Monthly Archives: June 2014

Truths.

I had this moment yesterday. I was feeling guilty for not having responded in a timely manner to an email, and the guilt was slowly settling heavier and heavier. 

There’s this chick-lit book I read when I was in Ireland, and one of the characters was struggling after a really bad time in her life. At work, she had the job to send a letter. That’s it. She just had to post this letter. And she kept putting it off and putting if off, and she didn’t know why. The guilt for not doing it originally became so great that she couldn’t focus on anything else, but equally couldn’t seem to actually do it. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to do, but she kept putting it off, and then resolving to do it and basking in the relief of knowing it wasn’t yet and emergency, but still not doing it. The situation became worse and worse, and then erupted into her being fired. It’s frustrating to read, because you just want to reach through the pages and make her send it, before things get bad.

But I’ve been there. I’m not there now, and haven’t for a long time. But there was a period of time in DC where something really bad happened, and then I lost the ability to do things. For a LONG TIME. Looking back I realize how broken down I was, how I needed a hand. But at the time I had no idea, I just knew I couldn’t make myself do the simplest things. It was a lack of an ability to function, and anything that could serve as a distraction did. Luckily, that’s not me anymore. I healed from the bad thing, and I healed from other bad things. And yesterday as I was wandering at work, working, thinking and fretting, I had one of those moments when everything clarifies and a universal truth becomes a personal truth. “It doesn’t matter that you didn’t respond before, because that’s already happened. You can’t change it. All you have is today. Fix it.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t respond till today. But I responded, apologized, and moved on.

It’s so strange, isn’t it? There are all these great, overarching things that we know to be true. Grief will pass. You can handle more than you dream. The morning is good at arriving at the right time (thanks, George Harrison). What you think of yourself matters more than other people’s thoughts. People don’t think about you or judge you half as much as you fear. These are things we know, intellectually, but they so rarely make you feel better, because in the moment they so rarely feel true. Cliches often repeated don’t have the punch. When my mother died, everyone told me that eventually I would feel better, but I didn’t really believe it. You don’t, not at first. But then one of my best friend’s mothers told me about her own mom dying when she was around my age. “I promise it will get better,” she said. “You will be happy again.” And I believed it then, because she did it, so I could too.

Anyway, this is a lot of words to describe a not very momentous thing. I just felt better afterwards, is all.

(The really odd thing about all of this is that I don’t do this at work. I mean, the person I am at work is the kind of person who does things right away, and faces lumps head on. I think I use up all my forthrightness and responsibility during working hours, so I tend to revert to being antisocial the minute I leave the store. Perhaps if I worked in a job that had less human contact…)

So fine

I had a crisis of confidence brought on by reading old posts (on my old blog) and enjoying what I was writing THEN as compared to NOW. It actually is more complicated than that — there were other things that just led to an epic sulk and confidence dive. I had a three day weekend in which to regroup, and I filled it by playing Wildstar, going for walks with my dog, and catching up on sleep. And then I had a makeup day off yesterday, which I filled by doing almost nothing, and the combination of these things has left me with my ruffled feathers soothed.

 

There’s more to write, but I just wanted to say that I’m not mia, friends. I’ll be back soon!

June things

IMG_0370

I have caffeine today.

I’ve given up caffeine lately, but when I looked in the mirror at my second wake up this morning, I was horrified. The first wake up happened when it started raining and I realized I left my car windows wide open last night. After a mad dash in the rain, I went back to bed for half an hour and reluctantly woke up on time. And I looked like hell.

IMG_0412

It’s been a good few months, with a few bad weeks mixed in. That’s normal. Baxter and I have continued to walk every night, enjoying the woods and the cool and warm and sun and rain. I let him swim in the pond but not in the river (one is muddier than the other) and when he swims I sit on the bank and listen to a book or some music and daydream a bit. On weekends we walk twice — morning and night — and I prefer the morning walks for being solitary, but Baxter will stare at me for hours until I give up and walk him at night.

IMG_0387

I was thinking, as I drove to work this morning, about the Cape and how much it no longer is ‘my place.’ When I was growing up, the Cape was home. It’s where all my happiest memories lived. But, then, back then I thought I’d want to live in NYC when I grew up, or some tiny town on an island. Neither is appealing to me now, so it shouldn’t surprise me that I don’t feel like the is my home now.

IMG_0413

I have always wanted to belong more than anything else in my life. And I’ve never really found the place that fits me like a mold, or that I could adapt to fit to. The closest I came was in Ireland, because it was a place free of expectations or major responsibility and it was so freeing to be there.

IMG_0425

I felt sad last night because I smelled barbecues in the air: it’s summer and people are celebrating with the people they love, family and friends, and belonging. It’s my own fault that I don’t. I’m still here, after all. I’m not going to rehash the reasons why, but they haven’t changed.

IMG_0422

In a slightly pisspoor mood, then, I bought a soda and brooded. I started thinking about how lately I feel like I have to make an effort to be a decent person. I mean, I’m not actively evil — I’m no Disney villain (not even a rehabilitated villain, a la Malifecent). I’m not actively unkind, it’s not my nature. But moving beyond benign to decent is a stretch. If you could hear the thoughts in my head about everyone, from the guy walking into Whole Foods with his sweatshirt tied around his neck to the customer with the frazzled attitude. I’m judgmental, is the problem, and I have no standing to be judging anyone. Be a decent person! Don’t just look away when things happen. Be more thoughtful. Be more actively kind. Stop being judgmental. Stop being an asshole. Stop being burnt out. Stop being a chicken.

No one is better at lecturing me than me.

Bioshock 2: The End.

Oh Persephone. The moment you walk into a prison and/or mental hospital in a video game, you should be prepared for misery. Persephone delivered on that promise.

All of Rapture should be in here, lbr.

All of Rapture should be in here, lbr.

I tried to decide what I thought about the level name. In Greek myth, Persephone is the goddess who was kidnapped by Hades and forced to stay in the underworld. Her mother, Demeter, was broken hearted and her father tried to force Hades to release her. Unfortunately, no one had ever taught Persephone not to eat foods given in places like Fairy rafts and the underworld, so she gets stuck there after eating some pomegranate. She is thus forced to spend half of the year in the underworld with Hades and half the world out with her mother — when she’s away, Demeter sulks and frets and winter reigns supreme. Handy little myth for seasons AND handy little myth for this last chapter of Bioshock.

Depending on which character viewpoint you chose, the name could mean a lot. From Lamb’s point of view, she’s Demeter, mourning her daughter and trying to keep her from Hades (Delta). That actually doesn’t make any sense except in the fact that she actually is Eleanor’s mother, but Lamb’s not exactly sane. I think of Lamb as the Hades here, and Sinclair as Zeus, which makes Delta, in an agonized stretch of a metaphor, Demeter.
I got a bit sidetracked here. Let’s focus.

At least the prisoners have a nice view.

At least the prisoners have a nice view.

So, Persephone. I started trudging down the long hallway towards Eleanor, convinced that I was heading towards my doom. Surely this whole game has been a big setup to get me to sacrifice myself, to put the self aside, and to die in the name of LOVE before I break my heart etc etc. But this is no time to panic, Delta, soldier on.

Despite all my rage etc etc

Despite all my rage etc etc

(ELEANOR. NOT HELPING)

I believe

I believe

(LAMB. NOT HELPING)

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 11.59.23 PM

(PICTURES ON THE WALL. NOT HELPING)

Sleeping Beauty etc etc

Sleeping Beauty etc etc

Here we are then, in sight of Eleanor. Sinclair, despite all my distrust, turns out to be a decent chap. He tells me that no matter what happens, I have to save Eleanor. “We are not leaving here without that girl,” he says. As if I need to be convinced! I’m too busy feeling weak with relief that she’s not a big sister or disfigured. But nothing in here is easy, and Lamb is in a tizzy. She’s no threat to me without her family, and at this point her family isn’t much of a threat to me either. She calls a pair of big sisters down.

Look, lady, I’ve spent all my adam on eve/health upgrades, gene tonic slots and inferno upgrades. It’d take a whole lot more than a pair of sisters to take me down at this point.

Nothing's ever easy

Nothing’s ever easy

Sisters down, it’s time to finally get to Eleanor (no, it’s really not). Lamb is now so desperate that she literally SMOTHERS ELEANOR TO DEATH to sever our bond. This is the first time I realized that Lamb actually believes all the shit she’s been spouting and isn’t just an opportunist, smart, not quite sane lady making the best of being stuck underground. She literally believes that death is worse than Eleanor having Delta in her life.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.07.22 AM

She does revive Eleanor, of course, the first of two seemingly miraculous saves the latter has. We come back to consciousness hearing Lamb warn everyone that they are to let me die naturally, because if I die in rage I can be brought back. UNFORTUNATELY for her, she’s brought Eleanor back and my girl, the one I really thought was going to doom me, is in fact a brilliant little thing. She sends in a little sister in to give me an injection that puts me in control of said little sister, and we’re off to find the pieces of big sister armor. Eleanor wants to be just like me! What a proud moment.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.12.03 AM

Before harvest

Life as a little sister is terrifying. I hadn’t realized that they saw things so radically different, although of COURSE they do. A level of detail I appreciate: when little sisters harvest in Fontaine Futurustics they talk about the angels with pretty hair — which they then correct to “Dirty hair!” I wondered at that, until as a little sister I saw that they get a flash of reality when they harvest. So the pretty angel turns into a terrifying splicer and then back to a pretty angel.

While harvesting

While harvesting

We have to find some armor pieces to let Eleanor become a big sister (she wants to be just like me!), which gives us a good opportunity to see some hallucinatory bullshit. I like the signs, though:

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.14.50 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.11.26 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.13.43 AM

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.16.17 AM

She wants to be like me

Eleanor is now a big sisterand I was very disappointed to find that I didn’t get to play as her. Big Sisters have plasmids, she totally could have been playable! No guns, though. I DO get to call her to help whenever things get too dicey, which I do only once or twice because goddammit, she’s who I’m supposed to be PROTECTING.

This is from later, but it's the only screenshot of prisoners I have.

This is from later, but it’s the only screenshot of prisoners I have.

It’s time for us to escape. We have to find Sinclair, who is in charge of our escape vessel, and we have to go to the depths of Persephone to do so. Here’s where there are still some prisoners — I killed a couple before realizing that they were just sad, broken people, rocking themselves back and forth on the floor. Damnit, Lamb.

I will remember youuuu will you remember meee

I will remember youuuu will you remember meee

Also, damnit, Lamb, you turned Sinclair into a big daddy! You awful monster of a woman. Now I have to kill him! At this point in the game I was not interested in doing things the hard way, or even exploring all that much. I was spooked and the end and escape were in sight so f it. I found the tunnel grate and dithered till I figured out a way to tempt him out of the office and then it was goodbye, Sinclair. You were a bit of a bastard before everything went down, but you sure helped me out and you didn’t pull an Atlas on me.

:(

:(

Trouble continues — Lamb REALLY doesn’t want an escape, so she messes with the ballasts (or something, I tuned it out, I was completely focused on doing whatever Eleanor told me go do). We have to drain them with fire, and to do that we need more little sisters. Also, Eleanor doesn’t want to leave them behind. Me, either, sister! So off to the two pediatric wards (…in a jail. Sure.) to fight off some waves of splicers and rescue the little guys.

Eleanor's Army. Like Dumbledore's Army. Only creepier

Eleanor’s Army. Like Dumbledore’s Army. Only creepier

Now, for the last gauntlet of the game: we have to stay alive long enough for Eleanor and her army to evaporate the water. Since I’m full on everything from bombs to proximity mines to traps and mini turrets, this poses absolutely no problem at all, and soon enough it’s esc…

Thanks for leaving me behind, ELEANOR

Thanks for leaving me behind, ELEANOR

Well, no. Lamb’s gonna bring the whole place down rather than let us be free. For fuck’s sake! Eleanor and I start running and I see her freeze and dissolve as bombs go off and what the hell. We almost made it, kid. Maybe the little sisters’ll survive this.

It occurs to me now that she was teleporting, not dying.

There’s not a lot to say about the ending. I’ll let it speak for itself.

It's...over.

It’s…over.

Did me proud, kid.

Did me proud, kid.

Eleanor's saving Sophia here, as hard as it is to tell.

Eleanor’s saving Sophia here, as hard as it is to tell.

I will.

Reborn.

Goodnight.

Goodnight.

The exciting thing is now I can start Infinite. Which is straight up gorgeous. And play more Wildstar, which is impressing me left and right!

Bioshock 2: Fontaine Futuristics

I can feel the end of Bioshock 2 is near. We’ve left Dionysus and gone on to visit our old nemesis’ domain. Frank Fontaine’s name makes me grit my teeth in some sort of pavlovian response, which is a bit funny considering how he had a pavlovian control over us (the us in Bioshock 1, not current us, Subject Delta).

Oh, hell.

Oh, hell.

ANYHOW. We’re greeted by a prerecorded message from Gil Alexander, who informs us that he is going to be insensible soon and thus needs us to kill him. But first, he needs to check our sanity. It’s alarming that we might be considered sane enough to go up against him, because I don’t think we’re all that sane. We’re a bonded Big Daddy brought back to life searching desperately for our fading little sister. That’s not a measure of sanity I can get behind.

fired

Speaking of measures of insanity, your first glimpse of Fontaine Futuristics is this charming tableau. And right after that, you hear “Alex the Great” telling off some poor sucker for stealing office supplies and then obliterating him with lasers. This sets the tone for a very surreal experience here in Fontaine Futuristics, because Alex isn’t actually THERE. He’s just flying around on a security bot with a monitor showing eyes. Where is he actually? Well, I started pondering that question with increasing dread as I started wandering.

alex the great

I’m also vaguely alarmed that Alex recognizes me — he’s very familiar with me and my story, much like Stanley Poole and I assume Sinclair. Why won’t anyone TELL me my backstory, for chrissake. It’s like Bioshock 1 all over again, except this time I won’t be shocked by my own reflection as a monster. I already KNOW I’m a monster this time.

jerk

Alex is a bit of a jerk, as well.

Alex the JERK you mean.

Alex the JERK you mean.

The goal is pretty clearly to get to Alexander and kill him — the prerecorded messages you run into let you know that he’s slowly losing his marbles as he records them and he needs you to destroy him. Of course, his new persona is actively trying to stop you from doing so, but he’s a bit disjointed. He’s a jerk one moment, complimentary the next. It all felt alarmingly like a Portal moment — especially when the curtains lifted to the plasmid demonstration and confetti burst out.

shades of glados

The front part of Fontaine Futuristics is all about showing off plasmids — it’s the heart of where Atlas/Fontaine once sat, ruling over his angry kingdom, plotting against Ryan.

If you follow the unstable plasmid, you find this alarming worship moment...

If you follow the unstable plasmid, you find this alarming worship moment…

The backend is the offices, of course, including one where you find this picture of Fontaine and family — what the hell, he DID have a wife and a kid! I thought that was just an Atlas invention. I wonder what happened to them — did Ryan kill them? Did they even die? The ripped portraits make me think something worse happened and that Fontaine actually took them down. Or those could be portraits of Ryan and Lamb, i suppose. Either way, makes his crying as Atlas about his wife and darling son even more nauseating. Bastard. Killing him was such a great feeling.

atlas DID have a wife and child! nuts

Things get a little more sinister when you make it past the public face of Fontaine Futuristics and into the bowels of it. FIRST OF ALL, look who we finally get to meet. Yup, that’s Alex the Great, some sort of awful ADAM infused glob with a vaguely human shape in an enormous tube. When you first arrive in this room, it’s completely dark because the light will agitate him. I can handle a lot in this game, but I am NOT ok with the dark.

On the other hand, once the lights come on, out come the freaking splicers AND our old friends, the Alpha series. You find that the Alpha series are deemed a failure because once Tenebaum helped free some little sisters, the Big Daddies who lost their pairings became either cationic or rage filled. Presumably that’s the reason these guys are such assholes, but seriously, WE’RE BROTHERS. STOP KILLING ME with your bombs and your, your, your ME ness.

this explains the random alpha angries

Things are about to get worse, here, as well, because this is where the big daddies were BIRTHED. There are horrifying high security cells down below the main level, equipped with not much at all. I imagine all of these strapping men being subjected to whatever chemical work that is entailed in messing them up so badly. By the looks of the room, it was pretty painful, and they must have been an unholy mess prior to bonding with a little sister. Violent, deadly, and miserable.

oh honey

Alexander knows how close we are to destroying him and tries to lock us into a small chamber filled with smoke, but we don’t have time for that. I was alarmed because there are more lose first aid kits and EVE around than I could collect, making me think we were gonna be in the battle of our lives. I admit that I’m a bit fuzzy on the details here — the recording he makes tells us to gather some special seaweed that sea slugs eat to draw him out, but he’s already in the damn tube.

poor guy

I was expecting to have to fight him but… instead, he panics, there’s an immediate influx of Alphas and splicers, and the fight is on. Except it was easy. A couple of proximity mines, Inferno!, and the machine gun neatly took care of the ravening horde and I was able to get the genetic key from Alexander that would then let me into Eleanor’s prison.

Nothing about the latter half of that sentence made any sense to me.

 

Alexander’s final recording tells us to make sure to kill him. Not because he’s dangerourous, although he is, but because it is an act of mercy, no matter WHAT he says to try and convince us otherwise. I could have left him alive — but this time, unlike Stanley Poole and Grace, killing seemed like the right thing to do. After all, his motives were good:

trying to do the right thing

Unfortunately, that led to one of the most horrifying things of the game so far.

ok i'll kill you

AWFUL scene

And speaking of Eleanor, here’s her thoughts on her current state:

aww eleanor

NOT good.

Whatever, we made it through, and it’s time to go see what’s going on with her. My mind is FULL of possibilities. Has this whole thing been a setup? Lamb is enamored of what happened with Fontaine in Bioshock 1 — she loves how Fontaine sublimated the self of our playable character there and made him an obedient puppet.

will you kindly

That’s more or less halfway to what happened to the big daddies anyway. She’s been playing up Eleanor as the key here, but what if it’s not Eleanor? What if she’s luring me in?

We’ll find out soon — this is the last thing I saw before my game crashed:

no i wont you cant make me

Bioshock 2: The Folly.

Who builds a carousel like that? Honestly.

Who builds a carousel like that? Honestly.

 

Freeeeee of Siren Alley, we’re finally able to go to Dionysus Park, the place Lamb calls her home. She’s not best pleased that I am defiling it with my big daddy footprints, and she does a lot of bleating about it. Bleating. Get it? Because she’s Lamb? HAHAHA oh god sorry I’m sorry.

folly2

Anyhow, Dionysus Park is the place that Lamb hosted her friends and family in lavish parties. There are art galleries, a carousel, shops — I can imagine it was once a lovely place indeed. There are some familiar names here, including Cohen. Remember Cohen from Bioshock 1? BECAUSE I DO. Sander Cohen was the boss who made you kill all his old cronies. I didn’t realize you could let him live, I wish I had, but he was a bit of a mess. Also apparently friends with Lamb, so there’s that to tell him against him, the jackass.

cohen

Arriving in Dionysus, it seems like a fairly quick level — you just need to trot on off to the train and take off with Sinclair. But nothing’s ever simple in Rapture, and this wrench in the works takes the form of a muckraker by the name of Stanley Poole. Stanley wormed his way into the park looking for a good story, but after Lamb left he went straight up bad. IN FACT, Eleanor & diaries & the memories of little sisters prove that he is the one who a) made you what you are and b) kidnapped Eleanor and sent her to the orphanage, starting her path as a little sister. He’s a slime ball of the finest order, but you can’t progress without helping him out a bit, as he’s locked himself into the control center for the train.

what who did

I like this seraphic innocence here. Screw you, Stanley.

He’s now panicking, you see, because Lamb is coming back and if there are splicers and little sisters left to tell the tale, they’ll rat him out and she’ll exact her revenge. So he asks you to deal with the problem — three little sisters, dispose of them as you see fit. No problem, I need the ADAM anyway, so let’s go.

Sidenote:

awwwwwww

You also find this here, which just about broke my heart — a diary from a little guy named Billy who was reading a note he wrote for Eleanor, promising he was sending her a present. When you find the present? It’s a red rose. Aww, buddy. Also, you’re so right. I AM strong and nice like a comic book hero, so suck it, Billy’s mom. (This clearly happens after Eleanor is turned into a little sister — she has yellow eyes — which means poor Billy saw her probably harvesting ADAM, ugh).

rose

Sidenote 2:

folly is right

City planners in Rapture really have to reconsider their naming schemes. Or possibly not, since they end up being so accurate. Folly is a particularly good one — either a monumental mistake, or something built for ornamentation but for no practical use. Folly is right.

(End side notes)

panicduringadamgather

There are a LOT of ADAM infested corpses on this level, so you really have your choice of gathering spots. All the same, there was A LOT of panic for me because my least favorite splicer type is back: Houdini. Houdini splicers vanish in a cloud of petals before appearing again to throw fire bombs at you. They actually aren’t THAT hard to kill, but during an ADAM gather, if there are a lot of them, it’s a bit deadly. And I panic. And panic means I spray spear bolts everywhere and end up with scenes like this.

arrrgh

Also, when Eleanor says things like this, I fear for her mental state and all of our sanity. We’re slowly learning a bit more about what’s happening to her — Lamb is setting her up to become the entire savior of all Rapture Kind, via ADAM. She chides us that every bit of ADAM we collect is stealing from Eleanor. I’m not sure what it all means, but it doesn’t seem good at all. And every time I see a big sister through a window, I’m more and more convinced that it’s Eleanor. She’s keeping an eye on me somehow.

eleanor

Also, this fellow (right behind a door) scared the bejeezus out of me. I sprayed bullets and a plasmid, shattering him to pieces. NOT GOOD FOR MY HEART.

this fellow scared the life out of me

So alright, I rescue three little sisters (NO BIG SISTERS thank you gods of rapture) and learn the sordid history of Stanley Poole. He’s such a little worm. I have the choice to kill him or not, and everyone (even Eleanor!) is rooting for me to do it, but I’m very very stubborn and thus he stays alive. My thinking is, Lamb’s gonna find him and she’s going to kill him anyway, so what the hell. I’m trying to be a responsible big daddy and teach my little sister that killing is NOT OK (as I kill eighteen trillion splicers with another little sister on my shoulders).

And with that, we’re free of Dionysus and off to visit another familiar name, Fontaine Futuristics.

Next time: Alexander the JERK, shades of GlaDOS, and feeling like we’re close to getting to the end of this game.

Am Playing: Bioshock (finishing up Siren Alley)

Last time in Bioshock I reluctantly killed Daniel Wales (thus dashing my dream of an anti-Lamb army, rising up), and it’s time to toddle off to finish destroying the Wales clan with a well timed execution of Father Simon Wales. The spent-too-long-in-Catholic-schools-girl in me feels pretty awful about killing a priest, although subsequent investigation proves that he is not really a god-fearing priest. More of a Lamb-worshiping nutjob.

So ok, back in Siren’s Alley, things are a bit of a mess. First of all, this seems a bit of a pointed message:

1 lambnutjob

And look at that penmanship! I know when I gouge words in a wall, they aren’t that neat. Splicers, you got too much time on your hands, you know?

waitfontaine

Weirdly, in this den of misery, there’s the Frank Fontaine sponsored Little Sister’s Orphange. This threw me for a couple of reasons — I thought that the little sisters were a Ryan/Tenebaum collab, not something Fontaine was involved in. I’m trying to think back to the moment when Atlas becomes Fontaine, and whether something was said then, but it’s all a blank. I can’t wait till I finish this trilogy and get to read the lore and realize how much I missed.

mommy
Anyway, in the orphange, someone keeps darting away from you, never a good sign in Rapture. There are a couple heartbreaking things — this child’s drawing of a grave with the word Mommy on it, for example (hard to see, it was dark!)

before

or this sad faced child in a field of flowers under a sunshine — none of which (the field, the flowers, the sun) exist in Rapture. And then the lights go out and you have to fight a handful of spider splicers IN THE DARK and then a brute. As you find your way out of the orphanage you notice some fresh graffiti on the walls… Jesus, this game.

after

Speaking of being horrified by the game, when you’re carting a little sister around and use Inferno! on a splicer, she says primly: “Mmmm, marshmallows!” Tenebaum, you were a bit of a monster, weren’t you.

starting to see where this is going

I’m starting to see where we’re going with this whole Lamb and Eleanor thing.

After finding my way through the halls and rooms I finally found Simon’s home base — a pump room that he’s turned into a showcase for his Lamb & ADAM worship.

temple of lamb

The splicing is an especially nice touch.

This just about broke my heart. Are these all the missing or dead?

This just about broke my heart. Are these all the missing or dead?

almostconvincing

 

Goddamnit Simon Wales what is WRONG WITH YOU.

Goddamnit Simon Wales what is WRONG WITH YOU.

I almost feel bad for him, because he was an honest cathedral builder who felt guilty for shoddy construction and brought his troubles to Lamb in a fit of honesty. And she in all her mind controlly way convinced him that he should serve God, only by God she meant herself. She had a good argument — and a nearly convincing message of unity.

loony

Creepy.

Then again, he does put up a HELL of a fight. It’s not that he himself is so tough, although he has a lot of health, it’s that he has a bunch of followers who are outraged that you’d disturb their sacred space, and they all want your head. Mini turrets and a lot of running like mad saved my bacon.

This bastardization of the Lord's Prayer was also disturbing.

This bastardization of the Lord’s Prayer was also disturbing.

Only, it turns out Lamb is well and truly pissed off that you’ve killed her holy priest, and she takes it out on you by flooding the entire place. Of course, Subject Delta can swim, so it’s probably not as scary as she intended, but it’s alarming and eerie to run through the place, water gushing up to your waist, splicers dying left and right.

beautiful

Listen, splicers, this is the person you consider your spiritual MOTHER. See how easily she sacrifices you? Your god is a vengeful god.

 

Next time: I think Eleanor might be a big sister, we head to Dionysus and see some memories of old friends, and we have to face a moral quandary.

We are not sure of sorrow

When our tech saw me playing around on the Yosemite beta, I could see the horror on his face. “You…did you partition your drive?” he asked. I could see relief when I said yes.

The bad news is that partitioning my drive apparently sent my bootcamp partition into an existential crisis (“no bootable drive found”). Yes, Bootcamp is so very sensitive that changing the REST OF THE HARDDRIVE, i.e., not the bootcamp drive itself, will bork it. So hell with it (I say, as I start to reinstall windows AGAIN).

The real point is that I was playing around in Yosemite and I found a bookmark that I didn’t remember making to a poem I don’t remember reading, except I have a vague memory of finding it very comforting last summer. It’s here, but here’s the parts that really soothe me for so many reasons I can’t articulate.

 

We are not sure of sorrow

and joy was never sure

&

that even the weariest river

winds somewhere safe to sea

 

There’s a lot great about my life. Sometimes it helps to remember that bad things pass, and that we can’t be sure of sorrow (just as you can’t rely on joy), and that there’s always peace ahead, somewhere.

Am Playing: WoW & Am Playing: Limbo

{I wrote this yesterday but forgot to post it!}

Last night I played WoW again with Choo. WoW is kind of cursed for me — every time I go to play it again something happens that makes it either impossible or miserable for me to continue. But last night I hopped on my shaman to heal some dungeons and it was like muscle memory popping back up. Healing is so instinctive for me, and that’s why I keep coming back to Warcraft. It’s a comfort thing. I don’t HAVE to learn a bunch to be decent, I’m already at that baseline. Especially on the shaman, because that was the class that suited me down to the ground.

There’s a lot of bad things you can say about MoP, any more eloquent people than I have said it. But Blizzard’s been around for a long time and their skill shows. I was thrilled to show Choober the first two MoP instances, especially the brewery. It’s a pretty rich and detailed environment, and it’s more than just graphics. I mean, yes, there’s Ook-Ook who threatens to, um, ook you in the dooker. But there’s also the drunk monks who heckle you on your way — last night they had this exchange:

Hey, why didn’t that mage put intellect on his weapon?
Because he didn’t want his weapon to be smarter than he is.

but I also appreciate the:

A paladin offered me eternal salvation.”
What did you say?
Kings, please.

HAH Paladin jokes.

I also appreciate the next set who object to you killing an alemental

“Hey, that’s OUR…brew ghost…thing.”

Drunken monks. The best. I have some extra fondness for them because I went to a college where the friars knew how to party, and friars are basically monks, aren’t they (all the nuns who ever taught me are shaking their heads at me right now) (I KNOW I KNOW).

We also did the temple of the jade serpent, and here’s something else I think WoW was smart to do: experiencing the dungeon before you arrive at the dungeon. You get to wander through the brewery as Chen, so you kind of have a sense of what’s happening there. And the Temple is a quest hub the first time around, so you meet the bosses that you then fight. They’ve been doing that one some level all along, but the familiarity is much greater if you get to explore the place first.

IMG_0621

Now it’s Saturday and I had an early night last night and I feel pretty great. The day is half hour and I’m playing some Limbo, and I just beat the level that’s been driving me nuts (it involved pacing up and down a beam to make it see-saw, making a jump at the apex, then pushing a beam back and forth from the platform to make it go to the left far enough that you can make a jump without accidentally falling off as you push. Basically, it required great dexterity. And there, right there, is why I keep playing Limbo — I felt GREAT when I beat it, past all the annoyance.

This means I’m chomping through the play list on my iPad, which means I’m close to buying stuff off my wish list (waiting on Revolution 60 to come out!). When I can’t play Limbo anymore I’ve been dipping back through the Harry Potter games — go ahead and laugh, but I love lego games, I find em super satisfying, and I just got through another Harry Potter re-read. What I wouldn’t give for a J.K. Rowling book about the Mauraders’ time at school, you know?

This is shaping up to be a fairly quiet weekend. Tonight I’ll take Baxter for some walks and let him swim a bit in the pond at Herring River. Or at Town Hall, but I’m always a bit iffy about letting him swim in Bass River, because of the tides and because of how dirty he gets. He gets very, very dirty:

IMG_0274

Sundry

A couple of mishmashy things on my mind tonight:

 

1) Wildstar came out and I’m playing. Well, I would be playing if our chosen server didn’t have 60 hour queues when I got out of work… Yoz assures me those should be normalized by the weekend. We’ll see.

In all MMOs, I really have to tell myself to chill out and relax. I have this tendency to feel like I’m falling behind, that I have to power level and not miss anything and I get overwhelmed, and then it’s not a game at all, is it? So despite the fact that I’ll be ages behind everyone, I’m taking my time with this one. READING the quests because Wildstar is very, very funny and you are rewarded with humor in most dialogue. Doing crafting because it’s actually sort of fun? Exploring, ditto.

 

2) This is what it’s like to play a game with Payback.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.54.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.55.56 PM dotdotdot

 

Speaking of Worms, though, this is the kind of game that I would have instinctively rejected trying even two years ago. Instead, I’m having a blast playing it because I’ve once again realized that it’s ok to be bad. I’m not actually bad at it, though! I AM abysmal at throwing grenades. I’m seriously going to do some behind the scenes practice.

 

3) It was rainy and lovely today, which is good because my mood was pure shit. We were swamped at work and it was never a short story, it was always a fifteen minute tirade about this or that before they could even start to tell me what they were there for. Despite the 30 people in line behind them.

IMG_1436 IMG_1438 IMG_1439

So the rain helped, and after work I went to the woods and I just think a rainy walk through the woods is about the best thing. It’s quiet and pretty and the green turns all lush. I soaked my jeans to the knees walking through tall grass, and I am worried my sneakers are non salvageable, but it was worth it.

Back to top