*** Ritual Entertainment's Finger Server
User name: levelord
Plan modified: Fri Dec 22 10:55:56 2000
Hot fucking damn! I just got an ICQ from Lowtax that said JeffK MAY finally want to interview the Levelord, the Good and Humble! Thanks so much, Your Lowtaxness, I know you had to pull a lot of strings to get this to happen!
I love making finger updates like yesterday's because I get such cool emails with stories that are so much better than mine. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write me! I really should post emails, yes?
Before we go (today is our last day before the holidays, so if noone answers from here for the next few days, you'll know why), ...all of us at Ritual want to wish everyone in the world a great end-of-year season. Whatever you're celebrating, ...Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Levelord's Eve, ...whatever, ...PLEASE have a safe and happy one!
As one of my best friends, Lori Mezoff from TSI in New Fricken York, just said...
"I think 2001 is going to be a good one for all of us."
...make sure that happens, good people!
I'm not very impressed! I only have one correct answer for the Easter Egg (for Something Awful Readers, that's Christmas Egg) and he is Brian Peacock. The egg has nothing to do with mushrooms, I don't know where THAT came from! No, it has nothing to do with the Elder Gnome pumping the little Gnome behind the Sawmill, and finally, it isn't the cat poo under the bridge! Keep looking, it's right in your face! ...or better, ecaf ruoy ni thgir!
No Dick Story, but after watching a science show the other night, I'm prompted to ask this, ...does anyone else have memories from before the time they could talk? I mean, anyone remember stuff from when you didn't have words to file the events? Very cool, and very strange, me thinks.
I have one memory from when I was about 6-months old. For the longest time, I thought it was a memory of a dream because it was very surreal. Like I said, it's not cataloged with words or attached to other frames of reference, so it's not like any other memory I have. Everything is in basic emotions, primal wants, and pure desires. I didn't find out it was an actual memory until I told my Mom and she said "No, no! ...that was the room and crib you were in back in our first apartment in New Haven!"
I remember being on my back and wanting so badly to get over on my stomach. You know how when you've been in one position for a long time and your muscles hurt? I remember not being able to roll over on my own and the feeling of complete frustration. I also remember this big blue ball with gold and silver speckles. This was one of the clues for my Mom because I indeed had this little tiny ball I liked to hold on to. I remember quite distinctly the surroundings, too, which were also confirmed by Mom. I remember the crib bars and the room with its one window and white walls. It's still strange for to conjure up that day, and I wonder what it's like being a dog or beetle.
Not that anyone cares, ...I know I don't, ...I mean, ...self-serving, egocentric, auto-absorbed game designers really piss me off most of the time, ...but has anyone found the one Levelord Easter Egg in Alice yet? Remember I did the first two levels, and I have a tremendously unstable ego. It's a fairly obvious one (not in a NO CLIP area). The first one to email me the answer gets absolutely nothing as a prize, ...a signed nothing, that is.
...okay! Where are all the pictures everyone took of the strippers at the CPL! There were like thousands of flashes going off, ...there must be as many pictures! Someone, post them, send them to the Levelord!
Well, for a devote atheist, I sure do love GOD a lot! For those that haven't heard yet, Tom and I held an impromptu workshop at the gala CPL event yesterday. We were kind of in a spot having not prepared at all.
No worries, though, as GOD is all-knowing and all-seeing. We were about 15 minutes into our talk, just shooting the shit really, with about 30 people. All of a sudden, some 300 people come storming into the room. Tom and I are popular and extremely well-loved, but something was definitely amiss...
...and here they came directly after the 300 people, two strippers hired by GOD! It was the most hilarious thing I have seen in a long, long time. A room full of game developers and game players, ...and two strippers. I'm sure you've seen pictures by now as there were as many cameras there as people.
As I have said repeatedly, this is a hellish job, but thankfully we have our GOD!
Coolness! Finally got my 3-pound stock of Silly Putty ;) I have a lot of toys from childhood, but most are merely cues for reminiscing about the past. Others, though, a few others, are still as much fun now as they were then. Silly Putty is one of those. ...like a good set of sweat bespangled breasts, you just can't put it down!
Don't think that that was just a cheap metaphoric shot, either, ...here's something interesting that I never noticed as a kid. If you make a breast out of Silly Putty, ...and let it sit, ...it's like a 3-hour fast forward of what happens to a real breast over the course of a lifetime. It goes through the exact same deformation and sagging life cycle, only much, much quicker.
I think after my level designing stint, I want to become a Mr. Science for kids on PBS.
Look! ...I have nothing against Cliffffy as a person, ...well, okay, there are a few issues, ...but EVERYONE shares those with me. This campaign, however, is against Cliffy as an industry. I mean, come on! ...look at the guy! He's silly, but there's no putty!
