Posted in journal, stories

“My Song”


Hey guys,
Steve here.

This is sad, I’m warning you. I wrote it as a warm-up for the creative writing class I am in at school. Normally I don’t even save these journals, but I am this time because it’s one of the writings I’m particularly proud of. I left the prompt in here so you could know where this came from.

·         Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.
————————————————————
It was dark.
        The power had long since been knocked out, plunging this lonely house and the broken street on which it barely clung to life into complete darkness. Even the Sun had retreated from view as though it too was afraid to show its beautiful face in a land so completely consumed by such unimaginable destruction.
        Yet the plains streaked overhead – wining, roaring, depositing their hate-filled payloads on our dead city. I did not know why. We had long since fallen from our knees. We were face up on the ground, staring lifelessly at the starlit sky, unable to see even the slightest flicker of brightness – and wasn’t that their goal? Didn’t they aim to block out all the light? If so, they did it already by casting the shadows of their flying devils upon us, and destroying the foundations of who we were with thunderous booms and the hellish orange glow that followed – no. It was clear to all of us – including those whose lives were lost as everything they ever stood for was pulverized before their eyes – that those people wanted us all gone, entirely.
        Yet somehow, by some cruelly ironic miracle I could not name, through all of this, I laid protectively atop my three-year-old sister in what used to be my parents’ bathtub. And in this moment, I felt we were the only two living things left on the planet – the last two flickering pulses of light in a god awful sea of lifelessness.
As I laid there, plaster raining down upon me with every intensifying trimmer, I prayed  to whatever inexplicably cruel thing was listening. By God, if I wasn’t gonna survive this, couldn’t she at least? I wanted a bright future for her. I wanted all this destruction to be a thing of her past; never forgotten but never repeated. She was way too young to be forced into our bitter ways.
I had already excepted the inevitability of death’s staccato steps eventually bringing it to my house, where it would smash the entire structure and rip us out with vicious claws and crush us in its ravenous jaws. And yet as I laid there, holding and singing to my sister who seemed, at least for the moment blissfully unaware of the danger around us, I felt a spark of triumph light within me. Perhaps the war had taken away almost everything I know. Perhaps my parents were gone – maybe dead, maybe not, but certainly never to be seen again. However, this bond I shared with this tiny child – so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and so fragile, was the one thing the war could never rip from me. If anything, the war had only made it stronger.
        There was a massive crash. It was louder than any that had occurred thus far. It shook the house so violently, that I felt as though someone had picked us up, and slammed us down. A gasp escaped my sister’s lips, as the fearful tears began to fall from her eyes, dripping down her face and collecting in a pool behind her head. “Sam? I’m scared…” She murmured against my chest. I pulled her closer to me. Her tears soaked through my shirt, burning their way into my heart like acid.
“Please don’t let them hurt me, please?” She sobbed, desperation rising in her voice. “It’s my turn,” I thought to myself, the inevitability crashing into me like the constant shock waves. My song was dead now, for I had no more words to sing. Instead, the melodious bells of death rang in its place, louder than ever before. They were coming. Even my 3-year-old sister new that.
“It’s gonna get us, Sam. Daddy said we should run away if it tried to get us! What are you gonna-” She was practically screaming now, her body shaking against my chest.
“It’s okay, baby. I promise. Let it take you,” I whispered to her, stroking her hair. I absolutely despised myself for saying these words to her, because it meant I had failed her, myself, and my parents, and the rest of the world in the worst way imaginable.
“But I’m scared…” she protested.
There was a horrible whistle, as though from the gates of hell themselves. I squeezed my sister even tighter, folding my arms around her head protectively. And as the monster punched into our little haven of safety, I made my last dying promise. “Shhh. Don’t be. It’s okay. I’ve got you. I’ve always got you. We’ll go together. It can never hurt us then.”

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

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Posted in journal, stories

Unearth, my first attempt at a larger scale short story


Hey guys,
Steve here.

This semester, I joined a creative writing class. My first assignment was to write a story about anything of my choosing, as long as it was at least 1000 words and had 3 or more characters. The following is my result. It’s just over 3600 words. I apologize for coming back after all this time with such a long post. Anyway, enjoy; and feel free to leave feedback.

Unearth

Early on the morning of reentry, the service droid assigned to maintenance of the habitation decks on board the Curious Beast stood in the sleeping quarters of the meager scouting party assigned to the ship. The droid stood no more than 4 feet tall, but despite his short stature, his features were made with intricate design – from the slight dimple on the right side of his face, to the slightly pointed nose, currently scrunched in exasperation, to the wrinkle of frustration in the middle of his forehead, above his immaculately groomed eyebrows. The ball-shaped lenses that served for his eyes rested in their unnaturally rounded sockets above his high cheek bones. His ears were abnormally large, jutting out from the sides of his head like mini radar dishes; a testament to the fact that even robot design artists were still just human. The droid wore a white button up, lacking any trace of a wrinkle, the collar creased to perfection, tucked into stiffly ironed blue slacks.

“Wake up! For Heaven’s sake wake! Up! Your breakfast is getting cold!” The droid yelled in frustration, shaking the shoulder of Kevin L. Morris, the elf assigned to the planetary scouting operation. Kevin was small, shorter even than the droid, at just around 3 feet. He had a pudgy face with a nose that stuck out discernibly, with little green eyes sunk deep into their flabby sockets; and despite his small body he was noticeably fat, his belly jutting out as he slept, curled in a ball, wearing pajamas with a mysterious one-eyed cartoon character resembling a cat printed on them.
“Huh?! Yes mom, I’ll be right there.” Kevin shouted, jerking upright in bed and knocking his head on the bottom of the top bunk with a loud thump.
“Sir! I insist you quit mistaking me for your mother! We look absolutely nothing, alike-“ the droid began, cut off by an angry look from the now fully awakened Kevin, who sat on the edge of his bed rubbing his head where it had made its excessively forceful connection with the bed above him.
“Yeah Fred, whatever… I was half wonky.” Kevin replied, looking down at the floor, shameful redness slowly overspreading his cheeks as he realized his mistake. “What did you cook this morning?”
“It’s your favorite, sir. Spaghetti and meatballs with chili cheese nachos on the side.”, the Droid, whose name was Fred, replied.
Kevin smiled, wiping a bit of drool from the corner of his mouth. He stood, looking around the sleeping quarters, noticing for the first time that the beds of his fellow crew mates were empty. “Where are the others?” He asked, reaching for a plain military uniform hung on a wall mounted clothes wrack beside his bed.
“Undoubtedly just finishing a round of Poker. They finished eating nearly an hour ago, sir. If waking you didn’t require the auditory and physical equivalent of an atomic explosion, perhaps you could’ve joined them.”
“Hey!” Kevin argued incredulously, “I was tired is all! Why bother getting up early when all I have to look forward to today is just more sitting around waiting? I already told you I’m not doing any chores… and I’m not joining Billy’s stupid fitness class! The dude doesn’t know what he’s doing!”
“I’m afraid you won’t have the luxury of lying around wasting your life away like a useless, filthy drain on society today, sir,” Fred replied. “The storm’s subsided. Aaron from command radioed in earlier this morning to let us know that conditions would be favorable for landing by 09:00. He wants us at the landing site as soon as possible. It’s already a quarter past 8!”
“Useless drain on society?!” Kevin asked incredulously. “What would they do without people like me? First of all I look absolutely amazing, and let’s not even begin to –“
“Sir! Did you not hear anything I just said? We have less than an hour until takeoff, and you’re still in pajamas!” Fred exclaimed, exasperation clearly evident in his voice as he turned away, walking briskly into the corridor. “Just hurry and get dressed so you have time to eat,” he said, briefly sticking his head back through the door. “I refuse to put up with your wining today because you’re too hungry.”
“Wining! Useless drain on society! Just more swift judgement passed down by the resident walking talking vacuum cleaner”, Kevin muttered as he changed into his uniform, angrily tossing his pajamas on top of a disorganized pile of dirty clothes against the wall under the clothes wracks.

