Most owners of forgotten personal blogs nowadays might say they just write in Facebook or Twitter instead, but that excuse does me no good. I never posted anything at all to Facebook, and while I did use Twitter a lot in the recent past, lately my profile rarely sees more than one post a day. What happened is I just lost the will to share personal thoughts. It seems I became as much of an introvert online as I am offline.

Anyway, this is what happened:

January 29th – “In any bureaucracy, paper work increases as you spend more and more time reporting on the less and less you are doing.”
The unknown author of this quote obviously meant it to be used in a much larger scale, but the idea of bureaucracy fitted nicely into what was happening to this site at the time. What little I did write was so padded with “I have been absent because” that actual content disappeared.

February 19th – “You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged.”
That is actually from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, which I did not read, so I have no idea what it originally referred to. This post talks about how a friend once “classified” me because one afternoon, when doing some schoolwork at her house, she had a debilitating headache and I suggested she took some aspirin. “You allopaths take medicine for everything…”, she said, and proceeded to explain that she was an homeopath and refused to take medicines that were contrary to her belief. I had seen people judged based on color, gender, sexual orientation, income, nationality, team they support, neighborhood they live in – but being judged for taking aspirin was a first, and a shock. Her headache, paired with the very awkward situation that arose from this scene, prevented any work from being done that afternoon, and the friendship died down after that.

March 31st – “If it sounds unpleasant to you, put your mind at ease, insect. You will not survive to see my new world order.”
A line from System Shock 2’s SHODAN, the grandmother of GLaDOS and one of my favorite characters in any game I have ever played. This was just a personal post of no consequence, written to fulfill the monthly quota. A strange wave of fondness for scary games was happening around me, and people were jokingly mocking me for not playing this or that Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, Dead Space or whatever. So this was a hipsteresque post to say “n00bs, I was facing Cthulhu in games before you even knew who Bowser was”.

April 30th – “You know, I used to think it was benign neglect, but now I see that you are intentionally screwing me.”
A quote from what “Avatar” is most remembered for nowadays. In order: Ultima games, animated chatrooms like Worlds Away (predecessor to Second Life), Last Airbender, IM pictures, James Cameron movie. A house across the street was sold, people who bought it demolished it and built a couple of ridiculous tiny “things” in its place, which they hoped to sell for a fortune each. In the process, they had to cut down a big tree that had been in that sidewalk for decades (thus the quote from a movie that is essentially about cutting a tree, see?). The two “things” are still for sale, and I am sure the tree’s spirit will only be able to rest in peace once the damned things are tore down themselves.

And this is what happened in a parallel universe (not the one where everyone is evil, though):

May 27th – “Isn’t this beautiful, nestled all nice and cozy right up against the mountain?” “Yeah, just like Pompeii.”
“Dante’s Peak”, that movie people confuse with “Volcano” because they are pretty much the same and came out at the same time during a period where natural and unnatural disasters were the norm for Hollywood. Comments about this post were heated, but I stand by my opinion – “I have no other option” is an easy way out, an excuse to not try. But I said enough about the subject on two posts already; I will not do it again.

June 8th – “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving isn’t for you.”
The quote is the original version of an old tagline from the Blue Wave days. This post is my second take on the subject that generated the heated debate in the post before. As I said, I will not touch it again.

June 30th – “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”
More of an inside joke than a post, which is why it features another old tagline. This is one of those multi-subject posts, featuring a quick overlook at the situation caused by the two previous posts (the situation, not the subject), from a more distant perspective; some comments on how the Soviets “erased” people from history; and, since it came from a Blue Wave tagline, some quick musings on how that BBS era is poorly documented (the Wikipedia page for “Blue Wave” still has no mention of “Cutting Edge Computing”).

July 29th – “Yeah, well, welcome to New York.” “Thank you.”
From “Enchanted” itself, I just wanted a cute quote from what I was writing about.

