Kick, Punch, its all in the Mind
Sunday, August 29, 2010 @ 8:15 PM
Did you think that the "weekly" blog had simply disappeared? Nay! It was hibernating. Like bears. Or hookers. "Hookers?" you say. Yes. Don't you wonder what happens to street walkers in the dead of winter in the cold portions of the world where being outside is not advisable. I theorize that they hibernate. Like bears. I suppose you could make the counter argument that they migrate. Like birds. As of now, I have no proof either way. What a great way to start off my return blog. By being offense and obscene. Mmmm, its good to be back!
Much has happened since we last spoke. Or has it? Probably not. It seems as though, as a month, that August did not really happen. Perhaps my velocity has sped up meaning that I experience time differently than the rest of the world. That must be it. Or perhaps I stayed the same and its the world that changed. Who knows. Or perhaps I just had so much gosh darn fun this month that time flew as the saying goes. Let's examine the evidence and see which conclusion we can draw . . . (about time, not about hookers)
To start with, I finished Carrion Comfort a bit ago. I must say, it was a killer read. "Was it scary?" you ask. Nay. It was not. I could see that perhaps the situations were a bit terrifying, especially if you were perhaps in said situation but the book as a whole did not get my adrenaline flowing if you will. It was a very well written tale of "mind vampires" and those that wish to eradicate them. Perhaps that is over simplifying it. Look it up on the internet if you wish for a more in depth overview of its plot. My biggest problem with it was that the "villains" if you will were far more interesting and deep than the so called protagonists so it was a shame when [spoiler alert] the good guys win in the end. Aside from being just an exhilarating read, the book has something interesting things to say about humanity and the nature of violence.
After wrapping Carrion Comfort up, I moved on to my next reading adventure: Scott Pilgrim. Yep. I did it. I read them before I saw the movie. Don't let the fact that there's buzz and hype around the books and movie deter you. I know that I often find myself skeptical of just about everything surround by that much hype but for once, its actually warranted. The books in particular are rather definitive in their portrayal of 20-somethings in the 21st century. Specifically those that are in bands and love video games. Aka: me. If you've yet to experience the Scott Pilgrim world, I suggest you do. The first book is super cheap on Amazon.com last I checked and its extra fitting to get it from there considering that Amazon.ca actually plays a plot role in the story. You can thank me later. Or thank me now if you're already on the bandwagon. Or decry me for jumping on the bandwagon so late and yet still acting as if I'm better than everyone else for pretending that I knew about it first, or whatever. Or. Wait. Nope, that's all I got.
Oh, wait, you want to know what I thought of Scott Pilgrim vs the World vs what I thought of Scott Pilgrim the book series? I guess I can give you a quick run down. Despite my intense dislike of that Michael Cera fellow, I thought he did a very good job of bringing SP to live. In fact, the cast was just about perfect except, well, I thought Kim could have used better hair. Did you know the Tom Jane, aka The Punisher, aka that guy in Deep Blue Sea, plays a member of the Vegan Police in the movie? Pretty sick, huh? The first half of the movie or so plays it pretty close to the books. Basically up until Scott's fight with Todd, the super vegan. After that, things start to get a little out of order. Ramona fits her evil ex-girlfriend instead of Scott, though the fight is very similar to a fight Ramona has with Envy in the books that didn't end up in the movie. Even down to the back of her knee being her weak point. Then, the whole end just completely changes. The battle with the twins is entirely different as is most of the final confrontation. Plus, what's up with Ramona and Knives's fight form the library doing in the final act??? But hey, no one's perfect. I'm hoping for an extended director's cut on blu-ray. Overall though, despite some deviations, its perfectly hits the spirit of the source material and therefore comes highly recommended!!
Looks like I'm going to finish Dragon Age: Origins tonight. Good timing too since Valkyria Chronicles II comes out this week. Been looking forward to this since I beat the first one when I had my broken ankle. I feel pretty special being one of the apparent few who have been fans since day one. Pre-ordered it the first one. Got it the day it came out (broken ankle and all). Got the pre-order bonus art book that now sells for $80+ on eBay. Ain't I just special? Yeah, you're right, I'm not. But hey, I gotta pretend sometimes. Or as Parappa would say (and Scott Pilgrim would quote) "I gotta believe!" Let's go watch Big Brother.
Chop Chop, Master Onion
Patrick Smith vs the Weekly Blog
Monday, August 2, 2010 @ 1:34 PM
My my my, this year is just going by so fast! Its already August. Yikes. I have some theories on why time passes at the rate that it does but at this point they're just theories. Maybe I'll need to find myself a physics genius to talk to about my ideas. DSLVSC. Don't worry, it does stand for something but nothing real. An idea. Which as we all learned from Inception can be very dangerous. So, by a show of hands, who here hasn't seen Inception yet? Ok, I don't know if you're just being shy and not raising your hands, or maybe its just that all of you have seen it. Or maybe its that I can't actually see any of you but let's let that slide for now. I finally had a chance to see it and it was incredible. Very moving and thought provoking and actually rather straight forward. I was a bit surprised after all the hype of it being so complex and confusing that it was actually rather easy to follow. As long as you pay attention at least. I rather enjoyed how the movie itself was a mash-up of genres just like dreams often tend to be. Or at least as my dreams tend to be. Back to the movie! Yeah, it was good. That fight scene in the hallway that you see in the trailers is even more awesome that you might imagine. But oh that ending scene. That's what will having you talking as you leave the theater. I won't spoil it for anyone but I have my belief about the ending and I'm sticking to it.
