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November 2012 Summary

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Sorry for the extremely late summary for November. I don't have much to say for the month.

--Life/Work--

Work is work. It's been kicking my butt pretty good this year. So much work pouring in and I haven't been able to keep up with the workload. I just want to scream and mash my own computer Office Space style. I know I really need to find a new job, but it's been so hard when I feel so tired every weekday coming home from work and using the entire weekend just to chill out as much as I can. It hasn't been fun into December so far.

Since work has dominated so much of my life, I really haven't enjoyed too of the finer things in life. At least my parents, despite their struggling business, have managed to do okay. My younger brother is doing fine as well. I'll be forced to use some vacation time from work in the week between Christmas and New Years in December, so hopefully I'll be able to relax and feel better about myself by then.

--Some Items--

I participated in the Giant Bomb vs. GameFAQs Persona 4 Arena tournament. I got dominated in my matched and ultimately GameFAQs won in the battle of anchors. It was fun I guess.

I also did way too much shopping the week-of November 19, which includes Black Friday. You'll see a huge amount of new items in the purchases section below.

--New Video Game Handheld Purchase--

  • Nintendo 3DS Red (Black Friday Best Buy Red Bundle with Super Mario 3D Land sale)
--New Membership Purchase--
  • 1 Year PSN Plus

--New X-Box 360 Game Purchases--

  • Dance Central 3 (Black Friday Microsoft Store sale)
  • Forza Horizon(Black Friday Microsoft Store sale)
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted [2012](Black Friday Microsoft Store sale)

--New PSN Game Purchases--

  • The King of Fighters XIII (Free with PSN+)
  • Nights into Dreams (Sega PSN Sale with PSN+ Additional Discount)
  • Okami HD
--New Nintendo 3DS Purchases--
  • Code of Princess
  • Super Mario 3D Land (came with 3DS bundle)
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Gamestop Black Friday sale)
--DLC Purchases--
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: The Allman Brothers - "Jessica"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: The Band - "The Weight" (Live)
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Marcy Playground - "Sex and Candy"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: The Modern Lovers - "Melt with You"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"

--New Music Album Purchases--

  • Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Grails / Pharaoh Overload - Black Tar Prophecies Volume 5 / Palmu [2012 Split LP] (vinyl record)
  • Isis - Temporal [2012 Compilation] (3 vinyl records + DVD)
  • Low - The Curtain Hits the Cast [1996 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Mission of Burma - Unsound [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Mogwai - A Wretched Vile Lore [2012 Remix LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Pelican - Ataraxia/Texaxia [2012 EP] (vinyl record)
  • Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings; Orchestral and String Works [2000] (CD)
  • Sharon King and The Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way [2010 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Swans - The Seer [2012 LP] (3 vinyl records)
  • Tame Impala - Lonerism [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops [2012 Reissue Box Set] (9 vinyl records + 5 CDs + DVD + booklet; took advantage of music label's "Sandy Sale")

--Manga Purchase--

  • Hanagai: I Don't Have Many Friends Volume 1

--Book Purchase!--

  • Nate Silver - The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail, But Some Don't (non-fiction)

October 2012 Roundup

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I got two days off from work this week because of Hurricane Sandy causing havoc to SEPTA's Regional Rails service, so I might as well get this entry over with.

--Life/Work--

First off, my condolences to those who suffered in regards to Hurricane Sandy, whether it's home damage, car damage, or even worse, human deaths. Luckily for me, my home managed to have power throughout the time the storm hit us on Sunday through late Monday. There were moments when the lights flickered at times during the strongest moments of the storm, but otherwise went without no damage. Unfortunately, many towns around where I live have lost power, so I am very grateful and gives me more pause and perspective on how much we cherish electricity.

Before the storm, I wasn't in the best of moods. I started to work on the weekends for the first time in my working career because I was hit with extra work from a client's insurance company requesting an audit on our work performed for that particular client. I gathered as much information that the insurance company required by the end of last week and I hope the information that I provided is sufficient. I was logging in some long hours this month and unfortunately will not be awarded paid overtime, my company is private.

