Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It Begins.

The following conversations took place with my 3.5 year old during the first series of quests in Assassin's Creed II. [A is my 5 year old.]

L: Who's that guy Mom?
Me: Ezio.
L: Ezio? what's all his name Mom?
Me: Ezio Auditore.
L: I'm gonna Marry him.
Me: What?
L: I'm gonna Marry Ezio Auditore.

A: Lyra you can't marry him, he's not real.
Lyra: I AM.
A: He's a game character Lee-lu, you can't marry him.

L: Mom, is that Ezio Auditore?
Me: Yep, that's Ezio
L: Does he like me Mom?
Me: I guess if he was a real person he'd like you.
L: I know, we're going to get married. I'm going to Marry Ezio Auditore and be Lee-lu Roof Greeb*-Auditore.

Me: Lyra you know even if Ezio was real, he would have lived 100s of years ago.
L: OH NO! He's gonna be late for the wedding.

*name changed to protect devil baby

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Post Is For Rae.


So there's been a collective cry of outrage at Mass Effect 3. People are enraged and petitioning for new endings, and while I do admit a certain disappointment at the lack of difference between the endings that's not what I'm here to post angry about.

I should have done this on my first play though. However that wouldn't have been quite as angry as this one. You see I lacked foresight and bought ME:3 on the PS3 thinking about how much more I like playing games on the Playstation and not realizing that meant no imports. Mind you my imports were only of ME:2 since I never did get around to stomaching the controls of the first one on XBox. My husband was on March Break a week early and thus home for the release. His luck earned him the first play through. In an attempt to hide from spoilers I threw on my head set and got me a copy of ME:1 for PC. This doubled as a punishment for him as I was immune to the whines of children so he became snack getter and nose wiper default.

But just catching bits and pieces I new not only would I love it, it would ruin my life. I'm that kind of gamer, I play for the story, and Bioware [IMO] does the best story. I lose myself in the world I know the characters like they're real people that I actually talk to, add to that the military centric personalities of 3 and my own experience being a military spouse, well the game hit home. Even the chorus characters chattering the background felt familiar. Without an Import I was in a worst case scenario. I had to save the Galaxy, I couldn't let them down. The hard choices, the lost friends, I ended the game in the fetal position on my sofa with my three year old patting me on the head telling me everything would be okay, "it's just a game, Mommy, it's not real." At one point I turned the game off at 8pm dosed myself with NyQuil and went to bed, I just could not deal with it anymore.

So now I'm playing through with a plan, a full import. I've made choices specifically because I'd never chosen them or because I knew they would impact 3 in some way. This entry is going to be comprised of my own reactions. Things I yell at the Characters, texts I send my husband while he's at work, IMs to my best friends, Facebook statuses.

This was posted last night in reference to my original play through. A friend had stopped by for a chat and we were discussing my choice to play through again, my husband is an asshole and made a comment and I had an...outburst. This was in reference to the outburst:

"Just for the record, I would like to state that it wasn't my fault, I didn't kill them, I didn't kill her, they made their choices and if you people would stop telling me it was my fault I would stop squealing and crying. "

An IM to my friend referencing the fact I was installing ME:3 on PC:

"derpderp can't stop until I cant will myself to open my eyes"

A text to my husband after he made a comment on the visual quality of PC vs Console but left without seeing any gameplay:

"I'm playing it with the graphics on high, faith in my computer restored."

These were all made within 20mins of one another, the first and last are facebook posts, the middle is an IM to a good friend:

"What's that Mass Effect 3 again? That's right I enjoy pain."

"Alt+Tabbing because I refuse to watch that kid die for the 10th time" (I played the demo a lot)

"this was probably a horrible idea..." Followed by the comment; " I mean we all know horrible for me = hilarious for everyone else. Maybe J will take videos of my outbursts this time. I mean I'm like 15 minutes in and the voice in my head is like THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!"

"I dunno Mr. Cerberus, do Alliance regulars make your head explode while giggling like a 2 year old with stolen candy?"

