Tag: 2019

See you Space Cowboy…

See you Space Cowboy…

Yeah, I know I made this joke when I was leaving Los Angeles last week.

But in my defense… That was on my social media feeds independently. Not on the blog.

Thus I get to reuse the same joke. So there, imaginary detractors.

After a week of keeping the world up to date about my Florida vacation, it only seems right to finish things off by writing my last piece from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

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I’ll be landing in LAX at about 12:30 a.m. tomorrow, so by then it would be too late.

As far as the final Floridian afternoon went… I don’t have a lot to say.

I slept in a bit this morning after staying up way too late playing more Fire Emblem (though at my grandparents house, “sleeping in” is still only about 10:00 a.m.).

To make up for a lot of what they did for me over the last week, I wanted to cook breakfast for the old folks once Grandma got home from the gym.

Unfortunately Grandma is a nut about other people being in the kitchen, so my best intentions turned into her cooking with my minor assistance.

I made eggs for Grandpa and myself though, so at least that was something.

Once we finished breakfast, Grandma and I tried to go to the Morikami Museum. It’s honestly a really beautiful place from the outside:

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That said, the outside is all we saw because it started pouring the second we turned onto the road.

I swear it was raining much harder than that gif makes it look. So much so that it didn’t seem worth trying to go through a multiple-mile long outdoor experience.

So instead we got frozen yogurt at Menchies.

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Even though that too wound up being an adventure because it was raining so god damn hard.

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As the afternoon wound down, so did the rain. Our respite from the inclement weather gave me the chance to pack my bags, straighten up the space I was leaving behind and (sort of) help Grandma make burgers for early dinner.

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After that, it was time to say goodbye.

It’s crazy to me that I’ve been here for a whole week already. It seems like just yesterday I was landing and lamenting the impending heat wave.

Now that I’m leaving, I feel like I’ve grown. No longer am I the immature kid who believed I would melt in Floridian heat.

I’m an absolutely mature, well-grounded adult who doesn’t hate the heat. Instead I hate the fact that it managed to somehow be hot enough to leave me sweating and uncomfortable while ALSO raining hard enough to make umbrellas near-useless at keeping the horizontal water at bay.

Good riddance, Florida.

I may have loved spending some personal time with my grandparents, but the idiom that there’s nothing like coming home will undoubtedly hold true.

Off to the races!

Off to the races!

I’m going to try keeping this brief because I have a new game to return to.

Today was racetrack day in Florida.

The idea that we would be watching horse races was interesting for me to prepare for. It’s been a long time since I’ve personally gone to any kind of races, and in the time since there have been controversies at the track I’m most familiar with in Del Mar due to a series of horse deaths.

Obviously Florida is a whole world away, but I was curious to see whether any hint of animal rights backlash would reach across the country.

I didn’t see anything of the like.

What I did see is one of the coolest god damn landmarks ever built:

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Shutterstock photo from The Miami New Times

Look at this. A Pegasus stomping on a dragon? How could you not be excited to go to Gulfstream Park?

I wanted to get a photo of the statue myself… But naturally heavy weather picked up the moment I separated from my grandparents to get a nice angle on foot.

Here’s the best I got:

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Not quite as majestic.

That said, I did get some nice photos of the area in-and-around the track. The whole place is like a Las Vegas gambler’s dream.

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So how about the races themselves?

I had a good time looking through the schedule when we first arrived. There were an obscene amount of horses named after Marvel Comics characters (though no Thanos), and one named after that spelling mistake the President made some years back.

I had to bet on Cofveve for the memes. Especially with my Dad’s justification that “losers are winners in this country.”

But in the end, memes and a slight sunburn were the best I got.

Cofveve disappointed by being in the very back for the entire race.

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Look at this loser horse. SAD!

Yet… The story doesn’t end there.

While I was wasting my money, Grandpa put a bet on a box of three horses and Grandma copied his bet.

They managed to win ~$1,300.

The nuttiest thing is that it was apparently a complete accident? Grandpa intended to bet on one horse but wrote the wrong number down.

And then crazily enough, two races later they managed to win another $75 or so!

Lesson learned: Always copy off of Grandpa’s notes.

Because I bet on three races and managed to walk out with nothing but a hot dog…

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And this neat horse-racing gif.

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Then, you know, I got soaking wet trying to take a picture of that statue.

In the end, it was all worthwhile. We had a great time, my grandparents won a lot of money…

And they bought me Fire Emblem: Three Houses with some of that money.

