Posts Tagged ‘life’

The post will be a review of one of the few games that I have cleared recently, Borderlands 2. I managed to clear the final boss about a week ago, and thought that this is a game well worth reviewing for random people on the internet.

The only reason I played Borderlands 2 was because over the holidays a friend of mine bought it for me and a bunch of my friends with the idea of multiplayer gun-slinging, havoc reeking fun, and to start with, he was right. The first two hours that I played the game I was at my friend’s house playing together with my other friends. Each of us chose one of the four unique classes, I chose the assassin Zero, and then we dropped into the world. At first, the character builds weren’t very different, partly because of level, but mostly because of weapons at that moment. Until we made it to the next location, all of us were using pistols and melee attacks to get through waves of Bullymogs that blocked our path. After frustrating my friends with running ahead and killing things and stealing all of the loot, I left to go spend time with my girlfriend.

borderlands-2-zero-wallpaper

That was the only time that I played multiplayer, but for the most part, it was kind of fun. The night would have been more fun if I had gotten a sniper rifle at that point and taken advantage of my character’s unique abilities. I ran the rest of the game by myself, taking on a multitude of side quests to fill up my pockets and give me better loot to use to kill bigger things. The game is fairly fast pace, you walk into a new area and get swarmed by all of the monsters, thieves, and general baddies, but that doesn’t deter you because you start exploiting your class perks. I got into the habit of using my sniper rifles to start off a fight when I entered a new area, keeping my distance and picking off all of the new startled enemies. Then, when the stranglers finally ran up to me, I whipped out my shotgun and blew them away. This fighting tactic worked alright to start with, but after I got a few more weapon slots, it changed to accommodate the new arsenal that I was toting around with me.

It wasn’t until fairly late in the game that I actually “died”, at which point I discovered the Fight for Your Life system they implement in the game. If you get your health depleted, you are wounded and can’t zoom your weapons, and you have a limited amount of time to kill another enemy. If you manage to kill one, then you get your shield back and some portion of your health back, thus giving you another go at the current situation. This is where my new set of weapons came in, whenever I went into Fight for Your Life mode, I pulled out my rocket launcher and killed the closest thing. Once I recovered, I would reload my rocket launcher so I could be prepared for the next time that happened to me. I was caught refilling it too often when I actually died because I hadn’t reloaded it from before. Then I started my special ability where I would create a clone that would draw enemies in while I got huge buffs to my melee attacks and critical hits. This came in handy when trying to do massive damage to a boss, or escaping a hairy situation I had gotten myself into.

Overall, the combat system, diverse weapons, upgrades, and skill trees make combat a really great experience to experiment with. Later on in the game though, you will start to find it much more difficult to find a better weapon than the one you are using, I kept the same sniper rifle for a good five hours of game play, until I found one that had a massive power boost. Same with my shotgun, and I used the same pistol for most of the game. Money also became pointless along the way because you are just showered in money (literally) all of the time, which made actually dying later on kind of a mild annoyance than something to really avoid.

The atmosphere of the game world is remarkable because each area is different from the last, making you feel like you are in a wasteland, city, or decimated local. The only thing that could have made it slightly better was if the enemies changed more than they did. Yes I would fight giant bug things in a sewer area, and bandits in an outpost, but any time you found the same type of enemy in two different locations, they didn’t show any difference. This is mainly for the bandit designs because they were the same in the frozen waste land as they were in the desert. A bit more variation would have been great.

The game’s antagonist, Handsome Jack, is the pure embodiment of evil asshole that has to die. Later on in the game they add to his background and try to show you his motives and driving force behind him being a bastard, but in the end, you have no sympathy for the man. He is a great character because you never really have any moral grey moments when dealing with him, even after they add in his backstory.

The rest of the supporting character for the game really fill in the universe because everyone is different from the last important person you had to deal with. Each of the supporting characters will also give you unique quests for you to fill in your play time with. Some of the time you’ll have to kill so many of a certain monster, or run around trying to deliver mail in a bad part of town, but for the most part, you’ll get something new quest from quest. I went from checking up on my worst enemy’s grandmother, to trying to help a robot become human.

I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes dark/absurd humor, growth of characters, guns, and general merriment. Grab a buddy and take on Handsome Jack, and put him out of his misery!

borderlands2

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

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This time I think I’ll discuss another issue that is close to home for me which is the upcoming generation of videogame consoles and all of the rumors and what not going on with them. Now I wanted to discuss the current issues with the videogame world because it’s an important part of my life, it’s how I blow off steam, relax in the evening, and generally just calm down sometimes. I also use them as an escape from the real world from time to time, because it is just nice to take the role of the dark knight and crusade through the dark streets of Gotham every once in a while. However, recent developments and rumors have made me worried for this wonderful time suck, most of which coming with the new generation of consoles.

I’m first going to address the concern about certain companies that have gone bankrupt in the recent months, mostly the THQ liquidation. These are the people who created Darksiders, Saints Row, Red Faction, Homefront and many other games. The company sold off most of their divisions and kept only one for themselves, but for the most part, we can say goodbye to this company and what they strived for in games. Now this is a concern because we are always hearing now that companies are not doing very well and are starting to go under. This isn’t helped with the media and government scrutinizing every aspect of the games that they produce. We have people saying that videogames are awful things that consume lives, devour their souls, and turn them into murdering members of our society. Others say that games are a First Amendment right that should be protected because they are a freedom of expression and storytelling that has developed in the new generations.

My weigh-in on the issue of looking into games and banning or any other restrictions is that we already have a rating system for the games that tells you the age range, why, and when you purchase mature games you have to show an ID showing you are of age or have a parent or guardian there to purchase it for you. At that point, it comes to the parents taking time to go and look up what the games their children are playing are about, all of the information is only ever a few clicks away on the internet. I feel that a lot of the issues that the government or other concerned people comes down to are actually on a more family based level of inspection. Parents should ask their kids what they play, and research it. Parents who buy their kids games and don’t even think about what it’s about should first look at what they are doing first. My parents knew the games that I played and actually controlled what I played for the early years of my gaming youth, but after a while, once they knew I was mature enough, they let me take the reins of it and police myself. Videogames are what you make of them, if you always spend 16 hours a day playing a game, then that’s not good, but if you play for a couple hours a day or every once in a while then you have a better control of the actual potential problem. It’s like alcohol, you could drink every day and never feel your toes again, or just have a drink when you go out with friends.

Now we start moving into the current console issues that are cropping up because of the recent set of rumors coming out over the next PlayStation and XBOX systems. My largest concern is the rumor about the idea of blocking used games with one time activation codes or tying them to the initial system that you play them on. This is a concern because I like to share games with friends or bring games over to their houses and play multiplayer with everyone. This would limit that ability and actually participating in the festivities. The also hurts the resale market which is another part of the industry that developers have had to deal with other the course of the videogame existence. Resale stores are always going to be around, that is just a fact, look at clothes, watches, computers, music, art, movies. Now the resale industry already screws all of us over, but having system tied games hurts the resale stores as well. When I want a game that might not be very available or what, I go to a resale store and see if they have it, and they’ll probably have it for the cheap. Then, when I sell my games back to the resale store and get a dollar back for it all, I feel violated by the sheer cheek these people have to offer so little for so much. Developers have tried to get people to buy new games by adding first time activation codes, DLCs, and special bonus features for buying the initial product from them. The problem with these is that there isn’t enough bang that goes with them, getting a new skin for my character isn’t really worth paying full price for the game, nor is a multiplayer map. Give me something bigger, more dramatic, and more significant; give me something that makes me think, “I want that!” Also, stop releasing DLCs the day after the game comes out. That’s ridiculous. Include the DLCs in the game; don’t make me pay an extra five bucks to get the Trials of Dunwall pack.

