I guess I'll start with music. The biggest news I have in this department is that Troy and I composed the soundtrack to a new iPhone game, called Trenches, that came out over Christmas. This is a legitimate, for-pay project that we worked on - i.e. resume material. This is seriously a good step in the right direction. I now have contacts with a game developer that could potentially mean more professional projects. Also, I now have credits that I can take to any other developer and basically say that I have proof of being able to produce quality music for a professional game. It's a door-opener for sure. It doesn't mean that I'll have developers beating down my door to get me on their project, but it's one more tool toward my primary goal. I'm also in talks with OverClocked ReMix about posting the Trenches EP on their site. They approached me about it and the developer was cool with it, so it's just a matter of getting everything together.
I was interviewed on Nitro Game Injection, where I unveiled my involvement with Trenches, as well as talked shop about music, games, and ReMixing. I've been involved in a lot of ReMixing projects this last year and the trend seems to continue into this year. I was involved with the release of "Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption" - a Final Fantasy IV arrangement album - and "Humans & Gears" - a Xenogears arrangement album. I find myself now on arrangement albums for Seiken Densetsu 3, Lufia 1 & 2, lesser known RPGs, Final Fantasy IX, and the works of game composer Tim Follin. Thankfully, my work on all but the Final Fantasy IX is roughly complete, but this is not counting the numerous invitations to projects that I've been getting lately. I'm feeling a little worn thin. If it weren't for my love of Final Fantasy IX, I probably wouldn't have taken that one on. However, chances are, if someone approaches me with an invitation for a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, or Mega Man 3 project, I might just be willing to commit musical suicide/overdose for that.
Speaking of OverClocked ReMix, I attended one of the largest meetups for the OCR crowd at MAGFest in Alexandria, Virginia on New Years. This was my third year trying and I finally made it out there. It was such a blast and I'm so thankful I got to go. I got to meet people that I've been working with for years on OCR in person and make connections with more OCR folks. The most awesome thing is that OCR people are way cooler and way nicer in person even than they already are over the internet. I almost can't count the number of times I was blessed and helped out during MAGFest by so many different people. It nearly didn't happen again this year, but, thanks to all those people, I was able to have a great time. One of the reasons I was able to go is because I had made plans to visit my mom for Christmas, out in Tennessee. One of the OCR guys going to MAGFest lives in Tennessee and was willing to carpool.
Christmas with Mom was an experience, to say the least. I enjoyed myself and had a great time with my family. There's a bit of a culture shock going in, I think. I wasn't really prepared for how much everyone eats pork down there. I was really craving turkey when I got back. Anyway, I got to meet my new sister - via foster care. She's seventeen. She has some issues that she needs to work through, but she's a good person at heart and I think she's finally in the right place with my mom and Wes. I look forward to seeing what becomes of her.
Financially, I'm still in a pretty hard place. I've been getting positions with Adecco and they've been really looking out for me, but the economy is still rather rough. I'm eagerly awaiting my W2s so I can file my taxes and maybe get a good return. Hopefully, there won't be any silliness that I could do without. Student loan debt still hangs as heavy as ever over my head and some of it comes off deferment fairly soon. I'm not happy about that. I'm hoping to get back on food stamps sometime this week. They expired at the end of November and I had made too much during November to claim benefits. Since I only made unemployment during December, I should be eligible to claim again. I tried to grab an application today, as it was closing, but the security guard wasn't willing to grab one for me - which was roughly three feet away. I'm going to try again tomorrow/today.
I still would like to get into grad school. This is heavily tied into my finances, though. If I'm able to land a job in time to have application fees, I'll try again this year. If not, I'm just going to have to wait longer. It's already too late for any of the December application dates, but places like Ithaca College and few others have later dates. I hope I can land those. The trick is going to be getting the appropriate recommendations, considering how long I've been out of my undergrad. I have a few people I need to get back into contact with.
I'm finding it much difficult to keep friends out of college. I'm thankful for my friends who have remembered me and remained loyal, such as Maria and Jeremy, but I miss knowing and hanging out with a wide variety of friends. Lately, I've come to appreciate my relationship with my brother and Martina a lot more than I unknowingly have in the past. However, his job keeps his really busy almost constantly and I rarely get a chance to hang out with him. I greatly appreciate my online friendships, but typed words can only go so far. MAGFest was great for my online friendships, but I am only likely to see these guys and girls one or twice a year. That doesn't account for all the other days in the year that I'm mostly by myself. I suppose, put plainly, I'm just rather lonely and I feel marginalized most of the time. I've written about this particular feeling on numerous occasions, so I'll leave that there for now.
I am still single. No surprise there. I still wish I weren't, yet I still feel I am unprepared for a girlfriend. I especially feel unprepared financially. It's not so much that I feel like a girlfriend is only going to be concerned about money, but I want to show her that I can contribute to the financial stability of a potential marriage. Basically, this would be cured with a stable job. However, as before mentioned, the economy sucks. I don't know if I'm emotionally ready. I almost feel I am, but I have no idea how to determine that, short of getting into a relationship. I imagine I'm going to have to learn a lot of things as we go along and I think that kind of growth is probably good for me, but I won't know what or how or even if it will be detrimental to the relationship I'm in when I do that kind of growing. I simply don't know. I don't know if this is a biological ticking clock thing, but I kind of feel anxious to get going on it, though. I want to honor the woman I will marry, but I'd really like to find her soon. I don't know. God willing, it will be soon.
My sleep schedule is again obliterated. I was actually doing really well in the other timezones, but once I got back to mine, it went to crap again. I'm going to try to fix it this week, but I can never make any guarantees about it. I'm dealing with a cold or something sinus related right now, so I hope that illness pressures my sleep schedule back into order. We'll see.
My birthday is coming up next week. I'm thinking of having a rolling party like I did last year. Last year was probably the best birthday I'd ever had and I really enjoyed just hanging out with everyone. I'd like to see that happen again this year. Hopefully, I'll be able to nail down the details and people will be able to make it. I'm thinking of having it at the ministry house at Jeremy's church, since that would give us more space and require less clean up at my apartment.
Saw Avatar and Princess and the Frog. Avatar freaking rocked and I think everyone should go see it. The plot's not particularly ground-breaking or original, but it works well for the movie. Princess and the Frog is probably the best animated Disney film since Beauty and the Beast. Keep in mind that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite animated Disney film. Princess and the Frog was extremely well done, had a great amount of depth to the characters and to the story, had awesome humor, and had excellent music. Definitely a recommended one from me. Movies that I do not recommend: The Empress and Her Warriors. Not impressed. I rented it hoping it might have good martial arts sequences in it. It lacked much of anything and was horribly melodramatic. I would expect more from a movie with Donnie Yen in it. The Proposal was actually somewhat of a surprise for me. I was expecting classic romantic comedy cheese. It turned out to be refreshingly good, actually. It was still pretty cheesy, but not overly so.
I think that about covers everything. I'm having difficulty thinking of anything else of particular importance. This one probably takes the cake for most tags, though. Anyway, I'm going to bed - I hope. Good night.