Monday, November 27, 2006


Okay. on the road once again. It's getting on 4am local time (why even say such things?) and my buddy and i are on the road at last. I got about 5 hrs of sleep last night, got up and packed today (sunday), and we finally hit the road (after getting some grub) @6PM. I guess we cruised into new york somewhere around 10PM? Traffic was much lighter than expected, as lotsa folks were returning from their holidaze.

Tonight was interesting, yahoo maps served as well until the final leg of the journey, usually it does a bang-up job but tonight it petered out, well that is what cellphones are for. Anyway we met with my old college buddy in his pad in Astoria, anout a 20-odd $$$ cab-ride out from NYC proper (which we headed out to). I had lofty plans to get completely bomberated (bombed, and berated) at some wild NYC scene bar, which didn't quite materialize, but it was still quite a relaxing and enjoyable night of attractive waitresses and weak-ass drinks (fuckers!) The company was great though, it's always good times to catch up with old friends.. and I've all week to get loaded in strange bars in strange towns and talk to crazy people. Anyway, it was a good night all around, I am sure I will get in my New York City crazinesses at some point in my life, when appropriate (Ijust like to whine endlessly, pay no mind)

Tomorrow the plan is to head to Chicago, weather conditions allowing - a city I've never been to, but heard much praise of. My friend Mike recently moved there, so hopefully we'll be able to meet up with him, it should be an interesting time. That city's got a lot to live up to. I am more energized right now than I have been, Boston is a wild city but I have felt draggy the past several days - the excitement of new territory has my juices flowing.

Big thanks to my buddy who's traveling with me, he picked me up and we lit out in record time, and he exoertly manuevered the trip thus far (this one day, anyway). It's definitely strange to see him, as it's been years since we've hung out to any great capacity and honestly - we are VERY different people in many regards. He's a cool guy with a very unique perspective however, and I wouldn't have decided to embark on this trip if I didn't think it would change my life, and my outlook a bit - I can definitely see that in the travels ahead. We've got a lot to talk about (the poor guy!)

Of note is the fact that we were on the road for FIVE MINUTES before my girlfriend called me from my apartment back west, alerting me to the fact that my toilet was overflowing and that she and her friends didn't know how to fix it, I spent several minutes trying to explain to her how to use the BRIGHT YELLOW PLUNGER to unclog the drains. Love knows no boundaries... sigh...


NYC is big and boundless and endlessly interesting, as usual. Arriving late at night is a whole different experience. I was fortunate enough to be a passenger, and so I peered out the window as the scenery rushed by while my buddy drove. I am a kid in a candy store here, I want to photograph every inch of this city, to absorb it all. At the same time, I have such a feeling of this place from my memory when I am away from it, and when I am actually in the middle of it, completely different - Hollywood I have a handle on, it's my "turf,' I know my way around. It is comfortable, it's safe, it feels like there's an understanding between the city and I. NYC, it's is huge, foreboding, alien. Endless, hacked together, patched together, bleeding out at all of it's edges. It is endlessly interesting, and yet impossible for my insignificance to fathom. Though I would love to know it, to have the chance to "understand it" as I do LA or Boston before it, I sort of cringe at the thought - it is too much, too big, too much information. Too many layers. Too much... character. I belabor the point, but I have never seen anything like it. I have been in older places, but NYC is old and new at the same time. It's just such a crazy place, it is too much, I struggle with its' concept (alright, enough already).

Saturday, November 25, 2006

you've lost that lovin' feeling

hot dammmmmn, yes indeedy it is Nov 25. Hanging out at my buddies Jon and Adam's pad in Watertown, up the street from Boston. Hanging out and drinking sammie's all day and playing Columns on Game Boy, watching Hard Gay and Star Was Kid on youtube, just chilling after a night of wanton decauchery. My stars, but booze is CHEAP in this part of town.. $4 white russians at the bar last night (all the chicks were butt or old though). But whatever, we were just there to hang out with buds and sing karaoke. Oh and I guess I mean "sing" in the loosest sense of the term. I went up before I got properly inebriated enough and sang "let the good times roll" by the Cars, which I sang before at an ice cream shop (...) in Joshua Tree, quite successfully.. this time it was a bust. Much later in the night (and a cfew white russians later) I sang a duet with my friend Joe, a righteous brothers song (see title of this entry). I was drunk and obnoxious and the sounds coming outta my throat were hellacious, in fat the crwd was quite angry and some guy wanted to fight me because I was ruining his night, HAW!! Good old Boston. This is a good sign of things to come for this trip across America to be sure (after my session last year in Detroit, another dude was pissed that I was mackin' on his chick, heh heh). Yeah, well so long as I go out with a laserblast.

Yesterday was rad in that I got to eat my Casey's hot dogs (so goooood) and today I had my D'Angelo's Number Nine steak and cheese sub. Gotta hit the old food joints of course. And let it not be forgotten that my momma makes a mean lasagna. Tonight we do it all again in the city, and tomorrow afternoon it's time to hit the road for NYC, baby.
Stay tuned, jetsetters.

Friday, November 24, 2006


greetings programs!

well, i arrived in Boston's Logan Airport tuesday morning. Already that seems like several days ago, (it was, oh but it was). My bizarre friend Evan kindly picked my ass up promptly, and we visited our Alma Mater UMass Amherst and our Alma Pizza Antonio's Taco and our Alma Bar Sam Adam's. The next couple of days meant more beers, a stressful thanksgiving, and beginning to plan this cross country trip around the wacky country of ours, also talk of auto-fellation (not my own, not yet anyway.. neck's not long enough).

Not much yet to show of pictures, but in two days the pln is to head to NYC for a night of some debauchery, then it's off to the West Coast via Rt 80. In the meantime, my father rediscovers Ms Pacman.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

forget the tarp

okay, well it's my turn to chime in, regarding the recent entertainment news.

