Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why is "no" not an acceptable answer to the question, "are you okay?"

You asked.

The same thing goes for the answer "Oh, I'm all right," when someone asks "how are you doing?"

Why would you ask me a question like that for which you are expecting a specific answer and then be surprised when I didn't go along with your plan?

It's nonsensical.

Next time just say, "Hey. Tell me that you're fine so that I can stop worrying about it."

It's all right. I understand.

I just got back from seeing Sherlock Holmes with my family. I don't know what all the fuss is about, because I thought that it was absolutely smashing. I loved it, and I can not wait for the sequel.

So what if Holmes' character is a little more reckless? He's young. Of course he's careless, right? Young people are careless...right?

Anyway, I thought it was refreshing.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apparently I have forgotten how to shave since two days ago.

I just hacked the shit out of my face.
What is love?

It's complete and utter bullshit because all that I do is fall into it and sputter and struggle and sink.

Maybe one day I will be able to make somebody happy.

Maybe one day I will stop hurting people.

But I'm not holding out hope.

Alternate Ending:

What is love?

Baby don't hurt me.

Don't hurt me.

No more.


Monday, December 28, 2009

I suppose it's been a while since my last post. Sorry, I guess.

Christmas was good this year. I had lots of good family time. One of my little cousins (he's five) got some Transformers for Christmas, and I was assigned (in other words, I jumped at the opportunity) to teach him how they work and show him how to transform them. I had a lot of fun. I grew up playing with Transformers and it was quite a nostalgic feeling to, for lack of a better term, play with them again. It was also a really cool bonding experience with my cousin.

In other Christmas news, my grandparents gave me a gorgeous new watch. I had picked it out, but it is still an absolutely beautiful piece of machinery. I have this deep obsession with timepieces, especially since they're really the only kind of acceptable fashion accessory for men in this day and age. Aside from...scarves, maybe? I dunno. I'm not super familiar with that scene. Not to say that I don't want to be...I'm just not.

But it's going to be weird getting used to my new watch. After wearing the same one every day for almost eight years, it's a weird adjustment. Every time I see my old watch sitting on my shelf, I instinctively reach out to put it on and have to stop and remind myself that I'm already wearing one.

And I got a few games. No More Heroes for the Wii, New Super Mario Brothers Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and Mirror's Edge for the PS3.

I've actually already beaten Mirror's Edge twice on a rental, but I loved that game so much that every time I walk into a store and see it, I consider purchasing it. I don't know how much I'll play it, but I figured it would relieve some torment if I just went ahead and got it out of the way. I'm playing through No More Heroes right now, and I absolutely love it. I've actually rented this one, too, but made the mistake of buying GTA IV on the same day, so I didn't get very far in No More Heroes. Killer 7 was one of my favorite games of all time, and Suda 51 is an incredibly interesting game designer. No More Heroes has been great so far. I haven't really played much of Mario yet, but I've played it at other people's houses before, and it's pretty much an outstanding Mario game. Zelda is also wonderful. I's Zelda.

I also got this weird Irish Spring body wash in my stocking (yeah, we still do stockings) that has a "cooling sensation." The only place that I feel this "cooling sensation," however, is on my groin, and it really just feels like a chemical burn. Not to say that it's not...enjoyable, but they should be more honest on the bottle.

"Irish Spring with mildly corrosive acids."


Thursday, December 24, 2009





Empty e-mail inbox.

No new text messages.

My phone just sits there, silent.

Why do I even bother?

What is the God damned point?

What is happening?

What is that sound?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I played the demo of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker last night. It was very good. I am really looking forward to that game now. The controls have been vastly improved over MGS: Portable Ops, and it looks like a good, linear MGS game, which is more what I'm looking for than what Portable Ops was. Portable Ops was good, I just don't have the time necessary to invest into it.

One thing that really excites me is that they brought Ashley Wood on board again to do the art for the cutscenes. I absolutely love Ashley Wood's art, and that was a wonderful surprise during the demo.

I will be purchasing Peace Walker when it is released in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I just found this picture on my hard disk. I took it this past summer, and don't think I've used it here before.

This is an office supply store here in Greenwood.



[Picture taken in Greenwood, SC during Summer of 2009]

Sunday, December 20, 2009


James Cameron's Avatar was absolutely breathtaking. When I first heard about this movie, I really didn't give two shits and decided not to look into it at all. I just assumed that it was just another attempt to cash in on the video game craze that is mysteriously sweeping the nation. However, about a month ago, I saw a trailer for the film that made me commit a full 900 degree turn. I went from thinking that what I knew about the movie sounded stupid to not being able to wait to go see it.

So I went and saw it today. In 3-D. I was a little skeptical at first, because every 3-D movie that I've ever seen has been disorienting and fuzzy and dizzying. Avatar was pretty impressive, though. The 3-D was pretty smooth, and after about twenty minutes or so, your eyes adjust to the concept and it actually becomes pretty cool. I'm still not sold on the concept, though. I don't know why 3-D has become such a huge craze over the last year or so. It was cool in avatar, but I don't feel like the movie was any better for it. It's just a cool added bonus. I just prefer watching movies in normal 2-D. I feel like I can absorb the story and the meaning of the film better when I'm not distracted by things exploding out of the screen towards me and when I'm not trying to cross my eyes just enough to counteract the terrible, generic 3-D glasses that never work quite perfectly on any given face. As I said, Avatar's 3-D was pretty solid and didn't suffer from the typical problems that other 3-D movies do, but I feel like it would have been just as good in 2-D. I also respect the film for not pulling any of the cliche "guys-are-sword-fighting-and-someone's-sword-gets-swung-out-into-the-audience" bullshit in this film. Nothing rockets out of the screen toward you and there's not a chainsaw/flaming torch/motor boat rotor being jammed into your face every ten minutes. The 3-D is just for overall effect.

With that out of the way, onto the actual movie content. As far as the story goes, it's pretty traditional. It's the typical epic story archetype. These elements usually consist of huge battles, gigantic sets, scenes shot to have very large scale, and a hero who starts strong, falls to a low point, and makes a comeback, usually returning stronger than he was when he originally set out (the rise-fall-rise hero structure). I know that this is going to be the main complaint with this movie, but the thing about filming an epic is that your story structure is already laid out for you. Epics are not about the story; they're about how you tell it and how you differentiate your epic from other epics.

That being said, I still don't like to talk about the story in movie reviews because that's the primary reason that you're going to see the film. The story in this one is pretty straightforward, and can be cheesy and predictable at times, but it is still charming and will get your adrenaline going a good bit. The movie strikes a good balance between action and plot development, and moves at a really strong and consistent pace.

The special effects are also incredible. The CGI is very convincing (characters moved naturally, objects behaved properly according to physical properties, etc.) and melds well with the live action portions of the film, and there is also a lot of very clever prop usage. It was nice to see a modern movie use props for things like close ups on a spaceship or futuristic helicopter instead of just using CGI to fill in the gaps. I always feel more satisfied by a good prop or model or animatronic puppet than by some obviously animated thing just floating around on the screen. Now, I do understand that more than half of this movie was almost entirely CGI, but it was of such high quality that it was almost hard to tell. The movie was so engrossing that any noticeable thing that may have normally pulled you out of the experience was easily overlooked.

Overall, it was just a great experience. The movie was just huge, and was a highly satisfying experience in pretty much every respect. I highly recommend this film.
I just got back from viewing Avatar upon my local three-dimensional cinema screen.

You all need to get the fuck outch yo' house and go see this movie. It was pretty incredible. I'll post a more in-depth review later tonight.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Games You May Have Missed - Hotel Dusk: Room 215

(Read my previous post for a run-down of my reviewing policy.)