August 2nd – “Pikachu! Thundershock!”
Pokemon, obviously! For a post about translation and dubbing, and English pronunciation thrown in the mix, I had to have a very iconic line. My other choice was “chibiko, chibiko, chibiko, chibiko, chibiko, chibiko, chibiko…” from the video I linked to, but that would be cheating.

August 31st – “Your generosity is overwhelming. Really, we can’t accept anymore.”
In “Uncharted Waters: New Horizons”, this is what you hear if you try to invest more than 50,000 gold in a shipyard or marketplace in the same month. I figured I should use a quote from the game, and since I talk about how complete it is, that seemed more than fitting. This kind of post is very unpopular, though…

September 29th – “Be excellent to each other. And… PARTY ON, DUDES!”
From “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. It is news to no one that I rarely watch TV series. The (then) recent controversy around Charlie Sheen and “Two and a Half Man”, however, made me curious, so I picked up a few key episodes of select series in hope my opinion could be changed – after all, it is not easy or fun being the one going “Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t watch it” all the time. That was a waste of time, sadly, but since I was already watching old stuff anyway, I dove into old comedy movies. At the end, this post is what came out of it: watch what you like, enjoy it, I will watch (or read, or play) and enjoy what I like, and we all party on, just as Abraham Lincoln said.

October 24th – “Why look at the computer when you can look at the real thing?”
This is from “Dante’s Peak” again. When I was looking for the other one, I saw this and it just kept bouncing around in my head until I found a chance to use it. Pretty self-explanatory, no? Which is why the post has no photos – just go look at the real thing. (Also, I believe this is the second time I use the same source for two quotes in the same year. The first was probably Loom. And I doubt I even watched the whole movie.)

November 28th – “Jan! Ken! Pon!”
This requires no explanation, and the post itself already mentions the origin (“Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle”). It actually began as a “in the good old days” post, but in the middle of writing I figured both ages have good points (but the old one still wins).

December 7th – “Grass green, I hate that color.”
I had to have at least one quote from Loom this year, no? I rarely write about current news, but thought it would be better to summarize all I think, even if just to set in order my own thoughts about the whole forest and dam thing. The quote, obviously, had to have “green” in it.

Good luck in 2012!

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Moro em um bairro com muitas árvores. Sei que há bairros com mais árvores, com árvores frutíferas, etc, mas esse em que moro tem bastante. A maioria é aquela árvore que não dá nada, só folhinha pequena que faz uma sujeira do cão e dá um trabalho terrível pra varrer. Seja como for, tem bastante árvore.

Freqüentemente isso se torna um problema. As árvores chegam aos fios e ameaçam rompê-los; suas raízes se espalham, crescem demais e quebram calçadas e muros. O problema mais sério, claro, é cupim, que em algumas quadras tomou todas as árvores: eles se espalham pelas raízes e, mutantes que são, quando a árvore já não os satisfaz, atacam as fundações das casas, o próprio concreto. Só em Star Trek vi algo parecido.

Todos os males, no entanto, não impossibilitam a convivência com as árvores. Quem loteou o bairro o fez de forma inteligente: a maioria das casas tem, na frente, de um lado o portão, do outro, uma árvore na calçada. Uma rua inteira assim fica muito bonita, e isso contribui, obviamente, com a permeabilidade do solo, ou seja, deixa um espaço de terra, sem cobertura de concreto, por onde a água da chuva pode ir embora pacificamente, sem depender de bueiros. Muitas casas do bairro têm também jardins, o que melhora ainda mais a permeabilidade.

Mas nem tudo corre tão bem. Quando os galhos ameaçam fios elétricos, ou mesmo os alcançam, não se pode simplesmente podá-los. É necessário pedir para a prefeitura enviar uma equipe especializada. Tudo bem, os fios são perigosos. Entretanto, quando os galhos ameaçam qualquer outra coisa, como o telhado da própria casa, também é necessário chamar a prefeitura. Nem é permitido ao morador podar a árvore por si só, mesmo que ela esteja prestes (em termos arbóreos) a abrir um teto solar na sala.

