Updated

Updated at least twice a week! (best catchphrase EVER)

2014/10/15

Weirdness and Reality

One thing that never fails to surprise me is how often reality surprises me with its superb moments of humor, irony, weirdness, and beauty.  As humans, we ought to pride ourselves on our creativity.  Our media can invent worlds of insane happenings that are perfectly choreographed to deliver on these ideas of humor and irony and weirdness and most importantly beauty.  There are others, but it guess you can see where my priorities lie.  Either way, life surprises me.  It reminds me that we humans are but children at creativity, irony, and form.  No matter how cool we are, life will come up with something more perfect.

For example, humor.  A Nobel lauriette was traveling to see his grandmother.  He was going through airport security and was searched and questioned on his belongings.  When they saw the statue made of pure gold, they asked him if someone had given this to him.  He said of course someone had.  The king of Sweden gave it to him.  The TSA agents immediately shat themselves (exaggeration) as their training kicked in.  For after all, what if this man was smuggling drug money and was spoofed by someone impersonating the king of Sweden?  Mind you, they are in America.  They ask him why and he elegantly explains that he discovered that the universe's rate of expansion was accelerating; that he was a Nobel Prize winner.  They had only one more question: Why are you in Fargo?

It's so funny.  It's so beautiful.  I could NEVER have come up with something like that.  No comedy will ever trump what has happened in the countless lifetimes we as humanity have lived.  On that note, I've spoken a few times on my belief that there aught be no distinction between Fiction and Nonfiction.  This is a piece of my argument for that case.  When a comedian immortalizes that moment in a work of art, is it fiction or nonfiction?  What do we do with a nonfiction occurrence that is truly stranger than any fiction?  What do we do with a fiction like our financial system becoming more true than the nonfiction of reality?  

Dear reader, the lines of fiction and nonfiction are blurred by our every action.  When I birthed a toaster in high school physics out of plastic, metal, and silver, I turned fiction into fact.  When you hear my words transmitted to your mind from afar, you blur the line between magic and the mundane.  And when we all die (for die, we shall), what then will we learn about fiction and fact, magic and the mundane, fear and adventure-- the likes of which few can attempt to understand.

2014/10/08

Taoism

I handed off my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching to a friend recently and one of my favorite stories lit up like a supernova in my mind.  The story goes something like this:



Once, a Chinese lord who followed the Tao was under siege by a local lord who thought him weak.  His people were in fear.  Their friends and farmers outside the keep could not approach.  Food stores were running low.  The king gathered his people together and called out to the greatest thief in the town.  Everyone in the town knew who this person was, but it took a while for her to step forward from her home in the shadows.  The lord got on his knees and asked her calmly to aid his fair city.  It may not have been kind to her, but she is the only one who can save their keep.  Obviously, this piqued the thief's curiosity and the king told her what he had to do.  

That night, the thief was sent out alone on a dangerous mission.  The following morning, one of the most agile boys in the town climbed down the side of the fort and delivered the jade hairpin of the sieging general to the standing army.  The siege continued and the thief was sent out into the night once more.  This time, the general was waiting on the front lines to retrieve his pillow from the young delivery boy.  

A curious thing then happened.  The siege stopped.  The people asked their king why this had worked.  He told them that he was demonstrating his power.  Taking his hairpin was easy, a catburglar could do that.  Taking the pillow gently enough that it could not be sensed was a step up to the level that if my people were to come to harm from his blockade, I could take his life at any moment I pleased.  He finally reminded his subjects to reflect on who had saved them from their plights and asked them to focus on aiding the worst of them that they might not have to resort to such desperate acts.



The story sticks with me to remind me that all beings have purpose.  There is no good or bad, there is simply what is.  A thief is a result, not a criminal.  A challenge is a door, and many keys exist if you are but creative enough to find them.

2014/09/29

Fighting styles and metaphors

We've all heard some form of the saying, "style x counters or defeats style y."  The weird part about that is that we've all heard that saying from different places.  A gamer might say Soraka hard counters many top laners.  I might say Aikido will always triumph over Kung Fu.  A mother might say to her child, "with your sister, it's sometimes just best to just walk away."  This déjà vu of this statement is not accidental.  

Household disputes, epic battles, nail-biting duels, philosophical debates, fighting of every kind is a metaphor; timespace's representation of the battle between the wills of the participants.  In my opinion, the most successful participants are the ones who can read the style of their opponent and change their mindset to counter it.  The tenacity of their focus on this mindset will win them exchanges safely.  While switch ups are necessary, the fewer actions that violate the style they are countering with, the greater their chance of success.  This is all well and good if I am talking about fighting as not many can say they have battled to the extent that I have, but what about all that stuff about disputes and debates?  How does all that sort out?  Dear reader, the two are but shadows of the same truth.  Let me explain with a personal example.

When speaking to my own mother, it is common for me to become irritated at how often she throws out the same bits of information out at me.  I don't have a problem with it per say, I understand it is from the best of places, but it is just one of those things that just gets me.  We all find them in the ones we love, so overcoming them is most probably a universal battle waged by all humans past a certain age.  If this were some fantasy battle, I'd characterize my mom's comments like a cloud of gas around her that deals a tiny bit of damage while around her for long periods of time without movement or action.  In said fantasy battle, if I were to leave the poison cloud, I'd no longer take damage, but I'd also deal damage to her because she wants to talk to me.  So I can't leave.  What do I do?  I'd probably cast a spell or just cover my mouth to stop myself from ingesting the poison.  Ironically, this technique works equally well when not in the fantasy setting.  I love the word irony here and I think it is perfect, but I want to expound on that point by saying that this mirroring of actions across mediums of expression is more than metaphor.  It is true congruency.  

Next time you feel someone's presence is defeating you, consider observing their mindset and asking yourself what mindset you must be loyal to in order to benefit the current situation.  If they are hurting you, are you going to hurt them to show them that you are in pain because of them?  Are you going to do something that will protect yourself from the actions you know you can defend against?  Are you going to simply leave the battle because you can't defend against it?  Are you going to burn bright and warm to pacify and heal?  We all know the coworker with the stonewall smile and I-don't-give-a-shit to their boss.  We all have met someone who strikes the most exposed nerve you have just to make you feel as in pain as they are.  How do you deal with those tactics?  Do you defend yourself?  Do you fall like a soccer player to show them how successful their strike was?  Do you make the first move or the second?

Ask these questions as martial artists do, modify your footwork and your tactics, let that mindset lead your actions.  Remind the world that all forms of expression are the real metaphor.  For all of it is metaphor for the truth as it is in this very moment.

2014/09/16

College, redefined

Many of you know that I am neck-deep in the wake of the tidal wave that is the programming project I am working on.  As I work, I think to myself, "I wish I had some kind of place I could go to learn and have help giving physical form to the ideas I have."  Then I stop.  I am reminded of a game I played where the fantasy land had a college that was just like this.  It was a place where all the brilliant eccentrics hung out together.  The college had floors of research labs open for all to participate and discover with.  One wasn't ever a "graduate", academics were simply judged on how long, and how much, they gave to that community.

I want one of those for my world.  While I do know the first thing about programming, I am nowhere near knowledgable enough to complete this programming project without help.  So I picture a world where these colleges and their inhabitants are updated in real time via the internet.  I can know where all my favorite minds are (looks like Sir Ken Robinson is in Scotland today), I can search for communities of programmers (looks like there is a campus ten miles out where Wiemar used to be that is home to some programmers who could help me), and I can have access to all these resources at any time (looks like my tax dollars for education will be well spent this year).  Picturing all of this in my head is the first step.  Pulling the present forward to meet this imago is the next step.

The way I see it, first world countries would not have to build a single building or earn a single cent to turn this into a reality.  Dump administration teams and testing coordinators and curriculum designers and let the WORLD decide what needs taught.  School presidents would become gigadeans and their whole campus would now be rentable with access to equipment to students looking to learn and do.  I'm sure many teachers would rent out their room and hold classes of their fancy open to all.  I'm sure a few hundred local teachers of pottery, martial arts, yoga, or literature would be overjoyed to be able to have their midnight class in a safe place with free rent.  This would facilitate lower prices which is the direction we must go, for it is in direct incompliance with our current economic model.  If you wanna know more about that direction, stay tuned for next post.  Dear reader, thank you as always.  Til next time.


2014/09/08

Homeschooling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY
Watch this.  Please.  Come back when you are done.

So.  Yeah.  He's 13.  No one judges him but him.  He is free and awake and confident, independent and idealistic.  What changed?  Well, he became basically uncivilized by our societal standards.  He hacked his world wide open like a watermelon and is devouring every delicious piece of eternity.  He didn't do what someone told him to do, he learned how to find what makes him alive.  He was homeschooled.  He was rescued from the modern paradigm.

