Sunday, December 20, 2009

Atheists are the Most Hated Minority

The title is not just stating something that I feel, since I would've felt that, in our current society, it would be another group that I fit in: the LBGT community. Either that or immigrants and Muslims. However, that is, somewhat surprisingly, not the case.

http://www.goddiscussion.com/4755/discrimination-against-americas-most-hated-group-atheists/

http://www.goddiscussion.com/12038/atheists-are-the-most-distrusted-and-discriminated-group-in-america-a-new-look-at-statistics-law-and-the-military/#hide

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2009/09/19/research-finds-that-atheists-are-most-hated-and-distrusted-minority/

Seriously, if a family is kicked out of their home by a landlord just because they're atheist, then that is going pretty fucking far. Hell, considering I'm an Agnostic Atheist, that's pretty scary to me (though not as scary as the guy who had shit thrown at his house and death threats shouted out to him). It's hard to see how they were allowed to do this, though, considering the first amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," is what it says. That means that being an Atheist shouldn't have a bearing on anything whatsoever. That also means that you can't control people with religion or based on religion whatsoever, either. So why is this allowed to happen?

One of the articles also mentioned several states not allowing you to become a state official unless you believe in a supreme being. However, I have found a video that states that kind of law is overruled by another:



That makes me wonder why the law is still in the books. It's practically useless.

The third article I posted asks, "Why the fear, why the hatred?" My answer is brainwashing. They're using the "Us Vs. Them," technique, which is probably one of the most effective brainwashing techniques out there, hence there are even football fans of different teams who get into pretty bad fights. Basically, higher up Christians (priests and the like), and the Bible itself, all talk bad about Atheists. I've even heard people call Atheists "evil" and "satanic." All without any sort of understanding. As an Agnostic Atheist, I can assure you whatever they tell you about Atheists is more than likely not to be true, going as far as stereotyping and even outright lying (hypocritically breaking one of their own ten commandments). In fact, if anything there's more evidence that Atheists are smart than Theists (http://www.answers.com/topic/religiosity-and-intelligence), and that the more secular a society, the more prosperous it is (http://camelswithhammers.com/2009/06/29/graphs-suggest-secular-countries-less-corrupt-more-peaceful/). Among other things.

In fact, did you know that a society is typically more religious than another if there are more churches? That's what causes religion to grow, after all. However, I cannot find proof online for this, but I read an article/study in my Sociology book about it. Speaking of books, here's another little thing I've noticed: whenever I ask Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, etc. why they converted from being a Christian (or whatever religion they had) to whatever they are now, they would typically answer (something along the lines of), "I read the Bible/Qu'ran/etc." That's kind of my story, too. I was a Deist for a very short period of time before I decided to read the Bible, just because I wanted to see how people were justifying their behaviors, since it seemed hypocritical to me that they said the Bible preaches good moral deeds, but people did bad moral deeds (like those kids who beat my girlfriend I at school) based on what the Bible said. So I read it. Not the whole thing, but I would flip through all of the chapters, searching for things that the Bible was saying that would catch my eye. Boy did I find some of the most evil stuff I've ever read in a book. Slavery, rape, cannibalism, killing children, ritual sacrifice, etc. All are approved of in the Bible. I never would've believed it had I not read it, but it's all in there. I dare anyone to go see it for themselves.

Considering how Christians are treating Atheists in this country...or, actually just about anyone, really, I can see how an Atheist society could easily be more peaceful. Considering I'm an Agnostic Atheist, a lesbian, a metalhead (they might think I'm satanic based on that), a Feminist (who truly supports gender equality as opposed to just women taking over or soemthing like that), and a ginger (I've heard some paranoid people consider gingers witches), I'm sure Christians would have a field day with me, hence is why my girlfriend and I were beaten up at school a few years ago. I can also easily say that I feel the Atheist's pain. This is yet another hurlde to pass, and I fear it actually may take longer and ultimately be harder to pass than homosexual equality and even racial equality, because religion in general, throughout history, has been, by far, the largest source of discrimination.

P.S. I've looked for over an hour to find evidence for that last claim I made, but, you know what, I shouldn't have to find it anyway. If you think about it enough, it should be completely obvious.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obama Bows in Japan

It's not like this topic is ultimately a big deal anyway, but some people made it out to be one.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091116/pl_afp/japanusdiplomacyasiaobama

There's constructive criticism, there's disliking a person, and trust me, I'm not a big fan of Obama, either . . . but then there's just over-analyzing and misunderstanding.

Normally, I don't consider people who don't know certain things about another person's culture stupid, or anything like that. However, I will make an exception in this case because Conservatives (who are typically also Nationalists) obviously don't seem to realize that you greet people in Japan by bowing. It's common knowledge. Hell, Obama even shook his hand in the process, so what he actually did was he brought two cultures together. Either way, he's being courteous to the Japanese for knowing how to properly greet them there. Is that so wrong to be nice to others by showing respect towards their culture? Don't we expect that here? If so, why would you not expect it for others? Do unto others as they have done unto you. I also must stress that this is one reason (certainly not the only) why other countries don't seem to like America: lack of respect for others and their cultures. Not everyone does this, of course, but you can see it just by looking at all of our magazines. There's hardly anything in them that deals with international affairs.

Ther first sentence alone is pretty stupid: "News photos of President Barack Obama bowing to Japan's emperor have incensed critics here, who said the US leader should stand tall when representing America overseas." Yes, let's make sure that other countries know that we have authority over them ,or that if they attack us, we'll be ready to strike back. Let's never be nice to them and, you know, become friends. Everyone could be our enemy, so show no mercy!

I also like how one person said, "I'll bet if you look at pictures of world leaders over 20 years meeting the emperor in Japan, they don't bow." If anything, that means they didn't think to care about Japanese culture. Why would the American presidents in the past have not known about this? Shouldn't they be told? If they are told, why should they ignore simple advice? That's ignorant behavior. Not only that, but I must stress that just because the past presidents haven't bowed, that doesn't mean that Obama shouldn't.

But ultimately, either greeting is fine. If the emporer would've just done the hand shake, I'm ultimately sure he'd realise it would probably make Obama more comfortable (maybe), but Obama chose to go a whole other route, an ultimately more satisfying route, considering people can easily gain first impressions within fifteen seconds. I'm still not a fan of Obama, but he gets a thumbs up from me in this situation.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Man Fired Over Religious Button

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/10/27/3431641-fla-man-says-home-depot-fired-him-over-god-button

First off, I just want to note how ridiculous it is that some news sites have somewhat misleading headlines, just like with the robber who stopped robbing because a lady got him to pray. The title of that one went something like, "Prayer Stops Criminal." After reading the article, you figure out what really happens, and it's not nearly as much of a miracle as the headline makes it out to be. But even more, I hate how more Conservative (or otherwise Christian) news sites are likely going to blow this situation way out of proportion, or try to use it as evidence/proof of something, when it really proves nothing, and if you read my response, you'll see why.

Basically, a guy was fired over a button he wore that said, "One nation, under God." He also brought a Bible to read during his lunch breaks. There's really nothing wrong. . . well, I personally have a problem with the phrase, since it's only considering our nation as being the one God concentrates on instead of the whole world. That's why I also don't like the phrase "God bless America." Otherwise, it's not harming, and I can see complaints about being fired over it.

However, Home Depot mentioned something about only wearing company-approved buttons. If that's actually in their rule book or whatever (and I can imagine it was in there so people wouldn't wear buttons saying things like, "Fuck You," or various other offensive sayings), then I can see why he was at least warned. In fact, he was offered another button, a more neutral one that said, "United we stand," since the guy said he felt that they were getting worked up over him just showing his love for his country. That point of view is fine, and wearing that button would avoid any more problems. However, the guy apparently had a problem wearing that button for whatever reason he had (he denied wearing it). So really, if he was wearing that other button because he wanted to show that he loved his country, he would've taken that other button no problem, because that one does as well. Since he didn't, that proves that's not his real motive (I don't care what he says). Hell, even the civil rights guy in the article said that he'd have a hard time winning the case, partly because of what I mentioned above. I seriously hope he does, not because he's religious or anything like that, but because he's a moron for contradicting himself.