A coisa é ainda pior quando a árvore precisa ser removida completamente, como no caso de infestação por cupins. O morador não pode fazer nada com a árvore, por mais condenada que esteja. Tudo bem, questão de segurança. Mas se está condenada, é porque há risco de cair na próxima tempestade e aí, sim, sem a menor dúvida, causar no mínimo um transtorno, com sorte apenas perdas materiais, e possivelmente uma vítima fatal. A árvore de um vizinho foi declarada condenada um tempo atrás, e ele pediu que fosse removida. A equipe da prefeitura veio mais de dois anos depois.

E, claro, remover a árvore por capricho, jamais. Uma árvore no seu quintal, não condenada, no que depender da prefeitura, permanecerá no seu quintal para sempre. Há aqui na região um tipo de coqueiro que dá uns coquinhos amarelos bem pequenos. São árvores enormes, de folhas enormes. Quando uma folha daquelas cai, no fim de seu ciclo natural, tem potencial assassino similar ao de uma jaca. Os coquinhos no chão vez ou outra criam cenas dignas de Sessão da Tarde: redondos, durinhos, quase bolas de gude naturais, forrando o chão, à espera de que alguém os pise com um pouco menos de atenção, abra um espacate e se estabaque no chão. Antes de cair, os coquinhos atraem umas borboletas laranjas meio sem graça que dão origem às terríveis e nojentas lagartas laranjas e pretas que devoram qualquer outra planta que estiver por perto. Um coqueiro desses em casa é um inconveniente tremendo, um perigo constante – mas lá ele ficará até que caia por si só. A prefeitura não o corta e não permite que o morador o corte.

Aí eventualmente uma casa da região é colocada à venda. Pouca gente hoje em dia tem interesse numa casa grande, com jardim, quintal. Poucos têm dinheiro pra uma, muitos preferem apartamentos menores (muitas vezes mais caros), segurança, bláblá. Uma incorporadora qualquer compra a casa e, entropia institucionalizada que são, coloca-a abaixo. Se não podem fazer um prédio no lugar, fazem algo ainda mais idiota: dividem o terreno no meio.

É isso o que aconteceu aqui perto, já duas vezes. Uma casa bonita, com garagem, quintal, jardim, é posta abaixo pra virar duas raias olímpicas: menos de cinco metros de frente, uns trinta de comprimento. Não cabe uma casa que presta nesse espaço. Fazem dois sobradinhos colados. Sinta-se num apartamento, escute tudo o que o vizinho faz no quarto ao lado! Não têm jardim, não têm quintal – não tem um metro quadrado que não seja concretado, ladrilhado. Na garagem cabe um carro, se não for muito grande. Se duas pessoas da casa querem ter poder de ir e vir mecânica e independentemente, é bom que compre uma moto, pra ficar no cantinho, ou um Smart, pra ficar na rua sem atrapalhar o portão do vizinho.

Mas o pior de tudo… O terreno com a casa bonita com jardim e árvore do lado vira dois muquifos e, veja só, um tem uma árvore na frente! A prefeitura resolve em questão de dias – afinal, o morador precisa ter direito de entrar de carro em sua própria casa, e aquela árvore não tinha nada que estar ali quieta há setenta anos! Basta que o construtor se comprometa a plantar outra árvore em algum outro lugar qualquer, e tudo certo.

Uma praça qualquer num lugar remoto ganha um galho enfiado na terra, um tronquinho de menos de cinco centímetros de circunferência, com uma grade ao redor, com o nome da empresa. Maior parte dessas arvorezinhas raquíticas não vira nada – morre, é arrancada, derrubada, não se adapta à terra. E mesmo que sobrevivam, e daí? São arvorezinhas raquíticas que precisarão de décadas pra ter relevância, e isso em alguma praça remota e irrelevante por si só. Enquanto isso, o bairro em que moro perdeu uma árvore que provavelmente precedia a Segunda Guerra, os pássaros perderam mais um lugar pra fazer ninho, alguém perdeu a sombra do fim da tarde. Tudo porque fizeram um maldito cortiço de oito cúbitos de frente onde havia uma árvore!

