Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Evansville trip 2016, Fall Festival and 80th Birthday

Hey there everyone. It's been 4 years since I went to see my family in Evansville and boy was it fun. We were going down for my Great Aunt's 80th birthday, and they were also having their fall festival. Let me break it down day by day.

Day 0.5
I call it "0.5" because we left after work. We encompasses my mom, her best friend, aunt, grandma, and grandpa. All 6 of us piled into a rental Dodge Grand Caravan with a built in DVD player. Actually, it had composite input and a 120V outlet, so I also brought one of my SNES and some games for my aunt to play on the way. I also brought some DVDs, one of them being National Lampoon's Vacation, a movie my family references all the time, and "road trip." I road up front because Mom wanted directions help, and GPS help. I also wore my "Wally World" t-shirt, because "road trip." As we were pulling away, my dad was just smiling and waving to see us off, knowing he's not going on this crazy journey with us.

After about 6 blocks, my grandma was complaining about her back hurting. Since this is a "stow and go" Grand Caravan, we folded down the seat to get in the back and the head rest folds into the seat when folded. Well, we forgot to put it back up, so my grandma was really uncomfortable. Mom pulled over, I jumped out, helped her move out the way, folded the headrest back up, got her situated, and jumped back in the van. Well....I forgot to close her door, so as we were pulling away she saw it was still open and yelled "STOP." Mom slammed the breaks and the door shut on it's own momentum. That was a fun thing to tell my brother and cousin; "we made it 6 blocks before we had to stop." lol

After many hours and lots of references to Vacation, we arrived at our motel. It was a REALLY nice motel. My grandparents and I were in the accessible room, and it was basically a studio apartment with a full kitchenette. My mom, her best friend, and aunt had the "penthouse suit" which had 2 floors, a sitting room, separate bedroom, and full kitchenette. Oh, and the front lobby had free cookies.

Day 1
After the awesome motel and awesome motel breakfast, I played "van Tetris" got everything back packed. I sat in the back row this time because mom was confident with the GPS. I tried to set-up the videogames, but unfortunately the power outlet didn't work. Darn. Oh well. After we got on the road we started watching National Lampoon's Vacation. That was fun. For lunch we stopped at a Steak and Shake, because my grandparents love it. Mom's friend had a sheet of coupons, so all of us ordered to maximize our savings. In total we saved like $10. Yay.

After more hours, we arive in Evansville. We stop at my great Aunt's house to say hello and get my aunt set-up at her house. After an hour of that we unpack my grandparents and I at our hotel. After a little relaxing, we head down to the fall festival. Fall festival is a big thing down there, like school closes for it, and they shut down main street so they can line it with food trucks, carnival rides, and midway games. Also, the food trucks are all Southern Soul Food, aka, EVERYTHING is deep fried.

We got there for dinner, with the plan of having dinner at the festival. On night 1 I got myself a brain sandwich, which is a deep fried pig brain on a bun with pickles. It's a regional German thing, and I can only find them in Evansville. Check out the picture below.

While waiting in line, there was a lady that never had a brain sandwich. When she made it to the front of the line, and when she saw it was actual brain meat, she exclaimed "what is wrong with you people!?" He husband/boyfriend had a brain and she tried it in front of us, for the fun of it and putting on a show for people who encouraged her to try it. She did a sign of the cross, took a bite, and didn't like it. It was funny. I like them, it's soft and crunchy, and tastes like deep fried. This one wasn't as good as the restaurant I normally get them at, but it was still pretty good. I had my first brain like 10 years ago, and I have to have one whenever I go down there. I checked out some other trucks, and some of the carnival. My cousin turtle girl wanted to meet us at the fair, but she unfortunately wasn't able to find parking. It was still a fun time.

Day 2
Well it's now the bid day, the reason we came down and I took off 2 days, my great aunt's 80th birthday. My mom's generation got everything set-up at the hall, while I waited at the hotel with my grandparents. At the party I saw MMT and turtle girl again for the first time in 2 years, so it was really fun catching up. Then I saw my boy cousin (MMT's brother) for the first time in 4 years. I also got to meet turtle girls boyfriend, and he's majoring in the same general area I am. We talked about common skill sets, and that was fun. He's a nice guy, good for turtle girl. I sat with turtle girl's family for dinner, and that was fun. It was a southern chicken dinner, and since I don't like chicken I just had a big plate of southern green beans. My uncle made a great video of my great aunt throughout the years, and another one of my aunt's made a bingo game out of great aunt trivia. That was fun.

After packing up the party, we went to church. After church, we went to my aunt's house for some post party fun. We opened her gifts, and my aunts played a fun joke on her. She has a closet of wedding gifts she never used, in the 50+ years since she got married. My aunts wrapped up some of the gifts and gave them to her as presents. Good joke. My grandma made her a build a bear, and she really liked it. Some of her friends got her gift cards. Good little time.

We went to the festival for it's last night afterwards. Since I had my brain, I wanted to get some other foods. I started with a deep fried hotdog wrapped in bacon and fried broccoli. Now when I read "fried broccoli," I was expecting "lightly battered broccoli that's been deep fried." Not this, this was broccoli, wrapped in cheese sauce, with VERY thick batter. Only half of it was broccoli. It was good, but not what I expected. My family parked it at a local bar that's on the main road with the festival. Because it's fall festival, you can bring in festival food but not drinks (pretty sure that's illegal because they don't know what's in it). I had a glass of wine with my festival food. After some time, MMT and I went back out to the festival and I bought some buffalo jerky. I was expecting "home made, we smoked it ourselves" jerky, but this was "convenience store slim jim serving" jerky. It was good though, and I saved 1 for the trip home. After a little while longer and finishing my glass of wine, I went out to get nachos, and those were good too. I wanted to get Potato Ribbons, which is basically a REALLY large potato chip (a spiral cut potato). Unfortunately everyone was out, so I settled for nachos. Oh, I also saw a broken hypodermic needle on the ground while out getting my nachos. Alllrighty then.

