Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lists of Favorites

One thing that Joel and I like to discuss from time to time is our "Lists of Favorites" - i.e., a list of books, movies, video games, albums, etc. in the same series or from the same band, in order of preference from most favorite to least. Today, we'd like to share some of those lists with you.
Star Wars Films
Joel's list:
1. Episode IV
2. Episode VI
3. Episode V
4. Episode III
5. Episode I
6. Episode II
My list:
1. Episode V
2. Episode IV
3. Episode III
4. Episode VI
5. Episode II
6. Episode I
Harry Potter Novels
Joel's list:
1. Order of the Phoenix
2. Half-Blood Prince
3. Sorceror's Stone
4. Prisoner of Azkaban
5. Deathly Hallows
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Goblet of Fire
My list:
1. Deathly Hallows
2. Prisoner of Azkaban
3. Half-Blood Prince
4. Order of the Phoenix
5. Sorceror's Stone
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Goblet of Fire
Legend of Zelda Games (Top 5)
Joel's list:
1. Ocarina of Time
2. Majora's Mask
3. Twilight Princess
4. Wind Waker
5. Skyward Sword
My list:
1. Twilight Princess
2. Skyward Sword
3. Wind Waker
4. Ocarina of Time
5. Majora's Mask
Iron Maiden Albums (Top 7)
Joel's list:
1. Somewhere In Time
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind
4. Powerslave
5. Number of the Beast
6. Iron Maiden
7. Killers
My list:
1. Number of the Beast
2. Piece of Mind
3. Powerslave
4. Killers
5. Somewhere In Time
6. Seventh Son
7. Iron Maiden
Spectraland Saga Novels
Joel: Wait, what?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Random Thought Thursday

The new Star Wars trailer - epic!! Except, I don't care much for the title. Really, J.J., "The Force Awakens"? I'm not sure if you realize this, but The Force was already "Unleashed" a few years ago - twice - and now, it's going to "Awaken"? I mean, as I've said before, I'm a really forgiving fan, but c'mon...there are sooo many other options. Whatever, I guess - I suppose you know that I'm going to pay money to see your movie (probably several times) anyway.
The new Legend of Zelda is on its way, based on this new teaser video. Aaaaaggggh I can't wait!!11! Will you guys hurry up already? My Wii U is starting to gather some serious dust since I got my cats and don't really feel like playing Hyrule Warriors any more. Shooting arrows in slow motion as I'm jumping off of Epona? YES PLEASE. And by the way, nobody cares about the new Star Fox. Okay, that's not totally true, but really, I just want you guys to focus here. ZELDA
This past Sunday I attended the launch party for "Bash and Lucy Fetch Jealousy," the second book in the Bash and Lucy series by my good friend and P.R. person extraordinaire Lisa Cohn and her son, Michael. It was a lot of fun and the books are terrific - do yourself a favor and check 'em out.
Christmas is coming up quick, and you know what that means - the Doctor Who Christmas Special. I'm thinking that it's gonna be really good, and that it'll mark the end of Clara Oswald (not that the two things are related - I like Clara). In retrospect - and after multiple re-watchings - Season 8 has been nothing short of awesome (yes, even the first episode, which I now like despite what I still feel are its pretty obvious shortcomings.)
Nick Frost as Father it. So very cheeky.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Boots and Mittens

As if there aren't enough cat-related things on the Internet already, today I'd like to introduce the two newest members of my family: Boots and Mittens.
Kinda hard to tell where one ends and the other begins
Brother (Boots) and sister (Mittens) from the same litter, they were adopted from Second Chance Companions, a very cool pet adoption organization located in my area. They were named by the girl who originally found them, and we decided to keep their names instead of changing them to something like, oh, Destiny and Dreamer (the names of Joel and Felicity's slimebacks from Book One, in case you haven't read it yet.)

Animals play a big role in The Spectraland Saga. When I first started working on Book One, I asked my kids what they wanted to see included in it. My son said "powers," meaning magic spells or superhero-type abilities, and my daughter said "cute animals." So, that's where the idea for Sammy the silvertail came from. And he's not just a token character - he ends up playing a pretty big role in the story, and I have even bigger things planned for him in the books to come.