2014/09/05

Tokes of Awe 2

Welcome back to episode 2 of Tokes of Awe where we honor the show Shots of Awe by taking QUITE a bit more weed than Mr. Silva before sitting down to write.

"
I love plants.  They are so beautiful and hopeful and resilient.  Their babies, their SEEDS, have the strength to break through concrete in order to reach up towards their energy source, the sun.  Once they reach the sun, abundance is found; all of their wants and needs disappear and they party in the vast plenitude of it's radiance.  They begin to produce fruits and seeds to GIVE to the world for free because they are so satiated by this concert in the sky.  

Now I have partied with some intense disciples of the universe, but plants take the cake.  Sticking with this concert metaphor, plants extend with exuberance like groupies on the roadshow of their life EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Even if they run out of food and water, they'll still rock out until they wrinkle into crunchy husks.

So take care of your plants.  Give them water with the same care as you would give to a groupie barely conscious from rocking out too hard on without a water bottle.  Do that and she'll share with you the joys of her life completely freely.  ... Yeah, that's what I came here to say.
"

2014/09/02

Heroes of the Storm: Malfurryman Build

Welcome to something fun I wanna do here every now and again.  Heroes of the Storm is a new MOBA by Blizzard.  MOBAs were invented as a player-made custom map inside of one of Blizzard's games and the original heroes were in tribute to Blizzard's own.  Now Bliz is finally making a MOBA in tribute to their own fans and MY GOODNESS have they stepped up to the plate and changed the game.  I'll let you look into it on your own, but I wanna dedicate a lil time to covering heroes and builds to play to have fun with them.  I'm starting off with Malfurion not because I like him.  He is actually one of my least favorite support heroes, but I thought these builds were at least slightly entertaining, so I decided to start here.  I'll start off with my thoughts on Malfurion as a hero in HotS.  Here is some online references in case anything changes: 
http://heroesofthestorm.gamepedia.com/Malfurion?version=d9b8a8aa1eb6798864de53c3a5468925

Malfurion's trait is Innervate, a targeted spell that grants a Hero 100 mana over 10s on a 30s cooldown.  As a support, you should be sticking to your team like glue unless they are just on a quick errand in which case soaking up a lane is totes fine solo.  In the current alpha state of the game, most heroes have about 3 mana regen per second which grows to about 4 mps over the course of 30 levels.  If continuously cast, Innervate provides just over 3 mps in nice chunks that can be distributed to your party as you see fit.  This allows for unparalleled sustain pressure when compared to a team without him.

Malphy's first ability is Regrowth, a targeted 54+14/lvl heal with an additional 135+35/lvl heal over ten seconds.  The cooldown is 7s, so the heal won't even be done if you decide to reapply the heal on yourself.  Regrowth does not heal very much right off the bat, but it is a very strong heal if the heal over time effect is fully utilized.  The weakness of this heal is the lack of burst and area healing.  With all of the AoE in this game, sometimes you absolutely can't save everyone without area healing.  Thankfully, good old furryman has a few talents to help make up for this weakness.

Mister Stormrage's next ability is Moonfire, a small, circular skillshot that everyone knows and loves from World of Warcraft.  Blizzard did a great job of keeping it just as annoying too in tribute to their players that abused it.  It does 40+10/lvl damage and applies a 2s reveal for 20 mana on a 3s cooldown.  This move is highly underestimated.  Not only does it deal a great amount of damage over time, but the vision is incredible.  The weakness of this move is the lack of burst damage.  It's easy to tell that you are losing against a spell with no burst, which means you are psychologically more likely to run away before you are caught out for death.  There is no way to overcome this.  Accept this as Malfurion's way of fighting without the need to kill.  Accept this mindset and have faith in the moonfire to make them run-- so that you can then easily stop them.

This student of Cenarius's final ability is Entangling Roots, a medium sized, circular skillshot which gradually grows the flowers from Jumanji over 3s.  The roots are on a 12s cooldown and are aptly named for they root all who touch the flowers for 1.5s as the roots deal 54+20/lvl damage over the duration of the spell.  This is a lot of damage, but you will only get a portion of it unless you land the root right under their feet.  Many furries of the mal try to do this with good aim, but this move's true strength shines when it is used to chain stun, block retreats, catch fleeing targets, or separate teams.  To chain stun, wait for a targeted stun from your life partner and THEN drop the roots under them-- especially sexy with a Stitches or a Kerrigan.  To block retreats, hold onto the root until you reach a choke point and let the existing jungle become one with your own jungle-- there will be no way to avoid the root and even a 5man gank squad won't be able to catch this slippery druid.  To catch runners, just empathize.  When someone begins to run, their path should be very clear, so wait until you know where they are moving and place accordingly.  To separate teams, drop it JUST behind the initiation and preferably in a spot that cannot be avoided in order to separate the tank from those he lives for.  Don't forget to ping to take on the tank as many people save their spells for priority targets, but this technique with propper communication creates a free kill out of the enemy's strongest link.  If you are NOT doing one of these 4 things, do NOT cast the roots.  Every single root should change the game or end a life and it should always be available when it is needed.  Many druids believe the extra damage can help take objectives, but I argue that if you do not want to go back to base between every fight, you should save it for exactly when it is needed and trust in the moonfire.  The weakness of this ability is its long cooldown.  Choose your root well, for you may only have one.  This can be overcome with talents, but I believe that you only need one to do the job right.

I'll talk about the ults in the Talents, because it is important to think of heroes BEFORE their talents in order to understand their limitations and therefore how to create a balanced, specialized, or just plain fun Heroes of the Storm.


Here we GO!  Creepy Uncle Malfurryman Build:
The concept behind this build is to go for a Support role while choosing the talents that make me the creepiest uncle in existence.

First tier is Scouting Drone, a small ward that can be cast by your feet every 60s that provides vision and stealth detection in a modestly large area.  Not only is this spell super creepy, but the drone is worth its salt, even when compared to conjurer's pursuit.  As you'll be the perfect waifu, you can drop this drone in the woods to prevent ganks like in League.  No successful ganks, no need for conjurer's pursuit to heal through your losses.  It'll die in the process, but better it than you, because you'll be leaving by the time they hit your ward.  The drone also provides two more benefits.  First is the invisibility advantage.  In teamfights, drop this near a defensible location that Nova would likely come from and you'll at least hinder her attempts to Triple Crap the back of your head.  The other benefit is to aid in catching those pesky merc builds.  Place these over your objectives while you lane and as well as providing gank coverage, these can seal catches and kills against greedy specialists who want to outplay your team.

Second tier is Healing Ward.  This ward is on a 60s cooldown and heals all members for 20% of their max health over 10s.  This is your little lunch box on your creepy uncle adventures.  One of Mal's weaknesses is the inability to area heal.  This is one way to alleviate this weakness and it fits with the theme even against the current meta, which is a small and annoying tree that turns you into a duelist.  This spell is great for sustaining up your lane to help conserve mana, but it really shines in skirmishes in the jungle.  Placement is key as it will get killed by Li Li sneezing, but this ward will do wonders at providing that extra 20% cooler to let you win a fight you might have otherwise lost.

Third tier is Enduring Growth.  ENDURING.  GROWTH.  *snorts*  This is totally where I came up with the name for this build.  MILF is the Malfurion In Love with Fondling and he is now healing for a CONSIDERABLE amount more.  Mathematically speaking, the total healing is increased by a whopping 60%.  This will increase your healing scaling to 70/lvl which is absolutely phenomenal scaling compared to even Uther's full combo heal which has 60/lvl scaling.  The extra scaling will help conserve mana and free you up to spread your heals and feel confident not healing someone unless they are in a decent need-- sometimes it is best to let some problems just regen on their own and other times it's wise to pre-emptively heal the tank before he charges in to do all the work.  No need to be a busybody, you are a MALE support, after all.  You don't need to fix every problem like a fussy medic!

Your ultimate should be Tranquility, where you spread your wings and your loving embrace recovers health to all within your grasp.  As this is a support build, those area heals are very important.  Between your creepy uncle embrace, your creepy uncle lunchbox ward, your creepy uncle glare (Innervate), your enduring growth, and a player-based focus on efficiency, your team will be able to keep the fun going all night.  Oh god this build is so wrong on SO many levels.  Worth mentioning is your nightmare of Cenarius ult which is equally creepy as well as equally good.  I picture him exposing himself, damaging and silencing all in an area.  Use your instincts.  There are rarely any wrong choices if you are having fun.

Fourth tier is Full Moonfire, although Ice Block is always a good choice if that Nova or Zeratul is outsmarting you at every turn.  Aside from Full Moon being an awesome ability to give our creepy uncle, it adds to your efficiency by reducing moonfire's cost by 50% as well as giving it an easier time to hit multiple targets.  Archdruids are masters of balance and this support heals over time, so he must also be able to dish out damage over time to push the sway of battle to the point that the enemy loses the will to fight.  For if you JUST heal, your opponent will just keep coming.  Moonfire is your tool for damage.  NOT roots.  Roots are to change the game.  Every time.

