Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Checker Knights

I've gotta say, the best piece of music composed for a video game is Checker Knights from Kirby Air Ride. If you haven't heard it, check it out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reggie Fils-Aime Would be the Worst Politician Ever

"By now, you all know how Nintendo chose a fundamentally different path," said Fils-Aime. "Instead of competing for the very best players, we decided to shoot for the most players."

So basically, rather than making games for people who care about games, Nintendo wants to make games for the masses; people who don't care about games. I understand this money-making concept, but being a long-time Nintendo fan, this really hurts. He said many times before that he's not forgetting the core-gamers. This means that he outright LIED to us.

Hopefully with this new economy, there will be less casual gamers buying games. Nintendo will start hurting and they'll deserve it. Then they may finally see their wrongdoing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Ideas for the Next Generation

With just a couple years left of this gaming generation (still called "next gen"), I'd like to cite a few things that the next consoles have to do in order to keep things fresh. I think we've seen basically all we need of good graphics. That needs no improving. Here's the list of my top 3 hopes for the next gen consoles.

1. Complete Backward Compatibility
Is it really that hard to do this? I think that they don't even need to have slots for past games. I have plenty of old Nintendo games and Playstation games that I'd love to play on my Wii and PS3. Problem is, the Wii can only play Gamecube games while my PS3 is one of the models that can't play past games. My proposal to fix this is to have a fairly complete library online of games from past consoles. This being pretty much done anyway, all that's left is typing in the product code and you get a free download of that game. Fair, simple, and people will have more reason to buy a second controller. (And if they're real cheapskates, they could charge 10 cents. I wouldn't mind.

2. Small Size and Ability to Plug into Your Computer
Ever since the beginning of the Gamecube, I had wanted to console games on the go. So I bought one of those tiny TVs that attach to the top of your Gamecube and plug into the car. Now this wasn't TOO bad until I found that the screen is thin plastic that scratches, there are way too many parts that get lost, and it turns off when the car gets turned off. This could all be remedied by simply having a USB cable attached to a relatively small console (Wii sized is good) and an application that turns your laptop into a TV. Never again would you have to forfeit console games on a long trip.

3. Bringing Back the Nintendo Seal of Quality
Not just Nintendo, mind you. Sony and Microsoft need to make their own seal of quality. Far too many crappy or quick-cash-in games are being allowed to run free on today's consoles. Now that I think about it though, Nintendo has been allowing the most atrocities recently. Each game on the next gen consoles must be thoroughly tested and be made sure to not get below a 50% score on Metacritic. If they don't meet quality standards, then the game will be sent back or canned. Of course, it will cost a lot of money to be constantly making high-quality games, so I suggest that Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo should give a flat amount of money to every game that passes the quality test (on top of profits of course).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama is Apparently Familiar with the Interwebs

I found this on Kotaku, which directed me to Tor.com. Find it in full at the title link.

The job involves getting him something to eat, maybe playing a little basketball with him, and basically chatting and getting whatever he needs between important things. During the conversation, apparently Zero Wing came up.

You know, the Sega Genesis video game. I don't know how.

And apparently, my friend made the off-hand comment of "All your base are belong to us".

And Obama leaned forward in his chair, quirked his eyebrow a bit, and responded "What you say?"

Unexpected Mail

Today, I found a cup of cottage cheese along with a ziplock bag containing several pieces of malt whiskey fudge inside of my mailbox.

What the hell?

P.S. I just realized that the cottage cheese is over a month expired.

P.S.S. Never mind. There's chinese food inside of the cottage cheese cup. Our friends dropped it off. Too bad. It would've been a great story.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I was in NYC today to go to my favorite shop; Videogamesnewyork. I was aiming to buy Rhythm Tengoku. Alas, there was no Rhythm Tengoku. All they had was Rhythm Tengoku Gold. Oh yeah, they also had LITTLEBIGPLANET. Videogamesnewyork is famous in the area for breaking street dates on every game they can. I considered not buying it because I have a pre-order at GameStop, but what the hey. I'll give that one to my friend. Besides, this one is the rare, supposed to be unreleased version that has words from the Qur'an in it. I'm betting this'll be a collector's item someday. Anyway, the picture proof is at the title link. Now I'm gonna go play this sucker.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I'm not sure how well this one came out...

A couple of months ago, I was walking down Madison Avenue. l don't actually go there for shopping or as a means to get anywhere else. I just like to watch the people go by and imagine what their true selves are, under what they're showing to the rest of the world. So far in my life, I've only found a handful of people who look and act like their true self.

As I watched a sunglassed woman across the street walk hurriedly down the sidewalk as if she was actually going somewhere, I bumped into a street vendor. I quickly apologized and was about to turn around in embarrassment, but what he was selling caught my eye.
"Excuse me, but why are you selling sticks?"
"It's kindling. You know, in case somebody wants to start a fire."
"You mean like setting a building on fire?"
"No! That would be horrible. No, it's for a fire in a fireplace."
"Oh....... Isn't this the wrong place to be selling it?"
"One might think, but it's actually perfect. You see, it's not easy to get wood in a city, and nobody else is selling any. I'll make more than you think."
"I think you're going to make nothing."
"So far I've made nothing, but sales'll pick up. Don't worry. Winter's just started. I've got plenty of time..."

Then he just smiled at me as I left. I don't know why he thought people in the city would be interested in having fires, but I'm not sure he's wrong. Maybe he's smarter than the rest of us. Maybe he's now at the top of the kindling business.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tape Recorder

A comic? No. Couldn't be. BUT IT IS.

Comic at the title link.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obsessive Compulsive

This is more of a characterization piece than a story, but it's all I can think of right now. Also, I'm a bit OCD, but this character is not supposed to be like me.

Today I learned in Chemistry that the universe tends to increase in entropy. Eventually, all of existence will fall into total chaos, just gases expanded as much as they possibly can, lingering slightly above absolute zero. This makes my skin crawl.

People say that I'm strange, that I only care about how perfectly placed or tidy something is. Well I say that they can have their hobbies and I can have mine. Of course, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it's less of a hobby and more of an obsession. If there's a loose crumb that falls onto the table, I can't just leave it or wipe it with a napkin. It most go into my mouth or the trash can. Why is this so important to me? Because everything has its place.

The other day, I had to complete a Chemistry project with my school friend. He insisted that we go to his house, even though I warned him against it. He didn't seem to care at all. I knew that I was in for a rough day.

When we arrived at his room, I was in utter shock. It was a wreck. You couldn't even see the floor. There were bread crumbs all over the bed. He said something about getting us some snacks, but as soon as he left I bolted for the front door. I felt I might die if I stayed too long.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best Craig's List Ad Ever

This is pulled from Craig's List.

new york craigslist > manhattan > rooms & shares
$1 Room for ONE DOLLAR in bright, clean apartment (Upper West Side) (map)
Reply to: hous-834022781@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-09-09, 1:44PM EDT
I am looking for someone to rent the spare bedroom in my spacious 2-bedroom apartment on the picturesque and desirable Upper West Side. You must read carefully, however, as this situation is not suitable for all.
The rent is $1 per month, utilities included, as long as you bake me fifty (50) tasty cookies every day by 6 p.m. If you have not completed this task by 6 p.m., I will pour vinegar on all your belongings, throw them into the street, and have the locks changed. No exceptions and no excuses. Hell or high water, those cookies better be done and yummy.
Cookies are always cookies and never biscuits. I do not eat “biscuits”.
I will decide the specific type of cookie the day before and will submit my preference in writing by 9 p.m. of that day. You are responsible for the recipe and ALL the ingredients (at your expense, of course). The kitchen is large and well equipped with cookie sheets, rolling pins, mixing bowls, etc. You may NOT hum or sing as you prepare the cookies. You may, however, recite song lyrics in a normal speaking voice.
Forbidden ingredients include anise, marjoram, allspice, caraway, and oats. I will nevertheless request oatmeal cookies from time to time and you must find a way to make them without oats. Good luck with that. The worst ingredient of all, though, is NUTMEG. If even one speck of nutmeg, even the tracest amount of the stuff, is discovered in my home, I will pour vinegar on your belongings and chuck them in the street. You may assume the locks will be changed. You may use cinnamon, cloves, and raisins, though I am rather indifferent to these and will likely not be impressed. Chocolate is encouraged, as is vanilla bean extract.
You will be given three cookie cutters: a crescent moon, a star, and a doggie in profile. All cookies must be in one of those three shapes. The doggies must be given names and all the names must be different and cute. Cuteness is my call, not yours. For example, “Smuggins” is cute but “Lionel” is not.
The cookies must be artfully arranged on a lace cloth on a silver platter and garnished. Permissible garnishes include jellied fruits and candied flowers. Sugared figs are under review, but don’t get your hopes up.
Your room contains a twin bed, a dresser, a desk w/chair, and a TV with cable access. The TV is tuned permanently to the Food Network. You may watch only shows featuring cookies and cookie by-products.
If you are interested in this arrangement, please submit the following:
1) Your favorite cookie recipe
2) A picture of tasty cookies
3) A short original poem about cookies
Thank you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Message to All Hillary Supporters For McCain

I usually avoid any way of offending people, but this is the one exception. I can't understand why any self-respecting Democrat would vote for McCain. I can't even understand why a self-respecting Republican would vote for McCain! It is clear that McCain votes almost all of the time with George W. Bush and the world is slowly being destroyed because of Bush's reign. The North Pole is an island for the first time in human history because of global warming, and Bush hardly acknowledges it! The war in Iraq has cost the economy as a whole $3 trillion and this is a war that was based on lies. How are we going to pay that debt back to the Chinese? Oh yeah, and don't forget the countless lives lost on both sides. Do we want another four years of this crap? Enough with the spite game already! Hillary lost and she's not going to replace Obama no matter how much you whine! I don't want to live in a post-apocolyptic world any time soon because of your stupidity. If you don't like Obama, then look at McCain and Palin. They're even worse. If it must be so, pick the lesser of two evils. Just don't be an idiot.

