Posts filed under ‘Smoking of Pipeweed: being thoughtful’

The End: Battlestar Gallactica’s Finale

How long have we been waiting and dreading the end of the Battlestar Gallactica series? If you haven’t been waiting or dreading the end, then you should stop reading, and I don’t like you. I think I’ve spent the last few years on the edge of my seat, waiting for the series to end, waiting to see if they reach earth, waiting for the end. It’s finally come, and I’ve seen the final episode of an awesome series. My heart is relieved, joyed, and sad.

There’s no doubt that the series makes you think about humanity and how we treat each other. The ending provokes very intense passions. What I liked most about the ‘Daybreak’, the final episode, was they made a huge effort to bring resolution. They spent a long time, showing the end for each character. They added some surprises and twists, but, in the end, you were left satisfied that it was over and they had found a home. What I didn’t like is that no one was happy, no one. It makes sense, but it leaves a heavy feeling on your soul when no one finds happiness. There is a sense of completeness and freedom, but, overall, they are a broken people. They separate, go their own way, and suffer their losses alone. I guess that suits the show well, as that’s really what humans do sometimes.

Oddly enough, the moment in that final episode where I did tear up was when Baltar cried in his last scene. I really felt the weight of the series crashed down. I really felt the weight of the emotional journey they had all come on. James Callis did a wonderful job at acting that moment.

I’d have to say Saul Tigh was my favourite character. He had so many layers and dimensions, and it is not easy to act with only one eye, bravo!

Here’s a link to video blogs of the actors while they were shooting the final episode. It was very interesting to hear what the actors had to say. I was surprised at the difference in Apollo’s accent and that Rosalin was not video taped – strange.

http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/video/?sub=blog

There’s so much more that could be said, but I’ll leave it with this: I loved the series. The actors were inspiring, the storyline thought-provoking, the action so very passionate. Well done. I’ll never forget it.

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03.2009 at 1:04 pm 1 comment

free enterprise

“Free Entreprise” is a movie, 121 minutes of science-fiction references, sexy romance, comic moments, and real truths of life – even for those who aren’t sci-fi fans. Admittedly, you would find this movie difficult to follow if you have not watched any of the original Star Trek seasons or motion picture movies or other sci-fi movies like Logan’s Run. That aside, it’s easy to relate to the characters and the problems they face, even with William Shatner’s character, a caricature of himself, Bill. Basically, the movie is about two friends slamming face first into the difficulties of changing lives – no one likes change (wikipedia imdb).

What a good movie, really. I hadn’t seen the original release from 1998, but I’ve seen the “Five Year Mission Extended Edition”, and, either way, the movie is really good. This is no box office smash hit, but as for film quality, I’d give it a bravo. What I like is the down-to-earth characters it portrays. Who hasn’t obsessed over some kind of love in our lives? Who hasn’t had idles or people we look up to, admire and see as heroes? The characters are easy to relate to, their problems easy to understand and learn from, and their dreams and desires totally human.

Maybe I’m blowing the realism out of proportion, but as a director, I know that an actor must push the limits of real life, exaggerate the small moral or immoral voices we hear in our heads, and grab on to those desperate dreams and desires we sometimes in our everyday experiences ignore or push to the back of our minds. At the core, everyone can feel the essence of the purely rich needs of the characters in Free Enterprise. Free drinks for the actors, free drinks for Shatner’s efforts to touch the audience, free drinks for McCormack for his Shatner monologue.

You can’t go wrong with the Star Trek and other sci-fi film lines wittily saturating the script. For the most part, these were not cliche, but brought out the true, gut feelings of the characters and the full meaning of the film. A great actor takes seemingly meaningless and nonsensical chatter in a script, and uses it to express their character’s inner needs.

Sure, some of the movie goes beyond the great barrier of reality, but this is a heartfelt, truly unique, and enjoyable movie, especially since many of us in my circle have begun to approach the big three oh. Good laughs, bad morals, good lessons, and good stuff. Today’s Experiment: Free Enterprise – Success!

05.2008 at 4:49 pm 2 comments

behold! asteroth comes for you!

Attempting to play the GURPS 4th edition roleplay game has been a journey. It has been a long process to grind out my first character. Working with the GM, we have created “Asteroth! The Floating Head!”

Arriving at the peak of a magical career, Asteroth grew overconfident with his own prowess and success. It was this thinking that drove someone to betray him. Without ever knowing who was responsible or why, Asteroth had his body stolen, his abilities reduced, and his life left in shambles. He was nothing but a clearly unnatural, floating head.

Years of learning to adapt to his new state of being, Asteroth developed telekinetic powers and the ability to float about a few feet from the ground. Without having proper vocal chords, Asteroth’s voice is artificial and frightening to many.

