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Robert M. Brennan
24 October 2005 @ 10:32 am
So I took a test the other day-- turns out, in the realm of 1980s cartoons, I'm the Muppet Babies.

(Ouch, right?)

I've spent a lot of time over the last few days reconciling the fact that life as I know it will be starting up again in around a month or so. Stennar and I will be flying back to Atlanta, then to New Orleans near the end of the November to help his parents get the house into a more liveable state (still no word on whether or not it'll have to be bulldozed), then leaping through the windows of Stennar's 1991 Toyota Corolla and cooperatively road-tripping most of the stuff we left behind all the way up the United States' Eastern Seaboard where we'll finally make it to New England, a heavenly place with 200-year-old architecture and a rich, glorious history of religious-wingnut Founding Fathers and Grandfathers.

Oliver and America are scoping out apartments, and, after numerous wireless games of Meteos, Nintendogs, and Age of Empires III, the four of us will finally be shacking up together in Albany at the end of the year. It's almost going to be like the dreamlike days of early 2003 all over again.

I also spoke with someone at a GLBT counseling center last Thursday. He asked my sexual history ("Any one-night stands you, like, totally regret?!?"), then handed me a sheet of local professionals to assist me with relocation, and I'll be calling one of them later today.

I've also been thinking a lot about my education -- how I threw it away with my lack of motivation, to be more specific. Soon as I'm settled in and I get one thing taken care of, I'm going to see what it's going to set me back to take a class or two at a university up there.

(...Yeah, I'm a little excited.)
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
04 October 2005 @ 04:43 am
I'm typing this from a wireless laptop that's perched atop my knees as I sit atop a hooked stairwell in a well-lived-in house in Albany, New York. My boyfriend's sleeping in the other room, Oliver's in another. But I'm far, far away from home.

My home was New Orleans. It may not have been the most racially harmonious, law-abiding, or murder-free of places one could live in -- and people kept commenting on my accent/dialect (I speak like a fresh-faced young Englishman when at work, apparently) whenever I opened my mouth within range of them, but damn it, it was-- well, it wasn't /mine,/ but it was \someone else's,\ a room of whose I was /renting/ to cohabitate with my homosexual lover -- but hey, according to the federal government, that qualifies me as a "household" and entitles me to four thousand ducats, for FREE!

So I bought Nintendogs, and a Nintendo DS to play it on! w00t!

A relative offered to allow me and my friends a shelter in her Manhattan apartment, an offer I literally couldn't refuse. So I told her, "Shit, yeah!" and boarded a Delta jet to LaGuardia; four hours later, we were chilling out and watching the finale of Amazing Race's fifth season on the bed in her guest room. Three weeks flew by like magic and I still had yet to recieve unemployment, when Oliver's ex America called and said she was on the verge of getting a new "pad." We were all, "can we visit?" and she was all "Fuck yes!!!", and, one fun-filled train ride upstate later, here I am!

We may be moving here forever. We may not. In either case, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is not getting his wish.

Battery's running out. Updates to come soon. I'm out.
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
08 June 2005 @ 09:39 pm
 
 
Current Mood: blah
Current Music: Tomoko Sasaki: Gate of Your Dream
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
16 March 2005 @ 02:37 am
duh  
You scored as Satanism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don't actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.

</td>

Satanism

79%

agnosticism

75%

atheism

75%

Buddhism

67%

Islam

63%

Paganism

50%

Judaism

38%

Hinduism

38%

Christianity

33%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com


Finished a review for the JFC webzine. I'll send it to you if I think it's relevant to you, or if you want it; long story short, it's about a video game.
 
 
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: Grow
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
05 February 2005 @ 03:11 am
You scored as Female. Awww, your such a doll! So beautiful and wonderful, just like a mother. Ya must be a female.

</td>

Female

75%

Both

42%

Male

33%

Male or female?
created with QuizFarm.com


For posterity, you see. Nobody say a word.
 
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
13 December 2004 @ 11:05 pm
Dear Nintendo,

This is going to be a long one, but it has a point, so I hope that this letter miraculously lands in the hands of one of the company's market analysts:

I'm a 20-year-old console gamer from New Orleans. Gaming is my primary hobby; I play more video games in one week than most people do in at least a /slightly/ larger amount of time, so I'd like to think my opinion is lent greater credence by this information. I've owned every console but the Game and Watches and the Virtual Boy, too -- Nintendo got me into gaming, and it's into gaming I'll remain, forever and ever, until the universe collapses onto itself and, having been packed into 1/100000000th of my original size, in addition to being dead I'll also have ended up with no room to move my thumbs to pilot Yoshi through Dinosaur Land, so please, rest assured that I take my hobby seriously.

I've watched countless videos from IGN and GameSpot about the Nintendo DS. I worked myself up into such a frenzy that I purchased the system and copies of Mario 64 and Feel the Magic: XY/XX in anticipation of the glory that awaited me. The hardware is superbly designed and the potential is practically limitless -- your designers, innovators, and engineering personnel definitely earned their paychecks. Both games, in addition, are incredibly well-made; I practically blew out my friend's eardrum when yelling to get my fictional girlfriend's attention (before I made the realization that blowing into the microphone would produce a more desirable effect). Furthermore, I look forward to at least three titles (Wario Ware Touched!, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, and Animal Crossing DS), as well as a Mario Paint-esque game I've sort of already pigeonholed as an inevitability, regardless of whether it's developed by a first or a third party. My investment has already been justified.

