The Do Overs Do Halloween!

The Do Overs (left to right Devin, Chris, Nick, Phil)

The Do Overs (left to right Devin, Chris, Nick, Phil)

What good is being in a band if you don’t play a show every now and then, right? The Do Overs will be casting a spell over the Silverlake Lounge this Halloween

When: Monday, October 30th @ 11pm

Where: Silverlake Lounge -2906 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

Price: FREE!

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A Do Over with The Do Overs – June 27th

The band I’m in is playing a show later this month. If you see this post and live in Los Angeles, you should come.

Tuesday, June 27 at 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM PDT
Old Towne Pub Pasadena
66 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Map/Directions >>>

Here’s how cool we are:

Also, in case you’re wondering, we’re not a “Christian” band.

See more…

My Top 10 Board Games of 2016

Ever since I started working at Pasadena, discovering and learning new games has become a real thing.  The more I play, the more I think about what games I like. In fact, I have to really narrow my choices if I want to buy a game. I can’t just collect games willy nilly…I have to really think about it. And even though the list below is what I consider my top games of 2016, I won’t necessarily buy them.

The 2016 Top 10

  1. Pandemic Legacy, Season 1
  2. Pandemic Legacy, Season 1 – July
  3. Pandemic Legacy, Season 1 – October
  4. Survive: Escape from Atlantis
  5. Jamaica
  6. Captain Sonar
  7. Karuba
  8. Sushi Go Party!
  9. The Game of 49
  10. Secret Hitler


  • Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
  • Penny Press
  • Imhotep
  • Quadropolis
  • Dead of Winter
  • Paperback
  • Flick ’em Up
  • Space Cadet
  • Leo Needs a Barber
  • Burgle Bros.
  • Champions of Midgard
  • Francis Drake
  • Alien Frontiers

The Worst Game of 2016

  • …and then we held hands

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Hide Me From Me

Hide me from me
Reflections in the mirror
I don’t want to see.
A ghostly corridor
Before the astral me

Reaches in darkness.
Beyond this limbo,
An expanse of lightness.
When shall I go
To that heavenly address?


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The Sun Dials

“The Sun Dials”

An intergalactic collect call
Though operators can’t direct
The connection is clear
About the truth of what’s constant
A love. A a vow. A hope.

– January 27th, 2017

No One Survives the Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter banner

In May of last year (2016) the coworkers and I decided to test out the heavily themed and complicated Dead of Winterwhich simulates The Walking Dead. Except that it’s in winter time, so the stakes are a little bit higher.  You’re already familiar with the story: a group of people are holed up somewhere and have to survive the winter by scavenging for food, medicine, weapons and fuel, AND, course, survive the onslaught of Zombies.

It’s more or less a cooperative game, since everyone is trying to survive as long as they can until the “mission” is complete. The missions usually range from finding resources to killing shit.  However, the thing that makes the game more difficult are the submissions or as the game likes to call them, “Crisis,” which is exactly what it means because you’re always running out of food, or medicine or fuel or weapons and it forces you to make the choice: do I contribute to the mission or do I contribute to the crisis. Oh, did I mention that each person also has a secret mission that helps them win the game.

Dead of Winter - IMG_1833Do I contribute to the mission or the crisis or my personal mission? On top of that, you’re always losing moral. AND the game also has a timer.

Game Play

So anyway, you jump from location to location hoping that you don’t roll terribly on the die and are forced to fight a zombie.  And even if you make it into the a location, you have to be quiet or else the zombies will start gathering at limited spaces the locations.  Sometimes you find what you’re looking for. Sometimes you find other people who don’t contribute and just take up resources.

Eventually, all locations will be overrun and the useless people die first, then your characters.  Did I mention that if someone dies, morale drops.  If morale drops to zero, everyone loses the game.


Game Pieces

I think that it’s super cool that the game has a bunch of stand up figures, but I probably would’ve preferred some nice, simple flat tokens so that it’s easier to spot who is who on the board….I can become quite chaotic as the game progresses. And the artwork is great.  There is even a dog with a cape character that you can play.  Haven’t had a chance to try that out yet.



I would certainly recommend this game to people who are more experienced gamers. D&D folks might especially like this game. The game itself is the Game Master…there is read aloud text for atmosphere, there are miniature side “what do you do” quests.  All in all, I need to get the group to give it another shot.

Nick’s Annual Playlist 2015-2016

Normally at the end of each year, just in time for Christmas, I create a compilation of songs that affected me that year — from old and new discoveries to favorites and obsessions. However, I lapsed in 2015, and in 2016 I got a little lazy. So this year, the playlist is in two parts.

Side A – 2015

Side B – 2016

Surface Envy – Sleater-Kinney Better Not Wake the Baby – The Decemberists
Shake it Off – Taylor Swift Thunder on the Mountain – Wanda Jackson
In the Morning – The Heavy Boogie Back to Texas – Asleep at the Wheel
Kronos – Keaton Henson He Woke Me Up Again – Sufjan Stevens
A New Wave – Sleater-Kinney Beekeeper – Keaton Heston
Carolina Low – The Decemberists Renegade Princess – Sonic Youth
Man – Neko Swift Buckaroo Banzai – Logan Whitehurst & the Junior Science Club
Ping Pong – Stereolab Good to Be Alive – They Might Be Giants
Wall Poster Star – The Brunettes Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To the Party – Courtney Barnett
Bills, Bills, Bills – They Might Be Giants Lady Jesus – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Romance – Wild Flag Bracing for Sunday – Neko Case
Girl – The Heavy We are the Sleepyheads – Belle & Sebastian
I Broadcast – Blur

Want more?

If you would like to receive a copy of the CD in the mail or music in your inbox, send me a message…you can find a way.  😀

Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter and The First Date [EP]

That one time I produced an EP of my songs.

Artist: Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter | Album: The First Date [EP]

Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter was the natural evolution for my work as a musician following the break up of my college band, Monkey Porn Machine.

Monkey Porn Machine

When I first got to college, I was inspired to pick up the accordion. My brothers and I had started to dabble in song writing in high school, and a girl I liked turned me onto They Might Be Giants.  So, picked one up off of this brand new website, eBay for $100.  Cheap!

Then I started writing my own songs. Shitty songs. Terrible songs that should remain buried and hidden from the living.

One day, I see a flyer with tear away phone numbers. I call the number and she tells me to come to a show that she’s playing at the Cheshire Cat Coffeehouse on campus to check out her music. That fateful night of the show the drummer was also in attendance because of the tear away flyer.

And Monkey Porn Machine was born, with me on accordion, Ariel on vocals and guitar, and Brian on drums. We wrote songs about microwaves and boxing nuns. Eventually a friend of a friend knew a keyboard player who signed on.  We wrote more songs and played out as often as we could.

Tex-mex, punk, zydeco someone called it.

Break up and Transformation

Our keyboardist was planning to move to Japan and our drummer was having some personal issues. So it came to pass that the band broke up, but Ariel and I wanted to keep playing and we kind of did. She took up drums and I doubled on guitar and accordion. I even managed to book a show as the opening act for one of my favorite bands with one of my favorite bands, The Icicles.  My brother suggested we call ourselves Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter.

Cool.  We even expanded again by adding a cellist and a keyboard player. It wasn’t sustainable, so that line up disbanded. Meanwhile I was still writing songs.

At some point my other brother, the flautist, and I started playing together and the “classic” line up was born.


We practiced a lot more, mostly during our famous “ribs bbq & margs” sessions. As we played out as a duo, I realized that we should probably have a recording to sell or something. So, I downloaded some free software from the internet and started the recording process. I hated it.

It requires too much precision and I don’t really know what I’m doing. Hope you enjoy.

The First Date EP Album Art - Mrs Brown's Lovely Daughter

The First Date EP Album Art – Mrs Brown’s Lovely Daughter [CLICK TO GO TO PLAYLIST]

A Dungeons and Dragons Christmas, Season 5


In a snow covered forest, a druid, her fox, and a red caped archer battle a group of orcs in front of the shackled Baba Yaga’s hut.

Every year for the last five years, I’ve been hosting a Dungeons & Dragons Christmas adventure wherein the players either experience something Christmas related, or save Santa, or something like that.

Past adventures have included Christmas of the Dead (1st), The Evil that Stole Christmas (2nd), Santa vs. The Mind Flayers (3rd), and An Elder Evil Carol (4th).

This year…

Manger Danger!

Basically the local theocrat needs to confirm whether or not an ancient prophecy about the birth of a new king or god is valid. She sends the adventurers to follow a star to the location and report back to her.

As they journey through the desert they encounter each of the Magi. Each magi has a different motive for traveling to where the star is directing them.  One was an atheist who was inspired and wants to worship this new deity, another doesn’t what the child is but feels that he is important, and the third one wants to kidnap the child for the Easter Wizard King to be used as a weapon in an impending battle against an infernal invasion.

Yep.  D&D.

So, they locate the child and do battle with the “evil” Magi. It was a battle that IO made just a little too tough for them.

  1. The half-orc barbarian was charmed the entire time. Useless!
  2. The tiefling sorcerer kept getting attacked and was always on the threat of death. Useless!
  3. The dwarf cleric couldn’t hit worth a damn and ran out of spells. Useless!
  4. The dragonborn Paladin was smiting left and right, but didn’t have enough attacks. Useless!

Fortunately, the sorcerer was able to put a bunch of the thugs to sleep, but the evil magi was still able to trap everyone in a web, snatch up the kid, and beat an expeditious retreat! The paladin runs to a camel and dashes after the magi. He lances the guy straight through (he only had 5 hit points left after the barbarian hit him once), but fails to lift him up and the kid goes flying.


The paladin dives off the camel catches the kid and tumbles to safety.

After all this, they received a vision of first born children being slaughtered in the area.

Now they have to decide either to turn the kid over to the government, protect this child, or go about their own merry way.

In conclusion

I hope the players decide to play again, as it would be nice to get back into a D&D campaign.

The cast of characters:

Dragonborn Paladin

Dragonborn Paladin

Tiefling Sorcerer

Tiefling Sorcerer

Half-orc Barbarian

Half-orc Barbarian

Working in Pawnee

IT’S BEEN ALMOST A YEAR SINCE I’VE QUIT THE FILM BUSINESS, which isn’t to say I didn’t like it.

But it’s nice to have some variety as well as being able to prove that my experience translates.

The coolest part about my current job is my team. I think we’ve hit a real stride in our working and interpersonal relationships.  We joke around, talk through problems, go to happy hour…the whole shebang! I feel like we’re all on the same level (even though I’m the least technical of the team). One reason why we’ve been able to get a long so well is because of our daily team building exercise: lunch time board games.

The coworker known as The Ambassador is a little obsessed and that obsession has started to transfer over to the team. The Builder and The Shepherd have finally broken down and bought their own copy of games that they’ve enjoyed.  So obsessed we are, that I’ve actually started using our project management software to track the games we’ve played.  Yikes!

The team:

  • The Ambassador
  • The Builder
  • The Shepherd
  • The Magician
  • And me.  Not sure what my designation is.