Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Job Huntin'

I went job hunting at the Oaks mall this afternoon with only two stipulations in mind: NO food service, NO apparel retail. Then I realized the Oaks was a lousy place to be job hunting. As I soon discovered, the once-benevolent Oaks had slowly transformed over the course of the past few years from the friendly neighborhood capitalist powerhouse to a vile combine run by and for the Ventura county elite – and as it happens, it’s constructed entirely of food and apparel. You’re guaranteed to never go hungry or cold at the Oaks, provided you got the cash.
Obviously Abercrombie and Hollister were right out, being the trendiest of the trendy clothes outlets. Those are not stores, they are out-of-body experiences manifested in corporal shapes. I then thought; what about Suncoast or Waldenbooks? Much to my dismay, I found they went out of business a number of forevers ago. Apple Store? Nah, I’m looking for something a little more heterosexual. Gamestop? Of course, Gamestop! Certainly a nerd extraordinaire of my peerless caliber could find a vocational haven in the milky breast of gamers everywhere - at least that’s what I would have been thinking before watching about forty Youtube videos berating Gamestop’s unethical treatment of employees and clientele alike.
So I decided to relocate my search. Somewhere less typical of the Mr. Moneybags stereotype of the Thousand Oaks denizens. Somewhere I would be less likely to have to deal with sawdust-for-brains bra strap adjusters known as middle schoolers. Somewhere like… The Westake Promenade.
Sadly, I do not jest. Stopping only to check out the prospects of working at Border’s – a bust, to put it shortly – I found my way to the Promenade, where many a Westlake High student has earned a few paychecks and spent a lot of free time. Sure, the location shares the Oaks’ snobs and sawdust brains a-plenty, but the Promenade has something the Oaks mall does not: a functioning movie theater. Where transactions are made in even dollar amounts, where all the customers know what they want, and all you have to do is tell them how to get there.
So I filled out an application. Only time will tell if we’ll get to see William Smith as a member of the work force.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nerd Pride

I wrote the following for AcaDeca.

I returned home dejected from a rough day of the second grade. When I professed my dream to be a science fiction author to my whole English class, everybody just laughed. When I asked the cute girl who sat in front of me in math on a date, she recoiled with a nasty “No!” My limbs were sore from a thousand dead arms as the bullies chanted “Nerd, nerd!”

I slammed my bedroom door, dropped my backpack on the ground, slumped in the chair and turned on the boob tube. I was welcomed by the sort-lived tech-talk show Unscrewed with Martin Sergeant. His guest today: Wil Wheaton, better known as Wesley Crusher of Star Trek fame. I never expected that what I would hear that day would change my life.

He expressed with great confidence and detail that he was proud to be a nerd. He was proud to have been a part of Star Trek, to play video games well into his 30’s, and write books about it. He took the word “nerd” and turned it from a label of shame into a badge of courage. He was proud to be different, and wasn’t afraid of who he was. At the time, that was a foreign concept to me.

But still, I took what Wil Wheaton said to heart. I realized that I could be proud of my unmatched knowledge of video games, my uncanny ability to quote lines from Star Wars, and recite lines of Tolkien. The next day at school, I couldn’t wait for my first chance to demonstrate my new-found self-confidence.

Those bullies approached me with the usual threats of trashcannings and locker-stuffings, but today I was ready. “Nerd, nerd!” they chanted for the hundredth time, but in response, with a scrawny fist raised high, I shouted “Nerd Pride!” What did they do? Well, they laughed. Not the usual nefarious cackle, but a different, warmer chuckle. I made it through that day unscathed and un-bruised. From that day on, my confidence grew and my reputation changed. I learned that people will accept you as long as you accept yourself. I found this was true in many facets of sophomoric preteen life, and easily extends to this day.

I’m now eighteen years old. My favorite movie is Star Wars, I love to play video games, I have no clue how football works, and I’ve never been on a date. But that doesn’t change the fact I’m proud of who I am: a nerd.

We nerds are a resilient people. The decades of taunts and teases at the hands of schoolyard bullies have molded us into strong, charismatic individuals. Nerd pride isn’t isolated. With the rise of the internet came a new forum through which we nerds have been able to band together better than ever before. The Greeks said that philosophers shall inherit the earth. Certainly the same is true today, nerds being today’s philosophers.

Note: Most of this has been exaggerated. I don't have a TV in my room and I'm pretty sure nobody has chanted "Nerd, nerd!" since 'Nam.

Friday, September 12, 2008

'Nother poem

And lo he lay, lying limp, his legs

Shattered on sheets of shale, his sheath’s

Blade blackened by beast’s blood.

His soul was set on songs and stories, but sundered

Torn apart terribly by the teeth of ten ‘taurs.

If you're dense, it's a bout a warrior who sought fame but got a little over his head when he confronted "ten 'taurs". Shows, you have to have your head in the moment and not be distracted by rewards. This poem was inspired partly by my English teacher thinking two words in the same line as each other that started with the same letter in a loose translation of an old English poem somehow constituted deliberate alliteration. "That ain't alliteration, THIS is alliteration."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jawas and Sand People

Within the first half hour of the first Star Wars movie, we're introduced to the Jawas and Sand People. These indigenous folks from Tatooine are essentially the first Aliens to ever be introduced in the entire pantheon of Star Wars. Their respective cultures and traits have been fleshed out over the years, as with so many other alien races.
So why is it that nobody knows what either of them actually look like? You'd think after over three decades somebody would have come along and canonized exactly what they look like beneath their hoods and masks. But obviously they haven't. And it makes me sad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Team Fortess 2's Scout and ShamWow!'s Vance: separated at birth?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things the next generations are gonna think is wierd:

My kids will think its weird that:
-My phone number was a number.
-I played video games with my hands, and ONLY my hands.
-I was alive during the release of the Star Wars prequels.
-I remember 9/11.
-I attended the release of a Harry Potter book.
-Pokemon could actually have been popular.
-My television used cathode ray tubes.
-I remember the birth of the internet.

My grandkids will think its weird that:
-I was alive at the same time as WWII veterans.
-I was born in the 20th century.
-I didn't take a ride in a space shuttle till I was 50.
-I had the same name as one of the most famous actors of they day, but they likely would not ever have heard of him
-I played a non-orchestral musical instrument for recreational purposes.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Okay, all I have to say on my little soap box about DragonForce is that anyone who thinks they suck and are trying to be hardcore speed metal or whatever doesn't get it. It's power metal. It's supposed to be retardedly ridiculous, and not supposed to be taken seriously.

I often hear that "every one of their songs sound the same". Oh what, like Metallica? Except at least Dragonforce is interesting to listen to.

Meh, here's some Operation Ground and Pound and a 9-year-old kicking your ass.