Dec 31 2008

Reviewed: Mirror’s Edge

Let me first explain something about my review process. I review things as I come to them, not as they are released. I’m generally too cheap or too lazy to go get new stuff all the time, I read or watch whatever I find when it gets to me. Mirror’s Edge was released over a month ago and just about everyone has complained about it and moved on, but not me, deal with it.

I really really wanted to give Mirror’s Edge a good review. It was the only game released this year that tried something different, and the demo was excellent, but it seems that that was as far as they got with the polishing. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun with the rest of the game, but it had a tendency to annoy the hell out of me at certain points that I just cannot forgive it for. One thing this game sorely misses is a quick save, and maybe that will be in the PC version, but on the PS3 you’re left to respawn wherever the game feels like putting you, it can either be right where you were, or miles back, it tends to put you further back at the more difficult parts. The story is lacking, it might have been better off without it, and the cut scenes look like esurance commercials, they jar you from the game’s otherwise clean appealing graphics. They would have done much better to keep you in the first person the whole time, Half Life style. One of the things I did like about the game was the camera, the motions and flailing limbs at the edges of the screen really put you in the game. A friend of mine sitting next to me pointed out that I was rocking back and forth on the couch as I swung from bar to bar. It was a lot of fun when you knew what you were doing and could string together a bunch of moves, but that would undoubtedly bring you to unfamiliar territory in which you would fumble for another five minutes before again managing to fluidly complete the next section. The combat was also annoying. The game makes a big show of teaching you how to punch and kick, but I hardly ever used them. In almost all cases using disarm is the best option, not only do you take out the enemy in one fell swoop, but you take their gun as well. When enemies are shooting at you, they have unlimited ammo and could fire at you forever, although a moment is all that’s necessary to take you out, but as soon as you pick up the gun you have one clip, and it runs out fast. Your accuracy at long range is non existent, it is very easy to fire at a far off target only to run out of ammo without hitting them once and leave a long empty space between you and your ever firing opponent. I liked it when there where one or two enemies in your path that you could work into your routine, treating them like any other solid obstacle, but the game occasionally presents you with an area with a number of enemies and not a lot of room to maneuver, which is annoying and doesn’t fit with the play style the rest of the game has.The motion sensing is insensitive, so for the most part I went with the button controls, but in the case of rolling, even that barely ever worked. The game wanted you to hit the button as you approached the ground, but not too close, finding this magical sweet spot eluded me for the entirety of the game, it seemed to work when it felt like it. Here’s a clever metaphor I came up with: EA is a student, and Mirror’s Edge is a paper they have handed in to me, the teacher, entitled Someday I’ll Be President. In order to not crush this child’s dreams forever I write good effort, but know that this child will never ever be president (although good effort seems to be about all it takes these days, but that would be admitting that Bush actually put effort into being president, which I doubt he did). The paper, although of good substance, is poorly written and full or grammatical errors.

Although I have mostly complained about this game, I really did enjoy it, and look forward to a hopefully improved sequel. Final score: 75/100.

Dec 30 2008

Great Expectations

So I was thinking the other day, (Again with the thinking! It can’t be good for me.) what do I expect to accomplish in my lifetime? Well, it depends really on how you define accomplish, I don’t expect to do anything incredible or legendary. I realized, there are loads of things I hope to do in my life, publish books, have a career of some sort, maybe design video games, fall madly in love and marry, so on and so forth, but there’s probably only one way things will turn out, and it’ll probably end up something like this: I’ll graduate high school in much the same way I started it, with good grades and little effort. I’ll probably be near the top of the class but I don’t expect to be valedictorian or anything, probably not even in the top 10, there are both those smarter and those more motivated above me. I expect to go to college somewhere, RIT is the only serious consideration I’ve had, and spend four years living the movie Animal House. Then I expect I’ll become one of those shiftless “just out of college not sure what I want to do with my life,” people. This will probably be the most fun because I’ll most likely travel. Then some time around the age of 25 I’ll start to think about having a career, and end up with a job somewhere. Then some time around the age of 30 I’ll meet someone and get married. My life will become dull and monotonous and every day when I get home from my thankless job I’ll sit in my car for five minutes pondering my old dreams and wondering where it all went wrong. I’m not sure if my first marriage will last, but a second one, if I have one, won’t be any better. I’ll probably have some kids along the line and I want to say I would be uninterested in them too, but the truth is I don’t see myself doing that. I’ll do my best with the kids, and they may turn out all right or they may not, or maybe some of each. They’ll all grow up and move off, most of them will probably repeat the cycle of which I am coming to the end. I expect to grow old, and die. That is of course, unless disease or accident hasn’t taken me out somewhere along the line here. That sounds really dull and depressing but it probably won’t be as bad as my telling makes it sound. I can continue to try and break free from the rest, and who knows, maybe I will make it out, but until then, this is what I expect. I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to it or not.

