John

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Everything posted by John

  1. T H R I V I N G
  2. Welp, I'm back at the gym again. Went for a few months last year before my evenings got clogged with freelance work and I couldn't keep up the routine. I love being at the gym and I'm usually pretty excited to go, so busyness is really the thing that I have to fight against more than anything else. Diet can also be a challenge when I'm doing strength training. I really enjoy cooking, and it can be pretty frustrating to have to pore through recipes looking for one that won't **** up my macronutrient numbers for the day, or finding a delicious one and bastardizing it into a healthy version; makes me feel like Morgoth, kidnapping buttery, high-cholesterol elves and warping them through my dark magic into low-fat, high protein, flavorless orcs. It seems like so many people who're into lifting have no problem eating the same joyless meals day in and day out, and that's not me, so I gotta stay creative in the kitchen.
  3. Music

    Yeezus is actually the only Kanye album I've listened to, and I think that was just to see how close it was to Death Grips like everyone was saying at the time of its release. It was pretty decent.
  4. As we've all been reminding each other over the last several months, OB has been a lot of different things to a lot of different people. One of the things it was to me was a threshold leading into a lifelong love of music. Through people like James, Tony, Shinmaru and Alan, I was introduced to whole new worlds of artistic expression, worlds that to a sheltered 14 year old boy seemed often inscrutable, sometimes dangerous, and always irresistibly thrilling. For me, the supreme leader of these worlds was David Bowie, the human optical illusion, shapeshifting atop his throne with every slight movement of my eyes; always changing, always the same in his shrewd splendor. As you probably know, yesterday he took on a new form that most of us didn't expect and don't quite understand. It's been a lot to process for me today, and since my love of Bowie has its origins so wrapped up in this community, I thought I'd post a thread where we can talk about what the Duke meant to us, or just post our favorite song of his. --- Though I'd read OBers singing his praises for a while before, the first time I actually heard a David Bowie song was in high school gym class, 2004. At that time, gym mostly consisted of lifting weights and listening to the same Lil Jon album day in and day out, which sounds pretty dope to me now but was an exercise in torment for the insufferable zit-golem that was Freshman John. The bog-standard classic rock radio station was offering a welcome reprieve between the "yeahs" and "okays", and as I stood around staring at the clock, the daydreamy opening chords of "Starman" came into the room. It had me from the get. The song was like a foppish, sentimental wind that blew away the mire of boneheadedness and dude-stink around me. I felt about this singer just the same way the song's narrator felt about that man in the sky. As soon as I got home, I got on AIM and asked either Shin or Tony to direct transfer Ziggy Stardust to me (YOU WHIPPERSNAPPERS GOT IT EASY), and looped that album so constantly for so long that I couldn't stand to listen to it for years after.
  5. Oh man, you don't know the half of it. Apparently, the whole album was written as his way of coping with his death and saying goodbye (this was confirmed by Tony Visconti). The theme runs through almost every song, and it's really affecting to listen to an artist using his medium to stare his own leering mortality right in the face, and we didn't even realize it until it was too late. I mean.. what a hell of a high note to leave on. What a genius.
  6. Alright folks, we're all a hundred years old now and unrecognizable from the fresh-cheeked little star-children we used to be. Let's have an accounting of what life has done to us. This is me and my nephew (I can't believe he let me ride on his shoulders, what a bro).
  7. This is a really common complaint, and the fact that it's so common should bring you comfort. It means there's more people who think the same as you do, and thus there are going to be (already are, really) more games answering your complaint. I think what's easy to lose sight of is that in the last decade or more, the games industry and audience has ballooned like crazy. There's just more games being made, and most of them just aren't going to cater to the hardcore crowd that's been into games all this time. But that doesn't mean we're seeing less games free of shitty payment models, it just seems like it because we're seeing so many more that have that.
  8. Gaming

    My most-played game right now is Dirty Bomb, far and away. Which makes me feel kinda, well... dirty (sorry) because it's basically just another F2P class-based shooter in a sea of F2P class-based shooters. I'm not quite sure what the draw for me is. It could be that you have to unlock classes very slowly (unless you pay money for them), so you kinda cherish each one and learn its ins and outs instead of writing it off after one or two difficult rounds. Or maybe it's just the fairly gentle skill slope. I've also been playing lots of roguelikes in the last few years. I've taken all sorts of 'em around the block: Nethack, Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup, Sil, Caves of Qud, ADOM, etc. But the one I keep coming back to over and over is Brogue, which is an absolute miracle of emergent gameplay. Eschewing all the cumbersome character stats that most roguelikes use, Brogue only measures you in terms of Strength and Health, and everything else is up to the items you find and how ingeniously you can play them against the various terrain and enemy types. The game's UI has an unheard-of level of polish and usability relative to other traditional ASCII roguelikes as well. If you've been looking to get into the genre but have been too intimidated, definitely try Brogue. It's a great example of "easy to learn, difficult to master". Dude, Downwell looks so fun. I've been meaning to pick it up, and now more so because Spelunky is one of my all-time favorite games.
  9. Knives are a half measure. I prefer true security.
  10. Music

    I've been listening to a lot of pop punk and melodic hardcore lately because apparently I'm trying to caulk up all the spots I missed in my adolescence.
  11. Whoa, whoa, ok guys stop blowing up my Facebook with hundreds of messages, I get it, everyone misses John. I'll do the thing, but really, the begging and the nudes are unnecessary. EDIT: #thriving
  12. Thriving.
  13. Fried cabbage, dawg.   Coarsely chop about 1/4 head per person, sautee in olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic power (put away the fresh garlic Chef Fancypants, this is lazyfood), worcestershire sauce if you have it. Slice up about half a link of sausage per person (I like andouille) or chop up some bacon you fried ahead of time, and add that in after about five minutes. Sautee for about another five, serve immediately.
  14.   Stopped reading there. New golden age, James confirmed.
  15. I dunno what you guys are talking about, OB is thriving.
  16. Alright guys, enough talking, postulating and theorizing. I'm calling an audible: OB is officially alive again because why the hell not. Post frequency and membership numbers are no longer relevant metrics; this is a new, slimmed-down model where OB's life force is measured only by whether or not this thread still exists. Since it exists now, OB is thriving. It will continue to thrive until this thread no longer exists.   Now post your cats. (Other animals are acceptable in a pinch, but you gotta promise that they're cool.)   This is Angus. He contributes nothing to the world.
  17. Abby sounds great. My girlfriend wishes Angus were a lot more like that, cuddly and playful. He's fairly reserved and low-key, but I love him all the same.
  18. Gaming

