A Wretched Hive

Most of the best pilots could be found there.

Subtlety, Symbolism and Diegetic Music Return to The Walking Dead

wheelAfter two dreary episodes stuck on a single thought – look everyone, Negan’s here – Season 7 of The Walking Dead finally rolls to life.

“The Well” introduces Carol and Morgan to the Kingdom, a new setting with its own secrets. These discoveries catalyze refreshing changes in both, who have been rehashing the same tired argument since “JSS” (October 2015). Season 7’s second installment is rich in layers and symbolism, which is when The Walking Dead excels.

The very first image is a wheel (a symbol of civilization) moving forward (progression and advancement).

SPOILER WARNING – Spoilers follow for Season 7, Episode 2 of The Walking Dead

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The day Brandon encountered a petty trap.

demonwall4-bOur cousins had a Super Nintendo before us, but it wasn’t Super Mario World or Smash TV that captured my imagination. Final Fantasy IV (FF2 in the U.S.) was my first exposure to JRPGs.

I feel in love. The graphics were so good you could see the character get into bed. (In full armor, but who cares?)

And the gameplay? Wow. The plot of an epic fantasy with combat strategy akin to tabletop. Incredible. Beyond platforming and racing.

There was just one problem, though, after I finally got the game:

As usual, I was grounded.

Since I wasn’t into sports or sleepovers, “grounding” meant I couldn’t play video games. Even if I had a brand new one.

Fortunately, I had an ally: My brother Brandon. We came to an arrangement: If I couldn’t play the game, I at least wanted to see it played. Brandon was happy to oblige.

Break out the popcorn.

Brandon forged into the new frontier with me beside him. We laughed together at the jokes, mocked spoony dialog, collectively gasped at twists of plot.

Many of the bosses were jokes…others, not so much. This One Boss, though, I’ll remember ’til the day I die. Read More →

The day I learned obsession with order is itself disorder.

Legends of JRPI suffer from a personality disorder called “OCPD“: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. It is not the same as OCD, though they share characteristics. I don’t have rituals like repeated hand-washing.

Instead, I’m obsessed with order and perfection everywhere. Not using your turn signal makes me furious — no exaggeration. I have strong preferences for particular glassware and utensils. Placement of pictures. Whether colleagues IM or email, and on which topics. Which direction I face at restaurant table…on and on and on.

Anything out of place is like nails on a chalkboard. Imagine that piercing screech coming from every bit clutter or misused grammar and you’ll have a good idea what it’s like in my mind. It’s hell.

Discovering I had OCPD was one of the greatest days of my life.  Read More →

Interlude: My 1,000 Word Reaction to PRISM and Snowden.


The day I ask what you’d like to know.

Question MarkI write many topics here on the blog; personal, professional. Reviews, gaming, roleplaying, game design, writing and more.

I know what brings my Google traffic: SWTOR, Wheel of Time, D&D and managing OCPD. I don’t know how much of that traffic returns to read other things, or how much my regular readers are interested in those topics.

To a large degree, it doesn’t matter what I write; the challenge is to make any topic both interesting and accessible to any visitor.

However, in the wake of personal stories leading up to our anniversary, I’m curious what you, my daily or weekly visitors (especially lurkers) find interesting. What were your favorite posts? What would you like to know more about?

I’m deliberately not attaching a poll or links to specific articles, leaving the question open-ended.


The day Megan guest posted on my blog.

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Tropical Storm Andrea made its way up from the Gulf Coast, right up to the North Carolina Outer Banks.  This meant that we had wind and rain on our anniversary, but that’s fine because we had each other and some indoor activities.

We spent the morning of our anniversary at the NC Aquarium on Manteo. Wonderful exhibits there, including an alligator snapping turtle. They have a nice campus overlooking the ocean. We sat for awhile and watched the sea.

Afterwards, we found a great little (and I mean little) café in downtown Manteo and it was delicious. We toured some of the local shops and Jason found a gorgeous antique print for his office.

We decided to spend some time on the beach once the rain let up, but we weren’t expecting the tropical winds to use sand as shrapnel. Ow.

Next was dinner, and it was DELICIOUS! We were most pleased.

We returned to the hotel, opened the patio door, sipped wine and just talked.

When it got too dark to see anything, Jason had me sit on the couch. He went to the bedroom and when he came back he proposed. It was heart moving! My response was “Yes! Yesyesyesyes YAY!”

Despite the rain and piercing wind, we had a great time.

I love my husband and all the things he does for me and all the things he puts up with for me.

Happy Anniversary!