How's it hanging nerdlings, geekettes, /b/asement-dwellers, stoners, web monkeys, indie devs, lurkers, trolls & industry fat cats?~
In case you don't know a lick about me, I joined Destructoid quite a few sunsets ago in the early Spring of 2008, when someone from the Internet kindly informed me that Destructoid would "eat your unborn babies". Having an insatiable taste for mucus-covered, unborn babies, I knew what I had to do. Plus, people were like "WHAT THE @#$% YOU TALKING BOUT MAN?!1! WE GOT XBOX AND PLAYSTATION BITCH NIGGAH!!1!" Naturally, I was in. Since then I lurke your forums, read your c-blawgs, listen to your podcasts and lul silently. Also, cocks.
!|[SEX DRUGS & PIXELS]|!
I've a soft spot for random acts of kindness, drawing, writing, bellydancing, raving, opening up mosh-pits, and not getting high but staying high. Like most people, I have a wide range of interests. I adore anything from goofy people, offensive jokes, zombie flicks, stand-up comedians, and mind-altering experiences, to comic books, sexual positivity, philosophy, mysteries, and general bizarreness.
Also, I'm a die-hard gamer and I have an animated eagerness for spilling pixelated blood and a never-ending appetite for slaughtering moving polygons. I like to think of myself as a fairly laid-back broad. I was born with a sarcastic mindset, dark sense of humor, and an uttermost weakness for impassioned babble sessions about any video game (8-bit to 1080p) to date. I may be unorganized, immature, and irresponsible but I’m the funnest chick you’ll have the chance to get teamed up with on xbox live.
You might spot me at any ol’ keg party with my signature tangled hair, ripped Hello Kitty pajama pants, and a battle-worn shirt. The girl who's most likely flapping her tongue, detailing the last minute curb stomp in her freshest match, growling about big corporations and government conspiracies, exploring the concept of eccentric theories or geeking out about some other irrelevant crap. The girl who strives to learn something new every day and genuinely enjoys turning strangers into friends.
That pathetic excuse for the girl next door, is me. If I’m not your cup of tea, you can not imagine the immensity of the fuck I do not give.
Last bit!~ Honestly, if you ever happen to have a hankering to just chill, blast some good jams & relish in lighthearted, videogame-related, blood-spraying with me... Hit me up. Shoot me a message if you want to talk about anything at all really, I'm a bit of an open book and not a bad listener, if I do say so myself. And hey~ If you let me, I’ll cheerfully put a couple of spiffy dreadlocks in your hair.
!|[CONSOLE LOVE AFFAIR]|!
Nintendo DS Lite [Own]
Game Boy Original
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance SP
Sony PS2 Slim
Sony PS3 [Own]
Xbox 360 Elite
Xbox 360 Arcade
Xbox 360 Slim [Own]
So, I was sitting at my desk, daydreaming about which X-Men power I wanted (while my coworkers were building the world in their image, ya know, being successful and what not) when it came to me how unbelievably hot Wolverine is. Not just the Hugh Jackman Wolverine but the comic book version as well. It might just be his personality but there's something unusually hot about him.
Slightly aroused and giddy, I started thinking about all sorts of fictional characters and attractive piles of polygons that I'd totally bang. I then started to think about the numerous blogs and blogs AND BLOGS about Lara Croft, Cammy, Felicia, Morrigan, Chun-Li, Samus Aran, Princess Peach and all of the hot video game Femme Fatales and Damsels in Distress. Well, that's been all fine and good but where's all the Man Candy?
I feel like It's time for all of the fangirls, female gamers and perverted chicks to get their fill of grizzly, huge-muscled, strong-jawed men of our very own video games. I have a lot in mind but for right now, I'll just name a few to make a few females squeal in fangirl delight. Girls, grab a towel, without further ado, here's "Seven of the Hottest Video Game Characters to Grace my Screen."
7. Kratos [God of War series] Complete with a bald head, a stern look that says "Oh you'll GET on that bed and LIKE IT" and abs that go on and on and on, Kratos is definitely one Spartan that I'd like to lure into bed. Of course the chains and blades that are cursed to remain on his arms might be a hassle in bed, but I'd take a few cuts and hospital trips for him. We've seen how well he can please more than one female at a time. If that doesn't show he's do-able, I don't know what does.
6. Captain Falcon [F-Zero series] Many will argue that his clothes cover up too much but I love that skin tight suit he sports. Not only do they enhance his rippling abs but they show off his big bulging... uh, calf muscles. I just hope he's not as fast in bed as he is on the race track. He's hands down the manliest man to come from Nintendo, if he gets you pregnant - there's the trusty ol' Falcon Punch, also, he beat God in a race. Now, that's a man.
5. Pheonix Wright [Ace Attorney series] To be honest with you, I don't know exactly what Pheonix's appeal is. It might just be how intelligent he is or how powerful and sweaty he looks after screaming "OBJECTION!!" I just had to have him on the list though, because he has crossed my mind many-a-time on cold, lonely nights.
4. Heishiro Mitsurugi [Soul Calibur series] Ahhhh Mitsurugi. He's a veteran warrior with unrivaled looks. I feel like if this were a real guy, I'd totally date him even if he was a complete asshole just because he's so easy to look at. That long flowing black hair, bad ass smirk and pecs that would intimidate boulders, Mitsurugi is one attractive man. Also, he's one of the few that can pull off wearing sandals.
3. Travis Touchdown [No More Heroes] Travis is a different kind of hot. He doesn't have long flowing hair and outrageously big muscles like the other guys. He's just cool as hell and I'd want to hang out with him, after a nice romp. He's a crude and immature stereotypical otaku that loves professional wrestling and collects anime figures and he's got that douchebag fraternity boy look that you hate until he's inside you.
2. Marcus Fenix [Gears of War series] Marcus probably has the hottest voice out of all the men on this list. (Yes, I know John Di Maggio voices him but I don't care) Watching him lug around all of that heavy armor and all of that heavy artillery shows just how strong he is. Not only is he amazingly sexy but he knows how to take charge. Breaking out of prison... Ordering his squad around... There's something about a man in authority that is a major turn-on. Some guys can't quite pull off a soul patch but Seargent Fenix definitely can and I hope he never shaves that sucker off. Plus, what girl doesn't enjoy that ticklish feeling? I know I do.
1. Chris Redfield [Resident Evil series] Last but definitely not least, is Chris Redfield. I can't even say his name without drooling just a bit. The way he carries himself says enough but just look at that face and those enormous arms!! As a member of the STARS Alpha team, Chris alone, is enough to give me the tingles late at night as I try to fall asleep. I can't put into words how badly I'd rock his world and how unbelievably hot he is. I tried but I just can't do it. All I have to say is the world needs more hot Chris Redfield cosplayers. Deliver pleeeeease.
Runner Ups: Solid Snake, Leon Kennedy, Jak, Duke Nukem, Vincent Valentine, Squall Leonhart, Cloud, Ryu Hayabusa, Link & Dante.
Edit: Lol, I feel like a few of you Dtoiders want to jump Solid Snake's bones more than I do. I promise you I made a huge list but I just put it in my top toppppp favorites. Don't get me wrong, I'd toggle Snake's joystick any day but he just wasn't Top Seven material to me =[ Blasphemy? Maybe.
Finally, the Pokemon Platinum website is up and running so us, Americans, can feel anxious and seriously consider freezing ourselves like Cartman when he was waiting for the Nintendo Wii launch.
Take a glimpse at the site and you'll see the AMAZING Giratina figure that you get with your preorder. I'll admit I'm a SUCKER for free swag but even if I wasn't, I'd be all over this. Giratina has been one of my top favorite legendary Pokemons since I saw and knew about it. C'mon he's a fucking Ghost Dragon, that's just awesome.
Totally want this.
Giratina is so full of win as a Pokemon.
Also, there's a chance to oggle at the five mysterious forms, which if you know anything about Pokemon can already guess at who it is. Hint: Think of the mysterious, haunted mansion in Pokemon Diamond & Pearl. And here's Shaymin's sky form which looks pretty cool and seems like he might have some interesting Move Sets.
There's a new trailer for the game so check that out. Oh, and there's wallpapers and screen savers for the Pokemaniacs. You can learn a little bit more about the story and new characters, such as your rival and many more. By the looks of their silhouettes, they look like they'll have amusing designs.
The storyline involves a disturbance atop Mt. Coronet, as a portal to the "Distortion World" is opened and Sinnoh's climate becomes colder.
Platinum also features improved animations such as the trainers moving during battles, better graphics and a new winter theme. There's even a new area to explore called Torn World, an upside down environment with gravity-defying effects. From the trailers, this looks pretty interesting.
Another bad ass feature is the ability to save any of your Wi-Fi battles via the Battle Recorder, which lets you save your epic victories and rub them in the faces of others. Visiting the game's Global Trade Center enables you to access it and check out other people's battles. Since Nintendo categorizes the videos based on popularity, finding the best battles should be pretty painless. Hell yeah.
All this excitement over Pokemon really gets me giddy at the thought of starting over a whole new Pokemon team, training for hours a day, breeding and competitive battling. The first thing that pops into mind of course is who in the holy batman fuck is going to be my first Pokemon? I had all three of the starter Pokemon in Pokemon Diamond and I never could pick my top favorite.
Flaming monkey ass was always great and everyone loves penguins but I think, this time, I'm going for the cute little turtle. I hardly use many leaf Pokemon so I can try that out. Who are you going to pick?
Being in a long distance relationship is hard. Aren't you tired of all your lonely nights, wishing you could be with the one you love who resides far far away in Kentucky? Frustrated with the cold nights of masturbating, using your tears as your own lubricant? Annoyed at the fact that your female next-door-neighbor isn't hanging out her panties to dry since they became mysteriously missing?
Well now you don't have to!!
The people over at Xbox Live & game developer, Entrager have been there and they have bestowed a game upon us called Remote Masseuse.
This is straight from the official game description on Xbox.com:
Take control of someone else's controller to give them a soothing "massage", either locally or over Xbox Live. Solo mode lets you use your own controller to "relax". Different vibration settings allow you to give the "massage" you want to give or receive. Supports voice chat so you can request the perfect massage. Great for long distance relationships.
(Ok, I may or may not have added the quotation marks.)
Just in time for Valentines Day. It'll cost you 200 MS points to get your lover squirming via her pink Xbox 360 controller. Although if massive "massage" orgies are your thing, unfortunately, this is only for up to 2 players. D'awwww.. I guess we can't have everything.
Well, at least we won't have to hear any more horror stories about XBL pedophiles stalking preteen boys and girls anymore. Now they can just "toggle their joystick" at home and also get their lovers off 10,000,000 miles away!! How convenient.
Honestly, I just don't see why anyone would want to taint their poor Xbox 360 controller with such sin. Then again, I'm sure plenty of people strap condoms on their Wii remotes so I shouldn't be that shocked, I suppose. I'm not sure who would actually purchase this game but I don't doubt that people will.
In an interview with Media Whore Network, Entrager states:
I actually used the project as a way of learning how to write games in XNA. I didn’t really have a specific project to work on, so I just linked two controllers together over the network. I left it at that and started working on a puzzle game. When it became clear to me that what I had was something people might actually want to use over XBox Live, I decided to polish it up and release it.
Mhmm, I'm sure you don't have a 12 year old girlfriend in Alaska that you wanted to please.
If you want to get a look at this monster yourself, you can demo the game for up to 1 minute. For you "One Minute Men", lucky you, but for the rest of the sad, lonely Xbox Live users, the game will rape their wallet a bit.
Girls? Get ready for a bunch of perverts online offering to buy you this game.
Guys? Please.. just.. don't.
Many career-seekers are now throwing in extra tidbits in their job résumé such as attaining the Suicide Missionary achievement in Gears of War 2, their level & class in World of Warcraft and how many Pokemon they've captured. This might seem a little inconsequential, but associate professor and director of MIT's Education Arcade Program, Eric Klopfer says that a number of recent studies have examined what practical skills a person can pick up by playing electronic games. If you really stop and think about all of the good things that video games have done for us, it appears very plausible that our skills could help us in any job field. Playing video games involves learning how to express yourself and how to work well with others, making a commitment and working hard to achieve team objectives, becoming very skilled in strategizing and mapping-system dynamics and the way varying factors influence each other.
"It's just too bad that gaming still has this stigma attached to it in the modern workplace," says Ethan Mollick. Mollick is a researcher at MIT's Sloan School of Management and coauthor of Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business. Mollick believes that many employers still view gamers as slackers. If only employers KNEW the extensive hardwork and dedication that gamers have when trying to achieve a goal or complete a mission.
Klopfer helps revisit some time-tested résumé bullet points and see how some games might provide an upgrade on your job searches. Of course, this really should not be talking points in a full-court-press job interview, unless you're looking for employment in the game industry, but hey, it might help.
---Able to See the Big Picture
---A Born Leader
---Strong Communication Skills
With the economy the way it is, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of unemployed people are reading this. Next time you strap on that tie and down the energy drink, heading out to your next interview, remember that these key talking points could possibly help you get that job as cashier for 7-11. ;)
I am a little late on this post since I was wrapped up in watching Puppy Bowl all day...
But here it is!! 15 things you didn't know about RiotMonster!!
1. When I'm not gaming, I love to glowstick at raves. Glow-In-The-Dark is my most favorite color. I still enjoy kandy bracelets, getting sweaty, dancing and stomping all night. My first massive rave was in Dallas, Texas at Meltdown where I got to see Rabbit in the Moon put on an amaaaaaaaaaaaazing performance. Trance is my boyfriend.. I love dancing to DnB, Acid-Techno, Dub-Step, Industrial, Psy-Trance & Hard House. I even love Happy Hardcore because it's something I can bounce around & stomp to. I make Rainbow Brite jealous because I vomit neon rainbows, drain candy-filled syringes, eat Roy G. Biv for breakfast and bleed multi-colored glitter. I will sit here and tell you that I have amazing glow sticking skills but that would make me a liar. I usually end up swinging them around, trying to be a ninja and end up with black eyes and several bruises.
2. I'm STILL a Pokemon Trainer. I help manage the Pwned.com Pokemon League. I've caught just about every Pokemon out there and will completely pwn your weak ass Noob Pokemon. Try me. The video games are addictive as all hell, even the Pokemon Ranger ones, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon ones and they really need to remake Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo Wii. I school everyone on the beer game "Categories" when I make them name a Pokemon and people usually run out after "Pikachu". Want to be my best friend? Give me something Pokemon related. =]
3. My boyfriend taught me how to pee outside. When we first started dating a few years back, I wasn't allowed to stay the night at his house because his parents figured we were up to no good (which we usually were). So of course, instead of respecting their rules, I would sneak over and secretly stay the night with him. He had his own room separate from the house that used to be an emu egg hatching shack. Yeah. Anyway, so on one of the nights that I'm staying over I felt that urge to tinkle. I couldn't very well just prance up to the house and use their restroom so I had to improvise. Feeling like my bladder was about to burst, I started doing the pee dance and was giving my boyfriend the desperate look. Quickly, he jet around the room and found an empty stray 2-liter Coke bottle and started to cut it in half. "What the hell are you doing?!", I asked. "I'm making a funnel." he replied. Long story short, I relieved myself comfortably outside and the only person who witnessed it was his cat who decided to pester me the whole time trying to figure out what the hell I was up to. I laugh in the faces of toilets.
4. One of my past times is seeing disgusting, twisted things. As a child, I grew up watching Faces of Death videos on VHS. Don't ask why my parents allowed me to watch this but they did. My brother would ask them to rent them from a small video shack downtown and we'd go home and watch cannibal orgies, brains on pavement and other horrible things. I somehow turned out just fine. ;D Now-a-days, I research serial killers who killed people in unusual ways. I search across the world wide webs looking for the most UNUSUAL porn and fetishes. Goatse, TubGirl, Genki, 2Girls1Finger, Salsa Snack, etc. I've seen it all and worse. People tend to amaze me so I can't help but want to know about it. I used to write blogs on Myspace called "Masturbation Horror Stories of the Week" to tell humiliating stories I'd come across online. They usually ended up with someone getting too horny and hungrily backing up into a door knob or getting "degloved" by vacuum cleaners and dieing. To elaborate, 2Girls1Cup is nothing compared to some smut that I've seen.
5. I used to play bass in a metal band. I obviously love Electronic music but I cheat on it with METAL.. It's my other boyfriend. Yes, I piss and shit metal. I'm not afraid to get bloody at concerts and I live to thrash around in mosh pits. Death metal, Black metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Viking Metal, Doom Metal, etc. It all gives me a boner which is saying something.. because.. I'm a girl. From time to time I'll still pick up the beast and play but I really haven't had the time or the same passion I had before to get back into playing religiously. Want to show this girl a good time? Take me to a metal show. Want to get me in the sack? Take me to an all-day metal show with strong lead guitars screaming in my ears all day and make sure I'm covered in the vocalist's epic vomit by the end of the night.
6. My best friend says: RiotMonster is a dildo-wielding, Pokeball-tossing, Koopa-killing machine whose gaming prowess is matched only by her sex appeal (hot female Mario much?). A connoisseur of all things gaming, she'll take your ass to school if you give her too much crap. This is one old-school vixen you definitely want to befriend. Got something disgusting/unique/interesting to share? She's seen it. 2395345 times. You don't ask Wikipedia, you ask her. We can hot. We can sexy. We can RiotMonster.
7. I'm the asshole Tea Bagger in Halo online multiplayer. Only I should really call myself a Twat Squatter. "THE PRICE IS WRONG BITCH!!" I will drop my Spartan snatch on your face, grind like a coffee bean while howling like a monkey, donkey punch, then run off with your new shoes. I could be on a team of 10-year-old sniveling, drooling retards with zero kills and I WILL STILL DO IT!! I'll take several bullets while talking shit and taco-dropping your ass, too. I enjoy it. I FEED OFF OF IT!!! I won't stop.
8. I've had braces for 4+ years now. Yeah, I should have probably gotten them taken out a year ago or maybe sometime this year. It's my own fault that I haven't. I'm incredibly lazy and never want to see the orthodontist so I always reschedule appointments and what not. HE'S LAZY TOO THOUGH!! >_> The fucked up thing is that I will probably have a retainer until I'm 20.
9. I won free video game schwag from the Slobs of Gaming. Move over artists of Dtoid because RiotMonster is on her game!! ...Or... Not really. The contest was to create the worst Mario art ever and I won second place. It was pretty fun though and I got a couple of cool things from it so woohoo, win!!
10. I don't have my driver's license. I was going to go to class and learn how to drive and what not when I was 15 years old, the normal age to do it. Then I met my boyfriend who was also going to learn to drive that year. Well, he did. I kept putting it off and putting it off and eventually when he got his license, we were always together so he always drove me everywhere. Now, I'm 19 years old and don't want to go to Driver's Ed with a bunch of freshmen from high school but I also don't have the time or patience to want to learn on my own and just take the driving test. Plus, no one I know has time to just take me to some parking lot and let me drive around in circles until I'm confident that I can do it with a state trooper. Luckily, my apartment is right across the street from the building I work in so I just walk to work but it really does suck STILL not having my license. I don't know when I will ever have the time to get it.
11. I have zero female friends in real life. And boy, it sure pisses off my buddies that I have no slutty gal pals that they could have the chance to grope while drunk. Ever since I was a young lass, I've been seen as a tomboy. Through high school I was perceived as the weird, nerdy chick who never grew out of video games, Pokemon, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, comic books, ghost stories, cartoons, etc. I ended up only befriending and hanging with only guys. From running around an empty parking lot at midnight, smashing into each other in shopping carts to trying to out-chug each other on keg stands, my life has been a huge sausage fest. This is another main reason I love my Internets though; I can find other chicks, with my same background, that grew up with balls, enjoy slaughtering cuckoos and will still get giddy with me over a pair of hot, Iron Fist stilettos or hooker boots, drool with me over cute mini tutus and lurke the Internet screaming, "DO WANT!!1!" over furry leg warmers.
12. Bellydancing is my hobby. I just recently picked up this hobby last year. Thanks to the magicalness that is Youtube, I learned to belly dance. It all started one night when I was bitching to a friend online about how I wanted to shed some pounds. I used to do aerobics in high school but ever since graduation, had become a complete sloth. After a few weeks of dancing, I realized I had fallen in love with it and began studying it's origins and watching Bollywood movies in my spare time. Working my abdominal muscles while feeling extremely sexy ftw.
