Thursday, August 28, 2008

the strangenesses of it all, right Don?

1792 - 08-26-08 - Charles T Weil - Sept 08 Rent - 1235
1793 - 08-26-08 - CHASE Card Services - 200
1794 - 08-26-08 - The Gas Company - 12.31
1795 - 08-26-08 - The Gas Company - 23.72
1796 - 08-26-08 - AT+T - 61.87
1797 - 08-26-08 - LA DWP - 105.96
1798 - 08-26-08 - Robert Moreno Insurance Services - 100
1799 - 08-26-08 - HSBC - 100


--(The following are a couple of emails I found saved on a CDRom from 8 and a half years ago: Not sure who they were written to, but it probably does not matter. Dated January 2000)--

Life's going well. Still working at Sierra, as I mentioned, making video games for all the Nerds of the World. Fortunately, nerds seem to have some $ so our company is doing decent, and I remain employed here! So much for a 'trendy' job. Anyway, despite it all I am sick of this place, feel I have peaked long since last summer and am more than ready to move on. Other office in Boston, or out west, or ???? Time will tell, and hopefully soon. I've began scouting around on the net and through connections for different employment, one where I feel I can be more creative and um HAPPY, as this place has been gettin' on my nerves a bit lately. I reallly enjoy hanging out with the people I work with, a great bunch 'a folks, so it kinda stinks in that regard, but you gotta prioritize I guess. Anyway I am trying to work on my portfolio in my free time, which is very important to getting a better job - show off what I can do, creatively, etc. OK ENOUGH 'A THE BORING STUFF...

I've been living in Brookline for a bit over a year now, nice place and real convenient - hell I LOVE living in the city. Lots to do, plenty of places to hang out. You know how it is. My girlfriend's in Watertown, not too far away so it is convenient too (if you recall, we used to share an ap't in Waltham together briefly, until things kinda blew up.. needless to say they got fixed up a bit.) As for our future, well I love Sarah a lot, we've been dating just about 3 years - creepy! And it is still very fun. Marriage still sounds kind of scary to me right now though, especially since I'm still figuring things out career-wise, you know. One thing at a time.

Hummm what else... uh, guess that's the majority of it. Been drinking too much beer lately (drown my sorrows), who cares it's only my liver. Anyway I enjoy going out to the bars with my friends, a necessary evil I suppose. Just as logn as the dreaded Beer Gut doesn't show up... Or the dreaded Broke Wallet, which also loves to bite me in the ass (is that a pun or something??) time and again...

Parents are ok, getting stranger with age, we get along well but it is often hard to relate as you may know (sighhhhh). No problem, it's not hard to deal with and often sort of amusing, but not really in a good way. BUT WHAT CAN Y'DO...

Neal's still in school, journalism major, hanging out with his stoner friends and trying to get into a band or something - that kid is a guitar ace, born 20 years too late unfortunately. He'll be done in the Spring, flung into which direction I do not know.

Well I guess that'll do for now, Sarah just got back from a business trip so I am off to her place to make some dinner (fondue, yummmm.. yes it's just like the '70's all over again!!)


how's things - haven't heard from you in ages! I hope your job/life are treating you well..

Things are okay over here. REAL busy. Always pretty busy, but lately EXCEPTIONALLY so... and I am real sick of this place. It's way past time to move on.. I am trying. hoping to get a web page up in a months' time with a bunch of stills on it, maybe a video clip or two. I see lots and lots of job postings on the web, and I'm really eager to bite. I hope that I get another shot!

Looking local, but my ideal situation is to get hooked up with a job in Europe. Not so much for the job itself, but for the experience - I've never been over there, and it would be great to just go somewhere completely different for a change. Even if it wasn't the best job for my career (so long as it was still relevant - and enjoyable - of course!) I would be game. Just want a change you know, before I wake up someday and notice that I'm married with kids and crap, "where did my life/youth go" sort of thing.

