Tuesday, November 27, 2007


yeah so some dude at work put his Turbografx-16 console and collection up on the for sale spam-list. I shelled out $75 and got a console, CDrom, (broken-ended) joystick, and @40 games. FORTY GAMES! Only like 3 or 4 CDroms but hell, 40 game cards!! That's rad.. he threw in a sega 32X (with Star Wars) to even it out. But.. hell!! I always have wanted to get my hands on a genuine Turbografx-16.. I know, the emulation is pretty well covered at this stage (and of course they support a lot of the good games on the Wii Virtual Console) but there's always something about getting your hands on "the real deal" that's just a little more special. I have always admired the system, I borrowed one from a friend sooo many years ago (sigh.. like.. 20 years ago. You do not know how much it pains me to type things like that...) and would have bought one if the Sega Genesis didn't edge it out in the Race of Awesome Things, at the time. Hey, the Genesis was TRUE 16-Bit, what's a kid to do? I remember those days, the early 16-Bit wars.. the TG-16 (PC-Engine in Jamaica, errr, Japan) was actually 8-Bit with a custom 16-Bit processor. Sega's device was actual full-on 16-Bit hardware, with the promise of games "direct from the arcade to your living room," and they had the machines out at the arcade (and translations coming home) to prove it. Obviously Turbo was no slouch either, with some very nice-looking titles to pick up - though they were more colorful, they still lacked that certain je' ne' se quois that Sega had. It was a tough choice but one that I never regretted.

This stack is worth it for the $$$ alone. Blazing Lazers. R-Type. Star Soldier. Legendary Axe. Galaga '90. Ninja Spirit. Fantasy Zone. Klax. Splatterhouse. Sinistron. DUngeon Explorer. Neutopia. Victory Run. Bonk. Drgaon's Curse. Where the hell is Devil's Crush? Oh well, can't have them all. There's a bunch of other 2nd and third rate crap in there also... but hey. Close enough. Xmas came early! To top it off I scored a NES Bubble Bobble (though I will rather prefer to play Parasol Stars on the TG-16.. I am covered!) Man, old games rock. Now I need to find a dude who will sell me a Turbopad for under $25.. (and yet.. I would still prefer that my $X*@ 360 would just get freakin' fixed.. maybe next week!) I take it back, these games are still more fun!

I have a little list going of retro stuff I'd love to get my hands on.. a Turboduo (still, though not for what they ask for it.. bah!) A Colecovision would be rad, with a load of games.. I would never say no to a 2600 (though honestly, the whole setup would be quite an eyesore and surely end up in the back of my closet).. A Virtual Boy would still be cool (though i DO have a busted on in the back of my closet!) And I guess above all else, I'd like a Vectrex setup. Most coveted, however, would be a Mame Cab.. done right. One day I will shell out the necessary cash, but I can wait 'till I am able to afford such things. Mame's not going anywhere.. right?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

just don't do it, man

another freakin' sunday night. another freakin' journal entry. what it's been, uhhh... 3 years i have been writing in here. THREE, EXHAUSTING, YEARS. Yes, three years is nothing to a normal mortal, but to a subhuman like myself.. that is a different story, I guess you would say.

So here's the quick summation.. regardless of whether or not I've used the word properly, i don't care... work is busy. well.. it's weird. As usual lots to say about all of that, but like a good boy I will refrain, haha. Tuesday night I caught up with an old buddy who's recently moved back to town, we got out to my favorite club and met some other friends there. It was a really good night after all - I had been there a week earlier and had a draggy time, but this night was spot-on. There was a band of longhairs on the back stage wearing matching upside-down pentagram jumpsuits and jamming out metal mayhem with melodies lifted from old 8- and 16-bit videogames. Man I was in Ecstasy, I tell you.

