THEY WERE AMAZING.
Just got back from one of those divine instances of social, aural and mental torture that makes hanging out with people an exercise in maintaining sanity.
Obviously, I’m talking about karaoke.
A friend of mine and fellow corporate whore runs the booth down at Hooligan’s on Thursdays, and I’ve found myself there a handful of times; my old friend Sarah was a regular, and another friend just turned 21 today and decided to try her hand at it. I, being unable to learn, agreed to accompany the party, since why not? I rarely go out … though when I do, it’s back to this pit of agony, time and time again because I never fucking learn.
See, here’s the thing: singing is that one special talent of mine. It is my secret love affair, and the one thing about myself that I am particularly proud of. Sure, I’m fat; sure, I’m poor, but fuck you I can keep up with some of the most diverse voices and styles in music, and I have since I was a little kid. I was the kid who attended and pulled top scores in state choral events, and who led the tenor and alto sections in choir because the teacher only wanted to work with the soprano (it was a tiny school, mind you), who was wooed by the director of one of the best show choirs in the state (unsuccessfully, since the fam was poor as hell, we were about fifteen miles from the nearest bus stop for that district, and we couldn’t have afforded the cross-country trips anyway). Yeah, that sounds like I’m bragging because holy shit yeah I am, but seriously — that has always been my one thing. No, I’m not saying I’m the next Aretha, but I could have held my ground against those Idol kids before I decided performing sucked and smoking was awesome.
The flip-side of all of this is that performance is not my thing. I have super-low self-esteem, and I panic hard under anything more than cursory scrutiny. Have since I was a kid, and mom and clergy insisted I perform solo at the Christmas pageants every freaking year. Throat-closing, heart-pounding, makes-deer-in-the-headlights-look-completely-zen panic. I keep my shitty job because I blank out at interviews and start stuttering like a moron, despite being a pretty decent talker. Even sudden large-scale attention from people I know and am comfortable with is enough to wipe my mind completely clean of everything. It was bad when I was in school, but ten years after that and I’m absolutely hopeless. Seriously — when I was still a manager, a visiting higher-up came by, and I spent a full minute gaping like a fish before I was able to give him my name, because I had forgotten it. Group performances weren’t bad because I could pretend that everyone was paying attention to the others, but solos left me a nervous wreck for days before and after; I was heavy on the vibrato from the shaking, but that was fine for most choral pieces anyway so it was never that big an issue.
These days, I sneak singing like most people sneak porn. My days off, the SO leaves, and as soon as I hear that engine start it’s a beeline for the winamp and whatever I feel like singing along with at the top of my lungs while I do housework/play spider solitaire/whatever. I’ve only been caught once, and I was so mortified I couldn’t do it again for almost a month. I’d been dating the guy for five years at this point, so it certainly isn’t a matter of not being comfortable around him.
Love to sing, hate to perform. Do you see my dilemma?
And yet, I’m egotistical enough in this one stupid thing I take so seriously to want to be acknowledged for it by friends and strangers both. I tell myself I don’t care what they think either way, but it’s obviously bullshit. Of course I fucking do. This is my only time in my boring, mundane life to shine, dammit.
So every time I get invited to karaoke, there’s a painful process involved. Every. Single. Time. There’s a few songs that I love in the books (really, only a few I know that well at all). I spend a few hours practicing until I have the cues and cadence down perfectly. I know intimately every stretch of vibrato, where to take my breaths and which chorus changes structure to keep things fresh. I am going to blow away my friends and everyone there, because I should have been a goddamn pro!* I imagine everyone has this feeling when they step up to the plate.
So we hit the venue, and of course it’s too bright/too crowded/too everything that makes me uncomfortable far beyond the help of a few well-timed girl drinks. Everyone else is laid back, like they have no troubles in the world. I am shaking a little, because nerves are a bitch. People are wailing on the mic like they’re fucking Celine Dion, but what comes out is closer to Wing, and they don’t even care a little bit despite sucking harder than anything has ever sucked in the history of sucking. I am ready to pee a little because my guts have knotted themselves around my stomach. Friends grab the book, pick out goofy songs, don’t care at all. I start thinking holy shit, I am taking this and myself way too seriously. Try to loosen up a bit, decide that this isn’t my night and I’ll try it next time. Secretly, though, I want to get up there and sing my heart out and be amazing like I know I am! Consider maybe later, when it clears out a bit. Less audience, sure, but less pressure. Right?
Passively-aggressively attempt to find friend who knows one of my songs, so I can attempt the chicken-y way. Of course, the only stuff in there I really want to sing is 90′s girl rock and the Fugees, and who goes to a bar to hear that maudlin crap? Will I still be acknowledged and loved if no one likes the song? Why don’t these guys have the music I listen to? Give me some Florence and the Machine at least, come on.
So fine, let’s have some Fiona Apple; plenty of range, a moderate amount of technical stuff, but not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. No longer remembered so low chance of being obnoxious. Also, I can do this in my sleep. I could do it backwards. Friend says she knows this one! Perfect!
Listen to some other people; some good, some bad, holy crap I hear that stupid fucking American Pie song every goddamn time we come in here and I kinda wish I still smoked because a few drags before singing was awesome for opening up my chest (but no — trying for babies, so not even one teeny tiny drag, and no booze either, dammit). And then, finally, our turn. Friend is excited! MC friend hands me the mic …
Oh, cocks. What have I gotten myself into? Heft that fucker in the air, remember that I buckle under attention like a sofa under yo mamma, and that I’m still a fat girl who is horrifically insecure in every way, and that I’ve never believed anyone who has ever congratulated me on doing anything well anyway and what the hell do I think I’m trying to prove anyway? I can outdo a handful of old drunk guys imitating Neil Diamond? That when my friends look at me, they can think ‘yeah, she’s not the hottest thing on the block, but she sure can belt one out’? Really?
Throat closes. Lungs seize. Dizziness ensues. Put down the water glass, because the shaking is bad enough to slosh it all over the place like some sort of super-parkinson’s nightmare. What if I really actually suck, and everything I thought I knew about myself and my one cherished talent was a cruel joke? What if I am a complete failure at life?
What’s that? Friend doesn’t know song as well as she thought she did and just kind of leaves off for most of it? Oh god, oh god, oh god, what the fuck do we do now? Vibrato that sounds like a goat’s mating call; cracking voice, moments of holy shit no matter what I try I cannot make a sound come out of my stupidly open mouth.
Love is over. Love is over and dead and burned and buried and this one thing I secretly adore has destroyed what little shreds of confidence I have because I am a gigantic wuss and I have no idea how to get rid of this crippling anxiety but I’d really love to, because dammit, this is unfair. I feel like I have to regain my honor, which is stupid but true. And thus, the next perfect opportunity will present itself when spotlight-loving friend decides it’s time to go to karaoke again. And I will agree.
And thus, the entire disgusting process will begin again.
So yeah. What started out as kind of a funny ‘oh, silly me’ sort of tale got kind of long and personal-ish, and I’m sorry about that, but I can’t help but wonder if other people feel that way?
Speaking (belatedly) of silliness and false encouragement, I am entirely amused by the plethora of vague, encouraging spam comments being dumped on this blog. Seriously, some of these are absolutely amazing.
*Yeah, I am being pretty much sarcastic. Mostly. Though I totally wanted to be Reba McIntyre (sp?) when I was a young’n. And when country music wasn’t complete ass.
Funny, now that I have a brand new 360 (sorry, Sony) and a huge HD TV, all I can think about are old-school games and what it felt to play back then. So, out of a misplaced sense of … well, something, I decided that I wanted to replay some of my old PS1 games. RPGs, mainly. Old Squaresoft RPGs, to be precise.
I think the main thing was that I hadn’t played Xenogears in over a decade, which is a sad and sobering thought, as I still consider it the greatest RPG I’ve ever played. Seriously, despite the god-awful voice-acting, the game is wonderful in every way — the battle system, the characters, the music the storyline –
Okay, maybe the graphics aren’t the best, but this was what, 1997, 1998? A huge amount of Square’s energy was being poured into Final Fantasy VII, which everyone has heard of. And while it was a great game, Xenogears was absolutely buried beneath all the Final Fantasy press, and lived a quiet life to become a cult classic. I was ridiculously lucky to come across a pristine copy of both game and strategy guide my sophomore year of high school, right around the time VIII was the New Thing. I was absolutely addicted, and ended up in love harder than I’d ever been before.
