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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
When I move you move...just like that.

I finally finished "A Clash of Kings" last night and huzzah for that book! I can't wait to dive into the next. I can't say more for fear of ruining twists and turns for people like the birdman who are reading the series as well.

a couple video game notes:

1) Ninja Gaiden. Most of the reviews I have read on this game refer to it as the second coming of "the orgasm". It's an X-Box only title which would normally mean I wouldn't have a crack at sitting down with this so-called masterpiece. However my brother had a copy of the game for his XB and a copy of the game so I gave it a whirl. Initially I was very impressed. The game was fast, fluid and pretty to look at. But as I played through it I realized I hated it. It's notoriously difficult but it's not so much the level of difficulty that turned me off, but what makes the game difficult -- the camera. What makes the game so hard is that you are frequently surrounded by enemies who attack you from off-camera. You can't get a complete view of the action and it makes it near impossible to deal with the challenges in a skillful way. To me this reeks of lazy game design and it pisses me off.

But it matters not. People still seem to love it for some reason.

2) Battlefield Vietnam. While it's not much of change from BF1942, there are enough cool little changes to make the battlefield experience fresh again. It could use some nerfing, and a patch or two to smooth everything out. But overall the experience is good fun (if not a bit of the "same old thing").



Monday, March 15, 2004
Lips like sugar

I returned today from a weekend trip to Reno where I was visiting with my mother and brother. I wish I could explain what it is about that city that I find so completely depressing. The snob in my thinks it has something to do with all the whitetrash that seems to haunt the town. I'm sure part of it has to do with the fact that my parents split up while living in Reno as well.

It was good to see my mom and brother though. Most of my trips to visit mom involve a lot of movie watching and this trip was no exception. We rented movies watched movies that happened to come on TV and went to the movies. We saw two in the theatre this weekend. The first was "Secret Window" with Johnny Depp. I found it to be pretty disappointing all around. I don't recommend it.

We also managed to catch the big screen adaptation / spoof of Starsky and Hutch. S&H was much more entertaining...despite being pretty stupid in it's own right. The "let's make fun of the seventies" joke wears a little thin, but the whole "Old School" crew + Owen Wilson made for good times and a few laughs.

Perhaps the highlight of my trip came after I decided to grab a softdrink while hanging around my mom's apartment. I almost never drink sodas but something compelled my to grab a "Squirt" and chug (I blame all the bright colors of the packaging). I wandered the apartment and eventually settled in front of my brothers Game Cube. Lost in that polygonal world, I absent mindedly grabbed for the can of soda that sat on the desk nearby. It was cold and about 3/4 full...and thinking it was mine...a took a big gulp or two.

Suddenly my mouth tasted like I had been giving head to a exhaust pipe. I spited out whatever was left in my mouth and gazed in dismay as chunks of cigarette ash dribbled out from my lips.

"EEAAAUGH!! Fuck Sean!!! What the hell is with that soda can in your room!?!"

"oh yeah...heh...I needed and ash tray and that was the closest thing I could find"

Let me tell you...Cigarette ash and citrus soda-pop is a vile fucking combination. I'm pretty sure I have mouth and stomach cancer as a result.

that's my bro after a hard days work.

My brother is really a mystery to me. His personal habits are awful. Any meal that isn't purchased for him is a fast food meal. This morning he had a chocolate bar and a soda (presumably it was "sans ash") for breakfast. He's so irresponsible that he makes me look like some sort of well-organized accountant or something by comparison.

There has been much debate over how to "handle" my brother. How best to guide him into something resembling adulthood. For the most part the battle lines are drawn across a "nurture" versus "tough love" approach...my mom favoring the later.

It's interesting to see how she administers said TL now that Sean is basically in her charge. My mom told him initially that he had to only a limited amount of time that he could stay with her. Once he got a job they set a 6 month time limit. He's also supposed to pay her 200 dollars a month for rent and 50 dollars a month for food.

He's about 5 months behind on his "rent". Some time back he also proclaimed that rather than pay the 50 bucks a month for food he would just fend for himself and buy his own food. Now all he buys in McDonald's and still eats anything that my mom puts in the fridge.

A few weeks ago he told my mom he wanted to extend his stay with her for another year so he could "save up money". The day after my mom agreed he went to a car dealership by himself and bought a car....going from a $0-per-month car payment, to a $400 -per-month car payment. Yes...we are pretty sure he got ripped off (I think he paid over 20 grand for a 2-year old, used Civic.)

After all that my mom still refuses to make good on her threats to kick him to the curb.

Ahh Sean DO.


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