Monday, October 10, 2011


Yesterday was a good day. A not-so-entirely lazy Sunday.

I motherfucking love my girlfriend. That describes the morning.

Afternoon, I came home. Here's what made me smile – not only were my hungover brother, and hungover good friends, simply watching an episode of Regular Show about playing arcade games (while drinking quality beer* to curb said hangover, mind you), they immediately followed it up by playing arcade games on the very same hand-built arcade machine they were watching said episode on.

I like using the word 'said' as a callback.

After leaving home, but before my regularly scheduled shift at Amtrak, I decided to make a stop at the gym where I had just a couple days prior canceled my membership. My membership was still valid through the end of the month, you see. So why wouldn't I aid my aching muscles with a stay in the ol' steam room, eh? Well I did just this, and overheard a man in...wait for it...said steam room talk about his desire to “like start [his] own business or some shit”. I followed up the steam room with an uneventful dip in the hot tub, then showered and dressed for the looming shift at Amtrak.

On the way, a tone was set for the rest of my night. Travelling south on I-5, I noticed a rather large sign looming over the 50th St. overpass. It was quite wordy, but the gist of it concerned the appropriation of tax dollars, and where those tax dollars were coming from. What's funny is that from a distance, I assumed it to be an anti-abortion protest sign, which is something I had encountered on the same overpass just days prior. I had already begun forming jokes in my cynical mind about how this presumed anti-abortion sign would suddenly change my entire worldview in a single instant, which is why when I got close enough to interpret the sign's actual intent, I was somewhat struck by it's actual effect on me, despite the fact that it was already something I had a basic empathy with. It was, honestly, this sign that made me want to be on the ground instead of on the internet. How intriguing!

So I get to work, not terribly interesting. The highlight: One of the taxi drivers who lurks outside the station, completely oblivious to rules, manners, good sense, decided that since the men's restroom was closed due to regularly scheduled cleaning, that the women's restroom would be a perfectly acceptable alternative for him to expel waste from his (read: not female) penis. Needless to say, he was promptly escorted out of the station with a rough grab of the collar/shoulder by my vigilant coworker. Thanks Paul.

After work is where shit gets cool. My phone (my lifeline to the world, fuck!) is dead. I don't have any way to recharge unless I head immediately home. So I make the obvious decision. Which is, duh, drive to Shorty's and play pinball for hours. I pull up with a crisp twenty and own the place. I am a boss, the boss, your boss, your mother's boss, after all. I order a shot of well whiskey and a pint of the Maritime Dark Ale. Whiskey down and ale in hand, I dive into my first challenge: defeat the invading fucking Martians with steel-ass pinballs. I fail. But guess what happens! Do you think it might be something interesting? Text IDONT to GIVEAFUCK if you think the answer is yes!

You win. So this woman, half-shaved head, half-medium length hair, zero-boner-inducing overall, is interested in why I (read: men) am interested in pinball. It's a bunch of flashing lights to her. I'm flabbergasted by the questions: Why is this game good? Why is it better than that game? Why? My social uncomfortableness with strangers manifests, and I walk away.

Two games of Champion Pub, a flirt with Family Guy, a quick and disappointing run with Indiana Jones, and it's on to four games, three paid (one matched!) of Arabian Nights. Can you guess who suddenly showed up to ogle my performance?

Hahahhaha, you guessed Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wrong!!! It was Halfy-face.

You have such an intense look when you play these games.”

Here's what I like about pinball – there's an overarching challenge which you will never achieve – as laid out by these rules,” I point at and circle with my finger the strategies posted next to the start button on this particular machine. “but so much of it is luck, you flap these flappers to make the ball hit stuff. Either way you're aiming for a high score. You've got skill on a certain level of your brain, trying to aim for specific targets and ramps at specific times. On another level of your brain, you have the base instinct to flap maniacally in order to postpone your inevitable fall into the bottom pit. You're trying to notdie.”

