J. Brian Terry Born on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, 1968, in Princeton, WV. No, that does not make me a turkey. I'm left handed, 6' 2'', I don't want to know how much I weigh, with black hair (going grey now) and blue eyes. I love football (Panthers), hockey (Hurricanes), computers, movies, writing, the entire Mass Effect series (although the ending to 3 sucks all the ass in the universe twice), Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pillars of Eternity, World of Warcraft, Star Wars The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls Online, Skyrim, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 (and related expansion packs), Starcraft, Half Life 1 and 2, EA Sports Madden and NHL games, D&D, people who make an effort to think for themselves , things that don't aggravate me, the Libertarian philosophy, and boobs. (Not necessarily in that order.)

J. Brian Terry Born on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, 1968, in Princeton, WV. No, that does not make me a turkey. I'm left handed, 6' 2'', I don't want to know how much I weigh, with black hair (going grey now) and blue eyes. I love football (Panthers), hockey (Hurricanes), computers, movies, writing, the entire Mass Effect series (although the ending to 3 sucks all the ass in the universe twice), Tomb Raider 2013 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pillars of Eternity, World of Warcraft, Star Wars The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls Online, Skyrim, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 (and related expansion packs), Starcraft, Half Life 1 and 2, EA Sports Madden and NHL games, D&D, people who make an effort to think for themselves , things that don't aggravate me, the Libertarian philosophy, and boobs. (Not necessarily in that order.)

Survivor Season 34, Episode 4, “Who’s the Sucker at the Table?”

Hello once again to my Survivor peeps. The glorious beauty of each of you is indeed immense. While that is neither here or there, it’s just a reminder to each of you to look in the mirror today and feel good about yourselves, or, at the very least, you can feel good that I feel good about you. Okay then? Here we go….

At the GX camp Chris and Bret are reeling from the blindside of Paul being voted out. Chris is so pissed that he says in a diary sesh that he considered throwing the rice into the ocean and starting a tribe of one. Okayyyyy – not what I want to hear from who I thought would be my #1 player. So Jess is trying to explain that Paul basically said that he’d be all for a guy’s alliance, and would ditch the women. This is apparently the first both Chris and Bret have heard of having a guy’s alliance, so they are still bewildered.

The next day Sunday and Lucy are discussing it, wondering if they made a mistake. Wait, Lucy?!….who’s that?! LOL I jest, of course. Lucy seems to feel bad about it as well in her diary sesh. Lucy and Sunday are talking again, and they want to make up with Chris and Bret. It seems like, since no one else ever heard anything about an all guy’s alliance, the GX peeps are starting to think maybe Jessica made the whole thing up. Lucy seems to think so. She thinks Jess just wanted to get in her head.

Lucy goes up to Bret and Chris and apologizes, and tells them that Jessica is just as power hungry as Paul was. Wow – what a little manipulator she is. I’m starting to wonder if her minuscule edit at the start was CBS trying to mask the fact that Lucy either wins this season, or at least makes it far in the game. I can see it happening. The guys seem to be buying into everything Lucy says: hook, line, and sinker. Lucy suggests an alliance with herself, Chris, Bret, Ken, and David. Lucy thinks, for some reason, that she has them (Ken and David) in her pocket. I don’t know why… maybe something went down between them that wasn’t aired. Whatever it was, she seems sure of it. Chris says in a diary sesh that he’s all for getting rid of Jessica, and Bret seems on board. Ah man this isn’t looking good for me….

At the MS camp, they are convinced that there is a pig on the island, and they are determined to hunt it for food. Not sure what Hanna thinks of that, but maybe she isn’t all that concerned about being kosher.  Adam, instead of hunting for the pig with the others, decides to go off and hunt for the idol instead. He searches around, and he found something…. Poor Adam – it’s just a clue. He doesn’t have time to go off looking for it now, though, so he will have to do it later.

Now it’s time for the first reward comp of the season! It’s going to be one of those wrestling type of challenges where one person tries to hold the other team back, or otherwise occupy their attention, while their partner accomplishes the mission – which this time is getting what looks like a life preserver (they refer to it as “the ring”) from one point in the water to another.

First round it’s Chris / Dave vs Jay / Adam. GX scores the first point due to Chris’ strength occupying the MS, allowing David to score. Round 2 is Cece / Sunday vs Figgy / Michaela. LOL why are Figgs and Michaela working together? They hate each other! So weird. Well, to my surprise, they actually seem to work well together. They completely smoked Sunday / Cece and tied it up 1 to 1. They high five each other! Classic! Round 3 is Ken / Bret vs Taylor / Will. This is a more evenly matched battle, but GX scores to retake the lead 2 to 1. The 4th round is Jessica / Lucy vs Hanna and Michaela. Michaela is STRONG! She, by herself, pulls everyone else to the MS pole and scores! It’s tied 2 – 2 and the next score wins! Figgy is impressed and high fives Michaela AGAIN, and then gives her a congratulatory smack on the ass as well. Are these two going to become besties now? 😉 Final round is Chris / David vs Jay / Zeke. I was really impressed by Zeke and David in this final battle. They both fought hard and didn’t wuss out. It looked like the MS were going to win it, but David hampered Jay enough for Chris to shake Zeke and take over. Then it was nothing but Chris’ brute strength that ended up winning it for the GX.

GX wins reward: raw steak, sausages, veggies, and spices they can cook for themselves on a grill. Yum! This was an extremely entertaining challenge – I loved it! Great job by both tribes! With the win, though, that earns Cece (Bella), Bret and Lucy (Kelly), Chris and Jessica (Me), and Ken (Jo Lynn) 3 points each.

At the MS tribe, they are discussing the challenge. Adam says in a diary sesh that he wishes he could have performed better, but realizes that a comp like that isn’t his kind of comp. He doesn’t like full contact sports. He realizes he needs to find the idol now more than ever, so goes off looking for it again. This time, he finds it! However, Hanna sees him. She asks him how his idol search is going, and he says he’s working on it. Of all things, she tells him good luck, and doesn’t even try to approach him and see if he’s found it. She leaves him to it. Wow. Just wow. Hanna – you deserve to lose! Why do I always pick lame players?!

