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Sunday, April 18th, 2010
11:54 pm
Allow me to preface this with a disclaimer. I follow hockey sometimes, and the playoffs just started. It's kind of distracting so bear with me. Or just ignore the first paragraph or two.

Earlier tonight I watched a Stanley Cup playoffs game. It was San Jose at Colorado. Naturally I follow my home team, and it's always a tense situation whenever the Sharks get into the playoffs because they're the best team in the league generally, during the season, but during the playoffs they just suck for some reason. Now, we're playing against a team that just is't that good. If you don't know how the playoffs brackets work, the top team plays the 8th best team in the first round, the second best plays the seventh best, et cetera. So we're playing Colorado. The first game both teams were still working on their sea legs. Playing in the playoffs is a huge change from season play, because that's when all that work begins to culminate into tangible reward (aside from the millions and millions of dollars hockey players get paid each year). So not much happens. no one scores a goal until Colorado in the third period. No bi deal, they were both playing mega sloppy, we lost game 1. Not even unfeasible to win the stanley cup from that position. The second game, first period looks kind of bad, lots of goals being scored though as opposed to the nothing that happened first game. This time it's the goalies that need to get their sea legs. They were still playing season hockey before, maybe it just takes them longer to adjust or something. In any case, during the second period of that game, the sharks kicked into gear and started really playing. It was clutch but we did score the game winning goal in the last fifteen seconds of game two (out of seven). We're bright eyed and bushy tailed coming into game three and we dominate them all three periods. Their only talented player (milan hejduk) gets steamrolled right off the bat and he's out for the rest of the game. now he can only look on in horror as the rest of the game is essentially San Jose playing alone. The shot total was something like 53-15 in SJ's favour and their goalie Craig Anderson somehow blocked every single shot. He was a god on the ice, and the avalanche are a blessed team to have him at this stage of the game. But we dominated them the entire time. We play all three regulation periods totaling an hour's of game time and still no score, so we go into overtime.

Not one minute into overtime, Dan Boyle attempts to play the puck from our end and puts it past our goalie off the backhand, losing the game for us. In the interview with him shortly after the game, he looked as though he had just caused the death of three innocent families. "I don't know what happened," he opines, while trying to wipe the guilt and shame off of his face. The emotion laid bare on his face eroded my personal bubble.

We were at my friend's house enjoying the game, he has a large HDTV and a nice tri tip barbecue. We generally watch the game there, as it has the best amenities. For example, a $20,000 upright piano. Now, seeing that I'd just played through the latter half of Silent Hill 2, and being that I am very musically inclined, I attempted to try my hand at playing some songs. Now I'll be the first to admit that I am completely terrible at piano, but I do know some things about music theory, so I can sort of improvise, sometimes, but not with any fluidity. I have a decent ear for notes too, so I can sometimes pick out a melody simply by hearing it, so a few youtube videos later I'm one knuckle deep into a very creative rendition of the Promise reprise (leave this playing as you continue to read the piece). Now, if you're at all familiar with Akira Yamaoka, then you already know exactly what I'm going to say. This man is a genius. He was the composer, sound designer, and audio director for the entire Silent Hill series, and the game fairly drips with his handiwork. Yamaoka cites Angelo Badalamenti, Metallica, and Depeche mode as his chief influences. Coming together with his own vision he manages to so expertly craft a bed upon which every one of your nightmares is brought rise.

Silent hill is a game about death. It is about nothing else. The seemingly terminally absentminded protagonist wanders around a surreal, hostile town while sporadic encounters with other folks exploring the town struggle by themselves in order to unravel the mystery of Silent Hill. While with the ending I got it is unclear that anyone did that, or even managed to live through their ordeal, you are gently goaded into realizing the true nature of he inhospitable town.

Spoilers ahead: The ending that I got (the game tells you after you beat the game that there are 4, but there are actually 7) entailed James leaving Silent Hill. The entire reason James is in Silent Hill to begin with is because he killed his wife. It was both a mercy killing and a resentment killing. The death of suffering. And in the ending James experiences the death of regret, and the death of resentment. Mary's illness had consumed her and thereby their relationship. She lashed out. She made life miserable for them and didn't realize it until it was far, far too late. So, in the throws of limitless regret, Mary writes a letter to James to be delivered posthumously. James then travels through the town which is undeniably neither real nor imaginary. It at once contains all the mundane trappings of real life and the insane, clouded gropings of a shattered mind. The game is deliberately nebulous. Itself embodies the death of meaning. It isn't important anyway, the frame of the game clearly outlines (eventually) a man's inner struggle between his guilt and his hatred in killing his ill wife.

