Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still Homesick After Five Years? Really??

So, I've never made a secret of the fact that I love my hometown. I really do love it. It's seen better days, but I'm proud to be from there and only left to try to advance my career. It comes as no surprise that I miss it, but I had no idea how much until I became obsessed with a couple of video games.

I noticed that I have become particularly fond of Fallout 3, and TimeShift. They're fine games and lots of fun, but I was getting a bit ridiculous with them playing them constantly. All I knew was they made me feel good and comfortable. Jason has been teasing me for a while now because I keep playing these games over and over. He would complain that I have lots of other games, why not play those? This is something that I was asking myself as well. Then one day I was looking through pictures I have of different places, buildings and landmarks I have of Flint and after looking at the Mott Building and the Genessee Towers and it dawned on me....the architecture in those games is very similar to Flint! How was this not obvious before I have no idea but it's true. The industrialized art deco, mid century modernist look of both games can be seen in abundance in Flint. It's kind of odd, but there you have it. It would seem that I miss home even more than I realized. It's been five years since I've been to home and hopefully I can visit soon, but with all of the stuff going on in my life right now I don't know when that will be possible. I guess until then I will frequent Flint Expatriates, and play Fallout 3 and TimeShift.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why You Should Go To The Doctor When Someone Tells You To.

As you may or may not know, I am a Michigander living on a mountain in Southern California. I have been living here with my fiancee Jason, and our friend Hank for about five years now. Our financial situation here has been tenuous at best and we've been barely getting by and sometimes it has been a bit close. However, things have turned south in the last few months and it's getting damned scary. What has this to do with going to the hospital when advised to do so you are probably wondering? Be patient, I'm getting there.

Around the middle of January of this year Hank, the man who owns the house that we live in...or at least holds the mortgage on it had an odd episode. He was groggy, incoherent, forgetful, disoriented, had a minor headache, was dizzy, and slept most of the day. I was worried, and called 911, but by the time paramedics arrived he was feeling better and refused to go to the hospital. He was convinced that it was carbon monoxide poisoning due to the fact that his furnace had quit working about a week before this happened. I thought it may well have been as well... until he kept having the episodes. I would beg him to go to the hospital but because he was always out of it during these episodes he wouldn't remember and thought I was exaggerating. I really was at my wits end. Finally in May, the 15th to be exact, he had his worst episode yet. He was so weak he couldn't even sit up in bed. I finally got so angry with him that I demanded that he seek medical attention. This coupled with the fact that he was actually aware enough to realize what was happening convinced him to go to the hospital. As it turned out when the doctor got the results of the CT scan back Hank had a brain tumor. Yep, a brain tumor. Of course he had surgery and thankfully the tumor turned out to be beinign but still. It was huge and he's had to have four surgeries all together. Count'em, four! Hank is now in a facility in a semi-comatose state. He is communicating as best he can and I have faith that he will pull through this, but he waited way too long to seek help. Seriously folks, if you are having odd symptoms please for the love of...well your loved ones go to a doctor!

The sad side effect of all of this? Jason and I who are still living in his house (we have no money to go elsewhere) are trying to keep bills paid so that we can have utilities. It isn't easy, this house is big and California is a really expensive place to live. He is losing the house to foreclosure, and I have no clue what we're going to do. I'm sad that Hank is going through this, that a vibrant and unique person like him has to suffer and heal from an ordeal no one should go through, and he's losing his house to boot. As for Jason and me? Well, lets just say that going through charities is notthe nost pleasant experience (this in a whole other blog though), and I am humbled and amazed that people get through these experiences. I've always called myself a sarving artist but this is getting ridiculous. Ah well, I still have faith that we will get through this and that Hank will snap out of it and be okay...what can I say? I'm an eternal optimist.

MIA, Ignoring Your Blog Is Very Bad.

I've been absent from my blog and I am sorry. I'm still too opinionated for my own good and I still have the delusion that people actually are interested in what I have to say, but lately I've been going through some serious stuff. I am in the middle of a foreclosure of the house I live in but do not own,and the man who does own it is in the hospital in a semi-coma after having brain surgery for a tumor. On the plus side, I now have several new topics on which to rant. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Fight Over Marriage Rights.

There are a couple of heterosexual college students here in California who are going to begin to collect signatures for a proposed ballot initiative to strike marriage from law. I say good. If Marriage is a religious institution then it should not be a legal one too. I've said this ever since the Gay marriage debate started getting hot here. My solution is the fairest, though probably won't be very popular.

If marriage is strictly religious, fine then it should only be recognized by the church, or whatever religious institution that performed it. It should not have any legal bearing what so ever. It would be strictly a rite performed by the religious institutions, like baptism. If you want your union to be recognized legally then you whould have civil unions performed by a judge or JOP. If you want both, fine, then have both. That way everyone, straight and gay alike have the same rights. It's fair and a fairly simple solution.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Is Detroit The Dieselpunk Mecca?

Los Angeles, Tokyo, and New York City are cyberpunk/biopunk. London, Paris, and older New York is steampunk/clockpunk, but where do you think dieselpunk would have likely been set? I think since dieselpunk is all about the petroleum power based technocratic society wouldn't Detroit be the logical place? Chicago, Cleavland, and Cincinnati are also good choices for setting.

Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud...er...well you know what I mean.

Monday, February 2, 2009

VC At The Movies: Semi-Pro

I love a good comedy, I love Will Ferrell, and I love my home town, (no matter how bad off it may be), and so when I found out that there was a Will Ferrell comedy being made about and even in Flint, I was ecstatic. Seriously, it couldn't get any better. When I finally did get to see it I was pretty stoked. After all not many movies are made about Michigan much less about Flint. Of course as usual I didn't get the opportunity to go see it at the theater I did get to rent it for free. Yay for having a boyfriend working at Blockbuster.

Semi-Pro is about singer Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) who had a single hit record in the 70s called "Love Me Sexy". With the money he got from the hit song he bought the (fictional) Flint Tropics basketball team. Of course no one attends the basketball games and Jackie is losing money. Sadly this bit is true, Flint has had several semi-pro sports teams and with the exception of The Flint Generals hockey team, (which has had a fairly tumultuous career in Flint to say the least), they've all gone under. The Tropics are in last place in the ABA and when the commissioner has a meeting of the all of the teams telling them that all but four of the teams will be disolved with the remaining four teams going to the NBA, Jackie has a melt down. He convinces the commissioner that they should reconsider and that the top four teams by the end of the season should be the ones that go on to the NBA. Of course much mayhem and hilarity ensues, and with the acquisition of Ed Monix a washed up NBA star the team sets out to make it to number four. Of course we know who in the ABA went on to the NBA so you pretty much know the ending, but getting there is pretty funny. Jackie has to get attendance up, win games and it isn't easy, but it's funny. I won't give any spoilers, but it is worth a watch. It's not as good as Anchorman, but it is pretty funny. One thing that kind of bugged me, why did they have to mention Flint Michigan so many times? Who says the full name of the place they're referencing anyway? It would make for a great drinking game though.

Oh and a couple of things. I'm not nitpicking because it didn't really bother me but the Capitol theater wasn't being used as a movie theater in 1976. I believe it was being used as a venue for small time rock bands for concerts. Also Henry Ford had nothing to do with making Flint, that was Louis Chevrolet, Billy Durant, and Charles Mott.

If you like Will Ferrell and his usual silly comedy then this movie is for you.

7.5 shuriken out of 10

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My 30 Favorite Video Games: 15, & 14

Okay, so from here on in my favorite games are all first person shooters, save one. I know, I know there are other kinds of games, and they're fun I'm sure, but I love me a FPS. I can't help it! Maybe my top 15 games will change over time, but I doubt it. Anyway, from now on until I get to #5 I will do two games at a time and then one, but there will be pictures! Yay! So, enjoy.

15. Project: Snowblind



Publisher: Eidos, System: Xbox- This is a shooter in the strictest sense of the word. There is very little depth and next to no story. The idea is to go from one mission to the next. This was originally supposed to be one of the Deus Ex games. I think the original title was Deus Ex:The Clan Wars, but after Deus Ex: Invisible War did so dismally with the critics and in sales, that idea was scrapped. It's not hard to see that is indeed a Deus Ex game though, it's pretty clear it takes place in the same "universe", so to speak. The game is fun, and it plays well. It's very pretty and it's fun to do more stuff in the Deus Ex world. Lots of people hate this game, because it is just a shooter and has none of the RPG elements that made Deus Ex so popular. You play Nathan Frost a soldier in a civil war in Hong Kong who was "killed" in battle and then fixed and brought back with amazing nano-tech augmentations. You have ballistic shielding, it protects from bullets for s short time, vision that is a cross between x-ray, infrared, and night vision, reflex boost that heightens your reflexes so that everything seems to be going in slow motion. If you have played F.E.A.R. you know what I mean. You also have cloak which will render you invisible for a short time, and electrical storm that causes a huge electronic burst to shoot out and injure enemies and disabling electronics. These augs are a lot of fun, but they also take up energy that is replaced by energy packs that you find throughout the world. While there are some real problems with the game, it's a bit too short, and there's only one level I think the game play makes up for its shortcomings. I love it though, and accept it for what it is. Like I said, if you like a straight up shooter then this game is for you. But you have to play it on the Xbox because it's not backwards compatible for the 360.


