Archive for April, 2006

It’s the morning after! It still counts!

Monday, April 10th, 2006

My first missed post.  I could say that it was due to yesterday being an unexpected day off…so I will.

Yesterday was an unexpected day off.  Thus the late postage.

I blame the (eventually to be) attached file for my forgetfulness.  Because, while I am not obsessive, I do obsess, on occasion.

Double-posty goodness later.  Work now. Yehrrg.  Ahrrg.

Edit: The obsession - Ability Stats List

Choco-hyper!!!

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

…Well, not so much anymore.  But today was filled with sugary delights.  And by that, I mean JCPenney chocolate bars.  Little ones with coupons on them.  There were plenty of left over bars, especially after we closed tonight.

That’s all I’ve eaten today, other than the granola/banana/stuff that I had for breakfast (with the understanding that “breakfast” is a relative term when used by me).  Oh, and that cupcake for the person’s birthday it was today, but who didn’t show up due to being sick.

But, in consuming enough sugar to send a reasonably healthy person into a diabetic coma, I have discovered two things:

1 - Being hyper erases inhibitions.  Maybe not all of them, but enough of them for me to swing my arms a little wildly and take larger steps along the sidewalk.  In my right (or perhaps my left?) mind, I’d not do such things for fear of being thought of as weird/fruity.

But you know what?  I don’t really care!  Not right now, anyways.  People can think I’m a nutcase or a fruitcake, and that’s okay.  Because I’m not; I’ve just got a bit of zing in my blood-stream right now.

So I get to have fun with walking.  You can get a really different perspective of the world by taking absurd/silly steps.  And we all need a change every now and then.

2 - Having free chocolate is great.  But not just for its consuption value.  No, the true boon of free chocolate is being able to offer it to random people on the street.  If they accept, you’ve just possibly made someone’s day.  And if they don’t, then you get to eat it!  That way, they won’t think you’re handing out poisoned candy, or something creepy like that.

It was fun offering people chocolate, made even better by discovery #1.  I think the bus driver appreciated it.  And there was one guy in the appartment parking lots who, although not wanting the chocolate, thanked me and wished me a good evening.

Also, since the chocolate is free, I don’t have to worry about what it costs to give it out.

Not looking forward to all the stuff that needs to get put away and straightened up tomorrow, but that’s for then.  Right now, I’m remembering the good stuff.

…One of these days, I’m going to write a video game oriented post.  It will be a step towards accepting that side of me publicly, I think.

The ending time, she comes.

Guilt from the sidelines.

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

I hate being in a situation where someone is unhappy and I have no idea how to resolve the problem.  Or what the problem even is.

Even worse is when I’m a part of the problem, however convoluted the connection.

This happened to me today, at work.  I’m not sure how much I’m at liberty to talk about all the details, but lets just say that there were two women shopping who had been identified as risks by loss prevention.  I was told to “watch them like a hawk”, but I didn’t really get a chance to.

Not that I want to; I can’t stand being made suspicious of people.  Which is what my work has made me.  Blasted work.

So anyways, these two ladies come up to pay later.  One of them is in her later years, and right off the bat she starts complaining about Jeff watching them while they were shopping.  She went on to say things to the effect of, “That makes me feel horrible, now make it better.”  She had me call the store manager.

Now, before she came up, I had been told that the person she was with had previously worked at JCP, and thus “cleaned us out” quite frequently.

So, this seemed quite true; the older lady had known Jeff’s name when she really shouldn’t have.

But, on the way out, when I told her that I was sorry I didn’t know how I could help, she said something like, “All you people do is watch colored people.”  Oh yes, I forgot to mention that they were black, and that Jeff wasn’t.

That hurt.  First, because I was implied in that statement.  I work for JCPenney, and so an accusation of the company’s character, at least in this instance, felt like an accusation of my character.

Second, this was a response to me trying to resolve the issue.  Total rejection and accusation for offered amends feels AWFUL.  Felt like total crap; still kind of do.

Third, I’m not even sure that her claim is unfounded.  About a month ago, another black couple complained to me about Jeff watching them, and it also felt horrible.  I still remember the guy saying as he walked away, “Should I just walk around like this?”  He had his arms held up in the air, as he would if a gun were pointed at him.

In that case, Jeff had said he was looking at someone else.  And really, I’d like to believe him.  But right after that, Martha (who also got involved; she’s a manager) said that ninety-some percent of theft caused in the store was done by black people.