Day 3
The final day. We pack up our stuff, said our goodbyes, piled into the van, and head to our next stop. We stop close where J-man lives, and had lunch with him. I had a steak with broccoli, because I needed something not fried and healthy. After our lunch we went back to the awesome motel. On the ride there I watched Popeye Volume 2 Disc 1. Since my longest friend lives in the same city, we went out for a beer and pizza. It was REALLY fun catching up. He told me about this videogame store that's in the city, and how it has everything and he was considering getting an SP because he needs one when out traveling with hockey. When I got up from the table I felt a little wobbley, lol. After I got back to the hotel, I had the joy of listening to my grandpa complain about how big of a scum bag Trump is (like Clinton is any better).

Day 4
We ate breakfast and I "tetrised" the van. Our plan was to get going before 9AM (which means I would miss the videogame store), but because old people take a while to get moving, we made it to the videogame store right as they opened at 10AM. My aunt and I enjoyed looking around at everything, and I bought 6 games there; Shooting Gallery on sega master system, centipede and star wars episode on on PS1, Ratchet and Clank Size Matters on PSP, and Bloodrayne and George of the Jungle for PS2. Funny enough, when I tested Bloodrayne on my childhood PS2 it didn't work. However, when I tried it on one of my other PS2s it worked. We drove for hours. I watched classic popeye theatrical shorts, and later the first episode of firefly. Just a ride home. Later that night I needed to get away and do my own thing. Lucky for me Batman Return of the Caped Crusader was playing for that night only. Listen to my review here.

Well that was my trip. It was a fun time. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

To Be A College Student for a Weekend

Hey everyone. This past Thursday was my film club's annual student film festival. Since I was a student 5 months ago, I made some short films with them and entered them into the festival. However, since I'm now a full time employee, I can't just go across the state and watch short films with my friends on a weeknight. So I had to use 2 days vacation time to have fun, and with the way my department is structured, it wasn't a problem (even though a couple of guys that know me from my internships gave me a hard time about taking vacation less than a month from starting, lol). So here's my experience.

I woke up Thursday morning and hit the road at about 10AM. I didn't have any trouble finding where I had to go, and when I broke for lunch I went to a GoodWill that was really close to the McDonald's I stopped at. I picked up a PS2 DDR dance pad for $2. The cashier was happy that someone bought it since apparently they don't sell very fast. After lunch I continued driving to my old college. I made it after about 3 hours. Once I got there, I made a quick stop at my engineering campus. I was hoping to see some old friends or maybe some professors, but neither were there. Well that figures, most of my friends that would hang out at the cafe or computer lab graduated, and it was during class hours so my professors were probably teaching a class. Oh well, it was cool seeing my second home again. After the engineering college I went to the GoodWill that was 1 mile away from campus. I bought a PS2 RF adapter, brand new for cheap.

After the GoodWill, I went to the student union where I wanted to hang out, hoping to find some old friends or just watch Toonami on AdultSwim.com. I had to re-configure my laptop so I could access the school's wifi. Now this Wi-Fi is just meant for students, but since I still have my log-in information, and they only reset log-in servers at the beginning of the school year (I think), I was able to log-in and still enjoy the student Wi-Fi. I told my friends I would be there, and one of my friends I met in my last semester stopped by to talk. Oh, I also had to use the visitor metered parking since I was a visitor. The meters at my college are a rip-off. It's 1 quarter for 10 minutes. Every meter parking I know of (down town my home town and down town my college's close city) give you 30 minutes for a quarter. I had to pay like $5 in quarters to park at the student union for the couple hours I was there. Then when I went to the auditorium parking, I had some trouble finding a spot since there was like some event going on, so I accidentally parked in "30 minute limit" parking, only to find out after pumping $1.50 in to see "the time's not increasing." I found another spot that was REALLY close to another car, so I had some fun getting out. Then I spent about another $5 on meters.

But then things got fun. I went to the building where the festival was happening, and went to where it was before. I set-up at a lounge and watched some more Toonami. Eventually one of the current members of the group told me they were meeting upstairs. I packed-up my stuff and met them up there. This is when I started filming the fun behind the scenes video I always do, and I'll get it all edited together, once I get my camera back from my friend. It was fun seeing them again. We hung out and got caught up while the others scrambled to get things all set-up for the night. And then TisLiberte, our former president of 3 years, showed up and that's when things got REALLY fun. Whereas I was one of the most dedicated member that really bled for the group in my last semester, TisLiberte was probably the most dedicated member ever and just brought a whole lot of fun to the group. Oh man we had some fun.

