Worst Date

bad-dateI went on what I’m certain was the worst date I’ve ever been on (and this is including the date where my car got towed during and argument) with a girl I think tried to run up a high bill at the restaurant for the sole purpose of punishing me for asking her out.

She didn’t state this outright, but immediately after ordering she went on a rant about how she wasn’t ready to date and how she didn’t think she needed to be in a relationship. I asked her why she showed up and she said “You wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

No. I asked you out once and you immediately said yes. Then you tried to claim we needed to talk more before you wanted to go out. I waited and we talked more and I asked you out again and you said yes. She used the word forced (as if someone can force you to do something online) and was generally argumentative the whole night. She went on a rant about single mothers. She went on another rant about how men carelessly sleep around and when she paused to ask why men don’t care as much and commented that there’s the same amount of risk for them I told her there really wasn’t. Men aren’t stuck with a kid and most of the STDs people think about have a higher transfer rate man to man or man to woman than woman to man or woman to woman.

She got angry and just said that I was wrong. Which is bullshit, it’s a fact for some STDs and men can’t have babies. I kept surprisingly calm, probably because I was sleepy and that’s what sleepy does to me. But pretty much went on like this with me trying to say something without stepping on an argument landmine and her doing her best to turn every discussion into me versus her.

So, she was right about one thing. She’s not in a place to be in a relationship. I did end up paying for her, but this will probably be the last time that happens unless it’s something like coffee. It’s 2014. There’s no reason women can’t pay for themselves. It’s not like there’s no benefit for them, if things go well they’re getting a boyfriend. If things go badly we’ve probably both had an awkward time where we wasted an hour or more with someone we probably won’t see again.

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We Were All Buried At Sea, We Just Didn’t Know It

Paris_ArtistPropsA little over a year ago Bioshock Infinite launched to near-universal praise. I remember when I first got the game it was around midnight after work and I had a day off. I want to say I played it until well into the next day. The game pretty much blew me off my feet and when I finally beat it about a week later I remember the ending kind of had me reeling. We don’t get many powerful story-driven games like that.

That year we luckily had one more, Last of Us, but I had more love for Bioshock and despite really enjoying both games I could pick a clear favorite.

So when they announced the DLCs (Downloadable Content) I couldn’t have been more excited. Even after playing the first one which people complained was too short I still was in love with where the story was going.

And then I beat this last DLC last night and it all came crashing down. I won’t go into spoiler territory, but I didn’t like the direction the game was taking. The creator of the game, Ken Levine, called what he was making with the second half of the DLC “a love letter to the fans.”

It felt suspiciously like trampling all over everything we loved about something.

You know that strange thing that some prequels do, especially the ones that are made years after the original, where they spend a lot of time trying to make connections to the other work and tie up loose ends that no one really asked to be tied up? There was a lot of that in Burial At Sea Part II (That’s the title of the DLC).

Imagine if Rowling were to go back to the Harry Potter series and fill in all of the little divots in the plot and connect every small minor action to some meaningful action that came before. Hermione’s bed had actually belong to Harry’s mom at Hogwarts. And a whole bunch of other little things until there were so many little things connected to other little things and big things connected to little things that it just seemed too contrived and silly?

That’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about here. I love the world of Bioshock and I was all for the story in Infinite and even the second DLC, but this one seemed contrived and over thought out all for a reason that we had explained to us in the first game.

Now the game play and the mechanics in the game are wonderful, pretty much everything about the game is perfect except for the story. Even some of the call back moments are really well done, there’s just too many of them and the ending is unfulfilling.

It’s sad that Levine is letting the games rest in this position, but he’s closed the studio down that makes Bioshock, so at there won’t be anymore games for the property made by him and his team. I wish the guy the best of luck and I hope that he does well in whatever comes from here on out. I just wish I could feel good about this ending and this game, because I really, really wanted to.

Social Conditioning

A co-worker said something along the lines of “It’s a shame when I can’t say hi to a girl without them going on the defensive.”

iStock_000005012679XSmallI had told a story about the reason why I don’t take people’s numbers off Facebook without permission. Maybe some of them put it there as a friendly gesture and for you to just take it. But I had a bad experience where a girl cursed me out for doing just that after I had known her for years and after she had said she was giving me her number and that she forgot.

Our way of dealing with social situations is shaped by the interactions we’ve had in the past. It’s kind of funny that this post became more meaningful because of an interaction I had after I had written half of it.

So, I’ve tinkered with this and changed what I was saying now because I’m kind of stunned by how different people can view themselves and how they can view others. Not going to say any names or even give the situation context, despite the fact that they’ll never read this. I feel like there’s a certain level of caution that it’s best to err on the side of when dealing with others for the first time. Trust has to be earned and friendships built and sometimes tested. And relationships aren’t usually going to work if they go from zero to sixty right off the bat.

There are of course instances where people get lucky and make life long friends based on something simple and silly. Or where couples meet in the most dubious of circumstances and stay married for sixty years. But it’s not the norm.

All I’m trying to say is we need to find a happy medium for how we let the lessons we learn affect us.

The Perfect Moment

perfect1I’m not going to really get very deep into this or make a super long post. But I did want to say that people have got to stop putting things off until the right time. There’s so much you can do right away if you really want something. There’s usually not a good reason to wait until New Year or a certain month or any of that to take steps to reach your goal.

If you’re always waiting for the perfect moment to do something I don’t really have sympathy for you when you look up and realize you missed thousands of opportunities. The perfect moment might never come, use what you have now. 

Learning to let go

By OrmeryIt feels like I must have been in high school when I came across the book Good Omens, although I am sure it must have been later because I wouldn’t have handled it’s criticisms of religion with the light heartiness that I did and high school me didn’t know who Neil Gaiman even was

I had also (briefly) given up on reading even though I still tried to write. I stopped reading for the same reason a lot of high school aged kids stop reading. We’re taught that the only serious books out there are the likes Shakespeare and Twain and Chaucer and Milton and so on. We’re not exposed to how fun reading can be or how interesting a book can be. High school English programs are just a place to sift out the literature students for college courses.

But I’m way off topic. When I first heard about Good Omens and heard everyone speak so highly of it and the authors I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Amazon didn’t have their LOOK INSIDE feature back then and I didn’t trust ordering books online anymore after a copy of a book on writing had taken six months to reach me.

I settled for getting the book from Barnes and Noble and read through the first bit in a rush, but as I progressed my reading slowed and I grew tired of the characters. The children in the book were following that pattern that 90’s sitcoms seemed to follow: once there’s children on the screen/page count on everything being a little less funny.

This was the first thing Gaiman I had ever picked up and I remember thinking I really wanted to like the guy. Not because he’s a writer and some kind of master of the craft, but because there was a girl that I liked back then who adored him and somehow I thought that liking him would lead to—I don’t know what I thought it would lead to. It was a simpler time, the middle part of last decade.

I like Gaiman now, but I feel like I might need to give up on this book like I gave up on it the other times. We don’t really have to read anything we don’t want to. Not every book is going to please every person and if you’re not getting any enjoyment out of it why read it at all?

Now, there’s a school of thought that says that reading anything for a writer is like learning little lessons. There are some little lessons not worth finding out. That’s why my Kindle copy of Fifty Shades of Grey will probably forever be frozen at 53%. That’s why I refuse to read anything with shirtless hairless men on the cover. This isn’t anything against Pratchett or Gaiman.

Fiction and fantasy has changed a bit since the early 1990s and it’s easy to see the tine periods influence on the book. I’m sure it’s kind of hard for new listeners to get into Bell Biv Devoe or Duran Duran, but we don’t hold it against them. Writing is expected to be timeless, but I think that’s just because our school system and academics have forced us to keep reading shit that’s hundreds of years old.

In truth nothing is really timeless. And nothing is going to gel well with everyone, least of all if they try and force it. Sometimes you have to learn to let things slip past and just accept that they’re not meant for you.

Artwork Credit: http://ormery.deviantart.com/art/good-omens-fanart-180159896

Hero of Ages

The_Hero_of_Ages_-_Book_Three_of_MistbornIt occurred to me that I need to do some actual blogging and this time I actually put in the effort and sat down to write something. I’ve been reading a lot more lately and this past week I finished the final book of the original Mistborn trilogy The Hero of Ages.

I was kind of upset by the writing even though the plot and world building seemed to be perfect. Most of the characters had worn on me by the end and I found myself caring less and less about them. Sanderson’s magic system is basically what carried the book in the second half and I found myself just wanting the answers. I wasn’t disappointed in them, I just feel like the vehicle to get me there could have been better.

And it showed so much promise.

I’m continuing to knock out what I can in the writing department and as the ides of March approach I am hoping that I can finish this whole thing by the end of the month and get to the tricky part. The editing.

I might have found a new friend who wants to help too.

Well I hope everyone has a happy Pi Day tomorrow. I’ll try to get back to this at a more regular interval.