Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How a Mole Hill Becomes a Mountain: a Farewell Letter to One of My Greatest Friends

Sometimes people do things so egregious against the people they care for, it shatters the foundation of everything their relationship was founded on. Most times, however, those things happen because of little things that go unnoticed until the right prompting causes it to come out in one big burst, things I like to call microabrasions. This is something I think of whenever I reflect upon a kinship I've had with a close friend of mine, and the microabrasions I've done to damage the bonds I've developed with her all these years.

She's been one of my greatest friends over this decade, and because of her patience and upfront approach, I've been able to see what I can do to become a better person and take steps towards achieving what I desire, however difficult they may be. Even with that, however, she's always felt a bit mysterious, like there's a lot to her I don't yet know. As I've matured, I've thought deeper on why this is, and part of me feels like for the times she's let me discuss my trouble with her, the same couldn't be said about her own with me. This is likely because each time I've spoken with her over the years, it's been routine for ask how she's doing, for her to say she's fine, and when she asks how I'm doing, to bring up events in my life, never showing any significant interest in hers, a habit I suspect isn't just limited to my time with her.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Sample Review: My Take on the new puzzle game/Dating Sim hybrid, Huniepop

I've loved games for as long as I could remember, but for some reason, it never struck me to write them as those at Kotaku, Polygon and elsewhere do. In light of recent events within the gaming industry, I've been looking at the craft with a more analytical eye, and before I even realized what happen, I ended up writing something strongly in the vein of what those people write. After looking at what I wrote, I thought, "Maybe there's something worth polishing in this," and decided to post up my sample I cooked up. If you look what you see, be sure to let me know what you think!


Gaming has always been held up to great scrutiny in the media eye. From the congressional hearings held about Mortal Kombat, the Columbine shootings being connected to the first person shooter, Doom and Grand Theft Auto being accused of encouraging both violence and, recently, sexist behavior against women. In this light, there's a new game on the market that's so risque, Twitch will ban you if you try to stream it.

Which game is this, you might be wondering?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Feminism

I am a feminist. I believe women, men and all of us who identify otherwise deserve the same rights, same protections and deserve to be on as level a playing field as possible. This is something I’ve always held true. and when I discovered Feminism, it became closer to my heart than I thought possible. I was hesitant to embrace the label because of the things I heard about the cause, about the Misandry, the harsh rhetoric and many other things, a process that took years of study and personal discovery to overcome. It was such a wonderful thing, and I wanted to bring it to as many people I could. It meant the world to me, and didn’t think anyone who identified with it was capable of the horrible things they rallied against.

How horrified I was to be so wrong

In just the past few months, I’ve seen people who did things that will live in the history of science piled on to the point of a tearful apology because they wore a tacky shirt. I’ve seen them pile on companies because their cause was being chosen as one of the least favorable of a bunch of less tasteful choices. I’ve seen people get SWAT sent to their house, called terrorists and sexist monsters, get knives, dead animals and syringes full of mysterious liquid and generally harassed to the point of losing their job because they dared to believe something different. And the banner I’ve seen these people fly when they perform these heinous acts to other human beings?


These acts were so heinous, so offensive, so cold hearted I couldn’t believe it was happening. I couldn’t believe who was justifying this nonsense. I couldn’t believe that this is what qualified as being a good Feminist. I had to do much soul searching, much questioning about if I even wanted to be a Feminist anymore, if that’s what being a Feminist meant. It was in this soul searching that I realized if I wanted to a Feminist, I had to be my own kind of Feminist. I couldn’t be the kind of Feminist that shames others for dressing sexy or having casual sex. I couldn’t be the kind of feminist that silences dissent because it offends someone. I couldn’t be the kind of feminist that tears others down because they do something that goes against my beliefs or does something the least bit tasteless.

Those things aren’t part of the Feminism I know, and things I will always reject.

The Feminism I know creates opportunities for other women to do something, as The Fine Young Capitalists did through their charity. The feminism I know welcomes all kinds of expression of sexuality, as I see in Sex Positive Feminists. The feminism I know creates bridges for others and lets them decide on their own that Feminism is something they want to support, respecting if they choose otherwise and leaving them be. Sex negative, hostile, elitist feminism is, in my view, the greatest thing holding it back from achieving the change they want, not Patriarchy. Patriarchy is a big problem for the progress of feminism, but not as big as this modern day iteration of Puritanism. There is no place for that of movement anywhere in civilized society, and as long as that’s the kind of feminism people choose to advance, feminism will always be rejected by the the people it encounters, the way I’ve rejected both it and those who choose to practice it. I know not how far it will get me, but I choose to practice the kind of feminism that seeks to bring understanding, equality and the ability for people to choose of their own free will, no matter what that choice may be.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Letter to the Person who Stole My Laptop