Dec 25 2008


Merry Christmas everyone! Or rather, happy holidays! As promised, here is the Christmas story. This one is written in the first person, but keep in mind, it is a story, so it’s fiction… sort of.


I still can’t sleep the night before Christmas. Of course, that probably has something to do with my aversion to sleeping at night in general now. On the average night I’m up until two in the morning, or later. Christmas sort of snuck up on me this year. The most into the spirit I got was changing my desktop background to that of a Christmas tree. I do fall asleep eventually, but not to have my head filled with visions of sugar plums, which I never understood, who dreams of sugar plums? Also, what is a sugar plum? Anyways, I dream of her, which if there is some sentient being guiding the universe, must have been some sort of a cruel joke. The one thing I want most but can’t have dangled in front of me before I have to wake up and rejoin the real world.

Waking up and rejoining the real world is made all the more unpleasant by being shaken awake by my younger sisters, who doesn’t seem to understand that it really is physically impossible for me to get out of bed now. I let them bother me a little more, and then when they’ve gone away I wait a minute and get up. It is my policy to wait five minutes after being asked repeatedly to do something before I actually do it, in the hopes that it will discourage people from asking me to do things, but so far it hasn’t. Normally in this situation I would ignore them and sleep until one or two in the afternoon, but it is Christmas, so I get up.

I come downstairs, someone’s turned the Christmas lights on and the dog is excited by the abnormal amount of activity at this time of day. The presents are all placed neatly under the tree and in stockings by the fireplace, but in about a half hour it’ll be a total mess. My parents come down and make us wait while they make coffee, and then take pictures. You know you’re a happy family when your parents annoy the hell out of you with stuff like this. My presents are pretty decent, I get some video games I wanted. Even when I do get a great present I’m not good at putting on a show of being all excited and grateful. My attitude towards everything of late is uninterest, and even if I got something I really wanted I still don’t feel like jumping around or exclaiming how great it is. “Thanks,” in a plain voice is what I feel like saying, but I know that would seem ungrateful, so I do my best at the “Oh wow!”s and “Yes it’s exactly what I wanted”s. When the excitement is over we eat breakfast, and I retreat to my room to try my hand at my new games. My friend and his family come over for dinner in the evening, and it’s now that I get a little more into the spirit. I now have someone to be cynical with me.

Christmas comes to an end at midnight with me still up at the computer, burning my eyes out staring at the screen and setting myself up for numerous stress related diseases in my fingers. But Christmas isn’t over yet. The day after my family and I travel to Buffalo to visit my extended family, my dad’s side. This I think I like more than Christmas day itself. My dad’s side of the family is a little more… energetic. I can pretend that I have one of those classic dysfunctional American families, which are much more inspirational than my own. When a relation of mine, a cousin I think, I can never keep track of those things, drinks an entire bottle of something and the evening ends with them being carried out and loaded into the trunk of an SUV, I can relate the story to others and pretend it’s an every day occurrence in that crazy family of mine. That same evening I discover that my dog is an alcoholic when my grandmother spills a glass of wine and my dog spends the next hour licking the carpet. I wonder if a dog would get all tipsy if you gave it alcohol, I’ll have to try someday. I sometimes worry that I’m a disappointment to my family in that they’re all loud and rambunctious and I’m comparatively quiet and reserved. Maybe there’s some gene that’ll kick in and make me just as noisy and excitable as they are, I sort of hope not actually. After a few days we come home, and there’s the bleak period in which there’s nothing left to look forward to and school is looming in the ever approaching future. Vacation ends, life resumes its normal cadence. Only twelve more months till Christmas.