This place is stale. I hate to leave in a way, it's like breaking apart from your family sort of. A lot of good friends here. But, it's just getting me nowhere career-wise, and I've kind of plateaued - don't feel like I have much more to gain by staying here, $$-wise or technically. Not too interested in the products either. Bitch bitch bitch, whine bitch moan. Don't worry about me, though, I am optimistic - there looks like a lot out there. I hope my 2 year's experience and reasonably solid (cough cough - "unspectacular") portfolio are enough to get me a decent job somewhere else. Wish me luck!! And Happy New Year...


--(This one's called "letter to Evan," written to my former roomate from College - he was in the peace corps in Kenya at the time, and we were super-out-of-touch. This was written a week before I decided to quit my job and move to Los Angeles, February 2000)--

Aaaggh. hello Evan. i just typed a really long and involved email messgae to you, and it crashed. Hope you're @#$*&@#'n happy. It was like 20 minutes long. Then poof, all gone. i wonder how many species died within that period of wasted time..
Anyway, my enthusiasm for lengthy communicationhas been shot, so I will keep this short (probably make you happier anyway!) Thinsg are okay, still fed up with work, looking to try to get out. Housemates have both been laid off last week, they worked at a similar company. They are heading out to LA probably, which is sort of my dream. I am trying to see if I can ride their coattalis and hook up with a job at one of the big studious doing some grunt work or SOMETHING.. for the resume.I don't know, it's so hard and such a pain in the ass to pick one's life up, seeing how Sarah and I have opposing views about moving htat seem to switch polarities every 3 months or so (funny huh?) anyway, given the chance, I'd go in a second, that's the state of mind I've been in for awhile now.. screw it all. I'm ready to go. We'll see what happens with the roomate thing. Anyway, working pretty damn hard (remniscient of those school days, quite a bit!!)
So Jon, Dave and I just turned 25 about a week ago. We got together and hung out at a bar. Also, I got superdrunk with some British Nannies (friends of some friends) and startign making a genuine ass out of my self, much to their amusement (go figure!), but it was all in good fun and the only one who's the worse for it is me, I suppose.. ha ha ha. Oh, British Nannies. Abuse my baby. (don't mention taht one to Sarah okay??? I know how much you guys talk, anyway..)
Scott MacGillivray's Bachelour Party is the next big thing coming up, I guess.. he lives in Florida now, we're flying him up here for some gambling (in CT) and Nudies (in RI) -- God bless America. that's in two weeks, then at the end of March I have to fly out to Ohio with Dante for the wedding (I'm the best man).. Everyone else from around here, pretty much, is skipping out on it (for obvious reasons!).. Oh well.
Sarah got me a ticket to go to France with ehr (she's on a business trip the week before my flight) -- my first trip to Europe, you BET I'm a bit apprehensive about it. Anyway, should be fun and weird. I don't know a lick of French though... yes, REAL interesting (gulp!) Ah, me head's pounding... long day of work, hate them Monday's. Just finished up the days' work, had a few minutes before I was off to meet Joe Rose and his friends for some Buffalo Wings in Waltham, so I thought I'd give you an email. Like usual, the idea to do so was brought on by a dream, you came back for a visit and had really longhair - styled like a member of the Jackson Five for their Reunion Tour in the mid-eighties, or soemthing (yeah, I know.. whatever Ron!) Quite a few REALLY WEIRD dreams lately...
Neal's graduating in the spring, it's getting to be so that there will be no more reasons to go back to Amherst and chill out no' mo'.. Oh well. Although if you EVER do manage to find your way back to this state/country (while I am here, anyways..), I promise to toss you into my car and drive you up there and force you to suffer some Dining Commons indignities with me, one last time. (you know you want to!!) Sniff sniff... hell YES I miss the good old days!!! Ah, well.
Okay Evan. I'm taking off. The evening beckons. As always, I wish you well and hope that you are managing okay. Although you never ANSWER me you bastard, if you tell me if you got the last package I sent you (a little comic called "Parasyte") I will gladly send you more. Also, do you prefer written mail or email? Please answer! ANSWER! YEEEE!!!!

okay, so long..

