Guest Post: Read This!!

Hi everyone!  I’m Mimi, Rich’s wife.

She was *very* convincing.

You may remember me….

I’m trying my hand at this blog thingy since Rich will be working on a game (maybe two) for a contest most of this month.  So I’m going to at least try to help.  This will be just a short, little post about a manga I just read.  I just wanted to let everyone know about it.

46585-legal_drug_vol_1_large

It’s called Legal Drug.  It’s pretty awesome.  It has a little bit of everything in it, comedy, drama, romance, some supernatural, and to top it off it has some Yaoi!  Yaoi makes everything better in my opinion.  The Yaoi is mostly implied, but it still counts; I’ll take what I can get.

That’s kind of it.  So, if you’re looking for something good to read that isn’t super long…

That's 29 out of...69.

That’s 29 out of…69.

 

…give Legal Drug a try.

 

Ͼ~Mimi

P.S….

Yay for reading!

Yay for reading!

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Tekko 2014: Merch!

Now before I start this I want to point out that in the hustle and bustle of everything we lost a couple of business cards.  I’d like to show off who made each item that we purchased, but with the loss of the cards I can’t do that for every item.  If you believe you made an item that I haven’t attributed a creator/seller to, then send me a line using the form on the right side and give me a link to your site or your etsy page or whatever.  We also don’t remember the prices we paid for anything, so…uhh…yeah, sorry on that; next year I’ll take better records on this stuff.  Also, each picture (that we remember the makers to) link to their website if available.  So if you like what we got, and want one of your own, click the pic to get a lookie-loo at their other stuff for sale.

With that out of way, let’s get to the fun stuff!  First off we have this cute little, figuratively speaking because it’s huge, bunny pillow!

It's soo fluffy!!

It’s soo fluffy!!

And yes, that’s one of the ones we lost the card to.  The other one is this nifty cloth bookmark.

We hope it says something like 'Awesome Book' or 'Secret Manga', but it probably says, "This guy can't actually read". =(

We hope it says something like ‘Awesome Book’ or ‘Secret Manga’, but it probably says, “This guy can’t actually read”. =(

We got this nifty faux-flower headband from the folks at Domenica’s Fine Fashions.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s a really nifty looking blue fabric flower.  They also make medieval outfits, costumes, and all kinds of custom-made outfits.  We also bought a lot of stuff from them, we definitely could have blown our entire convention budget on their stall, alone.

Made by Jessica Cowan of Domenica Cimatori.

Made by: Domenica’s Fine Fashions.

On the right hand side of this next one is a star-shaped jar pendant filled with glow-in-the-dark rocks.  On the left hand side is a really awesome idea: A circlet made with wig clips so that you can just put them in barrettes (or such I’m no hairdresser and really have no idea what I’m talking about) and not have to mess up your hair, but still keep the circlet in perfect place.  It has a turquoise-colored gem in the middle, which looks cool.

Made by: Manifested Dreams

Made by: Manifested Dreams

Every year it seems like we absolutely have to buy something from the A Case of Random stall.  We’ve bought barrettes, ankle jinglies, wrist jinglies, chopsticks, all manner of things from her before.  Always happy with our purchases, the wife wanted another rainbow item (you can never have too many rainbow shinies, she claims) so we picked up some more ankle jinglies.  I can’t not suggest this fine lass for all your chainmail accessory needs.  Did I mention shiny jinglies?

Made by: A Case of Random

Made by: A Case of Random

I mentioned buying a sticker of a cop named Dick from the Phoenix Wright series; he’s the dude in the middle, Dick Gumshoe (Itonokogiri Keisuke).  On the left we have Loki from the Thor and Avengers movies (and the comics before that) and on the right we have Sailor Jupiter (Lita/Makoto).  They are all stickers made by one Lacey Shreffler.

