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I love to play video games.
When I say that, or type it, I mean digital games on any platform. PC, console, phone. Well, maybe less phone and more PC and console. Not that phone games aren’t video games, but that I haven’t played a lot of games on my phone and what I have played are more puzzle and card games (Threes, Dominoes, Angry Birds, etc.).
I remember my mom getting 3 computers in 1 week. She got one and returned it, then got an Atari and sold it to my aunt, then bought a Commodore 64 (C64) and we kept that. I got a few games, and borrowed books from the library with games I could program in basic. The books were for Apple, and the C64 had some differences in basic (you could only use so many characters per line and some commands had different shortcuts). I learned the basics from programming by having to shorten a 92 character line to fit in a 72 character line (using $ instead of print, for example).
I played many games on my C64. I never considered them video games, they were computer games. Looking back, games like Alien, Boulder Dash, Wizard and Raid Over Moscow I would consider video games; but I was also into games like Pool of Radiance, Ultima, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Maniac Mansion, of which I consider PC games more than video games. When my summer friend Jim Erickson (his dad lived up the street with his grandma and we only got to hang out in the summer and sometimes over breaks; he has the same birthday as me only he is 2 years older) got an NES and I first played Super Mario Bros. (SMB) I wondered what this crazy square controller thing was and how could I ever play a game without a joystick.
I remember seeing an ad in the Sunday paper for a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and asking my mom if we could sell the C64 and get an NES instead. We ended up putting one on lay-a-way at the K-Mart down the road and after a few payments my mom surprised me one day by paying the remainder owed off and bringing it home. I learned how to use the controller well as I played SMB a lot. A. Lot. I would play with my mom and others and they would wonder why I was pretending like there were gaps between blocks when there weren’t; then they would realize when I got to level 8 with them dying at level 1 that I had been practicing for the end.
I rented games from down the street. Video rental stores were new, they were becoming popular but were far from their peak, and they started renting video games. I used to rent a game and finish it by the time I had to return it, I did nothing but play the game. Some games were worth buying, like The Legend of Zelda (LoZ). I bought that game, or maybe it was a gift, I forget. I didn’t know what I was really supposed to do, I studied the instructions and played the game, and eventually started mapping and working on how to finish the game. That Death Mountain final level was a bitch if you didn’t map it out.
LoZ is a video game, isn’t it? It is more like a game I would play on PC than it is one I would play on a console. Is Final Fantasy 7 (FFVII) a video game? It was on a console but it’s an RPG. Is Fallout 3 a video game even if it’s on PC and consoles? Angry Birds is on phones, consoles, PC, and every other digital surface; is it a video game?
I had an idea of what I wanted to write here today; I was writing a response to a friend on Facebook and it got long so I started making a post of my own on Facebook but IT got long so I started writing a blog post. My inner workings created this first:
It used to be I would read the instructions and play the tutorials and learn a game real well; i would play it until it was done. These days I skip all that and just try to play, get bored because I can't do anything, and move on to the next game.
I think my bad habits make me drift towards console games because 9 times out of 10 you can't skip tutorials so the game makes me know how to play. I'm not gonna be one of those old guys who is stuck in the past and can’t play games with new rules and controls, I am going to be one of those guys who will learn the new and use experience of the old to improve their technique.
I got on writing about my video game playing history, and still did not get myself to where I wanted to go. So I will stop here and try again on my next post. I shall continue writing about my past but try and get to where I was headed and see what happens.
It’s like playing some sort of video game, and I love to play video games.
As New Years approaches I can't help but think about things I have done in the past and what my future might hold.
I have done some bad things in my day, man I would wish to change them but who would I be without them. I do want to make amends for some, and others I feel less bad about.
When I was in Junior High I was given $50 to spend at the fair. I said I lost it (in the piano) and was given another $50. In reality I didn't lose it and after the fair I took the bus to Maplewood Mall and bought computer games.
I once got caught shop lifting from Sears. I had rode my bike there after school the previous few days and had stolen a computer game each day, but this day I got caught. I had to do community service at the rec center down the rode, and I spent most of the time reading a book in the office. I read the first two Ravenloft books (geek check!) there.
Speaking of books, I used to shop lift books. One day I missed the bus for school on purpose and took the city bus downtown to catch a second city bus to school. While there (downtown) I went to the library and borrowed some books. I them went to a B. Dalton bookstore and stole 2 books. Then I went to Walden Books and stole 2 more. Then I went to Shinders and stole 2 more. I had books in my bag, books under my arms and books in my pants I think! I had a dozen novels when I got to school, all AD&D novels, and all were read within 2 weeks.
