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Destroy Mario!

I recently redeemed my annual Club Nintendo reward. Unlike past years, there were no exclusive collectibles or other physical items offered for those of us who dutifully registered our games. Instead, the rewards for both Platinum and Gold levels are downloadable games for the Wii U and 3DS. The selection’s not very wide, either, and most of them are older games from past Nintendo consoles rather than contemporary titles. Since I only reached Gold status over the past year and I only have a 3DS, my pool of potential rewards was tiny indeed. Disappointing to some, but free games are still good, and it’s not like the offerings were garbage. Plus, the magic word here is free; complaining about not getting one free thing over another is a first world problem of the highest order.

Despite the presence of arguably “better” games on the list, I picked an old Mario title.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

This is a game I’ve beaten over and over again, yet never actually owned. I always borrowed it from friends to play, even before I bought a Game Boy (I’d borrow the system too at that point). Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was a quantum leap ahead of the original Super Mario Land; don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy its predecessor. But SML2? I love everything about that game from top to bottom. Graphics, music, level design…all perfect, and clearly worth replaying multiple times to find all of the secrets and such. I haven’t played through the game since my freshman year of college, I’d wager, so I’m very much looking forward to ruining Wario’s plans once again. Oh yeah, remember him? Mario’s fat rival made his first appearance in SML2, and Wario quite literally took over the SML series after this game. Looks like his brainwashing worked.

Anyway, while SML2 overall is a phenomenal game, it’s the little things that really stick out in my memory. For example, I can recall the main theme and most of the other game music quite distinctly after all these years; the catchy background music in the second stage of the Space Zone would get stuck in my head every time I played it. (In fact, it’s back in there now. Great.) I remember tearing through the Pumpkin Zone and stomping the witch boss at the end during a weekend rainstorm. And, of course, swearing under my breath whenever my lack of skill resulted in Mario dying a particularly stupid death. I played the game the most during my high school years, of course, and it’s one of those important games that really helped me get past some rough patches in real life. (Sure, it was all the usual teenage bullshit in retrospect, but that doesn’t make it any less an important part of my history.)

Time to see how well SML2 still holds up twenty-two years later. Not a bad choice for a freebie, huh?

The infernal resurrection

Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of resurrecting some of my old sites. I’ve written about them in the past, in particular four years ago to commemorate the tenth anniversary of liquidcross.com.

I’ve had many “subsites” come and go, but the three I’ve been considering bringing back are my old webcomic Breakfast at Timpani’s, plus fansites for the Iron Man of the year 2020 and the sadly defunct Crimson Plague. None of them would feature any new content or updates, save for some sort of introductory page or splash box explaining exactly what the site was; like a museum plaque detailing some crusty old exhibit. These dredged-up sites would pretty much be interactive slices of the past. I would of course have to so some work to get them up and running correctly, as there’s certain to be some missing pieces and dead links.

B@T in particular will require some creative editing, as there are some elements that I can no longer post; namely, crossovers with another webcomic, because I later had a falling out with its creator. I don’t want any legal trouble. Fortunately, I’ve been slowly — veeerrry slowly — working on a “collected edition” of sorts, so the crossover pieces in question have already been partially edited. I’ll just need to get off my duff and finish them. (I even drew a brand-new “missing” page last summer! Only the co-creator of the comic has seen it, but maybe I’ll throw it in there.) Regardless, the old B@T site would go up dead last given the work needed to bring it up to snuff.

And before you ask…no, I’m not going to resurrect the old blog. First off, it would be way too much work; even if I could get the old backup XML files to import correctly, I’d still need to hunt down a load of missing images, and rework the posts that contained them to function properly with completely different blog software and folder structures! But more importantly, most of that old shit is just plain pathetic and embarassing. Yes, even more so than this blog.

Which brings us back around to my three prime candidates for reanimation. I’m proud of those sites…for the most part. But there’s also a bunch of crap in there. I’m all for learning from history’s mistakes, but some of my artwork and such was really bad. I’m not really keen on posting that stuff again. At the same time, the sites would be incomplete without it, and aside from having to do more work just to edit it out, it would run counter to the entire purpose of bring these sites back in the first place. Argh!

I guess we’ll just have to see. At the very least, I’ll get started on fixing the old sites to see if they’d be ready to go live again. If they don’t work out the way I want, then at least I got ‘em cleaned up for archival purposes. It’s not like I’m on a deadline here. This also makes me wonder if it’s worth resurrecting a few of my other projects…if I can somehow find the time.

What do you think? Are you people even interested in seeing this stuff?

F you, K-E diet

While catching up on Cracked posts the other day, I came across one poking fun at insane weight loss methods. One of these is something known as the K-E diet, where rich idiots use a feeding tube in order to lose weight.

