uberreiniger: (Wayfarer)
LOL, I don't even know how many days I'm back up now but I'm not giving up!

The prompts )

Day Eighteen: Favorite non-warrior female character - Swan, the semi-eponymous heroine of Robert McCammon's post-nuclear fantasy epic Swan Song. She is a girl with the power to make plants grow and therefore is the key to repairing the radioactive world. Unfortunately, in addition to your garden variety post-apocalyptic warlords raiding and enslaving their way across the landscape there is also a demonic force interested in keeping things exactly as they are. Swan is a true pacifist and sickens at the notion of even having anyone shed blood to defend her person. Needless to say, things get very interesting for everyone involved in her life and she winds up with some interesting choices to make.

Day Nineteen: Favorite non-human female character - Shale from Dragon Age: Origins. Depending on the dialogue options you choose it is possible to spend almost the entire game not knowing that the cheerfully homicidal stone golem in your party is in fact female. Cheerful sociopaths who gleefully remind you that they'd love to murder you if they could get away with it shouldn't be endearing or make you like them. Shale is noteworthy because they pull it off with her.

Day Twenty: Favorite female antagonist - The God from the Silent Hill games. It's always God, never Goddess, presumably because she can appear in whatever form those trying to incarnate her think of her as. (Yes, that means if you think of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover will appear and destroy us all.) But in-game texts and characters always refer to her as female regardless. And she is just... well, she is responsible in one way or another for EVERYTHING in Silent Hill. That should say it all right there.

Blue Monday

Nov. 8th, 2011 01:53 am
uberreiniger: (Silent Hill nurses)
Subject line has nothing to do with either calling in sick on a Monday or a certain song by New Order, brilliantly covered in the late 90's by flash-in-the-pan industrial goth act Orgy. No, I call it Blue Monday because the color of the outdoors today was about two shades off from that blue filter ubiquitous to horror movies these days. Naturally I loved it. I planned to go for a walk in my new neighborhood but of course it started raining and hasn't stopped since: the kind of fat, gloppy, poisonous drops that are a hallmark of autumn days in the Midwest.

The lack of a walk was disappointing but not defeating. One thing I have not been today was bored. I have done a ton of laundry, started running our boxes of dishes through the dishwasher, and finally started cleaning the kitchen shelves to place said dishes upon. It is starting to feel like we actually live here. I had wanted to get started on the painting we are required to do but I can get away with putting it off a few more days.

About three years ago I bought myself a stack of Playstation 2 games for Christmas and never played any of them. I've made it a goal to start digging through the stack. Today I started on Kuon which is an interesting little survival horror game you've probably never heard of. If you've played Fatal Frame it has a similar premise: young woman with psychic powers goes to investigate a haunted mansion where someone close to her has disappeared and must defeat ghosts in unconventional ways. I think it even uses FF's graphic engine. Difference is that it's set in feudal Japan instead of the modern era and instead of a camera you use exorcism strips, which if you're not familiar with as a Westerner, watch anime for a couple of hours and you will be.

I really like this game. It's got an intricate plot that's as good as anything in the genre, plenty of jump scares, beautifully rendered graphics, and unlike Silent Hill the controls don't actively fight you. Although since your protagonists (you switch characters during the game,) are frail teenaged girls who've never had to hurt anyone before they're still only marginally more effective in hand-to-hand combat than the shambling, mindless undead they run up against. I'm sorry I waited so long to play it but I can't wait to see where it goes.

After gaming it was time for bass practice. Finger style is getting easier finally although I'm still a long way from mastering the gallop. I want to practice the six string more but this gallop business has me obsessed.

So now I've finished job hunting for the night and I suppose finished the day as well. Thankfully it did not go the way blue filtered horror movies usually do.
uberreiniger: (angel descending)
Being band-less has left me feeling listless and cranky and not quite knowing what to do with myself. I am free to resume work on my own music now, but I miss the urgency and charged atmosphere of wanting to have a particular part ready by the next rehearsal. Maybe I work better in a group situation than I thought. Maybe it's exactly what I need to keep the motivation that I constantly fight with.