The Curious Beast was relatively small in comparison to many of the other Order-owned long range transportation ships, labeled by many employees of the Order as “the budget vessel” for its cramped, plain design and associated cheapness. It was just large enough to hold a maximum of 115 people, crew included, and enough supplies to sustain them for two weeks, though at max capacity everyone was forced to live and work in close quarters. Despite being the most important members of the mission, the scouting crew’s living quarters was less than luxurious. The room was roughly 20 by 20 feet, with two sets of bunk beds, each with wall mounted clothes racks and shelves next to them. There was a wide mirror over one wall, above a row of wash basins cluttered in various toiletries. Plain gray walls, as well as matching white ceiling and floor tiles made the place a bore to look at; aside from the various pinups displaying an odd assortment of alien figures and celebrities hung by members of the crew there was no decor.

After his breakfast consisting of spaghetti and meatballs drowned in meat sauce with chili cheese nachos on the side, Kevin joined the rest of the scouting crew in the ship’s hanger bay. The room was large with a high ceiling which was actually an airlock, stainless steel panels covering the floor and walls. Its size, combined with the intensely echoing acoustics, made it reminiscent of a cathedral. It was one of the few areas of the ship that wasn’t cramped, and for good reason. Spread throughout the room, in their own designated mini-runways, were 10 surface transport vessels ranging in size anywhere from a minivan to a charter bus.
The crew, which consisted of four total including Fred and Kevin, stood near the entrance ramp of one of the smaller of these – a yellow, boxy vehicle about the size of a minivan with the Order logo and the label “CBT8” on the side. As the others stood around, fidgeting in boredom, Fred stood wearing a bulky backpack, a sleek tablet in his hands, giving the rundown of the mission.
“… And remember, we have no idea what’s down there. We are instructed to – ”
“Yeah… we get it, be safe… and stuff,” Interrupted Billy, a massive humanoid creature who stood nearly 3 times as tall as Fred, and probably 4 times as wide.
“With all due respect, marsh mellow gut, this is highly important information!” Fred replied, not even slightly intimidated by the other man’s size. “Besides,”, he continued, jabbing his finger up towards a scar running down the big guy’s cheek, “you’re not exactly good at being safe.”
“That was ages ago”, Billy replied. “Plus, I already told you: all I wanted was a meal… how was I supposed to know a two-ton bear was going to fight me for it? I could’ve sworn she was sleeping!”
“Because that was her baby you tried to snatch! Do you have any idea-”
“Gentlemen… as much as I’d love to stand here listening to you argue all day like a severely disproportionate married couple, we have more important things to do,” said Ty, the only human member of the crew. Ty was the most normal looking of them all; average height with short blond hair and blue eyes. Unlike the others, his most distinguishing feature was as ordinary as a slightly abnormally large forehead.
The others murmured in agreement. Fred, a look of resignation on his face, released the tablet with a flick of his wrist, causing it to float up and behind him before dropping into an open pouch in his pack just large enough for it that zipped itself shut as the tablet slid in. He shifted his weight forward. As he did so, wheels popped out of the bottom of his shoes and began rolling him up the ramp. The others followed suit – except for Billy. When he tried, a robotic voice could be heard emanating from his shoes. It stated, “Excessive cargo. Maximum weight limit 500 pounds”. Groaning, Billy instead walked up the ramp after the rest of his crew mates, causing the entire ship to quake with each of his thunderous steps.
The four of them sat in the ship. Fred sat in the driver’s seat, hunched over a complicated panel of controls and displays. Ty sat next to him, while Kevin, with surprising agility for someone of his body makeup, jumped back and forth across the backs of the ship’s 10 seats. Billy, too large to fit anywhere else, simply laid curled up in a ball in the small cargo space behind them.
“Is everyone ready?” Asked Fred, hands resting upon a pair of joysticks as the huge ceiling pulled back above the surface transport vessel.
Aside from Billy, who grumbled in a thundering voice about how the jerks in the Curious Beast’s Deployment Management Department had “purposefully selected this stupid cramped piece of junk” because they knew he would be uncomfortable in it, the other two crew members voiced their agreement. And with that, the little pod rose from the hanger, out into the long forgotten Solar System.
“I heard they’re coming out with a new model of self-walking shoes”, Kevin said, plopping in the seat behind Ty and removing his shoes, resting his feet upon Ty’s shoulders. “They’re calling these the Holy Rollers, man. Apparently they’ve got speech recognition in them, so you can tell them where to go, to slow down or speed up, etc. And I heard they’re really comfortable, not like these pieces of crap.” He shook a pudgy finger at the pare of shoes on the floorboard below him, which looked ragged and torn with age. Suddenly, both shoes made a popping sound, as their wheels popped out simultaneously. Propelled upwards by the force, one smacked him in the stomach with its heal, the other hitting the bridge of his nose as he doubled over. The shoes then plopped to the ground, motionless. Shocked, Kevin said nothing.
