This journal is a little less than 20% FRIENDS ONLY, meaning that only the really, REALLY personal stuff are hidden underneath.
You won't be missing much, but I'm TOTALLY up for anyone friending me!
By doing so, we have a better way to keep in contact.
To meet friending requirements, best you have the similar interests as me or know another from a community and such. that, Or be simply interesting enough to communicate with!
And if you REALLY want to know what I'm doing in real-time, check out my Twitter page! Same rule applies for my Twitter following requirements...
See ya soon!
(also, if you know the significance of the date of this posting, YOU'RE FULLY AWESOME!)
Here goes another (hopefully) regular blog feature that I always wanted to get to: "My Life In Story"
The idea essentially goes as myself narrating my own life as if it was a written story. MLIS will cover all across my life, but I think a majority of them will be in the present. In this case, this is an excerpt from today, and in fact, several minutes ago...
Lunch break. A time to wander off and collect yourself. A time to do all that you want within a small time slot. I decided to walk.
Right across from the building are some train tracks. They just lay there, having served thousands of trains before, and still do with several hundreds of cars each day. It does get annoying to hear them every so often, but you get used to it.
You know what they say about the other side of the train tracks, and it's true here. While there's some nice apartments on the other side, further down the street it gets a little worse. It goes into the other town, a town with a bad reputation. I decided to eat there for lunch.
It didn't last long. The people were different and I felt out of placed. I packed my leftovers and went back. Back across the train tracks.
This time, I took my time across the tracks; Noticing how old they are, how gritty they are, how far along the land they stretched. Noticing how there was a tiny dot of light at the far end. I kept a blank stare at it. I looked at the streets: The little bars to keep cars from crossing weren't down. I looked back at the minuscule dot of light again: It was very far. Far away, yet so bright.
I finally crossed the tracks back on my way to where I needed to be. Step by step I go, but yet literally a few feet away from the tracks: The bells rang. The lights flashed and the bars went down. Step, step, step away again, and the train finally roared by. The same train, the same light, the same dot I saw, had come across.
Had I stayed: I'd be a goner. Nothing. Zilch. I wouldn't be here. It's amazing and frightening to think how fast things can happen, and for some, maybe too fast. There's always stories of people underestimating how far or fast a train is, and when it's finally put into perspective, your own, your own life, it's shocking...
But I can't think about that now: I have to get back through the doors before I'm late...
Hey there. This is my (hopefully) weekly and (hopefully more than) regular blog post series where I write out my thoughts on one topic that's on my mind.
This week: It's divorce.
Marriage is a beautiful thing. It's a ceremony meant to unite two people for a lifetime. Or at least whenever they deemed fit. Fact of the matter is that divorce have become a very common thing, practically to the point that it's a socially acceptable, which is a complete shame.
For me, I equate news of a divorce to that of death. I say that due to one line: "Till death do us part." My grandparents, bless their souls, have been married all their lives. It wasn't until when my grandfather passed away that they truly parted. My grandmother was all alone, and it was a really sad time. It was a year after that she too passed on, and in a sense, they're probably together once again up there, no longer apart.
When I hear from other people I've met, more and more mention that their parents are divorced. Split. Apart. Sadly, this is just more and more common now. Even still, I always utter the same sad "Oh..." response to it. Those affected by it usually act like it's nothing. Understandable: It was probably years ago, or barely remember it. Or probably even saw firsthand that the relationship wasn't good anyways. But it's still always a shock for me.
Shock because, well, it just doesn't run in my family. My parents, and namely my relatives have never divorced. That is, up until almost a year or so ago when an aunt and uncle split up; Practically a first from family that I knew of. It was a little hard to see them go opposite ways, being that I knew them all my life. Especially their kids, my cousins, who again are somewhat unfazed by it all. But then, despite knowing them well, there's probably something I don't know about it.
