Saturday, April 29, 2006

Move it or Loose it Sister, Bonus Stage

Things have transpired. I'm now in the middle phase of my move, aptly named the Space Paranoids phase for no other reason than I really like the movie Tron. I'm back in my old room at my parents' place, having completely cleaned it out and steam cleaned the carpet so that it's livable. Although, I don't think I waited long enough for the carpet to dry because I swear there's a faint mildew scent. I've got my new bed set up and everything that goes on top of it. Why are Nautica brand bed sheets so damn expensive, and why do coupons for linens and things and Bed Bath and Beyond always exclude Nautica stuff?

I have to get out of here. If all goes well and I get picked I'll only be here for a month when this place in Goleta opens up, but I'm already starting to go insane. The other day I think my mother mathematically proved that my dishes spend too much time in my room before I wash them. I think the theorem she proved also had a lemma in it about squegeeing the glass door on the shower when I was finished.



This past week was queer pride week at UCSB, and that's been a lot of fun. Instead of the usual opening rally we did sort of a mini carnival with booths and popcorn, etc, which was a real success. The wedding was a blast as always, but one of the real highlights of the week was the closing party we had on Saturday. Good music, good crowd, and I got to hang out with this guy I really like. In fact, the only thing bad about the dance was that because I seem to have no spine I never asked him to dance. I think I have this problem where when I meet someone I like I beat around the bush in friend-mode never making a move out of fear of rejection, which makes just about as much sense as never scratching your lottery ticket out of fear you didn't win anything. I think that in order to have an attractive personality I'm going to need to start exuding some confidence. At least I got him to say he'll go miniature golfing with me, and I shall hold the bastard to it.

And apparently the date is set: this Saturday I finally get a haircut.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Compound Loss

Man, you can't just rob me of both my favorite sandwich place in town AND what I thought was a clever name for a Nintendo system at the same time...that's rough man. The Santa Barbara Sandwich Company is gone...I didn't even see it coming nor do I know when it happened, all I got was an email from my friend Mike who found out in similar past tense fashion. Apparently the landlord, whose name is not pronounceable in the common tongue, raised the rent up by 40% or something, and they were forced to move out.

And Nintendo has an official name for their new system, formerly the Revolution. The new name is Wii, pronounced "wee." I...I don't know why. I liked the name "Revolution," because it was at least cliche-sounding. They should compensate me by making the system cheaper so I am more likely to be able to afford it when it comes out.

I believe that in the event of both of these terrible events....I BREAK SHIT!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Now Selling "The Truth"*

*Not actual truth; see product for details; beware of heavy amounts of bullshit; void where prohibited

Today is National Day of Truth, a protest created by the Alliance Defense Fund in response to the National Day of Silence. The basic idea of National Day of Silence is that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (hereafter referred to as LGBT or Queer) are bullied, harassed, closeted by general intolerance, and basically, silenced. Sometimes that silencing has meant death. In order to draw awareness to the issue and try to raise tolerance, members of the Queer community and their allies spend a day in silent protest, usually handing out a small flyer to explain why they are silent.

Notice that the description doesn't really say much about defending homosexuality on moral grounds, nor does it touch any issues like same-sex marriage or adoption, it simply, more or less, sets out to try and bring a stop bullying and homophobia. Many religious groups, protestant and catholic alike, usually explain that they are against bullying, intolerance, hatred, name-calling, etc, even though they stand firm on their belief that any sort of deviance from the heterosexual norm is a sin and ultimately wrong. So why, then, would you protest something you should be standing behind? Some like to insist that National Day of Silence is really just part of a larger immoral agenda, and so they cannot stand behind it. Personally I like to think of that defense as both so much hand waving and bullshit, you see I've got this crazy notion that if you don't want to see people being harassed and harmed because of who they are, then you stand behind that position, period. Perhaps a look at their mission statement will shed more light on things:

"I am speaking the Truth to break the silence. Silence isn't freedom. It's a constraint. Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed. By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved."

Looking at this it almost seems like they completely miss the point of Day of Silence to begin with. "Silence isn't freedom?" Yeah, no kidding, in fact, you might even say that Day of Silence is against people being silenced. Oh wait....that IS what it's about. Do they missunderstand the use of silence as a device to draw attention to the harm of being silenced? Perhaps. Of course, it's also possible that they're not neccesarily stupid, that they know full well what Day of Silence is about, but nonetheless thought some rhetoric about "truth" would be a good way to once again promote their flagship lie, that all gay people are unhappy and in need of their brainwas....love.

