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Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short – YouTube

As a life long fan of Superman, I must say this video is just spectacular! It explores the various art styles and scenes from Superman in comics to games and tv and movies for over the last 75 years. I also love the transition from the John Williams Superman The Movie theme to the current Hans Zimmer Man of Steel theme!

blog, jobs, thoughts

losing it

Might seem petty, but I almost quit green hell once again last night.

First of all, I’m normally scheduled for a half shift on Tuesdays, but just as my co-workers and I clocked-in we found out that we were requested to stay a couple more hours. I had grown accustomed to my half shift on Tuesday mornings and frankly, I welcomed it. My patience is worn thin as it is with this job-The sooner I left the better.

Secondly, yes I am still new to the job and still trying to practice getting my timing down. The first couple hours went without a hitch and I was in my zone. Feeling accomplished. After the 10 minute break, I started another section to stock. Less than half-way through it, my manager started to help me. And by help me, I mean they did half the work for me. I repeat: They did half the work for me.

Additionally, the manager finished the other half of the section faster than I finished mine-It wasn’t by much-And had the nerve to comment to me that I was going slow. I almost lost it, right there. Again, I’m new, I’m trying to learn my section and speed as fast as I can-I’m timing myself. Also, I was requested to stay on a longer shift, and my manager just took away a good forty-five minutes to an hour worth of work from me and tops it off by saying I’m going slow. That is feked up! I almost lost it right there. It took every ounce of control I had to not lash out. Just took a deep breath and kept it in.

Fortunately, by then the lunch break had arrived. Because of this last minute extended work period, I hadn’t prepared any lunch. Had it been the regular half shift, I would have just gone home afterward and eaten. However, I was so filled with rage that I got in my car drove to the local 7-Eleven, bought a pack of cigarettes, and just drove around and smoked.

I really needed that momentary escape. Along with the fresh (and freezing) night air, a Camel Menthol Silver cigarette, and a series of green lights over a few miles (it was 4:30am)-KDFC was playing Mozart. All those elements indeed helped to calm me down.

 By the time I clocked back in, I resumed my focus, and blasted through my final section. Lo and behold! I finished about 45 minutes early. Again, had my manager not stepped in and did the second half of my section, I would have finished on time anyway.

Around the time of the final break, the store manager had arrived to begin the opening processes. He had bought the night/freight crew some chocolate scones from Starbucks as a sort of peace offering for changing the schedule on us at the last minute. I appreciated the gesture, but it really wasn’t enough to put a genuine smile back on my face.

I continually say (at least to myself) that I do not get paid enough to deal with this kind of labor at these hours, and I do feel I work at the speed of my wages. Furthermore, I am also not paid enough to waste to compromise my identity, my ego, any further than is necessary. I see this job at this green hell as a penance for years of squandering my time and (little) money-Penance for not taking better care of my mother and grandfather and myself.

 

I had-No! I have the tools and knowledge to succeed. Why am I so damn scared to use them?

blog, thoughts

his plan

So… weird event happened the other night. I suppose, I’ll attempt to retell it in a script format. (I loosely know this format)

FADE IN.

BEDROOM – EVENING

Ron Dador is watching and laughing at the cgi movie adaption of Beowulf. It’s at the point where Beowulf is fully nude and fighting an equally nude Grendel.

Knock at the door.

Enter Ron’s Father.

FATHER

Hey, Ronnie. Are you working tonight?

RON DADOR

(pauses Beowulf on computer)

Nope. Off tonight.

FATHER

Oh, okay. Hey can you watch the princess?

(the question usually infers that his wife and he are going out of town to a casino for a few hours,

and for Ron to care for the dog while they are gone.)

RON DADOR

(knowingly)

Ah. Going to the casino, eh? Sure I’ll watch Celly.

Don’t plan on going out.

FATHER

(smiles, turns to leave, halts)

Thanks, Ronnie.

We’ll see you later.

Wait-I was thinking-

Why don’t you save some money, and so next year

you can go to the Philippines.

RON DADOR

(puzzled)

Ehh. Why?

FATHER

You should go to the Philippines and find a wife–

RON DADOR

Ehh. What?

FATHER

You can find a wife there. A doctor, or a lawyer-One that can help you.

