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Over a decade and still going strong

So yesterday after spending an unfortunate number of hours cleaning my bedroom (I even vacuumed the cobwebs off the ceiling! What? Am I kidding? No, why?) I had a flash of inspiration. I dashed to my back room, flung open the closet door, and dove in! After an epic battle with some stuffed animals and old textbooks, I emerged with a battered old Sketchers shoe box. When I opened it, my face was bathed in golden light as I beheld my Holy Grail:

Ah, Sega Genesis, how I've missed you! Cheerfully I carted the shoe box to my bedroom, and examined the older television sitting on my dresser. It was old enough for me to be able to plug the ancient-technology cable trailing from the back of the Genesis directly into the TV. Plug the machine into the nearest available outlet, stick a Sonic cartridge in, turn it on, and....

"Sega!" the TV sang as the blue logo flashed across the screen and the oh-so-familiar Sonic the Hedgehog music chirped thinly from the speakers.


It still worked! I was so excited!

My mom was always very strict about the television when I was growing up. If I'm remembering correctly I was allowed to watch two shows every week, so maybe hour or two, with an occasional Disney movie thrown in. That's in a week. Not that much. However my dad was in the navy and was gone on submarines for months at a time, and when he was gone, my mom would borrow our family friends' Genesis and I would get to play a bit. I guess it was something of a consolation prize, something to get my mind off the fact that daddy was gone again.

I was probably sevenish? eightish? and I had a blast playing it of course. But my favorite thing to do was watch Mom play, especially Shining in the Darkness. I remember being really excited because Mom was letting me stay up late - REALLY late! - so I could watch her play just a little bit longer.

I got a little older, and still loved the Genesis (which gradually sort of become ours by default - the family friends didn't really want it). My friend Matt and I would obsessively play Altered Beast and Sword of Vermillion. I got older still, then even older, and suddenly the Genesis had been collecting dust on a shelf for many years and I was ready to move out of my parents' home. I asked to take the ancient console with me, and soon it was ensconced in my tiny garage studio apartment. When I moved from there to my duplex, it was shoved into a closet and forgotten. In the three years I've been moved out, I don't think it's been hooked up once.

Until yesterday!

I spent hours crawling through dungeons with Shining in the Darkness, trying to remember how to bring up the cheat options in Altered Beast (press Start and B at the same time), collecting rings with Sonic, being shamefully schooled by the computer in Mortal Kombat 2, and visiting many other old friends.

I think the Genesis can stay hooked up for a while this time.



Brazilian Wandering Spider Venom

So. Those who know me know about my strange fascination/fear for Brazilian Wandering Spiders.

I am reminded that three years ago in April is when that pub chef in England was bitten by the BWS hiding in a crate of bananas.

Thinking about that I did a quick google search for BWS news, as I do from time to time. Mostly to make sure that there hasn't been a population surge in western Washington. What? But BWS only lives in South / Central America? That's what YOU think. What happens when they adapt to our climate, storm all the banana crates they can find, and TAKE OVER? HUH? HUH?!

Paranoid? Me? Pffft.

But anyway, I found this tidbit of information:

Natural Viagra: Spider Bite Causes Erection
Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 01 May, 2007 12:10 am ET

WASHINGTON — A Brazilian spider delivers more than a painful bite that sends most victims to the hospital. Its venom stimulates an hours-long erection. Now scientists have figured out the chemical that seems to be responsible for the penis boost.

In Brazil, emergency room staff can immediately spot the victims of a bite from the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). Patients not only experience overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also sport an uncomfortable erection. “The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort,” said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia. “We’re hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.”

This information was confirmed in a BBC article.


Just wow.



Doomsday Movie Review


***1/2 out of ****

I was VERY excited to see Doomsday, the latest film by Neil Marshall. I loved The Descent, and although I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Doomsday, I was pretty sure it couldn't possibly be bad. And I was RIGHT!

Premise: Scotland. A vicious, deadly bug called the Reaper Virus is sweeping through the country. To keep the virus from spreading Britain quarantines the entire country, building 30 ft walls and placing computer controlled gun turrets to keep anyone from going in or out. Twenty five years later or so, the Reaper Virus appears once again, this time in the middle of London. Desperate to find a cure, the Prime Minister sends an elite military team into Scotland to question the survivors. Mayhem (and hilarity) ensues.

So this movie was basically part 28 Days Later (without the zombies of course), part Mad Max, part Braveheart, and part Deathproof. If you're looking at this and shaking your head while muttering "that sounds stupid" you would be both right and oh so very wrong. Silly as it sounds, the movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and if you like action movies, this will blow you away.

