This is why I am.

This morning, I’d like to tell you all a story. It’s a story about the single most inspirational man I’ve ever met. Despite the length of time since I last saw him, which is probably close to 4 years, and the fact that I’ll probably never see him again, doesn’t change the fact that he often comes up in my thoughts as a vague guideline to attitudes and life in general. I’ve probably mentioned him in passing to a number of you in the past, mostly regarding his unorthodox teaching methods.

You see, he was a lecturer at SIBT, a bridging institution with delusions of grandeur, that I attended for a year. His name is Aaron. I somehow never discovered his last name, perhaps he did that deliberately, most lecturers are all about the simple firstname.lastname@dumbuniversitydomain.com.au email addresses and things, but in any case, I never knew it.

Of the three trimesters SIBT was divided into, I was lucky enough to have three units, over two trimesters with Aaron as a lecturer. I’d heard of him from friends who had previously taken the units I was, and also been lucky enough to have him as a lecturer, but I’d always assumed what people had said about him was exaggerated. I mean, how good can this one guy BE, right?

The thing that probably needs to be mentioned somewhere, so here seems like a good place, was that SIBT is like baby-uni. The tutorials were about the same size, but instead of lectures with literally hundreds of people, you were reduced to classes of say, 20? Maybe less if it wasn’t a popular class. So when I say he interacted with you personally, he really did. He knew most every student by name, greeted them in corridors, and really made you feel like you meant something to him.

I realise, reading back, that a lot of the words I’m using and will continue to use might make it sound like a schoolgirl crush was going down. But I gotta tell ya, that simply wasn’t the case. I’ll be using a lot of these emotional words, because that’s what he did to you, he made you feel like an individual, not a faceless student, or a number. But I had nothing but the greatest respect for this guy.

I’m sort of all over the place with this. It sounded more structured in my head. But I haven’t even really started yet. This is kind of just backstory. I’ll understand if you wanna stop reading now.

Continue reading This is why I am.

Why I Love: City of Villains

As the history – or more accurately, this slightly faded receipt in my hand – tells it, on the second of December 2005, at 4:47 PM precisely, I walked into EB Games Carousel and purchased the City of Villains Collector’s DVD Edition for the princely sum of $74.85, beginning an on-and-off love affair that would last over three years.

City of Villains was pretty much my first MMO, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. And while I can look back and suspect that my shine for it might still be slightly rose-tinted for that naivete, I’ve since tried other MMO’s – Warhammer Online (for several months), World of Warcraft (for two weeks), Tabula Rasa (for six hours), Ultima Online (for… well, thirty minutes) – and I’ve even spent the last year balls-deep in development of another MMO. None of these games, no matter who I played them with, no matter how good the anecdotes about them, no matter how much I enjoyed working on them, none of these games have ever kept me interested, kept me excited and kept me coming back again and again like City of Villains.

As you may or may not know, the people behind City of Villains, Cryptic Studios, are currently working on another superhero-themed MMO called Champions Online. Naturally this sort of news is exciting to me, and while discussing it with my friends, all the good memories from the City of Villains days came flooding back. Our incessant talking about those halcyon days was enough to convince Jess that it was time to try it for herself, and so a few weeks ago we fired it up, and we haven’t looked back since.

There have been probably three distinct City of Villains eras for me before this one, and though I’ve always been pleased with the game’s ongoing development each time I’ve restarted, logging in again for the first time in nearly two years really floored me with the amount of improvements that they’ve been quietly crowbarring in. Though I’ve always loved the game to pieces, it has always had some distinctly glaring issues, or what I would consider to be incredibly obvious design decisions that needed to be made but which just weren’t. This time around, I could not help but be amazed at just how far they had come along in addressing those concerns. In fact, I’ve been enjoying playing it so much that I decided it was about time to write it all down and tell the world exactly why.

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Matter Of Fact, I’ve Got It Now

Having told, and retold, this story more times than I can actually remember, I figure it’s about time that I immortalised it in print. This has two benefits: first of all, the next time somebody asks me about it I can write down this site’s address, slip it into their shirt pocket and slap them on the shoulder in an overly familiar and slightly condescending manner, saving myself time and energy while simultaneously reinforcing my image as a huge wanker. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, Jess – who has heard the story approximately seventeen-and-a-half bajillion times – will no longer have to restrain herself from choking me to death every time the story needs retelling.

But what is the story, Tim. What’s it all about. Well, I’m glad you asked…

Continue reading Matter Of Fact, I’ve Got It Now

A nice holiday

Well, I’m early for my lunchdate, so blogging when I have nothing better to do has always worked in the past, right? Only now – I’m doing it on my phone. So yeah, spelling mistakes. Watch out for those.

Between this and listening to music, I’m sure I’m giving my battery a run for it’s money. Or, well, my money, I guess.

Man it shits me that different songs are different volumes. There should be some kind of normalizing software built in. Or at least some kind of volume control on the headset so I don’t have to go digging it outta my pocket every five minutes.

Jeez, I’m sorry I’d I don’t have any life changing epiphanies for you! I’m pretty freaking hungry, not to mention thirsty. Does that count? I mean, that’s pretty life changing, right? If I don’t get something soon I’ll DIE. If that’s not life changing, I don’t know what is.

Alright, lemme think.

Oh right. So I got a call from Thingz in Belmont today. They want to interview me for a job. Yay, right? Well, not really. I mean, hell, I could get money, and lots of it. But… is it wrong that I don’t want to work full time? I have no problems with working. Even working full time. I just… can’t face the same thing everyday. Two jobs that equal fulltime of something. I just can’t face waking up, working all day and then going I bed to wake up and do it again. Particularly in a job I have no real interest in.

I feel really whingy, and in the “current economic climate”, as Tim would put it, I know there are lots of people looking for work that can’t get any at the moment, and I’ve put a lot of resumes out, and this is the only reply. I’m just… hesitant to invest so much time in a job I don’t want and whose skillset is so basic that I won’t even take anything away from the experience except piles and piles of money.

Goddamn, and now I’m talking myself out of it. And Tim did such a good job of talking me into it this morning.

Man, I haven’t listened to a lot of music lately. Basically my intake has been nonexistent since moving to Perth since I no longer spend 6+ hours in front of MSN talking to Tim, where all my music listening used to take place. But I’m slowly rediscovering my playlist. Slowly, slowly but surely.

I sort of feel like it’s stagnating though. And I don’t have the patience to discover new tracks like I used to. I listen so infrequently now that I just want to hear the goodstuff, not try and listen to new things. Which makes me sad. Oh so sad.

Having said that, funny story. I was going through Wikipedia last night, via the random page function, and found the page of a band that sounded interesting. Couple of iTunes purchases later, and, uh, yep. I guess it wasn’t that funny afterall.

There are flowers on the seat next to me. There aren’t any trees around of the same type, so they couldn’t have blown here, despite the substantial wind. I like to imagine the story of these flowers, like somebody brought them here after a break with a loved one, and they got left behind. Bittersweet.

Ah, young/old/middle-age love/courtship/marriage/flowerlover.

Yep. I don’t even know any more. For complete juxtaposition, I can’t wait to get so drunk I can’t feel anything anymore on Saturday. That’s going to be a nice holiday.