Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Nerd's List Of Reasons To Keep On Going

Hello! I'm Art, today's guest blogger, with the second installment of "A Nerd's List of Reasons to Keep On Going." Can you believe that the first installment was posted over a year ago? Time sure flies when you're having fun. Anyway, for a little background information on who I am and why I'm writing this post, you should probably check out that first installment before you continue reading this one.
Done? Good! So let's get to it. Basically, the purpose of these posts is to show that even though life can be challenging sometimes, there are always many, many reasons to hang in there and keep on going. And if you're a fan of pop culture like I am, you know that we're really living in golden age where there is just so much good stuff coming out all the time that it's hard to feel down for long, even if something that was on your list didn't really live up to your expectations. So here we go!

A Nerd's List of Reasons to Keep On Going (as of September 27, 2018)

1. The next Autism Empowerment event
2. Daredevil Season 3
3. Doctor Who Season (or Series, in the UK) 11
4. Halloween
5. Joel Suzuki, Volume Four: Fable of the Fatewave (I have no idea what that is, Brian just asked me to include it)
6. Thanksgiving
7. The new live-action Avatar series (I mean, it might be good, after all!)
8. Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa
9. Captain Marvel
10. Korean BBQ
11. Avengers: Endgame (I'm not sure if this is really the title - it's just a popular fan theory. Wouldn't it be cool, though?)
12. The rare Japanese anime DVD that you ordered that is taking four weeks to arrive but will get to your house eventually
13. Pizza
14. Aquaman (I mean, it might be good, after all!)
15. New Year's Eve
16. Venom
17. Super Mario Party for the Switch
18. Bohemian Rhapsody (the movie)
19. Naps
20. Ralph Breaks the Internet
21. Dark Phoenix

That's it for this time! If you have anything you'd like to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment.

-- Art

(Editor's note: you can read more of Art's wisdom in the first three volumes of the Joel Suzuki series, listed below.)

Joel Suzuki, Volume One: Secret of the Songshell
Joel Suzuki, Volume Two: Mystery of the Moonfire
Joel Suzuki, Volume Three: Legend of the Loudstone

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Give More 24!

Today is Give More 24! What is that, you ask? Why, it's 24 hours in which you can make a positive difference in the world by donating to any one of the awesome nonprofit organizations based in the Southwest Washington area. "Sounds great," you say, "but which organization should I donate to?" Well, each organization is definitely worthy of your support, but allow me to make a suggestion: Autism Empowerment.
Why, you ask? Well, because not only are we dedicated to improving the quality of life for people and families in the autism community both locally and worldwide via our various programs, support groups, events, resources, and more, but also because we promote a global culture of acceptance for people of all abilities.

If that sounds good to you, then simply go this link and make a donation. Even just the minimum of $10 will be greatly appreciated. All donations are 100% tax-deductible, and best of all, giving feels good! I know this first-hand, because not only will I be donating today, but I also donate to Autism Empowerment (on an ongoing basis) one dollar for every Joel Suzuki book that is sold.

Thank you! Mahalo! Arigatou Gozaimashita! Gracias!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Joel And Felicity Discover Stereopony


A young woman is here, drinking a diet cola and watching a video on YouTube. It's hard to tell whether she's 19, 24, or somewhere in between. This is FELICITY. After a few moments, a young man enters the room. He could be 17 or 22, depending on the lighting. This is JOEL.

J: What're you watching?
F: Oh, dude - it's this band that your cousin turned me on to.
J: My cousin?
F: Yeah, you know, the one who watches a lot of anime? Apparently she discovered this band from the theme song of one of her favorite shows.
J: What are they called?
F: Stereopony.
J: Stereopony?
F: That's what I just said.
J: It sounds like they're singing in Japanese.
F: They are. They're from Japan.
J: That would explain it.
F: They're, like, the best band from Japan I've ever heard. Heck, they might be one of best bands I've ever heard, period. Here, I'll start this one over again.

Felicity replays the video, which is "Hitohira No Hanabira." Joel watches it along with her.

