Thursday, October 15, 2009

eat it!

Thursday night, the lady is out.. somewhere.. 11pm, I just ate some chips and drinking a budweiser (c-l-a-s-s-y all the way is what I am). Feel like typing a little so here it comes.

Listening to some tunes and, um, supposed to be doing some work - as usual there's no end of it to do. Today there was a crazy hoax in the news about a kid in a balloon floating away. It's weird, I kind of want to say it feels like a social experiment manufactured by the media or something - they just made it up to get people talking about something crazy and unusual. It wrapped up really quickly. I am not the paranoid type, but sometimes with the way the world works, it doesn't feel like it's a completely impossible thing. If not this, then something - I mean, look at Celebrity..

It's been alright lately, we are working hard on our game 180. I am anxious to start getting the word out - the teaser website has been assembled and sitting for days, and for some reason Google or GoDaddy is ignoring my requests to fix that (everything is difficult!) But for every difficult thing comes a sensible thing as well, and there's been a lot of flowing creativity and solutions and all that sort of thing as well. I feel like things are all sort of working as they should, on a lot of levels. That's not to say there's not some kinks to be worked out, with my life in general.

Been hitting the bar a bit much lately and I am not proud of that, the usual reasons make it easier and easier to have a few drinks and destroy a few brain cells. Nothing terrible but a little social awkwardness here and there. Anyway, I suppose it's good ot go a little over in that so that it pushes me to react in the other direction. Or something.

Temperature has dropped considerably, it's been much chillier lately. Which is a nice thing! It's mid-October, I am supposed to be wearing jeans. As usual I can say "what what it's already this late into the year?" That's CRAZY. It's true. The year has been one of the more profound in my life (good and bad). More good than bad I'd say.

Trying not to be too daunted by the times, there's this avalanche of technology and social metamorphosis going on lately. It's a little unnerving, and I can tell we are just getting started. It's a little hilarious how broad, sweeping changes used to be more unusual, and now they are nearly becoming seasonal. Friendster was trendy for like a year and a half, then myspace crushed it and took over for like 3 years or so, then facebook has been the big thing for the past couple - and now Twitter is new and already getting old, and Google Wave is the next new "whatever the hell" thing ready to pounce. Never mind about iPhones and forum culture, such as it is, all of that - in general. Sorry to sound soupy, but it's hard not to when going over these things, all of this crap just sort of runs into a big messy pastiche of pop tech sludge. I don't know how to put it elegantly, but I know exactly how it makes me feel. Times are interesting..

Sunday, October 04, 2009

stand up

Early Sunday evening. Sigh - a long day with nuthin' going on - well, to sum up, it's been very busy around here since my last entry. Things are alright, I am pretty mentally beat these days. The last week - while not bad - there was definitely a lot of things going on, and in that, it's been quite draining. The big thing in my life now (as has been) is the development of our new iPhone game, and to repeat what I have ben saying - it's been a very bittersweet experience. I am quite happy with it (how far it's come, what it looks like overall) and I cannot wait to put it out into the world - but the more time that passes, the more I worry about how it'll wind up, in some ways. The videogame world is a messy, messy place - I guess it's always been that way. I need to work very hard to get the game looking very special, otherwise it'll land with a thud, no matter how good of a title I claim that it is.

Haha. It feels weird "34 years old and I am going on about a video game" - it's a product, I want to get something out of it. I have spent a lot of time, a lot of energy getting to this point, I want to put something out into the world with my name on it (as opposed to something with some big publisher's name on it). These days that feels so vitally important to me, after all these years of working so hard for those big guys and not having anything to show for it - my resume is nice, but "what have you done for me lately?" is all you ever hear anywhere.

We have had a steady stream of guests around the apartment lately, it's nice to see folks - but also this is my work studio, and it's hard to foster a "batten down the hatches and get things done" mentality when there is so much through-put. I wish I had a little cave to go to, so I could concentrate on the business. I suppose that will happen again when I am gainfully employed again, at some point.

Lots of drama the past week. I feel like there's been no shortage of drama in and around my life in the past year, really. It's interesting, I will admit, but it's also a draining thing. I feel like I never really can have any interest in merely watching television since it's so much less interesting than the ultimate interactive situation of being square-in-the-middle of a whole bunch of crazy business. It is funny to hang out with a bunch of my friends who worship the tube though (funny but, kinda boring after a little while). I guess just the same, they get pretty tired of hearing me rant and rave about the business scene and all my plans and whatever else.

I am pretty invested into the things I have been involved with, I feel like I am always looking at it and picking it all apart and trying to fix it, make it better, tweak the big picture, get the most bang for my buck, evolve the foundation of things. Being involved in the beginning of anything is just such an undertaking, and it's very thrilling, but also I kind of wish I had a little ability to back off from it a bit more (mentally). I guess you don't ever really get that luxury when you are trying really hard to cultivate anything - a business, a kid, a relationship - you dip in and out as necessary but you always need to be on hand with a monkeywrench in order to deal with the maintainence of the base of it all. I guess maybe that's a strong aspect of my personality too, in everything (small or large) I have ever worked on, and I suppose it's foolish to say I don't have a degree of pride in that, then..

I have been seeing some strange things lately, in a lot of the social aspects of my life - as I get older, I am more aware of things between different people and how they deal with one another. It's funny, "things are never how you think they are," maybe I am just very niave, innocent, whatever.. some might say stupid - I prefer to think that I am a little too neurotic for my own good, but a good part of my brain is burned out/numb from too many years of BS that it's just easier to slough things off sometimes and just say "oh the hell with it." This is dangerous, in small and big ways, and there's real ramifications of this philosophy - but I am not sure I just have it in me to put up with certain things anymore, I just kind of let stuff wash over me and a few passes in, then it just feels like - it's easier not to care about that bullshit. Again, I am not proud of this, but I only have so much energy to deal with however many things (career, relationships, friendships, family stuff) that after enough time has passed it's just like "okay. Whatever. I am just gonna stick to the script I have here. If anyone else wants to piss all over it, fine, I don't have enough time to rewrite this thing." Maybe I am setting myself up for some big collapse. What else can I do-

Okay my mood is a little lousy these days, I really need a good strong jolt of good news, I need some positive validation (beyond mere well-wishing) on a somewhat big scale to sort of energize me. I always take pleasure in the little things, maybe I should just keep trying to concentrate on that. Eyes on the prize..

Friday, September 25, 2009

partially awake

Friday night, 7PM - I sit here at my desk, my face is getting red from leaning far and hard on the right side against my knuckles. It's very warm in here (got to be the high 80s) and I am lethargic and sleepy.

Should have got more work done today, but after yesterday's all-day meeting (and what's been leading up to it) I am a little burned out. In fact I am just tired of working on much right now - any by-the-numbers stuff I can pick up, I jump on, so it can be brainless and eat away at the time.

Things are alright, it's been a bit of a strange week - not a bad one, just strange, in a few ways. This Autumn heatwave has been taking a toll, driving lethargy, flattening my mood. My job search is flat as well, yielding nothing (I still send out applications weekly). Thankfully the unemployment is still helping out (that's a BIG thankfully!) but it is not enough to keep me going - I need income pronto. Our game is still coming along, as best as can be expected - we've got over some big hurdles, more to come of course, mostly some design touches and marketing flourish, and a whole ton of fluff - as well some technical wizardry - but overall I am excited with it. The iPhone market pisses me off and so I try not to think too much in those terms. Make a good product and put it out in the world, be as supportive as possible but don't think too much on getting solid compensation, at least for the time being.

Drifting through wikipedia, in some ways one of the best things one could ever hope to stumble across. It's making me feel a little bad, disconnected, I am reading about French Literature. I haven't paid much mind to any kind of literature in I could not tell how long, but there was a not-so-brief period in my life - dipping in and out - when reading (things that weren't just junk) was rather important to me. I would like to steer back towards that, but as with everything else, it seems like it must sit on a shelf until my life changes up.

I say that about a lot of things, making it sound like "there's just no time for certain things that I want to do," when in fact I do have plenty of time, technically, for a lot of things that I would prefer to occupy myself with. I feel like I have become horrible at managing my personal time in many ways, after all of these years - I have let a lot go lax, I am very adept at burning time in stupid ways, I am not sure how to put this. My personality has kind of dried up in some ways and it's easy to just sit back and let time (and my mind) waste, or at least concentrate on irrelevant things. I don't consider myself a lazy person, I feel it is a circumstance of lifestyle and culture among other things. I don't know how to shock myself out of that, or even if that happened if I wouldn't just revert to the usual mode. As I mention it, I don't feel particularly bothered about it though, "that's just how it goes" I guess this is symbolic of the notion that somehow my life needs a serious kickstart. Ah well. I can't feel too bad about it, as I am still quite a workaholic-

Land of the In-Between

And returning to my weekly gaming blog - things are going alright, as mentioned previously things are very very busy over here. It's been a tumultuous week as my business partner and I scramble through development of our second iPhone application, lots of highs and lows. The big news is that, about a month since the first proof-of-concept, we've finally got the main implementation of the bulk of the gameplay in place, there's much to do with bug-fixing and presentation adjustment, but overall we are both very happy to see it is coming along better than we'd planned! In spite of this, a major blow early in the week which is - well, it's a pretty ridiculous slap-in-the-face, one of the more awful things that a dev with a secret project could imagine, I will have to save this story for the post-mortem. That being said, we are doing our best to make lemonade out of the lemons -

Next week is
Indiecade in Culver City, International Independent Game Developer's convention. I am not sure how this this will be run/organized, it's my first time attending (first time I would consider myself an independent developer!) but looking very forward to the con and also to showing our new project around, and getting some feedback from our peers. Drop me a line if you will be attending and would like to meet up!

Things are alright besides. I have put my normal job search on the back burner for some time, as I am concentrating on the iPhone business for the time being. I still send out resumes and reels to the rate of about 3 or 4 a week, but there's really not much available for artists of my level in Southern California for the time being, I figure things will remain quite conservative until next spring sometime - after the 2009 Holiday receipts have come in and been tallied, generally, and the big studios can sigh a little relief and stretch out their development plans a little more. It's all airtight right now and I am not too keep to look for work out of the area (though after this small project wraps up, I will look where I need to - a guy's gotta eat!)