The next point is the actual games themselves and the fact that they aren’t as juicy as previous generations. I know games have changed over the years, but when Cruising World is ten hours longer than the latest Devil May Cry game, we have a problem. Yes, it’s racing versus a hack and slash, but come on, I cleared DmC in three hours and at least S ranked each mission while I was drunk. Cruising World took many hours of fine tuning, practice, and throwing the controller on the damn moon level. Now here is the problem with this: I felt that Cruising World earned every penny and then some of my money that I spent on it years ago, while DmC was $60 and barely entertained me for an evening. Sure, DmC looked better than Cruising World, but it wasn’t as much fun and this is the flaw with the gaming world at the moment. Shut up about graphics, I don’t need to see the sweat coming off the biceps of a character three miles away, what I want is a game that I can immerse myself in and enjoy for many hours. And I know people say, “Well that’s what replay is for!” Yes, it can be, but everything shouldn’t be built on the hope that you will go through the same game three or four times, it should have a story and game play that stands strong with one play through. Also, games now don’t have much replay value, only if you care about leaderboards, but otherwise you are just playing the same game, same everything, again, with no endearing qualities to make you want to do that. So I get screwed with the initial cost, hence one reason I don’t tend to buy games new, then I get screwed with the actual amount of content, thus screwing me by the development teams, and then if I sell it to a resale store I get screwed over by how much I get back, finally screwing me over by the resale stores giving me a quarter of the price of a game that came out yesterday.

Overall, the whole community of gamers, developers, story tellers, politicians, and everyone else, needs to get together and fix things slightly so that we all get what we want. Gamers need to be more forgiving of certain things that developers do, but steadfast in the fact that we do not take multiple mistakes well. Developers need to listen to the gamers about what they want, but should try new things and shouldn’t be destroyed for trying something new and it not going well. Story tellers need to get back into the business and stop bogging us down with volumes of back stories of the plains of no one cares, story should be seamlessly woven into the game. Politicians need to stop scape goating videogames for other people’s problems, but instead invest time in helping people understand the good and the bad of the industry. We all want to be happy and are reasonable people for the most part, let’s all come together and make the community great again.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

This post is the final post that will primarily focus on my time in Italy and all of the introspection that I did while I was over there. To start off I would like to thank all of the people there who helped me with my roller coaster of emotions: Camelo, Dane, Justin, Matt, Brent, Britta, Sofia, and Cecilia. Thank you all for being there for me when I was not at my best and for bringing me up to my new best, I want to thank you all of all that you  guys have done for me. Next I would like to thank my teachers, Darryl and John, for being great professors and instructing me in ways that greatly helped me with my designs and growth as a future architect. I would like to thank our providers, Mirko and Eugenia, for being there to help us with adjusting and for giving us so many great opportunities. Emily and Inga, pretty much the only friends we made over there, thank you so much for being our friends, and for being my friend. And finally, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be able to go off and travel and grow as a person this semester.

Now though, my final analysis of Italy. Italy is a country with a rich history, wonderful food, slightly lazy people, and the best coffee you will ever have. The city of Urbino was a great place to work and study in with its strong history and great atmosphere, even though it was a college town. We were able to use the city as a template for our designs and figure out what it all meant in a historical sense and in a modern way as well. The architecture is unparalleled there and I wish I could go back and live in those cities for the rest of my life, but I first need to learn Italian so I don’t piss off as many people. If any of you want to travel to Europe in general, I recommend Italy, but not just the tourist places that you will go to. Make sure you go to all of the less known cities and really delve into them, even if it’s just for a day. Do it. All of our day trips while we were there were just amazing, and were some of the best times that I had during my time in Italy.

During the course of trying to actually get down all of my thoughts and critiques on Italy, I have come to realize that it is nearly impossible to describe everything that I have done, experienced, seen, felt, and so on that I am unable to continue critiquing Italy. All I can say about my time is there is that it was the best time of my life, and I would love to go back for any reason and experience it again. It has changed me and returning to the states now I have come back a new and better person from everything, so much so that I will once again be able to call myself The Architect.

