Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pumpkins and Apples

Well, we did it. Me and Leah went apple picking out in Illinois. She loves going apple picking...I love the pie she makes with the apples--it works out well for everyone. Anyway, we went a little later in the season this they had their pumpkins. Leah fell in love with a pumpkin. I bought her an apron (as an early b-day present). A good time was had by all. Enjoy the highlights:

Pink Water

Today me and Leah went apple picking over in Illinois, on the way home we went through downtown St. Louis. To our shock, we spotted this fountain spouting rose-colored water...we had to get out and snap a few pictures (I had taken my camera to the orchard). Anyway, enjoy these (un-doctored) photos:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Health Care & The Slippery Slope

Today in class Leah wrote down some of her thoughts about health care (I can't fault her for not paying attention to class...I doodle and write short stories). Anyway, before she went to bed she read her 3-pages of thoughts. In a nutshell, Leah supports government funded health care for children (until age 17). This makes sense, to me at least, because the way I see it the only people without much choice (at all) are children.

Anyway, despite agreeing with her, I argued against this plan. I said that I thought Pediatrics in general would go down in quality. Medical students would opt to go into "adult" medicine to make more money (after all the government isn't going to pay top dollar for this health care for children). Leah countered this by saying she'd give money to people who agreed to practice medicine on children (working through the government programs). I countered by asked where all this money would come
from--taxes of course. And why not? People pay for things (via taxes) that they don't use. For example, single/childless people pay for public schools. But it's all for the greater good. Schools educate people so they can gets jobs (instead of becoming criminals). But look at public schools (actually, don't...they're a mess). Imagine government run health care. I shudder.

Leah's big idea is that by having early health care available, people will grow up healthier--thus saving everyone money (fewer sick, uninsured people will lower costs for everyone). I think this is a valid point--but I don't think that it will create as big effect as she thinks. I think many people will turn 18 and become uninsured. All the good work done up till that point will be for naught (sort of). Also, parents who have to pay for medical care are less likely to clog the system with kids who are suffering from minor things (like colds, which can't be treated). I can see some people abusing free health care in this way. Every little cut or scrape will need attention. I'm not sure if a stuffy nose is what Leah had in mind (but some people will do this). Should I pay for every kid's scratchy throat?

But the biggest problem I have is, of course, the problem of dependency. I don't like the idea of people growing up so dependent on the government. Government is many things, but a protector of every person it is not. At it's best Government should help those who the most helpless, and those who non-government charities can't help. I'm not sure I am comfortable with having elected officials decide what medical procedures are "necessary" and which ones aren't. I'm not sure if Government should decide if my child in a coma should live. When Government starts footing the bill, it starts to get "opinions" on things it has no business thinking about. Government will end up essentially playing God. Only got a 35% chance of surviving your Cancer? Sorry, Trent Lott (who is not a doctor) and the rest of Congress decided you have to have a 36% chance of survival before we pay for your treatment. It'll happen--when more and more people start putting a strain on the system. As more and more people choose to not pay for their children's health care (sure, this plan might start as optional...but people will say "I'm paying for it anyway with my taxes!!! Why not use it?"). Pretty soon Government is telling you how many kids each couple is allowed to have ("We only cover two children, so you have to pay for your third...") for reasons of money and nothing else. Meanwhile "Private" health care will cost and arm and a leg. People will be forced by the market into Governments "loving" embrace.

And then there is the "Slippery Slope." Why only take care of kids? What about Seniors? Shouldn't they...after working so hard for so long, get 100% health care? What about nursing care? A friend of mine just put his granddad in a nursing home--for $5,000 a month!!! More taxes? Will that solve is? Maybe we should just let our old people die? (it is cheaper).

Also, I think clothing should be a "natural right" (to quote the Socialists) so why not give out free clothes. What about food? We could keep health care costs down if we provided citizens with pre-packaged meals (of healthy food, grown by Government farmers). Everyone should have a home, let's give everyone a Government home, too. Electricity is vital to modern living, some people can't live without it to power heating/AC units. Should everyone be guaranteed to get these things? Oh, only the bottom of the barrel, dirt poor...well who is that? What about the people right above them (economically)?