In the meantime it's quite humbling doing the indie gig, it is also very liberating to no longer be tethered to the extremely inefficient world of big-studio game development. I am sure I will return to that world in due time, but for now it's very gratifying to be master of my own destiny without having to answer to morons and producers who's only concerns are covering their own behinds. I detest what game development has become in the large scale, though it is quite apparent this is where things are going as it becomes bigger and bigger business (and requires so much more investment, in time, manpower, and budget). A few companies have their heads on straight and know what they are doing, but plenty of them are run, erm, "willy-nilly" I'll say to be polite - good studios who deserve respect for their past accomplishments, but who are in way over their heads in the current economic and business climates. I don't need to name names, anyone who pays more than a passing amount of attention to the industry news of the past couple of years can easily think of a few high-profile examples of what I am referring to.

But such is the game industry, it's quite well-known for it's usual topsy-turviness, dating back to the days when I was a kid (Crash of 1984!) This too will level out, and then it will eventually go haywire again - studios who were huge and in charge will become top-heavy and semi-collapse, some small places will have their eyes the prize and their heads screwed on properly and take good advantage for their own shot at market dominance. And so, the worm turns...

Follow our studio's progress at

Saturday, September 12, 2009

half alarming

sat nite. 11 thirty. sitting at my desk, listening to loveline (was) and kcrw (now). maybe turn it off now cause it is kind of annoying-

things are alright. the usual ups and downs. i've got no marvelous or terrible news to report lately, things are just going on as they usually do. It's nearly the middle of the month, right about now is when I am supposed to begin sending my applications out to God knows where in search of employment (empowerment!) - I have decided to drag that out a little longer for various reasons. Not to sound like I am stalling, it does make sense though - our new iPhone game "FlipSide" is coming along very well and I'd rather continue pouring a strong effort into that, than hamstring it. We got a new build today (it's been nearly 3 weeks since the first one!) and it's coming along quite well! Otherwise, things are as follows - 1st iPhone game "iFist" sales are flat, which is unfortunate, though not unexpected and certainly not the end of the world. Funny, it already feels like so much has happened since the days we worked on that project - I guess, a lot of things have--

I am talking with a few other people about working on various other projects, some come, some go, nothing is killing it right now and so I can't really get too sucked up into any particular vessel for my enthusiasm (other then Ben + my project). It's good to have any kind of forward momentum on those other fronts, however. I will say this - and it's a little odd to write - I have been out of a studio gig for 8 months now, this is getting on to be one of my longer periods of prolonged unemployment (2001-2002 still takes the cake!) But, at this point my nerves are suitably fried that I don't feel too terrible at the thought of possibly never returning to "what used to be my career," as far as being involved in any typical studio job. I've had enough of this. I am not saying I want to leave the industry, but at it's current state it's justgetting more difficult to stomach and I don't mind running a freelance operation, smalltime independant development, whatever - it's nice doing business on my own terms - so long as I can keep making a living. That, these days, is the difficult part - but I will keep at it until something happens to make me think differently.

Hung out a bit lately with a friend who's been operating under a similar philosophy for some years now, it gives me a little hope that "you can be successful in this fashion," yeah it's a bit more scraping by from time-to-time (sometimes, for extended periods) but it is not completely unreasonable. Sigh, we will see what happens with all of this once the ecnomy "magically" turns around. The other side of it is that my industry, though it's a big cluster-f right now, is still rather rife with opportunity in different capacities, in spite of the collapse of the rest of our delicate economy. So we will see how this plays out.It is interesting (when is it not?)

Partying a bit lately, I don't think that's a good term to describe it, more like throwing booze down my gullet in order to try to forget everything, it's been some years of this by now. The last couple days were a little busy with it, fortunately I can do it without making it expensive (otherwise, can't do it) and it's a nice escape - in some ways. I'd like to turn that aspect of my life around, I don't know how to express this. I can't give up what I enjoy about the night life, but I don't like the drained and blasted leftover feeling it leaves me with. I guess that part of me always finds a way to get along with the other side of me, but I think both of them are getting pissed about some of the same things by now. Anyway, I don't really do much more than once or twice a week which is good I guess, though to be honest I don't really do this because "I am excited to" anymore. It's just there.

Things have been kinda dramatic in and around the social parts of my life lately, again it's one of those things "I kind of need a little of that energy" versus "I am getting older, crankier, more ornery, and tired of the same old bullshit." It's true, I am starting to feel a little whacked-out in the head in some ways. I mean I always knew it was there, in some kinda cartoony way or other, but in the recent years it just kinda hits me how pronounced it can be, even subjectively. Still I admit that ultimately, such things are normal - I think a lot of us feel similar and express it to one another as we get on in years (well, mid-thirties will do it). You see it in yourself, you see it in other people around you. Maybe there's a huge chunk of "unbelievably normal and boring people" out there too, and maybe I am that for a large chunk of "truly unruly and crazy people." I guess I am not that whacked - I am not a drug addict or anything like that..

I ate a mexican wrap and turned on the TV tonight, it's weird to turn on the TV. I really don't watch much of it at all the past - TEN YEARS, as noted so often in this journal. Being so detached from it just makes it so much weirder when I do tune in, to any capacity. After working in production, looking at any kind of project just looks like stupid low-brow crap that some pissed-off group of people shat out to satisfy this blind, bored audience. I feel like TV could actually be worthwhile, and in fact possibly other countries might have it more figured-out than we do (I suspect, don't actually know that this is true) Our junk culture bleeds through this though, and even the sophisticates wallow in it. I don't mean to sound like I am all high-and-mighty, I work in videogames which is levels of trash below the established system of TV in so many ways - I consider games (even my "beloved retro stuff" a bunch of junk in a big way as well, though there is certainly lots of potential in what games are (and could become) as well. And I suppose if things were different and I was in the creative end of some TV or film production, I could wrap my mind around that stuff as well and find "my thing in it" which would likewise give my life and career validation through such a route. Anyway, the point is, TV is gross and horrible and celebrates a lot of things that confound me. But I guess it's necessary, like religion - and star wars..

I write so much lately, I am happy to be finding myself contributing to this personal blog somewhat regularly now. It's been a long time since I've had any kind of straightness with it, and it's not gonna get back like it was, but I still feel this is really useful and I am sure I will get some kind of a kick (good, or bad?) to look back at it someday.

In closing, want to mention that today, Sept 12 was my brother's birthday, happy birthday Neal - even though you are not reading this! I suppose you could possibly read through some of this years from now, if I die before you and you need to find whatever remnants I have left behind in the world to have as a substitute, but I think it's probably a long shot to expect that you will outlive me (my bro is perpetually sick and physically troubled in some way or other at any given time) I am not trying to make jabs at him, for all the things in the world I wish he would just wake up some morning and say "Hey! I feel GREAT!" But he probably has the same opinion about me so I guess we are equal.

As for being a sourpuss, and being a stubborn pain-in-the-ass - screw it, it drives me and makes me work hard and process the world in my way, whatever that means. It got me where I am and wherever the hell it is that I am going, and that's worked well (enough) to this point that I donn't know if I could change it if I wanted to. So long as everyone else is happy (enough) around me, then that rubs off on me as well and we are all good.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

uncle jack says relax

Hello inertnet (not a misspelling). What can I do for you-
it is Friday night, been a very long day, pretty productive though. Actually, been a long week is what it has been. Lots of things going on, lots going through my head. Am I happy? I have my moments. The strange things are usually what makes me happy these days. Who cares, as long as it comes one way or another -

Working very hard on our new iPhone game, it is getting twist and turn-y. It is exciting, this is the most excited I have been about any project in a very long time. In fact I am starting to get a little full of myself with this one, delusions of grandeur-style "this is the most important game I have ever made!" It's a dinky little thing, but I am extremely proud of it and it's potential is starting to reveal itself to me, I feel like I just want to talk and talk about it. Things are still very early in this process so it's hard to get too crazy about it, but it is moving pretty fast and it's changing my mind about some of my plans. I just need to work hard to keep a solid hold on The Big Picture, so many times "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." The real game of it to me is the whole development process, the art and business of all of THAT. It is so much work. Again I respect and appreciate all of my collaborators on this game, without them it would not even be ANYthing. I owe a lot to a few people...!

Other than the game, things are kind of treading water. I have a lot of other things in my head, socially and economically.. romantically and all that stuff, a lot of it is kind of just weird right now. I feel like I am just exhausted by some of those things, a lot of stressful things have been coming up in my personal life and it's just getting to a point where it's taking this toll on me. I think I have been mentioning it in here lately - I need to find a healthy output for that stress, but also I need to figure out the proper way to fix the actual problems. I am a problem-solver by nature, but I think there's a bad (?) part of my personality that also is a problem-MAKER. I don't like to admit this, I consider it unhealthy, I don't want to accept that "I like it when things are messed up and that's all I will ever be," argh that sounds like some shitty grunge rock, but sometimes I look at these fixes I often get myself into (or put up with) and really it makes me wonder sometimes. I try to decide if other folks around me do the same thing. Is that the curse of being a passionate person, you live to stir up shit to keep things interesting - to have something to get worked-up about, some shitty drama to occupy some pertinent space in your life?

I look at my job and it is ALL ABOUT taking these weird situations and putting pieces together in ways that maybe they weren't designed to be, and getting them to work - and fundamentally so much of that is hacked-together, achieved by going the lonnnnng way around (and sometimes to ridiculous lengths to get there) but it works "my way" and I am this self-fulfilling prophecy in that way. It's how I process the world and how things make sense to me, and then I just keep building off of it. I look at this as a metaphor for my career path in general, and even my friendships and relationships and how I deal with all that stuff, and it just kind of confounds me. At 34 I am what I am (apologies to Popeye) and that is life, but sometimes I wanna (don't say it! Don't say it!!!!) hit or at least come close to that jarring rock-bottom point of my life again where I revaluae things and snap the hell out of it. Anyway.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

steal me some lemon

Hi blog. It is me again.

Wow it is September? For real? Holy crap. How does this happen. As I type it I note that I started this blog (on myspace) exactly 5 years ago. FIVE YEARS. That's a lot of typing. I think I am somewhere just past 500 entries in this (my personal) blog. That's not considering the two other blogs I have (business-related). Mind you this is the only one I "care" about- anyway with all the writing I need to do in general, for the biz stuff, it's probably little surprise that I seldom get a word in here more than once or twice a month. It's too bad, but at the same time - I have written enough! I spend a lot of time going back and forth over a lot of the same material, I suppose.

Anyway, things are going on as usual over here. Not a lot to say. I am now 8 months into unemployment, which is not good. I have been very busy with my time, and I have a lot to show for it, but it's a rough thing and honestly it is hard to believe it's gone on for so long. I will not be happy if I make it a full year and everything is exactly the same, that will be pretty pathetic. Anyway I don't plan to allow that to happen, no matter what it takes.

I am giving it two more weeks for things to shape up drastically, and then I will begin making plans to uproot my life as necessary to see what else can be done. I am starting to investigate things and talk to people about seeking employment outside of my home here in Los Angeles. It's not a happy thing, I know I have ranted and raved about wanting to do that a lot in the past, but it doesn't really feel like "what I want to do with my life" at this stage. Still, if i can get a job then I will feel fortunate, wherever it is.

I am still pushing forward with my independent developments, that's a hard and risky prospect as well but it is worthwhile and I am too far into it to want to pull out now. There's a lot of reasons to pull up stakes with that and use my energy for other things, but I still have a feeling that it can be of great use to me to continue. I am getting a lot of good feedback with all of that and it feels like a good prospect, though I am trying to maintain an air of realism about the whole thing. It's such a new and weird market, and so many people other tanme are likewise scratching their heads trying to figure out what, exactly, is the proper way to deal with it. I have seen some people close to me have some degrees of success with things - and I feel like we are on a very good route to some potential goodness as well. It's a big fight though, so we will see how things play out. Just gotta be sensible on it, and keep working really hard (and smart).

Otherwise, things are okay. Life has been very stressful socially for me lately, the things mentioned above don't do much to alleviate that. A lot of stuff has been going on with my friends, my relationship, that are just - well it's a lot of drama and I can feel all of this stuff starting to build up and seriously rattle my nerves. I was driving yesterday and damned near blowing up in my head from everything, it was the fullest feeling of rage I had felt in a long time. I have had a few moments like that lately, and no doubt a few more are in store. I settled down and came to grips with what was eating at me, but for a few minutes I was really ready to just say some pretty choice things to a good few people-

I guess the heat doesn't help. It is HOT OUT HERE. This is the hottest weather I have ever experienced in my life, thankfully I am living inthe city and no longer in the valley, else I would likely have died from some kinda brain damage or heat stroke or something by now. It's pushing or in excess of 100 degrees every single day. I wake up around 10:30 in the morning and it's so uncomfortable in my oven of a bedroom (upstairs) that I just need to getthe hell outta there. Fortunately the nights are much, much more forgiving.. there's big fires raging just outside of the city ("cue the fires!") and that is also super-wonderful, eh! My folks called me all worried that LA was gonna burn away...

In spite of my stressed mood, I am very happy with some of the potential things unfolding in my life. It is exciting and I feel like I am on a good path and putting my energies into a worthwhile effort - not just sitting around and wasting time. Everything is a lot of work, but it is rewarding and I am able to look at what we are doing and feel quite proud of it. As well, I must commend my biz partner as putting in a lot of work and being very easygoing to deal with, he has a lot to deal with as well and I understand that it's never easy on that end as well. I am glad he and I are working together and I am confident that only good things will come out of our partnership!

Well, it's late and I have some more work to do. Hopefully I will hit this journal again sometime before the next couple of weeks have passed, and there'll be some good news to lay down in here..

Sunday, August 16, 2009

so bright

Hello there. I am up late (very very late) as I am doing laundry, and don't wanna leave it in the machine 'cause it will get all wrinkled.

So, things are alright. where do I begin? First of all, I am very very tired. it's almost 5am and I would love to be unconcious right now, I do find myself getting sleepier lately - I wonder why, I can think of a couple of reasons (for example, my body's rhythms are generally pretty warped, lately). I finished up "the Master Cleanse," I quit it early as I was starting to feel kind of gross (constant headaches, feeling more sluggish, throat was getting tight and achey). I made it 7 days I believe, I could have gone a few more days (today would have been the final day) but I had things I needed to be responsible for and so I had to duck out of it early. No matter - maybe I will try it again at some point, though I can feel some effects from it right now (like I said, my rhythms are out of whack). Most notably, my appetite has markedly diminished-

It was a strange week, I was in an office all week helping out (what I could) for that startup. It was an interesting experience - just like a waking dream, actually. "A job that wasn't," though it was nice to be sitting in an office for a few days, at this point I can say I know what else to expect. Hopefully a real job will come of it, though I have learned by now not to expect such things. I look forward to receiving some enlightening news in the next week or so, we will see what happens. Long story short, if it picks up and means I have some income again, then the sooner = the better!

Our iPhone game is nearly two weeks into it's release now, it's all slowed way down - I believe we are getting a couple of sales a day, if that. It's a bit disconcerting, though it feels good to have the app out and be working on the next one. Watching the day-to-day of the Appstore scene can be very discouraging in many ways, and the sheer volume of apps releasing is just more and more overwhelming. All that being said, I am very excited to move forward with the development of FlipSide and see how it turns out. A lot of the nuts and bolts of this new game are figured out and mid-execution on my end, so I just need to continue with the follow-through and see where it goes. I am still excited to see how this thing will perform in reality, as opposed to just conceptually in my head.

I went out last night for drinks with my friend Jake, after visiting with my other friend Justin who'd been in from out of town (he moved to Australia some months ago) - so it was a pretty packed evening. I had a really good time, if a little tiring - I feel a little bad for going out and spending a little bit of money on boozing, but honestly I haven't really got to go out and do that in what seems like an extremely long time. It was just nice to get out with another guy and not have to deal with anything, at all, except shooting the breeze and kicking back a couple of Guinesses. Can't really ask for too much more from a Friday night!

Well I should wrap up in here, laundry should be ready soon. Hopefully the week will bring good news, or at least just stay mellow (and in another weeks' time, I will be glad if I've not replaced the few pounds - 8 or so - I have shed in the past couple of weeks).

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Hello blog. You stupid, STUPID BLOG.

Man, I never write in this thing anymore. I guess there's a few good reasons for that - really busy all the time, not tremendously happy, and busy if I hadn't mentioned it before. Not to sound like a downer, I mean things will get better - 2009 is just quite draggy in general for a lot of people. Pardon me if I repeat myself.

I notice not many people look at this thing anymore (I used to get a fair amount of hits!) which is fine with me, I really only like to write in this thing for myself in order to track what's going on in my own life over time - it is therapeautic to put stuff in here, and helpful (somehow) to go back and read it later. I feel if I let too much time pass in between entries, then I am not doing a good job of following through with the reason I even keep this. Amazing how I am geting on 5 years of maintaining such a (semi-steady) journal, however.

Life is okay. It's a little hairy but I am hanging in. Awfully busy, as usual. This year, while not a "wonderful time," has taught me many lessons and forced me to deal with a lot of different roles. It's definitely been some trying times - and as I get older and wiser, I can only see more of that coming more frequently and heavier. I guess I always figured as one aged, they'd get more into their groove and overall things would just come more naturally, smoother. Maybe for some people, depending on their situation. I don't mean to make it sound like "ohhh my life is full of hardships!" but I've definitely missed some kind of cutoff where "the big plan would be all figured out." I guess I can take a fair amount of solace in the fact that many of my contemporaries seem to be going through the exact same shenanigans - so it isn't just me!

My friend Ben and I launched our first iPhone game this past week, at last - it was a lot of stress getting it out the door, and doing a 2-man project is definitely quite demanding. Interestingly, putting together the actual game wasn't much effort at all, after all these years that stuff comes easy. Writing a design and putting together assets, all while maintaining a low technical overhead, is really old hat to us at this point. The big issue was dealing with all the other stuff - all the marketing, promotion, social networking, just for our little project. That's never really been much of an issue in my life before, except of course when I am "selling myself" (as a brand, essentially) while looking for a job. In that way, I suppose it wasn't too much of a stretch. Anyway, it was very gratifying to figure that stuff out, and get some coverage in the videogame news world - it feels so weird and wonderful to type the game's name into a search engine and see it pop up at all these places where I'd not specifically fought tooth and nail to just sumbit it to, seeing the little drawings I did show up in thumbnailed images. Sure I have worked on games before and had stuff pop up all over the place, but that was always dealt with by someone else at that point after I handed my work off. This was a different kind of gratification.

Anyway our new game "iFist" has been out nearly a week now, like I said getting good reviews and all but - man - the iPhone market is not easy to crack, getting people to spend money on ANYTHING is such a tall order. It makes me a little queasy about our follow-up, but at the same time I feel more properly directed now. As of this moment (about 5 days) I am not sure if we've got 50 sales - I intend to break 1,000 sales of the follow-up game. I guess I had better get workin'.

