Saturday, September 27, 2014

Life update? Does that even exist anymore?

So it's been some time. Yes, I know, that's what I always say. But well... there's been so much going on., it's becoming a cliché, isn't it. That's what I've been saying for the last two years. This is just another of those moments where I stop for a second to write something.

Oh brother, it's been chaos. I just came home from answering a difficult exam from a difficult subject... talking about school, obviously. My life's been consumed by school and work issues.

Yeah, that's right, work issues. This semester I applied for a job and I was hired. But then they fired me, like two weeks ago, and I haven't applied for another job since then. Long story short, they canceled the divison or 'campaign' I was working for, so everyone was suddenly unemployed, including me of course.
Well... I still need to get a job. I plan on doing that, earning money and start living by myself; if possible, move out before this year ends. It's not easy, I know, but the way I look at things, that's something I must do, because of many life situations I'm living right now. It might be a bit too ambitious but I know I can do it.

So... yes, I know. It's going to be a disaster, a massacre, and hell, all at the same time (although that might be exaggerating a little...), so no time for games. Besides everything else, various friends have also kept me away from my computer because they have social reunions and whatnot. It's not like they're forcing me, I like to hang around with them; after all, it's a nice way to enjoy my free time, but... yeah.

I miss mapping so much.

Lately, I haven't had much time to spend in osu!, although I have logged in a few times to play a bit of mania. Nothing competitive though, just to relax a little. So I haven't mapped a single thing since... several months. Then yet, even though there are infinite songs I could map, lately I've been feeling like... all the other songs are just average. Not Vietnam, not Rap God, no 808 Track (which are my most recent favorite maps by me), everything else is average, and I'm not going to surpass them. But I do have some pieces I've been working on and would like to release. I guess it's normal to feel like you want to keep improving more and more, but I know every map and song are unique in their own way, so I'll keep working on them... whenever I have time.
It's not like I've forgotten how to map, or lost the inspiration; we all know that's never going to happen. But you see, working while studying engineering is heavy enough; add to that several social activities plus many life issues, and you have what I've been doing for the last three months. Yay.

It's not like I'm complaining. Sure, it's heavy to carry along all those things, so I can't consider any online presence right now, but everything I'm doing is to build something better in the future. And living alone is going to be so awesome. Not easy, but awesome. ('Alone' is a relative term; I'm probably going to share with someone else).

Man, I hadn't realized I missed writing here so much. These minutes were worth my time. I'm not exactly sure of what I just wrote, but let's just publish it like this and roll along.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Religion. One of the topics most people clash in. Always up to debate and discrimination. One of the topics where there's no right or wrong, it's completely up to what you believe; everyone will say what they believe is correct, so by definition no one is correct. One of the topics people sometimes don't like to talk about because of all the different ideas that might arise.
Well, my intention is not to flame or rant (unlike my other posts), I just want to mention the position I stand in. I will always respect all different ideas and opinions other people hold, religion included.

I live with a religious christian mother. Because of that, the topic has been of importance to me, my entire life... but I didn't turn out as religious as her.
When I was a kid, my mom, of course, took me to church regularly. At first, when I was around 5, I was completely fine with it, like... I understood what it meant to be a church-goer, good kid everyone will compliment. But when I discovered videogames (or well, when I really focused on more things), at around age 9, I started to dislike going to church, because I considered it a waste of time. What that means... even though I had gone so many times to church, nothing really got into me. I wasn't a christian at heart, so it was very easy to discard that activity. Yet, my mother never really respected my opinion, and kept forcing me to attend biblical summer school and things like that. Up to today, my mom still mentions to me every day that I need to attend church regularly. I understand she only wants the best for me, but she shouldn't push so much for something that every person has the right to choose. I haven't attended church since a long time, and that, today, sits completely fine with me.

So what does that make me? What do I truly believe in? Well, it's not like I hate religion. Christianity, in particular, has been the one religion I've found to have most sense of all, and the one I'd definitely get in if I ever wanted to. But if I had to mention my religion, I guess it'd be most appropriate to say I'm an agnostic atheist, or something along those lines. I believe in God, but don't wish to follow any kind of religion or church.

I do believe in God. It just makes sense, doesn't it? How everything, from the beginning of earth until each one of our lives, has turned out... it's far too perfect to have been a coincidence. Perhaps it's the church I don't believe in... because I often feel like each church has its own rules and customs, and teaches what it wants to teach, not what the religion really is about. It's just a weird sensation I have, just a gut feeling; I don't really have any evidence to support my claims, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable every time I attend church now. Considering and comparing what each different church has to offer, feels to me like a very complex and time-consuming task, that shouldn't even be there.