- Ron

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

upcoming shows

trans am - 31 Aug 08 Echoplex LA, CA
rival schools - Oct 9 2008 The Echo California
juno reactor - The El Rey Theatre, LOS ANGELES Sep 25 2008
toadies - 09/11 - Los Angeles, CA - Roxy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

oh for the love of pies

life is a blur of work and driving to/from work these days.
deadlines are approaching fast. there's tons to do. my assis getting sore from sitting on it for too long. i listen to way too many old episodes of loveline back to back, i think it is disturbing my world-view. my posture is getting worse and my center of gravity is sinking. i need salvation - who will put up with me??

i miss non-fast-food...

Monday, August 18, 2008

you love blizzard right?

i don't. i want my tree test again.
short news for a moment, in my nerdierier blog - i downloaded Bionic Commando Rearmed, the graphic/gameplay update of the ol' Capcom game from the days of yore. I played with it for a few minutes, after drooling at the trailers back when they were released. game's gorgeous, and it "feels" right - and sounds very cool - but you know what, setting back into those boots made me wish I was just playing the old original version! Kinda the same feeling i got after playing Contra:Shattered Soldier back on PS2 some several years ago, "this is nice and all, but I don't NEED it" - especially not when it was so perfectly nailed back in it's original incarnation. Still, it is a budget release (10 bucks!) and for the money you pay for it, it is more than worth it. Obviously the thing's an overblown promo piece for the real-deal update coming out later, and I hope it does well. Sounds like it is, already! Capcom is making some crazy waves these days, i gotta hand it to 'em. The 1942 upgrade was also fun to play, that might be worth picking up as well - nice retro feeling, cool FX. Commando upgrade is by far my least favorite, it -does- feel like Mercs, kinda, but it also feels a little less loved than these other titles. I played the demo and had enough..

I downloaded braid, after hearing much hemming ad hawing over the thing on podcasts. Initially, as I wasn;t so much in the mood, "this feels kinda draggy..." and if I'd not heard so much word-of-mouth over it, I would've never even checked it out at all (come on, "braid?") The game is cool, and the few minutes I spent with the demo have got me thinking "this is actually a pretty cool little puzzle game," if my time lightens up soon I will possibly just get the whole thing. Nice job!

I know, I am supposed to be talking about game and watch.. maybe later. I am just sad for the forgotten/never-minded fathers of videogames...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

i hate this industry!

yeah, i am referring to the latest Activision Blizzard news. Does anyone else feel a chill go down their spine when they hear that name? I am not disrespecting either company, or the new combined entity, mind you - obviously, very successful, hugely hugely popular companies with remarkable earnings between all of their properties. Yet it is unfortunate to hear of what happens post-merger, specifically with a lot of the relative second and third rate companies under their collective umbrella, their future plans, their staffing situations - none of this was unprecedented of course, though it seems kind of harsh how surgically and coldly it is being carried out. It's one thing to kick out the cobwebs when you're dealing with bottom-feeder appendages of a larger company, but when you are dealing with interesting properties (ghostbusters, tim schafer's brutal legend) and pretty well-established dev's (radical entertainment) it feels a little like a slap in the face. It's really true, you are only as good as your last hit. It makes me think with a chill about some things from my own past, and again a little more nervously about the potential of the future.

I have gone on about these things before, either in blog form or merely conversationally, at length - we all want to get "bought out," we want to be at the studio when they get picked up for real by a publisher. It's only win-win for everyone - well, it was, not so much anymore. Now it seems rather than getting that cash windfall, you might get squat - and more than that, your job is now under a much
pickier microscope, there's more suits concerned with "eliminating redundancies." Truly, to reap the benefits of selling out, YOU had better be doing the actual selling firsthand, if you wanna make out - and let your subordinates hope for the best as they scramble for the crumbs.

As usual, the model is all over the place, and it's hard to say who wins or loses in all of this, in the big picture - what lessons can be learned and "what is the battle plan" to survive as a grunt-level employee as the giant metamorphosis continues to take place in the bizarre and fascinating creature known as the game industry. Every day I hear more and more news which startles and tantalizes me, also which makes me wanna kick myself "ooops DAMN i have missed my chance!" There's always chance, infinite chance - but one must be able to balance their own business, whatever form it may be in, on top of an already-demanding day job, and whatever other social life and obligations there are as well.