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Published by Nintendo, developed by CING) for the DS is a great title. It's from the same team that brought us Trace Memory (also for the DS), which I also loved. If you've played Trace Memory, this game is much in the same vein, just more complex. Hotel Dusk is a mystery point-and-click adventure game with a deeply involving story and a lot of intriguing character interactions.

It's hard to talk about the story without giving things away, but the basic premise is that you play Kyle Hyde, an ex-detective who has recently taken up "door-to-door salesmanship," although there is more to his occupation than meets the eye. Kyle stops at Hotel Dusk to try and figure out what happened after the mysterious disappearance of his partner, but of course gets himself into a much deeper, twisted web of secrets than he originally intended. At first, the story seems pretty unoriginal, but as the game progresses, it starts to twist and turn in lots of unexpected ways, and the game always leaves you guessing as to what's going to happen in the end. The story wraps up nicely in the last few segments of the game, and brings all of the game's many characters together in a lot of creative ways. The writing in the game is pretty cheesy and dramatic at times, but the game has a strong noir feel to it and is interesting enough to overlook the cliches. The art style in the game is also interesting, and all of the illustrations are detailed and expressive.

The gameplay mechanics of Hotel Dusk are very simple. You hold the DS sideways and drag your stylus around on the touch screen to move and tap to interact with things, while the other screen displays a real-time 3D rendering of what your character is facing. A lot of the game is spent talking to/questioning the many characters that you run across throughout the story, and the rest is spent exploring the hotel for clues and items to help yourself along the way. In a lot of ways, the gameplay feels very similar to an old-school text adventure in the fact that the game is merciless about your failings. There are many situations where simple mistakes such as a single wrong answer, asking questions in the wrong order, or leaving items in the wrong place can cause an immediate game over.

The puzzles in Hotel Dusk stem primarily from finding the right items/being in the right place/interrogating people and uncovering the proper information. There's nothing too brain-busting about it, but there are some very tense sections and a few places where you will probably get stuck for a little while. As a mildly related side note, I highly recommend using the notebook in the game to write down what you are supposed to be doing when you turn the game off, because even coming back to the game after a few days can leave you totally lost about what to do if you forget, as the game doesn't give you any reminders. There are a few occasions in the game where you are not really given clear directions about what to do next, which isn't always a bad thing, but sometimes it leaves you wandering around the hotel for long periods of time, only to accidentally complete a task and then feel stupid because the solution was so obvious. There are a few slow periods in the story, and sometimes the objectives seem to take a little bit longer than they should (as you often have to talk to a series of people and do a chain of very specific things to make the solution even available), but the rest of the story makes up for it.

Overall, Hotel Dusk is a great game for fans of the genre. As a genre, it is very, very slow-paced when compared to other games, and these sorts of games require a good bit of memorization, trial and error, and patience. If you are not looking for these things in your gaming experience, then you should probably steer clear of this one. If you like these sorts of games, however, then Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a solid example of the genre.

Verdict: Buy.

Game reviews

I am going to write my first quick video game review shortly. Before I get started, however, I think that it is important that I first explain my reviewing principles.

I hate game reviews. That is to say: I hate reviews on sites like Gamespot and IGN and such. First of all, they are too long and in-depth. I think that many people will agree with me when I say this: I don't care exactly which textures are blurry when the camera is too close. I don't want to hear about every bug or glitch encountered by the reviewers (unless it's game-breaking), and I don't give a crippity crap about comparison shots, among other things.

But the main thing that I don't understand about game reviews is the numerical grading system. A video game is an experience. People experience things differently. There are some games that are just legitimately bad, but people tend to like different things, and the idea of grading games based on qualities deemed important by the reviewer that other people may or may not care about is odd to me. This becomes even more of an issue when you introduce multiple reviewers and therefore inconsistency into a review system. There are definitely mechanical qualities about games that can be universally criticized, but on the whole, games are subjective. There have been plenty of games that have gotten terrible or mediocre reviews that are some of my favorite games of all time.

Game reviews should be simple. They should be short and to the point, while still covering the important topics. The verdict of the review should be a relatively simple "buy or don't buy" system (such as Ars Technica's reviews), and the tone of the review itself should speak for the level of recommendation.

As described by Penny Arcade, when you ask a friend of yours what they thought of a game, they don't say, "It was good...uh...eight. I give it an eight." They simply say, "Man, that was really good. You should totally check it out," and then they typically proceed to explain why you should totally check it out. Assigning numbers to an experience based on an arbitrary reviewer's interpretations of said experience just seems silly to me. Unfortunately, the industry is more caught up in these numbers right now than ever before.

All that being said, I don't think that I am in a better position than professional reviewers to say what is good and what isn't. As I am currently a mechanical engineering student with no income, I lack the funds and time necessary to develop the perspective of reviewers who play a lot of games as they are released. My opinions should still be taken with a grain of salt, as I tend to have highly specific and obscure tastes and avoid many of the things on the mainstream, but I feel that there are a lot of games that don't get proper credit or coverage due to "more important titles" or political deals within the industry.

Tah tah until the next post which should be very soon so make sure that you come back and read it if you are interested in point and click adventure mystery games.
I drank nothing but water all day yesterday.

...what a sad thing.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ugh...I am so sick. Right now, I just have the symptoms of probably the worst head cold that anybody has ever had in the history of mankind. Hopefully, things will stay that way and not develop into the flu. I really don't want the flu right now.

My head hurts so bad that even trying to concentrate on getting head shots in MGO was excruciating.

I think that the worst part of having a cold like this is that no matter how many times you brush your teeth, it still feels like you haven't for three days.

Now...time for me to go try not to throw up.

I went to a live showing of a Rifftrax Christmas special last night in Greenville with my dad and sister. It was really cool. They filmed it live in front of an audience in Texas (or at least that's what we were able to figure), and broadcast the feed to theaters all over the country. It was really funny, and it was really cool knowing that the guys were doing the jokes live. MST3K has been a big part of my life, and Rifftrax is equally great.

On the way out of Greenville, we saw a contender for the worst church sign of all time.

"Be a 'tranformer.'" Well, that's not that bad, right? That kind of thing could happen to anyone. Easy mistake, right?

Wrong. Here's the other side of the sign.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well I'm all finished with finals, I'm back home, my game cabinet is all set up, and my bass is set up in the corner.

I guess now the only thing left to do is find a tall building off of which to hurl this cold, empty husk.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, I just got back from bombing my Differential Equations final. It's amazing how much you can forget about a subject when you develop a splitting headache thirty minutes into a three hour test.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

R.I.P. Pandemic Studios. You will be greatly missed. I intend to play The Saboteur as soon as I am able.

And fuck you, EA. Fuck you in the eye. God damn you for screwing over yet another talented development studio in your unending, greedy quest for industry domination. I hope that the money you make off of their titles is worth it's weight in broken hearts.


Tah tah for now.
This is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I just popped a bag of potato chips. I haven't done that since maybe fifth grade. It was...liberating, somehow.

And you've gotta love banquet dinners.

Yum, right?


Well, I tried to make some meringues last night, but I messed them up. Go Figure.

I guess I can add mint chocolate meringues to the list of things that I can't get right.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's finally getting cold in Columbia. I've been able to wear my new coat out a bit.

It's winter, and I have nobody to share it with.

What do I have now?

What do I have?

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's done gone and been exam week all up in this week. Posts will be sparse/non-existent until late Friday night.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

WHOAH DOUBLE POST! Make sure to read the one below this.

For those of you who are not aware, my apartment is located right across an intersection from a very busy railway crossing. In Columbia, it is required by law that all trains blow their horn for ten entire days as they cross over a street. Sometimes, however, they simply park on the tracks, blocking traffic for the rest of time.