Ah poor Adam – he’s talking about how his Mom has stage 4 lung cancer. His dreams are coming true while his and his Mom’s worst nightmares are happening. That may be why he ultimate ends up leaving the game as was predicted before the season started. He’s crying and I am too. 🙁

I’ve seen people die of cancer. My Dad, for one, and his brother Gene. Dad went fast. His liver was eaten away almost completely before we even knew he had cancer, but his cancer started out in his lungs as well. He was gone 2 weeks after we found out. Gene, on the other hand, lingered. He had lung cancer as well. He blew up like a balloon. I was a teenager when it happened, and that was the absolutely most frightening thing I had ever seen in real life to that point. Ever seen the movie “Blade”? (The first one) When Blade and that chick go meet the bloated, fat vampire “Pearl” – that’s pretty much what my uncle Gene looked like. He went from being all of 150 or 160 pounds to THAT, because of cancer. It was horrifying.

Watching my Dad take his last breath is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in real life now, but seeing Gene for the first time in his hospital bed looking like that still haunts me. He looked like an alien. Poor Adam and his family. I hate that anyone else has to deal with that shite. Two of Dad’s other brothers, Dale and Bud, also died of cancer, but I wasn’t witness to their passing. All of them were smokers, and that’s what killed them all. Don’t smoke, folks. Don’t do it. Don’t even try it.

We return to the GX camp the next morning. Lucy and Dave go off to fetch some water. Ken comes up behind them, and they all have a convo. She tells them that they have nothing to worry about, and fills them in about the Jessica plan. However, she then commands them to not talk to anyone else lest they risk her wrath. This rubs Ken the wrong way, as it would have done for me as well. I’m surprised after all these years that the people CBS picks to play this game seem to not understand it at all. You can’t speak to others like this, and not expect backlash. You need to be diplomatic, or at the very least make others think your ideas are their ideas.

It’s immunity challenge time! It’s a gather puzzle pieces and then assemble the puzzle challenge again. It’s more involved than that, but that sums it up. GX gathers the pieces first, and a few minutes later MS does as well. David is taking the lead with solving the puzzle for GX. Michelle, Figgy, and Michaela are working together to solve the MS puzzle. It took over 45 minutes, but eventually the MS figure it out and BAM! It’s done! “Somebody loses their flame tonight” was the answer.

It was a very cool challenge and puzzle. I love puzzles! The win gives Will (Bella); Michaela (Kelly); Hanna (Me); Michelle and Figgy (Jo Lynn); and Jay, Taylor, and Zeke (Haylee) 5 points each. Since GX is going back to tribal, that gives Cece (Bella), Bret and Lucy (Kelly), Chris and Jessica (Me), and Ken (Jo Lynn) -2 points each. Hopefully my girl Jessica isn’t going home! 🙁

Back at GX camp, Chris is saying in a diary sesh that he isn’t sure what is going to go down at tribal, but he’s counting on Lucy to orchestrate the blindside of Jessica. I don’t get it. My opinion of Chris has decreased. Orchestrate your own moves! Be more like Michelle! Ugh.

Anyway, he’s talking with Lucy about it now and it’s intercut with another of Lucy’s diary sessions. She calls herself “Tiger Mom”, and that is another player inspired hashtag. That’s +2 for her and Kelly! Lucy is yet another control freak in the realm of Survivor, and she thinks that since being a control freak to her husband and kids works, then it should work in the game. Right? Uh – no – you poor deluded soul! Didn’t you see WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO PAUL?! Haven’t you ever watched this show?! Please – why can’t these control freaks focus their control issues in another way? Be in control using subtle manipulation. You don’t have to be in obvious control to be in control.

David and Ken are talking about what they’re going to do. Ken says he’s not working with Lucy as it’s Paul all over again, and they’re still on the bottom. He says they need to vote out Lucy. He is trying to clue Jessica in on what is going on, but she doesn’t believe him. Instead of trying to see all possibilities, she of course goes and tells Lucy everything. Then Jessica says something really annoying in her diary sesh. She says she thought that the girls decided to come up with the plan to vote out Paul “together”. What?! You did ALL of that! YOU did! You were the driving force behind the whole thing! I’m so annoyed with my castaways’ lack of logical thought processing, and now she’s discounting her own game move as a group decision?! I don’t get this at all.

Lucy is of course annoyed. David is telling her he’s shocked, although he was fully on board with Ken’s plan, and is really being convincing. He’s a much better player than I thought he would be – at least so far. I thought at first that maybe Lucy would change it to Ken instead, but no – the Jessica plan seems to still be in force. David says in a diary sesh that voting Jessica would be the safe thing to do now, but at the same time that would leave him on the bottom again. He is once again thinking about using his idol to save someone else. The way things are looking for him, that may be his best idea, but at this point I think Jessica might be so dumb that I’m not sure I’d want her for an ally.

It’s tribal time. During tribal, Lucy confirms she had a conversation to Ken and told him what to do. She just straight up says that’s how she is, and men usually appreciate her bluntness. (Dear Lucy: being blunt is one thing, but ordering people around is something else. Ding dong!) However, despite this exchange Jessica STILL DOESN’T BELIEVE KEN! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here. Does she think Lucy told Ken to vote for Cece?! Why would he do that, and why would Lucy even need him to do it?! THINK JESSICA! David’s quote “Live tribal” becomes a hash tag, but no one has him for those points. Chris’ quote “Who’s the sucker at the table” is the name of the episode, so that’s 3 points for us yay! Now it’s time for the vote!

They all vote, and, wow, DAVID PLAYS HIS IDOL FOR JESSICA! This is probably going to mean lots of points for me. Here are the votes: Jess, Jess, Jess, Jess, Jess, CC, Lucy, Lucy: Lucy has been voted out of the game! David’s idol saved both Jessica and my team! Even though no one picked him, he helped my game so much! At the expense of Kelly – sorry Kells! 🙁 Ok let’s break this down in points.

