Awful Failure

Today is Veteran’s Day, so I had the day off school. Intermission.

My attention span is becoming dangerously shorter. I think there’s something psychologically wrong with me. Once anything leisurely seeps into my work time, then it’s bye-bye work for at least a few hours. Up until a few weeks ago, it wasn’t at all like this. I could just come home, work on my homework, get any extra studying done, and then have enough time to chat with some friends and work on my comic. Now I forget about as much as I put off. It’s horrible.

Anyway, I was intent on focusing today towards writing my college essay for the Universities of California. I disconnected internet access from my room. The prompt was to talk about things outside of school that make me who I really am. I couldn’t finish it – Solitaire, Minesweeper, and later a misplaced PS2 got in my way. It’s that freaking awful.

My parents wanted to see what what I had done, though, so I printed out a copy. They labeled it antagonistic, defensive, and contradictory, and I completely agree. Here’s the incomplete pièce de resistance. Crap on this.

There is a widespread belief every teenager’s life revolves around school. School determines where one will go for college, and, consequently, in which field one will major. The major then determines where one will go for a living. The story supposedly ends there. Does this mean that people are never individuals, in that everyone takes the same course in life? In the real world, every person is unique, and everyone has their own interests and aspirations outside of school. The latter adage clearly applies to me – I cannot rely on my astounding grades, my position as quarterback on my school’s football team, or my admittance into every available honor society to show who I really am – for I have none of those. Instead, what makes me unique could often be dismissed as a pithy free-time activity. It is my passion for web design and development.

I grew up as a gifted child. I could read and write by age 3. I added and subtracted for fun. As a first grader, my standardized test scores were in the 99th percentile of the nation-wide second grade scores. I could master any simple trade to which I was introduced. Development on the computer was one of these trades. At school, I painted pictures, while at home, I drew bitmaps. I wrote stories for my classes, while I wrote code for my websites. As my skills grew at school, so grew my skills at home.

Soon enough, my free-time activities began to influence my whole persona. I showcased my websites to my classmates. My online personality traits seeped into my real-life demeanor. My group of friends became the “geeks,” people with the same interests as I.

I Am Jack's Ass

Levi, you left your backpack in the trunk of my car.

And it’s stupid – now with my cut-down brown hair and hoodie, my sister says I look even MORE like Eminem.

James and I left our houses at about 7:00 yesterday morning, and we didn’t return until midnight. That’s how fun the day was.

Aside from taking it easy in classes, having a rousing DDR Club, and watching some episodes of “The Awful Truth” with Michael Moore in Economics, the school day was all right. Steve has finally come back from a 2-freaking-month sabbatical from school, programming what I like to call Project X. I think it’ll only be sold in Europe, and supposedly a check’s in the mail for $1500 plus royalties. Anyway, his grades have probably been shot to hell (that’s okay, he’ll go to a local community college and then transfer to Harvard, heh heh), but that hasn’t changed him a bit – he is definitely the one to have enough initiative to round everyone up to go see Jackass.

And that is precisely what we did, after snacking on some giant tubs of yogurt and finding out that DDR will be coming to Northgate Mall, the main mall of San Rafael. It started an hour later than we had expected, though, so I had to tell my mom that I’d be home a bit late for (Shabbat) dinner.

I thought that the movie had no taste and I agree with every reviewer that gave it zero stars, saying that it’s an abomination of national cinema and that the people who enjoy seeing it deserve to, because a mixture of immaturity and testosterone is exactly what Jackass is targeting.

In other words, I LOVED it. Pretty damn disgusting like everyone says – more things going through people’s asses than in the average gay porno (guhuh jeff yuo would know) – and alligators up the wazoo (sorta literally) – but of course, it’s a great movie to watch with friends. Unfortunately, Steve got everyone to sit in the front row for half of the film, but we sorta snuck out and watched the rest from a sane distance.

Then I had to drive EVERYONE home, which cut into the time where I was supposed to be eating dinner. By the time I got home, my mom had left to look for me. I should have waited for her, but instead I drove James and Levi to the Oasis for our usual Friday night bash.

In the middle of In The Navy ’99, my mom appeared behind me and asked for me to come home.

So I made the challah like I had originally intended (I made some dough at my Jewish studies class and saved it for Shabbat), had a nice dinner, and drove my sister to my dad’s, all while everyone was waiting for me back at the arcade. Guh.

Well, I drove the Drakeians home, drove James home, and went the hell to bed. I got OMAKE 4 up, though.

Let’s provide a bit of an intermission here for me to tell you how my body is nowadays:
I have never been stronger.

