Changes (Coda)

October 31, 2005

Mood: Ready to go.
Music: Everything Counts, Depeche Mode
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, CoD2, EVE Online
Book: None.
Muffin: None. (Although I could use one.)

Traditionally, today, I would have taken the day off.

As friend Maria reminds me, when I was working at Modem Media, getting Halloween off was in my contract.

It was important…because I needed time to shave my head, polish the fangs, finish up last minute fangs for fellow revellers, and get ready for the 2 hour process of making myself up (along with half a dozen other people, who changed from year to year.)

This year, I’m sitting at my desk, with a full head of hair, and no plans to go out. Frankly, I think I’d really like to be out tonight doing the whole thing…the weather is just about perfect for it. And scaring kids (and cops) is definitely a good time. But I think I’m pretty much over it. I just don’t feel like it tonight. I’m saving my energy for packing and moving. And maybe…just maybe…I’m getting a bit old for it. Cleaning spirit gum out of my ears and dealing with ingrown hairs and breaking out due to facepaint is more of a hassle than it’s worth now. Maybe.

I packed about a dozen boxes yesterday while playing EVE (damn you, Smiff.) I threw out (no kidding) FOUR large garbage bags of stuff. I’m certainly going to be leaving NY with a lot less stuff than I thought. I’ll be chucking a ton of furniture, clothing (I have 3 bags full that I’m getting rid of already…), and books (2 boxes full so far…). I removed the majority of my software from the plastic jewelcases and put them in paper sleeves, then put the sleeves in these ammo cans I have. I threw out a packing box full of jewelcases. And now my software takes up less than a quarter of the space it was taking before. Back to travelling light. Unless you consider a mess of computers and a 36 inch widescreen TV that weighs about 200 pounds heavy. In which case….

I spent most of the weekend playing EVE, mining and earning cash. Fear us, EVE universe. Smiff and I will soon have Ubermegaconglomeracorp of DOOM! But first, we need more cash…so out we go to mine, Andy providing the firepower against the dreaded space pirates, me providing a hand in gathering ore for refining. Soon, my friends…we will have the ships we need…and then? Muahahahaha!

I, of course, also played CoD2 multiplayer and singleplayer. Finished the Single Player early on Saturday. I do chew through those types of games. But it really was thoroughly enjoyable. Much better graphics and sound…and fabulous level design for a change. (Aside from the previously mentioned Pointe Du Lac mission…Bleah.) The death/damage system is an excellent change of pace. Instead of a meter that goes down when you get shot, you have a damage over period of time system…you get shot for a lot in a short period, you’re dead. You get pinged and such, if you get behind cover, your meter fills back up…as if you were never shot in the first place. It definitely makes for more tactical play…and I also love what they did with the rifles. Accurate, powerful. You hit someone, they go down. Much better balance with the automatics. I actually prefer rifles in most cases now…which is how it should be.

In WoW, we were supposed to do a few instance runs this weekend, but people just kept popping in and out, so we never actually ran one. We’re supposed to be running Scholomance tonight at 8pm. Guess we’ll see how that works out. So instead of instancing, I got my fishing up to 225 and beyond. It was tedious at spots, but hey…it was also fun to just chill and chat and fish. Which is kinda odd in and of itself. I do need to get keyed and attuned still, and I really should work on that…but whatever.

Lastly, looks like I’m out of here right after Thanksgiving…I’ll let everyone know when the date is set…but until then, just plan on going out to dinner and hanging out a lot. And if you want to help pack, just holler.


Just what I needed.

October 28, 2005

Mood: Tired.
Music: Battle Without Honor Or Humanity, Tomoyasu Hotei
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, CoD2, EVE Online
Book: The Tesseract, Alex Garland.
Muffin: None.

So yesterday, my buddy ‘Phyxie (Asphyxiate, his Gamertag…his name is Andy), whom I’ve been trying to get to play WoW, basically went all counterattack on me.

