taking joy in human unreason


Creativity for the win.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I wanted to write three creative works during the week following the post. I didn’t completely succeed, but I did write a private poem and a very, very short Julie Czerneda-like flash titled “Lost Prey“. Eh.

The bigger success however, was the Bible as Literature assignment I alluded to last week. The assignment was merely to: “rewrite, retell, and/or revise a story from the Hebrew Bible into a work of fiction, your take on the literature of the Bible.” My response? The core of the debate in the book of Job as hip-hop poetry.

It took me a solid week, but I think it’s pretty good. I did learn/accomplish two things in the process, however:

  1. This is undoubtedly the lengthiest piece of poetry I’ve ever written, coming in at something like 100 lines.
  2. I can safely mark off “hip hop artist” from my list of possible occupations. I absolutely suck at writing lyrical poetry with any degree of complexity, even with an instrumental track to assist.

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Working together vs. being friends

There are times when I see people (including myself!) stressing themselves out outrageously over some dispute with another person or organization and I want to go, “Stop. Not everyone you work with needs to like you.”

I like it when people like me. At the very least, I like it when people don’t have to struggle to be civil towards me.

But there are times when I get to decide that I’m only interested in investing enough energy in certain people to keep them working with me. Furthermore, there are times when, when I think hard about it, I decide that I actually don’t need to work with someone (or some organization).

Guess what? That’s okay. I don’t need to like everyone in the world, and I don’t need everyone to like me. I just don’t “intersect” that deeply with most people.

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Laptop irkage

As a senior this year, I see all sorts of people treating their laptops like crap (nothing new), happily proclaiming that the pieces of shit only have to last them a few more months before they can be destroyed. After all, they’ll be getting a new laptop or desktop after they graduate. (Insert smug smile here.)

My question of the day: who’s buying this new magically-appearing computer?

I hear enough people express this sentiment that I know some of them mofos have student loans. I don’t think big-ticket spending in the 6 months before the bill comes in is a smart way to go. Some of them are going into grad school (nuff said). Some of them don’t even have good job prospects! (GPA-hiders, you know who you are.) I know not many people are working enough to have saved up a few thousand dollars since coming to Rose (although some probably have). How’re they going to drop a few K on a new laptop right after commencement? The only conclusion I can come up with is that it’s going to be a relative that buys it for most of them, or that they had very nice savings before arriving at Rose.

Me, I’m more careful with my laptop than ever. I’m thinking this boat anchor will likely have to last me through grad school, much less just a few more months from now. I’ll probably double its RAM soon, and I’m hella grateful for the new free batteries we just got. I’ve been pricing new hard drives, because although mine’s only failed me once, I’m rightfully wary of my model’s hard drives.

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East nineteen ninety ninety-nine-nine-nine…

T-dawg’s birthday gifts included two Bone Thugs N Harmony CDs; while not the kindest part of his gift, it’s the part that’s keeping me up and writing tonight when I want to be sleeping away the remainder of the week.

I loved the Bone Thugs when I was a kid, although I never owned any of their CDs. I remember recording “Crossroads” off the radio and playing the tape until it warbled. “East 1999” never played long on the radio, I remember; I liked it a lot, but didn’t hear it enough for my tastes. Then and now, the Bone Thugs’ style struck me as so different and much more creative than the rest of the shit on the radio. Rappers that harmonize? Gimme some of that.

To quote any older family member hearing music at a family reunion: “Aw, now this takes me back!”

Hard conversations

I had one half of a very difficult conversation today.  It was one I hadn’t really been looking forward to since starting therapy, but at least I had the easier half today, when it felt like many of my normal support structures are busy looking for their own support structures.

I told my mother that I’d come to the conclusion (with some help) that my childhood had been abusive. She was surprised.  I gave examples.  She didn’t remember most of them.

It seemed like a light clicked on for her, though, explaining my strange (to her) estrangement and deep-seated anger towards my father.  She’d been trying to figure it out so that she wouldn’t have the same results with my little sister.  After my revelation, she felt as though she hadn’t protected me enough through the years.

It was so very unbelievably difficult to tell my mother that she had a hand in raising me sub-optimally, that I remember the times she wasn’t aware of what my father’s anger and sickness was doing to me and that I remember when she didn’t step in to stop him.  Her lack of memory of these events might hurt even more.

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Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

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Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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