Category: Miscellaneous/Unsorted

Jason’s got a Brand New Toy

Jason’s got a Brand New Toy

When I first sat down with Gladeo’s founder Michelle to talk about my responsibilities as the managing editor for the Gladeo League, one of the things we discussed was some of the problems I’ve had during our biweekly Google Hangout meetings.

See my laptop is super old and doesn’t hold itself together very well when I attempt to video conference with people. My cell phone is a good alternative, but it can be awkward to keep it in place and deal with the slightly more wonky frame of view.

So I’ve had a bit of a long history of making it three-quarters of the way through a meeting before everything drops out and I lose it.

Obviously we don’t want that happening if I’m leading the meetings myself, so Michelle very generously offered that I take a computer that had been bought for Gladeo to help with things like video editing.

If it weren’t clear enough by the fact that I’m writing this post right now, I picked up that computer today.

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I’m not a huge computer technical nerd or anything so I can’t say whether or not I’ve got something phenomenal in terms of hardware on my hands, but that’s really not what I’m focused on anyway.

I’m just really grateful to have the opportunity to hold on to this in the first place. It feels like the kind of job perk for my new position which shows some trust.

Plus, it comes with certain other perks:

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Hell yeah bubble wrap.

Who needs fancy schmancy technical doodads when you can poppity pop some bubs?

It occurs to me how silly it is that I’m even vaguely excited enough about the bubble wrap to mention it here when I have an actual for real new computer on my hands… But I guess I just have silly priorities.

Because currently I have no idea what I’m going to do with this computer.

Not only is it my first desktop PC, but it’s also kind of gigantic for my room. So I might have to move some stuff around to give it the proper space it’ll need.

Thus, while I spend the next few days probably figuring out what to do with the computer, I have bubble wrap!

All’s well that ends well.



P.S. — I know I mentioned it over the last few days so I wanted to give y’all some closure. I got 100 percent on that Psychology quiz today that I was worried about.

Just goes to show you that I’m literally my own worst enemy when it comes to stressing about things.

A Fresh Start

A Fresh Start

So missing a blog post on the first day of the month might not be a great sign for my productivity going forward. But I was busy at my friend’s 21st birthday party, so I’ll just consider it a quick break.

Clearly not a very long break however, as here I am again to share my thoughts of the day with the world.

My thoughts today are potentially more interesting than most. Or at least more game-changing for me personally.

As you can tell by my featured image, I shed some fur today.

I decided to shave my beard off.

It has actually been a long time coming, all things considered. I started growing my beard out almost two years ago as part of a ‘No Shave November’ competition held by the Daily Titan.

Fun fact, I won that contest. Got myself a bottle of shaving cream out of it.

Since then I decided to keep my hair grown out. I liked the more mature look and it gave me the chance to practice adult things like trimming and shaping my hair.

So for about a year-and-10-months now, I have been far away from the baby face I once was, always seen as the youngest person in whatever environment I came into.

But I’ve always been somewhat unhappy with the beard. It was my first time trying to grow anything out and it wound up coming in rather patchy, especially on my chin.

After having a bit of a heart-to-heart with my sister last night, I decided it was time to finally go clean once again.

Of course I captured the ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots, anticipating this would make for a good blog post today.

Thus, here I am after waking up this morning. Fully bearded:

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Nice and scruffy. Truly befitting the Super Beard Bros fandom.

First step was taking a trimmer to the forest on my face. As per Aly’s request, I tried doing some more silly looks along the way.

Here’s me with a soul patch and a mustache:

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As you can tell I can’t really stop laughing because I look like a total loser this way.

So I quickly trimmed it down some more. Starting with the beard, that way I could just be soul patch man:

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Also not really me, but it looked better than with the mustache. Though the mustache was still pretty heavily rooted in there.

So once everything was trimmed down, I finally took a more close-shaving razor to my cheeks and came out like this:

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Welcome back, baby face.

Obviously it’s still a little rough around the edges, but I think I’ll solve that by taking a second pass at shaving either tonight or tomorrow after a shower.

Other things I’m sure you’ll notice include my eyebrows, which I had some help plucking so I didn’t look like Ed from Ed, Edd and Eddy, the much more bright-and-shiny look in my eyes as it’s clear I’ve woken up more by then and some of the acne earthed up by removing the bearded coating that once protected it.

Hopefully that last part will clear up in time now that it’s exposed and I can work at cleaning it more.

But yes, welcome back baby face Jason. I hope it’s a look you all enjoy, because now that I’ve gone to the effort of cleaning up I might as well keep it for a while.

Who knows, maybe with everything more clear it’ll be that much more obvious when I lose more weight and my double chin disappears. Hopefully.

Before I end this off, I would also like to give an extra special shout out to my sister, who hung out with me throughout the process of shaving and took all of my photos so I didn’t look like an idiot taking selfies in the mirror.

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You’re the best, Aly. Love you ❤️

2:00 a.m. Adventures

Because I’m on the cusp of starting the last friend hang out of the summer, I’m probably just going to make this post quick and dirty so I don’t have to think about it later when everyone leaves.

Figured what better thing to talk about than the reason I’m so tired right now?

See I went to bed relatively early last night because, as mentioned, the gang is getting together today. Wanted to get some extra sleep to prepare for that.

The world apparently had different intentions.

Right around 2:00 a.m., I woke up to the sounds of very loud arguing just outside my house. At that point I was pretty groggy and didn’t think too much of it, but whoever was out there really wanted to just go at it.

It became much harder to ignore when the police sirens kicked in. Someone must’ve called in a noise complaint, I figured. So by that point I got up and went to look out of the window upstairs.

Thinking it may have been more than a noise complaint considering six police cars showed up.

Naturally I went to see if my parents were cognizant enough to wake up and come see, because at the very least they would have been interested in checking out whatever was going on from the distance like I was.

They were not. So they’re probably going to find out that all this happened from this blog post considering I wasn’t cognizant enough to tell the story this morning when they left to do chores.

That being said I don’t personally know what happened very well either, so I suppose I don’t have too much to share. From the distance I was able to hear just a couple minor things, as the three suspects were turned away from me. The most significant thing I was able to hear was that none of the three of them had a knife.

One of the guys was super insistent that none of them had a knife. So I’m assuming something about weapons was involved in the 911 call.

Just before 3:00 a.m. everything seemed to mellow out. It seemed like some of the suspects were brought away, leaving their red car in the middle of the street.

Around that time I was able to pay a bit more attention to the police officers as they gathered together to chat.

Wanted to point that out specifically because just.

Look at this guy in the middle. He’s so god damn tall.

I honestly thought Slender Man was a police officer in Redondo Beach for a while there. The fact that he’s that big while also standing off of the sidewalk ledge that everyone else is standing on is just.

Hoo boy.

What a man.

But anyway. Eventually they all parted ways, cars skidding around as they went off to address other crimes. Except for one car that hung back until a tow truck showed up to bring away the red car stuck in the middle of the street.

While I mostly put this post together just to say “whoa some wacky stuff happened in Redondo this morning,” I also thought it had a somewhat interesting conflation with my reporter life.

Because I genuinely considered going out and asking the officers what was happening. At least for my own curiosity, but potentially even as something that could be a freelance article for… I don’t know, the Daily Breeze or something.

In hindsight I likely wouldn’t have gotten anything from them since I don’t have credentials for any newspaper and it might come across as me impersonating the press.

But that’s hindsight. Honestly the reason I didn’t do it was because it was 2 a.m. and I was super tired. Plus I didn’t want to get dragged into things as a potential witness to whatever was happening considering I didn’t actually witness anything.

So yeah. No serious reporting. You just have to deal with these mad context-less ramblings.

That said, consider it the potential for future reporting. Because I pay attention to crime things that are happening and newspapers appreciate that.

Anyway that’s all I had, so I’m off to hang out with my friends. Hope you all have a good Sunday!

Musical Space Filler

Musical Space Filler

I’m not sure how I forgot to write this until 11:00 p.m., especially considering I was looking to base it off of something that ended at 7:00 p.m. the whole time.

