Archive for April, 2010

OK, No More Zombie Games Before Bed

Usually before bedtime I like to unwind with one the following: a little guitar playing, tv show watching, muscle admiring, music listening or video game playing. Lately the video game playing has won out over the rest. I really should not play right before bed because there is nothing like getting all amped up and blasting bad guys to relax. Regardless, that has been the general routine over the past few weeks. There were some great zombie-themed sales going on in video game land this weekend and I decided to take the bait. Lately everyone has been talking about Left 4 Dead 2, how fun it is and this weekend it was half price. A few years back I played Left 4 Dead (one) at Ty’s house and it was fun. Although I do remember having to sit close to his tiny 32″ TV in order to see my character, plus he made me play on the bottom screen which is just terrible since my eyes tend to wander towards the top of the screen and end up watching his screen. It’s not very helpful to look at the wrong screen when you’re surrounded by pixelated zombies.

In Left 4 Dead you play as one of four survivors after a zombie outbreak, I really don’t know much more of the story beyond that since i haven’t really spent that much time in it. From the little I have played I think that is pretty much the goal of the game, kill zombies/stay alive. Yesterday I downloaded L4D2, played a bit of it and it was fun although the zombies were a lot faster than I had remembered. Aren’t zombies supposed to be slow and lumbering? When did the fast zombie begin to be the norm?

I usually have the unique ability to watch movies  or play these games before bed and not dream about them. A few months back I re-watched HBO’s Band of Brothers and although I’d often watch them right before bed, I never dreamt about war or killing or anything. It wasn’t until I started reading books about the men portrayed in BoB that I began to have the most vivid dreams about war and killing. Interesting how the brain works.

Last night I fell asleep and was immediately greeted by zombies surrounding me. The dream was very matter of fact and not scary at all. Even though I was surrounded I was simply moving around and circle strafing while I efficiently and methodically blasted the undead away from me. I was as calm as taking out the trash. After I had finished eliminating all the bad guys I threw my guns down on the ground (much like a vid game) and went inside. I have no idea why, but once I was inside I immediately made my way over to a pull up bar and began doing inverted pull ups because y’know, who doesn’t want to dream about working out? I was several pull ups in when without warning something was behind me. I stopped for a split second to listen as the silence was broken by the most unearthly growl man has ever heard. I immediately knew it was a zombie dog and I jerked my body up (remember I was upside down) while I let out a whimpering yell that crossed over into real life causing me to wake up and kick the wall. I laid awake in bed with only the sound of my racing heartbeat filling my ears. For a split second I was too scared to roll over and look behind me for fear of a slobbering zombie dog. I finally did roll over and was relieved to not find any undead canines staring at my face.

I don’t think in the history of my dreaming I have ever woken up screaming…err yelling. Men can’t really scream IMO so I’ll call it a higher pitched yell. Maybe it’s time to start playing gentle music before bedtime or flexing my bubbly biceps in the mirror instead of blowing heads off of half-decomposed people. Who knows, we’ll see what tonight brings.

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A Really Good Day

I woke up yesterday knowing there were places I needed to go and peoples I needed to see. But I really had no idea just what kind of day it would turn out to be. It had the recipe and all the fixins to be a great day but I’m no chef and sometimes when you put too many ingredients together you end up with a sticky plate of mush.

I started the day with 2 eggs and potato pancakes, mixed those with a little girlfriend and a dash of ‘who the hell is justin bieber?’ and we were off to a good start. As the breakfast slowly snaked its way through our mazey intestines we stopped off at my house to download an expansion for a  360 game while it was still on sale. We had some time to kill so while HES became engrossed in a book about making her boyfriend happy (I don’t really know what it was about, but I assume that’s what she’s readying about) I decided to play a few games on the ‘box. After a 20 minute struggle in Toy Soldiers I finally beat the level I had been stuck on for days. Woot, high fives all around. Since there were a few minute left to spare I popped in Battlefield 2 BC2 and proceeded to Rambo the other team into oblivion. This was only a taste of things to come…but more on that later.

After the brief gaming interlude we packed up our things and headed over to Kat’s house to watch the Blazer game. She cooked up more food than a nagging non-kosher Jewish mother. Non-kosher because of the pulled pork tacos and crab won-tons. Nevertheless, delicious and really there was little to no nagging. The Blazer game was incredible! If you live in Oregon and didn’t watch the game, what the hell is wrong with you? Kat gave me a whole recliner to sit in but I only needed the edge. The game kept me on my tailbone my stomach twisted. Brandon Roy came back and surprised everyone, the Blazers decided to show up and play basketball and in the end we won! High fives all around for the second time in the day.

I left Kat’s house on a happy high while I made my way to Phil’s house so I could testify. He was complaining about how he was famished since he hadn’t eaten for 45 minutes so I picked him up some Arby’s to stuff in his yapper. Andy and Liz were in his living room when I arrived so we had a nice mini-GFU reunion. Rockband was fired up and it lasted about 3 minutes before his crappy bass pedal broke on the drum set. Not to be outdone, Andy and I set out to fix it using airplane epoxy and our intuitive wit. While we let the pedal set we returned to our rockin and had to use strategy to make it through songs as the drummer would always be in the red since he missed so many bass pedal notes. After we determined the bass pedal was again ready for action we hooked it back up and tried to play Jimi Hendrix’ ‘Bold As Love’ I say try because it was only 2 minutes before Phil’s hammertoes managed to break the pedal again. My favorite Testify song was the only song left and so we finished up the night shaking the walls to Rage Against The Machine. Totally awesome, and a round of high fives for the 3rd time in the day.

I took HES home so she could get to bed before a Sunday morning shift. After dropping her off I came home and thought my super great day was coming to a close. But then I remembered that I had some cookies so I ate a bunch of those while I caught up on the news of the world and tried to decide if I wanted to watch a movie, play games, play guitar or go to bed. I decided to fire up the 360 and see if any games would pique my interest. I was bopping around the dashboard for only 3 minutes before an old college friend, we’ll call him “loobs” jumped on and invited me to Bad Company 2. I figured I’ll play for a little while and then head to bed.

We met up in the game, formed a squad and strategized to beat the other team. In this game you work together with your team against other online players to take and hold positions on the map. You can play 1 of 4 classes all with unique abilities. Assault, Medic, Engineer, Recon. Assault throws out more bullets for your team, Medic heals people and brings them back to life with defibs, Engineer has the ability to destroy or repair tanks and Recon….well recon is supposed to go out and spot where the enemy is and take out heavy armor but if you’re like most people in the game you simply put on a monkey suit and wait in the bushes to snipe a few bad guys in the process of barely helping your team. I don’t know if we were just lucky or the stars were aligned to give me the perfect Saturday but I played the greatest games I have ever played. We didn’t lose a single game, I went the entire time dying only once or twice (that is unheard of in these types of games) and each time loobs and I were at the very top of the player list. Usually our games are full of so much frustration we’re not even sure why we play. We played for 2.5 hour and during the final hour I had to pee so bad but I wasn’t willing to stop the roll we were on. Finally my fatigue and urine caught up to me and I had to quit out, but not before sending cyber-high fives to loobs and giving myself a pat on the back.

I fell into bed and as sleep quickly took over, my mind raced through the day indexing all the silly memories for a later time. I rolled onto my sleeping side and thought “Damn, what a fine day it was”.

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