Today, however, a train was parked on the tracks from about 11:30 AM to about 1:30 AM. I don't know why it was there so long, but it was. Thank God it wasn't parked on the crossing, though. There would have been a civil uprising if that train had been in the middle of the street for two hours.

But, to the point. On the one of the cars visible from my window, there was some really interesting graffiti. It's just really crisp and clean and, well, art.

You'll probably want to click on it for the larger picture. Graffiti like this I tend not to mind. It's a nice change from the typical scrawled, messy, and dripping "tag" that you see on street signs and unkempt brick walls. This took effort.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Okay, I sat down to write about the Flecktones show, and decided that it's been so long since the show that I don't really want to sit here and type and type and type about it anymore. Here's the gist of it:

Victor Wooten was incredible as usual. 

I now understand why Bela Fleck is being called "the premier banjo player of the world." 

Phil Coffin is a sax master. 

Futureman played a half drum kit with one hand and his drumitar with the other. Standing up.

Standing up.

The Columbia Philharmonic Orchestra was also very good, and blended beautifully with the band.

I got a signed album after the show. That was a really cool experience. Especially meeting Victor Wooten. I have been watching videos of him in concert on youtube for the past couple of years, and he's probably the primary reason that I even still pick up my bass, so meeting him face-to-face after the show was really cool.

Anyway, they are all master musicians, and if you ever have the chance, you really need to go see them. It is imperative.


Friday, December 4, 2009

There is nothing like sitting all alone in your room Friday night playing video games while you hear groups of people outside walking by and having a grand old time. At times it makes me feel self-sufficient and proud that I can entertain myself with my own hobbies. At other times, though, it makes me just want to go to bed and never wake up.

Anyway, today's been a long day. I spent the whole afternoon and evening doing a chemistry assignment, and I just want to play some Zelda tonight. I promise that I will write my thoughts of the Flecktones show tomorrow. It's just going to be a longer post that I don't really want to spend the rest of my conscious night compiling.

Is it odd that I fantasize about slamming my car into a stationary wall at speeds of at least over 100 mph?

Wrong, perhaps?

Is it stranger still that every time I run through such a fantasy in my head, I witness the carnage in a third-person, isometric view and in slow motion?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Well...I have a fever. And a Solids assignment to finish. So no Flecktones post tonight, either.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones last night. It was absolutely fantastic. However, I have copious amounts of math to do right now. I will write a more lengthy post about my thoughts on the show later tonight, so those of you who check this here varmint early may want to check back later this evening.


[EDIT]: Go figure. I'm not going to have time to write anything tonight. I still have a ton of stuff to finish. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fear Not, Weary Travelers

What the hell am I doing?

I'm brewing tea, and there's a half-empty can of Seven Up still sitting chilled on my desk.

I have resorted to beverage multi-tasking. Is this a new low, or a heightened state of awakening?

Here's a mildly relevant photograph:


[Photo taken at an unmemorable shopping mall in South Carolina]

I have been staring at my Diff Eq homework all night, and I've only finished three problems out of about forty.

I'm getting to that point where I just don't care anymore.

I am so burnt out with all this shit that has been going on lately that I just don't care. I just want this semester to be over so that I can go home for Christmas and wallow in loneliness and then come back here and do this all over again.

I'll get back to the funny pictures soon.


Monday, November 30, 2009

I got two tests back today.

I scored a 61 on one of them and a 68 on the other.

I studied vigorously for both of them.

I guess I can add this to the list of things of which I am tired.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I just got back to my apartment from home.

On the way over here, the most peculiarly interesting thing happened.

As I was driving through town, I shifted, shall we say, imperfectly, causing the car to jump in velocity for a split second. I released the clutch as the car sped up, and my suspended leg was yanked upwards and backwards and slammed into the steering column due to the sudden forward acceleration of my surroundings. Then, as the car lurched again and the speed equalized, my foot was thrown violently down onto the plastic foot rest next to the clutch.

The only thing running through my mind the whole time ("time" being defined as about 2/3 of a second) was, "God, I love physics."

I don't know how to deal with myself anymore.

Every time I see a couple together out in public, I get this all too familiar bitterness in my stomach and yearn for what I have lost.

I want to fall out of my skin.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh my God...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra was incredible. That is by far the best show that I have ever and probably will ever see. I probably spent half of that damn concert (on and off) in tears because everything was so beautiful. The lights, their artistry, the energy. I've never seen anything so well orchestrated in my life. The sound was outstandingly mixed, the lights and pyrotechnics were spot on, unique, and entrancing, and all of the members of the band got an equal amount of stage time. Nobody stole the show. It was clear throughout the entire show that to them, the music comes first, and then their egos as famous rock stars can have its turn.

Also, the violinist for TSO is one of the most astonishingly beautiful women that I have ever seen. She was just gorgeous. Slim, but muscular...full of life and energy...flowing black hair...I think I fell in love tonight. I'm sure that the electric violin under her chin and the hair strewn across her face with wild abandon (a product of thrashing her violin so hard that she snapped probably about a third of her bow fibers over the course of the show) certainly added to the appeal.

To give you an idea of how close to the stage we were, she had absolutely stunning eyes.

It was was the perfect performance. I think that this may have ruined rock shows for me. Everything I see from here on in will be compared to this.

If you ever have the chance to see these guys in concert, do so. You will not regret it. Even if you don't like their type of music, you will love this show. Trust me. There were enough excited old grannies coming out of the Bi-Lo Center tonight to prove that.

I'm going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with my family today. I'm super excited. Then on tuesday, I'm going with my dad to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra. It's a Christmas concert, as well, so I'm going to be getting a lot of alternative Christmas music over the next few days, but I'm really looking forward to it. Especially about the Flecktones. If you've never heard them, here's some links.

Victor Wooten (their bassist), is the most incredible man alive.

This is a live improv. Apparently he does a lot of improvisational stuff at their shows. I saw a video about a year ago, where he played an eight minute bass solo, broke his D-String about halfway through, and only dropped the beat for about a half of a second.

I can't wait to see them. I really get tired of the typical Christmas carol type stuff that you get barraged with around this time of year (I much prefer instrumental Christmas music to jingles about how you'd better not be naughty or how fat Santa is), and it will be a welcome change.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I just saw Fantastic Mr. Fox. I was originally excited about this movie simply because of the animation, but I must say, I have not had that much fun in a movie theater in a long, long time.

The movie is an absolute joy, and I highly recommend it.
I'm falling.


I feel this sensation spread over my entire body.

The wind in my hair.

The g-force pressing against my chest.

The air particles battering across every pore on my face as my limp, helpless form rapidly displaces meter upon meter of atmospheric gas.

My clothes, rippling violently on my skin as though their only wish is to achieve enough sentience to leap from my body and escape their immanent fate.

The frigid cold.

The burning air resistance.

The exponential increase in acceleration before terminal velocity takes its toll.

The windows of office buildings streaking past me, upwards in every direction.

The ever increasing ground, growing closer with every dragging millisecond.




Oh sh-

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

See, this is why I have trust issues.

It seems like nobody can keep their mouth shut these days.

I'm finished with confiding in people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Am I a good man?

I'm starting to think not.

No matter how hard I try, I only manage to disappoint.

It seems like the only two things at which I truly excel are being pessimistic and hurting people.

I'm tired of getting on people's nerves.

I think that from now on, I'm just going to keep to myself.

Maybe hit the Playstation up harder than usual.

Honestly, that sounds pretty good right now.


I don't know.


Monday, November 23, 2009

My previous post was my 100th post. Whoopie? I guess?

100th anniversary blog post right here, right now.

