Category: Life

March 14, 2016

Sunrise Deferred

This is a year where I’ve been looking forward to Daylight Saving Time very much. With the job requiring about a 90-minute commute each way to work, in winter that meant I was going to work before the sun came up, and didn’t get out until the sun was down. So today, I know there’ll be plenty of sunlight when I get home, nearly another hour. But I neglected to think of what it would do to the mornings, which is essentially reset it to how it looked in November when I started this job.

There’s that part of me that always likes to tease out a deeper meaning to the mundane, that this would feel like a reset of my time at this job. That part of me is kind of a silly pseudointellectual asshole. The fact is, even if it was a reset, the last four months have been great, and were I to start again with the familiarity with the people and the experience with the infrastructure that I’ve accumulated, I’d crush it.

I’m in my probationary period with the state until this coming November, right around Thanksgiving. Last year it was pretty slick, getting to start with a three-day week and having all those holidays, and the relaxed atmosphere of the place. If you ever get a chance to accept a life-changing job offer, I highly recommend doing it around Thanksgiving.

I had a bout of…something, on Saturday. It felt an awful lot like depression, with a side-order of spring allergies. I know there doesn’t have to be something immediately wrong to trigger depression, and it has taken a long time to not blame myself for it. I felt fine again yesterday. Diana writes through her problems in a private diary. I write through them on … (More) “Sunrise Deferred”

March 9, 2016

Vivisection: Deconstructing The Monster

There have been a number of times in my life where I’ve felt totally at the mercy of my various neuroses. Growing up it was being antisocial, to the point where I would avoid answering a direct question, stoic in the awkward silence, because they would “win” if I talked. I don’t understand the logic behind it now, I’m just able to explain what I was thinking then. I’ve been able to deconstruct a good number of those things over time, and once understood, I could stop following those absurd orders from some particular lump of brain-meat that probably took one too many thumps.

There are a few that still bug me, still won’t go away. Some are relatively harmless…self, why the fuck haven’t you figured out good posture yet? You’re 5-foot-fuck-two. You need every bit of that standing up straight just to get on the rollercoaster. But I don’t, unless I’m thinking about it, which gives me about twenty seconds of good posture. Damn fine posture.

But there’s two big ones I don’t seem to have made any progress on; one is life-threatening and one is merely way-of-life-threatening. They’re so similar that they’re probably driven by the same thing. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not comfortable with medicating a mental illness, I feel like that field of science is still very rough around the edges. See the number of drugs that list suicidal thoughts as a side-effect. I do have good health insurance now, where I could just talk to someone qualified, but I have this great idea that if I consult with my fucked-up self on the matter, I’m going to fix things about my fucked-up self. That sounds more defeatist than I really feel, but it is a useful reduction for me.

The less obviously dangerous problem, … (More) “Vivisection: Deconstructing The Monster”

March 2, 2016

This parrot is dumb and your recipe is disgusting. How are you?

It took a little over ten years of encroachment, little by little. I don’t even recall when exactly it began, probably three or four years ago. But social media has finally bested me. The diatribes I see from everyone with a fucking axe to grind about something or other, pushing causes in a slacktivist rendition of “check out my mixtape, fam,” sharing rehashed content that serves as little more than a way to get some ad revenue.

For once in my life, I’d rather see a picture of your ugly baby than see another article about why your candidate is Jesus Christ and the other guy is Shitbag Hitler III. I am worn all the way the fuck out.

I don’t even know why I have 500 friends. I talk to…20 of you at the absolute most? I don’t even recognize some of your names, and it’s from those teenage years where more friends = more better person. I think every generation was told by their parents and other elders that you’ll grow apart with time, and every generation could flawlessly see the future and indirectly told said elders to shove it up their ass. And then we grow apart with time like we were fucking told would happen. But now there’s this weird tether of social media keeping us in the peripheral vision of the people we otherwise would’ve dumped like last week’s garbage.

It’s not all bad. I probably wouldn’t have known that a six-year classmate of mine, just starting to dabble with a guitar when we left high school, made it into Rolling Stone magazine. I wouldn’t have known that someone I went to college with my freshman year was in a horrific accident, and had to learn to talk, walk, feed himself, and basically become a … (More) “This parrot is dumb and your recipe is disgusting. How are you?”

April 30, 2012

Ogre Game Labs: A Proposal

(This is intended for one person, really, but I thought I’d put it on here so you all could see a new project I’m wanting to work on and maybe express some interest.)

Myself and several other members have a particular interest in designing games, and enough new online tools have emerged recently that I want to pursue the thought of an extension of the OGREs. The Ogre Game Labs would be something a little different from a traditional chapter, as membership in it would be as temporary or permanent as the OGRE choosed, though they would need to first be OGREs to make use of the Game Labs.

