Friday, September 26, 2008

The RLTP Project, Part 6.

A hearty thanks to all who decided to join in on the fun this Monday. People laughed, which is all I had hoped for. Succession!

So what's next? Now I do some tweaking and try to get the thing put on for reals.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The RLTP Project, Part 5.

Today was the rehearsal for the reading on the 22nd, and I had a great time. The director managed to convince some very funny people to join in the fun, and they all got really into it. Geeks are funny, man.

The reading will be Sept 22nd at 7:30pm at the Road Less Traveled theater space and is open to the public. If you're interested in seeing (hearing?) The Alpha Geek, please feel free to come on down. Costumes encouraged.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Book Four: Air

Avatar: The Last Airbender is over, but was clearly cut short. Here's how Book 4 should have gone:

One year after Fire Lord Zuko's ascension to the throne:

Aang, while living a life of quiet reflection in the Eastern Air Temple, sees a flying bison. This starts him on the search for the missing Air Nomads, who escaped the Fire Nation's wrath by
disappearing beyond the known boundaries of the world. In the last 102 years, they have retreated from earthly concerns, and Aang must convince them to return in order to finalize his life's work of restoring balance. Katara goes with him, despite Aang's insistence that she not.

Ozai bargains with Zuko, offering information on his mother's location in exchange for a 'house arrest' arrangement on the family estate on Ember Island. Zuko, still learning how to be a softy, agrees. Ursa has taken refuge in a murky cave behind a waterfall in the Southern Water Kingdom, where firebending is nearly impossible. The precise location of this place is known only to the Dai Lee, as it is one of a network of hideouts they have established across the globe. Zuko, bored with palace life and a moron, decides to go himself. He appoints Mei as steward in what he believes will be a short absence.

With the Avatar and the Fire Lord now distracted, a group of Ozai loyalists (including the YuuYan archers) takes advantage of the situation and free Ozai. Oops. They embark on a mission to capture the Avatar equivalent of the nuke -- crazy Azula, who has been locked up far from civilization.

Zuko travels to the Ba Sing Se, where Toth has reconciled with her family and set up a school to teach metalbending. He meets with Iroh, who has set up his tea shop and has no interest in adventures. As the Blue Spirit, he sneaks into Dai Lee Central and steals the map of their hidden bases. He realizes they are all linked by narrow passages which can be navigated only by earthbenders. The Earth Kingdom could potentially move people -- or troops -- throughout the world unhindered. Huh. Zuko enlists Toth's help to move speedily to his mother's cave.

A happy reconciliation, and a stop over to see Sokka, who is hard at work rebuilding the Southern Water Kingdom with his father.

Just then, of course, Ozai makes his move. Easily overpowering Mei, he reinstates himself as Fire Lord, assuming that without the Avatar, Zuko cannot get to him. Trouble is, the Earth King has decided that the Fire Kingdom needs to be destroyed to ensure that they never pull a world-dominance stunt again. He unleashes his armies through the tunnel system and battles rage throughout the Fire Kingdom.

Zuko, Toth, and Sokka race back to the action, picking up Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors along the way. They mount a stealth mission to recapture Ozai in hopes that Zuko's reinstatement would calm the Earth King.

All this time, Aang has been searching the hinterlands, proving himself to the Air Nomads, and bickering with Katara. Just when all seems lost back home, he and his people fly in and stop the violence. Zuko reclaims the throne. Everybody goes home.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why Japanese?

It started with, of all things, Rock Band. As my efficacy at the drums improved, I considered practicing. Twenty minutes a day, say. Keep that up, and I'd be rocking on Expert all the time.

After spending the briefest of moments entertaining this clack-and-roll fantasy, reason stamped it out. What a waste of time! Twenty minutes a day, and to what end? Better fake rocking? I might as well learn an actual instrument.

Hey, wait a second...

Thus began the next stage: an ephemeral question of whether or not I should take up an instrument. I played the baritone horn in high school to little effect, so at least I can read music. I can spare twenty minutes a day, certainly. The violin? Perhaps the ocarina?

This concept went fairly quickly by the wayside. Not to worry though -- I found another way to spend this hitherto unused twenty minutes. (No, it's not exercise.)

I heard this story on NPR, and the phrasing of a certain sentence caught my ear. Jefferson read several languages. Now there's a thought. The guy probably didn't speak German all that well, but he could read it.

This baked for a while until it combined with the previous thoughts and came out of the oven something new: time to learn a language.

Now being both a videogame geek and a lingustics geek, Japanese was the only choice.