Chasing a Dream

Since graduating from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon a few months ago I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I’ve worked some jobs that I have absolutely loved, and some that I absolutely loathed. One trait that I’ve always been proud of having is that of perseverance. I’ve been knocked down a lot and many times I could have just given up there. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, but I also don’t believe that you’re not supposed to put yourself through too much hell, either. I have persevered through some tough challenges, but I think my biggest hurdles are still ahead. In order to continue to follow the passion of writing, I will have to put myself through a little hell in order to come out successful, but I don’t mind that.

Currently, I am working at a job that I can easily be content with. I make a decent amount of money, I am in a leadership position and it is very close to where I reside, but it isn’t fulfilling. I’ve woken up every day not only dreading going into work, but also constantly trying to figure out what makes the job worthwhile, besides the paycheck. Not only does the job stress me out, but because of the stress and the hours, I don’t find the time to write like I should. And that’s just not going to fly anymore.

After graduation I moved from Oregon back to Vacaville, California. Vacaville is a hop and a skip away from both Sacramento and San Francisco, so there were many opportunities for work, but not for the kind of writing that I want to do. I went onto twitter one morning while bored and contacted numerous sketch and television writers about how I should kick start my career. There was a consensus on those that did reply to me and that was:

  1. Continue writing. Never stop writing.
  2. Move to Los Angeles or New York.

That stuck with me. The advice planted seeds deeply into my mind and into my gut. The seeds in my mind sprouted ideas and a curiosity that soon made the seeds in my gut erupt and burn. There were times where I’d lay awake at night and stare at my white ceiling. The muted colors from the television would dance on the darkened ceiling but I would just stare blankly.

“What if?” I’d sit and wonder. “What if I did move down there, would I be a success? Could I make something of myself?”

In July of this year, I decided to take that chance. I moved from the comfort of my home city and moved to Downey, California. I took that chance and moved and, for the moment, I thought that was enough. I got the job that I am in now and for that moment I was content. I was okay with the steps that I took. But, I sit here frustrated and stressed, because I didn’t come out here just to live, I came out here following a dream. I have years ahead of me to be content, but, today won’t be that day where I settle for anything less than what I have worked the majority of my life. I’m going to quit my job and work towards my career. I don’t mind betting on myself. In fact, I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

I don’t want to look back and wish that I hadn’t pursued something. I don’t want to look back and wish that I could have done more. I want to be able to look back and smile, and tell my story with pride.

Wishing I Could Write About You

I sit here and wish that I could write about you

I’d express to you feelings you thought were lost in the catacombs of my thoughts,

I’d tell you of how much hydration was lost

as tears flowed freely and breath–unable to be caught.

I’d remind you of the night that fate matched us together

When I met you, you were the only one I could picture, and for the better;

You taught me so much, whether it’d be about myself or a game about Settlers.

Life then was paradise, when I looked into your pair of eyes, I was often stuck,

Or you could even say I was–paralyzed.

For you, I know I changed because I would feed you truth,

But to the others it’d often be a pair of lies.

Thus love happened sooner than I had ever realized.

You were my pineapple, and I’d often express

That you were the best, my family loved you, including Juicy (our pet), and to this day I would never regret calling you my fucking sunshine, but damn it,

I digress

This isn’t a love poem, because love here has died without you.

You’ve moved on, I’ve progressed and the world knows no looking back to be true.

Which is why I know I shouldn’t write about you.

 

I sit here and wish that I could write about you

I don’t know another I fought so hard with, or against.

Youth made our relationship fiery, constant nights of arguments.

And then we’d make up. Again and again—and to that, God I repent.

Jealousy in our nature, I’m surprised we survived,

So long together and even years later we’d try to revive

Something that had already up and died.

Every time we are together we always recall

The mistakes that the other made, but we’d say it was “my fault.”

And that same time I sit and wonder in awe

How we got so close by being so far.

No matter the lack of communication

We always find our way back to each other and, thus

invite temptation.

So given the circumstances of our situation

I must bid you adieu—

No more lapses to the past, even though you were my muse,

These be the reasons why I shouldn’t write about you.

For Play

I really liked ‘er ass, an that’s kinda whud-da met her for,

Had a smile-y on my face that was bigger than a’ albacore.

Approached with a swagger, not an amateur to prose

Had to shoot for the moon, when the chance arose.

