Introducing Cartograstrology

I hope you’ve been following my blog, because I’m on to something here. I pointed out that sometimes artists hide secret “Easter Eggs” in their artwork as a bonus for anyone who takes the time to look for them. After much speculative analysis, I’ve decided that the intelligent universe, too, does this. It hides things everywhere– in synchronicity, patterns, etc.– and sometimes you might get a gut feeling to look here or there and discover those patterns and parallels that, for some, offer a source of guidance for those looking for some guidance from a higher plane.

In the new age conscious truth-seeking community, it’s a phenomena called synchronicity, and it usually happens through “intuitive hits”. Some say it’s how “God” speaks to you. I call it “magic”. Much of the time, people won’t even realize that they’re doing things in a way that is completely organized on a higher level. They go about their lives, leaving behind traces of their presence that sometimes someone might find later on and put together into a greater whole that is interconnected with the rest of the universe.

Case in point: my strange Vicci Martinez parallelogram from my last post.


Hey, what are you doing, purple text?! There can be only ONE caption, got it? What’s that? You’re actually a “subtitle” and not a “caption”? Whatever.

Also, don’t forget the frighteningly bizarre right angle made by the “sailboat constellation”:


I don't understand what your "subtitle" is saying. Do you mean: “here is a right angle orientated symmetrically along the north/south pole axis overlayed on the constellation”, Mr. Smarty-McSubtitle-pants?

Now that level of mathematical perfection doesn’t just happen by accident. Nor does it just keep on repeating itself willy-nilly in a predictable, sequential way if the universe is chaotic and random. And it’s not like my dad and I plotted out all the symmetry on the map before we moved to these places. No, we were guided by an unseen hand, and I am pretty sure that goes for the entire universe and each and every created thing. And it’s reasons like these that folks in the “conscious” truth-seeker community will give you to explain the material world as being made up of just consciousness and vibration.

Yup, that’s what they might tell you. The material world is an illusion, and it’s consciousness that gives rise to material reality, not the other way around. And that’s where “God” comes in, who breathes life into creation each moment so we can experience His love.

There’s now a scientific basis (in the non-establishment community, of course) for the need for God to exist, because the chaotic “universe-that-came-from-nothing” model is falling apart at the seams because it can’t support all this new data and these observations. The science of consciousness can only really be ridiculed and suppressed and censored by “peer review”, and a controlled corporate media platform, but that’s rapidly changing.

People are waking up.

I hope this isn’t too “conspiratorial” for you, but the facts are the facts, and the mainstream establishment just isn’t giving them to you. It’s up to people like me on our own platforms to be citizen journalists (or in my case a laid back satire/humorist blogger) in a media environment where people are told what to think by someone else. And what not to think. I learned this from a professor who studies media way back in 2009 that the media decides for us what “news” is.

When the stars align

I’m arguing that what I’m showing you with these circumstances on the map is not an accidental fluke, but signs of a greater Intelligence and universal mind. These here alignments, which are more comprehensive and inclusive than just ley lines, may yield so much potential to systematically identify people and places of significance in an observer’s life that I felt it necessary to give the study of it a proper name: cartograstrology. It borrows from the words cartography— or map making— and astrology, which is the study of the stars and heavenly bodies and their impact on human affairs. So, cartograstrology is the study of the “stars”, be them natural or artificial places, mapping them as they relate to the observer, and then take subsequent steps that can identify larger patterns (constellations) to help find guidance, make meaningful decisions or observations, or just have fun and be inspired by the wonders of an intelligent universe.

Taking into consideration that so far I’ve developed cartograstrology from looking at only my own “map”, I would have to say that this scientific-sounding “-ology” could really benefit from other people’s interactions with it so I don’t have to present it in such a satirical way. There are profound implications here!

To demonstrate just how systematic it is in uncovering hidden gems for those who dig into it, check out this graphic:


I bet you're going to call me Illuminati, now, aren't you?

See the fractal pattern emerge with that purple triangle? Incredible! Let’s call this the “Tacoma Triangle”. (copyright!)

Following a pattern of logic, you’d think there’d be something that would align with that last part of the sequence annotated with a “?”. According to cartograstrology, something is likely to be waiting for you to discover and fit into the sequence. When rotating the purple Tacoma-shaped triangle until a side aligns with one of the lines of the sailboat constellation, there are roads and bridges or intellectual points of interest that run parallel with at least one other side, which humans put there. For whatever reason they put those the way they are, whether they were aware of the patterns or not.