Now that I have been back in the states for a week, I have experienced a few things that I would like to talk about. The first is trying to find a new home, ie, trying to find an apartment in San Antonio so I don’t live out of my car while going to school. It has not been fun because even though I am a full time student, that means I am over-qualified to rent most of the apartments in the downtown area, meaning I have to keep going farther and farther out. I get really annoyed by that, that I am over-qualified just because I am a full time student, that my money is not good enough to get me a room somewhere so I can go to school more cheaply. No, instead I have to go farther out where the rent is higher and thus making the apartment less viable for me. So the apartment wars continue.

I have also taken up to seeing Tori on a fairly regular basis now, and actually went out on a real date with her, which was one of the best ones I have been on in the past five years. We’ve watched movies, talked for hours on end about anything and everything that comes up, and we don’t talk every day about nothing, which keeps our conversations interesting and the “spark” there as well. Though I don’t think that was ever a spark, I lit a wildfire at the first go. All I know is that regardless of what happens, I have one of my best friends back, I am the least nervous I have been in a decade, and I have smiled the most in the last week than I think I have in my entire life. I know that whether I am at my highest or my lowest, I am the most insufferable person to be around and interact with. My standards are the highest they’ve ever been, both for the people around me and for myself to live up to, and they are the greatest challenges I have ever given myself.

I am good. I am the Black Knight. I am The Exile. I am The Architect.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

We set the stage with many millennia of history, ruins, stories, lives lost, wars won, emperors, peasants, scholars, culture, and, most importantly, architecture. We step back, glancing up at the piercing sun, squinting slightly as we recoil from the harsh glare of that which is now obscuring our view of the meeting place. We see that business continues as usual here, that men are discussing policy, while others peddle fruits and other wares, and that there are those who merely wander through. We are dwarfed by the structures around us, forcing us into awe of their majesty. We come to realize why we are here, and more importantly, where we are now.

We are in Rome. All times of Rome meshing into one coherent culture that we can experience even today if we choose to travel. My commentary on Rome for this matter will focus primarily on the current city of Rome, but I will be referencing the past for a few of the points that I will make to illustrate the complexity and power of the city. We begin our look at the city by analyzing the overall structure of the transportation system that is most prevalent for my experiences, the metro. We used the metro to get to the general vicinity of whatever we were going to go see, because you could not get too close to it due to the fact that when constructing the metro in Rome they build about 10 feet, then hit ruins that need to be excavated and evaluated for their worth. Because the metro only takes you so close to what you want to see, you are forced to walk through the rest of the city and experience all of the joys, wonders, and annoyances that Rome has to offer.

The first joy is the fact that the metro is easy to use to anyone who has a map, if you have one then you are good to go for your stay in Rome. Once you leave the metro, you have many options for what you could do next: grab a cappuccino at a local bar, wander around looking at all of the monuments and ruins, grab some pizza to walk around with, visit a fountain to relax at, or go around shopping if you like. Most of the time, we chose to get a drink at a bar and then continue on to our tours that we had planned with our professor. The wonders of the city are all around you because the entire city is many layers of ruins upon ruins upon future ruins. It’s all a great tapestry to stare at for years. The annoyances start with all of the annoying gypsies trying to sell you something useless at every corner. Every turn you make, there will be one there, trying to sell you something stupid, and they will continue to try to sell you stuff even after you’ve said no a million times.

Now that we have navigated some of the streets for the most part, we find ourselves wondering about how this city still functions in modern day society. Well, for the most part, it stays true to its old roots and keeps the Italian style of life strong. The only real addition that I feel has been made to the city is the addition of the roads to accommodate cars and other modes of transportation.

I will finish this brief analysis of Rome with just one thought: Saint Peter’s. Everyone should visit Saint Peter’s whether or not they believe the same way or not, the space is one of the most daunting spaces you will ever experience when it comes to religion. My professor railed me once for saying that many cathedrals, churches, what have you, are supposed to make you feel small and insignificant compared to the powers and grace of God. He believes the exact opposite of that and proceeded to completely disregard the conversation about Kahn, and instead voice his own personal views on the matter while shutting down that one statement I made. Experience St. Peter’s and you will definitely know what I am talking about. You will not feel close to God and it does not make you want to be close to him if this is what is meant to be brought about in his name. I won’t get too much into the religion aspect of this, but St. Peter’s is an experience.