“Uh… yes,” Fred replied timidly, carefully avoiding saying anything that would cause his shoes to attempt similar antics. “All you said was correct, though they’re apparently named for their souls – pure, absolutely heavenly souls. It’s supposed to feel like you’re walking on air, not to mention the suspension on those things is absolutely brilliant. Mind you, though,” He quickly amended, “I’m sure the real reason they’re called holy is the fact that they are riddled with holes that make them impossible to walk in comfortably.”
It was just shortly after 09:20 as CBT8 entered Earth’s atmosphere and began its descent towards the surface. Ten minutes later, it touched the ground at the landing site, located in a clearing surrounded by short, yellow trees in the distance, whose branches sagged with berries that looked more like partially flattened bowling balls. “And this, gentlemen,” Fred said, shutting down the vehicle as it glided smoothly to a stop, “is Earth. And as the fantastic dude who got you here, I think it’s only right that I be the first living creature to set foot on the Earth, – in 2 and a half million years!”
A motorized whirring signified the lowering of the ship’s cargo ramp, and then the airlock released with a hiss, the doors opening to reveal the forgotten planet. As a fresh cool breeze rushed in, the four of them fought their way out – Kevin, to Fred’s disappointment, bounding over the small droid’s head and landing with bent knees at the bottom of the cargo ramp. Leaning forward, he accelerated off the ramp and into a mysterious, spongy blue growth covering the floor of the clearing, becoming the first living thing to walk upon the surface of the Earth in two and a half million years, the rest of his crew mates following with looks of defeat on their faces.
“It’s… beautiful!”, Ty exclaimed between deep inhalations of the cool fresh air, which carried a slight metal tang mixed with the smell of unspoiled Earth. And indeed it was. As a cool springtime breeze gently swayed and bobbed the branches of the distant trees, causing them to undulate in a coordinated dance of natural perfection, the mid morning Sun shined brightly down upon the scene, filling the new arrivals with its welcoming warmth. It was as though it was joyfully smiling down at them, glad once again to be not only needed; but wanted, respected, and observed with wonderment.
Meanwhile, Billy shifted from foot to foot, imprinting the Earth’s surface with his massive footprints, looking around in awe at the strange trees around them. “Duuuuuuude! Take a look at those trees, man. They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen! And have you seen that fruit? Finally! Something big enough to fill me up!” He began walking away from the others.
Fred called after him. “But sir! You don’t know if they’re toxic! For goodness sake this planet has been home to nuclear waste for the past 10 thousand centuries!”
“Come on Fred. Enough with your -” Billy began, interrupted by a new voice from the edge of the tree line directly in front of him.
“Heyyyy look! It’s Jesus yall, it’s Jesus! I done swer it’s him!”
The other three crew members shared equal looks of bafflement as a pack of five or six enormous dogs emerged from the forest, each covered in long, flowing, shiny white fur that glistened in the brilliant sunshine. The largest of them stepped in front of his fellows, sidling right up to Billy and sniffing him. Billy, too petrified to do anything, could only stand and watch as a dog, who stood as tall as Fred on all fours and was no less wide than Billy the grumpy giant himself, examined him, expelling fruit and Earth scented breaths with enough force to cause Billy to rock back and forth.
“Uh… h-h-hi?” Fred timidly ventured, standing far away from the beasts. “We’re – ”
“I know who you are!” The dog roared in a voice loud enough to create a shock wave that blew Billy back a few steps, nearly causing the big guy to lose his footing. “You’re my friends!” The dog continued, his voice much softer than that.
And with that, he jumped at Billy, actually toppling the giant onto his back. “And this dude’s Jesus! Hi Jesus,” he said, jumping up and down on Billy’s chest, evidently not realizing that he was nearly cracking Billy’s ribs in the process, not to mention blowing intense waves of hot air and slobber into Billy’s face with every word. “I’m Meldo. I love you, man! You’re so cool! The way you healed that blind dude, fed all those hungry people, came – ”
“A-a-a-alright! That’s E-e-e-enough!” Billy said, rolling out from underneath the overly excited dog. “First of all I’m not Jesus, and second of all you’re hurting me!”
“Oh, sorry about that”, Meldo said, bowing down shamefully. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, king.”
“Allow me to explain”, Fred said, cautiously approaching the pack of dogs who, it seemed, didn’t plan on causing harm. “We’re here from another world,”
“Yeah, Heaven!” One of the smaller dogs in the pack barked enthusiastically, whipping his tale and sending one of his companions into the air.
“So it is Jesus! With all of his angels!” another piped up.
