Mon, 31 May 2004

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crap, crap, crap!

The question for today is: How the fuck am I going to get rid of all this shit?

Naturally, I am at a Starbucks procrastinating as usual.

This intersection of Webster and Clybourne is kind of interesting, in terms of allusion. Sure, a Starbucks is not that startling, but what I find funny is that there is a pizza joint called Pequod's just across the street. The trifecta is that I have a friend whose name is pretty close to (but not exactly) Ishmael who likes hanging out here. All that's missing is a Moby Disc.

Okay, I am being bizarre.

Jesus Sweet Christ, maybe I should just buy a flamethrower and be done with it. I would be quite happy to just flambe my furniture.

To quote Usher, "Let it burn, let it burn, gotta let it burn."

12:51:41 31 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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hypochondria and hoarding behavior

I woke up quite anxious at 5am today, with what felt like a hot flame searing the inside of my stomach. This is rather unexpected since I have been taking Zantac 150 milligrams twice a day religiously.

I have never been good with deadlines. Just the mere thought sends shivers of panic scurrying up my spine.

I also had a look at some of the pictures that were taken last weekend. Boy, am I fat. The raving hypochondriac in me swears that I have Cushing's syndrome or something. I swear I have the truncal obesity and the wasting of the extremities, and the purple striae. I refuse to admit it's because I eat like crap and don't get much exercise.

Still, I think I have gained about 30 lbs. since college, nearly 60 lbs. since high school. It's really hard for me to let go of the idea that this is some kind of disease process.

Then there is the chicken-and-the-egg problem: have I gained all this weight because I'm depressed, or am I depressed because I gained all this weight?

Somewhat humorously in a fatalistic way, I have noticed a growing small black spot on the volar surface of the proximal interphalangeal joint of the index finger on my right hand. Obviously (so saith my hypochondriac inner voice) it must be melanoma. I have to smile macabrely about this, since cancer is probably one of the fastest ways to lose weight with minimal effort. (Another way would be to contract tuberculosis. Not that I'm trying to make light of people sufferring from chronic, possibly incurable diseases.)

(As a side note, I am currently a textbook case of being underinsured with regards to health care. I am avidly awaiting the activation of the much more robust health plan I get with my new job. Right now, my health insurance pretty much only kicks in if I lose a limb or need a kidney. And that'll only happen after I shell out $2,000, which, admittedly, is probably pretty easy to do if I end up in the hospital and/or need surgery.)


But enough self-pity. (At least for this entry.)

N would be proud of me. I have learned, through much travail and many tribulations, that the trash can is my friend. Can't fit in the suitcase or box? In you go. Nothing beats travelling light.

What I want to know is whether or not I can get the Salvation Army to pick up my furniture.

04:30:17 31 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Sun, 30 May 2004

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hope (or the lack thereof)

"Hope!?" X spluttered, anger and confusion mingled. "Don't tell me about hope!"
Y sighed, shaking his head. "I know, I know. But you know I can't help but try." X gritted his teeth and walked away without a word.

Shit. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I just finished reading The Future of Spacetime (which is basically a book put together by theoretical physicists in honor of Kip Thorne's 60th birthday.) Interestingly, the last essay was by Alan Lightman, a physicists and a science-fiction writer.

It reminded me once again of the only good reason to write: because you have to.

Not in the sense that, if you didn't write, you wouldn't get paid and you'd starve to death. More in the sense that if they broke your hands so that you couldn't hold a pen or use a keyboard (and assuming you didn't have anyone to transcribe whatever you said, and that you weren't proficient with writing with your feet) then you would die, or at least probably go insane.

There was a time when I would have answered affirmatively immediately. I recognize that the reason why I type out this gibberish (not just this blog, but everything creative I've ever written in general) is because I've needed to. I don't think I would've died (the lack of writing itself wouldn't have been the proximal cause, legally speaking), but I surely would've gone insane. Or at least gotten even more depressed than baseline. Perhaps suicidally so.

