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Chris S
Lives in East Lansing
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Chris S

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Is it OK to have been a little disappointed in The Birdcage? My wife pulled it up on Netflix last night and I decided to finally watch it. It originally came out when I was a teenager and had no interest in the movie. (No objection based on content - I just didn't think it would appeal to me.) After hearing it was funny, I decided it should be on my list of things to watch. But it was so low on the list and I watch so few things that I never got around to it.

Until last night! It was funny. There were moments where I literally laughed out loud. It's a good movie. But there were things that fell flat with me. The ending in particular felt like a non-ending. I suppose the joke is that the very conservative Senator has to dress in drag in order to escape the press. But it lacked punchiness. Then there was the fact that the Senator's wife was upset that other mothers tended to be preferred over here. That wasn't built up in any way, so it was only momentarily funny until you realize it kind of comes out of nowhere.

The biggest issue for me is the fact that Nathan Lane's Albert is treated like a joke throughout the entire film, and Val, the son he raised, wants to hide him throughout the whole ordeal. In the end he steps up and saves the day by convincingly (to the Senator) portraying a conservative/"traditional" mother. Val later reveals Albert to be a man and calls him his mother (points lost for parental roles still having to be perceived in so-called traditional ways), but he never apologizes for what he's put Albert through over the past few days. Having things resolved like that seems a bit dishonest to me. Val is essentially the villain throughout the whole film and never has to admit his faults. At the very least, when explaining Albert's role in his life, he should have held his hand. Just something subtle to signify a connection. It's better than, "Oh yeah, we've been lying. I think of this man as my mother."
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Chris S

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Some of you, like me, might not get what it is that's so intriguing about the Kardashians. Reading this sheds some light on it. At the same time, it makes me more annoyed than usual at the general public who continue to give them attention and money. But it's the last bit in the article that I really appreciate. It discusses Caitlyn Jenner and how her show appears to be honest about her transition, especially in that it focuses on her privilege compared to others who transition. I'll never intentionally watch the show, but that's really nice to know. And I expect the show to not last more than a couple of seasons because of it.

What? I'm disappointed in people, and disappointing people don't want to hear about how the world is unfair.
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Chris S

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Geez, John Kovalic. Tell us how you really feel about the common convention experience.
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Chris S

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I never knew I was so proud of never having a fine at the library. Until today, that is. I checked out a colors book with flappy pages. Roughly one minute into the drive home my daughter pulls off a page-sized flap. It's a $6.99 book, and it's too new (2014) to be written off. So I end up owing the library $11.99 for a "lost" book. We get to keep it, though, so that's something, right?
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Chris S

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I played through Her Story last night. It's an awesome and unique game by the driving force behind Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Sam Barlow), which happens to be one of my favorite Wii games for the fact that it's a mature-labeled game that doesn't relish in sex, violence, and expletives. It feels like a game made for adults rather than a game labeled as intended for adults but clearly aiming low in how it handles things.

Her Story handles topics just as maturely. Items aren't played for edginess or shock. Everything is another layer of the narrative that the player has to interpret. For some, that will probably be the low point of the game - interpretation of the ambiguity presented. The creator admits to knowing the truth behind the narrative but purposely won't share it because he's placing the player experience above all else.

The game play is simple and remarkable. You're character, who you learn about later, is sitting in front of a computer terminal from 1994 that houses videos of a woman's many interviews following a murder. The game starts off with records containing the word murder already presented. Despite the number of videos available for any keyword, you only have access to the first five. So then you search for other words and try to refine your search, watching clips ranging anywhere between 6 seconds and 1.5 minutes (approximately). You learn about the murder incident, and you learn about the woman. At a certain point, a chat message pops up asking you if you understand - and the game can end right there. That's it.

If someone ever decides to make an official Twin Peaks game, this is how it should be done. Of course, now that this presentation has been done already, it's probably better to leave it alone. (Or make this a hybrid of the Blade Runner adventure game and the SNES version of Shadowrun. You go around investigating for clues and acquire keywords that you then bring back to your database to pull up additional videos. But still leave in the ambiguity because, well, sometimes people need to make up their own minds about stories.)

If it's not clear already, I highly recommend this game. Even though it takes about an hour to get through the game despite the $5 price tag, it's a fair price when you want to convince a market that more games like it should exist. Not to mention how clear it is that this game is filled to the brim with TLC. Apps can be more than ports of bigger games or simple time sinks.
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Cool. I don't find much time to play video games anymore so that's perfect. 
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Amusing short about a practical application of time travel...and the results. (Warning: Language. Very forward language.)
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Chris S

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That's a fairly positive review of Windows 10. I guess I'll...wait a month before upgrading. I still don't quite trust it yet.
Windows 10 fixes what ailed Windows 8, and tries some big new things too.
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Chris S

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Another note about Her Story.

I mentioned the game to my wife the evening before I played it. All I told her was what I knew about the game, which was the basic plot and what the game play (if you can call it that) consists of. She wanted me to let her know when I was done with it.

She played through the game over the course of the past couple of evenings. She was enthralled by the game. This is significant because I've never known her to play a narrative-based game before. When she finished, we discussed it and couple of theories about the story. Then she asked, "Are they making more?" Then, "I want more!"

Further proof that this game is something special.
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Chris S's profile photoKaz McNellie's profile photo
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I always wanted to guest blog for you. Actually, maybe I can get you to submit something for +INSIGHT Magazine . We can discuss later.
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Crockpot Cowboy Casserole, eh? I chose the recipe because it seemed to be simple and fairly inexpensive. Definitely lived up to that. A mound of potatoes slow cooked with some beef, beans, onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes. We added a bell pepper and corn to the recipe. Next time I'll increase the amount of diced tomatoes and add some chili beans for a little extra zing. Definitely top the creation with melted cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream...if you know what's good for you.
This Crockpot Cowboy Casserole is a hearty and family-friendly crockpot meal both kids and adults will love!
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Chris S

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Not only is it weird that leprosy is still a thing, but armadillos are spreading it now? I know animals carry diseases. This just seems like a weird combination.
Health officials in Florida warn people to avoid contact with armadillos after a recent rise in leprosy cases linked to the armoured creatures.
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Chris Groff's profile photoMichael Moceri's profile photoAbdul “AnWeeZy” Salaam's profile photo
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It's like offense and defense. 
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Could you kick up the 4d3d3d3, please?
Oh, Paul Rudd. Even your dumb stuff makes me laugh.
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i've been fond of him since he was josh in clueless.
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Chris's Collections
Story
Tagline
Rolling 1's teaches you more than rolling 20's
Introduction
I'm a general hobbyist. Board games, video games, books, comic books, TV, and movies. I used to collect more than I could consume. Now I'm working through the backlog and collecting fewer items. My media obsession is balanced by being a parent. That has helped me to realize that there are far more important things than keeping up with everything. Parenthood has also helped me to realize that happiness isn't elusive. It's just not something that can be expected all the time.
Bragging rights
When I was very young, I was told that the perception of me that other people have may differ from my own. Upon high school graduation, I soundly learned that lesson. It wasn't until after I graduated from grad school that I realized that while both perceptions are valid, neither one should limit me in any way.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
East Lansing
Previously
Chicago - Ann Arbor - Detroit - Southfield - Redondo Beach - Hawthorne
Work
Occupation
Applicant Tracking Site Administrator
Skills
Jack-of-many-trades. Wish I could say I have a "certain" set of skills, but they're really quite all over the place. Very few are useful together.
Basic Information
Birthday
September 13
Relationship
Married