Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box

I am very excited because I finally bought the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box. I bought the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set (D&D Boxed Game)in July, but it didn’t have everything that the Pathfinder beginner box has, which is probably why the Pathfinder beginner box was more expensive.

The D&D starter set came with 2 books, 1 book was the player handbook and a quest book that teaches you how to play the game up to level 5. The Pathfinder beginner box comes with a Hero’s Handbook, Game Masters Guide and a transition guide to bring your characters into the Pathfinder world. I assume that means to bring your D&D characters into the Pathfinder world. Both come with dice, D&D has 6, Pathfinder has 7. What sets the Pathfinder Beginner Box apart is the 80 full color pawns of heroes and monsters including a dragon. Pathfinder also includes a huge map to play on that you can also write on with dry erase markers and a blank map on the reverse side to create your own map.

The problem that I had with D&D is that I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to do. I asked for help and people answered my questions, but I do better when I’m in a room with people who are teaching me face to face rather than reading in a book or reading someone’s text. I learn by doing.

I know of a store in Bakersfield called “Otto’s Video Games and More” who have game nights, but I would feel more comfortable with people I can be myself around. You know what I mean? I am sure the random people who go to a video game store are good people and you have to get to know people before you judge them, but I don’t know that they or one or two aren’t homophobic. I’ve had many experiences in my life where I have tried to do things with people who turned on me when they found out I was gay, so I would much rather find a group of people who are gay and gay friendly and join or start a D&D/Pathfinder group at the Gay and Lesbian Center here in Bakersfield. It’s just easier to go where you know 100% that you are accepted and you aren’t judged, well, unless you wear the wrong belt with the wrong shoes of course. Just kidding.

I have already asked someone at the Gay and Lesbian Center and they said that there is not a group like that, so I would have to start one. I think it would be a great way to get people who have the same interests together to play a game for a couple of hours every week. I think it would be fun. Even if people aren’t interested in that kind of game, they could try it and see if they like it. And no one has to bring anything because I have spent a few bucks here and there on D&D and Pathfinder stuff and I can even bring all the character sheets and blank note cards and I already have 2 sets of dice and the Pathfinder Beginner Box will have a 3rd set. I also have a bag full of fake gold and silver coins, and a box of pencils and a bunch of erasers. I’m all set lol.

Now it’s just a waiting game and I hope to find people who are interested in starting a D&D/Pathfinder game night. I think it will be fun.

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#Sochi Problems and Boycotts

sochi

Wow!  I mean just wow.  It seems like the Olympic committee would have done a bit more research before committing the Olympics to such a horrible place.  I’m reading tweets and articles about how the water looks like beer, or very dark urine that is harmful to the skin.  Then the horrible conditions in the hotels and in the guest rooms and public bathrooms.  2 toilets in 1 stall, a sign telling people not to flush toilet paper with a little bin below, which is beyond disgusting.  There is even a picture of 2 urinals with no plumbing attached.  No light bulbs, no internet, and as soon as they sign in, they get hacked.  One hotel didn’t even have a lobby, or reception, you had to go to the hotel managers bedroom to check in.  The list literally goes on and on and on.  Yeah, I’d say they were not ready for the Olympics.

I have heard of animals being fed poison to kill them because they have such a bad stray problem.  Well, wasn’t there an issue similar to this at another Olympics, but with homeless people?  No I don’t mean killing them, but relocating them lol.  Instead of killing the strays, why not find them good homes?  What about foster homes?  I mean really?  Killing them?

Putin said that gay people would be safe, yet I’m seeing videos and articles where the gay people are beat up and arrested.  How does that make them safe?  Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are “proud” sponsors, but how can they be so proud of such a travesty?  That is why so many people are not only boycotting the Olympics, but also their “proud” sponsors.  Budweiser, thank goodness, backed out because they didn’t want any part of that.  I don’t drink, but if I ever decide to, I’ll drink Budweiser.

I am glad that I don’t have to suffer through all that mess.  I honestly don’t understand how any of the gay athletes could even step foot in that country knowing the residents are being kidnapped and murdered simply because they were born gay.  How can they think that that kind of behavior is okay and they would be safe?  They have got to take off those rose-colored glasses because that is not the way things work.  I feel sorry for anyone who suffers at the hands of the Russian police and/or security for the Olympics.

I never really cared for the Olympics and now I care even less for them.  I will definitely not be watching now or ever again.  This whole thing has put the worst taste in my mouth that will never go away.  Shame on the Olympics committee for doing this.  This whole thing is nothing but a joke.

DOMA Unconstitutional and the Repeal of Prop 8

no-doma

Today is a glorious day for LGBT Americans. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Defense of marriage act to be unconstitutional. That means that the federal government will recognize the marriage of all Americans, not only heterosexual marriages.

This is a huge step for humanity in my opinion. Although not everyone will agree with me because they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Love is love, period. It is none of anyone’s business who loves whom. Period, end of debate. It’s pretty arrogant for anyone to say that my 19 year relationship is less important than Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage to Kris Humphries.

We in California will not be able to get married for probably another month, if that, but I do believe that this will boost our bad economy since people will be buying wedding gifts for their friends who will finally be able to get married. So stock up on toasters and blenders while they are still on store shelves.

#MarriageEquality #LoveIsLove #Prop8 #DOMA #DecisionDay

gay toasterI am mentioned in this article from Examiner.com – Central California gay community celebrates DOMA decision by Greg Fields

Prayers For Bobby

Has anyone seen this?  This is a movie called Prayers for Bobby, a Lifetime movie based on the true story of a mother (played by Sigourney Weaver) who couldn’t accept her gay son.  Here is the IMDB Synopsis:

“True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZT9b9xp2DU

I watched this movie on YouTube through my Blu-Ray player and boy did I cry my eyes out.  This story is so emotional that I had to pause it a couple of times because I was missing the movie because I was crying so hard.

This is a movie that every religious anti-gay parent and family should watch before they decide to give up on or throw their child away for being gay.

The Let Go – by Elephant

I listened to rap music when I was a teenager, although not too much but I did listen to it.  I was never really into punk rock music, that is until I first heard Green Day then I was hooked.  I don’t really listen to very much music anymore until I recently.  I just now found out about a gay twin rapping duo and absolutely fell in love with their music.  Watch their newly released video “The Let Go” and then read below.  Go to their official website because there is another music video which I cannot get out of my head.  I am a new fan.

httpvh://youtu.be/ecHI9BkiWH8

West Hollywood, CA: Hip-hop duo Elephant has released their fourth official music video entitled “The Let-Go.” Fresh on the heels of the group’s successful Queer Nation, and the controversial Notorious HIV, “The Let-Go” features visual and thought-provoking thematic material that is in line with the duo’s previous efforts.

“We wanted to write a song about religion that asked people to think for themselves instead of relying on religion to do it for them,” says Coleman Vrana, age 26.  “We’re not religious in any way, but unlike Queer Nation, this isn’t any kind of attack. We wanted to inspire the same sort of liberation we felt as kids in Oklahoma when we started to recognize all of the hatred coming from people around us–and the justifications for it–based on the word of God.”

Filmed in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and directed by noted cinematographer Jim Zabilla, the video also features openly lesbian and vocally Christian rap duo Yo! Majesty.

Comprised of openly gay twin brothers Jackson and Coleman Vrana originally from Oklahoma, Elephant is quickly gaining momentum within the LGBT press as the personification of the growing Queercore movement among gay youths, particularly outside of urban markets. The two seem to share a connection with teenagers and young adults who see them as a fighting voice for equality; a force they feel weakening in rural America.

“The paint in the video symbolizes our struggle to color everyone’s black and white view of religion, it’s rules and the ultimate oppression of minorities in this country,” adds Jackson Vrana.  “It’s like us painting our own view, so to speak.” The twins rarely embrace political correctness, they never shy away from any social issue, and their presence is undeniable when they enter a room (which is—in fact—the origin of their name). “We are incapable of apologizing for what we say and that’s probably what people most appreciate about us.”

Elephant released its 4-track debut EP Queer Nation in July of 2011 on Josie Cotton’s Scruffy Records. “The Let-Go” is slated for digital release on April 10th and will be featured on Elephant’s anticipated, full-length LP to be released late summer.

