Thursday, December 6, 2012

My review (read: Scathing Rant) of Red Dawn.

Alright, people.

I used all the F-Bombs in the 'verse to write this post. So, sorry if you needed any. Because they all are fucking here.

The following contains SPOILERS for the, I'm sure to be "new cult classic", Red Dawn. I suggest you read on if you were planning to see this shit-fest. I really suggest it. In fact, if you haven't seen it, just keep reading. It will save you time, probably money since I imagine you'll pay to watch it, and yeah. That's about it. I'm trying to help you readers out.

Today, I watched Red Dawn.

I know what most of you are thinking:

Shayla, why the frakk did you go see Red Dawn to begin with? It looked like a pile of steaming crap surrounded by a moat of liquid fecal matter.

I know, I know.

I have two words: Chris Hemsworth.

He's my boo. My lover. The God of Thunder. My everythang.

Also, the story takes place in Spokane, Washington. I was brought into this world in Spokane Valley Hospital. It's my home. So that also appealed to me.

I just had to see it, you guys.

I had to.

Don't you guys understand?


You still there?

I guess I'll start getting to the juicy details: AKA SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER ALERT. 

Item the first (not chronologically per the movie, but what pisses me off the most):

They kill off Chris Fucking Hemsworth with literally five minutes left in the movie.


Okay, I went in knowing it was going to be a bad movie, the only redeeming quality was Chris Hemsworth's hot bod and glorious acting capabilities. He was the glue holding this mess together in the first place, so why the hell are you going to kill him off? I understand it was at the end of the movie. I understand that the lines leading up to a cheese fest and you needed to "spice" things up or whatever.


It wasn't essential to the plot line. It did absolutely nothing to move the story forward. It was fucking pointless. Maybe that's the point you were trying to make? That war was pointless? Was that it? Please, for the love of all that is holy, someone answer me.

Item the second: Josh Peck. What the fuck.

Maybe I'm just one of those silly 90's kids who remembers the plump Josh Peck. The Josh Peck that made me laugh with his goofy self. The Josh Peck that was a fucking baller.

This Josh... Scares me.

He has lost too much weight, and apparently what little acting skills he had went along with it.

I'm sorry, Josh. I've always been a fan, or I've tried to be anyways. But holy fuck, what happened, bro? I miss Snow Day Josh Peck. This one... This one has got to go. Your facial expressions are whack. And I just... You just... The whole thing makes me sad. It makes me sad, Josh. You make me sad.

Item the third: The Fucking Computer Chip.

Okay, towards the end of the movie there is one dude that gets stabbed. And apparently when they stabbed him they planted a computer chip in him as a tracking device.

So there's that.

Which might be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of in my life. This kid didn't feel them shove something inside him? The wound itself didn't look like it was healing like a stab wound, it looked like a fucking fuck got shoved the fuck up in there.

So then what do they do? They ditch him. They don't cut the bitch out because, "What are we supposed to cut it out with?"


Item the fourth: The bad jokes.

Le sigh.

I'm a girl that loves a good bad joke. In fact, I tell them a lot. I consider it a hobby of mine, maybe even a SKILL, if you will. I search out a bad joke like a mice searches for the best cheese. It's my thing. And I love it.

And with that said, even I couldn't handle the stupid one-liners in this piece of crap. They knew that the story line was lame. They knew that it wasn't going anywhere, so they tried to shove extra lines of dialogue everywhere to make it "quotable" or whatever.

News flash: It didn't fucking work. You suck, mother fuckers. You all suck.

"You fucked with the wrong family."

That is a direct quote (Don't quote me on that, because I honestly can't remember the phrasing, but it's something like that).

I'm pretty sure they weren't fucking with just your family you dumb piece of shit (no offense Mr. Hemsworth, my quarrel is with the dialogue, not you. You delivered it wonderfully). But really, they didn't fuck with your family. They fucked with America.


Stop being so god damn selfish.

