08 April 2014

All Men Must Die

Listening to: Kanye Asada, "Boys & Girls: March 2014." We went out this past weekend to see another DJ but ended up falling in love with this guy’s set. It was wonderfully dancey, while not falling into any genre. Technically it’s maybe a little housey with R&B hooks, but it was so much better than that. Anyone who mixes in "Escapade" is all good in my book. Also, that name "carne asada" is amazing. Here's his setlists and try out this Aaliyah track for a quick taste of what I fell in love with. See you on the dance floor.

Most of the rest of my weekend was spent in a much more prone position, lying on my side while grinding/frolicking through hours of Battleheart. Battleheart is an iOS action RPG game that came out a few years ago and I don’t know how I missed it. Suffice to say, the package of wonderfully responsive controls, streamlined design, lots of lineup combinations, plus super cute characters had me obsessed. I mean, take a look at the little barbarian, witch, pirate, and even a monk! I think I literally played Battleheart for ten hours straight, stopping only when my phone died.

Also, the week was all about Game of Thrones right? While waiting for Sunday’s premiere, and making backup plans in case HBO Go collapsed (again), I saw that Fantasizr was running a GoT fantasy game. Of course I assembled a league because fantasy anything makes life better. And then I started a blog for the league because, well, that’s what I do. Anyway, our draft was super fun and now I’m heavily invested in my team’s aptitude for killing, maiming, sexing, insulting, and drinking. My team name is "Blonde Ambition," named after Madonna's tour, and my first few picks were right on theme with Daenerys, Brienne, and Joffrey. And then somehow I ended up with almost all of the Tyrells, more than fulfilling the "ambition" part of the name. Fantasy Game of Thrones and the new season of MTV Challenge will keep me occupied now that basketball is over. Can someone just make fantasy real life friends already?
And hello, the new Captain America is so good! If you've seen it already, check out this spoiler filled "The Winter Soldier Secrets You (Probably) Didn't Notice." As an avid Marvel fan but not enough apparently, I didn't notice most of these tidbits. I mean, when I used to read comics, Captain America was not cool. But now he's got super muscles and looks like Chris Evans so he's finally got a proper fandom.

Someone asked me this weekend if I thought an issue of "Amazing Fantasy #15,” Spider-Man’s debut, would be a good investment. There seem to be quite a few available for sale on eBay, priced from a few hundred dollars to a mere thirty-five grand. I’m trying to convince my friend that buying “Giant-Size X-Men #1” would have so much more cachet. Right? And it’s cheaper! If I ever make mega money, all my rooms will be filled with comic books and statues. Take a look at this blog, X-Men: Statues of Future Past, which is basically my dream home. I won't need any other rooms, just this one. And in case you some wallpaper for your digital home, I painstakingly stitched together this 50th anniversary Avengers poster. And here's the X-Men one. Warning: Both are hugely, and probably life changing.

I still haven’t had a chance to read Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding that came out a couple of years ago, and now he’s got an anthology out titled MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction. It sounds like a must read for writers. Back in 2012 I read Keith Gessen’s How a Book is Born, which focused on Harbach’s debut and was really interesting, plus I want to re-recommend this n+1 podcast episode with Gessen.

03 April 2014

Remember the Time

Listening to: All the mixes from 143's Soundcloud page. "143 is a monthly party of slow jams, love songs, and bed squeaking future R&B." Basically, I need to get to L.A. soon to attend one of these parties. But for now, these streams will have to do.

Digging the crates, looking up my important “firsts.” First Tweet, first Gmail, etc. These are really the important moments in my life. I read this article, "How Gmail Happened: The Inside Story of Its Launch 10 Years Ago” and they said that Gmail launched on April 1st, 2004. I started using it exactly a month later -- here's how to see your oldest message -- and haven’t stopped advocating for it since. I remember AMR and I got early invites because we were loyal Blogger users. Those extra two invites we had apiece were literal gold! We eBayed those suckers for like $80 each. It was a glorious time.

Now I’m taking a spin in my Gmail archives and reliving my life a decade ago. That basically involves Google stalking old co-workers and friends I’ve lost touch with. You know, the usual. Back in 2004 I was working at a generic pharmaceutical company. Filing, emailing, doing important stuff. I forgot what my title was. Quality assurance peon? This was my first foray into regular office culture and oh man, what a thrill! Sure hope I can get into that kind of job again. Not.

Oddly, my very first email was to myself, as I forwarded along a copy of my PDF resume as an attachment. Clearly I was very career focused as my first instinct was to preserve my resume for eternity on Google’s servers. Lot of good that did me over the past decade, right? Also, it’s unfortunate but my email address through most of my twenties was paradigmpimp@whatever. I had to start many subject headings with "This is not spam, I swear." I wish someone had intervened and told me to change my email address to something less faux ironic and dumb. And easier to spell.

For posterity, my first tweet sent into the world a little after midnight on May 24, 2007 was: "In new york, still up, blogging.” Ain’t shit changed....

While we’re at it, I was doing some more digging and came upon this 2006 review of my blog book from John Scalzi. Totally forgot about that! Sometimes I forget I wrote a book on blogging and that’s how I got my start.  I look at how I’ve only got five entries up so far this year and that just makes me sad sad sad. The move then is to recapture the blogging fire and toward that end I’m gonna blog every day till the end of the month. “No, don’t do it,” you cry. Too late, I already committed. And I always, always, follow through on my commitments.

Really, the first thing I should do is go through this Top 250 Blogs list from Rough Guide to Blogging and write up a “Where Are They Now” feature. Well, maybe not for all it. Perhaps just the “personal blogs” section. I mean, where is Bazima, Maganda, Minjung Kim now? Well, at least we know where Evhead went. The Blogger cofounder went on to start Twitter! Actually, let’s be real, the best part of writing Rough Guides was sneaking in friends like Boygirlparty, Eidolon, and Transcended. Plus I crammed in as many screenshots as I could of friends' blogs. Oh the power I wielded.

I think Rough Guides stopped printing the blogging book awhile ago and shockingly I only have like two copies in my closet. Perhaps I better start wandering into used bookstores to start collecting copies. Some day my children will want to hold my first book in their hands. Or maybe they won’t, since everything will be digitized by then and nobody will care about physical artifacts.

I sent these to my friend the other day, a collection of links to articles about writing and money, starting with a Scalzi classic. Also check out Scalzi's book on writing as a career, You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop.