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Not Penny's Boat


Welcome to the weekly blog. Yes yes, I know its a few days late but hey, at least I didn't skip a week again. I'm currently trying to remember what may have occurred during the past week but really all I can think about is the Vikings' crushing defeat last night. Its quite heartbreaking I must say. Ya know, life was so much simpler before I liked football. Just like the Chargers did last week, my team of choice essentially defeated themselves. I mean really. TWO fumbles inside the 10? That should have been at least any easy 6 points and therefore a victory. 12 men in the huddle? Are you freakin' kidding me?! And yes, I bet everyone is going to blame Brett Favre and what will surely be an infamous interception but I don't. For two reasons. 1. Without those fumbles and that penalty they would have never thrown on that down or if they had, they would have thrown for shorter yards. 2. Its not like it was a terrible throw. It wasn't perfect no but you must admit watching the replay that the guy that intercepted it made a damn good play. Oh, and he's 40 years old and took a beating that would have sidelined many a younger men but he didn't sit out a single play. There is however a silver lining to this loss. For me at least. I don't have to watch the Super Bowl now! That's a good thing. Its a waste of damn good football game to rampant commercialism and unnecessary halftime antics. I skipped last year's game as well and played Gears of War 2 and nursed my still recovering broken ankle. This year? I suppose I'll make it a tradition and play a video game of some sort but who knows what it may be seeing as the Super Bowl is two days before Dante's Inferno comes out. Hmm. Time will tell. Oh, and finally little bit before we end the discussion on this year's NFL season (unless for some reason I get conned into watching the Super Bowl) I noticed something a little odd while watching the Colts game. Every time their new head coach was on screen, I got the odd feeling that he reminded me of someone and I finally figured out who . . . Let's see if you can see the resemblance: Jim Caldwell and his look-a-like!! Every time I saw him, I felt like he should be saying "The shield is down, commence attack on the Death Star's main reactor." Or maybe "We've got to give those fighters more time, concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer." Though, when the Jets tricked the Colts and burned them on that early touchdown he should have at least been able to yell at his defense before the snap "Its a trap!"

What else might have happened lately? I wonder. Ya know, I must admit that I'm a little shocked how late in the year it has already gotten. Time just has a habit of slipping through my finger tips. Sadly, not much new progress has been made in the new song department as of late since Julio was sick and wasn't exactly able to sing. His illness seems to have run its course though so I'm sure we'll be back to churning out new songs any day now. Though, of course, not that it really makes much difference to you since whether we finish a song or not, it will still be a while before you get to hear it!

In other big news, we're only about a week away from the final season of LOST kicking off. This is big. LOST is the greatest show ever to air on television. Yes, even better than Friends. In order to prepare for the beginning of the end, I have been re-watching every single episode starting at episode 1. I just finished up season 3 last night. Charlie died. We got our first flashforward (which is plainly obvious when you know it and watch it again). We almost met Jacob. Danielle and Alex finally met again after 16 years. If somehow you've gone through your life never having been fully immersed in the deliciousness that is LOST, you should find someone that has all five seasons and do your best to catch up because its gonna be worth it. You'll be confused but don't let that bother you. Too many people let LOST's intricacies get in the way of them enjoying the show. Yes, it is intricate and confusing and has time travel and other such things that don't always make sense right away, but strip all that away and you're still left with one of the most engaging character studies ever with more fascinating characters than you can shake a stick at. And the show really rewards repeat viewings as all the little hints and clues and cameos rise to the surface. Like how, in one of Charlie's memories, he rescues a woman who is being mugged in an alleyway. That woman is none other than Nadia, Sayid's long lost love. She also owned a house at some point that a pre-injury John Locke was inspecting since he was a home inspector for a while. Its fun stuff. If you've maybe fallen out of touch with LOST or just want to brush up before the final season, I do highly recommend that you check out this site and make sure you're ready for February 2nd . . .

Is there really anything else to cover at this point? I don't believe so. There are as always some nebulous plans happening behind closed doors in Pensiveland that I'm unable to divulge at this time. Just sit tight, catch up on LOST and wait patiently as news should be coming sometime. Maybe.

Jeremy Bentham

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We Are 4, but Who is 67?

Hello world.

As has become a far too common occurrence as of late, I must start this blog off with an apology for missing the previous week's blog. At the very least you should be happier with my excuse this week than a few weeks ago when my excuse was the nebulous "come on, it was the holidays!" This time though, its because we were neck deep in recording demos. I believe that last weekend was entirely taken up with recording my guitar parts. It went well for the most part. We of course upon many of the usual problems that we always encounter but you don't need them details. I did have to do something that I've never really had to do before and that was invest hours upon hours in my attempts to write a solo worthy of the dark masterpiece that it belongs to. It took a lot of effort but I finally at least got one I'm happy with. Well, except for the fact that we haven't actually recorded it. But hey, I'll be able to pull it off, don't you worry! Its very fiery. I think you'll like it. Though, quite naturally, what has eaten up the most amount of time the past while has of course been lyrics. Lyrics have never come easy for me. Ever. I think one of the hard things for us more so than other bands is that for the most part, I handle the lyrics instead of Julio. As you might be able to imagine, its easier for a singer to know what will work with their melody and voice and it matters not just syllables but also cadence and phrasing and even vowel sounds. So as you can imagine, there's a lot that has to go into making the lyrics the write lyrics. Cause not only do you have to take into account all of those things I mentioned but also make the lyrics not only make sense but also have some sort of depth. It takes a while to say the least but hey, we're making progress. However, it is worth pointing out that despite all the work we're putting into all of those, sadly, these songs are not for you to hear. Yet. Someday sure but that day is probably a good while away. So you'll just have to keep waiting and waiting till the time is right. Or hope we slip up and "accidentally" play them live :P