There’s now a missing piece of the puzzle. Because all is consciousness, and because I’m aware of this missing piece and therefore it exists, it must exist for a purpose, right?

So, as with any scientific endeavor, when a hypothesis is formed, there’s a process involved and it follows a series of steps. For example, if it involved fossils, you’d dig a layer deeper; stars, you’d examine the spectral lines. In cartograstrology, you look at people, yourself and others, and the intellectual connections to them on a map.

In the case of this “sailboat” comprising a few key “stars” being tied to Vicci, I’ll look there.

Remember back in November I was listening to Lindsey Stirling Radio on my Pandora when “The Arena” came on? I don’t purchase albums very often, but my intuition was telling me it’s time to buy her music instead of just being around when the songs come on the radio. When I delved into the album and looked a bit closer to the song “We Are Giants”, I realized, Wow, all these years I’ve heard this song on Pandora I never noticed that the singer and collaborator, Dia Frampton, knew Vicci from The Voice!

I read Dia’s media blog and saw the parallels in our lives: we both work in food service as our day jobs but have big dreams, we both have an older sibling we share a lot of memories with (“Gold and Silver” kills me!), to name a few. I ended up buying Dia Frampton’s albums as well.


My path along a cartograstrological alignment has brought me to this album

The parallels I was looking for were to be found in one particular song that had “bowtie” in the lyrics. At this stage, anything bowtie-related is going to get my attention. So the search was on.


The "R" and "N" are to scale, taken from the album cover (inset)

The stylized “R” and “N” from her album cover fit into the square on the map made by the intersections of Pearl Street and Orchard Street going north and south, 6th Avenue and South 12th Street going east and west. The arc in the “R” goes exactly halfway across the square, and the “N” fits in there perfectly. The diagonal line of the “R” also aligns perfectly with the side of the triangle, and the “R” also stops right on that infamous circle from my previous post. In summary, the proportions and features of that “R” and “N” are perfect in relation to these streets and the Tacoma Triangle. It’s as if the universe was instructing the graphic designer at Universal Republic Records (did you catch that parallel? Did you!?) through the creative process so that someone could get something out of this later.

Okay, cartograstrology: let’s use what we’re learning and find those missing pieces! Now where does that uniquely stylized “A” fit in?


The purple lines are straight, and show how the bars on the "A" are not straight but look more like the streets in Tacoma

The "A" on the album cover is not wide enough for the bars to fit across the streets of Tacoma nicely. Sometimes the data you obtain doesn't fit, and when this happens in the scientific establishment instead of changing the books to fit the data, they change the data to make it fit what's already been accepted. Or they just throw out the data. Not here!

Since I don't wanna make another rotating triangle GIF graphic, imagine the purple triangle rotating and fitting snug between the R and the A, okay?

The “A” has two bars, with a slight curve on the right side, as illustrated, much like 6th and 12th veer to the north a bit going east. The parallelogram runs along those streets, so when you take that “A” and stretch it a bit to align with those streets, guess what? The angle of the “A” will align with the purple triangle, and you’ll get something that resembles the “FR” stylization on the album cover! Okay, speaking of stretching, maybe that was a stretch. But so far, you gotta admit, there are many parallels here.

As for Dia Frampton, she’s since become a favorite of mine. I remember when I first heard the track “Shatter Me” on Pandora in 2014, and my initial response was, Wow, Lindsey Stirling found some inspiration! It would remind me of when I first heard “Angel” as a new Vicci fan. Dia is credited as a writer for Shatter Me. Nice work, Dia!

So, if cartograstrology is good for anything, it’s helping me discover new artists I like. Because seriously, there are like a million artists out there and I can’t listen to them all!

Cartograstrological Side Effects

Another music video I’m jealous about is Lindsey’s music video for her Shatter Me track “Heist”. I couldn’t have envisioned a better music video for this song myself! It would be a travesty if I didn’t mention it on my video game blog, especially since I should point out some issues you might have with this new eye for wanting to find patterns in the mundane.

A side effect, I’m finding, is that now every time I see a triangle, especially rotating ones, I think, Ooh, is there a cartograstrological synchronicity waiting for me to discover?! And then I go and open up Inkscape or Chrome and “check the map.” It can get overbearing.

Case in point: this music video features Lindsey Stirling’s “rotating triangle power attack” unleashed by a violin power-up in the coin-operated arcade game she is inside. It’s got all the lead-ons: Lindsey Stirling: check. In a video game: check. Rotating triangles: check.


No, Lindsey Stirling is NOT Illuminati, either, you paranoid conspiracy theorists!

In the initial shot of this awesome power attack, Lindsey’s rotating triangle beam is coming straight at the camera and is made up of equilateral triangles. The shot pictured in the graphic is the second shot to feature the beam coming towards the camera, but the beam is off to the side, so the triangles in the front of the string don’t appear equilateral due to perspective. Well, what are their dimensions, now?


Pay attention to the white triangle I outlined

You again!?

As you can see, the triangle beam and the Tacoma Triangle are so similar that the differences are marginal, and I could have used either one in my the animated GIF from my previous post showing the parallel geography and infrastructure.

Does this mean that Lindsey Stirling is keen on the cartograstrology? You’ll have to ask her that question.

My next example is another favorite music video of mine that I’m equally jealous about: “Take Flight”.

Take a gander at these gems:


Yup, that’s not just a lamp in the crisscross shape of a bowtie-- it’s a rotating bowtie lamp! 

Intriguing row boat, yes, but I’d be more impressed if it were a sailboat.

Eureka!

So there you have it. If you’ve read this far and are intrigued by the sailboat constellation and all the parallels that cartograstrology has to offer, you’ve been warned. You might start seeing parallels everywhere and in everything, because it’s all connected, man!

Whew!

 

Why I always keep my receipts

I was going through some old Vicci Martinez merchandise from 2007, remembering the time I went to a show and bought her live DVD album. I got back this receipt:

Yes, I still have the receipt, though I’m sure the warranty has long since expired on this purchase

The address on the receipt had a street name that reminded me of my childhood neighborhood in the West End of Tacoma.


Woodlawn was a few streets down from my street, Shirley. I got a little nostalgic and looked at where this address was on the map.



Then I noticed something really interesting. I compared the distances between my childhood home and the house I was living in at the time in 2007 on South 12th Street with this receipt address.


1.62 miles or 2.61 kilometers. The same numbers in both units? It’s a sign!

The distances are exact right down to their respective doorsteps. Would you believe that? Also, both houses had “33” in the address. 2633 North Shirley Street, and 3315 South 12th Street: xx33 and 33xx. Strangely also, the numbers did similar reversals when looking at the distance units: 1.62 miles and 2.61 kilometers. Interesting how there are these repeating relationships between these figures.

Back then, I had no idea that such things like this were possible in what I thought to be a random, chaotic universe. It was here, back in the spring of 2007 that I was discovering in a personal and meaningful way that the universe is much more organized and interconnected than the mainstream scientific establishment will have you believe.

And I was just getting started!

I put other places on the map, too, such as where I was working at the time, the location of Jazzbones where I bought the merchandise, just to name a few.


Wait— is that… a parallelogram?

Yup, sure is! A nearly perfect parallelogram.

From that little piece of thermal paper I’ve discovered that I can draw a circle around its address on the map, and the edge of that circle will pass through two points of significance in Tacoma. Also, adding two more points— the place where I met Vicci (at work serving tables) and her workplace (Jazzbones playing a gig)— will make a nearly perfect parallelogram!

The odds of this just being total coincidence would have to be astronomical! I never actually spoke to Vicci about this directly. What exactly would I say?


“Hi, Vicci! The, um, stars on the map have spoken. The constellation says… a sailboat. Yup. Cool DVD, by the way!” Also, the path from the Shirley house to the S 12th St house to Jazzbones makes a right-angle turn.

Whoa… connect the dots!

Remember the “End of Days Line” from my previous post? Here’s a recap: If you use Google Maps’ “measure distance” tool by right-clicking on the map, you can get accurate distances measured along a path across the globe (not flat disk, sorry). I showed that by starting a path on one end at Cape Infanta, South Africa and placing the other end on Days Island in Tacoma, you get a distance of 16,666 kilometers, among other things.

If you place our “sailboat constellation” over that line, you will see that it passes through two of her places on the map.


“End of Days Line” passes by Jazzbones as I mentioned in an earlier post, and also by the address on the receipt I got from buying the DVD at Jazzbones in 2007. 

Have you noticed that the “sail” line from the Shirley street house to the 12th street house runs parallel to the two (parallel) Narrows bridges? Is there a pattern emerging here? So let’s extend this line further, shall we?


Stop right there! I’ve been to this spot on Google Maps before…

So this line— beginning in Tacoma— goes to Mexico City where it intersects with another ley line from my previous post I called “The Longsword of Saint Michael” that goes to Haifa, Israel.

So, putting it all together, now: when you begin on ShirLEY (see what I did there? Or was it the Universe that put the “ley” in Shirley?) and follow the line to Mexico City, then turn and follow St. Michael’s Longsword ley line to Haifa, and then turn south to Cape Infanta, and then turn again back West to Boston and finally Tacoma; you’ll come back through the constellation and it’ll look like this:


That right triangle, though...

That’s one big bowtie.

Check out that global “bowtie”! What’s even more fascinating is in Tacoma where this path begins and ends there is a smaller bowtie.


Fractal bowties within large bowties on the map? And that orange triangle is 90 degrees! Mind blown. All from a dang receipt!

In conclusion, the universe– speaking to me through this receipt– is telling me the following things:

  • Everything is connected. Words, letters, words within words, streets, numbers, angles, shapes, lines, bowties, people, everything. Look for patterns and synchronicities.
  • This has been revealed to you because you are the Chosen One.
  • Just kidding, don’t overthink it. There are no ‘chosen ones’… I think… wait, are there? Who knows. I’m not overthinking, I’m assessing. There’s a difference. Regardless, if there is, it’s not you, loser.
  • Parallels are awesome. Look at and identify them whenever possible. They will reveal other things.
  • Opposing triangles and crisscrossing lines make bowties. Pay attention to them. Actually, pay attention to all kinds of corresponding shapes. Not just because of that Ben Gibbard song.
  • Also pay attention to symmetrical/mirrored shapes, too, because bowties usually fit into that category unless they’re lopsided like these examples above, and if so then defer back to the correspondence idea from before.
  • I said don’t overthink it!
  • Buy a sailboat for Vicci Martinez and give it to her at her next show.
  • Do not test out the sailboat first before you give it to her because you’ll want to keep it for yourself.
  • You may give her a model sailboat instead of a real one.
  • You don’t have to give her anything, actually. She should give one to you. After all, you’ve been a good supporter of her music and career. Mostly.
  • Don’t tell anyone about the other DVD. You know the one. You don’t? Neither do I. I don’t even know what I’m talking about. I must be overthinking again– yes, that’s it!

Thus the receipt of the universe has spoken.

Dear “somebody”,

I hope this letter finds you well!

And hello dad! And hello to whomever else among family and friends that I have shared this little secret with regarding a certain well-known public figure whom I’ve claimed knows all about a certain personal story about me, along with the media content that I created and letters I wrote that go along with it. I guess this letter is for those imaginary friends I seem to believe aren’t just in my head. They’re actually reading this, honest! But really, I have nothing to lose, so what’s a little humiliation?

It’s getting closer to Valentine’s Day, you know. The last few months my mind has been very busy processing all the incredible layers to this revelation— the good, the not-so-good, and the not-so-pretty. In any great story there’s always conflict, but the greatest is usually from within, so best not let myself get attached to any expectations or end result, though, because it still “remains” to be seen, after all, what will come of this. I have to be honest— some mornings I have woken up wondering if I should just say nothing and forget this whole thing— again— like what I did a decade ago. It would be so much easier on my li’l heart not having to wonder what am I supposed to do next?

A year ago I revisited this story from my past in my homesick condition, contemplated what I “didn’t say” all those years ago, and how it might have affected a certain person. I missed a few things back then and over the years (and wasn’t looking to find them out, either), and I would come to feel some regret for the first time in my life after seeing her again for the first time last year since New Year’s Eve 2010.

[begin flashback scene]

I can’t forget that scene of getting to the show early, me approaching her and getting ignored, then tapping her on the shoulder as she walked away while calling her name until she finally stopped and turned around to make eye contact. Then that generic greeting and wet noodle handshake. I would congratulate her on her progress in her sobriety before she would break away, then I’d return to my bar stool in the all-ages section and realize that I underestimated the effect on her I had. She would disappear until the show started, leaving her mother confused when she arrived as to why she couldn’t find her, even asking her son-in-law where she was… I wasn’t trying to collect this information, but it would become yet another classic episode I’ve experienced a dozen times before when the things I needed to know would just manifest without effort. From a distance.

I learned something from all of this. I tricked myself back then into believing that she didn’t actually care, because why would she? Even though I saw through the veil, I let doubt dictate my inaction, so I didn’t think I needed to say the words to bring closure. I have now seen the aftermath, so this time, with you, I won’t make the same mistake.

So if you’re reading this, know that I am hoping to meet you in the middle. The only problem is that I don’t know where the middle is! I’m going to need a little help here, so feel free to drop me a line.

This concludes my, um, romantic Valentine’s Day letter to you.