Item the Fifth: The Casting.

I understand not all actors look alike, but when they are supposed to be related? I mean, let's be really.

Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck look less than nothing alike. They don't speak similiarly. They don't act the same way. They just suck as brothers. There was no connection there at all, and it came across on the screen every second of the movie. It was the worst.

And the supporting actors all sucked.

The two shining stars (Apart from Chris Hemsworth and Jeffery Dean Morgan, whom always will be A-List in my opinion because I adore them both) were Josh Hutcherson and Brett Cullen.

They were superb. Cullen's death scene was amazing. Hutcherson started off like a little bitch, but turned into kind of a badass towards the end.

The others, all sucked. Not one good performance. And I really enjoy Adrianne Palicki. She's my Friday Night Lights gal. She's kick ass. But in this, she was nothing. They all were nothing.

I'm sorry, you guys. But you kind of sucked.

I still love you though. Kind of.

Item the Sixth: It was just bad.

That's it. It was bad. It wasn't bad in a way I like movies to be bad, because I love a good B movie. I think they're funny and I can appreciate the humor.

But this... This was the worst. And I think, ultimately, I'm going to say it was because of two reasons:
Josh Peck and the dialogue.

Sorry Josh Peck, you suck.
And sorry writers, you suck even more than someone who sucks for a living. Yes, that was a penis joke. About someone sucking penis. For a living. And how you suck more than them. Because you do. You suck.


He was one of the few redeeming qualities of this flick, and he didn't come in until the end. That pissed me off too. He was beautiful. Amazing. Talented. He spun that shit dialogue into gold.

In the end... Don't watch it. It was a waste of time, and I watch movies for free, people. FOR FREE. And I still am upset.

There are more points that I was going to make, but I honestly can't remember them. I have a list at work that I wrote down. But I think this is enough. I've already taken my hatred for this film wayyyy too far as it is.

Thanks for reading, kind sir or ma'am.

It's been a pleasure.

First Edit:

The Racism. Holy crap.

I didn't even mention how the film was originally supposed to be China attacking 'Murica and how in post production they just "switched" it to North Korea. Because, you know. all Asian countries are basically the same.

Do I really even have to say anything, people? I mean. Just...

Just come on.

I can't even think of a sentence to summarize how utterly repulsive that whole thing is.

Just... Red Freaking Dawn. That's all I have to say.

Red Freaking Dawn.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Failure Fever - 10,699

Well, there it is. 10,699. I told myself before I slept I'd get to 14,000, but that clearly is not happening. I feel like what I'm writing is complete shit. But I'm pressing on, because that is what my brain keeps telling me to do.

Also I'm behind a few thousand words but am hoping to catch up tomorrow and be back in the general ball park of where I'm supposed to be.

I think for this editing process I'm literally going to have to re-do every single insignificant sentence. Honestly and truly, that is what I think is going to happen.

Who knows, maybe that will make it better. Or maybe, it will make me want to shoot myself in the freaking face. Because it already is making me sad thinking about it. I feel like a failure. I don't know why I'm even writing this story. One minute I'm super stoked about it, and the next, I just don't understand it or where it is going.

And now I'm turning into one of those melodramatic writers that complains incessantly about their work sucking. So that's amazing.

I suppose if I just keep on writing it will all start to come together? I just don't know.

My villain is turning out a lot darker than I anticipated, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I also am not sure how I feel about my main character Niall. That's right folks, over 10,000 words in and I'm still not feeling my main character.

How screwed up is that?

Something in my gut is telling me to just keep pressing on and that everything will magically come together. And of course, by magically, I mean with lots of hard work and editing it like crazy I will make it into something awesome.

In completely different news, I've decided to get back into school. Which I have extremely mixed feelings about. On one hand, I recognize a higher level of education is extremely important. On the other hand, I'm terrified I'm going to fail again.

Life right now is interesting.

And this NaNoWriMo is making everything a little bit more on edge for me. I will get to 50,000 this year if it is the last thing I do. I need to say I accomplished this.