Proteção ambiental, patrimônio, impermeabilização do solo, necas, dane-se. Quando a casa enche d’água, culpa da prefeitura, que não limpou os bueiros. A culpa é, em parte, da prefeitura, sim, mas não pelos bueiros. É por permitir que um terreno seja dividido pra uma metragem tão ridícula e descabida e que uma árvore seja derrubada por isso.

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I am not a fan of scary games and movies. I do not see the appeal in being scared, derive no fun from any hypothetical adrenaline rush, and hate looking over my shoulder and turning on all the lights in the house at night because the most primitive part of my brain insists there is “something” in the darkness. The only reason I can think of for anyone to enjoy this is some form of masochism.

I have had more contact with scary games than movies, perhaps because there is more to a game than just the story. A scary movie may have a good story and be interesting because of that; a scary game may have a good story, fun mechanics, compelling system, rewarding exploration, etc… and be interesting because of all that. In my opinion, the game has more going for it.

And that is why I played System Shock 2 so much (but not nearly enough). I liked the story, liked the enemies, the weapons I had access to  and the leveling and upgrading system. I liked the ship’s design and the vending machines that said “Please make a selection”, and the voice of the doctor and then SHODAN talking to me. On the other hand, this game gave me a silly fear of monkeys (specifically, of monkey-like noises in the distance – or at a low volume on TV) and I keep quotes like “Little ones need lots of care”, “Your flesh betrays you” and “Hurry! Run!” in an unexpectedly warm spot in my heart.

Unfortunately, System Shock 2, which I often see cited as the scariest game ever made, saw me going no further than its first few levels. I gave up shortly before leaving the first ship. I was very interested in the story and having a lot of fun, but there were just more monkeys in the distance than I could handle. It stopped being fun. Granted, I am a terrible FPS player and had made some awful choices in my character, which probably contributed greatly to my decision to stop playing – I am sure the monkeys would seem less scary if I had rifles and grenade launchers instead of a pistol and minor pyrokinesis. Much like it happens in Resident Evil 4 and 5. I recently came across mods that are supposed to improve System Shock 2, so I might play again eventually. I intend to, in fact – it just is not a gaming priority (and gaming itself is not a priority lately… growing up is not nearly as fun as I was told).

In any case, I should mention the scary game by definition, Silent Hill. Although I only played the first one, and only about one fifth of it, really, I really like the mythology behind the series, and I can see how nearly everything in that first game was built around scaring the player: the difficulty in finding and using weapons, the foreboding radio static, the awkward camera angles. And one thing that is mentioned often but deserves it just the same is how a shortcoming of the system was used in favor of the game – the processor could not handle drawing further than a few meters, so they filled everything with fog. That in itself nearly defined the series, and was a brilliant solution.

But one thing I find very funny when discussing scary games is how I am generally held as someone averse to them, when in fact I was there long before most people even knew “scary” was a genre. Resident Evil and Silent Hill get all the praise, but I was in Derceto looking for Jeremy Hartwood’s suicide letter (and then looking for a way out of Derceto) in Alone in the Dark years before Racoon City and Umbrella were conceived. And, heck, I finished it, but the ghost in the armchair scares me to this day. I always look suspiciously at any empty armchair, expecting a translucent polygonal figure to stand up from it, make the ground shake and chase me to the end of the world and back. I suppose it is the price I pay for wanting to see how the story ended. And I believe it could be made into a great movie. Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood fighting their way out of the mansion, with camera angles similar to the game’s originals, and eventual flashbacks of Jeremy Hartwood fighting whatever had taken over the mansion – for the ultimate bonus, these flashbacks could use the original narration from his letters in the game.

Speaking of which, the voiced books in Alone in the Dark taught me how to say “Cthulhu”. “Kathoolu.” It differs from how most people say it (something like “Kuhtuloo”), but I think it just sounds better that way. Which reminds me: Call of Cthulhu and Dark Seed both had issues and refused to run on my computer at the time (coincidence?). I remember Shadow of the Comet, another game based on that mythology, ran fine, and I believe I finished it, but I recall nothing of the story. I suppose point’n'click adventure games are simply not scary enough to be traumatic.