You’d be surprised how beautiful they are.

And plenty of them want to come work here.

RON DADOR

(shock)

Wait-What?

FATHER

Save some money. Say a thousand dollars. The ratio is about 40:1.

So a thousand dollars is forty-thousand pesos.

You can live pretty good there for a couple weeks or a month.

RON DADOR

(denial)

Whoa-I don’t even have a passport.

FATHER

That’s no problem, just go down to the post office and file for one.

They’re something like thirty-nine dollars.

I can help you with plane fair if you like.

Round trip is eight-hundred dollars or so.

RON DADOR

(deep denial-mumbles.)

Well I’m not really attracted to Asians. There’s plenty of them here and–

FATHER

Just think about it.

Next year.

I’ll help you.

RON DADOR

(uncomfortable)

Ehh. Yeah… I’ll think about it.

Father quickly notes the paused image on screen of a nude Beowulf and Grendal attacking each other. He looks puzzled.

Father exits.

RON DADOR

(Ron does a double take and facepalms)

What the fek just happened?

FADE OUT.

Yeah, that was a couple nights ago. I was going to write a blog post right then and there, but I decided to let it simmer in first.

Yes, I do live with my father and his wife, who I refer to as auntie. We are Filipino. There’s nothing wrong with that. Although it does direct some conflict with me personally.

My father is very traditional in the Filipino sense. He’s, I suppose second generation here in the states, having moved from the Islands to here in his teens. So perhaps he is in fact first generation. In any case, yes, traditional. I being birthed and raised here in the states, there is a slight culture clash.

For one-Filipinos tend to stick together-Different generations sharing one household. That is typical of many cultures, I’m sure. Doesn’t seem to be typical of the American standard of the coming of age at 18 years old (adult legal age), and leaving the home.

Well, I suck at life (so far). I rarely ever left home. I stayed with my mother and grandparents most of my life, in the end taking care of them-Taking care of each other. And now since my grandfathers passing, my mother having moved to the Philippines, I’ve decided to stay with my father and his wife-To start over-Get out of debt, and all that sneck. Figured the SF Bay would have more opportunity than the quiet hills of northern California. Well that definitely didn’t pan out.

Back on track-My father seems to think that I’ll never move away (well at the current rate that I’m getting paid, that seems feking realistic). As I’ve stated. I am not happy at all living here-I have a home (and I’m very grateful for that), but I feel more comfortable not being there. I continually feel like a guest even after over a year. They are nice people-Auntie and her family are in fact heavily devout Christian-Catholic. Tolerable and patient-That’s terrific! That’s how Christians are supposed to be. However, I just can’t seem to connect with them.

As with most people, I have nothing in common with them-Nor with most Filipinos (both domestic or immigrant, young and old) that I come in contact with here. This is South City, Daily City area-Asians everywhere-Very little tastes or interests in common with any of them. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m shy.

Truth told, I suspect and rationalize the real problem with my lack of communication skills is really with me and my stubbornness, shyness, and/or reluctance to open up. I grew up en garde-And I know my shyness has oft times come off as snobbish. Believe me, I have nothing to be proud of.

Well …now my father expects me to travel to the islands and seek out a mate.

Fek.

I’ll flatly state-I’m not really attracted to Asian women, let alone Filipinas. I’m around them all the fekin time as it is. Why should I have to travel to another country, another land to seek one out when they are right here. And excuse me for wanting something different.

If I am to reproduce, I’d prefer it to be with another ethnicity. I’m honestly not picky. Hell, I don’t even want children, but if it were to be so, yes, please with another ethnicity. I’d want the child to be of the world, not just from one part of it. I would also imagine that mixing ethnicity would produce a stronger child overall-Having varied traits from both strains-I could be wrong of course. Then there’s the social issue of race-Well my view there is that racism would be less progressive if we all just feked each other and produced a mixture of offspring.

There is also plenty of unwanted children in the world already. Why not adopt or foster?

Secondly, I’m not ready to even consider having children.

I have a sneck job with sneck pay. I owe my Auntie and father money for not only housing me and feeding me, but for helping me with my lawyer fees with my bankruptcy. I literally live paycheck to paycheck with how dismally I’m paid-I can’t even start a savings account. How in god(s) name can I even think about supporting a family, let alone traveling half-way around the world?

