Monday, July 25, 2011

Muggle Quidditch: Not for Pussies or Twihards.

    This past week, I have been talking a lot about a new sport I've started playing. It involves the contact and tackling of football, speed and footwork of soccer, small unit cohesion and tactics of basketball, and the field layout of lacrosse. If this sounds like an awesome super sport to you, than you would love Muggle Quidditch. The IQA is the governing body (think FIFA/FIBA) of worldwide Muggle Quidditch operations and has set forth rules and regulations as well as ranking structures and World Cups in order to legitimize the new sport in the public eye. They fund raise, have an ezine called Monthly Seer and even pay for a spot during NFL Halftime shows! See it here

    One of the biggest drawbacks to the game is where it originated from: the Harry Potter novels. Most people in the world would tell you it's actually not a bad thing to come from them because Harry Potter was awesome, but still the books do not seem to garner much respect in the athletic world. Many people don't take it seriously and think it isn't real, or that it is not a sport. However, I've spoken to people who laughed it off and then played it once and they all have limped away with a different opinions. It is seriously fun while physically challenging. You may feel a little ridiculous holding a broom between your legs but you quickly forget once the action begins. There is major contact-full on tackling is allowed and when the ref isn't looking I've seen quite a few clotheslines and yoke tackles. Screens are set and charges are taken, yet there is no foul or stoppage of play when you get floored by a charging Chaser. You have three separate goals that you can score in from all angles, and I've personally just bulldogged my way through Beaters and Keepers to score. It's so physical and demanding and so fun, that I'm surprised some of my Marine friends are as quick to disparage the game. I can think of so many times we could have played it for PT, however the broomsticks would've been left behind.

    Muggle Quidditch has set positions. The Seeker is a player that chases the Golden Snitch (an object worth 150 points and when caught, ends the game). They can run all over campus trying to catch it and climbing up trees and over obstacles; not for the out of shape, surely. This is the position that Harry Potter played in the books/movies. The Chaser is the main goal scorer and the most outright physically tough position. Their job is to take the Quaffle (usually a slightly deflated volleyball) and try and throw it through one of the three goals. There is a lot of running back and forth here, so they're comparable to a midfielder in soccer/lacrosse with elements of a striker or attackmen. Stopping them, we have the Beaters. They live up to their menacing name by defending the goals, tackling and body checking Chasers and throwing Bludgers at opposing players to get them out of play (think dodge ball). Finally, we have Keepers who are the goal keepers and also part time Chasers.

    Quidditch may not become a professional sport, and it may be just for fun during your college years but still, the game is just as physical and fun as any other major sport. It's a great way to stay in shape, have a ton of fun, be geeky and not be judged and just work out some aggression on beating up people. Another great thing is that it's an integrated game so men and women play and hit each other side by side. It is as intense as it is fun and hilarious to watch and let me tell you, it sure beats the hell out of Ultimate Frisbee.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm still here

don't know when I'll add a new post, most likely this weekend. But life catches up and you forget to publish writings! Sorry!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The band that was Phantastic.

    I just came from the Palo Verde Lounge in Tempe, AZ. Most Phoenicians don't even know what the fuck this place is about. It was about 700 Square Feet of dive bar with booger covered brick walls. The bathrooms rival Yamhill Pub's bathrooms back home in Portland. If you've been there, you'll totally get it. Thank god I stand up to piss.
    I was there to see an old friend I served with. He also happened to be in a band called WolphPac [sic]. They're a mix of Lonely Island, old Beastie Boys and a very small dose of 36 Chambers-Wu-Tang. They were hilariously endearing. I can't think of a better adjective and that's not really a bad thing.
I'm not going to talk about the other two bands. The headliners, "Level T" were just awful. Female Trouble was alright but I felt like I was blasted in the face with Feminism and it wasn't my thing. Tampon rock isn't my thing.
    They started the show with one heckler. A bearded (ginger, so you can see my affinity) ghost-buster-jumpsuit wearing man told his to "shut the fuck up in 12 seconds or I'm going to hit him in the face." The heckler didn't shut up until about 3 measures into the first song and the small bar was phanatical about WolphPac. You could tell three things from the first song: They were as diverse looking as possible for a band (guitarist looked like a sex pistol, the drummer looked like he was from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the bassist looked like he wore Dragonball Z shirts in high school); they knew exactly what they were doing on stage; they were having a ton of fun.
    I've seen about a million shows and bands that have failed and a few (mainly from my youth) that have made it big. I am positive that WolphPac has very little to work on. Their songs were named after odd things that made you want to hear much more. "Blown Out Clit" "Jesus was a Gangbanger" "Dirty Masturbater"
    The songs were catchy, well written and everyone really liked them. The guitarist was extremely energetic despite wearing a thick rubber mask in the 90 degree bar, and the three vocalists sweated more than I do in heavy activity. The Keyboardist was the most popular and the most comic. He was offering a special edition band T-Shirt to the first girl to blow him. Trust me, it was put in a way that made you laugh and not be grossed out.
    They really outperformed everyone else tonight. They may not have a lot of combined experience but they really felt together. That tiny corner converted to a stage was everything to the band. WolphPac, if they so choose, will be a major presence in the Tempe music scene. They're really funny, talented and mesh fantastically as a group. They really knew how to bring it, and as the bearded day-walker mentioned, "We fucking killed it tonight!"
    If it takes still more to convince you of any other awesome tribute, they encored with "Saria's Song" from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Baller.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Annoyances as of late/New Job

I'm gonna ramble on here, so just deal. Or don't. But either way, click an ad. Thanks. I need the money.

So a lot has happened since I last posted. I've thought of more weird things I do, but don't put them down and I forget the whole lot. I got a new job. Are you ready? It's super classy.

I work at Walmart.

(That place is such an evil empire, that it didn't even come up as a correct word. When I right-clicked on the red squiggly line the first suggested correction was Voldemort.)

I'm an Unloader. Which means I take everything off-well I'm not gonna patronize you. I think you can figure out what an Unloader does. It gives me a little more respect since I'm in the back. I don't have to wear a stupid vest, talk to people, or even wear khaki pants. I don't wear my name tag, I listen to an iPod all shift and sweat fucking bullets.
If you were with me in the Iraqi desert, you'll remember how profusely I sweat from my chest. I believe it was the first and last time I was called a nickname other than "Tracer" the entire time I was in. (It was "Tit-Sweat"). I stopped sweating from my chesticles until I started this job. Super hot warehouse and trucks, running around and heavy lifting-I did not expect this.
So yesterday I had to "throw" a truck. Basically, I get inside the docked delivery semi and pull all of the boxes and pieces of gear off the back and into the warehouse. I put some box carrying your tampons, pace picante sauce, motor oil and dog food and roll it down a long metal nonautomated conveyor belt. It is way harder than it sounds, I promise. Well, not difficult wise it's just a work out. I stupidly volunteered to throw the truck so I could learn the job faster. I hate being taught a job and I really hate sweeping and mopping as the new guy. I gained enough rank in the Marines to not have to do that and I see it as a downgrade to have to go back to it.
The truck was a 13, which means it had 13000 boxes in the back plus pallets of whatever. So here I go, all gung-ho to impress my co-workers and be more enthusiastic about the job than my other new associate brethren. After 2 1/2 hours I contorted my back and legs lifting thirteen thousand boxes of assorted items. I work in a Super Walmart so that means that I may pick up a light box of tooth brushes and paper towels and then pick up a treadmill right after. Heavy boxes are on the top, they fall on my head. At the end a cock tease more aggravating than my first girlfriend-400 4x4inch boxes of whatever and 200 big boxes containing dumbells. Great. I can see the back wall of the truck, knowing the end is near and this is my last hurdle? Fuck off...
This really isn't a huge deal. It's not that bad but it's really, really annoying. In the beginning I try and lift the boxes and roll them gently down the aisle. But after the 2nd gallon of Quaker State 3k plus mileage oil spills on my already sweat dripped body, and I step in and fall into a pile of Salsa I start treating each box like Ace Ventura treated his delivery box in the beginning of Pet Detective. I take all my anger on the boxes.
"Fuckin' tampons. Ruining my want for vaginal sex with bleeding. It's all your fault...tampons." they get kicked to the front.
"Fuckin' kitty litter. Why do you have to come in giant heavy boxes? I don't even like cats." I kicked that box one time-might have broken my toe. I don't kick those boxes. I just shove them angrily down the belt. "Take that!" I think.
"Fuckin'...whatever this is. oomph, really? Otter Pops? This box is more than 50lbs easy..." that box got its comings.
In my time throwing the truck, I listened to over half of my AFI collection, and Genius'd a Florence + The Machine song and got about 14 new songs I had to download. She's awesome as is her music. I thought about all of the things I should've said to each girlfriend I've ever had when we broke up. I ran through scenarios I faced in the military that I could've handled a little better or worse. I think of ways I can kill Busby/Gunner Rico without getting caught. I think of the massage I want to get from my girlfriend and if I should try for a BJ while I'm at it. Will she be mad if I give the probably expected head nudge downward?  I remember how hot it is when Mike from work offers me a cup of water. Thanks dick. I wonder if I should change the playlist on my iPod but decide against it because my fingers are soaked in motor oil. Motor oil...I need a new car.
Another big annoyance of my reintegration to the civilian work world is the fact that I was a Marine. My co-workers all assume I can lift 500000000 lbs and can never get tired and fight all of them in the back for fun and want to hear all of my war stories and ask if it was hot in Iraq. Maybe it's just because I have a beard.
Speaking of, the combination of my beard and my face apparently equals Zach Galifiwhatever from The Hangover. At every bar someone asks me if I'm Allan. I sing the "three best friends" song and they cry laughing, profess their love for me, buy me a drink and the girls want to fuck me. Ok maybe I made up the last part. It's not really bothersome, I just honestly do not see it at all. I got one "Iron and Wine" reference which excited me because I DO see that one. I get how my black brothers feel. Not all bearded day-walker gingers look alike!
I don't really know what else to say. I'm not going to proof read this before I post it. Nope. I don't give a fuck. If it's misspelled or has incorrect grammar, than you can go fuck yourself.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