"ALICE has the moist orgasmical little design I've seen in years. Her mound is remarkable as well." -Cliffster the Blensinked, finger update 12/13 4:49.
This city amazes me in the winter. We got some sleet and freezing rain last night and the entire city looks like a bad Twilight Zone episode. "Oh my God, Ethel, what's that shit comin' down from the skies!"
The fun part is the human element that makes it truly dangerous. The dipshit driving on the highway, in the fast lane, at 30mph with his flashers on. ...and the lieutenant dipshit next to him doing 40mph, flanked by the cadet dipshit alos doing 40mph so that the entire freeway is now blocked for the rest of us that really do want to get to work.
Then there are the two cars ahead of me, doing a good clip, but slamming on the breaks and swerving because a sheet of 1/8-inch thick ice blows off the car in front of them.
Then, of course, there's the assholes from New England and points north, like the Levelord, that think this is all silly and drive at the usual 80mph until they hit the black ice on the overpass and fishtail one way then the other. I love fishtailing on black ice ;)
...this is one crazy city in the winter!
Shit! Okay, you all know now why I never have time to play other games.
While we're here, I'd like to discuss something dear to my heart, ...getting stoned. I have a lot of fun made of me, at my expense, because a lot of people believe it makes me...
Oh, ...wait! ... sorry!
Sometimes it just all hits you at once and you remember how lucky you are. Sitting here in the office on a beautifully crisp and cold Saturday morning. Just me, Darren, and Rob, ...the three long hairs, ...tooling away on our next game and listening to Led Zeppelin cranked way up high. A lot of you don't know how cool Led Zeppelin is, give them a try, any of the first five albums, ...sorry, CDs will do!
Top of the news? SiN Gold is out for the Macintosh. It has the original version, as well as the Wages of SiN add-on pack, ...what a deal! ...it even has that ground-setting level called "Paradox" done by some guy called Tom, ...that's it, ...just Tom.
Also, the SiN Anime movie is STILL in the Top Ten position on Billboard.com (http://www.billboard.com/charts/videos/sales.asp) after four weeks. It's heading up with some tough competition, ...so it must be groovy, ...so you must go buy a copy!
While we're here, I'd like to discuss something dear to my heart, ...getting stoned. I have a lot of fun made of me, at my expense, because a lot of people believe it makes me forgetful.
Getting stoned does NOT make a person forgetful! Instead, it sends your mind to places far away and you merely become distracted. For instance, this morning, as I pulled into the parking lot at work, my mind was way off somewhere buying a sandwich I really couldn't afford. As I stared at this mile-high tower of goodness, ...seeping condiments from all four sides, ...I tried to figure a way to barter for it, ...maybe they'd take a copy of Heavy Metal or Blair Witch III (play this fucker if you get the chance;).
All of a sudden, I feel this intense choking sensation around my neck and the scrapping feeling of a thick nylon band. I suddenly realized that I had not undone my seatbelt before trying to exit the Levelord Van. See? I didn't "forget", my mind just wasn't there at the time!
Oh my fucking god! They're counting the votes again?
12/06/2000 (Sect C)
Go here, ask a question, and make it GOOD!
12/06/2000 (Part 2)
Holy bat terds! I didn't even think of it until the AntiELVIS (www.gracelessland.com) just told me! ...the "toothbrush" is really Epic spy technology! ...to the Level Cave!
I think I'm making too many jokes about cabbage and schnitzen grubben. BaDmAn opted to spend the night at the office last night. He said he wanted to play SiN all night, but I think I may be acting too Texan.
Knowing what it's like to sleep at the office, I figured I'd bring in his toothbrush. Then I saw his toothbrush! It's this industrial-sized gizmo with whirling brushes and ultrasonic emitters and it has to be plugged into three separate outlets. It looks like something that would take me a month to script in Heavy Metal. Germans and technology, ...it's always scarey!
It was just a joke! Never take me seriously, I do NOT want a war anywhere. I received a dozen or so emails from sections of the world where this is not funny at all. I am sorry! How about a severe weather system, isolated in my own backyard. I will call CNN for the coverage ;)
Keep the "'Cliffy' is Norwegian for 'Herring Choker'" emails coming in! I have a nice collection, but I want more. Send more pictures, too, those are the best!
Anyone see the new Dune movie on Sci-Fi last night? What a waste of time! I mean it's cool and all, but it's nothing compared to the original movie.
Played some more Serious Sam on the new `puter yesterday. I love this game. It's like DOOM Meets the New Millenium. Noone Lives Forever looks cool, too, can't wait to run through that one.
We took one of the new artists to Deep Ellum on Saturnight. I love that place! Great bars with great music, and I always fall in love at least once per visit. I am always reminded of Chuck Jones and the Apogee Days. How's shit, Chuck, we still miss you!
