31 October 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Tonight I gave out candy to the kids in our neighborhood. I had my laptop and iPhone on the porch with me so one of the dads commented that I was a high tech witch. I took that to heart and when I went to get a jacket (I was originally going to throw on my black sweater) I grabbed my pinstriped blazer. For Halloween I was a business witch. Or Sandra Bullock's character from The Proposal.

I scared two girls today without even trying. The first while I was typing an email. She came around the corner and stopped short. Apparently she didn't expect to see anyone on the porch. Her friends got a kick out of that as did mine. "Have you seen you write an email?" "Really? were they afraid of technology?" While that would have been awesome, as she was Cleopatra, it wasn't the case. The second one ran right up to the porch without paying attention and didn't even notice me until she was close to bumping into me. When she did see me she jumped and let out a yelp. Far more satisfying.

Watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown before it's gone (hulu does that sort of thing).

30 October 2010

A leash for... your phone?!

You can buy a leash for your pet, for your child, and now, finally, you can buy one for your phone! Heaven forbid you ever be parted from your phone. You may die!

When I first saw a commercial for this I was struck by how it made the gadget seem like a life safer (like, literally- something that saves you from death) and how we've become a society chained to our technology.

Billy couldn't find his smart phone! "Oh, no! I don't have my phone. I can't function!" he exclaimed and then he sat down and wept not knowing what to do without his phone to tell him.
Then I started telling a friend about this and, to illustrate, I tried to find the commercial I had seen. What I found was even better....

29 October 2010

Bond, James B---oh great, I've died again.

When this game came out two years ago I really wanted to buy it, but I did not. Why? Because I figured I'd be horrible at it, so I stuck to my puzzle (Professor Layton!) and Brain Age games. I couldn't even get to the end of Super Princess Peach! A few months ago, however the Quantum of Solace for DS was ten dollars at Game Stop. I took it as a sign that it was finally time (plus I was getting better with games) and I bought it.


When I first bought it I started it up and promptly died. During the training/tutorial level. Against the first guy. So I started the level again. I promptly died. How many times I died that first night I can't tell you, but I can tell you this. I gave up. I'd try to play it again, periodically, but I'd promptly die. Well, not so promptly anymore, but I still couldn't get out of MI-6 headquarters.


Am I that bad at games? If couldn't figure out how to get past the first level I would never be able to play the game (obviously). Well, last Saturday in between doing yard work I sat down with the game again and FINALLY got through MI-6 training. Luckily, you can replay levels so I replayed the MI-6 level a few times to practice shooting and beating guys up (you can replay with no restrictions or you can try it timed). I text a friend (who had previously taken much joy in my inability to leave the training level) that I finally made it out of training and could play my game because I was SO excited.

Then I had to take it back.

"Well...maybe I can't play the rest of the game. I keep dying on the first mission." Seriously, I couldn't get past Mitchell's goons for at least two hours. Then I finally get to Mitchell and land what I think is the killing blow...and he calls MORE goons. So I have to keep trying to kill Mitchell, but the goons keep killing me. On the tenth try I finally kill Mitchell and four of his goons, so I start going around opening the briefcases (which contain the phat lewts) when MORE goons come out...and kill me as I'm running for the door.


So at this point I feel it's hopeless, but if I quit now I have to fight all those goons again, so I can't quit now. You might think that because I'd just beaten Mitchell and his goons I'd succeed on this next attempt. Of course if you do than obviously you overestimate my video game skill. Five or so tries later I FINALLY get Mitchell and the first two goons down. Do I go digging around in those cases they dropped? No, sir, I do not. I ran straight for the glowing orange circle that would get me the heck out of there. So I triumphantly text my friend: "30 tries=1 dead guy."

"The dead guy being you, I assume?"

I opted not to replay that level and moved on to the next, wherein Mr. Bond goes to the Opera. I try to enter but the man with the glowing green circle informs me I won't be going in without a ticket. Then it pans over to a man in a suit talking to a man in an orange polo and jeans/blue slacks (at the Opera?) and I accidentally hit the touch screen too many times and I miss what Dame Judi Dench AKA "M" is telling me I need to do. I do remember that Suit said he was going to the wine bar so I set off in search of some booze, to the left-the direction he went. All I find is more men in orange polos and jeans, some very unhelpful ladies, a bathroom (with toilets you can flush!), another green circle guy who won't let me in, and a locked door. So I go the other way and find the same, except I didn't go into the bathroom on this side.

Could I have restarted the level?

Well, maybe if I thought of that, but I didn't, so I couldn't. On a gamble (or I decided I want to flush more toilets...you'll never know) I went into the bathroom on this side only to find myself shot at...in the bathroom. I guessed that he was guarding the bathroom because they'd just cleaned it and they wanted it to stay that way and shot back. Ignoring the guy with the glowing green circle for the moment I went to the case to take the guys stuff (his body had already dissipated, so I assumed he didn't need it anymore (because unlike good guys, the villains don't get to restart the level and I apparently hadn't learned that maybe you should wait to loot). I got a key and walked up to the guy and he thanked me for saving him and gave me a key for the wine bar. But, he couldn't just hand it to me...no, he apparently threw a case, which glowed green (seems safe, right), and inside there was a key. Now, people less focused on how much they suck at this game might have figured out that the shooter was holding the guy captive, but I didn't get that until one of the times I replayed this level and walked up to the guy before looting the briefcase. His response was something along the line of, "GET THE KEY TO SET ME FREE YOU MORON!"

When I open the locked door I discovered a very beautiful glowing orange circle.

I really didn't need to put that last sentence in a paragraph by itself, but I wanted to start a new paragraph and it's become kind of a pattern, so who am I to argue? I walk into the light and then I'm running around back stage killing dudes to get to the wine bar. A wine bar that's backstage at an Opera House and guarded by a few dozen goons. What is the point in that? Anyways, I kill the guy and then run upstairs to get the guy, but "M" is all like, "No, come back to MI-6."

So, it was all for nothing then?

Around this time I notice the scroll down arrows on the Upgrades list and see that you can get more "quick slots" which I choose. Apparently the little blue folder icon at the bottom is where you can drag bullet clips or your first aid so that you can reload or use without having to open your briefcase. If I had known that, or payed attention/understood when they probably mentioned that in the tutorial level (you know, when I kept dying), I probably would have had an easier time with the game, but you know...that would actually mean that I wouldn't suck at the game and that just wasn't going to happen.

Maybe, finally, I was truly getting the hang of this game.

I then decided I'd try replaying the horrible, annoying level and select the Aksu and Melee only restriction. I don't have an Aksu yet, but I figure I mostly melee anyways (I suck at shooting), so why not? I get through everything alright this time (take that goons that kept killing me!) and now I'm faced with...MITCHELL... you punk. So we're at the whole "I've landed the killing blow and now he's going to call more goons and start shooting at me with a machine gun" thing and I quickly dispense with the first two goons and go for Mitchell. ...Who's standing behind a half wall. ...Who's standing behind a half wall with no green arrows that let me jump over so I can punch him to death.


Apparently the "Aksu" part was just as important as the "and Melee" because I have no gun I can shoot him with. So I move on to the next level (by the way, this didn't all take place on the day when I finally beat the tutorial round) confident that I've spent a good amount of time honing my bashing and shooting skills to the point where I may end up finishing the game. This level involves sneaking around and being undetected so they don't shoot you and alert the big bad guy.

Well, there's always replaying the other levels...who says getting to the end of the game is important, 25% is perfectly respectable.

18 October 2010

Are you serious?!

I have a problem and that problem is other people.

Most people don't understand my sarcasm, sense of humor, and my randomness. Back when I still participated in the joy of facebook people would often ask me what my status updates even meant. Well, to be honest, nothing. If I had a thought and I found it random enough I would post it. I also enjoyed posting quotes out of context. "Three, or four if you count tan, which I do not." What does that even mean? Sure, I know, but you don't. (Months later, I only knew with help from a friend.)

I will also say the random things on my mind which confuses people who aren't in my brain thinking what I'm thinking. It would really all makes sense if you were there. Lets say you bring up blue which makes me think of the ocean which makes me think of stars which...well, at the end of it I might say something like, "I really like Peanut Butter TWIX®." (Seriously, they are really great.) You don't know how I got there (and it's generally so quick that you probably don't realize I went anywhere to begin with) but I promise you that I do.

Also, my sarcasm can be a problem. I'm generally sarcastic, very often when it really isn't all that appropriate. Or I say something that is totally ridiculous and people may take me seriously. Like the hierarchy of right (which is totally true when we're having a difference of opinion).

My life would be so much easier if you could just think like I do, you see...or I guess you may not.

16 October 2010

The hierarchy of right, or why men are always wrong.

Men have a hard time understanding and accepting that they are always wrong. Luckily I am here to help those of us with a Y chromosome navigate the road of rightness.

Women are always right. The longer one has been a women the more right she is, making a 30 year old woman more right than a 29 year old woman. Men are always wrong. The longer one has been a man the more wrong one is, making a 30 year old man more wrong than a 29 year old woman. A woman, or girl, is always right when having a differing opinion. This means a ten year old girl is right even if her 40 year old father thinks differently. This is pretty cut and dry, but as we all know the world isn't cut and dry.

Where, you may ask, do transgenders fall into the hierarchy of right or does it, like many rule sets, ignore a very real portion of the world's population? No, the hierarchy of right is an all inclusive and accepting institution. The formula is still the same. The longer you've been a woman the more right you are, however, on principle, a male to female transgendered person is more right than a female to male transgender because, obviously, she saw the error of being male whereas he wants to become male after the glory of being a woman.

So, in conclusion, the only time a man can ever be right is to agree with a woman. Perhaps you think I'm wrong. If you do, obviously you are a man and perhaps you need to work on reading comprehension.