laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( May. 12th, 2017 09:47 pm)
If I could say one thing to the world today, it would be that I am okay. There's an irksome, needling stitch in my right side and my period is late, but I'm still here. Every day brings a new dumpster fire in the political arena, and the country remains perched upon a dreadful precipice, its future as a democratic republic in precarious balance, but there is still hope, and as hope endures, so shall I. I ate today and looked out my window to see a blue sky and green grass and frolicking dogs, so yes, there is hope.

In matters less momentous, I've been reading and watching crappy paranormal shows and counting down the days until Dragoncon. Time flies of late, and it's less than four months until we're off to Atlanta for five days of fun, food, and geekery. The hotel is set, and since we've been saving judiciously, money should be of scant concern, especially since we're unrepentant cheapskates who'll make do with whatever foodcourt victuals we find. As long as I get an Urban autograph and photo op and a Skurge Funko, I'm happy.

And a visit to the aquarium, of course.

I've been working my way through a replay of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Oh, non-existent readers, long had I forgotten the RAEG of the field chase and subsequent jousting match with King Bublin. I went at that for more than an hour, and frankly, by the end, I was perfectly willing to let that little turd, Colin, remain a permanent fixture on Bublin's spear, but I was damned if I'd let the game have the satisfaction(Reason, alas, takes a hasty holiday when I'm frustrated.). Sheer, seething butthurt bested code in the end, but I called it quits before I hurled my controller through our elderly TV. Link can just sit and think about what he's done for a few days. I'm too old for daily blood-pressure spikes anymore and don't want my end to be a massive stroke brought on by telling a conglomeration of polygons and meticulous code to go fuck itself and suggesting that he cram his less-than-helpful companion up his narrow, inept ass. Sideways and sans lube.
I finished Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door yesterday, and now I'm at loose ends. I'd planned to draw it out a bit more by leveling all stats to the max, but I got tired of mindlessly grinding on scrubs in the Pit of 100 Trials and decided to put paid to the adventure. As it was, I was ridiculously overpowered and beat the final boss quite handily. For most people, this would be no big deal, but for my spastic ass, it was cause for minor celebration.

I've started watching a walkthrough of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a bid to fill the void, but while the visuals are stunning, the gameplay is soporific. I'm not a fan of smaller shrines in lieu of vast, complex temples, and there are fewer enemies to battle than I'd like. A quick Google search reveals scads of glowing reviews, but I'm just a crusty old fogey who eschews this particular sea change in gaming. Maybe I'll take a third run at Majora's Mask to soothe my wounded nostalgia.
Still no joy in Mudville, but then again, they still haven't announced much of anyone.

I'm replaying Paper Mario and the Thousand-Year Door. Man, I'd forgotten how fun this game is, and I seem to have gotten a bit better at it in the intervening years. Not great, but better. I'm halfway through Boggly Woods now and dreading getting 101 Punies across the crevasse via the bloviations of Madame Flurrie. Still, so much fun. I wish they had put out a sequel.
I haven't played a video game in months. In fact, the last game I played was Majora's Mask, and I stopped because I couldn't get past the horse race and was afraid I'd burst a blood vessel with my skyrocketing blood pressure. So today, in a fit of nostalgia, I popped in Whiplash, an old Xbox title.

Oh, my god the rage. The sputtering, shrieking, invective-spewing, controller-throttling RAGE. I know game mechanics aren't designed for spastic fingers and jerky reflexes, but this game was ridiculous. I played for four hours and couldn't clear the second area. Why? Because I had to follow power flies in a specific pattern, and if I didn't keep up, they would disappear and return to the start position. All very fine, and doable if you're only running and jumping, but it was hardly that simple. Of course not. I had to run and jump and grapple onto tiny hooks while my character flailed spasmodically at nothing in particular and turned in midair for no reason. FUCK YOU, game developers! After a wrist-numbing forty-seven attempts, I saved and quit, because life is too short for such frothing, impotent fury. Sometimes I miss the days when characters had four moves and game advancement wasn't dependent on your character performing a triple gainer with a half-twist just to press a switch./oldfart

So my gaming nostalgia has been cured for the time being. I'll stick to reading and ficcing and TV, please and thank you, and if such nostalgia should catch me unawares again, I think I'll try Voodoo Vince instead.
Yesterday, I was rundown and tired despite a full night's sleep. When I went to the bathroom just before bed, I discovered why. The Red Bloat, right on schedule. Ugh. Now I'm doped to the gills and doing my best to stay hydrated.

I finished the walkthrough of God of War: Ascension and am watching one of Bioshock Infinite It's very early in the game, but good Lord, what a creepy alternate history so far. According to it, the South seceded from the Union by ascending into the sky and following the teachings of a fanatical religious zealot. Slavery still exists, and interracial relationships of any kind, platonic or sexual, are forbidden. In this reality, Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin are the revered Founders, while Lincoln is viewed as a satanic usurper, and his assassination by John Wilkes Boothe is celebrated. You, an interloper from our dimension, must rescue the Lamb, a young woman named Elizabeth, and bring her to your dimension. The alternate vision of America is disturbing, yet filled with gorgeous steampunk wonder, with electric horses and Voxophones alongside phonographs and kinescopes. I'm intrigued, to say the least, and can't wait to see where it goes.
No words for a few days because I have been enraptured by a walkthrough of God of War: Ascension. The story and landscapes are gorgeous, and Kratos is an awesome character, dark and brutally flawed. He's far from good, but even so, he is still less monstrous than the cruel, manipulative deities against whom he is pitted, and so he assumes the mantle of hero by default.

Plus, every time Gaia, the narrator, speaks, I envision Hetty Lange phoning in her lines from the NCIS office in L.A.

I finally saw Till's new hairstyle. At first, I saw a distant shot and didn't think it so terrible, but then came the first close-ups, and oh, dear. What a bad, bad choice. It ages him to seventy and washes him out, and it clashes horribly with his loud pink, feathery shirt. Who told him this was a good idea?

Not that Richard looks any better. He's reverted to the heinous Sandy Duncan 'do. Maybe he's just tired of teasing his hair into spikes after ten years, but that coiffure does not flatter him in the slightest. If he wanted a simpler style, the one he sported during the "Rosenrot" shoot was quite handsome. Now he looks like a frumpy, disgruntled hausfrau who's exhausted herself chasing flour-hurling toddlers through the house all day.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2013 07:25 pm)
Another eleven hundred in the book.

I haven't bought a new video game in years, but I think I'm going to buy Lego LOTR. Not for a few months yet, because there are important things that need seeing to first, but soon. Summer, maybe. It's completely adorable, and I think I could spend hours just roaming around on silly sidequests.
Yesterday, I wrote several pages of porn because apparently, Richard and Calliope gave zero fucks about my narrative plans. They did, however, want to give many, many fucks to each other. So I wrote the torrid bathroom sex despite the voice in my brain whispering, Um, I'm not sure the counter was built for that sort of thing, oh, my God, how is she going to explain it to the super if the sink collapses? Now that it's out of my system, I can write what best serves the story. I'm not one to let porn go to waste, though, so I'll post the porn after the next chapter goes up in a week or so. Consider it an x-rated bonus.

I spent today frothing at the mouth at Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. I didn't hurl the Wavebird through the television, but it was a near thing. I'm supposed to be a vampire, creature of shadows, but three levels in, the heretofore limited knights suddenly have vampire-detecting armor that can sense me from Saturn? FUCK YOUUUUUU! It doesn't help that the controls are kludgy and I suck at dodging, but I say again, FUCK YOUUUUU. I'm not sure when I'll play again, but it was fun while it lasted.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jul. 8th, 2012 06:48 pm)
No, I still haven't forgotten CC's five things meme. I'm just exceptionally lazy at the moment. I will talk about travel tomorrow, though, and supernatural/paranormal activity after that. The first is a burgeoning interest, and the other has been a lifelong fascination. So, those things are on the blogging docket. I've just got to tear myself away from books and video game walkthroughs on Youtube and write my thoughts down.

