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Place: Penis Ave
Description: You're Penis.
Last night, I went to see a screening of Dan Harmon’s new show, HarmonQuest.
I am a big fan of Community, Rick and Morty, and RPGs, so I was pretty excited about this. Oh, and there was a Q & A session with a panel of cast members after, too. I did not know much about the show beforehand, other than that it was going to be a taping of Dan Harmon and friends playing Dungeons and Dragons. I was expecting something like Critical Role, where we watch the Dungeon Master and party as they play for a couple of hours.
Instead, it was shorter, about 23 minutes like a TV comedy, and started with the players gathered around a conference table. Spencer Crittenden is the Dungeon Master and sits at the head, and Dan Harmon, Erin McGathy, and Jeff B. Davis are party regulars who sit along one side. Joining them each episode is a guest star. In the first episode, that was Paul F. Tompkins, but they will also have Chelsea Peretti, Steve Agee, Aubrey Plaza, Thomas Middleditch, and Kumail Nanjiani, among others. They briefly talk about their RPG experience and then dive into the gaming session. The “in-character” segments are all animated, and the characters look like the actors, except in fantasy garb. The show is filmed in front of a live audience.
The gaming session itself is much lighter than Critical Role. The characters are less coordinated with one another and seem to try weird things for the hell of it. The fighting is simplified and Spencer handles all dice rolls. The only time I saw a character sheet referenced was when Spencer asked a character to double-check his total hit points to see if he died. The animated combat is quite fun to watch, though. Everyone enjoyed seeing little numbers float up every time someone took a hit, just like in video games. The lighter nature also opened up the group to be goofy and banter more, which was hilarious.
After the episode, it was time for the Q & A panel. Jeff B. Davis, Spencer Crittenden, and Dan Harmon took some questions from the moderator and then the crowd.
Sorry about the poor quality. I turned off flash and held my phone over my head to get a clear line of sight. A few questions in, Dan pulled out a flask and everyone was like, “We’re at a bar, we can get you a real drink.”
I learned that:
The entire 10-episode season goes up tomorrow on SeeSo for your binging pleasure. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series.
I signed up for HikeTheGeek when I moved down to LA to look for more outdoorsy things to do. They invited me to come on one on July 3, but I was already doing my neon tour, so I decided to go on my own on July 4.
The description made me think twice, though.
Yes, this is an early hike! 8:08am
But, this will be the first hard hike I have done since my recovery for the past half year.
This hike is indeed called the ARSE BURNER.
Bring water! Bring a hat! Bring sun Screen! Bring Great stories to share! Bring an oxygen tank!
- Great work out.
- Free parking.
- Dog friendly (Bring a leash)
I took my wolf on this hike once. Several times he wanted to give up. When we got back to the bottom he actually fell over, and his tongue simply hung out of his mouth.
This is the hike I like to call the ass burner. You will feel this on the hike, after the hike, and maybe a few days later.
It is like walking up stairs for an hour or so, and then walking down stairs for an hour or so.
Great view, real feeling of accomplishment.
I decided to tough it out, though. So I woke up early, filled up my Camelbak and threw it into my backpack along with a Calpico and a Quest bar, and set off. I drove right by Porto’s, which was open but did not have a line yet. On the way up to the park entrance, I noticed that all the fire hydrants along the road were painted purple and someone had stuck googly eyes on them.
By the trailhead is a cool sculpture called “Tree Spirit” which reminded me of a roommate’s art from my house back in San Francisco.
As I cleared the tree-line, I could see the Burbank Police Department’s firing range and CQC training house.
The hike itself is very deceptive. As the warning in the invite description suggested, there is a lot of elevation gain. Every time I crested a hill, I saw that there was either a small flat or a dip before the next climb segment, which I had not even seen before. Very disheartening. Let me tell you right now, when you start, there are three cell towers visible along the top ridge. The top of the hike is next to the leftmost of the three towers.
I started strong, but started taking breaks at every switchback. Grannies with walking sticks and little kids with puppies were passing me up, but I did not care. There was one point where three ravens started circling me, and I thought perhaps I was in trouble. But I forged onward!
When I was almost at the peak, a lady passed me on the way down and then squealed as she met her childhood friend and turned around to go back up with her. The three of us reached the peak together, with the motivational stylings of the one who had already hit the top on her own. She loved saying how satisfying beers and hot dogs would be after this (truth), and that the peak was “just around the corner” (lie).
From the top, there is a beautiful throne from which you gaze over your kingdom.
Sitting there, I had the best Quest bar of my life.
I took my sweet time going back down, letting families with small children pass me by and high-fiving some shirtless hiker bros who lapped me. I sat in the shade at back at the trailhead and enjoyed my cool Calpico, and then drenched my car in sweat as I drove home and promptly passed out.
According to my activity tracker, the total hike was 4.59 miles with 1,854 feet of elevation gain and took me 3:01:22 to complete. (I did take a detour at the top in an attempt to find the Tree of Wisdom, but I took a wrong turn.)