Due to logging in so many hours at work, my quality of sleep has decreased incredibly and I feel tired almost all the time. The weekends seem to pass by so fast that I feel like I haven't recovered that much and unable to go at my best for the upcoming work week. I think I'm feeling okay at best right now since I didn't go to work yesterday and today but we'll see how the rest of the week at work goes, considering that a lot of business has been lost and not sure how frantic the pace will be to catch up.

Otherwise, my family is doing fine. My brother has purchased a bunch of thousand piece jigsaw puzzles and it has kept my parents occupied, which I am happy for. They already completed two thousand piece jigsaw puzzles and now are working on a third one.

--Video Games--

My gaming time continues to be dominated by Persona 4 Arena, as I competed in the third and fourth Giant Bomb tournaments, which were held on October 6-7 and October 27-28 respectively. I didn't advance far in either tournament but I still had fun for the most part. However, I feel like my skills have stagnated while other participants have improved their play. At least the other Giant Bomb folks appreciate my play and have added a few more friends on my PSN friends list. The organizer of the Giant Bomb Persona 4 Arena tournaments, FluxWaveZ, just announced a cross-website Persona 4 Arena tournament between Giant Bomb and GameFAQs, to be held on November 17. I did put my name into the sign-up page against my best interests but it looks like I may be on the cutting list as the sign-up page already got over twelve entrants. As I've only won one tournament match in the tournaments I entered in, I don't think I'd be a good player to be on the Giant Bomb roster. We'll see how it goes from here.

I was sort of active with Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey until I hit a roadblock and I'll need to look up a walkthrough to see how to continue to progress. I did manage to play a little bit of Atelier Totori one Sunday and hope to wrap that game up soon to see if I can add some more information onto the Giant Bomb wiki page.

I also forgot to mention the Extra Life gaming marathon on October 20-21. I followed a fellow Giant Bomb member TheFakePsychic's stream for the most part and catching the tail end of the Giant Bomb stream with the end of Halo 3 and some Halo multiplayer. I donated a total of $55 toward the donation drive, $15 to Giant Bomb, Matt, and TheFakePsychic and $10 to Hizang. I just received an e-mail from Matt on Sunday that I won one of his prize raffles, Cards Against Humanity. So I got a little something back from my donations toward a great cause.

--Video Game Purchases--

Playstation Network

  • Costume Quest (plus DLC) [PSN Halloween Sale, 50% off]

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Resident Evil 4 [Shocktober Sale, 50% off]

--DLC Purchases--

X-Box 360/Live Arcade

  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: A Flock of Seagulls - "I Ran (So Far Away)"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Sublime Pack 01 ["Santeria", "What I Got", "Wrong Way"]

--Music Additions/Purchases--

  • Converge - Axe to Fall [2009 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Death Grips - No Love Web Deep [2012 LP] (free mp3 download)
  • Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet on Sky [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Grizzly Bear - Shields [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Moon Duo - Circles [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Rodriguez - Cold Facts [2008 Reissue] (vinyl record)
  • Six Organs of Admittance - Ascent [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Sugar - Copper Blue / Beaster EP [2012 Reissue] (2 vinyl records + bonus material on mp3 coupon)
  • Sugar - File Under Easy Listening [2012 Reissue] (vinyl record + bonus material on mp3 coupon)

September 2012 Summary

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I apologize for the late entry, I expect this entry to be short.

--Life/Work--

On the life front, it's been okay. No real family blowups, so that's good. My dad and I have kept up with the light exercising for the most part to keep our minds clear and it's helped. I had to provide financial assistance to my family twice this month, one for paying the home mortgage and two for helping out my uncle on whatever he needs to take care of. Oh, I finally managed to take a couple of days off from work. My small break from work started this past Friday, September 28 and runs through tomorrow. Though I worry what amount of work that's piled up when I return on Thursday.

Work... what can I say? It's always been a pain in the ass. I can't seem to handle the ever increasing workload that I've been asked to handle. I don't think I need to say anymore here.

--Video Games--

I competed in Giant Bomb's 2nd Persona 4 Arena and managed to win two matches. I got knocked out in the loser's bracket second round. The third Giant Bomb Persona 4 Arena tournament is being held this coming weekend, where I'll be competing in not only the singles tournament, but also the newly announced team tournament. I sparred with with my teammate a bit last night and both of us got some good licks in against each other. I'm not sure how we'll do against some of the other teams, but I hope we do well against them.

