The Final Countdown?

•September 20, 2011 • 4 Comments

Ok, so I’ve been away from my blog for a little while now, and since I typically feel as though I don’t really have anything to say I can’t really say that it’s been all that bad. However, right now all I want to do is just gab someones ear off. I’m visibly excited about next Tuesday. If you know me at all you can only imagine how freaky that must be. I am so anxious I washed and folded my clothes that I’m taking with me 2 weeks in advance, then I sorted them into piles “take” “don’t take” “don’t fit” “don’t need”. I’m finalizing the out-processing process and I can say it has been quite an easy one. Stef made me a checklist… sort of as a joke, but mostly seriously.. and it’s come in very handy. There’s a downside though. THAT FUCKING CHECKLIST MADE EVERYTHING WAY TO STREAMLINED. Now I’m sitting here with NOTHING to do… because I’m prepared. I have come to a shocking conclusion about myself in this. I handle stress and anxiety of huge upcoming events by waiting to the last minute to deal with them. Why? Because I simply can’t stand sitting around waiting. I’ve become paranoid that I’ll somehow total my car in this last week before I sell it. I’ve found myself going 10-15 under the speed limit…thinking “Jesus some cop is going to pull me over outta suspicion”. I’m paranoid now that I won’t have something I’ll need at the last minute. But, wait a minute weren’t you just talking about that being the way you like to do it? Yeah, however, when I KNOW that I haven’t prepared I know to be on the lookout for those things. I guess I’m lulled into some false sense of security… or maybe I’ve really completed everything I can do, and all I need to do is wait.

I am a gamer by nature and it’s easily my largest time sink. I have what I would label video game ADD, I tend to drift from one game to the next after a few days of entertainment. Lately though that ADD has kicked into hyper-drive. I can barely even stand sitting in front of my computer right now. I play games but I can’t find any enjoyment in them because under the circumstances I can’t pass them off as entertainment….I ONLY see them as the time sink that they are… and I can’t have that (read paranoia from before). I talk to Stef daily and it’s pretty much torture. <— to clarify I mean it only enhances the tedium of the wait, not that talking to her is torture. Trying to get all my bills turned off and passed over to my roommate has been a headache…running out of shit to say…. Ugh, I’m irritated that it didn’t take longer to write this entry. I mean seriously? I come home from work any other year/month/day and I’m going to sleep before I could even settle into a movie/game/book/picture whatever.. NOW it seems I could turn War & Peace into a one-nighter.

I also find it kind of strange that when I’m just tryin’ to pass the time… my gaming buddies are NEVER online. I may go talk to George for a bit but he wont get home till like 7-8 and I’m like seriously? I can’t catch a break. Well anyway, that’s all I got. I’m going to get back to trying to create the world’s most awesome playlist.

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Fate, it’s as if you were destined to read this.

•July 29, 2011 • 3 Comments

Have you ever sat and wondered why you are with the person you just so happen to be with? Have you ever pondered the random seemingly chaotic path that led you to your “soulmate” your “dream job” your “insert random seemingly unobtainable item here”? Have you ever considered that you really had no say in any of it? God, the christian god is a self described omnipotent (–adjective: 1.almighty or infinite in power, as God. 2.having very great or unlimited authority or power.), omniscient (–adjective: 1.having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.) being. In my understanding of what I’m about to explain this would imply that he/she/it/they are capable of ALL things. Things beyond comprehension, things beyond words, things I can’t even begin to descri…. I digress. This dude kicks ass. It’s stated that he/she/it/they created the race of mankind, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps many things.. a portrayal of love.. of hate… of joy… of sorrow. To epitomize the extremes we have come to understand, in every regard. Thing is… when you’re making something… say cookies (yes I just compared God making man to you making cookies) you know what’s going to happen when you put them in the oven don’t you? They’re going to come out 15-20 minutes later..golden brown and longing to be eaten up. Wouldn’t you say that God had a similar plan in mind when man was created? Of course! SOOOOOOOOOOOOO then it begs to question, with all the atrocity in the world.. all the hate… all the fear.. did we slip one over on God? I would argue that we didn’t. So then what I’m saying is God made us fully aware of our imperfections and that we would shame and disgrace all we were offered? No, not that either. Ok then….

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING?

I’m saying what happened is somewhere in the middle of that. As with fate in general as a concept/belief a lot of life tends to just hover in the middle. Maybe you were made to deliver joy to all those around you, and somewhere else someone was created to cause havoc and chaos. “Well wait, those that do bad, choose to do bad… it’s part of free will.” Oh do they?

A boy is born in place F. A girl is born in place J. The boy is mistreated and neglected, raised by the streets and consumed with a hate stemmed in those who were supposed to love him. The girl is doted on and adored, a model citizen she thrives on life settles down and marries boy2. Boy2 works at a gas station, a gas station that boy1 is going to rob. Boy1 cases the store for weeks. Boy2 does inventory and makes sure to cross his T’s and dot his I’s. Boy1 enters the store and empties his hate and his clip into Boy2. Girl becomes a widow. Boy1 is arrested. Boy2 is buried. Girl realizes 1 month later that she’s pregnant. 8 months later girl2 is born. 15 years later a reformed Boy1 is released from prison on good behavior, and reenters his life of crime. Girl2 graduates high school and enters the police academy. Girl2 receives her first call and drives out to a local gas station for a robbery in progress. Boy1 see’s girl2…draws his gun…and is subsequently gunned down. Girl2 is awarded medals and goes on to live a happy life.

 

Lets take this story, and play it backwards. A child of a widow that grew up all alone overcame the difficulties in her own life and went on to be successful. She didn’t know who Boy1 was she was just in the “right place at the right time”. And boy1 he was presented all the same options to “overcome” that girl2 was…but he didn’t. Was he weaker? They were both human beings were they not. Having never been presented both sides of this story and not knowing their pasts, one might say that upon the revelation of their sordid history this was a “freak coincidence”. Or was it?

 

Back to God now, omnipotent, omniscient.. at any point along their “chosen” paths these two could have diverted and their lives would have never intersected at all, but through it all their paths did cross. The girls father was shot, that drove her into law enforcement and eventually she nabbed her fathers killer unknowingly. I would argue that these two were “destined” to interact. I would argue that the choices they were making in the present though seemingly meaningless drove their paths to cross with this outcome.

God will still be all knowing and all powerful when we are all dead, but some of our children will grow up and get married. Some will die in horrible car crashes. Someone’s child is going to cure cancer. I would argue that..though we in the present cannot possibly know who will do what. It isn’t going to stop it from happening. The people with the necessary means to do so will be given the opportunities to achieve whatever greatness or self loathing they are “destined” to achieve. There’s no stopping what will be from being.

Now, a lot of people assume that when I lay this on the table that I’m using it as a cop out to justify my own misdoings.. or some kind of shield to negate bad things that happen in peoples lives. I absolutely believe in doing unto others what you would have done unto you. That’s the one thing that the world’s religions all seem to have gotten right. I only suggest that our notion of free will is only what our minds are capable of understanding in the present. I would suggest that though the choices we make in the present seem like “our choice” for the world to go on…long after we’re gone..those choices have already been made, and the choices of our children have been made, and who they might meet and fall in love with and marry. Yeah, our children’s future spouse’s parents are making their “decisions” right now. To groom their child into the perfect mate…. for ours.

As you read this, you must understand that though I have tailor made this example for the sake of giving myself the best possible position in my argument it can be applied to more situations than you would think. Thanks for reading. I look forward to the comments.

Veni Vidi Vici? You’re damn right I did.

•July 19, 2011 • 4 Comments

So today was our office wide softball game where two teams of individuals from rival offices came together on a random field not to far from the building and duked it out in the first of the year’s three part series of games. It was about 85 degrees and sunny. The sky was clear save for random wisps of cloud blotched haphazardly about, and I was excited. I love competing, dare I say that I thrive on it, and today’s sport (softball) met all the required criteria for me to live it up. We played a weak early game going down several runs in the first few innings. I think it was the top of the 3rd when the magic happened… you know… when you’re “team” finally… “clicks”. It sounds so cliche` but it happened. We rallied a solid 6 runs in one inning, and as the sun began to set we were informed that the game would be over shortly there-after. Coming into the top of the final inning the game was tied 8-8, we had to score at least 1 run.. and keep them from scoring/tie-ing up the game. I managed to get myself on base with our first out leaving me on second base with no pressure to run, and a runner ahead of me. When the next batter cracked a nice single into right field I was in prime position to score a second run for the inning and give our team a nice cushion. Bam, I make it home, and the next batter closed out the inning with a pop-fly. We take the field for the last time, and it was like magic. I channeled my inner Jeanna and I rocked third base like I had been playing it my whole life. First batter sends one deep into left field. Out. Second batter, time to shine… a ground ball in the infield. I fielded the ball about 10ft from the catchers mound, do a minor toss from my glove to my free hand, and I zing it over the pitcher’s mound to first base. I only barely beat the batter, but I beat them none-the-less. Out 2. Final batter cracks another “power ball” deep into left field. Out. And just like that it was over, the bleakest first few innings turned around into a marvelous finish leaving Team Korea a solid 10-8 victor. I was more excited than I let out and had to contain myself..after I realized I was the only person jumping up and down with my hands in the air after the final out. Whatever. ”

So I wrote this more as a very contemporary sticky note. I tend to forget/undervalue a lot of the things I do throughout my life and I really….I know this is hard to believe…talk very little about the things I have going on. So Stef, Jeanna, Mom, Dad, and Chels… here you go. Because if you were to ask me tomorrow “how I’m doing”, and “how my day was” the day prior. Honestly, I’d probably be like.. ‘fine’ and ‘good’. I can only hope the anecdote above serves as an effective liaison between me and the “routine”.

I “fought” the law? And ..wait… what the fuck?

•July 4, 2011 • 4 Comments

ok so before i start this. this is a rant.. punctuation and grammar and capitalization and all that other preppy shit is gone for the next few minutes.
funny story, driving into colombia to meet a friend for lunch and a few beers. this is a good idea normally, but not today. i get approximately 1 mile from my house and the sirens start flashing. odd i think to myself, im not doing anything wrong. so the cop comes to my window and tells me, im driving on expired registration. ah, no worries officer i have my temporary registration right here in my hands, printed it out yesterday when i re registered this very vehicle. then he proceeds to interrogate me on why i have 12 stickers on my license plate, now not to play the ignorance card, but i had no idea what the fuck this guy was talking about. heres why. for one, i dont know how many ways there are to put the number 12 on your license plate but im figuring. ITS A FUCKING LOT. so i say, im sorry i have no idea what youre talking about, then he proceeds to get smart with me, assuming now that im getting smart with him. so then after asking me a few more times. it finally starts to dawn on him. i have no fucking idea what he’s talking about. so he explains that i have an expired tag, and the current registration in his hand, but i have 2012 stickers on my license plate. That’s odd? i thought to myself.. i dont know how the fuck that happened. So he wanders off to his car to begin writing me a plethora of tickets and court appearances. i start to think, how is that even possible… turns out, i got a set of stickers eons ago. as in 2 years ago… for my other mitsubishi eclipse, yea the one jen took with her when she moved out of state and out of my life for fucking ever. GREAT! so now i know where those stickers came from. simple mistake… i didnt read carefully enough and just slapped em on my car. MAKE MITS  MODEL ECLI 2D was good enough for me. i explain this to the officer who is now just throwing the book at me like he’s finally getting that little piece of action he’s waited for his whole 6 month long career. He proceeds to tell me that he’s stripping my plates off the car and calling a tow truck for me, and im like.. is that absolutely necessary? you followed me from my house.. i could just drive back, and he’s all “thats unacceptable” blah blah.. obviously couldnt have driven behind my car, as ive been so uncooperative at this point that i might try to run, regardless of the fact that he has both mine and georges id’s. OBVIOUSLY im ready to just bounce state and start cappin bitches at 7/11’s to make ends meat. now for the icing on the cake, after the 175 dollar .5 mile tow truck arrives i ask the cop about my court dates, he looks at me and is liek… um well its july now and let see.. youre looking at october. funny story guy, ill be in korea in october on military orders, and here’s where captian ex-fucking-patriot-let-me-ram-you-with-the-statue-of-fucking-liberty douchebag really sticks it in me on independence day no less. “that’s not my concern, take it up with the district court.”

and remember kids, god fucking bless america!

Video games ARE art.

•June 28, 2011 • 2 Comments

In a most recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court (http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2011/06/27/the-supreme-courts-7-2-decision-on-video-games-as-free-speech-masks-a-5-4-split/) it was decided in a 7-2 decision that video games are a protected form of art under the first amendment to the constitution. I hadn’t really been paying attention to the case much up until now as it has been going on for the last year, but the news that video games are retaining their sanctity pleased me greatly. I don’t really appreciate Big Brother trying to get their hands into every little thing, its way to 1984 for me. So with my faith in the system momentarily restored I started to reminisce of all the moments in video gaming that have moved me, changed me, inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and really just kept me entertained all these years. People can tour the Louvre and stare at the Mona Lisa for hours, Starry Starry Night the same. For some people these immortalized works of art can be their personal epiphany. And now, through a less glorified and lesser known format…I’m going to give you my epiphany. Video game style.

  • Joy- When assigning as strong an emotion as joy to a video game moment I had to consider all the games I’ve played over an arduous gaming career. Though many of these games brought me joy..the most lasting scene for me was the end credits of Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinestrals. This was a game for the SNES that came out when I was a kid, and to this day I remember how engrossed I was in the story-telling. So entwined with the characters that once Kenny (Maxim originally) finally achieved his nirvana I felt this euphoric tingling just pour over me. It was fantastic, and I carry it to this day in vivid detail.
  • Sadness- There aren’t a whole lot of video games that make you sad really for obvious reasons. Sadness doesn’t generate sales, but the saddest moment for me came from a game that didn’t and still doesn’t have to worry about sales. Chrono Trigger, another SNES classic from my youth. When Chrono died halfway through the game I had no idea that I would later be presented with a means to get him back, and briefly considered quitting the game right then. I had grown emotionally attached to Chrono and his plight over the course of the game, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Honestly, it was really terrible.
  • Horror- I used to believe that the horror video game market offered little more than run-of-the-mill scare tactics. That was until I played F.E.A.R. or from here on out referred to as the only game I can’t play alone in the dark. Even after successfully completing the single player storyline, and learning where all of the triggers were to set off in game events F.E.A.R. still haunts me. There’s something about scary children that artists know, and it’s that…scary kids work…always have…always will. Toss in about 7 ounces of the paranormal and you’ve a blessed concoction of sleepless night inducing terror.
  • Laughter-I had never actually played a game that made me laugh before really..until recently. I mean, some games have witty dialogue and you can sometimes find yourself chuckling along to something a side character is going off about. When I played Portal 2 all of that changed. This game was a laugh riot from the supercharged opening sequences until the deep black of ‘space’ in the finale. With its distinct demolition of the 4th wall Portal 2 delivered memorable quotes like “hows your day going, I’m a potato” that to date still linger around my office. An office that is home to one of the biggest collection of nerds and gamers this side of the Mississippi and our hats are still off to Portal 2.
  • Suspense-Video games can generate a feeling of suspense given the right setting/music/controls/camera angles. Just like a movie I found myself on the edge of my chair, hoping and praying that the protagonist would soon be reunited with his child. The game: Heavy Rain, the scenario: after briefly familiarizing myself with the game’s controls, my character is launched into a crowded mall. After perusing some goods at a random vendor stall set up in the food court he looks up and his son is gone. Did he wander off? What was he wearing? Did someone take him? All the questions I would have thought myself in that situation came flooding to me, because in that moment I WAS “Ethan”. The game delivered the suspense raw, and kept it up for several moments as Ethan and I grew progressively more and more desperate to find his son. Brilliant.
  • Most life changing-I know that I’m going to sound like a fanboy here. I even run the risk of sounding a little crazy, but hear me out. Blizzard Entertainment makes a hell of a game, including World of Warcraft a.k.a. the “widowmaker”. The time I have invested into this game would make most people mildly sick to their stomachs, and rightfully so. However, in the 7 years I’ve been playing I’ve acquired some lifelong friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  Serving as not only an entertaining game, but also as a glorified chat interface W.o.W. was put to use by many of my Air Force coworkers while we were overseas as a means to stay in touch with like-minded friends and family back in the U.S.

I’m a die hard gamer by choice and in the majority of the games I’ve selected to play throughout my life I have been rewarded sevenfold with a form of entertainment arguably as fulfilling as any art viewing, bourbon tasting, classical music concert etc.. So all that to say this. Thanks to our Supreme Court justices for recognizing games for what they are, art. From one of those who enjoys it in all of its beauty and splendor.

Most recent run in with stupidity.

•June 23, 2011 • 6 Comments

I drove up to McDonald’s today to get one of their Angus burgers, because I think they’re delicious. Upon my arrival I parked my car and entered this fine establishment. I walk up to the empty front counter and was not greeted by the gentleman behind it. I thought this was a little weird…then I proceeded to stand there and wait thinking maybe he would ask me what I wanted to eat. This may have been placing a little bit too much faith in this individual. *sigh* After growing a little irritated internally I simply start rambling off my order and to my surprise he caught it first pass. At this point I begin to think “well maybe I shouldn’t judge people to quickly”. Upon completing my order he asked me for my name. I tell him my name is Ken, and he writes down on the slip of paper “Cen”. Now, I don’t know how many people in the world are named Cen, but I personally have never seen one, or read about one, or known of one through a friend of a friend of a friend on facebook. I thought that maybe he just misunderstood me..then I realize I was the only person standing in the area at all, and the room was quiet.  I’ve never been asked for my name before and maybe this was a new initiative they’re taking in an attempt to be more customer friendly, but in this case it immediately put a bad taste in my mouth. Ken is a fairly simple name, what if I had said my name was Siobhan? Gabriel? Pondering the most recent offense I wandered over to collect some sweet tea. This is my main draw for even going there in the first place given that in Maryland this is one of a few places you can get super sweet diabetes inducing sweet tea. The drink counter was disgusting.. bits of food on it. The thing looked like it hadn’t been wiped down in several hours. THE LOBBY WAS EMPTY, WHY IN THE HELL HADN’T ONE OF THOSE MOUTH BREATHING EMPLOYEES WIPED DOWN ONE OF THE FEW SURFACES IN THEIR WHOLE FUCKING ESTABLISHMENT THAT A CUSTOMER WOULD INTERACT WITH. At this point I’m mad enough that I started a wordpress account simply to blow it off. Honestly though, I fear for when I leave the last bastion of intelligent individuals that I work with and venture back “down” amongst the commonfolk. I used to think this was a bit conceited and  that I shouldn’t think that way, but it’s getting to the point where I really can’t harbor any other thought than, “fuck ’em, fuck ’em all”. How terrible is that?