Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Pains of Getting Older

The older I get, the more I hate myself. Has aging always been this closely tied to self-loathing? Year after year, the regrets in life continue to pile up and eventually they'll all crush me like an insect. What is a man to do with these regrets? Does he cast them aside and forgets about them? Does he write them off as something that was not meant to be or something that was not possible or prudent at the time? Or does he carry them around, an eternal reminder of where he could have ended up if he had just had a little more __________? Really anything could fit in there, as many circumstances are different and what you need a little more of varies with time to time.
In different times, I have needed more motivation. Actually, in a lot of times, I have needed more motivation. There is no manual to living your life. You aren't assigned homework but I kind of wished it was. If everything good in life came from doing your homework, I'd be living in the Caribbean in a million dollar beach house, one of those lucky few who got to retire at the age of 30. But it doesn't work like that. The most important and rewarding things in life, you have to make happen for yourself. And for me, that has been really hard to learn. I think I'm still learning it now.
In other times, I have needed more courage. I've often heard it said, "A loser is someone who is too afraid to try because they might fail." I am guilty of this. So, many regrets of mine stem from this simple truth, of times where all I had to do was talk to someone, whether it was to ask someone to do something for me or to let someone know that I was angry with them or sad because of them. But I always chickened out because I was too afraid. I've always avoided confrontation. I'm not sure why. But I am sure, that avoiding it has gotten me nowhere, and because I avoided it, I was only more miserable. Courage is something that can be really elusive because when we think of the word, we immediately think of courage in battle. The hardest courage that a person can learn to have, however, is the one that ultimately will serve you best in life. None of us will ever see battle (God-willing), but we will all have to confront people for their wrongdoing or even if we simply need to ask someone for something from time to time.
There are tons more that I need a little more of but I won't bore you with them. I really do wonder where any of us would be if we had just had a little more of that little extra something at the right place at the right time. These regrets are the ones we have to live with. I'm not sure when it happened but somewhere along the line, life decided to step on the gas. Yesterday, I was 19, tomorrow I'll be 37 and by the end of the year I'll be six feet under. I'm absolutely shocked that it is already the fall of this year. I have no idea where the time went. If it gets any faster, I just might never get around to actually living my life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Weight Of Those Before

Light has weight. Sure, it's small-infinitessimally small in fact-but it weighs down on you, just like cheeseburgers do on your body and regrets do on your conscience. For most of your life you will not notice this. Some of you might still even be silently arguing with me, thinking, "You're lying! Light doesn't have weight!" But it does. And it always has.
If you hadn't known this before, you will definitely notice it now, but not because you actually feel it but because you are expecting to feel it and your mind will tell you that you are feeling it, even though you aren't. I am guilty of this-especially on days when it is surprisingly hot. It feels like the sunglight is just pounding you relentlessly in the face, draining you of your energy. But this is not so much because of the weight of light but because of the heat of the sun rays. The weight of light is something we live with from the time we're born and we just accept it because we can bear it.
There is no weight to a shadow. A shadow represents an absence of light. They are sometimes useful on those really hot days when you find a shadow of a building to cool you off from the sun. But figuratively speaking, the shadows that do have weight, and the shadows which we stand in most of our lives, are the shadows of the ones that have gone before us. Those are the shadows that weigh us down. We don't actually feel it, just like the sunlight, but we think we do. It weighs us down and sometimes it wears us down.
Have you ever been in a dark lit room with another person who is standing far away, with a light shining behind them? Their shadows appear large, too big for any real person to fill. Sometimes their shadows take up the entire room. But if the person standing in the light began to walk towards you, their shadow begins to shrink until when they are standing in front of you, face-to-face, you look back and realize your own shadow is as big as theirs. Sometimes, when its right in front of you, you see things for what they are.
I have heard it said before that, "the rest of those that have gone before us, cannot steady the unrest of those that follow." People all over the world no doubt lose sleep every night, wondering what their deceased parents, grandparents, relatives, dear friends, or even childhood heroes would think of them if they could see how they were living their lives. Like the weight of light, it's a burden we all come to accept eventually. And we accept it because we can bear it. Maybe not at first, but no one is ever resigned to crawling their way through life, the load on their backs forever too heavy for them to carry upright. No, eventually, everyone finds a way.
It seems the closer you are to someone, the further away they are from you in this room of shadows, standing in front of the lights, their shadows bigger than life itself. We try to fill it. We stretch our bodies out this way and that but our efforts are futile and eventually we stop trying. In our minds, the shadows of the ones before us will always be unfillable except by those who filled them. This is something we all carry in one way or another. Eventually, we find a way. And if we're lucky, we might get to stand right in front of them once more, and upon looking back, come to the realization that we were just as big.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beatles:Rock Band Midnight Release Party