I'm sure that Conservatives/Christians are still going to completely ignore any of that extremely important info and sympathize with the guy, though.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mario Sports Series

Now I'm moving on to the Mario Sports series. I will not be reviewing the Mario Kart games, though. That'll be another post, another time. I am just reviewing the Mario Sports games starting in the late nineties with Mario Golf and on. Also, I have not quite played every Mario Sports game, particularly a couple of the latest ones, and, understandably, I don't have a Virtual Boy, so otherwise I'd start with Mario's Tennis first. Even if I have, I have not bothered to get too far in them all. The last thing I should mention is that just because Mario is in the game, that does not mean I'll be reviewing it. Anyway, let's get started.


I initially wasn't interested in this game enough to want to try it out, but my girlfriend did want to. I was ultimately glad we tried it. It was a pretty fun game to play . . . until we beat it. I can't remember if we beat it entirely, but we unlocked all of the courses and characters. If that's all the criteria for beating the game, then I guess we did beat it. We never got the ball in the furthest hole on the driving range, but I doubt that unlocks anything anyway.

Otherwise, what can I say about the game? It's golf. Well, okay, it has a lot of pretty unique courses. It also has a good selection of characters, although some are non-Mario series characters you likely won't give a shit about, but in this game, one character is stronger than the next. This means that everyone's immediately going to be picking the strongest motherfucker in the game, that character in this case being Metal Mario.

Who wants to play as that guy with the dorky brown hat?

Other than that, there are several modes to play, including ring shot and mini-golf. However, I personally have always hated ring shot, and minigolf's courses are just the alphabet, some numbers, and a couple of symbols. No windmills, no dinosaurs, no clowns that spit the ball back out at you, nothing that makes mini-golf fun.

Ooh, a three. Exciting!

The gameplay mechanics are pretty good, too, but it wasn't the first game to use them. I can't remember what was, though. Maybe Golf on the NES or something. Anyway, it's definitely a lot more simplistic than Tiger Woods PGA Tour games, and really concentrates on the necessary stuff instead of getting too complicated.

Who cares if this came first, it kind of sucks shit now because of Mario Golf.

Nowadays, it's not too bad going back and playing it once in a real long while, although my girlfriend and I haven't played it in about a year's time. It has a decent replay value, but it's nowhere close to Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., or even Mario Tennis.

By the way, there was also a handheld version of the game for Game Boy Color, but I haven't played it, and I'm not sure if I want to. I'll explain why later. All I know about it right now, though, is that you can use it to connect to Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 and transfer your characters over using a Transfer Pak.


Now this was the first game released that was truly addictive in the Mario Sports series. In fact, it's probably the only Mario Sports game that my girlfriend and I still play sometimes.

At first, I thought it was like Mario Golf in that the game was simply a tennis game with just a couple of mediocre features. It has the ring shot thing like in that game, but it also has an item mode, where you use items on your opponents like in Mario Kart. That is the mode that has the highest replay value since it adds the most variety. Otherwise, even the regular tennis is fun to play.

Also unlike Mario Golf, this game's characters are not stronger than the other. There's a great mix of attributes and skills, such as Bowser being really strong, and Yoshi being really fast. They make a great doubles team, and that's the team my girlfriend and I usually use. You can get stronger versions of every character if you beat all of the tournaments with them. I haven't done it with every one of them, but it's not annoying considering how fun this game is. Well, okay, the last tournament can be ridiculous, though. It's usually you against Bowser or something, and trying to beat that last character is actually sometimes even painful.

As usual, Wario still sucks shit.

Despite that, I'd easily have to say that this game is the best in the Mario Sports series.


. . . Or is it? Actually, I think it's tied with it's handheld companion. If anything, this one might be better. Sadly, this is one of those games that's often overlooked even by some big Mario fans.

This game is actually an RPG as well (Mario Golf for Game Boy color was, too, though). I'm not even a big fan of RPG games, but I definitely thought this game worked out very well with the RPG mechanics, getting experience points with matches and training and obtaining objects that change your skills.

Before you start the main game, you can select from two people that you can play, a boy and a girl, and a partner for doubles, once again choosing from a boy and a girl. What about the transgenders and transvestites? :P Anyway, they do start out with different stats, so it actually does matter who you pick. I don't remember what was different exactly, but I wouldn't doubt if the girl was weaker. Because, you know, girls are not as strong as boys. Bullshit! >:( Hell, if that's the logic they're wanting to use, then I guess that's why they don't have hermaphrodites. Think about it.

Best character in the game.

Speaking of characters, you can choose from all sorts of characters. Most of them are not your typical Mario characters, though. In fact, there are more regular people than Mario characters by a long shot. You'll notice a lack at first, but you can unlock them, and even connect Mario Tennis on the Game Boy Color to Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64 using the Transfer Pak. You can even switch your characters from the Game Boy Color game to the Nintendo 64 game. However, for your character to match up pretty well against the characters in the Nintendo 64 version, you'll have to get them at an extremely really high level. My character is past level sixty (if I remember correctly), and I could only barely get past the Flower Cup with my character.

Otherwise, it's just tennis, but the gameplay is even better than the Nintendo 64 version overall. It's hard to explain why, but it just is. I will say, however, that playing matches in the main RPG mode is a lengthy process, the longest possible, so beating one person in a match takes a long time. I remember there was a time that it took over half an hour once. On the other hand, if you pick a match style like in Mario Tennis on the Nintendo 64, then the match tends to be too short.

Despite these shortcomings, this game kicks way too much ass for anyone to miss, even people who aren't Mario fanatics. I'd easily recommend this game and the Nintendo 64 counterpart to anyone and everyone.


This is the first Mario Sports game to come out after the Nintendo 64 was retired. I initially wasn't too exited about it, and didn't even play it until a couple of years after it came out. Ultimately, I'm glad I did get it, because it's easily the best Mario Golf game out there. However, I haven't gotten far into it, so I can't say too much about it, but boy is it fun. As fun as it is, I just haven't played it much. No reason, I just haven't.

Well, okay, Philip K. Dick has been one reason lately.

It is a lot more unique than Mario Golf, though. It has better courses with better scenery, better gameplay mechanics, the mini-golf mode is improved vastly, and there are special things you can use, like pipes to teleport your ball to another part of the field.

Other than that, I can't say much, but that doesn't mean that I don't recommend it. If you had to get one golf game ever in your life, get this one for sure.


But when it comes to it's handheld counterpart, I certainly don't recommend it. This is the most overrated handheld game ever. Hands down. The game got nearly unanimous praise, and I was excited to get it after hearing about how good it was. Boy was I disappointed.

I remember one critic said, "Aside from the quirks in graphics and music, there's almost nothing wrong with Mario Golf: Advance Tour" That's only part of the problem. I won't go too far into this, but how about gravity so bad that it's like your ball is jumping on the fucking moon? Because of this, I would constantly miss the fucking hole, and sometimes I couldn't even finish a hole it was so bad. The gravity wasn't good on Golf on the NES, but it's far worse in this game. The sucking fucking thing slides where you don't even expect it to go half of the God damn time, either. On top of that, even a one mile-per-hour winds can easily push your ball significantly off course. So quirks in the graphics and music? That's nothing compared to the game's other problems.

 Interplanetary Golf may not be such a bad idea for a video game, though.

Otherwise, the RPG elements are pretty much the same as the other handheld entries, and people praised that as well. It's nothing new, quit acting like it is!

So yes, this is the first game on my entire blog that I'm saying truly fucking sucks. If you want to go ahead and buy it, be my guest, but I don't recommend doing so at all. This game is the reason why I don't care to try the Game Boy Color version of Mario Golf. It's not like I expect that game to suck, too, but considering how this game was more advanced and was praised more, I just simply don't care to try. I may get it if it's cheap enough.


I'm not sure if this game is as good as the first one or not. I've played it a lot to know that I like it, but it's at least pretty close to being as good as the original.

Either way, this game adds so much new stuff that it gets you addicted. New mini games, new characters (don't care for Wiggler, though), and a new system that gives you "power shots" that either use a more powerful hit, or retrieve that ball if you can't reach it.

