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.

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..."
"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.


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


"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.