Archive | May 2012

You, sir, are an asshole….

As we all know, I’m an opinionated prat, and while I do try to view something from every possible angle before forming an opinion about it, I tend to not waver from it once it’s established. Despite this statement, there are exceptions, and I’ve just come across one recently that slightly negates some recent diatribes of mine when discussing a certain subject with friends. Allow me to explain.

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Behold, the time sink of the year!

 

Many of my friends, for quite a few months now, have been going on and on about the glories of Bethesda’s latest “masterpiece”, Skyrim. This is a game that, despite many awful bugs, even some game breaking ones, received plenty of very high scores from reviewers, even a few perfect scores. I’m not gonna sit here and say that this is the main reason it turned me off, but it was a good start.

 

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I’m on a horse…..and floating, apparently….

For a game to be worthy of such insanely high praise, I expect it to be incredibly refined. The kind of game that, even if the odd glitch exists, it’s so minor that it doesn’t affect gameplay or make the game appear ‘buggy’ whatsoever. I personally don’t care how ‘pretty’ a game is, or how much content it has in it (Skyrim has about 800 hrs of playable content), if your shit is really buggy out of the gates, then maybe you should have payed more attention to cleaning up the glitches and less attention to cramming more content into a game with an insane amount already.

Now, apart from this issue, my other problem was that Skyrim’s predecessor, Oblivion, was boring as shit for me. The open world thing is ok for some people, but where it allows freedoms for characters, it also lacks direction, since most of it was me wandering aimlessly around trying to locate the right town and character to talk to in a world that was ridiculously large. This didn’t add to the immersion for me, it just made me bored as fuck. Also, everyone I ended up talking to gave me a goddamn side mission, until I had about 7000 of the fucking things! Then it was a chore just to try and figure out who gave me what, and how long ago that was. Needless to say, I got bored and put it down rather quickly, and from what I’m told, Skyrim didn’t change that part of the game all that much.

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Talk to my disembodied hand, bitch!

 

Truth be told, there was another gripe of mine, and that was the combat system. I just couldn’t get behind first person sword and magical combat, it just felt so…..wrong….

Around the same time as everyone prattling on about Skyrim, I was told about another game called Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning. The game has characters designed by Todd McFarlane, and world lore/storyline written by none other than R.A.Salvatore. I’m not linking to either of their home pages, because if you don’t know who they are, then you’ve been living under a rock on a different planet for the past 20 years, and have no business reading my blog, 😉  Anyways, this piqued my interest, as did the fact that the combat and gameplay is much more along the lines of God of War than anything else. This, of course, gave me a gamer stiffy, since the God of War series is one of my all-time favorites, and much of the reasoning for my love of it is the awesome combat mechanics. I decided to give it a shot, and downloaded the demo.

The demo for Amalur was more glitchy and buggy than many I’ve played, but still the gameplay was awesome. I was saddened that such potential was wasted on a buggy game, much like Skyrim. I then found out that the demo was done with very old code, by a different dev than the one that made the game, and that the actual game did not suffer from such issues. Reviewers gave mostly favorable reviews of it, and my wonderful wife picked it up for me as a gift.

Please keep in mind that I haven’t really had, or shall I say made, the time to play video games since last summer, when Infamous 2 came out. I rarely play video games since having kids. I played a little bit of Amalur, and then it sat unplayed for a few weeks….until my surgery.

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Give me a hug, you vicious fat bastard!!!

 

During my recovery, I played hours upon hours of this fucking game, and it wasn’t until hour 20 or so that I noticed a trend….and my folly. I was doing exactly what I criticized Skyrim players for, I was veering far off the storyline path to explore the world. My main quest had about 3 bullet points completed around that time. I had also completed about 18 side quests, each with multiple bullet points. I was all over the place, talking to people and reading books, learning the history of the world and lands I was exploring, and got so wrapped up in it all, that I didn’t give as much of a shit about the main storyline until I ran out of side quests to do. Granted, I got right back into it, but the allure of learning about the other stuff was much too great, and once I started and got hooked, there was no stopping it.