Pyramid head hunts you for most of the game. He first appears in a dilapidated apartment complex and you chance upon him raping some kind of torsoless leg-ridden mannequin creature. He approaches you as you hide in the closet during a cutscene but you unload a clip of handgun ammo into him. He seems nonplussed by the trauma, but leaves nonetheless. Just as the human mind is its own worst enemy, Pyramid head seems to manipulate the town to his whims as you stumble about Silent Hill, eking a path toward the ultimate mystery. You encounter him several times during the game, and in all its metaphorical beauty, during the game not only does he drop his old weapon which happens to be a man-sized butcher knife for a spear which he's much more effective with. He takes this offensive approach to the next level by becoming two whole pyramid heads with more than capable spears. You end up getting the great knife late in the game, but as the game's point becomes more honed, so do you. Ideally, the imagery of using the antagonist's own weapon against him isn't lost, especially in a game this psychologically involving. But after all's said and done, the downfall and the beauty of this game is that even after you learn everything there is to learn you can still but guess at what anything in the game is supposed to be about. Like the main character, Silent Hill is all in the mind of the adventurer. A significant portion of the game is spent in the Rosewater Historical Society, which deigns to be a museum until our intrepid psychonaut finds a hole which he doesn't hesitate to jump in. Thus begins our descent. During this portion of the game, you can expect to continue descending in various manners, and after you've reached the very bottom of this surreal sequence, you find yourself at the docks, a mere fifteen feet away from where we began that part. At this point you row a dinghy through impenetrable fog towards the only identifying feature in sight. The game let me know that I'd rowed just over ten minutes after I finished it. I'll never know why.

James Sunderland is led to Silent Hill by a letter from his dead wife. The game begins with death, and ends (if you're unlucky) with death. And all through the middle of the game, you're coming across death, and despite the fact that you're killing anonymous demons throughout the game, each and every one of them eventually takes on meaning. The other inhabitants are explained. Every conceivable concept depicted in the game is tied to death. Even the music itself is intrusive and terminal. And when you fully digest this game, you experience a death all its own.

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010
6:45 pm - do you realize just when you are young the things you take so seriously mean nothing at all?
Somewhere in northern California there's a young boy about to experience Japanese curry for the first time. His grandma brings it out on a plate and gives it to the boy like it's nothing. He doesn't know anything about critical thought, or even what he likes as an individual. His constant desire for something new kept urging him to sit and focus on every novelty that passed his way, and as a child, that's essentially all you need to do in order to grasp a new experience: sit there. He was branded forever with a temper, a check for the balance of wanton exploration. Within the eyes of that hereditary meal lies the secret key that unlocks our primal urge for comfort. Not much attention was paid to family. They were always there, and people can always be studied. This is unimportant. What is important? The fresh, the ephemeral, exotic, prone to change. But on that plate was something I'd never want to leave.

I'm making it for dinner tonight, curry. Served with rice, it's one of the finest and simplest meals available. But what brings people together like food? Perhaps it's that same desire for comfort that Freud was talking about; the universal urge to return to the womb, to get that same feeling that you gradually had less and less of as you grew older. It's one of the only activities that we can trace all the way back to our very first days of living, and even before that, really. We can trace it all the way back to that pre-jurassic era wherein the evolutionary development we like to call a mouth was breaking ground. It's something we've always done and it's something we'll continue to do. So we're brought together by this, this sapient plate full of life and change, and we eat of it to paradoxically spiral out while retreating back home.

I remember the first time I actually wanted sex and love. A large part of me even now pursues things like that just for the sheer novelty of it, but there is absolutely some gestalt involved whenever two people make even the remotest of observations of one another. Every picture tells a story, so next time you look at a person, take a step back. It's easy to guess what happens between people. I say this now, but at the beginning of my romantic experiences I hadn't the faintest idea of what was what. In fact I'd hardly used my emotions at all before then. Humans are full of paradoxes, checks, and balances. I experienced the rapture of love, the seething jealousy, the manic worry, the soft darkness of denial and the utter confusion that invariably occurs when two people share more than they ever have with another. I was bumbling, budding, burgeoning. But I was happy.