The fact is, unless the Government gives us everything--someone will always be left out in the "cold." As a society we must collectively try to reach out, but not through Government. Instead, churches and other non-profit organizations of charity should act as the safety net. Government's place is to provide us with peace and the freedom to pursue happiness. Government doesn't owe us anything, and we shouldn't give so much of our money to Government. I think there are lots of people who could afford health care if they made other lifestyle choices. Why should MORE of my paycheck vanish?

In short--I'm worried that people are going without proper health care. At the same time, I'm worried about certain politicians laying the foundation of a "Welfare State," where people are basically reduced to serfdom in service to the State. Where people let Government do terrible things simply because they are afraid to speak out and risk losing important life essentials. Essentials which, in a free market, are more affordable to a majority than they would be if regulated by Government. I don't know what the answer is. This is complex. I'm afraid the only human solution is to lay the foundation of a Welfare State.

I'll end with this thought. Do you really want the people who: Can't find Bin Laden, win a war in the Middle East (or tell us the truth about why there even is a war), admit that there is Global Warming, run decent schools, you want that group of people running your health care (or the care of your children?). I don't. I don't trust elected officials or bureaucracy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Finish(ing) the Fight...

So last night I went with Leah to Blockbuster, and at 12:00AM bought HALO 3 the second it came out. I stayed up till 1:30AM playing's really good. I want to say it's amazing, but frankly the single player is so far just "okay." The multi-player looks FANTASTIC...only problem is--I don't know anyone that plays HALO anymore. Leah tries to get into it, but all she wants to do is co-op (play nice) when I want to death-match (play mean).

The weapons and other toys are fun, and the graphics are some of the best I've ever seen (on any platform). Playing HALO takes me back to my Junior College days...workin' at the bookstore...fraggin' people on XBOX Live. Ah, memories.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Alms for the Poor"

Today, after I finished writing my rough draft for my English paper (due this week) the power went out in our apartment. It was still daylight, though dusk was approaching. I called the power company, and the recording they had said our power would "be back on by 5AM tomorrow" (it came back on at 8:30). So, instead of watching The Simpsons and (the new STAR WARS themed) Family Guy...I sat alone with Rusty and wrote a short little story (in a little red notebook).

It's called "Alms for the Poor."

I find that the poorer I get, the more I sympathize with those in extreme poverty.

I think the GOP should all go spend a week homeless. Hell, let the Dems join 'em (they can camp out together, like one of those leadership retreats). Might help.

A Cards game, Free CD (with a test drive), and my usual blahs

Last night I went to my very first Cardinals game. It was also the first time I've ever been to a MLB game NOT at Kaufman Stadium. It was weird being at a game where people were actually rooting for the home team. I'm not a big sports person, but I do like watching baseball. Usually I don't watch the regular season, instead waiting for the World Series. The Cards have been sucking it up this season, but last night we actually beat Texas (the seventh inning was very, very exciting). Leah's family went with us, it was nice.

Then today I was kicked out of the apartment early (for me) at 9:00. Leah had a woman come over with a bunch of wedding dresses. I don't she found one, but she did manage to break both the light fixture in the bedroom AND our vacuum cleaner! Anyway, I went to Bread Company and did my homework (with a bagel and cup of coffee). I came back when I was allowed and started working on a paper for my American Fiction class. It took me longer than it should have, though because I couldn't find the quotes I wanted to use (I need to start highlighting my book as I read along). Anyway, the rough draft is done, and I'm going to wait until tomorrow to finish it up.

Before leaving the Loop this morning I saw these people from Scion hanging out in front of Vintage Vinyl (my favorite record store). Intrigued, I my shock, I was told that if I took a test drive I got a $15 gift card to the store! So, naturally, I took a spin (not a bad little car, though it's exterior styling left much to be desired). Getting my gift card, I promptly went inside and bought a new CD (spending 5 cents on tax). What a lucky bastard I am.

I'm feeling quite "blah." This weekend has kinda sucked. I don't always get along with Leah's sisters and one (her favorite) is in town. I've kinda been on my own this weekend...and I'm feeling like I'm wasting my life a bit. Reading my friend Murphy's blog, I realized that I too am a "putterer." I spend lots of time not really engaged in anything productive. I'm dreading post-graduation. Also, Friday was me and Leah's 2 year anniversary and I wasn't able to do very much for her. I felt bad about that.

