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Showing posts from July, 2010

NYC Meetup : BBQ

Friday was a pretty great day. Milled about, played some retro games (Sega Collection for the PS3 (yes, that's right, with the power of two deskstops, four laptops, two PS3s (enough technology to rival worldwide computing power in 1975) we played games which were ports of 80's arcade games made for 90's consoles then retrofitted for 00's consoles)), some PC games, and attempted to play some card games. Then it was time for BBQ. We headed over to Ralph's place which was situated in some patchily gentrified portion of Brooklyn. There were Hasidic Jews everywhere, and African Americans, and Hispanics (I'm sure this breaks down further, like how in Vancouver "Asian" covers a wide array, I'm sure there were Senegalese and Mexicans and Chileans and Puerto Ricans etc). Slightly less hipsters. This dizzying array of multiculturalism, and there was something about the alternately well-worn and tumbled-down nature of the neighbourhood with newer bits, mom-an


It's amazing how tightly packed people can get. Sardined and crammed til they're breathing over and under each other, stepping on toes sandals shoes dreams personal spaces. It's like every sidewalk is a misinterpreted sneeze away from a rather bloody riot. Young and old and old neighbourhood and new immigrants. I kinda like seeing more than the usual Vancouver minorities.That is, Pacific Rim. Korean Japanese Chinese (Hong Kong and Taiwanese and every single possible shade of acculturation that represents the Chinese in Vancouver), Indians (Sikhs, Muslims, Hindu, Canadian-born), Persian. That's the norm, anyways, in Vancouver. People gush about how multi-cultural Vancouver is, but that's really only for a very small subset of 'culture'. Every other shade is out in Brooklyn. They're so many and the varied. And, since it's Brooklyn, apparently the home of the hipsters, you get that extra strange and weird and sadly predictably subculture. But it's

Airport, JFK

Have arrived at JFK. It's your standard sprawling, patchily modernized airport. Charming 70's peppered rock themed linoleum, fancy Air Train system which complexifies it's already dizzying multi-ring setup by having only one train working. Meaning you can go from terminal 5 to 6, but to get from 6 to 5, well, yeah, you have to go the entire way around. I'll try and take a picture of their helpful brochure. Even in the most simplified colours and large text, I'm pretty sure it could double as the MRI of a contortionist's circulatory system. I expected this, I think. A third of Canada, for crying out loud. That's even counting the bits of Canada we cherish especially for its multi-cultural otherwordlyness but never visit, like Yellowknife, or West Vancouver. The people are, oddly, just people. No one has yelled at me a phrase along the lines of , "HEY I'M WALKING HERE". But then, these are also Airport People. The bright shining happy people who


It's hard to sum up my feelings about going to NYC. I mean, that's a real world-class city. I'm from Vancouver. A city that constantly, if embarassingly self-consciously, proclaims itself to be just that. Last time I checked, though, I don't see people walking around NYC with "I HEART VANCOUVER" shirts on absentmindedly. Yesterday, in Vancouver, I saw two NY shirts (they were kinda well-worn and had all the tourist feel of a Nike jumpsuit). No director is shooting in NYC trying to recreate the picture-perfect Kitsilano scene. I suspect there's a dance club in upper Manhattan that has a higher GDP than all of the Lower Mainland. There's a enormousness about NYC. Movies and books and the collective memory of much of Western Civilization are put in the backdrop of, are created in, are stamped out in the streets of that city. Midnight Cowboy, An Affair to Remember, The Godfather, Wall Street, The French Connection, Guys and Dolls, Independence Day. It'