11 Best Albums of My Life

(In no particular order)

1:Dummy-Portishead (triphop)
2:Illmatic-Nas ('90s gangsta/conscious rap) side note: most white kids say this genre is the only "real" rap. I disagree, but I just think it was fantastic and speaks of real experience. Plus, he raps about beepers!
3:Transatlanticism-Death Cab for Cutie (indie)
4:Either/Or-Elliot Smith (folk)
5:The Hazards of Love-The Decemberists (rock opera/folk rock)
6:Badmotorfinger-Soundgarden (grunge)
7:The Art of Drowning-AFI (horror punk)
8:Catching Tales-Jamie Cullum (jazz)
9:Whatever and Ever, Amen-Ben Folds Five ('90s adult contemporary)
10:Bang Bang-Dispatch (indie jam band)
11:The Places That You've Come to Fear the Most-Dashboard Confessional (emo)

Each album has significant meaning to who I am today. Musically, I am diverse (like everyone is) and I have strong examples from most represented genres. But these, these each have a time period of my life, a feeling, a relationship, an experience, or a thought change associated with it. I picked 11 because after much debate, I figured I'd be honest and admit that I loved Dashboard in the early '00s. I never had bangs or tried to become emo, but I loved the lyrics at the time and I know the songs played a major roll. I still believe that beatnik became hippie which became intellectual which became emo and then became hipster. Hipsters love Dashboard, they just will never admit it. If I picked songs, it would probably be a list like 50 deep. That's probably what I'll write next. Top 50 songs.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sh*t My Grandma Says

    Talking with my grandmother is hard work. She's great and all, but it's quite a task. Her need for Political Correction and ideals has become slightly hypocritical and convoluted. She'll bring up points in an argument that are either invalid or out of left field. Regardless, she will make herself look more accepting than you and try and make you feel like you're dumb for not thinking in her infallibly correct ideals. Black people are all nice, upstanding citizens and none of them are gangsters because that's racist. All illegal immigrants are here to work for their children's future, and to suggest a portion are here to run drugs is horrendous. Yet smokers are the evil people, and republicans are dimwits who have zero intelligence (I hope you see some inconsistency here). To sum it all up, she is full of White Guilt.

    "What did you see at the zoo today?" She asked my little cousin Jackson.
    "Mexicans." We had just finished remarking how it was Mexican day at the zoo. She huffed as if she had just heard someone throw 'nigger' at her face.
    "Whose child is this?"
    "Jefferey's." My uncle answers, some what condescendingly.
    "Yeah...exactly" She retorts. At this point, I don't know if I felt the need to defend my absent father or just be a little shit.
    "What is the problem? I stated the fact that there were Mexicans at the zoo today. Why are you turning 'Mexican'  into a negative connotation, grandma?"

    Holy fuck, her eyes said as she realized she was losing ground. Quick, what is she to do? How can she reply to make herself the better person? She could take the obvious route and point out that I was being racist for humor; she could say how I am just being annoying and watch my tone; she could also say something completely random. Well I wouldn't be writing this if she hadn't chose the third route. Be warned: rationality will be lost here.
    She holds up her finger to prove physically that her studious and well learned point will rock my face off.
    "Why didn't you say you saw a bunch of Catholics?"
    Wow, grandma. I don't know how to even respond to this. Thank god I've taken some logic class at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, or else I wouldn't be able to answer your thought out and deeply insightful reply.
    "Because not all Mexicans are Catholics. Again with the stereotypes, Grandma . . ." (if you can read my sarcasm here, then you are better at reading it than she is face to face)
    "No, because they're mostly Mormon." Says the matriarch of the family.
    "How. . . wha. . . I don't even know how that relates to saying they saw some Mexicans at the zoo. It's Arizona." At this point, I've turned my back to her to continue cleaning the lime build up on the pool. I am trying my best to not laugh at her, but everyone stops caring as soon as Jackson (the baby) starts to dip my uncle's putter into the water.

    If you've seen The Office, you may recognize a similar interchange between Michael Scott and Oscar. Michael tells his subordinate not to call Oscar Mexican because it is racist. Oscar asks why, since he is actually Mexican. In Michael's Political Correctness, he outs his own prejudices; hilariously. I wish I could find the clip to show you. Arguing with her is fun for me. I try to do everything possible sometimes to point out logical errors in her ideas, but she keeps on coming (she's a pescatarian, by choice of morals-not health, for Christ's sake, this is for another blog post about vegetarianism). It is made more fun by my Grandma's incredible ability to be critical of everyone else's life choices. Seriously, debating her is as fun as watching To Catch A Predator.

PS: I love my grandmother very much. She is wonderful and has done numerous things for me without hesitation. Despite my writings about her, she is a very smart woman. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks, I guess. It is purely a game I play with myself to see how she thinks and operates. She is a study all her own. Really, I cannot put into words how amazing my grandma is to me and our family. We'd have been lost long ago without her leadership.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I have some weird habits

I (like everyone) have some odd habits. Some of you know them and some don't. But I figured I'd put some down for lack of a better topic.

