mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Okay, so twenty-four hours ago I was in an Italian restaurant in Detroit, finishing dinner with a truck-driver friend who'd just gotten back to the metro area after spending two months on the road.  Then I went home, slept for three hours, got up at 3:30, boarded a taxi and a plane and another plane, and one mechanical problem, one white-out storm and two airsick bags later my most excellent spouse and I were stumbling into LaGuardia.  Since then we've walked ten miles through Brooklyn, met an internet pen pal in person, taken in a flea market/food vendor fare, attempted to get on a ferry, drunk a wonderful latte, had an excellent dinner at an arepas joint/rum bar, and taken in a rock show featuring our friends Brass Bed.

I'm not sure how I'm still standing, much less typing this, but tomorrow we're planning on a visit to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, a Broadway play, a successful ferry trip, and having dinner with another rock-musician friend.

Also there were white truffle macarons filled with chestnut paste and flecked in edible gold.  This weekend has been pretty hard to believe.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So my most excellent spouse and I were drinking Johnnie Walker Red last night in honor of Elliot Smith, and oh boy did I have me some bizarro dreams.  In particular, I had a very long, detailed, anime-styled dream about a Gundam Wing/Seisen no Keifu fusion in which the twelve holy bloodlines were associated with the twelve Zodiac--themed mobile suits from the AC universe and Julius and his Lopt blood were the "thirteenth constellation" mobile suit mentioned in Endless Waltz.

Uh, it was kind of awesome and I wish y'all could've been there.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, I finally made the blackcurrant ice cream I'd been pondering for weeks.

On blackcurrants and breaking glass )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I had one hell of a dream before waking this morning.

What is this I don't even )

Then I woke up. The mind is a weird, weird place.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

So last night, I came in from trimming the lawn to find the house oddly quiet.  My most excellent spouse was sprawled on the bed in Grandma's room downstairs, earbuds in place, staring at the screen of his phone. I asked him what he was enjoying and he said, with a grin, "Amy's Baking Company."

You should watch this. No, really. )

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
PSA: The Salted Caramel Pretzel Milkshake from Steak 'N Shake is the best mass-produced milkshake ever.  Yes, better than the Shamrock Shake.  Go get one if/while you can.

Anyway, Steak 'N Shake also offers a Red Velvet Milkshake at present.  Now, I have started to turn a jaundiced and skeptical eye at anything calling itself "red velvet," as most current velvet-merchants seem to not understand what the hell the original concept was anyway.

Red Velvet Cake: a rich, moist, cake lightly flavored with cocoa (so it kinda tastes like chocolate) and colored with red food coloring.  The original coloring came about because buttermilk interacted with cocoa and tinted the cake kinda reddish.  And then you top it with indulgent cream cheese frosting or a cooked roux frosting if you want to be hardcore[*].  There's a clash of textures and the whole thing isn't sickeningly sweet.  Half the red-dyed shit on the market now tastes not of cocoa, or buttermilk, or the delightful tang of cream cheese, and then you get the homogenous glop of "red velvet cake pops" or red velvet eggnog or whatever else has cake crumbs and food coloring dumped into a sea of sugar.

I think the worst product I've encountered to date was this.  It's solid nuggets of white "cupcake dough" coated in red wax.  What the hell.  They obviously know what a red velvet cupcake is, or at least their marketing department does, but these candy bites in no way approximate the real thing and aren't even trying to be.  I threw a half-eaten box of these away and I don't throw food out unless it's actually spoiled or toxic.  Anyway, by the time Steak 'N Shake brought their own red-velvety offering out, I was pretty skeptical, but Steak 'N Shake is an awesome chain and overall I trusted them.  I was expecting something that did have the cream cheese bite and the richness of the cake crumbs.  I mean, cookies 'n' cream works as a milkshake, so why not?

Well, I'm not sure what went wrong here, but the milkshake is pretty terrible.  Yes, it contains cake crumbs and there are little globules of frosting in the mix.  The description is perfectly honest.  But it's not good.  Maybe if they'd started with a cheesecake base for the ice cream and then put in the cake crumbs it would've been better.  As it is, it's... pink.  It tastes red.  Not the horrible bitter red of red-hued frosting, but it tastes RED.  I think if you offered it to someone and claimed it was strawberry they might be fooled.  And then they might punch you, or at least that's what my most excellent spouse says.