So if you have happened to glance at the television news station or a website, you've probably heard all the usual clamor lately "new video game systems! Next generation! HD TV COmpatible! Buy this crap now, because youuuu NEEEEEED ITT!TTTT!!!T!!" Yes exactly, you do need it, and should buy it. Or maybe you need a hole in the head instead.

Where do I begin? Many years ago, chillun, I was a kid. I saw a pamphlet at Lechmere, or wherever, for something called the NES with R.O.B. the Robot and the Zapper. I saw the ocmmercial with R.O.B. hatching out of this huge glowing egg, and this cool thing that looked sort of like a VCR with amazing graphics being shown on a TV and these weird little boxy controllers with black crosses and red action buttons to press. Immediately I knew "I must have this - I WILL HAVE IT.." It looked so much better than my semi-dinky Atari 400 with the "membrane keyboard" (ah, but you have to love the early eighties). Not to diss, that thing was fun too. this stuff just looked so much more.. serious.

That Hanukkah, my parents caved into my onslaught of nagging (I need, I need!) and I got my NES Deluxe Set. The games it came with weren't the hottest things ever, but it was still fun and I was hooked. Some months passed and eventually I bought Super Mario Brothers, just randomly. That was the beginning of my end.

About 4 years later, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Nintendo freak.. my room was overlfowing with Nintendo Power Magazines. Friends? Who needs them! My only friends were The NES Max (which kind of sucked admittedly) and the NES Advantage (which did NOT suck). Then I started seeing commercials for this strange new device, the Sega Genesis. Whoa. Suddenly the videogame characters were not one inch high, with 3 colors to make up their body's color palette. No, these dues were like 4 inches, with 12 colors! Say what you will, but instead of goofy cartoony trees and simple dull spaceships, we had gnarled haunted trees with twisted evil faces and leaves and branches that fell when vultures swooped by to attack you, and huge battleships and biomechanical space monsters which launched several arrays of lazers and missiles at your unyielding fighter ship, while cheesy glitzy techno-rock soundtracks played. I needed THIS shit now, worse than before. If NES was a glimpse of the arcade, Sega Genesis was living in the penthouse of technology. That thanksgiving, we had our holiday break from school, I vaulted to the toy store (after a whole late-summer of staring at the thing behind glass), forked over the necessary $189.99 and it was mine.. Ghouls and Ghosts as well (well, what else!) That holiday was marvelous.

Another couple of years passed.. I was still getting some play out of my NES, and of course the Sega.. and now, it was 1991, and "the new Nintendo system" was finally upon us. And yeah, I was starting to get older, in fact I was 16. I still dug the gaming, but such things were still considered the passion of the immature, in the same realm as comic books and action figures (well, I guess that doesn't help much does it, considering how folks are these days). Anyway , Super Nintendo launched laet that summer, if memory serves, and again.. I HAD to have it, again the graphics still trumped all others before it. Everything looked and sounded more perfectly than one could expect, making the old NES look like a caveman's toy and the Sega was looking sort of limp by now. My enthusiasm for this new toy wasn't quite what it had been for the past videogame systems, I mean - how many games can you play, before you've had "enough already!" Anyway the system came out, and had been for a little while, with a scant 3 titles to buy. So, I was still the first kid on my block to get the thing, but still - I didn't NEED it quite so badly. And it looked great, we hooked it up to my parents' big-screen TV and stereo. It was definitely better than anything before, but the novelty was wearing thin by now. Over the enxt couple of years I supplanted it with some pretty good games, but I was getting older now. Still reading all the mags, and keeping an eye out for "that next great game," but nothing that got me unbelievably wrapped up in it as I had been when I was younger.

Okay, so a couple more years passed. 1993 and I have just graduated from high school. Suddenly, everthing in my life changes, I move out of my parent's house and take up residency in a dormitory at school. My SNES comes with me but the rest remain behind. A couple of years pass and again, we have new video game systems to buy. A new Sega Saturn and this thing called the Sony Playstation (what, Sony never made a system before! What do they think they are doing.. amateurs..) Anyway, at this point, lots of things in my life are different. Games are fun but so far down my list of priorities, as I have an actual thriving social environment around me now (well, relatively.. no girlfriend yet, haha). Rather than lock up in my place for an evening in front of the TV, my friends and I will regularly head to some party on or off campus, spend the night by the keg and stare at girls we will never talk to. Or strap down inthe lounge of the dorm with all my art supplies for my "demanding major.." (ah, the embattled life of the art student). Anyway, the point is, the new systems launched and at this point, I didn't care! None of my friends did either. No one I knew at school gave a shit about any of this stuff, and that says something about the types of people I was associating with at this point in my life. Non-gamers, and I became that way as well.

Also, around this time, I started to get into 3D graphics within my major. That's a story in itself, but let';s just say it's one of those things you never plan for, but somehow fall into. Around this time (and the enxt couple of years), videogames embraced this style as well, but whereas I was working with high resolution technology, games had to take the low road, for reasons of cost - boxy and ugly. U G L Y. These things did not add up to being any kid of appeal to me, and so by now I had essentially dropped out.

I graduated from college, the part fo my brain that had loved videogames as a boy was now obsessed with making 3D graphics and video, manipulating the software, etc... instead of just "getting to the end of the game." Around this time, ironically, games were "growing up." Though I never realized it at the time, many people my age went through the exact same childhood I did.. hypnotized by the 8-Bit NES around 12 years of age, woo'd by Sega Genesis' fancy graphics at 14 yrs, stepping up to SNES' even better experience a couple of years later. An entire generation of nerdy kids reared on videogames, and now (unlike me) many of them were still hooked and moving to the next level, and thewer more "adult" style of gaming was pandering to them. For me it was a different outlet (getting involved in 3D), for everyone else it was the CD-ROM system. So yeah, there's where the split happened. Everyone moved from Metal Gear to Metal Gear Solid, Zelda to Final Fantasy.

