Kelowna Fan Xpo

Did anyone go to this last weekend? I did. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t really have any high expectations for it because it was the first year it happened in Kelowna and since it’s so near (geographically and time wise) to the Calgary and Vancouver conventions I didn’t think any real celebrities would show up (and because Kelowna is small compared to those two cities). But it was a lot of fun! Mark Meer was my favourite person to see. He and Chris Craddock were the highlight of the whole thing thanks to their super long improvised performance at the very end of the night. It was so good. It had everything; geeky references, hilarious acapella sound effects, bird puns, tragedy, action, and a happy ending. I got a free tshirt from the pair earlier in the day when they were promoting their tvshow Tiny Plastic Men. Mark signed it for me and now I will treasure it forever and add it to my collection of geek shirts (next to T’Pol from Star Trek Enterprise, Haley from Order of the Stick, and Lil Richard from Looking for Group which is signed by Lar deSouza). I had a last minute cosplay from The Legend of Korra which was a big hit, so that was quite satisfying (I’m through season one of Legend of Korra and I looooooove it!). I was very impressed with the other cosplayers that were there. I bought the graphic novel Silver by Stephan Franck. I haven’t finished it yet, but I recommend it. It is about vampires, thievery, sexy rogues, and the 1930s among other things. So far I give it a thumbs up. Mr Franck gave a very interesting panel about film animation. He was a supervising animator for The Iron Giant, and story artist for Despicable Me. He autographed and drew me a nice sketch in the copy of his book that I bought. Look him up.

The expo was also a first date for me and the person I was with. I was super excited because it was an opportunity to display a lot about yourself without having to awkwardly bring up all the geeky things that you’re into. I thought it would be perfect, and it was a lot of fun; talking about tv and video games and costumes all day is pretty much my jam. However, when I got home at the end of the day I realized that I probably came off as distracted and inconsiderate. Hopefully I’m over thinking it. It felt like there were times when maybe my date wanted to talk about deeper more personal stuff, but then a group of Doctors and companions would walk by and the conversation would drastically change. I really hope I’m over thinking it. I really liked my date, and I want to go on date #2 soon.

If you were there and you signed up for the Okanagan RPG & Tabletop Gaming Group perhaps I will see you at one of the game nights. It has been far too long since I have played D&D so I am quite excited to give that, and other games, a go. There is a meeting this Sunday for newbies to the group. Hopefully they don’t mind me inviting my gentle readers. Check out the details and RSVP here. It’s going to be fun on the bun!!!

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We’re In The Future

Remember when I was really upset that I had spilled tea on my laptop keyboard and it stopped working? Well I was stubborn (aka lazy in this context) and refused to do anything about it, hoping that the problem would just go away. And miraculously it did! My keyboard works almost perfectly again (except for the caps lock key and many of the number pad keys, but who neds those right?), so I am quite happy. It does however pose some daunting questions about my machine’s uncanny ability to repair itself. This is the beginning of the technology uprising. Maybe my laptop will team up with that scary walking dog-like robot that can run down rocky hills without tripping, and after exterminating mankind together they will have a romantic destination wedding to the best robotic laboratory in Tokyo surrounded by their glowing eyed, noodle-making robot army. I would be so proud.

Finale Followup

Alrighty. So I watched the series finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Sozin’s Comet: The Final Battle) soon after my last post like I said I was going to. *Spoilers ahead*

Hmm. What can I say about it…? It was good I guess. I was right about a couple of outcomes that I predicted: Aang activating the Avatar State to defeat Ozai, Katara and Aang ending up together, Mai and Zuko ending up together. Although it’s not like those were tough things to guess.

Oh god I can’t keep up this charade. I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!

kiss

I was so incredibly happy with the entire episode! I think that it had absolutely everything that it needed. The fights were so amazing! It became so adult at some points. For instance Aang’s terrifying battle with Ozai, and especially Azula’s descent into hair-chopping madness. I did not see her craziness coming. During her battle with Zuko and Katara, F and I thought that because she had become such a nut job that she wouldn’t be able to control her lightning and that would be what destroyed her. But it was cooler when Katara tricked her with Waterbending. M thought Katara was going to use Bloodbending against Azula, but that would have been out of character for her, especially in the final good versus evil battle. I was slightly disappointed that Zuko didn’t get to defeat Azula himself, but if he had then there wouldn’t have been anything for Katara to do. And for Zuko to sacrifice himself for Katara was so amazing and brave and sexy and emotional and oh my god.

