April 21st, 2013 — portland, writing
Voodoo Doughnuts and
Roxy’s pancakes and cheese fries
I’m so high right now
Shit, this is the park.
Where’s the PSU campus?
“Downtown” doesn’t help!
Roaming packs announced by clouds
Grey smoke and giggles
Sizzle Pie, Pizzicato
Hot Lips, Firehouse, Darcy’s
Hope you like pizza
She hates the facial scraping
Of kissing hipsters
Getting high is free
When you inhale on Burnside
But the Twinkies aren’t
Was I here before
Or was it Portlandia?
This is confusing.
Is that a strip club
Or a coffee house? I hope
It turns to be both
I’m out of spare change
You’re homeless but have great weed
Why not sell me some?
How long has it been
Since we entered Powell’s bookstore?
Dude, what year is this?
Pok Pok, Shigezo,
Local Grind, Honey’s Café, Screen Door,
Who needs groceries?
I saw bears dancing
To Indie jazz disco-core
Today was boring.
April 12th, 2013 — TV, video games
Dear Xbox Recommendation Algorithm,
Remember when you told me I’d love Legend of Korra based on my love of Adventure Time, and how I’d really dig Sengoku Basara and I was all “Dude, you know it”? I really loved you, and how you dug deep to find stuff most people wouldn’t even know about. I remembered working for Hollywood Video and how the algorithm then, Zoltar, just didn’t get it. He was all “Hey you like Snakes on a Plane and Big Trouble in Little China? You should watch The Notebook and Dragon Wars!”
You were different. You understood.
But today, I see a note from you that says I should watch The High Fructose Adventures of the Annoying Orange.
I don’t know if you’re cheating on me and left that note for someone else, got sick of me and didn’t know how to say it, or just don’t get me anymore. But I’m dumping you. I can forgive Cat Planet Cuties and Squid Girl, but Annoying Orange?
Sorry. It’s over.
February 10th, 2013 — Bullshit, Music
The Grammys: And the best new artist goes to…Fun.!
Me: (ノ ಠДಠ)ノ ︵ ┻━┻
I call bullshit. Fun. is made of a bunch of douchebags from already successful douchebag bands. They’re not new or best, they’re old and terrible. If supergroups count I demand Best New Artist awards retroactively given to Asia, The Highwaymen, and Starship.
February 10th, 2013 — Sexism, ads, politics
I’ve always hated the subtle misogyny included in Valentine’s commercials, particularly Pajamagram and Vermont Teddy Bear. Actually, I hate everything about Valentine’s, but that’s beside the point. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it, just known it’s there.
Then as I was laying down and silently cursing their existence, I heard the Vermont Teddy Bear sales pitch.
“Chocolates taste good for a few seconds, but then she’s gonna ask if she looks fat.”
Well, at least they made it obvious now.
December 19th, 2012 — Food, Frustration
I always tell myself that I’ll learn to heed the “allow two minutes for cooling” warning on a Hot Pocket next time. I never do. Nobody chooses to eat a Hot Pocket in a moment of erudite consideration, where it’s the carefully weighed pros (tastes okay, cooks fast) and cons (everything else). It’s always the same.
“I must have food now that is greasy and comforting AAHH MY TONGUE” is the entirety of the Hot Pocket process, and nobody ever learns.
December 14th, 2012 — Uncategorized
I was oh so excited when I saw Pepsi X. I didn’t know what it was, but then I checked the label and was overjoyed when I saw it was dragonfruit. Hell, I’ve added dragonfruit juice to Pepsi before, I knew it would be great!
I opened the two liter, took a big swig (like hell if I was gonna share this!), and was immediately disappointed when I noticed a sort of…almost cloudy aftertaste. Overly sweet, artificial.
I checked the label and found out why. Ace-K and Splenda. “Is Pepsi X a diet line?” I wondered, and I checked the internet. No, it wasn’t a special version of the diet flavors. If I’d bought Max, Edge, One, Diet or any of the other many, many varieties of low-calorie Pepsi I’ve seen over the years I’d understand, but why are there artificial sweeteners in what’s labelled as a flavored, regular Pepsi? Cherry, lemon, and lime have all been normal with diet options, so why not this?
