Friday, June 30, 2006


to replace my oil pan.

That seems like a lot to me. It certainly seems like a lot when I look at two main factors. 1.) I'm planning (and saving for) a wedding. 2.) I want to buy a new car.

I'm not sure what to do, but I need to make a decision on it soon.

Or hit the lottery. Or find a thumb in my chili.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

update: my luck continues

::knock on wood::

So, I heard back from the service station where my car's languishing without any oil. Turns out, the oil pan isn't cracked. Turns out driving over the curb didn't do anything at all to it.

Turns out the reason all of the oil vomited out of the car is that whomever did an oil change for me last time screwed up. Apparently the threads on the oil plug are stripped. As a work-around, the last people to do an oil change on the car put a self-tightening bolt in there instead of actually fixing anything. The mechanic who looked at my car today was really ticked off at the oil change people, informing me of how stupid the job they did was and how ridiculously short-sighted it was to put something in that would eventually just come loose and leak oil.

So, he's writing up an estimate to replace the stripped parts and then he'll call me back.

But, at least it doesn't look like I thrashed my car too badly. Good ol' car ... still hanging in there.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

that explains it

My car is in the shop and I spent all day sitting around at home waiting to hear if it's going to be fixed or not. Guess I have to wait until tomorrow.

While I was home, I suddenly became aware of just what accident-prone losers daytime TV thinks we all are. Every other commercial is either "Were you hurt getting out of bed? We can help!" or "Want a computer but have bad credit? We can help!" And if it's not those it's infomercials where people can't perform simple actions like opening cabinet doors or cooking eggs without ruining their whole day.

And there really just isn't anything as numbing as the shows that are on. Montel? Reruns of the Cosby show (the crappy ones at the end of its run)? More infomercials?

Christ ... there must be so many people who sit around all day, hurt from having poorly stacked tupperware fall on their heads, who are too bad off to own a computer and so their entire view of the world is Divorce Court, Oprah, and William Berg.

I hope I'm never on disability and lose my computer. I don't know what I'd do with myself.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

my car threw up

This morning I went out to get into my car and head off to work only to discover that - over the course of the night - all of the oil had drained out of my car onto my parking space.

You see, yesterday I got to work early. That's where all of this started. I got to work early which meant that I was able to park in a different parking space than a usually do, one that is significantly closer to the elevators and - I thought - the equivalent of Rock Star parking. At the end of the day, I decided to pull forward out of my space and make a little U-Turn.

Bad idea.

The "rock star" space that I had parked in ended up being more like a Rock Star parking space in that it thrashed the crap out of my car, stole its lunch money, and left it for dead. See, I didn't notice when I parked there, but the space happens to be the only one down there with a cement curb in front of it. Why would they only put one of those things in there? Anyway, long story short, I drove over it, gave my car a serious beating, and then drove home.

And then this morning it had puked oil everywhere. So, good times. Amanda was very sweet and gave me a ride to work. Now I just have to figure out how I'm getting home.

Monday, June 26, 2006

totally didn't see this coming

I'm astonished that I didn't see this coming, but today at lunch my colleague David got a very special fortune cookie.

He had just been talking about the crappy fortune cookie he'd received this past weekend, something that said "Saturdays are a good day for errands." Whatever. Not that big of a deal, but he felt it was a lousy fortune and was hoping that he would get something better.

So, he opened up his fortune cookie here at work today and it read:


Now, that's a dumb fortune to begin with and completely not true. Everyone know that bus people are weird, freaky, and smell like pee. But, what's really amazing about all of this is what it said on the back of the fortune. The back read:

"Commute Wisely"

It was SPAM! He got a SPAM fortune cookie! How did I not see the SPAM potential in fortune cookies before? How far away are we from cracking open a cookie and reading:

"shame of sex? we can change it is the answer"

It's a dark day for desserts.

Friday, June 23, 2006

this is it, bratz

And lastly, the Stone Cruz skin:


This was fun to do. Now I just need to finalize the rest of the layout and start coding and creating the actual content.

Feels good to finally be making this thing after years of delaying and delaying.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

by popular demand

And by that I mean a single random request from my brother, here's what I'm thinking of for my self-promotional website.

It's going to be pretty simple. At the moment, I've just started to figure out the layout of the whole thing. There will be a couple of sections: News (where I'll give a few little updates), Music (where people can listen to examples of my stuff), Info (where people can read my bio and resume), Blog (which is just a link to here), Links (which will have links ... duh), and Mail (which just opens up an email to me).


The menu tabs will shoot outwards when you mouse over them, as evidenced by the Music tab in my example pic. Other than that, I'm designing multiple skins that the user can select for the site. The cartoon me with the skull t-shirt is the default and the one that will automatically load when you first get there.

The second skin is an iPod themed skin.


The third skin is a Republic Commando themed skin.


The last one, and one that I don't have here because I just started it, is a Stone Cruz/Vaz Hoil theme. It's not done yet, but I'll post it when it is.

Anyway, like I said, I've just started to figure out this whole thing. The only things on here that are really final are the cartoon images of me and some of the icons. But, like I said, I said I'd share so I am.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

makes perfect sense to me

What's the best way to teach a Japanese audience how to speak English?

Hopefully you said "By re-enacting scenes from 90s movies with really bad actors and a half-assed attempt at costuming and sound design." 'cause if you did, you'd be right!

This is a beautiful thing. I particularly love the soundtrack.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

because i wasn't busy enough yet

I've decided two things recently.

1. I can't type for shit on an ergonomic keyboard. Here's what it looks like if I don't use the delete key:

thrgo gollowing is what happe2ns to me whe4n I try7 to type om an ergoanomic keyboard. It isn'tw all that pretty though some of it might habe to so with a gerneral crappiness at typing.

And 2. I decided after looking at an inbox full of crappy websites that I was going to teach myself Flash and make my own promotional site. On and off for the last week, I've been messing around with things in Photoshop and Flash trying to come up with the concept for it all.

As of tonight, I have the concept. Now I just have to teach myself how to code a site in Flash and then figure out the hosting stuff.

If the schmucks who mailed me can author sites in Flash, I should be able to figure it out. Now I just have to find time between working on 4 games and planning a wedding to actually sit down and do it. Maybe I can outsource things like the dishes and laundry.

Oh, wait. That's called a maid. I'm dumb.

Monday, June 19, 2006

how bout them transparent dangling carrots?

Had a brief meeting today and as it turns out, I get to start writing my first all original orchestral game score in two years as of July. I can't wait. I get the feeling the first piece I'm writing is a bit more of an audition of sorts to see if the team involved likes my take on the project. I'm definitely hoping to land the gig; sounds like a very cool project. Seems strange to have to audition even as a staff guy, but such is the way of things.

I'm super excited, though. I haven't written anything substantial since Republic Commando. For the most part, it's been two years of Williams editing. Ep3, Battlefront 2, Lego II ... I need a nice long break from Johnny Williams.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

a & arrgh

On "Thrillville" I'm doing a number of things including the role of Music Supervisor when it comes to licensed music. Essentially, this means that I've been getting lots of CDs and I've been going through them track by track and selecting the ones I want to use in-game. After I select them, the list goes to Legal where they find out how much it costs to license each track and inevitably some get kicked off of the list. I go back and find replacements, etc.

It's an interesting process. Apparently the way it works is that record labels send out either the album for the artist or a compilation disc of stuff broken down by genre and whether it's "up-tempo" or not. They then have documentation that comes with each disc in the form of a one-sheet artist description and a list of "focus tracks" - tracks that are essentially the singles.

It's been interesting to see, actually. Now, that's been the fun part. The not fun part? I've become the guy to which everyone now says "Hey, my [friend/mother/dog] has a band. You should totally check them out. They'd be PERFECT for the game!!!"

You know what? They never are. Aside from the fact that they're just not the right feel or genre of stuff that I'm looking for for the game, everything I've heard would need to be completely re-engineered to actually be able to use it. Additionally, how do we license the world-wide rights to a song from an unsigned band? Just bad news all around.

