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Hey everyone!

I’m not exactly certain as to why I chose this one, but we’re here now and there’s no going back!

As I’ve just released episode three of the podcast today, I figured “why not embed a player on the blog so that you guys can keep up with it here as well?”

Damn, Sphinx! That’s a great idea!


See? Even Idris agrees!


So, here you are!

Please, if you feel like this is a good podcast and you like it, please Subscribe and star it on iTunes, like and share and comment on Soundcloud and Stitcher, and come and say hello on our webpage! I’ll have some pics of us all soon…I Hope!


I’ll be back soon! Keep #Rolling4Initiative

I’ll give you a hint…

IT's ME (Well, THAT'S Terry Crews being awesome, but you get the idea)

IT’s ME (Well, THAT’S Terry Crews being awesome, but you get the idea)

I can’t remember when my last post was, but it’s been a WHILE, and I’m sorry about that. I promise I’m going to do my best to be better about this whole blogging thing, especially now that I have stuff to blog about!

Now, where to begin…


Well, I can remember telling you all about the band I was helping to start.

Well, it’s a full on thing now. We are The Gentlemen Of Leisure Collective (because apparently, when we chose the name “Gentlemen of Leisure” we learned that there were a few bands out there that had already used the name. So, we added “Collective” to differentiate us from them…it’s not completely worked yet, as we occasionally get mistaken for a wedding band who went by that name…but…you know, we just roll with it).


I mean check that out!! We put out and album and everything!

We’re playing shows, and even put out our very first full length album last October.


The Gentlemen of Leisure Collective are: (left to right) Skylar Jones on Keys, Chris Blount the emcee/rapper, Pope James on Drums, Brendan Hardy (not pictured) on Drums (yeah, that’s right. TWO DRUMMERS), Sphinx Akashaa Duncan (that’s me!) on Vocals and Guitar, and Jen Hasson on Vocals and Cello! 

You can listen to it on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere else you can buy or listen to digital music.

It’s really good stuff and we’re all very proud of it! Honestly you should check it out whenever you have a chance!

Let’s see, what else has happened?

I co-host a podcast now, which is fun. It’s called Profoundly Ignorant! It’s Run by myself, Chris Blount, and Breezi Rumsey.


The hosts of Profoundly Ignorant: (Left to right) Breezi Rumsey, Chris Blount, and look, there’s ME again!

Our podcast is, mostly, social commentary with a bunch of pop-culture and geekery sprinkled in there. It’s fun, it’s hilarious, and you can find us on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.

You should check us out and like, subscribe, and share with your friends. You know, if you’re into awesome stuff!

And speaking of awesome stuff…

I’m also hosting my very own podcast. A bi-weekly Live-Play D&D podcast called Agents of the Circle which I made another post about, here!

Agents of The Circle Logo

Look mom! A Logo!!

We’re only two episodes in, with episode 3 releasing on Thursday. I’ll be writing more about those on this blog as well. (Hopefully with pictures of the cast and MAYBE drawings of the Characters – if you like what you hear and would like to make fan art as well, YES PLEASE!!)

“Okay, that was fun. What else is happening with you?”

Since you asked

So, I will tell you, internet!!

Well, last December we sold our house and bought another one, in a pretty nice neighborhood in Lakewood, Washington. So that’s where we live now! It’s off a golf course, but we don’t play golf. It is, however, amusing to watch golfers from our back yard.


Oooouuur house…is a VERY VERY VERY FINE HOUSE!!

Also, you remember my little girl, right?

the bug

look at her! Who wouldn’t want to do everything possible to give this kid a happy life?

Well, this is her now:


Look at this cutie! Still my favorite person ever!

Yup, just finished the second grade and going over to the third grade. She actually helps me with my D&D podcast now (you can actually hear her on the 2nd and 3rd episodes a little). Yes, she has a LOT of hair – she takes after me and her mommy that way!


Yup! We’re still here! Looking awesome and being Geeky!

We still have our dogs, Rufus and Alice.


Alice and Rufus, still puppies here!

Though we nearly lost Rufus to a very scary accident where he decided to run after a pair of geese in our new backyard, and slipped and fell.

You know how our moms used to say “You keep running around like that and you’ll fall and break your neck”? No one ever told me that it could apply to dogs as well.

When Rufus fell down, he fell on his neck and herniated a disk.

I’ll tell you now, watching my dog go into shock and paralysis is one of the scariest things that have ever happened to me. I don’t recommend it.

listen to Shaq

if you won’t listen to me…listen to Shaq!

Long story short, he had to have surgery to have the disc removed (also a spot of cancer that we didn’t know was there until the surgery, but that’s an entirely different thing) and was able to come home a week later. One week later he took his first steps on his own again and now…almost three months later, he’s nearly fully recovered, albeit with an odd gait to his walk.

Hells, people. I’m just thankful that my little buddy is still around.


Me and my little guy…I guess the air must taste like…something?



And there’s Alice! Older, wiser (well, wiser than her Brother, anyway) But still cute!

That’s really all that’s been going on, really. I mean, outside of all of the crazy political insanity that all of us have had to deal with now on a day to day basis, this is it. I’m happy to still be here and have my family and friends to support me and this crazy life I’m leading.

crazy pills

Me too, man. Me too!

I’ll be around, hopefully posting more often, especially with stuff for my new podcast. maybe a poem here or there, updates on the band and shows and things, and also maybe some essays about stuff happening in the world; cuz, yeah, we’re all interconnected, whether we want to believe that or not.


Yes, Maurice. Just…yeah.

Just be good to one another, please. All we have in this life, is each other.

See you all soon!

kid pres

Words to live by. Kid President knows what’s up!

So, here we are again, my friends; back with another post. I’d been working on a few other things  to post for you all, but this idea presented itself and, frankly, it was a lot more fun. So, as most of you know, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and his work and have been ever since I read American Gods almost ten years ago. So, of course, when I heard of HBO’s plan to produce an onscreen adaptation of one of my favorite books of all time I began to speculate, on my own, who might fill the roles of the characters I had come to love and, well, love to loathe. Yeah I know, this casting is not as likely to happen, but this cast would be, to me, perfect.