Do, or do not, there is no try.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And I'm Back - 8199

So. I wrote literally nothing this weekend. It was a combination of me having a social life, and, well, me having a social life.

I don't regret it, because it was an amazing weekend. I went to the fair (Scored some free ride tickets after some mystery brown substance dripped from the ride on me), I saw Wreck-It Ralph (Which you must go see right now, seriously. Just stop reading and go to the theatre. I don't care if they are closed. Wait until they open. Camp out. It's worth it.), I tried grits for the first time (Delicious), and spent some time with amazing friends. I just felt happy. It was amazing.

But then again, the word count monster kept creeping back to me, as it is always there.

But tonight, I was able to surpass my goal of 8000 with a grand total of 8199. Like a boss.

Last I updated I was having a major issue finding Niall Wagner's voice. And that dilemma turned into a massive plot crisis that I caused me to almost just throw in the towel and cry myself to sleep. It was a rough go. I may not have written all weekend, but my mind was constantly racing trying to figure out how to fix what I'd started.

Sunday night I called a friend and we talked it out for about twenty minutes and I started to develop a new turning point for the book.

I guess I should give you the premise.

In one sentence, so as to not give too much away, but to also make you semi interested:

Super Hero Ghost Squad.

Alright, not really a sentence, but that's what I'm calling this project right now. It started off as one thing, and now it's developing into a story about a boy with some bad luck, a girl with some bad luck, a psychopath hell bent on keeping people unhappy, and a group of Seattle residents dealing with life and the turmoil it brings.

Oh, and there are ghosts. Lots of ghosts. And crime fighting, naturally.

It's a work in progress. And the progress is now in full swing.

I just wrote almost 6000 words in one sitting, so my fingers are sore and my eyes are growing tired. And I have to open tomorrow morning so that's amazing. but I'm back on track.

I'm hoping by tomorrow night sleep time I will have 12,000 words.

And have some more character development on Niall. Because right now, although I'm falling in love with my plot line, I'm still not falling in love with Niall. It's terribly frustrating.

Must keep writing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day One - 2215

Well, there it is. 2215 words as of 12:00am on Day One, or is it technically Day Two?

I don't know, and I really don't care.

I am proud of my progress. I'm struggling to find a tone for this novel, struggling very hard. I already know that I'm probably going to have to rewrite the entire first chapter.

It just isn't feeling right to me. I'm trying to decide what flow I want to write, what characters I want to introduce right off the bat, how to not make it cheesy... It's proving to be more difficult than I anticipated; which I suppose is a good thing. It's definitely a challenge.

I'm also having difficulty finding the voice for Niall Hall Wagner, my main character. With After Life, Inc. I knew Clara Jean Fitzgerald would be a feisty know it all and that she would win people over with her wit. I cannot decide what Niall is like. Is he emotional? Is he solemn? Is he the funny guy? Is he a loner? I just can't seem to pinpoint him. And until I do that, I'm not sure I'll be happy with anything I write because he feels distant.

I figure if I keep writing in the general direction I want to go, the answer to fixing these problems will come to me eventually. I hope they do anyways.

I'm glad that I'm getting the words out, but it definitely doesn't help when you aren't necessarily proud of your writing. Then again, the first chapter is always the most important in my opinion. It needs to hook your reader. It needs to introduce the protagonist  It needs to set the tone for the entire novel, so chances are I will have to spend more time on it anyways.

That's the beauty of NaNoWriMo, if I weren't pressured on word count I would probably spend a lot more time trying to perfect what I just finished, but instead I just have to move on and try to make the next chapter better. I know in the back of my mind that I'm going to have to come back and fix the atrocity I just typed up, but I at least have something written. I have a base line, and it isn't how you start the race, it is how you finish.

