New Year’s Eve went wonderfully. The party was the right size, and it broke up at the right time, allowing me to spend some time with family too. Time spent with family peaked New Year’s Day, when my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin came to visit from Florida. Now, this cousin is eight years old, so he wanted to play LEGO Batman, and Mario Party 8, and all of that stuff. I obliged him, of course, and it was kind of fun sometimes. I don’t think LEGO Batman was as intuitive and easy to play as the LEGO Star Wars games (to be fair most of my Playstation 2 controllers were older than he was, and they didn’t work well), and Mario Party 8 kinda lacked the joy and chaos of Mario Party 2. Naturally the next thing I did was hand him a Gamecube controller and told him we were playing Mario Party 2.
I thought I’d have to force it on him, after all, if he’s experienced a newer Mario Party game – could he see why a much older game was still fun? But he actually had a great time and won the first round on the Pirate Land map. He woke me up at 7:30 AM today to play again, on the Western Land map, but he set the computer players to Hard. One of the computers stole his stars, twice, and at some points he was on the verge of tears. It wasn’t easy to watch, but still, I think he had fun for the most part. What really made his day, and mine too – was seeing snow for the first time. We had a snowball fight, after I taught him how to make snowballs by packing snow with his hands, and grabbing snow from the tops of cars. He and his family left, just a few hours from this super-blizzard we’re apparently getting, which is probably a good thing – but I’m really happy he was able to see the snow.
I’m going back to Pittsburgh in four days, and I keep telling myself I’m excited for that – but for the first time in a while, I think there are people here on Long Island that I wish I could spend more time with before going back.
Seventeen days into November, and I can say confidently that I am not going to write 50,000 words in the next two weeks, I’d be impressed if I even made it to 25,000. Disappointing nobody but myself, I realize now that any free time I do have, I split up between television, Nintendo 3DS games, internet distractions, and gym stuff. If I had fully committed all my free time to writing, I probably could have accomplished the whole 50,000 – but for now, I’m moving the goal posts to a very, very low 10,000 – and maybe I’ll make 25,000 revised by the end of 2013.
Next year, I’ll have to keep in mind that NaNoWriMo is about writing in quantity, and writing right out of the gate. This, “write a few hundred words every day” approach I’ve taken does not result in a 50,000 novel. Maybe if I’m lucky though, I could end up with a 10,000 short story…
Since last time, I’ve gotten the seventh badge for defeating the psychic gym leader, Olympia. Kind of a pushover really, since Yvonne rolls with a freaking Umbreon which can’t be hit with psychic moves. Before we could move onto the final badge, victory road, and the Elite Four, we had to take the “Bad Guy” diversion for about two days. What are they up to this time those pesky bad guys? Taking over radio towers? Climate change? Pokemon Kidnapping?
Would you believe me if I told you that you had to stop the mass murder of millions of people, and all Pokemon?
Because check it out, in the ensuing battle with Team Flare, Yvonne stands alone in a town that now sports a giant crater. The story of Pokemon Y is freaking dark and I think it’s pretty cool that Nintendo went ahead and okay’d a story that would bring up World War II themes. There are mushroom clouds, mass graves and everything. I managed to catch the game’s titular legendary, Yvetal with an Ultra Ball, which is nice – it means I can save the Master Ball for Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos, or Mewtwo.
Anyways, Yvonne is going full steam ahead into the final gym battle, so let’s see where that team’s at.
At this point, if you aren’t on the “Team” you don’t even really deserve mention here anymore. Is that a little sad? Maybe, you might notice that none of my starters are here anymore – Blastoise, Chesnaught, and Blaziken are all gone, phased out and replaced. But that how things go in Pokemon, and eventually this “Team” list of eight has to be sculpted into a well-rounded six. Tough business.
So here’s something that literally just happened: I was browsing Reddit when I saw a post about Animal Crossing from /r/AnimalCrossing, and thought to myself “Oh no! I forgot to check the campsite in my town!” I stopped what I was doing, which was already procrastination from work, to go turn on Animal Crossing. I very specifically chose not to say, “turn on” instead of “play” because, how could I really call what I’m doing “playing?” I’m turning on a game, so that I can go talk to a dude – a horse named Elmer (which is morbid of you, Nintendo) – and convince him to move into town. I treat it more like a responsibility than something I’m doing because I enjoy it, but of course I do enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.
…That being said this Elmer guy is pretty interesting, and we’re playing some games of wager and chance, which are pretty addicting.
This week has been low-key, which was nice for a change. Busy, but not overwhelming. Fun, but not crazy. This week will be the exact opposite, guaranteed. Two exams, guests staying at the apartment, another 21st birthday, Halloween parties, the usual writing workload, shopping in order to be well stocked for guests! Oh my goodness! A challenge of a week! I’m excited, and nervous… so let’s do this!
I’m going home in four days! Woo! I really miss everybody on Long Island and we’re going to make the most of this damned summer. I’m talking going to the City, going to the Beach, doing illicit things future employers don’t want to here about, and seeing some freaking movies. And the Beck concert, of course. I’m seeing Beck in August, Jesus Christ I’m seeing Beck in August.
The hardest part of the four-day stretch is over, I worked really hard all of Monday collecting sources and putting together a speech that I just delivered about an hour and a half ago. As a precaution I gave my 3DS to a friend to hold onto until this two-day work session was over, just to prevent me from even thinking about playing Pokémon Black 2. He gets out of his night class at like, 7 or something, so that’s when I get to be reunited with the 3DS and start to relax and enjoy my final days here.
Relaxation starts now: I’m going to listen to some royalty free music from Audionetwork.com, I’m going to get a Steak Quesadilla at Vera Cruz, and goddamn it I’m going to down a few cans of Limonata Sanpellegrino.
I bought Pokémon Black 2 on Tuesday and it’s been a fantastic couple of days with that game. Pokémon SoulSilver was the latest game in the series I’ve played and I feel like Black 2 has some serious graphical and gameplay improvements. Camera angles will change while walking around the world, the time of day cycle is really nice and the sun flare touches are clever. Pokémon sprites have a nice dynamic animation during battle that can reflect their health and status, and the option to challenge higher-level Pokémon in rustling grass makes leveling up less of a chore. So far, so good, I’m really glad I got the game and it’s making me anxious for Pokémon Y.
Otherwise, I’m on the final stretch of summer courses. I’ve got four classes left before I go home in one week, but this is going to be a rough final stretch. I’ve got voice acting to do for an English Literature class, and I’ve never done that before. I have to do a public service announcement voice for a fake PETA video, and I’m looking forward to it but I know I’m going to be a tough critic on my own performance. I’ve got this Blue Snowball microphone on my desk and it looks gorgeous, haven’t used it yet but I have to give it to my partner sometime this weekend so she can record her lines of dialogue.
The recordings have to be done by Monday. I have to give a seven-minute speech about the National Security Agency on Tuesday.
The recordings have to be appropriately applied to a video on Wednesday and I have to write a three page reflection about the course by Thursday. And finally I have to take a final exam in public speech on Thursday.
And on Friday I go home.