Dec 29, 2005

I'm feeling grey, and a little blue.

I want to get a Siberian Husky pup somewhere along the line, and raise him or her from puppyhood to adulthood. The mere appearance of these very sweet canines just melts my heart. They are incredibly gorgeous. Not to mention, I have felt a remarkably close connection to nearly every one I've met. I seem to have a very close connection to this breed. Whenever I see a husky or similar-looking mix around here, I cannot help but gaze into its marvelous eyes and smile, then give his or her owners a dirty envious glare.

I may not be able to do such a thing for a couple or three years. At the very least, I would want to make sure I'm settled in somewhere for awhile, and have things together enough to commit to raising a dog properly. I would hate to have to move somewhere and "give away" or "sell" my loyal companion. Something does not seem right about that at all.

My mom tells me, "but Hawaii's climate is too hot for such a long-furred dog!"

Arf? Dogs have a panting mechanism for a reason, and I would make sure he/she had plenty of shade to romp or lay around in. I highly doubt the animal would be very uncomfortable. That is if I'm still in Hawaii when I decide to get one.

If for some petty reason I am never able to get a dog of my own, though, at least I can take solace in the fact that I can always adopt a highway.

Dec 26, 2005

The Big Idea

Something compelled me to go out tonight, for an hour. Just one hour. Actually, it probably wasn't even that long. Nothing extraordinary occurred outside of my own mind. (Do extraordinary things ever occur outside one's own mind?) Yet, I mark it as the most memorable event of the past 24 hours. Nothing extraordinary occurred, or perhaps the entire experience was so extraordinary that I am incapable of comprehending how extraordinary it was.

I was just wandering about the yard, basking in the jovial glow of the holiday lights as I have done every evening for the past week. As I have done every other night, I glanced up our lonely narrow road. Past a single streetlamp illuminating the dry, cool pavement with its dusty amber gaze, the road makes a 90° turn uphill, into a realm of darkness and whispering ironwoods. It ascends steeply, straight an an arrow, before writhing about in gentle curves beneath a dense tunnel of trees. A main by-way is crossed, itself rugged and underused as it twists around carved out forested banks. The road changes its name and becomes even narrower, dramatically curvier, and significantly steeper, always cloaked with the thick canopies of wind-taunted trees. It leads much farther up the mystical mountain slopes than I ventured tonight.

I brought my bike along. I walked it more than rode it up the road, but going back down, sitting, rolling, and brake-manipulating substituted for a mile of walking. The night was so dark, my fine-tuned night vision could not even perceive the road upon which I was traveling. It appeared to me as a deep narrow void, and I half expected to tumble into a canyon any second. I was that delirious... delirious with wonder.

The outlines of the trees that grew beside the road, their swaying tops visible against the overcast night sky, were my guides; those boundaries I knew I must stay between in order to avoid plummeting into a ditch. At one point I overhead eerie children's music emitting from a wooded area just above a steep bank alongside the road, and glanced up to see a small shack flashing with ethereal blue and green light. A shack where no one would expect there to be a home. Children singing in the brambles. The only other sounds I could hear were occasional rustles in the trees, the constant mellow drone of the insects, and the gentle breeze soaring through the trees. Easy breezy beautiful, and extraordinarily cool and dark.

After crossing the highway, I continued up the newly named road, but not far. I dumped my bike and sprawled out on my back upon a nice grassy ledge, not expecting any traffic. Portions of the sky were beginning to clear, and in these patches, the heavens appeared crowded with billions of brilliant cosmic lights. An ideal song played in my head, an elaborate song of entirely my own creation that was conceived only in my mind. I became unaware of my own body. No slight itches, no minor aches, no involuntary twitches that constantly remind one of their cursed blessing of participation in the physical plane of existence. I was alone with my mind and spirit, my body lost. I was convinced my soul and the one soul beside me were the last remaining on Earth. The world spoke to me very gently, through the chittering of very small critters and the whooshing of the air. Everything seemed to coalesce in perfect harmony.

It was then that I concluded that I really am beginning to believe less in coincidences, and more in a higher power.

I have always been highly spiritual, and have recognised and acknowledged that for years, but have never been religious. I have no intention of being religious, either. I believe spirituality is good, for I do greatly accord with the words of Socrates, "the unexamined life is not worth living." I do not, however, see the good in religion. I believe it is ultimately the root cause of much more damage and suffering than good. At this point in my life, I could never become brainwashed enough to subscribe to a conventional set of beliefs unless circuitry was implanted in my brain.

I do not wish to refer to this superior intelligence I perceive as "God," nor am I going to accept that it identifies with or should be classified into either gender or other human construct. I do not believe it serves or favours humans to any greater extent that any other organism on earth, microscopic or colossal. I do believe it is everywhere at once, and well beyond our capacity to physically sense. Humans did not invent the intricate and spellbinding mathematics of nature; the sublimely intelligent power did. Everything in nature serves a purpose, whether it is known to us or not. Everything exists for a reason.

So, rather than lead myself on to believe that life is based around a series of disconnected disposable coincidences, some of which seem so striking we are blown away by them, I am now much more content to accept that nothing is coincidental. Everything is connected. And when my mind first came to this conclusion, a profound sense of warmth and reassurance surged through me. I hadn't felt quite so sure about anything in quite some time. I have no reason to doubt the very essence of my soul, and what my heart tells me is right.

I feel like I have taken a very big step forward in my spiritual journey, tonight... and that is extremely fulfilling. I feel more connected with ... everything than ever before.

Anthropomorphic, planetary, planetary, anthropomorphic...

Dec 25, 2005

I have never much desired to play online multiplayer games, nor have I ever really undertstood their appeal. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine urged me to try out Second Life. I did download the game and install it on my laptop, but played only ten minutes into before my machine overheated ... moments before I would have become bored enough to quit voluntarily.

I believe my reluctance to play such games has much to do with an unwillingness to put in the effort required to learn the basics and build up my skill levels. More often than not, it seems like more work than fun, at least to begin with. Just as I have to "get into" a record for it to become a favourite, I would have to do the same with a game. The older I become, or rather, the more advanced video games become, the more difficult that is for me to do. I am simply not the passionate gamer I used to be. I have positively no interest in playing rubbish like Call of Duty: The Big Red Turd, Halo, Everquest, or Warhammer 40k Space Marine Assault Squad Premium Edition. The idea of even attempting to enjoy games like those is well beyond my ability to fathom. I would rather... read a book. Or write. Or wander around. PC gaming just isn't for me.

Regardless, I have been wanting to try my paw at Second Life again. I would like to have Akuro show me exactly what you're supposed to do in that game, and how you transform your boring, dull human character into a furry anthro as quickly as possible. Though, something about the game's name intimidates me. I really don't care to become addicted to the point where my "first life" seems to become secondary. The thought of some sweaty, obese nerd sitting at his computer for hours and hours stocking items in his virtual shop and building his character's levels for the next epic battle, before eventually going out to Taco Bell with his nerdy gamer friends and being unable to converse about anything but the game they just played just depresses the hell out of me. I never want to be like that, so I hope this game doesn't become "addicting." I think the game would be a fine way of meeting more new furs and having an enjoyable time for 1-3 hours per day.

As for video games in general, I believe I am simply going to forget about the present and future, as very little out there interests me at all. I want to catch up on some quality NES, SNES, and N64 games I missed. If I could replace all those X-Box and PS2 titles in my local Gamestop with the greatest NES and SNES games ever made, I would in a heartbeat. Then while the hardcore current generation gamers are off bragging about the premium graphics and awesome explosions on their military training simulators I would be sitting in my cozy little room playing my brand new copy of Secret of Evermore, becoming lost in a beautiful game that not only requires imagination, but also inspires it.

Dec 24, 2005

'Tis the season... to drink.

Good holiday drinks:

Dirty muther: 1 pt. tequila, 1 pt. Kahlua, milk
Egg nog & brandy
Egg nog liqueor
Red wine
Rum & cola

Those are some of the beverages I have been enjoying as of late. Good quality alcohol accounts for a decent portion of the fun I have been having here lately. I can safely say I needed a real vacation like this. Interestingly, just sitting around drinking seems to make the time pass slower. Well, good... I am really in no hurry to see the new year. Though, I do have something to look forward to, besides finding myself a respectable full-time job and pleading to be let into a closed class. Susi found a flyer for some local "Electronic Music Festival" which he mentioned on the phone today. Definitely worth checking out!

A few hours out of today were spent replacing all four shock absorbers on my little rambler. The most difficult one, by far, was the left rear, as I had to work around the colossal muffler of much impedence with my wrench and breaker bar, and have specks of mud constantly falling into my face and hair. The front installations went much more smoothly, since the nuts were not near-impossibly tight and I could work from the side. I am glad I got that out of the way.

As for my future plans, in a nutshell, I need a job (and don't need any more reminding, either). That would lead to other things, such as being able to afford a better place to live than my present shoebox. Not that it's bad, it's just far from optimal. I wouldn't mind living in a place where any observer could clearly distinguish the living room from the bedroom from the kitchen. A private balcony would be a nice touch. In any case, it looks as if I'll be staying in Hilo for quite awhile, if things work out at all. I honestly don't have either the desire or the means to move to any other particular location right now. Yup, I guess I'll just have to continue putting up with all the rain, mold, and frogs. Such a dreary place to live... well, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if more people decided to move away. ^_^

I am anxious to see whether my degree in May will actually help me get involved in any 'important' work. I would like to think that what matters most is how hard you studied and what a dedicated hard worker you are, rather than who you happen to know, how good you are at showing interviewers what a perfect people person you are as you show your flawless set of snow-white teeth, and how many bullshit clubs and organisations you signed up for just to impress people. But I know better.