"I do not think I can accurately recreate that last maniacal gremlin on meth laugh that just happened." -Shuttle crashes are awesome ok.

Texts to my Husband:

"Fuck the fucking council, we were meat shields to save them once we're just meat shields again. Fuckers, I should have let em burn." -I sacrificed human lives to save the council securing humanity a seat on it in the first game.

"but it's totes okay because they're gonna let me me keep being a fucking spectre WHOOP TEE FUCKING DOOO"

IM to a friend:

"mother painting bad dreams, stupid dead kids."

Yelled at my husband:

"Fuck you Bioware, you win this time. Not only did I think she was dead I threw things at my husband when he accused me of killing her. I also made that weird choked squealy noise while defending myself. This game is a big asshole."

"Seriously, I just get to watch Thane die of Alien lung cancer, are you kidding me. I want to slam doors and scream YOU'RE HORRIBLE. "

"I need an Avina Terminal, you know for the kids. I mean that way something can answer their questions without making a fart joke."

"Honest to god I want to hurt the person who thought the irritating sound from war of the worlds (no not Tom Cruises voice) should be the reaper alert."


"Honest to god are these Guardians materializing out of my fucking ass?!"

"I may have died 700 times but at least this time no one fucking else did."

"Seriously Deletrass? I mean really, you practically sterilized a whole nation and you're calling me a bully because I suggest you give them a cure or we won't save your planet? LOLWUT."

"Wutwut, making friends like a mother fucker. Bitches ain't got shit." -Re: Commander Kirihe

"That's it, I have to Marry EDI." -Re: EDIs opinions on Transhumans.

"Hold the fucking line!!!"

Missed a paragon option? ALT F4 LIKE A MOFO.

Know what I need a pet Varren, they're like a shark and a dog in one. I need it.

I am going to be Aria T'Loak when I grow up.

Oh look, Commander Shepard fell down...AGAIN.

At this point everything is going so much better then expected, I mean I'm still waiting for everyone to die horrible deaths cause by me, but I feel like I should have my webcam to record my random outbursts of glee. Since they're less yelling words and more noises and dancing...

A conversation with my husband:

J: What was that noise?
Me: What noise?
J: The Noise that just happened?
Me: Oh I found a reaper weapon, you know how heavy weapons just lay around the ground and you use 'em until they run out of ammo. I just killed a Harvester with it.
J: But what was that noise?
Me: The gun? It sounds like a reaper firing, it was AWESOME.
J: OK, but what was that noise? You're wearing headphones I can't hear your game.
Me: What?
J: You made a noise.
Me: I what?
J: You made a noise, a weird noise like -makes a noise like the dead thing in The Grudge- only kinda happy. What was that.
Me: I. Made. A. Noise?

And I'm crying, I knew it was coming because I picked the same option as before (I am a sucker for Krogan, trying to play through next time without the cure will be hard). Mordin dying though, it just gets me. He's one of my favorites, but afterwards seeing Eve survive, and telling me her real name, I almost lost it. So far still doing emotionally better then my first play through.

Shepards having another bad dream.

Re-taking the citadel. might be pouting a little. Thane is trying to help. Poor sick Thane =/

Well I've now just found out what it sounds like when girly sounds of glee turn to weeping mid squee. You don't fuck with Thane. Kai Leng's death with taste better then a cheap bottle of Moscato...what? I have cheap taste in things that make me drunk. Stop judging me.

Message to my husband re: The above events:

"You probably felt that, like a thousand voices crying out at once
that was me.
Kai Leng's blood will be the sweetest thing I've ever drank."

Honestly fuck renegade points, fuck saving Kaiden the guilt, I've wanted to kill Udina for 3 fucking games. Dear Bioware, thanks for making that dream come true.

I am now a mess, I ugly cried, my nose is running I've still got tears running down my face. That bottle of Havana Club is looking really good right now. Seriously, his final words were to pray for me, his final wish was that drell prayer. Fuck you Bioware.

To my husband:

"If you don't tear up when Thane dies, I don't think we can be together anymore."

