My latest piece for The Escapist is up. I was happy to see
that it got the lead spot on the homepage for the week. I don’t know how that
decision is made, but it was certainly nice to see. This piece was a bit
personal, sprung out of a little reflection last summer about Silent Hill 4. I
decided to do some further reading on Hispanic female video game characters
only to discover that no one had written it yet.


I read an editorial over the summer by author Steven Saylor,
whose Roma Sub Rosa series I read in its entirety last year, where he
said something along the lines of: writers are always advised to write what
they know, but a writer should write the story he or she would like to read.
This was in reference to fiction, but it’s definitely equally applicable to
nonfiction. So I saw an opportunity and ran with it.


In other news, I joined Twitter a while back and I’m finally
starting to use it a little bit. At first, all I had was Greg Grunberg on my
follow list, but now I’ve added some other interesting people. What an
amazingly trivial concept, yet such an addictive site. I must say that LeVar
Burton has one of the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen. It’s an ambigram of his
first name and “Kunta”, a tribute, of course, to his Roots role. Dan Brown may
have brought ambigrams into the popular conscious, but LeVar’s tattoo made them


Finally, the Times Square Virgin Megastore is set to close
in April
. I haven’t bought a CD there in a while, but that store holds so many
memories for me. I went there very frequently as a teen, attended signings,
in-store concerts, and sometimes just considered it a throbbing, lively, oasis
where I could drop in to listen to some of my favorite new songs and wander
around what seemed to me quite the cool location.


The prices were sometimes a tad high, but sale time was the
best. Lots of gems to be had. Apparently, a six-million dollar annual profit
isn’t enough for the chain’s new owners. The location is set to house a Century
21 discount designer clothing shop. I recall Century 21 liked to advertise
itself as “NY’s best kept secret”. Hard to live up to that when you’re taking a
prime Times Square area location. No matter. If it hadn’t been C21, it would’ve
been another client willing to fork over the cash.


Even for this native kid, this store was a destination. Say
what you will about big box type places, but this one going is a loss. I loved
how the jazz and vocal section was so quiet, even though the rest of the store
had loud, pumping music throughout. The last time I was there was for Christmas
shopping last year, and it was still the same chaotic, bright place. And I’m
sure it will remain so until April.