Category Archives: Kerfluffle

Top Ten Inexplicable Names Rich People Give Their Sons Which Are Jobs They’d Never Allow Them to Do for a Living

In order of pretension:

1. Tanner (leather maker)

1. Chandler (candle-maker)

1. Baxter (Baker)

1. Fletcher (arrow maker)

1. Brewster (Brewer, often a female brewer)

1. Carter (one who moves things from place to place, in a cart or as if they are a cart)

1. Hunter (self-explanatory)

1. Cooper (barrel maker)

1. Harper (one who plays a harp)

1. Mason (stoneworker)

And the most horrible name no one should give their son but would probably expect him to do for a living:

Wexler (money-lender)

What I imagine everyone named these things sees in their mirror every day.

What I imagine everyone named these things sees in their mirror every day.

Don’t name your children like this.

Iron Crown Enterprises, Rolemaster, and MERP: A Love Letter

Last night, I finally got around to watching the Season 2 episode of Community where the group plays Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (I know, I’m way behind the times, see this post for why). It was great, of course, presenting it in a funny way that still showed a love for the whole concept of table-top role-playing underneath (similar to how the movie Role Models approached LARPing – an endeavor silly and ridiculous like the movie shows, but worthwhile and a kick-ass time anyway). Ever since I watched it I’ve been thinking about tabletopping, something I haven’t done in a few years now, and growing up surrounded by the very books that were in the episode (and that still take up several boxes in the back room). I remember the Satanic backlash and having to explain to my mother that I was aware of the fact that magic wasn’t real and that raising an army of the dead wasn’t something I could actually do – a fun conversation, lemme tell you – and all that Jack Chick nonsense. Growing up with that stuff had a huge impact on my life. Without it, my two books don’t exist, I never would have written my own multi-volume system, and I never would have gotten so interested in rules systems that I probably never would have ended up an accountant.

I actually kinda have been invited to join a coven, but it wasn't nearly as awesome as this one.

I actually kinda have been invited to join a coven, but it wasn’t nearly as awesome as this one.

You know, maybe Jack was right. That shit has ruined my life.

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My Top Eight Favorite Fantasy Authors of All Time

I love fantasy stories. I had to make a choice early in my life as to whether I’d be a sci-fi buff or a fantasy geek, and Conan the Barbarian beat Star Wars for the primacy of my heart (sorry, Christian). I do love sci-fi as well, but I think most people lean a bit one way or the other, and I for one lean towards the Ian McKellan in a wizard hat versus the Patrick Stewart in a onesie. My own writing has generally geared towards fantasy (the other times it’s horror, or a mashup like Troius – one day I’ll do this post about horror writers), so I decided I would list my favorite fantasy authors of all time, those folks who have been influential and aspirational to me not only as a writer but as a human being.

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The Members of the Fellowship of the Ring, Ranked

I love The Lord of the Rings more than any other collection of slaughtered tree corpses that have been smashed flat and sliced thin and then stained with runic symbols made from dyes and solvents. You probably knew that already. One day, I was pondering who the most useful members of the Fellowship were, as one does, and decided to write this here post.

So here is the definitive ranking of the members of the Fellowship from the books only, from best to worst. This list is based on the following criteria:

Contribution to the quest relative of power: Gandalf is an immortal spirit with a level of power basically equivalent to Sauron (it’s complicated, I know, since much of the strength of the Dark Lord is tied to Middle-Earth itself, but from a base level, it’s like comparing one Elf to another). Sam is a short fat gardener. One should expect Gandalf to be more useful than Sam, so I try to weigh a character’s potential impact to their actual impact.

Notable achievements during the quest (Pros): pretty self-explanatory.

Bone-headed dumb shit done during the quest (Cons): How badly the character Pippined things up. (Or should it be Pippinned? I feel grammatically it should be Pippinned, but I’m going with Pippined because I like it better.)

Intangibles: The little things the character does that make their impact greater than the sum of their actions that may not be obvious on the surface, which sounds a hell of a lot better than “how I justify ranking someone higher than they might deserve because I am biased in one way or another” which is what this actually factors in.

I will also provide the ranking I would assign if this were based on the movies. Here we go!

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Five Things on a Monday – December 8th 2014

He hungers for souls.

He hungers for souls.

Since I don’t have any opinions on hotly-contested topics I wanted to express – today, anyway – I thought I’d fall back on an old thing I used to do, five brief blurbs about something that I find interesting or annoying or happening or some kind of ing. Here are those five things for today:

1. I saw BBC’s Sherlock for the first time this past weekend. I’d heard a lot about it from people – well, mostly about how people of all sexes want to carry Benedict Cumberbatch’s babies – but I’d never gotten a chance (well, actually, I’d never carved out the space for it) to see the show before. I thought it was a great show, with an excellent cast doing an amazing job of putting Sherlock in the modern day without losing the Holmesy feel. BC (even I have my limits on how much I want to type) and Martin Freeman absolutely sparkle in their interactions and make a script full of superb dialogue really crackle like a mouthful of locusts. Moriarty, Lestrade, Irene Adler – they all put a different spin on the classic characters and really shine, but none more so than Moriarty (played by Andrew Scott), who makes both the funniest and scariest villain I’ve seen in a long time – he is just flat-out crazy and awesome. So if you have missed this obscure series (it’s only won several Emmys, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes and is the most-watched drama series in the UK and insured international stardom for BC – it’s been flying well under the radar and you’ve probably never heard of it), I’d recommend you give it a whirl. And unlike those people who expect you to watch the entirety of The Wire and Dexter and the Sopranos and Parks and Recreation and Scandal and etc and so forth – watching all of it would take you just one longish Saturday binge.

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Why The Silmarillion is the Best Book Ever

Just fighting a god one-on-one, no biggie.