Looks like I'll just be "winging it." Hey, that's what I've been doing my whole life, so I must be good at it!

Just as I mentioned on FS, licking the battery contacts on the back of my cell phone results in a very unique sensation.

Dec 22, 2005


On the island of Hawaii (also known as "the Big Island"), a 10 Megawatt (MW) wind farm at Upolu Point in North Kohala is under development by Hawi Renewable Development. Additional information is provided on the electric utility website: From an article in West Hawaii Today: According to David Absher, Hawi Renewable Development's vice president, "Upolu Point is one of the best places in the U.S. to build a wind farm. The wind blows there 70 percent of the time." Also from the article: HELCO's contract with Hawi Renewable Development "will pay them what we would have paid to produce the same amount of power," according to Warren Lee, HELCO president. "That is, during peak hours (7 a.m. - 9 p.m.) they'll be paid 9.2 cents per kilowatt hour. During off - peak hours, they'll be paid 7.47 cents a kilowatt hour." The amount paid will fluctuate with the price of oil.


Well, I am ambivalent about this project. The site is a mere ten minutes' drive away, and lies on one of the most remote (and visually captivating) pastoral areas on the island. It is hard for me condemn something like this; a "clean" alternative energy source, where a great amount of power would undoubtedly be generated due to very reliable winds. This is a step in the right direction for less environmentally destructive power generation and cheaper electricity, and there is truly no better place on the island for it (other than South Point, which already has a dilapidated wind farm which really should be renovated). Even the zealots who think the sacred remains of their ancestors are buried on every square inch of the island probably won't complain! Really, it's nothing but grassland.

Even still, I foresee the completion of this project directly resulting in a decrease in real estate values. This prediction pertains particularly to the homes and future subdivisions located up the hill from the farm, from which views of the ocean will be obstructed by these massive towers whose bulging bodies no doubt glint brilliantly in the sunlight. Quite a few existing homes and future developments will be affected. I cannot neglect to mention the sentamentalist objection that having these structures visible from miles in every direction will greatly impact the atmosphere of the region which suggests desolation and wildness, especially near the sea cliffs. That I can identify with. Those things are nifty to look at, but hardly blend in with the scenery.

This place could use a development like this, though. The wind farm will most likely become a part of Hawi's identity, showing up in local signs, artworks, and symbolism. They'll probably even do wind farm tours! The world changes fast, and it usually changes for the worst. Depending on one's perspective, this could be an exception. My education compels me to care about things like this.

Early phase:

Rave up the night!

Another long day of shopping finally draws to a close.

Admittedly, I enjoy it this time of year. It is more gratifying to shop for others than for myself, and I had no shopping for myself to do on this go-around. Whenever I go to Costco I feel like a sweet-toothed cub in a candy store, what with all their exciting merchandise and excellent deals (DVD 3-pack with Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and The Mighty Wind- $18.99). More movies, more books, more items to fill that huge gap beneath the tree. Oh, the sheer materialism of it all. Jesus who? The good news is, I've done all the shopping I feel I'm obligated to do.

My biggest incentive for going with my mother on this trip was to spend some time in Kona. Wonderful town it is, especially after sunset. Heavy afternoon clouds often linger over the mountain after twilight, periodically cooling things down with nice, warm showers. The views of the town lights along the steep slopes on their descents straight to the sea are all lovely, and there is a great assortment of restaurants and bars to dine or drink at along the ocean drive. I have always found the atmosphere there in the late afternoon and early evening exceptionally pleasant, and there is certainly plenty to do, relative to where I am now at least. A little semblance of proper civilisation is certainly worth an hour's commute from here, a veritable outback-on-a-stick. When I feel like being in civilisation, at least. I don't believe there is a cozier place in the world than up here, especially when experiencing the warmth in the house while the wind, rain, and mountain fog dominates the outdoors. It's always pleasant to come home to, no matter how much fun I may have painting the town grey.

I have this very strange, primal urge to go camping one of these days. I'm talking tents, sleeping bags, a private little sandy beach by the sea, the whole Italian special. It's just a shame everyone I've asked is "too busy" or "too tired" to want to go with me. Oh well, I'm sure my dog wouldn't object!

Dec 19, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I went to see this film not expecting a thing. After all, I had no idea what to expect. I had avoided reading any reviews or listening to any opinions of the movie for a week; I wanted to go in with a completely neutral perspective, and did not want my opinion to be swayed in the slightest before I saw it for myself.

Unfortunately, I had never even heard of Narnia prior to this summer. I now wish I could have discovered or been introduced to the literature when I was a child, which would certainly make its conversion into a major motion picture much more exciting for me. Though I had never picked up any of the books, I was still filled with a sense of glee as I strolled into the theatre. I had a strong feeling I would enjoy this film. Even the previews were enjoyable, featuring Over the Hedge (can't wait to see that one!), Ice Age 2, and Curious George. Well, forget about that last one; much too preschoolish for my tastes. But enough foreplay, allow me to concisely summarise my thoughts on the first Narnia installment, because conciseness is good.

I don't feel I even need to say it, but I will for the sake of proper courtesy. There are spoilers in this entry, so if you have not yet seen Narnia: W³ and don't want surprises ruined, read no further.

The first part of the movie, up until about the point where all the children find themselves in the wondrous land of Narnia, seemed to move rather slowly. Even my patient self found me getting a little impatient. Though, the source of my impatience could be very my anticipation of the exciting events that would surely unfold later in the film, so perhaps it was for the better.

The lamppost. Yes, I was given chills when I first laid eyes upon the lamppost. See, the lamppost at the edge of Narnia looks very, very similar to a recurring icon in my dreams that has been present in my sub-conscious for as long as I can remember. "The End of Time" location in the Super Nintendo game Chrono Trigger looks hauntingly similar to the place where that object resides- a place I have revisited in hundreds if not thousands of my dreams, far back as I can remember. It consists of little more than a platform surrounded by eternal misty void, with an eerie-looking lamppost planted right in the middle, somehow burning on even as time is at a standstill. When I first visited "The End of Time" in that game, I was absolutely convinced I was dreaming. When I saw the lamppost after Lucy first wandered into Narnia through the wardrobe, I thought I was dreaming. I was immediately taken to that familiar place. It is one of the things that defines my sub-conscious, and when certain images trigger conscious memories of that place, I am left a little spellbound. In other words, I was deeply touched by the movie very early on.

Mr. Tumnus the Faun is a loveable character, as was most certainly intentional. Though, my heart most certainly went out to the beavers, in all their glory and slaptail antics, and of course, the fox. Tilda Swinton plays a stunningly icy impression of the White Witch, which I feel captures the extent of her evilness and then some.

I recognised a particular location in the film captured by sweeping aerial footage: Angel's Window on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It looked magnificent in the movie, covered with snow, but I found it amazing when I traveled up there in June of 2003.

It is simply a beautiful film all around. Much of the scenery is enchanting and spectacular, the special effects in action sequences are done very well, and the creatures are rendered marvelously. C.S. Lewis may have said he never wanted his novels to be converted into films, but he had no way of knowing just how realistically a talking lion could be rendered in the 21st century. Aslan is amazing. His facial expressions, body movements, everything... so convincing. The majesty of a lion, my goodness. I could have lost myself in his mane quite easily. The computer-generated wolves were quite breathtaking as well.

Though, a little blood certainly would have made things seem a little more passionate, especially where Aslan bares his fangs after mauling the White Witch. That scene needed blood dripping from his pearly white fangs. It just plain needed it, even if it meant a PG-13 rating. In my opinion, the movie was a little too intense for a PG rating, anyway. Maybe they'll wise up with the next film.

Oh, and I really loved the musical score. Very, very lovely and affecting, yet anything but overly dramatic and cheesy a la Lord of teh Rings.

Susi quickly expressed his loath towards the movie blatantly being used as a tool for marketing Christianity. No one can reasonably deny such a thing, because the evidence is abundant. I smelled Aslan's "resurrection" before he was even killed. And those evil, evil wolves! The difference between him and I is that it actually negatively affected his overall enjoyment of the film, whereas I managed to look beyond that truth and simply enjoy it for it what it was: a sensational, riveting, awe-inspiring epic fantasy tale. I can empathise with his cynicism but only to a degree, because I did not have the same experience as he did actually having to attend a Catholic school and be directly bombarded on a daily basis with mind-fucking Christian propaganda. Poor soul. Thank goodness he managed to get out from under all that shit. The wolf within prevails in those who are strong.

Dec 17, 2005

Over the hedge!

Finals are over. School is over. School is over? It hasn't even sunk in yet. It dragged on for so long and ended so quickly. The first fourteen weeks represented a long, gradual upsloping curve, a bit steeper in some areas than others, and as soon as the last two or three weeks arrived it became a downhill roller coaster and all I can do to avoid barreling uncontrollably down the mountain was hold on for the ride.

It seems I made it safely, though. Each of my exams were progressively more difficult, but not too difficult to get the best of me. I believe I did quite well. And now that all my projects are completed and submitted, and all my finals finished, I feel that the gorilla on my back has been vanquished. Now I am simply stuck with the monkey of having to find a decent job. That would certainly leave room for other things to hitchhike on my back, but I don't give piggie-back rides to just anyone.

Reselling a few of my textbooks got me $160; enough to blow on some presents for people. And that is good.