I’ll probably end up throwing the rest of this out, which is a shame. If there was some indication that this one had artificial sweeteners, I’d have saved my money. I can’t stand the grainy mouthfeel of Splenda or flat sweetness of Ace-K.
If it came in a variety that just used sugar or even the dreaded corn syrup, I’d never stop buying it. As is, I’d really just like a refund.
November 9th, 2012 — politics
If Claire McCaskill hadn’t helped push Akin through the Republican primaries, he’d have never made the legitimate rape comment. If he hadn’t made the legitimate rape comment, Mourdock may have never made his gift from god comments, nor would any of the other extremists who lost this election, nor would the RNC have supported them so fiercely.
The downballot turnout may have been what brought voters to the polls in the numbers that got Barack Obama re-elected.
Let’s all take a moment to thank Claire for her foresight.
October 9th, 2012 — Awesome, spam
From: Dagger Mood
Subject: IS YOUR LIFE IMPORTANT TO YOU???????
As I sit here sipping a martini it is my regretful duty to inform you that you have been selected for assassination. I am a professional assassin (I enclose my certificate of assassination as proof) and SMERSH have contracted me to assassinate you and have specifically paid extra for a particularly nasty death which makes it look like you died in a particularly bizarre sex game gone wrong; I had already bought the shire horse stallion, the lard and the dragon dildo (from Bad Dragon of course, I only use the very best tools) when I found out that you are innocent of the accuse, so I make out this time to contact you. Unfortunately international crime syndicates won’t admit to mistakes and cancel the hit so I will be forced to carry out the assassination on you. Sorry about that old chap but rules are rules.
There is an option for me to help you in other for you to know who had paid SMERSH for your DEATH and don’t forget my men had been monitoring you for the past few days and daily record of your activities is been sent to me but I have refuse to order your DEATH.
Get back to me if you value your LIFE with all due speed or else I regret I will have to carry out my original contract to assassinate you and although he is quite charming for a horse I don’t think Henry is the most sensitive of lovers.
Dai Teatime International
Sadly, there was no certificate of assassination, nor photo of Henry.
August 21st, 2012 — Action, FPS, Game Review
The short version is the simple one. Counter-Strike: Global Operations is really fun, and it made CS fun again.
It’s weird in that I’d quit CS utterly as of 3-4 years ago. I played some CS:S when it came out, it was still decent, but I basically did nothing but botmatches. I played again over the winter for some presents and it just…well, it didn’t do it for me anymore. Some of the conventions didn’t work for me, the community didn’t do it, the maps, all of it. Seeing it as it was was a rough experience. Too much waiting, too much imbalance, too many rough edges by modern standards.
A friend sent me his beta gift, I jumped in and did some Arms Race (team deathmatch type mode where you get the next gun for getting a kill, and win by getting a kill with all weapons). The speed was a bit hectic (as expected for a deathmatch), but the balance seemed a lot better. The weapons all felt a little more balanced, except shotguns which are actually useful finally. It’s a fun mode on its own, a good way to feel out guns and a good warmup for other modes. Most of all. It’s got an interesting power curve. Start at SMGs, move to shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, and then…pistols! It’s a ramp up up up and BAM, you wanna win, you’d better prove you’re so good you can beat all those other guys just with a pistol, and the final kill is with a knife. So, it’s really entertaining.
Next up I tried demolition. It’s a 20 round game, 10 on each side, and it starts players with a mid-level rifle (M4A1, AK-47). If you get a kill in a round, you get the next weapon in the chain. More than one kill and you get a use it or lose it grenade (which goes HE, Flashbang, no idea past that). Again, it follows a power curve of valleys/peaks. It actually drops your power at first, then boosts it back up, then down, and if you manage a kill for EVERY round you end up with an AWP. It’s an on the fly balancing system, it resets at match 10 for team switch. It’s also a bunch of short rounds timed to (I think) 90 seconds, with one demolition site on small maps. It’s a very careful mad dash to the site, the terrorists have to plant the bomb ASAP if they’re going to, and it’s a nice series of quick bites of CS action.
After that I moved into the classic modes (competitive is my preference in this case). It matchmakes pretty nicely even in beta, you pick a map rotation (Demolition, hostage rescue, or Dust (yes, dust maps on their own)), and off you go. There’s a new buy method now, too. It’s a wheel instead of a list, you can use number keys for fast buying, but you can use the mouse and get detailed info on everything. It displays a chart of costs, penetration level, and ratings rate of fire and damage among other things, so you actually have a clue what the stats of every gun are. It even gives a little more info in text. As an example, the menu explains that the AK-47′s accuracy can be suspect at best, but the accurate first shot and the stopping power are what make it a favored gun. True enough, the first shot WILL go exactly where you’re pointing. Score a headshot on that and it’s already over, but if you’re spraying at anything over a close range you’re losing the fight. Close-mid, though, spray/burst wrecks people.
It feels like everyone moves a little faster now, and the guns are a little tighter in their recoil. The obvious best method is strafe/spray/jump and be a real nuisance basically – it doesn’t work that well. It seems like now it pays off more to actually use a different approach by distance, and more wise to retreat sometimes. Long range encounters demonstrate the importance of crouching and firing from a stable platform in very controlled bursts. If you’re in close it pays to stick and move and know your ammo count. Spray with a p90, burst with a UMP, but the pattern of move, stop, shoot is pretty important.
It also seems to move faster than previous CS versions without breaking the pace that worked so well. High tension marked by short moments of intense bursts of action, high lethality as ever, but the moments come a little closer together and start a little faster, especially in the new maps.
The new maps are very well designed and have a little more verticality in spots (in one, site A is upstairs from site B via several routes). The new things, like the Zeus tazer (a one shot kill that only gets one shot for the CTs) and the decoy grenades (which simulate gunfire, as in the gunshot sounds are played by them AND an enemy marker is produced on the radar) work well. They add a new tactic that doesn’t break the feeling of CS at all. Same for the molotovs/incendiary grenades (I think they’re new, I sure don’t remember them), they light a nice patch of ground on fire. Not a ton of damage unless you score a direct hit, but spectacular for holding a corridor or small area of ground against incursion. Nobody likes to walk through fire!
In short, it’s still Counter-Strike, but with massively improved balance and a pace which has been improved from the original/source versions. Moreover, it’s a big facelift into the modern Source engine. The biggest standouts are the improved lighting/shadow, which CAN give away position, and that everyone is the same “type” of terrorist/CT. All l33t, all GIGN, all SAS, whatever, by map, but it’s 5+ individuals versus the same guy five times. It actually solves an old problem CS had, which is that you never knew what you were looking for. It results in faster enemy recognition without feeling stale, a very good thing. Even the voices are different for each team now. Collected GIGN members, excited SAS Scotsmen, and hyper hooligans running around Office.
If you never liked CS, GO isn’t going to do anything for you. If you really enjoyed CS back in the day, but fell out of it and never got back in, this is the time. It’s absolutely the heart of CS, but the improvements are so numerous that even when they’re not readily apparent, they’re obvious. I just couldn’t get myself to play CS again before now, despite repeated attempts. Now I’ve spent 13 ours playing, and that was in 4-5 days of beta alone. It’s a more responsive, prettier, better version of CS, a modern version of the old game and at $15 it’s priced just where it should be. Above budget “what’s wrong with it?” games, below the $20 “new boxed release” threshold. Enough for a triple A arcade game, basically, without making you feel angry you’re buying Counter-Strike (again). Hell, I hate multiplayer games 99% of the time, and I really did hit 13 hours in beta alone. I fully endorse this game on that value alone, I paid a dollar an hour!
August 21st, 2012 — RAGE, Wal-Mart
The woman who bagged my groceries this morning did so with malevolent intent. One cold item per bag, a frozen item placed amongst the spices to encourage condensation and inside the packaging, all the heavy glass jars in one bag around the tortilla chips and on top of a grab bag of turbos flamas, and the rectangular items (Oreos, Little Debbie snack rolls) turned at perpendicular angles in one bag to ensure they constantly fall out.
I never knew Baba Yaga was working retail until today, but it figures she’d work at Wal-Mart.