Stars, Stripes, and a Shield

I never would've thought that I'd read a Captain America comic. But I did pick up the Captain America Omnibus, Vol.I because I was much intrigued by his death last year (and the item was on sale as well). I'm very impressed with the omnibus. It has changed my outlook on Captain America since it perfectly shows why he is an iconic comic book hero, from WWII to the time of his death. The artwork is sterlingly done too.


65, My Brain Age

My DS Lite has been neglected for some time now. So I decided to play with it and got Brain Age 2. The game is so much fun. Especially the tests that checks your brain's age. At first, my brain age was 46. Then it dropped to 65 when I took the tests after reading a graphic novel. 65, that's not good.


And the academy goes to...

Normally, I don't watch any of the academy award shows (especially The Grammy). The reason because: a) my favorites don't get nominated and b) if they ever get nominated they don't win. This year's Oscars, however, was hard to ignore. I watched it since I was absolutely sure that Javier Bardem would win the Best Supporting Actor for his role in No Country for Old Men. How could he not win with his vicious, and yet nonchalant, performance as Anton Chigurh (pictured above), who's probably one of the super bad asses in known fiction. For me, the moment I knew he was nominated, all my bets were on him.

As for the rest of the ceremony, it was quite fun. Mainly because Jon Stewart did a good job as a host. I'm also quite happy that No Country for Old Men won the Best Film, and the Coen Brothers also took home the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay awards. Though the highlight for me was probably Glen Hansard's and Marketa Irglova's (stars of the movie Once) live performance of the song "Falling Slowly" (video above), which also snagged the Best Original Song award. Marketa looked stunning too. In fact, she looked so stunning that Jon Stewart let her back on the stage for her acceptance speech after she was first cut off.

Both films mentioned above were on my top 7 favorite movies from last year. Once ranked first and No Country for Old Men at third. So their achievement made me feel victorious as well.


Convinced by a Pacifist

I always thought that the World of Warcraft were inhabited by warmongering, non role-playing, lewt craving, dood speakers. But a few days ago, while I was using blogger, I saw an interesting link entitled WoW Pacifist on my "Blog of Notes" sidebar. I decided to check it out since my interest in WoW have been increasing as of late, and I've been thinking about playing it, due to my discovery of Figure Prints (see post here). After lengthily reading his blog, I was proven wrong. Not everyone in WoW participates in the art of warcraft. There are also some links in his blog about characters who approaches unorthodox playing styles, such as The Naked Troll Project and The Melee Hunter. All three of them, but especially the pacifist, have convinced me to play World of Warcraft.


Painting Kit

I finally bought a scale model painting kit for starters. It wasn't that expensive too ($25 for everything you see in the picture). Now I'm kinda itching to get my scale modeling going. But, sadly, I can't. It's because the only area where I can spray paint is in the garage. It's too cold in there (we've got single digit temperatures here in Chicago, as of now), and that freeze my bun and suck out the moisture from my paint. I can possibly paint in the basement but I don't want to risk it -enamel spray paint and water heater don't mesh well. Most of the tips I've read is to paint the parts while in the spruce. That's the reason why I can't assemble my model yet.


The Daedalus Project

I'm not talking about the European computer science research project nor the British study to design an unmanned interstellar spaceship. I'm talking about Nick Yee's The Daedalus Project, a website that conducts studies on the MMORPG cyberculture and psychology. While I haven't spent that much time on any online games, except for Lord of the Rings Online and Neverwinter Nights, I still took the test entitled the Motivations Assessment, which kind of determines your gaming style.

The Results of the Test

It's quite accurate. I don't really care about grinding and level up like a lunatic nor I do care about Player Vs. Player matches. But when it comes to the game mechanics, you'll always find me reading manuals or play testing a particular build and taking notes about them.

Scored 98% on role-playing and customizing. I always spend my time creating a character on scratch and paying attention if their skills suits their persona. I also like it when my character looks great . I don't care if my armor has weak modifiers as long it is cool looking.

True. I don't socialize a lot in online games. It's just a waste of money. Why would I buy a game and pay the monthly fees just to chat? However, I like to join role-playing guilds so I role-play with some people. No use role-playing by yourself.

Here's my overall results: 80% on Immersion, 19% on Achievement Component, and 2% on Social Component. The results indicates that I'm very good at walking in the clouds, an underachiever, and socially inept when it comes to online gaming. Well, that is something I already know. So, no surprise there.


Album Review: Fortress

Protest The Hero - Fortress
8.6 of 10

I haven't made any blind attempts (or rather deaf attempts) on buying CDs anymore, unlike in high school, thanks to mp3 previews. This morning, however, being an occasional impulsive buyer, I got enticed by Fortress' album cover and its on sale price tag ($8.00). I heard of the band before but not their music. So I didn't really know what to expect. As it turns out the band is like a modest and -an almost- radio friendly version of Dragonforce. They have shorter songs with lots of technical, but not overdone, bells and whistles. The vocals is great as well, sparingly using visceral screams and operatic melodies in balanced shifts. The lyrics, however, is silly and corny at most. But, overall, Fortress is an enjoyably intense album.


Figure Prints

A customized World of Warcraft figurine. I want one too.

