Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Poem: "We Danced"

We danced the sun-dance
In the dark of this world's moon.
We danced the death-dance
And watched your cities flourish.
We danced the harvest-dance
You turned your gaze unto the stars. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I'm kind of scraping the archives a bit lately. Don't have the time, energy, or inclination to write a lot. Which is fine. It happens. Still. This poem feels vaguely Lovecraftian but I'm not sure how. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "In Memorium"

Memorial Day is winding to a close. Everyone goes back to work tomorrow. Anyway, let's listen to music.

Corpo-Mente - "Arsalein"

Gorillaz - "Glitter Freeze"

Hole - "Doll Parts"

Steve Earle - "The Devil's Right Hand"

Quest For Fire - "Strange Vacation"

The Infamous Stringdusters - "When Silence is the Only Sound"

Manowar - "Manowar"

And an extra song for Memorial Day: The Dropkick Murphys - "The Green Fields of France"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Memorandum"

Happy Memorial Day, those of you who dwell in los Estados Unidos de America. Or however you say that. Soy no hablo espanol muy bueno. Anyway. Cool stuff on the internet. Let's have at it!

Batman: Return To Arkham is...it's quite possibly the worst remaster I have ever seen.

All of Star Wars: A New Hope in one very long picture.

Kurt Vonnegut was very real.

This Ponder playset from Magic: The Gathering is siiiiick.

Now I want to bind a book. It looks cool.

So. List of things Chris Kyle lied about: Fighting Jesse Ventura, shooting looters during Hurricane Katrina, his kill count and commendations.


Don't forget the banana.

Yet another great Dark Souls fan comic.

History is meaningless on the internet.

1080p Star Wars Celebration poster. Aw yeah.

At this point, Windows 10 has tried to install itself on my computer at least seven times. Not cool.

Dark Souls III poster! AW YEA. Buy it here.

Some siiiiiick swordswoman tarot cards.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Genesis, Week Four, "Oh Captain, My Captain..."

It's been a pretty good week. Not great--there are still a lot of problems in my world--but things are going well. So that means I have more time to play old games. Here are some. Only a couple are good. Unfortunately.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Worm Fodder: Rama

Rama was a mean mean man. But everyone loved him anyway. Everyone being his gnomish wife, Tink. How an 8-foot-tall tiefling convinced a gnome to marry him, don't ask me. Whether they were actually married or it was just a good scam? Don't ask me.

NAME: Anung "Rendezvous" Un-Rama


LIFESPAN: Nasty, Brutish, Short

ABOUT: Anung was a simple man. He liked drinking gin and punching things and also drinking gin and chopping things up with a massive sword.

NOTABLE FEATS: Being the only survivors of a death-touch demon walking along a leyline that led directly through the bar; befriending a rather dapper vampire; not being murdered by a bunch of gin-loving drow who were after the (sacred hallucinatory) gin Rama, Tink, and Barnabras stole from the bar; punching a death-touch demon; attempting to leap over a lynch mob; failing to leap over a lynch mob and killing more than a dozen with momentum; breaking his neck in the fall.

CAUSE OF DEATH: Lynch mob and a stumble.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

OverAnalyzed: Mirrors and Media

Taxi Driver, Supernatural, William Wilson, Dark Souls II, The Picture of Dorian Gray: What do all of these have in common? Each one involves a tense scene involving a mirror or mirror stand-in. But why? Let us venture an exploration of various mirror scenes in media and the philosophical ramifications thereof. In particular, we will look to Hegel’s Master-Slave Dialectic, Lacan’s theory of the Mirror Stage, and Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind” to explain the meaning behind various famous and not-so-famous mirror scenes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Under"

I feel sub-optimal. This is alright. I've made it longer than usual without getting horribly ill. It's all I can ask for, I suppose. Learned a lot of cool things this week, out of necessity: DNS and DHCP and some random AD stuff. What do those terms mean? I barely know myself! But I know how to make a DNS A entry now, and I didn't this morning. I know how to check a DHCP server to find a specific device by MAC address, and I didn't this morning. I know more about AD than I ever wanted to know. All of that is good. Personal growth is good. It's also very stressful and tiring and now I pretty much just want to play old video games and go to sleep. Whee. One day at a time. One week at a time. And so on ad nauseum. 

Anyway. I hear that DOOM is quite good and I hear that Overwatch is quite good and I really want to play Dark Souls 3 more but I also have Salt and Sanctuary and books and all sorts of stuff. Ordered the first volume of Rat Queens and it looks amazing. Should probably read a bit more. Falling behind on that front. Finished Dan Carlin's "Blueprint for Armageddon" series the other night and that was siiiiiiiiick. WWI was terrible, y'all. 

Time to play games. Peace and love, love and peace. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Poem: "Sub Rosa"

Though the gates of Hell stand between us,
Though the stars wink out one by one,
Though Michael's lance pierce from the heavens,
My love for you shall be more constant than the false gods
We worship in the alcoves of our hearts,
The little household idols of our souls.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Empty promises. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Comics, Schomics"

Well. It has been a week. A very interesting week. To say the least. Got through a couple major events at work successfully, so that's a plus. Anyway, this week on the internet: COMICS OF VARIOUS QUALITY. And a couple other things.


Did you know Bill Gates was in a DOOM promo video once?

That Dark Souls III anti-cheating patch kind of backfired.

Also the Dark Souls comic isn't particularly accurate to the series...

Dr. Doom is terrifying.

Rob Liefeld is cancer.

Lordran and Beyond is an actually-good Dark Souls webcomic.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Genesis, Week Three, "Bubsy-Wubsy"

Credit where it's due. The Sega Genesis has a much better library of games than the Sega Master System. Granted, this isn't hard. But still, it is an accomplishment of sorts. I suppose. Let's have a look at some decent games for once.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Semi-Timely Revue: Dark Souls III

First off, I am a huge Dark Souls fanboy, so this is totally biased. (See the blog header). Seriously--Gothic, Lovecraftian, dark fantasy action RPG? Right up my collective alleys. So let's talk about the third game in that series. (Bloodborne is technically separate).

Right away, this game is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I'm using screenshots from it as my desktop background for the foreseeable future. Fromsoft have a dedication to little details that make their worlds feel lived-in, and that shines through. Even just the fact that your clothes and face get muddy and bloody--yes, I know, many games do that--feels...right.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Short Story: The Worms Crawl In

A man and a saddle emerged from the warm spring sunrise. Fifty miles or so back into the prairie lay what might qualify as a horse, if horses consisted of skin, bone, and bloodshot eyes. The Walking Fella treated horseflesh like his own body: As a tool. His bullets lasted longer than his horses. Some cowhands named their favorite horse. The Walking Fella struggled to remember his own name anymore. At night, he lay reciting “Ethan Walker, your name is Ethan Walker” until he could grasp his vanishing identity.

Three years awake in the darkness and dirt while maggots chewed his flesh. If the gang had finished their work, he wouldn’t be hunting them now. But they’d left him alone, alive, half-hung and gut-shot and worm-gnawed, with only fading memories to keep him company. So he would chase them down.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Mammon"

Money. If you're anything at all like me, you worry about the green stuff. The moolah. The dough. The other words that sound cooler when you say them in a vaguely Irish or Italian accent and have a scar and generally are cooler than me. 

I grew up not worrying about money too much. I mean, I understood that money came in limited quantities and that was why I couldn't have EVERY Lego set I wanted. But I never felt poor. Then I got a job. Went to college. Started paying for my own stuff. And... Yeah. When it comes right down to it, I haven't been comfortable buying things for myself (or having them bought for me) for years. Probably since I was 14 or 15. As time's gone on, that feeling has only gotten stronger. Now it's to a point where I feel vaguely guilty just buying myself a burger at McDonalds.

And I don't think that's healthy. Frugality? Sure. Not being wasteful? Sure. But feeling guilty over a small little indulgence well within the budget of an introverted single dude with no real responsibilities? Probably not. I'm trying to change that. To become a little more comfortable with the occasional treat. Because after all. It's only money... 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Poem: "Like a Coastal Shelf"

Knives as long as memory
And just as sinful sharp.
We kill our dreams
And waste our lives
Longing for them back.
The blood is dark upon our hands
And gnaws upon our soul.
Our fitful dreams
And fevered days
Remind us what we lack.
Until at last we find a hole
And hide there with a mate.
Strip a child of their dreams
And give them ours instead:
Reassembled hastily with glue upon the cracks.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Buried somewhere in here is an element of "This Be the Verse" by Philip Larkin. But I'm not quite as negative as him. Maybe. I don't know. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Wonder What My Liver'd Say..."

One of these weeks I'm just going to post an entire Flogging Molly album because I really like Flogging Molly. Actually, I spent all my driving time this week listening to the Dead Maggies album Well Hanged, which is an excellent folk-punk concept album about the history of Tasmania. So there's that. Anyway. Music!

Radiohead - "15 Step"

The Dead Kennedys - "Take This Job and Shove It"

Fleetwood Mac - "Rhiannon"

Burst - "Mercy Liberation"

Philm - "Train"

Flogging Molly - "Float"

Johnny Cash - "Solitary Man"

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "DOOM and Gloom"

Oh hai there. I didn't see you. *poses to better accentuate jawline* How are you? Oh. Right. You're here for cool stuff on the internet. My bad. Sorry. Ignore that.

