About Grades

So, I just majorly freaked about grades. It happens sometimes. We see a B or C where we  want an A, or we don’t do so well on a test, and all of a sudden, we convince ourselves college will suck, we won’t get a good job, and the rest of our lives will be horrible. Or maybe that’s just me. Who knows. Anyway, there are just times when you have to realize that things will most likely turn out ok.

Today was just kind of one of those days. On the way home from school I started worrying about the future, and about how I wasn’t going to do well on my physics test tomorrow, and how the rest of my life would be hell. And now I just have to realize I’ll get through it. I have before. I’ve freaked out over the homework loads for each year since 8th grade, and yet they never materialize.

I wrote last night. For myself. A nice piece, just getting my thoughts on (digital) paper. It was nice, and honestly, was part of the reason I started this blog. To encourage myself to write daily. I think it’ll help with all those little things that bug me.

To anyone actually reading this, I challenge you to pick one little thing you might be worrying about and just stop worrying for awhile. There’s a time and place for worry, but you shouldn’t let it get to you too much.

The Galactic Food Chain

I’ve been playing a game recently called Borderlands 2. If you aren’t a gamer, or don’t know what I’m talking about when I say things like FPS, RPG, or MMO, then just know that, for the first paragraph, I’m talking about a really cool video game and infer what you can. Or use Google, if you really care.

So anyway, BL2 is a unique blend of FPS and RPG. The gameplay and combat is very much FPS, you run around, you shoot bad guys, they die faster if you shoot them in the head, etc. However, there are also many RPG elements running around. You level up, and unlock new skills and abilities as you do so, enemies also level up, and come in different varieties. You pick a class, and, to some extent, can customize your character. It’s quest based, meaning you get various missions to do, and there is no end to side missions in this game. There are a LOT of guns, all with their own stats and some with special abilities (I currently have a sniper rifle that has a chance to set people on fire and a Shotgun that doesn’t reload. Instead, you chuck it at an opponent, it explodes, and respawns in your hand.) and of course, boss battles. Anyway, basically, this game is freaking awesome.

That’s not the point of today’s writing though. This isn’t a review of the game, or in fact, that much about the game at all. I wanted to preface it with that because there is one thing that I love about Borderlands 2 way more than all of that. It has an environment. It’s set on an alien world and it has an environment! Let me explain. I’m a bit of a naturalist. I like nature, I like exploring food chains and predator-prey relationships especially. It’s just cool to me that you can have an system, like, say, the African Savannah, and you can just look at all the different wildlife and tell who eats who. Call me a nerd, but there’s just something inherently sexy about predator-prey relationships. I think this stems from our love of duality. Look at any superhero. They all have arch-nemesis’s. For Batman, it’s the Joker, for Superman, it’s Lex Luther, for Aquaman, the BP Oil Spill (zing!) and on and on. This isn’t limited to superheroes though. In most shows or movies about high school, there’s always a bully, trying to thwart our hero, with dinosaurs, kids are enamored with the epic struggle between T-Rex and Triceratops. Heck, in our religion, isn’t God’s arch-nemesis the Devil? Anyhow, I digress. Borderlands 2 has what comes close to a working ecosystem (in the scale of a video game anyway) except a little more extreme. For whatever reason, there are no herbivores on the planet of Pandora (where the game takes place) but I’ll give it leeway for that. Pandora doesn’t seem like a planet where herbivores would really survive anyhow (I think the spider-ants in the game might be omnivores, not sure about that though)

From previews of the game, I had kind of guessed this would be the case, but the realization that Pandora has a very well done system of creatures was only impressed on me today. A few hours in, after slogging through the icy regions of Pandora, destroying bandit camps and battling Bullymongs (four armed, ape-like predators with bad tempers who like to live in groups and throw ice) you are told to go infiltrate a bandit camp out in a more desert-like region. This is really where the game opens up a bit more and you have a larger area to explore and more things to do. I was driving into this region when I happened upon a pack of Skaggs (wolf or Hyena like pack hunting predators) who immediately attacked me. I finished them off fairly quickly, and started to drive off when I heard the screech of a Rakk (a flying, snake-like predator) fairly close. Sighing, I got out out my shotgun and prepared to dispose of the creature, but then I noticed it wasn’t attacking me. It was circling a pack of Skaggs who looked up at it, snarling and snapping. Curious to see how the game’s AI would handle such a confrontation, I waited around. The Rakk made a few unsuccessful passes at the Skaggs, probably trying to weaken one enough to kill it, but the skaggs kept it at bay. Finally, the Rakk decided it wasn’t going to get anywhere and left. Interactions like these are all over Borderlands, just at random, and they, in many ways, mimic how the various creatures of earth go about their business. But with more shooting and killing.