As of today, I consider Figure Prints as the coolest toy/figurine manufacturer. Why do I consider them the coolest? Well if you play this game called World of Warcraft, Figure Prints can make you a customized statue of your own World of Warcraft characters. Pretty nifty, right. In fact, it's so nifty it makes me want to start an account and play World of Warcraft. Speaking of which, I think I still have a trial version somewhere in my room. I'll go look for it and install when I find the time. For the meantime, let's just check out this awesome gallery of customized WoW figurines.


Anime Flashbacks

I love Naruto. Lately, however, it seems that half of the Shippuden episodes are just flashbacks. The flashbacks are very recent too (as recent as the last episode or twenty frames ago), and not about something that occurred 20-3o episodes before. Are the producers/writers doing this so those new to the series can catch up, or they don't have anything to show? I thought the fillers before the time skip to the Shippuden episodes were bad. But these flashbacks are even worse.


Unlit StarLite

I've been neglecting my Nintendo DS Lite for -who knows how long- months now. So, earlier, I browsed around the net to look for some games that will bring life back to my hand-held console. That's when I stumbled on a site named ds fanboy and learned about StarLite, a Starcraft homebrew being developed for the DS Lite. I was elated, of course, by the notion that my favorite RTS is being ported to a hand-held console. Still acting as a flabbergasted geek, I continued to search all articles related to Starlite. Sadly, that's how I -also- learned that, as of 01/22/2008, Blizzard raised a stop sign on the homebrew project, leaving the developers with no choice but to abandon it. Damn Blizzard. Now, that's one more reason for me to hate them. Ah, such excitement and disappointment in just one day. It just sucks that the latter of the two prevailed. I think I'll just get Advance Wars: Days of Ruin to satiate my appetite for strategy games.


Seiya, Oblivion Operative

Lately, I've been enjoying The Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion with an Operative, a customized class, whom I named Seiya. Here are her specs:

  • Birthsign: The Thief (+10 in Speed, Agility and Luck Attributes)
  • Specilization: Stealth
  • Attributes: Agility and Personality
  • Major Skills: Blade, Illusion, Light Armor, Marksman, Security, Sneak, Speechcraft
As for the race, I used the mod Elves of Lineage II (by Miss Onatopp). I decided to use the mod for aesthetic reasons at first. But I was able to build a good character around it based on the race bonuses. The mod is balanced as well. So, if you want to use it, you need not worry about the mod ruining the game for you. As for the other mods, I'm only using Exnem's Female EyeCandy Body Replacer (nude) and Rogue Outfit. All of mods that I'm using can be downloaded at TES Nexus.



I've finally entrusted my money, the stash that I've been keeping under the mattress for almost a year, to a bank. Yeah, just this week, I really opened a bank account (savings and checking) at Chase. All these years I thought that banking was really complicated. It's true that the banker spoke of plentiful financial jargon that overwhelmed me. But the bottom line is that they're like a piggy bank...only glorified. Although it's still a hassle to go at a bank and give/take money from them. But I do need to save efficiently, and also get a good credit card/history so I can buy a car.



I just saw Juno this afternoon. It is one hilarious movie, just as critics and film buffs were raving about. While the plot of the film is interesting, it was the title character, a pregnant sixteen year old with a rapier sharp smart-mouth, that made this gem of a film sparkle for me. If I had seen it last year, it would've ranked 2nd on my films of the 2007 list (I still like Once much more).


Album Review: The Bedlam in Goliath

The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
9.2 of 10

It may seem too early for The Mars Volta to release another album but never think of The Bedlam in Goliath as an Amputechture leftover. In fact, in their new album, they've almost organized and streamlined that chaotic and confused music they've been playing around with since Frances The Mute. The band still forays in between the genres of rock, fusion jazz and funk. This time, however, the songs had Middle Eastern themes, are much more heavier and groovier, and had less incoherent fillers. The band had claimed the album was inspired by the spirits they've conjured using an Ouija board. But with or without help from the beyond, The Bedlam in Goliath is undoubtedly supernatural.


Stuck in Oblivion

Two years after its release, the hype had finally settled and the price dropped bottom low, I finally decided to play The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I must admit that I was one of those gamers that kept bashing Oblivion around the time of its release (see here and here). But not because it's a bad game or it's a bad RPG. I was mainly bashing it to irk and vex all the other gamers and hypers who think it would be the greatest RPG, when it doesn't even had the core elements of a role-playing game.

Anyways, putting all the bashing behind, the game isn't bad at all (as expected with an Elder Scrolls franchise). There were a lot of improvements since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Specifically, the fast travel and the quest marker. I was also able to run the game smoothly on high settings (HDR, Large Textures, 4X AF, etc.) on my PC. So I was able to experience that mesmerizing graphics. They removed the spears from the game, however, disallowing me to re-create my "Mystic Huntress" custom class. But all in all, Oblivion seems to be a fun game.


February "To-Do" List

Here's my "To-Do" list for this month:

  • Write a game review for "The Witcher".
  • Write at least one music review.
  • Play and finish a game.
  • Read and finish a book.
  • Start working on my scale model.
  • Continue practicing alternate picking/string skipping until I can cleanly play at 150 bps.
Last month's "To-Do" list:
  • Read a book (either A Bloody Business or Blackwater). (None)
  • Finish playing The World in Conflict. (Done)
  • Practice guitar techniques: string skipping and alternate picking to perfection. (Can play cleanly at 120 bps)