I guess there is a sick truth to it, then. It's easiest to write when I'm abjectly miserable. This low-level, mild, chronic misery just doesn't cut it in terms of inspiration.

But, I gotta tell you, major depressive disorder is no fun at all. As I've written before, going through life thinking that you suck and that it's all your fault is incompatible with life.

There's gotta be a better way to be inspired than becoming suicidally depressed. Not that it isn't easy to become suicidally depressed considering the kind of world we live in.

Bleh. I have serious problems that not even the most potent psychotropic drugs can obviate, I guess.


It's times like these when I have a lot of shit to take care of but I really don't want to deal with it that my brain turns toward things I have absolutely no need to think about. (Holy fuck, that was convoluted.)

It's really fucked up, honestly. The way I procrastinate is by thinking deep, depressing thoughts.

For example: Because I have all these stupid little exasperating tasks that I need to get done before I flee this City, things that I really, really, really don't want to deal with right now, I have been thinking about my social life. Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

Now, B and B and N and most everyone I've ever talked to about this will tell me that a lot of it is my fault. Obviously I'm not gonna be going out on any dates if I don't ask anyone out.

The more rational side of me (which makes its appearance every now and then, though never often enough to actually make a difference) recognizes that this is simply a self-confidence issue.

Now, I have, at worst, a pretty inane personality. (Note that's inane, not insane, although I'll admit, I've been accused of the latter a lot.) Nothing boldly offensive, and sometimes even perhaps a little mildly interesting.

But then you all know what "nice personality" really means.

Now, again, the rational side of me notes that this really doesn't make a difference. I mean, seriously, who doesn't know an extraordinarily ugly guy who somehow gets all the chicks? I've seen plenty of attractive women out with guys magnitudes of order less attractive than I am.

In theory, as a straight male, looks are not that high on the list of requisite characteristics.

Except in its fatal intersection with self-confidence.

Well.

So I got that all worked out. Not that it makes a difference in anything. In any case, I have all these GODDAMNED tasks that require completion before I get fuck up out of this City, so you know that I'm going to revisiting this theme ad nauseam until I'm done.

19:45:01 30 May 2004 > /3p-omni > permalink > 0 comments

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like a thief in the night

So the end of the month approaches, and I need to evacuate my apartment. Which is a problem since I haven't dispensed of various unwieldy pieces of furniture.

The solution seems likely to be simply tossing everything into the nearby vacant lot in the dark still of the night. Or perhaps onto the sidewalk.

I feel like a fugitive.


I had been sitting on the dismembered carcass of an IKEA dining table chair, placed on top of a lone cinder block. My erstwhile "roommates" (read: my squatter friends) neglected to tell me that they would be putting away the green plastic patio chair that had served as my couch for the past few weeks. My stepladder proved to be unable to accomodate my (also rather) unwieldy buttocks, so, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

While I have been brainlessly content these past few weeks simply trying to sort out the various frayed and tattered loose ends in my life (it's really amazing how little I can get done in 24 hours) I sat on my makeshift chair pondering the frightening possiblity that I might sink back into depression once I run out of stupid, little aggravating things to do.

Cue rug being pulled from underneath me. But, luckily, I am, indeed, getting quite used to this sort of thing.

No, I will not explain that last paragraph. (Remember, to give name to the monster will cause it to take form…)

So. Other than the ten thousand various and sundry useless items that I must find some way to dispose of awaiting me back home, there is very little to do except watch the basketball game and kill a few more brain cells.

Nothing ever lasts, does it? Especially when it's not even real. But I guess I knew that already.

16:09:24 30 May 2004 > > permalink > 0 comments

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suicide by chatroom

Wow. This is extraordinarily bizarre. A 14-year old kid tricks a 17-year old into trying to stab him to death. How fucked up is that?

15:44:45 30 May 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 2 comments

Tue, 25 May 2004

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last days in this city (cont.)