Then Jeff said that the couple had wanted to call the mall management (or maybe security) and report this experience to them.  And they laughed, since apparently the mall doesn’t have a centralized whatever; complaints for JCP go to JCP.

All of that just…doesn’t sit right with me.  Okay, so 90% of the people in the statistics were black.  That’s 90% of the people who were caught.  As far as we know, it could’ve been that there were twice as many other races of people who were stealing and got away with it.

And all this does is make me feel helpless, guilty, and bitter.  All these misunderstandings, all these hurt feelings, all these shady statements, and for what?  For what?!

A bunch of clothes.

…It just makes me sick.

In other news, I figured out how to get my wireless mouse in a usable position.  Allow me to illustrate why this rocks.

Fig. 1: Wireless + laser = AWESOMENESS!

Fig. 2: Mouse >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> mousepad.

Any questions?

Thursdend.

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Yeap, I had the day off today.  Ended up spending a good chunk of it on the computer, but I made sure to stop at 5:30.  Had to have some good ol’ human interaction, don’cha know.

…I’m pretty boring when I sleep in, huh?  Hopefully there’ll be more to talk about tomorrow.

Duality and Musicality.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

Alright, before I get to what I had intended to write from last post, there’re a few things to say.  The first of which is: Inara?!

Yep, I took the ol’ Firefly quiz too.  Just a couple minutes ago, in fact.  That’s what I came up with.  Personally, I’m not sure how to take it.  I had kinda thought I’d be a Simon, or maybe a Kaylee, but Inara…?  Well, here’s the whole picture:

Inara, the “Companion”
 
69%
Simon, the Doctor
 
63%
Shepherd Book
 
56%
Jayne Cobb, resident bad-ass
 
56%
First Mate Zoe
 
56%
RiVER
 
56%
Kaylee, the Mechanic
 
50%
Wash, the Pilot
 
50%
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
 
38%

Another thing I wanted to say is that I can’t stand it when people tell kids to shut up.  There’s just something inherently wrong with using such a cutting, debasing phrase to quell such an impressionable mind.

The reason I even thought of it was because an older couple (the graying-hair type) came up to my register yesterday with three (or maybe two?) chilluns in tow.  One of them was complaining about something, but not very loudly, and not constantly.  But all the same, the guy picked her up, put her on his shoulders, and told her to shut up.  His voice wasn’t exactly smooth and gentle, either.

What kind of history do you have to have to think that’s okay?  And looking in the other direction, isn’t it obvious what kind of effect that’s going to have on…well, anyone that young?  Seems to me like that kind of insensitivity is what can make kids real brats.  You don’t give any respect, you sure as heck shouldn’t expect any.  And some of the kids’ t-shirts people are peddling these days…

So, moving on, I want to expand my list of bands I listen to.  I’m not sure why this is something I feel I need to do; perhaps it started in high school, when answering what music I listened to with “Weird Al” just didn’t cut it anymore.  Well, it’s never really “cut it” per se, just felt more comfortable.

I have managed to find some bands I like between then and now, like Dream Theater, Evanescence, and Smash Mouth.  But there’s so much more out there, and I know that I’m just so ignorant in that respect.

Part of the problem is that my method for getting into new music has been a vicious cycle.  See, I don’t want to buy new music until I’ve heard it, but unless it’s music that someone has and lets me listen to, all I hear is video game music.  Which is awesome music, don’t get me wrong; I just don’t hear anything outside of it.

There has been a promising solution revealed to me recently, however: the library.  Check out music for free that you can then listen to at home.  Cha-ching, baby.  That’s how I learned that I like Hoobastank’s album “The Reason”, but not the Eurythmics.

Now I just need patience in getting around to listening to all the gems hiding at the Urbana Free Awesome Public Library Meeting Area Place.  Or whatever it’s called…

Also, during a late night raid on Meijer last night, I happened upon the music section, and browsed the titles for anything interesting.  Here’s what I came up with: The Bravery, Armor For Sleep, Shinedown.  I also saw a group called “Him”, but I’m thinking no on that one.  A bit too evil for my tastes, methinks.

Now, to go back and fiddle with my answers on that Firefly test…

Let it never be said…

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

…that the makers of Akira had no sense of humor.

