Monday, September 22, 2008

Ramblings (AKA How Was Your Weekend? II)

I went to my first surprise birthday party ever. There is something odd about surprise birthday parties, particularly if you've only met the the surprisee twice. There's that awkward silence where everyone waits for the surprisee to walk through the door. They walk through the door. Everyone yells surprise. I mumble so as not to draw attention to myself. Then I slowly back away while everyone that knows the person goes in for hugs. What am I supposed to do? Go in to wish someone a happy birthday to someone I don't know? I'm just there for the food, and to hang out with people I know. I thought for a moment that I could have avoided the whole surprise moment by hanging out in the bathroom. Then I realized if I ended up having to wait in the bathroom for an extended period of time it would be more embarrassing.

I also realized that I feel old hanging out with 20 somethings.

Watched the Cubs clinch their division Saturday. They are one win away from securing home field advantage through the playoffs. This really has been a rather magical season. I hope it continues.

I finished playing The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. While it has a few camera issues, and there is some rather difficult sections that just show up, the story is pretty good. It also never gets tiring using force combos that sends a Stormtrooper hurling in the air. SPOILERS DON'T READ THE FOLLOWING BOB: Basically you play as Darth Vader's apprentice and start taking out the Jedi that have gone into hiding. You are then tasked with pretending to be a good guy and flush out those who would oppose the Emperor. Darth Vader double crosses you and your realize your true path as a Jedi. You get to then kick Darth Vader and the Emperor's ass. You save Princess Leah and Jimmy Smitts. Then you die, and the Rebel Alliance is formed because of you. They even use your family crest as the symbol for the Rebel Alliance. There are a couple problems with a story that is in fact better than the last three Star Wars disasters. First, you get double crossed by Darth Vader twice. Twice! I realize you're Vader's apprentice, and he raised you from a young boy, but twice? Second, after being able to kick Vader and the Emperor's asses back to back, how is it Skywalker is the chosen one? Third, I'm tired of the whole Jedi way of don't kill the head bad guy or you'll be a bad guy too. What about the thousands of stormtroopers I killed just to get here? I can kill them, but not the Emperor? So you are standing there ready to kill the Emperor, and everybody runs up to saying, "Don't kill him or you'll become evil." Only I'm thinking, "Look guys, I know how this turns out. I will be saving a lot a people a lot of trouble if I do this. Besides, I've only been a Jedi for about an hour." Still, it is very well acted, it looks great, and having the ability to use the force is always fun. I do recommend it for you Star Wars fans out there.

And of course there is Rock Band 2. You can download nearly all of the original game's songs onto your hard drive, so there is no changing of disks to play all of the songs. There are some great song choices on Rock Band 2. The list of upcoming downloadable songs and albums looks very promising as well. The plan is to have 500 songs available by the end of the year. 500.

For the first time ever, I think I'm going to become a member of the church I attend. For those of you who know my cynical tendency toward churches will realize this is a pretty big deal.

This unfortunately has led to me signing up for the church retreat this weekend. I am going to be in nature with a bunch of strangers, and no way out. It will be fun. It will be fun. It will be fun.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It Was Only a Matter of Time...Sigh.

As bobby noted, where is the Stryper? And to prove my knowledge of Old School Christian Metal...Where is the Bride, Holy Soldier, Barren Cross, X-Sinner, Angelica, or Shout? If this game included those songs I would buy it...maybe...if I found it in the bargain bin.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So How Was Your Weekend?

Here's a little breakdown of the events involved in my weekend.

Friday Night: I had begun taking some new medication on Thursday, and began to start feeling a little warm Friday. By Friday night I felt like I was a walking furnace. This lead to...

Saturday Morning: I spent my time trying to get a hold of my personal doctors. Failing at that, I finally relented and went the ER.

Saturday Afternoon: Here's a couple things I realized while at the hospital. 1. I am oddly "at home" when I'm in the hospital. I am very comfortable and have zero anxiety when in a hospital. 2. If the person drawing your blood has the word "intern" on his scrubs or badge or name tag, immediately ask for someone else. Otherwise you will end up with this scenario.

Intern: Man, what am I forgetting? Oh the tubes.

Intern: You are going to feel a little prick...Whoops. Man, that's getting everywhere.

You look down and see he didn't cap the needle right and your precious blood is pumping out of the needle like a those crappy serenity fountains.

Four hours later I was finally discharged and told I was having an allergic reaction to the medicine, but it was not a life threatening reaction.

That left me about two hours to do a load of laundry, practice guitar, and drive up to the Hollywood Forever cemetery where they were showing Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Sure I should have probably canceled considering the state I was in, but obligation, obligation, obligation. And a girl was involved.

Trying to find the girl I was meeting there (for the first time) and her friends I realized how completely awful my eyes are at night. I couldn't see the group ten feet in front of me. Ten feet!

Side note: Walking through the graveyard I noticed a trend of the face of the deceased being engraved on the tombstone. But all the pictures are clearly from their deathbed or at least close to it. Wouldn't you want to have the best picture of you during your prime years engraved on your tombstone? But why the faces on the tombstone in first place? Is it for the benefit of strangers passing by? Why do strangers need to know what your loved one looks like? Unless they are or at one point were extremely attractive. I could see that scenario as bragging or trying to get a little bit more sympathy. "Poor guy. His wife was smokin' hot!" Maybe you are afraid family members will forget your name? "Mom's buried here somewhere, if only I could remember her name."

Anyway an enjoyable time at the movie where Paul Rubens himself introduced the movie and made funny with some anecdotes.

It might have been the contact high I was getting from some movie goers around me, but despite feeling like a walking furnace it was an enjoyable evening.

Sunday I picked up Rock Band 2 on the way to church. I felt a little guilty about it. Should I have bought it after church? But it was kind of on the way, and what if they sold out? That fact that I was getting hot flashes during the church service did not assuage my guilt.

Lunch with bobby and Aubrey and Mohr and other people. Enjoyed some the delicious cajun white beans at Wahoos.

Played Rock Band 2 and apparently reopened my vein they took the blood from. It's not a pretty sight.

Watched the ESPN cutaway to Big Z throwing a no hitter against the Astros.

Watched True Blood which is really not that good, but the cliff hanger endings of the episodes always reels me back in.

So that was my weekend: ER, Hollywood Cemetery, Paul Rubens, and Rock Band 2.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hey Everybody I Wanted To Say I Love You All Just In Case The World Ends Tomorrow or Aliens Take Over

So tomorrow they are apparently turning on something called a Large Hadron Collider. This whole accelerating particles and colliding them is beyond my expertise, though I'm sure I'll to research it for a CSI: Miami epsiode next month. That is if we are still alive by then.

I've seen Buckaroo Banzai and played the Half-Life series. I know what happens when scientists start messing around with particles and collision. Some say we will all die tomorrow because the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy earth and the whole galaxy. Which I guess is kind of likely. But scientists know a bit about black holes, and I think they would know if they are going to create one. Apparently they want to create something called a "God particle." That doesn't scream doomsday does it? Still I'm betting it will create a portal to another dimension through which aliens will access to either enslave us or make us an alternate food source. You see scientists don't know anything about portals to other dimensions. How would they know if they were going to create one or not?

So, be prepared. Make quick friends with that strange neighbor who you know has a bomb shelter and keeps bragging about the guns he's collected. Don't throw out that cheese in the back of your fridge. That mold could be used to create a biological weapon against the alien forces. Heck don't throw out anything with mold on it. I'm currently trying to find someone that owns a boat in case the aliens dissolve in water ala Alien Nation. That's probably our best hope right now. Maybe they can't process oxygen, or they can't handle cold temperatures?

Anyway, in case we end up with a worse case situation tomorrow, I just wanted to say I love you all. Come on! Look at that thing! I don't care what they say. We are soooo doomed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Welcome Back Vic Mackey!

It's been a year and a half, and I'm thrilled that there are finally new episodes of The Shield. Unfortunately, these are the last 13 episodes. Tonight's episode threw into motion what could be the most harrowing season of the Shield. I'm going to miss this show.

A little more heartfeltish side note. On the flight back from the Outer Banks, they showed the movie Young @ Heart. It's a documentary about this chorus of elderly people that sing popular hits. It was the first time I've ever wanted to see the in-flight movie, but why show such an emotional movie on an airplane flight. My favorite performance was Fred Knittle singe Coldplay's "Fix You," and I can't stand Coldplay. Dammit if I wasn't a big ball of tears after this performance.

Funny thing was that the movie ended right as the plane landed, and you could tell which of the passengers watched the movie because they had those red post cry eyes.