My Pokemon Adventure: Day One

I downloaded Pokemon Go when it officially released on Wednesday, but because of the ever present server issues and the Pokemon Trainer Club login not working at all, I had to restart. After rebuilding my trainer and finding some version of my name that wasn’t already taken, thegeeksrespite was too long and my fallback name of Waffles I had already used on my first account before it went down so I had to go with the ever popular name plus numbers at the end. Grabbing a Doduo and my Blubasaur starter, Des and I went out and took care of our errands on a payday.

First stop was Wal-Mart, grabbed a couple of Pidgies and a Rattata but not much else there, rent check in hand the next stop was the ATM at the Chase bank near the house. Since I was driving and handling the ATM I missed my chance at a Magikarp but  that was ok. While Des ran and talked with her Credit Union I got to sit in the car and catch a Venonat. Then I was off to the local utilities department. One Rattata, Pidgey, and a missed Bulbasaur later we  took a step outside to find the park across the street filled with Pokestops. I picked up a Goldeen and a few Eggs, and a ton of Pokeballs. Almost as soon as we finish hitting the pokestops the ones behind up had refreshed, needless to say we did about two laps, completely unplanned and in a light sprinkle, of the park to load up. It was here that my app crashed and I couldn’t get back in, Des was still online though, and picked up a Beedrill and some more Marikarp. While driving through the OU campus we see a ton of pokestops….and active modules in a few of them. If we only had a valid parking pass and enough time to explore it all…maybe next week.

 
I’ve seen this screen more than the actual game so far…
If you want to help us keep exploring the Pokeworld, think about supporting us on Patreon (patreon.com/thegeeksrespite) if we get to our bonus levels we can even add photos to our daily journals!

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Late Night Musings

So it’s pretty late here, after a pretty taxing day, but as I kick back and watch an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 I am just drawn into some thoughts about some random stuff. So join me in the walk through my mind..

1) I spent this past weekend watching a couple of cartoons series that have some buzz. One, completely earned. Gravity Falls was everything I had heard and more, I’d recommend you check it out. The other? Meh it was ok. Star vs the Forces of Evil had some real hits but about the same number of misses. The season finale showed some depth and gives me hope that season two will finish working the bugs out.

2) While Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax are great, the jokes are usually better that the original MST3K series or at least seem more worked out, nothing can cheer me up like Mike or Joel and the bots mocking Manos the Hands of Fate or Hobgoblins. 

3) I keep moving toward starting the podcast but my own insecurities hold me back, so to compensate I’m going to run a Twitch Channel test tomorrow and see if I can get over this irrational stage fright.

4) When did fans forget what storytelling is? Hydra Cap is just the most recent event that had fans calling for the heads of the writers/creators. Everyone jumps at the first bump in the story instead of waiting till the rides over. I guess it’s one of those things that happens when we have an instant gratification mentality thanks to the internet. 

5) Yup wrestling is fun to watch sometimes.

Just some of the rambling in my ADHD brain. 

Didn’t We Just Do One of These?

 

So Marvel released information on Divided We Stand, another relaunch, not long after the All-New, All-Different relaunch after the soft reboot Secret Wars after the Now relaunch after, well you get the idea. Once DC was the master of the reboot (and currently Rebirth is going into good places), just hitting the reset button about every 10-ish years starting with the original Crisis. Now though it seems like Marvel is in a constant cycle of relaunches, not as severe as reboots but still rocking the foundations as it were. Of course the catalyst for this relaunch is the current event Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo, and while I have yet to check out the story, due to it already being too massive to pick up individually, the summaries and spoilers I have been hit with on social media paint a decent story but a needless event so soon after Secret Wars. You just restarted the 616 universe, condensed the Ultimate universe in to the 616 along with some other straggling parallel worlds and are just starting to get things settled from that. Guess it’s time to rip the curtains down and rework the status quo again!

It’s exhausting being in a constant state of flux, when books are just getting their feet under them to have them torn out again. Your audience is slowly conditioned to not care about anything because it will probably mean nothing after the next event. This started way back with Avengers Disassembled, which lead into Civil War, into Secret Invasion, into Siege. Every book was touched by those events, and countless books started and ended with little to no fanfare, and it just seemed like the entire line was immersed in these events. Once those things passed we had some quiet time, but then came Time Runs Out, Marvel Now, Secret Wars, Civil War 2, and now Divided we stand. Don’t get me wrong, I like events and big stories, but it has felt like that is all we are getting with Marvel recently. I’m going to watch this develop, see how it pans out, maybe after this they will let things settle down for a while and let the books stand on their own, except Avengers Infinity War is on the way, so after Divided We Stand will probably come United We Fall.

To Be Continued…..

So About That New Paradigm For Captain America

As a follow up to our first post about the ending of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, I thought I would go over the reveal of issue two. By the way, SPOILER WHALE AHEAD!! You have been warned.

Spoiler-Alert

Turns out that it WAS mind control. Mind control from a sentient Cosmic Cube that took human form and was under control of the….wait for it….Red Skull (dun dun dunn..*headesk*).