1: When in private, I have a need to vocally announce to no one in particular that I have farted.
2: Unless I am in Oregon, I cannot drink the tap water anywhere. Well, Scotland had good water.
3: I have to touch things an even amount of times. This requires more explanation. If I accidentally tap my right elbow against a wall, I have to touch my left elbow against a wall. you can replace "wall" with another object and you can also replace "elbow" with any other part of me.
4: Sometimes, I feel the need to explain things out loud when I'm alone. I've been told this isn't anything big, it's just an over active social complex when I'm alone (as in I want to be around other people, so I just create some. Typical of only children).
5: I never step on cracks or lines on the sidewalk.
6: I speed up to stop at red lights.
7: I use far too much toilet paper.
8: I do not have one best friend, but I have many great friends. (in years to come it will be hard to pick a best man)
9: I used to never do homework and just get drunk in high school. Now that I'm in college, people who don't do their homework annoy me extremely-I think it's because it costs money now, so it seems pointless.
10: Speaking of college, I hold no stock in the perceived importance of going to a University. I'm only doing it because it's free for me right now.
11: I'm super proud of what I've done in the Marines and what my unit (314) did in Iraq, but I really hate other veterans my age almost wholeheartedly.
12: I seem to be the only person in my family that puts their silverware face down in the dishwasher. I do not understand this.
13: If I'm wearing tube socks at home, sometimes I will pull them halfway off my feet and let them dangle, like a Dr. Seuss shoe.
14: My dad and I discovered the genius of Wheat Thins and Philadelphia Cream Cheese by accident when I was 14. I still eat this combo constantly. This is one of my favorite things my dad taught me.
15: I love dips. With bread, chips, other assorted foods, I just love dip. It is my favorite thing to eat. especially 7 layered-dip.
16: If I don't swallow a pill fully or if I brush my tongue too far back, I will almost assuredly vomit. My gag reflex is turrible, just turrible.
17: When I was younger, my mom told me you were only ticklish until you lost your virginity. I believed it, but remained ticklish after I lost it. I am still very ticklish.
18: I literally kicked my girlfriend in the face and then called her a whore in the span of three minutes. We're still together.
19: I played with my plastic army men until I was like, 13. Way too old to be that immature.
20: I have a problem of buying the top notch thing of whatever I want. Even though I cannot afford it sometimes. It must be the best.

What odd/strange things do you do?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tourists in a Music Video

    Death Cab for Cutie has been known to be innovators in the music scene for many years. A significant number of people have at least one song of the iconic underground band. Now the successfully experimental band has done it again-with a streamed live, scripted, one take (as in no chances to re-shoot on mistakes) music video for their first single, “You Are A Tourist” off of their new album Codes and Keys.
    To put it into proper perspective, this has never been done before. Previously, artists have made live videos but they were recorded at a live show. One other artist, Michael Jackson, has made a video that was sung and performed live, but the video wasn't one take. The song was called “Rock With You” and it has since been redubbed. It gave a greater appreciation to Death Cab's video to have known about it because, littered throughout the performance were allusions to this. Director Tim Nikashi put together a phenomenal video that he would be proud to stamp his name on.
     It started out with a countdown. The house lights dimmed and the only thing visible were 9 green triangles in the background that would play a part later. Through a wall of smoke, Ben Gibbard (lead singer) walked towards the camera. He couldn't help but grin as he knew the importance of the art they had just begun. The first line came slightly off sync as Gibbard tried to catch it right at the exact moment of entry but was back on track-and remained that way-for the rest of the performance. There were camera pans and switches that made it more apparent, oddly enough, that it wasn't a completely reworked piece. Soon into it, Nick Harmer (bassist) strutted his stuff hilariously across a raised platform in front of three separately colored rooms where actors did something that no one paid attention to, surely. Harmer stole the show with his antics, exaggerated movements and humorous faces. Chris Walla (lead guitar) was almost non-existent and kicked off the next phase of the video by playing the keys.
      The entire time watching the video you couldn't help but think about how magical it was when they were starting out. The video, in its simple ways was endearing of the times that went. It was great to see the band stick to its roots when it has still grown musically out of the trappings of hipsterdom and into creative sounds. They used christmas lights to line the stages and their instruments. They had light up suits that the writer found awesome and want one extremely bad. One hopes that the rest of Death Cab's videos are done this way because it was a subtle reminder that they still knew what audience they had. Bohemia wouldn't be upset by this aspect and you knew watching that you were witness to a possibly exciting trend in music videos.
Symbolism was apparent throughout. In the section of the song that talks about leaving home, the camera hovered over a large intersection where one man turned away from the path. There was a large area of shaped lights that looked like a kaleidoscope only when women danced and rolled around to mimic the motion. It was a really neat trick they used to make the video more complex in its choreography (which made it all the more impressive when they actually pulled it off without any mistakes). When it was over, and confetti was all over the performers, they all got together stage front to say thank you a la Saturday Night Live. It was touching as the band cared more to thank the people behind the scenes and the dancers more than talk about how hard it was for them.
       It was a fantastic video and will be talked about for a long time. Certainly good press for Death Cab's latest album.

The video for “You Are A Tourist” is now on YouTube in Death Cab For Cutie's official page. The single is currently available for purchase on the iTunes store and the Android app store for mobile downloads. The album, “Codes and Keys” hits stores May 31st.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The most embarrassing story I've told so far

            How far would you go to not have sex? That's right, I said to not have sex. Most women can just say they're too tired or have a headache or that they're on their period or that they don't want it in the butt that particular night, but for men it is quite different. Actually, it's probably not but mine was a special case.
            I was in March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California from the summer of '07 till the spring of '08. I was TAD (Temporary Additional Duty) to the Red Patchers there and was in charge of the logistical support of the deploying units. It was a lot of work and I was by myself. I was a Lance Corporal at the time and I had a Corporal Goodman with me who was great, but he delegated many of the tasks to me, to include buying the Sopranos DVDs that he mooched off of me. (He was a great guy, don't get me wrong, and a good Marine.)
            When we weren't working odd hours and a lot of them, we partied really, really hard. Harder than Marines should sometimes. I won't go into details, but it was a great time. One of the guys there, a black guy from Arkansas whose name I'm forgetting (he had a marvel comics sleeve and was one of my best friends there) took me out one night with the rest of the gang to a bar next to the college. I believe it was called The Ristorante, or the Cafe or something that didn't sound like a bar. We went out exclusively on Wednesdays: Ladies Night.
             Now those that remember, I was dating my ex at the time and was faithful so I just went for the drinking. One night, we went out and Marvel (black guy's name for this story) spotted a chick that was hot for the IE but basically within his standards. Problem was she had a grenade of a friend. I, being the designated wingman for the night had to play along.
            My date wasn't particularly ugly. Ok yeah, she was ugly. Not really a good face and she was fat. But not the kind of fat you could work with, or that kind of fat girl you keep on the side that you don't tell anyone about because you're embarrassed about being with her, she was gargantuan. About 5'6" and easily over 300lbs. She even waddled. I turned around and shot Marvel a look, to which he replied that he'd buy me one of those extra large Jack Daniel's bottles if I played a long. Anytime you put JD in front of me, I comply so I didn't protest. We danced and then they went home early because they had work in the morning but they promised Marvel they would meet us the next day.
            When the afternoon came, we met them at the ABC bowling alley near the base. All of the Red Patchers had heard about my whale date and had showed up en masse to see her. When she stomped in, the whole place erupted into laughter at me. I knew it, but I didn't care because the next night I would be so fucking hammered for free. After three pitchers of beer and 4 games bowled, me and Marvel took our women home to our hotel on base. My room was right by the stairs and Marvel's was across the catwalk a bit. The whole ride home I didn't want to go to my room. I wanted to do anything to stall the eventual sex. We got into our rooms and I decided a movie would be a fantastic idea to delay the physical activities. So I put on the worst movie I had, "Night at the Museum."
           After a bit, she started feeling me up and kissing me on my neck. I panicked, hoping my fidelity was no longer ruined, and excused myself to the bathroom. In there, I did the only thing I could think of. We couldn't have sex if I was unable to. Genius idea.
           (I'm about to talk about my penis for a sec, so if you don't want to read about it, skip this paragraph but the story will be lost if you do)
           I reached down into my pants and, using my middle finger, I pushed the tip of my dick into itself (like all bored guys have done sometime in their adolescents) and using my snug jeans, kept in in place. It wasn't all the way tucked in, only half way but seeing as how I'm circumcised, it was difficult to keep it in place.
          Walking out, I saw she had taken off her clothes and was completely naked on my bed, which seemed to strain at her weight. If anything, I did this to spare my bed a crushing fate. I gave her a worried and sad look and said, "I can't do this."
          "What do you mean you can't? You're hot and I'm ready to fuck, what else is there?" she gasped. I'm sure she thought it had something to do with her weight and I felt sorry for her. I didn't want to destroy her self confidence but I wasn't going to cheat on Grace.
           "I...I'm a eunuch." I sold it so well I should've gotten an Oscar.
           "You're joking."
           "I wish I was, look it's really embarrassing ok, I like you and you're hot (lie) but I just can't have sex. I'd really appreciate it if you didn't tell the guys. Please tell them we had sex, you can even say it was bad and I was terrible, I just really can't do it."

