The Twilight Sad

I'm currently listening to "14 Autumns & 15 Winters", a debut from The Twilight Sad. They're an indie band with a vocalist who has a thick Scottish accent. Vocals aside, the band can almost pass as post-rock with their shoegazing sound.


Gaming on my hands

After working a couple of night shifts last week, I've decided to get myself a portable gaming device. Working at nights can be really boring since you have nothing to do. I tried things to kill time, like reading, but it only made me sleepy. I can't listen to music either since the patients are sleeping, and using headphones will interfere with my job (my primary function at night is to pick up phone calls and patient calls, with low ring volume). So that's reason why I need (actually it's more of "want" than "need") a hand-held gaming device.

I'm getting the Onyx version

This is not one of my "versus" posts, like what I did just before I bought my mp3 player and headphones (see here and here), because I know I'm getting a Nintentdo DS Lite. Although my first choice was actually a Sony PSP, and I was so sure of it. I just checked out the DS Lite when I got bored at work. But it piqued my interest, however, so I did a little research and juxtaposed both systems. PSP has great graphics and awesome multimedia support, but DS Lite have better games and can play GameBoy Advance carts as well. Since I'm more of a gamer than a graphic whore, and I already have my ZEN to play my multimedia, my comparison guide immediately scratched PSP from the list.

So there it is, my next spending project, the Nintendo DS Lite. This will be a new thing to me since I haven't played other gaming system since 2000 (not even a PS2 or GameBoy Advance), so I'm really excited. Also, new cool games are coming up this summer and BioWare (one of my favorite PC RPG developers) has just signed a deal with SEGA to create a Sonic RPG. I don't know when I can get my unit -probably early July- but I'll get it when I can.


Inner Flame Rekindled

I got Mahavishnu Orchestra's "The Inner Mounting Flame" and "Birds of Fire", yesterday. I've been a fan of Mahavishnu Orchestra since high school but all I had back then was a tattered audio tape, with poor sound quality, of their live album, "Between Nothingness and Eternity". Ever since then, I was trying to find their albums but couldn't. Eventually, I just gave up and forgot about them. That's why when I finally found a copy yesterday, it rekindled my love for the band, and I didn't hesitate to buy it.

Anyways, in case any of you are wondering what they sound like, Mahavishnu Orchestra is an instrumental jazz-rock fusion band. All of the band members are great musicians. Listening to them will make you naturally high and will leave you seeing swirling rainbows in your sleep. The guitars are off the rail, and the guitar/violin attacks are even more ridicuolous (in a good way). The drummer is excellent, the keyboardist is excellent. Do yourself a favor and listen to them, because my writing is starting to murder their music.


Game Preview: Overlord

Summer's here and there are plenty of games just around the bend. Although, of all these upcoming games, Triumph Studios' Overlord is the only one that will allow you to play as evil, or extremely evil. So I went on ahead, downloaded the demo, and see of how evil I can really be.

Call forth your foul Minions from the Minion Gate.

Being evil isn't that bad at all, really. It's actually quite fun and refreshing to play as a tyrannical evil overlord. Instead of killing weak rats and gibberish goblins at start of the game, you get to silence the bleating of harmless sheeps and cut down halflings. Being an overlord also has its perks. Instead of bloodying your hands, you can summon and command minions to do all the menial task, such as pillaging, looting, and killing. Minions can also be sacrificed to regain health or mana, and I believe they can also be sacrificed for many other purposes as shown in the trailer.

Let your Minions hack and slash all who opposes you.

Unlike heroes, who starts their journey at some sad village or sleeps in some local inn, evil overlords have their own stronghold. Albeit it is a rundown dark castle at the beginning, you can search for missing relics and other things to improve it. While your castle improves, you gain in strength as well. You'll learn new spells and increases the number of minions you can summon.

Cast Fireball on the wheat field and roast all the halflings hiding within.

While the gameplay has already proven to be fun and unique, it is also graphically impressive. The world is very detailed and vibrant with colors. It, somewhat, reminds me of Fable with its cartoonish art design. Although the design really fits the comical environment of the game.

Overall, I think Overlord is worth a shot. It may not be an "epic" game, but the gameplay elements are refreshing and the comical mischief is very fun.


The Latvian Blonde

I attended the Radiopharmacy and the Physics of Nuclear Medicine seminar this last weekend (June 8-10). That -seminar- left me a brain swell and set my CSF flow in reverse. The whole event was tedious. I mean, two years of Nuclear Medicine studies crammed into three days was too much to bear. Anyways, let me recount my misadventures during the three-day seminar.

I came to the hotel (Marriott Suites in Downers Grove) early, too early in fact that the saloon -where the seminar's held- was still closed. One of the hotel workers, however, opened it when she saw me hovering and wandering aimlessly at the hallway, disrupting the traffic of arriving and leaving guests. Since I was the first attendee to be inside, I was able to secure a good seat -in which the speaker won't spot me so easily for questioning.

I was alone inside the saloon for a bit, and then a burst of attendees arrived. Some of them were students who were preparing to take the boards. Most of them were old farts who were trying to jump start their memory about Nuclear Medicine. All of them were ugly, mutated by radiation. So I thought to myself: "It's going to be a very long day." At least that's what I thought, until one girl came in and sat beside me.

The girl was tall, radiant, and her silky blonde locks was a testament that she knows how to take care of herself. She introduced herself as Abigail, and her last name was something that I can't spell and pronounce without murdering it, but she told me to call her Abby. I greeted back with a whisper of my name and then I just sat there, with my senses failing, spellbound by her allure. When I finally regained all of my senses and speech function, I immediately asked her of her origin/ethnicity. She told me she's from North Carolina but came here in the US at the age of four, coming from Latvia, which, I believe, is a country near Russia or Sweden -or I could be wrong.

The morning sessions started and, being myself, of course, I wasn't listening to the speaker. I was talking to Abby about things, both useless and useful. When I learned that she's preparing to take the boards, and as board passer myself, I gave her some advice and what to expect. I also taught her a faster solution to radioactive decay problems -which are aplenty in the exams.

At lunchtime, since Abby was alone by herself and from out of town, I invited her to join me. Unfortunately, she already ordered food in the hotel -which is very expensive. So I decided to eat alone at the nearest restaurant, which is Baker's Square. After eating, I immediately went back to the hotel since was excited to meet with Abby. Sadly, when I went inside the saloon, somebody was sitting on my chair and chatting with her. The guy was tall, dark, with a muscular build and Mediterranean looks. He was, you know, your typical Fabio. Seeing that, I just muttered a curse. Then I silently retreated to nearest and darkest corner to sulk, with my mp3 player at hand.

So yeah, that was it. The first four hours was fun with Abby, but the last twenty hours was just boring. It's a good thing I have 15 GB of music on the palm of my hands, so I can just listen to it whenever I don't like the topic, else it would've been much disastrous. But at least, I earned 24 hours of continuing education credits, and I won't be losing my NMTCB license anytime soon.