We now look at the city of Rome and how it is dealing with architecture in the modern era of society. We went to see a few modern buildings in the Rome and found that they were either not well received or underused for the scale of them. The MAXXI is barely used and isn’t even finished as the original concept had intended for it to be, it’s only half done if anything. Designing in such dense areas of history now is becoming a great challenge. Do you try to mimic the past? That’s hard because most people don’t have the formal teaching to use classicism correctly. Do you try to contrast to the past with a very modern structure instead? Well most of those aren’t well received because they are so out of place amongst everything else that the city has. Walk two steps and you trip over a church, forum, coliseum, or other great structure; so having some giant white monstrosity next to it, doesn’t seem to make much sense either. Do we try to fuse both together to create a more dynamic structure that embraces both the past, present and future? Personally, I think this is the most appropriate way to go about designing in places such as Rome. I personally think the works of Carlo Scarpa should be looked at by anyone fortunate enough to design within Rome, that way you may make a more informed design choice.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Today we had the architects from Milan come in and critique our work. I think it went really well, even though I still suck at explaining my designs and everything that is going on in them. They said I should revisit Scarpa for my designs again and stop my rectilinear designs and start working more with the site. I should start working on trying to create more dynamic forms instead of interesting boxes. They also gave me some ideas of turning my colossal columns into things that could mimic or represent the trees on the site that I am still not allowed to get rid of. I think I’m going to look for some precedents for the actual column trees; I’m thinking I’ll use one of the gardens in Japan or China I think it is. Other than that, I’ve been listening to more of my classical music to help calm me down more and just chill me out and I have been talking to Sarah still. We’ve been getting to know each other more and more, she seems really nice and pretty chill and it’s been the highlight of the past week or so for me.

We went touring through some of the projects in the city with the architects from Milan today. It was a lot of long walks and brief lectures, but pretty good for getting some ideas. Urbino has a lot of interesting buildings and different kinds of entrance and exits that put you out into amazing parts of the city. Afterward we got kebabs for lunch and then proceeded to go back and finish out our day as usual before turning in to get ready for our Rome trip that starts tomorrow morning. At 6am, sharp.

Note, the next post will be made after I return and will be analyzing Rome as a whole.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Sunday evening I started unfriending people I don’t talk to or never have talked to, and also started looking into my travel plans for the Thanksgiving break. While going through my friends list and pruning I came to realize so many things about people, one of which was that anyone who was in theatre was just fucked up afterwards.

Dawn of the whatever day, 40 days remain. That’s right, I only have a bit more than a month left in Europe before I make it back to the states and start my next chapter. Though we must now continue to analyze Europe and all of its effects on me and how I relate that back to western society. Our first history and theory class with just Daryl was today, and we looked at an author who was neither an architect nor a scholar, and thus was an annoying pompous ass in all of our opinions. Once we managed to get through the discussion and Daryl pissing me off about roman numerals (he wouldn’t let me see the damn numbers long enough to read it and said mean things to us for not knowing them [I was the only fucking person who could get the damn thing!]) we made it to lunch and then on to measuring the site for our exhibition project. While we were measuring the site it began to rain, but Daryl just pulled out his umbrella and watched us freeze to get the ruddy dimensions. Afterwards I managed to grab a cappuccino with him and discuss part of the future Rome trip. Once we made it back to the studio we all got together to discuss our form diagrams that we were working on and get a sort of grasp on what we were trying to accomplish for our project. After we made it through class we all went to dinner and then I spent the next 6 hours talking to Tori, and finally going back to my room at 1am.