More recently, I have been stuck in the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3, and one event deserves mentioning. One of the vaults I (“my character”, actually, but you know what I mean) explored had been used for testing airborne hallucinogens. The first few scenes involving that were completely lost to me: the screen turns pinkish and, supposedly, “things” appear and start happening, but when my screen turned pinkish I just thought it was a graphical glitch and stepped back out of the room, which cancelled the scenes…

One scene, however, does not occur right when entering the room, so I could not cancel it by accident, and I was entirely unprepared for it, as I had not seen any before. I was in the middle of a room, the screen turned pinkish and old friends from my original vault came rushing to attack me. From the player’s third-person perspective, the rational point of view, my game not only was having a graphical glitch, it was so bugged it was spawning random characters near me and they were turning hostile for no reason. From my point of view in first person, as the character, I was alone in a nightmarish place where hundreds of people had died, no one was coming to help me, my sight suddenly was messed up and ghosts had appeared and were attacking me. It was funny how the first-person interpretation prevailed. I stepped backwards in a hurry all the way to a corner, bumped into crates and shelves (and surely would have tripped over if the game’s engine was advanced enough), and unloaded all my weapon’s ammo in the general direction of those ghosts (and did it manually, instead of using the VATS aiming system, with which I would not miss), and kept clicking even with no bullets left. It was a rather cinematic scene, I am sure. Then the “glitch” disappeared, I realized it was only part of the game, and noticed what had just happened, what I had done, and found it quite amazing. I disliked the experience, the moment of despair, but seeing how something like that may happen was very interesting.

I suppose this kind of moment is what fans of scary games are after. I will keep playing with lights on, for the story and the fun.

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Uma vez fui fazer um trabalho de escola na casa de uma amiga. Não lembro do que era, mas lembro de montes de papéis espalhados pela mesa, e nós tentávamos colocá-los em ordem para reescrever todo o texto. Provavelmente um daqueles trabalhos em grupo em que alguém fica encarregado de “juntar tudo no fim” e acaba tendo que fazer a coisa toda.

Mas isso não estava rendendo. E não era por nenhuma razão interessante (tenho certeza que já imaginaram alguma). Não, o texto não saía do lugar porque essa amiga mal abria os olhos, mantinha a cabeça abaixada a maior parte do tempo, e não conseguia concatenar mais do que duas ou três frases de cada vez. Condensar dúzias de páginas em algo apresentável estava fora de questão.

Eventualmente perguntei o que estava errado, meio receoso de que ela dissesse ser resultado de garrafas viradas na noite anterior, ou um começo de gripe forte, ou uma noite passada em claro por um problema mais sério qualquer – essas coisas que não têm solução rápida. Precisávamos fazer o trabalho naquela hora, não podia esperar que ela tivesse uma boa noite de sono ou se curasse de uma gripe ou qualquer outra coisa que leva tempo demais.

Fiquei bastante aliviado, no entanto, quando ela disse que era “uma dor de cabeça muito forte”. “Ora”, pensei, “isso não é novidade, há dezenas de remédios pra isso, o caso se resolve, terminamos o trabalho e ela vai dormir pra deixar o corpo fazer a parte dele”.

“Tome algum remédio, então. Não tem razão pra ficar aí agüentando uma dor tão forte.”

Essa frase era absolutamente básica pra mim. Tive a sorte de não herdar esses genes, mas tenho inúmeros parentes que têm dor de cabeça com certa freqüência. Mas basta um analgésico e temos novamente um membro produtivo da sociedade, ao menos por algumas horas. Dizer “tome um remédio” quando alguém se queixava de dor de cabeça era, pra mim, pouco mais do que uma formalidade, um “vá fazer o que tem que fazer, eu espero aqui”.