Fifth tier is Lunar Shower.  Yes, the dirtiness does not end.  I'm not sure what he's showering everyone with every few seconds, but it's white and it falls from the heavens and it slowly kills you.  This talent makes you shine brighter the longer you are in combat.  I call it the Trevor Phillips effect and it fits our theme.  Your heals are solid and Tenacious Roots is a crutch that you do not need if your roots are blessed by Cenarius.  Without this talent, average moonfire does 76 dps.  With it fully revved up from minions or randomly raging at shit in the woods, the damage per second raises to 199.  For comparison, Kerrigan's full combo of leap, pull, and blades on a 12 second recharge has a dps of around 150.  Kerrigan's advantage is burst, talents, and autos which improve that in so many ways, but 199 is nothing to scoff at in comparison to 76.

Sixth tier is Bolt of the Storm, because VERY few things can top being able to be instantly at safe distance every 40s.  In league, this move has a 500s cooldown and it's still overpowered and almost never missing from a summoner's repertoire.  No joke, this creepy uncle can teleport through walls and right into your bed.  If you decided to go with the silence ult, use bolt to jump into the party and 

Overall, this build addresses all the weaknesses I believe Malfurion has.  His mana issues can be mitigated, his healing can improve as well as take on a more area-aspect, his damage can be improved safely and consistently, he can provide sight to the team (one of support's primary roles imo), and he can do all of that while saving his roots for ONLY the moments when they would be best used.  I enjoy this build because while it might not be perfectly optimized, it is fun, creepy, and I feel it balances me out to be able to be the best furry for the situation.  Just like a Druid should.  If you play this build, make sure to channel your inner Trevor Phillips as you creep with your drone, glare with your innervate, tap everything with angry moonfires, and run towards people with your arms wide open in Tranquility.  Focus on having fun while you play and you'll never have to fear defeat, for that won't be where the fun comes from.  Thank you for listening to me and tune in next time I cover Malfurion for my Backdoor Furry build.  Or maybe Zeratul as Blue Build Ezreal.  Or maybe Tyrande as Yvaine from Stardust.  Hope this wasn't too nerdy for you.

2014/09/01

Fanfiction

For all ya'all who don't know, I love me some Avatar: The Last Airbender.  If I'm honest, I think I like Legend of Korra better, but a part of me bows in respect to the origin of a series that has matured many-fold into such a beautiful creature.  I'm not here to compare though.  I'm here to talk about fanfiction.  ... I like fanfiction.  No judge, plox.  

My favorite type of fanfiction involves the act of changing one or two small details that change EVERYTHING about the characters and how they interact.  The best truly try to archive these alternate realities with as much integrity to the source material as they can.  It's a wonderful mental exercise and I truly believe that young people echo participate in this exercise, be it about Master Chief or just straight slashfiction, will grow greatly in doing so.  

You know what's coming next.  An example.  Here we go.  Let's try to create a new universe out of the Avatar universe.  What if we just swapped air with fire?  What if the fire benders were the peaceful, nomadic benders and the air benders were the army republic?  "Everything changed when the air benders attacked."  This begs the questions then: how are the air benders to match the destructive force that the fire benders were in the show and how are the fire benders going to make sense as pacifist nomads?  

Air benders could be brutal if they were not pacifists.  Air benders could be flying dervishes of lethal pressure blades, they could launch others sky high and let gravity take care of business with all the ruthless efficiency of physics, an air bender could even suffocate their foes if they simply did not let them breathe.  Good villains?  Check, but we will have to modify the respective characters to fit their new world.  Perhaps Zuko's father severed his hand instead of scarred his face.  How would this change his attitude and his legend?  

In the third book, Aang learns that fire does not need to be about rage and destruction, but instead can be seen as the primal fire of the heart-- the spark of life that animates the clay of our bodies.  Perhaps fire benders in this fic practice pacifism to align their lives towards this belief.  Their flames would shine like the heavens as they defended.  A touch could draw that life force away to stun or even to radiate to revive and revitalize.  Pursued far enough, I believe the flame of a fire bender could solely sustain the human body, allowing these nomadic healers to never need to eat (they'd drink a lot though and need to pee all the time).  Aang's whole journey and struggle for nonviolence remains intact with this small detail switched, but all the details change.  Who teaches Aang the gentler side of the ruthless air bending?  What kind of children would he and Katara had?  How would this new historical legacy of fire mesh with the existing spiritual mythos of the story?  

These questions and the details they reveal are the keys that make this exercise so powerful.  Every question is an act of creation.  You take a young and imaginative mind and just start getting them to ask these questions and explore in the endless universe fountain of their imagination about whatever it is that interests them.  Be it a book or a movie, a video game or a garden, this exercise is not only fun, but also intense training in a skill that is absolutely necessary in the dire straights my generation is in.  

So yes.  That, dear readers, is why fanfiction is the national pastime of my brain.  Have a nice day with that.

2014/08/28

Tea on a Tortoise

A poem...  I know it's not my usual bus, but it happened, so here ya go.

Sipping tea
on the back of a great green tortoise.

In the morning, I chop away at sprigs of lemongrass
I would say it is a pain in my ass
But that would rhyme too well
And conflict with the feelings
In this most pleasant dell.

I chop chop away
Focusing on my form
On the shoulders of giants
On the back of a great green tortoise.

Lemongrass and ginger
Boiled in water
Brews a simple winner
So from my leftover shreds
I brew and as I said
Sip this simple tea.
On the shoulders of giants
On the back of a great green tortoise

How happy am I to be
Chopping away in this most pleasant dell.
My thoughts roam as my hands follow their duty
Oh my tortoise would be 
so proud of me
O how I wish he could see
His child
So free

My hands so steady
My heart so at peace
My form as he taught me
On the shoulders of giants
On the back of a great green tortoise.

So I sip my simple tea
As my tongue cleans the slyest twigs and slipperiest grinds
The stars fall down around me
They bow in grace for the sun
The sun which brings the hunger of the new day
A hunger welling up in my half awake brothers and sisters
Half submerged in caffeine 
Half submerged in whispers
Screamed silently into their ears

Yet the light pours over me and I bathe
The whispers of that hateful society so far below me
For here I sit
Sipping my simple tea
On the shoulders of giants
On the back of a great green tortoise.

What supports the great green tortoise?
My thoughts demand this answer
As they guide my hands to cut and my tongue to clean and my brain to enjoy 
The whales, of course.
The tortoises of yesteryear are whales now, 
lifting 
so that he can lift you.

We cannot see them
Until we look deeper inside
From our perch atop a tortoise with a mouthful of tea
On the shoulders of generations

Tea on a tortoise
May we yet be
May we yet see
We are the tortoise of tomorrow 
Held up by our memories
Of the tortoise today

Tea on a tortoise
May we yet be
May we yet see
We are the whale of tomorrow
Living on in memory
Holding up the shoulders of giants
Holding up a great grey tortoise that is yet to be

Tea on a tortoise take three
May we yet be
May we yet see
We are the water of tomorrow 
Lost to all memory
Yet the foundation of all that holds up 
The whales
The tortoise
And the tea drinker

Tea on a tortoise to the heavens
May we yet be
May we ONLY see
We are the exploding star of tomorrow
The birth of the earth 
The birth of the water
The birth of the whales and the tortoises and the tortoise toppers
We will yet be.

So sip nobly on your tea
As you chop lemongrass 
On the shoulders of giants
On the back of a great green tortoise

2014/08/21

Blessed are the cracked

I'm not sure where I first found this quote, but I know it's so good I had a professional poster made of it for my classroom back in the day.  "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light."

The quote says that those broken by this world are blessed because a mysterious gift is granted to the broken.  A reverence for peace is given to the war torn, an enduring strength is given to those who have fallen-- callouses grow over cuts, bones calcify after a break, muscles grow following destructive use.  One must be damaged in order to grow.  Therefore, BLESSED are those who are broken, for they will gain more than they lost-- for that is law in the twilight zone of Life.

Cynics of this mindset will ask about those who lost a limb or died from being cracked.  Surely they have not gained more than they lost, they might say.  I can't speak for all cases, only for the possibilities.  For now, I'll give a single example before finishing what I came here to write.

A woman who lost both her legs in an accident spoke on TED.  She now makes a living and a life out of pushing the boundaries of prosthetic science.  When going to parties she gets to ask herself whether she wants to be 5'8 or 6'1 that night.  When she goes out to exercise, she gets to ask herself whether she wants to break human speed records with special legs or turn her exercise into research data that will propel the world forward.  She lost what most of us take for granted.  She looked around her and saw a world full of people who didn't have to think twice about going to get a glass of water.  Her lack of legs lead her to SEARCH for legs.  That search for improvement never really ended and may never end for her.  What broke her open, instead opened her up.  What she gained by losing that much was more than what any of us have never lost, for we have never needed to seek.