I used to read a novel a day while I attended high school.
I once pulled into a parking spot at Como Zoo and was yelled at by a dad in a car who said I stole his paring spot. He was there with his family it looked like, and I was 20 and with my two best friends at the time and their two girlfriends (of which I had not one). I laughed at the guy as we walked into the zoo.
I once had a threesome with two girls. They smoked "ecstacy" cigarettes and made out, letting me join in after a while. It was a fun night, and I drove an hour each way for the experience.
I once drove two hours to hook up with a divorced woman who, when I arrived, had let her ex back in and was making out with him. I turned around and drove home, another two hours on the road.
The first woman I was with would now be 52 years old. That's depressing in many ways, and I don't feel comfortable listing them all here at the moment.
I once had a threesome with a girl and a guy. He was with her while she was with me, hence the twixes never twained. You know what I mean.
Once I smoked so much weed that, when I left my friends house, I had to stop maybe 2 miles away and rest. I sat in a Cub parking lot for at least 45 minutes listening to the radio in 100° summer heat, sipping on a bottle of water, waiting to be sober enough to get on the freeway and drive home. Home was grandma and grandpa's house, so being sober might have been a good idea even if I wasn't driving.
I once tried to hook up with a woman by telling her my grandpa had just died. It didn't work.
When I found out that Kinsey's mom was pregnant, I wanted her to have an abortion. I didn't like her at all and wanted no connection to her. It wasn't long before I realized how wrong I was and how important Kinsey was to me, and I regret ever thinking about such a thing. It makes me realize that you can't ever know what will happen in life, but nothing so extreme ever needs to happen. I wanted so badly to get away from a situation that I wanted to kill someone I didn't even know, and because it didn't happen I got to know that person and now can't imagine my life without her. (I have told Kinsey this)
Recently I was pulling out of a parking spot at a local Goodwill, the parking area was very small and it was narrow getting out. A woman parked where she was nearly blocking me getting out, in a spot that was not a spot. I rolled down my window and told her that it wasn't a parking space and she was making it more difficult for others if she parked there. She didn't seem to care and asked if I worked there or something. I said no and told her she was being inconsiderate. I got a bit shaky for some reason, nervous even, and ended up blurting out that she was an inconsiderater bitch. She didn't like that and we yelled at each other for a good 30 seconds before I drove off. I felt bad afterwards, and I don't know what got into me. I certainly wasn't in the Halloween spirit that day.
I'm starting to feel like Earl with his list. I think I have said enough here, for now. There are things I am proud of too, maybe I should be thinking of them for New Years. Things I am glad happened, things I made happen. I'm sure I have some of those.
Tonight I saw Kinsey in the hallway, standing in her PJs, rebutting something I said. It didn't matter what, I felt sad that she would someday not be here.
(I LOVE this picture of kinsey. She is tired and the pic really shows it.)
She came and gave me a hug and as I patted her back I told her I would miss her when she was gone. She didn't know what I meant, so I told her: someday she will be with some guy, maybe in her PJs, and she will be talking to him like she is talking to me now.
She tried to comfort me, saying that was at least 4 years away (so specific!). I hope she isn't planning on leaving as soon as she is 18! I don't think she is, but maybe she is at least planning something. I hope she has plans for the future.
Yesterday her friend Nadia was here, and they started singing "Bohemian Rapsody" in her bedroom. I was cooking and loudly joined in for the instrumental parts. We got into it and finished the whole song after they quickly got the lyrics on their iPads, along with the music. Kinsey wiped away her tear at the end, as all should do, and we laughed as it ended (not appropriate for the song, I know, so shut up!).
Kinsey is very much like me, only without all the 80's and 90's influences; she has only me to influence her with 80's and 90's media. It's a tough roll to fill.
So, how do parents do it? I can't make her think exactly like me because she has not had the influences. I can show her the movies and the TV shows and have her read the books and magazines (PDFs) but it still doesn't mean she will turn out like me.
This is a picture of one of my best friends kids. He is a cutie-patootie. But will he turn out like his parents? I don't know his mother too much, she is awesome and that is all I know. His dad though, well he is all for Ann Rand and Capitalism and is a major asshole. Will this mean cute baby will be an asshole or awesome? Or an awesome asshole?
Family Ties shows us that hippies can have kids and at least one of three will be Alex P. Keaton. He will be all about money and "things" Growing Pains shows us that one of three kids will be a Christian and the fourth, albiet adopted child, will be a big fucking movie star. This makes me think his kid, this awesome pretty boy, will be against capitalism and for helping those on welfare.