Shall we get started? I think so… And now…MY DREAM CAST!!

heeeeeeere we GO!!

heeeeeeere we GO!!

Shadow Moon – as played by Jason Momoa

maybe shorten his hair a bit and he will be good to play the "man-sized hole in the world"

maybe shorten his hair a bit and he will be good to play the “man-sized hole in the world”

Shadow is described as kind of dark but kind of not (I believe the actual description is “Cream and Coffee Colored”) He’s a ex-convict who has the “don’t fuck with me” look as well as the kind of heart that is vulnerable, uncertain, and empty enough to be melancholy. Having seen Jason as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game of Thrones, we know that he can do “I’ll fucking kill you if I have to” as well as emotional enough to love his wife so much that her death leaves him feeling empty inside and then a mix between excited and disturbed enough to be shaken by her presence.


Wednesday/Odin – as played by Jeff Bridges

Look at LOOK at him! Honestly, if this man does not look like Odin to you, then I'll need a bottle of Sake to cope...

Look at him…no. LOOK at him! Honestly, if this man does not look like Odin to you, then I’ll need a bottle of Sake to cope…

He’s been “The Dude”, He’s been Kevin Flynn, he’s been Rooster Cogburn, and he’s been Obadiah Stane. If these roles alone don’t prove that he has what it takes to play the vulgar, manipulative, charismatic, and ambitious con-man and Norse Pantheon All-Father who hires Shadow to be his muscle and help him recruit for a crazy insane war.


Laura Moon – as played by Candice Accola

Loving wife, undead killer bodyguard, she works for me! Oh yes!

Loving wife, undead killer bodyguard, she works for me! Oh yes!

Laura Moon, Shadow’s Wife, dies in a car accident at the beginning of the book. Due to a chain of events that I won’t spoil for those of you who haven’t read it yet, she comes back from the dead as Shadows killer guardian. Snapping the necks or brutally ripping apart the bodies of those who would hurt her still living husband, she still holds just enough emotion to tug at Shadow’s heartstrings, even going so far as to call him a man-shaped hole in the world. Watching Candice play a teenage sometimes-homicidal vampire on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries as well as listening to her voice, she seems to me to be the obvious choice to play the only woman allowed to call Shadow “Puppy”.


Low-Key Lyesmith/Loki/Mr. World – as played by Kevin Bacon

Low-Key Lyesmith aka Loki the Lie-smith

Low-Key Lyesmith aka Loki the Lie-smith

Low-Key Lyesmith was a man of many faces: Philosopher, Convict, Driver, Co-Conspirator, Cold Bloded killer, God in Spook’s clothing. Reading the Novel, I came to the realization that Low-Key was actually Loki at the same time that Shadow did. Having seen the many faces Kevin wore in the X-Men: First Class movie, I’d love to see him wear the mantle of the Asgardian Liar.


Hinzelmann – Ian Holm

from Bilbo to Kobold. I think so!!

from Bilbo to Kobold. I think so!!

Hinzelmann is the little kind old man from Lakeside who drives Shadow around in his old clunker “Tessie”. He seems a whimsical old man, telling stories about his family and the history of the town. Unbeknownst to the town, he is Hinzelmann the Germanic Kobold who has been sacrificing young girls of the town year after year. I’ve been a fan of Sir Ian since his performance in The Fifth Element and even more so after his turn as Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films, seeing him go from sweet old man to scary “What the fuck just happened to his face, holy shit is he going to eat Frodo?” guy, I honestly think that he would be perfect for this role.

and this, kids, is why we don't do the drugs...

and this, kids, is why we don’t do the drugs…


Moving on… Samantha Blackcrow – as played by Allison Scagliotti

She's got the look and the attitude as far as I'm concerned.

She’s got the look and the attitude as far as I’m concerned.

Sam has fire, Sam has spunk, Sam is awesome! From the moment she’s introduced hitching a ride with Shadow to the point where she plants a kiss on him that tells everyone else in the room to rightly “Fuck Off”, Samantha Blackcrow has been one of my favorite characters in the entire book. Anyone who’s watched the hit show Warehouse 13 and has seen the character of Claudia Donovan can see that Allison is basically playing Samantha Blackcrow with a really kick ass job who got the hell away from Lakeside and maybe changed her name after everything!


Easter – As played by Christina Hendricks

That's right people, THIS IS EASTER...THIS!!! Okay, sorry, I'm done with that, just had to get it out of my system

That’s right people, THIS IS EASTER…THIS!!! Okay, sorry, I’m done with that, just had to get it out of my system

Easter is sweet, sassy, voluptuous, and has a matronly-yet-sexy-as-hell energy to her. At least, that’s how I interpreted her description in the novel. What? Isn’t that what you got too? After listening to the full cast audiobook version of this (which I highly recommend), and watching her performances in the awesome cult series Firefly (Yo/Saf/Brig anyone?) as well as her voice acting roles in All Star Superman and Family Guy. (And I can’t be the only one who remembers her from MTV’s Undressed) I mean, come on, look at her!! She has the look, the presence and the voice to absolutely kill in this role.


Bilquis as played by Monica Bellucci

Yeah...I mean, just look at her!

Yeah…I mean, just look at her!

YES! YES! I know, Bilquis only appears all of twice in the book, but that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t appear in the film and be played by someone amazing. Bilquis is sexy, sultry, and will eat you alive…literally! (If you haven’t gotten to that part of the book yet, you will and your mouth will DROP!) Watch the Matrix Reloaded and the Matrix Revolutions (yes, I know of what I ask, just bare with me here) and check out Monica Bellucci as the exile program Persephone and note the raw sexual energy just oozing from her at every word or glance. Got it? Good. Let’s move on.



Mad Sweeny – as played by Dennis Leary

You want to see him fight Shadow in a know you do...

