Monthly Archives: January 2008

Today I slept in because I didn’t feel like going to Physics lecture (a recurring trend) (I went to bed sometime between 4 and 5 last night after finishing my laundry and doing some research).  I went to the cafe for lunch because I didn’t feel like eating at the dining hall, and I brought one of my research books to read.  I stayed there and finished up my letter, but I had forgotten to bring a sticker with me to seal the envelope (no self-adhesive) so I’m going to have to just mail it tomorrow.

aren’t posts like these so uninspiring???

Success!  I have a functional install of iTunes 7.6 on my machine now.

For anyone who’s listening, I had to purge my system of itunes/quicktime/apple mobile device/etc. then install itunes 6.0.4, then reupgrade.

woot, happy camper.

ok, it’s official.  itunes screwed me over.  i’ve tried about 10 different solutions to getting it to install properly, with no dice.

using another media player is somewhat out of the question since i’ve still got my faithful iPod mini around (which i may now have to use to play through my desktop speakers, how ridiculous).

Many many other people have had the same problem; I’ve tried suggested fixes but they don’t seem to work.

At this point (and I’ve made a system restore point) I’ve essentially purged all (or more accurately, HOPEFULLY all) traces of itunes, quicktime, etc. from my system.

eventually i’ll deal with this somehow, but until then all i have to say is,
“this is worse than vista.”

people, this is why you make system restore points.  lesson learned.

what’s happening to me?
for some reason, part of me feels like I want to toss Timm[ie] aside and just be sad.

maybe, that part has always been there, and i’m just not remembering correctly.

i’m fine LOL

Making stuff is really cool.

Don’t get me wrong–doing stuff can be very cool too, but ever since I was a little kid and booted up the Turbo Pascal compiler wayyy back when and did a “wtf!?” at all the syntax errors I was getting, I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with making my own crap.

I guess it really did start with programming, and as my brother once wrote, it’s kinda neat when you can build a program and then go “hey, -I- made the computer do that.”  Nowadays I don’t run on such antiquated systems and theoretically I could program a pretty entertaining game of some sort but i’ve never had the time and effort to do so.  (Not to mention I’m used to allegro right now and I should probably make a switch over to SDL or something)  Of course, that doesn’t stop me from going through the brainstorming process anyways.  Planning stuff can be just as much fun as making it, if not more!  Even when I was a little kid I was laying out plans for a game based on the old BBS game Legend of the Red Dragon.  Nowadays I daydream of making RPGs and iwbtg’s and ISQ databases and whatnot (50 brownie points if you actually caught all those references LOL…).

Of course, my passion for creation was also fostered at an early age by the introduction of doodles and drawing into my life…which in turn was facilitated by the introduction of Kirby into my life.  Oh, it was such joy to have such a simple character that I could do all sorts of things with.  To this day I’m fairly certain that an overwhelming majority of my random sketches and whatnot feature Kirby in some way.  Of course, I’ve matured in my artistic style and I can actually draw proper eyes, and now I’ve moved onto some other subjects like stick people and whatever.  Some days when I’m -really- lucky, I can draw hair (something I’m still working out).

There were also those brief fads where I came across some game that included a level designer, and I would delve into making some levels of my own.  Of course, I don’t think =any= of these levels were very serious–they were mainly just me messing around and seeing what kind of things I could do.  From the old games like Abuse and well…I don’t even remember what else…to newer ones like Serious Sam and Unreal Tournament, it was always kind of fun to be able to play through something that I had made myself.

Storywriting also came into play somewhere, although aside from some minor escapades into the ISQ and the ISQ2 universes (don’t even bother looking it up) I never really got deeply involved in any of it.  There have been a few works that are scattered about somewhere that are actually fairly interesting reads–various unfinished one-pagers–but never any real completed works.  I guess that’s something I could aspire to one day?

RPGMaker came along and suddenly I was blessed with a really great tool.  After the first two (unfinished) games that I churned out, I got a really good feel for what I liked and didn’t like in my RPGs, and that’s influenced my present-day daydreams on other projects.  Random battles, for example, tend to really suck, especially when they’re based on encounters that take place every x number of steps.  RPGMaker XP is my latest foray into the world of RPGs, and though I’ve yet to actually make anything out of it, I’d played around with it and I like the scriptability and engine a lot.