Katara_and_Zuko_hug

I was on the literal edge of my seat the whole time it was playing. I almost cried as much as Zuko did when his uncle told him he was proud of him and loved him. I wish I had a giant printer to make posters. I would make one of that moment. That moment of complete love and forgiveness and the weight lifting off of Zuko’s sholders. Speaking of Zuko, I really want to know what happened to his mother. That was a good last scene for him, asking Ozai where she was. It showed that Zuko, the king of unfinished business, wasn’t going to stop after being redeemed because even though he was happy for the first time in his life he knew that there was more that he could do, and he would absolutely do it because being on the good side means always fighting and never giving up. I would watch a spinoff about Zuko finding his mother. It wouldn’t have to be long. Just a miniseries. Although since he’s the new Fire Lord maybe he wouldn’t be able to search for her for a long time because of all the shit he must fix. Hmm.

Zuko_and_Iroh_reunite

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered that Aang could take away Ozai’s Firebending. Of course that’s what he would do. The message of his whole storyline came down to never letting people change your heart. Never. No matter what. He knew that killing the Fire Lord was wrong, even though previous Avatars encouraged him to do anything necessary to bring peace. In the end he stayed true of heart and chose the right path. I want to be like Aang. I don’t think it’s very likely, but he gives me hope. *Wink*

F told me that in The Legend of Korra you see the gang all grown up. I’m looking forward to that. I hope I like that show even half as much as I did this one. F assured me that I will. Before we get to that though, I think we have to get M familiar with the early episodes that M hasn’t seen yet. Oh well, I guess that means watching it all over again! Mwahahaha!

This was a good moment too.

              This was a good moment too.

Series Finale Jitters

No, I’m not referring to any tv show that is currently airing. I watch very few of those (Agents of SHIELD and Doctor Who are the most important). I am referring to something that my three roommates and I have been binge watching on Netflix for the last couple of weeks. Roommate F had seen the whole series about four or five years ago, and really enjoyed it, and it the spinoff series. Roommate A had seen a few episode here and there when it was airing from 2005 to 2008. I started watching the series on Netflix a couple years ago, but only watched five or six episodes of season 1. Roommate M had never heard of it, and only got hooked a few days ago. Just in time.

Even though the show is considered to be for children or young teenagers, it is still so watchable for all of us (who are in our early twenties, except for A who is 29). The humor is so good. Sometimes it’s quite basic, just a silly look, some slapstick physical stuff or an obvious joke, but it’s for kids so it knows what it’s doing. Other times I laughed so hard that it was lucky I wasn’t eating anything or I might have choked and died. In an episode from last night my favorite joke was “What did the cabbage merchant use to fix his broken cabbages? A CABBAGE PATCH!!!” The characters’ relationships are so wholesome and nice, simple yet again, but with good reason; the characters are young, and it is for young viewers. It has heart and deals with what different people would be like in relationships. F and I are guilty of shipping some characters who do not end up together.The animation is very satisfying. Classic cartoon with a touch of anime and 3D modeling. Have you guessed what show it is yet?

That’s right! It’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. Did the picture give it away?

Oh my god it is so awesome. I would recommend it to anyone, and then anyone who wasn’t enchanted by it I would lose a little bit of respect for. It makes me want to learn Kung Fu. Northern Shaolin Kung Fu to be exact. Because that is the style that Firebenders use. Yes I would choose fire as my bendable element. I could create it out of nothing (unless I was in a cooler at the Boiling Rock) and when I’m high level enough it would be BLUE! Blue fire is my fantasy. I love it. **SPOILERS BEGIN NOW** The first time I saw Azula cast blue fire I was so convinced. Blood bending is appealing, and healing powers, but wearing blue all the time would get old for me. Earth bending ties for second with Water I think. I just like dirt, and Metal bending would be very useful for certain environmental conservation activities that require removing big ugly metal factories (The Painted Lady was such a satisfying eco-terrorism episode). F prefers Air bending for the flying. It does seem that Aang use his native bending element more than any other element and to greater effect. I also like Dragons better than Sky Bisons, Badgermoles, and (just a little bit more than) the Moon.

So (hopefully) tonight is the night that we watch the very last episode, Sozin’s Comet: The Final Battle. I am unbelievably excited. My predictions are that Zuko defeats Azula in a big scary battle and she goes to prison swearing revenge. Or that after getting her ass handed to her, she realizes that maybe she should be a good person and then Zuko will let her kind of rule the Fire Nation with him. Unless Zuko makes Iroh be the new Fire Lord because he doesn’t think that he deserves the power. I’m really looking forward to Zuko and Iroh’s reconciliation. Aang will face Zuko’s father and, because he knows that violence is not the answer, he will try to reason with the Fire Lord. Aang will know that the Firelord will not go down without a fight so the battle will begin! At the crucial moment, perhaps when Aang has seemingly been defeated himself, he will activate the Avatar state and defeat the Fire Lord. Or maybe Katara will be injured and Aang will think she has died so he will go into the Avatar state because he is so angry. Katara will of course not be dead. I predict, and desperately hope, that no good characters will die in the finale.

