I think I set this blog to private, but I don't know, because it still looks normal to me, because I'm me. So whatever. I'm abandoning this page, and I started a tumblr, so check that out, I guess.

Bye bye. Or something.

Also, I'll probably be posting a few of my older posts from here to there. Yay reruns!


Hey, This Page Still Exists!

So, I recently subscribed to www.reddit.com/r/writing, and am now inundated by people who write more than me, and set up pages to share their writing. I decided that I could do that too. With this thing I have! Maybe. I dunno.

A few points, to catch you up on the things you may have missed.

  • I'm Greg. I'm currently 26, and work at a Target in Austin, TX
  • I'm engaged to a wonderful woman named Casey and love her tons. Seriously, she's great.
  • I have to get up at 4am tomorrow morning....
Okay, that last one is a good point to stop on. I like writing, but don't do it nearly enough. The same could be said for my passions for reading, and playing video games, and doing a lot of things that aren't eating, sleeping, and working. I'm hoping to change that, though, and maybe tell you all about it.

Or maybe just write some fiction here.

Anyway, quick show of hands: Who actually still has a subscription to this page that I haven't updated in like a year?

G'night everyone.


A Quarter Century

That's how long it's been since I was born. Twenty-five years. Wow. It's kind of intimidating. I could easily dive into what I haven't done, but instead I thought I'd take the time to talk to you about a few things I HAVE done. This shouldn't take long, I have work in the morning.

So, do you remember a while ago, I talked about reviewing video games as a hobby? No? I'm not even sure I really did that, now that I think of it. All I know is I've been wanting to do it. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy video games, so I figured, why not write about video games. And I think I've picked a decent hook. Y'see, despite my love of video games, I never really had much of a chance to play them until I got an N64 in 1999, and then a few years later, a Playstation 2. Because of this, and a pre-disposition at the time for multiplayer games (I had two brothers to play with, after all), I managed to miss out on a LOT of great video games from the 90's and early 2000's.

At one point, I printed out a list of games I've beaten to show my friend. I'l try to track it down, but suffice it to say it's not as impressive as you might think. It's about a page, a lot of the games are Pokemon or Mario titles, and when I said "beaten" I meant "completed to the end credits," not necessarily 100% completion. I don't particularly mind. After all, I had a blast simply enjoying the multiplayer components of games like Goldeneye, Mario Kart, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter, Starcraft and Tony Hawk.

But while I was busy enjoying those, I managed to build an ever-looming backlog of titles that my friends were swearing up and down were "the best game ever". Here, off the top of my head, are a few games that I still have never played, but would like to at least try, eventually:

  • Final Fantasy 6, 8, 9 (And I've never actually beaten any Final Fantasy game other than Tactics Advance)
  • Metal Gear Solid (Any)
  • Earthbound (Snowballs chance in Heck of that happening)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Gotta beat OoT first...)
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Ico
  • Okami
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Super Mario 64
  • Silent Hill
And that's just off the top of my head. Luckily, with the advent of digital distribution, a lot of these classic older titles are showing up in easy to download formats, or as remakes for handheld systems that make it easier to find time to play (or both - PSOne Classics on PSP rocks). For instance, I've currently got partial save going on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. But I'm having trouble making time to play them.

And it's not going to get any better. I'm going to start classes next semester, and I'm already looking forward to Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII and Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver releasing next spring. These two goals alone are already somewhat counterproductive. Maybe (MAYBE) if I get my life in gear, and set myself up as a semi-professional neighborhood tech support guru, I can quit my full time job at Target, freeing up a little more free time for writing as well as gaming...

Okay, enough about my personal dilemmas. I promised myself I'd keep this short and to the point. I wanted to talk about the other "classic" game I've recently started, because I feel like it's having a semi-profound effect on me. The game is Silent Hill 2. And despite not being more than an hour and a half into it, I love it.

I've been aware of the Silent Hill series, at least peripherally, for a number of years. At first I lumped it in with Resident Evil, another survival-horror game. And while technically it is a survival horror, I've come to learn, both through critical opinion and my own game time, that it's something else, also. Where the Resident Evil series is an action packed blockbuster of a thrill ride, similar to a movie like G.I. Joe with Zombies; Silent Hill is a much more thoughful and deeper experience, like Fight Club. While both movies would likely be filed under the Action category at your local video store, the two stand apart at opposite ends of the spectrum.

It's this deeper, more psychological approach to horror that drew me to Silent Hill, even causing me to skip over the copy of Resident Evil 4 I'd earlier purchased for Wii when it was on clearance. My original intent was to play the game on Halloween, as a replacement for the more traditional scary movies. Sadly, that did not come to pass, and it wasn't until the Silent Hill movie popped up in my Netflix queue that I managed to overcome my laziness. This brings us up to the previous weekend.

I started the Silent Hill 2 with my roommate watching me. I find it far more comfortable to view scary movies with a friend, and I felt that the same approach would be a good one for a scary game. My first reaction was that the controls were incomprehensible. They were arranged relative to my character, not my camera, like I'm used to. The fixed camera angles made moving a chore, but experimenting proved it was still easier than the alternate angle, which caused my character to veer unexpectedly with camera changes.

My next impression: man, it's foggy. I can barely see more than a foot or two in front of my character. (My actual comment at the time:  What is this, an N64 game?) I'm sure this was a conscious decision by the developers, though, and it worked. The dense fog obscures my view, making every step mysterious and tense, keeping any obstacles or enemies hidden from sight. Also, the fog lowers the draw distance. Though the game is obviously an early PS2 game, it looks great, partially because there's no need to propagate the screen with all those textures at once.

