Saturday, May 3, 2014

Moving, Movies & Muppets

Woke up around 6am today and couldn't go back to sleep so I blogged for a bit. Today I'm helping my buddy Robert move from Mar Vista to North Hollywood. He is the ninth "Geek Mob" member move within a miles radius of the group. Super excited that my best friend will be living about 10 minute walk from me.

Doug came over around 9:30am as we were carpooling over to Robert's place. Traffic was horrible and we arrived at Robert at 10:30am. Robert has been moving stuff over to his new place for a few weeks so he only had the big things that he couldn't move by himself. Helping Robert out today was Doug, Tamar, Cait and me. It took us maybe an hour if that to load up the uhaul before heading to his new place in NoHo.

Jes joined us here to help unload. This took a bit more time as there are a bunch of stairs and some of his items were large and heavy. But we got it done with very little drama. He ordered some pizzas for lunch and we ate. He and Tamar had to return the Uhaul to the Santa Monica area so Doug, Jes, Cait and I went to our local comic book store "Blast Off" for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD).

I found two of the three comic books that I wanted to pick up. The one that was out by the time I got there was Mouse Guard but also included a story about Labyrinth and Farscape (and those are the ones I really wanted to read). I put it out there on the nets to see if any of my friend had come across this book and could get it for me and my friend Scarlett out in Texas texted me that she had an extra copy and would ship it to me.. how awesome is she!! Thanks Scarlett.

I also watched a few more gay-themed movies. The first on was Struck by Lightening. Here's a synopsis; Struck by Lightning is a 2012 coming-of-age comedy-drama film written by and starring Chris Colfer (Glee), also based on his novel. After high school senior Carson Phillips is struck by lightning and killed in his high-school parking lot, he recounts the way he blackmailed his classmates into contributing to his literary magazine.

This was an okay movie, nothing special. I honestly don't know why it's listed under the Gay and Lesbian category as it's really has nothing to do with that other then the guy who wrote it and the main actor is gay in real life. It's a very dark comedy as the main character dies at the beginning and the movie is told through flashbacks. The acting is fine and I did enjoy some of the relationships of the character but overall it wasn't a favorite of mine. I won't be buying this on blu-ray and I don't care to watch it again. I give Struck by Lightening a C+

And the second movie I watched was called Mulligans. Here's a brief synopsis; Tyler Davidson  invites his college buddy Chase home for summer break on Prospect Lake. The Davidson Family appears practically perfect in every way to Chase, who begins to envy the close-knit family that he never had. After continued attempts by Tyler to set up Chase with local women, Chase comes out as gay. The family attempts to support Chase, and Tyler's father Nathan, in particular, begins to spend substantial time with him. Soon Nathan begins to realize that long-suppressed feelings toward men are resurfacing, and he has become attracted to Chase. These attractions turn in to an all-out affair, which is soon witnessed by Nathan's wife Stacey. Once in the open, Nathan and Chase try to come to terms with the effect of their actions on others, and Nathan attempts to keep his family together. Nathan ultimately decides to leave Stacey, Tyler, and their daughter at the family's summer home, while he drives off to re-evaluate his life alone for an uncertain amount of time.

I enjoyed this movie much more then the one I watched previously. I like the acting, the story and the setting. Like with the other movie that I really liked "What Happens Next" I could identify with the "father" who is just not starting to explore who he really is. I think it gave a realistic portrayal of what would happen to a family if the dad came out after 20 years of marriage. This was always my fear in my early 20's.. I push down my homosexual feelings for many years until one day I just couldn't do it anymore. I didn't want what happens in this movie to happen to me.

