I guess I'll just have to blog.

Been a busy winter break. I guess I’ll start with Christmas.

The whole gang was here. My stepbrother Jason visits for holidays, so he was here in all his Down’s syndrome glory. We usually go out to fancy restaurants when he’s around.

For Christmas, I got a Dell Axim X5, a TI GRAPH-LINK, a Comic History of the World book, some shirts and chocolates. I mean, the big-o present was the Axim. Pocket PCs are pretty damn nice… only I got the “Basic” model, so I need some more memory.

For Christmas dinner, we invited a few family friends over, and had porky pork. All very traditional and upper-class Marin style. Niiiiice.

The next day was my birthday. My birthday present (under the damn Christmas tree as usual) was a flatbed scanner! Oh, joy! I scanned this!

For the rest of the day, I really didn’t do much. I just started working on a DWI of “One Winged Angel,” and finished up Friday’s comic.

(The following passage skips frequently from singular to plural first person, but you’ll get the message nonetheless.)

Today, though… I went to the Metreon in San Francisco with my mom and my sister, and we had TEH blast. First, we met up with Mikosi and some of her friends, and played a bit of DDR. To my disappointment, the arcade only had two really old, dumbed-down versions of DDR… titled “Dance Dance Revolution” and “Dance Dance Revolution USA.” and they ate most of my credits.

I was rather disappointed, so we stormed out of the arcade and went upstairs to the movie theater entrances… and THERE were the two DDRMAX2 machines that everyone was talking about. I must have spent $20 on the game (which isn’t much, because each credit costs $2). I garnered up quite a crowd, and I even did better than the token Asian guys that always play there. Boy, am I proud. I even beat Kakumei and was a few steps from beating So Deep. Yup.

I was pooped as poop after that, so we just walked around dazed and read some graphic novels at some book stores. Then we took the super-fast Amazing Ferry (TM) home, and that was the end of that.

Well this blog sure is boring. Oh well. Time to get back to making that OWA DWI.

Should I be flaunting this?

When I still lived in Fremont, we often went to this arcade in Milpitas, the name escapes me… it was medieval-themed. They had a pretty good-size arcade there, and there’s one game that I remember… it was called SegaSonic Arcade.

I’ve done some research on the game, and most people claim that it never saw an American release, or it was on display at a convention and that was it. I doubt these people took into consideration the idea of Japanese importing, because I remember playing that game a few times.

You can do the research yourself, but it’s the first Sonic arcade game, where he, along with Ray the Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo (from Chaotix) are running away from lots of things and trying not to fall into lava and step on spikes. It’s pretty much the usual sonic formula, only it’s at a 3/4 perspective and uses a trackball. I wish I payed a bit more attention to it when I played it, but I was only about 5 years old, so meh.

There’s a miniscule chance that the arcade may still have it. If so, that’d simply be awesome if I could get my hands on it, since there are only protoype ROMs out there…

English Journal Assignment on Fear

Julie has dreams and aspirations. As a member of the cheerleading team and a coordinator of lots of local parties, she’s quite submerged into the social scene. She has a great boyfriend on the football team, a loving supporting family, and is known well by vendors at the mall.

She knows that none of this can be taken away. She knows her life is set – summers spent tanning on the beach, winters spend shopping and throwing snowballs in her knew fleece sweatshirt – but what if something goes wrong?

Every day, she wakes up trembling from nightmares. In her dreams, her life is consistently ruined. She gains ten pounds after failing to resist a pint of ice cream. Her strapless dress falls off at the prom. She maxes out her credit card. Her SUV runs out of gas on the freeway almost a mile from her house!

Julie is sure that if any of this happens to her, her life will be ruined. Of course, the thoughts of the death of a family member, the onslaught of poverty, the development of some fatal disease, or getting involved in a car crash zoom right by her – she is not scared of those things. They only happen in movies.

Which reminds her! If she doesn’t wear her new shoes to the premiere of Sweet Home Alabama, she’s ruined!

Ctrl+Enter is your friend!

Weekend was fun. Levi blogs about it better than me.

The end.

Yeah, and the next day, on Saturday, I got a Christmas tree with my dad. I was glad about how that went – the selection process was really fast, since it was raining like hell, so all the trees at the San Rafael High School tree lot were tipped over to prevent being blown away, so we just chose one and left. I helped decorate it with lights, and just a few hours later, some presents with my name on them appeared. Hooray!

Later that day, after a whole bunch of StepMania, I went off to the arcade and met JamesBryan-AdamJam. We played DDR, believe it or not.

We drove over to Drake High School, where their overly-eccentric drama teacher was putting on some sort of youth group production at their theater. I saw two short plays – one being a Greek play by Aristotle where Bryan plays a whiny, depressed freak. In a toga. I brought my digital camera and took about a million pictures of him for no reason whatsoever. If I get a server problem resolved, I’ll be able to put up a gallery of, uh, Bryan.

The next play was pretty much the same thing but with Adam, and it was a collection of short fairy-tale-fable-type thingos. He participated in a fight scene with the Mortal Kombat theme playing in the background, so you know that must have been good.

After teasing Bryan about sticking a “recorder” way too far into his mouth and after everyone tried to steal Sophie‘s sword and chop off heads with it, we trekked over to James’s house, where I basically told everyone to go to my house. Then we did.

Uh, we played more DDR, and some StepMania too. Yeah, that’s about it. And then I took a webcam picture of Bryan smacking his face up against my window. He’ll comment with the link to that picture and I’ll put it here…

Next day was spent trying to do math homework. I’ve got the shortest attention span in history.

Life has never been so tranquil

Nor has it been as hectic.

