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Hi. I'm Dan, an admin in the forums. Come down and say things to us. You'll float, too.




"Nihil" is the pseudonym I use for writing and gaming on the internet. I came across Destructoid by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic had the most comprehensive coverage on it I'd seen anywhere.

For that, and for leading me to this awesome community, I thank him.




Laminated avatar from Cblog Mom Elsa


Handcrafted avy from forums Mom Zodiac Eclipse


I am an element of Dtoid according to Professor Corduroy Turtle


An artist's rendition of my "Rape Genie" persona


Friday Night Fight Nihil by Mikey


Dtoid Card: Rebirthening Edition by Lion, Phil, and Marche

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In the world of Account Management, businesses are represented by people who can do things. Like talking. And writing. Sometimes, at the same time. For some of these individuals, multitasking and networking can be especially brutal. For others, no matter what a company throws at them, it's just another day at the office.

This is one man's story.

[KUNK-KUNK]

1. What activities, duties and work do you do every day?

I work at a tech startup in the South Bay (Silicon Valley) so activities can vary. That's the interesting thing about working at a young company is that your job description is not written in stone.

I'm basically a salesman, but not in the capacity most people think of because I'm Business to Business. I probably need to explain before I can go on to describe daily activities. I operate in a more traditional business environment. My target client is a decision maker. Someone with authority to sign a contract with a hefty $100,000 estimate attached. Typically this means I'm trying to get in touch with a CEO or at least a Vice President. Finding a client usually involves some combination of networking at trade shows, stalking the internet and getting referrals from existing clients.

Something else that requires some explaining is that I don't sell an actual product. What I sell specifically are "services." My company contracts out software development. We don't sell software, we sell the services of the programmers who can build software. Kind of in the same sense as an auto mechanic, you're paying for my company's time. Just instead of paying for the time required to fix a car, it's time required to fixing a car, it's the time required to build an Uber competitor or something.

Daily activities involve getting out of the office to network, making phone calls and sending E-Mails, setting up business meetings and drafting contracts. In general I'm the one who does the prep work, but sometimes I end up being pulled back in even after the sale is over. This is typically when a client becomes tough to handle and they need someone to make them happy again. This is a level of responsibility that's uncommon for a sales guy, but because I'm good at it sometimes I'm asked to do it. Again, it's a startup. There's no real set rules.

 

1.5. Can you explain what a startup is?

A startup is just a relatively new company. Instagram, Facebook and Uber were all startups until just recently. I don't think there's a real rule of thumb, but once you exceed 100 companies I think it's pretty official that you're no longer considered a startup. That or if you've managed to stay in business longer than 5 years I think? The grand majority of startup companies fail within that time frame.

Most startups these days are technology oriented so stereotypically people think of them as beginning with 3 guys in a garage somewhere, working their asses off 15 hours a day hoping to make it big. Not every startup is started by someone young, though. I've had a few former CEOs of some pretty big companies roll by my office to talk about their new startup. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements (in addition to not wanting to say where I work) of course mean I'm not going to name names.

Lack of experience is one reason a lot of startups fail, but a lot of the time they also just don't have the money to pay for anything including their employees. It's pretty common for startups to try and snag employees by "selling them the dream." Usually a valuable employee will be offered stock options in exchange for lower than average pay. This is keeping in mind that a good programmer should be insulted to be offered less than $100,000 even if they were being lowballed. That's only the base cost of hiring someone too. The company needs to worry about paying a share of that employee's benefits and taxes. Even if you're underpaying your startup employee you need to add another 25% in costs on top of their salary.

So yeah, it's not cheap to start a new company that needs at least a couple programmers on staff. Almost always you need to get investors to give you "seed money" to start the company with. You owe those investors some ownership of the company in exchange. If your company strikes it huge, those investors own a certain share of the pie. Very few companies are self-funded, though mine does happen to be one of them. Rather, I'm pretty sure my company has a private investor that's a member of the board of directors.

The ultimate dream for most of these companies is either to become the next Google, or to attract the attention of some larger company so they can be bought out, get their huge payout, then walk away and start another company.