In Tim Rogers' Mother 2 article, he writes about Shigesato Itoi's viewpoint on videogames. Itoi opines about videogames being like prostitutes, they pander to your whims for a price, and requires no emotional input in order to receive emotional output. The prostitute does not complain. This is all part of the deal. Even strangling a prostitute to death (which is generally regarded as somewhat out of the scope of a prostitute's services) takes a level of emotional involvement that too is above and beyond the scope of the original contract. So, in videogames, in prostitutes, in dinner, it is all at cost.

There are two distinct phases of my life that revolve around videogames. One of them is the pre Year Seventeen mental breakdown phase, where my enjoyment of videogames was puerile, natch, very superficial and ghostly.At that point in my life no one had actually told me that what I was supposed to do was engage the world by comparison, use MY perceptions and do things on my own terms instead of on everything else's. I was supposed to use my head, my heart, not someone else's, to feel the world. I was the closest thing to lacking an ego that you can get, way back when. Whenever I did anything in that phase of my life, it was a lot like a science experiment. What will happen to subject X if stimulus Y is applied during time Z? And this level of objectivity created a highly empty world to live in. I broke down and cried, one dusky autumn day and when I woke up I knew with everything I had that a clear demarcation had been drawn: Then and now. It's always been there, I suppose, I just had missed it all those years, somehow.

After that, I was born again, in a sense, though decidedly more secularly resurrected than most Jewish superheroes. I was forced to look at the world through a pair of glasses. It's not unlike, I imagine, the sensation a flower gets after it's done germinating, sprouting, and then finally gets to serve its full purpose: to bloom and receive the sun's bountiful rays. Before this I was animalistic, simple. eating food out of sheer necessity, driving myself into books, videogames, tinkering with household electronics. I had very little regard for social propriety, generally choosing to use the restroom when and where I felt. A fond spot was in front of the TV. I can remember on more than one occasion playing until I couldn't hold it anymore, not caring, and still playing. That was a novel experience for me then, as well. And for the record, I never was able to beat the fucking last boss of Zelda 2, pissed pants or no pissed pants. I kind of have to go right now and I'm getting flashbacks about shadow Link.

I don't happen to think that the idea behind videogames is that of a prostitute, though. I think the idea behind videogames is that of a lover. You come home from a hard day at the office, get your back and feet rubbed, and even have dinner with her, or play videogames with her (how meta!) but eventually you'll find a new one to rub your feet, or a new game to play, or a new dinner to have. And I think that's just a reflection of Freud's psychology. You want love? Tough shit, you won't find it underneath your thumbs, or on a plate, or audible in the weary "Honey, I'm home!" that comes after every day's hard work. You, the poor sap that you are, have to go ALL the way back to the womb for that. Freud needs to lay off the coke. Or maybe not! Like so many other Saturday morning cartoon specials over the years, maybe the message here is "You were actually sweet all along, you didn't need the magic ring to begin with!" So stop whatever ridiculous crusade you're on, play a videogame, and have some fucking dinner.

Master Picasso opined that the urge to destroy is also a creative urge. He means that you can't destroy anything without having an idea of what you want it to end up like. This is very true, and if quantum physics teaches us anything, we can't DO ANYTHING without making some kind of disturbance in the world around us. So, when you eat that dinner, know what you're doing it for. When you beat that videogame, you know why. And when you love another person, you do it with purpose.

This isn't particularly about anything, I suppose. I just wanted to write.

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
8:14 pm
hi livejournal

bye livejournal

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Saturday, February 13th, 2010
7:17 pm - i'm back!
for those of you not in the loop (there are some I hope, otherwise I'm just wasting my time here) I'm back in Cali. I got a job already and I need a place to live after I actually start getting paid from said job. I'm out of money and just trying to keep myself entertained until I get to start working. Thus far my time has been spent mainly playing board games, bad new videogames, good old ones, watching hockey, and getting drunk. Who wants to hang out?

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010
2:39 am
going back to california. michigan sucks. i'm tired. (you can tell because my sentences are real short) looked on craigslist for a few jobs, wrote down some numbers, need to craft a resume i guess. i suck at those.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
11:45 pm
does anyone still even read this cunting thing

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Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
1:24 am
gentlemen i am going to have like a grand to throw around after i get my tax returns, with the money i've got saved and the additional bonus from OBAMA's IRS withholdings tweaking. Gonna spend part of it on ye olde 60GB ps triple with full BC. so! after that, what should i do? i am thinkin: clothes, lots of clothes

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
12:23 am
i am far too distracted to finish reading either naked lunch or watchmen in a timely manner

never going to get caught up on my reading

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Monday, March 9th, 2009
3:19 am

that is all i can do to sum up my life since the beginning of january

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Monday, January 5th, 2009
1:30 am

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Sunday, January 4th, 2009
11:35 pm
i don't have an xbox to play

but that's okay

i am still alive

notification for the small demographic of people who know me on LJ and nowhere else that i currently utilize

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Thursday, October 9th, 2008
10:42 pm - too many fuckin websites to keep track of
i think i may just check facebook only from now on, goddamn. i like the new deal it has, though.

so uh yeah I am moved in to my new apt! we are hopefully going to go grocery shopping because we just got PAAAAAID and so i am going to celebrate by buying a whole shitload of beverages, as seen in exhibit a:

i'm tryin to hit that ass

so yeah anyway we have a 4 quart crockpot and we are probably going to make such a good dinner tonight for later maybe, maybe save some in mason jars or whatever to preserve it for later 8)

there's a bit of irritation, but that is okay, i thnik it can be avoided in the future

i just hope i have an xbox to playyyyy

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Sunday, October 5th, 2008
10:35 am
for those of you that don't know, I am getting my own place for REAL, soon. we're already approved and we gave them the $200 deposit so we can pay the rest of the real deposit. so we basically have a 900 dollar deposit instead of a 1100 one. it's still pretty steep for min. wage, but hey, rent's only 550 between 3 people, so fuck it dude.

i'm not moving anywhere fancy, it's in fact about 300 feet away from my current location. not really looking forward to taking my day off moving shit like i do at work, but you know, fuck it dude.

so yeah that's what's happening on that front. i don't really want to talk about my job, as only those who are interested in my job of moving boxes back and forth at a supermarket would find those tales interesting.

I told daphny about this a bit; I've been playing a lot of geometry wars: galaxies on the DS. I sure am glad that I have the cycloDS. I couldn't imagine paying for all these games. Ah well, I got 'em now 8) Plus, GeoWars Galaxies is totally better than Retro Evolved or GW2. And you play with the stylus + D-pad. yeah. I am also playing through Apollo Justice and Advance Wars DS, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin again, interspersed with games of Call of Duty 4. So I guess the DS is what got me back into gaming for realz. I couldn't imagine playing GW on a fucking wii, though. It's probably bad. Though I guess you can always use the classic controller.

I went bowling the other day. I forgot how sweet it is. I hurt my shoulder doing it though so for the next two days after I went I was like ow ow ow when I went to lift big boxes.

Anyway uh, yeah. I've been pretty busy. Haven't had a lot of time on the ol' internet, so if you think I forgot about you, I probably didn't! I usually only get about 10 minutes before I go to work to use the computer but I woke up early today so here I am.

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Friday, August 15th, 2008
1:53 am
sup again LJ

i'm in michigan now

not that far from detroit

but in michigan nonetheless

hangin out with ken long a bit

apparently i'm supposed to go on an LJ date soon

i don't have a pick a nick basket but i do have this:


it's pertty much the best shirt i've ever seen what do you think

anyway uhhhhhh yeah that's about it for me right now. you can hit me up on AIM or something i guess.

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Sunday, June 1st, 2008
4:44 am - fix fix fix

i just read so much livejournal holy cow

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Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
7:41 pm - everybody's coming over to daphny's house
the communist party is happening is LESS THAN A WEEK
i'm so excited

everyone's coming over here from different parts of the country during various parts of this week-- I'm excited about meeting new people and also the people who I have already met are awesome as well.

dess is already here! she's been mostly busy with daphny but that's okay.

we went to an irish pub and restaurant today and I had shepherd's pie for the first time. it's awesome.

and when lauren gets here we're gonna get costumes for the communist party, but no one knows when she's gonna get here.

well I guess that's it for now

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Friday, April 11th, 2008
3:52 am - Quote of the Day
"If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie." ~ W. Somerset Maugham

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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
1:06 am
i managed to go all day without getting rickrolled. although i wasn't actively avoiding it or anything.

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Monday, March 3rd, 2008
2:27 am - lmbo look at dat fukken dog

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Sunday, March 2nd, 2008
4:18 pm - Quotes of the day
Mar. 2:

"When a person sleeps, nothing happens to him. But when he does not sleep, he can for instance get a fish." - Matti Nykänen

Feb. 18:

"I got a fucking dollar on my god damn forehead, so fuck you." - Alexi Laiho

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