Friday, February 27, 2009


Dave Grohl's best performance on Nevermind is clearly "Drain You." What a cool drum beat. Maybe Cody or Kevin can teach me to play it when I come up this weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If I could ask Jesus for one thing

It would be another Left4Dead scenario as downloadable content on Xbox Live (as an exclusive, too, just because it would make PS3 owners mad. )

This game has no virtually no exposition save a short cinematic at the beginning, yet it is ridiculously replayable, in part, because the experience seems strangely authentic - though at first I thought the opposite. I must compare every shooter to Quake and Goldeneye, and this game is not like either of those. Obviously Valve's Source engine makes things smooth and buttery, but the real fun is in the cinematic way the game plays out; how music cues actually create tension, react to the gameplay, and warn the player; the interaction with your teammates; the randomized spawn points for items and zombies.

The special infected are a special treat, especially the Tank. I like to pound the shit out of the survivors. This is in another mode, naturally, where you get to play as the infected and terrorize a team of real human opponents. The graphics are hot, as is the norm for Valve, and the gameplay is crisp.

I suppose one could make small criticisms about the lack of scenarios (there are only four, but the random nature of the game allows for any number of replays, depending on how much fun you have killing zombies with shotguns; here's a hint - it's really fun), or the sometimes tedious task of avoiding friendly fire, but overall these complaints barely detract from the overall gameplay experience, which is actually the reason we play games. Or that's the reason why I think we play games.

Playlist:Left4Dead; Oblivion (how did that happen again!??); Gears of War 2; Rock Band 2

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quality - Valve Fucking Quality

First off, I feel like I owe myself and the entire blogging community, a giant, incoherently sloppy kiss for my long, largely-unnoticed absence from the 'sphere. You know, you need to wait for insperado to hit (and you never, as you know, know when it's going to hit) and then you need to harness it's slippery power on way to a star-making turn as the blogger of the Godforsaken English teachers. I'm coming out like Jaz-Z, hova, if you will, or a pre-heartbreak Kayne West. I'm walking with Jesus. I'm bigger than my body. And so on.

My wife is an interesting subject right now, as most of you know, she's pregnant as hell, and she's all hurt up. In only about two more months, it's going to be over, but the things that I'm finding out that she's going to have to go does this sort of thing happen on a regular basis? I'm probably going to pass out, if not from shock, exhaustion. The thing is, if anyone ever says "you'll understand when you have children" (which is one of the most specious of the logical fallacies), I'm no longer obliged to take that shit. I've had so many people say that to me over the years. If I say that to you at any point in the future, you have ever right to punch me in the penis.

Now multi player games are almost exclusively bread on competition over cooperation, Valve's excellent Left 4 Dead proves that you can reverse this trend. The atmosphere, the movie-like presentation, the tight controls and the cooperative game-play elements add up to the ultimate co-op game play in the history of the genre. If any of you have had the chance to play this first-person survival horror game, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I speak for everyone with good taste in games that Valve is a gift from the gods. Perhaps Bacchus. It stands to reason.

My dog is recovering well from his castration. I still feel guilty, but Sawyer is a trooper and he acts like he doesn't even notice it. Good job, dog. As strange experiences go, freaking out with ob sense amounts of nervous energy while he was at the vet's office ranks up there pretty high. It helps, thought, that Sarah was the same way. She was so nervous she actually played video games with me. It was heavenly.

This week was wonderful to have off - obviously - but it went by at an accelerated speed as usual. Here it is, Saturday night, and I am busy blogging like the goat less money man. I should be out, partying down and getting up, you know what I mean? Is there any reason I shouldn't be playing video games right now?

I bought a bunch of somewhat shit pop songs (Rihanna, Katy Perry, U2, Kayne West feat. Estelle, etc...shit), but I should make it clear that this is something that I'm trying to do because everyone does the same thing: get old, lose interest in pop music, and criminally miss out on great songs because they are "popular." I'm trying not to go that route. The road not taken, or something else pretentious-sounding. I did buy Kings of Leon and Animal Collective as well, which allows me to retain a small amount of my indie cred, like I fucking give a fucking fuck.