2. How were you trained for this career?

In terms of being trained for sales I worked my way up from being a part-timer to an Assistant Manager at a GameStop. I was pretty dedicated to it at the time and was one of their top performers, and I trained my staff to be the same. That was the ground work for giving me a flair for service and sales even though I'm not a naturally social person.

In terms of being trained for a more business oriented sales job? There was jack shit. In a startup environment you need to be able to teach yourself and observe the people around you. Senior members of staff really don't have the time to teach you everything step by step. Anything you're taught will be on the fly, and in between you're going to trip around not really knowing what you're doing.

 

2.5. In what way(s) are you not naturally social? Do you enjoy your career because of, or in spite of this?

I was your typical nerdy kid who played too many video games and Magic the Gathering. I was not confident growing up. Work gradually opened me up and developed my social skills, but even then I've always been the kind of person who prefers spending time with small groups of friends and having meaningful conversations. No matter what happens in this world I'll never become a party person. I'm not as extreme as my Father who's happy to live out in the middle of nowhere with his dogs, but the apple still doesn't fall too far from the tree. I enjoy a little alone time.

Aside from networking at large events, my job is really more of a 1-on-1 kind of affair so it does suit my style.



3. What is the salary range for people in your line of work?

There's no real set range because commission isn't something set in stone. Unlike a car salesman however, people in my sort of role tend to have a base salary that's guaranteed to them.

The company initially took me on with the expectation that I would be entry level. They offered me $36,000 a year. I improved quickly and I've been given two raises in less than a year, so now I make $52,000. I'll probably make another $8,000 in commission so probably $60,000 is what I'm looking at.

A more experienced sales guy could easily be making $80,000 on their base salary and a lot more on their commission.

 

3.5 How long have you been in this particular profession for?

I've been at this for about a year so far.


4. What are some of the fringe benefits you enjoy?

My office isn't really strict about working long hours, so while a lot of people in this area are working 10 hour days it's not uncommon for me to come in at 10:00 and go home by 5:00. There's nobody really houdning me to work harder or faster or anything either, so I get to work at my own pace. Admittedly the lack of pressure means I end up spending a little too much time on Destructoid.


5. What are the positive aspects of your work?

The people I work with are pretty friendly, and the level of diversity in the office is refreshing. My boss is an extremely friendly Indian that's something of an industry veteran. Some of my fellow sales guys are a Syrian dude with lots of stories about what it was like to live there before things got crazy. I swear to God, another one I work with is this bigger guy whose best friend is a pro NFL player. Said NFL player gets tons of free shit he doesn't want or need, so he just hands it off. The guy I work with practically runs a miniature business selling all the free crap he gets on eBay.


6. What are the negative aspects of your work?

While I'm grateful the company was willing to initially hire me on the cheap and take a risk on me, it's a trend that has proven troublesome on occasion. It worked out pretty well when they hired me, sure. Other people they've taken this approach with have turned out to be duds that made my own life a little harder.

In a company where there's not a lot of structure, it can be a real detriment that there's only so many really experienced people who can act as leaders.


7. What are some of the major trends you see in this career field? What predictions can you make about this field in the next five to ten years?

This is a growth industry, I can tell you that. It's not going anywhere for the next ten years. After the ten year mark though it becomes fuzzy what's certain and what's not. Everyone wants to create the next big thing that's going to save time and money. Right now things like crowdsourcing are doing that while generating jobs, but the next step is going to be eliminating people from the equation. There's a reason companies like Uber are investing in things like self-driving cars right now.

There are tech pundits that somewhat irresponsibly claim that whatever jobs their companies eliminate will simply be replaced by "better" jobs. This is based on the fact that something like that happened during The Industrial Revolution. The thing is that there's no actual evidence that history is going to repeat itself on this, because once you eliminate physical labor and mental labor what are you left with?

If there are any jobs that are at least somewhat stable in the face of robots and software though, it's going to be social jobs like service and sales. While I'm sure eventually there will be a digital salesman coming for my job, it's going to be a while considering it's tougher to teach a computer social skills than it is to teach them accounting.



8. Is there a lot of competition to get into this field?

There's a booming economy going on around here, so while it's competitive there's probably an in for anybody who really wants to work their way up the ladder.


9. What are the strongest skills a person must have to do well in this career?

Sales is something where everyone really has their own style, so it's tough to say what the most important skill is. Personally I'd say it's an ability to balance the needs of your client with the needs of your company. You need to satisfy both in order to have a healthy business relationship.


10. What personality traits do the most successful people in this career have?

Persistence, confidence and maybe most importantly sincerity. A slimy sales guy will not last forever.


11. In what other fields can a person with your training go?

Really, with my particular background it's tough to say. With a little education Project Management or Management in general might be an option. Service jobs are an obvious choice. Consulting would be possible if some gaps were filled.


12. If you had it to choose all over again, would you still enter this field? Why or why not?

I've got no particular regrets. I wish I'd entered it sooner if anything considering I was a very late bloomer in a lot of ways and a serious job like this would have given me a good kickstart.


13. What is your next career move?

I've honestly put very little thought into it. I've always just wanted to acquire new skills to keep things interesting, so as long as the money stays good I've got a pretty open mind as to where I'm going next.


14. Where can I get more information about your career?

I don't really know of any particular place that houses this sort of information. I'm sure you could go to school for it, and certain employers really emphasize having a degree, but this is the sort of field where experience is really going to trump everything else.



15. What advice can you give someone who is trying to choose a career?

Don't be indecisive if you aren't sure where you want to go. If you're not making progress I'd say jump in to any job you can and milk it for all it's worth as quickly as possible. Learn everything and move on until you zig-zag into something you find satisfying.

If you're going to float around in school, make sure you're not getting yourself in debt while you're at it. If you have a certain degree in mind I'd very strongly recommend exposing yourself to that industry and finding people in that industry to mentor you. Our education system is inept to say the least about actually teaching you what a job is actually like or how to actually break in to it. You might think you like a certain job based on your understanding of it, only to find out it's nothing like what you thought it would be.

Both points really boil down to making sure you get a dose of the real world, because sometimes it's something you really need to pursue to actually find.

Eternal thanks to Wry Guy for his insight and knowledge, and to the Destructoid community for housing such remarkable specimens. I like to think the aliens will drop in to say hi rather than nuke us, with you all here!









Hello, community blogs. How you been? Feeling a little under the weather? Unwohl, perhaps? Groovy, listen, I don't know if you have anything against doctors or hospitals, but in case you thought everyone in the medical field was soulless, you should probably know that one of our own works behind the scenes to chew bubble gum and kick ass. Kinda. Actually, it feels like part of his job is being an awesome member of Dtoid, what with the amount of work he puts in helping us co-pilot the forums.

But don't think that makes him less skilled at what he really gets paid for. Read on, and you'll see that he knows his stuff when it comes to makin' paper by pushin' it for the public health system in Deutschland. Take a look through my otoscope into the daily life of OpiumHerz, M.D.

(Medical Documentalist)

 
1. What activities, duties and work do you do every day?

Working in a hospital I signed a paper about medical and business confidentiality, so I am not allowed to go into too many details here, sorry. However, what I basically do I read every patient's file from the two clinics I take care of. My areas are Ophthalmology (Eyes) and Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat). I read through everything the nurses and doctor's documented and decide what is relevant for the billing process. Another part is pretty much literally discussing/arguing with Health insurances if they think our documention/treatment was unjustified. They then don't want to pay for days or certain things we billed, so I either have to prove that it was justified or agree with them. The paperwork for this is handled by another division though. I basically only get a letter telling me what they disagree with, then I check the patient's file.

That aside I point nurses and doctor's towards problems with their documentation and I'm being consulted when it comes to questions regarding the billing system. I also work a good bit with statistics regarding my two clinics.

It's mostly bureaucracy, really. No sane person would put up with this shit by choice.



2. How were you trained for this career?

It was a three year apprenticeship that took place in what can be best described as a private university that was focused on jobs in medical. Of these three years, I spent six months in Year 2 in actual hospitals and working there, that aside we basically went to school. Due to the lack of expertise for many of the lecturer's though, I learned most of my stuff on myself. The final tests were standardized from the government, so we knew we had to be better than what we were provided. That being said, seeing this level of incompetence was a good preparation for the real world.