The inspiration for the story about Nibbles the hamster in Chapter 16 came from a actual experience with one of our previous pets, Scampers the gerbil. Shortly after we got Scampers (and his brother, Midnight), he suddenly became very ill, late at night. It seemed like he wasn't going to make it. Instead of waiting until the next day (by which time it was probably going to be too late), we searched through emergency pet hospitals in the area until we found a 24-hour clinic that treated any kind of animal, including gerbils. We took him in, he got treatment and medicine, and he was eventually nursed back to health. He ended up living a long (for a gerbil, anyway) and comfortable life.
Anyway, it's very possible that you will see some new animal characters inspired by Boots and Mittens in an upcoming entry in the Saga. So stay tuned!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


One of the major themes of Secret of the Songshell ("Book One") is the concept of appreciation and being thankful for the things that you already have. As Art says on page 5, "You can simply choose to be happy with life the way it is, rather than chasing after things you don't have." So, in the spirit of today's holiday, I've asked some of the Book One folks to tell us one thing that they are thankful for. Have a great day everyone!
Taylor: "My Nintendo 3DS."
Darkeye: "Knowledge, which translates into - hic - power."
Alison: "My wonderful kids, Joel and Taylor."
Greenseed: "..."
Suzi: "Health."
Chief Raintree: "A good meal and a nice hot cup of lifepod wine. Well, I suppose that is two things."
Art: "Everything."
Suntooth: "My fellow villagers."
Julio: "This awesome band that I just discovered."
The Queen Lightsnake: hssssssssss
Nineteen: That I am alive and well.
Chief Fourfoot: "World domination!"
Fireflower: "The Aura."
Marshall: "Rock stardom."
Felicity: "Diet soda."
Joel: ", I guess?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Bad Guy 101

As I mentioned in a blog post from back in January, it seems like most fictional villains all go to a school called Bad Guy University (BGU), where they learn how do to things that eventually lead to their own defeat.
Here are a few more recent examples (spoiler-heavy, so they're hidden under the jump). It's good to see that BGU is still churning out quality graduates!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Liveblogging With Felicity: Doctor Who Season 8 Finale

