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Doublebrew's blog

10:07 AM on 01.06.2012

Redwood Mountain: Passion of The Student

Let me tell you a story:

I have The Flu. The actual one with all the terribleness that goes with it. However, I also had to do registration. This chance was my last one to study again. But...I have The Flu.

So what happens when it's an hour before I have to leave for registration? I empty my stomach of everything it can hold, put on my good pants, and go register for my goddamn classes.

Here's a bit of trivia:
I've been known have really awesome things fuck up for me at the last second. I used to accept it because I honestly didn't know any better. I thought that it was my lot in life to be "Poor Doublebrew" and become the guy people pitied. We all know that guy at work who always seems to be passed over or that girl who didn't quite get that husband she deserved. I learned to settle very early in life.

But recently, I looked in my pants and found a pair of testicles.

I honestly have not gotten any sleep in the past couple of days. It's been nothing but cold chills, vomiting, and dizziness. The nightmares have somehow bled into reality, so I kept thinking I was getting stabbed with a sword all night last night. Icould have rescheduled my appointment. I could have given up again and waited another semester. I could have done a lot of things, but I didn't. I had passion to help push me further than I have ever gone.

Passion is something a lot of people don't really have anymore. The world beats us down so much and after a while, we all become submissive to it. We get used to failing and giving up. It shouldn't be like that. It should never be like that.

Our grandfathers built rockets to the moon, fought tyrants and ate real meat. Our ancestors sailed vast oceans and charted new territory. We have the potential to be Kings and Emperors, but we get mad that someone fucks up our order at Waffle House and we want it for free. We don't have passion for things anymore. We expect someone else to do the work for us and then make it easy for everyone else.

I get so worked up about it because I want to be a teacher of English and Writing. I want to publish a graphic novel and write science fiction books. Why? Because it's my passion. I love everything about the things I study and want to instill that very same passion into someone else. But the problem is that no one wants to fight for their passions anymore.

Take Jim Sterling. Mr. Sterling fights against SOPA not just because it's wrong and threatens his livelyhood. It threatens his passion for video games and everything that comes with it. He saw a shadow coming over the horizon and sounded the fucking horn to alert everyone. He's also grabbing his gear to help fight it off as well. Mr. Sterling, and Destructoid as a whole. are doing their damndest to protect their passion.

So why aren't you? Why aren't you fighting for your passion right now, like I did today? The only thing stopping you is you.

12:40 AM on 01.04.2012

Redwood Mountain: Underdog

I start college again for the third time this Friday. It's... nerve-wracking. My first attempt was my own fault. I thought I had everything under control, but it turns out I was in over my head. Then, I was given a second chance and was able to study for free, thanks to a family member. But...then that family member lost their job at the second school, so I had to leave because it was uber expensive.

So here I am, back at the beginning. Two hour orientation, talk to an adviser, get my classes, pay the tuition fee and SHAZAM. Back to being a student again. I was afraid yesterday as I finalized everything. All my ducks are in a row and I should be all right when I stand in line, but I was so distraught over something going wrong that I almost had a panic attack.

So, there I was, sitting in a stall, attempting to breath calmly. It wasn't working out how I had planned, so I tried to think about other things. My mind snapped back to when I got my first dog.

My family had raised dogs before, but this time was different. I was visiting my dad and he wanted to teach me responsibility. While I was with my mom, his old Army buddy had a litter of German Shepards. Most of them were taken or already called for, save for one. He was the runt, and didn't seem too smart, even though he was a few days old. At any rate, my dad took him and named him for me. "Pop"

Pop was probably the dumbest dog I've come across or the smartest. He knew the commands I had taught him, but he never did them unless other people were around. It was like he was trying to impress everyone that he was a trained dog, but in private he would only want to play or sleep. Being the runt, he was smaller than the average Shep, but he made up for it in agility.

He was also very protective of me. I was always a big kid, both in height and in width, but I always felt small. I guess Pop felt the same way, seeing other dogs bigger than him. Whenever things got heated at my house with my step-family, Pop would always stand between me and whatever was going on. Even when I hit high school, he would always do it. No physical damage was done, but after things quieted down, he was there to comfort me from the things I heard and was told. For a while, it was me and the dog, just trying to carve out a place in the world around us. That was unless we went to the vet.

Pop was always afraid of the vet. We learned the hard way that I had to stay within eye shot of him at all times. If not, even for a second, he would thrash around looking for me. If I couldn't take him, for whatever reason, they were forced to muzzle and sedate him. This bond is really strange, yes, but it's what we had and I loved it. But then sophomore year of high school came around.

Pop was dragging for a week. His energy was low and he could barely eat without throwing it up. I took him to the vet and they ran some tests. At first, they thought it was an infection, so they gave me some antibiotics for the time being. Like the would usually do, they did a few more tests and took some blood. A few days later, they ask for me to bring him in. An xray later, I found out why he was so sluggish.

Pop had kidney cancer.

I learned three things that day:
1) Dogs can surprisingly get cancer
2) Strong men also cry
3) Your pets have dignity as well

My options were scarce. He was far along so any therapy was out of the question. I could have him take pain meds and wait for him to die or I could have him put down within the next few days. I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to have him put down.

Many of my pro-animal friends give me shit for that. They tell me that I should have done whatever I could if I "really loved Pop like I said I did". But what they didn't have is history with him. They don't remember when he fit in the size of their palm. They don't remember the time he grabbed a bird in midair. They don't remember him bouncing around in the snow during winter vacations. They don't remember the times he almost got me laid. He wasn't just a pet, but my buddy. And seeing your buddy die a slow death, even a painless one, is painful.

I signed the forms and two days later, Pop died. He was cremated and I scattered the ashes in my dad's backyard. It was where we first met.

All of those things distracted me from the fear of going back to school, the fear of the unknown. The story ended on a sad note, yeah, but what I remember were the good times. I was amazed that the memories of a dog helped keep me from going over the deep end in a public restroom. My breathing slowed, I flushed the toilet to not cause suspicion and washed my hands. I looked in the mirror and smiled. "Crazy dog," I thought to myself. "You did it again."

11:37 PM on 12.31.2011

Redwood Mountain: Gotta Start Somewhere

So, this being a brand new year, I decided to make a resolution that is actually doable. I'm going to attempt to keep a semi-daily public journal, but not in the usual "Today I ate bacon cupcakes and they were delicious". kind of way. It's more of like this...I dunno, sense of needing to show people how something works.

All right, I need to stop avoiding the issue.

I'm a 22 old gamer that struggles daily with depression. I've been in therapy for 8 months for it and while it's helped immensely, it's still an uphill battle.

.........And there ya go.

What I kind of don't want is to be the guy that complains about how he hates being depressed and doesn't know what to do about it. Instead, I want to attempt to show what it's like for someone who's already taken the steps to get better, well...get better.

Back in May, I had gone through an extremely terrible "episode". I had blotted out the sun in my room via blankets over the windows, turned my phone off and didn't really leave except to use the bathroom. I stopped taking care of myself and for someone who lives with his family still, they got extremely worried. Somehow, they pulled me out of my room and said they were worried about me. We talked for a long while about how they saw the steady decline, but more importantly, how I basically accepted it. I'm the kind of guy that fights for anything and usually wins, so it was amazing to them that I gave up. They wanted me to get help.

I couldn't say "No", because they were right. I laid down and let this take over my life without a struggle. I called to set up my appointment and a week later, I met V.

I honestly know next to nothing about V, except the fact that she is young, a female, and is shorter than me. She told me how therapy works and what my goals were. I was nervous as all hell. My own misconceptions about therapy were getting the better of me. I didn't want to talk about my feelings, my childhood, my relationships or anything. I only wanted to get rid of this depression and move on with my life.

I'll admit that it took a little while, but I ended up talking about all of those. Burdens that I carried around for years were finally taken off and I was able to finally get in tune with how I actually felt about things. Through my sessions, I learned how to actually vocalize how I feel instead of burying them. While I still deal with depression, I know how to actually tell someone if they ask if I'm doing all right.

To wrap up, I'll attempt to write every couple of days and try to explain more about how depression works, at least for me. I'm not going to attempt to be that "end all be all" for how it is and I'm not going to pretend to. I just want to give people a chance to see how it's not exactly the way most internet attention seekers make it out to be.

Also, I'll always try to end these on a literal smile. Here's JK Simmons giving us his best:

11:30 PM on 10.20.2011

Online Passes: What About Bob?

If there is a question that's being left out of the entire problem of online passes, it's this: What happens to people who rent games?

My brother and I don't do any kind of online gaming. The reason why is that we don't have the time and we don't really care for it. We barely have time to play games due to our work schedules, so we opted to get Gamefly. As gamers who want to keep up with it all, it was probably the smartest thing we've done in our entire gaming careers.

Gamefly ships the game in these little slips that are covered with cardboard flaps to keep it safe. It does not come with the manual or the case at all and the only way to get them is if you opt to buy the game. Many of the games offered by the service are excellent titles like the Gears of War, Halo and Call of Duty franchises. People who currently rent these games have no problem getting online to play but now with the rise of online passes, I have questions: Do the people who rent games have to buy an online pass in order to play? Do we need to rent an online pass along with the game? Do we even get the ability to play online at all?

None of these questions are being asked and if they are, no one is really answering them.

Gamefly is successful because of guys like my brother and myself. We rent the game, keep it for as long as we need to and then ship it back. That one copy could have passed hands dozens of times, depending on the level of demand. This means that the publisher has lost a few hundred dollars because one copy was being passed around ad-nauseum until someone finally buys it or someone breaks it. The problem has mostly been about the sale of used games but not the renting of them. Renting a game is perfectly legal still and with the success of Gamefly, it's simple to do as well. A person who has little money can literally save hundreds of dollars per year through this company.

So again, what happens to people who rent games?

If this question was given to those in charge, there wouldn't really be an answer because they couldn't give one. They didn't really think of guys like me because they probably forgot that people still do it. Even if they give an answer, it won't be straight forward because it's a single copy being used by 50 people one right after another. The idea of having one code is stupid because it'd be used up. Using a "rental code" is dumb because it would show up on the internet the second it was out.

Any kind of solution for rental gamers would never work. If we're being pessimistic about it, rental gamers are pretty much fucked. We can't buy a pass because it'd be redundant and the risk of having your "rental code" compromised is extremely high, especially if online passes become more frequent. There really is no actual solution that would be feasible for both the renter and the company. This is Destructoid, though, so a solution must be created no matter how batshit it may be.

Here's one: Every rental copy receives a specific code. In order to use this code, the person must solve the St. Ive's puzzle from Die Hard 3. If they get it wrong, their 360 explodes. If they get it right, they can play online. It may sound like it won't work, but those who are smart or saw the film will have the right to play online. Even still, renters will now have a better chance of being remembered in bullshit like the online pass problem instead of being forgotten about completely.   read

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