Speaking of which...can you believe in LESS THAN A YEAR I'm going to be married?! That also gives me the heebie-jeebies. God bless her, Leah just called me and she got in minor car accident...what am I going to do? I'm rambling, so I'm going to stop

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fake Vacation

Ugh...back writing

So as you know, I'm writing again.

Ugh...I thought I was going to be done...but for some reason I just couldn't stay away. I hatched this idea to start a story and then finish it like 7 different ways (seemed like a good idea). But, the as we all know these things have a mind of their own and I'm on page 20 of something I didn't see coming. I have so many unfinished stuff that I'm going to finish this thing (even though I have a bunch of other stuff to do as well). I should go back and finish "The Gossamer Trunk." I should go revise "Sea Change" (which could be my first novel if I actually worked at it). I have a million ideas, but they're all half-baked.

But I am writing again, and I guess that's the important thing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rock Buddies

My mom sent me some pictures she took last Friday of me and my baby sister Lindsey. These were taken just before we went to our concert downtown:

Don't be fooled by the cuteness...I've been told she's become quite the con-artist. I guess me and her have more than just a love of The Beatles in common...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To Care, or not to care...

...that is the question that I face every other day. Friends, Romans, college students--lend my your ears. Let me tell you about a class that "makes me want to drop out of LIFE."

Yes, it's time again for me to bitch about Shakespeare. I like the plays. Not the most accessible works today, but they (mostly) stand up to time. No, what I don't like...nay, what I can barely tolerate is my teacher and her class (and it's structure--or lack thereof). We sit there and listen to her prattle on about how she "would stage" such and such scene. Great lady...uh, can we talk about the plays? No? Okay, then sure...please play us three minutes of a 50 year old BBC production (never mind that 1/2 way through an old episode of LAW AND ORDER will suddenly appear, as you taped over the end of Romeo and Juliet).

This isn't a theater class...but she's trying her damnedest to make it one--despite the fact that we don't read the plays in class, or act them out...huh? All we do is listen to her do these silly ass voices as she reads some of the juicer lines from these plays.

Today she gave us an assignment (worth no points) that if we don't all do it she's going to start having pop quizzes. Fantastic.

I don't pay attention anymore. I drew this, instead, today (it pretty much sums it all up):

UPDATE: Not sure if anyone cares...but if you've seen my latest video blog, then you know I'm using a two page "story starter" that I wrote to write a bunch of crazy stories...anyway, I posted the (rather generic) 2 page springboard over at WRITINGS OF A LIMEMONKEY.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fathers & Sons in Melville

I just got out of my American Fiction class, where we are talking about Herman Melville's novel REDBURN. Two summers ago, MOBY DICK kicked my ass--so I wasn't really looking forward to REDBURN. Luckily for me, this earlier novel is much easier to get into. I think I'm going to have to add it to my "favorites" list. It's good, really good actually. As a young person starting life in the "adult" world, I find myself identifying a lot with young Redburn.

One of the last chapters we read for today's lecture concerned a guidebook. Redburn's father (who is long dead) used to travel abroad quite a bit in his youth. One of Redburn's prized possessions is this old battered Liverpool guidebook that was his fathers. Upon reaching Liverpool, Redburn tries to use it to see some of the sights. But the book is old, and Liverpool has changed. The book his father used to get around is no longer useful. Though he cherishes the book, Redburn discovers that he's going to have to figure the world out all on his own. I think that is a really good metaphor for life. No one can tell you what or how to just have to figure it out for yourself.

My father isn't dead, I can still talk to him, but the problem remains. I'm about to graduate college--something neither of my parents did (uncharted waters, if you will). I'm really nervous about my future, and I don't know what I should do in January when I'm out of school. My father can tell me about starting out, and the things he did...but Liverpool has changed. I can't rely on any one's past experiences to steer my life forward.

I'm reminded of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back to KC (again)

Well the weekend is upon me, and once again I'm going home to KC. This time, though, more selfish reasons...a concert. I'm taking my baby sister to see 1964: A Tribute (great Beatles cover band) over at the Uptown. The last time I saw them I regretted not taking her (instead of who I ended up taking). Anyway, I'm not looking forward to the long drive...however I think it will do me some good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Ah, Graduation. It's coming, soon...