This trend continues into the deepest depths of all human sufferings.  While I know not the words to explain to you that I know this, I assure you.  With my heart, with my eyes, with my body, with my soul, one simply has to search to find the light hidden within every darkness.  The more broken we become, the more light we let in.  Therefore, blessed are those who have lost, for they find the courage to seek.  Blessed are those who suffer, for they find the strength to console.  Blessed are those who lack, for they find the desire to create.  Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.  

Many consider death to be the ultimate human problem, the source of all of our suffering.  If suffering in these human bodies is akin to cracking out cup, then death is akin to annihilating our cup into nothing. I do not fear death because once my cup is annihilated, there will be nothing left but light.  This is not to say I wish to die, for that much light would surely blind me with how dull and ignorant I am.  As I age, I seek to crack open my cup more and more and accustom myself to the light that lies beyond.  This is not to say that I seek suffering either.  Firstly, I definitely don't need to search very far to find suffering, but more importantly, there is enough light and joy to blind me like death right in my backyard.  I need but empathize with the weeds or flowers as they extend upwards like groupies towards the concert stage of the performance of their lives.  I need but breathe in the air and know that my diaphragm creates a current that pulls on the hair of lovers in Argentina.  Simply see with eyes unclouded and there is no need to seek out suffering.

There is only a need to see the good that suffering will bring, if you only but open your heart to it.  Blessed are the cracked.  Blessed are you, dear reader.

2014/08/16

Order and Chaos

I like to say often that the universe of life is a metaphor reflecting the universe of things.  As usual, this has been said before.  "As above, so below."  If you'll sit with me, dear reader, I feel this will be one of the more intense posts I'll ever write.  I could be wrong.

In today's world, we hear the words "good" and "evil" thrown around a lot.  Light and darkness, fire and water, the names change, but the concept remains the same.  Today I will be expanding on these themes by calling them instead "order" and "chaos" respectively.  The balance between these two forces, much like the good and evil stories of our culture's youth, shift the fate of the entire universe as we know it.

Chaos on the physical plane manifests as entropy, the tendency for the universe to break down.  My cod example here being the vase breaking; once broken, it is never whole again from that point in time forward.  Those aligned with this physical nature believe in impermanence and the one fate that connects us all: death.  This is not "evil", it is simply a physical reflection of the metaphor of entropy.  Scientists speak often of the end result of entropy.  If entropy is to win out, the universe itself will continue to expand until everything is ripped apart.  According to this theory, as matter spreads, gravity will not be able to overcome this emptiness and universal temperatures will drop.  Eventually, all matter in the universe will exist only in black holes, but entropy will eventually break those down too, for her immeasurable depths envelop all.  At some point further than any of us can fathom, all matter will eventually reach zero Kelvin, a metric invented to denote absolutely zero kinetic energy; no movement, no life, forever.  This is one possible death of the universe and it is the reflection of chaos reigning supreme over order.

Order on the physical plane manifests as the anti-entropic force of life.  If entropy is the breaking down, anti-entropy, now synonymous to love and order in this post, represents the tendency for life to join.  Love is an experience of two, who were once one as we all were at the Big Bang, attempting against all law in the universe to join together again.  Love is two pieces of a broken vase attempting to become whole once again.  If love were to flourish in this world, all life would begin to mix back together and form a singularity of individuals who act as one body greater than the sum of their parts.  Mankind would walk among the stars with the same chaotic grace of a body comprised of a billion cells walking through a grocery store.  This is not "good", it is simply a reflection of the metaphor of this anti-entropic mindset.  This is currently not the projection of scientists, but if order were to win out over entropy, the entire universe would eventually become one being.  "Man will impregnate the universe with knowledge and eventually matter will become mind," as someone really cool once said.  Gravity, in this case, would eventually begin to pull the entire universe even closer together.  If man can indeed master the universe, our great love will weigh on this universe with immeasurable mass and pull things closer.  Andromeda and Sol would be as connected as I am to all of you-- and eventually closer.  Closer still that this gravity would grow and grow until the entire universe would collapse in on itself and truly become one once again.  This fate is called "the Big Crunch" by physicists, and it too is a definition of how the universe might die and it is the reflection of order winning out over chaos.

Address your attention to the one common force here, gravity.  Gravity is the Tao of the universe.  Like tides, the universe as a whole flows towards order and chaos and back maintaining the life of the universe itself, for as long as neither of these forces wins, the universe will neither expand nor contract.  If either becomes too powerful, the end result is only death.  The largest cycle I can fathom (which is but a grain of sand compared to our universe) is the relationship between Sol and Serius.  These stars dance with each other in the heavens and that gravitational force astrologically creates the great Mayan cycle of awakening and falling asleep in our world.  These cycles on every level, from sub atomic particles to galactic interactions, are the very BREATH of the universe.  Breathing out into chaos is just as necessary as breathing in into order.  The Tao of gravity knows this, although gravity does not "know", it simply is.

Therefore, do not despair if you see the world through entropy-tinted glasses.  You are simply a reflection of the universe breathing and are as necessary as the brightest soul.  For that soul cannot bring breath into this world without the lack of it.  If your glasses are order-tinted, do not despair at the great battle of attempting to become one.  Revel in that struggle and commit to it because you MUST bring life and breath into this universe for it is what the lion in your heart demands.  All beings have purpose and it is only when we all do our part that the universe will live.

And death is not the end.  The Big Crunch will be followed by a Big Bang.  Life would not be able to live in that confined space for long.  As one, it would create another universe just as ours was created. The heat death of the universe would also rip apart, for the unstoppable force of entropy meeting the immovable moment of zero Kelvin would surely rip open the dimensions in a way that there are no words yet to describe.  This cycle of death and rebirth, is but one more cycle that macroscopes to every level of this universe with perfect consistency.

When I hear the words, "as above, so below", I picture a human awakening.  A state of enlightenment is reached wherein balance simply becomes.  This human's spirit becomes aligned and as above, so too their body rights itself into a state of perfect being.  As above, so below.  I would like to end this post by taking this just one step further.  I see the entire universe as one being doing whatever the hell universes do in the land beyond our many dimensions.  All of us, all of THIS STUFF, is but a metaphor for what lies above.  Take some time to reflect on those words.  As above, so below.  The universe is breathing.  Listen to that breath, dear reader, and you will know fear no more.

2014/08/04

Flattered beyond compare

I have never been flattered more than just recently.  I told someone about Veiled and she made me a fanart of the ONE thing I have drawn for it.  I just can't even say how proud and happy getting the  appreciation and pure honor of this fanart.  

2014/08/02

The Alchemist

This book by Paulo Coelho never fails to amaze me.  I have not read it yet this year as I usually do because I have been lending it out to people constantly.  I was at a friend's house uninvited and my copy sat bookmarked in front of me.  Having already cleaned the place, I scooped it up and opened to the bookmark.

"
'An army is coming," the boy said.  'I had a vision.'
'The desert fills the hearts of man with visions," the camel driver answered.
But the boy told him about the hawks: that he had been watching their flight and had suddenly felt himself to have plunged into the Soul of the World.
The camel driver understood what the boy was saying.  He knew that any given thing on the face if the earth could reveal the history of all things.  One could open up a book to any page, look at a person's hand; one could turn a card or watch the flight of the birds ... whatever the thing observed, one could find a connection with his experience of the moment.  Actually, it wasn't that those things, in themselves, revealed anything at all; it was just that people, looking at what was occurring around them, could find a means of penetrating the Soul of the World.  
"

There is so much more I want to copy here, but I will restrain myself.  Read it again, dear reader.  It will surprise you every time with entire chapters you never remembered it to contain.

2014/07/30

Art as religion

I often ponder on the deepest underlying roots connecting all religion and all spiritual explorations.  Put another way, I experiment with the concept of all religions containing one universal spark at their core that all apostles of every faith share on common.  To put words to this flickering flame is as hard as trying to catch it in your hand.  I see it as a THING.  It is something that is found on any number of journeys.  Once it is held, the holder feels connected to something greater than one's self.  Be it Islam or Wicca, be connecting to God in heaven or experiencing the greatest connection to the magic of the all mother, that moment of mixing the self with the almighty is somehow universal.  

While definitions may differ, I believe not in what I have described as a result of this search, but instead believe in what I have felt on this search.  This abundant feeling is sacred, but it is not a purely religious feeling.  I have felt this same way about certain movies, certain books, certain games even.  The experience lifts me up and connects me to something higher than myself.  Examples.  Cloud Atlas connected me to this endless journey across the ages as souls cross and recross the same problems again and again until they transcend them.  Prince of Persia connected me to a brave soul who conquers time itself to weave a narrative and growth arc that truly transcends time.  