Otherwise, I haven't played many games outside of Persona 4 Arena honestly. I played a bit of Jet Set Radio on the PSN and a little bit of Strange Journey on the DS. I was hoping for a longer break after the second GB P4A tournament, but when the organizer quickly announced the third tournament right after the second one ended. I'm hoping for a longer break after this tournament ends so that I can really catch up on some other games. As a side benefit, I've gained some good friends (I guess) on Giant Bomb by playing this game against others from the game's release.

I quickly finished the Jet Set Radio story and though I had some hard notstalgia rush through my veins, the game's main flaws still hampered the experience. The terrible camera angles at times and at times, the controls aren't as responsive to the action, but it's still solid. It's not bad for $10, especially to those who haven't experienced it. But I think a better value for this re-release would be $5, considering that Sega's Dreamcast HD releases haven't been that stellar.

I haven't played a lick of Tokyo Jungle nor Borderlands 2 yet, the new purchases I made this month.

--Video Game Purchases--

X-Box 360

  • Borderlands 2

Playstation Network

  • Jet Set Radio
  • Tokyo Jungle

--DLC Purchases--

X-Box 360

  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Bad Religion - "Sorrow"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: The Hamster Alliance - "Giant Bomb Dubstep"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Johnny Cash - "Folsom Prison Blues"
  • Rock Band 3/Blitz: Weezer - "El Scorcho"

--Video Game Accomplishment--

Playstation 3

  • Persona 4 Arena: Completed all character storylines. [60% PSN trophy completion]

Playstation Network

  • Jet Set Radio: Completed story. [57% PSN trohpy completion]

--Music Additions/Purchases--

  • Aesop Rock - Skelethon [2012 LP] (2 colored vinyl records)
  • Archers of Loaf - All the Nations Airports [2012 Reissue] (colored vinyl record, bonus material on mp3 album coupon)
  • Archers of Loaf - White Trash Heroes [2012 Reissue] (colored vinyl record, bonus material on mp3 album coupon)
  • Calexico - Algiers [2012 LP] (vinyl record + CD)
  • Caspian - Waking Season [2012 LP] (2 colored vinyl records)
  • Cat Power - Sun [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Deafheaven - Road to Judah [2011 LP] (colored vinyl record)
  • Maserati - Maserati VII [2012 LP] (2 colored vinyl records)
  • Natchmystium - Silencing Machine [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Ride - Going Blank Again [2012 Reissue] (2 vinyl records)
  • Sleeping Peoples - NOTRUF [2012 EP] (colored vinyl record)

--Manga Purchase--

  • Yotsuba&! Volume #11 [Man, I love this manga!]

August 2012 Summary

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Time flies...

--Life/Work--

I don't have much to say on the life and working fronts. It's been pretty much the same old deal everyday this month. Every weekday consists of the same old routine: wake up, shower, travel to work, work at unsatisfyingjob, travel back home, exercise, shower, eat dinner, internet/watch TV/play games, then sleep. The weekends aren't much better, I usually just chill out after a rough week, get some gaming in and other things. At least things in the home front have been okay. Had a bit of a scare with one of our cars had problems starting up earlier this month, but it looks like the car just needed a new battery. As usual, my parents asked me to lend over some cash to pay off the car insurance bill this month.

As for work, it's been brutal. It doesn't help that I am not enthused to do my job at work, but it's been this way for at least the last couple of years. It's hard that there isn't a lot of new open opportunities out there, it seems like you really need to know someone to break into a new company as the economy is still struggling and companies are more likely looking at experienced workers who can come in and do the work immediately without much time to get them up to speed. Of course, I haven't done my work in looking for a new job. I really need to spend some time in looking for a new job, some new scenery would probably do me some good. For now, I'll keep working as best as I can to continue making the income the support myself and for my family.

--Video Games--

Not much to say about gaming this month. It's been dominated by Persona 4 Arena ever since I got it and recently been playing a good amount of Rock Band Blitz the last few days. I've been playing a little bit of Picross DS on my train commutes to work as I attempt to complete the more obsurd puzzles under free mode. I also picked up my pre-order of The Last Story this month. The packaging is very nice but I doubt I'll be playing it much this year. Next month's looking pretty good as I plan to get Borderlands 2 on the X-Box 360 and Jet Grind Radio HD on probably XBLA, not sure on that one yet.