Well, Inception was probably the highlight of the past week and I already talked about it. I wonder what that might mean for the rest of this blog. I'll try to keep it entertaining at the very least. I'm gonna put on my propaganda hat for a moment: As you may or may not know, we've got some SD centric events coming up rather soon. Bonfire. Hot Topic acoustic performance. Epicentre show. All of which should be attended by you. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Especially that Hot Topic show. Well, ok maybe I shouldn't say that. That show is free. The Epicentre isn't. Hot Topic isn't paying us. The Epicentre is. Ok yeah, everyone should go to the Epicentre show. Yeah. Oh but anyway, Hot Topic. We've been working on our little acoustic set and I must say that its sounding pretty dang fantastic. I think you especially will be rather impressed. And then the Epicentre show. What should I say about that? Well, as you may or may not know, we're still technically sans drummer at the moment. Therefore, we're having ex-Pensive drummer many times over Jason filling in for us at the moment. It going to be awesome. Believe me. He'll make you forget all about Jer-bear (Jeremy). Indeed.
Let's have a paragraph made of many short thoughts. Its almost like the lightning round if you will. Speaking of the lightning round, I can't help but think of that episode of Friends. The One with the Embryos its technically called but really, its the one where Monica and Rachel lose the apartment to Joey and Chandler in a trivia game. Its one of the best episodes ever. Good stuff. I've made good progress on my book as of late. Carrion Comfort. Its progressing very well, but unless there is some sort of last act intense horror, I don't think I could call it scary at all. What a shame. My question from last week still stands. Recommend me something that scared you. I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins as of late and really rather enjoying it. Despite a few nagging troubles (that stem from the fact that it was developed as a PC game and ported to consoles by an outside company) its really quite excellent. I had also, up until recently, been playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 online obsessively but I think all Battlefielded out at the moment. I'm potentially quite interested in the upcoming film adaptation of underground cult comic fav Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Not because I've ever read them (though its ironic that they used to just be sitting on shelves at my comic store or B&N and now you can hardly find them anymore) but because as I have come to understand, there are countless video game references in both the books and the movie. I like video game references. I may attempt to pick up Vol. 1 before the movie comes out in an effort to save my street cred. Or maybe I'll just say "eff it" and be a band-wagon-jumper-on and accept that about myself. We'll see.
I think that shall wrap things up for this week. Tune in next for more Pensive propaganda followed by more mish-mashed paragraphs about my many uninteresting interests. I'm gonna go watch Big Brother from last night. The Bachelorette chooses tonight. I'm excited.
Rock Bible Scripture for the Week
The Gospel According to the Band; Cardinal Rules
3. You don't get paid to play in front of people. You get paid to sit in a smelly bus or van with your bandmates' collective body funks, listen to your bandmates snore in hotel rooms, eat at Waffle Houses and Mexican joints, load-unload-setup-and-tear-down equipment, sit in studios waiting for the guitarists to finally get it right, and drive all night long to get back home to go to work the next day. It's a privilege to play in front of people.
"I'm in the Desert, Eddie, Don't Bother Me" - Geoff Johns
Monday, July 26, 2010 @ 5:51 PM
Well, would ya look at that! It appears as though despite being two days late, that I shall get a blog in two weeks in a row. I think a celebration is in order, don't you? How shall we celebrate? With sushi? Sounds good to me! Its been far too long since I had any raw fish wrapped in seaweed and rice. Or on top of rice depending my preference at the time of ordering between nigiri and rolls. Generally I like rolls the best but every now and then you can't bet a nigiri unagi. Which of course isn't raw fish, its cooked eel but its still delicious. Mmmm. This paragraph is making me hungry. I think this might end up being a very food centric blog. Or at least introductory paragraph. I'm sure I'll get to talking about my adventures at Comic Con at some point, but really, you shouldn't need to hear about it since I'm sure you just followed my adventures on the Pensive Twitter as they happened, right? Exactly! So, back to sushi! If you care to know, I guess I would have to say that as far as sushi nigiri, my favorites would have to be eel, salmon, and yellow belly. As for rolls, well, that really depends on where we're getting it from. Spicy tuna is often a great choice. California and Philadelphia rolls are NEVER good choices. Ya know what bugs me? How most sushi places seem to think that every roll needs to have avocado on it. I mean really, WTF is up with that?! Anyway, depending on where I'm getting sushi, each place has their own special rolls generally so occasionally I'll rock one of those if it sounds interesting.
In other news, I was just thinking a little before I started this blog that, contrary to most I would guess, with certain cereals, I find that they taste better if they're a bit soggy. Strange, no? Granted, it is fully dependent on which cereal we are discussing. In the case of the cereal I just had, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, I find that if they soak a bit to the point of losing their crunchiness but not to the point of losing all cohesion, they taste much better. It seems to bring out the peanut butter flavor in them a bit more I find. A good 2-3 minutes usually does the trick. Another cereal that doesn't just benefit from soaking but out right necessitates it is Grape Nuts. They are just far, far too crunchy to enjoy straight out of the box. I prefer to enjoy my Grape Nuts drizzled with honey and then I let them sit for a good 5-10 minutes and let them soak up the honey and milk and bam! You've got yourself a deliciously healthy little breakfast right there. Even better, if you have some fresh raspberries and blackberries, throw those on right before you take your first bite. Those should be as fresh and crisp as possible. Though, I do find that full sized raspberries or blackberries don't integrate well with the cereal and are best if cut in to quarters. While on the topic of fruit, I was thinking that I might try my hand at making a strawberry milkshake. I'm not generally one for following recipes, so I might try to just wing it and see how it turns out. I find its more fun that way. I usually go that route though there are some things that I need to follow directions on. Like lasagna. That's just too much of a beast to try to just throw together. Shepherd's Pie on the other hand I can just kind of make up as I go along. Tonight, I making a dish that we just refer to as "rotini" which is basically just rotini noodles, chicken, mozzarella, and Italian salad dressing. Sadly, I cannot take credit for inventing this dish though I do like to think that I put a bit of my own spin on it. Maybe someday we'll put out a Pensive cook book. Would any of you buy it? Ironic perhaps since I don't really use recipes but irony is our friend.
