Monday, January 2, 2012

Best 5 Things of 2011

As I promised last year, I would write a best of list. Now, this past year has been one of craziness. A small note you should all be aware of is that I start with number 1 because number 1 is the best.

Top Five things of the 2011 in the year of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

1. Emilia Torre/Moving to DC

For the fourth time in four years, Emmy Torre is the number thing of 2011.We have our own little apartment, and live has never been better. After years apart it is nice that we are finally living together. Emmy's job has been made permanent now which has allowed us to live there. I'm proud of her in way. How could she not be my top one? You'd think that you as a reader could figure this out, but I understand if you thought my list might be more focused. Regardless, number one is my fiancee and honestly, my better half. Next time you see her tell her (from me of course) that her booty is looking fly.

DC is an amazing city to live. We literally live five minutes away from the Capitol and less than 20 from Emmy's job. It is a beautiful city to live in. There is a wide range of architecture from the beginning to now. When you are driving into the city from Annapolis, there is an amazing skyline of the Washington Monument, the Dome of Capitol building, and the Smithsonian. I recommend if you haven't been to the DC, do it.

2. Revan

Finally! The wait is over. Thanks to the Old Republic Game and Drew Karpyshyn I now know what happens to the Jedi Revan.

A long time ago, in a galexy far, far way, a game came out. This game was Knights of the Old Republic (KoTOR). I played the game to the point where I could maximize my character. But the game never explained what happened next to him, and the more Old Republic stories continued the more interested I became. Earlier this year, the novel which explained his fate came out. Emmy got it for me for Christmas.

I won't discuss the plot in whole, but I will say that anyone familar with the Old Republic games will recognize familar faces. While the ending isn't particularly the happiest, I felt like it struck a happy medium.

3.Dragon Age 2

Compared to last year, there is only one game on this year's list. There were some great games that came out this year, but compared to last year, I didn't buy as many new ones. Early in the year, I did snag the Super Ultra Mega Rare Edition of Dragon Age 2. Before it came out I was really excited about it since seeing one of the trailers from E3. Being from Bioware is a plus for the game too.

I really enjoyed the game. Many reviews didn't enjoy that you were stuck in the city and it reused environments. It got tiresome after a while but the story is of the city and now the area so I granted them leeway with it all. The combat is improved and felt like the decisions were tough. The first time I decided to spare ol' Anders. Second time and henceforth, I will kill him. Anders is one crazy motherf#$%er.

4. Taco Stand Love Story: Act I

This is a little self congratulatory but this is my own damn blog. So, I'm going to praise myself. I finished my novel after a year and a half. Over 300 pages in my novel. Now I'm editing it.

I pray to God that I will finish it and find a publisher.

5. Soundtrack of the Year

So This is a collection of the songs I listened to the most during the year. Enjoy. Not in any particular order. Numbering is just for fun.
1) Rizzle Kicks "Down with the Trumpets"
2) Brite Futures "Bedroom Costume"
3) Jimmy Eats World "Littlething"
4) Karen Elson "Crying, Waiting, Hoping"
5) Black Keys "Never Give You Up"
6) Decemberists "Rise to Me"
7) Ed Sheeran "Homeless"
8) Explosions in the Sky "Your hand in Mine"
9) Jaguar Love "Highways of Gold"
10) Jenny and Johnny "Big Wave"
11) Ke$ha "Tik Tok"
12) New Found Glory "My Heart Will Go On"
13) Rebecca Black "Friday"
14) Taylor Swift "Mean"
15) The Weepies "I Was Made For Sunny Days"
16) Wilson Philips "Hold On"
17) The Boxer Rebellion "Flashing Red Light Means Go " 18) Dashboard Confessional "The Motions"
19) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros "Home" (RAC Mix)
20) Co Ed School "Bbiribbom Bberibbom"
21) Jamie Cullum "Not While I'm Around"
22) A Fine Frenzy "Bird of the Summer"
23) Lonely Island "I Just Had Sex"
24) M.I.A "Paper Planes"
25) Metric "Help I'm Aive"

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Blog

This is not a trick. I will write a new blog. Full of pics and fun information. I swear. I'm not a bad blogger. For your pleasure, I now give you this:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rebranding Myself