Made by: Lacey Shreffler

Made by: Lacey Shreffler

And the last thing we bought is another case of ‘lost card syndrome’, which is a shame because the last time we were at Tekko we bought a bunch of Chinese wall scrolls from them which currently adorn my home office.  Anyway, this cute little kitty clutch was perfect since the other day when we went to the theater to see Wicked (which was fantastic, BTW) my wife had trouble carrying her ID and all that fun stuff.  You see, my wife’s not a big purse kind of woman, and ladies pants (and dresses, of course) don’t have very deep pockets, if they have pockets at all.  So a clutch that she can hang from her wrist is great.  This little number was only a few bucks and it has a cute kitty on it.  You can’t really go wrong with a cute kitty, right?

DSCN0210

And that was everything non food-related that we spent money on this year.  All this talking about Tekko has me wanting to go back, already.  Hope to see you folks next year!

~RCS

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 3 and Final!

Update: Monday, Tuesday…same thing, right?  I know I said this would go up on Monday, but apparently I read my calendar wrong and the 6th was Tuesday, not Monday.  Sorry, my bad.

 

Sunday started early, but not early enough to catch the Anime That Might Actually Teach You Something or the Final Fantasy Through the Years panels.  We got into the convention late morning/early afternoon and hit the dealer’s room.

We tried to keep away from the art, since that’s almost entirely what we bought last year at Otakon and we still haven’t even gotten the stuff in frames.

We got a sewn linen bookmark, a couple nice stickers of Loki, Sailor Jupiter, and, of course, Dick Gumshoe.  Really, you think I could walk away from a discounted sticker of the cop from Phoenix Wright named Dick?  Do you even know the name of this site?

Anyway, we also picked up a cute bunny pillow, some jewelry, but I’ll give you a merch rundown tomorrow.

After we got our fill of merchantry for the year, we headed up to see our only panel for Sunday, the How to Get The Guy — About Otome Games panel.  Otome games are games designed for girls, generally romantic visual novels, but they may also be dating sims, princess-makers, etc.  It’s a little gay, but I actually enjoy these games and wish there was a bigger market for male-centric versions of these games that aren’t simply story-less pornography (not that I’m no willing to play those, too, of course).  I’m also interested in the Otome genre because I’ve designed a few of them and I wanted to see the panel to gather some ideas for new designs.

The panel was interesting and informative, even though the woman running it had a laptop screw the pooch and she had to make do without her power point presentation.  It actually showed that she really knew what she was talking about, since she didn’t really miss a beat without the power point.

—-Final Review!—

What do I think of Tekkoshocon 2014?

On the whole?  Good, better than it’s ever been, maybe; at least the best its been for a few years.

Improvements?  A few, mostly regarding lines for entrance into a panel.  I think that each panel room should have a serpentine-style line assembly taped out in masking tape in front of each entrance door.  They do it for the main event area, but I think if this was done in front of each panel room it would make forming and maintaining lines much more efficient.

That’s really it, the rest of the issues we had were administrative problems.  Something as big as Tekko you just have to expect a few things like that.  Con Ops had a stage, 6 panel rooms, 3 video rooms, a lounge, registration, tons of open space, and over 5,000 people.  The fact that we only had two major hiccups in our journey is pretty much par, if not better than par.

So, like I said, making lines before they are needed would be my main improvement for next year.

 

So all in all, I’d say it was definitely worth going.  As far as I know we’ll be heading to it again next year, with a few more panels up our sleeves.  And this time I might actually be ready with DickJutsu swag for sale and such.

~RCS

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 2

Day 2 of Tekko 2014 began with the Women in Anime panel hosted by voice actors Caitlin Glass, who I know best as Winry Rockbell from Fullmetal Alchemist, and Brittany Karbowski, who came onto the scene after I started falling behind on watching Anime.  It was a Q&A panel and both of the ladies were interesting.  I really liked Ms. Karbowski’s story about scaring her boyfriend, which I’ll summarize for you…

She said that when her and her boyfriend lived together in a small apartment, she would get home before him and turn off all the lights, then hide in a closet somewhere in the apartment.  When her boyfriend would come home she’d giggle and say, in a very high-pitched, creepy-sounding voice, “Wanna come play with me?  Hehehe.”

