Here’s another photo of me getting ganked after shouting “For the Horde!”
The chance of me actually starting a band is unlikely, since I really don’t play any instruments, apart from depeche-mode’n around on the keyboard. And while I tear up the stage at karaoke, I can’t really sing. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
But, I like to keep the dream alive by updating my list of possible names for my future indie rock-electro band. Here’s the list I have currently loaded in my iPhone notes application. My friend Audio (the editor of Android Delight – which would be another wicked-cool band name!) said that “the closest we’ll ever get to forming a band will be on Xbox Live in Rock Band.” Yeah, he’s probably right. Maybe it’s a good time to finally start the search for Emotional Laser’s new drummer.
This past weekend, I packed up my Xbox 360 and an LCD monitor, and cruised over to a coworkers house for a night of playing Modern Warfare 2 with “the guys”. (I don’t really have my own “the guys” but for the sake of this post, we’ll sort of pretend that I do.) I learned two harsh realities that evening, the first being that you can’t system link Call of Duty for a house full of dudes, as the game only permits single player xbox link-ups. Lame.
The second thing I learned was that I’ll probably always be a noob when it comes to playing MW2 and online first-person shooters. These are the main five reasons:
1.I don’t spend enough time practicing online. Seems rather obvious, right? My problem: I had to get over the reasoning that simply because I played a lot of first-person shooter games, I should be good at any of them, in any setting. It’s sorta like a bunch of nerds playing D&D or World of Warcraft and assuming they’d have have a chance against an Orc, if they were to suddenly face one in real life. That’s not to say that all of my single player skills are wasted, at the very least they taught me how to move and aim.
2.Simply moving and aiming is not good enough. To survive in the fast-paced world on online warfare you need to MOVE! and AIM! But, you also need to know when to stay put and wait. My problem: I’m always in one place too long, or not long enough. And I really don’t have the finesse that it takes to be a killing machine. When watching the playback of my murder on the killcam, I’m amazed at the twitchy and jerky movement of my opponents. They move like a brutal, killing insect while I seem to really take my time aiming and lining up the shot. Much like my golf swing, I’ve been practicing mostly bad habits.
3.This isn’t my story and I’m not the hero. The problem with playing so many co-op or single player campaigns is that you tend to believe that you’re special. Enemy troops always rush at you from convenient locations in a perfectly timed rhythm. You should know your objectives and which way you should be moving on the map. This is all flipped upside-down in multiplayer. The maps are closed and death is your only exit. Players don’t come at you in a linear way, but punish you sideways with all sorts of inventive maneuvering. My problem: I tend to be to too cinematic. I picture myself running about, taking down enemies with the help of my friendly comrades and everything I do is part of some sort of blockbuster action sequence. When in reality, the better players aren’t even thinking, but rather moving, shooting, moving, grenade, explode, die, respawn, moving, shooting…
4.I don’t know the maps. And to be honest, I’ll never know the maps. I just know the places that I always die on the maps. My friends try to show me the prime spots to hang out and snipe at people, but when I finally get up into the roost someone is already there, ready to rock my face with a shotgun. My most successful moments are when I find a decent location, and can keep dropping enemies as they come through my bottlenecked area until I get stabbed in the back by a ninja person or humped by a guy holding a riot shield.
5.I’m a bit of a carebear. That’s gamerspeak for, “pussy”. Although if you play shooters on Xbox Live for any amount of time, you’ll realize that is one of the milder terms of endearment. My problem: I just like having fun, casually shooting at people. I don’t have the heart (nor skill) to constantly be at the enemy spawn point machine-gun raping the same guy over and over again. (Because usually, I’m the guy respawning.) I suppose that’s why I’m making this list. Not to make excuses, but rather to embrace my noobness and try learn from it…one horrible agonizing death at a time.
