Domer here! Class of 2000

Some people might not be aware that I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Yup, I’m a legit Domer, Class of 2000. Take it as you will. My years enrolled as a student might not have been the most memorable time of my life, but it was still a formative time for me. I got to meet new people, and learn new things about old friends. One of these new things was homosexuality.

Let me clarify. A fellow dorm resident, let’s call him “Dormie” out of respect for his privacy, was one of the several people I would say “W’sup” to, as I would wander around the dorm building, or the campus in general. I did have a reputation of being a bit crazy, scary even. There was that time I was drunk on vodka and running around the dorms waving my Chinese butterfly knives to show to other people. I probably scared the shit out of people at that time, though I was totally oblivious to their fears since I was pretty hammered, but I digress.

Every now and then, I’d pay Dormie a visit, act like a damn fool, and otherwise inspire a more jovial mood. Dormie was always polite to me, so I might have not always taken the hint that he wanted to be left alone. However, whenever he was more direct, I did comply with his wishes, and then tell him I’d see him later. Now, I always thought Dormie had a much better chance of scoring with the ladies than I ever could, which isn’t saying much, I know, but I let him know that, hoping to compliment his ego and build up a rapport with him.

Now there was one incident when I was especially acting like a damn fool. I paid Dormie a visit, making stupid-ass comments as usual. I noticed some photos of half-naked men cut out of magazines and pinned on the wall and the dresser. They were not big photos, so they were easy to overlook. I paid little mind to them, since I had similarly gay-looking stuff in my own room and in my personal space in the art studio. I used such things as models or references in some of my art projects; I just assumed Dormie was doing the same. Still, I probably made myself too comfortable and too familiar with his room. I made a comment to the effect of, “Dude, why do have all these picture of guys here? All the girls are going to think you’re gay or something, heheheh…”

It took me a few seconds to make this following revelation. Dormie was gay. In my defense, my gay-dar has always been horribly unreliable.

I tried to assure Dormie that I was cool with the gayness, and, at his request, promised to keep his sexual orientation to myself. I have kept that promise to this day, though, I suspect that common acquaintances of both Dormie and myself probably already guessed what I had just found out. Still, I have some concerns if my behavior, hell, my mere presence might have made Dormie uncomfortable in anyway. Given my reputation of acting crazy and knowing Kung Fu, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dormie just wanted me to go away.

I don’t know if Dormie would ever read this, but, Dormie, if you are reading this, I trust everything is going well with you, and hopefully you are in a place where you feel comfortable being openly gay. And if I ever made you feel uncomfortable in any way, whether it was my habit of stopping by and bothering you on a semi-weekly basis to not realizing that I might have been insensitive in my careless words, then I apologize to you and want to let you know that I never intended to make things weird or awkward or anything less than welcoming from me.

I am reminded about this incident because my old alma mater, University of Notre Dame, was recently in the news. Specifically, the news reported on several graduates who walked out of the commencement ceremony when the commencement speaker, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, began his address. I remember when I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and our class’s commencement speaker was Kofi Annan, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who pretty much a big deal at the time. Unfortunately, I don’t know what he said on that day, because I actually fell asleep during the commencement and missed all the boring stuff that people said. So I don’t blame anyone for walking out on the rationale that the whole thing might be a bit boring.

However, the stated message of this year’s walkout was to protest Pence’s LGBT policies and his present involvement with the current administration. Despite being a Catholic institution, Notre Dame has a sizable student population that support civil rights for their fellow LGBT students, and for all people world wide. This was true when I was a student, and it’s evident that it’s true today.

By now, there will have been people making comments, some cheering the young people for taking a stance, others deriding them as spoiled-ass libtard snowflakes whose un-American actions are the reasons for division today. To the former, I concur. To the latter, fuck off.

I think I should be little more specific.

To those who are calling those students “snowflakes running to their safe spaces,” I’d say fuck off. There’s nothing wrong with being a snowflake. In fact, everyone is damn snowflake, regardless if they acknowledge it or not. As for safe spaces, it seems that the ones who bitch about safe spaces are the ones who ironically feel the most threatened. These students didn’t feel threatened. They broke from tradition in order to make a statement.

To those who call the walkout “Un-American,” you need to study your damn U.S. History. The history of America has all been based on protests and complaining. The Declaration of Independence is a list of grievances, IE. complaints, from the colonies to the British Empire. It is literally a document of each and every thing the Founding Fathers were bitching about. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against taxes on tea. Sure, they tried to frame Native Americans for it (yeah, bad move proto-America), it was nonetheless temper tantrum about the goddamn mutha’ %$#@! tea! But those complaints are not without merit. When Americans bitch and moan, we usually complain and protest for the rights of our fellow citizens. Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are 20th century examples of protesters, people who complained about the injustice experienced by real American citizens, but they “complained” peacefully. Now I doubt any of these kids will be as prominent as Rosa Parks, but they still embodied the spirit of Rosa Parks (ironically, by not taking a seat).

To those who accuse the students walking out of “not listening,” I’d say listen to what their protest is. Mike Pence already made his stances known, both during the 2016 presidential campaign and during his term of office as governor of Indiana. I’m sure if the students were indeed not listening to Pence before, then they wouldn’t have a reason to walk out now. But they were listening. They didn’t like what he was saying, and in the good old fashioned American way, they protested.

And to those who accuse the protesting students of being intolerant of other opinions, then I stand to be accused as well. Because I share their intolerance of the opinion that LGBT people should have lesser civil rights than the rest of the population. I share their intolerance of homophobia and bigotry. But unlike those students, I’m already past the point of silent protest. If people want to talk smack, if people want to voice their support for homophobia and bigotry, then those jackasses should expect to get shouted down. Because unlike most “bleeding heart liberal SJW faggots,” I’m not a nice person. I have much less tolerance than I did when I graduated back in 2000. If these damn don’t like gays, then they need to just stay away; they will not get infected with the gayness, and they will avoid much unnecessary trouble. But if one of these jackasses messes with our LGBT neighbors, then that fool is messing with friends, family, people that I actually give a damn about. And Teo don’t play that. I no longer have much patience for people who can’t get over their homophobia, so rather than trying to “educate” them, I would probably just stick a foot up their asses.

Sure, it’s easy to label the students and attack them for whatever silly reason imaginable. But it’s much more difficult to attack their message, because their message is intolerance for the bigotry that Mike Pence has supported in his political policies. So, yeah, everyone have the right to disagree with everything and anything they want. But don’t make this about the students. Make it about the message. Rosa Parks didn’t get kicked off the bus because she was being a bitch about not giving up her seat. She got kicked off because those jackasses would rather deal with her personally than deal with the message that she had as much right to that bus seat as anyone else.

Damn, Comey Got Ganked!

I wish I had more time to elaborate and expound on this, but I haven’t gotten my med refills yet, so we’ll see how far I get.

Now, I usually don’t follow politics, but because I already finished the first season of Iron Fist on Netflix and I’m still waiting for more episodes of the second season of the anime My Hero Academia, I have been listening to the PBS Newshour more often than not. I assume this is a good thing, despite my depression has been worsening from listening to current events. And one of these current events is the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Now, let’s ignore the fact that Dir. Comey was currently in charge of investigations regarding the White House’s alleged ties with Russian agents and their influence in the U.S. government. Yes, I understand that it is an important fact not to ignore, but for now, I want to look at what are the initial facts of the situation right now before we go into speculations and allegations, despite how relevant those speculations and allegations are, and into the facts that would later be made evident as the situation develops.

Now, here’s a list of what I know are facts:

  1. Trump, himself, has fired Dir. Comey, by virtue of his office as President of the United States.
  2. The reason for Comey’s termination is due to his mishandling of the investigation of then Democratic Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she served as Secretary of State under President Obama. Specifically, the memo from the Justice Department cites Dir. Comey’s public recommendation to not pursue criminal charges.

If there are any corrections to be made regarding these facts, then please tell me so I can reevaluate the situation with better information.

Now, despite Dir. Comey’s recommendation in July of 2016, the Justice Department could just as well ignore the Director’s recommendation and proceed with criminal prosecution. Sure, Comey took some wind out of their sails, but if the Justice Department actually feels that criminal proceedings were necessary, couldn’t they just do that anyway? It wouldn’t be the first time that different government agencies or departments would disagree with each other, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. So, despite the Director’s recommendation, couldn’t the Attorney General still say, “Fuck it!” and continue with criminal proceedings? If the issue is really about criminal activity, then screw public opinion, get the prosecution posse, and lock the bitch up! But, if the issue is less about criminal activity, and more about political maneuvering, then yeah, I can see why Sessions and Trump, way back in 2016, would get upset over Comey’s mishandling of the investigation. In fact, Trump repeatedly criticized Comey and the FBI during the rest of his campaign. Well, the criticisms continued but only up to eleven days before Election Day, that is. The reason for Trump’s change in opinion is because Comey made another public announcement stating that he reopened the investigation on Hillary’s e-mails, which brings us to my next point.

