Archive for October, 2008

A Happy Day

Photo montage © 2008 Stan Syckes

Though it’s inexcusable for you not to know, I’ll reiterate anyway: tonight the 2008-09 NBA season begins! To tell you the truth, I actually found this offseason to be super short, but maybe that was because there was so much Olympics basketball. Or maybe reading about basketball 24/7 had something to do with it. Who knows?

And who cares! I’m psyched. This year I finally made the plunge and purchased NBA League Pass – I now get up to 5 out-of-state games a night! To be honest, I would’ve gotten this service last year but my terrible New Jersey cable service didn’t offer it. Once again, New York > New Jersey! Perhaps this is the year where I get to see every single Mavs game! I’ve actually thought about that mission ever since I reviewed the Seinfeld episode where George’s unemployment counselor says she watched every Mets inning one season. I lead a sad life.

Or do I? I recently acquired NBA 2K9 for the Playstation 3 and let me tell you that it is life changing. This year, they flipped fantasy basketball on it’s head. Instead of regular joes choosing NBA players for their fantasy teams, NBA players choose real joes for theirs! Yes, I have been selected for Chauncey Billups‘ team, Smooth’s Squad. No buzzer left unbeaten! All of my stats from online games I play will be added to Chauncey’s fantasy team. And to the winner go the Dohblog!

NOTE: My coach, Mr. Billups, likes to wear towels on his head while on the sidelines. I have incorporated a picture of him performing this feat into a fantasy-style montage since he looks like a hobbit when he does so. May it create many a joke!

Current Mood: Ballin’ emoticon Ballin’

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  • Zepmoon
    Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 09:58 | #1

    If you don’t have one get a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). I’m sure your cable system offers them for something like $10 a month extra. Anyway, it will allow you to set up a program to record every basketball game that is televised then you can watch them at your leisure and without commercials.

    I never watch anything live anymore.

    If you do this I’m confident of two things:
    1. You will finally see enough basketball and,
    2. Cassie will leave you.

I Saw the Man

… and no, I don’t mean the same guy my dad saw this week. I mean, sure Barack Obama seems to be an important guy but does he:

  1. Fight crime?
  2. Wear a cool all-black costume?
  3. Lives with a spandex-wearing, teenaged boy whom he calls his “partner?”

That’s right I saw Batman last weekend. Though it was the crazy, dancing version that apparently lives in Central Park. Still cool, though. First video is my terrible, spur-of-the-moment taping under less-than-ideal conditions. The second is Batman doing what Batman does best.

Current Mood: WTF?!?!1? emoticon WTF?!?!1?

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  • Sunday, October 26th, 2008 at 23:35 | #1

    That’s what Batman does best? And you call that dancing? This is dancing:

  • Zepmoon
    Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 10:22 | #2

    That’s not “the man” dancing — this is “THE MAN” dancing.

  • Zepmoon
    Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 10:24 | #3

    BTW: What’s the story on your New York Batman? Does he really think he’s the Caped Crusader?

  • Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 11:01 | #4

    I have absolutely no clue. We were just walking through Central Park and saw this guy running around. It sounded like he was speaking French. When I came home I found some videos on him on YouTube but no answers as to who this masked man is or what his mission is!

  • Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 10:41 | #5

    And where …is the Batman? He’s at home …washing his tights!

This is the Remix

Photo © 2008 Asbestos Bill

I’ve been going crazy about video games, recently. Ok, even crazier than I usually am. However, my increased insanity doesn’t concern the playing of them (nor the simming of them, though I am taking care of that as well, don’t ye worry!!!) but of the soundtracks to these glorious games. I’ve been collecting the most memorable soundtracks from my childhood (and, sadly, adulthood) such as Street Fighter II, Mega Man 2, and Metal Gear Solid. Great stuff, but while hunting these tracks down I discovered something even hotter!

I ended up at OverClocked ReMix, a site where amateur and professional DJs make remixes of video game soundtracks. Some use the real console bleeps and bloops; some are completely reworked as band songs complete with lyrics; others are orchestrations or dance mixes. Most are kinda fun but ultimately garbage. But the gems … oh, the gems! I’ve found several beautiful versions of songs from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VII and even Marble Madness! A great site that I highly recommend to go get lost in for a while.

Current Mood: Dohbloggin’ emoticon Dohbloggin’

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The Blue Butt?

Photo © 2008 Stan Syckes

Instead of relaxing over the weekend, I worked! Cassie and I spent most of the two days painting three of the living room walls and one bedroom wall in our Upper East Side apartment. And we learned a big lesson: paint before you actually move in. It was absolute hell squeezing in between small spots, moving around furniture to gain an extra inch, and awkwardly balancing myself on a ladder that could only fit in so many places. But, after two days, we’re pretty much done.

Oh, and for all you women out there (!!!) the colors chosen were Bahaman Sea Blue (living room) and Crushed Velvet (bedroom). For some reason I wanted a red wall and I got it with the bedroom … but it was a scary thing as that Crushed Velvet started out reeeeeeallly pink in the beginning.

You know what? The last time I painted a room (my Brooklyn bedroom) was exactly 2 years ago. Wild. And unnecessarily noted! But who careth?

Moving on to things of a more masculine sort, Cassie and I took a break Saturday night from our painting duties to check out Bill Maher’s Religulous documentary. The film was extremely funny, educational and yet depressing at the same time. I share much of Maher’s views but not always his optimism in the face of all this craziness. Still, this movie is, as Freddie Mercury would say, “recommended at the price” (I currently have “Killer Queen” stuck in my head).

Finally, we saw Religulous at UA East 85th Street, a really small but surprisingly nice, 1-screen theater just 6 blocks away from my apartment. Sure, it doesn’t have the same ragtag, antique style as the Mayfair Triplex but it’s closer and a little nicer. Regardless, I don’t have to give up my little mini-theater once-every-other-month hobby. More interesting things coming next post!

Current Mood: Accomplished emoticon Accomplished

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  • Friday, October 17th, 2008 at 11:44 | #1

    Toine looks pretty good on your desktop wallpaper

Bill Murray and the Lost Book Club

Photo © 2008 ABC, Inc.

First things first: I walked past Bill Murray yesterday. About 3 feet separated me and comedy greatness! I’m ashamed to admit that I did a double-take. “That guy looks like Bill Murray” (eyes look down, eyes look back up) “That IS Bill Murray!” Pretty awesome and it’s been forever since my last celebrity sighting … Los Angeles this is not. 🙁

In an effort to meet people in the Upper East Side, Cassie is trying to get us involved in a lot of meet up organizations. One she finally convinced me to attend is a Lost Book Club. Essentially, we read books that appear on episodes of Lost or have influenced the show (since we’re Lost fanatics).

The first book is The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. When I was first handed the book I confess that I wasn’t at all excited to read it. But after the first 10 pages I couldn’t put it down. The story revolves around a fugitive who is hiding from the police by living on a deserted island. Once there, however, he starts to come across some strange encounters.

I won’t ruin anything, but even if you guess what’s going on (and I did less than halfway through) I still found the ending to be both a surprise and poignant. It’s a breezy, 100-page read and never dull for a second (though, knowing the trick, some of the scenes seemed a bit forced). I can definitely see where this influenced the writers of Lost, but I have no clue what we’re going to discuss once the book club meeting comes around (I haven’t been involved in a book group since 9th grade). Alright, back to work!

UPDATE: Dammit, I keep forgetting to do blog moods!

Current Mood: Pretty Fucking Radical emoticon Pretty Fucking Radical

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  • Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 11:57 | #1

    I think I’m done with the whole Sonichu thing. I started being against it, got completely absorbed in it for a day or two, then learned the latest disturbing news. It now seems they’re after this guy for no reason, and they’ve turned vicious. Game over

  • Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 12:22 | #2

    There are definitely many mean-spirited people bullying this guy but I disagree with you. Just because some people take this too far doesn’t affect my enjoyment of reading about him or his work. I find him fascinating – it’s like a glimpse into childhood that’s communicated on an adult level. Plus I get several huge laughs with every read. There may come a point where I tire of Sonichu, but I won’t let other people’s actions determine that date. E tu, doh?!

  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 15:43 | #3

    In your latest comment on Z-News you suggested I Man-Up to over come my sore muscles. Maybe I should do something Manly like join a Lost Book Club – yeah – that should spike my testosterone levels.

    Speaking of manly things, are you still playing and basketball?

  • Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 19:13 | #4

    I haven’t played basketball (of the real life sort) in a while, but I’ve signed up for the next season which starts in January. 3 months to “train” … we’ll see if I finally live up to my Dirk potential!

  • Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 22:07 | #5

    Turns out Bill Murray was on “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday” tonight…so maybe that’s why he was in town.

Mega Retro

Montage © 2008 Stan Syckes

Mega Man is now old enough to drink!

Capcom‘s little mascot has pretty much always existed during my video gaming career, eclipsed in longevity by only Mario himself. I remember playing and falling in love with Mega Man 2 – one of the first Nintendo games I ever played – sometime in 1989. I poured over all the character details and level maps for Mega Man 3 when they appeared in my Nintendo Power magazines. The only time I went over to my elementary school friend Taran’s house (he lived butt far) all we did was play his Mega Man games. Though I didn’t eat, drink and sleep the little robot mascot I did thoroughly enjoy myself when I’d play his newest adventure.

And what pretty simple games they were. All Mega Man can can do is jump and shoot (and sometimes slide). You traverse your way through a level, fight an evil robot at the end and then get his weapon after defeating him. The big gimmick is that each evil robot has a secret weakness against another robot’s weapon so you are encouraged to find the elegant order in which to take them on. While the formula remained the same throughout the series, fans kept coming back for the top-notch, challenging level design and fantastic soundtrack.

Anyway, I’m currently finishing Mega Man X Collection – a (what else?) collection of the first 6 Mega Man X games (originally for Super Nintendo and Playstation 1). As far as I can tell, Mega Man X was just the same Mega Man-style of gameplay but with a more “futuristic” background. Also like the regular Mega Man series (I completed Mega Mans 1-8 a couple of years back) they start out amazing and slowly lose steam. Even so, I haven’t felt the need to put the game down! After all, a game doesn’t stay alive after 2 decades in the biz if it isn’t addicting (unless, of course, it involves pokèmon).

The eerie synchronicity of this is that just when I’m finishing the last Mega Man X game and preparing to move on to another game (Shadow of the Colossus for PS2), Mega Man 9 is announced. After 20+ years of advances in graphics, sound and gameplay, the newest Mega Man game looks, sounds and plays exactly like the it’s 1987 inception (screenshots below if you don’t believe me).

I tried out the free demo last night after downloading it from PSOnline and it was … fucking hard! I consider myself somewhat of a hardcore gamer and I didn’t even reach the halfway point of the first level. What’s cool is the retro gameplay and style is very engaging, but it’s topped off with newer features like online leader boards, downloadable content, and side quests (like defeat a level without killing any enemies). It all has my mega gasket excited and I’m sure it’ll be worth the $9.99 I’ll plunk down for it. I shall keep you faithful readers updated!

Photos © 2008
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