BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

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    • Sword Art Online Anime Timeline & Watch Order

      1 day ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      Sword Art Online is one of the most popular anime series out there. Notice I said “popular”, and not “best”. That’s because SAO is also one of the most divisive anime series in recent memory. Some people love it, and others love to shit on it. And with the upcoming 3rd season, as well as the recent spinoff series, I thought it’d be helpful to write another anime breakdown.


      You’ll find the spoiler-free release order directly below (which is almost the same as the chronological order), as well as my suggested watch order.


      And if you feel like knowing more about SAO, including my personal thoughts (which DO contain major spoilers), then read on after that.


      In-Universe Terms:

      VRMMO Games: Sword Art Online (SAO), ALfheim Online (ALO), & Gun Gale Online (GGO)

      ARMMO Games: Ordinal Scale

      VR Devices: NerveGear, AmuSphere

      AR Devices: Augma


      SAO Release & Watch Order

      Suggested SAO Watch Order

      From the list below, in this order: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10


      SAO Release Order

      1) Sword Art Online: Season 1 (25 Eps, 2 Arcs) [2012]

      -Episodes 1-14 (Aincrad Arc) [July 2012-October 2012]

      -Episodes 15-25 (Fairy Dance Arc) [October 2012-December 2012]

      Synopsis: The first arc, Aincrad, is what made the anime famous.  People stuck in a virtual world where if you die, you die in real life.  The second arc, Fairy Dance, is a direct continuation of the story.


      2) SAO: Sword Art Offline (9 short eps) [October 2012-June 2013]

      Synopsis: NON-CANON.  Don't watch these. They're short, chibi, 11-minute shorts from the SAO Japanese blu-ray releases. The characters host a spoofy news program with guests, trivia, & highlights from the episodes on that particular blu-ray release. Each short is meant to be watched after the episodes on that particular disc, according to below:

      (SAO Episodes = Corresponding SAOffline Episode)

      1-2 = 1; 3-5 = 2; 6-8 = 3; 9-11 = 4; 12-14 = 5; 15-16 = 6; 17-19 = 7; 20-22 = 8; 23-25 = 9


      3) Sword Art Online: Extra Edition (101 minutes) [December 2013]

      Synopsis: Takes place between Season 1 and Season 2. This is a combination of a pool episode, a recap, and a minor stand-alone story. Not a lot of new material, but enough to make it worth watching (probably).


      4) Sword Art Online: Sword Art Offline - Extra Edition (13 mins) [April 2014]

      Synopsis: NON-CANON. Just like the previous SAOffline show, except meant to be watched after SAO: Extra Edition.  No need to watch it.


      5) Sword Art Online II (25 Eps, 3 Arcs) [2014]

      -Episodes 1-14 (Phantom Bullet Arc) [July 2014-October 2014]

      -Episode 14.5 (Recap) [October 2014]

      -Episodes 15-17 (Calibur Arc) [October 2014-November 2014]

      -Episodes 18-24 (Mother’s Rosario Arc) [November 2014-December 2014]

      Synopsis: In the first arc, Phantom Bullet, the characters investigate a disturbing incident in another VRMMO game (GGO) where a player appears to be killing people in real life from within the game.  Episode 14.5, titled “Debriefing”, its just a recap of that Phantom Bullet Arc.  The second arc, Calibur, is a filler arc with little relevance.  The third arc, Mother’s Rosario, is a much more emotional story about the characters' encounter with a mysterious sword fighter in ALO.


      6) SAO II: SAOffline II (9 short eps) [October 2014-June 2015]

      Synopsis: NON-CANON. Once again, just like the other SAOffline shorts. Don't watch this.

      (SAO II Episodes = Corresponding SAOffline II Episode)

      1-3 = 1; 4-6 = 2; 7-9 = 3; 10-12 = 4; 13-14.5 = 5; 15-17 = 6; 18-20 = 7; 21-22 = 8; 23-24 = 9


      7) SAO Movie: Ordinal Scale (2 hours) [February 2017]

      Synopsis: Takes place after Season 2. A new augmented reality device, the Augma (think Google Glass, but better), has taken the gaming world by storm. The new AR game Ordinal Scale has become more popular than VRMMOs, since it can be played while conscious. But, as the gang finds out, mixing the real and the virtual may not be as safe as it seems.


      8) SAO Movie: Ordinal Scale - SAOffline (14 mins) [September 2017]

      Synopsis: NON-CANON. Yeah. Again.  Don't watch this.


      9) SAO Alternative: Gun Gale Online (12 Eps) [April 2018-?]

      Synopsis: A side-story with new characters.  In real life Karen is very tall and very awkward.  But in GGO she is LLENN - the tiny, fast, pink-clad player killer known as the Pink Devil.  At the request of a new friend, she joins Squad Jam, a squad tournament in GGO.

      [This story takes place during the Mother’s Rosario arc of SAO II, but before the events of SAO Movie: Ordinal Scale.]


      10) SAO: Alicization (Unknown Episodes) [October 2018-?]

      Synopsis: Direct continuation of the main SAO story.  Premieres later this year.  Centers around the main character and new characters.  Supposedly very different.


      The SAO Franchise as a Whole

      Components of the Franchise

      The Sword Art Online anime series is based on the light novels of the same name, by Reki Kawahara. The franchise as a whole has now grown into three separate components. Those components are:


      -Light novels and manga

      -Anime (adaptation of the novels)

      -Gameverse (video games based on the novels up to a point, then diverging)


      Each component is its own universe, with no canon crossover. So if you're only watching the anime, you don't need to follow the other two (unless you need more SAO satisfation).


      Anime Connection to Accel World? (Minor Spoilers)

      Accel World is another light novel series written by Reki Kawahara, which has also been adapted into an anime franchise. Many speculate that the two shows are connected, as they share a couple plot points.


      First, SAO is set in 2022 and Accel World in 2046. In an Accel World scene, an old piece of technology is referenced which bears a great similarity to a product used in SAO.


      Second, in a later arc of SAO, a new form of VR technology is introduced. This technology also exists in Accel World in a more advanced form, leading some to believe that the version introduced in SAO served as the foundation for the version in Accel World.


      Seems like a connection, huh? Well I should also mention that they released a crossover video game called Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight. Seals the deal doesn’t it?


      Not quite. As much as they share, Reki Kawahara says the two stories are NOT in the same universe. Taking this into account, the prevailing opinion is that the two shows are not related, but rather occasionally throw shout-outs to each other. It appears that Kawahara just likes including the occasional nod to his other properties.


      My Thoughts on the SAO Anime (MAJOR SPOILERS)

      So, personally, I really like this series.  As a gamer, I feel like it touches a lot on why we game and what it means to us.  And although death games are nothing new in anime, applying them to a world based on video game rules felt really fresh and intriguing when the show debuted.  And although the first SAO arc was ssooo good, it had some flaws, which were then magnified by the second arc and beyond.


      The primary criticism of SAO lies in its main character, Kirito.  He is believed by many to be OP, a wearer of “plot armor” who always ends up saving the day with little effort.  Beyond that, critics of SAO also hold that most characters lack depth, often being little more than additions to Kirito’s harem of female side characters.  The stories often feel devoid of real stakes as well.  Sure, they dangle them in front of you, but the day always ends up being predictably saved.  Many critics blame the light novel’s original author, Reki Kawahara, and his fan service-laden male fantasy plots.


      All valid criticisms but, in my opinion, the spark that caused the hate was the second arc, Fairy Dance.  Watching an arc based on a fairy world with wings and magic, especially after the action-packed sword-fighting of the previous arc, left many feeling disappointed.  I remember reading how many people thought the show got “lame”.  People were turned off by the mood of the second arc not only because of the pace and story but also, in some cases, a too drastic change from the action shonen feel of the first arc.  But an additional reason for the turn of public opinion was the way the female characters were treated in Fairy Dance.  The two main plotlines of this arc were Suguha (Kirito’s cousin/sister) struggling with her feelings toward Kirito, and Asuna’s damsel in distress situation.


      Even though incestuous relationships are practically a subgenre in anime, Suguha having feelings for her cousin was bridge too cringey for some.  And since SAO at the time garnered a popularity that reached beyond average anime fans, this plot element likely made a bigger impact than usual.


      Regarding Asuna, the plot in Fairy Dance undercut her character significantly considering she was a bad ass in the Aincrad arc.  Sure, it would’ve been better if we were shown how she became Vice Commander in SAO, but her character was still pretty independent in Aincrad.  However in Fairy Dance, she was merely a prize.  An object that the protagonist and antagonist fought over.  It was damsel in distress on steroids.  The climax of that arc appears to have been aimed squarely at male power fantasies (people often refer to it as “that scene”).


      The show did a slightly better job moving forward, but the damage was done.  It now had a reputation for being a “trash” show.  Season 2’s Phantom Bullet arc was actually interesting and fresh.  It was then followed by Mother’s Rosario, which introduced a nuanced story and heavy emotion previously unseen in the franchise.  Even so, SAO remained a ridiculed show.  The movie, Ordinal Scale, was fucking beautiful and enjoyable enough as well.  But once again, the criticism was baked in.


      As a result, SAO is a show on the fence.  Enjoyable but seriously flawed.  The shortcomings are just enough to make open-minded people doubt their satisfaction.  And even when it is objectively good, the haters don’t give it a chance.


      And now people are trying to say SAO Alternative: GGO (the spin-off) is better than the main show.  Many critics are calling it superior.   It is good, but in my opinion, it has some pretty boring moments.  It can be real slow until the last few episodes, and would have also benefited from the first few episodes being presented chronologically rather than the time-jumping narrative they chose.  And while on this topic, I should also point out that the source material for the spin-off is written by a different author than the main show.  So that might be another reason why people are so eager to say it’s better than the mainline series.  Therefore, part of the acclaim for SAO Alternative: GGO may be due to it not being SAO proper, rather than its own merits (in my opinion).