My only complaint about this movie was the quick resolution to the best friends storyline. I like how they resolved it but I think it just happened way to fast. I don't know if I would buy this on blu-ray but I do know I will watch it again. I give Mulligans a solid B+

During the evening I had a beer with my buddy Erik via Skype as we continued watching Jim Henson's Creature Shop competition. This is a competition series featuring ten aspiring creature creators competing to out-imagine one another in a series of challenges where they will build everything from mechanical characters to whimsical beasts, bringing high-end inanimate creature designs to life. The contestants compete for a prize worth up to $100,000 including the opportunity for the job of a lifetime - a contract working at the world-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. I'm really enjoying this series so far but I figured I would since I'm a huge fan of another of Syfy's reality competition show Faceoff. I have a blast watching both Faceoff and Jim Henson's Creature Shop Competition with Erik as we Skype with each other and talk about the shows during commercials. It was a nice way to end my evening.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hobbits and TableTop

I continued writing my blog.. it's a slow process as I can only sit at the computer for so long and I'm struggling to find motivation. I have so many blogs to catch up on as well as podcasting stuff, uploading my vacation pictures, reworking my webseries script and finish unpacking and displaying more of my collections in my guest room. And I'm looking for work.

Today I was in a Hobbitish kind of mood so I popped in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I saw it three or four times in the theater but haven't watched the screener that I got last December. Watching it just gets me more pumped for the final installment of the series. And it made me want to start re-reading (listening) to my audiobook of The Lord of the Rings.

I also made a contribution to the Indiegogo campaign for season three of Wil Wheaton's Table Top. I've loved every episode and to be able to contribute a bit of money to get S3 is well worth it.  They were trying to get $500,000 but as of today they just passed $1,000,000 and still have 8 days left. If you want to help them out just follow the link HERE.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hobbit News, Sabers and Bollywood

Finally started catching up on my blog. I managed to blog up to Day 6 of my dream vacation but realized that it's going to take me awhile to get all those done in a timely manner. And the longer it takes the longer my "daily" blog falls behind. So I deiced to stop with my dream vacation and catch on my daily blog and then go back and continue blogging about my vacation.

In Hobbit news.. they released the title of the next Hobbit movie. Everyone had thought it was going to be There and Back Again but since it was split into three movies Mr. Jackson felt that, that title no longer fit so they changed it to The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. I'm really looking forward to the final installment of this trilogy.

I came across several videos that I wanted to share with you guys. First one is Revenge of the Threesome: Star Wars Lightsaber Duel (Saber III) This actually features quite a few friends.

And the next one is a PSA for the United Nations Free and Equal Campaign. In the first-ever Bollywood music video for gay rights.


MASH 4077 Podcast Episode 78

Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or Listen, get direct download from our main website

Show Notes

Kenny Mittleider from Knights of the Guild, Alien Nation: The Newcomers Podcast & My Gimpy Life Podcast, Simon Meddings from Waffle On Podcast, & Al Kessel from Tales from the Mouse House and Lost 815 Podcast discuss one of the most successful and longest running television series in history.. M*A*S*H

Today we cover Season 4, Episode #6 - Hey, Doc
78th Episode Overall
Directed by William Jurgensen
Written by Rick Mittleman
Production code G510
Original air date October 10, 1975

Set during the Korean War in the 1950’s

Plot Summary: When Hawkeye helps keep a small, medical problem of a commander's personal medical records, he is rewarded with two bottles of 20 year-old scotch. Meanwhile a sniper leads to a tank being lent to the camp, which Frank takes a ride inside as means of showing off to Margret.

Hope you enjoy it, Kenny

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Family and Podcasts

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I like to visit my family every few weeks. So today was all about family. I headed to my brothers to visit my dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. When I got to their place I was happy to see that my mom was also visiting so I got to visit with her as well.

When I walked in my mom was sitting next to Lisa (niece & nephew's nanny) who was holding this little tiny kitten. It couldn't be more then a week or two old. She had found it in an alley by itself. He was so adorable, I held him for a good half hour while he slept in the palm of my hands.

I visited with my dad, mom and niece for an hour or so before my sister-in-law Lora and nephew Kenobi got home from school. Mom, dad, nephew and I went out to El Pollo and grabbed some lunch for everyone.

Spent another few hours visiting with everyone before my mom left and my brother go home from work. He and I visited for a bit before going upstairs to record a new episode of our Alien Nation podcast. The podcast has been on hiatus since November but we're hoping to get thing back up and running again soon.

