Why I No Longer Watch the Texans

Deshaun Watson’s injury is my fault. After not having a franchise quarterback since Matt Schaub, the Texans had finally found the future of the franchise. The phenom from Clemson gave this franchise hope and went toe to toe against Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.

But, unfortunately, I had tickets to the Week 9 game versus the Colts. My friends and I were excited to watch our new quarterback in person. Then one of my buddies texted me in the middle of the week, “Watson’s injured.” The universe will not let me get what I want. Continue reading Why I No Longer Watch the Texans

Talent Is Overrated

I screwed up my life.

At the beginning, I had so much talent. I skipped kindergarten and dominated my classes. In high school, I was a straight A student who graduated sixth in my class of over eight hundred. My parents and teachers told me I was so smart. I was easily accepted to the University of Texas as an honors biomedical engineering student with a full scholarship. My first semester GPA was a 4.0.

Then everything went to hell. I failed some classes and lost my scholarship. Engineering turned into philosophy, bringing constant questions of, “Philosophy? What on earth are you going to do with that?” After five unsuccessful years in college, I dropped out and moved back in with my parents. I started cashiering again at the same grocery store I worked at in high school. Even four years after dropping out, I have barely gotten my life on track. At age 26, still having a roommate begins to look a little pathetic. Continue reading Talent Is Overrated

Whatever Happened to the Games We Loved?

I have murdered countless innocents, even children. Armies have bowed before me. I have sown genocide across worlds. Worst of all, my atrocities entertained me. Growing up, I would play video games for hours at a time, living out my crazy power fantasies.

But as the years have gone by, video games no longer enrapture me. Super Smash Bros. is the clearest example of this. While Brawl was an all-around disappointment, the recent 3DS and Wii U versions feel like Melee, one of my favorite games of all time.

But it is not Melee, and nothing ever will be. On Christmas Day 2001, I opened up a brand new GameCube and a copy of that game. I would play it with friends every afternoon during sixth grade. We heard unbelievable rumors around school about unlockable characters like Mewtwo and Ganondorf. Each of us would brag about how we were the best, and the only way to settle the debate was by throwing down on Final Destination with no items.

Continue reading Whatever Happened to the Games We Loved?

Me Fail English

Like many twentysomethings, I am writing a novel because it has never been done before. My book is filled with big themes and motifs:

  1. The declining privilege of young, white men in the modern economy
  2. The mind-body problem, particularly in regards to human extensibility with mechanical tools
  3. Sexual frustration and its relationship to power dynamics

But, mainly, what the book is about is giant robots fighting each other. Bottom line, it is an Americanized version of mecha anime. Granted, Guillermo del Toro beat me to it with Pacific Rim, but this is still a Harry Potter-level book idea. Continue reading Me Fail English

Halt and Catch Fire: It Won’t Leave Us in the End So Totally Alone

Full spoilers for Halt and Catch Fire follow.

In the sixth episode of Halt and Catch Fire‘s final season, “A Connection is Made”, most of the gang goes out to shoot off model rockets for Haley’s birthday. The scene is a beautiful moment of fan service. After four seasons of rocky interpersonal relationships, seeing Joe, Cameron, and Gordon (plus Haley and Katey) experience a happy moment is treasured by the audience because they have seen these characters go through so much.

At that moment, a happy, conflict-free ending for the series was all I wanted. Joe and Cameron would live happily ever after. Gordon would have a great relationship with his daughters with his new romance beginning to blossom. Donna would return to the group. But with almost half a season still to go, things were inevitably going to fall apart.

Despite the obvious comparisons, Halt and Catch Fire‘s first season was not like Mad Men. That season was driven too much by the narrative of “build a revolutionary product and beat evil IBM” to let the show become a brooding character piece like Mad Men. We all thought this was an knockoff story of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak in the fictional form of Cardiff Electric, Joe MacMillan, and Gordon Clark. Continue reading Halt and Catch Fire: It Won’t Leave Us in the End So Totally Alone

Mediocre Game Dev

In high school, I was a member of the debate team. Debate, especially Lincoln-Douglas debate, teaches you to bullshit well. Even if your opponent has superior logical arguments, better evidence, and is a more talented speaker, you will still normally make an argument against each and every one of their contentions. Those arguments may not be strong enough to win you the debate, but they are enough to usually put up a fight.

Every once in a while though you face an opponent who is vastly better than you are, and you just shut down. This happened to me twice in my high school debate career: once against a debater from the national circuit and another time against the eventual Texas state champion. All of the time for my rebuttal speeches was spent stuttering and stumbling, trying to fight a battle I had no chance of winning. Normally after a debate, even one I thought I might have lost, I normally thought to myself, “I might win if they voted based on this issue or aspect of the debate.” After I got massacred in these two debates though, I knew my only chance of victory was if the judge had a stroke and circled the wrong winner on the paper. Continue reading Mediocre Game Dev

The Second-Rate Houston Rockets

Hakeem Olajuwon is the greatest Rockets player ever. He led the team to two consecutive championships and was the second best player in the league when the GOAT Michael Jordan was around.

Those 90s Rockets teams were incredible, but they were not my favorite. At the time, I did not really watch basketball and did not appreciate the domination that was being unleashed in my city.

Instead of Olajuwon, my superstars were Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. However, my favorite team, the ’08-’09 Rockets, were mostly missing that pair due to their injuries. T-Mac sat out most of the regular season, but the Rockets still made the playoffs and beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Continue reading The Second-Rate Houston Rockets

The Lord of the Rings: Coming Home

Like most students, Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss was gifted to me at my high school graduation. The book was given to me by my girlfriend-at-the-time’s parents which was especially nice of them considering in a couple of weeks I would break up with their daughter via text. The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, great as they may be, are fundamentally books for children. On the other hand, Oh, The Places You’ll Go resonates with eighteen year olds because it touches on the limitless possibilities laid before each graduate.

However, there is another book whose central theme applies directly to grads. Giving Oh, The Places You’ll Go is a wonderful tradition, but the frequency of this gift makes it a little trite and open to be replaced by another book. Instead, the book we should be giving eighteen year olds is The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Continue reading The Lord of the Rings: Coming Home

The Legend of Zelda: A Guide to Being Good

Kids are assholes. I committed so many terrible acts as a kid. When I was six, I stole a bunch of random objects from around the house and hid them in my closet. When I was eight, my friends and I bullied the same two classmates every recess. When I was ten, I wrote a fake note from my friend’s crush in order to humiliate him.

Why did I do those cruel things? Because I could. Because it made me feel powerful. Because I had no empathy for other people.

Eventually, I grew up from an immoral child into a somewhat decent adult. I credit a lot of my moral development to The Legend of Zelda series, in particular Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Taken together, they showcase the development of ethics in a young boy. Continue reading The Legend of Zelda: A Guide to Being Good