In his search to recover his body, he has dedicated himself to the Infinite Patrol. In his duties as an officer, he hopes to uncover the mystery of his missing body, no matter what the cost.

Behold! Asteroth!

This head is from a Marvel comic, but gives a good impression of what Asteroth looks like, and even acts like to a small degree.

05.2008 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

nuances

If you haven’t noticed the changes in the looks and order of my blog, then you probably haven’t been an avid viewer. I’m not even sure I have avid viewers, but Spring has arrived, finally, and along with cleaning everything I’ve used winter as an excuse not to clean, I’ve cleaned up my blog as well. I thought it needed a change.

While the broom is out of the closet, maybe areas in all aspects of life could use a good dusting. Why don’t we have SpringĀ  Resolutions, as opposed to New Year’s resolutions? The oppression that is winter has been lifted and we are free to let loose – get more exercise, spend more time with people, try out those dreams, tackle new and old hobbies. This desire to clean up our lives is a feeling I’m sure most people experience this time of year – it goes along with the feral need to mate.

Trouble is, we don’t like change, because change is an unknown and that is frightening. There is also the flip side of that, that we love change, because change is an adventure and that is exciting. I look forward to this time of year as well as fear it, because things always change in my life during the spring and summer. My wheels grind more slowly in the winter, but they are loosened and freed in the spring.

I don’t know where I’m going with all this, except to promote the change in my blog and urge you to create nuances in your life. Have a joyful spring!

05.2008 at 7:51 pm 3 comments

Habs FTW

“It is a good year to be a Habs fan.”

Tis the common word on the street,at the workplace, and in the home. Verily, candy is as sweet as the reality of the Montreal Canadiens leading their first round in the playoffs while the Toronto Maples Leafs watch from their sofas.

I make no claims as a die-hard fan, but I have always kept my ear to the ground to catch the latest Habs news. Three cheers for the Canadiens as they finish their season with 47 wins and 10 losses. Equally strong on the road and away, our Habs firmly grasped first place in the Eastern Conference, and they are positioned third overall. It’s also good to note they have the most “Goals For” of the whole league.

Therefore, if you’re a Montreal Canadiens fan, you’re having a good year. I don’t like San Jose, so my prediction is Detroit vs Montreal. Habs for the win!

04.2008 at 3:18 pm 1 comment

strawberries, eggs, butter

I looked in my fridge the other day and noticed that all I had was a bag of frozen strawberries – used for pancakes, a carton of large brown eggs – breakfast this morning, and a box of 1/2 cup butter bars – actually margarine. This struck me as funny and I thought I’d share that with people who read my blog. Maybe this is some sort of allegory for the rest of my life, or it could be that I just don’t have money to buy food. Running with the allegory idea, maybe the strawberries represent the love in my life. I am getting married in June, so I do have a love. Yet, since the strawberries are bagged, contained and trapped within a plastic wrapping, perhaps the strawberries cry out to me to care more the people around me, break through those boundaries. Eggs are said to be perfect, so perhaps I should perfect myself or some gift that I have discovered. Perhaps the shells and membranes and layers of the egg should be peeled away to discover the true core, the core of my being. I could just be reaching for some meaning, because it could just mean that if no one else cares about me, at least the chickens are there for me. The oval shape of an egg could represent the perfect circle of forgiveness and somewhere along the way I’ve neglected to forgive and so distorted the circle. There’s a lot eggs have to say about my life, so I’ll move on to butter. The fact that the so-called butter is actually margarine, must be representative of some mask or visage that I bear in the places I work. Maybe I can’t be myself at these places, and maybe it shows I’m in the wrong field of work. Yet, butter can be good, it is a garnish flavouring to many many types of food; is that me, a multi-useful garnish? The butter definitely represents the lost enjoyment of the art of cooking. Maybe I should cook more, but if I did I wouldn’t have butter in the fridge, and then I’d have to steal my roommate’s butter.

Life is so unpredictable, so there’s no sane reason to figure it all out. There’s so much we can learn if we just listen and look. I think I’m a better person for having experienced the wisdom of strawberries, eggs, and butter.

03.2008 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Game Day: Gamera vs Kung Fu

November 3 was international Game Day, as reported here by Dave Noonan. Our long-time gaming group had an extra game night, just for the event. I rapidly put together a one-night storyline for a game of Dungeons and Dragons . This was an oriental campaign, using classes and races from the “Rokugan – Oriental Adventures Handbook”, created by James Wyatt.