Dec 22 2008

News From the Back of the Bus

The 40 minute bus ride to school is normally silent. What do you expect from a bunch of teenagers at 6:30 in the morning? Or rather, any time before midday-afternoon. However, the ride home, although shorter (I’m first on first off) is much louder, and a good deal more entertaining. Being an junior, I sit near the back, not in the back, but near. The last few rows are reserved for a pretty scary bunch, but it actually can turn out to be some of the most interesting conversation you’ll hear. It seems to be an unspoken understanding that ‘fuck’ has to be used at least once in a sentence to be grammatically correct, and heavier usage or a mixing of other swears is encouraged. I don’t really see the point in this, I guess it’s probably got something to do with rebelling against the idea of what is essentially a banned word, but I wouldn’t accredit this group with that much thought. I don’t mind, it’s just a word like any other, big deal, where it gets fun is listening to the conversation in between the expletives. For kids who’s clothing style would identify them with those averse to culture fads and society in general they are a rather gossipy bunch. My ears pricked up one afternoon at the name of girl aforementioned here. I worried for a minute that she was friends with these people, but was relieved when the conversation resulted in no one really knowing her but thinking she was nice, one of them told an anecdote in which they had showed up at her house one time for some reason and been invited in. I wondered if I would be greeted the same. Probably not. Oh well, that’s not what I’m talking about now. The influence of drugs can be picked up easily from some of their stories in such phrases as “I have no idea why I was there.” More often than not the influence of drugs is mentioned directly. One time the entire bus ride home consisted of a discussion on LSD. There are sometimes glimmers of intelligent conversation in the form of a hot political issue in the news being mentioned, but quite often they have the complete wrong idea about it, which annoys me more than anything else. You can swear and be as drug addled as you want, but being ignorant is going too far. They tend to be extremely politically incorrect, if not down right racist, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish whether or not they’re joking, which scares me. I had been under the impression that this was the 21st century. I often find myself wondering about the parents who produced these horrors. How negligent were they? Or were they negligent at all? Newtown is a pretty affluent place, but that can go both ways really.

This afternoon as one of them walked down the aisle to join his comrades he proclaimed, “Hey, I support abortion now.” It didn’t turn out to be the in depth political discussion one might expect. I wonder who he knocked up…

Dec 21 2008


In case you haven’t read my previous posts and therefore have no idea what’s coming here, the overall theme of this post is that religion is stupid, and if you’re going to be offended by that then you might as well not read this, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about religious people, it’s that they’re extremely stubborn. God could walk up to one of them and say “I don’t exist,” and they wouldn’t believe him. They’d call it a hallucination. But if god came up to them and said “I need you to enslave black people,” or “The Jews need to be exterminated,” they’d call it a vision. Now, for the most part I’m going to refer to religion mostly as if I were referring to christianity, but keep in mind, this goes for ALL religions, christianity is just the easiest one to refer to seeing as it’s pretty straightforward (and unimaginative, if you’re going to make up something as ridiculous as a god then you might as well make him fun and interesting). You may also notice that I don’t capitalize things like christianity or god, and that is because I feel they are undeserving of the time and effort it takes me to press SHIFT. Religions were mostly made up by people in the stone ages who had a pretty good idea of how to get a lot of money and power from a lot of very stupid people. The original con men. To use a modern example, L. Ron Hubbard, founder of scientology, has been quoted as saying “The best way for a man to make a million dollars would be to start his own religion.” I prefer to think of good old L. Ron as more of a businessman than a prophet, and he’s actually on to something there. Maybe I’ll start a religion. The Church of You’re an Idiot if You Join This Church. I’d be a millionaire overnight. I really, really hate people of any religion who make fun of scientologists. What gives you the right? Your religion is just as stupid as everyone else’s. I would actually say that scientology makes more sense than something like christianity, and is probably more entertaining, being made up by a science fiction writer. Just because christianity is more wide spread doesn’t make it any more right. If you’d never heard of christianity before and someone came up to you and said the universe was created by god, and god has three parts, the father, his son, and this ghost thing, but they’re all one thing, and there was this pregnant virgin who gave birth to the son, who is also the father, and so on and so forth, you’d probably have pulled out your cell phone and dialed 91, with your finger poised over the 1 in case this lunatic attacks you. That argument I actually stole from Bill Maher, comedian and producer of the recent movie Religulous (Religion + ridiculous), who once asserted that religion is a neurological disorder that justifies crazies and stops people from thinking. I’m not going to go quite that far but I do think he’s mostly right there that religion is used as justification for some pretty unjust stuff. Religion can often be found at the heart of the bloodiest conflicts the world has ever seen. The Crusades, WWII, the ongoing conflicts in the middle east, if people just gave up on their stupid beliefs the world would be a much more stable place. Some people say that religion helps keep order and gives us a sense of morality, which it did, once, in the middle ages. But now we have modern society with organized rules, I was never taught religion and I don’t consider myself an immoral person, and I’m willing to bet there are loads of other people out there like me (in that respect, no one is quite like me, in the sense that I’m awesomer than everyone else). Some people will say that religion helps to guide people, and comforts them in hard times. I say that religion gives people disillusions and helps them hide from reality. If you have problems in your life then deal with them, don’t hide behind some stupid old book or sit crying in a church. The problem with this whole stupid situation is that people are taught their religion from birth, they really have no chance. There really isn’t a solution to this problem other than for people to stop teaching religion to their kids. I implore you, don’t teach your religion to your kids. Let them make up their own minds, don’t ruin more generations. Another thing I hate about religious people is that whenever you point out all of these flaws in their beliefs they go all quiet and say something along the lines of “I don’t want to talk about it.” If the world is going to be forced to put up with all the problems caused by your stupid religion then we sure as hell are owed an explanation. And it better be a damned good explanation too. I have yet to have one person provide me with such an explanation. Some people have also told me that they hate atheists who go around pointing out faults in peoples religions, but those atheists are much less obnoxious than all those Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on doors. Now, some people will ask “So, Mr. High and Mighty, what is it that you believe in?” My response to that is, I believe in what makes sense, science. Science is the result of cold hard evidence and experimentation, it makes sense and can be logically explained. Not just “god did it.” You may point out that science’s explanation for the beginning of the universe is a little rough around the edges, but I say at least science has this awesome explosion. Christianity begins with a six day work week. Science is what’s enabling you to read this, it makes everything in our world work, it makes our world, not some god. God (capitalized because of grammar) doesn’t magically carry my post to you. I wouldn’t mind religion so much if people would keep it to themselves. People can believe all the stupid things they want to believe, but they don’t just leave it at that, they have to go out and get other people to believe with them, which is admittedly what I’m doing here, but with religion they tend to do it in the form of a war or genocide. Religion wouldn’t be so bad if it was practiced individually, but making it organized causes nothing but trouble. Catholics are the worst, what with a pope and everything. All the other christian denominations come after them, and then probably islam, followed by hindus, jews, and then buddhists. I don’t believe that there’s much else to cover here. What I find so funny here is that there isn’t much I’ve said that isn’t cold hard fact, yet there will still be people who say I’m wrong. I guess I’m going to have to put up with all these people, but it does seem that religion is undergoing somewhat of a decline in popularity, a trend that I hope continues, maybe future generations won’t have to deal with all this idiocy.

Update: A muslim friend of mine pointed out that he wasn’t offended at all by my post because I went so heavily at christianity. He was actually disappointed by this and requested that I include his religion in my bashing. I intend to fulfill this request, but first I need to brush up on my islam, world religions was a whole 6 months ago.

Dec 18 2008

Election 2008

I’m a little disappointed that I missed out on all the fun of yelling about candidates during the election, but I figure it’s not too late to still get out what I have to say about all of them. This post will probably fall into both the things that are awesome and the things that annoy me categories, because there were a lot of both. One of the first things I loved about this election was the political comedy that went along with it. Every day Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had fresh material, some candidates turned out to be gifts that just kept on giving. The election seemed to pull SNL out of what had been a slump, everyone talked about Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impression, (which was awesome) and the opening political sketches were replayed over and over again. Some of what happened didn’t really even need writers, some candidates were laughable on their own.

More seriously now, I’ll go through my candidates from favorite to least favorite.

1. Barack Obama: One word, awesome. I don’t get all these people who say that there wasn’t the candidate for them in this election, that neither was what this country needs. Well then, what does our country need? Obama boosts our worldwide image, people love him overseas, something that we haven’t seen for the past eight years. Obama isn’t a war happy maniac who’ll go around starting fights that don’t need to be fought and dancing around the big red button. There’s also the simple fact that Obama has what appears to be a fully functioning brain, another thing the white house hasn’t seen in a while. It’s a fact that the economy does better under democratic presidents, I think that no matter what he does the feeling of security people will get just from knowing he’s in charge should be enough to help boost our trembling economy. A lot of people complained about Obama’s tax plan, and admittedly it’s probably his weakest point, but my thought was, if you’re making over $250,000 a year, then you don’t need all that money, we do. Education is way underfunded, along with loads of other internal programs that have lost attention next to the the black hole of the Iraq War, which Obama will hopefully get us the hell out of.

