RAGEQUIT! Or: I Went to Target

targetI had a moderately– but only moderately– stressful day at work today, which made me think when I got home that a nice way to relax might be to spend some time playing the vidya gaemz.  And did I play Spider-Man, with its soothing and fun web-slinging action?  No.  I played Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, which is a fucking bastard of a game.

I played Dark Souls II to relax.

Those of you who have played this game are laughing at me right now, and you are right to do so.

So here’s the deal with the Dark Souls series: first, it’s balls-hard even just in the basic gameplay.  It doesn’t matter how big, rough and tough your character is; lose focus and even the lowliest scrub enemy is going to be able to kill you in a few hits.  On top of that, you gain experience by killing bad guys like you do in a lot of games, but you actually spend that experience like currency to gain levels, and you can’t do that just anywhere; each game in the series has one place where you can gain those levels.  And if you get killed, you drop all your experience points in the place where you died.  Want those thousands of XP representing a few possible levels back?  You gotta get back to where you just got killed without getting killed again and pick ’em back up, then escape to get where you can actually use them. Die again along the way? Too bad so sad, them shits are gone.

And DSII: SotFS is a special edition, one where they added a bunch of enemies, because apparently vanilla Dark Souls isn’t fucking hard enough.

Long story short; I got killed like three thousand times in a row, in a very enemy-heavy area, where none of the enemies are very tough but if you quit paying attention even for a couple seconds you’re dead, and the last time I left like four levels’ worth of XP on the table when some fucker I’d missed and walked right past stabbed me in the back, maybe three feet from my damn green blob of love.

And I did something I haven’t done in something like 35 years of gaming:  I broke my fucking controller.  I spiked the thing like a goddamn football and then watched as the PS4 helpfully told me that it had lost contact with the controller.

Fuuuuck.

Fifteen minutes to dinner.  Well, I can’t turn the damn game off without a controller, and the boy’s gonna want to play Spider-Man later, so… Target is pretty close.  I can totally go to Target and get a new controller in fifteen minutes.

Off to Target.  I’m on a mission and I know exactly where I’m going, so I don’t pay too much attention to the young lady who smiles at me and says hello as I’m walking past her, and I say hello back but I’m probably fifteen feet past her before I realize that I’m pretty sure she’s a former student, one who I haven’t seen since sixth grade (she moved) and who just graduated high school.  But I don’t realize it until I’m well past the point where I can turn back around and say hi, plus I legitimately haven’t seen the kid in six years and I’m not 100% sure.

I find the video game section.  I find PS4 controllers.  They’re locked up.  And someone else smiles at me and asks me where the Xbox controllers are.

And I realize I’m in Target in a red shirt.  Sigh.

I know the answer, so fuck it, I answer her question.

A moment later, someone in a blue shirt asks me if I need any help, and I have a brief split-second of pure confusion– because I don’t work here, and someone just asked me for help, and you clearly don’t work here, so why are you asking me if you can help me?

And then I see the Target Security logo on his blue shirt.  Oh, OK.  Fine.  Gimme this controller.

He goes and gets a guy.  The guy is maybe 25.  And by this point I’m sort of laughing at myself, so I tell the guy that I’ve been a gamer for something like 35 years and I just rage-smashed my first controller.

He laughs, and– I swear to God, and these games are old enough that it makes no sense that he said this– says “Dark Souls or Bloodborne?”

“Dark Souls II.  The No-Man’s Wharf.”

And he knows exactly what I’m talking about, and we commiserate for a minute or two, and he offers me a protection plan on the new controller, which I decline and I probably should have bought.

And then I see a second former student, also looking for video game paraphernalia, although this one doesn’t immediately recognize me.   And he’s got a bunch of friends with him so I don’t bother saying hi.

And then I leave.  Or at least try to.

And then I see a third former student, this one also an employee, and we talk for a moment.  And then I see the first former student again, and yes, it’s her, and she laughs and tells me she’d just sent a text message to someone else from her class who she knows I’m still in touch with to ask her to ask me if I’d just been to Target.

I, of course, had been thinking that I’d text that exact same person to see if the first girl worked at Target, so this plan makes perfect sense.

And then I went home, ate dinner, resolved to go directly to the boss of the stage without bothering to go get my souls along the way, because fuck them, died while doing that by falling off a Goddamned bridge, then finally made it to the boss and not only beat that bastard on the first try but I didn’t even get hit.

The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t break controllers, and if you do you shouldn’t leave your house afterwards.

The end.

In which I need you to share my excitement

$Okay.  I need y’all either to actually be comics fans or at least be willing to pretend to be on my behalf for this post.  You can do that, right?  Yes?  Good.

Miles Morales, in the seven years since he was first introduced, has become one of my favorite comic book characters.  He’s up there with Iron Man, the Hulk, and Superman at this point.  And when Brian Michael Bendis left Marvel and Miles didn’t immediately have a new series on the docket, I was genuinely worried.  There was talk that the character was going to be renamed or reimagined; there was an especially gross rumor going around, one that was so bad that I actually wasn’t able to just dismiss it out of hand, that the character would be joining SHIELD and would henceforth be known as “Spy-D,” which would have meant I needed to go out and set things on fire, and that no court would have convicted me, because setting things on fire is a reasonable reaction to Marvel deciding that Miles Morales isn’t Spider-Man anymore and he has to be “Spy-D” now.

