Thursday, April 30, 2009

A friend of mine at work showed this to me today. It's quite bizarre, but also very impressive.

This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.
Just let me go on record by stating that the Wendy's CHOCOLATE frosty with cookie dough is vastly superior to the vanilla frosty with cookie dough. Vastly.

There's just no comparison.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's see. First order of business: Sab's Blog is history. I deleted it for a number of reasons. Mostly, it's because I really don't have any desire to blog about what I do in WoW. No one cares anyway. It's naive to believe that anyone playing a game that so encourages e-penis comparisons gives a crap about anyone else's thoughts about the said game, and thus I don't see the point. My reasons for playing WoW have changed recently. I'm not sure if it's for the better, for the worse, or if it doesn't really matter at all. I don't know, and it's really not that important. Three of the people that I enjoyed playing this game with the most have recently either quit playing or severely cut back on their playing. These are for reasons no more unexpected than simply real life giving them something more important to do right now, so I have no complaints or apprehensions about it. But that doesn't change the fact that my biggest reasons for playing WoW are now gone.

I never let myself fall into the trap that so many people do when they become addicted to an MMO. I never let the gameplay, the loot, the e-penis, or anything like that become the greatest and foremost reason why I played the game. Instead, I played it for the social aspect of it. Sometimes that has ended up being just as bad, however, because I can remember many a times when I stayed up way later than I should have doing nothing more than talking to a friend of mine in game. But, that's a moot point. The point is, I felt that I had a healthy relationship with this game because of the reasons for which I played it -- friendship. I likened my playing the game to going out to a club to hang out with friends, only this is in a virtual world with no bar tab.

Those reasons are now gone, because there is no one left with whom I have that kind of relationship. This all goes back to a few posts ago, when I described what I look for when I decide to truly call someone a friend. I'm going to re-list them here again, because this is important:

- We should have a few things in common, and enjoy talking about these things.
- We should feel comfortable sharing any kind of information, no matter how personal or embarrassing.
- We should feel that we can call, email, message, visit or contact each other in any way, any time we feel the need to do so, and not worry that we might be bothering each other.
- We should enjoy talking to one another, look forward to the conversations, and miss them when it's been too long since we've last talked.
- They should initiate conversation with me nearly as often as I initiate conversation with them.

Re-examining these points has helped me realize something, and this is going to be incredibly difficult to put into a cohesive sentence without babbling. I guess for starters, it's made me realize that I have become, and probably always will be, taken for granted. Most people don't give a shit that I am here every single night. They don't see the majority of the things I do correctly. They are the first to point out the things I do incorrectly. When things go well, I am treated to silence. When things do not go well, it's my fault. "You need more dodge." "Why are we doing this boss when we can do this easier boss?" "Why are you so stubborn and want to do it this way?"

I'm used to that by now. Doesn't bother me anymore. The trap that I've been letting myself fall into, however, is that I've been attempting to replace that which I've lost and the results have been hurting me more than they've been helping me. Trying to have the same conversations with the people I raid with that I have had in the past with these three friends of mine is never going to happen simply because there's no one in the guild who cares about ME the way those three do. Trying to find it has only left me feeling worse, because it's NOT THERE. Instead I'm left feeling like an outsider, feeling lonely, and with a sense of worthlessness. I certainly don't need any more of those, thank you very much.

Brad, Steve, and Mecca: I'm not writing this in an attempt to send you on a guilt trip. Don't think that. I simply have the need to state, out in the open, that sometimes it does bother me that a whole bunch of people don't give two shits about me even though I spend a few hours with them every single day. Sometimes it does bother me that they wouldn't give a shit if I disappeared tomorrow as long as there was another meat shield to step in and take my place so they could continue getting their precious little digital items.

Sometimes. But it's fleeting. I feel better already.

All that being said, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that I have no friends left in that game. That's just a silly thing to think. I've struggled with the next sentence long enough, so I'm going to simply assume that you understand where I'm coming from by this point, and that I shouldn't need to say anything else about it.

