zestypinto: (Gamera)
So it seems the theme this month is death: the girlfriend's lost aunt, the news with Phylip Seymour Hoffman and (as I type this) Harold Remis, even my LJ friends. It feels like 2014 is purging life, one personal string at a time.

I don't entirely fear death. I have enough grasp of it to not live wantonly, but enough to accept that my fate is predestined to expire. It took me years to realize that the panic attacks that came from this originated not from a fear of dying, but of dying alone. I suppose if I should be so lucky as those that have lost, I know that there would be people to remember me, whether it was as a somewhat decent guy, a mopey regular, or just some entitled know-it-all asshole who never knew when to shut up.

I never did discuss the events about The Girlfriend. The last three day weekend I spent with her on a trip to Boston from Burlington. The premise was simple: road trip. We drive down, we stop wherever the hell we like, we only go down based on certain guide points and if we see anything that looks remotely interesting, we stop there to looky-loo.

The news of her aunt's death came at 3am. She cried in the hotel bathroom in the hopes it wouldn't wake me up, but I could still hear it. Harboring my own disgruntled sensation of little sleep and plans gone afoul, I drove back and tried to do what I could for her before sending her off to the airport and trying again. See, I needed to go to Boston for an actual reason: I still had a lot of crap there back when I worked at the house. After dropping her off at 3pm, I took to the roads, acclimating to the atmosphere of highway driving after such a long hiatus away from it. The lack of stop and go and speed, and cruise controlled luxury made it easier, easy enough to miss a toll lane and hit and EZ Pass. Son of a bitch.

I made it into Medford at 7pm, exhausted. The ceremonial sendoff was short. I brought a package of organic granola because anything else I could find along the way wasn't healthy enough, and it was accepted with just as little fanfare. I took a trip to Burlington, MA not because it shares the name of VT's largest chunk of civilization, but because it was close to the H-Mart. I wanted to get her dumplings so she'd have something to look forward to on returning, and I am never sure if I have the time to make them at home. In retrospect, maybe I would if I bought skins, but I have gotten so used to making the skins by hand that it felt silly.

Anyway, I picked up a hotel room and McDonald's, where I made the cashier laugh when I realized my nerves were so shot that I could not even handle money easily. I slept comfortably but with concerns about getting my car robbed, and woke up with a migraine, the sort that you can feel even as you dream. One stomach clenching fight with Excedrin later, I picked up dumplings, got a haircut, and visited my friends in Hull, whose little hairless infant had grown hair and was already used to scooting all over the place on those platforms that would look at home in "The Flintstones." The drive back home was less frustrating on me.

I forgot what it was like to live independently and there's not much to say about it at the moment just because I feel bad about using her car too much, so I can not really trek to parks at the moment. I did visit Central Burlington, however, and saw people walking on the lake. I was tempted to consider, but decided it was not a time for adventure. I did get a good workout out of it though, which disturbs me since it means I am *that* out of shape.

Yesterday was a last minute trip for groceries. I drove to "O Bread," this bakery built in a repurposed barn that looks like it would be used in a future set of "Downton Abbey" and now houses a school and a bakery academy. The bread, by the way, is fantastic and worth the drive over- I was told they mail order this stuff, so it might explain why it's so good if people are willing to mail order for it.

The trip home was some cleaning(really need to vacuum), making chowder, and replenishing salsa, which is cheap and, if done right, can outlast regular salsa pretty easily.

More importantly, I downloaded CeltX for the first time in awhile. I'm going to see about typing up some script ideas I have, maybe work on some incomplete drafts. We'll see how it goes, just need to push myself during my off time when I'm not working or cooking or helping out around the house.

The Girlfriend will be back in 9 hours, and I will look forward to it! Just hope I can nap before she gets back...
zestypinto: (Default)
Second piece I just submitted, got to work on another to think of.