My solids test is in ten minutes. It would be great if I wasn't sick again. I've been coughing all morning, and after every violent spasm, I heave. I'm really worried about vomiting during the test. We'll see how it goes.

I also didn't really sleep last night. I got in at about one in the morning, got in bed at two, and then had a series of music-based hallucinations until about seven o'clock, at which point I got up to leave for 300 Main to study further.

I'm anticipating that this test is going to hurt my grade, despite my efforts towards the contrary.

Oh well.

Let's go destroy a beautiful thing.



Mechanics of Solids...

Oh my gosh...

I have been studying for a test tomorrow for a good five hours now, and I am still not prepared.

In other news, Hideo Kojima has promised that there will be a third installment to the Zone of the Enders series. I am beyond excited. Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner is my favorite game, and the prospect of a new chapter in the series puts my mind at ease in a way. It's been a while since I have been able to so adamently look forward to something from the gaming industry. Hideo can't promise a timeframe for development or predict a release date as of yet, but he has promised, and a Kojima promise is worth a solid investment of trust. It may take some time in development, but I will be here, waiting patiently to spend however much is asked of me for the most special of special editions.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go sit in my room and smile slightly at the wall until it comes out.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why am I suddenly so uncomfortable with my physique? Why do I suddenly hate my body?

Is it because I'm losing weight?

Is it a product of the loneliness?

Is it my shattered self-image?

Wait...yeah, that's probably it.

I have another question. Is it really so unbelievable that oatmeal cookies are my favorite kind of cookie? I love oatmeal cookies so much. I will eat an oatmeal cookie over a chocolate chip cookie (or any other kind of cookie, for that matter) any day of the week. There are days when I will turn down a chocolate chip cookie, but there has yet to be a day when I have been presented with an oatmeal cookie and not replied with, "Hand that shit over." But when I tell people this (at least people my age), they always just stare at me in shock as though they are thinking, "Have you lost your God damned mind?!?"

Is it really that strange?

On the topic of losing weight, here's an ad that I saw the other day on a website.

I mean...I know that they rarely use the same people in the before and after pictures for these things, but come on. Their Photoshop guys didn't even make an effort this time.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


I don't know why I even bothered with taking a shower today. I doubt I'm going to be leaving the room.

There were two people in my solids class yesterday (a guy and a girl) talking about how, "You know, like, some days you just feel, like, sad for, like, no reason?" They then continued on to talk about how one of them was having one of those days and how they're usually happy people and that they just get so down on those days where they're just, you know, soooooo sad for like, no reason at all!

I was fighting back laughter with every turn of the conversation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I just got back from Astroboy.

It was great. I loved every minute of it. The animation was top-notch, the story was endearing and fun, and the humor was genuinely funny (even most of the slapstick). Well, it matched my sense of humor well, at least. I can see how some people may not find it funny, but I think that that is because those people are crazy.

I'd like to talk for a second about the animation. I think that the animation in Astroboy was very well done. When people say that about animation, they assume that it means that everything was super realistic and high resolution and all of that jazz. This is not the case with Astroboy. Now, don't get me wrong, the animation is very competent in that regard, but at the same time it has certain qualities to it that make it stand out as an interpretation of a franchise that has its origins in anime. At first, I could not pick out these intrinsic qualities. All that I knew was that it was somehow different from other animated movies that I've seen. After the movie, a friend who was with me put his finger on it when he said that all of the characters were made up of simple shapes, particularly Astro. And it's true. Everything in the movie is made up of fairly primitive polygons. Things are rounded to look nice and all that, of course, but the use of simple shapes really emphasized the anime nature of the Astroboy universe. Also, many of the textures in the film were fairly plain, and did not distract the eye from the important parts of the screen. The movie looked incredible, but in a subtle and masterful "different sort of way."

That's my two cents, at least. Maybe you'll feel differently.

Anyway, if Astroboy is still playing in a theater near you, and you like animated films/cartoon history/anime/generally geeky things then I highly recommend that you go see Astroboy. If nothing else, you will at least be entertained. I promise.

Be careful on the way to said theater, though. I almost got sandwiched between an 18 wheeler and an SUV on the interstate going almost 70 miles an hour. The 18 wheeler was changing lanes and must not have realized that I was right next to the trailer, despite my relentless honking. The woman to my left in the SUV noticed what was happening, however, and slowed down, giving me time to drop that bitch into third gear and  get the hell out of there. It was a really close one, but I escaped unscathed.

I'm thinking about going to see Astroboy today at 4:20. If there is anybody in Columbia who actually reads this and would like to come along, contact me posthaste.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Konami is hosting MGO official ranked matches tonight from eight until midnight. I will most certainly be online.

Unfortunately, that means that I must actually study for my thermodynamics test right now instead of playing Borderlands.


Anyway, here's a picture. You'll probably want to click on this one to enlarge.

Go figure. It's a chopper store. I find the ancient post office drop box that's still embedded in the building to be very funny, however.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I hate this place.

This place that I am in.

I am not happy.

When did I become unhappy?

I'm not sure.

It needs to be cold.

I recently bought a 300 dollar winter coat (it was marked down from that, of course) that I'll probably never get to wear.

When did I become unhappy?

I don't know.

I feel so unattractive. And boring. And angry.

I'm not sure where this anger comes from.

But every little thing sets off an internal combustive reaction that is becoming increasingly harder and harder to contain within myself with each new instance.

Why have I become unhappy?

I have no idea.

I miss Baltimore.

I look around me and everyday I see happy people. People who know each other. People who love each other. People who understand each other.

Every time I "put myself out there," I just embarrass myself. Or say something stupid. Or people just stare at me when I talk as thought they don't understand a word that I'm saying and are just waiting for me to finish. Or I propose an opinion that resonates with no one.

I feel so uninteresting.

I spend every day boiling in my own putrid, disgusting, and chaotic thoughts.

Some of them are constructive.

But most of them are just out of control.

I want it to be cold.

That bracing chill against my face.

I long for that sensation again.

When did I become unhappy?

I don't care.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I just made two salsa and cheese hot dogs.

At first, the shock was immense, and I was revolted. However, upon further taste testing, I found them to be delicious, and encourage everyone to at least try it.

236 + LP + HP

Monday, November 16, 2009

My phone is so quiet now...

And my chest cavity is so cold and hollow.

I am so lonely.
All right.

I would really like to know WHY THE FUCK it is getting hot in Columbia again in the middle of November. This is miserable. And I swear to God, I'm tired of people answering me with, "It's just hot in Columbia. That's the slogan, man, 'Famously Hot.'"


That does not make this kind of weather acceptable. Every time I hear or see that slogan, I want to break out my stranglin' hands. Why the hell would you brag about the fact that the weather in your town makes it an uncomfortable hell hole?

Ugh. Argh. Grah.

Anyway, I'm drinking some hibiscus flavored tang that I procured from the Hispanic isle at Wal-Mart. We'll see how that goes. Check this fancy link a little later for a review.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I think that I am in love.

In love with this man.
I played some Metal Gear Online this morning. It's so much fun. I love MGO. It's the only online game that doesn't bore me after a few rounds. The slower pace and more tactical team-based mechanics really make it a ton of fun. I love LANs and local splitscreen, and I really don't like what online play is doing to the multiplayer aspect of games, but MGO is endless fun. I could sit and play it for hours and hours.

If anybody out there also enjoys the MGO, send me a mail with your PSN name. I'm looking for people with which I could potentially start a clan.

Anyway, this book was just sitting around at my grandparents' house and in my infinite immaturity, I had to giggle and take a picture.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

So I made a chocolate cake earlier today.

Chocolate cake without icing.

