I've never enjoyed writing a bio. It's equivalent to trying to sell yourself to a potential employer, but with a higher chance of not having anything to offer that will benefit the current community you're interested in joining. In an online community you throw your arms up in the air and yell "Here I am!", and then sit back hoping someone takes notice in the good you do, while on the same note, you hope you don't get ridiculed for a stupid action. I suppose at least there's the anonymity of being on the web, so with that I'll throw my arms up and attempt an introduction blog.
Lost Kitty by Adam Hughes
I am a collector of fantasy, video game, and comic book art. In fact, if you were to walk into my office you'd probably believe you stepped into a game shop of some sort. You know the little shops where you can go to get miniatures, dice, game cards, and comics. They closed ours down not long ago. Sad days. I love the work of the artists that have done pieces for Dungeons & Dragons, such as William O'Connor, Larry Elmore, and Todd Lockwood. Adam Hughes, Melanie Delon, Brian Froud, and Luis Royo are a few other artists that I enjoy. I could probably list 20 more names here, but I won't.
Hello? Testing. Is this thing working? It feels like a lifetime since I sat down and attempted to update anything on my blog. While others have been cranking out blogs at an alarming rate, mine has been left neglected, collecting dust, forgotten – even by myself. Shame since I managed so well to storm in here and make myself at home, then promptly hitting the forum until being dragged out like white trailer trash attempting to gain entrance to a high end club. I lie. Everyone was surprisingly tolerant. Perhaps the white trailer trash is true considering my current living conditions. Things get better with age, right? HA! You'll all learn the hard way. Guess I've never been the type of person who's afraid to just jump in and join things, although I suppose it can get me into trouble at times. Then again, I was forced to sit back and wait for things for damn near 15 years so I can't see the point in wasting anymore time. Life is an adventure – unless you refuse to participate. Yeah...so not going with the Forest Gump line here.
I've been kind of a recluse as far as social gaming the past couple months. After hours of nonstop multiplayer action I felt I needed a break. I've been spending time getting lost in games like Skyrim and Mass Effect 3. Skyrim's like crack – I don't understand anyone who's completed the game and moved on already. I could spend hours wandering around the world with no set destination to complete a quest. This is a good thing considering the amount I paid for the collector's edition. Speaking of collector's editions – I 'm getting damn tired of every game that's released having one, or more so the lack of what we get for our money. It seems of late all you get is maybe one or two small items, like a tiny art book, or a couple patches, and then the rest is DLC.
Know what the best collector's edition I've bought in the past year is? The Witcher 2 for PC. Keep in mind I can't even play the game on my worthless, inadequate piece of shit computer without it blacking out my monitor after 10 minutes. The items I received in the box more than make up for it. I kept finding more and more little trinkets as I dug my way through the box, and even without those the art book is awesome on it's own. I'm talking a REAL art book. Not an art book that resembles an overstuffed wallet stuffed in a fancy-schmancy metal tin. Speaking of THAT game....since it's the hot topic of the month and everyone else has chimed in with their own opinion, I'd like to share a few choice words I have about the whole incident...
Moving on. Remember the Mass Debate topic we had last year about video game addictions? My family had the opportunity to live through such an experience just recently. If you were to take a guess you'd probably come to the conclusion it involved my son or my daughter. Nope. My mom was the victim of addiction. Let me just say that if there ever were an evil spawned from hell and released on earth, it's definitely named Farmville. It all started innocently enough. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get my mother to understand the enjoyment of playing video games. We tried several times beforehand with games like Mario Kart for the Wii, and Pokemon. (to be fair, she actually enjoyed that one a tad bit) We even tried Tomb Raider on the old PS2. Of course, the fact she freaked out and fell into the pit with the grizzly bear, leaving us to flail on the floor in uncontrollable laughter as she screamed upon being face to face with the creature, probably didn't do anything to contribute to her wanting to attempt it again. But I digress - the fact is, she just didn't get it. Then along came Facebook with friends wanting her to join them on Farmville. So began a happy peaceful time within our family unit with everyone enjoying a game during the evening hours.
All went well for a month. Then began the invites from her wanting me to join Farmville. I politely said no. She attempted to sell me on the fact that she could make more money if she had one more person to add and join in quests or harvests....or whatever they do. She was successful in talking me into letting her get on my account in order to farm another farm. Despite being bombarded with requests on a daily basis that read something on the lines of “so and so sent you a tomato” or “you've just received a gold medal for sheep mastery”, I let her continue to use my account. I'm still not sure to this day what the hell sheep mastery is, but I'm probably better off not knowing. All I know is when I do begin to question it, my mind talk goes into “la la la” mode. At any rate, two months into this venture and I begin to have people question me on Xbox Live as to why I've been ignoring them on Facebook. See they think I'm online when it's actually my mom...who's just been closing out the conversation windows when they pop up. Three months in and it's my birthday. I log onto Facebook only to receive this message on my wall: “Tina wished you a Happy Birthday!” Yes, I had been wished a happy birthday by myself. Mom had been on my account, forgot she was on my account, and proceeded to post on my wall.