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I’ll admit, I may have been dropping hints throughout this vacation about wanting the new Fire Emblem game. Usually I never know what gift to request when they ask, so it was a rare opportunity.

But I didn’t expect to actually get anything until Grandpa was in a celebratory mood.

Now I no longer have to avoid spoilers at all costs, and so far I’ve adored the little bit of time I’ve been able to sink into Three Houses.

In fact, I’ll likely be posting some takes like this about the game on Twitter:

So follow me if you’re into that sort of thing.

More Fire Emblem takes will have to wait, however. Because we went out to dinner at one of the grandparents’ favorite Chinese restaurants:

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Let me tell you. They had some stellar short ribs.

I’m still licking sauce off my fingers as I write this.

Unfortunately, this is the penultimate Florida vacation blog post. As of tomorrow night I’ll be back on a plane to LAX, landing at 12:30 a.m.

It’s a shame because I’ve genuinely been having a great time. But all good things must come to an end.

So come on by tomorrow to see whatever we wind up doing as a big send-off!

ART (and pita bread)

ART (and pita bread)

Today started with an early morning trip to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, because Grandma and I had a craving.

A craving for

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Image courtesy of Sarah Thomas on Pinterest

Editor’s Note:

This joke is extra funny with context that The Iron Giant is one of my grandparents’ favorite movies of all time, and that we often refer to my grandpa as “Grandpa Giant.”


The museum is located in an outdoor shopping center with some very nice architectural set pieces called Mizner Park.

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It honestly reminded me a lot of The Grove back home, right down to nearby art museums.

But if you thought it would be easy to overlook an art museum, think again.

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All hail the cube

Those of you that pay attention to my Instagram feed have seen a lot of the photos I took. I decided to put out my favorites on the social platform since it’s all about photography.

I’ll link the posts here so I don’t have to bog down extra media space.

However, there were a lot more pieces that didn’t make the cut. For instance, this animated version of the giant hand on the first floor:

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And then like… A billion more things.

I’ve gathered them together in this slideshow for your viewing pleasure.

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And of course, we can’t forget the best piece in the museum…

But wait, that’s not all!

During our trip to the outdoor sculpture garden, Grandma and I found a curly-tailed lizard running around in the grass. Only to later find an iguana hiding out by the entryway to their gated community!

The invasion of the lizards has begun.

That’s only half a joke, because I was told iguanas are actually overrunning the ecosystem in this gated community and it’s kind of a big problem.

This is the first time I’ve seen one, though. It was very cute.

After absorbing some fine ART, Grandma and I partook in another Iron Giant tradition: Going for ice cream.

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Kilwins is apparently pretty well known for having a fancy blend of chocolates and ice cream made in-house.

Personally, I’m more of a Handel’s guy. But I had some s’mores flavored ice cream that was very delicious.

Once we got home the afternoon was a little more chill. I managed to get in the pool again for a while before the rain kicked up again.

And oh boy, the rain kicked up again this afternoon.

At one point I was genuinely afraid for my life. Until Sonic the Hedgehog came along.

And by Sonic the Hedgehog, I mean a very nice Greek restaurant:

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A very nice Greek restaurant that happened to have a fresco on the wall based on seaside towns like Santorini, Greece that I strongly connect to Sonic Unleashed for whatever reason.

I’ve never even owned that game. What’s the deal, Sonic?

I’ll be waiting for a response.

That’s about all I have. We settled in to watch some America’s Got Talent (which I guess is an interest that runs in the family) and I started to write this up.

As my time in Florida begins to come to an end, it sounds like Grandpa wants to use me for some extra luck at a horse racing track tomorrow.

So come back for my next daily summary to see how that goes!

Rain, rain, go away

Rain, rain, go away

Today has been the most low-key day of my Florida vacation yet.

So far I’ve been relatively lucky in the weather department (humidity not included), but I was inevitably going to run into a bit of… Torrential rainfall.

Someone really let Kyogre out of its ball this afternoon.

Now to be fair, the rain did make for perfect “dunking on California” Tweet material:

And I was able to get this nice picture with Grandpa as we watched the rain come down:

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So long as you ignore my crab claw.

But those are the only “positives” to list about this crazy brief storm.

We had to cancel most of our plans, as the museum we hoped to visit is primarily outdoors, and the rain didn’t exactly cut down on the obscene heat.

Everything was wet AND uncomfortably hot.

Hurray.

At least the rain itself didn’t last long enough to become a dangerous hurricane. And staying local has its benefits.