And now to sign this letter with a quote from my religion:

Say: He is not to be numbered with the people of Bahá who followeth his mundane desires, or fixeth his heart on things of the earth. He is My true follower who, if he come to a valley of pure gold, will pass straight through it aloof as a cloud, and will neither turn back, nor pause. Such a man is, assuredly, of Me. From his garment the Concourse on high can inhale the fragrance of sanctity.… And if he met the fairest and most comely of women, he would not feel his heart seduced by the least shadow of desire for her beauty. Such a one, indeed, is the creation of spotless chastity. Thus instructeth you the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.

~Baha’u’llah

My Christmas Road Trip

Each year I would usually go to my oldest brother’s house to celebrate Christmas and open gifts with the whole family, but it wasn’t happening this year because of the divorce. Sad face.

I wasn’t near family for the last two years because of Denver, but I’m usually quite content and independent so I’m not irked about it, plus my coworkers and roommates were my substitute family.

This year I woke up inside a tent on Christmas morning to the sound of nature and not a soul around. And at 7000 feet altitude! I found the spot on Google Maps beforehand and read the comments to be sure it would be suitable for my little car to get to. There was a four-mile dirt road I would need to traverse in the dark which would feel like a thousand speed bumps and an eternity, but a commenter said a sedan could do it, so I was assured.

As I made my approach in the dark of night, I was stoked to be doing this kind of adventure again like I had done in 2011 on my mountain bike in Hood River, Oregon. When I stepped out into the crisp mountain air and looked around, I was seized for a moment by a sense of isolation and remoteness, but instead of it being coupled with excitement, I began to feel lonely and maybe even a bit afraid.

That is most certainly not what I was expecting to feel. Those thoughts flooded my mind of me taking a path in life where I become one of those perpetually single guys who gets a camper and just roams from place to place alone.

I’m loving my first-ever solitary camping road trip, but those thoughts that I might become that hermit in the woods with only his thoughts and little projects to keep him company is a frightening notion. I’ll always love being a member of a community and putting myself in the path of others in service, but at 34 years old and having never been in a serious relationship before and not being bothered by that fact? I’m running out of time, and there’s a good chance I could end up being that old man alone in the woods.

I was quite bothered by that thought, indeed. Thank God!

Of Tacoma, Fallout, and Ley Lines

Have you ever heard of “ley lines”?

It’s not very surprising that this phenomena exists, actually, as science has already demonstrated that a field of consciousness exists all around us— as a singularity— well beyond the cranium of humans, and demonstrably proves that the human mind can affect the physical universe, thanks to groundbreaking experiments such as the infamous double-slit experiment and others. (Check out Source Field Investigations by David Wilcock for more about this. DISCLAIMER: I don’t share DW’s philosophical views, but the scientific data points speak for themselves.)

If you’re like me, then you know there is a Great Being that rules over the universe, has His own Will, and creates order and perfection throughout the cosmos that we owe our existence to. Most, including myself, will usually refer to Him by His many names, while others simply choose to use the term “universe” so as to not put up barriers. I use them interchangeably based on my audience, but I usually mean the same thing.

The thing to consider is that every little thing, be it an idea or a physical object, does not exist by chance nor is there really such thing as “coincidence”. In the study of metaphysics, all is connected one way or another, and nothing happens by accident. When observing a phenomenon such as ley lines, one can only marvel at how precise the universe is structured according to what appears to be a higher intelligence that truly is “beyond the veil” of our limited knowledge.  

A note about modern-day ley line observing: Google Maps changes the game with their “measure distance” tool. You see, the lines here aren’t drawn straight— they’re adjusted to compensate for the curvature of the Earth (flat-earthers, you can stop reading now).

With this in mind, go back to that Wikipedia page with the image of the “Sword of St. Michael” and try to recreate it in Google Maps. See what happens?


The Sword of Saint Michael is shaped more like a scimitar.

Keep extending the Sword of St. Michael until it becomes more like a tachi, drop its end where the most stuff lines up, and you get this:


Eat your heart out, David Wilcock!

It passes right through the major cities of the east coast of the US: Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. These are pretty significant cities in “the West” (A side note: as I was researching ley lines on Wikipedia while drafting this post in October, I discovered this incredible ley line).

Keep going further down the line and you’ll end up on the west coast of Mexico.

Since this is technically a video game blog, you should also know that Washington D.C. was the setting of my favorite game Fallout 3, and Boston for my most favorite game Fallout 4

So, where am I going with this? In October I posted about a local artist in Tacoma who seems to have embedded a ley line in her music video. When I extended it further, I found it rather striking:


Ley line from my previous post

Extending this line east from Tacoma already shows some interesting features.

So, how to decide where exactly to drop the point of the line? Since the principle behind this phenomena is interconnectedness, how about a spot with meaningful significance? “Cape Infanta”— like a baby starting life “unable to speak”— the line begins here. And look at how nicely the line hugs the rocky coastline…

Now, since it would be more meaningful to begin at Cape Infanta, let’s return to Tacoma, then extend that line west..


Stop right there! 16,666 kilometers?! That would be an ominous sign, but here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. we use miles. So let’s just move on..
(No offense to any readers who have lived or are currently living on Day Island)

Okay, now we have a line that goes from East to West. If we begin from the East and go West — like the sun travels across the sky— we can end it at Days Island at an interesting distance of 16,666 kilometers!

So, let’s get this straight (or curved): this ley line begins in South Africa, and on Days Island it ends with “666” in the measured distance. What does all this suggest this line should be called?

The “End of Days” Line!!!

Shit just got real. (I really don’t swear that often, but I think is appropriate here)

So, what happens when you combine both the Longsword of Saint Michael and The End of Days Line?


X marks the spot. Click for larger image.

Concord. Red square is site of Old North Bridge. Red circle is Concord Museum.
 
Old North Bridge in Concord. Street view.

Old North Bridge in Sanctuary Hills, Commonwealth (from Fallout 4).
 
Museum of Freedom, Concord, Commonwealth (Fallout 4).

Extra credit: go and see for yourself where Fallout 4 was developed in relation to these ley lines, but before you do that, go ahead and see what else is on these lines in relation to Fallout 4. It should only take a minute, man! 

Well this explains why I’ve been so obsessed with Fallout 4 when it came out.

One day I hope to make a gamer’s pilgrimage of sorts to Boston and Concord. But not before I get a hold of that blue vault 111 jumpsuit!

So, does the post-apocalyptic theme of this game bear any metaphysical relationship to the End of Days and these ley lines? I sure hope not, but if so, maybe this is the universe’s way of telling me that there will be many settlements that will need my help!

Time for me to get a job

The time is nigh and my little sabbatical since April is coming to a close. The signs are manifest. Money is dwindling in my bank account and I’m running out of classic games to sell on eBay. There is a large cherry tree in my parents’ backyard with all but a few yellowed leaves fallen. Yup, that’s the universe again, talking through metaphor.

Something tells me that I won’t be needing to apply for that job in the health food store deli, stocking the buffet with my expertise in that area of food service. As much as I enjoy having a such a humble occupation and existence, I’m feeling increasingly inspired for something that capitalizes on my other potentialities.

As a newly self-identified “Stirlingite”, or fan of Lindsey Stirling’s YouTube channel, and seeing what I saw on the finals of Dancing With The Stars (did that freestyle with the violin really happen?!), I say to myself, Gosh, look at that. Total redemption and victory on so many levels! They once told her “no”, yet she did it anyway, and achieved perfection. And at the astonishment of even the hosts!

Seeing this story play out has been very inspiring. What can I learn from this that can be put into action in my own life? I have already mastered the occupation of the vegan sous chef. What avenues are there from which I can pursue with others that continues to develop my creative potential? What does that next step entail?

In my previous job stints, I have usually assumed the role of the “expert assistant”, as my previous employer called me. In my favorite books by Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work!, his advice is to “stand next to the talent in the room.” If there was a dream job, it would be standing next to Lindsey to watch what she does and do what she tells me to do. Heck, I’d even move to LA and drive the tour bus!

It’s too bad those Seattle L.S. tickets for Dec. 16 went so fast! I’d go there and hand her a resume. I guess one can only dream at this point, but sometimes the universe opens the door.

Thank you

I just want to say that I’m extremely honored to have been a part of your creative process. What wonder at how connected we all are!

And don’t worry– no “analysis” posts or videos from me. My lips are sealed! And I hope you two can mend your friendship.

To cement a tradition of awkward gift-giving from a fan, I would like to offer you a gift for Christmas! It’s only two of a kind: I made both of them ten years ago in June. Gave one to someone and kept a copy for myself. It was well-received! I’d be honored to give it to you someday. For what it’s worth.

Again, thank you so much (everyone!) for this experience!

So much love!
-Arc

I am JEALOUS.

Five years ago, in 2012, I brought home my first smartphone and before I really got to play with it, I remember my roommate inviting me over to Bluebeard coffee in Tacoma where he was studying, which was down the street from our South 15th street apartment. He really loved that place, even though he is not a coffee drinker. He even bought a logo T-shirt a painting off the wall!