I've watched "Death In Heaven," the Doctor Who Season 8 Finale, a couple of times already, but since we haven't done a liveblog in a while (and since I can't stop thinking about the episode), I'll be watching it once more with Felicity, who you all know and love as Joel Suzuki's co-star in The Spectraland Saga. So, here we go! (obviously, spoilers to follow)
F: U know that I've never watched this show before, right
B: Ur kidding
F: Why would I be kidding
B: You've never seen any episodes of Doctor Who, at all?
F: I just said that
B: Ok well I think you'll really like it
F: How do you know
B: Hold on it's starting
B: That's cool and hilarious how they put Clara's eyes in the intro
F: If you say so
F: So she's Doctor Who?
B: Well, no
F: I thought it was this old guy
B: It is
F: Confusing
B: Just keep watching
F: Those things are like Iron Man
B: They only just started flying in this episode
F: Oookay
F: Hey Joel can do that and he doesn't have OCD
B: he has the Sight
F: Right
F: Why did they stun the old guy Doctor Who
B: You'll see
F: So the rain turns dead people into Iron Men
B: Yeah basically
F: Okay then
F: Ima grab a soda
B: Come back quick
F: Whatever
B: Hurry up commercials are over
F: I assume you understand what they're talking about here
B: Actually I had to look up a couple of the references
F: Shame on you
F: Turn in your nerd card
B: Ha
F: Old Guy Who is kind of a jerk
B: Now ur getting it
F: President of Earth? Seriously?
B: Just play along
F: I assume they'll explain why one Iron Man just killed the other ones
B: Correct
F: How did fake Doctor Who get into that graveyard
B: That's actually kind of a good question
F: I like that lady
B: Missy?
F: I guess
B: Yeah, she's fun
F: It's Hey Mickey, not Hey Missy
B: Right
F: Really? glasses girl is gonna go over there? That's like so classic horror movie stupid
B: I know I know just go with it
F: okay, what is the deal with those guards??? did she freeze them beforehand or something??
B: Yeah ok this part is a little strange i'll give you that
F: that bugs me
B: Just keep watching
F: So I guess Danny is her bf
B: Yup
F: Why is this monk dude answering the phone
B: That's the Doctor
F: I thot the old guy was the doctor
B: I'll explain later
F: y would she just throw her phone away, those things are expensive
B: Ha
F: Wait, is old guy who her bf too or something? its like a love triangle
B: Why do you say that
F: Seems like Danny Iron Man is jealous
B: No, it's complicated
F: This whole show is complicated
B: Just keep watching
F: Hey u have one of those screwdriver things on your desk
B: I do!
F: You get ur nerd card back
B: Thanks
F: Mary Poppins? Really?
B: It's funny! and subversive!
F: If you say so
F: Shouldnt Mickey have made more of an effort to get her remote back
B: Yeah I thought so too
F: Shouldnt michey try to get her bracelet back while danny iron man is yelling
B: Yes yes I know
F: Shouldnt she run away or something while they're deciding who's gonna kill her
B: I suppose, but there's more to it than that
F: Of course there is
F: hey that blue color means she's not dead
B: You caught that!
F: Joel's not the only one who can notice stuff like that
B: I'm impressed
F: Whatever
F: Who is this guy now
B: The Brigadier
F: The what
B: I'll explain later
F: I need another soda
B: help yourself
F: I"m actually kinda digging this unhappy ending
B: I kinda figured you would
F: Oh wow his reaction to her special thing reminds me so much of Joel
B: Yeah
F: Santa Claus? Seriously?
B: Sure why not
F: So are they gonna have Einstein and Sinatra too?
B: Wait, what did you say?
F: Nothing
B: So you have been watching the show!
F: Ur out of soda again

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Release Party Recap

I got down to the Sandy Hut early, about half an hour before the official load-in time. I know that's not very rock 'n' roll, but I like to be able to find parking (I got a space right next to the front door), settle in, and soak up the vibe of the venue. Plus, I had band merch to set up.

Shortly thereafter, a couple of the guys from Laurelhurst arrived. We hung out at the bar and talked music and Trailblazers basketball for a while, and then the rest of my band showed up, as well as the guys from Kings and Vagabonds. After a short meeting with Jimmy, the booker/soundguy, we proceeded to load in our gear as well as the rest of the merch.
Once that was done, I was sitting at the merch booth fiddling with my phone (I have to take off the case in order to use the credit card reader) when a familiar guy walked in and sat down. At first, I was like, "hey what's up" before a split second later, I realized that the guy was my good buddy and ex-bandmate from Hawaii, who had made a surprise trip all the way up to Portland! Turns out, the other guys in my current band were in on the surprise as well, so we all had a good laugh. It was definitely a very cool way to get the night started.
The show began soon after, with Laurelhurst taking the stage. I had never seen them before, but I had heard the one song they had up on their Reverbnation page and I really liked it, so I was looking forward to hearing them live. They didn't disappoint. They played a fun, rocking set of pop-punk tunes that included a cover of "She" by Green Day which I shouted along to.
The next band up was Stab In The Dark, a heavy yet melodic hardcore punk band that we had played a bunch of shows with before. They are always awesome and I enjoy being on the bill with them, because then I get to rock out in the audience.
After Stab was some band called Second Player Score.
Finally, closing out the night was Kings and Vagabonds, an eclectic, funky, super-tight group that is reminiscent of early Chili Peppers. They really brought the energy (I headbanged so much to their set that I had a good old-fashioned neck ache the next day) and were a great way to cap off what was an awesome and fun night.
Much mahalos to Jimmy and the Sandy Hut, all the bands, and everyone that came out to celebrate the release of Fortress Storm Attack with us.
See you at the next show!