Anyone else having trouble updating their blog lately? It’s not that I don’t have any content, or random stories to share. I think that I’ve just become more adept at sharing them elsewhere (like the Facebooks and the Twitters). Sometimes I think I might just turn this thing into a Tumblr page and go mobile. Anyway, I’ve saved up enough bite-sized content for a regular sized blog post, so here goes:
1During a freak accident at a video shoot, my Blackberry plummeted several feet to its demise. All the more surprising, it actually wasn’t me that dropped it. I was forced to kick into “Operation Upgrade” several months early, and got myself an iPhone 3Gs (32gb). I no longer have all that “app envy” coursing through my veins. Quite the opposite. I think I need to download an application that will occasionally shock my hand, forcing me to put down the iPhone and pay attention to my surroundings.
2All these videos games are killing me. The crazy, pre-holiday momentum has really kicked-in, and I’ve done a great job of staying ahead of all the new Xbox game releases that I want to get. Which has been about one a week as of late. Thankfully, it’s over for me until the new year, and my real problem now is when to find time to play any of them. Currently I’m rocking: ODST, Borderlands, Dragon Age, Modern Warfare 2, and Left4Dead 2.
3I take too many photos of my toddler and robots (though rarely in the same photo). Looking to also break the mold was my friend Hangry, who invited me to start up a joint photography blog. I was going to wait until we had more posts going to mention it, but I needed more stuff to pad out this list. You can follow our semi-random photo-awesomeness at our newly minted site, Crop and Bracket.
4Somehow I’m still making time for television. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by V, considering that I’m crazy-possessive about the original mini-series. (I plan on writing a full nerdcore review of the show after the initial 4 episode run concludes.) Also, I’d like to give props to FX for awesome season’s of Sunny in PA and Sons of Anarchy.
When I’m not out busting-up vampire dens at the crack of dawn, or teaching the underprivileged kids at Breakdance Summer Camp, I like to
spend hours playing Xbox 360 catch-up on my geek sci-fi/fantasy novels. Here’s a sampling of two of my favorite, recent reads from my book club (in which I am the sole member):
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This is the perfect book for folks who enjoy the Harry Potter, or for those who didn’t have much time to spend in Hogwarts (or thought that reading a series of children’s books was creepy). The Magicians follows young Quentin Coldwater’s enrollment at Brakebills magical university, where all the college students lead not-so-enchanted lives. It’s a story full of angst, sex, and magic gone horribly wrong – and in my opinion, does everything right.
The Eternal Prison by Jeffrey Sommers
This is the third book in the ‘Avery Cates’ series, so I’m really doing a recommendation of three books here. The first book, The Electric Church was so compelling and cleverly paced that I tore through it in just over a day – the other two didn’t even last that long. The series takes place in a grim cyberpunk future, following gunner Avery Cates as he barely scrapes from one near-death situation to the next. If you’re into hard-edge sci-fi or daydream about all the badass things you’d say preceding a barfight, then I can’t recommend these books enough.
I would have mentioned Chasing Dragons (the latest Quantum Gravity novel by Justina Robson), but my Amazon delivery never made it to my door, so that little review will have to wait. I also read Ender’s Game again, now as an adult, reaffirming my belief that it’s truly one of the greatest science fiction novels of our time, though in good conscience I can’t write any more than that because I think the author is a total dickhole.
Anyway, this concludes another exciting installment of the LLR Book Club!
This is the first post in my “update the blog every day through the end of September” initiative, launching today at LLR-HQ.
This weekend my family, and some fabulous out-of-town visitors, did some exploring around the Houston area. I finally got a chance to check out the Kemah Boardwalk, and scratch that off the list. If you want a random burst of fun this morning, crank up your speakers, head over to the Kemah website, and listen to their ‘rockin’ jingle. “The fun never stops at Kemah Boardwalk!”]
What else? I’ve been spending the past few weeks trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to get all kinds of random projects and work-related stuff finished up. It’s mainly to get ready for more random projects and work-related projects, but also to prepare for the onslaught of new television shows and Xbox games that will start invading my home media center early this month. Basically, I’ve got a few weeks to get my stuff together before Halo:ODST drops, and I’m playing firefight mode all the time. Tomorrow I plan on posting my “watch list”, so if you have any good Fall viewing tips, let me know.