Posts Tagged ‘nerd’

Totally Addicted

May 29, 2007

Show us the game you’re addicted to at the moment.
Submitted by Lena Katrin.

Pearl

I’m playing Pokemon Pearl semi-religiously at the moment. It has been a good five years since playing a Poke-title in any real capacity, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much depth there was here. According to the game’s clock I’ve logged in around 100 hours to the thing, and I still feel like there is a lot left to keep me entertained.

However, one thing I haven’t had a chance to do much in Pokemon Pearl is battle other human beings. My friend code is 4124-1571-0231, so if any fellow nerds would like to play just drop me a line.

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Old Soul Song

February 14, 2007

Audio: Share a song that reminds you of a current or past relationship.

I despise the fact that so much of my musical taste can be attributed to one person. What makes it worse is that person was a psuedo-almost-maybe-kinda ex. While the label was lacking, my feelings for him couldn’t be so easily denied. Before we met I honestly knew nothing about music, and I would have been hard pressed to pick a favorite artist or album.

After seeing a movie on our first date we visited the Virgin Megastore in what would be the first of countless shopping trips together. I would follow him closely behind in awe of the way he methodically walked up and down every single aisle of the store, listening to samples and browsing for something that might catch his eye. His appeal to me wasn’t that he was a moderately attractive musician, but that he was a nerd. If my comic shop were ten times as large and ten times as loud, this is exactly what I would like every Wednesday when I went there to pick up new books. From that moment I knew we had much in common; probably much more than I will ever be able to deal wiith.

From our conversations during these trips I learned strange bits of trivia and history, slowly starting to develop my taste note by note. One memorable week Bright Eyes, who I had never heard of, released two concept albums on the same day (I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.) While this meant nothing to me, to him this was no less than the second coming of Christ. After purchasing the discs we immediately rushed to his car for what I thought would be a romantic encounter. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed to discover that all he wanted to do in the back seat was listen to music.

So we did just that. We listened, and we listened, and over the course of that night I learned a lot about him, Bright Eyes and myself. To this day I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning remains one of my favorite albums, second only to The Magnetic Fields’ I, which he also introduced me to.

Much like my hatred of Build-A-Bears this music is a legacy I’ll probably carry with me forever. I’m quite happy with my current beau, but not a day goes by where I don’t hear a song, or think of a lyric that takes me back in time.

Vox Hunt: Worth A Thousand Words

February 7, 2007

Show us a picture that’s worth a thousand words.
Submitted by sami711.

Joshy

Dear Universal Studios,

February 6, 2007

Hello,

My name is Josh, and I am a lifelong fan of your movie studios, feature films, and theme parks. I would like to thank you for the quality entertainment you have given to me and my family by offering you my services in your time of need.

You see, I, like many others who bother to think about these things, feel that your studio has always had a very weak staple of cartoon stars, and the irony of that is never lost on me. You see, Walt Disney once worked for Universal. In fact, if Walt’s original creation, ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,’ wasn’t stolen by you he probably never would have left to create Mickey Mouse.

Every time I walk into one of your theme parks I sigh when I see an enormous Curious George or Crash Bandicoot greeting the guests. While Spider-Man and Beetlejuice are quite cool, there is one Universal character in particular I’m always looking for and can never seem to find: Chilly Willy.

Chilly willy

In case you are unfamiliar, Chilly Willy is a small, adorable, semi-mute penguin who wears a ski cap and a scarf. Never quite as popular as that other Universal Studios bird, Chilly has starred in nearly 100 theatrical shorts throughout his career. The truth is that most of these cartoons were awful, but despite this the character has managed to develop a cult following of his own. The lack of presence at Universal theme parks is especially noteworthy when you consider that Woody Woodpecker and the gang are supposedly its’ official mascots. Worse yet, they haven’t made a notable public appearance in about 40 years.

Knowing these things, you’ll understand my shock when I found a women’s t-shirt of the character at Hot Topic, nestled between two especially large piles of Family Guy crap. While it’s not a big deal to see Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny on some merchandise, seeing the Universal cartoon stars on anything warrants a marching band and a ticker-tape parade. Kudos to you, good sirs! (And I do assume you are ‘sirs,’ because I doubt a woman would design a shirt featuring the words ‘Chilly’ and ‘Willy’ so prominently, but I digress…)

With the public’s renewed interest in penguins, perhaps the marketing genuises at the studio can try and capitalize on this somehow. Releasing some Chilly Willy cartoons on DVD would be a nice start, but I have something much more amibtious in mind.

Penguins

If Universal Studios would be willing to loan me the rights to the character for one year, and also, use of a real penguin, I guarantee I could rework the property into something modern and relevant. My proposal includes projects such as taking ‘Chilly Willy’ to summits on global warming, and also, teaching him to do adorable tricks in exchange for pieces of fish!