The end of the line, that final step in the educational process. A graduate is supposed to be complete, confident, ready to face the world. Reality is crashing down on me. I'm starting to freak out. Luckily for me, I have GRADUATION. I first heard of Kanye West back in 2004 when his debut, THE COLLEGE DROPOUT came out. At the time, all I knew about it was that it was highly regarded and featured the cutest little teddy bear on the cover art. Then in 2005, during my first month living in the dorms my friend Ty asked me to burn her a copy of West's second disc LATE REGISTRATION. Naturally, I did (I did a lot of things that girl asked) and in doing so the album ended up ripped onto my laptop. For whatever reason, I left it there. A few days later, I listened to it from start to finish.

Now I'll admit, I'm not a very big rap fan. In fact, I can really barely tolerate most of it. My reasons are pretty much what most "lame" white people give when they criticize rap: It's demeaning to women, there is little ACTUAL music, there is no singing only shouting, I don't relate to it's common themes of drug dealing and street violence, all most rappers do is talk about how great they are, all most rappers do is brag about how great they are, etc.

All of my criticisms are valid, I think. All of them can be applied to Kanye West's music, too. Yet there is something different about his music, something that appeals to me. Despite being classified as "rap," West (who's actually more producer than rapper (even I can tell his delivery is weak)), takes risks and does things most rappers don't. True, he samples...but West samples THE DAMNEDEST THINGS--a quick glance on Wikipedia reveals everything from Elton John, Daft Punk, Shirley Bassey, Mountain, Steely Dan!!! What the fuck??? Steely Dan??? Combine West's propensity for unusual sampling with his favorite co-producer (and mega-cool-indie rocker) Jon Brion's lush strings/orchestration...and well Kanye West convinced me that even I could find rap engaging and accessible.

So I didn't blink when I heard that he had a new album coming out. I got in my car and bought it the day it came out. The album is great, however it's not as immediate as LATE REGISTRATION. I have to agree with the Rolling Stone review--this one will have to grow on you a bit before you get into it. Still, there are so many good tracks. The opener "Good Morning" with it's heavenly Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies, the Daft Punk-sampling lead single "Stonger," the confident swagger and breezy joy of "Good Life," and the melodic "Homecoming" (featuring Coldplay)--all are good on first listen. The rest of the album does take a few listens before connecting...and some fail completely. I'm thinking specifically of "Drunk and Hot Girls" with it's overall lame-ness (however even it's nearly redeemed by it's haunting piano/string combo).

Overall--if you need a work out "pick-me-up" pop in "Stronger." It will keep you on that treadmill/bike. And while I usually hate hearing a rapper brag about how great he his...I find I don't mind it so much when the person doing the bragging is (nearly) 100% right.

Jason gives GRADUATION an "A-"

I thought this was cool...and I nearly died this week

While I was cooking dinner tonight (chicken and dumplings) I snapped this pic of my the light coming through the kitchen juice acted like a prism, casting the room in a weird red glow.

It was nice.

Yesterday Leah's dad had me take some photos of a property he's thinking about buying. Anyway, this property is right next to the MetroLink. I was backing up, backing up, backing up...trying to get that "perfect" shot...and well--I ended up on the tracks!!! I snapped the pic and the MOMENT I GOT OFF this thing FLEW BY:

The Banality of Life, 9-11, and Art History

Well the Internet is out at our apartment (which is why I'm writing this on an UMSL computer). Yesterday was 9-11 and I was torn about what I should write. Thankfully our connection broke and it became sort of a non-issue. Before I started writing this, I visited the some of the blogs I normally read...and was surprised to see that most people had little (or nothing) to say about it. That made me feel a little better, because I felt bad for not having any passion on the subject. A few years ago I wrote a rather lengthy (and I've been told well written) account of that day. This year, with the election and war in Iraq...I find that my heart just wasn't in any sort of remembrance. I think like most Americans, I just want to forget.

Without any Internet or working television (I did watch a very snowy episode of HOUSE on Fox), I actually did some writing (of the "creative" variety). It's been, what? Four?? Five months since I did this, so that made me happy. I feel bad about this, but frankly--I can't get any work done in our "study." I feel bad because I know that if Leah wasn't there I could get some real work done, but I don't want to kick her out of her own I think I'm going to have to start taking my laptop to school with me (something I dread doing) just so I can get some work done after classes.

Speaking of class, I find myself starting to get "Senior-itis." Specifically in regards to my one "forced" class (Art History). It probably would have interested me a few years ago, but and English major, frankly--I could care less about Sumerian artwork. Sorry Sumerians. I've thus far skipped this class twice (once today). I felt not one drop of guilt as I retreated with my friend Paul to the Nosh. We talked, ate a bit of breakfast, and read REDBURN together (which is fantastic by the way). My Art History class is in this giant lecture hall...she doesn't take attendance, AND puts her power point lecture up on the web (not that I'll ever actually ever look at it).

I went to class Monday and read some Carlyle. Even though I was sitting in the upper/back tiers...I could feel her eyes blaze on me. She stopped class ten minutes early and gave us a "pop" quiz. Despite the fact that I hadn't been paying attention I was one of the first to finish. Here's a tip lady: never ask an English major to write a paragraph or two about his "opinion" of a work of art (we're good at bullshitting/filling space). After that sorry episode I was determined not to go back to class this week.

Anyway, I'm doing better now that things aren't going so well for me (if that makes sense). As I've stated time and time again--I only get the urge to write when my life is shit. So cross your fingers that the banality of life will continue to wear me down...maybe I'll get something useful out of it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is this "Perfect Day" thing real???

So the radio ruined my day. I was on my way to the gym when I heard something really disturbing on the Glenn Beck radio program. I know, I know...why the hell was I listening to that garbage? Anyway, he's claiming to have proof/knowledge of a large-scale coordinated attack on this country (so called "The Perfect Day"). As I listened I became pretty sick. Attacks on "soft" targets are nothing knew (see 9-11)...but elementary schools?

I really didn't know what to make of it. On one hand, I think something like this could be a possibility...then again, why is Glenn Beck the only person talking about it? I guess all this week on CNN Headline News his show is devoted to "exposing" this. I don't have cable, so I have no way of evaluating any of this...but if anyone out there hears anymore about this let me know.

I can't believe that the day before 9-11 CNN would stoop to such theatrics just to get higher ratings.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Being Recognized in Public

A really strange/surreal thing happened to me today. See, I hung out with my friend David (Davu) today. That wasn't the strange part...bear with me, I'll get there. Anyway he came over and saw the new apartment (making him the first of our friends to do so). We played Guitar Hero, which was great because I needed the practice. We talked, and then we went down to the Delmar Loop.

Now here is where things start to get strange.

Leah was at work while all this was going on, and felt a little left out. So after I picked her up (and spent over an hour battling traffic), I decided to take her to the Loop to pick up our dinner...

I was too tired to cook, so sue me.

Anyway, the weirdest thing happened when we got down there. Leah decided to stop at St. Louis Bubble Tea and buy some (delicious) bubble tea. So we went in, placed our order and waited for the guy behind the counter to make it. Here is where it got weird he's making our order, the guy looks right at me and says:

"Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?"

At this point, I started to panic a bit inside. You see, I used to drink a lot, and never know where the hell this sort of thing is going to go...


"Yeah, haven't I seen you on YouTube?"

The guy apparently GOOGLED "Bubble Tea" and a (really old) video me and Leah shot in the parking lot popped up. Apparently him and his brother had seen this video. NOW, how weird is that? Not only did this guy see my video, but we ran into each other in the "real" world. It was really awkward...and truth be told, I just wanted to run right out of there. But we had to WAIT a really long time for our order to get made. I've kinda slacked off on the video blogs, and I'm starting to think that might be a GOOD thing.

Because you never know who's watching.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Better Weekend

Well it's that time again...that time I hate. Yes friends, the weekend is here. This is my first weekend in over three months that I have OFF. I have stuff to do (homework, laundry, other domestic chores) but I don't:

1. Have to go anywhere

2. Have to move

3. Have to carry anything heavy

3. Get up early

THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, next weekend is going to be back to the grind. For some reason, I thought it would be a good time to go back to KC NEXT weekend. I'm taking Lindsey to a concert! (of all things). We're going to see this really good Beatles tribute band 1964 at the Uptown. I saw them like three or four years ago and they amazed me. I've been wanting them to come back to KC so I could take her (Lindsey is a Beatle fan like me). I haven't told her what we're seeing yet (trying to build the suspense) but I know she's going to be stoked when I tell her next week. BUT that means I have to drive to KC again. Ugh. And since it's a Jewish holiday next weekend, I'll be doing it alone (no Leah, no Rusty). Rusty I can't say I'll miss...but going without Leah will suck. I'll have to bring a bunch of CD's.

But that's all next weekend. This weekend I'm playing Metroid, doing my homework, and sitting on my ass. Hope your weekend is as good as mine.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MoZILLA!!! Revolution

Well today I finally did it. I jumped on the Mozilla Firefox bandwagon. Not sure if you saw it, but I added a reader poll to my blog today (concerning a problem I'm having...I need advice, please help me by filling out it out). Anyway, I added this poll to my blog--and BOOM! Everything went to hell. I couldn't access my blog. It would load, then just cut out.

I had Leah check it out on her laptop, and everything loaded fine for her. But she uses Firefox, while I still running Internet Explorer. So, I bit the bullet and downloaded/installed it. What a difference!!! Everything is working fine again. If you're still using Internet Explorer I implore you to make the change!

Don't be a fool like I was!!!

Today's Literature class

Because my friend Katie missed class today (shame, shame) I'm going to recap what happened today in class (for her, and I guess...anyone else that reads this).

Katie, today was pretty boring. Sylvia finished up talking about THE DEERSLAYER. We took a quiz (naturally) then started right away discussing the character of Judith Hutter. If you recall from the last class, I made the statement that I found Judith's sudden hatred towards Thomas Hutter to be...a little shocking. Sylvia SAID she was going to take up the character of Judith--but she didn't. WELL today she made up for it by spending nearly the entire class time talking about Judith.

As you know from the last few pages of the book, the fate of Judith is left up in the air. Cooper hints that she might have gone (and I thought married, but in class it was stressed that there was no marriage) off with one of the soldiers from the local garrison. The Deerslayer decides not to find out if the beautiful woman living with the officer is Judith. I can't believe she would go and marry the soldier--but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, a bunch of the grad students kept the conversation going.

Here are ALL my notes from the class (yes, I'm a bad boy and only took one page worth):

Also, there is some problems with the reading assignment for next time. It seems that some of the books the bookstore carried were a newer edition that doesn't have the CORRECT Poe and O'Brien stories (it has SOME Poe and O'Brien stories...just not the ones she wants us to read). I haven't checked my copy yet, but she said if you don't have them to just get them from the Internet or the library. Good luck.

Also on the way out she handed us a handout with possible topics for the first paper (due in like 2 weeks):

Walk Hard

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What I'm Not Supposed to Talk About...

My postings are becoming a little less frequent these days. Mostly this is because of school, but it's also because I have so little to say. Granted, not a whole lot is going on with me (seriously). But there is also another reason. I have two topics that have been sort of "big deals" but I haven't felt like I could really write about them.

Now, I usually don't hold back and censor myself...but these involve other people. So out of respect for them I have held back. Until now.

I'm worried about two people in my life. The first is my Dad. He recently had to give up (or just gave up of his own free will) his PTA Presidency at my sister's school. I don't know what happened, just that he's no longer President. My parents have always been heavily involved in their kids schools, but my Dad takes it above and beyond what the normal person does--it's almost a second job for him. Anyway, I have the feeling that my old man gets along with others about as well as I do (I am a chip of the 'ol block)...which probably had something to do with his departure. We Wendleton boys just don't play nice with others. He says he's fine, but I'm still worried about him. I hope he doesn't just sit at home...he should go out and find something new to do (then again, so should I).