I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I'm sure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And So It Begins... NaNoWriMo 2012

I'm starting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) tomorrow and I'm very excited about it. Last time I started NaNoWriMo, the month ended with a great start on After Life Inc. and one year later it is published and available for real people to buy with real money; something I never thought I'd achieve.

My goals for this time around are to reach the 50,000 word goal, if not surpass it, keep a log on here of my progress, polish it as I'm going, and have fun with with the process.

If I do 2,000 words a day that would give me 60,000 words. And that, would be a dream come true. I'm still only shooting for 50,000 because that is aggressive enough for my tastes, but 60,000 would definitely ensure a post-NaNoWriMo party in my name take place. 

I made many mistakes the first time around, such as sending out my sample chapters, queries, and various nonsense to friends, agents, and publishers way too soon. I should have perfected them more, polished my writing up, and given it more time to turn into something readable. I was just so excited and wanted to get my name out there, and it ended up costing me dearly, as no agents or publishers wanted to touch After Life, Inc. with a ten foot pole. 

Now, however, I have self published a novel and word has begun to spread. People seem to be enjoying After Life, Inc. and if they are enjoying it, that means they might give something else I write a chance, right? 

This one will be different. I'm going to type it out in MS Word instead of long handing it. I also have a nicer lap top this time around, so that will do nothing but make it easier, right? Right. This is where you nod along and agree with everything I say to reassure the nervous wreck.

I will also be trying to update this blog every day. If not every day, at least three times a week. I want to keep a log of my progress. The trials and tribulations of writing a novel in 30 days. The wonderful experience of writer's block that will undoubtedly rear it's ugly head mid week three. I want documentation. I want to share this experience with the world. I want other people to read this and think that they can do it too, since I am no better off than anyone else out there. 

It is not easy, and it takes a lot of dedication. It takes saying "no" to social gatherings, fueling with unlimited supplies of caffeine, and sometimes wrapping up your wrist in an ace bandage if you suffer from tendinitis like I do. 

In the end, it should be fun. It should be an experience, and I'm glad to have this platform to share it with those who want to hear about it. 

As I type this there are nine hours of prep time remaining. 

It's clobberin' time. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead

It's been so long since I posted anything. And due to that time gap I've been trying to come up with an awesome post to get back in the swing of things. Something that will make you guys who are reading jump out of your seat. Something that will blow you away and make you check back here EVERY SINGLE DAY, YEARNING FOR ANOTHER POST FROM YOURS TRULY. But instead, I'm just going to type whatever I feel like and call it good.

I'm working on promoting After Life, Inc. (Which is NOW on sale here:, I'm working on writing a new novel, I'm finally all settled in back in Charleston, SC, and I'm living the single life like no one's business.

It's been pretty hectic but totally amazing.

I guess what I really want to talk about is a book I'm reading.
"Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead" by Frank Meeink and Jody M. Roy.

I decided to go to the library yesterday for the first time and sign up for my card and start hoarding books again. I was in the biography section because I was itching for something new and different. That's when the name stuck out to me. I've always been intrigued by the "neo-nazi" life style and how they operate in our society.

How are these people so blinded by their hatred that they can do such horrible things? How did they get so brainwashed to think that what they are doing is making the world a better place? What has to happen for a man or woman to completely let themselves live and breathe hatred?

So I picked up the book and went to sit down to thumb through the pages to see if it was something I'd want to take home.

I read the first fifty pages in that one sitting. I could not put it down.

Frank Meeink was brought up in a very abusive household with drug abusers and physical tyrants. His parents were not fit to have a child at their young age, and his mother seems so desperate for a man she is willing to turn the other way anytime something bad happened to Frank. It honestly doesn't surprise me that he found solace in a group that was willing to accept him. He was yearning for a family that cared, loved, and supported him. A group of people that would have his back no matter what.

They were united by their hatred of others, but they were a unit of human beings tied together with a purpose; and for most that is enough incentive to do whatever it takes to keep the family alive.