But it worries me about my worn kid. Will she be a liyttle like me but have completely different values? She doesn't even know much about Star Wars, and when we watched the Indy 4 episode of South Park she didn't quite get it.
There was no Indiana Jones 4 movie. I wish they would make some great Indy 4 movie. Now that Disney ownes Lucusarts, maybe we will see some sort of sequel, some really fun Indiana Jones 4 movie.
I sit here and type, listening to "Wierd Al" Yankovic, wondering what the future holds. I can only control my own actions, not those of my children. I hope she will figure things out like I have, but she has her own life to live and her own sins to bare. I just hope she realizes her sins are hers and not the results of others.
It's unintelle]igentable, I jhust can't get it through my skull...
Sorry, that was Al singing through me.
I didn't have a point to this post but now I have two things I am thinking of.
First, teach your children well but don't expect them to follow in your footsteps.
The second is to have fun with your family, party on, and don't be such an asshole.
I love you Kinsey!
And then there is my childhood picture. I have a few but here is one. Fuck if I couldn't have any girl I wanted.
One night I came home and wondered what would happen if I died.
I imagined Kinsey finding me when I didn't respond to her shouting "I love you lots" as she left for school. I got sad and changed my thoughts to what if she wasn't home.
So, it's Friday night and she left for her mom's house until the following weekend. Maybe I have a few drinks, eat some food, and for some reason expire on the couch watching an old episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.
Saturday I don't show up for work. Clark would email our supervisor who would try and call me I am sure.No response would not raise any big flags, but they would find someone to come in for me.
Sunday would be the same. Athena would call a sup, say I wan't there and now a flag might go up. 2 days gone with no all, that's not normal. Still, nothing major would happen. Even if I got some texts or calls, people would not assume death.
Monday: No show to work, they may look up emergency contact, maybe. I should ask them their policy. My mom could wonder where I am but maybe not. Kinsey would maybe have tried to call ro text, but at her moms she might not think of me (that means she is having a great time so w00t!) and may not realize I am dead.
Tuesday is a day off usually. My mom might get suspicious of why she hasn't heard from me, but with Kinsey not at home she ay not have texted me or called me in a few days. Work is a place I am not expected to be at.
Wednesday is another day off. I would hope by now my mom is worried and might think of checking on me.
Thursday my work would think I am gone, but I would hope they know me enough to not think I quit with no notice. I should let my suprvisor know I would not do that and to expect the worst if I don't show up. If my mom has been texting me she would worry about now.
Friday my mom would, I hope, be at my apartment looking for me. I think she might not though, and it might be Kinsey coming home to find me rotting on the couch.
A whole week?!? I hope it doesn't come to that.
Ack, I gotta go have a drink. Or better yet, not have a drink.
I like to change my cover photo on facebook, and profile photo sometimes, but I have so many different photos I feel I am neglecting some by not having them as my pic that I end up feeling bad when I change it.
Example: I have my grandpa and me in a photo, with my sister, and I like to see him again. But I change it because of my daughters birthday party, no problem, I love her too and want to show her off. Eventually I think how I am being disrespectful showing my daughter who is still with us and not showing my grandpa who I miss and wish could still be with us.
I know I can change my pic as often as I want, I could do my daughter a few days then back to my grandpa. I like how people like Michele change their pic almost daily, showing off family now and then. I just have a hard time changing maybe, or maybe there is more to it. I am a psych major and am sure there is more to it than the simple "I miss him".
As far as my grandpa is concerned, I don't know if I ever really got over his death. I am sure I have written about this before, but here I go again.
I remember the last time I talked to him. He was in the hospital, and he was okay. I peaked my head into the room and then left quickly. Days later I was sitting at a table with my grandma and others, discussing what we could do for him. My grandma decided to have him come home and basically die there.
He was home for a few days, and I ignored him. I thought about how I would remember things, and thinking back I rememebr him in a hospital bed being given ice chips by his daughter, my aint, Michele. He died.
I never said godbye, I never said I loved him, I never said thanks. He had to have known how I felt, he was the "dad" influence for me when I was growing up.
Where was I going with this post? I wasn't going to rant about my grandpa (who was a saint, so fuck you). I started by writing about how I don't like to change my facebook pictures.
So yeah, I change my facebook pic blah blah...
Last night my daughter Kinsey and I hung out. We didn't watch a movie, we didn't watch a TV show, we just talked. It was fun and something we don't do often enough.
I think she was bored with her Sims 3 game. I recently got her a bunch of expansions and I know the fun and excitement only lasts so long. I was cleaning the kitchen and she came in and started telling me about her time up north.
She recently came back from Northern Minnesota and has been telling me tons of stories. It's been years since I've been to those parts, but I spent many moons there, and I love to hear about her experiences.