My SATs are over. I took two more SAT IIs on Saturday, Math IC and Literature, and I think I did pretty well in both of them. Math IC was much, much easier than Math IIC, which I got a 590/800 on. I hope to get a high 700, like I did on my Writing test. Literature was easier than it was on many of the practice tests, where I got a low 500. I expect that I’ll get somewhere around a low 600, and that’ll be good enough for me.

I played through the demo version of Wild Arms 3. The graphics are not up to par with anything by Squaresoft in the last two years, the combat system is the same old boring turn-based stuff, and the anime intro is not as good as the first two. The story’s great, though. I love anime westerns. Who doesn’t? I mean, look at Cowboy Bebop and Trigun.

Then I lifted a whole shitload of really heavy rocks.

Later, when I was attempting to get some progress with CAR done, and planning to go to San Francisco to see another improv show, my dad slammed my progress report down in front of me. I was more surprised than he. The reported grades:

Pre-Calc HP: C-
Physics: D-
Economics: D

The Pre-Calc I can understand, but ?!?! Physics and Economics? So far, those courses are a breeze to me!

There are a few explanations. One, I’m pretty sure that Physics grade is out of date. Our Physics teacher quit about a month ago, since she was completely awful and would stop the class and wait 5 minutes for everyone to become quiet – after they had already become quiet. When she left, our replacement, a much better, experienced teacher worked out a plan with our principal to let us make up any assignments that weren’t counted. I re-did the assignments that weren’t counted. This was in the duration of the past week. That means that my new grade, which clearly isn’t a D, was not included in the report.

Economics, I have NO idea. That’s GOT to be a mistake. I’m one of the best students in the class.

So now my parents are really mad at me and they don’t want me to do my website, of course. And they seem pretty serious. So I’m not sure about what’s going to be happening this week, but don’t be 100% sure that a CAR will be up every day. Monday’s is a good start, though…

War of the Cliques

Here’s the obligatory disclaimer. Jeez, these are getting tiring. Just to disprove any thoughts of my senility and lack of depth, I have told this story many a time to people at school already, so don’t comment saying that I’m repeating myself. I’m fully aware.

Throughout the years, my social level has slowly been rising. This “throughout the years” garbage started at the beginning of 3rd grade, when I left Fremont, in the east San Francisco Bay Area, and moved with my mom to Marin.

It could have been that these elementary years were crucial in conforming to the social norm, and my abrupt placement into a whole different set of kids threw me off. Gone were the ages of pretending I was Sonic the Hedgehog, riding the swift currents of the Labrynth Zone, with my best friends by my side. (They went by the names of Silver Sonic, Tails, and Emerald Sonic. 1st Grade is an appropriate age to manipulate Sonic characters *ahem cough sprite comics*)

Instead, I made a social living off drawing pictures of Sonic the Hedgehog. My first year in Marin was spent doing requested artwork. I had lots of friends, and I was the strange yet alluring new kid.

Then I started hanging out with the “wrong crowd.”

In came Simeon, Arthur, and Jeff, two of whom have appeared in my comic. They quickly became my best friends. My first continuous comic series, the Video Game H.Q. (made in 4th grade, hence the childish name), starred Arthur and me, and Jeff and Simeon made frequent visits. You can tell by the name of the comic (and by Simeon’s behavior in his comic – he’s the guy in the 4th frame) that we were the nerd group at our elementary school. My social level was set. From then on, no matter what I embarked on, be it soccer practice or be it summer camp, I was always seen as the “nerd.” This cut into my self-esteem, and for many years, I was depressed.

Then came more friends. I found out that I wasn’t alone. Knowing that many around me have gone through the same social placement (some may say “rejection,” but factoring in the concept of cliques, no one is really rejected), my self-esteem slowly came back. By mid-high school, I was in high spirits once again, and to this day, my friend base is steadily growing.

But… the world refused to change.

Although I have so many friends nowadays, that doesn’t really mean that I’ve reached beyond my clique. There are those out there who watch me and others from afar, giddly pricking us as our backs are turned. The other cliques have evolved as well.

“JEFFREY FAGGIN’!” someone shouted as they had stumbled upon the new, beckoning, mysterious word. My 6th grade body turned toward them, and tears welled up in my eyes. I wasn’t a “fag!” How dare they take my name and ridicule me like that! Now that “Faden” sounds like “Faggot,” this name will follow me ’till doomsday!

A year later, I noticed how stupid that name is, and I shrugged it off.

A year ago, I heard it again.

The jock clique, having retracted back into itself and resorted to potty humor and childish behavior for laughs and social advancement, has rediscovered the art of name-calling. I am once again a pseudonym, this time going under the name “Jeffrey Faded.” They have also conjured up the new, hilarious name for my occasional lunchtime activity – “ADDDDDDR,” or “Attention Deficit Disorder Dungeons and Dragons Dance Dance Revolution.”

This time, I would not cry and hide myself. I, in all of my glory, would initiate battle with the jock clique.

The current status of the war is as follows:

First wave of complete ignorance has failed. The jocks still insist on the name calling.

Second wave of retortion was aborted. Finding any name to call them would be stooping down to their level. Historically, this has failed.

Third wave is currently in action. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This seems to be working. I have perfected my 50’s Sitcom Father Laugh – perhaps in the near future, I will have slicked hair and a pipe to go along with it. I use this to counterattack when the usual names appear. “Ha! Ha! Ha! Jeffrey Faded, that sure is a swell play on my name! How frightfully clever! I think I will use it myself!” The official adoption of pseudonym Jeffrey Faded has taken place. If this doesn’t dumb down the overuse of this term, I will go to even higher extremes. Maybe I could make a shirt that says “Jeffrey Faden D Loves to Play ADDDDDDR!” If that doesn’t get them to back down and realize how stupid their name calling is, then it’s onto the fourth wave of actual physical violence, which I’m sure will not happen.