... as Occam's Electric Toothbrush has claimed, and it is an intro post of sorts. I don't expect people to actually read this, I barely expected people to read that last two journals but the C-Blog and D'Toid have proven to me that people really do read the newbies' writings and that gives me some sort of hope. So this is it, an intro to me...the full thing...almost nothing excluded...this is your final warning.
I was born April 20th, 1990 and nothing cool happened until my dad bought me a gameboy at age 6. I had Tetris and Mario. My parents had a rough life when I was young, there were divorces, remarriages, and more divorce but I'm not mad or angry or angst-filled or anything. My parents were young and always had their child forthright in their minds. They loved me and there is no denying that.
Two years later, I got a SEGA Genesis for Christmas with Vectorman and Sonic the Hedgehog. I was pretty ignorant during these times. I didn't know there was a SNES or even NES. I just knew being a robot boost jumping other robots to death was fun. I also fucking love Gunstar Heroes.
Then, shortly before school ended in the early months of '97, my mom moved to Boise (Idaho) while my dad stayed in Downtown Boise. We were still close together (but I didn't learn that until later, I was a kid with almost no concept of distance) but I had to change schools. It was there I met Casey Montgomery, my best friend still to this day (and roommate too).
It is here that I met three major characters to my life. Kyle, the redheaded bully. Joey, the blonde cool kid. And William, the Asian/Mexican/Something who always brought laughs and has 12 bros+sisters. I didn't like Kyle, I didn't care about Joey, and I thought William was a cool kid to hang with. Casey and I would always hang out together with this rag-tag group of future rapists and laugh as though the truth wasn't right in front of us the whole time.
Looking back, its funny to see how your childhood friends grew up and to realize how little you understood. I didn't know Kyle's brother was an alcoholic at 16 or his mother was addicted to meth. I didn't even know I lived in a shitty neighborhood with a meth problem and an orphanage right across the street. The facts remain the same, the viewpoint just changes.
Kyle ended up getting a girl pregnant at 17 which stopped his own drug abuse. He now spends over $150 on magic cards every now and then. I re-met up with Joey in High School where I found out he was a major stoner with no goals or direction in his life. And William joined the army when he turned 18 and was sent to Iraq. He came back recently and we had some good times but then he left for college in Arizona.
This section of my past also marked the era of Pokemon, which played a huge part in my life. We had the cards, the toys, all the games, we traded at school, and followed the stupid rumors. For example, cutting the link-cable would produce a real pokemon or Yellow Version would allow any pokemon to follow behind you. Tons of stupid shit, it was awesome. I still have it all in a trunk under my bed.
From 4th grade to 6th grade is a bit of a blur, possibly a mental block. I remember my parents getting back together, everyone moving away from Casey's neighborhood (including me but excepting William), and me going through that puberty angst phase where you hate your friends and your life and everyone and you start doodling suicidal pictures on your homework. But that suicidal hatred phase was mostly 6th grade. And no, I didn't go goth or emo (was emo even existent back in 2002?), I was just a kid who dressed in video game shirts and didn't care what I looked like.
From 7th to 9th grade, I met up with Chris O. and Nick K. I'm omitting their last names on purpose but since there are several Nicks' and Chris' in my life, I'll give their last initial. Nick K. and I were best buds. Everything was freakin' sweet. We rode bikes, we broke shit, we made shit, we pissed off old men. We did a ton of good things, including playing video games. This was the Homestar Runner and PS2 era. We played Time Splitters 2 and watched Homestar Runner religiously. I also began to realize I can exploit my image for laughs and attention. So I had no self image and everyone thought I was dumb as a rock or gay. Hell, maybe both depending who you asked.
Also my parents were back together...for good this time.
During this stage of my life, I began to understand that bullies couldn't be ignored and sometimes you'd have to confront them...but me being the ignorant little 'tard I was, I always said the wrong thing at the right time. Every time I could have stopped it, I would say the worse possible thing and make it worse. So thus began my internal struggle for social acceptance without my expense and the questioning of how to deal with bullies without encouraging it.
Chris O. was the opposite of me. He was cool, had an abusive childhood, and was born 6 days before me. We'd hunt down my little brother as he walked down the sidewalk from the bus (with nerf guns), we'd threaten neighborhood kids because they were little douche bags, and we'd watch each other's backs in school. Life throws several fun curve balls though.