Tough as nails Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra, my new favorite action hero) and her team venture into Scotland to find a cure for the killer virus, and their first encounter is with a group of survivors turned post-apocalyptic punk (oh, and they're cannibals). When they escape, the next group they find is a neo-fuedal society run by Malcom McDowell. Escape from there, find a random Bentley (no I'm not kidding...), high speed car chase with the punks, and back to London.

This movie includes every aspect of a great action movie. On-foot chase scenes, gun fights, sword fights, martial arts, and car chases. The acting and writing is mostly sub-par, but for this film it definitely doesn't matter. The focus here is on all the crazy things that happen and the awesome action sequences. And like I said before, this is one movie that definitely does not take itself too seriously.

It's difficult to criticize the movie because it's just so damn enjoyable. Sure, the acting isn't fantastic, but this isn't a film that even pretends like it's trying to win any Oscars. Sure, the writing isn't amazing, but it's an action movie in every sense of the term, and the writing is more than adequate for what it is. Yes, the story line has some serious plot holes, but why would you spend too much time thinking about that when you're watching a Bently drive through a punked-out bus? I guess if I had to choose one thing to be picky about, it would be the graphic nature of the first half. I just don't think it's all that necessary to watch the cannibals slice away pieces of blackened flesh from a freshly roasted corpse. YUCK.

All in all though, AMAZING movie. I loved it. I've now seen it twice in the theater, and I'll definitely be purchasing it the second it comes out. ^_^ And even though we all know about my quibbles with the female action hero, Rhona Mitra is my new favorite heroine. Even if she is too skinny. <3

"If you're hungry... have a piece of your friend."


Unexpected Encounters

So my friend Nils and I are sitting on my sofa watching 'Ashura'. It's somewhere between one and three o'clock in the morning and we're exhausted, dozing a bit, not even laughing at the ridiculous movie any more.

Suddenly there was a thumping sound from the front porch, and as we twist around to look towards the entry, the front door FLIES open and a strange woman stumbles into the room.

There was dead silence.

Nils and I stared wide eyed at the intruder, rudely shaken from our Japanese action movie induced trance, unable to make a sound. The tall woman was dressed in a long brown skirt and non-descript top. She stared at us for a long moment. Her eyes slowly got bigger.

Silence. Nils and I continued to give her our best deer-in-headlights look.

"WHOOPS!" the woman announced, flinging an arm in the air and slowly backing/stumbling towards the door. "Wrong house!" As she fled the premises she tossed in a quick "I am so sorry" as she hurriedly closed the door behind her.

Nils and I sat in silence for another long moment.

"I think I'm going to go lock your deadbolt," Nils said finally.

Ah, drunk people......



Despite roadblocks such as laziness and procrastination, I have actually been forcing myself to go to the gym on a regular basis. And by regular I mean just about every day.

A few days ago I happened to think to myself, hey, maybe just for shits and giggles I'll step on the scale.

It had been six days since I started going to the gym regularly and I certainly wasn't expecting anything. I kinda figured, well, maybe a pound or two disappeared.

Then the further I had to push the little slider bar thing, the wider my eyes got.

6 lbs! In under a WEEK!

I'm excited. ^_^

And Mom, I know you're waiting for it: YOU WERE RIGHT!


How to not be skinned alive by the Irish

I learned something today.

Buyer agent Noelle sits at a desk next to mine. Noelle is from England, but is actually Irish - her mother was full blooded Irish, and she spent part of her life living in Ireland, and when she moved away, visited relatives there countless times.

We're chatting a bit as we usually do in the morning, and I mentioned my plan's for St. Patty's day. She turned and gave me a look. "What?" I asked, confused.

Noelle proceeded to explain to me that in Ireland, no one ever refers to St. Patrick as St. "Patty". She said that is a good way to end up dead in a ditch with your head bashed in. I was surprised, and asked her to elaborate.

Apparently in Ireland the term "Patty" is the equivalent to the nastier racial slur against African Americans in the states - and I don't even want to type that word. Therefore, calling St. Patrick St "Patty" is considered horrible and derogatory, and the Irish get pretty anrgy when you insult their patron saint. Noelle told me with a laugh about how when she first moved to the states she was shocked the first time she heard "St. Patty".

So. St. Patrick it is.

Learn something new every day. ^_^


After the Shower

Yesterday, when I got out of the shower, my gaze fell upon the steam covered bathroom mirror. Instantly I leapt over to it, and with my finger a blur of motion, I wrote:


When I was finished I stared at my hadiwork with a growing feeling of horror. What had possessed me to write such a random thing on my bathroom mirror? Had I been controlled by a dusgruntled spirit living in my '80s duplex with me? What terrible thing had happened to him/her? But above all else, what did it mean???

Then I got dressed and watched a movie.