Frank's story is one of heart break, redemption, and utter confusion. I grew up with family members who struggled with addiction so in many ways I can relate to his character. It is remarkable to me how two people can take such very different paths while having similar backgrounds. I won't go as far to say our backgrounds are similar, as his childhood was completely appalling. But there are some similarities in our thought patterns that are undeniable.

I was discussing this book premise with someone who shall remain nameless.

"I just don't get how addicts can even have children. Why do they do that? Their kids are going to turn out just as messed up as they are."

After I picked my jaw up off the floor at this person's remark, I began explaining that just because someone struggles with addiction doesn't make them a bad person. And just because they have children doesn't make their children destined to a life of crime and drugs. How could they honestly believe that?

I know why, because what they said next summed it up:

"I grew up with a perfect childhood. My parents loved me. There was nothing going on. I don't know how anyone else could do anything different."

Okay, so this person has led a sheltered life, but is that an excuse to cast off the "lesser" human beings aside?

I think not.

I tried to explain the situation to them but it did less than no good. In the same way Frank Meeink was blinded by his hatred for so long, this person is blinded by their ignorance.

In the end, I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of "Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead". At the very least, it will give you insight to a group of people you may not know very much about, and another perspective on the human experience.

I haven't been able to put it down.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Self publishing a novel is a nightmare.

I don't mean nightmare in the "crazy clown chasing you with a pick-axe" type of way. I mean nightmare in the deepest, darkest fears you have about your self-esteem coming to life.

Have you ever realized how perfect a book must be before you grab it off the shelf? Have you ever truly taken the time to appreciate the font of the words you read? The length of chapters? The number of grammar mistakes? I'm guessing not on that one since most have a grand total of ZERO mistakes. Or how about each sentence? Have you ever looked at each sentence and analyzed whether or not it is truly ready to be read by people everywhere, most of whom you've never met?

Needless to say, I'm wicked nervous.

I can honestly say I've never worked harder for anything in my life, but I've also never wanted anything more. I'm pretty sure I'm annoying everyone on my facebook page with endless updates about my writing life. Word counts, sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, character development... If I thought about it, I most likely put it on the facebook.

Maybe it is because I'm ostracized in Maine with no one I'd call a "good" friend. Maybe it is because I just crave attention and need the satisfaction of knowing people I haven't talked to since high school are aware of the daily happenings of my brain. I wish I could explain to you what exactly it is that I love about posting to facebook, but I can't.

I'm just one of those girls.

I really think the reality of the fact I will soon, in almost a month, be a legit published author is really starting to freak me out. How will I get through this? I am only 20 years old, what if this book isn't good enough and it ruins any prospect of me getting a career in this field I love so much?

What if my characters suck?

What if my writing scares away every living soul to ever read a book?

What if I become the new person that people on reddit make fun of for being so stupid and lame? What if I become the joke?

Naturally, I am a neurotic, phobic, anxiety filled person. I try to hide it, so only the people I'm closest to know the reality of my situation. I'm afraid of anything that crawls, flies, or slithers. I'm afraid of confrontation. I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of disappointing anyone who believes in me. I'm afraid of being attacked in the parking lot. I'm, in general, just afraid of the world. Fear is not a fun place to be, and it sure as hell is not where I want to be for the rest of my life.

But this whole publishing process is making my naturally paranoid state even worse, and I honestly did not think it could get much worse.

Anytime I go to read a sentence I just want to delete it and start over, but I know that would be an awful idea, and I talk myself out of it.

Maybe this is part of the grand 'ol "writing process" people tell me about. This is the part where I think everything I do sucks butt. And I must say, I'm really not enjoying this stage.

I'm ready to move past this. I'm ready to go back to being the writer I know I can be. The writer who has some form of confidence in the characters she creates, in the world she believes in, in the dialogue she writes, and in the fictional universe she wishes she lived in.

When I get in these endless circles of self doubt I look to a few of my favorite writers: Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Jane Espenson, J.K. Rowling, Brian Michael Bendis, and so many others I could mention.