I haven’t mentioned it for a few months, but I’m still training with the Brazilian ex-soccer player, Marcos. I’ve gotten to be good friends with him, and soon I’ll be inviting him over to the DDR club to show him the aerobic activity that I’ve been raving about. Anyway, he’s a wonderful trainer (quite expensive, but worth it). I can now bench-press about 120 pounds and lift about 200 pounds with my legs. I’m better at squats, I can run an easy 20 minutes without tiring, and I know much more about my body altogether. Best of all, Marcos is a masseur, so whenever my back gets tight (it often does), he can just push it around a bit and pound his fists a bit, and I’m all better. Good times.

Well, along with just weight training, Marcos – but more importantly, my stepmom – suggest that I take yoga so I don’t just have muscles and nothing to do with them. I need some flexibility. Well, I’ve been taking classes for about two months at Gold’s Gym – they’re free for members – but they have done almost nothing for me. Because of other classes needing to use the aerobics room, the class is condensed into 55 minutes, with nothing removed. That means that our “5 deep breaths” have to take about a second, and then we have to hold a painful pose that we can’t ease into, and we do not work up into the very hard exercises, like shoulder stands or HAND stands. Ugh.

Well, this morning, I was woken up by my dad telling me that we’re going to another yoga class. I did anything but complain. The class took place in a building all about yoga and meditation, so the room was quiet, spacious, and appropriate for yoga. We did easier – yet as effective – exercises, and the class took twice as long, so the relaxation part actually had a meaning. Leaving the class, all my aches and pains were gone, and I felt much more flexible. I actually like yoga now.

And now that all the physical stuff is over and that it’s a rainy three-day weekend, I think I definitely need to work on Kingdom Hearts a bit. Seeya.

I'm In Love With You

Here’s that song that I wrote for Jazz Chorus yesterday. It’s supposed to be a slow boy-band-like song… and it’s got a real Weird Al flavor to it. Avid internet users may get a chuckle out of it, but the people in my Jazz Chorus were actually ROFL.

You wait for me
Until I get home
I can always call you
You’re hooked up to the phone
I know that you care for me
That I can tell
You make great websites
Out of my HTML

Chorus:
I am beside you
All day and night
When I am bored
You make it right
You are my savior
You are my guide
And I can tell that it’s true
Oh my computer, I’m in love with you

We can write music
We can make art
Long as you’re plugged in
We’ll never part
I can play games with you
And talk to my friends
We will build castles
Until the end

Chorus

Bridge:
What’s this, it’s a virus
My hard disk’s been wiped clear
Oh well, it’s old, it’s no big loss
I’ve had it for a whole year

I’ll swap the RAM
The video card too
How good it feels
To be inside of you
It may be the caffeine
Or my lack of a life
But you’re the closest
That I’ll have to a wife

Chorus

Poetry

I go to school to exercise my left brain, and at home I exercise my right brain. What happens when my right brain is required to work at school? Chaos.

I like to call myself a very artistic person. I make a webcomic, I draw a lot (now these are two separate things, of course), I compose music, I design websites, etc. One thing I can’t do, though, is write poetry.

Rhyming sillyness is not poetry. I mean, it’s a form, but it’s not the form that requires any real effort.

I have “deep thoughts” often, and I try to get them in words as much as I can, but whenever any creativity comes into them, I completely draw a blank. In my weblog, I can easily say what I feel because my feelings can easily be written down through example and analysis. I think metaphors are where I draw the line, though. I can’t say “life is my chariot and I am riding up the mountain” or some stupid shit like that without looking back and saying “…uh… that’s stupid shit.” I know that’s what poetry is – just writing whatever comes naturally – but that self-consciousness is also a part of who I am.

I try to write lyrics for a song. I start with a premise. Hmm, I say, I’ll make it a dark song. I get images of giant devilish figures popping through the clouds, picking up pedestrians and eating them, and lava pours out and sears the earth and buildings collapse and stuff. But how am I supposed to put my “emotions” and “feelings” into words? Definitely not like this:

A devil thing pops through the clouds
And picks up a pedestrian
And eats it
And then lava pours out
And sears the earth
And buildings collapse
And stuff

Yeah. Just dividing prose into verses is NOT poetry. Then again – I really can’t find an example of poetry that I really like. Poetry that I can easily interpret as having a deep meaning and really relating to me.

Think about what I said for just a second. Does that sound like a contradiction to you? “easily interpretable” stuff that has a “deep meaning?”

Starting from that, I start looking at my creative side as really god damn shallow.

I WROTE LYRICS FOR A SONG TODAY. And the only reason that I could get through it was because it was a satirical, Weird Al-type song, and it rhymed. (I’ll post it up later.) It was funny… people laughed… but it wasn’t deep like I would have originally wanted my song to be.

I want to write about how I see the world, what I think of people, what I think of events, how my imagination works – and I want it to be written down like poetry. But that’s just not how my mind works. I’m not very good with words.