      Personally, I’m on the side that likes SAO.  I think there is a selective outrage over it.  However, I must admit, the story is weak in some areas.  I don’t have a defense for that.  But I feel like there’s enough to make it enjoyable and worth the watch.


      Overall, it’s a fun show.  Good? I don’t know about that.  But it’s definitely fun, action-packed, and interesting.  I would recommend it.

    • A Unique Anime Recommendation

      6 days ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      I want to recommend an anime series to you all. It’s a series that I think is pretty interesting. But before I tell you the title, I have some important advice: I want you to go into the first episode...knowing NOTHING. This will make your episode 1 experience so much better.

      Don’t look up the synopsis, description, story, or ANY information on this series. I want you to start episode 1 without knowing ANYTHING about this show. Don’t look at the cover, episode thumbnails, or any artwork and animation. NOTHING. The less you look at this show before watching it, the better.


      You might start episode 1 and not like it, but you need to stick with it and watch at least the whole first episode up until the credits. After you watch that, you can do whatever you want (look up the synopsis, spoilers, drop the show, etc).


      What’s the name of the show, you ask? It’s called School-Live! (or “Gakkou Gurashi!” in Japanese). It’s available on Crunchyroll.  You can search for it or just click here for Episode 1. Once again, DO NOT look at anything (images, description, whatever). Just start Episode 1 and finish it. I also suggest skipping the opening credits (1:42 - 3:10).


      And if you don't have a CR account, the show is free, just with ads.


      Once you’ve seen that first episode, (or if you’ve already seen it) feel free to let me know your opinion in the comments. Let’s use spoiler shading too, to avoid spoiling it for other people.


      I’m interested in hearing y’all’s thoughts!

    • Two Rom-Com Anime Series For People Like Us

      2 weeks ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      I love anime.  But as a nerd over 30 years old, I must admit that it is difficult to find anime series that I can directly relate to.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good slice of life or action series, but I’m not a high school girl or half-human superhero.  I enjoy the characters and the stories, but can’t put myself in those shoes.


      So when I say “people like us”, I mean adult nerds.  Those of us into video games, anime, cosplay, or comics.  Those of us who are past college age or post-30.  Those of us who may or may not struggle with romance or relationships.  It’s hard to find anime that features characters like that, within a real life setting.


      That’s why I’ve been delighted with two series that have come out recently, Recovery of an MMO Junkie and Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku.  These are two light-hearted anime comedies about adult nerds and their romantic relationships, and it might be the most I’ve related to anime characters in my whole life.  There’s no supernatural plots or absurd slapstick.  These shows are grounded in reality, and give you a hilarious unabashed look at grownup nerdy people dealing with dating and social anxiety.


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      Recovery of an MMO Junkie

      Recovery of an MMO Junkie is about a 30 year old woman named Moriko who just quit her stressful job in order to become a shut-in who just plays games all day.  She’s neurotic, self-conscious, and suffers from social anxiety.  But she loves video games, specifically MMOs.  One day in her favorite MMO (in which she plays as a male character) she meets a player with a cute girl avatar.  Shortly after that Moriko begins having awkward encounters with a handsome man in real life, who may have ties to that same MMO.



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      What makes this show good is that it feels so real.  Watching Moriko agonize over social encounters (buying chicken at the store, cleaning up her apartment before company comes over) is both hilariously plausible and extremely relatable.  This also extends to her online interactions, as we are witness to her occasional inability to express herself around her MMO friends.  Seeing Moriko navigate these situations in spite of her trepidation is at once hysterical and endearing, especially as you begin to empathize with her more and more.



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      But as this show is also a romance, we get to follow Moriko as she hesitantly gets back on the dating scene.  The scrutiny over her apparel, the insecurity about her appearance, the over-analyzing of social situations—it all plays out with excruciating accuracy and laugh-at-the-pain humor.  Plus, it’s nice to see a show that features a female main character’s perspective that’s grounded in a plausible reality.  One that’s not only relatable for everyone, but also especially relatable to our demographic (adult nerds).



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      In a nutshell, Recovery of an MMO Junkie is a humorous and real look at romance, gaming, and social anxiety.  It’s an endearing, relatable, and satisfying journey.  It’s available to stream on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VRV.




      Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku

      Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku centers on a woman (Narumi) starting a new office job, and her association with a man who works at the same office (Hirotaka).  Narumi is a fujoshi (a female fan of yaoi) and Hirotaka is a hardcore gaming addict.  The two, who are also childhood friends, begin to date.  They also hang out with fellow office couple Hanako and Taro, who are otaku as well (the former a cosplayer, the latter an anime/manga addict).  But, as we soon find out, dating and romance is not so easy when both parties are stuck in their otaku ways.



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      I highly recommend this show for older anime fans.  Wotakoi is essentially a romance slice-of-life for adults.  But instead of the typical school setting with teenagers (featured too often in anime), this show is a more mature office comedy centered on two nerd couples.  One couple, Narumi and Hirotaka, is newly formed.  So we get to follow them as they get to know each other and learn each other’s otaku habits.  The other couple, Hanako and Taro, have been together for quite some time.  That couple constantly argues over their differing interests and has to work hard to maintain their relationship.  Both couples give you an idea of how two nerds in a relationship can be both rewarding and challenging.  They also contrast each other very well, highlighting the different struggles new and old couples go through.



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      Deeper themes aside, the show is just plain satisfying.  Narumi’s otaku foibles and comedic timing are endlessly amusing.  Watching older characters get their game on and play Mario Kart together is very relatable.  And Hanako and Taro tearfully making up after a heated fight is cathartic.  This show is a glimpse of adult nerds having adult relationships and nerdily doing adult things.  It is exceedingly rare for anime to feature stories like this.



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      Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku is available to stream through Amazon Prime Video.  This show is so down to earth, relatable, and—as a single guy—even aspirational.  But at the end of the day, ProZD sums up my thoughts better than I ever could.



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      Wrap Up

      Anyway, if you’ve been hankering for anime that is more mature, and features stories that are more relatable to older nerds, then you need to watch these two series.  They’re both short too, clocking in at 11 episodes each.  And rather than call them shows about romance, though they do scratch that itch, I would call them shows about adult relationships.  Something that is, unfortunately, oddly hard to find in anime.



      Addendum

      In the spirit of full disclosure, I must mention that the director of Recovery of an MMO Junkie appears to be a nazi sympathizer, according to some disturbing tweets.  I actually learned this after writing this journal, and decided to add that information here.


      I was in a discussion recently where some called to pirate the anime, in an effort to prevent the director from profiting.  Understandable, but in my opinion, a lot of people worked on that show that deserve to get paid (not to mention pirating is bad for the industry in general).  And since it’s honestly a great show, I still really recommend watching it.  Doing so is to reward the author of the original manga and the studio that made the anime.  Pirating the show would punish the whole team.


      At this point, the studio has already distanced themselves from the director and cut ties.  And now that anime fans have called him out, I suspect that it will be difficult for him to find future freelance work.  I should also mention the original manga has officially ended serialization, due to the author’s health.


      Those are the deets, for you to take into account when decided whether or not to watch the show.  Just wanted to give you all the full story.  But in my opinion it should still be possible to fully enjoy this show.  The source material, show’s content, story’s message, and anime studio are not reflective or supportive of the director’s views.  That's my personal rationale.  It really is a great show, and I would hate for one person to ruin it for others.

    • Infinity War (Spoilers Are Shaded)

      2 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      Yeah, I just decided to shade the whole thing.


      If you saw the movie opening weekend, you probably loved it.


      If you saw it like I did, on a Wednesday morning at 11:30am in a theater with only 14 other people after the hype died down, you probably hated the ending...like I did.


      I've tried typing this out a couple times and have given up.  Suffice it to say, the ending just fell flat for me.


      The movie didn't really have a beginning or middle, it was just nonstop action (which I loved!).  So when Thanos snapped his fingers, and the whole movie just...stopped, I was taken out of it.  With the exception of Tony getting impaled and Gamora dying, no strong emotions were elicited from me. The deaths at the end were too abrupt to weigh on me emotionally, and too open-ended for me to feel satisfied about the ending.


      And when you're aware of various actors having more movies in their contracts, the whole thing feels like a story cut in half.  Which it is, but since they started marketing the movie as its own story, I wasn't prepared for such a cliffhanger.  I knew there was a part two, but since they stopped emphasizing the movie as a "part one", I let my guard down and expected more closure.


      I don't know.  I mean, I loved it but hated the ending.  It just...wasn't satisfying.  I think maybe I was expecting too much of a conclusion.  They should've kept calling it Infinity War Part One, and not just Infinity War.  Maybe then I'd feel better about it.  Maybe I was just so hyped the whole time, to the point that ending it felt sour.


      Anyone else feel that way?  Surely there is.  There was a woman in my theater who was throwing her hands up in frustration.  But I feel bad for not liking it more, like everyone else.  I keep hearing about people crying and gasping, but it just didn't hit me that hard.  I loved everything else about it though!  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and didn't want it to stop.  But then it did, and it just wasn't enough.

    • Rant About Dog Owners

      2 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      Strap in for a rant y'all.


      Unless a dog is in your house, within a fenced area on your property, or in a designated public leash-free zone, it belongs on a leash.


      Put your fucking dog on a leash.


      Today I was walking the family dog.  And by family I mean my parents and I (I'm just a single dude).  The dog had TPLO surgery in December to address a torn ACL in his knee, and he's still in rehabilitation mode (they put a plate on his bone).  The bone has fully healed, so he's almost fully recovered.  We're now focused on soft tissue healing. This now means taking him for mild runs and higher speeds.


      So I go out the front door with our dog to take him on a quick short run.  I barely get ten feet out, when I hear angry barking.  I look up and I see my neighbor's two dogs running toward us from across the street, barking and growling.  They're almost the same size as our dog, so two of them could really fuck up our dog.  They run into our front yard, and get within two feet of our dog.  There's barking, growling, and spiked-up fur on all their backs.  Our dog is jumping around trying to get to them, while I'm holding him back and trying to pull him back in the house.  The neighbor (a lady who looks to be in her 60s), yells at her dogs to come back.  And of course they don't fucking listen.  I manage to get our dog back into the house, after which he's all riled up.


      What if I hadn't been able to hold onto him?  What if the other dogs tried to attack us?  What if our dog's knee was still fragile?  This bitch is always letting her dogs run around the neighborhood, for hours at a time.  Cities have leash laws, people.  Here's Austin's, for example.


      I've had six dogs in my life, totaling over 32 years of ownership if you count them separately.  I like to think I've been a responsible dog owner, or at least know what it takes to be one.  So I see so much shit that pisses me off about dog owners (and don't even get me started on people who run with their dogs but can't recognize when they're tired or thirsty).


      Your local laws may differ, but in central Texas for the most part you are not allowed to:

       -walk around downtown with your un-leashed dog

       -ride a bike down the street with your un-leashed dog following you

       -let your un-leashed dog out the front door to do its business

       -leave your un-leashed dog outside your property unmonitored


      Many people are too lax with their dogs, and it's fucking infuriating.  They act like they live on a ranch with acres of land, and let their dogs roam free.  Leash laws are not there for bad dogs.  Leash laws are not for unobedient dogs.  Leash laws are not for dogs walking long distances.  They are there for ALL DOGS.  You may not think your dog needs a leash.  You may think your dog is a good dog who listens to you.  That doesn't fucking matter.  Unless the dog is on private property and can't leave it, put a leash on it.  Leash laws are there to prevent the worst, as well as the unexpected.


      What if your dog gets into someone's trash and makes a mess?  What if your dog tries to approach another dog?  What if your dog wanders into the road, and causes a car crash?  What if a child is walking down the sidewalk and tries to pet your dog?  What if your dog is not as well-behaved as you think and attacks someone?


      If I'm walking down the street and a strange dog approaches me, I don't know if he'll be friendly or if he'll bite me.  No one does.  It's fucking 50/50.  50/50 whether or not I'll need to defend myself.  50/50 whether or not I'll need to yell for help.  Dogs are a responsibility, but it doesn't end at caring for them.  You have to make sure that others are protected from them.


      We're a very dog friendly society now.  A lot of people have dogs, and they take them everywhere.  That's great.  I love to see dogs in public, at the workplace, or at the park.  I fucking love dogs man.  But please, be a responsible dog owner.  For fuck's sake, obey your local ordinances.  They're there for your dog's protection, and ours.

    • Rules of Sandwichood (Version 2)

      3 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      I’m back again with more proposed rules on sandwichood.  As you can see, I kind of went overboard.  Feel free to critique, poke holes, or point out any mistakes I made.  Additional thoughts at the end.



      Section 1: Introduction

      Subsection 1.1: Basic Format

      In its most base form a sandwich consists of, at a minimum, something between something.  The former being the “interior” and the latter being the “exterior” (terms that will be used henceforth).


      Subsection 1.2: Consumption

      Sandwiches can only be called sandwiches if they are both intended for, and capable of, consumption by biological lifeforms, in accordance with their digestive systems (i.e., a sandwich made of metal and glass is not a sandwich).  This subsection applies not only to the sandwich as a whole, but each and every component within the sandwich.


      Subsection: 1.3: Taste

      As flavor is subjective, sandwiches do not have to taste good or bad.  Therefore there are no rules on ingredient types, so long as they are not in violation of the rules of this document.


      Section 2: Shape & Form

      Subsection 2.1: Top & Bottom

      When plated, for purposes of illustration and description, the sandwich must have a top and a bottom.  The lone exception for this subsection may be found in Section 6, Subsection 6.3.


      Subsection 2.2: Sides

      The sandwich must have a side, or sides.


      Subsection 2.3: Foundation

      The sandwich must have at least one surface flat enough that enables it to rest on a flat plate.


      Subsection 2.4: Roundness

      The sandwich may be circular, but not spherical.  Upon being served on a flat plate it must not roll around, back and forth, or over.


      Subsection 2.5: Stability of the Whole

      The sandwich, as intended by the sandwich-maker, and on a flat plate transportable by no more than two human hands, must be stable enough to be:

      A) Safely transported from kitchen to dining table (e.g., without falling to the ground).

      B) Served at average human walking speed.

      C) Attain a success rate of at least 51% on Section 2, Subsection 2.5A & 2.5B, combined.


      Furthermore, if transportation success rate fails to meet the 51% minimum threshold, the sandwich in question cannot reliably be called a sandwich.  If necessary, adjustments made in accordance with Subsection 2.7 are permissible.  Subsection 2.5 does not preempt or nullify Subsection 4.4, but rather, works in concert with it.  Both Subsections 2.5 and 4.4 must be satisfied.  Additional potential recourse for Subsection 2.5 may be found under Section 6, Subsection 6.4 on a case-by-case basis.


      Subsection 2.6: Size & Proportion

      The sandwich must be small enough to be held in two adult hands.  Potential recourse for this subsection may be found under Section 6, Subsection 6.4, on a case-by-case basis.


      Subsection 2.7: Assisted Cohesion

      The use of paper, toothpicks, and other common food service materials may be used to reinforce the sandwich’s form.  However if additional food is used to reinforce the sandwich’s form, the food used then becomes part of the sandwich, and as such the newly created sandwich must still abide by all the rules in this document.


      Section 3: Exterior

      Subsection 3.1: Exterior Format (As Two Distinct Components)

      The exterior may be comprised of two individual pieces (which may contain different ingredients).


      Subsection 3.2 Exterior Format (As One Distinct Component)

      The exterior may also be comprised of one individual piece, so long as it can be folded around the interior or is capable of having sections removed in order to insert the interior.


      Subsection 3.3: Obscurement of Interior, by Exterior

      The exterior shall not obscure the interior on more than 75% of the side area.  In the event that the obscurement of the interior exceeds 75%, the sandwich in question forfeits classification as sandwich. Items used in accordance with Subsection 2.7 do not disqualify fulfilment of this subsection (e.g., a burger that fulfills Subsection 3.3, but is wrapped in a paper sleeve that covers 80% of the sides of the sandwich, still fulfills Subsection 3.3).


      Subsection 3.4: Exterior Texture & Ingredients

      The exterior is subject to the following criteria:

      A) It must be bread, or derived principally from grain and prepared by heat or natural process.

      B) If not derived principally from grain, it may by be analogous to grain or bread products in:

       b1) texture (required)

       b2) flavor (optional)

       b3) appearance (optional)

      C) Pasta & grain products prepared in water, or products analogous in texture, are forbidden.

      D) Exteriors that fail to meet the criteria of Subsection 3.4 may find recourse under Section 6, Subsection 6.2.


      Section 4: Interior

      Subsection 4.1: Quantity

      There must be at least one interior portion of the sandwich, separate from the exterior.  There is no limit to the quantity of interior portions, so long as the quantity doesn’t violate the other rules within this document.


      Subsection 4.2: Distinctions from Exterior

      The interior portion of the sandwich must not be part of the exterior.  It may only rest within the exterior, or adhere to the exterior by way of condiment or other adhesive substance (pursuant to Subsection 1.2).  However, the interior is allowed to be the same type of material used in the exterior.


      Subsection 4.3: Interior Visibility

      The inverse of Subsection 3.3, the interior portion of the sandwich must be visible to the human eye on at least 75% of the sandwich’s side(s).  Likewise, items used in accordance with Subsection 2.7 do not disqualify fulfilment of this subsection.


      Subsection 4.4: Interior Stability

      The interior portion of the sandwich must be stable enough so that no more than 49% of it falls out of the sandwich when the sandwich is sat motionless after being served, for a period of at least five minutes.  The use of materials pursuant to Subsection 2.7 is also allowed in order to attain this threshold.  Subsection 4.4 does not preempt or nullify Subsection 2.5, but rather, works in concert with it.  Both Subsections 2.5 and 4.4 must be satisfied.  Additional potential recourse for Subsection 4.4 may be found under Section 6, Subsection 6.4 on a case-by-case basis.


      Section 5: Preparation, Serving, & Eating

      Subsection 5.1: The Preparation Process

      The rules set forth in this document apply only to the finished sandwich, as intended by the preparer.  Only once the sandwich is plated, does it become subject to the rules in this document.


      Subsection 5.2: Sandwiches As Components of Dishes

      Dishes that contain a sandwich are not automatically called a sandwich.  As an example, a grilled cheese sandwich is a sandwich.  But a grilled cheese sandwich served inside a bowl of tomato soup is not a sandwich.  The dish, though it contains a sandwich, is not a sandwich as a whole.


      Subsection 5.3: Plating

      The sandwich may be served however the preparer or server desires.  However, the sandwich must at least be capable of being served on a flat plate, and in accordance with rules of this document.


      Subsection 5.4: Garnishes

      Garnishes that are fastened to the sandwich (e.g., an olive with a toothpick), become part of the sandwich's architecture, and the newly created sandwich must reaffirm its satisfaction of the rules of this document.


      Subsection 5.5: Orientation of Plating vs Eating

      The sandwich, in its orientation on a flat plate without assistance (e.g., stands, supports, etc), must be capable of being eaten by a person sitting upright and facing forward, in a comfortable manner.


      Subsection 5.6: Utensils

      Utensils may be used to consume the sandwich, but must not be required.


      Subsection 5.7: Dipping

      Sandwiches served with dipping sauces must be larger than the container that contains the sauce.


      Subsection 5.8: One Bite Rule

      Once the second bite of the sandwich is initiated, the rules of this document no longer apply.  For this purpose, a “bite” is considered the average bite size of the person for whom the sandwich was intended.


      Section 6: Special Sandwich Designations (AKA: SSD)

      Subsection 6.1: Fried Sandwiches

      Frying whole sandwiches is permissible.  Sandwiches which are fried must have the word “fried” in the front of their name.