Every story is a vessel that takes us to a different dimension.  It is the dimension where the collective imagination of all beings is given form.  By drinking of these stories and experiences, I become them; I live what they live and learn what they have learned.  I become more than myself and when I experience a story that connects me so complete to another and that feeling is identical to its sister flame that I find at the root of all religions I have studied.  

Dear reader, I would like to extrapolate this one step further.  Might I be so bold as to say that all art, all ACTION may lead us to this grand connecting force.  I do not mean to say that all of us are on this anti-entropic path, but I find most of humanity seeks this single feeling-- a flame that flickers through adversity and warms us to the truth that we are not alone.  

2014/07/23

Meditate is an adverb

Many people these times see meditation as an act.  One sits down and consciously breathes into a state of deep, healing relaxation and it will improve their lives.  They are meditating, yes, but they are yet unaware that this state of being is akin to any adverb describing a person.

I see meditation as a state of perfect being.  One is perfectly in the moment.  One is so at one with the tidal twists and turns of fate that all is calm even while tumbling through that most torrential current.  This is easy to do when doing nothing but meditating, but it is also easy to do this during any and every action possible in this universe.  Buddhist monks have this DOWN.  Everything from mopping the floor to drinking tea is perfected while the monk is simply present, at one with the perfection of his or her presence.  This IS meditation.  Many ascetics simply wish to live their lives in this state-- and anyone who has meditated truly has likely envied a reality where they are so constantly present.

Therefore, I say why not!  Meditation is an adverb.  I do not meditate, I meditatively DO.  I do not simply drink water, I bless this water as I drink and it in turn blesses me with the perfection I have helped it attain.  I do not simply draw art for work, I connect to the highest dimensions and call down in perfect clarity these transdimensional moments onto paper.

And you can too.

Without the speaker, nothing is said.  Without the reader, nothing is gained.  If I am to accept that we are one, dear reader, I must accept that there is no distinction between the reader and the writer.  This is your creation as well as mine.  Together, remembering our roots, we are greater than both of us.  

2014/07/21

Avatar state

had a dream recently that was awesome.  This dream started off more like a meditation.  I found myself in a calm, blanketing canvas of mystically deep waters.  I gained a moment of lucidity and invited a friend.  Adara showed up and I asked her to teach me how to firebend a la the show Avatar.  I proceeded to lose lucidity at this point, but what I partook in was the bending equivalent of a philosophical jam session.  

I'll continue in first person now to get deeper into that moment.

Adara showed me first: "it feels like this."  Her thumb on my head shares with me a moment from her past.  The fire that ignites in my hand feels like pure creation.  It is like holding an entire army of Celtic fiddlers all pouring their souls into an astonishing piece about life's perfection.  It is like coming up with an idea that will change the world.  It is like being pregnant with the universe.  My heart overflows into movement and every flicker of action is creative and full of pure life force.  Wherever I move, the burning passion of life in its prime wreathes me as I go.  I swathe fractals in flame limited only by the life in the infinite being of all existing within my heart.  I believe in my strength when I firebend because in doing so, I am life itself-- my breath is steady and my fire can warm, soothe, dazzle, or protect all the beauty this universe has to offer.

"It feels totally different from my native element, water."  I raise my palm in yang to show her.  To bend water, one's mind must be at the bottom of the ocean; dark, but constantly moving, the source of all nourishment, yet so easily tugged around by the moon and by man.  I become infinitely humble as to never be broken.  A double helix of water rises as my arm paints upwards.  Now arisen, I slide humbly and exhale out.  Water humbly follows with all the strength of the tide.  This tidal force envelops all that my communicating and healing waters touch, wholly and completely.  I am in perfect communion with the one truth that all things share.  I believe in my strength when I waterbend because my depths are unfathomable-- I can contain within me any anger thrown at me and unleash a calming deluge in response, exactly proportionate to the situation.

"Now, Adara.  Where in water and fire, one communes with a force of the universe beyond them, air is entirely and completely different.  Air is purely movements of the self."  With a movement of my hand across my body as I lower my presence, a vacuum opens and the wind pours in to fill the void created by my movement.  Slowly, at first, but as my gestures become more bold, mighty oaks may fall to the movements of my soul.  With air in mind, there is action and reaction, movement and the fury of the storm that follows.  I must be careful, but I have nothing to fear, for my gentle hand touches all.  I believe in my strength when I Airbend because I know do not have to change anyone-- I need but change myself, the world will align by causality.

"As with fire and then water, it is wind and then earth."  Earth bending feels surprisingly weak of power in my physical form.  It is an allegiance and a bond with the earth that respects the fragility of me, but when fully realized, my strength is infinite because it is the entire earth moving to aid me.  Each pebble believes in me so much that I need but point and the earth itself flocks to experience what I believe is there.  I am a YouTube celebrity.  I am but a piece of clay on this earth, yet others believe in me.  I need but move my arms up defensively and this world bends its entire might to shelter me from harm, for I am important.  I believe in my strength when I Earthbend, but only because I know that I am but a pebble with a voice to inspire.

"To envision the avatar state, I must inform you of what it is like without."  When I waterbend, my entire being was water.  My focus is so heavily on the connection and the unfathomable depths that my mind cannot experience the exact opposite of the infinite high of conducting a symphony of fire at the same time!  To do both at once is surely impossible.  To bend more than one element at once is to feel multiple experiences at once.  It is to experience multiple lives, all lives even, and pull out of that sea the movements that rewrite fate itself.  To fly away backwards on a cloud while flinging boulders, one has to be both completely focused on moving the self while needing those movements to inspire the earth itself to leap to action.  To slam my fist into the ground and encase my target in electrified water, I must fill the unfillable depths of my soul with the intensity of the fire I hold in my heart.  Each combination is unique and each feels more like I am looking at myself from the void of time than it does feeling and moving and acting like each element individually.  All four elements at once, like the caging of Vaatu, is a feeling of such intense unification, I have a hard time describing it.  In bending all four at once, I become the world I bend.  It is no longer me bending my surroundings, it is my surroundings bending to make way for my will on this earth.

...

Ok, I hope you enjoy.  I feel like an ABSOLUTE nerd at this point and feel like I should go hide in a corner forever.  kthxbai

Papoose

http://papoosedoorbelle.blogspot.com/

This website is a beautiful place.  It is filled to the brim with nothing but the sparkling stuff that makes kids beg you for just one more story.  And now I'm part of it.  Go check it out!  Remember, even clicking on the link gives wonderful people like myself, Papoose, and Ken a view.  Those views add up into more viewing and those viewings add up into more viewings.  The internet is a democracy of clicks.  Here is to clicking wisely with the future in mind <3  

2014/07/18

Gaming evolved

Whether you play games or not, the idea of fighting games is pretty simple.  You have a life bar, your enemy has a life bar, may the best gamer win.

The game I linked below is a team based game where 5 players join together to lead an army on three fronts into the enemy base.  I am linking it because for so long, gaming has been about the individual.  The times are changing and games like this give each character a part to play in a being greater than each of them individually.  Watch the bottom of the screen.  The red and the blue bars are the combined life total of the visible members of the respectively colored teams.  Full circle.  This is still a fighting game to test skill and train quick thinking, but the mechanics have evolved beyond the capacities of a single player.  Lucian, featured here, is but the arm of the team.  He rocks socks, but in truth is nothing without the other four.

I want to see games like Starcraft and Civilizations and Eve incorporate functionality with multiple players given control over one body.  It'd be like Pacific Rim, the pilots having to become one in order to move a body massive enough to take on the task at hand.  It is an exponentiation of battle for one, but it is also a new dimension of connection and synergy that reaches out beyond language.  When I played that game, I played with crazy people from Brazil, loud people from Korea, funny people from Spain, and quiet people from Canada.  No matter who or how they were, the goal was the same and achieving that goal meant cooperating.  It meant seeing things as bigger than yourself.  Sometimes it meant sacrificing your life to protect someone.  Sometimes it meant knowing that someone was sacrificing themselves for you.  Sometimes it meant taking a leap of faith into a fight you thought you will lose because your teammates believe it was possible.  There is a language of pings and body language that transcends country and helps five become one.  

Games can teach that.  Convention tells us otherwise because we cannot imagine anything greater for the medium.  If we can simply imagine something greater, we can create it.  If we can simply conceive a better world in our minds, we can transform our world to match it.  That is our power.  That is our responsibility.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ME-TLmyQA

Here's another vid for the road.  More focused on the specifics behind team play.  I highly recommend it.

2014/07/14

Veiled

Welcome to Veiled, my first YouTube project.  I have had pipe dreams of turning this old dream into a comic, but I am not a high enough caliber artist to dedicate myself to that work for the years it would take to go panel by panel.  I also find myself fond enough of writing to desire to write my own books on these, but I am not a high enough caliber writer to fashion an entire book.  

