TheRef

Growing up I had the odd experience of being the one of the only kids in my school, whose parents were still together. When you are surrounded by the societal norm for your community, you start wondering when you’ll conform. I remember asking them very casually when they would be getting a divorce. Luckily it never happened.

Hollywood has created some interesting movies that touch on divorce. They aren’t supposed to be conversation pieces about relationships but they could be. They aren’t the most cliché divorce movies you’ve heard of like, War of the Roses or Kramer vs Kramer. A lot of the movies I’ve watched that talk about divorce in a more realistic, less dramatic fashion are outlandish comedies. Starting with spies and we end with crimes! Enjoy.

5. True Lies

Summary: Harry Tasker is a secret agent. His wife has no idea. Helen Tasker is bored with her life because she is growing apart from her husband. Using his  friends at the agency, he concocts a plan to make her life more interesting and reconnect. The plan goes horribly wrong when Harry is interrupted by actual counter-espionage, revealing his real occupation.

How this movie touches on divorce: Harry Tasker doesn’t realize how boring life seems to his wife. She looks for an outlet and starts to consider cheating. The movie is really discussing how important it is to do things outside the daily routine, together. Their solution is to make her an international spy! That way they can share their unusual day-to-day work.

In real life they suggest going out to eat at a new restaurant or taking a dance class. In the real world, you wouldn’t become a spy just by getting kidnapped by a terrorist organization that has Tia Carrere as their evil leader.

4. Mr. and Ms. Smith

Summary – John and Jane Smith are married but they are growing apart. In reality they are spies working for rival agencies. Neither is aware till they are given the assignment to eliminate each other.

How this movie talks about divorce: This marriage was never based on the truth. In the very beginning of the relationship these two spies lied about everything. In fact, I’m not sure how they could legally be married because … well never mind. They start suspecting that the other is cheating and start working on  getting a divorce. This movie is really talking about how you can’t have a stable marriage if you kill people for a living… I mean if you lie to your loved ones. They realize after they have to band together to get out alive that they need to tell each other the truth.

Eventually they work it out, even in the midst of a fire fight.

3.  Moonrise Kingdom

Summary – Two young lovers flee together to get married. The town Sheriff and the Girls family band together, putting their problems aside to find the two kids before a hurricane hits the island.

What does this have to do with divorce? Suzy’s parents have a very distant relationship. Both parents have their issues. Suzy’s Mother has been cheating with the town Sheriff. Suzy’s Father, pretty knows that his marriage is a failure. Suzy, decides to run away with her secret love so that she doesn’t wind up like her Mother in a sham marriage. That’s when the adults realize that, while they care about each other, they are hurting themselves by behaving badly. Sam, is a troubled orphan that goes to the island every year with a scouting troop. Well, his foster parents don’t want him back this time. Suzy’s parents don’t divorce them but the sheriff adopts him, realizing that the kid just needs the right influence in his life. All of Wes Anderson’s movies deal with dysfunctional families. This one has a happy ending because once everyone realized how their happiness was tied to each other, they got the help they needed.

2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Summary – Steve Zissou is a naturalist, exploring the underwater realms in his yellow submarine. This is his escape from the surface world where he has to deal with the death of a dear friend, the fall out from his divorce and the sudden appearance of an illegitimate child.

Divorce is the basis for most of the character relationships in this movie. The main character Steve Zissou has an ex-wife Eleanor who controls part of his world. She’s still deeply involved in his life even though they are no longer married. This deals with the aftermath of divorce and how different people cope. Although the marriage bond has been severed, you are most likely still going to deal with that person. Why not try to become friends or at least civil? Sometimes, your ex may even know you better than you know yourself. Even through Eleanor has issues with her ex, she still wants to support him in his goal… to an extent.

1. The Ref

Summary – Talk about a bad night. Gus, a professional cat burglar, breaks into the wrong house on Christmas Eve. His partner abandons him and he has to take a family hostage.  The family fights even while tied up and being robbed blind. The burglar finds himself playing marriage  and family counselor instead of getting his job done. It helps that Dennis Leary is the unfortunate burglar.

How does this talk about divorce? They couple in the movie is at each other’s throat. The rest of the family isn’t much help. The son is a blackmailer. The husband is considered a weakling by his overbearing wife. Everyone has their own issues caused by the image they want to project. They are stuck in a suburban life, miserable and can’t even tell each other why they are unhappy. The situation helps them work through their issues by forcing them to actually de
al with each other. I am sure though, if we saw a sequel, there was divorce over the horizon.

All of these movies bring up divorce in their own bizarre ways.

Runners up: Death Becomes Her and She Devil. Both movies involve Meryl Streep. In both movies Meryl Streep steals another woman’s man and both movies have novelists. They also both have a supernatural twist after divorce and getting revenge on the other woman and ex husband. This is why I didn’t add them to the list. I don’t want to shame any party in a relationship. Both movies are bizarre in their own way. Death Becomes Her involves a treatment that makes you younger, more beautiful and… immortal. She Devil involves a deal with the devil that gives Roseanne Barr’s character the ability to summon everything she needs to get revenge.

 

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People go to great lengths to look good at conventions. At least, in the past few years. I am that way myself. I think I originally fell victim to being self conscious and trying to be the opposite of the stereotypical gamer/convention goer. You know, unwashed, sloppy and overweight. I am overweight but I don’t try to dress sloppy or go unwashed. I’ve taken it a step further though. I go out of my way to dress up nicely, even when I’m not in costume.

I’m not the only one either. Vloggerfair had a lot of guests but was smaller compared to PAX. I really noticed the difference here. Women were in full make up and dressed to the 9’s as they say.

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Young Creepy Pasta Vlogger

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Me with Chris Pirillo @ Vlogger Fair

Clothes, Hair, and Make up have become more and more visible at conventions. I hope that they are doing it for themselves. I am doing it for myself these days. Although, at Vlogger fair I was partially doing it because my every movement was being taped! Dear gods. It was insane. I am still trying to think of a good way to sum it up.

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Here I am bleaching my hair the night before PAX Prime. I decided hair needed some work after Vlogger Fair. I eventually want to go purple and pink again but for now, this was a lot more work than I thought it would be. It was mess too. I am not a huge fan of the mess. I made a big deal this year about looking just right though.

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This is from the first day of PAX Prime 2015. I think I looked smashing and it helped people focus on the game I was teaching them. Dressing up really made people feel more comfortable talking to me about a game with sexy maids (Tanto Cuore). Looking good also made me feel more confident talking to hundreds of strangers over the next four days.

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I wasn’t the only one though. Whether you they were in cosplay or there for work, I noticed a lot of women just felt more comfortable being dressed up!

What does it mean? It’s a safe space for one. They don’t feel they have to dress down to be comfortable. It means that they feel that they can run around and be themselves.

That is a good sign with our culture. The last few years have been rough. There will always be some of the old guard that don’t realize Women are people.

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I think it’s also because a lot of the crowds are mixing now. It’s common place to have dances and formal dress events at Anime Conventions. More Anime fans are also going to comic book conventions and gaming conventions. The crowds are mixing and those norms are changing. I saw more suits at Kumoricon then I think I ever have at a convention. A lot of those attendees weren’t wearing them for a costume either.

Conventions are special events and people are starting to treat them that way. It’s kind of exciting.

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The end of convention season this year was a little different for me. I began volunteering with Japanime Games. They import, translate and distribute Tanto Cuore and Krosmaster Arena. I worked three conventions in a row for them; Vlogger Fair, PAX Prime and Kumoricon. This was exciting and exhausting at the same time. I arrived home from the third convention this past Monday and the next day I almost called into work. Not only was I exhausted, I was fighting off what we call “Con Crud.”

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This wasn’t the first time I’d helped out the company. Sakuracon, was the first this year, it was fun and rewarding. I spent the entire convention helping people learn Tanto Cuore. That’s the game I teach best. Krosmaster Arena is a game I love playing but don’t feel entirely comfortable with teaching. (Although, at Kumoricon, I stepped in plenty of times to help out.) At the start of these three conventions, I learned that I do know the base rules, but I get tongue tied. I also discovered something else, Post Convention Depression.

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The conventions are exciting! You meet a lot of people and most of them are there for the same reasons! It’s great bonding with people that think the same way you do! Conventions are also exhausting. You want to spend the whole weekend packing in as many experiences as possible. There is an adrenaline rush that comes from the entire experience.

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When I attend conventions, I eat too little, do too much and don’t sleep nearly enough. This all contributes to something called Post Convention Depression. The conventions are always fun, as much fun as I can possibly make it.

After the conventions, I have a hard time sleeping, feel exhausted, feel disconnected from my every day life and feel a general malaise. This is all part of PCD, or Post Convention Depression. I didn’t realize this was actually a thing till Kumoricon. There was a panel at Kumoricon about dealing with PCD. I unfortunately couldn’t make it to that panel, but it peaked my curiosity.

