Monday, August 30, 2004

And now, finally some good news.

I've just been told that I need to move out by the end of September. The timing could not be any worse.

Can I at least make an attempt to get back up before I'm kicked in the crotch while I'm down?

Garden State




I heart Natalie Portman.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

"Get your ass to Mars."

I'm gonna write a game review. 'Cause I flippin' feel like it.

I just finished DOOM 3. Not an awesome game by any means, but it is good enough to tide me over 'til HALF-LIFE 2 is finally released. (Whenever the hell that is.) Best graphics ever by far. The story was a little too similar to the first HALF-LIFE. Instead of making a portal to some unknown planet and causing aliens to invade Earth, the scientists in DOOM make a portal to hell and cause demons to invade Mars. Which is also very similar to the movie EVENT HORIZON. Are there any original ideas left in this world?

Gameplay was standard first-person shooter stuff. Shoot monsters, find keys (except this time they're "PDA's"), open doors, find better weapons, shoot bigger monsters with said weapons, rinse, lather, and repeat. There is no strategy involved in this type of game, especially because the AI in this one is too simple. All the monsters run straight at you at first sight. They don't work in groups. They don't hide behind covers. Just. Run. At. Me. All I had to do was aim at their face (if they had one) and shoot. Okay, I know they're supposed to be demons. Maybe I was expecting too much. This may make the game sound easy, but it's not. See, the demons have the ability to teleport and spawn out of nowhere. So you might think you're safe as you walk down a dark, yet seemingly-empty corridor, then BAM, a mutated baby with claws spawns right behind you and lunges at your vulnerable space marine ass and chews on it while you, the player, jump five feet off your chair. Cheap? Yes. Scary? Hell yes. Fun? Sorta. It's cool the first four times it happens, but you gradually start learning and anticipating when the next "ass-spawning" would occur. By the 59th time it's just annoying.

Another gameplay element that annoyed me was the flashlight. This game is dark. Too dark. So you gotta use a flashlight. The thing is, you can't use a weapon while you have your flashlight out. Okay it's realistic, I'll give them that. You can't expect someone (even a space marine) to wield a shotgun with one hand and hold a flashlight with the other. But couldn't the game designers find another way to implement it? Hmm, I got an idea. How about a flashlight mounted on a helmet? What a brilliant concept. Miners have been using those since what, 1936? And the game is supposed to be set in 2145? So this little annoyance caused a lot of funny frustrating moments. Remember that part when my space marine got his ass chewed by a mutated baby with claws? Yeah well now imagine the guy turning around and trying to hit the crazy demon kid with a freakin' flashlight because he was going down a dark, yet seemingly-empty corridor and couldn't see without it. After losing half of the health (because it took awhile to get back on my chair), I switched to a machine gun and shot that little bugger up. Funny to watch, not as funny to play.

Okay this review is getting too big so I'll cut through the crap. Sound - decent. Could've used a little more OOMPH to the guns. No music except for the opening heavy metal track, which is pretty decent. The game is pretty long for a first-person shooter, about 20-25 hours. There is multiplayer but it's just standard deathmatch, which was invented with the first DOOM over 10 years ago.

To wrap it up:
Graphics - Best. For now.
Sound - Okay.
Gameplay - Been there, done that. But still fun and scary.
Story - Unoriginal, but who cares it's a shooting game.

Grade: B

Then We Fade Away

Someday, I'll end up like him.

And I'll be holding this.

Friday, August 27, 2004

"My stockings. Lip them."

yesterday's fortune cookie: "You will soon change your present line of work." See? God does have a sense of humor.

The first week of school is over, so let's go through what the classes are like so far.

CRTV 118 - Introduction to Radio, Televevision, and Film: "Designed to assist the beginning student in understanding radio/television/cable/internet/mass media." I hate this class. They need to take out the "film" part of the course title because the instructor is more interested talking about the other two, especially the radio. And he seems to be gearing more towards the journalism aspect of media -- he's always talking about the news. Granted, it's only been a week. But I really am not interested in the history of radio, how AM and FM came about, or even journalism. That's Gracie's territory.

CRTV 121 - The American Cinema: "An examination of the American motion picture industry as a unique economic, industrial, aesthetic, and cultural institution." Class that actually talks about film. I love it. I've already learned what the terms best boy and script girl are. I've learned what producers actually do. I've learned the purpose and usage of the clapper. These things may sound boring to you, but I'm fascinated. I want more!