You want to see him fight Shadow in a bar…you know you do…

Mad Sweeny is many things: a loudmouth, a drunkard, and a gambler among them. He’s one other thing as well: a leprechaun. Who better to portray the loudmouth redhead who gets into a barroom brawl with Shadow than someone who is used to playing loudmouth crazy people. (at least, as far as I’ve seen, anyway) I think he’d be absolutely perfect.


Czernobog (and later, Belobog) – played by Mickey Rourke


      UK Premiere of 'The Wrestler'

The entire time I read this book, his was the face I saw and the voice I heard when I read Czernobog (and later, Belobog). Ever since I heard his Russian accent in Iron Man 2, whatever doubt I had about him as this character vanished! Plus, I want to see him play checkers with Shadow.


Mr. Nancy/Anansi – Robert Guillaume 










I first remember him from the 80’s sitcom Soap (I am NOT old), and then from his role in Benson. But everyone remembers him the most as the mystical advisor to King Mufassa in The Lion King, Rafiki. Hearing him pull of the accent and knowing he has the ability to play a bit of a smart-ass jokester that can be deadly serious if need be. I can’t think of anyone else, really, to play Mr. Nancy. (And can make appearances in Anansi Boys) I mean, seriously, can you see anyone else in the checkered suit and lemon yellow gloves, rocking the patios? No? I didn’t think so. NEXT!


Mr. Ibis/Thoth –Tony Shaloub

Talent Names - Tony Shalhoub









Okay, so I’ve seen Monk. I LOVE that show. It’s awesome. So when I read Mr. Ibis and his mannerisms, I thought of Tony Shaloub immediately. I can’t see anyone else playing the calm but fidgety ancient Egyptian undertaker with a penchant for storytelling.  Gee, I can’t imagine why! Speaking of ancient Egyptian undertakers…



  Mr. Jacquel/Anubis – Idris Elba

Yeah...this guy gets a gif...cuz this guy was very nearly the RESPECT!

Yeah…this guy gets a gif…cuz this guy was very nearly the Doctor…so RESPECT!











I really could not think of anyone else to play the weigher of hearts/souls than this man. He has the look, the voice, and the damned moxy to don the role of the God turned mortician/coroner. Plus, his first appearance is as an actual talking black jackal. Who doesn’t want to see that??


Bast – Rosario Dawson

one word...MEOW!!

one word…MEOW!!











Okay, I’m going to be honest here: I haven’t seen her in nearly enough things, but everything I have seen her in, I love her in. She definitely has the look to give life to the cat goddess that lays claim to Shadow during his time in Cairo. Seeing her performance during his dream sequence would likely be amazing!


Media – Amanda Palmer

Yes! That's all I'm saying...

Yes! That’s all I’m saying…











After seeing the voice of the Dresden Dolls and actual wife to Neil Gaiman pose as the character in the 2013 Literary Pin Up Calendar, there is no one I would rather see look out from a television at Shadow and as “Hey, you ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits?” Followed by a quick redition of “Coin Operated Boy” (Maybe)


Chad Mulligan – Nathan Fillion

Yep, you know you want to see it!!

Yep, you know you want to see it!!












If there is anyone who can be the confident, friendly, somewhat bumbling chief of police in the sleepy town of Lakeside; it’s Mr Fillion here. I know the ladies will love seeing him in a police uniform, and he would fill it (and the role) out quite well.

need  say more, here?

need I say more, here?

Mr. Town – Jack Coleman

This is a man who does sinister and mysterious very well!

This is a man who does sinister and mysterious very well!













Okay, so, in this case, all I have is his role in Heroes to go on here, (and by Heroes, I only mean the first season as far as he is concerned) but I can’t see anyone else as the charismatic, but mysterious, and slightly infuriating agent/errand boy to the new Gods. Trust me, the dude can do smarmy like it’s his job.


Mammoth God (Voice) – Keith David 










You know him as Goliath from Gargoyles, as The Arbiter from the Halo series, and as The Shadow Man/ Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog. He has a penchant for playing Dark or Ancient things. So who better than to play this forgotten God who enters Shadows dreams to share pertinent information that might not make sense at the time but seriously comes in handy later.


Technical Boy – as played by Jonah Hill












So last up is my pick for the God of Modern Technology. The last couple of times I read this book I could only ever hear Jonah Hill’s voice as this character. He’s got the chops to give the snark, insecurity, and overblown sense of entitlement we’d come to expect from this character. He also still looks just young enough to play the role. Seeing him turn a certain Old God into roadkill would be both satisfying and rage inducing.


So there it is, friends: my pick for what I would consider to be the principle cast for this series. More characters would of course be brought in, but (for me at least) these are the ones worth paying attention to. Did I miss anyone?

Do you think I got some or all of the casting wrong?

Sound off! Let me know what you think.

Until my next post, friends (and hopefully you won’t have as long of a wait this time), be good, be safe, be awesome to one another, and don’t let the muggles get you down!


Hello and greetings my geeky cabal. I apologize, once again, for my absence. Life, as it likes to do, has been getting all up in the way again.

Nevertheless, we are all here now, and we’re here to be nerds, yes?

I agree, Doctor!

Let’s be ridiculous!!

I’ve been catching up on my comic book reading (because I LOVE them), and I came across a series I had originally thought I had been done with, mostly because I thought it had been abandoned, but I honestly should have known better.

Yes friends, I’m talking about the amazing comic by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming: Powers.

For those of you who have not had the chance to read this comic, OMG GO AND GET THIS SERIES NOW AND READ IT, FOR IT IS FULL OF AMAZEBALLSNESS!! (yes that is a real word…that I totally made up)

Now, that’s done, let me tell you a little bit about this series:

The title follows a pair of Chicago homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who, having just been partnered together, investigate super-power related murders.

Yes, yes, you guessed it, superheroes are running wild in this story and, apparently, dropping like flies. Hell, someone has to solve these murders, right?

Now, some time ago, it was announced that FX was casting and producing a Powers television series.

Due to some recasting and re-writing of the pilot script, the show has been put on a bit of a hiatus (That’s what the internet said, anyway), but since I’ve gone and fallen in love with the series again, I figured that I’d cast this thing myself.