In the year since I graduated, I've been hard at work hunting for that job. I started out hard applying at districts around DC for teaching positions. Getting my letter of recommendations and my resume fixed up, I felt excited and prepared to be hired. Calls would come flooding in, right? Wrong. Really, really wrong. Instead, I got nothing. Those who have spoke to me know that I would have appreciated a rejection letter. A confirmation email is a nice, lasting reminder to someone that they have applied. I have too many of them. I'd like a nice short one that said "Thanks for applying to ___________; however, we regret to inform you ..." You get the point. So, that brings me to this point. I don't think my future lies in teaching. Would I like it to? Yes. Chances are though that no one is going to hire me as a teacher before I get a position in another field. I've already started the process by applying to Bethesda Game Studios to be a Quest Designer. In the meantime, I have applied to Gamestop to work there. How do i go about rebranding myself though? Well, I think rather than displaying myself as a competent teacher, it is a hard working, motivated media saavy individual with the potential to learn anything. Part of the rebranding came in the form of teaching myself Python. Another part is changing my resume, which was fine when I looked at it a year ago, now I see all the ways it has improved. Regret has also been part of the job search. A feeling that all those years ago when I abandoned journalism to do computer design or science would have been more profitable, despite the fact I have no way of knowing that. During my job searches, it has appeared to me that something involving those skills would open the market up to me more than simply possessing an English degree and a teaching license. All this leads me to my current state, a job seeker. An odd term for someone since I can see jobs all around me but those jobs remain high out of reach for one reason or another (most tend to be a requirement of experience; something that is unobtainable without a job). Irregardless, I attempt to secure a job with my credentials and a smile. So here's to me. Job seeker for something that makes me happy while getting me enough money to end some worries.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Using Feminist Theory to Analyze Hunger Games: An Introspective of Katness

Hunger Games is a novel by Suzanne Collins. Having read (or listened to) the first two books makes me an undisputed expert in all things about the series. The final entry in the series Mockingjayis the only one I haven't read. The first two were excellent examples of YA literature, and I do encourage people to read them.
Bringing us to the title of the blog, I do not know Feminist Theory. Philosophy is an area of academia that I have little interest in since my experiences with it have tended to be negative. I don't hate philosophy; but I'd prefer something a little less abstract. Rather this blog is only going to be about good books I'm reading, have read, or want to read.

Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games

As mentioned before, I haven't completed Hunger Games. With the three books in the series, Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and MockingJay, it is a fairly succinct and complete series. The first book introduces us to Katness and her world. Based in a world that suffered a catastrophe, she grows up in District 12, a poor district of the country of Panem. When I first heard of it, admittedly, I was disgusted. After reading Hunger Games it became clear to me that this is the precise reaction Suzanne Collins wanted to provoke.
Characterization is weak at time. I feel that Katness never real grew and remained the same, despite being put in a horrific sport. Suzanne Collins' real star is Peta whom I believe to be the most interesting character in the novel. Sometimes her writing falters and sounds off. Still, I will confess the movie has me excited. Today several news outlets featured posters of characters, many looking great.

Ray Bradybury's A Pleasure to Burn

This is my current read. With half of the book left, I love it. Fahrenheit 451 remains my favorite novel since I first picked it up when I was in fourth grade (though at the time its message and theme completely evaded me). Seeing the evolution of the short stories that led to the creation of the book is interesting. Bits from the first story and second and so make their way to evolve into the book we know. My favorite story so far has been the one about a dead man come back to life wanting revenge for the destruction of all other deceased people.
Ray Bradbury does an excellent job in each story of dialogue and believable interactions. The first tale sticks in my head. With a man coming back to life after being dead six months, he goes to his love only to find that while her love for him remains, their relationship can't be the same for death has change him. As this is a compilation of short stories, I can't speak of specific characters; however, I can say that the writing of Ray is as strong as always.

Karen Traviss's Halo: Glasslands
This will be a new territory for me. With no previous experience with the author, I don't know what to expect. Though, from her resume, I believe it will be excellent. Halo properties tend not to be on the intellectual side. Sometimes you just need a good read fun read.

I will update you all as to how the book turned out when I get it and have read it.

I had a better title, but I'm saving it for later

For my 12 wonderful followers, I am truly sorry. I never meant to abandon you in this wasteland of the Internet. Rejoice! For awesome tidings do I bring. I am back. Recently, I moved from Logan, UT to Washington, DC. Life here is epic. Emmy and I are happy to finally be living together in out little apartment with a crazy cat.

Emmy's job has become hectic with encroaching election. Once it is over I think she'll be able to relax more. With her commute a third of what it used to be, she is a lot more happier. She recently has taken up reading a new book, A Shore Thing. We have some plans to go see Breaking Dawn with our friends from Greensboro. We were worried about living together but everything has been working out amazingly!

At the moment, I am job hunting which needless to say, isn't fun. I do have one that I'm keeping a close eye on: Bethesda Game Studios-- Quest Designer . To me this would be a dream come true. Since I started playing D&D a long time ago, I fell in love with creating quests. Watching your friends and family walk into a trap you set, it is priceless. More priceless, however, is watching the same group escape the trap through some means you failed to conceive of. You mark it down as next time I will have to plan for something like that.

Watch the first ten seconds.

In the land of my novel, I am nearing the end of first draft. Is it cool? Yes, definitely. Am i excited? Sort of. Writing a novel for the first time is a harrowing experience that no one except crazy bored people should try. It is still a fun and educational experiment to perform. I can say for sure that my writing has improved immensely since the beginning over one and a half years ago.