If I love ecosystems and predator-prey relationships,which I do, I have a huge interest in fictitious ones. I love seeing game-makers, authors, and tv/moviemakers create worlds and interactions between fantastical creatures. I love Skyrim’s rather extensive collection of creatures. Sabre-Cats, Mammoths, and of course, at the top of the food chain, the game’s famous dragons. But, aside from the dragons, many of the creatures in Skyrim are earth ones. Mamomths were a real thing, so were Sabre-Cats. Deer, wolves, bears, and many of the other creatures in Skyrim are earth ones. Skaggs, Varkids, Bullymongs and Rakks are infinitely more interesting, simply by being new and alien. It’s interesting to imagine a world like theirs existing. What other fantastic creatures might exist in this world? And how many other worlds with other alpha predators and populous prey are there in all kinds of fiction? I do wonder…

Pointless Rambling at 2:20 AM

Author’s Note: Yeah yeah, I said this was going to be a daily thing. Problem is, I’m bored, and it’s technically tomorrow (although this was true when I wrote the first post as well.) so I guess you can say that, at minimum, there will be one post a day ( for as long as I can manage to keep that up at least) Anyway, you’re getting more than expected, instead of less, so I have no idea why I would think you would be upset. I’m going to stop AN-ing now and move onto the piece. (Most of them probably won’t be as rambly as this one.)

There’s a certain sort of weirdness that my mind happens to inflict on me at 2:20 AM in the morning, sitting alone, typing a piece for my newly started blog at my computer. It’s very hard to explain, but it’s something akin to perfect stillness. It’s not really what I would call particularly relaxing (If it was, I would have fallen asleep already) and definitely not zen. Basically though, in the early hours of the morning, when I’m at my computer, time stops. Not actually of course, but for my brain, it does. Or at least my perception of it gets weird. So that now, at 2:22 AM, I feel like an eternity has passed, but at the same time, feel like hardly any time passed at all. Odd.

Honestly, if I had started actually writing pieces for this blog before I just up and made it, I might have chosen a different name. Dailywrite, the name I wanted, was taken, and honestly, I’m not exactly happy with what replaced it. Write, Chat, Blog seems fine, but it falls apart if you look at it too closely. For example, what part of this site am I referring to with the “Chat” thing? The comments section? I’m slightly afraid this “Chat” part implies a certain connection with the reader more than my simply puking up essays from the very dregs of my brain. Will readers be turned off by the fact that I just write? And if “Chat” ushers in overblown expectations, “Write” and “Blog” certainly aren’t holding their respective ends any better. I mean, aren’t they basically the same thing? One tends to write on a blog, so I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t call this the random blog of everything, since that’s probably what it will turn into.

Listening to that last paragraph, “Dailyramble” seems like it would have been much more appropriate name for this monstrosity that, simply because I was bored, I created. Although saying it like that makes me seem like a bit of a nerd… oh well. Sitting here now, and just reading this over, a name pops into my head “TheFirstDraft.wordpress.com” now THAT is a better name. I suppose it’s too bad. You may notice that I go off on random topics in this piece more than most of the others (assuming that others will follow this one. I can’t know if they’ll be any less rambling, but I would imagine they would be a little) because I’m currently in that state of sleepiness where you just start being random. If friends were around, I would probably be laughing and thinking everything is funny. Since they’re not, I’ll ramble my disjointed thoughts out onto a computer. I imagine if a teacher were to take a look at this, they would probably die of shock and horror. It’s that bad.

And yet I still imagine people will read it. Maybe some people will find the rambling endearing, others may be ramblers themselves, and see it as normal. And, overall, I have faith people will read this with the same morbid fascination we give to animals killing one another, “The Jersey Shore” and fanfiction. With this said, and with me yawning while typing this, it’s time to randomly cut it short here and go to bed. I’m that tired.

The First one

   If you’ve found this blog, then there are a few possible scenarios that led you here. One, you’re a friend of mine, or at least, a facebook friend, and happened to click on the link I posted to check out Jon’s newfangled “blog” thing. Perhaps, though, you are just a random person who was browsing the internet one day, stumbled on this, and, for some unknown reason, you decided to stay and read rather than simply click the “back” button on your browser. The third option, and probably the most likely, is that I have somehow become famous (or infamous) and so you are checking out this blog to see how this Jon kid’s head works. 

    Somewhat pointless musings aside, whatever reason it may be, you’re here now, and that’s what matters. So, hopefully, you’ll enjoy whatever the heck will eventually go up here. Because I will be posting daily (I hope.) then it is probable that by the time you find this site, there will be at least one other piece up, so I suppose I will keep this one short. Basically, what this is trying to say, in a rather lengthy and awkward way is, welcome. Hopefully, most of the writing I do up here won’t be atrocious and perhaps you will be inspired to write your own blog, or just write more. 

 

   That’s all I have for you right now. Stay tuned! (Yeah, I know, this wasn’t a very long bit of writing. Don’t worry, the next few will make up for it)