Anyway, to wrap this up.. the irony is, right out of college I got a job in videogames. PC games mind you, but regardless. (I was too inexperienced for the well-built-up animation and FX industries, and games were still slummin'). I was excited to be working in games, but still the excitement for me now was the 3D creation, as opposed to the legacy that I was becoming part of. And more years passed, and new systems came out. Sega Dreamcast, then PS2. I went to E3 after moving out to Los Angeles, and saw for the first time how much grandeur and spectacle games were becoming. I waited in line overnight to buy a PS2 at launch October 2000 "just to do it" (I sold it at the tiniest of profit margins on eBay). Still working in games (on and off, but mostly), and then the successors came, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube. I yawned... and at this point, had reinvigorated my love of the games I enjoyed as a child thru the magic of computer emulation (downlad the game programs from all those old systems, and ARCADE machines, over the internet, fiddle with some settings, and run them on hacked-together programs on the PC see all those old weird japanese games you never got to enjoy as a kid!) Communities, likewise, popped up on the web to "share that scene," it was (and still is) a fun hobby.

But now.. now, all these years later, all these E3's later, all these game companies later. I look in the news, and daily there's reports of the outlandish prices this shit is costing people, peopel waiting in line for several days all over the world for "the new Playstation, the new Nintendo Wii," etc. I look at the games they have for these things and they're uh.. well.. it's the same shit that didn't interest me 10 years ago. It is strange how we've both grown up..

I look in my "entertainment unit" and see my old SNES, my mom sent it to me in the mail some 6 months ago or so (it was packed up in the basement). I actually spent a couple dollars on eBay and at the used game store to fill out the collection a little, it's still fun to mess around with. There's a PS2 there also, I bought it a couple of years ago during a console job (I needed to research sports-action titles) but mostly I use it to watch movies. I have an Xbox and a Sega Saturn now (donations, both) waiting to be investigated, -- the Saturn has a weird bevy of Japanese software that I will unearth someday, and I can mod the Xbox to play lots of old videogames (like the PC).

So I guess these days, I am content to keep making graphics, and going outside and doing things other than bolting down in front of the TV with the controller. Ah. the bitterness of adulthood. Anyway, 15 years ago I was pretty ecstatic around this time of the year... these days, I get my entertainment from more external things, I guess.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

whiner's delight

ohhh boy. i can't even tell ya how long it has been since i last wrote in here. probably only 3 days or so, but it feels like it has been weeks. my life has been, honestly, a frenzy of late. it often seems that way, doesn't it?

Things of note - the last game I worked on "Tony Hawk's Project 8" has been out for, oh, about a week now? That sounds about right. According to the reviews round-up sites, it's placing about 85% average reviews, which is REALLY good considering all the factors. Honestly a part of me would be surprised, except I do know it's a good game. Sales is a different matter altogether, and I won't know those for some time (a month at least?) And, sadly, the more important of the two, I suppose.

A good thing to cheer me up is to realize that I have worked on many well-rated games (decent sales as well) and someday I might try to average that all out. Sadly my bank account doesn't reflect any of that, but at least my resume looks alright for it. Hey, once a grunt, always a grunt, I suppose. Dammit.

Continuing on with my theme from the end of the first paragraph, I am frenzied.. in that, I have been retardedly busy since being laid off. Oh, the first week and a half I kind of lay about in a strange daze, but since then I have been working hard on my portfolio materials, scrambling around researching and applying for jobs, running all over town (literally!) to take care of my various business (pimpin' and playa-in'). Seriously, I feel in these times when I am in-between jobs, I am working at least as hard as I do when I am making money. It's exhaustive, but of utmost importance to kepe on top of one's game, so to speak. no one else is going to take care of you in this world. Not in the long run.

It does sorta suck because the holidays are looming, mere days away from my flight back to Boston, and all I can think about is the fact that I still have a ton of loose ends to tie up and really not much time to cleanly wrap it all up with a nice bow. The essentials are cared for, fortunately, but there's enough to be sitting in the back of my head as I am gone and keep me occupied "but what about.. and what about..." And yeah, I suppose that is just me. I am even worse of a lunatic when I haven't got some stupid shit or other to fret about, perhaps I can never truly relax.

I was feeling a bit ill for 15 minutes back there, but fortunately my health and vigor has returned to me, as usual. Unfortunately, it was a good catalyst to knock me off my gym routine, and the workload and other shit has been enough to keep me from snapping back in. Sigh, and so it goes. I know I won't be out for "months" again, but it's always fuck-king HARD to get back into that groove, and I can see it taking it's toll, alreayd, on my body and psyche. To make matters worse, I still haven't gotten around to getting my iPod repaired. I know that sounds rather inconsequential inthe grand scheme, but let's face it, that thing is INTEGRAL to my gym attendance. Besides having a method of getting there, I need that thing to help get me through. I will, hopefully, track down my repair receipt for it inthe veyr near future...

In addition to my gym absence, I have been eating a lot of very shitty food lately. Just "convenience food" which is unrightfully expensive and definitely not doing much to help my health. I was definitely going pretty well with my little health-kick there for awhile, but it's gone completely out the window. Again,a consequence of the times. I know I will snap back.. "after I am done traveling..." I am ashamed. I ate Burger King yesterday and McD's today. That's not out of the blue either. I am sick of that stuff too, it's not doing much for being appetizing. Time to temper it a bit more. In my defense, as I have said I have been running all over town the past several days and sometimes it's the only way to get yourself fed when you are living that lifestyle. Yeah I could be better and reshape my lifestyle, but I only have so much willpower, I am not a machine.

YES I AM!!!!!!