Despite the linked story being a few years old, I became angry. Seriously, fuck these K-E dieters in the peehole with a rusty drill bit. I’ve had nasogastric (NG) tubes for legitimate medical reasons, and they’re awful. Why in the hell would some yuppie douchebag voluntarily use one for vanity purposes?! In my case, NG tubes were used to suck out my various digestive liquids and food remnants before and after surgeries. The results left in the collection tank behind my hospital bed looked like a cappuccino. (Enjoy your next Starbucks trip, fuckers.) The experience was unpleasant enough that when I saw Iron Man a few months later, I flipped Tony Stark the bird when he yanked his tiny tube out after waking up in a cave. Suck it up, rich boy. I had close to a half-inch pipe jammed up my schnoz.

Every time I hear about fad diets, I usually roll my eyes. But this K-E shit drove me to rage instead. The fact that these people can afford a super-expensive procedure but somehow can’t do something as simple as eating better or going to the damned gym grinds my gears. With their bank accounts, they can hire chefs and go to those posh gyms that don’t even stink like Swamp Thing’s socks. Sure, we can just laugh at them pissing their money away on an unsafe diet, but like I said: I’ve been on the business end of an NG tube more than once, and it’s no laughing matter. Someone should swap out these fucknuts’ nutrient packets with a colostomy bag.

Burning out

I missed my usual Monday post a few weeks ago. Technically, you could almost count this post as a “miss,” too. It’s a symptom of an ongoing problem that has come to a head.

Lately, I really don’t have anything to write about. Some might say that was the case even when I do write; I’m not exactly eloquently expressing the human condition on this blog. My posts are more like crayon scrawlings on a Five Guys wrapper. Anyway, the fact remains that I’ve been having some severe writers’ block, and much to my chagrin, most of the time when I finally dredge up something to write about…it ends up being something I already posted years ago! We’re not talking about expounding on a previous subject; I mean that I completely forgot that I had already written about it, and nearly posted the same bullshit twice.

I’m even starting to burn out on my Green Lantern blog; there’s always new comic releases to cover there, so running out of stuff to write about is never an issue. But the stories just aren’t as good as my old favorites (nothing ever is), even though some of the new stuff is fun to read. Plus, even though the current books aren’t as buried in events and massive crossovers as they were up until about a year ago, there’s still too many long-running arcs and tales that don’t end in the main books. I know that’s how modern comics work, but it’s still rather boring and annoying to me.

Maybe I just need a break. The last time this happened, I got rid of my blog entirely; that’s what I constantly refer to as the “old blog.” The hiatus only lasted about four months, though, and then I launched Text and Violence. (Granted, this blog has a different focus than my old one, which was more of a catchall.) I wouldn’t do the same again, as I’m very comfortable with how the blog runs and all that. I’d still leave it up and running, it’s just that posts may be few and far between over the next few months.

Comments?

The car dream

I don’t often remember my dreams; well, I do recall them upon waking, but they vanish from memory shortly after that. There’s a few here and there that have made an indelible impression upon my memory, but I’m not going to talk about today. Instead, we’re going to look at something a bit more commonplace.

Some of my dreams have recurring elements, and none more so than the car. It’s never a specific vehicle, per se, but more the behaviors of the car. No matter what else is going on in the dream, if I’m driving a car, the brakes never work correctly, nor does the gas pedal if I’m trying to reverse direction.

For example, I had a dream the other night where I was driving down a country road or something, and I couldn’t stop the car with the brakes. The car slowed, but wouldn’t stop. I was literally standing and stomping on the brake pedal in a futile effort to halt the vehicle. Later on, the car got turned around somehow, and I was stuck going in reverse. Brakes again did not work, so I was trying to carefully rev the engine forward to arrest my backward motion. It was dark and rainy, and the wheels were skidding a little, but I still couldn’t get any solid traction. This time I wasn’t going very fast; in fact, I was going down a narrow gravel path between log cabins or something, and people were wandering outside asking me what was wrong.

While most of these vehicular escapades are just sections in a larger dreamscape (that is, the dreams usually cut from the car part to something else entirely), not all of them end well.

One time, both myself and the car crashed through a guard rail in reverse and flew off a bridge, smacking into the waters below. Blackout, woke up, wondering what was going on. Another time, the steering wheel was broken off, so I had vise grips on the steering column and was attempting to weave through traffic that way as the car accelerated. Eventualy, I smashed into an overpass support pylon, but the whole thing happened in slow motion. And after the car crumpled, I was standing outside of the car, watching it happen as well as the events that preceded it; I think that sequence might have been a metaphor for the last conscious moments before death or something.

But I’m not a dream expert. Any oneiromancers out there want to tell me just what the hell this means?