GalacticMu

Press your spaceface close to mine

DIABLO THREEEEEEEEE!!!!1!!1

Posted by Sunday on Jun 30, 2008 at 10:41 am

Okay. Calm down. Take a brea–

DIABLO MOTHERFUCKING THREEEEE BIIIITCHES!1!!!1

Okay I’m over it. It’s just a role-playing game.

O-BAAL-LOVING-M-G!!!1!!2!!

Alright, it’s old now. Blizzard’s Diablo series is the Tetris of role-playing games: stupid on the surface, hypnotic on the uptake, classic on the finish. It has been, to date, the only game that I’ve played over and over again, each time freshly entertained by different gameplay logistics. But I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

For years we’ve languished, bending under the rumors that there would never be a Diablo III, and crippled by the fear that if there were, someone might have the terrible inclination to “improve” gameplay by making it first-person or something equally shudder-worthy. But behold! Diablo III is not only real, but just like Diablo II + better art! And a new character! Oh, be still my geeky heart. No joke: hearing the classic sound effects while watching the Diablo III overview video made me goosebumps. NERD.

20 minute Diablo III overview at GameVideos.com (loads slow, make yourself a sammich)

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5 Posted in Games

Special at Whole Foods: Free Hypocrisy

Posted by Sunday on Jun 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm

SCENE I

SUNDAY searches for something on a shelf inside a WHOLE FOODS, but clearly cannot find it. A worker, EMO DUDE approaches.

ED: Can I help you find something?

ME: Yeah, I’m looking for emu oil.

ED: Oh… right, we don’t carry that. It’s an animal product.

ME: (points at shopping basket containing many items from meat department) I’ve got a whole basket full of animal products.

ED: Um.

ME: Seriously, I’ve got lamb, beef and chicken in my basket. If there had been emu meat, I would have some of that too.

ED: Right, but, we don’t sell any personal products that are animal derived.

ME: What about that honey-calendula moisturizer right there?

ED: (fatal systems error)

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0 Posted in Captain's Log

The Dudes Abide

Posted by Sunday on Jun 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

Things have been busy here at the Mu, and we can say with ultra-rare excitement that only good things have been keeping us in this state.

I myself got my first all-time-hysterical-awesome job on a real film set. I mean, it was for a television commercial, but we don’t nitpick about these things. There was still real film spinning through real big cameras and people yelling “Check the gate!” and “That’s our martini!” And yes, I was a production assistant (You know the lowest rung on the ladder? Below that.) but still: see that blurry jar in the background? I placed that jar there! It’s a breed of satisfaction that cannot be described. Besides, the crew was suspiciously friendly and professional and apologized whenever I was used for something as simple as fetching water – even though “fetches water” is clearly listed in the job description of “Groveling Yes-Girl”.

I can’t really boast what great things have happened to Leesa and Halcyon, but they’ll come out soon enough. Suffice to say they are good and we shall all bask in the glow of this rareness for as long as the nature of this particular chaos spins out.

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0 Posted in Daily Space

Mutt Williams and the Adventure of the Origin Story

Posted by Sunday on Jun 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Three weeks ago it was popular to comment on the new Indiana Jones movie, and because I like to pretend I’m not a follower, I am just now getting around to jumping off that particular bridge. Because I am in truth a lazy follower. And because I despise it when people spoil things even years afterwards, we’re going to do a jump.

Follow meeeeeee!

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0 Posted in Movies

On An Otherwise Lovely Summer Day

Posted by Sunday on Jun 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I’m in a little bit of shock right now. I’ve been staring at this WordPress draft page trying to decide between some long-ass dedication and a short-n-sweet send off. Neither is particularly satisfactory when one of your heroes has died.

winston2.jpg

Stan Winston, easily the greatest special effects artists ever to live, has died at the young age of 62.

Stan – can I call you Stan, Stan?- won his first Oscar for creating one of the most complicated puppets ever constructed, the alien Queen of the seminal Aliens. Busting out pretty much every single great movie monster over the next 20+ years (right up until Iron Man‘s scene-stealing suit, which you’ve surely seen by now).