Oh! That was another awesome joke from last night’s episode: when the gang is watching the play about them and Jet “dies” Katara asks “Did he die?” And Sokka says “It was unclear.” BECAUSE IT WAS UNCLEAR. Did Jet die? Was it an off-screen death? Or will he come back at the end in the moment when they make you remember all the characters that helped them along the way? Signifying that you should always remember important people in your life, even if you haven’t seen them since season 1. They kind of already did that though when the rag tag team of warriors came together for the invasion.

Anyway, back to predictions. I predict that Katara will tell Aang that she loves him, and there will be closure. Wonderful closure. Katara and Sokka will be reunited with their dad for real this time. Suki will go back to the Kyoski warriors and maybe Sokka will go with her. Toph will see her family and stop feeling guilty about leaving. She will open a school where she instructs Earthbending, maybe in Ba Sing Se which will stop being all weird and North Koreaesque. I wonder where Katara and Aang will go? Maybe Katara and her dad will bring Aang back to the Southern Water Tribe for a little while to visit Katara’s people and tell them everything that happened, and then Aang and Katara will go to Aang’s old Air Temple and fix it up.Then they can have Airbending babies! Mai will forgive Zuko and they will live happily ever after too, fixing all the wrongs that Zuko’s father did when he was Fire Lord. I’m very glad the last episode is an hour and a half long because there a lot of things to wrap up.

The two characters that F and I were shipping were Zuko and Katara. If they had had a longer time in that prison together they totally would have ended up together. I tried to imagine what the show would be like if it were more serious and for an older audience and had gone on longer than just three seasons. I think  Katara would have gotten seriously involved with someone besides Aang, and he would have been totally depressed and maybe gone off on his own, or just with Sokka and Toph. Then Katara would settle down for a while with her honey before realizing that she couldn’t live without Aang and traveling the world to be a badass. A lot more people would have died gruesome anime deaths as well if it were for an older audience. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I was not watching Attack On Titan, and that everyone on screen was not about to be massacred.

I love Zuko though. I just want to give him a big hug. The way he says “I’m never happy” is so… so… I don’t know. Cute? In a sad way? I love him. But I also love Sokka. I think Sokka and I would be best friends. We would eat food all the time and have joke battles and he could teach me how to sword fight.

*Sigh* I will miss it when it’s over. When the credits role tonight after a majestic finale I will be sad, but hopefully satisfied with how it ended. I make my predictions based on the formula that I have seen or read in other stories. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I want a show to follow the formula, just aspects of it. I want a story to surprise me, but be happy in the end. I need a happy ending otherwise my view of the entire story blows up and dies. It’s not a good habit to have, but I’m a romantic. Either way, The Legend of Korra has four seasons. That will tied me over for a few weeks at least.

korraWhy my roommates like Avatar: The Last Airbender

M likes Avatar because “it’s not sexist”. A lot of the Asian cartoons that M has watched are good that way, M says. The fact that gender roles are not outwardly discussed in the show is a plus. I hadn’t thought about it too much before but M is right. I did appreciate that Fire Nation military and prison guards were a mix of men and women. It’s a good portrayal of equality that bending is not restricted by gender, and that the avatar can be a man or woman.

F likes Avatar because “it’s a kids program that adults can enjoy”.

A likes Avatar because “it’s colorful”.

Doctor Who Season 8 (Spoilers)

I just finished season 8 of Doctor Who. I still can’t decide how much I like the 12th Doctor, but I still don’t like Clara very much. From her beginning I never thought she had much going for her. I thought she was quite boring. The most interesting thing about her was the fact that The Doctor kept meeting her in different points in time and she never remembered. The whole Impossible Girl thing. Except that stopped happening after she became his companion. A cool episode might have been one where The Doctor meets another version of Clara while current Clara is with him, but he has to keep them from meeting each other for fear of creating a paradox or something. I imagine a funny run around like the classic two-dates-to-the-prom story line. Whether they do meet in the end or not it would be a call back to that aspect of her character, which I don’t think happens at all with No. 12.