We got out early from work Wednesday, I stuck around for a while and then headed to my girlfriend's place up the street and had pre-Thanksgiving dinner with her and her roommates, which was fun. GOOD food. Good times too. They actually got me to play Twister (it hurt!) and even some Blackjack.. well.. some rule-wretched variation of it, to some degree. Actually I must admit I've never really played most card games to any degree (pretty much just.. Crazy Eights!) Sadly. Yeah, so I am not a real man, what do you want. I also do not shave with a "real" razor either. But hey I can change a tire.. back off. Anyway cards was fun, I'd like to get more into it. I can see the appeal (I like to gamble, fortunately it exhausts me pretty quickly.. can be a rush though!) Next day was Turkey Day of course, some former coworker friends of mine invited us to their place in the Valley. A few folks showed up (we were pretty packed in!), they made a Turducken. Actually I think they must have shoved at least TWO chickens in there. Anyway all the food was extremely delicious, and I had a couple of beers to mellow out as well. All that's well and good, best of all is just relaxing with my buddies and enjoying the company more than anything else, to be honest. We watched some horrible movie then headed home quite late.. Next day, I am trying to remember.. oh yeah, no surprise, next day was a lot of sleeping. I made it to Mong and Skillz' place that night and as they'd just bought the new Rock Band game for Xbox, we hooked in and hammered on that thing for several hours. Lots of fun, though my voice was pretty destroyed from karaoke at the end of it (though I cannot wait to do it again!) Late in the wee hours my drinkin' buddy and I split the place and rocketed over to Hollywood to visit Spider Club, after hours so we snuck some booze in. Low points of my life, friends. I don't wanna get into details (it's not THAT bad, just sort of silly.. uh.. pathetic) Whatever, the club was not so fun. Crappy crowd. Crappy music. Unfriendly people.. but whatever, it felt good to be pulling myself out for a long long night of times gone by. It had to be done! Saturday was running errands, brought my girl all over town for shopping purposes (well hey.. shopping.. WHO CAN GET ENOUGH OF THAT??) and then May wanted to watch the gay cowboy movie (it's been a long time coming, haha) so I relented. I have to say that was a sad damned movie. Passed out for the night.. had weird dreams about Fred Flintstone on Wikipedia (?) then rose and headed into the office today. My tire blew out on the freeway into work, so I pulled off and stuck the spare on, then got assraped by Goodyear - at least it's one less thing I gotta worry about (for now!)

Also, to top it all off, my Xbox is still in limbo. What oh what has a guy gotta do? I guess I'll never get to watch Pootie Tang at this rate! LIFE SUCKS.. HARD!!!!

Anyway, so there's my life at the moment, drama and stress et. al. notwithstanding. I guess I am alright.. the usual mix of goodtimes and weird feelings and trying to keep my nerves from bubbling over. After the tire blew I was starting to feel a little migraine wanting to rear in. I feel like I have sooooo many stupid little things in my life which are practically held together by duct-tape. Nothing too terrible, and for many who read this it would sound like I was being beyond petty. Which is probably true, to say the least.. but that's my personality, and more than that, it sort of colors how I feel about my whole condition in general, in some ways. Yes my health is fine. Yeah I have a cool job and great friends/relationship/sense of humor (thought I would sneak that in) and etc. But over all of those things I feel like there's some precariously placed things in my life, like i am just waiting for something to ignite some crazy chain reaction and topple the whole thing. I am not worried about dealing with it, I know so much of it is just chaff and I can usually pull myself out of whatever red tape I manage to get snared up in - but it gets tiring to think about that process. Being the natural neurotic guy I am, I maybe focus a little too much on those nuts and bolts (and spend time writing blogs about them) as opposed to saying screw it and just letting shit fall where it will. That's my personality, and it's what makes me ME - I concentrate on all the stupid minutiae of the world, it fascinates me, I obsess over it, it rules my tiny mind and my thoughts. I wish I could slap myself and get over that bullshit sometimes, snap into the bigger picture and just take it a day at a time for real. In my way, I do. I am not a quivering pile of nerves, not really. But I can see it getting more commonplace in my life, the older I get. The little fires that don't get patted out, they grow slowly bigger. You can only cover so much ground at once and still just be "a simple person."

I don't think it's within the bounds of one such as I to decide "to be a different person," and I know I have consciously stated in the past that I would do exactly that. I sort of have, in some ways, but I think it was more of a cause-and-effect type of thing. And.. hell.. this whole getting older thing, it's really pushing the issue. I can't get over the fact that "yeah I am supposed to be a Man now," and still I live in this completely crazy surreal town surrounded by all these weird freaky creatures with their fucking complicated bizarre personalities, working in this ridiculously idiosyncratic obsessive-compulsive immature buttlovin' industry. It all really adds up if you think about it.. how could all of this NOT rub off on me? Where's MY nervous breakdown?

Ah well. I still have my outlets. My sense of order and logic, my responsibility sustains me (well enough to keep on keeping on). When next the canoe tips, where it will point me is anyone's guess, but at least i have the virtue of history to keep me from feeling like a naked skinned-knee freak in a miserable pile of despair if that happens (haha.. dramatic.. I am not so weak and without resource!)

