Monthly Archives: September 2011

We all want to be a Sith when we grow up…

Found this on my Twitter Feed one day, and loved it.

And I thought of it again today after sitting and contemplating something one of my friends said. She made a statement about me after I slowed down approaching an intersection where I didn’t have a stop sign, and she asked me why. I said because I am a cautious driver, and she replied “That doesn’t surprise me you are cautious in everything” and I honestly didn’t know whether to be complemented or offended. It never occurred to me to argue with her about it, because well…I know it. Left on my own I don’t take risks, and while I sometimes spend more money than I can afford to on video games that is about the only stupid/risky/silly thing I do. I walk through life cautiously, and I don’t make many waves. I do stand up for myself but more often than not it doesn’t bother me to do what people ask especially if it is something easy to do.

And in reality I am much more Jedi than Sith.

The Jedi Code

Emotion, yet peace.

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

It’s not a conscious thing really, but life has taught me temperance. I don’t get my hopes up, or get very excited about…well anything. Why? Because people let you down, leave you, and over all have to walk their own path through life. Even the most important people in your life you just cross paths with for a time, and then you have to go back. The only exception to this is your significant other, but in times when I am alone temperance reigns. And it’s hard to be passionate and excited about…well…anything. Practice makes perfect I guess.

It’s odd though because I can read these next words and feel so…moved.

The Sith Code

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

Through passion, I gain strength.

Through strength, I gain power.

Through power, I gain victory.

Through victory, my chains are broken.

The Force shall free me.

Now, undoubtedly in Star Wars the Sith are evil. Their quest for power, and victory over everyone leads to wanton killing, mass murder, and the genocide of the Jedi. But their goals are so…noble. They want freedom, pure and simple. The freedom to act as they wish, and enough power not to have to worry about the consequences. There is something admirable about that. Pure freedom, of course, is impossible if you wish to have any kind of working society. But sometimes I wish I could just take my brain out for a night, and put down my rules, and just let loose. But I don’t have that power, or rather don’t have the right catalyst to create enough of a desire to do that.

However, I agree with that little boy…I want to be a Sith when I grow up.

So, which do you think you follow? The Jedi? Or the Sith?

Which Code appeals to you more?

And as always, thanks for reading and feel free to check out my other posts.

The Jedi and Sith Code were found on The Wookieepedia
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Wishlist Wednesday: The Secret World

Well, trying this new thing…decided I am going to try and give a preview of a game I currently really want to play on Wednesdays…and probably review a game at least once a week. So coming up this weekend I will be writing a review for Dead Island, but right now I am here to talk about an upcoming MMO, The Secret World. Let’s start with some trailers:

Okay so now that you have watched all of that, a few interesting details that to me makes this my most anticipated MMO of 2012.

The setting is completely modern, and there are 3 different factions to join: the Dragons, the Illuminati, and the Templars. You can cast magic, fight with weapons, and completely customize your skills. There are over 500 different skills and abilities to learn and improve, and the system is an open classless system. What this also means is that there is no “level” system persay, as you gain experience you get access to more skills but you can only use so many at one time. Which means you can still play with your buddy that plays ten times as much as you do (important for people like me who often get burned out and stop playing quite as much). You can group up in PvE with members of opposing factions but in PVP you will be against them (good for my group of online gaming friends because we can never agree on one faction). And randomly generated dynamic events and quest lines that actually seem to matter in the story. All in all, seems like an amazing game, and should be out April 2012.

Well that is this week’s Wishlist Wednesday, I hope you enjoyed my review, and sometime later this week look for a review of Dead Island.

CG

So A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum…

Just finished watching my latest Netflix movie, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story. And ya know…it is kind of a funny story. How the main character felt is almost exactly how I felt in high school. I mean there couldn’t be anything wrong with me…I couldn’t be depressed. What reason did I possibly have? I realize now of course, on the other side looking back, that my friend April was right and I probably should have gotten some help. But I made it through…it was rough sometimes but I made it. And it wasn’t like I didn’t, or don’t have people to talk to. It’s more like I was raised not to hand off my problems to someone else. I mean, life doesn’t deal out anything I can’t handle right? I was always treated like I was smarter, and more put together but the truth was I always felt like it was a thin fragile little shell that I was balancing and dropping one little thing would lead to this huge cycle of failure and disappointment in me.