If you agree with me, just make a supportive comment.

If you don't, then call me out. I'll destroy your argument.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Earthbound Live-Action

I don't know why this is hilarious, but it is.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Behind the Bad

Well, Telltale and Homestar Runner keep on delivering with content. I found this on their site today.

I Haven't Updated in a While...

Sorry reader or two. I've been busy doing actual work recently. I will continue updating soon. I just need to sort out school and stuff first.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pony Ride

I recently went on a really boring and tedious trail ride, so I tried thinking from a horse's point of view.

Round and round, round and round, every day from dawn till dusk. Same speed, same clippity-clop of the hooves. Why do I do it? So that asshole can make an extra buck off of torturing me.

Why do the kids like it? They sit on my back as they're taken around the pen counter-clockwise again and again. It's like NASCAR, but somehow even duller.

I could've been something or at least DONE something with my life. Race horse, jumping horse, cattle horse, ANY horse. But I'm not even a horse here. Just a slave.

Why am I here? Have I ever done anything wrong? In a past life did I commit some heinous crime and not get punished enough? Did I not do my time? Cause I'm sure doing time here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

75 Games You Must Play Before You Die

When you're on your death bed, look over this list to see if you've missed any of these masterpieces. If you have, try to play as soon as possible.
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Day of the Tentacle
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
  • Donkey Kong Country 3
  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
  • Earthbound
  • Elite Beat Agents
  • Gitaroo Man
  • Guitar Hero II
  • Guitar Hero III
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kirby's Adventure
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby and the Crystal Shards
  • Little Big Planet (I can tell from the demo)
  • LostWinds
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • Lumines
  • Mario Galaxy
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Megaman
  • Megaman 2
  • Megaman 3
  • Megaman 6
  • Megaman Battle Network 2
  • Mister Mosquito
  • New Super Mario Bros.
  • Paper Mario
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Patapon
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow
  • Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Portal
  • Rock Band
  • Sam and Max Hit the Road
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Sonic Adventure 2
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Paper Mario
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Tales of the Abyss
  • Tetris
  • Tetris Attack
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
  • Tomba!
  • Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return
  • Touch Detective
  • WarioWare
  • WarioWare: Twisted!
  • We <3 Katamari
  • Yoshi's Island
  • You Don't Know Jack
  • Zack and Wiki: The Quest For Barbados' Treasure

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Video Games Haven't Failed Me Yet

Me: See? If I drift around the turns, I don't need to slow down.

Instructor: Why do you need to go so fast!?!

Me: So I can finish the test within the time limi...

Instructor: AAAAAA!

Me: Crap. I fell off the bridge. I'll never finish in time now. Where's the retry button?


Me: Oh. I guess we'll have to wait, then. Where the hell is Lakitu?

And that's how I failed my driver's test.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I’m in a dinghy with an oar. I need to find land. I’m sure it’s close. I see something in the distance! It’s an island! I paddle as fast as I can, but the oar starts to dissolve. My whole boat is dissolving! I fall into the water. I must get to the island! I try to swim, but my arms are too tired. I’m going under!

I wake up. What a dream! I need to write this down!
“I needed to get to land and there was land and my boat melted…”
Where’s my dream notebook? It’s not next to my bed. I get up and search my drawers.
“I need to write about the boat and land and water…”
It’s not here. I run downstairs and see my mom eating breakfast.

“Mom, have you seen my dream notebook?”
“I think it’s under the magazines in the living room.”

I rush into the living room and search under the magazines. “There was water and a boat…” Here it is! I flip it open to a fresh page and put my pen to the paper. I write down, ‘Water’. “Wait…wasn’t there more?”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Scotland is a Bit Different

I look up in a cafe to see a flyer for a website named polestars. Among the things you can buy are a naked butler and nipple tassles, both with pictures. Is this strange to everyone or is this commonplace? The best thing about being in a different country is that you really don't know.

At first glance, Scotland is the same as the US, save some small differences. Dollars become pounds, pants become trousers, fries are now chips thus making chips into crisps. Throw in kilts and bagpipes and you've got it down, right? Well... no. Not really.

Everything here is either connected to the crown or the church. The streets are all named after some saint and sodas and various other refreshments are checked by her majesty.

They have a strange policy of drinking; do it as much as possible, but don't let the kids see. It's pretty stupid and it doesn't help.

If you check the headlines of any newspaper here, you'll soon realize that nobody is good at titling things. Headlines include "Celtic poised to gazump rivals in bid for Loovens" and "Ronaldo voted the ultimate gay icon". Well, maybe their subjects are just really bad.

One last thing that I found weird is that there is tea time, but hardly anyone has tea. If someone asks you if you've had tea, that means have you had dinner. This is especially strange because no one has tea at dinner. Scotland is an odd place.

A Moment in Edinburgh

This tidbit is based on what I saw on an Edinburgh bus.

The old man takes a swig of the 2-liter bottle of Fanta and passes it to his friend.

"I can't believe it's come to drinking our troubles away..."

Friday, August 15, 2008

A First Foray Into The Fringe (Food)

I don't know which is worse; being at a cafe in which they cover all breakfasts with baked beans or the fact that they deliver.

My experience in Edinburgh, Scotland so far has been a bit of a so-so experience. That being said, the food is not in fact so-so, but a bit of a disaster. To find a decent meal, you must have a guide and little preference. Once you find a restaurant or cafe that doesn't have pre-made food, you check a menu full of extremely high prices. If the pound were equal to the dollar, it would be understandable, but it is worth twice the dollar. You order the food, then wait... and wait... and wait. It takes maybe half an hour to get sandwiches. Only one person is working on the food. The other 3 are hanging out and cleaning dishes.

Shopping for food isn't exactly great either. Much of the produce is horrible. The artichokes were completely brown!

I must admit, I fell into a tourist trap. A sign said a bakery made Mars bars in batter. I rushed inside and bought one. It wasn't horrible. It tastes basically as it sounds. It was just bad enough to throw out after the second bite. I'm not sure each bite was worth a pound, though.

I wasn't even allowed into most pubs. They need licenses to not serve alcohol to minors, so i couldn't just get food. Somehow, I don't think this system works, seeing how Scotland has one of the highest rates of alcoholism.

The one thing that I was impressed with was the cheese and lox. The fatty cheese was creamy and rich while the lighter cheese was crumbly and slightly tangy. The lox was as good as I've had and the kippered salmon had a delightfully spicy aftertaste. At least if worst comes to worst, I can always have a picnic.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Little Big Planet Beta is Closed

I got an email address at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival to someone in the beta. I emailed them and asked for help to get into the beta. They told me that the beta was now closed. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to wait a couple months to play it again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Little Big Planet: The Collector's Lair

This is the final boss of Little Big Planet. We lost.

Little Big Planet Helicopter

A Helicopter clone in Little Big Planet. It's made with Sackboy and a jetpack.

Little Big Planet Bull Riding

Stay on the longest to win!

Little Big Planet Japan and Ninjas

The title is pretty self-explanatory.

Little Big Planet Rocket Powered Car

This is building a rocket-powered car in create mode.

Video of Representative Telling Me Release Date

He says October 24th. Let's hope he's right.

Little Big Planet Picking a Level and Costume

Here's a video of us picking costumes at the level select screen. I also found out that if you double click the analog sticks, hold them down, then rotate the sixaxis, Sackboy rotates his pelvis. I wonder how this could be useful ANYWHERE.

Little Big Planet "Fiery Maze"

Here's the second video I took. There are plenty to come, don't worry.

Little Big Planet "Spline Rider"

Somebody asked for a video from Little Big Planet. Here's the first one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Little Big Planet at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival

Yesterday I went to the Edinburgh Interactive Festival with two and a half hours and nothing to do but play and talk about Little Big Planet. Literally. Everything else there was actually pretty boring.

Last month, I asked visitors of Libipl.net to give me questions to ask the representative at the festival, and, surprisingly, got all but one answered.

1. Are there plans to have machinima tools available?

No. None.

2. Can there be a flying machine?

No, but there is floating material.