Due to the insanely huge cast of characters we meet throughout the series, I’ve just done the casting for the main roles we’d see during the first story arc: “Who Killed Retro Girl?” Which would be the introductory story arc of the show’s first season.

See? I’ve got this all figured out!

My version of the show would be aired on HBO. If you’ve read the comic, you’d never ask me why

I’d have the scripts penned by Bendis, because, honestly, who knows the material better than he does?

The show would be directed by Greg Beeman from the Heroes, Smallville, and Falling Skies.

Okay, lets get started!

"That Championship Season" Broadway Opening Night - After Party walkerc

Christian Walker – Played by Jason Patric

– I know, I know, this is the same casting from the original FX casting, but I really love this actor from his role in The Lost Boys. For anyone not born in the 80’s who hasn’t seen this at some point….STOP right now. Go and watch that movie, then come back for the rest of this!        Now that we have gotten that over with, look at the drawing and then look at him. He’s got the look and the severity to pull off the role of the former super-hero turned Homicide Detective.

claire-holt-2 deena pilgrim

Deena Pilgrim – played by Claire Holt

– People who haven’t seen her in The Vampire Diaries might not get my choice for Deena. But Claire Holt has everything that Deena Pilgrim has: sex appeal, the aptitude for physicality, and attitude out of the wazoo!!! I’m not sure I can think of anyone else to go from Klaus’s troublemaking mean-girl original vampire sister to playing the ass kicking rookie detective with entirely too much to prove! to herself and her new partner. (Even though he never really requires proof.) She just needs a bit of a haircut…

kristen-bell-epicuren-pumpkin-enzyme-peel retro girl

Retro Girl – played by Kristen Bell

– So, initially, K.B. was my first choice to play Deena Pilgrim; I mean, she’s cute, she’s short, and boy does she have a mouth on her (See Heroes and Forgetting Sarah Marshall). However, going through the casting process I came to the effervescent character of Retro Girl and could think of no one to play the most popular character in the Powers universe. Granted, you’d see her initially in the first episode as the murder victim that would kick off the show’s first arc and then through the rest of the series in a series of flashbacks, her bubbly personality and overall awesomeness would shine through.

Chi_Mcbride-3 captain cross

Captain Cross – played by Chi McBride

– I personally love this actor from Pushing Daisies, where he played a private investigator. Since every cop drama needs an ass-kicking, no-nonsense, hard-ass police chief/captain, Chi is my perfect casting, seriously. If there’s any doubt of this check him out in Pushing Daisies, Boston Public, and as Nick Fury in Ultimate Spider-Man.

tucker DHL

Doctor Tucker – played by David H. Lawrence XVII

– I’ve been a fan of David’s ever since he appeared on Heroes as the creep-tastic Puppet Master Eric Doyle, so he was my first choice to fill the role of the good doctor. I think he’s got the range to pull off the neurotic, completely out of his depth coroner. His conversations with the detectives would be awesome.

pg-24-james-franco-obama 1878552-kutter

Detective Kutter – played by James Franco

– James has the scruffy pretty-boy thing going for him. After his performance as the smarmy Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man films (well, at least the 2nd and the one that we don’t talk about), I think he would be able to amp up the level of smarmy for the role of Kutter. (and have you seen him in General Hospital? Well, I haven’t but I hear he plays quite the asshole. Get em’ James!!)

MV5BMjE4NTAyOTkyOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzI1NjM1Mg@@._V1._SY314_CR3,0,214,314_ Triphammer

Henry Cohen/Triphammer – played by Jack Coleman

– I became a big fan of Jack during his run on Heroes as “H.R.G.” (The Man with “Horned Rimmed Glasses”) later revealed to be named Noah Bennet. His performance in the role is why I nominate him for the role of the hard ass Iron Man of this universe. He’s already got the “do whatever it takes to get the job done” experience, he’d be perfect!

MV5BMTk3NTczODg1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY0NTUxMw@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Calista

Calista – played by Mackenzie Foy

– So I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this the same kid that played the creepy half-breed girl in the last Twilight movie? Also, how do you know that?”

No one worry about that.

Anyway, she’s a cute kid who would be awesome as the little girl Christian saves in the first arc, spewing obscenities and dreaming about Retro Girl. Also, she’s about the right age.

Tricia-Helfer-2 Zora

Zora – played by Tricia Helfer

– Whether she’s in the role of Battlestar Galactica‘s “Caprica Six” or she’s voicing the hilarious A.I. “EDI” from Bioware’s Mass Effect series, Tricia has the looks and the intensity to fill out the role of the super powered, vizor wearing Zora. Also, she’d look super hot in the costume.

MV5BMTI2MTc5OTQ0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY1Mjg4Mg@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ Ted Henry

Ted Henry – played by Bruce Boxleitner

– One word for you here: TRON!!! Seriously, with a voice as recognizable as his, I can seriously think of no one else to fill the role of the host of the series’s late night news/talk show “Powers That Be”. Honestly, with a voice like that it isn’t too much of a stretch to see him go from the one who fights for the user to the man that does and says whatever it takes to bring you the latest breaking news on the super powered elite.

MV5BMTU3NzM5MjUwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNDM2NDky._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ johnny royalle

Johnny Royale – played by Ray Liotta

– if there is anyone on the planet more suited to play the calm, collected, teleporting Gangster, then I don’t care. Seriously, look at this guy’s resume, entirely too much gangster cred NOT to play this role.

MV5BMTc1NDUzMzM5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzY1OTYyOQ@@._V1._SX214_CR0,0,214,314_ the Wolf

The Wolf – played by Vincent Cassel

– I’ve honestly never seen anything that this guy has been in, but look at him. He looks both creepy and insanely intense. I think he’s pretty solid in this role and I’d love to see him under the green light of a “Drainer”. I would say more about this character but as River Song would say:


yes ma’am!

aaron-taylor-johnson-keeps-mum-about-his-film-roles_GB jja

John Jackson Stevens – played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson

– Yes, Kick-Ass himself. He’s got a nerdy awkwardness that, under a certain light, could be pretty creepy. Stick some glasses on him and give him an obsessive kind of psychosis, and here you have the villain of the first arc in the series!