It was also about this time I realized Silent Hill 2 has no HUD. There is no on screen marker telling me what my current weapon is, or where my next objective will be, or my health status. It took me longer than I care to admit to realize that my controllers vibrations weren't merely my footsteps, but actually my heartbeat, indicating my poor health. Partly, that may be because I got the game used, and didn't have access to the manual. Either way, though, I find it to be a nice touch, adding to the immersion and realism of the experience.

Being a mystery game, I quickly got lost in the maze of a city which is Silent Hill. After about a half hour of wandering, I found a save point in a trailer and switched it off. A couple days later, however, I came back, and my experiences shifted dramatically. After wandering yet again, I came across the key to an apartment complex. Since every other pathway on my map seemed blocked, I went in, hoping to find a way through. It was here that I had to resort to GameFaqs for help. I know, I know, I should be ashamed of myself, but I would never have noticed the map or save area in the darkened interior. (Seriously, James, why couldn't you have gone after your wife in the day, or at least a clearer night?)

I did, however, notice the dramatic shift in the environment. It was dark. While outside the fog added a white-grey haze to the screen, in the apartments I encountered a deep darkness coating all but my closest surroundings. Adding to the darkness was the abject silence. There was no music accompanying me. In my experience, darkness and silence mean something spooky is threatening to pop out at me, jack-in-the-box style, any second. During a cutscene in which my character reached through a grate to grab a key, I got so freaked out I attempted to pause the show, only to instead skip over the scene and miss what might have been important exposition. I did the only thing I could do. I restarted. (After a few hours to cool down from the terror of nothing.)

Second time around, I was feeling better. I knew where to expect the pre-positioned baddies, where to find the flashlight, and which doors would work and which wouldn't. After watching the cutscene and discovering that the jack-in-the-box I had feared turned out to be a creepily innocent young girl, I continued through the halls. I reached a dead end, or so I thought. The music had come back, a panic-inducing melody that only worsened the fear the silence had brought. Retracing my steps, I heard the crackle from my radio, a tell-tale sign that a monster was near by. I readied my wooden plank (because I'm not going to waste bullets until I'm sure I have to) and stepped into the darkness.

Now, as I say, I've followed the series peripherally for some time. So, despite not playing the games, I've run across some minor spoilers. The split between a "real" and "nightmare" world, the idea that my eyes could be deceiving me, the fact that little girls are always creepy, and not to be trifled with, etc. So I recognized the figure standing before me. There he stood, staring at me from the other side of a metal bar gate. Pyramid Head. As I understand, he's something like the ultimate boss of the series, or at least Silent Hill 2. Here I was, only an hour into the game. What am I supposed to do? Taunt him? Shoot him? Run away? Instead, I ducked into the nearby room, thinking there may be a way to get through to the other side. I'd deal with Pyramid Head when I had to.

In apartment 208, I began work on my first puzzle. There was a clock that looked suspicious. I suppose I'll cut a long story short and admit I cheated myself by again looking on GameFaqs to find the solution. But in the course of the puzzle, I left 208, only to discover that Pyramid Head had left. As I wondered where exactly he'd gone to, I climbed into room 202, the 2nd part of my puzzle, and heard the incessant banging from upstairs. Again, a nice touch. My earlier research clued me in onto what was happening above me, but I tried to ignore the implied murderrape and continue fixing my clock.

I still don't know why 9:10 was the correct answer, but I made it through, and was relieved to find myself another save point. That is where I decided to stop for the evening. And, judging between the two separate experiences, I'm not sure I want to play alone again, if I can avoid it. Sure, it may spoil the mood a bit, but in my defense, Silent Hill 2 does an EXCELLENT job at creating a spooky mood, and while I admire their craftsmanship, in order for me to get through the game, I'm going to need that mood spoiled a bit.

You have to remember, after all: I sceamed at the candelabra enemies in Ghostbusters.

Anyway, it's past 11 here, which means its tomorrow in my birth state of New Jersey, which technically means it's now my birthday! YaY! To celebrate, I'm going to sleep now.


How Did This Happen?

I signed into my Zune.net page the other day, and this is what I found:

Seriously. WTF?

I know, I know, it's bad enough Miley Cyrus is on my Zune profile to begin with. (By the way, welcome back to my blog. I know you missed it.) But 2.7k plays? More than double that of her nearest competitor. What the hell, Zune shuffle?

For the record, artists number 2 and 3 are the soundtrack authors for the new Transformers and Kingdom Hearts, respectively. The way THEY got so high is because I would tell my Zune to play every song by the artist on shuffle, then tell my radio to shut off after 90 minutes. So a lot of those plays I didn't listen to. I was assuming the same was true for Miley's phenomenal rise in popularity.

I guess I should explain why Miley Cyrus is on my Zune at all. You see, I'm weird. I like happy, poppy, stupid music. I realize as I'm listening to it that it's stupid, but it's still fun. Just like Mortal Kombat will always be one of my favorite movies, despite it being remarkably bad as films go. (MK: Annihilation is another story... :\) Couple this with my job at Target as the Electronics specialist. I stand at a crossroads of childrens multi-media marketing, and Hannah Montana often comes to the forefront there-of. Within 100 feet of where I usually work, I can find you Hannah Montana CD's, Hannah Montana DVD's, a couple Hannah Montana Blu-Ray Discs, a few Hannah Montana video games, Hannah Montana toys, and, depending on the season, Hannah Montana Halloween costumes, Easter decorations, Valentines cards, or Christmas Ornaments. Oh, and there's also a large bank of TVs that blare out her latest single occasionally.