Facebook Status:

"Now the choice remains, Ugly cry myself to bed, or make Cerberus my bitch? Decisions, decisions."

Okay, talking to Jack made me feel better.

Seriously? Did I just check out Kaiden's ass. I approve.

Facebook Status:

I'm going to create a mass effect drinking game; First Rule: Take a drink whenever Shepard falls down."

Researching your desired outcome before playing through a section of plot is totally not cheating.

"You know you might have a problem when they friend who used to check on you when your husband was deployed suggests maybe he should be checking on you because of the video games you're playing...

I may have made more notes for playing this game then I made for my advanced classes in high school.

Successfully saved both the Geth and the Quarians. This means I did not have to medicate myself before going to bed like last time [I may have taken NyQuil and gone to bed at 8...]. However I felt like a bad person. Legion is an amazing character [imo] and while Tali's death ruined me for like a week, I barely teared up at the loss of Legion. Tali's death may have been tragic but it was also slightly infuriating, I was mad at her, mad at Gerrel and Xen and the rest of the fleet, mad at myself, I don't even know.

I mean I didn't even acknowledge that the Geth VI had died in my first play-through until later on the Normandy while talking with EDI. As opposed to the tragedy of Tali's death Legion makes a pretty poignant sacrifice, having only just achieved true awareness, being an individual for not even a day he gives up his life to allow his people the same individuality. I feel like I should have been more emotionally invested in Legion then I was, and I wonder if my indifference makes me as bad as Han Gerrel.

You know props to Martin Sheen for an excellent job of the Illusive Man, but at this point if I ever ran into him somewhere I might not be able to resist the urge to try to fight him.

1). Drunk Tali is adorable and I want to hug her forever.
2). Does the crucible look like a giant space penis to anyone else?

Killing Kai Leng felt so much better this time. I totally ka-bob'd his liver, and in a cut scene that only exists in my head I totally ate his heart.

Seriously Tali and Garus, a ship I can totally get behind.

Mentally preparing myself for the final push to the beam. Spoke with all my party members, cried three times.

I feel like making the push with Hammer is a bad move. I mean by the time you make the push the Reaper's know the score. Aside from that with the Illusive dick feeding them intel they know Shep is on the way. Personally I feel like the smart way to have done this would be to leave Hammer on defense and take a small squad. Yes Reaper forces are there en masse, I get it and I get that this is a last ditch but why throw all your darts when the bulls eye is easier to hit with one? Hacket says "this isn't Akuze, we're all getting out" then you get there and Anderson is like "So this is everyone, we're going to book it to the rendezvous and if you live that far we'll bezerker the fucking beam." (I'm paraphrasing of course).

A small team might take a little longer to get to the beam but I feel like they would have had more of a chance. There are already pockets of support in the field who can make their own pushes as distractions without risking the bulk of the troops. I feel like if the small squad had pushed through after taking down the Hades Cannon things could have gone better for them. Though I will admit I am not the most tactical person in the world. Just seems like a bad plan Admiral Wuss Puss. *Keith also voiced the cat in Coraline which my now 4 year old used to watch every day.

Shepard uses sword-hand, it's super effective.

And I'm done. The first time I played through I bawled when Anderson died, but this time, really thinking about his tactics for that fight, I was kind of angry. Not happy he died but not as torn up. As for the ending I choose Synthesis this time (control my first play through). I have to say while I am still disappointed that the ending cinematic are basically the same thing I do have to say the circuitry filter and it's implications intrigued me. Now that Synthetics and Organics have synthesized could we see the Geth reproducing with organic species? Could Joker and EDI have a baby? I mean there was obviously a molecular level of change happening in that flash, even the plant life got it.

The ending didn't enrage me as it did some fans. It left me with some questions that didn't really effect the story but I'm creative I can make up my own answers, there's certainly plenty of information out there. I'm interested to see what the DLC ending [I've heard is in the works] has to bring. As for what becomes of the survivors, the world and lore Bioware created was excellent. I know personally speaking I would love to see spin off games that take place in the Mass Effect Universe.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This is my brain on me.

