Wednesday, October 31, 2007

November 1 (novel writin' time)

Well it's nearly here! Tomorrow is November 1rst. I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. It seems like only yesterday I was in the bookstore with Leah...back then (a week ago, maybe?) it all seemed so easy. Boy, what a laugh!!!

I got an email from the NaNoWriMo people today...they were just reminding me not to start until 12:01 tonight (ha!). They also reminded me that I have to write 1667 words a day starting tomorrow to meet the 50,000 word deadline.

Sitting in Art History today (after I drew that impressive demon/devil thingy), I got to thinking about my novel. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to take the story in my head and make it go 50,000 words. There is only one thing that is going to save me: subplots. I'm going to need at least two to make it to the goal. I came up with 7 possible subplots, so depending on the way things develop I should be able to eventually pick two or so from the list.

Wish me luck tomorrow. I should have my word-count updated by 11:30pm tomorrow night (in case anyone out there wanted to follow my progress).

This is how I feel in class...

Drawn today in class...colored with Photoshop tonight:

I can't wait to graduate...

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I got up early and took Leah to work (Rams game). After I got back from downtown, I met Paul and Amber for breakfast (IHOP). By 11:30, they were gone and I couldn't help myself...I just couldn't.

I went to Best Buy and bought Guitar Hero III. I played it--a lot.

Currently, I'm 7 songs away from having the damn thing beat (on HARD no less!!!). It's good, not as good as GH2 (this one was made by a new company, the original company Harmonix is busy making ROCK BAND). Anyway, I went the cheap route and just bought the game. I held the new wireless Les Paul controller at a Gamestop over the weekend...I dunno, something about the collapsible neck didn't feel right, like it wasn't very sturdy. Anyway, I saved like $40 by just getting the game (instead of the wireless guitar/game package). So that's good.

I was worried about this game interfering with my novel (only a few days till November) but frankly, I've nearly beaten the damn thing. I think two things happened--first, they made this game MUCH easier than Guitar Hero 2. Secondly, I have gotten MUCH better than when I bought GH2 (I'd never played a Guitar Hero game before, so I guess that's why it took me so long to get through GH2).

The song selection is better this time around ("Welcome to the Jungle" and "Painted Black" and neither are covers!!!). But the character models don't look as good, neither do the venues (though they are pretty inventive). I think this is because the game was ported over to so many different systems (GH3 is on EVERYTHING). Oh well, when you're busy playing, you're too busy to notice how ugly the background looks.

As for the "online" play...I tried to get on and play today, but being the launch day the server was packed with people (either that or they were having too many bugs). Overall, it's a good game. Not a classic like GH2, but I'm glad I got it.

Oh and Kaiser Chiefs "Ruby" is a bonus song. Nice.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

An Awesome Nightmare

I'm not sure why, but for some reason, Tim Burton's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS has become a cult classic. I'm not complaining, I mean, it's one of the hipper things Disney has ever but out...but I'm still a little mystified by the whole thing. But, over ten years later (and millions in merch sold to sad, "goth" girls) the flick is back in theaters. This time in "Disney 3-D"!!!!

Now, I didn't see it when it was first released back in I can't really compare it to what was shown back then. However, I have seen it countless times (thanks in part, to my sister Amber who loves it) at home growing up. I was a bit skeptical of the whole 3-D experience, but I must say it was awesome.

The characters literally burst out of the screen...the flecks of snow seemed to be really was beautiful. Unlike the traditional 3-D classes of old, the ones we were given where not blue and red panes stuck in cardboard. These were clear plastic with heavy-duty black frames. They were kinda nice. Anyway, the picture projected on screen was fuzzy without the glasses on. Basically, what I was afraid of didn't happen--I didn't have to watch a red-blue-ish version of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The thing was in beautiful, natural color--the only difference was shit popped out of the screen (and the backgrounds seemed to have extra depth). Eventually, the effect did grow a bit tired. I guess everything was magic at one point, until it becomes everyday...this technology (which is better than it's ever been) will one day become old hat as well.

