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The Girls on the Beach (The Beach Boys)

(swiped from Birdy/Sara Chandler)

1. Put your iPod on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing this.
5. Or not, if you're feeling ornery.
6. Which I am.

No Place Like London - Stepehen Sondheim (from Sweeney Todd)
--Then they say "Non sequitur much?"

Être à La Hauteur - Le Roi Soleil (a French musical)
--"To be haughty" - ouch.

Water Music - Hornpipe
--Um... that's kinda disturbing. Poor Handel!

Something Bad (from Wicked)
--WOW. No words. Another ouch! :P

Tell It Like It Is (Aaron Neville)
--Actually not my motto so much at all.

Hobbit Walking Song
--What, I'm short? You think I'm short?!

Pilgrim (Enya)
--Yeah, this one had the potential to be an extremely big ouch.

WHAT IS 2+2?
Prelude in F Sharp Minor (Rachmaninov)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Suite)
--Hmm... ex-best friend, mayhap...

The Reason (by Glad)
--Hmm, that's kinda nice. :P

You Can't Hurry Love (The Supremes)
--Haha! It feels that way sometimes... :P

La Vie en Rose (from a CD of French music)
--Er, not so much.

Moses and Marco Polo Suite (from Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone)
--...yes. Yes. That is exactly what I think.

The Donegal Set (Irish music, from The Chieftans)
--Dot. Dot. Dot.

Doubting Thomas (Nickel Creek)
--That... doesn't sound good. :P

Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
--No, probably not.

Lovin' You Lots and Lots (from That Thing You Do)

William! (from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein)
--o_O No, I do not have a secret crush named William, or a secret son named William... dunno which would be worse...

Psalm 19

You're No Good (Linda Ronstadt)

Entre Ciel et Terre (again, Le Roi Soleil)
--"Between Heaven [or Sky] and Earth" I guess, in a plane?

Let Me Fall (Josh Groban, for Cirque de Soleil)

The New Year (Death Cab for Cutie)
--Er... it depends. :P

Nemo (Nightwish)
--No. It's an awesome song though.

Little Deuce Coupe (Jan & Dean)
--Are you trying to avoid the question?!

Chapter 2 of The Art of War: Estimating the Enemy.

Variation V of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2
--Hmmm... guess I could take that as a yes...

Can't Take My Eyes Off You (from Jersey Boys)

The Four Seasons: Spring - Allegro

The Girls on the Beach (The Beach Boys)
--Darn it! I hate that song, and now I'm stuck with it for the title!

More kitchen warfare

You may remember the last time I discussed something in my kitchen.  It involved delving into an unholy crypt, seeking into the farthest, most pestilential depths of my fridge, uncovering things not meant for the eyes of mortal man.  And I did it without backup.  It's a wonder I'm here to write this today.

This time, though the quest was nigh as perilous, I had a compatriot, a man with an equal stake in the journey: my roommate.  We had agreed, some time ago, that our house needed some cleaning-- not in the "run a vacuum over it and turn the lights down low" kind of way.  No.  It needed deep, thorough, risking-life-and-limb cleaning, and we knew it.  But, having acknowledged the elephant in the room, we were loath to discuss it further.  Both of us knew the stories.  Both of us had lost friends.  Both of us knew we could very easily become mere whispered names in other bachelors' mouths, ill-fated characters in a hushed tale of ammonia-scented death.

Preparation is, of course, the key-- the difference between glorious victory and choking defeat.  Fortunately, I prepared.  My dad used to sell Electrolux, so he has a lot of good-quality stuff, including an old scrubber/shampooer that hadn't been used in months.  He lent it to me, along with multiple sets of brushes and pads and enough different chemicals to stock the Cleaning Supplies aisle of any good-sized grocery store.

My dad does not believe there is any such thing as overkill.

Some of the supplies were designed for carpet cleaning.  I had not initially intended to clean the carpet; it's in a room we don't spend much time in, and when we walk through it, we mostly stick to the vinyl.  However, I decided it couldn't hurt, and it probably did need it (just not quite as much as the kitchen).  So I shifted everything off, napped it (bringing up astonishing quantities of fine grit), vacuumed it, napped it again, and then shampooed it.  I napped it one final time, let it dry, then vacuumed it.  The difference blew me away.  It looked brighter, it felt fuller... I was amazed.