Friday was a day of celebration for Susi, Akuro, and I. We all got together in his furrymobile (a green Jeep Wrangler I christened "Lifty") and made the most of it. We enjoyed ourselves, yes, maybe a little too much. Well, no, there's no such thing. Our day together started off in the early afternoon, when we went to the New China Restaurant for another scrumptious buffet (the tofu and veggies are excellent). Unfortunately, the waitress parked us right next to some customers with an infant, but it must have been sedated or dead, because it didn't make a sound. I still hate babies and commercials with babies in them. They are far too many in both senses.

Borders was the next stop, and we spent some quality time in there... I sought out a couple of books for my parents, and found a book entitled "The Chronicles of Narnia for Dummies." Sweet mother of Heathcliff. They had to pick up a few things at Wal-Mart, and fortunately that errand was comparatively very brief. I would say it was like a zoo in there, but quite frankly I think tamed animals would be more intelligent and respectful of each other.

After returning home and dilly-dallying around for awhile (I found myself playing some ZSNES roms on Aku's new laptop- Secret of Evermore is a game I must get!) we headed up to the river and tripped around for awhile, eventually ending up at Boiling Pots uptown and roughing our way up to the waterfall. It was a very pleasant lightly overcast afternoon, and the water was... well, chilly, especially by the downdraft of the waterfall and the flurries of cool droplets it slinged at us. Even still, we full-on swam across the deep, choppy pool to another separate waterfall. Getting under it, or even close to it, was near impossible due to the surginess of the water underneath. Many laughs were had as we watched each other try as hard as we could to fight against the surge, failing miserably.

Swimming in a river in December. I think it's safe to say that is something neither of them ever did in Ohio or Germany. Since they have only been here half a year, it's always fun to show them enjoyable places to go they haven't yet discovered themselves.

It was also quite entertaining to watch a couple of teenage daredevils jump from the top of the main falls into the pool below, a good 40 or 50 feet at the least. A three-second 50 foot plunge was rewarded by a mile trek downstream, back to the main road, and up to the ford whence they started. It certainly looked worth it, though.

Back to the apartment again; showering the river water away and more messing about with amusing flash movies and games. It was quite a beautiful twilight. At around 6:45, we were headed off to see Narnia! At least, we thought we were. Vacant parking spaces seemed non-existent anywhere near the theatre. Eventually, we ended up going down a row of stalls into the only narrow one-lane alley in the entire mall parking lot. And it was blocked by a stalled car. Lovely place to let it die, guys. It took them a few minutes to get it pushed out of the way, and only when we parked, rushed over to the theatre, stood in line for another few minutes, and got almost to the front of the line that a sign was put up declaring that tickets for Narnia had sold out. It seemed it was destined not to work out from the beginning.

Consequently, we just headed back to the apartment and hung out some more, with the intention of returning for the 10:00 show. Fortunately, there was no trouble getting into this showing. After the movie was over, I drove back home from their place and relaxed for a little while before deciding to go out again on a rather epic moonlight wander of my own. The experience was exhilarating and enlightening, and I didn't get home until around 5:30 in the morning.

My full review of the film will come in a later entry, but for now, let me just say that I found it sensational. Wonderful, magnificent, riveting. It was great to see it in such magnanimous company. As for my afterhours excursion, that too warrants an entry all its own ... so much to write about, how could I ever get bored?

As for today, I think I did fairly well with Christmas shopping, having picked up a few -perfect- gifts for certain individuals. Really, there's nothing like the heightened exchange of commerce in the November and December months to get you in the "spirit." I did get just one thing for myself, a black Scarface t-shirt that fits me perfectly in size and message.

And I'm heading back to the warmth of home for awhile, at least until Christmas, and am dragging my computers back with me. One shall be used, the other sent in to the repair centre. A place it knows all too well...

It's time for a vacation. A long-awaited one. **Grabs a flavoured cooler, stretches out, and digs his feet into the sand, sticking his tongue out in hope for some rain**

Rotterrotterrotterdam, rotterrotterrotterdam, rotterrotterrotterdam, ROTTERDAM TERROR CORPS!

Wilde Provocation

I am fairly certain Christian conservatives like George W. Bush or perhaps even Pat Robertson, for example, would not approve of this message. In fact, the probability that they soil themselves in terror before exploring any deeper into the site than the first page is highly likely to be high enough to warrant the dismissal of a null hypothesis of no in-pants bowel movement.

In other words, isn't that lovely?

(Pardon the use of the unpopular blink tag; I just wanted to place a little emphasis on the link).

Dec 15, 2005

The two of us, so young and so wild
We can't find the cure to what has led us astray
Far apart from what we once were
and we both made a choice
there's no turning back from here
there's no turning back from here

But we have no aim, just keeping up the pace
Who's the best of us, who's the stronger one
Will it ever end?
This escalating game

We're reborn to live on the edge
Who's the bravest of us?
Who will live to tell?
I'm so scared of what we've become
As we double the bets, the proportions exceed ourselves
The proportions exceed our sanity

We have gone from meek to brave
And we're chasing a dream that never will come true
Letting go of all our fears
The unavoidable end is the enemy we defy

But we have no aim, just keeping up the pace
Who's the best of us, who's the stronger one
Will it ever end?
This escalating game
There can be only one

-"The Game" - Nightingale

My god, Swanö's voice in this song. Wow. Haunting shivers. That isn't usually something that grabs me and totally pulls me into a song in any type of metal... It's naturally magnificent, as demonstrated in some of his rawer material, but wow. Whoever produced this made it sound positively perfect.

And it certainly helps when absolutely everything else about the song is perfect as well.

I really, really hope this sensational band doesn't ever become hopelessly trendy to Dream Theater proportions. They're fine just where they are. So long as I never introduce them to VGC, I'm sure it'll all be fine.

Dec 14, 2005

You bring me closer to COD!

Daily discovery of today: nothing drowns out the annoyances of the world better than hardcore industrial music.

It would seem my car stereo was custom made for the genre, because it just sounds spectacular at the 24 or 25 volume notch. At that volume, I can barely hear me talk to myself, much less to a squirrel in the passenger seat. Admittedly, I enjoy giving a parade of obnoxious giggly girls, screaming kids, and rap junkies a taste of crushing aural ruthlessness. Nothing like 250 obliterating beats per minute to boost my adrenaline, get me thoroughly energized, and heavily stimulate my natural aggressive side. So who's up for dragging their sluggish Awesome Zombie vessels the hell out of my way so I can go home?


Yeah, I thought so. You know what's really awesome? Having to sit on the hard, dirty floor when you take your final because no seats are left. That's way too awesome. Awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome. Phew. Garbage out.

It's true, though, my patience for dealing with people is at an absolute minimum when I'm tired, hot, and mentally fatigued. That is only natural, I suppose. I wanted nothing more than to simply get home as quickly as possible, and hide from the world until a couple hours into darkness. The daylight has simply been too bright, exposing the unpleasantness and mundaneness of ordinary human life much too vividly. I simply have no desire to be out walking amongst them in the sunlight; I find it quite depressing. I just feel like part of the herd. Overly exposed, ordinary, succumbing to the standard programme. Yuckaroo.

Fortunately, Hilo is an entirely different world at night. So is the entire island. In relative darkness, the imagination is forced to compensate for what the eye cannot perceive due to absence of light; light that would otherwise expose every angle, extinguish any sense of intrigue. And the necessary use of imagination results in a world of much more splendor, surrealism, mystery, and majesty. No small wonder I enjoy nighttime wanders so much. Most of the world that surrounds me is created in my powerful imagination ... and very little effort is required to achieve such an effect. It happens naturally. The raw beauty that is henceforth generated is breathtaking.

As for my obsessing over the merits of the evening lately, let me simply say that I have been wandering about in the great outdoors every night. I have consequently been more than a little "moonstruck," and more in touch with my liberated wolven side than I have been in a long time. And it's very gratifying, very. **Flashes a lusty bestial grin** Wheee, I'm feral! And pistachios! How green and salty and delightful they can be this time of year.

Little things, like being able to listen to great music along my ten minute drive to school, allow me to tolerate and in a sense, enjoy ventures out into the real world to fulfill obligations that aren't necessarily pleasant. Music is important. I take it very seriously. Hearing bad music on occasion is important for reminding me of the other side of the spectrum ... the one I prefer to isolate myself from as much as possible. But as they say... know your enemy well. That's right, be aware of those motherfuckers! Those screeching little bastard children who are soon to be converted into premium human sandwiches through the work of 10 tenderising claws and an industrial meat grinder.

**Rolls over on the floor, carving mystical designs into his chest with a Christmas tree air freshener** I want my fliptop lids, goddamnit. **Throws a baked potato at the weatherman**

Ah yes, as is obvious, my playful side has been in full force lately. Just wait until my last final is over and see how playful I am then! **Dons his santa hat** A nice little celebration of el fin de semester should occur on Friday. It's about time to get together with my homefurs and eat Chinese food again and see Narnia, finally. I miss spending time with 'em.

And... according to the bulletin board buzz, apparently there is someone on this island with the alias "DJ Dragonick" who spins rave/house music at full moon parties. **Raises eyebrow** Must get more info.


Dec 13, 2005

Reflections of perfection.

"You live in a beautiful faerieland.

Outside my window, I see a 60year-old exhibitionist. Or the underchassis of my van when I park it in front of the window so as not to have to look at the naked guy. Sky? What is sky?


Although, I am moving to a move scenic part of town. Next to a nature trail... and a vacuum factory. But you can't have it all. Except for you. And your nature.


