We're halfway through 2014, and I still have no idea what it's all about.

(This thought has been brought to you by the National Committee for Posting Shit That Might As Well Go On Twitter in LiveJournal Instead.)

Better thoughts

Geddoe (Credit to ravenrogue)
Things have improved since my last visit here (which are increasingly guarded, given how many of them are locked...eesh). Reading over that one again, I don't think I was seeing myself clearly. The week afterward, I wiped my schedule and started lifting again, more heavily this time. My way of thinking went through a slight but significant shift, and I found myself on...a rebound, I guess you could call it? I found myself doing more, at work and at home. (Imagine that, getting results by - gasp - doing things!) As another part of that rebound, I took the aforementioned friend out to the Night Market in Costa Mesa a couple weeks ago and we had an awesome time. A very awesome time. There's a certain coarse pleasure in nomming on hot dogs and slurping down boba tea from a food truck by this name. It's funny - in contrast to the brooding mass of quiet I was a few weeks before, I had the better aspects of myself on display that night. That was me liking being me. I'm not sure how fast an epiphany has to be in order to qualify as an epiphany, but I definitely come through this month with far more clarity on my situation. And it's not the dead end I feared it was, nor am I as helpless before it. Realizing that is worth an episode of self-flagellation.

Granted, I also banned myself from alcohol until Memorial Day. Gotta account for all contributions.

With all that no longer weighing on me, I've been coming back to the thing that should be. I'll be 29 in July. I decided I'm going to take this idea that stung me around New Year's, and put it between a pair of covers by 30. That's a bold oath, and there's a legion of excuses, digressions, delays, and padding ready to quash it. But, while I hate saying "this time is different"...this time is different.

Some ideas I've had because I thought they would sell well. Some because I thought they'd defy a genre and validate themselves over time. Then there are some that I think of as "spiritual successors" to stuff I wrote when I was a teen. While I'd entertain the thought of any of these doing well, I kept coming back to the same conclusion: if you believed in it, you'd be writing it. Time passed them by, and I lost what anchored me to them.

This one I believe in. It's a challenge to articulate why (and I may not really succeed until it's done), but as best as I can describe, it has an engine powered not by dreams of fame, wealth, or historical prominence, but by...well, everything I like. Everything I have liked. It doesn't take inspiration from what's lacking in the field or what's doing well at the box office or what's playing on my iPod. The inspiration comes from my own memories. I never run out of reasons to believe in it.

Shit, this thing has bits of everything from Ivalice to Suikoden to Paradise Lost to The Big Lebowski. Surely that gamut is worth some time with pen and paper.

It'll be tough, and it'll be tiring, and it'll plague me with doubt and uncertainty all the way to the peak of the mountain.

And it'll be good.

Waking moment.

Adam and Pals (credit to so_out_of_ideas
I've been aching for this kind of day. Gray, rainy, breezy, cool, calm - and back to being myself for a little while.

Pulling up my old LiveJournal client today feels like driving through my hometown. It's less that you wonder where the time has gone, and more that you're surprised how completely and indiscriminately time has changed everything. For something I checked essentially every few hours only five years ago, I can't even remember what icons I still have kicking around.

All that time and what's happened in-between are what bring me back to this today. I moved here in January 2011. In just a few months, it'll be three years since I packed it all up and parked myself in Irvine. Unsurprisingly, my mind has been preoccupied with what those three years have been, and what they mean for me as a whole. There's a lot to be proud of. I've lost eighty-one pounds and fourteen pant sizes; I ran the 2013 Firecracker 5K in Chinatown; I threw my first-ever dinner party (hey, milestones are milestones). I can cook and clean and provide at least minimal service to a car. I've even, finally, made some truly incredible friends. One I came very close to kissing, but we'll leave that for another day.

Career-wise, I've done well. I advanced from an entry-level HelpDesk tech to managing the onboarding and offboarding for a Fortune 500 company, and my pay has increased, and everyone likes me, and...

And if I were more dramatically inclined, this is where I'd grab my coffee mug and fling it full-bore at the wall.

Well, not really, but you get the idea. I'll dispense with trying to polish the cadence of this entry, and just say that shit I miss a lot of things, and today makes me remember all of them.

Mostly, I miss myself. Even when it was hell being myself.

The years between 2008 and 2011 were a bad time. A bad, bleak time. And even so, while the inertia of those years may have galled me, haunted me, I was at least myself. Writing Eternity may not have gotten me or anyone involved published for it, but at least I was writing, about characters I liked and for people I cared about. Wandering alone and aimless around my hometown made me feel like Luke stuck on Tatooine, but I don't know who I'd be without the longing those days ingrained in me. My love life back then seems in hindsight like one long tangle of puerility on my part, but there's something about that rash, torn, vulnerable state that I miss, too.

It's all strange to think about, but yeah...I look back at even the worst chapter in my life and like who I was then. I wonder what he would tell me today.

Regardless, I don't think I took a wrong turn moving to Irvine. I think I could take one now, though, if I'm not careful. And I think that an important part of me has, for whatever reason, been submerged since I came here.

I think that's why I welcome a day like this, after all these months of heat and cloudless skies: I feel like I just woke up.

I've known for a while that I'm unhappy with my job, and I'm actively looking for somewhere else to be. (Hardly unique in that respect!) This past couple of months especially, I've been weighed down by resentment and frustration and negativity, and it's not just clouded my mind, it's turned it into a dank boiler room. But now I'm realizing it isn't just the job - it's me, and the way I've forgotten myself. I've been searching for something I don't actually...want. I'm just looking for more of the same thing that's keeping me casting wistful glances at the past. That Fortune 500 company I contract to? Will never actually hire me as long as I'm in my twenties, so frankly, it can take its money and shove it. I have only naked loathing for the idea that my life has to be half over before I'm worth anything. Blizzard? Charming place, but for as many times as I've pounded on that door and received only silence, maybe I should just leave that idea behind me, too.

I'm saying nothing new, shocking, or unencouraged when I say that what I really want to do is the same thing I wanted to do five years ago:

I want to write forever.

That feels really good to say again. (Helps that I already know what I'd like my magnum opus to be, too.)

As I say that, of course, I hear the night's first peal of thunder outside. It's not as simple as that, I know. Barring a lotto win, there's no way I can just drop it all and run, and I'm not that sort of person anyway. Knowing me, I may well "submerge" again tomorrow. This may just be one short waking moment in a night I still have to sleep through. I hope not, but then, I could use a little extra shuteye this week.

Even so, today, in all its drizzle and quiet, seems like it's been important for me. Almost like I could have picked it out of a month five years ago, come to think of it. I think I would have ranted into my journal about it back then, too.

Maybe it's encouraging enough that I still sound like myself.
Ashley and Callo (Credit to furious)
@A203D Thank you for your message. I will never go back to Ivalice. I want to start working on a new project. thx :)

@HellishRomance It's not that I'm not interested, but actually doing it is something else.

One wonders just how many dream worlds have ended at the hands of a crass, bloodless corporate environment.  One wonders.


Kenshin Himura
Finally watched Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto Hen, which I now believe translates loosely from Japanese as "Rurouni Kenshin: Steaming Pile of Monkey Shit."

These are dark days for anime.

Mar. 26th, 2012

Inferno King Onyx (credit to elysian_sta
I was looking through the Series Bible for Gargoyles the other night, as much to see how good writers can handle an ensemble cast as to remind myself that Angelfire still technically exists (!), and every time I read the Xanatos section, I have to smile.  They so obviously loved making this character.  Some of the lines that still catch my eye:

"David Xanatos is a man of extremes. He's extremely rich, extremely powerful, extremely arrogant. But more than that, he's extremely smart. You may hate him, but you'd be foolish not to respect extreme amounts."

"Xanatos is not a mad dictator or a war-monger. He's not out to destroy humanity, take over the world or bring our system-of government and commerce crashing to the ground. Why would he want to? His success has seen no limit under the current system."

"What he can't take (i.e. our gargoyles and their obedience), he might destroy, less out of spite than to make sure it won't later be used against him. But he hates waste, so he wouldn't make the latter decision lightly. in Xanatos' opinion, he acquired Manhattan long ago. It's his town."

"He's smart enough to know he couldn't conquer in a toe to toe physical confrontation with Goliath. And he has nothing to prove by trying. But he might have a lot to gain by cheating. Or by using some of the technology his companies have created to win."

"...he doesn't often lose. But when he does, he doesn't throw a tantrum. He's highly confident in himself and is sure he'll triumph eventually. He simply moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies."

"Goliath and the other gargoyles know that Xanatos is a formidable enemy, and they're learning that he can't be fought by tenth century means alone."

I can't begin to tell you how much I miss this magnificent bastard on my TV.

Quote of last month.

Enishi Yukishiro (innate)
"You will have noticed that the Republican primary campaign has turned into a cautionary tale of Mutual Assured Destruction."
-- John J. Reilly

A request

Geddoe (Credit to ravenrogue)
I'd like to make one, for those of you out there who either write or simply enjoy a good piece of storytelling with strong, convincing characterization. 

Please take a look at the following example of dialogue:

Character A: "Why did/didn't you (x)?"

Character B: "I didn't think-"

Character A: "No, you didn't."

Regardless of what medium you encounter this dialogue, regardless of its phrasing or its context, please locate the person who wrote it.  Wait until they're sitting down, having some coffee, updating their Facebook, whatever.  Walk up behind them, as quietly as you can manage.  Then give them a suplex.  Full strength.  Onto a hard surface.  Through a hard surface, if possible.  Then pick yourself up, clap the dust off your hands, and leave.  Wherever the road takes you next, encourage others to do as you have done.


On a lighter note:

Ashley and Callo (Credit to furious)
I consider BlazBlue half an anime already, so this is unsurprising

Merry Christmas

Holiday Presea
Dusting this thing off to bring out Holiday Presea.  Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Festivus, Season's Greetings, Happy Hannukah, and so on - and may this current plague of exceptionally horrible Christmas commercials meet a swift end.

(That Kahlua commercial with Ana de la Reguera, on the other hand, can keep playing.  Dioz de me vida, woman.)