Also if I were to travel to the islands, ‘twould be to directly to visit my mother, not feking paternal conquest!

So.. yeah I don’t feking know what to think. This is such an odd issue for me.

I respect my father, but I definitely do not share his views, nor this plan he has for me.

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easy mode

RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!

Can I talk about DuckTales Remastered for a minute?

I’m not going to cite any specific examples, but I’ve read more than a handful of reviews that knocked Remastered down for being a bit too “classic” in the difficulty department. Some people had such a rough time that it actually soured their opinion of the original — I guess DuckTales was just more flawed than we dared to admit, and it took this remake to finally bring the truth to light.

I am very disappointed in those people.

It’s f*cking DuckTales, one of the easier games in the NES library! Are you so spoiled by modern design leniency that you spout tired labels like “cheap” and “unfair” whenever a game punishes you for your failure to learn and adapt? Or is it that you\’ll only accept above-average challenge when offset by a safety net — like checkpoints seemingly every two steps — to spare you the horror of having to exercise caution and restraint? Heaven forbid a game asks you to plan ahead before plunging headlong into uncharted territory.

If that’s you, you need to play Volgarr the Viking and gain some goddamn perspective.

via Review: Volgarr the Viking – Destructoid. -Tony Ponce

—-

Couldn’t agree more with Tony. I suppose we’re both of the generation that grew up with Atari 2600, NES and the arcade. Definitely remember noting DuckTales, as well as the other Disney NES games as being on the easy side-They were made for the younger kids so there should be no surprise at their level of difficulty. And yet players today, I’m guessing the kids that grew up playing N64 and PS1-They’re having difficulty getting through a simple game like DuckTales.

I have definitely noticed how modern Triple-A titles and their developers have included easy modes. From the beginning of the game to the end it’s no sweat-Whereas when I was growing up as a gamer it was one mode, and depending on the game, it ranged from easy as pie to hard as fek!  As you progressed, the gameplay got more insane, more frenetic. You had to memorize patterns and get good” as the kids these days say.

I do think it’s funny how casual gaming and hardcore gaming are defined at times. The hardcore games seem to be the Triple-AAA titles from big name companies with large investments in developing the graphics, sound/music, and narrative/story; While the casual games are far less graphic intense and cost a small fraction of the big titles and are often developed by small independent/indie game studios.

Gameplay-wise, I think most of the AAA titles with their epic narratives are generally easier and lead to more boredom; whereas the casual games with often arcadey or simplified gameplay tend to cause me more frustration, but oftentimes keeps me coming back due to their addictive nature.

If it wasn’t for the human vs human factor (see: competitive arsehole jockeying) in the multi-player portions of these Tripe-AAA shooter games like Call of Duty, or fighting games like Street Fighter, I can imagine the Triple-AAA games may not be known as hardcore.

Since we humans have to label and categorize everything, I propose the following base category prenomen:

  • Narrative – Solo with story
  • Arcade – Solo with little to no story
  • Competitive – Multi-player, player versus player
  • MMO – Massively Multi-Player On-line (still works)

From these base categories you can tack on the genres:

Narrative Shooter, Arcade Platformer, Competitive Fighter, MMORPG etc. etc.

Sounds pretty straightforward and less malicious than the ego driven hardcore! and the (sounding less involved) casual.

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tried and through

This post might actually lose some followers.

—-

The other night at work when we were about to start lunch (a whole 30 minutes), one of my co-workers asked what time it was. The manager replied, “It’s 4:20(am).” The co-worker quickly joked back, “Oh it’s that time, eh?” And they both started to laugh. I got it, but I didn’t think it was particularly worth reacting to-A little giggle maybe. (In case anyone need reference.)

Now I once did have strong feelings against (ab)use of recreational drugs. That old standard kept me from hanging out and getting to know some really interesting people (who used)-And I somewhat regret that. Put simply, I tend to be safe-Do not try to do anything illegal. If I must do something illegal, it must not lead to hurting anyone.