She said she doesn’t do that anymore because now they own a house and it would take him forever to find her, that and it really freaks him out.  The panel was interesting, they were pretty funny and entertaining; a nice way to start the day.

After that we separated from our friend, who went to the How to Make a Steampunk Necklace workshop.  At this point we decided to finally make good on the threat to go to the lounge.  It was actually pretty cool, they had snacks and water, a bunch of tables with baskets of candy on it, and funnily enough Glass and Karbowski walked in from the back door of the café just a few moments after we came in.

Stalking

They had televisions set up to watch the main stage, so we watched part of the Masquerade, hosted by Uncle Yo, a perennial guest of Tekko.  We had a snack and got re-hydrated and had a quick chat with some of the wife’s relatives who happened to be at the convention, too.  Once we were done with our rest at the lounge we headed out and went to the Traditional Theater and Anime panel.

It was hosted by a very nervous college student; he almost seemed like he was going to perk up take the bull by the horns, rack us up and knock us down.  Until his opening question, “Who’s here to see the headlining band tonight?” fell flat as only a handful of people in the room were interested.  Half the room seemed like they didn’t even know bands played at the convention.  He had good information, he just needs to work on his presentation and public speaking skills and he’ll do well in the future.

At that point we headed to the Dealer’s Room and Artist’s Alley to get an eye on the things we might be interesting in throwing money at and met back up with our friend.  We grabbed some quick dinner and headed toward the Octo Erotica panel; a panel about tentacle porn.  Unfortunately the folks hosting the panel had canceled, so we missed out on the chance to see what could have been a very interesting panel.

So, with nothing else to do we headed to the OMG WTF Did I Just See panel.  Now as you might remember, this particular panel was one of the sour moments of the last year we were there.  And you know what?  Sour point this, time, too!  It was an 18+ panel and Tekko administration had forgotten to put a staffer in charge of the door to check IDs.  They didn’t have anyone to monitor the door or set up the lines outside the door.

Two distinct lines formed, one heading east and looping in a serpentine style, the other connecting half way through that line and lopping westward.  When the staffers finally realized they had a half-full 18+ room with two lines and not a single ID checked, five minutes before the panel started, they sent a couple of folks up to handle the situation.  They started checking badges, but didn’t do much else to fix the lines and just kind of…walked away from the situation once the doors opened.

The panel had a decent slew of interesting stuff, like before; most of it coming from Japanese television shows and commercials.  If Tekko staff could realize that it’s a popular panel, every year, and put the necessary staff into handling the doors, that’d be great…

StaffDoor

The last panel we went to had about as much care put into keeping the doors secured as the last one.  Once again we serpentined in front of the room, this time they had a staffer to check IDs for the 18+.  Unfortunately there were a few drunk guys behind us in line.  They realized that when the line started to move they could just barge straight to the door, nearly running over everyone serpentine in front of them.  The staffer at the door stopped them though…to check their IDs before letting them into the room.  So line control seems to still be weak at Tekko.

Anyway, the last panel we went to was the Is It Hentai?: RELOADED panel.  In this panel they either showed a picture or played a sound clip and then asked a volunteer if it was porn or not.  98% of the time it was porn, usually some pretty grotesque stuff, too.  They had a few tech issues because they said that Power Point had decided to crash and wipe out their original presentation so they had to rebuild it between panels.  They had a bunch of door prizes, which they explained was a car load of stuff they didn’t want when they moved so they were just getting rid of it.

By the end of the panel they were just handing out free shit, which is cool because we got a DVD box set, a Manga, and a little toy ball-in-a-cup pen that my wife played with for about a straight week.  The panel itself was funny and when a second crash halted the panel they decided to read from a really crappy fanfiction, which was hilarious in its terrible writing.  Definitely worth a lookie-loo.