Grandma and I went to the gym again this morning. Then we visited the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for our improvised make-your-own-sandwich dinner.

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On the way to the supermarket, we stopped by the local library so Grandma could pick up a book she put on hold.

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The West Boynton Branch

In classic voyeuristic fashion, I took the opportunity to get a good look around. Because libraries are always cool places to visit.

This one certainly was:

And they know that weebs are a key demographic.

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Beyond that we spent a lot of time figuring out what to do around the house, and there were a good amount of options.

For one we watched a lot of T.V. now that the Democratic Debates aren’t an active concern. Family Feud was, as always, a big hit. As was the two-hit combo Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

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I also had the personally interesting experience of finding out that there’s a version of old-school RuneScape you can play on mobile.

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Can do, game. Can do.

Thanks to Brutalmoose’s video for alerting me to its existence, I decided to give the old game a whirl again. It’s been interesting to jump back into an old favorite I played with my cousin Josh with more insight and experience.

Like… I’ve spoken with someone who works at Jagex, the company that made Runescape, fairly recently.

Wild stuff.

Good thing I wrote a bit of my book this afternoon before finding out the mobile game exists. Otherwise I would have gotten absolutely nothing done.

After all that, the night ended on an interesting note. Grandpa left to go play cards with some of his friends, so Grandma and I were left to our own devices. She whipped up some chocolate pudding that we ate while playing a family favorite board game: Rummikub.

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Usually we play with more than two players, as it’s one of my Mom’s preferred pastimes with her parents. But the game worked out all the same.

And that’s that. Like I said, it was a low-key day all things considered.

From what I’m aware, our plans before I go home Sunday night include trying to hit up the museum and that fancy restaurant we’ve had to postpone because of the weather. We might even go to the horse racing track.

Whether or not the weather allows us to keep up, we’ll have to see.

Floridian Voyeurism + Yesterday Review

Floridian Voyeurism + Yesterday Review

We’ve settled in for the night to watch the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, so I figure it’s as good a time as any to start my second day debrief.

Despite being exhausted by jet lag and obscene humidity, I woke up early to accompany Grandma at L.A. Fitness.

She got me a temporary membership at her gym for the week, and it had all the same amenities that I’d normally use.

Though it was arguably more fun because I could stand above the crowds with cardio machines on the second floor:

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While there I got to meet all of her gym friends. It was a little weird, but in an interesting kind of way. Like looking into a person’s secret double life.

After that we hit their local supermarket to perpetuate my vague sense of voyeurism.

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The gym and supermarket were nice reprieves from the heat, which I’ve come to find are godsends because WOW is it ever hot in Florida.

Grandma and Grandpa decided that we should go out to the movies later in the afternoon to continue our A/C hopping.

We saw Yesterday, that film which asks what would happen if The Beatles suddenly didn’t exist.

I have… A lot of things to say about Yesterday.

But I’ll get to that later. Don’t want to conflate my dislike for the movie with my enjoyment of the day.

If nothing else the experience of going was worthwhile, even if the movie wasn’t.

We were going to a special restaurant for dinner until storm clouds rolled in. So we shifted plans and went to a less outdoors-y experience with Renzo’s Pizzeria.

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Grandma and Grandpa say they’ve been going to this sweet little Italian joint for years, and I can see why. The pizza was very good.

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Had to be that guy and photograph my vacation food. Sorry.

As was the company. I got to hear the stories how Grandpa quit biting his nails (a request from Grandma when they were dating) AND how he quit smoking (thanks to a bet with someone who was supposed to lose weight and wound up gaining it).

Also, this was a thing:

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From far away the mouse looked like it had demon teeth, but it just has the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff mouth.

Which is way funnier.

After dinner we came home, had some tea, put on the debate and the rest is history.

But I think it’s time for a much less divisive subject than politics: Movies.

I’m going to tear Yesterday apart under the cut, so if you don’t care about that sort of thing (and I wouldn’t blame you), go ahead and get back to your lives.

Tomorrow I’m thinking it’s time to finally hit the pool, so stay tuned for that and other exciting developments.
Continue reading “Floridian Voyeurism + Yesterday Review”

The Bachelor in Florida

The Bachelor in Florida

Hey.

Been a while, huh?

I’ve been enjoying my “book writing sabbatical” perhaps a little too much. A lot of my novel has gotten done, but there have been plenty of things over the last month I easily could have blogged about.

I was almost completely by myself for three weeks as Mom and Aly went to New York for a summer music program.