Having a divorce decades into the marriage shows that there was something that came up. They wouldn't have lasted this long without some big issue. It hurts to see divorce stories like that, but it hurts almost as bad, if not more, when couples split not to far into the relationship. Like, within years of being married, or before their kid(s) even turn 10 or so. I thought this is what dating is for: To figure out if the two of you were really meant for each other for life, not whenever you felt like it. There's many early divorces now that it's practically sends a message to the youth that it's perfectly acceptable and something you do when you're a grownup. Of course, it's not the case, and those older and/or explicitly told by the parent(s) may realize it. Regardless of being told or knowing it, it's still setting an example. There's many people out there that drink and/or smoke and tell kids not to do it, despite continue drinking/smoking anyways right in front of them.
I guess my big issue with it all is the children of divorced parents, especially those at a younger age. They never were able to experience a 'regular' family lifestyle growing up, which is just a shame. However, in our society today, 'normal' families are almost far and few between now with a rise of divorce, adoptions, orphanages, and so on in our cultural landscape. Even still, it's hard for me personally to get over the notion of it...
Recent years I've been writing a bit. I've been writing most of my life, but recently it's shifted. The past several years, I've been doing more blog posts, more informative posts. It's even reflecting on what I'm reading, which is more non-fiction now a days. It's like I'm becoming my dad or something.
But making stories was something I grew up doing. Something I enjoyed. And in the past decade, I just seemed to have lost that.
Lost with it were some story ideas lying around in my head. They were never fully developed, and after all these years they're still just ideas.
So, for the hell of it, I'm deciding to just put them out there. Hopefully it will somehow help me get back to that old writing self I knew.
First up is a story idea simply called "Brown"
People always wondered why I liked the color brown and always wore brown. And it's a question worth raising: It's not a color often worn by people today. It's all either all black or dark colors, or at least where I live. Anyways, I wanted a story that kind of explained why I wore brown, or at least give a mythos to it.
The basis of Brown is about a young girl, living in an urban environment, who one day notices a young boy, who appears about her age, wearing just all brown. However, it seems as if only she can see him and nobody else. From there, they form a friendship and help each other out, him trying his best to help any of her issues, and her helping him trying to unravel his mystery, which even he's not sure about.
Between the two, there would be a quite a contrast. Not just speaking in color, but also in personality and how they both do things. And as they go deeper into the rabbit hole and get closer to (as she just decides to dub him) Brown's mystery, everything just becomes even weirder...
The other and last story idea I'm sharing for now is "Eye Of The Forest"
Speaking in terms of storms, the 'eye' is the safest area in a storm and is generally in the center of it all. The surrounding 'eyewall' is the most dangerous. I decided what if I apply that logic to a completely different setting: A forest.
The very basic story idea is that our protagonist decides to sneak out late at night with some friends during a camping trip, and after what seems just a few steps away from the campsite, he finds himself in the eye of the forest.
All that surrounds him is just a wall thick of trees and danger. And it doesn't take too long for him to find out that this is no ordinary forest...
Naturally, he needs to find a way to escape, but it's not at all going to be easy...
Also, "Eye of the Forest" may also have another meanings to it...
Think Castaway meets Lost, but in the woods...
And that's all I had with these ideas. Again, they were never fully developed. I think my problem with these was that, like many story ideas, it started with a "what if" situation, and I just never went beyond that. Not to mention that these ideas were there when I started to just drift away from fiction nearly a decade ago, so they've just been left untouched since...
This year, one of my other new years resolutions was to flex more of my creativity muscle, which really needs to be exercised. Hopefully just sharing these ideas will help me get that spark I've been looking for: A first step.
And when that happens, I'll be sure to tell you the story...
It was recently revealed that the Xbox 360 version of the much-anticipated Final Fantasy XIII will come on three disks. Naturally, there is some outrage, but really, this is nothing new. As Kotaku mentioned, Final Fantasy VII on the original PlayStation came on 3 disks as well, along with Blue Dragon on the Xbox 360. Hell, Lost Odyssey on the 360 had four disks.