Now it's film time. Everyone got in and, well I'll let the video speak for itself (once I get the footage and edit it). I entered 3 shorts I filmed over the semester; got pyramid, Pokemon anime/game cross over, and School: an Educational Establishment (featuring iMonster). Halfway through the festival there was intermission. I changed into my Oddish costume. Oh that was fun, and everyone really enjoyed it. There was also photo booth fun. Here's the picture of TisLiberte and I.
Yeah it was fun. After intermission it was time for more films. After more great films, it was time for judging. I changed back into normal clothes, and took some more video. The winners were all deserving of their coveted golden VHS tapes (my idea from 3 years ago might I add when they were talking about how expensive real trophies would be). It was kind of symbolic in that the short film that had not only TisLiberte, our president of 3 years, directing it, it also had a founding father work on it, and we tried to call him in Florida to congratulate him live during the acceptance speech. We left him a fun voice mail. It was a fun 4 hours of short films, that ended at 11 PM. Why, because college. The films were really good this year. Like, previous years there were some really bad films, and not just "I'm an engineer that doesn't understand experimental art house" bad, but "film students in the group were making fun of how bad they were later" bad. This year they were quite funny/entertaining, and the worst was "well it just dragged on a little."

Afterwards, everyone that was still around went to IHOP for dinner/late night snack. There were like 9 of us that were there. It was really fun to just hang out with the film club again, while eating chocolate chip pancakes. One of the members jokingly asked the group (not the waitress) "what's on draft?" (There's no alcohol served at the international house of pancakes, so it was quite funny). Why ask something like that, because college. We were there for 2 hours having fun, hanging out, and enjoying breakfast food. One guy got a 55 and over menu option. I don't think the waitress really cared. Another member wanted a child smiley face pancake, but he decided against it and got an adult meal. Also, bear in mind that we got there at like 11 PM at night, and we stayed there until 1 AM. Why? Because college. I showed up at my friend who was letting me spend the weekend with him on one of his futons at like 1:30 AM, and he had a test the next morning at like 8:30 AM (I don't miss that part of college).

OK so it's now Friday morning. I wake up at 10 AM (because vacation), and have some coco krispies while I surf the morning web. So this was kind of funny; I'm sitting in my friend's living room with his girlfriend, and the power was cut off because he forgot to pay the electric bill or something. It was kind of funny to see it actually happen. I went to McDonald's for lunch, and then pumped $6 into the meter so I could park until they stopped enforcing it. I intended to just watch Toonami until Pokemon, but I ran into a friend and we talked for about 2 hours. After she had to leave I watched Toonami, and hopped that I could see Saint and/or Sudden, but they were busy. Oh well.

So now it's Pokemon time. I wore my Oddish costume, and it went over quite well. The president has always given me a hard time about how cringey my costume was, since it's just a blue spandex morph suit with a plastic fern sticking out of the back. He was fine with it once he saw it in person, and the vice president wanted a picture with it for his snap chat. We had fun with a game of Pokemon Trivia, and it was quite a fun time, especially to be a college student again.

After Pokemon I went back to my friend's place and we ate the extra popcorn from the film festival while we watched Clerks. Oh yeah, a local movie theater donated like a couple cubic yards of popcorn for the film festival, and there was like a cubic yard left over. I took the left over and gave it to my friend as a "thank-you for letting me crash" gift. Why? Well I'm just naturally eccentric like that (it wasn't "because college" this time lol). We watched Clerks specifically because I was talking about it when we watched Bowfinger last time I was in town. In Bowfinger Steve Martin's character says something like "every movie is filmed on a budget of $1000," and Clerks really was filmed on a budget of like $1000 (though it was actually more like $23,000 according to Wikipedia). He really enjoyed it, and we had like $20 worth of movie popcorn while watching it. I also had like Indian Rammen for dinner with him (because he's Indian and a college student, so he of course had bricks of instant noodles sitting around that remind him of home). They tasted really good, but later that night I woke up with some indigestion because of the spices or something. Curse my Caucasian American intestinal system, because they were REALLY good. Oh well. After the movie we watched an episode of "Those Who Can't," because that was advertised on Crackle when we watched Bowfinger the last time I was in town, and he had a lot of fun with it.

It's Saturday now. Since I was on that side of the state, I decided I was going to take the extra hour to go visit Brandi. It was a little hard going there alone, but I still felt good to visit her. Her grave wasn't marked yet, so I spent about 5 minutes walking around the small cemetery "playing hide and seek." When I gave up looking for her headstone, I stood where I remember the burial happening and just said my prayers while looking around. Oh Brandi; even in death you're still very playful. After my last point of visit, I started the now 3 hour drive home. I got home around 5 PM and I had a lot of fun being a college student again. Well, now it's time to go back to being a real world adult. I'll be sure to link the film festival video once I get my camera back and the video edited and uploaded.

But until then, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Wild Lights at the Zoo

Hey everyone. So I guess every year at my local zoo they set-up a light exhibit where you walk around half the zoo and see all the lights in the shape of animals and other cool things. Mskate suggested we do this since it's a fun thing. We were going to do it the weekend before Christmas, but due to scheduling issues and whether, we decided to go the weekend after Christmas. Here's the little adventure that it was.