3. Can you place a sackboy NPC?


4. Can you create an unbeatable level to put online?

Yes. No testing is required.

5. Is there a fedora or a kilt?

There is a fedora and there once was a kilt, but he's unsure of it coming back.

6. Is it possible to make a machine as easy to control as sackboy?

You can make a machine easy to use, but you cannot use it as easily as sackboy.

7. When is the demo/beta coming?

No idea.

8. Can you make invisible objects or a very dimly lit room?

Yes. They've already made a level that's dimly lit.

9. Will level remakes be allowed?

Yes, but naming them after the real level might get them deleted due to copyright reasons. Media Molecule has already made Super Mario Bros. Level 1-1.

10. Can you make multiple spawn points?

Yes, but to respawn, you must be closer to the point you want to respawn from.

11. What will be in the first batch of downloadable content?

Mostly things to dress up your character and possibly some levels that were taken off the list. He says that they might also let you download songs for your levels.

The beta had plenty of glitches including spazzing characters and levels that can become incompletable, but not too much to be fixed in two months (they'll have to work hard, though!). They also haven't officially named the fluff yet.

One thing that I particularly liked was the mini levels. They could be anything from a marble puzzle to an infinite rodeo ride or Jetman clone. There was even a Line Rider-like level!

I was a bit disappointed in the control, though. I was expecting more of a Mario-like control in which the jumps are fast and are as easy to control as on land. It was not such and a bit floaty. You also have to tap the control stick up and down to change which depth sackboy is in, rather than free-running between them. Also, if there's a wall with empty space in a neighboring depth and you jump against the wall, Sackboy automatically jumps into the neighboring empty space. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it does.

I also got to play the final boss; The Collector's Lair. It wasn't too hard, but it was well made and very cool. I'll post a video of it later.

I was saddened to hear that there would not in fact be any music importing, so all narratives in the game will have to be in text form. There will also be no picture importing, so everyone ready with picture files on their computer will have to resort to taking Playstation Eye pictures of their computer screen.

I am happy, though, to report that the game is confirmed for an October 24th release date worldwide.

Now, this preview may seem a bit negative, but I assure you that the game experience is amazing. I am convinced that Little Big Planet will become the Youtube for video games. It's just not quite perfect. The representative that I met was a graphic designer that got the game to test 3 months ago. He normally doesn't like or play video games, but he plays it every day with childish wonder, amazed at every nook and cranny of it. It's a definite system seller and revolution in gaming. I bought a PS3 for it already. Let's hope for a large and brilliant community.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I haven't posted a real story up for a while, so I decided I would. I wrote this whilst waiting for a plane.

Death is almost always moments away. If I go into a car, I know that I can end it all if I just open the door and jump out. When I walk along a cliff, it is ridiculously easy to fall off. It would be even simpler to injure myself by catching my arm in a door or falling on a cactus. Life is a danger to me, or rather, I'm a danger to myself. That's why I'm different. That's why I checked into the asylum.

The staff here is nowhere near competent. They don't realize that a stray rope can be used to hang yourself. What if I were to lose control? I'm a creative guy. Give me a glass of water and I'll drown in it. Just keeping me unrestrained around here is a huge mistake. I'm not so concerned about my killing others, though. If they die, that's their problem. If I die, then what can I do? Nothing, and that's what I'm scared of. Death is so easy. Why can't it be harder? Shouldn't there be a stack of paperwork for something like this? No. It's just a one-sided fight of the world against me.

The Game I Would Like To Destroy

Recently, ScrewAttack.com asked what game would you like to destroy. This is my blog entry.

If there was one video game that I would like to destroy, it would have to be Yoshi: Topsy Turvy.

Hate Topsy

You constantly have to recalibrate the motion sensor, the game is laughably easy, and no part of it is fun at all. Unfortunately, the worst part about it is that it's supposed to be a spiritual sequel to Yoshi's Island, one of my favorite games ever. They didn't even keep in egg throwing. I know. It's horrible. The only reason I beat this game is so I could confirm how bad it is, and I regret it now. I WOULD destroy this, but I'm now a collector and I hope to teach future generations just how bad a game can be. Even abominations need to be documented to better mankind.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Objectives: Marriage

This is a video of me playing the improv game "objectives".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Top Video Game Levels

Sure, some games are cool as a whole, but how come nobody discusses singular levels? Here are the top 5 levels that bring the most vivid memories.

5. Bottom of the Well (Ocarina of Time):
I shiver to think of this. It took me a long time to realize how easy this level was, so I fumbled around without the eye of truth, trying to memorize the invisible floors and falling over and over again into the redeads below. Their screams still haunt me at night...

4. Monstro Town (Super Mario RPG):
Yes, this technically isn't a level, but there are like 4 bosses in it, so I'll count it. Monstro Town was the biggest surprise to me in SMRPG. It made me realize that monsters had feelings and personalities. Then I would think back to all of the monsters I killed before just to level up. Even the creepy wolf was a cool guy when you had a conversation with him. And the tiny goombas were just adorable. The one monster I did not sympathize with was the sensei. That goddamn sensei kept killing each character with one shot and JUST WOULDN'T DIE.

3. The Last Level (Portal):
Sorry, I don't know what the last section of Portal is called, but it was really cool. I loved how you had to escape your fiery death, run aimlessly through Aperture Science, solve puzzles that look like they were never meant to be solved, and eventually fight GLaDOS in one of the most amusing boss fights ever.

2. Jumpin' Jack Flash (Elite Beat Agents):
I was boooooorn in a cross fire hurricane. Yes, my favorite level from my favorite music game was definitely the last. It was extremely hard, but awesome at the same time. I find this kind of embarrassing, but I actually think that they're cover of Jumpin' Jack Flash is better than the Rolling Stones' version. I never beat it on the hardest mode, but I got so close! Too bad my DS is screwed up now, because I'd replay that level anytime.

1. Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy (Yoshi's Island):
This was the coolest level EVER. You see the fuzzys around and assume that they're evil, so you avoid them. Then, eventually, you accidentally hit one and go into the druggiest video game experience this side of Katamari. It was supposed to be an obstacle, but I now see it as the best power-up of all time. Unfortunately, like the Kuribo Shoe, it was only used in one glorious level.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Has anyone else here played the Tomba! games? I beat the first a while ago and the second one today. When I checked if Whoopee Camp (worst name for a company ever) had made any more games, I had been startled to see that it broke up after Tomba! 2. I really like this series, but it's gone now and there's no possibility of it coming back... What if the Mario or Zelda series never made it past game 2? That's what this feels like to me. This already amazing franchise would have gotten better and better, but it never made it.

The creative director went on to make ICO. I've never played it, but I've heard many great things. He's still out there making the best of games! I just wish this man would one day look back on his past and say, "Hey, that was a cool game. Let's try and do that again."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Idea of a Girlfriend

This story is technically fiction, but the character is me.

I sit on my friend's bed, waiting for him to get back from the bathroom. I survey the room and find that he has four pictures of him hugging girls on his walls. His girlfriends... He's by no means a lady's man, but he's somehow gotten four girlfriends in the past few years. I lie back onto the bed. Why does he have a girlfriend? Why don't I? I'm much more likable than Greg. Girls love me. I... No. This is my fault. I've been avoiding relationships on purpose. I can't handle something like that. I can hardly take care of myself. Do I hate myself...? No. I hate society. For some reason I have to have a friend that's MORE than a friend. Somebody who is potentially a partner in marriage. But not really. I need practice first. It's a sadistic idea. I need to love someone for a period of time, then I'll eventually have to tell them that I don't love them anymore. Then I'll probably have to avoid that person for the rest of my life. Greg enters.

"Greg, why do you have girlfriends?"
"Umm... because I like them as more than friends?"
"No. You would just have them as friends if nobody told you that you needed a girlfriend."
"I guess..."
"So is it just peer pressure? Do you genuinely care about them?"
"I kind of do and kind of don't. I learn to care about them and we get close."
"But... nobody around here is like me at all."
"...... What am I supposed to say? Too bad? Am I supposed to find you a girlfriend? When you find someone that you like, ask them out."
"But... no. I'm... not like you, Greg. I can't just say, 'Do you wanna go see a movie'. I'd feel sleazy taking a girl out to a movie. I'd feel like I'm taking advantage of her. Actually, I feel like having a girlfriend is just two people taking advantage of each other. It's so horrible, and yet I want it so badly. I feel like a creep!"
"You both know what you're doing in a relationship..."
"No. That's not true. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know what to say to my parents. I don't know what I should invite her to. I don't know how much I should like the girl. I don't know if I should say 'I love you'. I don't know how to kiss. God damn it, I'm the only guy I know who's never kissed a girl. How would I be able to cope with anything? I'd be a horrible boyfriend and I can't accept rejection. I might as well live life alone..."
"I'm sorry. I... I'm sorry."

Yeah... That was less a story and more a pouring of emotions. At least it's realistic.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


After a long wait, I have another comic! This was thought up while I was having a conversation about quadruple amputees.