One last note, PLEASE someone start a war or something! I am so sick and tired of hearing about fucked up Florida and this ridiculous vote counting.
I bought a house over a year ago, but I still haven't met all my neighbors. It's a nice place on the end of a cul-de-sac. The neighbor from across the street came over the other day to pay a visit. Actually, he was the son of the neighbors, just returned home from college. He looked like a potential game player, so I signed a copy of Heavy Metal and gave it to him. He said that he didn't play computer games, but thanked me anyways.
Well, last night, as I was playing AoE and sipping some imported vodka, he came back to visit. I met him at the door and he handed me the copy of FAKK2 saying that he couldn't accept the gift. He explained that he is going to Russia to study Orthodox Christianity and that God wouldn't appreciate him partaking of such deviant entertainment. I said "God!?! ...GOD published the damned game!". He still didn't want the game.
Go here http://www.3drealms.com/camera/111000.html
#5 "I thought the Levelord took his bongs with him when he left..." (Jeff Carlson)
...that shit just aint funny, man! Ever since the Haunted Bong thing on FPS Survivore Island, I've been a little sensitive about my bong.
Shit! ...I forgot to say "rabbit, rabbit" this morning. This will be a fucked up month I guess.
I finally got a new computaar at home! It's been since 1996 when I bought a PII 233MHz. Now I'm cruising in 1GHz City! Deathmatch levels here I come!
The new computaar is awesome, but I must say how much I HATE Microsloth! I was 20 minutes into my very first 'gigantic' Age of Empires levels, which is a first because my old system couldn't handle the map size, when WHAM! ...the screen goes blank, heads over to Windows, and some fucking "New Microsloth Products" video fucking thing loads up. No "Quit" button or little "X" in the upper right corner, ...I'm shanghaied into clicking either "Yes, play now" or "Save for later". I figure click "Yes" so it doesn't fuck me over again later and I'll just stop the thing before too much time is wasted. It loads itself, and the virtual video controls had a "Pause" and "Stop" button, but did they work? No! I almost lost my new computaar to a drowning of vodka and smashed glass.
Look! ...I love herrings! ...especially pickled and dipped in sour cream! I have nothing against herrings, stop sending me emails about them! This is about the perversion we call Cliff and his deviated lust for choking them for mere sexual satisfaction. Also, stop sending me "Save the Blensinski!" emails, I don't even read them. I'm looking for support with the anti side.
A quick note on how the real world works - I went to my local Texaco (I have a Mobil card, but hey, I'm a Texan now) to get the Ol' Yoter inspected last Saturday. I like to watch the mechanic to make sure he doesn't do anything funny that will have me coming back in 6 months later for that 'new rattling sound'.
He's hooking up the fuel system to the computaar when I hear him humming "Hmmm, hm, hmmm, hm, hm, ...they call it Heavyyy, Heavy Meeetal". I asked him what made him think of that song and he said that he just watched the movie the other night. I then asked him if he played computaar games, with the smug smile on my face, of course.
It turns out he's a big fan of the game (no surprise, actually;). I gave him a signed copy. A cute story, but there is moral. After the inspection and oil change (it has been a year and a half), he handed me the yellow slip and I headed for the office to pay up. The total was like $50 something. As the guy in the office started ringing me up, the mechanic came running in, whispered to the office dude, and all of a sudden the total charge was $32. This is the way the real world works ;)
Finally, fear for me. Have great fear for me. Not only do I have the BaDmAn in da house, but next week, the Hexagon of the Netherlands will be there, too. That's one Texan, one German, one Dutch, and two Mexicans (Mom's Chihuahuas) living under one roof. What the fuck has happened to the world!
Alright, alright, ...it's one thing for me to make fun of Cliffy, but it's an unfair thing. It's like Tyson taking on Peewee Herman, and that's not cool. How about this, I know there are a lot of you out there, so how about sending me your "'Cliffy' is Norwegian for 'Herring Choker'" emails and I'll post them on a finger update. Let me know if you want your name/nick included, all others will be anonymoustousnessly included.
Also, as a reminder, this year's Burn the Blensinski Effigy will be held in the back parking lot of the CPL Tournament on the 18th, ...not the 17th. As always, the dummy will be filled with medium-grade Mexican, so even those that like Cliffy can enjoy the event.
Way cool! Finally got a digital camera! Welcome to the New Millenium, O' Levelord ;) As soon as I get my web page moved over to Telefragged (thanks Master Chief Magyar!), expect a lot of interesting pictures along with the finger flipping.
As a matter of fact, we're having a party tonight here at Ritual to give Beau "It's spelled 'Pizza!'" Anderson and Patrick "Don't phook now, but there's goo on your shoulder!" Hook a swift kick in the ass for leaving us. We will miss Beau a lot, not so much Pat, but Beau will be missed! (Patrick is not really leaving us, he's just going to another Island, ...which is of course a secret island).
This whole spy thing? Got a lot of emails today, ...let's clear this up. It was just a joke, ...the spy part, that is. The Epic thing was not so fictitious, though. After the whole FPS Survivore Issland thing, some people are confused. Cliff "I'm not gay, I'm just REALLY happy!" Blesinkavich and the Levelord are NOT friends! I know a lot of people in the industry and I have many friends, but Cliffy the B is not one of them. Epic is alright, I guess, ...I mean, they've made a few games I liked, but I don't think I much like any of the people therein. Just clearing the air.
As a preemptive strike (thanks to my Russian comrades for the suggestion), here's a "Get real! ...and out of the bathroom!" to Cliffsky and all his "friends"! (It's only because you're paying them that they feign this friendship).
I've had my suspicions, but now it's confirmed, ...we have an industrial spy right here at Ritual! No shit, I thought this only happened within the more traditional realms of Corporate America.
I'm not sure of the source, yet, but I suspect Epic. This so-called "guest" of mine, from Germany, is NOT who he claims to be. BaDmAn and I were watching Young Frankenstein the other night, and I asked him what the German word for "zipper" was. He went to his German/English dictionary! Bingo! You are busted, pal!
I haven't confronted him yet (so mum's the word please) because I'm not sure about the whole Epic Connection yet. My only lead is that he sings the Jazz Jackrabbit song in the shower.
Awesome, awesome emails! Please write me any time, fellow deviants and aberrations!
As I told you all, I have the BaDmAn staying with me for a few weeks. He is from Germany. I have never had anyone stay, or ever see my house except Kelly. I made her sign a non-disclosure agreement before she came down, BTW.
Anyhow, I just learned this weekend, to my horror, that I am older than his parents. Has anyone seen my walker lately?
Congrats to the Bastards of Rogue for going gold! Cool game and once again I consider myself lucky to have worked on such a game, even for just a little while. Time for many beers, lads, call me!
Okay, ...so I have to stop starting paragraphs with the word "Okay". That aside, I found a new love! 3D Studio Max, ...what a cool tool! Mike "Sometimes a cigar is just a good smoke" Porter and Darren "You better hit that ground when I say 'Duck!'" Hart have been showing me The Way and it is so cool!
Going back to QERadiant is going to be like performing surgery with carpenter's tools now, ...well, they do that, don't they, ...but anyways, ...as great as QE is, 3D max is awesome.
I made my first weapon for our next game - The Levelord Super Turbo Nuclear Injection Jet. It's got like 12 intakes and 17 after-burning nozzles. There's only a small canopy for the pilot as most of the view is blocked by the 50mm Uranium cannons. It's blue and gold, just like the UCLA Bruin, and it screams across the sky, delivering death and horror before the hormones even hit the player's bloodstream!
Next week they're showing me how to make a character and animations. I think I'll start with the final boss, and work my way down to the NPCs.
"Put ten people in a room and they will spend forever selecting a leader. They will, however, select someone to hate almost immediately!"
Okay, this shit has to stop! It's frustrating and embarrassing, ...and now it has gone on way too far. Tuesday night the Fox Network cut-in on Seinfeld for a "Florida is still pretty fucked...", and last night, the Levelord's Birthday, ...NBC cut-in on Law & Order! ...pick a President already!
Wow! Thanks for all the cool geburtstag emails! Doesn't everyone love German, ...I mean "geburtstag", which is for "birthday", ...just by the sound of the word (once you know that 'tag' means 'day') you know something is getting spit out of somewhere. I love German!
Okay, while you're here, here's a question, ...where do all the dead pigeons go? I mean, there's like thousands of pigeons in each city, but I never see any dead ones, ...except the occasional road kill. Where do they all go? No carcasses, no skeletons, ...nothing! I'm not buying that "Cats and stuff eat them.", ...there aren't that many cats and stuff. I don't think they're really pidgeons...
Okay, since everyone asks so often, let's make this public record. Like I have always said, I don't play too many games. Mostly, this is due to two factors. One, being a game developer AND playing games at home is a lot like working at a pizzeria all day and having pizza for dinner. I love pizza, ...but, ...you know. I always wonder how that works for prostitutes and gynecologists ;)
B. I am way too old to keep up! There are too many games to play nowadays and I am so tired after trying to keep up with Paradox and Phook (sounds like a 1970s cop sitcom show) all day that I have no passion left to play at night. I wish I was going to live long enough to be around when Tom's and Pat's counterparts make fun of them 20 years from now!
So, with that disclaimer made, here is the list of computer games that I have played for at least a few months each...
COLOSSAL CAVE - If you remember this game, you are as old and tired as I am ;) What a cool game that was! A text-based adventure back when graphics were, at best, ASCII only. I never did make it passed the "twisting and turning passage ways", ...I was at Wit's End ;) I first played this game when I was training at Hewlett-Packard to become a Systems Manager for Kirkhill Rubber Company in Brea, California. These were the days of COBOL and RPGII programming on a card-based Sperry-Univac machine that had an 8-light register display for debugging. Dumb terminals were only a near fantastic future. This is the game, BTW, that made me realize I wanted to make games for a living. It was 1982 and I started dodging work to write COBOL-based games such as a text adventure, some ASCII graphic games like submarine hunting, golf, and various poker games. I wanted to start a company and call it GrayMatter, ...too late now ;)
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS - For the Intellivision system. This is the first game I made hand-drawn maps for to remember where I had been. I remember thinking how cool it was to see 3rd, all be them crude mono-toned hallways, environments.
ULTIMA IV - Wow! What a game and what a time. This was my first true addiction game. I couldn't put it down, and I still have the reams of paper notes. My Commodore 64 had wear patterns on the keyboard. My GPA went from a 3.57 to meager 2.000001 mostly because of this game. I never played any of the other Ultimas, ...which is sort of weird.
TETRIS - An example of true Russian genius, I found this one on the Unix server at UCLA. I still play it today with the same passion as back then.
MIGHT & MAGIC - The first one. A little better than Ultima IV with the graphics and fight system. I even (wish I had saved a copy) sent a "Thank you for the cool game!" letter to New World in 1988.
SILENT SERVICE - My first dive into war simulations. I loved it and really want to re-install it soon.
RED BARON - The first one. Another game that I would love to play again but can't seem to get it to work on newer systems. The re-release never worked either, mostly because of joystick issues. This game started my passion for WWI and WWII flight sims.
WOLFENSTEIN - This was it, ...this was the narcotics of computer games and nothing was the same after it. The next time you get on a commercial aircraft, remember that it's flight controls, auxiliary power units, and hydraulics were tested with software that I was responsible for, ...remember this because I was mostly playing Wolfenstein (and then DOOM) at the time ;)
DOOM - Nothing needs to be said about this one. The combination of this, my favorite game of all time, and the DEU level editor changed my life forever!
WARCRAFT II - One of the only games I have played fervently since becoming a professional developer, it soaked up a lot of my free time.
AGE OF EMPIRES I - Although John the Romero highly proclaimes the second one, it got a bit too complicated for me. I still (did just last night) love to get a few blasts of vodka in me, load up some Salad, grab a pack of Camules, and boot up this bitch for 6 hours of Hittites Conquering The World.
That's it, the entire list. I have played quite a few more games, but these are the ones that I have played more than a week or two. There is one other and although I still have it at home, I can't remember the name. It was a turn-based strategy game from the mid 1980s, ...out in space, in which you flew from planet to planet collecting goods, upgrading your ship and fighting opponents as you went along.
As soon as the Demented Dr. Braby, PhD., fixes some links and file handles, I'll be kicking up levelord.com. In the mean time, can someone hitch-up the AG Mule and run into town to ask the good people at Nickelodeon why they aren't re-running Barney Miller? No "Real Genius" on DVD, ...no "Warriors", for that matter, ...and no Barney Miller re-runs (unless you live in Westchester County, of course, Jason;), ...the world is a mess!
Related to DVDs, I just got a few W.C. Fields and Buster Keaton DVDS and highly recommend them. Especially for the younger audience that may have no idea who these people are and what they did so long ago. Funny, funny shit! For some reason, with my attitude towards being alone, pets and children, ...and vodka, I'm starting see the Final Levelord in W.C. Fields ;)
I'm not sure if it was a good idea to have BaDmAn come visit us. For those unfamiliar, BaDmAn is this super webpage genius from Germany and he has been doing a lot of cool stuff for us over the years, ...gratis stuff ;) Specifically, he helps Hexagon and LeftE on ritualistic.com and fakkyou.com, and does a lot of support things. Who cares about that, though...
...actually, it's not BaDmAn visiting so much as having Rob here while he does. I think Rob is causing irrevocable damage on the young lads brain. Rob keeps playing with his mind with that "Wait, let's not funny!" Louisiana sense of humor, and I think it's scaring BaDmAn. Keep in mind that BaDmAn is already a bit offset being in another country and being away from home. Then, he has the confusion of having to translate everything into German. Then, he has to try and make sense of that weird, perverted, and alien-to-humans Southern twist to everything. I hope he doesn't get hurt, that's all!
He will be staying at my house for a few of the 6 weeks that he's here, and I implore you all to NOT pay attention to anything he may report about the experience thereafter!