As they all began a fierce argument about whether or not the visibly perplexed aliens standing before them were actually the messiah and his angels, the four members of the scouting crew slowly backed towards their ship. “This will make for one heck of an interesting report”, Fred remarked.
“I’m just curious as to how this could’ve escaped the Order’s preliminary observations”, Ty said. “Massive, talking dogs – and they missed that on the life scan? There’s no telling what else is out there!”
“That technology is still preliminary. It doesn’t tell us what life is inhabiting the planet; just that it exists. Combined with satellite pictures taken of the landing site, all we were able to deduce was that there was plant life.”
Ty sighed. “Well… we leave for two and a half million years, unintentionally leaving the dogs out of the kennel, and what do they do? They evolve, mutate, and form religions.”
“Yeah”, Billy thundered softly. “And apparently I’m God!” He stomped his foot, causing clouds of the mysterious growth to fly through the air.
“God? Right. The creator of the universe is a massive, clumsy baboon with all the intelligence, wit, and physical stability of a drunken circus clown”, Ty scoffed.
“My intelligence is superior! You’re just a mere human, whose brain is too small to understood it!” Billy replied, outraged.
“Understand. Too small to understand!” Ty corrected.
“Whatever,” Billy stated, turning back towards the pack of dogs who, having ceased arguing, were now lying on their stomachs, staring at him. “At least these guys recognize my authority; my commanding presence; just look at them! All I did was walk into their world and they’re lying there, prepared to do exactly as I tell them!”
He leaned forward, trying to get the wheels to pop out of the bottoms of his shoes and roll him forward. “Repeating: too much cargo. Maximum weight limit 500 pounds”, they intoned in equally annoying robotic voices.
“Roll me anyway! I command you!” Billy bellowed.
“Computation error: demands based on egotistical pretense are incompatible with this unit’s speech parser,” they replied flatly.
“Look at him,” Ty sneered. “God?! Not even his shoes are convinced. They’re shoes”
“They’re rebelling is all,” Billy said. He shook his fingers at his shoes, proceeding to yell at them. “You have humiliated your God! May you burn in hell forever!”
The warming mechanism in Billy’s shoes cranked on full blast then, sending streams of very hot air over his feet. Howling in pain, “God” fell down upon his rump, and yanked them off. “My feet! My feeeeeeeeeeeet! Help me!” He rubbed them frantically, as the shoes, now empty, powered down; drifts of smoke rising from their insides.
Ty looked towards the dogs, gesturing at the clearly distressed giant on the ground. “This… is God, gentlemen?” He asked. “Not even a blister, and he’s down on the ground rubbing his feet because his shoes decided to heat up a little?”
Meldo stood, the others following suit. He looked towards Billy, who was just standing to his feet, without his shoes which, perhaps due to the breeze, quivered slightly where they sat, almost as though they were laughing. “Nah man. You’re not God. You’re still cool though. I don’t understand why you don’t just throw the little old sour dude into the side of your chariot for talking about you like that.”
“Hmm. That’s actually a great idea, my servant,” Billy replied, stalking towards Ty. Meldo’s sides quaked with silent laughter as he looked on.
Fred stepped forward, a serious look on his face. Having changed his mind, Billy stopped advancing towards Ty, who was backing up, scowling through a hole between his hands which he’d arranged into a makeshift protective barrier over his face. “We come not from Heaven, though we aren’t from Earth either”, Fred began, relieved that the dogs didn’t try to cut him off this time. “We are simply a group sent to scout this planet to see if it’s livable… clearly it is.”
“Livable? Our race has been here for the longest time! Millions upon bajillions of years! Of course it’s livable. Why wouldn’t it be?”
“There is much you don’t know about your planet,” Fred replied, turning towards CBT8’s open airlock. “For now though, we must go.”
Ty was deeply bothered by Fred saying that Earth was their planet. Like the rest of his crew mates, he had never set foot on Earth, though it meant much more to him than it did them; he was no alien, this was the place of genesis for his race. It had once belonged to humans; every creature bowing down to their superiority – but not anymore, not since his distant ancestors screwed it up for them. It didn’t matter that there were countless other life sustaining planets, and that Earth was hardly a speck of dust in an infinite cosmos; for it was the true planet of the humans. And now… now it belonged to some crazy mutated dogs? Dogs who, having seen a clumsy alien giant fall out of the sky in an ill designed metallic heap of junk, busted out of their forest of shelter proclaiming said giant was God?
“Go?” Meldo replied. “Go where?”
“Back to where we came from”, Fred replied. “Don’t worry, more of us will come later, to enlighten you.”
Followed by the rest of the crew, Fred once again boarded the tiny ship, casting fleeting glances out the airlock at the dogs, who shouted questions and protests at the departing aliens. And once all were boarded, Billy once again scrunched into the cargo space, Fred and Ty sitting silently in the front seat, Kevin just behind them; the ship took off, leaving the mysterious planet with its foreign occupants behind.

