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from Cleveland, OH

  • Activity

    • Trying to like fullmetal alchemist brotherhood

      5 months ago


      Been a little while since I posted a journal to this site. Or a long while. This will be something of a therapeutic rant for me. No one actually reads any of my journal posts, but there is still the random possibility it will happen. Let the healing begin...with rage...

      My topic today is simple. I love the fullmetal alchemist series. I hate the fullmetal alchemist brotherhood series. I have tried. No seriously, 3 separate attempts through the third episode each time. Brotherhood sucks. Maybe if it was the first of the two I watched, then I could be more forgiving. But from the animation to the pacing to the story to the dialogue. Just awful. 

      Starting with the animation, piss poor is the best way to describe it. I know not all anime series get the level of funding or attention they deserve, but this is an absolute travesty. Using a more basic style or cartoonish look for comic relief is one thing. Many great anime series do it. But that transition needs to be noticeable. The regular animation such so low quality, the comic elements have a very subdued impact. The background doesn't need to be a masterpiece of animation, but they could try to put some effort into it. Honestly, they could put a white void as the background and it might be better. Maybe it looks so bad because the foreground animation is "meh" at best. Even the action scenes. 

      So, before I have a Michael Jones style stroke, lets move on to pacing. Brotherhood took some story elements from the original and decided to subject it to the M. Night Shamylan (not sure if that is the spelling and really don't give a shit) treatment. The Last Airbender had story "elements" but was like sitting in a theater having all the cool parts of the story told to me, rather than shown. The creators of brotherhood probably said "hey, remember that complex anime with philosophical elements? I bet we can do it justice by cutting out that stupid draggy/thinky bits and just tell people the story. Otherwise they might not get it. People are too busy or stupid to try to think for themselves." This really fucks the pacing. In the first episode, the bad guy and the Elric brothers face off in an epic battle only to have the brothers get distracted and for the bad guy to...wander away. What the actual fuck? I can't wrap my head around why this was even a thing. 

      What now? Ah right, the story. I haven't been able to get through enough to know if the story is similar to the original. But I am not encouraged by the start. I go to audible to listen to narration. This is the visual and shitty equivalent, but if the narrator was mute and probably drunk. Maybe I could give the series a pass on this one if it diverged into a new an unique direction, but I see absolutely no evidence of that. Also, the impact of some of the most emotional and powerful moments of the original series were redone. That is perfectly fine, but not if you do it poorly. The original series gave me nightmares because of the horrific buildup and visuals of the attempted resurrection of Elric's mother and then the human chimera transformation with the scientist's daughter. They were deeply disturbing philosophical explorations of the human psyche which pull no punches. The new series: we tried to bring mommy back and failed. No piecemeal reveal, just a monster that might have been mom plastered on the screen. All the horror elements removed to make it more "kid friendly" maybe? They reveal the gateway immediately too, which would be fine, except for the cartoonish talking exposition monster. Exposition can be done well, the original wasn't perfect in this regard, but to take and combine several episodes worth of exposition and give it to a "demonic" character for no other purpose but spout dialogue to make the story easier to digest? 

      That brings me to the most heinous sin of Brotherhood. The dialogue. It is so on the nose that I feel absolutely nothing for the characters. They are lines that invoke no emotional attachment between anyone. Even the Elric brothers. That is the core of the story. Alphonse and Edward don't talk like brothers. They sound like actors in a poorly written play that have no emotional connection. Edward's relationship to the military is so forced and fake that it is absurd. The motivation for him to join is completely lost based on his interactions with Mustang. He talks like he is a badass dummy who likes being a dog of the military. That was a key point of conflict in the original with significant consequences. In Brotherhood, they fail in every sense to convey that idea.

      I realize that I need to give equal time to both series to properly draw a comparison. But I can't. Brotherhood is a steaming pile of badly written and animated shit. 

      Overall this series has left me with the smell of toast and...JUMS

      Sorry about that. Hey Gavin, you probably had a stroke. Might want to get that checked out.

    • Labor Day Weekend of Love

      3 years ago


      I have been with my girlfriend for almost 2 years now. I know lots of couples keep track of various dates. The first date is a popular one. The joy of every woman and the bane of every man (guess who usually remembers and who gets dirty looks for the next week). I do as it happens remember that date...thanks to the magic of the calendar in my phone. Using the same trick, I also know when we first started "officially" dating. I don't need any tech or magic to remember when we moved in together. The move will forever haunt me. In other words, I own too much stuff. It's been about 3 months and I'm still not fully unpacked. I took a lesson from Calvin and Hobbes to "solve" that problem...stuff everything into a closet. Out of sight out of mind...