When you stole my laptop that night, you took the last bit of creature comfort I had left. I used that thing to work, create and play, with that gone, I lost everything I considered crucial to my way of life, including my music player, my desktop PC, my bike and my home. I was angrier than I've ever been in my life on that 4 mile walk home, but once the fire that anger filled me with settled down, I lost the will to go on. As I lay there on the grassy mound, I looked deep within myself and found what I needed to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again, no matter how many tries it takes. Yeah, things may suck now, but if I work at rising above it, they won't suck for long.

Now, my experiences and current perceptions tell me you're a certain kind of person with a certain reason for what you did, but I've learned enough about life to realize that's a stupid way to live, and severely limits how well one can grow. Never let it control me before, and damn sure won't let it happen now, considering how far I've come in my life. No race, gender, or people with other distinctions are ever a monolith, and to think a whole group alike for any reason is to be blind to their humanity. Even if they're thieves like you, they don't deserve that, and if we ever met, I would do everything possible to keep myself from punching you in the face and stomping a mud hole in your crotch, because I'd like to think I'm better than that(though not by much)

In reality, where I lived kinda sucked, as did my music player, PC and laptop, and I was planning to upgrade from them regardless, but not in the way circumstances dictated. Nothing's ever ideal, though, so it was only a matter of before I learned how to live on the fly, as everyone seems to these days. Even with a job and all that jazz, I doubt thing'll ever get that rosy, as I learned from doing a barebones budget for a full time, minimum wage job. Shoot, I might even have to work 2 jobs or take on an immense amount of debt from school, a car, a home, or whatever, but if it means a better future, I'll gladly take that burden on with a smile.

You see, there's something big I have to prove, and for years, I thought is was to friends, family and everyone who ever made my life suck, like you. I wanted them to hold me accountable and prod me into action when I slacked off, but really, the one who needed to do that wasn't them...it was me. Everything I've done in reaction to events has either built me up or tore me down, and as I could've worked toward a better life then, I still can and will now, with everything I have. I owe it to myself to go after my wants and needs and to never relent when times get tough, because damnit, I've gotten through too much to let it end here. I know the kindness, wisdom and insight I have to offer the world, and I'll be damned if I let this or you stop me from doing it. I will survive and thrive, no matter what it takes. Count on it.

To do it, though, I gotta own up to this: the thing I need to prove is that I can take on the rejection and heartache that comes with gaining employ and becoming an adult, which hasn't been the case for years. For years, I've wanted to live on my own, but I didn't want to to risk the humiliation that failing at it brings. When I had work, I didn't have the stones to pursue that goal, because I knew the jobs weren't permanent, and that the money wouldn't last long enough for another job search. I didn't wanna lose everything because of a stupid decision, and now I'm losing everything because of several stupid decisions by me and other people. Funny how life works sometimes.

Often times, it likes to give the test before it imparts the lesson, and for 3 years life's given me the exact same exam: what will it take for you to hit back? Before, I had a safety net, of sorts, thinking I had at least something to turn to to get me through, no matter how bad things got; while it did just that, it also lulled me into a state of acceptable discomfort, and kept me there since I graduated high school. Piece by piece, though, that safety net was dismantled, and now is first time in my life I've hit the floor below, the scars to follow me until my dying day, telling others my story, and remind me how important it is to keep getting up and keep fighting.

I first learned that when the woman who taught me how to live had her life cut short by an auto accident. After she passed, I had to rebuild everything I gained from being with her, including my sense of adventure, and over 7 years of struggle and soul searching, I became someone she and I could be proud of, even with the missteps I've made during that journey. Now that I'm going through the practical version of what her passing brought, I'm feeling the same lack of direction that washed over me, but this time, there's a fire in me that I first saw in her, one that grows in strength each day and urges me into action. A friend of hers-who's now a friend of mine, told me that if I ever felt lost, I should ask, "What would she do?" What she would do is slap me in the face and tell me to do what you theft drives me to do now and long after I achieve my aims: fight 'til my last breath for what I desire. I don't know how I'm gonna do it, yet, but I will find a way and go further than ever before, because with them, myself and whatever's out there as my witness, this will be the beginning of something amazing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Behind the Pen: Concert Night

Most recent artist/band you saw perform was:

Before I present my full story, let me present this scenario: You and group of your friends are in a concert ticket line, awaiting to see your favorite band live, and with seats so close to the stage, you could practically smell the scent of the performers, if you so desired. Now imagine when you get to the booth, the one person who couldn't buy in advance, finds out they're SOLD OUT. What would you do, at that moment? Leave your sole friend to wait, while the rest of you enjoy the show? Or choose for the whole group not to go?

