I write about Journey (Spoilers)

Spoilers abound:

The striking thing initially was just how well designed it was. How the world seemed so vast, yet I was never lost. The atmosphere on its own is something to behold, but when coupled with the phenomenal use of camera control, the whole thing just becomes transcendent. Otherworldly. This is a game aliens might've invented: it is not like other games.

This might be the best multiplayer game I've ever played. It's so hyperbolic to say, it really is, but I can't get over what this game made me feel. I played through the game in two sessions, and it started at the end of the first session. I had to leave, which meant abandoning my companion. Having no way to communicate my intentions, I stopped walking. After a little ways, he(?) came back and started singing at me. I truly felt bad for leaving him.

Then, at the end of my second session, I became completely overwhelmed. I had seen companions come and go, which is just the nature of life anyway, but this last one had been with me for a long time. We sang a lot. But we got to where the snow caked our clothes and our scarves withered away to the gales. And then all there was left was us. And I couldn't even sing. And as I watched us slow and stumble, I started tearing up. The realization that we were not going to make it and that we never were from the beginning overpowered me. And she fell. And all I could do was stand next to her. I fucking wept. I wept that I'd lost her, I wept that I had just felt that response to a videogame, I wept that I was fucking weeping because I have never fucking wept before.

The afterlife sequence is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen committed to any medium. I have no doubt my feelings on this were heavily influenced by my reaction to the scenes just prior, but it deserves its due. Being reunited with my companion was joyous. Flying, fucking flying, feels amazing. Finally, I thought the last scene was perfect. Normally, I might try to mess up a cut scene by meandering through back towards the camera and stuff. But I wanted to make this one right. So I walked into the light, holding forward on my controller. Forward. Onward. Like so much of this game, and life. This was one of the most beautiful and poetic things I've experienced, and I really just needed to tell somebody.

Disclaimer: I apologize for some shitty writing throughout. Just typing about this game gets me choked up.


I spent two weeks painting this canvas.

Even quicker yet! About ten hours on this one, and I reckon it'll please those of you who thought my two-month effort lacked the color of my two-year effort. It's been a while since I did something colorful, abstract, and original (re: Tree on Hill, 2009) ------>

so I decided to go for it again since I enjoy it the most.

Whereas Tree on Hill took an entire summer, this took a small collection of snow days and sick days. Let me know what you think.

I painted this thing from each edge, so I wasn't set on how best to view it. I think it looks alright no matter which way you flip it, and any time that's the case, a mosaic is usually effective. Here's that:


I spent two months painting this canvas.

And I reckon it's a marked improvement in time management over my previous effort. It's for a friend of mine who had the idea: black and white, water tower, paint scraped away (with knives, Bob Ross style). Those were his criteria, and this canvas, measuring 16"x20",  is what I came up with roughly ten sessions later. This one was actually fun the whole way through, which was kinda nice after spending two years on the last one. Anyway, I'm sharing this with you good folks because a few people requested to see my future efforts. Let me know if you'd like to see more.


I spent two years painting this canvas.

Time well spent? Probably not. No, it wasn't a constant stream of work over the span of two years, but I'm sure the hour total is somewhere between 200 and 300 hours. It's the only thing of its size and scale I've ever attempted, and it will be the only painting of this magnitude that I attempt for at least a few more decades.

I hesitate to call it done, because when I look at it, I can't help but see areas that I could make better. At some point, though, I figure you've just gotta move on. I created this at the behest of a friend who commissioned it.

And to provide a sense of scale, here's me holding it:

Before anyone rails on me for wasting two years on a canvas that, from an artistic standpoint isn't that good, I'll save you the time: I know. Still, it was an educational experience on a number of levels, and it's cool to say that I worked on something for the span of two years. Hopefully you dig it.


I like to write little poems

I know these aren't anything special, but maybe share your own. I'd tend to write them about experiences and things as a sort of journaling, I guess. I hadn't read them in a while, and I enjoy reading other people's stuff, too. So post!