3. What is the salary range for people in your line of work?

In my field we're paid by union rate called TVÖD, it's for the public service. Nurses and doctors etc. are paid by it too. The wage for my job specifically varies a bit. The TVÖD has 9 classes with multiple levels each. You can advance levels up, but not classes (unless you get re-hired and are being paid in another class - for example you work at location one for Class 1 Level 4, you get hired somewhere else and get paid Class 3 Level 1).

When I started out I had around 1600€ on my bank account every month. Having no job experience back then, I found it fair enough. Every few years you automatically advance a level, so I earn a bit more nowadays too. Since public services has a very active union in Germany valled ver.di, and nurses/doctors are really on edge at the moment because they're hopelessly overworked, ver.di also strikes pretty much every year, which benefits me in the end again because the raises they negotiate hit me too.

That being said, the employer decides what Class and Level you start it. I applied for one job where the employer straight up told me I will be in Class X and Level X and that ain't negotiateable. Thus I can't really give you a reasonable range, but you can find the table of every wage (pre-taxes) class/level in the TVÖD here: http://oeffentlicher-dienst.info/c/t/rechner/tvoed/vka?id=tvoed-vka-2014&matrix=1
So the lowest monthly wage would be around 1630€ and the highest one is around 6745€.


4. What are some of the fringe benefits you enjoy?

Being part of public services I get lots of stuff cheaper. My public transit ticket for example costs me only 50€ per month instead around 90€. My employer also does a very special thing regarding retirement provisions. As I said before, being paid under the TVÖD I get a raise whenever ver.di goes on strike again for the rights of doctors or some shit, which is nice (even though I dislike ver.di A LOT).


5. What are the positive aspects of your work?

I don't have to work directly with patients. And thank god for that, because patients are fucking morons. Not as bad as retail customers, but close.


6. What are the negative aspects of your work?

I have to stare into a PC monitor pretty much all of the time, which is a strain on the eyes. My eyes got noticeably worse since I started this job and I will definitely need glasses sooner than later. Often I need to talk with doctors directly and their schedule is packed, standing in the operating room has priority over going through old files. Many doctors also think they know it all, surgeons are the worst in that regard and both my clnics are surgical ones. Telling them to shut the fuck up and listen for once because they have no idea what they're talking about is frowned upon too, because otherwise I would do that probably once a month.



7. What are some of the major trends you see in this career field? What predictions can you make about this field in the next five to ten years?

Digital will become important in the future. Digital patient files are the future and they have an incredible amounts of benefits. Honestly, if you don't work in a hospital, you have no idea how much space, money and manpower is wasted by storing patient files. My field of work also will become more important in the future, because hospitals WILL have to start watching their finances. Billing becomes more and more important, because the hospitals in Germany did a lot of mismanagement and now have huge problems. The billing system fucked them straight up the ass in 2013 on top of that, due to some changes made (it was predicted that many small to medium sized hospital will be in DEEP debt at the end of 2014 because of this - and I'm talking about "We have to close up shop"-debt).


8. Is there a lot of competition to get into this field?

When I applied, around 2010, there wasn't. There was a big demand from hosptials for my kind of people. Now, a few years later, the positions have been filled and it can be indeed problematic to get a job here, at least in Germany. If you got a decent training though (we get trained in LOTS of fields, from billing to clinical studies, we cover many different grounds and can start work in many different fields) I'm sure you can find something still. But you should be ready to move. For the job I have right now I literally moved to the other side of the country.


9. What are the strongest skills a person must have to do well in this career?

Know your way around a PC, since you work almost exclusively with it. Be a good time manager. Be able to identify bottlenecks in efficiency and remove them in a way that makes every party invovled happy. Attention to detail is important too. Anatomical knowledge for the clinic you work in is an upside too, so if you already have a history in medical that is always good.


10. What personality traits do the most successful people in this career have?

Have a good eye for detail, working fast and good, and overall just be intelligent. That might sound stupid, but that's what it all boils down to in the end. You just have to know/learn how to handle doctors, insurances, rules for billing etc. Applying that knowledge is relatively easy, but attaining that knowledge is something that takes time and experience.



11. In what other fields can a person with your training go?

Clinical Studies and everything statistics related, like controlling, are logical expansions. Archivework of different kinds too. Training regarding billing system are an option too.


12. If you had it to choose all over again, would you still enter this field? Why or why not?

This is a bit tricky. Truth is: I never WANTED to do this job. I wanted to go into journalism, but couldn't because I didn't have the degree. I wanted to go to the police, but couldn't because one of my school grades (motherfucking MATH, no less) is one score below the demanded grade. And while I want to become an author one day, with books in stores and such, that is a dream and not a career I could persue. I only learned about my job through my ex's dad and took it because I was searching for a job for three years without success and I NEEDED something. It was better than nothing, so I took it. It just turned out to be the dumbest kind of luck that I actually like this stupid job too.


I might chose the job earlier, right away. I'm happy with my job, I just like it. That's really all that is to it. I enjoy doing what I'm doing for some reason I can't explain. I would do things very differently regarding my private life.


13. What is your next career move?

Simply put: getting better. I'm not nearly as good and knowledgeable as I want to be.


14. Where can I get more information about your career?

That is a bit tough for me since Medical Documentation, controlling and billing works differently all around the world. I think I don't have to point to the huge differences in paying medical bills alone. I think my advice would be to look what kind of billig system your country uses (check for ICD and OPS systems) and follow the trace from there. Maybe ask a local hospital if they employ people for this (in some hospitals it's actually the nurses'/doctor's job, which is often pretty problematic because they are simply not trained in this field) and ask them. I could only give you advice regarding Germany, that wouldn't really help anyone.

15. What advice can you give someone who is trying to choose a career?

Take risks. Working a year in a job you dislike is shitty, but it's better than doing nothing for a year and I think it's a valuable experience nonetheless. I worked REALLY shitty jobs for years and I hated every minute of it, but I also learned a lot from it and found jobs I definitely never want to do. Maybe try to think out of the box, try looking for jobs that not everybody knows of. I didn't know of my job until I was basically one week away from signing in for that school. I believe everybody can do something good that is also fun, sometimes it just takes a few years and/or luck to find out what it is. But don't let yourself getting caught in a job you hate longterm. You will start hating yourself, your life, and everything else. I never thought I'd go into medical and here I am now.

Also get your shit straight when you apply somewhere. If you apply for a job, get your CV and letter up to speed. Writing a good application is one of the most important things while job hunting.

Eternal thanks again to Opium for his honesty and words of wisdom, and to the Destructoid community for housing such remarkable specimens. I like to think our future mechanical overlords will be more benevolent, thanks to you all.








Nihil
2:24 AM on 07.19.2014

The objective of the community mspaints was to showcase the best in lazy artwork. I like to think taking 4 months to finish this makes me the ultimate bestest winner.

And so, without further ado, because I know you were waiting this whole time for it, and I apologize for that, but seriously, shut up and bask in my genius already.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: Chrono Trender


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Nihil
1:12 AM on 05.19.2014

If there was a port of Child of Eden for the Rift, people would be able to trip balls without fucking up their central nervous system.

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Gather 'round, chitlins. It's Uncle Nihil's Story Time, brought to you by Alabama Finger Blast.

"Alabama Finger Blast - For When You Want To Feel Like You've Been Touched, Deep South Style"

CONSUMER-GRADE NEWS


It's been since pretty much last year that I've gone at length about my gaming exploits and mindfarts. And I know that because I have not blogged about the HDTV I bought a little while before I got laid off last September.

Yes, I had lived in standard definition up until a year ago, and it sucked pretty hard sometimes. It's just another one of those things where being a stubborn old soul doesn't pay off. Trudging along with the shit you've had for years and years because it's been "good enough". Seeing all the new toys everyone's playing with, all the techno-junk that would make your life more convenient and fun, if what you were already doing warranted convenience at $59.99/mo. Shit that normally doesn't concern me in the least since I'm a grumpy shut-in.

I mean, sure, if I lived in an alternate reality where I made a lucrative wage, I'd likely still care about keeping up with the latest iFuckery, 'cause everyone and their grandma has one, and I'd have the cash to burn. But it's just the story of my life that I'm never wholly content with the range of entertainment media that I'm able to get my hands on. Always settling for "good enough".

Although Playstation 2 was certainly good enough a couple of gens ago - and Xbox 360 was good enough at the beginning of the cycle after that - I've constantly had a feeling of missing out on more that's out there. There are other experiences to discover and appreciate, many of them feeling new and invigorating in their own unique right. Other worlds that I may never have the chance to get lost in and incorporate into my own worldview, for whatever reason, be it low income or that I just missed the train... But whatevs. I think I can manage without ever playing Monkey Island or Shenmue. RapeLay is still an absolute must, though.



However, it wasn't until a few years ago that a significant amount of video games were making it glaringly clear:  "good enough" wasn't cutting it anymore, even by console standards. PC is one thing - that's always been a platform in constant flux. Every year, the next big game needing something stronger than what you have, so you get left behind in that way if you don't have the ability to keep up. But the solace in consoles was such that you didn't need to replace anything in order to play a new game effectively. So when I began to notice that I was having a hard time reading text in even XBLA games, I knew I was in for some pain down the road.

In this first hand way, of experiencing the world around me moving forward, I felt Hi-Definition gradually overtaking Standard Definition, making itself the new standard; the same way that DVD replaced VHS. It feels more profound now than when I was a kid, when DVDs became standard. I guess mainly because I wasn't the one that had to buy the DVD player.

So yeah. After being fed up with adding even more to an already impressive backlog, thanks in large part to being unable to fucking READ my fucking games, I went to window shop at Best Buy, and bought an Insignia 28" 720p LED TV, on impulse. I did a little bit of research and comparing, but I mostly didn't care what it was, so long as I could read text on the goddamn screen again.


In hindsight, I should've put a bit more thought into it, because there's little quirks with this model that irritate me to no end. I can't customize the screen color the way I want to. If there's no sound, it takes a second and a half to actually work when sound starts. So that's a second and a half of music or sound effect that I'm missing or totally unaware happened because I didn't get to hear it at all. I don't know if that's a thing with all LED TVs or just this model. Honestly don't really care to go round trying to find out now, 'cause what's done is done, I can't take it back.

But for the most part, it's doing what I bought it for. Finally using the HDMI, after years of blissful neglect, I can finally play all the games that I stopped playing because I couldn't read what the fuck was going on. And the difference between it and my old television is super evident. I had no idea XCOM EU looked as cool as it did until I played it on the new tv. Sooo many little awesome details. Other games just look way more crisp, if they were made for hi-def anyway.

All in all, I'm glad I made the technological jump, at least in one area. I'm guessing the next thing would be to get a cell phone with a touch screen and bigger keypad. It's not that I don't want to be caught up. I just don't want to get swept in the minutia of needing the latest thing nao or I'm gonna miss out "oh em gee r they updating their status hashtag crab legs!" I just want what's necessary for me to stay in touch. And if that means eventually getting twitter on my phone, then fuck it.

Are you of this world, or are you in it? Keep up or get left behind? Both have their merits and drawbacks.

I like to think I'll walk the line between both.
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It's been 2 years since the last one, and getting close to a year since my reintroduction post. So thanks to Jonny B, here you go, internet. See the exposed, rusting gears and shoddy wiring that is my fucking brain. Be amused. Be afraid. Be a dear and fetch me a hot glue gun to shove up my giant goddamn nose.

1/ Echoing the "I'm always right/gender roles" thing: There are a lot of things I hated about the values instilled by archaic gender/racial stereotypes. Granted, in days of yore I took pride in winning fights against bullies, getting girls numbers, and never blacking out while drinking. The kind of MAN shit that other males look up to you for, and give you a hell of a confidence/self-esteem boost.

But again, that was learned behavior. That's not the whole story of me. And the typical response I'd get from others when I revealed more of myself, was an affirming or lambasting "You're weird!" See, I didn't choose to become an outsider. And by most counts, I wasn't. But when you hear that "you weirdo" shit over and over again, you start to feel like one regardless. Like your opinion doesn't count or is the wrong one. Or you're right, and everyone else is wrong. The pressure to either become one of "them" or walk my own path was overwhelming at times...

Maybe I should like basketball. Everyone always seems so upset when I tell them I don't. Like it's so fucking unheard of for a black guy to not love basketball.

Maybe I should want to fuck all the conventionally attractive girls. Because I'm either a pussy or gay for not having an animalistic libido. Those are apparently the ONLY reasons I'd ever not wanna bang a hot chick. Totally. No, I get it.