Five months into Farmville and my mother had forsaken every TV program she ever loved. I'm talking a helluva lot of TV here. She watched Dancing With the Stars. She watched American Idol. The Bachelor, Desperate Housewives, Say Yes to the Dress.....all forgotten because she had to harvest those crops before she went to bed or she'd lose all the money and time put into them. It didn't help matters that Zynga upped the ante by now offering not only the standard farm, but now you could have the English Countryside farm! Heart be still! I suppose all the middle aged, flannel wearing women in the world broke out the Domaine Romanée-Conti for that one.
Er....or maybe not...
After that it spiraled downhill rather quickly. She took money that should have went to bills and bought Farmville cash to buy worthless virtual items for the farm. She wouldn't go anywhere until her farming was done, even if it was an appointment she'd be late for. She became a mean spirited, somewhat hateful person in that time span, but perhaps the breaking point for our family came shortly after my aunt passed away from breast cancer. My aunt had also agreed to let my mom use her account to farm. Let me tell you – there's nothing more eerie than getting a message from someone who's recently passed away, wanting you to join them in an activity on Farmville. Thankfully my mom's become bored with Farmville, mainly because everyone else has moved on to things like Words With Friends and Angry Birds, the latter being another game I don't understand all the commotion over. Yes, I've tried it. Yes, it's sorta fun. Fun enough to sport a t-shirt and play it during lunch break, or in transition from one location to the next on a daily basis? No.
I am, however, quite pleased with my recent purchase of the new Playstation Vita. I painfully narrowed my choices down to two things in which to spend my income tax money on. My first choice was to upgrade my PC so that it could run games (...like Witcher 2) or second to get the Vita and then have some money left over to deposit in savings for a rainy day. Of course you'll never have extra cash for a rainy day because every damn time you get that extra cash something you own breaks down, and it's always something that costs a fortune to fix or replace. (Case in point, shortly after running out to pick up the Vita our water heater crapped out on us.) I was able to pick up a used copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Raymond Origins with it. I then purchased Mutant Blobs Attack from the Playstation store, and those three games alone have been worth every penny spent on the system. I'm still looking for a game to push me towards dusting off my PS3. There are a couple people here on Destructoid I've been wanting to join and get to know a little better, but I'm sorry – Battlefield 3 is not my game, and the other games I already own on the 360 so it would be foolish to buy a second copy for a different system.
Speaking of the Vita - I was able to give it my utmost undivided attention during my little dental adventure. How fun that was! You know when you get a toothache and you mislead yourself into believing it will all be fine and dandy in a couple of days? Yeah, no. So I made a call to my dentist, which I had only seen once before because my insurance seems to think changing my dentist on a yearly basis is the most cost effective method to take. I was greeted on the phone by a receptionist with the personality of school marm who hasn't seen any action in a decade. She informs me I can't get into the dentist until the middle of the following week because he's so damn busy right now, and he doesn't have time for these emergency walk-ins. Her exact words. I went ahead and made the appointment. I told myself I'd be fine. I believed I'd be fine because I had a little bottle with some leftover naproxen in it. This was a very bad idea. The problem with naproxen is not only does it help relieve pain, but it's also an anti-inflammatory medication. The second problem was that I only had enough to last till the end of the current week, leaving me with 4 days till the scheduled appointment.
Come Friday, when my little bottle of magical pills ran dry, the right side of my face exploded out like a balloon left on the helium machine too long, and that dull, throbbing pain that reminds you you're in for a world of hurt, set in full force. I had no other option but to head to the emergency room where they registered me and took me to the back waiting room, all the time looking me over in disdain like some worthless piece of trash that doesn't have the common sense to visit a dentist on a regular basis. Three hours later and a piece of paper for a prescription of penicillin, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicodin, and Cleocin thrown in for good measure, I was able to return home in a lot less pain. It took one more visit to the emergency room, a threat from the doctor to admit me into the hospital (which I talked him out of) and 3 days before my face was back to normal. Needless to say – Monday morning I found a new dentist. It took some bitching to the insurance company, but I believe I made my point crystal clear, and the lady I spoke to will remember me for some time, I'm sure.
By the way, all those drugs mixed together, in the amount I had to take them......whoa! Don't do drugs kids. Play video games! Then again, maybe I should have picked up a game like Children of Eden?