You'll have to forgive me if my memory isn't quite with me tonight. Its been a long week as I just outlined above. Let's see what you may have missed in the past little bit. Well, let's see if you can maybe give you a quick recap of the things that have happened in the past two weeks. I finally got around to seeing Avatar. Maybe its just cause I'm a little kid on the inside but I was just in awe almost the whole time. Just about everything about it was perfect. The technology on display was of course awe inspiring and seeing it in IMAX 3D is just like nothing that I have ever experienced. After the movie was over, real life just felt so flat and colorless. It was just straight up magic. And unlike some have said, I didn't find the actual content of the story itself to be as uninspiring as people have claimed. It was grand and epic and emotional and it was everything that you could hope for as far as I'm concerned. Now if we can maybe get James Cameron to find away to take his original footage for Aliens and turn that into an IMAX 3D experience. Or maybe convince him to make a nice grim, dark action movie next. If somehow you haven't seen it yet, I would suggest you go for it. I suppose there's a chance if you have a cold, dark, cynical heart that you might not enjoy it but I have a feeling that a large portion of you will enjoy the hell out of it! And see it in IMAX if you have the chance. It is so worth the extra $5. Trust me.

Have you perhaps heard of a movie coming out in February called Shutter Island? If not you should look into it. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Starring Leonard DiCaprio. If thats not enough to get you excited you clearly haven't seen The Departed (and if that's the case, well, you should try to fix that). Well, I was excited about this movie so I figured I should read the book. And I did. Let me tell you, that was a damn good book!! Very well written and very clear and understandable but yet still incredibly twisty and unpredictable. Do yourself a favor and make sure you don't look too much into the movie on sites like Wikipedia since at least on the Shutter Island (film) page there, they give away one of the biggest twists right in the first couple sentences. That's not cool. So if you're a reading type, feel free to pick up the book and experience a wonderfully written mind f%&* or wait for the movie since yeah I haven't seen it so there's a chance it could be bad but I don't really see that as being likely . . .

I finally got around to picking up the last few cds from last year that had somehow alluded me so my research is complete and I shall be soon making my epic top 100 list of the decade's best cds according to me. Unlike some lists it won't be a list of the most popular cds, or the most influential, or in any sort of way objective. It will be 100% my crazy personal opinion. I've put together my top few but after that it gets rather murky and convoluted. Every time I throw on something I haven't heard in a while I always end up being so impressed and forgetting how much I loved that cd and it just makes it that much harder to get any sort of ranking to this. Don't lost faith though, I shall get it all sorted out. Not that you necessarily care about my opinion but thats too bad cause you're gonna get it.

Is there really anything else that needs to be mentioned? Not really. I mean, we're minus one bassist but whatever. We'll find another one. Do you know a bassist?

Patient 67

P.S. Here's two things for you watch if you like geeky things like I do: This & this. (if you're sensitive about language, you might want to refrain from clicking especially the 2nd link)

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The Apocalyptic Rock Fight

Hello everyone!

Happy new year! How has your new year been so far? Yeah yeah, I know its just been a couple of days but still, I thought it would be rude of me not to ask. So far, my year has been rather successful thank you for asking! Its been a very low key year as of today but I'm fine with that. The Minnesota Brett Favres won today and thats good. They better bring their A game to the playoffs otherwise I shall be a very mad panda. We're watching the Chargers game at the moment. I think its about time the rest of the country wises up and realizes the threat the Chargers pose to just about everyone. Do you care about football? I'm not sure. You may or you may not. But I do. Wanna know something sad though? The sound keeps cutting out on our cable box. Its really quite unfortunate as it makes our viewing experience not as enjoyable as it could be. Well, as long as the Chargers keep winning, I guess I can forgive Fox or Cox Cable (whoever's feet we need to lay the blame at) as long as the Chargers don't lose this one for us. Its been far too long since the Chargers made it to the Super Bowl.

I finally got a chance to see The Princess and the Frog. I'd heard from some people that it was kind of disappointing. I was a little worried that Disney might not be able to make magic without Pixar. I gotta say though that there was nothing at all to worry about. I think the people that complained about it were just looking for anything and everything they could to complain about because let me tell you, that was one wonderful film! The music was wonderful. The characters were wonderful. The villain was wonderful. It was funny. It was sad. It was heart-warming. It was everything you could want from a Disney movie. Was it as good as the golden age of Disney films as represented by such classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King? Not quite. If those movies are a 100 out of 100, this little piece of magic is a 98. Don't take this the wrong was since I do so loves me my Pixar movies but it breaks my heart that they have become the dominate force in animation these days. The Pixar movies have their niche and the world would be a little less bright without them but I've missed the classic Disney style of animated movie. The songs, the stories, the humor, the animation. I think I've made it clear many times but I just love hand drawn animation. CGI has its place and yes, The Princess and the Frog makes use of it in subtle ways but there's just something about hand drawn characters that just feels right. Maybe its cause I'm old and cranky and go on and on about how things were better back in the day but, well, except for the loss of hand drawn animation, I think things are better now. Well, ok ok, maybe not 100% but thats a rant for another blog. If Studio Ghibli ever makes the switch to CG animation I might just lose faith in humanity. You think there's no room for that old way of doing things? See The Princess and the Frog and Ponyo and tell me those are obsolete films. So do the world and yourself a favor and go see The Princess and the Frog.

