Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bah Humbug!

I realized last night while getting ready for bed that I haven't wrapped my Christmas presents yet. Since I will need to deliver them tomorrow on my way home from work that gives me tonight to wrap them all. Can I tell you how much I hate wrapping presents? I'm terrible at it. Especially those gifts that are oddly shaped or have gaps in the packaging. Besides, you go through all that trouble just to have someone rip it right off anyway. They only time they notice your hard work is when you tape it up so much they can't even get into it. I've got a ton of presents to wrap tonight so who knows when I'll be able to get on and play. I only have 310 points to go and just over a week. I need all the play time I can get at this point.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I think I can, I think I can

Okay, I only need 439 more gamer points to reach 10,000. And since it was a New Year Resolution to do it this year that means I have only 13 days left to get that 439 points. Which comes out to 33.77 points per day. So, um, if you know any easy/fast/lazy achievements I can pick up before the end of the month I would appreciate the help. And no, I won't be playing Avatar. I think I can do it without that particular game, thank you very much.

Too sick to play

So I went home early on Wednesday because I was sick. I tried to play a little bit Wednesday night, but that was disastrous.

I stayed home all day on Thursday because I was sick, but did I get any gaming done? No. Why? Because I was too sick to play. If I wasn't huddled up under multiple layers of clothing and a couple of heavy blankets I was throwing everything off and wanting to walk around naked just so I could cool off. I even thought a little skinny dipping in my swimming pool might help at one point. Besides, I don't think I could have held up a controller. Oh well, another gaming streak comes to an end (20 days). I don't mind so much this time. I'd rather live to play another day then find myself six feet under.

I'm back at work today (deadlines had to be met). If I survive and my head hasn't exploded I'll try to play some tonight. Otherwise I'm sure you'll see me over the weekend. But if you ever don't see me online playing for, let's say 3 days in a row, and I haven't told you I'd be offline (like for a vacation or a busted system) then it might be good idea to call 911. Somebody's got to come find my dead decaying body.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One of those moods

I'm going to start this entry off with an apology. I need to too. Why? Because I was in one of those moods the other night. And I'm sorry.

I had a long day at work that day and then I had to go to my parent's house. I guess I didn't HAVE to but I like going and seeing my niece and nephews when they come over. What I don't like is that just watching my three year old nephew . . . I'll call him Katastrophe (he's earned the name) . . . makes me want to take a nap. And I don't just mean when he's playing around on the floor. Just getting him to sit still and play a game that he's wanted to play all day long can be a chore. It's enough to drive this childless girl to the doctor to ask for permanent birth control. Now don't get me wrong, I love my nephew. He just does everything at 100 miles an hour and he can be a bit much to take in my peaceful, laid back, stop-and-smell-the-roses type of world.

By the time I got home I was very tired but I wanted to play games. So I did. But there's two things you should know about me when it comes to gaming if you don't know it already. 1) I'm very competitive. While I don't necessarily play to win I do play to be better than you. Unfortunately that rarely happens. It gets frustrating to always see your name at the bottom of the list (especially when the AI are doing better than you). and 2) I can't stand special treatment. I don't want to be treated any differently because I'm a girl. Or because I don't play as well as you. Or for any other reason. If I lament the fact that I haven't gotten any kills yet I don't want to hear "Oh poor Pengwenn. Let's all go in the middle and just stand there so Pengwenn can kill us." I appreciate the sentiment but I want to get my kills because I've earned them not because you took pity on me. There's more to me and gaming than just these two facets but that's enough for what I have to tell you next.

We started playing the game and our lovely host Mad Max asked what map we wanted to play next in Gears 2. Well there was 8 people in the room and most of us had a suggestion (or a comment on someone else's suggestion) that he didn't hear what I had to say. I gave him a hard time about it. I repeated myself, but once again there was other chatter in the room. When he didn't hear me for the second time but had already selected a different match I teased him about it again. What I expected him to say was "Pengwenn we'll play your map next OK?" What happened was that he backed out of the match before it started up and changed the map to what I had suggested (even though more people had suggested the map he originally had).

I got pissed and left the room.

I sat at the dashboard or the menus (I can't remember) and fumed a little bit. Why? Because I was getting special treatment and it felt like I was getting it because I'm such a lousy player and a 'poor Pengwenn needs all the help she can get' type of thing. I know that wasn't his intentions and I know that's probably not what anyone else was thinking. But what *I* was thinking was that everyone was going to be mad because they were looking forward to playing Subway and now they have to play Gridlock and it's all because of me. I told you I'm always at the bottom of the score list, and that's when I play well, I don't need everyone coming after me to show their displeasure (team kill was on so I mean everyone). I debated about joining back in, calling it a night or playing something else.

I joined back in the game, but I wasn't going to say anything while we played Gridlock. After that I didn't say anything because I didn't want to have to explain anything and get all pissed again. Once we were done playing Gridlock I wasn't mad anymore. But I came back for a reason.

I like playing with my friends. No matter how many matches I'm on the bottom of the scoring list I still like to play with them. Don't ask me why. They're funny (just ask Johnny about Christmas trees) and sweet (Zak's new little girl might very well have some interesting first words). And every now and then their gruff exteriors crumble and they show you their soft underbellies and how much of a gentleman they can be. Like Mad Max backing out and picking the map I wanted instead of the one everyone else selected. Their laughter can be contagious . . . or evil. Their directions are always helpful even if they had to yell at you to give them. Their shots can be deadly or life saving. And they always have your back (in public matches anyway). They might kill you even if you're on the same team and they're mostly apologetic about it afterwards. So even though I don't play as well as them I always want to play with them for the entertainment value alone. I came back for that reason.

And because I respect my friends. I'll never be as consistently good as them but I respect their skills as a gamer and them as a person. I'd never want to come face to face with Hell Weasel or Evil Ric with a torque bow in an alley. And I've learned to keep El Sand Dog more than arms length away at all times while playing Gears. And if I ever hear that c5ride has a sniper and has his sights set on the area where I'm at I'm going to cower in the smaller corner I fit in and bury myself until he's long gone. I'm not going to pop my head up for anything. I'm not stupid. And then there's Fbody's shotgun. While the rest of us are still trying to figure out the nuances of the gun in the latest game, he acts like he's been reunited with an old friend. And if someone could just tie some bells around Zak's neck I would greatly appreciate it. And I still haven't seen anyone with a more spectacular boomshot than the one Johnny Blade had on Gridlock several weeks ago. That shot has gone down in history.

Anyway, I play with my friends because I like them and respect them . . . even when I get pissy. And before any of you ask I was not PMSing. So I apologize for all my past moods. And I apologize for any future pissy moods I might get into in the future. Depending on the day I had it might not take much to set me off. Just know this: it will pass. I can't stay mad at you guys forever. After all I still have Pogue Moran on my friend's list don't I?

Monday, December 8, 2008

I've been robbed!

I've been robbed! But I'm over it now.

I mentioned that I started a blog for my Xbox 360 at www.360voice.com. Your Xbox 360 "writes" entries based on how you've used, or not used, the system each day. While I know I'm not going to be the best player out there, I knew there was one thing I could be good at. Playing every day and maintaining a continuous streak.

With my recent move I wasn't sure how I was going to maintain my streak. My internet connection was still hooked up at my apartment, but my TV and all my furniture was moved to my new house. For two days I took my system over to my parent's house (much to my mother's dismay) and hooked up and got online. Sometimes I played for an hour or so. Sometimes I just logged in, opened up a game and played for five minutes. Just long enough for the system to register that I was online and playing (even if I only had the game up in the menus). It was enough for me.

Once I got everything up and running at my new place I could go back to my regularly scheduled gaming habit. My mom was relieved. And for awhile everything was working just fine. That was until Thanksgiving.

I spent a lot of the day at my parents for the big turkey dinner. I didn't get home that night until 10pm, but there was still plenty of time to play games. I booted my system up and played Gears of War 2 with my friends. I don't know if that was the night we played late, or if after a couple of matches everyone went to bed and I decided to watch a movie in my Xbox 360 before going to bed. Either way I played that night just like every night previously for the last 244 days (according to my 360's blog). But something happened and I was about to get robbed.

It wasn't until Saturday when I was playing around on my computer that I decided to go read my 360's blog and see where my ranking was for my continuous streak. When I checked the numbers my ranking was down in the 40,000s instead of the 190s range I was at before. What happened? I went back and read through all my entries and found out that the entry for the Thanksgiving holiday said I hadn't played at all. That can't be right. I played. I ALWAYS play.

But there it was in black and white. My streak was gone. My badge was gone. My rank was gone. I was robbed.

I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if there was someone I could contact to correct the problem. I was livid. After all my hard work and stress about keeping my streak going during the whole moving process only to have my streak ended in what was obviously a glitch in the system. I wanted to rip someone's head off (now you know why I like snapping the neck of a meat shield in Gears 2). I was so mad I wanted to chuck my 360 into my swimming pool. But I didn't. I walked away. Let myself cool off. And THEN started snapping people's necks.

It's been a week and a half since then and I've come to turns with it. I've cooled down enough to wonder if it really matters in the long run. I mean, any idiot can turn their Xbox 360 on every day and get a continuous streak going. There's no skill involved other than pushing a button and logging in. So I play video games every day. Do I really need a badge that lets everyone else know that? Probably not, because then I'll start to hear those "get a life" mutterings from every Tom, Dick and Harry I meet.

I just wanted to be good at something. Better than my peers. It's not going to happen in the games I play, with the people I play. So why not pick something I CAN do and maybe be better at than others. I know I have friends that play online every day too and if they had a blog at www.360voice.com they'd have a continuous streak just as long as mine. Maybe even longer. But for now, I had all my friends (who are on the site) beaten. Oh well.

Since my streak has been broken sometimes I haven't felt like getting online. What's the point? I don't have a streak I have to maintain any more. If I do get online I know I'm going to be wrapped up in a couple hours of game play. But now I've got a house that needs some attention and other hobbies that I'd like to spend some time doing. But not playing online makes me miss some of my friends. They can be a pain in the you-know-what but I love playing with them anyway.

Maybe getting robbed of my continuous streak was a good thing. Maybe I'll find the time to finish reading a book I started over the summer. Or get some more cross stitching done on the pattern I'm making for my mom. It's a large one and it would be nice to get it finished before she dies. (Not that she's going anywhere, it's just that big of a project.) Either way I'll still be playing video games. I can't image a life not playing video games. Besides I HAVE to play some move video games. I have a New Year's Resolution to break the 10,000 point barrier with my gamer score (I'm currently at 9,531) and I'm running out of time to do it in. So I'll see you online. Like always.