Tonight, my roommate got back around 7:30, and we got started.  We shifted everything from one side of the kitchen to the other and we scrubbed it.  I wish we had thought to get before and after pictures, because the difference is quite simply astounding.  We scrubbed and mopped, then moved everything and did the other side.  We let it dry for a while, then went to move everything back to its original place, starting with the fridge.

Up to this point we had been careful.  We had watched each other's backs.  Nothing had gone wrong.  And I almost ruined it all.

"What's this stuff on the wall?"

There was some gunk on the molding at floor level.  My roommate shrugged.  I went and grabbed a paper towel, not knowing how fateful that little scrap of processed wood pulp was.  I wiped the gunk off the molding.  Then... I noticed that the wall just over the molding looked better.

I wiped the wall above the molding.  Even better.

I wiped farther up.

That was it, of course.  I had thought we were almost done, mere minutes away from completion.  Naturally, neither my roommate nor I could look at that shining white swathe where I had wiped, and not want to make the rest of the wall look the same.  Cue another hour of wall scrubbing.

I am pleased to say both of us emerged relatively unscathed, but wiser.  And the kitchen looks fantastic. Big Grin



My ex-roomie decided he wanted to have an 'Oktoberfest' this year.  This means he convinced his wife to put on a party for 12 other people.  I went there tonight, and it was fun-- ex-roomie has a great gift for public speaking.  I assume he can put this gift to serious use, but I have only ever heard it used in defending the scientific existence of the yeti, in extolling the virtues of Donkey Kong, or other such matters-- hardly national security level stuff.

Tonight he was in rare form.  He got all 14 of us discussing an 'aloe suit': something he, with an absolutely deadpan face, insisted was a brilliant invention and would soon make him a millionaire, as soon as he polished off a few minor issues.  Basically his idea was to make some sort of skin-tight suit that would hold a layer of aloe gel against the wearer's body (he got himself sunburned badly this summer).  His vision was of 'recharging stations' on cruise ships and at beach resorts, where wearers would hook an aloe-reloading hose to a specially-designed valve on the suit's shoulder, and pump extra aloe in.  Later, he was sitting there in his chair, holding forth on the merits of the free market system when applied to beer flavors, when his wife came out.

Wife: Honey, I can't finish this beer... there's just too much and I don't want it to get warm.  Do you want it?

Ex-roomie: *holds up massive tankard wordlessly*

Wife: Yes, but... I don't want mine.  Are you going to make me drink it?  Are you trying to make me an alcoholic?!

Ex-roomie: Er, hey, that's not fair.  This is-- it just-- look! *points at tankard* This is, like, a scuba tank, a scuba diver...

Wife: Fine, whatever. *drains beer and walks away*

Guest #1: ...scuba tank?  Please finish that thought.  I can't imagine where you were going with that.

Ex-roomie: Oh.  Uh, I was just, um, saying that this tankard is like the size of a scuba tank.  Just drawing a comparison in size.

Me: So, what, the scuba diver would wear the tank with beer in it, when he was out of the water?

Ex-roomie: Why only out of the water?  Maybe the scuba diver could wear the tank with beer in it all the time.

Guest #2: Why would he wear it underwater?

Ex-roomie: Why not?

Guest #2: ...touché.

Then, later, Guest #2 asked us to consider a hypothetical matchup: a gorilla versus a rhino.  We pointed out that such a battle would be highly unlikely to occur, as the gorilla is unlikely to seek a confrontation with a rhinoceros.  He said it was a required fight to the death.  We pointed out that the rhino is vastly larger than the gorilla.  He said the gorilla had a spear.  We pointed out that the rhino has incredibly thick skin.  He said the gorilla had a bazooka.  About this time, we stopped listening.

Guest #2 also brought a Wii over, and we played a few rounds of Super Smash Brothers Brawl.  I beat everyone at least once (also got beaten by almost everyone at least once :P ), so that was fun.