I know it sounds strange. Cake without icing and all. But let me tell you, it is delicious.


I've been playing my bass a bit today, and it's been a harsh reminder of getting cut in chemistry lab on Thursday. I got stabbed in the tip of my left middle finger with a shard of glass from a beaker containing potassium iodide. So hopefully the tip of my finger won't rot and fall off. It wasn't a big piece of glass (although even the smallest glass cuts can be deceptively painful), and I had all but forgotten about it until I picked up my bass. Everything was fine until I started playing Feel Good, Inc. by the Gorillaz. That twelve fret slide on the E-string was a violent realization that things have, in fact, not completely healed just yet.


Friday, November 13, 2009

NASA has found water on the moon.

These are the things that I live for.
I am contemplating buying the Ultimate Matrix collection off of amazon for forty dollars.

I absolutely love the Matrix universe (yes, I even love the second and third movies), and I think that it would be a worthwhile purchase.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Well, I just stayed up all night, only to fall asleep by accident at 7:15. 45 minutes before my differential equations test. I woke up at about 8:15, violently sick to my stomach, and jumped out of bed to run to class, dry heaving the whole way there. I was so scared that I was just going to throw up in the street on the way to class.

I have woken up sick every morning for the past two weeks. It's really starting to get old.

My professor was pretty understanding, though, and gave me twenty extra minutes in his office after class to finish up. I still lost about 20 minutes that I could have used, but whatever. I'm just glad I got the extra twenty.

Also, this morning at about 4, I decided for some reason to pull up an old email from my recent ex (from about three months into the relationship) and read through it. I really don't know why the fuck I did that, because my concentration from then on was pretty much shot.

For those readers who haven't figured it out yet, my girlfriend and I broke up two weeks ago. I've been trying to avoid talking about it directly. I'm not sure why. But anyway, there's that.

Anyway, I need to go fight with my turbulent stomach some more and try to do a prelab that's due in two hours.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My legs crave DDR. But alas, differential equations is all that exists for me tonight. As usual.
I was behind a silly frat guy's SUV today. His license plate said "GOOS43." I can find no explanation.

Also, I find hot chocolate peculiar. There is always that layer of sediment that forms at the bottom, but just before you hit that layer, the flavor levels out to (or approaches the asymptotic limit of) what is basically just water, and then it's all grimy because all the sediment races into your mouth to try to compensate for that strange suspended layer of nothing. I do love the hot chocolate, though.

Oh, ambiguity! How you foil me again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I just paid $2.48 for a box of staples...

They are Swingline, though. I suppose I'm okay with that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I had a very interesting ride back to Columbia today. Two things of note happened, as opposed to the typical zero.

First, I stopped at one of my favorite fueling stations on the way here to use their restroom facilities. After I was finished, however, I decided that I needed something to eat. I was going to grab a hot dog, but as I was grasping the tongs, I noticed a fleeting vision in the corner of my eye. The Piccadilly pizza booth that is typically quite bare was full of delicious bounty. I quickly dismissed the hot dogs and leaped to the booth. After much deliberation, I decided on a box of boneless buffalo wings. I snatched the box up and headed to the register. Upon arriving in front of the clerk and taking out my wallet, he examined my selection and continued on to say, "You know...I'm just going to let you have those."

I was shocked, and said, "Wow. Are you sure?"

He said, "Yeah. They've been out for several hours now, just so you know. So I'll just let you have them."

So I thanked him and left with my newly acquired snack. They were delicious. They were solid chunks of manifested heartburn, but for the novelty of gas station food, it was worth it. I've never really just gotten anything for free like that before.

Also today, I was changing lanes to pass someone, and as I changed lanes, some wild and crazy man in an old beaten up crap heap shot up behind me at at least one hundred miles per hour. He had to decelerate so harshly that I could visibly see his hood dip under the force. He was inches from rear ending me, and he had the audacity at this point to FLASH HIS BRIGHTS AT ME TWICE!

I'm sorry, sir. I'm sorry that I was driving how I was supposed to. I'm sorry that I kept you from reaching escape velocity.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I resent my boring, brown eyes.

They are so boring.

And brown.

Why did they change school bus mirrors? These buses look like caterpillars now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The crushing loneliness is starting to take its toll.

She was all I had besides my work. Now my work is all that's left.

Guess I'd better get to it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Boarderlands is incredible.

Also, I have been having this insatiable craving for pizza lately. And Indian food.

Oh God...chicken tikka masala pizza sounds incredible.

With olives.

And bannana peppers.

And finely chopped onions.

Oh goodness...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What have I done?

Buying Borderlands was a huge mistake.

I guess I can kiss my grades goodbye.
I just opened Borderlands. I had forgotten about my favorite part of a new game. The new game smell. The smell of the ink and paper of the manual, the smell of the unadulturated disk, and the smell of the plastic of the case, all preserved within the factory shrink wrap.

This smell brings back so many memories.

The only thing is that it only lasts for a few minutes, and then it is gone.

Losing Control

So I went out and bought a brand new video game today for 60 dollars. I haven't done that in a long, long time. Not since second semester of sophomore year (Street Fighter IV). It was impule buy, and it felt good. I don't have a lot of money left over as a result of my antics, but I don't regret it. I really just need something to look forward to in my life right now as I try to work through some shit that I'm unexpectedly having to deal with.

Anyway, I bought Borderlands for the PS3.  It's supposed to be good, and I like games that focus on finding new items and searching for more powerful weapons and the like (Diablo II, Phantasy Star Online, etc.), so I should like it a good bit.

I'll talk more about it in a later post.


Monday, November 2, 2009

I just went to a review session for my Mechanics of Solids test that's coming up on Wednesday. I think it's funny that I have to force myself not to write "pi" when I'm trying to write "tau." They both start with the same squiggle, and I always want to write pi.

My favorite is gamma. life is falling apart. I don't know when things went to shit, but they really have. Everything is just wrong.  
I don't want the depression to come back.

I don't want the depression to come back.

I don't want the depression to come back.

Please don't let the depression come back.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I want something to snatch me up.

I want something to snatch me up, sweep me high up into the air, and rip me to pieces.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I have started playing DDR again lately. I busted the old pads out yesterday out of frustration and stress and the desire to do something physical and expend some testosterone, and I'm starting to wonder why I ever stopped playing this glorious game. It is so much fun. It's also a great stress reliever. My mind clears out almost entirely during play, and my mind is typically a constant flurry of ideas, mathematics, choreographed action sequences, and dark, twisted imagery.

I highly recommend it to people who have high stress levels but not enough time/motivation for a regular exercise routine.

The only problem is that I'm using plastic, folding pads. They're official brand, but they're still kind of a pain. Our living room, much like most other living rooms, is carpeted, so the pads slide around a lot during play. Sometimes they slide partly under the couch, which is a real problem because then I constantly kick the couch with the back of my heel.

I'm thinking about buying a high-quality metal pad, but they are quite expensive.

Also, some friends and I went to an arcade to play today, but the machine froze on us. That sucked.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So I just did some quick research and realized that all I need is a Linux Intrepid Ibex boot disk and some crazy commands entered into a terminal and I can have my boot menu back.

If anybody out there has such a disk, please feel free to contact me...
I am currently running Windows 7 on my computer.

From what I have seen so far, it looks just like Vista.

Also, I can't figure out how to boot into Linux. The Boot menu no longer comes up upon startup.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Monday, October 26, 2009


     This is the most distracting billboard ever.

[Photograph taken in Columbia, SC. Click image for larger version.]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Columbia, SC State Fair

So I went to the state fair this past tuesday, and all I have to show for it is this horrifying picture.

This is really getting out of hand.