      Subsection 6.2: Dessert Sandwiches

      Sandwiches that are served as dessert (e.g., ice cream sandwiches) are the lone exception to Subsection 3.4.  However, the dessert sandwich in question must be considered an actual dessert by the average person within the smallest governmental jurisdiction in which the sandwich is served (i.e., a traditional club sandwich served as dessert cannot be called a dessert sandwich, unless the average person in that city regards it as such).


      Subsection 6.3: Incomplete Sandwiches

      Sandwiches that are served prematurely and before they become full sandwiches (e.g., an open-faced sandwich), are hereby recognized as Incomplete Sandwiches.  These are acknowledged as being unfinished products that could have eventually become sandwiches, had the preparer continued.  However the Incomplete Sandwich in question must still abide by the rules in this document, WITH THE EXCEPTIONS OF: Section 1, Subsection 1.1; Section 2, Subsection 2.1; Section 3, Subsections 3.1 & 3.2; and Section 5, Subsections 5.5 & 5.6.


      Subsection 6.4: Theatrically Large Sandwiches (TL Sandwiches)

      Sandwiches which are blatantly (or comedically) large, wide, long, or heavy.  One example would be a hamburger with ten patties.  These sandwiches typically elicit awe and surprise, and are often served as part of a food challenge.  In order to qualify as a TL Sandwich, the sandwich must have at least 75% more mass than the average person would commonly eat in one sandwich sitting.  Sandwiches which qualify under this subsection are EXEMPT from: Section 2, Subsections 2.3, 2.5 & 2.6; Section 4, Subsection 4.4; Section 5, Subsections 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, & 5.8.


      .

      .

      .

      .

      .


      That's it.  Full disclosure, these rules may or may not have started with the intention of excluding hot dogs.  The most difficult part was Section 6.  It was a bitch reconciling it with the rest of the rules.  I fully expect some loopholes to be in there somewhere though.  Anyway, just felt like revisiting this.  Thoughts?  Too much?  Get a life?  Any suggestions will be taken into consideration for the eventual Version 3.

    • Winter 2018 Anime: Two Series You NEED To Watch

      3 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      I feel like top-shelf anime series, or at least non sequel top-shelf series, only come about once every season or so.  So getting two of them during this season was a real treat.  I'm talking about A Place Further Than The Universe and Laid Back Camp. Both are currently available on Crunchyroll. I really enjoyed them, so let me recommend them to y’all.  I'll give you a synopsis and my impressions of both.



      1st - A Place Further Than The Universe


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      Synopsis (Episode 1 Spoilers)

      Shirase (a high school outcast) and Mari (who is struggling with feelings of stagnation) cross paths at their school.  Mari learns of Shirase’s tragic backstory, in which Shirase’s mother went missing in Antarctica.  Shirase, working multiple jobs, has been trying desperately to go there to find her mom.  As a result, Shirase’s classmates have ridiculed and bullied her.  She gets called “Antarctica”, and told that she’s a loser who will never make it there.  Mari, feeling inspired by Shirase’s resolve to get to Antarctica, decides to join her in her quest.



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      This show is ssooo good.  The perfect seasoning blend of comedy and feel-good drama.  The central theme of the series is about taking a leap of faith.  Having the conviction to follow your goals when they seem impossible, and throwing caution to the wind in pursuit of them.  Now, most of the time stories about following your dreams are, sadly, a little boring.  But what makes this story really special is that the dream isn’t a concept or idea.  It’s a physical place. More tangible than most dreams, yet even more unobtainable in some ways.  A dangerous, rare place: Antarctica.  Seeing the girls work towards that goal is such a fun and fulfilling journey.  And as it gradually becomes a four girls show (a common anime trope), the growing chemistry and friendship among the girls is both hilarious and tear-jerking.



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      The show is also fucking funny.  The situations the girls find themselves in are downright hilarious, and the way the characters play off each other is very well-done.  Each one has their own role within the comedic stylings.  Shirase is aloof but easily flustered, Mari is oblivious and clumsy, Yuzuki is the straight man, and Hinata is the wild card.  You get the feel that the writers put some effort into how these girls would play off each other.  Each of the main four characters manages to steal the scene in hilarious ways.  Slapstick, absurd fast-paced humor, smartly done comedic situations; it has it all.



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      But hoo boy, the flip side of that coin?  The feels?  This show has that in spades.  The over-arching plot is about Shirase's mother, but each character is struggling with very personal problems.  And as the series goes on, each one gets their time in the spotlight.  It’s very rewarding to see them help each other out, and get their cries on.  There’s tension, strained relationships, pain, catharsis, and heart-warming growth.  The interplay between the funny and emotional is what makes this show work. It does both extremely well, and knows when to do each.



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      Lastly, it’s fucking pretty. The world, the environments; it’s all so pleasing to watch. There’s a tremendous amount of detail. Mari’s house and school feel both real and stifling. The skies, oceans, and snow seem so vast. Light and focus is done very well. I’m also unfamiliar with the character design style, but very in love with it. Lines are thick and deliberate. Faces are simple, yet incredibly expressive. Clothes have weight, and characters’ wardrobes are very individualistic. The show is also devoid of any super-deformed sequences, 4th wall breaks, or drawn-out inner monologues, which helps to cement the reality-based feel.



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      To sum up, it’s a very well done show. The comedy is clever, the emotions are dense, the visuals are on point, and the message is compelling. It's rare to find a show that's so well-rounded.  You need to watch it. I’m giving it a 10/10, on my personal scale. But even objectively, it’s minimum 9/10.



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      2nd - Laid Back Camp

      If that first show was a fun roller coaster, Laid Back Camp is calming Sunday drive. This series is funny, quirky, cute, and chill as fuck. I loved to watch this one before bed, as it’s very relaxing and puts you in good mood.



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      Synopsis (Episode 1 Spoilers)

      High school student Rin loves camping by herself. One day, while camping, she meets a stranded girl named Nadeshiko. Rin hosts Nadeshiko for the evening, during which the latter becomes interested in camping. After this initial encounter, Nadeshiko becomes enamored with camping. This sparks a series of events which pulls even more classmates into the camping scene.



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      This series is the anime embodiment of a palate cleanser. The heart of the show is two-fold. First about Rin, a primarily solo camper,  as she learns to enjoy camping with others. Second, about Nadeshiko's introduction to camping through her friends. Throw in Rin’s non-camping friend and the two-member high school camping club, and you have a delightful recipe for a group of high school girls learning to camp and enjoy the wilderness. Seeing these cute characters get to know each other and go on adventures is very fun.



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      I know that premise might seem too feel-goody, but this show is far more than that. It feels like a slice of life anime that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s decidedly funny, full of puns and witty quips. I would describe the humor as dry and down-to-earth, with the occasional side-splitting gag out of left field. Whether it’s Nadeshiko’s innocent funny foibles or Rin’s well-aimed deadpan delivery, this show brings the comedy.



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      Also, they do a great deal of cooking and the food looks DELICIOUS.  Even the characters remark how Nadeshiko makes food look good.  Nearly every episode features one of the girls cooking a meal, followed by the others thoroughly enjoying it.  It’s anime food porn, on par with Food Wars (only way more low-key).  Ribs, sukiyaki, ramen, pork buns, rice, curry, skewers - it has all that and more.



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      But what makes this show unique is that interstitched between the light exposition, lies a 4th-wall breaking camping guide. As the characters go on adventures and learn more about camping, a narrator explains their tools/equipment and gives advice to the viewer. Equally humorous and informative, the narrator expounds on the topic at hand. As the camping club learns about tents, we’re given a mini-presentation about different types of tents and their prices. When they learn about campground policies, the narrator teaches us about camp fires. That concept might seem boring but these segments feature cute anthropomorphized objects, chibi versions of the characters, puns, and upbeat music. They serve as funny technical guides that punctuate scenes. Not to mention the narrator has a great voice that ASMR lovers would appreciate.  Here's one example.



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      The last components that make this show great are the music and visuals. The music bounces between upbeat/happy and calming/centering. When it’s the former, the show feels hilarious. When it’s the latter, it has a decompressing value. It puts you in a good mood, then puts you in a relaxed mood. Visually, it’s awe-inspiring. In a show about camping and the outdoors, it delivers on showing you the appeal and grandiosity of nature. This show is a treasure trove of Mount Fuji shots, as well as expansive evening vistas of both cities and stars. When combined, the music and visuals emphasize not only the fun of camping, but also the marvelous nature of the outdoors.



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      Overall, I found this show to be a funny and soothing salve for the soul. Every episode leaves me feeling great and gives me a good laugh. By the time the end credits roll, I’m ready to be lulled into peaceful contentment by the relaxing ending music.  Also, these are real places.  Check out this reddit post where a guy goes to Japan, visits the places from the show, and reveals the striking resemblance between real life and the show.  I think it shows the creators' due diligence in creating the series.  The show has even inspired non-campers to try winter camping.  I know I want to try it now.



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      Wrap-Up

      It was such a treat having these two shows this season, and they play really well off each other.  Both are really, really well-done.  Quality animation, great writing, and great messages.  I loved ending the night by watching A Place Further Than The Universe, followed by Laid Back Camp.  The first will bring you up, and the second will soothe you back down.  And both do so quite comedically.  I highly recommend watching both of them, and even at the same time.

    • A Friend In Need

      3 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      A friend of mine and Austin community member, Cinder (Artichoke), got into a car accident this past weekend.  There were thankfully no life-threatening injuries, but it still put her in a bad spot.  First she lost her car, which as you can imagine, throws a wrench into your whole life.  But second, and she disputes it, the cop held her responsible.


      Seeing a green light, she continued straight through an intersection.  Opposite from her a car turned left into the intersection, into her path, and she t-boned them.  Based solely on an assumption of the light's cycle and timing by an unknown witness, and not a visual confirmation of what the light actually was, the responding officer decided to issue her a citation for running a red light.