The number one advice people give for dealing with PCD is planning for your next convention. If you’re a cos-player, then you probably have a handle on this.

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The next piece of advice is hanging out with friends. In the past PAX Prime attendees in Seattle have had post convention game meet up. Seeing your friends, even your non-convention friends can help alleviate some of the gloom that comes from being in the real world.

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Make sure you get lots of rest after the convention. You didn’t sleep well, or didn’t sleep the in the same bed. That can affect you more than you know.

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In the immediate week following, make sure you get enough to eat and you re-hydrate. Drink lots of water and restrict your caffeine intake. During conventions it’s hard to get the right nutrition and enough water.

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They also advise that you should get exercise and take it easy at the same time. It’s good to stay active but also, don’t run yourself ragged.

All of this will help you recover after the convention and help you avoid… CON CRUD! ( Colds passed around by convention goers.) One year I got swine flu from PAX Prime. Other years, here and there I caught something respiratory after the conventions. This year, I managed to fight off whatever virus was passed around because I rested, ate well and made sure that I got the right foods after getting home.

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What am I planning for next?  Geek Girl Con and Brick Con, which are both in October.  Then we start the process all over again next year. Keep well.

If you don’t feel better, make sure to talk to your friends or family. If you don’t feel you can talk to them make an appointment with your doctor. If it’s worse than that, just remember, someone loves you. Call the suicide hotline 24/7 at 1 (800) 273-8255. 

Disco Zombie

Disco Zombie loves me!

 

PAX PRIME

Posted: August 27, 2015 by Noccie in Uncategorized

Hey, I’m going to be with Japanime games all weekend at PAX Prime. Come by and see me in room 210, 9n the second floor near the free play area. They have Tanto Cuore and Krosmaster Arena. If you have nothing to do tonight, or major plans, cancel them and come to the  Pre-PAX boardgames night at the Sheraton.  I’m bringing Tanto Cuore and Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation.

I’m currently  very blond.  You can’t miss me.

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Years ago, around 12 years, I had a website called the Bathroom of Darkness. I mostly wrote movie reviews for old movies. At the time I was working part-time for a video store. Through all the years I’ve noticed some really weird things about movies. I’d like to resurrect my movie reviews and movie lists.

I had lists. They were my Sei Shonagon moment. The lists were compilations of my observations like, the worst super hero movies ( any Fantastic 4), top favorite holiday lists ( Hebrew Hammer) and other things that were wacky (Frogs is really about reptiles?!). I had a list I posted every year about movies where the turkey was a character. I don’t mean a live animal either. I’m talking about a dead, cooked turkey.

There are a lot of movies out there that do weird things. Did you ever see Mr. and Mrs. Smith? It was a movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They played a husband and wife that  didn’t know they worked for rival spy agencies. Sounds like an awesome action movie right? It was really a conversation about how the lack of communication is the major contributing factor to divorce. I’ll get into that more later.

Demolition Man is a pretty great science fiction action movie with Sylvester Stallone. The main character has a hard time asking people for help and always thinks he’s right. The movie is really about learning to ask for help and learning to trust the people around him.

Now, those are just two examples. I’ve also discussed subliminal zombies also known as horror movies incorrectly marked. Love it. This is what I think about as a writer. It would be easy to write about all the horrible things in the Star Wars prequel movies, but I’d rather tell you about Father Goose, with Leslie Carone.

Talk to you soon!

Noccie

xoxo

 

ZIMRETURNS

When you were a kid, a middle schooler, a high schooler, paranoid adult… you knew the truth was out there. Aliens are among us. Dib knows this too. But this isn’t about you or Dib! The IRKEN ARMY HAS RETURNED! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH…

Invader Zim is back to wreak havoc on Earth.

Jhonen Vasquez, the master mind behind Invader Zim brought back his favorite under achiever as a comic. The original cartoon was developed by Nickelodeon in 2001. It took the adult viewing audience by storm with stories that were weird, filling a niche that hadn’t been filled since Animaniacs (RIP 93-98) was cancelled. The episodes had levels to them and references that tweens and strange adults could enjoy. The only competition at the time were web cartoons like Foamy the Squirrel from Neurotically Yours and the short-lived Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl. Beetlejuice was no longer in syndication and Ruby Gloom hadn’t yet been developed. These were the dark days.

We can now rejoice!

Zim has returned and it was all part of his plan. Poor Dib. He still lives next to Dib and Dib still wants to expose him as an alien. MWAHAHA.

SPOILERS

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MINI MOOSE!

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I read the first issue of the Invader Zim comic. It was my duty as a fan since his days in Carpe Noctem, the Zine, to read. I wasn’t sure what to expect because JTHM always took a nice chunk of time to read. Each issue had so many things written into the back ground and around the panels it took patience. Plus, if you didn’t look at everything in the panel you were missing half the jokes. The new comic for Invader Zim, is a condensed version of his usual comic style. There is still frenetic art and long blocks of charged dialogue. I read the comic in a very short period of time and then went back and looked over all the panels to see if I missed anything. Afterwards I had felt compelled to watch the series on Hulu!

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Needless to say, Zim is back!

I can’t wait for issue 2 because the first issue was just reintroduction of the characters. I  did find one panel very funny though:

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This is pretty much what he told the fans when a chance at making more episodes fell through.  Nickelodeon kept stringing him along for years. Out of love for his fans, Jhonen told them flat-out new episodes just weren’t going to happen and not because he didn’t try.

Gaz is back too! I adore her and her hatred for her brother. She’s venomous. Her prowess at making his life difficult is only rivaled by her ability to play video games.

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On top of everything there was a montage! Dib had to get back into shape. The issue takes time to explain why there was a large break and help introduce you to the principle characters once more. They did a great job. The writing and art were fantastic.

The next issue hits stores August 19. Go. GO NOW! Subscribe to the comic you FOOLS!

P.S. Absolutely do not sing the doom song to Jhonen. I’ve heard it drives him nuts. After re-watching the first episode of the show, I can see why.

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wpid-screenshot_2015-08-12-17-28-31.pngI started playing Alphabear shortly after it was released. Since then they have made the game better!!!

As with all games, changes are put into place after it’s released to fix known issues and make the game play better. One of my favorite changes was the day my first blog was scheduled to post, they made it so you can move between the chapters. That was one of my biggest issues with the whole game. I could play but once I moved from chapter one to chapter two, I couldn’t go back.

They’ve also added some new legendary bears ( unicorn bear).

In the original release I had major issues with the interface for choosing your bears. When I would scroll, sometimes it would randomly select the bear closest to my fingers, even though I wasn’t touching them. They’ve fixed this issue with the new selection button. You can scroll through your collected bears and one appears at the bottom of the screen. They’ve made it appear big and bright, with what it does for you and the bonus. Then you chose select!

There is also a new option for using coins to wake bears you have recently used. I like that feature a whole lot.

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My only problem now may be with my phone. The responsiveness has gone down with this last game patch. Not sure why it’s changed. I cleaned the screen but still, sometimes it doesn’t like to select the letters in-game. It’s super frustrating. I still think it’s my phone though. Let me know if you are having the same issue. My phone’s a SG4 Note.

Tips and things I find amusing!

The “F” word is playable. I was SO freaking amused. Some of my friends were surprised, I was not. Hehehe…

They have added new end captions. The celebearties are included in some like Steven Colbear.

I just unlocked the “OWL BEAR.” The geek in me skipped a beat. So funny.

Some of my strategies include using words that end in – tion. These can include, desalination, declaration, sanitation, destination, station. These words take up a lot of letters and if you are using OCTOBEAR, you get a fat bonus.

Remember your plurals and past tenses pookie! If you are spelling a word, thrown an -S or an -ed on the end. This helps use up a few more letters. I tend to aim for using ALL the letters on a board. Some are very tricky in chapter 5 though.

If you have letters you need to use before they turn to stone, use all the combinations. I’ve learned a few words since I started playing.

A fun challenge is to make a theme while playing. One that is easy and pretty broad, spell words having to do with the medical field! Heart, worms, butt, x-ray, sterilize, fertilization, babies, etc…

Remember your prefixes like re-, de- and un-. There are tons of words that can be expanded on by using a prefix. Say you spell “make.” You can make re-make and unmake. I’ve used both in-game. Destabilize, restabilize, unstable. See what I did there?

In timed mode, I no longer care about stone letters. I spell for my life. It’s the trade off in this game. I save the highest bonus bears I have for timed levels since there isn’t time for me to canoodle with the letters.

I hope you’re having fun with Alphabear! Tell me about it! I love it so much. I play through the game every day.