Thanks for reading, if you did,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in busy, happyness, journal, life, updates

The Best Birthday Ever


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Two days ago, I turned eighteen. That’s probably hard to believe for at least some of my followers– those who started following me when I first began this blog, less than a month after my twelfth birthday. Not only that, it’s hard for _me_ to believe. Even still, call me a man all you want, I’m a child at heart.
That said, I had one of the best birthday weekends ever. It was full of surprises. I got to drive an ATV (believe it or not I was the one in control of the wheel), and eat a bunch of fried chicken and other extremely unhealthy but delicious foods. Most importantly, though, I was able to spend it with some pretty awesome people.
First, there was Danny. I believe you all know who that is. But for those who don’t, he is my best friend who I have been communicating and gaming with for the last four years. Only problem is, he lives over a thousand miles a way, so as one might imagine we never get to see each other in person. But because it was my eighteenth birthday, my family planned for Danny to come for a surprise visit. Some how, they managed to keep it a secret from me for at least a month; I never knew a thing about it until he strolled in to the kitchen while I was making breakfast and, well, introduced himself all over again, in a way. I am not sure what the word is to describe the feeling I got; a mixture of excitement, bewilderment, and disbelief. I have been wanting to meet Danny in person for probably two years now, so being surprised with it first thing in the morning of what was to be a relatively ordinary school day amplified it.
In addition, Libby came back from college. Even though she had been down for spring break just a week before, she made the trip so she could spend time with me for my birthday, because she’s an awesome sister like that. I knew it was going to be an awesome weekend.
Earlier I said it was a relatively ordinary Friday. That’s because instead of spending the whole day at school, I was going on a trip to the mall for my annual Orientation and Mobility field trip. Since Libby was home for the weekend, and Danny was visiting, they, as well as my mom, got to come on the field trip with me. We spent the morning mostly just walking around, and because Danny, Libby and I are blind, the two adults would tell us the names of stores and we would try to guess what they sold. We just had, to pass a coffee shop, so of course that is the one shop I bought anything from – out of all of the stores in that huge place. The only other store we stopped at was Microsoft. That was my first time visiting a Microsoft store. Although I personally was impressed with the goods on display, my wallet was simply intimidated. So instead of buying anything, I settled with writing on one of the demo laptops, something along the lines of this:

To the next person to come across this:

Have a nice day!
meow.

Sincerely,

Chester the cat.