I remember that all of them started somewhere. That someone told them they couldn't do it, just as MANY have told me. That before they were the fantastic writers they are today that they were just a kid, just 20 years old wanting to make their dreams come true.

They were just like me.

I know that I can be that person. I can be the next Joss Whedon or Stephen King. Granted, those are some big shoes to fill, and I would no where near compare myself to their gloriousness. But just the idea, the hope, that one day I may have fans everywhere knowing my name, fictionalizing relationships with my characters, and clinging to every word I write literally thrills me to my core.

All of this hard work will be worth it, this I know.

For now, I shall go back to freaking out, editing the shit out of After Life, Inc. (which comes out June 22nd as an ebook... If all goes as planned) and hopefully will learn from my own words and keep on keeping on through this haze of self doubt and realize my full potential.

I write, therefore I am.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rafael Swag-Master Casal.

If you have never heard of Rafael Casal I would not be surprised. I am, however, quite sad for you.

Rafael Casal is a slam poet turned hip hop mastermind.

He has yet to release a single song that I would not put on repeat for hours on end and not get sick of. His skills are superb. His lyrics speak the truth.

You can tell by the heart and soul he puts into his music that he truly believes and loves the art of manipulating words into a sick rhyme and applying some seriously powerful beats to accentuate the lyrics.

I first fell in love with Rafael through a friend who introduced me. I didn't think much of him, just another hip hop artist that was decent enough. My friend made the mistake of leaving the CD in my car after I dropped her off one day.

Let's just say it didn't leave that crappy stock stereo for months.

I wore the thing out. Half the songs skipped because of sheer over use of the disc. But I refused to stop playing it. I knew every word and felt a real connection to this artist, even though I couldn't have described anything about him to you. I couldn't even name the songs because it was just a CD in the player. One thing I did know, was that I was listening to someone truly amazing.

Soon enough I decided to do some light youtubing to find out more about this Rafael Casal fella, and how he was so awesome. What did this man look like? How did he come up with this music? How is he not mega popular and extremely wide known?

I felt everyone already knew him and I was late to the game. Turns out I was relatively early to the party for the first time.

I discovered his poetry, in particular what he is most widely known for performing, "Barbie and Ken 101."

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of slam poetry. I love to write, I love to perform, and I love to watch and experience so many different people pour their hearts and souls into a mic in hopes someone will listen to them. Whether it is a poem that makes me laugh hysterically, or words that convey more sadness than I can fathom. I am drawn in almost instantly by anyone who has the guts to speak their truth.

Rafael Casal's "Barbie and Ken 101" changed my life. I wrote a paper on it during my breif stint in art school, and I've listened to his performance more times than I care to share. The man has some freaking talent. If you haven't seen this I suggest you do so immediately. (

As I said in the beginning of this post, you probably have never heard of Mr. Casal. It isn't because he isn't trying, because trust me, if you pay any attention to his twitter or facebook feeds the man is constantly at work to make kick ass music.

Every time I am up relatively late browsing through my phone I become legit excited if I see him posting a lot because it usually means he is up to something completely awesome.

I had the pleasure this evening of listening to his latest LP, "Mean Ones" which I literally cannot describe how truly amazing it is. I always think Casal cannot get any better, but with each new release (which he makes available for FREE to download at for ANYONE who wants to enjoy his music) he surprises me.

Casal's songs deserve to be on the minds of everyone. His lyrics deserve to be engraved in the brains of anyone willing to listen.

I also am extremely thrilled about Daveed Diggs, who Casal teamed up with for a Bay Boy Mixtape. Diggs has a unique sound to his voice I haven't heard before. I'm not sure I can compare it to anyone, it is truly fresh and new; just like Mr. Casal himself.

The man is smart.

I've since updated my car, including an iPod jack with some really amazing speakers, and I am grateful that playlists cannot be worn out, because let me tell you, my "Bay Area Mix" is on non stop repeat.