This next bit is only here because I have thought about it a lot, and coincidentally, I have received a few emails lately imploring the issue. Again, please do email me about game-related issues and ideas. I love them, ...I think most game developers love them (even if they don't reply). Even further, I may start writing a monthly magazine column (for some obscure game magazine in the Aleutians) and would greatly appreciate the input ;)
Where was I, ...oh yes, ...where has the humor gone in action games! I don't play too many games and may be missing an example or three, but there hasn't been a funny action game since Duke? Red Neck Rampage and Grim Fandango sort of come to mind, I guess. I am tired of the realism thing, too. Let's go wild! This, to me, is the ultimate combination. In games, at least, ...I mean, ...the fellatio and whipped cream (with Whip-ettes!) combo is better, but we're talking strictly PC games here.
That's the best, the combination of humor (usually the tongue-in-check and obscure movie/book/experience reference types) and ultra-violence. It has to be the kind of violence that is obviously fake, like Bugs Bunny. Let's do something about this!
Finally, ...Happy REAL Veteran's Day, ...and I'm still here at the office, but not so indignant ;)
(Editorial Note: Alright, alright, Loonyboi! Veteran's Day isn't until tomorrow, but the banks are closed today and the highway was empty this morning! Someone is having the day off and I am not! ... ;) )
Well, I must say that I feel a bit indignant every time I find myself at work on Veteran's Day! I mean, here I give 4 years of living hell and sacrifice, give with eagerness and pride, mind you, ...and no one cares! 4 years of listening to those evil, filthy Soviet submarines, protecting our shores from the Dreaded Red Curse, ...and nothing! No respect!
...sorry, just kidding ;) Happy Veteran's Day to everyone, especially those that have served! ...and you know I love most things (just not the Post Office;) Russian! ...mir, comrades! ...and where's my copy of Hired Team!
I know a good example of my fondness for times-gone-by. I want to be a Time Tripper, ...like Billy Pilgrim in "Slaughterhouse 5". Bouncing back and forth between memories like some super real virtual daydream, only to return to the planet Tralfamadore and Miss Valerie Perrine!
Please always feel free to email me, gamers-in-arms! I get so many cool emails with game suggestions, comments, compliments (send A LOT of those!), and such, ...and the emails always start and end with statements like "I know you don't have time to read this dribble..." and "Sorry to bore you with all this...". Please, please, do write!
I am going to really try and jump-start www.levelord.com soon. As motivation, I may move this finger stuff over there as webpage 'updates'. Hope that doesn't appear too self-serving, ...and yes, sponsors, we will be accepting requests for ad space!
Did The Levelord's Forecast peg it on the head, or what!?! ...57% Bush/Cheney and 43% Gore/Lieberman, ...with the standard +/- 17% (the 17% being Florida, of course).
Shit! Okay, I looked-up herniated cervicle disk myself. I was wondering whether it is usually caused by trauma or wear-and-tear. I would at first guess trauma, like a sports injury or accident, but we know how much physical activity I see, ...none. I thought then maybe it's a repeated stress kind of thing, like man-handling a mouse and casting worlds of gore and destruction all day. Nope, ...it's neither. 80% of this kind of slipped disk is age-related. I want my money, and I want to find a small island somewhere!
Eeee gads! ...it's Election Day here in the U.S.. First, let it be known that I think it should be a legal obligation for every citizen to vote, ...even if you only go in to cast a null ballot. I'm not buying that "I don't keep track of the issues!" shit. We were at lunch yesterday, celebrating some new Tribe members and some visiting ones as well, when Mark asked "Who's voting tomorrow?". Three of the twelve hands went up. Shame, shame, shame!
The Levelord's Forecast? ...57% Bush/Cheney and 43% Gore/Lieberman, ...with the standard +/- 17% uncertainty gap, of course.
Like the general public, I am really torn this time. I like and dislike both major candidates. I can't say which way I'm finally going, but we can play with the finger, yes? First, I make a comfortable living and I'm over 40-years old, ...so there's a Republican vote. However, I also like the last 8 years, things went well, ...and I abhor nepotism, ...even the hint of it. Finally, I am a registered Independent (for the unfamiliar, that means I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, and I refuse to vote for Ralph Nader).
I do have to consider my vocation. I mean, I really want to have gore and sex in my games, not Gore and Lieberman. Don't get me wrong, ...I am for a strong rating system and enforcement, but Hartford Joe seems a little too enthusiastic and grandstanding on the issue. Lieberman is from Connecticut, but George W. was born in New Haven AND he's a Texan. Then again, ...George W. was born in New Haven and is a Texan ;) I'm still not absolutely sure which way I'll go, but I think the Levelord's Forecast will be close, at least personally.
Speaking of New Haven, ...how about a very small Dick Story. Actually, I decided last night to fess-up to this one myself. It's the Year 2000 and I should not be embarrassed about getting beat-up by a girl, especially in the name of love. This one was going to be called "The First Time Dick Saw a Pussy.".