14. Quake 2



Publisher: id, System: Xbox360- I first have to clarify that I played the PC version that came bundled with Quake 4. In gaming you will often hear, remember your roots. You should respect the games that came first because without Atari we wouldn't have the NES. Without Nintendo we wouldn't have the Sony Playstation systems, and so on. Well for FPS fans the Quake series is one of the those. There would be no Halo, or BioShock if not for Quake, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, and Duke Nukem. To be honest I played Quake 4 first, and when I was finished I decided to give Q2 a try. I am so glad I did! It is just tons 'o fun! There's even less story that there was with Snowblind but it is amazing! And considering how old it is it held up so well! You play a marine who crashes into the Strogg base and you are led through different missions to sabotage the Strogg. Eventually to have to fight the final boss who is also the Strogg leader, the Macron. He is not easy, but it is so satisfying when you defeat him. The whole game was just so much fun, I adored it. Seriously, if you don't mind the rather primitive graphics (I don't) then give this a try, and then play Q4. You will not be sorry.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History

Today, January 20th, 2009 at 12 pm eastern standard time, history was made when an African-American man became The President of The United States of America. That's pretty amazing. Whether you voted for him or Sen. McCain you have to admit this is pretty huge, and I for one am glad to be alive to witness it. The country is experiencing a difficult time, but as with all new administrations I have hope for a better future. I am hoping President Obama can help make that happen.

This is a new era, a new President and there is new hope for change.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Things I Want To Do With This Blog.

The beauty of the internet is that everyday people like myself are able to express themselves and their opinions and (hopefully) lots of people will read what they have to say. Some people are funny, some are droll, some are smart, and others...not so much really. The best part is there is so much variety that you don't have to read the stuff from those you don't like or whom you disagree with, but then you can have a real mind expanding debate if want to.

I have done more with my blog(s), (I have a couple of others, one on MySpace, and one on Live Journal, but I usually post the same things to all of them), than I have in a very long time. I feel more creative and it feels great. Also my writing is really good lately, and while I have no idea why, I will continue on that streak and keep on keepin' on.

So friends, welcome to my world of movie reviews, video game reviews, and commentary on pop culture, the news, entertainment, and politics as I see it, or think it, or write it....eh you know what I mean.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm published! ....Sort of.

So, I' am now an internationally published photographer. It's just one picture and it's in a Portugese book about Jim Morrison and The Doors, but still! I feel pretty good about it. It will eventually be published in English for the American and British market, so that will be really cool. Yay!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Video Game Remakes, Updates and "Spiritual Successors"

I support the idea of the remake. Resident Evil did it and it was fabulous. Doom did it, but they just called it Doom 3, It was amazing. BioShock is supposed to be the "spiritual successor" to the System Shock games, and Tomb Raider Anniversary was gorgeous. Why are there not remakes planned for the System Shock games and Deus Ex? because the gaming industry sucks, that's why! Also, where in the hell is Half-Life 3? Marc Laidlaw? Hello?

note: if eventually there are remakes of System Shock I and II, and Deus Ex, I will consider taking back my statement above, but I will only consider it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cyberpunk Is Dead.

Or so that's what I've been told... I was even told this by Bruce Bethke, and he should know since he coined the term and all. But honestly, as I was editing and re-writing one of my short stories, it hit me; I am either a total maverick (not the McCain/Palin type, but the real deal), or I am kicking a dead horse. Of course I realize it's probably more of the latter than the former but then I have always loved a challenge. Anyway, I have decided to keep on writing the stuff that inhabits my brain, trying to claw its way out and just tell whomever I am trying to sell my stories to, What? No! It's not 'cyberpunk', it's tech-noir, or neopunk, or some other synonym that will appease the editors who have convinced themselves that cyberpunk is not what people what to read.

At any rate, there are still lots of people who want to read dark gritty stories of a future that is far more likely to occur than not, and I am happy to provide them that. 2009 is going to be an interesting year for me...I feel it in my bones...so to speak.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So, it's 2009 Already!?

The very first New Years Eve/ New Years I can remember was 1974/1975. It was the first year my mom thought I might be old enough to stay up until midnight. I had just turned 6 the October before and I was so stoked! I was getting to stay up all night! (heh) My Aunt Lula Mae used to have a big party every year in her basement and pretty much the whole family would show up. I loved running around with all of my cousins and eating all of the great snacks that were put out. Ah I miss those times.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely New Year and that it brings lots of happiness and good luck. Cheers!