Fairly much everything she says is insightful, whether it may appear to even make sense on the surface or not. She is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, and a simple comment she leaves in my Livejournal can provoke me to dwell upon it for days.

And this one did. It encouraged me to start thinking and realising that very few have the opportunity to experience what I take for granted. Lovely views of a relatively clean ocean everyday. Deep green rainforest surrounding me everywhere, practically creeping up my apartment walls. Skies of the deepest blue, high amounts of rainfall, clean, fresh air.

An afternoon dip in a nice cool stream beneath a surging waterfall. A sky full of brilliant stars upon which to gaze. Places within walking distance to easily escape to and be all alone; places so secluded I could howl at the top of my lungs and no one would hear. A shirtless wander along the remote sea cliffs in mid-December.

During this early morning's moonlit wander, I was reminded of that comment. This is a faerieland. The truthfulness of it hit me when I recognised just how perfect everything was. I mean, flawless.

I was strolling down a narrow paved backroad through some sloping fields of high grass and dense trees, running parallel to the coast. The breeze was light, enough to keep one perfectly cool and comfortable, but not even enough to muss one's hair. It rolled off the mountains with a very satisfying coolness. Wind chill factor approximately 65° fahrenheit. It felt unlike most continental breezes, and I cannot hope to explicate why. The air on a Pacific island just feels different. Wildly so.

Everything was damp from frequent heavy rains. The air was heavy with moisture and the smell of rain, and the ground was soaked. The air felt so remarkably cozy, so familiar and tropical. The sweet fragrance of wild tropical flowers could be sensed periodically, but mostly, I smelled wet grass, trees, pavement, and of course, the nearby sea.

Contrasts are abundant. I looked out over the ocean and saw an endless horizon featuring mostly clear skies of a gorgeous royal blue, gradually darkening as I looked up. As I turned around to face upslope, I could see only the very verdant beginnings of a seemingly endless journey to a mountain towering almost two miles above sea level. Above these forestlands hovered wicked-looking rainclouds of the darkest shades, visibly gushing torrential showers against the moonlit backdrop as if draining a fresh wound. The upper tips of each of these bulging, towering clouds were highlighted by the near-full moon, the result being gorgeous celestial architecture. Castles in the sky of a breathtaking array of tones and textures. Tropical clouds. The kind you dream of floating on and riding up into heaven.

The greenness of everything could be detected even in the monochromatic featuring of the moonlight. I had seen it so many times before, and I was still completely dazzled. Such natural perfection above all else may be enough to get me to accept the possibility of an intelligent creator. Were these islands of impeccable gorgeousness created by chance? Could the natural conditions for living comfortably be so flawless by chance? A few specks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean could just as easily not exist. I could just as easily be living in New Jersey. Many more people live in New Jersey. Why am I here, in this place? This faerieland? Why was I even giving serious consideration to leaving anytime soon?

Amazingly, it still drives people away. The frogs are too noisy. The rain is too frequent. The career opportunities are too few. The price of food and real estate is too high. The first two I consider to be perks rather than turn-offs, and the latter two I consider worth fessing up for and dealing with. I am heavily nature-oriented, and the nature here is perfect. I belong here, it seems.

What did I discover tonight? A wastewater treatment plant. Naturally, I jumped the chain link fence and explored. The water in the pumped pools looked positively vomitrocious, but admittedly, it only smelled peculiar. Not bad, but not particularly pleasant either. Just a rather pungent mix of chemicals. I wasn't about to take a swim, especially after passing the section where muddy sludge water was burping up out of a large tank in big smelly bubbles. I didn't care to speculate on exactly where this "treated" water was entering the sea, either.

This outdoor escape came some time after completing a role play that ran over eight hours long. I simply got drawn into it, and did not feel compelled nor obligated to do much else on a bright sunny Monday. "Your paladin takes 224 damage from my level 69 premium sword. I pwnd u. I loloolololol'd. Get off my MUD." **Pushes up coke bottle glasses and snorts** No, I kid.

Doomed to be nocturnal, a creature of the night... yeah, I wish. I'm working on it, though! Sunlight is still incredibly overrated, but can be very pleasant when the conditions are right. Moonlight, on the other paw, is unconditionally exquisite.

Dec 7, 2005

I'll find a way to another dimension, far beyond reality

I have been listening to an awful lot of Nightingale lately. Well, the select Nightingale songs I managed to cram onto a CD-R, at least. It probably won't be long before I start burning all the albums onto CD's and start taking them with me on the road. This is one of those very special bands that greatly appeals to my musical sensibilities enough for me to become utterly obsessed with their music.

Nightingale's music is certainly more accessible than much of the hard-edged music I listen to, but still far from poppish (I suppose the song "Steal the Moon" could be an exception; it's catchy as hell and could easily be a mainstream radio hit). It's invigoratingly heavy and energetic at times, enchantingly somber and down-tempo at other times, and upliftingly dark overall. The melodies in some of the songs often leave me spellbound with their haunting beauty. The lyrical themes very commonly center around reincarnation and the afterlife, so I naturally find them appealing. My absolute favourite songs thus far:

Shadowman (Alive Again)
Shadowland Serenade (Alive Again)
Nightfall Overture (The Breathing Shadow)
The Dreamreader (The Breathing Shadow)
Deep Inside of Nowheere (The Closing Chronicles)
Steal the Moon (The Closing Chronicles)
Intermezzo (The Closing Chronicles)

I still have yet to obtain a couple more of their albums.

Then there is Another Life, the other band I have been obsessed with lately that I actually consider a counterpart of sorts to Nightingale. Perhaps that's because the illustrious Dan Swano is involved in both bands. To my knowledge, they still don't have an official album out yet, but the songs they made available for download I found quite marvelous: "Concealed by Fright" and "Reflections" in particular.

I haven't posted here in a couple weeks and all I can bring myself to write about is what music I have been listening to. How pathetic.

Nov 24, 2005

The truth will kill you.

I just finished reading Collapsed, our text for Sustainable Development, and now I officially have no hope left for humanity.

I finished my final discussion point for the final chapter in tears. All this to try to get an A in another class. Goodness, am I depressed.

I know I am over-sensitive. It's quite painful to be that way. I seem to be affected more deeply than most souls around me, especially when it comes to things like this. Things that actually matter. Many say being so sensitive makes you less of a man. I say being able to face up to the reality of things and not constantly try to block it out makes one courageous.

Many truly seem to believe that ignorance is bliss. For those who prefer to remain blissfully ignorant, I suggest not reading too far into this book, or this paragraph. It wouldn't be your cup of tea, trust me. Run along and watch Harry Potter. Live in your fantasy, because reality will probably just depress you and give you very little incentive to press on. Take a walk in the sunshine, knowing nothing about the increasing complications posed by the photosynthetic ceiling. Wander through the woods, somehow believing that most of those species belong there and won't be turned into a housing development ten years from now. Breathe in the air, knowing that all those toxic chemicals are manifesting themselves in your lungs, but perhaps not being aware that they are also entering through the pores of your skin, slowly poisoning your dying vessel. Somehow believe that there is a corner of the globe that has not been adversely affected by the human imprint. Believe that technology will solve all our problems, when in fact each invention only introduces its own specific set of problems, forming an endless chain of dreadful links. There is no reason to use a 500-page read to instill in your head a hundred pieces of evidence showing why we are all doomed. We all know that anyhow, it doesn't have to be proven to us. Keep living in your bubble. You're safe there for a limited time. Pay no attention to what a Pulitzer Prize-winning author has to say. Curse your consciousness. Fuhgeddaboutit.

I am going to visit the north point lighthouse later today, but I doubt I will see much beauty. I will see the landscape much differently than I used to. Decay. Dessicated streambeds. Diminished rainfall. Several cattle on ugly, browning converted pastureland contributing their share to global warming. Eroding sea cliffs, exposing in their faces the rusted corpses of old plantation machinery buried inland a number of decades ago. Creeping normalcy. Landscape amnesia. Things change so quickly, yet so slowly for us. Day to day, it seems so gradual. It takes us years to realise how much less snow the mountain has received per year due to global warming. A family looks at photographs of how green their farm used to be twenty years ago, and compares it to the same farm today, their faces suddenly showing signs of shock. Times have changed.

It all happens so gradually for us. Yet, in geological time, humans have arrived and will depart in the bat of an eyelash. A human life is measured in a billionth of a nanosecond.

I probably just shouldn't care. Screw all the sentimental bullshit the human conscious projects onto so many other things. We are all just manifestations of carbon, here today, gone tomorrow, and our existence means nothing. We perform our moves, play the game like everyone else, then expire. We are everything and we are nothing. We are whatever we want to believe we are. Some of us think our God is going to come down and save us.

So then, you might as well believe in something. Whatever justifies your lifestyle and gets you up in the morning. Reincarnation is my belief. I expect to return to Earth as something other than human. Who knows what I may take shape as, though, and who knows what shape the world will be in then. It is romantic to believe I will probably return as a wolf, until I recall that most of the world's wilderness will be completely destroyed. Maybe I would be better off returning as a bee. People love sweet, fragrant things like honey and flowers.

A former acquaintance of mine who just recently committed suicide once shared with me one thing she considered a justification of her bitterness, "nature is dying." My perspective has now coincided directly with hers. It doesn't matter how you choose to interpret it, it's always true at least in one way.

But I care. It justifies who I am, and it is not my choice to make.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2005

Drawing a bloodbath

I enjoy images that provoke. I also love the colour, texture, and symbolism of blood. Not all anthropomorphic art is designed to give you the warm fuzzies.