Among the other reasons I have for not going to church, what I want to be the least is a poser. I don't want to be a hypocrite, in any situation, ever. I want to be myself, and I want people to meet me for what I am. That's the main reason I don't attend to church - I don't think I can call myself a "christian", with my low level of compromise with the church.
Besides, I like to have an open mind. Religion will, by definition, limit itself to its own beliefs, which of course clash with others. I don't like that; I want to listen and consider every possibility before I conclude something, every time open to new ideas. For example, let's say someone discovers that Adam and Eve were actually chimpanzees; that's a crazy new idea that explains the beginning of times, both for christians and scientists, yet I'm sure christianity would reject the idea right away. I'm not saying I'll believe without thinking twice that it was really that way, but I want to at least consider the proposition before I reject it.

The way I see it, I feel like God has given everyone proper judgement to do as they see fit. It's up to each and every one of us to follow what we have to follow, do what we want to do, feel what we want to feel. Regardless if it's right or wrong - you choose how you want to live your life. I will do my part, and give you all the respect you deserve. For now, I haven't felt a strong urge to become a follower of christianity, so it's my decision to stay this way, which should be okay for everyone.

In any case, I don't need to feel afraid of going to hell to make good deeds, or to be a good person. I think if you have "going to heaven" as a reason of going to church every week, it's a selfish reason. You need to really get into it, believe in what God tells you and obey every single thing he tells you, not just do it to save your own ass when you die.
I don't need to consider stuff like drugs, violence, or porn as a sin to avoid doing them; I just need to know the adverse effects each one of these things have. It's not that I'm afraid of committing a sin by doing drugs, it's just that I don't want my brain to deteriorate. And, in the same manner, I don't need to consider that doing good things is going to let me in heaven, I just need to really care about what's happening in the moment right then and there. I'm not being generous so God considers me a good person, I'm doing it because I really care about people. If I give someone food, it's not because I want to be called a christian, it's because I care that he's hungry and don't want him to be. These reasons are good enough for me.

Living by your own terms is the best gift God's given to us. I feel very grateful!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My debt to society

It's curious. I've noticed something particular within my personality when it comes to life goals. A tendency that's been there since I was a little kid, and something that's without a doubt defined the path I chose at many points in my life. The sensation, the feeling of debt has always been present for me. Not debt like... I'm stingy with money, or like, I feel everyone owes me something, but rather the opposite. I have always felt indebted to society, even when I was a little kid.

Just to say examples, when I was in primary school... around 3rd grade I think, I had always thought having all those books to read and learn things from them was so nice. I felt grateful, and wished to repay it in some way, so at one point I thought of a way of making a small contribution: that is, underlining every grammar mistake I found, and then communicating those in some way to the manufacturer so they could fix it. Of course, I was just a small kid, and even though I had lots of words underlined, that never really went anywhere.

Later on, when I found out about Lunar Magic and Super Mario World hacks, I was very impressed. I thought it was amazing, how easily you can modify the game using the tools provided. I tried to create several hacks... of course, you tell me if a kid in junior high will be able to design levels correctly. I had so much fun doing it, it kept me busy for way too many hours, I eventually developed the same sensation of debt towards the whole community; what I wanted to do then was not create hacks, but help other people. For a short time I started to post on forums and tried to really get in the community... but well, I didn't get far until my motivation wore out. I wanted to do so many things, I even tried to learn assembly, so I could develop patches for other people to use, but of course, not everyone can do that.

You see what I mean? This kind of thing just kept happening over and over, though each time it didn't get very far. Back when I had a Playstation and had to burn CDs, I downloaded all ISOs from SnesORama, and since all of them were user-contributed, I wanted to do my part and add mirrors. For some time I wanted to enter the GDAMania community and help people create DTX files. For some other time, I found out about TV show and anime sites where you can stream episodes for free, and I wanted to help by uploading extra mirrors where needed.

It then happened yet again with osu!. I started mapping because I loved all the Ouendan games, and I thought having the capability to do your favorite songs in osu! style was the most amazing thing ever. As I started to understand what ranking involved, I realized it wasn't easy; it involves a lot of checking, from many different modders, and many different BATs. In other words, a lot of people had to help me, and when I finally got my first map ranked and started mapping more things, I started to mod beatmaps by my own will. I wanted to do the same thing other people had done with me, I wanted to help and repay my debt. And this time I really did get far, so much I managed to reach BAT status. Unfortunately, as I couldn't keep up with the community (mainly due to time constraints and lack of motivation), I decided to graduate and become alumni.

You can see there is an obvious tendency going on here. As this is something that's been there since I was little, it's not something that I meditated on and chose to do as the wisest thing to do. It's just something I did without thinking, because I wanted to do. Not because I felt guilty or felt remorse; just because I wanted to. You can say, then, that the same feeling is still present in me today, but of course, the scope is not the same.