Why not do both?  I have an imagination, surely I cannot believe that an artist must be limited to one medium or the other.  Veiled will be done in a visual novel style with a voice over of my episodes with some flash of my artwork to aid the narrative.  Each episode will be YouTube length and will be able to be watched for the most part in any order even though order will of course add to the experience.  

Veiled is about the nameless protagonist who is trapped by the current God in a single moment in the present.  She is trapped so that she may learn enough to succeed the current one.  This god is a troll dad and has set up an experience she is familiar with: earning achievements.  Each achievement is some important lesson she gleans from the moment.  There will be some filler episodes like an achievement for walking 500 miles complete with her getting upset about getting the song stuck in her head.  Also: God is depicted as a chipped coffee mug with "best dad" printed on it.  Because ... Well that's how it was in the dream it came from.

I drew it on the back of some notes for a job I was doing on my clipboard with a knife-sharpened pencil.  The work is entirely my own save for the ... Whoever that is behind her.  That was drawn on there by someone else, but I like it.  If you look close, the sun's lens flare eclipses the best dad mug as well as the title.  Her skirt (which is not what she normally wears, this is a publicity piece) has some super intricate designs on it that might be hard to see (nevermind, I inked it).  She is floating on a cloud overlooking vast plains and mountains framing the sunset.  When I photoshop this, the "angel" will be practically a watermark, and the color pallete will be somewhere between dark souls two and the earthy pastelles of a hippy wardrobe.

Enjoy and wish me luck.  I'll be attempting to get my YouTube career up and running with this and a few other shows I'll tell you about later.  

I have to level with you, dear reader.  I am a geyser of creative energy right now.  It is absolutely insane.  Between all this YouTube stuff AND the Red Alert earlier, I have work that needs doing.  The lion in my heart is charging forward with unstoppable tenacity and I am holding on for my life, may chance to see these things in my soul to be given life on our plane.  




Clutter

I have been doing some side work helping people with their computers.  I was working with this lady on her windows 8 work computer and she said something that made me think: "my start screen is so cluttered with stuff, I just ignore most of it."

I showed her how to get rid of things and together we made a start screen that was aesthetically pleasing, conveniently had everything she needed, and even had some luxury news panels.  Everything had a purpose.  She really enjoys her start screen now and can use it for its designed purpose, but her words stuck with me enough that I find myself here once again.

Human brains are exceedingly good at pattern recognition and filtering out complexity.  When overwhelmed, our defense is turning excess stimuli into white noise so that we may direct focus resources to solving a more pertinent issue.  This woman recognized the start screen as some computer function, but the details were fuzzy and the computer had so much stuff installed on it for work that the menu was too much information to process.  After trimming it down and putting focus on making it hers, she had no problem starting to truly see the start screen instead of filtering it out subconsciously.  We do this all the time.  From dozens of Facebook adds to skimming newspaper text, the details we choose not to see are simplifications of our world made ironically to help us see it better.  

Her words made me ask myself, "what else are we filtering out?"  Are we filtering out everyone else's feelings?  Their actions?  Their intentions?  Are we filtering out our conscience?  Our logic?  Are we filtering out colors and sights?  Are we filtering out BEAUTY so that we can focus on not walking into a pole?  Should we?  

Start menus are not complex-- not on the scale of the complexity of the entirety of our audio-visual spectrum, but the concept is the same.  If we don't really know what we are looking at, we will filter it out.  In many ways, I find myself like the lady I helped.  In simplifying and learning about my world, I no longer filter it out.  I SEE it and am astonished and fulfilled by it.  How silly I have been.  It was right here this whole time.

2014/07/07

Red Alert

Remember how I said I was working on something big?  It's getting bigger.  It has a name now.  It has a face now.  It has its dharma now.  All it needs is its shell sculpted out of earth and the mysterious spark of "life" and it will be free on this world.  

2014/06/29

Sagan

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”
-Carl Sagan.  Rest well, your work continues

I recently picked up a fun novel by a local artist and former teacher of mine.  The story so far is very teen romance, but it has wonderful hints of the lessons and wisdom that only a person only achieves by living, sometimes much more than fourty years.  Sagan's words echo in response to the deluge of my thoughts rushing through the void as I read.  So here I am again, dear reader.  The call has been heard and I find myself putting down the book and taking up my pen.

"One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person..."  Beyond simply a recording of a voice, when one reads a book, they get to feel what they feel and see how they see.  When I read this book, I feel not only how she wants her characters to be seen, but also how she sees herself.  When I read this book, I feel the years teaching, her childhood, her thoughts on political issues, her entire personal awakening as it unfolded over years in the culmination of a vessel to try to communicate it.  In Carl Sagan's book, Contact, the characters, the world, and the story are all just metaphors for the inner struggle of his own balance of spirituality and science.  What I am trying to say is that not only do we read a story, but in reading we can see right to the raw essence of that person because they poured their life into it.  The same is true for ANY craft from glasswork to graffiti.  I find myself picking up my old books and searching beyond the words to find the artist beneath them-- to connect with another briefly so that I may peer outside myself and into the void where all become one. 

"Across the milennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently..."  Transcendent of time, transcendent of culture, transcendent of gender, transcendent of race, transcendent of space, transcendent of all the limitations of our physical bodies, all mediums of communication including books connect us to something other than ourselves-- something far larger than ourselves.  For a moment, I am her writing at her desk.  In that moment, I feel the connections and hidden meanings behind every word.  I feel the weight of a scene for its meaning for her and not how it is continuing the story forward.  These transcendent mediums of connection we refer to as "art" are truly far more sacred than we give them grace for in our cultural rituals.

"Binding together people..."  Every denizen of every generation of all mankind past and future are all individual cups overflowing with love, experience, and life force.  I believe that each and every one wants to reach out onto this comparably infinite canvas of the universe and leave their mark.  My theory is that this cling to mortality and desire to leave a mark comes from this universal desire to connect to a greater power.  Great cinema and storytelling let us live another life and connect to others.  This connection IS divine.  It is love, it is heaven, it is a greater spirit, it is one communication between two cups, hanging over the infinite connection of all cups overflowing together as one.  

"Proof that ... humans can work magic."  I am highly romantic and occasionally refer to cell phones as technologically mediated telepathy, so I love this line.  But seriously, I feel that this magic lies of the fringe of action and reaction, like a shadow trailing blue.  Books, words, cinema, tapestries, canvasses splotched with ink, experience crafting, arts of any and every kind are magic.  They are a magic that connects souls, shares experience, and allow two to become one, even if only briefly.  But I will only call it magic for today, dear reader.  I call it magic only because we do not understand it well enough to call it a triumph of science...  

Yet.

Anywho.  Enjoy the magic.

2014/06/24

It has been spoken

A dear friend of mine has been observing random little things I say and fully celebrating these moments of gratitude he has in hearing them unleashed upon the world anew.  That was really complicated sounding.  Basically, I'll say something randomly like, "that seemed like a good idea.  In retrospect: not so much."  He'll like it and tell me about how much he liked it.  I like that-- but then I worded it.  Anyway.  I was on Facebook and had a moment with my own words I spoke:

Me: 'sup Fiona!
Fiona, the unnamed friend: I'm drunk, how'r you?
((The mental dexterity required to make a mobile device type "how'r" is far too great to say much of her drunkenness, but the same could be said for my level of stonedness at the time.  I certainly was trying to get obliterated, so I replied in haste to get back to hitting Hexxas.))
Me: Almost baked beyond reality.

I just really enjoyed those words...  Anyway, I am getting baked as I write because I got a third of the way through my first time seeing Frozen when a derpy snowman began halucinating himself in a field during summer with derpy bees and derpy faced flowers all around him.  He then began RAPSHODISING, ACCOMPANIED BY FULL ORCHESTRA, ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT WOULD BE!  I need to level with you right now, I completely lost it.  It was just way too much.  I was LOVING it SO MUCH that I needed to experience it with one billion percent of my capacity.  So I ... yeah.  I'm pretty good right now.

My friends have told me so much about this movie on a deeper level, like meta-movie production analysis kind of stuff, but I don't really understand any of their words, which I remember.  Either way, now that I'm baked beyond reality, I don't have to wait any more to understand.

And I just had another moment with those words.

This world

This world is a complex one.  To fully encapsulate it, I must begin by saying it is the most beautiful and complex thing in existence.  It IS existence as far as I am aware.  Held within it, is every phenomenon conceived and unimagined-- ever.  That includes you, dear reader.  You are born of this universe and your birthright defines you as child, mother, father, and Holy Spirit of the universe.  ALL of it is contained in you and this is just as mathematically true as saying that you are contained in it.  

But (of course there is a but) we live in a world where this perfection seems just slightly out of reach.  We live in a society where homelessness, joblessness, hopelessness, despair, and aloneness are allowed.  More than allowed, these atrocious abominations towards the god in your heart are encouraged to promote the never ending ladder climb of the Economy (capitalized for this beast has attained a deific, proper noun status in this society).