          "It's alright, please can we just ignore it? I'm sorry but we're not doing anything tonight."
          I sold it so well that she lied to her friend and told them that we fucked and I was fantastic. She felt sorry for me and I knew that my plan succeeded. I took some heat for it but I didn't break my promise to my long-distance woman. I immediately called Garrett, my best friend and told him. He laughed and complemented me on my diversion.
          I didn't tell the Red Patchers this because I knew they would only think I was lying about fucking a fatty, but I think this story is more embarrassing than going hogging, which all men have. I never broke my fidelity and now have this story to write on this blog. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aron Ralston is the biggest dumbass ever. Fact.

I'm really tired of this giant douche bag getting recognized as a hero. He shouldn't get a movie and he shouldn't receive anything other than people berating his stupidity. Allow me to paraphrase his story. 

Aron is a climber. So he's in shape, done a lot of these adventurous things before and is not a newbie to the climbing/hiking world. He's even a super smart guy as he went to Carnegie Melon for Engineering. 
Aron climbs some mountains and while on a quest for personal growth or whatever decides, in all better judgement, that he should travel alone. He plays poker and pulls out a pair of 3's while the fates rape him in the arm with a full house in the form of a boulder. He falls down a crevasse(I still wish I could say that like Bear Grylls) and his arm gets pinned literally between a rock and a hard place. Days go bye and he has to cut off said arm, some more stuff happens and then he is rescued. 

Let me crack an egg of knowledge all over you with some guidelines of adventuring.

1. Plan where you are going. (Break out a $4.00 topo map and plan your trip)
2. Tell someone where you are going, and when you are planning on being back. (ie. “We’ll be taking this trail into this basin. Don’t plan on us being back until Sunday afternoon.”)
3. Dress and pack for conditions.
4. Never hike alone. (Hey Aron… ever hear of the buddy system?)
5. Be prepared. (did you pack everything you need… Like a buddy?)

I know a little about survival, the desert school in MCAGCC 29 Palms wasn't easy. There are some rules you don't mess around with. The buddy system is one of them as well as not letting anyone know where you're going. 

People everywhere loved his book about the event and his story of survival was lauded as a great triumph of the human spirit. Let me get this straight. This guy breaks a rule and through his stupidity and arrogance of action, gets what he deserves and people love him for it? My mind is full of F*** on this. Surely his PR people and Oprah couldn't be that powerful to hide this fact. You lost an arm, Aron, because you were an idiot. You're making money off of it because America is full of idiots. Maybe I should change the title to Aron Ralston is a genius. He even got James Franco to play him in a movie. 

Some people say that he's a bamf because he cut off his arm where others would just die. He took a bad situation and came through victorious. Let me put it into perspective. Tonight, I was making some rice with my steak and potatoes. I got the water boiling with the mixers and realized I made a mistake. I forgot to buy butter at the store so I was out. Oh no, what would I do? I used my quick thinking and wit, pulled out the Vegetable Oil I had and used that. Wow, I should write about it. This is obviously not in the same league as losing an arm, however the argument that he was superhuman is diminutive to everyone else. I'm almost positive that once survival instincts kick in, almost everyone in my circle of friends would have done the same thing to survive. Tupac said it best.

"Niggas gotta do..."

Perhaps he didn't say that and I was just waxing philosophical. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why I hate Juno

            This is probably one of the most pretentious movies I have ever seen. It is just awful. I am even their demographic: Slightly hipster; geeky tendencies; I was young when I saw it and I think Ellen Page is kind of hot.  But no, it failed.
            The dialogue is what is considered a hilarious part to the whole movie. I found it insufferable. No one talks like that. It was filled with the prose of hindsight. “Man, I should’ve said _____ to her!” kinds of things. These lines were all that Ellen Page’s character spouted out of her annoying mouth. She wasn’t that great of an actress in this and neither was Michael “I play the same character” Cera. The little quirky things about the movie were so fake and so over the top that it was like they were trying too hard to be an “indie” movie. There were a few cameos from some of the Arrested Development cast but they all flopped. I get that the message of the movie was good, and it was marketable to younger girls and that’s probably a positive. But think about it. The entire time, I wanted to smack her in the mouth because she was just a bitch to everyone. And she was a slut. Slutty bitches aren’t well received in society for good reason. Pregnancy isn’t enough of an excuse. I was laughing at everything wrong that happened to her. I felt like they marketed the indie scene a little too intensely and that wore off quick. Yeah she had a burger phone, which was kind of funny. But I’ve seen stuff like that already, like 5 years ago.
            The movie was generic and didn’t impress me. It was hardly mentionable as a cult classic. The only really good thing about it was Jennifer Garner upstaging everyone with her acting, that song that was sung by the parents was kind of good, and the fact that it was short enough was good. I’d have given Juno a razzie if I could’ve.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are you there God? It's me, Charmander.

Are you there God? It's me, Charmander.

Something is happening to me and I'm scared. All of the other Pokemon haven't changed but as the child's favorite, I seem to be maturing faster than them. Squirtle calls me Char'girl'der from his pokeball and it's getting on my nerves. He's a jerk. I don't know why but my body is developing at a rapid rate. The boy is giving me pieces of candy and every time he does my voice drops an octave. To my dismay, they're taffy which the fire that bellows from my mouth at odd, uncontrollable times usually melts which causes beatings. Seriously, God, I expel embers from my mouth at the worst times. At the Pokemon day care, I sometimes have to keep my mouth closed so Bulbasaur and Squirtle won't notice. I've already described Squirtle's behavior so I wont go any further, but Bulbasaur is just a follower, God. He doesn't think for himself and is always way nicer to me when the other Pokemon aren't around. Sometimes at night, I have what the Rapidash here calls a “Nocturnal Ignition.” I don't think you want to hear about it. Needless to say, at the church camp sleep over last week when the tent burnt down, I promise I didn't mean to char your son's effigy.
Even my physical shape is changing. My nose isn't flat and domed, it is growing pointy and defined. The Chansey says it's cute but I'm avoiding her like the Smog. She is homely and the last thing I need now is to be labeled a “Chansey Chaser.” My mouth, formerly a large maw that made Otakus blush, is now suffering from a severe overbite. I have a permanent scowl, which when I play with my friends makes me look intimidating, but I can't convince people that I'm not mad all of the time. To top it all off, God, I now have a large phallic growth on my head. I don't feel the need to give the jokes made at its expense a mention.
It's not all bad though. I seem to have developed elbows and larger fingers, although they're still just claws. Can you change that? I'd like to wipe my ass without tearing the paper. The fire on my tail has been burning brighter lately which helps me read in my pokeball and I'm slightly taller.
I'm only level 16, God. I'm in the prime of my life and nothing is more important than the events right now. Why is all of this happening to me? Please, send help.

PS: God, It'd be really neat if I could get wings sometime. I'd like to fly away from the Squirtles of the world.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


my buddy Joe put up his review of Dead Space 2. It's completely opposing mine but it's still good. Check it out!

the new corps

There is a rift in the Marines that is more superficial than a serious problem, but prevalent enough to be commented on almost everyday. It is said that the Marines that came after 2000 have been labeled the “New Corps” and pre-millennials are the “Old Corps.” Mothers of America, a political group, is seen to blame for the easing up in boot camp, creating a supposed weaker Marine. This is the view of many, many OC Marines. They believe this so vehemently that almost every time a younger man messes up, the NC is thrown an insult or two.
Let me tell you something about the New Corps. I can personally vouch for the boot camp experience. Just because we aren't publicly beaten doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I was choked out, got hit in the eye with my rifle's front sight tip, got hammer fisted in the chest when one of my DI's didn't like the way my tape was folded to label the rifle rack, and a few other things. I had a friend hold a pillow in front of his face like the DI asked him to, and then got punched in the face. Closed fist, none of that open palm shit they swear by in books and magazines. We don't get hit as badly as the stories I heard from my Dad, his boot camp really seemed like hell, and we don't get hit publicly like some of these older guys did, but it still happened. These are just assumptions made by the older generations to prove their points.
Fast forward a bit to Iraq. The NCO's and Junior Marines I served with there, with the exception of 2 men, were the best Marines, collectively, that I had ever met. One of the two was named Michael Busby and he was the worst person I'd ever met. No one has ever caused more hatred and disgust in me (and frankly, the whole unit) than him. The other was a guy named Lopez. He was such an idiot and a liar that he was nicknamed “Slowpez.” In hindsight, that sounds like some sort of Mexican Pokemon. We fixed jets that were broken by OC pilots. We fixed jets that were older than the Blue Angels's jets, dealt with a supply logistical unit that, despite having years of units in front of them to learn mistakes and get everything right, were incompetent, had the WORST Staff NCO corps I've ever encountered in my life (all Old Corps, mind you) and got our planes ready enough to support our S2 and S3 to secure our pilots combat missions. Something that hadn't been done by an F/A-18 unit in 2 years. Our brothers elsewhere were able to fight an extremely tough battle in 2004 called Fallujah, and win when the Army units that had tried previously had failed. The New Corps held the Al Anbar province for over 7 years, as it was continuously dubbed, the most dangerous place on earth, and we have fought a two wars, the first time that's been done since WW2, which, in that war, the Marines only fought really on one front. The bloody pacific.
You know what my impression is of the Old Corps? A Gunnery Sergeant Carr, who got mad that he didn't get a doughnut that wasn't even meant for him, and loaded a magazine into a pistol and almost shot his men. A SSgt Largo, who, while not a bad Marine, bitches about younger Marines and lauds the good old days, yet he couldn't have the self-discipline to run on leave and is constantly facing weight problems. He also used to be a DI, so whenever he insulted us, we'd all remind him that he and his friends “failed” to teach us properly. A SSgt Ski, a decent guy that was so weak and lazy that he would throw literal hissy girl fits and couldn't do one fucking pull up. He would get overwhelmed and get so mad over little things, and wouldn't even look you in the eye when talking with you. Another Ssgt, whose name I forgot, had belly bigger than a basketball and was forced into retirement. He also was not known in a very positive light.
These men all got to keep their careers. If that's not enabling, then I don't know what is. The Marine Corps is fine, and will be for years to come. While I admit that I also noticed a sharp decline in the respect of newer Marines, I was shocked to see a total boot named DiTaranto that turned out to be stellar under my command. I hope he's doing well still. There is hope, devil dogs. We've got this.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sometimes, I don't love Portland.

You know, people from Oregon are just odd. I can't really place it on any great historical, memetic cause that created us but it's there. I once heard that Oregon conservatives are still more liberal than the rest of the country and that Oregon democrats are fiercely more liberal than their counterparts across America. I'd wholeheartedly agree. Growing up in Portland (which is so unique that a new show is on TV that highlights it's qualities) I had a lot of internal conflict politically that was partially enhanced by the election times. Measure 36 was the ballot that was relevant to me the most that year. Bush was up for election and it was just a hard time to be impartial. I supported a lot of views of the Democratic Party at that time and so I figured I was a Democrat. It was also the popular thing to do and I wanted to fit in, just like everyone else. I can remember political arguments being on the forefront of the entire education slide throughout my childhood. I remember when I was at Nancy Ryles before transferring to Hazeldale, they announced over the intercom the verdict in the OJ trial. My teachers apparently were on opposite sides of the spectrum here and taught us how the verdict had been turned political and how certain people wanted him to be free and others didn't. Some students complained and others praised the announcement as if we had any real clue as to what we were talking about.
YEARS later, one of my best friends Elise Jacks would say at lunch, "Whatever guys, you just support whatever your parents support." In a moment of clarity and realizing our shit had just been called we all got defensive and assured her we were wrong. Colin Self (now this will shock you) was talking about how Bush was the right guy over Gore. I said the same but in all actuality, I said it because my Dad said it. I wouldn't realize Elise's profundity until later in life.
I wanted to be liberal, cool and hip with the other kids but in reality I was more moderate than anything. Both conservative kids and liberal kids would say their view points in passing and I'd think both sides have points. I was in choir and thought Bush was an idiot, but I was so excited to join the Marines. I wanted to go and fight in the war, but I was surrounded by anti-war rhetoric that didn't sound like it was coming from idiots It was in this haze that Measure 36 caught my attention. The reason I'll talk about it is because it was THE event of that year and nothing was as important to my school.
I had a friend named John that went by the name Jane when he was outside of school. He went to Tigard High School and was so super gay. He was a good friend of mine and we knew each other from the years I spent at Kindercare preschool. He wasn't an evil, sinner. He wasn't a liar or a cheat or a bad person at all. He was my friend. How could all of these anti-gay slurs be correct when here was one of the most gay-gays ever.  He would eventually be bullied a lot and then killed himself by wearing all black and jumping into traffic near the Sellwood Bridge. I was instantly polarized in the argument of gay civil liberties. Yeah, I thought that some of the super gay men were hilarious and easy to make fun of because it's also easy to make fun of women. And I'd look at some of them speaking with self acquired lisps and feminine accents and wonder why they were acting this way when I knew them growing up and they weren't like this. But I didn't hate them and I had just slept with my girlfriend at the time and knew that the fact that John liked boys didn't really affect our decision to have sex. Measure 36 was the gay marriage ballot that was annoyingly prevalent in my school. students had Yes/No on 36 stickers on their binders to show their support, never mind they wouldn't even be able to vote. You can imagine which side I was on, and when it passed, it was like my school had been set to rage. Fights broke out, arguments were being screamed and teachers were holding students back. It wasn't very fun to be at Aloha that year.
I have (very few) friends that are Mormon, or are cowboy like and just don't like anything that isn't god and country. I also have friends that grow weed legally in their downstairs and just party a ton. Both are great people that don't hurt anyone and are nice. They all tell me that they genuinely like cops but not the ones that are douchebags about it. While I completely agree, I always think twice about the kind of friend it is. Are they just telling me this because my Dad is a cop? Are they telling me this because the last kid to say "fuck the police" to me got throated into section 108 at PGE Park? I may be a former Marine and be very pro police, but I have a brain and can see every side.
Portland is violently liberal and it's a good thing at times but I hear a lot of negativity from back home. So I have an easy time believing that a shop in downtown would actually kick out uniformed policemen trying to get some coffee because it would be unnerving to the customers. I don't see any logic in it and it makes me mad, but I can see it's their right. It's like protesting military funerals. I don't like it at all but they're allowed.
I lose it. We all know about the problems Portland has with their police. I don't know about any injustices happening and I don't really know too much about the anti-cop side of the argument but that shouldn't really be news. That seems to be Koin 6 (the least popular of the 3 news stations at home) trying tabloid journalism that isn't cool. They're exacerbating an already huge problem. The news should be trying to mend fences and build trust again between Portlanders and their police.
For a place deemed a haven for tolerance and understanding, there are some real closed-minded hippies there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It shouldn't be called "indie" anymore.

When I was younger, I discovered something new musically. Britney Spears hadn't broken down, Christina accepted that she passed away in obscurity, Pink wasn't pretending to be tough, Avril Lavigne was just as much of a joke and Famous hats had bent bills. I remember when a band I'd never heard of came to Portland one Saturday that I snuck into the Meow Meow downtown to see and I was blown away. If you'll allow me to be pretentious for a second, it really changed the music that I would follow for the rest of my life. I'm not proud of the music of my adolescences up until 2003 and I will admit a few bands that I liked at the time that I am ashamed of now. I liked a few Limp Bizkit singles, I listened to korn, mudvayne had one song I liked and yes....(I don't even want to say it) I liked creed. I am much more conscious of better musical tastes now and hate everything about nu-metal. 
I still remember the lineup was some obscure people that I would see again at PDX Pop 2004 but I don't remember and headlined by a budding band called Death Cab for Cutie. I told my friend Josh that the name was retarded and went in. They had been touring to support Transatlanticism, their 4th album. I don't need to get all hipster on you or tell you how it happened, but their music speaks for itself. Chris Walla said they were an "indie" band and I got on limewire as soon as I could at home to find more of the genre. I entered a world where people would say about their musical tastes, "I like stuff you don't." or "I like music that you haven't heard of." 
Now, almost everyone has heard Death Cab, Bright Eyes, Dashboard Confessional, AFI, The Decemberists, Imogen Heap and many other bands that were only listened to by about one burned cd that was tossed around my high school's J-Hall. Movies like Garden State and the TV show, The O.C. prominently featured artists without labels or on smaller record labels that weren't on the major listing. This catapulted the success of every band that could try and sound like something that Death Cab had done. A good band was usually one that meshed The Postal Service's electro-pop sound with Death Cab's acoustics and some or AFI's electric guitar sounds. 
These bands are now hugely popular in an underground market that is bigger than most people think. They by far aren't selling out stadium rock shows but the music is played at more intimate venues which fit the style much more appropriately. From what I know about the industry, smaller labels offer more of a royalties percentage, almost accrue no debt for the artist to repay and even some have stock-options and profit sharing. This DIY bohemian sound mirrors the NW geographical area it stems from and often makes for a fuller sound. It's not any different really then the sound quality of a major label production, it just is arranged noticeably different. These labels are becoming powerhouses of their genres. They're hardly the independent and lo-fi lo budget grouping that they used to be. 
The Decemberists aren't indie, they're Folk Revivalist Rock. Death Cab is just plain Rock, Yeasayer and Matt & Kim are definitely Experimental Rock. Animal Collective is Shit Rock (not really, I just hate them). The Kooks are Brit rock or Brit pop. Dispatch, the most successful independent band was Adult Contemporary or Jam band. They all have established genres that came from musical pioneers in the 60's and 70's. Underground artists aren't pioneering anything but they're innovating a lot of musical styles and ways of arranging music that were the "wrong" way in the past. 
If you don't believe me that they've made such a massive presence then I present you with the band Owl City.
His voice is obviously the worst impression of Ben Gibbard that I've ever heard. Adam Young audibly stretches syllables to pronounce words the same way. It is the biggest attempt at continuing The Postal Service that failed because it's just bad. The Postal Service's lyrics are very introspective and have been likened to Bob Dylan, for their success in being covered. They have phrases and lines in their songs that are timeless and fit extremely well with a younger me. Owl City has lyrics deep meaningful lyrics like, "I'd like to make myself believe, that planet earth turns slowly." Wow. I've just been bitchslapped by creativity right there. 

Universal looked for and found this guy and molded him to sound "indie" but put out a pop sound enough to get on the top 40 charts. It's not good music but he succeeded. 
In summation, the sound of independent artists that people are referring to are not struggling or unknown. Matt & Kim topped iTunes for a week, MGMT is touring Europe and Yeasayer just finished a world wide tour. It's not Indie. Stop calling it that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Journalism Class

brings all the boys to the yard and it is certainly better than yours. I love almost everything about it and I can't wait to talk about the Champions League match today of Arsenal vs Barcelona. That was intense and some great soccer. I said before that it's like an episode of TMZ. We all just sit around and talk about new news stories and laugh about them to our teacher who sits there leaning on one arm like that guy. Her nose is just as big but she is easily 4 times his size. She's nice enough but is older and has room mates. Either she has failed at getting a boyfriend, is gay or her room mates are her cats and the conversations she's been having with them are a serious issue to be brought up at a later date.
I do have one major problem in the class that I feel really awkward about. I don't know his name but he is the one that is obviously gay. Before I go off on this, and be labeled a homophobic person, I am just going to say that I'm not and my gay friends will easily back me up on this. This guy is so gay that I really don't think it's his natural gay. I know a LOT of gays and none of them (to include the drag queen one) are quite this gay. He's abrasive, has insulting undertones in his prose that the girls of the class that laugh with him don't catch, and he's exaggerating his mannerisms. Why I don't know. Maybe because he's surrounded by straight guys that are so obviously not straight-bait that he must compensate. I dunno. He's stereotypical and annoying about everything he does or says. He is more arrogant than is allowed and his actions mean that he's super gay, and you need to know about it. I don't ever say anything for a few reasons. For one, I'm a straight, white male veteran so instantly I'll be labeled as anti-gay. Another is because of the homophilic nature of the group around me. I can tell some of them are so pro gay that they instantly love every gay man. Despite that some are just annoying people and if I suggest that he should quiet down then I'm the enemy. (I bet that if a lesbian came in and started talking about how much they love vagina, all those pro gay girls would wig out just like all of the straight guys did because of this guy in our class) I just keep my mouth shut. This guy really made me question my usually pro-gay stance because it was his extreme gayness that was bothersome and annoying and not him. So I found the best help I could.
I talked to my friends Ty, Scott, Katlyn and Jesse, all gay/bi. I told them the situation, asked them if I came across as homophobic and if I had valid points or if I needed to go to sensitivity camp or something. They were all unanimous.
"Some gays are just bad gays" said Ty. "He sounds like he could possibly be new to being out in the past few years so he's enjoying what he missed out on. He'll learn that people don't really care if you're gay or not and you don't need to be in people's face about it."
"It sounds like you weren't annoyed by him being gay, you were annoyed by him being a faggot. There are clear differences" Scott assured me. "He's the kind of gay that shoves it around because someone wasn't nice to him about it at one point."
"I know you're not homophobic, you're a good guy, J.T., he just was abrasive." said Katlyn.
"Sometimes,"Jesse exclaimed "gays need to realize that the only way of true acceptance is just to be as subtle with their homosexual nature as straight men are. We don't have to hide anything but there's no reason to be the extreme of anything." I thought it was funny that he was saying that to me as he was putting guyliner on to go on stage at a drag show at Embers in Portland.
I was assured by them that he is just an annoying person. He insults everyone in the class except for this girl Sophia who sits next to me. He spent 5 minutes talking about how she would look fantastic in lavender while the teacher was trying to talk over him about material we were going to be tested on soon. We get it, you're gay and like fashion.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hey, so I'm starting this blog back up. I don't like it, you don't like it everybody wins. I'm not going to sit here and make introspective comments about how my life is changing around me or make long-winded statements comparing love to _______. That was what my Livejournal was for...7 years ago.

I have this for a few reasons:
1.) This will help me talk about stuff going on with me that I can write about and not annoy the shit out of my facebook friends with incessant status updates.
2.) Possible review links to more freelance writing internships/jobs.
3.) I can't really think of anything else.

This blog also doesn't have some stupid name that isn't original. "My life running backwards" isn't funny or witty or a good name. Besides, no one is really going to read your shit. I doubt I'll really keep up with this. I just have some rants I'll probably post and review the shit out of everything to include my socks. Yeah, I said I'm going to review my socks. I might post some trailing things about my Iraq book I'm writing but I dunno. I'm not really going to advertise this thing much.

edit 9:53pm I have an unhealthy fascination with Yeasayer's "Tightrope" and Florence+the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over." I think their play counts are in the 60's.

In Russia, Game Plays You!

