Beginning of Time

Like any normal teenager reminiscing on his childhood would, I like to see the progress of my early years from the perspective of the different video game consoles I’ve owned.

I know (or can ignorantly hope) that I owned very old video game consoles when I was very young, such as a SEGA Genesis. However, I also remember playing Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. in my house, which must mean that I either had an NES or a SEGA port of the same games. Whatever the case, my most recent video-game system history began one fateful day of which the specific environmental conditions I’ll never forget. I don’t think it was for Christmas; it might’ve been, but in any case, one day my dad and I drove over to Best Buy, some 30 minutes from home, on a rainy, windy day, to purchase my first-ever 32-bit video game system, the Playstation One. Note how I specified Playstation One – this was the second revision; smaller, curvaceous, and otherwise more attractive than the older boxy model. By this time, the Playstation One was beginning to be phased out as the PS2 was starting to become the most popular system, and the only alternative for gamers who had already built up enormous PS1 game collections. Thanks to that, Best Buy was offering the new PS1 model for only $50! A steal, indeed, and my dad and I took note of the price and headed out to the department store amidst a torrential downpour.

I was so happy once I got it! I sat in the passenger seat, looking at all the different pictures on the back of the box, of all the different games that were available for the aging system. I remember gawking at what I thought were unbelievably realistic graphics which, although they were for the time; had I been 10 years older, an inherent skepticism would’ve informed me that they really weren’t – it was only the boyish wonder that fooled me into awe.

Whatever the case, those awesome graphics had to wait, because when I got home and waited for my dad to hook up the brand new machine, he lent me a face of frustration as he explained to me how the television set was missing RCA video plugins. All these things, so commonplace and obvious to me now, were like unintelligible hieroglyphics to me back then, my dad being the intelligent savior, deciphering it all. Indeed, he knew what would save the day – an RF to RCA converter! Easily attainable at the local Radioshack – this time only a few minutes away from home – half the reason it was easily attainable was because of the popularity of the no-video-plugins conundrum that likely affected many TV/game system owners at the time. Five dollars later, the system was plugged in, the demo disc inserted, the controller connected, and I was playing my first PS1 video game, which was a demo version of the game Medievil. I bored fairly slowly of the demo disc’s content – which I blame solely on all the TV commercials it had on it, of amazing PS1 video games and accessories – and that boredom was cured by my first ever actual PS1 game, Driver.

 Being the first game I owned, and being a good game at that; the opening screen, initial training level, and even the jazzy music compose some of my fondest video game memories to date. Only thing that was a bummer was what happened after I turned off the system for the night – I came back, and was truly disappointed to learn that I had to repeat all my progress from the day before because I didn’t have a memory card!

To be continued. Happy Holidays everyone!

The Evolution In Me

The following is the foreword to a biology project discussing the Axolotl, a critically endangered amphibian native to Lake Xochimilco in Mexico. Enjoy!
I don’t need to travel farther than my desk to witness one of the key characteristics of populations of living species. Actually, I needn’t even need stand up or fidget. All I need to do is look at the reflection on the glossy wood finish of the wooden table, and I can read into more detail than any 7th edition of a college biology textbook could ever provide. When Darwin coined natural selection, evolution; he coined not only a new, yet unearthed characteristic of living things, but also a scientific term by which to refer to an inherent quality of human beings, particularly those in the earlier years of their lives, where change is so dramatically swift and quick. It’s futile to think that a 14-year old is the same tomorrow than today. Thus, if it’s futile to think the opposite, it’s unnerving to think about the truth.
As I sit down to write this report at a time I’d rather not specify, I look at myself in the reflection of the glossy desk and think about how much I’ve evolved. Not only in physical attributes, but more so in thought. What I considered an immutable way of life two years ago has changed, and it’s always useful to think that change is for the better, especially when you constantly adopt new ways that in turn constantly reveal yet another inefficiency. Too nice, too mean, too unfeeling, too pragmatic, too complicated, too self-defeating … the self-critique is as inherent as the change, and so in addition to the written, unwavering, stalwart nature of alleles, recombination, and DNA, us human beings – and likely all sentient beings – must deal with another comparably inextricable, abstract, and wholly intangible vector of change – the constant reassessment of ourselves and the world around us by our omnipotent, versatile, and often overwhelming masses of jelly and muscle in our skulls. Our brains, of course.

Offbeat #10 | Miami Shore

Coming back after a long hiatus, Offbeat News with Tomas Monzon is back with episode ten. In this episode, we feature an advertisement from a Cuban gynecologist, helpful tips from the world of psychology that show you when it’s time to find a new job, and most importantly, important news from the important television hit, Jersey Shore. Enjoy!

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Offbeat #12 | Thinking of You (Valentine’s Day Edition)

In this episode of Offbeat, we have the wonderful musical talents of Yanet Felipe and Laymit Savorit (excuse the misspelling in the video) delivering an excellent acoustic cover of Katy Perry’s song, “Thinking of You“. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tomás at Large | http://www.tomasatlarge.blogspot.com

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