[edit]Another thing I forgot-- Ex-roomie told us about a sort-of trick he and his friends had played on this guy in college.  This fellow (we'll call him TieMan, for reasons that will become apparent later) was very outgoing, very eager for friends-- but kind of gullible.  So he sort of befriended Ex-roomie and his gang, and things were quiet for a while.  Now, one of TieMan's attributes was (according to Ex-roomie) that he 'loved the ladies' but the ladies did not love him.  So he was always searching for new ways to alter this unfortunate discrepancy.  Eventually he purchased a lurid tie with bright purple eagles, swooping across a red-and-yellow canyon, with blue lightning in the background: pure kitsch.  But he was sure this tie was a glorious fashion coup.

Ex-roomie and friends were aesthetically offended by this tie, and decided to get back at him: they convinced TieMan that the tie he had purchased was actually his ticket into a special fraternity, the "Order of the Purple Eagle."  They were all already in it, of course, but didn't need a tie themselves as they had girlfriends.  They all agreed that TieMan's tie was something special, though-- MUCH better than their own.  In fact, it was downright magical.  Why, when TieMan wore that tie, no girl could refuse his request for a date.  However, because of the power of the tie, it could not be allowed to be abused, or overused, else the magic would go out.  So Ex-roomie volunteered to keep the tie safe when TieMan didn't need it, and maintain a list so you would have to check the tie out for a specified length of time.

TieMan agreed to this, thrilled that his friends were so concerned for his success.  He left the tie alone for a while, hoping it would charge its arcane powers even more the longer he left it untouched.  Finally, he approached Ex-roomie, pen in hand, and solemnly requested to check the tie out.  He was going to ask a girl on a date.  Not just any girl, either-- this girl, it was agreed by Ex-roomie and all his friends, was way out of TieMan's league and, to be honest, out of their own.  Naturally they followed him expectantly, hoping to see magnificent humiliation.

You can guess what happened, of course.  The placebo effect kicked in and TieMan was so confident, so suave, that the girl agreed almost instantly.  Ex-roomie and his group were stunned-- but only for a few days.  Once they recovered from their shock, they convinced one another that there had been a fluke.  A stupendous, amazing fluke, but a fluke.  However, as they watched TieMan ask one girl after another on dates, their collective jaws dropped farther and farther each time.  He was able to go up to almost any girl, no matter how uninterested she seem, and get a date.  Faced with the backfiring, they decided it was better this way, and made no effort to disabuse TieMan of his notions.

The same could not be said for another fellow on campus, though.  This guy took TieMan aside and informed him that Ex-roomie and his gang were a bunch of lying jerks, and the tie had no powers.  It was all just a cruel trick.  TieMan was crushed-- he didn't want to believe his friends would lie to him like that.  More importantly, though, he had his own experience telling him that the tie really was magic.  He wrestled with the issue for a couple days, but finally came to the conclusion that this guy was nothing but a jealous jerk who was hoping to get the tie for himself.  Ex-roomie and his group celebrated TieMan's decision by telling him he'd made it to Fleet Admiral of the Order of the Purple Eagle.[/edit]

And now I really should be doing the bulletin for the church website...

My job

For the past two+ years, I've had various forms of employment, but all were with the University of South Carolina. First was an assistanceship teaching a computer lab, for two semesters. Then I spent a year with the 'Industrial Mathematics Institute", doing web stuff: design, migration, fixing. That position ended when they finally got someone to do their finances. It turned out they had been grossly overspending on several grants, including the one that paid for my position, and would have to cut back everywhere they could for about a year. So I got a month's notice. I managed to find a job with another department, the Institute for Southern Studies: I'm fixing up their site, making it look better and more up-to-date.

Anyway. This post is not about the job, but about the pay.

Specifically, the lack thereof.

When I was first offered the job, I filled out all the paperwork. Having dealt with the bloated and bad-tempered bureaucracy before, I expected it to take about three weeks to clear, but when the third week passed I started getting antsy. Eventually, around week four, my immediate boss got in touch with payroll and they protested they had never received my paperwork. *eyeroll* So he said he DID, they said NO, back and forth for a few days. Finally someone said, "Oh, well, actually we did get it. But he filled out the wrong I-9."

So my boss looks into that.  Yup, I did fill out the wrong I-9... if by wrong you mean 'has a different title than the one they were expecting."  Yep, the forms are exactly the same.  They just have a different subtitle.  So he grumbled about that, and they explained further that because it had the wrong name, it went to a different building from the one they were in, and they didn't feel like going to get it from there.  So I had to go in and fill out a new form.

Things got even more fun after I did so.  Right about the time I got home, my boss calls and says, "Uh... you're gonna have to come back."  Apparently, he put my Social Security info in a column with one title, and my Driver's License info in a column with a different title.  Once again, ALL the information is there, he has copies of both documents, I signed it... but the columns' names are different.  Instant fail.  So I had to drive back and sign yet another copy.  Maybe this time it'll go through... and I can get paid in week 6 of an 8 week appointment. -_-

Deus Ex

Those with a background in the classics will readily recognize the title of this entry as the first two words of a phrase, "Deus Ex Machina." What you probably do not know is that those two words are also the title of a game. ...yeah, sorry, I'm talking video games again. :P

This one was the one that opened my eyes to what games can do, really. With Deus Ex, the designers were going for something more than just a good gameplay experience. They weren't scrambling to make the game the next innovator in first person shooters, or anything. They built passable gameplay around a fascinating total experience.

The game is set in a dystopian future, one where upward mobility is a distant memory and the divide between rich and poor is Olympian in scale. You play a nano-augmented 'agent,' working for UNATCO (a branch of the UN). Rather than simply use nano-augmentation as a crutch to handwave superhuman abilities, Deus Ex tries to ground the abilities you get in science, and touches on the social aspects as well-- older special agents of UNATCO are cybernetically upgraded, looking almost like Borg. They resent you deeply, both for your unmarred outward appearance and your greater abilities.

The very first mission sends you against a bunch of thuggish 'terrorists' who have siezed control of the Statue of Liberty and its accurately rendered island... accurate but for the head of the Statue, which your link to the base explains was hit a few years back by another terrorist group, this one French nationalists, that believed France was wrong to give America the statue.

I've found that most games I really enjoy put a strong emphasis on good writing, both for spoken lines and in the use of writing to help create atmosphere. Deus Ex uses hundreds of bits of text to give the game world content-- hacked computers have readable email, magazines and newspapers can be read, and you can dip into almost any book you see. Most of the books contain excerpts from other works (one of them fictional); one of the books excerpted is The Man Who Was Thursday, by G. K. Chesterton. Some of the excerpts follow.

While you're dealing with the original group of terrorists, you find this one;

"What is it you object to? You want to abolish Government?"

"To abolish God!" said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. "We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honour and treachery, upon which mere rebels base themselves. The silly sentimentalists of the French Revolution talked of the Rights of Man! We hate Rights as we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."

"And Right and Left," said Syme with a simple eagerness, "I hope you will abolish them too. They are much more troublesome to me..."

Later, right before you face one of the more difficult foes in the game, a book contains this passage:

The Colonel said quietly, "Engage!" and the two blades touched and tingled. When the jar of the joined iron ran up Syme's arm, all the fantastic fears that have been the subject of this story fell from him like dreams from a man waking up in bed. He remembered them clearly and in order as mere delusions of the nerves--how the fear of the Professor had been the fear of the tyrannic accidents of nightmare, and how the fear of the Doctor had been the fear of the airless vacuum of science. The first was the old fear that any miracle might happen, the second the more hopeless modern fear that no miracle can ever happen. But he saw that these fears were fancies, for he found himself in the presence of the great fact of the fear of death, with its coarse and pitiless common sense. He felt like a man who had dreamed all night of falling over precipices, and had woke up on the morning when he was to be hanged. For as soon as he had seen the sunlight run down the channel of his foe's foreshortened blade, and as soon as he had felt the two tongues of steel touch, vibrating like two living things, he knew that his enemy was a terrible fighter, and that probably his last hour had come.

Another one of the many plots running through the game involves a pair of AIs, loose in the worldwide net. Deus Ex has no hyper-realistic virtual reality that characters can dive into, like Ghost in the Shell or The Matrix, but the Internet is incredibly pervasive. One of the two AIs helps you; the other appears later and hounds your footsteps. It calls every phone you pass, whispering "Icarus is coming...."; it dynamically alters emails while you read them with "ICARUS HAS FOUND YOU! RUN WHILE YOU CAN!" Fairly creepy.

The overall plot has you uncovering multiple global conspiracies-- although maybe 'encounter' would be a better word than 'uncover.' Groups include the Illuminati, Majestic 12, the Knights Templar... many of the groups beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Another interesting aspect is the early attempt at including a morality system. There are no punishments or rewards for psychotic/angelic behavior, but some of the characters will comment on it. The quartermaster at the start of the game, for instance, is an old war hero; if you've been slaughtering your way through the terrorists, guns blazing, eschewing any vestiges of stealth, he condemns you for your wanton waste of human life and refuses to give you ammo. Other, less principled characters will actually chide you for 'doing things the hard way' and not simply killing all your opponents.

All in all, it's an extremely large and impressive game, and it lasts far beyond the hours needed to finish it.


Reign Over me

So on Friday night I was at home, and my sister had a friend over.  They were watching some movies people had recommended to them; the first was Reign Over Me.  They promised me it wasn't a typical Adam Sandler (which it wasn't), but it still wasn't very good.  I'm going to be pretty free with spoilers, I guess, so if for some reason you haven't seen it but really want to, consider yourself warned.

Anyway, the movie is concerned with the Adam Sandler character, who lost his wife and three daughters in 9/11.  As a result of this he's consciously blocked off his memory of them and spends his time remodeling his kitchen, riding around the city on his scooter, and playing video games.  One video game in particular.

Now usually, when video games make an appearance in movies, they are not clearly shown-- you mostly just see the characters playing it.  It might be any video game.  It's usually a generic shooter of some sort, probably involving zombies; you can't tell what game it is, and they certainly don't name it.  Not so here.  In Reign Over Me, a drama if only because you can't call it anything else, the game is shown several times, it's obvious what the game is, and it's even named.  The game is Shadow of the Colossus.

Now, the really curious thing wouldn't occur to most viewers.  I doubt most people watching Reign Over Me have anything more than a passing familiarity with things like Playstations and X-boxes.  So they wouldn't know what the game is about, and the movie never explains what it's about; none of the scenes shown from the game make it clear.  It's simply a cool-looking game about a boy with a horse, a bow and a sword, who's trying to kill giant monsters.

But the game isn't about that at all.  The game is about a boy who lost someone; the game never defines his relationship to her, but it's a girl.  Is it his wife?  His girlfriend?  His sister?  His daughter, even?  You can't tell; it's a woman, and he wants to bring her back to life.  To do this, he needs fifteen essences, each of which powers one of the titular Colossi.  He must hunt down these giant creatures (who are non-aggressive, for the most part), kill them, and take their power so he can bring the woman back to life.  Yet there is no indication whatsoever that the filmmakers even know what the game's about.  The Adam Sandler character is not portrayed as interacting with it-- a game about bringing female relative back to life!-- in any way except "wow this is so awesome!"  It's almost as if they randomly chose the game and didn't even realize what such a game would mean to a character who's lost his wife and daughters.

A short tale of revenge

Er, this is something I wrote some time ago. It's a little.... violent. *shifty eyes*

"No, please! Look, I'm on my knees... please... forgive me..."

"You never showed me sympathy," I ground out, "for all those years you made me your slave. You never once listened to my pleas. Everything that could have been good in life was snatched from me, efficiently and heartlessly. I will not let you steal my revenge." And I pulled the trigger.

So... yeah.  There you have it... a slightly disturbing story I found floating around on my hard drive...

Another meme

(I stole this from themary27 , who says she stole it from Jewel, who stole it from IDidn'tCareEnoughToCheck.)

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users (as of today, 30 September 2007). As usual, bold what you have read, italicise what you started but couldn't finish, and strike through what you couldn't stand. Add an asterisk to those you've read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.  Bold AND italicize any you might happen to be currently reading for the first time.


Over the top? Naaaah.

My friend is graduating, and I offered to write an announcement for her.  Behold, the joys of going way over the top. :D

"Dear friends and family-- first, go ahead, take a moment to close your eyes in rapture at getting a communication from me.  I'll wait 'til you're done.

"Now.  I have an announcement.  I realize this won't surprise any of you, considering my brilliance and my skills, both innate and learned, but I have graduated high school, with extensive honors!  Naturally, this gives you the perfect excuse to come and gaze on my radiance, which I know you're all chomping at the bit to do... no, no, don't deny it, admit it!  There's no shame in it-- after all, I'm pretty much the most amazing, beautiful thing in the Southwestern quarter of the US.

