Link

Oh Dragon*Con… How I love thee.

Dat Garrus

Dragon*Con has become a yearly ritual for myself. There is nothing else out there quite like it. As soon as you enter downtown Atlanta, you can feel the energy of the Con buzzing in the air. It’s an outstanding feeling. The interesting thing about Dragon*Con is that every attendee welcomes everyone with open arms. There are no outcasts. There are no geeks. There are no weirdo’s. Everyone there is just one big happy family. There are cosplayers, Trekkies, Star Wars nerds, comic book geeks, horror freaks, and sci-fi aficionados everywhere. In fact, if you are not wearing a costume, or ironic shirt, you are the outcast. It’s almost as if it’s Halloween for the entire Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta during the Con. In other words, it’s home.

But there is another, darker side of Dragon*Con which has definitely become more popularized over the years. The amount of sexual energy and tension is ridiculous. A favorite blog of mine, Bleeding Cool (http://www.bleedingcool.com) actually did a series of articles on the sexual shenanigans of Dragon*Con exclusively. But, to be frank, I don’t see how in the world the Con could exist without that level of tension. I mean… Half of the people at the convention are running around half nude. Which brings up an interesting topic. Women and men who would typically not show any skin attend the con in skimpy outfits. They let loose, and go wild. It’s that one time of year where they can do whatever they’d like. And no one cares. It’s all a part of the fun. And basically, to quote a local Atlanta band, Le Sexoflex, “If you haven’t done it all year long, you know you’ll get laid at Dragon Con.”

2011 being my third year attending the Con, I’d like to consider that I have a good grasp on the convention as a whole. I am wrong each year. Dragon*Con is like… a Dragon. It’s unpredictable in so many ways. You never know what or who you will see, hear, or do.

Predator don't care

Like a Predator choking Robin.

This year, like all of the others, will hold a special place in my heart.

I slept on the floor in a hotel room for one, which definitely let me know that I am not as young as I used to be.

I got Edward James Olmos, Tricia Helfer, and Tom Felton’s autographs. Bumped into Felicia Day. Saw a topless woman just going on a stroll. Saw the Peculiar Pretzelmen perform live. And just had a blast.

There are panels going on the entire convention on tons of different subjects. If you’re into paranormal investigations, podcasting, Star Wars, Star Trek, cosplaying, comic books, programming, professional wrestling, modeling, Steam Punk, Cyber Punk, Fantasy settings, Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying, religion, social activities, or zombies, there is a panel for you (and many many more.)

But the two things that really suck up a surprising amount of time is people watching, and shopping.

NEVER go to Dragon*Con without a big chunk of money. Because you will spend it. A lot of it. When you’re not wandering around looking at people in costume, you’re most likely getting trapped in a vender room walking around in awe of things you never knew you could buy. Last year, I bought a Buster Sword replica from Final Fantasy 7. The Utilikilt vendor is a popular vendor as well for those who have always wanted a kilt that can hold all of their belongings, and doubles as a good kilt for a modern barbarian. There’s so much you can buy, it’s unbelievable really.

Tony Stark v. Whiplash

CHEWIE!

And like I said… lots of people watching.

Dragon*Con is a very special annual event. I plan on going to it for a very long time if I am able. If you’ve been on the fence on going for the last few years, just go. Venture forth and enjoy yourself. It’s worth it just for the experience alone. There’s nothing else like it.

 

Grieving

Death comes.

Whether we like it or not. We all know, but we just don’t talk about it too much. We focus on living, just as we should.

A thought in particular is that in our society, that when someone passes away, we mourn and weep the person we have lost. It takes time to heal the wound, and in some cases time doesn’t even help completely.

But in other cultures, people celebrate their dead. Not celebrating that the person is gone and away from this world, but celebrating the thought of the person escaping this world filled with hate and pain. Being free.

Polar opposites.

Yesterday, I lost my Grandmother. I took it pretty hard. The memories of her fill my head throughout the day as I think of the great times we had. I’m in mourning.

But my Brother brought up something yesterday at the hospital that has stuck with me, and in many lights given me relief.