The Ogre Game Labs has a few immediate goals and a few stretch goals. Immediate goals are:

  1. Provide a resource for game designers to get support in the designing of their game, through (mostly online) playtesting, consulting with other game designers, working with people that have experience in online game designing tools such as Vassal (www.vassalengine.org), Roll20 (www.roll20.net), and Magic Workstation (www.magicworkstation.com).
  2. Provide a way for gamers to get involved at the ground level of new games and designers/design teams. They can find a game concept that’s of particular interest and volunteer to playtest games, or find a group with a similar schedule. One resource will be that all OGREs will be able to set their availability by day of the week, and this will be public. By joining the Game Labs you opt-in to being contacted by designers who are available when you are.
  3. Answer some basic questions on copyright law as it pertains to card, board, and video games. Not legal advice but links to useful resources on how you are protected (and not protected) as a game designer.

Some stretch goals are:

  1. Provide connections to artists, graphic designers,
(More) “Ogre Game Labs: A Proposal”
December 4, 2011

First World Dilemmas

My creative impulses are dragging me all over the place. I’ve got about a half-dozen projects I want to work on and I’m paralyzed with indecision. Maybe writing them down will help. In no particular order, I want to…

– Get started on the perfume I’m making for Eve.
– Play the hell out of some Skyrim.
– Make something in FL Studio. I don’t really have a hook in my head to start with, though.
– Finish configuring the netbook for emulator play. Yesterday’s testing was mixed. It’s fine with NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Sega Genesis, but some SNES games are choppy, particularly Super-FX enabled ones. N64 games were hit and miss, I was getting probably 50fps on Super Mario 64 but it choked up a big hairball on Goldeneye and Hot Wheels Turbo Racing. I haven’t bothered with my PSX roms. I haven’t set up Quickplay for my MAME roms yet as it’s quite involved.
– Get Quickbooks set up for Diana. She’s wanting to learn how to use it so she has another marketable skill for the future job search. The idea I had is that we can set up Shooting Star Perfumes as the business to learn with. It might get us back into making our own stuff.
– Eat the hell out of some pizza.
– Listen to some new albums that came out, particularly the new M83.
– Channel former blogging buddy Krooze L. Roy and review some old video games. I hope he reads this some time, because I miss the hell out of his writing, and I still want him to message me some time about Amplitude on PS2.

And even out of so many tempting options, the combination of pizza and Skyrim is a siren’s call I … (More) “First World Dilemmas”

November 30, 2011

Am I a writer? Or just restless?

There’s a certain self-righteous quality to calling yourself a writer when you have no published/paid work to your name. At that point you are closer to the truth if you refer to yourself as a “typist.” I have some friends, though, that exhibit that trait that I think is the telltale sign of a “real” writer, and that’s the urge to write almost constantly.

I have these urges, but I am usually sated by a one-liner or statement that’s been on my mind. I have several friends that are finishing up on their NaNoWriMo projects today. A novel! Jeez. I don’t think I can keep a train of thought from derailing for that kind of length. An overactive imagination needs an outlet, though, and I have many. Lately it’s been Skyrim, but other common pastimes have been making perfumes, designing houses in The Sims 3, writing, trying to come close to the talent level of my 18-year old self at FL Studio, making stepcharts in StepMania, designing board, card, or role-playing games…I can keep busy. There’s something deeply satisfying about writing, especially on a platform like this where I can toss these words into empty space and whatever happens, happens.

Every creative outlet of mine has a muse, and for writing it is two entities. The first, my long-time muse, has been Jerry Holkins (Tycho Brahe) at Penny Arcade. He puts out the most amazingly smooth, polished work three times a week and his tone just makes me happy, his sense for when to drop the flowery language and rage-curse for a while is incredible. The second, a somewhat more recent find, are several of the writers at Cracked. What’s more, they blatantly encourage writing at all skill levels. Somehow, a website that routinely publishes lists like “The 7 Most … (More) “Am I a writer? Or just restless?”

January 5, 2011

On The Love And Loss Of Friends

The holiday season is a trying time for most of us, for a whole variety of reasons. This year, many former coworkers of mine and friends had to deal with the suicide of Jon Vance, a guy that was as intelligent as he was sociable, and one who I never would have thought was capable of such a thing. That was back on November 23rd of 2010, and I’ve found myself thinking about him every day since. I think part of it is because I haven’t had the closure of a funeral, or even seeing a grave, I experienced all the tragedy with none of the healing that comes with moving on.