"But, though I am gorgeous, talented, and genius-level intelligent, I haven't let it go to my head.  Don't imagine that the previous paragraph is mere fluff, or the ravings of an egotistical brain-- far from it!  I am simply gifted enough to recognize the truth of my existence, and too fond of honesty to twist the truth and make myself appear less than I am.  So don't worry that I'll ignore you, or not have time for you, or look down on you; I will be genuinely pleased to see you, and to accept your gifts (which can be made directly to [friend's name])."


"Wake.  Up.  Subject. Four, dash, zero, zero, three, tango.  Rise.  And.  Shine."

Blink.  The light is too bright.  He shuts his eyes again, confused.

"Rise.  And.  Shine."  The voice is flat, monotone, robotic... and completely unfamiliar.  "Rise.  And.  Shine."

He blinks again, slowly.  His eyes are starting to adjust.  It's a room, a room with dozens of lights and reflective surfaces, all beaming straight into his eyes.

"Rise.  And."  He looks around for the speaker, wondering why it stopped its repetitious commands.  Nothing looks like it could be the voice's source.

"H... H..."  His voice is thick, his tongue unresponsive.  He wonders why.  Strange words-- names?-- flicker through his mind, long confusions of -extrins and -oxies.  His brain is trying to connect the way he feels with one of the words but it can't hold any of them long enough.

A new voice interrupts his muddled thoughts.  This voice is soft but very clear and cultured.  A female voice.  "Good morning, four dash oh oh three tee.  It is good to see that you are awake.  It is to be hoped you will forgive your surgeon.  Its speech module is obsolete and it refuses to let it be replaced."

"Ith ok," he mumbles.  He feels wary, then wonders why.  "Whath... whath wrog with muh tug?"

"A minor side effect of the anaesthetic," the voice promises calmly.  "99% of all patients recover within an hour.  Your tongue should already be feeling more normal."

He feels a question trying to form in the back of his head.  Something... something to do with anaesthhesia... "Uh.  Why... why..."  No good.  The question is gone.

"It is also common for patients to experience confusion after surgery," the voice goes on reassuringly.  "This temporary amnesia also usually passes within an hour of the patient awakening.  Are you hungry?"


"Food will be sent.  It is pleasing to see that you are recovering well, four dash oh oh three tee."

"Who-?" he bursts out, but he already knows the conversation is over.  The voice does not reply.

He looks around the room.  It appears to be a standard automated surgery, designed for basic human access-- perhaps someone is planning to meet him here?  The thought is barely formed when a section of wall rearranges itself and opens.

Instead of the human face he expects, a surgical bot glides in on omni wheels.  "Lie.  Down."

"Ith wath you..."

"Lie.  Down."  The bot extends one lightning-fast arm with inhuman precision, and he finds himself on his back.  "Injection."  Another arm grabs his elbow in a gentle steel grip, and a needle slides into his vein.  "Stimulant."  The entire process takes roughly five seconds.  He feels his muscles responding better, though his mind is still fogged.  The needle slides back into the robot's arm.

He looks down at the robot claw holding his elbow still.  "Leggo."  The robot neither responds nor releases him.  "More injections?"  Still no response.  He flexes his arm.  The robot's grip increases pressure slightly, but it is still silent.  He leans back on the table and begins slowly pulling his arm across his chest, toward the other side of his body.  The robot claw whines a moment as it strains to keep him still, then there is an ugly-sounding pop and a thin stream of smoke from the claw.  It flops uselessly.  "Good.  Your.  Strength.  Is.  Activated."  He stares in confusion as the robot backs out the door.

That should have been impossible.  The thought comes to him briefly-- surgical bots have extremely powerful motors.  They were able to hold him down even when he-- wait, what... He shakes his head.  Another image hovering at the edge of his mind, lost.

So... this is just something I scribbled.  I figure if I'm interesting in writing it's beyond retarded to sit around and go "weh, I can't write!" and then not do any writing... how exactly am I supposed to get better? (well, assuming I have any skills in the first place)  So I'll put random stuff here from time to time.  This is the opening scene from a game I thought I was working on last year; turned out the other guys on the team had a very different idea how to start.