I found some extra blankets last night to keep me warm because it has become near freezing here (not kidding, last night was 37°F) and in a room that has spiders and cracks between windows, walls, and doors, you kind of need them. So I finally rolled out of bed and got dressed in time to make it to my watercolor class where we sketched and rendered the library below our studio. The process was alright, and of course my render didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve produced while being here. I’m started to feel a bit alienated from the rest of the people, and I think it’s because I’ve been having some fairly intense moods recently. Cecilia is still an annoying bitch, Sofia’s views confuse me, Britta is a quiet neutral party, Dane is always nice, Brent is more of a sarcastic ass than usual, Justin is quiet as always, Camelo is less talkative and social than he was before, Matt still has an annoying personality, and I keep having extreme moods that persist for the entire day. I am either antisocial and get annoyed and mad at everything everyone does, or I’m light of heart, but quiet, or I’m apathetic to everything around me. And then while I was applying shadow to my drawings I came to the thought that my father is getting older and may not be around to see the man I become and the accomplishments that he would be proud of. I guess I’m just starting to doubt everything that I’m doing and if I can actually get it done for it to matter the most to me. Pair that with the constant cigarette smoke clawing at my will power and we have a great cocktail at the moment for me.

Midway through the week and my mood is still like a yo-yo at the moment. I’ve been stuck with my designs for the exhibition space we are supposed to design for the city, so I’ve been going crazy. Besides that I’ve been trying to not be as mean, but failing at that, and talking to a few people online.

Thursday was mainly a work day, except for the fact that we all went out and drank in the city. This made me confirm the fact that I am not a party person and going out on the town is definitely not for me. After I went back early I posted on Facebook that I did not enjoy my time out, and this then sprung Cecilia taking it upon herself to “correct” it and make sure the future people who come don’t get the wrong impression. This mostly boiled down to her saying I’m not fun and am boring. Well she needs to mind her own fucking business and quick harping on my personality and mood at the moment or else she’ll finally hear all the shit that I keep back out of courtesy.

Today was mainly sleeping in and doing a bit of studio work, but we also managed to go to the cemetery to do some much needed sketching and relaxing during our studio time slot. Other than that, I think my anger is getting away from me, I’m going to need to find some kind of physical outlet or things might not go well for the rest of the time that I’m here.

Today was the day of the hike that everyone else took, so I was able to stay at the studio and get some much needed “me” time. I got some good design work done and now I have the overall concept statement for my project: The Floating Room. I think it’s going to turn out really well if I can manage to get the floor plans to work out. I’ve also been talking to another girl, and she seems really cool. We like a lot of the same things and she doesn’t give me stupid three word responses. It’s actually really brightened up my mood, which is good for the rest of the studio as well, that way I’m much less of a dick. Besides that I just kind of relaxed and ate oreos for most of the day.

Continued conversations with Sarah today, things seem to be going really well. I really like talking to her, she has something to say about all of the stuff we talk about, making it much easier to keep the conversation going. I’ve also had a long day or working on my project; I am starting to fix some of the problems with the design, but I don’t know what all I’m going to show the architects tomorrow for my critique. Things seem to be getting more focused as we start getting closer to the end of the semester, and it’s beginning to make posting harder because I have less to think about or talk about because I’m getting tunnel vision for my project.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Day one of the overlap of my professors has begun, and to start things off, we had Daryl critique our work for our contextual buildings. Guess who he started with first. Yup, mine. Though I have to say I wasn’t overly self-conscious about the critique this time around because I think I had more confidence in my designs. The critique went fairly well, there were some things that he said that I agreed with and I liked that he thought of this project as a “in progress” project and not a finished product. He went on to say what we should consider in the next phases of the design if we were to continue with the project instead of moving on to the next one as we are doing now. After that we were given our next projects, which seems kind of like a blow off because it’s a PowerPoint presentation about one of Kahn’s buildings and how it relates back to classicism. Overall, class went well today, mainly because we didn’t really have to do anything for it, so we could still recover from our travels the previous week. After class we hit up the supermarket to get some snacks and stuff for the studio since we cleaned everything out before we left, so of course I bought all of the Oreos and a couple bottles of wine for myself. We finished the night off with dinner and an episode of The Newsroom, with one of my bottles of wine. I also managed to get a reply from Tori again, so I think there is promise in reconnecting, and hopefully patching things as best as possible.