“It’s not goodbye. It’s see you in the morning.”

Being born to a Christian family, we do believe in an afterlife. And in that gives us hope to not only be in paradise with our Lord and Savior, but to see family members we have lost over time due to death.

When I was young, my Grandmother and I had a little saying. She would ask “Matt, do you want a Yoohoo?” and I would reply “Not today!”

“Not Today!”

That stuck with us, and even before she passed she would bring that up every time I would visit. I won’t have a chance to say that anymore to her.

That day will never come now, well, maybe in the morning it will.

It’s hard to deal with grief. I’ve really tried to incorporate the grieving process of Asian cultures during this time. She’s gone, and away from this life. She’s in a better place. Celebrate!

Harder said than done.

My Granny’s gone. But only for the night.

I will see her in the morning.

In memory of Lois Young

 

Losing Power Sucks

Last night I had one of those nights where everything possible that could go wrong in thirty minutes did.

We had some bad thunderstorms last night, so to lose power in my neck of the woods was to be expected. Well, it didn’t happen when the storms came. It didn’t happen when the storm passed. I was excited.

So I finished printing off some things for a open note/book exam for a class the next day, finished my studying for another exam, and I began playing some games.

I started playing League of Legends with a few friends of mine. The storm had been gone for roughly an hour and a half. The NCAA Basketball tournament was over (the storm was at it’s worst during the tournament). Things were looking good.

I hopped into the skype call and we began playing. The game was going well, and all of the sudden…

Flicker… Flicker…

The power goes out.

Downstairs, where my computer is, has no windows or anything. Just odd office style ceiling lights.

So I’m sitting in complete darkness. I get up, manage to make myself to the door to go upstairs and…

Biiiiiiiiiing.

The power comes back on.

I text my friend, tell him what happened and get back into the game as soon as my computer booted back up.

We surrender that game because of that and decide to try one more game of League of Legends.

The power was on for fifteen minutes, so I assumed that nothing was going to happen.

The game begins and everything’s going well again. Awesome!

Flicker. Flicker. Flicker.

Power goes out.

I text my friend, hoping he wouldn’t be overly mad, telling him what happened and that I was done for the night.

I make my way upstairs in the darkness and go into my room.

I can hear the wind gusting outside. A tree must have fell on some power lines.

Okay. It happens.

I start thinking to myself of things to do since I’m not really ready for bed.

Can’t read my Kindle since there is no light. I didn’t feel like lighting a candle and bringing it into my room either. So I gave up on that.

Oh, I know! I’ll get my DS out and play some of Pokemon Black. Great plan.

I pull my DS out of it’s case, and notice that it’s got a red light near the power button. Great.

I start playing, and about three minutes after I began, the DS died.

So no DS fun time.

What do I do now?

Well, be an awesome boyfriend and call your girlfriend of course!

We talk for a bit, and she needs her beauty sleep.

Great.

The fates are dooming me to just go to bed.

I tell her goodnight, and look at the Twitter feed on my phone and see a few tweets from a couple of my favorite comic book writers: Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman. The tweets are tagged with #Gameofbones.

AKA porn tweets related to Game of Thrones.

Hilarious stuff.

Bad night.

 

Also, in the light of the

The Electro-Social Bind

post.

I found an article on Kotaku.com that also sheds some light on a similar issue.

http://kotaku.com/#!5789033/why-dont-i-lose-myself-in-games-anymore

Check it out. It’s a fantastic read. Great article.

Electricity is involved in almost everything we do, it’s scary.

EMP!

Yahoo Answers says:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090628234703AAFvoWC

The Art of Trolling

Trolling.

It’s everywhere.

Especially when dealing with the internet.

I play a game with several friends called League of Legends, which is essentially a DoTA clone (a Warcraft III mod). LoL (League of Legends) has one of the worst online communities of any video game. It is not new player friendly, and it is not a forgiving game whatsoever. With this being said, one of the key aspects to LoL is trolling. The goal of the trolling is to cause the opposite team to argue amongst themselves which in theory results them in playing worse. So, let me give you a quick example of some classic LoL trolling.

l337kid11: Yo guys

Prodigyd00d: stfu scrub

l337kid11: Wtf bro? Come at me.

