Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty-Heaven - Not the Year of the Bore

          To hell with the drafts, I'm starting next year with an up-to-date blog. Even if this means deleting all but the drafts I manage to finish tonight there will be no incomplete posts by midnight. There are only two drafts I care about completing anyway: the much delayed conclusion to Smoke and Mirrors and the extended comparison of sex and driving that I thought up on the drive to see my brother from another mother. Before I can get to either of those, though, I feel like reflecting on the year as it winds to a close.

            We’ll go over the fun stuff first. Notable games of the year for me were Skyrim (hands down the best game out this year), Dead Island(not as good as the hype had me expecting, but still engrossing), and Arkham City. There were likely more, but those were the ones I see sitting on the shelf nearby that I particularly enjoyed.

            Movies this year is a more difficult choice, as I spent much of the early part of the year in the theaters. I was disappointed that Transformers 3 didn’t include Unicron as Michael Bay had stated it would after the release of number 2, but it was still a solid movie if you didn’t expect anything more from it then explosions and action. The Hangover 2 followed the exact same recipe as the first one, but once again you don’t go into a movie like that expecting depth. Since I listed three games I’ll add Rise of the Planet of the Apes to round out this list. If nothing else, it was nice to watch Draco Malfoy come to a shocking end.
         I think the only book I read that came out this year was The Wise Man’s Fear and it was amazing. It’s quite a daunting project for the casual reader at nearly 1000 pages, but there is nothing left to be desired in this sequel to The Name of the Wind. I have two hardcover first editions that I’m sure will be worth a healthy sum( the first editions of the NotW certainly is going for a high price), but even then I’m not sure I’ll part with either. I’d also heavily recommend Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry, but you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for that one. I can’t really count that one since what I read was essentially an ARC (Advance Reader Copy). I’m behind on my reading, I know. Maybe I’ll get caught up next year.

           Now onto the dear diary aspect of this entry; it’s time for the personal stuff.

           One year ago I was battling, and losing horrible, depression. My ex was still living with me after having broken our engagement of three years and it was not fun times. Her son, whom I still consider to be my own even after everything she put me through, was on the coast with his biological father. The ex and I had agreed to be friends, but I’m sure everyone reading this had been there and knows just how awkward it is. Especially when her definition of friendship seemed to be me taking care of her ever whim while she answered with bitchiness and hostility. I knew there was no way the arrangement would work, but I was determined to endure it for the same reason I stayed with her throughout everything – my son. I would have done anything to remain a part of his life.

           That was a weakness she capitalized on even after she finally moved out of my house. He was with me a minimum of 4 days a week and we enjoyed every minute of it. I blew up my Facebook profile with pictures and videos of us playing and having a blast together. I’ll admit I even took him along on dates but I had little choice when she always had a reason not to watch him when it was her turn. It was during this time I met Pinky, who is the best female friend a guy can have. I should have seen the writing on the wall when the ex started to show angry toward her son talking about Pinky all the time. I refused to believe she was capable of hurting her son by taking me out of his life though, and I ignored all the signs. Yet one month after she moved out, a married man moved in with her and she found herself without need of me as a free 24/7 babysitter. She picked him up on day for his turn to stay with her, and she never let me see or talk to him again.

           Mere hours after receiving the text that I was no longer needed to watch him I was sitting in a jail cell with a visiting friend in another state. Those twelve hours in the drunk tank(I was completely sober, unfortunately, that’s just where they were throwing everyone that night), were spent in boredom and reflection. It wasn’t my first time spending a few hours behind bars, but this was much different than the time my brother and I shared a cell singing “I Shot the Sheriff” just to listen to the echo. The charges were trespassing, which we got dismissed because the cops liked me, and open container which I took the bullet for since the owner of the vehicle and alcohol was 19. End result: a couple hundred dollars gone and a lesson learned. The lesson being don’t trespass on the estate of a man that owns a good portion of North Carolina and is rumored to have mob connections on his payroll. That’s right boys and girls, I was stupid enough to explore the Biltmore Estate without permission or notice. I would’ve gotten away with it scot free, too, if we hadn’t left our third friend in the car in a nearby parking lot to spill the beans when the cops rolled up. Amateur.  

           The rest of the year seemed to stretch out for an eternity and vanished in a blink at the same time. I made a ton of new friends, returned to college after dropping out so my ex could go, reconnected with friends lost due my ex and rediscovered myself. I had lost my identity in being a parent and partner. I have given the relationship my all and gotten nothing back in return. When the biological father contacted me with an offer of allowing me contact with my son if I helped him get sole custody, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been severely tempted. I decided in the end that a clean break and cold turkey was the easiest on my son and in the end I refused on the grounds of not wanting to be a yo-yo in his life. I was not going to let him be used as a bargaining chip. Without any counting on me I regressed to my psychical age this year and indulged in all the partying I missed out on over the years. My tolerance isn’t as high as it used to be, it turns out, and I’ve made an ass out of myself on a few occasions. After feeling like I went from twenty years old to forty over the course of a proposal, it was nice to have the freedom to be young and stupid again.

            This was the year I took the plunge and quit the day job to write full time. Freelance writing has had its ups and downs, due mainly to Google and its thrice damned updates, but I would trade the freedom for any salary. I haven’t checked in with my partners in a week or so but last I heard our site should be ready soon. Time permitting, I intend on launching my review site as well and will focus on the three sites for the majority of my income.

            One notable mistake I made this year is a current pain in my side. An overconfident wager and a boxing match with loaded gloves left me with cracked ribs around early summer. I won the match and the bet despite the cheater’s advantage, but since then my ribs on that side have been prone to injury. Even stretching or moving the wrong way sends a red hot lance of searing pain through my side. Falling on it during the tussle at Pinky’s apartment left me with bruised ribs that flare with agony at pretty much every sneeze, laugh, cough or deep breath. It won’t be enough to slow me down, but it’s not fun to see the look of concern on my friends’ faces when they witness me swearing through gritted teeth after a yawn sends excruciating pain through me. There were other mistakes, of course, but I think this is the only one with permanent consequences. I hope so, at least.

            I could go on about my year, the lessons I learned and the adventures I had but I think I’ll save the rest for other posts so I can do justice to those stories. I’ll leave this one with a picture of a couple of the gifts Pinky got me for Christmas. I would wish everyone a happy New Year, but I prefer 365 celebrations of the New Day as opposed to one celebration of the New Year. We don’t need the calendar to validate our goals and choices: every day is an opportunity.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Showing the TMI - It's Good to be Wrong

            This is a mature post; there is no way around that fact. I make no excuses for the extended analogy I came up with during a nerve wracking eight hour drive with holiday traffic. I’m not even going to attempt censorship with this one; that would defeat the whole purpose. I’m going to hell anyway, so this does little to shift my status quo. Luckily I don’t know any minors so there is no reason anyone underage should be viewing this anyway. Hell I can deal with, I’d rather avoid any more instances of jail.

            My eight hour drive to Navy country is old news by now, and the drive there was one I’d rather forget. My plan, hopelessly naïve as it was, revolved around burying the speedometer needle and shaving two hours off the trip. On any other day, maybe. On the day after Christmas: it was an unfunny joke. To stem the tides of frustration threatening to burst into road rage, I put together my ideal road trip in my head in prose form. About ten minutes into this scenario I began to realize just how similar my ideal drive is to my preferences in bed. The following is where that train of thought took me.

            There are way too many idiots on the road; this is a fact of life(and death, when Darwin’s Law comes into play). I strongly believe that 90% of the population should have their licenses revoked. Coincidentally enough, I also firmly believe that 90% of the population should not be breeding.  If you’re going to do something, do it right.

            Driving is more than a means to an end. It’s an art. Go too fast and you risk crashing and burning. Take it too slow, and all you’re going to do is tire yourself out without getting any enjoyment out of the ride. Cars are made to move, but you have to know your vehicle and treat her right to get the most out of your journey. I’ve seen far too many idiots simply jump behind the wheel and mash the peddles with reckless abandon. Those cars usually end up unrecognizable in junk yards from poor maintenance and worse driving.
            Before you put the key in the ignition, you have to prep your baby for the journey. If it’s going to be a long drive, treat her to a tune up. You have to fill her up before you fire her up or it’s going to be a short and frustrating ride for both of you. Some fuel before the event will take her a long way in taking you a long way. A nice wash might not hurt either, and a little bit of wax could really have her shining. Don’t forget to treat her to some new spark plugs and an oil change from time to time to let her know you care. You take care of her and she’s more likely to take care of you. You use her like a cheap bicycle that you can just toss out, and she just might leave you on the side of the road one dark night. Oh, and make sure you have good tires, because you never know what might be on the road.

            After I’ve tuned her up nice and slow, we can get the show on the road. Or the road on the show, whatever floats your boat. Again many people rush in here and end up spoiling the whole journey. You can’t just jump in the driver’s seat and start slamming on the gas. Let her engines warm up. She sets the pace, not you. Start out at the speed limit; she should be pretty comfortable with that. Slowly ease to higher speeds, careful to make sure you’re not over revving her. Pay close attentions to the curves, you’re not in this alone you know. The scenery is wonderful; don’t let it all go by you in a blur. When she’s purring contently you know you’re at the right speed. Just keep going, you don’t want to waste momentum by pulling over now. Eventually her engine will let you know when it’s time to really go full speed.

            “Faster.” She’ll demand between roars. “Faster.” And who can deny her? Give her what she wants, if you can handle it.

            As you see: she suffers because you can’t drive.

            Now that you’ve worked up to this speed, don’t let her down now. Weave in and out of traffic while you listen closely to the hum of her engine. She’ll let you know when you need to shift up, and when you need to shift down. Some cars will take the shifting for you, while others may require you to get more hands on. Knowing your car is critical in this stage, as everyone behaves differently at these high speeds. Many a man has missed his exit at this point, and that’s just not fun for anyone. If you want to enjoy your ride it helps if you know the area. Nothing kills a trip faster than being pulled over when you were just about to open her throttle.

            Again this a moment when knowing your car is critical. Some vehicles are high performance, and can maintain this pace for miles. Others enjoy it as a means to pass and then like to slow to more comfortable speeds for the rest of the drive. A remainder for those in the 90%: she controls the pace, not you.

Other helpful notes include:
  • It’s not okay to borrow someone else’s car without asking. It’s called stealing. That being said, some cars prefer to be driven by someone new once and a while. Just treat her well and make sure she is returned in the same condition you got her. Rules were made to be broken, after all. 
  • Don’t ever get pulled over in someone else’s car, that’s just all around awkward and could get your ass kicked. 
  • Generally speaking: the tailpipe is off limits. Breakage of this rule could result in damage to the car and driver. 
  • Even the most pleasurable ride gets boring if you never do anything different. Take detours and switch up the pace. It wouldn’t hurt anything to switch seats and play passenger, either. 
  • Don’t drive without insurance. You know what can happen if you’re not aptly covered.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Best of the Worst - Beware the Krampus

My most rambling post to date; good luck making it the end while maintaining sanity.

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten educational, and I have nothing better to do, so let’s explore a mythological creature we’re missing out on here in the states. This little piece of amazing was brought to my attention via a tweet from Neil Gaiman.  I know, it’s hard for me to believe something useful came out of Twitter, too. Anyway, I’m going to assume you know who Master Gaiman is. If not, your library is grievously lacking and/or you are an illiterate who has somehow stumbled upon my tiny rambling corner of the web. If the latter: I applaud your effort at trying to conquer the elusive text and advise you to read American Gods as soon as possible. If the former: add Stardust, Coraline, The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere(I’m sure his other books are great, but those are the ones I can personally attest to) to it while you’re at it. Now that I’m through advertising ole Neil, I can send him a bill for my services and move on with my half rusted train of thought. Oh, and Good Omens that he collaborated with Terry Prachett on. I can’t believe I almost left that one out. Those two authors working together is like Batman and Superman teaming up together. Minus the tights…I hope.

Anyway, time for a show of hands. Who reading this knew that Saint Nick has a side kick? Put your hands down, you’re probably lying and I can’t see you anyway. Well, not that you know of. The side kick’s name is Krampus, and he is evil. He looks something like this:

Santa keeps interesting company, don’t you think?

The duo has a good cop/bad cop working relationship going on. If you’re a good boy or girl, then Santa will bestow all kinds of materialistic goodness on you on Christmas day. If you’ve been a naughty child, then you get beaten and possibly abducted by the winter chupacabra up there. Did you know that chupacabra translates as “goat sucker”? Well now you do, and may you be forever traumatized by that knowledge.

It gets even better, in the Alpine countries Krampus has his own holiday. On the night before Christmas, grown men get to dress up like the furry demon and raise ten flavors of hell in good natured fun. Activities include smacking people with sticks and just generally running amok. This recipe for fun is known in the locations that celebrate it as Krampusnacht and just goes to show that maybe we really are a country founded by prudes. I tried to recruit my friends to bring it to the state but their allergy to being shot or arrested forced me to abandon the idea – for this year anyway.

I guess that was for the best considering I was in bed most the day yesterday with a fever. I probably wouldn’t’ve been up to the task of introducing the holiday to this country. Somehow I doubt Tennessee would be the best place for that, anyway. Far too high a percentage of the population has a shotgun for me to feel comfortable brandishing sticks and tormenting the locals. Maybe I can bring it to Florida next year…

Next week will probably be a slow week for me on the writing front. I’m waiting on confirmation from my brother to verify that he’ll be on leave next week, but unless they change his schedule today I’ll be driving to visit him. I haven’t seen him since 08 despite his frequent requests for a visit in the last year. We hadn’t even spoke for the two years prior to that due to petty issues and so it’ll be nice to hang out again after all this time. I may even visit Florida after that since I haven’t seen my family down there in that same time period but who knows. If not, then I’ll hop on a plane for Spring Break and haunt my old stomping grounds for a week or two. I really ran out of stuff to talk about two paragraphs ago but Pinky is sleeping on the floor, her boyfriend has yet to arrive and our friend that had dinner with us wandered off about half an hour ago. End result leaves me bored in the living room and writing to kill time.