Last week I remembered the first day I saw the female counterpart to my Snow Pen. It was in 2nd or 3rd grade, ...I can't remember which as these two school years seem to blend together. I can only remember the teachers as different.
Anyway, this happened in the playground of the Timothy Dwight Elementary School in New Haven. The section of town that I lived in was 70% Black, 20% Puerto Rican, and 10% white. It was also the 1960s. I only mention those facts to set the atmosphere. Most of everyone in the immediate neighborhood got together very well. There was that innocence of youth, too, that didn't really see things like skin, ...over-weightness yes, but skin, no. Also, my step-grandmother is Black (Grandpa married her before I was born, and she was my plain old Grandma as far as I ever knew), so I don't want to hear any PC stuff. I mean, politally correctedness, ...personal computer stuff is okay, ...I'll hear that, of course.
Where was I, ...oh yes, ...New Haven was a very rough town and you either learned to fight real well (against typically out-numbering foes), or how to run like a gazelle. I remember one time climbing up a chain-link fence, on to a single-story garage, across the roof, and leaping the full 12 feet down the other side in order to get away. I also remember other times looking back over my shoulder to see slower friends get over-taken, tackled, and get the living shit beat out of them. It was like watching a real-life National Geographic of lions taking down a wildebeest. It always made me feel guilt-ridden for not going back to help, but like I say, the odds were most often stacked well above any possible recourse other than self-salvation.
This is all to say that I turned out to be a flyer rather than a fighter. Not that I wouldn't fight, mind you, I just knew when it was best to run. This particular school yard encounter was even worse than out-numbering odds, though. It was an encounter with a pack of classmate girls.
Now, anyone who has had to deal with this knows it's a no-win situation. You can't run because that would look like unforgivable cowardly (remember this is all being evaluated with the social values of an 8-9 year old). You can't fight back because beating up girls was unforgivable, too, even with all the racial tension being used as a mitigating defense. I pretty much just played limp dummy and let Roberta, Porche, Dianna, Yvone, etc. have at me. It was really only taunting and pushing, not any physical pain, ...until Cynthia started in.
She got very physical as the mob-mentality fed on the feast. After a few shoves, I was on the ground. I can still remember her smell, and the smell of the sand. She was a very pretty girl, ...just slightly friendlier than a wet badger, but very pretty. She eventually had me fully pinned on my back with her spread-eagled legs holding my arms down. She looked down at me, then her crotch, and pulled her panties to one side. She kept yelling "Want to see my pussy, whiteboy?!? ...huh, cracker?!?". Although I had been able to maintain internal composure up until the pinning, I was now in deep confusion, fear, and panic.
What the hell was this!?! Both my parents were artists, and I saw a lot of nude bodies (in the form of "art") as a very young child. I knew the difference between girls and boys, ...but to have one shoved in my face, ...after getting beat-up by a bunch of girls, ...well, it was a time to remember. It was a time to upgrade my social values, ...and tactics.
Wait a minute, should I consider this a rape? ...a GANG rape?!? Have I been violated? ...sorry, that's not funny. I do regret not being fully aware of real intentions back then. I now know that Cynthia was probably attracted to the Levelad and he could have had some nifty games of Doctor with her.
Yes, yes, the BaDmAn is here! I went to the airport on Saturday to pick him up. It was hilarious sitting in the International Arrival section. I caught two different nationalities (thick accent and ethnic garb) saying "Y'all". I know it really isn't anything special and shows my Amero-centric narrow-mindedness, but to hear a Pakistani say "Y'all made it okay?" in a real thick accent just floored me.
I got word from the doctor. The MRI test is back, ...herniated disk between the C6 and C7 vertebrae. I knew it wasn't just cramps from passing out. I'm never sure, in these situations, whether I want to hear that they found something or not. Is it better that there is a cause, or that it was some mysterious, probably in your brain kind of thing. The doctor is suggesting neuro-surgery. This is the guy that through two medications at me for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and maybe mentioned exercise once and diet never. The pain is gone and the numbness is almost gone. I'm staying right here in the office, thank you.
You know what's really cool about all that above there? I will get at least a dozen emails with very good advice from people who have had this affliction. What a cool and connected world! My recent email about this neck thing hastened a dude from Europe, now living in Australia, who knew two top-notch chiropractors right here in Dallas, ...cool and connected world, it is!
I need to drum-up a Dick Story after all this crying. Have I done the "First Time Dick Ever Saw a Pussy." Story yet?
Okay, okay, so everyone, I mean EVERYONE knows "Real Genius". The question is strengthened, ...why is it NOT on DVD! ... ;)
Also, please stop sending emails suggesting that I find a female counterpart, a Lady of the Levels, so to speak, and procreate! One nice thing about getting older is that you know more about what you want. No plants, no pets, no people! Besides, we don't want this gene pool propagating itself anymore than it has.