Other than that, there's not much I can say about the game, but it's awesome.


This game, however, is not awesome. In fact, out of all of the Mario Sports games that I've played, this one is the worst, and that's for one problem alone: the computer players. They fucking cheat like crazy. The single worst thing that they do is that they pull constant double and triple plays, even if they don't really happen, I guess just to end the inning early and piss you off in the process. They also have the tendency to hit and catch mostly everything, including special pitches and hits that are usually very hard to deal with. So fuck this game.


This game is fun . . . for a while. It's cool beating up everyone in this game, but it still gets boring once you beat it. In fact, I got so bored with it that I flat out sold my copy. That's not to say it's bad, it's just dull, at least after a short while. Overall, really, it's okay.

By the way, Peach and Daisy's outfits are more skimpy than usual. Trying to go that route now, huh, Nintendo? Yes, such a great idea to sell out your characters in this fashion to grab more attention and sales. Even better, let's have Daisy and Peach . . . well, I think you already know where I'm going with that. :P

Inevitably going to happen. Seriously, they're perfect for each other.



Another handheld Mario Tennis game. I eagerly anticipated this one considering how incredible the last game was. I wasn't completely disappointed, but boy did I feel crushed. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as the original, and this game is still okay, but boy did the replay value drop fast with this game. Once I beat the junior league, I stopped and haven't played since. That means I don't remember much about the game now, but I do remember one of the most annoying aspects that made me stop playing: seemingly endless and pointless dialogue. Even after speeding it up, it took a few minutes to go through a character's monologue going on about nothing, which would even sometimes make my thumb sore from so much button-pressing.

Honestly, drug references in a Mario game? Really, why? Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to in this game anyway.

No, I play space Tennis. Regular Tennis is for wusses.

 Well, good for you, but please, stop holding up my own progress with your mundane, uninspired, corny losing speech.

Yes, please, shut up and play some Goddamn Tennis.

YES, PLEASE, THANK YOU! You're not the only one who's waited a long time, so let's go!

Also, I do remember that you can't add your characters from this game to Mario Power Tennis. If Nintendo could do it with all of their other games, why not this one? What prevented them from doing so?

Other than that, I would like to say more if I can remember more about the game, but as of right now, I can't say much.


Not since Super Mario RPG have Nintendo and Square Enix teamed up on a Mario project. They finally did with this game, but, of course, they had to go and make another Mario Sports game, and what better game than Basketball. On a handheld system. With two screens, one touch-sensitive. And yes, let's make the controls completely touch screen based and have no button options. Oh, and let's put in some overpowered Final Fantasy characters in the game as well. Sounds like the greatest formula ever, right?

A series I wouldn't think of ever meeting up with Mario . . . for good reason.


Obviously, no. Because of the controls alone, the game is fucking frustrating as Hell to play. Sometimes it doesn't read your moves correctly, and either does something else that you didn't want to do, or does nothing at all, which, either way, could fuck up your game royally. Not only that, but they decided to put in complicated moves that you can do to improve your scores and plays and stuff. However, it also overcomplicates gameplay to the point where you may not even care to use the techniques, and considering the horrible control scheme, it's best not to even try.

Harder and more irritating than it looks, and is relatively easy compared to some of the other moves in the game.

This still isn't the worst Mario Sports game, but it's among them.

-------

And this ends my experience in playing the Mario Sports games. I haven't played any of the other games because I've lost interest. If anything, I'd be willing to play Mario Strikers Charged, and I might try out the Mario Olypmics game just for shits and giggles, but overall, I don't really care anymore. Unless there's another Mario Tennis game, or another Mario Golf game that's unique enough, or something else that sounds interesting overall. Mario Wrestling or Mario Martial Arts would kick ass.

But we already have this anyway.

Or even better: Nintendo Strip Poker or Nintendo Extreme Beach Volleyball. For the Strip Poker idea, there'd be options for both sexes, but I'd obviously play with only female characters. Peach Vs. Daisy. Zelda Vs. Samus. Even lesser known characters, like Jody Summer Vs. Malon. Mmmm, Heaven. :) That could easily be a perennial favorite of both my girlfriend and I.

Anyway, just like with the Mario Party series, the Mario Sports series has lost a lot of merit. However, unlike the Mario Party series, the Mario Sports series still has some fire left in it, and I'm willing to give it a few more chances, even though I doubt that I'll ever be playing a Mario Baseball game again. Either way, I hope to see more good stuff again from Nintendo (so please release Nintendo Strip Poker!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time + Memory = Nostalgia

To me (and my girlfriend as well, though she doesn't get quite as philosophical), this is one of the most mesmerizing subjects to talk about. Hell, sometimes it just completely fucks your mind up. I sometimes feel like I've lost place in the current flow of time and have gone back in it while thinking of the past, or I sometimes even lose all sense of time in general. I understand and accept that my life is moving on, and do still live for the moment, but I also miss a lot of what happened in the past. Not everything, of course, like me getting kicked out by my parents, or being beaten by other kids at school. But I miss a lot of other things, even the little bits, like building box forts. I haven't done that in ages, and I don't think I'd fit very well in the boxes anyway, not unless I shrunk myself by thinking of being small again.

It's odd how, as I get further along in my life, I feel like it's passing me by at a much faster pace than I originally presumed. When I was a toddler, I thought everything, including the world and the people in it, started when I was born. I thought I would never grow old, until I reached five years old. I realized I was aging, and I finally understood why everyone was reacting to me, saying, "my, you're getting so big!" At that point, I thought it would (metaphorically) take a real long time to reach the age of ten. It didn't. In fact, it felt like a few minutes passed by. Then I felt that surely it would take forever to reach the age of twenty. It didn't. Now it felt like that took a couple of years. Life is flashing by faster than I could have possibly imagined. I still can't comprehend why it moves so fast like this. In two seconds, my girlfriend and I will be living out in Iowa, married, and having kids (somehow). In another two, we'll be alone again, our kids will have moved out, having kids of their own, and our parents close to death. In another two, we'll be dead.

As I am aging, I find that I'm thinking more about this. I fear that it'll get so bad that my memories will be all that I remember. If not, I fear the possibility of dying, and living on more lives via resurrection in my memory, living my life over and over again.

As for the people I know, I'm thankful that I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm not sure if I inspired her line of thinking or not, but my girlfriend and I talk about this sometimes. I've discussed it with my cousin lately as well. She gave the point of view of watching a child growing up, since she always used to watch me. I've got to admit, watching a future child of mine would be quite an experience. I have to wonder what my kid would be thinking and experiencing. I'm sure it's the same for them.

I'm definitely glad that I've been with my girlfriend for as long as we've been together, never separating. I will know her for the rest of my days. As for most of the other people that I've known in my life, that is not the case. I find it strange how I can know a person for one moment, and in the next, realize that I may never see them again throughout my whole life. Sometimes it makes me quite sad, even to the point where I cry a bit. Once again, I'm glad that's not the case with my girlfriend. I will love her for the rest of my days. However, I've known some great friends that I feel like I have now certainly lost for good, usually because they had to move away. I don't usually get upset about most of my former classmates from throughout my public school days, but I still have that strange feeling: I used to know you well and see you very often, and now you're gone away from me, possibly for the rest of my life. I have to wonder what they're thinking, feeling, and doing nowadays. I wonder how much has changed about each of them. We've just been out of school a couple of years, and they're already spreading like wildfire, some moving to states surrounding us, and even one I heard who moved across a few of them. Because of this, I doubt that I'll be hearing of them much anymore.