Remember,
God's truth is that gay people aren't born with their sexuality, and the choices they've made or the gay-inducing traumas they've suffered can be fixed! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, nor to the facts. Facts are bad, and so are numbers. Numbers lie, especially the kind that point out strong correlations between sexuality and biological factors or the kind that show small long term success rates for ex-gays.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Reach Out And Touch Me

I've got this new fandangled phone with a ga-google-zillion-f-wad different video game related ringtones on it and no one has been calling me. Call me and I'll assign you a cool ringtone! Just think, wouldn't you like to rest soundly knowing that when you call me the J.E.N.O.V.A. battle music from FF7 is playing? Or perhaps the thrilling crescendo in Actraiser when you spiral down to the planet to engage in battle? Is Castlevania your thing? I know it's mine! I've got 4 different Simon Belmont classics! Is your name Gybrush Threepwood and are you, in fact, a mighty pirate? EVERYTHING MUST GO! We're giving it away here at Chris' crazy ringtone emporium! 705-6630!

It's an even bigger sale than these vegetables, which is what google image search gave me when I searched for "sale!"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Move It Or Loose It Sister, Part Deux

I'm in phase 2 of the move, which I think will be the middle phase but that depends on there only being 3 phases so I'm not sure I want to commit that nomenclature just yet. However, I will name this the Deviled Egg Phase.

Most everything at my place is in boxes except of course for my computer and other things to big for boxes. I've almost cleared out my old room at my folks' house so that I can shampoo the carpet (my room was used as a dog kennel in my absence), all except for the gigantic avocado green metal desk I've had since the 6th grade. I tried moving it myself and learned the hard way that I would need help.

When I was cleaning out the room I cam across an old garter belt I had caught at a wedding of a friend of mine (traditionaly, women gather to catch the bouquet and men gather to catch the garter belt). I think I had no idea where to keep it but at the same time I didn't want to throw it away because it seemed like an important keepsake kind of thing, so I just stashed it out of the way somewhere, but it occurred to me that if anyone over the years had found it, it probably seemed like I was trying to hide an article of woman's clothing. The idea of people thinking I'm a cross-dresser is actualy kind of funny, so the thought really didn't freak me out or anything. In general I have trouble throwing away things that hold a memory to them, but yesterday I was pretty proud of myself as I ended up throwing away a lot of it. It was very liberating.

DON'T UPSET THE WILDLIFE

Last night was co-worker Meagan's B-day bash at Caitlin's house, which is in a nice little far corner of IV where you can actually find parking, and that's saying something because I think the actual word "parking" was not only removed from Isla Vista dialect, but every time you mention the word the skies darken, the ground shakes, and passing old Jewish women mumble something and spit on the ground. We were going to the car for a trip to freeb!rds which you don't eat because it's awesome but rather because it's open, and as I'm getting in the car Marcos or Veronica start freaking out about some kind of animal in the bushes next to the passenger side of my car. If I was drunk I would have ran away screaming and tearing off my clothes but since I was only slightly buzzed I approached the bushes and made a hissing cat-like "fssssss!" sound as loud as I could over and over again (because I am dumb). I was thinking...worst case scenario, a raccoon jumps from the bush on to my face and introduces me to the world of reconstructive surgery, but instead a cute little baby skunk started exiting the bush towards us. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS CUTE....and it really was cute.....we dialogued over our options for about 3 or so minutes, put it to a vote and then, screaming, climbed in to the car as fast as possible.

It was sort of a blur....we may have just gone straight for the screaming and car-climbing-into part.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Treasure!

So I was cleaning emptying out this old behemoth of a desk that I had in my old room since 6th grade so that I can clear it out and make room for my new bed and mattress (my old loft will become storage space) and I found some things that I had thought were long, long gone. I found a VHS cassette of Galaxy Express 999 Signature Edition which I had thought I had lost years ago in a car accident (I had left it in the car before it was towed away). Well turns out I did, but I still had the box and apparently I decided to store something much more valuable in it, old home movies. The thing has about 3 hours of family birthday parties and holiday gatherings, including some golden scenes such as my cousin Matt and me on top of a truck using the antenna like a microphone and singing (screaming) Michael Jackson's Beat It, me racing my bike down the concrete grade that enters the park we used to live near and crashing in to the badminton game in progress, my cousin knocking over the camera while it was recording, all of this set to the sounds of mid-80's rock on the radio. I love it. I need to find a way to transfer it to DVD so I can give more age-proof copies to my family.

