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 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:







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.

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.

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.