After the mall trip, we all went out to eat. My dad and vision teacher also got to join us for that. Then for the rest of the day, I hung out with Danny, while the rest of my family went shopping for yet another “something” for my party.
Although my birthday wasn’t until Sunday, we held the party on Saturday, since Danny and Libby would be leaving. I am not a social person by nature, but even though there were tons of people that showed up, I was so glad to have them there. It was such a wonderful evening. First, there was the fried chicken. According to Libby, fried chicken is apparently an “original” idea for a birthday. See, I didn’t think of it that way, I just thought it was a genius plan, but that’s just my opinion. Then, there was the cake. It was designed like a torn open bag of m&ms, and whatever they put on the top of it to make the design tangible actually felt to me like a near perfect representation, and there were m&ms spilling out. And yes, it tasted just as good as it sounds. There were cupcakes as well, with a similar condensed version of the design on them, and these had some sort of cream filling in the middle.
Aside from the wonderful food, there was that surprise my family was shopping for the previous day. After everyone finished eating, I was led out the door, and to the driveway, where there sat an ATV. It’s sort of like a car the way it feels, and it can seat up to five people. That’s just how awesome my family is; they surprise their blind son by taking him out to see the brand new ATV.
For the rest of the evening, we all hung out, ate a lot, and took turns driving the ATV. I enjoyed it because it was my first experience driving something on land without anyone holding the wheel or guiding my hands.
Finally, even Sunday turned out to be a great day. As it turns out, since the party and field trips and planning were all over, me, my parents, Libby, and Danny decided to spend my birthday relaxing. We made arrangements so that neither one of them would go home that day, instead they would wait until Monday when I too had to go back to school.

In the end, it ended up being one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time. I have to say. For having planned this all in secret behind my back, my family and the others who helped or participated did a heck of a good job. And I recognize that this has been an extraordinarily long post, especially since I haven’t wrote a word in what, gosh, five months? However, there was certainly a hole lot to talk about.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

P.S. I have more catching up to do, but I think that if this gets any longer, it will turn into a novel. I’ll see you next time. Have a good one.

Posted in journal, life, programming, Uncategorized, updates

Hey Everyone: I figured out my blogging problem


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Hello everyone, here we go again. I would be skeptical, very much so, if all 330 odd people following this blog were to tell me that not a one of them were believing that this blog is dying, that I am no longer interested in maintaining it, or that it would be best for me not to continue because I will continue to frequently infrequent this blog. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite the opposite for me. Let me explain why.

No matter how many times I’ve acknowledged it, I never stopped trying to force myself to live up to some form of deadline or another. And I’ll be honest here, when I posted that I’d get something done, my biggest fear was that if I didn’t do it by the next post, it would cause people to lose at least some faith in me and believe that, perhaps, I was one of those “all talk” people, something which I do not want to be known for. For some reason, this sycle has repeated itself many a time over the last year, and I’ll explain it below:
1. I get excited about something, and blog about it.
2. In my excitement, I bang out a sentence that starts with something along the lines of: “In the next post”… “I will likely”… “I will”… you get the picture.
3. Life ends up getting in the way. A problem occurs, school work or otherwise occurs, or I lose motivation temporarily to complete what I said I would.
4. I hold off on the blog post, because I don’t want to post with some excuse as to why I didn’t do what I said I would.

I don’t know if I’ve talked about this subject in a previous post, but the fact that I can’t even remember that now is just another factor that has driven it home for me. See, I started this blog so I could write about whatever I want, whenever I want, and not follow a specific pattern. If I wanted to write a poem, I could. Then the next day, I could post a 400 word technical rant that had to do with the math involved in creating full 3d games, then I could follow that with a post about what a wonderful week I’d had. To an extent, I was… somewhat keeping this unbound routine, but I was adding something I wasn’t before. No, it’s not as I previously suspected, me blogging too much about programming and the like. It’s the fact that I hold myself to deadlines, and then fear failure when I can’t get them done.

That said, I’ll be breaking the sycle by writing just one more of those sentences, though I’ll surely hold to this one, or this blog would die whether I wanted it to or not. I will, not be giving myself deadlines on things I can’t be sure will be completed.

All that out of the way, I am glad to say it’s been a productive couple of months. In summary, I’ve actually started rewriting S Quad Racing in Python, am taking two dewel credit classes in school, and… life is good. These days, I’m still overworking my brain by trying to figure out math formulas for complex things such as rotated rectangles, polygon and triangle shaped surfaces and how they would be represented in a game, and all that fun stuff. In addition, I’ve actually started going to the gym this school year, which is at least somewhat of an improvement from last year.