By covering both ends of the spectrum I can remain respectful of the property while also pushing it head first into the new millennium, While I have no interest in revitalizing Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker anytime soon, I feel saving Chilly Willy from obscurity is the least I can do for the studio that brought me ‘The Wizard,’ ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’ and terrible ‘King Kong’ remake after terrible ‘King Kong’ remake. It is my hope that you take my offer seriously, and I look forward to receiving your reply!

Thank you again,

– Josh!

Vox Hunt: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

January 30, 2007

Photo: Show us a postage stamp.

Hawkstamp

I’m quite fond of Hawman, in spite of how ridiculous he may seem at times. While Superman has incredible power, or Batman his training and gadgets, all Hawkman fights crime with is a pair of wings and a mace. This is not to say he isn’t intimidating, though — if you break the law he is going to hit you with a mace! I know if I were a criminal I’d be scared…

Batman Fights the Anti-Christ!

January 23, 2007

Grant Morrison is the current writer of ‘Batman,’ and is best known for his work on mind-bending titles like ‘Animal Man,’ ‘All-Star Superman,’ ‘Seven Soldiers’ and ‘New X-Men.’ If you’ve read any of these comics, you all too well that Morrison is nuts.

Grant

See? Nuts. Despite this fact (or perhaps because of it) I’m a huge fan of his work. In a recent interview, he gave fans a teaser of Batman #666…

“Issue #666,” he [Morrison] laughs, “is Damian [Batman’s son] grown up as Batman of the future fighting the Anti-Christ.”

Delightful! I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but this is the most excited I’ve been about a comic book in a while.

Yvonne De Carlo

January 19, 2007

Every so often I take a celebrity’s death very personally. This is obviously strange behavior, since I’ve been no less than ambivalent towards any real loss in my own life. What is even more bizarre are the people who I find myself attached to: one week it’s Frank Gorshin and in another it’s a 1930’s jazz singer who I only learned about by reading their obituary. This week it’s Yvonne De Carlo.

Most people remember Yvonne De Carlo as ‘Lily’ from the cult TV series, ‘The Munsters.’ In this case, I have no shame in admitting that I am ‘most people.’ ‘The Munsters’ is one of those quirky shows that manage to win over the viewer with a combination of humor, sincerity and charm. Just watching a few episodes recently have made me appreciatre how timeless the series really was. Yvonne’s portrayal of Lily as a normal, loving housewife stands out as one of the things that made the show work. Without her providing a sense of normalcy against the wacky situations the family got into each week, things would have gotten very old, very fast.

Yvonne

About a year or so ago I was spending a day at Disneyland with my good friend, Andrea, and her good friend, Joe. Although I didn’t know it when I met him, Joe created and operates Munsterland, one of the most comprehensive Munsters fansites on the internet. While it may not seem like it, Fred, Lily and the gang have an enormous online presence, and fans the world over have been mourning her passing.

Unlike the recent death of Al ‘Grampa Munster’ Lewis, who got extremely weird and political in his later years, Yvonne De Carlo was widely respected both inside the industry and out. Before taking the role of Lily, she had once been a popular Hollywood starlet, originally gaining fame for playing Moses’ wife in ‘The Ten Commandments.’

Even though she was afraid the make-up and costume would ‘turn her ugly,’ Yvonne took the part of Lily Munster to provide for her family. Her husband, a movie stuntman, had been seriously injured while filming a movie and was unable to work. Thankfully for both of them, The Munsters became a hit. The series filmed a total of 70 episodes and had two movies, giving De Carlo plenty of work over the next few years.

While I’ll be Netflixing some of her film work over the next few weeks to honor her (‘Frontier Gal,’ hear I come!) take a moment from your incredibly busy and exciting life to remember a great actress and a classy lady.

Flashbeagle

January 16, 2007

It seems like Snoopy can do anything. I grew up only a few miles away from Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. For those of you unfamiliar, Knott’s is an amusement park (as opposed to a theme park) known not only for their roller coasters and attractions, but for their fried chicken and jams as well. At some point during my youth Knott’s somehow managed to snag the rights to the ‘Peanuts’ characters and have featured them prominently in the park ever since.

Although I am freakishly tall now, I was not always tall enough to ride some of the more intimidating rides at Knott’s. Still, I visited the place regularly and as a result ended up spending most of my time at Camp Snoopy. Camp Snoopy is a kid-friendly area of the park themed to Charlie Brown, Lucy and the gang. In addition to standards like a Ferris Wheel and a ball pit, it also had a petting zoo and an expansive outdoors play area.

One of my favorite attractions there, ‘The Red Baron,’ puts children behind the seat of World War I era fighter planes they can ‘pilot’ as they spin round and round for several minutes. This ain’t Disneyland, people, but it doesn’t really have to be. Snoopy has long been one of my favorites, so I’ve always cut the character a little slack for not having merchandising or theme parks as well-made as The Mouse does.

One thing Snoopy can do that Mickey cannot is dance. Dear lord, can that beagle dance!