There you are, minding your own business, when it hits you: hunger. You gently chide the beast, for you have tackled this foe before! Few alive still remember your virgin days against the mealtime menace back when you lay astride a wooden cage, declaring to the great heavenly mother of being ravaged by the great emaciating beast while your closest comrades, Snuggy Boobums Bear and Big Blankie were helpless to save you from your struggles! No, those days are long past you. You’re a man (maybe), and like all men(maybe), you know how to handle this.
You spot the welcoming glow of your port-of-call: a machine in black holding goods of fine vituperative properties rest within for the modest sun of pocket change. So, as you step up to the machine, you find a bag of crisped potatoes with a delightful artificial cheese coasting on it, and you count its price as your hand scoops coins. Ah ha! Just enough. With mind set, you roll three coins into its silver slot, press two buttons, and await satisfaction. Await satisfaction. Await
Phase I – The Declaration of War
So you gave away your hard-earned money away and the machine did nothing, did it? Well you would not be the first to be cheated by the illuminated box of lies. Oh, it’s not always so bad. Sometimes it behaves, and you leave happily satiated with good food and excellent service. Those are happy times, those wonderful salad days when you believed that machines would not betray you like mechanical abominations from a postapocalyptic future.
Let’s not be too hasty. Perhaps the machine is delayed. Perhaps you need some time for it to actually fathom how important it is to provide excellent service. Maybe all it needs is one long, intent, stare into its psyche to jar some repentance into its cold, mechanical, soul before it realizes the error of its ways. One long stare and any moment it will do it. Any moment and it will relent and you will have chips. You can feel it start to relent that metal spring and it will be rightfully yours. Just five more seconds. Staaaaaaaaaartiiiiiiing…
Now. No? Now. Give it five more to soak in the moment. Now. Right about…

This is not the end. Sure, you could call that number on the side mentioning that you can reach them for maintenance issues, but that sticker is a banner of surrender and you know it and you, YOU, are no coward to petty demands! You will have satisfaction and it will come to you with a mighty taste of justice one crisp at a time!
Clearly though, this has gone beyond diplomacy, this means war! Prepare an arm to push the panel. Now, push the button. Again. Again! The LCD display will say to insert coins, but you will ignore this! Press it until it feels like it feels like giving in, you know that you are doing the right thing. Now tap the glass. Do it with all three out of five fingers. That’s right, press it! Tap it again. Feels good, doesn’t it, getting revenge? Tap it again. Now… push!
Next, look for the nearest fire extinguisher. Grab it and proceed to give the machine a light tap. Now a hard one. Harder. Watch with cathartic joy as it dents up. Now bust it open. Laugh in joy as the glass shatters with a beautiful splash of crystal. That’s the satisfying experience of revenge. Now pick up the military issue flamethrower and prime it, taking precautions as dictated by the guidelines for proper use of-
Oh wait, hold on.

Phase III – The Fuzz
You didn’t actually *do* the things I told you to, did you? Wait, it might not be that bad, it doesn’t look like security.

Phase III – Not The Fuzz
Be cool, she probably doesn’t even know what you are doing. No wait, don’t be cool, she might be trying to get your chips. Best to watch her. Watch her… no, don’t watch her that much, she might think you’re a molester! Look at the panels. Look like you’re trying to use the machine, the evil thief machine. The vending machine will play along, since it’s the original guilty aggressor to this entire crime to begin with.
Oh god, she’s looking at the machine. She might be trying to come and take the chips. You must stop her! Press the buttons some more, act angry. Angrier. Remark to yourself on how the stupid thing ate your chips. Angrier! No, not that angry, now you just look stupid. It’s okay, she’s walking away. Maybe it was a good thing to look that angry. No, wait, she’s using her cellphone, she might be calling the campus police. You were too angry! Why do you have to be so angry?!

Phase IV – FINE
You know you considered getting a second one before, maybe you can get two with one stroke. Maybe it will fix itself. Maybe this is a buy two for two scheme inspired by the conglomerate of snack item companies forced to make you buy more because they think you need to eat more. Remember that stuff about how you only needed one? Yeah, forget that, we’re going for two. Reach into the pockets, pull out your remaining change, you definitely have more than enough. Start inserting coins. Keep inserting. Hey, is that a wheat penny? Hold on to that one, that’s pretty cool. You still have enough coins? Keep inserting. Hmmm, this might run close. More coins. More. Let the hypnotic sound of the coins going in fuel your need to feed it more. Just not the wheat penny. Almost there. Wait, you really only have that much? Oh well, feed some more. It’s not like there’s a dollar slot here, but keep putting more. Wait, what do you mean there’s no more coins? Even the wheat penny? What the hell, man. Wait, how much more do you need? Five cents? There might be a way around this.

Phase V – The False Surrender
Remember that this is false, we do not give in to terrorist acts of chip withholding. No, but you will prostate before the machine. Look underneath. Ahh, that’s right, underneath there it is: a nickel. The bastard knew this would happen. Reach your hand in. Remember that scene in Temple of Doom where the lady has her hand reaching into this pit and it’s full of hundreds of multi-segmented bugs with pincers crawling all over and scrambling slowly onto her skin and into her hair she’s trying to reach for the switch? Try not to think about that as you push your hand into the unknown orifice. Feel anything that seems coin like? Okay, good. Now pull it out. It isn’t sticky, is it? That’s so gross if it is.
Now insert the nickel. If you failed to put it into the slot, then maybe the machine deserves to steal your money. Just enough. Now, press those two magic buttons to make it work.
What do you mean the buttons don’t work right? Well yeah, pressing the buttons repeatedly like that might make them act up, which was a dumb idea. Okay, try again. Press harder. Okay, maybe slowly, but firmly. Just press it like you’re trying to crush an M&M with a finger. Still not doing it? Damn it. Okay then… is there anything else that looks all right? Fine, try the chips again. Okay, is it working? How about now? Now? There’s those cookies over there, try those. They’re only one day expired, you can still eat those. Now reach in. Hey, there’s cheese-flavored chips in there!