Now that I can think as an adult, I often think of the objectives in my life, and things like that; you know, deeper and more important things. Yet the purpose of life for me goes back to those instinctive feelings: helping the community and repaying back everything society's given to me. What I want to do in my life, is contribute to society something unique only I can create. Enjoying life is my goal, contribute to society is my purpose.

I think of what everything will be like in the future, and what I wish to do then. Since I've always enjoyed electronics, and find so impressive the way they work, one of my dreams is to create my very own invention, something that will give step to greater and better things in the future. I'm a student of engineering, so I'm giving my all to understand every little subject that can be of use to me for this.
That kind of dream has been in my mind since I was little, but it's still going strong. Perhaps, to not be so naïve, even if it's just the smallest contribution to some project in some team, I want to be part of the difference. I don't want to blow my whole life working in sales, forgetting about everything I learned about in college; I want to be something more.

In truth, I speak about electronics and inventions, but anything I enjoy and I can contribute to would be excellent, too. For example, I don't think working for education, whether that's in book manufacturing or teaching, is a bad idea, because I appreciate knowledge so much, and would like to help other people on their studies, too. I enjoy videogames; if one day I helped develop a new console, or even design a single game, I'd be happy, because I want other people to keep enjoying games.

Of course though... not absolutely everything I can work as I'd enjoy. I'm about to get a job as telemarketer, client service for AT&T, and since I barely use the phone for personal things, I don't feel like I'm paying my debt to anyone. But I need the money. Yet, I feel the lack of this feeling of debt is going to have great impact in my productivity.
For example, working as a bus driver wouldn't be enjoyable either, because the buses in this town are pretty ugly, and drivers often are jerks. Sure, I want as much as anyone for them to be pretty and work correctly, that's why I do my best to not throw garbage and keep things clean, but as the buses have sometimes left me unsatisfied, it's not something I feel like I need to repay.

Is it weird that I just spent that amount of time writing this? Well, what's done is done.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Beatmap Design: such a huge thing to keep on going

Hello again, after like three months! I'm sorry for not posting these past days. As usual, my life's been keeping me busy. Well, instead of making this post another apology like the rest, let me just write something that's been on my mind lately.

Very few people know about my other blog, Beatmap Design; and many people know I like mapping. Beatmapping is my passion, and I've been working more than usual to bring new maps to my... other blog, where I host my beatmaps offline. So as you can guess, I really, really like mapping. I've written several posts about theories and... stuff, about how awesome beatmapping is. It makes me look crazy, but I do, and I always will.

So, the idea of writing a book about beatmapping analysis and theories has been around since last year. Sometimes I get motivated to do it, sometimes I feel it's too much, and sometimes I forget about it. It's still standing, really - I haven't given up. But perhaps this is not the most adequate time yet. Even though I have experience beatmapping, I have yet to analyze many more aspects of it before I can make some kind of "scientific report" all about it; besides the fact that I barely reserve any time to write for it. So, for now I decided to just write stuff about it in my blog, until I recollect enough information and build myself up. It's all good and well, except it's exactly the same problem: I barely reserve any time to write for it.

Inspiration comes and goes - you know the deal. It's the same for beatmapping, writing, composing, drawing, etc. Random bits of inspiration may come up to me randomly during the day. Joining together all these bits of inspiration, is how I pictured I could write several posts about beatmapping. And I have written some of them down - I have several drafts in my blog. But what should be the way I go with this thing? Should it be like elaborate, well-explained tutorials... or like a normal blog?

It's always been a problem... and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop anytime soon. I barely reserve time for that. So the second option is starting to look more attractive... think about it. If I just wrote and published these random bits of inspiration... say, once a week, perhaps I'd get something published, which, the way this situation is now, is the most important thing. I wouldn't come up with screenshots, gifs or audio recordings, even though I would like to... but that would allow me to get this stuff out of me, and people would be able to know about it. It's what matters most to me - that people listen. Right now, I feel like I'm the only one in the world that can come up with stuff like this, and I certainly wouldn't like to let it die and vanish into oblivion.

The other thing is... being all independent from the osu! community, acting as a lone wolf on this whole thing. Is that really the right way? I mean, this whole outside-the-box perspective I've been able to build certainly has been very useful to my beatmapping style, but... well, I can't lie, I miss my osu! buddies. At first, I didn't get online much because I found out that chatting online distracted me from actually doing anything in osu!, and I wouldn't end up doing anything in the end, but then... it became kinda like... to avoid any compromise, avoiding questions such as "will you get online more often?" or "will you be able to get your maps ranked?". I, without a doubt, would like to do it, but the thing is that I say yes then I end up disappointing... reminiscent of my BAT days. And I don't like to do that. So I just open osu! as Guest whenever I get the chance, which is pretty randomly.

Hmmm... I really need to get it together. Being productive and such: I need to learn how to do that.