‘It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown…’ is one of the most ridiculous and dated pieces of animation you’ll ever come across. Presumably as an attempt to cash in on the success of 80’s dance films like ‘Footloose’ or ‘Flashdance,’ ‘Flashbeagle’ features Snoopy breakdancing to disco music. That, and the fact that it hasn’t been released in 20 years are pretty much everything you need to know about the project.

In addition to being really damn weird, there are many positive things about this TV special. Underused characters like Franklin and Peppermint Patty take center stage in a storyline involving dance competitions and the whole gang preparing for a big party. Sadly Franklin proves just how much of a token black character he is when he becomes Snoopy’s confidant in the world of dance. Peppermint Patty doesn’t do much better, only reinforcing the stereotypes of athletic lesbians with her ‘Stay in Shape’ musical number.

Despite how much crap is manufactured with the ‘Peanuts’ name, it’s a surprise that ‘Flashbeagle’ has been ignored by the home video market. There are definitely much worse pieces of ‘Peanuts’ animation out there; if nothing else the novelty of the thing makes it worth checking out.

Batman Legos

January 9, 2007

What’s something you bought, knowing it was a total waste of money?

This is a QOTD very near and dear to my heart. As anyone who has been shopping with me knows, almost all of my purchases are a complete waste of money. Just today I bought two different brands of dish soap, just because I couldn’t figure out which one I liked more. It’s not that I have a large amount of cash to spend on stupid things like this, I’m just terribly indecisive. This, combined with my nerdiness, often results in purchases I end up regretting.

A good example of this is the LEGO: Batman Arkham Asylum Playset. For a mere 80 dollars Aaron and I could spend countless hours putting together 860 pieces of fun. The age range specified ’12 or older,’ so I figured that between the two of us we wouldn’t have difficulty with it. In my youth I spent many hours playing with Legos, so this would be a fun way to reconnect with that. If you’ve ever read a blog post by me, or understand three-act structure, you know all too well that things didn’t turn out as I had planned.

Joshhateslegos

The first problem arose when I realized that there was no organization to the 860 pieces presented in the box. While I don’t expect LEGO to make the assembling proccess easy, this was ridiculous. For example, if I were looking to find all of the pieces of the Arkham Asylum ambulance, I would have to look through every one of the 15 bags of crap they provided.

Several hours were spent simply trying to put the different legos into different piles, and by then we were exhausted and angry at one another. Starting this new hobby off with the most difficult Lego set may not have been a good idea. Admitting defeat we finally placed everything back into the box, and shoved it as deep into the closet as we could.

RiddleMeThis

I’m not really disappointed with the purchase, but acknowledge that the money could have gone to a much better cause. At the very least, I got some cool Batman-themed Lego men out of it.

Your Jedi Mind Tricks Will Not Work On Me

January 6, 2007

I answered a lot of phone calls at my Los Angeles internship at Dark Horse Entertainment. Often this also involved taking messages for people who wanted to speak to my boss Chris. If, for some reason a person were to call wanting to speak to his boss, Dark Horse Comics President Mike Richardson, I would transfer them to Chris and he would take care of it personally.

Even though we were a small independent production office, 90 percent of the phone calls we received were people looking for some kind of job. Even people who you would assume already had a job, people whose names you would recognize, called on a somewhat regular basis looking for work and trying to sell their latest projects. If someone called specifically to do so, regardless of who they were, the appropriate action was to take a message and have Chris or Mike call them back at their convenience.

Formerly attractive

On one day a particularly eventful phone call came in. I put down whatever I was doing at the time (most like an AIM conversation or reading through back issues of Hellboy) and answered the phone in my typical friendly fashion:

“Hello, Dark Horse Entertainment.”

“Yes… I need to speak to Mike.”

The voice sounded strangely familiar, and it took only a second to recognize it. Holy Crap. Mark Hamill was on the phone!

You’re probably wondering how I knew it was Mark Hamill. First of all, I’ve seen every episode of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and could recognize his voice instantly. Also, he sounded like someone who used to be incredibly attractive, famous and popular (as opposed to someone who currently is.) Who else could it be but Mark Hamill?

After a few seconds of silent awe, I realized that both Mike and Chris were in the middle of a meeting. I would have to take a message. This seems like a simple task, but in my world it’s always the things like this that end up with disastrous results.

“I’m very sorry, sir. Mike is in a meeting right now. May I take a message?”

“No. I need to speak to him now. This is Mark Hamill.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hamill. I’ll have to take a message. Mike is unavailable.”

It was at this point I realized how much it must suck to be Mark Hamill. At one time he probably could have gotten a private audience with The Pope, and now some college intern is making him leave a message. Once again I reasserted my dominance, only further upsetting the guy. After asking a fourth time to leave a message, Mark Hamill shouted an expletive and hung up on me. I laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and went back to killing time in a more entertaining way. About an hour later Chris walked up to my deck and asked if anyone had called while they were in the meeting.

Yeah, Luke Skywalker called and he was pissed.