The second thing I found was a folder stuffed with all of the drawings my friend Joe and I used to do, including a map-like fold out of (about 15 pages taped together) of the secret underground base of some sort of evil and deadly organization, likes of which I'm sure we had conjured many. Also in the folder are plans for futuristic weapons with ridiculous amounts of "power crystals" and "lighting coils", etc, attached to them and labeled, plans for our very own Megaman game wherein we thought up new bosses for Megaman to fight, and last but not least some drawing from I think...3rd grade of arrest warrants for each of the 4 ninja turtles (they were stealing pizza).

I plan to have pictures of the "best of" as soon as possible.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Birthday Powers Activate!

Birthday!!!!!

I'm just going to scream the word is all. My mom got me a Stitch plush doll! Yay! Go Stitch!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now? CAN YOU!?!?!?!

I have been assimilated, my resistance was futile, my distinctiveness has been added to their own, and no I'm not talking about the headsets we wear at Borders now. My mother surprised me with a new phone for my birthday, and so I bid a fond farewell to my old LG phone with its non-camera non-bluetooth non-cool-new-anything and welcome the shiny new trendy Motorola Razr, IE, the phone that everyone and their 5-year-old daughters have. I did not, however, get the pink one. :-(

So here's the deal; here's what you need to know. Verizon are a bunch of money-grubbing evil fucks. I only hope that the "truthful" image of the Verizon "can you hear me now" guy up there that I photoshoped accurately portrays this. I assume that the guttural ancient language he utters is that of his dark Cthulhu lord, whom he plans to unleash upon the world in a bath of blood and fury so that all may despair and "hear him now." Or at least that seems evil enough for Verizon.

The Motorola Razr is manufactured with certain capabilities, much like a CPU has certain instructions that it supports. In my story, these features involve "OBEX Object transfer," which is a fancy name for moving files between your computer and your phone by either bluetooth or a USB cable. What does Verizon do? They flash the phones with a bios that disables those capabilities, this is of course so that they can proceed to rape you with little extra charges here and there. Everyone likes to customize their phone, and since most people have a computer with access to the internet wherein you can find pictures, mp3s and MIDI files (for ringtones), who in their right mind would pay $3 for a ringtone or a wallpaper? Yeah, you wouldn't. In fact there's an old saying, perhaps from the Bard himself: "When a customer can get it for free, fuck them over by crippling their cell phone."

In addition to the file transfer stuff, the phone also doesn't support java, which means no fun little java applications from the internet for me. Instead they use something called BREW, which in and of itself is really no problem, but unlike Sun's Java 2 runtime environment which is free to use, commercial and hobbyist programmers alike have to pay something like $500 dollars for the development tools, which basically means you're not going to find many free BREW programs on the net.

I think I spent about 3 hours looking in to the problem and finding all the necessary stuff to download, but in short I re-flashed the phone's bios to an earlier version where Verizon didn't disable the features, but rather just made it look like they weren't there. Now all you have to do is tell the Motorola software that you have a version of the phone which supports the features, and it works. The software that Verizon service centers use to do things like flashing the bios and backing up phone books isn't supposed to be available to the general public, but that's why we have the internet. I hope they don't expect people to feel bad about that since, after all, they're essentially taking advantage of their customers.

Oh and major bonus points and gold pieces to Motorola for selling separately for $50 the software required to interact with your phone from your PC. I guess I'm still living in my ivory world of rainbow bridges and gumdrop skyscrapers where devices that connect to your PC come with the software you need to do it.

My phone "works" now. I've made a small image of zortnac for the phone's wallpaper and I gouged myself silly at vgmusic.com, filling my phone wath all sorts of awesomzorz MIDI files for my ringtones. Only problem now is that I can't decide between Monkey Island or Guardian Legend or Final Fantasy or Mario, etc etc.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Aaaaannnnnnnnd.......nopenotgonnahappen

I had gotten my hopes up, prehaps a little too high, on moving in to a place in goleta. The house was awesome and the people there seemed just as cool if not cooler, but then in the end they rented to someone else. I had sort of put all of my eggs in to one basket since early on I had gotten the impression from the person I was in contact with that my getting the room was pretty much a sure bet, although in the end it turned out it was between me and one other guy, a friend of the other housemates. I even bought a new bed, since I've been pining for one for a while and decided this would be a good time to get it. So now I'm out of time and it looks like I'll be moving back home, even though my old room has sort of been trashed and marked for demolition. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it work, but by the Gods I'm sure something will pan out.