Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Simple blog about Gina Carano

Although the hot buzz in the fighting world is the neverending machine that is Brock Lesnar's mouth, there is something that has been on my mind in MMA for many months.
The past seven times mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano has entered the cage, she has come out victorious, and on Aug. 15th, she will enter the cage once more, only this time she will be competiting for the first women's MMA championship (at the 145 lb level) against Christiane "Cyborg" Santos at the Affliction pay per view. This has been a fight, many in the MMA world has been talking about.
For the past few years, Carano has been referred to as the face of women's MMA. She has also been referred to as a fake because of the attention she has recieved from the media, as well as her time on American Gladiators where she portrayed Crush, who went undefeated in the Joust event. This was the first time I had ever seen her and although I'm not really a believer of love at first sight, I was hooked on GinaMania or I guess to throw the pun out there, I had a "Crush" on Crush.
Although I am sure that many enjoy bashing Gina, she is quite the real deal when it comes to MMA. Currently she has a record of seven wins and zero losses, three by unaminous decision, three by knockout (one was a TKO) and one by submission.
While many were skeptical in her first several matches, it was her fight with Kelly Kobold that silenced her critics, I mean people posting their comments on Youtube on how she was a fake, an attention hug, etc. She expresses a passion for the sport of MMA and obsession to be the best.
As I had watched from the newsroom alley with my fellow editors (having missed the event the Saturday due to some social event) she dominated Kobold, a talented fighter in her own right, with her fists.
In addition to her mix martial arts career, Carano is a muy thai coach at Xtreme Couture and a kickboxing champion in Japan.
However, Santos is no amatuer. She is also trained in muy thai as well as Brazilian Jujitsu. Her record is 7-1, with her only loss being in her first match against Erica Paes. Two of her wins have gone to decisions, while five of them have been TKOs.
Like all championship bouts, the Carano vs. Cyborg title bout will be five rounds with five minutes each. No matter who wins this bout, there is no question that these two women will make history in women's mixed martial arts.

Although I am a fan of a good match up, it's no secret who I'm rooting for in this fight. Go Gina!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Entering Forge-del

Homer Brazengold prince of the dwarven kingdom of Geminshire, was the first of his party of four to arrive at the entrance of Forge-del, a city located within the base of Mount Derden.
Thick blankets of snow covered much of his ring mail boots while blistering winds swept through his red-orange beard, slightly numbing the lower part of his cheeks and jaw.
Tightening his thick snow-jacket over the steel plate armor that covered his four-and-a-half foot muscular body, Homer's blue eyes looked back to see his three companions, who he had been friends with since childhood, approaching.
In the front of the group was Homer's fiance Hilde Ironkegar, a robust blond haired female who was managing to keep herself warm with an enchanted fur coat she wore over her plain clothes.
Behind Hilde was her twin brother Madistel, who was the fame four-foot height as his sister, but his head of curly hair and beard were a shade darker. He also wore studded black leather armor over a layer of clothes. Three days before, he had recently returned to Geminshire after a two-year journey in the west.
Six inches behind the twins was Olaf Fikkleleaf, Homer's advisor and oldest friend. He was an inch taller than the prince and had pale skin, much of which was hidden underneath the chain mail suit and steel helmet that was molded in the shape of a wolf's face. Despite having three battle axes strapped over his backpack, Olaf moved past the twins and made his way up to Homer and asked in his soft voice. "Do you think it was wise not to come with banners showing we are from Geminshire?"
Homer shook his head. "We might have alerted any of Geminshire's enemies with those banners," answered the prince in a calm voice. "Besides, this will be like old times."'
"Except we won't be finding treasure," Madistel commented as he and his sister walked up to Homer. "So why are we here your majesty?"
Homer noticed the goosebumps and hair rise on Madistel's skin while Hilde walked past him and spoke with Olaf about opening the large door that led into the city.
"My father-King Yarl, has been concern with the lack of contact established by Firege-del. They have been trading with us for many years, but recently their emissaries have stopped contacting us. Furthermore, merchants, tradesmen, and people who are residing in Geminshire, who are orginally from Forge-del have not heard from their loved ones in a long time." The prince stopped and turned to look at the door that resembled a drawbridge.
Madistel crossed his arms, then looked at the door. "I see. And so your highness, do we just knock on the door?"
Hilde, knowing when her twin was getting smart mouthed with her betrothed, walked over to her brother and punched him in the shoulder. "Why don't we just use your thick skull to break it down?"
Madistel rubbed his shoulder for a moment, then reflected on his sister's words as he walked over to the door.
The prince quietly walked behind Madistel and patted him on the now bruised shoulder. "So what does our locksmith think about this door?"
Madistel smiled as he touched the door's wooden surface, feeling a bit of frost that had build up for who knows how long. He continued to search the door, finding no sign of a lock or trigger. Whe he knocked four times, he noticed the door was hollow.
Wasting not time, Madistle grabbed Homer by the threads of his snow coat and monkey flipped him into the air.
The prince of Geminshire let out a scream as he unceremoniously crashed through Forge-del's wooden door.
Hilde charged her twin and pinned him to the ground. "Madistel, ever since you came back. If I had my axe-" she stopped as Olaf rushed past her and disappeared through the hole in the door.
"I'm sure your beloved is fine Hilde," Madistel replied, pushing his sister off of him. "I know that Homer is here to find whatever happened to the missing people, but there is something else in Forge-del that I have been wanting to see since I was a child. You remember the Beer Gardens of Forge-del that father spoke of?"
Hilde raised a blond eyebrow. "Beer gardens?" She shook her head, trying to remember her father's stories as she followed her twin through the hole.