So I go over to her house and we got ready to head over to the zoo. She lives rather close, so we drove to to her "locals secret free parking" place. On out way there we saw a woman drive slowly by the fence getting the "side-line free show" from the back streets of the suburb that's next to the zoo. It was a small walk, but it saved us $7, plus it allowed us to get this picture.
Yeah, it's not dark enough to see it yet. Oh well. It wasn't time yet. There were 2 ways to buy tickets; pre-order in advance for a specific time, or same day on wait. We did same day on wait. I'm REALLY glad I brought my credit card because mskate just brought cash, and the only way to get our tickets was with credit card at the automated kiosk. She reimbursed me after I bought both of our tickets. So, now we play the waiting game. It was kind of cold, so I'm glad I wore warm clothes. Well, except gloves, and that's why I kept my hands in my pockets when I could. They separated us "at will" people from the "in advance" people.
 It wasn't fun on the other side of the barricade.
We were at the front of the line because we were paying attention to where we had to go. It was still about 15 minutes before they let us in after they let everyone else in. We just chatted and got caught up while we waited for it to get dark and be let in. But then they let us in, and it was great. We gave the ticket people our tickets, and mskate was a little upset they didn't let us keep our ticket stubs because she scrap books, and wanted to use this in her scrap booking. I did get her a map since they were only going to give me one. She also saw the "prism glasses that make the lights rainbows" and all that. She wanted one, but since this wasn't my first "vendor event," I knew those glasses would cost extra, and I was right. She didn't want them knowing they cost extra. Once we walked in we were greeted with this large, decorated tree. I got a nice photo with it.
After seeing the light tree, we saw some cool lights. Like these.

(In the future, all pictures without me will be uploaded to myspace)

It was already really pretty, but it felt weird not going to the butterfly house or penguin house. But outside the penguin house, I got this picture with a penguin statue.

After the penguin, I took this short video while walking.
Check out this cool tree light set-up.

After the tree the path had all these lights. Some of which were animated, like these.

They also had other animals. Here's a fun picture of me "petting" the light elephant and "hugging" the light hippo.

We walked down the path and saw a lot of cool lights. Mskate was walking faster than I did, so I kept having to tell her to slow down. I felt like I was with a younger me since "[Pokematic] slow down and enjoy the scenery" was something I heard a lot as a kid. lol. After walking through this cool walkway thing, (pictured below) we came up to a "rest area and giant slide" area.
We didn't do the large slide, because that was extra. Also, we were a little big for it. Well, I was a little big for it. Mskate could probably just make it, but still, extra. The rest area was a converted picnic area with drinks (including beer), crafts for the kids, pictures with Santa (who wasn't there since it was after Christmas), and a couple places to sit. We didn't stay to long, but I did get this funny picture of me "warming my hands" with a giant candle light.
It gave of a small amount of heat, but it was just a light bulb. It made a good goof though. However, outside the rest area we did find an actual gas heater. We warmed our hands by that for a couple minutes. It wasn't to far before we got to the "organizations and motion simulator" building. It was open so we could warm up, use the bathroom, and optionally ride the motion-simulator. We didn't ride the motion-simulator because, extra. We warmed up and took in what we just saw. Outside there was this cool "dancing lights" with the lights on the pillars changing with the music playing. Check it out.

That was cool. Outside the building there were some more animated lights, but these were of dinosaurs, particularly pterodactyls. Here's a gif of it and a video with me making pterodactyl noises.

Not to much farther did we come to the big fountain. Because it was winter the water was drained and not flowing. Oh well. It still looked cool at night.
If I had some change with me I would have thrown a coin into the empty fountain because that's what I did all the time as a kid. It was nice. After the fountain we walked a little further and saw some more lights. We also found a warming fire barrel. I warmed up by it. I was regretting not bringing gloves.
We saw some more lights (pics available on myspace). Then we saw this cool dancing lights and animated ball. Oh man was this cool. Video below.
A little more down the way, we found this wolf emblem lights thing. Here's me "howling" with the wolf.

Yeah. At this point we were approaching the end of the walkway into the zoo. This is where the polar bears and main zoo cafe was. The cafe was closed, as well as the polar bears. But we did see this cute little polar bear light statue.
Mskate wanted her picture with it, so I took her picture with it on her phone. At this point we reached as far into the zoo as we could. Everything was blocked off. We saw some more lights, and stopped by a chimp exhibit. This wasn't the BIG chimp exhibit, but it was one of them. Unfortunately the chimps weren't out, because it was past their bed-time. However, I got a funny picture of me at the little statue.
Yeah, it's fun to goof and have someone to take the pictures. As we walked, we came across these fun barricades. I got behind one and acted out what the scene was.
You're not supposed to go beyond them (and we didn't), but it doesn't cause much harm to walk directly behind it and take a picture. As we walked on we came to the other side of the animated ball. I tried to have Mskate take one of those "forced perspective" tourist shots of me "holding" the ball, but that kind of failed.
Yeah. Oh well, she isn't into camera work like I am. We continued to walk and see some more lights; some new and some from a different perspective (pics available on myspace). We missed this on our first viewing, so I got this picture of me with a light T-Rex.
I'm trying to mount it lol. We saw some more lights, but then we got to the reptile house. If I'm remembering a zoo overnight with the cub scouts properly, zoo mammals have specific bed times and are conditioned to know their bed times and sleep inside during the night so they are more active outside during the day. Zoo reptiles, however, don't have bed times because their constant heat lamps, permanent enclosures, and general lethargic nature allows people to see them at night without disturbing them. These reasons probably aren't completely correct, but we were able to see them at 7PM, long after all the other animals were asleep. Here's me riding the brass turtle statue.
I tried to take some pictures, of the animals, but the lens kept fogging up. Oh well. I really enjoyed it, but then again I really enjoy reptiles. Mskate however, didn't like it all that much, because she doesn't like reptiles all that much I guess. She enjoyed the warm though, and so did many others since it was warm in there. I did get this funny picture of me with a cobra statue.
After I took my picture there was a dad that wanted a picture with it. His son was afraid of it though, and thought the snake was going to bite him. Kind of funny. We left the exhibit and saw some more lights. We stopped at the otter house because it was warm. Mskate was all "why are we here, the otters aren't even out?" It was warm though, and made for a good "disappointed goof" picture.
After the otters there were more lights, and these cool animated frog lights by the amphibian exhibit. Here's a gif of it.