The comic is at the title link.


This is a video I made at Shakespeare camp. Upon searching Youtube, I see that this video is not exactly original. Oh well. It's better than the other.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dungeons and Dragons Prologue

Me and my friends at camp are going to start playing Dungeons and Dragons, so I'm making a prologue.

A group of travelers from the village of Dowthorne have come to the religious city of Sethia for their yearly pilgrimage. After praying at the temple, they stay for a night at the local tavern. Before going to bed, an old male dwarf warns the group that their will be an earth-shattering quake on their path home tomorrow. The group of travelers laugh at the idea and tell him that one cannot predict such a thing. They go to sleep without a worry in their mind. They set off for Dowthorne at 9:00 AM. At 12:30 PM, they decide to stop and eat their lunches. As they pull out their sandwiches, they feel a small rumble in the ground. They joke to themselves about how this was the old man's great earth-shattering quake. They feel another, greater rumble, and drop their sandwiches, realizing the error in their ways. The ground shakes violently and breaks up to reveal a bottomless pit which swallows the travelers.

The group awakens at roughly the same time and they find themselves at the bottom of a pit, the little amount of sun shining down into the cave being the only light source. They, being a brave group, resolve to find a way out of this cave and to get back to civilization soon.

Forget Duke Nukem Forever!

To truly understand the work ethic of 3D Realms, you must watch this video. And yes, this was truly what they showed at E3.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Little Big Planet Trailer

They just want to torture me, don't they?

More Mario and Zelda on the Wii!

Apparently there will be more Mario and Zelda games coming out this generation for consoles AND handhelds. It won't be for a couple of years, but hey, I'm happy that they've started!

Source at the title link.

Who's That Pokemon

This video so simple, yet so great. It's not brilliant, but it's so addicting. I'm gonna watch it again, now.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Hunter and the Prey

This actually just happened.

I have watched a fly buzz incessantly around the room for far too long. I lunge at it, shoe in hand, time and time again. This is either a really smart bug or I have horrible hand-eye coordination. This isn't working. I've come close to breaking my picture of Tin Tin, but the fly remains intact and won't shut up. I need a better weapon. I look around the room and find the perfect weapon; the chemistry regents workbook. I take it in hand and I wait until the fly has landed on a window for one last time. I focus on my prey, bring the workbook slightly back...WHAM! It barely hits the fly, but it goes down. Oddly, the corpse is nowhere to be found, but I don't care. I need to go to bed and am filled with relief. The suburban hunter has succeeded again.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Western Culture Hiding the Truth About Food

A while ago I went to a restaurant in China town and I saw this staring up at me from the plate. At first I thought it was strange to eat something with a head. Then I realized that all meat had a head at one point. Western culture had blinded me from the truth. I had not appreciated all of these years that what I was eating was not a plant, but a being that had lived. I felt sorry for it, but then I also realized that it was simply the circle of life to eat other animals. Becoming a vegetarian wouldn't be an option for me anyway. There's no way I could look at a lobster and not think of making a meal of it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

An Argument

Sorry for not posting for a while. I won't do it again. This is just a quick argument. I must admit that it was fun to write.


You're always sighing. Why? It's not like you're bored.

Life gets a bit monotonous after a while...

No it doesn't. Your life is perfectly fine and you're happy ninety percent of it!

That's not true! I suffer sometimes.

Like when? During the visit to the dentist? When you stubbed your toe? There are people starving in Africa!

That's your argument for everything. Can't I feel bad without worrying whether someone is feeling worse?


Look, I'm sure that many people have worse lives than me. I'm just saying that sometimes you should focus on your own life rather than others.

You self-centered son of a bitch.

Now you're acting all high and mighty as if you're God! You constantly do attention grabbing things! Last week you lost the remote and got the whole damn house to search for it!

Screw you!

I'll make sure not to sigh near you again.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Best Video Game Sequels that Hardly Resemble the Originals

A lot of video games have sequels, but most of the time they just seem to be expansions of the original. Fortunately, there are some games that wipe the drawing board clean and start anew with a game that is just as, if not more awesome. Here are my favorite sequels that do just that.

Super Mario Bros. 2: Sure, it wasn't originally planned to be a Mario game, but it tons of fun nonetheless. Four very different characters to choose from, hidden warps, creative bosses like Mouser and Birdo, and of course, plenty of vegetables to pick. This game might not have been on the list had there been no vegetables.

Donkey Kong Country: Although Miyamoto didn't like it, Donkey Kong Country was one of the best platformers out there. It had arguably better than N64 graphics and made an antagonist one of the most beloved game characters. It was so great when you rolled off a cliff for an item then jumped back onto land. Physics be damned! You wanted that extra life and you weren't going to let common sense stop you! To this day, it's still fun to watch a gorilla ride on top of a rhinoceros.

Paper Mario: Yes, a second appearance by Mario. He's in a lot of lists because he's been in a lot of good games. That's the reality. Paper Mario is the unofficial sequel to my all-time favorite game; Super Mario RPG. The original had a compelling story, some of the best music in a video game, and oodles of secrets. Paper Mario had none of these, but it did keep one thing; amazing graphics. While they may not be the most advanced graphics for its time, it was so cool to see how everything in a world was set up like a pop-up book. It made it even better when Mario fell and he floated down as a sheet of paper. The game wasn't thrilling during battles, but outside of them, there were a lot of puzzles to solve. I guess that's why there were no battles in Super Paper Mario...

Day of the Tentacle: In my opinion the best point and click game, the sequel to Maniac Mansion was hardly like the original. Only one of the playable characters stayed and rather than the evil doctor being the villain, he was your friend. Unfortunately, one of his pet tentacles drank toxic waste and became evil. To make a long story short, you and your friends get lost in time and you have toilets to communicate with each other. Although this sounds like a bad idea, it was actually a great story. The puzzles were cool to see play out. For example, if you get George Washington to cut down a cherry tree, it will disappear in the future, or if you put wine in a safe place, it can be found hundreds of years later as vinegar. All in all, it made you think, but it was extremely humorous while doing it. Maniac Mansion was so hard, that I couldn't beat it, though.

Yoshi's Island: Let's end with a Mario game, shall we? Yoshi's Island was the pinnacle of platforming. There were secrets, items to collect, an annoying sidekick, and the coolest bosses. In one you were shrunk down and eaten by a frog, another fighting a man-eating plant that surrounds you at all sides, and the last was shooting giant eggs into the distance while a giant Baby Bowser was inching towards you. Some may say that the game looked kiddy, but anyone who has played the game knows that it takes skill and willpower. This game was nothing like Super Mario World, even though it claimed that it was Super Mario World 2 on the cartridge. Super Mario World was a great game, but Yoshi's Island was just...epic.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Seven Samurai

This is a movie review that I wrote for school last year.

I felt that the Seven Samurai was a great movie, although at times it was quite boring. I liked how 7 different people (master tactician, apprentice, old friend, wood chopper, skillful one, serious and skillful one, and a crazy farmer’s son) with hardly any relation to each other faced 30 bandits in a few battles. It was also interesting how the farmers weren’t completely innocent themselves, as they had killed injured samurai in the past and stolen their weapons. I thought that the part where the apprentice was in love with the farmer’s daughter was unnecessary and it just abruptly ended. The story with the man who had lost his wife to bandits showed how important family was, but it was also boring and dragged on for a while. One of my favorite parts of the movie was when the old man was playing an instrument really badly for the whole scene, and a guy sleeping there said to stop because it was depressing. The other guys said, “No, keep playing!” It was also enjoyable to watch the sparring with the bamboo sticks. It was also really cute when the farmer’s son samurai was so loved by the children. It really depressed me when he died in the end though. He was the staple of the group. What I question the most from this movie is why didn’t they use the horses they stole from the bandits when fighting? It would’ve made the battle much easier. They only used the guns once, which could’ve killed the leader much more easily. It was really sad in the end when it showed the graves of the four samurai that died. The leader said, “Once again we have lost the battle. The farmers won.” I finally understood it meant that he had always beaten the enemy in the past, but he lost his friends. Although I found the movie a bit long and tedious, the Seven Samurai was amazingly well made, the weapons and scenery looked realistic, and the battle scenes were extremely intense. I give it 4.7 out of 5.

