Thursday, April 4, 2024

Old School Lane Update: April 2024

Hello everyone. Second verse, same as the first. I don't have time to make a vlog update, so it's going to be via text. As of right now, Old School Lane is going on a semi-hiatus until further notice. Why? Well, I'm getting married. In the next few months, I'm putting all of my energy into packing my stuff, planning the wedding, and ending the chapter of my life here in Alabama and starting anew in the United Kingdom. I did record a few episodes of Casual Chats and will have the Good Burger 2 Go video up in time for All That's 30th anniversary, but other than that, you're going to see very little content from me. I'm sorry to those who have been patiently waiting for more Old School Lane content, but I need to focus on what's important.

Speaking of All That, I was originally going to announce that I would be doing a virtual reunion livestream on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show where a few people were interested in participating. However, I was then told that due to certain circumstances, they didn't want to do it anymore. I know exactly what they're referring to and I completely understand. I'm planning on doing one, but not yet. Maybe it won't be on a Nickelodeon show. We'll see.

For those who were wondering if I'm going to do any panels at conventions like I did last year, I will not. I had applied for several conventions, including MomoCon in Atlanta, but was rejected. That's okay because I do have plans to get married and I can't afford to spend money on tickets, travel, autographs, photos, and souvenirs. By the time I'll consider doing panels, I'll be in England with Arun so maybe we'll do them together. That would be great.

I want to give you my wholehearted thank you for the overwhelming responses when I posted on social media about my writer's block getting worse. I'm glad to see so many people given their support on my situation and telling me that they're willing to wait. In this era of new content creators coming in left and right and delivering great content while others who can't keep up are left in the dust, hearing that made me feel reassured that my viewers and listeners are patient. The YouTube channel doesn't reflect it, though. For the first time in years, I had gained less than 100 subscribers a month (not too surprised), but, again, my priorities are at a different place right now, I've been suffering from writer's block, and the podcasts I've been posting haven't caught on. Also, thank you so much for letting me know that you love for me to cover video games in addition to movies and TV shows. When I have time to write scripts for videos, I will definitely include video games in the mix. 

That's it for now. Again, thank you so much for your patience. It really means a lot to me. See you around Old School Lane soon.


Monday, February 12, 2024

Old School Lane Update: February 2024

Hey everyone.

Normally, I would do a vlog posting what is coming up for Old School Lane, but I don't have the time right now, so I'm posting it as a blog. 2023 was an up and down year for the channel. First, the ups. I had done, not one, but TWO panels. The first was back in May 2023 where I covered the topic "Writing Analytical Essays on Media" at MomoCon in Atlanta, Georgia. Not only was it my first panel ever, but it was my first time at MomoCon. It was one of the biggest conventions I had ever on in my life. I met some amazing people, including people I have been acquainted with like content creators ToonrificTariq, Offbeat Kiki, Harriyana, and Nicktendo. You can check out my videos down below.

The second convention I went to was back in October 2023 where I went to KamiCon HAI (Huntsville Anime Invasion) in Huntsville, Alabama to cover the topic "The Importance of Slice of Life & Coming of Age Animation". It was a much smaller convention, but it was a lot of fun. I sadly didn't record it because my camera was acting up, but it was still a great experience. If you want to see me cover a similar topic, I did on my YouTube channel. Go check it out if you missed it. 

Another up for Old School Lane in 2023 was the amount of podcasts we posted. 20 episodes of Casual Chats, an episode of PixMix on Elemental, completing Journey to the Blue Sky looking back at all the Blue Sky Studios movies, visited the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, and watched Wonka and the four short films by Wes Anderson for the Roald Dahl Retrospective, watching and covering Season 1 of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, watching all the DreamWorks Christmas shorts on DreamMinis, In Search of the Crystal Skull on Keanu Reeves Month and The Little Mermaid live action remake, and interviewing Martin and Olivia Olson and Rebecca Rose. If I had to do my top 10 favorite episodes of Casual Chats for 2023, they would be said interviews, the Cartoon Network podcast, The Owl House Season 3 Discussion, the Quest for Camelot podcast, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Weinerville, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Favorites of the Disney Eras, and Wish. I did a poll about a month ago asking you on what were your favorites and least favorite podcasts of this year. You overwhelmingly chose the Cartoon Network podcast as your favorite and Wish as your least favorite. I was surprised as your dislike of the Wish podcast because Arun and I enjoyed that discussion a lot. But maybe Wish had a bigger fanbase than I thought. If you did enjoy it, go on and enjoy it. You do you.

The virtual reunion livestream of 2023 was the 30th anniversary of Weinerville. Getting Marc and Max Weiner as well as some of the crew who worked on the show was a fun time. They reminisced about writing for the show, doing the puppet work, composing the music, and creating the props. While it didn't generate a large crowd on the livestream compared to previous livestreams, it was still a blast getting together. 

Finally, I did four videos this past year. Two of which required months of research to do because there was little to no information on it. The first was A Lookback at the You Don't Know Jack game show. I released it as a part of a tribute for actor Paul Reubens when he passed away last August. While most people did a video tribute on Paul Reubens primarily focusing on his man-child persona Pee-wee Herman, I covered a more obscure role he performed as: a game show host named Troy Stevens. Many people nowadays know about the party game series You Don't Know Jack, but when the game show premiered in 2001, it was a niche game series that hadn't caught on to the mainstream until 10 years later. Thanks to an anonymous source who worked on the game show and the game studio at the time, they answered a lot of questions and corrected some misinformation that was posted on the Internet as legitimate answers. I broke the episode into three sections: the rise, fall and resurgence of Jellyvision Lab, the rise, fall, and resurgence of game shows, and the rise, fall, comeback, fall, comeback, and farewell of Paul Reubens. 

The second video was concluding the lookback on Christmas Every Day adaptations by William Dean Howells in the form of the 1986 adaptation of Christmas Every Day that aired on CBS. This is one of the most underrated Christmas specials of all time and it needs more recognition. It's hands down the adaptation that sticks the closest to the original short story while all the modern ones take cues from the 1996 adaptation which ripped off Groundhog's Day. It was animated by a studio in Chicago, produced, written, and voiced by a radio legend, and starring voice actors like said radio legend, Brian Cummings, Edie McClurg, and Miriam Flynn. I had gotten a hold of the people involved in the special and had a lot of questions answered that no one has ever covered. I will be doing a follow up video covering their 2nd animated special The Canterville Ghost on Halloween.

Now, for the downs. As much as I posted a lot of podcasts this year, almost all of them have very low listens and views. In comparison, I did a quick 5 minute video reviewing the Good Burger 2 meal from Arby's and it was double the views of most of the podcasts I posted this past year. When looking at the most successful podcasts I did this year, the highest viewed ones were both the Wartime Era and Favorites of the Disney Eras, the Quest for Camelot podcast, the My Life as a Teenage Robot podcast, the Cartoon Network podcast, and the Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island podcast. The latter was a bonus podcast for Old Spook Lane Creepy Chats on Tim Burton Month and it crushed in viewership generating most listens than the 4 podcast episodes combined. I consider Tim Burton Month a failure and question if I should even bring back Old Spook Lane Creepy Chats this Halloween season. I also consider Keanu Reeves Month on In Search of the Crystal Skull a failure too because all of the episodes with the exception of SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge on the Run had very low views, especially The Matrix Reloaded episode. But even then, the Sponge on the Run discussion had half the views of the other SpongeBob podcast. 

Now for the videos, the Media Hall of Fame video on the As Told by Ginger podcasts was my most successful video this year. Not too much of a surprise since those tend to do well. It might be my last As Told by Ginger video I'll do for a long while. I do recommend checking out the video. Although half of the podcasts are no longer posting new episodes, they're still a good listen.

A Charlie Brown Christmas special was a minor success, but the You Don't Know Jack game show video and Christmas Every Day video were a disaster in viewership. I understand that they're very niche and the latter video was posted a few weeks after Christmas, but I was hoping for at least 1,000 views after all the hard work I put into it. But no, it ended up having slightly more views than my podcast episodes and that is NOT a good thing. The reason I hadn't posted a lot of videos in 2023 was because I had suffered from depression and writer's block. For the life of me, I couldn't write any ideas for videos if my life had depended on it. But when Paul Reubens died, that was when I had to write a special tribute to him in the form of the You Don't Know Jack game show video since I loved his work since I was a kid. But when the video premiered with low views, I had learned that 35% of my subscribers didn't watch it yet and 10% either hated it or thought it was simply okay. It devastated me. The Christmas Every Day special crushed me even more on how much no one tuned into it. 

I wish I could dedicate more time to posting videos, I really do. But my priorities have changed a lot since I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in 2022. I had been working a lot and rarely have time to sit down and write videos. I am getting closer to sorting out the next chapter in my life of being a married woman and sorting out paper work that'll take months to complete. I'm not the same 25-year-old who was unemployed and unsure what was going to happen in my life. I'm now a 37-year-old who has a job, a husband, and responsibilities to take care of. I do have a complete script in hand: my review of the Good Burger 2 Go book. But I'll release it around April when All That celebrates its 30th anniversary. I'm working on a few scripts for the 25th anniversary celebration of Azumanga Daioh and Avatar: The Last Airbender in honor of the Netflix live action series coming out this month. I do have some other ideas in mind for new videos and podcasts, but I'll post it when it's the right time. I don't want to rush into it just for the sake of posting something mediocre and unfulfilling to stay relevant on YouTube or the podcast feed. I want to take my time and post something that I enjoy and hopefully others will too. Now for some, this is content creator suicide, but seeing as how so many people are quitting being full time content creators because they want to live normal lives again and not worry about appealing to the never ending demand of content just to make money and notoriety, I'm okay with this.

Before, I used to be scared when new content creators would come along and post similar things I was covering and getting 10x more views, recognition, and awareness. I wonder on where I went wrong. But now, I realize that I shouldn't compare myself to them. I should be my own person and create something because I enjoy it and I'm happy that I'm sharing something I love to the world. Just because they don't tune into your content right away doesn't mean that they never will. Recently, I've gotten comments from the YouTube channel of people tuning into We're in Between for the first time and that podcast series ended almost 6 years ago. At the end of the day, doing something we're passionate about should be about the art, not the money or fame. Even if you're not recognized for your hard work, at least there's someone out there who appreciates it whether you know it or not. Never give up. Keep trying and you'll succeed at the end in some way. It was thanks to posting my content online that I met Arun in the first place. Now, we're married. I don't need millions of subscribers, tons of sponsorships, or thousands of dollars in one video to feel content. I've made friends, online colleagues, and the love of my life. I'm happy where I am now. 

Thanks for reading, everyone. Hope to see you around soon. Take care.


Monday, July 31, 2023

Paul Reubens Has Passed On

I remember several years ago when Double Dare host Marc Summers was interviewed on the Preston & Steve Show on 93.3 WMMR where he revealed for the first time in public that he had suffered lymphocytic leukemia for several years. "In show business, if you talk about that stuff, it's hard to get hired afterwards. My agent said, 'Well, don't talk about it.' I've sort of compressed this thing and it's made me nuts." 

Since then, other celebrities were revealed to be suffering from cancer without letting the public know for similar reasons. Some were able to overcome it like voice actor Rob Paulsen and others had sadly succumb to it like actor Chadwick Boseman. But one I would've never guessed who not only went through cancer secretly, but had succumb to it recently was actor Paul Reubens a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman.

According to his estate, the following statement was posted saying, "Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness. Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit," it continued. "A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit."

Never would I have thought that I would hear such a heartbreaking announcement such as this! Literally, I was getting things ready for my sister's birthday when all of a sudden, this popped up on my social media outlets and I was reacted saying "What?! Are you serious?!" Over the past year, I have had people who I knew and loved pass away from cancer such as my aunt and a few acquaintances from church. Cancer is such a devastating disease that affects your entire body, mind, and emotions. You feel tired, weak, and hopeless. I hope that you or anyone you know never gets sick from cancer. It's not only devastating for you, but for those around you. Now that I think about it, it made so much sense why the Pee-wee's Big Adventure 35th anniversary tour didn't pick up after COVID-19 restrictions were gone or why there were no updates on Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie or the dark Pee-wee movie he had been working on for decades. He was very sick and couldn't do it. When I read more about Paul's death, I felt sadness coming into me. I was beyond crushed when people who I grew up with such as Robin Williams, Bob Hoskins, June Foray, and others had passed on. But I was introduced to Paul's work at a very young age which made this death a very hard one. Growing up in the late 80's and 90's, I knew about Pee-wee's Playhouse and Pee-wee's Big Adventure. I heard Paul's voice in many cartoons such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Chowder, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Tron: Uprising, Adventure Time, and more. When Old School Lane first started in December 2011, I posted my top 10 Pee-wee Herman moments on my tumblr page because I was thrilled he was making a comeback and that became the first post that became viral because Paul himself Tweeted it. In a way, Old School Lane wouldn't have gotten its major start in the first place if it wasn't for Pee-wee Herman. So, if you loved my blog posts, podcasts, videos, and/or livestreams we've been doing for the past 10 years, Paul is partially to be thanked for getting us started. 

There was also the time I met him in person at MegaCon 2018 waiting in line for almost an hour just to meet him. I remember talking with two women who were in their 40s wanting to meet Paul because they grew up with Pee-wee's Playhouse. The reason why it took so long was because he was talking to a little girl no older than 6 and answering all her questions. When I finally approached him, I told him thank you for his work and gave him a printout of the Tweet of my blog post. While he didn't remember it, he did sign it for me. I will be forever grateful of that. 

The last thing I want to state before I conclude the question I asked to author and pop culture enthusiast Caseen Gaines about his book Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse way back in 2012. 

Patricia- Let’s just say, heaven forbid, Paul Reubens passes away unexpectedly. Do you think that people would finally forget about his indiscretions and focus on his great achievements?

Caseen- I absolutely think so. I mean, Paul Reubens has done an amazing service in this world as Pee-wee Herman.  Not only was the character entertaining, but it was inspiring to people like Kevin and a whole slew of other creative types. He has achieved great things and I think a lot of people are being reminded of that with his recent Pee-wee appearances.

Even though Paul had done his fair share of mistakes that had stilted his reputation and career, people still have fond memories of his work and how much of a sweet, kind, and gentle person he was. Craig Bartlett, the creator of Hey Arnold!, actress E.G. Daily, Stephanie Beatriz, Rob Paulsen, Wally Wingert, Lori Alan, Ricki Lake,  artist Wayne White, actress and comedian Laraine Newman, animator Jorge Guitierrez, and more have left their condolences to Paul. Pee-wee Herman is currently trending on social media of people posting about their sadness for his passing and their fond memories of his work. Sure, there will be a few people who will always bring up his incidents to give their reasonings on why he shouldn't be easily forgiven, but many people have since moved on. Especially, since there were a slew of other celebrities who have done far, far worse. But I digress. 

In closing, I'm going to miss Paul a lot! I will miss Pee-wee a lot! He was funny, quirky, sporadic, creative, and kind. He was one of the people I wanted to have on my podcast for an interview, but now I never will. I remember hearing about one of the last things he was working on was a memoir and a documentary about his life. I look forward to seeing them. 

Let me know in the comments below about your fond memories on Paul's work. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at Old School Lane soon. 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

MomoCon 2023 Panel Information & Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 201 Announcement

Patricia gives updates on the panel she's doing for MomoCon 2023 and what the next episode of Casual Chats is going to be about.

To learn more about MomoCon, check out the website at Head to the MomoCon Facebook page and click "Going" if you're headed to Patricia's panel "Writing Analytical Essays on Media".

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Metroid Dread Discussion/Review (Spoiler Free)

In June 2005, I remember reading on an article from Game Informer magazine of the reveals from Nintendo's E3 presentation of the games that were going to be coming out on the Wii and DS. There was one game that wasn't showcased, but caught my eye once I saw it: a new 2D Metroid game called Metroid Dread. The 2000's was the best decade for Metroid since the most amount of games were released that were critically acclaimed like the two Game Boy Advanced games Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion and the 3D 3rd person action adventure game Metroid Prime and its sequel Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. I was more than excited for more Metroid. Over the years, news of Metroid Dread became silent with little to no information on its release date. 

But that was fine since there were other games that came out such as Metroid Prime Hunters, Metroid Prime Pinball, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. But then the 2010s appeared and Metroid: Other M was such a polarizing game that it almost killed the franchise for over 6 years. Then, Yoshio Sakamoto, the director and producer of the Metroid games said that Dread was probably not going to be coming out anytime soon. We assumed that Metroid Dread was cancelled and people started calling it Metroid Dead. The first half of the 2010s decade was difficult for Metroid fans. 

The later half of the 2010s decade was slightly better. A fan named Milton Guasti aka DoctorM64 released his long passion project AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) a fan remake of Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Nintendo released Metroid Prime Federation Force and its own remake of Metroid 2 called Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. There was even an announcement on E3 2018 that Metroid Prime 4 was coming out. Knowing that Metroid Prime 4 was going to be the next big game, the idea of Metroid Dread ever coming out had left my mind. But then E3 2021 appeared and what I saw was something I never would have thought in a million years: a trailer for Metroid 5 which was Metroid Dread. When I first saw it, I was so excited! It was the first time in many years that I was hyped for a video game to come out. Click here to learn more about my initial thoughts. I had to wait an additional year to play it because I didn't have a Switch at the time. But thanks to Arun Mehta from The Arun Mehta Show, I now have a Nintendo Switch and the first game I bought was Metroid Dread. 

Taking place after the events of Metroid Fusion, Samus had received a message from an unknown source that there was an X parasite located at Planet ZDR. The Galactic Federation sent 7 robots called E.M.M.I to capture the X, but it lost communication. Samus lands on ZDR to learn more about the whereabouts of the X and the E.M.M.I., but then sees an adversary she didn't expect: a Chozo soldier named Raven Beak who almost defeated Samus, but an unknown power source from herself activated and she was spared. Things get worse when the E.M.M.I. have been hacked to now attack Samus. Samus, being underpowered to take down both Raven Beak and the E.M.M.I., is told by Adam to escape the planet and head to her ship on the surface of ZDR. So the game is a reverse where Samus is traveling upwards instead of downwards. Without getting into major spoilers because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who want to play this game, what are my thoughts of Metroid Dread as both a fan and someone who has been waiting for this game for over 15 years? The wait was worth it! 

The gameplay is classic 2D action/adventure with some exploration just like the other Metroid games, but there are several new additions that make it standout. The introduction of Aeion abilities from Metroid: Samus Returns have returned here in Metroid Dread, but there are some new techniques such as the Phantom Cloak that makes Samus invisible for a short period of time. It's very useful, especially when you're trying to run away and hide from the E.M.M.I. It feels like the proper elevation from Metroid Fusion after Samus is trying to run away from the SA-X. Admittedly, the gameplay of the SA-X is starting to show its age a bit since the segments are planned. If you know what to do, you can easily avoid the SA-X with no issues. There are little to no changes or alterations on its movements or its reactions to when it approaches Samus. But the E.M.M.I. goes on a whole new level. When you enter an E.M.M.I room, you hear the eerie music, you hear the beeps and boops of the E.M.M.I. trying to find you with sensing your movements and hearing your footsteps, and you're trying to find a way out before it finds you before it catches you. There are 7 in total and each one is harder than the last making it a challenge even though you're collecting the items needed to become stronger. 