J: Wow, yeah, they really are good.
F: Right? This is probably the greatest song in the history of the universe.
J: They look really young.
F: They started in high school. Kind of like us.
J: Not really, 'cause I was the only one in high school when we started.
F: Whatever. Anyway, this band is even better live. Check it out.

Felicity plays Stereopony's live performance of "Sweet Blue."

F: They have so much energy, and joy, and passion. Even their darker songs just have this vibrancy to them that you hardly hear in any other bands these days.
J: They sound like a cross between The Go-Gos and Green Day.
F: Yeah, it's like if you put The Go-Gos and Green Day into a microwave and pushed the button for "Japanese."
J: I'm not sure how that would work, exactly.
F: You know what I mean.

The video segues into a live performance of "Aozora Very Good Days."

F: Here's one of their more upbeat numbers.
J: They're really good songwriters. I can tell from just a few songs.
F: Yeah, I mean, you know me - I don't cry about anything, but their music makes me tear up.
J: Wow.
F: Maybe they've been to Spectraland. Maybe they're Wavemakers!
J: Huh? Why would you say that?
F: Remember that thing Marshall told us about how wavecasting trains your brain so that you can see how music affects human emotions?
J: I thought that was just a lie.
F: I don't know how else to explain it.
J: Maybe they're just geniuses.
F: Could be.

The video ends. Felicity clicks on a live performance of "Stand By Me."

F: Man, do they rock.
J: We should go see them. Are they on tour anywhere?
F: Uh, well...that's the problem.
J: What's the problem?
F: They broke up.
J: Recently?
F: No. In 2012.
J: Oh.
F: Yeah, this video is from their farewell concert.
J: Is there any chance of a reunion?
F: I've been looking into that, and from what I can tell, it doesn't seem like it.
J: Okay. Well, I have an idea.
F: Time travel?
J: Right.
F: That's not a bad idea.
J: Yeah, in fact, it might actually be 2012 right now. It's kind of hard to tell sometimes.
F: That's what happens when you keep messing with the timelines, dude.
J: Sorry.
F: Don't be.
J: All right, so should we travel to one of their shows?
F: Let's do it.
J: Which one?
F: How about the farewell one.
J: Okay. Oh, but we'll need money for tickets. And merch.
F: Right. Good thing I have Brian's credit card right here.

Felicity holds up Brian's credit card.

J: Does he know you have it?
F: Yeah. Or no. I dunno. Who cares?

An older man walks into the room. This is BRIAN. Felicity quickly hides the card.

B: Hey, what're you guys up to?
F: Oh, just checking out this killer band. You should take a listen.
B: Sounds good, I will.
F: In the meantime, Joel and I are just gonna step out for a bit. Be right back.
B: Okay.

Joel and Felicity leave the room, get their wavebows, and travel to the site of the Stereopony farewell concert. Everybody is happy, even Brian, who - despite the fact that Felicity is now racking up a huge bill on his credit card - is rocking out to Sterepony's music.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Quickie Status Updates

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann (very inspirational, great message)
- New songs for Second Player Score's fourth album (I know, the third album isn't even out yet)
- A new feature-length screenplay for a romantic comedy that involves baseball, anime, philosophy, and magic (I am not kidding)
- A teleplay for the pilot episode of a TV show that is a sci-fi thriller involving augmented reality, secret government agencies, and teaching college English (I am also not kidding)

Bleach (20 episodes down, only 346 more to go!)
Listening to:
Shadow Arcana, the new album from Undone (awesome!)
Various Stereopony tracks, especially "Hitohira No Hanabira" (quite possibly the best song in the history of the universe)
Various Scandal tracks, especially "Shunkan Sentimental" (a close second)

Kona Brewing's Hanalei Island IPA (tastes kind of like POG, but with alcohol!)
Looking Forward To:
Watching Michael Dickson punt for the Seahawks.
He's so good at his job, I almost want the team to not convert on 3rd downs just so I can see him do his thing. Almost.