      Faced with no transportation, insurance claims, and the prospect of having to fight a traffic citation, she's in a really tough spot.  So if anyone has any transportation solutions, legal advice, anything else that can help, or would like to know more details, hit her up.  Either here or on twitter.

    • Devilman Crybaby: Quality Anime, But Overhyped & Not to My Tastes

      4 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      Listen.


      Listen y’all.  I can’t deny that Devilman Crybaby is a quality anime.  Great music, stylized to the nines, compelling story, and action-packed.


      But shit man, I finished it and I am left very disappointed.  I have two big gripes with this series.  The first is related to the critics' and media's reception of the series.  And the second is a very personal and subjective reaction to the conclusion of the story.



      Gripe 1 – Critics/Media Reception of DC (Devilman Crybaby)

      This gripe is not about the show, but about some people’s reactions to it.  Namely the critics.  I have friends that have raved about DC, and I have no problem with that.  A good show deserves praise.  And DC does indeed deserve a place as a unique entry in the anime genre.  But as an avid anime watcher I gotta say that this show, while good, is way over-hyped by the media.  Probably because it premiered on Netflix.  If western audiences were introduced to this show through Crunchyroll as part of the Winter 2018 anime season, it wouldn’t have made as big a splash.  It would’ve done well, but The Ancient Magus' Bride would’ve probably still beaten it.  But DC is making news not only because Netflix has a wider reach than Crunchyroll, of course, but also because anime (and animation in general) is still new and niche for Netflix’s original programming.  It’s super fresh and original within the platform.  Netflix is bringing anime to an audience that would otherwise not be exposed to the genre.  And as a result, people are flipping their shit, and calling DC groundbreaking.


      It isn’t.


      Check it.  Critics are viewing this show in a vacuum.   Google “Devilman Crybaby” news links and just look at the headlines.  They call it hyper-violent, super sexual, fresh, and innovative.  Something we’ve never seen.  They’re only half right.  Violent, sexual, and provocative?  Sure.  But new, fresh, or innovative?  Not especially.  If you’re a fan of anime, DC is not doing anything particularly fresh.  It’s provocative, for sure, but its hype is primarily due to being on a platform where anime is still a relative unknown among the greater audience.  In the context of the anime genre, DC joins an established list of shocking and provocative peers.  Let’s take a quick (I promise) look at three areas where people claim DC is innovative.


      First, take the gore.  People are going apeshit over DC’s gore, like it’s something that has never been attempted in animation.  DC is an admittedly hyper-gory anime.  But it's not unique in that.  Titles like Gantz, Elfen Lied, BeserkBlood-C, and Tokyo Ghoul are hallmarks of gory anime.  Some equally as visceral as DC, some more so.  DC can’t hold a candle to Gantz, and there are scenes in Blood-C that some people regret even watching.  I might be willing to forgive the critics on this one, since they could be coming from a position not familiar with the anime genre.  But they also conveniently forget gory animation from America.  Adult Swim titles like Superjail!, Metalocalypse, and Mr. Pickles are truly disturbing in their violence.  In some cases, more so than anime.  DC does bring something to the gore table, but not much more than a notch of stylization and better music.


      Second, let’s take the sexuality and depravity.  I’ll admit, it’s pretty up there for non-hentai anime.  Marks for that.  But if I may, there are a few titles that went there (and beyond) decades ago, just without much notice from western audiences. Kite (1998) is one of the most sexually depraved anime I’ve ever seen that wasn’t explicitly hentai (though it does have pornographic scenes).  The writer/director followed it up in 2000 with Mezzo Forte, which went even further in some respects.  These two OVAs garnered a cult-like following in the early 2000s.  VHS and DVD copies were coveted among western audiences, as taboo works that you kept hidden.  Subsequently, there have been a handful of titles that have attempted to push the sexual envelope.  Gantz is known for its sexuality, and School Days is infamous for its descent in later episodes.  Berserk, between its various incarnations, contains some of the cringiest sexual scenes in anime.  DC walks up to that depraved line, no doubt.  But it doesn't cross a line that hasn't already been crossed.


      Lastly, critics also heralded DC’s absurdism.  I don’t even need to tackle this one.  Absurdism in anime is so common, it’s practically a subgenre.  Just see Kill la Kill, Excel Saga, FLCL, Cromartie High School, or Gurren Lagann.


      I suppose my first gripe is just that DC’s critical reception seems so disproportionate within the context of the greater anime genre.  It earns its place among gory and sexually charged anime.  But the critical reaction leads me to believe that a significant portion of people (or at least critics) are viewing DC within the vacuum of Netflix and western media, without appreciation or awareness of its peers within anime.  The critical acclaim, though warranted, appears to be couched within the perspective of anime laymen (or anime lazy-men).


      Gripe 2 – The Story’s Conclusion (Spoilers Shaded)

      Here’s where the show pisses me off.  I know this a matter of personal taste, but this show did something I fucking hate and vowed to never experience again.  Had I known the conclusion, I wouldn’t have watched it.  It had one of the rarest and most depressing kinds of endingseverything dies.  Not just the good guys, not just the cast, but the whole world.  Set aside the obvious distaste for the everyone dies ending.  Those are upsetting, but still common.  But the everything dies ending is provocation for its own sake.  It’s like Gilgamesh (2003) (link) all over again.


      Gilgamesh, long story short, was an anime series about a world on the brink of destruction.  A huge battle ensued, the bag guys won, and humanity (along with all Earth life) was destroyed for the sake of a new innocent being who was supposed be free from the influence of human cruelty.  And at the end of the show, when that new being was born, the first thing it did was kill the last remaining living being on Earth.  So the whole planet was killed for fucking nothingI was miserable after watching it.  I was fucking depressed.  Seeds and pomegranates were used in the show’s imagery, and I ended up hating pomegranates.


      And then DC had to fucking go and make me feel that all over again.  The same thing happened!  The whole world dies for nothing, with one lone unworthy being left standing.  Why?  I mean, I can appreciate a good unhappy ending.  I think we should all be willing to accept that not everything has a happy ending.  Sometimes the bad guys win.  I don’t require sugar coating.  I’m an anime addict, and I’ve seen my fair share of gut-wrenching character deathsSpike (Cowboy Bebop), Wolfwood (Trigun), Kishimoto and Kato (Gantz), Nina (Fullmetal Alchemist).  Just to name a few.


      So I’m no stranger to tearful goodbyes and pit-of-stomach grief when it comes to anime stories.  So even through Episode Nine of DC, I was still on board (even though it ripped my heart out).  But DC's ending?  Was it necessary?


      The only possible intent can be to make you feel bad.  “It’s just a story man”, you might say.  So what?  We cry or laugh at stories all the time.  The emotions we’re left with after consuming stories are reasonable and real, and I think we can agree on that.  But I was not left with pleasant emotions after finishing DC.  Quite the opposite.  It goes beyond sad, into the realm of despair.  Is that the goal?  I guess they got me.  But is that an achievement, to make someone feel that?  Maybe I’m just weak.  Maybe I should appreciate the nihilism, like the critics do.  Still.


      And to bring it back to Gripe 1, if you take into account the similarity to Gilgamesh’s ending, even DC’s conclusion is not original!  Though you do have to acknowledge that the mangas for DC (1972) and Gilgamesh (1976) were practically contemporaries, with DC only coming out four years earlier.  And since I'm unfamiliar with the animes' faithfulness to either of their respective mangas, I can't really say who did what ending first.


      Wrap Up

      To summarize, Devilman Crybaby is a good bordering on great anime series.  But the media and critics are elevating it without consideration of its place within the genre of anime as a whole.  Also, the ending travels a rare and depressing route, which for my personal taste, only has the goal of provoking feelings of despair and uneasiness.  Which is more about shock than substance.  Which by the end, seems to have been the point all along.  In which case, for me at least, the show seems gratuitous and lacking in purpose.  All means, and no end.


      tl;dr: What was the point?

    • So You're A Guardian. Here's Some Pre-RTX Tips (2018 Edition)

      5 months ago

      BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

      I'm back again to give y'all some tips on how to prepare for Guardianship in 2018.  This will be my 8th year as a Guardian, and I can tell you, there's a lot you can do to prepare for RTX before the actual convention.  This is mostly a re-post of my 2017 guide, but there are some great tips for how you can prepare for RTX right now and in the lead-up.  If you're a new Guardian, I highly recommend giving it a read.


      1) So You're A Guardian.  Here's What You Should Do Right Now

      Confirm that you are aware of all official sources of information.  The RT site is the primary source for your information, and should be the hub for all official communication.  There may be instances sometimes when you get news updates from other sources, but they are not a substitute for the RT site.  Check the group often, and keep an eye out for news posts.  Be aware of dates, times, schedules, and information as it becomes available.  By the time RTX rolls around, you should already have memorized the start/end times for each con day, and the major events of the weekend.


      I would also recommend participating in the forum threads in the group.  Get to know your fellow Guardians in the fun threads.  Put the BAR on watch to socialize with your fellow Guardians.  You should also follow the FAQ thread, since it’s a good source of information and answers.


      Also, if you haven't by now, you should be working to establish your lodging situation (hotel, hostel, AirBnB, friend's place, etc).  RT will be releasing their hotel deals as some point, but you should be searching already.  If you a great deal, try to lock it down sooner than later.  Rooming in groups of 3 or 4 can cut costs significantly as well.


      2) When Team Assignments Are Announced

      This will be the next big development before RTX.  Research your role.  Get to know the people you will be working with.  There will likely be an official forum thread or group for your team, which your Team Lead will create and manage.  Just like with the group, check it often.  If your Team Lead introduces any new methods of communication, check those often as well.  Soak up all knowledge from your Team Lead and fellow Guardians on your team.  Be proactive.  If you have a question, ask your Team Lead, or ask in the Guardian FAQ thread.  Stay up to date on any meetings or information that your Team Leads put out.