Apparently I don't get blogging angry as often as I thought. Or possibly I've just been to busy banging my face off my keyboard in an attempt to finish a book. I mean really, it's not like I don't provide myself enough distractions in my real and virtual life. I have the kids, the housework, the kids, video games, the kids, facebook... I think you get the point.

So yes I am writing a book, well a few books. I'm trying to focus on a single book but here's where rage kicks in. My brain is an asshole. The book I'm working on I started writing when I was a teenager, and for a book about a 20 something written by a 15-17 year old it's not horrible, that doesn't mean it was good the people who've read what I'd written up until I stopped it enjoyed it, but a lot of them also think Kristen Stewart is an awesome actor.

So it's been an emotional journey. A lot of the times I teeter back and forth between being embarrassed for teenage me but laughing because Oh crap my girls will be teenagers like this eventually, and totally enraged with how smart I thought I was. What's that teenage me, you know how the heart works and a bunch of fancy medical terms, that's fucking brilliant why don't you jam them into your story for the hell of it. I also have to deal with some of the shitty shit that happened to and around me as a teenager. I don't usually reference it in the book but I often find myself , editing a chapter for re-writes and remember exactly what what happening while I wrote it, sometimes this is not fun, which is part of my current problem.

You seem my brains survival tactics are doing some serious self sabotage. It's like I'm riding my bike up a hill in 6th gear, I know it would be easier to switch to first, but I can see the top of the hill, I might as well just finish and enjoy the swift trip down right? In writing it's similar, I can see the end, I know I've passed the half way point, if I could just get past these next two chapters I'm on the home stretch. Then it happens, my brain starts to flit about like a feret on crystal meth. I start to have conversations with myself while I'm working, they're not productive conversations. No seriously, I talk out-loud to myself, my husband makes me work upstairs if he's home. The conversations go something like this

This is reminding me of something horrible.
-I keep working, put on some music that fits the mood of the scene-
Brain: No really, this is making me uncomfortable. Hey. Hey. Hey look outside. I know you have a glass of water but you should get a soda. Hey get a soda. Hey.
Me: Fuck off. -turn up the music, because loud music drowns out the voices in your head amirite?-
Brain:I know you're working on this story and that's cool, you know if you're cool with skeeving me out and stuff but I was thinking about that other story you printed off the other day. That one you want to switch to 3rd person from first. DO you remember that one.
-I get up and get that soda hoping to shut my brain up with fizzy distractions-
Brain: No, no, I was thinking we should change that chicks name to Blair. Remember, you could turn her into the chick from the other story and go back to the original name.
-I start reading the little bit of work I've gotten done out-loud claiming to check the dialogue flow if someone hears me and asks what I'm doing-
Brain: You should change her hair colour, make it red, not pink. I mean eventually, maybe she starts out with platinum hair and there's a MAGICAL ACCIDENT, that would be cool right, then she could turn into the other character, you could give her a kick ass alias, EMBER that would be cool.
Me: Fuck, fuck this. Fuck. -switch to other story and edit the first chapter and sit down to commit some re-writes to .doc-
Brain: What are you even doing? This is boring as hell, BLAIR isn't even in this part. Ugh. You're hopeless, you didn't even get the right kind of soda. You know what I don't even care anymore, I'm taking a nap wake me up when you do something interesting, I dunno like shoot something on a video game.

Eventually I've been at my computer for 3 hours, I've written a paragraph and spent most of the time screaming at myself; so I go to bed. Then inevitably as I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep I'll get a brilliant idea of exactly what should happen, I'll wait until the next day to implement is because it's 2am I need to be up in 4 hours to take my kid to school. Of course by the time the kid is at school and I have time to sit down and write it out I can remember enough to get another paragraph in before Douche-bag brains starts in at me again.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Being Accountable

We spend so much time as a Parent Culture blaming others for the problems our children are going to face, most commonly we blame the media. I mean look at all those skinny girls the airbrushing to make them more attractive, look at the boobs, the workouts, all the things we do as people to try to make ourselves into those people. The media is only partially at fault, only to the point that we as adults are reacting to it and our children see us and learn from our reactions.