During that time I went to the L.A. County Museum of Art for a graduation party.

I bought Mario Maker 2 and made a bajillion levels.

I hosted a full-on sleepover with my friends.

We saw Disney usher the end times by announcing some great looking Marvel movies at San Diego Comic Con, despite my hatred for their entertainment monopoly.

I completely skipped the Three Houses banner in Fire Emblem Heroes.

Dad and I caught up on the latest season of The Flash, I finally saw (and was blown away by) Shazam and I watched Spider-Man: Far From Home for the second time.

Lots of potential content. But as you can tell, I’ve mostly been keeping my day-to-day exploits on social media.

More time to focus on the book and all that.

However, I might return to daily posts for limited time.

This week I’m on vacation in Florida, invited by my grandparents when they came to California for Graduation. I figure that’s worth recording for posterity.

Today wasn’t the most exciting part, however. Hence the long recap.

I flew out of LAX at 9:30 a.m., where I got to sit through that classic California traffic one last time.

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This was actually my first solo experience in the airport. Every other time I’ve gone places there were family members or school-related functions to keep me company.

But it was easygoing, despite oddities like having to walk through a dog pen for the TSA or having my departure gate flip between two locations multiple times.

I decided to be that guy and get a GIF of the takeoff once we boarded. Which turned out nice in my opinion:

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Then about four hours later, after isolating myself from the outside world to write and catch up on podcasts, I landed in Fort Lauderdale.

Though it was technically seven hours because I traveled into the future.

Isn’t technology amazing? I flew nearly 3,000 miles in a fraction of a day.

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That was such a cool realization after we landed.

Though it was immediately followed by the realization that I decided to go somewhere with 90 degree heat and 64 percent humidity at the end of July.

I guess it was worth it considering I got picked up by these two:

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Even if they took me to The Habit for dinner and gave me flashbacks of late deadline nights at The Daily Titan.

After that we came home so I could unpack and watch American Ninja Warrior with them over a cup of tea.

It took a minute to get over the existential panic of finding out I’d be staying in the “adult” bedroom usually reserved for Mom. But then the relaxation kicked in!

Or maybe it was the jet lag…

Either way, that’s all I’ve got from today. Stay tuned for the next leg of my journey tomorrow, whatever it may include.

Not at all refreshing

Not at all refreshing

When the last summer banner came out, I was convinced it was the only one we’d see this year.

That 50-day period was incredibly deceiving, because here we are staring down a Binding/Blazing Blade summer banner. Featuring our sixth variant of Lyndis.

Sigh.

Let’s break my anti-Summer Initiative for the second time this week and talk Fire Emblem.


Summer Refreshes


I really should play Binding and Blazing Blade sometime soon to get personal connections with some of these characters…

But for now, a few of these units at least have impressive skills that it would be a shame not summon for them.

For instance: Lyn (despite her market saturation) has an impressive weapon in the Deep-Blue Bow, which gives her insane stats alongside Sturdy Impact.

Roy’s friend Wolt also has a special “win more” weapon in the Big-Catch Bow that buffs him when his opponent is weakened. Plus his Brazen Attack/Speed 4 is too good for any mortal to possess.

Ursula and Lilina stand out less because I’m not a huge dagger fan, even though Ursula’s Scallop Blade has the same “win more” effect.

So Lyn and Wolt are at the top of my list.

Which is good because one of them decided to give me a break after multiple disappointments trying to summon Laevatein.

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Look at this good +Attack archer boi.

I appreciate you helping me save orbs, so we’ll see how I can put you to work.

In the meantime there’s no better way to recoup those orbs than a good old Paralogue.


Paralogue 36 — Summer Refreshes

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This paralogue follows right on the last paralogue’s heels. Anna has recovered from the psychosomatic illness that resulted from hiding her mercantile side and decides to…

Just kind of sell things again. Regardless of what the nobility thinks.

I guess that’s character development?

It doesn’t seem to matter however, as the Order of Heroes arrives at the beach to find all the heroes in fancy swimsuits:

Being “magically” forced to buy skimpy outfits seems like it would be a major plot point, but it’s thrown away by the second map because Lilina and Wolt just talk about protecting each other for the sake of Roy.

Riveting.

Once the summer heroes are all beaten down, it’s revealed that Anna was the one convincing heroes to buy new swimsuits.

Just not our version of Anna.

Thus, foiled again, our Anna vows to return next year with an even crazier scheme to sell more things.

The fact that this little story drops its most interesting element is pretty disappointing. Kind of makes this experience one of the weaker paralogues overall.