So, I had to make a decision: either I hate Miley Cyrus, and go crazy in a world that continues to reward her sub-par musical talents; or I accept her as the newest greatest starlet in the world, and love her unconditionally like a tween loves glittery vampires. And so I chose the middle path. I accept that she has some talent, and is portraying a totally ridiculous premise, and also I'm a little crazy anyway.

Yes, I have nearly all of Hannah Montana's discography, if only because I have a Zune Pass. It's FREE, and its infectious. So I would put that on to go to sleep to on a few nights. It's silly, and that's exactly why I love it. Because the idea of a pop-star with a secret identity is about the most ridiculous concept I've seen from Disney since I first realized Mickey's nemesis Pete was, in fact, a cat. (They don't really advertise that fact, so it hit me somewhat late. See: Kingdom Hearts.)

That was my assumption, anyway. I did the math. At 2775 total plays, and with a total song count of 75, that means I played each of her songs around 37 times. I am flabbergast. I swear I didn't. I promise. Maybe MAYYYYBE ten times.

Curse you, Smart DJ. You've turned my love of Natasha Bedingfield against me.

So ya, this thing is back. Yay for random strings of text. Speaking of which, this thing, too. I'm gonna put all my fiction writing there, and leave this one for my daily observations of weird, but non-fictional, events (I swear I couldn't make up 2775 Miley Cyrus plays if I tried.) So if you're into that, enjoy it. And if not, um....


P.S. I went back into Zune and merged the songs listed under "Hannah Montana" into "Miley Cyrus", bringing the total up to 88. If you're keeping track.

P.P.S. This doesn't mean I've forgiven "Ache-y Break-y Heart". Oh no. Not by a long shot. >: (


I Can't Think Of A Good Enough Pun Dealing With The Play "Rent"

...cuz you see, it's Lent. I'm on my third Sunday off, and I'm starting to crack. The persistent wi-fi around me from my neighbor makes ignoring the Internet far more based on will-power than I was anticipating, with my "Just unplug the modem and you're back in 1992" plan of action. My life does revolve around the Internet. That's the scary thing I've come to realize. I get lost in mindless, mind-numbing tasks when I get online. Reading blog-feeds, commenting on Facebook notes, watching funny videos... And I've been cheating on it, I'm ashamed to say. Not just going to public WiFi points (which are technically not out of my way, and neccessary to finish my homework besides), but in my own bed. Curse you, netbook! Curse you and your convenience.

I've got about 10 minutes of legitimate online time left, so I might as get to it. The real reason I decided to start this post was to talk about an idea of mine. It's a combination of the black box from this video I just saw (above) and my eternal quest for a personal audio soundboard. Essentially it would be a device constantly recording what goes on around me, not only for posterity, but also for personal amusement. It would support immediate playback, much like a TiVo's "back 8 seconds" feature, to play back recent events, as well as the ability to record a number of other sound effects, which I could use to punctuate daily life.

I can't tell you how many times I felt like quoting something, but knew that the quote itself would not be enough. I wanted there to be a way to spit out the actual sound I was thinking of. And I guess this is it. Okay, 3 minutes to shut down time, so I guess I'll talk to you all next week. I'm not gonna be on ACC campus because its spring break. I know, you'll all miss me. ^_^!



By the way, for those of you who are curious.

Canada was cold and it sucked. I won't be going back soon. And definitely not in the Winter.

Though I'm glad I went in the first place. I mean, yea, if I could do it over I WOULDN'T, but that's because I have the experiece of doing it myself, which I am proud of. Next stop: BotCon.

For now though, I'm gonna check if they have a new Un-Skippable yet, then go to bed.

Awww, they don't.

One Last One For The Night

I know I've made like 5 of these today, but I had a few closing notes before I went to bed, and I figured, if I committed to writing them all down, I'd have a better shot at sticking to them if I committed them to paper. But I suppose the Internet works too.

Firstly: someone bought Jazz for less than $20K! I'm so jealous. I guess that since they're making a new movie this year, they'll have more cars available for sale soon? I totally want a Transformers: ROTF movie prop for Christmas.

Also, did I mention I signed up for classes today? Well, I didn't. I did it yesterday. But I'm not sure if it'll stick, since they told me I wouldn't be able to until Tuesday. Since I was working Tuesday, I added the classes to like a queue -or something? I dunno?- and was showing my mom how she could sign me up when the time came. Instead, when I clicked the button she was supposed to click, expecting it to tell me "NO", it told me "YES". So I paid and am now enrolled in 4 classes. I may have to drop out of one, though. I managed to not notice that Philosophy 101 was scheduled for MONDAYS as well as Wednesdays at 9AM. I work Mondays at 9AM. So yea, if I can't work something out, I'll probably drop that class.


I feel weird sometimes... I feel like I should have accomplishments recognized that are merely what is expected of me. Like taking four college classes a semester. No big thing for most people, but I feel like for me it's an achievement. Even if I'm probably going to drop one. Cuz hey, I'm still working nearly 40 hrs a week. Speaking of, the other day, my boss pulled me aside and told me to stop coming in late because I had been, like 10+ minutes (I actually was like TWO HOURS LATE last Tuesday morning, through various faults of my own). So Friday, I made a special effort to show up on time. 3:45. (I have no idea why this was the time, but okay). And when I saw my boss that day, I ALMOST went "Hey, I made it in on time today!" like it was something to be proud of. I thought that conversation through, though, and realized his reaction would have probably been along the lines of "yeah, that's what we PAY you for. And that's what everyone else does. You're not special."

I am special. I know I am. In my own little ways, I'm awesome all over. And I'm really proud that I am who I am. I'm failing at the traditional life story-arc, or whatever, but I'm failing SPECTACULARLY, and I'm having a blast doing it, too. And I'm really glad that I have the support of all my friends and family to do so. But I'm trying. I promise.

When I say "I'm special" (which isn't something I do out loud much, but here it felt appropriate), I'm kinda reminded of the same mantra held by those people who had to ride the short bus to school. Not to knock disabled people, or differently abled, or whatever they would like to be called. They're nice enough in general, and I mean no offense. But that's not what I mean when I say it. Though just saying it DOES remind me of my one weird little paranoia. One I've never told anyone until now. Here goes.

I worry that I'm socially inept or otherwise mentally handicapped in some way that I can't notice, and everyone has been told to ignore it and treat me nice. I'm fairly confident this isn't the case, but every once in a while I'll say something that'll come out garbled, and I KNOW I got tongue tied saying it, and it'll just get ignored or something.

Of course, I don't let it get to me. My other big worry is that my OTHER bizarre paranoia IS getting to me. I'm afraid of being attacked by inanimate objects. It started out as just seeing faces in objects, usually when I was alone in the bathroom, and imagining them with evil intentions, or just suddenly snapping and biting at me. Over time it's gotten worse. Chairs I'd pass would seem ready to run over towards me snarling. Now, it seems like every time I find something lying on the ground in the wrong area at Target, it's got some malicious intentions. I once very carefully did not allow several pieces of wrapping I found on the floor touch each other, fearing that if they did, the spirit within them would be reborn, and its first act would be to bite my hand off.

Again, in my head I know this is all nonsense. I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. My ultimate goal is to write some form of fiction in which inanimate objects are coming to life for no real reason, and conquer the fear that way. What's truly strange is that I'm not afraid of Transformers. Self-aware, self-motivated cars, trucks, planes and tape-decks don't freak me out. I guess because they're clearly robots. Or, in the case of the Beast Wars/Machines saga, they're animals, and animals are supposed to be self-aware and self-motivated. I've got no explanation for it, really.

Wow, I wrote a lot more than I thought I was gonna. Good night.

About Me

"Hey, my name is Greg. I'm six feet tall, I've got no sense of smell, and I've been sober for nearly 24 years."

Accurate, no?


If you've been checking my blog religiously, you should go back and check again; I just added a post dated for Dec 30th. Yay flexible time-space continuum.

While I'm here, I'd like to express my displeasure at the quality of my Netflix instant feed on my X-Box. It usually works fine, but now that I've got Windows 7 up, its all gone to shoot.

Eh, while Ive got this box here, I might as well...


"Random Encounters"

Red Three checked the clock. Thirty seconds until the cruiser Discovery came out of the slipstream tunnel over Io. Then Red squadron's fighters would be ejected out into vacuum and possibly the biggest dogfight in Three's long career flying with the group. A quick final check showed everything to be in order, both with his own craft and all his squad-mates. Three closed his eyes and waited for the eventual hum that would signal sub-light speeds.

The hum never came. Instead a loud explosion awoke Red Three from his meditation. His instincts took over at that point. As soon as the slipstream outside shifted to solid matter, he jammed the accelerator and blasted out of the hangar bay. A quick glance showed that only a few of his companions did the same. Reds Seven, Eight and Eleven had made it out in one piece. The rest of the squadron never emerged from the growing fireball that was the Discovery.

Red Three flicked on the comm. “Red squad, form up on me. I'm taking point.” As the four fighters assumed a diamond formation, Three struggled to collect his thoughts. He knew random things like this were bound to happen, and he simply had to adapt. Hoping his voice sounded more confident than he felt, he continued: “There's no time to worry about what happened to Discovery. I'm sure the field techs will have plenty of answers once we've secured Io Station. We've got a mission to do, and you know we can do it. Three out.”

Under normal circumstances, the view through Three's cockpit would have seemed pretty, or even beautiful. Beneath them, the moon of Io was lit up with the cities of the colony buzzing about in the night, while in front, Jupiter had begun to rise over the horizon. Above lay only the endless stars twinkling gently.

But the real gem, in Three's eyes, hung dead center in his sights. Io Station, the moon's primary defense and communication nerve center. If they could disable that, the entire moon would be put effectively out of the war, or better yet, open for reclaiming by the Solar Federation.

The trick, as his commander had put it, was in disabling the station without destroying it. Simply destroying it would be a piece of cake. Line up a squadron, launch a volley of torpedoes, watch the station fall victim to gravity. But destroying the station would only let all of Io's already restless defenders off their metaphorical leashes. As it was, all the ground installations around the moon were remote-controlled by the orbiting station. If the stations communications relays could be frozen without going offline, they whole moon's defences would be locked in “sleep mode.”

That was the theory, anyway. Three never was much for the technical side of these operations. He just needed to know when and where to shoot. Going into this mess, he'd been confident that was going to simply be flying cover, while the wing leaders did all the technical stuff. Instead now he was left in charge of the only wing, trying to remember where exactly the service hatch was and which button would launch the drone needed to sabotage the array.

Before he could get too lost in thought, Three's radar began to ping as enemy combatants entered range. The once pristine vista had erupted with silver and green specks of Colonial Resistance fighters. It wasn't enough to blow up two thirds of Red Squad before the battle began, these Collies were out for the whole she-bang. Three decided he wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

“Red group: break left and pick up targets of opportunity!” As the fighters swerved left Three barely glanced a volley of laser fire they had narrowly sidestepped and breathed a sigh of relief inwardly. “Stay close and try to work your way towards the station.”

For the next few minutes Three saw the space above Io as a swirling, swarming mess of confusion. He had only split seconds to react each time a fighter zipped through his targeting scanner. He counted five kills confirmed before his screen began beeping for his attention. His targeting computer had located the entrance to the service passage.

“Red Group, form up on me. We're only gonna get one chance at this. Eleven, you and I will head straight into the tunnel. Seven and Eight are to wait outside the entrance and make sure no baddies come in after us. Got it?” A trio of affirmatives rang out through Three's headset. “Okay good, let's gun it!”

The formation turned directly for the station, and accelerated as fast as they could towards their goal. Three focused his shield strength toward his aft in preparation for any unwanted tailgaters, and set his orbital mine to its most narrow sensitivity. With any luck he could drop it in behind him and halt any unwanted company in the shaft.

As Three's fighter pulled away from the melee, he felt a sense of calm about him. Again his view was unobstructed by the chaos of battle, and he saw only the calm certainty of heavenly bodies hovering in place. Jupiter had now moved to take up almost the entire sky in front of him. Then, suddenly, it exploded.

“What the hell just happened!?” Three spat.

Eleven decided it wasn't a rhetorical question and answered with a helpful “I dunno, sir.”

Red Three watched in horror as, in the space where Jupiter once was, a cloud of vapor began congealing into a singularity: a black hole. Even now the pull of its super-dense gravity was tugging Io out of its orbit. Io station dramatically tumbled away from Three and disappeared into the black hole's maw. And Red squadron, or what was left of it, now found themselves locked in a dive they could not pull out of, headed straight for oblivion.

At times like this, when times looked their worst, great men have often uttered their most poignant, elequent, final words. “Fuuuuuuuuuuck,” Three groaned, as he stared at the black abyss growing before him. The speedometer on his screen began scrolling out of control as he was sucked into a single particle. There was a moment impressive physics to gawk at as, for a mere instant, the nose of his craft seemed to stretch from the view-screen on into infinity, and then.... blackness.

The black cockpit opened to reveal a pair of pink pigtails attached to a head smiling back in at the pilot. “Hi Gary! Have fun?”

“No”, grumbled Gary as he pulled himself out of the simulator. “I was, but then I got sucked into black hole. Did you have something to do with that, Zirc?”

Zirconia smiled at her friend. “A pilot's gotta learn think on their feet. You never know what could happen in the middle of a battle, right?”

“I know that the planet Jupiter is never gonna go supernova and turn into a quantum singularity. That's just retarded.”

“Well how do you know? It could. Maybe.”

“No, it couldn't.”

“See Gary, this is why you're stuck on as a bell boy on this stupid cruise. You've got such a narrow mind.”

“No, Zirconia.”Gary couldn't believe he had to say this. “Planets do not explode.”

“Krypton did.”

“Krypton was made of Kryptonite. That stuff's bad news no matter what's involved.”

“Well, maybe Jupiter has some Kryptonite too?”

“No, it doesn't. We've checked.”

“We who.”

“I dunno. Scientists. Besides, Kryptonite is fictional, as in, not real.”

“Sure, Gary, and you're whole 'Solar Federation' is as real as it gets.”

'How did this conversation get this far in the first place?' Gary wondered to himself. To Zirconia, he simply said “Just shut up.”

The two walked in silence together for about ten feet before Zirconia had a brilliant insight.

“Does the Hamburglar work for McDonalds?”


“Cuz if he does then he'd get free food, so he shouldn't have to be stealing it all, right?”

“What in the Sky are you talking about?”

“C'mon Gary, I'm hungry. Let's grab a bite.”


Yay bizarre fiction. I hope to continue this work in the future.

Christianity Makes No Sense

I love playing Devil's Advocate. Even when my 'Devil' turns out to be God Himself.

Warning, a lot of this makes no sense, but I found it amusing none-the-less.
(07:00:50 PM) Mider: were to find a muslim
(07:00:53 PM) Mider: i wihs i could find a muslim wife
(07:01:32 PM) effervescence: why?
(07:01:38 PM) effervescence: would you convert to islam?
(07:01:47 PM) Mider: nope
(07:01:54 PM) Mider: cause they arent disrespectful like american women
(07:02:22 PM) effervescence: but a good muslim woman would only want to marry a good muslim man
(07:02:35 PM) Mider: why
(07:02:37 PM) Mider: supposidly
(07:02:42 PM) Mider: muslims are suppose to love jews and christians
(07:02:46 PM) effervescence: because you're an infidel
(07:03:09 PM) Mider: nope
(07:03:14 PM) Mider: they have to love christians and jews
(07:03:34 PM) effervescence: yeah, but not in a husband/wife sort of love
(07:03:44 PM) Mider: dude
(07:03:46 PM) Mider: im not interested
(07:03:47 PM) effervescence: its in the same way that all christians are told to love their neighbors
(07:03:48 PM) Mider: in some bossy bitch
(07:03:50 PM) Mider: im sorry
(07:03:54 PM) Mider: this is the land of the free and all that
(07:03:56 PM) effervescence: i understand
(07:03:57 PM) Mider: but im not interseted
(07:04:05 PM) Mider: yes you understand but not really
(07:04:11 PM) Mider: cause understanding aint gonna get me a women like that
(07:04:25 PM) effervescence: well i dunno
(07:05:19 PM) effervescence: i think theres a difference between showing respect out of love and showing total obedience out of blind faith
(07:05:28 PM) Mider: what are you talking about?
(07:05:33 PM) Mider: you believe in a God who killed davids son for no reason
(07:05:41 PM) effervescence: no i dont
(07:05:45 PM) Mider: and who killed alot of male infants just for the fact that they were infnants
(07:06:21 PM) effervescence: i prefer to think of that as a grey area of my faith
(07:06:28 PM) Mider: right
(07:06:31 PM) Mider: well
(07:06:35 PM) Mider: i prefer to believe in the entire bible
(07:06:36 PM) Mider: or none of it
(07:07:29 PM) effervescence: but you're okay marrying a woman who not only believes Jesus wasn't the son of God, but in fact believes you are doomed to eternal punishment because you do? i find it hard to believe that woman could respect you
(07:07:45 PM) Mider: she's a muslim
(07:07:47 PM) Mider: she has to respect her husband
(07:07:55 PM) Mider: eternal damnation?
(07:07:56 PM) Mider: dude
(07:07:57 PM) effervescence: she has to respect all muslim men
(07:08:00 PM) Mider: i dont know if God is real ok?
(07:08:26 PM) effervescence: so then you don't know if you believe all of the bible?
(07:08:39 PM) effervescence: the point is that SHE DOES
(07:08:49 PM) Mider: i dont care what she does or doesnt
(07:08:50 PM) effervescence: Quran, not bible, but the point stands
(07:09:09 PM) Mider: i dont care dude
(07:09:15 PM) effervescence: but because she believes what she believes, whether you like it or not, SHE WILL NOT RESPECT YOU
(07:09:21 PM) Mider: she better respect me
(07:09:21 PM) effervescence: this is what I'm trying to get across
(07:09:46 PM) effervescence: now, asian women, theres a group of women who treat men out of a cultural obligation rather than a religious one
(07:09:50 PM) effervescence: find one of them
(07:10:00 PM) Mider: ive met asian women
(07:10:02 PM) Mider: they arent that nice
(07:10:13 PM) effervescence: the nice ones are
(07:10:41 PM) Mider: you really dont believe that God?
(07:10:47 PM) Mider: killed 200 million people in the flood of noah?
(07:10:53 PM) Mider: or that He had all the male children killed by moses?
(07:10:58 PM) Mider: or that he killed davids baby boy?
(07:11:19 PM) effervescence: i managed to miss a lot of the david story
(07:11:38 PM) Mider: david killed a man for his wife
(07:11:45 PM) effervescence: but i know that when he did what he did, it was for the greater good
(07:11:45 PM) Mider: because he slept with her and got her pregnant
(07:11:50 PM) Mider: to cover it up
(07:11:54 PM) Mider: he had the man killed in war
(07:11:59 PM) Mider: so then God said ima punish you
(07:12:02 PM) Mider: and God killed the baby boy they had
(07:12:09 PM) Mider: and then God also turned davids OTHER son absolon
(07:12:10 PM) Mider: against david
(07:12:13 PM) Mider: right the greater good?
(07:12:17 PM) Mider: a dead baby is for the greater good?
(07:12:23 PM) effervescence: yes
(07:12:30 PM) Mider: wow
(07:12:34 PM) Mider: what a great God you got there man
(07:12:35 PM) Mider: and here it hought
(07:12:38 PM) Mider: the bible said
(07:12:43 PM) Mider: no punishing hte kids for the sins of hte parents
(07:12:54 PM) effervescence: they aren't being punished
(07:13:02 PM) effervescence: they're being killed as sacrifice
(07:13:02 PM) Mider: um what is killing them then?
(07:13:09 PM) Mider: oh a sacrifice
(07:13:09 PM) Mider: so now God sacrifices people?
(07:13:19 PM) Mider: wow
(07:13:26 PM) effervescence: he used to
(07:13:30 PM) Mider: wow
(07:13:33 PM) Mider: what a great religion
(07:13:36 PM) effervescence: im pretty sure he stopped doing it involuntarily
(07:13:42 PM) Mider: God doesnt change
(07:13:45 PM) Mider: thats what the bible says
(07:14:01 PM) effervescence: god changes
(07:14:04 PM) Mider: nope
(07:14:05 PM) effervescence: god is infinite
(07:14:06 PM) Mider: it says he never changes
(07:14:08 PM) Mider: it says
(07:14:15 PM) effervescence: god can do whatever he wanst
(07:14:15 PM) Mider: and i qoute "god is the same today tommorow and yesturday"
(07:14:19 PM) Mider: nope God cant lie
(07:14:37 PM) effervescence: he can make a boulder so large that he cannot lift it
(07:14:42 PM) effervescence: then he can lift it anyway
(07:14:50 PM) Mider: dude
(07:14:52 PM) Mider: God cant lie
(07:14:55 PM) Mider: or Sin
(07:14:56 PM) effervescence: yeah he can
(07:15:00 PM) Mider: NO DUDE
(07:15:00 PM) Mider: OK?
(07:15:02 PM) effervescence: he's infinite
(07:15:04 PM) Mider: OK?
(07:15:04 PM) effervescence: omnipotent
(07:15:13 PM) effervescence: so...
(07:15:20 PM) effervescence: the book god wrote says that god can't lie
(07:15:21 PM) effervescence: is that possibly
(07:15:23 PM) Mider: BUT YOUR NOT
(07:15:23 PM) effervescence: a LIE?
(07:15:37 PM) Mider: do you know what God says about removing and adding to His bible?
(07:15:46 PM) effervescence: yeah
(07:15:51 PM) effervescence: im not saying someone else did it
(07:15:52 PM) Mider: it says whoever takes from this book i will take from him his place in the book of life
(07:15:56 PM) Mider: and it says
(07:15:57 PM) Mider: if you add
(07:15:57 PM) effervescence: im saying GOD LIED ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO LIE
(07:16:03 PM) Mider: wow
(07:16:05 PM) effervescence: which he can do
(07:16:06 PM) Mider: so you calling God a liar?
(07:16:09 PM) Mider: wow
(07:16:11 PM) Mider: ok
(07:16:13 PM) effervescence: if the shoe fits
(07:16:16 PM) Mider: and you cal yourself a christian?
(07:16:23 PM) effervescence: occasionally
(07:16:27 PM) Mider: oh man
(07:16:27 PM) Mider: bye
(07:16:29 PM) Mider: im done talking to you
(07:16:33 PM) effervescence: i call myself Greg
(07:16:34 PM) effervescence: ^_^
(07:16:45 PM) Mider: i call you hypocrite
(07:16:46 PM) Mider: bye
(07:17:14 PM) effervescence: why?
(07:17:21 PM) Mider: cause thats what you are
(07:17:22 PM) Mider: bye
(07:17:24 PM) Mider: stop talking to me
(07:17:28 PM) effervescence: fine, sorry


It's been a while since I posted to this. Haven't had TOO much to say (though I did write a short story / cold-open-to-a-novel-or-something I should post here soon). Just thought I'd drop in and let any faithful readers know that I'm gonna be offline for I'm gonna be using Lent as an opportunity to wean myself off my Internet addiction, if I truly have one. My reason for writing this so early (Lent doesn't start until February 25th this year, over a month away), aside from giving everyone early notice, is that I'm trying to stock up on ways to keep entertained.

I'm going to use my break to catch up on some reading, and possibly enjoy Netflix (I'd better make sure my queue is good for a while). Also, I plan on exercising, concentrating on schoolwork (I'm taking four classes this semester! AGH!) and maybe learning to cook, via My Personal Trainer: Cooking for DS. Speaking of, I plan on working through some of my (non-online) video game backlog. Item's on the chopping board are Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Kingdom Hearts: re: Chain of Memories for PS2, Pokemon Ranger and The World Ends With You on DS, Grand Theft Auto 4, Half Life 2 its episodes 1+2 for X-Box 360, and Resident Evil 4 for Wii. I doubt I'll have time to get through all of them, but I should be able to make at least a sizable dent.

I've also got, as I hinted at, a stack of books sitting here, and movies too... I'm fairly certain that I've got plenty to entertain me. That said, if anyone has any suggestions on stuff I should read, watch, or play, I'm open to suggestions. So drop me a line. Also, if anyone wants to keep in touch with me, I will be keeping my cell phone with me at pretty much all times, so seriously. Drop. Me. A. Line.

I'll probably update my Twitter and Facebook from my phone, as I see fit, so you won't miss me, I'm sure. But I expect to see lots of mail when I get back.


First Class Blogging

Wonderwall. Jesus Christ what a weird movie. I'd never heard of it before last night. Apparently George Harrison (the Beatle) had a hand in making it. It was presented to me in as one of those 60's drug flicks, so I went in expecting to watch a 90 minute acid trip on film and, being sober, get bored out of my mind. I was very pleasantly surprised.

I was going to put a lot of effort into describing the way the movie seemed to mirror my own life, which surprised and scared me (seemed a little too coincidental) but I've become distracted. You see, as I write this, I'm on American Airlines flight 2040 from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Toronto. It's very exciting, because, along with visiting a friend for the first time (pretty much the part of my life that the movie seemed to mirror), this is the first time I've ever gone on a vacation totally alone.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey just started playing on my Zune. I'm wearing spiffy noise-canceling headphones that turn the usual roar of the jet engines into a quiet low buzz. The guy in front of me is watching one of the SAW movies on his laptop, and the TV is showing “How I Met Your Mother,” which I need to cue up on Netflix, because I enjoy Neil Patrick Harris. But the really cool thing about this trip, so far, is that when prompted at the check-in if I wanted to upgrade to first class, I was the only person there who could say “no” since I'd paid for the trip myself.

I said yes. Best $140 I've spent in a while. Holy Shit they brought me ice cream. I'd take a picture of it to show you, but the real impressive part was the huge tray they brought out for the dinner. A Caesar Salad, cheese filled tortillini, and coke in a glass. Not a plastic cup. A fucking glass. I finally know what that great thespian Will Smith was talking about with his semi-immortal words:
First class, yo, this is bad.
Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass?
Is this what the people of Bel-Air livin' like?
Hmmm. This might be alright.

It is. Indeed this is alright.

My netbook is running low on batteries. I hope I can get to a good stopping point. Actually, I guess it's not too low. Not bad compared to the last one I had, with a battery life close to half of a half-hour. Seriously, I don't know why everyone doesn't have one of these things. It can fit in my pocket, has Wi-Fi, runs ubuntu like a dream (but then, what doesn't?)... it's the perfect PC. I just need to figure out how to get email synchronized between this and my desktop PC. Any suggestions.

I've got no idea when this will go up. I'm sure Canada has internet access, like the civilized world does, but it may be hidden. Or I may need to consult a moose to get it. This I cannot do. I give my solemn word, now, in this comfortable chair, eating my cheesecake-infused ice cream, at thirty-thousand feet, that I shall not use hoofed animals for tech support.

The line must be drawn here.


Been A Month

I should be going to bed, but I had two funny thoughts that hit me tonight, and I want to write them down before I go to sleep.

Firstly, I wanted to show you this video of the new game Mirror's Edge, as a point of reference. Basically, it's a first person platformer. You run and jump across rooftops or various other surfaces in a style reminiscent of free-running, as you can see. You know who else is good at running and jumping across various surfaces in a video game?