The brief sojourn in the City by the Bay left me exhausted. I've taken two red-eyes now ever since I vowed never again to take a red-eye. Nothing beats rolling in at 5:30am, to the drear of false dawn creeping behind the Sears Tower, above the lake.

Like they say, you never know what you have until you lose it.

I distinctly remember thinking something along the lines of "I'm home!" as I cruised the Orange Line, half conscious. As close to home as anywhere, I suppose, despite the fact that I will no longer have a mailing address in six days, once again living out of my suitcase, as I often have in these five years since I left the city of my birth.

(I hesitate to call that place "home," it having become as alien to me as any place else. Except for my parents, everything from my childhood has been pretty much transformed or obliterated. My friends from elementary school have all moved on, as have my siblings, and every time I come back, I am made acutely aware that my life there is, thus far, quite unrealistic. More on that some other time, though.)

On the other hand, I wonder if the only reason why I wax nostalgic about the Windy City is the fact that I know I'm not going to be stuck here for another winter.


But I must say, it is in this city that I learned the beauty of being alone. Strangely, the alienation I feel amid the grid of these city streets feels "right." As I wander, disenchanted and full of cynicism, I feel bizarrely at peace.

I don't want to call it a surrender. I'm not going to claim that I will be alone forever. For one thing, I know I'd be accused of being melodramatic. Rather, I'd like to say that I have deferred romance and companionship indefinitely.

Still, the world turns, and I'm not getting any younger.

For now, I suppose I must be content to watch and live vicariously.


As I was first, so shall I be last.

Of my friends from college who decided to get an advanced degree, I was the first one to start school again, and I will be the last one to finish (by a margin of three weeks.) For a while I wasn't really looking forward to graduating. In my field, graduation is sort of anti-climactic. It doesn't really mark anything, other than the acquisition of a piece of paper. The epiphany of Match Day has come and gone, and the first day of internship looms ominously. We aren't finished by any means, and all of us will have to go through at least three more years of training.

But seeing B and his class march down that aisle reawakened my excitement.

Stupidly, I am doing rotations until the bitter end. (Some of my classmates have been on vacation for months now.) So, despite knowing that a watched clock does not move, I've been counting every second.

It's so close that I can taste it.


Anyway, I ended up sleeping all of yesterday away. I made it to my apartment around 7 am, took a shower, got dressed, and then drove through rush hour traffic to my final rotation. I probably almost died at least seven times, since I kept nodding off, but miraculously, I made it in one piece. Naturally, the paperwork was all screwed up, and I ended up not starting. So I got home around noon or so and passed out until 6pm. After talking to M briefly, I continued to pass out until 6am the next morning. And I was still exhausted. Maybe I'm coming down with something. (SARS, perhaps?)

So I'm still kind of in a daze today. I went to Jamba Juice today and found myself absent-mindedly staring at a girl, who smiled at me wryly and then laughed aloud along with her friend. I naturally panicked and withdrew my gaze.

I clearly have a lot to learn.

And I am clearly not all here.

I have very little incentive to focus these days. I kind of worry how I'll straighten up by the time internship starts.

17:36:46 25 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 6 comments

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17:10:13 25 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

Fri, 21 May 2004

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wind in the door

I have decided to speed through Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet (which starts off with A Wrinkle in Time[Amazon][previous blog entry]) The first three books were written in the '60's and '70's (pretty much before I was born) and the level of biological knowledge in A Wind in the Door is kind of intriguing. For one thing, it gives me some insight on my own uninformed assumptions about the history of molecular biology. Considering that Rosalind Franklin just discovered the structure of DNA in the '50's by X-ray crystallography, I imagine that the electron microscope was pretty damn new in the '60's. While mitochondria are visible by light microscopy, for some reason, I imagine that molecular biochemistry was not advanced enough to figure out the precise mechanism by which ATP is created by these little symbiotes.

But, long story short, I am somewhat astounded that what L'Engle wrote about mitochondria and the putative farandolae is certainly not outdated. I remember when I was in grade school and first read A Wind in the Door, my only source of definition for what a mitochondrion was was the dictionary, and it gave me a really vague definition. But, perhaps a decade later, after earning a degree in molecular biology and (soon) earning a degree in medicine, mitochondria have become something to take for granted.