Metro 2033 Review: 
When I hear of any new game coming out that consists of Communist Russia(or the Soviet Union, for that matter), Neo-Nazi's, and a post-apocalyptic world I think, "Oh sweet, this game will be pretty rad!" Whether or not I feel the way about Metro 2033 that I thought I would is still to be determined. Despite its flaws, Metro 2033 is a good game. The game puts us in the eponymous year, set in the underground tunnels of the Moscow area Metro system, 20 something years after a nuclear war has destroyed the world. Sound Familiar? Well it should because it's just like the rest of the stories. Enough radiation present to kill you? Check. Nuclear water-like waste that damages you on contact? Check. Mutated beings that roam around, out to kill you? Check. This kind of sounds like a Russian version of Fallout 3—with the Vaults replaced by the Metro. But it's not quite done yet. 
 Unlike Fallout 3, you cannot just roam around the Earth’s surface without a gas mask on, possibly because of the fact that it takes place further from the initial nuclear holocaust than Metro does. The few times you are on the surface of the Earth, you will constantly need to wear a non view restricting gas mask, in order to breathe. To make it a little more realistic, you'll need to change the filters after a certain amount of time, which you'll find scattered throughout the world. The time left on your filter is shown on a small, three color gauge on your wrist watch. The best part about this system is that you are constantly are kept on your toes regarding your ability to even breathe, let alone fight all the mutated monsters up on the surface. Added to that is the fact that not every filter is brand new, and will already have some of its use worn. So you'll go to put one on and it'll only last you 5 minutes, versus a fresh one that will last about 20 minutes. AND the gas mask can crack from battle damage and become useless, requiring you to find a new one. Killer. The time spent in the metro tunnels is where the bulk of this game takes place. We are led to believe that in certain parts of the tunnels, Communists have created a 1984 like dystopia, and that other parts contain Neo-Nazis(Russian Nazis, mind you). Apparently no one learned that they should be working together to survive instead of killing each other. Yeah, that's smart. 
Enter the Rangers, a small group of badasses that just roam around the tunnels and make it a safer place. You start off as a young adult named, "Artyom" in a 'free' tunnel city, and quickly become a Ranger when one of your Ranger friends gets killed. You then take his place after an attack on your city leaves you all in great peril. Your quest takes you throughout the entire Metro system, through Nazi cities, Red cities, and even the frontline tunnels where you must sneak (or fight) through the battle to the other side. At that location there is a big 'free' city that will send aid to your besieged home. 
 Sounds kind of interesting, right? Well it is...for a bit. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar for most gamers, and it goes like this: Super interesting conflict between two different sets(read Humans vs. Covenant) and then introduce a third aggressor(read Flood, the Many) and then the game’s story gets less interesting. Exploring the back-story behind the war between the reds and Nazis, or maybe what the Nazis were so nazi-like about (Russian master race?) but instead they throw in a third element: Aliens. Or maybe they were mutated humans. Either way, I didn't care about them. 
The "Dark Ones" appear rarely in the game but are this huge threat to your city. So the story gets lame and trippy, but still holds your attention enough. The game play is another factor of the game that is just good, not great. Glitches are abound. When using this revolver-type shotgun that holds 5 rounds, in a hasty situation (like firing a lot of rounds at once, because you're overwhelmed) causes it to glitch. You'll only be able to fire off three rounds before you'll have to reload, and it will show that you've used all 5 rounds. So that sucks. Also, sometimes enemies don't die, causing you to have to restart and then they would die. This isn't a glitch, but it's a complaint of mine: NO MELEE button. For real. Only two guns allow you to melee. So when you're totally swamped with monsters, you've got to wait to reload and try again. The game also didn't explain the mechanics of the game very well. For example, the bartering system uses ammo for money, but doesn't explain what the images represent, so I kind of just had to wing it until I figured it out. Which, I've been told is a universal problem. Of course all of these glitches don't exist on the PC version. But it's ok, PC gaming is dying anyway. 
 So remember when I said it was good? Yeah, stick with me. I'll explain it right here. The story is actually really interesting. And there are a lot of fun things to do. The Survival/Horror part of the game sure came through on the survival part. The game isn't scary at all, but ammo is scarce enough that you'll constantly be carefully aiming shots to conserve ammo. There are even less health packs but it's a lot like Call of Duty, and stuff so your health regenerates. There are times when you'll have a ton of filters for your gas mask, and others when you'll be on your last one. The shooter aspects are good enough, but not as great compared to as other recently developed games. 
 Newer gamers will love this game while More experienced players will scoff at obvious faults, but still find themselves wanting to continue the game. If you're looking for something of the same caliber as Dead Space/RE4/Fallout 3 for the survival/horror aspects of it, then ignore this game. It fails compared to them, but it does have a "good effort" kind of feel when playing. Hardcore gamers should avoid this title, and it's not worth the $60 tag either. Get it used or wait for it to drop to the $40-$50 dollar range.

Older Way of the Samurai 3 review I did last year

Way Of The Samurai 3
The third installment of the Way Of The Samurai series was unknown for the majority of people in my gaming circles and this seems to be the trend for the whole series. These under the radar games are a great fun to play and even though there are some obvious things that make you go, "hmm..." The diehard WOTS fans were all about it. As was I. Until I played it.
Let me first say that the first game of the series for the PS2 was such a sleeper hit that to call it a hit is still somewhat overstating it. It was just such a great game. And the second was disappointingly similar. This third title was what I desperately hoped it wouldn't be. They expanded on the things that weren't that great.
They didn't expand the landscape of the game. If they somehow took WOTS and made it more of a sandbox (i.e.:Elder Scrolls titles, FF8, Gun, GTA) instead of the previous system, the game would just rule. It's too constraining to have over 20 different endings and have all the different choices to make in such a small world. There are only 8 neighborhoods to explore, and one of them is just a small road that takes about 2 minutes to walk through even if you stop and talk to everyone. The story is simply too large to have in such a small setting.
They didn't add more enemies or clans. There are still only 2 main warring factions and your only other choice (besides just leaving, which is an ending as well) is to side with the villagers. Who wants to do that? Come on now, this game is about WAR and Samurai clans fighting each other! Screw farming! Seriously, you can lay your sword down and just farm. I didn't realize we were playing Harvest Moon. Or Farmville a la Feudal Japan. This time it is a little different in that one clan isn't obviously a more malevolent than the other. Both the Ouka Clan and the Fujimori Clan have apparent faults at the lowest level while the higher ranking samurai of each clan walk around with ignorance. Of course, you could always go be with the good guys and farm...yeah...about that.
They didn't improve the English audio at all. While the first game just had grunts and random screams in Japanese (which are still in this one) and the second had poorly dubbed English actors, you'd think they'd step it up a little bit. Seeing as how they jumped to the next gen console. But no. This makes it very noticeable that Acquire and Spike didn't give a rip about their American audience. If I spoke Japanese I could tell you if that audio was good or not. But seeing as most of I do not, I'll say I kept it on the Japanese the whole time. It just made it seem cooler.
They changed the fighting system to a point scale. So, if your defense was less than your aggressor, you couldn't block him. They didn't keep it a skill based game and put numerical formulas to attack and defense. Lame. In the previous games, as long as you blocked or parried the attack, you were good until your sword broke. Now, regardless of you actually blocking a strike or not, you had to hope you had a better defense then your enemy. The same was true for attacking as well. If your opponent had a stronger defense it seemed to take forever to land a hit. The old style was just better. They did however go back to the blocking of the first game with the push/pull blocking. However, with inclusion of the point scale, it's not the same somehow.
They (practically) didn't change the graphics. The movies even had very little changes. The first game, which came out in 2002, had pretty comparable graphics to this game. It's pretty simple and I feel like they could've done so much better. Especially with it also on the PS3. The samurai's outfits looked even less cool than the second. The videos are choppy and don't really flow well together especially in intense moments. Reactions are delayed and sometimes the voice would come out before the character would move.
They didn't even change the game play very much. You can become a member of one of the clans, or both if you so choose, but they'll know it and ostracize you.You do jobs for one of them, you increase your standing in said clan, you meet the leader and get the ending for that play through. Yep. Just like the last two games. They did change it up a tiny bit in this one in that your actions finally actually dictate what happens. Before, you could attack someone and get away with it. Not anymore. You can even attack or apologize during videos. So that was kind of cool. You can even kill the leader of the Ouka Clan and become the leader of the clan. All that will happen is that the clan will bow to you as you walk past. Once again, the other clan will know it but will not acknowledge it when speaking of taking out your clan. They'll talk about taking down the leader right in front of you as if they didn't know you were him even though they just mentioned it 10 minutes ago. The job system is kind of hit and miss as well. I don't know if it's a glitch or not but I've found myself doing the same job involving the same people three times in succession. And they do not get super inventive either. It's either be a FedEx man and deliver packages or go and fight somebody. This second options becomes even harder when you have to attack someone in the middle of town. The target will always run and you'll have to attack him in public which will bring the guards and you'll go in time out or something. The game even seems to block it's own progression with videos being unaccessable when you're on a job. So if you just happen to take another job and miss out on the big finale then you're just out of luck. Both Clans have slightly skewed versions of the same jobs so that adds to the chore of doing these tasks. The weapon creator gets a little better in this game, and I really enjoyed the addition of spears to the arsenal. But when facing the faster swords of the bosses, I always found myself reverting back to the sword.
This game really isn't very different from it's predecessors making it mainly a Fans Only type of game. And even then, the $60 tag is a little steep for such a bland game. I'd wait for it to drop to the $40 tag. Random kids (17+ kids) who just watched "The Last Samurai" and are looking for a cool samurai game will probably enjoy this game as well as long as they're not super picky. Even though there are over 20 endings, I found the replay value to wane the further I went. You might as well go pick up the first "Way Of The Samurai" for PS2. It's still the best out of the franchise.

tl;dr the game sucks.

