Posted in Uncategorized

Markup

I’ve really wanted to put more up here recently.  The only thing I really have to show for the last week or so is a mess of pages marked up to hell.  Like, seriously.

word-copy

This is Mother of Mars, in its current state.  All of those markups are changes I’ve made since I “released” it earlier this year– like Junish.  I really want to get it done.  Not just because I’m tired of it, but rather because I’m really into it.

Some parts have been tough.  Today I literally replaced about 2/3 of a chapter with similar yet entirely new writing that that holds a great deal of significance to the plot, or rather the newly revised more coherent more engaging plot that will eventually lead into the sequel.  Sigh.

There are a few notes I’ve left myself to make sure I go back and rewrite a few passages that still feel lazily written.  Some of my notes include:

REVISE

Ehh??

Make this better

I dunno

BAD BAD

I am out of my writing aid; the fancy wine I bought in France so I’m just kind of huffing it now.  I know I promised more “Hell to Pay” this month, but this is consuming all of my time.  At least I think the compilation of the old chapters is revised and edited and pretty much ready to go up.

I have a vlog going up tomorrowish, but I have to upload the video overnight because it’s long and the internet here is abysmal.

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Posted in writing

Lipstick

It’s a deep, unctuous red; the epitome of sexy. You see it in all the movies. It seems it was something she had practiced.

Taking a seductive sip of her Merlot, a print clung to the glass, almost the same color of the contents.

The night begged to conclude, a few drinks later. She wanted the opposite. Pulling at my tie, I was lured in. I was met with the waxy taste of her pigment. Fake.
Failing to resist, I stopped to consider that for the moment, I didn’t need the real thing.

Posted in Vlog

Memories Fresh in My Head

I didn’t do much for Christmas this year.  I actually haven’t for several years now.  My mom made enchiladas, and we exchanged simple gifts.  I gave her warm wool Slippers that I bought at the Christmas Market in Paris.  I got a nice scarf from her.  I drank some of the fancy wine that I bought also in Paris.  I then took time to put together this video of all the things I did in France while I was there.  If you missed out on some of my vlogs, or just forgot about some of the things I did, this is your chance to catch back up.

It would be awesome of you to Sub to my channel there. I have one that thing planned before the New Year comes as well.

Happy Holidays Greasers.

Posted in writing

Bearing Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house-

“Fuck!”

“What happened?” She whispered, standing above him as he attempted to descend the stairs.

“I just stubbed my toe.”

“You should have turned on a light like I told you, Alan.” She nudged him in the back with her presents.

“No, the hallway light will wake up the kids Carol.” He said, shushing her.

“You’re the one who’s being loud. Besides, the kids don’t wake up for anything less than a world war, let alone their alarm clocks.” She explained.

“That’s where you’re mistaken dear. The kids will be up all night, waiting for Santa Clause to come by. They could be up now, listening.” His whispers rose up, almost obnoxiously loud.

There was cracking sound of the door frame adjusting under the weight of the door that had just swung open. “Santa?”

“Dangit, you just woke up Jennifer.” She turned to him. “No, honey; it’s just mommy and daddy.” She spoke up.

“Did Santa come already?” Her tiny voice spoke out from her room.

“No, we’re just making sure we put out the candles.” Alan spoke, looking down at the near invisible treads of the stairs, in a soft glow emanating from downstairs. “We just want to make sure we don’t burn down the house.”

“No no!” The little girl cried out. “If the house burns down how will Santa come?”

“Look what you did now.” She pushed him. “The house isn’t going to burn down.”

“We just want to make sure he doesn’t knock them over with his big sack full of presents.” He explained. She jabbed him again.

“Don’t eat any of the cookies daddy, me and mommy made them just for him.”

“I’ll make sure he doesn’t.” Carol flashed her smile at him in the dark. “Daddy has a big enough tummy already. I’ll go put her to bed.” She whispered to him.

Alan nodded his head, and she placed her stack of presents on top of his. Carefully, he continued to shuffle down the stairs. He grasped tightly onto the stack of neatly wrapped boxes. Finally at the bottom of the stairs he turned towards the family room, with tree neatly lit up in the corner.

As he stepped over the threshold, his feet made contact with a fleece covering that had been strewn across the tile floor. Before he could gain traction, he slipped and flew backwards. With an ounce of luck, he was able to grab onto the banister, but the gifts had all fallen to the ground with a loud clang.

The blanket he had slipped on started to move, and the lump under it shifted around, bunching it up. A young boy popped his head out from under it.

“Santa?” Came the groggy voice.

“Thomas? What are you doing down here, why aren’t you in bed?” Alan said, catching his breath.

“THAT’S SANTA, HE KNOCKED OVER THE CANDLES.” Came shouting from upstairs, followed by loud yet tiny footsteps down the stairs.

Alan stood in place, surrounded by presents strewn across the ground. The little boy had extracted himself from under the blanket, and began to amass the presents that had fallen close to him. Jennifer arrived at the bottom step to look at the carnage.

“Jenny! Jenny! Santa came! Look at all the presents!” The little boy raved.

“Daddy!” She yelled, sending tiny fists into his shoulder. “You scared Santa didn’t you; you made him drop all the presents.”

Carol stepped down the stairs behind her, shaking her head. The little girl jumped down from the last step and across into the living room, where she began shouting.  “You didn’t even give him enough time to eat the cookies and drink the milk! He’s gonna be mad, and he won’t come next year.”

Carol stepped behind Alan and wrapped her arms over his shoulders, whispering. “It’s okay, by next year they’ll have forgotten.”

“Yeah, but they’re going to tell their friends at school how their dad attacked Santa Clause…”

Posted in writing

Rejected Christmas Ghosts

Evan Nizer Scruge saved up all this his money until this moment; the Steam Christmas sale, when games could go up to 90% off.  It was truly a time of wonder.  However, as each of his wishlisted items slowly popped up, he realized none of them seemed as interesting as they did when he first added them.  The ones he really wanted were still only 25% off too, what a rip.  Discouraged, he launched Team Fortress 2, hoping to get a few rounds of deathmatch in until he felt like falling asleep.

Eyes too heavy to properly find headshots, his arms fell from his keyboard and mouse.  His glass of eggnog almost empty, he slumped back in the chair and quickly fell asleep.

In his sleep, the first ghost appeared to him, carrying a sack that was bulging full.  “I am the Ghost of Logged Hours.” It explained to him.

“All of those hours logged into online games, MMO’s, imagine what you could have done.  Do you know why you had no girlfriend to bring to your parent’s house this Christmas?  All those times in high school, when you were farming gold rather than going to prom.  There was probably some girl out there waiting to be asked out, but it seemed like every other guy had a date already.  That could have been you.

You don’t have any scholarships either, I see.  Did you really find it necessary to go raiding with your guild mates rather than enrolling in extra-curricular activities?  Scholarship boards really eat that shit up you know.  Now you have to work part time to pay for your McDonalds.  If you just got a scholarship, you could have ditched that job and had even more time for your games.”

The images of keyboard shortcuts and in game auction houses drifted out of view, and Evan found himself faced with another ghost.

“I am the Ghost of Spending Time with your Family.  You know somewhere out there your relatives are arranged around a warm fireplace, enjoying each other’s company.

Perhaps somebody brought Cards Against Humanity.  You love that game, but you could never imagine yourself trying to explain ‘bukakke’ to your mother and grandmother. Worse is finding out that they already know what it is.  Have they partaken in it themselves? Or did they discover through your browser history?  Which is the worst prospect?

If you were there, you could have drifted the conversation in a different direction, or even chosen a whole different game to begin with.  Perhaps Apples to Apples.”

Arms twitching, dreaming of double checking that he had properly used ‘incognito mode,’ the ghost faded out.  Before his temporary internet files had a chance to head to the recycle bin, the third and final ghost appeared to him; wearing his graduation cap, tassel still in place.

“I am the Ghost of Passed up College Majors. Look at you, Mr.  Game designer himself.  What have you made?  What’s that, you barely even remember Java?  What about C++?  Not even C?

You know how you took a minor in graphic design so you could make a proper looking thumbnail for the app store when you eventually wanted to sell your Pacman ripoff? Nobody is going to buy it, you know.  Look at its ratings.  One and a half stars.  Well if you had just taken a few more classes, you could have gone for a double major.  You wouldn’t even have to freelance then.  I know,  working in an office and wearing something more dressy than a graphic Tee sounds awful, but at least you would have a constant income. Think of all the Steam games you could buy then, dummy.”

Shooting awake, he panicked.  Looking at the clock, he noticed it had moved quite a bit; now in the A.M. times.  The deals had updated in the Steam Store.  With a quick restart, he awaited for the welcome message to greet him.

“Sweet, Civ V is 50% off.”

 

I have one more story for tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Posted in writing

How The West Was Won

“How was it won you ask?  That’s a long story.

Let me think, way way back…  This goes back as far as I can remember.

It was unforgivable.  Sometime it was hot, sometimes it was cold.  And not just hot or just cold.  Blizzards, frostbite; heat waves and humidity.  There was no inbetween.  We didn’t even have air conditioning; ice to put in our drinks, Ipads for texting and all that fancy stuff.

California.  There was gold.  They called it the Golden State.  The gold rush.  Everyone wanted to go there.  The Chinamen, the Mexicans, even the Austrians.  That’s how Arnold became the governor you know, posing with his golden abs flexing in the sun.  Your grandmother would always watch him on the tube.

There were so many injuns.  We learned how to make turkey from them.  But it was dry! Who thought eating an ugly bird like that would be a good idea?  It must have been some sort of sick joke.  We couldn’t let them get away with that.  By the time we got there though they had all of the gold already, and we had to pull big-handled machines hoping to line up these reels in order to get our own share of the gold.  They are shrewd ones, those injuns.

Do you know the west has earthquakes?  Everyday almost!  There’s no winning against that.  In my mind, the west isn’t even really won.  It’s just a madhouse.  You’ll never get me to move there.  You hear me?!”

“Grandpa, we’re just trying to fill out this crossword.  Do you know who was in the movie?”

“John Wayne was in it, I think.  You wanna know something about him?”

Posted in real life, Vlog

You never know what you’ll find; maybe.

Before I left, I recorded a couple videos showing a slice of life in France living in a French house.  I actually meant to do these early in my stay, but they came at the end.  I recorded them in the same session too, which is why I’m wearing the same thing.  So here they are.

Obviously, things aren’t terribly different, but there are some things worth noting. For instance, just tons of dairy products in the fridge. Keep in mind, I am no less lactose intolerant than I was when I showed up.

Posted in real life

Jet Stream, Jet Lag

Jetlag.  Where does the term come from?

I know the term lag.  I played a lot of online games when I was in high school.  Lag was my mortal enemy, birthed from the bowels of ISPs that had market shares very close to what you might find in a monopoly.  During my childhood, we only had dialup.  When my family got DSL from said ISP, it was supposed to be super fast.  My friend, in contrast, had cable, and I quickly learned that DSL probably stands for “Dis Shit Lame.”  I still played online games  none the less; and lag was learned to be something just a part of life.  There’s just a delay between what should be happening and what actually is.

When I first traveled abroad, I discovered jetlag.  The lag that you get from being disconnected from the time zone you think should be in.  I’m pretty sure there’s a legitimate U curve that could show you how difficult the transition to a different time zone might be.  The bigger the time difference, the curve would go up until you reached the very top of the graph; 12 hours of time difference or the opposite side of the world.  Then you could keep going and move back closer to your normal time zone.  Of course, travelling like that would be silly because you could have just gone the opposite direction from the start.

I remember going to France this time.  It’s 9 hours of difference between where I live here in California and there.  By plane, it takes about 12-16 hours of travel to get there depending on layovers. I’m bad at math, so I won’t begin to explain how many hours get mixed up in the process, but I can tell you what I experienced.  I took off around 10 am California from San Francisco.  Arrived and then flew out of Dallas at 5 o’clock, but as you can imagine there wasn’t actually seven hours in there.

On the long haul flight to Paris, I closed the window on the sunset, and opened it some hours later to complete blackness outside.  However, as we were descending into Europe, it was light outside.  You see, the night was going one way, and we were going the other.  At some point, we intersected, but not for eight hours like it would be on an unmoving object.  It didn’t matter, I didn’t sleep anyways.  I got into Paris at around 9 am, or midnight California time.

On the monitors mounted to the back of the seats, they show the flight path and the day/night cycle on the globe which actually explains it much better… I think.

dn3

I’m not really sure what the point of this post was.  All I know is that I’m still jetlagged. The first day I got back, I woke up at 6am.  The next day was 11:30 in the morning.  Today I woke up at 8am.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Posted in real life, Updates

Thoughts on Flight: Two

I recommend you to read the original first; this is some semblance of a sequel after all.

Oh Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. So Big.  So so big.  Unnecessarily big maybe.  Maybe I’m thinking of the line for American Airlines today…

Let’s start in Paris.  Paris is a big, modern city, so getting around with both incredibly easy but incredibly unpredictably horrible.  There are several ways that I could have gotten to the airport today.  One is taking the RER about half an hour, most likely standing the whole way with my huge luggage.  The next way is a bus from the Opera, which I would have to navigate with my huge luggage.

The third way, the one I took, lead me around the city.  I was actually the only one on it by the end, and today was one of those random days that public transport was free.  Hooray!

My luggage was filled no less than a quarter of souvenirs/gifts/things I wanted to consume. I had to drag it along the whole way.  It was both relieving and terrifying to leave it in the hands of airport people.  There is a bottle of wine at the bottom.  It is wrapped in several alternating layers of paper/plastic bags.  In the best case scenario, it would give it padding. In the worst case, it would keep my precious grape liquid from getting all over my clothes as the handlers play something between Tetris and Jenga with the bags.

I’m writing this in Dallas.  I didn’t have time in Charles de Galle.  If you watch the upcoming vlog, you will know why.  At least I got the grueling ten hour flight out of the way already.  Now let’s see what there is to eat here in the terminal…

Posted in real life, Vlog

Goodbye France…

I haven’t been able to write a bunch this week.  I helped set up the Christmas tree.  I bought cool shoes in Paris.  And oh yeah, I had to pack because I’m going home.

Unfortunately the program has ended, and me without a visa, have to go back home to the states.  Here’s my vlog explaining it.

My stay has been fun here.  I wanted to make sure the kids were in the last video here too, because they were a big part of my involvement in the family, and made my stay a lot of fun.

I ate one last kebab today, and tonight we’re eating Raclette- aka melty cheese as my going away dinner.  I’ve been posting stuff on my Twitter regarding packing my bags and stuff, so make sure to follow me there for all sorts of maybe interesting updates on my travels.