See? I told you that this would be a food centric blog. Ya know what's a shame? The fact that I have still not yet had a chance to Inception. I really need to get on that before something else takes its spot in the IMAX theater. Maybe this week would be a good time to try for that. We'll see. So, do you feel like you need a quick wrap up of Comic Con? First, for real, look at our Twitter feed. Twitter.com/Pensivemusic. All caught up? Good! So you know that one of my life long goals was met this weekend when I had the chance to met Yoshitaka Amano. It was incredibly surreal. I still can barely believe that it happened. And he drew me a moogle! My own personal, one of a kind, moogle sketch. And he signed one of my favorite pieces of art ever (http://www.creativeuncut.com/gallery-01/ff7-cloudaerith.html). Those couple minutes alone made this the best Comic Con yet for me. Plus, I saw some awesome panels starring Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison, learned about up coming plans for Batman, played Dead Space 2, bought tons of awesome, exclusive stuff, including but not limited to: Persona 4 artbook, Valkyria Chronicles artbook, Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack and Piano Collections, a [free] Dragon Quest IX shirt, awesome sketches of Samus Aran and Supergirl, and a USG Ishimura hoodie. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, not taking into account the endless of amount of free stuff there was. Sure, there were a few unfortunate misses, like the Green Lantern movie/Harry Potter panel in Hall H that filled up 100 or so people before us or just barely missing out on getting to meet Elizabeth Mitchell (aka Juliet from LOST, aka the love of my life) but hey, life goes on. Apparently, some crazed Harry Potter fan stabbed someone in the eye with a pen during the Resident Evil panel in Hall H. That's pretty messed up. It delayed everything in there by an hour or so which meant I had to miss Kevin Smith this year. Well, I didn't have to exactly, I choose to. Cause I'm old and I get tired and sore quickly. And by quickly I mean after three days of being on my feet, getting little sleep, and less food. See? Everything always comes back to food . . .
I'm making good progress with my book I'm reading. Carrion Comfort. Its very good. Very complex. Too many characters to try to keep straight but I'm doing a pretty good job. Its not as scary as I was expecting. There's a few tense scenes here and there but they're more suspenseful than outright scary. Which is a shame. I would love to read a book that makes me want to sleep with the lights on. Or watch a movie that does the same. We recently watched Paranormal Activity again since Ian had never seen it and it wasn't as scary this time around. Its still a good movie as far as I'm concerned though. Maybe its just because I knew what was going to happen and when. Alas. You should throw some suggestions for scary stuff at me. Books. Movies. Whatever. The scarier the better.
And on that note, I'm done. Goodnight.
Rock Bible Scripture for the Week:
The Golden Rules of Appearance, from the Gospel According to the Band:
138. Never spend more time on your hair than you would eating a modest sized meal
Shot Through the Heart, and You're to Blame
Sunday, July 18, 2010 @ 10:54 PM
Sorry that there was no blog to entertain you last week. What can I say? There's not much going on really. Perhaps its the oppressive El Cajon heat getting to us. Ya know what makes me mad? When the Channel 10 weather man is smiling his biggest smile talking about how its going to be in the 100s inland. Why is that something to smile about?! Maybe if you live by the beach its cool since it rarely gets too hot there but let me tell you, 100 degrees sucks. I mean, we're not Texas (where we've experience 90+ degrees at midnight) but still. And he even smiles when he talks about "high heat warnings." Seriously. Can't he at least put on a slightly solemn face while he talks about us inlanders melting!? Sorry for my outbursts. The heat just does that to me. Turns me into a mini-Kratos, just full of rage. Speaking of Kratos, I completed my epic journey through the God of War series finally. I think I'm one of the very few people around that didn't play the first two on PS2 when they came out but I did snatch up the GoW Collection last Winter knowing that I should probably be in the know. I'll be honest, that first game really didn't do much for me. It just felt way more outdated than it should have. I'm sure at the time it was revolutionary (and it really was) but not anymore. However, the 2nd one was far more enjoyable and far less frustrating. And then the 3rd one. Oh boy. Wow. That was one stellar piece of gaming right there. Let me tell you. Oh wait, I just did.
However, not all is doom and gloom in the wide world of San Diego. The heat may have me in a corner but I shall emerge the victor soon. Why? COMIC CON STARTS ON THURSDAY!!! In case that wasn't clear enough and you don't know me very well, Comic Con is far and away the 4 greatest days of the year. Nothing else even comes close. Its many things about it that make it so amazing. First of all, it has just about everything I love under one roof. Comics. Video games. Anime. Geeky movies and TV shows. Collectibles. Collectibles. Endless booths of stuff to buy. Grant Morrison. Geoff Johns. Yoshitaka Amano. Last year I met Claudio from Co&Ca just walking around. And ya know what else is great? For my entire life, I've never fit in. I never fit in at school. I don't really fit in at concerts. But at Comic Con? I fit in. I'm surrounded by people that know the same things I know. Have had the same experiences I have. Its truly quite fantastic. Expect the Pensive Twitter account to become the Patrick's Comic Con Updates for four days. Well, actually three days. Sadly, I gotta miss Sunday cause Pensive has a special little one off performance. In LA. With a hip hop group. Playing a song that we'll never be able to record. It'll be fun though.