When I was a kid, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I guess I still don’t. On any given day I wanted to be a storm chaser, an astronaut, an epidemiologist, a horse trainer, a comic book artist, a pagan priestess, a writer, a movie star and a special effects artist. As my 30′s approach with gaining speed, I find that the one career I think most often about is the special effects artist – namely, practical effects. Monster masks, elf-ears and bloody intestines. Any DVD watched at my home means watching the special features hoping for behind-the-scenes peeks. The giant Alien box set I own (thanks dad!) gets play time as much for the voluminous documentaries as it does for the films – and in particular, my favorite part: Stan Winston and his crew, mocking up a giant, absurd, nearly-impossible puppet parts while seeing the possibilities behind the cruddy black-painted foam and the rubber tubing – the Queen. Who cares if someone is standing by with an industrial-size tube of KY Jelly to string from the Queen’s jaws? Me, that’s who! I want to be that someone!

alienqueen.jpg

Of course he had other achievements, undoubtedly ones he was more proud of. His stories of trying to keep the damn tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park from shaking as though plagued with some kind of palsy would crack me up (the rain would soak into the latex and overload the motors, which would then violently shudder). You know, another frustrating day at work.

Anyway, thanks Stan. I’m getting choked up thinking about you fighting cancer for 7 years, and I wish I’d had a chance to meet you. Lightspeed.

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I Got Goosebumps

Posted by Sunday on Jun 14, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Sometimes I nerd out so hard I embarrass the shit out of myself. Getting a tear over Orbital’s live Dr. Who blowout is one of those times. Then again: I’d not change myself for the world.

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Because I don’t have cable TV, and because my primary source of news is GalacticMu’s engineer Leesa, I missed this whole flap over an apparent image of a post-apocalyptic event Washington DC being used by Al Qaeda as a motivational incentive.

At which point a bunch of bloggers noticed that it was actually concept art for a video game called Fallout 3.

concept02b.jpg

My first reaction is of course total batshit paranoia: the powers that be are using it as a combination fear-mongering manipulation and anti-gaming propaganda!   Sort of brilliant actually.  Pointing out the anarchistic depravity of these gamers who delight in images of America’s failure – the very same delight that terrorists take!  The very same!  Right down to the concept art!

My second reaction is not unlike Anne Frank’s; if my computer were named Kitty, the comparison would be uncanny.    But I am in hiding for fear of being sent to some kind of camp somewhere where human rights are as reliable as Amy Winehouse is sober.  And my reaction is not without a measure of horror, but still: apocalypse!  What a thrill!  If this is motivational to terrorists, then I suppose I am a terrorist too.  Looking at the concept art, I think, yes, yes, let’s pay $6 a gallon for gas!  More!  $8 a gallon!  And be told by analysts that paying an hours’ wage for a single gallon of gasoline is beneficial to the world economy!  And while we are at it, let’s pay double, triple for food staples.   Let’s ensure that there is absolutely no health care at all, and that the old myth of being able to just show up at an emergency room and at least get physically cared for (while going into debt) is just that: a myth!  If you can’t provide payment, upfront and in total, you get to die in the street like everyone else.   I guess what I’m saying is, would I rather human misery was represented by a burned-out husk of our once-democratic society, or would I rather it was obfuscated behind another season of American Idol?

Jesus, someone put some loony tunes in my cornflakes this morning.  Just kidding, I ate cookies for breakfast.

The entertaining Fallout home page (which wisely fails to acknowledge their Al Qaeda fan base).

The Fallout 3 blog (which wisely pokes a great big stick-o’-fun at their Al Qaeda fan base). 

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3 Posted in Apocalypse, Games

The Tragic Death of Spaceman, #1

Posted by Sunday on Jun 11, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Leesa asked why I hadn’t cross-posted my Death of a Spaceman series here at Mu (my Flickr account is crawling with them, and if by crawling you mean 5), and since I didn’t have a good answer, here is the first one.

dsc_4629.jpg

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1 Posted in Daily Space, Visual

A Very Special Episode of GalacticMu

Posted by Sunday on Jun 9, 2008 at 1:08 am

This is one of those subjects that is going to be awkward pretty much no matter what, so I am just going to jump in and see what floats to the surface.  Yerk!

So, this is the story of how I came to consider having my ovaries/uterus/breasts electively removed.