230 Games!

I just beat Mega Man 4-6 (I want to beat them all before Mega Man 9 comes out.), I remembered that I played Mega Man: The Power Battle at a private school I went to (They had an arcade machine under the cafeteria!), and I recently started playing Viva Pinata, so that's 5 more than before. I'm steadily moving along here! I'm almost done with Lego Indiana Jones and I'm planning to play a lot of Mega Man, so I'll probably get to 235 pretty quickly. The list is at the title link.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pulp Games

I just realized something today while playing Lego Indiana Jones. This isn't an amazing game with anything that wowed me or any depth whatsoever, but it was fun. I call this Pulp Games, as novels with no depth or real point are called pulp fiction. Although it can be debated, almost all games have some sort of depth or innovation; something new. Others are just updated from the last edition of it. The Lego games are all basically the same, except the settings, characters, and puzzles change. The story is completely taken from the movies, so there is nothing in that either. This idea can also be applied to sport games which simply change the roster and other small things every year, the first Mega Man games (okay, they had a bit of story, but they weren't exactly compelling), and Mario Party. Is there something wrong with this? Yes. While each game may be fun in its own right, the developers dig themselves into a hole which is not easy to get out. Just how many Guitar Heros are there going to be until Harmonix comes out with something original? Don't get me wrong. I love games like Katamari as much as the next person, but I want to see new things from those people! I love that feeling when something cool comes out, especially if I've never seen anything like it. Luckily, the original creator of Katamari is making a game for the PS3 that is not about Katamari at all. It's good to know that people can start anew, even after getting wrapped up in a hit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Land Ownership Essay

I actually didn't make this for a class or anything. I just thought it would be an interesting topic to write about.

When I was a little kid, I lived near the border of two towns. Nearby, there was a fence that separated town A and town B. I thought it was a strange idea that your location could change so drastically in an instant. I would sometimes walk through the gate, back and forth, telling myself that I was in town A, then town B. It seems a bit silly now, but I was testing whether anything really changed across that border. Although the adults told me that town A and B were different places, I could find no difference.

People own land by claiming it is theirs, whether through discovery or attaining it from others. This is a strange idea to Native Americans, as they see the land as public, something that can't be owned, just borrowed for a while. When Europeans came, they asked to buy their land. The Native Americans didn't understand that they were giving away the right to use the land, so they happily sold it. Was this naive of the Native Americans or irrational for the Europeans? Who had given the Native Americans the land in the first place? They just happened upon it. That didn't make it theirs. Vast undiscovered lands are found and people instantly claim that it is theirs. There are other animals living there, but if there are no humans, then it is for the taking. Are humans the only ones capable of ownership? No, other animals have possessions. Even when there are no other forms of life, it is still a ridiculous concept. Governments claim airspace above their countries and even the United States put a flag on the moon, signifying that a whole planetoid is owned by a country a ridiculous distance away. How can people claim that these are attainable?

Lands are not things that can be owned. It's all just part of nature. When one claims property, does it include space above and below too? What limits can be made? Modern society is dependent on land ownership, yet it undoubtedly makes little sense. Is it too late to change? Yes. The world is built on flawed logic.

80 Unique Views Today...

Well, now that you're all here, are you going to keep coming back? If you are, thank you. Plus, I feel like I'm talking to a wall if there are no responses, so would you mind a couple comments here and there? Much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spore Creature Creator Part 2

Good news is that I downloaded it. Bad news is it doesn't work. I got to the initial screen with the galaxy in the background, but there are no icons to click on! And I was so excited for this. I guess I'll have to play it at a friend's house...

Spore Creature Creator

Yes, it got leaked, but not for a Mac, which happens to be my computer. At least the official one is out tomorrow. I'm actually really excited for this. I love the idea of making an animal basically from scratch and being able to move it realistically. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to make with it, but it'll definitely have a lot of limbs. Actually, what I might do is try to make a realistic human. If I can make any animal, why not Man? I actually think it's not going to work, seeing as this version only has 25% of the parts. Ah, well. Anyway, I'm not actually sure if I want the whole game. The idea of making the animal is plenty for me. I don't need to conquer worlds with it. The only part of the game that really interests me other than the creature creator is the simple organism stage. It just seems like a cool idea to eat the smaller creatures and slowly increase in size. Well, I hope this will be fun.

Edit: Never mind. It's online already! I can't wait to play...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I must admit that I feel very similar to this character...

I hate nature. I feel that it's out to get me. Whenever I'm outside, I find some mosquito or anthill at my feet. I HATE bugs. I have nightmares about them crawling up my legs and covering me. I shudder to think about it. This is why I'm in the fetal position on a park bench. If my feet don't touch the ground, then bugs are less likely to get to me. I really don't want to be here, but my friend is playing guitar here in Central Park for a little extra cash. I like to walk through the park, but when I have to sit down, then I am more accessible to those evil creatures. Oh God! There's one next to my neck!...Killed it. I feel sorry for it. It isn't its fault that it's disgusting. Oh no. What if they come looking for the bug that I squished and find its broken body? They'll know it was me! They'll band together and crawl over me and bite me! How much longer do I have until my doom?!? I have to get out of here! I get to my feet and start to run away. I yell to my friend that I have to go. I can't take any chances. I need to get to my apartment. My sweet bug-free apartment... Or is it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

An Egg Yolk

Ah, the egg. Loved and hated by many. Some people refuse to even eat the yolk of an egg, saying that it's grotesque and foul tasting. Others, like me, will embrace the yolk, eating it whole or savoring it slowly. The hard boiled yolk is, I admit, a bit hard to swallow. I need some sort of drink with it to wash it down, but I enjoy the texture and flavor. Some might think this is strange, but I never put salt or pepper on my hard boiled eggs. I feel that it takes away from the taste. But the greatest egg dish of all is not the hard boiled egg, but the poached egg. It is a regal dish, often having its own cup, a throne if you will. Depending on mood, I may eat it on toast or plain. Here is the fun part. One must poke a hole in it, and golden liquid will seep out. Then they must take a bite or gobble it at once. The latter ensures them getting the most yolk, but the former allows the eater to contemplate the egg, to understand its true meaning. When I am eating an egg like this, I feel that I have reached a temporary euphoria. The only thing that can get me down is the idea that it will be gone soon. The poached egg is a perfect dish. There is no way to make it better.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best Day Ever

I wanted to work my fancy outfit into the comic somehow, and it actually came out pretty well. Necessity is the mother of invention, I guess. You can find the comic at the title link.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Liquid Pie

This is my third comic. The idea comes from my friend. He really thought that liquid pie would be a good idea. Admittedly, I thought it would be too... Find the comic at the title link.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

Nobody wants a long blog post. They want it to be short, sweet, and to the point. Has everyone become ADD? Yes. The internet has made us like this. And I'm completely fine that way. This is how long a blog post should be.

Eli Whitney

I made this comic in Chemistry class of all places. We weren't doing anything that day anyway. You can find it at the title link.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This is a little characterization piece I made in creative writing club.

George is a kind fellow. Well, everybody assumes he's kind because he doesn't talk. Some say that he's mute. Others say that his parents never let him talk. He does help everyone around town that needs help, as long as they ask. Nobody knows what he's thinking, though. He never shows any expression. As far as we know, he's a robot, just doing what he's programmed to do. He only eats at home by himself. Sometimes I even question if he's alive.

Unfortunately, we were supposed to be the character in an interview afterwards, and my character wasn't quite the interview type.

225 Games

I just realized that I had played Ms. Pacman and Galaga 3 (both with no ending), so that brought it up to 224 games. A minute ago, I beat Patapon, which I had staved off for a while. That brings it up to 225 games! Woo! The list is at the title link.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sarah Bellum

My little sister Anne likes to write. She likes to make up stories with no real point. I try to tell her that there needs to be some kind of moral or underlying message, but she doesn’t want to hear that. She just wants me to check it and say that I love it. So I do. Today I was called into her room and she asked me if she had a good plot.
“June, how’s this? There’s a girl genius named, ‘Sarah Bellum’, and she goes around solving mysteries with her friends. On her first mystery, she finds that one of her classmates is actually evil, but she has to find a way to prove it.” Oh how I’d love to tell her that nobody in their right mind would name a kid ‘Sarah Bellum’. But I couldn’t tell her that.
“That’s a great idea, Anne.”
“You think so? Cool! I’m going to try and write a series!” She’s always going to write a series, but the next day, she completely loses interest in the character. “Let’s see. How should I title this…? The Beginning of Sarah Bellum: Issue One; Volume One; Series One. How’s that?”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Running After Midnight

I asked my friend to give me a topic to write a scene about. He said to write about running after midnight (apparently a song name). It's not really a great story, but I think it's pretty good for just getting the picture.

I woke up in a cold sweat. It was 1:30 AM, but I needed to get up. I rolled out of bed and got on my socks and running shoes. I crept out of the house, closing the doors as quietly as possible. I got on the street and broke into a sprint as if I wasn't half-asleep. I ran like I was chased by a boulder. I couldn't run during the day because of the heat, so I had to get my exercise at night. But I was so tired... I slowed down to a jog, then a complete stop. I needed to rest. "I'll just take a nap on the grass here..."

I wake up again, noticing the sun, and look at my watch. Oh crap! I'm already an hour late for school!

222 Games!

I've beaten 222 games! I beat Ocarina of Time (I've played it a lot, but I just finally beat it). I'll make another post when I hit 225 games. The updated list is at the title link.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Julia Child IRB Review

This is an IRB review from this fall.

Like any good dish, be it soup or stew, dessert or appetizer, French or American, a book must have a good base. Julia Child’s book is quite unsurprisingly based on France and food. But just because it is a simple and predictable stock doesn’t mean that the book will be bland and tasteless. It is a stock so well made and so lovingly written, that you taste the book as both a literate masterpiece and a culinary one. One glorious whiff of the book and you’ll want to whip up a batch yourself!