What else, what else? I'm sure I could ramble on about other things (though probably not for 18 pages. Front and back!) but I won't subject you to that. This week. I will mention that we had ourselves a little family celebration for Julio's citizenship last night. Sure his mom made authentic Mexican food and sure he made authentic (ish) sangria but the highlight? The cakes. From Flour Power in La Mesa. Last year I was lucky enough to receive for my birthday (less than 2 months away now so mark your calendars! Patrick likes gift cards, brownies, video game systems, etc *wink*) a Peanut Butter cake from there. It had peanut butter frosting and this layer of peanut butter flavored fudge in between chocolate cake. Let me tell you, that thing was like heaven on a fork. It was the dessert version of a Special Battera roll from Taka Sushi (555 5th Avenue, Downtown SD). Just one of those things that tastes so good it melts in your mouth. Perfection. The kind of thing that makes the juiciest steak at Benihana taste like rubber. Yeah, its that good. Ok, ok, nothing can make Benihana's steak (or fried rice) taste like rubber but you get the point. It seems though all I talk about is video games, movies, comics, books, and food. Oh well!
See ya'll next week! And / or at Comic Con! One of the days I might dress up as Phil Ken Sebben. Ha ha ha!! Disguised.
P.S. I leave you this week with a verse of scripture from "The Rock Bible"
The Psalm of the Guitar Player
7. The Gibson SG is the most satanic-looking guitar. It comes with its own set of devil horns.
Between the Waking World and a Landscape of Dreams
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @ 2:52 PM
How are you all doing this fine holiday weekend? Its a double holiday ya know. At least in Pensiveland it is. You know what today is right? The 3rd of July of course! Doesn't ring a bell? You better brush up on your Pensive history then my friend. For those of you not in the know, we have song called the 3rd of July. Back in the day, it was actually a rather sizable underground hit. Before Myspace took over the world (and way before Facebook invaded Myspace's territory, forcing Myspace to make a hasty retreat) there was this magical little site called MP3.com which was the absolute pinnacle of music websites and the best place to find awesome music and for one summer, we straight up ruled that site. The 3rd of July spent 76 straight days as the #1 Pop-Punk song on the site (we took that spot from Sum 41) and peaked at #14 on the entire site, leaping ahead of contemporaries such as Eminem. Oh, those were the days . . . Anyway, the morale of the story is that today is a Pensive Holiday that all should celebrate. Its a celebration!
What else has been going on as of late? Well, I did go down to the Microsoft store at Fashion Valley and try out Kinect. Sadly, I can't give a very good report of it. You see, as a demo they had 3 separate mini-games, but you only got to play one. At the beginning of the first one, Kinect did a body scan so that it could follow your motions. I did not play the first mini-game, so it did not scan me, and for those of that have seen me before, you probably can tell that I'm not a short Asian woman. Therefore, Kinect really couldn't register any of my movements. Either that or its an incredible terrible piece of machinery and a huge waste of money. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. At least I got a free shirt out of it. That I'll never wear. I can't sport rival colors. No way. Come on, you all know that I'm Sony fanboy through and through! What? You think I should be ashamed for evening going to the Microsoft store and for trying out their new tech? Nay. It was espionage work. Very important.
I saw Eclipse the other day. In IMAX. I'll be honest, it was better than I thought it would be. And that Taylor Lautner is one sexy beast! Though, I believe that I shall refrain from giving my true critique of the Twilight phenomenon since there's a very good chance that I may offend some people, and that's never my M.O. Unless you're a Microsoft or Marvel lover, in which case, I can't help myself. Its just in my blood ^_^
As for actual Pensive news, there's still a bit of a media blackout on that end of things. There's not much going on that I'm free to report. Soon though. Soon. You'll be pleasantly surprised I believe. I can say though that we're probably going to be playing a show at the Epicentre towards the beginning of September so prepare yourselves. We're gonna have to make it big. And I mean BIG! We've been working on revamping the Street Team and getting it back to the top so be on the look out for that. Get all your friends in on it too. Spread the word like its H1N1.
I do believe that I have run out of things to say. I'm guessing since no one commented on my E3 blog that it wasn't the most popular of blogs? Or maybe there just wasn't anything to say in response to it. Hmm. Well if you are all going tired of my pointless rants, make sure to let me know. Or if you want something different let me know. Questions and comments are always welcome. So get to it!
The Cake May or May Not be a Lie
Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 9:30 PM
Hey wow, what do ya know! Would ya look at that!! Two weeks in a row with a blog (almost) on time? This has got to be a record. For once, I don't fail. Good job me. Will I have anything worthwhile to talk about this week? Well that depends on your definition of "worthwhile." Did you read last week's blog? Then you should have a pretty good idea of what might be in store for you this week. Let's start somewhere else though first. Unfortunately, I can't actually talk about it. Its a secret. A surprise. Something that is very new and unique (for Pensive at least) and might possibly be a bit polarizing. Some might love it. Some might hate it. Some might just shrug their shoulders and mumble "meh." Maybe we can reveal some more details about it soon. Maybe we can't. Time will tell. Its also fair to mention that I'm very ready to write some new songs. It is by far my favorite part of being in a band and the driving force behind my desire to play music. The act of creation. However, its not simply enough to write it in my head or just on my guitar. Nay. That'd be like Damon & Carlton being content to just have the idea for an episode of LOST. No. There needs to be more. The point where it really feels right is when I can finally hear it as its played as a whole. It doesn't have to be recorded necessarily, it just has to be complete. That's magic. I've got ideas piling up in my head, dying to get out into the world. Keep your fingers crossed that they can escape soon . . .
