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.