And that ends Day 2.  Monday we’ll reconvene here for the final Day’s review and the ultimate review of the whole convention and how I think Tekko has managed in the interim time we’ve spent away from it.

~RCS

TekkoDay

Okay so maybe I’m getting a little addicted to the Meme Generator thing.

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 1 (Part 2)

Last time on DickJutsu.com!

 

Bla, blah, blah.... DickJutsu.com!

Bla, blah, blah…. DickJutsu.com!

Moving on we had the Anime Horrors panel which had a few tech hiccups and started awfully late. I’m still not sure what the panel was really about, they basically just showed one episode of an anime wherein a bunch of school kids summon malevolent spirits then get separated. Two of them find each other and then decide to separate again…because they are stoopeed.

Then one of them dies, while the other watches and…well…kind of accidentally helps her die. Anywho it was a pretty messed up anime. It’s one of those things that’s kind of hard to explain unless you’ve seen it. Actually it’s kind of hard to explain, even if you’d have been sitting next to us watching it.

So then we made our way to a panel titled “5 Anime You Pretend to Know, But Actually Know Nothing About”. They talked about Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Trigun, Madohka Magica, and Afro Samurai. It was definitely an interesting panel and was very informative, although I have to say that the Trigun section was a little lacking in flesh-out-ed-ness…err, whatever the hell word I’m grasping for. It wasn’t fleshed out well. I’m not sure if they were being clueless about it for humor, or if they really didn’t understand the plot, but they claimed a few things were unexplained in the series…which were totally explained, openly.

And we finished off the first night with a trip into the Bad Fanfiction panel. It was a group read project where a group of people were brought up and made to ‘popcorn’ read an excerpt from a handful of poorly written fanfictions.

In case you aren’t aware, fan fiction is…well, a story written about another piece of literature or a movie or TV show, generally written by, y’know…fans. It’s kind of self-explanatory, really. Of course the difference is that in America it’s generally crap and looked down upon. Well it’s looked down upon because a lot of it is crap. But in Japan it’s called Doujinshi and often times if it is done well, it will be honored by the producer of the original media.

As an example there was a Street Fighter fan fiction about two young kung fu fighters named Yun and Yang. The original producers of Street Fighter liked the story and lo and behold…Yun and Yang are playable characters in Street Fighter III.

Of course, we read a bit of Twilight fanfiction there, too. Twilight Fanfiction, in case you were curious, is proof that not all double negatives create a positive experience. Like they say, two wrongs don’t make good writing; or y’know, however it goes.

The particular Twilight fanfiction was called Master of the Universe, written by a writer going by the name “Snowqueen’s Icedragon”. Eventually she rewrote the fanfiction by changing the setting and altering the characters’ names and back story; then got it published, under the name E.L. James and Master of the Universe changed into 50 Shades of Grey.

Which gives me tons of hope to get published, because that drivel of a drivel is a Best Seller.

50 Shades of Whutt?

50 Shades of Whutt?

And that was the end of Day 1. Friday was more than over and we made our way home where we sacked the hell out in preparation for Day 2, Saturday. Sure to have more people around; but would it have more crap to deal with or did the Tekko folks fix everything? Come on by again tomorrow for part two–err, right, part three now because I was long-winded on day one. So yeah, come on by tomorrow to see if everything went perfectly smoothly or if anything went to hell.

~RCS

Of course something went to hell, what kind of reviews do you think I write here? Psh!

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 1 (Part 1)

As you all know I was very critical of Tekkoshocon a few years back. I decided to give the convention another chance this year. And that was a good decision. A lot of the problems they had before, they had fixed. Not to say there weren’t a few hiccups, something that big always will have something go wrong, but it was much better organized this year.

So here’s my complete review of Tekkoshocon 2014, starting with Day 1. Well, actually Day 2…we didn’t go to the Thursday events, opting to utilize the day for a set up period. So we’ll call Friday Day 1, for all intents and purposes.

