Apr 172017
 

Hello and good Easter Monday to all the Top Men and Top Women out there. It’s blog time and that’s what I’m gonna do.

So back when I was a smaller child than I am today, I came across this 45 record (it was a thing kids) called the Easter Bunny Hop. It was a disco Easter song for kids. I listened to it a lot and then I never found it again. No idea what happened to it. Over time, the only thing I could remember was the chorus. So today being Easter Monday and a blog day, I thought I’d look to see if I could find the song on YouTube and lo and behold, there it was. Not only that, but I discovered it was actually from a Quebec artist, which was surprising considering it was in English. Listening to it today, I can definitely recognize that the artist, Evelyne John was a francophone singing in English, but back then…No clue. So there’s a little Easter story for you all this year.

I had three great days of gaming this weekend. Thursday night was with my mom. Saturday and Sunday I spent at Les Dés Truqués. I introduced two of the people from the store to Star Wars Destiny and they both enjoyed the game. I also got to play plenty of other games, like Rivet Wars, Tem-purra, Parade, Battle Sheep, Heroes for Hire (not a Marvel game), Santorini, Karuba, Chunky Fighters and Adrenaline. If I had to pick a favorites of the new games I tried, it would be Battle Sheep and Karuba. Chunky Fighters was a disappointment, though it looked like a great idea on paper. We only played the introductory scenario but it didn’t entice me at all into playing the full game. Adrenaline is a game that simulates third person shooters. It’s good. It’s just not for me.

Friday was a drawing day. If it hadn’t been for that, I probably would have spent Friday at Les Dés Truqués as well. But, I have to keep a little discipline, right?

While I was drawing, I was listening to the latest episode of Critical Role. Once again, I’m convinced that Sam Riegel is a comedic genius. His choices are almost always spot on. While it seemed impossible to top Scanlan, Taryon is definitely holding his own as a character.

That’s all for this week. Back to the grind tomorrow. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

Oh…and here’s a link to the Easter Bunny Hop so you won’t have to go look for it yourselves.

 

Apr 102017
 

Good Monday Top Men and Top Women. How fare ye? Well I hope.

Weekends always pass by faster than you really want them to. Especially when you sleep your way through a good chunk of them. Yesterday, two fun events were available to me but a headache kept me from attending either. I finally decided to take a nap in the afternoon and slept all the way til this morning. I guess my body was trying to tell me I was tired. It’s nice to know I have a short week ahead of me to compensate.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the new games I’ve tried. On Saturday I tried something I feel was somewhat unique. Magic Maze is a cooperative game where the players try to guide four adventurers through a shopping mall maze to steal equipment and then run away before time runs out. The twist? The players aren’t allowed to talk. Each player has a tile which dictates which actions they can make the adventurers take. One player might be able to make them go left, while another can make them go up. Each player has to pay attention to what’s going on and make the right moves to get to the desired location. It’s an interesting challenge. We almost made it through the introductory scenario on our first try, but one of us happened to be the store manager and he needed to answer a client which robbed us of precious seconds. For that reason, I say we won.

Other than that it’s been fairly quiet lately. I drew the last strip of Barnaby’s To Derp or Not to Derp storyline. This week I get to draw another milestone as I reach strip number 600. Of course, we’re still weeks away from that one going up on the site, but it’s something to look forward to.That

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

Apr 032017
 

Hello there Top Men and Top Women. No lyrics this week cuz it be Wrestlemania time!

Friday night was the Hall of Fame ceremony and it went way longer than it should have. The speeches were alright. I can only imagine how cool Rick Rude’s speech would have been if he was still alive today. Honestly, Kurt Angle was the only person I legitimately cared for, and going on last on a show that went way over time, he was probably the only one who was asked to keep it short.

On Saturday night, I attended the local FCL show and it was another fun time. In one match the wrestlers brawled out into the crowd and did a spot right beside us. Max Testosterone asked my friend to hold the heel wrestler while he gave him a brutal chop. It was so cool. This all happened while NXT Takeover was on, so I had something to watch when I got home. The DIY-Revival-Authors of Pain match was awesome.

Now on to Wrestlemania itself. The Kickoff Show started at 5pm and Wrestlemania ended at just after midnight…that’s over seven hours of wrestling in one sitting. It was a little much. I give the card overall a passing grade, but all the good matches happened up front and then the card went downhill.

