Tag Archives: video games

winter 2016-2017 on last.fm

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Metro Area

i love when the time is 01:23. i love dancing to “Dancing Queen.” i love when people don’t steal your shit. i love how a couple robots could tell a band of perfect professionals to just keep walking along the … Continue reading

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Silence is Golden

earlier today i had a crazy revelation that may or not actually be founded in reality. opening the cabinet where we store cereal, snacks, and other things, i saw the Corn Pops box and it dawned on me why all those years i revered this cereal above all the others.

because it’s the same color as the fastest car in F-Zero (SNES). “Fox” even rhymes with “Pops.” Continue reading

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Mrs. Indiana **** (’01)

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electric lights like Las Vegas elevated on mushrooms. gorgeous girls that make California doubt it’s surf-soaked female virility. horrible humid heat sucking my soul harder than Chicago sunshine. metro holes deep as New York City’s skyscrapers. food Turkey delightful found in every machine nook and dirty alley. hot spring water spraying naked from sixty feet underwater to mediate my ‘be here now’ mantra want, despite my mind’s need to be Budapest-bound. Continue reading

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The Solipsist

my eyes are really getting me down. i know it’s stupid, but i almost didn’t even want to hang out with anybody at my mom’s birthday party last night because i was sick of everyone seeing my fucked up lids. so i was sitting on the toilet in the downstairs bathroom, trying to figure out how to get over my vanity, march my little butt upstairs, and chill with family, when i decided to read a poem. my bathroom doesn’t have any books of poetry in it, so i pulled out my phone and loaded up this poetry app created by the Poetry Foundation. even if a little cheesy, the app is actually pretty awesome. you spin two dials–the top controls moods/emotions (doubt, insecurity, frustration, etc.) and the bottom controls topics (love, youth, work and play, etc.)–and the app then lists every poem that falls under that particular combination (worry & family, passion & love, blame & love, etc.) there’s also an option to just shake the phone, which randomly spins the dials.

even though my styes might not having anything to do with it, i attribute them and any other health problems i get to a little thing called AGING. (truth be told, my asthma made me more of a sickling back in the day than i’ve ever been since.) no matter. i was fucking FRUSTRATED and sick of dying, so i slid the dials to “frustration & aging” and started scrolling through the 42 poems offered to me, until i saw one called “The Solipsist,” written by Troy Jollimore.:

Don’t be misled:
that sea-song you hear
when the shell’s at your ear?
It’s all in your head.

That primordial tide—
the slurp and salt-slosh
of the brain’s briny wash—
is on the inside.

Truth be told, the whole place,
everything that the eye
can take in, to the sky
and beyond into space,

lives inside of your skull.
When you set your sad head
down on Procrustes’ bed,
you lay down the whole

universe. You recline
on the pillow: the cosmos
grows dim. The soft ghost
in the squishy machine,

which the world is, retires.
Someday it will expire.
Then all will go silent
and dark. For the moment,

however, the black-
ness is just temporary.
The planet you carry
will shortly swing back

from the far nether regions.
And life will continue—
but only within you.
Which raises a question

that comes up again and again,
as to why
God would make ear and eye
to face outward, not in?

there’s no cure for social anxiety quite like solipsism. and Blue Moon. and Maker’s Mark. and Flor de Caña. and Newcastle. and Jacuzzi. and Moon Safari.

so the party was fun. but when i first walked up, no music was playing! ridiculous. i wasn’t going to do anything about it (paranoid that i push my music on everyone too much) until my dad asked me, “is there any way we can get music up here?” within a couple minutes i had hooked up Danny’s ipod speaker setup and started playing Moon Safari, while i staked out my spot for the night right there on the floor next to the speakers with a delicious Blue Moon. moon moon moon moon. i ended up djing the night away, playing all the classics: Air, Beatles, Blondie, Creedence Clearwater Revival, DJ Shadow, Fela Kuti, Lupe Fiasco, M.I.A., Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Wild Cherry, 2Pac, with a deluge of disco as the night’s diadem.

yum. ate a ton of delicious spaghetti, a couple pieces of chicken (that i didn’t feel like squeezing this time), chocolate ice cream, and strawberry/banana cake. i’m really not that big a fan of cake unless it has fruit in it. thus: pie > cake. usually.

i ended up getting pretty drunk, which makes a good deal of sense considering how many different kinds of liquor i mixed (beer, rum, tequila, whiskey, and wine). once everyone had left (and as i sipped on my second-to-last drink of the night), i tried my hand at a game of sc2 and got my ass beat. i played Terran (as usual) and attempted a new strategy: build a base army of marines, marauders, and medivacs, while focusing on the real goal: hella fucking banshees and vikings. well, of course, this guy brought over an epic army of Zerg forces before i could even get my second banshee. and my “base army” of mmm got obliterated in a few seconds. fuck. when the game first started, i typed “fuck man i’m hella drunk so bare with me,” and all this guy replied was “ok.” what the fuck? not even one “ha”? what a dick. he was probably so pleased with his fucking easy win. douche.

not wanting to make my already-horrible-record any more horrible, i logged off battle.net and ducked downstairs to my room. smoked a little bowl, swallowed three pills, rubbed my eyes with ointment, and got in bed with Emily Dickinson. it’s nice to know that, even on the most lonesome nights, she’ll always get in bed with you. read 50 poems, but i too stoned and tired for anything but lying down, i put on my headphones and let Arthur Russell sweep me away to unconscious bliss.

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battlecruiser operational

i’d never ever wanted a loading screen to take a little bit longer until now. click to see higher resolution.

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it is a good day to die


it wasn’t until yesterday, sitting at a Boudin bakery café in hillsdale shopping center a little before 1900, that i realized my luck had finally taken a turn for the better. squeezing out what was hopefully the last few drops of my bad luck by eating at this particular Boudin at the exact time that they no longer had any bread bowls, i contented myself with a normal bowl of clam chowder with a side piece of bread for dipping in the creamy white ambrosia.

an hour earlier, i had arrived at the mall a little early (stupidly) for my 1815 appointment at the Apple store genius bar. the MacBook Pro saga continues. what was wrong with my computer, you ask? well, to answer that, we have to travel back in time…

the year was 1998, the month was march. on the 2nd, data sent from the Galileo probe indicated that Jupiter’s moon Europa had a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice. a couple days later, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex. three days after the earlier space announcement, NASA revealed that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon had found enough water in polar craters to support a human colony and rocket fueling station. that same day, NASA announced the choice of United States Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins as commander of a future Space Shuttle Columbia mission to launch an X-ray telescope, making Collins the first woman to command a space shuttle mission. halfway through the month, on the 14th, an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit southeastern Iran. over a week later, Titanic won a record 11 oscars, a milestone followed shortly by two massacres: the jonesboro massacre, in which two young boys (aged 11 and 13 years) hidden in woodlands fired upon and killed four students and one teacher at westside middle school, and the oued bouaicha massacre in Algeria, in which 52 people were killed with axes and knives, 32 of them babies under the age of two. on march 27, the FDA approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States. and on march 31, 1998, prepubescent, pubescent, and postpubescent boys around the world went to war.

yes, one of the greatest video games of all time (for me, up there with DiabloOcarina of TimePokémon, Super Mario World, Super Smash Bros., and Tetris, among other essentials i’m surely forgetting), StarCraft changed my fucking life. the races were spellbinding, their intertwined stories were like Shakespearean tragedies, the cut scenes were volatile and enchanting, and, perhaps most enduringly, online matches were heart-racingly intense and addictive. if anything’s a gateway to starting harder drugs, it’s not weed, it’s StarCraft.

in the early days of online playing, my biggest concern was that, just at the moment my six tanks backed by a couple battlecruisers initiated siege on some loon halfway across the world, my mom would pick up one of the phones in the house, connected to the one and only phone line, cutting off my sad 56k connection. actually, those were the fun days when people with 56k would look down on the 28k kids, and if you had a cable or dsl connection, you were like a god. sometimes my mom, or whoever was the culprit, would hear the ZZZZKlangeddiooiishhhhhh over the phone line fast enough to hang up and reconnect me to my game. other times, however, i’d just sadly stare at the “Waiting for players…” overlay.

addictive. addictive. addictive. in Arizona, my cousins and i had to implement a system of half hour or hour blocks because there was only one or two computers and nobody wanted anything to do with the sun, the grass, the outside at all. we all just wanted to play StarCraft, damnit.

twelve years later, that’s all i fucking wanted. to play a goddamn game of StarCraft. but things had changed a lot between the original and its sequel:

System requirements for StarCraft

System requirements for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

  • 2.6 GHz processor or equivalent
  • GB RAM for XP, 1.5GB for Vista and 7;
    2 GB RAM for Mac OS
  • 128 MB video card for Windows;
    512 MB video card for Mac OS
  • DirectX version 9.0c or better
  • 12 GB hard disk space
  • Internet connection

my MacBook Pro was a beastly machine four years ago–2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM, 128 MB video card, 120 GB hard drive–but now my fans were failing, my hard drive was dying, my memory could hardly handle two applications at once, and i decided i would have go out and spend $2200 on the exact new MacBook Pro i wanted.

but i didn’t have $2200. so instead, i went to the burlingame Apple store genius bar and got some advice. yo dude. my drive is dying, i think. (yes, he says, it is.) and i clearly need more memory. (yes, he says, you do.) but i’m thinking, this shit’s old. maybe i should just buy a new computer. (no, he says, if i were you i’d buy a new hard drive and extra RAM for cheap and have a third-party install it because your computer is still a beautiful machine, just as beautiful as all these sparkly unibodies you see lined up behind you.)

so i took his advice and bought a 320 GB 7200rpm hard drive and 2 GB memory for about $150. then i had this third-party downtown called ‘union square computer repair’ (oh! the poetry! used to be called the much more mundane ‘powerbook guy’) install the new drive for $100 (i did the RAM myself). i bring the fucker home, with a newly purchased mouse and OH MY GOD STARCRAFT II and, of course, my left fan refuses to spin, causing everything to full on crash even when i’m doing the smallest task, let alone load up a top-of-the-line computer game released this year.

i take the shitfuckpisscockcomputer back to union square angrily demanding that they fix my fan that they clearly broke by installing my new hard drive, while i remain quite conscious of the fact that the fan had been on its last legs for awhile and they had nothing to do with it. they act apologetic, even though they know what i know and probably know that i know that they know that i know, and they take in the laptop, open it up, blow some dust off the fan, and give it back to me working, no charge.

this time i bring the fucker home, totally sure it’s going to work for real totally this time i just know it, and… crash. crash, crash, crash, and burn. i actually thought i smelled some burning coming up through the keyboard a couple times i tried playing the game. well then. maybe it’s not me. i google “starcraft 2 overheating” and lo! behold! “Blizzard acknowledges bug” “Blizzard offers temporary fix to overheating problem” “Blizzard repeatedly rams ultralisk claw-shaped icicle through the anus of desperate and nostalgic men everywhere.” after implementing the fix (and tweaking my fan speeds a bit), the game. motherfucking. works. i actually played through two whole campaign bits and even sat through a couple stupid shitty movie sequences, paying no mind to my computer panting, wheezing, and puffing like a cigarette smoker climbing San Francisco hills.

so it works. so it’s possible. but i’m not totally convinced i trust that fucker of a left fan because at high rpms it sounds like a trainwreck, and not the good kind. and that’s about when you see me start walking into hillsdale mall, sights set on the Apple store. i talk to the genius, no, i spill my motherfucking guts. i tell him as much of this story as i possibly can in thirty seconds. they’re busy people, after all. “new hard drive… more RAM… StarCraft… 2… want… play…” he chuckles a bit, shaking his head, and shares his similar sob story, that none of the four computers at his house can handle the game. you’re not making me hopeful. i don’t care, i played it on mine. it happened. i just want to know about this fan. listen to it. is it dying? is my graphics card going to blow up? will i ever enjoy the sublime death of a Zerg swarm ever again without hearing a clunk-clunk-clunk too?

maybe it was my shitty looking bruised up eyes, maybe it was because i dropped the name “StarCraft,” maybe it was because he saw on his records that i had paid $100 to replace the right fan six months ago, or maybe it was because he sensed that i was actually the type of asshole that would take the time out of his day (like i have shit else to do) to write this post. whatever it was, he just offered to replace the fan for just $20 (the cost of the part), voiding the $80 labor costs. he said it wasn’t necessary, said the fan sounded fine to him, but he offered anyway. genius of love.

thinking all of this over over a delicious bowl of Boudin, i couldn’t help but thinking that my luck might be coming back. but i was wrong.

later that night, as units i didn’t yet know the names of poured into my base, obliterating my shitty army over my friend Matt’s attempts to save me, i remembered that luck is a fucking lie. we won 3/6 of our 2v2 matches because sometimes we sucked, sometimes they sucked, sometimes we kicked ass, and sometimes they kicked ours. you get x probes, you get y minerals, and you get about z minutes. build up something beautiful and kill.

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Foster home: day one

i’m listening to Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor (“From the New World”) as performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, i just finished reading Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and it is officially the first day of my housesitting job.

and let me be the first to say it: Howard Shore definitely took some notes from Dvořák when writing up the score to the Lord of the Rings. whatever movement this is (second? Largo? i think?) sounds exactly like the Shire. i bet they’re both stealing from some traditional folk tune or something.

so i’m sitting the house of Adam (though he no longer lives here) for ten days starting today. that’s about 240 hours to kill.

80 (sleeping)
50 (listening to music)
50 (reading)
35 (Starcraft II)
15 (eating)
10 (walking the dog)
240 (total)

that means i should have read about ten books, listened to fifty records, and be about two hundred forty zillion times more intelligent and enhanced in every way by the end of it. actually, i’ll probably just be more afraid of speaking to real human beings (and even more inclined to talk to dogs instead).

i’ve got books:

i’ve got music:

i’ve got Blue Moon and supposedly some food, i’ve got pencils and paper, i’ve got a hipster smartphone, i’ve got a record player, and i’ve got Starcraft II starting tomorrow.

by the way, i used to have a pink lighter but someone at Mighty stole it. thankfully, i had a blue lighter waiting in my backpack. what does it mean?

onto LUNCH POEMS!! by FRANK O’HARA!! loved by TORI! copied by BRILLIANT! the first poem in the book is called MUSIC! the last is called FANTASY! (i like it already.)

p.s. can you believe that someone accidentally mistook this for me:

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