Rumor has it that Apple will be ending music downloads "within two years." Um... Okay then.

Castle, featuring my very favorite actor Nathan Fillion, has been cancelled after co-lead Stana Katic's departure. Sadness.

Want to read a blog about the Hogwarts IT guy? I sure do!

A friend of mine is writing an excellent epistolary series about vampires. Here's part one.

So apparently Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are a 100% confirmed ship now. I predict more fanart of them in...five minutes ago.

This Firefly comic is... *cries*

Want to know how many hours are left in your work week? Here you go.

The new DOOM soundtrack is pretty good. Here's some behind-the-scenes stuff.

Yep. It's confirmed. Poise in Dark Souls III is entirely stupid.

Ever wanted to hear "Chariots of Fire" in a minor key? Too bad.

So mods of Fallout 4 are a thing. Here are some cool ones.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Genesis, Week Two, "It's Simple. We Kill the Batman"

Hello. Good day to you. I have junk food. Tonight I will eat cheesy garlic bread with a garlic butter dip and I will grow fat and die of a heart attack. I have accepted my fate. The neckbeard is already coming along nicely. Did you know that a lot of licensed games are terrible? Oh, you didn't? WELL THEY ARE. HERE IS PROOF. YOU WILL ACCEPT THIS PROOF OR I WILL BE VERY UPSET. UPSET, I TELL YOU.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Last Month's Books: "She Walks In Shadows, Among Flowers From the Moon and Other Lunacies"

It has been a long last few weeks. That said, things are starting to come back to a semblance of normalcy. Still, though, I'm falling behind on my reading again. These are the most recent books I've read, and they're from weeks ago. Anyway. Let's talk about them. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Poem: "Big Hat Logan"

Bent nearly double,
He steps forth under an illusory sun.
Long dark robes,
Are stained by foul liquids.
A wide-brimmed hat,
Puritan in style,
Hides deep-sunken eyes.
He may be powerful beyond measure,
But his mind is worn,
Ragged like his garments.
Crystal hoarfrost dots his cloak,
Spreading like poison.
In a hall filled with grimoires,
Big Hat Logan
Searches for his mind.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I don't have any cool literary analysis this week. Here's a poem about Dark Souls

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Pokemans"

New Pokemon starters? Lissen, bub, if you tell me you're gonna pick any starter except that stylish and adorable grass owl, we can't be friends anymore. Seriously. Grass. Owl. Stylish. Adorable. Looks like Blathers from Animal Crossing. Rock on, man!

On a related note, I'm currently updating my 3DS so I can download my Darkrai. Got my shiny Xerneas at exactly 12:05 AM last night. And IT IS AWESOME. Seriously. Pokemon. If they were real, I'd be the crazy Pokemon man with an apartment full of Pokemon.

And they would all be adorable Pokemon. Yes they would.

Anyway. I'm in a better mood tonight than I have been for a while. Things... They're not exactly looking up, but they're clarifying. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Poem: "Bucketlist"

If you had one day left,
What would you do?
I'd probably just sleep.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

I am always tired. It's a constant. A dragging pull that cannot be countered by caffeine. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Even Cthulhu Thinks Corporate America is Awful"

Those of you who know me know why some of the songs this week are the songs they are. Those who don't, enjoy.

Serj Tankian - "Reality TV"

Styx - "Renegade"

Breaking Benjamin - "Diary of Jane (Acoustic)"

Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"

Stone Temple Pilots - "Pretty Penny"

Owl City - "The Bird and the Worm"

Aerosmith - "Eat the Rich"

Three Days Grace - "Riot"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Bloodborne Plagues, Cancer, and Other Fun Things"

Oh hai there. I hope you told your mom you love her. What's that? You're an orphan? That's so sad... Oh, wait, I don't care! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Let's talk about cool stuff on the internet!

This article on Bloodborne and horror is excellent, though I would have liked to see something much longer and in-depth.

Keanu Reeve's suit in The Devil's Advocate charts his moral decline.

Game of Thrones might be ending sooner than expected...

Most game lore is terrible. (I disagree with the author's opinion on The Witcher but the rest is solid).

A Punisher show is go!

What did medieval items really cost?

So...Captain America's back pay...

While I don't think that Battlefield 1 is going to be quite the big-budget trench horror game I've always longed for, with terrifying artillery bombardments, choking gas attacks, and brutal night raids, it still looks pretty darn good.

Corporate America is a plague.

George Lucas had some interesting ideas for Return of the Jedi.

Zack Snyder is a cancer upon superhero movies.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Genesis, Week One, "Another World? Another Failure."