Unfortunately, despite ripping from clean discs, my emulator just didn’t want to play.
So I thought about old games I’d played and loved, and reconsidered VII — the entire reason why I’m a gamer. I’d gone to a friend’s house my freshman year, and saw her playing, and got hooked on the characters very quickly. Obligingly, she restarted, and with no need to sleep for two days and a nearly inexhaustible supply of Dr. Pepper, we played the whole thing in one go. It took a bit longer to convince my family that I needed a Playstation — we were pretty poor, and I hadn’t been allowed to touch video games as a kid, and my dead-beat step-brother who’d pretty much dropped out of school so he could play more wasn’t exactly a shining example. Still, I persisted, and that Christmas I had my first piece of awesome technology, with VII and Origins included. I was so excited, I played through three discs before I got a memory card; not bad for a brand-new gamer without internet or a strategy guide.
I wondered, twelve years later, if the game still held up. Oh, the graphics are dated, but what about the rest of it? Was it really good, or was it a case of teenage taste (much like Gundam Wing, which I’d tried to watch only a year after I’d fallen out of hard-core love of the fandom, only to find that it was so god-awful that I couldn’t get past the first five episodes)? Well? Why not find out?
Fortunately, the emulator wanted to comply.
Luckily, the verdict points to either it being almost as good game as I remember, my tastes having not developed much further, or that I actually had a little good taste back then. Seriously! Despite the hugely dated graphics, FFVII remains an entirely replayable game. The materia system kept the customizing interesting up until the very end, the world was interesting (though I still hate the first trek to North Corel just as much as I did the first time), and I have had an entirely too fun week, waiting eagerly to get off work so I could go play a game almost old enough to be my kid.
The music was particularly memorable, something I’d forgotten — of course there’s Aeris’ theme, which no player of the game could ever forget, but I’d forgotten how gorgeous some of the other tracks were, Cosmo Canyon’s music especially, as well as the eerie, throbbing music in the City of the Ancients. Not only that, FFVII seems like such an open-minded game in comparison to what came after, from Barret and Cid’s potty-mouths to the cross-dressing bodybuilders, Cloud’s cross-dressing and getting picked to be Don Corneo’s bedwarmer, as well as those horrifying, hilarious scenes in the Honeybee. (Have you ever been to a brothel — or even something brothel-like — in later FFs?)
Despite the great things, there were also things I’d glossed over or not noticed back then. In particular, the shallowness of some of the characters — Aeris, in particular. I’ve heard countless tales of teenage boys weeping like girls over Aeris’ death, and my absolute first introduction to the game was at a guy friend’s house with a bunch of gamer-nerds, who sat me down and played that scene. I remember watching Sephiroth gut her, and then looking around in mute amusement as guys and girls alike broke down like someone had just run over their childhood pet, and then the incredulous looks I got when they saw I was the sole dry-eye in the room. “How could you not care about that?” they asked.
“Because I didn’t know her,” I’d said, and I meant it — and I felt it when that time came again, this time around. I mean, there’s the facts — nice girl, lives in the slum, sells flowers, last cetra, murdered while praying to save the planet, and … and what? What else was there, really, about Aeris, other than crazy Cloud loved her a little? To me, the part that struck me hardest in that scene was the music. Don’t get me wrong, I really did like the girl, but her death wasn’t the end of my world. Weirdly enough, I’ve never made it through the bit where Nanaki ‘meets’ Seto at the end of that bastard Gi cave without tearing up hard. I don’t even know, man, I don’t even know. (Again, the music plays a huge part of that — holy shit, Uematsu can deliver a hell of a blow, even in midi-format.)
Also, Vincent is kind of a melodramatic bitch, but I still love him because he is Vincent Fucking Valentine and holy shit is he pretty in the later stuff. Hell, I even re-read Snow Fields in a fit of super-nostalgia (I used to bring home chapters of it on one of those hard floppy discs, because we only had internet at school). Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as good as I thought back then, but I blame that mostly on the ESL-ness of it. I’d love to find an edited copy somewhere, minus that last chapter, because really?
