Okay, I'm tired of having to tell everybody what's going on, so I'll just link them here instead. If you're reading this because of that, it's no detriment on our friendship, it's just hard on the fingers :P
I'm going to probably be moving to Lakeview, OR. There's only 1600 people there, but apparently most of them run small businesses, so they're a productive community. The internet connection is fine there, so I won't be any worse off there than I am here.
I'll be working at Staub and Sons, which is a propane company that manages Chevron branches out there. The owners are really nice, and the interview was really informal. The experience of being there was really enjoyable, and small-town-shock aside, I look forward to moving to and working there. I'll be starting off at a really low position, but that's all I've been seeing lately anyway, so with the lower cost of living there, it's the best deal by the numbers.
Hopefully, I can move up to an IT position shortly after being there, but I really don't know what's going to happen. Pretty much, this is the best shot I have, so I'm taking it. They have really good burgers there though, so I think we'll be okay.
Regarding the wedding: Krista is so super-awesome and patient and beautiful and understanding and just plain great. She's been with me the whole time on this, and I couldn't ask for a better friend. However, due to me not having an income as soon as we were hoping, the wedding will be postponed till early August (tentatively the 3rd). This would make QuakeCon our honeymoon for real, and Krista actually thinks that's a cool idea. Isn't she great?
Other than the job thing, I'm working constantly on the Tastyspleen TastyCast, and it's skyrocketing in activity faster than I can keep up. It's damn exciting though.
So, soon, I'll be leaving behind my family and friends, and many people must be thinking that that isn't affecting me at all. It is. This county is really really great when it comes to people and the landscape, and if the job situation here were any different at all, I wouldn't have a reason to leave.
Sadly, that's the situation I find myself in. But things are looking up, and I'm as busy as always, which is rather fun.
First of all, I was job hunting and desperate, so I decided to fly to Seattle (Forest was going too for some reason), so I went there, made a big mess in a Dairy Queen, and decided to head back home. I didn't have my luggage though, so I got really depressed. I was shocked, however, to find out that I never left CA and was still locked in my room... this is where it gets weird.
The rest of the dream involved a mansion with beautiful grounds, run by two men, one tall and skinny and the other short and fat. The place was an idyllic nursery for children, even though many of the "children" were by now in their late 40s. Over the course of the dream, several of the inhabitants tried to escape or go homicidal and try to kill the two men, only to either become killed themselves, stupified, or trapped inside one of their books in the copious library.
I'm not sure who's POV I was taking, but I recall observing the two men eating, and it was rather disturbing. Otherwise, they were the classy-educated type, but when they were eating they became downright gluttonous.
The climax of the dream involved me confronting them about their eating habits, which caused them to become rather angry. I ran out into the yard, with them chasing me like dogs, and behind a tree. The tree had a seam in it that I crawled through. I don't remember where it took me, but the next thing I remember was the rest of the children following me to what I percieved to be the way out of the place. We all ended up at a train station, all (about 40 or so) excited about finally being free.
This happiness faded when we realized that besides us, everybody in the train station had the same exact face.
The last bit I remember was all of us back on the mansion grounds, dancing around a tree while singing the "That's What Bilbo Baggins Hates" song.
-Wheel of Time (hear it's atmospheric and has some groovy level design) -Unreal 2 single-player (pretty particles and the demo was a blast) -Thief: Dark Shadows (apparently it doesn't have zombies, which is good for once) -AGOKS
I get frustrated at society. A lot. It's gotten to the point where people use words and ideas in ways totally out of context, intended meaning, or meant intent. So many phrases have such negative connotations that when somebody *does* have a profound thought, they're left with no words to properly express them.
The concept of Love has been seriously twisted around. People have gotten it into them that people are only worth loving if they think they deserve it. Pretty much, the idea is "as long as you're good, I'll love you". It may seem harsh saying it, but it's gone on that way in practice for a very long time. We can see it manifested in the way people are conducting relationships, parenting, families, and so on. But this is just so... backwards. When you're doing good (you know when you are) in your life, you don't really need other people. You've got the cash, the social associations, the tech, and the leisure time. You can self-subsist pretty damn good.
However, when you mess up badly (you know when you have)... when you've done something stupid and irresponsible, and you know that you've hurt a lot of people in the process, and you probably can't put things back together... that's when you need caring people the most. The point of loving someone is still loving them even when they don't deserve it. The point of forgiveness is forgiving them *especially* when they don't deserve it. The point of trust is relying on them even when you know they'll mess it up half the time.
It's wierd typing all of this because it should be pretty simple stuff. And when you look at it on paper, it is. The problem is when we let these ideas sink into us without even really realizing it - then we're acting from some weird unspoken, undefined, and unresolved rationale.