---

I've been pretty quiet on the purchase front this month, which I'm happy about. I also purchased some new manga as well! Next month will be more busier on the music front as there's a couple of albums that I plan on picking up by then, as well as Borderlands 2 and Jet Set Radio HD on the gaming front.

--Video Game Purchases--

Playstation 3

  • Persona 4 Arena

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Rock Band Blitz

Nintendo Wii

  • The Last Story

--Music Additions/Purchases--

  • Joey Bada$$ - 1999 [2012 mixtape] (free mp3)
  • Marriages - Kitsune [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Mono - For My Parents [2012 LP] (2 colored vinyl records)

--Manga Purchases--

  • Olympos
  • Sakuran

---

That's all for this month, till next month...

July 2012 Summary

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Getting July's summary out of the way early as I expect to be busy at work this week.

--Life--

Something must be in the water or in our heads this year as my family continues to get upset over the littlest of things. I had two family fights this month. The first happened on my mom's birthday, July 14. My dad bought a cake and lit a candle on it and wanted my mom to come to the kitchen to see, but my mom wasn't feeling it. After numerous attempts, I took the initiative and brought the cake over to my mom. Unfortunately, my brother's friends were over as well and had an awkward happy birthday sing along. My dad upset that my mom didn't take her birthday seriously, left for two hours to drink a bit, and returned visibly upset. I did my best to calm him down and continue to break down his harden stance on "traditional Korean family ideals and cultures." I believe he slept the rest of the night off.

The following weekend, my dad was painting one of the bathrooms at my mom's request. However, my younger brother got upset over the painting and the fumes that came with it that he got extremely angry and yelled at my dad. I don't know the exact reason why the bathroom needed to be painted but to get upset over paint fumes is stupid in my opinion. Right now, my brother and I swapped rooms where my brother is just holing himself in the other room for the most part as he attempts to not deal with my dad.

I don't know how to deal with my family anymore. It seems like they're too stuck up to their own perceptions and never makes an attempt to see where the others are coming from. My dad continues to stick to the good old traditional Korean family ideals and cultures mindset, my moms tired of my dads impulsive need to talk about everything and nothing at once, and my brothers stick with his mindset that things still work around him. Im the only one making an attempt to see what theyre thinking. I appreciate all the work that my parents had to put up with raising us while working most of their lives to give us food, shelter, and other luxuries that we had that many other people in the world do not.

Well see what the rest of the year brings.

--Work--

Work continues to be pretty tough as the company seems to keep itself busy with more projects. I guess thats good that all the staffers are busy to keep their billability high and to have the company earn more money, but its been hell on me on keeping up with the increased workload. This year, handling billings have been more of a pain, whether its formatting them into lump-sum instead of the normal time and materials, filling out pay applications for certain clients, or gathering expense backup for other clients for them to be satisfied to process for payment. I told my supervisor during my employee review last month about the need to an intern to at least help my PAC co-worker and myself deal with the administrative parts of our tasks. Im not sure if my supervisor took the steps needed to do get the ball rolling in the hiring process.

I seriously need to sit down one day and look at other jobs available. That is, if theyre available.

--Video Games--

I was off to a fast start on completing games the first half of the month, where I knocked off four games the first half of the month. After the first family incident I wrote about at the top of this entry, I kind of lost the passion to game for a while, settling for playing Picross 3D on the DS during my train commutes to work and minor wiki editing on Giant Bomb. Ive starting to pick it back up a little bit, playing a little bit of Forza Motorsport 4 and Skullgirls, but not in that right mood to tackle the numerous other games in my backlog yet. I plan on restarting my run on Atelier Totori because I didnt like the way I was doing things during my first run. Ive also had a slight urge to start Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on X-Box Live Arcade.