Next after finishing the first draft comes the revising. Already, I know which items I need to improve upon. Some ideas are going to change. More thematic elements will be introduced. Names will be sundered and replaced. Dialogue shall become more natural. Grammar shall be corrected! Overall, it will make it a tighter read.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fandom and Obsession

(An odd occurrence has happened. Two posts in the same day!)

Recently I began a trend of reading fan fiction. Now, to be clear, I do not read fan fiction because I'm interested in what some 13 year old girl thinks is a great combination of characters. Or what some 17 year old boy thinks would be a totally rad story with explosions. No I read fan fiction because I think they are funny. Adolescent fantasies of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter or some anime that no one besides them has heard of.

The best fan fiction I've read to date is called My Immortal. It wins that coveted award for many reasons. First, the main character is the definition of a mary sue. Second everything that takes place is ridiculous and a childhood fantasy, and last, the grammar and spelling mistakes improves the narrative and makes the story fun to read. The premise is a girl at Hogwarts who is a vampire goffic girl who hates preps and posers. She isn't smart but she is popular as she sleeps with Vampire (Harry) and Draco (Draco). Dumbleydore sometimes tries to be friends with her but it doesn't work.

Actual line from the Fanfic

While My Immortal should be classified as classic literature now, most fan fictions are boring at best. My favorite thing to do is to head to and browse the cross over sections. I love to try to find the oddest combination such as Ecco the Dolphin and Home Movies. You can always find some kid's two favorite shows or games smashed together in a way that wouldn't work or couldn't work. Case and point: Planet X. A published crossover of X men and Star Trek. Whoever allowed it should be given a medal.

All this fandom of fan fiction often overlaps with another area. Super fans or obsessive fans love to dress up. Now, I will admit I think it would be fun to do for Comic Con or something similar; however, I wouldn't and couldn't do an anime one. Anime Cosplay and super hero or game cosplay are in different leagues.

Anime cosplay, especially in Japan, is a big deal. Now, I won't say American Cosplayers aren't that their same level but in some respects, the Japanese go overboard. It is almost as though they have professional cosplayers. But to state my bias in the open, I am not a big anime fan so the anime cosplayers suffer some for that. It could be the character design or it could be the culture around anime; Nevertheless, they suffer in my opinion for those flaws. The people I'm sure are nice I'm sure.

Kinda creepy? Ya.

Not to stay off topic too long, I do look at pictures of cosplayer posted on Facebook by people. Unlike the fan fiction where I go to laugh, I do admire the work and dedication the people whom cosplay. The hours it takes to make the outfit and sometimes make out is extraordinary. Though I do enjoy seeing the goofy and awkward people who do it. It would be fun to try it once. Maybe Emmy and I will do it once for Comic Con.

I admit this would be fun. Only cause no one could see it was me.

While I don't think there is anything wrong with being a fan of something, sometimes fan can go a little overboard. But in the right vein, it can be just damn fun.

Sorry. No witty ending today. Just a graph.

New Life Stuff and Stories

Typically, and as a rule of thumb, I attempt to make my blog interesting to read. That means, I find stories in my life that need to be told or shouldn't be told but are. At other times, I attempt some "kewl" blog: epic trailers etc. Of course, that leaves the blogs that details my life.

Which brings me to this current one you are reading. You have expectations and hopes. You don't want them dashed. You would hate me if those expectations weren't met.
"Enough with the delay! Start your topic!" you shout at me.
Ok. Here it is.
I forgot it.

Seriously. I had a topic in mind. Sat down, ordered some coffee, played some Ecco the Dolphin on my iPod. Then I realized I lost it.

So this has become a update on my life blog.

I have three shifts left at Hastings. HALLELUJAH! It has been four and a half years at this job. I started back in January of 2007. When I started, there was a different store manager and a whole different set of department manager. Now, I'm not known as the new guy but Ol Reliable. Or MadDog. Take your pick. Some would tell me that it should be bitter sweet. But the truth as I see it is that it is time to move on and Hastings was just a stepping stone to bigger and better.

All this takes me to the reason why. I've been waiting for this forever and now the time is upon us all. Nay. You don't need to repent or do anything like that. Emmy and I finally going to end our long distance relationship as in we are moving in together. We will be living in Washington DC in our own little apartment. The tenth of August is the day I leave the West and journey east. In the three day trip, Ellie and I will bond.

My new home isn't in this view.

We're both excited in so many ways. Emmy and I have been preparing and packing for the past couple weeks ever since it was finalized. Her job was made permanent on June 20, so now she is a
responsibility champion. She even has a trophy that says it. Proofed!

As we plan the move, I continue to work on my novel. It is roughly 300 pages now and I just finished the climactic chapter where all the big shit happens. It builds up a little more before I start to let everything chill out. Once I finish, I'm going to give it some time before I begin my rewrites. Hopefully, I will be doing this while I'm not working at a real job. Which I will hopefully have.

Heres to me becoming a responsibility champion.