I came home tonight after a very busy day (freelance meetings and etc), tossed a spot of dinner down my throat, turned on the telly and then passed out about 15 minutes into a seifeld rerun (don't think I've seen that much of a seinfeld episode in probably 3 or 4 years..) I was woken by the phone, I felt liek I had woken up from a 20-year slumbre. I think my composition is DRAINED, man. It is gonna get worse.

I took a shower after that, and as I walked in I was honestly considering the benefits of therapy. To be honest, until very recently (a year ago, or so) I never really thought it was "for me" but upon a little more depth of though, I realized how therapy could be one of the most AMAZING THINGS IN THE WORLD. I am not too concerned with having someone psychologically analyze my character and prescribing X amount of mood altering drugs and all of that, no the interest for me is in the part where you get to go into a room with a complete stranger, and sit down and just unload about all of your fucking problems to them for about an hour a week or so. Yes, there's still this big stigma about therapy in our society or whatever, but to be honest when I consider this aspect of the thing, it sounds like one of the best deals I have ever heard of in my life. You see, guys like me, we tend to think a lot and have some shit to say (surprise, yeah?) but then we also tend not to want burdern others with our problems.. particularly, our friends, coworkers, spouses, etc. Sure, they are all "there for that" to whatever degree but I guess I always grew up feeling more like I was one of the listeners in those sorts of situations than the talker (and I DO my share of talking, as it is). That, I guess, is the origin of things like this here journal, in a way it's my soapbox, my sounding board for all the shit I am regularly trying to process in my unbelievably convoluted brain. And that is great, it serves a purpose inthat it helps me express and get things of my chest, verbalize some of my feelings. But I have also learned that it can be a difficult thing to deal with sometimes, and there's just some shit i can NOT talk about in a public place such as this, not without some undesirable consequences. So it helps, but it's not the be-all end-all. My "Art" as it were helps a lot as well, when I am in the process I can definitely channel my energy through that, and liek they say "art is therapy" but that is sort of a transcendant thing, in some ways. Going and just spilling your guts out to another human being, with no regard for the consequences, is just about one of the most pure answers I can immediately think of. This is one of the areas when I think the catholics got it right, with the whoel confession things - you do bad things, or have shit that's just plain driving you nuts, you sit in a little vestibule and tell the Father behind his partition about whatever the issue is, he forgives you and you go on with your day. How rad is that. My religion just says "we feel bad, we feel bad, but hey god is great, he's gre-e-e-e-a-t (what is he, a frosted flake?), don't kill us god, oh i mean G-d, sorry to not put a dash in your name, Father of Abraham, etc etc etc"


So my girlfriend hooked me up with some slickdeals lately, and yesterday I brought home a shiny new LCD monitor. Damn.. how tall is this thing? It is huge! 17 inches or something? I can't get over it. I know, everyone else upgraded years ago, but this is a first for me. Okay, it's an off-brand, who cares, it was $150!!!! These things were like a little under 3 times that much a couple of years ago. Yeah, perhaps not the hugely greatest time for me to be throwing money around at such things, but honestly I am doing freelance work at home right now and the old washed-out mother HAD TO GO. That thing served me well over the years but it was no good for doing work on. My other CRT is still here - it's even older, actually - and I would liek to replace that too, but not as pressing. I know it's old news, but I can't believe the difference in the tech, the thing looks so much more pristine and clean, and it is so tuny and light. And less radiation I suppose (what do I know...). I look at the old monster cathode ray tube behemoth sitting dejectedly on the far side of the room over there, and I can't believe how many years I have had to lug it around in all it's 60 pound glory or whatever. My TV is looking big and heavy to me as well (I can't even lift that 36 inch monster!)

Anyway, thanks to May for hooking me up with that, as well as the other things.. very very cool...

On a final note, PS3 goes on sale tomorrow. We got people waiting in long lines, all over the country right now.. for DAYS.. camping out in the harsh elements, etc. People are nuts. I wish I had one, I'd sell one for $2000 profit too!! DAMN! I can't believe it. No freakin' games for the thing even. People are crazy.

Alright. I have work to do. There's your update.

Monday, November 13, 2006

it's that beat scene, man

yes, fr-r-r-riends, it's that time once again when i talk of the wikipedia.. friend to nerds everywhere. nerds and lovers of nerdly things.

it's like this hole (err, this "whole") i often fall into and struggle for hours to climb out of. Then i get up and walk across the room and fall back in once again. Dammit.

I feel like I often go in there and type up some topic that interests me, mroe on then not it's about some history or technology or some bullshit that just randomly happens to be passing through my brain, but once in awhile i will type in the name of some band or other and then start reading all kinds'a stuff. It reminds me of the days, back in the way-back days, when i was a sceeeeene kid.... haha. Yes, and then i compare it to the days of now, which places me squarely in a very different kind of scene, and loathe as I am to admit it, nto quite as much of a kid anymore, perhaps. Well, not a kid yet not quite a man either. i'll always be caught somewhere in between - such is my personality.

Anyway it's remarkable to consider the "music and cultural" revolution that occured duringmy adolescence, to be honest it's not something I really pay very much mind to but looking back it was quite a formative part of my youth. Especially as this all happened as I was growing up and out, starting my college life and everything that I knew about anything was rapidly beginning to shift. Damn it, why do i feel like and old man when I type like this? It's true.. I am definitely out of touch with that scene today in some ways, and yet - it's hard ot say that, as that scene is just really different now than it was. Music when I was a kid was - well, it was the 1980s. Lots of hair metal and makeup and whatnot. The 90s were extremely different - rockers traded in their cocaine nosejobs for heroin armbands and cheesy cartoony satan worship and faded stonewashed jeans were replaced with themes celebrating angst and endless flannel shirts (ask my friends!!!) It was just this thing, this big switch had been flipped, and while I'd never completely got into the Metallica/GnFnR scene properly, I was right on time for the chili peppers, pearl jam, and soundgarden. It's hard to imagine a time when those bands were all that mattered - hell U2 used to be hip and rockin'.