I cannot help everyone.  I don't have a Goldmember Visa Platinum that can swipe away all the debts of society and provide for the basic needs of all mankind as much as I wish I could.  The solution is far simpler:  Take your time in this life.  Stop when your soul compels you and take care of those around you.  Do everything in your power to live while not harming others.  This is hard, considering that our common business practice of buy low and sell high is quite literally akin to stealing by this train of thought.  However, acceptance and understanding must travel from person to person.  This, dear reader, is my plight as a writer.  Words cannot change the world.  Only actions can.  No law written in words can keep the public safe any more than a law written in words can keep the public submitted for the greed of a few.  Action is the only true force here.  But words hold the means to meaning and the enunciation of truth, or so I have heard.

Our bodies are immeasurably small.  The force of our physical bodies is mute compared the billions of other bodies moving and acting as one.  We are but one drop in a vast ocean, but we must remember that every tide starts with one tentative drop pulling upwards.  The other drops must believe her to be crazy!  Why do you defy gravity?  Because I am being pulled.  That first drop is followed by others and the great cycle continues, well outside the comprehension of all.

Each one of us must fight, and if necessary die, to bring about a world where the universe's beauty is seen in all of its splendor in every waking moment by all.  We are living in heaven and hell simultaneously right now.  Every moment of your waking life is a dream and your life is a metaphor for your spirit.  Jesus said often that the kingdom of heaven is within you.  Not one man nor a group of men or a place in the sky, but WITHIN you.  You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful.  The power to create machines, the power to create happiness-- the power to create LIFE itself.  It is our divine responsibility to make this life beautiful.  This is not done with guns nor with words, it is to be done with actions simply done in every moment.  Be they lawful or unlawful, you will know these actions when you perform them because a lion in your heart will roar.  This roar, in all its multicolored light will overtake you and you shall know heaven through the eye of the beloved.  You will hold eternity in that moment, and you will never EVER wish to live in any other place than the present.

That being said, society is a pretty shitty place right now and is stopping us most of us from experiencing that, so we gots some work that needs doin'.  Let's start doing that, ok?

2014/06/19

Edited internet consciousness

I used this term in my first Hearthstone Hijinks post and never defined it.  I used it to describe an editing method used by YouTubers.  The style aids a prerecorded voice with images and other means of directing the connection space of the viewer.  A master of the art is MatPat of the Game Theorists, watch the link: http://youtu.be/7S1SVkysIRw

The way this style works is by providing a case or argument via words while supporting it with images and recordings for evidence as well as entertainment. This is by no means a new concept, but the evolution of this method has undergone done drastic evolution right under our nose.  For instance, in one moment of that episode, he calls Link "a weird guy" while having a cartoony version of Link covering his mouth while giggling peek up from the bottom corner.  To those uncultured, this is Link as he appeared in a very bad Zelda game.  This game was so bad that it is heralded as a triumph of humor and this small image brings actively manipulates the connotations generated by listening to their words.  To me, that ability is incredible, my dear reader.

The internet is a weird place and the amount of memes, cat videos, and whateverthehellelseyouneed vastly exceeds the length of a human life.  Yet, we find ourselves knowing about the internet much as we know about the trees in our back yards or the stores in our local communities.  We find out about the new TV shows from our friends, we glance at vaster quantities of information every day thanks to Facebook and other social media, and we rely on subtle hints and cues more than ever to dictate how we feel about something we know little about.  So to say that one image popping into the frame for a whopping 2 seconds can manipulate how we as listeners connote and connect their words to our lives, that is absolutely phenomenal.  That image shows that he is being sarcastic in a loving way.  Knowing PeanutButterGamer, I could tell from his voice, but even without knowing him, that image can dictate how we react to words.

Rumi said that words are a rock in a sling.  We wind up and let them fly, but the rest is out of our control.  As technology grows, I believe we will see the internet for what it truly is, a constantly evolving and debating repository for the experience of the creature known as mankind.  It is the brain of a creature in which we are mere neurons, communicating with each other as we sense the world outside of us.  Each of us neurons with our miniscule sight see as one and together we see clearer.  This term that I am describing, this edited internet consciousness, is the technique of us as neurons sending out a pulse to another part of the brain to recall an experience that sways the meaning of our words by amplifying them with your own related experience.  I don't have to hope you will be thinking the same thing I was thinking as Rumi did.  I can share with you a communal experience we both shared on the internet and my words will be modified through the lense of that experience, granting me a clarity of sharing thoughts that is unheard of in all of history.

2014/06/14

Hearthstone Hijinks Ep 4

Today's episode is a short one.  My normally defensive priest deck, Gratitude, drew into a hand that would not quit with its stream of impossibly strong low mana cards.  Let's jump in and satyr a favorite author of mine, David Mitchell, who wrote Cloud Atlas.  If you have read it, this will all be very funny.  If you have only seen the movie, this might make you giggle.  If you have not seen or read Cloud Atlas, get out now.  This will not be funny and you have something FAR better to experience for the next three hours compared to my shite fanfiction.

"
My dearest Sixforge,

Recently I got hooked on a journal written by a night elf written during a voyage from Old Gadgetzan to Booty Bay.  But it's completely killing me, half of it is missing.  While out searching for a new copy from Bronze and Nobility with the dreaded Eva, a most curious happening washed over me, sending me tumbling-- like dust out into an endless sea.

Eva, your favorite person in the whole world by now, needed to buy her books for university and came along with me.  Her abhorred voice combined with topics for conversation less deep than what I would expect from a goldfish rotted my brain until about half way in.  I ran across a rival composer from the all boys religious college I attend, Ricky-senpai.  He was wearing his school uniform.  Of course I was wearing mine-- you never have to ask.

The world is a web of interlocking strings, old friend, tugged at by the same forces that bind our hearts.  Fate would have him to have a fag hag of some sort along with him from the same school as our Eva.  The tension was palpable but all I could think of was getting a copy of that journal the whole time.  I literally blanked out for a moment while they were cat fighting.  

When I came to, Eva had defeated the other girl in mortal combat and needed some of my words to calm her down.  In that moment talking to her, Sixforge, I heard the gears of fate move like an old clock tower jolting to a start.  I suddenly knew what to say to her and when I uttered those words, magic happened.  I won't get into the nitty gritties for you just in case you decide to get jealous, but essentially, she became a 6/5 and solo cleared his entire board.

Suddenly and beyond all probability, a Yeti trumped gaily into our alleyway and became positively enraged.  And Eva doesn't even flinch!  She charges right into him, getting slashed in the stomach and killing the beast with a single rage-kick to the groin.  I drop a circle of healing, more moment-transcending words, and then my shoujo light spirit, Yagami, showed up randomly.  Eva and Yagami shut down all of Ricky-senpai's taunts and misdirects as I thought restlessly about the end of that journal I so desired.

I was as surprised as Ricky when our professor, Temple Protector-sensei, showed up with evidence making Yagami's argument more powerful.  Tears immediately began streaming down his thin, perfectly chiseled face and he publicly confessed his emotional instability around me, granting the title of class president-senpai to me from that day onward.  

The moment was over as quickly as it began, Sixforge.  Will I do harm or good with my title?  Will Eva and I ever become momentary lovers?  I am really not sure.  What matters is that I found a copy of that journal.  Feel very honored, my love.  I sat down to write you this letter BEFORE finding out why he was friends with that gnomish slave and why a fellow night elf would be trying to secretly poison him.

Forever yours,
Anduin
"

Bonus chapter!  Translated from Yeti to common, free of charge by Blizzard Entertainment:
"
Voices yibberin'ed.  Yeti grumberlin's unheard'un fur centuries washed a'over me, makin' that blizzard look a'like springun.  They shower'd me wit' fish'uns of who I might be and how I might'un live.  Peace, harminy, a fitted-well suit from Stormwind's Warehouse, the fish'uns shower'd me with know'uns of all.  

Close'un to peace, this one was.  I strode'un through a'Stormwind confidently.  The only hoomins 'round were empty guards and tasty gnome'un, and no one lis'ns to the gnome'un.  I strolled into an alley a'fur a haircut when I met eye to eye with the fangless devil hisself, Anduin.  The hoomin whose letters I tirelessly deliver'd.  The meatthing whose sexual escapade'uns and dickish behaviour stands in direct opposition to the Yeti code'un.  I lost'd my cool and I roar'd.  A myst'ry woomun approach'd with a rage'un outside a'my comprehension.  I slash'd wit force that has rested strong males of her species, but a'not even a'flinchin.  Her foot drive'd up between m'leg'uns.  I feel'd pain.

