I spent several hours (which I should have spent studying) making a font of my own! It’s my handrwriting, and I call it, uh, JeffreyAtW. You can download it here – I think it’s only for use in Windows, but it may have Mac capabilities also. One note – don’t use it in Microsoft Word. The special kerning greatly mangles the font.

And then there’s ICO. I had to make a choice between Gran Turismo 3 and ICO for the symbolic Returning of the PS2 Controllers to the Deprived SAT Tutoring Student (see below for the full story I think), and I chose ICO because I remembered that I needed an extra $100 steering wheel to fully enjoy GT3.

ICO has terrible character sprites. They have crummy animation, they’re textured like they’re from FF7, and composition-wise, they remind me of my old models of Oynx in 3-D. Does this sound like a bad note to start out on? Well, I’ll make up for it by saying that this is one of the best games I’ve ever played. Simple story, simple premise, but AMAZING gameplay, graphics, sound, and most importantly, A.I.

Yorda, the ghostly princess that Ico helps out, reminds me of most of the girls in my school. They’re spaced out, they don’t pay attention, and they are terribly na├»ve. (In contrast to Yorda, though, they’re really loud and annoying.) She wanders off to play with birds, is terribly scared of chains (subtle Mr. T reference, perhaps? (whacks self)), and in a nutshell, acts like any other fairy-tale damsel in distress.

Changing the subject… let’s talk about graphics (besides icky character sprites). The visuals in this game are astounding. Each room is frighteningly intricately textured and detailed. Light shines through church-like windows. Dust flies from old, ignored wooden platforms. It’s amazing to look around the massive rooms of this seemingly never-ending castle Ico is trapped in.

The sound is also great. Ambience changes from one room to the next. If Ico is in a massive hallway, anything he does echoes through the walls. In a small passage (there aren’t many), Ico’s haunting breathing can be heard. The voice acting is really nice, also. Ico gasps and yells if he falls or hangs off a ledge, and Yorda gasps in surprise if Ico suddenly swings his stick. My only gripe is Ico’s calls for Yorda. They’re limited to two sound bytes of him yelling (“Oooiiiii!”) and of him saying something French-sounding (sounds like “pourqoui?”).

The puzzles in the game are challenging at times because of the massive rooms. Of course, Yorda becomes somewhat of an obstruction when it comes to solving puzzles. But these aren’t complaints – the puzzles are fun yet DANGEROUS!

But I give ICO a ZERO because of too many cutscenes of Ico falling on his head and seemingly breaking his neck.

Yesterday, I made an epic trek to the mall to buy myself some anime. I ended up buying “Blood: The Last Vampire.” It’s amazing how something so beautiful can be so disappointing. B:tLV is an astounding film. It uses top-notch quality animation as well as sound and storytelling to bring the most fast-paced, pulse-pounding 30 minutes of anime I’ve ever seen. But it seems I always bring up the problem right in the middle of my positive messages… it’s only 30 freakin’ minutes long. All signs pointed to “feature-length film.” The box read “83 minutes.” “That’s a bit short for a film,” I told myself. “But it looks rather awesome anyway.” I pop it into my VCR (I don’t trust DVDs yet :P), and I get 10 minutes of previews, 15 minutes of “the making of B:tLV,” and 5 minutes of a completely unrelated cracked-out Japanese music video. That leaves me with 30 minutes of an amazing anime… cut terribly short. For the whole movie, I thought I was watching an opening scene to hype me up for the real action. What I got for my hopes was a “the end.”

This whole scenario is very similar to my encounter with Zone of the Enders. It comes with these great extra features (like the MGS2 demo), but leaves me wanting a HELL of a lot more. Fortunately, I’ll be able to tell my anime club about my woes before I show this to them. They’ll love it anyway.

Well, my SATs are over for at least half a year. I feel like a new man. Or something. I took the rest of the day off today to commemorate my past few weeks of non-stop work. Argh.

Soon, Midgard will be tuned down to 2 times a week, because I’m getting accustomed to having some actual free time. That means one black and white one and one color one per week. And yes, it sort of has to do with my already becoming (admittedly) bored with drawing. If I don’t devote my life to drawing, it will be more interesting drawing since I will have time to expand my free time on other things. …It’s complicated.

There’s a girl at school that I’ve based my Midgard character, Kary, on. Of course, she dresses up in a somewhat Goth style, but she’s rather friendly. She kept smiling at me during the SATs, as she was in the same room as I. Maybe it’s because of my now long, bleached, somewhat curled hair. I tend to dress up in styles that are almost opposite from the dark, dreary style – I sometimes refer to myself as a Htog (know how to read backwards, folks?). Or Thog, the way I like to pronounce it or whatever.

Now, back to Tales of Phantasia. Aaahhh.

Wow. This is my cousin from my dad and stepmom’s trip to New York. Haven’t seen her in a while.

There’s this guy who sits next to me in U.S. History. During speechs and debates, he always draws something on a piece of paper. And by God, is it disturbing.
Last week, during a debate about Dred Scott, he was drawing some naked, disfigured voodoo lady in some sort of wicker basket.
Today, he is drawing a man with an afro and big, bulgy eyes. He wears an Ecko shirt, and is holding his mail from a mailbox behind him, which is in a small bucket.. A large mollusk covers the lower portion of his face. He exclaims, “WOAH!”
And this is all from one of the most generic guys I can think of at school. It’s things like this that make me want to throw away all of my preconceptions and stereotypes. But it’s not like that’s a good thing.

And I will leave you with this final note:
The word “love” has nothing to do with the word “perfection.”

Yohhwooooah. I finally got my site back to normal by putting TWO <body> tags in instead of one.

I’ve been writing 5 pages of a 25-page essay all day today, so I don’t really feel like writing much more, but here’s what’s been happening ever since I last posted:

I’ve gone to school.
My mom got stung by two bees.
I finished SAT tutoring.
I played with my cat.
I played with my dog.
I played with myself.

Even though that’s all boring and such, my schedule is still oh-so-very PACKED.

Soon I’ll be adding my first item to Misc. Stuff – pages I made in 1995 when I was 9 years old. Yes, that’s right. I made webpages at age nine. And many were designed better than other pages made by college students at the time. Of course, they don’t make sense. But then again, I never have made sense. Stay tuned ‘n’ stuff!

I’ve been on a COMIC RAMPAAAGGEE recently. And procrastination looms over my head like a giant torso.

Wow, was that a frightening mental image. Speaking about that, I watched Raising Arizona yesterday, with Nicholas Cage as an escaped convict, and [someone who mom says isn’t showing up in many movies these days] as his police photographer wife. It has one of the coolest characters in it: a double shotgun-wielding motorcyclist from Hell who bombs innocent bunnies as he zooms by. HE IS THE COOLEST. I think I want to be like him when I grow up. But in the nearer future, I want to watch Fargo, made by the Cohen (sp?) brothers also.