I've been getting plenty of practice though with my "Oh, yeah, sounds great. Not sure it's the right thing we're looking for." speech, which is always fun. And by "fun" I mean dream-shatteringly awkward.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

it begins

I've started having wedding-related nightmares. I'd imagine these are the first of more than a few that I'll have due to stress over the next couple of months. The first one was a few nights ago. It involved me calling a place about renting their location only to be asked "What kind of car do you drive?" When I described my beat-up camero, they told me that it didn't sound like I had enough money to rent their place and that they didn't think they wanted to do business with me.

Last night was the second nightmare. Last night I dreamt that we actually found a place and they apparently didn't care at all about my car because they were going to just rent everything to us, no problem. Well, turns out there was a small problem. Apparently, the only money I had was a pocket full of horribly counterfeit $11 bills.

They looked exactly like this:


Who or what "Grover Boulevard" is, I have no idea. Needless to say, the fake moolah didn't cut it and we didn't get the place.

The sooner we find a place for real, the sooner I can move on to nightmares about caterers trying to kill me or cakes that mock my choice in tuxedos.

Monday, June 12, 2006

greatest dance moves ever

This weekend was kinda' stressful. The wedding stuff just doesn't seem to be getting much easier. We went out and looked at a number of places only to find that they were either 1.) in terrible neighborhoods with no parking, or 2.) wanted a bamillion dollars to rent the place. So, still no location yet. Although, Amanda did find some promising candidates for locations that we're looking into now. So, who knows. Fingers are crossed.

Stressful as the weekend may have been, there was a great moment of comic relief for me Sunday night. Manda and I went to the grocery store. As we were standing next to the frozen food aisle, I started to hear this little voice start singing. I turned to look and there was this little girl - probably about 2 or 3 years old - singing and dancing and shaking her hair all around in the middle of the aisle. She was pointing like she was doing choreography, clapping her hands together, and doing these spinning jumps that were clunky in only the way a 2 or 3 year old can be.

Now, I thought she kept singing "Mia" and decided that it was her name. When I showed this girl to Amanda, she informed me that the little girl was singing the Spanish word "Mira" over and over again, which means "Look."

So, what was she looking at? She found the ice cream aisle. This little 2 or 3 year old girl bumbles into the ice cream aisle and like any intrepid explorer, bursts out into choreographed dancing while singing "Look what I found!" over and over again. It was awesome.

I couldn't help picturing Columbus, Marco Polo, and any other famous explorer doing the exact same dance upon finding their great discoveries. How awesome would it have been to have seen Vikings like Erik the Red piling out of their ships and jumping around in the surf like showgirls singing "Look! Look what we found!"?

Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm such a slacker

I know I try to blog every day and really dropped the ball this week. I've just been so freakin' busy.

Monday I had a funk horn recording session for Thrillville. Tuesday I was working late for the Registrar of Voters (we had an election here in California). And then the rest of the week I've been cranking away on either cutscenes for Lego II or script stuff for Thrillville.

Script writing is fun. I'm not sure what, if anything, of mine will end up in the game; but so far the response has been pretty positive. Hopefully some of it will end up in there. I'd love to have a writing credit of some kind on a game.

Amanda and I are charging ahead trying to plan our wedding. And you know what?


Honestly, anytime you contact any kind of wedding-related vendors, they basically just say the same thing:

"Thanks for getting in touch with us. We fully appreciate your stacks of cash interest in our event hall/photography services/tart bakery/whatever. Please feel free to come down to our business between the hours of 1:30 and 1:45 any day of the week and begin dropping off gobs of money. Or, if you'd prefer, you can just leave your ATM card with us and we'll go ahead and rape your bank account. Thanks and congrats on your special day!"

Non-wedding events in the same spaces are cheaper. Corporate events are cheaper. Weddings, though, are freakin' ridiculous. Amanda and I decided we were just going to call our wedding a "Tuxedo Meeting" and get it for a cheaper rate. Otherwise, these places are all going to blow our budget.