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My parents meet Kane and I last week after we returned from Hawaii. They wanted to go to dinner and none of us could figure out what we wanted, so we went to Uwajimaya ( A Japanese grocery store that has an asian food court.) There is always something there for everyone. Tonight we all wound up at the Hawaiian place, Aloha Plates. They are pretty awesome and make kaluha pork very close to what we had in Maui. After we ate, everyone popped into the grocery store for various items. I needed Portuguese sausage. My parents wanted almond cookies. Matt wanted Monster Hunter figures. When we went to check out with our collected items and I found VEGGIE GUMMIES!

I bought a package right away. The last time I was going to buy weird Japanese candy, when I went back they were gone!

What are they?

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Well the package has pictures of different vegetables. They include a carrot, eggplant, Onion a Red pepper and so on. They call them vegetable gummies. The gummies do have a bunch of different vegetables listed in the ingredients. They list red cabbage, Chinese cabbage, radish, broccoli, red peppers, celery, spinach and asparagus to name a few. These are all as part of the mixed juices.

Opening the package I was surprised! They are all a uniform orange color. I was expecting different flavored gummies. Holding out hope though I popped a few in my mouth.

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They all tasted the same. There was absolutely no difference in taste from one orange lump to another. We had a friend over, both Kane and she were in agreement, they were uniformly the same flavor. They tasted like… oranges. Yeah, they tasted fruity not savory. I didn’t realize that they had the gummy pictured on the front till it was too late. It blended in, I had no idea till I opened the package that these were what the gummies looked like.

Actual gummies inside the package.

Actual gummies inside the package.

Disappointment, you taste of citrus fruit! 

Here is some additional nutritional information. From what we found researching them, it’s a ploy to make them appear as a healthy snack. They are just sugar though with no substantial nutritional value.

We found some other blogs. One blogger opened them to find ALL THE GUMMIES AS A CLUMP! Horrible. They are pretty tasty but remind me of the gummie vitamins we take.

The company that makes them, Kasugai is better known for their wasabi and sriracha peas. They are yummy snacks I enjoy.

If you aren’t satisfied, you can call them between 9 AM and 5 PM local time. The number is on the bag above but remember to dial the US exit code 011.

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I found an interesting game that uses Chemistry as the basis for game play. The playing field is a circle. It gives you elements, pluses and minuses. You can combine like elements, cause chain reactions and move elements around with the plus and minuses. When you combine two elements you get a the next element usually. Like two Hydrogen, atomic number 1 combine to make Helium, atomic number 2. Lithium combines to beryllium.

 

There are chain reactions as well. You can line up elements so that they all combine when you deploy a plus. The game relies on the magic of symmetry.  The bigger the chain and the larger the elements, the better your score. The full extent of the chain is indicated by the colored line outside the ring.  You can use that to aim you shot with the plus. 

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There is also the minus, which allows you to move elements around the board. This is great if you have one out-of-place. Later on there are black pluses that will combine two unmatched elements of any kind.

If you are in a bind there is a fusion power up that absorbs half the board. You can earn more antimatter or buy antimatter through an in-game purchase.

The game either ends when you get all the elements or you fill the board.

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After you’ve played the game, you get into a rhythm. There are certain elements that count as lucky charms. The charms give you bonuses and minuses. You can only equip one at a time. Silicon gives you 10 extra combination pluses in the game.

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The game has three modes as well. There is the standard mode, timed mode and FULL ALCHEMIST. I haven’t unlocked Full Alchemist yet. You have to create gold in order to unlock the final mode.

Atomas is made by Sirnic. The developer is out of Germany. They have several other apps including Gravity Blocks. You can find the games on IOS and Android!

Enjoy! All the games I love are addicting.

We’re Back!

Posted: August 5, 2015 by Noccie in Life in a Box
Tags:

Hachi Machi… I just got back from Hawaii. We have a lot of articles partially composed for you lovely people!

I have so much I want to say about Hawaii! It was fascinating. I tend to connect to a place by observing the world around me. That usually means the trees, sky, plants, birds, creatures, ocean, water, water, water, RAINBOWS! PEOPLE SPEAKING HAWAIIAN! I take it all in and study it. I throw myself into it and enjoy the crap out of learning about the place.

I’ll give you more of that in the days to come.

Hawaiian sunset

 

 

Posts to come:

  • Top 10 references in MLP:FIM
  • Atomas Is Science
  • 2048: Squared Away
  • Invader Zim Returns
  • Vegetable Gummies?!
  • Nerdy Things to do in Paradise
  • Connecting with Maui
  • Hamster Life: Translation Lacking