Speaking of my classmates, I'd like to just talk about them a bit. Not all of them were bullies to my girlfriend and I. In fact, most of the kids from early elementary school didn't mind us, and if anything, made fun of us out of pure jest, or because they didn't like us because we were nerds (we had a big group of nerds, which my girlfriend, a couple of friends and I started, and eventually grew to be a fairly large group) as opposed to being lesbians. Only the worst couple of them were nasty little buggers, and they eventually moved, and they never hurt us in a physical way. The ones who did pick on my girlfriend and I real bad were the newer kids from upper elementary/junior high on. The worst ones were obviously the ones who beat us. That rarely happened, and it only happened with some bigots who moved into the town, kids that not even most of the other bullies liked at all. They weren't punished (for a few months even) until the nicest teacher in the school finally saw very clear evidence that my girlfriend and I were beaten. Even then, all they got was a suspension for a week, which they liked, if anything, because they could just get to sit around and do whatever they wanted most of the time. The teacher tried to fight for a harder punishment, but to no avail. That's when the police got involved, and taught the kids a lesson in their own special way. That's when they stopped everything. We weren't picked on by anybody from that day forward, at least not like with them. In fact, the bigots were ordered not to even come near my girlfriend and I.

We were still ridiculed, but we were used to it by then. That was until a popular jock asked for us (the group of nerds) to help him with his homework after school. We didn't like jocks much, but the guy was actually decent, and we weren't assholes about it anyway, so we helped the guy. Not only that, we started playing games and stuff after we were done helping him. Not long after, his prep girlfriend broke up with him because she noticed he started talking to us, and he was telling her that we're not nearly as bad as other people made us out to be. Because of this, he became a member of the group, and would hang out with us until we all got out of high school. People ridiculed him as well, but not as badly as the rest of us, since he had a good reputation with the jocks as well, and still would hang out with them as well. We have talked to him a bit since then, but that was a couple of years ago, and we haven't seen or talked to him lately, and I doubt we ever will. He's basically one of those people I described above: those who you know well at one point, then at another, never talk to or even see again.

Besides people, places change as well, though not as much as people. That's what I like about them. Sometimes, I'll visit a place from my childhood, such as a park, and see that it's hardly changed, if at all. Every now and then, though, something does change. Ever since leaving the high school, my girlfriend and I noticed that it expended and tore down the playground we always played on during recess. That playground, to my understanding, had no problems with it whatsoever. All they wanted to do was add another gymnasium and cafeteria. They were fine with the ones that they had before, so I saw no point to it other than to waste taxpayer's money. That and my girlfriend and I can't experience a big part of our school time nostalgia anymore because of it. I remember when she and I got in trouble for making out behind the big slide. We didn't think we would be kissing much, but we got into it pretty quickly, and were spotted about half a minute later by our teacher. Most of the elementary school knew about it. Apparently, quite a few other kids saw us before the teacher did, and didn't care to report us. In fact, they moved on with whatever they were doing at the time. Goes to show that sometimes adults are overreacting, huh? Well, my girlfriend's parents certainly weren't. We continued making out at her place later that night. They could stop us at school, but they couldn't stop us elsewhere. :P

In general, though, it's crazy how much things can change within a short amount of time. I'm sure that, if you leave a town for several years and come back to it, you'll likely notice many changes, including where people are living now, and what's happened to them since you've left. I've got to say, though, that it's certainly refreshing to see that at least some things are kept the same, at least for a while.

In fact, this reminds of a couple of lyrics from a song in The Brave Little Toaster:

"Time flies by in the city of light
Time stands still in the country"

That makes me wonder if time is relative, if we, people, make time go by through progression and the idea of age. We think we're aging, thus we are. Alternatively, maybe time is flowing because we're doing something constantly, time progressing even if we lift a finger. I wonder, if everybody and everything (besides time) in the world/universe stopped, if time would stop right along with it. Silly ideas, I know, but they're fun to think about.

Anyway, moving on. Thankfully, we can capture moments on film now, whether it be on a picture or video camera. I only have one video (which was plastered over the movie Moonstruck, so every now and then, a bit of that movie pops) containing clips from various goings on in my life, encompasing my first day of school, a clip of me watching Mighty Moprhin' Power Rangers, playing with my dog (who is no longer around), and playing in my back yard (all in the same clip), using a plastic bat to play fake guitar along with a live Rush tape (A Show of Hands), a gymnastics session, and Christmas that year. It even has my girlfriend and my cousin in it. My cousin is in most of the clips, but my girlfriend is only in the gymnastics clip. In the video, you can see us hug and kiss for a quick little bit.

It feels odd watching it, though. I feel as if my past self died after the moments caught on film, and the film is the only evidence left. In fact, I feel as if my past self from even a nanosecond ago has already died (or is dying) as I'm typing this, and that my memory is my only proof. It's crazy thinking about how a camera can capture a single moment in time. It's like capturing time in a box and printing off, and that's the only way it can truly live on.

Otherwise, a nice idea would be is we could have a machine that can internally record our memories (maybe even our dreams) and pay them back to us any time. I'd love to see the time that I first met my girlfriend again. I'd love to go back to any time that the old school playground was still standing.

. . . Then again, after seeing the film Strange Days, I'm not sure if that's the best idea.

However, I don't encourage time travel. I'd rather not screw things up even if time travel was possible, which I don't think is the case, at least when it comes to going back into the past. If it was possible, I'm sure some asshole would've figured it out by now and could've used it to fuck up history. Maybe Adolf Hitler was from the future. Maybe that's what happened to the aliens at Area 51. Maybe that's what we evolve into in the future, or maybe they're a different species in general, who figured out how to travel through time, tested the machine, made a mistake, and ended up crashing. But I don't even think that kind of thing is possible. If two points of time can co-exist like that, then how do you explain the past still going it's course until the future, when that person in the future goes back? If that person went back in time and changed things, what would happen to the future then? Would it even be possible, if history changed then, that the man who went back in the future went back again if history changed? And what would really happen then? If the past changed after he went back, and he went back again in the future, wouldn't the past be changed even further? It really doesn't take much to change the future. I'm not into Chaos Theory, but I can understand even making someone stall for a second by bumping into them could have potential consequences. Also, how could the past, which did not previously feature the man from the future, feature him if it did not feature him before? If he's in the future, but not the past, how can it even be possible that he go back to it considering, if he were to arrive yesterday, he wasn't originally there yesterday? If we've already passed that point in time, there's no way to go back. It's all a great big paradox.

By the way, time traveling into the future is possible, but it involves preservation. That's really all it is. Otherwise, that's not possible, either.

I'll close with a quote that I've heard go around with jocks at my school, "Don't dwell on the past. Live for the future. Always think ahead." I agree nobody should live in the past, because if we did that, we'd have nothing else except for our early memories, and no new ones. The rest would be a shade of gray. However, I certainly don't want to live in the future, either. If anything, we need to think about our memories, because once a moment passes by, we can never physically go back to it again. Remember, the past is what got us to where we are in the first place.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Okay, we're aware of that it exists. Enough with this ridiculous advertising. I swear, it's everywhere you fucking go. First, my girlfriend and I went to Dairy Queen and saw it there. Then we went to several local stores and saw them there. Then we both went to work and saw them there, too. What's with this obsessive breast cancer awareness? Wait, maybe it's because people want to save the boobies. Oh no! Lord knows what would happen if we lost boobies!

Of course, my girlfriend and I love boobs (my girlfriend's boobs are huge :D), and I don't mind saving them if they're in trouble, but here's what confuses me: why not cover every type of cancer out there and not just breast cancer? Breast cancer isn't even the most common type of cancer; skin cancer is, then lung and prostate cancer. I'm not even saying just cover the most common ones, though; cover all of them. Just try and find a general cure for cancer.

Also, I have a big problem with the fact that, not only is every company on the planet advertising about it, but they are constantly coloring everything pink in relation to this project. Why pink? "Der, 'cause girls like pink, der!" There's your typical sexist response. Not all girls like pink. I fucking hate pink. My girlfriend doesn't care for it, either, but she does love purple. In fact, there's only one girl that I've ever known who really liked pink, and I haven't seen her in a long time. If anything, I actually have a male friend who likes pink. It's not his favorite color, but he likes it nonetheless. No, he's not gay, or even bisexual. That's ridiculous.

This next point goes for all charities in general. If you want to donate to a charity, why donate so little of the money you make off of your products? I understand not all of it can go to the charity, but it's always something really small, like ten percent. I've even seen one as low as five, which is horrible. I know most companies that are doing this (which are usually the ones that advertise the most, thus are the biggest brands) have enough money going around as is, so why not donate more and spend less money on useless shit, like more advertising?