But the fair was fun. I went with my girlfriend and a friend of her's, and I think it's safe to say that we all had a pretty good time. I went in skeptical (I haven't been to a fair since I was a young lad in Maryland), but came out a satisfied customer. Most of my fun stemmed came from eating crazy foods such as fried Oreos and fried Pepsi. The mechanical engineer inside of me won't let me ride carnival rides. I know too much about how easily something like that can be fucked up because somebody was lazy or in a hurry.

As for fair games, I didn't play any of those either. Luckily, my girlfriend is not the kind of girl who demands that I win her a prize and I am not the kind of guy who feels he must win fair prizes for his woman to verify his manhood. I almost got conned into playing Whack-a-Mole because I was promised a giant stuffed Sonic the Hedgehog, but then I realized that you first had to win a small prize, find thirty items off of a scavenger hunt list, do a double backflip, juggle five flaming, electrified chainsaws, prostitute yourself at discount prices, and then win again to actually get a big prize. I decided after some deliberation that I was still going to go for it, and as I approached the stand, some excited little kid ran up to one of the competing booths next to me and grasped the mallet with such innocent and juvenile fervor that my entire chest cavity seemed to buckle under the weight of the cuteness before me. The child's mother payed the worker at the stand and they waited for the game to start. I couldn't bring myself to play after that and just walked away. They really need to add "crush a young child's dreams" to their list of requirements for winning a large prize.  

I also finally found some of the ever elusive lemon-lime Tootsie Pops while I was at the fair. I bought three. I had one yesterday, and I have to say...they're not great. Lemon-lime and Tootsie is not the greatest of combinations.

We also went to the petting zoo while we were there, which was pretty depressing. I'm not about to run off and join PETA or anything, but being in that petting zoo and seeing all of those exotic animals in their tiny, unkempt cages gave me a terrible feeling in my stomach. There is something inherently wrong with ripping animals out of their natural habitats, and containing them in little tiny cages so that little children can enjoy looking at them for the few minutes that they manage to stay interested before wanting to go ride the tilt-a-die-your-face-off again. I'm okay with zoos. Animals at zoos are shown proper care and are given appropriate living space. Animals at state fairs are not.

I enjoyed the fair a good bit, though. I really liked walking through the giant display of local art. There are some really talented people in Columbia.

I guess that's all.


Friday, October 23, 2009

This is Doomsday.

Problem 13.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Accidental Eavesdropping

I love walking past people around campus and just hearing snippets of their conversations during the few seconds that they are within audible range.

But today I heard possibly the best.

It was sustainability day today, and a bunch of different organizations and such had booths set up outside of Russell House (our student union and cafeteria, for the uninformed) about how to conserve energy and recycle all sorts of different kinds of waste and all that. After I had walked a good thirty steps or so past the displays, these two girls walked past me going the opposite direction, and I heard one of them say,

"Sustainability? ...Does that have somethin' to do with alcohol?"

Her friend responded, "What? No! It's about saving the world!"

I walked around Russell house with a grin on my face like a doofus for the ensuing five minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I saw a guy today on the bus on my way back from class who had possibly the tackiest watch I've ever seen. It was fairly large, first of all, but under the domed glass (strike one), there were the following ornamented on the face: a rhinestone-encrusted lucky horseshoe (strike two), a hand of cards containing only four aces (strike three), and a pair of glimmering dice (strike four). Also, the watch was loose around his wrist and kept sliding around like a livestrong bracelet (strike five).

It was just terrible.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's finally getting cold in Columbia. I am so happy.
This is horrifying.

I don't think I really even have to say anything clever here. I'm sure you already understand the issue.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


I'm starting to wonder why I bother with this whole blogging thing. During periods in which I do semi-actively blog, I don't see the point because I get no feedback, but during periods in which I don't blog, I want to. I dunno what to do about this feeling.

Anyway, I have been ravenously addicted to this band lately. I just discovered them on the Penny Arcade website a few days ago, and immediately bought their album. And downloaded their first album (which they put up for free and is totally legitimate so please don't fine me into poverty worthy of turning to male prostitution, RIAA). They are incredible, and they are called Anamanaguchi. They use an NES as one of their instruments. Like, a real NES. From the 1980s. That they hacked.

Their music has a very nostalgic feeling, and the main reason that I fell in love with it so expediently was that it brought me back to better times in my youth when I had friends who also enjoyed playing video games and we would all sit around for hours and hours just playing games and talking to each other about anything and everything. Those were the best friends and time that I've ever had, and hearing that 8-bit whine again in a modern context gave me goosebumps. If you only listen to one of their songs, listen to Helix Nebula.

But check them out.

I'm going to try to post more pictures of things. That's what I originally wanted to do with this blog anyway; give people some actual content and not just rant about current events or my life. There are some things in Columbia of which I would like to get pictures, but have not had the time to do so yet. A friend of mine is coming to town for a few days tomorrow, so that will give me an excuse to walk around with my camera at least for a little while.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Never mind about Push Pop: Sliderz. THIS is a travesty.

So Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It's disgusting. Why? Why has he been awarded the prize? He hasn't done anything yet. He has just promised he will. They have given him the prize based on promise, rather than achievement. All it has done is devalue the meaning of the peace prize. If someone can be awarded the prize simply by promising humanitarian efforts, than what does the prize mean?

Put this on the record:

"I, Hayden Fennell, promise to solve world hunger, end world poverty, and bring a general environment of peace to the global human system."

So...where's my peace prize.

If someone can be awarded the peace prize simply by saying that they are going to change the world, than the award means nothing. Reward without effort is worthless.

Or Socialism.

Anyway, I saw Zombieland today. It was pretty good. Not anything profound or meaningful, but it was a lot of fun. I recommend it.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

This is a travesty.

This is appalling. This is the newest in Push Pop technology. Push Pop: Sliderz.

So it starts like this.

 Then you slide it out.

And you flip it around to allow access to the candy.

This is a disgusting waste of materials. Why do children need a dollar's worth of plastic to enjoy a lollipop? When I was a kid, all I needed was a paper stick and a little bit of tootsie surrounded by a candy shell. It's just a waste. It's candy! It's going to last the kid maybe twenty minutes. It doesn't need to be surrounded in carefully molded plastic. I don't want to hear any more whining about me consuming fuel to operate my motor vehicle until stuff like this is taken off store shelves.

I apologize for the centered text. For some reason Blogger won't justify my text to the left.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Don't bother me...I'm playing videogames

I thought this shirt was funny. I understand that it is marketed to young children, but the wearer of this shirt is clearly not playing video games if he is out in public. Unless he is Teh Ownerer, but that's another story. I suppose there are portable games, but it's just a terrible shirt with a small window of being accurate.

And the prize on the shirt makes it even funnier. I can imagine the board meeting.

Board Chairman: "Okay guys, we need a gimmick. Word associations. Ready? Red shirt about videogames."

Carl from Marketing: "MONSTER TRUCKS!"


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Parking Game

I have started treating parking in the garage at my apartment as a bit of a game recently. I see how close I can get to the wall without touching it. I would say that I've gotten pretty good at it:

These pictures are fuzzy. I need a higher mega pixel camera.


Friday, October 2, 2009


I am so tired.