Not that we know everything about them. There are certainly some deep mysteries left.

But, interestingly, while the farandolae seem to be a McGuffin invented by L'Engle, there is actually a (very crucial) molecule that seems very close to L'Engle's artistic description: the F0F1-complex, also known as ATP synthetase. This molecule has often been cited as an example of the anti-Darwinian model of "intelligent design" considering the machine-like way it's put together. If we ever get that far, this is probably what nanotechnology is going to look like.

16:38:03 21 May 2004 > /books > permalink > 5 comments

Wed, 19 May 2004

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time traveling

(Some random scrawlings that I can't seem to make coherent)

Knowing that these are My Last Days in this City makes everything dreamlike and surreal, like I'm waiting for my own personal apocalypse.
The past and present meld together in a spiraling, feedback fashion. As I walk aimlessly across this urban matrix, I orient myself through space with nothing but memories: I pass that patch of sidewalk where he pointed the gun at me. I walk across that parking lot where my buddy took off his shirt and just about took off his pants before we stopped him. I drive down the street where we tried hailing cop cars to take us home. I walk past that club where my other buddy picked up those two women and where we danced countless drunken, sweaty nights—these last memories all blur, smeared by alcohol and repetion.
I try to un-know these past few years, pretend that I am once again caught in the moment, exploring this vast place that I am now familiar with (though I only learned an infinitesimal increment about it)
Knowing that my immediate future lies completely elsewhere, literally half a continent away, it is close to impossible to start anything new. No matter how adventurous I feel, I find myself walking through the same familiar streets, drinking at the same, tired bars. The only difference is that I no longer meet familiar faces.
My own personal, transient history is being erased even before I leave this place for the final time. I realize it is megalomaniacal to expect that I would leave a mark in this place, but the immensity of this city and my insignificance in it bears down on me in this solitary days.
The weather has morphed at least six times since I've been sitting here, recapitulating the seasons, with change to spare. The bright, blue sky of summer, the brooding grey of winter, the deep dark, pregnant rain clouds, the yellow glow of the sunlight gleaming through the breaking bank of clouds.

It's odd, this feeling, that, despite knowing precisely where I'm going to be in the next month (well, not precisely, but about as precise as you can be given the changing tides of Fate, Godel's Law of Incompleteness, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle), I feel completely directionless.
It doesn't help that there are a hundred, thousand trivial tasks that pull at me this way and that, these ridiculous loose ends that, like dandelions or gophers, just keep popping up.
It's like this cosmological game of Whack-a-Mole.

I still marvel at the sensation of being completely isolated and disconnected despite being embedded in a rock-and-concrete organism made up of millions of people. Sometimes, much like how motion-sickness and the concomitant nausea can creep up on you, I lose my sea legs and plumb the depths of this seething loneliness. Then I regain my equilibrium and composure, and plunge on dazedly, immune to passion, sorrow, or joy. It's amazing the sorts of things human beings can adapt to.

17:23:02 19 May 2004 > /portents > permalink > 1 comments

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thermodynamics and relationships

Contrary to the claims of my friends, disconnecting my Internet connection at home has failed to improve my social life. In fact, since I also don't have a T.V. anymore, or a phone line, and I'm not really sure that I'm still receiving mail at my erstwhile place of residence, I'm rapidly losing touch with any semblance of "reality" (whatever that may be) and I don't know when anything is supposed to happen anymore. Since I don't have my computer on almost 24-7 anymore, I'm not even sure what day of the month it is half the time.

Somewhat ludicrously, I think my sporadic posts to this blog are the only evidence to the outside world that I am, in fact, still alive.


This entry on f(r)ictions caught my eye, mostly because I am a supernerd who stupidly took the organic chemistry class that only chemistry majors and chemical engineering majors usually take, and the schematic of organic molecules reacting snared me.