The Justice Department and the Trump Administration, as well as their Republican allies and sycophants, point repeatedly to Dir. Comey’s recommendations against a criminal case in regards to Hillary’s e-mail server as the primary reason for Comey’s termination. However, this single action doesn’t seem to be very convincing as the sole reason for dismissing a top official. If anything, Dir. Comey actions for publicly reopening the case of Hillary’s e-mails just days before the general election could be construed as an attempt to influence the election by throwing 11th-hour shade on Hillary. No doubt, with all the efforts of the GOP’s (and allegedly Russia’s) Hillary Hate Machine, this public announcement was probably the final “I knew it” moment that swung voters away from Hillary and into Trump’s camp. It’s interesting to note that this reopening of the investigation resulted in nothing that could be found as even remotely criminal. If anything, this case reopening should draw more attention to Dir. Comey’s integrity than whatever he said months prior.

It should also be noted that the FBI were conducting investigations of alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia as far back as July of 2016, coincidentally the same time that he made his public recommendation to not pursue a criminal case against Hillary. However, knowledge of that investigation was not made public until late March of 2017, two months after Trump’s inauguration, and more than four months after the general election. In essence, that investigation could not influence the general election simply because voters did not know about it, unlike the reopened investigation into Hillary’s e-mails that did influence the general election simply because it was made public.

Now, if I wanted to accuse James Comey of playing politics, then I would say he was undermining Hillary’s presidential bid. Despite his recommendation of not indicting Hillary on criminal offenses (whose controversy has already done its job of fomenting suspicions of Hillary), Comey’s non-disclosure of the Trump-Russia investigation throughout those last months of campaigning, while also reopening the investigation on Hillary’s e-mail, suggests that Comey really wanted to sabotage Hillary’s chances of being president, even if he was not necessarily assuring a Trump victory.

Of course, this is only if I want to accuse James Comey of playing politics. I am more of the belief that Comey made some really bad mistakes, one of which really fucked up the integrity of last year’s election. I don’t think he’s thinking politics when he’s doing his job, which explains why he still stands by the decisions he made. As a professional dedicated to looking for facts and evidence within the purview of his position, he understands that any rational voter wouldn’t be inadvertently swayed by his public announcements either way. But as a non-politically minded individual, he probably doesn’t understand that voters can and will be swayed by appeals to their irrational fears and pent-up emotions. Or to put it in Teo-speak, Comey greatly underestimated the stupidity of the American people.

Now this is just my hypothetical interpretation of the facts given. As more information is disclosed, my speculations, as well as the speculations of others, will definitely change.

Let’s now revisit that fact about then-Dir. James Comey being in charge of the investigation concerning ties between Trump and Russia. If he is indeed apolitical, as I suggest, then Comey will probably call things as he sees it, and thus implicate Trump & company in scandals of high treason and espionage. It’s gonna make things look really bad, to say the least. He certainly does not have Trump’s (or Putin’s ) hand up his ass if he made public knowledge of this investigation in the first place, even long after any point of time when it could have been relevant in the minds of voters.

Ever since Comey came out publicly with this investigation, Trump has been less than ingratiating in his opinion on Dir. Comey. If anything, Trump was trying to deflect any and all attention from the Russia scandal, from bombing Iraq, er.. I mean bombing Syria over chocolate cake with President Xi Jinping of China, to repeating accusations of “fake news” trying to make him look bad, to celebrating his great legislative victory of barely passing Trumpcare through the House of Representative but before it even gets seen by the Senate. Nonetheless, the Trump-Russia scandal just won’t go away.

For anyone who is even remotely politically savvy, it should be evident that Dir. Comey is untouchable by the White House. To openly attack him or publicly undermine his leadership of the FBI would immediately invite legitimate criticism of the White House, provoke accusations of a cover-up, and create a very real and very plausible case for impeachment. But, it’s probably evident by now that Trump was never that savvy, politically or otherwise. So, after receiving the memo from the Justice Department for the justification to terminate Comey, Trump simply signs and attaches his office letterhead that states to Comey that he’s fired.

The only reasonable explanation for this extremely ill-timed firing is that Comey’s termination had to be, in some way, personal. If you are on Team Trump (and if you are, well damn! You are one stupid-ass fool!), then you don’t want the White House to be even remotely responsible or connected to Comey’s removal as director, simply because it raises way too many red flags. And these are not just small individual innocuous red flags that Trump can flippantly ignore as all the lawsuits made against him, these are big flaming red signal flares! They cannot be more conspicuous if they were bright pink 3-meter-long sequined flags held by George Takei and Neil Patrick Harris both running shirtless through the middle of a Pence conversion camp! Sure, you sack Comey, but you end up bringing the whole damn administration down as well.