JAPN 101 - Elementary Japanese I: "Focuses on the four major skills of language learning-listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing -- and the grammar and vocabulary necessary to acquire these skills." The Wench and I are taking this class together, and she seems to really like it, mostly because of our instructor. I can't really explain why she's funny, but she is. The course itself is moving pretty fast but I'm okay with that; I'm learning a lot already. When I go to Japan next Summer (and it will happen dammit) I won't be lost like Bill Murray. I'll soon be able to watch NARUTO without subtitles. That means not having to wait so long for ANBU's releases.

15 more weeks to go.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Back to School

First day of school went well. Few things I noticed:
  1. It's so much more crowded than before.
  2. More skanky white girls.
  3. Our student center is in shambles. They're building a new one, but will they actually be done with it while I'm still there? The smartass answer would be YES because I'm going be stuck there forever. Har har.
  4. No student center means no arcade. How will Pablo cope with this predicament?
  5. Both of my film classes are in the same building where I studied administration of justice (a.k.a. law enforcement), which is kinda weird. I can't say it feels good to be in the same damn building I was in three years ago.
  6. I actually enjoyed my first day of class. That's a good thing.
  7. The name of the instructor of my American Cinema class is Michael Moore. Too bad it's not this guy.
  8. Actually, I don't think I would like that guy.

Parking still sucks like hell though.

U-Turn

I left the youth group retreat last night with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I saw kids praising God with the passion and the energy that was truly moving. They were praying for each other, crying, listening the sermons attentively, playing games and doing skits with competiveness, and all that good stuff. I think they really enjoyed it. This has become a cliche by this point, but I'll say it anyway: I hope they can keep the fire going.

On the other hand, I was in a weird funk throughout the whole retreat. I was happy to be there, but I did not believe I was actually contributing to the experience. The small group times were horrendous. My class is a great group of kids -- they are attentive, talkative, smart, and genuinely curious. Johny is so jealous of my class. But you know what, I can't teach them a thing about God because they all have A.D.D. During a discussion for the Sunday morning QT, they literally went through six different topics -- ranging from Tupac to juicy fruit gum -- before I had to show my pissed-off-face. Now what ya'll don't know is that I don't show that face very often. I could probably count the amount of people that have seen it on the fingers of my left hand. "But Dan," you say. "You always look pissed off." Yes, that is true. My regular look is equal in comparison to pissed off looks of normal people. But my pissed-off-face is 10 times worse. And it only appears when the nine dragonballs are found and shat on by a purple monkey... or when I get really, really, really, really, really pissed off.

We had prayer time after every rally, every night. I'm not very big on prayer. No, scratch that. I can pray. But not for other people, and not among 100 other people sobbing their eyes out. It's really hard for me. I did manage to pray for each of my kids, but at the cost of shortening my life by seven years. You think I'm exaggerating? Were you there? Did you see my face on Sunday night? I could barely walk.

I was in charge of the games with Eric and Diane. Diane did majority of the work though. I did have to set up the games and basically "referee" over them so I didn't really get to spend time with my activity group. There was nothing surprising about them being in first place when I wasn't there, and then dropping down to third when I actually participated in their skit. I'm cursed, just like Chris Webber.

Praise was good. The kids were so into it that they never noticed when we messed up our parts, which was quite often.

Our seminar wasn't so good. We did not prepare very much, and it showed. Sorry I wasn't any help.

The only genuinely fun moment of the retreat was when I played volleyball with a bunch of kids on the third day. "Total Domination." J. Lo and I ruled the court. I lost my voice.

Oh and there was that moment last night, right before several of us teachers left ('cause of school, jobs, etc.), when like 20 kids came up to me to say goodbye and each of them highfived me. Wow. Where did all that love come from? WHY DID YOU WAIT 'TIL THE LAST DAY TO SHOW IT?! But hey, I was really touched. Thanks, kids.