Staring at two oreos, red frosting

I stand before you a man betrayed
tempted twice by sister sweets
my gaze entranced by saccharine treats.
A red dawn trapped betwixt darkest moons
140 calories of devil's food.
A seductive sight, a cookie glazed,
juxtaposed harsh by how bad you taste.
Your looks divine, but your taste not close,
You see, I believe that Oreos are gross. 
suburban deer

frozen by flashbulb
dignified as stone
robbed of the thought that
you're all alone
steadfast in deep snow
statue rigid frame
embodiment of fear
you quickly became
halogen headlamps
shine light where there's dark
highlight the deer who
prance through my park
Bananas bruise
and fingers prune
as days go by
the jesters croon the same old tune 
shadows dance across my eyelids
though the same dusty room awaits
silent and still
the solid sun, golden snow
aged armchair,
musty maps, a library pass
silent and still
haunted and alone,
wondering if my guest
now feels at home. 
Just keeping up appearances
this infinite stint is
guided by what print says.
Toe the line
and cage your mind,
the world forgets its patience
for the unrefined.
Never truthful on the top
always burried down beneath:
eating imposter lobster
and proposing with a cz ring. 
Hawaii, with help from Rebecca

We'll live our lives worry free:
hop scotch day to day and
limbo lean our fears 
against banana trees.
nobody will tell us what to do
or who to be. A hammock never knew
a stressful breeze.
plan our days by tide,
form a family band,
and kiss pretty asian girls in the sand.
what a beautiful day
to waste away,
stagnant and frail,
indoors and pale.
while golden sunrays
bring life en masse
to blossoming buds
and greening grass,
I'm crossing T's
and dotting I's
hoping no one sees through
this teacher disguise.
I check your paper,
write "you could've done more."
when in truth I'd like to write
"get out and explore."

Been Watching Ghost Movies, Have Game Idea

So I just got done watching Drag Me To Hell for the first time since theatres and it hasn't been long since I saw Paranormal Activity. I've gotten to thinking: very few games let you play the role of a ghost haunting a person or people. In fact, only one game comes to mind: Ghost Master. It was an /awesome/ PC game that let you haunt people in an RTS framework. But what if they made it rated mature, realistic looking, and more centralized on you as the ghost/demon?

  • Borrow the sanity monitoring system from Batman:AA but fully flesh it out and make it deep and dynamic for each resident of the house.
  • Give yourself certain powers:
    • Move objects
    • make stuff levitate
    • Whisper things
    • Create wind
    • Mess with any object in the house
    • hell, you can kill the people outright, but it's game over at that point.
    • Possess an object: if a person touches the object, you enter into the person. This enables you to a whole range of new abilities that fuck with the person's psyche
      • you can now mess with their senses. Crank the volume up on their ears to deafening levels, cause any object to feel burning hot or freezing cold, make them full on trip balls and freak the fuck out.
      • Also, now that you inhabit that person, you can possess them. After you possess the person, you can now fully interact with your surroundings. Make the person wake up outside, make the person trash her house, make the person levitate, make the person kill her husband, whatever man!
Depending on how spooked you make the people, depending on how fast they lose their sanity, they call a psychic to come over and check things out. You can choose to fuck around during their meeting, or you can lay low and let the group ease into complacency, only to severely haunt them later. 
But be careful, because if they become too distraught and too aware of your existance, they'll call an exorcist. At that point, you lose the game. So the goal is to essentially play Dynasty Mode on haunting a family and drive them as batshit crazy as you can over as long a period as you don't get excorcised.


Poetry Jamz with Mike (share your own!)

Every once in a long while, I write some verses. Back in July, I got to feeling all kinds of bad about the whole John and Kate thing, because I feel that we as a society are largely to blame for the destruction of that family. On that topic, I wrote this (I apologize that it is pretty angry): 
 John and Kate

Hey there media, let may lay upon you some expertise:
it ain't news worthy, to take your paparazzi,
and form your hotel dramadies, the preaching philosophies,
the never ending tragedy ending in hyperbole,
the weight of the world upon a young couple's shoulders,
a million prying eyes just hungering for a tidbit,
a factoid,
a mundane detail about her life she once enjoyed:
she shops at Payless, stop the fuckin' presses,
call the fuckin' cops,
you know I couldn't care less about her new god damn high-tops,
but the masses delight in her duress.
The comedian makes light of her plight:
a laugh crafted for cash, but who gives a damn about what's right?
slight after slight, you know this girl can't take it:
she's a casualty of the camera, forever fucked by the flashbulb.
and crack by crack the world crumbles from her shoulders,
her children bare witness to her crucifixion
just so the public can satisfy their addiction.
the marriage once strong is laid to waste.
and as it smolders, the cameraman catches a wiff,
but by then it's already over.

Using only our sense of sight,
we stripped this family of their rights,
Sure they signed on the dotted line,
but we're the ones who crossed it forty dozen times.
If you've got anything you've written, please share. I love to read anything with a meter or rhyme.

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