"An interesting way to enter," Olaf remarked as he helped the prince to his feet.
"Yes it is," Homer said, brushing the splinters and chips of broken wood off of his armor. He sighed, knowing that Madistel still held some hostile feelings towards him, despite having been engaged to Hilde for so long.
At least he didn't break my jaw like he did last time the prince said to himself, remembering the day he announced to everyone that he and Hilde were going to get married. After expressing what he felt were appropriate feelings, Madistel had left home. Apparently three days is not long enough to heal old wounds, the prince continued as the twins made their way to him. He turned and stared into the darkness that engulfed Forge-del. "We're going to need some light to find our ways around this place."
Olaf quickly struck a torch that made a light that glowed several feet around them. With the help of the torch, they saw a dusty stone road , with buildings on both sides that almost reached the ceiling. He took a few steps down the road and saw that no light came from any of the windows.
Hilde and Homer began lighting lanterns in an effort to create more light. "My father told me that the people of Forge-del set up traps around the city."
"But isn't that why we brought Madistel?" asked Hilde as her twin approached them.
Madistel shrugged as he grabbed one of the lit lanterns. "With all the money I've taken over the years, I probably deserve getting burned by a trap or two. You know, I'm wondering if something caused the people of Forge-del to evacuate."
Hilde questioned her brother's words. "What could have been big enough to drive these people from their homes."
The three males exchanged glances with each other as their own ideas came to mind.
"An army of invading morlocs," Olaf suggested.
"A sickness or a plague?" answered Homer.
"A malevolent dragon," Madistel said.
Hilde rolled her eyes at what she thought were wild guesses. "If there were an invading army or a dragon in Forge-del, wouldn't we have spotted it? Or if there was a plague or a sickness, wouldn't we have found the bodies?"
Madistel shrugged his shoulders and took a scroll from his pocket and placed it on his belt. One second later, a blue glow emitted from the scroll, glowing in a radius twice the distance of the lanterns.
"Something I picked up from a wizard friend of mine back west," Madistel said with a smile.
"Yes I'm sure he knows you have it," Olaf remarked before throwing his torch backwards.
Hilde let out a snort. "You can create light in your own way and we will stick to ours." That said, she took a look at Homer, then walked forward. Shaking his head, Madistel followed his sister.
Prince Homer looked at Olaf and said," We should follow her before they cross paths with some monster."
"I'd be more worried for any monster that got in their way" Olaf said before taking off after the twins.
"As would I, old friend."

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Lich's Slumbering Song

The Lich's Slumbering Song

Stuart Loomis entered the small desert town of Miffleteau underneath the star filled night sky. He tossed back the hood of his purple cloak, revealing his curly red hair and handsome face that featured light gray eyes and a small nose.

After whispering a word in the ancient language of dragons, his long blue staff with the circular jade gemstone mounted on the top materialized in his hands.