The film is in limited release for three weeks, I guess because of Halloween. For some reason, I've never thought of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS as a "Halloween" movie. I think of actually as a creepy Christmas movie...but whatever. I think Leah got a little bored (damn Jews...I sat through Adam Sandlers 8 CRAZY NIGHTS, at least Burton's flick has some interesting art direction). I didn't think it was going to be a problem, I even asked her before we went...but I could tell she didn't really want to be there.

I'm not really sure how this whole thing is going to work out. I ordered a copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL (love me some Dickens) from PaperbackSwap and she kinda gave me some shit about it...I'm not a religious person, it's just something I grew up with.

Anyway, if you get a chance (and you have an extra $10...which, I doubt anyone reading this blog has) you should go and check it out. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in Disney 3-D is a fantastic piece of pop art.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hail to the King(s)

Amber and Paul got into St. Louis this afternoon. We watched DEATHPROOF and went to Burger King...a good time was had by all...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Legends of Rock Demo

Well it's nearly here, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock comes out this Sunday. I had a plan on how I was going to snag the game. It involved me going to the store, and using my last $100 from Uni-Guard (uniforms) to buy it...

But, things change. The more responsible part of my brain took over. I'm nearly out of school. I just got HALO 3 (which is only now starting to loosen it's strangle-hold on my time). Next month I'm planning to write my first novel. It was that last one that finally convinced me to put my money to other things (namely Leah's birthday party, which is this weekend).

So today, I took the last of my Uni-Guard blood-money, and deposited it into my bank account. Then I went to the grocery store and bought stuff for Leah's B-day. She wanted something called "red velvet cake." Only Leah would want something that strange (and girly). On the way out, I stopped by the magazine stand, and what did my eyes behold!!! The latest issue of XBOX: The Official Magazine!!! Tucked inside the wrapper was a demo disc for many games...including Guitar Hero 3!!! I was excited. So, despite costing $10, I bought the magazine and went home.

Though the game comes with a new, wireless controller, I was able to use the GH2 controller. I put the disc in...and played 5 new songs:

1. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
2. "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam
3. "Lay Down" by Priestess
4. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by The Scorpions
5. "The Metal" by Tenacious D

All the songs rocked! The over interface has changed (new developer on the project). Gone are the cartoon-like characters and setting...everything now also seems to have a glossy, metal look to it (appropriate). I'm a little peeved that so much of the game now seems to be (from what I've read) geared towards multi-player (no one wants to play with me...I'm too good for my friends/Leah, and the XBOX Live People will eat me for breakfast). Overall, though, this demo made me want the game even more!!!

But, as I said...I must be responsible. I'm going to ask for the game in December (the time of gifts). Plus, I just have too much on my plate right now for a game that's going to make me want to skip class and shirk my writing duties.

Yikes...when did I get so damn responsible(?).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jacobs gets Fry off the hook(?)

Currently, in my American Fiction class we're reading Harriet Jacobs famous slave "narrative." The book is presented as a straight-forward autobiography. So why am I reading it in a literature class? My professor focused a large part of her lecture today on this topic. I'll spare you the 30+ minutes and cut to the chase--essentially, she said that ALL Autobiographies are works of literature. They use the same literary devices as fiction, and can therefore be regarded and judged the same as a work of fiction.

Jacob's book isn't a diary, it's a literary account of her life (highly fictionalized, despite her assertions in the introduction). Emphasis on certain events (and even the order they took place) is subject to her artistic interpretation. I get that, I guess. My teacher brought up Franklin's Autobiography (which I'd read in another American Fiction class) as another example of a person writing a skewed/fictionalized account of their lives. While this is a good example, it got me thinking about Stephen "Million Little Pieces" Fry.

Remember him? Yes, the Oprah dude. I used to hate that guy with a LOT of passion. And why not? He made a boatload of money on lies. But really, all Fry did is the same thing Jacobs did. He told an literary, slightly fictionalized version of his life story in order to make a point on a serious issue (drugs/drug addiction, rather than Jacobs slavery). Some people contend that Fry's book is still merits and should just be put in the "fiction" section in bookstores. But I disagree, here's why.

After my teacher gave her little "mini-lecture" on this topic (concerning Jacobs slave narrative) I raised my hand. I asked, "Basically, what you're saying is...any autobiography could be taught in this class." She agreed, and again brought up Franklin. Even if a person tells us "this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" like Jacobs, her book is filled with historically untrue things. Should then, this book not be studied and read? I think it has value. Should this book sit along side the Autobiography of Franklin? Yes, it should. And so should Fry's book. Essentially, these books are "true" in that, the people they are about lived, and this is an interpretation (one of many, no doubt) of their lives. Now, if these books were biographies, rather than autobiographies, then I guess I'd take some exception. But when the author is writing about himself, the rules are different.

Now, does this mean I should write my autobiography about how I married the Queen of England? No, I don't think that would have any real merit. But if I wrote my autobiography, even with the intent of only telling "the truth" some things would probably not "make the cut." Either for length or just because they aren't interesting. So already, I've begun editing my life. Changing it a bit (or at least SOME of the perspective around it). That doesn't take into account all the things I'd probably WANT to leave out (like what an ass I was last week, and the week before...). Even if I only leave out the incidents where I'm an ass that aren't necessary to understand the whole of my life...I'm still editing.

I guess, what I'm saying is, taking Fry out of the concept of Autobiographies is no longer what it once was. They really are nothing but books like Fry has written, a version of a person's history. But just that, a version. And since it ain't non-fiction...guess what?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

National Novel Writing Month

Last night me and Leah went to the bookstore. I forget how we ended up there, but we ended up spending several hours sitting and reading. Leah checked out comedian (and genius) Stephen Colbert's new book. As she sat there, giggling, I read a large swath of the Warren Zevon bio I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD. It was a good (but strange) read. I saw a new bio of Hunter S. Thompson that looked interesting...


Somehow, on our way out of the store I found this book of random facts--while Leah was messing around with a puppy calendar...and inside I turned to a section all about literature. One of the "random" facts was that November is National Novel Writing Month.

I remember last year, this really annoying chick in one of my English classes was bragging about doing it. I remember thinking it was pretty lame...what a difference a year makes! Like most people, I need two things to do anything:

1. A deadline


2. A swift kick in the arse to get me jump started.

I'm worried that when I get out of school I'm going to "submit" to the workweek and give up on writing. I could see that happening (easily). Therefore, I'm going to write at least one novel before I graduate. From November 1 to 30 you have to write 50,000 words to "win." The contest was set up by this guy in Oregon, you can read more about it on the official website. The goal is quantity, not's not about getting it perfect or editing...but just getting it out. I think this is what I need.

I need a writing buddy, someone to share this experience with me...and to help keep me on track. I emailed everyone I know about this...I doubt I'll get any takers--but if you're interested let me know!

This should be interesting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last Thing (some) People See...

Thanks to the magic of HALO 3 (which I am obsessed with currently) you too can see what it's like to die at my hands. I rather like the blue armor (brings out the color in my eyes). Besides recording old games (where you can pause and take snapshots--like you see here), another fun thing to do is customize your armor (upgrades you have to earn...thus, a player becomes a walking billboard for how well they are doing in the game):

Also, here is a picture of me killing an's okay, I sent him to a better place:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Run Albert, Run Albert

I know it's never going to happen, but if this doesn't happen...I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to go into that tiny voting booth.

Go visit this site, sign the petition...DRAFT GORE!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Finished the Fight

Well I just did it...I just beat the single-player Campaign in HALO 3.

When I first got the game, I was really disappointed with the Campaign. It wasn't that I breezed through it (which I did)...there was something a little boring about it... it just seemed really lacking. Then I quit being a baby and did something I've never done in a HALO game...I bumped the difficulty up to "Normal" (where, I always should have been). I'm not a hardcore gamer (more on that in a minute) but I'm not terrible. Then why do I always take it down to "Easy"? Because I'm lazy and I just want to get through the story as quickly as possible. But I thought, "maybe this is better on a harder difficulty." So I took it up a notch.

I also took it back up to "Normal" because that's the only way to get Achievements (basically nerd points that everyone online can see, the more you have the better you are as a player--and the bigger the nerd you are).

Anyway, I played through the game on the harder setting and found it to be much, MUCH improved. The enemy AI was dramatically different. No longer did they just stand there, not really doing much...the little fuckers started working together! Leading me into traps! And rather than being able to pretty much just run through the levels, I had to stick it out and fight.

The last level was wild, it was--

pretty much the exact same as the last level of the first game: basically, a big laser is going off...everything is on fire/exploding...and you have to drive your jeep the hell outta there.
**End Spoiler**

Fantastic game...however, the multi-player is what makes HALO so great. As I've reported, Leah is not very keen on playing with me via split-screen (she don't want to fight, which I guess I's a chick thing). Now that I'm done with the Campaign, we can play through it together (on the same side) which will be fun. But the real fun is online friends...

Last weekend, before my folks came out, I played online for free (thanks a 48 hour "gift/free sample" that was packaged inside the game box). Needless to say, it was fun. Sure, I died A SHIT LOAD...and sure most of the people killing me were FUCKING CHILDREN. I'm good, but I don't play this (or any) game enough to compete against a child (or young adult) that is loser enough to spend every waking minute playing. But it was still fun. So I told myself, "after you beat the single player, you can buy a month of XBOX Live Gold to play the multi-player online"). I know money is tight, but it was only $7.99 for a month (which is actually reasonable considering I can play nearly ALL my games online).

And after all, I called Uni-Guard today and "reminded" them to mail me my $100 uniform deposit check. So it's all good...

Anyway, I don't think too many gamers play this...but if you're on XBOX Live you should add me...we can gamer-tag is easy:


itunes redrawn

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Life & Other Pursuits

If you know me very well, or read this blog very know my own personal work ethic (when it comes to my writing). Basically--the worst things get for me, the stronger the urge to write becomes. It's terrible because it boils down to me both loving and hating "the bad times." Now, granted my world isn't collapsing right now, but things could be better for me. Lots of inner turmoil and fear about the upcoming/impending graduation (both into full-blown adulthood and from college). I'm not as engaged in my classes this semester as I know I should be. I feel bad about not having a job/being poor (but not bad enough to get a job).

Anyway, I'm writing again...

About two weeks now. What do I have to show for it? Not much I'm sad to say. I got about 20+ pages into my "story starter" project and then it tanked (wrote some really horrific/awful stuff). Then I hand wrote a (very short) little story (that was called "Alms for the Poor" but is now simply "--Of the Poor") when our power went out two weeks ago--it's not terrible... it just isn't good either. I recently posted it up on my companion blog Writings of a Limemonkey if anyone is interested...

Now I'm working on this thing, "The Mosquito Vine" and I'm only 8 pages in...but last night I was excited. For people that don't write, very rarely does one get a true sense of what you're doing as you are in the act of writing. At least, I don't. I have to put it down then pick it up and read it before I can tell if I just wasted my time or not. Well, today in Shakespeare I looked over what I got so far...and I was disappointed. I blame UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, actually (we're reading it in one of my literature classes). Dialect writing is a tricky thing, and I pretty much screwed the pooch in my attempt. Of course, I never would have tried it...except my brain sucked up Stowe's (decent) dialect like a dry sponge.

So, tonight I'm doing a total re-write. I could try to sit there in Word and make "corrections," but frankly--this re-write is so extensive it just makes more sense to start fresh in a new document (with my print out in my lap as merely a guide). THAT is what's on tap for tonight.

I miss Leah, and other than her being gone...not much is going on with me right now. My folks are coming out this weekend (to finally see the new place). Next week I have a couple of mid-terms (yikes, that time already?). The end is nigh.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Work is Getting done...

I miss Leah, a lot actually...she left me a little card tucked away under a pair of was really sweet.

I miss her and can't wait for her to get back home!

And yet...I'm getting a lot of writing done in her absence. What a nasty, double-edge sword that is?


Well it's not even 6:00AM yet...and I'm up. I had to take Leah to the airport this morning (Alaska). I'm one of those people who, once they're up...I'm up. I don't have class for another three and a half hours (yippie) so, no idea what I'm going to do until then.

I'm too tired to do anything, but too awake to sleep.

I feel bad I didn't gush over her when I dropped her off, but:

1. I'm terrible at goodbyes


2. I was damn tired, having stayed up till 11:30 reading (thank you very much UNCLE TOM'S CABIN).

I still can't believe I woke up at 4:30. That blows me away. I haven't been up at this time in two feels terrible.

Oh, I let her take the camera...we'll see how that works out (hee-hee).