At times.. like now.. I wish I could write so many other things in here, I feel like I have a huge wealth of things I have processed and pondered in my head, things I think about people, places, feelings.. events.. all the things and notions and episodes of life, that for some reason or other it would be kinda detrimental to mention in a (relatively) public place. I look at what I actually HAVE wrote above and feel like "oh man that's so neutered, so empty, the guts of what i am feeling, what i want to express, they are all being dutifully emitted.." It makes me feel at first like a liar, a coward, a two-face. Then I ramble about it down here saying "yeah I am a shiny asshole going on about nothing-bullshit for no reason in particular, but there is backbone to some of this stuff, trust me..." The only naked I can be is in just mentioning that much, and leaving it up to those who know me and have been through things with me to get a glimpse of the notion of what I go on about. And the rest of you, well, sorry folks, but like you I am a person, so just fill in your own wildest dreams and fantasies, your own pseudo-subconscious escapades for my own, perhaps some of the weirder things you can dredge up, or the more mundane which to my perspective might seem a little more wackified. It doesn't matter at the end of the day.. I like typing, I suppose.

party on!!

whew, yah, time to fill into my neglectef video-gameo-lame-o blog once again. man. i just don't have TIIIIIME to write in this thing anymore. which is a shame since there's lots and lots to say, especially lately.

anyway, first order of business:

My officemates picked this $170 monstrosity up early last week and I would hear them wailing it down the hall while i was trying to work (hence why I have come in to put in some weekend hours, since it's nice and calm and peacefully quite at the moment). But yeah we all knew this would be interesting, for sure. My buddy in Hollywood picked it up as well and we gave it the once-over on Friday night - this game is fun! Not much for Guitar Heroics, I screamed and shrieked into the microphone till my voice was getting hoarse. Our band "Slutty Balls" kicked all kinds of ass. I can't wait to play some more! Drums looks fun also, I tried for a moment but thrown in mid-game with no warm-up and I completely fell apart. I can think fo some design choices (Simon Says-inspired) which might make that a little easier to swallow. Rock Band - party game of the year!

We went to some Neversoft friends' place for Turkey Day and powered up with the Wii. I have to say I have not really touched/seen a Wii (hold those jokes please.. aww) for just about a year. We were messing around with Mario Galaxy, a good looking, likeable-seeming game. It struck me how simple, easy the graphics are. They come across as solid, but that stuff is like .. BABY solid. I could whip out some levels for a product like that in no time flat. They are pretty long on details. It works though. I will always speak in favor of style. Also played some Wario's Woods (NES Flavor) on the Virtual Console. Never played it before, though the game (SNES version) has sat on my shelf for at least a year and change. Weird game.. it's got much praise. I can't say I enjoy it yet, but I will give it some time to grow on me (it's got a notable pedigree).

My Xbox 360 is sitting boxed up in a pile beside me. This sucks!! I had the thing running for barely 3 weeks with nearly no play on it.. all demos, really. I have to say, the demos have been great, for the most part - completely worth the investment. I could just kick back and play Geometry Wars, Lumines, Pacman CE, etc. At least! Hell the Skate demo was terrific, even the new Tony Hawk demo (in spite of popular opinion) is well worth it, I would say. Now.. ASIDE from demos.. I took home the office copy of the much-lauded Bioshock, and checked that thing out for a couple of hours. 1st time since I have had a 360 that I have truly played a game from a disc that wasn't a demo or a.. Yaris (don't get me started. GOTYaris!). But yeah. I got a little ways in. I was looking for Telekenesis.. however you spell it. Then BLAM the thing just froze up.. what.. whatever. Reboot. Play again and five minutes in FREEZE-UP AGAIN!!! This is bullshit now. Okay, reboot. Uhm. Reboot? Please? Where is the picture? Is my switchbox f'd? I plug directly into the side of the TV. I am hearing the normal boot audio for the system.. but no video. NO SIGNAL. NO SIGNAL. You wasted your money, lame-ass. Screw you, TV, I say. I pakced up the system and brought to the office with me on Monday. Tried different cables. Nothing. So it's dead. I got a 1-year warranty through the reseller. I come in and wait in line "we ain't got any replacements, too bad it's almost XMastime! Come back tomorrow" Yeah so I come back tomorrow "Come back next week, we got nuthin' for ya" So I come back (well, call) "We got nuthin' till middle of NEXT WEEK." Screw you guys. No, really.. Actually, screw me. I should have known better. You get what you pay for, and M$ already has their reputation stable-360-wise. That was ridiculous. Anyway, hopefully I will have a new working one beofre the New Year. Hopefully they will let me transfer over my Live account without any more migraines. Yes, now I am just bitching endlessly, but why shouldn't I? They charge hundreds of dollars for this stuff, and then I gotta run all over the place for it to just do what it is supposed to anyway? Well. like I said.. not a huge surprise. Yeah, well, I look forward to someday seeing more of Bioshock, that much I will say. For now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