As you should have been well aware of if you had read last week's blog, E3 was this last week and it was quite a wonderful couple days! For the first time, I actually watched all the (important) press conferences live as they happened. Being the silly Sony fanboy that I am, I of course enjoyed their's the best though a special nod must go to Nintendo for having the best organized conference and having some pretty slick games on display. Let's start with Microsoft though. Other than Gears of War 3 (which I am forced to admit looks fantastic!) and Halo:Reach, they really had a rather weak showing. Especially since it at least felt like the majority of their time was spent talking about "Kinect." Granted, I'm clearly not their target audience (and don't think this is simple fanboy reaction. I didn't enjoy the Move portion of the Sony conference much either, though, it seemed the superior technology to me) but it still seemed like a waste of time. Alas. Plus, for what it wants to compete with (the Wii) it is most likely going to be grossly over-priced (a fault the PlayStation Move shares as well, to both a lesser and greater degree). Only time will tell whether this helps grow the market.
[As a warning, I'm probably going to be rambling a lot. Feel free to skip ahead if your interest in video games is low]
Nintendo kept things very nice and orderly and very strong. The started off with a demo of the new Legend of Zelda game (yawn) which I'm sure pleased many people but didn't do much for me. However, the revealed that Retro studios (who previously made the Metroid Prime trilogy) is doing a reboot of sorts of Donkey Kong Country. While its most likely nostalgia that makes many of us have such fond memories of that game, this new one does honestly look pretty dang awesome! There's a very good chance nostalgia will get the better of me at some point and force me to give it a try. Another remake of a Rare classic has me a little more cautious and that would be Goldeneye. If you at one point in your life have ever owned a Nintendo 64, you probably owned and loved Goldeneye. I have very fond memories of that little gem. I got it for my 13th birthday along side a game that was another classic (of a hugely different magnitude) known as Final Fantasy VII. Anyway, I digress. I really hope they can recapture the magic of that bygone era but I don't have high hopes. I hope to be proved wrong though because it would be amazing to revisit that masterpiece with modern controls! (please please please include a non-motion controlled option!!!) Metroid: Other M is looking good (enough) though I doubt it will achieve the same sublime mixture of adventure and exploration that Super Metroid perfected but we will find out in August. On the "safe bet" side of the equation, we've got Dragon Quest IX. If you've played and liked any Dragon Quest game, you'll like them all. Or so I've learned. Easily the most consistent game in the grand pantheon of games. Its a shame its for the DS. And speaking of the DS, its finally getting its true successor known as the "3DS." Why? Cause its a 3D DS. That doesn't need special glasses. Until I get to experience it first hand, I'll have to with-hold judgement. If it delivers what it promises though, it could be insanely effin' epic!!!
After reading all that you may wonder how I could have possibly liked the Sony conference better. Its close, it really is. I think it just comes down to having more interest in the future than in nostalgia (though, don't get me wrong, I would still slit a throat or seven for a Final Fantasy VII remake in HD . . . or a Super Metroid remake in HD for that matter!!) Sony also had some 3D action to show off (though naturally, watching on my computer didn't show any third dimension at all) including Killzone 3. While not one of my favorites, I have a feeling it would be amazing in 3D and (if Sony has their wishes granted) could end up doing for 3D games what Avatar did for 3D movies. Next up, they had an unfortunately long presentation about PlayStation Move (yawn) but for what its worth, it looked ok. They showed off a painfully generic magic-wand based game called sorcery and while I doubt I'd ever play it, for what it was, it was actually rather impressive. YouTube it. (Or even better, if you have a PS3, you can download the entire Sony press conference from PSN!) Next up was an unfortunately short montage of upcoming PSP games that included Valkyria Chronicles II (which alone basically gives Sony the win) and The 3rd Birthday (aka Parasite Eve 3). Let's skip around. No sense in going chronologically really. And I'm sure you're getting fatigued by this point so I'll try to keep it short. Bullet points maybe? Sure. Let's do it!
-Portal 2 is coming to the PS3!
-LittleBigPlanet 2 looks so heartbreakingly amazing!
-Final Fantasy XIV (aka Final Fantasy XI-2, aka Final Fantasy Online 2)
Sounds good, huh? Even though, its not a PS3 exclusive, Dead Space would probably have to be my game of the show. It just looks so good and I did so dearly love that first game. And we finally have a release date! January 25th, 2011. Longer than I would like to wait but at least I have a date to count down to now . . . I'm sure I've missed some stuff but that's ok. You get the idea. Strangely, at least for Sony, they didn't really have any surprises saved for their press conference. Maybe they've learned that they can't keep secrets (hello PSP Go!, the worst kept secret ever) since they announced all their big sequels (Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, and inFamous) in months and days leading up to E3. Oh well. All in all, it was tons of fun. Good job gaming industry.
I suppose I could tell you a few more things but really, who am I kidding? Let's wrap this up!! See ya'll next week . . .