After the frogs we saw a lot more lights (see on Myspace). Near the end there were these construction penguins for their new penguin exhibit. Here are some pictures of me goofing with the penguin lights.

This now brings us to the butterfly house. We're right close to the enterance. I did see this sparkly rain deer, and tried to take some video. I realized I was filming vertically, so enjoy this little banter.

That was mostly it. Here's a picture of the exit.
It was cool, and once we got out of the main gate, I got a good picture of the entrance.
That was really fun. I'm really glad Mskate suggested that we do this. Sure, it was cold, but we saw a bunch of cool lights for cheep. It's also been a while since I've been to the zoo. It was fun to hang out again, so that was fun. I think we might have to do this again next year, but we'll make sure to order our tickets in advance. Make sure you check out the myspace gallery for all the pictures. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Black Friday and Christmas 2015

Good day everyone. I didn't have enough to talk about for Black Friday 2015, so I thought I would combine that with my Christmas 2015 blog since it is kind of the start of the Christmas season for my family.

Enjoy our hamster Epsilon in our play nativity. Didn't you know there were giant hamsters in biblical times?

So after spending thanksgiving with my aunt and grandpa, we gathered our black Friday lists. With everything open at 6 it's starting to lose it's fun. I still have the long lines for check out, but the door busters are typically all gone by the time I get there, and door busters are the best part. This year mbinski wasn't able to join me, and my brother didn't want to go out this year, and Zeldamaster93 hates black friday, so I was kind of at a loss. I asked mskate if she wanted to join me, and luckily she said "yes, I need to do something a little crazy." We went to 3 different stores; Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. We went to Walmart first. I got the amiibo I was looking for, and found a couple movies. After that we went to Target. I found another amiibo I was looking for and some movies. Mskate also found some movies, and I had to talk her out of getting Train Wreck for herself. One of her other friends said "you need to see it so you can get more well rounded," and I told her "you aren't going to like this movie. I've seen it and I know you, you will hate this. Rent it at family video for a dollar, don't spend $10 on a movie you will watch once." I don't know if she's rented it yet, but I might have to rent it with her and we'll watch it together, because I thought it was funny; REALLY raunchy, but funny. After Target we went to Best Buy. I got Inside Out and a Nintendo Eshop card. Mskate was getting tired, so we didn't go anywhere else afterwards. It was a fun time.

So fast forward a month and Christmas festivities begin. Once I got home I helped my parents set-up some Christmas decorations. Fast forward a little more and it's December 24th, Christmas Eve. Every year I celebrate Christmas with my grandparents on Christmas Eve. We went to McDonald's like we do every year since we were little. We had lunch and we tried the new mozzarella sticks. All 6 of us tried 1 after having 2 orders of 3. They are OK. It's McDonald's, what do you expect. Anyways, we get back to their house and exchange gifts. From them I got lottery tickets, Big Bang season 8, Simpons season 17, Jurassic World, Dragon Ball Battle of the Gods, Modern 8-bit Mario Amiibo, a 100 years of Lincoln Penny set with the last year of the decade (I love pennies), money, a flashlight that doesn't require batteries, a stuffed hamster that repeats what you say but sped-up, and candy. Here's a picture of me with my movies/TV shows
For them we got them good whiskey, because that's what they like. It was a great time with them. That was my Christmas Eve. Oh yeah, that night I watched "A Christmas Story 2 on CMT." You can read my review here. The TV edit was pretty good. I also watched A Christmas Story on TBS, because I do every year.

Now for Christmas Day. My family is really into the red Beany Buddy dogs, and have been since my Grandma got my dad the first one. Here's what they set-up on Christmas morning.

Yeah. It was for their amusement as much as ours. Here I am with my stuff.
Here's a list of what I got; a head massager, a retro 8-bit mario amiibo, a nintendo network card, beef jerky, lemon head candy canes, a recees cookie set thing, a large pepermint stick, an industrial size bag of peanut M&Ms, Inside Out, some money, bungee chords, and a 5 gallon bucket. Look, I'm bucket head.
But like any normal baby, all the dogs wanted to do was play with the wrapping.
 Also, because our hamster wanted to join us on on Christmas morning, we got to introduce him to the stuffed hamster. He wanted to chew on him.
But not to long after that, he wanted to join the dogs in his ball.

Since my aunt moved to Texas, my family now has the largest house and we host Christmas at our house. At about 3 PM my relatives started arriving. PepperBC and her family, my grandparents, and their friends came for dinner. We visited, played a game called heads up, and got caught up until about 5, that's when we had dinner. There was the choice of chicken, pork roast, and beef roast. I had pork and beef. Both were amazing. I sat with my brother, cousin, and family friend. We talked about deep web, bitcoin, and how I'm trying to buy a domain name from roller coaster tycoon. Oh yeah, I participated in a google plus secret Santa, and got Roller Coaster Tycoon for PC, and the website that is used to register the game is up for sale, and I want to buy it and put some of my content on it. Why, because I can. Anyways, dinner was good.

After dinner it was time for the sing along. We invited over some high school band friends to join those festivities. We had fun singing Christmas songs and polkas. Yep, that's my family. Almost every celebration we sing songs with someone playing the accordion. It's what we do. Throughout the celebration I showed everyone that was interested my nerd cave with the 10 retro videogame consoles. It was great seeing everyone. They stayed until about 8 PM.