One thing I like about writing as a profession – this is the part wherein I pretend that I am a professional writer - is that you can take situations that were way more awkward in verbal real life and make them somewhat more ideal in your later transcript. It's not that other autobiographers are liars, except that they are liars. I'm a liar.

I left when I ran out of quarters. This parallels my move from Bank of America to Boeing Employees' Credit Union. I walked to Westlake Center. It was one in the morning, but I felt a compulsion to be a part of my city.

I visited the occupying camp, and was moved. I was moved. Granted, most everyone was asleep, but my mostly reasonable mayor allowed them to sleep there. The signs were inspiring, and the medical/informational tent clearly spelled out what any wanderer ought to know. I'm too tired to link to it all now, but anyone who's read this far knows where to find information on Occupy Seattle and Occupy Wall Street. And if you don't live in Seattle or New York, you know how to find information relevant to your city. I'm just encouraging you to do so if you haven't already. I'd link pictures, but my precious, my phone, was dead long earlier, so none were taken. Again, if you've ever surfed the series of tubes, you can find them on your own.

Afterwards, I made a stop at Rendezvous, the one convenient alcoholic-beverage-serving place on the way to my vehicle. I ordered an Odin Ruby Ale and scooped up a copy of Reverb, the musical companion to my second-favorite of two prominent local weeklies, the Seattle Weekly. Is there some sort of weird synergy between the fact that I'm listening to Nirvana B-sides as I type this and the fact that if you've read this far, you're likely doing the same? Tell me now.

Let's drill right down to the issues, here's what matters: the following is a transcript of an overheard, two-sentence conversation in, uhh, said bar:

Lincoln was a gay Republican who freed the blacks. So why can't Obama, as a black Democrat, free the gays?”

Man has a point.

The day is done, and I'm having fun. Maybe just happy. Yes I AM still listening to Nirvana B-sides.

*Dare I allow free advertising in this sanctimonious blog post of mine? The answer: Double Yes. Juggernaut Red Ale from Pyramid Brewing is pretty unarguably delicious.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Step by Step Guide to Getting the Most Out of Playstation Home

1. Choose "Playstation@Home" from your PS3's XMB.

2. Find something to do during the downloading and installation process (I chose "smoke cigarette.")

3. Ignore the Terms of Use.

4. Swear at your television when you accidentally hit the button to go back to reading the Terms of Use as it is conveniently where your cursor lies when you go to agree.

5. Hit X to connect to home, get treated to a blurring of the bland Home menu screen, which if you are doing things right should make your eyes bleed.

6. Receive one of a number of error messages which take you back to the XMB as opposed to straight back to Home's main menu to try to connect again.

7. Repeat attempts to connect to Home servers in vain, inserting colorful language and more cigarette breaks wherever you see fit.

7. Turn on XBox 360, play Left 4 Dead.


Monday, October 6, 2008


In the interest of full disclosure, I would like 
all you dear readers to know that I have, in fact, 
been living under a rock, in a deep, dark cave far 
beneath the ocean floor. Now that I have that out 
there, I have a question for you: Have you heard 

For my fellow underside-of-a-rock dwellers, it's a 
in various genres. What makes it way cooler than 
any of the myriads of other Flash gaming sites out 
there, though, is precisely the same thing that 
generally makes me choose a 360 version of a game 
over PS3 when given a choice: Achievements! Oh 
yes, nerd points, you keep me coming back. As if 
Flash-based games weren't addictive enough, 
Kongregate implements one of the neatest features 
of the 360, bringing the achievement-hunting, 
point-accumulating addictiveness of Live to the 
browser game.

To be clear, I've never been the achievement whore 
type. I might check out the list of Achievements 
beforehand just to get an idea of what to expect, 
but I've spent exactly no time in the specific 
pursuit of any certain Achievement. I like the 
idea of just playing the damn game for the game 
that it is, and if I unlock any cheevos along the 
way, then hooray! I think this is close to what 
Microsoft intended when they first implemented 
them. And I've managed to rack up 4000-something 
points over the past couple of years by playing 
this way, which isn't too shabby.