      Some time after team assignments are announced, you will be given a more specific post within your team (exact place/job you’ll be working).  Stay up to date on any changes to your role, and research accordingly.


      3) Starting Around Two Months Before RTX

      Research the physical area of where you’ll be working, as best you know.  Find the floorplans of the place you’ll be assigned to.  Floorplans can be found on the websites for each venue.  If you don’t know the specifics of your post yet, make an educated guess and adjust your research as information becomes available.  Know the location of restrooms, exits, streets, and nearby restaurants/stores.  As soon as you know your place of lodging, map out your path to work.  Go to google maps, put in addresses, and have an educated idea of the time it takes to get there (and take into account traffic and the time it takes you to get ready).


      The whole idea is to minimize the amount of surprises in your work and travel area.  I find that this approach makes me more comfortable moving around my assigned area, and operating as an authority to attendees.  Spend a few minutes every week or two looking over this.  You won’t be quizzed on this, but you’ll want to have a working knowledge.  Not only for yourself, but for attendees and other Guardians.


      Also, if you plan on ordering anything online for RTX (athletic underclothes, shoes, etc), do it now.  You don't want to waiting on that crucial anti-odor undergarment when RTX approaches.  You'll also want to make sure your shoes are broken as well.


      4) When The Schedule Is Announced

      Get to know the schedule.  Try to memorize the big events, but especially memorize the events that will be taking place in your area.  Think about the specific needs of each event/activity you will be working, and what will be required of your role in it.  Ask your Team Leads and co-workers for any information that might be helpful in those specific cases.


      It is also a good idea to look at events in other locations that take place around the same time as your own events.  This comes in handy when anticipating sudden rushes and traffic of attendees.  Your area might be empty or slow, but when a big panel lets out, those crowds have to go somewhere.  Don’t be caught off guard.


      5) In The Three Weeks Before RTX

      Start eating a little better, if you don't do so already.  Don’t shock your body with new foods or diets though.  You don’t want to throw off your system.  Just pick the healthier option among what you already regularly eat.  Maybe avoid those god tier junk foods you love, and opt for the stuff you already like that might be better for you.  You know your own body, so you know what it doesn’t like processing.  If there are foods or meals that you love but you know make you worthless and lazy, maybe avoid those leading up to RTX.  This isn’t about dieting or losing weight.  You’ll need the energy, so don’t come to RTX starving.  It’s about being well fed, just not full of unhealthy food.  If you can put your body in a healthier and more responsive state pre-RTX, it will make the weekend a little easier.  Make sure to get on a good sleep schedule too, if possible.  One day of bad sleep can snowball over a week, and it’s easy to find yourself dragging by the weekend.  You don’t want to be operating on a sleep deficit during RTX, so try to get on an RTX schedule before the con.


      Hunger and sleepiness can strike hard, even right before RTX even starts.  Many times I find myself getting a little less rest and nutrition leading up to RTX.  It can due to work, travel, or pure excitement.  In each of those instances, it can be easy to lose hours of sleep or to just grab a quick greasy meal.  By the time the Thursday before RTX rolls around, it can be easy to find yourself tired and hungry at midday.  Such is the nature of cons and travel.  And you won’t always be able to eat super healthy at RTX.  Time, money, and distance can conspire to force you to eat greasy and unhealthy foods.  That’s just the reality of conventions, for attendees and volunteers alike.  And that’s okay.  But that’s why it’s important to stock up on healthy habits before RTX.  And remember, like I said, it’s not about dieting or losing weight.  It’s about being well fed on healthy foods already in your rotation.


      Here’s a cautionary tale for you.  At RTX 2015, I made a rookie mistake and went about 23 hours without eating and a whole day with only 4 hours of sleep—and that was by Thursday afternoon before RTX.  Bear in mind, this wasn’t due to the demands of the work, but my inability to manage my own time.  Any veteran Guardian will tell you that this one of the biggest things to NOT do.  Seriously, the first rule of Guardianship is “take care of your body”.


      It might not seem like something to be warned about, but it’s something that can sneak up on you when you’re so excited and dedicated about helping out.  It’s just a natural component of volunteering.  The best way to combat this, should you need to, is to make sure you’re in a good position beforehand by eating better and getting plenty of rest.  Think of it as stocking up on energy and recovery ability.  It gives you an extra boost, and provides you with a cushion of recuperation should you need it.


      6) One Week Before Leaving For RTX

      Make a list of what you’re taking.  Make a list of what you’ll be wearing on each day and night.  Do all your laundry days ahead of time and, if possible, have your bag packed by the day BEFORE you leave for RTX.  And that list of what you’ll be wearing? Pack that too.  No joke, waking up and having an outfit already planned out is a godsend.  The ability to wake up and seamlessly get ready during RTX gives you so much peace of mind.  Personally, I like to pack by the outfit.  I just pull an outfit out of my suitcase, rather than assembling it from packed sections.


      Also, if you plan to carry a bag during RTX, make sure to have that packed and planned out ahead of time too.  If possible, tailor your bag according to what department you will be working in.  Different departments have different needs.  PA’s might need sharpies and hand sanitizer, Panels might need pen/paper, and Tech might need a shitload of tech stuff.  Ask your Team Lead and fellow Guardians for specifics on what your assignment will call for.  Many supplies will be provided, but if you already have access to the appropriate materials, it helps to bring them yourself.  Don’t forget to pack snacks and water either.  DON’T FORGET TO PACK SNACKS AND WATER.  Don’t overpack your con bag though.  We all want to be walking Swiss army knives, but be realistic.  After 3-4 days, all those knick knacks will be hurting your shoulders.


      Take stock of your body as well.  Do your feet tend to hurt after being on them all day? Pack the comfy shoes or buy some inserts.  Do you chafe after walking around a long time? Pack a baby powder for your place of lodging, and pack a tiny one for your con bag.  Do industrial air conditioners dry out your eyes? Pack some eye drops.  Don’t just plan for situations, plan for your body.


      Also, by now, you will likely already know your schedule for that whole week.  Once you do, plan out your meal options as best you can.  Maybe do some research on the nearest restaurants, menus, and prices.  Knowing where you’re getting your meals from and how much they’ll cost can save you an unbelievable amount of time and stress.  When you’re in the thick of Guardian work, with the crowds and noise all around you, eliminating any unknowns can be great for your sanity.  Not just for the days of the convention, but the Thursday or even Wednesday before (if you’re in town then).


      7) One or Two Days Before Leaving For RTX

      Okay, this is where we get a little more…personal.  It isn’t a must-have, but I find that it helps psychologically when you get FRESH TO DEATH.


      I’m talking about haircuts, nail trims, and grooming (face OR body).  I’m talking eyebrows, small problem areas, moisturizing, exfoliating, and shaving.  You're not going to prom or about to get married though, so don't show up not ready to get sweaty (you will get sweaty).  You will be exerting yourself, and you won't be able to preen when you want.  But basically anything you might do when you have a hot date coming up or if you’re going to a nice party, do that.  Take your time, don’t rush.  I highly recommend finding some time to decompress and relax by yourself, and utilizing that time to take care of your body.


      Why, you ask? For yourself.  Have you ever been chilling at home, and had to make an unexpected trip to the grocery store? You’re there, in your comfiest of comfy clothes just watching TV.  All of a sudden, you remember you need olive oil for that kick ass dish you’re making later.  So you go to the store not looking your best, and try to incognito your way through the checkout.  The confidence level is noticeably lower than if you had taken an hour or two getting ready.  I realize that we all have different levels of self-esteem, and some of you would probably feel and look fabulous wearing a trash bag.  That’s fucking fantastic.  But for some of us, there is a measurable amount of confidence and extrovertism that can be gained when we look our best.  You carry yourself better, walk straighter, and make more eye contact.  It’s all about making yourself feel better.  When you look good, you feel good.


      Do the same thing for your clothes.  The priorities when it comes to Guardian clothes are typically comfort and presentability.  You want to be comfortable working all day, and you want to look nice enough for the public to approach you.  Feel free to make the best of that.  Wear special pants/shorts, shoes, socks, or accessories.  It can be nice and trendy, or it can be something that simply says “this is me”.  The idea is to wear something that gives you confidence, whether it’s something nice or something that screams your own personal style.  The same goes for clothes you can’t see.  Don’t trade comfort for style, but if possible, wear some good socks or good underwear.  Good underwear is a huge confidence booster.  It’s a weapon you should have in your arsenal.  Keep in mind, there is a minor dress code for Guardians (approachability, shirt mostly visible on front/back, emphasis on comfort).  But if you can do what I recommend within the Guardian dress code, I would highly suggest it.


      Here’s another personal example.  Right before RTX 2012, I forgot to get a haircut.  My hair was very overgrown.  I didn’t pack any nice clothes, so my wardrobe (as a Guardian AND a civilian), was subpar.  I could feel the lack of confidence I had that weekend.  I met a lot of people I knew for the first time, and I wished my appearance was a little better.  Like I said, for some of you that ain’t no thing.  But for me, sometimes, it can have a negative effect.  The people you meet, attendees and Guardians, will accept you even if you aren’t looking your best.  But looking your best can do a lot for you, psychologically.


      Keep in mind, you will also have to deal with helpless or angry attendees, industry professionals, and don’t forget, RT themselves.  Looking professional and put together can do wonders for your performance.  You’ll see many veteran Guardians emphasizing professionalism and hygiene.  Those two things are vital to being a Guardian.  What I’m recommending is just taking that next step in those two respects.  My only warning is to not go overboard.  After all, you will be working and quite possibly sweating.  So, don’t be too preoccupied with appearances.  But do yourself a favor and give yourself that boost of confidence.  In the days before RTX, make it a point to focus on your body and find serenity in the process.  Use it as a form of meditation, and arrive at RTX with confidence.