Though it does bring back memories of a few years ago, when I was walking down the street and happened to witness the outcome of an unattended horse attempting to escape from its trailer. It got its head stuck in the rear door, and ended up severing its neck. Deeply. Potent scarlet blood streamed down steadily from its throat, forming a thick, warm puddle beneath the trailer that slowly trickled down the steep concrete driveway. Most horrific were the gurgling sounds escaping from its throat as it tried to gasp for air, instead sputtering blood all over the cold steel trailer frame. I could see through the haze and the dampness in its eyes the agony and terror it was suffering, confirmed further by the sharp spasms of its body. Its legs dangled uselessly, hooves stirring up the thin layer of straw on the bloody trailer floor. All hope was lost. To watch the life force rapidly drain away from a half decapitated horse was a mesmorising sight. I could smell its ensuing death. The odour offended my nostrils. I pulled myself away and asked the closest neighbours if they knew who owned the horse. They didn't. Eventually the owner showed up and furrowed his brow, speechless as the world around me. I shall never forget the images. His facial expression and inability to utter a word. The river of blood that flowed down the driveway and into the pasture. The couple who passed by slowly in a car, the driver gawking at the scene, the passenger looking down and using her hand to shield herself from the terrifying vision. The horse's last attempt at drawing a breath. All I could do was stare. It was a beautiful and sickening and riveting and embittering and scintillating spectacle of unfathomable cruelty. The animal was dead, its head hanging idly from the trailer like a Christmas stocking from a fireplace mantle.

happy holidays.

Well go on now, go to the supermarket and purchase your pre-packaged, pre-inspected, pre-butchered turkey. Pour some champagne and celebrate your ridiculous American tradition, and give thanks that God has been so kind to you.

Nov 22, 2005

I abhor the XBOX. I hate everything about it. It is going to be fairly obnoxious to watch all the Microsoft fanboys on the gaming (and non-gaming!) forums rave and rave about how "fucking (censored)" the XBOX 360 is. As a video gamer who has always been fairly passionate about the hobby, I am as jubilant about the release of this system as I am about delivering my statistics presentation on a Monday.

It's not the fact that it's made by Microsoft that gauls me, though it does give me a bonus excuse to not have an ounce of respect for it. It's the library of games that has been confirmed for the system.

If you are not into sports, racing, strategy, or shoot-em-up games, there isn't much else for you. Unfortunately, those are the game genres most players (at least in America) prefer these days. Halo is the scum of the earth, and of course both it and its sequel are on there, along with five Star Wars games and three Tony Hawk games. I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.

I have absolutely no interest in playing games like these, sadly. Or maybe it isn't that sad. I am grateful to have been a kid in an era where video games were actually fun and required much more imagination to play. What if I grew up playing Medal of Honor or Call of Duty? I might just feel compelled (and trained!) enough to sign up for the American armed forces when I'm 18! I'm sure that's the general idea, anyhow. XBOX and XBOX 360 are undoubtedly going to help raise a generation of God-worshipin' country-servin' soldiers with their crappy war simulators. I'm so glad I don't play shit like that. If I had kids I would raise them on games like Ratchet & Clank and Starfox Adventures, old as the games would be by then.

See, I expect video games to take me out of reality, not subject me to a visually stunning simulation of it. That would defeat most of the purpose of playing games for me. While all the cool kids gather around their XBOX and play Grand Theft Auto, blare rap music and drink Coors Light while they wreak havoc on the streets, I will happily gather around my Genesis and immerse myself in Sonic the Hedgehog. Anyone with respectable taste may wish to join me, and would get a gentle fur-snuggle just for demonstrating that they have some good taste and that there is a little hope left for some members of the gaming community.

I just feel at a loss when most gaming-related conversation that occurs around me, whether it be in school, at the mall, or in a restaurant, usually involves discussion about "fucking (censored) graphics," "amazing realism," or "I heard you can actually take a dump anywhere you please in the next Call of Duty." Yes, it's all about simulating real world environments, because those are the coolest, right? Heaven forbid programmers should employ a little more imagination these days, or leave anything up to the player's imagination. I remember when I spent more time playing games and less time waiting for cinema cut scenes to finish.

I am a "retro gamer" in every sense of the term. I play the games that made an impact before games generally started sucking. That's not to say that I won't ever play any more new games, though. Give me a nice platformer involving some furry character, and I will probably gobble it up.

To conclude on a positive note, I saw two different people wearing Sonic the Hedgehog t-shirts at school yesterday. That raised my spirits some, and I complimented both on their good taste.

"By providing us with the information you know about your sources, we can properly format, alphabetize, and print your citation list. We’ve used EasyBib ourselves, and personally vouch for its performance: it cuts down bibliography creation time from one half to two thirds."

No more flipping through a reference catalogue for appropriate MLA citation formats for different media, thank RAYG. This should come in handy for my sustainable development planning thesis which requires 15 peer-reviewed sources. The more manual labour that can be circumvented, the better.

Nov 21, 2005

Yellow squash

It's true, people. Bananas do not travel well. Bananas tend to get very squeamish, and often spill their banananical guts out on long trips, quite literally. When will I learn my lesson? Oranges make much better backpacking companions than bananas. Heck, even apples can hold up much better on my rugged excursions.

I kind of felt like this poor guy on the van ride home yesterday:

imploded banana

My innards are spilling out of my peel! AAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Well, detective, the least we can do is show respect and try to salvage his remains. Anyone up for some banana creme pie?"

Nov 20, 2005

Darkness, come take me away.

I'm not sure yet but I think today sucked.

I did somehow manage to rise at 7 in the morning and make it down to the campus bookstore by 8, only to have to wait 40 minutes in the icky morning sunlight for our van to leave for Waipio Valley. Yes, today was the day of my field trip from... well, I shouldn't say hell, but it was indeed characterised by much lameness.

I was feeling disoriented the entire way over, longing for a pillow and a sleeping pill. Naturally, I had only gotten three hours of sleep at most. There is no more awkward time for me to be up and about than 7 to 11 in the morning. Experiences like these remind me just what a luxury it is to be able to sleep through half the day.

I suppose one of the things that bothered me most about the trip was that there was simply too much sun, too much brightness, too much daylight. Too much. It lasted way longer that I am used to. Waking up at 7 as opposed to 12 equates to having to deal with five hours more of daylight, and today, I found that terribly disquieting. My preference for nighttime was completely violated.

I still care very little for being exposed to direct sunlight on warm days, anyway. Sunlight makes my hair itch, my skin feel dirty, and generally gives me an unpleasant feeling of uncleanliness. I feel it's extremely overrated. Same with tans (tanning parlors anyone? Pft.) Of course, it's different up in the mountains, where the cool, dry air actually leaves sunlight to be desired at times. This helps explain why I am such a nocturnal creature. I'll take basking in the moonlight over hanging out in the sunlight any day.

I believe I am quite over-sensitive to light, which is why I had made such a big fuss over installing blackout curtains in my den, and tend to have an evening-oriented schedule. It's also part of the reason I live in Hilo. It was bright and sunny at Waipio the entire time we were there, and also along the entire Hamakua coast. By the time we got back into the Hilo district, though, it was pleasantly overcast as usual. I found that fairly relieving.

Once we arrived at the lookout, they had us walk all the way down that steep, winding road. By the time I reached the valley floor, I had to train myself to walk without leaning back at a 45 degree angle again. That was tough on the legs. The cultural interpreter took us along a rugged trail through the wilderness up to a taro-growing site. Then, he put us all to work, making us fix up a little rock dam which provided irrigation to the taro plots. My job was to be part of a chain where everyone passed rocks to the next person over until they reached the dam. What fun.

To be honest, my instincts compelled me to suddenly break away from the pack and simply do my own thing. I have never been one for such organised group activities. Besides, I knew that not far up the stream, there was a magnificent towering waterfall plunging into a cold, deep pool. I wanted nothing more than to scurry away from everyone and be alone to do some meditating up there.

Unfortunately, I didn't. We just ended up walking back, having lunch, then climbing back up the hill the hot sunlight. By the time I got three quarters of the way, my leg muscles and lungs were on fire and I was a sweaty mess. Did I ever feel disgusting. Not that I am one to complain, and I beat everyone else to the top by a fairly large margin.

The van ride back was ... not particularly entertaining. I was feeling exhausted, not only physically but also of having to be around people for so long. I felt terribly claustrophobic packed inside that van of 13 other students. And when some of the 'guys' started having 'in-depth' conversations about the "nice implants" of some of the "hot chicks" in their classes, I simply shook my head, shrugged my shoulders, plugged in my ear buds, and powered up my music player. **Kisses his iPod** I think it may have just preserved my sanity today, again.

Presently, I just feel strange. Almost jet-lagged. I slept for a good three hours on the floor. Though, I do feel a little more together than I was when I started this entry. I think a little walk or bike ride outside soon might make me feel a little more 'normal' again, and that is what I need... especially if I am going to get myself together enough to do this damn recall assignment the teacher gave us as we were leaving. It is, of course, due tomorrow.

The things I put up with to get an A. Going to a place as beautiful and spiritual as Waipio Valley just isn't the same when I am not free to do as a I please and I feel like I am being guided around on a track. Fortunately, I think this has been my one and only field trip of the semester. Next time I go there, I'm sure I will have tons more fun.

Thank whatever divine gargoyle it's going to be a short week.

Nov 19, 2005

Wild Sweet Wild

"What could be worse than San Diego?"