There are, however, a few things I really like about how these quests and such are done. This isn’t a comparison, since I’ve not played Skyrim. Anyone who has a side quest for you will be marked on your map, and in the world with an exclamation point over their head. This makes it easy to control how many of these bloody things you have. All of the points of interest for the active quest are also shown on the map, something older games never did. Keep in mind, most of the RPGs I’ve played were Final Fantasy games, which are similar to this one in that they were mostly linear, while giving the illusion of being open world. Let’s face it, if I were to run straight though to a certain area that I’m up to now, I’d be wearing my ass as a fucking hat. Also, to go from land to land, you must go through caves or passes, and can’t just run in that direction and get there. I think this makes it much easier to navigate the world and keep certain monsters from certain areas. The fast travel is cool too, so I don’t have to keep running everywhere.

The other HUGE thing for me is the combat, as I mentioned before. Switching between weapons and magic in battle is very easy and fluid, and the new abilities and combos that you can unlock really add to the gameplay. I absolutely love running around and fucking people up, since the combat is fast, brutal, and varied. I could literally go on and on about it, and the rest of this game, but this post is ridiculously long already.

So, to wrap things up, I must apologize to those whose balls I busted about Skyrim being only about wandering around, wasting time and side questing. Maybe I should dress up like a black pot for halloween…

I challenge you to a duel….

I was sent this video awhile ago by a good friend, and thought it was absolutely fucking awesome. Give it a watch, you will not be disappointed if you like my kind of humor. Good shit.

I was nostril raped and all I got was this lousy blog post…

So for those wondering exactly what happened to me over the past week, here’s a slightly-summarized play-by-play of my surgery and the first week of recovery. If you just want the short, short version, doctor said it went well, it hurt like fuck, and painkillers don’t work well on me.

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Cross section, detailing the rape path.

So the idea was for me to stop eating at midnight on Thursday and to have the surgery sometime Friday morning. The surgery would remove the bone spur, and reduce the size of the turbinates in my nose. Afterwards, I’d feel like I had a bad head cold and the pain wouldn’t be too bad.

Now here’s what actually happened. They called me up Thursday and told me that my surgery wouldn’t be until 2 fucking 30 in the afternoon! I was allowed to drink clear liquids until 10am Friday morning, and after that I had to fast. Needless to say, by 2:30 on Friday I was fucking dying! I debated ripping open a vein or artery on my body just to drink the blood. They had me strip to my underwear and get into a hospital gown, complete with grippy socks which had grip on the bottom AND top of the socks. Sexy shit!

They take me into a holding area, where I was kept while “on deck” for surgery. I spoke to my doctor, who told me we were all set for the drilling. I’m assuming he’s a die-hard Republican, since I noticed they wrote Alaska on my face. Anyways, they put in the IV and take me into the O.R.. This was the first time I’ve ever been in an operating room, and I must say it was generally generic. Lights, white, and beeping equipment diligently doing it’s job by beeping at set intervals. The drilling was about to commence. As I was about to pass out from the anesthesia, I’m not sure if the doctor really started unzipping his pants, or if I imagined it…..

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This is pretty much how it went….

Waking up, as anyone who’s undergone anesthesia knows, sucks. I was groggy as fuck, and opening my eyes was a chore. Once I was able to open my eyes and speak, they took me to the recovery room. They said the surgery went well. They then brought me some cookies and a midget can of ginger ale, stating that I could go home once I ate and drank something. This was about the same time that the pain hit me. It literally felt like my nose had been filled with burning hot embers, that were then blown out of my nose. It was a searing, burned, horror. This prompted me to ask the lovely lady for some fucking painkillers. She comes back with Oxycodone, which I took gladly.

I finished my cookies and soda. After a little while, the pain started to subside, and I started feeling really hazy. I needed help standing up, walking, and dressing myself. After that was taken care of, I was taken home. Two of our closest friends were with us, and asked if we wanted them to pick us up dinner. They picked up sushi for themselves, and a large Carvel chocolate shake for me. I figured if I’m gonna be miserable, I might as well eat/drink whatever I want! It was rather glorious, except that by the time I was halfway done with it, I was drifting in and out of sleep. Our friends went home, and I slept on the couch the first night in a drug-induced stupor.

I awoke feeling….ok, actually. The first recovery day, Saturday, was pretty much spent on the couch or bed, watching movies and playing video games. Pain was negligible, and I didn’t need to take any of the Tylenol with Codeine they gave me. I figured I was doing well, and this would be a cake walk.

Day 2 went by in a blur. I wasn’t in much pain, and I slept during most of the day. That night, however, I started getting a sinus headache and felt a little nauseous, so I blew off our standing appointment with Game of Thrones at the house of a couple friend we know who actually have HBO. I took some of the Tylenol with Codeine before bed, and passed out before it even took effect.

The headache grew during Monday, but was still mostly tolerable. I figured if I felt the same, I could attempt going to work. The other thing that started happening more on Monday was that I started getting a little dizzy, since this all apparently fucked up my equilibrium. Nevertheless, it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t think I could drive.

Tuesday morning I still had a headache, but went to work anyway. The headache grew to a crescendo while at work, until I had to leave early because the pain was too much. It was as if there was a demolition crew inside my head just behind my left eye, complete with massive sledgehammers and explosives, and they were trying to bash their way out of my head through my eye socket. I got home, and figured “fuck the Tylenol, I’m goin’ for the Vicodin!”. I tried sleeping, and it was on and off because of the pain. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep.

The next day was a true experience in barely tolerable agony. The headache and nausea were so bad, I could do little else but curl up and pray for forgiveness from whoever I wronged to deserve such misery. I’m no stranger to sinus headaches and migraines, after all one of the reasons for getting the surgery was to reduce the frequency of said event. This was far beyond the worst I’ve ever had. I’ve never before had a headache so bad that I came close to vomiting. I was popping Vicodin like fucking Tic Tacs, and all they did was take the tiniest edge off the pain for about 30-45 minutes so I could take a brief nap. It was at this point, Wednesday night, that I called my doctor’s office and begged to be able to take something else to ease the pain. They told me that I was shit outta luck, and had to wait until Thursday morning, when I had my appointment, until I could be cleared for anything else. I was stuck suffering through that night of horrid torment, without pain relief or sleep.

I got out of bed (notice how I didn’t say I ‘woke up’) Thursday morning with a slightly less potent headache. I went to my doctor, and he basically took the metal equivalent of the Mr. Thirsty at the dentist to the inside of my nose and went to town. It was…..odd. He vacuumed out about 80 gallons of bloody mucus, a site whose equal in grossness I’ve only seen in horror flicks, and gave me the all clear to take other pain meds like Excedrin Migraine, the only thing that ever gets rid of those fucking headaches.

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The savior of my sanity….

Towards the end of my appointment, after I bitched about the pain and he basically told me to have a Coke and a smile and to shut the fuck up, I was informed that this shit would continue, exactly as it felt then, for the next 2 weeks, which is when my next appointment is. After that, I should START  to feel better… Well hoo-fuckin-ray for that!!! Meanwhile, my headache right now is pretty negligible, as is the nausea and dizzyness. As long as it stays the way it is right now, I should be ok. If it goes back to how it felt early this week, I may end up dipping into my stash of Oxycodone in an effort to retreat from reality and pretend I didn’t “lose time”. Either way, it outta be an interesting two weeks….

 

Bullies on Parade

Although I know you’re all DYING to know how the surgery went, and how the recovery is going, I’ll have to leave you all hanging for the most part. I lived, it went well (doctor’s words, not mine), and misery flourishes life goes on.

I just read an article about a 7 year old who committed suicide because he was being bullied in school. I know that bullying has become a hot subject during the recent years. What I wondered, though, was why all of a sudden is this an issue…

I think back to my earlier years in school. I was horribly bullied from kindergarten (yes, that early) all the way into my more senior years of high school. Beaten up, mocked, laughed at, etc… There really wasn’t much that wasn’t done to me by my “schoolmates”, or even the kids around my neighborhood. I had maybe a small handful of friends during any given year, and wasn’t from the most stable of homes, yet I never even considered killing myself. Maybe it was because I was told to suck it up and deal with it instead of whining that nobody liked me. Maybe I was more rational. Whatever the reasons I may have had for trudging on, what really concerns me is that these children not only know to consider suicide an option, but are so far out of touch with others that they think it’s the only way out.

I think part of what kept me going on, as horrible as it is to admit, was that I was hellbent on revenge. I’d fantasize about it, plot it meticulously, and dream about it at night. I got back at the bullies in other ways. Making them look like idiots in class because they didn’t understand the material. Setting traps in their lockers, or taking all of their textbooks a few weeks before finals and dumping them in a dumpster miles away, it made no difference. Lots of other kids who were bullied felt the same rage, just lacked the resolve stupidity to take action, so I started doing so on their behalf. Eventually, the bullied kids banded together to make the bullies miserable on occasion, but mostly just made us a group, which is much harder for bullies to prey on.

Then came high school, where I made friends with the most unsavory people my district had to offer. There weren’t many, since I actually attended a “good” school system, which meant the jock douchebag bullies outnumbered us. But never underestimate the power of a small group of very dangerous people. Needless to say, the bullies were forced to look elsewhere to get their rocks off, and day after day our ranks grew. Eventually, they got a taste of their own medicine, as they were bullied and mocked and sent crying that their nice new car was ruined the day before prom by ‘persons unknown’.

A huge part of the problem are the parents and teachers who tell kids that they’re entitled to everything and whatnot, that everyone is equal, and that the world is or should be a fair place. Congratulations on giving them a completely unrealistic view on reality. In life, you don’t get a neat little trophy just for playing along. There are no consolation prizes here. It’s sink or swim, and though most parents want to move away from competitiveness, they’re leaving their kids unequipped for the real world. This world is SUPER competitive, and we are starting to have to fight for our basic freedoms, instead of for more freedoms. Don’t leave these children unequipped. Teach them the truth of the world, as much as you can, and keep in mind that you can be competitive and fight for what you want without being disrespectful, conniving, or without honor. And for the love of all that you find holy, TALK to your children. Take an interest in what means something to them. If they think you don’t share similar values, or understand how much something means to them, they won’t even approach you. Help them, or they’ll be left even more open for someone to prey upon.

My advice to the kids of today is this. Don’t fall prey to the cycle of bullying those below you because you’re being bullied. Don’t let the bullies get to you. Find the others who are ridiculed, mocked, humiliated, and bond with them. You don’t have to be friends,  but you also don’t have to be alone. If your parents are shit and you can’t talk to them, find someone else who will listen and talk to them. Other kids who are bullied will understand. Stand up for yourselves. MAKE SOMEONE LISTEN! Killing yourself should not even be an option, because take it from me, seeing those fucks get what they deserve is absolutely worth its weight in gold! You may even find a legal or honorable way of doing it, which is all the more sweet of a victory. They can only hurt you if you let them. Take it from someone who knows.

Signing off…..

 ImageSo tomorrow my doctor will break ground in my face, so I will be completely out of commission for a few weeks. Considering that my posts here are few and far between, this probably could have happened and none would be the wiser, but I felt strangely obligated to post this. Or maybe I did it out of boredom while I sit here at work and have been forbidden to access Facebook, a violation of which would result is dismissal…..who knows?!

Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s a little backstory…

WARNING!!! WARNING!!! RANT IMPACT IS IMMINENT!!!!

So they block FB where I work, which is pretty typical for places these days. IT, typically, is somewhat immune to this, though. Not that we’re ‘allowed’ to do it, but our circumvention of the security measures that prevent this type of access is often overlooked willingly.

At my current place of business, they started blocking it because someone was abusing the absolute shit out of it, and they needed to put an end to the loss of productivity. This person has since become a manager.

I saw that the other 3 people in IT here (my boss included) go around the restriction and access FB, so I figured it was the typical situation. This was until the person mentioned above saw my on there and bitched about it in the manager’s meeting. This prompted a visit to the principal’s office.

He asked me if I knew it was blocked. I said yes. He asked if I went there anyway. I said yes. He then said that this would be the last time it would be discussed. Following this incident, at another closed door discussion, I was told that the reason I still don’t have proper access to our environment (after being here 8 fucking months) is because he “doesn’t feel he can trust me”. I asked his reasoning for this. He said (i shit you not), “because I saw you on FB and looking at your cell phone when I passed by”.

Please keep in mind that he NEVER said ANYTHING about:

  1. Me not learning my job quickly or efficiently,
  2. Me making any mistakes,
  3. Me not getting my work done on time, or
  4. Me not pulling my weight.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would think that these would be great reasons to use for not trusting someone. Also, I probably wouldn’t have as much of an issue being banned from FB if the other IN MY DEPT weren’t STILL GOING THERE!!!!

/end rant

 

See you all after my face replacement…..maybe then I’ll be handsome!

 

(note: my face will unfortunately NOT be altered, and thus improved, by this procedure….)

The chum pool

I’ve always been a people watcher. Not in the creepy “guy sitting alone staring at your family from across the dining room at Denny’s” way, but in the “guy studying social interactions and trying his best to not come off as creepy” way. Some of my motives are related to my love of learning about people, and what makes them do what they do, and some are related to my lack of self esteem and feelings of inadequacy in social situations not catered to me in a specific way. Either way, it’s a favorite pasttime of mine.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert on people, but I believe that I can understand a fair amount about a person and what they do, and even more so, WHY they do it. This can be great when giving people advice, though I’m always sure to tell those who ask me for advice that it’s just my personal opinion, and there’s just as much of a chance of me being wrong as there is of me being right. My track record so far is actually pretty decent, though, which is good.

Now here lies the rub. I CANNOT take any of my own advice whatsoever, even if it’s advice I’d have given me if I was disconnected from the situation. Now I know this is very typical, even for people close to us such as a spouse or close friend/family member. We’ve been there before, your spouse tells you time and again a snippet of advice that makes perfect sense, yet you only believe it when someone much further disconnected from you says the same thing, and then it’s gospel, thus causing your spouse to throw their hands up in the air in typical “what the absolute fuck?!” fashion. I’m not 100% sure why this happens, apart from not wanting to believe those who truly love you with all their heart because you feel they may just be saying this to make you feel better, and might not be completely honest with their response due to not wanting you to feel bad or whatnot.

It’s for reasons such as those that I have great difficulty taking compliments. I almost NEVER believe a compliment when it is paid to me, and even when I do, I’m very awkward about accepting it. This is indicative of my obviously high opinion of myself, and overwhelming self esteem and ego. As most of you know, I’m in a band. What some of you may not know, is that when people come to shows and say how good we were, I NEVER believe them. Don’t get me wrong, I know it doesn’t appeal to everyone, and I do like the praise the night of, regardless of whether I believe it or not.

On the other hand, I’m not comfortable lying to people about stuff like that. If you’re awful at something, I won’t come out and say you’re fantastic. I’ll say something else that doesn’t equate to “you kick ass” or “i loved it”, or won’t say anything at all. Many of you know this about me already, which is part of the reason I participate is less friendly banter than many others I’m close to. I’m not the guy to come to when you just wanna be lied to and told just what you wanna hear. This is why.

When I was younger, I was a pathological liar. I lied constantly, many times about shit that meant absolutely nothing. My reasons behind it are irrelevant at the moment, but it should suffice to say that it happened for reasons which are handled in other ways now. A few people caught on, and things went downhill with them pretty quickly. Please keep in mind, I was, and am, an excellent liar, able to get pretty much anyone to believe anything. That was the problem. Once people found out that I was this way, they never believed me because they couldn’t tell if what I said was real or fiction, or a blending of the two.

Fast forward a few years. I started a brutal honesty policy. I started being horribly honest with people to prove to them that I was telling the truth. This didn’t exactly win me many friends, mind you, since people seldom want to hear such things, but it definitely washed away the liar label with everyone but my parents. They’ll never believe me, but that’s a story for another day.

Taking this into consideration, I really am amazed that people talk to me at all about ‘real’ matters. I get that sometimes people want a brutally honest opinion, and then ask me what I think, but that’s not always the case. I’m sure I’ll never really understand it. Some people say things as to why they do so, and pay me compliments about my honesty and how I’m ‘genuine’ or ‘real’, which has little impact due to me being incapable of believing such romanticism as previously stated. Now I get stuck at an impasse, having to choose between taking the praise on faith, or not taking it. Neither feels 100% right.

I assume that many with self esteem issues feel this way. Some take the “fuck it” approach and just don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, while others take the begging for praise approach and seek as much affirmation and praise as possible. I’m sort of a mixture between the two, as this post shows. Granted I’m just writing about what’s on my mind right now, but i don’t delude myself into thinking that there’s no part of me doing this just for the aforementioned reasons, regardless of my inability to believe….

Sure to be a drill a minute…..

I’ve been suffering from sinus problems ever since I was in my late teens. It didn’t start out bad, just a touch of hayfever every summer that made me a bit snuffly. However, as time went on, it got progressively worse and worse. Nowadays, I constantly wake up with sinus congestion and a sore throat from the post nasal drip, which is just SUPER AWESOME! I also periodically get sinus migraines, which is basically like having somebody on the inside of my eyebrows with a dull drill trying to bore out through my skull and into the daylight.

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BENNY, SCREW YOU!!!

I’ve also been prone to chronic sinus infections. I get them so often, that I basically don’t even realize I have them until they get severe, so when I see my doctor because I’m “not feeling well”, he takes a look and runs from the room to put on a hazmat suit. All in all, good times!

It was only recently that I actually went to an ENT for this, since I really hate going to doctors. I was sent to get a CT of my head, and went back in for my consult. The doctor, who is one of the best ENTs in NY apparently, came in and said he had good news and bad news. OK, let’s pause there. To all doctors out there, this is a shitty thing to say to people who are concerned about an aspect of their health and have come in for CT scan results.

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Next, he takes me to the computer where their PACS program is and went over my scans with me. I’ll sum it all up for everyone here, since it can get specific. The good news was that they found something that is most likely a huge culprit of my chronic issues. The bad news….I need surgery.

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Now, the specifics are as such, I have a large bone spur in my nose, and over-sized turbinates. This means I’ll need a septoplasty and turbinoplasty. They’ll put me under, cut open the lining in my nose, and cut out the 7mm long length of bone that shouldn’t be there. Then they will go in with a laser and reduce the amount of flesh on the turbinates like carving a fucking turkey with a lightsaber

According to my doctors, and pretty much everyone else in the medical field that I’ve spoken to about this, I’m going to be in crazy amounts of sinus pain after the surgery. They gave me Tylenol with Codine for the pain, and said I should start feeling better in a few weeks, with full recovery taking between 6-9 weeks or so on the average. This is exacerbated due to my case being “the most severe” my doctor has ever seen, yet another thing doctors probably shouldn’t say, lol.

Now my main issue isn’t even the fact that I’m SERIOUSLY not looking forward to a weekend of horrible pain, it’s the fact that, according to all sources (my doctor especially), my voice is going to change. As many of you know, I sing in a band. It’s seriously one of my favorite things in the world to do. I won’t be able to sing for a few weeks following the surgery, and after that I will have to partially relearn some singing techniques since the change in my nose and airflow will be so drastic. I know that many people, my vocal coach most of all, have told me that I will most likely sound better afterwards, but I challenge any singer to go into a situation like this and not be nervous.

So there ya go. The drilling of my face will commence this Friday, and I’ll be laid up in bed the entire weekend, and possible a day or two next week. According to my doctor, I won’t look like a prize fighter after a fight, but I sure as hell will feel like one….