The Endless Wars: The Descent

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Frakkin' Friday

I've been underground all week, working on actual offline, book-ish writing, so that's why I haven't posted. I've been editing one large piece, and writing something all-new, which has been invigorating.

On Writing

I'd never written a masturbation scene before, let alone one that goes badly, but it was actually a lot of fun, even if it did try to make me a little self-conscious, which is the death of any writer. It's probably the filthiest thing I've ever written, but it's not gratuitous, and the extreme of the activity in the scene contrasts nicely with the outcome. I was pretty pleased with it, but I think, tonally, it's a little too oppressive and dark, so I may need to go back and pepper the first chapter with a little more humor.

Editing, though, is tough. There's one section left in the other book that I'm still trying to elevate to the quality of the rest of the book. What's funny is that it's my favorite section, and it is the one that is most lacking. I love the actual story in this section, but the writing is kinda juvenile and crap (most of it is from 10 years ago, so I gotta spank my 20-year old, immature self at times) in some parts, and the tone just doesn't fit with what's happening to a character, and the transformation she's going through.

Man, I can't wait to be able to be more specific about all this. Soon, I hope.

On Exercising

So, I had never been to a YMCA before our dance class last Friday (and, yes, I really enjoyed it, as it's a fascinating challenge to me), so I had no idea that it was a place that you work out. I had always assumed it was a place that homeless Catholics stay and teach weird shit like the rumba, which we're learning now. My assumption had been that it would be some derelict building, covered in rot and pro-hate Catholic messages.

I was wrong.

It's a beautiful facility, first. Second, its sole purpose seems to be fitness. I don't know if that's normal or not, but I've had a lifetime membership for a while, and had never used it before last Friday night, when we went to our first dance class.

Since then, we've been back every other day to work out, and it's been great. They have a bunch of cycles there that I really like, and I've been doing 4-6 miles each time while either rocking out on my iPod, playing my PSP, or chatting with my wife, who is always on the stair-thing next to me. Gonna try reading on it soon, too.

What's nice about the cycle is that it doesn't murder my knees, which I ruined while playing catcher in baseball in high school. Every other exercise machine I've tried just kills my knees. I think I can stick with this.

Oh, and the on-site child care is awesome.

My goal is to drop 100 pounds in a year, and to stop being the punchline to the great American joke.

On Reading

Inspired by Trevor's recent post over @ 1UP, I thought I'd take a moment to share what I've been reading.

I've been kinda slumming it lately with my books. I've been reading a lot of Star Wars/Warhammer 40k fiction, but most of it has been surprisingly good. In particular, I really enjoyed the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series and the Warhammer 40k: Horus Heresy series.

This is speaking as someone who tends to look down his nose at crappy novel cash-ins for established sci-fi franchises.

Legacy of the Force is a nine-book series set about 25 years after Return of the Jedi, and follows the rise of a Sith in the unlikeliest of places. I tend to despise these spin-off books, but this series is actually really good. The movie characters actually speak and act the way they should, which I find is the thing that bothers me the most about novel tie-ins to these kinds of series. It features a lot of the familiar characters from the classic Star Wars trilogy, as well as a lot of cool, new characters.

Horus Heresy is the origin story of the Warhammer 40k universe, and it's told through an interesting and fragmented structure throughout the books. It's cool, because the first 4-5 books tell a central story, and then the subsequent novels show the fallout of that event all over the galaxy. Warhammer 40k has always had a cool fiction behind it, even if it gets a bit derivative at moments. The presentation and execution has always been pretty solid.

To satisfy my obsession with all things war/political, I've been reading William Manchester's WWII memoir, Goodbye Darkness, and just finished it last night. It was FANTASTIC. His account of Okinawa is one of the most harrowing things I've ever read. The book is incredibly gripping, and Manchester, truly a wordsmith, held me rapt as he retraced his steps through the Pacific Theater of Operations in WWII. At times it was laugh-out-loud funny and other times I was so sickened by the conduct of the Japanese that I wanted to punch somebody. Ultimately, though, Manchester transports you there, and puts you right next to him as he gives a very frank account of his thoughts and experiences.

The book starts out very slow, and will have you wondering where it's going during the first couple of chapters, but if you stick with it, you will be swept away to another time and another place.


- played some Jade Empire: Special Edition and Company of Heroes; both games still rock my world
- watched Fanboys and LOVED it; great for anyone whose taste is good enough to allow them to love Star Wars
- I am SUPER-hyped for True Blood to return Sunday! Best new show of last year!
- I downloaded Final Fantasy VII, Medal of Honor, and Medal of Honor: Underground on my PSP this week; GREAT memories from my late-teens/early-twenties; should be perfect for the cycle at the Y
- gonna grab the new map pack for Call of Duty: World at War today; double XP weekend this weekend, too; I actually really like the multiplayer in this game
- gonna jump back into the Uncharted 2 beta this weekend, too; tried it when I was fucking hammered last weekend, but really liked it; wanna try it sober

How is life for everyone else? What do you have going on this weekend? Anything gaming or anything exciting in the meatspace?

See ya on Monday!



  1. I'd be afraid to spank my 20 year old self...he'd kick my ass for sure.

    Planning on reading (on my Touch, of course) Horus Heresy next time I dive into 40k fiction, just finished the awesome Ravenor series (written by the great Abnett).

    I used to teach martial arts at a YMCA. I think they're all fitness oriented. 100 pounds in a year might not be the healthiest way to go, bro. I'd shoot for a pound a week for sustainability. I lost 30 in 6 months and felt great, though it's been creeping back the last couple of weeks. Funny how two weeks off from exercise + a camping trip and a short fastfood relapse can erase at least 2 months of work. ARGH.

    I'm still plugging away at Bionic Commando (the 3D one) on PS3, and loving every goddamn minute of it (pretty much). This weekend: band practice (hopefully, things have been a little sketchy the past couple of weeks...), wife's friend in town, so lots of game time for me.

  2. @bombtrak: Enjoy the Heresy! Would love to read your thoughts, er, you know what I mean. I'm gonna lose what I'm gonna lose over the next year, but I'm not gonna do anything crazy to do it. Just gonna exercise, and gonna keep pushing myself to improve. I heard BC (3D) was terrible, but I'm glad someone's been able to enjoy it. Band practice, you say? I miss being in a band horribly, but I just don't have the time anymore. I was hoping that you were gonna imply that you, your wife, and her hot friend were gonna engage in some 'multiplayer.'


  3. Working out with your wife must be a real treat. It's nice when couples can do things together, especially when it is for self-betterment. On-site child care is a huge plus. I may have to look into these YMCA things you speak of. I did attend a concert at the YMCA downtown and it almost got shut down because of swearing - no joke.

    I haven't really played any games over the last couple of weeks. I did get into a little Fallout 3 yesterday (insert joke here), but that is about it. The downside of E3 is seeing all the game you would rather be playing right now. (I think Dan Trachtenberg made some pants reference in the last episode of TRS). Anyway, I'm just waiting around until something cool drops.

  4. Yeah, between the dance class, the 'co-op' exercise, and the on-site child care, the YMCA has been a great thing for us lately. Seems like a lot of us have been away from our consoles lately. It's summer, so that's probably a good thing. I'm with ya on waiting for something cool to come out. For me, the next two games will be EA's twin football offerings, followed by more portable Disgaea, and then...we'll see.