But, I guess there is one way to sum it up pretty well: It would be nice, once in a while, to sign on to "Hi, how goes it?", or "How was your day?", instead of, "What boss we doing tonight?" or "Can I raid tonight?".

A mixture of the two would also be perfectly acceptable =)

Gah. This took me way too long to write. I'm too tired to even proofread it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I do a lot of QA, so I've become accustomed to things not working. It's part of my life. Every so often, however, the sheer volume of how many things that don't work still ends up surprising me every so often. Today is a case in point:

I got into work this morning and noticed it was abnormally warm in the office. I discover that the air conditioner isn't working right now. Strike 1. Since it's abnormally warm in here, I went over to the vending machine to get a cold drink. Out of order. Strike 2. Fine, there's another vending machine downstairs. I'll just go use that one. To the elevator! Out of order. Strike 3. I took the stairs. Got to those vending machines. The one holding the sodas is out of order. Strike 4! Fine, I'll get a bag of chips instead. Hey this machine works! I pull out my bag of chips. It's already open. The chips dump out all over the floor.

I was so amazed I just left them there. Strike 5. Back to my desk to hide until lunch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Urban Dead

Well over a year or two ago, I found this low-tech zombie MMORPG called Urban Dead. It's a completely browser based, grid and text style game. Very primitive, but enjoyable nonetheless. The best part about it was that I could play it anywhere, even at work when I'm on break. I stopped playing it simply because I sort of got bored with it, but today I logged in for the first time in at least a year. Maybe longer.

Surprisingly, my character wasn't dead. I remember that I had last left myself in a very heavily barricaded building, but I assumed that zombies would have broken in at some point since I was in a rather sparsely populated area of the city. (This meaning that not many other players would have entered my building and reinforced the barricades that I had built to keep the zombies out.) My only guess is that perhaps long periods of inactivity cause my character to not show up to other players. I haven't checked on that.

In any case, I used my 50 daily actions and found that the game still holds some enjoyment for me. I'll probably start logging in daily again for a while. I still wish that someone would make a REAL zombie MMORPG, though.
It's the end of April, and it's snowing. Obviously, global warming isn't a big enough problem yet. I think today I'm going to leave my car idle in the parking lot all day while I'm working. Apparently we need to pollute this planet a whole lot more before the fucking temperature goes up!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I've done about as much mind-numbing SQL writing as I can handle without a break. So here I am.

Let's talk friendship.

This is a topic that I've been struggling with lately, and I've felt the need to put the ideas in my head somewhere. (So that maybe they will leave my head and let me think about more important things for a change.)

I have plenty of people in my life who I could casually refer to as a friend, since the simplest definition of friend is "a person who is on good terms with another". But you and I both know that the term friend, when used to describe the relationship between two individuals, should mean much more than that. And naturally, the meaning of the this word is going to be quite different from person to person. I use the term lightly to describe certain people I know, and I will admit that I use the term incorrectly a lot. I will refer to someone as a friend when I actually don't consider them as such, simply because it's easier given the circumstances to do so. I feel this is one thing I need to change about myself, for two reasons. First, I prefer to be an honest person, so I shouldn't throw that word around if I'm not sincere about it. But most importantly, I feel that if I continue to act in this manner I will continue to be unhappy with the way people treat me.

This is going to require some explanation. First I should describe the kind of relationship I expect to have with a person when I consider them to be a friend:

- We should have a few things in common, and enjoy talking about these things.

- We should feel comfortable sharing any kind of information, no matter how personal or embarrassing.

- We should feel that we can call, email, message, visit or contact each other in any way, any time we feel the need to do so, and not worry that we might be bothering each other.

- We should enjoy talking to one another, look forward to the conversations, and miss them when it's been too long since we've last talked.

- They should initiate conversation with me nearly as often as I initiate conversation with them.

I would think that these things should make sense to just about everyone. But, now that I've thought these points through and have written them out, I realize that there are a lot of people in my life who are utterly pathetic friends. And I fear that some of this is my own fault, because of how loosely I have used the term in the past. I'll now explain the whole purpose of this post, and the whole reason why this has been bothering me quite a bit lately.

