Ending the Streak #blog

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Well, I’ve now published 156 posts in as many days. I missed DATE but published twice on 9/11, so my current streak is really 120 days in a row. But much like Cal Ripken, I’m choosing to end my streak. I’m not going to post today.

Oh, shit. Oops.

This still counts as a post, and it’ll probably piss off Kessel Junkie for bonus points, suckers.

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9/11: Never Forget #911 #NeverForget

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Sen. Cruz: May We Never Forget 9/11 | Ted Cruz | U.S. Senator for Texas

For people within a certain range of ages, this was our JFK assassination moment. We remember exactly where we were. I lived and worked in downtown Chicago during the worst year of my life. I was riding the bus to work, and everyone on the bus was talking about it. When I got to work, the news reports (many false) were pouring in. We were told to go home by 11 am, but I left around noon.

When I got back to my apartment in Lincoln Park, I called my friend, Matt, and we headed out to a bar to watch the news coverage together. During our time at the bar, we saw the first tower fall, and then the second. I grew up in the Washington, DC area, so I was calling everyone there to make sure they were alright. Unfortunately, things were so chaotic that even reliable sources of information were being fooled by false news reports (e.g., “They hit the State Department!”). It took about a day for all of that to be sorted out, at least for me (I have what I’ll call “connected” family and friends).

Regardless of how you feel about our efforts against the Taliban and Iraq, it’s all hindsight. At that moment, all of America was pissed off and demanded action.

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You Can Never Really Go Back #gaming #DnD

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I started a new job located in Chantilly, Virginia, and joined a gym nearby once it reopened. This means that every single day I drive by the old site of the Game Parlor. This is a tough pill to swallow. I left D&D in 1981 due to the satanic panic. In other words, I left because I was forced to leave. When I finally broke through a particular mental barrier, I returned to the game in 2005. My first game was at the Game Parlor in Chantilly, Virginia, where I created my warmage, Frylock, who would be immortalized both in a mini made for me by my friend, @Luddite_Vic, and also on my license plate.

I played two Living Greyhawk modules, which itself opened my eyes to a larger community that was unavailable when I was a kid. The game had become more popular, and the internet brought us all together. I instantly started making new friends (and frenemies) and found a new social outlet, which I know creates a paradox for the ignorant. Within five years, I had attended my first GenCon and was organizing my own convention, synDCon.

So here I sit on Wednesday night having a thought. I should be playing D&D with a group I recently joined, but I’m not. Why? Because I no longer enjoy playing the game. I don’t play it the way almost all others do, and the way those others play the game simply doesn’t appeal to me. I didn’t particularly like D&D 3.5e but, despite that systemic problem, still played it because of the people. Even though I like D&D 5e, getting to see them no longer is enough to make me sit through a game that just drags for me.

So while I lament not having the Game Parlor, I realize that even if I did (and there were no more pandemic), I wouldn’t take advantage of it. It’s like this: Even if you think very fondly of, for example, 5th grade, you wouldn’t want to go back there with the mind you have now. You’re an adult. You don’t want to do childish things with ten-year-olds as your primary source of entertainment. I’m not saying D&D is per se childish; I’m just saying I’ve moved beyond it as it’s usually played, so I don’t really want to go back there. I just want the idea of finding something like that. Unfortunately, I think I’m too old to expect that to happen.

You can never really go back.

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Follow Vic @Luddite_Vic

All Hail (Once Again) the Greatest Individual Entrance in Cinematic History, and Other Things I Didn’t Create #MCU #Thor #HDB to me @ChrisHemsworth @samuelljackson

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For my birthday, I’m being lazy and just giving you material others have done. First, here’s a fantastic moment from a fantastic character as played by a fantastic actor.

It’s no wonder that Portals in Avengers: Endgame used a variation of this theme for the entrance of the formerly dusted into the final battle against Thanos.

And now for some more.

Image may contain: 5 people, meme and text

That’s it.

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#Avengers: Age of #Ultron: The Flip Side of the #MCU Power Curve @JeremyRenner @lindacardellini

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In yesterday’s post, I voiced my only serious complaint about the MCU: The incoherent power curve. While that certainly annoys me, Avengers: Age of Ultron keeps me from forgetting that the least powerful original Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye, were certainly very important to the team. If the choice I was given was having a screwy power curve or eliminating them from the story, I’ll take the screwy power curve with a smile on my face every time.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye was instrumental in stopping Scarlet Witch from tearing the Avengers apart. He was the only one who avoided her powers, and he was the one to convince her, the person that would one day become the strongest Avenger, to join the team in a meaningful way. That was done with a speech rivaling any Captain America ever delivered. This was a believable effort on his part despite not requiring a superpower. Before that, however, he reinforced the message to the other Avengers of what they were fighting for by introducing them to his family. In fact, his non-hero wife, Laura, kept him from losing touch with his own importance. For a team that was falling apart at the seams, this was critical to the believability of the Avengers continuing to work well together.

Black Widow

I’ve written several times about how Black Widow is the glue of the Avengers. Except for Thor, she had significant, on-screen bonding moments with each of the original Avengers (as well as a few others) over the course of several films. This could explain her eventual inability to stick to one side in the Avengers’ “civil war.” With this movie, we saw the development of her most significant relationship, Bruce Banner, and the expansion of her most important one (from a story perspective), Hawkeye. I vaguely relate to Black Widow’s backstory, and how it shaped who she became, in a specific but personal way I won’t discuss; however, I think we can all agree that it’s compelling enough for her own movie. The story became a mission to rescue her, but not really. Far from the archetypical damsel in distress, she instead turned the situation around from the inside, leading the Avengers to Ultron. Without screwing with the power curve, Black Widow contributed in vital ways.

These two characters were as important to the Avengers as any of the others, and neither had a superpower.

Unrelated Note

In a cinematic universe filled with brilliant one-liners, one of my favorites comes from Age of Ultron.

“Oh, for God’s sake!”

James Spader is awesome.

Sometimes you must take the bad with the good. Black Widow and Hawkeye were really good.

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Follow Linda Cardellini @lindacardellini (season 2 of Dead to Me drops on Netflix 5/8!)

My #Cameron Clan Scarf and Pin #scotland

Scarf and Pin.jpgI don’t even wear a coat unless the temperature drops to freezing, but when I lived in Chicago (1996-2001), I got into the habit of wearing scarves … and hats, and gloves, and just about anything else wearable that I could find. So, when I was at Walt Disney World in 1998, I bought a pin and scarf based on my Scottish clan (Cameron). I’m a typical American in that I have no idea what any of it really means (despite having seen Braveheart 🙂 ), but it was a nice scarf. At some point, I lost the scarf and pin, but my recent research on my family tree inspired me to replace them both despite not being quite as Scottish as I thought I was (1/8 rather than 1/4). My great-grandfather (father of my paternal grandmother) was born in Lochgilphead, Scotland in 1868.

And there’s your useless information for the day.

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