 

First off we hit registration somewhere after noon. We had gotten the Premium Badges again this year, but our friend who went with us just got the regular badge. This opened her to a slew of jokes about abandoning her and going to the special Premium Lounge without her all weekend.

The Registration was something I had talked about before as being pretty poor, and it usually was every year. Getting the chance to go through Otakon’s registration was a delight…

This is the Premium Line?

This is the Premium Line?

So the last time I talked about Tekko registration I had mentioned I didn’t have any idea how to improve registration. Well the good news is somebody else must have, because Registration was a breeze. We Preemies…err, that’s a poor choice of name for that. Uhh…we…Snobby Cocksuckers?

I almost like Preemie better.

I almost like Preemie better.

Anyway, the Premium line was a simple process and we were done in about two minutes. Our friend didn’t even pre-register and she was still done with her regular badge in about fifteen minutes.

The last time we were at Tekko it took over half an hour for us to get through registration, and we pre-registered last time, too. So they’ve definitely hit a sweet spot with their registration set up this year. They need to keep doing whatever they did…it was over so quickly I couldn’t even be sure about what they were doing to make it go so smoothly. Ten points for Griff–Tekkoshocon 2014.

Anyway we had about an hour and a half to kill so we went to the Disney in Japan panel. The panel was basically an excuse to talk about the movie Frozen for half an hour. The first half was a lesson about Disneyland Japan from someone who had never been there; but she did have first-hand accounts from workers and visitors, so at least she knew something of what she was talking about. And she was very up front about her total lack of first-hand knowledge.

It was interesting and the last half of the panel was a comparison between American trailers and Japanese trailers for the movie Frozen, followed by a short discussion about the movie. Which I am plenty okay with; if you haven’t seen Frozen, yet, you really should. Children or not it’s a pretty awesome movie.

 

And that brings us to, what my wife calls, one of the best panels of the convention. The History Behind Sengoku Basara panel, hosted by yours truly and presented by Dickjutsu.com. Which I pointed out numerous times during the panel, because that was the whole point of the panel: To get paid to advertise this very site.

…okay, well actually that was only half of it. I really love talking about this stuff and it was a chance to get paid for talking about something that I care about deeply. Oh, and advertise the site, if I didn’t mention that already.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture...I'd use this picture a lot more.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture…I’d use this picture a lot more.

For those of you who came out to see it, I thank you. I hope you enjoyed listening to me talk at you as much as I enjoyed talking about Sengoku Japan. And my wife enjoyed it because I wasn’t directing all of my nerd air at her, alone…trapped with no recourse but to listen to me nerd-out, like usual.

...and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he...

…and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he…

 

Intermission

Now this is the point where I’d like to talk about dinner. It was at the Sharp Edge on Penn Avenue. That means it was delicious. We brought our friend to it, and indoctrinated her. Now everyone should go eat at the Sharp Edge– Wait a minute, I should charge advertising for how much I shill for that restaurant.

Can I at least a free pudding?

Can I at least get a free pudding?

Anyway, after dinner we headed back to the convention. This is already a step up from the last time we were there when we had dinner and decided we’d rather walk around Pittsburgh, even though it smelled like hobo semen, than go back to the convention.

So Tekko’s definitely making progress.

 

Back to the Story at Hand!

When we returned to the convention we went straight on to our second panel, the History Behind Dynasty Warriors. Like I mentioned before it was getting paid to talk about something I’m very passionate about and get some free advertising for the site.

Once again…thanks to those who came and I hope you enjoyed the panel.

Immediately after my panel was the Attitudes Toward Plus Size Cosplay panel, which was actually one of the bigger issues with scheduling. Normally all the panels had a 30 minute set up/tear down period, but there was no such period between my panel and theirs. I tried to get out of their way as quickly as possible, but oh well, a minor hiccup compared to the kind of stuff that used to happen at Tekko.