All light fade'n to darky.  All darky fade'n to here, to you, 'un to yer question.  But Yeti swap, query fur query.  Who--'r you?
"

2014/06/09

Hearthstone hijinks 3

Today has been quite the day for rogue-ing on Hearthstone.  I had a quest to win 5 times as rogue or warrior and to heck with that guy, so bam.  Tons of rogue I otherwise wouldn't have played if I had the choice.  Let's go make fun of my childhood:

"
Livejournal.owl
Login: ValeeraVentris101
Password: ********
Cycle: 10024 
Day: 6
Mood: sexually frustrated
Music: Azerothean Anarchists-- Weephammer

Ever since the thieves guild in Gadgetzan known as Sith Club kicked me out, things have been hard.  It's been a tough week, but I've cut down worse.  Taking bounties is an awkward business these days.  Especially when it means fighting for a cause I never even asked about.  People... <italics>sigh</italics> people never change.  Always flinging rumors and lies.  What kind of dogs will be after me for whatever today's fun is interpreted as?  One day they are bowing at my heels-- and the next, on a witch hunt for me.  All factions are the same.  Can't live with them, but I think I could live without them ... Yes.  Note to self, say that next time I meet Thrall.

Today, I tangod with the prince of all Stormwind himself on what felt like a borders dispute.  I don't know what I was fighting for, all I cared about was that someone paid me good money to claim that boy for whoever the fuck.  One step closer to completing my official SasuNaru collection.  But I must remember not to let my goal distract me.

I appeared from the shadows and whispered in his ear, "Come now, boy, I think I'll enjoy myself more than I bargained for with you here.  The pleasure, is mine."

It felt good to stop him in his tracks like that.  His poor cleric was dead in her tracks too.  The beautiful little thing lives to inspire and be inspired.  Useless, she has no place on this battlefield.  I called in my Defias boys, but his reflexes were quick.  Before I could get bored and start clicking shit, he smited the leader and healed her up after she took care of the other.  

"...Greetings," were the only words he muttered after mugging my muggers.  His awkward tone was barbed with bits of confidence that enraged me.

Such a taunt, such a sickening play to make me feel weak.  I couldn't contain myself.  In a dance of whirling steel, I destroyed my first set of poisoned blades, sending shrapnel exploding everywhere.  I watched the cleric fall lifelessly to the ground.  It was beautiful.  I then called my bird to drop my assassin's blade and things got personal.  I charged forward screaming and slashing a gash right through his priestly garb.  He can dress up like a holy man all he wants, but all men are the same filth once you get their clothes off.

Anduin's momentum pleasantly surprised me.  He sent out some powerful minions for a clothie, but I trickled out my forces slowly to match him as I continued my endless assault on his face.  I may not have been doing much damage, but the pressure was on.  He had to do something big quick and I hate to admit it, but he did.

The momentum ran out and he was left with an ardent squire.  I was caught up in the moment.  I might have pushed him too far with what I said, "All you've got is that little baby left!  Well... To be fair, I guess you got two little things left."  I held my fingers up with a guess and continued to pester him: "this big?  THIS big?  Oh?  Oh... ;)"

Must've hit a nerve because he dropped a light elemental and doubled its stamina which doubled its attack and size.  Overcompensating much?  So typical.  I called in Vinny.  He's an unsightly drunken gnome, but his poison might be the most deadly stuff in existence.  I would just use the poison myself and avoid him at all costs, but I can't work the poison and he prefers to take jobs in person.  Some power fantasy or something.  "You lookin' at me, princess?"

"Vinny, you are supposed to be stealthed.  There is a 10/10 light demon right there and even though you don't get outside much, I don't think even your beer belly is white enough to reflect him."

Vinny remained defiantly atop the Orcen rubble, "Well nice to see you too, sweetheart?"  He looked to Anduin.  "You show a girl a good time and this is how she returns the fava'?  Unbelievable."

His silhouette faded into the shadow as he abandoned his rubble throne.  I had never felt so embarrassed in battle, but more than my pride was about to be hit.  Just being near that light elemental was searing.  When it tried to slam me, the only thing that saved me was ducking into the shade of the remains of a building that was recently hit by a catapult and popping my racial just at the right moment. 

While I was busy dodging his elemental, he summoned and buffed another one, but I had been preparing.  This was Gerald's cue.  I mentioned him in a previous post while on my hiatus in Booty Bay.  He is the one who wears weird clothes so people pick fights with him so he can beat them up.  Not the sharpest knife on my belt, but his silence has shattered the momentum of many legendary-toting assholes in the past.  Gerald blazed down from the sky as Vinny made the dream real.  As the fat gnome incinerated himself in fiery bliss after diving head first into the elemental, his poison activated and burst the creature like a bubble.  

RIP Vinny.  I am so sorry I doubted that you could poison a creature made of light itself.  You were still a creep though.  

So on one side of me was an explosion and on the other, Gerald had given his elemental a seizure.  These beings have combat prowess equal to their health, but when silenced, I think they forget who they are.  They just stand there with tons of health and twitch infrequently.  "Well played, vile woman, but the light shall burn you yet!"

Anduin had been pincering me into a trap through all of that though.  I may have taken out his elementals, but he had pushed the skirmish towards his War Golem.  I sapped it to buy some time for my Venture Company boy to arrive.  The three of us wailed on Anduin.  I have to hand it to the goblin mercenary, his professionalism is a dream to work with.  Anduin managed to summoned a poisonous snake in the chaos and sent the Golem after ME.  I have seen some cocky moves, but this one took the cake.  

The boulder swung its massive arms.  They hit nothing but old building.  Even still, the flying debris from that massive force were enough to knock the wind out of me.  With its hands buried in the earth, I lost it.  "YOU want to intimidate ME into attacking YOUR minion?  I don't think you realize who you are facing up against!  I will be your doom!"

Using the golem as the stepping stone he was destined to be, I pounced into Anduin with everything I had.  Gerald and the mercenary were enough to bloody his pretty little face before I got there and Anduin wasn't even expecting a sinister strike and a head crack to follow my dagger blows.  My legs, hands, and voice were visibly shaking with intensity as I stood over him. "I REALLY appreciate your spirit, boy, but you don't realize you can send him right back on me and I just won't care.  That boulder is a long way from taking me down and I will keep coming for you again and again.  Frankly, I don't think you can 'keep it up' for much longer.

The pop of my lips on my Ps visibly staggered him with an alacrity my blades could never achieve.  However, there was something about his acceptance of his error and the valiant protest to my will that got underneath my skin.  Most men are too distracted by their ego, but Anduin was so pure, fluid, defiant.  I admit it.  While I was most assuredly turned on at the time, I do not feel anything for him now.  Nothing.  Comments on the subject will be deleted, hacked, and assassinated by me personally.

He wisely sent his golem to fight my mercenary and Gerald worked away at the snake (I hope Gerald got poisoned.  I really do).  It was just me and Anduin alone again.  I chased him down the hall hailing flurries of blows.  All he had was some healing, but it was enough to set me back a turn or two.  Much to my pleasure, it was then that Bloodmage Thanlos found his way to the battle.  Magic has always been a dark side of mine and this Mage compliments my magic well.  The shadows weaved around me as I unleashed a three pronged attack on him.  One shadow shived his gut, he doubled over right into another shadow kicking him in the face, and my body followed with my daggers and the head crack again.  Empowered by my friend, Anduin's barely conscious body crumpled to the floor.

"Aww, did I break your pretty little smile with that last shot?"  A whimpered groan communicated that he could hear me, so I twisted the dagger of my words.  "Don't worry, I'll always love you.  Well played, boy.  I don't know if that was as good for you as it was for me, but whatever it was, we should do it again sometime."

"Fool.  You don't even know what you are fighting for," he spat blood and found his way to his hands and knees.  "I'm sorry.  You may be an excellent fighter, but if you continue to give into your anger and your carnal desires at a whim, all your winning might just cause all of us, including you, to lose."

"I'm not a Sith Club anymore, Anduin.  All of that serious, end of the world business is out of my resume."

"Tell me how much harder that will make it for the Sith Club to control your actions."

I smirked, "Sarcasm?  Cute."  I felt my anger settle into my face.  "But you're right.  We are NOT allies, yet if you do notice the Sith Club planning anything, you contact me personally.  I have some backtracking and spying on my past employers to do."

Anduin started to rouse himself to his feet as the sight owls began perching nearby.  His image changed near them, "You're right.  I think Old Bishop Wan and I wouldn't fare well working with you either... You smell.  It's hard to explain to the people we usually work with.  You understand."

Truly, I didn't know whether to be insulted or laugh my ass off.  That boy is so awkward and young, but that sarcasm and feistiness is commendable, especially after such a bitter defeat.  The eternal dark cradled me and I shadow stepped away, pretending not to hear his last words.  With one last look back, I saw him smile.  Looking down and shaking his head, he was half glowing in light, half consumed by darkness.  What a mysterious individual.

...  

Absolutely no comments on the matter of me and Anduin, please.  I don't want to have to spend an afternoon deleting comments again.