Monthly Archives: January 2011

My head feels like it’s been hit with an anvil

This is yesterday’s. Got in late, ill, so didn’t do it then.

I am strangely careful to the point of being a bit of a weirdo (THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN) when it comes to illness. As we all know, coughs and sneezes spread diseases – but they don’t. It’s touching infected surfaces then putting your hands on your eyes, nose or mouth that actually spreads diseases.

If only there was a rhyme for that.

As such, I try my damndest during cold seasons to avoid putting my hand in my mouth and sucking on it for four hours after I’ve just been rubbing a door handle as used by 230 gravely ill people. Also I use soap to wash my hands. It works pretty well, to the point that I am not ill very often. The opening, emboldened, line being as it is though, you know where I’m going with this.

It may have been something else. It may have been building. It may have been an allergic reaction to New York, or being cooped up in a room with 150 fat, sweaty American games journalists for three days. It may have been any number of things. But I can’t help but think it was that damn karaoke – sharing the microphone with other people, inhaling their diseeeeease and becoming this walking piece of shit I am right now.

As such, I am going to become like Mr Burns, inventing the Spruce Goose and blah de blah. You get the point. I’m finding it hard to concentrate right now.

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Epic

Yeah, so I spent the majority of yesterday lying in bed feeling like I was going to die. Combination of rather debilitating illness, tiredness and some Bad Stuff going on. As that’s the case, I’m in a rush to get an early plane now and I still feel ill, consider this today’s One A Day.

Get over it.

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I am walking here, sir.

I now understand why the phrase “I’m walkin’ here!” seems to have been invented in the city of New York. In a brief, brief foray into Times Square where we simply walked in a straight line for a while, looked up a bit, turned around and walked back we were accosted on no less than A Shitload of occasions.

Now a polite “sorry” didn’t seem to deter, so I moved on to the more direct, yet still polite “no ta” which yielded greater results. Unfortunately it didn’t work all the time, and one girl – persistent little tyke that she was – wouldn’t take “sorry” or “no ta” for an answer, pestering us into saying why we claimed to not like drinking or stand-up comedy.

Her assertions that we were British, and hence must like drinking and comedy were laughed off. While we knew we were lying, we soon got into the part where she just got offensive, asking if we liked Peter Kay or Michael Macintyre.

This was the point when “I’m walkin’ here!” would have been apt. That, or a massive “FUCK OFF” in her face. Instead we just laughed at her, then I think a large bouncer called me a “fat-eared motherfucker”, though I could be mistaken there.

This is short and crap as I was supposed to be downstairs five minutes ago. SOZ.

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I am lacking in cognitive… thingy… stuff

I have now been sat here for 20 minutes and I cannot think of a single thing to write about. I’m in New York, I’ve been playing video games for the last two days (with another day to go), been talking to some* interesting people about games and saw Ricky Steamboat in the flesh – oh, and I am/we are interviewing Tim Schafer in an hour or two. That’s a bit more than what normally goes on with me.

But I can’t think of anything to write about. Anything fun to say, anything pseudo-witty to comment on or even any poor attempts at being funny. My mind is drawing nothing but a blank. I may have to go for a walk around the “block”, as they call them here, but then it is dark, I don’t know where I am and it’s bloody freezing outside.

It’s probably just a natural defence mechanism of my brain – once it knows there’s too much going on (as in, “more than my normal routine of sitting all day”) it just shuts down to conserve energy. As such it doesn’t give me enough Brain Juice to formulate even a half-baked idea for the blog. So New York may look ace, from what I’ve seen out of cab and coach windows, but I have no ability to appreciate any of it or take it in right now. Nor do I have the ability to function at any level beyond grunting, parping and cackling at Pictionary.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Or maybe I’m just really bloody tired. I know I’m not completely devoid of ideas, as the Ultimate Review of New York will be up in a few days. It looks to me like it might be a high-scoring city, if early reports are anything to go by.

*One person. Making me love Volition even more than I already do.

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Pictionary: why did nobody tell me this before?

I spent hours today in the company of one of the finest games known to man. Now some of you may claim that this game only came to me in the first place because of circumstance, and I would have to agree with that. Interviews finishing and other things happening or not happening meant there was time to kill today. It was killed with the thing closest to hand. The thing closest to hand was: Pictionary on the Wii.

“But Ian,” you say, as you are a confused whelp, “surely you are a super-hardcore gamer who is ultra-cool, mega-great and generally hardcore games the shit out of things to the point that you use game as a verb even though it sounds stupid. Right?” And I would answer that yes, that is exactly me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have fun.

When a clue is baste, as in the act of basting, and the Pictioneer (I invented this word) draws a lady performing homestyle artificial insemination. When the thing is navy beans and the guessers get it without me cheating. When other things happen and you all laugh together, and continue to laugh together for hours on end. That’s when you know you’ve got a good game.

Bollocks to the pencil and paper shit though, this is all about the future of gaming on the Wii tablet. Or something.

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Virgin Atlantic: still shi… oh wait

This is now the second time I’ve flown with Virgin Atlantic and it’s the second time I’m going to whine about them being shit. Aside from the light fitting falling out on someone in our group, leaving the burning hot bulb exposed for all to see, there’s the TV/movie service, which was apparently fitted in 1834.

How can you have looping movies? How can you make it so people can’t actually choose to watch what they want to watch? How can the tiny, shitty little TVs be such poor quality, constantly breaking, crackling, going well weird like whenever the cabin crew talk on the speaker system? HOW? I know it can be done right, as I’ve flown with Air Canada. Who were brilliant.

Still, at least the shittitude of Virgin means people are less likely to fly with them, meaning I got an empty seat next to me in which I could stretch out a tiny bit.

But another thing, I hate how th… oh, wait. They gave us Love Hearts just before we landed. All is forgiven, Virgin Atlantic!

Now we begin the good old-fashioned descent into jetlagginess as I try and be awake an extra five hours over what I’d be awake at home. WOE IS ME. Still, first time in New York. Could be worse.

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Semicolons; and their misuse

I have the fundamentals of writing down from a technical standpoint, though I’m still down on the whole ‘ability’ part, but I’m not perfect. At the technical part, I mean. Or the clear, concise opening sentence part. There are some elements of the written language I just don’t use, mainly because I don’t understand how to use them, and therefore don’t want to use them.

Take my little friend the semicolon. Aside from having a name that conjures up imagery of a person’s backside after a particularly invasive operation*, I am a bit crap with it. I do not really understand its purpose and as a result I fear and dislike it. As the dead bastard who was well good** Kurt Vonnegut said:

“Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.”

Though, more pertinently, he also said this:

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

I do understand they have uses and meaning though, and as such I have been making a concerted effort over the last two years or so to use them more often. I have definitely used them, but I really don’t know if I’ve been using them correctly, such is my way of not bothering to search for something on the internet when I really could do very easily and sort all of this out right now.

But it’s at the point now where I feel I have to use them, even if there’s no need. They have been added to the ‘other two’ in the shape of commas and hyphens in the short list of Things I Use Too Much. Though also on that list is capital letters, full stops, inverted commas, speech marks, misplaced exclamation marks, blah de blah, etc etc; you get the point.

I have managed to eke out over 400 words here. Jeez.

*What I mean there is that they have a semi-colon, or half an anus. It is a joke in that it takes the word ‘semicolon’ and applies it literally to the physical well-being of an unnamed person. Let’s say it’s your mum, because it probably is – I’m going to call her Semicolon from now on, because she has had an operation to remove half of her brown asterisk. Do you see? Semi: half. Colon: colon. Now we all understand the incredible gift of humour I possess.

**”Late, great”

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