Ah, but things change, and money gets made. Green day came along and the oldest band in the whole wide world (Bad Religion) somehow got noticed and then this new punk thing got started. Punk that eschewed the "values" of punk and just embraced it's attitude and style of clothing, anyway. I don't mind, I like the punk rocker girls, they're still very hot (at least they are a little more approachable than the insane drama goth chicks, who are also hot.. notice a trend here). But the music has left me a bit cold. It's not the music, it's me, I know this. I'm at a different time and place in my life, ironically I live in pretty much one of THE capitol places in the world for ANY music (and culture as well) but yes, it's different, different, different.

I am not so out of touch yet, I have my myspace page.. and can cut and paste the HTML.. I will go out and have my crazy days and crazy nights and crazy goddamned left-and-right bullshit so long as I draw breathe into these here tired lungs, I will tell you all that. but I sure as shootin' don't feel quite as young and innocent anymore.

Still, so far to go, and that's what tires me out.

Next week I am flying back to Boston for thanksgiving, holy hell is it thanksgiving already (yes, get over it). And then afterwards a cross country journey back to los angeles, hopefully no one will kill me in a bar fight (could happen). Nah. I am charismatic, and lucky.

Nah again. I might get killed in a bar fight.

Anyway, I have been spending hours picking away at my demo reel and all of that, this is the part where the van gelder brothers say "is that all he's going to write?" Okay we saw a movie with some jews and I made some off color remarks. Oh hey I signed a contract today for some freelance work. it was probably one of the times I have been so disinterested with a job, I feel like I just got out of prison after 15 yrs and I have to get a job as a janitor to mesh back in with society. the job's not bad actually, it's just a little sobering, and really if i was any kind of a smartass I could wrangle some neat-ness out of it. Whatever, just show me the munny...

i think i need to go out for a good night... sigh, what to do on monday night? how botu when monday doesn't feel like monday anymore?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

chaulk outline of my soul

hmm well i ate some Zankou tonight. Beef Schwaerma. One of the best things that could possibly be eaten. I wish.. i wishhhhh I could do it all over againnnnnn....

So I wanted to step back for a minute, with all the hectic-ness and running around in my life, and flip-floppery, and more than that, still pissed-off'ed-ness about the usual things, and I have to say that I am mighty thankful to have a lot of really wonderful, warm friends in my life. LA has an image of being full of flakey, self-important two-faced backstabbing assholes (have I made my point?) but I have to say in the time i have been here, I have absolutely met some very, very cool people. Yeah, it goes 2 ways, always - if you're just a dick all the time, people will treat you accordingly. But if you are kind of a nice person, not to the point where you are necessarily like.. LETTING PEOPLE walk over you left and right, but if you are kind of a cool guy and friendly, and nice, then I think it can come back to you. I mean, we all have our selfish asshole moments, for sure, and we all do some things we are not proud of, but I like to think I am an okay guy, and people do give me shit about it sometimes, but I am the way I am. And in times like these, when I feel I am sort of layed out on my ass in some ways, and just.. like on my own, it surprises me to see that more than a couple of my peers will be there for me and return the favor. I mean, I don't wanna go on and on about it, but in the past several days many of my friends (some close, some not-so-close) have just done all manner of shit for me. I hate asking for favors, but sometimes your back's to the wall so you put it out and see what you get, and I have to say I am veyr gracious for the outpouring of support.

Today a guy I used to sit next to the for the whole past year ran and got a bunch of data I needed from my old office. Sure, he could have been in some big trouble if he got caught for it, but he didn't even blink an eye about it. He even took a few minutes to run home and get some other stuff I needed from his place up the street right in the middle of his workday! (My car was parked riiiight behind the bosses' office too.. it was sketchy!) That honestly helped me BIG time though. Saved me lots of time and frustration. Another guy called me tonight and offered to donate a copy of our just-released game to me, which I spent $65 bucks for at the store today (I need to get screen video dumps of it). A few other dudes at the office went out of their way to get a bunch of separate screen grabs of the game for me before I even had access to it, and it was a huge help to my portfolio. Like I said, I hate asking for help but sometimes u just gotta...

Meanwhile various people I've met across the landscape of the industry have been offering support and contact info for people they know that I could send my portfolio and resume out to.. and in some cases they'll pass it along at their own company, and give me recommendations. I even got hooked up with some freelance work from a former fellow co-worker. My buddy Matt is generously donating his time and energy (and equipment!) to help me make a video DVD and my friends Edwin and Yaz have been helping me plot that stuff out and crit it and who to send it to for feature stuff, etc.

All these things add up, and it makes me realize that I am surrounded by a lot of cool, helpful people. It definitely makes me feel good, especially when I am down at times like this, to know I have this great support network of people who are friendly and appreciate me for the guy I am.

I feel like it's the fucking Emmys now. "I would also like to thank my parents..." It's true, though. Through this all my folks are very supportive, of course they're not psyched when I am out of work but even in their neurotic states, they are faithful and confident in me and that means a lot to me. My Dad always says "let me know if you need any help.." Which I HATE of course, 'cause dammit I am almost 32, but honestly I do appreciate him for that, to know he understands and wants me to know that I won't have to wind up on the street or something (I think I am past that point by now.. I hope!!!) Anyway at this point I have learned to think of that as the last resort, but still it is nice to hear.

And yes, it's also important to express a note of gratitude to my girlfriend, who gets to put up with my shit in a way that no one else gets to.. That's what dating is all about though right! Seriously, we talk about it, and she admits she knew she was in for some weird times when she decided to date "an artist" (is that what I am?) But whenever i hit the wall with that stuff, instead of giving me shit about it she is very supportive, she is the first one to run right up to me and let me know she'll do whatever we can. I try to be there for her too during her weirdness (we are definitely going through some weird times in our respective lives right now, in spite of one another)

so, yeah. I am still pissed about a lot of stupid obnoxious bullshit right now, but these times really bring out the best in people and makes me appreciate them, perhaps a lot more than I show it sometimes - thank you, everybody!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Actually it's really November 8. I don't know what's wrong with me and why I wrote that up there. And if you can't see what I wrote then I am referring to "WED AUG 12" Hmm I wonder just what did happen on WED AUG 12.


Well the closest I could get was THURS AUG 17 and I was talking about stupid people who drive trucks and how concrete was manufactured. That's spellbinding. Seriously though, it's been an exhausting day. Each day is a little weirder lately, in many many ways. I kind of don't even feel like writing about it for many reasons, but someday I will possibly look back at this entry, as I just looked back at that other (not very far away ago) entry and ponder, likewise. So, in that matter...

No job yet. Applied and talked to lots of people about lots of stuff the past few days. think I blew it for the cellphone gig. I think that's probably a good choice on my part, however. I got in touch with a guy at EA today, "the great evil endless devil," which could possibly suck me in and away. Ah well, there's lots of my old coworkers from several jobs past there, I suppose. It feels weird, like I am conceding some sort of great defeat by caving into that. It doesn't excite me, that is for sure. But it would probably be a pretty decent job. Blah. Apathy.

I got started thinking maybe go to sony (film FX). Well I thought of it before but I started moving on it. I have to make a demo reel (like, an actual DVD, not a DVD-ROM) for that then. That's a little outta my league. Thanks MVG for your help, you've made my time way way much easier with that... which reminds me that I must test it on my TV right here (after).

Offer today for a job Iam not too psyched for. I mean, it would be good in ways, and I didn't turn it down, exactly, but I requested some stuff which might blow it for me. C'est la vie. If it works then cool, if not then.. I'll not cry. Like I said, Apathy. Really.

I just feel like wandering the street, aimlessly (daytime would be better, I guess). I just want to get out of this chair and away from the desk and that couch and the window which is always near me. And my room which is very quiet. Why don't I play music very much? BTW I love how quiet it is here when I have no music on (in that it COULD be obnoxiously loud if i had shitty neighbors, or constant helicopters above). More things to keep in mind...

Heard some news about my old company that pissed me off. I don't care, it just pisses me off. It makes me feel like I am being messed around on or something. It just makes me feel useless.. I hate feeling that way. I got some calls from recruiters today (damn their oily slippery hides), at least they seem to try to boost my confidence a little (for a minute) - in their insincere, useless ways. I am an idiot though, why don't I get a job as a recruiter - that's where the money's at!

I saw a great job posting in Illinois. You know, not one bone in my body wants to go to Illigoddamnnois. But the job looks like it'd probably keep me relatively satisfied. Call me greedy, but it's still not enough...

I bought a ticket to fly home to Boston for Thanksgiving, it was pretty cheap (a little shy of $200) - that was a nice surprise, actually. I am gonna drive back here after the trip with my buddy chris, if all goes according to plan. Yep, Cross Country once again. I will get some photos of the Great Freezing America... THAT will be a weird time! I intend to have some memorable experiences, for my life. Hopefully nothing life-ending will happen (ominous words...) Just thought I'd put that out there.

Tony Hawk's Project 8 is supposed to be in the stores tomorrow. Well actuall it was supposed to be in the stores today (Tuesday the 7th) Well anyway, that's the game I worked on the past year (nearly) of my life. I have to go and rent a 360 and a copy of the game so I can get some video grabs of it. I suck at that game! Well I got further than Tyler did. Nyeah ha ha ha. I got a lot of video game playingthat I actually need to do right now (which sounds weird but not in the way that I am looking forward to it - am I a weird guy?)

It's hot in LA. Damn hot. It's like the middle of summer. The nights are chilly, but the days.. here in the city, I mean in the morning my bedroom feels like a freaking oven. It's ridiculous. What does that mean?

I had a pretty good talk with my girlfriend last night. I mean.. I think that's a hard thing to do and it's ALL HER FAULT (not really). Communication is a hard thing for me, believe it or not. I may not be the best person to be in a relationship with, I admit it. In fact, it's actually a really goddamned difficult thing sometimes, and I just do not know if I am cut out for it. She's a cool chick though, I gotta say. Like everybody else in the world, we have our problems, and more than that - I don't know what will happen to us in the long run (we'll probably at least go on a space shuttle together, I expect) but she definitely is a cool chick and I appreciate her for that. Cute girl too. I can hear my asshole friends making the whip-snap noise now, shut up you dicks!!!

yeah, relationships are freakin' hard, don't let anyone ever tell you different. I hate to sound cliche, but it's true, and more so for me because I have spent so much of my adult life in their thrall. And at times like this, when the house is kind of in disarray in other parts of my life (specifically, with thigs like --- work, money, philosophy, confidence) it's a weirder thing still for me. Rather than wanting to retreat to the arms of a loved one, I feel in a way like I want to use this as an excuse to just get the hell away from it all, just get away from everything in my head and everything in my space and everything in myspace, and just.. die.. Not like DIE die, but just kind of kill the branch of my life where i am at and go a different route. Oooooh that sounds so tempting right now. Just get rid of allll of my shit, except like my ipod and gameboy i guess, and just go live a different life in a different city with a completely different cast of characters (does this begin to sound familiar yet?) Just chuck all the half-working things,the good and the bad, and keep the only constants I have to keep (me, my feet, my man-boobs, my bank account balance) and start over and do it all again, wiser, in a colder town somewhere else with different Bars that all have the same names anyway, and Denny's' pointing in different directions than the ones that the Denny's' in this town point to.

Well, it's a nice fantasy. I would probably freak out in the next life too. Worse yet i'd probably settle down.

New York! Shanghai! Calgone, take me away!

Monday, November 06, 2006

stilts for brains

(pics are at the end of this entry, if you don't feel like reading through the endless rigamaroll.)

soup cans, y'all. Well, interesting weekend, a little anyway. I guess I (relatively) took it easy after partying a bit, but I did end up going out last night. It was SUPER CHEAP, which is the only way to do it.. we went out early after having some drinks at home (I have had a bottle of gin in my freezer since, like.. new year's!) and i only bought two drinks (one for me, one for my buddy) all night. He snuck in a little bottle of stoli and we just polished that off. We showed up at the LAX club early and got right in at the beginning of the line, fortunately for us they magically waived the usual $20 saturday night fee for us - somehow - and we had a pretty good time. I have only been there really one time before, and it's not really one of my more preferable places - something about the ambiance and the crowd just don't feel too welcoming to me, I am not sure how to put it - but it was cool, it filled up well, and I actually dug the music (cheesy as usual, but it was fun and danceable). I ended up bringing my camera with me, as I have been starting to do a little more lately, and snapped a ton of shots (like.. 60!) I missed doing that. I am gonna shell out for a genuine "party cam" though, because the one I have now (thank you may!) is way to expensive to be bringing out to events like this, it could sort of easily get dropped, lost or stolen - and I do need it for work, before just messing around. I have seen great candidates on eBay, from like $20-$50. I think that's a good plan. Of course, this idea is delegated to the backseat until I am receiving income once more.

At one point in the later part of the evening some chick randomly hit on me, or so I thought - anyway, she was so happy to meet me and talk to me, I have no memory of what we went over (usual stuff, heh) but of course eventually she says "you're Gay though.. right.." To which I had to hastily correct her "uh no, sorry!! I am straight!" And after that point she kind of lost interest in talking to me (fine with me, either way... hahaha!) I just thought it was funny, I've never been mistaken for a gay dude before. Not by a chick, anyway...

When we lit out of the club (I think it was closing time), I was definitely a bit less drunk than usual (much smaller shot of jagermeister in my system, a good thing!), I find I have a better time overall if I am not completely gonzo. We tried to get into an afterhours party, decided against it, and walked back to my pad. There was an enormous amount of police tape being spread over the road up the street from my apartment, and plenty of cop cruisers to match.. cops walking around everywhere. I asked if something was filming in the dead of night, they said it was a hit and run. Must have been a pretty bad mess. Likewise, there was a big bar fight between a couple of asian chicks at our club, which i am PISSED that I missed out on, especially with my camera and all. That would have been some interesting photography. Anyway, to top it off, after we passed the fuzz, we were less than a block away from my place when I saw a gate left open next to some apartment building's alleyway. I gingerly sort of snuck by, as my friend watched from the street "ralpert what are you doing!" I made my way to the darkened end of the alley, which was a dead end, so I made my way back to the entrance, disappointed.. until I noticed a sawhorse leaned up against the side of the building, conveniently beneath a window. I ladder-stepped up the sawhorse, went for the window sash and it easily flew up in a second. I was surprised and enchanted, I started pulling myself up and threw my head through to see what was inside! It was a hallway, and there was a security guard down the other hand talking into his walkie-talkie as he started advancing on me. Time to split! I jumped down off my makeshift latter and bolted for the exit, yelling "run!!!" to my buddy as we both hoofed it outta there, cloaked by the safety of the night.
Having the usual tough times in my head about "what to do, what to do with my life..." I am just right now celebrating my one-year anniversary of moving into my current apartment (best apartment ever!) and feeling quite at home here. I have been spending a bit of this downtime with my friends, and obviously that is quite rewarding. And of course, as I have said before, I am in a relationship. Overall, the point I am trying to make is - I am having a tough time coming to grips with the prospect of actually leaving my life out here in California. I have been going over and over it on this blog ot the point that anyone who is reading this must be getting quite sick of hearing about it, but that's too bad - it really is one of the biggest decisions I could possibly make, for my life, and therefore I am very weary and anxious about how I tread in this manner.

I have been thinking about Shanghai, of all places - there's a job out there with Ubisoft, and I saw their Splinter Cell game for the first time the other day. Beautiful stuff, I could definitely sink my teeth into that kind of work. Supposedly the money would be pretty good as well, and that's a one-two punch that just sounds excellent in a lot of ways. It is a crazy prospect however. I don't know if they have a position open for a guy like me, nor if they'd want me anyway, but I think I could definitely get enough attention to warrant a look-over on my resume. Anyway, I told my contact to see if he could get me started with the application process. In fact I just IM'd him again this moment. Let's see where that goes..

I had an interview on Friday with a place in NYC.As I have said, that city is one of the few places in the world that I could literally see myself dropping everything in my life to relocate to, and continue on with my career. The only thing, really, is that - the industry scene is quite different over there. I want to make sure I would be in a job situation that I could be happy with, not only for the sake of progression with my career, but some stability. If that scene were as fickle as the one on this coast, then I could be in some trouble in between jobs (especially if I wanted to stick around for awhile). The other way to look at that is that it could truly be the catalyst for me to start exploring a more nomadic lifestyle. Likewise with Shanghai (I wouldn't see myself sticking it out for more than a project, or two). It's one thing to say such things before you actually experience living in those types of places, of course. Seeing as how hard I feel about leaving this area, anyway.