Blargh. Maybe that rhyming funny song I made today is a starting point. But it may head me in the wrong direction. Here, I’ll try writing a poem and seeing how it goes.

The sky is filled with a haze
Sand flies across the dunes
It’s all BLARGH FUCK THIS IS COMPLETELY TOTALLY STUPID EVERYONE’S WRITTEN A POEM ABOUT THE SKY AND HOW THE ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS HOW I THINK AND IT ALL GOES SO WELL ALTHOUGH I’M BAD AT INTERPRETING IT AND…

Wow, typing in capital letters is a real way for me to get my “emotions” out.

Just like any web cartoonist should be…

I’m becoming competely obessive about my comic.

I’m freaking out that I don’t have the comic done for NEXT TUESDAY, let’s start off on that. I’m putting my comic for NEXT TUESDAY higher on my list of priorities than, uh, my homework.

And believe it or not, that Ren and Stimpy reference was completely unintentional. I really have completed all the strips up to next Monday.

Then there’s the popularity part – my comic is at #50 on TWC, which isn’t really bad… but then again, TWC is only one of many top webcomics lists, and only the people I already know are currently the only ones who frequent the comic every day.

I steer away from lots of types of humor… excessive swearing, violence, sexual content… of course, I’ve touched on all of those topics, but they were all poking fun at how people use them to gain popularity – but I want popularity without that. Hum. Maybe a few more years and I’ll make it into the big time… or I could just become a hypocrite.

Humor is funniest when it comes to human suffering. I have to remember that. There has not been one joke that I’ve made without some exclamation of mental or physical superiority or reference to someone being harmed that people have laughed at. For example, here were the most successful strips to date:

  • My car flying off a cliff
  • My dog flying out the window
  • James getting shot in the face
  • Francisco crashing

    It’s sad, and I try my best to make my comic good without that… but most of the time that just makes my comic cheesy or misinterpreted.

    Every character in Mall Monkeys has a gun. But they make me laugh anyway, so I give them a gold star.

    So I’m open for constructive comments about my comic. I probably have enough ideas at this point to fulfill most everyone’s needs.

  • Adam's Magical Mystery Hat

    I got DDRMAX.

    I was supposed to go to the monthy children’s service at my temple yesterday, but Hannah called in and invited me over to her school’s homecoming parade.

    I met up with Adam and Bryan over at Cold Stone Creamery (or Stone Cold Steve Ice Cream) and Adam told us of his tale of his MAGICAL MYSTERY HAT. He can probably tell it better himself but oh well.

    Earlier that day, Adam was hanging around Albertson’s wearing a top hat, part of his Tuxedo Mask costume for Halloween. Some guy came up to Adam and Bryan asking for change for 20 dollars. He said that if they went across the street any Albertsons and just got–

    *PAUSE, MIND GOES BLANK, EYES ROLL BACK INTO HEAD*

    Two 5’s and three 1’s, then they could keep two dollars. Of course, there were still five dollars left in the whole deal, so–

    *PAUSE, MIND GOES BLANK, EYES ROLL BACK INTO HEAD*

    The man thought it over a few more times and then said that although he was black, he wasn’t a “nigga” and so he wouldn’t cheat them or something. Adam can fill in the rest of the story in the comments.

    So anyway, he finished telling us of this epic tale, and then this homeless, stoned, drunk guy came up to Adam and started talking to him about how this guy tried selling him two blunts for $70 and then how his mom have him $500 in Macy’s coupons. Then he said that he has two beers under a tree and that he’ll be sleeping here (downtown San Rafael) for the night. Interesting. Keep in mind that I’m probably leaving out the best parts, so Adam will fill you in.

    We think all this happened because of his magical hat.

    Anyway, Hannah finally arrived and Paul didn’t, and while thinking about what to do for dinner, the San Rafael homecoming parade started. We followed it down the street… the floats were… well… I can’t really say – I’ve never been to a homecoming parade. I got impatient and ran into this new pizza place while we were following the parade, and I said I’d catch up to everyone else after I order a slice. Turns out they had to make the pizza from scratch, so by the time I ordered it and arrived at San Rafael High School (where the parade ended), the game was underway. The pizza wasn’t really that good, either.

    Anyway, we four peoples created complete disarray in the game – from yelling out the Homestar Runner theme to rooting for the visiting team to shouting “YOU SUCK” at the homecoming queen (that rhymed just a bit too well), we were only asked to be a bit more quiet once, and after that we pretty much leaned on each other.

    I hit Adam in both heads multiple times with my empty bottle of Code Red.

    Then we went to Hannah’s where we saw Homestar‘s Greatest Hits and saw some scary WMVs from Adam’s websites, the URLs of which I’m sure he will provide.

    And then I drove them home like a maniac and went to bed.

    The next day, I passed every song originally available in DDRMAX, woot woot.