Before too long I was telling her stories about when she was little. She asked me about when I first met her; I had been afraid of being a dad and didn't take responsibility for her right away, but eventually realized it was something I needed to do, for her more than for me (you'd understand if you knew her mother).
When she was born I wanted nothing to do with her mom, and I was in total denial. I believe my mom and my grandma had seen Kinsey at the hospital, though they didn't tell me at the time. I eventually got a job in Northern Minnesota as a cook at a camp, I think I mostly wanted to escape what was going on but it was also a good opportunity and I learned a lot working there.
I came into the cities every so often, after I had a vehicle to use. It took me some 4 or 5 hours I think just to go one way, so I liked to stay for a few days. On one occasion I met Kinsey.
I remember the second occasion more because her mother had showed up with a friend of hers, and said friend had a little kid the same age as Kinsey, and it made me very anxious; I didn't know if I would know my kid from the other.
It all worked out, and this was another story I told Kinsey tonight. I went on about how her mother dated sex offenders, how her mema (her mom's mom) always came up with excuses for me to not be able to see her, and how her mom would try to sneak out of the apartment without saying goodbye only to upset her (if she just said goodbye and told her she would be back later, all would have been fine!).
Then she started asking more questions, which I answered as honestly as I thought I should while she is 13 years old.
When her mema died, her mom moved with her to a town some 3 hours away. I told her how I drove down there one day and applied for jobs and apartments, then came home and drove back the next day to interview for said jobs and apartments. I also told her how I heard her mother on that second day, through an open window as I left the house, say that I was ruining everything trying to move down there.
A few days later her mother told me to come and get her and that she could live with me. I think she had some issues with where she was living, it was the 3rd place that summer that had lived at, and she at least knew that Kinsey needed a stable home.
Kinsey went to (one of) the same elementary schools I went to, and that was the year I took a picture of her every day. I got a job near where I live now, and by the end of the school year we were living out this way too.
Since then she has been in the same school district and had some of the same friends since we got here. She reminded me of some bad times, like when she and her friends got punched in the stomach at lunchtime while she was attending my old elementary school, but she was okay with it now and happy we didn't still live in that district. If we were still there she would have gone to my junior high and probably be starting at my high school in the fall. Thank Glob we live over here.
Then we made fun of anti-vaxers. LOL!
It's nice to know that she and I agree on some things, like how vaccinations don't cause autism and people who they do are ignorant and hurting our society.
We traded stories about things we had read; I told her about recent posts on facebook and she told me about how stupid people were.
I never try to talk bad about her mother in front of her, but as time goes on things slip out. Tonight she talked bad about her mother! Well, nothing too bad, she loves her mom but knows she can be a bit crazy. She told me about the time her mom thought her apartment was haunted, and how her mom was a pagan and that she probably didn't know what that meant. And how, when she told her mom about some things she learned about on Penn & Tellers Bullshit , her mom told her not to believe that stuff because they are just comedians.
I was very proud of Kinsey when she said she told her mom that they have researchers and they know what they are talking about, and how she just shrugged off her mothers warning. I made sure to tell her I don't usually believe what just anyone says, but some people like The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, I Fucking Love Science, or Penn & Teller's Bullshit are sources I trust. For most others I make sure to look them up before blindly believing them, and sometimes I verify info even from a trusted source.
We talked about a few other things, like animal rights and how she needs to watch "Blackfish". Eventually she fell asleep and I turned on "Naked and Afraid".
She has already seen all the episodes, so I needed to catch up.
I love spending 4-5 hours chatting with my daughter. I like that she has similar opinions to me, but most of all I like how she basis those opinions not on me telling her them but on scientific evidence. She has learned about vaccinations in school, and how not getting them can affect our community. She has read about how sea mammals like whales and dolphins have similar brains as humans but the aren't quite the same (though she loved the video of dolphins helping humans catch fish, with the dolphins getting the stragglers, and the fact that the dolphins taught their kids how to do the same job!).
I love being her friend, and that's what makes it hard to be a dad. There is a fine line; do the dishes, wash your laundry, take out the trash. She needs to learn responsibility but I also love the person she is becoming and want to be friends with her.
I suppose it may take a few years, but she will be off to college (SCHOLARSHIPS PLEASE!) and out of the house and we can start to be real friends then. Right now I need to raise her right, and it looks like I am on the right track. Once she is grown and making her own decisions about her life, I can be her friend.
For now I still worry about who she hangs out with and how late they stay out. I wonder if that will ever go away. Probably not.
Maybe we can never be friends. Dang, it's hard being a dad.