The NYC interview was probably the best reception, really, that I have had so far, but I didn't quite get a job offer just yet. In fact i am doing a test for them, and it's quite different from my usual field - a big lateral move, perhaps a bit of a step sideways really. A lot of things in my head (and words from my friends) tell me that moving forward with that particular situation is not exactly the ideal match for me as far as where I'd planned my career to go, but I look at it as a good excuse, in a way, to be a catalyst for some dramatic change. Anyway, it gives me something to occupy myself with in the downtime, I suppose.

Also on the plate, something I have been going back and forth about is taking a cross country trip. Fly back east to meet my friend and then drive to LA. If this happens it won't be for another week and a half (at least), if not until just after thanksgiving. That's obviously a big sketchy deal, then, for lots of reasons. Money... needing to be around for interviews.. what if i get started with some freelance work.. etc, etc. I can think of lots of reasons not to do it. But the big reason it would be PERFECT is that I really DO need ot get out of here, get out of the little routine I have got into, of just hanging out here and waiting. I am going nuts going over all of this stuff in my head. I need some crazy spark, some weird randomness, some way to get a little more objective about all of this.. such a prospect is right-on then. My buddy out here summed it up for me th eother day, "well you have to decide.. do you want your life to be interesting, or not?" Fair enough. Sigh, isn't that like a famous Chinese curse? I talked to the film company I would like to get into the other day, and they pretty much told me "not hiring now, but check back with us in a few weeks.. no promises, though." That's a little of an enabler, I suppose. It definitely starts getting the gears shifting in my head.

Anyway. All of this considered - the world is getting psyched about video games once more. The holidays are a sneeze away, new Playstation and Nintendo video game consoles are due out in stores in less than two weeks, and the media frenzy is beginning once more. Driving home from my friend's pad tonight, I was in my car merely a minute when I stopped at a light, the vanity license plate of the car in front of me read "F82BNLA"

Yeah, and so it goes like that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

mobile home gambit / eraser firecrackers

ok so last night i had some extremely bizarre dreams. very clear and lucid, i guess you would say - the were beyond weird though. i don't remember too much of the setup, but it involved my helping this exteremely overweight woman move (I am sure she was inspired by the camp director from the documentary "Jesus Camp" which I saw in the theater last week). She was moving somewhere far away and I and a couple of people were helping take care of alllll her crap, a lot of it had to be thrown out as well. As the dream wore on we were driving in a moving van, and I had passed out and uttered something about her being a "fat lesbian" - accidentally - which she heard and was very sad about (this is definitely inspired by a strange news post I read the other day, a Green Party mayorial candidate was called a fat lesbian by a radio show host, and he was fired for it). I apoloigized when I sensed how sad she was and told her that I didn't mean it and I loved her (!!!) She was sad but sympathetic. Anyway, we finally arrived at the location of her new house, it reminded me of a cross between a large gymnasium where one would practice Karate (like a dojo) and a warehouse - sort of. I looked outside and realized we were very far away from anyplace I knew, and I think the woman told me that we were on an island inhabited solely by overweight lesbians (i am not making this up). There were very strange construction looking vehicles outside, I realized they were the military. On of them (looked sort of like a forklift) was rushing towards our house and launched it skyward, eventually we landed in Iran. The woman didn't seem to care, she was still happy to have her new house and actually seemed appreciative that the military had done this for her. I looked outside and saw all sorts of bizarrely-colored factories dotting the landscape, it looked very alien.

The dream got weirder, I had a dog which insisted on trying to drink beer bottles (I guess we were celebrating the move). The dog used it's paws like hands, and we wrestled over some of the bottles. As the dog became drunker, his face started looking very strange and his barks and growls turned into angry, excited English speech (although with a heavy french accent). Also, the more he drank, parts of his ears began to fall off, leaving strange slimy residue (sterno, the gel-like fuel you cook fondue with)

After this happened, I was upset and a little disturbed, and very exhausted. I decided to take a rest, so i curled up on a mat in the dojo. I braced my legs, and then looked at them very surprised - my legs looked like the emaciated legs of an old, withered man! I felt very tired and ashamed, as I was much older and weaker than I had realized (I had always considered my legs to be in pretty good shape).

pretty bitter butterfly

swinging thru the streets
dusty, moldy, cold, damn, damp

tired. long night. long days too.

i hate the irony of this. i love it but i hate it. i am going to start blindly wishing for other fucked up things to happen. You know what is nuts? Everything I have always thought I "could want," I was always pretty much able to pursue it and make it happen. In fact, in hindsight that has happened quite a lot of the time. And each time it doesn't, I glaze over and "give up."

But it also feels like me "giving up" is more like being pushed back, by what i'll say is reality, or common sense kicking in (okay, really no better way to describe it) and my just general feeling that continuing on is really a poor idea. And that's saying something for a stubborn guy like me.

I feel like I am the type of guy who bitches, sort of consistently that "things in life, why do they have to be.. so hard!" And as the words escape my mouth, on several levels in my brain I feel like.. "no it isn't.. it's just not what you want, or what you think you want" And, honestly, consequences be damned half the time (in such cases when I could never really consider them true "consequences!")

I'm pretty sleepy. It's nearly 5 in the morning, and I have been up for several hours. And to be honest, today was really not a happy day. I went to bed last night very angry and unhappy, and today I woke up in the same mood. I felt like sleeping in between was "stepping out for a bit" but as soon as I regained consciousness, I was still in the same worked-up mood. Granted, it did lighten as the day wore on. Actually, what started out as a lousy day ended up as a pretty alright day. And I guess that's my general philosophy awkwardy expressing itself.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

shave her legs, get a cell phone ringtone!

this morning i woke up with two jackets on.

i was under the impression for much of the day that i lost my camera last night. i called my friend to tell him and as i finished speaking the last "a" in the word "camera," my eye fixated on the thing perched behind my monitor.

i have to go and drop a demo CD in the mail. here are some pictures so that everyone will know how cool i am.

awesome, i almost lost my house keys. how wonderful that would have been..