I sat there at the window seating, staring at my touchscreen blankly, fingers hovering over motionless, wondering what to do with it first. I’ll need music, of course, so let’s get an app for that! I discovered Pandora, and thought it a good idea to add a station that played video game music, also of course. In between songs from the soundtrack, a violinist to dubstep music came on. It was one of those, okay, what is this moments that compelled me to look at the screen and hit that thumbs up button. That was the moment that Lindsey Stirling would forever be my go-to Pandora station for all upbeat music needs, whether during exercise or driving, doing dishes or visualizing a story in the dark in my mostly empty room. I watched one of her music videos, Crystallize, and thought it was very cool how she had so many talents on display with her YouTube channel.

Flash forward to present. Last week, I’m listening again, and another one of those songs comes on that just stops me in my tracks. Okay, Lindsey, what have you come up with this time is my thought as I hit that replay button (the song was “The Arena”, by the way). I got tired of hitting the replay button and bought the whole dang album. Then I realized, I haven’t visited her YouTube page in almost five years. What?!

Now I wish I hadn’t, because now I’m JEALOUS!

It happened when I saw this:

Why am I jealous? Because I wanted to make music videos like this animated one! With the simple stylized graphics and visual storytelling and all, and nine million views? She is living the dream (need I shamelessly plug my Dragon Warrior music video previsualization again?).

What’s more is that there seems to be a treasure-trove of hidden gems in the form of symbols and metaphor laden throughout this as well as her other amazing and best-ever music videos. Why haven’t I noticed this before?

And why haven’t I noticed Dia Frampton before? I should have — she shared the stage with Vicci during the finals of The Voice Season 1, except I didn’t watch any of it other than Vicci’s audition on YouTube back then (I’m a terrible fan, I know).

Anyone else notice this?

After making an astonishing discovery digging through the content of the game Tacoma, I’m hooked on the “easter egg” hunt, and I think I’ve found some more! And I didn’t even have to look any further than Tacoma’s very own Vicci Martinez! Watch her music video for “Stay Awake” very carefully:

If you are any fan of Vicci Martinez, you know her Live DVD literally tells you it features “easter eggs” on the back of the DVD case. So, if you want to find them for yourself, don’t read any further and have another look from the source!

**EASTER EGG SPOILER ALERT!**

In the DVD, you can watch a song she messed up on that is not accessible via the DVD menu by accessing the player’s hierarchy system and selecting the secret chapter: Chapter 5 of Title 3. I just love it when artists put secrets in their work for you to discover, but the thing is you gotta be looking for them (like in the game Tacoma, as well as in my Dragon Warrior tribute previs! Hey, I can self-promote if I want to).

Back to the Stay Awake music video: I am seeing in the film direction what appears to be a foreshadowing toward the end. Like, wouldn’t you want to know what happens next? Where did the girl disappear to without her luggage? Where are his dancing legs carrying him away to? Can we find out for ourselves? Who’s with me on this? Anybody?

Look at this: these two

Here is the first time we see the dancer:


He seems to be on the move...

Do you know where in Tacoma this dancer is? If you love Tacoma as much as I do, then any time a location is featured in an art video you’ll want to pinpoint exactly where it is to, you know, gawk and whatnot.

How about the girl?  


Now where could this be?

If you are listening to the lyrics, “we break up to make up”. I’m going to guess these two are coming rather than going. They are, after all, facing each other.

Look at this: the map of Tacoma

Figure out where they are yet? No? Okay, I’ll give you another minute. Here’s a tip: use Google Maps/Earth and scroll around. That’s what I did. Ready now? Okay.


Looks familiar...

 


Yup, definitely the East 11th Street Bridge
I still love MS Paint

If you look at the map and imagine they keep going along the street they’re on, where would their paths cross in Tacoma? Aha, so they’d meet at South 12th and Pearl. Why there? Maybe have an early morning picnic while they make up in Minniti field? Or maybe they’re students at Tacoma Community College!

Is that all there is to it? Is there anything more to discover within this body of work having to do with this location on the map? What about the cover artwork for the digital album release that features the song “Stay Awake”?

Look at this: the album artwork

It’s clear by this artwork that VM identifies with her roots in Tacoma. I know the sentiment, but was there any particular reason this spot in Tacoma was chosen (other than the obvious presence of the Old City Hall building)? Let’s take a look!

It seems that if you draw a straight line from where they meet on 12th and Pearl to where the dancer first appears in the video, it passes right through the middle of the photo! So what does this line have to do with VM identifying with Tacoma? Follow the line…


Jazzbones?

