Tights, M16s, and Paint

Like some twisted list of items carried in the pocket of a schizophrenic, my weekend was a jumble of random, disparate activities, woven together with some strange unifying cord. When looking back at the actions you take over the course of a weekend, think about the separate elements sometimes, and how little those elements may seem to mesh. Truly, the breadth of the human experience is vast and diverse. Still, despite the apparent lack of connection between the nouns in the title of this particular post, they behave like a row of dominoes, back to front, each inexorably leading to the other.

My wife and I had decided this weekend, that we would finish my room. The color pattern started as being a deep blue with a hint of grey color, and marching around the room at chest height was a beige stripe about 16 inches thick. The difficult with this particular task when we first did was the orange peel texture of the walls. It created a hurdle for which we had no legs to jump. That hurdle was a crisp line. No matter how hard I pressed tape down, or how steady my hand, there was always a bleed through. Thankfully, with the coming of our daughter, an ingenious friend of my wife helped to paint stripes on the baby’s room with a clever technique I will not bore you with. So, we revisited my game room using this device to not only crispen up the beige line, but to add a much thinner deep red stripe in the bottom half of the first stripe. This task ate up a surprising amount of time. I did the taping, my wife the painting.

By necessity, this meant that my game room was out of commission for the majority of the weekend. Happily, this opened up free time to pick up a “new” console game, and run it through some paces. I picked up CoD4: Modern Warfare, after much lauding in the blogger communities, and from my ex-Ranger brother. So, for less than $40 at my local Gamestop, I grabbed this title and dove into it. Like any child of the modern age, I skipped over the story and dove right into the multiplayer aspect. I got pwned. Notice the subtle use of the letter “p” that’s all the rage in today’s internet lingo. I was destroyed repeatedly. My ears were also continually raped by the ridiculous music that teammate insisted on playing over an always-open mic. Still, I am getting better. My twitch skills have been lying mostly dormant for years now (despite a brief sting with TF2), and it’s taking time to rebuild them. The leveling system is a great addition to an FPS, and the combat-related unlocks are a wise incentive to keep people playing. Just 20 more headshots with an M16 for me!

Eventually, I did return to the single player mode of the game, and I banged out the first 10 levels or so. I have to say, I was really impressed with the last mission I completed. I knew this game had a “shock” factor of mowing down people in an airport, but I was genuinely surprised when the nuke went off. The disintegrating helicopters, and fast-moving dust cloud, and the recently rescued pilot flying out of the chopper really combined to enforce a sense of dismay. It’s not often anymore that I’m emotionally impacted by video games (since MMOs are emotion-lite on the whole), but I was genuinely dismayed and worried at the ramifications that the explosion would have, my poor marine will invariably be kicking the bucket due to radiation poisoning.

When my daughter wasn’t sleeping, and taking care of her was on me, I watched the Winter Olympics.

Interesting side story: My wife cracks me up sometimes by speaking before thinking. Months ago, her and I saw a commercial for the upcoming winter games being held in Vancouver. My wife comments, “Wow, it seems like the winter Olympics are ALWAYS held in the United States.”. My carefully slow response of, “Babe, where do you think Vancouver is?” was met with a quick and succinct, “Shut up! I hate you.”

So, there I was, relaxing on the couch with my two month-old chowing down on a bottle, watching, of all things, pairs figure skating. Sparkly tights, overly large smiles, insanely optimistic attitudes, and incredibly amazing feats of synchronized athletics. I mean, really, I was impressed. I found myself enjoying the skating. I am far and beyond more of a winter olympics fan over the summer games, but figure skating was never my cup of tea. As a manly, man’s man, who drinks scotch, smokes cigars, and was just that day blowing some middle-eastern terrorist brains out the back of his skull, shooting down helicopters with heat seeking surface to air rockets, and slicing open rabid dogs throats with my knife, seeing a guy toss a tiny 17-year-old russian partner up for a triple rotation only to catch her and then both do a double spin-jump thingy is not the typical mode accepted entertainment. It was a weird dichotomy, and I can only credit it to the innate spiritual need to find balance in my life. Of course, my wife walked by during my soul-cleansing and quipped, “God you’re gay.”

We love each other, really we do.

Also, lots of drama this weekend that I missed out on in WAR. Someone’s inability to follow instructions lead to an entire guild dropping the alliance we were a part of. Good stuff.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

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