Alright, it's not over yet. Now it's the 27th and time for Christmas with my mom's best friend, her kids, and their girlfriends. We played heads up and exchanged gifts. We basically got candy. Though while we were exchanging gifts, my mom said something REALLY funny, so funny I laughed for 30 strait minutes. Yeah, I'm really excitable like that sometimes. It hurt after about 10 minutes, and then the pain just made me laugh even harder. It was a fun time.

That was Christmas 2015. I had a couple of new years parties at new years, but nothing really worth noting. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Graduating College and the Last Weeks

Well everyone, after 4 and a half years, 9 total semesters, I am fully graduated. Boy, this was a journey. I had some really crazy classes, really fun adventures, and all sorts of fun and stress. You can look through the last 4 years of posts if you want to remember the fun. But this isn't a time to talk about all the old times, I already have. Today, I'm going to talk about the ending of it all.

Lets go back to the week before finals. This was when I had the last meetings of all my clubs. With my students for life club, we had a nice Christmas party where we listened to Christmas music, ate snack foods, made baby blankets to donate to the crisis pregnancy center that Brandi volunteered for, and were our overall goofy selves. I played Veggie Tales Christmas Silly Songs (Oh Santa and 8 Polish Foods Of Christmas) and Bob and Doug McKenzi's 12 Day of Christmas. Since we're like an unofficial Christian group (all the members just happen to be Catholic), everyone recognized the Veggie Tales songs, and then the older guys in the group thought Bob and Doug's 12 Days of Christmas was funny because of the "on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a beer." Good final time with them.

At my last filmmakers club meeting, I gave a going away speech as the last OG member. I gave a history of the club from the beginning, and how all the events impacted me and the group as a whole for better or worse. It was a really moving speech, and a great way to say fair well to the club that kept me from just being surrounded by engineers 24/7. At my Pokemon club we had a little pizza party, and I brought book marks for all the club members. These were official scholastic book fair Pokemon bookmarks my mom got to give to her students, but she said "no, my son and his Pokemon club will appreciate these more than my students," and they did. We played some Pokemon TCG, and then played smash bros and Pokemon Stadium. I dominated at the minigames, for the most part. There were some games where the input lag on the HDTV screwed me over, and I was like "I want a rematch, on a CRT. Lets go out to the smash players with their CRT's and play without input lag." Yeah, that's me. We didn't though, and I still won. Afterwards I tried selling some of my duplicate amiibo, but that failed. Oh well. Anyone want to buy Sonic new in box?

Finals pre-weekend I did what I always do, lock my self in my dorm and study like crazy. I did, for the most part. I only had 3 REAL finals considering that 1 final was a presentation (Tri-Z) and another was a guided discussion (Health and Wellness). Saturday I studied for Digital Logic, and Sunday I studied for Mechanics of Materials and History of the World. I probably should have divided them up more evenly since History and Mechanics were the harder subjects. Oh well. I ultimately did well in all my classes. My Tri-Z presentation went well, and I got my ISM challenge coin afterwards. That presentation was on Monday, my only test Monday. I did help my one friend study for digital logic on Monday. He somehow got a bootleg copy of the final from last year, and we studied off that. I helped him by showing him how to do those problems, and it helped me by having to teach the material.

On Tuesday I had Digital Logic and Health and Wellness finals. Digital Logic was one of the easiest tests I've ever taken. We had 2 hours to do the test. I was done in 45 minutes. It wasn't just because the test was almost identical to the one from the previous year, but because I was just so prepared. Boy, a 2000 level class is REALLY simple when you're used to 4000 (almost 5000) level classes. Then the discussion for Health and Wellness was really easy, just talk about the semester as a class. After the final some friends and I went to McDonald's to get Pokemon Happy Meals. Yeah, 3 college students, 1 a graduating senior, went to get Pokemon Happy Meals. We were a sight. It was great to hang out with them outside of a classroom setting. I'm going to keep in contact with them.

On Wednesday I had my Mechanics of Materials and World History finals. Mechanics I was confident, but kind of unjustly so, because I only knew about half of the stuff on it for sure, and the other half I kind of knew the general concept. Ultimately I think I did well enough considering that I got an A in the class. Whatever. In my history class I think I also did fairly well, even though I just kept cramming and cramming without much results. I went to the room an hour beforehand in hopes that it would keep me from getting distracted. It kind of did, but not really. I still got an A though. That night my friend since freshman year and I hung out to celebrate the end of finals and film a parody theme song for Pokemon based on engineering. I'll get that uploaded at the end of the week. Fun time.

Now for Thursday. On Thursday the only big thing was going to pick up my brother. He was getting a ride to about where my college was. OK, it was like 50 miles from my college, but closer than his college at the other end of the state. He and I did some packing, but mostly hung out. We watched a James Bond film until he passed out from exhaustion on my futon.

Friday is when the festivities really began. First of all I had to get my brother's ticket for graduation. I showed up to the ticket counter at about 9 AM, told them my name and how many tickets I needed, and then went on my way. My dad got up to my school around noon, and we were moving out my stuff. I was planning on checking out on Saturday, but because I didn't go through the necessary steps, I had to move out on Friday. Whoops. Oh well, we were able to get it all out and in the vehicles. Not long before I was all done my mom arrived after dropping my grandparents off at the hotel. She moved some things. After getting all my stuff out, I went through the procedure to check out and turn in my keys. I said bye to my dorm room of 2 and a half years. It was alright. After that we went to the hotel and picked up my grandparents for my honors college chord presentation. I graduated with honors and got honors chords to show it. There was a little ceremony where we were presented with our chords. It was a nice little ceremony, and my mom got to see the parents and grandparents of my one friend who is the cousin of one of her friends. It's a really small world. We met in calc 2, and by coincidence my mom found out that he's the cousin of some of her old college friends. Yeah, funny how life is. At the ceremony we have someone important to our college journey present us with our chords. I had my grandma give me my chords.