And then there’s music.  I guess I owe a lot of my music-making prowess to those times that my brother played around with the oh-so-cliched C-A-F-G progression and then I started to fiddle around with it myself.  My childhood realm of music consisted not of Linkin Park and Smash Mouth and Britney Spears (or whoever else was popular back then…who even remembers anymore?) but of Uematsu and Kondo.  Of course, with DDR I became exposed to “real” music, but with the discovery of Overclocked Remix I returned back to my roots of video game tunes–only now they all sounded kick-ass.  There have been trends in my music style, ranging from pop-centric to piano solo, but nowadays with the advent of glowsticking into my life it’s mostly centered around the euphoria that is trance music.  Then again, I do still fiddle around on the piano an awful lot, and with so many hours of experience under my belt I find that it’s easier and easier to draw up melodies out of thin air.

There was, of course, a revolution in my world of music when I was introduced to FL Studio (back then known only as Fruity Loops).  I’d worked with some MIDI programs before, messing around in much the same way that I did level editors (I have fond memories of a song entitled “toothpicks” which started with a random cacophony of piano chords that somehow managed to sound meaningful, followed by an absolute smattering of woodblocks), and I’d even had experience with a tracker program (trackers are so cool!  Star Control 2 has the best tunes!!!), yet FL Studio was something different, and I started making songs that weren’t just random or funky–they actually sounded cool.  4 years later my sound has matured and I’m now making tracks that aren’t quite “pro” but are certainly very cool.  Of course, there’s always the elusive dream of making a vocal mix…

The creativity process doesn’t just stop with making concrete creations, however.  As glowsticking sprang into my life, bringing with it the idea of PLUR and a wonderful online community, I discovered a new way to express myself through wrap combos and body traces.  Watching clips of other glowstickers frame-by-frame, I’m still awed by the smoothness and flow that some of them manage to achieve.  But of course, I myself have already come a long way, especially when you consider that first night when I cracked my first real pair of sticks and did a million figure-8s while struggling to learn the basic weave and arm wraps.

Even in the realm of speedcubing, my creative side managed to show through when I discovered that I could (albeit with a lot of time and effort) create my own custom cubes.  And now even a Rubik’s Cube has become another vehicle through which I can express myself.

And there’s writing, of course–not the dreamy fictional works that I still think about sometimes, but all of the dialogues and letters I’ve written about my thoughts and about myself.  Even in all of those college admissions essays there’s still always sincerity and enjoyment out of writing something that I truly care about.  Whether it be on a letter (as is most frequently the case), in my diary (which I love to flip through just to see how much ink I’ve used on the smattering of tiny words), or on this blog, I always love to translate my thoughts onto paper.  So much, in fact, that I’ve probably already written about writing.

I suppose some of the appeal for creation lies simply in the experience of seeing something that someone else has made, and then thinking, “oh man, that’s so cool–I wish I could do that!”  After all, a lot of the time I didn’t do any drawing except for copy art where I would imitate another artist as best I could.  And my idea for a custom cube was helped along by another that I saw made out of pok√©mon cards.

Of course, you have to be realistic, lest you fall into the trap of biting off more than you can chew.  Full-blown feature-length cel-shaded 3D flash animations are neat and all, but there’s only so much time in a day.  On the other hand, with a little bit of dedication, and a little bit more of motivation (this is important), almost anything is possible, as I’ve already proven to myself time and time again.  Part of it is just the fact that I tend to not settle for anything less than excellence, when it’s possible.  At many points I’ve played with the idea of taking up Tetris or Minesweeper, but I know that if I did either I would end up forcing myself to work at it until I was more skilled than anyone I knew.  That’s just the way it goes…but as a result I’ve managed to do things that I can look back on and really have fond memories of.  Yes, perhaps those early childhood stories that didn’t really make much sense aren’t that impressive, but everyone starts somewhere.  And once you manage to churn out something -good-, well…that’s when the fun starts (and this holds true for glowsticking, writing, music, art, and anything else you can shake a stick at)!

So does all this mean that I should take up a career that fits what I’ve been doing all these years–the job of a “creator”?
Well, don’t be so sure just yet.  Just because I said that making stuff is cool, doesn’t mean that it’s the best.
After all, there’s nothing else quite like a sub-15 solve.

(I do realize that this entire post contradicts what I said in the previous one.  oops.)