Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Today is the last day of 2008! It’s been a very crazy year, both personally and for the world. I think the crowning moment of this year was the election of Barack Obama as the first Black President of this country! Such a time proved that this country is ready to put its dark past behind us, and move forward in the name of Progress. I hope this year can see that forward-movement continuing and growing stronger in its momentum!
Closer to home, this year has seen many changes in my life, both good and bad. I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a new job, though I have been given the blessing of a second opportunity to pursue an education. I’ve also been able to reconnect with many old friends while finding a whole slew of new ones. This next year will also be my last as a 20-something, and that’s a change I’m finding a bit daunting.
I hope that each of my readers will spend today and tonight pondering over the last year, evaluating themselves in the light of memory. Have they grown, either mentally, spiritually, financially or even physically? Are you a better person than you were this time last year? Or worse? The cliché that hindsight is 20/20, is very apt for today. So many people will be making New Year’s Resolutions tonight; but what will be the value of such resolutions if they do not have the weight of our experiences this last year?
I prefer to focus on what has happened, rather than to make more resolutions for the future. As you may guess, I’m not particularly fond of New Year’s resolutions, not because they’re bad ideas…but because I don’t have any way of possibly knowing what the next year holds in store for me. I guess my only “resolution” is to take whatever things may come for me and turn them into building blocks for improvement. I hope you’ll consider doing the same.
To all my friends, followers and loves: Happy New Year! And God bless you!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Today I put on the black clothing, closed the drapes, and turned up the emo music: the UPS Man came to take my Xbox 360 away.
After I cleaned up the mock funeral I'd held and burned the small squirrel used in the sacrificial ritual, I decided I'd best get on with my blogging. About two months ago my Xbox (I call it Boxxie) suffered a small malady, known by most gamers as the "Red Rings of Death"...or hepatitis x. Of course, I tried the usual old-wives remedy of three towels and some chicken soup; but found that the chicken soup would've voided the warranty...so I stuck with the towels.
Anyway, for the next two weeks I'll have to find something else to do besides ignoring Boxxie and cheating on her with Twitter or Facebook. I've given some thought to returning to my true first love: Books. I've got three that are battling Conan-style for my attention: Feed, by M.T. Anderson; Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson; and The Green-Collar Economy, by Van Jones.
Whichever of the first two Sci-Fi Techno-Thrillers grabs my eye, I'll certainly be checking out The Green-Collar Economy, which I strongly recommend each of you do as well! That is, if you love the Earth and want to have a better Economy in America?
P.S. No Squirrels were harmed in the making of this blog.
P.S.S. But several Cups of Coffee gave their lives to see this Post come through.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Today, Myspace released its new Primetime application, a Hulu based video player that lets you search and stream content directly from Hulu.com. I've messed about with it already today, and have actually found it easier to find content here than on the Hulu site itself, simply because all of the shows are listed alphabetically. The interface is very sleek and contains the familiar Myspace "feel" about it. All in all, this is a welcome change to the normally mundane Myspace application's which let you buy your friends or quiz each other on movies. At least now your friends can watch a little something while they read your latest break-up story or see you change your status for the tenth time!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
This week saw what can only be described as an epic moment in American history: Barack Obama was elected to become the 44th President of the United States! This is so huge for so many reasons, and I could elaborate on all of them; but what holds my attention most closely is the realization that our country is finally changing.
Like some morbid metamorphosis that only Kafka could appreciate, America has been slowly transforming into a new nation, a process that has been occurring while many in the country slept. We are truly on our way toward becoming a "more perfect Union", a place where we are simply Americans-sans ethnic-prefixes. I know that may seem a bit outlandish to say at this point, as it is still too early to tell how the new President-elect will prove himself; but I cannot stop thinking that this is merely a sign of what has already been taking place among us. And what's been taking place among us is that people are beginning to judge one another based on the "content of their character" and not "the color of their skin", just as Dr. King once dreamed. That dream is steadily proving to be prophetic, and taking place.
I think that this can be especially seen in the world most of us geeks live in. At one point in time, I might have been referred to as a Black-blogger, or an African-American Gamer, and I would have been judged based on that scale. As it now stands (at least as far as I can tell), my friends simply call me a blogger, a geek, or a gamer. They don't even feel the need to acknowledge my blackness, since that has nothing to do with who I am...but only with what I look like. And I think this idea has spread to the world of Politics. People no longer seemed to care about Obama's skin color or heritage. At least they chose not to make that their central focus. What they cared about more was his policies and his stance on certain issues. We deemed him the most fit and the most apt to be able to lead this nation into a new era of greatness...not because we needed a Black Man for the job; but because he was the Right Man for the job!
Certainly, there are still some people who can't see past someone's ethnicity. Thankfully, these are swiftly becoming a dying breed. I mean, as the world shifts to doing more socially centered things in cyberspace, where the only colors come in bits and pixels...how viable is prejudice there? An email, text message or tweet have no ethnic background to deal with. You just get text and graphics. Thus, people are getting more used to the idea of simply dealing with each individual as an individual, and not as a pre-conceived stereotype that fits everyone like a glove. Gloves belong to Michael Jackson or O.J. Simpson, not in one's mind!
So, while some Americans continue to sleep and dream of the "America that Was", let us who are awake look ahead to the "America Which Will Be". And I think we have just the President to help lead the way!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So, today I'm planning on picking up Fable 2, the game I've most anticipated since playing the original about a year and a half ago.
There's a wonderful mini-game you can play over at Xbox.com which lets you get some items before you even put the game into your console! It's also a fun way to preview the story elements and get a refresher on the gameplay.
In non-gaming news, I've been really busy lately getting an online education, and playing the good student that I never was in High School! It's been fun, not in the least due to the money I've received for my Student Loans which has enabled me to purchase a much-needed laptop (for school purposes only, of course)! Hopefully, I'll be able to get a degree in IT so I can join the pathway to the Future!
I've also been dealing with the unfortunate business of my Brother's incarceration. It's not really over anything serious, he just forgot to tell his Probation Officer that he changed addresses...which apparently makes him a danger to the streets and warrants immediate lockup! Those pesky address-withholders...throw the book at 'em! Anyway, he's got court this Friday, and his girlfriend's been nothing but aggravating as she's constantly stressing about him. I can understand being upset over your lover getting locked up, but there's no need to completely unravel...especially when it's only for like a month or two! But, that's her MO: Freaking the hell out over the tiniest thing.
Well, Internets...that's my boring life for today. I hope to keep you all updated on the completely uninteresting things that come my way. Oh, and does anyone have some good reading suggestions? I'm in another "book slump" and need to get my hands on something moving!
Stay Awesome Everyone!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
One particular happening of note was the reception of my Economic Stimulus Check! This was actually the catalyst for everything else which has occurred thus far. Upon receiving said "check", my mind sprang immediately to that subject of most crucial import: Food. I took my family out to dinner at a nice and fancy restaurant (read as: a nice Buffet joint). Surprisingly, we all managed to have a good time as everyone was actually able to act decently...that is, until my Grandmother decided to play Ocean's Eleven and pocket every dessert she could get her hands on! Ahhh family!
So, after meeting the most primal of needs, it became readily apparent that another need was pressing...and no, not THAT one! I'm talking about the need to watch a good comic-book movie! Now, usually this need only barges into my soul about once a year, but as this summer alone has three "must-see" comic-movies, I'm prepared to give it a little more barging room. When Iron Man blasted its way into theaters last weekend, I was right there cheering on old Tony Stark with, apparently, most of the nation. And cheer I did! The sweeping tide of Awesome that crashed down on me when Tony first donned "The Suit" nearly drowned me in its depths! This was the very first Marvel movie produced in-house, and it simply showed that this is how they should have been making Super-Hero movies all along. Needless to say, Iron Man was a movie made for true comic-book fans, and they totally nailed it on the head! I got the biggest goose bumps after the movie was over and past the credits, where their little "easter egg" nearly made me faint. All I will say is that the future for Marvel movies promises to be very entertaining!
As always, I've also been doing a great deal of gaming and, thanks to our illustrious President, I've been able to procure a few choice titles this week! Firstly, I grabbed a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV which has not failed to appease! All the hype for this game is well deserved, and any fan of video games needs to do themselves a favor and slam this into their system as soon as possible! That's all I'll say on that for now, but expect to be hearing back from me on this game as I delve further and further into its murky depths! Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was another game I purchased this week. I was already familiar with its gameplay, as I had this title on the Original Xbox before I made the switch to Next-Gen, so there wasn't really any surprises aside from a few additional characters in the 360 version. But, due to Iron Man's ponderous impact, I just had to get a good Marvel game, and this is one of the best to date. Rounding out the list are Golden Sun for the Gameboy Advance, and Gears of War for the 360. I confess freely that I'm a major fan of JRPG's, particularly those based on the old SNES look; so Golden Sun has just had me all gaga over its amazing gameplay and magnetic story. I'm very pleased to have found this game in the bargain bin! Sadly, I've yet to play Gears yet, but will certainly let everyone know how I feel about it!
Well, there's my month so far! Its truly been a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions...or, its at least been more enjoyable than April.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I know that it has been awhile since my last entry, but fear not, I am still alive...if you can call barely subsisting on ramen and energy drinks while staying up ungodly hours playing one more round of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Xbox Live "living"? If so, then that's what I've been up to.
And for those of you concerned for my mental welfare, I have yet to degenerate into an illiterate gaming veg-machine! I recently finished reading "The Rule of Four", by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, and it was absolutely amazing! That should have been the book I read immediately after "The Historian", as it is very similar in tone and content.
Ah well, I'm glad to be back here blogging about my aimless endeavors for the entertainment of strangers...it really is the thing to do!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Lately, my ears have been glued to some Norma Jean. They're basically my go-to band for when I'm both bored and filled with a little angst. Right now is just such a time, as I'm searching for work, and waiting for my tax returns...which you could translate as: I'm waiting for my Xbox 360 money to get here!! So, with all this pressure to "hurry up and wait", I felt it was time to break out with the CD collection. It was better than simply breaking stuff.
Anyways, the CD I'm rocking most is "O' God the Aftermath", which is their second release as Norma Jean (they were previously called Luti-Kriss, but changed to mitigate confusion with the rapper). I just love this band! They don't use computers in their studio when recording, so the music really carries that raw and powerful "Live" feel, but without the sucky sound. This is a good introductory CD for this band, along with their latest, "Redeemer".
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Recently, my Brother and his Girlfriend came to spend a few days with us, and brought their two pet cats Gizmo and Buddy along. I remember seeing these two young'ins as they were mere babes, holding them in the palm of my hand! They were simply adorable!
Gizmo had a habit of coming early into my room (sneaking in under the door) and waking me up by jumping on my chest and massaging me with her little paws. I couldn't think of a better way to start the day! But, alas, I will never again enjoy the bliss of waking to a Gizmo-massage: she's been murdered by the Humane Society.
See, Gizmo and Buddy loved to run around outdoors, without a leash, and have done so since their birth. My brother used to let them frolic and play outside of his own house, and so expected that they would do the same over here. Well, what neither of us knew, was that the Humane Society had set up animal traps in various places around our complex, perhaps for some of the foxes and raccoons that have been seen in the area. One day, as Gizmo and Buddy played, Giz wandered off...we didn't see her again for days. All of us grew worried, wondering if perhaps a neighbor had picked her up, or if she'd been hit by a car?
After a few days, one neighbor asked if we'd checked the traps? We hadn't heard of any traps, and so she showed us where some were, mentioning that the Humane Society had secretly put them there months earlier. The trap was empty, but this got us to go down and visit the Society and see if little Giz was there. And she was. Ahhh, sweet relief we thought...but no, the cruel fiends of the Society gave us no relief. Instead, in a move that would make Hitler cry, they demanded a fee of about $60 (which my brother couldn't afford at the time) and kept poor Gizmo there until we could pay it! Sadly, as my brother was unable to pay, little Giz was put to sleep a few weeks later. All because she wandered into a trap nobody knew about.
How can the so-called Humane Society get away with this? I could understand if we'd taken Gizmo in to them and asked them to take her. But we didn't ask them, nor did they ask us! She was downright Cat-Napped!!! And I feel they should be treated just like a person would who kidnapped someone's child, because little Giz was a part...not only of my brother's family...but of my own as well! If someone took my brother's daughter away, held her for a fee, and then killed her when we couldn't pay; would they not lock them up? From now on I'll be calling them the In-Humane Society, and exposing them for the House of Murder that they really are.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
So, it is with great jubilation and pride that I announce my return to the book wagon with the reading of The Man in My Basement, by Walter Mosley. I haven't finished as of yet, but I'm almost half way through it...having just begun today. Its the first book by a black author that I've read in a long while, the last one being the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, by Ernest J. Gaines. As a black guy, I suppose its expected of me to read more books by black authors, but I just don't get into them. To be honest, I don't truly identify with the usual themes of racial struggle in mostly white settings.
I grew up in a mostly white town, and had mostly white friends, some of which tossed around the "n-word" with a casual "you-know-I'm-just-joking" way. Sometimes it was funny, other times it stung. But such was life, and I dealt with it. But this book doesn't really play on the "race" angle, and I think that's what's drawn me into it.
At any rate, it feels really good to be back on my reading game. I'm one of those creatures that keeps track of all the books I read in year, and I compare notes on the previous years, like some sort of autistic bibliophile. Scary. In 2007 I only managed to trudge through 1 book, but in 2006 I had 9, and in '05 there were 18...yet '04 only saw 3. So, every couple of years I get into a reading slump, which I absolutely hate. Although, is it really a slump if I'm still reading, just not whole books? I mean, I still get lots of Blog reading in, as well as news and magazines. Just not books. I'm sure the book police will fine me if I'm in violation.
Well, here's to a new year full of finished books with lots of new literary friends to cherish!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I've only recently become aware of Mr. Kucinich's campaign, having seen very little of him in the mainstream media. He was nowhere to be seen during the New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina debates. Apparently, he wasn't viable enough for the major news stations to include him. This itself is a curiosity, as he seems to be fairly popular amongst the online community, and unless their opinions mean nothing, this should be enough reason to include him.
However, Dennis's comparative obscurity should come as no surprise to those aware that our media is under the influence of a dark Sith-like Emperor: Darth Greedyus. With media groups like ABC and NBC (which hosted the New Hampshire and Nevada debates, respectively) being owned by mega Corporations (Disney and GE), some that have financial interests in prolonging the war, it should only be expected that they would deny coverage for one of their greatest antagonists: Mr. Kucinich.
On his own website (www.dennis4president.com), Congressman Kucinich outlines his agenda for bringing about regulation for Corporations that have run amok with our Democracy and Public Interests in tow. There, he informs the People of America:
The challenge before us today is whether we can maintain a government of the people,
by the people and for the people, or whether we will timidly accept the economic, social,
and political consequences of a government of the corporations, by the corporations,
and for the corporations.
Such anti-privatization notions would not bode well at all with the Corporate body, which seems to suggest that the media's motivations for skimping on Kucinich coverage had less to do with viability, and more with keeping their Big Corp. Daddies happy. And when Corp. Daddy is happy, the common Citizen cannot be, since the two have dissimilar interests. Kucinich goes on to say:
We need a new relationship between our government and corporate America, an armslength
relationship, so that our elected leaders are capable of independently affirming
and safeguarding the public interest. Just as our founders understood the need for
separation of church and state, we need to institutionalize the separation of corporations
and the state.
That's sound wisdom no matter which side of the political fence you sit on. And, regardless of whether one agrees with all of Kucinich's agendas, what should concern everyone who loves this Nation, is that Democracy is no longer in the hands of the people! This not only makes the meaning of the word "democracy" seem irrelevant, it jars with our very identity as a People. We have always been a Nation steeped in the Idea of "We the People". To break with this is to break with who we are. And I take issue with that.
I take issue with the fact that my options for the next President are being dictated by a select group of men with lots of money; that we're no longer getting fair and balanced coverage of those candidates by a News media which should be acting as Guardians of the Public Interest; that one of our greatest Rights--the Right to Free Speech--is jeopardized because an uninformed or misinformed America cannot accurately or appropriately express or defend itself against those who would lead us back to darkness; and that when you speak out against those with power, they cut out your tongue and leave you mute. I have issue with all these things, and if you value your freedom and American heritage, you should have issue with them too.
Here is a nice little place where minds inebriated by caffeine, or the simple thirst for knowledge and experience, can come to discuss all things that tickle the soul. Books, music, politics, religion, entertainment: they all have a place in these pages, ready like ships to carry us to lands full of adventure.
So, pour yourself a cup of your favorite mental stimulant, and together let us drink deeply from that vast ocean of Ideas from which humanity has been imbibing for ages!