October 2006 Archives
October 19, 2006 @ 11:08 EDT
October 19, 2006 @ 10:58 EDT
The soundtrack of my life
As I type this, I'm listening to Lacuna Coil's latest album, Karmacode. Their trademark dark, haunting vocals and off-key melodies are as evocative as ever.
Ah, Goth Rock. Raw, angstful, and powerful.
Yet, as always, it's the power ballads that pack the most punch for me; They have all of the bands's power on-tap, but rather than throw it in our face, it's barely restrained, each note hinting at the beast caged within.
While the raw power draws out the angst, focused restraint builds the necessary realization and understanding needed to channel that raw power into a way to lift yourself up and out.
This isn't the first time Lacuna Coil has done that for me. Their music has seen me through several turning points in my life. Sort of the right thing at the right time.
It's odd, the way you don't notice something slipping away until it's completely gone and suddenly comes back and smacks you in the face with its full force.
The soundtrack of my life's been..well, silent. There are, of course, many small reasons, all fairly insignificant, but their cumulative reprocussions have been fairly extensive. It's nice that I'm coming out of this extensive rut..
I _really_ need to re-skin my djembe. It has that raw power that my little doumbeks, while tons of fun, just can't touch. Only a month left until the next Paralounge drum gathering!
...Meanwhile, Lacuna Coil's drummer still rides the cymbals far more than is healty. But I guess that means I still have my hearing, eh?
October 13, 2006 @ 08:55 EDT
I don't know how to describe just how engrossing this game was; they did everything right. It's the feeling you get after reading a particularly good book; you turn the last page.. and there's no more. The world you'd been living in is suddenly gone, and you feel empty.
The characters were real people, well written and voiced. Epic scale and consequence, life-and-death emotional impact. Excellent music and atmosphere. In short, it has a living, breathing world. It's all there.
Everything, that is... but the ending.
This wasn't the "set things up for a sequel" ending, but more like a "where's the rest? The last quarter of the book is missing!" kind of ending.
They'd better not take another seven years to make the sequel (probably to be called "The Longest Journey: Undreaming"); there are just too many unrequited plot arcs left hanging.
Jarring ending aside, Dreamfall leaves you wondering what is actually real, dreams within dreams, and all that. Very few stories have done this to me.
What is our continued fascination with other peoples' dreams? How are they somehow more real than our own, our own lives? Those who can make their dreams happen are powerful (and dangerous!) indeed.
It could be argued that this "everything left hanging" ending was completely in line with the game's story; it is up to us to dream the ending ourselves, even as the "Undreaming" threatens the world.
Perhaps the blurb about "getting the word out so all of this wasn't in vain" was also about needing to dream up enough sales for them to realize the conclusion of this amazing story.
So, go and pick up a copy of both The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, and discover just how good adventure games can get.
October 12, 2006 @ 14:59 EDT
I'm officially domesticated
Last night I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer. I've been wanting one for several years, but could never really justify spending $300 on a glorified mixer.
...enter Crystal's Deadly Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. The first batch we made produced some interesting sounds out of my Wal-Mart special hand mixer. But it survived, and lived to beat another batter. Unfortunately.. a week later we made a triple batch.
Despite frequent cooling-down periods, the poor mixer started to sound worse and worse, with that nice "um.. that's bad.." smell of warm plastic and ozone that signifies a pending release of magic blue smoke. But the mixer survived, barely. It's probably okay for light mixing, but I'd prefer Crystal to not get a handful of burning plastic when she bakes her next creation...
Crystal's taken up the challenge to try and (legitimately) kill the new mixer. Meanwhile, I'm content to sit back and eat the spoils of war.
It's sad; the first thing everyone's said when informed of this purchase was.. What color?
It's Blue Willow, if you must know.
October 10, 2006 @ 20:21 EDT
[ from advogato, entry #62 ]
Doing my part to help the spamvogato problem go away.
Yo is one more cert from being deleted, but there's a large ring underneath that account that needs to be nuked first, so don't nuke Yo just yet...
October 09, 2006 @ 23:47 EDT
What is a dream?
It is said that we create our own reality, but using this loose defintion, what we call reality is just another dream.
I know I'm not dreaming when I am unable to control what happens around me. If I get what I want, it somehow seems fake, less real, untrustworthy. If I create what I want, is everything just a dream?
...Is reality what happens when you want to wake up, but can't?
At the end of the day, we return to dreams within our waking dream in vain attempts to tickle ourselves awake. Occasionally we succeed...
Then wake into the dream anew.
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allen Poe