"God, Crawl, you are a cruel and unforgiving mistress. Every time I say "fuck it, I'm done with this stupid game and how much I get screwed by stupid deaths due to: cursed -6 rings, boggarts summoning 35 monsters blocking any path for blink or time for teleport, lightning bolts causing me to starve to death , being hit by multiple stone giant boulders at the same time, accidentally drowning, failing to find poison/electricity/life resist, a lich summoning a balrog and green death at the same time, being crystal speared by Erolcha, or getting raped by Sigmund on Dlvl 3"...
I always come back for more. One of these days, I will get my first rune."
5464 Minikra the Cudgeler (level 10, -7/82 HPs) Began as a Minotaur Berserker on June 22, 2008. Was a High Priest of Trog. Mangled by an ice devil (41 damage) ... in The Abyss. Jehar's game lasted 02:00:43 (9679 turns).
I was KICKING ASS. I was Beserking left and right, tearing shit UP. Found that damn Deck of Cards... drew one card. Stone skin, +3 AC. Cool.
Let's draw another card!
You drew Damnnation. You are sent to the Abyss...
Woulda survived too if I had enough time to put on my ring of Ice protection. But nooo...
Jehar the Imp Warrior-Mage has met his last. And here I thought nothing would kill him... I was being so careful.
That is, until I wandered into a room full of acid-throwing and stat-reducing monsters. I got RAPED. Blink takes me to a random location 10 spaces away, so I tried to use it to get away. Instead, it put me RIGHT into the middle of them. That Scroll of Recall took a little too long to activate... and now he's gone. :(
So here I am, a month-long linux user (I've still got a winblows box next to me for just a couple broadcasting apps), and I couldn't be happier.
I'm out of school (praying that I passed everything), and am likely to be done for good. Time to work, get cash for QuakeCon, and focus on the more important things in life. I'm picking up some more mapping, though I'm not spending my time purely on one map. There's QExpo, QCon, GarageGames... even marriage? Hell, how did I get to this place? For the first time, I'm not measuring my life by semesters. Now I'm looking to face that interminable void that's "after" school (which I was beginning to think was a myth).
Things are hopeful though. scar3crow is going to be in Eugene when I get there, and hopefully Sajt will follow. Maybe this thing will come off after all. It remains the primary priority (life-plan wise), though it's hard to remember that on a daily basis. Now I've got to trim some of the fat of my habits so I can use my time better...
Well, without looking too far ahead, I need to remember that I need money right away for quakecon. Maybe if I grab that last class (walking) and graduate, there'll be some congradulatory income of somesuch, though I by no means expect it.
Classes can be really, really boring. I bought a Palm T|X last year (back when I had spendable money) in order to "take notes" in class. Granted, I do this sometimes, but I thought irc would be much more fun to do in class than boring old notes. I rarely install games on the thing, which seems odd. Tiring of solitaire, I got iLarn, a port of the roguelike larn.
The game bends me over a splintery table and paddles me with the spiky board of "I own you" +9.
It's a good thing character creation is fast, because at least half the time you die in the first few seconds of gameplay. Be it monsters right at the dungeon entrance, poisoned water, dart traps, etc... the first levels are very tense. This means that when you actually get a decent character with some of the more awesomer items, you're even more on edge, because you don't want to lose all the hard work.
As with most roguelikes, this difficulty is the norm. It lies in stark contrast to the dungeon-crawlers of today, which are all about the low-level monsters you wade through to slowly gain experience. Most refer to this as the grind. The grind is both boring and too safe, I find. It's there as a security blanket, because killing off someone's lvl1 character 2 minutes into the game isn't "cool" or something anymore.
I wanted to say "politically correct" there, but it didn't quite fit. There are similarities, however, to what doesn't seem to be tolerated in games these days. Silver platter interfaces, extensive tutorials, frequent save points (though that's another issue altogether), and low risk... it all makes me "meh"
Games like this don't mess around with you - you are very very mortal. It's been a long time since I've played a game where winning doesn't involve an n-lengthed gameplay sequence that I need to get past. Winning here actually involves beating the bloody game. If you die, you don't reload the last checkpoint and try again, you damn well LOST. START OVER, LOSER, the game screams at you.
The end result of this is something that has totally gripped my mind and caused me to go into obsessive fits over gameplay theory... yet, unlike an MMO, it never loses it's mystery. I don't know what an item does until I try and use it. Exploration is constant and meaningful. There's genuine "oh, shit" moments, as well as genuine catch-your-breath moments.
All of this can be summed up in saying that things have really changed in the last decade (I've said this before, I know) as far as game design goes. Some would say that in rogue, you would simply become frustrated and give up. On the contrary, I become *angry* at the game, and dive back in headfirst, determined not to die this time.