Certainly not Madagascar. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I viewed it for the first time this evening, and I thought it was splendid. Not only was it a visual and aural delight, but the humour, the originality, the storyline, the characters, it was all so terrific. I wanted to pull Alex out of the tube and snuggle him for awhile, because you know I ain't afraid of no lions, no matter how much steak they're lusting after. Then I wanted to do the same with the lemurs, then the penguins. I knew the penguins would sooner have had me whacked than stand for such a thing, though.

I can tell Madagascar is quickly going to gain status as one of those movies that will warm my heart for years to come. Definitely buying the DVD, so that it will always be available to lose myself in whenever I need it. And I'll always remember the first place I watched it: in a cozy furry den, feasting on egg drop soup, rice, and sushi, in the company of great like-minded friends.

I like to move it, move it. Especially after hearing that song. Everything about it is so delightfully furry. And that's the way I want to be.

Anywho, I am going to prepare myself some hash browns and cheese omelettes, then make a stop at 7-11 for an energy drink and some candy. Then I'll probably hang out at Volcanoes National Park, exploring some lava tubes and trekking out on the lava in the moonlight, greeting the early dawn as I let my spirit have some much needed free roaming in a cool, enchanting setting. Luckily, I have no plans until tomorrow night (going to catch one of the showings of Walk the Line).

Keep your stripes about you, everyone!

It's a whole new level.

It has occurred to me lately just how often my dreams resemble video games, especially in mechanics and principle.

1. No matter how many times I die, I always come back to life. I am aware of this, so I am really not afraid to die.
2. Once I save my progress, I don't have to worry about losing anything I gained up to that point. If I am afraid I am about to lose something or suffer injury, I quickly save so if something tragic happens to me I can just quit and go back to that save point. Once the danger is overcome, I will save again so I need not face the exact same danger again.
3. I am usually surrounded by so many wonderful furry characters, whether they are to be considered villains or heroes. Sometimes I join them in battling evil demons, robots, and best of all, humans, and other times simply watch them, but never do I fight against them.
4. I can freeze time. Very handy when I need to stop and think of something to say on the spot.
5. Background music is always playing. Always. Nobody knows where it's coming from, it's just -there-.
6. I can defy the laws of physics quite often. Just last night I was leaping along moonlit sea cliffs, my feet touching the ground once every several hundred metres. Breathtaking.

Of course, I never know I'm dreaming when I have said dreams. I assume it to be "reality." That is a large part of what makes it so glorious. Reality gives you one chance to prove yourself. That's it, just one. No stocking up on extra lives. You get yourself killed, you do not insert coin. You depart.

If only reality were more like a video game. And no, I don't mean The Official U.S. Army Game. The commander in chief can suffer the wrath of my tail on turbo bitch slap mode.

Nov 18, 2005

I've got a secret miniature...

UB40 - "Rat in the Kitchen"
Fuel - "Solace"
No Doubt - "Sunday Morning"
Incubus - "Stellar"
MC 900 Foot Jesus - "If I Only Had a Brain"
Harvey Danger - "Flagpole Sitta"
Filter - "Welcome to the Fold"
The Verve - "Bittersweet Symphony"
Third Eye Blind - "Wounded"
Rancid - "Time Bomb"

Those are all songs I have very fond memories of and have been listening to very heavily. Some songs just bring the sweetest memories to the surface.

Oh, I also strolled into Hot Topic today and got some lovely buttons.

There was also some nice Scarface merchandise in Suncoast, including a Scarface air freshener, a Scarface Shooter, and a Scarface valet set. The posters were nice, too. Unfortunately, it was all right next to a large Star Wars display, and some stupid kid kept pressing a bunch of buttons at once on an obnoxious Darth Vader helmet sound effects toy. I still cannot express how much I hate Star Wars.

Nov 17, 2005

the pathetic demise of decent video games.

"Our game developers don't rely on imagination."

-Online banner advertisement for The Official U.S. Army Game by the U.S. Army.
Whoa man, nifty stereogram.

Utterly random image edits at 4:30 in the morning... what's with me these days?

Nov 16, 2005

Like, bears rule.

Why are human beings so deathly afraid of bears? Sure, they have the ability to nose into your business uninvited, smother you to death, tear out your heart with their claws and break it just as easily, and trample all over you for all you are worth, but the chance of women doing the very same things to you are infinitely more likely. Be bear aware? Nevermind you. Bears may carry around voracious appetites at times and frequently act on predatory instinct, but at least they always behave rationally. Respect a bear's space, and it's likely they will respect yours. Can't say that for most women I've met, sadly. I really like bears, and I have never been at all afraid of them. I would very much like to come face to face with one, someday. Unfortunately, I spend much of my time in public being surrounded by girls that repeatedly go "like."

No, I am not a sexist pig. I resent most men in roughly equal numbers as the opposite gender.

Nov 15, 2005

A complete smile makeover!

"Is your smile keeping you from living the life you've always dreamed of? Let Dr. Tanaka give you a complete smile makeover!"

I... think I would prefer to work my way through life without flashing great big smiles just to impress other people. Once again, it's another sign of how ridiculous this culture is, and I refuse to let a smile spell the difference between whether I get hired into my dream job or not. I admit, although the media is constantly trying to make me a relentlessly self-conscious wreck, I can't bring myself to be concerned about how straight and what shade of white my teeth are. This is even in spite of the fact that a perfect smile will get me many attractive women, high-paying jobs, and a new leash on life (or is that lease?!).

I smile when I am cheerful, amused, sometimes astounded, and desiring to express friendliness. I do not and will never fake a smile to sell myself, or even pretend someone just cracked a funny joke.

One phrase that does get under my skin is "marketing yourself." Is this to imply that I am some kind of mobile commodity that must go to great lengths to deliver a "personal sales pitch" in hopes of impressing a potential "consumer"? I probably would have been more inclined to participate in the last career fair if I hadn't been told beforehand that I should spend some time practising my "personal sales pitch." Umm, yeah. "Pick me, pick me! I would save a cat's life over a baby's, I've seen Reservoir Dogs, and I've always felt the posture and architecture of fire hydrants somehow artfully suggest that they are just begging for a hug. Did I get the job?"

What I have always dreaded most about interviews and the like is not having to answer a series of asinine questions more designed to evaluate your character than your skills for the job. I can deal with that. I just strongly dislike being expected to dress up in a way I would -never- ordinarily dress and contort my face into a cheerful, enthusiastic expression that just announces jubilantly, "Why yes sir, I am so excited about possibly working for you that I'll just about have to strangle my tail before it wags out of my Wal-Mart slacks, and I promise to give you 110- no, 113.4% at all times!" I feel like I am putting on a great big circus act, and it disgusts me. If I had my way I would rip off this tie that took me an hour to figure out to clip on and strangle you with it until you let me have YOUR job. "By the way, sir, if I may be so italicized to inquire, are my teeth white enough to work in laundry? What of my acne problem? I was told if I don't buy a certain product advertised on TV I am going to be an ugly reject my entire life. And I don't know about you, but I still don't think my nose is high enough. I've heard Roman noses just aren't considered beautiful or attractive anymore. **Holds head in paws**

Let's all run down to the beauty salon and get premium makeovers tomorrow. I want to finally be able to face the world and say with confidence, "THIS IS WHO I AM!"

In the meantime, excuse me while I ramble off to purchase a specialised product guaranteed to efficiently remove all traces of my unsightly nostril hairs. I'll do whatever it takes to ride the magic carpet of disjointed musings into Sleepland and rest easier at night, short of listening to another Children of Boredom EP. Ever since they started getting progressive and hence keeping me awake at night with their uncharacteristically energetic tunes, they just haven't compared to... **pats mouth and takes a very deep breath, exhaling slowly** ...Sigh.

Compare and contrast

Quiet, mild-mannered Neal.

One day away from full moon Neal.

Any questions?

Nov 14, 2005

A productive little member of squirrel society.

"So I, like, walked into his office and he was, like, working on his computer. Then I was, like, have you made the study guide yet, and he was like, you know, "not quite, but I should have it ready by Friday." And I was, like, so mad about that, because, you know, the test is, like, just two days after that!~~~~~~~~~"

Until you learn how to articulate properly in an intelligible manner, quit spewing your rank verbal diarrhea loudly enough for every row of the class to hear. Better yet, speak intelligibly in a voice low enough to direct your useless grumbling exclusively to the person sitting, like, right next to you. Unless you want to go home with a compass needle in your thorax care of a wolf sitting three rows up who happens to be very skilled with darts. Come on, guys, let's be diplomatic. The world's problems can be solved if we all come together in harmony and sow the seeds of peace on our majestic Mother Earth, allowing universal love to germinate.

But before that can happen, some goddamn people need to learn some fucking manners so I don't feel so compelled to obliterate their oblivious expressions with a stock AR33.

My current focus in life is getting my projects together. I have at least four weeks left to do so, and that seems like ample time to finish my five major projects satisfactorily. Here's the general layout/timeline:

*I did my research at City of Refuge on Friday, so I can use it to scribble out my term paper. I'm really only viewing it as a longer, citation-requird version of the weekly essays I write for the class. I plan to use mostly reading materials we have already used as sources, so it shouldn't be that difficult, and my goal is to get it done by this coming weekend. Probably won't start on it tonight, with my weekly sustainable development essay and remote sensing lab materials and final project description due tomorrow.