Prodigydood: lol, u mad bro? sound mad.

l337kid11: I’m not mad.

Prodigydood: Sound mad.

l337kid11: I’M NOT MAD.

Prodigyd00d: Cool story bro

l337kid11 has been officially trolled. He is mad, and he will play with determination to kill Prodigyd00d, which will wind up getting him killed.

I'm just going to face check this bush...

Trolling has taken a major role in gaming. It still exists in PC games, but it’s more commonly found on X-Box Live more than anything.

Trolling has been around for many years, and not only in digital media. What is trash talk during sports? Trolling.

What is tricking a friend? Trolling.

What is evading arrest? Trollling.

Trolling can be hard to spot sometimes.

You know, by like reading this specific post on trolling, I could be trolling you.

Or you could be trolling me by reading this blog just to post hateful comments.

You can never be sure.

But there is one video that exists, that no matter what the situation might be;

You are being trolled.

I mean, just look at that dance.

NEVA GANNA GIVE NEVA GANNA GIVE.

Oh, and this.

My Fail Life: #1

Whenever I think back to this event, I always giggle to myself, and hopefully you’ll get a kick out of this story also.

Enjoy.

About two weeks ago, I was sitting in my Race and Criminal Justice class on campus. There was a blonde girl that sat behind me and we had never spoke a word to one another. UTC had been in session for about two months or so at this time.

I was sitting at my desk and pulled out my laptop in order to take some notes. I sat there for a second getting everything together until I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and it was the blonde girl, of course. She asked me “Hey, when is the exam for this class?”

This is where everything fell apart.

I herped, and I derped.

At first I was like...

I looked her, opened my mouth to respond, and slobbered everywhere.

Yes.

I slobbered.

All over the place.

The first thing to come out of my mouth was “oh no.”

“Wednesday’s our first exam.”

And then I turned around to my laptop.

Then, I failed.

The next day we had class, the blonde girl was sitting in the opposite end or the class room.

Fail.

Daft Punk vs. Aretha Franklin

I had a dream last night. It was a dream so vivid that I found myself remembering the entire thing once I woke up.

This, was my dream.

 

For some reason, I was hitch hiking on I-75 heading north. I suppose I was trying to get home. A black escalade pulled over to let me hop in, and from the outside it seemed that the van was rumbling all over due to the music from the inside. From looking in the windows, I could see that it was very colorful inside with lots of pulsating colors everywhere.

I stepped in the car to thank the party that picked me up, but the music was too loud for them to hear me.

This is who picked me up.

ONE MO' TIME.

Castor from the Tron Soundtrack was blaring on the inside. They both turned to look at me, and didn’t say a word. They turned back around and we began driving. We were heading downtown. Not a word was said the entire trip, and then suddenly one of them turned around and handed me a pistol. I took it, because… you know. It seemed like the right thing to do. I guess.

We pulled up to a receiving area of a building where 18 wheelers drop off their goods. We sat there for a moment, music still blaring, when a white van pulled into the parking lot. One of them held up a hand to signaling me to stay behind. They stepped out of the Escalade and walked to the front of it. The white van pulled into park near the Escalade.

This woman stepped out.

With a chrome desert eagle in hand.

She pointed the gun at the Daft Punk duo and started singing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”.

Daft Punk looked at each other briefly, nodded, and pulled out two 50 caliber machine guns.

I began opening the door to get them to stop, and then Aretha turned the desert eagle towards me and said “I TOLD YOU TO COME ALONE.”

One More Time began playing.

And then I woke up.

 

SOLAR FLAAAAARE!

This past Valentine’s Day, this happened.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=64012721

The largest solar flare since December 6th, 2006.

Pretty amazing stuff. It was an X 2.2 (X being the strongest flare strengh, and 2.2 meaning 2.2 times a normal X)

The strength scale goes A, B, C, M or X. So to say the least, this one was a monster. And we’re still seeing the effects of it today.

But, I can’t help but think of this whenever I hear about solar flares…