    It looks fun as hell but I'm reticent about buying an online multiplayer game for a Nintendo console. It's like... having your dry cleaner do your taxes.
  19. Formally petitioning to make addseo1119 a mod. He is the hero OB needs.
  20. As with everything, I go through phases. Some months I'll keep up on every new video from my favorite channels, others (like lately) I'll have a backlog of dozens if not hundreds that I won't bother getting to.   Nardwuar the Human Serviette: A legendary love-him-or-hate-him kind of music interviewer. But if you hate him you objectively suck. As a rainbow is God's promise that he will never subject the earth to another great flood, so Nardwuar is his promise that rock and roll will never die.   The Needle Drop: A music review channel whose steadily rising success is owed to the work ethic, professionalism and entertainment value of its host, Anthony Fantano. I often disagree with his taste, but he's useful as a tool for finding out what albums are worth pursuing or sleeping on because he's so consistent. Fun to watch, too.   King Ceasar: Some dude with a mental health issue who uploads multiple impenetrable videos every day. He has at least hundreds of videos over the last 2 years. I subbed to him a few days ago and he subbed me back. Dope.
  21. OB was the last forum-based internet community I was a part of, I think; since then, I've been involved with a small, close-knit game streaming community for several years now. And although there's something about message boards that I miss, an itch that remains unscratched, every time I find a new one that I think I might like to take part in, I'll sign up, browse the boards, look for a thread I might like to participate in, and... eh. I just kinda lose the motivation to participate. Is it because message boards used to be more or less the only way to be social online, and now that need is filled by a newer generation of shallower, more immediate social networking services? Is it because I found OB in my more vulnerable teenage years and I just don't need that kind of community in my life anymore? Is it because OB back in the day really was just a lot more lively and special than these other places I've tried out since then? I dunno.   Maybe we don't come back because observation has taught us that nostalgia is a siren song, and if we try to rebuild the special thing we once had we'll only find that we can't just reach into the ether, grab the spark of meaning that once imbued it, and shove it back in again. I'm different, you're different, the world's different, and they can't ever be the same again.   But that's just what observation has taught us, and sometimes observation is wrong. Like AmbyCakes referred to (excuse me, AmbyCakes. Almost forgot all the old post styling conventions!), the magic of forums is asynchronous communication. It's actually not a big deal for us to get back togetherâ??no commitment, no co-ordination, no planning. Just gotta hop on, make a post, and hop back off until someone else replies. We like to think that "life got in the way", but you know what? Most of us are probably twenty-somethings with ten or a hundred times better internet connections than we had back in the day, and desk jobs with plenty of hours to slack off during. And yeah, we've all changed, but guess what else: most of us have probably become way cooler and more interesting than we used to be. Because guys, I love you, but have you gone back through any old threads lately? A lot of that **** we posted back then was pretty cringe-worthy. I don't really want to be an anxious teenager talking about the Matrix again. I'd rather be an adult talking about the Matrix.   And I'd rather hear about the new things you guys are into, too, and the interesting lives you led when you were away from OB. Did you guys know Sara got married? Ok a lot of you probably did because of Facebook, but isn't that cool?! We should talk about stuff like that.   I think forums probably ended because they stopped being what we thought they had to be: our online homes. Maybe this one can live again as something else: our online neighborhood bar (yeah, you know what that is before you even click). A place that doesn't fill our deep emotional needs, it just greets us with warmth, familiar faces and good conversation whenever we feel like popping in.   And if, like Boo expressed, we wanted to do this somewhere without the ostensible focus on anime, maybe we could goad Tony into re-establishing Orange Lazarus; that was the real cool kids' club anyway.
  22. Sometimes I wish that the weird forces pulling all the strings in the universe would make all the old members look at this website at the same time and, realizing we were all here together again, within a week we'd be dusting off AIM, changing the board back to vBulletin (and remembering how to use vB code) with a big blue column on the left side of a white background, pretending we're in Kill Bill, listening to Apocalypse Hoboken, commenting on comments on myO, messing around on a dozen little sites made for us by Tony (Orange Lazarus, anyone?), making very long collaborative digital images, holding contests, having strange and turbulent long-distance relationships, writing letters to each other, and being the only people we were comfortable talking to about the shit that mattered in our lives.   But since we're all busy and much different now, I can settle for just saying hi and hoping some of you will pop into this thread in a month or twenty and say hi back.
  23. [img]http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/5056/membreg.jpg[/img] Why is the new forum software not recognizing my status as a membré? Whose door will I be kicking down in order to rectify this inexcusable blunder?
  24. Oh, guess I took off without saying thanks... Sorry, Petie, and thanks so much! And if I may, I'm gonna hijack my own thread here and ask whatever happened to plans for a karma system on OB. I can see there's a system in place for it right now, but it's not functional yet. Is that still in the works, or did the switch from vB nix that idea? Just curious.
  25. Music