Lucy’s two votes were enough to evict her. That’s -2 for Kelly, but +3 for finishing 17th. Jessica’s 5 votes don’t count against her, also earns her 2 points per vote due to the idol being played for her. That’s 10 points for me, and also the 2 points for getting multiple votes but surviving for a total of 12 points. Cece receives 1 vote for -1 for her and Bella, but since it was just 1 vote she doesn’t get the bonus. Bret (Kelly), Chris (Brian), and Ken (Jo Lynn) received no votes, so they earn 3 points each.

Let me just add that I am so disgusted with Jessica right now because despite all the tribal council confirmation between Lucy and Ken, Jessica STILL voted for Cece (which is what the 5 alliance told her was the plan). Wow. Just wow.

Thanks to blind luck, I’m 1st for the week with 25 points, Haylee is 2nd with 15, Jo Lynn 3rd with 14, Kelly is 2nd with 13, and IzzyB is last with 6. Our season to date totals so far are: Me with 43, Haylee with 36, Kelly with 34, Jo Lynn with 30, and Bella with 6.

The preview for next week shows that they’re going to do some mix up of the tribes. The rumor is that they’re going to split into 3 tribes, but I’m not sure how they’re going to pull that off with 16 castaways left. Maybe Adam leaves due to his Mom’s illness, leaving them with 15? We will see what happens! Until next week my lovely peeps! 🙂

Survivor Season 33, Episode 3, “Your job is recon”

It’s once again time for another Survivor recap from yours truly. I’m not sure how many of you have had a chance to watch the episode yet due to Hurricane Matthew stuff, so if you haven’t yet then spoilers abound as per usual! I just need to go ahead and write / post this when I have time, and am thinking about it, or else I’ll forget about it and get behind like I usually do. So, with that in mind, here we go….

From now on the Generation X tribe will be referred to as “GX”, and the Millennials are “MS”.

Adam and Zeke are distraught back at MS camp due to what all went down during tribal. Hanna is desperate to explain herself to them, and won’t leave them alone. Zeke keeps telling her to leave him alone for right now, but he’ll be okay to talk to her later. He just wants to decompress I think, but she won’t leave him alone. AHHH – Hanna! – just settle down! He doesn’t want to talk to you right now. Just walk away! Why is that difficult? I’m afraid for my girl Hanna. She’s too spastic. I don’t think she’s going to be around long. :((( I actually laughed out loud, and sort of yelled at my TV at the same time, when in her diary sesh she says that she wants them to use her and her vote. NO! You ding dong! MAKE YOUR OWN MOVES! Don’t help others make theirs! Do you want to win or not?! Ugh!

Then at GX camp, Cece; David; and Ken know they’re on the bottom. Ken doesn’t get why, and I kind of don’t get it either. I mean, from a tribal standpoint, it seems David and Cece contribute nothing (more or less), but what exactly does Paul contribute. Other than his wind-baggitry that is? His “I must be in charge” shite – you know what I mean. It’s strange sometimes how some castaways end up in the majority. Then we see Paul attempt to go fishing and fail hardcore. However, my problem at this point in the episode with Ken is that, instead of complaining about how things are going right now, he needs to start doing something about it. Make some moves to make the state of the game to change in his favor. Michelle didn’t whine about what was going down last week – she made moves and FORCED the game to reshape into what she wanted it to be. That’s how to play the game – I’m still in awe of that lol. I think Ken can do it, though. I think he’s smarter than I gave him credit for at first.

Back at the MS camp, Adam gets tree mail. Each one of them has to draw a rock and four get to go intermingle with four GX’ers at a neutral location. It’s like a Survivor summit – a very cool idea, by the way, that I hope they continue to do in future seasons. That’s one of the things that’s so awesome about this show – they keep finding ways to mix it up and keep the game fresh. Sweet! The rocks are pulled, and in one of the weirdest moment of happenstance it just so happens that the four alliance of Taylor, Figgs, Jay, and Will are the ones who are going to the summit. Crazy! Luck is certainly on their side at this point. Michaela’s comment, “Your job is recon” is the name of the episode. That’s 3 points for her and therefore Kelly!

Now here we have Jay in a diary sesh, and while he didn’t seem like there is nothing but a nebula in his head this time, we’re still talking about Taylor and Figgs and their “relationship”. All due respect to Jay, but someone please explain to me how two people who’ve known each other all of a week, at the most, can be a “power couple”. When you first meet someone, you of course know right away if you’re attracted to them, sure – I accept that, but you sure as hell don’t know if you like who they are or not. I mean, these two could discover personality quirks that bug the shite out of them any time now. Why are these MS peeps so exaggerative, and, in my opinion, extremely short sighted? I still think it’s entirely stupid for one of them to not try to use Taylor and Figgs for their votes. Get off the short bus, people! AAAAHHHH!

At the summit we see that Chris, Paul, David, and Cece are the GX’ers who won their draw. Paul is making fun of David and how he’s afraid of everything, but trying to seem all innocent and “kidding” about it. It struck me as kind of a douche move, but in his dairy sesh David didn’t seem offended about it. I would have been for sure, but at least David realizes he needs to get rid of Paul ASAP.

Ok, so maybe Taylor and Figgy aren’t completely dumb, although we could argue that this just fell into their lap, but I’m impressed with how they are navigating the situation regardless. They are talking up David and Cece, and getting some good info. Then David tells Taylor that when the swap / merge goes down, he wants to work with Taylor and Figgy. He even said he’s willing to pick off other GX’ers – and even confirmed that in a diary sesh! David is playing the game, man, despite his physical weaknesses and social image issues. I’m starting to like him, and if he can toughen up a bit he could go far. Cece says in her diary sesh that it was stupid for the other summmit goers to leave the four of them alone to form the bond they did, and she is 110% right! Gotta love Survivor – you have to be on your toes at all times!

Then we’re back at the GX camp with the GX’ers who went to the summit. We have our first player inspired hashtag: #KenDoll. Several of them said it during the episode, but I suppose I have to give the points to the player who said it first: Figgy. That’s 2 points for her and Jo Lynn! Ken isn’t fond of being known as “KenDoll” though. He is not a plastic toy with no penis, people! Classic! “My name is Ken, and I HAVE A DICK!” OK?! I guess I can’t blame him. Hey, Ken, I have a dick as well my brotha! Then he goes fishing and catches some fish, unlike Paul, to prove his manliness. “I am Ken. I have dick. Being KenDoll make me sick. With a knick knack paddywack, yes I have a bone. I will send you all straight home!” There you go, Ken. My gift to you. He then approaches Jessica and tries to convince her to go against Paul, so he’s trying to make a move and I applaud him for it.

We then find ourselves back with the MS at their camp. The four are separating themselves from the others again for an extended period of time. They want to bitch about their “power couple”, and yet don’t see why doing this isn’t smart in any way at all. How is that possible?! I mean, you have to have short conversations here and there, but isolating yourselves from the rest of the tribe for extended periods like this is just dumb. Hello to the MS four alliance: there are 5 others in your tribe! You do not have the numbers yet. Hello! Anyway, they’re saying to each other that they want Zeke to go next. Not sure how they plan to pull that off without a 5th vote, but I guess we’ll see.

Adam is having a diary sesh, and of course he’s blathering on about the supposed “power couple”. My opinion of him has declined due to his viewpoint on this matter. I would be doing what I could to attempt to form some sort of alliance with them. Hello, Adam, you need numbers to win this game. Not whining about stuff that you should actually be using to your advantage. LAME! I mean, I agree that the 5 other MS need to be targeting the “four”, and it isn’t illogical to target the obviously coupled up ones, but he could be doing so much better for himself had he used this to his advantage instead.

Michaela is having a diary sesh now. She reiterated that she doesn’t like Figgs, but her reasons are illogical. She says Figgy is “sneaky”. I’m sorry, Queen of the Ding Dongs, but nothing those four have done in the entire game could be categorized as “sneaky”. They are not trying, in any way whatsoever, to hide anything or keep anything a secret. Their entire game, well at least camp wise, has been completely, entirely, and in all other ways an open book. Which is dumber than dumb, yes, but not in any way “sneaky”. I don’t think that word means what she seems to think it means. Be honest, Michaela: you’re jealous. Period. The End.

Woo Hoo – it’s time for the immunity challenge, now! I don’t get why the GX’ers let Cece take up so much of their time with her inching her way on the balance beam while carrying her bag. Just get someone else to carry it across for her, like the MS did. Stupid! The MS are kicking butt so far in this challenge, but I thought they were going to win last week as well. What’s going to happen?! Taylor is killing it. Snowboarding does require good balance. Getting him to carry the bags of others over was genius. Several of the GX’ers seem to have no balance. Lucy (who I forgot was even playing – yet another episode where she is not getting any air time at all) can’t make it across with the bag. Paul can’t as well. Chris ends up taking their bags across for them, as well as his own. Ken’s skill at throwing the bean bags helps GX make up some ground, but the MS are still in the lead. Michelle and Zeke are solving the puzzle. Then David and Sunday are solving the GX puzzle. Michelle and Zeke kill the puzzle building, although David and Sunday made it close. In the end, MS win immunity! That’s 5 points for Will (Bella); Michaela (Kelly); Hanna (Me); and Jay, Taylor, and Zeke (Haylee). Since the GX’ers are going to tribal, that’s -2 for Cece (Bella); Bret and Lucy (Kelly); Chris and Jessica (Me); and Ken (Jo Lynn).

Back at GX camp, Cece seems to be in danger of being voted off and I don’t blame them for wanting her gone. The GX has a 6 strong alliance of: Chris, Paul, Bret, Jessica, Sunday, and Lucy. David, Ken, and Cece are on the outs. It should be easy for them to cote out Cece, right? Except David has an idol, and he alludes that he may use it on Cece so they can vote out Paul. I don’t think I would use the idol just yet, but it seems like he’s thinking about it. They don’t seem to have much hope otherwise, unless they pull off a “Michelle” here.

Then Paul goes and does something monumentality stupid. Jessica is saying that they are 6 strong, and she’s all good unless the guys are going to do a guy alliance on the side. Paul says no, but if they wanted to then he’d tell the ladies that they’re on their own. I see what he was *trying* to say – that if that was going down, then he’d just be straight up honest about it, but a man Paul’s age should know by now how wording it like he did is going to come across to a woman. Now Jessica believes that Paul ultimately isn’t loyal to her or any of the other women. Whether or not that’s true is irrelevant. Paul is one of those “I’m the kind of the mountain” guys who has to be in charge of everything, so really he’s not loyal to anyone who is not kissing his ass, and he’s only going to be “loyal” to them if they have something to offer him. Still, it was utterly stupid of him to say those words. Stupid!

Jessica, Sunday, and Lucy are discussing it. They are now saying that perhaps they should vote out Paul. Lucy says her first words to the camera of the season, but it’s still not a diary sesh. Why are they giving her such a minuscule edit?! In any event – who will it be?! Will it be Paul or Cece?! I hope not Cece because that would just be horrible for Bella’s team!

It’s tribal time! David says he’s feeling better about the game. Cece announces that her, David, and Ken are on the bottom. Cece also says that she feels fine about her decision to carry her bag over the balance beam by herself. No, Cece, it was stupid and selfish! What an utterly idiotic thing to say at tribal, where you know you are in danger of being voted out, and it’s largely your fault that your tribe is at tribal to begin with!