Wanna do yourself another favor? I like to view these blogs as a good source of information. You might not take my advice but thats ok. Someone might. Answer me this question: Do you read comics? Do you own any graphic novels? Do you want more? If you answered yes boy do I have some news for you! There's this comic/manga store that I like to frequent down in Mission Valley known as Rising Sun Creations (even though the sign above the door just says "anime - manga") that is having one hell of sale. As of this writing, almost every graphic novel in their store is 50% off. When I asked how long the sale was going on, they said until they sold out of all the ones on sale. So if there's anything you've been wanting but been holding off on for some reason, now is the time! I picked up All Star Superman vol. 1 for a mere $7. They have tons of other great ones on sale including the entire collection of 100 Bullets graphic novels with the exceptions of #1 and #12 (the absence of #1 is what prevented me from picking up a couple of them). I might wanna head down there again and see if anything else catches my eye because let me tell you, I do so love a bargain!! Oh and in case you don't already know about that place, you might want the address huh? Well here ya go: Google Maps!

Well I hope you've had a wonderful first few days of the year and I hope the rest of the decade goes well for us all! See ya'll next week!!

The Dancing Clown

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"I Woke Up One Morning Married to a Pineapple. An UGLY Pineapple."

Hello world!

Yes yes, I am fully aware that I skipped last week. I won't make excuses. Nay. I shall simply offer up an explanation. And that explanation is hopefully something you've watched many times: our video for All Alone on Christmas. Haven't seen it yet somehow? What a tragedy. You should check it out. We put a ton of hard work into. Julio spent hours upon hours recording it and I spent hours upon hours editing together that video. Our little Christmas present to you. Hopefully you found it to be a worthy Christmas present. I had no idea how tedious and time consuming it would be to attempt to make that. I mean, I knew it wouldn't be easy but it took way longer than I thought. Let me tell you my friend, its not fun trying to line up video to music so that align perfectly. Nor did I succeed in every attempt either but hey, you probably didn't notice. I mean, I think its safe to say that I'm my own worst critic but hey, thats ok. Otherwise I'm sure I would be a woeful underachiever!! Anyway, go see the video if you haven't. There will probably come a time later on in life when I shall feel fit to attempt to tread those dangerous waters again and edit together another Pensive music video for you but that time is far, far away. Like the galaxy Star Wars takes place in.

You'd think with skipping a week that I would have much to discuss, yet, strangely I do not. The last weeks of the year always seem to pass as if in a blur. I'm sure plenty of note has happened in the past two weeks yet I cannot for the life of me seem to recall it. I'm a massive procrastinator. I finished wrapping presents on Christmas morning. After I woke up. But don't worry, I got it all taken care of before it was too late. We had ourselves a very untraditional Christmas this year. A very Christmas Story Christmas this year. No, I didn't break my glasses nor get a BB Gun (sad times, huh) but we did have Christmas dinner at an Asian restaurant just like they did (though, not because the neighbor's dogs ransacked our kitchen and ate our turkey. Nay. It was because we hate cooking and cleaning up after Christmas dinner. Don't get me wrong, cooking is an enjoyable past time. But when it comes to these big event meals, none of us really like them that much. Yeah, they're delicious but are they really worth all the hours and hours of toil and trouble? Me thinks not. Either way, I think its safe to say that this year's holidays were quite memorable. In a good way. By the way, is it safe to assume that everyone else watched A Christmas Story on TBS every year? If not, you should. And don't watch it on DVD. Its just not the same. It doesn't have that same nostalgic feeling to it, ya know? Maybe you don't. Maybe its just me. But thats ok.

Let's see, what else . . . Well, its been far too long of a wait, waiting for that elusive Batman & Robin #7 that I've almost forgotten to magic that is Grant Morrison. It makes me sad. At least Mr. Johns has yet to disappoint. I finally got around to getting a Wii. Speaking of which, did you know that if you look at "Wii" upside down and in a mirror it spells out "M!!"? Thats pretty magical isn't it? Well, I found it wildly entertaining at least. I got my rat babies a new little nest/giant-ball-of-hay and they are really quite fond of it. All three of them are stuffed in there at the moment, sleeping soundly. Like little fur covered angels.

So, did you know that this is going to be the final installment of Patrick's weekly blog for the year? Yes indeed because by the time the next weekend rolls around, its going to be a new month, a new year, a new decade. The decade of Pensive? Let's hope so. I would be so fond of world domination. We'll take you along with us. It'll be fun.

Some of you may be wondering where my much anticipated "Top 100 Albums of the Decade" list is. Well, it ain't here yet. When will it be here? I'm thinking by the end of next month maybe. I mean, let's be honest here, I've been slacking a bit in the past few months and haven't really kept up with the new releases like I did in the old days. I mean hell, I ain't even got the new Dashboard cd yet! I'm working on fixing that though.

"Its log, log: its big, its heavy, its wood. Its log, log: its better than bad, its good!"

I think I'm done. Oh, good job Chargers. They won. And then the Saints lost to the Bucks? How does that even happen? Oh well. Bret better not drop the ball tomorrow against the Bears. I just might cry if that happens. See ya next year!

The Pink Nightmare

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"What Have I Got? Two Words: Mon. Tage."