But the Impossible Girl thing is never resolved! Correct if I’m wrong and I will love you forever. Maybe this is not the end of Clara’s time as a companion and I just have to wait for the next season. The teaser at the end of the finale with Santa Claus did hint that they would address the fact that both Clara and The Doctor are not okay. So hopefully Clara’s get enough screen time, at least in the Christmas episode, to fix the hole in my heart that she made when she lied about Danny being back, and also to answer my Impossible Girl questions.

It is always equally sad and disturbing to see The Doctor so upset that he will: cry, yell so much that he visibly scares a companion, or smashes The TARDIS. He did two of those things at once after he discovered that Gallifrey was not at the coordinates that Missy had told him. And then he lied about it to Clara! Come ooooooon! I’m counting on Santa to fix all these problems.

In the first episode of the season when we meet Missy for the first time I thought she was Clara. Or another version of Clara. An older crazy version of Clara. The way that she says “Where do you think you are?” in that very “duh” tone of voice absolutely reminded me of Clara. Also I thought that they just looked very slightly similar and calling The Doctor her boyfriend is something a crazy Clara might do. I imagined that Clara became too confident about traveling with The Doctor and started taking matters into her own hands too much and one day did something so terrible, but “for The Doctor’s own good,” that he had to kick her out of The TARDIS and swore never to see her again which drove her crazy because she cares about him so much and believes that he absolutely needs her, that she got all weird and powerful and was hatching some crazy scheme to be with The Doctor again. That was one of my initial predictions. I like it better than yet another return of The Master.

Usually I like Cybermen, and this time I had such a freak out when I realized it was them (when The Doctor says “Who would harvest dead bodies? I feel like I’m missing something obvious.” Then the doors close and the windows look like cyber eyes). My issue though (and again correct me if I’m wrong) is that the corpses can’t just suddenly have Cybermen armor. In every other episode humans have to undergo painful “upgrades” to become Cybermen. This entails being operated on by machines to fuse the body with the mechanics. I don’t buy that any corpse will get rained on by Cyberman clouds and emerge from the grave with a brand new body.

Again again I welcome information that I might have missed during the episode that will answer my questions and quiet my criticisms.

Did I mention how much I cried in the last episode?

Jurassic World

I don’t know about you but I am really looking forward to Jurassic World next year.

I’m not always in favor of sequels like this. Sequels that happen many years after the first or second or third installments. Sometimes they just seem like money grabs, or efforts by the main actors to remind audiences that they can still be as cool as they were in the first movie.

The fifth Die Hard, A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), was slightly disappointing for me. Granted I only saw it once in theatres so I should probably watch it again to make the best judgement, but I don’t even want to watch it again. That is saying something. I felt like it did not try enough to keep the heart of the previous films. Little things that could have made it feel more like a Die Hard movie were not there when they could have been. For example there were two FBI agents who could have been named Johnson. Yeah it’s repeating a joke, but it was already repeated in Live Free Or Die Hard (2007), and I think a lot of fans of the franchise would appreciate the nod. If someone didn’t appreciate it, maybe they should watch any other movie that is purely an action thrill ride, rather than this series which is pretty corny and has an actual fan base. And I mean that in a really good way. Maybe I’m too hard to please because when it comes to film series I need just the right amount of fan pandering to be happy.

Terminator: Genisys? *Sigh.* Okay, Arnold, show us what you got. I probably won’t be spending money to see this one in the theatre though. And if they do not address the misspelling in the title I will be very unforgiving. It brings to mind how upset I was at the Star Trek Into Darkness title for not following the traditional Star Trek title formula complete with colon. But let’s not get started on the Star Trek franchise (there’s a pretty massive love/hate relationship going on there).

Jurassic World though, whether it’s my love for dinosaurs or Chris Pratt, has my attention. I’m hoping that at least some of the dinosaurs will be sporting some cool feathers ( I wrote a biology paper on feathered dinosaurs so I think they are pretty sweet). To have my primary critical moment though, why would you actually go ahead and build the park where just about everyone from the first three movies died? Come on. That’s like assuming that humans can control AI’s after they decide that humans suck and should die. Haven’t these movie scientists seen as many movies as the rest of us? I do however feel like this installment will provide closure about what a working park would be like, and that’s why I’m excited for it. I didn’t even realize that I needed to know how the thousands of people on the island would die in an operational Jurassic Park until I saw the preview for Jurassic World!

Before I finish I feel like I have to give credit where credit is due. Toy Story 3 clearly is NOT on my list of sequels that fail. But it is of course on my list of things that make me cry every goddamn time I see it.