Saladin Ahmed just announced on Twitter that he’s writing the new Miles Morales book.  Which is called “Miles Morales: Spider-Man.”

One of my favorite fucking writers is writing an ongoing series about one of my favorite fucking characters.

It was already a good day, guys.  I was gonna come home and write a post about how I spent all day today and most of yesterday interacting with nice kids and it was something I really needed and I was in general happy and in a good place.  And that’s before I got this awesome fucking news.

 

In which I give this more attention than it deserves

DmR4hllU8AIQdfa.jpg-large.jpegLet’s talk about this asshole for a second, and the shape her hand’s making.  Would I rather be talking about something else?  Yeah, probably.  Should this be a series of Twitter posts and not a blog post?  Well, maybe.  Am I still sick, and is this what I’ve come up with for tonight?  Yeah.  It’s my blog, so if I wanna waste time on nonsense I can.

The following things can all be true at the same time, and the majority of them are undeniable fact:

  • The woman making the gesture in the picture is of Mexican and Jewish heritage, which would make one think she, generally speaking, is rather unlikely to be a white supremacist;
  • but she still works for Brett Kavanaugh, so in this particular case “she can’t possibly think that because of her racial background” is, shall we say, somewhat less sound reasoning than it might otherwise be;
  • One can be Latinx and white at the same time!  The identities can overlap!  You can absolutely be Mexican, white, and a white supremacist at the same time.
  • You can also be Jewish and a white supremacist!  Ever heard of Jared Kushner, son in law to the person in the White House?  Hitler his fucking self was a quarter Jewish, for God’s sake.
  • I know how photographs work, and I know that sitting in one seat for hours with cameras trained in your general vicinity can lead to all sorts of ridiculousness.  It is entirely possible that she’s popping a zit in this picture.
  • 4chan originated the idea that this gesture meant “white power” as a troll move a couple of years ago;
  • but since then it has started to be used by actual, non-ironic white supremacists;
  • and part of the point is that it, as a fairly common gesture, will always be deniable.  That you will always be able to find pictures of, oh, Barack Obama making the same hand gesture and point at it and go “See!” and you can always make anyone making an issue of the white supremacist flashing white supremacist hand signs look foolish, by laying out the precise chain of reasoning I’ve set out above.  That’s.  The.  Fucking.  Point.  

So: Do I think that Brett Kavanaugh has white supremacists working for him, and do I believe that Kavanaugh himself may be one?  Absolutely.  100%.

Do I believe that this woman is, herself, a white supremacist?  Except insofar as it would not surprise me for any member of Kavanaugh’s staff to be one, I had never heard of this lady yesterday and will have forgotten about her tomorrow.  So maybe!  Maybe not!  I dunno.

Did this woman deliberately decide to take the time out of the however-long-she-had-to-sit-there to randomly and quietly flash a white supremacist hand sign at the cameras?  Ehh.  Try as hard as I might, I can’t figure out what the point might have been of doing something like that, and, importantly: it doesn’t really fucking matter, because they’re about to steal another fucking Supreme Court seat.  

The end.  I’m going to bed.

In which I vagueblog

tenor.gifThere is something very cool coming in a few weeks, but I can’t talk about it yet because if I do I’ll fuck it all up and it won’t happen.  The problem is that the Very Cool Thing is currently consuming all of my braincycles because I’m excited about it and for the lyfe of me I can’t come up with anything else to talk about.

Note that I had to look at “lyfe” up there for maybe two or three full seconds before I figured out what was wrong with it and by then I was entertained by my own dumb so I decided to leave it in.

So.  Yeah.  Uh.  Hm.

…I got nothing today.  What was the last good book you read?

In which the Internet replaces my bad ideas with good ones

It has been about ten years since my last tattoo.  I have six of them right now, two of which are invisible under normal lighting, so maybe I should just say I have four.  I have been thinking about the next tattoo for a decade and still don’t have it.  I want a new tattoo, dammit!  My arms are bare!

The problem is I’m really picky and I need an idea to be great for a while.  I’ve turned on a lot of ideas that I thought were good at first.  Most of my tattoos are literary in nature, so variations on these have come up.  One of them I’ve even talked about in a previous post:

Hunter Thompson is one of my favorite authors, but lots of people have that tattoo already– which, I admit, didn’t stop me with my Lord of the Rings tattoo.  But two tattoos that I know I’ve already seen on other people?  Is kind of a problem, which makes the Hitchhiker’s Guide image an issue as well despite the fact that that book has also been a favorite for nearly my entire life.  And the one with the pencil is a nice mix of a politics tattoo and a writer tattoo, which I like, but I’ve been thinking about something similar to that image for over a year and I haven’t pulled the trigger yet so I don’t think I ever will do it at this point.

Which brings me to this, an image I know good and goddamn well no one else has:

Azamoeg

That’s the symbol of Azamoeg, and it shows up a lot in the Benevolence Archives books– I actually use it as a section divider in the print versions of Sanctum and BA Vol. 1.  I designed the damn thing myself, so I know nobody else has used it.  And I can have an actual artist jazz it up a bit too, if I want to.

But I’m not in love with that idea either.

So.  Internet, do your thing.  Find my next tattoo!