Dear World,

How are you this week? I hope the holiday season is treating you nicely. We're running out of 2009 quite quickly now with but a scant few weeks left in the year. Its odd how it can simultaneously feel as though time is standing still and as if the hours are rushing by. It really does feel as if it was just a day or two ago that I last wrote to you all. Somehow more than a week has indeed slipped by almost unnoticed by me. I need to buckle down and get those lyrics written. And its not even as though I'm attempting procrastination, it just gets swept aside without me even noticing it. Not tonight though. No no, not tonight. I'm gonna finish that song dammit, you'll see! Even if it means pushing a few other things to the side that I have in waiting. What are those things? Well those are for me to know and you not to ; ) Don't worry, you'll find out something someday soon.

I feel as though I have much to discuss with you this week and yet the words stall on the tip of my fingers. Let's see. I have some renewed vitriol in me for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. I can appreciate the storyline that Mr. Lucas attempted to convey through those films but the movies themselves were just complete disasters. For example, let's take The Empire Strikes Back, the movie that in my opinion is far and away the best out of all the Star Wars movies. What did George Lucas do for that movie? He came up with the storyline. He didn't write the script. He didn't direct it. How about the prequel trilogy? He wrote and directed all three. The fact that he did the same for Episode IV which is somehow not terrible is a mystery. Am I being too hard on him? Yes, probably. However, I think this comes down to artists, whether they're film makers, musicians, or authors that get to a level of success and think they can do it all on their own. Well ok, there are some exceptions like Clint Eastwood who wrote the music for, directed, and starred in Million Dollar Baby but, well, he's special. Collaboration is a good thing. For musicians, the difference between a great record and an average record can come down to the right producer that can push a band to greatness. Anyway, I've gone way off on a tangent here haven't I? I'm sorry.

There is some good news out there in the world though seeing as the San Diego Chargers have somehow pulled it together to keep this little win streak alive against a very dangerous Dallas Cowboys team. And since Denver lost today, things are looking very well for our hopes at the playoffs. What a turn around for us. And dare I say, it involved quite a bit of luck since even with our record, if Denver had kept up like they did the first six games, we'd never stand a chance. Could this finally be the year our Chargers make it to the Super Bowl? I think they deserve it. Don't you?

In other news, the new Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog has come out and while I have yet to see it, I promise you that I will. Even if solely to give money to Disney in hopes that they'll realize that hand-animated movies are still viable in this age of computers. Don't get me wrong, Pixar makes some mighty fine movies (this year's UP was their best since Finding Nemo as far as I'm concerned) but I think it would be a mistake to leave behind the legacy they built over the decades. Just think about how empty our childhoods would have been without movies like The Little Mermaid or The Lion King. Wouldn't it be sad to grow up in a world devoid of Disney movies and their amazing songs? So do your part. Help the cause. Go see The Princess and the Frog and hope its not the last hand drawn movie Disney makes. Because if it is, all hope for beautiful and amazing animated movies would fall on the shoulders of Studio Ghibli and while they're mighty capable of magic, I don't think their movies connect with American audiences in quite the same way as Disney Classics do, wouldn't you agree?

See? I can be cheery sometimes. Yes I may rant about George Lucas but then I sing the praises of Disney. It kind of evens out, doesn't it? I wonder what Avatar will be like? Will it be the industry changing event James Cameron thinks it is or will it be another big budget disappointment? I must say that the previews remind me a bit too much of the opening minutes of Revenge of the Sith. Hopefully he'll have a good story and good dialog and characters to back up all the high tech visuals. The man made Aliens. I have faith in him. The day Aliens is release on Blu-Ray will be a day worthy of the most epic kind of celebration imaginable.

Anything else to cover? I do not believe so. Ok yes, let's leave it this for now. I'm sure by this time next week we shall have more to discuss, yes? Yes. And as always, I've left you title to figure out. What is it in reference to this time? I dunno. Good luck!

Team Taylor

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The Music of Erich Zann


This blog is coming to you from enemy territory. That's right. The unthinkable has happened. I am currently sitting in . . . a Borders. [cue the dramatic music] Why am I here instead of my beloved Barnes & Noble? Well, I had to do a reconnaissance mission at the mall and Borders is much closer than B&N. I will give Borders points for having a nice, large cafe area which makes writing this blog a bit easier but thats all I'll give them. Oh, and at least this one has a separate section for "horror" which as you could guess tickles my fancy. When it really comes down to it though, what does separate the dreaded Borders from the heaven that is Barnes & Noble. It all comes down to atmosphere really. An unquantifiable something in the air. It has to do with the decor. The color choices. The bookcases. Everything about Borders screams -modern- where as B&N feels old school. Maybe its as simple as the bookcases in Borders are always a light wood where as at B&N they're dark, I dunno. But that's how I feel. I'm rarely a fan of the stark modern look. Anyway, instead of thinking of me being a traitor in this case, let's think of this as me being a spy. I'm here to steal from Borders to bring to Barnes & Noble. Like the horror section. And maybe this chair cause its pretty damn comfy . . .

What else is going on in the world this week. Hmm. To be honest, I'm not really sure. Is there anything going on out there in the world I should know about? I started work on the next set of lyrics for a soon to be Pensive classic. Or at least a classic representation of how Pensive refuses to be pigeon-holed. I'm speaking of the 70's flavored space freak-out. Ish. Song. The "Eagles + Aerosmith + Mars Volta + Thrice = song" song. The topic of this supposed song? Well its about as out there as that grouping of artists I just spat out two sentences ago. I can't reveal it yet. Why? Because despite the fact that I have two verses in the bag and the early, embryonic form of a chorus swimming in my head, I wouldn't be too surprised if this set of lyrics gets thrown out the window. Like I said, its pretty out there. If that does happen though, I suppose there'd be no harm in me sharing them with you. But I hope it doesn't happen cause I am rather fond of them. Hopefully you will be too someday.