We decided to stay for the next panel and that was probably a mistake. The ladies handling the panel had a good idea, their premise was to stir debate about the attitudes toward plus size cosplay; hence the title of their panel, I imagine. A good idea. But they handled it poorly, especially when the debate broke out.

A small-framed young man stood up and shattered their whole plan by actually coming up with a counter-point and calling up a moment of hypocrisy in their suggestions.

All in all I can see both sides of the coin. What they were saying was right, but what he said was also right. He lacked tact, as far as he just stood up and called hem on their bullshit instead of going at it from a more diplomatic avenue. But when they accused him of not having a viable opinion in the debate on cosplay attitudes because he wasn’t a fat woman, she showed that she had even less tact than him.

We’ll be going into more detail on this later, but we’ll leave it at that for now. This post is about Tekko as a whole, not a rant on a single panel. I will say, however, that we got disgusted by the ladies running the panel when they singled the poor guy out and made fun of him…right as they started discussion on engaging with detractors and to always ignore them and take the high road. By the way, though, ignoring those who speak out against you…not a good policy for ‘starting a debate.’

Moving on we went to the Anime Horrors panel. But I’m sure you have something productive to do right now. So we’ll take a little break here and pick this up tomorrow. Your homework for next class is to like, share, and comment on this post. Haha, and you thought I could only shill for Sharp Edge–goddamnit I do need to charge for ad time.

~RCS

Otakon, 2013 Review: Full (And Finally)!

This is long overdue, but unfortunately I just don’t really have anything to tell you all.  Otakon 2013 was pleasant, if not overwhelming.  As you know my last convention review, Tekkoshocon Pittsburgh 2012, was relatively negative.  Otakon didn’t have any real serious issues to bring up.

Everything went fairly smoothly, the only real issues were a few line-building issues around the panels based in the attached Hotel; which the Otakon people really had no control over.  All of the line issues were architectural, too; the wall where the line had to be formed had a double door every ten feet so the line was broken up twelve times before it wrapped around the corner.

Other than that, though, the only real problem was that there were over 30,000 people traipsing about so it was crowded from time to time in the hallways.  And once again the biggest choke point was the corridor between the convention center and the hotel where a few panels were being held.

Highlights were the Voice Actors After Dark panel, of course, and the Cosplay Burlesque was actually pretty cool to watch, too.  The VA After Dark panel was comprised of Todd Haberkorn, Mike McFarland, Jad Saxton (pronounced like Jade, a recurring joke was calling her something akin to Chad), Cristina Vee, and Kyle Hebert.  This was the second time we’ve seen Todd Haberkorn and he was entertaining, and a little creepy, as usual.  Mike McFarland was very entertaining as Seth MacFarlane since he did several very good impressions of the man’s characters (Peter, Stewie, and Brian Griffin).  Cristina Vee and Jad Saxton were both a little too cutesy and seemed out of their element for much of the dirty humor contained within the panel, but they got a few good lines nonetheless.  Kyle Hebert walked in half way through the panel and jumped right into things as if he’d been there the whole time; definitely a natural to the dirty mind platform the panel required.

But the real star of the VA After Dark show was the Sign Language guy, Semaj, who just made the whole experience twice as fun as it already was.  He was a spectacular sport, especially considering the dirty things they made him sign.

Another highlight was Crispin Freeman’s Mythology in Anime panel.  On his website he lists a few similar types of panels he runs and I think, honestly, you could just have a Crispin Mythcon and enjoy it.  Just Crispin Freeman lecturing for two days straight; he’s entertaining, informative, and he puts complex philosophical points in a very simple context that even laymen can understand.  Trust me, I understood it all, so a regular person should be fine.

That hair is mythological enough.

That hair is mythological enough.

We saw Vic Mignogna, pleasant as always although he can get a little preachy at times and some of the things he says makes it seem like he lives in a bubble, but he’s still a very nice man and is probably one of the most fan-dedicated Voice Actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to (I’m really not sure how he has time to record anything, he’s at just about every con I’ve ever been to).  His main drawback, more so than the preachiness, is that he refuses to share the location of his fountain of youth.