After the ceremony, we made our Christmas card photo with me in my graduation get-up and my parents and brother. After the picture, we went right to Costco to get them in so they would be ready the next day. However, since it was a really slow night, they said they would be ready in an hour. So we ordered our pizza and waited. For some reason this kid just walked up to me and started talking with me about Pokemon. I asked him "do I know you?" and he said "maybe, you look familiar." My mom found it very surreal since the kid dressed and acted like me at that age, and was very into Pokemon. I tried to be as uncreepy as possible, since he was like 10 years younger than me and I was a stranger, but I also didn't want to be all "go away kid." It was really weird.

On Saturday, it was the main event. It's all been leading up to this. I wake up, eat breakfast with my family, and get fully dressed for the occasion (freshly ironed gown, honors stole, 2 sets of honors chords, and hat with 2 tassels, one for my college and one for my university). We drive up to the auditorium to drop my grandparents and I off. I had to go check in. I found my way to the graduate area. After finding the right place for my college, I got my things and found a seat. I looked for friends to sit next to, but none of my friends had showed up yet. I'm really glad I brought my 3DS with me. After about 15 minutes one of my good college friends showed up. We talked for the other 15 minutes while we waited. Nothing super earth shattering, just some nerd small talk. I filled out the card for getting graduation pictures once those came around. All went well.

Well now it's time to march us out. I was expecting alphabetical order, but instead they called our names when we gave them the card with our names on it, which made it fun to sit next to friends, but hard to coordinate when to take snapshots of the event. I set-up a text to tell my brother to get ready when I was next. Before we walked into the auditorium I got my picture taken back stage. We walked out into the auditorium and got some speeches. They were nice speeches. The best was when the president of the university used the meme that surrounds him. It was great. I walk back stage, get in line, tell the people calling the names my name, and then walk out. I had my family cheer for me, shook hands with the university president while receiving my $100,000 piece of paper, shook hands with the dean of the engineering college while receiving my engineering challenge coin, shook hands with my professors that were there, and hug the lady that works in the admission office. It was great to walk. Afterwards I made some jokes to my friend, like when the president said "by the power vested in me by this institution, I now pronounce you graduates," when I leaned over and said "you may now kiss the diploma," and also when there was a 3rd "the third" I leaned over and said "that's the third third." Great ceromony.

So after the ceremony I was tasked with finding my family. I ran into the same friend that I filmed the engineer Pokemon parody with. He somehow got a ticket to see the graduation. I gave him a hug and thanked him for being there. In true style, he said "no problem bro, I'm glad I could be here." I found my family not to hard, and we took some pictures and went out to lunch. I invited my friend, and he came to say hi to my family, but he wasn't able to stay. My family liked him, and he liked them. At the restaurant he thanked me for the academic help and I thanked him for the "have some fun" help. Another friend to keep contact with.  After lunch we went back to the hotel room and relaxed. I opened up my graduation cards later that evening.

Sunday was the last of the graduation festivities. We went to my student church, me dressed in my graduation get-up. Hey, I spent around $100 on this, so I'm going to get some wear out of it. I got recognized as a graduate as well as other graduates. After church we went to get some final pictures, basically recreating the ones I took as an incoming freshman, but with my cap and gown. After that I drove home, alone. The last thing of mentioning with regards to graduation is how I wore my cap and gown tor my other grandpa who wasn't able to make it to the graduation. He got to put my honors chords on me, and pull me around by them like a pack animal. Just some fun.

Man, this was crazy. It's weird knowing that I won't be going back to school at the end of my little break. Right now I'm working on fining a job, and my prospects seem OK.

Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Losing a Friend, a Difficult Blog to Write

Hey everyone, this is not an easy blog to write, and one I don't necessarily want to write, but to honor her memory, I must share this story.

So 1 week ago I lost my friend Brandi M. She was a wonderful person who was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. We first met in Students for Life, she was our vice president, and an active member in the pro-life movement, having founded and leading the local Young Professionals For Life group in the local area of our college. With her activism in the Pro-Life movement, it is almost befitting that the last time I and others saw her was at our Students for Life meeting just last week. It is really crazy to think that just 1 week ago we were all hanging out, talking about the pro-life movement in our local area and in the big picture.

On Tuesday November 24th we had the visitation and on Wednesday November 25th we had the funeral. I unfortunately had bad information and missed the visitation. The obituary implied that the visitation would be at the church, and when I got there they were having bingo, definitely not visitation for my departed friend. After calling a string of friends I got some directions to the funeral home. I got lost on the way, and while I think I made it to the right funeral home in retrospect, there wasn't anything saying that this was the visitation for Brandi and there was like an example book out. I thought "I'm not going to crash someone else's visitation." I wish I had good information, but the visitation is not what is important, the funeral is.

On Wednesday I woke-up, packed up my stuff to drive home for Thanksgiving break, and left for the funeral. I met up with the old president of Students for Life (my first president, and I think Brandi's as well), and we sat together. Not to much time later, her best friend and former president she worked with along with the current president of Students for Life arrived. It was a very nice service. There were some good readings, stories of Brandi, remembering her final days, and the other good but hard stuff.