Today I was able to go into the studio early and just be by myself for a while with the internet and have some calm time to read and work and relax. Once that was over though I had to have lunch with my professors because I was driving with them to our site today for our watercolor and drawing class. Cecelia tried to kick me out of the car because she wanted all of the girls in it, but I wasn’t having any of that shit today, especially not an hour before we had to leave. So we made it to the site, which was a house designed by Giancarlo De Carlo, and we had to primarily do sections of the building. Sections have never been my strong suit, but it was good practice, and most of them turned out well. Afterwards we hiked back to school since we apparently missed the bus, and then we all hit the studio to work on our summaries. While working I decided to have scotch again, though the last time I had it was in Siena when I lost my keys to the hotel room, so I cut it with some OJ to make it less intense and relaxed while working. That was until Tori was on Tumblr and I got a chance to have a real conversation with her. Got to say she really brightened up not only my day, but the past few months for me. I had really missed talking to her, and I had missed the closeness. I won’t lie or hide it here, I still have feelings for her, but I’m not going to push that unless she wants to and I have a fair idea that she doesn’t, but time will tell. But just the talking has really helped me feel better, and not because I was buzzed for part of the conversation like my studio thinks.

The day starts off with a bomb. History and Theory was tanked by my apparently incorrect analysis of the previous readings, which made it so I didn’t want to talk for the rest of class, which affects my grade. So that went spectacularly, but afterwards we all grabbed lunch and then started working on our presentations for Friday over our Kahn buildings. Well I just kind of messed around on the internet while working until Daryl finally showed up (2 hours late), to give us some direction and critique what we had done so far for our projects. He said I should really look into the structure, materials, and the Ten Canons for my building. After a while Tori came online so I started talking to her for the rest of my day, talking about my trips and tell her stories of the things I had done, the people I had met, the experiences I had, just everything. I kept on going on and on about it all, showing her pictures, and just talking about it all. She occasionally chimed in with her own comments or suggestions or stories about what I was talking about, but I had to ask most of the time for her to share things about what she was doing or thinking for the most part. We started talking about the different things we would do when I got back into town, and now that I’m thinking about it I’m starting to get a little concerned. Not in a bad way like I’m doing something awful, but because the last time I had plans similar to these was when I was engaged. I know they are fairly short term for the most part compared to what I had been used to planning, but it just seems like the things I’d want to plan with a significant other. It works as friends, but I think I’m already treading a thin line with my emotions as it is, but I just don’t want things to crop up in me and then ruin the friendship because she doesn’t want anything more. The plans make me excited for when I get back; make it so I’m not relying on eHarmony for some hope when I get back. I might be over thinking all of this, but food for my brain right now. I’ll keep on the friend side of things until I actually see her again because that’s what’s the most important, but if I get the chance, I’m taking it like I never did before.

So today was our day off, so I woke up early thinking I could do my laundry and maybe make it into town and get the hat I’ve been eyeing for a while and maybe sit in a café and sketch for a bit. Then I remembered we had an essay due the next day over Kahn’s writings, and a presentation to create and prepare for class tomorrow as well, so there went all hope of having a free day. So I spent most of the morning cleaning my room and taking a shower so I could avoid work for a while, but then I finally had to head into the studio and actually start my readings and essay. After a while I finished up my essay and kept working on my presentation until Tori got up and we started talking about Fallout Boy rumors not being true, her job, and then went into my goal of becoming the most interesting man in the world. That discussion also led to me asking if I could join her at church once, so I could understand religion and beliefs more not only for broadening my view, of figuring out what it’s all about. I was tired of limiting myself by my selective knowledge of things, so I made a big choice in my life with that goal. The following is what I actually said about the idea:

“Well I got kind of annoyed with my limited scope of knowledge that I had to engage people with. I had limited experiences, limited thoughts, and limited views. So I couldn’t engage with people the way that I really wanted to. I was tired of being quiet for a lot of a conversation, waiting until I found something of interest to say about something I didn’t know/care about. So I kept seeing the commercials for Dos Equis and thought, “huh, that guy, though fictional, has done so much, and can thus talk about so much.” After some thought on the matter, I asked my dad how I could become the most interesting man in the world, and he said to let him think on it. So I waited, until I spoke to my uncle, the scholar, and realized that he could talk to anyone about anything because of all the books he’s read, experiences he’s had, and opportunities he’s taken. So I decided that’s what I was going to do. I wasn’t going to limit myself to just architecture, videogames, and sex, but instead know everything. Culture myself to the point of impossibility.”