I thought about making this a sappy post about all the things I learned this year and the friends I made. Then I realized I had two drafts sitting around dedicated to those topics and it seemed a bit redundant. Not that I can do justice to either in less than ten posts, but let’s face it: no one really cares about that stuff except for me. Maybe a couple of my friends that provide inspiration and drive even read this to know the ways they affect me. Marie watches and encourages as much as being in Canada will let her, and Jake is probably my most accessible friend despite being in Florida.  I know they’ll read this and pretend to like it, and probably draw attention to my lack of proofreading in as asinine a way as possible (looking at you, Jake). My partner from three-hours-in-the-past, Shemo, would probably have read this even if I wasn’t going to tag her on Facebook when I post it. Those three live nowhere near me, and yet it seems like they’re almost always there when I did. My local friends won’t read this, and that’s okay, because I know that they’ll be there when the others can’t be. You don’t have to be close to be a great friend, but it helps to be in the room to stop me from playing the hero and getting myself into trouble that can be avoided. Dammit, I just said I wouldn’t talk about that subject now and here my heart is growing three sizes.

I blame the excellent Christmas dinner for making me all dopamine filled and sappy. Maybe a nap isn’t such a bad idea after all. Watch out for Krampus while I’m gone. He’s definitely watching you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Conjunction Junction, What's Your Dysfunction?

A quick disclaimer for those with innocent eyes: the language in this is going to be pretty rough. I’ll try to use languages other than English for the majority of the cursing, but cussing in a different tongue is still cussing so fair warning. For the curious I’ll try to add notes on just what language I’m cursing in beside each obscenity.
 ~ French
 ^ Japanese
** Latin
^^ Chinese

           For those who got the reference in the title: give yourself a pat on the back because you’re awesome. I don’t know when awesome worked its way back into my vocabulary but I seem to be using it a lot lately. That has nothing to do with anything so let’s move on before I derail on that pointless tangent and ramble about the under rated nature of Hakuna Matata, Groosfraba and Meecrob. I doubt anyone’s geek cred is high enough to get more than 2/3 on those, so I’ll toss you a freebie: the last one is from South Park back when it was actually funny. Or maybe it’s still funny to some of you, but it was back before I lost interest anyway. Maldito*, I’m babbling again. Let’s just dive in while we can still find the path.

          I knew Tuesday wasn’t going to be an ordinary day when it kicked off with a dream of a zombie outbreak. Reading that you may think my self-image is pretty intense if I picture myself running to the rescue and leaping into danger without regard for self-preservation when my friends (and/or girls of beauty) call for help. Here’s the thing: that’s pretty much the status –quo. When my friends need me I drop everything and run to the rescue; call it a hero-complex if you must(we do). When the merde~ hits the fan, I’m usually the first to step up to face the problem without regards for the consequences for myself. They know this and so I’m usually the first one my friends call, whether it’s a minor repair to be made or the world is collapsing around them. I’ve broken laws to protect my friends, and I’ve confessed to crimes I didn’t commit for the same reason. Why do I bring this up? If there’s a zombie outbreak near you, call me, I will kick some zombie natis**(not really a curse per se, but I like add random bits in other languages), or die trying. Or, more likely, both.

          So, since I was up early Tuesday, it seemed like as good a day as any to get my car ready for the winter snow. In this case that meant taking off my back tires and replacing the brake pads. Since it’s been a while since I’ve done brake work and he wanted the exercise for his hand, I agreed to take it my dad’s work shed and let him help me. Technically I suppose I live there, giving up my place to stay with him after the stroke, but since he’s been improving I haven’t spent too much time there. I didn’t think some father-son bonding could hurt anything. That was not a smart move on my part, it would turn out. I knew it was going to be a long and annoying process when he started telling, not for the first or even tenth time, about the “fine Mǔgǒu”^^ he’s been adding on Facebook. I warn him, for time nigh uncountable, that if he keeps talking about women like that I’ll have to put him back in the hospital. Clearly my mom took a more active role in raising me then he did, and as such I will not tolerate any disrespect of women. He went on to tell me the ages of some of them – I won’t even talk to a girl that’s 18 or 19 and he’s creeping them on Facebook. Inferoes**, I won’t even bend my ‘three floors down is the limit’ rule for a girl that’s 20 unless she’s nothing short of amazing.

          After I take off the tires while he’s talking and switch places to he can take a look at the brakes and pretend to be useful, I occupy myself replacing the handles in the axe heads he has laying around the shop (all my fault, I broke them while last splitting and chopping wood for him). An axe in my hand, I question for the millionth time who my real father is. He makes a predictable milkman comment and I have to remind him not to insult the mother of the guy holding the sharp object. Fast forward past him screwing up just every aspect of the process and me having to fix things. It’s time to replace the master cylinder, which means prying the reservoir off the old one first. Long story short, this exercise ends with his screw driver slipping on the grease. If you guessed that it speared my hand and scraped a few layers of the skin: you know me too well. If you guessed I shouted worty dirds at the top of my lungs, you know me way too well. “Que pinga*” kicked off the swearing in traditional fashion and “Son of Kuso^” soon followed.

           This is pretty much how every project we work on together goes, which really was the point of this entry. Well, that and I wanted to use the title because it amused me. Even the most menial of activities end up in injury and hilarity when my father is added to the equation.

          The dysfunction doesn’t end there, not by a long shot. You’ve already read about the brawl with my best friend’s boyfriend(also a good friend of mine) that caused a hefty bill’s worth of property damage. The screwed up part about that? He and I thought it was fun, the parts of it we remember between the two of us. We both feel like inferoes over the damage we did to her room and that we upset her, but it one heck of a night to us. We’re still on good terms, though we’ll likely argue about who won the fight for the remainder of our friendship (although it seems quite obvious to me: I didn’t want him to leave drunk and he didn’t leave drunk). Typically my antics are in defense of my friends and not as destructive of their property so this was a break in character for pretty much all involved.

         Another break involved last night’s drama. I don’t know the full story because I had nothing to do with it, but somehow I was incriminated in one of my former friends stealing from another. Things got pretty hairy, and it got the point of where I almost left town in frustration and annoyance with it all. Several threats were made and I still have no idea what happened or how I got dragged into it. Needless to say I don’t associate with any of these people. If it feels like I’m skimming over this, it’s because I am. For one thing, I don’t know how to describe it. Also, I doubt it ended well for the actual thief so I’d rather not think about it. Not to mention it’d make a long post even longer and it would read incoherently since I’m still trying to make sense of the parts that included me.

        And I've exhausted all the cursing in foreign languages that I can work into casual context (the real purpose of this). I typically use my non-English diction for two things: flirting and swearing. Not because those two things are priorities, but most the words I know outside of English seem to fit in these two categories very well. Just not in both at the same time, most of the time.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zombies on the Brain - Nightmare Interpretation

Creeping up on the witching hour this morning, I woke up covered in sweat with my heart racing and spider sense tingling. The zombie outbreak was upon me, and I was ready for it. Or so I thought, until realization that it was just a dream kicked in and my fight-to-survive reflex relaxed.I had no zombie threat to combat, but I damnat had one inferoes of a story to tell. I can settle for that, for now.

 The funny part, as is the case with most dreams, is that the entire time I was so convinced it was really happening when in hindsight there were some huge red flags. I’ve decided that should such a crisis occur, I have no doubt that I would quickly perish as a hero throwing himself into danger to save others. I’m perfectly okay with that. Since Jake (Henry) and Marie call me by my mortal name every chance they get, I’ll just go ahead and use that instead of referring to Dream-Keith. That’d just be weird.