“Vocês, alopatas, tomam remédio pra tudo…”

Jamais imaginaria uma resposta dessas. Não só ela se recusava a resolver o problema – que estava claramente impedindo o avanço do trabalho, e tornando minha presença ali não só inútil, mas um incômodo pra ambos -, ela nos separou em grupos opostos e qualificou o meu lado como “errado”.

Eu nem sabia o que era um alopata. Claro, deduzir foi questão de segundos: eu sabia o que era homeopatia, tive colegas anos antes que tomavam “bolinhas”; dada a situação, devia ser o remédio não-bolinha. Mas mesmo esses colegas jamais se recusavam a tomar um remédio de verdade quando necessário.

Dessa vez, era diferente. Era alguém que se colocava radicalmente contra algo que todos ao meu redor sempre tiveram como normal. Mas, pra ela, isso era errado. Todos ao meu redor estavam errados. Eram “alopatas” que “tomavam remédio pra tudo”. Como se eu tivesse oferecido um anti-depressivo pra ela se animar, ou outra coisa pra melhorar a concentração. “Aqui, toma essa Ritalina pra gente terminar isso logo.” Nada, eu sugeri que tomasse um analgésico pra não ficar sofrendo! Mas não. Eu era um alopata – palavra formada com o sufixo ~pata, o mesmo usado em sociopata, psicopata, etc, que designa “doente”. Mas eu estava perfeitamente bem, enquanto ela nem conseguia manter os olhos abertos.

Não lembro o que aconteceu em seguida. Esse foi um daqueles poucos momentos em minha vida que são tão chocantes, que o cérebro coloca toda a energia disponível em entender a situação, e não sobra nada pra armazenar o que está havendo ao redor. Mas lembro que, por volta de meia-hora depois disso, aceitamos que era perda de tempo e eu fui embora, o trabalho ficaria pra depois.

(A amizade já vinha cambaleante, uns meses depois cada um foi pra um grupinho diferente e a interação passou a se limitar a “bom dia”. Não sei dizer quanto impacto teve esse evento nisso, acredito que era inevitável. E isso não é importante aqui.)

Foi a primeira vez que fui classificado como parte de um grupo antagônico e “errado” por algo que me era completamente natural. Sei que todo preconceito é assim, que as pessoas vivem isso o tempo todo, que eu devia estar feliz por só ter sofrido apenas esse evento, etc. Não vem ao caso. O que me impressionou foi isso surgir de um remédio pra dor de cabeça – o que continua sendo perfeitamente natural pra mim. Me pergunto se ainda hoje, quando ela tem dor de cabeça, continua só conseguindo ficar de olhos fechados.

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This was supposed to be written at the beginning of the month, not the end. As has been unfortunately common lately, time is short. I will make it quick.

So, for 2010…

January 1st – “What is going to happen?” “Something wonderful.”
From the movie “2010″, the sequel to “2001, a Space Odyssey”. I just wanted a quote from the movie, to fit with the year. On that topic, frustrating how 2001 came, and nothing, then 2010 came, and nothing… No flying cars, space tourism, nothing. “Something wonderful” so far is HDTV, I guess.

February 28th – “Sympathy one receives for nothing, envy must be earned.”
Quote by Robert Lembke, German journalist. I was terribly irritated by bumper stickers I had been seeing frequently that said “Don’t envy me, work.” and variations of that, often with creative spacing and punctuation, “Don’t envy me…work!!!”. Why would I envy someone with so poor writing skills and so big an ego that he believes anyone else in the street would envy him? Even a make-believe ivory tower must be earned.

March 31st – “I’ve been in some strange worlds, strange customs. Perhaps this is considered torture here”
From Star Trek, the original series, episode “Bread and Circuses”. Another thing that had been bothering me was people being “proud” of the achievements reached by the soccer teams they support. What is there to be proud of in something you merely watch, most often on TV? But the whole post is based around a song from the anime “Shoujo Kakumei Utena” and actual bread. In fact, I was told I should not had mentioned soccer at all, since I had made it so obvious. That has put me forever in doubt if I did the right thing.