Secondly, and most importantly: Deep down I wonder if the persons/friends who I’m talking to are behaving genuinely as themselves; Or are they indeed under the influence of the drug. I suppose it’s a trust issue.  

 I never did have a lot of (close) friends. Still don’t.

Whether it’s legal or illegal, you just can’t get away from recreational drug abuse anymore. While I still prefer to stay out of such scenes, there just isn’t any avoiding it altogether. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a large city or small town-It’s there whether you know it or not, or like it or not.

I’ll explain why I choose not to do it based on my own experience.

I have tried marijuana on more than one occasion. Each time it was more or less under peer pressure, and each time lead to undesired, embarrassing, and/or catastrophic moments/events in my life.

Surprisingly enough, I never gave into trying it in high school during the early-to-mid 90s. I started to smoke cigarettes when I was 18 (legal age), still do on occasion, but smoking tobacco is not illegal. As far as drinking goes, I did do that once illegally (underage) and willingly…  but that’s another story.

The first time I tried marijuana was in 1998 or 1999. Can’t remember the exact date, but if anyone is willing, they can look up the last official Switchblade Symphony concert-Which was in San Jose, California at the Cactus Club. Probably in the summer time.

Again, it’s a whole other set of posts, but to summarize, I was in love with the local gothic rock (darkwave) band called Switchblade Symphony. I followed them up and down California on their North American tours. They came from the goth scene, but did have good commercial/popular appeal and attention at one point. Hell, I heard their music on a TV show once. They could have been big if they stuck with it a little longer. I think after a decade or so of hardwork, perhaps they just got burnt out. The lead singer, Tina Root, I believe is still performing, but I haven’t really paid much attention. Although Tina was the voice and lyrics, I think Susan Wallace played keyboards and who composed/programmed the music is just as, if not more important. Together they were absolute magic.

In any case, it was there at the Cactus Club in San Jose. I went by myself. By this time, I had left Salinas and was living in Santa Clara. And I had not made any friends yet, locally.

I can tell you the vibe of the night was different. I knew Switchblade’s road crew, well sort of, I always chatted with them at the shows. I was a regular. Wasn’t a groupie, I’m far too ugly for that-But I was a very regular attendee and big fan. I approached them early in the night (as usual) and said my “Hello!” and “Hey! How ya doin?”

They replied to me yes, but I could tell something was wrong. They were very low energy, and very lacking enthusiasm. Maybe they didn’t recognize me. So I pulled up my sleeve and showed them the tattoo I got of Tina and Susan. There was recognition then, a smile, but still rather down.

The rest of the night was kind of like that. Low energy. As Switchblade was performing their set, there were instances of Tina and Susan just looking very out of character-Both tired and frustrated.

Susan performed a solo piano and voice version of Wrecking Yard,” a song from their first album Serpentine Gallery-And she messed up, then started over, and botched it again. She appeared very frustrated. I looked behind me and seen some people leaving in disgust, which of course frustrated her even more. They finally did get through it.

Between songs, Tina kept asking for someone to buy her some alcohol, and was rather belligerent about it. “Someone buy me some feking alcohol!” she screamed. After her alcohol fix she did something that was totally out of character. She pulled up her shirt and quickly flashed the audience while screaming in elation. I mean, hey, I’m a guy, that’s pretty nice-But in the back of my mind I knew something was wrong. There’s some unnecessary risk taking, dare I say, suicidal actions taking place before me by my favorite band. That event caused even more people to depart the Cactus Club that night.

Then finally they got to their last song, which was as usual “Clown” probably their hardest hitting song to send the crowd home happy. Unfortunately Tina just had the most indignant attitude when announcing it. “Okay this is our last song. Come on, you know what it is…” Even the performance was noticeably off time. After it was over, I saw Switchblade Symphony collectively sigh and walk off stage looking defeated. Something had to be wrong.

I waited around a bit by the backstage entrance talking with some acquaintances that I knew from the online Switchblade Symphony fan club at the time. George Earth (the guitarist) spotted me, and invited me to their dressing room area. George and I e-mailed quite a bit. He’s a good guy.