2. Joe Biden: meh. Obama’s choice of Joe Biden was a little boring, but that’s probably a good thing. There wasn’t really any more room for exciting candidates on that ticket and Biden filled out the boring old white guy requirement perfectly. He did say a lot of stupid stuff though, the Obama campaign should have kept a lid on him like the McCain campaign hid Palin. No one would have noticed.

3. John McCain: old. John McCain was old and out of touch. His temper was equal to that of a… hmmm… something that doesn’t have a very large temper. The War in Iraq would go on forever and I’d probably turn 18 around the same time the draft went into affect. Also, his health care plan was dumb, a $5000 tax credit? That would force a lot of people getting health care from their employer to switch to a worse plan, and there’s not really such a thing as a good plan in health care, only bad, and worse. Insurance companies are downright evil, we’d be better off without them. Universal health care is one of the many reasons Canada is better than us (also Britain I think). I got really annoyed at McCain’s constant assertions that Obama was a socialist. There is an actual socialist candidate for president and he went on The Colbert Report and said that in no way was Obama socialist. Also, socialism isn’t the great evil that conservatives like to make it out to be when they explain things to their base (trailer trash). Socialism has never been handled well, and on the whole it’s probably not a great system, but it has its merits. Look at where Capitalism has gotten us. McCain was senile and contradicted him self more times than I could count, and based on McCain’s ability to keep track of how many houses he owns he probably wouldn’t be able to count either.

4. Sarah Palin: it is hard to find the words to describe how much I despise this woman. What is this country coming to? It legitimately scares me that someone like this could make it so close to the white house. I disagreed with absolutely everything she said. I couldn’t fit all of the stupid things she said into a post that would fit on one page. Palin is the physical incarnation of everything wrong with this country. Everything. She ruined Alaska. Alaska used to be a place you would hear about and imagine a majestic wilderness filled with adventure. Now I can only think of her, the magic is gone. The Daily Show visited Wasilla, which looked like nothing more than your average mid sized suburban city. For those of you who live around here, it looked like Danbury, except everyone was a hick. I visited Wasilla’s website and was greeted by something that looked surprisingly professional: http://cityofwasilla.com/. Way too good for some little nowhere town in Alaska, so I looked up an archived page from six months ago and found this. Quite a contrast. I wonder how much they paid for the new one, probably not as much as they wasted on clothes. That was another thing, they complained about Obama having too much money for his campaign, when they’d just gone and blown hundreds of thousands on designer clothes. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I hope to never hear from Palin again.

A little something about Congress: Go democrats! A few people have told be that they don’t like having one party have all the power, but I say that it’s way better that way, because stuff actually gets done. I would prefer a republican majority to a split, but the current situation is the best of all scenarios, the democrats have the right idea.

It was a pretty awesome election overall.

Dec 15 2008


So the other day I was thinking (I’m always thinking) and I discovered what I now believe to be just about the awesomest word in the English language, ‘just’. Not when it’s used in the context of fairness, for instance, the Justice System, about as unjust as you can get, but rather when you put it in front of a noun. It’s just a ______. It automatically makes whatever you’re talking about unimportant. It’s just a homework assignment, it’s just your life, it’s just the universe, it’s just ‘just’. Whatever it is it’s no longer of any importance. It’s great! You never have to worry about anything again. Whatever it is that’s bothering you, just put just in front of it and it won’t seem so important anymore. You’re just an alcoholic, you’re just terminally ill, you just don’t care any more. It’s awesome!

Also great: ‘only’. It works just as well in most of those situations, maybe better in some.