Then there is my friend David (or Davu). He's the lad who runs HTTP 411: Cool Links with me. Well I guess he's in some sort of legal hot water. Like the big, big, BIG trouble. I don't know what the government is alleging he did, but I know it involved computers. I feel bad because I haven't been able to do much for him. That's about all I can (and should) say about that...but it's been on my mind a lot these past few weeks. Me and Leah want him to come over sometime and play video games (and see the new place, can you believe no one has come over except Leah's parents? Then again, you have to know people in order to get them to come over...I guess we don't know that many people). Anyway, I don't know (or really care) what he may or may not have done, just do me a favor and send him some positive NRG.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Weekends suck

Once again, my weekend sucks. I'm not sure when this happened, but it's been at least a month since I've had a weekend that wasn't shit. I was working all the time, then I moved out here (that was a shitty weekend). The following weekend was spent frantically trying to get unpacked before school started. Then school started. Last weekend was spent buried under homework and moving (again). Thankfully it wasn't me the one that was moving, but it still sucked.

This weekend I'm going home. I hate the long drive to KC. I have to go to a party I don't want to go to (I'm not very social, I admit it). Ugh...and then there is the homework. My last semester is tough. I have SO MUCH reading to do--I have to finish THE DEERSLAYER and read all of ROMEO AND JULIET. Also, I have a bunch of poems to read. Ugh...

With weekends like these, who need enemies?

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Leah rented the third Metroid game last night. We didn't get around to playing it though, because we both felt really crappy. Not sure what was going on, but we both woke up feeling better this morning. So, while I made blue berry muffins Leah fired up her Wii and started playing. Now before I go any further, I have to admit that I never did get into the "Prime" games on the Gamecube. Sure, they seemed well made...but from a graphical and control aspect they seemed a little poor. Then there is the HALO factor. I like HALO (a lot). The Prime games were always compared to HALO, however this is pretty unfair. Sure, both are first-person games, but HALO is a shooter. Plain and simple. The Prime games continued the proud Metroid tradition of adventure/exploration above wave after wave of baddies.

I like wave after wave of baddies more I guess, because I found the Prime games boring. What with their "scan-every-item-you-see" game play mechanic, and rather flaccid story telling. Then there was the control. Metroid Prime 2: Echos came with a (really crappy) multi-player...and Leah kicked my ass a lot because I could never get the one joy-stick control scheme down (sorry, after using two analogy sticks for the past 7 years I can't go back to Nintendo 64 style controls).

Anyway, I watched Leah play Corruption, and it looked damn cool. For one thing, Nintendo has FINALLY decided to use voice-overs instead of making you READ everything. This shocked me, even the latest Zelda had to be read...Then there are the graphics, which, while not as good as say GEARS OF WAR--are the finest on the Wii to date. The lighting effects are amazing, and the art style/art work is incredible and helps mask/make up for the Wii's graphical handicap. But the big story, is of course the controls. You use the nunchuk and Wii-mote. The nunchuk stick moves Samus, while the Wii-mote is used to look/aim. Like when the new Zelda game came out, I was dying to try the controls out. So, when Leah came to a slow part in the game I asked her if I could run around. I wasn't wowed initially. Then I started my own save file (after I took her to work). You really don't appreciate how good these controls are until you get yourself into a fire-fight. The Wii-mote is 1000 more accurate than any console control device being used in first-person shooters.

I noticed that Leah was having a bit of trouble aiming, but I(being a more advanced gamer) had zero problems jumping right into the fray. So far I'm only 5% into the game, but I've already had some AMAZING boss fights. One in particular struck me as awesome. I was in a room that resembled something out of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK's Cloud City. I was trying to switch on a large power generator, when a HUGE leathery bird-beast came out of the ceiling and attacked me. We both ended up falling down a long (really long) metal chute. The boss fight occurs AS YOU ARE FALLING. That's right! As you are both in free fall you have to fight this ferocious beast. It's snapping at you, firing a weird laser out it's mouth. Sometimes it grabs you in one of it's claws and you have to break free. A few times it tried to grab the sides of the tunnel to slow it's fall--when I shot it's hands it shrieked and let go, tumbling head over feet. This fight, and this fight alone impressed me more than anything. In fact, it's the best "gaming moment" I've had all year. Why, oh why can't more developers take a page out of Nintendo's play book? Games should be easy to get into and have fantastic/dramatic moments EARLY and OFTEN. Metroid Prime 3 does this over and over.