Then an interesting conversation ensues about how the MS are “efficient”. They find the path of least resistance and take it. Do you write “you” when you text, or “u”? Do you listen to music with vinyl or digital? I’m a GX’er who has a lot of MS sensibilities. I’m very much an embracer of technology, texting, social media, and the like. However, I don’t think writing “u”, “ur”, and other such nonsense is efficient. Wow, you’re saving yourself a whole two letters! They should all get a participation trophy for that ingeniousness! At the same time, I don’t understand GX’ers, and older folks, who are so resistant to embracing technology. I will never understand why people love listening to music over vinyl with all its underlying hissing and popping – every little speck of dust that finds its way across the path of the needle makes a sound. Why is that awesome when you COULD be listening to pristine clarity of digital music?! Embracing the texture of imperfection is illogical and I don’t understand it at all. The texture of sandpaper may be interesting, but I don’t want to cuddle up to a chick with sandpaper skin. Okay? Filmmakers, and movie goers, who are still gaga over physical film instead of digital cameras also annoy me. Why do you need film grain and motion blur to enjoy a movie?! It is all very OCD to me. I’m not the kind of person who clings to the past, though. I let it go, and I move on. I don’t need therapy. The past is over, and it’s time to focus on right here, right now. It’s what’s happening, folks. Film and Vinyl are the past, and we should just let them go, man. Ah, but I digress to a major degree here. Sorry!

It’s time to vote! Is David going to use his idol…………………. nope! The votes go: Paul, Cece, Paul, Cece, Paul, Cece, Paul, Paul, Paul! Paul is out, and no one has him. Cece gets another three votes, but survives. That -3, and +2, for Bella. Bret and Lucy (Kelly), Chris and Jessica (Me), and Ken (Jo Lynn) all receive no votes and get +3.

Haylee leads the week with 15 points, followed by Jo Lynn with 13, Kelly with 10, Me with 7, and Bella with 2. This puts Kelly and Haylee tied in first place with 21 points each. I’m in 2nd with 18. Jo Lynn is 3rd with 16. And Bella is fighting the uphill battle with 0 total points. There’s a lot of the season yet to go, though!

That’s it for next week my beautiful Survivor peeps! Until next time – hugs for you all!

B

Survivor Season 33, Episode 2, “Love Goggles”

What is up my lovely survivor peeps?! Here we go with my Episode 2 Survivor season 33 weekly recap. I hope you all enjoyed the episode, but if you haven’t seen it yet then of course beware of spoilers! Here we go!

We find ourselves at the GenX camp, and out of all of these people it’s weak assed David who ends up making fire for them. What?! Then these brilliant Gen X’ers think it’s a great idea to allow the guy they KNOW (a self admitted fact even) has already been looking for an idol to go roaming around the forest by himself. He’s looking for rocks for us – let him go and keep himself busy – they say. We’re smart, right? No – you’re dumb you r’tards! So of course David goes off looking for his rocks, and ends up finding the idol as well. He finds it without a clue even. Man, I just know this is going to be another Tai situation. Last season after episode 1 I thought Tai had absolutely no chance to win the game, and then he goes off and makes it to final three and almost wins! How do these weirdos end up doing this?! AAGGHHH!

And now we have Taylor talking about Figgy. Every time he, and Jay for that matter, open their mouths, I feel like the entire word becomes dumber for it. Not just their general area, or those of us who have to listen to them, but the black hole of emptiness in their heads is powerful enough to suck intelligence away from the entire word and cast it into the void to be lost there… forever! Ok, I agree with him about Figgy at least. Good lord she is SMOKING HOT! I don’t blame him, or anyone for that matter, for having love goggles for her. Speaking of “Love Goggles” – that is the name of this episode, and Taylor’s quote inspired it. That gives him, and Haylee, our first points of the season (3). Woo Hoo – the game is ON my beautilicous friends!

At camp Millennials, everyone is freaking out about Taylor and Figs starting up a possible showmance. First off let me say that I agree that the two loves birds should have tried to keep that more hidden, and been more careful about the whole thing. Taylor; Figgs; Michelle; and Jay should have kept their alliance more secret as well, for that matter, instead of isolating themselves from the rest of the tribe from the get go. That is neither here nor there I suppose. In any event, I also think that these Millennials are just being irrational about the entire showmance situation. I mean this is day 5 or 6, people! Your tribe is still 10 strong, and there otherwise has been only one eviction. I mean – good grief people are acting like these two people are not only going to dominate the game, but then declare themselves emperors of the universe. Jay says that couples never last on survivor, but that’s not true by a long shot. We even once had a couple in the final two: Boston Rob and Amber. So it can work – as long as the couple is a little more smart about it than these two very lovely, but dumb people. But we’ll see what happens of course.

Michaela is the worst of the irrational lot for the Millennials. The only explanation I have for her behavior toward Figgy is utter jealousy. Unless something went down between the two of them that was edited out of the show. Otherwise, I don’t get why she’s so upset. I seriously don’t get it. She needs to get over herself, or she isn’t going to last long. I don’t see it happening, though, so I predict, unless other strong people carry her along with them, she will be gone soon.

What a smart player would have done, when they noticed this pairing up, is integrate themselves into their dynamic and form an alliance with them. Use their “2 votes” to their advantage, and coach them to stop making it so obvious that they are together. Then at some advantageous spot once the tribes merge into one, that smart player would have worked behind the scenes to get one of the pair evicted. The best way would be to wait for someone else to complain about one of them, and then encourage them to campaign against them. That way it never seems like their idea. Anyway, once one of them is gone, then they have the other all to themselves. They are their shoulder and their “ride or die”. A huge part of the game is “outwit”, correct?! Well you can’t be outwitting anyone if all you can do is run your mouth like a jealous nut case, or freak out about something like this on day 5. I mean – seriously – these Millennials need to settle down.

Then we saw the Paul situation. In last week’s “next time on survivor” clip, production made this whole ordeal seem more dramatic and life threatening than it really was. He had some heat exhaustion and dehydration. I’m glad it wasn’t a heart attack, but it was a little annoying that they played this up like that. Regardless, I don’t think Paul will be around for long because of his whole “I need to be in control” issues. People like Paul don’t usually last long on survivor, as opposed to showmances. Just look at Peter last season. Yeah, he’s going to be gone soon.

The immunity challenge was very entertaining. An obstacle course in, around, and under water – it was one of the coolest ones I’ve seen. At one point, I was sure that David was going to lose it for the Gen X’ers, but they somehow pulled it out in an impressive come back. The win gives Chris (Brian), Lucy (Kelly), Bret (Kelly), Jessica (Brian), Ken (Jo Lynn), and Cece (Bella) 5 points each. Since the Millennials are going to tribal, that gives Michaela (Kelly), Figgy (Jo Lynn), Michelle (Jo Lynn), Hanna (Brian), Mari and Will (Bella), and Jay; Taylor; and Zeke (Haylee) each -2 points.

So the Millennials are going to tribal, and everyone wants to vote out Figgy. Again, I don’t get these people. Anyway, Michelle realizes what is going down and starts making moves to prevent it. Hey, folks, here we have a Millennial who is mega smart. I mean, did you watch Michelle – did you listen to her?! It was IMPRESSIVE to have talked to Michaela, of all people, and convinced her to vote with them and KEEP FIGGY. This is the one person Michaela seems to hate, and Michelle convinced her to keep her. Ok, Jay helped, but clearly Michelle was in charge of the whole thing. She also got Will on their side as well. I mean, Mari is probably smarter than all of them, but Michelle really impressed me with her savvy brain skills. She could go far. I think Michelle realized that her most significant mental threat she had on her team was Mari, so she targeted her. I think that’s exactly what happened.

So tribal happens, and we have more irrational talk about the showmance stuff. Right now, I think the only Millennial who has any chance at all of winning this is Michelle. The rest of them – they’re too emotional, and/or dumber than dumb, for this game. It’s probably going to be a GenX season. That’s my read at this point anyway, and I suppose it’s possible they’ll settle down at some point. Even though during tribal Michaela is still going off at Figs, still for no apparent reason, she STILL casts her vote to get rid of Mari. I was flabbergasted to say the least, but Michelle really worked her magic on her.

So I feel bad for Bella. I know she really liked Mari as she knows who Mari is outside of Survivor, and follows her on YouTube. Sorry, IzzyB, that your player had to go. Figgy got 3 votes to evict, and Mari got 7. That’s -3 to Figgy for the votes, and -7 to Mari. Figgy gets 2 points for getting multiple votes, but still surviving. Mari finishes 19th, and gets 1 point for that. Will, Michaela, Hanna, Michelle, Jay, Taylor, and Zeke each receive 3 points for receiving no votes at tribal.

I didn’t see any quotes becoming hashtags in this episode. If you did, let me know. At this point then, Kelly and I tied for the episode lead of 11 points; Haylee got 6 total points; Jo Lynn got 3 total points; and Bella got -2 total points. Don’t forget to check out the spreadsheet to see the complete break down of the points.

Until next week, my peeps! Have a great weekend, and an awesome first week of October! It’s almost Halloween time! Yes!

Why the original Mass Effect 3 endings are rancid

I saw a tweet today where someone couldn’t understand why so many think the end of Mass Effect 3 is bad, and they asked for someone to explain it to them. This is my acceptance of that challenge.

Imagine a world where the only Star Wars movies that ever came out were the original trilogy. In this world, there’s no such thing as the Empire or the Emperor. The primary adversary is Darth Vader, who commands the entire fleet, Death Stars, everything. He’s the driving force behind the enemy (Reapers for instance), and Luke is our hero (Shep for instance). This is the story through 2 and a half movies.

Then, suddenly, about halfway through Return of the Jedi they start dropping hints that Darth Vader isn’t in charge. But these hints are so subtle, and few, that they don’t really drive the narrative. Then, in the last 15 minutes of Return of the Jedi, suddenly we find out that Vader is just a puppet. Here’s the Emperor, and he’s untouchable. Our hero can’t fight him. All Luke can do is either:

1) Become the new Darth Vader, and perhaps attempt to use that power for good? Maybe? If he doesn’t end up being controlled by the Emperor in the end? Who knows? Do you really believe the Emperor (Starchild) is honest and trustworthy?;

2) Force every creature in the galaxy to become half Luke and half Darth Vader, without their consent or knowledge or desire (DNA rape in other words);

or 3) Destroy the Death Star and Imperial Fleet, but it ends up destroying some of the Rebel fleet and all their droids as well.

There’s not much of a sense of triumph at the end. No sense of: YES! Everything we’ve been driving towards for two and half games gets thrown out the window, in favor of a completely different narrative that comes mostly out of left field. And WHY?! WHY was this done?! We had a great driving narrative set up already! We are here to chew bubble gum, and kick Reaper ass, and we’re all out of bubble gum! We didn’t need this Starchild pseudo-intellectual bullshit “ending”!

So, yeah, everything we’ve spent so many hours driving towards ends up with…… this?! So the Illusive Man was right all along, and we should control the Reapers? Or we should rape the entire galaxy’s DNA?! Or we should allow EDI and The Geth to die, even if we’re best friends with them?! And we’re supposed to be okay with the fact that the Normandy crash lands on some unknown planet, with perhaps no way of repairing the ship and escaping – plus we don’t know if everyone survived the crash. Why is this awesome? Why is this heroic?

I have absolutely no idea why anyone considers the end of ME3 to be fun, inspiring, or in any other way satisfying. I’m dumbfounded at people who enjoy it, or in any way defend it. It’s the biggest pile of shit of all time. It completely ruins the entire trilogy for me. It’s clear to me that without Drew Karpyshyn’s influence, Mac Walters and Casey Hudson had very little sense of proper narrative design, and cared more about forcing themselves and their philosophies into the narrative instead of allowing the story to tell itself. Would we still be talking about Star Wars, in any positive light, if this is how the original trilogy came to an end?