But, even more synchronously, I have been using the term "free radical" to euphemistically refer to newly single people in my (increasingly incestuous) circle of friends here in the Midwest. (Skip the following if you have no interest in reading about organic chemistry or biochemistry—which I imagine will be both of my readers) The analogy, while extraordinarily nerdy, is, I think, also apt. Think of break-ups as the splitting of covalent bonds. Depending on how tight the bond was (how strong the relationship was) and how much energy was expended to break the bond (how dramatic the circumstances of the break-up were), you will end up with (1) two atoms that momentarily split apart, then rapidly join back together again (2) two atoms that were loosely bonded anyway even before the energy was applied, and which rapidly drift apart, either calmly binding with other unbound atoms or simply going its separate way as a stable, single atom or (3) two atoms that separate with explosive force, shearing electrons this way and that—in other words, creating free radicals.

Now, just as in a reaction chamber, the result of such a reaction depends on the neighboring molecules. If the other molecules in the chamber are sufficiently stably bonded, the free radicals will eventually shed their unpaired electrons without much ado. But if the other molecules are unstable as well, likely all hell will break loose. A chain reaction will ensue until some stable state is attained, which is typically nothing like the starting conditions.

You squeeze a bunch of molecules tight enough together, and some interesting (though possible devastating) things can happen.

Very few elements actually stay unbound, though. There are, of course, the noble gases, such as helium, neon, argon, and xenon, but even argon and xenon can be induced to bind to oxygen or fluoride, given enough energy. Non-reactive single atoms are very rare indeed.

So I suppose that's either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you think explosions are a good thing or not.

15:38:27 19 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 2 comments

Tue, 11 May 2004

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a wrinkle in time

I haven't thought about this book in a long time, despite the number of ideas it spawned within my addled brain, and despite the bizarre synchronicity swirling around this particular point in spacetime.

A Wrinkle in Time was one of the books on the reading list my 4th grader teacher gave us. I remember that me and one of my classmates had actually gotten towards the end of the list, so our teacher had to extend the list a bit to accomodate us.

There was a lot of stuff by Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume, and Roald Dahl, from what I remember, and a lot of other stuff that I barely remember. One of the more haunting ones was Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I'm sure many of you have read. (Incidentally, this book had much currency in my then-expanding weltanschaung, since the aforementioned Island is maybe around 75 miles southwest of Los Angeles, named San Nicolas Island by Spanish. The girl in the story—whose name I forget—actually ended up living—and dying—at Mission Santa Barbara. But, as usual, I digress.) However, what I owe this book list most for is my introduction to the genre of Fantasy.

Like many geeks, I devoured The Hobbit, and read all the books in the Chronicles of Narnia (which is also interesting because apparently J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had somewhat of a complicated personal relationship which I won't even dare to speculate about here) But I also stumbled upon Madeline L'Engle's intrepid series of books, the first one of which was A Wrinkle in Time. (The other ones that I remember really liking are A Swiftly-Tilting Planet and Many Waters) This is probably what sowed the seeds of my obsession with cosmology, which inadvertantly lead me to quantum mechanics and relativity. (I'm not claiming I really understand either of them, and I certainly don't understand the math, but I think I recognize their particular constructs.) In any case, the McGuffin, as it were, is the Tesseract, which is simplistic referred to as the fifth dimension (that is, as hyperspacetime) and which actually well approximates how physicists currently understand the possibility of time travel. (For more on this, I would recommend Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy, or more to the point How to Build a Time Machine) Basically, the idea is that spacetime "wrinkles," causing distances to shorten. A journey that would otherwise take 20,000 years at light speed could be accomplished in a few seconds.

Now, the wrinkle is evocative of Einstein's idea of mass causing spacetime curvature (and, ultimately, warpage, in the case of a black hole.) The shortcut through the universe brings to mind the concept of wormholes, which is—ever since Kip Thorne tried to figure out a way that Carl Sagan's protagonist in Contact, ably played by Ms. Jodi Foster, could travel through time—the most likely way to create a time machine.