So we are doing this Master Cleanse diet right now, me and May and a bunch of our friends. I am not sure if this is one of the stupider things I have done in my life, as it's essentially a 10-day liquid diet. No food, at all! Just this mixture of lemonade, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. It is interesting. Ever morning when i wake up I need to down a tall glass of salt water to shit out whatever's sitting left-behind in my bowels, to "flush out the toxins" - whatever that means. To be honest, the reason this sounded appealing to me is because I have such terrible eating habits (lots of Burger King) and I do booze way too much (even if I am not paying for it!) This seemed like a good excuse to kind of shock myself out of the routine. We'll see how it goes. It's early into Day 3 right now and I feel alright - pretty normal, really - I do kind of "miss" eating, but as I've been out of work for many months I don't really eat things that I enjoy much, anyway. Also, I kind of eat out of boredom or frustration - I know, it sounds sorta pathetic. So we'll see what happens. It would be nice (hell it would be WONDERFUL) to lose my gut, but I have any illusions about this. I usthpe I don't mess my system up or something-

I have started working with a small start-up in the valley. It's interesting, and it has got potential, but of course I am rather sketched about it. These things are really difficult to call, as has been the case in the past "sometimes you want something so badly, that you kind of look past the parts of it that don't add up in hopes that it will just somehow 'work out okay.'" Well, I think lots of people fall into that trap at some point in their lives, and I guess it kind of goes hand-in-hand with the saying "nothing ventured, nothing gained." Sometimes you've just got to roll the dice and see what comes up. At this point, I've done it a few times in a row ad it's been coming up sort a flat - and now faced with the current situation, whereas in the past I would have been all guns-blazing excited, now I am just kind of weary and tired. It's a nice prospect and certainly I'd love to see it follow-through - as it seems like a short-term commitment (to see if it's legit or not) I guess I can hang out for awhile. 'Cause honestly, otherwise, I really just have to pack up all my shit (or sell it, really) and get out of town and start my life (gulp) over somewhere else in search of a fresh opportunity. This land is pretty barren!

Well, it is the weekend. I have to take a shower, then batten down and get cranking on iPhone game #2. I am very eager to make headway with it, and there's a nice easy blueprint to work from. It's pretty well-figured-out and only needs to be executed, the thing is that after the last game I need to really hit it the hell out of the park aesthetically. Off we go, then..

Sunday, July 19, 2009

pour one out for good old me

hello and welcome! It is Sunday afternoon, I sit here fresh out of the shower, enjoying the heat of a dead of summer in Hollywood. It's just a hair shy of 100 degrees out there. I don't believe in cranking he AC unless it's unreasonably hot (too hot to think) so between the fan blowing and a nice little breeze, it's not that bad, just kind of thick.

A weird time in my life right now, happy and sad at the same time - as I've been going on about for some time now. Trying my best to make lemonade out of lemons, and it's working out quite well in that regard. I just creeped past 6 months out of work, which is a weird thing- but I'm not missing being stuck in that hole of "a bad project and things falling apart all around me" so much. I do miss my friends however, the gang I used to hang out with down in Irvine. This is what happens when your job ends abruptly, a lot of your friendships kind of shrivel up, maybe I am used to that thought. It's not like I haven't got enough company in my immediate neighborhood, but you know.

Spending my hours being extremely busy, what with the art tests and such to chase down gainful employment, as well as working on my own thing as well. Ben and I are working hard to establish Headcase Games, it's a LOT of work but it's very rewarding - every day outr little project just looks better and more polished, and now we are at the point where it is finally ready to go out the door, in fact it may already have been submitted (by him) to the App Store. This project has been very fruitful in what we've learned, I am excited to put it out into the world and get moving on #2!

In addition to working like a madman, I have been quite busy socially as well. Again, thanks to the HUGE graces of my friends I have been going out and living a little, taking in a movie here or a few drinks there. It makes me feel horrible to "hey buddy an you spare a dime?" butI totally appreciate it, like I always say "when I get my act together I will repay in kind" - I always do. I also got to put in a kind word fr my folks here, "we won't let you starve," they've been kicking in a little to help me make my rent and keep my bills from getting abominable. If there's one thing in my life I detest, especially at my 34-year-old point I've reached and 12 years of working pretty hardcore in my career, it's being out on my ass so bad - the kinda pathetic feeling that goes along with it- so I appreciate the help, everybody!

I went to a house party yesterday, some friends moved into a new place in the Valley and they invited me to come by to see their digs (invited me and a bunch of other folks! Yup, I have just defined party, very good Ron). It was a great time - I haven't been to a party like that in ages, where the goal is not necessarily to "just get al fucked up," but rather just being social and enjoying a nice afternoon with some like-minded folks, talking about work, society, et cetera. I spent a good deal of the day there (like - 8 hours!) so you know it was a good time! A bunch of folks from Infinity Ward (game developer) were there, many of whom I met for the first time. Super nice bunch of people. Man, it is so nice when a studio knows what they are doing, and doing it well - the happiness you can sense from the people is almost tactile. I have been at so many places where there's just so much frustration and stress and "whyyyyy are we doing this, what the hell!!!!!" that once in awhile, it makes one pause "do I really wann do this at ALL anymore?" So, yes, it is very refreshing to see an example of it being done right..

Those parties are weird to me, I can get a good conversation on as much as anyone - but as the day stretches and people get into certain discussions, there are times when I feel like I am just an alien visiting from a different planet, like I scanned an an instruction manual "how to speak like a human being and here are the basic social norms" but stopped at that point. I guess I can attribute this feeling to the fact that I am not part of the larger cultural consumption/vacuum/whatever you'd call it, I am on the fringe. I do not watch ANY TV, I occasionally see movies (but I never really get too excited about the majority of the mainstream ones), I don't pay any attention to celebrity and such things. I am generally quite disinterested in the overall trash culture we enjoy, and I am not trying to come across elitest because BELIEVE ME I have my own throw-away cultural things that, I guess in some ways they are a little more esoteric, that I get wrapped up enough in. The point is when people start talking about any of that stuff - Lost, WOW, Halo, Britney Spears, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, etc etc my brain kind of goes into Fishtank mode. I feel a little bad about it but then I am not really driven to just pick up into that stuff, it is just not me and I am so far removed from it by now. And honestly, the things I AM into are more than compelling enough that I don't really have any more time to riff on what I consider to just be bullshit, or empty, or uninteresting. Whatever, that's me.. then again I am just some guy who routinely gets blasted beyond belief at the bar, so don't think I perceive myself as being on some important perch or something (or do think that, if it suits you, it doesn't matter to me!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

rewindin-g m-y brai-n

it is sunday night. monday morning. whatever. it's been a very hot weekend, hot like you don't want to go outside out. hot like you don't wanna drive in your no-AC-havin' car hot. hot like i wish i had a pool hot. but not too awful. right now i am a little bit of a mood as it's still quite warm in the apartment, and a powerful skunk smell has stunk up the place. i feel like i made out with a skunk's business end - just to give you an idea how potent.

things are alright. life is really busy right now, and the weekend was very packed. i had a hectic week last week, doing an art test for a job - a really GOOD job that I'd love to get, but I am not really getting my hopes up on it (too good to be true). Of course it was definitely worth the effort (and pouring my heart and soul into that for a few days). A good thing was that I did pick up some valuable new tech savvy on the way through it..

come the weekend, i went out friday night with an old buddy, we went our drinking - which i haven't done in a very long time (last i was out, really, was E3 over a month ago, but different circumstances I suppose). Anyway we had a long night, hit a lot of joints. No trouble though, which was nice. He's getting divorced, and kind of throwing himself back into the life of the "guy who'll go out and socialize." It was interesting.. Anyway Saturday we got up, ate some dim sum in chinatown, hungover, then parted ways.

that night, another friend was celebrating his bday in malibu with a small gathering of people, so I trekked out there to pay my regards. it was fun, always good to touch base with your friends! Unfortunately I couldn't stick around for the drunken shenanigans that were coming, I had to head back to hollywood as my girlfriend's brother was going to celebrate his own birthday, as well, at my apartment (and therefore I'd be hosting). I made it back just in time and got the BBQ all fired up. That gang was nice to hang out with as well, we ate tons of food and drank a bit of booze. Played some Rockband until the sun was coming up.

Today (Sunday) it was decided to have another BBQ as there was plenty of leftovers from the night before. Only a couple of people showed up, but that was nice after all the calamity to enjoy a quite relaxing day with just a couple of friends hanging around. Eat some sausage and chicken, drink a few beers in the sunshine, enjoy some philosophical plumbing. Then some more Rockband, and then wrap-up. And that is it really.

Things are okay. Can't really complain of course, I still need a job and that's not news. I am hoping I can last and not have to raise anchor and get out of LA. I am not really too happy to leave - I have gone on at length about all of that in here already, so no need to cover that ground again. I think I am kind of at my last big push with all that's going on right now, but if things are completely stagnant come this time next month then I might really have to say enough's enough and get a move on, we will see.

Other than the job-hunt, my other business prospects are coming around - in different degrees I suppose. The iPhone stuff is really doing about as well as can be expected, considering that we've yet to launch our project. I keep suspecting "just a few more days and we'll submit to the App Store" but the weeks tend to drag on. Fortunately, the work being done is stuff that'll behoove us in the long run (for other projects) so it is hard to get really wound up in that regard - I'd prefer to knock those things out at the beginning, rather than have a bunch of other things to deal with in fits and starts down the road. I just get nervous as time is passing, and it doesn't wait for no man...

Other than that, I am still dealing with my other group in the console project. I meet with those guys occasionally as things have slowed way down. A few months ago it was red-hot and looking to turn into something exciting - nowadays it's really just that I've tempered my enthusiasm and trying to be realistic and cautious about things. Starting any kind of major-league undertaking is serious business and not something which should be approached lightly or in a trivial manner. I suppose I have learned some lessons from all of this, but I still have some ground that I've yet to cover.

Otherwise, I have some issues in my life that are really eating at me. I have really just tried my damnedest to brush certain things off in the past several years, but lately I can feel some things really causing my nerves to unravel - I guess I have gone through periods of it in the past, and though it was sort of newer and unfamiliar to me in some ways back in those days, at this point I honestly feel I should be old enough to know better at this point! Still, my life goes as it does and I really can't seem to get momentum in the way that I desire - with all the pressing matters deserving my attention, it's really all that I can do just to try and maintain what stability I can - pulling apart all of my deeper-rooted problems just doesn't seem like something I can muster the enthusiasm, hell even the SPACE for right now. I wish I could flick a switch and send it right, sometimes it feels like it could be that easy too. Basically I am a little frustrated with myself.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

if I ever have children..

So I just had a thought. If I ever end up being the father of children, I will name them all after early 1980's classic video arcade games.