Speaking of video games, God, but were the HBP and Deathly Hallows 1 games terrible. Part of the fun of the earlier games was the exploration of the castle and grounds and the completion of side quests, but HBP was a duel- and Quidditchfest, and DH1 is Call of Duty with Death Eaters and Doxies. Granted, Hogwarts was out of play for most of DH, but surely they could have explored the Burrow and the Ministry and the Forest of Dean. Nope, let's shoot stuff with feeble spells. What a dull use of magic and a complete disappointment. I'm glad my 360 has been gathering dust in the oddments room for want of space since the move, else I would've wasted money on these unimaginative piles. At least I still have a few of the old Gamecube games.

I saw Brave last night. The short was exquisite as usual, and I loved Merida(she was so damn adorable as a wee un). I loved the whole family, to be honest, though I did want to punch Queen Elinor in the face in the early going for being so domineering and dismissive just because "it's tradition, dear." The animation was flawless and breathtaking, and I spent the last ten minutes blubbing quietly in the dark. Dammit, Pixar, why you gotta tear my heart out every damn time? And do it so gently, too?

The movie was outstanding and will rightly be called another success for Pixar, and yet, it lacked some of the richness of the other films. It's not something I can articulate, but the inclusion of the will-o'-the-wisps in the story is oddly incomplete and frivolous, and I can't help but think they were originally meant to play a larger role in the story. Had they jettisoned them altogether and developed the story of the four brothers and Mor'du a bit more, the story would have been stronger. Minor quibble aside, Brave will be joining my DVD collection.

And I can't wait for Monsters, Inc. 2: Monster University. I love you, Pixar. So very much.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 13th, 2012 11:53 pm)
It's been another nostalgia trip here at Che Guera. Today, I watched walkthroughs of Medievil 1 and 2. I love Sir Dan so much, though he lost a bit of his charm when they gave him a voice. Like an idiot, I jettisoned my PS1 when we moved, but I might have to buy one just so I can hook up with Sir Dan again. Maybe that'll be my Christmas present.
I meant to work on Sprache XIX today since it's very near completion, but then I made the mistake of digging in my box of old video games. The day was over as soon as I found Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, oh, yes, it was. I told myself I was only going to play for a few hours. Ha. Ha ha. Eleven hours later, I turned off the console because I was developing a case of crone hand.

Fortunately for my hands, it's slated to storm all day tomorrow, so there will be no playing. Unfortunately, there might not be any writing, either, if lightning puts in an appearance, which is highly likely. All is not lost, however, because I have a cornucopia of unread and half-read books clamoring for my attention. If nothing else, I can park myself on the sunroom rug with a book while Roomie sits cross-legged in the living room and reads yet another sports or music biography. If the weather permits, we'll cook up a big pot of pasta and eat the day away. If not, well, thank God for raw Pop Tarts and single-serving cereals.
I watched a walkthrough of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night this afternoon. The game was good, but oh, the horrible voice acting and fossilized dialogue. Alucard sounded like a heavily-tranquilized insurance salesman reading through a stale sales pitch, and Richter was dumb as a bag of hammers. After Alucard mumbles some lofty quote about good men and evil, Richter says, "I understand." Like he was being walked through a hardware installation by Dell tech support.

And why does Dracula look like the Quaker Oats guy at a masquerade ball?

So, Alucard was born in Walachia/Romania in the fifteenth century, but his mother's name was Lisa? Mmmkay. Would it have killed the game designers to do a little research and come up with a more time and region-appropriate name? I'm fairly certain that Walachia wasn't home to legions of skinny, gum-smacking, dog-toting valley girls. Call her Liliana or Elisabeta, for God's sake. Lisa is too modern and just reeks of lazy world-building.