After the ceremony, some of the Students for Life members and alumni met up before heading to the cemetery. What was really nice was that the former president and vice president of College Republicans also made it. While Brandi wasn't active in College Republicans, she and the president of the time started going to meetings to try to build collaboration between the 2 conservative groups (in addition to hanging out with the members that were in both groups). It was great seeing them again, even under the circumstances. Another notable person to show up was the regional coordinator for students for life. He's been to our meetings a couple of times, and I'm sure he knew Brandi rather well. Neither the College Republicans nor the regional coordinator were able to make it to the cemetery, but it meant a lot to us student for life members to know that they both made it.

The funeral was hard enough, but the cemetery was even harder. All us Student for Life members and alumni gathered together and formed a group to say our final goodbyes. All of us laid our hands on the casket together, all the while crying over the loss of our dear friend. We were some of the last people to say our goodbyes. After we left the casket, we all stood off to the side and group hugged as we cried. After the group hug broke up, we hugged each other individually, just passing from one partner to another. We were the last people to get in our cars. No one talked except for her best friend saying "thank-you" after the group hug. We were quite a sight, like something out of a movie. As we were leaving the cemetery, someone had written "BRAND ANGEL" on a piece of plywood on the other side of the fence in the trailer park neighboring the cemetery. That was nice to see.

At the luncheon immediately following the cemetery I was able to talk to the friends I haven't seen in forever about what they have been up to. It was a good hour to help me get my head around what just we just experienced. I really needed that because I had a 3 hour drive ahead of me. I was glad I had that 3 hour drive ahead of me, because it gave me the time I needed to process everything that has happened. When driving home, I saw a bill board for pro-life activism, and that hit rather hard since she was so active in the pro-life movement. The world with not be the same without you Brandi, and we will all miss you.

Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

PS: If you would like to read about Brandi's journeys in the pro-life movement, you can read her blog here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Amiibo Hunting and Final Loads of Free Crap Bash

(This is a little late. Events happened on September 11th 2015)

Hey everyone. Today is a rather dark day in history. In respect, all flags around campus were flown at half mast, and members of the military stood around one flagpole in reverence. As I passed that flag pole, I took my own moment of silence, and remembered how the world would never be the same after that day 14 years ago.

Coincidentally enough, this was also the day for my college's "loads of free crap bash" as I've come to call it. In previous years I've spent pretty much the whole day there, going to different booths, seeing what organizations are available on campus, and getting loads of free crap; pens, magnets, coupons, lanyards, and just out there stuff. It was great freshman year because that's how I figured out how to get involved, and sophomore year was kind of the same but to a lesser extent. But after sophomore year I know the clubs I had time for and could be in, so it just became about the free stuff, but I made sure to see everyone, and then last year I helped out with one of my clubs.

Well this year I wasn't able to have the level of fun I normally had. The bash was from 3-7, and I had class at the engineering campus from 4-6:30. This meant I would be able to wander around for about 30 minutes before I had to leave for my class. I also had class from 2-2:50 so that meant I wasn't able to help the clubs I'm in get set-up. Well, I was able to help my film club set-up some at 1:40 since their booth was right outside the building I had my class in, but not much. After the class I headed out with my singe sack and went grabbing. Most of the good stuff you have to play a mini-game for, and wait in line. While I enjoy the mini-games, I wasn't about to wait in line, so I just went to the open booths. I picked up a bunch of pens and magnets per usual, and a couple cups.

Instead of just listing it, I'll show a picture.
I have flyers, thunder sticks, a Frisbee, a hat, a micro USB cable, and some other things as you can see.

I was a bit surprised with how much stuff I got in the period of 30 minutes. I went to class, and the cool thing was that since this was the first week, and it's not a traditional learning environment, we were done at 5:15, which meant I could head back to the bash. Most people packed up, and I already got the good stuff, so I went to my Pokemon club and sat at the booth for 15 minutes. Then they decided to pack-up, so I went to my film club's booth and sat there for 30 minutes, and helped them pack up afterwards. They had balloons to draw the eye, and I claimed them. Lets see how long they last.

Another point of mention is Amiibo Hunting. Wave 5B I think we're calling it was released September 11th 2015, and normally I'm not able to Amiibo hunt the day of release because I had to work or didn't have a car. Not this time. This time, I went to Meijer at midnight to get what they had. I picked up Zero Suit Samus, Ganondorff, and Olimar. I was going to get 8-bit Mario, but something was wrong with my card so I was only able to get those 3. Besides, I was going to go to Target at 8AM to get Dr. Mario, so I'll try to get 8-bit Mario then as well. Neither store had many units available, so I'm glad I was there when I did. I was missing Bowser Jr. but I didn't know of a Toys R Us around my campus so I was going to let him go, but on Saturday I googled Toys R Us in my area, and I found one a couple miles away. I called them to see if they had Bowser Jr. in stock, and they did. I picked up Bowser Jr. and since they also had Smash Yoshi, I picked one of those up as well since all I can ever find is Mario Party Yoshi. It was pretty cool doing a midnight and store opening release. At Meijer people were just lining up and hanging out at the electronics counter, and at Target people were lining up outside the store. I was pulling in when they were handing out "line numbers," so I didn't get one, but I made sure I made it to the front of the no-number line.

Well that was my Friday and Saturday. It's weird that this will be my last "free crap bash." The closest thing I will ever have to this again will be a business convention and job fair, but it'll be professional instead of recreational, or maybe a convention, but the vendors charge for their stuff. But hey, Amiibo hunting was fun. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off and bu-bye.