I am tired of failing to live up to people's expectations. I am tired of staying up all night studying, and failing the test anyway. I am tired of not being able to concentrate on anything. I am tired of summing numbers in my head every time I see a street address or telephone number. I am tired of waking up sick to my stomach from lack of sleep. I am tired of waking up to back and/or muscular pain. I am tired of having music in my head and no way to express it to others. I am tired of getting three hours of sleep per night. When I can actually fall asleep promptly, that is. I am tired of fantasizing about the tools and mechanics of my own demise. I am tired of knowing that I'd never be able to take my own life, but wishing that something else would. I am tired of dreaming about hurting others. I am tired of the anger. I am tired of the crushing sadness. I am tired of the apathy. I am tired of not finding passion in anything. I am tired of not being able to make decisions of any kind in a timely fashion, including but not limited to things as simple as which video game to play or which flavor of Kool-Aid to mix up next. I am tired of this tension in the back of my neck. I am tired of people not understanding what I mean when I say that I dislike lyrics in music. I am tired of people thinking that my music is outlandish and strange. I am tired of occasionally collapsing in my room after returning from class because I don't have the energy to stand. I am tired of pretending like I have a happy and easy-going personality when I meet someone or run into an acquaintance. I am tired of being a nobody. I miss having friends. I miss Baltimore. I miss the days when people actually cared enough to spend time with me or, hell, even write me an e-mail. I miss the days of having something in common with my peers. I am tired of never having any energy. I am tired of struggling to muster up the willpower to pull myself to my elbows in the morning. I am tired of worrying about rationing out my money, and knowing that I really don't have time for a job. I am tired of all of this work work work work work I am doing for engineering so that one day I can get out and get a good job with a good company and design good and wonderful and enriching things for them and get no lasting credit. I am tired of how people jump to my aid when I post something depressing, but once it has "passed" they don't bother checking in. Or ever talking to me again, for that matter. I am tired of being the only one I know who is really actually interested in science. I am tired of people humoring me when I talk about mechanics or materials (or mechanics of materials). I am tired of feeling embarrassed after explaining a concept and realizing that the people or person who I am talking to doesn't really care and now I just look like a big dumb geek. I am tired of football culture. I AM TIRED OF THIS STATE AND ITS HORRIBLE WEATHER. I am tired of being the odd one out in college because I don't give a shit about sporting events and who's playing who and what rank "my" team is in the national bracket. I am tired of not being able to drink cold beverages right now because of tooth problems. I am tired of doing math. I miss having meaningful friendships. I miss bonding with people. I miss knowing people who I felt needed me in their life as much as I needed them in mine. I am tired of getting headaches. I am tired of not eating consistently. I am terrified because I can feel my ADD resurfacing like an atomic submarine, and I do not want to go back on meds. I am terrified because I can feel my depression resurfacing like a whale, and I do not want to go back on meds. I am terrified because I can feel my anxiety issues developing at the rate of an infant fly, and I do not want to go on meds.

I am just so tired.

But I really love driving. I am tired of how expensive gas is. But I really love driving. I should probably try to do more of that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I have been having terrible nightmares lately.

For the past several nights, I have dreamed in great detail about hurting people.

Usually people I love.

I wake up questioning reality for several agonizing minutes until I realize that it was a dream.

It's making me fear sleep.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nothing but the Tooth

Did anybody else watch Winnie the Pooh growing up as rampantly as I did?

Anyway, I have been having some really bad tooth problems lately. One single tooth on the bottom left side of my jaw has been extremely sensitive lately. It started at Burger King, where I ate a hot fry and it sent a quick, stabbing pain through my jaw. I was shocked by this occurrence, but could not get it to happen again despite many failed attempts, and therefore did not worry about it. It kept happening intermittently throughout the past week or so, when two days ago I was drinking some delicious strawberry-kiwi Kool-Aid in my apartment, and the coldness of the beverage caused a searing, thought-stopping pain in my mouth of a magnitude that I've never experienced. I am willing to say that it is some of the most pain I have been in in a good while. So, ever since then, I have either been drinking with a straw, through the side of my mouth, or just grimacing wildly after every sip. Letting things sit out until they equalize to room temperature is the safest way, but when it comes to beverages, I am impatient.

I never realized how much I took the ability to pour fluids down my maw for granted until it started causing me pain like the fires of a thousand suns.

Anyway, this needs to stop, or I'm going to have to go to the dentist.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I have been playing Starfox Adventures again lately. I never finished it and wanted to say that I have done so, but when I started back up I was so lost that I just started over. It's a lot of fun. It's good to play an adventure game again. It's basically Zelda with Starfox instead of Link, but that's really not a bad thing.

Adventure games such as Zelda and Starfox Adventures were at one point my favorite genre of video games. I have many many fond memories of playing adventure games growing up. Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, Luigi's Mansion, Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Vexx...the list goes on and on. I don't really understand what happened to that genre. I guess developers just don't feel like there's a market for those kinds of games anymore now that gaming has gone mainstream.

People just want their fast-paced, ADD encouraging action games and shooters, I guess. Game developers are just making what they know will make them money. They make what is safe and they don't try new things and I really hate it. My favorite hobby is being destroyed by the mainstream public.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's raining in Columbia. I was driving in it earlier, and the newly paved roads are so reflective when wet that you can't even see the dotted lane lines because of the glare. It is beautiful. Dangerous, but beautiful. The strip of traffic lights on Assembly streets formed a kind of surreal urban Aurora Borealis. I want to move somewhere where the beauty of rain is always apparent.

Like Seattle.

Anyway, today was a terrible day. I got about two hours of sleep last night because I had to stay up all night to "finish" my Differential Equations homework. I still had to leave three problems blank. Then I had to come back and cram for a Chem test that I had this afternoon. Then I had my three hour lab immediately afterwards. After that I took a break and ate and ran some errands with my girlfriend. And now I am here, sitting down and settling in to another sleepless night of Circuits and Thermodynamics homework.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Looks like I'm staying up late to do work again tonight. I have been working every minute that I haven't been in class today, and I've still got work to do. Yesterday was the same way.

Is a shred of free time too much to ask? Thirty minutes?

I'll take anything.
I am so tired of failing things. I have done nothing but work this semester, and I have yet to make a good grade.

I had a quiz today in Differential Equations that I didn't get to study for because I spent the whole night last night doing Chemistry homework. I failed the quiz. I hate myself for it. He did the problems afterwards and they were super easy. I just wasn't prepared.

I never have any down time anymore. I spend every minute of every week doing work, and when I'm not doing work, I feel guilty about putting off my work to the point that it ruins whatever I'm doing.

I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I'm starting to feel like I'm not good enough for engineering. It's really kicking my ass.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oh I want to move to Seattle!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I almost went out and bought the ingredients to make mint chocolate chip merangues today, but my wallet got the best of me, and I decided against it. I may chicken out and go back and get the stuff tomorrow, though. I really want to make some.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There is a man in my solids class who typically brings two or three twenty-ounce bottles of Coke Zero to class with him. He also typically drinks all of them before class is over. It is outrageous.

I understand thirsty people. I am one of them. I can drink and drink and drink and never be satiated. If you spend any time with me, you will notice that when I am not out somewhere, I almost always have some sort of liquid at hand. So I understand the desire to surround oneself with beverages. But this man confounds me. How can somebody possibly drink three bottles of Coke Zero? First of all, it tastes bad. And secondly, how can one consume so much carbonated liquid in a fifty minute time-period? I don't understand. He defies nature.

I thought it was weird, but today it became outright comical. I guess he got tired of carrying around several bottles of Coke Zero at all times, because today he apparently decided to just screw it and bring in a two-liter.
I woke up horribly ill last night at three in the morning to a wonderful surprise thunderstorm. It was wonderful, that is, until I got a stabbing pain in the back of my head, my skin started to crawl, and my stomach began to feel as though something terrible was trying to leap out of it. I got up and stumbled in a delirious, dizzy stupor to my bathroom, at which point I hesitated over the sink, feeling just fine for a brief moment, and then vomited violently into the toilet.