Speaking of Alucard, he might be emotionally constipated, but I wouldn't boot him out of bed.
I still don't feel like opening the door, so have a few more pictures.

Guess which one is me these days?

With Rammstein off to their well-deserved vacation, there will likely be a dearth of new photos for a while, so have an oldie but a goodie:

Actually, it's quite recent, but you get the gist. I really hope he makes good on his intimation of another Emigrate album in 2013. I'll take all the Kruspe I can get, and it would be interesting to see his evolution--or lack thereof--as a songwriter.

Speaking of awesome things for the future, behold the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 trailer:

I might have swooned a bit, because OMG, Hector! I know the rest of the fandom is gaga for Alucard, but I just finished Curse of Darkness, and Hector is my new hero. Stunningly hot, principled, and a badass. And I know they were demons and therefore unwholesome, but I developed affection for the innocent devils that aided him, especially Talkas2nd and Twee. So while the rest of gamerdom is clearly pinning their hopes on the faceless hero being Alucard, I want it to be Hector.

And now I want to write Hector/OFC PWP, but I won't because I can't think of a plausible scenario, and because I have a thousand other fics to finish.

I may or may not have belted out Elton John tunes while Roomie was out. I'm sure this dents my curmudgeon cred, but if Richard can jog to Lady Gaga, then I will gladly defile Elton John's catalog with a singing voice that sounds like a beagle getting a colonic with a pressure washer.
I watched a bit more of the Castlevania: Lament of Innocence walkthrough. The fight mechanics are still hideously monotonous, but the Medusa boss fight was entertaining, and I loved the music for the Thunder Elemental miniboss battle.

I pulled myself out of the creative doldrums and resumed work on Sprache XIX, and that has lifted my spirits. Writing always does, and I should know better than to neglect in a fit of useless melancholy. The very act of writing, of imagining and translating that imagination into keystrokes, is therapeutic. It distracts me from the fears that constantly gnaw at the base of my brain and gives voice to the demons that refuse to be exorcised. I feel clean after I write, relieved, as if I have purged something noxious and terrible. The dread and the loneliness always return, but until they do, I am light-hearted and can let myself believe in happily ever after. People need the hope of one-in-a-million chances and happily ever afters. It gets them out of bed in the morning when all else fails, and it's the spoon that never tarnishes and slips from your hand. Humans are a doggedly hopeful lot; we even hope for life after death, for another ride on life's carousel.

I hope when I write. I hope to taste of love and desire and loyalty. I hope for chance encounters that will never happen. I hope to touch someone's life deeply and leave a positive mark after I'm gone. I hope to be somewhere other than where I am, and for someone to miss me when I'm gone.

Writing loosens my tongue and lets me share feelings and dreams I would otherwise bury for fear of mockery and petty cruelty and simple-minded hatred. It keeps my own bitterness and hatred in check, robs them of their power and allows me to move on and forward. It does not banish my wounds, but it keeps me from dwelling on them, and such a gift is crucial for someone who must necessarily fixate and obsess just to accomplish the most mundane tasks, like peeing and managing my meager finances.

Writing is the safety valve that the government can't legislate away, and that an overweening public can't wrest from me "for my own good." Not even my mother, hateful harridan that she is, can steal it from me. If I were banished to a desert isle, I would ask for a stick with which to write in the sand, and if the waves washed my words away, then I would write them anew, unceasing and intransigent. The ocean would win in the end because it is eternal and I am not, but its victory would come only when the stick fell from my hands and the dust of my bones mingled with the sea foam.

I have long thought that writers die only when they have no more stories to tell, and though my cage is small, my hope runs deep and long.
I still lack the impetus to do anything but stare vacantly at the television or the monitor. I watched a view parts of a Castlevania: Lament of Innocence walkthrough. It might be a fun game to play, but watching it can be stultifying, as the castle floors are sprawling, repetitive, and drearily uniform. Leon Belmont is pretty, though.