April 30th – “I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.”
American screenwriter Michael Kanin said that, and I wish I could say I share the point of view, but I never really wrote anything of note. I will probably love having done it, after I do it, if I ever do it, but the act of writing is not all that fun to me in itself. In any case, the post is a quick discussion of things I remember writing, most for school, when I used to impress everyone because I could write stories that used both sides of the paper. In response to one of these stories I mentioned having written, Flines commented “You created detective Monk!”. Come to think of it, maybe I did.

May 31st – “That was the weak part. Now you are stronger.”
Some complaints about the natural human inability. We have no chi, ki, chakra, cosmo, soma or youki that we can use to create fire, throw energy balls, resist damage, save the world. Humans only have very limited power that takes years to gain, or comes from technology, or is granted by society. This makes some aspects of life rather uninteresting, and is why we turn to fantasy. And the quote is from 4chan, said in response to someone who said “Part of me died inside when I saw that.”. But I have no idea what “that” was that he saw and killed part of him.

June 7th – “Is there any in this rout with authority to treat with me?”
From “LOTR: The Return of the King”, either the book or the extended version of the movie, said by The Mouth of Sauron (that is a character’s name, not the actual mouth of Sauron) when he addresses the rout led by Aragorn that came knocking on the Black Gate to distract everyone in Mordor while Frodo rushed to Mount Doom. The arrogance seemed so fitting, and the character was mentioned in the post.

July 31st – “No time to chat, the day is fading!”
I was extremely busy then and had no time for a proper post. And I wanted to use that “from my iMsorry” line somewhere. The line is said by a talking mouse (or a mole, or some other hole-dwelling critter) in the first chapter of “King’s Quest 7: The Princeless Bride”. “No time to chat, the day is fading! Come, Valanice, let’s do some trading.”. I think the rabbit had stolen the mouse’s glasses, so he could do little other than appear at his front door, touch objects Valanice presented, and say if he would trade for anything he had – and the thing he wanted, of course, were his glasses, as soon as possible.

August 31st – “Paris is well worth a mass.”
Supposedly said by King Henry IV of France when he converted to Catholicism. I just wanted a line that mentioned Paris to talk about the time I spent there. And although that was the second thing that came to mind, “We will always have Paris” sounded far too pretentious.

September 30th – “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
By Martin Luther King, Jr. (It must be terrible to be a “, Junior”. Not only it states in your name that your parents really just wanted a smaller version of the adult one, not a new person, it also gives your name punctuation.) In this post, I talk about how I like working with manga and find it absurd that some people may see it as “just a way to pay the bills”. It is something I love, and it makes me very happy to make money (even if not much) from something I love, so I always do my best. I refuse to apologize for extracting fun from what pays me; people who hate their jobs should quit, not share their misery, not do it halfheartedly.

October 31st – “There are four lights!”
Captain Picard says that in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s episode “Chain of Command”, part 2, in a reference to George Orwell’s “1984″, in a torture scene where… You all probably already know this, and the post has nothing to do with that. It is about traffic lights and how signs saying something like “Wait for the green three phases light” confused me for years before I learned it should have a comma after “green”.

November 30th – “There were no ill-stars during the days or nights of Hy-brasyl.”
From the beginning of “Seanchas Temuair”, that text that introduced the history of Dark Ages. I thought it would be fun to write (or rather, to have written – but it was fun to write, I admit) an alternative version of Dark Ages’ history, more fitting to our non-magic reality. And I never liked Danaan much.

December 31st – “There ain’t nothin’ over ’til it’s over.”
Rocky Balboa says that sometime, I forgot when. In all honesty, I forgot why I used it. Perhaps something to do with the end of the year, how it would not “feel” over until all the pending things were resolved, and how it just did not seem like an year’s end. No Christmas spirit, either. It was a bit sad, and I wish 2010 could have gone on a little longer, maybe it would feel more like a proper year’s end.

And that was that. One post per month. I should improve that, I know, but imagine how troublesome it would be to pick the quotes and then write this one post explaining all of them after each year!

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