I hope to really restrain myself for purchasing any more games for the rest of the year because Ive already spent a ridiculous amount of money toward gaming this year. Im sure Ill purchase some more games when Black Friday comes around, but in the meantime I have three games in the coming weeks that I plan to purchase: Persona 4 Arena, The Last Story, and Borderlands 2. I pre-ordered Persona 4 Arena through Newegg, when they had their pre-order promotion one weekend for $48. I had The Last Story pre-ordered through Gamestop from April, when I picked up my pre-order of Xenoblade Chronicles. I will not pre-order Borderlands 2, but I think the game will be big enough that I can pick up a copy the week of its release. I was never a big fan of pre-ordering but this year, I just kind of fell into the pressure of the supposed limited copies of the Wii RPG games and the pre-order bonuses for Persona 4 Arena (arranged soundtrack) and Atelier Meruru (art book, soundtrack, t-shirt).

--DLC Purchases--

  • Rock Band 3 - Rage Against the Machine Pack 1 ["Bombtrack", "Killing in the Name Of", "Sleep Now in the Fire"]
  • Rock Band 3 - B-52s - "Love Shack"

--Video Game Accomplishments

Playstation 3

  • Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland - Completed story.

Playstation Network

  • PixelJunk Shooter - Completed campaign.

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Bastion - Completed story.

Nintendo DS

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Completed story.

--Music Album Additions/Purchases--

  • Baroness - Yellow & Green [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Cloud Nothing - Attack on Memory [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [1972 LP] (used vinyl record)
  • David Bowie - Aladdin Sane [1973 LP] (used vinyl record)
  • David Bowie - Low [1977 LP] (used vinyl record)
  • Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Frank Zappa - Hot Rats [1970 LP] (used CD)
  • Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music [2012 LP] (2 colored vinyl records)
  • King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King [1969 LP] (used vinyl record)
  • The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street [1972 LP] (2 vinyl records, 2010 press)
  • My Bloody Valentine - Eps 1988-1991 [2012 Reissue] (2 CDs)
  • My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything [2012 Reissue] (CD)
  • Sparklehorse - Good Morning Spider [1999 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Unsane - Wreck [2012 LP] (vinyl record)

June 2012 Summary

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Halfway through the year already!

--Work/Life--

Work was pretty hard this month. I just can't continue with the amount of workload that I have to deal with, along with the great personal dissatisfaction of the work I'm performing there. This year, I am having a tougher time getting my head straight and focusing on my work, slacking off and browsing websites for minutes of the day because I just don't want to take care of the workload on my desk. I've noticed that I'm working on more projects than ever and the time dedicated to billings is eating up much more of my time. I can tell that my quality of work is slowly diminishing.

I did sort of address some of my working woes to my main supervisor on my employee review yesterday and he said that he's going to get approval to hire an intern for us to take care of the tedius administrative tasks my PAC co-worker and I had been doing ever since our previous part-time assistant got laid off. Otherwise, I didn't have much else to really say to my supervisor during my review. I got another soild review and received a slight increase on my salary (about $2,000), which I don't care for too much but will be a help in recovering my bank account with the numerous payments I made to my parents so far this year.

On the life front, nothing to really report, which is I guess mostly good. My parents seem to be doing alright since the Memorial Day weekend arguments. My dad turned 58 years old on June 12 and still looks in good physical shape, though I wished he'd stop the alcohol consumption from time to time. My brother's going steady at his part-time job. My good friend Brian, who I call every Sunday night, though he's worried about some rumblings about getting his pay cut significantly.

I am taking off from work this coming Monday and Tuesday, as well as having Wednesday off due to Independence Day holiday. So I hope to rest well, get some gaming done and whatever else that I set my mind to. I plan on making some special blog entries on my Giant Bomb account, feel free to read them once I get around to them. My username there is InfiniteSpark.

--Video Game Notes--

To combat my ever-growing gaming backlog, I've decided to hunker down and focus on a few games at once, rather than go off on a shotgun approach. I took care of Sly Cooper 3 fairly quickly, 100% the game on a couple of long sessions and earned my 7th S-rank this generation and fourth platinum trophy on my PSN account. The other games I'm focusing on are Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 and Atelier Rorona. I'm on the final day on Devil Survivor 2 while I'm on the second year on Atelier Rorona. I'm also updating the Atelier Rorona wiki page on Giant Bomb, as no one else bothered to do anything on the page.

I'm hoping not to buy too many more games for the rest of the year. I have The Last Story on pre-order, awaiting for the game to be released. I'm also thinking of pre-ordering Persona 4 Arena just to get myself a copy of the soundtrack. Then it'll be Borderlands 2 in September. Then I hope I can continue to chip down on my backlog until next year, where a load of games awaiting there.

--Video Games Purchases--

Playstation 3

  • Atelier Meruru: The Apprentance of Arland [Special Limited Edition; pre-ordered from NIS]
  • Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland [Limited Edition]

Nintendo DS

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

PC (Humble Bundle V)

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Bastion
  • Limbo
  • Psychonauts
  • Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP

--Video Game Accomplishments--

Playstation 3

  • Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves [via The Sly Collection]: 100% Game; 4th Platinum Trophy

--Music Album Purchases--

  • El-P - Cancer 4 Cure [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Fiona Apple -The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Japandroids - Celebration Rock [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • My Bloody Valentine - Loveless [2012 Reissue] (2 CDs)
  • Spiritualized - Sweet Heart, Sweet Light [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
---Hope everyone is doing well.

May 2012 Summary

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Family (Falling Apart...?)

It was going okay until the Memorial Day weekend, where I had to butt in two family fights, both involving my father. The first fight happened on the night of Saturday, May 26. I didn't know that my father left home in the evening, but I noticed the car missing at around 9:00 PM. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen whenever he returned home. He returned home at approximately 11:30 PM. He opened the garage door and freaked out on my mother because she packed up some of my father's things into a small bag. He also complained on how my mom always questions everything my dad does. I talked to my dad that whatever mom did was small and stupid to get angry over. I talked with my mom and did my best to tell her not to be so harsh and inquisitive on what dad does.

The next fight came on the next day. This one was worse because this happened at my uncle's house with guests over. Apparently, my dad had a few drinks. We came over my uncle's house just in time food was being served. I went up and ate. My brother also had a plate, but was turning his attention to playing a gaming app on my cousin's iPhone. My dad sat down and asked my brother to eat. My brother responded with a snarky attitude that he'll eat whenever he feels like it. My dad jumped up, yelled at my brother by dropping a LOUD F-BOMB. I was a bit angry at my dad because he dropped the f-bomb in front of guests.

It's been okay since then, but I know this peace period will not last long. Considering this is the fifth or sixth big family fight this year, I'm just not sure how much more I can take this. It's been a very rough year for my family and it's tearing me apart. I wished my family, especially my parents, to not go through the hardships they've gone through for so many years. I never knew how bad they were in financially until late in college. I'm glad I quickly gained employment after I graduated college to support my parents, even though I hate my what I'm doing at my occupation. I'll still do what I can for my family, but it's been breaking me down a lot. I'm trying my best not to get it to me, though I've been in a foul mood since the fights occurred.

And the fights happened after my birthday... sigh...

Other Noteworthy Items

My job continues to grind me down with its same old story with billings, collection efforts, numerous co-workers requests and other parts of the job. I submitted my self-evaluation form to my supervisor in the middle of the month and expect to get reviewed in June. I'm not sure what to expect from the review as I was more self-critical on myself on the memo. At best, I could get a minimal raise to my salary, which is nice as any monetary increase would definitely help my cause to supporting my family.

What's up with the comments section of Gamespot now?

The violence in Philadelphia this year is getting out of hand. I've never seen it this bad in years.

I made my third ever video game pre-order two weekends ago. I pre-ordered Atelier Meruru through NIS America's website. I still have yet to play the game's prequel, Atelier Totori, which I purchased earlier this month. I don't expect the game to arrive until next week, so it will not be listed as a new game purchased in this month's summary. I also have The Last Story on pre-order through Gamestop, which I'm waiting for the release date to come (June 19).

I'll post my favorite games, music albums and other items so far next month as the obligatory halfway through the year list. The June 2012 roundup entry will also be posted as well.

My (incredibly wrong) sports predictions...

  • I'll Have Another will NOT win the horse racing triple crown.
  • Spain will win the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.
  • Djokovic will win the men's side of this year's French Open.
  • L.A. Kings win the Stanley Cup.
  • Spurs and Heat meet in NBA Finals, Spurs win the NBA Championship.

Onward to the purchases...

--Video Game Purchases--

X-Box Live

  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Company
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World

Playstation 3

  • Atelier Totori [Premium Edition]

Playstation Network

  • PixelJunk Eden [PixelJunk sale, part of 3-for-1 package]
  • PixelJunk Monsters [PixelJunk sale, part of 3-for-1 package]
  • PixelJunk Racers: 2nd Lap [PixelJunk sale, part of 3-for-1 package]
  • PixelJunk Shooter [PixelJunk sale]
  • PixelJunk Shooter 2 [PixelJunk sale]

--DLC Purchases--

X-Box 360

  • Rock Band 3: Eddie Money - "Two Tickets to Paradise"
  • Rock Band 3: SoulEye - "Pressure Cooker" [from VVVVVV]

--Video Game Accomplishments--

Nintendo DS

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor: Completed story. [Atsuro's Route]

--Music Album Additions/Purchases--

  • Beach House - Bloom [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Beirut - The Rip Tide [2011 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Cleaners from Venus - On Any Normal Monday [2012 Reissue] (vinyl record)
  • Death Grips - The Money Store [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • The Electronic Anthology Project - The Electronic Anthology Project on Dinosaur Jr. [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Frankie Rose - Interstellar [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Lower Dens - Nootropics [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Lowercase Noises - Ambient Songs [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • Lowercase Noises - Carry Us All Away [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • Lowercase Noises - Marshall [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • Lowercase Noises - Migratory Patterns [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • Lowercase Noises - Seafront [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • Lowercase Noises - Vivian [part of artist kickstarter package] (mp3)
  • The Men - Open Your Heart [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Moss Icon - Complete Discography [2012 Reissue] (3 vinyl records)
  • Sigur Ros - Valtari [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of the Mountain [2006 LP] (vinyl record)

27 Years Old

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I turned one year older today, not sure if I'm any wiser but alas I am here to enjoy more of what I can get in life. As usual, I didn't get any gifts on today but I don't mind. I've usually bought birthday gifts on my own. Those that have been reading my blogs know how rough my parents are in currently, primarily with the business they're struggling to make any profits on. I did get a bunch of happy birthday shout outs from a couple of my friends on Facebook, which I'm grateful for and personally thanked everyone by responding to their comment.

The last two years, I purchased a video game as my personal birthday gift to myself. In 2010, I purchased Picross 3D, which I poured tons of hours into and is one of my favorite DS games. Last year, I purchased Dirt 3 and L.A. Noire. Unfortunately, I've barely Dirt 3 and haven't even started L.A. Noire yet! (I hope to change that soon... soon.) This year, I purchased the two Sega Vintage Collections from X-Box Live (Alex Kidd & Co. and Monster World) and pre-ordered Atelier Meruru this past weekend. I'm also going to purchase a bunch of music albums when I visit the record store near my workplace after work on Friday afternoon.

As for me, I'm doing alright. There are some things I could do to better myself (learn to drive, look for a new job, continue to lose weight, restrain purchases), but in the context of the world at large, the problems I have cannot compare to others who are in much tougher conditions than I am. I am grateful to live in a country that is open to everyone's expressions, have shelter, plenty of food and water, and working at a decent job. I know millions of people would love to be in my position at the moment, so I am thankful for the what I have access to. I am also humbled by how hard life throws at you with its many challenges, not so muchphysically but mentally. I'll do my best to not only live out my life to the fullest, but to also help those very close to me.

Thanks for reading! I hope your life is going well!

April 2012 Summary

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Work/Life

It's been another tough month. My parents have asked for money again from me again as their grocery store business continues to not make profit. My father is trying his best to deal with it, but it's gotten him depressed that it hasn't been making money. He's also been regretting a lot more on moving here to the United States. I know he wants nothing but to go back to South Korea to hang out with his high school friend, whom he converses with through a yearbook-type Korean website.