Anyway, we're trying to look at a number of places this weekend. Hopefully we can lock something down by the end of next week. That's our goal, anyway. We really want to move ahead with planning this thing. So many details left to figure out ... The word "elope" has already come up wishfully a couple of times.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I'm really busy at work and finding myself without any time to really blog about anything. Plus, it's all boring stuff, anyway. Recording sessions, cutting music for the Lego II cutscenes, etc.

Someone told me a joke the other day that I thought was funny.

"What's that movie about the two gay guys on the mountain?"
Everyone around starts to say "Brokeback Mountain."
"No, no. The other one ... [dramatic pause] Oh, that's right. 'Lord of the Rings.'"

Heh heh heh. "I can't quit you, Mr. Frodo." That might have made those long-ass movies a little more interesting.


I hate those movies. My bladder hates those movies. I don't get why everyone loves them so much.

Friday, June 02, 2006

two great tastes, together at last

To close out the week, I'm going to share one last website and then that ends Colonel Harlin's Cavalcade of Crappy Websites.

There are some animal/food combinations that just scream out "Make me into a themed restaurant!" Weiner dog + Hot dogs = No Brainer Logo. Chocolate + Crocodile = Chocodile. You get the point. Probably pretty far down on that list, though, is the mixture of Penquins and Waffles.

Clearly pioneering their own mix-n-match combos, the fine folks at Penguino have finally uncovered the long-hidden elusive link between Penguins and Belgians. And, as their splash page clearly demonstrates, the people of Penguino take both Penguins and Waffles equally as seriously. This isn't a Penguin place that serves waffles. Nor is this a Waffle place that likes Penguins. No, this is a Penguin Waffle place, fools, and you're going have to stomach both in equal doses at Penguino.

In fact, they seem so incredibly focused on giving you equal doses of Penguins and Waffles that there's startlingly little info on the site about their own bakery. What is immediately apparent on their main page is that this is "the Official Penguino website." That's right. Don't be tricked into thinking this is just a fan site, or some sort of knock-off impostor. This is THE official site for pictures of penguins and waffles - together.

And not just pictures, mind you. Nope, you can read all about both Penguins and Waffles. Learn all about International Waffle Day. Bet you didn't know this:

"In medieval French, the term for this pastry was "oublie" (from Latin "oblata"), sold by "oubloyeurs" in the streets of Paris and other major cities."

Somehow Penguino really feels you need to be familiar with the Latin roots of a Waffle to truly enjoy it.

Stranger still is the section on the Penguin page all about gay penguins. Yep. You read that correctly. The gay penguin section of Penguino's website.

Where else can you read about gay penguins and look at pictures of waffles? Well, other than that lame-ass Penguino fan site.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

strike a pose

I thought I'd share another gem of a website someone sent me to check out. VanityDate was definitely more cohesive than this next one. If ever a website seemed to scream out "confusing illegal pyramid scam," it's is the site that boldly asks the question: "Would change if you choose join 50and50!" At least, I think they're asking. There's no question mark so maybe they're trying to just tell me something about their illegal pyramid scheme. Now, I know what you'll say. "Hey, Jess - don't be ridiculous. The bottom of the site clearly states 'Note: This is not an illegal pyramid or a chain letter scheme, there are no tricks.'" And I'll agree; that broken English statement is usually pretty convincing. But ... I don't know.

Maybe it's the pictures of people that repeatedly say "Cash ... Cash ... Cash ..." or the block of text on the Sign Up page that simply reads "some writeup will come about " that makes me question this thing's authenticity.

My favorite part of the entire site? It's unquestionably the completely out of left field link at the bottom of the main page that says "About Yoga."


Huh?! I thought I was here for cash, cash, cash? Why Yoga?

Better still is what you get if you click on the Yoga link. You get treated to a nice little treatise on Yoga, just like the main page promised. And, as an added bonus, you get a scrolling visual display at the bottom of the page of different Yoga positions. Most of them are named something inspiring like The Eagle Pose, The Cobra Pose, The Locust Pose. Without a doubt, though, my favorite pose is this one:


Is that pose honestly called the "Wind Relieving Pose?" Why does Yoga need a Fart Pose?

This site rocks.