I think the culprit was a gyro that I ate for dinner last night. I thought that the tzatziki sauce tasted a little off, but at that point I had already committed to it. Stopping mid-gyro is a sin of the highest degree.

So I had a pretty terrible morning. I did however, get to fall back asleep to the sound of rain on my window and distant rolls of thunder. That was a treat. I wish it rained here more often...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mechanics of Solids is a very stressful class.

Every turn of every question is just another opportunity to totally fuck up the entire rest of the question.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I am noticing as I pack up to head back to Columbia that many of my PS2 game cases have warped over time. They have bowed up as though a great weight has been slowly and increasingly exerted upon them over long periods of time.

To many, this is silly. As long as the games are okay, right? me, a self-proclaimed video game collector who owns almost 300 games for various consoles, this is a horrible prospect.

Monday, August 31, 2009

This weekend sucked. I spent the whole weekend doing work, and I still didn't finish until this morning. This is mainly because for every question asked on any assignment, I had to do some form of external research. A lot of the stuff I was doing also took a lot of experimenting/tooling about/trial and error. It's just frustrating to spend your whole weekend working and then still have to rush to finish homework during class just like the party kid who spent the entire weekend in an alcohol-induced coma.

Also, I was apparently bitten by some sort of vile creature this morning on my way to class. I noticed in my circuits class that two red, swollen bumps had appeared on my arm. It really scared the crap out of me, as I naturally immediately assumed that it was some sort of disease, but I was soon able to narrow down the source of the bumps as some sort of bug bite. They seem to me to be most like really bad fire ant bites. I've been bitten by fire ants before, and it's never been this bad, but I also used to eat shellfish until I was 16, so I guess developing an allergy would not be unheard of.

I know one thing for sure, though.

I need some anti-itch ointment.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ah, engineering...

I'm pretty much fully into my classes already. I've already been assigned a ton of work that's due next week. I don't know how to do any of it, either. There's been this trend in all of my classes so far this semester of professors assigning homework covering material that they have not taught yet.

It's hard. This semester is looking really tough already.

In other news, there's another Professor Layton game out for the DS. As soon as I can secure enough money to be comfortable parting with thirty dollars of it, I will be buying it. I really loved the first one. I still need to go back and beat all of the extra puzzles in the first one.

I've also been working on my Marvel vs. Capcom 2 skills lately. If this means anything to anyone, I think I've decided on an Iceman/Cyclops/Cable team. Iceman may be switched out for someone else later on, as I'd like to have some more variety. Three X-Men seems like a waste of the brand colaboration (although it is funny that the four characters in the god tier are all X-Men).


Monday, August 24, 2009

So I've decided to scrap the pictures. I don't really feel like taking them, and the room is a mess. It's a nice apartment, though.

I've had all of my classes now, and they're already moving really quickly. Solids is moving along at quite a brisk pace. It seems like it's going to be rough. But I also think that it's going to be very interesting, and I like how the teacher is handling the class so far, so hopefully things will work out.

Also, I finally have a working printer! I know a lot of people would laugh at that decleration, but once you go for a year having to walk down to the engineering computer labs to print everything, it is really quite a commodity.

Anyway, here's a new picture:



Friday, August 21, 2009

Call your shot or we take a finger.

Okay, so I haven't had much time to take pictures lately. I've been running around a lot doing stuff with people and enjoying being back in Columbia.

But classes started yesterday, and now everything is over. I had Differential Equations and Chemistry yesterday. They both seem difficult but manageable. Today I had Circuits, Mechanics of Solids, and Thermodynamics. Mechanics of Solids sounds like it's going to be hard. Our teacher moves really quickly. Today was the first day and we've already had an entire lesson. Solids and Thermo are both packed full, too. It feels weird and makes me anxious to be totally surrounded by people in rooms that are not lecture halls. There's not even enough places to sit. I hope that they move us somewhere else.

Anyway, for those of you who care, I'll try to get pictures up soon. In the meantime, here's another product picture to keep you busy:


(Photo taken in Cherokee, NC)

Monday, August 17, 2009

School school school

I moved into my new apartment yesterday. It's really nice. I think that it's going to be a wonderful place to live this year. I'll post some pictures later once my roommate and I get everything situated.

Classes start on Thursday, and I'm actually super excited. I have Thermodynamics, Mechanics of Solids, and Circuits on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I have Chemistry 112 (that's General Chemistry II at USC) and Differential Equations. I have my Chem lab on Thursday afternoon. It's going to be a very busy and challenging semester. Thermodynamics and Differential Equations are supposed to be particularly difficult. But I'm ready for it. This stuff really interests me, anyway, so I think that I'm going to enjoy my classes a good bit this time around.

I just hope I can keep up with the work.

All right, pictures of the room later.


Friday, August 14, 2009

You must go.

I just saw District 9. I really do think that it is the best movie that I've seen in a long time.

It is so good.

If you have ten dollars to spare, I can see how one would perhaps become conflicted about whether to go buy, say, a delicious cheeseburger, or utilize the money to go experience District 9.

Let me make it easy for those who are wrought with decisive anxiety.

Do not buy that fucking cheeseburger.

DO NOT BUY that fucking cheeseburger.

It is a social imperative that everybody see this film. This caliber of art needs not go unappreciated.

I also saw an interesting film last night called House. It was a haunted house/psychological thriller. Typically I don't really like the horror genre, but this one was really good. I recommend it.




Oh my shit!

These horrible billboards are all over Greenwood!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I had a dream last night that Einstein was still alive, and I was attending the university at which he was residing. However, the university was also a hospital, for which I was a resident. So I was a physics/medical student. It was interesting. The university was also built in a gigantic, medival style castle, and our level of technology was from about the 1850's. When I actually encountered Einstein in person in the dream, he was lambasting a student of his for making a stupid mistake during an important project. As Einstein stormed off, he yelled at me (furiously) and told me to stop staring at him and get back to work. So I did.

Apparently, my subconcious thinks that Einstein is kind of a jerk.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Halucinations and dentistry

Last night I woke up at about four in the morning under the impression that I was a long, rusty piece of rebar. I've never had a drowsy halucination like that before. I spent the next few hours rolling around in bed trying to get comfortable, but seeing as I thought that I was made of carbon steel, the task ahead of me proved to be quite difficult.

I came to grips with reality at about six and realized that I was, in fact, not a long and rusty piece of rebar, at which point I just sat in bed staring at the ceiling and reflecting on how out of control my life has begun to spin as of late. I managed to fall back asleep at about seven, but I then had to wake up at eight to go to the dentist and get a cavity filled. You know, with all the drills and clamps and needles and picks and pastes and suction tubes and radiation emitters. But you know what the worst part was? Katy Perry was playing on the radio.

I've never had the aversion to the dentist that the majority of people seem to have. I am oddly okay with a man who I hardly know inserting mechanical grinding implements into my open maw and gnashing away at my bone. A lot of people hate the sensation of the drill or the pick. A lot of people hate the sensation of powerlessness and hate feeling defenseless. A lot of people feel like it's an invasion of privacy. But belive me, once you have to have a rectal exam (or, even worse, a flexible stigmoid endoscopy), going to the dentist seems as private and comfortable as examining the contents of a safety deposit box inside of a sealed bank vault.

I dunno. I just don't have a problem with the dentist. I never have. Even as a kid I was okay with it. Of course, as a kid, going to the dentist meant that I got to play Sega Genesis in the waiting room. I was not allowed to have game consoles until the N64, so playing the Genesis at the dentist's office was like magic to me growing up. Now that I am older and I understand how game systems operate, video games have lost most of their magical properties. But walking through those glass doors and hearing music from Sonic the Hedgehog blaring from the recesses of my pediatric dentist's office is a memory that I will cherish for years to come.