I would describe what Rafael Casal does as BRILLIANT and nothing less. It is a true honor to be able to listen to his music and I hope to do so for many years to come.

Get Back.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Girl and her Xbox.

I was going to make an insightful first post about how I fell in love with the written word, or something beautiful about the journey I took for years attempting to suppress the urge to write but how I finally just gave in to temptation and wrote a novel that I'm desperately trying to get published, maybe even a short life history about how my awesomeness came to be… But I'm just too pissed off at the moment.

My Xbox 360 is constantly menstruating bitchy attitude all over the place, and I am SICK of her moody behavior.

I don't know why my 360 hates me so, and I’m not sure when this feud began. I give her a variety of games, movies, TV shows, and even the occasional mix CD to enjoy.

I’ll start from the beginning.

I was 17 years young, a senior in high school, taking a full course load of International Baccalaureate work and stressed beyond belief about my future. It was Christmas morning. Normally, I found Christmas Eve to be a sleepless night filled with anxiety on what I was or was not going to find underneath the tree the next morning. At this point in my life, however, I had come to realize (SPOILER ALERT) that there was no jolly 'ol Saint Nick squeezing down the chimney. This year I asked for an Xbox 360. I needed a 360 and I'm not sure my mom and step dad understood the importance. Every one I knew was gaming 24/7 and I needed to be a part of it.

I knew times were tough, and honestly, I would have been happy with a pair of argyle socks. I also was working at a movie theater, which didn't pay much, but I knew if I managed my money correctly I'd be able to purchase my 360 eventually, so I knew I’d get it either way.

Anyways, at around 6:00 am we (Mom, Step Dad, Step Sister, and me) gathered in the living room. I watched as my step sister tore through her presents much like a beast stripping the last bits of meat off the bone. She was going to ravage through anything with her name on it, and it was intriguing to watch to say the least.

I waited patiently until there was one box remaining under the tree.

A refurbished Xbox 360.

Words couldn't captivate my excitement; I couldn't believe they were able to get me what I asked for. I was truly surprised. I was going to march up to my room and ignore society for the rest of my Christmas break, just me and my Xbox 360. I ripped open the Microsoft box to examine the cords. All seemed to be in working order, but I noticed there were a couple things missing:

1) Controllers.

2) Games.

I forgot to mention to my mom that with a gaming system one normally requires controllers to operate it and games to play on it.

That was okay, I was not going to let that get me down, I mean they just got me a freaking 360.

So I stared. I sat in the living room and stared at the 360 longing to play it while my step sister applied every last bit of make up and inhaled all of her chocolate goodies. I could be patient. After all, I'd have a lifetime with Nessy. Yes, I named my Xbox Nessy. Short for Loch Ness Monster, because she was a mythical beast of amazingness I never thought I’d get to see in real life.

As mentioned previously, I was taking a full course load of IB and working at the movie theater when I could. The paychecks sucked and went mostly to gas and insurance on my wicked sweet ‘93 Integra, so I didn't have much in the savings account for controllers or games.

Weeks passed by until finally I got a paycheck with just enough left over to buy a used controller and one, maybe two if I played my cards right, used games.

I came back with, "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance" and a used controller.

I hooked up everything in my room so I could just lounge on my bed and submerge myself in super hero glory. I played the shit out of every character, unlocked new heroes, battled to the death, cursed at Thor when his hammer was useless. 10 hours later I realized night had fallen and that I'd successfully lost myself in a fictional world where I was a bad ass.

Nessy and I may have gotten off to a rocky start, but it was open skies and endless nights from there on out.

Weeks passed and people began asking me for my Xbox Live gamer tag.

I hadn't set up an Xbox Live account yet. My next mission in life was to become an epic online gamer. I finally got around to setting it up when


The screen read:

"Unable to find connection.

Would you like to Retry?"