Keep Calm and Carry On
Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 6:11 PM
How are my favorite Pensive fans doing this weekend? Sorry that there was yet another gap between blogs but I seem to be running out of steam. Is it just that I've written so many blogs that I've run out of (interesting) things to talk about? Maybe. I'm gonna do my best to keep you all well entertained and up to date on all the going-ons in Pensiveland and sometimes that means skipping a blog instead of subjecting you to another pitiful run-on sentence of a blog. I've got your best interests at heart ya see? So join me this week as I discuss all sorts of random things with no connection beyond being mentioned in the same blog! Ready?
All you Sandy Eggo kids probably already knew, but we had ourselves a fun little hometown show on Friday. As great as shows on the road can be, nothing can quite match a hometown crowd for sheer excitement and sing-along-action-ness. Except maybe Safford. Anyway, it was lots and lots of fun getting to see everyone rocking out with us again. It feels like its been a very long time since we shared a venue with you all so it was especially nice. Though, who knows when the next time will be since, as you may or may not have heard, our drummer Jeremy has left for the greener grass on the other side and Friday was his last show with us. Which means a few things. 1. We need a drummer. Are you a drummer? 2. We probably won't be playing live much this summer till we find a drummer, unless . . . 3. We might start playing some special acoustic shows if demand is high enough. We'll see what the future holds.
I'm sure at least a few of you will ask why Jeremy left and here's what I'll give you: the standard answer that is always given when a person quits or is fired from a band. Something along the lines of "creative differences" or "different priorities" or maybe "personality conflicts." All very nice and polite and usually all lies. I suppose its the more proper and polite thing to do. I mean, no one wants their dirty laundry out in public. Sometimes though, a little bit of truth can be nice. Especially in this day and age where the line between band and fan is so much more blurred than it used to be. With Twitter and such giving us constant insights into the thoughts of others, do we have boundaries anymore? Sometimes its nice to see a band like the Smashing Pumpkins really hate each other. If you want a straight answer, Billy Corgan will give it to you. So, you ask, why did Jeremy leave the band? Different priorities.
Anyway, enough of all that silly crap. Let's get onto something that is actually important. E3. Don't know what that is? That makes me sad. Its the Electronic Entertainment Expo held every year in Los Angeles. It is the the greatest four days for video gamers the entire year (unless they also like comics in which case Comic Con easily defeats it since it features video games, movies, tv shows, collectibles, and of course, comics. Though, Comic Con doesn't really break news about new stuff where as thats basically the point of E3 . . . ) It starts tomorrow with the Microsoft press conference at 10:00am PDT. There's plenty of places to get all the info out there on the web. There are my personal favorites such as 1up.com, VG247.com, and GameTrailers.com. Make sure you stay up to date since word 'round the campfire is that there's some pretty big news waiting for us all in the next few days! I'll make sure to give a nice big report on it all in next weeks blog. I'm all tingly with excitement. I dreamt about E3 last night. It was wonderful . . .
I've started a new book. Its called Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons. I've always had a few Dan Simmons books on my list of books to read someday (such as the Hyperion series and his re-imagining of the Illiud and the Odyssey) but this one caught my attention seeing as it has a nice little quote from my good friend Stephen King on the cover proclaiming "Carrion Comfort is one of the three greatest horror novels of the twentieth century. Simple as that." That basically sold me right there. Then, on the back, it was a quote from my new good friend, James Rollins (I've been one a bit of James Rollins kick lately . . . I imagine it won't be long before I own all his books) stating "Carrion Comfort is one of the scariest books ever written. Whenever I get asked the question 'Who's your favorite author?' my answer is always Dan Simmons." Considering how not too long ago, I remarked that nothing seems to be that scary to me anymore, that completed the sale. I haven't gotten much of a chance to delve into it yet, but I will soon and I'll let you know how my journey goes.
I'd say that should just about wrap things up for this week. Tune in next when I'll dissect the good, the bad, and the ugly of E3 2010!
Francis Farmer Will Have Her Revenge
Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 9:23 PM
It has been quite the hectic past couple weeks here in Pensveland. I'm sure if you're doing the right thing and following us on Twitter like I keep telling you to do, you already know everything that I could possibly tell you in this blog but for the sake of maintaining appearances, I'll go ahead and mention some of the stuff. Like how when we were in Colorado a few days ago, we got snowed on like crazy. Ok, maybe not crazy but Colorado standards, but crazy by San Diego standards thats for sure! And I mean really, come on. Its May. Did you know that? May! Thankfully it wasn't quite the blizzard that the news predicted but it was still enough that the next morning, Julio was able to make his first snowman. We were a little scared that it might mean we'd be stuck there for a few days, but the thawed out pretty quickly so we didn't miss any shows. We did however miss the opportunity of a lifetime in the form of going up to Estes Park and seeing the Stanley Hotel. In case you don't know what that is, its the hotel that Stephen King stayed at that gave him the inspiration to write The Shining. Oddly enough, not only was that my first Stephen King book that I read, it was also the book that I was reading when we started the band 10 years ago so that makes it even extra special, wouldn't you say? Heck, we were almost named Outside 217 (a chapter in The Shining)! Not quite as catchy as Pensive, huh? Maybe I should name one our songs that sometime . . .
The Pensive/Lynhurst tour is getting ready to wind down. We've got less than a week left. However, before the festivities come to a close, we've got ourselves a few days in Seattle and that's a very good thing. I love Seattle. Gonna get me some clam chowder at Ivar's and about a metric ton of salt water taffy from this place by the water. Still debating whether or not its worth it to take a trip up the Space Needle and whether I should buy some comics at the shop in Pike's Place or just wait till I get home. I really need to get Batman & Robin 12. I've gone too long without a Grant Morrison infused Batman fix. Its a tough call. I'm sure I'll break down and get it here. Yes its only about a week to wait but that's too long really. And then plus, it'll be extra special because anything from Seattle is extra special!