Another problem I have with it is that it’s not actually an ending. The story doesn’t end; it just stops. There’s a difference to me. There are too many loose ends that are apparently never going to be cleared up. What is the ultimate fate of the Normandy? What about the crew that we don’t see walk out after the crash? What happens to the galaxy now that the relays are destroyed? WTF is the “one last story” about Shep? What is the point of the one breath we hear at the end of the destruction “ending”? Why does this “ending” SATISFY ANYONE who actually takes more than half a second to THINK ABOUT IT?

I hate it when “writers” stop their stories rather than ending them. A story needs a proper epilogue, and ME3 does not provide it at all. If ME4 was supposed to continue this story, then I could forgive most of my issues with ME3, except the Starchild. However, ME1 and 2 were complete stories in and of themselves while ME3 is NOT a complete story. It just isn’t. There are people out there who like to tie up loose ends in their own minds, and there are writers who like that as well. I get it. But that is not a proper story. It shouldn’t be on the audience’s shoulders to decide how a story ends. The story should be allowed to end itself, and the writer is supposed to be the conduit for that. “Endings” like this violate the point of storytelling in my opinion. What is the point of taking someone on a journey that you know doesn’t actually end? It’s just offensive to me as it feels like a purposeful wasting of my time.

Thankfully modders came to the rescue. Because of the following mods, I can play an ME3 that doesn’t suck complete moosecock, although I don’t think that any mod out there can totally heal the damage to the ME narrative structure that ME3 provided. (Actually the damage began with the “Arrival” DLC for ME2, which was complete garbage narrative wise, many “thanks” to Mac Walters for that, although I admit that I did enjoy playing it.) “Backoff”, “Citadel Epilogue Mod”, “ME3 Recalibrated”, “MEHEM”, “Shorter Dreams”, and “Extended Final Anderson Conversation” are the mods I’m referring to.

I wholeheartedly recommend replaying ME3 with them installed. If, after that, you still think the original ME3 is better, then – well all I can say is to each their own. You can live your life, and I will live mine, and never the twain shall meet….

True Love?

Wow it’s been so long since I posted anything here. I guess I don’t get inspired to write nearly as often I used to. Well, anyway, here it goes.

I play a game called Miitomo, Google it if you want to know more about it. In short, it’s a game that asks you questions about yourself, or your philosophies, so that other people can get to know you via social media in a way that might take years of hanging out in real life – or at least months. At least, that’s what it seems like to me. Anyway – today it asked me this question, and I felt that 180 characters wasn’t enough to appropriately answer it.

“If true love exists, where do you find it?” This is my response.

Romantic love is a binary state of existence. In other words, it isn’t a singularity. It isn’t enough for you to love someone; they have to love you back as well, and with a general consistency in the way that you love them. Love doesn’t perpetuate itself. It requires both people to fully commit and engage for it to work. If only one person works at it, then it’s more about selfishness on one side and obsession on the other. If neither person works at it, then WTF are you doing? See below where I talk about wasting time.

Too many people waste months / years of their life on someone who hurts them (cheaters, liars, abusers – either physically or emotionally or both, or people who just don’t put effort into the relationship) in the name of “love”. You can feel whatever you want to for someone, but if they don’t treat you the same way consistently (no one is perfect, but you know what I mean) then that isn’t love – no matter what you say or think or feel. That’s you being obsessed with what you want the situation to be, rather than recognizing reality, and them taking advantage of you and being selfish, or perhaps them not really caring either way. You can feel free to not appreciate reality, but reality is still reality whether you appreciate it or not.

To find true love, you have to find it in yourself first and foremost. You have to be willing and ready to value someone else more than you value yourself. Only then will it even matter if you’re lucky enough to find someone who is willing and ready to do the same for you. If you ever find that, then you have to treasure that more than gold.

Society is all about “what have you done for me lately”, rather than, “What can I do to make you happy?” True love should be two people who always (or as often as possible – again no one is perfect) ask themselves what they can do to make the person they love happy. That way, both of you are happy as often as possible.

People who understand this concept actually understand love, at least the way I define it. Finding someone who actually understands love almost never happens – at least in my experience. If you find it then I suggest you never let it go, and always do everything you can to best live up to your end of the equation. Again, recognizing that no one is perfect. It’s okay to forgive, but, again, consistency is key here. Someone who loves you will not consistently hurt you, or fall short of treating you the way you treat them. Don’t cheat yourself and make excuses for someone who doesn’t work to treat you the way you treat them.

The movie “Wedding Crashers” has the best all time quote about what true love is: “True love is the soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another.” Wait until you find that, and you both treat each other with that kind of reverence, and then call that true love. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Life’s too short to waste your time. Okay?

B

Random Thoughts 11/25

Aristotle wrote, “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” I just saw that quote tonight just as I was searching my soul, the Bible, and the web for encouragement for patience. I was praying about matters of the heart not long ago, and it was like God whispered to my heart, “Be patient….” Some days, most days really, I struggle with that. I was struggling with it tonight and that quote hit my twitter feed. It helped. God is good.

Random Thoughts for Thanksgiving

My Mom was texting with me the other day and commented how she knows how much I would like to get married again someday, but I shouldn’t because my “Dream World” life would vanish quickly. She was implying that women can, and often do, suck the life out of their men. Mom says it’s sad but true.

I have a good bachelor’s life. I have a job I love making good, not great but good, money. I have a wonderful, if small, condo in a brilliant neighborhood called Atlantic Station. It’s near the top (one floor down) of a high rise building in which I have a gorgeous view of Atlanta. I have no credit cards. No real debt. I don’t even own a car – I don’t really need one in day-to-day life. Atlantic Station has everything I absolutely need for the day-to-day. Google it. Life is good, and I am blessed. I realize this 100%. However, here is how I responded to her:

“Everything is give and take. I don’t consider my life a “dream world”. I am blessed, but I would trade it all in an instant for a regular house in a regular neighborhood if I were blessed with a great woman and some kids. It would have to be a great woman, though. I pray about it, but I guess we’ll see what God’s plan is for me. In the meantime, I am happy with my blessings right now. It’s just not my ultimate hope or dream.”