I'd love to see a Mario version of Mirror's Edge. Replace the lithe arms and legs of Faith with Mario's pudgy cartoonish gloves and shoes. Punctuate the jumps and landings with the accented shouts of "Wahoo!" and "Yee-hah" and "Ya! A-ha-ha!" And, for the jumps he doesn't make, "Mama-MIIIA!" I just think it would be a fun mod. Someone needs to get on it. I'm planning on buying it for Xbox, but if someone makes a mod for the PC version, I'm definitely getting that one as well.

And on to door number two, which I hinted at on my Twitter feed (up in the top right of this page). No video to go with James Bond (but if you're nice I'll fish you up a video of the awesome theme song for the new movie), cuz I think you all know who he is. So my question was this. He drives fast, more often than not. I have to wonder, what happens if a cop sees him and tries to pull him over, somewhat like they did in Batman Begins. Aside from films (Batman included), 100% of all televised police chases end in the suspect being apprehended by the police. So, what would happen if the suspect was in fact a secret agent carrying a vital document / person to headquarters?

My first thought was that someone higher up (e.g., M)would be able to get on the horn and call the persuing officer and tell him, "Hey, leave that guy alone, its okay, he works for us" or something. But, if it got out of hand, and we had an OJ Simpson style car chase on our hands, where theres a dozen cop cars following one Aston Martin with a helicoptor overhead sending out footage live to every TV in the nation... Well, it would be considerably harder to explain away than that, wouldn't it?

I'd like to see that happen in a James Bond movie, I guess. Super suave international secret agent has to deal with something as mundane as a speeding ticket from a local traffic cop. Even if it was just a bit part in a film, it would be fun to watch.

Okay, one last big about the video for the song I linked to above. I'm just now watching it, and I've got to say this. Jack White (who I guess is Jack Black's mortal nemesis?) looks almost like the albino asmatic supervillian from Casino Royale, LeChiffee, while Alicia Keyes appears to be wearing red makeup that gives the impression that she's been crying. Weird. I'm not sure what to think about all this.



It seems pretty obvious, when you think about it. The Angels, I mean. It was a brilliant marketing strategy. ANJ Medical started with life-saving prosthetics and internal hardware, and the new survivors were dubbed "ANJels." It was cute, I guess; people brought back to their loved ones from the brink of death, like angels.

It didn't take long before the Angels started showing up in the news. Formerly wheelchair-bound people running faster than Olympic Atheletes with artificial legs. A mother with artificial lungs was able to hold her breath for hours at a time. A blind man with ANJ eyes could see better than the best marine sharpshooter. It wasn't long before stories like those started the push for ANJ devices as consumer goods.

Spreading into the free market lead to Angel Technology to expand on itself exponentially. There were ANJ implants for every imaginable purpose. Cybernetic limbs made for increased speed and strength. Artificial organs worked more efficiently than the natural ones could ever hope to. Chips inserted in your brain boosted concentration to genius levels. Soon anybody who could afford it could have whatever sort of "super powers" they wanted.

It wasn't long before the remaining natural human beings were made into something of a relic. I watched the "special" Olympics surpass the regular Olympics in terms of both records and profit. The entire nation rushed to the support of our first Cyborg President. Naturals became relegated to a punchline, almost before they started acting like the backwards extremists they were made out to be.

I grew up with video games. I can't remember a time when they weren't a viable form of entertainment. I raised children who couldn't imagine a world without cellphones or the Internet. And then I got to watch as my daughter brought my first grandson into a world where consumer cybernetics weren't just acceptable, they were the norm. An entire generation of Angels. With man-kind pushing their evolution forward so drastically with technology, it seems the only real surprise was how fast and how hard our biology would swing back.

The Angels seem obvious in hindsight. It's the Demons that still shock me.


Reverse Psychology

I just got a strange call that was pretty obviously paid for by the Republican candidate for Texas House of Representatives. Or at least, some local branch of the Republican party. The interviewer, who didn't seem too thrilled to be interviewing me (I think he had a cold), asked first about how well I knew the candidates at a federal and local level, which ones I would likely be voting for, and which issues I valued most. Normally, I consider myself to be a fairly liberal guy. I'm not a hippie, and I like to think I have a relatively decent view of the world, I'm not just an idealist, but I am at least somewhat idealistic. I'd like to think that those of us who have more should give to those of us less fortunate. I think nothing of pulling $10 out of each pay check to go to my company's United Way fund. I'm not going to miss that $10, and it could make a huge difference in the lives others, so I give it freely. 

Anyway, long story short, I'm a liberal, and currently I'm voting democratic because I'm very displeased with the way the Republican leadership has sent our country since, well basically, since I was born. Interestingly, if the election were held tomorrow, I said I'd be voting for Libertarian Bob Barr, not because I want him to be president, but because I feel like our country needs a legitimate third party and the only way we're going to get one is by supporting one. Since Texas is pretty much an electoral shoe-in for Republicans, voting for a Democrat won't do much besides skew the numbers a bit. But it could be a big boost to the third party.

Then, after me telling the guy that the two biggest issues I have reguarding Texas politics were improving traffic conditions and improving public education, he proceeded to list me several facts lifted from the public record about the two candidates for the Texas Legislature in my district. It didn't take me long to notice that he was practically reading a Republican ad at me. I answered truthfully that each of the facts he read made me less likely to vote for the Democrat and more for the Republican (I can't even remember their names...), but at the end I told him, no, I'm still voting Democratic, just because this call is such a blatant waste of my time and insult to my intelligence.

Now I'm kinda wondering if that was the point all along... Maybe it was the Democrats trying to make me agry at Republicans... /shrugs

The point is that none of the facts outweighed my initial reason for voting (D) in the first place: I don't want the Republicans in power. I'm sure that by herself, the republican is a nice woman and would make an excellent representative, but she's not by herself.

I don't get angry at people. I get frustrated with things.