Instead of him using my free 10 day WoW pass I provided, he reactivated EVE Online, and subliminally managed to get me to agree to try it. So I did. I downloaded the client, actually paid for a month (so I wouldn’t be tempted to just bail on it 20 minutes into it like I did a few years ago), and gave it a good swing.

So, like at 2:30am, I agreed it was fun enough to add to the roster.

The game is not stressful. That is, it isn’t a twitch based game, and it isn’t about having to do something exactly right in order to get to where you want to be in terms of gear or equipment.

What it IS, is a very large economically-based MMO, where you can mine, manufacture, trade, form corporations, and so on, in an incredibly huge galaxy. I had plenty of fun running about, doing a bit of mining, turning it into some quick cash, running some missions for some agents, making some more cash, upping my skills…and already setting my sights on forming a corporation and a big fricken ship.

I hate to say it, but this is kind of what I was really looking for in a game. No enforced combat to achieve. I can commerce and trade my way to where I want to be. And it IS very pretty.

What I DIDN’T need was another distraction a month before moving to Seattle. I’m already having trouble finding enough time to play WoW what with CoD recently slotted in the gameplay environment. (I’m done with the Russian campaign, I’ve finished three of the four British scenarios in that campaign (working on the 4th right now) and have finished the first American scenario in that campaign.)

Not for nothing, but if I play a fricken Ranger of the 2/75 one more time in a game…I have no idea what I’ll do. The freakin’ war lasted 6 years by any calendar. Affected MILLIONS of people. How is it that games always seem to focus on ONE freaking unit over and over again? Enough of Pointe Du Lac. I get it. It was key. How many times can I land on a nightmare beach from an amphibious landing craft to climb a cliff/dune to clear some bunkers, then spike, destroy, or blow up emplaced 88s? I assure you that this is the last time I’ve blown up an 88 in Pointe Du Lac in a single player first-person shooter.

Anyway, I suspect that I’ll be playing EVE and WoW at the same time. You know…setting stuff up in EVE, then playing WoW for an hour or so, then setting up the next thing in EVE. This could be bad….

I DID pack three boxes last night while playing EVE…so that’s not a bad thing. Like I said…the tempo/pace and enforced waiting time in EVE (due to mining, travelling, jumping…) lends itself to doing other things at the same time…at least until I’m running a corporation…..

I do need to get some stuff done other than gameplay this weekend. Let’s see if I can peel myself away from the machine to get those things done.

New Wave, Indeed…

October 27, 2005

Mood: Bored.
Music: New Wave City on! (NetRadio….)
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, CoD2, EVE Online(?)
Book: Special Forces, Tom Clancy.
Muffin: Jersey Blueberry.

This morning, it had occurred to me that when I was in high school, I listened to 92.7 WLIR (“The Station that DARES to be different!”) Mainly New Wave, some Alternative, some Punk, some Gothic…just non-mainstream stuff. And I thought myself pretty cool to be listening to “the latest music” on the planet…and too bad if you heathens couldn’t enjoy it too.

But then, today, I realized that I don’t listen to new music at all any more. It’s as if when I was in high school and college, my music appreciation glands were formative and rubbery…capable of absorbing all sorts of music (I listened to a lot of different stuff, even as I do now…but NOT country.) But as I’ve grown older, I realize that I listen to more and more of the same stuff…the stuff I USED to listen to when I was younger. Yes, I still listen to a small amount of newer stuff…but it’s largely stuff in the same vein as the old stuff.

I suppose you could call it having a musical preference…which I clearly have. But it isn’t that part…it’s the fact that new music is being produced probably even faster than it used to be…but I don’t listen to any of it. I suppose the lack of quality radio in New York is a part of it…but I’m having a fabulous time listening to the New Wave channel on through Windows Media Player. It’s all the stuff I listened to in high school and college.

My inability to appreciate the stuff that Chelsea listens to isn’t about the fact that she listens to bad music (except for that bloody country and western crap…) but that I seem unable to appreciate things different than what I liked to listen to when I was younger. Is that a function of me wishing I was back in high school (which I definitely DON’T wish…I hated high school…) or just the fact that my brain has a section that classifies “music you like” and it’s all full up? Or did that part of my brain just say “OK, we got it…now you can’t change it?”

I believe it’s Noam Chomsky that believes that neurolinguistic mechanisms exist in the human brain and that when you’re a baby/child, those mechanisms absorb language and physically adjust themselves in some undetectable way to “learn” the language. Then, as one gets older, those mechanisms become more rigid, and unable to “learn” as fast or as well. People who are “good” at languages have mechanisms that never become fully rigid, while people who have linguistic problems might have faulty mechanisms, or mechanisms that start partially rigid.

In computers, it’s like blowing code into EPROMs.

I’m now wondering if everything isn’t like that. Likes and dislikes, and so on.

It would explain why I only get really serious enjoyment from my 80s music.

Or maybe I’m just getting old and set in my ways.

Whatever…I’m going back to my Duran Duran and this stupid project plan.

Old Glenn’s Big Gay Playlist

October 26, 2005

Mood: Irked, but whatever.
Music: This whole blog entry, fool.
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, Hopefully COD2 today….
Book: Special Forces, Tom Clancy.
Muffin: Actually, I had a bagel.

Below, find the first cut of Old Glenn’s Big Gay Playlist…I had some criteria when I made this:

– All songs must currently be found in the iTunes shop (So you all can run out and buy the songs when you say “Oh YEAH! I want that!”)
– I must actually own said music.
– It has to be more than 10 years old! (Of course, I may have fudged or forgotten actual years…after all, I AM old.)
– It had to have been played in dance clubs (or remixed to be played in dance clubs, or SHOULD have been played in dance clubs.)

This obviously isn’t complete…that is, I have far, far more music that would fit on this list…but this is a good amount of music to get started with…let’s call it: Old Glenn’s Big Gay Playlist – The Basics

Oh, and they’re not in any particular order…this list is designed to get thrown on an iPod and shuffled.

Everybody Dance Now!

Still going….

October 25, 2005

Mood: Vaguely damp.
Music: It Ain’t Easy, David Bowie
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, Hopefully COD2 this week….
Book: Special Forces, Tom Clancy.
Muffin: Banana-Blackberry (and I don’t really like banana…but I had to eat something.)

Last night was a lazy one. I made yummy grilled tuna over salad with a tasty ginger vinaigrette…then tried to run with a pickup group to the Live Side of Stratholme…except that the group I was with had people constantly going AFK, one guy with stupid lag, a cowboy, and people who insisted it was OK to pull large groups with no mana. After the 6th time dying, I finally told them I appreciated the group, but I needed to go.

I ended up chewing through 2 quick quests with Thorn and Smitty…but they were exhausted for some reason, and I ended up finishing up playing at around 9:30pm. So I simply shut off the computer, climbed into bed, and turned off all the lights.

The wind and rain last night was so harsh, that it sounded like someone was flinging handfuls of pebbles against my windows. I suppose I really should take my in-window air conditioner out…a lot of the noise was rain on thin metal. It’s also had the added effect of making it somewhat chilly in my bedroom, not that I’m complaining. I actually sleep better when it’s cold, and my computer certainly isn’t complaining about the temperature any more.

Aaaand…a quick check of UPS tells me that my new video card is on the truck ready to be delivered to work. Excellent. I can get home tonight, rip out that piece of ATI slag I have pushing pixels right now, install some drivers, and revel in glorious 3D splendor just before I run through Scholomance with some of the fellas.

Oh, I didn’t mention it before. Chelsea bought a new car…a Scion tC and it has a little doohickey where you plug your iPod into the stereo system…it’s very slick. So naturally, she and I have what I would diplomatically call “differing musical tastes.” That is, I haven’t listened to very much new music in the last 10 years, and she has no patience for most of my music. So with all the time we spent in the car looking for apartments, we were both very cool about switching iPods every now and again.

It should be mentioned, however, that when I first connected my iPod to the Scion, I mentioned something that I thought it was funny. I was buying music on iTunes (sort of my guilty vice…my friends keep buying me small gift certificates on iTunes (I can only guess it’s in the hopes that I actually get some decent music….)) and I like to look through the Essentials playlists that they put together on the store. While I was looking through them, I realized that I had well over half of the songs on the “Gay Essentials Playlist.” Which Chelsea found amusing.

I’m not certain who decided that 80s Electronica/New Wave like Erasure, Bronski Beat, Depeche Mode, Yaz/Alison Moyet, Berlin, and Talk Talk were “essentially gay,” but there you have it. It is certainly true that a good chunk of my collection is 80s and early 90s New Wave. In any case, at that point, I connected the iPod, and put Smalltown Boy on the car stereo. So she said, laughing, “Is it time for “Old Glenn’s Big Gay Playlist” now?” Whereupon I decided that yes, yes it WAS time for Old Glenn’s Big Gay Playlist.

I think tomorrow, I will assemble said playlist, and you can all dance your asses off.

And to get you started, you can listen to Bizarre Love Triangle, by New Order.

This is the way of things…

October 24, 2005

Mood: Pretty good!
Music: Don’t Go, Yaz
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates, Hopefully COD2 this week….
Book: Special Forces, Tom Clancy.
Muffin: Nope….

OK…I’m getting back into writing…so thanks for bearing with me during my brief hiatus.

On Saturday, I went out to dinner with Colin and Mei, two of their friends, Adam and Shana, Adam’s new girlfriend(?). Dinner was great, and Shana was really cool. I’m pretty sure what I think of his girlfriend is probably not high on his list of importance, but I liked her, and I liked Adam with her. He just seemed really happy, and that was really cool, too.

Saturday Night late, I ended up running UBRS with Thorn and Smitty, then running it again without them. Thorn is getting to the point in his WoW career where gear really is starting to make a difference to his effectiveness, and he hasn’t been getting the drops he needs, nor has he really been snatching gear he “sorta” needs. I think it has to do with his personality…largely, he is the team leader sort, and would rather see his team get the gear they need than take it himself. The downside to this is that very very few people feel the same way as him. As long as he keeps saying things like “No, you need it more than I do” he’s going to end up with very little gear…which is happening, and it’s frustrating him. I went through the exact same problem with Baine…and then I decided that every time I said “No, it’s cool, you take it” I was going to say “I really need that.” It’s worked out very well for me. If I seem a bit grabby sometimes, it’s a function of the fact that I’ve probably said “you take it” to a bunch of gear I really kinda wanted. It all balances out…and I certainly don’t take gear I don’t really consider an upgrade. Anyway…I’ll been running with Thorn more, and making sure he takes his fair share and then some. Given the amount of support he’s given all of us, and the skill at which he supports us in dungeons, it just makes sense to get him the gear he needs.

Yesterday, I ran BRD with Smitty and a few folks from the Syndicate. I have to admit that it didn’t go the way I had hoped. I put together the run to do a mess of quests, and get them out of my quest log…but we ended up spending 3 hours doing a quest that I didn’t really want to do. At the end, just before I had to go, we plowed through like 3 quests in short order…which annoyed me, because if we had kept that pace doing what I’d wanted to do, we’d have accomplished everything I had intended. Whatever.

I did end up having dinner with my cousin Marisa last night with her boyfriend (fiancee?) Jake, and Jake’s friend Aaron. Marisa and Jake cooked, with Marisa making an awesome pork roast (why don’t I make those?) and throwing together some potatoes and root vegetables.

I ended up helping a bit, but mainly because I love cooking.

Marisa has an awesome apartment in Williamsburg, steps away from Peter Luger’s. In fact, I was kind of surprised to find a new building in the neighborhood. But it really is very nice.

As far as hockey goes, I’m not really paying attention that much…but I did notice that Eric Lindros is having a career year with the Maple Leafs. This is completely expected. It merely reinforces what I’ve been saying for years…the management and coaching in New York has been horrific since Keenan left. Keenan was no prize, I assure you…but the GM/Coach combinations for the last 10 years have been nothing less than stupid.

Great players came to New York and all of a sudden sucked. Players left New York and became stars. Rangers jinx? Or just lousy fucking coaching?

Larry Brooks from the NY Post mentioned that the year before the strike, he’d gone to a few practices, and Sather was having the players run 2 and 3 man drills…with no opposition. Basically running plays and routes with no contact, no defense, no drilling. The players ran them lackadaisically, as if doing simple half-speed drills. And people wondered why they sucked when they played for real? Brooks mentioned it in comparison to the practice he went to a few weeks ago, where players were running 2 on 2s and 3 on 3s with real hitting and a few fights broke out. That’s the way you practice hockey. You practice for real with people in your face, ready to make you pay when you slack off. As a result, the Rangers are on top of the Eastern Conference at the moment.

As added comedy, Tom Poti’s been benched twice this season so far for sucking. And for good reason…he SUCKS. He’s ALWAYS sucked! I have no idea why you keep Poti and trade Leetch…but they did…and now they’ve got a several million dollar defenseman who SUCKS. Fabulous. Trade him. Give him away.

Anyway, I’m actually very happy for Lindros. He’s always wanted to play in Toronto, his home town, and I think the years in New York have given him a maturity and ability to deal with the media and pressure. He’s handling it all fabulously, and Toronto has welcomed him the way that New York never really did. I always liked Lindros…I didn’t think he was everything people originally said he was…but he played hard, which I always appreciate…and now and again, he’d astound you with some strong move, or vicious check, or the time he knocked out Joe Thornton with one punch, breaking Thornton’s cheekbone. Lindros was no one’s fool, for sure. Anyway, I’m glad he’s playing well…and he’s probably the happiest guy on earth right now.

This weekend, I’d had enough, and broke down and bought a new video card. The ATI card I have right now (the replacement card, I should say, after my first card exploded…) has been crashing and choking when I play World of Warcraft, occasionally flat out resetting while I’m playing. It was also doing weird polygon things when I played the COD2 demo…and that I WON’T have. I must have crunchy tasty first person shooter goodness when I get COD2 this week, as it gets released tomorrow.

I debated buying a new machine…for about 2 seconds. I can’t afford to drop $3500 on a computer right now…especially not before moving. So I decided to buy a relatively cheap nVidia 6600. I think I’m paying $110 for it…which seemed like a good price.

It’s funny how I’ll buy an nVidia card, use it for a few years, get pissed at nVidia, then buy an ATI…and now the pendulum is swinging back. I just can’t STAND the ATI drivers. I feel reasonably sure that in a few years, I’ll go back the other way. But for now….?

And, of course, I should have CoD2 by Wednesday night…which I will undoubtedly stay up all night playing.

Now, I really need to get back to work…I’ve slacked enough for the last week to annoy even myself.

More tomorrow.

I can’t sleep.

October 20, 2005

Mood: Sleepy…
Music: None
Game: World of Warcraft, Puzzle Pirates.
Book: None.
Muffin: It’s 3am….

Since I’ve gotten back from Seattle, I’ve been completely unable to sleep.

I get into bed, lights off, eyes closed, and I can’t get comfortable…can’t stop thinking.

I try and try…but I cannot fall asleep. My internal clock is completely fucked.

I can only guess it’s nerves. I WANT to move…yes, I’ll miss things in NY, but there’s so much more to see and do in Seattle for me now. More exploring, new friends, new job…I want to do all that.

I’ve started packing up things, throwing things out, giving things away. I’ve already chucked out 4 large garbage bags full of stuff. I think I’ve sold my MK II machine…so that’s good too.

I know I haven’t written much of late…no idea why. Every time I open my blog to write something, my brain whirls for a bit, then I close it. I guess I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin.

Maybe I’ll try to get back to bed again….