Also, has anyone else noticed how most companies went from spending charity money on AIDS to breast cancer? I remember a few years ago, AIDS charities, although not everywhere, were widespread enough to the point where everyone knew about them. Now we've shifted almost completely away from AIDS to try and tackle a subject not quite as dangerous or widespread. That and we didn't fucking find a cure for AIDS, damn it. Well, actually, I think I heard we might have recently, but it wasn't quite thanks to company charity, because this came long after that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Women's Underwear in Stores

I was in shitty fucking god damn stupid as Hell Wall-Mart with my girlfriend yesterday. Not long after I walked in, I saw the clothing section. What did I see? The women's underwear out front. Normally, I'd figure, "Okay, that's stupid, but if the men's underwear is out front as well, then I won't think about it much." Sure enough, as I walk through the store, I see the men's underwear in the middle, where it's not nearly as easy to see as the women's underwear.

This is certainly not the first time I've seen this. I was at Target a few days before that as well and noticed the very same thing. I've also seen this in various department stores, although some of them put the men's underwear out front as well (yuck!). However, while I was at Target specifically, I noticed a bunch of signs around the girl's clothing section with girls in somewhat sexy poses. Even the preteens! Yeah, go ahead and shake your ass at the camera and bring on the predators, baby!

Anyway, let me ask men yet another question: Wouldn't you find it embarrassing having to fucking grab your underwear right where everyone can see what you're grabbing for?

And here's my question for companies: Why do most of you put only women's underwear out front right where everyone can see it?

And Target, why are you showing sexually suggestive pictures of girls in their preteens? Are the leaders of Target pedophiles, or is it a careless woman who thinks it's cute, but doesn't see what men see? Let me tell you, ladies, that you might want to think twice about putting you daughter in those short shorts. You may not think much of it, but men do.

Anyway, not a long post, just something that I felt needed to get out there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More School Hours

Obama's at it again, and once again, people are loving this ridiculous idea, which is even worse than his idea of taxing soda. This time, he wants to add more hours into the school system, as if kids weren't busy enough. I've heard some schools are already making it mandatory that your child has to be in at least one kind of extracurricular, like sports or band. It's not like those help educate a child in the first place, but that's already there, and considering that, why add more school hours? You want the child to live at school? You want the child to see it's family in as little time as possible? I've even heard something about the child being "safer at school." That's such major bullshit that you couldn't shit out a turd huge enough to match the size of that bullshit. Yes, let's leave your kids around the bullies and the brainwashing class sessions longer. That works. Besides, although sometimes the teachers don't have enough time to finish stuff, more often they have plenty of time as is, at least if you concentrate on stuff that actually educates kids instead of concentrating on stuff like, "Did you know the pufferfish is part of this and that species and eats blah blah blah, etc.?" That's not educating a child, that's just random shit nobody's going to remember once they get out of school. Schools are not the Discovery Channel.

Obama is doing this to try and get kids more educated. He obviously doesn't see that school hours are not the problem at all. I already stated some problems above, but remember when I ranted about the grade system? Keep what I said in mind there as well. That's just one of the many thing we could go after to improve education. Like how about doing something about the school system's largest cancerous tumor: homework. Teachers give it out without even thinking of the consequences nowadays. Sometimes they give out way too fucking much, and I have to think, "Do you realize that there are several other teachers giving me homework, too? Do you not realize that this will take me until three in the morning to finish?" In fact, I'm going to tell you something interesting: my third grade teacher gave out no homework. That's right, absolutely no homework whatsoever the entire school year. Do you know what happened? I'm sure you're thinking that I didn't learn much, but I learned more in that class than any other year. In the later years, of course, I had more homework. Overall, I learned less, and I just plain became much more stressed. So, obviously, I have (at least somewhat) an anti-homework stance.

But, if you really do add more school hours, would you please, for the love of all that is wonderful in this world, please do everybody a fucking favor and finally get even more strict with the fucking moronic bullies in the school? Who gives a shit if they're a jock and play sports or not! Sports in school aren't necessary for education anyway, so why care if "you need him for the game?" In the real world, you get punished for crimes not matter what, just like several pro sports players. Also, if anyone has seen the movie Drillbit Taylor and thought how the bully got away with almost everything was unrealistic, trust me, it was actually very realistic. I had that happen to my girlfriend and I in school a lot, unless we were beaten. Even then, they sometimes got away. It truly does seem like bullies get away with almost everything nowadays, and we need to stop encouraging that behavior at all! Same goes for the parents. If you hear that your kid has done something awful (especially if you start hearing many cases of him doing something bad), don't just take that and think, "Oh, my kid would never do that. He's so nice here at home." I've seen that behavior often: nice at home, turns into the dark lord himself at school. Take action into his behavior for once in your lives!

And one last note I want to make to Obama. Do you really want to try and make our society more of a dystopia? Do you really want us Americans to move away from the American Dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by putting progress, work, and the pursuit of a good salary over any of that? I honestly think that we Americans work enough as is, and that's one of the reasons why our happiness rating is so low compared to several other countries (last time I checked, Denmark was the happiest). And you want to feed more into that system that's one of the causes of unhappiness? Ultimately, it seems that we're missing out more and more on the wonders of life, and we've lost a good idea of how to get them back. Please don't let them get away from us.

P.S. If this plan of yours does come into play, I'd be more than happy to say, "Impeach Obama!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taxing Soda

I've been mixed about Obama and his policies, but this new idea of his about putting a "sin tax" on soda is just plain fucking stupid. The strange thing is that I keep reading a bunch of articles about how it's such a good idea. I beg to differ.

1. Haven't we already increased taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol before? Has that ever worked? Doesn't anyone learn from history's mistakes anymore?

2. If you're targeting obesity, why not tax everything that could be it's cause and not just soda? I know soda's apparently "not good for you," but neither is fast food, chips, just about anything made in a bakery or made with bread, artificial food items, and even certain fruits and vegetables, or at least eating them too much without eating much else. That makes just about all of the food on the market "dangerous" to our health.

Besides that point, why does everybody have to be skinny? It may be hurting people's bodies to be too big, but fat people aren't hurting skinny people, are they? They're not hurting the environment just by being fat, are they? Ultimately, it's their choice, just like the people who buy cigarettes and alcohol. Cigarettes and alcohol, though, are more dangerous than the so called "bad foods." They both can destroy the environment and harm the consumer (both even more than soda) as well as other people. Soda only has potential harm to the person consuming it, while cigarettes and alcohol are capable of damaging everyone. And remember, putting extra taxes on those items didn't work. Do you honestly think it will for soda, especially considering it's not as dangerous?

3. Did you know that the most advertised products on the market are the ones that are bought the most? It's obvious to figure that out, but think about this for a second: who advertises their products and businesses most when it comes to food? If anything, I'd do something about that instead. It may not be some incredible idea that'll work 100% (nothing would completely work, really), but even that would do better than a soda tax. It'd cure a lot of useless spending by the companies making those advertisements in the process (we already know that McDonald's exists), so we'd be making some kind of progress, anyway.

4. We're still in a fucking recession, and you want to increase taxes on something!?

5. I will admit that Obama's smart enough to request a drop in healthy food's prices, considering that was another reason junk food was prevelant: it's cheaper. That would work, if anything. But then don't put taxes on junk food. The price drop in health food should actually be enough. That's a much smarter idea than going after junk foods. Instead of incentive for getting away from junk food, give and incentive that encourages health food. In fact, encourage a balance of both, really, because it's been proven that every now and then, having junk food, then going back to health food, satisfies cravings. You need a mix, or else it likely won't work.

6. For people wanting to lose weight, the best way is actually to exercise. In fact, the bigger you are, the easier it is for you to lose more weight if you exercise. My girlfriend and I exercise together somewhat often, we still eat junk foods and drink pop, and we're still very healthy.

However, if you're having a hard time exercising, then you should probably figure out what's wrong with your routine. Some people, like me, can't lift things that are real heavy too often, or even run, or else our joints start to hurt (because I have arthritis), but there are other things you can do. My girlfriend and I usually go swimming and walking together. However, you don't want to do the former too much. Read the "Risks" section of this article for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_swimming#Risks

Not all of that information is relevant to swimming exercise, but some of it is.

