Thursday, August 6, 2009

I hate paranormal romance with a passion...

...any kind of romance novels for that matter. Sorry if it's your cuppa-t, but the vapid, overdone storylines are just impossibly tasteless to swallow.

Lets see if I can become a "#1 Bestselling Author!" like is listed on EVERY ROMANCE NOVEL EVER!!!1!!1!!11one >.<

*ahem* (in the following synopsis, pick one or more of the items listed in each color for each section to complete the sentence)

Sweet/innocent/cute/sexy girl who is a vampire hunter/orphan/cop/detective/werewolf is having a rough personal life because her boyfriend/buddy cop/partner/lover/boss/master has died/been killed by other monsters/been killed by her/committed suicide/found another lover/turned gay. Meanwhile, a body/corpse/victim/skeleton/arcane circle/nun is found in a local alley/bar/her apartment/strip club/vampire hangout and our heroine has to solve the mystery because she's accused/bored/fearful/vindictive/horny. While getting started she runs into a mysterious man/vampire/werewolf/scottish highlander/alien/demon/ghost who draws her to him with his irresistable/unrelenting/exotic/deep/throbbing passion/lust/looks/soul/manhood even though he's the killer/killer/killer/killer/killer. The story drags on for numerous improbable/outlandish/impractical/fantastic soft-core sex scenes, in which his hard/firm/rigid/rocky/hot/warm/immense/throbbing/pulsing/seeking/flexing manhood/manliness/shaft/erection/pole/hardness/masculinity performs impossible feats of ecstasy/desire/lust/transportation, then culminates in her realizing the obvious, that he's the killer/killer/killer/killer/killer, and she's forced to kill him/ignore the fact and make love to him again/kill herself/have an emotional discussion about how they can never be together because she's jewish/kill her ex/hide him from the police/turn him into a vampire/turn him into a wolf/turn him into a demon and then through some incomprehensible plot twist, she ends up alone at the end so that the series can continue.

Woo! now I'm "ZOMG #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR EVAR!" Just like Hamillton, Kenyon, Harris and all those other pen names for the romance novel industry's pool of hack writers. (Oh, you didn't know that? You thought that the overly made-up woman on the back cover who "takes time out of enjoying the Vegas nightlife to set down her martini and write" [a no-shit direct excerpt from a back cover] really did all the writing? Silly person)

Anyway, time to sleep. Moar rage later.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


So there I am, minding my own business, playing some Aion (more on that awesomeness in a minute), when my cell rings. I answer it and...wait, wait, wait. For this story to make any sense, we need a little flashback action *Does the Wayne's World wriggly finger motion* Doodle-loo! Doodle-loo! Doodle-loo!

[Two Weeks Ago]
So I'm browsing through Craigslist for jobs, and lo and behold, amongst the innumerable job scams and work-from-home pyramid schemes, I spy a well-written, readable ad. And it's for a company I recognize and love, Half-Price Books. Ad says: Want moneys? Come fill out application and get jobzored. (Ok, ok, so I paraphrased a teensy bit) So I roll up to the Round Rock HPB, completed application in hand and drop it off. The cutie behind the counter smiling coquettishly at me and promising to let the manager know I stopped by. A few days later I get a phone call; the assistant manager at HPB wants to know if I'm available the next day to come by for an interview, "But of course, good sir." I replied. 24-ish hours later, I'm sitting in a comfortable chair in HPB, reading a bit of tasty Halo fiction when I'm called to the office. Sitting down with the managers to have a lovely discussion about Books, Comics, Role-playing games and steampunk. Oh yeah, and we talked about hiring me too *grins*. "We'll call you Monday about the position" they gladly inform me. Well monday comes and goes without a call. A little let down, I shrug and continue my until-now, fruitless searching. Thursday rolls up, all angry and in-your-face; and after an extremely depressing let-down from NCSoft about the job there, I get a call. It's the assistant mangager from HPB, letting me know that he was really pushing for me to get hired, due to my literary experience and tastes (that's right kiddos, people want to hire me because I read cyber- and steampunk), but was overruled by the store manager in favor of another applicant. Thanking him for his honesty, I hang up, returning my now-bloody nose to the perpetual grindstone.