Billy and I can now say that we’ve seen it, and that’s quite enough for me.  The movie itself was depressing, dark, gross, long, gross, and ended on a derranged note.  Did I mention that there was grossness?  Because there was.  As well as heaping helpings of brutality.

The reason I mentioned a sense of humor, however, is because at the end of the movie, during the last minute or so of the credits, the music changes from the wild, uncaring percussion to…happy old-timey music!  Ah, ironic contrast.  Not nearly enough to justify seeing the movie, but a gem nonetheless.

Also, as I said I would, let me inform you that there is now a small altar to Reese’s Big Cups in a section of my…stomach.  Those things are G-E-W-D gewd.  And bridge mix.  Mmm, bridge mix…

Man.  I feel like I’m cheating when I write these things on the morning next, but certainly not when I’m writing them.  Whoo, fun times tomor– er, today at work!

Oh, and Bahiyyih, the library movies are on the counter…thingy…next to my door.  I’m leaving a physical note too, but just in case: they’re in the cubbyhole.

Tune in next time for more harrowing hijinks!…or just for me talking about music.  Bands, specifically.  And the contemplation thereof.  Stuff like that.

Brain. Not. Working.

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

It’s amazing how void I can feel sometimes.  Right now, I’m listening to Hoobastank (which I know I like now) and all I can think about is Version 2 of Heroes of Ivalice.

For those of you who don’t know, HoI is an online sim of the game Final Fantasy Tactics, which takes place in the land of Ivalice.  The whole system for HoI is based on posting in a message board.  There’s lots of things to do, the first of which is to create a character.  And the basis of your character (mechanically speaking) is your job.

I’m just so happy that they revamped the Squire class, as it’s just about my favorite class in FFT (which, coincidentally, is just about my favorite game ever.)

I could go on and on about how I love the job system of FFT and HoI, and how I’m going to have a Squire/Geomancer/Blue Mage, or how I love mastering classes and seeing *MASTER! next to jobs in FFT…but I wouldn’t want to overload anyone with game jargon.

 Instead, I’ll just wait for Hoobastank to finish and then watch Akira.  Finally, I’ll get to find out what all the hubbub is about.

 ***

Psyche!!!  Ho ho, you thought I was going to watch Akira, eh?…Well, so did I.  However, as of a minute ago, I was approached with the alternative of sharing Memento with des Bakers, and that is what I’m going to do.

Woo-hoo, Memento!

A little clarification.

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

I don’t feel I’ve really expressed this properly yet, so let me get it out in the open: I am a video game enthusiast.  Particularly, Role-Playing Games, and within that category Final Fantasy.  Some might call me a fanatic, but I picture fanatics as people who lock themselves in their rooms and do nothing but repeat “Final Fantasy” or “Metallica” or “Salami” ad nauseum and to the exclusion of everything else.

The reason I want to lay that out there is because I feel that the video game medium, as a whole, gets very little intellectual credit.  I get the feeling that when people say those words together, they envision pale, teenage, white males staring at televisions or computer screens with blank stares on their faces, blowing up countless hideous creatures - or worse, human beings - until the wee hours of the morning.  All while writing insults and sw3@Rz in l337 SP33k.  Even I mentally cringe at the thought of saying, “I like playing video games.”

But the thing is, there are so many different kinds of video games.  To say that all video games are the same would be the same thing as saying all books are the same, or all music.  And, in my opinion, a truly good video game is just as rewarding and cultured as a truly good book.

The ultimate example of this, I believe, is Final Fantasy VII.  The effects of that game and the emotions it instilled are still with me; it is at once the most wonderfully endearing and the most crushingly grievous experience I’ve had.  It’s…powerful.  I’m not sure I’d be who I am today if I hadn’t played that game, along with Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger.

And Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.  Wackiest, most hilarious game ever.  And it still manages to be cool.

So, really, I just wanted to voice my feelings about the public interpretation of my (hopefully) future occupational area.  Then again, perhaps my perception of everyone else’s perception of video games is biased.  Perhaps I only see the outdated stereotype created by mainstream media, and thus my reaction to it as part of the criticized party makes me more prone to being defensive. 

Really, the whole division of those who play video games and those who don’t is a blow to me; I think I have some sort of sub-conscious idea that people who don’t play video games view those that do as less than people, or at least as less intelligent or courteous ones.