A large part of my "social time" is spent playing WoW, by now I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. There are plenty of other things I do in my spare time, such as watching movies, playing other games, writing, and planting/caring for a garden when it's that particular time of year. But these things are solitary activities. And I don't mind that, because damn it, I need solitary activities to keep balance in my life. Sometimes, I just need to be alone. But I also need to be social, and WoW fulfills that need quite effectively. However, there exists a problem, and that problem starts with the role that I fill within that game. I am the guild master and raid leader. The titles of these positions themselves suggests authority. As a result of this, I feel that most people probably watch what they say when speaking to me. They are careful, maybe a bit nervous, maybe a bit intimidated, and maybe otherwise elevate me to a place where I have no business being.

This is a problem for me, because I never wanted that. I play this game for the sociability. I lost sight of that reason for a while, but I'm slowly coming back to it again and have found myself enjoying the game more because of it. But I think, because of my role, a lot of people don't see me as a person. Not to name names, but there are plenty of people in the guild who I feel any "friendship" we may have is one-sided. Meaning, I have attempted to start such a relationship with them and have gotten nothing in return. I'm not naive, either, and would fully expect that perhaps some of them simply don't like me. I'm perfectly fine with that, there are also plenty of people in the guild who I don't like, either. But for some, I feel that it's something else, and the nature of the role I fill in the game is the only logical explanation I can conceive.

Unfortunately, this isn't something I can fix, because people are people. (so why should it, sorry). It's certainly not something I can fix by writing about it here, since I'm sure about 1% of my guild even reads my blog anyway, and those 1% are people I do call friends. So instead, I've simply come to the understanding that I shouldn't waste my time or my friendliness with those who won't return it. Why should I? That doesn't mean I'm going to be rude or ignore everyone, that's just silly. But I'm going to stop, for example, initiating friendly conversations with people who have never once initiated friendly conversations with me. That seems only fair. It does upset me that I haven't been able to form true friendships with some of the people I've grown to like in this game. But if the relationship is going to continue to be one-sided, then they shall be nothing more to me than an acquaintance.

Perhaps if I stop calling them a friend, they will realize that there's a problem. But, I'm certainly not holding my breath on that one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There's something wrong with me. Chemically. Something wrong with me. Inherently.
Wrong - Depeche Mode
Right now, I'm finding it difficult to give myself any reason why I should ever try to express even a minimal amount of affection for anyone ever again.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New Car

It's time to start thinking about what kind of car I want to buy. I've already decided that it's time for me to purchase a new one. My current car is going on 8 years old. It's starting to rust in certain places. The check engine light is on all the time. The low coolant light comes on at random. And I'm rather sure the suspension system is borderline catastrophic. 8 years is too long to keep a car, especially considering my commute.

So the question is, what should I get? I currently drive a Chevy Malibu, and I have been quite happy with it. But I don't necessarily need to get another one of those, nor do I even need to stay with some brand of Chevy. I do know that one dealer in my area is having a pretty impressive sale on the Cobalts, but I've kind of heard mixed things about those. I'll have to give it some thought for a bit, but I want to buy one either this month or next.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Not a Milestone

Today I turn 28. This event, if we're going to call it that, was not heralded by much of anything. If we're going with the tradition that I consider it "my birthday" at the stroke of midnight, rather than the actual moment I was born, then I was technically alone when it happened. Not-so-technically, I wasn't alone, since I was probably talking to two or more gaming acquaintances at the time. Or, if we're going to be technical and not consider it "my birthday" until the actual time of birth, then I was either stuck in traffic, or sitting here at work. In other words, I was doing the same things I do every other normal work day.

After reflecting on this, it has encouraged me to give you a little piece of advice:

The world doesn't give a shit about you. You are nothing more than an insignificant speck to it. If you want to feel special on your "special day", I suggest you ensure that you have people in your life who care about you, and who you in turn care about. Otherwise, it will become painfully obvious how insignificant you really are.

I hope you weren't expecting some uplifting message.

Now I need to decide what I want to do for lunch. Perhaps a sub.


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...