Nick N. was first introduced to WoW in the Christmas of 2004. He got a new computer and the game and a pair of parents who threw money to the wind like they weren't funding childhood obesity. Sadly, this really sucked down Nick's time and I didn't really get to do anything besides eat dinner at his house and watch him grind. To this day, I believe he still plays. I haven't seen him in four years and wonder if he actually goes to college, got kicked out of his parent's house, turned obese, or even tries other video games. It certainly seemed that WoW was the center of his life.
Chris O's step father was abusive and my parent's house would be a safe haven for him. One day, near 8pm, he comes ringing our doorbell and my mom answers it. "My d-dad threw me d-down the s-stairs." He sobbed, a bruise running up his face. So we hushed him in and let him spend the night. Chris was a tough mother fucker and this was the only time I saw him defeated.
It is also strange to watch people your same age grow up faster than you. Chris O. got married at 18 and had a kid in the same year. I remember running into him at a Walmart and us talking. I met his son (1 year old at the time) and his wife. We talked about what had happened and what was happening with our lives. Chris dropped out of high school and began working construction. Now he's struggling to get him and his wife a decent life.
And now, the biggest section of my life. The part that defined my entire future and current state of self.
Grade 10th to 12th. After my freshman year, I got a phone call saying that I was accepted to the Meridian Technical Charter High School. Which basically meant I got into a geek school where you have computers in every class. It was here that a background character became a foreground one and I learned to hate my generation for what was, selfish and retarded. The character in question is Matt. Matt went to middle school with me and I remember him distinctly as the weird kid in the background. Matt bloomed into his true self at this geek school. He was charismatic and funny. It was strange how being immersed in your own culture makes you what you truly are.
First let me say that geek culture is the exact same as every other culture. Bullies arise, the sluts crawl forth, and the cool kids emerge from the losers. I was a loser but more in the sense that I had friends in every clique but didn't stick to any one of them. Matt, Davina, Scott, and Chris P. was my posse of friends. Matt was a networker, Davina was a graphic designer, Scott was an engineer, Chris P. was a programmer, and I was a programmer as well. These were the paths our school offered us at the Junior level for graduation and specialization.
Second, I didn't get a computer until I was 16. It was a Pentium II 666mHz, 6GB HDD, 128MB RAM, nVidia TNT. I could barely play System Shock 2 so forget Half-Life 2. Despite my video game history, I was a console gamer, a PC gaming virgin. Just as well that I had Matt to teach me.
Matt was my best friend during high school (and he's still a great friend now). He'd always have some infinite gamer guru knowledge. He'd tell me what I needed to configure Linux, to stay the hell away from Macs, and what I needed to force drivers to work on Windows. He was my encyclopedia and he still is. I'd say he's my sensei on computers.
Davina was one of the three girls at my high school (and none of them were especially cute). She was a heavy anime fan, always spiking her hair and never losing the weight that would have made her desirable. I often thought about how desperate I'd get before actually wanting to go out with her but what else could you expect from a school with only three girls? It also fucking sucks that the geek school suddenly became cool right when we graduated. We had hot freshman girls coming in by the truckload and all these hip, young kids with swingin' hairstyles. Think PC vs Mac commercials. We were PC (aka dull nerd) and Mac (aka Justin Long / cool nerd) was replacing us.
Scott looks like he has down syndrome. That's how you'll recognize him. He's also far more Matt's friend than mine. I figured he was there to add social commentary to our crazy high school lives...and that's all I have to really say...He's a funny guy to hang out with but not a huge impact on me.
Chris P. Oh my god, fuck this guy. Imagine, you see a kid who is alone and you decide to be friends with him. You then realize he's a hate filled, self-bloated, uber-genius that wants mankind's extinction. So when I try to not be his friend, when the words are about to fall out of my mouth, he pulls the S-word. And it's not sword. "I'm suicidal." And BAM! Well now I'm obligated to be his friend because I don't want this kid killing himself over me. Between the suicidal and extreme hatred leaking off this guy, tainting me and my views on life, and the stupidity of some lazy eye'd prick trying to bully me, you'd understand why I think our generation is fucked up.
Speaking of lazy eye'd pricks, Zack was one of those bullies who rose up to oppose me. He'd always be there with Conner to throw my ego down and laugh. It's really weird because I wasn't an asshole or anything. Just some regular kid going through high school. And I was friends with his friends so...how does that work?
