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Zovarue

Zeugma's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,302 posts (1,478 including aliases). 4 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 6 aliases.


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The Exchange

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Does "Earnest Scared Stupid," "Earnest Goes to Jail" et. al. count as terrible? I like them. They're really stupid though.

The Exchange

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I'm reading Jack London's The Sea Wolf, which I'm enjoying so far even though I've already seen the film. I've just realized the title isn't the name of the ship, but of the story's main character, and I'm on chapter 10. : -/

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I finished The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA, by Doug Mack.

Review:
I think it works for what it is - part travelogue, part impassioned plea for unity and understanding of these very different regions with very similar status and colonial history. However, I almost wish it were longer because although Mack makes his point within roughly 300 pages I wanted more of the meat of the politics, history and trajectories of the territories. In other words, there were not enough footnotes/it wasn't long enough. However, there were some and I would probably be confused if he'd really gotten into the legal aspects of territorial law. The Jones Act plays a big part in the narrative and I want to understand it better than the gloss Mack gives it. The book hasn't enlightened me on what's going to happen to Puerto Rico, which is partly why I read it. But it's interesting and it would be nice if it spurred America to reconsider her colonies and do right by them, not leave them as nearly-forgotten footnotes to the Teddy Roosevelt era.

The Exchange

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NobodysHome wrote:

Use the Urban Dictionary.

Though I was surprised; I've never heard "plotz" used negatively before...

It can be either. Like, when I'm exhausted after a rough day at work and someone calls to invite me out: "I can't. After the day I've had, I'd just plotz!"

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I mostly like the cover, but the red is weirding me out, because it really shouldn't show up that well under water.

The Exchange

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I really like the cover. Awesome evil dryad!

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I'm reading The Not-Quite States of America, by Doug Mack. It's about the past, present and future of the Commonwealths and Territories of the USA. Very interested and can't wait to read the chapter on Puerto Rico in light of the recent "not-chapter-11" bankruptcy proceedings.

The Exchange

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Da Vinci sounds like my kind of epicurean! I love all those foods too!

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Thanks Aberzombie. I needed cheering up after a tough day.

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The common theme was that even by the pluralistic standards of the USA, American Samoa was different, more foreign than familiar.
~ Doug Mack, The Not-Quite States of America

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Yes! This one looks fun! I can't wait!

The Exchange

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My sister, a middle-school science teacher, has just started an after-school RPG club! She has about 7 students interested. I'm so proud of her!

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I probably shouldn't post here, but IMO Rutger Hauer was the only good actor in that movie. Everyone else was just playing a role.

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Neriathale wrote:

I'm working my way through the Lord Peter Wimsey detective novels, and wondering why it took me so long to find them.

That is iNterspersed with whatever catches my eye in the library, which means rereading The Handmaid's Tale today.

I used to own some of the books in that series but they got moldy and I had to throw them out. : (

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I actually find Douglass easier to read. Yes he's flowery but he's not sugar-coating his message to the same degree.

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Readerbreeder wrote:
I'm currently beginning The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. DuBois. I have Booker T. Washington waiting with Up From Slavery after that. Maybe Samnell is rubbing off on me... :)

Booker T Washington kind of frustrated me because there is so much subtext that doesn't get said in his 19th century style - the racism and discrimination that I want to see called out for what it is. But that could be just me having read up a bit on Reconstruction, particularly Jim Crow, and not buying into the Horatio Alger spin he puts on his story. It certainly worked for his audience but not for me. But I may try UFS again someday; it could have been the wrong time for me to try it.

The Exchange

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SmiloDan wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
Reading an ARC I got last month (librarian perks): Black Moon Rising by DJ MacHale. It's middle grade fiction and I'm skimming so I can review & booktalk it. I thought I was getting into familiar "Carrie"-esque territory but now its taken a turn towards "Hocus Pocus" which appeals to me way less because I am getting tired of girls-with-magical-powers = witches. Still it's fast-paced and some of the more obvious plot twists will still be new and fresh to the 11 to 13 crowd. I'd probably recommend it over the Goosebumps books they're always reading.
I'm beginning to really appreciate the power librarians have when it comes to influencing our youth. Just recommending books can lead to a cascade of events resulting in major consequences. There are so many books, and such little time, that the tiny percentage of publications you do get to read are so precious.

Thanks Smilo! I tend to look at it more negatively, as in so-many-books,too-little-time, and it can get frustrating when my list of go-tos just leaves a patron cold; so I don't always appreciate that each recommendation could be precious. I try to see it from the patron's POV.and try to conjure up my inner child. But it doesn't always work.

The Exchange

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Now now Gregor, that joke doesn't work. You know you're not in that story.

The Exchange

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Reading an ARC I got last month (librarian perks): Black Moon Rising by DJ MacHale. It's middle grade fiction and I'm skimming so I can review & booktalk it. I thought I was getting into familiar "Carrie"-esque territory but now its taken a turn towards "Hocus Pocus" which appeals to me way less because I am getting tired of girls-with-magical-powers = witches. Still it's fast-paced and some of the more obvious plot twists will still be new and fresh to the 11 to 13 crowd. I'd probably recommend it over the Goosebumps books they're always reading.

The Exchange

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I hope y'all feel better soon. I miss my free entertainment.

The Exchange

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I started in a Play-by-Post of Castle Whiterock here on Paizo.com and it was early-days Pathfinder rules, but that game petered out quickly and we barely got into the castle, so I don't know how much fun it would have been.

The Exchange

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I'd love to see another AP or Module set in the same area as Second Darkness - kind of like a SD do-over, since there were all kinds of problems with that AP.

The Exchange

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Naga and medusa on the cover! So cool! I hope the interior art is just as awesome!

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I finished "The Wall of Storms"! Finally! As in book 1 the best parts were: 1. The bickering gods of Dara, 2. The advances in technology due to necessity, and 3. The fantastical setting. Note how only 1 of those deal with characterization. Liu is okay at some of his characters, but others (like Empress Jia) are Machiavellian plot-movers. I'm still looking forward to book 3 but I hope it isn't 800+ pages like this one.

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I'm more than halfway done with "The Wall of Storms" and only now has a character actually gotten to the wall of storms! On page 509 no less! Only 300 pages left to go!

The Exchange

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My favorite part of the James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) is the long tracking shot of the father carrying his dead daughter through the wedding festival, and the gradual change in tone from festivity to absolute shock and horror. And the best thing about that scene is that there are zero special effects, zero "surprise" cuts, and it is still emotionally effective - I had to remind myself that it's only a movie and that little girl isn't actually dead. Go watch that scene. It's great.

The Exchange

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NobodysHome wrote:


They searched the room and found the remains of a dwarf, including a masterwork stone hammerhead that Narlock easily identified as one of the treasures of the Kraggorach clan of dwarves. After figuring out that it would take them days to return the hammerhead properly, the party just shrugged its collective shoulders and sold it to the Free Captains instead. (The Free Captains are making out like pirates in this campaign. It's pretty awesome.)

Fixed a typo.

The Exchange

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We'll Shakespeare sort of was a rebel, wasn't he? What with Richard II being a "treasonous" play.

Shakespeare's Richard II and the Essex Rebellion

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dotted

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I completed chapter 7 in The Wall of Storms. The chapter is essentially a flashback that shows that the gods of Dara are at war and that Mimi, the protagonist we're following in the Empire Exams, is a "special snowflake" who can draw the attention of the gods (not all of it good). The gods were my favorite part of book 1 in the series, so its nice to see them acting up, but Mimi still hasn't got much personality so I don't know if I'll remain engaged with her story.

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I wonder if the author wrote himself into a corner and is trying to backtrack? It was a bad move having Hannah imprisoned, I thought, and having another mind-bending plot so soon after the last story arc.

The Exchange

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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
I got around to watching "The Gorgon" (1964) I recorded off of the TCM channel. Oh boy were the special effects "special"! But Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were awesome. I especially loved the scene where Lee slaps Richard Pasco's character. GIF-worthy.
I actually like that one better than some of the later Lee Dracula movies. Though nothing will ever dethrone Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. Van Helsing and seven Chinese martial arts masters against a gang of Dracula-controlled Asian vampires and their zombie horde! The only way it could've been better would be if they'd given us Bruce Lee versus the Christopher Lee Dracula on screen.

I need to watch that! Bruce Lee vs. Christopher Lee ought to be one of the match-ups on Epic Rap Battles of History!

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I'm in chapter 6 in The Wall of Storms. The national-service testing for the Empire has commenced and it's kinda like the extreme testing for the Chinese Imperial service, where candidates had to have amazing penmanship and quote Confucius extensively and not sleep for days on end. Yikes! There's one character we're supposed to be following as she takes the exam and next chapter is a flashback to her youth. I just hope it's leading somewhere plot-critical because as impressive as the world-building is, it feels a bit like filler and so far I'm not impressed by the character.

The Exchange

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The book I ordered from the scratch-n-dent was in near-perfect condition - the only problem being some of the pages that hadn't been cut properly so they were still connected along the fold. SoI just took my X-Acto knife and finished the job. Back in the 19th century almost all books came "unopened" (the technical term - "uncut" means the book hasn't been rebound). So I got my book and I learned a new biblio term!
Here's a link about it!

Has anyone here on the website had their paper Adventure Paths recut and bound? If so, how much did it cost, and did you like the result? It would be an awesome project to rebind all 6 parts of an AP into one book!

The Exchange

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I got around to watching "The Gorgon" (1964) I recorded off of the TCM channel. Oh boy were the special effects "special"! But Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were awesome. I especially loved the scene where Lee slaps Richard Pasco's character. GIF-worthy.

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I've never been able to get into KSR. His female characters just don't ring true to me for some reason, though I can't place exactly why. I want to believe in them, but somehow I just can't. Although it oughtn't prejudice me against his plots or worldbuilding (no fault there) this failure of characterization irks me enough to keep from reading. I wonder, is Frank written in first person because KSR wanted to "mix it up," or could it be that KSR simply had a better grasp of Frank's voice than those of the other characters?