However, I do have a number of concerns which are shared among my circle of friends, and I hope these are echoed from within, because I feel that they are legitimate:

1. The most significant and growing concern among the gaming public in general is in regards to the somewhat skewed audience your system holds in comparison to that which dominates the medium (a system so synonymous with shoddy design and corporate greed that we shan't sully this letter with the mention of its name). Analysts and armchair economists suggest that the market is changing, that the gamers you hooked with EarthBound in 1995 haven't left the art form, and are still consuming your products. Why, is it, then, that the only first-party title you have that's even partially marketed toward adult gamers (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes) is "rated T for Teen" by the ESRB?

I understand that the initial reaction to such thinking would be to not rate games on such a superficial point of judgment, that "exceptions to the rule" like Conker's Bad Fur Day, Resident Evil/Resident Evil Zero, and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem have been made before, and that it's the gameplay that should matter in the end, but it has to be understood that adult gamers are self-conscious and have been conditioned through American social folkways that cartoons are for kids, and, as such, will typically shy away from anything with googly eyes and opaque pastel colors. That in mind, why has Nintendo chosen to take this route?

2. The Nintendo DS was, without a doubt, an excellent idea, and an excellent technique of getting some truly system-exclusive content on a platform -- by introducing a unique new peripheral integrated into the hardware and forcing developers to use it in every single game, it would appear that a foolproof method has been devised to provide players with experiences they haven't had before. However, it doesn't appear to be working very well; publishers like EA and Namco are producing the bare minimum of required content for the second screen in order to get what is called "half-baked shovelware" by savvy individuals like myself past the Nintendo Seal of Quality and right onto store shelves. The end result is what some would consider a mediocre launch lineup (see EGM's January 2005 issue for details) and, looking at release lists, a bleak future.

From what I understand, the DS already has four ported games in its lineup tweaked to accommodate the dual screen setup (Rayman DS, Super Mario 64 DS, The Urbz: Sims In The City, and Ridge Racer DS). This was the same way with the Game Boy Advance, but the games being ported were from the Super Nintendo instead. Meanwhile, barring Gran Turismo 4 Mobile, I find myself strangely able to count the number of ported games in the PSP's lineup on zero fingers.

My point is this: If the assumption is that the console wars will be won by who has the better games, wouldn't logic dictate that the contender whose developers come up with the freshest, most excellent products that live up to the standard of quality set by the consoles will be the winner?

3. As an adult gamer who frequents gaming news sites, I find myself generally perplexed by the nature of press releases and videotaped "presentations" at trade shows and expositions. Are they tailored to appeal to me, or just to the company's shareholders?

I sincerely await answers to these questions. Despite my inquisitive, jaded nature, I'm still quite a big fan, I love your first party titles, and I probably always will.

Sincerely,
Cedric
 
 
Current Mood: grumpy
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
I've found myself reluctant to play video games without some video playing in the background first. How odd, then, that my first plunge into forbidden territory in God-knows-how-long would be with Halo 2's multiplayer, an experience that practically screams to be played with Hendrix at full volume in the background and three or four drug-addled friends at either side, shouting "deep thoughts," expletives, and smack-talk.

I had finally gotten X-Box LIVE working with my wireless connection, so when evk and his ex-girlfriend contacted me for a few games of Capture the Flag, I was practically giddy with anticipation. I added both to my Friends list, we quickly organized a party, and soon we were inside the game, at an updated approximation of Halo 1's mysterious Blood Gulch.

If you've seen Microsoft's LIVE commercials, you know what to expect -- a carefully ethnically diverse social melting pot of smiling, happy, trendy young gamers (half of whom are female, one in a wheelchair), ready at a moment's notice to shout tactical statements like "Grab that flag, I'll cover you!" "Eat my dust, cheeseball!" "You take this weapon, I'm fine with what I've got!" "Ha ha ha! You're MINE!" "Oh, no! Snipers are coming from the back!" and so on. Communication seemed like the key factor in online gaming, and giving everyone mandatory headsets seemed like it would be the standard. In other words: I swear, it was a good idea at the time.

What Microsoft hadn't taken into account was the simple, unquestionable fact that Halo's primary audience is apparently composed of:

1. College students, ("Aww, yeah! Now who's drinkin' beer?")
2. Squeaky pre-teens, ("Not me! Just drive the hawg!")
3. Shy, socially underdeveloped gamers, or self-proclaimed outsiders who think getting too "into the game" is socially repellant. (" ")

The third category apparently far outnumbers the first two, because those were the only two statements I had heard in my hour of playing. The end result was a free-for-all with no planning or execution whatsover. I was so disgusted, I decided to prove my point by jumping into a Ghost and ramming it into a wall for three minutes, but they ignored me for some reason. Maybe I should have said something, but I was scared to death that they'd make fun of me for talking.