Now if you'll excuse me, my Kongregate account is 
anxiously awaiting my arrival at Lvevel 2.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Journal Entry: The Time I Tried to Play Call of Duty 4 on Veteran.

Yeah yeah, I get it. Bang bang, run run, flashbang through the door. No, I don't want to play on normal. Yes, I do know that you reccomended it to me, thank you.

Crew Expendable
This doesn't look too bad at all. Hell, it seems like all these guys are drunk or asleep!
Oh damn! It's either been way too long since I've played this or I am already in over my head...
What? I died escaping the ship? I didn't even know you could do that.

This is more like it. I can work with these guns. You mean I can just hang way back and pop guys in the head like this was Halo 3? Good times.
Hey, these night vision goggles really do make it too easy!

Charlie Don't Surf
Okay, lets do this.
Hello shotgun, you are my new best friend.
Shit! Oh Shit!
Ugh. I understand the concept of the grenade indicator, damn it.
Alright, TV station, it's just you and me now. I can totally do this. I got this, just gotta take it one step at a...fuck.
Fuck! God damn it! Damn, god damn, damn shazzam!



[Edit] The Every Time I played Mega Man 9

Oh man, listen to that music! This is awesOH NO

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I have to apologize for some things here, Boox and I have been looking for a good spot to host this blog, so there are some errors within the previous posts, dates, order, and such that have come about as a result of moving posts over from the livejournal page we have. This site seems more in line with what we intend to do, so it looks like this will be our new permanent home.
We've got much more in store, provided we can stop playing Castle Crashers and make it, so stay tuned!


Okami is a sweet game.

I'm slowly crossing names off of a huge list of backlog games that I never played but really should have. Great (or so I've heard) games that somehow slipped past me, like Shadow of the Colossus and Psychonauts, populate this list. Two games, Okami and Resident Evil 4, managed to make it all the way to the Wii before I got my hands on them. I experienced both of these games for the first time on Nintendo's little three-lettered wonderbox.

Now RE4 was a total dream. The Wii controls worked beautifully. I was so impressed with the controls alone that I was somewhat dissapointed to hear RE5 would not make it to the Wii (though all that disappointment went straight out the window once I saw some goddamn gorgeous gameplay footage). I can live with analog control, but it just felt so right on the Wii.

Okami, on the other hand, is a bit of a mess. The game itself is spectacular, from the graphics to the gameplay mechanics. The execution of said mechanics, though, is where it all falls apart. The Wii Remote works great when you need to aim fast but not necessarily accurately, which is why it works so well in RE4 (and also why the sniper rifle in that game is aimed with the stick). I've spent way too much time in Okami learning, the hard way, that it's damn near fucking impossible to draw a perfect circle or even a straight line with the remote. And there are a lot of perfect circles to be drawn.

Regardless, I'm having a great time with the game. I'm not sure if they added anything to the Wii version besides waggle, but I'm thinking I ought to pick up the PS2 version. The game should work well with motion controls, but in this case they were too strictly implemented.


So the Penny Arcade Expo happened last weekend...what can I say?
It was awesome.
I was only there on Saturday, so I didn't spend much time playing games, as I didn't want waiting in line to be the mainstay of my time there. I spent the majority of my day basically walking in circles, taking in new sights with every pass. There were plenty of excellent looking games; Gears of War 2, Legendary, and Rock Band 2 all look like quality business. The drum set for Guitar Hero World Tour looked impressive, but not impressive enough to make me care. Rock Band 2 has Journey, jerks!
I noticed a good deal of cosplayers at the expo. I think it's pretty cool, some people obviously put a good deal of effort into their costumes, but it's definitely something I'll always be only an audience to, outside of Halloween. I did get my picture taken with a guy dressed up as Waldo (of Where's Waldo? fame,) and true to form, I actually had to find him about three times during the day before I could get up and get the picture. He was a good Waldo. If you were there and standing outside, you probably saw a couple dressed up as The Boss and Snake from MGS3, and again true to form, the guy dressed up as Snake spent most his time out front because he was almost constantly smoking a big 'ol cigar.
I got to the convention around 1PM, kind of late. I didn't end up with too much time for exploration before it was time to head over to the Mega 64 "Panel at the Expo!" A live Q & A session with these guys is always a good deal, because essentially improv is what they do for a living. Even the troubles they had with audio sync and lighting during the screening didn't detract from their quality.
In fact, my only complaint with the entire day was that the expo hall closed before I had a chance to fully experience its grandeur. If I'd had the time I would have taken a trip to the Brothers in Arms booth, where they would give you a voucher for a free copy of the upcoming Hell's Highway if you let them shave your head. I figured, a free haircut and a free game?! But it looks like I'll be paying for both haircuts and games, at least until next year's PAX. We'll see what happens.
At the end of the night Boox and I met up to attend the concert, which was an absolute blast. It all began with Tycho, Gabe, his wife Kara, and (I think?) Robert Khoo playing a round of Rock Band 2 with in game avatars that were excellent recreations of their Penny Arcade counterparts, and to top it all off, they played Journey's Any Way You Want It complete with Steve Perry fun fact during the loading screen. After them was the Rock Band round of the Omegathon, the main competition that spanned all three days of the event. I didn't end up paying it much attention, since I was only there for the day and wouldn't see the culmination of the event at the end of Sunday.
The opening band was a group of kids called Anamanaguchi. They played really solid instrumental math rock of a NES modified to play custom chiptunes. They also have a song in some iteration of Guitar Hero, which was played in sync with them during their set, as well as a couple others which were played with Audiosurf, the one game I wish I would have waited in line to try.
Following them was a total nerdgasm in the form of The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. The Thickets are a group of high-class gents from British Columbia who play rock music based on the tales of H.P. Lovecraft. They're a band I've been listening to and dying to see for nigh-on ten years now, so their set was a god damned dream come true.
Before their set I was waiting up front, stage left, when up walks none other than motherfucking Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, co-creator of the whole event and ambassador to nerds worldwide. I was starstruck at first, but I pulled my balls out of my purse and manned up to talking to the man. I asked him about the Thickets, how he found out about them and got them into the bill. I was surprised not only by how down to Earth he was, but also by how he was even more enthusiastic than I about being moments from seeing the Thickets. Tycho was extremely cool, he even ran backstage so he could take a picture of their setlist and show me just how awesome things were about to get in the Washington State Convention Center. He even stayed and rocked out with us during half their set, shooting delighted glances of approval back to me at the beginning of every song.
The Thickets stole the show for me, hands down. They emerged upon the stage, all in wild costume, feeding upon the energy of the crowd like sweet, sweet nectar. I was impressed by the number of people I saw in the crowd who, just like me, were singing along to all the words of even the Great and Oldest of the Ones the Thickets had to offer.
Headlining the show was MC Frontalot, but honestly, I was completely drained by that point from the other bands and lugging my laptop around all day. I took a seat in an open area in front of one of the big screens and relaxed while I watched Front do what he does best. The man has stage presence, there's no denying that. I wish I'd had the energy left to get up front and dance, but it just wasn't happening. Boox and I ended up laid out just watching the set on the screen and actually left before The Minibosses came on.
Sorry Minibosses!
You are awesome, this is true, but it was already 1 AM at that point and we had to get home to recharge.
In all, my day at the expo was literally the best day I've had this year. I got to meet a number of people whose work I respect and admire, I got to see a great concert, and most of all, I had a shitload of fun. If you couldn't go this year, I'm sorry for you. Go next year. Don't question, just do it. I'll definitely be pre-registering for three days next year. And if you just didn't go?
Fuck you.

You are dumb.