Set the scene: Tina, George, George’s (HAWT) girlfriend from Hawaii, some magazine reporter, and me chatting around benches in the dressing room. Susan wasn’t there, unfortunately-I believe she was packing up. This was a moment I had waited years for. Just casual conversation with the musicians I had most admired in life. And for once, I wasn’t acting star struck, tongue-tied, and unbearably shy as I was with them in the past. I look back now, and I realize, I could have had great conversations with them even earlier had I not been so darn shy, and so insecure that I didn’t think they wanted to talk to me.   

And FINALLY here’s where I did marijuana for the first time (two pages later, sorry). The magazine reporter guy brings out his pipe and starts offering it around. Tina eagerly went first, then George, then George’s hot girlfriend, then it came to me.

Keep in mind, I’ve never done this before. Never wanted to. Still didn’t. And yet, I kind of folded into the pressure. Didn’t want to disappoint my new friends, right? So I went for it, and thankfully, I went last because I would not have had any idea how to use that pipe. Luckily I saved face by first observing what they were doing and applying it. I took a small drag, and that was it. It went around a few more times, but I politely passed. Figure I passed my initiation.

I will make a quick note of the conversation: It was basically fronted by Tina herself talking about moving to Los Angeles and starting over there. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I drew the conclusion that Switchblade Symphony was on hiatus if not going defunct. After that nights performance, I knew they at least needed a break … but it came to be…

Switchblade Symphony was done. There were some remixes that they did for other bands, but the live aspect was over, and I believe a year later it was official. There was a couple shows for their record label, Cleopatra, but it was just Tina and George (who also moved to Los Angeles) performing. You can’t really call them Switchblade Symphony without Susan and her layers of classical synths and samples.

And there ya have it. First experience with marijuana was uneventful to me physically, but was devastating to me overall. I owe a lot to Switchblade Symphony for introducing me to that genre and more, and for keeping the stability of my sanity by inspiring me with their beautiful music.

The second time I tried marijuana was with some co-workers and their friends. Won’t go into too much detail-Honestly I can’t because I was also drunk off of hot saké. I believe I took three drags from the pipe, but it was really the saké that did me in.

Later that night, after sobering up a bit, I headed home, but noticed I needed gas. So I stopped into the local gas station and asked the teller to give me twenty dollars on whatever number it was I was parked at, and headed out.

She called me back as I opened the door to exit, and I interrupted, saying again “Twenty on…”

Then she lifted up the bill I had dropped before her, and it was only a five dollars. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or marijuana that impaired my judgment and attention at that moment, but it was embarrassing.

The third and final time smoking marijuana (to this date) was the night I drove Tom to see the Dwarves. You might remember Tom from my post called The Mighty Testicles. We smoked some in the parking lot after work before heading out to the show. I know it was a more significant amount for me, but it was mostly Tom who finished up the bowl.   

If you read that post, you know that Tom died via suicide not long after.

The acts of smoking marijuana may not have been physically significant, but when I see it (and I see it a wholefekinlot these days) or if I hear people talking about it, or I see paraphernalia in shops, the leaf, a picture of Bob Marley… whatever-To me it’s associated with embarrassment and great loss.

People have offered me a hit many times since then, and I have politely declined each time. Some have asked why, and I tell them straight up:

 Makes me stupid, favorite band quit, friend died-So I just choose not to.

All that said, I’m not going to try and preach and say not to do it.

Do whatever the hell you want. Just don’t hurt anybody (including yourself) while you’re doing it.  

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Elvira

Even before the whole “goth” thing, I’ve always had a weird fixation with Elvira–Gee, I wonder what it could be?! 😉

Seriosuly tho, I’ve always found Elvira entertaining. I enjoy that dry sort of puntastic humor-Hers being with a horror theme. (Additionally I do dig the opening music act here. Excellent use of vocoder).

This is recent footage of a series of shows she’s performing at Knott’s Berry Farm for this Halloween season. The actress who portrays Elvira, Cassandra Peterson is age 62! Elvira is still running strong after 30 years. I find that very impressive, I suppose in comparison to Victor Borge, my favorite entertainer, who actually performed regularly up until his passing in 2000 at the age of 91. (Yes, I just compared Elvira to Victor Borge! What are you gonna do about it?)

Long live the Queen of Halloween, and my immense respects to the Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived!