Monday, December 29, 2008

What the Winter ends with.

I think that the answers that I've been looking for are actually quite easy to find. The answers are easy. Living them, that's hard. To act is the tricky part. As this year draws to a close and a new year approaches I am filled with apprehension and hope. It always seems to be this way with me. New years resolutions are so attractive yet deceptive. I can't help but fall for them. So many people make them, and break them. It seems so trite to even contemplate, but I just can't help myself. There is such an inherent beauty in a second chance. It's irresistible. Maybe this trip round the sun will be better than the last. Because it's not here yet, and that means that I can hope. The Winter ends with Hope.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Me sick

I'm sick with a cold right now. So that's why there's nothing up here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today was supposed to be a good day.

I could almost feel it as I woke up. Despite the queasy stomach ache that I have never had before I could feel that today was going to be good. Not because it was going to be good to me but because I was going to plow through it all and make it good. I was wrong.

It was not so much what happened as a combination of things that didn't happen. Yesterday was a good day and that was surprising. I went to the gym, hung out with a friend and had a good time. Coming off of that high and into today I thought things were looking up. Work was ok, and I was having a good text conversation with another friend. Things seemed promising. Without going into specifics it just felt like everything... just kinda left me hanging. It wasn't even big stuff. I feel like a stupid house of cards sometimes. Just the slightest of things can ruin me. Which is odd because serious challenges brings out my resolve. I got a speeding ticket one day and I felt great because it gave me a opportunity to handle a concrete issue. It is the doldrums, not the storm, that destroys me. Someone can say or do the wrong thing and I'm crushed. I know it's not fair to hold other people accountable for my happiness. Yet I don't know how realistic to is to absolve everyone of responsibility regarding my emotional well being. People can be rude, mean, and cruel. To think that this shouldn't have an effect on a person is naive.


People have told me that no one can make me feel anything that I don't want. People have said to me that no one can force me to do anything. They claim that I always have a choice in deciding how I react. I disagree. People can force their wills on others, to a degree, no matter how a person may resist. I've been told that I have to be the bigger man. That really doesn't make sense to me. Growing up was a rather tortuous experience for me. Some have said that even though I suffered great pains back then I can overcome them now and lead a rich, full, and happy life. They even go so far to say that it is my obligation to those around me to do this. I'm going to use a metaphor here to hopefully explain why this feels so absurd to me. Imagine running in a marathon. At the start of the race some one purposely trips you and then slams their foot down on your leg and ankle. That person is never caught, they run on with the rest of the race. Now your told that even though your the victim here you need to get up and run. Even though your leg, the part of you that allows you to run, had been injured. This injury makes the act of just standing painful, walking becomes a nightmare, and trying run is unimaginable. And your not just being told to run, no! Your being told you have to catch up to the rest of the runners. You have to finish. You have to win!


That's what it feels like to me.


How can I be happy when the part of me that feels is broken. It's not even my fault yet I'm the one that has to deal with it. Someone said in reference to this, "So what if your childhood was bad. There's nothing you can do about it now. All you can do is make the rest of your life good." Well that sounds, nice in a pick yourself up by the bootstraps kind of way. They said "Well what do you want? What could make it better?" Their assuming that nothing could fix things. Well there wrong. I want a free pass on the next twenty years of my life. That's right. The first twenty or so where unnecessarily hard. So it's only fair I get a free ride for the next twenty. Even then it may not fix anything. But at least then there would be balance, there would be justice. I know that this isn't a realistic possibility. But I'm a little sick of hearing "The victim must pay for what the victimizer did." Which goes hand in hand with statements like "We're tired of listening to you, tired of you being gloomy. Cheer up or go away. You must like being sad otherwise you'd shake yourself out of this depression."

Now I don't mean to sound to terribly sad. Even here on this blog. My blog, and I'm still afraid to show all of what I feel. I'm afraid because of who might see. Afraid of who might mock. Afraid that those kind souls that do listen and console might get tired listening and consoling.

To those of you out there, you know who you are, I thank you. I just wanted to take some time to say it. I am so grateful for your words. For those who may just be reading I thank you as well. I hope that some good comes of it. Now I want to say that in writing this I am not asking to be cheered up. Please don't try. Just knowing you listen is far more comforting. This was just a bad day that was supposed to be a good day. It will pass. I write this because it helps to get it off my chest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please die ana.

There is a song by silverchair called Ana's Song (Open Fire). It's about the lead singer, Daniel Johns' struggle with anorexia nervosa. I remember watching the music video years ago. Something in it has been preying on my mind and I thought I'd share.

You can watch it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdF98W-ON3Q

At about the 1:53 mark the person pushing Daniel in the wheelchair stops and walks away. We see that it's Daniel leaving himself in the wheelchair to go join the band. I love the subtle look the two exchange. I think the imagery is very apt. It's hard for me to pin down exactly what I want to highlight with this video, but here it goes.

I look at the whole pushing your self in the wheelchair like this. The person in the chair represents all the weaknesses and fears. It's the sick part in me that keeps me from climbing those stairs I talked about in my other post. The person pushing the chair is all the strong parts. The hope, the love, the power, that I possess. That person is unable to climb said stairs because their pushing the weak and fearful around in the wheelchair. To separate means leaving one behind. No matter how feeble and miserable that guy in the wheelchair is it's still me. Losing him would be like losing an arm. Yet I want nothing more than to be rid of him. To feel the sun like other people, not just the cold. To live instead of dying everyday. Deep down the guy in the wheelchair wants that to. He wants to be free of his awful existence. He longs to be the person capable of pushing wheelchairs. Yet he hates them at the same time. When Daniel leaves himself in the wheelchair and he looks back as if to say "Where I go now you cannot, or will not follow." And Daniel in the chair seems looks back at him with unspeakable longing. Well at least that's what I see.

But I think some of the lyrics in the song are very telling also. He sings about how terrible the sickness is yet still sings "But I need you now somehow." I know I feel that way about my depression. I want to be rid of it yet... I still need it. It's all I've ever known. I fear that it's all I will ever know.

Yet Hope, like some terrible itch I just can't scratch, rears it's ugly head. It keeps me going, keeps me believing. If it manages to deliver on it's promise then I will sing it's praises until the day is worn out. But as of right now I'm still waiting, still hoping.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trying not to speak

I am sometimes afraid that I burden people with my sadness. I don't not wish to. I feel like sometimes I tend to drag every conversation towards my depression. I try to avoid it, I try to engage others in their lives as opposed to my woes. I think I sound like a broken record sometimes. But it's difficult because I wake up every day and I have to work myself up to normal. And when I say normal I mean normal for me, which in reality is barely functioning. That's my normal. The days when I just get by are my good days. This is where I live everyday. So because of this it's hard for me to talk about anything else.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pursuit of Happiness

Most free countries in the world make the promise of providing their citizens with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I think the wording is interesting. We all have Life, and hopefully we are all ensured that Life. Liberty is sometimes tricky to dispense but I think there's quite a lot of it in the world. A fact of which I am very grateful for. But that last item on the list...
It reads as the Pursuit of Happiness because happiness can't be guaranteed by anyone or any government.

Frankly it's a little frustrating that happiness has to be pursued. I'd much rather it was handed out in large quantities. I wish happiness would come looking for me than me looking for it. It's much better at hide and go seek than I am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Faces

As I was walking around today listening to people talking and thinking about conversations I had herd in the past. I had this thought about my own social skills. It's not that I'm socially awkward, it's just that I'm not socially adept. There's a difference. I have seen people who are completely unskilled at interacting with others. When these people are unaware of their own inability it's even worse. I like to think of myself as possessing some social skill, I'm just really, really, rusty with them. I just get nervous talking to people face to face. I'm so afraid of saying something dumb. With writing or texting I am so much better. I can think about what I want to say, and there's all the time in the world to word it right. That and I don't have to watch the person react to what I've said. They read it or they don't. I don't have to agonize as I watch their faces.



I read about a psychological study where they took pictures of peoples faces and showed them two different sets of of people. One set was depressed the other set wasn't. The pictures showed people with varying degrees of emotions. Specifically the people shown were either smiling or had their faces in a relaxed or unsmiling state. The subjects in the study were asked to identify the emotional state of the people pictured. The depressed individuals often would identify the people with relaxed faces as angry, mad, or upset. "So what," you might ask, "it's just sad people looking at the world and thinking it's sad". Well let me explain. Imagine you live your life in a constant state of misery. Now putting aside for the moment the whole "what causes depression" issue. Continue to imagine that while living in sadness you look out at the world and all you see are angry faces looking at you. Even though it's just people acting normal, for some reason your brain interprets it as cruelty. Think about everyone you know glaring at you all the time. Unless people happen to be beaming bright smiles you think their mad at you. I know I've gone up to people who are just being themselves and I've thought, "Wow they look ticked off. I'm going to have to work them up from that and into happiness just to talk to them." For a depressed guy with rusty social skills that's like taking up mountain climbing and trying to go up Everest for your first climb.



Now even though people probably aren't really that negative that's kind of how it feels. The perception of reality is that person's reality. This is not me blaming my problems on everyone else. I'm not asking for the whole world to always smile at me. That's not fair and I know it. I write this once again in the hope that it might help others come to a better understanding of people who suffer with depression. Now I go out there in the world. I try to talk to people, I try to keep myself happy and not take things personally. Some days I get through life in an amazing fashion. (Amazing for me is like normal for everyone else.) Other days I just get overwhelmed. For all those out there who know people with depression please just try and be understanding. It will make a world of difference.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On Web Comics

Here's the thing about most web comics. It seems they have one of two things going for them. Either the artwork is really good or the story is. You either have a good artist who has no idea how to tell a story, or a storyteller who can't draw. Now me, I can forgive an ugly picture if the story is compelling. But it doesn't matter how beautiful the art if there is no substance behind it. With some of the web comics that I've listed on this blog you'll notice this. The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew is drawn in stick figure style. As he goes on with the strip the style gets a little more refined, but it's still stick figures. The story takes a few strips to take off but in the long run it's a great ride. Goblins by Tarol Hunt and Danielle Stephens has the same issue.



I have gone through tons of other web comics that look amazing but they fall flat. This issue spans into other forms of media. Video games is one. You'll find games with amazing technical achievements but are nevertheless unplayable. The same goes for movies. I'm not sure what my point is in all of this. I guess just chalk it up to some of my blathering.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Loss

I am filled with hope and fear. Two contradictory emotions. But that's my life right now. There is a song that I have been listening to a lot lately. "There's a light up ahead." by Further seems forever. The title is really self explanatory. I like the acoustic version, it just aches with longing. You see right now I don't know if there is a light up ahead. So it's nice to hear people say that there is. I listen to the song at night as I walk and I imagine emerging from the darkness into some glorious light. I can only dream what it would be like.

There was one time in my life when I was happy. It was wonderful. However the circumstances that created that situation are unrecreatable. So the happiness that I once had now only exists in my memory where it haunts me. It is that which I once had but I am now without. It seems almost cruel that I was ever allowed happiness, because now I know what I'm missing. Before I remembered thinking that I wasn't that depressed. It seemed that while, yes I was sad, I wasn't that much worse off than anyone else. Then I got to see how the other side lived. It wasn't all kicks and giggles, it had it's hard times. But it was bliss compared to life before.

And now it is gone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ache

I'm feeling very conflicted right now. There are many things I feel or don't feel. I cant go into them all now, there are to many. Wish I could change the world, wish I could change myself. But that's my issue, my problem. I'm feeling so much and so little. Is this how it feels to come back from depression. If so, then is the cure worse than the disease.

It's a scary thing to do. As odd as it sounds it is absolutely petrifying to give up ones misery. It has been all I have known. There are no promises that something better will take it's place. No promises that the hurt won't compound and shatter me. They say the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. Dare I shake hands with the unknown? Dare I not?

I walk through life going through motions. Now that I'm trying stop feeling sad I'm not sure I feel anything. I don't know which would be worse. The pain or the nothing. I am a little angry that those seem to be my only options. When life's options where handed out I must have been in the back of the line.

Again I don't mean to complain. I fear that thats how I sound sometimes. It is not my intention. This blog is meant to be about the things that slosh around my head. There are fates much worse than mine. There are fates much better than mine. But who wants to believe in fate anyway.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

At the stair case looking up.

Imagine if you will your walking with a friend. This friend just happens to be in a wheel chair. You come to a flight of stairs. Do you bound up the stairs and look back expecting your friend to be right behind you? No of course you don't. You find a ramp for your friend. You would never expect the person to get up out of the wheel chair and walk up the stairs. Now I know it's not the same thing but depression is like this. Except it is not as understood as it should be. While people suffering from mental afflictions may not have physical troubles there are emotional stair cases we just can't walk up. Yet people think we should. When someone says "Why don't you just get over it." It irritates me. You wouldn't say "Just get out of you chair and walk up the stairs." to a handicapped person.

Now as I said I know there are differences. Don't try to extend my metaphor to far here. The point I'm getting at is that depression makes certain things difficult, sometimes impossible. I believe with time and work these problems can be overcome. But the key words in that sentence are time and work. If you have someone in your life suffering with depression don't abandon them at the bottom of a stair case. Give them some time, help them, give them a chance.

At least that's what I think.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comments like rain

So I got my first comment from outside my family and friends(though I consider all who comment as potential friends). This calls for a celebration, everyone go out and buy yourselves something nice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out of key

Well I went speed dating the other day. I don't really know how to feel about it. It seems as though I should feel something.

I saw the new Bond movie and was really disappointed. You can only coast off of the previous movie's success for so long.

I started jogging. So far it's not doing much for me.

There was an episode of family guy where Peter gets drunk and becomes a piano prodigy. There's one scene where he's wasted and starts to play a song but it's off key. Lois comes out and pushes him an inch or two and then hes on key. He was playing all the right notes he was just out of position a little bit, and was to drunk to realize it. I kinda feel that way right now. Not the drunk thing. I mean I feel like I'm playing all the right notes but I'm out of position and so everything is off key. I'm going through the right motions but I'm not getting the proper result.

Just to let you know.

I'm feeling empty inside...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Web Comics

I added a few links to some web comics that I follow. They are really good, you should follow them to.

The Order of the Stick: This is a D&D spoof comic drawn in stick person form. It takes a while for it to warm up but it gets really good. If you played D&D you'll get a ton of laughs. Now I have never played D&D, but that in now way interfered with my enjoyment of this comic. It being drawn in stick figures actually adds to the strip's charm. I fell in love with every character in it, hero and villain alike.

Goblins: "See life through their eyes." This strip focuses on what its like to be the goblins in games like D&D. You quickly begin to care about their plight. It also showcases a world where things are seldom black and white. It also takes a while for it to find it's pacing but once it does it delivers a powerful story. Be sure to check out the fund raising goblin "Tempts Fate".

Looking For Group: Sometimes the comedic timing seems off, and the art style made me feel oddly claustrophobic. But Richard makes up for it. Most of the other characters come and go and don't do much, but Richard is the lynch pin of this strip. He makes this comic worth reading. He is just so delightfully evil it's a pleasure to read. And it's odd because all the other main characters have histories that normally would make them interesting, yet their not. So check it out for Richard, and for Pony.

Marry Me: What if a pop star like Britney Spears had a soul? What if a random fan proposed to her at a concert? What if she said yes? What if a priest was in the crowd to seal the deal? All these questions come true and get answered in the comic Marry Me. Its well written and well drawn. It has memorable and lovable characters. And who'd of thunk it, even though its not set in a fantasy themed world I still like it. Parker is my favorite.

Flaky Pastry: This is perhaps the zaniest comic I've come across yet it still manages to work. It's more concerned with having a punchline at the end of each strip than a grand continuing storyline but I'm not complaining. Zintiel is hot and ├╝ber freaky. I've never been so attracted to and so scared of someone in my life. She has a killer body (Both literally and figuratively) with a smile that's right off of the Joker from Batman. And her eyes swim with and insanity that I just want to drown in. Then I love Nitrine with her neon green hair and lips. She's a feisty life addicted goblin. Sadly I have nothing good to say about Marelle. I would have thought it impossible to be unattracted to a Cat-girl. It's her potato like nose and know it all attitude. I put up with her for the sake of enjoying Zintiel and Nitrine. Then the dragon in the pipe joke got real old real fast. But check out the bizarrely named Flaky Pastry for silly fun

Friday, November 14, 2008

Notable Blogs and Crying Winds.

As I log into my blog I have noticed that a link. This link directs me to "Blogs of note." When I first saw this I thought well that's nice. They have a little showcase section for blogs. I wouldn't have thought anymore about it except that it is always there when I log in. It stares me in the face as if to say "Yeah here's a blog of note, and guess what... Its not yours." and then it laughs at me. I've become obsessed.

What does one have to do to get their blog onto the "blogs of note" list? Do I have to start including pictures, I can do that. Does my spelling and me grammar need be better, cuz I can change. Do I need to send the powers that run the "blogs of note" fancy gifts and bribes, because I can... wait I can't do that. Not in this economy anyway.

I mean I've looked at some of these so called "blogs of note", there more like "blogs of not!" Or perhaps I should say naught, because they don't seem very noteworthy to me. That's just one man's opinion, one bitter and jaded man's opinion. It's just as valid as any other.

So I stand up for myself. I call out to the world "Here I am, this is my blog, and it is noteworthy." And I hear my voice echo in the empty theater. It's a harsh sound, but listening to it grants me insight. I know why the shrieking wind howls. It is because it's lonely and wants attention. It doesn't get it as the gentle breeze and so it works destruction and forces you to observe it.

Well this has been my rant. It all could have been avoided if someone at "blogs of note" had noted my blog. I even tried to look up their criteria for blogs wanting to qualify as notable. There was nothing posted. It felt like they were going out of their way to be aloof. Like the Gods on Olympus dispensing favors and punishments in a truly arbitrary fashion. We mortals toil as they pull the strings of fate and we dance like puppets for their amusement.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More bad news from Buddha

"A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker."
-Buddha


Well thanks a lot Buddha. That's another thing you've said that makes sense. Yet it hurts me because I have tried to refine myself into a good speaker. I like to think of myself as a man of words. Not that I'm good at small talk. But I like to think that I am good at conveying my ideas. I also used to think that this made me a better man. Then Buddha comes along with his infinite wisdom, and ruins it all for me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If Buddha can't help, who can?

So in Patrick Rothfuss' blog today he spoke about a Buddhist teaching that initially seemed very very appealing to me.

He said "One of the foundation stones of Buddhist philosophy is" "that desire leads to suffering.

"For example: You see a kid at the grocery store. He wants a candy bar. His mom says no. Result? Suffering. He pitches a fit. Similarly, when I was in my early twenties, I spent a long time desiring various types of romance, and because none was forthcoming, suffering ensued. Much suffering.

"It's simple. The more things you desire, the greater your potential for suffering. It's basic math. And when you stop to think about it, the solution is obvious. If you want less suffering in your life, you simply have to reduce your desires. You need to let go of things." -Patrick Rothfuss

And for about ten minutes I felt better about the world. I tried to unshackle myself from all my desires. It was quite liberating. But then I started thinking. Even if I could get myself to stop wanting things, that fact alone would not make my life any better.

You have failed me once again Buddha and Patrick.

Conversational Hijacking

I have a person in my life who I have on recent occasion began to talk to. I talk about things that are going on in my life. Then the conversation takes a sudden turn away from me.

An example:
ME: So things are really hard right now. I'm struggling with work, and life and..
OTHER PERSON: Yeah things are tough. I know what you mean. Like for me I'm having a really tough time with things. But what's great is that I'm working a little more, putting in that extra bit of effort. That way I have a bit more money. I've had to buckle down more but it will totally be worth it for me.

Now this may not sound to bad. Except this is how every single conversation goes. I try to talk about some of my stuff, then this person hijacks the conversation. He/she turns it around so that their just talking about themselves. Now I don't need to constantly be talking about myself. But from time to time I'd like to have a conversation that revolved around me. Am I wrong in this?

Interest, or the lack thereof.

So I've been trying to talk to my friends and family about myself. You know cuz, I've been feeling down lately. They don't seem that interested. And its hard for me to blame them. I'm not interested and it's my life.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rejected by the Day.

It seems as though life doesn't want to have anything to do with me. I find that odd, and highly off putting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh, I'm sorry... Am I getting to real for you?

So lately I have had these discussions with various people, friends I guess is what you'd call them. I don't mean to be mean but I'm in a bad place right now. So please take this all with a grain of sugar.

But anyway these discussions. I begin these conversations with the people in my life. They start out innocent enough. I even begin talking playfully about life. Then the conversation turns dark. I have no problem with dark. I like it, I prefer it. Because that's where I am right now. I'm in a dark place. The only way I know how to survive that is to go dark. In the light we fear the dark because we cannot see what lies within it. Once out of the light and in the dark's embrace, it can be a very comforting place if you let it be. Yet at the same time it's the worst place on earth to be.

And because that is where I am right now it is very real for me. It's all I can think about. That is not to say that I want to stay in the dark. Far from it. But I find myself in a place where the dark is plentiful and the light is sparse. So when my friends and family ask me how I'm doing I want to tell them. I want to tell them the truth about me though. I don't want to lie and say I'm fine. When they ask how my day is going should I incorrectly tell them it's going good? They are my friends and family after all. They are the ones that should be close to me. The ones that should help me in times like these.

So when I try to tell them that things aren't going well they push me away. Why? Do I scare them? I don't mean to. It's not as though I threatening them or anything. They ask me how I'm doing. I tell them I'm not so good. They ask why or what they can do to help. I try to explain things. I begin speaking about how I wake up every day and have to talk myself into living. I hear others good news and feel bad inside. Is it envy, do I wish to have good things happen to me? Or is it hate, hate for those who are succeeding when I am not? I do not know. I talk about an emptiness inside of me that just seems to eat at me and eat at me. When I talk about these things they look at me as if to ask why I brought them into this awkward situation. Then they start to back pedal. They laugh off what I have said. They change the subject. They let the matter drop or stop talking to me.

These things I talk to them about are all cries for help and they have failed to answer them. Well done for them. I'm sorry if having to contemplate the pain I live with everyday such inconvenience for them. It must be really tough having to listen to someone your supposed to care about. Well I'll try not to burden them anymore, at least not with this blog entry.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cast not your pearls...

Before those who will not treasure them.

There is a verse in the bible found in Matthew 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

This is not a way for Jesus to call people dogs and swine. If you think that then your missing the point. The point of the verse is that you shouldn't take something important to you and lay it in front of those who will have no respect for it. So for all you out there with a treasured personal something. Hold it dear, and be careful who you share it with. For all the rest of you out there, be respectful of the things other people value. You don't want to be the cause of pain to the people around you.


Notice anything different?

Friday, October 24, 2008

One thing not to say to a depressed person.

A depressed person will often say that they don't have anything worth living for. Now maybe they do but they can't see it. I'd like to emphasis the "they can't" part. You may be able to see something but they can't. Even if you point it out. It will either be something that you may think is worth living for but isn't for them; or it will be something that doesn't mean enough to them. The prospect of living with the sadness outweighs the worthwile'ness of your observation.

Another aspect of it is that the person really doesn't have anything worth living for. You may not be able to see this one, but that doesn't mean its not there. For you life may be full of life worthy activities that doesn't it mean it's the same for everyone. Offering them hope won't suffice. A person in this state has used up their entire reserve of hope and it's gotten them nothing. More won't fix anything. Hope is akin to wishing. You can hope for whatever you want, it doesn't mean it will happen.

So what can a person do to help? To really help. Well I don't know. If I ever get helped I'll let you know. So far, nothing. Most people feign concern. They ask how they can help. The person in need has no idea. If they knew how to fix themselves they would. If they knew what help to ask for they would. So they tell people that they don't know what they can do to help. Those people may say something like "Well if you don't know how am I supposed to?" Others may just let it drop. They don't want to hear more. Its a messy emotional situation. They don't want to get involved. In all likelihood help could be given, but that requires effort and work. People are lazy. They find excuses to avoid giving aid.

When individuals say things like you need to find things to look forward to. It's just another way to shirk getting involved. It amounts to little more than trendy psycho babble. It does more good for the asker than it does the pained listener. It sets the asker at ease. Leaves them guilt free and secure in the (false) knowledge that they did their best to help a fellow human in suffering. While the sufferer feels all the worse. Feeling alone, and feeling like no one can help them.

Perspective

When you think your at the bottom of the world your really at the top. It all depends on how you look at it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You know what I hate?

People trying to talk to me when I have my headphones on. When i have my headphones on its my way of saying,"Don't talk to me." What is it about this that people don't get. I understand if there is some urgent need to talk to me then by all means interrupt my music and say, "Hey there's a huge bolder rolling towards you," or "Hey your walking on my foot." But if your talking to me just to say hi and I have my headphone on... what the heck man!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Random thought.

I won't say much for Band kids, but I will say this: They leave a clean dinning area.

The band just got done eating in the dinning area, but you could never tell. They left that place clean.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You know what I hate?

People that try to get on the elevator before you get off.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

To Break without going to Pieces.

I sometimes look back at my school experince with regret. Regret for all the things I didn't do, things I never accomplished. I was never on any sports team. I never got the lead in the school play. I never really stood out from among my peers. Now I consider myself a pretty clever guy. I always was. I don't pride myself on to many things, but my wits is one area that I do. It seems to me that someone clever as I am should have made something more of his life than what I did in school.

I remarked on these feelings to my Mom one day when I was feeling rather low about myself. Because it really hurt that I had lead such an uneventful existence. That day my Mom said something that has stuck with me ever since.
She said "You surrvived, that's all you could do."

It had never hit me the way it hit me then. My schooling was not a pleasant exeperince. In fact it was awful. Everyday was torture. Every. Day.

Survival was a mircale. It was all that I could do. More than what I could have hoped for. For a decade or so I learned how to break without going to pieces. I was broken by my expeneices, but I kept it together.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Book of the Geek

"Now let us ponder the tragedy of Raziel, who in his pursuit of truth was ensnared by liars."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Book of the Geek.

"Optimus Prime would die for you, and he doesn't even know who you are."

So the question is, what would you do for Optimus.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My talk with Uniblogger.

So Uniblogger just posted this on his blog. I have a lot to say about it. So this is what Uniblogger said:

Being special

Who ever told you that you were special is a liar. We are not snow flakes everyone being different. Our minds are to complex full of different thoughts to be anything different from anybody else. No idea is unique and no feeling has not been felt. We all fall in and out of "love". The sooner we understand that the better.
This idea of being special has warped our world into this false scence of intilement. Everyone feeling they deserve respect or happiness or "love". All the while we have done nothing to earn it. What do we think being nice to people should be rewarded? Being nice should be listed as a duty. It should just be something we do even if it goes unrewarded.
The other day I was at school and there was a precher on campus preaching his religion. A member of the faith a subscribe to was there listening and then began to get confrontational with the preacher. Did this kid think he was special because he had the "truth"? Did this preacher feel because he was saved he was intitled to tell us how to live our lives? Did the fact that both these two who obviously don't study their own religion, give them a right to try and force there beliefs on others? Did they have a right to act unchristian like in the name of christianity? No. No they did not. They are nothing special. Arguing the same points of doctrine that has gone on sence the begining.
I can't be intitled, expecting these two not to argue infront of me. I'm nothing special. I have to sit and listen just like everyone else. We are a world of dreamers thinking that the next big thing for us is just around the corner. Fighting so hard to be different when we would change into something else that somebody already is. Stop trying to be different. Be who you and ninety other be are. You don't deserve to be happy, you just owe it to yourself.

Then I said:

Your talking out of your butt, and I'm going to call you on it. I'm special. There is something inside of me that keeps telling me so. The entire world has tried to shut that voice up. I've even tried. But that punk voice just will not die.

Now does that mean that everyone is special? I tend to subscribe to "The Incredibles." philosophy. If everyone is special then no one is. Some people are special. History has taught me that much.

Now as to what I'm supposed to do I don't rightly know. If I end up doing nothing then I guess I'm not special. Then that annoying little voice will have been wrong. But until then I'm stuck with the voice, it wont go away. So I keep living.

There are feelings that only I feel. Things that only I know. Not that they have been totally unknown to others, but my perspective is unique. As a aspiring writer I sometimes am angered by the Greeks. It seems that they did EVERYTHING first, and they did EVERYTHING best. Or at least that's the way some might tell it. I can't live in world without the promise of newness. I can't live in a world without the hope of originality.

So what I'm saying is that if your right, Uniblogger, I might as well end it all now. And so might you and the rest of the world. Even if your right though, I refuse to believe it. My refusal individualizes me. And the individual amongst the crowd is special.

I mean why would you want to beat yourself up with thoughts like this. Are you a glutton for punishment? Now I am all for getting rid of people's sense of entitlement. It's an awful thing, when in excess. There must be moderation in all things.

You don't have to earn everything, you don't have to do things just because it is your duty. We are not here to be servants, ordered about on the whims of a master. Our existence is much grander than that.

Optimism is a new world for me. One I never thought I'd enter. But as I mentioned in my blog. I was content to live as I had always lived "Until someone holds up a mirror" and I see myself. And I didn't like what I saw. So I'm on this journey to make a better me. You've helped me on that journey. I only hope I can be of some help to you.

I've spent time in diverse places. As I, a stranger in a strange land, walked about I saw things, felt things, thought things. I had moments of profound enlightenment. Others around me didn't share in that. I felt as though I was walking above a mist of darkness. It saddened me that others did not see what I saw. So many people. People who should have been able to. I thought it wrong for me to learn things, to be so blessed by what was given me. Especially when others could not share in it. I tried to share, but they were not apt.

Now these two religious arguers. They sound annoying to me. I sometimes wish that the there were not people like them in the world. But that is not for me to decide. I just have to find someway to live. And I guess you do to. Perhaps you can't live in a world where there are special people. So you decide what is in your world like I've decided what's in mine. Whatever gets you through the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Haircuts are nice.

They make you feel good and clean and new.

Everyone needs a new start every once in a while.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In defense of the shy.

There was a new hire at my place of work. He seems very quiet. I guess I seemed that way to when I first started working there. One person commented on that fact. They said that the new guy was almost more quiet than I was.

What's wrong with that?!

I have a two friends. One is dating a girl who hasn't said to much to us. The other mentioned that point when we were discussing our first impressions of her. I asked him if he had a problem with shy people. He kinda sputtered and didn't have anything else to back up what he said. Some months have gone by and whenever we talk about this girl my friend keeps bringing up the fact that she seems shy. Like there is something wrong with her. Like "Whoa, she's shy. That's a problem."

Over the span of my life I have found that most people are apprehensive about shy persons. Like they are broken, or they're a wild animal that is going to snap at any moment. They seem to act as though there is something wrong with the shy. Almost like their not human.

Different people have different ideas about how to deal with shy people. Some think they need to bombard the person with social situations to "bring them out of it." Like it's a sickness to be cured. Others try to avoid the shy person and take steps to further isolate the individual. Both of these actions are inappropriate, cruel, and offensive.

Shy people don't need you to fix them. Maybe they'll ask for help but if their anything like me, unless they ask, they don't want help. I've made my shy bed, and I've learned to sleep in it. That's not saying I'm happy about it. But we all have to learn to walk our own lives. Changing a major personality behavior is not as simple as changing a light bulb. Most shy people are dealing with their shyness the best way that they can as they can. When the time comes to get help, should the need it, they'll ask.

Avoiding the person is just as bad. You'll just make them feel more awkward and self conscious. Just treat the person like normal. Unless your dealing with a basket case you can talk to them and they'll respond. Probably with only the bare minimum required to make sense, but they'll respond. And FYI, basket cases are not going to be out walking around so you likely wont encounter them.

Shyness is not a crime, it's not a sin, it's not a sickness. For many it's a state of being. For me it's as second nature as breathing. Would I wish it different. I would. But to change it would take a time machine. And life is like an intricate tapestry. Pull one thread and the entire thing is changed, ruined even. If being freed from my shyness meant losing a valued personal trait. I'd stay me, I'd stay shy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In Search of Meaning.

When I was young I faced adversity. I know that others have faced much worse trials that I can't even begin to imagine. But the greater hardships of others do not change the reality of what I went through. I'm not trying to boast that I had it hard. It's not a "who had the toughest life" competition. What I am saying is that through it all I got the impression that something was working against me.

Now the feeling that I have always had is a feeling that I was supposed to do something with my life. I felt that my life had a meaning to it. I just didn't know what it was. To this day I still don't. Yet I can't shake that feeling. I don't know where it comes from. I wonder if it comes from the oppression I mentioned above. If there was indeed something working against me, if it was trying to stop me. Well it would seem that would indicate that I was supposed to do something.

Now perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps this feeling is just selfish pride. Perhaps everyone feels the way I do. But I don't want to believe that. I can't. Because it would mean that all that I went through was for nothing. That this life is for nothing. Now even if that's true I don't want to believe that.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just 20 short minutes.

I have 20 minutes to write something remarkable. 20 minuets to write something that will last forever in the minds and hearts of those who read it. 20 minutes to etch my feelings into the electrons of the etherical internet. Just 20 minutes to reach out hoping for someone to grasp on to my words. That my meaning might be shared with them.

15 minutes now. Until I have to leave this computer and go on with my day. I'll be wondering later if what I'm doing now has made a difference. For someone who has gone through life painfully unseen I yearn to make a impact. 15 minutes to impress my self upon you, my dear readers. 15 minutes to convey the grandness of fleetingness. It's like a whirlwind, like saying goodbye at the airport, like looking for a lifeboat on a sinking ship. The end is already insight, it's already here. You can see it, but your not ready. There is so much more to do, so much more to say.

But now it's only 10 minutes. 10 minutes until it's over. Watching the clock robs you of time. I wanted to very quickly say something in this blog entry. I wanted it to be profound. I had nothing in my mind to say. And so I babbled perhaps all I'm doing is grasping at straws. When time is short it becomes very precious. But as dear as my time is I wanted to share it with you. I wanted to glory in life. Such as it is, for all that it is. Even for all that it isn't. When time is short there can be no mourning for what is lost. Right now my minutes are sliding away. Even though what I say here will stay long after.

Time is the blood of Life. Beware of Vampires.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Five Songs from my iPod IV (The Quadrilogy)

#1- "Your Call." by Secondhand Serenade.
Gooey emotional stuff. I hear it, but I don't feel it.

#2- "Coming Too Close." by No Use For A Name.
Teen angst. A band for when the world vexes you.

#3- "The Angel Opens Her Eyes." by Live.
Not really sure what this song is about. Something about a storm, and the birth of a child. Some mother dies, and another arises? But it's a cool sounding song.

#4- "For The Movies." by Buckcherry.
"One more chance to make it for the movies." One last chance to make some part of this life worthwhile, just like they do it in the movies.

#5- "Walking the Streets of DC." by Good Charlotte.
Eh.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not the Greatest Video Games of All Time: Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII

Games in this category will contain my iconoclastic views of the video games that others consider great. We're not talking about games that are bad. We're talking about games that people think are great when really their not. Some might be bad games, most will be average games that are overrated. To the people who mistakenly think these games are good, hopefully by reading this they'll realize how wrong they are. I going to start with a game that is personally (and I wish there was a stronger word) irritating.

Final Fantasy VIII

"I'll be here..."
"Why...?"
"I'll be 'waiting'... here..."
"For what?"
"I'll be waiting... for you... so... If you come here... You'll find me. I promise."


I hate this game.

Perhaps it's not so much that there's a lot wrong with FF8 as it is the fact that it was such a let down after FF7.

-SPOILER ALERT-

In my ignorance and innocence I thought FF8 was going to be a sequel to FF7. FF7 was the first final fantasy that I played. So I was unaware that while each Final Fantasy was part of the series they each have they're own individual story. They aren't connected from game to game. When I learned that it was a crushing blow. (To think that I might never know what became of Cloud and Tifa. That I might never find out what Cloud's cryptic statement at the end of the game meant. (And then they made a movie and I sorta wished they hadn't. But I digress.)) Even knowing that the two games were connected in name only I still vainly hoped that somehow, someway the story and characters from FF7 would continue in FF8.

It didn't.

Next I thought that surely the materia system would return. Such a innovative and intuitive combat mechanic wouldn't be abandoned.

It was.

Not only abandoned but replaced with a flawed, cumbersome, unappealing, clunky, and difficult Junction/Draw system. To this day I still can't make heads or tails out of it.

The Junctions system was also linked to summoning. In FF7 one of the seven different types of magic you could use was summoning. You would acquire a summon materia which would allow you to summon a monster or creature to attack your foes in battle. The FF7 summons were fun and nifty. But they only occupied a portion of the rich cornucopia of FF7's game play. They were like icing on the cake.

FF8 over emphasized summoning. It was like the company that made these games said, "Huh, people liked the summons in FF7. Let's base our next game's entire combat system on them. And let's make them more integral to the story."
The cake had been replaced with a complete concoction of icing.

Next the main character is completely unlikable. Squall, what an ugly name. I read a reviewer who said that in FF8 Squall starts of as being aloof and unapproachable but he warms up. I played the whole seventy hour game and Squall remained a tight lipped, standoffish jerk the entire time. In the game one of the main characters is talking to him, opening up. She's even trying to tell him that she thinks that she is in love with him. He just stands there like brick wall. "How long are you going to keep me here? I'm only staying to listen to you because your my superior and you ordered me to." That's his attitude, not just to this woman in the game but to those playing the game as well.

Now you can have dispassionate loner characters in stories but you can't allow their disconnect with their fictional world to translate over as a disconnect with the audience. You'll end up with a character that now one cares about. It's easy for this to happen when a story is about someone who doesn't care about anyone or anything. This exact principal is why I can't stand the tv show House anymore. I used to love House. House was a jerk and a brilliant doctor. He isolated himself from people and the world and was an all around dirtbag. But there were hints of his humanity. That he really cared, and his harshness was just a defence mechanism of a man who had be hurt emotionally and physically. Then a few seasons into the show they took that sliver of humanity away and said "No deep down House is just a jerk." And I couldn't watch the show after that. The same thing is going on with Squall in FF8, except he never even has a glimmer of humanity.

The awkwardness continues at a dance where a girl named Rinoa forces Squall to dance. At first he's all like "I can't dance, oops I steeped on your foot, I can't dance. Oh your going to force me fine I'll dance." And then he dances perfectly. Turns out dancing is part of his spy training and he's really good. He was just being a jerk and not wanting to dance with a hot girl.

And then the whole spy/assassin thing. There's all these high school aged kids, literally hundreds, across the world training to by SeeD, or spy/assassins. They train at institutions known as Gardens, get it? SeeD, Gardens, seeds and gardens. Clever right? No, I didn't think so, but apparently the Japanese did.

The garden you start out in is run by this old guy named Cid. He sends you out on a mission to help Rinoa fight a witch named Edea. (Get it? Edea - Idea. Clever right?)
Well it turns out Cid is actually married to Edea. The two of them started the whole Garden idea. So your thinking they must have had a falling out and are now fighting. Well not entirely. Edea is a witch, but she's being controlled by a witch in the future. Makes sense right? The future witch is named Ultimecia, and she pronounces all her C's as K's. I'm didn't really think that was important but
the game makers seemed to think it was. Ultimecia is trying to compress time, wait I mean she's trying to "kompress" time. So that everything in history is all happening at once. This will somehow give her complete control of everything. Clever right? Our hero's figure out that the only way to stop Ultimecia is to let her compress time. Makes sense, makes a lot of sense. They want to let her compress time so that they can fight her, kill her, and then hopefully everything will go back to normal.

So time gets compressed, Ultimecia becomes all powerful and then you go kill her. I don't get it, if she was all powerful how could she be stopped? Oh well, so you kill her. Squall gets flung around in time and winds up briefly in his own past. He meets Edea back when she and Cid were all lovely dovey. They were running an orphanage in which he was an orphan along with most of the other main characters. While there he makes a few off hand remarks about SeeDs and Gardens to Edea. She thinks "Wow what a good idea." And that's how she and her husband get this bizarre idea to change their orphanage into a spy/assassin training academy. I mean you can't make this stuff up.

So Squall gets back to his time. Alls well that ends well. Now if you still think that this game sounds like a good game keep in mind I left out the following:

-Mind traveling back in time into Laguna's head. One main character wasn't enough for this game, no. We had to have two.
-The epic stinky fish chase.
-Fixing the worlds tv sets so that you can broadcast your declaration of war.
-Laguna becoming president of the country he fought against.
-Another witch named Adel who is important for some reason.
-Memory loss due to summoning junction system. As in the characters themselves suffered from amnesia.
-The under use of Seifer. He would have made a great villain, he would have made a even more interesting good guy. Either way they benched one of the few good characters they had for most of the game.
"Someday I'll tell you about my romantic dream." -Seifer
-Monsters on the Moon!
-The most asinine card minigame I've ever come across.

A reviewer from Edge found some of the story's plot twists "not ... suitably manipulated and prepared", leaving it "hard not to greet such... moments with anything but indifference". I couldn't agree more. And I couldn't say enough negative things about FF8.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Greatest Video Games of All Time: Xenogears

Xenogears

"Stand tall and shake the heavens."

Growing up I was spoiled by great games. I played Final Fantasy VII and then shortly thereafter I had the good fortune to play Xenogears. (Note: This is Xenogears, not Xenosaga. Xenosaga sucked, Xenogears ruled. Try not to mix them up.)
Playing these great games, as well as a few others I'll get to eventually, have made it nearly impossible to be content with the mediocre sludge being released nowadays.

Xenogears is one of the most involving and complex works of storytelling I've ever come across. It could quite possibly have taken my number one spot on The Greatest Video Games of All Time, but I played FF7 first. By virtue of precedence FF7 comes out ahead of Xenogears. That is not to say that Xenogears is better, their both great games. The only difference is FF7 came first for me. There's just something special about being first. Like your first love.

Xenogears is a close second to FF7. Hereafter I stop numbering the games. There is a first and a second. After that all the rest of the games I'll discuss are simply great games.

As I mentioned the story of Xenogears is very complex. So much so I will not try and sum it up here, for I cannot do it justice. I'll just say that it's got giant mech bots, a guy with green skin, and more philosophical/theological references than you can shake an angry fist at(or game controller.) Throw in some sand pirates with eye patches and you've got Xenogears.

It's a PSone game so it's a little dated. And the color seems washed out even for it's time, but that's part of it's charm and it's style.

The thing I love the most about this game is when it comes to the big battles. You can try to play conservatively; meaning you try to manage your attacks so they don't use up to much of your resources, but if you do you'll lose. Every boss fight I had to throw caution to the wind and go all out. Whenever I tried to hold back I got beaten to a bloody pulp. I fought like there was no tomorrow, and I flew by the seat of my pants. It was exhilarating. After each boss fight I felt like I had just barely survived being chewed up by a grind stone.

In order for a game to be great it is crucial that it have a fantastic story. Well if anything Xenogears has a overabundance of story. But that's not a bad thing in my opinion. This game is not without it's faults. Although the biggest fault for me seems to be that once you get about 75% of the way through it feels like the designers ran out of time and had to quickly sum up the games final events. This flaw, however, is easily overlooked because the do actually give the game a proper ending, even if it feels rushed. I'd much rather they do that then cut the game off short and say "Tune in next time." or "To be continued."

Once you finish the experience, and it truly is an experience, you'll appreciate the closure the game offers. With it's rich story and involving gameplay Xenogears stands very near to the top of the Hallowed Hall of Video Games.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"All the loney people."

"Where do they all come from?"

I just did a search on this google blog thingy. I looked up all the people who like me listed depression on their interests list. There are a lot of us out there. You might think that the knowledge that I'm not alone would be comforting. But it is sad to see so many people suffering. Some to greater or lesser degrees than me. Some have a very positive outlook, others seem completely resigned to their fate.

I wish all this was not so. I wish there could be a way to "just decide to be happy." But problems don't go away just by wishing. Some problems never leave no matter how hard one tries.

I can't help but ask why? Why so many, why so much pain? I don't have any answers. Just questions that fill me with sadness and rage.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Broken Biological Machine

Sometimes I feel like a Broken Biological Machine
What does it take to make a Broken Biological Machine you ask.
Well I don't feel things I should. I feel things I shouldn't.
There's something wrong with me.
Like something inside of me is broken.
The sadness I feel is the type that makes you wonder why God would do this to a person.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Words ring hollow.

I keep dwelling on the recent conversation I had with Uniblogger. There's this whole "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality that hurts probably as much as it is true. But the nasty thing about depression is that it saps every good thing in you. It makes even the easy things in life seem unbearable. So imagine trying something hard like completely revolutionizing your life.

I know it's not fair to put words in Uniblogger's mouth. They way I'm explaining this all is not the way that he meant it. But that's another nasty thing about depression, it takes the entire world and no matter how bright and brilliant it may be, it makes it dark and dismal. So it also takes Uniblogger's words, no matter how true or good intended they may be, and makes them ring hollow.

The hollow words tainted by my depression skew my perception. How am I supposed to be stronger than I would be at my best when I'm at my weakest. Survival would be more than what I could hope for, it would be a miracle. And Uniblogger doesn't just want survival, he wants me to triumph. That is so much more than just a daunting task. It's a herculean endeavour.

I changed my line next to my profile picture. It's from a song I like. The singer asks "Could it be this misery will suffice?" For me it rings true as a haunting realization that perhaps depression is what I'm stuck with. That it is all I'll ever have. Its a oddly comforting thought, like a cloak made of ice. It's chilling but it is nonetheless worn to protect one from what's outside, from what's worse.

I would love to change, but I just don't know where the strength to do so would come from. All the strength I posses is used to keep me from going to pieces. I would love to be magical made better. But to hold out for that seems foolhardy. So I hope that "this misery will suffice", because I don't have anything else if it doesn't.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The fear one lives by.

So last night I had a little conversation with Uniblogger. The topic centered around my depression. Uniblogger told me things that others have told me before. He was aware of this. He suggested things that I had already figured out, he was also aware of this. He said that I was smart enough to know all this stuff. Then he asked why I hadn't even tried to change.

"Just deal with it." Was what it all boils down to. "You want to make something of your life then just do it."

All this I know. As to why I don't change and try and make my life better. Maybe it's fear, maybe it's inability, or laziness.

Uniblogger has not been the first to offer such advice. So I have herd this all before and I hate hearing it. Perhaps because I know it's true. Perhaps it is the solution to the problems I face. It doesn't change the fact that I hate to hear it. It hurts to hear it. And it doesn't seem to help. Maybe that's because I never really try. I keep waiting for some other solution. I keep thinking that there has to be a better way out of all this. I am also afraid that if I do make the big effort to change that it wont work. That I'll be stuck in the same old dark place.

So that's that. At least for now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Five Songs from my iPod: The Trilogy

#1- "Sugar, We're Goin' Down." by Fall Out Boy.
Man this song got old quick. This band got older even quicker. Can't stand them now for the most part. This song was cool the first time I herd it. And by the way I was the first person to hear it thus making me cool. But by the time other people herd it I had moved on to other cool things thus making me even cooler.

#2- "God War Montage (live)." by Videogames Live.
It's God of War. Need I say more.

#3- "Hero." by Enrique Iglessias.
Would that I could be your hero. This song to me seems to be about someone who wants to be someones hero. But either that someone wont let them or the guy just doesn't have it in him to be a hero, as much as he may like to.

#4- "Leave Life Bleeding." by Fuel.
Just the imagery of some guy singing this with blood all over his hands is cool to me. Well at least that's what I see.

#5- "The World Is Not Enough." by Garbage.
The good:
It's a Bond song. It's a Garbage song.
The bad:
The movie sucked.
The ugly:
Put the good and the bad together.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ruined by the End

What do days off, holidays, and vacations have in common? They are all ruined by that fact that they have to end. It's happened to me where I have a day off but I can't enjoy it because I know it's going to over eventually. I can't get that fact out of my mind that no mater how much fun I'm having it's going to end.

Sometimes the knowledge of an events ending prevents me from appreciating it. The fear of the future robs me of the present.

The scarier aspect of this comes when contemplating the end of life. Can death and the fear of it rob us of a meaningful and rich life? Only if we let it. I heard a saying once which goes like this

"Live life as a monument to to your soul."

So get working.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Advice

"Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind."
-Mahatma Gandhi.

I really like this quote. At times when I have given advice I have wanted it to change the lives of the people I gave it to. When this doesn't happen I feel like a failure. But perhaps Gandhi has the right of it. Just patiently dispense your wisdom and let it pile up. Eventually you may seem something come of it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Uniblogger's moto

Unibloger has a moto. "Lifes not gonna make it. So you got to take it." Or in other words "There is no such thing as a free lunch". If you want something in this life then you have to work for it. I'm a big beliver in that. I'm just not very good at practicing what I preach.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Of Shells and Hells

I was at work the other day. Some of my coworkers were talking about the first time they met me. As I have said before I am a quiet guy. I used to be quite shy, that shyness has matured into a quietness. The two, while similar, are very different. That is not to say that this quietness is better than the shyness. (If even it ever was shyness.) It is more to say that being quiet or shy was more a issue of how I reacted to the way the world treated me. The shyness was a defense mechanism to some of the negative aspects of my life. Even though those negative conditions no longer exist that shy defense mechanism was how I had to live every day. The quietness is what I'm stuck with now.

So my coworkers were talking about how quiet I was when I first started. Then they said "But since then we have gotten you out of your shell." That word they used, that "we" really bugged me. "But since then we have gotten you out of your shell." It took me awhile to figure out why that phrasing bugged me. Part of it was thinking that they had drawn me out of my shell. Like they had done me a favor. Well if they actually had gotten me out of my shell that would have been a huge favor. More than just a favor, they would have preformed for me a miracle for which I would have been eternally grateful. Sadly they had not achieved such a grandiose accomplishment.

The other part that bugged me was the fact that they thought that our friendship with each other was somehow due to their efforts. Because the fact of the matter that is that it was all me. Well maybe not all me. The person that I am now is the person who first started working there. There has been no change in me. What had changed is that I decided to trust them and let them into my life. It was not a matter of them getting me out of my shell. It was a matter of me letting them into my shell.

I draw this conclusion from another experience I had at work. Someone who also thought me quiet but I had gotten to know them and they no longer considered me reclusive. This person related to me that other people around the job had asked her
"So, does this guy ever talk?"
"Sure, he talks to me all the time." she said.
You see I had let this one person into my shell whereas I had kept the other out. If my coworkers had gotten me out of my shell, as they claimed. Then it would seem to me that I would then be open, friendly, and talkative to everyone.

Now the interesting thing about shells. They keep the world out while keeping what's inside safe. The only drawback is that the shell is lonely. Now I've let some people into my shell but they can't stay. The shell is only big enough for one. It is in that sense that the shell is a very much like hell. My own personal hell that I've made. It keeps me safe but hurts me at the same time. A hell of one's own making is still a hell.

Some might say that it would be better to leave the shell behind. To live unafraid and experience the world. But the hell I live in makes me so weak that I doubt I'd be able to survive exposed like that.

So I guess I'm stuck. Master of my shell, keeper of my hell.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Five Songs from my iPod: part Deux

#1- "Walls." by Emery.
Mournful harmony, is there anything better.

#2- "Harmageddon." by Apocalyptica.
This band does string versions of Metallica songs. This song is also used in a awesome amature zombie movie. (Which oddly enough also manages to feature "Popular" from the hit Broadway musical "Wicked.")

#3- "School of Hard Knocks." by P.O.D.
I own this song cuz I'm from the school of hard knocks baby. Who's ready to rock?

#4- "Placebo." by Placebo.
When he sings the line "Cuz I can see in the dark." And then the line "I'm coming up on infrared." This song reminds me of the scene in Silence of the Lambs when Buffalo Bill has the lights out. He's got the night vision goggles on and he's just toying with Clarice. It's like the song was written for the movie. (only the mood of the song doesn't match the movie, oh well.)

#5- "Pain." by Jimmy Eat World.
First herd this song on the show Smallville. Lionel Luthor and Clark Kent had switched bodies. Can't really figure out what the song had to do with what was going on in the show. But it's still a good song.

Five Songs from my iPod

So once a week (or whenever I feel like doing it). I plan to take my ipod, put it on shuffle and take the first five songs and then list and talk about them. They'll be whatever my ipod spits out, even if their embarrassing.
So here we go.

#1- "Take my breath away." by Ab Orchestra.
Man, I wish this hadn't been the first one. What are the chances that the first of all first songs was gonna be embarrassing. Oh well, at least you know I'm honest. This song is the instrumental version of the song "Take my breath away."
I got it on a whim, and I don't listen to it much.

#2- "Singing in my sleep." by Semisonic.
This song was on one of the first Cd's I ever purchased. I bought it for "Closing time" but liked the whole album. That doesn't happen very much anymore.

#3- "Still Fighting it." by Ben Folds.
Got this song for the "Everybody knows it hurts to go home." line. That line was part of the inspiration for my "You can never go home again." blog subject.

#4- "Got you (where I want you)." by The Flys.
You know they even sound like Flys, but in a good way. Love this song because it caputres the essence of every time I've try and to talk to good looking girls. Every thing I say bombs and I'm all like "I'm dying here." help me out.

#5- "Kuja's theme." by Nobuo Uematsu
It's from Final Fantasy IX. Not the best game in the world but some of the music was alright. This track was one of the good melody's. And it's by Uematsu, the guy who wrote the sound track to FF7, and every single song in that game was gold.

Well thats all for now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Value of the Unreal

So I was talking to my friend, who for the sake of kicks and giggles we shall refer to as the Delightful Picnic. Somehow our conversation turned to the topic of animation vs. live action and which is of greater value. I'm going to reiterate some of Delightful Picnic's points. I hope he doesn't get mad at me if I don't convey them word for word. I'm not perfect but I hope to get his meaning across. But if I get it wrong he can berate me later. Even if I do mess up Delightful Picnic's intent there are other people who genuinely think the things that I am going to bring up.

Delightful Picnic said that a story presented to him in live action form would have more meaning and a greater impact on him than if it were portrayed in an animated format. Now for me being a glass is half empty kind of guy I look at that statement and reword it. To me it says animation is inferior, it is not of the same value as live action, animation is not something of merit.

I disagree with those sentiments. I don't value animation over live action, I believe either medium is capable of greatness and value. I also think that each medium is just as capable of failure. Now there are some stories that I think can only be told through animation. But with the advent of computer animation there are a lot of previous impossibilities that are now shattered. A Spider-man movie would have been super corny without a computer generated Spidey capable of web slinging through New York. Lord of the Rings wouldn't have been as good without augmented images. (True there was a earlier Lord of the rings which was animated and it was terrible, a fact which may seem to contradict my point here but let me go on.) And the fact that live action is now relying more and more on computer animation, and incorporating it into their story telling process is, I think, quite telling. It's indicative of the value of animation. Of that which is not real.

This was another one of Delightful's arguments. He said that something that isn't real isn't believable. "Because it's not real it's not going to be able interact with me, a real person."

The point that I'd like to make is that if you automatically dismiss all of animation and it's potential value just because it's animation, well that is doing a disservice to your self and animation. Animation is capable of evoking just as strong of an emotional response as real people. A good story is a good story no matter how it's packaged. To think differently is snobbish elitism.

I believe one of the reasons Delightful and people like him think the way they do is as follows. "Kids like cartoons. I watched cartoons as a kid. Cartoons are for kids, I'm not a kid anymore. I can't like cartoons anymore. I'm supposed to be an adult and like adult things with more mature themes." While a lot of animation is aimed at children that does not mean that animation aimed at adults is not good just because its animation.

Now I've mentioned before that I'd like to be a writer. Specifically I'd like to write books in the fantasy genre. That genre is not just fiction but its a very unreal type of fiction. Fantasy stories are about worlds that are very far removed from our own. Yet I feel that if those stories are told well they can grant us insight into the human condition. I believe they can reach us in a very deep, personal, and meaningful way. Fantasy fiction and animation have a lot in common. So when someone minimalizes animation I feel they are also attacking the Fantasy genre, and in a broader sense imagination itself.

I know it's a kind of slippery slope argument I'm presenting but somethings really are a slippery slope. The first time mankind looked out across creation it set his mind afire with wonder. It is that fire that has lit the advance of civilization. The day that fire goes out is the day humanity ceases to be human. Dreams make the waking hours bearable. I think the best way to live one's life is with you head in the clouds so long as you keep your feet on solid ground.

Animation is very conducive to the imagination. And the wonders of the imagination are a feat not to be missed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Learn to say it right.

Uniblogger. It's Repository, not Suppository.

My first comment.

I got my first comment!
Anonymous said...
Did you know karoke is chinese for empty orchestra? Isn't that hauntingly beautiful? That just reminds me of your "stage with no audience" -The Sardonic One

So I just wanted to take a entry and commemorate this event. I know who this person is and I really appreciate their remarks. But I am still looking forward to the day someone stumbles across this blog, reads it, likes it(or hates it), and leaves a comment.

When and if they do you may see another of these entries to celebrate it. If your out there and want to make Brain Leakage Repository history, now is your chance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Am I alone?

At times I have felt like this blog is a stage with no audience. It's lonely. I invite any that read to leave comments. I have now just updated my settings so that anyone can give me feed back.

I will let just about any comment stay posted. If you do me the honor of commenting I ask that you refrain from swearing and bad language. Those who choose to swear anyway may get deleted.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Struck by Gumption

I'm in a odd place right now. I'm depressed and motivated at the same time. It is the most stangest feeling I ever. Yeah you know how wierd that last sentance was, well that's how I feel.

All the time nowadays.

The motivation is nice. But it's like the depression is laughing in my face whenever I do anything. But the more it laughs the more I want to prove it wrong. It's like fire and ice that somehow manage to feed off of each other. And I'm caught in the middle and it's tearing me apart.

Oh well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Greatest Video Games of All Time: Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

Thee Greatest game of all time. Just the fact that video games to this day are still compared this this adventure speaks volumes. It didn't just set a new high, it became the measuring stick by which all other games our measured by. With it's memorable characters, breathtaking storyline, and innovative yet intuitive game mechanics it stands paramount in the Hallowed Hall of Video Games.

At least that's my opinion, but I'm right.

It's the game that defined my video game experience. It was the game that meant the most to me at one of the darkest times of my life. Fry from Futurama explained why he liked Star Trek and his reason is the same as mine for why I like FF VII. It made me feel like I had friends, even when I didn't.

There may be SPOILERS ahead so if you haven't played the game yet (and you really should.) you may not want to read on. (It's a very good game. I can't stress that enough. Go play it. It's on the PS One so the graphics are dated, and it was originally made in Japan so the translation has some problems from time to time but it's faults are easily eclipsed by it's virtues.) The characters of the game are a treat to watch. The story is deep and involving with intriguing plot twists. The story is a tragic treat. The names of Cloud, Tifa, Aeris, Barret, Yuffie, Cid, Red XIII, Caith Sith, Vincent, and Sephiroth are game legend.

One of the games many shinning highlights is the Materia system. The game is an RPG (Role Playing Game.) and the Materia system allows the player to cast magic. But the cool part of the system is that it allows the player to pair different types of spells and effects together. This makes for a fun amount of customization in the game.

This game cast it's magic on me and I was enchanted. To illustrate how deeply this game touched me I share an experience. I knew that Aeris died. I could figure that from the game's commercials. What I didn't expect was for Aeris to die halfway through the game. I thought she would be killed in some grand sacrificial gesture at the end of the game. Her death caught me off guard. It hit me hard. I couldn't believe it. I thought there was something I could do to bring her back. Or I thought that there was something I could have done to prevent her death. There wasn't. Aeris was dead and there was nothing I could do. I felt helpless. This character, this "lifeless" video game sprite was suddenly gone. I went into mourning over her. I felt depressed. I couldn't play the game for a good month because of how profoundly hurt I was. I missed her. I wanted her back.

In time I came to terms with her death. My friends and family recall this period. They remember how sad I was. Later when I told them why they were surprised to learn that I had gotten so worked up about a video game. They even laugh and chuckle that I was affected so deeply. And I know there may be those of you out there who are thinking the same thing. Some of you reading may be thinking, "Who is this nerd?" "Can you believe this geek, doesn't he have a life." To those who say such things I ask you is it so pathetic to be moved so by a video game? What about to be struck by a poignant movie? Or to have your emotion strings plucked by music? To have your heart stirred by a book? If none of these things touch you can you still call yourself a human?

And in the ultimately that is the beauty of Final Fantasy VII. It's a story that pulls at the very things which make us what we are. A group of people opened up their hearts and poured them into a video game. It reached out to the world asking for so very little. It reached out to me when others only offered me fists and tearing words.

The game was very successful which makes me think that I am not alone. To think that out there in the big dark world there are people wanting to connect to something greater than themselves, and that is a comforting thought to me. Final Fantasy offered people that chance. Even if it was only for sixty some odd hours. Even if it cost thirty some odd dollars. It has stayed with me for my whole life as something beautiful and pure.

Go play Final Fantasy VII. I can't say enough good things about it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A little about me.

I grew up despite all efforts to the contrary. I'm still alive despite all efforts of my enemies. I graduated high school although my diploma was not so much a badge of accomplishment as it was a scar of survival. I've battled with depression most of my life. To this day my brain is trying to kill me in it's own funny way.

I've been working ever since I was old enough to push a lawnmower. When other kids were still collecting allowances I was paying rent. When my peers entered the full time work force I had already put ten years of labor under my belt.

I try not to be bitter about these things but it's hard. I try not to look at these things as stumbling blocks but as adversities to overcome.

I'd like to be a writer. It's been a dream of mine since childhood. I was telling stories before I had words. My first story was about a presidential election between fire and water. Water won, by the way.

Hope is a virtue that defines my life right now. I'm running a little low on faith. Those who have come down to the wire that I have will know what I'm talking about. They'll know the distinction between faith and hope. I don't have much faith in my fellow man, much faith in the world, worst of all I don't have much faith in myself. Because I've let myself down. I hope I won't do it again but I wouldn't put money on it.

That's why I'm only something more than ordinary and not extraordinary.

Monday, August 4, 2008

You can never go home again.

I think the person who said this tried. I know I tried and I came to the aforementioned conclusion. For anyone that has left home I think you'll find that there is no going back. Even if you go back. Try it and you'll find that people have kept living without you. How dare they. Places are different. People don't look at you the same, or perhaps worse they treat you the way they did before you left.

I'm not talking about vacations here. I'm talking about that key moment of life were you leave (or are tossed) out of the nest. You either fly or fall. But one way or the other you've left, there's no going back. For if you do, it will only end in disaster.

The sad thing is that this has to happen or else a person won't grow as a human being. We've all become something more than what we were. Yet we all lose something in that process. And that absence of what we lost makes us what we are today.

What D&D character am I?

I Am A: Chaotic Neutral (How is that even possible?) Human Cleric (4th Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-17

Dexterity-12

Constitution-12

Intelligence-14

Wisdom-15

Charisma-13


Alignment:
Chaotic Neutral A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn't strive to protect others' freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. However, chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)



You may have to google Easydamus to take this quiz, the site should be the first result you get. Have fun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Infected by Sports?

So my Uniblogger friend has pointed out a inconsistency in me. There is this sports game out. A college football video game. It's fun. I play it. I feel dirty.

Is this how sports mania starts? Am I infected? Can I still hate sports and like this game?

Thankfully I'm human, I don't have to make sense. I can blow both cold and hot with the same breath.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Until someone holds up a mirror...

I don't like sports. I don't like anything that has anything to do with sports. Ever since grade school I've hated sports. When we used to play games at recess I didn't even have the honor of being picked last. For me it was "You guys can have all the rest." Which sometimes got worse when it was followed by "We don't want them you can take them." This wasn't a one time deal. Every recess, everyday, for my whole life.
So normally I have a lot of negative things to say about sports.

Until today.

I was around a college campus and the football team was eating lunch. It was a catered event by the school's food service. It was nothing special just some corn dogs and powerade. A girl and a guy walked up to get something to drink and one of the servers said, "I'm sorry but this is just for the football team." The couple started to walk away but as they did the girl made this comment in a whiny snarky tone, "Have fun playing with your ball little boys." I wish you could have heard the tone because it was so self righteous I can't do it justice just writing about it. I also noticed she said it quite enough so as not to be heard by the football team. Way to be brave and let people know what you really think.

The thing is that she had the similar attitude that I had. No one gets that upset over not getting a free drink. It wasn't just that she couldn't get a drink it was that it was for the football team only. And her comment again was not about the drink, it was barbed for the sports guys. Phrased in such a way that you could tell that she didn't like jocks in the first place.

Watching and listening to her was a odd event for me. Like someone holding up a mirror and I didn't like what I saw. Because look, it was the football team's food, their money paid for it. (Although they probably got the money from the department which they ultimately got from student's tuition and other contributors so it wasn't like it was the players money, but still.) Why make that comment, why walk around with that big of a chip on your shoulder.

"But self," I say to myself, "you hate sports."
"You have a point," I say, "but do I really want to be like that girl?"

Well I may just have to reevaluate my life. I'm not sure if I'll forgive sports for all the wrong they've done to me. I'm not sure I could if I wanted to. But maybe I'll try and stop moaning about it.

Maybe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Dr. Horrible is good

Recently I had a friend who upon my advise watched Dr. Horrible. As he finished it I asked him excitedly.
"Wasn't that awesome?"
"No," he said, "no it wasn't."
"Yeah it was." I said.
"Look I know that you like that type of thing. Stories where the popular guy loses-"

I interrupted him there because that's not why I like Dr. Horrible, well maybe a little bit. But there's more to it than that. It's not just a story with a sad ending. It's a story with a sad meaningful ending.

Spoiler Alert
Dr.Horrible is good because it's a super villain musical that stays true to it's premise. When I watched the first two episodes I was really afraid of how the third was going to end. The setup of the show made me want to see Dr. Horrible and Penny end up together, and see Captain Hammer get his comeuppance.

Now Penny doesn't seem like the type of girl who could be in love with a super villain no matter how benign of lovable he may be. Unless she were to change drastically she could never love our good doctor. And all of Penny's charm is linked to her good nature. If she were to change I wouldn't like her and the story would fall apart.

So that would seem to leave Dr. Horrible with the burden of changing. My mind concocted a ending with Dr. Horrible giving up a life of evil for Penny. That or Dr. Horrible becoming a good guy, Captain Hammer would then become a bad guy and they'd fight. Both of these endings feel like cop outs. They're both weak and leave a bad taste in the mouth.

But those type of ending are what I have come to expect these days. Thankfully this show had the guts to keep Dr. Horrible evil. He got to see his dreams come true and all it cost him was the one person he loved. How can you not like that. Bittersweet? Yes, but still awesome.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Blog Friends

So I've just added some blogs under the category "Blogs I like." The Uniblogger is a friend of mine. As is Average Joe Bloggger, although I don't always agree with his opinion. He is very thought provoking. Patrick Rothfuss is a published author. His book is called "The Name of the Wind." It's a fun read but his blog is about how he got to be a published author and what his life is like now. As much as I liked the book I think I like the blog more. Anyway I'll have more to say on that later. This is just a post about my blog list. So give them a look.

Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

This is the coolest thing Joss Whedon has done since Firefly.
(note: this is the first thing he's done since Firefly that I know of.)



You should check it out. It's a super villain musical. Yeah that's right, your eyeballs did not deceive you. A musical about a super villain. If you like super hero's, super villains, or anything Joss Whedon has done then you'll enjoy this. You may have to go to itunes to download it, but believe me it's worth it.

I kinda identify with Dr. Horrible, who is as sad as he is brilliant.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Lost Art of Apology

It seems as though people can't say their sorry anymore. Perhaps they've forgotten how. Just as bad is when someone tries to apologize but they're not really apologizing. Have you ever had someone say to you after a argument, "I'm sorry that you feel that way." Or this one, "I'm sorry that you got offended, sorry that you got hurt." When people say this they are trying to apologize without actually admitting they did something wrong. It's akin to the times that we all had when we were little kids. We'd get caught stealing cookies, or playing ball inside the house. Then we'd say we're sorry. But we weren't sorry for what we did, we were sorry that we got caught.

Ice Breaker

This is my first entry on my blog. As the blog's name suggests this is my Brain Leakage Repository. It is a online site which will contain my thoughts on just about anything. Be it world events, entertainment, or just my personal feelings.

Now I'm terrible at ice breakers because I'm rather anti-social. I just wanted to get this first entry done and out of the way. Otherwise I will obsess over it until it's perfect, which it will never be. So without further fanfare here it is, my first entry.