It remains to be seen if time travel is truly compatible with the laws of physics, and if you've met someone who might seem to be from another planet perhaps they are in reality merely from another time period.

In any case, ABC showed the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time yesterday, and, in addition to increasingly propelling the aspiring scientist in me, it has also reinspired the budding writer in me.

In addition to (perhaps vainly) trying to comprehend quantum gravity and black hole physics, I've also been reading books by Mike Davis, who, besides being a professor at UC Irvine, is also a passionate historian who specializes in the history of Southern California. I just recently finished Dead Cities and am now starting on City of Quartz, and what I am struck by (which I might never have noticed if my sister didn't spell it out for me) is how he invokes the auspices of the now-recognized fantasy subgenre of "magical realism."

Now, bear with me. I'm not a lit major. I'm certainly no sociologist or historian. I'm just a dilettante with a bit of spare time on my hands these days, and so I might be describing this all wrong. But from a Science Fiction and Fantasy perspective, what this is is inserting Fantastic elements into what otherwise would be a "realistic" work of fiction, i.e., set in the present, in societies that we are familiar with (mostly thanks to Hollywood, the MPAA, and the ever expanding universe of media conglomerates.)

Because of A Wrinkle in Time's embedding into quasi-realistic physics and biology and an intuitive but very physical description of Evil, and because the possibility of time travel addresses the possibility of spectacular things happening in the most mundane locales, I've sort of found myself with an affinity to magical realism.

Which is interesting because this is (according to my sister—I may be misinterpreting her) how cultures that do not have scientific traditions archetypically view reality anyway. (We won't get into the bogus science vs. other traditions argument here. I'm not trying to imply any value judgements, but obviously I have my biases.)

Anyway. The other literary thing that A Wrinkle in Time evoked is the idea that reality is non-linear.

I am also reading Stephen Jay Gould's The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox, which, while mainly illustrating the destructiveness of the false dichotomy between science and humanities, also provides some insight into who the prototypical Hegemon really is.

From the little that I've read in Gould's book, what post-colonial deconstructionists typically see as the Hegemon is in fact a painfully anachronistic remnant of the 17th century Enlightenment, replete in Deistic "rationality" and a belief that this is the best of all possible worlds. (A point-of-view which Voltaire lampooned in Candide, way back when.) Hence, the clinging to Adam Smithian economics, the belief that progress is linear, the idea that all things can be predicted—these are, from what little I understand, the elements of what we simplistically refer to as Capitalist Culture that often allow much Evil to be committed.

Now, science has progressed quite a bit since the 17th century, and what we have learned (admittedly, relatively recently) is (to be reductionist about it) that most everything is unpredictable (see Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Godel's Law, and Chaos Theory), the structure of the universe cannot be deduced by common sense (see Einstein's Theory of Relativity as the prime example), and that while there is an Arrow of Time, it is embodied in Entropy and Decay. So much for utopian progress.

And while people committed to the Struggle might (righteously) rail against the Miltary-Industrial-University Complex embedded within the matrix of Capitalism, whose religion is "science," I do not believe that science is not the enemy here.

As I have taken to habit to say: Science is like a map. It can tell you where everything is (provided you know how to use it), but it can't tell you where you should go.

And what is Science? It is not a disconnected body of facts about the physical world, but a Method. And this Method allows anyone who knows how to use it to gainsay any authority figure. Because without evidence, whatever you say doesn't mean shit. (Admittedly, the Establishment has ways of manufacturing evidence and of discrediting dissenting voices without using such niceties as logic and evidence, but this in itself does not discredit the Scientific Method.)

But I am rambling all over the place, and have long since forgotten my original point, so I'll stop here.

18:58:58 11 May 2004 > > permalink > 11 comments

Sat, 08 May 2004

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prince of persia: the sands of time

I don't know how this popped into my head today…I have this weird recurring vision of a character riding a comet into the raging fires of the sun (the way that guy rides an atomic bomb in "Dr. Strangelove) and I'm trying to turn it into a story somehow.