3+ years ago, as of this writing, this exact scenario was posed to me, and this is what came of it: None of us went to see them, so we turned around, and scalped them to another poor soul, who bought it at the door. What we did instead was explore LA, and see what it had to offer us, including driving through the Beverly Hills, where I promptly shouted, at the top of my lungs, "We're poor, and we don't care, woo!". After that, it was off to Santa Monica pier, to see a Polish Opera troupe singing right in the middle of the boardwalk, a break-dancing crew, and pop lock duo, along with visiting a haven for nerds, of all kinds. To top it off, we went to the pier itself, and got ourselves something to eat*I went for the Chili Dog w/fries*, soon after hitting the arcade's DDR machine, and seeing how surprisingly good our driver was, and how horribly I sucked.*(in fact, here's video proof of my suckage at DDR (Twilight Zone being the song I played with him)* Then we went home, and I was left with one of the most memorable experiences of my short existence. I can only imagine what would've come out, if we actually knew where we were going half the time*softly laughs*

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grocery Receipts Make Excellent Bookmarks

This poem came to me as I heading home from one of my classes, and would not leave until I found the commitment to put it on the page and express everything I was feeling from my home situation and the uncertain future that lay just ahead. The format, you might recognize if you're into that whole social media thing, but for now, here's "Grocery Receipts Make Excellent Bookmarks"

My Personal Finance class is finally done! I look up the bus schedule for the last one coming. Just left the station. Time to walk 4 miles home! It's okay, though. With the right atmosphere, the 2 hour journey just flies by. This night, Oldies like "Summer in the City" are my companion For me, walking alone brings a special kind of tranquility, One that invites deep thought. That in mind, I start to read by streetlamp

Monday, July 15, 2013

Learning to Start from the Bottom

They say that you can't control what happens, only how you react to it. Well, as of this writing, I'll soon be bound to lose the house the family's lived in for 3 years because my sister and the person who owns it couldn't come to any sort of agreement, with my next destination seeming to be the garage of one of my mom's friends. At first, I absolutely detested the idea, but really, once I took inventory of the time spent here and the seeming endless friction between both sides in this situation, such a conclusion almost seemed inevitable, no matter how financially well off we could've grown to be, so for me, the real concern was that I was being launched head first into the real world without anything to fall back on or any localized social network to work with and try to get things going. That much I take the blame on, since my the network I do have now has largely relied on technology and long distance communication to maintain and strengthen, thus creating minimal to no urgency to befriend the people immediately around me

This likely helped contribute to feeling the most lost and uncertain of what tomorrow may bring I've ever felt, more so if the scenario plays out, and me and my mom are left to figure out how to make ends meet.

Really, though, I know I've been slow on seeking out the employ that would provide me a chance to achieve the kind of independent life I've yearned for for years, and a large of part of that comes from the fear of falling and having to hit absolute rock bottom, the kind that makes people doubt whether or not it's even worth trying to get up and try again. Emotionally, I know I can do it, as I've done it time and again, but practically, I've always thought I had yet to gain the acumen needed to live well within my means and understand how to make my resources work for me, a belief that's likely fed the comfort coma cycle that convinces many that even the effort is not worth committing such time and sweat to. My friends have been there for me for years trying to convince me otherwise, and they played a large part in me wanting to improve myself and better how I approach the practical side of life, a desire that still burns strong within me.

It's because of them I believe that even through I don't yet have any of the resources I think I need to create the kind of life I desire, I know I'll make it happen, and will take the needed steps to do it-even if it does mean having to start at absolute zero.

Ever since high school I've wanted a life other than the one I had, and I silently resented all my peers who seemed to fall into what they needed to live how they wanted to-more so if they were on the higher end of the social ladder and didn't have to worry about things like rolling an ankle or how to pay a hospital bill for a gurney ride and x-rays I never needed, but had to take, because the ambulance someone called after I was socked in the schnoz wouldn't take no for an answer. It's that desire that lead to me becoming more bold about how I approach life and less tolerant of wishy washy behavior, which I know has made my life much richer than I would've had otherwise. I don't know if this means I'll have to pay more visits to the local food banks or if I'll have to take odd jobs to try and bring some stability to my world, but whatever it takes to get there, I will do to get there, because for the first time in my life, I can look myself in the mirror and say, "I'm not afraid to hit the bottom"