There will be Zaxxon Alpert, my eldest. She will likely have Attention Deficit Disorder, and get a lot of scorn from me while she is growing up. As she ages I will regret being such an unattentive dick and try to spoil her, but she will be forever bitter and never really forgive me. We will always resent one another, I can see her happily checking me into the old age home when I reach my geriatric years.

The second child will of course be Q*Bert Alpert. He will be the strange kid of the group, always jumping all over the furniture and swearing. I think he might suffer from Tourette's Syndrome.

Our third child will be Tempest Alpert. A fair-haired girl, Tempest will be Daddy's Little Girl and always have me wrapped around her finger. Such a spoiled, unappreciative girl.. she'll probably grow up to be kind of a hot chick, but ohhh what a short temper!

Child Number Four will likely be Galaga Alpert. Yes, this child will undoubtedly be a homosexual, but what can you do? So long as he is happy with his life, then his mother and I will support him.

If we can afford it, I'd like to raise a fifth child as well, that would be Donkey Kong Jr. Alpert. The fat kid at school who no one likes - and yet always following in his daddy's footsteps. I'll rely on him to get me out of jail now and then.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


sigh. i never have time to blog anymore. where to begin? it's 5am and i have to really, really, really go to be like... ASAP (really).

things are okay. it was a good, although quite long day today. kind of took a day off and just went and moseyed about town with some friends doing random, dorky stuff. good for the head and the heart to get outta town a little bit. we saw the new Transformers movie tonight (yeah, I shouldn't spend $$ at that stuff, but my friends and girlfriend wanted to go, so, ya know). Don't think I've ever gone to a midnight showing of ANYthing before... and man, it was long Like 2+ hours I think!??) but yeh, nice to get out of my mind and reality for a little while (not just partying for a change, that is) I have kinda laid off boozin' it up since E3, which - granted, it's been only a couple of weeks, but for me that's awhile, haha. After being sober for more'n a couple weeks, the desire to go there does kind of fade though. However as reality crushes at you over longer periods of time, it does return with some force..

Working quite hard with my projects, as usual I've got a lot on my plate and trying to manage them all competently. It's hard, but it is getting there. Overall I feel like I am on a good path with what I am up to, just trying to measure it all and keep my decisions solid. That's not always easy, especially as things get more frustrating/tighter as time goes on. With the type of stuff I do, it gets quite demanding and really the only way to get something close to cinching is to reduce all my background noise and concentrate, really, on a single thing. However with what I do, it proves quite valuable to have may irons in the fire, as they say, so I am not too keen on just letting everything else fall completely by the wayside. You can't have it both ways; there's got to be some compromise. The trick comes in balancing whatyou can sensibly, and cutting the rest before it starts to wreck your overall gameplan. It's tough...

Not much else to say really. A lot of stuff in my head as usual - after today's break, I know it is imperative to get down and dirty with the work I need to do and so look forward to living and breathing my work for the next week+. I will do the best I can, it's good to have things to pour myself into. Though at 6 months out of work, I am finding I really need some kind of compensation for the things I have been putting my efforts into (a lot of efforts!) Here's hoping for some good news soon - I don't have any amazing expectations, but I will keep fighting the good fight..

Thursday, June 18, 2009

sullen sunday evenings

hello bloggery bloggnesstification, what the devil brings you here today?

getting on 2 weeks since i visited this place and figured it was time for an update--

so it's past mid-way thru June 2009, that's a little remarkable. If you'd asked my brain where it was, or when rather, it would have sworn there's no way it was later than the 12th. It's a little remarkable, in a bad way, how time is passing quite quickly. I feel like I am somehow in a sort of suspended animation, or whatever sounds like that -

Late mid-June means it is time to think about coughing up for rent and bills, didn't I just do that already? As I am out of work for several months now it is getting harder and harder to manage that. I have some prospects to get some money down the road, I hope, but not sure when or exactly how it'll float since jobs aren't exactly banging down my door. The sad reality is that i must seriously think about moving out of my apartment soon, since it's just getting too expensive to maintain this status of lifestyle on merely an unemployment-funded income (and that money source is due to expire in the not-too-distant future as well). Few things rattle me more than considering giving up my apartment, it's definitely one of the few status symbols I have to show for my decade of killing myself working in this truly godforsaken industry - but hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I will have to decide this stuff soon.

Despite my somber tone, things aren't too bad - the economy and job market are ripped to shreds of course, but I am doing the best I can not to take it personally. Still working quite hard and lining up whatever business I can get my hands on, when it's sensible. That's actually a tall order, as there's a lot of BS business that one can so easily get wrapped up in as well. Still, trying to point straight and proper to get myself a little better situated. One thing I am devoting much time to is organizing this whole iPhone thing, it's a burgeoning new(er) market than what's typically been for videogames but it's also right stupid - I mean - there's a dearth of quality software on there, but what there is, is mucking around at "something for almost literally nothing" prices. It's basically likea lottery system these days, and I can't say for sure whether or not that's a bad thing considering. Anyway, it's all I have got right now, so get on it.

I have been spending uber-amounts of time not only designing and arting for apps, but setting up much of the administrative backend as well. Part of the whole iPhone market scheme is the actual new market itself, and all the rules and tools that involves. I am a pretty grassroots guy in this, meaning I haven't any money (at all) to invest in marketing dollars, so in order to get any kind of eyeballs on my product it's gotta be a whole bunch of DIY and guerilla marketing, no small feat in that. Basically I have spent umpteen hours grazing around on social networking sites like myspace, twitter, and youtube, just digging around and trying to get my shots in where I can, and this with nothing to even show yet, really. It's absolutely been an experience, and a strange one at that. I feel like the cybernetic equivalent of an indie-band manager or something. It's getting a little momentum, for whatever it's worth - by the time the apps are ready to roll out, I will hopefully have the possibility of a good couple thousand connections in some degree or other, maybe twice that, maybe 1/3 of that, it's hard to tell - but with just time invested, not a fat wad of cash. So we will see, it's an interesting experiment and a lot of upkeep to be sure. Every step is crucial.

In all of that, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time sitting right here in front of my PC, I would say even more than normal - even after all these years, it's having a dramatic effect on me, I can feel myself subhumanizing in some ways, it is getting kinda gross. Thankfully my mood's not in the crapper, but I do feel less like a "normal person" when most of my activities get relegated to just dealing with sending I/O back and forth over the screen. Is that all the future holds for us really?

Anyway, bottom line is that, as expected, 2009 was obviously gonna be a strange yeara dn right here, at just about the halfway point of the year, it's damned true...!

As the next couple of months roll by, I remain hopeful that things will lighten up a little, come to fruition, what-have-you. I a not the sort who believes in karma or divine retribution or some such, so it's all just luck really with a degree of taking care of the backend support from my side. We will see what happens.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dash - bored...

Siiiigh, so tired, so tired. What's up gentlemen and gentlewomen? What's new? Tell me, tell me, because.. no one says anything...

It's been some pretty busy times for me lately. Life has definitely been a lot of ups and downs, lots of thought - lots of stress - lots and lots of activity. I have been working extremely hard across all of my projects, they are going well enough for the most part but as I get further in I keep finding more pieces of each to unravel, more aspects which must be dealt with. Kinda one of my more enjoyable parts of - anything, actually, but it's humbling to constantly be facing "now figure this out, now figure THIS out, etc etc." It makes me feel smart, sometimes, as I deal with them, but then I also come to the realization that I am not a mountain, as they say - there's only so much I can bat back at you, until my resolve starts to poop out..

But for all it's worth, I am happy with where I am at, and the results have made me proud. It's still a sloppy trip and taking a toll on me, and consequences are starting to pile up (it's getting extremely hard to balance my checkbook!) and so that means things are actually at stake. I guess I have a love/hate relationship with pressure, really, and that's not news..

In spite of it, been partying some lately, though more out of necessity in some ways (I know, "boo hoo") than merely of being wound up and having to go do bad things. Well, the game convention was front and center in town last week so it's impossible to brave that and NOT end up on my ass, really.. and so that all led up to some really memorable moments in my life, to be honest.. but now it is time to really settle back down and deal with the business at hand. Though to be honest, it was nice stepping out of reality for a few moments there.

Some tough nights, bad dreams - my ego is a little bruised lately, and spilling out from my subconciousness during those off-hours, I wake up the next morning feeling anything but rested, in spite of my "pressure cravings"I really do look forward to taking the edge off. Sigh, once in awhile I kind of come out of the fog of my life and things feel so clear about what to do, and I actually start down that path. But then, being a person really means you are good at seeking out what will make things more difficult, and so I tend to slip back into that side of things as well (I really feel for anyone who reads this, it sounds like I am some Heroin junkie who's got an unbelievable jonesing gnawing at them...) Yeah okay, my problems aren't quite that colorful. But they really are pretty normal, which I'd have no matter what at this stage of life.. Money. Women. Love. Career. Losing some weight. Not downing that pair of Jager shots. Keeping my car/apartment/etc. all from falling to pieces. Maintaining some normal exercise. Yeah - all pretty normal stuff I guess, and there's not much wrong in that light (especially these days). but I am getting older, and there's some things that I am just damned tired of, some things that seem like they should be so outrageously simple to figure out, and logically it's cake but in the real world it's just a freakin' mess, man... Ah well. Welcome to mid-thirties. At least everyone else I am surrounded by, is goddamned nuts as well...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

E3 2009 - day one

9PM, sitting at home for a couple of hours now, here's the wrap-up.

It's been 2 years since I've attended E3 (since many have!) so I was kinda looking forward to the Return of the Spectacle. Well, long story short - it was really meh, is all I have to tell you. Yeah, there were some interesting announcements, take your pick (Team Ninja doing a new Metroid, all the fancy new Xbox 360 and PS3 peripherals, Mario Galaxy 2 announcement, etc). But overall, just kind of a feeling that "man this would have been a lot more exhilarating a couple of years earlier!" I am sure there's a few things to it (not to get all into it, but yeah like I said it's not the same mood when you are job-hunting at E3 as opposed to just taking it in and relaxing, catching up with friends, and so forth) - really I was surprised that the attendance was much smaller than I had expected, you could actually get through the halls fairly easily and there weren't insane lines all over the place to see things from my POV. I guess it's sort of what I'd called in my previous post - things are pulled back these days, you're not really seeing a lot of impressive innovation, everyone's just trying to put out tried-and-true product that will ensure money coming in. But damn, so dull. Hey look ANOTHER Need for Speed! Sure it looks nice but who cares? PGR looked amazing 4 years ago! Another Shaun White. More cooking games. Yawny McYawnerstein.