And all of these are Japanese roleplaying games (JRPGs). It's pretty much natural for JRPGs to come out with multiple disks, and RPGs in general (the recent Mass Effect 2 on 360 came out on 2 disks).
Some anger to this is, again, natural, but that got me thinking: When is it too much?
Games now are pushing their systems to new limits with high definition graphics, tons of voice work, large areas to explore, and many things to do. Developers on the PlayStation 3 are given a lot of freedom with the amount of data the Blu-Ray disks can hold, but porting a PS3 game over to the 360, which seems to be the case for FF XIII, that would mean multiple DVDs for Xbox gamers.
Is it developers/publishers at fault for not fitting a big game onto just one disk? I was still surprised years ago to find that Grand Theft Auto IV was going to be on a singular disk for the Xbox 360 version. One DVD for that massive game. Granted, developers Rockstar has been known to really push systems and compress big games like the GTA series onto one disk: They managed to fit a big GTA-experience on a little PSP with little UMD disks.
But honestly: Do gamers care? Again, there has been several games that have come out on several disks, and there hasn't been much objection about it. As long as the gamers enjoyed their experience, does it really matter how many disks was required to hold it all?
I think we're OK with multiple-disk games right now since not every single big new game release had to go to that option. A multi-disk game only comes one every so often. Had every big release come on several disks, will gamers start to really throw a fit?
Imagine every-other-month or so when we get that one (or more) blockbuster video game everyone is looking for came in 3 disks, or even more. I think that would be a little frustrating, but would the gamers really care?
Though, I'm sure many would rather go for the multi-disk route rather than what's going on with the PS3: Mandatory installs.
On the PlayStation 3, several big games required an install to the PS3's hard drive (this is due to, i believe, is the fact that blu-ray drives are slower/reads slower than dvd drives or something). Having these installs meaning more waiting instead of playing your game as soon as you get home to play it. Games like Metal Gear Solid 4 had a required game install, and it's been just mentioned that the much anticipated Heavy rain will require a 4.2 GB install.
I think it's safe to say that many gamers would very well rather pop in a disk and instantly play the game they picked up and switch disks later instead of having to wait for their game to install and just play.
So while the PS3 is able to hold large games on Blu-Ray, several may require an install you have to wait for. The Xbox 360 however may also have some big games, but it will require several disks that you have to switch.
Which do you prefer?
A long while.
I've mentioned before that I was looking for another blog to voice out on.
well, Turns out I didn't quite pursuit blogging much on that.
Not to say that I haven't been doing anything: Most of the time it's been tweeting on Twitter.
I would shove those tweets automatically to LJ, but we know what happened last time...
But yes, for the hell of it, I decided to come back to LiveJournal. Blogs and Twitter don't quite offer the good old LJ feeling that only LiveJournal can offer.
Not sure how long I'll actually stay back in LJ, but I'll certainly be on a lot more, but maybe not posting.
Just wanted to stop in to make a lengthy post on what's on the mind, and what I've been doing.
First: Can you believe that it's almost the end of 2009? man... It's gone by fast, and we're nearing the end of the decade! ANOTHER decade! Kind of a strange feeling for me, but hey: I have to get used to it...
Disney-wise, it hasn't been much for me. sadly, It has been OVER A YEAR since I've been to a Disney park. For me, that's not normal: It's nearly every year I go down to Disneyland. That wasn't the case this year, sadly.
what else disney... well, We had Up from Pixar, and The Princess & The Frog opened the past weekend... still need to check that out, along with fantastic mr fox...
Which brings me to something else: It's been a HELL of a year for animation. 2008 has been rather... Bare... And so has previous years...
But this year, we had Up, Princess & The Frog, 9, Coraline, Ponyo, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Monsters vs Aliens, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting... Even Toy Story & Toy Story II got re-released this year in 3D. Two words: ANIMATION OVERLOAD.
Can't help but wonder how the Oscars will go...
gaming wise, Still just been doing the usual Free Realms and doing the casual games on the Xbox 360.
This year overall? eh, Lets just say that I'm looking forward to a new year. still, There's been several highlights in this year:
-My mother, a breast cancer survivor, and my sister went to do a half-marathon in the city. I was there at the finish line to cheer them on. It was certainly a memorable time.
-This year I got into a, well, a relationship. It was fantastic, however, it was long-distance. We both recently, unfortunately, had to, well, call it off due to several difficulties, namely the distance in between and our future plans, but we still love each other very much...
-For the first time in 9 years, I had an allergy outbreak. My first food-related allergic reaction in over 10 years. (the last one, 9 years ago, was due pet-fur one bad winter visiting family). This time, I took a bite of pizza, which had pesto. I'm allergic to nuts, and this was like the slowest allergic reaction ever. Nearly an hour after the bite, the hives and eye puffiness kicked in. I was perfectly fine the whole time, as compared to the pet-fur incident (i could barely breath during that one). So fine, I even smiled the whole time I was at the emergency clinic at the hospital. I was treated well and swiftly, and it was like it never happened if you looked at me after it.
-The past Wednesday, I went to an awesome charity event called Umloud. The event was essentially having people play Rock Band (yes, the video game) live on the big stage, and it was certainly a fun night. All proceeds from the event go directly to Childs Play Charity, who provides toys and video games to children in hospitals world-wide. I'm happy to say that from that one night, we raised $6,000 to CP Charity, and that Child's Play has raised over one million dollars this year, and it was the fastest they've ever raised that amount of money!
Videos from the event can be seen from my YouTube feed...
-Speaking of things you'll find on my YouTube page: THE AQUABATS! This past Saturday, I had a blast seeing those ska-superheroes perform live. Was absolutely hilarious and fun... Not to mention tiring for me after jumping up and down and bobbin' my head, singing along as loudly as I can. I literally had to go to the back and escape from the crowd to get a breather and drink some water. still, Had a wonderful time with the Aquabat's antics, such as bringing up some kids (yes, little kids) up onto the stage and a giant-tortilla attack. yes, You heard that right. If you haven'd already, go check out The Aquabats!
-On the TV side, I'm really sad to see Monk go, but I loved how they ended the series. of course, I wished they could have done a little more with the finale, but it was still a satisfying end to Monk...
That's about all I can think of for this year. again, Nothing much happened this year, not even on my birthday... There has been a few other events this year, but that was earlier in the year, and I actually mentioned those already before leaving LiveJournal again... And I really, REALLY look forward to the next year and hope that it's a better year than this one was. It's been rather tough, but it's time to turn that around.
Here's to a new year, and happy holidays guys...
...now, To clean up my LJ friends list and mark all those 1000+ messages as "marked"...
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: hopeful
- Current Music:Whatever Last.FM's been recomending
It's been over a week since E3 unleashed it's megaton of news on us. Now, i'm going to put out my two cents about the big news of the show, since I've now heard everyone else's thoughts already.
Today's post: The PSPgo
The PSPgo is Sony's new iteration of the current PSP handheld system. While it's a sweet seek system, there's some problems that I have with it.
A big one is the lack of UMD, and the price.
The PSPgo is completely supported by download-only games. Right now, there's several games that are on PlayStation Network's store, but Sony now says that every game they release on UMD will also be available on the PSN store: Something Japan's been doing for a while now. Removing the UMD drive offers some perks, like less bulk, less noise, and better battery life. However, as a person who has invested quite a bit of money on PSP games and movies, this new system is something I'm not looking forward because I have to re-buy my games again if I want to play it on the PSPgo.
My biggest problem is the price. The PSPgo is just so much to invest in if you're a PlayStation fan: It's a luxury device. While you do get to nicely tote around the a PSP without having to worry about memory sticks or UMDs, it comes at a price. A price of $249.99. That's a full $50 more than the usual PSP bundles that are out there for $199.99. At least with the bundles, you get a game, a movie/video, etc, but with the PSPgo: You don't get any extra perks. You might as well just compare it to the stand-alone PSP that's for $169.99 ($80 less than the PSPgo).