Cruiserweight Championship Match 0-1
(C) Neville vs. Austin Aries – This was my match of the night and it was stuck on the kickoff show. If it doesn’t make any of the replays, then it isn’t really a part of Wrestlemania which is a shame. I called for Aries (my second-favorite wrestler right now) to win. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be…for now.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal 0-2
I’m in the minority in that I like the ATGMBR. Battle royals are always fun in my book. I picked Braun Strowman to win this but I was really hoping for a surprise. Mojo Rawley winning it was…okay.

Intercontinenatal Championship Match 0-3
(C) Dean Ambrose vs. Baron Corbin – The match got bumped down to the kickoff show to make room for the Smackdown women’s title match and it may have been the best thing for the match because I’m guessing they got more time than they would have if the match had been on the main card. I feel they played it safe. It was an okay match, but not what I was expecting given the build. I picked Baron to get his first title but nope.

AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon 1-3 – Finally I got one right! I picked AJ Styles to win because there was no way Shane could win after the year Styles had. This was one of the best matches on the card.

US Championship Match 2-3
(C) Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens – This match had the single best build up to any match on the card. Chris and Kevin were MVPs this year on RAW. It was pretty clear Owens winning was the right call and they (and I) got it right.

RAW Women’s Elimination Championship Match 3-3
(C) Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – In all honesty, they should have held off Bayley’s title win for Wrestlemania. It would have made for a much better story. There was no real drama here. The match was mechanically sound and Bayley won, which was the right call, but it was not as good as it should have been.

RAW Tag Team Title Ladder Match 3-4
(C) Gallows and Anderson vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Enzo and Cass – All signs pointed to this being Enzo and Cass’s night. It seemed like the safe pick Then the New Day come out to announce the surprise entrants. That New Day be given a spot on the card would have made sense, but that the Hardy Boyz would be making their return? Wow! I didn’t expect that. They had apparently just had a ladder match the night before for another promotion. Jeff Hardy did an insane dive onto Cesaro and Sheamus from a 25 foot ladder. With the Hardys coming back the way they did, they had to win.

Unsanctioned Match 4-4
Seth Rollins vs. HHH – It’s around this point that the card started going downhill for me. As talented as he is, Seth Rollins does nothing for me. The build-up to the match was near perfect but as I didn’t care about either participant, I didn’t really care so I chose this match as my pee break. I came back in time to see the end.

Mixed Tag Match 5-4
Miz and Maryse vs. John Cena and Nikka Bella – John Cena absolutely buried the Miz in his promo on Smackdown last Tuesday. It was brutal. Miz has been a star this past year. It’s a shame that he had to lose the squash match before the REAL Wrestlemania moment where John finally proposed to Nikki. *rolls eyes*

WWE Title Match 5-5
(C) Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton – The match with the weirdest build-up. Is Randy Orton a face? A heel? His actions are those of a heel, but the way they talk about him, I guess he’s the face. Bray Wyatt needed the win so much more than Orton did and I don’t even like Wyatt all that much. Such a disappointment. And clearly they got their time cut because the show was going too long.

WWE Universal Title Match 6-5
(C) Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – The match I was most dreading. Goldberg gets winded walking to the ring and Lesnar doesn’t really care about putting on a great match. It went about 4 times as long as I thought it would, finishing at a little over four minutes. That they took the title off of Kevin Owens so they could make this match be for the title was just wrong. Goldberg has publicly stated that he’s having a miserable time being back in wrestling and that he was going away after Wrestlemania so it was clear that Lesnar was going to win. Way to give away the ending to a terribly overhyped feud.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match 6-6
(C) Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Mickie James vs. Naomi – They first hyped this match as being Alexa Bliss against every available woman on the Smackdown roster. That seemed ripe for a surprise participant. I both feared and hoped that it would be Eva Marie. She’s terrible, but the heel reaction that would have gotten would have been out of this world! It turns out, they only phrased it they way they did so they could add Naomi if she got medically cleared in time. But instead of keeping it as a surprise for Wrestlemania itself, they spoiled it on Smackdown. The win in her hometown got an underwhelming response from the crowd. That it was so late in the show didn’t help, but they didn’t help the girls any by taking out any suspense the original build for the match had.

Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns 7-6
They rightfully let Undertaker close the show. He more than deserved it after the career he’s had and this is coming from someone who’s never been that big of an Undertaker fan. It’s a shame that a) his final match was to put over Roman Reigns and b) the match was a letdown. I will give props to the Undertaker for giving as physical a performance as he did. The man put off hip surgery so he could even wrestle this match. That shows his dedication. But it just wasn’t a great match. Roman Reigns didn’t really help matters either. That WWE continue to believe this man is the future of the business when he’s so clearly not…it’s maddening.

So that’s it. I finished with a winning prediction percentage but only just barely. As I said, I give the show a passing grade on the strength of the first half. The second half was nothing but WWE dropping the ball again and again. That said, the night after Wrestlemania is usually one of the craziest shows of the year so I expect to see something cool from Raw and Smackdown this week.

That’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday.

Mar 272017
 

Hello Top Men and Top Women! It’s the time for some blah-blah.

It’s been roughly a month and a half and the new job is not really agreeing with me. It’s not difficult, but I’m not liking it very much. Staying motivated is difficult. I have to push myself to pick up the phone for every file. I haven’t felt this down at work since I was working Collections. The silver lining is that what I’m doing right now isn’t my real job. I’m just doing it so I know how things work.

Fortunately, my social life is in a much better place. When I stay at home it’s because I want to, not because I have nothing to do. I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable in my skin again. The voices are still in my head but I’m doing better at believing I’m an okay person to be around.

I finished season 2 of Daredevil over the weekend. It’s been good, though the violence is a little excessive for my taste. I just watched the first episode of Luke Cage before starting to write this. It didn’t completely hook me in, but I’m curious enough to continue. I’m digging Mike Colter as Cage. He has great charisma. I want to hear him say, “Sweet Christmas” at least once and I’ll be happy.

That’s it for this week. I know there isn’t a whole lot of meat on these blog bones, but it’s like whenever I sit down to write one, my mind goes blank. It takes me forever to put what I’m thinking into words so the hour I set for this goes by with very little getting written. At any rate, I’m doing bloggin’ so have yourselves a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday when I expect I may have a word or two to say about Wrestlemania (it’s this Sunday). Carja V.

Mar 212017
 

Hello there Top Men and Top Women! Time to blog. I’m feeling a little more coherent this week so let’s see if we can blog a bit more than last time.

I dipped my toe back into the D&D waters on Saturday. The opportunity just sorta dropped into my lap. I was talking to one friend about dropping out of the D&D game I was supposed to join  when another friend mentioned he’d always wanted to try playing. Fast forward a couple of weeks and there we were on Saturday making characters. There will be five, maybe six, player characters and me as the Dungeon Master. I haven’t DM’d in years. The last time was actually when I was giving a go at an Age of Animus RPG system (look it up, there are write-ups on the site). We started late so we didn’t finish, but we have the start of a direction. It’s kinda exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I got to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past last week. I’m digging the game system. I was playing the villains with three Criq members playing the Turtles. I misread the rules and ended up playing at half strength for the first round. The Turtles couldn’t roll movement icons for the life of them so I very easily could have run away and won the scenario but I didn’t want our first experience be so anticlimactic so I stuck around for a bit to give the Turtles a chance. In the end, it came down to one ranged attack from Raphael. If it hit, I lost. If it missed, I’d be able to run away on my next turn.  Wouldn’t you know it, they hit and that was all she wrote. Still, I very much enjoyed the game. I look forward to playing again.

The fight between Barnaby and Fang has begun. I got to try my hand at drawing combat scenes again and I have to say, I’m pretty terrible at it. Actually coming up with new and different battle poses was super difficult. One strip in (the one that goes up tomorrow) and I felt I’d run out of juice for the fight. That pushed me to find a different path to get to the desired conclusion. I’m there now and while it’s not as grandiose as I would have liked, it’s at least something I felt I could draw. How does it end? Well, you’ll just have to read along and see, won’t you? (That’s what they call a hook.)

Montreal Comic Con has announced Nathan Filion as a guest of honor. There was a time when that announcement would have filled me excitement. Sadly that time seems to have passed as I have little to no interest whatsoever in going. It feels like a part of me has died. My wallet will thank me for it though, so there’s that.

That’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

 

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