I guess I'm just mulling over the basic idea of crafting a story, and the problems of killing off your main character (or one of your main characters.)

In any case, this reminded me of the cute little conceit that the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has. The idea is that the protagonist is really narrating his adventures (which is where the gameplayer comes in.) Now, despite the protagonist's pretty amazing capabilities of climbing up smooth sheer walls without equipment, and a hang-time that Michael Jordan would envy, every so often, you (the player) will cause the protagonist to splatter across a palace courtyard or get impaled on iron spikes or get dismembered by spinning razor-sharp blades. The gameplay, naturally, ends at that point, but the protagonist then intones, "No, no, no, that's not what happened," and if you choose to continue, you get to restart right before the fatal event occurred.

That's the kind of detail that most game designers just don't pay attention to these days. Once upon a time, there was this idea that video games would basically become interactive literature—a more immersive telling of a particular narrative. Now most games are all about blowing up or eviscerating as many people or misshapen creatures as you can.

13:56:40 8 May 2004 > /computers/games > permalink > 4 comments

Tue, 04 May 2004

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self evident truth

I recognize full well that desperation is not attractive.

I never like to do something simple if I can do it in the most difficult, perverse, and absurd way possible.

22:14:29 4 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 2 comments

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lorem ipsum dolor

Do those of you eminently familiar with desktop publishing tools, especially fonts, recognize this? Or am I hopelessly alone in this piece of mindless trivia, acquainted only because of my brief affair with Quark XPress and Adobe Indesign (nee Pagemaker) and the subsequent hunt for Truetype fonts that looked good when printed on a press coupled with my serendipitous bout with Latin in high school? Man, I have problems.

19:27:49 4 May 2004 > /blog-bites > permalink > 3 comments

Sun, 02 May 2004

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blogging on my feet

this is surely not good for my joints. i currently don't have a seat, so i'm just blogging on the fly, trying to sort some things out.

i've been angry a lot lately. not because of anything specific. sure, there's the iraqi occupation and all the young men and women dying for a dubious cause. all the right-wingers who don't care to listen and sometimes don't even care to think. then there are the liars and cheats. my colleagues with questionable ethics. my peers whom i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. and then there are the parents who mean well but who can't help but aggravate me at times by trying to run my life.

i'm such a self-righteous, sanctimonious prick sometimes.

to put it crudely, and to paraphrase my oldest friend's own deconstruction of the situation, perhaps it all has something to do with the fact that i've been—shall we say—physiologically repressed for a while.

that's right. always thinking with the wrong head.

seriously though. i devolved into a fit of shouting to myself after i spent an hour looking for my keys. i don't know what it is. i always lose my keys.

times like this i wonder if i'm just insane. if i should just show up to the psych ward and tell them "i'd like to be locked up, please."

now, i've always had a bad temper. while i didn't get my dad's luck—with both the card flip and with the ladies—i did get his raging, irrational temper. it is, i believe, a southeast asian cultural trait, though. running amok. when everything seems all fucked up, there's really nothing left but to go beserk. we southeast asians invented going postal, perhaps.

and yet i am not a violent man. obviously i'm biased here, but i like to think that it is rather infrequent that i just go bonkers like this, and i'd like to think that most of my friends (although not my family) would attest to that. of course, i could be wrong.

the other problem, besides the lack of, ummm, feminine diversion, is the fact that a lot my thoughts seem to trail off into the phrase "whatever, it doesn't matter."

this feeling that no matter what i do at this particular juncture of time will have little-to-no impact on the world is, to put it mildly, a little frustrating.

i can't start anything, but it still never ends.

what i need is the archetypal chill-pill. or maybe a drag off of a blunt.

(and i know that this is way too much information, but, umm, self-satisfaction is of no help here. i will refer you to a quote by Louise Ferdinand Celine. then there is also a very pertinent song lyric by Green Day.)

22:10:20 2 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 4 comments