Hung-over musings.

September 20, 2008 at 1:18 pm (Uncategorized)

So, it’s been almost two months, I think, since I stopped playing WoW, and roughly 1 month since I shut down Survival Hunters Anonymous.

The last time I quit, it was more of a “I’m going out on top, I kick too much ass and I’m way too good for the game” feeling. This time, it was more of a “fuck this game. Just… fuck it. I’m done. I feel old and tired and I’ve had it.” I was beyond burned out; I was, am, and will be done with it.

Thank you, again, for the outpouring of well-wishes and cries of agony. I hope you all liked the RP way of going out; I’ve become a fan of telling stories lately, and I think that one did its job particularly well, for being something off the top of my head without any planning or method.

Inasmuch as life is concerned, it goes on. I’m still adjusting to the graduate school schedule, the work involved, and trying to have a “life”. Given the fact that my year isn’t really one to go out and hang, it could be rough. S’okay. Worse things could happen. I keep telling myself that, it’s an unfortunate mantra. Worse things can happen, worse things do happen.

But, for the most part, worse things haven’t. Life’s been going pretty well. The chick I met months ago who was into WoW wasn’t the prize I thought she might be. She really wasn’t a prize at all, kind of a raving nutjob who frothed at the mouth when I didn’t think of spending time with her.

It’s funny. I know a lot of people who just stay in awkward relationships because they feel almost obligated to. Like, “you need to have somebody else in your life, no matter how unhappy you are or they make you.”. I may or may not be the king of relationships that barely last a month or two, but at least I understand that the recipe for success involves being happy on both sides…and both sides being relatively sane or mature. That said, the 29 year old (boo on dating older women, by the by) has been let go, and now I find myself going after a younger one. 

It has been a long time, a long, long time, since I’ve met a girl I would chase. I just knew from the moment i saw, something telling me from a place deep within, that I had to know her. So far, it seems to be going well. Hell, she’s smarter than I am!

I think I’ll eat my breakfast, and then go for a walk to the park. I feel like reading and writing, and today’s weather leaves nothing to want.

-Brian

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New Metallica Album

September 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm (Uncategorized)

I just want my thoughts on this out there somewhere.

WHAT THE HELL?

Seriously. I can’t believe that somebody let these guys out of the studio with an album like this – especially Rick Rubin. He’s been involved with some phenomenal albums, but now this?

WHAT THE HELL?

Firstly, I know the creative process is difficult. But these songs don’t sound like Metallica. The riffs don’t grab you, the lyrics don’t try to beat in your eardrums, the drumming is… fast, but almost without something driving it. It’s like they blazed up when they were writing a song, got lost in a jam or a funky intro part, and then remembered, “oh shit, we’re Metallica, aren’t we? Shouldn’t we be kicking some ass right now?”

Secondly, the riffs themselves… Metallica has prided themselves on pushing their own limits, which I respect. However, this album feels really, REALLY self-referential. You swear you’ve heard these riffs before… and you have, because they practically had to listen to their own old stuff to REMEMBER what they sounded like!

Last point – I’m all for evolving the sound, and experimenting. But when Metallica has a certain “sound”, and they’re trying to distance themselves from an album that tanked that had a certain “sound, DO NOT GO AND TAKE THAT SAME TANKY SOUND AND RE USE IT. GET THE OLD SOUND.

UGH.

I’m going to go listen to Load, then I’m going to go listen to Megadeth’s United Abominations. I mean, you want somebody get their classic “sound” back, that’s fucking IT right there. Also, I am slightly hung over, got to go see Tricky from Massive Attack last night. Good show.

-Brian

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A quick thought

September 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm (Uncategorized)

Grad school rocks.

Group assignments the first week sucks, especially when half your group doesn’t get the book for class until, say THREE DAYS BEFORE IT’S DUE.

Additionally, chugging a half gallon of Wawa Green Tea is always a bad idea. It is tasty, but it is liquid BAD IDEA when that’s your dinner.

Other than that, I got nothin’.

See ya’ round.

-Brian

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Random kick ass linkage.

September 5, 2008 at 2:30 am (Uncategorized)

My two favorite daily show related links ever.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=90264&title=the-sound-of-one-car-bombing

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=168645&title=denis-leary

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One Week In

September 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Ahh, the first week of school.