So kids loved the retreat. Me, not so much. But it was all for the kids, so that's all that matters.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Adam and Steve

Evil-doer, evil-goer
They're knockin' buildings over
You better run for cover
Supervillains is them

Wearin' red and black-a
Them evil dudes attack-a
You better watch your back-a
And the back of your friend

As diabolical assassins
They do what you wouldn't believe
Na na na na na na
But they model the latest fashions
Mon to Fri they're Adam and Steve

Evil-movin', evil-walkin'
And I overheard 'em talkin'
On the Pentagon they're knockin'
And the havoc they wreak

'Cause they're deathray aimin'
Criminal insanin'
Supervillain brainin'
At the end of the week

When the weekend comes they dress up
Fightin' Sergeant Halcyon
Na na na na na na
But it's only two days they mess up
By Sunday night they're gone
Woo

As diabolical assassins
They do what you wouldn't believe
Na na na na na na
But they model the latest fashions
Mon to Fri they're Adam and Steve

Monday, August 16, 2004

Pool Boy









------------------------------------------------------------>

That's for Sam. He thinks I'm handsome.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

"Dang it."

Sero's Wedding

It was nice. Sero cried a lot, but hey, she's happy that she's marrying Roy. Either that, or she's really sad that she's marrying Roy. It's anyone's guess. I couldn't stay for the reception because I had to be at church to help prepare for the...

Talent Show

It was fun as always. The bands were good. SWAB and God's Army got better. There was only one skit (GEEK) among the acts dominated by music, but it was really good. During the intermission, we showed the video we made on Monday to "advertise" the upcoming retreat, and it turned out really well. Dooj and I wrote it together as an homage to NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, which means we basically ripped it off. Much props to the youth group cabinet and Andy the cameraman/editor.

Oh and we did a song and it was okay.

Afterwards, we watched...

ALIENS VS PREDATOR

I hate mediocre movies. I like my movies very good or very bad, not in the middle, kinda like God; He wants people to be hot or cold in their faith, not lukewarm. Paul W. S. Anderson makes mediocre/lukewarm movies. Just check out this list. Only decent movie on there is EVENT HORIZON. Why are his movies mediocre? Because they're bad, but they have genuine cool things/moments. In AvP, there is a fight scene at the halfway point between an alien and a predator (sans the title) that flippin' rocked and ruled. But then there's the bullet-time face hugger. And he spends 45 minutes setting up the "story" with horrible dialogue and human characters that we don't care about. And then we get the "friendship" crap between the lead human character (female) and a predator. Idiot!

Here's a suggestion for you, Mr. Anderson. Don't make a sequel. But if you do, get rid of the humans in the first 20 minutes as "hosts" for the aliens. Rest of the movie -- bunch of aliens fighting bunch of predators. It is called ALIENS VS PREDATOR, is it not? Oh, and make it bloody and gory and rated R. None of this PG-13 crap.

And change your name. People might mistake you for this guy, who actually makes good movies.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Der Hornen

In heaven, will I get to play videogames with Jesus?

Sero is getting married in less than two hours. The mind boggles.

Talent Show tonight @ FPC.
Time: 7:00pm
Price: $4.00
Talent: Not a whole lot.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

True Nature

AIM screen name:

Your True Nature by llScorpiusll
Username
The quality that most appeals to you:Loyalty
In a survival situation, you:Act crazy as a diversion
Your hidden talent is:Adaptability
Your gift is:An iron constitution
In groups, you:Blend in
Your best quality is:Your compassion
Your weakness is:Your coldness
Quiz created with MemeGen!


Blogger username:

Your True Nature by llScorpiusll
Username
The quality that most appeals to you:Loyalty
In a survival situation, you:Cleverly trick your attacker
Your hidden talent is:Seeing the best in others
Your gift is:Artistic talent
In groups, you:Feel uncomfortable
Your best quality is:Your protectiveness
Your weakness is:Your passivity
Quiz created with MemeGen!


Yeah, whatever.

The Grudge

Job Search Status: Pablo and I went to Target, but I decided not to apply there. I kept picturing myself walking around with those red shirts and all I could think was that time I worked at Toys R Us during Christmas few years ago. Shudder. I applied at Blockbuster's instead. OH PLEASE CALL ME.

Last night I had a "ga-wi," that thing when you're half-asleep/half-awake. I was lying on my side. My eyes were closed. I could hear the TV (I always leave it on, it turns off automatically after awhile) behind me. Then I heard it -- that damn throat noise from JU-ON. I tried turning my body, but I couldn't. My eyes wouldn't open either. That went on for about 30 seconds then I finally moved. The noise disappeared but the TV was still on. Like I mentioned before, I've been really tired, so that may have been a factor.