My husband and I between us could only drink half this thing.  Like I said, we don't throw away food, but this weird, weird milkshake simply defeated us.  As ice cream concoctions go, it was almost on par with the durian-fruit ice cream I sampled once in San Francisco's Chinatown.  DURIAN FRUIT.  Yeah, that weird.

Try it if you dare, but the salted caramel pretzel one is a million times better.

* Not worth it IMO.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I'll say right up that I love the atmosphere and ambiguity of Thracia 776 and I'd like another FE game along those lines (but without the BS elements to gameplay, thx). But there is a lot, and I mean a LOT of stuff there to make the player go, "Hm." Here is an incomplete list of messed-up stuff in Thracia 776, with a rating system-- 1 to 5 on the WTF scale, with 5 being jaw-dropping.

Note: these are not necessarily plot holes or the characterization equivalent thereof, as I'm willing to believe that many discrepancies between FE4 and FE5 were deliberate retcons.  There's too many of them not to be.  They may be problematic in a meta sense, but not necessarily nitpick problems.

In chronological order... )

And to show I have no hard feelings against the game or its characters, I wasted my writing time this weekend on 5K words of gooey Finn/Raquesis sugar.  No, really.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, I guess I can stop wondering about what a remake of Seisen no Keifu might incorporate.

W.T.F. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, last night (early this morning to be exact) I dreamed I was in Magvel, 20-odd years after the War of the Stones.  There was some big celebration sort of thing going on, and it all looked very Ren Faire so it might've been a joust.  In attendance were the two teenaged sons of King Ephraim-- one boy of 16-17 and the other about 12-13 years in age.  I was mostly watching the elder kid, who was prancing around in an outfit very close to Ephraim's in FE8-- the differences were along the lines of the differences between FE7!Eliwood's costume and FE6!Roy's. This kid had a notable style of speaking-- declamatory, you might say, with a British accent suitable to the modern BBC (this means something specific-- compare 1950s broadcasts in BBC English to what's aired today).  I got the impression he was trying to emulate his father in some manner.

No, I did not see Ephraim.  No, they didn't look like real people-- everyone was in FE8 artwork style, even if they were 3D and walking around.

Here's the kicker-- the kid had orangey-red hair, eyes to match, and everyone knew he wasn't technically Ephraim's son.  Turns out this kid was adopted from Tellius, and somehow Ike the Hero was involved, but as to his parentage... you've got me.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
All gamer geeks need to see Wreck-It Ralph.  You'll get all the in-jokes and revel in the visuals, which is a plus 'cause the story ain't especially deep.  Imagine a Smash Bros fanfic in which, say, Luigi falls into an awkward romance with Samus while Donkey Kong carries the emotional weight of the piece, except well-written and convincing.  Or convincing enough for cartoons... and make no mistake-- this is a cartoon, not a "film" that just so happens to be animated.

It's a highly entertaining cartoon.  It's oddly racy and vulgar in parts for a Disney movie... but Sarah Silverman is voicing the female protagonist so I guess we're lucky it's still G-rated.  It's not in the league of Toy Story 2 or The Incredibles-- especially not the latter, a film that went places that were definitely not kiddie-flick froth.  The best Pixar films contain an element of loss, a sense that choices have to be made and that no, the heroes can't have it all-- or, if they get "it all," something else is lost along the way.  Ralph is a Disney flick and everything is tied up in a neat little bow.  

It did have one scene that would've sent me from the theater screaming if I'd seen it as a kid, though, and it had nothing to do with the bugs.


Brief political commentary under the cut )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
OK, food people.

I don't often encounter words I flat-out don't know on menus, especially not American hotel menus, but last night the the joint here at the Doubletree claimed to offer a Key Lime Pie with a tangy "polmbage" on a nice croute.

What is this polmbage?  Google thinks I'm trying to look up an outdated form of TB treatment, which sounds unappetizing in the extreme.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I have seen the light.

I have converted to the side of "Bring Back Roy!" for the sole reason that advocates of Sigurd, Lyndis, and random Tellius characters have driven me to it.

[Well, that and I understand Roy and his significance to Elibe and Fire Emblem now, and didn't in 2008.]