I also watched the ending of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. It breaks my heart to see someone as righteous, good, and innocent as Gabriel Belmont broken and perverted. I can't fault his reasoning, though; if I had saved the world, defeated Satan, and voluntarily become a vampire in order to save an ungrateful world again, and was still denied reunion with my beloved wife on either plane, then I'd be pissy, too, For being a font of unconditional benevolence, God is frequently an incredible douche.

Getting Patrick Stewart to voice Zobek was quite the coup. I'm looking forward to the rumored release of a trailer for the sequel on May 31st and will be disappointed if it turns out to be idle chatter.

PC installed the neighbor's new water heater and fixed the dripping shower wand, which did, in fact, need a washer, but alas, new troubles are afoot. Asshole Neighbor is dragging ass on getting an electrician to run new wire for the pole the utility company wants to install. He wants his friend in a nearby town to do it, of course, probably because he's cheap. God knows if he's qualified or licensed for a job of this magnitude. If PC hadn't run this patch, then we would have been without water for a week with no end in sight.

If that weren't bad enough, the power line across the road made an ominous crackling, sizzling noise this afternoon.

"Well, that didn't sound too good," the red-necked angel drawled.

No, no, it didn't. The last thing we need is for the entire neighborhood to go dark and kiss their electronics goodbye because one tight-fisted asshat and a lazy power company can't be assed to do their jobs and fix a documented short in their lines.

As a nasty bonus, PC mentioned that my mother would be coming up next week. Why not? Wouldn't want me feeling good about myself and content with life for too long. Then I might get the crazy notion that my life was mine. Maybe she'll be too lazy to make good on the threat or fall down an open manhole.

Hey, with Rammstein on break, my hopes are few and frail.
This morning, Roomie called to see if the insurance company had received our payment. They had not. So Roomie called Western Union to see if the order had been cashed. No. Then, we drove to the post office to see if it was still lying in the gullet of the mailbox. The mail-sorting ninja said the he gathers the post from it twice daily, so no help there. Having exhausted all possibilities, we headed for the bank to pull the grocery money. On a whim, I opened the glove box to see if the payment is still inside. It couldn't be, you understand, because I dropped it into the post myself nine days ago.

It was sitting there atop the car's maintenance manual just as neat as you please. Utter, utter fail. We promptly carried it into the post office and dropped it into the delivery slot. It should post before the due date, but I'm flummoxed as to how it was still there when I remember dropping it into the mail slot, and now I'm wondering just what did go into the mailbox that day. Roomie thinks it was the garbage pickup bill, and God, I hope so. For one awful moment, I thought I had dropped the car registration in there, but I found that near the bottom of the box, so now I'm completely befuddled.

Yesterday on the Zelda Files, I bested Gyorg, the Masked Aquatic Beast, and beat Great Bay Temple. I also collected the stray fairies(and lo, there was much, much screaming, especially with Fairy #9; I do believe I called Link a "useless, pansy assbiscuit", though the obscenities were running together at that point.)and enhanced my defense power. After that, I tried the Gorman Race Track, but my nerves were fried and my coordination was shot, so I got pasted. Its prize is mandatory for completion of the game, so I can't just skip it, much as I want to. So I'll try it again when I resume the game in a week or so.
Yesterday on The Zelda Files, I defeated Skull Keeta and acquired the Captain's Mask, rescued Zora Eggs from the Gerudo Fortress, got the Hookshot, reunited a pair of lovelorn seahorses, cleared the Oceanside Skulltula House and got the Adult Wallet, and learned the Song of Storms and the New Wave Bossa Nova.

