Thursday, April 29th

Crazy Pills

Listening to: Belle and Sebastian - Dog on Wheels EP
Current mood: Mostly relieved

Oy, this week. Ridiculous. Started off last weekend, during which I spent all day saturday and sunday and little bit of monday night writing about the worst paper I have ever turned in in my 7 year college career (though I did make up for it with a fun-filled saturday night o' beer and gin). Once that was out of the way I had time to worry about Coachella. For once my anxiety was justified. It's currently looking like we're going to have to either drive up both days or else pray for an offsite camping spot somewhere. Simply insane. Plus Ticketmaster was seriously dragging their heels concerning actually, you know, sending my tickets instead of just keeping my money and giving me nothing. But they're not as bad an organization as I might have thought, they were kind enough to email me my tickets after they didn't show up on time. Still, to quote a certain evil villian, I feel like I'm on crazy pills. Anyway, I don't really have anything useful to say here, everything seems to be finally working itself out. Just didn't want to go too long without a post. I mean, I was going so good there for awhile. Anyway, I'll post again soon, maybe a Coachella report. Hey why not?

By the way, anybody check out the Kraftwerk website when I linked to it a few posts back? Best. Website. Ever.

Matt on 04.29.04 @ 04:17 PM PST [link

Thursday, April 22nd

The Planeteers

Listening to: StaticBeats
Current mood: sleepily bemused

I think this post needs a preface, as it's not along my usual complaining vein. So I had this idea last night, sort of just a funny thought. How or why any of this popped into my poor beleaguered brain I have no idea. And because my thought process works the way it does I had a basic plotline worked out in about 20 seconds. Three words: Vertigo Captain Planet. (For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, comics company DC/Vertigo was doing this thing in the mid to late 90s where they would re-envision certain comic book franchises in a much darker, grittier light. Usually full of sex and violence. Some were excellent, others... not so much). Amused with the idea, I mentioned it to Tim, and he suggested that I post it. So here, in the spirit of Earth Day, I give you -

The Planeteers!

The main character of this book is Kwame, a young solider in the army of [Topical African Warlord]. After being severely wounded in a major skirmish of some sort he stumbles onto the ancient ring of Earth (cliché, I know). After discovering the ring's power he begins using it in battle before he is confronted by the earth spirit Gaia. Gaia sends him on a quest to find the holders of the other four rings so that the guardian of earth, Captain Planet himself, can be summoned to save the world from its polluted, war-torn state. So far so good, yeah? Over let's say, a 12-issue run, Kwame eventually meets:

Wheeler - Since Wheeler is a terrible name, he'll now be called Jason Wheeler III. JW is spoiled rich ivy league college student from an obnoxious socialite family (is there any other kind?). When Kwame finally tracks him down, he discovers him, you guessed it, using the ring of Fire to burn hobos to death in back alleys. Why? Cause that's how he gets his kicks.

Linka - Ok, next we've got Linka. Linka is from the "Soviet Union" which back in the 80s meant Russia (though her accent was not even remotely Russian). There's not much that goes on in Russia that's good material for a Vertigo book except, of course, running heroine for the Russian mafia. She's of course hooked on the junk herself because that makes it edgier. Since the Wind ring basically sucks she mainly uses it to gain respect and fear within the organization. This backfires though and she is discovered by Kwame after barely surviving a hit placed on her from the higher ups.

Gi - Then there's Gi. Gi is from "Asia". Way to be specific there. But since we're talking Vertigo, Gi can only be from one place: Bangkok. And we all know what happens in Bangkok right? I don't have to spell it out. Though Gi possesses the ring of Water, she keeps it solely as an heirloom from her mother and is unaware of its powers, until a trick turns ugly one night and she discovers not only that she can control water, but that, interestingly, people are made mainly of water. After this she spends her days in hiding and her nights preying on lecherous men, which Kwame is mistaken for on their first encounter. Hilarity ensues.

Ma-Ti - I saved the best for last with this kid. For anyone familiar with the show, Ma-Ti is a young effeminate boy from South America who holds the ring of "Heart" (wa... wait... the Fifth Element is LOVE?!). He was always a little disturbing somehow. Now I think it's pretty obvious to anyone who gives it a half second of thought how this would play out. Kwame would find Ma-Ti the leader of a small cult comprised of naked nubile young boys, influenced by the power of the Heart ring to love and worship him and do his bidding. I mean, this right here is pure Vertigo, people. There'd be Ma-Ti sitting on a throne of naked boys, drinking wine. He'd probably try to use the ring on Kwame. It would be classic.