Most likely I shall have to suspend this blog for the time being seeing as I shall be attending a cinematic adventure in just a bit and therefore must make my grand return to the mall/theater complex soon. Wouldn't wanna miss the previews of course. Though if I see the preview for that Michael Cera movie again I just might vomit. I wonder if at times I'm a bit too brutally honest in these blogs. Its like in that scene in Jerry Maguire where his wife at the time says they promised to be "brutally honest" and says he didn't ever remember the brutal part. Hmm. Something to consider I suppose. Maybe Michael Cera is a Pensive fan and will get offended and show up to my door demanding me to retract my blog statements. Likely? No, not really. Juno was a good movie though. Hey! I'm back. I did indeed need to take a break to go see my movie. 2012. With John Cusack. He's amazing. Did you see 1408? (that other movie he starred in that's name was made up of 4 numerals) He spent most of the movie in a room by himself. And he was riveting! But anyway, 2012 was better than I was expecting actually. Yes it did have the typical overdramatic goodbye scenes and a few too many of the "are you effin' kidding me! another thing is going wrong!?!?" moments but overall I was impressed. Good job Mr. Emmerich. You made up for The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day. A very enjoyable and entertaining movie. [and don't worry, I didn't have to see the preview for that Michael Cera movie!]

I'd say we should get ready to call this a blog. Is there anything else in particular to mention? Not really. Things have been busy the past week or so. I didn't even have a chance to stop by the comic store this past Wednesday. Fear not though, there were no must have titles this week. Damn DC is making me wait till late January to get Batman & Robin #7. At least we get #8 and #9 both in February! I'm sure I've mentioned that there is finally an official North American release date for Final Fantasy XIII, right? Its March 9th, 2010 in case I hadn't mentioned it. Which is nice since they'd originally said Spring and everyone guess they probably meant the very last day of Spring in June or something but then they went and surprised us with an early March date. Before Spring even begins technically. Which leads me to believe that they're not too good with their seasons over there at Square-Enix. (hey, I used all the different variations of the there/their/they're in that sentence. magical.) As for my current video game action since I finished up Uncharted 2 a bit ago [p.s. if you somehow own a PS3 and don't have that game, you need to change that immediately] I've been occupying myself with a little game known as Demon's Souls. Where I say that Uncharted should be played by everyone, Demon's Souls is very much for a niche audience. Its old school and way hardcore and punishing. Its not impossible and if you go slow and keep you shield raised at all times you should survive till the end of each level, but it will take a ton of patience and probably a lot of deaths. If however you are that rare breed these days of masochist gamers, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. It essentially sets out to be as realistic (in a fantastical setting as possible). Example: if you were really going to storming a castle and fighting your way through scores of enemies and battling a giant fire breathing dragon, would you really dress like most characters in video games and have awesome anime hair? Probably not. You'd want big armor. And a big sword. But, that big sword sure is heavy so don't expect to use it constantly unless you're super strong. Gotta let your stamina catch back up with you. Otherwise you just might not have the strength to keep that life saving shield up any longer. I think you get the point. While I'd hardly consider myself masochistic, there's nothing quite like the feeling of triumph you get when after nights of endless attempts you finally fell that beastly Flamelurker and collect your reward.

Alright, that feels like a good blog to me. I hope you enjoyed our time together. See you next week. Same Pat time. Same Pat channel.

Howard Phillips

P.S. Do you recognize that title perhaps? Or perhaps not more likely. Its a very obscure reference. Google will of course answer for you if you give up. I'll give you a hint. You might find the answer hidden beneath onyx skies. Not that my little clue will help you at all but its fun for me.

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M-O-O-N, That Spells Blog!

Greetings everyone!

Well, its official. The holiday season is upon us. How do you feel about that? Good? Wonderful! I've never really been a big fan of the holiday season myself. No no, don't get me wrong or anything. I love the holidays themselves of course but for whatever reason, I always feel a bit of omnipresent stress and pressure and overall bluesy feeling this time of year. I think has something to do with the closing out of the calendar year perhaps. The end of the year is a time to take stock and see how the plans for the year turned out. Maybe this is not such a good idea seeing as the best laid plans inevitably change and alter course but its something that I can't seem to keep myself from. Then somehow, January 1st dawns and feeling of hope washes over me as a fresh new year presents itself to me, ready to be taken over like a city ready to fall to a fleet of Vikings. Yeah, I know, its an odd analogy but it felt right so I'm gonna go with it. I'm sorry to have gotten off to a bum out of a start to the blog. Let's kick things up a notch lest we all fall into a pit of despair!

Speaking of despair! Wait. No. We're moving away from despair. Ok, ok, we'll just come back to that . . . Let's talk about the giving of thanks. Its a wonderful thing, ain't it? The Pensive Thanksgiving was incredibly low key this year. (For those of you that don't follow along at home each week, Jeremy and Cody are back in Indy for the holidays). Even with family present, we had a mere 7 people over for dinner including your's truly. However, it was still a wonderful day full of family fun for all! After a magnificent dinner that we all pitched in for we took a trip down to the local theater for a cinematic adventure in the form of a movie based on a book by one of my favorite authors growing . . . Roald Dahl!! The film I'm speaking of, of course, is The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Directed by Wes Anderson. Starring George Clooney, Jason Shwartzman, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray. It was, well, fantastic. I highly recommend that you see it and soon. It will make you feel all sorts of happy on the inside. Know what movie won't make you feel happy on the inside? The Road. I've never seen a more bleak and depressing movie in my life. I mean, for what it is, its a good movie. A moving and emotional movie. But damn is it dreary and depressing. Certainly not for everyone thats for sure.