crack is the best when you smell like it

hello Demon World Of Deathly Bloggings. Welcome back to the insanitarium whenceforth my dark stupid mind wanders. Watch out or the flying clocks or burning geese will melt all over you.. make you fight.

It's sunday night (err monday morning, as of four minutes ago I suppose). Sitting and catching up a little with my neglected-of-late blogs. I use that term (or similar) quite a lot lately, as i don't seem to be so slavishly involved with writing in here anymore. Well - i get tired of it from time to time, and like anything, it's good to back off and get away from it for awhile. Let things refresh. Or something.

Things are alright. It's late in the year, as I always mention "time is going by too fast.." I can't believe thanksgiving 2007 is merely a few days away. Well that's cool and all, i guess. Growing up, Turkey Day always felt like my favorite holiday (well, nearly!) Yeah okay the one with the gifts was still better, but Thanksgiving was always great because it signaled the beginning of that time of the year, when I could look forward to getting new stuff - and also the time off from school, the kind of exciting energy of it being winter and all that involved (when you're a young stupid kid, the snow and cold is more exciting than annoying). Yeah, it was a cool time. The smells of what Mom was cooking in the kitchen filled the house. There was a weird, busy energy, but always happy. And now, of course, I'm all grown up, Thanksgiving is becoming more and more "just another holiday" and for guys like me, every holiday is really about a day or two off of work where I can hopefully sleep in a little late, and maybe get together with some friends to have some drinks or something, and some... nachos.. (yes, they are multi-holiday functional). I do miss the excitement of holidays from being a kid, to whatever capacity.. Anyway, I am happy to cruise on through to the end of this year, and I am sketchy about what it will all mean (this happens to me a lot, in recent years.. SEVERAL recent years!) As more time passes I don't like to think about it, more than necessary - it's just a fact of life, this unstable one I lead. I want to make smart decisions to hold onto what I have, but of course - not at the expense of possibilities. Yeah, so I am fickle "Oh I want this! I want that! No, opposite!" Damn.. The whirlwind of drama loves to have it's way with me. Anyway I don't really feel like going into what's up right now. Anyone who knows me generally hears things come out of my mouth and what implications those things might mean. So that being said, I guess, it is business as usual.

Picked up some tickets to fly back to Boston for New Year's. It will be strange, we'll actually be flying outta LA the day after Xmas (hey, listen, Jews don't celebrate Xmas alright? We get Chinese Buffet and then go to the Cineplex). I'll bum around town and see my friends and family for a few days and then head back to the West Coast on the first (gotta be back in the office January 2). Noteworthy that this time I will be bringing my beautiful girlfriend with me, she's never been to Boston before. neither has she met most of my friends from back East, nor my folks. Also she's not really been exposed to shitty freezing snowy weather too much either. So yeah, um, this will be an interesting trip I bet..!

I have been really busy at work. Really REALLY busy. Last week was the first week in some time that the load lifted, at least a bit (well... I didn't close the office at all or work last weekend). So it's been a little lighter on my conscience. Things have still been weighing heavily on my mind notwithstanding.. work's got some weirdness to deal with these days, socially some other things have been weird. I have been kinda depressed, and feeling generally stupid for feeling that way. Nothing I cannot handle, anyway. I spent some time with the lady this weekend, we went out to see the new Beowulf movie last night. She hadda drag me to it (I had no interest in it, really) but I ended up enjoying it for what it was. Did not realize that it was another fully CG movie (they did tons of mocap, so it's not necessarily "straight CG" if that makes sense). But yeah I was impressed, they are getting far more photorealistic by leaps and bounds. Nerdy to talk about, but relevant to consider (hey, it is my line of work, relatively). Someday in a "few years" games will be there too..

Also May cooked a nice tasty lo-carb dinner (did i just say "lo-carb?") for me last night, which was awesome.. BIG POINTS! Man, i live to get fed.

I have to mention,, i snagged this game "Bioshock"from work to mess around with this weekend, one of the highest-rated titles released this year. I played it last night for a couple of hours, then booted it up again tonight.. and.. MAN. Okay I got the Xbox 360 maybe 3 weeks ago, and granted - it's refurbished - but HELL, when I ran it tonight, it crased on me. twice. Just fing froze. After the 2nd crash, I could not get video to output. Thinking it was the connection, I plugged into a different video input. Nothing (audio coming through fine though). I skipped the switchbox altogether and plugged straight into the TV. Nothing. Nothing! Dammit, I just BOUGHT the thing! So glad i got a warranty with it. That thing is going back tomorrow. I joked it would die nearly immediately, but i didn't think it would be this terrible. What a travesty, how can they manufacture such a faulty error-ridden piece of garbage? It's one thing if the thing is cheap or "off-brand" but come on. Anyway enough has been said in the media about this stuff so I won't do any good to add fuel to the fire, but I do wanna say this - it is our fault as consumers to put up with this shoddy workmanship en masse. I mean - people buy expensive things (ahem, ipod) all the time which die after like a year or two of service. granted it's new tech but still it's a couple hundred dollars you've invested. Just WORK. Just WORK RIGHT. Just test the thing in the first place. Charge an extra 15 bucks. I don't care. F this. I look forward to getting a PS3, at least I expect that thing to hold up for a few years.

A lot of stuff on my mind lately.. as usual. My philosophy is a little tired these days. I am trying to batten down the hatches and not think too much. Just do my job and try to have good times with those I care about. I have been partying a bit (not too bad) but that's me, I dip in and out - it is in my nature. It feels largely useless in my life lately though. i can't really completely turn it off (don't want to, it's still a part of what I am) but the fun times of letting loose feel dead and buried. For the better, I guess i must say. makes me sad to say it, always.

I feel stranger as I get older, and somehow, upset by some tings I realize. I am stuck in this weird pattern, I will never feel like i have really bridged the gap between "man" and "child" in so many ways, like I always thought one would naturally feel. I know stuff, i have been places, I have experienced good and bad things.. but i still feel stunted, running in circles, trapped in a bizarre limbo of uninteresting non-progress. My childhood hobby has solidified as becoming the center-point of my career, in so doing it's robbed me of a hobby in some ways. Makes me feel like i am always forever indulging that childish urge, and surrounded completely by others who do the same and are more (foolishly?) wrapped up in it than i.. or maybe I am taking it too seriously (nah!) In the background I have accomplished things, i've a good salary but can never seem to get my shit together to be worth anything beyond some words on paper, and whatever my age and location would represent in general. I feel like I haven't gt much to show for what I have traversed, except maybe some increasing girth in the stomach area as a decent sign that my metabolism has finally coasted into cruise control.

I want to be hard on myself but I know I work hard, I try hard, I am not lazy, and I acknowledge my limits. So I am either too hard on myself or too narcissistic. Heh. just like everybody. Maybe I just don't wanna face the truth (just like everybody).

Last monday night by buddy MVG had a showing of a documentary that he produced/shot/narrated/wrote/edited/etc (you get the picture). I've mentioned it before, I saw a rough cut of his film maybe a half-year ago. Well it's finally wrapped up (as wrapped as it'll get) and he rented out a small local theater (yeah, in Hollywood) for a night to have a show. I have to say - I was impressed! Very impressed! It made my heart soar when I rolled up to the theater for the show, and saw a line wrapping around the building with BORN HYE on the marquee banner. It was pretty packed, I almost did not get a seat! Anyway, the show went off wonderfully. I mean - they shot it on a handcam, it's not like they had crazy expensive film and lighting and all of that - but the thing reeked of charm, it was fun to watch and superbly put-together. It's been in the oven for years, and it's very gratifying (even merely as his friend) to see the conclusion it's come to. Of course I don't know what is the result of a one-night screening, and likely there's much more work ahead. but hey - thing is DONE, they made a great film. I am very proud and eager to see what happens next.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


yes, i know, i just wrote that it is july. it is FAR, FAR from July.. but for some reason, after I got my hand started 3/4 of the way thru typing it, i said ah hell, shucks, i will let it slip in, if only to properly illustrate the condition of my mental state.

late nights at work these days, as my life so often goes i tend to swing in and out of these things...i have about 20 minutes right now to sit and chill out while the lighting bakes, and so i thought i would grace my of-late-neglected blog with a little attention.. here you go. anyway, yeah, things are alright. i am working a lot. late nights last week, the week before that, and i was in this past sunday as well. it's groovy though, i will be handsomely paid when this project is finished, in fact I have started spending my future megabucks in advance. if you happen to know me and we are good friends, then send a note and maybe i will buy you a caddy, a supra or a new HDTV. It seriously depends on my whim, you see.

All kidding aside, money is probably the big thing sticking in my craw these days (do i have a craw? what does one look like?) but anybody can complain about that stuff so i will (largely) leave it up to everybody else. i will say this, however.. today the notion of taking an actual vacation to a far-off place (like, say, europe) for any brief period of time popped into my head. someone at work mentioned their recent trip to switzerland, and a light bulb went off "hey, i went to switzerland.. nearly EIGHT YEARS AGO!!!" Yeah so i have had a moment here or there of trips, since, but largely not. in fact, as my friend and i were recently bemoaning, the lion's share of my trips are back to the place I came from. So, yeah, it would be cool to go someplace different and exotic (once again) for a change. It sounds luxurious, but it really doesn't HAVE to be (it depends if you really must travel as a rich american tourist, you know). Me, I am fine roaming through the sketchy parts of some random run-down debris-laden city with hulking, frightening characters tracking my every move. okay, maybe not that extreme. but i do think it would be fun to chill out in a random pub in ireland or something. yeah, that sounds pretty fun.

there was a time when i would fantasize about flying around the country (or the world) in short stints to just party, sightsee, whatever. no, it's not my life, and it really likely won't be. the biggest issue (besides money) that I see is that I am past my prime for all of that! I am not old yet, not really, but I am old enough to know better. if i was 10 years younger than i guess things would be different. but then..


i have been working for ten years. in that whole time, unstable as my career may have been, my mantra has basically been "keep working. build up, all of it... resume, experience, contacts, money (if at all possible)" And so yeah I have been doing that steadily, dodging bullets as best I could, but now I look back as i slowly approach my mid-thirties and realize "yeah, it's good to work hard, have a career, have these goals.. but is my goal just to keep doing THAT?" I know I have gone on, at length, on this sort of topic in recent entries in here. Because as I get older I realize that - honestly - I do have a good life, there's a lot to be appreciative of. But it's just not satisfying me. It's not the life I want. I remember when I was young and idyllic (and well, naive, clueless). I had this powerful drive though, and though I was still kinda skittish I guess, I would always find ways to throw myself into (ultimately) more interesting situations. Maybe not the best choices all the time, but certainly a few big ones which have led me to having a rather interesting (in a good way) life. But now a few years of those results have rolled over, and I am feeling like it's just a recycle of the same old routine. Same pressures, same complaints. Good times of course but the world is rich and full of variety, and I really feel painted into a corner these days. These years!

I don't write in here just to whine, I do it because I like to look back at "what I was thinking about, back then." I want to look back at this entry some day and feel like it was leading me down some path back to finding what it was I would want from my life.

yeah, i am just in a bitter mood, it's crunch time at work and my list of things to fix seems never to get any shorter no matter how much i pond on it. is it any wonder i am craving a vacation!! if it was up to me i would be partying at cinespace in 1 hr...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

return to the garden of your nightmares

well, got my xbox live account activated, the router didn't die (am-aaaaa-zing) and better yet, as of this writing, my apartment hasn't caught fire due to the hazardous layout of cables smershed behind my television (could have happened, since I am not home yet I don't know about it). Seriously. I have my doubts about this whole "power brick" thing, and to say it was perniciously placed would be putting it modestly. I am having flashbacks to being 10 years old and watching that episode of "Webster" where their apartment burns down. That one did a number on my soft innocent little mind..

but i digress..

anyway if you want to add me, or some such, to your (appropriately-named) "friend list" for Xbox live, go for it, my handle is ralp99. I can't say that i expect to be a good videogame-friend, since i will likely only pick up cheap/obscure/older games (as is my wont), but hey, maybe we can chat or cyber or something. that'd be hot.