[Meanwhile, back at the Ranch (I mean the present)]
So there I am, minding my own business, playing some Aion (man, I just got the weirdest feeling of deja vu), when my cell rings. I answer it and its the store manager from Half-Price Books. "Is Isaac there?" she asks. "Right here, baby. Wha-chu want?" is my sultry reply. (ok so now I'm just taking gross artistic license with the actual facts) "Well, I was wondering if you might still be interested in the position at HPB, we liked your interview so much, we were very disappointed we didn't have enough positions. I petitioned the district manager, and she authorized us to hire an additional employee, and were wondering if you could come in Tuesday @ 11am to start training?"


So, the job hunt is over, the training begins. So does teh leet moneys and all that.

[Next topic]
Aion. Dizzam, what can't I say about this game. Yeah, so I didn't get the Game Master position for Aion, or the Paid Beta Tester position either. I'm not holding a grudge against the game over that though.
Awesomely Appropriate Acts of Alliteration Aside, this is really the most beautiful MMO I've seen. Starting right from character creation, NCSoft continues the exceptionally detailed character generator it debuted in City of Heroes/Villains, taking it to the next level with 22 Facial presets, 6 body presets and 4 voice presets. Once the basics are finalized, players have 38 hairstyles, 17 face shapes, 18 facial decorations and 13 tattoo/scar/piercing choices, not to mention the full RGB color selection for hair color, and faction-appropriate RGB tables for lip and skin colors. (By the way, that's just male characters. Females have their own complete set up) As long as I'm doing my math correctly, that's 1,567,268,352 character design combinations, assuming you only use the hair/lip/skin color presets and don't delve into the RGB tables at all. Holy crap you say? But wait there's more! Now that you've chiseled out the main look of your character, there's an "Advanced" settings tab. 0.0! Face and Body are separated into two categories, with 25 sliders to tweak facial shape and 12 sliders for the body (Females have 13 because they have a booby size slider too). Add all this to the 2 factions, male or female character choice, 4 basic character classes, each with 2 subclasses, and you have an overflowing cornucopia of character creation goodness!

I'm too tired to go into the actual game (besides, I want to get back to playing ^.^) so I'll type another blog tomorrow about the gameplay.

(For the curious, Females have 23 facial presets, 6 body presets, 4 voices, 44 hairstyles, 20 face shapes, 7 facial decorations, 18 tattoo/scars, 25 face sliders, 13 body sliders and the same color choices, for a final possible combination total of 1,149,603,840 choices).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well, I havn't posted in quite some time.

The combined stressors of moving (twice), joblessness and the general malaise of unease have fallen upon me and sapped my will to write, draw or otherwise emote, something I'm working really hard to push past. Hopefully this will help.

I've been working on handicrafts recently, pushing various forums of expression. My initial project is a recreation of the Hazardous Environment Suit (HEV) from Half-Life 2, that our daring hero, Gordon Freeman wears to battle the extra-dimensional aliens and the establishment. The armor is being created from #110 Cardstock, with the assistance of a rather novel piece of software called Pepakura, which translates 3d models such as .obj files into a useable format. Simplistically, with the aid of the user, Pepakura unfolds the model into flat shapes suitable for printing on paper. Thus unfolded, the now-flat shapes are ennumerated and lined, then printed. The inked sheets may now be cut apart and glued together to recreated the original 3d model in physical format.
That's all well and good, but cardstock isn't very suitable for costuming, so the next step is to line the interior of the piece with fibreglass and resin as well as resining the outside, which once dry, creates a quite solid, if still rough-looking creation. Thirdly, auto body filler (or Bondo) is spread along the outer faces of the model, to smooth and give definition to the piece. An alternate method is nicknamed "rondo" where the liquid resin and the paste bondo are combined, and the resulting compound is painted to the outside, giving a smoother finish that requires less sanding. The final step is painting and sealing, and I'll be using enamel-based spray paints for this step, from the wonderful people @ Rust-o-leum. Since Mssr. Freeman's armor is supposed to be metallic or at least ferro-ceramic in origin, I'll be sealing the armor with a Clear Gloss, possibly even automotive clearcoat if I can acquire access to a spray system.