So what else comes with Thanksgiving? Thats right. Black Friday. Last year was the first year that I participated in the whole hoopla of shopping and that was a very unique experience. Especially in a wheelchair with a broken ankle. What could have possibly lulled me out of bed and into my rented wheelchair at 10 in the morning last year? Why, it was the prospect of getting Dead Space for a mere $30!! However, by 10 in the morning, all the Targets in my area were sold out. Sad times. Except not! Cause I found out they'd be getting more shipments in over the weekend and checked back on Sunday where I found that in the absence of Dead Space, they had marked down Fallout 3 to $30 as well and kept it at that unadvertised price even after getting Dead Space back in stock which meant I picked up two of last year's best games for the price of one! No such luck this year but I did succeed in saving all sorts of money. We decided to head out a bit earlier this year. You see, Best Buy opened at 5am and they had Dragon Age Origins for a mere $35. I figured I wouldn't need to be waiting in line or anything since they couldn't run out that fast, could they? Oh but yes, they could. When I arrived in the PlayStation3 aisle at 5:27am, every last Dragon Age was gone! Tragedy!! Thankfully, I salvaged the tragedy with a quick trip to Sear's where for a mere $5 more, I was able to safely procure myself a copy, even if it was the last one. I then stood in line waiting for GameStop to open at 6am. Yes, even though I work at GameStop, I still have to wait in line like a normal person. Sadly. What did I wait in line for? Well, its a little silly. You might laugh at me. I waited in line for Dead Space Extraction. Why is that silly? Well, for those of you in the know, you should know that it is a Wii game and if you follow my blogs you probably know that I don't own a Wii. And no, it wasn't a gift. So yes, I now own a Wii game (two actually . . . ) and I don't even own a Wii. Yet. I'll procure one at some point before year's end. Somehow. After a few other quick trips to other stores to make other purchases, the trip ended where it began, at Best Buy. Why? Well, its simply. They had Harry Potter Blu Rays for $13!!! I could have gotten them in the morning, but, time was short and the line at Best Buy at that time snaked its way through the appliance center and the car audio center and beyond. Around 7:30 when I arrived back for my Harry Potter purchase, I got to enter the line right at the washing machines ; ) Rumor was though that at one point, the line had wrapped itself around the entire store over to the Geek Squad right next to the front door. Yikes! So, did you do your part to stimulate this shaky economy of ours? If not, well, get out there and spend spend spend!! Make Obama proud!

Last, but not least, last week I mentioned that I had started Uncharted 2. This week I can now mention that I finished it. I can also mention that if you own a PS3 and don't own Uncharted 2, you have no idea what you're missing out on. Seriously. Never has a game literally made me say "wow" out loud so many times. The graphics are simply breath taking. The action is insane and over the top. Just picture the best big budget blockbuster you've ever seen and loved and now imagine playing it. That's Uncharted 2.

Well folks, that just about wraps things up for the week. I hope you had the most magnificent Thanksgiving possible. See ya'll next week!

Randall Flagg

*As requested, I didn't mention what the title is in reference to so go ahead and take your guesses. And no, its not a direct quote but if you know it, you know it . . .

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"Hello. How Are You? I am Fine. My Name is Jerry."

Hello world!

I know you don't actually play along with my little guessing game of blog titles so I shall attempt to refrain from that from now forward. Yes, I do get a good bit of a amusement out of it but seeing as these blogs are written for you and not for me, I feel we should attempt to play to your desires. Though, since I am so bereft of original ideas I shall still continue the tradition of stealing them from other sources. Firstly, let us discuss last week's blog. The "Nine Times" quote. You know where thats from, right? Ferris Bueler's Day Off of course! Now, if you've somehow made it through your life up to this point having never seen that amazing piece of cinematic magic, well, your life just isn't complete. It is a classic in every sense possible. I don't think I could possibly count how many times in my lifetime I have seen that movie though I can tell you that up until a week or so ago, it had been several years since I had seen it. Something whispered in my ear telling me to pop it in the ol' DVD player (actually, its a Blu-Ray player but the disc was a DVD and as we all know, BR players are backwards compatible and play DVDs) It was certainly the right choice. I could go on and on about all my favorite scenes but I'm sure you know them. And if you don't, fix that immediately!

This week's title comes courtesy of Michael Crichton and his novel Sphere. As you may recall from a blog a few weeks, I mentioned my desire to read it not just to enjoy the wonderful story telling but to experience it and see how close my potential storyline idea for the novel I'll never write comes to being a rip-off. Thankfully, the answer to that question is "not that close." I won't reveal my plot line yet since, well, since I don't want to but I will say that my story probably won't be as technical or intelligent and will probably end up not being plausible. Have you read Sphere? No probably not. Have you seen it maybe? Sam Jack is in it. He plays a math genius. Anyway, its about a spaceship found on the floor of the ocean in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that, based on the growth rate and amount of coral covering the craft, has been there for 300 years. You may expect that the vast majority of the book would be spent attempting to unravel the mystery of the spacecraft, but its not. The secrets are revealed rather quickly and the book becomes more about what is found inside the spacecraft, the titular "sphere," and the human reaction to power. Its a good read. Especially once its gets going, its rather hard to put down. For some reason though, its ridiculously hard to find and I had to buy a used copy on eBay. This week's blog title comes for the book. It appears on their computer screens. Though, first actually, it appears as a seemingly random output of numbers. I'll save you the translation process but yes, when translated, it appears as though an alien entity is speaking to them through the computer monitor and that this being is named "Jerry." Yeah, odd, ain't it? Naturally, its far less simple than that and only the book handles the translation process properly seeing as the way its done in the movie, when the twist comes later down the line, it then becomes an incomprehensible mess. Poor writing on the movie's part. Shame on them.

What else shall we discuss this week? Well, I was dragged to the midnight showing of New Moon. However, I'm not so sure that I should discuss it. Not because I fear for my manhood seeing as I already mentioned that I saw it at midnight. No, because I fear that I shall alienate a good portion of you with the long winded diatribe that I have just waiting to burst forth. For what its worth, the movie itself was done well I would say. Certainly much better than the first movie, thats for sure. Speaking from a purely technical stand point that is. Ya know what was rather funny though? The theater accidentally started playing A Christmas Carol in 3D instead. I found it hilarious. The crowd of teenage girls and their mothers did not.

In happier news, I have finally had a chance to get started on Uncharted 2! Let me tell you, so far it is simply incredible. Certainly a contender for the title of best looking console game ever and besides that, its just plain fun! You know all those crazy scenes from action movies? This is your best chance to play them. If you own a PlayStation3 and somehow don't own Uncharted and Uncharted2 then there is something wrong. You should fix that as soon as you can. Come on down to GameStop, we've got a couple in stock just for you ; )

In Pensive related news . . . well, actually, I don't really think there is any this week. The Chargers won. Thats Pensive related. The Chargers won, the Vikings won, and the Steelers lost. Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me! With today's gigantic trouncing of the Broncos, our Chargers have moved into first place in the AFC West so let's just hope we can hold onto this little win streak we're on so we can make it to the playoffs again and maybe finally get that Superbowl we deserve!! Though, there's still tons of great teams out there, including the undefeated Colts and Saints and of course, Brett Favre and his Vikings so it'll be a tough year for whoever ends of winning.

Is that it for this week? Yes in fact I think it is. Did you enjoy this? I did. I am happy. Do you want me to manifest the squid again?

Nathan Drake

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"So Far This Semester He's Been Absent Nine Times. Nine Times? Nine Times."

Hello there everyone!

So to catch everyone up for those of you following along at home, the source of the reference titling last week's blog was the epicly awesome BioShock. Haven't played it? You're missing out. The key phrase in that reference of course was the "would you kindly" which plays a rather key role in the game. A nice little surprising twist that you'd never notice unless you knew to listen for it. So to continue in this little tradition, I present you with a new reference. Not from a video game this time. A movie. If you don't know that quote within a second or two, you missed a valuable portion of your childhood. I'll reveal the answer next week if you haven't figured it out by then . . .

So let's see, what else might there be to report for the week. Well if you'll recall last week I was complaining of writer's block. Not to say that it has left me completely but I did at the very least complete a rough draft of our current song. We'll have to see if it all works out the way I have intended it to. It rarely ever does after a first draft but we always find a way to bring it all together. Sadly, I can't share any lyrics with you yet. Not only is the song not finished but, well, I don't like to share so sadly you'll just have to wait till it ever gets released. And if it doesn't than you shall probably never hear it or read the lyrics. Which is just the sad truth of it all. I wonder which song shall be up next for the lyric writing express train. Hopefully one that calls for my more surreal lyrically stylings as opposed to the more straight forward style presented in our faux country song. But I did still manage to throw a wee bit of imagery into the mix anyway. Oh well.

What else has been going on in the world? I honestly can't think of much at the moment. I'm rockin' some awesome fro yo from Penguin Frozen Yogurt in Santee. Haven't been? You're way missing out. I always gotta recommend that place. Its great. You should check it out.

Batman & Robin #6 came out and it was indeed quite amazing. A more action driven issue that usual but our good friend Philip Tan handled that art wonderfully. I've been a fan of his ever since I first saw his art in Final Crisis Revelations last year and his three issue run with Grant has been great. We get a new artist for the next three issues and I'm a bit iffy about them but we'll see if they can rise to the challenge. I do know though that Grant is very hands on with artists and does a lot of the layout work with them and it will most likely have the same inker and colorist so hopefully it will still retain the similar flavor that's been present through all the issues as of yet. Sadly, we're gonna have to wait till January to find out where the story is going though. Apparently the stuff that goes down in #7 is so important to the overall storyline present in the DCU and specifically relating to Blackest Night that we have to wait for Batman & Robin. Hopefully that means its gonna be beyond epic.

Hmm, what else to discuss. One of these blogs sometime I'll have a nice long rant about all the high end music equipment I would love to get my hands on someday. There's a few more big game releases in the coming week like New Super Mario Bros Wii tomorrow. But I don't have a Wii so I don't get to celebrate with the rest of the world. Assassin's Creed 2, Left for Dead 2, God of War Collection. I'm sure none of you care about my rant for Left for Dead 2. Not only did I not care for the first game but seeing that as far as I can tell very little has changed do we really need another one of them already? Couldn't Valve focus their attention on making Half Life 2: Episode 3 instead? I mean yeah, I know they're designed by two different sections of the company but still. Oh Half Life . . . Maybe I need to get a Wii finally. I mean, I'm not at all into the whole motion control thing but it does have a handful of worthwhile games. I shall though continue my Call of Duty embargo for the time being. I did seriously lose count of how many I sold on Tuesday and Wednesday though so I guess a lot of people are pretty happy about it.

So, you. You read this blogs right? Why? What do you like to read about? Cause well, as you can tell, I talk about very random things. Things that most likely only interest a handful of you. Seeing as you're the ones reading this though, I feel I should attempt to adapt myself to what you'd like to hear about. Do you know about the official Pensive blog on Well there you can read years of blog postings with tons of hold school Pensive stories. I think I'm gonna call it blog now. I feel so disjointed. I wonder if it shows. Hmm. Anyway, see ya next week!

Gordon Freeman

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Would You Kindly Read This Blog*


So how was this fine November been treating you? Time continues its stately march on, doesn't it? I'm sure I'll barely even notice when the new year appears and the whole progression of months begins anew. These last two months of the year always seem to exist within their own reality. As I know I've mentioned many times, these two months are essentially being treated as hardcore song writing action. But, well, I've got a confession: I've got writer's block. Its rather frustrating to stare at a blank sheet of paper for hours, writing something, crossing it out, starting over and over. I won't bore you with all the mundane details of it but as I'm sure you know, its more than just writing words. Its rhymes and cadences and syllables and all sorts of fun stuff like that one top trying to make a coherent vision present itself in a fresh way. I tend to disregard the coherent part of that last sentence but I'm trying to push myself in a different direction that's less esoteric and bit more rooted in real life images and situations. Though naturally not all songs will be that way but seeing as the song I'm poorly attempting to write lyrics for is our faux country rock song, I don't really picture poetic lyrics about sleeping in frozen seas going with that feel very well :P I do have a first verse for it though. It didn't turn out as great as I was hoping but there's still time to tweak. Its that chorus though that's just killing me. Trying to sum up the message of the song in a few simple lines while making it work within the progression of the song's story regardless of whether its the beginning of the song or after the first verse or if its the last lines of the song. Its tough. Somehow I always make it happen but its rough getting there sometimes. And sometimes, its easy. Oh what glorious times those are . . .

Moving along! Some of you may recall me making various mentions of doing a top 100 cds of the decade list. Well I've been giving it a lot of thought and obviously I want to be a very through and objective (ish) list and its gonna be a lot harder than I thought it would be to create this list. I mean, I can't even decide which Hey Mercedes cd I like better between the two full lengths so how am I gonna rank them amongst all the other cds out there in the world? I mean I'm sure given enough time I could certainly get a pretty solid list together but I'll definitely have to have several drafts of the list as I fine tune it to perfection . . . I've toyed with making the list in alphabetical or chronological order but that's just not as fun as having a countdown, ya know? Go big or go home, right? So let's go big. At least I know the top 2 spots. I just gotta get the other 98 in order. Or well, I gotta get the other 98 picked first actually then I can go about arranging them.

We haven't talked about Batman in quite a while you know and I figured since I'm rocking my Batman & Robin shirt, today would be a lovely time to mention the dynamic duo again. I'm pretty pumped about the release of Batman & Robin #6 this coming Wednesday. That silly Grant gave us quite a tease at the end of #5 with the first introduction of the Flamingo, a villain that rides a pink motorcycle and wears all pink. Sound a little silly and not that intimidating? Well he also cuts people's faces off and eats them. A little more intimidating now maybe? Besides though, Grant may create some odd characters and storylines but he's yet to let me down so I have the utmost faith in him. I'm really curious though whether he's leading us down a path that will lead to the future seen in Batman #666 or whether that was a sort of special one off issue, not a glimpse at a possible future. I'm hoping its where he's leading us cause I've gotta say, that issue was all sorts of badass!! Our good (ish) friend Tony Daniel is now writing (just plain) Batman now. You may recall he did the art for Batman RIP last year with Grant and then wrote and illustrated Battle for the Cowl earlier this year. Well, as far as I was concerned, Battle for the Cowl blew so I was a bit upset that he was gonna be taking over the main book (there are several Batman comics out there such as "Batman," "Batman & Robin," "Detective Comics," "Red Robin," etc) but his first issue was actually rather good and I must admit, I might have to change my mind of him as a writer (he's obviously a quite talented artist!). Here's hoping his next issue, which arrives next week, holds up to the standard he set with his first issue. And before we leave comics behind for the week, it bears noting that Blackest Night is freaking incredible. Insanely freaking incredible.

While the rest of the video game world is a buzz about the release of Modern Warfare 2 this coming Tuesday (or Monday at midnight if you've got it pre-ordered [and don't forget, Gamestop is still accepting pre-orders!]), I'm still more than content with my Borderlands action. While it probably isn't for everyone, it was practically made for me! Though, I will admit, those trailers they've been showing for MW2 do look rather enticing . . . I may end up recounting my Call of Duty ban, but that's still a bit of a long shot. I'd rather play Uncharted 2 thank you very much!

What do ya say we wrap this blog up for the week. I think I've bored you enough with my tales of writer's block and comic book nerd action. Tune in next when I probably talk about the same things! ; ) Wait. Was there a movie coming out that was gonna be awesome? Hmm. I dunno. Oh well. See ya'll next week!


*If you caught that reference, you're awesome . . . and then would you kindly leave a comment.

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