I've written about lots of midnight releases on here before and if there's one correlating factor about all of them, it's that you never know what to expect. I dealt with screaming 12 years olds for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, took pictures of stormtroopers, Boba Fett and Darth Vader for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and stood in the absolute longest line of my entire life for Grand Theft Auto IV (it went from inside the store, out the door, and all the way to the doors of Target which is down quite a ways). For Beatles: Rock Band, I expected quite a few people. I, however, was totally wrong. Out of all the midnight releases I've ever been to, this was probably the weakest. I'd say there was, at most, 20 people there. Quite surprising considering a) the popularity of the Beatles and b) the ridiculous marketing campaign that has accompanied the game. I guess you just never know.

I got there at about 11:15, which is a lot earlier than I normally get to these things. I usually try to stay away until about 15 till midnight but I didn't really have a whole lot going on at home so I thought I'd head over. I chatted it up with one of the Gamestop employees. He was nice and really wanted to talk about games which I thought he'd then turn into, "Oh, you should totally pre-order like a quadrillion games coming out next week!" but he didn't. The only annoying thing about talking to these guys is that they a) Think they know more than you about games and b) They never actually do, at least in my case.

Then they started a Beatles: Rock Band tournament, which wasn't really a tournament at all, but more just a hey! You won. Good job. I volunteered to play, more so that I could just play the game and not really caring about winning or losing. I figured I had a good chance of winning though because I'm pretty good at these types of games. I played a cute girl in score duel, which is basically just where we play the same things and whoever has the highest score at the end wins. You'd think with her being a cute girl and all, I'd be nice and let her win. But, I just can't help myself. I thought, "Sorry, cute girl, I'm totally going to murder you at this game." And I did. We played, "I Got A Feeling" and I doubled her score. She was kind of mad about losing. I thought it was pretty hilarious. I, then, got to win a mysterious prize, which consisted of leftover pre-order items that they were trying to get rid of. Sounds really great, right? No, it's not. Most of the stuff was for games I've either never played nor do I care to play. But luckily, they could see I didn't want anything and dug out some drumsticks for Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, which was good because my Rock Band sticks are getting a little worn down. I felt special with my sticks until 5 minutes later, they just began handing out sticks to everyone there. My small victories in life never last long.

We started standing in line and the local news, Channel 13 showed up. They were doing a piece on the release of the game and were looking for someone to interview. Nobody really wanted to do it. I thought about doing it, and then thought, what the hell would I say? "Yeah, you know, it's the Beatles! I love the Beatles. They've really touched my life and I'm glad I get to play as them in a video game." Even if it is true, that doesn't sound any less retarded. So, I declined, and after some begging, someone else finally agreed to do the interview. I still might be on the news though, because he took a lot of shots of the whole store. I'll be the guy at the front of the line, trying to not look so dang nerdy to no avail. Overall, one of the more enjoyable midnight releases, if only because it was way low on the nerd factor.

This is a trailer for the game. As of this writing, I still have yet to play the game except for the song I played in the store. I considered playing it at my home but figured my wife wouldn't appreciate playing loud rock songs while she's trying to sleep. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obama Poster Parodies

I found a bunch of these and just thought I'd share them. The Obama poster that got cut off says Taupe but I couldn't find a smaller picture.