May 19, 2012

Why hello, it’s been a year and a half, long time no see!  Originally I had planned on abandoning my blog after not updating it for a couple months, but then I decided to go back on my blog tonight and read through the pages of posts I had written.  Afterwards I was filled with tons of nostalgia, so I decided to make it my mission to try and revive my blog.  I already have ideas for some posts, so I’ll be throwing a couple of those out soon.

I wasn’t just nostalgic about my blog though, I was nostalgic about the life I had back when I wrote those posts.  All my internet friends have grown up and moved on, and I’ve lost contact with most of them (except for the handful I have added on Facebook).  The online communities I used to be on have slowed, and I barely visit them anymore.  OQL (the Online Quidditch League), the group I swore I would never leave, has disbanded (mostly my fault, I’ll admit).  Mugglenet Chat, the place that was my second home for 8 years, is now alien to me because most of my friends on it have left.  It makes me sad when I think about how the online communities that were such a big part of my life two years ago have now diminished to nothing, but ah well.  Life goes on and people move on I suppose, especially when you make the transfer into adulthood.

While one part of my life diminished though, another part grew, namely the college part.  I’ve just finished up my second year in college and am starting a full time summer internship next week.  I’m slowly but surely finding my place in college finally as I joined a couple queer groups and started longboarding last fall semester.

So what can you expect from me in the coming months?  Well, I’ll definitely still be blogging about gaming, though probably not as much about console games since my subscription with Nintendo Power ended, but I still play lots of PC games.  You can also expect some posts about coding (as casual coding is slowly taking up more of my life) and longboarding as well.  I’m not sure who still reads my blog, but if you happen upon this post, know that more is coming!



On Gaming and Being Gay

December 24, 2010

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything in here, but I just need to get something out.

Recently, I read this article about EA, a gaming company that has a wonderful heart and put out a video for the “It Gets Better” project.  If you don’t know about that, Google it and start paying attention more to the news.  Anyway, there was one part that really got to me:

“This is definitely a bittersweet story. On the one hand, how wonderful is it to see a video game company reaching out to gay teenagers? In a typically straight-male-oriented sector, it’s pretty amazing to see diversity and acceptance championed… And then we have the comments that have come since the video has been posted and, well, it kind of proves the point, doesn’t it? Bullying is alive and well among video gamers…That employee probably didn’t expect what happened next. A slew of anti-gay comments have popped up online. It seems that some gamers have little interest in seeing EA stand up for gay rights.”

Damn.  The sad part is that I’m not very surprised by this.  Being a pretty avid gamer myself (I wouldn’t say hardcore, but I am definitely more than casual), I can say from experience that the gaming community, for the most part, is not very open-minded and rather homophobic.  Again, I know not everyone is and that there is a large portion of the gaming community that is liberal if not part of the LGBT community themselves, but it cannot be denied that many people who game are bigots.  This is especially prevalent in the younger male gamers, and even more especially in younger male gamers who play first person shooters I’ve found (by younger I mean early teens-young adulthood).  In many a Counter Strike game I’ve played, phrases such as “you fucking faggot” or “that was so gay” pop up nearly all the time, and it’s rather disconcerting and angering for me.  Unfortunately for me, I’m a girl and gay, so that’s two things against me (since the people who say the aforementioned slurs would probably discriminate against a female too), so I don’t bother saying anything when I know I’ll most likely be dissed.

I just wonder how long it will take before the gaming community is mostly if not completely accepting of gays and the words “gay” and “faggot” aren’t used as synonyms for stupid and idiot.  Actually, I’d prefer if the latter weren’t used at all.  The point is though, hopefully the gaming community evolves enough that Square Enix’s video will be more praised instead of hated upon by gamers.

Prop 8 Has Been Overturned!!

August 4, 2010

Prop 8 has officially been defeated!

Being a college student who will spend four years of her life in California, it makes me absolutely ecstatic to hear this great news.  Yet not only is it because one more state will potentially allow same sex marriage, but it is a HUGE step in equality for the LGBT community.  However, appeals will still be made, so nothing is permanently set in stone yet, but what is is that this afternoon, Federal Judge Walker announced that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and overturned it.  What are the aftereffects that will come of this?  We can only wait and see…

No more hate, defeated is Prop 8!

Concerning Linkin Park

August 3, 2010

Linkin Park recently released a single on their new album A Thousand Suns (due to release on 9/14/10) called “The Catalyst.”  If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to it on their Myspace. It’s the first song on their playlist.

Anyway, I was browsing through some comments on their Youtube video preview of the song, and there were quite a few negative comments concerning the song, and a lot of people wanted LP to return to their sounds of Hybrid Theory and Meteora.  Honestly though, I like their new sound.  Granted I was at one point one of those pessimists when Minutes to Midnight came out, but after I got accustomed to the huge difference, I began to enjoy it a lot.  Now, after listening to “The Catalyst,” I’m really appreciating the new road that Linkin Park’s going down.  They’re not afraid to try out new things, which I applaud them for because a band tends to get boring if they produce the same sounds over and over again.  LP instead keeps it fresh and original with music that is both appealing and different (to me at least).

What do I like about “The Catalyst?”  Pretty much everything.  I love the added synth, the piano in the middle (big plus for that!), and the slowly progressing guitar throughout the song.  The lyrics are very strong and powerful too.  In general, I think they’ve strung together a song with many different elements, and it works to create a piece that is extremely unique.

And for those who complain that LP’s changing too much, they really aren’t.  They’ve been experimenting with sounds even back in the Meteora days when they added a Japanese flute to “Nobody’s Listening.”  In fact, the two instrumentals that they had in Hybrid Theory and Meteora – “Cure for the Itch” and “Session” – were pretty experimental too.  “The Catalyst” actually kind of sounds like a combination of sounds from those aforementioned instrumental tracks with other things mixed in.  So right from the start, LP has been changing, but just like in Minutes to Midnight with “Given Up,” “What I’ve Done,” and “No More Sorrow,” I’m sure they’ll keep some of their old sounds too.

Nonetheless, I’m still extremely hyped for the release of A Thousand Suns.  It’s about time Linkin Park got a new album out!

Happy Birthday JKR and HP!!

July 31, 2010

It started on a napkin and became a seven novel printed epic.  We will never forget the magic that Mrs. Jo Rowling has left on this planet via Harry Potter.

It’s pretty amazing how much Harry Potter has touched the lives of people all around the world.  I know it certainly changed my life.  I discovered the series around the time when Chamber of Secrets was published, and I was hooked automatically.  I grew up with the series, getting book after book and patiently waiting on my doorstep for my preorders of OOTP, HBP, and DH to arrive.  I discovered Mugglenet Chat back in fifth grade, something that would change my life and bring into it a whole entirely new world where I would make bonds and friendships to last quite some time.  And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Not only has HP changed my life, but it has changed many others’ too.  It has created a college sport, a genre of music, a charity group based on Dumbledore’s Army, a theme park, movies, plenty of annual conventions, and so much more. But most importantly, it created a legacy that will live on for many more years to come thanks to its dedicated fandom.

So here’s to your birthday JK Rowling and Harry Potter.  Have a good one, you both deserve it.

Pokemon Black/White Footage

July 30, 2010

Here’s some new footage of Pokemon Black/White.  As with all Pokemon games, I’m looking forward to it a lot, but nowadays I only want to play it to explore the new areas and see what new activities there are to do.  For example, in this one, that Pokeball crossbow shooter looks sick, and the new urban areas look awesome.  The battles also look a ton more epic now with 3v3 and all new attack animations.  However, Pokemon seems like it’s being geared more and more towards kids under ten or something.  Seriously, all these new Pokemon look ridiculous.  Whatever happened to the fiercer, more agressive looks of Pokemon?  Now it looks like mostly all of the Pokemon are way too…kiddy, and it’s a little overbearing.  Not to mention the gameplay is always the same, but that is one of the more trivial points because Pokemon never really will change.  Despite all that, Black/White still look like decent games.  I’ve learned not to expect games like Ruby/Sapphire and the generations before that.  That was when Pokemon was epic.  Now it’s just alright.

Good High School Bands

July 20, 2010

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I don’t hear good high school bands often.  In fact, I’ve only heard two good high school bands in my life.  One is Crowning Point, a local band at where I used to live that is extremely talented both in musicianship and singing (I would link them, but they have no songs on the internet yet), and another is the one I’m linking here: Macklin.

First though, what do I consider a good high school band?  Well, here’s a list of requirements:

1) Singer[s] who are on key
2) Musicians who are in tune and aren’t just playing random crap
3) Harmonies that work
4) Recordings put online that don’t sound like they were recorded with everyone huddled around a single computer microphone or something
5) Lyrics that make sense
6) Screamo or rap doesn’t count

Macklin fits all of the above.  I found them after looking around a friend’s Facebook page, and though I wasn’t expecting them to be any good, I was pleasantly surprised.  Their two recordings they have up are professionally recorded with great balance, impressive singing and instrumentals (one song even has a triple harmony!) and a nice, soothing feel to their overall music.  If I were you, I’d check out the links I posted above asap.

I have never come across as exceptional musicianship for a high school band like Macklin’s.  They are truly something unique, and I hope to see them rise above and beyond.