Work is progressing on the project. I am putting in a lot of heavy hours these days, a lot of late nights, a lot of weekends. I am sad to say my productivity is a little draggy as I am feeling the burn - it's been a long project and I am feeling the wear and tear of next-generation asset production (it's still "next generation" until a few solid seasons of working to this specification have passed, alright!) Everything looks so much nicer and tighter than ever before, our engine is quite capable and powerful, but damn if only we had.. like.. 5 years!! Whew. I do look forward to wrappin gthis game up and giving my portfolio a much-needed overhaul, i will certainly have a higher grade of stuff to flaunt, for the first time in too long!

Not much gaming lately. I downloaded the Too Human demo, haven't touched it yet. Last night I downloaded a demo of a game called Braid as well, I plan to fire it up after i finish typing this - also picked up Outrun 2 for Xbox, and NO haven't touched that business either. Man - I just wish I had a solid day, errr entire weekend, left completely by myself with nothing to do, just sit back and drink some beers and play some games. That actually sounds rater nice.

Okay my girlfriend is making annoying noises to let me know she is hungry, so no Braid for me right now - but never fear, I will be back shortly to discuss a little thing they call Game & Watch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

shut up just put up

screw august and screw you. why must it be august? you know i have never really liked this month. and now, in my old age, where time doesnt matter so much anymore, i have no reason but nostalgia for my despising of the month of august. not so much a BAD month, really, but it signifies the coming of the end of summer, which (when i was young) was just a morbid thing really. going back to school, well, sucked.

except college. those were good times. i even had my own tree named after me. i can't wait to die and go to college, forever!

anyway, my girlfriend is perched on the couch practicing for the LSATS so i am gonna stop typing so as not to disturb her too much more. i guess i will play some video games, for reference anyway...

ignore yourselves!!

Greetings from the front lines!!! It is Sunday evening, just about 7pm, and I am watching the last vestiges of the weekend wither away and give into the harkenings of, yes, another week upon us. This weekend I spent much time here in the office - playing some catch-up still,due to my vacation (yeah, it's been a month now) and my tempo has been somewhat reduced which doesn't help things, but ohhhh, ohhh, what are you gonna do. Anyway I need to save off some files for my fellow level artist who shares this particular level with me,and I wouldn't wanna disappoint - further hindering things is the fact that I have to show up for jury duty tomorrow and fulfill a civic responsibility, oh golly gee, oh greatest day! Well, I don' look on such things as much more than a drag, really, as there's work to do and I don't much fancy propping up in a stifling courtroom full of hooligans downtown during the heat of the day - so hopefully I will be able to get in and out in a jif. Sigh, if the gods should be so merciful.

Working on the weekend is nonetheless a drag as well, as it should be the "me time," instead of "their my time" - but again, a necessary evil. I am getting quite burned out on the concept as I have been sacrificing for I-don't-know-how-many-years, as of yet, and that's not too good- but I have my eyes steadfast on the prize, and keen that someday, the payoff will be there. It's been 11 years nearly, and I am still scrapin' on by - things aren't bad, but life and all it's trimmings are certainly expensive, so a little compensation would be a nice thing. It's not too much to ask, is it? Well, no expectations ever, really, but I will see what pans out - someday, somewhere. It's up to me ultimately, I suppose.

I am sitting here at my desk, managing the meshes, cranking the fan, listening to whatever I can stomach on the winamp. I like to listen to repeats of Loveline while I work, surely I have mentioned this before. During the week I will pipe it through my headphones, but as the office is nearly empty on the late hours and weekends, I like to give my aural canals a little relief and just plug into the little tinny-ass speaker on my desk instead. This isn't bad, but I get a little redfaced when people start walking by as the speaker s going on about "I have trouble getting an orgasm while my boyfriend sloppily goes down on me!" So I will close the door or switch the channel. No joke, some poor schlub walked through the office with his goddamned extended family today as the speaker was booming "do some fishing, beat off, go dockside to watchthe sunset, have at myself vigorously, etc etc" I guess if you don't know the show than I sound like some sort of reprobate - well you can think of me as you like, faceless reader, that stuff helps me get through the hours alright? And there's many of them.

I hate closing the door in this room, it's quite poorly ventilated and already hot and uncomfortable in here, which is almost a nice change from my opposing usual set-up (wearing winter jacket no matter what time of the year it is, as game companies LoooOOoove to blast the AC all hours of the day and I feel like a popsicle!) The latest thing which makes me insane is the designer who works in the room next to mine, he likewise has taken to coming into the office during the less-populated hours to do - well, whatever it is in god's name he does in there (working? world of warcraft? far be it from me to satisfy that curiosity). The dude sits in there and (kindly) plugs in his headphones, for which I am grateful enough, but as his officemates are nowhere to be found in the weekend hours, the guy LOVES ot hum along to his music. He hums damned loud, I tell you. It's annoying - and I do seem to be developing my nice share of neuroloigical disorders at this point in the game, it makes my crotch tighten up and my brow get all furrowed. I wanna yell to the hapless guy SHUTTTT UPPPP DAMMMMN YOU but of course he is minding his own business, who am I to ruin the party...

anyway that's what runs through a guy's head over the weekend in the office. If you'll pardon me, I have some bits of work to wrap up so I can get myself 45 miles outta here and back to my sweet, sweet bed for some precious shuteye, at some point. Mercy!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

secret detections

what's up, you foul-smelling hooligans. You yahooligans. ya-Tool-igans.
It is Tuesday night, and I sit at my desk in my office and fart and only add to the warm stuffiness of the room. It's a hoot I tell ya, a hoot anna half! I was hoping to go see a concert tonight but as I am a bit under the weather the past couple of days, decided to skip it and just take it sleazy. That sucks 'cause I hardly ever go to concerts anymore (well, for bands I actually intend to see) but I suppose I have seen my share.

Things are alright. Like I said, I feel a little yeccchy, nothing debilitating but still enough to want to crawl onto my couch and be left alone by the outside world and the weight of responsibilities and all of that, but hey - too bad! The show must go on. I am super-swamped with work right now, that's going alright but I must admit feeling a good deal of burned out right at the moment. Making stuff gets tiring. I will never give it up, but I could use some kind of a breather (a non-job-losing breather, I mean). I am not sure what my schedule has in store for me, what with wrapping up this project and segueing into the next - so I will just take it in stride, as I often do. Of course my salvation had always been retreating into the more insane and active parts of my personality, but these days I am trying to curtail that madness and just phase through this all. Get some time down, get some bills paid.

My mood is alright. I feel --- cramped lately. I feel like I am getting a little older, like things that would normally not bother me are more easily getting under my skin. I am not sure why this is, nerve damage maybe? Also I just feel like I have this noticeable split with "my inner dialogue" a lot more than I had in the past, it has been germinating the past couple of years - ebbs and flows - but sometimes it swings kind of wildly. I never want to second-guess my decisions, I still want to live for the moment - but I am doing things contrary to both of those. It feels like I am wasting time, or aiming in the wrong direction - fighting my instincts. This usually all comes down to my chaos urge battling my order urge, and I guess many people have those same conflicts. Damn logic.

Yeah, everything feels a little weirdo right now. Living here (and working here) has all had some marked effect on me, and I wonder what ten more years of this would mean. I wonder if it'll get that far... Anyway once in awhile I get these little flashes of this despair, just like being stuck. It all chunks up and I feel like I don't have any freedom for anything, I just have to keep going through the same motions, between everything i do - what I eat, conversations I have, places I go - it's all the same, redundant. Yeah, familiarity and patterns are all well and good, but I feel like such a limited simpleton in some ways that it makes me feel like (noted above) WASTING MY TIME...

I need something to kick my ass back into gear, something to inspire me and draw me out of the funk. It's all around me, it's looking all around, I need to find my eyes again.