My other project is a nice pair of goggles. They began as generic green plastic brazing goggles with an elastic strap. So far, I've repainted the eye cups with a nice metallic charcoal color, replaced the far-too-shiny connection chain with a nicely tarnished bit of brass ceiling fan pull chain and fashioned a pair of wire lens retainers from silver solder and brass wire, which will attach around the lenses. Still on the to-do list is: Paint the lens covers with a novel paint that replicates a hammered metal finish, procure a strap of black leather rawhide to function as a strap and possibly retint the lenses to give a reflective finish and recolor a neat little jeweler's loupe attachment, although that last I may leave as is for a bit of color contrast and to make it look a bit more hodgepodge.
Having not soldered for quite some time, I am actually rather impressed at how well the lens retainers turned out. Not horribly trashy, but not too professional-looking either. Just the sort of thing a busy and absent-minded inventor would have thrown together to help himself out. Now I need to pull together the rest of the outfit. For that matter, I need to finalize my mental image of my character. Chris, my roommate and writer of A Blog-worthy Life! has already finished his Steam Engineer Outfit, so I don't want to impinge on his purview.
The ideas I have floating around my cavernously empty skull are thus:
  • Steampunk Inventor, replete with threadbare vest over a shirt stained with mysterious chemicals, pinstriped pants dropping to scuffed leather shoes and some kind of lab/over-coat, then add plenty of weird gadgetry and clockwork mechanisms for flair.
  • Gaslamp Western Vigilante, think Deadlands. Dark, Wyatt Earp-ian Frock Coat, Decorative Vest, crisp shirt with gartered sleeves, tailored pants tucking into knee-high boots, Leather duster hat with goggles strapped around the crown, ray-pistol in a thigh holster, possibly at a bit of a Steampunk Knight flair to the outfit with an expanding shield and Tesla-sword.
So, there they are, ephemeral and vapid, but I'll pin one down soon enough. Suggestions or comments certainly appreciated.

Still searching for a job, the local economy is rather difficult, as everyone is searching for experienced help, degreed help or other requirements that equal not me. 10-20 resumes emailed daily is my usual number. So far, 80% get no response, 15% are some kind of pyramid scheme or scam, and the final 5% turn into an interview. Recently, that final 5% has been NCSoft, to Beta-Test for Aion and Half-Price Books, to be a Book Buyer. Both turned into nothing, but I was "assured that [I was] one of the highest-ranked candidates for the position." Empty words, since if I was really that qualified, why didn't I get the job? Oh well. So this is my major stressor, the sheer effort of beating the digital pavement searching for a company looking to hire someone with virtually no experience at more than minimum wage. (I have a black towel over my head as I type this, and apparently I look like a Shadow Thief, from the novelette "Peter and the Shadow-Theives," according to Cassidy anyway.) I really hate to do this, but I've started applying at restaurants as a server, waiter, bartender, bitch, you name it. Oddly enough, a lot of these places are requiring 1-3 years of waiting experience...It's strange, I know, waiting jobs are supposed to be entry-level. Yes that means you should be able to get it with zero experience. Anyway, it just makes it harder to get work, because while I waited and bartended for Mangia Pizza, it was only for 5 months.

Anyway, sorry to take up so much of your time, here's a picture of a member of the feline species, who possesses a poor grasp of grammar, the accepted currency of the interwebs.