Ex-bandmate contacted me over facebook and we exchanged a couple of civil messages. Wish they'd showed this willingness to be calm when it mattered. I guess we don't hate each other though. *shrug*

My poor wife has been sick for a few days. I keep feeling like I'm starting to come down with it but then it backs off. I am really starting to itch to get stuff moved into the new house but it seems unlikely I'll be able to afford the gas to drive down there until I get paid again next week. Grr. I need to go through the storage area of our basement and start pulling all the domestic stuff that got put into mothballs two years ago so we can start putting it in its new home. Maybe if I do that until it's time to go down there I'll feel like I'm doing something.

Just generally antsy. Since my computer works again I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins again but that only keeps me distracted for so long. I've gotten to Orzammar, which to me is the most tedious part of the game. Seems to go on forever. You basically have to get through it the same way you reduce a golem's size: with a chisel and a lot of nerve.
uberreiniger: (sausage drip)
The heat index reached 119 in some areas around here today. Oh, wait! Did I mention that our house's air conditioning died yesterday? It did. I can't remember the last time I was this physically uncomfortable in my house. Actually I can. It was over ten years ago when the A/C didn't work in my apartment. Sitting there in my underwear with all the windows and the balcony door open. Yep. I was classy. I was also miserably hot. Our landlord is theoretically going to get it fixed tomorrow. Hope so. Really hope so.

I have three days off in a row. Bad because Job #2 didn't have any extra hours to give me. But I will try to be as productive as possible with the time. I was planning on going and seeing Transformers tomorrow but at this point staying in and playing Dragon Age and/or WoW sounds just as appealing.

Feels like forever since I've posted. The 4th of July was pleasant. My father managed to get a bunch of fireworks for 13$ and we had a good old time blowing them up. Other than that, not much happened. Playing Dragon Age: Origins again because I couldn't get my old character's info back after reformatting my computer. And I just can't play 2 without importing my adventures from Origins, you know? Having a lot of fun. The game is waaay easier to play as a mage. It's just ridiculous, in fact.

After much anticipation with getting WoW paid for again I haven't really played it much. Logged in for about half an hour on Thursday to start the Firelands quest chain and that was it. Oddly, I get more excited anymore about leveling characters up than sending my 85's to tackle new endgame content. Go figure. I'm even getting a serious jones to play Horde again despite having played Alliance exclusively since shortly before Wrath of the Lich King.

I'll get right on that after I shatter a few more frozen Darkspawn who have been infected with Walking Bomb...
uberreiniger: (Bender believe or understand)
-Sent in a resume for a job last night. Got a phone call from them today. They must have liked my answers because the woman said she'd forward it on to the hiring manager to schedule an interview. Last week I had an interview for a promotion at my current work. Since I was the first interview the manager said it would be a while before I heard anything. As someone who rarely gets offered an interview and has worked a lifetime of crummy jobs because of it, I'm starting to feel kind of good about myself. I feel very motivated now to go out and keep applying for jobs rather than procrastinating against the inevitable humiliation of interviews and the disappointment to follow.

-I had training for a standardized patient gig yesterday and will be performing the gig Monday and Tuesday of next week. Since I have a feeling I'm going to owe on taxes again this year, the little boost of money will be nice.

-I feel like a creative dynamo. I have been faithfully writing and/or practicing bass guitar every day for a month now. The bass is really taking a toll on my left shoulder though. Why does B.C. Rich have to build their Warlocks so damn neck heavy? It's a complaint I've seen repeatedly about the Warlock model but I didn't listen. There's got to be a way to rebalance it so I'm not in agony after twenty minutes of practice. Meanwhile, my latest Apocalypse Woman story is finally doing what it needs to do after three false starts. I no longer dread trying to write on it, at least.

-Unfortunately, it appears I will not be able to afford the Emilie Autumn concert on March 10th. I'm disappointed, but actually feeling very relieved not to have to come up with the money. I can only hope she'll come through here again sometime in the future when I'm more financially viable. In the meantime I will count the days until my Opheliac cd that I ordered from Amazon.com arrives in my mailbox. It will have to satisfy me in the meantime.

-There is no way I will win Dragon Age: Origins before the release date of its sequel on March 6th but I'm still valiantly trying. And I've decided I really do want to play Awakenings anyway. *sigh* So much Ferelden, so little time.

Now I am off to a short shift at work. I hope everyone is having a decent week so far.
uberreiniger: (magical kiss (icon_harem))
I drink too much soda, I play too much WoW, I don't write enough, and the so-called pharmacy I work for is running me around in circles so I can't get my stomach medicine that I need. (They're basically hoping I'll just settle for taking Prilosec and go away. Not gonna happen.)

But I had a beautiful Valentine's Day with my wife - Dairy Queen, shopping, and Soul Calibur at a real live video arcade, you can't go wrong with that. And my first novel is hurtling like a comet toward its very sexy release date. I should feel bad about some things, but all things considered, I feel pretty good.

Exhaustion

Jan. 7th, 2007 08:14 pm
uberreiniger: (Default)
I went home from work early yesterday. I was sick. I think the gruelling pace of the job just caught up with me. I haven't mentioned it, but lately they've been scheduling me on a lot of turnarounds, which is where I close at night and then open the next morning. If I'm lucky I have just enough space for six hours of sleep. So far I haven't managed to get more than four. Yesterday was such a day and I think it just caught up with me. I came home at two in the afternoon and crashed for about four hours. I woke up when Mel got home and felt better, but after I went to bed later that night I developed a fever. The problem with this was that I made the mistake of playing Shadow of the Colossus immediately before going to bed. If you don't know, it's a video game where a warrior is trying to slay primordial giants in order to resurrect his dead girlfriend. Now you'd never think it from that description, but the whole game is actually very eerie, desolate, and surreal. The graphics are dreamlike at best, almost halucinatory in some places. Needless to say, it makes for interesting sleeping when you're having fever dreams in which this is coming at you. ) Or this. )

Yeah. Anyway, fortunately the fever broke at some point - I think that's what it means when you go to sleep shivering under two blankets and with the heater blazing and wake up later pouring sweat, anyway. I managed to get through my full shift today, but everything ached by the time I went home. Making matters worse still, I haven't been able to afford my stomach medicine this month so my acid reflux has been taking its toll on me.

So my overall feeling today has been "blah." Hopefully that will change. I broke down and bought some Prilosec today for my stomach. I can only take it for a limited time before it starts to disagree with my stomach, but since I get paid this week I should be okay on it until then. We'll see.
uberreiniger: (walter watching (mellifera))
Both Mel and I got leg cramps today. Very odd. Wasn't at the same time however. It was a nice day spent mostly in bed. I can't believe how tired I was. Apparently a lot more tired than I thought.

For the last three days I've had really weird nightmares. The one this evening was clearly brought on in part by Silent Hill. I was fleeing across the country from some weird government plot. However, the government was somehow sending the ghosts from Silent Hill 4 after me. They're these really horrifying things which make slimy sucking noises as they crawl out of the walls, followed by these eerie moaning/ringing sounds as they chase you. Yeah, so here I was fleeing from town to town, never being able to stop for very long before the sound started. I remember clinging onto Mel when she got home and came to bed. Yeah, I'm a wuss. It was still better than the nightmare I had Saturday about the Mushroom Fairies from the Kingdom of Loathing online game.

Meanwhile in the waking world I finished re-editing the first forty pages of my manuscript and it's going out in the mail to the literary agent tomorrow. Wish me luck.
uberreiniger: (scaramouche (mellifera))
Something I don't talk about very much is the way I get serious cases of 80's video game nostalgia. It's such a huge thing anymore and I kind of want to just enjoy the games and stay out of the whole scene that seems to go along with them now. Anyway, pursuing this hobby on the 'net a few days ago led to a run-in with a game I hadn't thought about in years, a game I spent the proverbial fortune in quarters on during my childhood. A game called Mr. Do!

The reason I'm making an entire post about it is because it so perfectly illustrates the difference between our realities as children and adults. The premise of Mr. Do! was thus: the game's eponymously-named main character, a circus clown, must burrow his way through fields of some multicolored substance (dirt? vegetation? cotton candy? The game never states.) in search of cherries while being pursued by monsters who look like red dinosaurs. You clear levels by collecting all the cherries, but the monsters can eat the cherries too. You can defend yourself from the monsters by use of a bouncing, unpredictable weapon called a "power ball." Littering the playfield in addition to cherries were several gold apples. Assuming Mr. Do the clown was the size of an ordinary human man, then these apples would correspondingly be of cyclopean proportions not seen since the hey day of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, and the monsters could likewise be slain by luring them underneath these colossal fruits whereupon they would be crushed like so much applesauce.

But wait! There's more! The machine at the center of the screen where the dinosaurs spawned out of would sometimes turn into a cake, cookies, or other such foodstuff. If you went and caught it, Clown Boy would then find himself besieged by a new monster with one of the letters of the word "EXTRA" emblazoned upon it. Killing every monster so adorned, of course, was your key to earning extra lives. But beware! The Extra beast was always escorted by a platoon of mooks who resembled a hybrid of the ghosts from Pac-Man and the Cookie Monster. Even worse, those mouths aren't just for show because those goons can eat your apples, depriving you of weapons! The whole mess looked something like this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Did I mention that the accompanying music to this whole loony scenario was "The Can-Can"? It just makes sense, right?

Here is where the difference between childhood and adulthood is key. Let's review the scenario: a clown has to tunnel Dig-Dug style through the earth to collect cherries while evading dinosaurs and disembodied Cookie Monster heads to the tune of a song synonymous with the prostitutes of 1890's Paris. Explain this to any adult and they will dismiss it with one word: "Drugs." But a child does not question this world of dinosaurs and clowns. He accepts it as though born into it. The cherries must be captured. The dinosaurs overcome. The Extra Life monsters conqured nigh unto the very last. Of course a six foot high apple makes a natural booby trap. What else are you going to use it for? Goodness knows I never questioned it. There was nothing inane about it. The game was cute and colorful and that damn French dancing song, in all its warbly MIDI glory, was quite catching. Yet as an adult, even I must look at it now and go "huh?" I still think it's great, but man, I wish I still had that same ability to unquestioningly accept the beauty of the bizarre and whimsical. It's the same logic that makes Lewis Carroll's work seem frighting and bewildering to adults but to children, it's just Wonderland. It is the way it is because that is how it is and how it was made. Why question such a perfect engine?

I think the key is the utter lack of exposition regarding Mr. Do!'s plot. There is none. I think a little clarification as to why this clown is engaged in such a desperate battle for control of Under-Earth's cherry supply is in order, don't you? Such ambiguity certainly wouldn't stand in today's video game market. There is a rich potential for backstory here. It might go something like this...

"Once upon a time, in a land far beyond the Underground Forest, there lived a civilization of wise and powerful circus clowns. These clowns - all named after present-tense verbs not unlike the rock star Sting - flourished in peace and enlightenment, nourished by their cherry crops and utilizing the fearsome technology of the awesome Power Balls to fend off the dinosaur hordes.

But now something has gone wrong. Dark times face the clowns, threatening their way of life and their very existence. The cherry crops have begun to fail and the dinosaurs are growing more bold. Attacks on clown villages happen daily now. The clowns cannot sleep at night for the sound of their dying brethren's screams. In this age of chaos, one clown has risen up, volunteering to brave the Underground Forest in search of fresh cherries to revive his peoples' faltering crops. Armed with the last remaining Power Ball, Mr. Do steps forth to do battle against the armies of the night!"


Isn't that brilliant? I should write video game manuals. Please don't ask me to fill in plot holes such as how there came to only be one remaining Power Ball or why the clowns don't just pack up and move to a dinosaur-free parcel of real estate. I had a hard enough time as it was, making an appetizing cake batter out of the sawdust and molasses of this game's premise. Damn crazy drugged out game.

That was Mr. Do! When you were seven you probably got it. Now you probably don't. It doesn't matter. Gather ye cherries while ye may. The Cookie Monster heads are coming for you next.

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