Similarly, if you are part of the Resistance (and if you are, then I say, “My nigga’!”), then you don’t want to sack James Comey, despite his screw ups in 2016. Sure, his resignation or termination won’t actually stop the Trump-Russia investigations, but you don’t want to slow down those investigations either!

Now, it is possible, very possible, that I might be giving Team Trump too much credit. Maybe they actually thought, “Hey, if we get rid of Comey, then that solves all our problems! What could go wrong?” I really hate to acknowledge the stupidity of the American people, but I hate even more to underestimate the stupidity of the American people. I just hope that this stupidity that brought Trump to the White House will also get his ass impeached and convicted out of the White House as well.

Why #BlackLivesMatter Doesn’t Resonate with Me

Firstly, I will start with making a few simple statements, with no qualifiers or addenda:

Racism exists within the United States today (“today” is 29 September, 2016).
Racism is bad.
Police need to be held accountable for their actions, even when those actions save lives or those actions are abuses of power.
Nothing is wrong with being angry.
I need a frickin’ beer.

These statements can be taken as is, and do not need to be understood within the context of this article. You can hold me to these statements, and I will not deny that I have made them. I hope this clarifies what I hold to be true, and that I will not be misunderstood or misrepresented.

Now with all of that said, I’ll explain why the #BlackLivesMatter movements have been bothering me for a while. This started with the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman. I admit that I knew next to nothing about that incident when it first came out. I do know that the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag started as a reaction to that incident, but because I tend to live under a rock, I knew little else.

Later, when #BlackLivesMatter became too big to ignore, I decided to look into the incident myself. A quick Internet search led me to several places where I could read up on the shooting and trial. I’ll try to summarize everything that I have learned and understand from this incident:

On 26 February, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed-race Hispanic, shot and killled Travyon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American minor. Zimmerman claimed it was self-defense. He was later charged, tried, and acquitted of second-degree murder, supporting his self-defense claims. Various public reactions voiced concerns that the shooting was racially motivated, and insinuated that either Zimmerman or the Sanford PD were racists.

Now this is where I start seeing problems. So far, Zimmerman’s self-defense claims have been made legit. Zimmerman himself has not been proven racist. However, what was originally an unfortunate self-defense incident without racial profiling has now become a media-fueled angry backlash over perceived racism. Zimmerman had received death threats to the point where he had to relocate himself. Protests have started across the nation. The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag started to appear, and now it has become a rallying cry against discrimination of African-Americans.

Don’t get me wrong, the lives of Black African-American Negro citizens do matter, and should be protected under the same laws as any other citizen in our country. However, this BLM movement was based on a false premise, that Trayvon Martin was killed because he was Black, and that George Zimmerman was acquitted because he was white and had colluded with a racist police department. Did Martin deserve to be shot and killed? Hell no, but he really didn’t do himself any favors when he confronted the “creepy ass cracker” either.

Because #BlackLivesMatter was a reactionary, knee-jerk, emotional, race card-pulling response to a tragedy than had no racist origins, I was inclined to believe that these protestors were just “a bunch of stupid-ass niggas’ making a bad situation worse, and were also dragging the otherwise respectable African-American community down with them.” I was further inclined when some of these protests turned violent and actually brought harm to other, uninvolved people, regardless of epidermal phenotype.

When the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, went public, that tragedy turned into another BlackLivesMatter debacle. Again, the victim was a young Black man. In this incident, the shooting was performed by a police officer, Darren Wilson, responding to a robbery. This also started the “Hands up, don’t shoot” protests, which claimed that Michael Brown had his hands up before he was shot to death. This claim proved to be erroneous; multiple credible witnesses, including those of Black ethnicity, have stated that Brown was the aggressor in the confrontation, failed to comply with police, and even charged at Wilson, who then shot Brown in self-defense. Of course, pitchforking masses are quick to judge and slow to listen, so there were more protests, more civil unrest, and now even rioting in the streets. Again, a young Black man is shot and killed because he was doing something that he wasn’t supposed to do. And now, a bunch of stupid-ass niggas are fuckin’ things up for everyone because they don’t believe that Michael Brown was not accountable for robbery, assault, and non-compliance with a police officer. This further supports my opinion that many of these BLM protestors are just using race to excuse themselves from criminal wrongdoing.

By then, the BLM looks like it’s just been crying wolf all this time. Now if a guy like me calls bovine feces on #BlackLivesMatter,
then it’s not surprising that other people would think the same way. Unfortunately, many of these people are not proficient in critical thinking, nor are they willing to accept that racism is a bad thing. But I’ll get to them a little later.