But at least it gives us one of the most unintentionally real things that has ever been written down in a gotcha game.

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I’m still upset that we were lied to and given another summer banner. Intelligent Systems be wasting our orbs all over the place!

Sure, thinking we wouldn’t have another banner was entirely speculation.

And I didn’t have to waste a lot of orbs to get Wolt.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be upset! You can make it up to me by helping me get Laevatein, Intelligent Systems.

I’ll be expecting her.

Anyway though, let me know what you think about these new summer units. I’m a little salty if it wasn’t obvious, but I imagine some of you are very excited to see a few of these characters come around again.

Pretty sure this is the last blog thing I’ll have to worry about this week, so wish me luck on jumping back into my novel.

The… Anti-Summer 2018 Initiative?

The… Anti-Summer 2018 Initiative?

Greetings and salutations.

As you may have noticed, things have been a little different around here recently. A little more barren.

Don’t worry, it’s not a symptom of finally running out of ideas. I did that about a year ago and wrote about my pencil set.

Nor is it some delusion that my Naruto-Arena post is the peak of my creativity (though I like that post and you should read it if you haven’t).

There has actually been plenty of exciting blog fodder over the last week.

I attended Alyson’s fourth 4th of July parade and survived the concurrent earthquake.

I also survived the subsequent 7.1 earthquake that struck California.

Though to be fair I was far out of the range of both, and you should follow my old Daily Titan colleague Lauren Jennings to see more of the damage in Ridgecrest.

My Bachelor’s degree was finally shipped.

Over the last few weeks my family has also sat down and binged a few shows:

Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video (which has a phenomenal underlying controversy) and Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix. Both of which are extremely well-constructed and receive honest recommendations.

Even if part of my interest in Stranger Things comes from our long-time investment.

Beyond all that, I’ve also been playing a lot of Fire Emblem Warriors.

The game has been far more fun than I expected, and incorporates a number of intriguing elements in a novel gameplay style for my prior experiences. Interesting elements that might make for a perfect post.

Yet I haven’t written about any of those things.

You see, let’s go back to my Summer Initiative. It was a sort of challenge to myself:

“You’re not working on the Daily Titan right now,” I said. “So why not try writing something every day to keep your skills sharp?”

The drive to write more led to an increase in site traffic and a subsequent sense of pride that has extended my near-daily posts for about a year.

So much so that I used its existence as a part of a freelancing pitch.

With all that said, you might be wondering why I haven’t written in six days.

It turns out I might have conditioned myself to care about blogging a little too much. For some time now, what I’m blogging every day has been the focal point of all my writer’s stress.

Which is kind of a problem when you have a book you want to finish.

Thus I decided to scale back as a test. Would I be more productive on my book if I stopped focusing on daily blog posts?

As it turns out, I have been.

Over the last week I’ve gotten myself to nearly 300 pages, and I believe that’s as good a sign as any that I should scale back my blog stuff until I get through the novel.

Currently my anti-Summer Initiative is shaping up to be blog posts over the weekend while keeping my weekdays free to write the book. I’d like to finish my first draft before Mom and Aly get back from New York at the end of July.

The weekend will probably have at least one week-in-review and quicker one-offs like a piece on Spider-Man: Far From Home that I’ll write after seeing the film tomorrow.

And I’ll leave myself open to the occasional weekday post. Because I’m a Fire Emblem Heroes addict and Intelligent Systems lied about fewer summer banners.

But otherwise I’m trying more life updates through Twitter and Instagram during the week — as you can see throughout this post.

So if you’re interested in keeping up, go ahead and follow me there!

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Hard to believe it has been two years since I joked about using Fire Emblem Heroes as a surrogate for not going to the beach despite living in Southern California.

Even harder to believe I still don’t go to the beach nearly as often as I should.

But at least Fire Emblem is still here to let me live vicariously through anime jpegs.


Summer Returns


The recent Awakening children banner drained a whole bunch of orbs, so I was hoping this summer banner would be low-key. Something I wouldn’t feel pressured to invest a lot into.

A revival banner with Lute is coming, and my recent foray into Sacred Stones has left me eager to finish my collection of its characters.

Luckily I’m not enamored with the summer units.

Mostly.

Gunnthrá and Helbindi aren’t my favorite original characters from Book II. Plus her ability to disarm Aether Raids traps and his ability to excel in the Arena don’t inspire me to open my wallet.

Laegjarn does stand out thanks to Swift Sparrow 3.