I'm sorry this is such a short blog. I feel like a complete failure. Skipping a week and then skimping on the blog this week. I guess I could ramble a bit. Let's see what happens. I've been spending a good bit of time reading on this tour. Like I always do really. I finished my physics book. It was really quite a good read actually. A great combination of extreme science presented in a clear way with some history and interesting philosophical and religious matters all rolled together. Its really actually quite terrifying how unique and special our lives are from a scientific stand point. The amount of things that had to line up perfectly for us to exist is just staggering from the size of planet and its distance from the sun down to the relative strengths of the four forces of the universe (gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force). Scientists make different conclusions from the incredible narrow band of circumstances that make life possible. Some believe it to be evidence of higher power at work, some believe that this is just how it has to be and that nothing else can be concluded form it beyond that we exist, while others believe that there may be countless universes out there where the primal forces may balanced differently where perhaps the universe never cools enough to allow for the formation of atoms. Despite the quite heavy emphasis on physics and mathematics (of course), anyone out there that thinks they can wade through that will probably find their eyes opened immensely. Its quite a satisfying and motivating read.
I feel better about this blog now. Good times, good times. That should wrap things up I believe. See ya'll next week!!
Danny's Not Here Mrs. Torrence
Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That
Sunday, May 2, 2010 @ 11:11 AM
How's everyone doing this week? Wonderful? I sure hope so! Well, since the past blog a few days ago, we've settled into a more typical and predictable tour. We had ourselves our first bad show (I won't say which one, but if you were at a show and you thought it was good, I'm probably not talking about that night), Julio is sick, I'm sick (though not quite like Julio since I don't require a trip to Urgent Care :P), we're all tired and sore. Yeah, sounds like tour to me. At least we're in Chicago! Its looking like we won't be making it to our show tonight seeing as our singer claims to barely be able to talk let alone sing. I'm trying to think if we've ever made it through a tour without a trip to Urgent Care for Julio. I think if we toured long enough, Julio will have visited an Urgent Care in each state. Which, if you think about it, is a pretty dang impressive feat! So, good job Julio, you deserve a medal. Though, oddly enough, I was the first to need an Urgent Care trip first out of everyone on our first real tour back in the Summer of '06. You see, we had stayed at this guy's house in a rather rural part of Ohio. Amish country. We even heard some drunk Amish guys drive down the road in their horse drawn buggy being loud and boisterous. Anyway, I believe it was that night that I got a nasty spider bite on my hand. I thought it would go away but it just got bigger and bigger and that sucker hurt! So a few days later, I had to break down and go to Urgent Care. Thankfully there was one right down the street from the motel we were staying at that day. They were very helpful. Oh yes. They said take Benadryl and get out of their office. So I did. And slept through the rest of the day. Good times. That would constitute my one and (so far) only trip to UC while on tour.
Ya know, not much has really happened since that last blog I wrote. We've traveled quite a few more miles. Played some pretty rockin' shows. I managed to drop my computer and now my dvd drive doesn't work. That's pretty sad. I mean, yes, I have all ten seasons of Friends on my iTunes/iPod but not The Big Bang Theory! Speaking of the big bang theory (the actual theory, not the show), did you know that one of its fiercest opponents was the first to actually use the phrase "big bang" in correlation with it? Interestingly enough, if you really think about it, "big bang" isn't accurate anyway since there was no bang since there's no sound in space and it was actually incredible small. Smaller than an electron. There have been attempts to rename it over the years but nothing sounds quite as catchy as "the big bang." Hence, its stayed. I've been quite enjoying my cosmology book. I'm not gonna lie and say that I understand much of it, but I understand enough. I've gained a lot of knowledge the past week or so. I wish I understand the actual science behind some of it, but I guess for now, I can accept the outcome and try to learn the reasons behind it later. I'm thinking for my next science book, I might go with something on Quantum Mechanics. Try to understand that a bit better before attempting to make sense of String Theory since at its core, String Theory is an attempt at joining Quantum Mechanics and Einstein's theories of Relativity. And . . . I've lost your interest, huh? That's ok. I'll get it back somehow . . .
LOST skipped this past week so thankfully we didn't miss it but I shall soon be faced with a massive dilemma which I have discussed at length before. I'm not sure whether to watch it online, try to watch at people's houses, or just suck it up, stay off the internet and wait till we get home to watch all the final episodes in a row. Its a tough call. Any words of advice?
In other news: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Warner Bros has announced that the third Batman movie from Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale is coming out on July 20th, 2012! Yes, I do realize that's more than two years away. But ya know what? I don't care. The simple fact that they're gonna make it is all that matters to me. And that its in IMAX again. Mmmm, today is a good day!
Let's wrap this silly little Top 100 list up, shall we?
25. Every Time I Die - The Big Dirty
24. Thrice - Red Sky EP
23. AFI - Crash Love
22. Smashing Pumpkins - Machina/The Machines of God
21. Deftones - White Pony
20. Spitalfield - Stop Doing Dad Things
19. Acceptance - Phantoms
18. The Starting Line - Based on a True Story
17. Taking Back Sunday - New Again
16. Senses Fail - Life is Not a Waiting Room
15. Moneen - The World I want to leave
14. Thrice - Water
13. Hey Mercedes - Everynight Fireworks
12. Opeth - Damnation
11. Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea
10. Brand New - Deja Entendu
09. Thursday - Full Collapse
08. Senses Fail - Still Searching
07. Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come to Fear
06. AFI - Sing the Sorrow
05. Lovedrug - Everything Starts Where it Ends
04. Muse - Absolution
03. Saves The Day - Stay What You Are
02. Moneen - Red Tree
01. Thrice - Vheissu
There ya go! The big finale!! I hope you almost enjoyed my silly list. Maybe a few of you found it interesting. Again, I must stress that its not perfect, but you already knew that. However, the closer to the top spot you get, the more accurate the list becomes. If I'm feeling up for it, I might do some fun little statistics of my list for next week but we'll see if I feel its worth it. I think its about time to wrap this up. Bam! Its wrapped up.
Children of the Corn
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 @ 6:46 PM
Hello there everyone!
As Iím sure you are well aware of at this point, we are currently cris-crossing the country on yet another of our lovely little tours. Iím sure you know the routine well enough by this point, yes? Oddly enough though, this tour seems to be breaking the usual mold. Usually by this point, weíve had at least one bad show and weíre generally miserable in Texas. Not this time. Weíve had 4 fantastic shows (each special in their own way) and weíre in Nebraska and not miserable (except for the repugnant smell of farming that keeps invading the van as we drive down the highway). So good job Tour 2010. And Iím betting things will get even more awesome in about a week once we start hitting some of extra favorite spots in the mid-west. Oh, and when we hook up with our tour buddies in a few shows. Anyway, you know what to do, right? Check the page for the tour dates. Find the three that are closest to you and go to all of them. Its good for your health. Trust me, Iím a doctor.
This is going to sound weird, but do you wanna know what one of my favorite things about being on tour is? Going to Barnes & Nobles across the country. Its quite fascinating to see all the different layouts and see what they feature towards the front of the store and what they keep hidden in the dark corners. It seems to me that two story B&Ns are actually rather common everywhere except San Diego and this makes me sad. I would love to have a two story B&N. I mean hell, San Diego got the first ever two story Wal-Mart but the far more important store mentioned in this paragraph means single storied. Whatís up with that?! Anyway, not only is intriguing to see the different layouts but also what is featured in each section. As you can probably guess, I usually head straight to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and I actual find that going to a new B&N can help me discover that new book that just screams out for me to buy it. I havenít bought any new books on this tour. Yet. I have a feeling I will succumb to the temptation before too long even though I already have plenty to read. I just canít help it. Iím a hoarder. I collect things. Collectible figures. Video games. Vinyl records. Books. I just canít help myself. I have a dozen or so books on my shelves that I have yet to read but I canít seem to stop myself from continually buying more. It must be genetic because my mom probably has an entire bookcase of books sheís never read. Iíll get around to it eventually Iím sure. Maybe. One of the other great things about tour though is that allows me much more time to read than I usually have. So thatís good at least.
Iím really hoping that weíll have a day off with no driving soon. The Nightmare on Elm Street remake comes out on Friday and I desperately want to see it. Even more so than Iron Man 2. Iím sure Iron Man will be better but I canít help where my allegiances lie. I do so love me my horror movies. And besides, Iím a diehard DC fanboy so I die a little inside whenever I watch a Marvel movie. I have a pretty strong feeling that Nightmare will be rather bad judging by how the recent horror remakes have gone but I could be pleasantly surprised. That Jackie Earle (Rorschach) Haley is gonna make a great Freddy at the very least. I mean hell, did you see how creepy he was in Shutter Island?! So, everyone keep your fingers crossed that its good cause I really, really hope it is. If I do get a chance to see it, youíll know. Just follow us on Twitter. @Pensivemusic. Seriously, you really should. If you donít have a Twitter yet, get one. And follow Pensive. And @GeoffJohns0. And @God_Damn_Batman. Youíll find all sorts of fun fun fun super fun action fun on the Pensive Twitter feed courtesy of me and my insanity.
I think its about time to wrap things up for this week. Sorry I was so late but, well, I have no excuse. I was bad. Iím sorry. As promised, I shall leave you with 50-26 of my Top 100 Albums of the Decade list. The more I think about it, the more I realize I could probably spend an eternity moving albums up and down the list and never be satisfied. Youíll just have to accept that itís a rough draft and shall always remain that way. And just because an album ainít on the list doesnít mean it doesnít own a special place in my heart. There was a ton of albums I had to cut that I wanted to be on the list but there just wasnít the room. Sad times. Letís get listing it up, yeah?
50. Gatsbyís American Dream - Volcano
49. Denver Harbor - Scenic
48. Northstar - Pollyanna
47. Circa Survive - Juturna
46. Eisley - Room Noises
45. Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage
44. Coheed & Cambria - In Keeping Secrets
43. Third Eye Blind - Out of the Vein
42. The Ataris - End is Forever
41. Thrice - Air
40. Dashboard Confessional - So Impossible
39. New Found Glory - Coming Home
38. Noise Ratchet - ĎTill We Have Faces
37. Matchbook Romance - Voices
36. Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends
35. The End - Elementary
34. Blindside - About a Burning Fire
33. Lit - Atomic
32. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
31. Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice
30. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
29. Pelican - The Fire in our Throats will Beckon the Thaw
28. New Found Glory - Sticks & Stones
27. Thursday - A City by the Light Divided
26. Hey Mercedes - Loses Control
He Who Walks Behind the Corn