After we recorded the podcast, I said my goodbyes and headed home. It was a nice family visit and I can't wait to do it again in a few weeks.

Random Geek Question!!

I posed a Random Geek Question on Facebook and Twitter. I asked " Which sci-fi or fantasy universe would you want to live in and why?? " Here are some responses from Facebook.

  • Doug Luberts - The Star Wars universe... But only if I was strong in the Force!
  • Jenni Powell - Narnia. Because...childhood dream basically.
  • Simon Meddings - Tolkien, but the more quiet and fun world, rather than Mordor.
  • Alycia Carhart - Rivendell because it is beautiful and peaceful. Elves.
  • Nathan Tamayo - Any one where I'm omnipotent.
  • Eva Chan - I'd go with Jenni's. I think Chronicles of Narnia was one of the first fantasy books I read when I was a kid. Who wouldn't want to wind up in a fantastical land like Narnia just by stepping through a wardrobe?
  • Dani Figueiredo - If I get to be a wizard, then Harry Potter, for sure! It would be great to be able to apparate! If not, then I think I'd pick Neverland.
  • Chris Stock - Oh, oh oh! There are SO many choices! I'd probably pick the TransHuman Space universe, from SJ Games... an overall-optimistic future? Yes plz.
  • Richard Peete - Give me Trek in the 23rd century any day!
  • Tim Gin - Presuming I am just a regular native I think I would be most comfortable with ST:TNG setting. Generally comfortable and safe with a whole plethora of places to explore should the desire arise. And who doesn't want a holodeck?
  • Steve Rose - Harry Potter, unless I was a muggle, then what's the point? Otherwise, ST:TNG all the way. I mean, replicators, universal translator, warp travel, universal health care... I'm assuming.
  • Erlend Aakre - I'd like to change my answer from TNG to having someone give me a tour of the universe in a big blue box
  • Scott Hough - A sci-fi world? The 24th century Earth from Star Trek. Fantasy: Probably the Earth from Dresden Files. Screw the Harry Potter wizards (no offense to you Potter fans), I prefer the Harry Dresden wizards.
  • Aaron Trahan - Star Trek TNG
  • Maggie O'Neill - Dr's assistant any time any day
I also got a few responses from Twitter...

@mattalexbrown - I reckon you and I could live a pretty convincing Hobbit life. No worries in the world except making the most of The Shire!

@rollotomasi - Middle Earth. I feel I should have been born a daughter of Rohan :)

@yensid98 - #HarryPotter of course. Quirky, oddballs living with magic and amazing creatures. #STTNG is a close 2nd, but I'd live on Earth.

First I want to thank everyone who responded, there was no clear winner here... as for me it's a tough call. I'd love to be a Wizard in the Harry Potter Universe, or Exploring the galaxy on a Starship/Spaceship in the STTNG era/Star Wars Universe. But I think the universe I'd like to live in most would be Middle Earth.. the Shire to be exact. Away from the world, enjoying the land, good food, good drink and family... that's my ideal heaven.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Movies, Movies and More Movies

Today was all about gay-themed movies. Now that I have netflix a world of gay-themed movies are at my fingertips.

I started my day with The Curiosity of Chance. Here's a brief synopsis; In 1980s Europe, flamboyant and gay 16-year-old Chance Marquis shows up at an international high school in a top hat and tails, immediately attracting the attention of the "queer-hating" resident bully, among others. Through his involvement in the school newspaper, he meets an introverted photographer with a mysterious briefcase, and while practicing tennis, he befriends a catty fashionista, both of whom act as his wingmen in his new high school. He also meets the jock-next-door, with whom he forms a tentative friendship, despite the jock's cacophonous group of friends. The film follows Chance through a year of high school, with its attendant drama, successes, and hijinks—including sneaking into a drag bar, where Chance begins to explore his true self.

I enjoyed this movie. It had some really cute moments. I really couldn't identify with the main character but I really enjoyed the secondary characters.. especially Hank, Chances photographer/sidekick. I really enjoyed the father/son relationship and Chances "daydream" sequences. Overall it was good movie. I wouldn't buy it on blu-ray but I'm not opposed to watching it again with a friend. I give The Curiosity of Chance a solid B.

Second I watched What Happens Next. Here's a brief synopsis; Paul Greco is a wealthy man who has sold his business and has retired. His sister Elise gives him a dog. Paul assumes the daily dog-walking routine in the park where he encounters Andy Chance, a gay self-employed advertising whiz, who happens to own a dog himself. The daily meeting develops into a tender series of situations between the two as conversations exchanged become more and more involved and sincere.

I really enjoyed this movie. I could really identify with the main character though I came out many years before he did. I knew his struggle and apprehension. All of the actors were fantastic in their roles. And yes the plot was predictable but that didn't take away from the fun or seriousness of the movie. I would defiantly buy this on blu-ray and I give What Happens Next a very deserving A

Next up was Pit Stop. Here's a brief synopsis; Recovering from an ill-fated affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the relationship he maintains with his ex-wife and daughter. On the other side of town, Ernesto evades life at home with his current live-in ex-boyfriend by spending much of his spare time in the hospital with an ailing past love. Impervious to the monotony of their blue-collar world, they maintain an unwavering yearning for romance.

This had more drama, then the previous two films I watched. I really enjoyed it. It's really two different stories and you wait the entire movie for these two guys to get together. And for a moment I thought it wasn't going to happen.. but it does during the last five minutes of the film. I would have preferred them getting together half way through the movie and then watching their relationship developed. But as I said it was a good movie. I wouldn't buy it on blu-ray but I'd watch it again with a friend if they wanted to see it. I give Pit Stop a solid B+

Fourth movie of the day was Yossi. Here's a brief synopsis; Yossi, is a sequel to the director's breakthrough work Yossi & Jagger (2002). The plot takes places a decade after the events in that previous film. It follows the title character, a closeted gay cardiologist who struggles to find meaning in his life while overcoming the loss of his lover and reconciling his past with his future.

First of all I didn't know this was a sequel. Kind of wish I would have seen the previous movie first. This wasn't a bad movie but the main character is so unhappy that it makes the film tough to watch. I'm not sure if I'd want to watch the first movie as I know how it ends and the reason for him being so unhappy. I wouldn't buy this movie on blu-ray and I don't see myself watching it again. I give Yoshi a C 

And my final movie of the night was House of Boys. Here's a brief synopsis; The film follows the story of Frank, a gay teenager in the 80's who runs away from his home to start a new life and later his struggle against the recently discovered AIDS.

This was not the best movie to end my might on. From the description on Netflix I figured it was about a troubled teen who goes and works at a gay strip club. Which the first half of the movie is.. but then it takes a very dark turn as one of the main characters contract HIV/AIDS and we spend the next hour of the film watching him die a slow and painful death. It was heart wrenching. It's a very well acted and thought provoking movie just not what I was expecting and not really how I wanted to end my day of movie watching. I won't be buying this on blu-ray and don't think I need to see this again but I give House of Boys a B+.  

Star Wars Episode Seven Cast Revealed

Today Disney revealed the main cast for episode seven of Star Wars. I don't know if this is everyone or if they are still casting but there have been rumors for months about who was going to be in the next Star Wars film. The big three Harrison, Carrie and Mark have said numorus times that they would be back only to retract or backtrack thier comments.. Well it's official six of the original actors will be back to reprise their icon roles. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Anthony Daniels as C3PO, Kenny Baker as R2D2 and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

Of the new cast I really only know three of them. Andy Serkis of course is the motion capture king playing characters from Gollum, to King Kong to Caesar. Domhnall Gleeson who was Bill Weasley in the last two Potter films, and Max von Sydow who played Ming the terrible from Flash Gordan. The others are pretty much unknown to me.

Star Wars fans went crazy when this image and cast names were released but honestly it didn't do anything for me. We pretty much knew that the main actors were going to be back for at least the next movie. I think the next big news (for me at least) will be the title of Episode seven.. now that's one things I'm super excited to find out.

April 29th, Pinewood Studios, UK - Writer/Director/Producer J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of Star Wars Episode VII at Pinewood Studios with (clockwise from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm President and Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Writer Lawrence Kasdan.

Monday, April 28, 2014

D&D Anniversary & Dinner with Friends

This is my Halfling Wizard - Dash
Today is the one year anniversary of the D&D (Pathfinder) group that I belong to. I can't believe it's been an entire year already. Dallas our fearless DM has brought so much fun, entertainment, adventure and craziness to each session. He doesn't just sit behind his books and direct our adventure. He interacts with us using voices, props and gets others to record NPC's that we run into. It's a fully immersive experience and it's a ton of fun.

We've hit a few snags here and there along the way but what do you expect with a group of 12 players (now down to 9) but the last few sessions have been super fun. We are currently on hiatus as he prepare for our fourth adventure. I can't wait until June when we start back up. Thanks Dallas for all that you do and congratulation to you and all my fellow D&D players on this one year anniversary.

I've been staying in the past few days.. but my buddy Robert is moving just down the street and I was informed that he would be at his new place tonight dropping off stuff so Dallas, Jes, Robert and I went out to eat. It's so much fun to be able to just walk to Robert's place and then walk to the restaurant. Tonight we did Pitfire Grill. It was good to get out again and see friends. I'm hoping this exhaustion that I'm feeling doesn't stick around for much longer.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

TV & Movies

Still trying to get over my exhaustion from my 34 day dream vacation. Today I didn't do much. I watched the last six episodes of Amazing Race and then moved on to some gay-themed movies.

First up was G.B.F. Here's a quick synopsis; Social warfare breaks out in a suburban high school when the three clique queens who rule the school compete for this year's must-have teen girl accessory - the G.B.F. (or Gay Best Friend). G.B.F. tells the story of two closeted best friends, Tanner and Brent. Brent longs for the spotlight and has a plan that will make him the most popular kid in school. He believes that coming out will make him instantly popular, as the newest must-have teen girl “accessory”: The G.B.F. Tanner on the other hand, would rather fly under the radar and graduate from high school without ever being noticed. Things don't go as planned and Tanner is outed and becomes the target on the 3 clique queens.

I really enjoyed this movie. Of course it was over the top and the characters made stupid decision but over all it was a fun comedy. The main actor who played Tanner was extremely cute and geeky which is always a plus. I liked all the "queens" of the school, each one was very different. This movie has Evanna Lynch as the hard core Morman girl against all things gay. It a far different role from Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series. Also Megan Mullally from Will and Grace played Brent's understanding mother.. she was extremely funny. Over all it was an enjoyable film. I wouldn't buy it on bluray but I'd watch it again. I give G.B.F. a solid B

Next I watched Geography Club, which is based off a book series. Here's a quick synopsis; Sixteen-year-old Russell is still going on dates with girls while having a secret relationship with football quarterback Kevin, who will do anything to prevent his football teammates from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone that they're just really good friends. And then there's Ike, who can't figure out who he is or who he wants to be. Finding the truth too hard to hide, they all decide to form the Geography Club, thinking nobody else in their right mind would ever want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are.

I loved this movie, the main character was very charming and easily relatable but I really connected with one of the side characters, Brian. Brian was the quiet kid, everyone picked on him and he was scared of his own shadow. There is moment in this film when he goes to join the Geography club (which is really a Gay & Lesbian Club), and they realize he is there. He give this very heartfelt speech that chilled me to the bone about just wanting to find friends and how scared he is all the time. He's doesn't want to go home because he's beaten by his father and when he's not playing the Cello he gets frigidity (which his is made fun of for doing). Something about this character just resonated with me. I must have watched the scene over and over about six or seven times. I like that not everything ends on a happy note.. just like real life.

Over all this was a very entertaining and at times hard to watch movie. But as soon as I finished watching it I added it to my Amazon list of Blu-rays to buy. I give Geography Club a huge big A