      But I digress. As I was saying before the tangent, couples all have dates they remember. But I wonder how many, men in particular, can recall the exact date that they discovered they were in love. I know mine. It was labor day weekend. Saturday to be precise. I had the weekend off for the first time in almost 4 years and I wanted to spend it with my girlfriend. She said that every labor day weekend she volunteered at her mother's church by helping out in the kitchen. She had done this since she was 8 years old and it had become tradition. And thus the moment came. I had to decide if I was going to help or bail. She was going to be there the entire weekend and if I chose to accept my mission, I would be washing dishes for about 9 hours each day.

      Let me just say at this point, I am not what you would call a "clean" person. My house doesn't look like a hoarder's house, nor does it smell like piss. But clutter tends to follow me everywhere. The prospect of washing dishes for 9 hours three days in a row (for free) is just about as appealing as sticking my balls in a microwave.

      I think if you are reading this and have two brain cells to rub together, you know the choice I made. I realized that I would rather be elbow deep in marinara sauce and the remnants of uneaten food for hours on end. As long as I was with her.[Cue the sappy music]

      But she did her best to keep my spirits up. By telling me how much she appreciated the help and giving me a hug or a kiss at every free moment.

      Also, by feeding me all the jello shots and beer I could drink.

      So, we are on our second labor day weekend. I am washing dishes again. She is helping with the cooking and cleaning. Apparently, you have to wash dishes for about 25 years before you can progress to cooking. I doubt I will put that many years in, but it all depends on where she is. Because that's were I'll be.

    • The brain camera

      4 years ago


      The other day I received a subpoena for one of my calls. Which means I have to go sit in a waiting room at one of the many courtrooms and wait for the prosecutor to come out and tell me if I am needed or not. Usually, this means sitting around for a few hours and them being told that I was not needed after all. While I do get paid for this, it's kind of a pain in the ass.

      If I am needed the extent of my interaction with the court goes something like this:
      "Were you on this scene?"
      "Do you remember this call?"
      "No, but I stand by my report."
      "Thank you for your time, you can go."

      I know. Just as thrilling as Law and Order. Wooo,

      This time, I sat around and was not needed because the case was rescheduled due to a continuance. They let me know this 2 hours later.

      While I was sitting there, I saw an older black man sit on a bench opposite to me. He was dressed in a dark green suit with a white dress shirt and dark green tie. He wore a lavender dress hat and had a neatly folded lavender handkerchief in the breast pocket. Completing the outfit was a pair of alligator skin boots.

      I tried several times to think of a way to discretely take a picture of this man. But I was surrounded on my side by other people and it was not going to happen. Then, I had a Gavin moment. I sincerely wished I could take a picture with my eyes and then upload it to a computer for all the world to see.

      Gavin's thought "experiments" are contagious. Run.

    • Seriously, fuck time travel

      5 years ago


      Last night I saw the movie "Looper" with a friend. Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoy this movie. I wont give any spoilers. I mean it, no spoilers. I recommend that everyone goes out and sees this movie. Please keep in mind that it is a very graphic depiction of a dystopian world. It was also one of the few time travel movies that did not over use or explain the time travel mechanism.

      I love time travel theory. In high school my senior project was to write a novel and I chose a time travel theme. Over the years, theories have spawned movies and books. Some good, some bad. But through all of them I never once though that the consequences of time travel were something to truly fear. Yes, that includes the episode of Simpsons where Ned Flanders becomes overlord of earth. Or the giant shit-brick that is Time Cop. Even the thought of a liquid metal death machine did not even pause my fantasies of one day traveling through time.

      Then I saw a scene in Looper. If you go and see it, I wont have to tell you which one. After that scene, I am officially saying: Fuck time travel. We should never invent it. Ever.

      All of that being said, the movie was amazing. I hope that it is put forth as a candidate for best movie in the drunk tank awards.

    • Looking back on my insane career choice

      5 years ago


      I started working in the medical field when I was 18. Since then I have risen to the illustrious role of paramedic which means I am one of the first people on a scene. My job is to triage and determine if the situation is an "emergency." I just wanted to give a brief recap of my career to provide an example of how varied/fucked up my job can be.

      In the span just one 12 hour shift, we were called for a man with a stubbed toe. He felt it necessary to call 911 for this super severe injury. So, as a result of the way he answered the dispatchers questions, he got an ambulance, a fire truck, and police car. You might be asking yourself, why didn't we send more resources to an obviously critical situation? Well, we can only do so much for a single citizen. I know. Ridiculous.

      In that same shift, we responded to a woman who ingested enough psychiatric medications (the kind that make you coma level sleepy) to take down a grizzly bear. While she did have a startling physical resemblance to a grizzly bear (in amount of hair not size), she seemed to succumb to the effects of the medication by going into hibernation. It was just me and my partner against the world. No one to help us. And if you haven't guessed already, we had no additional support. Whenever we are in that situation, the person is almost always on at least the second floor with a narrow and possibly broken stairway. Murphy's law is alive and well in the medical field.

      A few shifts later, I saw the dumbest thing I had ever seen. At the time. Which was 5 years ago. The call came across the computer as "15 year old male, Overdose on Pine Sol." We all know that 15 is an age filled with angst and turbulence. Pine Sol must have seen like the logical way out, right? So my partner and I walked in to find a distraught mother in the kitchen yelling at her son. Her son was in the bathroom vomiting. I asked "what happened?" She then told the following story: My son was out back playing basketball and he came inside to get something to drink. He reached in the fridge to get a cold drink and grabbed a bottle of Gatorade. But she proceeded to tell us that she had some industrial floor cleaner from work. That she kept in a Gatorade bottle. That was the color of lemon/lime Gatorade. In the fridge. With the label "Lemon/lime Gatorade" still on the bottle. Her outrage from the whole incident stemmed from the fact that her son had not taken the time to smell what he was drinking before he took a swig. Clearly, as she said several times, he was at fault. In the end, the kid was fine.

      This is just a brief snapshot of the shenanigans we deal with every day. I will probably write about the more ridiculous and entertaining ones in the future. Remember, everyone classifies the term "emergency" differently. And 911 is such an easy number to remember.

    • My worst/best experience with tech support

      5 years ago


      I think I can see with relative certainty, that most people have had some sort of experience with the lovely tech support outsourced to India. I am not a man with awesome computer tech skills. I have spent my life devoted to a different kind of machine. But I had a problem with my anti-virus software. This problem prompted me to seek outside help, since restarting my computer did not help at all.

      So, my journey began with the wonderful world of a call center. They barely spoke English, but that didn't stop them. The first call taker was perfectly pleasant and efficient, until it came to solving my problem. He was kind enough to give me a full tutorial on how many errors my computer contained. How much of a fuck did I give at this point? If you guessed less than half a fuck, then you were still over estimating. He was trying to educate me. I can appreciate that. But when I call a service to fix a problem, the learning part is less relevant than the fixing part.

      My magical journey continued as he read my computer screen (thanks to the joint session we now shared) and began to pitch a "superior" product. I decided to stick with the product I already paid for. This baffled my guide. But he managed to transfer me to the tech master. From the tone, I can tell it caused him physical pain. But he managed to persevere. And at last, I actually got some help...2 hours later.

      The second guy was much better. Yes, it took 2 hours to solve my problem. Which I probably could have figured out myself, but he was the expert. He was very pleasant and eventually fixed everything. A better result than I've ever had with tech support center. I might actually learn something this time. The problem was fixed, so fuck it.

    • 1st journal entry ever...of all time...

      6 years ago


      For someone with a degree in English, it is almost shameful that I've never kept a real journal before. Not sure where to start.

      I started studying martial arts again after a 9 year break. Note to self, flexibility and strength are not the same for a regular workout as it is for a martial arts class. The master of the taekwando school started me at a blue belt which is 3 above white belt.

      Saturday, I watched a black belt test where approx 50 students were becoming black belts or obtaining a black belt degree. One guy was testing for his master status (4th degree). To put this in perspective, it takes 1 year of studying to reach the rank right below black belt and another full year to obtain black belt. Then it takes 1 year per number of degrees. So 1 year for 1st degree, 2 years for second degree, and so on. That means this guy had trained for 4 years just to get the 4th degree. In total he spend 11 years training to be a master.

      Part of his test was to fight 4 guys at once. All of his opponents were at least 2nd degree black belts. One opponent was probably 6'6" and about 250lbs. Halfway through the fight, I see the big guy get tossed to the ground like it was nothing. One of the best fights I've ever seen. But I guess after 11 years of preparation he better be f*cking amazing.

      Ultimately, everyone passed their respective tests, including the 4th degree master. A good day and much fun had by all.

      Yesterday, I finally got around to seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes. For a prequal/psuedo reboot, not bad. I thought the actor who played Caesar (same guy who did Golum in LOTR) was brilliant as always. I would recommend it to anyone unless they are a cynical a*shole or have a hard on for only "original" cinima.

      So I guess we'll see how this journal thing goes. Chances are it will be off and on at best, but it's not like this is some class project or for a grade. Takes the pressure off in a good way. Now, time to get back to my vacation by going to taekwando class. Nothing more stress relieving that kicking things.


    • 2017 years ago

  • About Me

    I started watching RvB in college and was hooked ever since. Between the series and the RT shorts, my week goes by a little smoother.

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