And whip up a batch I did! My mother and I decided to make Pommes Anna, a cake made out of potatoes. We clarified butter, peeled potatoes, sliced them up, and poured the butter in a skillet. I started to put in the potatoes, slice by slice, but my mom told me that I was putting them too far apart. She tried to fix it, but just made it worse! We were upset and frantic trying to figure out what to do. But wait. In both the book and Julia Child’s cooking shows (which we had recently watched) she displayed how important improvisation is. “Just keep going,” we thought. “It’ll turn out fine, even with a few mistakes.” So we trudged on, putting the potatoes in as much of an order as possible. Then we tried to put in some pepper. And of course as in any well-planned procedure, an essential ingredient was missing: we realized that we had no pepper left in the mill, and could not find any more in the cupboard. To get the peppercorns! We raced around putting on the potatoes, sprinkling butter on, and trying to find peppercorns. Finally, voila! We found them somehow and ground some on. Next, the cookbook said to put a cover on the skillet. Cover? What cover? We had just bought the skillet today, and there was no cover when we got it. We rummaged through our pots and pans and found a cover that just fit inside. Crisis averted.

My Life in France is a delicious book. Julia Child is a master of describing food in exactly the right way. You feel as if you are eating the fish, drinking the wine, and soaking up France from the window of a tiny restaurant. The book isn’t all about pure happiness through food, though. She tells of the awe-inspiring cooking lessons at the Cordon Bleu. Once she graduates, she starts making a cookbook. Very possibly the most important cookbook of all time, Mastering the Art of French Cooking brought America out of the stone age of food. Julia put years and years of pain-staking research into this book. She worked day and night over trying to find which exact measurement of cream would make the perfect Burre Blanc, or how the measurements of flour would differ in France from America because American flour has less fat in it.

Julia Child was definitely a hero. Not the kind of hero that does his or her job because they have to, but the kind of hero that just loves what she does. She spread the art of French cooking and should be praised as one of the greatest cooks that have ever lived.

Video Game Burning?!?

Quote from a pastor:

We are considering having something similar to a rally where parents and children can bring CDs and video games that they consider are destructive to the mind set of our youth and have a burning, just like they had a gun buyback last year...

Young people are being influenced by what they see and what they hear. They are being influenced by television ... television and videos are telling young people a vision but something that's not reality...

[Violent media] has a tremendous influence on young people and violence. That's basically all they see. Most of them try to emulate what they see, when in reality, the people they see don't even live in those communities. Some of the rappers they see on TV portraying crime don't live in the urban areas — they live in the suburbs somewhere. It's all a facade.

Yep. It's a revival of book burning. Look how much society has evolved!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fuchsia Dunlop IRB Review

When you hear the phrase, “Chinese food,” what do you think of? Shrimp lo mein? Chicken and Broccoli? When you hear the phrase, “French food,” can you make such a narrow picture? Most people would say no. This is ironic, as China is hundreds of times bigger than France and has many more delicacies to choose from. Fuchsia Dunlop shows exactly how little Westerners know about the second largest country in the world.

Fuchsia Dunlop set out to research China for the BBC. Almost as soon as she got there, she abandoned the idea of working for TV and started getting into the native cuisine. Amazed by the flavors and extraordinary food, she decided to take courses in Sichuanese cooking. She saw how much different Chinese culture was to what she was used to. Daughters are hardly seen as part of the family, in some parts of the country, people have never seen foreigners, and almost all of the people loved Mao, even though he killed many people and was a fierce ruler. Fuchsia was overwhelmed by this culture shock, but she started to become more and more Chinese, almost to the point where she couldn’t understand why some people wouldn’t eat chicken feet. Now she has become a food celebrity and she makes China seem like an amazing place to be.

As I read this book, I got more and more intrigued by China. The whole idea of a culture revolving around food and streets brimming with snacks piqued my interest. I had to learn more about it. So I decided to make a hot pot from the book and my parents and I drove off to Chinatown for Chinese produce and sauces. It was a blistering hot day, but we had to find my ingredients. We left the car and checked all of the stalls. It took a while, but we finally found some radishes, ginger, and cabbage. The cabbages were a bit bigger than normal ones, but the radishes were HUGE. They were practically the size of my head! There were also string beans almost as long as an arm! Whoever said everything is bigger in Texas has obviously never been to China. We checked a couple of grocery stores and found our sauces and I managed to find some milk flavored pocky (It melted by the time I got home, but it was actually white chocolate flavor, so it was okay.). One grocery had animal crackers with Macaw, Furseal, and Mandarin Duck shapes (I didn’t know that they were that specific in those designs!). The groceries smelled of dried shrimp, so getting out of them was a relief. After our shopping, we visited a crowded restaurant called Xo Kitchen. I wanted to get the goose feet, duck feet, or pig knuckles, but I stopped myself from getting too strange foot food. We did get a whole squab, though. Head and tail still attached. It was delicious. We went home happy (minus one parking ticket). Success!

The next day, we made the hot pot. We peeled and chopped monster vegetables, eating leafy cabbage slices on the sly. The Sichuan peppercorns’ bag warned not to eat as a snack, but they looked so delicious! My Dad chopped the meat and then stirred it into a spicy chili mixture. Covered in chili sauce, the colorless meat had donned a supernaturally spicy coating. We covered it in water and let it stew for a few hours. Just a little while now…

We put the dish in a fondue pot and watched it come to a simmer. We took our rice and a bit of the concoction. We raised our chopsticks to our mouth and felt the flavor. Not only did we taste it, we felt it. The hot pot had overpowered us. I dipped into my cran-grape juice funds and went for another go at this challenge. Nothing in that pot was the least bit mild. Then we remembered. The tofu! We threw it in, waited a little while and took a bite. Ah! Something that has that almost obnoxiously loud spicy flavor coupled with a cooling inside! We were pleased at this flavor. The radishes were also quite a good contrast, both bitter and spicy. Nearing the end of the feasting, we were delirious with spice. As Fuchsia Dunlop put it, “We couldn’t distinguish pain from pleasure.” And so ends my brief discovery of China.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rez HD Review

Wow. This game is epic. It's a rail-shooter that plays like a music game. It never really explained the plot, but I'm okay with that. It makes up for it in glamour.

You're basically in a computer that wants to kill you. You must use your human-like avatar to shoot and destroy all forces pitted against you. You can try and make combos by locking on or shoot directly by rapidly hitting the button (and destroying your thumb in the process). Your avatar flies around, delving deeper and deeper into this computer world to ultimately get to a boss. Probably the most interesting thing about this game is the world itself. The only solid objects are you (at full health) and the enemies. The rest is an imaginative freeform, sometimes in shapes of pyramids or sphinxes, maybe the Taj Mahal, but usually swirling and bobbing expanses. The music in the game is basically made by you. When you attack, you make a sort of clapping noise. When you hit, a buzz. Everything you do will orchestrate the game, making the game that much more amusing. Yes, of course the developers designed the levels to inspire you to shoot at these intervals and such, but there is room for creativity, and the idea that your gaming abilities are making music is quite amusing indeed. The bosses, although I have only played three so far, are very well made. The first is a sphere that throws a cluster of attacks at you while keeping hundreds of shields around itself. You must pick each one off. The second is a sort of monster that tries to shoot things through pincers at you. You must destroy each pincer, then go inside of it to kill the source. The third boss is a giant tower filled with turrets that shoots homing missiles. As you can see, this game holds back nothing and is a pleasure to just watch.

Graphics: 10 (They don't need to be real looking as long as they are stunning)

Story: 4 (Not much to go on, but the idea of destroying a computer from the inside out is cool)

Sound: 10 (When there's a game practically based on sound and does a great job at it, how can I rate it anything else?)

Gameplay: 9 (Most fun I've had in a shooter, but it loses a point for a slow cross-hair and it's irritating to restart a level from the beginning.) 

Replay Value: 8 (Keeps most of the fun in the second play, but loses a bit of the wonder of what's going to happen next.)

Overall: 8.2 (For $10, how can you miss out on this game?)

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Chat With an English Teacher After the Story is Written

No, this is not nonfiction. I just find it amusing to twist situations I'm sometimes in, hence the fishing story and this.

"I love the use of imagery."
"Oh yes. It makes everything in the story seem realer."
(What the hell is imagery?)
"And the character is very much like Ali Baba. I like allusions."
"Yes. I intended that of course."
(Ali who? Allusions?)
"So, what made you write this story?"
"I was just reading Great Expectations and the idea came to me."
(Great Expectations... I'd never read that. I was watching Lost.)
"Great Expectations? I love that book! What's your favorite scene?"
"I'd say the one when they find the polar bear on the island....I mean the first one!"
(Damn it, Toby! Think before you speak!)
"I need to read that again... Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow."
(I'm going to need to Wikipedia imagery later...)

Pokemon Graduation Speech

The sad thing is that we all know exactly what he's talking about.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Creepiest Game That's Not Trying to Be

Video games are sometimes meant to be scary. Sometimes they're not, but still send shivers down our spines. Here's a list of scary moments in games that are clearly not scary games.

  • Ghost houses in Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island: Boos aren't supposed to be scary. They're funny looking ghosts that are about as terrifying as a person covered in a white sheet. The thing that makes them creepy is that when you look at them, they don't move, but creep closer as you turn away. They're like stalker ghosts. Plus the music in the levels gets me antsy. I just want to leave as soon as I enter.
  • The haunted mansion in Super Mario 64: This is a whole different story. The boos in this game were 3-D and their smiles haunt my dreams... But that's not the only scary part. There were numerous eyeballs that stay focused on you, books with sharp teeth flying after you, and a PIANO trying to eat you. The first time I got near the piano and it started coming after me, I almost had a heart attack. And let's not forget the basement. There's a merry-go-round-type thing in the middle. And it played music ingrained in everyone's brain that has played this game. If I were to describe it, I would liken it to a clown with a switchblade hidden behind its back. *shudder* It took me until I was 10 to gather up the courage to get all of the stars.
  • Gruntilda's Lair and Mad Monster Mansion in Banjo Kazooie: Gruntilda's Lair was pretty scary, considering that it's a hub world. A little song that kept you on the edge of your seat, and a new scary thing every room. Let's not even discuss Cheato's rooms. For some reason I just needed to get OUT when I saw him. Anyway, each room had a theme. The first had a giant picture of Gruntilda, just to remind you that you were trespassing in world completely controlled by an evil witch. One had mummies, another was full of spider webs; needless to say, it is not an ideal living space. Mad Monster Mansion was full of ghosts and ghouls. It was cartoony, but in a way, that made them scarier. I tried to avoid this place while on my quest to get notes, but unfortunately had to gather my courage and check every nook and cranny.
  • Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask Skulltula Houses: What's scarier than a half-skull half-spider come down on a web in front of you? One that is fused with a human. The people cursed by golden skulltulas were made skulltulas themselves and now ask Link to kill those cursed beasts so they can become human again. I guess you're supposed to feel bad for cursed people, but I was just weirded and creeped out. I go in there, grab my adult wallet, turn for the door screaming and try not to set foot in there again. In Majora's Mask, there was only one of those guys, but I tried to avoid eye contact. I guess I just don't like monsters moaning for help.
It's kind of ironic that I didn't find Luigi's Mansion scary, because that was basically the only game on a Nintendo console that tried to be scary. I guess it's because the darkness and the ghosts became the norm.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Net Neutrality

I've gotta say, this is pretty scary.


Here's a quick story about a father and son.

I sit there in the dinghy with nothing but a fishing rod in my hands.
"Dad? When is something going to happen?"
"Any minute now, Charlie."
That's the same thing he said an HOUR ago. I think I'm going insane. Dad is concentrating on the water, as if when he looks away it'll be gone. He said this would be relaxing. He said it would be a BONDING experience, yet the only words that have left his mouth are, "Any minute now, Charlie." Dad doesn't care about me. This is just some stupid obsession of his that he can't do alone for some reason. I look at the murky water and I weigh the chances of being able to swim back. Never mind. I can't abandon my dad. I don't like him, but I have to be nice to him. It's just the way it is. I try to start a conversation.
"So dad, why do you like fishing?"
"I dunno."
Yep. That's my dad. Ever so entertaining. Wait. I feel a pull. It's a fish! I wrestle with the rod, imagining a giant fish thrashing around in the water. I've caught dad's attention. His eyes fill with happiness, urging me to pull harder. I finally get it out. It's a boot. All enthusiasm drains from dad's eyes. Without a word, he goes back to watching the water. Why can't he at least applaud my effort?!? I sigh, put my rod down, and stand up, dad not noticing at all. I'm swimming back.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's a Chemistry Joke...

I made a comic for my chemistry teacher... And all of my loyal readers of course!

You can find it at the title link.

Yoshi- Topsy Turvy

I beat Yoshi: Topsy Turvy. Goodbye and good riddance. That was quite possibly the worst game I've ever played. I would have to re-calibrate the tilt sensor every two minutes for crying out loud!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Prequel to the Elevator Story

I decided to add on to a story that I wrote (gasp!). This is what happens right before the elevator story.

I'm late. I need to get to work FAST. I run through the city streets, scalding coffee in one hand, briefcase in the other. Why must I run to this job? I'd rather literally put my nose to a grindstone than figuratively. Nothing but a dead end job with a stupid boss. I feel like I'm in a Dilbert cartoon, but this is cruel reality. There are no punch lines here. Everyone on the street has a place to be, probably a place that they hate. Why am I out here wasting my life away?!? I could be a sailor, or a race car driver... But no. I have neither the will nor the personality for those jobs. My job is perfect for the dull lowlife that I am. I can see the office building in the distance. Is it worth going to work today? Should I go back home even though I'm almost there? No. I'm going in today. I somehow feel that something good will happen...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Just Hit 220 Games

Yep. I just beat Majora's Mask, and that makes it 220 games I've beaten. You can find the list at the title link. I'll make another post when I hit 222 (222 is kinda symmetrical!).

Cooking Robots!

Oh. Ho. Eggs. 

I want this! I could rent it to people who play World of Warcraft and they could teach it to grind! Oh, and I could teach it to dance too.

A Quick Stop at Cones

After a Korean dinner (that I'll post about some other time), me and my father went to get ice cream. We found a shop with a large line inside. It was called, "Cones: Ice Cream Artisans". We strolled into the shop and I asked to try a few of the strange flavors. I tried cantaloupe (alright, but had a bit of a overly-sweet aftertaste), watermelon (a sticky grainy flavor), and, one I simply had to try, corn (tasted too MUCH like corn. I found a kernel in my teeth.). I decided to go with the old favorite; chocolate. Why sacrifice good taste for a zany taste? The chocolate melted a bit fast, but was satisfying as always. Next time I'm getting kumquat in rum flavor...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hot Water

This poem is an exaggerated telling of my thoughts when I use hot water. I realized that it was second-person halfway through, though. I don't know why that happened. Maybe to make the audience feel it more easily?

What is that feeling you get when you put your hand under a running tap?
You're not sure what the temperature is for a moment.
You're not sure you want to know.
In that split second, you will be scared you're getting scorched.
You want to pull away, but you can't.
You can't react quickly enough to avoid it.
You can feel the beads of water hitting your hand, but it means nothing until you can tell if it's soothing or destructive.
You relax into it and decide what's to be done is going to happen regardless.
The heat hits you and you snatch your hand back in surprise.
Why must every action you do be existential? 

Friday, May 30, 2008


I made this comic today. I originally made a rough draft for this in a friend's notebook about a month ago. I didn't think it was amazing, but she seemed to like it, so I made an improved version. You can find it at the title link.

And yes, the events the comic portrays happen all the time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Video Game Accessories

Is it just me, or are there too many video game accessories that are too expensive and take up too much room in our closet? There's Guitar Hero guitars ($40), Rock Band instruments ($130), the new Guitar Hero drums which you CAN'T replace with Rock Band drums (unpriced), Wii Balance Board ($40), and plenty others. Now these are the most expensive ones, but still, why am I paying more than $50 to play ONE game? But for some reason, I can't use a PS2 Guitar Hero controller for a PS3 Guitar Hero. Is it fair to the gamers to make them pay top-dollar to play a game? I didn't buy Rock Band, a game I had been anticipating for a while, because it was $180. And it's not just buy it and it's done. Guitar Hero needs TWO guitars to be able to play with a friend, and these accessories frequently break. And there's no replacement. I just have to hand over another $40 if I want to play again. I know that video games are made to make money, but maybe more people would buy the games if there weren't so many accessories you need to play. The only way I'm going to get my money's worth for each accessory is if they work with every console and game that can use it. And we all know that's not going to happen...

Robot Monkeys!

I'm not joking. Check out this youtube video on a monkey controlling robot arms with its mind.

Maybe someday all animals will have robot arms to eat marshmallows with.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I wrote this piece right here. Hooray for fresh material!

"I really don't want to be here..."
"Quiet, Luke!"
I sigh and shut my mouth. This is Kerry's grandma's funeral and I want to be anywhere but here. It's just...I like Kerry and all, but I don't know any of her relatives yet. We've actually only been dating each other for a few months. I introduced myself to her at a rock concert when I noticed that we both had the same tattoo of a burning skull. Small world. Anyway, from there on, I expected all of the things we would do to be hardcore. Now I'm at a funeral. I am bored out of my MIND. I look around to see all of the people. I amuse myself by making up imaginary lives for all of them. That woman crying is a housewife with five kids and secretly hates ketchup. That somber man is an over-worker who hopes to get a dollar raise in the toothpaste company he works for. That woman crying is... wait. They all look the same. I realize how boring this funeral is going to be. I crack my knuckles and Kerry holds my hand so I stop. She's never been this forceful before. What's wrong? I pull my hand away and try to focus on the procession. It moves at an annoyingly sluggish pace. I start humming "Stairway to Heaven" and tap my fingers to the rhythm. Kerry looks at me with a concentrated and frustrated face and says in a whisper, "Stop it." I try to fall asleep, but she elbows me. This is stupid. Why should we care so much about the dead? They're gone, so why have this big anti-party? Just forget about them. That's what I want. When I'm gone I want people to just get back to their lives. I'm just a passing guy. Who needs to honor me? I check the clock. An hour left to go. This is going to be a long funeral...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Delicate S-N

This is a comic I made a few months ago. I was just thinking of puns and decided that it would be more amusing if cartoon Toby created this one. I love the contrast of faces on panel three. You can find it at the title link.