Of course, I haven’t really done a whole lot to justify my position.  It’s just that, there’s a degree of separation between experience and the relating of experience, and I wouldn’t do the original justice.

And with that, I urge you all to experience FF VII yourselves.  And have a good night.

Sen-ktchu-ality.

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

I got to sleep in today.  This is a joyous occasion.  However, in accordance with not knowing whether or not I’d be able to decipher the Saturday bus schedule this week, I got up a bit earlier than I might otherwise have done…well, I also wanted to play more Maple Story…

Anyways, as I was sitting on my bed (and turning on my computer), I noticed an odd little ball on my blanket.  Obviously, ’twas some fuzz or lint that had inexplicably ended up on top of my bed.  Out of paranoia though, I decided to prod it with a kleenex-clad hand.  Upon leaning in closer, I noticed it was brown with white spots, almost mottled white you might say.  Intrigued, I touched it.

I never saw more than the little legs starting to sprout out of it before I encased it in white death.  I’m not kidding; one second there was a round ball, and the next there’s thousands of little legs coming out of it, and I couldn’t tell from where.  I was looking right at it and I couldn’t tell.

I imagine there’ll be a blockbuster horror film five years from now with those things in it.  It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood reads this post and finds out they forgot to capitalize on this little nightmare.  *shudder*

None of this little episode, however, has anything to do with the title.  That is a whole other subject, namely: today’s popular music.

Popular music (read “popular” “music”) is a rather broad generalization, I admit.  So, for the sake of clarity, I will define it as, “The music that plays over the sound system at JCPenney.”

This is not a put down to JCPenney, as much as I would like to work in a non-retail environment.  Nor is all popular music bad; two of the bands that play are Evanescence and Smashmouth, and they’re rockin’ awesome in my opinion.

But as for the rest of the noise that filters into my eardrums, I could really do without it.  Just about all of it falls into the two convenient categories of love and hate.

I say love, but the tones of these songs suggest three letters. For example, one song goes along the lines of, “I drove all Niiiiiiight, to make luv to you…is that alright?”  And yes, there’s an alternate 3-letter spelling for luv too.

Another song talks about something fast as lightspeed and stronger than gravity.  Actual love fits here, but again, I think they’re talking about something a little different.  I make this statement based on one line that I have a hard time deciphering; the singer’s either saying “sensuality” or “sexuality”.  Either way, supernova now has one more interpretation than I would prefer.

The other category, hate (in case you forgot), deals with exactly the same subjects as the others, but at a later point in time.  It’s kinda like Wheel of Fortune in that respect.  Love and Hate, Before and After.

I can’t stand hearing either one.  The “love” songs stir the less savory sections of my psyche, and the hate songs tear at my soul with their harsh, venemous emotions.  Most all of them have annoying singers or sound effects too.

It just makes me wonder whether or not there are millions of people who don’t want to think past procreation.  Because really, that’s what all of these songs are about.  Was Freud really right?  I’d like to think otherwise, but there seems to be a lot of evidence to the contrary.

…And now for something completely different…

There’s a party tomorrow!  Er…today!  Woo-hoo!

A side of rice with my ambition, please.

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

As I was riding on the bus to work today, I realized: I need to learn how to draw.  There are just too many character ideas in my head not seeing the light of day.  I can see them in my head; it seems so obvious.  And yet, were I to attempt it, they’d turn out…yeah…

So that got me thinking, what else do I want to do?  Well, I want to play the piano well enough to do Final Fantasy music justice, I want to finish Drakyr (a book I started), and I hope to bring my game to life.  And maybe compose a great piece of music.  Heck, while I’m at it I might as well add singing in a band to the list.

 …So I have a few wild dreams.  Who doesn’t?  Of course, I’ve taken 7 years of piano lessons total, and what have I done with it?  Not much.

I think maybe that’s one of my major problems: lots of ambitious ideas, very little motivation to finish them.  Or even start them sometimes.  So I end up dreaming about all these great things.  Which, really, is what I’ve been doing all my life, it seems.

 Anyhow, on a more immediate note, dinner was excellent!  The Yasdanis (I hope that’s correct spelling…) held a meal for students, and they graciously offered to give me a ride out to their house to join everybody.  Persian food, fondue, Hoopla, wonderful people…I’m so grateful I was let in on the occasion.  Just don’t ask Sam to draw Marilyn Monroe…you…trust me, it’s better that way.