Yet… Despite the Internet fawning over her, I can’t get over how fucked up her idle pose looks. It’s like she has no armpit, and that leaves her with one monstrous arm.

I can’t unsee it.

Thus Laevatein is really the only character I’d say I’m very interested in summoning. She’s my favorite Book II character, has cute artwork and packs a great 1-2 punch against other mages with Mirror Impact.

Seriously Intelligent Systems? +6 Attack, +10 Resistance and no counterattacks?

You can’t just make these characters that broken.

I used the Paralogue orbs to get a few extra shots at her, but I haven’t pulled anything special and I’m not going to rush it.

The banner will be here for 50 days.

Which I’m assuming means we won’t get a second set of summer units this year. Something that’s totally fine by me considering last year’s was disappointingly non-Sacred Stones and I’ll need the orbs later.

Speaking of that Paralogue… Let’s talk about it.


Paralogue 35 — Summer Returns

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Once again we cut away from dramatic story progression to bring you the latest in Anna’s attempts to make money off of some softcore pornography.

Or… Do we?

Anna is feeling self-reflective this year and promises not to do anything that can give her a bad reputation at risk of being fired by the royal family.

Which means the entire Paralogue is going to be focused on trying to avoid money-making schemes, isn’t it?

Yep.

Well to be fair the first two battles completely disregard this plot point and focus on the reunion of the Múspell sisters.

Then the reunion of Ylgr (future Tempest Trials reward) and Helbindi.

They’re both cute interactions. But that doesn’t stop them from being pure filler in an admittedly great dusk luau-themed environment.

Don’t worry, though. We return to the exploits of Anna soon after.

By which I mean Anna buckles under the pressure of trying to repress her desire for cash and falls ill. She passes out on the beach, leading to the Order of Heroes realizing just how integral money is to her character.

To a ridiculous degree.


So that’s Fire Emblem Heroes’ 2019 summer banner. Probably the only one we’re getting this year.

I’m a little lukewarm because of my orb stinginess, but I will absolutely try to building my Laevatein squad.

Let me know what you think of the banner down in the comments! How does it compare to previous summer banners? Do you agree that Laegjarn’s arm looks fucked up?

Seriously, do you? I need to know that I’m not alone here.

Thanks.

A family tradition

A family tradition

Many years ago, my Mom helped Alyson and I create a special gift for Dad.

We went to Color Me Mine, a chain of shops for the commercial buying and painting of porcelain goods ranging from dinnerware to sculptures of robots and dragons that are put through a kiln on-site.

In my experience it’s a popular suburban activity for kids with vague creative aspirations and too much energy to burn. The Rochlin family has made its fair share of goods there, which is another subject I may have to circle back to one day.

All those years ago, Aly and I made Dad a mug with our little baby handprints on it.

The gift was very well received and used for years. But… That mug in the Featured Image isn’t the original piece.

That first mug actually broke through a heartbreaking turn of events.

So in 2005, we made him a replacement mug:

The 2005 mug continues to be used and has held together relatively well over nearly 15 years.

But now it’s starting to crack.

That mortality was the subject of a recent joke from Dad which got our gears turning. We figured it would be as good a time as any to continue this family tradition by making him a new handprint mug for Father’s Day.

Here we are last Wednesday getting our hands all dirty.

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Unfortunately the idea was a bit spur of the moment, so the mug wasn’t finished in time for us to hand it off before all the Grandpa Joe and pasta-making stuff happened.

I was able to pivot our time out into a fun little Tweet about Jamba Juice. It was meant to simply cover our tracks, but a few days later grew into something more.

Yeah.

Shout out to that social media person for having a bit of fun with us. I’m usually cynical about that kind of brand interaction, but it’s kind of cool to actually see it happen.

Today we were finally able to pick up the mug — and a little more Jamba Juice, but I didn’t want to push my luck by grasping desperately for further social media clout.

Here are the fruits of our labor:

The end product is perhaps messier overall, but that’s what happens when you decide to color everything instead of leaving a large portion of the body white.

Personally I think the brushstrokes are indicative of the energy we put in.

Even if I’m less enamored with my handprint, because at this point it’s big enough that I struggled to fit the whole thing.

But that said I hope Dad will be happy with the gift.

Because you know. He’s not home from work at the time that I’m writing this. So I don’t actually know how he’s going to react. And I’ll be telling him not to read this until he gets home later.

It’s like you all get to be in on a little secret. Hopefully you enjoyed the brief glimpse at part of my family history!