And there we are, friends. I know I’ve left out some characters, but I felt that I got the more important ones of the first arc. Hopefully FX will actually pull the show together for the public to see, but I won’t hold my breath until I hear something one way or the other.

In any case, that’s it for now! If you like it, have characters you want to comment on/add or even if you don’t agree with any of my choices: comment, subscribe, like, and sound-off!!

If you have any suggestions as to what my next Casting Call should be, comment to your heart’s content.

Until the next time.


That’s right! Give it on up!!

So, something happened no long ago that I’ve been sitting on, until today.

I’m seriously about to burst with the excitement of it all, I feel like Sandal from the Dragon Age games and I kind of want to run around the house yelling “ENCHANTMENT!!”

So, I recently came upon a really cool website called Nerd Like You. It’s what you might expect: a site written for nerds by nerds, like many others out there on the web. Except…

This one really hit me though. The level of enthusiasm, the writing styles of the many writers, and even the name of the site itself, struck a chord with me. I read as many articles from the site as my brain could handle (that’s a LOT, in case you’re wondering) and I fell in love with the site and its staff of amazing writers.

So I did what any self-respecting nerdy blogger would do.

I wrote to the editor and inquired about writing for the site.

Here’s where it gets awesome.

As it turns out, Susie McBeth, the editor for Nerd like You, had also come across my blog (Yup you read that right, THIS one!) and was hoping to invite me to write for them as well!

I frelling leapt at it!!

Seriously, My brain is still happy-dancing, which makes it hard to focus on writing, one could imagine.

Well, all of that to say, my first article for Nerd Like You posted this morning and I’m super proud of it! Check it out if you like and also, seriously, check out the other AMAZING writers for the site.

Now don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be brining you guys some amazing awesomeness here. I haven’t abandoned you. I LOVE you guys!


Anyway, I hope you enjoy your day and I’m going to go and do some more of the happy dancing stuff from before.



(okay, I couldn’t help myself that time)


So I’ve been horrible at keeping up with writing out the synopses of the adventures of the Dungeons and Dragons party of Barrel and Hammer, so I’ve decided upon another avenue to keep up with the colorful cast of characters…


So, my general thought is this: I start out with a series of intro interviews with the Player Characters and then, after every session, do a group interview session based on the adventure we’re running and where they are at that point in time.

I imagine that there will be a ton of hilarity to ensue.

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff...

Seriously, just looking at a party like this makes me want to talk the stuff…

Here’s where the hard part comes in…I’ve never conducted an interview before, so I’m kind of lost on what to ask these characters.

Here’s where you come in.

While I’ve posted something similar on my Facebook page, I am also bringing my question to you, my followers. What kinds of questions should I ask? What kind of questions would you like to be asked if you were in an adventuring party?

Leave a comment and your questions just might get included in the interview.

Until then, May the Dice roll ever in your favor!

So, after hearing about and refusing to play any of the Pokemon games or its multiple (and I mean 我的天阿, there are SO MANY of them!!) clones, rip-offs, and crazy-pants alternate versions of it, I slowly began hearing of a new new game franchise being added to the mix.

Now, I watched Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Digimon when I was younger. I even tried watching Card Captors or whatever it was called (someone help me out with that one), but couldn’t really get into any of them. Pokemon was fun and hilarious at times, but the only characters that resonated with me were the actual Pokemon themselves, and there seemed to be few episodes dedicated to them.

Though, I do vaguely remember one episode where the pokemon were the central characters but they still spoke poke-speak (Is there another name for that language where they all just say their names in odd-damn-ball ways? There has to be, right?)

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

What is he saying?? Is it Pika-nese, Pikachian, Pika, Pokenese, Pokemonian? WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

Anyway, when the video games came out for game boy and all of its iterations, I didn’t really hold much interest in it. It sounded like so much work; running around, capturing these (mostly) cute little creatures and forcing them to fight for you to prove that you’re the best trainer alive. For some reason it just didn’t appeal to me.

Then came Skylanders Giants. Now, I admit, I was super skeptical of this game at first. It seemed like it was a knock-off of all the other “collect creatures and make them fight for you” games, so i wrote it off. Then I started hearing about it on two fronts:

My dear friend, Jesse, who has a nephew who is just silly over the game; and My sister-in-law, J.J., who has a son…also pretty silly over the game and has been doing his best to convince me to get the game myself. Well as of my birthday: Mission Accomplished, Aiden.

Mission Accomplished.

So, for all of you who haven’t heard of this game before (because you don’t have kids or live in a cupboard under the stairs) let me explain what makes this game so brilliant.

Hey, I get it. It's hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

Hey, I get it. It’s hard to get your gaming information when THIS is where you live. Sorry, Harry!

So, when you buy the game with the starter pack it includes the game itself (available on MULTIPLE platforms, but we’ll get to why that’s awesome in a sec, be patient), but it also comes with a PORTAL OF POWER (just imagine that being said by the booming voice of James Earl Jones…oh yeah…):

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

This looks pretty cool. It glows even!!

What the hell is that thing for? Oh, I’m getting to that. Wait for it! You also get three figures. Which Figures you get all depend on what platform you buy it for, mostly. You plug in the portal to your console, power that bad boy up and then start the game.

Now I won’t get too much into the story, but suffice it to say you are fighting an evil Palpatine wannabe named Kaos who seems to want to take over the world and laugh like a crazy person. Normal villian-type stuff, sure. Enter the Skylanders, the heroes of this world. It is your job as “Portal Master” to make sure that the Skylanders are able to enter the world and defend it.

How do I do that? I thought you’d ask that! Here’s where the figures I mentioned come in. When you place any of the figures on the PORTAL OF POWER (and yes, I am going to keep doing that) that figure then materializes in the most insane, chezy, catch-phrasey way within the game itself.

Each figure has its own abilities and attacks based on the elemental family it belongs to. There are eight elements altogether: Earth, Air, Fire, Magic, Water, Life, Tech and Undead and while you might think that each elemental family might have a gripe with the others, there doesn’t appear to be anything like that in the game.

You also have two different kinds of Skylanders; you have the original type as featured in the prequel game, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (yeah, remember him, PS One fans? well….he’s back!), and you have Giants. The Giants are each the leaders of their respective element types and have been kind of missing for a while (though, how one could miss them I’ll never understand, they’re pretty distinctive…and huge!). The Giants are able to move through obstacles the other Skylanders can’t and access areas that are not within reach of the others.

Plus they look really bad-ass!

So bad-ass! Also...I don't think that there's any amount of "Clear Eyes" that can help him...

So bad-ass! Also…I don’t think that there’s any amount of “Clear Eyes” that can help him…

The gameplay is pretty cool too. You unlock more attacks to upgrade your skylander as you go, making them more powerful and pretty much more badd-ass. One of the cooler things about this is that, rather than saving all of your progress to the console itself you save your character’s progress to the figure itself thanks to NCF (near field communication) technology.

What does this mean, you ask?

Well it means that you can take your own figures, with all of their saved data, to the homes of anyone who happens to have the game and their own PORTAL OF POWER (told ya) and play with your character there. There is also a battle mode of the game that allows you to play, head to head, with someone who has their own saved skylander.

Here’s one of the more genius things about this game, though; and I dare say that this is what has helped the success of this franchise: Toys.

I mean, sure, the game is colorful and fun to play; it’s like a lighter version of Diablo marketed to young children.

And, yes, Patrick Warburton does a hilarious job in voice acting as one of the supporting characters in the game (spoiler, no spoilers!!).

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

oh alright, but this is the ONLY spoiler you get!

The awesome and genius thing about this (and parents might roll their eyes at this) is the figures. Any new content, be it playable characters or landscapes, are accessible by purchasing figures and other toys, and believe me when I tell you there are a LOT of them. There is nothing in the way of downloadable content, but lots of toys that kids go bananas over. (I own five of them, myself) I’ve stood shoulder to, er, waist with several young gamers, all clawing and begging for new Skylanders toys. (seriously, it’s quite the site. I don’t think I had ever been so afraid for my life…or my non-existant cotton candy…kids still eat that, right?). What’s more awesome is that there are so many of these toys that there will always be more characters and content to add to the game.

Is Skylanders Giants the uber addictive gateway game for kids and adults that everyone makes it out to be?


Will kids be talking about this for the next few years?


Now, if you’ll excuse me, Eye-Brawl and I have our eye on some baddies in need of pummeling!

(Yeah…that was a terrible joke…remind me never to do that again…in this post…)


Good morn or evening, friends…

So I have a confession to make to you. Something that I’ve had to confess to myself recently.

I am afraid.

Scratch that.

I’m frelling Terrified.

So very afraid...

So very afraid…

Fear has been ruling my life in some way for a very long time. Likely since before I realized, during my college years, that I had been living with Depression (which, I’m sure, has played its own part in all of this). I have, very recently, decided that this can no longer be a factor in my life. I will not live in fear. I refuse it. I reject it!

“But Sphinx, you seem like you have it together. What could you possibly be afraid of?”

Well, curious reader, a number of things. Many of these fears have been present ever since I was a wee one. (yeah, I just said “wee one” like I’m Scottish. My last name is Duncan. I’m allowed. )

Lets go down the list of them and then break down why these fears can no longer be a valid thing for me:

1. I’ve been afraid, for the longest time, of failure. That if I try, in any way, to pursue my dreams that I will fail; and not just fail, but fail in a way that is absolutely devastating and impossible to recover from. This fear has, honestly, kept me from accomplishing entirely too many of the things I have dreamed of doing. My Music and My Writing, namely.

There is an underlying fear there that is the cause of this.

2. I’m afraid that, deep down, I am a Charlatan and that someone will find out and point at me and laugh, and that all of the universe will laugh with them and I’ll want to crawl into a hole somewhere and cry myself to death.


Seriously, who wants this guy showing up at your door?

– note: I don’t know that one can actually cry one’s self to death, it’s unreasonable, I know, but try telling that to the nagging voice in my head that points and laughs at me on occasion.

I know that this is a stupid fear. I know that I am talented. I know that I have worked hard to cultivate and improve upon that talent. I know, I know that I am what I have always believed myself to be. I also know that if I don’t pursue my dreams and try to create the kind of life I dream of that I will die inside and be unfulfilled for the rest of my days.

No one wants that. I would become a bitter, horrible person.

Or a Congressman. [Shudders]

Yet this stupid voice in my head tells me that I’m not good enough, and because that fear is using my voice to project itself, it’s very hard not to pay attention. I know. I get it.

And I seriously need to kick that voice in the balls and get over it.

Here’s a fun one:

3. I am afraid that I have, or will, at some point become undesirable to my wife.

This one is stupid. I know this, but it also stems from an old and long standing issue I’ve had with my self-image.

It’s crappy. I have a crap self image and I always have.

I’m sure it stems from all of the crap I had to deal with from some of my peers growing up. (Mainly the girls – Hell’s Bells that was a shit time) I’m the kind of person who takes things to heart, especially back then when I felt like no one really liked me in that way. (oh the stories I could tell you on that subject…[sigh])

It’s so strange, the things that stick with you and carve an impression onto your psyche.

I look at my incredibly gorgeous wife and I have to ask myself: “How the hell did I luck out and get her?” Seriously, I’ve asked that. I often wonder what miracle I performed in a past life that I land someone as Gorgeous as she is. There are times when I still feel like she is so out of my league and that one day she will realize that and run for the hills. Or Taye Diggs. Damn that Taye Diggs and his boyish charm and captivating smile!

You stay away from her, you beautiful man, you! You can't have her!

You stay away from her, you beautiful man, you! You can’t have her!

I tell her about these things and she gives me her best “for a genius, you really can be an idiot” look. She assures me that, while she finds Taye Diggs to be an attractive man (DAMN YOU TAYE!!), I am sexier by far. And she makes me smile and blush and all of that and I feel assured that I have married myself an amazing woman.

But I still don’t feel any more attractive. Not to myself, I don’t.

Stupid voice in my head.

Stupid years of that voice being fed by myself and other people.

I am working on changing that, and kicking that voice off of real estate that can be used to be more awesome!

One day soon, I will feel less like a freak and more like an attractive human being.

Don't look at me. I'm not sexy enough...

Don’t look at me. I’m not sexy enough…

4. I’m deeply afraid of failing as a father.

This is a huge deal for me. I’ve never been a dad before (unless you count the co-raising of my little sister and she turned out alright, I think) and I’m terrified that I will so or say something, especially during her formative years that I can’t change and that will scar her for life.

More than that, I never want to have the kind of relationship that my father and I had before I moved out. I felt like I was being antagonized and attacked on so many levels. I felt like nothing I could ever do would make him proud of me or even accept me as I was. I felt like I was being pushed away so hard that it eventually led me to moving out before the situation could escalate the way I was always afraid it would.

I’m glad that things eventually got better and that my father and I are on great terms now, but those memories, especially one in particular, are burned into me.

I never want to make my daughter feel like that.

I would rather die a hundred thousand deaths than have her ever feel the way I felt.

This was something I had vowed to never do ever since then. She will never go through that. Ever.

But the fear still remains.

look at her! Who wouldn't want to do everything possible to give this kid a happy life?

look at her! Who wouldn’t want to do everything possible to give this kid a happy life?

5. the last fear that I will divulge is the fear of being insignificant.

Let’s face it: as much as I might say that my writing and my music is more for me than anyone else, I want to be heard, I want my writing to be read. I want to be validated as an artist and a writer.

Hell, I want to feel validated as a person! I want fans, I want followers, I people to see me on the street and say “Wait, you’re that guy! You’re awesome.”

You know…or something to that effect.

In the end, I know that what I am doing is and will be seen by people. I know that I am not insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

But there is also that part of my brain that notices all of the less than stellar art and music and literature out there and how amazingly popular they all are. How can I compete with that? What hope is there for me when the likes of Nikki Minaj [shudder] and Justin Beiber [wretch] are idolized.

There is a simple answer to this. One that I am recently coming to after careful consideration:

I am not in competition with them. I am not in competition with any of them.

As James Brown would say: “I’m just gonna get up and do MY thang!”

James sure knew how to do his thang. Yeah...he did it well too!

James sure knew how to do his thang. Yeah…he did it well too!

I guess the point with this one is that, while maybe Rock Star status might not be for me, I’d settle for recognition if only at the level of cult following (yeah, I get that even reaching for that is a bit of a much, but I’m allowed, right?). I want to feel like I matter in the world, like I make an impact somehow with my writing and my music. Of course the first step in that is simple: I need to DO IT MORE!

The more I write/perform/record, the more content there is for people to find. I would really like to be found…and liked. That, I think, would be nice.

I just hope that it’s not asking for too much.

These are just some of the fears that have been controlling my life from the backstage of my mind. They are all valid in their own right, but at the same time they are fears that are conquerable.

They are fears that exist only in my mind, and I refuse to be ruled by them anymore.

Why am I sharing this with you? You wonder.

Well, a couple of reasons come to mind: Firstly, because it’s good to get them out. Talking about them, getting these thoughts and fears out in the open, also gives me the opportunity to plan ways to conquer them. Gives me a space to reflect on them and remember why they need to be conquered.

Secondly, because I like you guys. This blog is about me sharing things. I can assume that you all deal with fear on some level yourselves. It’s nice to have that solidarity, even if it’s silent. It’s good to know that one is not alone when dealing with things they fear.

You’re not alone either.

And now, because I find it appropriate on a nerd blog to include it, the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

This will be my new mantra.

Thanks for listening, friends.

Catch you next time.

Happy Gallifreyan Regeneration Day

Hello, my peoples!! (I really need to come up with a better term of endearment for you all)

Since I don’t celebrate the Holiday of Easter and I honestly don’t really feel like making any Zombie Jesus jokes…


…okay…okay, you twisted my arm. I’ll make just the one!! Sheesh!!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this...I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

Trust me, I could have gone a bit farther than this…I REALLY could have. The day is still early yet!

In any case, keeping upon the theme and excitement of the continuation of my favorite show, I have renamed today Gallifreyan Regeneration Day, in honor of the man from Gallifrey who has time and time again rescued us from the clutches of the Dalek, Cybermen, and the Silence.

How, you ask?

Excellent Question.

I’d like to share a video with you of all of the Doctor’s regenerations over the 50 year history of the show. The man has changed his face a total of ten times in his adventures in saving the  universe. Here’s a good look at them all. Remember, regenerations should only be performed by experienced Time Lords. Do NOT try this at home, kids.

Well, unless you happen to BE a Time Lord with two hearts and a fancy blue box that’s bigger on the inside.

Have a safe and happy Regeneration Day.

Or, whatever it is you happen to be celebrating today!

Catch you guys later!


So, happy Easter, or Ostare, or whatever rite of Spring-renewal-ness you all are celebrating at the moment. I know, I know: It’s been way too long since my last posting and “where the hell have you gone?” and “where’s the latest on the D&D adventure you’re running, are you still even doing that?”


1. I Haven’t gone anywhere, not really. I just have been really lazy and not motivated to post at all. I realize that this means that no one gets to read the stuff I think up and want to talk about and I’m sorry about that, I truly am. Sometimes life just gets in the way…or I get in the way…or Skyrim…yeah, we’ll blame Skyrim.

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone's gotta take the fall for this. We'll always have Solstheim!!

Sorry buddy. We still have great times together and someone’s gotta take the fall for this. We’ll always have Solstheim!!


2. I know, I know!! Yes I am still running that campaign, and yes it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything of note. See above reasoning for that. Don’t worry, though, I haven’t been completely slacking off. I have prepared a comprehensive synopsis of what’s happened since the last time you heard from your heroes. In fact, after tonight’s session, I plan to add to it and post it, finally. There. Happy now?