So now when an incident such as the death of Eric Garner gets covered by the media, an incident which is not as unambiguous as the Martin and Brown deaths, divisions caused by the BlackLiveMatters protests become even more hostile, and accusations of racism and race-carding become more pronounced, regardless if racism was an actual issue or not. Over time, BLM started to lose its original focus on the shooting death of Trayvon Marvin, and became associated with any and all incidents where Black citizens would perceive injustice, legitimate or otherwise, to themselves, especially in incidents that involved clashes with the police. I won’t lie when I say that I saw the BLM movement(s) as a joke. They had no credibility when they started, and caused more problems than justice by taking retributive actions against those who did not deserve them.

Still, even a broken clock correctly tells the time twice a day. Just because BLM started out as a farce doesn’t mean that its message was any less important or true. And yes, there have been several examples of police allegedly abusing their power and disproportionately using excessive force upon Black people. Law enforcement officials are given a great deal of authority in order to combat crime. And with this authority comes responsibility and accountability. Cops shouldn’t start kicking a Black man’s ass for no reason. Those cops need to be brought to justice, if they haven’t already. And that is one of the positive and constructive messages that the BLM movement is trying to get out.

Now remember those non-critical thinking people who don’t think racism is really a bad thing? They see a bunch of stupid-ass niggas’ trying to make the whole affair about race. And to a certain extent, they are correct. The deaths of Martin and Brown were not about racial profiling, but more about really bad decision making. And because the BLM movement made it about race, these people felt obliged that they would stand by their race as well. But the problem with non-critical thinking people is that they don’t thinking critically. So when an incident like Eric Garner’s death comes up, they automatically assume that it’s the same thing, that BLM is making unjustified claims of racial profiling and discrimination, and so they will try to undermine the BLM movements again, and have their fears, rooted in racism, validated in the process.

But it’s not the same thing. In regards to Eric Garner’s death, yes, he was talking smack, but he didn’t demonstrate himself to be an immediate threat to the officers or anyone else. It’s unclear if he was participating in illicit activity, or if the law enforcement officials were looking for a convenient target. Did he die due to poor health, or did the police actually use excessive force? I’m still uncertain on the details, but this is a situation where protesting that #BlackLivesMatter could be appropriate.

But now it might be too late to actually get any real and constructive dialogue started. The dividing lines have been drawn, and people are drawing more upon emotion than upon reason. Too many people are busy posting videos or making new slogans or finding the next Black martyr-of-the-month or blaming victims for their own victimization or anything else that wouldn’t actually help solve the problem. Mind you, there are people who are legitimately trying to make things better and not making things worse. That Free Hugs Guy in Charlotte during the recent riots was trying to humanize the riot police despite resistance from Black protestors. Some protestors and counter-protestors confront each other peacefully, and even get together for a quick prayer circle. Those people should be applauded for their efforts. Unfortunately, those people seem to be few and far between. It’s much easier to rant and rave and yell out, “Burn all the babies!” than to do damage control, to put out these emotional firestorms despite getting burned in the process.

You know what, it’s probably not too late. The fact that I’m writing this implies that a dialogue can be started, that something constructive can be accomplished. But it’ll need change. And when I mean change, I mean change on all sides. We need to look at not just the “other side” but at ourselves as well. Yeah, it’ll be uncomfortable, and it’ll probably get us angry. But %$#@! it, isn’t a slightly bruised ego worth making the world a better place?

First off, communication is key. If you can’t express yourself adequately, then you can’t expect others to understand what the hell you are saying. The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag carries too much baggage, and it implicitly promotes exclusiveness. How about changing it to #BlackLivesMatterToo? By adding just one word, it can dramatically change the perceived meaning. All life is precious, but lest we forget, #BlackLivesMatterToo. And not #BlackLivesMatter2; it’s not a damn sequal and we should try promoting proper language skills instead of sounding like uneducated fools.

Or, we can take the Morgan Freeman approach, and not even try to bring race into it, and use #JusticeForAll. The original intent of these protests was a demand for justice. And by saying #JusticeForAll, we are not excluding anyone, and, in fact, makes us also accountable for upholding justice. Police brutality and abuse of power are not solely issues of racism. At its core, those problems demonstrate a need for justice, a need to hold those perpetrators accountable for their actions. Hey, maybe they did bad stuff because of racism. Racism is an extension of injustice. If these racists see things in terms of justice instead of race, then maybe they too could learn that racism is a bad thing and to readjust their way of thinking. It would certainly be more encouraging than callin them “evil white cracka’-ass bitches.”