Just fighting a god one-on-one, no biggie.

I know this blog is better known for screaming ranting hate and me bitching very loudly about things like cupcakes or Brad Pitt’s hair or smoke detectors and other things, but occasionally – very occasionally – I talk about things I love that are not currently being shit on by Peter Jackson and instead wax rhapsodic – or, well, as close as I can get to rhapsody at any rate – about things that bring me joy. This is one of those posts. Sorry to disappoint you guys.

Anyway, I love The Silmarillion. It’s been my favorite book since I took in the first few pages a long long time ago. I know I’m in the minority on this one. In fact, I know only one other person who agrees with me. Even people who love Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings can’t get through it at all in a lot of cases. Most people say it’s dry, it’s dull, hard to read, hard to keep track of what’s going on, etc etc yadda yadda.

I get it. It’s not written like most books. Of course, it’s not really written by Tolkien himself, since it was basically an attempt by his son Christopher to turn the vast amount of notes and work-in-progress stuff into a single cohesive narrative to share the history of Middle-Earth. But I’ve never thought of it as dry. Matter-of-fact, maybe, but there is a sort of poetry to the whole thing all at the same time. Check this out:

Blue was her raiment as the unclouded heaven, but her eyes were as grey as the starlit evening; her mantle was sown with golden flowers, but her hair was dark as the shadows of twilight. As the light upon the leaves of trees, as the voice of clear waters, as the stars above the mists of the world, such was her glory and her loveliness; and in her face was a shining light.

That’s fucking poetry, only less emo and not bullshitty like James Franco.

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Yes, I’m Still Alive

Holy shit. I knew it had been awhile since I’d posted anything here, but I didn’t realize that it’d been a year-and-a-fucking-half. Time really flies when you don’t have anything you want to say.

Well, I’m back now. Hopefully for good. I spent some time recently reading through some of my old posts and I was pleasantly surprised by some of what I wrote. I even laughed out loud at some of the shit that I have no memory of writing, which is always a treat. So I was contemplating a return to this place, exercise my brain and try to recapture the voice that I use here, since that voice is the same voice in Waiting on the Dead and I’m seriously out of practice with the manic foul-mouthed hate-fueled style that me and the narrator both use to dish out bullshit thinly disguised as thoughts and half-baked observations about ephemera and terrible adaptations of the things I love (fuck you, Hobbit movies) in that particular cadence that evokes the ramblings of a meth-fueled ex-child-star with a microphone shoved into his face for the first time in a decade.

OK, run-on sentence achievement unlocked. That’s a good sign.

So anyway, I have no idea what I’m going to say here tomorrow or Friday or whenever. I have some ideas – someone told me I should retell the story from the Silmarillion in plain English and in a conversational style, which appeals to me since most people would rather gargle nail polish remover than read that book, which is crazy because it’s the best book of all time, but whatever, some people have no taste, but I also realize that it would end being more words than is actually in the Silmarillion because I’ve never met a sentence that couldn’t stand to have a few adjectives and adverbs and clauses and asides shoved in there – that I may work with, or I might talk about a movie project that I’m currently involved in, or I might just bitch about the terrible sound quality of America’s drive-thru speaker system – if we don’t maintain our infrastructure, America, then the terrorists win – or some other random thing that no one but me gives a shit about. We shall see.

I wasn’t surprised when I returned about one thing, though: people still really fucking want to know if they found Sophia in The Walking Dead. You’d think three years would have gotten the message out, especially if you know who Sophia is and care enough to look up if she got found but can’t be bothered to watch the show or talk to anyone about it, but whatever. 100 visits a day to a blog that hasn’t been updated in forever is something nice to come home to.

And yes, I just spent five hundred words communicating something that could have effectively done in two, which means that I might just be able to recapture the old spirit of this whole shebang. So for the TL/DR assholes out there, allow me to give you the two-word version of this post:

I’m back.

Bitches.

Fine, three words then.

M&MS 2012 in Review. It’s Like an Annual Report for the Self-Absorbed. Like Me!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 38,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

My Apologies for the Silence

This one’ll be short, actually, not the short where I say this is going to be short and it ends up at 1,200 words which generally isn’t short by blog standards but is incredibly short by my standards, but more like the short that is short because it’s short. And yes it took me 48 words to say “this is short”, because I am still me, after all. Anyway, I wanted to say I’m sorry for the lack of updates and vitriol and whatnot. Life has been uber-crazy lately and my muse has decided to spend the last couple of months in Tahiti apparently. I probably won’t be watching The Walking Dead anymore, because the last 2 episodes I saw broke me. I will write up why at some point but I can’t even muster up the energy needed to do that yet, so it’ll appear at some point. I’ll be back to batshit-crazy-guy at some point. Promise.

Yours,

Aravan, God of Transexuals

I am 23 Times More Popular in Vietnam Than Luxembourg

I’m a little bit of a stats obsessive. I love them. I think it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy football so much – stats are like the little milestones that let you say “Hey, neat, this thing that happens hundreds of times a year is slightly different than the other times!”. I don’t memorize stats, though, which is for Rain Man and baseball fans. I just like seeing them, thinking “well isn’t that interesting”, and moving on with my life. If I could have a bunch of people following me all day – or, well, maybe an app or something, because that could get creepy as hell after a while – I’d totally do it, just so I could get information about the things I do and compare them to my average score and the population at large. Couple that with an announcing team or NFL Films guy or – especially – Colby from Top Shot and I’d be in heaven. “Will you look at this! He has been urinating for 37 seconds already, well past his average time of 29.73 seconds! Could his all-time record be in jeopardy?” This would be awesome in every way.

Yes, this is another post about my blog site stats. Sorry.

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