So here I am at the end of the game, getting ready to face down Sephiroth the ultra-douche. I think he gets too much credit for a crazy guy with a lot of power, but he’s pretty and he just happened to head the villian train of a very good game. I genuinely liked him in Crisis Core (or as far as I got, which was well into Nibelheim), though, which kind of led the replay of VII into a giant sense of ‘bummer, man’ over his inglorious downfall.
Totally stoked to replay 8, now. It didn’t hold a candle to my favorites, no, but it was still a good game, and it was innovative in its own ways as well. Square was actually trying back then, and the results were generally interesting, to say the very least.
In the wake of the disappointments of XIII and XIV (and XII to some people, though I loved it as much as I loved X), it kinda makes me wish the Squeenix suits would take a month off, go find a comfortable chair, and replay their old classics, if only to remember ‘look, we did this – why not do it again?’. Enough of the cash-cowing and dragging old franchises into the ground, guys — you’re capable of so much more than what you’ve shown for the last couple years.
Current Mood: Bored
So. Awfully quiet around here, but there hasn’t been much to talk about. Well, there has, but I’ve been busy — we’re packing up the house in preparation for a move in the middle of August, and so computer time has been scarce.
World Cup 2010 — I am so ridiculously proud of those little German dudes I can hardly articulate it … despite being traitorously in love with Fernando Muslera, Uruguay’s goalie. (And Iker Casillas, but that’s an entirely different story.) So it was kind of disappointing to watch the kids get thrashed by Spain, but overall I suppose the outcome was acceptable because Spain was pretty good despite low scores, and that meant my team lost to the winners, which is better than, idk, Brazil. Double bummer that Klose’s back injury kept him from playing the third place game, which would have almost certainly have tied him with that strumpet Ronaldo. Still! 2014 — Müller and Özil are going to tear it up, and I’d really imagine Lahm will keep the captaincy when Ballack retires, if he ends up having to give it up in the first place, haha. Schweinsteiger still has at least one more in him … yeah, it’s going to be awesome. Hell, even Euro 2012 is going to be an adventure of epic proportions, especially the kids can get over their terror of Spain.
In website news, I’ve closed Spindizzy. I’ve been debating it over the last year — I don’t really have the interest to maintain fanlistings anymore, nor am I particularly interested in trying to revive it. Sorry to anyone who wanted to adopt, but I didn’t really want to wait around, especially with trouble checks coming up. As soon as I remember, I’ll be dropping my status as a TC’er as well, since … yeah, not a lot of interest. I’d feel bad about it if I hadn’t put in so much effort over the last seven years. Anyway, there’s that.
Working on some writing as well, though that’s going slow with the packing up to move bit and all. I’ve got two pieces that need to be done by the end of the month, and then I’m thinking I’m going to pause a bit and do another design for karaoke-soul.net. I’d still like to get that layout database up someday, but time’s kind of been short for most of this year and rustling up the proper energy at the proper time is getting harder. I’m getting old! Birthday at the end of the month and everything!
(sort of a mash between my post at the shearwater board and my lj, sorry)
As any of my friends and coworkers know, I’ve been super-excited about the prospect of getting to see my favorite band live, since the tour dates came out. Seriously, first day ticket purchases and random moments of ‘eeeee’ for the last two months or so, on top of desperate shift changes and craftily manipulating the parts of the schedule I control so I could bring along my good friend and recent Shearwater convert, Sarah. I would have dragged along more, but my tiny CRX is only a two-seater, and there’s only so long you can keep someone in the hatch and eighty-some miles is just too long. (Next time, guys, I’m chartering a bus.) Fortunately, my sister-in-law (who is mostly unfamiliar despite my efforts) already lives in Phoenix, and she has a slightly bigger pick-up, so we made a cozy party of three.