Phase VI – Enjoy
Dig in, enjoy. You deserved it. Crack open the refreshing sound of the bag and dig in, reveling in the crisped goodness. Enjoy knowing that you have earned this pleasure as each bite crinkles in your mouth with the aftershock of each lingering flavor that comes with each bite. As you finish each one, enjoy and think to yourself only one thing: you have thirty more minutes until lunchtime.
zestypinto: (Default)
My first real attempt to writing a story in awhile, this was a second rewrite after I didn't like how the angles went. I'm still not too pleased at this story result, but I felt like it was moving too straightforward for what I'd like it to tell and tried a different angle to push some depth. Keep in mind, I'm also bound by a word limit of 1,300 words and I'm already pushing it right now.

Crime of the Year
Donald Lee

“Deviled eggs,” the coroner would announce five hours later, but you could tell with one look at the stain that gurgled out of his lips, stained his clothes, and pooled into the alley as that swirling, gray-yellow mass. The beat cops think it’s heroin. Dirty needle four inches away, what else could it be, but then I asked them what he used to find the vein and they were speechless. Of course they would be. Homicide was never supposed to be easy.
Why did Denny have to pack deviled eggs of all days? Guarez would eat them because he hates to see food wasted but I already spent yesterday hearing him talk about nothing else but his nutritionist and his cholesterol. Son of a bitch never said anything about it when he was visiting Jacob and took a slice of cake, though. Needed to go back to the office and file my report.

Not a lot of people up at this time that haven’t already left for work. Two people recognized the face of the victim as Roy Scholl. Owned “No Place Like Home”: the diner where he died in the alley. Never ate there, myself; never had a reason to until recently. Guarez never knew the place existed and Manny always kept thinking about retirement before spending money. If this was a cop film, he would be the first guy to get killed. If this was a cop film, we could also blame everything on the foreigner with the goatee and everybody would be happy. Search warrant request filed for his apartment and restaurant.

Third fingerprint identified to a Harry Wathwick. Some reports on him involving public indecency, no assault nor drug charges. Last report was four months old, no real idea where he’s been for the last few months. Another request filed from his social worker as well as any nearby clinics where he was seeing treatment. Finally, some beat patrols checking with drug dealers for any possession issues or heroin sales.

Guarez passed word that Harry Wathwick was found in a hospital. Nurse reported that it was critical condition, but his pockets had a wallet containing Roy Scholl’s ID, cards, and forty-three dollars. Found in a park passed out and was ready to be taken away until it was found his coat had blood stains on his back. We looked at each other and nodded, time to roll.

“What do you think?”
“About what?”
“The Mets. You think they’ll get it this time?”
“Isn’t it early for that?”
“Oh come on, just because you’re a detective doesn’t mean you don’t get to guess.”
“I don’t know.”
“This case can’t be on your mind that hard.”

Harry Wathwick was breathing through a respirator tube. No sign of consciousness. Doctor’s reports found two perforations they stitched up on the back. Traces of drugs in his blood: morphine. Not a lot, but enough for any junkie. Too little for a suicide, nor any reason. Might have been to keep the pain of the wounds down. They didn’t look like they were made with a strike, more like he was hung.
Clothes were taken for inspection, doctor couldn’t predict when the man would come back around ,but it wasn’t going to be soon. Either way, items needed to go to the lab for inspection.

“She made deviled eggs, didn’t she?”
“I could tell. Let’s get a burger. Oh wait. Shit. Jake’s on.”
“Jake Guiraldi, one and three on the top of the sixth.”
“Do you have to listen to the radio?”
“Sorry, you know me and my Mets. C’mon, let’s get a burger it’ll be my treat.”
“There some reason for that?”
“Yeah, the reason that I saw this morning’s case with you. Save them for tomorrow and let’s get something real.”

Coroner found the cause of death with a 2mm bubble in the heart. Embolism. Call from the landlord, got the OK to visit Roy’s apartment.

Landlord warned us that the place was a mess. He meant it facetiously. The apartment had squirrels on stringed on branches, a raccoon in mid-fight with a bobcat on a wooden table, and a white terrier that stared at the entrance of the door in a red and green Christmas sweater with a permanent toothy white smile that emphasized its canines. Landlord said he did it partly to scare away any robbers.
Everything was clean and in order. Some magazines on wild game, a couple of books on taxidermy on the shelf. No record of gun ownership on file. Everything here in whatever order this was supposed to be. Landlord said outside of Roy’s hobby, was a decent guy. Paid rent on time and never had complaints about or from his neighbors. Bedroom was immaculate, fridge strangely bare. No one else lived there. Kitchen counter had a layer of dust. Picture frame was knocked over and dusty, but no one familiar looking in the frame except maybe the dog. Trash only had basic waste, may have also been unused for some time. Landlord mentioned that he spent lots of time at his restaurant.

“Yeah? Don’t know, waiting on a few things on a case tonight. I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t know. How’s Jacob? Yeah, but I just wanted to ask. Yeah. I guess so. Nothing from the counselor? I’m just asking because I want to be sure. Uh huh. Uh huh. I’m sorry. Okay, I’ll tell you when I get an idea, but today’s not so good. Uh huh. I love you too. Bye bye.”
Owner of the restaurant contacted to give an OK for search warrant. Forensics blood tests found small traces of morphine, but much higher traces of doxylamine and acetaminophen. Cough syrup. Study on the body showed some sign it was under the effect of a cold at the time.

Restaurant looked like a 50’s style place except modified with corduroy seats, some memorabilia of old photos of random people in random places, and a stuffed raccoon or two on a branch, staring out of the windows and dressed in Christmas sweaters. Some Christmas lights were strung up, but none of them were lit.
Back of the kitchen were some eggs and wilted vegetables on a metal table. An open counter let you see into the diner, where some of the raccoons were positioned in a way that kept their glass eyes staring into you as though trying to find something out.

“Something’s stuck on a grate here.”
“Hold on.” “Uh huh? Uh huh.”
“This is 12-3 calling dispatch, we’re at 314 Johnston Ave, requesting backup to block off area.”
“What? Why did you let him do that? Yes, I trust him, but why would you let him why would you allow him to?”
“This is 12-3, there’s.” “Oh god. Dispatch, call in a coroner. Expect a few bodies.”
“Fine, I’ll talk with him. He’s all right, he’s all right. I’ll see about heading home.” “Hey, Guarez, I. Oh shit.”

I went for a smoke outside. The sky outside was a mess, and in that mixture of cigarette smoke, the yellows and oranges and grays all mixed together, and made this sickly colored mixture. It was hard to breathe out the stress, like it all wanted to come out. I stared into the sky some more before I would head off, thinking how much the horizon looked like a giant deviled egg.
zestypinto: (Default)
I dreamt it was Christmas, but it was a haunted Christmas. I headed to a friend's house (reference point, Nelsons), and I got them a new X-Box or whatnot because I felt that they deserved it for their hard work. Their family's friends were there and I hung out there for a while as I watched them play for a bit. One of their friends, Jason, said he wanted to play since he was so good at it anyway. Then I went downstairs and the room was empty. A couch in a heavily decorated room lit with the endless strings of Christmas lights adorned above them and an old style TV showing an episode of Smurfs. I think at one point, Gargamel tried to talk to me, but I wanted nothing to do with him. I stepped away back upstairs and noticed one of the boys get captured by a white long haired spirit, but as it smiled trying to eat it, it stopped and startled out, "You're- you're one of us!" His face was confused for a moment, but understood quickly. I don't remember what happened after that: I was already stepping outside of the house to a sky filled with dreadfully dark gray weather.

From there I walked into a municipal building, a rather dreary industrial thing that may have been turned into a school but was choked up with rust despite it being clean inside. From the third floor I could see there was a hurricane coming, and that it was one so wild that it sparkled with lightning.

I stepped out, which led to a garden, where hedges were neatly trimmed into a Victorian maze. An alderly lady in khaki ensemble and librarian glasses slowly led a group of people through the history of the person who had owned this place. I saw my parents and tried to warn them that there was a hurricane, but they smiled and did not seem to understand, so I tried again. Nothing.

The garden reached over into a yawning blackness that was a bridge. I could barely see how far it ran into the distance over the smooth land, and it was wider than anything I could fathom, as though it could hold houses if need be. I gave up on trying to encourage my parents to be careful since I figured that at least the bridge would offer some protection. The guide looked with surprise when she announced that there was a twister. I turned and, sure enough, guiding around the coming hurricane was a twister. Worse still, it was coming faster than I anticipated. I yelled to everyone to brace for impact and then the endless pounding of million metal beads punching into cloth, given an emphasis of tenfold more in the darkening sky. I noticed how the wooden deck that we stood on changed colors and someone yelled, "Why don't you take a photo already?!" I realized they were right, and I went to my bag, opened it, and found myself unade to pull out my camera. It was stuck in a flap on my bag's opening and I tried to jerk it out. By the time I managed to figure out how to undo it, it was too late though and the terror of the hurricane and twister had mulled into nothingness.

I decided to follow the group, who traveled past the wooden deck into another structure where it was the home of someone famous: an artist of sorts, as paintings and the like hung, one even rested propped against a chair. Some of the things here looked to be made of wire metal and I found the entire thing curious, almost creepy. Sure enough, the flicker of spirits began to show through here. The crowd was fascinated, and I was ready to be careful, but then realized it was the same spirits I dealt with before: everyone will be fine. If anything, the dreary weather and the spiritual presence brought out a beauty to what I saw. A peal of lightning turned everything outside the windows monochromatic for half a minute and mirrors glinted with spiritual activity. And then the rain stopped and cleared away to a bright sky and the spiritual presence was no more.

Outside of the window was a street that was wet with rain but quickly drying away. I stepped out and walked the street. A 7-Eleven rested around the corner and I realized I was hungry for something, so I walked in. Inside was a pair of silent indian dudes who exuded all the rudeness expected of a pretentious french restaurant. I said hi, offered greetings, mentioned the weather, and they seemed to pay it little more attention than a slow, judging, gaze on me.

I gave up on it and figured to just get some food and leave. The hot dog machine and its condiments had been wrapped in foil, and I pulled it free to get what I wanted. Behind the foil of one was the rolling cooker that revealed several frankfurters that seemed smooshed against the rollers like they were pink sticks of dough. A tiny metal tub held a dollop of mustard and shreds of hot dog buns cut in half and left that way. The entire experience confused me and I asked one of them if there was a way I could get a bun since what's here is torn up.

When I mention this, one of them turns and immediately rushes over to inspect what happened. He then proceeds to chew me out and blame me for everything that has happened here and asks me why I would do something like this. I get more confused and try to correct him, but he does not listen and then tells me to get out or he'll call the cops. The exchange continues enough for me to lose my temper and snap back at him that it was his fault and that I wasn't running this store and that someone had decided to pack these things this way, all at the top of my lungs.

This finally shuts them up. I threaten them to call the police so I can show them how this is their mistake and how they're treating me like this. In my pure anger, I tell them about how I would never eat here, how I just wanted something to eat, how their service is terrible, and how they shouldn't even be running a store... the list goes on and I finally leave, but not before I think one of them breaks a window.

After that, I wake up.
zestypinto: (Default)
Okay, LJ's troubles have been making me actually consider Dreamwidth. I'm not a fan of the idea considering I still know people on this. The constant connection issues are worrying me at this point, like they started a war with Russia or something.

Well all the same, want to check who is on there that would like to talk stuff there.
zestypinto: (Default)
Still debating if I should do anything tonight. Bands are playing, but I don't feel compelled to journey through the night again. Alternatives are gaming all night or sleeping. I should probably plot assignments for the weeks to come.

Dunno what to look forward to in 2013. I feel too aware of the now to feel any impression of what is to come aside from the thought of more crazies shooting people from the overloading stress of these economic times and struggles. I already hit my breaking point a few times, I can only imagine how many others are like me who may have one issue more than mine during their trying times and finally snap. It's a shame there's so many educated people underutilized in this world, but I guess that's how the world likes to work when you're not even allowed to show your merit.

Well no matter. 2013 comes and I will be here, but in the meantime I will continue to be unsu re of what to expect beyond more concerns.
zestypinto: (Default)
So people are airing their 9/11 memories on Facebook. I dunno, I thought about posting it there, but it felt too personal at times for me. I did post something on G+, but I kept it brief: you won't really understand unless you think about it, knew a little of the lingo there.

I'm glad people are more willing to talk about 9/11 than ever before. And not in the way where they're vigorously waving plastic flags and buying handguns to defend themselves against brown people like so many years ago. I'm glad people are talking about it and remembering the incident as a day people died, and a day when they see the people as people and not as speech material.

I never wanted to talk about 9/11 because of that. It made me feel dirty, thinking about how all those people died in a war they never wanted to be part of, but now used to start a new war: gravedigging for votes, people finding excuses to embrace xenophobia, self-preservation at its most hedonistic roots. As most of you know, I'm Asian, but I'm also very Westernized, so I'm all for equal rights regardless of ethnicity or gender, so seeing the things that 9/11 inspired to the wrong people ticked me off to no end.

With Bin-Laden gone, and with the politicians too busy embracing left or right wings now, I feel like more people are dropping the flags and getting personal, retrospective; I feel like the dead can finally rest in peace, thankfully. So now I feel like I can talk about it more comfortably, without the knowledge that people will abuse the innocent lives lost. Yes, Homeland Security still exists, and Penn Station still resembles a scene from the Cold War, but now the excuse of 9/11 has begun to settle down, give or take a Sikh-shooting moron.

So I guess... here goes my own experiences. Did I ever tell you that I worked in the World Trade Center? )
zestypinto: (Default)
And because I saw this from [livejournal.com profile] jocosa,

The Mystic Pig

I asked the mystic pig: I wanna know what love is, will you show me?
and the mystic pig said: You already know the answer to that one.

Ask the Mystic Pig another question
created by ixwin

The Mystic Pig

I asked the mystic pig: Are you hammy?
and the mystic pig said: Y'know, I think that's kind of a tasteless thing to ask. I'm not giving you an answer

Ask the Mystic Pig another question
created by ixwin

The Mystic Pig

I asked the mystic pig: Is morganaus gonna love you?
and the mystic pig said: Naahh

Ask the Mystic Pig another question
created by ixwin
Ha ha!
zestypinto: (Default)
So I kept pushing myself to go out so I could take a trip out along to a place called Oakdale Park. Photos follow. )

Today is clear but cold, so I'm going to try to hit Castle Island beach. Full packweight, maybe even bring the tripod with me just to prove that I can. Maybe not though, as I also want to see if I can walk home from there.
zestypinto: (Default)
Awhile back, I was mentioning a bunch of manga that I wanted to list and talk about. I only mentioned one, being "I Am A Hero," which just released two more volumes and continues to blow me away at how the character is fleshed out.

I found two more volumes that I wanted to mention; one I didn't mention because the second series isn't as appealing to me as the first and the other I kept forgetting the name of.

Text clipped for the safety of words and imagery! )

So there you go, two more titles I think very highly about. I've got a few others that I think pretty highly of, but I'll save that for another day.
zestypinto: (Default)
So I started becoming vaguely aware that there was a Wasteland 2 in the works, a kickstarted Wasteland 2. I looked into the cause and realized that already after 24 hours they already reached their goal of $900k.

Think about that: a game world that's older than Tetris and much less approachable to audiences has managed to raise $900,000 in a day. Right now it's just over 1 million, and with promises to add more as donations rise, it's promising to go higher.

Although they were not the first to really push kickstarting old franchises (the honor goes instead to famed company Doublefine kickstarting their own campaign. By the end, it now numbers over 3 million dollars. That's a LOT of money for a video game company that doesn't have corporate backing from publishers, and it might be a step(or in this case, a kick) in the right direction for most old game franchises.

Looking back at the gaming industry, I keep thinking of the modern film industry and their parallels. Not every game is for everyone, but the ones that are currently being released are aimed towards broader audiences and given less to chew on to make it easier for the consumer to partake in. The big releases will have great emphasis put on incredible visual appeal but are made to also lack effort on the consumer's behalf, not unlike a summer blockbuster. This can mean that the standards for substance can vary widely and it shows in the evolution of some franchises, such as Deus Ex and Mass Effect; both franchises being praised for their storyline and effort to integrate gameplay into a storyline that may feel just as comfortable in a theater next to Nolan's revival to the Batman franchise, but also with a retweaking of the gameplay that tries to add something new and yet centered towards a happy medium of appealing to the casual as well as the dedicated.

But what of the games that have not really seen that same dignity? They are not unlike the limited release films out there; productions that sometimes run on budgets that are less dignified than the robust studios can allow, but usually with a push for something that people are less likely to see in the big name companies because of losing their audience. But at the same time, it allows for some amazing things that you can not see otherwise as a result.

Enter the scenario with the current gaming industry. There's a lot of famous game developers out there who are not really earning the figures they deserve because their games are too niched for the general market. Classics like the Monkey Island series, Arcanum, and even Ultima have been put aside because there's no money in the minds of the investors to really consider the development worth it. Keep in mind, that there still are risks as always: Deus Ex was, in fact, a bit of an underdog itself as a creation from the maligned Ion Storm company.

But still, there are people who are always passionate about these games and who really understand the effort put into it. Planescape Torment, for example, remains to this day one of the most beloved games out there despite being over a decade old and perhaps too dated in design for some of the people who remembered playing it. The storyline and attempts to immerse the player into the world through depictions that read like they came from a novel can floor people, and it's ultimately a reason why those people who were fans then miss seeing that level of attention in modern gaming.

Franchises known for this level of quality are few and far between because of the smaller demographic associated, but what is also not considered is how dedicated these fans can be. Applying it to a kickstart campaign finally emphasizes this properly and shows just how much more power there is behind making a game when you cut out the publisher as the middle man behind the funding for the project.

Hopefully in the future this will lead to more releases of sequels that I would look forward to, like a Krondor game that follows the quality of its original version, or an Anachronox 2. I've already seen an article about Avellone potentially considering bringing back Planescape:Torment, so the potential is endless. I'm sure that there is also potential for disappointment too, but for the people out there who have waited years for a return of their favorite games, this is the only chance they can get.
zestypinto: (Default)
I've been reading a few manga to pass the time. Some are really bad, some fairly cookie cutter, and then there's a few that are some of the best things I've read in a long time. The latter ones are the ones that I want copies on my bookshelf as proof of what counts as good manga. Unfortunately, the ones I really want are still not seeing distribution in the states. Still, I felt like posting a few to give you an idea of my tastes.

I Am A Hero
I Am A Hero centers on an assistant comic artist for a prominent manga author. He wants to get somewhere in his life, but he can't and, what's worse, he suffers from paranoid delusions. Monsters comes to him at night that he knows can't exist, but still haunt him as he creates makeshift warding circles out of his favorite things and sleeps within it. And then one day an infestation starts and life unknowingly and slowly reacts to it.

What makes me love this series isn't the zero to hero plot, but the ultra-realist idea of a desensitized society that can not understand an unfathomable crisis when it finally hits. Decades of viral media and attempts to one-up one shock attempt after another has made a generation of people that can not actually see a real problem when it actually hits. Only the paranoid protagonist Hideo Suzuki seems to understand that something is wrong and only when he realizes that this delusion is real and that he has to single-handedly kill his own lover-turned-zombie in the process.

What also makes this series for me is the Tarantino-like dialogue where the conversations are meaningless with the plot but are genuinely amusing.

I was planning on talking about a few more, but I obviously have not been keeping up on this post since I worked on this almost a week ago. Still, I do feel like mentioning that this series is amazing.
zestypinto: (Guy Eats Magazine)
LiveJournal Username
The name of the movie
Background Music
Political Outlook
Mood of Ending
Has a hilarious-looking afrowarren8472
Appears mostly for a gratuitous sex scenebridgetester
Feels it necessary to wear aviator sunglassesspoonyone
Plays a minority in a way modern viewers find racistthunderslug
Utters the catchphrase that will remain in American pop culturebrightsidea
Comic reliefassfingers
Cult Classic?True
Most repeated phrase on DVD commentary trackI was just trying to raise awareness of...
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Figures [livejournal.com profile] assfingers gets the comic relief.
zestypinto: (Default)
I saw this on someone's friend's list.

Their basic opinion of it is that this hurts not just the big guys, but the little guys who produce the content too. Personally, I think it just won't work period.

Why? Because people don't give a shit about others.

Case in point: remember Napster? When Metallica condemned Napster and even threatened to basically give the middle finger to everyone who used it? Do you remember the people who were up in arms in anger over how a band that started its days paved by tapes that their fans passed to each other was now pissed that people were doing the same thing electronically? Do you also remember the people who gave a shit?

Of course you don't, because the people who think Metallica are good don't care and still listen to them. And yes, they'll download their music anyway, but they don't care. You see, most people like to think only for their own enjoyment. Metallica still thrives to this day, and their fandom is as strong as it always was despite their hypocritical douchebaggery. Of course, now they probably love MP3s since it means millions made via iTunes.

Here's another one. Do you remember when people were told to boycott gasoline for a day? That didn't really do much though, did it? Gasoline prices are still going up, and people still live with that fact.

In comparison, let's think of Bank of America's credit card issue. The credit card effected everyone because everyone was going to pay a $5 monthly fee immediately once it came out. The reaction was so sharp that Bank of America even backed out despite how vehement they were towards holding on to the issue.

You see, the difference between these two issues is fairly key: the difference is long term problems versus short term. The general populace only thinks of the short term problems and the consequences of today rather than tomorrow. They also don't think of abstaining for a long period of time. It's why people have talked about environmental issues around here for decades yet our country still doesn't try to abide to the Kyoto Protocol.

Sadly, I know this won't work because I've seen the sort of people who don't give a shit about this. I've lived with them in college and outside of New York. They think either:

a. It doesn't matter because God/president/whoever-the-hell-else will fix it for them

b. It doesn't matter because they won't live long enough to face the consequences

c. It doesn't matter because it's all some bullshit made up by a doomsayer

There is a name for people like this; they're called regular people. While LJ has the ability to gather folks who are more intelligent and considerate of movements, they represent a portion of the world that doesn't think always of themselves. They're idealists, and according to the Kiersey, folks who have that kind of motivation to care aren't that common!

Perhaps if this boycott doesn't effect you anyway then you can do it anyway, not unlike the Facebook "change your icon in December" hoax. In this case, though, nothing will change, not unless you convince the regular people who give a shit about things like this.

Finally, if you are worried about the content makers getting the shaft, you can also consider other avenues:

-Visit their shows and exhibits locally. Hell, buy the CDs off them directly: it's better that way anyway since they get more money that way.
-Recycle entertainment by buying used. If you're worried about it being new, then try to aim towards stuff not made within the last few years.

I really don't see this changing anything, but I hope I'm wrong for their sake. Maybe like Egypt, people will finally give a shit. Maybe the masses will finally tweet together their rally points to make something out of this and remind others the dangers of what is going on and I can eat crow. Chances are though that nothing will happen, the RIAA will continue to laugh in their moneybaths, and folks like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber will not really care about losing maybe 8% of their take since the rest of the year will make up for it.

Meme Fail

Jan. 8th, 2012 05:58 pm
zestypinto: (Jamie Impersonation)
Posting off a meme from [livejournal.com profile] jocosa,

In 2012, zesty_pinto resolves to...
Become a better basia.
Give up sketching.
Eat more animutations.
Drink four glasses of earthbound every day.
Take evening classes in wfmu.
Go to wit every Sunday.

Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

Guess the parts that make this absolutely wrong!

spoiler! )
zestypinto: (8-Ball)
Looking at Time's cover of Man of The Year, I thought it was about time someone acknowledged the efforts of the people. I have mentioned time and time again that 2010 is the coming of extreme reform: when we look back here, we're going to announce to people no matter where we were, the significance of what we've seen. We will tell people about the things we saw once Osama was shot and the images of a strangely staged Kim Jong Il reaction upon his death. We will remember the stories that kept funneling in on the protests of Egypt, then Libya. We will mockingly laugh or pity the people who followed a radio speaker who urged the people of the world to prepare for a Rapture unfulfilled. We will all remark on what life was like for us and the differences we saw from a global recession and bitterly remark on the financial districts and how Tea Party politics eventually switched over to Occupy enforcements.

But it wasn't just the people of these times that made me think of this. We saw the death of a pop legend, and the resurging significance of social media from a dotcom world. We watched bipartisan politics finally tear into the seams of America's once-boastful legacy, and how the emperor-king of the United Nations has found itself beginning to yield to a sleeping dragon awakened, while the paupers of its Southern fringe finally start to reform between bandit lords in armored vehicles and fiberglass subs fight for their stake in the upper end of high gain drug money. We have seen photographers and children gunned down by our own friendly fire, from a prince of free information imprisoned by a world seeking to quiet him before he releases the Pandora's Box that will unlock the skeleton closet of our most important officials.

We saw Mother Nature lash out against us, continually, and we saw the fears of a cold war's legacy start to unearth itself, one pregnant steam-filled day at a time. And while we Americans may have seemed uneffected by the majority of it, there is always the reminder of the first East Coast quake in decades, the frenetic Christmas snow that shut down major cities, and the ever-increasing heat waves to come in summer.

Is it that the world has really changed, or is it that we have become more aware of these things? If 2000 was the return of our Cold War fears from USSR nukes to terrorist ones, then 2010 is the return of the 1970's: a time when major changes are occurring and we will be the ones to see it through. China is already teetering on the edge of major reform, and our own government's stodginess has already begun to grease the wheels of change from an unsatisfied populace.

I don't know what the future holds for the children of this decade, but I predict they will see more happening this decade than any of us have in the previous ones. Will the meek inherit the Earth, or will this decade be the one to educate our future leaders? Flowery words mean nothing, but inspired thought always leaves one curious.

I leave this personal self-waxing reflection with a video from a group that the original point of this entry was pointed towards: From Monument to Masses' always had the agenda of pointing out that the great changes of the world begins with the people rather than the figure.

People, keep your eyes open for 2012: whether it end up as chaotic as this year or the next, we will see great things happening, and I hope you will continue to be there to experience it with me: if not in person, then in the aspect of life you reside in.


Dec. 21st, 2011 04:43 pm
zestypinto: (Ice cream Pizza)
Today's the day I pushed baking again. I originally tried to make a set of Black Forest cupcakes back in late October, but I mixed up on the recipe. I used coconut and chocolate frosting when traditional black forest uses dark chocolate and white chocolate covering. My brother had a spare block of dark chocolate back when I was home for my birthday and offered it to me for my future baking experiments.

Huge collection of photos and details follow. )
zestypinto: (Default)
Sky photos are getting common with me.

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