Monday, July 30, 2012

Summertime Blues

It's that point in the year that I realize that all this summer has been spent, and that there is little left to do but wait for the final school year to start. It's downright depressing to say the least, but I am bound and determined to enjoy and capitalize on this remaining sun.

There are a few things I was working on before I got so terribly and depressingly sidetracked. There are diving trips that need plans, plots that have yet to be sketched, and relationships that have yet to be consoled. All in all I'm surprised that I can't see what else there is to do around here. But then again, am I so opposed for the school year to start up again?

I guess I'll know soon enough.

Well, more on things later. Take care.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Fall of the Pawn

I just finished my poster presentation yesterday, and I found that preparation actually leads to confidence in these sorts of things. Not a whole lot of people came up to ask me about my poster, but mostly people I already knew decided to drop by. The judge (there's a judge for these things?) came by at the same time my boss did, so I was quaking in my boots the entire time I gave the presentation. I got the scores later that day by email (again, where do these things come from?) and got remarkably good marks, all 4s & 5s (out of 5...)

In the end they are suppose to declare winners in each section, something I didn't know about before hand. My goal is, if I win I'll be surprised and flattered, and if not then I will take it as no real loss. I'm not sure what exactly winning might get me other than a pat on the back... but that's good too.

On more entertaining note, the Dark Knight Rises was excellent and a good finish to the trilogy. Bane was a wonderfully well spoken brute, and the other villains were perfectly suited to their roles. The only problem I had with the movie was how long the timeline was, but it is a far better criticism than the alternative. As my good friend that reviews comics said, "I knew the ending, but Nolan had me doubting.", and what a good thing to doubt. Uncertainty is one of the best tools in creating dramatic suspense. It's one reason why the Game of Thrones is so popular: the main characters die, and we can't predict it. Realistic uncertainty is not something normal in movies, but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration when writing them, and all other narrative. The Batman series was founded on a realistic look at the mythos, and they certainly did not falter when making Dark Knight Rises.

Otherwise, I'm going to hanker back down and work on the GRE, because grad school and stuff. Also means not a whole lot of new writing from me, but hey that happens.

Otherwise, may it be raining where you are.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday == Friday

It's been a rough few days, but I just sent my poster to the head of my lab and we'll see how much of it he decides needs to be changed. Either way, I'm done with it for the moment and that means a quick break. It's kind of sad that I really want to spend my day off by cleaning up, but I need the set cleared before I begin my super secret project (aka I will not be able to focus with the tower of empty beer cans my roommates left for me in our living room.)

Other than that, I'm super excited to go see Dark Knight Rises tonight with a few friends. I'll probably post my opinions on it, but when it comes to movies I'm fairly easy to please. (Explosions, Fight Scenes and awesome Special Effects all score disproportionately high points with me.)

I'm fairly exhausted and I the construction that is going on in the other apartments is keeping me up in the mornings, but all of that can be forgiven if the girls across the hall get a washing machine. Actually, I'd put up with quite a bit more to have access to a semi-private washing machine. I wouldn't go full Dexter for it, but I'd consider it for a few seconds.

Other than my pining for access to a washing machine... there isn't much else to say. I'm going to play dota2 and sleep a little bit before the movie. I'll let you guys know how it is, but I think I already said that...

Check you later guys

Here is a glimpse of the construction I have to deal with. I wish it would stop so I can just flirt and bribe my way to a washing machine...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tan Lines and Thunderstrikes

It's good to be back in the states once again. I know that it's meant to be a good experience to go on vacation, but it's the quiet space after a seven day family party that really hits home. (Though, making food is a huge bummer after being able to gorge for a solid week.)

Finishing up my poster and buying food, and other things like that. Also got my first batch of rejection letters, which means that I'm a real writer now. Count is only up to 2 and I'm still waiting on another, but it's a start. The entire cruise I was writing down every little idea that came into my head, and the dreams. I've been told that dream journals are really good source for inspiration. I've got quite the list of incomprehensible ideas, but there are a few gems in there. I'm not so sure I'm going to write a story based on
"Hyper dimensional savior of the world who ends up selling midget smut teaming up with a dwarfed woodcut artist to reset time,"
but who knows, that might just be a good idea at some later point. Feel free to steal that if you think you can make it work. Though 
"Man(Murderer) has tea party, nothing extraordinary happens"
might be a fun side project. Either way, I've got a good idea for what I'm writing during the August NaNoWriMo. Have yet to win one of them, though many attempts, and we'll see if I can do it this time.

Got a new big project that I'm looking at collaborating on, but that's only in planning right now. I'll let you guys know when that goes live, and perhaps sneak peaks will be in order. All of that will be in the future though. Also, just a final word: the first issue of Scifia Magazine is up, both in paperback and in electronic versions. I've read though it and was very entertained and impressed by the talent that fills its pages. I'd recommend it, bias as I may be.

So long folks and I'll see you later!

Picture of Carnival Legend, the boat I was on. It was very large.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Explosions and Posters

Hey there everyone

It's been a few days and I've been diligently working on my poster for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fair (SURF), and by working diligently I mean putting in 20 minutes of effort and then panicking for 40 about how much more work I need to put into it. This is normal for me, so I think that means that it is going quite well so far. The tentative title of the presentation is "Oh Lord Why Didn't I Start This Sooner and Is There Some Reason Why I Am Putting Myself Through This?", but I think that it will change shortly before the first editing phases. (Also as note, Powerpoint sucks at making diagrams.)

I've gotten a few more drafts written and I'm in the process of not editing anything ever again, ever. That'll probably pass once I've gone on the trip and am settling down into working again. I've been on a Defense of the Ancients 2 kick for the past few days, so whenever I get down to editing I realize that I really just want to play Death Prophet/Tidehunter and kill things. But that's just my current binge as far as games go.

Heading out on Friday to the lovely Summer Peninsula known as Florida (as opposed to the recently balmy Frozen Peninsula known as Michigan.) I'll be gone for an indeterminate period of time as I bask in the warmth of the unholy equatorial sun. Probably pics, definitively a sun tan. We'll see how much fun I'll be able to fit in during the vacation.

I'll be sure to have a full summary of the awesome diving and everything.

(On another note, it appears that someone--probably drunkenly--left a traffic cone in my porchish area. I'll let him squat there for now, but I'm going to watch him closely. Boy do I love living in a college town.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Rush

Just got back from a grad party for one of the kids at the high school. It's odd to see these freshmen grow up and head out into the world. This'll be the last little break before I have to finish my big presentation for the research I'm doing. (I'm so glad GLBRC has good poster templates.) I also got a few new things into the wide world's submission pool, so we'll see how that is. Hopefully they come before I leave for the boat and am out of the country for a week, but probably not. Never the less, it'll be interesting to get more feedback on my work.

On a special note, I am expecting my first story to show up in print this month. Check out and I'll post something when it comes out. I personally can't wait to read what other stories made their first issue. I also played a bit part in a movie that was being filmed last summer, and I must say that the directors did an amazing job putting it together. Apocalypse Theory is an end of the world college comedy and will be streaming on for the month of July. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it watching it if you had time.

Take care, and enjoy the summer sun.

I also realize I haven't posted any writing lately, so here's a forum stub that got me a free source book for Enter the Shadowside.

  It was so easy to make something seem mysterious. Looking back, Sara would laugh at how simply the entire thing had happened. Almost a year ago she had started a website, a forum style affair that was centered about strange pictures. No one had used the website for the first week. She eventually invited friends to post things, but they only did it for a few days before their attentions shifted. But it became complicated when one of her friend’s friends had shown an unhealthy obsession with her.
  It was this ‘friend’ that she had had hoped to avoid by creating her own site. When he found the website, she switched it, took a copy of the entire thing and jumped servers. After the third time, she also took it off of the search engines. She later learned that this marked it as part of the ‘Darknet’, a sinister name for portions of the internet not browsable by the big search engines. These were normally portions of websites under construction, error screens, or abandoned web services, but the name Darknet gave them an almost eerie quality. Not that there was anything special about these sites, other than the fact that they were more difficult to access. If you knew the correct address, they came up just like any other site, but she didn’t know this at the time.
  When Sara was on other websites, she would post her pictures but use the link to her site. People began to congregate and the site gained posters. This was about six months ago, then he came again. She always knew it was him because he posted lewd pictures of girls that looked like her. So she switched. She didn’t want to disable the site, but just switched the hosting service. New address and host made it impossible to access, and the traffic dropped to nothing. She then dropped a new picture from a fresh account. 
  The traffic came back steadily, and there was a lot of talk about how and why the site had changed servers. Sara was too timid to address the users so she just stayed silent on the entire ordeal. Sure enough, he came again and so she switched. This kept happening, always about a month apart. There were users that kept coming, and they managed to find the website after only a few days after the switch. For some reason, the inaccessibility gave the site appeal. Stories started cropping up on other websites about how the site was some sort of portal beyond, and several took note about the mysterious pictures that always predated a switch. The site attracted a strange sort of crowd. They talked about secret rituals and other strange phenomena. They considered themselves part of a larger group, known as Scav3ng3r. 
  She had only heard about his death a few days ago, but he was months gone. Who had posted them and kept the site shifting, she didn’t know. She could only guess.