Also, if you already have the video-out plugs for the latest PSP's, you'll need to buy new ones for the PSPgo.
Do you have a Memory Stick Duo or two that you'd like to use on the PSPgo to expand it's memory even more? well, You can't: Buy another, newer, Memory Stick Micro to extend your PSPgo's memory.
And again, you will have to buy your games again as a download if you want to play them.
Aside from the price, let's go back to hardware:
The PSPgo seems perfect for me with the sliding screen. At first, I was unsure why we needed a sliding screen, but as a person who actually uses my PSP to listen to music and podcasts, it's perfect. No needing to have to worry if you put the 'hold' slider in place or buttons accidentally being pressed: Just slide down the screen and put your PSP in your pocket, or maybe around your neck. The PSPgo looks to be a good small size to hang from a lanyard, more so than the current PSPs.
However, a big issue with it is it's controller. The analog nub on the PSPgo is placed at an even more awkward position compared to the current PSPs. It kinda mirrors the look of the Dualshock controller but instead of having it diagonal to the D-pad or under the D-pad like the current PSPs, it's more to the right of the D-pad. This makes you having to extend your thumb a bit to use it instead of a more natural location like a DualShock, from what I see. And since there's many PSP games that are dependent on the analog nub, including the coming LittleBigPlanet PSP, that's a turn-off for me.
Overall, the PSPgo is a nice little new system from Sony, but who will actually get this? I have a PSP: I don't need to spend an additional $250 yet. Nothing in the PSPgo makes me tempted to buy it. The thing that would make me jump on this would be something that the PSPgo has been rumored to have: A touch screen.
Had there been a touch screen on the PSPgo, it could open up some new things for the PSP.
however, It doesn't. Maybe Sony will fix the PSPgo in future iterations, but the current one is not something for me.
Thankfully, Sony says that the PSPgo is not replacing the PSP-3000. It's another option for to-be PSP owners, but why?
Why have this pricey option for a PSP? If this isn't replacing the current one, why bother releasing it?
Sony seems to be release-happy to put out a new PSP each year, from the 2000 and 3000, and now go. Why can't Sony just hold off until they have a good model? Nintendo has only had 3 versions of the DS so far, and I feel that they spaced out each iteration nicely enough that it'll make you consider to upgrading. It became thinner, then added new functionality. The PSP? It now has 4 iterations, and I feel Sony should have waited it out. Instead of the PSP-2000, hold off until you fix everything even more with the PSP-3000. The PSPgo, i feel, shouldn't be released yet. They should have added more functionality with that and release it in the further future: Now is just too soon with the 3000 released recently, and there's not enough in this version that will make me jump to buy it.
How many will actually go on the PSPgo this fall? I guess we just have to wait until the NPD's release later this year...
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, nearly 10 years since it's opening, the one and only PlayStation Store in San Francisco closed at the Metreon building.
This is truly an end of an era for Metreon.
June 16, 1999, Sony has officially unveiled a new, multi-million dollar pet project (85 million, to be precise) to San Francisco called the Metreon. Metreon would be a sort of urban entertainment center for the digital age. Part theme park, part shopping and dining experience, and part showcase of technology for Sony.
It was unlike anything anyone has ever experienced before, and yet Sony had plans to do similar projects in other cities.
Ever since it's opening in 1999, I was a big fan of Metreon. Any chace I had to go down there, I did. Be it for the theaters, or to just drop by and experience it. And there was lots to experience at Metreon.
It was almost like Disney had their imagineers working for this place. There were 3 key 'attractions' that Metreon had: A FULL "Where The Wild Things Are" playground area along with an entires shopping and dining experience based around Maurice Sendak's work (wanna dine at "The Night Kitchen?"), a 3D attraction based off the works of David Macaulay's "The Way Things Work" book, and an entire arcade themed after French artist/graphic designer Jean "Moebius" Giraud's graphic novel.
There was also the Sony Theaters with IMAX screen, a unique food court, a Discovery Channel store, one of the only Microsoft stores, and 2 Sony showcase stores: Sony Style and The PlayStation Store.
From 1999 on, Metreon was the destination to visit in Downtown San Francisco for families and people of all ages...
...that is, Before at least 2006
Metreon and Sony in general was clearly having troubles by 2005, which was when some places in Metreon was closing down. By then, Microsoft and Discovery had left the complex, and I believe The Way Things Work attraction also closed by then. By 2006, the biggest attraction by far, being the entire top level of the complex devoted to Maurice Sendak, has also closed.
The problem Metreon was facing was just about the same problem the former F.A.O. Schartz toy store blocks away was experiencing: People came to look and play, but never pay. Metreon was a fantastic tourist spot, and even for the locals too, but considering how everything there was at a premium, it makes sense why there wasn't much money coming into Metreon. All the attractions were at a premium (yes, even the Where the Wild Things Are playground), the stores had default-prices with never any discounts, the food was a little pricey, and even the arcade was a bit pricer for the experience.
It was, in fact, a Disneyland in the term of prices.
however, Unlike Disneyland: You had all these other places down town to go to for alternatives instead of being stuck inside with no other price to compare to.
The only thing that kept making money was the theaters.
And like the F.A.O. store, things had to close.
Sony knew that Metreon was pulling them down, so they did the most logical thing for the company: Sell the complex.
The building fell into the hands of Westfield, who owns a massive amount of malls world wide, and heck: They own the huge re-opened mall across the street.
Even though Sony had nothing to do with the building now, Sony left the Sony Style and PlayStation store there to continue showcasing their technology.
Or so we thought.
Earlier this year, Sony said that they will finally close their stores at the Metreon building. Last month or so, it was the Sony Style store. 2 days ago: PlayStation.
The PlayStation store closing is one that's really near and dear to my heart. That was one location that I always loved to stop by. The store saw the launch of 3 PlayStation systems, as well as numerous game launches and special events. The place was a fantastic destination for PlayStation fans and for those who want to demo the PlayStation offerings.
While all the games were fine, what made the PlayStation store so great was the people.
The guys and girls at PlayStation were a fun bunch. They were extremely helpful and fun to talk to. It was generally agreed that the staff here is better than any you'd find at any other store. If only you can find people like these at your local GameStop or Best Buy.
Over the past 10 years, the store has had several changes, and I was there to experience it all.
Now, the store faces it's biggest change: Being empty.
All I want to say now is to all of those who have worked at the PlayStation Store is, well, thanks for the nearly 10 years of fun and good luck on your future endeavours.
The closing of the PlayStation Store pretty much ends an era for Metreon. Everything that you can find at Metreon today is essentially very different from the original vision back a decade ago:
The Sony Style and PlayStation stores: Empty. The Discovery Channel store: Now an indoor farmers market. The various kiosks in the atrium for Sony/Metron: Now kiosks for unrelated things, books, and deserts. The foodcourt: At least half is newer restaraunts or closed. The Way Things Work: Empty. The Moebius "Airtight Garage" arcade: Now a "TILT" arcade with standard arcade machines instead of new and unique games. The Microsoft store: An extention of TILT with the entire space literally filled with claw machines. The Maurice Sendak roof: Closed, empty, soon to be devoted on ONE SINGULAR RESTAURANT which will not be affordable to everybody...
The only thing that's still there is the theaters, which almost never changed and still brings in the people...
Right now: Westfield is not taking Metreon back to it's original vision of a hi-tech entertainment center for families: Now it's just part tackyness (there's arcade machines and kiddie coin-op rides scattered across the complex) and part premium foodie-paradise, both of which just doesn't mesh and make sense.
Being a big fan of Metreon as it was originally, the Metreon today just makes me sad.
with that said, All I have to say is: Goodbye, Metreon, and thanks for the memories over the past decade.
And screw your, Westfield. Damn your mass-mall-owning corporation to hell.