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Not My Birthday 🤨

The most unexpected thing happened to me yesterday and it served to remind me how much I love my friends.

At the end of last week, I tested positive for COVID, so I've been stuck in isolation at home with my parents for a week now, unable to smell even the most intense garlic sauce on my pizza (surprisingly my sense of taste is entirely intact though). Unfortunately this ruined some cool plans... A good friend of mine, J.'s birthday was on the 8th and we got her a cool plant and an imported Monster flavour (guess you could say she's a collector).

Aglaonema spotted star, the cool plant in question

We were supposed to throw her a surprise party on Friday along with 2 other friends and give her the gifts then. They were able to go through with the plan, but needless to say, I couldn't make it. So I was feeling a little down, knowing we don't get an opportunity to see each other that often and probably won't again for a while, due to work and uni... But while I was sitting in my room making my eyes rot from online overexposure I got a message at 10 p.m., from S.: hope you're not asleep. I replied with a nah, thinking they probably just wanted to call me from the party or something, which honestly I wasn't feeling super hyped about.

But not too long has passed before I heard someone calling my name outside. Putting 2 and 2 together, I put a mask on and went to the balcony to see them. It's hard to describe how nice it felt of them to come down to my place just for us to see each other for a moment, even from a distance. All 3 of them were there: J., S. and M.; I wished J. a happy birthday and we chatted for a while. I saw that they were holding bags but I assumed those to be the gifts for J. and maybe leftover food.

But then they wished me a happy birthday too and J. walked up to the balcony and reached out with one of the bags (for the record - I live on the ground floor). Now, it's probably worth mentioning my birthday isn't even in more than a month; So I wasn't sure whether it was a joke or they got their calendar mixed up, but I reached over for the bag and was pretty damn surprised by how heavy it was.

- Just don't drop this on my head...

This is lowkey how it felt, sans the hot pitch, arrows and crusaders

No doubt... I wasn't really feeling like having the blood of a friend's on my hands at that moment so I made sure to put every single puny muscle to use while lifting that shipment of cement or dumbbells or whatever it was up.

When I opened the bag and reached inside it, I couldn't help but let my incredible oratory skills take over:

- Yooo... Yoooo what the fuck!!!

It was a goddamn boxset of the 6 original Dune Chronicles books! A boxset I saw in a bookshop a couple weeks back and drooled at how awesome it looked but thought I'd probably never get it! So many thoughts... Why did they get me a gift this good for my birthday!!! What did I do to deserve this!!! AND IT WASN'T EVEN MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

But that wasn't even all. They also gave me (half) a Silent Hill-themed cake!!! What!? With a frickin Pyramidhead on top!

Promised myself never to be a soyjak, but c'mon, at this point it was impossible not to at that stuff

I was so shocked at how too good to be true this whole situation seemed (plus, again, it wasn't my birthday) that I probably couldn't even accurately express how overjoyed I was, but I did thank them about 29 times. Apparently, the party which I blew was supposed to be a two-way surprise for J. and me, since we probably wouldn't be able to schedule another one in late March. M.'s mom even made a split cake (a Monster-themed half for J. and the SH-themed half for me).

I don't want this to sound like expensive gifts are what matters in friendship, but words just cannot express how thankful I am to have friends this amazing, to go out of their way to specifically find something I'll love and bring it to me despite the whole COVID scare... It made an otherwise shitty week one of the best in a while and I absolutely can't wait for an opportunity to hang out with them in normal circumstances and make it up to them somehow!

Oh, and apparently Pyramidhead is a lot sweeter in person than Team Silent would have you believe.


PS - I'm currently working on the next reberrymemberering article, which will be about Grooveshark. I'm mostly done gathering material so stay tuned :)

🎵 playing: Akira Yamaoka – The Reverse Will
Feb 12th, 2022


Yep... it sure is a new year. Been for quite a while now, actually. I finally got around to restoring the background music on /dreams.html, which stopped working when Vocaroo started returning a 403 Forbidden when you try to directly stream a file from their site :/ Also copied a new/old entry from last October from the dream journal on my phone while at it.

I've been pretty busy with uni work lately, as the semester's coming to a close; but before it got all hectic I started working on a little project that's brought me a lot of fun so far. It's a silly Half-Life 2 fandub with some random retexturing thrown into the mix, which basically aims to make HL2 an Average Day in Poland Simulator (as if the original wasn't close enough already).

Other minuscule tweaks I've made to the site include adding ARandomSite's button and fixing a certain inconsistency between pages 1 and 2 of index.html (yep... the pagination is handmade because I only keep up appearances of having a functioning website, without really knowing how to do any coding whatsoever lol).

Stay tuned for more substantial posts in the near future as I aim to update the website on a semi-regular basis from now on... I even wrote up a neat little schedule that I've already missed at least 3 deadlines on. Welp. Next entries in the reberrymemberering series which will chronicle now-defunct or obsolete websites that used to be near and dear to me are the first priority!

Hope you'll like em once they drop, and in the meantime, have a nice day/night and keep the grind up out there, dear reader B)


🎵 playing: The Smile - You Will Never Work In Television Again
Jan 23rd, 2022


Every now and then, upon refreshing the page, you'll see one of a couple different easter eggs in the header ;)


🎵 playing: nuffin rn
Sep 27th, 2021

🍓reberrymemberering #1

OMGPOP (f.k.a. Iminlikewithyou) was founded in Manhattan, in 2006, by Charles Forman and Dan Albritton. It was one of the many so-called Web 2.0 startups that were all the craze at the time.


Their website launched in 2007, originally a concept dating network built around the premise of 'auctions' where suitors (dudes) could use special points to bid for their desired partners (chicks). How ostensibly mid-noughties... It was also equipped with a messaging and anonymous calling service and most of the usual features you'd expect from a social network, not unlike some other Myspace/Facebook wannabes of that era.

A curious project at the time, perhaps, but nothing too amazing. As the invite-only service wasn't shaping up to be a giant success from the get go, the owners would work on a strategy to make it moreso.

In late 2007, a large update was launched, adding numerous features such as a news column, a rich, overhauled chat and comment system, increased customization and privacy controls; all packed in a new UI that looks fairly impressive to this day. Thus, an interesting aesthetic style that the website's many iterations stuck to was established.

source: M A N D A @ flickr

But what i'minlikewithyou would truly become a widespread phenomenon for, was yet to surface.

As the now-public website's popularity slowly grew, its target demographic was shaping up to be young adults and teenagers of the (then) new 'Facebook era'. The update, which introduced a seamless Flash experience, had laid groundwork for the next big thing to reel them in... Games. Eventually, their in-house-developed titles such as Draw My Thing, Jigsawce, Balloono or Dinglepop brought hundreds of thousands of weekly players to iminlikewithyou. The dating/auction functionality's importance gradually waned in favour of the socializing/casual gaming aspect of the experience. With the addition of leaderboards, items, microtransactions and numerous social features alongside the games, iilwy became the perfect environment to drown hours in for (mostly) young people around the globe.

This led to iilwy transitioning into a full-time casual multiplayer Flash game studio in order to keep adding new exciting titles to their roster.

But with the new focus set far away from flirting, the startup's unwieldy name became something of a baggage for i'minlikewithyou. With the election of a new CEO came a new name, one that may be more familiar to most nowadays:


which proved to be both easier to type and popular with the kids, apparently - further fueling the website's growth.

Screenshots from Hover Kart Racing and Draw My Thing, my favourite games on OMGPOP :D

For me, circa 2011-2013, OMGPOP was one of the best places to hang out for hundreds of hours with my friends from Sploder, playing Hover Kart Racing or Hover Kart Battle and Draw My Thing, all while talking on Tinychat.

In 2012 Draw My Thing was rehauled and made into a standalone app, rechristened "Draw Something". The game quickly became OMGPOP's biggest hit to date with tens of millions of downloads and attracted new, tempting business offers...

And that's the year the company was acquired by Zynga, the casual gaming giant best known for Facebook's Farmsville, for a whopping 210 million dollars.

As you may expect, it's also where the trouble began.

Zynga bought out OMGPOP at the height of its success, but constant clashes between the parent company and OMGPOP's staff, Zynga's own financial troubles and dissatisfaction with OMGPOP's ad-less, microtransaction-fueled business model's low profit margins led to the website being permanently shut down in June 2013, no more than a year after the acquisition. Not only that, but, disgustingly, the news of the shut down were only passed on to the employees through social media...

An attempt was made by ex-employees to buy back the company from Zynga following their own bankruptcy, unsuccesfully. Further efforts to revive the site would later be made by fans (and perhaps ex-employees?) more than once, the latest one being a clone called MOBCPOP; An admirable and inspiring effort, albeit lacking many of the original games and most functionality.

OMGPOP had the best live casual multiplayer UI and social infrastructure I've seen to date and its loss is symptomatic of this sad downgrade of online life we've all been subjected to since the optimistic times of Web 2.0; Can we really never get anything nearly as good again...? Or is this just my nostalgia talkin'?

Either way - here's to you, OMGPOP Panda.


🎵 playing: Drop Nineteens - Reberrymemberer
Sep 22nd, 2021

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