Blogs and Reviews

Read the latest blogs and reviews from our talented staff of writers.

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May the speed of The Flash be with your router

And it’s strength of connection be as the Bifrost bridge

May the powers of Longshot and Domino be with you

That the powers of probability be shifted to you

May the Goblin King reorder time

That the wait with the spinning blue circle not lull you into madness

May your workspace be as Mars to Dr, Manhattan

And your mind by as Jean Gray’s to keep everyone away

May the stars align, the distractions fade, the children stay quiet and the animals be calm

May the phone stay silent and the workload blessedly grind to a halt

May you see the worlds “Congratulations”! And leave the “We’re Sorry” for another

Blessed is the power of the Epic Waiting Room

May it’s favor shine upon you and give you all you desire

Amen

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Okay, you’ve already heard my rant on toddler programming, and you’ve already read about what shows we don’t like.

Now, as part 3 in the “Toxic Television” series, I’m covering the shows we love.  You’ll see there are many more great shows than there are toxic shows, so that’s reassuring in the grand scheme of things, for sure! Continue reading

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As a mother of two small kids, 90% of my television experience is spread across a vast ocean of talking letters, problem solving foxes, mathematician monsters, alien artists and hundreds more creative, educational and brilliant characters designed for the stimulation of children ages 0-6 years.

That other 10%?  That’s the hallowed “mommy’s TV time” that can only take place in the middle of every afternoon, if both kids sleep at the same time.  So, between the hours of (typically) 11:30am till about 2:30-3:00pm, my phone doesn’t get answered because those are MOMMY’S hours.  Usually paired with housework of some sort, this is my one time of day to watch the shows I can’t watch with the kids.  Supernatural, Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies, Continuum, Buffy, Angel, Charmed, Fringe, just to name a few, are on, or have been on the list and in the last four years, this is pretty much the only way I get to keep up on any of the shows I actually really enjoy.

Most recently, I have been making my way through Teen Wolf, an MTV series based on the 1985 Michael J. Fox film of the same name.

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Cyberpunk High Tech Low Life in the world of 2013

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Neuromancer by William Gibson. This book takes place in a dystopian near future and was, for many, the defining piece of a new and exciting genre, Cyberpunk. Of course Philip K. Dick had already been doing the dystopian thing since the 50’s, and Blade Runner came out in ’82 based on ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ written in the 60’s. But it wasn’t until the 80’s that the phenomenon took off and was given a name. Of course, it wasn’t long after then that role playing games would come calling on this world of high tech low lifes. Continue reading

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dnd-next

In the mid 90’s I watched with horror as the hobby I had devoted half my life to at that time, died a slow painful death by attrition.

Twice a month we were meeting at Mike’s, who was our dungeon master in those days. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition wasn’t new, and some could argue that it was already starting to wither, with the re-releases and reprints of the same material since ’89, the game was set for something dramatic to happen, good or bad. But we were die-hards who’d bought every supplement and new edition or revision since the early 80’s.

That’s when I started to notice it. The creeping infection grew like a brown mold, feeding on the warmth, and leaving nothing but cold in its wake.

A new game was taking the hobby industry by storm in those days, a fantasy genre card game that was inexpensive and fast to learn and even faster to set up. We were, admittedly, fantasy junkies. We would devour anything in our genre, no matter how cheesy or ridiculous. So it came as no surprise that this game would be a hit. Since it only needed 2 players, and everyone had some of the cards, it became the #1 pass time for the early arrivers to each game night. With the first couple of players throwing down a quick round before the rest of the party showed up. If only that was the end of it, I wouldn’t be writing this today.

Slowly, the card game players became less inclined to wrap it up once everyone was there, and the later arriving players became more inclined to just join in the card game. And so the dice bags and monster manuals sat, unopened and neglected, with increasing frequency. It wasn’t long from there that the campaign began to dwindle and eventually stall out. I was, to say the least, disappointed. The group continued to get together to play cards, eventually getting involved in tournaments at the local comic book shop. The company behind that card game became a huge success, and the company that made my beloved Dungeons and Dragons began to collapse. The end was near.

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Okay, so I may be a little late to the party on this one, but that often happens when you have two small children and don’t get to go see movies when they come out.

We finally got to watch the Lego Movie last week.  And then we saw it again.  And again. And again…. aaaaaand again. You get the picture.  We saw it a lot.  And while we were watching it ever so many times, I realized I recognized several familiar themes.  Eventually, I realized this wasn’t just because I was being asked by my three year old to “play it again!!” over and over, it was because I already knew the story.

Maybe you already know this, because I’m pretty sure every other person in America has seen this movie… but watching The Lego Movie is basically like watching an animated, Lego version of The Matrix.

Now, I realize I could just be a crazy mom hopped up on too much caffeine and suffering from sleep deprivation, but check this out. Continue reading

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When I was young, my friends and I would spend lunch break in the library. Why the library? Because it was the safest place in the school. The one place we knew we wouldn’t encounter ‘Them’. In the library we could discuss role playing games or look at comics or discuss sci-fi movies / books / TV shows without fear of judgment, harassment or even abuse.

See, it wasn’t uncommon for any of us to be physically assaulted, have our very expensive books or treasured comics taken away, thrown around and belittled in public while we futilely pleaded for mercy or assistance. While different bullies may have different styles or different motivations for bullying, the one thing they shared back then was a socially accepted segregation against those who participated in ‘bookish’ hobbies and were so preoccupied by these hobbies that they suffered at other endeavors, like sports, fashion or dating. Society was against us. We were outcasts who didn’t fit in and those who did had no interest in understanding our point of view, or finding out why we loved these hobbies so much. This obsession became a self-perpetuating cycle after a while as the shunning would push us farther away and deeper into the fantasy worlds we created on Saturday nights around the dinner table, or the heroic action world between the covers of our favorite comic books.
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