So, it's begun. Sometime while partaking in my hobby I'm mildly ashamed about , I formed a bit of a bond with the people I was playing with. Folks from Metafilter, which seeems, in retrospect, to be the last sort of people I'd cleave to. Not that they are dull, at Metafilter , but they are so full of snark and invective and trenchant analysis as to why that thing you like sucks, it makes it a unlikely source of friendship. But I have. Sure, there have been hiccups, and the invaraible flare up of forum drama, but all internet hang outs get those. It's a question of whether the place is left standing afterwards. And it's stuck. Fortunately, miraculously. Bright, funny, interesting people playing video games and getting angry over strange things like K:D ratios and Team Stacking and things that, granted, likely have analogues in say, a bowling league. So, it's been three years or so. Playing, chatting, forum drama, jokes, in-jokes, in-in-jokes, baked goods exchange

Pacino On Flotilla

Another post I made for the Full Glass, Empty Clip gaming blog. This has to do with the indie game Flotilla , which is a turn-based strategy space combat sand box exploration game. With no goddamn save feature. It’s a rough galaxy out there. You go out there, every day. You flank and open fire and strategize because the galaxy isn’t doing you any favours. You tear at your hair, at the bulkheads, you claw your way past the militant penguins and the looming space hulks because that’s what you do. And the Galaxy tries to shove back? It tries to take from you what is your right? You shove back. Maybe you get another ship, maybe your flotilla gets bigger. You keep growing. And you know you’ll kill for that flotilla, for every upgrade you’ve fought for, for every new ship that you’ve won. Because that’s what you do. The Galaxy isn’t going to be explored by itself. It’s up to you, and your crew. That’s it. That’s what the Galaxy expects from you, and, damn

Andy Rooney On Teams and Fortresses

I'm blogging over at this gaming blog some of my MeFi friends setup. Specifically, some of my MeFi friends who formed Mefightclub, which is kinda the gaming arm of Metafilter , I suppose. This article has to do with Team Fortress 2, so, if you're not a PC gamer, and not hip with all the incarnations of Team Fortress, you can skip this post . I don’t know what’s happening to gaming these days. In my day you had a fortress, you had a team, and you just went at it. It was like tag or flag football, the bedrock of any small town community. I know community isn’t in vogue these days. It’s one for one and all for none, it seems. I watch the television and it’s not more about team sports, its about the individual stars. A trophy for this, a medal for that. It seems to me that nowadays, our fortress team games are obsessed with personal milestones. What sort of whacky combination of numbers have to be achieved today, I wonder. When I was younger, you

Look Vs Is

Idea courtesy of a Mysteriouuus Straaanger with a surprising amount of Ben Gay in his medicine cabinet and a voracious appetite for Reader's Digest "Humor In Uniform". What He Looks Like : A former Airborne Ranger for the 501st who operates a heavy machinery leasing company while doing heli-rescue work on his spare time. What He Is : A man who's spent more time in his barcalounger than he has commuting, sleeping and eating. Combined What He Looks Like : The in-house emotions counsellor at HP. What He Is : Chronically distant technophobe who has a powerful fear of barber shops and small talk. What She Looks Like : An army field nurse who has seen more action than a platoon of Foreign Legionnaires. What She Is : A fundamentalist Mennonite who insists on affecting a Dutch accent. What She Looks Like : State fair runner-up for "Best Baked Dish Using Rutabaga", 1982. What She Is : Vice-President for a private para-military outfit that operates mostly in

Art & Crap

There's a fantastic book out there that I've been meaning to get, Art & Fear . It has great anecdotes and advice about making art, or Art. I have a few nonfiction books to work through, so I'm not overly concerned about getting it just yet, but the book certainly comes to mind now and again. Mainly when I'm writing stories. It came right to the fore when I was slogging through the 30 Days Project . Hell, or hell-like. Certainly reminiscent of brimstone and repurposed Pan imagery, anyways. Because, as you'll notice, through my thirty posts (15,000+ words(!!!)), and to be fair, through almost every other participants thirty posts, there are nearly no comments. Which, I assumed, was one of the draws of the 30 Day Project. Get feedback, support, community of artists, etc. Poor naive me of thirty plus days ago. The whole process helped me with come up with a revelation I call "Art & Crap". Which is tangentially related to the bits of Art & Fear I&#