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I'm on chapter 3 of The Wall of Storms. It's fun so far -- there's already been a bar fight and the gods are meddling in the affairs of mortals as much as ever, but there are a ton of characters to keep track of. Also, I think I bruised my hand holding the book up to read -- this is one of the few times I think I ought to get a book-stand.

The Exchange

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Eric Hinkle wrote:

This is a director rather than a specific movie, but am I alone in loving (most of) Roger Corman's work? Yeah, he did some stinkers -- what the heck was he thinking when he did Gas-s-s-s? But most of his movies are a delight, even when they make next to no sense whatever.

Really if you want to see a Grade-A wizard's duel, you have got to see The Raven. Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and a young Jack Nicholson all take turns chewing the scenery, and it is glorious.

I love all the schlocky Vincent Price films! "The Horla,"* "House of Wax," "Witchfinder General,"* the "Doctor Phibes"films, I even liked "Ruddigore" (Price can't sing a darn but he's just so hammy I love him anyway!) I have playbills from plays he was in here in Los Angeles -- he had an extensive stage career in addition to his film, tv and radio work.

* Horla = aka "Diary of a Madman"
* Witchfinder General = aka "The Conqueror Worm"

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Flight of dragons. Loved the dragons designs (only non anerexic eastern dragons i can remember really) and the fantastic biology driving some of the plot.

Don McLean! Don't forget the theme-song sung by Don McLean!

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TAARKUS

I wanna go to the Viper Room in WeHo for their Metal Assault Night but I'm a responsible adult and I gotta work! Stupid work! Stupid Thursday! Who puts a concert on Thursday anyway?!

[cryface]

: ' {

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I'm reading The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party, by Robert Silverberg. It's a collection of short stories. Some of them I love: particularly "A Thousand Paces Along the Via Dolorosa," which is about a guy trying to score some psychedelic mushrooms

Spoiler:
it all goes terribly wrong.

But some of them aren't so great: particularly "The Man Who Floated in Time," which is the least imaginative time-travel story ever.

I still haven't started Liu's The Wall of Storms, but I'm reacquainting myself with the characters from the first book, half of whom I'd utterly forgotten.

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Oh no! Don't split the party!

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

I understand that. I do think it's over used trope. But the fact is this; If this had been a male character and the lead FEMALE character had to react, would that have been any different?

That's just my question. I don't disagree with the dismissal of the trope (IE tossing it out along with some others) but some times it get used because it still remains effective for some people.

Question: What TV show has done that? Kill/rape the male Friend so that the female lead is MOTIVATED? I'm curious because I haven't seen this on TV and I don't know if it would be effective to induce the audience's emotional response. Usually when there is a female lead, the Bad Guy threatens violence directly against her, not against her loved ones.

Exception: Superheroines, like Buffy, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and the Bionic Woman see the Bad Guy threaten the Friend. But to my knowledge the Bad Guys never killed/raped the Friend. It's probably because of Network TV and Kid-Friendly programming-hours affecting the level of violence in the scripts, or the assumption that a woman-led show would appeal to an audience that's disinclined to accept rape/murder as a motivator.

My contender for worst-ever TV ending by killing-off-the-characters: "Being Human" (2008-2013). I like to pretend that last season just doesn't exist.

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I picked up the second book in the Dandelion Dynasty series by Ken Liu at the library today. I don't know why because I don't really have time to read its 880 pages right now. But I'm going to try, darn it! In between packing to move and my new job with its 45 min. commute... I'm unduly optimistic aren't I?

Oh snap, there's an audiobook! I might try that if the reading thing doesn't work out.

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Thanks, Cosmo, for crashing the servers at my work today! That was super helpful during the 4:30 after-school rush!

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O_O

I can haz Octopus?????

6 attacks + grapple?

Yez pleeez!

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This is wonderful! Keep up the good work!

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I got 3 new-to-me Robert Silverberg books from the closing sale at the used bookstore:
a lovely hardback of Shadrach in the Furnace,
The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party, a collection of short stories,
and
a Belmont 2-in-1 of Giants in the Earth, by James Blish, and We, the Marauders, by Robert Silverberg. With lovely 1950s cover art of robots and a mad scientist dissecting a giant woman and two space-men encountering green aliens!

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MMCJawa wrote:

Taking a break from the pulps to read some more recent Mythos literature.

Most recently, this was the Paula Guran edited Mammoth Book of Cthulhu: New Lovecraftian Fiction.

This is a great anthology of new stories, by most of the major recent cosmic horror authors. Although Cthulhu is in the title, very few of the stories are linked directly to the mythos. Rather, to often excellent effect, they deal with cosmic horror themes and other elements Lovecraft worked with.

** spoiler omitted **...

The "Mohenjo-Daro" one looks really interesting. Last time I read anything about that city was in "Sailing to Byzantium" by Robert Silverberg, which is one of my favorite sci-fi short stories. If it is anything like that, it should be excellent.

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<sarcasm>Thanks, 137ben!</sarcasm> Now I feel super old!

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