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Part 21

There was a small group of friends that I was part of at the mosque, but only because the girl that I considered to be my best friend was at the head of it. When I wasn’t hanging out with them, I would be listening to reggae on my tape player. Lessons were pretty boring when the Chinese boy left, so I would hide the headphones under my scarf while I listened to music in class. The dynamic of our little group was a bit odd. It was basically just us with a bunch of my friend’s groupies that would hang around. She was pretty and popular. I was the muscle whenever it was needed and the one that carried out secret operations that required sneaking into forbidden areas like the men’s section.  It turned out that my friend lived on the same block as me so excursions to the park happened more often.

Morning TV shows before school became an obsession for me at that time since my father got us cable for the Arabic channels. Captain Planet, my early childhood favorite, wasn’t around anymore so I had to make due with Toonami. Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were necessary for me to start my day right as time went on. The moment I found out that those shows were adaptations of comics, I had to read them. Comics had always been one of my secret obsessions and the only book that we took with us to Egypt was the “Death of Superman” comic. By the time we returned the US, the poor comic was beaten from overuse and I needed new material badly. It eventually got to the point where I rejected the TV shows because I found the comics to be superior story-wise. Not to mention the artwork that was completely different from anything I had been exposed to before. Trips to Barnes and Noble would be begged for and, when I found out about Amazon, it was game over. We didn’t have a car so public transportation to Barnes and Noble in Hoboken became a bit tedious with the little ones. Sponsored time using dial-up internet through AOL was my portal to a more convenient way of getting my fix.

Chores also became a part of my daily routine and the one that I hated the most was cleaning dishes. It was like pulling teeth for my mother to get me to do them. Our domestic bliss had its had moments, as to be expected of any household. Once, I had gathered up my siblings to play computer games with me and my father stormed in yelling at us to get off. He accused us of doing nothing but goof around and I asked him what we did wrong. My line of questioning got him angrier and I my own anger rose with every accusation he shot our way. I ended up yelling at him, saying that we didn’t do anything to deserve that kind of treatment. He went and got the broom and started to hit my siblings with it so I grabbed the handle and refused to let go. We had a short tug of war while maintaining eye contact with each other. He eventually let go and walked away with a smirk on his face.

There was a night where he continued to hound me about my weight. He called me fat and mocked me about it while he laid in bed with my mother. She told him to stop at one point, but he told her to be quiet and continued. Trying to get her in on it. Looking back at it, it was his way of trying to push me to be lose some of it, but at the time it just made me more depressed. I cried myself to sleep that night while my anxieties about starting high school grew deeper.

High school scared me, but New Jersey started to feel more and more like home.

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Ol’ G of the Internets December 21, 2010, 09:19:39 AM

Something interesting that details my past as an old G on the interwebs. On TIP was the first time that I ever did sit down and document it all.

Been meaning to reply to this thread because it was interesting to me. Got a little busy. Anyway.

What got you interested in Internet forums?

Manga/Japanese comics.  My main form of communication used to take place on mIRC and I still frequent it now and then these days.  I used to download and help distribute scanlated manga; back then the main distribution scenes were on IRC channels.  Still holds true today.  Anime moved on to torrents though.  After a few years of participating in a scanlation group and witnessing the start and near death of three highly influential scanlation groups (ToriyamaworldBand of The HawksOmanga – other influential groups to me back then: ShoujomagicNoated (more a database), Mangaproject and a long list of others) I branched off into other areas of interest on the net.

More detailed version is my interest in Ranma 1/2.  I looked for it online because I was dissatisfied with the slow American release (I used to buy a whole bunch of comics and books back then..I was running out of space and kept things on my bed at one point).  I found Noated and on noated I ran into this place, The Ranma 1/2 Project which is talked about here.  I think it was from there that I also got wind of Anipike which was a large network of manga and anime related links categorized by voice actors, manga artists, series name, etc.  Anyway, it was either on the pike of noated that I got wind of Toriyamaworld (I was looking for DBZ shit, I’m a huge DBZ fan too)…then I got into Hikaru No Go (among other things) since they started doing it when it first came out in Japan.

From there I got into mIRC and the board game called GO by most.  I didn’t really care for or take to forums since I was using IRC which is a more immediate form of communication.  In certain channels, like scanlation group channels, intelligent and long winded debates usually cropped up so I was somewhat satisfied in that sense.

A good deal of things occurred in my life in a very short period of time which cut me off from the online world for a good deal of time.  But that was just IRC and the scanlation world for the most part.  I still played GO since I frequented a Java based GO server that was just starting to get noticed by the Go playing world.  I branched off into emulators and video games in general.  Gamers stuck more to forums than IRC so I happened upon one gaming forum which had something like a debate category.

Hyperion invited me to TIP from there via PM.  I was looking for answers to some life questions and, as such, some intelligent debate.  I wanted honest responses and not bullshit answers that I had gotten most of the time in real life and online.  So, my interest in forums evolved from gaming to more serious matters by that point.  TIP fueled that interest for some time before I plunged into some wonderful personal fuck-ups…..which had the effect of cutting me off from the net entirely for some more time.

What do you think of Internet forums now?

I have no interest in most forums right now.  I like smaller tight-knit ones though.  I helped found one forum in 2008, but I divorced myself from it because the people running it were….moronic at times.  I do miss conversing with them on IRC sometimes though.

What keeps you at this (TIP) Internet forum?

I have been an inactive member for quite some time.  I have changed and experienced new things…with this place being an almost constant in my life.  I lurked for some time when I could like Dracvs.  Don’t know.  I guess it’s one of the few places where I don’t the people who frequent it and they don’t seem to mind me either.