But if I’m being completely honest, I’m a little checked out right now. So I’m just going to go into the Aly band stuff I wanted to talk about real quick and move on. Try to get something out into the world before midnight.

As school quickly creeps up for me, it also creeps up for my sister. Thus, she and the Redondo Union High School marching band have been starting to rehearse their field show for the year. Traveling around to watch marching band competitions have become a pretty common activity for us since Aly started seriously doing high school band stuff.

We’re so early into things that I can’t actually talk about the show without breaking some kind of contract because something something secret high school band espionage?

I don’t know, it’s all a little over the top in my opinion.

So that picture up there in my featured image is just the band standing in a half-circle doing their pep band songs at the parent preview today.

Because that is what I’m talking about, by the way. The band puts on a preview for parents on what they can expect to see at competitions and such as the year progresses and a show slowly comes into maturity.

It was basically an hour of listening to the band play a few songs that they’d do during football games, then show us the first draft of a couple of overall show things.

I’m not entirely sure what I expected to be able to write on this subject considering I’m not really allowed to go into detail. But hey. I supported Aly and her band stuff today, it offers another opportunity to lament school coming and I have something to discuss that isn’t related to going to the gym.

Which I also did today.

I’m willing to bet that’s a good part of the reason why I’m so tired and out of it right now. So I hope you weren’t expecting anything cognizant and of significance tonight. Because I don’t have it for you.

If you want you can go check out the Gladeo Spotlight I did on the RUHS band director, Ray Vizcarra. That ties into this. I got to meet his husband today and they were both very pleased with the piece I wrote so I have that going for me.

Also something something new job callback.

Look I wish I had something else for you guys but I’m honestly, truly beat. Spending most of tomorrow with my friends for one final summer 2018 hang out as well so I can’t promise anything substantial until Monday when I’ll likely say something about my first day experiences for the semester.

But until then, please cut me some slack. I think I did pretty good with he whole one post a day thing this summer so I’ll just imagine I’m afforded an easy day or two now and then so long as I get something out before 12:00 a.m.

Yeah.

Later, man.

Family Time

Family Time

So I’m going to level with you guys. I don’t have anything to talk about today.

I went to the gym again for a while this afternoon. But that’s about the most noteworthy thing I can think of. Somehow the rest of the day just kind of… Blurred by.

Am I just stuck in some kind of post-Rick and Morty time dilation?

Probably.

But that’s beside the point, because the point is I’m just kind of phoning this one in today. Figured if I couldn’t come up with anything else to talk about, I might as well just post a cute picture of me out to dinner with the family and leave it at that with some kind of inspirational message.

Have dinner with your family, everyone. It’s nice.

Unless your family is awful.

If they aren’t, then do it. Who knows, you might find out that Weezer did a cover of Toto’s memeworthy song ‘Africa.’ Or that Bowling for Soup had a song called ‘My Wena’ where they had a girl walk around dressed like a giant penis and do things like spit milk at the band members.

Because that’s real. Straight from the same band that did the Phineas and Ferb theme song for everyone’s favorite squeaky clean corporate Disney. Welcome to the early 2000s.

Also don’t mind Alyson.

She’s a

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Tired.

She asked me to put that joke in here so if you want to blame anyone, she’s your girl.

Also, there’s some physical proof that we’re both still stuck on Disney Crossy Road for whatever reason. God only knows how such a dumb game could be so addictive.

Salons and Binge Watching

This might be an unpopular opinion here on the old Internet, but haircuts are nice.

Yeah, I said it. Don’t @ me.

Alright well for real, I got a haircut this morning and it feels nice. Everything is just a bit smoother, lighter. Both figuratively and literally.

I’ve already done the whole ‘check out this sweet haircut’ post in the past so I don’t really want to go down that road again. Though I suppose it was productive to go back and see that post again, because it made me realize I really like to use the mad ramblings cliché.

Not sure realizing that is going to change anything, though. I do really like to use that cliché, after all.

In fact I probably could name this post something about rambling too. Because that’s basically what I’m about to do.

See after getting said haircut this morning I haven’t exactly done a whole lot. I came home, plopped down on the couch, and (in no particular order) played some video games, did some work for my Senior Honors Project and watched Rick and Morty.