Just as not-dangerous as I remember it to be. Kind of hectic, though. Just a little.

I do have some work coming; I’ve volunteered to do transcriptions of video interviews, got an informal interview for that on Wednesday, and another informal interview for a really ritzy job on campus on Thursday. Assisting with program promotion. Pretty effing sweet.

I – whoops, had to pull my fly up, just noticed that – really need to buckle down and get some more ideas into my story. I haven’t dedicated the time to doing it, mostly because I took a week to get a feel for the schedule around here.

It’s become clear to me that if I’m going to do what I want to do (which is write) I need to be more focused on this, and be able to say “No” to hanging out with friends once in a while. I love my friends dearly, but one thing leads to another, and pretty soon, lunch has turned into a late-night game of poker that I am, by some unfathomable grace, winning.

I also have a motivational picture – I went into a bookstore last week and asked the proprietor if I could take a picture of his window. He didn’t give two shits, or much less, the requisite one shit, so my odd request was granted. It now stares me in the face from above my computer, a little bit out of my reach and on my wall. Why? It’s easier for me to imagine my book right next to a slew of others. Visual element and all that.

Lastly, i hate that I love Neil Gaiman.

Allow me to explain. it’s a love affair that started years ago, when I read Terry Pratchet’s “Good Omens”, which he co-wrote. I liked it a lot, but nothing really struck me.

More recently, I saw his re-write of Beowulf, and Stardust. I liked it even more, and heard that he wrote books. I am wading in dangerous waters.

I am at a library, looking for a book by Jonathan Safran Foer. I am close to the G’s, and think, “Hmm. Gaiman is G. Perhaps there’s something in there, I heard Anansi Boys was good.” I find American Gods instead. I read American Gods, and I loved it. I am treading water.

I move to Bryn Mawr only a week later. There is a comic book shop around the corner from me. I go to the comic store, knowing that Gaiman started with comics and graphic novels. They have two whole fucking SHELVES for Neil Gaiman. I picked up 1602, his little spin-off / September 11th parable about America. I loved it.

And as I have the first volume of the Sandman collection on the way ($7, including shipping – suck it), I need to find a way to pick up the other nine for as cheaply as possible.

I’m fucked.

I’m drowning.

I’m swallowing his words in between desperate gulps of air. I’m asphyxiating on his prose.

His characters are filling up my lungs, and my blood is mixing with dangerous levels of his dialogue.

Neil Gaiman is killing me, and I want to thank him for it – better yet, I want to pay him for it.

It’s not like getting into, say, Metallica, and saying, “Oh, I need all of their work; hmm, that’s only about 6 CD’s, that ain’t too bad. Do you take American Express?”

It’s like saying, “Wow, I really love Led Zeppelin, I need everything they’ve ever done. Their essence has been imprinted on my soul. And their live stuff’s even better? Shit. I don’t need all of these internal organs, right? That seems fair to me, just give me that Zep, man.”

All unintentional murder aside, he seems like a charming fellow. I can only aspire to do the same thing to unwitting souls in the future. I just wish he’d have been more considerate, I have bills to pay.

-Brian

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I just thought this was awesome.

August 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm (Uncategorized)

Courtesy of The Deciblog…

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Moved in and all that.

August 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm (Uncategorized)

I picked up a copy of what has since become my new favorite book, Stephen King’s “On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft”. I really just dig it, big-time.

But oddly enough, our new neighbors (me and my sister’s) are kind of like us. There’s a single mom raising two kids who are like more extreme versions of, yes, us. The boy is the biggest Sci-Fi / Fantasy nut I’ve ever met in my LIFE, and incredibly lazy. As in, barely goes to school, just wants to read, dreams of a story that never ends and always changes. Y’know, like a Neverending Story that doesn’t get sued by Lionel Hutz for false advertising.

I really sympathize with the mom on this one. I know I wasn’t exactly the easiest kid to raise; but then again, I grew up in a very sterile, individualized environment. My parents didn’t have friends their age – my dad came home, turned on the TV, and tuned out. Mom tried to compensate, but just ended up being overbearing. 

Well, she was overbearing to begin with, but before Dad tuned out, she was a bit more tolerable.

And I’ve had friends like the kid. Friends who just found real life too uncomfortable, wanted something distant and exciting and foreign that’d bring them away from where they were. A few of them were gamers, but others were drinkers and drug users.

I guess I’ll try and do the nice thing – take the time to hang out with the kid once a week, give him somebody to talk to, and maybe bring him out of the shell a little bit. He’s stubborn as hell, but so am I, and I’m a grad student. I have time!

(this isn’t to say I’m going to neglect everybody else – I plan on hanging out with a ton of people and really making the most of my grad experience. I think of this as paying it forward – I had to go through the same thing, and I just hope I can make his life a little better with my experience, and maybe he’ll do the same for somebody else, should he come to be in such a situation.)

-Brian

P.S. Writing is a fun interlude for grad school studying. Going to make all of the corrections and re-write ideas I’ve had for the past couple weeks for the novel, and then, re-read my classwork for tonight, which has already been read twice and highlighted.

To put this in perspective, two years ago I wouldn’t have even gotten the books yet, or looked at my schedule, much less thought of writing something for fun.

Times change, eh?

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Drafts, Drafts, Drafts.

July 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm (Planning for the Future, Writing) ()

For the past two days, I’ve bunkered down and gone through my eighty-odd pages with vibrant red pen. I planned on going back another two times with different colors and tackling different aspects of it, but I feel I might be able to get what I want done in one go, in terms of editing the current material.

(Slashing through with green and blue may be saved for another day.)

It’s shaping up well. Granted, it may be somewhat half-finished, but one of my toughest critics, my own sister, went through and enjoyed it.

She, of course, made points that I am being a bonehead about the process – some things, that I don’t know diddly about, like bone structure, cars, or the physics of hurdling, become readily apparent. As I want my writing to have a certain expansive quality in it, as opposed to being one-dimensional, it MIGHT be a good idea to get some help with those parts.

But other things that shine with my trademark wit, she enjoys thoroughly. One of the big, incredibly emotional scenes almost had her in tears.

When something you’ve created with words can inspire emotions in people – WORDS – that might be telling you that you’ve got something good.

But for now, it’s just a draft in progress. The mere deed of printing out eighty pages of my own words, my own characters, my own story, and holding in my hands brings me a great deal of happiness.

I cannot wait to “finish” it – I use quotes because once a different editor gets their hands on it, chances are that changes will still be made – and possibly, one day, see it bound and printed.

I know it’s business as usual for some people. It wouldn’t make a lick of difference what book they’re selling, and they could be more likely to sell copies of the latest dieting fad than put my book on shelves; but I could really grow to like the idea of finding my own book at a Borders or a Barnes and Noble, or at The Strand in New York City, or at a local bookstore in a podunk town I’m dropping into on the way to visit a friend.

Then again, I’m a little old-fashioned like that.

-Brian

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What’s now?

July 20, 2008 at 3:04 am (Uncategorized)

The apartment’s officially mine. Moving in on August 15th. It’s crazy, it’ll be my own place. Mine. Me me me me. 

And in between jobs here, I’m writing again. Serious writing this time; Since i started about a month ago, I’m about 70 pages into writing what I hope will be a well-written first novel. And to be truthful, I like it.

The process is totally unlike any silly assignment I’ve ever done for school. I find myself coming back because I like seeing where the twists and turns go. The pages are waiting for me to fill them. It’s a story only I can tell. And I feel awkward talking about it sometimes, because… it’s not done yet. 

And as much as I want to talk about it, I have to keep it in, because the days I talk a lot about it, I get less done, but the days I don’t, it’s full steam ahead.

Weird, I know, but it works for me. I’ll talk about it when I’ve got it all written down somewhere.

-Brian

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Good news!

July 4, 2008 at 2:10 am (Uncategorized)

Got the apartment thing all set. Took a month of going down to Pennsylvania on spare Wednesdays (and an impromptu trip today), but it’s done, got a great deal on it, and I’m very excited to move in come August. It’ll be my place, at last.

I’ll be checking in on my friend from college; haven’t heard from him, but I know he’s going to be doing great.

-Brian

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