You see, three generations of women on my mother’s side have had either breast cancer or ovarian cancer (or both) at a young age, some terminally and some not.  And that’s three generations that we know of.   With the diagnosis of my mother’s ovarian cancer a few years ago, the question of doing some genetic testing was raised by her oncologist.  We blew it off after reading that the testing starts at a cheery $3,000 a person.

Flash forward a few years, and me getting my yearly exam.  Every time I get the exam, the doctor asks, “And is there any cancer in your family?” and I have to break it down over the course of 15 minutes.  This year, tired of telling them – because why?  Are you ever going to write it down and put it in my medical file?  No?  Great!  Because I love having this talk!  It’s one of my top five, right up there with “Is that a bruise on your leg?” (has no one heard of spider veins?) and “What’s up with those tattoos?” – I tersely said,  “Yes, all the women have had cancer, some are living, some are dead.”  To which the actually nice doctor made a sad face at and then said as she left, “I need you to stop in with the counselor before you leave.”

Oh.  Brother.  Seriously?  Wait, I’m 28 years old and paying lab fees for this crap, and I can still get detention?

Turns out they just wanted to tell me that the local hospital has a genetic testing lab that handles a lot of self-pay (read: unemployed blogtards) folks.  We give them a call and on the spot they tell me that the Susan B. Komen Foundation will at least cover my consultation appointment.  Well!

Long story short: it seems likely that my mother’s side of the family are carriers for a gene that likes to make ladies’ lady parts mutate.  If she (and I) are carriers, then comes the big question, and the bulk of the conversation with the really great scientists over at the genetic lab: what, if any, preventative measures am I willing to take?

It’s pretty simple, and breaks down like this: the average woman has a 13% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime.  A BRCA1 carrier has a 50-85% chance of getting breast cancer (I would place at the 85% end of the spectrum due to the three-generational pinata-effect) and since ovarian cancer is also clearly a variation that our gene would have, the same sort of statistics apply.

The thing that I am getting hung up on here is how kind of strangely awed I am that this is a decision I get to make.  My mother didn’t get to make this decision.   There are heavy considerations at stake, of course – these surgeries are intense and take a year to fully recover from, and even though I have no current desire to have children, no one really wants that choice taken from them.   Well, maybe I do.  Oy, I is there a therapist in the house?  But as I told the kids at the genetic lab, I can buy a baby.  I can’t buy a cure for cancer.  Add to this the issue of my already having a risky disease, and well, things get weird.

But, my brain keeps coming back to what a strange technological grab-bag this is: we can isolate the likelihood of a mutation occurring in the body.  Far out.  And the only way to really ensure that these mutations don’t happen is to… remove the organs they might happen in.  Far… out?  It’s so steampunk.   In my mind there is a wooden operating table and my surgical gown is made of ivory lace.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that I’d get everything removed should I be the proud owner of the BRCA1/2 gene, even the people at the lab pointed out that the great bulk of cancer money goes towards breast cancer, which means that breast cancer detection and treatment is phenomenally successfully these days.   Ovarian cancer, on the other paw, is still a lurking Great White of bad news and if someone offers to magic them out of me, I believe I’d be a fool not to jump.  Still, what a strange world.

So I guess what I am saying is (and since I’ve already made up my mind for a wide spectrum of scenarios), what would you do?  And since the boys in the house can’t really compare their junk to my junk (if I had a double mastectomy I’d get some FABULOUS FAKE TITTIES, whereas they can’t really go getting a fake wiener, as far as I know) – let’s say it’s an arm or something.  Wait, no.  Whatever, what would you do?

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We Don’t Wanna Go To War Today

Posted by Sunday on Jun 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

We at the Mu have a powerful love for the misguided but unequaled Rankin-Bass attempts at Tolkien’s oeuvre (not to mention The Flight of the Dragons, The Last Unicorn and all their slightly uncomfortable Christmas obsession), and maybe none of us so much as Halcyon:

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“Shagrat, Orc of the Ozarcs” by Halcyonsnow

In case any of you have forgotten what potential the films actually had, the song “Where There’s A Whip There’s A Way” should bring it all lumbering back for you.

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0 Posted in TV, Unicorns & Wizards