We take a look at a list of fantasies to see if any trip Eric’s trigger and discuss why he doesn’t understand some things. There’s a lot of ground covered and Eric does his damnedest to stay open minded for it. We get a glimpse into what appeals to his sensual sensibilities and how confused he is by roleplaying.
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And then I make it into bread. Pumpkin bread. It’s delicious and has almost 0 fat, which is good because I’m probably going to eat the entire loaf in one sitting. Also I’m going to slather as much butter onto it as possible so, there goes that healthy thing. Oh well, look at it’s crumbly goodness.
|From Pumpkin Bread|
Here’s the recipe I found for anyone else that would like to welcome in fall by huddling up with a fresh slice of pumpkin bread and a glass of milk while crying that it’s going to be snowing soon.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
- 1 cup chopped nuts or raisins (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce and egg substitute; mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts or raisins if desired. Pour into two 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving (1 slice) equals 122 calories, 0.55 g fat (0.55 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 149 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.
Note: I spent a lot of time debating whether any of this was worth saying. I’m going to try to keep it short as to not water down what I think the point of it all should be.
It’s been ten years since the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. For the previous four years, this day passed with little more than a simple remembrance by those who are still effected today. Today, on the tenth anniversary, we are reminded to mourn. We are told to remember. We insist that we won’t forget. Why is this year any different than the previous? Why is it almost guaranteed that next year won’t include day long ceremonies, 24-hour coverage, stories from survivors and explorations into the lives lost? Why are round numbers somehow more deserving of recognition?
If you’re a person that has spent the past ten years, in any form, remembering the events of this day in the year 2001, your reflection should not be held with contempt; It is held as a votive of everyone else. If you’re spending today in an American flag t-shirt and boots with “Never Forget” etched in the heel that you just bought last week in preparation for today, if you changed your profile picture in some sort of “grand” gesture of commemoration, if you unfurled the flag from the balled up mess on the garage floor to display it as a memorial, you are the reason that we mustn’t forget: Because you have.
In the days following the attacks on September 11, 2001, it became clear that our lives were changing. In the years that followed that same day, it was our rights that were changing. Ten years after the fact and our world has changed. There are many reasons why we cannot forget the tragedies of September 11. No day where thousands of lives were lost, lives ever interconnected with the lives of others and in some cases our very own, should ever fall from the collective memories of a nation. But it must remain in the memories, not in the conscious.
After 9/11, we became all too willing to sacrifice what this nation was founded on: Freedom. We still live with that surrender today. The lives of those lost in the attacks on our nation and the lives lost in the subsequent wars over the past ten years are lost in vain if we continue down a path where militarism and fear mongering are the cornerstones of decision making. There is no rationale in reactionary response, and we continue to allow ourselves to lay down our liberties to submit to the emotions of ten years prior.
If you’re remembering the events of 9/11/01 by purchasing something to broadcast it, by insisting that you care, by flipping to CNN between commercials of your football games, you have forgotten. You’ve succumb to the emotional manipulation that we must not let interfere any longer. It’s not wrong to feel. That is what today should be able. Feel something. Feel exactly how you felt that moment you watched lives end, wars start, the world change. Feel all of that emotion. Remember every part of where you were, who you were. Breathe in every last semblance of that day. And then exhale. It’s the inability to allow memories, no matter how horrifying, to be memories and instead allowing them to be perception that has kept us from truly being able to move past fear.
If you want to do something today to remember September 11, 2001, thank an armed service member, a police officer, a firefighter for simply choosing that profession; Hug a loved one who was with you on that day, or you’re glad is with you today; Reflect on where your life has gone the past ten years and imagine where it’s going in the next ten. Today is a day of emotion, and it’s important to feel something. Invoke whatever feelings you can today to remember what happened ten years ago. But do not let it be fear.
If we’re friends, or if you stalk me, you probably know that my 21st birthday was just over a week ago. If you know me well, you know I really prefer not to make anything of it. I spent the first 8 hours of my birthday laying on the bench of the Seattle-Tacoma airport. I surfed the web, I had a smoothie, and I mostly tried to sleep with little success. I spent the next hour and a half on my flight, waiting as technicians tried to fix the engine which was not functioning properly. I faded in and out of consciousness, alternating between sleeping and being scared that we’re all going to die.
Needless to say, we didn’t die. I remember because I didn’t piss myself either. Mostly because by the time I woke up again we were about 20,000 feet in the air above Idaho. There was still Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota to go, but I felt pretty confident that even in the plane were to go down, the states that we were flying over would lend well to an emergency landing because no one lives in any of them; We could have turned any road into an improvised runway and no one would have known. It wouldn’t even make the local news.
Neither would the rest of my birthday. I napped, I ate cookies, and I napped again. I don’t really like to celebrate my birthday. I don’t like the idea of getting older. I never really feel any older, and I actually feel a lot better at 21 than I have any other year. I feel healthy, mentally and physically, thanks to a year of eating right and working out (crazy how that makes you healthy, right?). I ended up feeling pretty satisfied with my accomplishments before my 21st, which was a major concern that I had after my 20th. I made a short film, I wrote a short story that will (eventually) be included into a collection of the best of Reddit’s short story offerings, I started a moderately successful podcast, and I got to be a member of the press at a convention as a freelancer. The majority of that I accomplished in two months, which can be taken one of two ways: 1. I had an extremely productive and successful summer or, 2. I had a really wasted 10 months before it.
I tend to not think the first months were wasted, just more preparation. If it weren’t for those months, I wouldn’t have this blog. I wouldn’t have any of the confidence to do everything I have this summer. It was the days spent talking about hopes and dreams with one of the most important people in my life that gave me the attitude of, “you know, why the fuck not?” I no longer have excuses not to do things because, well, I’ll take a bunch of shit for it now. And now it’s not just from my friend. Now it’s from strangers that just happen to follow me, which is a concept I’m still not sure if I comprehend.
But that was my 20th year. We’re a week and four days into my 21st now, and I think it’s time to start working on goals. I figure if I did that much in a month, imagine what I can do if I actually start early? Plus, if I get some out of the way early I can slack later, which is my real motivation for doing anything ever. Productivity now for the sake of being a lazy piece of shit later is still productivity now.
So with that said, here’s my list of things that I would like to accomplish this year:
- Perform a stand-up set. Look, I’ve been saying I’m going to do this for two years now. But for the first time, when I had to stand in front of a crowd for a question and answer session after the screening of my short film, I realized something: I’m not as nervous as I think I will be. I didn’t shake, I didn’t stutter, and I kept a pretty decent train of thought while speaking, which is something I have difficulty doing in normal conversation. I think the real reason I did fine in that situation was because our movie didn’t go over the way I thought it would and I had to sit and stir with that result for awhile so by the time I got to the front of the theatre, I really didn’t care what people had to say. I think that’s the proper response as a stand up, especially just starting out. If I don’t get laughs, it’s not going to hurt too much. I mean it will, and I’ll totally play the “they didn’t get me” card afterward. But I think I can get through a set. So I plan on doing it.
- Quit my fucking job. I think this one should go without much of any explanation, but here’s the deal: I’ve worked at the same job for nearly four years. That would be fine if I didn’t hate it so much now. The reason that the job was even bearable and, for awhile at least, fun, was because of the people who worked there. It’s not too often you get to work with people that you consider your friends, and I got to do that for awhile. Now? No offense to anyone there but, fuck those guys. I need a new job.
- Make writing my job. I figure if I’m going to look for a new job, I might as well pursue what I’ve wanted to do this whole time anyway. I’m going to chase this freelance writer career as far as it’ll take me. It just started paying me and I think if it’s my actual job I can actually do pretty well with it. I’ve been working on the creativity needed to come up with article pitches regularly and I’m sure most of them are going to get turned down where I pitch them, but it’s more about the process than anything. Plus, you never know who might want them. If nothing else, I can always just post them here. Aren’t cop outs great?
- Start a Youtube show. I’ve been saying this for awhile too, but I really want to do this. I have a concept, I have the equipment. It’s really a time issue at the moment. If the job thing works out in my favor, I think I can have enough time to make this work. The more I can focus on personal side projects, the more likely it is that I can make them actually end up being worthwhile.
- Write a novel. This one’s kind of a cheat because I have plans to do this anyway, but I’m going to write a novel. I’m going to do it for NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of you who don’t like abbreviations. It’ll be during the month of November and will require me to write about 1,667 words a day for the story so if my updates on here end up being infrequent, you’ll know why. I haven’t decided if I’ll make my project public during the process or even after, but if it turns out good I’ll share it because I like to look good, dammit.
- Write a script. I’ve made the mistake of starting to listen to a lot of TV and movie writers talk about working in the business and the process of what is involved in the job and holy shit do I want in. I’ve been reading scripts from some of my favorite TV shows and I want to write one of my own now. When a writer does this, it’s called a “spec script,” which basically means it’s a completely unsolicited story based on the world that someone else has created. But the idea is if you write a good spec, you can get yourself an actual writing job. So I’m going to do that. I don’t know about the “get a job” part, but I’m going to do the writing part. Hopefully it won’t suck. I know I won’t be pulling a Donald Glover, who wrote a Simpsons spec (a giant no-no in the writing world, no one touches the Simpsons aside from people who are on the show) and it got him a writing job on 30 Rock. God do I want that man’s life. Speaking of which…
- Record a Mixtape. Yeah, I want to rap. Yes I am white, have a kinda weird voice, and a midwest drawl. But I fucking love rap. The amount that you can fit into a verse as far as message and lyrical content is absurd compared to most genres. You can deliver such a strong message and display an insane amount of wordplay in a single sixteen bar verse, and then you get to do it two to three times a song. Yeah, I’m going to rap. Because I can, that’s why.
In which we discover Eric’s libio is either playing hide and seek or just plain doesn’t exist. We talk about sex drive, urges, masturbating, and a whole lot of ejaculation. There’s nothing more sad than a premature ending, so this one goes a little long. It’s worth a listen though because I was completely thrown by Eric’s lack of any sort of desire to experience orgasm. I’m pretty sure he’s broken.
Subscribe to us on iTunes and if you like what you hear, please don’t hesitate to rate and comment in the iTunes store. Even drop us a line on here. The more feedback the get, the more we’ll be able to improve. Also the bigger my internet dick gets, which is really what this is all about. Follow me on twitter, @ajdell, and Eric, @etsnell, and let us know what you’re thinking with the hashtag #EIPodcast. Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to listen. It’d be embarrassing to put these online and be the only one downloading it, so thanks for only making the first four episodes embarrassing.
So a couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I found a massive amount of inspiration in the works of writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith. Well after watching his new movie, Red State, on Video on Demand tonight, I headed over to Twitter to provide some unnecessary commentary because I think that my opinion is important and matters to people. As it turns out, I’m fucking right.
At the very least it matters to the creator of the film, none other than Kevin Smith himself. He favorited my short and tweet (see what I did there?) review. My bullshit opinion about one of my favorite writer, director, and web personality’s movie was one of his favorite pieces of bullshit opinion floating around the internet. Consider my life complete.
How in the hell did I end up in Seattle, Washington last weekend? I’ve always dreamt of travelling out west and seeing some of the lovely landscape that the Pacific coast has to offer, but I never expected to be visiting in the way that I did. I guess it started back in May when I applied to become a contributing writer at GotGame.com, a video game news and reviews site run by West Coast music legend Steve Masters (if you’re too lazy to read his Wikipedia page, he’s a well known radio DJ that discovered some of the biggest names in music including Green Day and Radiohead). The ad that I replied to offered the potential for pay and when you’re at a point where you’re doing work for free anyway, you might as well do it for someplace cool. GotGame, as it turns out, is very cool.
I’m not really that into video games anymore, but I have close friends who are immersed heavily into the culture and I keep up with the universe of gaming so I know what they’re referencing. I figured writing about gaming news would be a good way to keep up with everything that is going on and I’d occasionally get some cool stuff out of it and I’m a whore for free things so it was a perfect partnership. But it wasn’t even the possibility for payment or the access to the industry that caught my eye when I responded to the ad; It was the invitation to attend events.
The world of gaming has a very odd professionalism to it. Everyone treats their job with passion and ferventness and take a lot of pride in the product that they make, but at the end of the day their job is to make video games and journalists’ job is to play them and write about them. The whole thing really doesn’t need to be that serious. But when you hear about conventions like E3 or GameCon or the Game Developer’s Conference, no one there is showing their product to their fans; They’re showing it to the media, who they treat like an outlet to the consumer. What is missed in that connection is that most of the time, press covering video games are people that are going to play the game too. They are just as much fans as anyone. Which is why PAX is so unique in its inherit setup. PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) is focused completely on the fan and it puts games that the media usually gets ahold of first right into the hands of the gamer. What I ended up noticing at PAX that should pretty much tell you what it’s like is a lot of exhibitors and media members standing in line at booths with fans, waiting to get their hands on another exhibitor’s game. Everyone at this convention is a fan of something there, and they all want a chance to play it. That’s why I’ve always wanted to go to PAX. I really could care less about the games, but I love the excitement it creates and the access it provides. Plus, it’s put on by my favorite webcomic, Penny Arcade, who introduced me to the world of web comics and has kept me in the loop in the world of gaming for years now.
So, what am I trying to tell you in that previous paragraph? Basically that I took the job at GotGame for the possibility to end up at something like PAX. And to be totally honest with you, my reason for wanting to go to PAX runs far deeper into an even more convoluted and labyrinthine plot of manipulation to accomplish a very particular goal, but that is a story for another day. The point is, I took a job that offered no pay for the extremely unlikely prospect of ending up in Washington and it somehow worked out without much of a hitch. And as it turns out I really like the site I write for, which is a nice little bonus that makes me feel like less of a web content prostitute. I still am one, but it’s like I got a really big tip so I’m feeling pretty good about myself.
Which brings us to the actual event. How was PAX? Well, I spent three nights sleeping on the floor of a one-person hotel room that I was sharing with four other gentlemen and one night on the bench at an airport; I was on my feet non-stop from 8am every morning until at least 12pm every night; I was carrying around a backpack with at least fifteen pounds of equipment and merchandise in it at any given time; and my flight home was delayed by over an hour because of an engine failure, the least promising of all potential issues a plane could have, and we were kept on board the flight for the duration of the delay. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of any of that. PAX was freaking incredible. (Ok, I would have traded the floor of the hotel for a better place to crash. I’m not saying the trip was perfect, I’m just saying despite all that it was awesome.)
I spent Friday running around like a jet-lagged idiot trying to get my grips on how to handle interviews and ask the right questions of people while playing a bunch of games of which I had no idea what I was doing in. You’re never supposed to die in demos of games. That happened to me multiple times on Friday. I also probably made more than one member of the PR machine for some companies feel uncomfortable because I just didn’t know what to say at certain points. Luckily the environment at PAX is so laid back that it really doesn’t matter. Even the people there showing off games are there to enjoy themselves, so they could care less if I knew what I was doing. I talked to developers of games and third party marketing teams alike and they all were extremely straight forward and gave honest answers about everything. One PR guy even compared the game he was representing to another game that was at the convention and said they basically took the other game and dumbed it down. That’s probably a terrible pitch for your game, but it’s what the audience at an event like this would relate to because that’s exactly what they were going to run off and tell their friends after playing it. It made it a lot easier to deal with the marketing machine when they would let their guard down and just have a conversation. I started to fall into a groove on Friday and I was pretty sure I had a good grip on everything for Saturday.
Then one of our writers went home. My work load doubled and I was going to have to put everything I thought I had mastered the previous day to the test. I probably failed at that, because I was met with a whole new element of this game: The business card exchange. Business cards are something professionals have to exchange information quickly and easily. I…don’t have that. It’s not that I’m not professional (I’m not), it’s more that I didn’t have the aptitude to think that far ahead. I had no idea that I’d run into people that might actually want to contact me later. I was a 20 year old with no degree in the field I was participating in and an extremely loose grasp on why I was even there. Business cards? Those are just things business-type people make to drop into those buckets at restaurants to win free lunches. Next time I will have business cards, though I have no clue what they will say. I made up fake business cards at one point that simply said “AJ Dellinger. Writer.” I think that gets the point across, though one would assume a writer would have more to say than that. The point is, once again I was completely unprepared.
Lucky for me, the people I dealt with on Saturday were awesome. Everyone who works over at Halfbrick Studios has a complete co-sign from me for everything they do and I will buy everything they put out regardless if I’m even able to play it. They were the definition of amazing. They were humbly proud of what they were showing off, and it was clear that they enjoyed what they were doing. I was supposed to demo a game called “Jetpack Joyride” but the producer of the game got so caught up in explaining some of the cool stuff you could do in the game that he just played it while I watched. It was hilarious and charming because he had an Australian accent. I’m pretty sure he cracked a joke at my ability to play the game at one point and I wasn’t insulted solely because of the sound of his voice. Damn your subtle insults, Australian man. They also hooked me up with a t-shirt, which was super sweet of them and they didn’t have to do at all but they did because they’re that cool. Then I got to spend a bunch of time over at the Warner Brothers booth which turned out to be my hangout for the rest of the weekend because nothing there was anything short of an ass-kicking fun time. I spent a good 15 minutes being walked through “Batman: Arkham City” with the creator of the game, who ended up betting money on me that I could complete a task in the game and then gave me his business card with a piece of chewed gum attached, which I think was a nice gesture on his part but I’m not entirely sure. He had a British accent so I chalked it up to cheekiness. Then I went over and chatted up the PR lady at “Lollipop Chainsaw“, a game about a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader because why not? She may have been one of the coolest people I met all weekend even though she supplied me with nearly no information about the game simply because not that much is known yet. I think we talked more about her past career and how she got into the job that she was at more than the game. Extra kudos to Warner Brothers for making fun games and having awesome people represent them. Sega was the same way and had too of the most down-to-earth and approachable marketing guys at the convention. I got to hang out with them outside of the event and they were still just as cool. Sometimes when you talk to people like that, everything is a pitch. These guys just wanted to have fun. Their job is selling video games, after all. A gaming convention is not the toughest place in the world to do it. I also absolutely loved the people at Plantronics, a headset manufacturer that houses some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’ve been emailing back and forth with one of their representatives since PAX ended now and she couldn’t be a sweeter lady.
Saturday night consisted of being surrounded by the creators of a game that has taken the video game world by storm, League of Legends. The team that put the game together, Riot Games, crashed the bar where we were hanging out and managed to cheer seemingly every time someone went and got more alcohol. A lot of people were getting alcohol. If you’re looking for a good place to cheer for alcohol, a bar is probably a nice place to start. I got to meet some of the team earlier in the day when I went to cover their booth at the convention and they were just as pleasant in talking about their game as they were talking about everything else. Then again, most of them were hammered and that game is definitely making those people filthy rich so there wasn’t a whole lot for them not to be happy about. I’ve been in touch with a few members of the team since the end of PAX and I’m pleased to report that outside of the convention and sober, they are still fantastic human beings that have an extreme passion for their game and the people that play it.
I should mention the “we” in that previous paragraph consisted of myself and none other than my favorite person in the world, Angela. It had been about six months since I had last seen her in person and I think it was the easiest moment of picking up right where we left off that I’ve ever experienced. We talk pretty regularly but because I’m retarded and fear things for no reason, there’s always a feeling in the back of my mind that there will be awkwardness or some sort of disconnect in which I will inevitably fall right into and make things weird. I feel pretty comfortable saying that it didn’t feel like a beat was missed, like we’ve still been living a few minutes away from one another all this time. I like that. I still got shot looks for the stupid shit I say and she still gives me shit for all of the same things that I do. It’s comforting that I still manage to get myself punched on a regular basis for running my mouth. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but I like it. Getting to grab dinner with an old friend and spend a few hours wandering the beautiful streets of Seattle and ending up on the pier next to the ocean was easily the highest point of the entire trip despite all of the other fantastic things that I got to experience. Not a whole lot can top a great view of a gorgeous landscape with the best company I can ask for. I mean, we tried to yell over 100 people talking about their character build in a video game for several hours, and even that was fun.
Sunday was a far more relaxed day and I got to hang out with some more awesome reps and developers. I had a really short schedule for the final day and was only required to cover a few things that I got out of the way right away. I spent most of the second half of the day wandering after a delicious lunch that my editor Blake provided us with. I ended up spending most of my down time in line for things because I didn’t really get a chance to do them earlier in the weekend and there was a couple items I needed to acquire to complete the weekend. I managed to hop into line at the end of a signing session with Mike “Gabe” Krahulik and Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, the creators of Penny Arcade and reason that PAX happened. I bought a book of theirs to have them sign, but the whole reason I wanted to meet them was to thank them. There is no other event quite like PAX and for someone who doesn’t care about video games that much to go and actually get excited about what he’s playing says a lot about the event. I told them it was my first event as a member of the press and how exhausted I was and that there should be no better indicator to how great an event is than to have members of the press be tired because they’ve spent their entire weekend running from cool shit number one to cool shit number two to make sure they get full coverage. Life is tough when you’re covering video games. I got a picture with them, taken by one of the Enforcers at the event, and it looks like I’m photobombing a picture of them. I’m not, I waited in line fair and square. I also tried to rush up to get signature from Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton, but when I arrived there was a sign on the booth that said they were on a lunch break. By the time the lunch break was over, the line had extended to about 100 or so people and Felicia Day didn’t return. Wil Wheaton patiently signed autographs and met with his fans for hours after the fact, and even took some time off to watch a band play video game theme songs on some wind and string instruments. I managed to snap a few pictures of him making his way around in a cape of dicks that a fan made him. It’s a reference to a Dungeons and Dragons game that was played last year with him, the guys from Penny Arcade, and Scott Kurtz of Player Vs. Player. I’ve never played D&D in my life and it’s still one of the funniest things that I’ve ever witnessed.
OH SHIT! I forgot to mention on Saturday I watched the third installment in their series of D&D games with the same cast and crew. It was fantastic. Again, not a big roleplaying nerd, but watching three guys who are totally into it and have the awareness to make fun of what they are doing while actually taking it seriously and attempting to play is one of the more gripping and amusing events I’ve ever gotten to watch. It’s also probably the only time you’ll see a theatre packed to the brim with thousands of people, only to watch the curtains open to reveal 5 chairs and a long table with glorified cardboard cutouts and what looks like part of a dollhouse. It’ll be on Youtube eventually and available as a podcast from Wizards of the Coast so you should probably watch out for all of that stuff.
There is literally way too much for me to say about PAX. I couldn’t thank everyone that was involved in any facet enough. To the guys who put it on, to the volunteers that spent days there keeping everything in line, to the fans that made video games exciting to me again, to the developers for being extremely personable and easy to talk to, to the new friends I made and the old ones I was reacquainted with, to the city of Seattle, there is nothing about the trip that wasn’t worthwhile. Are there some things I’d do differently and some places I’d have spent more time? Of course. But that just means next time I’ve got a better idea of what I’m doing. There will without a doubt be a next time, too, because that convention now holds too many great moments for me not to return to. I made awesome connections, saw things earlier than the general public, talked to people that I probably have no business talking to, and got to pretend to be a real journalist for a weekend. I left with more business connections, more understanding and appreciation for an industry, more great memories with old favorites to add, a whole new collection of memories with new friends to start, and a lot less sleep. I cannot wait to do it all again.
Thanks PAX Prime 2011. You were awesome.
|PAX Prime 11|