Sarah and I were a little late getting out of the house and down to Phoenix — I kept forgetting things, or wanting to make sure I had something, and even once we were on the road I had to turn back because in the rush I’d forgotten my purse full of, um, everything. So. Yeah, on the road, rolled into the grandparents’ house about 5 — which was okay, timewise, since the show didn’t start until 8. Matt and Linh took us to Pei Wei, which is kind of um … asian fast food for grownups, masquerading as a restaurant? I don’t know, but I ordered the thai coconut curry (because that’s a known favorite) and a bowl of thai wonton soup. The girl asked me how many cups I wanted, and I was like … er, 1? Thought it was a weird question and didn’t think anything more of it, even with the girl’s weird look.
I UNDERSTAND NOW. The bowl had like … six cups worth of soup in it. I had no idea, derp. Fortunately, three other people with me made it a bit easier to cope with. The curry was … okay, but I’ve had way better at this tiny thai place on Sheldon by Albertson’s.
We were up by Arrowhead, and we had to get to East Indian School, and I was starting to freak a bit since Google Maps was telling me it would take an hour to get there from Becker, which we were on the other side of. Fortunately it’s only that I was retarded and didn’t put the 1019 bit in so it was trying to send me to the start of the road or something.
None of us were terribly familiar with Phoenix (I live up north in the Prescott area, and have been there all of maybe four times because my tiny town self can’t really handle cities that well), but The Rhythm Room was fairly easy to find — it was about seven thirty, and there were a dozen or so cars; I had a mild panic attack that we had missed the start because the door was open and I could see them running through Hidden Lakes and I just have awful luck like that. But no! In fact, the show didn’t get started until much later. We had great seats, and the place filled up quite nicely — a small venue, sure, but the crowd was wonderful.
The Hospital Ships were great, though the sound was a little off; most of the time you could hardly hear the singers over the music. I really want a copy of Crazy Girls; it was definitely my favorite song on the set and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t on the CD I picked up. Definitely a band I’ll be keeping an eye on, though. Both my charges were a little stunned that Thor was drumming and playing the clarinet at the same time, but … well, they kind of went blindsided into the evening, so I couldn’t pick on them too much.
Then came Wye Oak, and all three of us realized who we want to be when we grow up. I had chills all through the set, though again it seemed like the music overpowered the vocals (which broke my heart a bit, both because Jenn has a fucking amazing voice, and because I was afraid this was going to be an ongoing problem into the Shearwater set.) — the energy was intense, both Jenn wailing on her guitar and Andy being pretty much awesome and playing both drums and keyboard and this strange bagpipe-sounding thing I admit I first thought was a beer dispenser. But yes. YES. I would definitely go see these guys again, whether they were headlining or opening for someone else. When SW tours again, I honestly hope they can keep them.
Luckily, Shearwater had no such problems between vocals and music. I had brought a tiny flip video cam to catch the performance, and we had a really amazing view until people started to file in on the floor and then there were just backs and Jonathan’s head over a few shorter shoulders. NO GOOD. So Sarah and I moved down to sit by this dude in a business suit who was rocking the hell out (loved the argyle socks, not gonna lie) which, given the music and the atmosphere, made it feel like the most epic storytime ever. Unfortunately, there were two problems: one, it’s a flip, which means the quality’s pretty terrible, and two, the cam filled up at the beginning of Uniforms, so I switched to my kodak digicam, which came out with less than impressive sound and a really grainy image. Still, it was amazing. I’ve seen youtube videos of SW live, so I knew to expect something fantastic, but it’s a comparison of flickr pics of the Grand Canyon versus standing on the ledge. Best live show I’ve ever seen (big apologies to The Red Elvises) — I learned how to love both Corridors and Century Eyes, and was awed enough that I managed to keep from more than just choking up at Seventy-Four (good thing they don’t play the older stuff anymore, I think, because Sung Into the Street would have made me cry like a little girl).
And White Waves! White Waves. Absolutely my favorite SW song, and everything about it was just unreal and perfect. I was a little surprised to hear The Snow Leopard for the encore — I didn’t realize it was as popular as it was, but it was beautiful, and that’s what the crowd was calling for (alas, I was the only voice for Licorne, which I’d give my left leg to see live).
Phoenix set list
Landscape at Speed
An Insular Life
God Made Me
Runners of the Sun
I Was a Cloud
Encore - The Snow Leopard
After the show, I was really surprised by how quickly people disappeared — yeah, it was pretty late, but come on, guys! My impressed and outgoing friend dragged me over to Jonathan, for congratulations and moments of personal panic — I suffer from overwhelming, crippling shyness when it comes to strangers, much less strangers that I admire. Despite that, he was totally cool; after a few moments of discussion about SW someday playing my hometown, and my own bemoaning the fact that I wouldn’t see tomorrow’s show, we asked him to autograph our mini-dossiers (I’d considered the full-size one I’d left at home, but was afraid to get it beat up in the trip), which he was kind enough to do, and then pulled mine open to point out the fact that the man in one of the photos was sitting on not a tree but a croc/gator — I don’t remember for the life of me which it was.
And then the long drive home of blissful exhaustion, because there was work to go to the next morning and I hadn’t had the foresight to get both days off; my job’s a bit difficult about that — hell, I haven’t had two days off together since before November. But my boss is an amazing human being, and after listening to my excited retelling of the previous evening’s adventure she pulled some strings with the other managers and had someone take my closing shift, then shoo’ed me out the door. Just enough time to drop by the house to grab directions to Club Congress and one of my favorite shirts for the Clothe Thor Fund (which was an entirely unsubtle reminder about the hometown, sorry guys D:), leave a scribbled note to the SO not to wait up, to Fry’s for Part II of the ILU GUYS PLZ TAKE CARE project, and a few frantic calls to see who I could take with me (alas, everyone else was either working or otherwise irrevocably engaged).
A grueling four hour drive later (protip: never drive long distances in negative heel shoes, or you will possibly cripple yourself for days — I know this now), and a frustrating amount of time trying to find somewhere to park in downtown Tucson (worse because I’ve never attempted city driving on my own before thanks to a terror similar to meeting new people, but thank god for TomTom) on a Friday night, but I somehow made it just in time. Another half hour of nervousness before I gathered the courage to approach Thor with my contribution, but he was also super-friendly and just — god, if I didn’t love these guys for their talent alone, their generosity of spirit is icing on the cake; I didn’t want to intrude on their time, but what little I took in seriously made my month. Hugging Thor! Much like hugging a very nice bear. Jenn (from WO) and Jordan (from HS and SW) were also really great to talk to, even if I was firmly stuck in horrifically shy mode and they probably thought I didn’t care about them at all. D:
(By comparison, I gave an employee of my own the time off to go see the Eagles in concert in Phx just a few days before I saw SW; she took a friend in the final stages of terminal cancer, IV drips and wheelchair and all, to the show as well. This woman has been a fan for their entire career, her own brick in Winslow and a house full of memorabilia and everything, and had brought a poster she’d painted of them, that she wanted to have displayed at her funeral with their autographs. They were coldly informed that ‘they don’t even sign things for their buddies’ and told to go away.)
Club Congress is a beautiful place, but I was disappointed by the turn out — maybe half of the Phoenix crowd, from what I could tell. Still, all three bands played another great show. During the Wye Oak set, Jenn rocked hard enough to set her amp on fire, and then there was the snapped string mid-song. The crowd really seemed to love them, which is great because they really do deserve it. Luckily, I had enough cash on me to grab the album that I didn’t get the night before.
The Shearwater set list was … mostly the same, I think, though the encore was Home Life (which was also high on my list of ‘please play this live, guys’ so yay). Another absolutely gorgeous show, though maybe not quite matching the energy of the Phoenix show. (Maybe the hiking had something to do with it.) I brought the camera again in the hopes that I might catch all of Uniforms this time, but the transition between Seventy-Four and it was so fast I didn’t have a chance, and I didn’t record the rest of the show because I knew the quality would be awful, anyway. Unfortunately, I had to jet because it was already after 2 and I had a four hour drive ahead of me and work the next day. Long, utterly exhausting, but so worth it despite hamstringing myself with my gas pedal — I regret nothing, and I can’t wait until they come back. I really hope they go for Flagstaff next time, instead of Tucson — it was a lovely set and a larger potential crowd, but I think the Flag scene is a bit more receptive, musically … and it’s closer, which is totally not me being selfish at all, haha. Might also pull in the Vegas/Reno fans who don’t want to go all the way to Salt Lake City, too, which would be pretty amazing.