Look at him...he's in his fifties!

Seriously!  Look at him…he’s in his fifties!

I’m still not sure entirely how, but we managed to miss every one of Maile Flanagan’s panels, if you can believe it.  Just bad timing on our parts.

And what seems to be a regular motif with any of my convention reviews…

Our favorite place to eat while in Baltimore was Mount Vernon Pizza.  It was right down the street from our hotel, the staff was friendly, and the food was really good.  Some pretty good coupon deals, too.

~RCS

Mom?

So I was watching television (they changed the channel on the TV in my building, it’s CBS now instead of CNN) and last night I caught the repeat of the new CBS show Mom, starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney.

It’s the story of an alcoholic who is just starting to get her life together.  She’s celebrating 180 days sober in AA and she works as a waitress in a fancy Napa Valley restaurant.

At least it's not the woman eating the banana, half naked.

At least it’s not the woman eating the banana, half naked.

She also owns an impeccably clean (for a single mother) and well-furnished three-bedroom (minimum) house.

The series has some funny moments, mostly coming from French Stewart’s character as the eccentric Head Chef, Rudy.

But mostly it’s a very ingenuine crapshoot.  The whole backstory is that Faris’ character, Christy, has led a miserable life.  She dropped out of High School, presumably when she got pregnant with her daughter Violet.  She’s clearly spent her life working in minimum wage jobs, in and out of jail it seems, and probably has bad credit.

So how can she afford such a nice house, with a yard (she’s boinking her married boss and when he shows up at her house she comically throws him off the porch and she even has sprinklers in her yard go off on him).  So that’s a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs, with a giant living room, a full-size kitchen with a nice table, her son is seen playing what seems to be the latest Grand Theft Auto game that was just released on a 32 inch flat screen television.

Is this the kind of house Republicans actually believe poor people live in?

Is this the kind of house Republicans actually believe poor people live in?

How does she afford all this on a waitress’ pay?  Especially when it is implied that she’s not a very good waitress, so I doubt she’s taking home thousands of dollars in tips every night.

She’s also living in or near Napa Valley, California…a very expensive place.  The cheapest 3 bedroom house I can find in Napa Valley costs $110,000.  Even if you assume she’s renting one…$1,375 a month.  If she works full-time at server wages and takes home $50 in tips a night she would only make 1400 a month.  Take taxes out of that and she can afford all this, how?

Not to mention all of the designer clothes that Faris’ character wears through the show.  Now I realize it’s because it’s television and everyone wears designer clothes, but you could at least make it appear as though she was wearing a dollar store shirt or something.

I grew up in impoverished alcoholic homes, they are not as fanciful as this shit.  And it’s something that television does a lot, characters who are so ingenuine in their portrayals that it’s just not worth watching.

I wish my kitchen looked that nice!  Maybe I should try this whole alcoholism thing?  Seems to be pretty profitable.

I wish my kitchen looked that nice! Maybe I should try this whole alcoholism thing? Seems to be pretty profitable.

Reba McEntire’s old show, which is a great show by the way, was another one that was weird like that.  She lived in a giant mansion of a house, but she didn’t have a job, or at least not one that would afford that house.  But that was at least explained by the fact that her ex-husband was a dentist and paid a lot of alimony.

Christy doesn’t have dentist alimony, unless that Boss of hers that she’s shtoopin’ is paying for her house, so how can she afford all this crap?

I know I’m certainly putting the television on mute when I have to run the desk and it comes on next week.

If you’re still interested in seeing the show, here’s the trailer for it.  I’m a little ashamed at the fact that the biggest complaints about the show I’m seeing is that people are upset it uses a laugh-track in the trailer.