On a totally unrelated note, Steve's mom needs to stay the hell away from my room. It's called invasion of fucking privacy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

She Might Have Struck a Nerve

Find a new Mary Jane, stat.

I'm so tired. I don't do anything, yet I'm too tired to move. Am I getting that old?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

"Now watch this drive."

These are random thoughts of Jeb Lund, a writer for OnlineOnslaught.com, a wrestling website (yes, there are websites for wrestling, and yes, I visit them):

There's comedy, there's high comedy, and then there's "Jamaican" Kendra, the Vampire Slayer from the second season of Buffy. She can't tell if she's Jamaican or from Northern Ireland. "Ah cain't tell if ah should tink you be a vumpaire slayin ting! CALL ME NOW! I miss de ould sod o' Dublin! Aye, Darlin', let's sing 'The Rare Old Mountain Dew'! NO COLA NUT! Oo' wants de Guinness and de ganja?"

If I hear a song like "Barbie Girl" by Aqua come on the radio while I'm driving, I automatically change the station. Not because I really object to the song, but because I can picture getting in a fatal accident, and the officer on scene finding my bloodied body while a girl wails: I'm a blond bimbo girl, in a fantasy world/Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly. Not a good way to go out.

It's only a matter of time before there's a power-punk cover of the Law & Order theme.

I give it four years max before I meet a hippie girl named Chlamydia.

I don't care how old and infirm she becomes, if the media starts rehabilitating Yoko Ono as some sort of well-meaning artistic quasi-genius in her twilight years, I'm going on a killing spree.

I'll put it this way: if I get to choose my form of torture in Hell, and my three options are a Jennifer Love-Hewitt album, Jewel's poetry or a collection of Sarah Michelle Gellar interviews... I sincerely won't know which one hurts the least.

M. Night Shyamalan's "twist ending" gimmick is pretty played out. So I'm thinking that his next film should be about world peace coming true. Then, five minutes from the ending of the film, during the premiere showing, he can cut through the movie screen with a Bowie knife, scream at the audience, then mow everyone down with a machine gun. On the DVD commentary (recorded in prison), he can say, "The clue for the audience is the color red used throughout the film. RED FOR BLOOOOOOODDD!!!!!" Come on, people, work with him, here.

Monday, August 09, 2004

En Cinco

Retreat was awesome. It's probably the best EM retreat I've been to. Pepperdine = awesome school. It's located in Malibu, right next to the beach. You could jog in the morning with deer. (not that I did) Our guest speaker (Pastor Ben), who also spoke at last year's retreat, was great. It's refreshing to have someone who can speak fluent English from time to time. Ahem.

Few things that stick out in my mind about the retreat:
  • bathroom comedy
  • Surfer Jon's transformation to Peeping Jon
  • "Five, five, five."
  • Team Nitro's "body worship"
  • revival through pain
  • that damn song "Prince of Peace"

Time to get ready for the youth retreat.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Ska Made Me a Jerk

Job Search Status: Dammit, I really need to starty applying to places.

So instead of accompanying The Wench to Frisco for her job interview, I ended up staying here in The O.C. (as the TV folks like to call it). Why? Because now I'm helping out with praise for the youth group retreat. Mark can't get Friday (the first day of the retreat) off from his job, so I'll be leading that night. We had our first practice on Tuesday. How did it go? Well, my ears are still ringing. Take that as you will.

Paul, Dooj and I will be doing an acoustic "unplugged" session for the talent show next Saturday. We've narrowed down to a few songs:
  1. "He" by Jars of Clay
  2. "Walking After You" by Foo Fighters
  3. "Stare At the Sun" by Thrice
  4. anything by Jack Johnson
  5. "Tribute" by Tenacious D

I'm leaning toward the last choice myself, but I'm not sure we can pull it off. It'd be damn hilarious if we do, though.

I think I'm going to save up (when I get a job) for a Vespa. I don't really need a car, and I could just get a regular motorcycle, but who wants to be boring? Certainly not I, my friends. A Vespa is cooler than any motorcycle in my book. The title of that book? A Vespa Is Cooler Than Any Motorcycle. I thought of it first, bitches. I better not hear anything about you ass clowns wanting a Vespa of your own, ya dig?


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