I am not saying that if you want to lose weight you shouldn't, have at it, but don't hate your current body while pining for the new one. Our kids should see us loving ourselves regardless of our flaws even while we strive to improve ourselves. We need to accept the parts of us we can't change and learn to love them. How will our children learn to love themselves if we their Moms, and let's face it Dad's are guilty too, can't love ourselves?

I recently followed a discussion about relationships that some friends had on Facebook, we discussed relationships with our spouses, we talked about our children and arguments with our spouses. I think we all agree that it's good for our children to see that Mom and Dad don't always agree, but always come to an agreement. They learn healthy compromising skills, and conflict resolutions, and most importantly they learn how a healthy relationship dynamic works. The also need to learn these things in regards to how to view their bodies.

If our children only see us lamenting our problem area's how will they know we also have parts of our bodies we love. Sure I'm not a fan of my thunder thighs but below that, I have some pretty awesome calves. I really love my lips and I've got a pretty awesome rack. My daughters see me frown at my jiggly belly, they see me stuff my fat ass into some shapewear and they ask me why. Before I tell you what I said I want to to put yourself there and think about what you would say.

Now think about how a kid hears that. This is what I wanted to say "Because I'm fat." I almost said it. And then I looked at my girls, and I realized they don't see my fat. So I said "I don't like the way my belly jiggles. I'm working on making that change but I wear this special underwear to make it stop until then." A few days later my 4 year old hugged me and jiggled my belly. "Mom, it's okay with me if you belly jiggles. I think you should keep it, it's fun." This was months ago, my belly still jiggles, my 4 year old still tells me it's ok.

We have spent so much time putting these things into black and while boxes. You're smart, or you're pretty. You're fat, or you're skinny. We don't stop and think about the grey area's we don't learn to play to our strengths, we're pushed in directions towards these boxes. It's our job to teach our children to dig in their heels and refuse to get into the box.

On one side we have the Smart box yelling at us. "Look at that pretty girl," the smart box says. "Look at the boys fawning all over her," it sneers. "She so dumb." The smart box doesn't know anything about the Pretty girl, the smart box thinks girls are either smart, or pretty and there is no grey area.

The Pretty Box doesn't know the smart box exists. It has a siren call of make up, and boy bands, it waves a pair of sparkle shoes you'll never afford at you and has a picture of that guy you like taped to the front. The pretty box doesn't talk, it's just pretty.

The thing about the skinny box and the fat box is they are so much worse then the smart vs pretty boxes. Because there is a fat box and a skinny box inside both of those boxes. Both of those boxes are constant war, both saying that only real women reside in their boxes, but that is a separate rant from this one.

I'm writing this because I read an article that really irritated me today so I want all my favorite Mama's [especially the Mama's to girls but this is open to everyone] to do me a big favor. Today I want to to think about yourself [not your life just YOU], think of how you see yourself, really think about it. Do you put make-up on? Why do you do it? Think about your gut response to that question, now imagine you're 3 year old asked you what would your response be. Do you think it's better to be smart or pretty, gut response. Really think about how you see yourself. Please do this because WE are the number one model for how our children are going to see themselves. Think about your child thinking that way about themselves. If you are happy with yourself A+ You get a gold star and you can move on with your day.

If you are not, if you're child thinking about him or her self the way you think of yourself start changing. Heck start out pretending you're the person you want to be, if you maybe are to critical of your physical self whenever you think "god my thighs are fat" automatically correct yourself. "No they're not, they're my thighs, I own them, I live with them and I love them." After time you will believe it or you will change it.

Our sons learn about women from us, they learn how to treat women from how we let ourselves be treated, and how we treat ourselves. Our daughters learn how to be women from us. We talk about removing the media from our children and reprogramming them when in reality we need to reprogram how we respond to media because they learn how to respond from us, not from the media.