~RCS

Red 2 Review

Our second movie with Mary-Louise Parker is Red 2.  I enjoyed the first movie, which had an all-star cast of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Brian Cox.  It was a good mix of humor, intrigue, and action.

exclusive-red-2-poster-135341-a-1369126293-470-75

Well the second one suffers from sequelitis in that it’s not quite as good as the first one, but while Morgann Freeman has not returned for this film we’ve exchanged him for Anthony Hopkins who does a pretty good job in his role.

This movie is about as funny as the first movie, although it’s a warmer humor than the first one.  One thing to note is that it has traded a significant amount of action for intrigue.  Not nearly as much fighting and gunplay as in the first movie, a lot of the action is in the form of chase scenes.

One thing that perturbed me, and it may just be in order to retain that PG-13 rating it got, was the weird policy on blood.  Gunshots don’t really cause any blood for the most part, the fistfights creates bloody noses and a cut forehead or such.  No bodies ever leave a trail of blood or create a pool on the carpet.

Whaaaat?

Whaaaat?

The real point where this becomes an issue is after a particular character near the end betrays his colleagues and stabs two of them, apologizing for making a mess on the floor afterward.  There’s no blood to make a mess with.  This becomes even stranger when he wipes the clean knife off on a tied-up hostage’s shirt.  Then he cuts the hostage’s carotid artery, which would normally create at least a strong flow of blood, if not an actual arterial spray.  No blood, even though that’s what would have killed the hostage (who does die); blood loss.  It just kind of took me out of the moment.

All in all the movie was pretty good, but I had been hoping for a little more action.  The bomb they use could have used some more explanation to it, since my fiancé had to look away from the movie and ask me what the hell they were talking about.  Even I didn’t know a whole lot about the subject, but enough to get her through the moment.

In the end it wasn’t as good as the first, but if you enjoyed the first you’ll probably enjoy the second.  I have to admit that I think RIPD was the better of the two movies as far as humor goes, but Red 2 has a better plotline with the additional intrigue.  Not a bad watch if you’re in the mood for a humorous spy thriller.

~RCS

R.I.P.D. Review

This weekend we decided to take a break from the constant work on the new house and hit some movies.  Apparently this week was Mary-Louise Parker week, because we saw two movies with her in it.  The first of which was the dismally rated RIPD with Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges; also the aforementioned Ms. Parker and Kevin Beacon.

I think they should have titled it...Really Interesting Posts...Dickjutsu!  Y'know, just a suggestion.

I think they should have titled it…Really Interesting Posts…Dickjutsu! Y’know, just a suggestion.

Reynolds has a few good moments, although the script doesn’t really give him a chance to shine and he actually has very few lines when you look at the end product of the film.  Beacon has a few good moments, but ultimately this is probably one of the worst bits of acting he’s ever done; he’s just not very good in the movie, really.

Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Bridges are the reasons you watch this movie.  Bridges is hilarious as Roy and Parker does a pretty good job as Proctor, too.  Without them it would be a pretty shitty movie, but I think the movie’s worth it just for Bridges’ rambling, shambling Wild West Marshal with a modern bent.

The movie is pretty funny, although some of the humor is kind of stupid, and the special effects are often pretty crappy CGI work looking too cartoonish for the rest of the movie.  It might be due to the fact that the movie is based off of a Darkhorse Comics series, too.

Kevin Beacon looked better in the comic, too.  Assuming that's his character.

Kevin Beacon looked better in the comic, too. Assuming that’s his character in the bottom right.

Ultimately I think the movie is worth it for the humor, the storyline’s okay, the CGI effects are crap, the script is mostly just okay, but the humor really shines through in this.  It’s definitely not a diamond in the rough, but it’s at least a cubit zirconium in the rough.

If you have a limited amount of time or money for theaters, go ahead and wait for the DVD, but if you’re looking for something to see on the big screen, give RIPD a shot.  You won’t be amazed or anything, but you will be entertained.

~RCS

"Ey, boy!  Look'it Dat Ass!  Yeehaw!" -- Not actual dialogue.

“Ey, boy! Look’it Dat Ass! Yeehaw!” — Not actual dialogue.

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