Now, I am not the best with technology, so I called tech support (my best friend Jake) for help. He was on the phone with me for an hour or two to no avail. I bought extender pieces, an Xbox Live membership, and too many cords that the lovely people at Game Stop said would do the trick, and still nothing worked.

I upped the level of tech support calling on a friend from work, who after a few hours tinkering away was also not able to fix the mystery problem.

Honestly, I am not the type of gamer who games to interact with other people across the World Wide Web. I just have fun, and also... I suck. I'm not just saying that, I really am awful. The idea of going on a live interface with complete strangers who would have no remorse in mocking my n00b level of skills petrifies me.

At this point my schedule was becoming too busy for me to worry about connecting to Xbox Live. I was busy balancing an IB Diploma Candidate exam schedule, trying to have a social life, plus working at the theater. So naturally, Nessy took a back seat and became the official DVD player of my room. 

After a summer of bon fires and beach trips, I started art school for Graphic Design that fall. I surprisingly made quite a few friends, some of whom were from the game design academy, rather quickly. I invited some of them over on Super Bowl Sunday and one of them decided to fix Nessy’s connection issues.

At this point, I knew it was nothing but a fool’s errand. I even tried to warn the poor kid, but he insisted. Three hours and one frustrated gaming student later, he gave up.

I dropped out of art school the next month and then that June moved 3000 miles away to good 'ol Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to work as an Associate Manager at a movie theater, and also to get a fresh start. I moved with literally two bags to my name. In those two bags I managed to fit my Aragorn and Hugo “Hurley” Reyes actions figures, but had to leave Nessy back home in hopes that one day I’d ship her over.

Months passed and Fable Three was about to be released. After a few phone calls to my mom begging her to send Nessy to me she obliged. One week later I get Nessy, but my mom neglected sending any controllers or games, some things never change.

Nessy and I had been on too long a journey for me to give up now, so I immediately walked the two miles from my dreary apartment to Game Stop. Fable Three came out in a few weeks and I had enough money to buy a copy of Left For Dead and a controller and was in control of my destiny once again.

I noticed that Nessy was being extremely temperamental, especially after my roommates beast-like dog knocked her over. Nessy now refused to play certain discs and constantly froze ALL the time. There was some red-ringing going on (accompanied by stress-induced asthma attacks for me), but I calmed the situation immediately and by the time Fable Three came out I was able to log an insane amount of hours almost immediately.

My life progressed with two more cross country moves and Nessy stayed with me the whole way, continuing to deteriorate and play fewer and fewer discs.

Could she connect to Live? No.

Could she read every disc? No.

Why did I keep her? Because I was (still am) too broke to buy a new one.

These past few months have been extremely trying with Nessy. I now am in the middle of the back woods of Maine with no source of entertainment besides books (which honestly I’m fine with, but I’d really enjoy to supplement the literary joy with some gaming badassery). I mean, to give you an idea of my isolation, I actually sat down and wrote a novel.

There is nothing going on here.

Nessy now is refusing to play any of my Firefly DVD's, she is picky about which games (No BioShock, no Red Dead Redemption) and as I sit here writing this, she is now rejecting my Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets DVD.


If you are still reading this, I'm assuming you think I have major issues.

You are correct.

I chalk it up to stress.

Stress of being unemployed, stress of signing into my email every day just to find another rejection notice from an agent or publisher not wanting anything to do with my book, stress of living in the middle of no where with no social life, stress of student loans for a Graphic Design degree I will never get, stress of being forever alone.

Okay, now I'm getting melodramatic, but it doesn't change the fact that Nessy is being a giant bitch face.  

I've started this blog in hopes to not only have an outlet to express the journey I'm currently on, but also a place to give my opinion on whatever I want. I read a lot of books and comic books, I watch a lot of movies, I am a TV junkie, I'm obsessed with near every genre of music, and I try my best to keep up with current events and politics, so I might as well post them online for shits and giggles, right?

Hopefully you enjoy my story telling and daily antics, for I am wizard of words, and these are my adventures… of awesomeness.