I know that was quite short, at least by my standards, but another disadvantage with such long blogging breaks is that it’s real hard to come up with something longer than that because you obviously can’t remember everything about the last three months. Still, I think we’re quite up to speed, and I don’t only mean that as a pun to me getting back into working on an all new S Quad Racing version.

Before I go though, I should let you know that if you Go here, you can learn more about what the re-write of S Quad Racing in Python is allowing me to do, and what I’ve done so far. I wrote that page just a little over a week ago, so I have made a little bit of progress, but not too much. Either way, see you guys soon, and I must say it’s a great joy to be back.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, journal, life, updates

A Busy Couple of Weeks


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Unfortunately, I did not complete my 1 week challenge to make a game, though I still believe it is within my abilities to do so. It was more so the timing I chose, which turned out to be pretty bad, something that the post title clearly suggests.
There is a lot that has happened in the last 2 weeks. I’ll go ahead and rewind back to week 1, which was the week following my last post, and when I was originally supposed to have completed the game creation challenge. I actually managed to squeeze in 3 or 4 days of work on the game that week, though I was majorly hindered by the need to purchase sound affects from a source I’d never used, and thus didn’t trust yet. Furthermore, this mistrust was enhanced when my friend spent $85 on their sound affects, and didn’t receive his sounds for several days. As a result, I didn’t get the necessary sounds until Thursday of that week, so I decided to give myself an extra few days to work on it, and thus decided to delay the blog post a few days as well.
Well guess what? After getting a few more consecutive days of work done on the game challenge, I found out I had a summer reading assignment to complete for school, and that my family vacation to Maine would indeed be happening, — on Friday! of that week. And while I only considered the former to be a bad thing, both meant that coding a game would be quite hard, if not impossible for a little bit.
That said, vacation was great. There’s not too much to say about it, except for that it was relaxing, I didn’t have to put up with 110 degree Texas heat, and I did not work on my summer reading assignment or coding games or anything that required the use of my intelligence. But even though I got home on Wednesday of last week, I had a camping trip with my church youth group in Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday, then spent all of Sunday at church.
Today has been a day of rest for me. I didn’t really do anything productive, as I’ve basically been non stop the past several days. But for those wondering about the status of the game challenge, I’ve decided not to finish it, because honestly my timing was bad, it was meant to be only a week thing, and once I get back to coding I really need to start porting my main projects over to Python. That will have to wait a bit though, so that I can get this school reading assignment done before it’s too late. And believe me, I want to code games this week, but I’ve already had 2 dreams that involved me walking in on the first day of school and realizing that I didn’t complete the summer reading assignment because it totally slipped my mind, and that I’d be starting off the school year by failing English. I’d much rather leave that in my dreams.

Still, in the free time I did have during that time, I managed to create a little recording, that I would like to share with followers of this blog. I hardly ever post audio on the blog itself, so you know this is going to be good.
I had one of the text-to-speech voices from my computer commentate a recording I made of myself playing Red Spot, an audio first person shooter. This voice is named Microsoft Sam, and has been used to create funny skits and recordings all over YouTube. Anyway, though I didn’t think it would, this recording received quite a bit of approval from those I showed it to. It’s about 10 minutes long, and is bound to make you chuckle at some point.

In case the comments seemed untimely or out of place at certain points, this was basically my process for creating this recording, literally:
1. I recorded a segment of myself playing and owning on Red Spot.
2. I played it back, paying attention to key events in the game.
3. Once I came upon a turning point, major event, or just felt like Sam should say something, I paused the playback, recorded a piece of Sam’s speech, and inserted it into the recording. This was kind of hard because I had to focus on timing.
4. I listened to it, made sure there were no errors, and saved it.
I should note that none of Sam’s speech was scripted. These were all responses I thought appropriate to the occasion.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
P.S. that file received quite a bit of positive reaction, and I hope to create more. But like Sam’s speech in that recording, the decision will likely be made two seconds before its execution, so don’t count on counting on or not counting on it.