The characters were created by me, but the personalities, development, and actions were performed by Wes Perry, Mark MacPhee, Julie Read, and Richard Haynes. Wes Perry’s character was a stern and loyal samurai nezumi (ratlike humanoids), who’s primary goal was to protect the people under his noble lord. Mark MacPhee played a spiritually-enlightened shaman of the river spiritfolk race, who’s likeness to Kwai Chang Caine from the TV series Kung Fu was memorable. Julie Read engaged in a hyperactive, fast-talking, shapechanging-hengeyokai sohei – a religious soldier or monk – who’s desire was to protect her life friend, played by Richard Haynes. Richard’s character was the protagonist and the antagonist of the story, a human elemental wu jen, who’s super-objective was fueled by his hatred for a colossal creature who, with collateral damage, had killed his family and dog.

The story began in, everyone’s favourite location, a local tavern, with oriental designed architecture, saki, and rice. By strange fate or the spirits’ doing, the four heroes found themselves seated at the same table, learning about each other, when, moments later, a farmer, from up a nearby mountain, begged the heroes to save his daughter from bandits commanded by spirits. This brief talk was interrupted by a gang of cutthroats, called the Gaki Band, who challenged the heroes for territorial domination. Taking the challenge with honour and ferocity, the four heroes decimated the dozen bandits without breaking a sweat. It wasn’t long before they realized that a Gaki was a spirit of vicious, unlawful humanoid. This led the heroes to the Gaki Band hideout, a mountain cave. Ayana, played by Richard, discovered his name was written on the entrance stones of the cave. Osako, played by Wes, plowed his way into the cave, seeking justice for the misdeeds of the Gaki Band. Asaka (or Sandy, as riverspirits are), played by Mark, sought to put to rest the Gaki spirits, and Mirobe, played by Julie, stayed loyally beside her friend, Ayana. Bravely defeating bandits of the Gaki Band, routing the spirit-Gaki leaders, and decimating a miniature version of Gyaos, a creature of legend, the band rescues the farmer’s daughter.

gyaos

The woes have only begun, as Ayana finds a hidden cave with a large egg. The egg hatches releasing an armored, winged, tentacled creature, called Iris.

iris

Ayana finds he has a psychic bond with Iris, which fuels a hatred in Iris for the creature that killed Ayana’s family. As Ayana’s hatred is strong, so Iris grows, larger and larger, matching the magnitude of hatred in Ayana’s heart. Iris, nearing giant size, rampages down the mountain, destroying all between it and the ocean, the resting place of the legendary creature named Gamera, the colossal-sized, fanged, fire-breathing, flying-turtle Guardian of the Universe.

gamera

Our heroes finally catch up with Iris at the seacoast, where it ravages Osako’s town and lord’s castle. Spirits guide Asaka (Sandy) under the sea to the lair of Gamera, where he sleeps and feeds on the mana of the world. After defeating the water elemental protectors of the lair, Gamera is awakened to rise to the surface and protect the world once more. Iris, fueled by Ayana’s hatred for Gamera, the one who killed his family, has grown to colossal size, and only Gamera can stop him.

gamerafly

To make matters worse, several miniature Gyaos creatures were attacking the area, making Gamera’s job difficult. Through odd circumstances, magic, and psychic connections, the heroes were bonded with the colossal creatures, merging spirits, and becoming the monsters. The battle that followed was epic, with claws, fangs, bites, fire breath, energy beams, ice breath, roaring, and collateral damage – the Gyaos creatures did not last long, leaving Gamera and Iris to duke it out.

battle

fire

Gamera’s preliminary attacks were not strong enough to defeat the hate-fueled Iris, who’s tentacles and punches rocked Gamera in his shell. Hurt badly, Gamera retreats into his shell, where he can regenerate. His shell begins to spray fire and sparks from the leg holes, then spins wildly and begins to fly! A series of shell charges and burns, puts doubt in Iris’s mind. The horror deepens as Iris discovers that Gamera is almost invincible inside his shell, so Iris burrows deep under the earth, where he can regenerate.

In a heroic move, Gamera flies to space and plummets back to Earth at a preposterous speed, craterizing Iris’s mountain and half the town. A long, agonizing, grinding grapple occurs between the two colossal beasts, until Iris can take no more, and Gamera, once again, proves his worth as Guardian of the Universe and Little Boy Enthusiast.

baby

This was our Game Day experience, something different from the usual. Obviously, I stole the character names, some plot, and lots of excitement from the eye-popping Gamera series, specifically Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris. What made things even more entertaining were the Gamera action figures, gifts from friends, and the Neo action figure from the special Matrix collector’s set, which actually turned out to be a model bust of Neo and not an action figure.

HAPPY GAME DAY!

11.2007 at 2:05 pm 4 comments

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