I think the best moment of high school was when we were close to graduating and I volunteered to tally votes on what our graduation song and student speaker should be. I told everyone to send me an email so I had a physical copy. Zack wanted to be student speaker but the votes were tallied in Christian's favor (including my vote, pricks don't win elections unless its fear inspired). So when Zack realized he would lose, he rallied squad and got his whole posse up against me. They pushed and jeered and told me that I was a fucking retard who couldn't count while I feebly tried to defend myself with the actual email votes.
It was then that quiet Matt from middle school stood forth and told Zack to go fuck himself. And he had half the school behind him. It was...the most beautiful and wonderful moment, knowing that I actually mattered to these people. It was, what most would believe, a rare moment for the majority to crash down on the bully and defend the innocent. Even if I can't strike up casual conversation with my classmates, I still know, deep inside, that they either cared enough about me to help or hated Zack enough to gang up on him.
Now for a rough transition. I wanted to be a programmer since I realized that was how video games were made, so I built my whole high school career on that. It wasn't until senior year where we were forced to take an internship based on our teachings to learn the tricks of the trade. I got a cubicle job at HealthCast programming in C# (a language I taught myself. My programming teacher taught only PHP and Java). I hated it. It doesn't matter how much you like your boss, being in a cubicle, back against the only exit, always knowing you will be judged. It was soul crushing, not to mention bad Feng Shui. There's a reason the boss' desk is always facing the door and the employees backs are always to it.
They didn't like me too much either, so I lost that job.
Normally, you fail school if you fail the internship but the principal thought of me as a troubled soul and assembled some sort of massive intervention. All of the teachers, faculty, and my parents were brought together to talk about my work ethic and how I am going to fail at life. At first, I thought it was a joke. I mean, yeah I didn't have the best work ethic, I'd play games during class and procrastinate, but it was strange to set up an intervention on something like that.
"You're setting up your whole life to fail." The principal said. "You need to learn how to be professional." And I realized that they had been trying to drill this concept of professionalism into me since day one. We'd have professional days where we dress our best and talk in the best ways to impress. We even had a little school crest...upon our chest...They wanted us to be the best and not drop out like the rest. I realized that this entire school experience was a test and the grading scale (75+ = passing) was used to get rid of the pests.
So I broke down. This concept of professionalism was a horrible thought to me. "You want me to become a robot?" No no, nothing like that. "You want to destroy my identity! To stop being myself!" And the tears did flow and the shocked faces of parents and favored teachers loomed back at me. They wanted me to stop talking, stop wasting time, stop using up resources. They wanted me to become the most efficient worker of this modern era. Every corporation wants that and this school was a factory for it.
I don't want to be viewed as a victim. Everything they said about me was true. I was lazy and I didn't have any work ethic, and they did give me a second chance. But how could I miss the whole point of this school? Where they pit 4.0 GPAs against each other for class rank. We read philosophy and dystopian novels, so why didn't I see how limited and streamlined this school was?
So, after the meeting, I vowed to be a harder worker (and to be myself). They put me in a charity place that takes old computers and gives them to poor children called Computers for Kids. I just hated how fast my view on school flip-flopped. I felt like this was some sort insane concentration camp meant to erase personalities and imprint the values that my school had plastered over its crest.
I graduated student number 41 out of 41 to "Never Gonna Give You Up" and then life resumed.
While I do not resent my high school experience as much as this post makes it seem, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Go to a school that gives you a wide birth to experiment with your future, don't funnel yourself into a single career.
Because now I'm an English Major and only program for my own joy.
Present day, I've gone to school for 5 semesters and paid for it all out of pocket with no debt. After this sixth semester, I'll have gone to school for three years and have an Associates (2 year degree for the EU in the audience) in English. Now I'm borrowing money from the government and going to try and get my Bachelors (4 year) before 2013.
With a Bachelor's in English, I plan on becoming an English teacher in Japan but not because I'm a weaboo/otaku/anime nerd. I need to defend that I'm not any of those things at all.
In the Summer of '09, I went to Japan for 33 days. I stayed at my American Uncle's house with his Japanese wife and two children. It was freaking amazing and hilarious. I saw English classes being taught and enjoyed their school system and culture. I loved their manners and studying their language makes me question my own. This is why I want to be a teacher in Japan. That and the pay is apparently wicked awesome.
You can read my exploits here
. It's the month of May. All the stuff before that is me bitching about parents and all the stuff after is me bitching about funerals.
So there's my past and my future but not really anything about me as a gamer. Well this post is fucking huge enough. I'll cover my personality and gamer habits in the next article. Until then, thanks for reading this long intro post. As you can see, I like writing... read