Silver Spring, MD,” and thought, “What a great name for a song.” (Here’s the longer version of the story. As brilliant and tortured as Rumors was, imagine how much moreso it would have been with Silver Springs on it.)

What’s great about this story was that, because of the time of night, I was almost certainly snug in my bed less than one mile from her as she drove by. I wouldn’t even know of the band, Fleetwood Mac, until 1977, but I was in some small sense there for the start of one of my favorite songs from one of my two favorite bands.

Seems appropriate.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc  
Follow Stevie Nicks @StevieNicks

Genesis, Capital One Arena, 11/18/2021 @PhilCollinsFeed @tonybanksmusic @officialmatm @genesis_band #music

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

With recent events sending me into a tailspin, I needed a distraction. Coincidentally, I got one. After 53 years, I finally got to see one of my favorite rock bands, Genesis. I took only two videos, and they’ll leave you wanting more. Sorry, but I went there to listen and watch, not to videotape.

As I’ve told you, while Genesis isn’t my favorite band of all time, their album, Duke, is my favorite album. The concert began with some of that album as follows . . . .

I took this video because I liked that they were displaying the spines of cassette tapes for all of their albums.

One of the songs didn’t serve as a distraction, but rather a reminder, but that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think I want to see some more concerts, but unfortunately none of the bands I’d want to see are currently on tour.

Only my 12th concert.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc  
Follow Phil Collins @PhilCollinsFeed
Follow Tony Banks@tonybanksmusic
Follow Mike (+ the Mechanics) Rutherford @officialmatm
Follow Genesis @genesis_band

Underneath @Djantoine #music

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

Today is the song attached to the most painful memory I have of her before last week. The first time I heard this song was on my car ride back from Phoenix to Tucson to catch my flight home. It was on this trip home that I realized I had lost her forever — all my own doing — and this was the first song I heard on that trip, and the only one that I had never heard before. Today was her memorial service, which solidifies the fact that I’ve lost her forever.

Seems appropriate.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc  
Follow DJ Antoine @Djantoine

Safety Dance?!?! @MenWithoutHats1 #music

If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.

I know, I know. This is 80s, not 90s. Well, speak for yourselves. I can’t count how many times we went to Polly Esther’s in Chicago. I could have chosen any number of 80s songs, but this was our last dance there (though most certainly not our last dance).

She coopted it from my high school years, which is great, because she was one of many who helped make law school the best years of my life.

Follow me on Twitter @gsllc  
Follow Men Without Hats @MenWithoutHats1