Now, of course, thanks to certain people who helped me throw off the zombie I had become and be a person again, and a couple of years of hardcore shyness slaughtering thanks to debate I actually have a face to present to the world instead of a facade. And more than that I think everyone around me recognizes that I move in a little circle of my own power instead of hanging onto the edges of other people like I always used to. I always envied the jocks, and the preppy kids in high school because it seemed like they were so confident and together for the most part, but I have a feeling that was all a lie kind of like mine was. It’s good to have come to a place where I actually am confident in my own abilities, and can find self motivation enough to actually WANT to get out and do things.

My bro, Paul posted a song on his Facebook tonight saying it was going through his head and it was such a blast from the past I have to share it with you. It kind of fits my mood tonight.

“I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down…”

So, it’s kind of a funny story…being reminded of how much I have changed from the kid I was. I can still remember everything if I try…and when I was depressed I cursed my memory because it was like raking my heart over hot coals. But that time of my life also taught me how to deal with sadness, and pressure, and stress so now I know that no matter what life brings, I will always be okay.

What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger, right?

 

Anyway, sorry for the sad stuff tonight, that movie got me thinking about the past. Tomorrow lookout for another game I really want! See you then!

Philosophy Friday: Instincts vs Reason

Sometimes I feel like I am two people in the same body. And I don’t mean in the multiple personality sense…like there’s not a Kenneth, and a Jake running around inside my head. The two sides are the subject of this blog. And it seems like they are at war with one another a lot.

First, let my clarify my meanings so we can be on the same page. There are many times when I have discussed philosophy with friends and been frustrated and angry only to realize we are using different terms for the same things and misunderstanding each other. When I speak of instinct I am talking about base impulses, gut feelings, intuitive responses…basically almost anything we feel rather than think. You don’t choose to love someone it just happens, you don’t choose to fear something it just happens. Now your reason and willpower can overcome those emotions and allow you to make decisions you might not otherwise, but the instincts/impulses remain. And there I have kind of covered what I mean by reason as well. Reason is using your higher brain functions, willpower, and logic to overcome or react to problems.

Now on to why I want to talk about this. I spend a lot of time trying to be a rational, civilized person, and for the most part I am wildly successful. But often I wonder how much other people struggle, how often everyone else has to rein in their instincts in order to be “civilized” and if that is even a good thing. And more and more I find myself trying to trust my instincts, because pure (or as close to pure as I can get) reason has just continually screwed up my life over and over. And I am in a situation now where all my instincts are screaming not to do something, but my reason keeps reining them back and saying give it a chance.

So I guess what I am wondering is this:

How much do you struggle against your base impulses and instincts?

Without knowing the details, should I “go with my gut” or trust my reasoning skills?

Do you think we are better off civilized or did we lose too much when we stopped following our instincts?

 

I look forward to hearing your replies, and feel welcome to check out the rest of my posts.

CG

Video Game Wish List

I really want to make part of this blog about video games and review them after I’ve played all of the shiny new ones. But the sad fact is that right now I just don’t have the money to spend for shiny new games. So instead I am going to give you my top 5 games I am looking forward to/I really want to play.

1. Dead Island

First, the trailer. This is one of the most amazing trailers I have ever seen for a zombie survival game. Factor in amazing visuals, an open world similar to Fallout 3 (in game play not so much the setting), a leveling system similar to Borderlands, and a weapon customization system similar to Dead Rising 2 (which I heard was great but I have never played) I am bouncing up and down in my seat and trying to desperately scrape the money together to pay the nice men so I can immerse myself in hours of zombie killing fun. I loved the original Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and own the second although I haven’t played it. I’ve also played Killing Floor which has a pretty basic leveling system, but all in all I have never been more excited at the chance to roll up my sleeves and get down to some bloody zombie slaying. Let’s do this.

2. Minecraft 1.8 Adventure Update

Okay so not technically a “game”, and since it’s already a paid for…I will be playing this when it comes out and will probably write a review. But I am so excited…I have burned so many hours of my life playing Minecraft it is ridiculous, building houses and castles and always looking for the rarest of rare ores. Spending days mining and mining gathering resources and storing them because I am a pack-rat. And this is a huge overhaul of the game, making it focus more on exploration and killing since everyone who plays has the “survival” aspect down pretty darn well. It is supposed to release tomorrow, but unfortunately it looks like that will be delayed until Monday. But I can’t wait!

3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Now for any PC gamers out there this is a no brainer. And if it wasn’t coming out in November this would be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, my gaming addiction is based around instant gratification so those that release sooner are up higher. However, given how much time I have played both Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion I expect shortly after my friends get married on the 12th of November I will be locking myself into my room to play this for a good long while. From everything I have read and heard about it, it seems like everything in Oblivion is improved. And since I didn’t think it needed any improvement I can’t wait until I can boot this up and experience it first hand.

4. Torchlight 2

I could not find a good trailer for Torchlight 2, but it is the predecessor to an amazing Diablo-like ARPG called Torchlight. And they’ve given 4 new classes, co-op abilities, and an open world to roam around in. Sounds like a winner to me.

5. Diablo 3

Ah, Diablo, my first love. I remember the first time I booted up the original Diablo one Halloween night and began my trek into the dungeons under Tristram. I have many memories of playing Diablo and Diablo 2 with my friends, having a great time slaughtering countless hordes of demons, undead, and monsters with them. This game looks to be a vast improvement over the system in Diablo 2 and I cannot wait to save the world of Sanctuary once again.

So that is basically it for my top 5 currently most wanted games. I might make this a regular thing where I present one game a week or something that looks to be coming up on the horizon.

As usual, thank you for reading, and please check out my other posts.

CG

And the cat came back…

So today I went to see my friend Helen and hang out at the park for a bit with her and her son, Dakota. All right, now…take a couple of deep breaths. I can already hear the growling from any of my friends who read this. Just calm down, and listen for a moment.

It seems like no one else I knew saw Helen the way I did. Even her best friend at the time, Kristin, saw her in a different way. And really a true understanding of why I wanted to be around her and have her in my life did not come to me until after Kristin was gone.

First off, you must understand that I am an introvert. It took me years before I could talk to someone I didn’t know and look them in the eye, and even then it was just barely. When I was younger, I listened more than I spoke and apparently this idea fascinates people. It makes me seem intelligent and wise because I didn’t speak unless I had something useful to add to the conversation. The truth is simply that I hate the spotlight. And after high school I struggled with a lot of emotional darkness for a lot of years and finally reached a point where I was just surviving more than living. But I was kind of a zombie walking through life. However, then I started working with Helen and Kristin, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I certainly never understood why but they dragged me to the clubs, out to eat, out to drink, and everywhere like their favorite stuffed teddy bear. And in a way, they helped me wake up from my zombie like state.

But back to why I wanted to keep Helen in my life so badly even after Kristin (whom I wanted to date) was gone. Helen throws herself at life with a passion and energy the like of which I have never found in any other person on this earth. And having her in my life (combined with her resolute stubbornness) means she drags me along for the adventure. It means I get to experience life and not just make it from one day to the next. I get to do so much more than just survive. And meeting her little boy today absolutely amazed me. He throws himself at life with the same fearless stubbornness that his mother has. And I half expected (mostly due to my recent experiences with single mothers) to find her unhappy, or exhausted. However she was as full of energy always, chasing him around, pushing him in the swing, and making sure he stayed away from the bigger kid’s side of the park. I was amazed to see the woman who said she never wanted kids so full of love and adoration for her child, especially since I have known someone who seems to regret and, in my opinion, mistreat their child by not putting them first in her life. To see that Helen had made the transition from the crazy, party girl I knew to a real mother, and one who was handling herself very well at that, was quite astonishing. But I should not have been surprised, as she is also one of the strongest people that I know.

Anyway, it was great to reconnect with her today and I sincerely hope it is not three years before I see them again. I feel like I truly need someone in my life to push me outside my boundaries. Debate helped when I was in school to completely remove my comfort zones, and it has. It also increased my confidence and got rid of the outward shyness (on the inside I am still freaking out when I talk to strangers ;)) but it is behind me now, and I need someone who won’t take no for an answer, who is more stubborn than I am, and who will drag me through this crazy whirlwind adventure called life. Otherwise, I will just be sitting and waiting, gathering knowledge, and never build my cocoon and become a real boy.

Yes, that just happened. I referenced two different things as the end result. Yes, indeed I can do that.

CG

Laboring hard this weekend…

So my “weekend” started early…I thought we were leaving Friday morning early, but apparently we weren’t scheduled to leave until early Saturday morning. So I packed everything up and headed to my Mom’s so we could leave at 3 in the morning.

My bro, David came by and we talked for a couple of hours about how our lives were going, and other things that kind of made me more convinced of a few things. I know when I went to BPCC that I was where I was supposed to be. It felt like the right place and the right time. But now, I feel like every time I turn around doors are slamming in my face, and no matter which way I run a wall snaps up to block my way. I am getting a little frantic because I need so badly to find a job, preferably one here in town…but those doors keep slamming shut. They say “when one door closes another one opens” and if true it means there’s an entire hallway somewhere just waiting for me. And the longer this takes (it’s been nearly 3 months at this point) I just feel more and more lost. And for someone who is used to at least having trail markers being lost is not a good feeling.

That and…I have been feeling more and more removed from my friends lately. One pair of friends is getting married in two months, and another just announced their engagement. Now, this is not an angsty “Oh I am SO ALONE!” thing, and it’s not like they make me feel unwelcome. And I certainly don’t mind being single at this point (and I think it bothers Stephanie more than it bothers me) so that isn’t it either. Just somewhere deep down inside me it’s like there is this little voice whispering “You shouldn’t be here anymore, there isn’t anything holding you now. There’s nothing left for you here.” Which of course makes me feel like I should be looking farther afield, but so far no luck there either. Sometimes I wish I was as lucky as Moses and God would just come down and speak to me in a burning bush. *looks up at the heavens* Just kidding, Big Guy, I would just think I am nuts.

Anyway, it was really good to talk to David for a long time…he oddly enough is one of the few of my friends that I feel can really understand where I am right now, although he has moved on in his own way as well. It’s great to see him doing so well and so…at peace after watching him struggle for years and years trying to find his place. Now that he has found his it gives me hope that I will find my way again.

Anyway, after talking with him until about midnight, I got up at 3 am to drive up to Oklahoma for a weekend of food, soda, barns (Okay just one, and it was round), and family. It was good and made me think of all the times I took trips with them when I was younger. Tuesday I get to start the grind again and try and find a job, but tomorrow I still have one more day to relax.

Well, I hope you enjoyed and feel welcome to check out my other posts.

CG

Why indie games are the future

So I am awake, at 8 am. So totally not a morning person. I have changed my layout about 5 times, and tweaked things here and there and I think I have finally settled on one that I like.

Now on to the reason for this post. First, here is some help if you have no clue what an indie game is.

More and more I see the game industry going towards small independent game studios rather than the big corporate ones. And the reason for this is simple. Big corporate studios can’t (read don’t want to) take the risks that a small independent developer can and indeed has to by the very nature of their enterprise. And yet you see independent games becoming more and more popular. Why? Because usually they are innovative, quirky, and refreshing. And it’s not that the large corporations can really be blamed, they are just protecting their investments…but at the same time if they took a few risks and put themselves out there now and then they could do some really impressive and amazing things like the things indie developers are able to accomplish on their own.

Anyway, what follows are a few links to my favorite indie games.

Not sure if Torchlight counts, but I’m moderately sure Runic Games didn’t have a publisher until after the release of Torchlight.

Anyway, thank you for reading. Please post your comments or thoughts and share them with me, especially if you don’t agree.