Secondly, if we want the police accountable for their actions, then we got to be accountable for our actions, too. Sure, we get angry and frustrated, and that’s fine and perfectly normal. However, we should not allow emotion to override our sense of reason. There’s that adage, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Turn the other cheek” is another way to put it. It worked for Gandhi and it worked for Martin Luther King Jr. If we want to be taken seriously, then we need to be serious in our actions. If a bunch of stupid-ass niggas are seen doing stupid-ass shit, racist white people will use their actions to validate their opinions on all Black Africna-American Negro people. So if you see a stupid-ass nigga about to do something stupid, then stop that fool, and tell him, “Knock that shit off!”

As for white people who don’t like racism and do think it’s a bad thing, you guys can help out too. In fact, your help may be necessary to protect the rights and dignity of minority people. I’m sure some of you have heard about “white privilege.” If you haven’t, then look it up because there are other people who can describe it in much more detail. This site (http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/told-white-friend-black-opinion/) is a good place as any to start. By understanding how white privilege is perceived, one can start to see the thought processes that could be running around in a minority’s head. If people are angry or upset over perceived discrimination, then allow them to be angry and upset. Don’t undermine a person’s feelings. If you can, be angry as well. If you get angry enough, then you can start to see what needs to change. And with your “white privilege,” you can help facilitate that change that would otherwise be much more difficult to achieve. But again, don’t allow emotions to cloud judgment. If you see one of your minority friends about to do something stupid, call him on it. Don’t give racists more “proof” to justify their claims. Everyone needs to look after each other so we don’t have any more of these senseless riots.

Damn, I need another beer…

Photos from E3 2011

Last week, I spent the day at the Electronics Entertainment Expo, or otherwise known as E3. Though I’ve not been up to date with the latest news about video games, consoles, and the like, I still try to keep myself informed of all the cool stuff that comes by. This was also the first time I’ve gone to a major convention-type event in a long time, and while I do miss hanging out with some of my geeky and nerdy friends in such an environment, I’m a little surprised at just how much most of the people here embody the geeky/nerdy stereotype. Fortunately, it wasn’t overly crowded and the hygiene levels were at accepted levels.


Here I was, across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center, where E3 was waiting for me…


Here was the staging area for Activision just seconds before its new Call of Duty promo.


When I first seen this display, it looked much like a Terminator licensed product, but closer inspection and flash photography revealed army green bots, instead of the metallic sheen of the classic T-800 model.


And though you can’t seen it from this angle, this chick really did have a big gun.


I love a girl in uniform, particularly if she has her friend with her and a big tank backing her up. And yes, the brunette was at least a full head taller than I am, hence why she was kneeling down right next to me.


Though this photo does no justice to it, here was the Capcom area, with a large video screen and a bunch of consoles with upcoming games. One of the biggest things that I had anticipated was a first look on the new Street Fighter X Tekken game. Yes, Ryu and Kazuka go head to head in this upcoming crossover game!


And while we’re talking about Street Fighter X Tekken, here’s a shot of me getting my ass pwned while playing the new game.


I really hate clowns. I really do.


Now here’s one clown that I can get used to! Don’t judge me!


Awh! Kawaii!


Unfortunately, when I try to do it, it just doesn’t look the same. And the Cooking Mama knows it.


Here’s a video screen of the game End of Nations


…as well as a couple cosplaying booth babes for the company’s products…


…and a candid shot of me with said cosplaying beauties.


Yes, that’s a real girl in the picture with me. And yes, she’s way taller than I am. Plus, if you turn your gun sideways, it makes the bullet go faster.


Here’s a promo of a game whose main character seems to be a cute emo girl.


Yeah, she got me to be a little emo, too.


And for all you Harvest Moon fans, this is a shot of a new 3D game. Then I found out it was not a 3D image, but an actual cart with stuffed animals. That explains why I couldn’t find any controllers around it.


Another game from Natsume (the company that made Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove and Harvest Moon), this one is called Rune Factory. I wasn’t able to get much information on it, but I liked the big giant plush monster.


I couldn’t help but flex in front of it like a body builder. ARRGG! Feel the burn!


Though I’m not necessarily a big fan (maybe because I haven’t played anything from the series), here’s a big marquee promoting Gears of War 3.


Next, I decided to try out the Glee Karaoke Revolution (presumingly riding on the show of the same name). I don’t think I did very well. The Glee cheerleaders concur.


Here are a couple booth babes for the EA Sports’ upcoming SSX, a winter sports game. Though I didn’t see much winter or sports, it did feel kinda warm between the two ladies.



This small exhibit was the “Into The Pixel” exhibition, which is a selected collection of “The Art of the Video Game.” I didn’t have time to get a shot of everything but the two pieces I like were “Dead Walking” from the Orcs Must Die! game, and “Oktonok Cay Cannery” from the upcoming Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One game.


“Dead Walking”

Artists: Chris Moffitt, Brad Crow, Nathan Stefan, Bart Tiongson
From the game Orcs Must Die! (from Robot Entertainment)


“Oktonok Cay Cannery”

Artist: David Guertin
From the game Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (from Insomniac Games)


Speaking of Ratchet & Clank, here’s a photo of me standing by the intrepid hero himself.


“I have the POOOOWEEEER!!!”


I haven’t played the game yet, but its booth did seem pretty cool.


I did want check out what Riot Games had for E3, since I have been playing a lot of their free PvP game League of Legends


…but I think their booth was closed and only for those with appointment. Oh well.


Hey, it’s good to be the king!


Near the end of my day, I was able to grab a pic of myself with a few lovely booth girls. I like how I had to look at their chests in order to read the “Pew Pew” on their shirts.

And with that, I close this pictorial of my visit to E3 2001.


What are you looking at?

Latest Project Completed

I have been hearing everyone claiming that 2011 is his or her year. Well, they can have it. I’m making no claims to any year now or otherwise. The only claim that I will make is that I will continue to kick ass this year, as I did before.

That said, there is one last project that I have completed from 2010. It was a Christmas gift to my uncle for the family’s gift exchange. In the end, I’m split in my opinion of it. I think I did well to capture the moment of this image with graphite on paper. However, I was also in pain from a thrown out back as I was finishing it up, so the art might look a bit rushed. In any case, I did finish last year strong, even as I was limping and gimping along the way. And I plan to start this year the same. Just without the limping and gimping, though.

The Morning After, or the Next Year

A year ago, I had high hopes for the coming year. After some soul searching, I thought that I would be able to find the pieces to be able to put my life back together again. I would be able to find a new job, start a new career, develop some new relationships, strengthen old ones, become stronger and healthier, control my asthma, find my creative streak, and very possibly find some happiness again.

A year later, I find myself hardly any better than I was before. In fact, outside of a few successes, I’m probably slightly worse off than I was before. Still no job and still no money. I’ve had my heart broken, and lost a number of “friends” in the process. My debts are still unpaid and racking up interest. Over two grand was spent on medical expenses alone just to keep me breathing every day, and that still hasn’t been resolved. I’ve done more crying this year than I have in the past three years combined. And the last week and a half of the year was spent in pain because I threw out my back again.

I’ve had a few successes in this year, despite everything else. I had my first art show this past year, where I displayed three of my works along side other artists whom I’ve also recently met. I even sold one of the pieces. I guess you can say I’m now pro as an artist. I’ve met some new people, to help make up for the loss of losing other people I had counted as friends. I even decided to take a drawing class, just to help me get out of the funk of where I was. I even ended the year with one more art piece done and another personally designed Christmas card sent out to family and friends.

But still, in the end, I still don’t feel good about it all. It doesn’t help when I didn’t have much to feel good about anything I’ve done. Of course, this is all subjective. I KNOW that I’ve been kicking ass all this year as I have before, but I just don’t believe it. I’ve felt like a failure for stagnating where I have been, while I see others progressing and moving on from where they were before. I try to give it my all at times, but sometimes it ends in futility, and sometimes it goes unnoticed. Even though I have completed a few creative projects this year, I still feel unaccomplished because some projects took much longer than I thought they would, or because some projects are still unfinished. Even when some people compliment on whatever artwork I’ve been working on, I would just stare at the canvas, and use all the self-control I can muster to avoid punching through my artwork, ripping up the paper, and throwing the easel across the room.

I’ve had my heart broken this past year. After a few years since my last relationship, I decide to take a risk to love. And love I did. However, I also lost. And when I needed help getting over it, the people I thought who could help me just blew me off, insinuating that I should just brush it off and move on, as though nothing happened. Well, something happened. And I couldn’t brush it off. And my feelings were real, and I couldn’t ignore them either, even though everyone else would.

My grandfather, my Lolo, also died this past year. Though I’ve come to terms over the death myself, I’m still pissed off how very few of my “friends” actually came out to help me out. Sure, I’m a tough guy, and I don’t let emotional breakdowns cripple me for long, but damn! I lost the closest thing I had to a father figure, but not a damn peep from the people that I’ve spent most of my time with over the past year. So fuck them. I wasted too much time on people who didn’t give a damn, rather than on people who really mattered. I can understand forgetting a birthday or two, but to forget about me altogether when I didn’t want to be forgotten… well, I’ve had better years than this.

But despite all the setbacks and failures and losses, there were a few people who were still there for me. If it weren’t for those people, I might have done something really stupid and/or violent this year. In particular, an old friend, Adrienne, always helped me out during the most trying of times, even before she knew what the hell was going on. Three times this year, she would send me something from out of the blue, right after some depressing event I was experiencing. And three times this year, I was feeling better because of a friend who lived two time zones away. Another friend, Aileen, also helped me out when I had no one else to call, and also helped play the role of a mentor for me when I was still looking for some sort of direction both in my career and my art.

Now these two friends are embarking on their own new directions in life, and I wish them the best of luck in whatever they do and wherever they go. But they also serve as inspirations for me to pick up the pieces and to keep going as well. I know it won’t be overnight, and things might get worse before they get better, but even if I do lose hope, I won’t lose my honor and my integrity, and that what keeps me going day in and day out.

To all those who are still listening, to those that still consider me a friend, I’m probably going into this next year a bit messed up. I’m still angry, anxious, and depressed, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to fix that. I don’t intend to mess up anyone’s good times, but I do need a little patience and understanding as I get through all of this. And I am grateful for everyone who’s still been hanging with me through all this. In the end, I’m still good to go to be a wingman, should anyone ever need it.

So good luck and best wishes to this new year. Keep your spirits up and keep kickin’ ass. And as for the past year… Fuck 2010.

As promised, one last toast…

One last toast to you, Lolo. And Happy Birthday.

Preview for this year’s Christmas Card

Every year for the past few years, I have made a custom Christmas card to be sent to friends and family. And every year, I’m always falling behind. However, I still intend to send them out by the end of this week (though much apologies to my overseas friends since it may take longer).

In any case, here’s just a preview of one of the sketches to be used for this year’s card (as well as a quick example of concept art).

And if you really do want to receive a card from me this year, then please contact me privately.

One last toast…

Two months ago, my grandfather died just before I was going to visit him in the hospital. Since then, our family has had the funeral, gathered for the 40th day Rosary, and have done our best to cope with our loss. His birthday would have been in nine days, and I had hoped to present a portrait I did of him as a gift for his birthday, or maybe even Christmas. Unfortunately, the portrait ended up being a memorial piece in his memory. It was shown in a local art gallery recently, and I have since taken it down, possibly to hang in my room or someplace here.

However, I do want to share it with you guys. It was really the only thing left I can do at that point. So in nine days, I’ll have one more toast in his honor. Peace out, Lolo. You still kick ass.

A Day for Art in the Park

Last Saturday was a last minute impromptu outing with my dear good friend, and fellow artist, Aileen Holmes to a Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles event at Griffith Park. I had just come back from MMA practice (where a newbie accidentally put a knee to my nose) when I saw Aileen was looking for a carpool for the mixer. Having no real social life of my own and, thus, no real plans for Saturday, I decided to contact her and hook her up with a carpool. After the hell this month has been, I needed a reason to get out of the house.

Waking up early in the morning was not pleasant start to the day, but I got enough sleep the night before to pick up Aileen and to make the trek to Griffith Park. We were greeted by Society with coffee, Halloween-themed donuts from Krispy Kreme, and a place to sit down and begin work on sketching/drawing/painting/etc. A few people were already setup with their chairs and easels and paints. Others were getting their sketchbooks ready for both short and long studies. A model was already in pose against the backdrop of the park.

I myself brought out my sketchbook since this was a perfect opportunity to actually catch up on my “homework” for the life drawing class I am currently taking. I warmed up with a quick gesture drawing and then a longer quick sketch on the same page. I then did a longer drawing, using the model as the main focus and ignoring the park for the most part. I could have done better, but I don’t always perform at my best when I feel rushed when it comes to my art. I finished it off with a really quick 5-minute sketch using Aileen’s brush pens. But I had fun, and so did Aileen. Just look at her; doesn’t look happy?

We got to talk with several of the members present there, both in between breaks and at the end of session. Though I usually don’t get out in the park as much, this was a fun little excursion to break out of my humdrum existence back at home. Thanks again, Aileen, for having me along. And for those interested, below are the drawings that I sketched that morning. Not bad for having my alarm wake my sorry ass up at 6am in the morning.

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Who is SpiderTeo?

An artist, illustrator, designer, Silly Little Flip, and overall one of those crazy creative types. Hey, I'm just trying to get by, and hopefully some of the stories and pictures I share here makes it worth it. Feel free to contact me at spiderteo@yahoo.com Enjoy!