“How can this be?” you ask with disappointment that the righteous anger that so many were dispensing on last month’s reveal and the press tour where the writer and editor were both adamant that this was not a stunt and that it was the new status quo turns out to be nothing more than the puppet masters pulling the strings of the fan base to goad a reaction from the main stream media. If they had just said that it was a story then people would have still grumbled but the outrage that got that book all over the news wouldn’t have been there. They needed to get everyone upset, so they, well, lied.

I’ll point back to my last post about this. In that article I said that it wouldn’t serve the hype machine for the creators to just come out and say “Nope this is just a story and it’s only temporary.” That doesn’t sell books, doesn’t stir a reaction from the fan base and doesn’t get a ton of free publicity for issue two, a book that normally sees a big drop off after the first issue. Marvel did what it does best, make its fans sell its books for them, and the rage at the idea of Cap being retconned in the most core level made sure that non-readers knew something big was going on. What we have now is the typical comic trope of mind control, sure it is dressed up nicely and honestly I want to see where this story is going now but this is your normal comic plot at this point. I’m not upset, I’m too old of a fan to be upset by stunt writing and hype not matching the final product, I’m not even surprised at this point, it is just how comics work. Especially with an Icon like Captain America, not just a comic icon but now a money printing machine over in films too. In fact I would have been surprised if they HAD kept the retcon, it would have meant that something different was happening but again the normal stasis of comics rears its head.

Just remember, before you go off and rage against some new storyline, plot line or stunt, to let it work out before you get angry. Don’t be the creators hype team, unless you like where it’s going.

When a Geek Gets Old

 

                There was a time, many, many years ago, that I felt the need to hide my geekiness. The fact I watched cartoons, didn’t really care about “normal” guy stuff (cars, sports, to an extent, girls), played video games and read comics were more isolating to me than liberating. I lived in an area where my interests made me “The Other” and while I had friends, most of them also outcast, I just never had the feeling of belonging anywhere. When someone I didn’t know would ask what I was into I would default to football or some other sport, I didn’t want to alienate them too quick. Besides they would find out soon enough when they found me at lunch reading some graphic novel or, heaven forbid, they walked in and saw me playing my gnome thief that just couldn’t get a handle on trapfinding. I spend much of my high school years being other people, not in a gaming sense but being whoever the person I was in front of wanted or needed me to be. I couldn’t be myself because I was a geek, and every movie, tv show and commercial told me that was undesirable, so I became everything and in doing so became nothing.

                Don’t misunderstand me, I knew I was a person and I enjoyed the things I enjoyed but I never felt comfortable ENJOYING those things. At times I would even fell guilty for liking what I like. So I get out of high school and float around, not sure who I am at this point. What did I want to do? Who did I want to become? Again the world told me that everything I enjoyed was wrong, stupid, unimportant, or childish. I never thought I could express myself and find others like me out there. So what brought me forward and helped me to accept my geek? LARP’ing, no I didn’t toss bean bags of lightning bolt at people, are you crazy? I pretended to be a vampire full of ennui and dread and played rock paper scissors, or an unstoppable engine of Environmentalist Rage in Werewolf. The games that actually snapped me out of my self-imposed isolation though were Changeling and Mage. One basically forced you to open up, larp cantrips involve physical and sometimes self-deprecating actions to pull of fantastic effects and the other taught that reality is mutable if you have the willpower to move it.

                The other games in the Minds Eye Theater line, and the group of friends that were diverse, welcoming and just as willing to make fools of themselves just to have a good time, helped me to find my own voice. I discovered myself in those games and the skills I picked up have served me very well in the real world. The one thing that I learned from all of those nights running around playing rock paper scissors is that I matter, not just the characters I played but me. They didn’t care what I liked, hell some of them enjoyed the same stuff and didn’t care what anyone else thought about it, I found out that the world is less concerned about how I spend my free time than I thought. Sure there were people that didn’t understand, but I began to feel comfortable in my own skin and my own hobbies.

                During that time the world slowly moved forward, the first Spider-Man came out and blew up the world. X-Men, Blade, a DC Animation Domination, Teen Titans, the Anime expansion (fueled by file sharing and other internet communities blossoming.) Slowly the world began to see people like me, the geeks and the nerds and the outcast, as relatable. The world begins to find their own inner geek, no longer were we segmented, there were entire conventions that slowly expanded their views. You started to see less specialized con’s, and when San Diego Comic Con allowed Twilight to screen its trailer the fan base for that series interacted with the normally comic and animation based geekdom and everyone understood that they were the same. Iron Man hits and the world again shakes, we start to anticipate movies based on comics, not because those movies are ABOUT comic characters but because they are good movies that happen to be about superheroes. The individual Marvel films introduce us to our heroes again, only to throw them all together in the first Avengers film, another landmark moment of the geek world imposing itself on the normal culture. Big Bang Theory puts the nerds front and center, not the comic relief but the main characters. Things like comic shops and talking about how evil Will Wheaton is, collectable card games and Doctor Who all become things that normal people have at least heard about.

                I now live in a time when weird references I make that people would never get back in the day have become something we all share. I always thought that I would have to search high and low as I got older to find people that shared my love of creative things, or worse yet, give up looking and just become “That Guy” who goes to work, comes home, sleeps goes back to work, repeat. Now I do that but I also have a way to express myself, a way to remind myself that the world has magic in it, if you want to find it.