Sunday, May 25, 2008

Year Six (And More)

Today is the birthday of one of my idols, Marion Raven. Many happy returns of the day;)

But more importantly, today marks six years that I have known a girl from Philippines by the name Rhea Arcilla. She's the first M2M fan I've befriended online, and it is because of her that I am a part of the online world. Thanks Rhea, for making it a worthwhile half dozen years. Here's to another six dozen years;)

What I'm about to say in here hopefully will not overshadow the first part of this entry, but today is actually the best day of this week for me. At least I have a reason to celebrate this day, after the past six days of putting up with really annoying people and situations. I'm usually good at avoiding things like this, but sometimes it's beyond my control, you know? If everyone around me can try to be a little less oblivious and understand where I'm coming from, then maybe it won't be so bad. But I'm learning every day about the world, and the one thing I should try and remember is that it's not always everyone's fault when things get fucked up. (excuse my language)

"I love humanity, it's people I can't stand." - Gil Grissom, CSI

Saturday, May 17, 2008


(As I'm preparing to write this, I predict it's going to be one of the dullest entries ever. But I'm bored, so here goes)

I've been reading everyone's blogs today, and wow, all of you have so much to say. Why is that? You guys have issues? Or are you guys just very good at discussing the finer and sometimes not so fine things in life? You guys really dig thinking out loud and putting yourselves in deep thought. I admire that.

Me? I suck at this. Well, actually I do think a lot. But putting it in here? Not so good at it. I used to be good, but I lost it. I didn't run out of issues, I just ran out of a genius mind to spar with about them. I mean, I just read a comment on an entry that was good enough to be an entry on its own.

Anyway, there's a reason why I'm writing this. It's facebook, the new fad on webspace that is becoming more popular than myspace. It's like myspace, but it's a place where you can play thousands of games with your friends, and you can add people that can be total strangers without having to worry that they're some porn star trying to sell you their videos. You get that on myspace.

So on facebook, I get to have lots of fun. Now, for a 31 year old guy like me, it just doesn't sound right, does it? I should be at a point where this stuff is considered child's play. But hell, I mature too slow. There's a kid inside of me that still wants to play. Anyway, there's a particular game on facebook that is rather addictive. It's fun, but oh so very cruel. It's called Knighthood.

In Knighthood, you get to build your own kingdom, and get your friends to be your servants or soldiers. The best part is, they don't have to add the game to their profile if they don't want to. But if they do, they get a higher rank in your kingdom, and that gives you more power to play with. The task is to build your kingdom and rise to the top, when you reach a certain level, your rank will change from Knight to Baron, then to Viscount. You can do so by building your fort, marketplace and castle, and attacking other players and stealing their gold and kidnapping their soldiers to add to your own, thereby making you stronger.

This is the aspect of the game that is the hardest to control. The war against other players. Attacking never ends amongst us. That is the point, I realize that. But defending yourself and counter attacking somehow is nearly impossible. The rules make it hard to do so without a high cost. I am telling you that it's very frustrating to watch your kingdom come together, only to see others tear it apart. I've lost many soldiers already. Good ones too. The ones with ranks. And although I am in awe of the game and addicted to it in some way, I can see now just how much I suck at it.

I wish I could stop playing, but I don't know. I'm not a quitter, never will be. I want to keep fighting, and see how far I can still go. It's heartbreaking, actually. It's like wanting to forget a really awesome girl, but you can't.

Bored yet reading all of this? I'm sure you are, you guys have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, or you just don't care. That's OK, right now I don't have any serious issues.

But I do wish I had something more meaty to debate about than a mere game. For that I envy the rest of you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And Then There Were Four

(If you’re not a fan of American Idol, or you despise the show, read no further)

This week, Idol bids farewell to yet another contestant: Brooke White. She was the one I was rooting for throughout the competition so far.

To be honest with you, I’m not exactly a die-hard fan of Idol. I had followed season 5 and rooted for the great Katharine McPhee, only to see her lose to the talented yet dull Taylor Hicks. After that, I almost completely ignored season 6, because I thought none of the finalists could hold a candle to Katharine. So after watching the hilarious audition portion of this year’s competition, I decided to watch the top 12 chosen for the finals. And I chose Brooke as my pick to win.

I am aware that Brooke doesn’t have the strongest vocals among the twelve. But she makes up for it by using her flaws to her advantage. She chooses the right song to perform more often than not, and knows how to tailor it just right to suit her. Being able to play guitar and piano is also an added benefit, plus she knows how to speak and sing from her heart. Unlike most contestants, who would simply frown when Simon Cowell puts them down harshly, she answers back with honesty and even confidence. It’s not defiance that she’s bringing forth, but more along the lines of candidness and humility.

I had a sinking feeling that she wasn’t going to win American Idol, and I was right. The two Davids, Cook and Archuleta, are much too strong. I didn’t expect her to beat either of them, even though my preference lies with her. It’s just that those two guys have been on a superb roll since they started, and are the ones to beat. But here’s what I don’t get. How is it that Brooke gets eliminated before Jason Castro?

Jason is probably the most dull singer among the top 12. Every song I hear him sing sounds just the same. With or without guitar, he sings almost exactly the same way every time. And he survives yet again? The previously eliminated Carly Smithson and Michael Johns could outsing poor Jason, and yet Mr. Castro sticks around. Hmph.

But I gotta hand it to Syesha Mercado for being the top female Idol this time, now that she’s the only female left. She has survived six eliminations despite being in the bottom two or three. She’s like the Terminator, isn’t she? But I’ll give her credit where credit is due. She can sing well, and certainly better than Jason.

So now my vote goes to David Cook, who is immensely talented, much like Chris Daughtry. I’d rather see him win than the scrawny David Archuleta, who in my opinion would be a lackluster Idol. Don’t get me wrong, the boy can sing. But he seriously has no personality. He’ll make a good record, but fans won’t remember him after a year.

Speaking of fans, this is the element that makes Idol so unfair. All it takes is for one Idol to build a fan base, and their journey through the contest is secure, or at least more secure than their rivals. It doesn’t matter if they sing badly one week, the fact that one song they did when they started out won over a large number of fans will build enough support for them to survive. In other words, this is what Randy Jackson said last week that it’s a popularity vote when Syesha and Carly ended up at the bottom.

This flaw enables less deserving contestants to stay and keep singing while their potentially more daring and versatile peers get voted out. This is the sad fact about Idol. Will America ever learn to vote with their minds instead of their hearts? Will they ever see the real gems amongst the glass? Will they ever pick the more deserving winner in a contest of vocal and stage performance?

Then again, it’s all a matter of opinion, isn’t it? I know a lot of people don’t like Brooke. You should read all the nasty comments youtube members keep posting about Idols like Brooke, Jason and even David Archuleta. But that’s OK. As far as Brooke is concerned, I think she can make it on her own. No, I know she can. She already has the tools to succeed; all she needs now is the will to pursue her dreams.

Good luck, Ms White, and never give up.