Along this string of wacky adventures you would need to throw in that cool woman villain with one eye. She was great. I don't remember her name at all. Now, eventually everyone would be brought together for the summoning ceremony. I'm assuming that you couldn't just summon up the guardian of the earth whenever you wanted to like in the cartoon because that would be stupid (for example, why didn't they just summon up Captain Planet at the beginning of every episode instead of floundering about getting captured, losing their rings, and generally being idiots? It would have saved me several hours of my childhood). So there they are, somewhere remote, ready to summon up CP, and One-Eyed-Villain-Lady shows up to try to stop them. She gets run through or something edgy like that and the summoning begins. Only too late do they realize that she was right all along! Captain Planet is there to save the Earth from pollution and war and so forth. Not *humanity*, the Earth. And of course what's cause of all these problems? You guessed it, humanity. So of course, the Captain culls the human herd back down to more manageable numbers, killing off some 90-95% of the population. Go Planet!

Admittedly there are flaws in this narrative, and I could probably extrapolate even more, but I've thought about this way too much already. Still, I bet if I'd pitched that back '95, I'da got me a book. It's a way better plot than Black Orchid.

Matt on 04.22.04 @ 03:20 PM PST [link

Monday, April 19th


Listening to: StaticBeats
Current mood: fuzzy

Well, the weekend is over, and it's the ever dreaded monday. Seems like that happens way too often. First off: site news. Astute observers will note that I've added a small link that reads Contact Me on the upper left sidebar. For the purposes of avoiding spambots I've written an unnecessarily complex script that'll pop up a small window giving you my feedback address. So if anybody's been out there just dying to snark me, feel free. I'd apprecite any feedback, snarky or no. Heh, perhaps even if anyone has a suggestion for better topics than complaining.

As far as the inferred slight of friday's icon incident, I'm well over that I think. A weekend of sake and nerdism has bascially set me right again. My current problem is this... my brain is not quite functioning at full capacity. Nor half capacity. I mentioned missing two concerts recently due to memory lapse. It seems that was just one symptom. Not only is my memory currently shot, but my entire consciousness is incredibly fuzzy. I'm having difficulty reconciling the past, present, and future as a connected stream. They seem more like vague, unrelated entities. Even the recent past seems unconnected to my current existence. There's a constant feeling like I'm just starting something. I've also been mixing up dreams and reality when I first wake up in the morning. When I arrived at work this morning I was having difficulty getting my eyes to focus. It's all very disconcerting. At least it would be if I hadn't had this happened before. It seems like I go into this state once or twice a year. If memory serves me correctly (ha!) the last time this happened was sometime around last summer (though perhaps it was late spring, which would be interesting). It goes away eventually, but until then I'm going to have an incredibly difficult time actually getting anything done. A few months ago I was pop-diagnosed with normal dysthymic disorder by my roommate Pat with his DSM-IV-TR, and I'm wondering if this sort of thing corresponds to any of those symptoms. I suppose I'll have to look that up. Anyway, one would think I was leading up to some kind of point with this post, but alas, tis not the case.

Matt on 04.19.04 @ 02:57 PM PST [link

Friday, April 16th


Listening to: Radio Blackark
Current mood: Angry/Depressed

I know that I already complain alot on this blog o' mine, but please indulge me once more, as I'm really quite upset this time. Maybe writing about this will make me feel a little better. I'm here at work, and I was just told to stop working on this series of icons that I was making for the top bar of our new, yet to be released, website. My boss told me that he was going to outsource them to some guy in Russia so that I would have more time to work on other stuff. What's so bad about that you ask? Several things.

First of all, out of the dozen or so projects I'm currently swamped with, this is the only one I've been even halfway enjoying. I'd never really done much work on icons before, and especially not in WinXP style (which I'm not really fond of personally, but I was having fun making them). This is not the main problem though, if it was fun it wouldn't be called work. Another issue is that lately the company has been giving pretty much every graphic design project to me. Now, technically, my job title is webmaster, but I really enjoy graphic design and it felt really nice to know that the company trusted my abilities enought to give me all the graphic design stuff. It sort of made me feel, I don't know competant and appreciated and such. But really the main problem is that up to now *everything* on the new website was mine (except the company logo itself) and I was really proud of the work I'd done. I had complete creative control on the project and the new site looks really good. Losing that makes me feel exactly how I used to feel working here, like a worthless and easily replaceable web monkey. Which is probably what I am.

Now, it's not as though the company meant any harm by it. My boss is an incredibly nice guy, and I think he could tell that I was upset about the whole thing. He came into my office a few minutes later to show me one of the cds with the label I recently designed in an effort to make me feel appreciated. But the whole thing is like a cold wet slap in the face by reality. Yes, you can be replaced. I guess that's what I deserve for thinking too highly of my abilities up to now. Well, maybe I feel a little better now. Eh, back to web monkeying anyway.

Matt on 04.16.04 @ 04:23 PM PST [link

Tuesday, April 13th


Listening to: Aunt Bettys
Current mood: ambiguous

You know, for a time there I was sort of of the belief that there was little to talent other than an inordinate amount of practice. I read someplace or other that people who are good at drawing are mainly so because they like doing it and do it often. It's a good theory, but I'm beginning to wonder.

Admittedly I've only been on this wanting to be able to draw kick for a little more than a year now, and true I have progressed over that time. But what's really depressing is that I think I'm actually currently getting worse. I was plateaued for a few months there, and I seemingly finally got over the plateau and was doing some... well, ok drawings for awhile there. They were in proportion at least. I guess it was some kind of fluke because I'm back where I was before. I don't know what I was doing differently, but I guess I stopped doing it. I guess I'll have to give it a few more years before I can seriously give up, but man, it's aggrivating.

No big news, except that I finally bought tickets to Coachella last night. Tim will probably think it's a stupid idea, since he hates the Coachella Festival with a passion, ever since they cut the Chems' set short a couple years back. But I got one word for him: Kraftwerk. Oh yes, I will see Kraftwerk. Even if they get cut short too, at least I'll have seen them. Then I'll be able to reminisce about that time I saw Kraftwerk. You know, and the Flaming Lips and Radiohead and the Cure and the Pixies and stuff. But Kraftwerk is what convinced me. Well, I'm getting bored just writing this, so I can only imagine reading it. So I'll stop the rambling for tonight. Vaya con dios.

Matt on 04.13.04 @ 07:25 PM PST [link

Thursday, April 8th

I forget...

Listening to: Moby - 18
Current mood: Tired

In the words of Rebecca from Cheers: "I am too stupid to live." I must have seriously gotten my weeks mixed up somewhere along the way. I woke up yesterday morning to realize that I had missed the Decemberists show at the Casbah the night before, which I had been looking forward to for weeks. Despite being somewhat annoyed with myself, I just thought hey well at least there's the Joy Electric/Mike Knott show this weekend. Turns out that was last weekend. Which is swell. I need to start taking ginko biloba. Or, you know, medicine that combats dysthymia and social anxiety disorder. But I digress. Still, on the plus side all of my friends are going out of town this weekend so uh, wait. Ah well, I don't need friends or the possibility of leaving the house this weekend. Doctor Who will be my friend, and Dantooine will be my home (man, now that's good pathetic).

In other news after having the hit counter up and running since monday, I've somehow gotten 9 unique hits. 9! Admittedly I'm pretty sure two of those are me, but that's still at least 7 people reading this, which is nearly twice as many as I expected. Why, there could be people I don't know reading this *right now*. The mind, it boggles. To any such stranger let me just say: Thanks for reading my whiny, narcissistic, depressed complaining.

One other thing I can think of that's worth mentioning right now: All Wizards of the Coast stores are currently going out of business. From what I hear Hasbro has been looking for an excuse to shut down the stores since they bought WotC a few years back. I haven't been in yet but I hear things are going dirt cheap. I'm personally planning on stopping by tonight and getting some dice (and who knows what else they'll have). I have this plan to develop some kind of dice-based system for figuring out where or what to eat for dinner. Who knows, maybe I'll come up with something cool and post it on here. I've got some ideas for it that amuse me, at least. That's it for me for now.