Why do I hate myself? Beats me. All I know is two things. One: It has been an awful week. Two: Because of said awful week, only three games from the Sega Genesis. Let's hope that the Genesis is a better than its predecessor, the Master System, which had a dearth of good games.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Worm Fodder: Kaathe Sturmhammer

Ah, Kaathe. Who would have thought that playing a character with 100% random stats and 100% random character traits would be so fun? Let alone a low DEX, low STR dwarf blacksmith with ridiculous INT scores. I loved Kaathe.

NAME: Kaathe Sturmhammer

SYSTEM: Dungeon Crawl Classics

LIFESPAN: Long enough.

ABOUT: Kaathe was entirely created through random generation of both stats and character background. This led to some fortuitous coincidences. Like the fact that he had sub-par STR and DEX and also an association with the plague. Hence, he had Dorf Polio. Oh, and he was a blacksmith, and his motivation was finding something lost. Like, say, lost smithing techniques. Fortuitous, I tell you.

NOTABLE FEATS: Managed to anger the parsnip spirits (yes, this was a thing) by his flippant disregard for parsnip etiquette (also a thing); faced down a dragon-sized tiger, and got an adorable stone-eating babby dragon out of the deal; robbed a jeweler looking for food for the baby dragon; was implicated in the killings of several political candidates both real and imagined.

CAUSE OF DEATH: Lived happily ever after. Shockingly.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Story: "Nameless, Timeless"

"A temple to the faceless god lies within those sands, and with this map I will find it!"

Edgar Hamilton carried himself in that cocksure way only men who know the whole world adores them can. Given his recent discovery of an ancient map, perhaps the world did. However, I hated him, and his awful rose-scented cologne, and his Souvarov moustache. What my brother saw in him, I do not know.

Edgar and Roger--my brother--possessed a shared obsession with ancient religion. Roger lectured on the historical occult at Miskatonic, while Edgar traveled far afield in search of ruined temples. Perhaps this is what Roger admired in that loathsome man. But many  men were archaeologists and also not Edgar Hamilton.

At some point in his friendship with Roger, Edgar mistook my polite dislike for coyness. Since then, I have been quite unable to halt his unctuous attentions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Diversify"

I am writing a story. This should come as no surprise. It is a story featuring Lovecraftian themes. This too should not be startling. The protagonist is female. That's where it gets unusual. I'll be the first one to admit I'm probably not the best person to write from a female perspective. Just as I'm probably not the best person to write from a black perspective, or a gay perspective. I'm a straight white male from a nuclear family in the Upper Midwest. The worst part of my life is depression, and it's not like that's anything new for writers. But I at least like to try. To make a good-faith effort to diversify the protagonists/narrators of my writing away from thinly-veiled versions of myself. Maybe I fail horribly every time. I certainly hope not. But I guess we'll find out tomorrow, huh? (Assuming I get the story finished by then). 

Still though, it brings me back to a semi-rhetorical question I wrote in my notebook once: Is it worse to write diverse characters poorly, or to not write them at all? I don't know the answer to that. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Poem: "In the End"

The skein of fate stretches thin beneath us;
Our universe unravels into specks of kaleidoscopic light.
Soon all will tumble into the formless void
Which laps at the feet of God.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Do I know what it means? Nah, but it sounds pretty. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Music Roundup Monday:

I already started planning my next Dark Souls III character. I am a sick, sick man. Help me. No wait, don't. I like it here. Anyway. Music. Music is a thing. 

Broken Social Scene - "Anthems for a Seventeen-Year Old Girl"

Kanye West and Jay-Z - "No Church in the Wild"

Motoi Sakuraba - "Gwyn, Lord of Cinder"

The Used - "The Bird and the Worm"

Iron Maiden - "To Tame a Land"

Vicetone and Nico Vega - "Beast"

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Dark Souls III and Other Less Important Things"

So I achieved 100% completion of Dark Souls III about twenty minutes ago. While I'm still riding the high, let's talk about cool stuff on the internet.

The average web page is now larger than Doom.

Heavy metal t-shirts for inoffensive pop stars are hilarious.

Dark Souls III is going to be the last game in the series. :(

Want to troll some low-level players? Of course you do!

Pokemon Go beta gameplay footage has surfaced. Looks...good?

As much as I love Dark Souls III, it has some flaws. Including hackers on PC. Beware.

An interesting uniform detail on a First Order trooper.

This poor guy was really struggling to figure out how to progress in Dark Souls III...

Imperial Star Destroyers? Awesome. Out of Lego? Awesomer. Gigantic? Awesomist!

Quickstep is OP.

Need some weird/random titles for in-game texts? Here you go.