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Now, I may come up with more points if I can even remember if I had any more in the first place, but this'll do for now. I felt it needed to be said, even though nobody is reading my blog except for my girlfriend. I doubt people would pay attention to me anyway. People would probably call me a liar, a stupid ginger, a dumb lesbo, a radical feminist, an evil liberal, and a Satanist who practices witchcraft, because, you know, I listen to Metal. Out of all of those, I'm a ginger lesbian Metalhead, but other than that, the rest is obviously bullshit. :P

I'm really an individualist hoping for the freedom that America is supposed to have, and yet doesn't have. Censorship, senseless conformity, unequal rights (particularly for gays and lesbians nowadays), favoritism in the job market and in schools, too much concentration and importance on work ("I don't care if you're sick with something that could easily infect everyone here, you're still coming to work."), etc.

Anyway, I should close off this post now. I've babbled on longer than I probabbly should have, but it was fun.

I Miss My Cousin

In my last post, I talked a bit about my cousin. That made me think about her a lot, especially considering she called me a couple of days ago and told me that, although she had to go at the moment, she wanted to talk with me every day from now on. She said she wouldn't even mind talking to my girlfriend, too, since she's known her for a long time as well.

So yesterday, we talked for a long time, since we hadn't talked to each other in over a year, maybe even longer. That was about the time she moved to Iowa with her Japanese girlfriend, who she's still with. I was glad to hear that they were still together. Her girlfriend is really nice. She told me that they wanted to get married, and that's why they moved to Iowa, but they haven't gotten married yet. She also told me that stupid dumb shit asshole motherfucking god damn conservatives wanted to try and get rid of the law allowing gays and lesbians to marry (already) because "they want to do what's right," or so they think. Yes, let's have a hateful God who approves of slavery and rape be our moral guidance. That and we just don't like it when things change, even if they're for the better. Anyway, they wanted to wait and make sure my girlfriend and I could see them. I told her we could go out there once school was over this semester.

My cousin then told me that she'd never graduated from college, but that her girlfriend had, so she was glad to finally be out of poverty. In fact, I'll tell you a story about that.

When I was sixteen, my parents kicked me out of the house, and I'd rather not say why. My cousin was the first to offer me her place to stay, and even if other people made offers, I would've chosen to stay either with her or with my girlfriend's family anyway, but I knew my girlfriend's family would've had a harder time financially with me there. Unfortunately, my cousin would've taken a hit as well, but she was able to support me a little better. I felt bad for her, though, so I tried to get a job. My first job was at Burger King. I'll rant about that place later.

Anyway, my cousin went through multiple relationships while I was there, relationships with all sorts of people, but at some point, she quit going out with men for good. She didn't find them as pleasurable as women, because she figured that she could do more with women than men.

The one thing that did kind of stink about living at her place, at least until she quit dating men, were the noises that came from her room while she was having sex with her then partners (she'd always wait a long while before having sex, though). My cousin always joked that she had a hard time sleeping that night, too. Once she started just going out with women, I slept somewhat easier. However, whenever my cousin started dating her Japanese girlfriend, it got a little harder for me to sleep again because of the distinct noise that she let out during sex.

Anyway, moving on. I told her that I'm currently living with my girlfriend, and she immediately joked by asking me, "Have you two fucked yet?" I laughed and told her no. She asked why, and I told her the walls are way too thin. She said it doesn't matter as long as you don't make too much noise, but then I told her that my girlfriend does, or at least she tells me that she does, because her mother told her that she was making a lot of noise while masturbating a long time ago.

Then we started talking about various geek stuff. I honestly can't remember how we got into that conversation, but once we got into it, it was basically over an hour of nerd talk, asking question like, "Have you played such and such game?" or, I remember one in particular being, "Have you seen District 9 yet?" My girlfriend and I don't usually get to see movies in the theaters anymore, but we really wanted to see that one, and we did. Now my cousin and I want both want to see Zombieland and Surrogates. The latter is based on a comic book series that I haven't read yet, but now I want to. It looks like both will be made of awesomeness. I would love to see the movies with her, but sadly, I can't. I don't think I'll even be able to see them with my girlfriend.

Then we said our goodbyes and hung up. We talked again today as well, but the conversation wasn't quite as long, and we talked about, of course, sex. It's on her mind a lot, but I guess she got my girlfriend and I in the mood tonight considering we looked up lesbian porn. Oh well, it was fun.

But now I actually feel like seeing her again. I even wonder if she's changed her appearance at all, though I doubt it. All I know is that both my girlfriend and I would give her and her girlfriend a great big hug when we see them again, and we will.

The First Time I Had Ever Seen a Penis

I'm going to tell you about something kind of interesting about me. You know that I'm a lesbian, but I'm going to tell you about just how much of a lesbian I am.

I though of talking about this because my girlfriend and I recently were watching lesbian porn online together. We don't normally do that, but we sure felt like it today. :P Of course, we only watched stuff that at least seemed somewhat real. The second we noticed the video we were watching was fake, we clicked on another video. Trust me, we'd have sex ourselves, and could've done it already, but we currently live in a dorm, and the walls are thin. At the very least, once we had turned eighteen, we'd gotten naked. That is the furthest we've gotten so far. We'd both like to go a lot further, but like I said about the walls . . .

Anyway, the first time we actually watched lesbian porn together was when we were thirteen. We were curious of what it was really like, so we looked it up one day. For the most part, we did find lesbian porn, but every now and then, there'd be some stupid threesome where some dickhead asshole motherfucking guy pops his head up, walks over, and fucks the girls. Damn it, that pisses me off when that happens. Anyway, the first time we saw that situation and the guy whipped out his nasty ass penis, I threw up. I fucking barfed, damn it! They truly disgust me. It's not like I can't ever look at one, but if I stare long enough (like I'd want to anyway), then that's what happens. I get sick to my stomach, and sometimes it ends up with really bad results.

Of course, back then, we didn't know about Internet History. The vomit didn't help, either, but there was more evidence if it was needed. Thankfully, we used my girlfriend's computer to look up lesbian porn. Naturally, her parents found out, and actually told us that it was perfectly fine considering how curious we were, and further told me they felt bad about me throwing up like that. My parents would've found out about me being sick, but not about my girlfriend and I searching up lesbian porn. My girlfriend's parents later told my parents that I threw up because I ate too much.

I later told my cousin about it. She joked with me that, if my girlfriend and I really wanted to see lesbian sex, that we could just spend the night at her place with her then girlfriend. She said that it'd be safer for me since there would be no penises involved, I could get a front row seat, and it wouldn't be fake. I giggled and said I was fine.

But now, before I post this, I just want to say that my favorite thing to watch is tribadism. My girlfriend and I want to try that out the most. I've heard from a couple of girls online that it doesn't work, but I have a feeling that they're doing it wrong, because I also read even more responses on lesbian sites (not porn) that have said that it is actually quite pleasurable.

EDIT: My cousin confirmed that the girls that say tribadism doesn't work likely really are doing it wrong, or have broken vaginas. XD

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mario Party Series

This year has flown by way too fast. I even missed the chance to post about something I'd been wanting to post about around the time I'd been wanting to post it. Why? Because this year, three game series had their tenth year anniversary, and they all feature Mario. Those series are the Mario Sports series, the Mario Party series, and the Super Smash Bros. series. I'll be talking about them, starting with the first one that was released: Mario Party. I won't be doing long, drawn out reviews for every game in my posts, but I will at least say something about a game in the series if I've played it. Anyway, let's get started.


I remember not even thinking much of this game at first because I didn't know what it was about. I remember seeing the commercial for it, but it didn't truly give much info about the game. I was a little girl back then, and I wasn't reading gaming magazines yet. My cousin was, though, and I asked her about the game. She said she never read up on it, so she couldn't tell me at the moment. At that point, I really wanted to try it just out of sheer curiosity. That was also around the time that my parents started getting into the habit of renting movies. The first time I went into the rental store, I noticed the video game section and was drawn to it immediately. I didn't have a Playstation, so I just looked at the Nintendo 64 section. I spotted Mario Party, but noticed most of them were gone. At first I thought they actually were all gone, but spotted one left and grabbed it. I pleaded with my mom to let me rent it. Luckily, I was with my mom, so she allowed me to check it out. Otherwise, if I was with my dad that I was with, he probably would've said no. Anyway, that made Mario Party my first ever video game rental, possibly even my first rental ever at a video rental store (if I remember correctly).