Anyway, what did I actually look at?

-GI JOE - as was evident from the screens released months ago, this looked like a poor (very) last-gen game. The action and such didn't look so bad, but not noteworthy and the visuals were just very blase. Come on, we have Unreal Tech, why show us this?

-Need for Speed - see above.

-TMNT Smash - I didn't really look at it or play it but it looks like they are trying to follow the Smash Bros blueprint. Is that license still viable though? Stuff gets old.

-New Super Mario Bros. Wii - This sounded interesting to me. I could still sit down and play through a round of good old SMB. Unfortunately, the game was not exactly captivating. I never played New Super Mario Bros. (on DS) but I imagine it felt like this. This was not what I want Mario to feel like, to play like! It's all floaty now with the LBP-3D feeling, but not in a good way. Honestly I would much rather stick with the fanmade levels on LBP at this point. I am not a naysayer against new Mario (Galaxy etc) but something about this just didn't feel like I could wrap myself around it. I ran out of caring after beating a round. I don't like how it handles the 2P simultaneous mode, feels like an afterthought/frustrating.

-Zombie Apocalypse (PSN) - played excatly how I thought it would. Yawn.

-Pixeljunk Shooter - I knew this would be fun. These guys have that certain something that makes weird little titles fun. I would download this. Maybe just demo, but ya know.

-Wii Sports Resort - I wanted to try the new MotionPlus, but got bored watching the guy in front of me shoot hoops. I think the fencing might be alright. It's hard to get psyced about Mii stuff at a scene like E3.

-Transformers - they showed vids of it on the big Activision screen. I can't say much for the gameplay but they really nailed the visuals - it looks like what you'd want a Michael Bay Transformers game to look like. Hopefully they can put the pieces back together following the previous rushjob installment.

-Tony Hawk Ride - I was pretty tempted to try this out, with the new skatboard peripheral. I actually got pretty far in the (admittedly short) line but got bored waiting for the guy ahead of me to practice the simple maneuvers - also the screens they were showing didn't look very appealing at all, graphically. I will say this though, I can see why they decided to make a new board rather than use the Wii Fit board - skaters can grab the deck in their hands and get more of a "skater feeling" if that makes sense.

-DJ Hero - this is so tough to tell. They had a big demo where they really broke it all down and showed the nuts and bolts of the game - the thing is, with these types of games it's really hard to tell how it feels just by watching someone play it. It could be really fun or just very complicated and confusing. I applaud them for going out on a limb and at least, trying something a little unorthodox (such as it is). I will reserve judgement, it's definitely going to be a harder sell than Guitar Hero in some ways..

-Lego Rock band - saw this there, it was exactly as you'd expect. Rock band, with Legos, yawn. I make fun of it, but I think we'll probably pick this up cause Rock Band doesn't seem to age that badly. I don't like looking at the Lego avatars though, I wish they had a reskin with the current Rock Band? Or just release all the same tracks for us, same price? Please?

-Rock Band Unplugged (PSP) - this reviewed fairly well on IGN recently. I don't think there's anyway to say it's good or not after playing it at E3, it's reduced down to it's simplest formula (watching bars and hitting buttons) - and you can't hear the audio at all! So, don't ask me.

-Motorstorm PSP - looked alright, a little crunchier like PS1. I just donnnn't like PSP, what can I say.

What else did I see? Um.. Steve Wiebe was there playing Donkey Kong (OG) to try and recapture the world record, that was funny. People would cheer as he cleared rounds - it was odd. A little hypnotic to watch for awhile, but ti was getting late and we had to move on. I wish Billy Mitchell was there!!

There was a little "indie area," actually I wished this section was bigger. It was fairly anemic, but kudos to them for representing. Not much to really yell home about, but a couple of the games were actually pretty impressive! They mentioned there's some indie game fest due up in... October, I believe, I wanna say it was gonna be in Culver City. I'll check back on that, definitely would like to check that out.

It's hard to judge E3 by the same standard I usually would. It's one of those strange things that really seems to pop up in the more unusual times of my life, and now is not really any different. I can't say it's really the ideal time for me to be indulging in that madness, so I can't expect to have such a great time as I often do (and sometimes it's just been REALLY GOOD DAMNED TIMES!) I blame that on circumstances of life more than just some convention however (and not like my life is even bad, at all, it's just not as... innocent and rambunctious as it'd been in the past). There's obviously something to attending the show when you are a bigshot dev on a cool project vs when you are just a scrub lookin' for work.. hahaha. Ah well, time to hit the bar...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Kick me out of E3!! AGAIN!!

What's up Mouseketeers. It's about 6:30 Monday evening, I just got back from downtown. Yeah, E3 isn't open to the masses until tomorrow, but I wanted to beat the madness and get a badge holder one day early - as opposed to waiting in line with 20,000 smelly nerds for a piece of plastic. I mean, I will wait with those same nerds all day long for other things I am sure..

It was funny walking in there. I was able to breeze Downtown from Hollywood in a flash (surprised!), parked for free (surprised - ALSO!), walked around the entire building the wrong way 'cause I am a moron, found my way to the South Hall Entrance where they were still setting up the most ginormous Rock Band Presented by Pepsi display I have ever seen, strolled up to the front of the line with my bade and presto. Actually, it felt like the end of E3s' past, since it was generally quite mellow with the occasional straggler here and there, and most folks seemed bored and sleepy. Soon, soon. Tomorrow will be a different story.

I am reminded of the last time that I was attending E3 without a job - that was back in 2001, I was freshly out of work from the collapse of 3DO (and my division, New World Computing). Working frantically to get my portfolio into some presentable state, and hurrying to get business cards printed until the last-last minute, I had been out of work long enough that I didn't have proper credentials for my own badge and so my programmer buddy from Neversoft lent me his ('cause he didn't care anyway!) For some reason, Matt put "Matty" on his badge - and I got randomly screened, after one hour, while entering an exhibit hall. "Is your name really 'Matty?' Let me see your ID!" I tried to call their bluff, but of course my Driver's License don't lie, so they stripped me of the badge and kicked me out, with my biz cards, portfolio samples and resumes - all I wanted to do was a find a job! Sob, sob. Pathetic, I know! I'd been 4 years in the game industry already - and now, a convention full of fat smelly nerds was rejecting me. Ah, the irony.

Well, that was (ulp) eight years ago. Sadly, I guess I may not have come so far, here we are at another E3 and I am still scrounging for work, same old story. In fact after I wrap up this entry, I need to bring my new business card template down to Kinkos/FedEx/whatever the hell they call it now and print up a bunch for my partner's and my new iPhone game venture. At least this time if I get kicked out of the show, it's 'cause I was doing something particularly unruly, not just crappy luck!

News-wise - lots of info already spilling out from the pre-show, Microsoft had their conference already earlier today. To tell the truth I've not done more than give a cursory glance to all the goings-on, what with running around and sending out bill payments and cashing checks and then all the admin setup for my new website, figuring out how to do MIDI capture and editing (I am 30 years too late, I know), and trying to give my girlfriend a moment of attention here and there... Anyway something about "Microsoft full-body movement control sensor," PSP GO (PSP GO AWAY!) .. they just don't understand... More Halo's (what's an ODSF?) Trailers for everything, I was proud to see a giant spectacular ALPHA PROTOCOL wall display inside of South Hall Section K.

The next couple of days will be a migrain, hopefully I can shmooze my way into some E3 party or other (yeah, yeah...) Good luck troops..

Thursday, May 28, 2009

fight the light

hallo hallo. what's up? didn't i wite in this thing very recently? i don't even remember..

things are alright. I am slipping into the phase where "i don't have a job so the hours I keep are all crazy," that means it is 5am and I am up typing in my freakin' blog. should just be asleep like the rest of the world (well, on this coast).

I am okay, stressing a bit lately but I guess my nerves can handle it. my money is officially --all gone-- and that really makes everything more difficult - as usual I am doing the best I can to scrape by, many of my friends have been pithing in to buy me beer and food here and there (for which I am very grateful). It makes me feel like a shitty deadbeat though, and I really hope things will turn around for the better pronto. Hope only goes so far-- anyway applying all over (local) for jobs right now, but it's such a shitty time to be looking for work that i nearly feel like it's useless - though of course, it is NEVER useless!! On the bright side, some things with my "side projects," wichI guess would be considered my "front ad center projects," are developing at an appreciable enough pace that I don't feel utterly pointless and frustrated, in fact it sort of isa weird situation now - I kind of feel apathetic about drifting back into my industry in the same capacity i'd been, in lieu of the "bold new direction." That's a tough path though, but hey - all the damn paths are tough!

Anyway on the bright side of that, and I know I repeat myself - my creative side is working overtime in expressing itself, I am getting a lot of very useful ideas for projects to do under these new developments. If I can swing it, and the timing works out - and a little luck never hurts - then I might find myself in a pretty nice position. But hell, at this point in my life I've learned never to expect such things. Youjust do the best you can and try your hardest to make the odds and ends all match up, keep tabs on everything, and try as best you can to cover your back for when a big chunk of things eventually fall apart anyway..

A crazy lady in the Walgreens started talking to me this afternoon. It was sad and strange - living in Hollywood I gotta say I am not a stranger to such things, but it's unusual enough that I can mention it in my journal, here.. Anyway we talked a little, I could tell she was A. either on something or B. her brain was just generally fried from too many years of already being on PLENTY of somethings. I looked in her eyes, something you generally wanna avoid doing withthe crazy people (but we were both waiting in line, and I was humoring myself) and it was creepy, she just had this dead emptiness.. that spark that most people usually have was pretty long-since glazed over, at least in my unprofessional opinion (though I think anyone who is reading this can probablysurmise where I am coming from). Anyway we didn't get into it, when I was younger I might be more fascniated by the crazies but these days I'd generally prefer to be left alone. I could tell that one time, long ago, she was probably pretty hot back in the day.. I love Hollywood, but it's a gnarly and dreary place to a lot of people..

