So basically...
Dream Journal: Action Figures, Figurines, and Flowers

Monday, September 29, 2014

This dream was in 3 parts, all of them very strange. Luckily nothing frightening, but this was definitely the most bizarre one I’ve had in a while. Check under the pagebreak fro the whole story.

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I don’t like everything about Arrow, but Slade Wilson is my favorite thing.

I don’t like everything about Arrow, but Slade Wilson is my favorite thing.

I haven’t reblogged any animals in a while, so here’s a cute pair of bunny faces to finish off the weekend with.

I haven’t reblogged any animals in a while, so here’s a cute pair of bunny faces to finish off the weekend with.

WIP
Wreck-It Ralph was a great movie, so I regret that it took me this long to get around to talking about it.
First of all, the concept is great: video game characters living in a parallel world alongside “real life,” interacting with each other when the humans have left the arcade for the night. It has a sort of Toy Story vibe to it in that respect. There’s also a great plot twist that I probably should’ve seen coming a mile away, but the fact that I didn’t says a lot about the captivating nature of the storyline.
While the main protagonists are all made up for the movie, Wreck-It Ralph is chock-full of references and character cameos from real games by a variety of publishers and release dates. This includes anything from Pong to Metal Gear Solid, bringing viewers/gamers of all ages and platforms together in waves of excited cheering at things they recognize.
For the most part, though, the movie is about Ralph, an 8-bit bad guy on a quest through multiple genres of games to finally get recognition as, well, not so bad of a guy. Okay, so he’s not actually rendered in 8-bits for the majority of the movie, but the people from his game still move around as though they are, which was one of my favorite things about the film, visually.
But I digress.
Ralph is a lovable, brotherly protagonist, but my favorite character was Tamara Calhoun, a badass lady from a new sci-fi shooter who speaks in mostly quips and one-liners, and who has “the most tragic backstory ever.” I won’t spoil the details, but I bring it up because there’s a great moment that shows with accuracy what it’s like to be “triggered.” Yes, the movie is a family-friendly comedy, but I didn’t get the impression that the writers thought triggers are a thing to be joked about. I chuckled at the scene, not necessarily because of its apparent absurdity, but with a knowing respect of “I’ve been there; I get that.”
I’ll tell you what WAS hysterical, though: seeing a dark, gritty, hardcore first-person shooter character in a colorful, kid-friendly, Candyland-inspired racing game, taking the whole thing as seriously as she would take an alien invasion in her own game.
Mixing themes, especially polar opposites, is one of my favorite things.

WIP

Wreck-It Ralph was a great movie, so I regret that it took me this long to get around to talking about it.

First of all, the concept is great: video game characters living in a parallel world alongside “real life,” interacting with each other when the humans have left the arcade for the night. It has a sort of Toy Story vibe to it in that respect. There’s also a great plot twist that I probably should’ve seen coming a mile away, but the fact that I didn’t says a lot about the captivating nature of the storyline.

While the main protagonists are all made up for the movie, Wreck-It Ralph is chock-full of references and character cameos from real games by a variety of publishers and release dates. This includes anything from Pong to Metal Gear Solid, bringing viewers/gamers of all ages and platforms together in waves of excited cheering at things they recognize.

For the most part, though, the movie is about Ralph, an 8-bit bad guy on a quest through multiple genres of games to finally get recognition as, well, not so bad of a guy. Okay, so he’s not actually rendered in 8-bits for the majority of the movie, but the people from his game still move around as though they are, which was one of my favorite things about the film, visually.

But I digress.

Ralph is a lovable, brotherly protagonist, but my favorite character was Tamara Calhoun, a badass lady from a new sci-fi shooter who speaks in mostly quips and one-liners, and who has “the most tragic backstory ever.” I won’t spoil the details, but I bring it up because there’s a great moment that shows with accuracy what it’s like to be “triggered.” Yes, the movie is a family-friendly comedy, but I didn’t get the impression that the writers thought triggers are a thing to be joked about. I chuckled at the scene, not necessarily because of its apparent absurdity, but with a knowing respect of “I’ve been there; I get that.”

I’ll tell you what WAS hysterical, though: seeing a dark, gritty, hardcore first-person shooter character in a colorful, kid-friendly, Candyland-inspired racing game, taking the whole thing as seriously as she would take an alien invasion in her own game.

Mixing themes, especially polar opposites, is one of my favorite things.

Photo from the Sealaska website/facebook page.

I think I saw one of these totems in-progress while I was in Alaska over the summer. I can’t wait to go back and see these things in person! They look absolutely stunning.

And here I thought I could get through this whole show without getting physically attracted to any of the characters. *flips desk*
But in all seriousness, I very much enjoyed Part 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Sure the fight scenes were over-the-top, and maybe Lisa Lisa didn’t spend a lot of screentime being a badass, but if we’re looking at it in the respect that it’s about the short-lived Joestar family in their unending fight against the supernatural enemies of Hamon, then yeah, Part 2 was rad as heck.
It’s a shame that they waited until the end to get into the origin of the Pillar Men, though. It felt like a last-minute addition, like, “whoops, we forgot to do this earlier. Let’s summarize it for 2-3 minutes somewhere in this last episode.” I feel like there was some interesting stuff that they could have elaborated on if they stretched it over the course of the story arc. I won’t spoil anything here, but my brain drew some fascinating parallels between the Pillar Men and the Joestars, and I guess I would have liked to have seen more of that. Then again, that might have taken away from all the insane battles against the undead. For all its weirdness and physics-breaking, this show has some outrageously creative fight scenes. And death scenes too, I suppose. *wipes a tear*
So what’s next, Part 3? I don’t know if they could possibly provide a protagonist better than Joseph, but I’ll keep an open mind.

And here I thought I could get through this whole show without getting physically attracted to any of the characters. *flips desk*

But in all seriousness, I very much enjoyed Part 2 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Sure the fight scenes were over-the-top, and maybe Lisa Lisa didn’t spend a lot of screentime being a badass, but if we’re looking at it in the respect that it’s about the short-lived Joestar family in their unending fight against the supernatural enemies of Hamon, then yeah, Part 2 was rad as heck.

It’s a shame that they waited until the end to get into the origin of the Pillar Men, though. It felt like a last-minute addition, like, “whoops, we forgot to do this earlier. Let’s summarize it for 2-3 minutes somewhere in this last episode.” I feel like there was some interesting stuff that they could have elaborated on if they stretched it over the course of the story arc. I won’t spoil anything here, but my brain drew some fascinating parallels between the Pillar Men and the Joestars, and I guess I would have liked to have seen more of that. Then again, that might have taken away from all the insane battles against the undead. For all its weirdness and physics-breaking, this show has some outrageously creative fight scenes. And death scenes too, I suppose. *wipes a tear*

So what’s next, Part 3? I don’t know if they could possibly provide a protagonist better than Joseph, but I’ll keep an open mind.

maymont:

New Ikebana Sculpture in Japanese Garden

Along with the changing leaves, a new bamboo sculpture is transforming the landscape in Maymont’s Japanese Garden this fall. The fanciful display was created by members of Ikebana of Richmond, Inc. led by Libby Haynes who practices and teaches the floral art of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Visit the garden now through October to view this creative temporary exhibit.

“I wanted the arrangement to reflect the three Ikebana elements of Line, Color and Mass which are most important in the process of creating Ikebana,” Haynes said. “In the arrangement, the split bamboo is Line. The bamboo balls in fall colors are Mass and Color.”

Others who helped bring the sculpture to life are Haynes’ husband, Howard, and  close friend, Nathan Roberts, as well as members of Ikebana of Richmond – Noriko Burke, Annette Ernst, Alice Litchfield, Paula Nachman, Bay Seale and Kumiko Suzuki.

Sogetsu Ikebana is a three-dimensional artistic expression composed of flower and plant material. Although it is based on Japanese tradition, it is a school that strives for a modern fresh style and promotes an Ikebana of no limits in which plant materials of any type are used to be displayed anywhere and in any circumstance.

Awesome, artsy stuff happening at Maymont Park these days! I hope I can go back there before they take these down. 

Blackest Night Re-Read In October

On Free Comic Book Day a few years ago I picked up the #0 issue of something called Blackest Night. At the time, I was only slightly familiar with Green Lantern (didn’t the live action film come out around then?), but this little issue solidified my interest. So many Corps and colors and character designs! Such a spooky story-arc setup! Maybe Blackest Night wasn’t the best place to start for someone new to the DC Universe, but it managed to grip me as an instant favorite.

Over time, I familiarized myself with DC Comics as a result of obtaining trade paperbacks and watching superhero movies and TV series. By the time Halloween came back around, I thought I’d give that spooky ol’ Blackest Night thing another read, and boy was it that much better a second time. I’d even be willing to make a tradition of re-reading it!

Well, it’s nearly October again, and I’m getting the urge to crack the books open once more. In particular the gorgeous Absolute edition that I got for my birthday last December.

I figured it could be fun to make a sort of “community event” out of it this year, so here’s the plan: if you have access to the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps Blackest Night issues, join me in re-reading and discussing this awesome tale of life, humanity, death, and undeath in the DC Universe.

Above is a tentative schedule that I plan to follow from October 1st through Halloween. It comes to about one issue per day, minus Sundays, which I’ll be using as discussion days for what we read that week.

Let us overcome our fears together!

Note that I will only be reading through Blackest Night and the tie-in issues for Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Feel free to add to your list any other Blackest Night issues for whatever series you like/have time to read. From what I understand, Blackest Night was a massive, DC Universe-wide event!

I’m… not 100% sure what I’m looking at here…

I’m… not 100% sure what I’m looking at here…

Great article by Aaron Cote about the architecture design of the Citadel in Half-Life 2.