When I got home and played it, I was amazed. I had to show my girlfriend as soon as I could. I was able to show her the game the next day, and we played together all day. Soon, we had some friends come over and play with us. It was the first game we all played together like that since Mario Kart 64. Even my cousin came over to play it, and she liked it. Of course, we had to send it back to the video store after a week of having it. Fortunately, my birthday was coming up, so I asked for it and got it.

Now I realize I've talked a lot about how I got the game. Now I should talk about the actual game.

The video game is basically a board game video game with mini-games mixed in between turns. Usually, it's whoever wins the mini-game gets ten or more coins, but every now and then, there's a twist, such as a game simply about collecting coins, one-on-three games, two-on-two games, and even single player mini-games. But it's not just about coin collecting. It's also about collecting the most Power Stars, and if you wanted to win, that's what you had to do. There were usually obstacles in the way, especially if you hit the "guess" spaces, which caused events to happen that could interfere with your progress. This made the game depend a lot on luck just with the board game part, but even some of the mini-games depended on luck. Sometimes the computer players knew what to pick sometimes, though, like with the "Pipe Maze" game, and that pissed everyone off. It made single player a lot less fun. However, despite what most game critics will tell you, it's not like the fun completely leaves the game if you're playing single player, it's just that multiplayer is better, hence the word "Party" in the name of the game. At the same time, though, once you beat the game, unlocking and buying everything, the single player aspect does pretty much lose most of the value that it once had, and at that point, multiplayer truly is the only thing that keeps the game fun at all. This is true not only for this game, but for every other game in the series.

Wayne and Garth could improve a party.

Anyway, there are more to the board game aspects, such as item boxes that you can buy and use, but those aren't entirely necessary. Besides the board game aspect, you can play the mini-games individually if you don't feel like playing through a board game just to play them, and you can pick which one(s) you want to play. There's also the most fun single player experience of them all: Mini-Game Island. It's simply a mode where you travel around an island, landing on different spaces and play mini-games. On the last space, you get to face Toad in Slot Car Derby. If you beat him . . . that's it. You just beat him. You can challenge him again anytime, but you don't unlock anything, learn some kind of secret, etc.

First, our princess is in another castle, now this. Thanks again for the false hopes.

Most of the mini-games are easy enough, although sometimes the computer players overbear you, particularly in the harder mini-games. Which brings me to probably the only really bad aspect of the game: the control stick controls. Not only is it sometimes awkward to move the character with it, but there are several mini-games, including the infamous Shy Guy wind-up toy, that require you to rapidly spin around the control stick in a circle. This causes blisters, and I even got one on the palm of my hand while playing what I consider to be the worst mini-game in the game: "Tug o' War." It's a mini-game where you either play as a person in a Bowser suit against three people, or you play as the three people against the person in the Bowser suit. Either way, the mini-game is hard to the point where you have to be quite fast at spinning the control stick, even when facing the Easy computer players. Because of this, getting a blister while playing that mini-game isn't too hard to do.

I'm not the only one.

The last thing I want to discuss is the characters. You can select from Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong. Choosing different characters would be nice, but there are two problems. The minor problem is that there aren't very many characters to choose from. The major problem is that the characters, other than the way that they look, are essentially not different at all. It would be nice is, say, Mario could be an average character (maybe use fireballs), Donkey Kong were stronger than other characters, Yoshi could use his tongue or throw eggs (or both), Luigi could jump higher than the other characters, Peach could float in the air for a short period of time, and Wario could be generally useless. He could be slower and barely able jump (because he's been consistently the worst character in the Mario spinoff games).

Useless.

But you know what, whenever Luigi is selected as a computer player (any difficulty), I swear (literally) that he fucking cheats like crazy. Every time fucking time that he's fucking selected he fucking seems to fucking get fucking lucky almost every fucking turn. Fuck! >:( However, there's a way around this. You can easily switch from one character to another through the pause menu. Sometimes it's a blessing, especially when encountering cheating motherfuckers like computer player Luigi.


Now, I didn't make that video or anything, but I figured I'd help demonstrate the kind of thing that typically happens to me whenever I face Luigi in a game.

Despite any shortcomings, the game is still quite fun. I haven't played it in over a year since I unlocked every mini-game (the last thing I did to complete it), but my girlfriend has been feeling nostalgic about it lately and wants to play to relive some good times.


This was definitely one of my more anticipated games that came out in 2000. I didn't even think Nintendo was going to make a second game, but once they did, I definitely wanted to play it. I was hoping for some changes in the problems that were in the first game, like when a new operating system is released, you expect bugs to be fixed. Sure enough, though, not every bug is fixed, and some new bugs are created. That's exactly what Mario Party 2 is.

Better in some ways, worse in others.

The first big bug that was fixed was that the blister-inducing control stick spinning mini-games are gone. There is now more reliance on button-pressing mini-games. This also makes the game much easier. However, the computer players may still overpower you. They're not quite as bad as in the last game, but sometimes you might wonder, "How the fuck did I lose? It's impossible for any human being to move that fast!"

There's also the addition of items that you can use while playing on the boards, such as mushrooms, keys, etc. It definitely adds more variety to the game, and this factor alone makes this game a big improvement over the first game. However, speaking of variety, you not only pick from the same characters in the first game (no additions or changes), there are still no differences in the characters (other than looks, of course). The addition of items makes up for it, but I was hoping that later Mario Party games would eventually change this factor, if there were going to be anymore (which was likely, and there were certainly more).

There are a lot of new mini-games, and there are even some that came from the first game, although they were somewhat restyled, which I thought was cool. Thankfully, a lot of the best ones were the ones brought over. On the other hand, although most of them are easily unlockable and buyable, the duel/battle (can't remember which) mini-games are the hardest to unlock. You have to beat the mini-game adventure on hard mode to unlock them, and I always had a hard time just playing it on easy and normal. When I tried it on hard, I simply couldn't get too far. This is actually a major problem, considering that's all I have left to unlock, and there are some awesome duel/battle mini-games that I'd like to play. To do that, I have to resort to playing them through board games, and the games don't pop up too often, and even if they do, the ones I prefer to play aren't always picked.

Otherwise, this game is like the first one, including the high fun/replay factor. It's still lots of fun, but just like the first game, once everything is locked, the single player experience is nearly depleted. My girlfriend is feeling nostalgic for this game as well, so we'll probably play it after playing the first one.


Like the second game, I anticipated this one as well. Not quite as much, but I did nonetheless. Again, it was worth the wait, and there were even more features added, like new characters. Only two new characters, Waluigi, the most useless Mario character ever considering he's only in Mario spinoff games, and Princess Daisy, who I like to think of as the lesbian princess I'm still waiting on to come out of the closet and get together with Princess Peach for a good time. Come on, Nintendo. You could use the diversity considering the lack of other minorities. Seriously, they have predominantly straight caucasian characters, mostly with blonde, brown, or black hair. Honestly, except for Ganondorf, I can't think of anyone else who's black, yellow, tan, gay, lesbian, even fucking ginger! You have Princess Peach, a blonde, and Princess Daisy, a brunette. You make Super Mario Galaxy and decide to make yet another princess. Sure, why not? A good idea would be to color her hair red or black to really differentiate her from the other two. Nah, let's color her hair blonde and make her look almost exactly like Princess Peach. Bullshit! >:(

Seriously, they've gotta be related.

Anyway, it's nice to have extra options. However, the characters still don't have their own unique character traits. Well, actually, in one mode they do. A mode called Duel. It's a mode where you use various Mario enemies to do battle with another character's Mario enemies, and they each start out with different characters. It's kind of like a watered down version of Pokemon with Mario characters, but it's actually quite fun to play. Sadly, the characters don't vary in any way ever again in a Mario Party game, and this mode doesn't appear in anymore of them, either. This means that Mario Party 3 is the only game in the series in which the characters are different in even one mode.