Bluebeard coffee?

 


Notice how the photographer is positioned? Yup, facing the direction of the line.

So could there have been any thought put into where on East 11th Street to take the album photo of Tacoma? Here’s an idea:


The girl at the ferry dock looks to Mt. Rainier?

"Coincidence?"

If you draw a line from the ferry terminal to the peak of Mt. Rainier, the photo could have been taken by the dancer on E 11th St right near the spot his path crosses this line.

So there you have it. Was I reaching here? Or was this an intentionally made rabbit hole to go down, left for you to discover by an artist who pays attention to every little detail and wants you to do the same? Could Steve and Karla have spotted this and took inspiration from it, leading them to embed their own special tribute to her in their game, hidden in plain sight?

Did Tacoma, Washington’s Vicci Martinez inspire a whole new genre of video game?

Hello from Tacoma, Washington!

That’s right, readers, I have since quit my job at the Krishna buffet in Denver so I could move back home to Tacoma, Washington! It’s been surreal to be back in my beloved hometown after being homesick in Colorado. During those last few months there I put my controller down and revisited some albums from Tacoma native Vicci Martinez. Next I took a virtual trip down memory lane (i.e. Sixth Avenue) thanks to Google’s Street View and listened to Angel. Those first forty seconds of the instrumental intro to her song blasted me right into nostalgic bliss as it invoked memories of cycling across the city streets enjoyed with youthful freedom.

It had been nearly two years since last I had been to my hometown. Longest stretch ever before this was six months. I was in an especially unique and timely frame of mind. Unique in that it had never felt so magical to be home in my parents’ house in central Tacoma where I grew up, and timely because right around the corner was the release of Fullbright’s next highly anticipated game, Tacoma. What inspired Steve Gaynor and Karla Zimonja of Fullbright to choose our hometown? And, as the title suggests, could Vicci herself have anything to do with it?

 

*** SPOILER ALERT! ***

 

Let’s get right down to it, then. To begin, there’s Fullbright’s first game, Gone Home, released in 2013. It was a groundbreaking game because it featured an environment to explore to piece together a story, yet there were no guns or enemies to kill, or any real gameplay. Just walk around and search for the next part of the story. Basically a walking simulator. It was the story itself that was the real meat of the game: a realistic portrayal of a high school girl falling in love with a female classmate, the rejection and lack of support from her religious parents, and ultimately ending with the girls running away together. As a fan of Vicci’s, the parallels here are rather striking. The girl’s lover even joined a heavy metal band as the vocalist and played gigs. Striking, indeed, but “coincidence?”

I didn’t really give it much thought back then of this connection, but when I learned that their next game is called Tacoma, and was originally to be set in a house in Tacoma, Washington? Well that narrows it down a bit! Let’s read on!

Aboard the Lunar Transfer station Tacoma in the year 2088 there are six human crewmembers who have disappeared after an accident who you can dig up secrets about. Among those six from various parts of the world there is E.V. St. James who hails from Tacoma, Washington. (I’ll give you three guesses what that “V.” stands for in her name.) Here’s some info about her you will find out in your dig through her personal quarters:


Evie is captured in a recording singing a jazz song and playing her guitar

There are sticky notes on her headboard with what look like chords. So does this Evelyn Victoria also enjoy some singing/songwriting in her free time?

She is grieving the loss of a family member, her sister, as you will discover with your incessant digging up of her personal artifacts.

Evie doesn’t really look like Vicci, however, as she is black and has curly hair more like mine, but Natali Kuroshenko certainly fits the description.


Clive towers over tiny Natali. So many "ee" sounds with the first names. Evie, Natali, Vicci. Just sayin'.

Well paint me brown and call me Mexican! I’ve decided Natali is an intentional lookalike and you won't convince me otherwise.

So there you have it. I can now safely say that, as a classically-raised gamer of thirty years in Tacoma, having been a witness to the evolution of this medium, I am especially thrilled that someone from the City of Destiny could inspire not one but two games, as well as a whole new-and-favorite genre and contribute to the pages of video game history.

So thanks, Steve and Karla. You two are the best! Can you make a game about me next? I can do all kinds of cool things! Have you seen my manualism video? Let’s talk! Hit me up!

Edit: Oh shit I just realized — guess who’s birthday it is as of this posting?! Happy 33rd, Vicci!

PS: You can still borrow my Xbox to play this game, but it’s my brother’s so please don’t break it if you do borrow it. Let me know and I’ll bring it to your next show.