 In the dream I “woke” to my phone ringing. I was shirtless at the time, as I tend to sleep when I’m at home, and the first flag that it was a dream should have been the fact that in that scene I had many more tattoos than reality. I have one tattoo and a long list of future tattoos, a couple of which are going to be added within the next couple weeks. Dream-Ray had all the tattoos I plan on getting, and I have to say they looked pretty freaking cool. Anyway, I answer the phone to hear my best friend tell me that something happened at the “plasma place” and people were attacking each other all over the area. Not really believing her, I check Facebook to see that she’s not the only one reporting some crazy things going on. One post in particular catches Dream-Ray’s (henceforth known as DR for the sake of laziness) attention and it just so happened that a girl that I find incredibly gorgeous but don’t know that well was trapped in the campus library by the flesh eating freaks.

It’s on the way to my friend’s so I tell her I’m on the way and busy myself with making a quick zombie apolypse kit. The kit contained: my tazer, my twin magnetic swords, an aluminum baseball bat and a lighter. Instead of riding my PoS Mustang to the rescue DR decided to cruise in style. The result? I rode out in the ’59 Ford Galaxie that the men in my family have been working to restore off and on most of my life. Somehow what should have been a twenty minute drive was reduced to mere seconds and I drove that sexy red beast through the library doors with the reckless abandonment only (Dream)Ray can pull off. A scream alerts me to her presence on the third floor, and it’s time to hop out of the convertible and commence the zombie punishment. I start off with the bat, and score a record high batting average as I battle my way through the horde to get to the study room she’s barricaded herself inside. Armed with the tazer and one of the swords, she follows me in my path of destruction back to the car and we head over to the friend’s apartment.

The apartment grounds are crawling with the angry undead, and we reduce many of them to pulpy speed bumps in our race to get to her building. We’re on the third floor in the blink of an eye, and I somehow manage to prevent any zombies from following us up the stairs by bursting the water main. It made sense to DR; just suspend disbelief already. It was my partner in zombie slaughter that noticed it first: the door to their apartment was ajar and we heard sounds of a struggle inside. I charge inside without evaluating the situation like a true genius and see the occupants of the apartment, including my friend and her boyfriend, struggling to hold the pantry door closed. Their brief moment of shock upon seeing me burst in gives the beastly zombie the chance it needed to break free and it spills into the kitchen.

The necro-Neanderthal makes a grab for one of the girls and DR hits him with a low tackle. DR pushes the bulky behemoth through the glassdoor and over the edge of the balcony. DR is apparently pretty damn fast, because he manages to grab the edge of the balcony as they go over and hold on for dear life. There’s just one problem with that approach; the zombie had a hold of DR and he was one heavy son of a corpse. Dream-Me deals the cannibal a vicious right hook and drop went the weasel. DR manages to climb back up onto the balcony with the help of his friends and they appear to have earned a moment of respite.

The group then occupies themselves with making phone calls, sending texts and checking Facebook to see the extent of the damage. As far as they can tell the threat is the worst in the part of the city they’re in and it was only beginning to spread to the surrounding towns. DR, the eternal optimist, decides that it’s up to them to stop the threat before it spreads further than the dirty dirty. In even my dreams my friends are awesome, and they were all down to ride. We knew we needed to find a better base of operations and so I went out first to draw the zombies away on foot so the others could get into vehicles and get out there with the plan to meet up with them later. I woke up as the zombies were closing in on me from all sides, but I’m sure DR was about to pull something epic out of his hat. I hope, at least.

I was planning on talking more about the dream and the day that followed it in this post, but I think I’ll give your eyes a break and save that for later as that would require this post to be about three times as long. I’ll get that up, in either one or two parts, over the rest of the week. For now, I’m off to house hunt.

Sweet dreams.

Monday, December 19, 2011

True Story: I Fail at Bloglife

I’m sure the title isn’t really news to any of you by now, but it’s what I felt like writing about tonight. I should be writing about something else, and maybe get the draft to published posts ratio back to something acceptable, but that isn’t happening right now.  The whole point of this blog is to be a place where I can write whatever I want, after all, and I’m abusing that fact almost as much as I’m abusing comma splices.

            Speaking of abuse, I look and feel like I bedded an angry badger after an adventure last night that could have been the prequel to the Hangover movies. It was an insane ride that ended in me trying to use my wallet as a cell phone and stubbornly insisting on being taken to jail by the three cops that got involved. To achieve this end I confessed to assault, stealing a stop sign and the assassination of JFK. I would have taken the blame for much more, but my saintly friend made me shut up while she talked the police out of taking me to jail for criminal stupidity. On that count I whole heartedly plead no contest. Don’t ask me how this did not end in me being banned from the apartment for multiple lives; I’m still trying to figure out that part myself. One text, the only one of the night I don’t remember sending, served to be very prophetic when I told another friend that “I’m about to fall on our faces.” And fall on our faces I did, along with a metric ton of broken glass, after enjoying copious amounts of Everclear straight on an empty stomach. Combine the results cuts and scrapes with the bruises from a fight that nearly leveled the place and the tazer marks covering my stomach and I have one inferoes of a story written in my flesh. Needless to say: it was a fun night and a good story.

            Now that the semester is over,  after an extremely eventful finals week, I can focus on my writing without being hindered by Computer Science work. I got maybe 16 hours of sleep, grand total, during finals week so I’m glad for the break. The site I’m co-owning with ole Henry James and another friend will be launching soon so I have a couple weeks to amass a wave of content for that. On that note I really need to start talking to my gamer friends about the things they want in a website for gamers, but we have a pretty good idea of where we’re going with it so that’s a minor priority. My novel has been barely touched since last month’s NaNoWrimo and I’ll be getting back to that as well. I’m dragging my heels lately because the next scene, which I thought up the concept for over a decade ago, involves vampires. This is difficult for me because the practically plagiarized Twilight and similar crap has reduced the once fearsome predators of the night into fanged fairies. As a kid who grew up on Dracula, Buffy, Blade and even Anne Rice’s vampires, I refuse to acknowledge Meyer’s watered down and bedazzled rip off of the Sookie Stackhouse books as vampires or even legitimate literature. I can’t deny that she didn’t commit any tragic injustices against werewolves but that’s the only credit she’ll ever get from me. Once I get that tackled it’ll be full speed ahead with the novel again. Lastly I need to get back to writing for my money site and kick off the review site before my online revenue takes a hit from my prolonged inactivity. I’ll be finishing and posting the various unfinished drafts lurking all over my control panel side of this blog while bored and/or procrastinating and might even finally finish the Smoke and Mirrors trilogy that’s sitting mostly complete in draft form right now. All in all, being on winter break isn’t going to mean any more free time for more with the increased writing workload I’m imposing on myself.

            Marie’s book comes out next month, and I hear tell someone you guys know gets a nod in the acknowledgements there so be sure to pick that up. I’ll remind everyone when it’s closer to the release date but I just felt like mentioning it now anyway. She’s worked very hard on this book for a long time and I predict it will pay off for her. I’m not even a fan of romance novels (which is weird because I’m a closet hopeless romantic), and I greatly enjoyed being a beta-reader for her Blue Sky Days even though I dropped the ball miserably when it came to sending her feedback due to the timing and my overwhelming workload at the time. The male lead is fresh and funny, the kind of carefree character you just can’t help but love. He and the main character’s aunt provide enough free spirited amusement to get the romantically intolerant through the sappy scenes. I can’t wait for the official release or for her to start on her next novel, and I will support both projects with all my available resources. I just need to finish my own novel now so we can go on a book tour together and she can join in my oh-so-fun misadventures.

            And that’s pretty much what I wanted to talk about for this entry. Yet another reason why I suck at blogging: I make random posts with no point other than to amuse myself and hopefully others with whatever I feel like babbling about. There is nothing worse for a writer than an untold story, and so I felt compelled to share as much of last night’s antics as possible without incriminating myself or others. The rest just sort of wrote itself.  Enjoy your holidays folks, and I leave with you one bit of wisdom. There is no such thing as a boring night if Everclear is involved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Partners in Crime: Gotta Friend 'Em All

Note: This has been in draft form for a month so it’s not exactly the most cutting edge of posts.
Another note: This is a long post so get comfortable.
A third note: I have no idea what the hello kitty was up with the bold font thing, but it's fixed now.

          Don't ask me where the title came from, because I have no flippin' clue what caffeine deprived portion of my brain produced that gem. I'm sure the Pokemon reference is somehow Henry's fault. I have a partial draft of the conclusion to Smoke and Mirrors on my desktop, and it is absolutely useless there when I haven't been home in days. Old habits, I know, but I guess the novelty of waking up next to a beautiful woman never wears off. As I typed that "I Love College" by Asher Roth came on Jango and I felt compelled to blast it for the girls to enjoy while they got their scholarly on. It was a fun distraction but now it's back to the books for them and back to the laptop for me.

I think tonight we'll kick things off with a confession: I have no idea what this blog was supposed to be about. I know I didn't adhere to whatever I had planned to use this blog for, and now it just seems like a big bag of random. I'm okay with that; there is nothing wrong with a refreshing dose of chaos. All my other writings have to be confined to genre and/or niche, so it's nice to have the opportunity to talk about nothing whatsoever in particular. I have ten minutes before the girls are lost to the world for an hour of An American Horror Story so let's get on with the show before I get tazed again.

With the celebration of the We-Stole-America day and the return of some old friends, I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the way I look at friendship. Without getting all Hallmark with it, I've become aware of just how awesome my collection of friends are. Not only are they genuinely good people, but there are certain perks to my irreplaceable pool of allies. I have my fellow authors and part-time consciences: Henry and Marie. Henry and I actually run a website together with another friend in the web design and computer programming field, but you'll hear more about that when we're ready to share. The web designer for our site and third partner is a friend I've known since my darker days, a friend who witnessed more than one addition to my scar collection over the years. Knowing the three of us and our inability to commit to an area at this point in our lives: Henry, Marie and I will probably send some time writing and touring together in the near future. Which means my other friends will probably get to do a lot of traveling of their own. Someone has to come and bail us out, after all.

Another notable resource in the friend supply is a hacker, although their lack of communication lately makes me wonder if I should file them under the category of prison inmate instead. Without incriminating myself or them, let’s say I hypothetically may or may not witnessed them work wonders behind the keyboard and over the phone. I may, or may not, be heard in the background laughing my arse off in recordings of them in action that are probably in possession of the FBI right about now. If you know the things I may noncommittally know; you’d think twice before picking on computer nerds. Tis scary stuff, yo. They’ve offered to use these powers of mass destruction on my behalf before, and I have to say it was a tempting offer. I can’t take credit for rising above the influence on that one; I had an angel on my shoulder. Well actually she was on the stool next to me at the bar, but let’s not the sweat the details. She countered my moment of impulsive pettiness and I refused the request when I realized that it could bring problems upon my hacker friend.  If we weren’t in separate states I would go to check on them in person but I’ll have to suffice for trying to establish contact from hundreds of miles away. It’s probably for the best that there’s so much distance between us, as we make a scary team.

            Although I’m finishing this post up now (the midnight hour following Christmas), I’ll probably be publishing it from my brother’s apartment near the Navy base he’s stationed at. I just posted the Krampus babble-fest so it’s too soon to toss another post up, but I want to get these drafts ready to go. My brother is actually of no legal or biological relation but I’ve known him my entire life and we’ve been through too many adventures to be anything less than family. Time, distance and drama may have driven us farther apart than we were when we were 18, but he’ll always be my brother. I’m hoping we have the chance to become the unshakable duo we were growing up but who knows what the cards hold. One thing we both know and know well: we’re only one phone call and eight hours away at any given time if the other was in need. We’re closer than blood; he’s part of the family I chose.

              Waiting for me when I get back are the friends who were here when I first started this post. Only one is in the apartment as I conclude it but I’m sure they’ll both be here when I get back in town. The absent one would be the one kind enough to share her bed with me in a completely platonic way. Well…platonic in the sense that we joke around about sex but never actually do anything inappropriate. So I guess Southern platonic, minus the sibling sex stuff. It’s okay, I’m allowed to make that joke: I’m born and bred in the South.  Before anyone contributes they’re unoriginal and contrived inbreeding joke – being an only child pretty makes me immune to those jokes. And since I did grow up in a small town, I made sure not to date anyone from said town just to cover my bases.

            I got horribly off topic there so time to try again with a fresh paragraph. Pinky, as my best friend calls herself in implication of me being Brain, would be the one at the apartment presently. She and her boyfriend went to bed, leaving me to my writing. She would be the one who talked me out of providing ze hackerific friend with the information needed to avenge and defend against the wrath of my ex-fiancé. She didn’t do this out of any compassion for my former lover, as she would have ended the problem violently and permanently if given the chance, but out of the simple common sense that it could accomplish nothing but trouble. This is also the same friend and same apartment that bore the brunt of the damage when it became a warzone last week. I have achieved some feats that bordered superhuman in my efforts to always be there when she needed me and she’s always been down to ride should I ever need her. Speak of the she-devil: they’re back from their midnight antics and looks like I’ll have to wait til they go to bed to sleep to finish this.

            That didn’t work out as planned. The three of us watched Fanboys together and sat around talking for a few hours until we were all ready to crash. I’ve since then made the long and perilous drive to see my brother. He’s now passed out after two days of heavy drinking and his Navy buddies have disbursed for the night. I have no problem admitting they’re on a drinking game well above my level. Whereas I took those three years off drinking to focus on my ex and her son, they’ve been perfecting the sport. With that in mind, I’m not sure how I ended up being the last one standing unless this break is only temporary and he’s taking a midnight nap. Nothing would surprise me at this point. I want to write out the post I cobbled together in my head during the drive here so I’m going to cut this short(er than planned, yet still obscenely long).  I'll dedicate another post to the friends I didn't get to this one at some point within the next century, but now I away to the flavor of the moment.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Professional Procrastination, Tomorrow's Super Star and Prizes

And tonight's ridiculously long title award goes to....your's truly.

We're creeping up on the twenty third hour and I have three assignments due in two classes tomorrow. Two of these, one of which is a quiz, are for a morning class and the other is a paper for an afternoon class. Of the last thirty six hours, I've spent one of them sleeping. The rest were dedicated to a Java project and studying Discrete Mathematical Structures (or Unlikely Maths, as I like to call it). You think that would have been enough to teach me the evils of procrastination but here I am.

How can I justify this blatant digression, you may wonder. Who are we kidding, you all know me enough to not even blink at this, but humor me anyway. The justification for this one is quite simple: I'm promoting a soon to be bestselling author and giving my literate friends a chance to win cool stuff. Even better, it's cool stuff from Canada (the prizes are real, I assure you, even if the country is not).

My very good (if Canadian) friend, Marie is holding not one but two giveaways on her blog as we speak. Well, as I type and you read. You can read all about that, her upcoming debut book and a library's worth of book reviews over at her blog. Those who happen to wander over there in a timely manner will likely notice that a certain alias heavy procrastinator is piling on the entries like a satyr collects numbers in his little black book. I'm also about to toss the button for the giveaways in the side-bar for those who would rather get their clicky on with a button instead.

I'm pretty sure I'm above the maximum awesome threshold to actually win, and not to mention the obvious conflict of interests, but I am not the type to let an opportunity for amusing commentary to pass me by. I meet most the requirements in the little promotions I'm constantly doing from time to time, but it gives me an excuse to go all out once in a while and really strengthen the pimp hand. I blame exhaustion for the previous statement, prove otherwise.

Still working on getting some guest posts together for you guys, and hoping to introduce one of my favorite people to the cast of my guests within the week. That's really all I have to say right now so I'll wrap up with the tl;dr version: get over to Marie's blog and win some goodies (then pay my 100% goody referral fee).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

G4: Now With More G-force.

Que pinga, it's been one hello kitty of a month.

Quick disclaimer for everyone opening up a new tab to Google the meaning of my little display of Cuban Spanish: it's vulgar and makes no sense in that context unless you happen to be familiar with Spanish slang. I've been on a foreign language kick lately, both learning new ones and blurting out random verbiage in languages I thought I had forgotten. Just this week I've flirted in Japanese (and no, she was not Japanese), muttered Cuban obscenities (the first two words of this post among them) during one of my morning courses and learned how to say 'I lost my pants again' in French during pillow talk (this was the only French going on in the room, she's been cut off. Yes, you read that right. More on that role reversal later).  Anyway, onto our games, guests, other geekery and our fourth G for this special edition boredom inspired post: girls.

The game I'm currently playing, and will certainly be playing for a while, is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Or simply Skyrim, to save space and attention span. The game, to review it briefly, is simply awesome. It is easily the best game I've played on current generation consoles. Just today I've slayed a handful of dragons, assassinated an Emperor and slaughtered a bunny. Okay, maybe not that last part but only because I couldn't find any of the furry little hoppers. I know they're out there somewhere, but my bunnies slaughtered stat remains at zero. On the less violent side my character also got obscenely drunk and woke up in a temple being told off for groping the statue of a goddess after blacking out during a drinking contest. I'm still not entirely sure what went down. I do know I've never related more to a video game character than at that of moment of the character waking up in a strange place with no memory of the night before and surrounded by unhappy locals. We've all been there, man. We've all been there.

That is hardly a real review, I know, but this isn't a game review blog. The only way to judge Skyrim is to try it, and nothing I type is going to improve or degrade the quality of the game. If you do happen to try it, I highly suggest dropping pots over the heads of the non-player characters that inhabit Skyrim. It doesn’t accomplish much, unless you want to rob them blind while they’re…well, blind, but it’s infinitely amusing in a juvenile way.

Merde.J'ai perdu mon pantalon à nouveau.

 Never mind; false alarm. They were under the bed.Sorry, let myself get distracted for a second there. Where were we?  Oh, and pardon my French. Guests,we were about to talk about guests. I had arranged a three-way with the assistance of Marie and Henry, but…wait. Let me try that again. I approached my two talented friends about the three of us writing a post cooperatively in a back and forth script style dialogue.  Unfortunately I never followed up on that after getting them to agree to it due to things getting more chaotic than usual. That being said, Henry would probably welcome the distraction from his NaNoWriMo project and starting new characters in Skyrim so I’ll be calling him in the near future (read, probably within the hour if he doesn’t read this first and volunteer) to see if I can set that up. Also, Marie’s due to start her blog tour promoting her debut novel soon. Sometimes during the near future I’ll have to aim my devious charm in her general direction to tempt her into making a stop here. Plus I’ll speak with both of them about that three-way idea…

Next up on the list we have girls. The rebound continues on despite my half-hearted attempts to end it every other day. Henry has taken to calling me a basketball due to my continued insistence on calling my partner in crime ‘the Rebound’. He and Marie also tend to call me out on occasion that if walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…we’re dating and I’m in denial. I, of course, deny this. Even the Rebound says I’ve been sending mixed signals. I’ll lay out her logic here and follow that with my own explanation. Despite insisting that we’re not exclusive, I have not made an attempt to go out on dates with anyone else. I told one of her roommate’s friends that I was dating her. I go with her shopping all the time and I talk about her a lot. She has her own ringtone on my phone, and I’m not much of a ringtone kind of guy. Every time she gets close to me I try to end things and cut her off. Oh and apparently my refusal to acknowledge her facebook requests is due to my wanting to keep her away from an ex that I have on there. These girls have never met, but the Rebound doesn’t like the ex because she thinks the ex was a lousy girlfriend to me and is currently a worse friend.  That’s her side, though I’m probably missing a point or two

.My turn. I have not been dating because I’ve been busy, and I have no problem whatsoever with being single. There may be a classmate or two that I would like to get to know and might make time for, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing with the roommate’s friend; she was 17 and dropping hints about the kind of things she does when she gets tipsy. I say inferno nulla to that. Claiming that I was dating the closest girl that wasn’t a jailbait looking for someone to contribute to their delinquency seemed like a good idea at the time. She goes shopping, I tag along when I’m bored and spend most of the time taking pictures of random things that amuse me. Some of these end up on Facebook, while sometimes I text her pictures of herself bending over instead. I am a creature of amusement, and these things amuse me. The ringtone thing is actually a story of hilarity and torture that she was involved in, but that means nothing. During the same episode I assigned the ringtone ‘Lips of an Angel’ to the aforementioned ex. The Rebound had the last laugh on that one, but that’s beside the point.  I ignore her Facebook requests because Facebook is where I quote her nearly incessantly for the hilarious stuff she says and I’d rather not give her more ammunition. That talking about her a lot fits in between in there somehow; she amuses me and I share my amusements.I think I’m missing something from that counter argument. Oh yes, the hot and cold game. Guilty on that part, but it’s like saying you’re not going to eat ice cream anymore and opening up the freezer to find a box of your favorite ice cream staring back at you. The battle of willpower and temptation gets to a point where I don’t even know why I quit the ice-cream anyway and so I end up doing some serious damage to that box.

 Judging by the innuendo heavy nature of this post, I think we’re rapidly reaching that point.To draw us to a close I’ll go over the other geekery briefly. I got a new lap-top last week, with the intention of teaching my dad how to use a computer without risking my desktop. It turns out his hand hasn’t recovered enough yet for that task and so now I have a new toy to play with while he builds strength in his right hand. NaNoWrimo is progressing well, though Skyrim made me effectively useless all weekend and devoured the lead I had acquired during the first week and a half of the month. As soon I post this (without proofreading, as per usual), I’ll be switching back to working on my novel. One of my readers has threatened me with violence if I don’t finish the novel and I’d really hate for her to have to go to the trouble of assaulting me. I’m hoping to introduce the character inspired by her tonight but I don’t know if I’ll get that far. Most the key characters are based on friends or former (girl)friends, which is going to get awkward should they ever read this treachery and fatality heavy fantasy novel. I look forward to the law suits for the traitors and the grudging acceptance over those who must die so the story may truly live. Only the latter will be offered any compensation from me. I’ll try to finish up S&M next week, but no promises. Skyrim and school are time consuming enough without trying to fit social and novel writing into the equation. Not to mention I need to get back to my profitable writing before my absence starts to affect my paypal account.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And Now the Awkward Silence

It looks like I haven't been as prolific in updating this as I planned. I haven't forgotten about or abandoned this blog, but things have been more hectic than I could have imagined lately. I will still finish the Smoke and Mirrors series to answer the rest of the questions, but I don't think that update will come this month.

This won't be a "real" post by any means. Really I'm just popping in to explain my absence from the cyber front. People seem to assume I've died whenever I go silent so time to pop some bubbles as I'm very much still alive.

I've had an insane month in October, but not necessarily a bad one. For the first couple weeks I managed to produced several thousand words of content for money sites and even registered a new one. Whereas Worth Writes focuses on all aspects of writing, the newest site will be a review site. More on that later, right now I have it set aside for future use when I have the time to do justice to the idea.

Last month I gave in to my rebound's insistence of some sort of label and we compromised that she would be my exclusive rebound. Fun times followed despite my prediction that the exclusivity would be over by Halloween. I was close, and revoked that status today after a pregnancy scare. Not that I have any issue with having a child, as anyone who knows me knows very well, but we were even dating and I just don't see the relationship (or lack of) as being anything other than fun times. That may change over time and I'm not going to cut off contact with her. I just think casual dating might be a good idea for me right now.

In other news, my dad's recovering enough from his stroke to be a pain. Which is handy since he no longer expects to be waited on hand and foot, but that small victory is overshadowed by his recent introduction and obsession with Facebook. He's computer illiterate and bugs me with fifty questions a day about how to do something on Facebook or why something is the way it is. It can be a bit annoying when I'm trying to chop, split and haul firewood so he can be warm this winter and he's pestering me with question. That's another thing that's kept me too busy to go near a computer - winter is coming and there is a lot that needs to be done. I added insulation to the built on porch, but there is much more that needs to be done before it's ready for any real cold.

Then there was school. I've been struggling to catch up after a rough start and have been seeing results but it's a time consuming process. One of my classes is an easy A, another only moderately difficult. Two are insanely difficult and I don't know how to classify the last one. It's just weird, but still time consuming. Scholastic writing has taken priority over my paid writing, as has my personal writing. I started a novel based on an idea that I've been unable to let go of for years. It's growing rapidly, 25 pages in one week is not too shabby in my opinion.

Okay, so I did make some time for reading and video games. Arkham City for the 360 and George R.R. Martin's A Song of ice and Fire have taken up the time not filled by rebounding, labor, writing or college. I completed the game and the first four books in the series and will be taking a break from reading for this month in favor of writing for NaNoWriMo. I'll be writing about that later, I'm sure. This will be my first attempt and it is going to take a huge chunk of my limited time. Combine that with the release of Skyrim next week and the odds of me getting any sleep this entire month are not good.

That's what I've been up to, more or less, and the reasons I haven't been updating this. Things are going to be even busier this month so I probably won't be updating it much, if at all, until December rolls around and my time opens up. This turned out way longer than I expected it to, so I'll just end it here and wrap this up before I get distracted with entertaining situations I ended up in last month.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Guest Star #2: Henry James

I know I was supposed to post the conclusion of S&M and all, and that will come soon. After all the writing I've done the last few days, I'm figuratively tired of hearing my own voice however. Luckily for me, and for you, my friend Henry James was more than willing to give me a break in the form of a guest post. You may remember him from the zombie short a while back, but if not you can familiarize yourself with his blog Hanged and Harangued by clicking the magical link. Like Marie, he's a good friend of mine and fellow writer and so you should expect to be hearing more from both of them in the future. I know he's counting on me to make the introductions here, but I'll save that for the next non-professional post I do so I can at least attempt to do justice to the greatness of my friends. Anyway, I'm getting increasingly tired of seeing my own text so let's see what Henry has to say after the jump.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest Star #1: SweetMarie

Not too much for me to say with this one. I toyed with the coding to prevent links from opening up in the same page using obsolete coding so let's hope nothing explodes. If it works as it should I'll be backtracking and doing the same to the previous posts. If not, then I have some cleaning up to do. Saturday night, if all goes as planned, you can tune in for another update about the things I want to talk about right now. We'll talk about tattoos and other things then, but for now the stage belongs to Marie. The guest post begins after the jump.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

3G: Games, Guests and Geekery

I meant to post this last night, but I became otherwise occupied with the subject of today's entry. That is a good thing, as yesterday's post would have been little more than a recap of last week. I still plan on kicking off each week with a recap of what happened the previous week (something I'm blatantly stealing from Marie's weekly recaps she posts every Friday), but that can wait until next week and it will only be a small part of the day's post.

Instead of looking back, we're glancing ahead at all the alliterative glory to be found in the foreshadowed future. As mentioned in the last entry, I'm currently in the processing of modding my Xbox 360. Originally I was going to Jtag it just for the experience. Instead my girlfriend (can I go a single post without mentioning her? I doubt it, but at least it's contextual), suggested I take the more practical route and not do any changes that would cause it to be banned from Xbox Live. Her suggestion was for me to actually play it instead of letting it collect dust or going solder happy on its poor circuits. Since we live six hours apart for the remainder of the semester, it'd be a way for us to share an activity during the week. So following her superior suggestion (yeah yeah, I know I'm overdosing on alliterations (and parenthesis), but I don't care), I decided to flash it instead. Once I'm finished with the flashing procedure and have successfully tested it I'll be sure to documents the details on the desktop. In other gaming news, I picked up my copy of Gears of War 3 today so you can look forward to reading my thoughts on that with the next 3G post.

Also previously predicted was a post from magnificent and marvelous Marie. Normally a guest poster seeks out the blog they want to contribute to, but I decided to deviate and devise my own darned method of madness. She was kind enough to accommodate me and so she should be supplying something stuffed solidly with stupendousness. Theoretically Thursday should be the target time to expect to see testament to this claim.

Okay, at this point I've officially burned out on the alliteration overkill so any more usage will be purely accidental.   Possibly in direct correlation: my brain now hurts. Oh well, now onward onto more geekery.

Geekery comes in many forms, and I personally don't find the term even remotely insulting. We're all geeks in one way or another, but some of us are just more comfortable and open with our geekitude than others. One quick test of geek status: if you've read this far then odds are you are a confirmed geek. Those that haven't read this far might still be geeks, but of the lazier or attention deficit variety. If you just commented that there is no such thing as attention deficit anymore* than you are most definitely of the geekly inclination. At this point you may be wondering if there is a point to this train of thought. The answer is no, but establishing the extent of geekism in the world gave me an excuse to make up new words using geek as the root and allowed me to stall for time to think up some geekery to write about.

Tonight's geekery takes up back to the subject of video games. For those with short memories or who are chronic skimmers: I mentioned a few paragraphs above that the lady and I are planning to spend some time on Xbox Live. While during the week it'll probably be just the two of us and maybe her mom, on weekends we'd be open to playing online with others. She's a bit new to the playing online thing, and honestly we both are pretty bad at games compared to the Xbox Live population since we rarely play. Since the online arena is a pretty unforgiving place I figured I'd try to ease her into it by getting a party of players together every so often and enjoy a more casual online experience. I've already recruited a few friends for it, but more options never hurt. We're currently playing Left 4 Dead 2** but of course that's subject to change and we have no shortage of other games to choose from. If anyone reading this might be interested in joining in, and isn't intolerable to play with, feel free to add my gamertag, Rani Churs, and we can work out a time that'll work for everyone.

Now to indulge my usual habit of posting without proofreading and come back to edit the mistakes galore later. If anyone has any ideas for future games or geekery, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to address it with the next 3G post.

*Screw you, modern science. Pluto is a planet, triceratops is real and attention deficit disorder exists. Television told me so growing up, and TV would never lie to a child.

** Yes, I know it's an old game. We don't care, and we have all the DLC for it so we aren't bored with it yet. Plus, we played online for the first time this weekend so the novelty of playing as the infected has not worn off for her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zombies, Links and Other Essentials

You learn something new everyday, they say. I'm not sure who they are, but they sure talk a lot and they like to state the obvious. In this case, however, they're absolutely right. For instance: today I learned that pandiculation means yawning and stretching. This is apparently news even to Mozilla as my browser is trying to tell me that it's not a word. I plan on using this new-found word obsessively and at every opportunity I can (outside this blog, of course, no pandiculating here). Earlier this week one of the daily things I learned was about a fungus in South America that effectively zombifies ants. The fungus is called Ophiocordyceps, and it's part of a parasitic fungal family called cordyceps that specialize in zombifying insects. It works like this: the ants (carpenter ants in this case) ingest the spores of the fungus on the forest floor. The parasite than takes over the ant and causes them to deviate from their normal trails and stumble clumsily to the underside of leaves at noon and lock onto the bottom of the leaf with a death grip. The ants stay there, unable to move due to the fungus locking their mandibles, even after they die that night. This allows the fungus to grow inside the corpse and burst out in a rain of new spores to repeat the process. I know these things, because Google told me so.
This will inevitably mutate and lead to the zombie apocalypse, I'm convinced. So convinced, in fact, that I was entertaining the thought that I may have been witness to case zero when I went with a friend to the hospital later in the night after learning about the freaky fungi.

False alarm, it turns out. She has Strep and a respiratory infection. I'm torn between whether that's a good thing or not. It sucks that she's sick, for one thing. Plus that means no zombies for another. While I wouldn't want one of my friends to be the one to kick off the outbreak that will bring about the end of the world; I firmly believe everyone should experience a zombie apocalypse at least once in their life. I may attempt to coerce my girlfriend to collaborate a guide to surviving zombies with me but odds are we'll just end up playing Left 4 Dead 2 or Dead Island instead.

Anyway, onto to the links. These are the things that interest me or what I've been up to lately. Most of my productivity today has been in the mythical outside, but I did manage to cobble together a hub about the Writers of the Future contest. Oh, and since we were talking about zombies: one of my good friends wrote a short about zombies on his blog a few months back. You should read his General Degenerate, a story amusing not just because I helped him come up with the idea. Another friend and fellow writer is in the processing of publishing her debut book, and we'll be hearing from her soon in a quest post. In the mean time, her Ramblings of a Daydreamer is a worthwhile read. You'll be seeing her name all over the web soon enough, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon early. Since I'm linking writers' blogs, it would be an epic tragedy not to mention my favorite author. Patrick Rothfuss is simply awesome, complexly awesome and just plain awesome (he's also a past winner of the WotF contest, a contributing factor to the publication of his novel).

That brings us to the promised "other essentials". I lied, it turns out, unless you consider vague foreshadowing for future posts to be essential. If that's the case, then let's get down to essentials. I'm currently doing some experimentation I'll be blogging about as they progress: with two being priority. One involves testing the ideas and claims of a popular guide to basically becoming superhuman. In a plausible manner, we're not talking unnatural powers here, but I was too lazy to list all the health and fitness related topics it covers. That and I plan on covering all that and more when I dedicate a post to my results. The other is money and writing related, and involves me putting a popular and hyped method of generating residual income to the test. We'll talk about those in much more detail after I've had enough time to gather information. Also, at some point in the next week or so I plan on popping the top on my xbox 360 that's been unhooked and unplayed for weeks and modifying it just for the sake of doing it. I'll likely take a few pictures and write a guide on the process for those who might be interested in doing the same. Other than that I'm working on arranging some guest posts, will probably talk (or rant, as the case may be) about the classes I'm taking, and will most likely subject you to more random musings like ants and fungus causing the zombie apocalypse.

Until next time, assuming zombies don't get us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Maiden Voyage

The most difficult part of any journey is the first step. 

I have no idea who originally said that, but it's safe to say they're likely smarter than I am. A blog is an idea I've pushed to the back of my mind for over a year now for the simple reason that I didn't know where to start. That's no longer stopping me so let's just get through this awkward introduction with minimum casualties.

The big push to finally stop making excuses and procrastinating the creation of this blog came from my recent decision to take the plunge and enter the difficult world of full time freelance writing. I've dabbled in non-committal freelance writing before with everything from pay-per-article( such as Bright Hub )  to content sites like Hubpages and have done well enough but wasn't ready to risk it all and quit the day job. Eventually I came to the conclusion that a part time job at a call center was a weak excuse for not pursuing this with everything I have. It didn't help my job's case that the hours did not mesh well with my college schedule and interfered with my long distance relationship.

So here I am, with my pen name in the url. I did that instead of using the blog's title for a couple reasons. One, allthegoodnamesweretaken is a lot to type and there is no shortage of opportunities for typos. Secondly, I'm not sure I'll be sticking with the working title anyway. With those two factors in consideration it was an easy choice to toss my pen name up there.

What can you expect to find here? The easy answer to that is: everything, anything and probably a lot of nothing. I have no intention of even trying for any sort of niche. I plan on writing about whatever I feel like writing about. Some days I'll write about subjects that interest me, and the information I've found in research or tutorials. Other days I may post short stories (either fiction or recaps of my latest antics). Sprinkled throughout will also be commentaries, reviews, opinions and who knows what. I have two confirmed guest posters and will be working to recruit others. On the list to be sweet talked into making an appearance is my lovely and talented girlfriend as well as her entrepreneur mother.

Now to toy with the features here and press buttons. Brace yourself for possible explosions. We know links work fine from the above, so let's try uploading an image.

 Viola! The soda Mario display from my local Wal-Mart. Dare we try a video? I think we do.

... and we wait for the video to download. Then we wait for the video to upload.

...and we wait some more.

There we go, my commentary on the scenery while hiking just to the left of the middle of nowhere. The mutant spider references make more sense in context. The context being that there were freakishly large spiders out there, and they wanted to eat me.

I think that's enough button pressing for now. We'll end the awkwardness here and move onto something else with the next post.

*Edit to remove a few links that no longer serve a purpose. I may eventually go through this all and revise them.