Dec 14 2008

The War On Christmas

The War on Christmas is the phrase coined by Christians to make the efforts of those living in the 21st century and trying to make the world a fair and even playing field sound evil and mean spirited. The war on Christmas is not so sinister at all, it is simply trying to tone down the in your face attitude that Christmas takes every year, taking over commercials and pushing its way into supposedly non secular public schools. I do not at all mind a holiday where the point is to buy stuff for people, it’s great economic stimulus, and you get stuff! I’m not one of those people who thinks that we need to change the name, that’s never going to happen, but I like it when commercials refer to it as “the holidays” rather than Christmas, which for some reason has people up in arms. The American Family Association or something sickening like that which is really just a front for white christian supremacy started petitions to get big chain stores like Target and Walmart to call it Christmas in their commercials, which is stupid, stores can call it what they want, and I’m glad that they went with the non secular one. The sad thing is, the stores caved. Maybe I could start my own petition to get it back the way it was… If you want to sign, start your comment with “Petition” and then go back to writing about how awesome I am. Anyways, I don’t think we should stop celebrating Christmas, I love the holiday, but I think it would be great to get rid of some of the icky religious stuff attached to it. It was just recently proved that the birth of the “savior” couldn’t have happened in December because there wouldn’t have been a bright star in the sky at that time, it would have happened in July, so there, Christmas isn’t about the birth of Christ anymore. Face it, you’ve lost control of Christmas, Santa Claus and the free market have taken it away from you and you can’t get it back, it’s ours now. I’m officially declaring that Christmas no longer has any religious associations. You may say, “Hey, you can’t just declare that!” but I say, “Well, you just “declared” that there’s a god.”

Dec 13 2008

The Basement

Unlike my previous story, this one has absolutely no connection to anything I’ve ever done, I just thought it was a funny idea. Enjoy!

The Basement

The three of them sat around the table in the basement. It was one of those stereotypical basements. Cement walls, pipes hanging from the ceiling, monsters stored away in dark corners just waiting for unsuspecting little children to mindlessly wander too close. In general, the basement liked to mind its own business, it didn’t mind that it didn’t get as much usage as the other rooms. It liked the solitude. Sometimes it had interesting conversations with the furnace. But of late, it had found that a few of the houses inhabitants had taken a liking to its dark unfurnished caverns. The kids who it had terrified as small children hung out down here now, and smoked. Not just cigarettes either, it smelled horrible, and the basement wished that they would take it to the garage, where there were plenty of noxious gases already and it wouldn’t matter. Of course, the basement couldn’t say any of this, because it was a basement, what did you expect? So it was forced to put up with it.

This particular evening, the smoke hung thick in the air. There was the one that belonged to the basement, quiet looking with inconspicuous brown hair, a kid with frizzy red hair, and a cool looking blonde. The basement didn’t like the blonde much, it suspected that he was the one who had started this whole thing.

“Heeey man, you ever wonder what clouds are made of?” said the blonde.

“Yeah, I was wondering that too,” said the ginger.

“You dolts, clouds are made of water.” Said the basement’s kid, who had as yet refrained from participating in the activity at hand.

“No way man, how could water be so fluffy?” asked the blonde. The basement itself had no idea, but it trusted the knowledge of it’s own kid, and thought the blonde an idiot.

“It’s water vapor, like steam,” said the basement’s kid. “Does that stuff totally erase your mind?

“Yeah man, it’s great,” replied the blonde.

“Alright, hand it over,” said the basement’s kid, to the great disappointment of the basement. He took the weed, and took a drag. He exhaled slowly, and with him the basement sighed. Soon he would be talking nonsense like the others.

“Hey, you know who’s hot? That chick, uh what’s her name, the one with the uh, thing,” said the blonde.

“Yeah, I think I know who you mean, that one who’s always saying stuff,” said the red haired kid.

“Yeah man, she is so hot. I would do her in an instant.”

“Yeah, like you’d ever have a chance,” put in the basement’s kid. The basement agreed.

“I would so have a chance.”

“Yeah, keep telling yourself that.”

“I’d have more of a chance than you would.”

“No way, she’d totally go for me.”

“In your dreams, she’s mine.”

“Dudes, isn’t she with that Bret kid?” asked the red haired kid.

“Oh yeah, forgot about him,” said the blonde.

“Lucky bastard,” said the basement’s kid. And they all agreed.

“You know the government can read your thoughts,” said the blonde kid, as more of a statement than a question. The basement sighed again. This was the umpteenth time he’d said that, and the basement happened to think it was a load of crap, the government had better things to do with its time than reading the thoughts of a bunch of stoned teenagers, or did it?

“That’s ridiculous,” said the basement’s kid.

“Is not man, it’s true. I heard it somewhere,” said the blonde.


“Someone told me.”


“This guy.”

“Oh, a guy, that makes sense now.”