I mean, the sole reason I got a GameFuqs account is to screw with people who still parrot the hivemind assertion that Sigurd is the most popular and beloved Lord in Japan.  I think the evidence stacked against that claim is bleedingly obvious at this point, so I'll just point out that fan polling indicates that, the last anyone checked, Sigurd wasn't even the most popular blue-haired mounted lance user in his own game, much less more beloved than, uh, Marth.

Also, I've soured on Krom and FE13, so I kind of hope Sigurd 2.0 doesn't make it in, either.  :/


How 'bout them Tigers?  Right now it's 6-0.

Can't gloat in advance, but I will point out that the Yankees with their bloated zillion-year contracts have the oldest average age of any major league baseball team (33) and that most of the Yanks' stars are quite a few years above that.  So you've got a team made up of broken-down warhorses who can't do what they did five years ago (especially now that some of 'em aren't juicing), and these no-name kiddies who've been brought into the playoff roster now that the big names are benched, injured, or out to lunch.

The wheels were gonna fall off sooner or later, and this turned out to be the year.  Even Boston's laughing now, fercryingoutloud... mostly because A-Rod ain't on their payroll.

I'm not gonna laugh until nine innings are over.  Mercy rule, anyone?
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
The Guardian's live-blogger was complaining about a lack of drama to tonight's ALCS game. 

No shit.  This series is FE4 "Second-Gen strategy" bad.

"Throw Holsety at it!"  

By which I mean the Detroit Tigers pitching strategy appears to be "Put Justin Verlander in for nine straight innings every time he takes the mound 'cause our bullpen can't be trusted."  

Throw Verlander at the Yankees, cross your fingers, and hope Raul Ibanez doesn't "crit" him in the ninth inning.  

Too bad for the Tigers that pitching rotations, unlike FE4, take fatigue into account.  :P

ETA: Well, that last inning was reminiscent of a Todd Jones nail-biter, but Ibanez didn't crit Phil Coke, our non-closer closer.  And Cano finally hit the damn ball, go figure.

You'd think that pennant race baseball would be good baseball, but this is just kind of boring for all that I spent the last two hours hitting the "refresh" button like a rat banging its food bar.  Watching multiple innings of nobody hitting nothin', night after night, is not that great.  At least the Giants scored seven runs off the Cards last night.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I have to seriously side-eye anyone who praises the writing in this game.  So many of the second-gen characters are just ridiculously incoherent.

Let's say I have a plot-bunny about Arthur, and since it's not pairingfic and doesn't revolve around the oh-so-important issue of his paternity[*], I decide it's worth writing.  So let's delve into Arthur.  He doesn't have all that much dialogue, so let's just skim over his handful of scenes to get a feel for the guy.

This really isn't fun )
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Apparently if your name begins with "Al-" in one my playthroughs, you're toast.

Dammit )
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These are not the big, meaningful headscratchers or Deep Meta wibbles. Nothing like, "Is Ethnia the Earth Goddess of Thracia a renegade, people-friendly Earth Dragon?"

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Ice cream really is just sweetened blobs of frozen fat, but good ice cream disguises the fact and makes "frozen fat" seem incredible and good.

Olive oil ice cream can't really hide itself.  it's... sweetened frozen fat.  Multiple kinds of fat.  That's what it smells like and tastes like.  It's not bad, but it's not something I'll try again.  And I'm a fan of tomato ice cream. 

Salted caramel ice cream is, however, lovely.

I want to try the purple yam flavor.  :(


Had the worst restaurant experience (not involving shards of glass, roaches, or death) tonight.  

Beavis and Butthead might've provided better service )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I'd kind of like the next FE to be a "small scale" guerilla-style war instead of "continental/intercontinental epic" warfare.

But not like FE7, because having to hew to FE6's canon AND GBA-era gameplay opened too many plotholes and gameplay moments of silly, IMO.

Also, while I'm not bowled over by FE7, this has to be the most amazing, incredible, astonishing piece of wank in FE meta.  I think the TC usually has his head up his ass, but GOOD LORD, people.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

FE4 has a lot of plot holes.

And many of them involve characters being hit with the Idiot Stick when the plot requires it.
Please explain this for me )

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, I've been watching some of the FE4 fan-hack playthroughs on NicoNico; you need an account to watch the videos but it's worth it.

Unlike Genealogy of Narga, Genealogy of Fala ( ファラの系譜, thanks Ammie!) is easy to follow.  

Cut for weirdo spoilers )


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