Next time I want to organize a charter bus and fill it with people. Next time I’ll totally be more prepared; someone on the Shearwater board followed them almost completely through their west coast tour, and that sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. Hopefully the next tour will involve Missoula, which would make my life.
Current Mood: Alarmed
So, apparently Microsoft China has decided to blatantly rip off Plurk in their newest MSN offering. Generally, I’m pretty cool with M$ despite the hate on all fronts, but … this really isn’t a case of HATERS GON’ HATE.
Hell, I’d have probably never even noticed (considering Plurk is by far a much more prevalent microblogging service in Asia, where we get Twitter) except that I’ve been using Plurk for almost a year, and my timeline exploded with the news.
On a more festive note, game is horrifically addictive.
Current Mood: Happy
Finally got around to doing some updating — I had about a million and a half rp icons sitting around rotting on the hard drive, and decided it was about time to update shounen-terrorist.net. So that’s taken care of!
I’ve recently switched computers; gone is the trusty Vaio, replaced by an eMachine (DON’T JUDGE ME) that I promptly upgraded the crap out of. Hueg power supply, gratuitous amounts of memory, an extra hard drive, a much-upgraded graphics card … dude, I’ve wanted to work on desktops forever, and it’s every bit as much fun (and frustration) as I’d imagined.
Oh god, I am a massive nerd. D:
Likewise with the upgrades, my copy of Windows 7 came in. It’s a little different, but I’m really loving it … except for the part where I have to restart my network card every time I restart my computer before I can connect to the internet, sob. There’s always something, right? Right.
In other words: I cannot wait for Christmas to be over. Retail during the holidays is hell on earth, no lie.
Current Mood: Esctatic
So I finally got around with tweaking a lot of the stuff Dreamhost gives us that we never look at — good times, and hey, gmail-based email. I thought that was awesome since I’ve never been a big fan of squirrel mail, so I switched.
Having a separate branch for docs/calendar/sites/email is kind of awesome. Even though I’ll probably never use them more than once or twice (well, beyond email), it pleases me, so hey. Honestly, I’m kind of having a lot of fun getting back into the swing of things; I need to start thinking about redoing some other layouts across the collective, most notably karaoke-soul.net — and maybe Spindizzy (though I blame most of that on just finishing troublechecking my part for TFL.org tonight.)
Also added iBegin’s Lifestream plugin, which is that obnoxious thing in the sidebar there that integrates plurk/twitter/flickr/pretty much any social network site you can think of into yet another place no one cares about. Except me, because it’s a good way to Feel Important About Oneself. (Or, alas, a half-assed way to prove that yes, I do exist online more than once or twice a year. orz)
And that’s that, honestly.
Except for the fact that for some reason, I’ve been really craving some old-fashioned Dir en grey. Which has been assaulting my playlist for the last few hours. It’s kinda glorious, really — I feel about eight years younger
AND INEXPLICABLY ANGRYYY, hee.
Current Mood: Cool
Finally, finally, after two years of dicking around, I’ve finally set aside everything else and finished the long-overdue theme update for electricangels.net. And here it is!
Lots of firsts for me, but I won’t get into them here. I’m mostly pleased with it, and that’s what matters.
Recently returned from a trip back home to Montana as well (pictures available at flickr). It was good to see the family again, and doubly pleasing to finally have actual conversations with my step-father, something neither of us seem to have been any good at previously. A benefit of growing up, right?
I’m twenty-six in four days. Birthdays haven’t really felt like birthdays in a long time — or, at least, not as we remembered them to be when we were children. Still, there’s a tiny voice in my head complaining that I’m getting older, and what is there to show for it?
I can’t say I’m unhappy. Maybe, maybe, that’s what really matters.
Current Mood: Confused
Okay, so. Obviously, I’ve neglected to update wordpress in a while; thus, it seems the new install did some sort of strange things to the layout. Rather than trying to go through all that and fix, I’m just going to use it as motivation to make another layout.
…why did it eat my tags, I wonder? Hmm.