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Writer's Block: Hello, World!

What is your earliest memory?

My very first memory is of this frightening guy. Or, more specifically, this toy:

From what I can find, those toy promotions were running in 1988 so I was around two years old at the time. I have exactly three memories at this age (maybe four, I remember my first thunderstorm and I think it was at this time too), and they're the earliest of anything I can remember. Any of them could be the "first" memory, I have no idea. Two of these memories are McDonald's related, a dark foreshadowing of my overweight future.

The first was of playing with this toy, which was awesome because it glowed in the dark. A two year old can't have anything better than a glow in the dark toy that could possibly choke you to death.

The second was of me charging out the backdoor of the trailer we lived in at the time, and going up the hill behind it with great purpose. I remember the hill as a mountain. In actuality, it was probably four feet high. My mom swept me up before I ever saw the top and made sure that screen door wasn't opening for me again. It was the single worst day of my life at that point.

The third memory is also outside of this trailer. We were loading up in the car to go to McDonald's and the door slammed shut on my hand. I screamed. This was death, I was sure of it, and I would die without ever getting a second Mac Tonight toy. We didn't go to McDonald's as a result. I didn't get a shiny new toy. This was the second worst day of my life at that point.

Oh, the days when McDonald's meant TOYS and food was just a perk.


I'm currently recovering from what ranks among the worst weeks of my life. Most of you are probably aware of the total shit storm of one thing after another, so I won't go into too much detail here. In a nutshell: the condo I shared with Russell was broken into on my moving day, and nearly everything there that was worth a quick buck is gone. Things have gone downhill from there. Shit, in general, just sucks.

But it could be a lot worse, and for that I count my blessings: I have my life, my cats are fine. They took my desktop, but by some stroke of luck missed the MacBook on my bed which stores all my writing. And, as I had begun moving, a good chunk of my valuables had already been moved.

The greatest thing that was stolen from me was my sense of security and my naive belief that material things matter at all. My perspective on many things have changed drastically over the last few days. For that, I'm almost grateful.

Material items can be replaced. Your hard work, data, and memories cannot.

What if they had found my laptop? I could kiss an entire life's worth of writing work goodbye. I don't even know what I would do. Yes, I had back ups. Physical backups: external hard drives, thumb drives. All just as likely to be stolen with the rest of my computer equipment - or hell, lost in a fire if such a thing were to happen.

I am completely sold on cloud networks. Any doubt I had about it before has been banished. To all of my friends who are writers, artists, musicians - anything: back up the shit out of your work. If you're anything like me, the documents you've accumulated over the years are invaluable. From quick notes of first lines or character ideas to PSD files with layers upon layers of unique touches you can never replicate. Or hell, I don't know. An entire fucking novel you've worked years on. Maybe even many of them. E-mail yourself copies. Store it on personal web space, if you have it. Do both. I'm not even kidding. Do it right now, and do it often.

Digital media distribution? Bring it on. I've been a naysayer for years, clinging to my good, hard copies of movies, games, music and books. If my place went up in flames right now, the things I stubbornly clung to would go up with it. You know what I would still have? The right to download the few games and books I've purchased digitally. All I would need to do is replace my console or Kindle which - by now - are totally outdated, anyway.

Plus, lugging that shit around in a move just sucks.

So I'm starting over, and I'm aiming for a simpler life. It's time to value the things that really matter. What defines you is not what you own, but what you've done. In the end, everything else is just stuff.

Life Without End, At Last

For some random fucktarded reason, I had an old Jehovah's Witness song stuck in my head today.

Cut, just in case you're "Not Interested"Collapse )


Or how I resurrected my LiveJournal with a great big monster of a post.

Stephen King is an author I've never been particularly fond of. While I've enjoyed a number of movies he's been involved in - either directly or as the source material - most of the actual written work I've read seemed really hit or miss to me. Some good short stories, some really unmemorable ones. Dreamcatcher. The Gunslinger. Overall, my impression of Stephen King has been that he's a bit of a self-absorbed author that enjoys writing himself into his work a little too much. Any author's life is going to affect how and what they write about, and I think him being such a high-profile person actually works against him. I know why this story is set where it is, and I know why that character was hit by a van and almost died. Instead of picturing the main characters, I find myself picturing King there instead and my knee jerk reaction is, "Dude, get over yourself."

So after The Gunslinger, Dead Zone, and Kingdom Hospital sequentially unimpressed me, I avoided the name Stephen King.

A few weeks ago, however, I was looking for something quick to read and stumbled across a novella he wrote exclusively for Kindle. Having nothing better to suit my mood, I decided to give it a whirl.

And I didn't move from my seat for a good three hours, until the novella was done.

UR reviewCollapse )

Amazed that something was able to hook me enough to get me reading more than I did all last year, I went on the hunt for my next read from Stephen King, hungry for more. I selected:

Gerald's Game, by Stephen King

Gerald's Game ReviewCollapse )

Does this double review/resurrection of my LiveJournal account mean that I'm suddenly a fan of Stephen King? I'm not sure. What I can say is that for the last few years, it's taken me months to finish anything and I blew through these in a couple days. That's a pretty nice change of pace for me, and if Stephen King is the man to make it happen then I may be in for quite the marathon...

Yoko Kanno, the fraud!

At last! I've found a use for LJ that Facebook isn't suitable for.

After seeing a pretty stunning AMV this morning that featured Imogen Heap, I finally gave in and decided to check out the rest of her music. And while listening to her album, iMegaphone, a song popped up that sounded INCREDIBLY familiar. A few more listens, and I pegged it: she sampled Yoko Kanno's Lithium Flower, from Ghost in the Shel!

owait. iMegaphone came out in 1998. The Ghost in the Shell series was released long after that.

So I did some digging, and it turns out plagiarism is something dear Yoko Kanno is not new to. I've always been a HUGE fan of her work in anime, so this is one of those "omg my hero is a douchebag my whole world is upside down I FEEL SO BETRAYED" moments. This is the woman I swear by when it comes to anime/video game soundtracks, and it's INCREDIBLY disappointing to find that she's pretty much a hack.

Following the cut are some of the most compelling examples I found of Yoko's rip offs. I found many other examples on-line, but these are the songs I'm most familiar with.

Read more...Collapse )

So my heart is utterly broken. I guess if nothing else, Yoko Kanno has great taste in music. Maybe I'll keep listening just to find more musicians.


Must. Use. Livejournal. More.

Spirit Day

Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.


I wish this support group were really. I could really, really use it.

Right, going back to Civ5 now.

Final Fantasy XIV Closed Beta Impressions

Closed beta for Final Fantasy XIV ended recently. I was late getting in, but forewent sleep a few nights to experience as much of it as I could before it went down. Thought I'd share some of my thoughts and impressions on it for anyone who was interested/curious about (or hell, even hates) the game.

Wall of text with PICTURES!Collapse )

Check out my gallery of beta screen shots here.

Book Review: Dead Until Dark

This book amazed me for so many different reasons, I don't even know where to begin.
Spoilers withinCollapse )



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