Even as he took his first steps through the boundaries of Miffleteau, Stu noticed he was gaining the attention of the villagers who were still running around town this early in the evening. He took note of the burly butcher wearing an apron that was stained with fresh blood, and the group of prostitutes, male and female, standing by the a small cottage, giving him looks that told the wizard that if he was a fellow working individual like themselves, then he had better not do business in their territory.

Stu moved past the prostitutes and walked close to the large stone buildings that reminded him of the ones back home in Stoddarvale. He had actually been on his way home when received a message from an old friend, asking him to come to the town.

He continued to travel the city streets until he saw a large two-story structure with marble statues of lions displayed in front of a white sign that read: The Lordly Lion, Miffleteau's mane stop for citizens and weary travelers.

Stu examined the spelling of the word mane and then shook his head. "Puns are puns," he whispered to the night air before entering the restaurant.


As he entered the Lordly Lion, Stu noticed the many heads of animals mounted above the Lion's fireplace and all over the walls . He took his eyes away from the restaurant's trophies and quickly found his way over to the bar where the bartender, a large curvy woman with black hair and tan skin greeted him. "What ya havin?"

Stu smiled while noticing a tattoo of a scimitar on her wrist. "Just some ale please," he answered in his crisp voice that featured a drawl. "Whatever you have on tap."

The bartender nodded and drew a blue clay mug from under the counter. "Judging by the accent in your voice, I would say you're from Napiersen."

"Close, I was born and raised in Tippsin, which is east of Napiersin" Stu answered as the bartender handed him his drink. "I currently reside in the north. I'm actually here to meet a friend."

"A wizard like yourself," she commented, pointing to the staff as Stu was leaning it against the bar. "I must say, not many mages who stop in here wear leathers and a shirt under their capes-" she stopped when she heard a loud crash coming from the other side of the restaurant.

"Excuse me," she said before grabbing a large battle axe that was hanging above several bottles of wine.

Stu took a sip of his drink while listening to the chatter going on amongst the Lion's customers as well as the bartender's yelling from the opposite side of the lobby. He was about to relocate after taking another sip of his drink, when he felt a firm hand gently touch his shoulder.

Surprised by the sudden interaction, Stu 's body released a defensive spell that shot a tiny lightning bolt at whoever had touched him. When he turned to face the newcomer, his eyes widened, recognizing his friend Hara Bona, a portly dark skinned man wearing white and blue silks and a white turbin that covered most of his black hair.

"Hara, I am so sorry," Stu said as the man regained his composure.

Hara held his hands before Stu and said in his soft voice," No need to apologize my friend, I should have known better. Mages from my land are also known to employ defense spells to keep themselves from getting stabbed in the back. I am just happy you could meet me here on such short notice."

The wizard nodded and pulled a seat for his friend. "So how are things in the desert? From the words in your message it sounded like you were in some trouble."

Hara shook his head. "Things are fine in the desert as I am temporary here with a group of my fellow guardsmen. We are charged with accompanying a high priestess as she makes her pilgrimage across the world. The priestess happens to be Sultan Rashad Bishir's niece, Nala Aliposa."

"Sultan Bishir, he rules the Firebeetle country not too far from here"

"That he does, and here is where comes the problem," Hara answered as he leaned close to Stu. "The temple in this city was recently overtaken by an aragol, or how you say a, lich."

Stu raised an eyebrow. "A lich? Are you certain?"

Hara stared at the wizard for a moment, then stroked his thick pointed beard. "I am not sure, it appeared to look like a floating skeleton and it hit my men with some powerful magic. Does that sound like a lich to you?"

Stu closed his eyes and sighed. He remembered reading about all kinds of undead during his early apprenticeship. According to the texts he read in his mentor Demeteria's library, liches were powerful magic users who gave up their bodies to become much more powerful in their specific field of magic and to gain eternal life, but in the process, their souls would be torn and whatver left of their humanity would be lost.

"It sounds like you're dealing with a lich. What about the priestess and your men?"

Hara shook his head once more as a sorrowful look passed his face. "They are back at the temple. When we were fighting the lich, we managed to hide in one of the altar rooms. This beautiful song came out and my men soon feel asleep. The priestess knew what kind of magic we were dealing with, and she immediately told me to cover my ears and had me go for help while she stayed with the men. It has only been one day but I fear for her."

"It was lucky then that I was walking this direction when your Stu finished his ale and patted Hara on the shoulder. "Do not worry Hara, we'll save your priestess and your men."

Hara smiled and followed Stu as they left the Lordly Lion and began their walk to Miffleteau's temple.


Stu and Hara walked quietly along the city streets, passing a trio of homeless men sleeping on the corner.

Stu sighed as the sound of flat harp music filled the air around them. With each step they took, he began to feel a mysterious exhaustion overtaking them while the music was becoming louder. This must be the song Hara was talking about, he said to himself as he ripped off two small pieces of his shirt and put them in his ears

He glanced at Hara, who appeared to be placing tissue paper in his own ears. Hara looked back at Stu and began signing with his fingers It is the same music that filled the temple.

Stu nodded, remembering his mentor mentioning that some wizards specialized with magic that affected a person's energy and sleep.

It was three blocks later when the two friends arrived at Miffleteau's temple. Along the way they had passed six women and two grandine males sleeping on the sidewalks and alleyways.

Stu looked up at the massive building while Hara opened the door. Like most structures dedicated to the gods, Miffleteau's temple walls were made of white brick while the floor had marble lining. There were stained glass windows depicting warriors and wizards fighting in glorious battles that had taken place hundreds of years ago. Stu guessed this temple was dedicated to Tristain, a god of battle and tactics, and his wife Rayna, a goddess worshipped by barbarians.

Hara opened the temple's dark wooden doors and entered after Stu. Together, they scanned the main lobby, finding dark blue and purple banners hanging from the ceilings and the walls. They also saw the many bodies laying on the floor.

At first Stu assumed these people were just caught in the spell of the song, but as he walked past each body, he saw the skin of each body appear pale and withering, as if they had aged by years.

Stu looked at Hara and asked with his hands, Is this what you found when you and your men came here for the first time?

The desert man nodded and replied, There were only a few bodies like this throughout the temple. The epidemic must have spread.

Stu looked away and walked into a narrow hallway where oil paintings of Miffleteau were hanging on both walls. Underneath the paintings, Stu noticed dozens of glowing runes, recognizing many of them as letters from the elvish alphabet.

The wizard stroked his chin as while Hara caught up to him. This doesn't appear to spell any words that make sense, but there is a reassurance of the letter G, he thought.

Hara brought Stu to a large circular room where broken skeletons and splintered bones were scattered all over the floor. He pointed over to a pile of four frail bodies. The aragol must have brought the skeletons to life to fight them.

Three of the bodies were large men covered in scratches and torn chain mail, their swords inches away from their fingers. The fourth a woman wearing dark purple robes with dried blood stains running down the left side of her midsection, her chest moving up and down slowly. Stu stared at the woman for a moment, guessing that she must have used her divine magic to protect herself from the lich.

Hara's eyes widened with worry as he rushed over to the bodies. Stu was about to follow his friend, when he began sensing a powerful magical presence approaching them. After tapping his staff on the ground to catch Hara's attention, Stu began signing, The lich is coming. Get Nala out of here.

As if on cue, what looked to be a floating skeleton entered this room, his body glowing with white aura while a red glow emitted from his eye sockets. Strips of faded purple cloth and dead skin dangled from the lich's arms, fingers, and jaw.

"You flesh and bone creatures are wasting your time," said a cold and hollow voice that echoed in Stu's mind. "The local novice priests are sustaining my energy but this foreigner has been able to protect herself from me. but not for much longer."

Stu shot a look at Hara as he carried the priestess' body in his arms and walked out of the room.

"I will deal with them later," the lich continued, balling his fingers into fists as he prepared to launch a spell at the wizard. "But you young wizard will have the satisfaction of dying a slow and painful death."

Stu's grip on his staff tightened as he remembered his studies about liches. Although they were powerful, he remembered that they create a spirit item where their soul can go back to if their skeletal form is destroyed.

If I destroy the spirit item, the lich can be destroyed once and for all.

The human stepped back as the lich opened his fists and shot two thick strands of lightning, both of which hit Stu in the chest.

Stu let out a scream before hitting the floor. Reeling from the electricity that resulted from the lich's attack, he pointed his staff and shouted," Freeze." The lich started to laugh, but stopped as several crystal clear spikes burst from the floor, penetrating though the lich's skeleton and pushing him into the ceiling.

Stu quickly got to his feet, only to realize the cloth had fallen from his ears. The harp music began filling his ears once again, much louder than when he heard it from outside.

Taking his focus off the lich, Stu waved his hands, creating a magical circle of silence around himself that deafened all sound, including the music. He noticing a wooden door near the pile of Hara's fallen comrades and walked through it.

It was there Stu thought he had found the source of the music. On a tall marble altar he saw a small, black harp with bone white strings. Etched along the harp's sides were runes similar to what he had seen in the temple hallway.

Stu looked back and saw the lich hovering in the doorway, its ribcage and lower body broken, water dripping from its bones while the glow in its eyes had dimmed. “Well played human,” it said as it raised it hands.

It looks like my spell worked too well, Stu said to himself, realizing that because of his circle, he was unable to hear the crashing coming from the other room that was created when the lich broke though its icy bonds.

Stu quickly moved to the harp, while the lich swept its left arm, sending several glowing darts that hit the human in the chest and face.

Disoriented from the lich's attack, Stu stumbled towards the altar and pushed the harp from the altar.

The lich screamed as the harp hit the floor, shattering on impact. It was about to cast another lightning spell, but Stu turned just in time and made a motion with his left hand, creating a circle of fire that wrapped itself around the lich.

Stu smiled and clenched his fingers, causing the circle of fire to engulf the undead magic user. Once the fire vanished, the lich’s skeleton, now turned into an ash color, fell to the floor.

Wasting no time, Stu stepped forward and drove the blunt end of his staff through the lich’s face, causing the skull to shatter upon impact.

“It appears I was wise to call upon you for aid,” came Hara’s voice from the doorway. “Thank you my friend.”

Stu turned to his friend and placed his staff at his side. “No trouble Hara. I take your priestess friend is well.”

Hara nodded. “Once the music stopped I noticed that she and the other priests were regaining their strength.”

The wizard bent down and picked up the pieces of the harp. “If you don’t mind, I would like to keep this and show it to Demetria.”

Hara looked closely at the broken pieces of the harp, then back at his friend. “I do not see any reason I, nor anyone at the temple would like to keep it. But why would you want to keep it?”

Stu stared at the pieces of the harp. “While the lich was the main cause of the harp’s song putting people to sleep, it was not that difficult to finish him. There is also the fact that the runes all over the walls were green, would be fine if the lich’s aura was green, but it wasn’t. It was white.”

Hara crossed his arms. “So do you think there was someone else behind this?”

A grim look passed Stu’s face as he answered,” If there is, my master and I should be able to find this person.”

“And then what Stu?”

Stu shrugged his shoulders. “We will see my friend. We will see.”

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July post

As the nation celebrates its birthday, I've began reflecting on some of the recent changes during the summer.

1. Living with Brian is interesting. I haven't been drinking as much (which is a good thing) and I've also been working towards losing the gut I have amassed over the years. However I will say last night was a night where I had only 8 beers when it felt like I had 20. So no more drinking...for now

On a side note, I'm trying to figure how in God's name I passed all of my classes. I'll probably owe Jason money for passing me. As for Becky...well I won't post that here :P

2. I've also been working mornings again, which is a nice change of pace for the summer. I'm not bombarded with school work and the shift in the day time seems so much faster. Everyone seems to enjoy working with me in the mornings (probably cause they don't have to work back booth). I will say that I miss working with my ladies at night though...especially Cassie :P

3. With school out for the summer, I've been writing, trashing, and rewriting more fiction pieces. I just finished a short story the other day (while sitting by the pool) and I'll probably be editing it tomorrow or Monday night. I've also made it a goal to read as little as possible, mainly to focus on my writing.

Tonight I'm going to Riverfront park to watch fireworks with some coworkers and friends. Not the most glorious of plans, but when you are with good friends, you don't nessicarily need to go all out for a holiday.

I guess I will end this with a cliche "That's all I have for now" kicker. Happy 4th of July everyone and be safe.

Quote of the Day:

Here's to alcohol, the cause and solution to all of life's problems.

-- Homer Simpson