This is also the first Mario Party in the series to allow teams. My girlfriend was real happy about that. She always preferred teaming up with me as opposed to competing with me. Because of that new option, we haven't played against each other much in the game series since. If anything, I feel the same way as her, though. After all, we do love each other very much. ♥

But the biggest change of them all is a single player adventure mode, where you play every board through and eventually face Bowser and beat him. It's definitely a unique mode, although some people bitched and moaned about it because they still thought the game wasn't fun enough in single player. If anything, it added to the replay value quite a bit, although, once it was beaten, it still lost much of it's replay value. However, I will admit that it does get annoying after going through it for a while, until towards the end when you finally reach Bowser's board.

Other than that, there were no major changes in the game. It was still a lot of fun to play for sure, especially because of the team mode. Like the other two games, my girlfriend is nostalgic for this one as well, and is the last one she wants to play. She said if we had to play another Mario Party after this one, then it would be Mario Party 4, but that's apparently the limit of her nostalgic feelings for the Mario Party series. I feel the same way.


For new changes, there was the Extra Room and the Present Room, which aren't important, but still neat. The Extra Room has some cool extra mini-games, including a volleyball tournament, which my girlfriend and I have never won because the computer players eventually become nearly impossible to beat. As for the Present Room, I still haven't gotten every present, because I haven't beaten the adventure mode with every character, so I haven't unlocked the thing in the Present Room where there's an empty space. Kinda stinks, but playing the adventure mode eight times over is something I'd rather not do. Again, the character's aren't different, so there's no point in having people do that. Otherwise, I probably would've played it eight times already.

One other new thing is that you can use mini and mega mushrooms to crush other players and take coins from them, but you can skip stars and stores while doing so. With the mini mushrooms, you can access otherwise closed off areas of the map. In fact, that was one of the main things advertised about the game around the time of it's release.

Big deal...

Over little change.

Otherwise, there's hardly a difference in gameplay. To my girlfriend and I, it has some nostalgia factor, but otherwise, this is essentially when Mario Party started going downhill. It's still not a bad game overall, though.


There are new characters, but at this point, it doesn't matter anyway. There are also items you use from collecting orbs that you can place onto different spaces of the game board, which adds more strategy. There's a cool mode where you can build your own car and use it to fight other cars, which is actually quite fun for a while, easily one of the better extra modes in any Mario Party game. So pick this game up if you want just one Mario Party game on the Gamecube, because it's the best Mario Party game on the whole system.


It comes with a microphone, and features mini-games using it. So that means that you can now justify literally shouting at Mario to do what you want him to do instead of just shouting at him and fucking up with the controller or something.

FUCKING GO LEFT, DAMN IT!

Otherwise, nothing is new (that's worth noting or even playing for, at least). It's okay, but don't feel bad about skipping.


Yet another Mario Party that includes a microphone. There's also the possibility of eight players playing at once, but it's just two people holding one side of the same controller. Other than that, there's nothing new worth noting. Overall, if you have all of the previous Mario Parties, don't feel too bad about skipping this one, either.


With the Wii's motion controls, it does add more uniqueness to the game, but overall, other than the the motion controls, there's not much worth noting. It's still interesting and fun to play, better than the previous two entries for sure, but again, don't worry about missing this one. Maybe give it a rental.


This game is the most underrated in the series. People complained, again, that Mario Party is much more fun in multiplayer, but the single player isn't too bad here, and does have an alright replay value, but just like every other Mario Party game, it's replay value is almost gone once you beat the game and unlock everything.

I will admit, though. The controls for some of the mini-games are pretty bad, especially the pogo stick mini-game. It took me a while to finally beat it even once because the controls are so atrocious. For the most part, though, the mini-game controls are alright.


Alas, those are all of the Mario Party games that I've played. I know of Mario Party DS, but I've only played a Wal-Mart demo. It seemed that it'd be decent, and I've heard it is the best one released since the early Nintendo 64 games. Judging from what I've played, I can believe it.

-------

That makes ten games total in the series, and another game hasn't even been announced, at least not yet. This is unusual considering that they're usually released once a year. I hope another game's not released, though. Ten is a good number to stop at, and considering Mario Party DS might be the best game released since the earliest one, I think at this point that game is probably the best way to go. Even if another one comes out, my girlfriend and I might still try it out just out of sheer curiosity, but even if another doesn't come out, we'll still be playing the rest of them, particularly the first three. It's hard to believe that it's already been ten years since the first game came out, though. I feel as if it was yesterday, playing with my old friends and my girlfriend on weekends eating snacks, getting blisters on our thumbs from playing it so much.

The Mario Party series had a decent run. It was great at first, slumped along the way, and became good again right towards the end. Let's hope it stays that way. Nintendo, we like Mario Party, but please, spare us of any more.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grade Point Average System

I understand why this system was made. I made sense at first, trying to get a general idea through all of the student's work of how well they did.

However, there are some major problems.

First off, the teachers. This is a major problem no matter what, but it's especially bad in the grade system. Each teacher has a different point of view. One teacher will give you, say, 17/20 on a project, the other may give you 9/20. It depends on a teacher's point of view. Simply put, the teacher you have has a major significance on your grade. The sad thing is, in public school, before college, you're stuck with the same teacher(s), so if your teacher sucks, tough shit. In college, you have a better chance of finding a decent teacher since there may be several to choose from. However, it's a guessing game, and even then, there are some classes that only have one teacher available.

That and I must say that the public schools otherwise teach only one method compared to the many other methods out there, and I've heard that only a fourth of students learn the way that public schools teach. However, I've lost the statistic, and I cannot find it again. It seems believable, even though the statistic is also likely incorrect, that most students don't learn the way public schools teach either way.

Second, there's the cheating factor. Granted, if people are caught cheating, they're punished. However, there are still people out there who never get caught cheating, thus get high grades. For college, which is supposed to teach people skills for careers, I have to wonder how those kinds of people would be at the jobs they "trained" for if they cheated the whole way through, or how a high schooler would perform in college. This brings me to my next point, which is why most students cheat through school.

Third, both parents and teachers put way too much importance on the system. We go to school to learn. Why the issue of just plain doing well? It's like a more like a competition than a knowledge-seeking method. The common belief seems to be that: A=Great, B=Okay, C-F=Awful. I've heard from my girlfriend's mom that even a C used to be considered pretty good, so it seems to me that the standards have become much higher for some ridiculous reason. A lot of people seem to have this mentality along the lines of, "We don't care about what you have to do, what you learn, or how hard you have to work, just get that A and you'll be fine with us." Does me getting an A in a class always necessarily mean that I learned anything, and even so, does it mean that I'll remember what I learned for an extended period of time? I've seen how public schools teach nowadays and it sickens me sometimes. Yes, let's learn about a lot of math that we'll mostly never use later on in our lifetime. Get an A for learning useless shit you won't need to remember. Also, let's learn about random facts about a random fish that we most of us also won't need to know about later on in life. Here's an idea: teach these to the people who want to know. Teach the extremely complex theorems in math to a person wanting to become a mathematician, and teach people who want to become marine biologists about the fish. Why are teacher's in public schools teaching a lot of their students about shit like this when they really don't need it? Why not just teach the students something useful instead of overflowing their heads with pointless bullshit?

It's late, I'm tired, and I can't remember if there were any more things that I wanted to say. I've covered my main points, though. In general: the grade system was a good idea on paper, but, after some trial and error, it's showing signs of flailing, and we need to use a new system. I don't know what, just something that's hopefully better than that.

EDIT: I've thought of one way: how about giving a fucking reason why a person got a grade (or whatever else) that they received. Otherwise, we just have people second-guessing on why we got that D+. It also makes the grades more easily contestable, so if the grade is bull shit for whatever reason, you can discuss it with your teacher, or the school board if it gets bad enough.

Which reminds me, parents, if your kid does get a "bad grade," please consider what I said above before discussing the grade to your kid.