Also, just as a side note for this, I would like to add that the girls went out for Britta’s birthday, which is fine, it’s their choice even though we have a project due tomorrow. Whatever. What is not fine is them coming back at 3:30 in the morning being loud and waking me up, and yes this is because they woke me up. I don’t care if no one else woke up, the fact that they woke me up is all that matters and they are lucky that Matt made it outside before I did because they would have had it from me. End note. Back to trying to sleep.

I start with my realizations about my life up to this point, to the point of day 500 in my own life. I went through my growth as I reflected on what Brent said last night, commenting on fictional books title for architects, one being “10 Ways Your Ego Destroys Your Building.” Ego, big word for an architect, because we are sort of the all-knowing people of the world, similar to scholars, but on an even grander scale. I started to think about how my ego has changed over the years, from middle school, to high school, and now to college and my real life. I’ve seen the birth of my ego when I was president of the Gaming Guild in middle school, the way I had power, responsibility and the joy of leadership. Then I moved on to high school, losing all of my power and leadership, and having to start at the bottom of the ladder again. Slowly I moved up the ladder of the theatre community and thus my ego began to grow again, but this time, with the inclusion of women. I think that was part of the folly of my ego was the fact that I let getting attention from women go to my head so much. Once my ego was in full bloom in high school, I had to move on and go to college and pick a major, so of course I pick the major that goes with the largest ego. Now though, through all of my experiences, I have humbled myself; I have taken my experiences in life and seen what I gained from them. As an architect, I must be conceited and egotistical, but in life I must be humble. So now, I see I am Tom from 500 Days of Summer, taking part in the longest day in history. The 500th day of Summer is where I am in life, just before entering the front door to the firm I am applying to, just before the best part.

Today we took a trip with Daryl and Mirko to San Marino and San Leo. San Marino was pretty cool because it is technically its own country, so it has its own laws and stuff, but it is really just an Italian town. We explored some of the castles there and had just a grand time of it all while we were there. After that we headed to San Leo, another cool, yet small town where I got the chance to venture off some and do some much needed sketching for myself. Once we had our fill of San Leo we headed back to Urbino so we could all eat dinner and watch the Newsroom to relax. Afterwards, though,  things kind of went south with my mood because the internet has been broken here, meaning I couldn’t check my e-mails so I could stay up to date with my parents, eHarmony and school related things. Also meant that I couldn’t talk to Tori today, so I think that might have a bigger impact on me while I’m here than I’m giving it credit (and I’m already giving it a lot of credit). I don’t know, I always get mad at the smaller things, or Cecilia, rather than the larger things in life. I just don’t understand why I get so mad at all of the little inconveniences in life rather than the stuff that has more of an impact on me. I just worry about myself with everything that’s been going on with me evolving and becoming the man I want to be rather than the man I was forced to be. Will this change me too much that I can’t relate back to people anymore? Will I still be able to have a relationship that works? Will I still function in the world or will I be the guy that people introduce as a high-functioning sociopath? I’m worried that one of these days I won’t be in control of my anger and thoughts anymore and instead the Hulk within will take over and release all that I have pent up inside. I’m slowly working to get rid of all of the stuff that I have pent up in me, and I’m making decent progress on it. I am almost done resolving the main stuff that everyone knows about, I’m about to start my next attempt at quitting, and I’m getting back to reality and life again.

So I woke up today and realized that day light savings time had taken effect, so I actually got an extra hour of sleep. After a bit of procrastinating, I finally managed to go ahead and do my readings and finish up my summaries so I could have the rest of the day to work on my design work and see if I could find some working wifi here. This post will be finished before the day is actually done, because I want to see if I can still write poetry at all and to finish my design work.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile