Monthly Archives: November 2004

Turkey Day Zingers

Alex’s step-Grandmother: “I need to get back to the kictchen to whip the cream.”
Alex: “Whip it good.”

At a table with four girls we’d just met…
Girl 1: “So, Ward, what’s with the string around your finger?”
Ward: “Oh, it’s in memory of a girl I knew.”
Chase: “It’s to remind him to put his wedding ring back on before he gets home.”

Drunk girl leaving the bar nearly runs into Alex…
Drunk girl: “Excuse me, sorry about that.”
Alex: “Happy Thanksgiving!”
Drunk girl: “Don’t make me feel guilty.”
Alex: “OK, Happy Thanksgiving, psycho!”

Whoopsie-daisy in Rio

Heard the news that our good ‘ol boy, Sal, has made it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I won’t say he’s there “safe and sound” because just the other night I rented the movie, City of God, and well, good luck Sal. Try not to piss too many people off.

But seriously, the movie was incredibly good. It told the true story of a boy growing up with the dream of being a photographer in Rio’s “Cidade de Deus” (City of God) neighborhood, which is it’s most notorious slum. It was one of the more violent movies I’ve seen, and it painted an incredibly gritty picture of life in that section of Rio. Most of the actors were young kids who were growing up in Rio slums themselves, and much of the emotion and conflict was ad-libbed. The narrative tricks (leaping foward and back in time, narrator dropping hints about plot twists, etc…) also added to the fast-paced and gripping nature of the film. I highly recommend it.

Begins with “Hal” ends with “2”

Thanks to Andy we’ve had a copy of Halo 2 in the house for three weeks now, and thanks to my convenient excuse/justification of “I’m sick, I should stay in this weekend,” I now have a copy of Half-Life 2. Two very different games, yet oh-so similar.

First, to solidify my already well-established geekiness: A quick coolness comparison list:

  • Coolest weapon: Half-Life 2 (because unlike Halo 2’s energy sword, I can’t get my ass kicked by Half-Life’s gravity gun)
  • Cooler music: Halo 2 (ooooo-eeeeee-ooooo, oooo-uuuu-oooo-uuuuu)
  • Cooler physics gimmicks: Half-Life 2 (look, I can swing on a swing!)
  • Cooler dead body, rag-doll physics: Halo 2 (thump, tumble-tumble-tumble)
  • Cooler vehicles: Halo 2 (I know there are more coming in Half-Life 2, but I doubt they’ll come close to the Scorpion tank)
  • Cooler (or more obnoxious) headcrabs: Half-Life 2
  • Cooler spooky settings: Half-Life 2 (I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “Oh my god, what the fuck was that?” while playing)
  • Cooler multiplayer: Halo 2 (when it comes to playing online with annoying 13-year-olds, I’d much rather the option of running them over with vehicles, than playing terrorist/counter-terrorist with them)
  • Cooler stereotypical African-American resistance leader character: Halo 2 (Johnson’s vulgar one-liners trump the peg-legged guy in Half-Life 2)
  • Coolest shooting-radiator-at-zombies moment: Half-Life 2 (Halo 2 was seriously lacking in this area)

Game that’s made me swear at it more: Half-Life 2 (although still nowhere near Ninja Gaiden’s record)

Verdict: They’re both pretty darn fun games.

Continue for a rant on story, plot and perspective in games…
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Where am I?

During my new regular routine downtown, I’ve noticed a lot of odd little things here and there, that I’d never thought would be commonplace in my life.

Shoe shines: I have yet to get my shoes shined, but not for lack of places to go. Seems like every building lobby or concourse downtown has a shoe-shine booth. In the Rainier Tower concourse by the garage elevator is George’s Shoe-Shine. One of the two seats is often occupied by one white-haired businessman or another, reading the day’s newspaper (Wall Street Journal, of course), while George brushes and shines in a rhythmic, almost dance-like manner. I see the act as a relic of another era, much like the straight-razor shave.

Lobby umbrellas: Next to many lobby desks you’ll find umbrella holders with 4-5 identical umbrellas. Forgot to bring an umbrella today? Started raining unexpectedly at your lunch break? Here, borrow one of our umbrellas.

Elevator etiquette: Oh my, there are so many unspoken rules of etiquette in elevators. There are also numerous lists of fun things to do in elevators, completely breaking most “rules.” The most basic, which had occurred to me one day, is simply facing the “wrong” direction. Reminds me a lot of this subway experiment.

I’m sure there will be more, as I get more familiar with this strange new world.

Super-powered Celebrities

I had a fairly big celebrity sighting last Friday on my walk home from work. On my way past the Gap, across from the Pacific Place mall, I noticed a girl rush outside to her friend, clutching a piece of paper and saying, “It was him!” I figured she must have gotten an autograph, and there must be someone important in there. I looked inside as I walked by and sitting in one of the chairs just inside the Gap was Mike Myers. Yup, Wayne/Austin Powers himself. I opted not to grab my camera and take a picture, because I didn’t want to add to the rapidly growing mob of attention he was starting to get. This brings my random, on-the-street celebrity sightings in Seattle to 3. The first being David Cross eating breakfast at Septieme, about a year ago, and the second, Steven Wright (spotted first by Andy) walking along First Ave. this past Spring.

Last night I had a heavily Incredibles-influenced dream involving superheroes, and Mike Myers and David Cross were two of them. I think David Cross’ powers were something between the Human Torch and a shape-shifter (yeah, a lot like the baby in the Incredibles). Unfortunately he wasn’t too impressive because he kept getting stuck in wooden-table form before catching on fire, so he always ended up burning himself. I can’t remember what my power was, but I think it was something rather useless like being able to walk 10x faster. Not run, just walk. A variation on Elastigirl was in our group too, but she was a bitch. Unlike regular superhero teams that work together and kick evil’s ass, we regularly got whupped. Most of the dream involved us nursing our injuries, arguing about tactics, and trying to sew up holes in our lousy costumes.

Requisite Angry/Disappointed/I’m Moving/But Not Really Post

I was tempted to post my angry, knee-jerk reaction to the election results yesterday, but what would the point have been? The internet has been full of ridiculous sensationalism (cough:politicalweblogs:cough) in the past few days/months, and there’s no need to add to it. After some more thought, I decided I’d just link to a few good/humorous responses I read on other sites, that pretty much sum things up… Canada 2.0, a well written piece on how both sides were rallied by lunatics, a guide to electing to leave, and the 5 stages of recovery. Lastly, my friend Sam over at parenthetical.net says it well with her paragraph on the Spaceballs Rule (because apparently that Redskins rule is no good):

But the Spaceballs Rule holds true – good is, apparently, dumb – because here we are on Nov. 3, 2004, grubbing for votes just like we were on Nov. 3, 2000. Except it’s worse this time, because Bush even won the popular vote. We should have won handily – this man has driven us into an economic slump, backwards social policies, and most of all a useless and impossible war – but somehow we weren’t able to make the American people see that. Good is dumb, and has failed.

UPDATE – Kottke’s long post elaborates perfectly on how “evil” outsmarted “good”