 

She didn’t look for attention, yet I stood like a soldier

Intentions no longer concealed, abort covert

And when I caught her eye, like a sniper to his scope

She knew  inevitably  her will would be smote

 

The game I spit was was potent– a cobras venom to mice

And what escaped from my mouth, with a python-esque vice

 

A surreptitiously sweet,

soothing serenade set

to steal her soul

Against her behest

 

With the conviction of a back, I attacked her path

I Ochocinco’d this and Deion Sanders’d that

Touching down the field became my next goal

The ultimate prize–reaching the Sugar Bowl

 

She asks aloud in a heated moment how I’d convinced her to stay

I smirk and reply, “All these game be for play.”

Quitting

I am a winner. I have been competitive in sports and video games for years and I absolutely HATE losing. I remember a while back talking to one of my teammates in college about losing. We both agreed that the reason we want to win is so we DON’T lose.

Now, let that settle in and think about it. We play to win so we DON’T lose. I practiced and set aside time so I didn’t have to face a loss. I competed and worked hard not because I wanted to win, but because the emotions I got from losing were so OVERPOWERING that I HAD to win.

I can definitely be classified as a sore loser. While I won’t show it initially, especially to my opponent, the feelings inside me get wracked up and tear me apart. While I can laugh and smile during gaming casuals and I can take a loss and not stress too bad, but when I am competing I am giving it my 100% all.

One thing that I know about losing is that you can learn more from it than winning. Failure makes one better in the long run. I know for a fact this is true. Though the juxtaposition between the emotions felt from winning and  losing is unfair, I do feel the lessons learned are greater on the losing side. I have learned more about my bad habits and tendencies from losing than I had from winning.

I told myself before the tournament if I didn’t place in the top 16 at MLG I would quit Mortal Kombat and focus on a different game. I hadn’t placed in top 8 at any major and I felt my skills with my character, Ermac, were becoming stagnant. Some matches against heavily used characters were so bad that I felt it wasn’t worth stressing and losing to keep on playing.

The first match where I truly felt like I was going to have a problem was against one of Mortal Kombat’s top Cyrax players, Krayzie. I had played against Krayzie numerous times before. Online and offline at EGP Redemption. I hadn’t taken a tournament round against Krayzie since I had played him and I knew he would have an upper hand against me because at one point he mained Ermac.

The first match started off where we tested the waters against each other. The waters were found to be treacherous when I got caught in a net and proceeded to lose terribly. The anxiety began to mount as he took the second round as easily as the first. I was happy to be dealing with the MLG first to 3 game format, but still felt like his Cyrax would be a monster to overcome. After losing my second match, and being flawlessed one round no less, I felt like it was all but over. He had my number. For most of the matches I was stuck in unbreakable combos and his ability to finish the combos and not drop them made me extremely pensive.

Though I finally picked up on what he was doing to me and put up more of a fight the last match I was bested. I shook his hands and congratulated him and walked away. I walked out of the venue and cursed at my shitty play. I separated myself from everyone and sat alone. I listened to music to calm my nerves.

At this point the back was against the wall, and though I wasn’t super upset about losing to a top player like Krayzie, I knew that I had to come out fighting or I would be going home, empty handed. My next match was against a player I had never heard of. He chose Kenshi and Raiden. He took the set 3-2 and it sent me packing.

I immediately wanted to leave. I wanted to curse and bitch and moan about things that couldn’t be changed. I watched other people lose, I saw different faces and emotions as people got up and left. Some left with smiles, genuine smiles, and walked away. Some cursed and left without a handshake. And others, much like myself, begrudgingly smiled, shook hands and left to take on the brunt of the loss, alone.

After losing only 2 games away from top 16 I said ‘F, it. I’m done.’ I walked outside the arena and sat by a few of my other competitors. One in particular, who actually beat me and put me in the losers bracket, looked as disappointed as I felt. Our friends were trying to pick him up and make him feel better, but I understood exactly how he felt. It’s an emptiness that seemingly sucks the life out of you.

I pondered quitting because I put so much work into practice and this game. I felt all my work had been for nothing.

It took two days and the realization, maybe even a false realization, that I hadn’t done EVERYTHING possible to be the best. I came up with a plan for myself and the guys that I play Mortal Kombat with locally to have us become successful.

If this doesn’t work though, I might just take what I learned from the losses and move on.

Mortal Kombat Saturday

Saturday.

Game day.

Hype as hell.

I woke up that morning at 6 and could only think of placing well at MLG.

Myself and DC_Network were at my friends house in Hacienda Heights, Ca. About 45 minutes away from the venue in Anaheim. DC hadn’t registered yet for the tournament so we had to get there early. The morning started off much like during my other competition mornings. A set regimen. Got all my hygienic stuff out of the way first, paced around for a good thirty minutes in complete silence and thought only about the game. Much like in my days of football past, I was focused. I felt that people wanted me to place well in this tournament, the numerous friends I had garnered wished me well, but I wanted to do good. I wanted my Ermac to be respected.