E3 next week! God, just get it over with.. at least I can eat some bacon-wrapped ghetto dogs...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pre-E3-itis, Second Verse

It is so funny to watch the game websites and forums in the week following up to E3. All the big studios drop all their big plans in the weeks (and final days) before the actual show itself, seems to be the trend - isn't this one of the big reasons why the show's format got altered in the first place, supposedly (competing with one another for attention in the midst of overstimulation?) With that in mind, it's notable that there doesn't seem to be a lot of hubbub for anyone to be raving about. Sega and EA both have (relatively) lackluster showings. Nintendo seems pretty tight-lipped, I guess we can expect to see some semi-interesting Wii titles from them next week but I doubt anyone's expectations are so high (as noted in my last blog post, "things are rather quiet these days..") Unusual to hear about High Voltages upcoming games (it's been awhile since they made some noise?) Activision dribbled out a couple of early tracklisting morsels for their Guitar Hero franchise, but really is anyone THAT thrilled about some new tracks (in this age of DLC) - as well, the new Tony Hawk game's been getting a little press, though it's more of a lot of "what? they're thinking wa-what?" when considering their new balance-board remniscient peripheral and lofty (rumored) price-tag. The new DJ Hero Turntable popped up as well recently, no surprise there, I think a lot of folks are waiting to get their hands on it at E3 (any chance?) before it gets written-off as "too late to the Beatmania party.." Well, we will see.. Anyway, they got Call of Duty, which will sel no matter what..

But, yeah, all is quiet. I don't think anyone expects to see much noteworthy out of DS or PSP, and I doubt there's much more expectation for Sony to come strong with (potentially powerful) hype for MAG (I love that name!) XBox is getting long inthe tooth now, if anyone's got a chance of showing up with somthing crazy I guess it would be them - but they always leak their stuff notoriously early. All we got in our sights is the HD Zune - which is a lot, mind you, but it's still gonna play second fiddle to iPhone if you ask me, unless they do something particularly clever and outrageous.

Yeah, I may be full of a lot of hot air, but I have been watching these markets for awhile now. Again, it's a tight economy and the release slate for this year is scant - also lots of previous big players (like THQ and Midway) are getting spanked badly, while guys like Microsoft, Sony and even the all-powerful EA have been closing shops and letting people go quite a bit in the past years' time - include the already-wilting Sega in that list (and I am a Sega fanboy, mind you!), it's a telling sign if there's not a few more half-assed Sonic games showing on this years roster (yeah, there's a Winter Games one, but otherwise..). And does anybody remember a company called Atari??

So I am declaring this, the E3 where it supposedly returns to it's former glory, the Year of the Casuals. The year of the Stifled Development. Expect to see a lot of gusts of smoke and disappointment. So hilarious that they pulled in the reigns for E3 just as the whole industry was getting incendiary, Wii and PS3 and 360 were raging in their freshness and youth and money was being poured full-bore into development everywhere, studios were overambitiously augmenting their team sizes ("why make 2 hits when we can just as easily churn out four?!!")

Well, we'll see some interesting iPhone stuff. Anyway don't fret, as the economy buttons up (I hope!) we'll see better conventions in the future. For now, just enjoy the love-in.. Hopefully, I will be able to find a still-existing Kentia Hall, where I can play Paperboy and Galaga (and Scramble on the Vectrex!) while listening to 8-Bit Weapon. Sounds good enough to me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hot Damn Applesauce, how did THIS happen? It's excatly one week to go 'till the Electronic Games Expo once again descends upon our horrible, innocuous town..

It's a shock really, I've known it was coming for some time now (waiting for it with baited breath) as it's quite a symbol for many things in my life. A deadline, certainly - but also a true milestone, in each of the years since I have moved out here (nearly 10, now!) E3 was effectively put on ice for the last couple of years, reduced to less than a pathetic shadow of it's former grandeur, as it were - I am quite surprised to see that it's supposedly going to be a huge mosh pit of videogaming madness once again, I have to admit.

I am actually - NOT really looking forward to it, as opposed to my usual attitude. Right now is not really a god time for me to be participating in such insanity, I am really really busy and also really really broke. In fact, I am feeling quite antisocial as well - if it were up to me, I wouldn't mind if they could somehow postpone it for another month or two (that'd make so many things SO much easier). But, of course, the world seldom works that way, so too bad right?

Anyway E3 is usually a celebratory time for me, when I get to go out feeling like "Mr Cool Guy" and getting recklessly drunk in public and making all sorts of scene. This time it will be different, I am sure I will knock back a few at the bar, but really what I want to do is scour the landscape, document as much as I can, I am much more business-minded these days then I was several years ago. With games, the proof is in the pudding, and there will be a whole lot of pudding on display in a few days. It's overwhelming and exhausting to think about, in advance. All I can hope is that some good comes of it, for me..

Things have been tremendously busy for me in the past months. I have been working on several plans with a few different groups of people. Much of it has been back-and-forth-nebulous, but enough of it has powered me to keep going forward. I'll spit some of it out into the world shortly, to whatever consequence.. I am very looking forward to that point, when you cut something loose and truly "get the ball rolling." It's so hard to build up to that initial point, it sounds quite doable on paper but the reality is often that there's so much middling BS to mind as well that things tend to get a little messed up here and there. At this point in my life, in ANY project, I really come to expect it. Still, without speaking too whispy, I will say that I have been exercising my creative muscles quite a lot lately and it's making me feel quite competent. Now, so long as my nerves can hold out in the meantime..

The game world is - well, it's there. This has been a rather quiet spring, leading up to a customarily quiet summer. There's no huge tentpoles sticking out for the other ass-end of the year, 2009 is such a wash compared to an oversaturated 2008 (itself an orgasmic followup to an also hectic 2007). Hell year-on-year it's been this gargantuan, unstoppable, quite ridiculous really. And now here we are at the plateau - gears is behind us, resistance, rock bands and guitar heroes, halo this and that, whatever else it is that sony makes - wii is following up with decent titles these days but their luster has finally worn (no mario kart or zelda these days!) What do we get this year? GTA DLC, Bioshock 2 and.. um. I guess Modern Warfare 2 will clean up at the end of the year. No slouch, but something punchy is missing. A LOT is missing.

I have taken my usually-keen gaze away from the console arena a bit and I've been watching the downloads, the mobile stuff.. not that it's all wacky, but it's at least a little noteworthy. iPhone is the big catchphrase these days, it's no surprise, it is still trying to find it's way as a unique platform (more than enough support is there, it has it's own crazy market, the tech is quite formidable) but the "gamer" market is not quite absolutely embracing it just yet, it's still sort of a glorified Gameboy. I am waiting for someone to come and clean up shop and take over, they are really sitting on a goldmine (and I wonder how long they'll be able to fly in the face of the competitors, specifically Microsoft with it's endless deep pockets and eyes set squarely on "taking over the world of ANY KIND OF OS and INTERFACE DEVICE")

Man, I am so tired. So much thinking, there's a lot of things on my mind these days. I can no longer just sit back ad let some higher-up make the decisions, and hope that they don't trickle down and ruin my life (again). I am trying to be much more proactive, it's a necessity. I will always feel like such an outsider in this spiteful industry, I guess there's something to that then.. Anyway, back to work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

up ahead

4:30am. no good reason to be up. not being very productive. hell i should really go to sleep.

i am in the middle of 30 things right now - is it bad if i leave all of them behind and just drive until my gas tank explodes?

washed my car, found a (precious) parking spot - walked in the door and I immediately got sent out for McDonald's. That was pretty much the deep end of the evening. Also my girlfriend and I spent awhile "discussing our relationship" (isn't it always fun?) I am supposed to be editing sound files right now, but I think I am going to just wrap up and get some sleep instead - after all, tomorrow is another day..

surfing around facebook when you've got no job/money/direction is not a happy thing..

it's not true, i DO have a direction. Actually in the past two days, I put together a decent new idea for an iPhone app - I roughed it out in my head while lying around, and today my biz partner and I discussed it and essentially filled in the blanks. I can't wait to mock it up and get it of the ground - I think this one's got some good potential!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the chase is on

what's up whirled.

ron here. still plugging away. life is alright, i don't really feel like journal-entering much these days but i feel it's important - as usual, for my own edification, at least - to dip in and out.

times are tough lately. it's been nearly 4 months since i have been out of work. Fortunately i am receiving an unemployment check every couple of weeks, but it's so close to the wire that i can't maintain my minimum lifestyle on that alone - i need a job! I do have expenses beyond rent+utilities+food, i have lots of meetings every week which requires gas, meals, and a a little petty bit of money for this equipment or that. (it's terribly petty, but still worth mentioning). in spite of things i have been EXTREMELY busy, and quite prolific in that - i think i have mentioned it recently. when i am out of work and stressed i definitely get so "gosh-darned creative" and my imagination cranks into overtime, which is definitely a usefl thing. must find a way to funnel that!! I am working on it..

in that vein, i am definitely pouring out my energies into a lot of avenues (some may accuse me of being too unfocused, and they wouldn't be necessarily wrong). It's a hard time in my life to maintain focus though, but really i am trying the best I can. it feels good to have many irons in the fire, i never like operating with all of my eggs in one basket (if there's any more metaphors out there which i have missed, please forward them to me). anyway i have got to just keep up and doing what i do..

after spending an inordinate amount of time concentrating on indie efforts, i have turned my attentions back towards securing fulltime work with some studio or other. right now i am not being so picky, so long as it pays (more than margnally) better than unemployment and can help me secure things with my short-term financial issues, then i will feel relieved. i definitely had some very promising opportunities which have passed during this period, that was a choice i made - of course i wish they were still on the table (i am not stoooopid!) but i can't beat myself up for not bending over backwards for every half-decent thing that comes down the pipe, there's only so much a single person can do.. anyway i maintain that my work/attitude is good enough to land me somewhere that my talents can be appreciated and well-utilized, it's not necessarily got to be "the very next gig" but i would like to see it happen sooner rather than later. it's been a long time coming, eh? Anyway it's up to me really.

i started sending out my cover letter and resume to a few places once more. I sent one over to Blizzard, king of kings in the games biz these days - they seem to be hiring lots of people for positions lately. i don't particularly expect to hear back from them, but it certainly never hurts to send out a message. I can see myself sitting down at the table with a lot of them for some grinding interview, we get three questions in and they start asking me insane tech stuff about WOW and i come up short - it's a little too late to play catch-up with the hardcore - but hey, maybe they want a little of that, you never know! Whatever, I have plenty of insane tech stuff about this/that/the other thing floating through my head all day anyway.

Also sent an application to the guys who share a building location with my previous employer, there's a hilarious proposition. I have no idea if i'd get a call from them, but it would certainly be hilarious to work only a few flights up from a bunch of my old buddies.. I am sure they have their reservations about hiring people who worked with their neighbors, but you never know.

Still would love to get back into film, i can completely picture in my head what i'd need to do to make a splash on that side. MAN that would be nice. A guy can dream! When things cool down I'll likely start pouring my heart and soul into that end of things.. trying to be careful not to split my time and energy between too many projects these days...

what else to say, as usual there's a billion thoughts racing through my head. it's a tough time in my life, a good time and bad time simultaneously - i feel pretty numb about most of it, i have really been through this cycle so many times by now that it just feels so perfunctory, so normal. i used to wake up in the morning, years ago, when i didn't have a paid gig and i'd just stare at my feet sticking out the other end of the bed and listen to all of the traffic outside, all the people outside rushing around, delivering things, meeting people, making deals, couriering shit. It made me feel so out of the loop, so useless, kind of pointless, hard to motivate - directionless. okay you get the point. These days, every day, I bound out of bed, I have TONS of things to do, leads to follow, designs to plunk down, assets to art, meetings to schedule, ego's to juggle, plans to setup, my social life to keep from falling apart - there's so much to do, it's so busy, i still haven't had a day to really sit on my ass and just chill the hell out. Hey, do I sound like i am on CRACK?

Friday, May 01, 2009

hello from the great beyond

well, it has been ages since I have posted on my "game industry blog," how's that then? Things are alright, it's been a few months that I am out of work now. All things considered, overall it is not bad. I am exceptionally busy, probably as much as I usually am during the thickest of it - trying to maintain my nerves as there's just so much volume to deal with lately. I feel like I finally understand how a producer feels, in some regards - just spending the day on the phone with this guy or that fellow, trying to see where everything is at, trying to keep some cover on the documentation of everything, trying to plan backups for A, B and C, and essentially trying to be the glue that holds everything together in some fashion. And, trying to be creative and productive on TOP of that (and also take out the trash, do the laundry). Hey! Yesterday I went to the gym! It was the first time in weeks.. sigh..

Despite my frenetic pace, I am in a good place. There's a lot of progress going on, it's not by any means smooth but I am certainly getting a lot of things taken care of. I am feeling ridiculously creative right now - since I am no longer quite so pigeonholed (and feeling powerless in that way), my brain is free to spit things out in a forum where it's actually useful for a change. I am getting a lot of valid ideas on the table, some useful, others which lead to usefulness, in some ways. It is very invigorating. Sure, I am broke and stressed, but at least I feel happier for a change..

The game world is pretty mellow these days, unsurprisingly. Not much new is out, not much is on the horizon. No surprise for this year, truly an in-between year in the Annals of Game History. I played the demo for Bionic Commando last night (the next-gen version) - they put out a multiplayer demo. Not my thing, but then, I am no multiplayer combatant. Seems fine for what it is, and some people like it. I think when the full game releases, it will look alright!

I am spending a lot of time watching the iPhone scene lately. very, very interesting market. Man, Apple are such stalwarts, everything they do is always so zigzaggy and stubborn but - damn them, they ALWAYS figure it out somehow!! I have much to day about iPhone.. for now I gotta get a move on..

Thursday, April 16, 2009

yes i am a cruel mean guy

Yeah. Yeah I am. yeah.

Tired. Sleepy. I am sitting here trying to do work (and getting a little sidetracked) - my girlfriend is watching one of those latenight TV shows (Jimmy Fallon) with Elmo as a guest. It's very invigorating, trust me.

Life is alright. Super busy. I am hustling like a madman right now. Every day I hop in my car and drive here, there, or somewhere in between to meet this dude or that cat. It's good to keep running around, making contacts, finding leads, talking about plans - helping me get a little more confidence in what it is I am trying to do, none of it is really hard but of course the climate is a little peculiar right now (you know, what with everyone being jobless and broke and everything). But hey. It's a life.

I have been hitting the little comedy theater up the road from me lately. it's such a nice little sidestep out of my usual routine, I am so glad to have that stuff in my life. Five bucks and a night out with my friends for a couple of hours of standup in their tiny little closet of a place - yes it is quite intimate. We usually bring a couple of sixpacks in there (makes it crappy when you gotta run to the toilet in-between sets!) but really, it's one of the nice little perks of being out here! We hit the neighborhood bar next door to have some drinks, eat some wings and shoot the breeze after - then after my girlfriend and her buddy called it a night, the rest of us piled into a cab van and shot over to cinespace for some madness dancing. Still my favorite club! They always have a DJ up front and a band or something going on in back - the dude in back (dunno who it was) was actually putting on a really energetic set, I enjoyed it! I ran onstage like in the old days, the bouncer wasn't too keen on that but I get down before he decided to kick me out (which is good. I haven't got kicked outta space in a long time. It's not a nice feeling!) We headed home after the place closed, ordered pink dot (yay cigarettes and pizza at 3am!) and played Jenga. A good night!

Gonna try and do some more work then call it a night. I didn't get much zzz's the last couple of days-

Sunday, April 12, 2009

dying in s-t-y-l-e

what's up, blog that I never use anymore. Hey, it's true. I have other things to do these days!

Honestly, I had been rather prolific on this thing, but lately this (and the other) are fairly neglected. I attribute it to being really busy, tired of whining, and feeling like there's a lot going on in my life that I should probably keep mum about. So, then.

Things are alright. it's been two months since I've been out of work (again). It's a weird feeling, still not a happy one (I have bad dreams.. a lot!) but it is bittersweet. As I have said, I was not very happy with the path I was one, and hopefully my new direction can be a much more positive one. It is hard to say though - all I can do is work hard, try to make the best decisions I can, and keep my outlook positive and constructive.

The week was really busy (they all are!) I am running around these days, a lot - but I have had some time to sit in front of the PC and mess with actual work stuff, which hasn't been bad. There's a little comedy theater up the street from my house (when I say "little" I mean "the size of your closet") and it's a treat to head over there now and again, pick up a six-pack, and enjoy some nerdy comedy once in awhile so I can forget about the things that ail me. A group of us went there Tuesday night, it was a lot of fun - then, powered by a bit of booze, my friend MVG and I headed to Cahuenga and Hollywood to drown our misery (we did a good job of it), got home somehow...

Thursday night I was invited to a Passover Sedar (my first one in... 9 years!!!!), which was certainly interesting. I got to read the Four Questions, my hebrew was (ahem) rather rusty. But hey, y'know. The food was REALLY good! Overall, it did strike a chord and reminded me very much of being a kid and attending those. Afterward my friends coaxed me out for some drinks at the neighborhood bar- the night got a little dramatic, after the rambunctious evening that was Tuesday night, I decided to take it slower and didn't go over-the-top with partying (I didn't have the mood for it!). The high point was going back to my place and plugging in the Super Nintendo and walloping my buddy in Street Fighter 2. Man - I miss the good old days. I still have to say that one of my favorite things in the world is coming back from a wild night and playing some games with my friends, it's not something that really happens in my life much anymore - but when we do, I completely enjoy it.

On that note, I will take an aside for one moment and say that I don't like the current trend towards online play. I admire the tech, and I can completely understand why it is popular (and necessary, even) - but I will never get the same enjoyment out of playing a game vs. another human when they are not actually right there beside me, it feels kinda pointless to me, personally. I guess that's my old-fashioned-ness kicking in.

Furthermore, I can completely not enjoy video games at all like I would if it were not my profession. I can never "go back," but I just wanna say that those of you out there who turn to such things for recreation, in a way I do envy you...!


Facebook. Everyone in the damned world is on Facebook now. Even me (my girlfriend decided that this would happen!) Arriving late to the party on Facebook is a strange feeling indeed - now that Myspace, which was once the hip domain of us trashy slutty partiers, is completely passe' the world has shifted it's attention to something more malevolent. But, it's strange to look at Facebook. Instead of the blog posts and comments of Myspace, we get plugged into everyone's day-to-day thoughts on FB, it is strange. It's too much! I guess I feel like an outsider since I got in so late - as well, it is just weird to see people on there who never really plugged into myspace and now are totally into that vein, people I know from my past. It's a bizarre feeling, I don't know how to describe it. Makes me feel kind of lonely or something, like I don't belong there (not just the stupid online service, you know what I mean). I am tired of the virtual world, it's doing a good job of replacing the real world and that concerns me. I will keep blogging, not because "I am merely a hypocrite" but rather, I do want to keep a journal of my life that I can look back on (when I get old and boring for REAL). That's really the only part of this that matters much to me anymore, the rest of it is just business.

Tonight we went out for Thai food with May's friend Thao. The food was extremely tasty, I am very fortunate to live in a place where there is such a variety of delicious (and affordable) food available all over the place, and just a short drive away. Hollywood/Los Angeles is a crazy place with lots of ups and downs, but no doubt about it there's a GREAT representation of worldwide culture sampled here, en masse..

Otherwise, the high point of my day was dragging my Hammock into the backlot and resting in the sun for about 20-30 minutes. It was party cloudy today, every time the sun went behind the clouds I'd get chilly and wake up - then a moment or two later it would peek back out, I'd warm up and pass peacefully back out into a relaxed rest. It was short, but pretty nice. It's gonna be a hectic busy week - there's too much stuff to do - and so, I go...