At this point the basement stopped paying attention. There was a spider weaving a web in a corner, and it watched that for a while. It wished it could set off the smoke alarm and clear them out, but they’d fiddled with it so it wouldn’t go off. The basement’s kid was good with stuff like that. The basement sighed again. It guessed it would just have to put up with this for couple more years.

Dec 10 2008

The Beginning

This is the prequel to one of my previous stories, The Beginning of the End. I put this up at great risk of people getting the impression that I’m some emo kid who scribbles on his shoes and wears black because “that’s how I feel inside”, because there is a lot of emotion in this piece, as there is in all good writing. And yes, it is about a girl, but I bet you there isn’t a single teenage boy out there who doesn’t feel at least something like this. Just so everyone knows, the guy is me, and the girl is real, but this is exaggerated almost to the point of unrecognition, life is never interesting enough on its own, you need literature for that.

The Beginning

Every day he saw her. Every time his heart leapt into his throat. Sometimes she would come out from an adjacent hallway and he would stop in his tracks, unable to think for a moment, before shaking his head and walking on. He did a lot of walking on. He had a couple classes with her, high caliber ones at that, she wasn’t ditzy like so many others. She probably hurt his performance in those classes, but he didn’t give a damn. He didn’t give a damn about anything. Except her. He needed to do something. What the hell could he do? He was a nobody, a nothing, and she was an everything. And then there was the added complication of her boyfriend. The thought of it struck something inside of him every time.

In math class he gazed at her. He loved the way her hair shone in the bright fluorescent lighting. Sometimes she would run her hand through it, or tuck a strand away behind an ear, it would always fall back into line perfectly. She was quite adept at solving the math problems, maybe even better than he was, especially when he paid so much attention to her rather than his teacher. He sat next to his friend, and they would converse, but he would only ever be half interested in their conversation, and often as not he would talk while looking in the opposite direction, in her direction. She never noticed him, never turned around and met his gaze, which in a way was a relief. If she was to turn around and look at him he would probably glance sideways quickly and come off looking sketchy. He wished he could be calm and cool, he wished she would look at him and he could greet her with a cool confident smile. He wished he could smile like she could. Well, smile wasn’t really a strong enough word for it. More like beam, it lit up her entire face and radiated happiness throughout the whole room, especially through him. She was wonderfully liberal with that smile, and it never ceased to give him the sensation of being lifted by some invisible force, away from the classroom and the world. Just him, and her.

When it came down to hard facts though, he just couldn’t see it happening. He could imagine the two of them alone, on dates and scenes of intimacy, but in social situations he just didn’t see it working. There was no way, they were practically on opposite sides of the world, despite sitting only a few seats away from each other. His friends weren’t her friends and her friends weren’t his friends. Yet there were other times when he thought that all that wouldn’t matter, if only there were some way to first gain her affections. He imagined all sorts of scenarios that would cross their paths in a way that couldn’t be undone. Most of them were totally ridiculous, and none of them would ever happen. He should just talk to her, he told himself. That’s what people do, they talk to each other, so why can’t you talk to her? She’s nice, she’s not the type to discriminate based on social status or anything. Just talk to her. But he couldn’t, and wouldn’t. There was never the right occasion. No situation in which saying hello wouldn’t have been weird. Maybe that was all in his head, maybe he was the one who was discriminating.

He could write. He could write a letter, or a poem, or something. Maybe leave a series of such anonymous works to build her up before revealing his identity at the point where she was madly in love with whoever this mysterious admirer was. Yes, that was a good idea. He drafted such writings in his head, even wrote some of them down, but never made it to the stage of printing them out.

It hurt, to love someone and not have them love you back, not even know that you love them. But it was a good hurt, he enjoyed it really. He preferred it to not having any feelings at all. He knew that probably nothing would ever come of it, and eventually his crush would fade. But he didn’t want it to. He enjoyed it even if it never amounted to anything. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to love her. He tried thinking back to before he had known her, it was only a year or two, but it didn’t come to him.

It was silly, he told himself, he didn’t love her, he couldn’t love her, he hardly knew her. How could you love someone without knowing them? It was just a dumb crush. But these thoughts always felt forced, put in his head to protect him from getting too attached to something he didn’t have. He had to do something, he had to say something, anything, just anything. She wouldn’t mind. Who wouldn’t like being told that someone likes them? No, he couldn’t say something, he wouldn’t say something, he would never say anything.