There are different sections of the planet to go around to make it towards the surface and each location is unique with a set of monsters and atmosphere to set it apart. The bosses are also great with its own set of challenges, fighting style, and strategic ways of taking them down. Some of them are the best in the whole series, with the final boss being my favorite of the bunch. The story is fairly simple just like the other Metroid games, but there are a lot of twists and turns that will make you shocked, surprised, yet satisfied if you've been following both the games' and manga's story and lore. But the story doesn't detract from people who have never played a Metroid game. The prologue and several cutscenes gets the plot of the series up to speed, but the gameplay is the most important part of the game and that makes up for it. Samus has never controlled this smooth before: she's fast, agile, and spry. The slide makes moving so much easier, the melee defense move takes down enemies in a pinch, and the wall jump feels so natural. As you get more moves, weapons, and Aeion abilities, Samus slowly becomes an unstoppable beast. I hope that future Metroid games keep this same gameplay style. 

If I had to bring up a minor complaint of Metroid Dread, the music left a lot to be desired. Sure, it captures the atmosphere of the locations and moments, but none of it was memorable. Other than the opening prologue which is a remix of the opening theme of Super Metroid and a cutscene featuring a minor side character with a remix of the lower Brinstar theme of Super Metroid, I couldn't recall a song that left an impact on me when playing it. As you know, I love Metroid music. Whenever I'm working on a script for a video and editing it, I listen to songs from Metroid, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, the Metroid Prime games, and AM2R. Sadly, I won't be adding Dread's soundtrack from my playlist. Another minor complaint I have is that the last chapter of the game felt very short and underdeveloped. I had made it to the surface and picked up the last power up and before I knew it, I was given the option to fight the last boss. I would've liked it if I was there longer or if there was another section of the planet to go to to explore. If you see the map of ZDR, there's an empty space over by the upper right corner. I thought that I was going to be exploring over there, but nothing ever popped up. If Metroid Dread ever has an update such as New Game+ or a patch, I would love either another section or make the last chapter a bit longer. But I doubt it'll happen. 

Overall, I love Metroid Dread. It's now in my top 3 favorites in the series. It may have surpassed Metroid Prime as my 2nd favorite. As for topping Super Metroid, that's too early to tell. Super Metroid is not only my favorite in the series, but my favorite game of all time. If you want to learn why, click here. If I was to recommend a Metroid game for a newcomer, Dread would be one of my first choices as a great introduction next to Metroid: Zero Mission. It's fun, fast, and challenging. Currently, Metroid Dread is the best selling Metroid game of the series with almost 3 million copies sold. Hopefully this will show Nintendo that we want more Metroid games. Let's hope and see if Metroid Prime 4 continues this momentum. 

That's it for now. Thank you so much for reading, everyone! Let me know in the comments about your experiences in playing Metroid Dread. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. 


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Hey, Fuggetaboutit! Episode 1: Interview with Kent Burris

 In the premiere episode of the podcast Hey, Fuggetaboutit!, Kevin interviews Kent Burris from the YouTube channel Ghosts of Carmel Lane where they cover paranormal investigations, historical hauntings, and the study of the paranormal.

The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up! Discussion/Review

 What do you get when you add two cups of bizarre beaver brothers, a cup of B-horror/sci-fi tropes and clich├ęs, a tablespoon of 4th wall breaking jokes, and a teaspoon of self aware humor? You get The Angry Beavers' Halloween episode The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up! It's a unique episode as being not only a Halloween episode, but the only 24 minute episode of the entire series. Is it a grand ol' spooky time or an insane, convoluted, wacky rollercoaster ride? Yes to both!