Maybe I should watch reality television... Y'know what? FUCK YOU.

I'd apologize, but really, that would be disingenuous. If I'm to keep what little sanity I have left over from living in a half-broken home, I can't care about your fucking opinion if it's still at a high school level of non-acceptance. I just can't. Find a cool black friend that you can show off to people so they can see how fucking hip you are elsewhere. You goddamned sheep.


2/ I still get called out for using big words, while at jobs where most of my coworkers barely speak engish, much less have a penchant for verbosity. It's not like I'm fucking trying, it just comes out like that sometimes! On the flip-side, sometimes I fumble over my sentences (when my brain wants to move faster than my mouth) and can't carry a convo to save my damn life. But that's the nature of dealing with anxiety and a shitty memory. As I said last time, I can't keep all that jargon in my head at all times. Creating layman definitions helps a lot, e.g. ostensibly means "pretty much". Arbitrary means "random bullshit". Those aren't too assholey to say out loud, are they?

It also hurts that I'd still like to learn Latin. Like old school latin, fuckin Illuminati style.

WORDS, BITCH.

3/ I hope on moving to Seattle by the end of the year. I say "hope" and not "plan" 'cause there is no real plan yet. The closest to that is my desire to ceremoniously leave southern california behind by getting rid of all my loans and debts I started here, then set aside a nice chunk of savings for the ordeal, and acquire a transferable and tolerable gen. labor job... and that's about it.

Idk how I'd adjust out of my current hermit lifestyle, and give a shit about exploring a new city again. I've kind of dug myself in over this past winter, again, and suffice to say it's been quite a fight trying to get out. But the hope is that since I'd be physically closer to friends, leaving the house (and life in general) will feel less and less like voluntarily ripping duct tape off my scrotum.


4/ I don't like going to the movies alone anymore. I used to be a hardcore film buff; up to date with an opinion on everything current and working my way through the all the classics. Theater-hopped like there was no tomorrow, staying for the credits to absorb cast/crew names like a sponge. Watched every dvd extra and listened to every commentary track. Bought I don't know how many original soundtracks. I used to pride myself on having all that knowledge and trivia in my head, and being able to whip it out on a moment's notice.

But thanks to certain events that put my dysthymia into overdrive, that passion dried out over the years, not unlike my attitude towards gaming. I don't get the same level of enjoyment out of it as I did before, so it does not feel like there's a point to it anymore. Not unless I can share the experience - the memory - with a friend, and that prospect is way more fulfilling than anything a movie by itself can make me feel these days. That's the only way I think it'll feel special to me again. Apart from that, anything new I watch is simply an entertaining distraction, waiting to be mostly discarded. So I usually don't bother. Although... There is still one specific thing I care about from those days...

5/ I fucking love epic action scores. Whether its orchestral or electronic, if the composer understands when and how to hit those notes using the right sounds, and put a big emotional sweep somewhere in there, it literally gives me shivers, every goddamn time. I covered my love of this kind of music in gaming, and nothing has changed there either. Youtube has been a constant blessing for finding this stuff, and it's my go-to for shit playing on loop when I websurf. I appreciate great music in all of its forms (except country), but nothing does it for me quite like shit by Two Steps From Hell, Future World Music, Audiomachine, or the myriad of award-winning composers you've heard of if you're remotely a fan of movie scores.

Akin to film, video games, and like the few books I've finished, when done right it transports me to a fantastical place that I never want to leave...




6/ I've made a bet with myself to get the Aperature Science logo tattooed around my right shoulder after beating the Portal games; an outline after beating the first, and filled in when I finish the second.


This is another thing that stems back from when I really cared and was somewhat idealistic. I played Portal on The Orange Box, before it became a big deal to every nerd and their keffiyeh-wearing dog. I knew it was something special, despite it feeling like half a game, but I never thought it would take off in popularity like it did. Then again, I wasn't terribly familiar with Valve because I never played Half Life or anything else by them at the time, so in hindsight I realize that had a lot to do with it feeling so unexpected.

But here's the rub: I'm not great at puzzles. Not bad, just not great, since it takes me a bit longer to figure out shit that isn't glaringly easy to solve. So by the time I'd ran into the first test that really had me burning brain cells, I was already distracted by another game - most likely Mass Effect. Since then, I've tried restarting it maybe a dozen times and I never get any further. It's been a perpetual sore spot, more than any other game that I left unfinished, that I've never been able to just sit down and fuck that game in the ass, but I'm going to fucking do it. Sometime, somehow, I'm gonna shove my harpoon in that white whale's blow-hole.

When the boom hit, it was virtually impossible to avoid plot spoilers and memes. Even though I hadn't beaten it, I understood even from what chunk I'd played why it was lauded and I believed, still believe, it deserved every once of it. It's an epitome of artistic accomplishment, using minimalistic narratives and innovative gameplay. And it may be stupid, but I take pride in the fact that I understood that before it rightfully became a (sub)cultural phenomenon and spawned a more-than-worthy sequel.

videogames

7/ Going back to movies, my ten favorite are: Bringing Out The Dead, Dark City, Brick, Hellraiser, The Way of the Gun, SLC Punk, The Dark Knight, Cube, Crank, and Ninja Scroll.

In that order.

8/ I hope to play a decent, or even good game of Arkham Horror with other Dtoiders. I've played a tabletop game of this kind a maximum of once in my entire life (D&D 3.5), and it was an enjoyable experience. But from what I've read of the rules for Arkham Horror, that shit sounds way up my alley.


I'm known in the forums' Werewolf threads for hosting games based on Lovecraftian mythos. I think it's safe to say that most of the stories I've completed reading in recent years are from HP Lovecraft - yet another thing you can go ahead and call me weird for. But dude had some fucking ingenious ideas, and exploring the philosophy of horror from his lens has been intriguing, to say the least. The nature of insanity is kind of a big deal to me, as you will read in a minute...

9/ I self-medicate using cannabis, and still on the fence how to feel about it. The concept used to sound ridiculous to me. All I knew or cared to know before my first nervous breakdown was that you used it to get faded at kickbacks, same as any other rec drug. But now I use it to keep from thinking about killing myself literally every other fucking minute. My sober brain naturally goes to that dark place when left undistracted, and it becomes a chore to interact with anybody face-to-face, because that's what's on my mind 24/7, along with all the other social anxieties that make waiting to die seem more viable than living.

It's just funny to me with the stigma around the whole stoner culture, which I could care less about (sorry Snoop fans), that it's being "recognized" as medicinal and relatively harmless on a mainstream level, even though it's still technically illegal. But whatever. I got tired of going from therapist to therapist, and pills are an even worse option, if you ask me. You're basically a guinea pig until they stumble upon the right pill and the right dosage of it. And even then, you'll likely still have to deal with side effects. Which you have to take another pill for. I didn't run the gauntlet long before figuring that one out.

Best way to say it is that weed makes things really simple: acquiring it, taking it, and reaping the benefits, so that I can do something productive with my time. Like writing this dumb blog, for instance.

Yes, instead of making me a lazy couch surfer like almost everyone thinks weed does, it actually helps me get off my ass and get shit done. Not necessarily while I'm high, since of course my motor skills go out the door before I do. But the clarity and focus I get afterward is unquestionable. I know that not everyone is comfortable with it, so I don't run around advocating legalization or whatever. It doesn't feel like my place to do that, to be honest. All I'll do is tell you how it works for me on a personal level.

Ultimately, the goal is to be healthy and stable without it when I finally get my life in a manageable spot, but I'm painfully aware that may not be possible. There is no cure for being fucked in the head this badly, unless you want to become an entirely different person than who you were. At this point though, after what I've been through, after the choices I've made... attempting to do that would be a disservice. A big part of why I am the way I am, is due to hostile reactions to my presence in this world. If I were to forget all of that, I wouldn't be as smart as I am now. And knowledge is a great weapon for self-defense and survival.


10/ You can go now. Seriously. I'm done. I can't think of anything else worth telling you about. I mean, I could but I've spent enough time on this, and I kind of need to find a new job before the end of the month, so that's what I'll be spending a lot of energy on if I'm not around in the coming days. Because as you know, shit's hard out here for a pimp... Or something.

Thanks for reading. Catch ya on the flip.