Matt on 04.08.04 @ 01:47 PM PST [link

Monday, April 5th

Double Post

Listening to: Bombay the Hard Way - Guns, Cars, & Sitars
Current mood: confused

Looks like something weird happened to make my last entry get double-posted. Inadvertant finger slip causing a double-click or something like that perhaps, so here I am being forced to post again, else I have two copies of the same post up. So you may have noticed that I've added a hit counter to the site, just one of the many upgrades I've been meaning to do for several months now. Now I can finally prove to myself that only 4 people ever read this. Or actually 3, more likely. Oh sure, I suppose I might get an occasional bored reader coming in here off Matt or Tim's blogs, but honestly, who in their right mind would come back to this hole? "Oh gee, I think I'll see what that depressed, whiny, narcissistic guy is up to. More complaining I hope!" Let's face facts, I haven't written anything intelligent or worth reading on here in weeks, if I ever have. Ah but whatever, I blogs because I likes it.

Matt on 04.05.04 @ 02:19 PM PST [link


Listening to: Timo Maas - Music for the Maases vol. 1
Current mood: Lazy

When last we left our intrepid hero we found him an empty wasted shell of his former self, surrounded by the smoldering remains of his formerly glorious computer (ok, well, maybe not formerly glorious, but formerly working). Turns out the mainboard (I'm not sure if "motherboard" is still politically correct) was fried, though whether due to my actions or whether it was just its time to die remains unknown. So anyway, a brief trip to Fry's and $80 later I'm back in the game. And what a game it is. I'm not the really the type to rave about anything ever (I've learned over the years that nobody cares), but if you're in any way a Star Wars fan and you haven't checked out KOTOR yet, you really need to (you know, assuming you have either a game-playing PC or an X-Box). Really everything that we love about Star Wars and nothing that we hate is in this game. I was salivating heavily just wandering around the first level. Ok enough plugging.

So once again it's occured to me today just how little I percive of the world around me on a daily basis. It was partictularly bad today when, as I was parking my car, I suddenly noticed that there was most of a 20+ story building where there had been no building before. Which then drew my attention to the 10+ story building next to it which I also had never previously noticed. Now, granted it *is* Monday, but I highly doubt that buildings of this size were constructed over the weekend. I can only assume that they've been building them over the last 6 months or so and I somehow just never noticed. That's not just oblivious, that's disturbingly oblivious. It makes me seriously wonder just how much of the world is passing me by as I wander around in this mental fog, too wrapped up in my own thoughts and visions to even notice that hey, didn't you used to be able to see the bay?

Then again, parking my car in the lot is almost strictly a pre-coffee activity, so that could have something to do with it.

Matt on 04.05.04 @ 02:19 PM PST [link

Friday, April 2nd

Information Technology

Listening to: Havalina Rail Co. - Russian Lullabies
Current mood: Defeated

Those who know me know that I am seriously dependant on my computer. With the exception of reading, basically any and all forms of recreation I have come from my computer. I don't watch television, only movies and fansubbed anime on my computer. I surf the web for hours. I play computer games. I primarily listen to music on my computer. If I'm in my apartment and I'm not in front of my monitor I'm either sleeping, reading, or we have company. So why is it that nearly every time I try to do a minor upgrade on my system it turns into some kind of horrible nightmare that knocks my system out for multiple days?

It's not as though I'm incompentant in the area of information technology. I've been working on systems since my 286 was a pretty slick machine. Hell, I can even remember doing repair work on my old Commodore64 when I was like, probably 6 or 7. Give me the all the parts and I can generally have the machine up and running in about half an hour. But nooo... heaven forbid that I try to install a new video card and 512mb ram chip. That should literally take 10 or less minutes. When I left my computer this morning it was doing the exact same thing it was doing last night... absolutely nothing. I've completely taken it apart and put it back together once already. And I'll be doing it again. This weekend was supposed to be filled with joy and happiness and KOTOR cranked to maximum detail (did I mention it's a really good video card?), but all I forsee is staring into the black void of my blank computer screen and seeing only despair, rendered beautifully with precise detail at maximum resolution. John Carmack, eat your heart out.
Matt on 04.02.04 @ 01:35 PM PST [link