Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feel It All Around

     From the ashes, I rise. I am the embodiment of the phoenix metaphor. I feel it's not safe to really go into it, but I feel stronger than ever right now. This week has been crazy, but like I said, "From the ashes, I rise."

     Today has been a relatively interesting day. I have really been unable to focus. A good example is this particular blog. From a reader's standpoint, you can't see it, but this is actually the fourth paragraph that I've written. I actually started with the achievement list, then the fortune, and then the phoenix metaphor bit, and now here I am. It's been like that all day though. I began my day very suddenly when I was awoken to my mom needing me to figure out why she couldn't pay bills online through google chrome. It was fixed no problem, but I wonder if it somehow it has kind of started it all. I've been meaning to  check out some new music that Matt recommended to me last night, as well as this cool thing called a music tree. If you don't know what it is, and you're looking for new music ever, what it is, is a website where you enter a musical artist that you like, hit expand, and it branches out into like 5 different directions to other artists that are very similar and you can keep doing that for each new artist. It is so cool and innovative. The one we used last night is Check it out because I think i just found my new favorite tool for finding new stuff, other than constantly asking Matt or Mike, although Matt did agree with the notion of, 'why spend so much time researching when you can just ask someone that is trustworthy with musical taste?'

     Anyway, my point is that I meant to start that way earlier today and I only just got to it because I was writing about it. For anyone else that has similar tastes in music as I do, which is mostly electronic stuff, mixes, and dance stuff, you may want to check out Jamie xx, Toro y Moi, Girls, Beach House, and Washed Out. I haven't delved into any of these yet, but they're names I've heard a number of times now and I think it's time to get my hands dirty and find some new tunes. I did check out Washed Out's song, "Feel it All Around," which I've just decided is going to be this blog's title and song choice. It's also the opening song to a new show that Matt showed me last night.

     Portlandia is a newer show on IFC, and it just started it's second season yesterday (serendipitous indeed). It's a sketch comedy starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (who I think could be related to Alison Stroll of 343i, but how do you bring that up without sounding creepy? Well, I guess in a blog. Hopefully it worked.), as well as a bunch of other people who appear on SNL. Each episode does have it's own central story, but it breaks up and has other, unrelated sketches in between. The focus of it is the city of Portland, Oregon, which is full of hipsters and conventionally odd characters. The open the show by talking about how when the rest of the world is current, there is still a place in the country that is pretty much still stuck in the 90s- Portland. If that's really how Portland is, then I want to go to there. The type of comedy is very odd too; it's kind of subtle, but things always go haywire in their own way. It's very tailor-made for those people like Matt, Mike, and myself who are generally considered hipsters amongst the masses. I'm not quite so sure that those who consider themselves as the general person who goes with society and the times would really get into it as much, but I may be wrong. Check it out for sure though, because I can't name another show that's anything like this. Another show that is on IFC is called, "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret," which stars David Cross. So I also plan on getting into that, as Matt told me that it's actually a bit funnier in its own way.

     My dad just picked up Panda Express for me, and, as per usual, I opened up my fortune cookie just after starting to eat. And what did it say? "When in doubt, let your instincts guide you." Eh, it's good, but I've read better... I'll at least agree with this in the case of a survival situation, but not necessarily in an every day sense. I think that perhaps our conventional opinions have gotten too in the way of how certain decisions are made. ...But I don't feel like dwelling on this subject. Perhaps next time, when I have a good fortune that I can discuss. and for the record, I got a large orange chicken (which there's now way I can finish anymore) and an order of their potstickers, which are decent, but pale in comparison to Big Bowl's potstickers, which I had for lunch, so hah.

     Our family doc said that I should make a list of all of the stuff I've achieved lately. I think he really meant just overall, but so much has happened lately that now seemed like a good opportunity. This is mostly just for me, but I though my blog would be a good place to do it. The real point of it, as he put it, was to realize just how much I feel I've accomplished lately, because certain things have been happening so fast for me. ...One of the lights on my ceiling fan keeps blinking... How distracting. ...Alright, now they're replaced. [Okay, now I'm back where I started, at least I am on some track while writing hahaha]. Anyway, let's go through a some things I feel are personal achievements within the past couple years, shall we? I think we should start with the most prevalent.

-Started my own blog, which I write in frequently and fully, and it has brought back a sense of creativity and just writing creatively again, which hasn't happened much since like two years ago.

-I have proven my fandom Halo a couple different times now
           -I won a Halo Reach Xbox Slim at San Diego Comic Con 2010
           -I was a finalist in the Halo Fest Machinima contest over this past summer
           -I just won probably the biggest contest I've ever won, The Halo Fan of the Decade contest, which        got my picture in a commercial, and I won nice home-entertainment system.

-I've also made tons of new friends and connections within the Halo community and 343i, which will hopefully land me a job there in the next few years working on future Halo games or other Halo peripherals.

-I was asked to create an album cover for my friend, Tassi, and his band, Manhattan Chess Club. This has also brought back some art and creativity back into my life and I've been thinking of stuff all day

-I've found a major in college that I really connect with- philosophy, which has helped boost my grades and GPA like none other. I got a 3.6 this past semester, which, for me, is unheard of.

-My dancing skills have been so noticeably increased these past few months, and I get compliments from a lot of people on it now.

-My friend, Alex, just texted me saying, "God dammit," and a picture of his receipt from where ever he's eating dinner and his order is #117, which isn't an achievement necessarily, but it lends itself to how if this phenomenon happens to you on a regular basis, #1, it may be my fault :), but #2, if you go researching it all, you pretty much will come across me on your search, as has been the case this week when I got a random friend request and message asking what it's all about. You can read about it all in my previous blog, "Halo: Part 3: Movement." So I think that I've somewhat started a movement of sorts in that so many people come back to me with how they see 117 everywhere now. I'm a checkpoint of sorts on the ever-going mystery of the number 117.

-hmm... I don't know of any others right off the top of my head, so I think this is a good place to stop the list, for now.

     So, as I mentioned above, I've been asked by my friend, Tassi, and his band, Manhattan Chess Club, to help make an album cover for their new album coming out. Nothing is finalized at this point, not even the album name, but it's still very cool and has given me the opportunity to start doing some sketches again and being aesthetically creative, which hasn't happened for a long time. He had some particular things in mind, which I kind of put together, but we're still throwing around ideas. He didn't want anything too hippy-ish, as that's not really the nature of their music. The cover I made up last night on photoshop ended up being just that, but I still found it fun to play around with. You can see the two main ideas I've had below :).

      I've also thought of the idea to make a giant battlefield on my shuffleboard in my basement using my Halo Mega Bloks, which there are many of. It's still very much in the planning stages, but I think I'm going to take a day this next week and go buy a bunch of foam, paint, carving knives, and whatever else I feel will make this thing be totally epic. So stay tuned for that soon, hopefully before I head back down to school.

     Oh, also, before I forget, I will be the guest on The Running Riot Podcast on Saturday, January 14th at, I believe 9:30PM (I'm not sure which timezone...), and covers my winning the Halo Fan of the Decade contest, so check that out!

Now, I feel as though I must steal something from my friend, Natalie's blog...

tl;dr- Everything was crazy this week, but has gotten so much better since. Today was filled with a bunch of new stuff for me to talk about and you should just go read it you lazy bum. HAH! See what I did there? I'm not giving you the satisfaction of your laziness.

     So that's all for now. I leave you in the hands of this awesome song- "Feel it All Around," by Washed Out. Very cool and chill (which I hate using as an adjective...). Now it's time for me to go continue watching Pineapple Express. Enjoy!

Until next time...

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