For press and booking inquiries, visit: http://www.elephantwave.com/#!contact

More Information:
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Elephantwave
Official Website: http://www.elephantwave.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elephantwave
Twitter: http://twitter.com/elephantwave
EPK: http://www.elephantwave.com/#!ElephantEPK 

Our 18 Year Anniversary

I wanted to post this a few nights ago but my blog stopped working…

Darrin and I met on March 25th, 1994 and have been together ever since.  I wrote in my book about how I thought that our relationship wouldn’t go past the 10 month mark because my relationships before only lasted 10 months.  I don’t know what it was about 10 months, but we have stayed together and now it has been 18 years.

I think that this should be a lesson to naysayers who say that a gay relationship cannot last.  I think we have more than proven that love doesn’t have a gender.  We deserve the same rights as every straight married couple out there in the world.

Here is to 18 more wonderful years together and the end of marriage discrimination.

Out Singer-Songwriter Justin Utley Released 2nd Studio Album ‘Nothing This Real’ 11/11/11

I believe that music touches the heart and soul.  Music inspires creativity and broadens our minds so that we can be great people.  Music derives from a Greek word “Mousike” which means “art of the muses” so it’s no wonder why it gives us inspiration.  Music has always been a part of my life.  When I was a teenager I listened to music all day long to drown out the real world, I guess that is where my creativity came from.

Every year before Spring begins, I seek out new music to add to my mp3 player so that I can listen to something that will get me through my 2 1/2 hour bike rides.  Today I got to listen to an openly-gay country/folk singer named Justin Utley.  He is a New York City based singer-songwriter and he released his first full-length studio album in 6 years entitled “Nothing This Real’ on November 11th.  I really enjoyed listening to his album because I love his voice and his singing style.  He isn’t bad to look at either.

I don’t know what it is about his music but it’s soothing to listen to.  Every song tells a story and every song I listened to I was able to relate to in one way or another.  I guess that is why I know I’m going to love listening to him.  I believe that he has a true “It Gets Better” story.  I found this information about him.

“An Ex-Mormon raised near Salt Lake City, Utah, Utley is perhaps the only openly gay performing artist to have survived ex-gay therapy, a practice that he vocally opposes. His experience coming to terms with his sexuality and religion have emerged as strong themes in his songwriting and on-stage storytelling.

“I’ve been asked if I could take any of it back, you know, what I’ve experienced.  I wouldn’t,” says Utley.  “Its part of me, my story, and its been a hell of a journey.  And I’m here to share that.”

I was a member of the Mormon church when I was a baby and again when I was a teenager.  I wasn’t as involved in the church as he was, but I believe that if we were more involved I probably would have been.

This is actually something that I have come to terms with in my life as well.  I wouldn’t take any of it back because it is what made me who I am today.  Intolerance towards me instilled my ability to be more tolerant towards others.  I was taught hate, but it ended up teaching me the opposite.  It seems like he has the same attitude.  It made him a strong person and that is what I like about him.  When you know an artists story, it makes you connect with them on a deeper level.

“Released in 2005, Utley’s first album Runaway received critical acclaim from audiences and critics in the LGBT community and created a dedicated online following.

“The lead single has been announced as Great Escape and was premiered by New York publication Next Magazine on their website on November 1st. It debuted on Sirius-XM’s OutQ radio channel following Utley’s interview with the Six Pack show on November 2nd. A music video for the single is scheduled for production in early 2012.”

It is too bad that I didn’t know about him back in 2005, but I’m glad to know him now.  Better late than never eh?

His single “Stand for Something” won the 2011 award for Outstanding Country/Folk song of the year by the LGBT Academy of recording arts.  That’s something to be proud of.  He has also acted; he played the lead role of Tommy Dautry in the New York musical “Our Country” which I also didn’t know since I live in Bakersfield.  He also won best actor at the Planet Connections theater festival in 2010.  That is something to really be proud of.

His latest album was released on 11/11/11 and is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon as well as his website and Facebook.

For more information including booking and interview requests, contact Dan Maierle – dmaierle@gmail.com.

Justin Utley is someone who I am going to be paying serious attention to.  I will definitely be buying his music to add to my mp3 player.

‘Meet Justin Utley’ EPK Video:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm4kc6zmfwI