I'm been having a harder time getting into my work, as I continue to be disenchanted with what I'm doing at my current job. I have also failed in making any hard efforts in looking for a new job. I did get a job offer from my LinkedIn account, but rejected it because it's basically doing the same job at a new workplace. I've been stressed out from my work and knowing my parent's financial and emotional statuses are not good. The only thing they have going toward their retirement is Social Security, they have no other retirement plans/portfolios at the moment. They'll also be working well past 65 and still have the home mortgage along with monthly bills, taxes and business expenses to deal with.

The only positive that I can report this month was that my brother finally landed a job... a temp job. It's a job that pays nonetheless. He hasn't told me the full details of his new job, but it's geared toward IT/computer work and he works 5 hours each weekday. It's been almost a year since he graduated, but in think if I was in his position, I'd take whatever I can get to start earning pay and getting work experience.

I'm doing my best to keep myself occupied with other things, such as playing video games, listening to interesting music, watching and talking about sports, etc. But it's been hard not to think about the fragile state of my parents, as well as the world at large. I hope all of you are doing well with your lives.

Video Game Purchases

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Skullgirls
  • Trials Evolution

Wii

  • Xenoblade Chronicles [first ever pre-order]

Music Additions/Purchases

  • Bill Kiley - Time, Love and Tender-N.E.S. [2012 LP] (free mp3, MolyJam participant)
  • Gentlemen Jesse - Leaving Atlanta [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • High on Fire - De Vermis Mysieriis [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • If These Trees Could Talk - Red Forest [2012 LP] (colored vinyl record)
  • Kool A.D. - 51 [2012 LP] (free mp3)
  • Kraftwerk - The Man Machine [1978 LP] (vinyl record)
  • The Louvin Brothers - Satan is Real [2011 Reissue] (vinyl record)
  • Miles Davis - On the Corner [1972 LP] (used CD)
  • Townes Van Zandt - At My Window [1987 LP] (vinyl record, Record Store Day special release)

March 2012 Summary

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No, this is not a joke entry. This is a normal blog entry. I don't have much to talk about as I mostly did my usual business this month.

Work

Work was its usual hectic self this month but I guess I managed it okay. The only major news worthy item I can think of is the firing of our collections employee, who was with the company for quite some time. From what I heard on the grapevine, she got fired over some strong message over an e-mail. The company did have an assistant collections employee who is now the full-time go-to person for any collection efforts. In the accounting department, they hired one PAC to replace the one who left at the end of 2011, as well as an assistant to assist those who are overwhelmed with their workloads. I took this past Friday off not only because I needed it, also because I need to keep my vacation accrual hours in check. Man, I can't believe that I'm heading towards five years with the company!

Life

Life's been pretty bland. I've been doing my best to keep getting engaged in stuff. Whether is sprucing up a game wiki on Giant Bomb, playing games, fantasy baseball, whatever. I can tell that my parents are still relatively unhappy with their current situation though they don't really show it on the outside, but they'll still doing the best they can. I made my first ever retail game pre-order with Xenoblade Chronicles through Gamestop, I can't wait to see how that game plays.

Video Game Purchases

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Joe Danger Special Edition

Playstation 3

  • Street Fighter x Tekken

Playstation Network

  • Journey

Nintendo DS

  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

DLC Purchases

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: Shadow Hunters
  • Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: Villains Pack

Video Game Accomplishments

X-Box Live Arcade

  • Shadow Complex: Completed campaign. [8/12 achievements]

Playstation Network

  • Journey: Completed journey, 1 time. [2/14 trophies]

Music Album Additions/Purchases

  • Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records)
  • Archers of Loaf - Vee Vee [2012 Reissue] (colored vinyl record, bonus material on mp3 coupon)
  • Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva in a Day [2012 mixtape] (free mp3)
  • Christian Mistriss - Agony & Opium [2010 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Christian Mistriss - Possession [2012 LP] (vinyl record)
  • Lambchop - Mr. M [2012 LP] (2 vinyl records, bonus tracks)
  • Loma Prieta - I.V. [2012 LP] (colored vinyl record)
  • Pink Floyd - Meddle [1971 LP] (used CD)
  • They Might Be Giants - Flood [1990 LP] (used CD)
  • Unwound - Leaves Turn Inside You [2001 LP] (used 2 CDs)
  • Zammuto - Zammuto [2012 LP] (colored vinyl record)

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Hope everyone's doing well so far this year.