Knowing the potential of Xbox live, and then seeing it with one's own eyes, it is something to behold. Sure I have seen the layout of all that crap before, and I am no stranger to the internet of course (da-da-DUMMMmmm) but knowing it and actually HAVING IT hooked up to your own television where the business takes place is a little bit of a jolt. I must say it's a kick to look at all the insta-available movie titles I could oh-so-readily download at a button's press to view on my Deluxe Entertainment Home Media Centre Theater, mind you DLing and watching crap is nothing new to me (hey i ain't no noob) but with the PS2 Media Thingie it's usually a bit of a song and dance involved, and it is all oh-so-dubious to say the least - that is if the damned DIVX file is encoded properly and doesn't skip all over the place (or just crash out). I am being a little heavy handed, the PS2 solution was super rad for the years I have had it (and yes, it's fun to nerd-out with that stuff) but i will happily move into the future with the rest of you for a less accident-prone solution. In the meantime, I haven't exactly unhooked the PS2 device from my setup ('cause we all know that it's a matter of time until the damned 360 RROD's anyway. So much for accident-proofing). Yeah I am not kidding. I have no faith in that piece 'a crap. It's nice and I hope it lasts me (at least) a year, if I am lucky. But damn those things get hot, as mentioned in the previous entry. I fully expect it nothing short of China Syndrome with this baby. You'll see. You'll ALL SEE.

Xbox demos, the reason I bought this damn thing really, this is definitely sizing up to feeling worth my investment. I don't have time/inclination/attention span to play through whole games as it is, and shelling out a paltry couple bucks for live to get virtually unlimited access to 2 zillion demos is a Hog's Dream Come True. I knew it would be pretty good but this is even more impressive than I would've expected (pessimist that I am). Most likely all who read this are jaded, by now, but I for one am very appreciative of this service they've provided. Free shit. FREE. Did you hear that? It's FREE. Yeah "late to the party" and all of that, but the fact is it's remarkable how (relatively) well-organized all the game demos are, and the fact that they all stay up there! It's like this crazy virtual library, and all you have to do is shuffle some space, and be patient for stuff to come down the pipe. Suddenly I am realizing that 20 GB is just not enough space.. but then, they have it all up on their servers permanently (-enough) that it's inconvenient but not anywhere near awful. That's great. I'll probably tool around with most of these demos the same amount as I have with whole games I have actually bought in the past few years.

Mind you, I am definitely far from "the typical player" for a good few reasons.. but this all fits the bill rather nicely. So long as my house doesn't burn down.

Anyway I DLd about 7-10 demos today and fooled around with a couple so far (Superman Returns, Stranglehold). When work lays off a little I'll put in a little time for some lovin'. More ot come...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

so.. i have Jumped In

sigh, that's right, i finally sold out and bought a &*^#@*(&$^ 360. it only took me two years to catch up with the rest of the Modern World of Gaming. I picked it up last night at the Microcenter up the street from my office, forked over my $230 (it's a refurbished unit) and they handed me a deck with 20GB HD, headset (won't be using that one too much), wireless controller (nice touch) and all the necessary cables and doodads to plug the thing into the Internowhere. All wrapped up nice and tight in a mostly-unmarked, unassuming brown box-shaped box. Fresh from a coffin, I am sure. I fought (valiantly) with the jungle of wires and dead crickets behind my Low Defiition Television and Entertainment Unit to hook the thing into the tangly nightmare, turned it on and stuck in a copy of Tony Hawk 2007 Ex-travaganza to make sure it ran. Sure enough, she lit up and ran like a charm, and sure enough there was a problem (the "wireless connect" button on the faceplate was busted). I got in there with a pen and finagled it. Haven't got on Live yet (I won an auction for a membership, waiting patiently for them to email it over to me.. tap, tap, tap) so until then I will leave the thing resting idly in the "off" position 'neath my TV. Sadly, I tried to put the unit into one of the close-able areas of the cabinet, though I noted that the thing gets HOTTTTT when it's on for more than 14 seconds... and so it must sit out front, proudly displaying it's ugly, ugly design for all who enter my living room to gawk at in disgust. Have I mentioned how unattractive I think the unit is?

Anyway, it detected the network connection through my router (and my internet connection from my PC seems to be working at the moment, obviously) so I am happy to report that stuff is all set up. I am sure the unit will fail (crappy odds) sometime in the next 3-6 months.. hopefully before my 1-Yr warranty expires. Let's see.

After I get on Live I will start plodding through to see what demos I can get my hands on.. the main point of my purchasing this thing. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

how to get tougher

yeeesh well damn i think it's been getting on a long time since i have written in here.. just not much time for it lately, honestly. work is super busy and all of that (blah blah), besides I feel like I have not had too much to say. But it's good to drop in and make some notes now and again, so here we go, then...