When I first played Dead Space, I was enamored almost immediately. The graphics were amazing, the story, while not terribly original, was still awesome and I really fell into it with Isaac Clarke. So it is fair to assume that I was all about the thought of a sequel. I wanted to know what happened after Nicole's apparition jumps out at you on the small freighter you escaped on. I often wondered aloud to friends if it would measure up. When it came time, I reserved the Collectors Edition and when the day came, stood in line with plenty of “gamer” type people much to my chagrin. The kind of people that were actually surprised when the story twisted in Call of Duty: Black Ops and you found out you were just crazy. The kind of people that said Halo is the best shooter ever and wore Final Fantasy shirts. Yeah, those kinds of people. I picked it up (2nd in line, thank you very much) and ran across the street to my apartment in excitement. Turning off all the lights, I inserted the disc into my PS3 and was ready to freakin' go.
I got to the end of chapter 1 and was enthralled. It seemed good enough and the first part sucked me in and was fun. I was tough-talking Necromorphs as I smacked them in the face with my flashlight. “Come at me, Bros!” I'd exclaim while hearing the crunch.It was there when I noticed the first change in the series. The melee works, and well. The “let's get the hell away” feel was still there and I was lost in the fog of space war. I had to break to sleep for school and then I would pick it up the next day. This is when I started to really see how flawed this game is.

The story

I am a huge fan of game stories. I love intricate plots like Biggie liked making paper (and saturated fats). But in this game, there is no story. The first 5 chapters of the game are literally Isaac trying to get to a mysterious woman on the Sprawl. The end of most chapters results in you finding a way to get to her, then having it destroyed by a giant flesh monster. Ok, I get it. I don't need it 4 times.
This is where the first theme of Repetitiveness set in. SPOILEROnce you get to the chick and find out (obviously) that she is a unitologist, she gets killed along with everyone else in the room minus you in an anticlimactic way. If the scene stood alone, it would be cool but it doesn't., At this point in time, you've blown out windows and had the vacuum suck out your enemies so many times, it's not interesting anymore. After that some other stuff happens, you get a twist in the story and you have to find the Marker and blow it up. That's literally it. The game is very vague and the story isn't really impressed unto you. I even tried to find all of the logs and didn't quite fully understand. Now, I'm no idiot, but I paid attention and still didn't really get why I was doing things. In the first game, each story objective had purpose; find the tram, repair the tram, find the radar tower to repair to send out a distress signal, etc... This one was just “run over here, now run this way, now don't wig out at your dead girlfriends ghost and try and live." It was lame. Then, after that, you're made to care about some chick you met 20 minutes ago. You find and destroy the marker in an annoying fashion and poof, the end. Then after the credits, add a conversation between two voices over the phone that is exactly how Ocelot and the President talk at the end of Metal Gear Solid. Wow, this game has me hooked. There are numerous holes, like why you don't just melee the necromorph that kills the guy as you try and pull out the plasma cutter. Why couldn't you pin the nemesis to the wall like you could every one else at the end?

The gameplay

The game play started off super fun. The parts where you're running around without a gun was fun, suspenseful and good to get you into the game. The times where Isaac falls down the train was awesome and how you fought upside down was good too. Then I realized that I just paid money to play God of War again as I flew through the air. Was it fun, yeah it was but it got old and was not true to the theme of the character. Remember how I said it was repetitive? Pay attention and you'll see that you've gone down the exact same hallway, corridor and elevator about 6 times. I counted. Even the bigger rooms were all the same! The church where you fight the big necromorph was the same as the arena area where you encounter the raptors for the first time, they just added pillars.
The fights are linear and the same every time. Some necromorphs climb over a railing and chase you from behind. I tried one fight one time where I just spun in circles and wasn't touched once. Predictable is also the next complaint of mine. You could walk into a room or elevator and say to yourself that you can tell a fight is coming, and you will be right every time. They even have a wide open elevator, which to any real video game player says, “oh I'm about to get ambushed”. Again, you'd be right. The problem with the game's scare practices is that it differed too much from the first game. In the first, the power would cut out a few times and the room would go black. You got freaked and held up your flashlight everywhere. Silhouettes would dance around the edges of your light and make you think there was something there. The scary part was that sometimes you weren't attacked so you still knew they were there. That whole scheme probably happened about 4 times in the first. In Dead Space 2, the whole game was patronizingly dark. There was almost no light, and every room was as dark as my friend Sid. Enemies would always attack behind you so you knew to never shoot the way you looked when you first walked into a room. Music would blast and violins would screech with the water phones when an enemy would appear. The game is filled with jack in the box type surprises and dark rooms. After awhile, it cries wolf and becomes laughably mechanical. You'll see a vent and think, something is about to pop out of there. Sure enough... 

They changed the controls slightly in a way that was not needed. I was shooting kinetic beams when meaning to shoot stasis fields into my enemies. This is just lazy programming when coupled with the repeated levels. The whole game is so very linear that it makes no sense. We're on a gigantic space station that takes a large portion of a moon and yet, we're playing a corridor shooter. It's a third person Call of Duty, fantastic. I remember playing a survival horror game before that was on a space station that was the furthest from a corridor shooter. It was called Doom 1 and 2. That came out in the early 90's. 20 years later, They've gotten lazy.

The Characters

I am most pissed about what they did to Isaac. In the first, he was a terrified engineer that was a laborer and rough dude. He was silent, but moved with a purpose and spoke with his actions. He was beefy and older. When he removed his helmet in the end, he had grey hair and tired eyes. His mentality was one of getting off the ship and running away if he needed to survive. He wasn't an anti-hero and he most certainly wasn't reluctant but he only did what he needed to get off of the Ishimura. In this second installment, he has been transformed into Jason Flemming, Indiana Jones, Leon and every other bravado laced character that makes quick comments and has a quicker gun. They took at least 10 years off of Isaac, and made him lean. His voice was ok but he had a very different demeanor about him. Then comes in the chick, Ellie. She couldn't figure out if she was Australian or English, nor could she figure out if she was a softy girl or a sassy bitch. Have you seen this type of female character before? Yeah you have. In every other game to have a female that fights along with you. I don't really need to describe the teenager anymore.

The New Necromorphs

Seriously video game developers, ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN BABIES! There are 5 different types of babies in this game. Some shoot at you and others explode. Little children don't scare anyone except my ex-girlfriend and people who haven't seen the humor in horror movies. There were 2 levels with toddler music that still wasn't scary and they introduced more baby enemies. Swarming you and crawling around. Then came the raptors. They were good enough at first but then they just got annoying. They would charge you and do a stupid amount of damage to you, they peek their heads around corners (which are easy to shoot and prematurely end any plans they have) and just are there to annoy you. The new brute enemy was alright but easily defeatable unlike in the first. I felt like I was playing starfox after awhile because I was just shooting the colored part of the enemy that would become exposed. Add a Mass Effect 2 type ending boss and you've got the enemies. They're all annoying and unnecessary.

If you hadn't played the first game, or any other game for that matter, it would seem to be a solid game. But it's not. Dead Space 2 is a terrible game and not worth getting excited over. There is certainly no need to pay $60+ dollars for a poorly redone amalgamation of genre'd games. It is not nearly as scary as the first. In fact, it's not at all. If this game scares you, then you must've been terrified when you saw sackboy running in the dark in LBP.  Basically, don't buy it. Please.