*My 12 page sustainable development paper counts for at least 50% of my course grade, so I had better devote much, much more time and energy to this one. It's not due until Dec. 6, so I still have plenty of time. I decided to focus on the sustainability of the Three Gorges Dam in China, since I am so fascinated by dams and all, and it's the largest dam in the world. And I just -know- it's going to be directly responsible for a major disaster someday. I think I am going to enjoy learning more about the mega-project and writing my thesis on it.

*Good news on the biostats project- I managed to turn up my Ohia tree measurements from my biogeography course in fall of '03, so I'll just 'cheat' and use those for my stats this semester rather than go out into the field and do a bunch of unnecessary work. It's not that my work is all done... I still have to organise and analyse the data, perform a few statistical tests on them, and write up an extensive report. Having to collect the actual data was the part I was dreading the most, though, so I am glad I don't have to worry about that.

*As for my creative design project for web authoring, I'll probably go ahead and make a web site for the university showcasing some of my finest photographs I have taken over the years. After all, all the content must be original. I should be getting started on that soon. Fortunately, we have our last regular lab today.

*Then, there's my lab design project for remote sensing, in which I am supposed to collaborate with another person on. The groups were already assigned, but I don't even remember her name. Whatever... I'll get to it when I get to it.

Anyway, time to get my tail up to UCB so I don't miss Susi. I'm sure no one bothered to read this far, anyway. I can't blame them.

Nov 10, 2005

Wailuku River

Wailuku River

To the United States, from Buckingham Palace.

Message from Buckingham Palace to the Citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter U will be reinstated in words such as favour and neighbour. Likewise, you will learn to spell doughnut without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up vocabulary).
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as like and you know is an unacceptable form of communication.
3. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter U and the elimination of -ize.
4. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save TheQueen.
5. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
6. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many guns, lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent.
7. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
8. All American cars are hereby banned. They are rubbish: this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will see what we mean.
9. All intersections will be replaced by roundabouts (what you call traffic circles), and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect.
10. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
11. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) - roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
12. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and what you insist on calling a chip is properly called a crisp. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with ketchup but with vinegar.
13. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
14. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.
15. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
16. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.
17. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
18. An inland revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
19. Coffee shall contain actual coffee beans, and will not taste like muddy water. Starbuck's shall cease operation with immediate effect.

Thank you for your co-operation,

Buckingham Palace

Nov 9, 2005

Of electrical storms and other stimulating things

In our GLO meeting today, we had a little "pleasure party preview." It was pretty interesting to sit in the public lobby of the campus center and pass around massaging gels, shaving creams for intimate areas, genitalia enhancement devices, sexual lubricants, and various high-tech vibrating dildos. Arruff? I hadn't a clue most of this stuff even existed before tonight. I could see a few members were visibly excited about such items; I was simply amused. A man brought his young son through the lobby about halfway through the presentation when at least a dozen different sex toys were in plain view. Screw censorship, eh?

I got a few catalogues featuring all kinds of delightful passion products, though, in case I ever want to order a clitoral pleasure ring or Lucky Stiff gel. I was also given two little packets of watermelon and strawberry flavored lube! Should come in handy when I encounter a squeaky door hinge or a hungry ant. Best of, my wrist was sprayed with a product that purportedly contains a nice assortment of pheromones. My animal attractiveness is now off the scale!!!...teehee.

Early morning euphoria... I felt it this morning. I was roused from sleep at around 5 am by a very powerful rumble of thunder. Naturally, I had to get up and venture outside to watch for lightning, remembering to get dressed beforehand. I did witness a couple of brilliant flashes, but the rain was falling so hard I decided to wait an hour until dawn started to crack and the rain subsided just a little bit before driving out to Honoli'i. Surfers were already jumping into the ocean; nothing depends on the weather in their lifestyle.

After some poking around, I discovered a rugged dirt trail that led down to the sandy beach at the mouth of the gulch. It wasn't that slippery despite having been soaked by inches of rain over the previous few hours. The sandy beach abruptly ended at a rather wide stream, which was incredibly swollen with dark brown flood water and sliding very swiftly into the sea. Falling in probably would have equated to a certain drowning. Still, the view up the river was marvelous, with the tall highway bridge passing over a beautiful house nestled against the cliff wall and right beside the stream. Everything was incredibly green, damp, and cool, and the sky was a euphoric multi-textured steel blue and grey. Simply hanging out on the beach for awhile as the light of day grew stronger was very spiritually satisfying. I soaked up the ambience like a sponge.

And now I shall venture to the store to snatch an energy drink before shoving off for Hawi. I've got a four day weekend ahead of me, but it won't be all relaxation. I have a day of research to do at City of Refuge (murr), but I hope to make it entertaining for myself as possible. At the very least I'll follow it up with dinner and a movie.

I have five major projects to complete by the middle of December, some due sooner than others. School is essentially going to be my life over the next month. *Shrug* Bring it on, I'm game.

I'm also going to have a lot of fun driving home with my newly mixed metal medley...

Nov 7, 2005

Yay, censorship!

One thing I still don't get is why the word "outstanding" isn't more commonly used. It is a perfectly acceptable and much more appropriate synonym for "awesome." Examples of how this word may be used:

Wow, that's outstanding.
She's an outstanding friend.
The strength of that large beast is outstanding.
I got an outstanding grade on my exam.

See, it works perfectly well in place of the 'a' word! There's no excuse not to use it! Now, if one ever begins to sound like a broken record in their use of "outstanding," it is admissable for them to throw in an "awesome" here and there, providing it refers to something to be feared, intimidated by, or be spellbound in awe from.

See, I would actually advocate the occasional use of the 'a' word if it weren't for all you chimejobs constantly abusing it and completely tarnishing any integrity it once had twenty years ago!!

Last night, I finally decided that I had had enough of wandering into places online heavily populated with awesome zombies (which sadly comprise 95% of the Internet it seems). I was struck by the idea of searching for some type of word censor I could install on my browser that would completely filter out all instances of the 'a' word on web pages and replace them with a much more tolerable word.

Amazingly, I found a Firefox extension which does just that! It allows me to insert the 'a' word (properly spelled, and many of its idiotically misspelled variants) into a censored words list, then put any word or phrase I wish to replace the 'a' word with everytime it shows up. I chose "great."

The outstanding thing about this is that much of the time, I won't even know when someone used the 'a' word or not in a forum posting, journal entry, etc. I'll just assume they said "great." After all, the way most people abuse the 'a' word, "great" is most commonly a perfectly sensible and fabulous substitute. Sensational!

(Oh, sorry, I don't mean to be selfish. Here's the extension, if any other Firefox users want to take advantage of this brain cell-saving feature. The zombies will NEVER steal my vocabulary and literary eloquence and turn me into one of them!)

Now, if only I could get some type of micro chip implanted into my brain that would somehow cause me to hear any of a number of decent synonyms in place of the 'a' word whenever someone around me says it. Then, I would have a much better chance of staying sane.

Though, psychotherapy might be the more practical and less expensive solution. In a way, though, I favour being this obsessive. It proves to me that I am still quite sentient and in tune with my own little messed up world.

Nov 4, 2005

"Cannot establish a file transfer session with Timberwolf because he/she is not a secure user."

**Grabs a guitar in slow motion** *twing twang* *twing twing twang twing*

That's right, everyone. I'm innnnnnseeeeeeccccuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee...

Nov 1, 2005

It takes the 'groaning' out of 'toning'!

This entry is more for my own benefit than anyone else's. I was considering posting it as a private entry somewhere, but I figure I would feel more obligated to adhere to a few resolutions of mine posted in an area viewable by the public.

I have decided recently that I would like to lose a few pounds. I realise that I am, in fact, thin, and am within the so-called ideal weight range for my age. At the same time, however, I notice that I am carrying around just a little excess fat, without which I could be even more limber and lighter on my feet. I don't believe it would be too difficult to get rid of, either. Besides that, I simply want to make my lifestyle more healthful for my own sake.

I feel I already get enough exercise, though more wouldn't hurt. It has become a little more difficult to be physically active lately with the stresses and obligations of school constantly hovering over my head, but there is one way to get around this: start riding my bike to and from school more often. The only excuse I have for driving most of the time is that it's habitual. Either that, or the sun is beating down... but that's a much better excuse, I feel. On any pleasant overcast day, I should be riding to school. Also, I should never deny my impulses to go out, except when something much more important needs to be accomplished beforehand.

What I ultimately must focus on, though, is eating better. Less greasy, fatter food, more better food. I do eat mostly healthy food, truth be told, but there is still room for improvement. I believe more salads and grains are in order.

More importantly, though, is -how- I eat. I have developed a terrible habit of eating only one large meal per day, with a little bit of snacking hither and thither. Not a good idea. I should eat several small meals throughout the day, and refrain from eating until I'm stuffed, as I can be satisfied without being "stuffed." Firstly, I should stop skipping breakfast in the mornings, even though I may not be hungry immediately after waking up. Breakfast kicks my metabolism into gear during my class hours, which is, of course, a good thing. Then, after class is over, I wouldn't feel so inclined to completely gorge myself. Secondly, I'm going to stop having big snacks before bedtime. If I'm truly hungry, I may have a granola bar, but no more chocolate, please. Third, I discovered an anemic weasel playing Pinochle in the springyard. In bed.

I could also invest in a miracle diet pill, one that is guaranteed to make me lose twenty pounds in a week. Or I could wear a Saunabelt and lose a whole inch in 50 minutes... that sounds enticing. I could even opt for liposuction- I know Dr. Watkins would take good care of me! Because you know, I just can't achieve my goal using natural methods, what with fast food restaurants making me fat by forcing their food down my throat and the horrible rainy weather keeping me indoors.