13. I'm a Stoner. This truly is something that not many people know about me. I'm not the type to run around with pot leaf shirts screaming "420!! Toke up!!" during early evening. I live for the times that me and a few friends lock ourselves up for a day passing around joints, only leaving to go on McDonalds runs. You wouldn't believe how delicious a McNugget can taste when under the influence. It will literally make you cry, so thankful that you have taste buds. I'm kind of a cliche stoner though; I'm lazy, stinky, always have the munchies and adore any movie that has Seth Rogan in it. Pass the bong please.
14. I throw bitchin' ass house parties. It's true. There's at least two every week. I usually end up packing 20+ people together with the sole purpose to get them hammered. I have my own customer beer pong table and we bust this sucker out every night. We usually end up killing 30-packs left and right and race each other, chugging multiple beers through a double-hosed beer bong. My parties put 21-year-old frat boy parties to shame. Drunken SingStar karaoke, strip poker, cucumbers, hookers, party fouls, pretzels, Internet porn, keg-stands, bitch beer, pot, naked wrestling, froggy-style-humping and early morning regrets galore!! Can't wait until I'm 21. =]
15. The Nintendo 64 made me hardcore. It was the first console that was just mine. It belonged to me and ME ONLY!! Unlike my previous consoles that were shared with a possessive older brother, this one was my baby. The N64 days are probably my golden age in gaming and the majority of titles on this console are still TOP favorites to this day. The very first game I toggled my joystick to was Mario Kart 64. From the upbeat music to getting bonked on the head by coconuts in Donkey Kong Jungle Parkway, I loved every second of it. This game is the reason I started despising Princess Toadstool. With her stupid, pink cart and her trash talking, bitchy voice that seemed to sound like she said "FUCK you!" as she passed by, I hated this whore. Super Mario 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Pilotwings 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Castlevania 64, Super Smash Brothers, Wave Race 64, Bomberman 64, Star Fox 64, Hey You Pikachu, Gex 64, Body Harvest, Snowboard Kids, Mischief Makers, WCW vs. NWO: World Tour, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Pokemon Snap, Rayman 2, Donkey Kong 64, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Paper Mario, Rampage World Tour, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Yoshi's Story... I could go on and on for days talking about the amazing titles that this system had to offer.
My favorite series on the N64 is hands down, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. I would wake up early, grab a Poptart and switch on the N64 to find a jiggy or save a Jinjo before school. Afterward, I 'd run home and spend more time with the bear and bird. Although my N64 does not start up anymore, thank goodness for the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Wii that allows me to play these games again. I just miss the days when my controller would be super heavy because of the attachable Rumble Pack and when using a Game Shark that was given to me made me feel like a bad ass hacker.
Here are some key points from this "study" that pissed me off:
---"It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time..."
---"The most striking part is that everything we found clustered around video game use is negative..."
---Statistical analyses also revealed that the more young adults play video games, the more frequent their involvement in risky behaviors like drinking and drug abuse.
---For young women, self-worth was low if their video game time was high.
Only 17% of college females play games, huh? That's why game usage among females jumped from 50 percent in 2006 to 57 percent in 2008? This rise in female gamers is being attributed to the increasing sales of the Nintendo DS and Wii. It's not hard to find casual gaming females or hardcore, avid gaming females in the video game industry these days. Everyone should know that.
Also, I find it absolutely hard to believe that avid gamers are not social. Excuuuuuuuse me Princess, if some of our parents don't even know how to set the time on a DVD player, much less pick up a video game controller. We spend more time playing video games because it's something we're passionate about and love to do. It's not the video games's fault that we'd rather play Guitar Hero via Xbox Live with our buddies instead of frolicking in the park with grandma or playing Scrabble with our little brothers.
Apparently, playing games every day is the work of the devil. After absuing drugs, I know I love making Miis. Also, don't forget to go shoot up your school and neglect your girlfriend. BECAUSE PLAYING LEFT 4 DEAD IS SO MUCH MORE FUN ALONE RIGHT?!
I was a bit offended by this article. What are your views on this?
[EDIT: Thanks to the Dtoiders out there helping me not make a completely fail blog]