      8) Once You Arrive For Orientation

      Pay attention during orientation.  There will be a big orientation with important info, possibly some safety briefings, and then even smaller team-based orientation.  When you break off into teams, soak up your Team Lead’s advice.  During team meetings, if possible, visualize and act out your role.  I’m talking full on miming that shit.  Don’t just learn what you’ll be doing, imagine it.  Picture the crowds.  Physically and vocally act out your role.  This will be your only rehearsal.  It might look weird, but actually acting out the process will help you.


      Get to know your team.  Memorize their names, and tell them yours.  Maybe go to lunch or dinner together if people are available.  If any of you are free during the evenings Friday through Sunday, maybe make dinner plans with each other.  Things like this help your team become more cohesive, and close-knit.  We all have our own neuroses and anxieties.  Some more than others, and that’s okay.  But we all need to help create an environment of comfort within our co-volunteers.  You will be working alongside these people, you will grow fond of them, and sadly, you may never see them again.  Take the time to know each other just a little, even if it’s over a soda during a break.  It will help your work relationship, alleviate any potential awkwardness, and you will be happy you made the effort once you go back home.


      9) The Night Before RTX

      DON’T STAY UP ALL NIGHT.  I know there are evening events, and I know they’re fun.  I will be at them too.  But you know how much sleep you usually require, and you know what your body can and can’t handle.  Don’t cut it close.


      Eat a decent dinner.  It's okay to indulge, but don't go crazy.  Make sure your Guardian clothes for the weekend are planned out.  If you will be carrying a bag with you during RTX, make sure it is packed and ready before going to bed.  Doing these things will ensure you get a good night’s sleep, that you wake up refreshed, and that you won’t be stressed in the morning.  Also make sure that your toiletries and hygiene materials are ready to go in the morning.  Have a space set aside for all your bathroom products, and try to have them in a place that’s easily accessible in the morning.  Between deodorant, toothbrush/paste, soap/shampoo, and beauty products, you can easily lose 10-20 minutes fumbling around in the morning.


      Also be aware of your morning routines, and how your body acts.  Do you need extra waking up time? Get up earlier.  Does your hair require a special touch? Set aside that time.  Will you have morning bathroom business to take care of? Take that into account.  If you're rooming with other people, work out a morning schedule.  Don't rely on a bathroom time slot in the morning if it hasn't been confirmed.


      Also, and this is more of a personal suggestion, take a hot bath before bed.  Still take a shower in the morning, but take a hot bath before bed.  I know not everyone’s lodging situation will allow this (a shower is fine too), but if possible, do it.  Fill the tub up and take a quiet soak for a while.  Relax.  Breathe.  Listen to the sloshing of the water.  Use the good soap, and condition your hair.  Take your time, and maybe put some lotion on after.  Go to bed fresh and relaxed.  You’re here because you want to be.  You’re in your element.  You're with your people.  You’re calm and ready for tomorrow.  You know where you need to be in the morning, and what time you need to be there.  You got this.  Settle down, set an alarm, and go to sleep.


      10) Tips & Tricks

      That’s all I got.  If you want to know more about what to do during the actual convention, feel free to ask.  I will do my best to help.  There are also plenty of other experienced Guardians to ask as well.  I’ll go ahead and leave you with some tips and tricks that might help you during RTX.

       

      -Don’t be nervous.  The people around you are there to support you.  You’ll go through a lot of on-the-job training on the first day.  You’ll learn a lot, and apply it to rest of the weekend.  Don’t fret.  Any stress you have is a passing condition.


      -Don’t skip meals.  Hand-held and portable foods are your friend, but do take advantage of times when you can sit down and enjoy a meal.


      -Always have water on hand.  ALWAYS HAVE WATER ON HAND.  You don’t even need a space-age Olympian cross-fit artisan water delivery system.  Reuse an Ozarka bottle.  You’re not the Queen.


      -If you have the time and ability, try to take a hot bath at least once during the weekend.  You will be surprised how much it will help.


      -Be willing to relax.  You’ll want to cram as much fun into the weekend as you can.  That’s normal, and what we all want.  But if you feel you might not be up to it, that’s okay.  Chill nights with friends are just as good as wild nights with friends.  One year I even had a relaxing nice Italian dinner by myself.  No joke, it felt good.  Treat yo-self.


      -You will be seeing behind the curtain of RT a bit, but you will be doing so in order to help them.  Remember, you’re a Guardian first, a person second, and a fan third.


      -Food runs are life savers.  Going on break to get something to eat? Have some extra time? Are you working closely with other Guardians? Consider offering to go on a food run for the group.  Work out the money situation (through collection, smartphone apps, or trades), write down what they want, and grab it for them.  This isn’t expected of you, but it’s an option that can save a lot of time and stress.


      -Ask questions if you have them.  Redundant instructions are okay.  You don’t get points for memorizing things the first time you hear them.  But you do get Guardian points for thorough understanding.


      -Guardian Points don’t really exist, but just now I’ve decided to make them a thing.  Use GP for short.


      -If you want to get something from the RT store, try to work out ahead of time when you'll be going.  Ask your Team Lead or supervisor when the best time to go is, or else you risk missing your chance.


      -Avoid having too many chefs in the kitchen.  We all want to help.  We all have ideas.  There will be times when you’re in a discussion with other Guardians about what to do in a situation.  People will have suggestions, and everyone will want to help.  But once a decision has been made in a situation and a plan is implemented, give it a chance.  Don’t complain that your idea was way better the whole time, and don’t gloat if your idea is the one that is chosen.  Don’t let your eagerness to help become a battle over whose idea is best.  Trust your team, and trust your Team Leads.


      -Have fun.  All these people around you are your people.  They like what you like, and you have a lot in common with them.  Probably more than you know.  Feel how happy they are, and feel good about yourself.


      -Write down the screen names, twitter handles, etc. of your fellow Guardians.  Take pictures with them.  Upload those pictures like crazy after RTX.


      -If possible, STAY AFTER FOR THE GREAT GUARDIAN GATHERING IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CON ON SUNDAY.  People will dance.  People will take pictures.  People will cry, including you and RT staff.  You won’t want to leave.


      -Remember how you felt when you were there.

  • Comments (249)

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      1 year ago

      Happy FU day!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        1 year ago

        Thanks!

    • seanp04 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian 2017

      2 years ago

      Happy FU

    • Myshu FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold chupariffic

      2 years ago

      Happy FU, dude!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thank you!

    • navaa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian 4.0

      2 years ago

      Awww yeah! Happy FU Day!! Congrats, man :D

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks

    • niriall FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold THE META

      2 years ago

      FU!!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Whhaa? Me FU?! Cool! Thank you

        Also, I actually got an alert for this comment? Double cool!

      • niriall FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold THE META

        2 years ago

        And I got an alert for your response! :O

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Lol, and I did NOT get an alert for your reply to my reply.

        Progress!

    • tonyski change is scary

      2 years ago

      I played halo 2 with you, didn't I?

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        So apparently the site still doesn't give alerts for wall comments.

        Maybe? My gamertag is TheBlackPenguin. It very well could've been me

    • Ethan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Graphic Designer

      2 years ago

      Yo dude, what up

    • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

      3 years ago

      I see you made your way into a few shots of the latest How To

      • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

        3 years ago

        Looks like everyone there did. I mean the sound of it alone was fantastic.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        1334698294_orig_21080394_xlarge.jpeg

        I fucking lost it at that jelly man.

    • WB_Spartan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Legend of Zelda

      3 years ago

      Happy Featured User day!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thanks!

    • mrarcys FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Head Guardian

      3 years ago

      Happy FU you glorious bastard you!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        awesome_face_by_rober_raik-d4cltkg.png

    • SailorGirl81 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper Of Kittens

      3 years ago

      Happy FU day!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thank you!

    • indiart28 RTX 2017 Guardian

      3 years ago

      Congratulations on earning the Achievement: "Featured User!"

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thanks!

    • aeon1 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold aeon1

      3 years ago

      smiley12.gif rock on! Happy fu!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thank you!

    • Russspruce FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      3 years ago

      Hey dude! Glad to see you are the Featured User! Looking forwards seeing you again com RTX!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thanks!

    • IdkBlue Praise Newbs

      3 years ago

      merry featured user day!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thanks!

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      3 years ago

      So I just threw a topic up in the RvB:TX forum, might be worth a news post. Looking to get people together for something in June in Austin.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        3 years ago

        Thanks man!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        I'll probably make news post tomorrow sometime. I'll make sure to plug it.

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      4 years ago

      If anybody asks, the Cultivating a Community panel is here at 43:36.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        4 years ago

        Just glad I'm finally getting to watch it. Any time I find one, I try to let the panelist(s) know where.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Thanks man!

    • pyromasso

      4 years ago

      This year's Finals are so good.

      gY3yXct.jpg

    • pyromasso

      4 years ago

      So, the Halo Master Chief Collection. You doin' it? All 4,000 Gamerscore?

      • pyromasso

        4 years ago

        If you're interested, I'll definitely be picking that up on release day (especially if the Microsoft Store does a special event). I'll gladly help out with any cheevos.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Jesus. I didn't even realize they were redoing the achievements. I guess I have no choice. Curse you Halo, why you do dis?

        I'm still working on finishing Spartan Assault for all four platforms (360, One, Windows 8, Windows Phone).

    • Red420 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian *5

      4 years ago

      I see you had fun holding lights for the "Macrowave" short.

    • Erkan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Take It Easy.... bitches

      5 years ago

      For next RTX... didn't see you this time round.

    • Zack FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Zatch

      5 years ago

      thanks for guardianing x3! and the tokens at blazertag. they were well spent.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Thanks!

    • pyromasso

      5 years ago

      So, it's taken awhile, but I've come around to the Spurs. When the Heat/Spurs final started, I was hoping neither team would win, but I REALLY don't like Miami. I rooted for the Spurs.

      After watching the games so far, it's damn impressive how just plain good the Spurs are! Ginobili started instead of playing sixth man after having so many surgeries and injuries this season and nobody could stop him!

      I wanted to let you know because the last few times we've met up I've given you crap for being a Spurs fan. Never again. I was stupid, and so young and naive.

      I hope they win Game 6 in Miami. Those fans will be distraught.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Ha, it's all good man. Glad to hear it. Yeah, the Spurs are so quiet and just plain talented that nobody ever takes notice. I'm glad it's the Heat we're playing. If it was the Pacers, nobody would be watching the Finals. And even now, people are talking more about the Heat losing than the Spurs winning. They go so far as to say the Spurs winning would be bad for the NBA.

        And Ginobili is my man! Favorite player of all time. He's only got like one, maybe two years left. He even contemplated retirement after this season. Hopefully he stays on. He's damn scary. One of two people in history with a Euroleague title, an NBA title, AND and Olympic good medal.

        I would also get some enjoyment over seeing the Heat lose. I hate how LeBron makes a dunk or a crappy block and then stays under the basket looking at the crowd for like 5 seconds while everyone runs to the other side of the court.

        It's gonna be a good game tonight! I'm gonna record and then watch it if they win. It's too stressful for me to watch it live, lol. And even if they lose, it would be a tall task for Miami to win two in a row.

    • Alec FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      5 years ago

      cibatta.jpg

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      5 years ago

      Get the last Halo 4 achievement you need. I've been waiting for that journal for weeks!

      • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

        5 years ago

        One achievement. You can do it....

      • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

        5 years ago

        One more. Only one more ........

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        lol. Been real busy lately. That last one is a bitch!

    • pyromasso

      5 years ago

      Tim Duncan is ridiculous.

      • pyromasso

        5 years ago

        Based on this past week, I bet Kobe was, too.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Dude! I saw that live on tv! I was laughing my ass off.

    • Kellyrenea

      5 years ago

      Hey there, I went to that market I was telling you about (in search of pocky for my anime club) I remembered to look for that ramen you like but even thought they had the bowl soup brand, they did not have the beef and ginger flavor. :-(

      I'll keep an eye out if I go anywhere else that might have it.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Thanks! Yeah, I think they discontinued it. I see that brand in places too, but never my flavor. Oh well. Thanks a lot for looking though.

        Mmmm, pocky.

    • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

      5 years ago

      Gus and Gavin's ice adventure reminded me of ours at RTX... Ah the memories haha

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        HA! Dude, I thought the EXACT same thing when they told that story. I wonder if hotel ice stories are common. I gotta make an RTX 2012 memory journal about that in the future.

    • Alec FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      5 years ago

      How are we not friends already?

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        I know right?

        Also, posted on your profile before seeing this comment.

        Also, also: Misspelled "right" and my iPhone thought I was trying to spell "rvbtx". Fuck yeah.

    • NGU

      6 years ago

      It was good meeting you today at Salt Lick. Did you recover from all that delicious food? I hope I can make it out to future RvB:TX events in the future smiley11.gif

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Damn. Still finding stuff I missed in the RTX aftermath. I did eventually recover from Salt Lick. I took a nap right when I got home. And I was sick for 10 days afterward. Worth it.

        Glad to have ya in the group!

    • Alec FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      6 years ago

      Glad to be on the old PR6 with you Captain.

      • Alec FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

        6 years ago

        I hear they're recording all of the panels so I'm holding on hope to watching them all later.

        We're Guardians and there's nothing else I'd rather do than do my part to make RTX a great event.

        But seriously, I am getting itchy.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Man, there's so many good panels. I think the rooms are close together. Hopefully there's like backstage areas we can scope out some of the panels from while waiting to work ours. Maybe we'll be able to check out the rooms during breaks on Friday.

        I'm breaking out in RTX hives.

      • Alec FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

        6 years ago

        Blue base it is Cap'n. Maybe we should have a poster of Shelia in there.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Cool. Lookin forward to seeing what panels we'll be working.

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      6 years ago

      Hey man, just wanted to give you a heads up that I just created a new forum thread in the RvB:TX forum. I'm trying to see if people want to go see Rush in November. I know the new threads don't show up on watch lists, so I was going to ask if there was any way you'd be willing to make a news post about it. Tickets have already been on sale for a while, so I just don't want it to sell out or get to the point where there are no more seats together before I buy. Thanks man.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        6 years ago

        Awesome, thanks!

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Sure thing man. As luck would have it, I was planning on making a news post today anyway. I'll throw yours up there with it.

    • AgentRyu

      6 years ago

      Hi! The name is Jake! How u doing?

    • quyman

      6 years ago

      hay how do i get a pic in to comment

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Also, don't forget to put the slash, "/", before img in the second bracket. Make sure you enter the full URL too.

      • quyman

        6 years ago

        what I Made it

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        You have to put the url from an online image in the img brackets. Like this, except replace the parentheses with brackets:

        (img)image url here(/img)

        For example, your avatar's url is s3.roosterteeth.com/images/quyman4e1772ee45c1a.jp...

        When I type that url, highlight it, and click the "img" button above, I get this:

        quyman4e1772ee45c1a.jpg

        Hope that helps!



    • TheKing7

      6 years ago

      Hey man! How's it going with ya? Thanks for accepting my friend request by the way.

    • SHADOW650268

      6 years ago

      Thank you for the FU! smiley0.gif and I encourage you to case mod your xbox. Case mods are fun as hell to make, and I enjoy having a one of a kind style xbox

    • Speed5ter69

      6 years ago

      I blew it. When i saw that kid dressed as harry potter (fag) then seeing BobSaget228 (BobFaget) again... i just couldnt handle it anymore, I gave whats his face a little credit seen as though he hasnt been to bad now but im still not going on his side anytime soon.

      Their all coming at once! Attack of the Noobs! jeez.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      6 years ago

      This totally looks like you:

      lZqSm.jpg

      Well, minus the whole no lower body thing...

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Ha, nice. Dr. Loveless from Wild Wild West. I don't care what people say, that was an enjoyable movie.

        She's a breath of fresh ass.
        Pardon me?
        What?
        You said "ass."
        No, I didn't. I said, "It's nice having her on board, she's a breast of fresh air."
        Let's just get some shut-ass.


        Also, fun fact, our RvBTX.org domain expires next month. It'll still be there if we ever need it again though. Can't imagine someone buying that domain. Seems like just yesterday...

    • Red420 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian *5

      6 years ago

      Merry Christmas.

      Quick idea next RT visit let's get some Chris Eggnog.

    • SailorTweek FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Head Guardian

      6 years ago

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! smiley12.gif

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Thanks. And to you as well.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      6 years ago

      I saw your new interest, and just wanted to say...

      djkXh.jpg

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Pony please, I got a wallet full of them.

        i-dont-always-watch-shows-for-little-gir

    • Kellyrenea

      6 years ago

      Of course!

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      6 years ago

      Did you get a chance to talk to the staff about the meet up?

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        No man, sorry. They were practially inaccessible before hand. I stuck around for a little afterwards when everyone went to the Highball, but they were swamped by everyone talking to them. I wanted to wait around longer, but I didn't want to start heading back too late.

        Fun fact: In the "Thanks" section of the credits, the first line is the RTX attendees and the second is The Guardians. Thought that was cool.

    • David FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 years ago

      Definitely spotted you in the front row of the Burnie mass comm discussion via the livestream. Nostalker lol

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        *wave

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Ha! Grady got me to save too once. lol

    • Jakey

      6 years ago

      Are you in the front row of Burnies interview during Mass Comm Week at Texas State?

      • Jakey

        6 years ago

        I saw you turn around once towards the end and kind of had the "MIND BLOWN" moment. It was great to see you were there, hope you had a good time!

        Post edited 10/17/11 5:19PM

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        lol. Yeah man. I just got out. It was pretty cool.

    • Fthreat FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      6 years ago

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B8RRg-1dZ0

      AHWU intro.
      By the way, can you message me the password to the Youtube site again, please? Must put more videos on there.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      6 years ago

      So I sent messages to a bunch of the staff, but you know how bad they are at replying. If I don't get any response I'm just going to go over Friday the 23rd if you want to come.

      Also, if you decide to go to the offices you still need a ride to Waco you can crash at my apartment that night.

      • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

        6 years ago

        Yeah, that's no problem. When we leave, I'll put my permit on your car so you shouldn't have any trouble.

      • BlackPenguin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x8; Panel Lead

        6 years ago

        Well, if they reply and say it's cool, I might meet you there. If not, I'll probably not go. So, I'm still a maybe. I'll still need a ride to Waco in either instance. But I probably wouldn't need to crash that day. Thanks for the offer though.

        Speaking of which, do you think I might be able to park my car at your place while we're gone? That way I could just hop in and go home when we get back.

    • AgentHunter

      6 years ago

      Its random I know, but Please Join and never forget that fateful day. 9-11-2001

      roosterteeth.com/groups/profile.php?id=12877

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      6 years ago

      I was walking down the road in Austin today, and saw a guy who looked just like you. Do you have an evil twin or clone who goes to school here?

    • Dame

      6 years ago

      Hey i see that you are a member of the RT-XBLC group, and it looks like you are a fan of anime as well. I thought you might be interested to know that one of the group Admins, RoninTex (Kira), has started a thread topic in the group's forum regarding starting a regular netflix anime-night within the community.

      The thread can be found here:
      roosterteeth.com/groups/forum/viewTopic.php?id=23996

      If you are interested in joining her and the others, be sure to put that thread topic on "watch" so you dont miss out on notifications of upcoming anime nights. smiley1.gif - if you didnt already know, XBox finally updated and made it to where you can now have 8 people in a netflix party at the same time instead of just 4.

  • Questions answered by BlackPenguin

    Each team picks out their players however they want. For RvBTX, we have a group forum thread where people can stay updated and request to be a player for that round. We essentially call for players each round, and try to give everyone a chance to play. You can find the thread here.