    Oh man. There was a period during my childhood where my dad only allowed me to listen to Christian music. I didn't really obey that, of course, but a lot of that stuff still got into my musical diet at the time. I'd make a list of albums, but I grew up during the Napster heyday, so most of what I listened to was on a song-by-song basis. Major artists of junior high included Creed, Five Iron Frenzy, PAX217, Linkin Park, P.O.D., Ghoti Hook and Pillar. That was pretty embarrassing to write out. It was actually old OBers who turned me on to a lot of the music I love today, and they're probably largely responsible for the fact that I even love music considerably at all. A combination of that influence and my own natural curiosity led me towards listening to a lot of stuff like Pixies, Modest Mouse, Deltron 3030, and Soundgarden into my Freshman year of high school, but there were two specific events that year that had a huge impact on my life musically. The first happened one day during weights class. Boy, that was something--being corralled into this concrete room, walls covered in inane, bold-faced inscriptions about giving 110%, having to pick up heavy things and put them back down for reasons which my fourteen-year-old brain just could not grasp, everything you touch is covered in some foul-smelling grime built up from all the winners who gave it their all before you got there... wasn't my scene. The radio was always playing either someone's Lil John CD or the local classic rock station, and today it was the latter. I think I was heading towards the fountain for one of my very frequent water breaks when "Starman" by David Bowie came on. Bowie Bowie was one of the artists that most of the guys in my OB circle were just crazy about, but I hadn't really heard any of his stuff before. There in the weight room, though, I just stood there listening, dumbfounded but certainly not knowing the long love affair that was about to ensue. I think I'd still call him my favorite musician today. The arguably more important event, though, happened during the first week of English class. It was the teacher's first year on the job, fresh out of college, and the first thing he decided to do was a week-long unit on popular music that had absolutely nothing to do with English. One of the assignments during that week was to pair up with someone and do a short oral report on a band assigned to us by the teacher. My partner and I got Pavement, and we didn't listen to any of their music, but we did laugh a whole lot at the name. Some time the following summer, however, I was starting to get bored with my music library, and I remembered that band with the stupid name. On a whim, I downloaded several of their songs and played them in the background while I was playing a game or browsing myO or something. At the time they really didn't make any impact on me at all, but they kept coming up all throughout the next few weeks when I'd shuffle my music. They grew on me slowly at first, but then at one point, all of a sudden, "Shady Lane" just hit me across the head like a brick, and the rest of the songs quickly followed suit. I got on AIM and asked Shin if he listened to Pavement, and if he could send me an album by them with either "Stereo" or "Shady Lane" on it. He sent me Brighten the Corners, which had both, and don't think I listened to anything else for at least five or six weeks straight. Bowie was great, but I dunno, something about this album had a much more powerful effect on me. It was one of Pavement's two most commercial-sounding releases, but coming from a background like I had, you could still tell instantly that these guys were coming from a musical world that was totally off the charts of anything I'd ever known before. I think that's mostly what set me in the direction of everything else I would start listening to from then on. I moved to a different town that summer, so I never had another chance to talk to that teacher about music or the huge influence he had in my life. I would think about it every now and again from then on, and I tried a few times to see if I couldn't look him up online, but he was impossible to find. I gave it one more shot a few months ago, though, and finally managed to find his Facebook profile, which was scant on information and totally unsearchable from within Facebook but no match for my internet stalking chops. He's now living in Korea, apparently. I shot him a short message, he replied in kind, and that was that I guess. Sorry that wasn't in a list, but... yeah. If I had to make a current top ten, it'd probably be, loosely, something like this [REDACTION: I can't do a top ten. Tiers are the best you're gonna get.]: Top Tier: [b]Hum[/b] - Downward is Heavenward Second Tier: [b]Purplene[/b] - Purplene Third Tier: [b]Nullsleep[/b] - Unconditional Acceleration [b]David Bowie[/b] - "Heroes" [b]Gary Numan[/b] - The Pleasure Principle [b]Mission of Burma[/b] - Vs. [b]Fugazi[/b] - Red Medicine Fourth Tier: [b]Servotron[/b] - No Room for Humans [b]Dan Deacon[/b] - Bromst [b]Starscream[/b] - Future, and It Doesn't Work