Tina's Tea

This is the screenplay that I wrote for acting camp last year. It has no dialogue. It turned out really well on stage.

Tina folds grey overcoat and puts it in closet. She starts a kettle of water. She picks up a picture of her husband, and looks out window. She sighs, puts her fist on her chin and looks around. She goes around inspecting worthless knickknacks. The Tea Kettle Boils. She turns off the stove and takes out teacup. She puts on a stylish oven mitt and pours the hot water in the cup. She takes out a tea bag and slowly dips it in, as though she’s being forced to do it. She brings the tea into a room with a table and chair and sits down. She takes a spoon and puts it into a sugar bowl. She brings it out with sugar on it and brings it close to the tea, slowly and painfully. She drops the spoon and starts breathing heavily. She slows down the breathing, and then sheds a single tear into the cup of tea.

I know that this probably isn't as powerful when written down, but you can get the idea from it.

Monday, May 26, 2008


This was my second comic. I made it a week or two after the Bellybutton one. I don't think that the punch line is as good, but I think that the scene it creates is better. See it at the title link.

The Rubber Room

Has anyone else heard of "The Rubber Room"? It's basically a holding cell for teachers that I originally heard about on NPR. I think it's horrible and inhumane to keep teachers in a room doing nothing for seven hours a day. They can stay in that room for years, even if they didn't do anything wrong. They're getting their punishment before their trial. I'm scared for these people. I suggest that you spread the word about the ways that the Department of Education handles its problems.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

No Real Post Today

I'm sorry. There is no real post today. Most of today I was just being driven around. I went sailing with FRIGID water and the car show was pretty cool, but it got old pretty quickly. So really, not much happened to write about. I'll write something tomorrow when I have more time on the computer.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In Cooperstown

Right now I'm in Cooperstown; the most boring place on earth. Up here, the water is disgusting, everything is at least a few miles down the road, and nothing is interesting. Except I saw peanut butter pie on a white board at a diner. I've got to try that sometime... I also went to a pretty good dessert place with an authentic strawberry shortcake and at least a gallon of ice cream piled onto my cone. We all agreed that whatever radio station they were playing was horrible. Although it hasn't been the most amazing day, tomorrow we're going to an antique car show and going sailing on our Laser. I enjoy sailing, but it's a lot of work to set it up and put it away and the water is cold this time of year! I've also been thinking about driving recently. I've decided that when I need to get a car of my own, I'm going to get a Smart Car. Those things look awesome!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pork and Beans

This video pretty much sums up the internet. Weezer did a great job with this.

Pho Tu Do

I was on Serious Eats today and saw the forum post, "What is pho?" (pronounced 'fuh'). I checked it out and it intrigued me. It turns out that pho is a vietnamese beef soup with rice noodles. It has become very popular and there are whole restaurants devoted to the dish and its variations. I checked google and found some restaurants with pho, a few with strange names like, "What the Pho" and "Pho Shizzle" (I also found that What the Pho had broken several health violations). I then looked for some restaurants in Manhattan and found that the best reviewed one is "Pho Tu Do". I simply had to try it out, so when my mom came home, I somehow convinced her to go (the lamb in our fridge had to wait!). We met my dad in the city and found the restaurant.

If you see the restaurant from the outside, or even the inside for that matter, you would be skeptical why anybody would come from out of the city to eat there. It seems like any old asian restaurant and christmas ornaments hang from the ceiling like stalactites. We browse the menu and end up ordering a summer roll (shrimp wrapped in cellophane) and a "noodle" which is quite obviously not a noodle (it's like 4 large and greasy ravioli) for appetizers. I got a coconut for a drink, and I must say, it was delicious. I originally wanted the salty lemonade, but the waiter advised me not to. I couldn't understand why because he couldn't speak English well. I wasn't disappointed with the coconut, though. After I was done with the juice, I could mine out slivers of coconut meat from the inside and fish them through the opening in the top. I don't know why, but I enjoy slowly working at pieces of food to retrieve small rewards, like squeezing out the meat from lobster legs. The appetizers were pretty interesting, and I enjoyed the texture of the summer roll. Nothing amazing yet, though. Then we got pho (a 'special big bowl' as they put it on the menu), shrimp that we cooked ourselves on a small grill, and spicy shrimp soup with a coconut broth. The pho surprised all of us, having a deep and soul-warming flavor, slices of beef that pulled apart easily and gave an almost sensual taste, rice noodles that you slowly slurped into your mouth. It was as if it slapped us in the face and yelled at us for eating any other food. The shrimp was tender and delicious, but I was a bit disappointed that I had to shell them myself. When I had finally gotten to the spicy shrimp soup, I was so full, but I had to try the last dish. It had an immense curry flavor and changed in your mouth from mild to intense. It was also very spicy, but my coconut juice was out. I drank the rest of my water and reluctantly stopped eating the spicy soup. We asked for the check and I started spooning the remains of the pho into my mouth. We paid, then slowly rose, as Ken Kesey put it, like fat cats full of milk. We took our toothpicks, then strolled out of the restaurant like it was all a glorious dream. I wanted to visit the nearby "Double Crispy Bakery", but I was warned that Chinese dessert wasn't very good. Next time...

The food was amazing, the price was low, and the waiter seemed nice. My only complaints were he didn't speak English well and the atmosphere wasn't perfect. Other than that I can't see any reason NOT to go to this restaurant. If you live in New York State, make your next dinner one at Pho Tu Do.

Serious Eats

I previously linked to this site for the Grand Theft Auto IV food landmarks, but I also want to point out the great articles on food there. They range from bacon pizza, to mojito cake to a portable kitchen. I aspire to make my food posts as good as theirs someday. Check it out at the title link.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chinese Food

Another thing that I've noticed about Fuchsia Dunlop's new book is how much more complicated and rewarding Chinese food sounds. While Western food seems to just circulate around one or two ingredients and has a few seasonings to enhance the flavor, Chinese food seems hundreds of times more intricate. They have well seasoned dishes, focusing on the very idea of flavors, rather than just pretending that there is a limit to the dish. It's as if Western food just tells a sentence or a phrase, while Chinese food spins full tales about a culture or just nature itself. They also don't limit themselves to such few and boring ingredients. The Chinese use every edible thing they can use, making their food that much more complex. After reading most of the book, it seems foolish to me that we let pig's blood drain, or throw away organs. I want to try and taste everything and see just what kind of stories are made by chefs. I'm done with most of my fantasizing about European food. Asia's got my eye now.


Trouble finding the type of posts you like? I have just added labels to all relevant blog pots, so you can get to your favorite kinds immediately! Like my creative writing? Select "story". Like games? Select "video games. Like gastronomy? Select "food". Like the stage? Select "theater". Like the links that I recommend? Select "links". Just like to hear my miscellaneous going-ons? Select "rants". You can also type these keywords in the search bar in the upper left corner.

I hope that this will help everybody navigate through all of the unfavorable posts on my site.

The Coffee Incident

Two days ago,my friends and I were buying a friend, I'll call...uh...Steve, a bunch of iced coffees. You see, recently our school cafeteria has been making iced coffee for students for $1.50 a cup and each student was allowed only one cup a day. A couple of us went to go get coffee for him after he got his first because he was pretty much hooked on iced coffee recently. As more people went, the louder the cries were for Steve to drink faster. When I went to go, I asked for $2.00 for my cup. Steve said he had no money, so another one of the friends gave me two dollars and set it in front of Steve. He managed to drink 7 cups of iced coffee.

Yesterday, I found him drinking more iced coffee in the cafeteria. It turns out that he never fell asleep that night and they wanted to see how many he could drink before he crashed after the caffeine high. He seemed like he didn't want to drink more, so I asked him why he kept drinking more. He answered, "Because it's in front of me." A good reason if ever there was one. He got to 11 coffees when another friend came back after a while on the line with another cup. Steve started to sip it, then spit it back into the cup.
"How many sugars did you put in this?!?"
"I lost count after twelve."
He tried to drink the rest of it, but after half was done he spit some onto the floor and said he couldn't drink any more. The show was over.

This morning, I saw him in the halls and asked him if he was up all night again. He said, "No, I had a massive crash."

I know it was a bit cruel to just let him drink so much coffee, but he looked like he was really enjoying being so daring. Now we all have this great story to tell.