Thankfully, it's not like this with other games. Project Gotham Racing 2 has a brilliant community formed around it; I had personally raced the Nurburgring with two thirty-year-old British people last Thanksgiving who had test-driven some of the cars that we were racing. Tiger Woods 2005 has the elements of smack-talking and gentle, patient coaching on the hands of its community; it could be because golf is supposed to be a relaxing, progressive, and conversational sport, or it could be because the players themselves paid $50 for the privelege of playing online, and they need something to distinguish their opponents from the computer-generated players they had to go against to develop their player in the first place.

One of these days we'll hopefully end up with a global community of gamers ready to interact with each other on such a personal level as to turn gaming into something other than the isolated experience that's been defining it throughout its history, but for that to happen, we'll need to turn it into a more publicly accessible hobby and less of the mentally incapacitated boy's club it is today.

Well, we'd better hope my prophecy comes true, then:

 
 
Current Mood: blank
Current Music: Everything Changes-Pokémon-2BA Master
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
23 September 2004 @ 03:49 pm
So it's been a week. Did I make it through Hurricane Ivan okay?

TERROR


You tell me.

Following my submittal of various applications to several respectable fast-food franchises in the immediate area (and a cursory glance at Steff's modest artwork), I purchased a sketchbook, two marionettes, and a new pencil from Dick Blick. I haven't been drawing as of late because, working from home, it's difficult to get up the motivation to do anything because when you wake up, you are in your office and the burden of having to work follows you every single moment. It was this which was keeping me numb to the joys of comicry until, yes, yet again, another astounding revelation.

Jerry Seinfeld, in his self-congratulatory Comedian, said something quite profound; that while riding down the streets of New York City in his golden limousine, he noticed some construction workers who were doing their jobs who, while not necessarily enjoying their work, certainly were putting their all into it, and it occurred to him in an anecdotal fashion that if he were to put the same amount of effort into his comedy, he could be critically renowned over the stand-up scene. It was at this point that his now-legal wife pointed out that his royal cloak was caught in the car door, which he promptly fixed.

It dawned on me, at this point, that if I had just buckled down and finished a page every day like I had planned, I wouldn't be in the situation I am right now. I could have finished T10 Issue 1 and JFC: Day One by now and been reeling in the benjamins. For God's sake, what kept me from achieving this glory in economic independence?

09/07 Silent Hill 4: The Room
09/14 Fable
09/14 Sly 2: band of Thieves
09/20 Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005
09/21 Katamari Damacy
10/05 Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
10/26 Grand Theft Auto; San Andreas
11/08 Halo 2
11/16 Half-Life 2
11/25 Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
11/27 Nintendo DS

...

Oh.

Yeah.
 
 
Current Mood: embarrassed
Current Music: Barrytown-Ben Folds Five-Me Myself & Irene
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
26 August 2004 @ 12:07 am
--ing to switch back one of these days. Fuckin' thing...

What? 62% connection strength? Shit! We're live again!

Folks! I'm sorry you had to catch me in such a state of relative disrepair; I swear I'm not this unprofessional all the time-- I'm-- sh- wv-- krssh--

-rv-r-




--wrkshFUCK! "Plug and Play" MY ASS, Apple! Fuck you and your hardware monopoly! All my friends are playing Half-Life 2 and I'm dicking around with my operating system on my dual-867, unable to play even solitaire! The "Megahertz Myth" is a lie, you assholes! An X-Box is an 800mHZ Celeron with 64MB RAM and a GeForce 2.5 video card! Why can't my computer -- obviously superior, mind you -- run Halo at even HALF the framerates this item, at 1/15th the price, seems to chug out with relative ease?

People, this is the Chic Nerd Update Blog. Through this I'll be able to show you all my progress on my various comic projects as I juggle comic stardom and low-level minimum-wage work in the racially intense Southern United States. This'll also be a place where I deposit what a 13-year-old Hot Topic shopper would call "assorted randomness," what I call "self-indulgent diatribes on the state of my assorted distractions." And yes, I swear I'll keep it updated this time. Every Wednesday night, until I say otherwise. No foolin'.

I'm Cedric Henry, a moron from Minnesota. I draw online comics. Charmed. Now get your hands off me, I've got drawing to do.
 
 
Current Mood: cranky
Current Music: All Star-Nando Reis-Chill: Brazil (Disc 1)
 
 
Robert M. Brennan
07 May 2004 @ 01:12 am
In December, I picked this up in case Perfect Strangers ever came back on TV Land.



It's like a TiVO for the destitute!

I've become disillusioned with having to set up my schedule around the television, so I've decided to set this deal up onto my TV. Every night I'll be taping approximately three hours' worth of material off TechTV, Nick At Nite, and Comedy Central, but I'm better off at drawing while there's something going on in the background, so I feel as though I should fill this videotape up with at least eight hours' worth of programming every single day.

Any shows you'd recommend?
 
 
Current Mood: calm
Current Music: Huey Lewis And The News: Its Alright