Things are alright - basically life is not bad. Everything is really status quo, all considered. The usual stablilities and instabilities, sometimes I let them drive me nuts, sometimes I just let it flow past me. I guess work has been in somewhat of a crunch mode lately and that's really been the driving thing, but it's been sort of zoning in and out of that for some time now. I have been with this studio for 6+ months, it's a good place (and it has grown on me) and.. well as usual, I wonder how long it will last, for all the usual reasons. In the meantime, like anyone else of my caliber and character, I will continue to work hard and try my best. And of course we will see what it all leads to. Hmm, mysterious...

Social life has been pretty mellow overall, of late - poking my head out now and again, but really (for me) it's been on ice. I had a friend visit from out of town a couple of weekends ago, which was cool - my old roomate from college. Of course I had to give him the whizbang quick-ass mini Los Angeles tour, or cross-section of Ron's Life in a Nutshell.. so I dragged him out to some local dives, we stopped by the Getty Museum (I figured he would dig it), of course we had to hit the tragedy known as Venice Beach. He was in and out in a flash, and it was sad to see him go so suddenly but I appreciated the short time we got to hang out always nice to see some folks from "my old life!"

Crunching at work before and after that.. just after, a friend of mine had accepted a job in Austin so I took him and his wife out for a farewell dinner. Always sad to see people leave but at the same time, gotta admit I am a little envious (the notion of exploring a whole different environment at this point is tempting to say the least!) I dropped off some see dee's to a fried later that night ('round midnight) and his wife and her frieds convinced me to go partyin' with them. Yeah, i was tired. Yeah, I felt like ass. But damn. it was a Tuesday night and I'd not been to the Club in soo long. We went in (probably for about 45 min) and it was super-quick and pretty cheesy, but damn it i had fun.

Then lessee.. I guess last weekend the sox was on and so i met my buddy at the sports bar up the street. the game was lame and boring (well, it was cool because we were winning but dull cause there was no action or tension!) and eventually we found our way to some random-ass halloween party downtown, all old-style (as in, like when I used to find myself ending up in crazy places for no good goddamn reason, but who cares and it's a blast anyway). Got home late (6am I hit the hay!) and sunday we watced the red sox win the World Series.. again. Which, again, is cool but.. nah, not interesting/invigorating at all, unlike when it happened in 2004. Granted, it's hard to compare the two, but there's something about that team -- not that I am what you'd call a baseball aficionado - - but generally, every year they'd really work their asses off and get quite close. so close you could SMELL it (yes I said it, smell the asses..) but no matter what, you could always count on them pooping out rather spectacularly. Ad so it went, you could set your watch by it. but every year they'd keep trying, really really hard, and you'd think "maybe.. just maybe." And then it finally did cinch, after what was literally a lifetime to ANYBODY. And now, when they play, and win "oh so effortlessly," it just seems sort of.. I dunno, anticlimactic. Not even a relief, just kind of.. well, it doesn't really matter, it's just baseball (oh god, I hope my father isn't reading this, or I am out of the will!) I guess maybe I would be singing a different tune if the circumstances played out kind of differently. If they didn't completely slaughter the bejeezus out of their opponents, ruthlessly and uncharacteristically. Alright. Well I have written about sports enough, by now...

This week, then, no big deal. Working, working.. fixing up crap, trying to make things all purty. Work's taking a little of the wind out of my sails, I'd love to get into it but there's reasons I shouldn't. Sometimes I feel a little crazy and wonder how much of it is in my head.. then I reflect on my history and it makes me feel better (and worse). But hey, that is how it all goes. anyway it is mine and I signed up for this stuff, come what may.

Wanted to go out tuesday night (yeah, so it sounds like i am falling back into a pattern) especially after having fun the previous tuesday, but I didn't get outta the office until close to midnight (and then the 45 min drive home). that's just as well though. Last night was Halloween, my girlfriend actually had a little tiny get together at her pad in Orange County so I spent the night down at that place. It was alright... very tiny, though it was packed for what it was. I am not used to it, partying with a bunch of people (that i don't know) who are not really into drinking at all, heh heh.. it was surreal. But it was nice, nothing bad happened - those who know me halfway-well know that i have a pavlovian pre-conditioning to fear halloween, that is - crappy things typically hapen to me around this time of the year, and the last several years, it's been nearly without fail! I am not one of those superstitious "for real" people, of course, but you know how it is.. heh heh.

So here I am now, and it's the home stretch for 2007. At last! Thanksgiving will be upon us in a few short weeks, and then of course, Xmas and the end of the year. Good, well, let's wrap this one up already, shall we?