Like I said, I am very nostalgic and sentimental. I have always been. I remember pining for New Haven when we moved to New Canaan when I was 10-years old. I spend a lot of my thoughts on and daydreams in the past. I seem to remember only the good parts of times gone by and often wish I could return. Many of my vacations are spent returning to places I once lived. I even have fond memories of bootcamp and Adak, Alaska.
Anyway, as a side effect, I have enough photographs and tapes and movies from my past to fill a good-sized walk-in closet. I save things, weird things, that I know will later remind me of a certain time, ...an empty cigarette pack from a party, a jelly bean bag from a first date, an oily rag from a Kawasaki 175 (bored-out to 200ccs, ...pa-wang-a-dang-dang!), ...weird shit.
Saving and collecting this kind of stuff has brought me to eBay, the Global Garage Sale, the Mecca of Memorabilia, ...the place where you can find absolutely anything, ...even weird shit from my past. I think I have found just about every significant toy from my entire childhood (a span of about 25 years, mind you). I have a collection of bottles and boxes and shit from New Haven, New Canaan, and other places I've lived. Some of these toys and things were played with a lot and can be associated with large portions of my life. It just gives me a very cool feeling to see some of these things again after such a long separation.
The best of them all, though, hands down, ...was finding copies of the 5 or 6 issues of Playboy that I had "borrowed" from my Dad's magazine stack. Talk about nostalgic provocation! Let's just say that I looked at these issues ALOT and the pictures therein have vast tracks of memory dedicated to them from so much time spent between the ages of 12-14. ...Ah, this sounds silly, ...you would have had to have been there, I guess, ...or, maybe not ;)
I would have to say that one of the coolest things to do in life is laundry for your mom. She's been stranded in her chair for like 3 months now with a broken ankle. If it can't be done from her chair or bathroom, I've been doing it for her. Food, bills, errands, ...whatever. For some reason, laundry is the coolest. It just makes you feel all fuzzy inside finally doing laundry for her after all the years of her doing it for me.
I also have her two Chihuahuas, ...vicious Mountain Chihuahuas. Actually, they are my Dad's dogs. As much as he loved my Mom and me, I think if he could come back to life for 10 minutes, he would spend them with these two dogs. It's so weird to see them in Dallas, in my home. What the hell happened?
I remember the last 3 times I visited my folks in Connecticut (a standard between-games retreat for me) I would bend down to pet Dinah before leaving and ask her not to die before I came back. Both dogs are old, like 15-ish, and Chihuahuas have that in-bred runt syndrome thing with the back legs and weak hearts and such. Anyway, Dinah is the apparently more advanced-in-age of the two and I always figured she'd go first. Who knew Dad would actually go first. It's just so weird to see these dogs in my Dallas house.
The whole death thing is weird. I'm not sure if it's different for religious people. I mean, for me as an atheist, the person is just gone, ...gone forever. It's such an extreme and profound kind of thing. It doesn't hit you all at once, but rather it takes a long time to settle in, piece meal-like. For instance, I just realized, like a crushing blow, after Heavy Metal that I can't go back to Tolland, Connecticut anymore. It's gone, ...with Dad went the house and Mom is here in Dallas with me.
Wow! I am terribly sorry for all the down time the past three weeks. I have been home with an excruciatingly painful pinched nerve in my neck/back/arm. Granted, I have a very low tolerance for pain, but this was truly a bitch, ...the kind of pain that makes me realize I wouldn't last 30 seconds before singing any and all secrets in a torture situation.
I even went to the doctor, which is the rarest of solutions for me. He believes it is work-related, but when the pain didn't cease after two weeks of what he called "super pain relievers" (I miss the 1970s!;), he sent me for an MRI. ...way cool piece of technology! I felt like I was in some Star Trek episode or something. I also have to get this weird nerve conductivity test next, in which they stick electrified needles into the nerve at the neck and at the end of the arm, but I think I'm feeling much better for that now ;)
BTW, I disagree with the doctor and believe it all started with those restraining straps at Rogue! Did no one see me blinking an SOS message with my eye lids in the video interviews? Ya! ..."nice place to work", ..."love being here", ...sure! They MADE me say those things! No one came to save me, no one cared!
Okay, sorry, Rogue is indeed a great place to work. It's nice to be home again, but if I didn't have a Ritual, I would probably be a Roguette ;) Hope all is well with little Alice, laddies!
I do have one issue with my home, though. I mean, here it is Halloween and all, and no one is in costume. I spent all the trouble and time dressing-up as my favorite celebrity game developer, and I feel like a fool being the only one that cared. "There was what, no one at the mutant hamster races and we had one entry into the Madame Curie look-alike contest and he was disqualified later. Why do I bother?" ...anyone know what movie that quote is from? ...and if so, can you tell me why it's NOT on DVD yet?!?