Seriously though, I do miss you all and I want to get myself back to a pace where I am writing regularly again and with life as it has been the last month or two and then going forward, I should have plenty to write about, be it in my own life or just commenting on something ridiculous I happened to see or read or hear somewhere.

Which brings me to this post in particular.

My Birthday is in a week and a day.

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

Just look at this suave looking motherfraker right here! Give this man some cake!!

[waits for the screaming applause…still waiting…]

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to cling to this beautiful insanity of a planet for the last 32 solar revolutions.

Here’s the part where I get all Ray Lamontagne on you, and get into how I “never learned to count my blessings. I choose instead to dwell on my disasters.” True to my usual form of birthday-time introspection self deprecation blah blah blah, yakety smackety.

Except, I’m not going to do that.

Not this time.

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

No! None of that! you hear me? you cut that out right now, Mister!!

I admit that there has been some rather crap moments throughout the year, I have to say that there have been some crazy moments that I happen to be pretty frelling proud of. So I think I’d like to talk about those.

1. I’m still frelling ALIVE!!

– Yes, that is totally a thing and if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who is dead. Go on…I’ll wait.

Seriously though, getting to remain on this planet, with my wife and little girl (she’s 3 now. Can you frelling believe that? I know! I’m still having a crazy time wrapping my head around it.) is a huge blessing. If you are a believer in a spiritual path or not, being alive and having a family that loves you and that you love just as much is something to take a second and just feel amazingly grateful for. So there!

2. I’ve made considerable progress in the writing of my Novel.

– This is a project that I started a little over a decade ago. It has been through so many changes and iterations that I honestly thought I would never ever sit down and finally write out any lengthy amount of it.  Thanks to participating in NaNoWriMo, I’ve finally put some permanence to the world I’ve created and have written enough that I can’t turn back now and change things. I have to see it through and I WILL.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing…

Even if I still haven’t thought of a title yet…details! Minor details.

3. I’ve become a DM. (Dungeon Master)

– This is a title I never thought I would take on, having been such a fan of the player aspect of Table Top RolePlay, but after playing with a couple of groups and getting my own ideas about what would make for fun experiences for players, it felt like a natural progression. The campaign I’m running is full of intrigue and insanity, and the players in the group are incredibly intelligent and strategic. We are constantly keeping each other on our A game and I’m having an absolute blast with it! And I haven’t killed any of my players…yet! [queue ominous soap opera music]

It's not fancy. it's not crazy. But it's mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

It’s not fancy. it’s not crazy. But it’s mine, and it has Legos!! D20s and Legos FTW!!!

4. I am expanding my circle of friends.

– This might not seem like a huge deal to some, but I can be a bit of an introvert and if I get myself in with a group and feel comfortable with them, I tend to stick with them for a while and not really let go. With the job change and just the general meeting of new people, this has changed a bit. I’m in a Pathfinder game group with some guys that I work with and I’m having a great time. I still hang with my other friends, they’re not going anywhere as far as I am concerned, but I am having fun and making new friends.

5. I’m in a really fun place, Musically.

– This is a more recent development, as I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell as far as my music goes. Through my best friend Christopher, however I have connected with a great group of musicians, Christopher included, and are calling ourselves the Gentlemen of Leisure. We’re not a musical group as such: think of the Fueled By Ramen or Soulquarian groups. We’re a musical collective of like-minded individuals spanning across varying genres of music that have come together with a purpose: To create the kind of (good) music we want to listen to and to provide help for each other in our separate musical projects.

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he's one hot and awesome nerd-type-person!

These are a bunch of Sexy BEASTS!! Especially the one with the hat and cane! I hear he’s one hot and awesome nerd-type-person! Actually, word on the street is that they ALL are!

We Just recently had a meet up here in Tacoma about two weekends ago, and, in three days, we’ve recorded tracks (unfinished, but great starts) for 5 songs that we’ve written. Two of them written by myself. On top of that, I’m writing a song for a track produced by one of the group members that will (once finished) be the new theme for this blog. (as they share the same title, I figured “why the hell not”).  It will be a nerdcore hip hop song. (tee-hee-hee)

Disclaimer: I am not a rapper. I just rhyme a lot. (see what I did there, huh? Huh? Riiiiiiiight?)

The point of all of this is:

– Yes, I am getting older (I-AM-NOT-OLD, I-AM-NOT-OLD, IAMNOTOLD!!!)

– No I am not where I thought I would be when I was 20. (Globetrotting, living in the lap of luxury, screaming adoring fans and groupies, huge frak-off house, cameras flashing wherever I go, yadda yadda) Here’s the thing though: I’m okay with that. Hell, I’m happier that my life worked out the way it did and not the way impetuous, starry-eyed, 20-year-old me dreamed that it would. I’d be a very different (and way less awesome) person for it. Current, about-to-be-32 (gulp) me would likely want to punch what could have been 32-year-old-rock-star-me dead in my theoretical face…with a chair…

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing...seriously, OW!

Can you imagine being smacked by this thing…seriously, OW!


Or, he could have turned out just as awesome as I have. We’ll never know. What I do know is that I don’t want any other life beyond the one I currently live…well, okay, one or two things can change. I live comfortable in the knowledge that my life, no matter how strange, no matter how geeky, no matter how everyday it might seem; is a pretty good one, and I’m happy to have survived another year, clinging to this ball of rock and atmosphere spinning around a bright yellow star.


Happy Birthday, Kid.


Now, if you’ll excuse me: I’m going to prepare for my game night, and sing the Doom Song!!

Come on! Don't sit there and act as if you didn't know this was coming! It totally was...just sing along already!!

Come on! Don’t sit there and act as if you didn’t know this was coming! It totally was…just sing along already!!


Oh yeah, I can imagine that you notice a change in the background and Icon and whatnot. It’s in celebration of the continuation of this season of Doctor Who on tomorrow! Are you guys ready? I’ve been ready since Christmas!!


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