I knew it was going to be warm in the venue but I brought a hoodie anyway to support the fictitious “HOOD TIER” northern california movement. I was set and ready to go.

DC_Network and I arrived at the venue around 9:30 and he got set up.

Walking into the  arena was awesome. Dr.Pepper booth to the right, a huge Starcraft 2 statue to the left. Hundreds of stations for computers and huge monitors showing gameplay. As cliche as it might sound, stepping into the arena, as a competitor, is absolutely breath taking.

I walk over to the Fighting game section and see Alex “Detroitballn” Rayis practicing, alone. I greet him, talk for a bit, and we proceed to demolish me in casuals.

After playing him for a while I went on a search for notepad paper to begin writing my interviews. It took a good thirty minutes to find the gift shop, but when I found it I bought a Mickey Mouse notepad. The perfect album of  happiness to keep my mortal kombat interviews.

Once Mortal Kombat started all the tournament nerves came at once. I knew how to handle them though. Those same nerves I felt during MLG, I felt before every football game, every scrimmage, every time I waited for the ball to be snapped. I learned how to push those feelings aside and focus.

I win my first two matches, one by disqualification because he didn’t show up.., but lost my next two games.

Being eliminated was, obviously, disheartening. I was ready to quit

I watched the end of day 1 fighting and went home in silence, contemplating retiring from the scene that I had become most competitive with.

Mortal Kombat Sunday

My original PS3 slim broke down months ago, so before today I hadn’t had any real time playing Mortal Kombat, or any games on the playstation at all. A few days ago my roommate brought his playstaion 3 up and I got to get back into the game. All the new tech my main, Ermac, had seen the past few weeks had gotten me hyped to try them out and see if I could master them. The very first day I hopped into practice mode and tried the ‘Big-D’ special. It came out once out of at lease 120 tries. I shit you not, I tried over and over and over and when I finally gave up I was so deflated I was thinking about putting the game down altogether. The frustration of not succeeding had plagued me for a while when it came to Mortal Kombat. My inability to crack a top 4 spot and the stagnation I felt when playing my character has made me want to quit a few more times than I’d like to admit. My sights are on obviously a top spot at MLG Anaheim, but at the time I didn’t feel like I should even attend.

After quitting for the night, I hop back on MK and try to get into a groove. I play online against a few randoms first, to get back used to online and did well against them. I play mainly people who I have met off of MKU or TYM and, to this day, not one has disappointed as far as skill.

 

Today is Sunday 6/3/2012, and this is the day I wanted to start my blog on last minute preparations for Anaheim. The purpose of this blog is to show my activities, as far as MK is handled, and how I get ready for a tournament the magnitude of MLG Anaheim.  While I won’t talk about every single match in casuals and every minute of Mortal Kombat that is going on, I will try to give you the gist of how things have worked out for me in the day.

For one, I have learned that NOT playing Mortal Kombat for spans of times can help me to be more successful. After playing for hours upon hours and days upon days, one can become stagnant, especially when playing online, I feel. When playing online you have less human interaction than an offline casuals settings. This takes absolutely nothing away from ‘online players’ because, technically, over 95% of us are online players. I pulled that percent out of my ass, but you get it. This is the third day in a row I’ve played MK and I feel like I am slowly getting back into the groove of Ermac. I have modified the ‘Big D’ special into something I can easily produce, my B&B’s (bread and butters, for the laymen) are getting more on point, and I have switched my tactics up slowly. I am beginning to use certain strings more to set up throws and frame traps.

I am done playing MK for the night. I finished a nice set with Wrath and before that I played with another Sacramento player, Blind_Man. I won’t touch MK until the later afternoon tomorrow and I feel the break will be necessary in my training. I am doing my best not to ‘over play’ MK.

Tomorrow will be productive.

Kamikaze

 

3 Short Poems

Kamikaze-

Divine Wind.

Bruising through recklessly.

Accept my careless nature.

Youth.

 

 

My brush-

Myriad of bristles.

Soft,

Palm Friendly.

A dominator of wild follicles.

Calms the savage head beast.

Like a boat captain, it navigates through my waves fearlessly.

Another day looking great.

 

 

Playstation Controller-

Black.

Symmetrical.

Hand comforting

Like the hand of God.

To call it just a controller is a stark understatement.

It is a force that is stronger than a tornado, yet as calm as a pond on a mild day.

Without you, I am useless. Just a spectator to watch.