That’s right, Rick and Morty.

It’s a show I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time. In fact I have watched it in bits and pieces, mostly the episodes which are famous for how clever or meme-worthy they are. But up until now I’ve never taken the time to go through the full three-season catalog.

I got through all of season one last night straight through 1 a.m. and haven’t been able to stop watching the rest today. Everyone always talks about how great the show is, but I never realized how truly brilliant it was until I started to watch it in its entirety.

All of the seemingly random, disconnected plots each simultaneously come into their own with the full context of a subtle overarching story. Yet, at the same time, it’s all totally made pointless by the same sarcastic, casual and horrid sense of humor that pervades the entire experience.

Plus it’s dope watching different characters like Summer evolve over the course of the show.

It’s as awesome to think and theorize about as it is to watch just from the merits of its production value.

Seriously if you’re like me and know you’ll enjoy the show but find reasons to put it off, just stop putting it off.

In fact, binging Rick and Morty made me realize that I should have spent more time this summer binging more shows. Like the different anime I talked about that one time.

Maybe I’ll do it some more over these last two weeks.

It could be a good way to pass some time while I work on outlining my story. Which, by the way, I would argue is going well. I may or may not have finally come up with the connecting thread I need to get my characters from their starting point to the climax I was imagining.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise if it winds up being what I actually implement, since it’s a pretty cool idea in my head.

Just know that my trope-fest involves a prophet who bestows information on how to move the plot of the game along. One who has a secret, meta way of learning the information they need to pass along.

With that said, I’ve hit the 500 word count I was hoping to get to with these blindly fluctuating topics. So I think I’m going to jump off and… You know… Watch more Rick and Morty.

Watch it, losers.

What’s in a name?

While I can think of very few distractions better suited to the title than a video game where I’m able to kill a gun-themed dragon with bees, Enter the Gungeon cannot keep me from doing some work I need to do forever.

Mostly because the Switch battery doesn’t last forever. Otherwise it most definitely could keep me from my work for forever.

But that being said it doesn’t, and thus I have broken away from the addiction of roguelikes to work some more on my Senior Honors Project.

I’ve taken a bit of a turn in my approach to the project as the summer starts to wind down. Originally I had been simply starting to write the novel I’m working on while using a separate outline to keep track of things (as I pointed out in a previous blog post). However, I’ve found that hasn’t worked out phenomenally well.

It mostly left me in a place where I had a basic idea of some key plot points and the main characters, but no real sense of progression to build upon. Just figuring out things as I went along.

So I’ve decided to step back from the actual physical writing and focus more on the finer details of outlining this puppy.

Notably:

  • Fleshing out a more complete plot line
  • Coming up with the characters I want my heroes to encounter in their journey, with all the relationships those entail
  • Actually imagining more of the world they’re in, different names for locations included

With those in place I think writing a novel should actually be a sensible pursuit.

The thing that I’ve found most difficult about all this is naming everything. Who would have guessed that when you’re building a world from scratch you have to name all of the things?

All the characters, all the locales, all of the lore bits. So on and so forth.

Luckily I’ve made the task easier for myself by not establishing my world as one that has very strict hard-and-fast rules. I’m not Tolkien creating a crazy immersive, new fantasy world full of completely novel interactions amongst different races.

If anything… I’m kind of piggybacking off of the work he already did years ago.

See, for those who aren’t aware, my novel is a parody of sorts. It started as something meant to emulate the ideas of a book called ‘Redshirts’ but in the fantasy genre rather than science fiction.

Then I decided to narrow my focus even further. While I don’t necessarily read a ton of fantasy novels, I do play a lot of fantasy-themed video games. Zelda, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy. So on and so forth.

This my novel evolved into one where the focus is on NPCs in a video game who gain some semblance of sentience, realizing they are caught up in the tropes of a world created by game developers who, like me, love fantasy themes.

As well as tropes of the video game medium as a whole, of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping not to create a boring environment seeped in tropes for the sake of it. Hopefully by the end I’ll have an interesting world inspired by and utilizing said tropes.

Because of this I’ve felt free to come up with names for things in a number of ways without having to worry about standardizing too heavily.

Looking up name generators is a good general practice for character names especially, an idea bestowed by my friend Sam who does similar things for her Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

However, I’m also trying to look to some real life inspirations. For example, the holy order of royal guards in the kingdom which presides over the land (currently unnamed since, like I said, names are hard) is based on my mom’s name.

Or in a more fun example, one character I have is named after this glorious little thing I found at Ikea the other day.

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Seriously how could I not make Eldig Black a semi-significant character in my story.

It’s just too perfect.

In fact, just perfect for the grizzled, Old veteran in charge of watching over the prince of the kingdom. The Gunter to my Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates, or the Jagen to my Marth in the original Fire Emblem.

Because at least one faction of characters in my story is not-so-vaguely inspired by the archetypical group of traveling adventurers in the early stages of a Fire Emblem game.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’m juggling right now, trying to create a cohesive world with a web of relationships among its inhabitants.

If you’re a creative-type, I’d love to hear what kind of means you tend to use for inspiration when it comes to things like character creation. Let me know somewhere on the Internet.

Running on Empty

Running on Empty

What’s this? Another blog post being written after I was at the gym?

Gee whiz. Who would’ve guessed.

But wait, this time my joking references to being at the gym serves more of a purpose than slyly telling the world that one day I’m going to be a swole boi. I actually have something gym-related to discuss!

Though briefly considering it’s not a super complex subject and also I’m hanging with people tonight. So won’t be spending a hell of a lot of time on this.

While my Featured Image for the day might look like an advertising picture for Planet Fitness, I assure you that it was taken more for the line of treadmills in the background than for the logo in the foreground. I just tried to angle my camera in such a way that I wouldn’t be grabbing anyone’s head, even from the back.

Because you know it’s a gym. Wouldn’t be right to accidentally point out anybody despite their anonymity to me personally.

I wanted to grab a photo of some of the treadmills because I had (what I feel was) an interesting observation.

Are public gyms vaguely totalitarian in design?

Now don’t click off just yet. I don’t actually have anything malicious to say about gyms. I’ve quite enjoyed actually regularly going to one for once in my life. Makes me feel good, feel fit. Spry even.

I just feel like there’s something kind of 1984-looking about a bunch of total strangers gathering together and standing next to one another, totally oblivious to one another’s struggles, each focusing on this strange pursuit of attractiveness our society forces upon us from birth.

What, too heavy?

Alright fine it’s not like I’m genuinely concerned the treadmills in the gym are powering some kind of mind control device in the back room. I just think it’s kind of bizarre to imagine.

Same thing often comes to mind when I’m stuck in traffic, actually. Looking around, seeing everyone in the bubble of their vehicles minding their own business.

I know there’s definitely a psychological idea about being enclosed in such a situation and how it effects one’s empathy in regards to other people… But it’s still pretty fascinating to just kind of see all those brain doodads in action.

Now I’m sure you must be wondering where I’m going with this.

Well.

I’m not really going anywhere with this.

I just wanted to pose that idea out into the aether. Seemed like a good space filler considering I spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies and eating pizza.

The antithesis of my gym workout I know. But what can I say. Hanging out with friends has its benefits.

That’s really about all I have to say on the matter actually, because I’m really enjoying re-watching Emperor’s New Groove.

So I guess if you’ve got any thoughts on the strange construction ethics of public gyms, let me know somewhere on the Internet.

The Mad Ramblings of a Man in the Heat

The Mad Ramblings of a Man in the Heat

If yesterday was a day of relative progress and hard work, through going to the gym, updating my social media accounts and turning in a Spotlight article for Gladeo, today is… Well, the opposite.

Because it is way too hot out for anyone to seriously be motivated about doing anything.

The reason my Featured Image for the day is just a picture of my fan going is because that’s what I’ve been staring at 90 percent of the time since coming home today. We don’t have any kind of air conditioning here by the beach because the heat is normally counterbalanced by a cool sea breeze, but this summer things have been especially insufferable. So downstairs, hidden in the alcove of my room with the fan going is probably the coolest area in this place.

Despite the heat I have been keeping myself busy and entertained with a few things where I can.

Probably the most notable thing involved obsessing over the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct that went on this morning.

It was 1000 percent insane and basically hyped everyone for the game even more than ever.

Castlevania characters.

King K. Rool.

Over 100 stages and 900 musical tracks.

Tons of new assist trophies and Pokémon summons.

Plus, let’s not forget Luigi dying in the Simon Belmont reveal trailer. Which the entire internet freaked the hell out about, leading to the green-capped plumber trending on Twitter. Yeah no joke.

There was so much more than that to suggest that Smash Ultimate really will be an insane, content-packed explosion of Nintendo pride from Sakurai and his team.

So much so that I considered doing a post solely on that… But I wasn’t exactly feeling the 30-minute video analysis. Today.

Just know it’s something I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I’d say you should be too.

In other somewhat significant video game-related news, last night Intelligent Systems released the contents of our next special banner in Fire Emblem Heroes. So I spent some time pre-writing my post on that before starting to work on this post.

I know a lot of you probably don’t care, but I’m quite excited for these four dancers. So be ready for that on August 10th.

Those are really the two serious stand-out things that happened today between bouts of melting into a pile of goo on my bed.

I did also play some more Enter the Gungeon, which I’m having a great time slowly but surely getting better at. I’m not able to semi-reliably reach the final floor and have started the process of collecting the game’s scattered parts to unlock the true ending. But I haven’t seen even half the content available in the roguelike.

Which is, frankly, insane to me. I love how much these games are packing, since they give me plenty to distract myself with until games like Monster Hunter Generations and Smash Ultimate drop on Switch.

Plus The World Ends with You, which got an official release date of October 12th. And I’m. Just so excited to finally get to try it.

But hey all those video games aside, I also managed to do some regular work on my Senior Honors Project.

Because somewhere along the lines all of the time I had to work on having a basic product over the summer slipped away into the aether. Don’t know how that happened, but it did.

I’ll be honest, I’m not totally sure how to end this blog post. I feel like I could just endlessly ramble in a pre-heat stroke mess of keystrokes, but I’d much rather just sit around in the dark accepting my fate.

So I’m going to end unceremoniously here and say to stay tuned for other things coming soon. Things that I’m sure I have in the pipeline somewhere or another.

A Quick Question for the Night

Alright so once again I got distracted by hanging out with my friends all afternoon and nearly forgot to write a blog post.

I’m going to try and cobble something together within twenty minutes. See how well that goes.

If I wind up having two posts on August 6th rather than one today and one tomorrow, you’ll know why.

This morning I went to the gym before I spent time with my friends (including special guest Nina, who I found out reads these dumb things sometimes while in Japan if she’s feeling homesick — Shout out to you gurl ❤️). I was going to write something related to that before the hangout began but… Obviously you can see how well that went.

More often than not, I wind up watching YouTube videos while I’m working out. I know for many people Music would fill that void, but I tend to prefer listening to something slightly more unique every time to keep it interesting.

Which is actually the same reason I prefer to listen to podcasts during my commute. Fun fact for you all.

The other day I believe I mentioned watching the Super Beard Bros a lot while exercising at Cal State Fullerton. But recently that story has been a little different in the right periods of time.

See I know I’ve also talked recently about the UCL Pokémon tournament going on between a bunch of YouTubers I watch. They post those battles on Saturday’s.

So when I’m going to the gym over the weekend, that’s been my main form of entertainment while jogging/lifting weights.

But mostly the prior because it’s a bit more dangerous to watch things while operating heavy machinery.

Thinking about all of that led to me wondering about something that I was hoping to pose to the world.

Obviously I was going to put a little more effort into framing the question, but time crunches are a thing.

If any of you out there go the gym, what’s your favorite form of entertainment while doing so?

Do you listen to music?

Watch videos like me?

Podcasts even?

Hell, I saw one person in the gym today reading a newspaper on the treadmill, so that could be an answer.

Or hey, maybe you just prefer to do nothing and just focus on your exercising. That’s also a viable answer.

Let me know somewhere on the Internet, I’d especially love to hear any sort of unique answers people might pose!