Games I'm Playing: Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, Rock Band 2, Fallout 3
Music: Kings of Leon, Galaxy 500, The Beatles, Faith No More

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Gay, but necessary (like "Hey Jude")

25 Things About Me

1. When I went to college, I thought that drinking a single beer was scandelous. I had a lot of Mormon friends.
2. It's very difficult for me to relate to the same music that my freshmen students listen to. I used to like hip-hop, but now I'm one of those who gets on his high horse and swats at rap music like a polo-playing aristocrat beating the crap out of his servants with a corquette mallet.
3. I wish I went to UCSC right now. Like, right now. Like, drop my current life and go to college for about a month. Then I'll return to the real world. I swear.
4. I don't care who does or does not care about black people. But I'm glad our President can hit a 20 foot jumper and complete a coherent sentence.
5. I wish, sometimes, that I was a butterfly. I think people would understand me better if I were a simple creature, pure and free with colorful wings. Then when people saw me, they'd wonder about the infinite mystery of nature, and might even see the face of God. No, actually, no that was really really gay.
6. I'm so glad I'm not going to have to squeeze a lemon out of my penis.
7. Why is everyone else so certain that I will suddenly love kids once I look into the eyes of my newborn daughter. This is a very interesting test in annecdotal evidence and inductive logic. Also, the fear makes me want to poop my pants.
8. My job is interesting and fulfilling most of the time, but it doesn't really matter. Work is work and I'll never enjoy it. I worked my butt off last week to get 100+ papers graded, but that just means it's time to assign another one! One must imagine sisyphus happy. (AP KIDS I HOPE YOU GET THAT!!!)
9. I assume that I would enjoy playing and writing about video games all day. But, I do get the feeling that I would maybe come to despise gaming just because it would be what I'd HAVE to do.
10. I sleep on the couch. No, there's no trouble at home, just a woman that has become so large with child that it's more difficult for her to get comfortable than Ted Nuggent at a vegan restaurant.
11. I steal jokes from myself. If a particularly (in my opinion) obscure/intellectual joke kills in one class, I go on to judge the collective humouristic value for each of the following classes by their reactions to this aforementioned joke. (Unless something unforseen happens, like I flub the delivery or ruin the timing of the joke because I know it's coming)
12. I've been accused of not trying. These accusations are mostly true.
13. I live with my best friend the first year I was in college. We were never best friends again and it almost made it impossible for us to be friends for a long time, even after we moved out and settle our dispute about whether or not he could judge the merits of a film without having seen in (To be fair, the movie in questions was "Phenomenon" and I was only defending it because that's what I do and my girlfriend at the time liked it.)
14. I wonder how my daughter-to-be Paige will feel about my current doggie, Sawyer. She'll grow up (hopefully) in a world that always had a dog named Sawyer. When he dies, what happens? I think it'll be harder on me though. I love that little guy.
15. I hate you.
16. Radiohead is a lot like the Pink Floyd of their generation, while Coldplay is slightly more analogous to the Beatles. This analogy breaks down, however, when you realize that Coldplay is the only band out of those four that sucks.
17. I wish I was more into candy. I would only be fatter though, so I guess it's a good thing. I like soda. I like Mtn. Dew better.
18. My parents came to watch the Superbowl last weeking. My mom was "voting" for the Cardinals, but her disappointment disappeared when she saw a shiny commercial for a new shiny thing.
19. My dad is an amazing person. I want to be 1/10th of the man he is. But I'm too lazy, so I'm shooting for 1/24th.
20. I love my friends. They are wonderful and when I don't know what the hell I'm doing in Hollister, I can always call them and remember why I tolerate other human beings.
21. I saw Tron in the theaters when it was first released. Suck on that.
22. The first tape I bought was C&C Music Factory. But I also bought an R.E.M. tape at the same time, so I wasn't completely lost. (Also try to remember a time when R.E.M. was a good band.)
23. The Karate Kid is the most underrated film of all time. Every time it comes on TV, I can't help but watch it from beginning to end. Also, I'd like to hug Elizabeth Shue after kicking Johnny in the face.
24. I hope I lay an egg someday, and that a Raptor emerges.
25. Cialis!
"All morons hate it when you call them a moron."J. D. Salinger