Link and I are quits for awhile, though, because today, I attempted the Great Bay Temple, AKA, The Programmer's Hellspawn. It is a labyrinth of pumps, valves, and jets, and it's very easy to get lost or ensnared in several hours of, "JUMP THE GAP, YOU SIMPERING COCKFLOP!" I curse this temple and the deviant mind that conceived it. It took me until night of the final day to reach the boss, Gyorg, the Masked Gigantic Fish, and he proceeded to stomp me flat and walk me dry. The multiple fairies did no good. When I died, there were only five minutes remaining, far too little time to reach the boss door and best him. So I have to repeat the entire temple. All of it. The switches and platforms and ice paddles. The two minibosses.

This was my face:

Link can go fuck himself for a few weeks.
Yesterday on The Zelda Files, I beat Snowhead Temple and acquired Goht's Remains. Of all the MM bosses, Goht is my favorite. He's an incredible pain in the ass, and pushing the control stick forward so hard for so long makes my hand throb, but the fight is just plain fun. The Goron roll is a wondrous form of locomotion, and I wish I could adorn my wheelchair with the Goron spikes. They would certainly come in handy in a crowded grocery store.

Today, I got the Goron powderkeg license, won the Goron race(though not without screaming and the invention of necessary invective)upgraded my sword, and rescued Epona. I also acquired the Romani Mask and the Stone Mask. I tried for the Captain's Hat, but my hands were very tired, and Skull Keeta kept slipping away, so I called it quits until the weather passes.

Revolver magazine is running a contest to win a meet and greet with Rammstein at the concert nearest you, and I thought about entering, but odds are very good that the tickets are for wholly inaccessible seats, and I don't want to run the risk of winning the drawing, only to be disqualified because I can't use the seats. I would be crushed. So, I didn't enter. I'm sure it will be fun for someone, though.

Meet and greets are nice, and I won't deny it, but they're not the unforgettable bonding experiences fans imagine them to be. When I met Kirk Hammett for the second time, it wasn't the warm, kind, one-on-one encounter of the first meeting, which he had arranged himself. I was with a group of fans, and we were crammed into a hallway. After a few minutes, James came out. He was cordial and shook hands and signed paper, but there wasn't much conversation. He was polite, but distant. He was there five minutes. Then Jason came out. He was warmer and more engaged, and he even tried to speak with me(and in my stunned, petrified brilliance, I replied with, "Where's Kirk?" Outstanding, self.), but he was gone in five, too. Kirk came out, and was very gracious, but then he noticed me there and switched to Gimp Advocate Mode, checking seats and sussing out a roadie for guardian angel duty, so there wasn't time for idle chatter.

Meet and greets are assembly-line scut work for the band, and while I would never turn up my nose at them, they're hardly magical. If I won the chance to be in one, it's very likely that, as with poor Jason Newsted, whom I adored at the time, my brain would seize, and my intended expression of heartfelt gratitude would emerge as, "Geeble biddly boo Rigrizzard meep." That would be that, my one chance would be gone, and the band member would move on to the more coherent fan and spend the rest of the night wondering what the hell I was trying to say. I bet it would make for a sublime addition to Richard's repertoire of WTF faces. Someone else could make better use of the experience. Maybe someday I'll get the time and privacy I need to say thank you in a comprehensible human dialect, but a meeting arranged by a magazine isn't it.
Today on The Zelda Files, I finally won the Deku Butler Race and thereby acquired the Mask of Scents, which detects magic mushrooms that allow Kotume to brew better potions. Beyond that, it's fairly useless. I also got the Goron Mask and Don Gero's Mask and learned the Goron's Lullaby. For the record, baby Gorons are incredibly cute.

I tried my hand at a few mini-games for heart pieces, but with the exception of the Treasure Chest Shop, I failed hard. They're timed archery games, and lo, I suck mightily at them. I would bypass them entirely, but I need all the heart pieces I can get, because final boss, Ganon, never fails to be a health-devouring son of a bitch.

The Red Bloat has sapped my energy, and all I want to do is curl up and drool.


laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)


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