Even hearing that guilt is a normal mechanism for suicide survivors, it makes the burden no less onerous. The argument with myself is that I should’ve spoken to him more, let him know he had friends and we really do care and want to see him do well, and not hurt. The placating counterargument is that I’m all the way out here, and he’s so far away, how much would it have meant? How much good would it have done? It’s the pain of never having an answer to that, no matter what and no matter how much you want one. Justifiably or not, I think a lot of us share a sense of guilt.

I have had closer deaths to me, my mother nearly six years ago and my grandfather around the age of 9. But I’ve never had to deal with someone I know taking their own life. Why does it feel so different? I did have plenty of time to prepare for losing Mom, after two near-death scares and seeing her the night before she died, I knew exactly what the call was at 4:45 … (More) “On The Love And Loss Of Friends”

December 13, 2010

Audio Infinitum (Or, Five Songs Forever)

Music lovers know exactly what someone means when they say “I love the song, but I can’t listen to it all that often,” or something to that effect. Then there are comfort songs, songs to listen to when you’re happy, pissed off, maybe even drunk. (I’m not here to judge.) But what about a song to listen to forever?

It’s funny, this is actually a project I do inadvertently when I make compilation CDs to put in the car, or playlists to listen to on repeat. There will inevitably be weaker songs that I’ll grow tired of well before others. So I’ll tweak the selections, and try to come up with that perfect playlist to represent a genre. I know myself well enough to say I could listen to these five songs, on repeat, more or less perpetually, in this order.

BT – Dark Heart Dawning

Dark Heart Dawning is a relative sleeper track of BT’s, it never appeared on a single or EP after being released on the album Emotional Technology in 2003. While I have other favorites off the album (P A R I S and The Last Moment Of Clarity in particular) none of them exhibit the understated beauty of Dark Heart Dawning. Downtempo pedal steel guitar and a simple story segue into a powerful second half with a heavy gospel overtone. That’s off-putting to some, but I love the emotion you find in a song like this. Deep down I hope BT likes this one as much as I do.

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Riviera Paradise

I became a fan of SRV not long after I started playing the guitar, probably around age 14. I had a copy of Couldn’t Stand The Weather that I still think is one of the most complete displays of skill … (More) “Audio Infinitum (Or, Five Songs Forever)”

August 31, 2010

Remembering August

Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

This month has been the best, busiest and most life-changing month I’ve ever experienced. Let me bring you up to speed.

Back in early August, Diana and I moved in together, which involved moving out of our respective cities and into a new town. We knew where we wanted to be, but even now as I sit here, looking out the window to see the sunset casting the Sandia Mountains red, it’s hard to believe that the hard work and determination paid off and we’re really here: Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The drive out here was an experience in itself, the first day was a long drive much like any other I’ve been on. The second, however, took us through the wind farms and hills of Western Oklahoma, the stark, desolate panhandle of Texas, devoid of life save for Amarillo, which seems to pop up from nothing and leaves you back on God’s definition of the flatlands just as quickly. After Texas was two hundred miles of New Mexico, and it included the most breathtaking driving of my life, through canyons and overlooking mesas and mountain ridges in the distance that evoked a thought I’d never had before, the thought that the landscape of where you call home could truly make you happy or sad, and maybe people are happier out here just because they get little flashes of the truly awesome in their day-to-day life. The fact that Diana and I still find breathtaking new views seemingly every week is confirmation in itself that we picked the right home, and in many ways I feel like I was always meant to end up here.

After moving quickly came work, four days after moving to a town where we knew nobody and had nary … (More) “Remembering August”

May 22, 2009

Not dead. Not, in fact, deceased.

I’m alive, and in fact have been writing all this time, albeit in smaller, 140-character chunks on my Twitter account. So what happened after that fateful evening of March 15th? Well, an hour or two after writing that, I sent a message to a member on Basenotes named exquisitely_me, and the message said…

“What’s new with you? :)”

The conversation’s been going on for over two months since then, and I’ve discovered some new things, namely that I love this girl named exquisitely_me and she loves me back. The gossip was a-flyin’ when Facebook had the hot scoop around the end of March, it was the first to report that…

“Daniel is in a relationship with Diana Kotyk.”

I fell completely off the map for about eleven days starting back on the 9th of this month, the last bit of communication being a tweet that said…

“Diana is going to be in my arms in five minutes tops!”

I did manage to get off one little blurb during that time, that read…

“I am having, without reservation, the best week of my life.”

My perfume reviews have been on pen and paper, shoulder to shoulder with Diana, over a vial of fragrance, or perhaps a verbal review (also known as an ‘opinion’), soft words of like or dislike, learning, exploring, and expanding knowledge of the art. She’s encouraged me to get back into writing, though, so I trade comfortable seclusion for another round of writing for the masses.

In love. That’s where I’ve been, and in fact it’s the locale I write from even now, dear reader.… (More) “Not dead. Not, in fact, deceased.”