On an unrelated note, I was downloading at nearly 500 kilobytes per second earlier. That was awfully awe-inspiring. *Darth Vader mouth-breathe* I am programmed to DLT spam. Die viruses! **Pushes up glasses and snorts**

This month is going to be a wild ride for me. Wish me luck pze.

Oct 31, 2005

I'll steer YOUR censorship!

During my drive back to my apartment Saturday night, I located in one of my CD wallets an old mp3 disc I created entitled "mp3 megamix." It contains about 160-odd modern rock songs that have been my favourites throughout the years. Toggling through the tracks on it was entertaining, as I completely forgot what I had put on it, and I was able to hear great songs that I have not played for myself in awhile. That is one good reason why I rarely throw away any of my aging CD-R's, even if I may be tired of them now. Five or ten years from now, I may pull some of them out of storage and play them for myself again, inciting a serious nostalgia excursion.

My musical tastes have far outgrown many of the songs; I was taken aback to discover Godsmack and Disturbed on there. Yeah, it's that old. I consider many of the songs on the disc to be overplayed, unstimulating, or simply stupid. Many of them have become far too stale or "played out" to be listenable ... they just don't have enough 'staying power' to hold my interest for so many years.

Some did, however, prove that they have what it takes to keep me entertained to this day. One of the ultimate standouts was "Sehnsucht" by Rammstein (no, I'm not patronising anyone I know). For some reason, the song sounds mind-blowing on my stereo system when turned to the 23 or 24 volume notch, and is a perfect Halloween melody. I am now reminded why I was so obsessed with them in high school.

Now, on to the messy details of yesterday. No, really, it was very, very messy. I experienced a vintage Nickelodeon moment. Before I get to the best part, though, I suppose I should provide a little background leading up to it so whoever reads this isn't completely lost in the dark.

For the past while, my friend Susi has been working on setting up and hosting a game show for university-sponsored events, modeled after old Nickelodeon game shows like Gak Splat! and What Would You Do? Contestants on these game shows would frequently get slime dumped on their heads for any number of reasons, including answering a question incorrectly or simply stepping out of line. He has a soft spot in his heart for these types of shows as he grew with them, and I actually, in a way, share his sentiment, having been an avid follower of You Can't Do That On Television! so many, many years ago.

So, his quirky sense of humour and fondness for messy fun inspired him to take on this project, which I finally had the opportunity to help out with yesterday ... by being the guinea pig! In the morning, he proposed that I could be the one to have his homemade "slime tank" tested on for proper functionality, if I wanted to. Being a good sport, I agreed. After all, I will always have that juvenile tendency towards wanting to be messy.

After playing various entertaining Pac-Man games in their cozy apartment for awhile, we set out to find a relatively uncrowded location to set the whole business up. Kolekole Beach Park would have been fine, if it weren't for that gang of local toughs hanging out in the pavilion that were looking at us like *gasp* tourists. We moved just a little ways down the road to Hakalau, that enchanting little place beneath the big highway bridge in the lush gulch.

Since we couldn't drive the equipment down to the beach due to the locked gate, we opted to simply set it up in the parking lot. By now, the persistent drizzle had actually ceased, making it easier to turn the bolts that joined the beams of the contraption together. Speaking of which, here are a couple photos of the construction of the apparatus:


Just as we were prepared to pour the slime into the tub, a car full of people pulled up, followed by a few hikers. We received a few strange looks and quizzical gazes as one man started to question our intentions purely out of curiousity. He seemed genuinely amused as we explained our project to him, and then wished us look as they all moved on down the road.

Finally, the moment of truth had arrived. I stepped beneath the tank and was offered a choice of either the green pill or the green pill. Why oh why didn't I take the green pill? The countdown began, and in 54321, I was doused in warm, sticky goop. You just can't imagine how liberating it is until you try it... it really brings out the kid in you.

Timberwolf says "I don't know," and gets slimed. View if you dare.

After I scrambled down to the stream and washed the methylcellulose off of me, we finished disassembling the unit and placing the pieces back in our respective vehicles, then headed back to the apartment. Susi and Aku prepared a very savory dinner featuring spaghetti, Hawaiian salad, and some damn good French cheese with crackers. We ate ravenously while listening to Moonspell- perfect dinner/Halloween/everything music. Oh, and I shouldn't neglect to mention that the orange and cola spritzers Aku made were also wonderful. I think I'm loving the products and customs of Germany more by the day!

While I'm posting images...

Susi and Aku in their Halloween get-ups...

...Take 2.

...I still have Pac-Man music in my head. It's catchy as hell.
Oktober is almost... over... finally... thank Rayg. It has been the longest month of my life.

Anyway, to my Pagan pals, Merry Samhain.

Too bad school has sapped away pretty much all of my spirit and inspiration so that I don't even feel like celebrating anything. But you know what, I'll just go home, see through this shit, grab a nice cold beer, and I will feel a-okay.

While I'm at it, I would like to propose that America follow Singapore's stellar example and permanently ban all chewing gum products in the states or at least impose some type of law requiring that even the most inconsiderate of pricks learn how to chew their sugary enamal-annihilating cud without making a scene.

Oct 29, 2005

Krystal! I've got a couple of blog-related issues you may be able to assist me with. I figure you would be the most likely one to be able to help me with this.

First, the sidebar over there seems to sporadically drift down to the bottom of the page at times. Any idea what that happens? Even removing all the images in my blog and replacing them with hyperlinks didn't solve the problem this time.

Also, I would like to make my comments expand on the same page as your blog does, rather than open in a new window. Is there some special coding you threw in for that?

Premium bullshit upgrade for a small* fee

That is supposed to be a razor? Sweet mother of Talbain, upon initial sighting I nearly mistook it for a tennis shoe.

In this rapidly globalizing world, keeping your grip on things is important. Wearing basketball shoes that lack state-of-the-art neon green patent pending Remarkatread(TM) on each sole places you at risk of accidentally sliding on the court at the wrong time and breaking your femur, not to mention making you miss an easy lay-up and look like a scrub. It's a similar story with men's and women's razors! If you aren't using the latest ergonomically enhanced Extreme Champion Duragrip Pro Hyper Mach 22 men's razor from Gillette with interchangeable premium quality Ultrahold double helix handlebar grips, then you just aren't suave and hip enough to be driving a hot, fast muscle car with blacklights on the bottom that help attract beautiful women like moths to your closely shaven Hollywood face. Remember, if your razor slips in your hand at the wrong time, you could be in serious trouble. In addition, you could seriously injure yourself using an inferior product that doesn't include quadruple moisturizing action strips!

It isn't difficult to find evidence that few people ever truly grow up. As a child, I was always drawn to Frosted Flakes because of the lovely blue colour of the box and Tony the Tiger, not to mention the sweet tasting contents within. Now, I am drawn to (out of curiousity, mainly) men's razors that somewhat resemble miniature construction cranes and guarantee a vibrant fusion of comfort, ergonomy, grip (remember, grip is important!), assurance of masculinity, and sex. Children and adults alike are enticed and influenced by glitzy packaging and flashy marketing which makes a razor no longer just a razor and sweetened corn flakes no longer simply sweetened corn flakes. Reading the description on a mainstream brand of shampoo or conditioner supports this notion. When carefully selected glib terms like "fortify," "enrich," "strengthen," "nourish," and "nurture" are used, a chemical formula supposedly does much more than just cleanse your hair.

It doesn't particularly bother me. I just find it amusing how influenced people are by slick advertising, vibrant colours, and excess features on ordinary products. While heading toward the entire aisle full of toothbrushes in the supermarket, I have it set in my mind that I will walk through and choose the cheapest one I can find, knowing that it will hardly function any worse than the new $8 Crest Complete Total Extreme ConfiDENT Grip Plus. You just can't be too much of a sucker in a capitalist society that thrives on exaggeration and superfluity. Not so much of a sucker that you'll be swindled over a toothbrush.

I have noticed one term, however, that has been used in marketing in inexcusable excess: "premium." Just take a look at some of the products around your home or watch a few television commercials, and see if you can't find at least a few instances of that word. It's everywhere, and it doesn't mean shit. "Premium" is an utterly nugatory word. Seriously, it is an adjective completely devoid of all meaning, slapped onto as many product labels as possible for the purpose of burrowing into the consumer's conscious that said product is actually a step above those products that... well, don't say "premium" on them. "Premium quality." "Premium edition." And the worst: "premium upgrade."

I can excuse it as a descriptor for the highest quality petroleum available at a gas station, but I really don't care to see it on my cranberry juice. Similar to the 'a' word, the preposterous overuse of the term is what truly gauls me about it. They would both otherwise if people didn't abuse them to such ridiculous extremes, both in frequency and incorrectness of use. Whereas the 'a' word can be replaced by any number of splendid adjectives I have previously listed, the 'p' word can be dropped altogether in most cases. Of course, that isn't likely to happen any time soon, because people love to make their products sound more important and supreme than they really are by tossing out meaningless terms like bread crumbs onto the lawn of consumership that unfortunately have become almost universally understood and scooped up by the bird-brained masses.

So, in conclusion, you can take your premium fusion of fortified organic blends and nourish your rectum with them. That is, if you can find any room amongst all the extreme awesomeness that embellishes your enrichment.

I am off to go have an awesomely extreme experience at the premium local valley and reflect on rhetoric and Akuro's German desserts (minus Chiquita premium bananas).

But first, someone please tell why I have been listening to the SIRIUS Kid's Tunes music channel for the past hour. I really need to get a grip.