So I have many blessings, and I’m thankful for them. I am a lot more blessed than so many other people. But no one cuddles with me in my bed, or looks me in the eyes and says they love me. And I always thought there would be at least one person on the earth by now who would be calling me Dad. I’m going to be 44 in just 5 days. That doesn’t seem possible, but it is.

Anyway – I’m thankful for a lot today. But I’m also here alone, as I always am. God is with me, and I am comforted, but I wish my one were here, who ever she is, to smile at me and whisper that she loves me.

That is what I’m thinking about tonight, as I lay me down to sleep…..

Oh, and one more thing. My stats system is saying that someone in Russia is coming to the blog here everyday. Why would someone in Russia care what I have to say? Leave me a comment sometime and let me know, please.

B

Random Thoughts – 10/21/12

Technically it’s 10/22, but I haven’t gone to bed yet so it’s still Sunday night to me. Getting ready to do just that – go to bed that is. Starting a new trend for me tonight – Parting Thoughts. Here are my prevalent thoughts for tonight.

I wish life and love didn’t have to be so hurtful, elusive, frustrating, and sorrowful. Happiness is more alien to us than any “other worldly” being could ever be.

Goodnight, goodnight – parting is such sweet sorrow. That I will say goodnight until it be ‘morrow….

2011 Recap and 2012 Info

Well it’s almost the end of March now, and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m going to finally write this recap, and post my My Beautiful Women of 2011 list. I’ve been really busy. I spent the last part of 2011 playing the Star Wars The Old Republic beta, and then the game itself came out during the last part of December. I was really busy playing that for most of January and February – when I wasn’t working or building the new computer that I built. Then this month I’ve been busy playing Mass Effect 3. So it’s been a busy gaming time in my life lately.
Here’s a quick bullet list of events:

Well it’s almost the end of March now, and I’m finally getting to the point where I’m going to finally write this recap. I’ve been really busy. I spent the last part of 2011 playing the Star Wars The Old Republic beta, and then the game itself came out during the last part of December. I was really busy playing that for most of January and February – when I wasn’t working or building the new computer that I built. Then this month I’ve been busy playing Mass Effect 3. So it’s been a busy gaming time in my life lately.

Here’s a quick bullet list of events:

  • Playing a lot of Star Wars The Old Republic since December – on the server Whitebeam Run. I run a guild called “Darkening of the Light”.
  • I was in Princeton for the last week of December, and the first week of January. I spent a lot of time with Mom, as well as with Sheila (who I often refer to as Elisha). Sheila, Trey, and I watched a lot of Doctor Who together. It was a glorious time.
  • I got a great 1080 HD Canon camcorder for Christmas, along with a Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal Fathead and an almost 6 foot tall Tardis standee. Kick ass!
  • I got a bad case of food poisoning from McDonald’s while I was in Princeton. I haven’t had McDonald’s since, and I don’t believe I will be having it again any time soon.
  • During the Michigan / Virginia Tech game in January, the ESPN announcer said: “Well tomorrow Clemson plays another team from the state of Virginia – West Virgina!” Uh, no, idiot – I promise you that West Virginia and Virginia are *separate* states. He’s not alone in this mistake, though. So many people in Atlanta will say, “Hey, Brian, aren’t you from Virginia?” I’ll respond, “No – WEST Virginia.” Their response? “Ah, same thing!” NO! It’s NOT the same thing! Ugh!
  • Speaking of the WVU vs Clemson Orange Bowl game, where most everyone didn’t think the Mountaineers had even the slightest hope of winning, WVU completely crushed and embarassed Clemson to the tune of 70 to 33! Let’s Go! ………………….. Mountaineers!
  • One of my favorite bands, Van Halen, released a brand new album. Although I have always been more of a fan of the Sammy Hagar flavor of the band, I have to admit that I really like this new album. It’s called, “A Different Kind of Truth”, and I highly recommend it. The best songs on it, in my opinion are, “You and Your Blues”; “Big River”; “Tattoo”; “She’s the Woman”; “Blood and Fire”; and “The Trouble with Never”.
  • I started exercising again, but I’ve been sporatic with it at best. I will eventually lose these 50 or so pounds that I want to lose!
  • I built a brand new desktop computer that kicks all the ass in the universe – twice!  I put a solid state hard drive in it, and it’s so fast that after it POSTs it boots into Windows in about 7 seconds or so. Facebook pictures – click here!
  • The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl – again! LOL! Ah man I loved it! I’m definitely not a Giants fan, but I loathe the Patriots and love it every time they lose. 🙂
  • Mass Effect 3 came out in March, and while the game itself is, for the most part, one of the best games I’ve ever played, the way it was released involves some major flaws and just flat out craziness. I will go into more detail on it in my next post.

Well that’s about all that went on at the end of 2011, and all that’s been going on in 2012 so far. Outside of the daily routines of work and such of course. That’s about all I have to say for this post.

B

12/1/2011

Been busy lately – I will find the time to make a lengthy post to recap later, but I don’t have much time right now. Right now all I want to do is post these two incredible tidbits so that I will never forget them.

Today, two brilliant stars in the sky asked two brilliant questions.

Question #1:

Why is my black and white printer not printing in color?

I am not kidding. Someone actually didn’t understand why this was happening. She was perplexed even.

Answer:

There are two reasons. #1: They call it a black and white printer for a reason. #2: You’re fired.

Question #2:

Why can’t I record my voice on my computer without first plugging in the microphone?

To give this person the benefit of the doubt, we had to find out whether this was a laptop or not – as many laptops have built in microphones. But, alas, he was referring to his desktop. Are you Scotty in Star Trek 4 or something? “Computer…..ah…..computer? We must draw up the schematics for transparent aluminum. Computer?” I can imagine him grabbing the mouse and trying to use it as a walkie-talkie. “Computer? Why can’t you hear me? Computer?” I’m sorry, but you’re fired as well.

Back to Kindergarten with you!

B