Gamer’s Hangover

Why This Is Short … And Late

Here is another crappy thing about becoming an “adult” gamer. We went up to visit my parents this weekend. Usually the most relaxing way we can spend a weekend. My folks play with The Boy, Veronica and I sit and talk with them and eat and watch some TV (something we really don’t do much of) and talk some more and eat some more and then everybody goes to bed and I stay up and play until I get tired, then I crash and wake up a little later than my parents, but just in time for breakfast, wash, rinse, and repeat until we go home Sunday night. I even took my PS2 with me this time since I had just bought Smackdown vs. Raw and figured I’d have an abundance of time to play.


First of all, just having a kid cuts that back, because if you start doing something even vaguely interesting when they’re not 100% asleep, they snap awake like they’ve been mainlining espresso and it’s a two-hour struggle to get them back to sleep. Second of all, Dad had mentioned that he needed some help framing and hanging a screen door for the back porch; something Mom wanted so she could have a semi-greenhouse to keep her plants during the winter. I figured it would be no problem. A few 2x4s and 4x4s and we’d be done before K-State kicked off Saturday at 11:30.

Well, we did break to watch some of the game and have lunch, but we basically started working at 8 in the morning on Saturday, and finished around 5 in the evening on Sunday. I was so tired Saturday night that I was ready to hit the pillow at 10 p.m., something I’d never dream of doing (pardon the pun) most weekends. All told, I was able to squeeze in something less of an hour of gaming while at their house. And the Chiefs lost.

When we got back home last night, I put Roni and The Boy to bed and, still a bit miffed, stayed up for another hour to play and cool down a bit. I figured that I had gotten my expectations up too much, and just needed to play a bit to cool out before going to bed.

Didn’t work.

I was still vaguely pissed at things this morning, having to watch my temper a little as we all got around this morning. I felt terrible that I felt so … terrible. I mean, I had a fine weekend with my folks regardless. We sat and talked and ate, and I helped Dad with the porch and was glad to do it ….

And then I realized something.

Dad NEEDED me to help him this weekend. Me. By comparison, I’m the least mechanically inclined of the lot. I never took Shop, never worked on my own car. I was the person called in to help with a home construction project when something needed to be handed to someone else. I wasn’t trusted with a hammer.

Now I was measuring and cutting boards, fastening them together, using every tool at Dad’s disposal. I didn’t do a bad job, in fact I did a damn good job. But what bugged me is that he NEEDED me to do that job.

My Dad has had a hard life. He was a two-sport athlete in high school and All-State in both (football and wrestling). His first business went under and he had to drive semis for about 7 years in there to help us make ends meet, until some yahoo rear-ended his semi with theirs, bounced him around the cab like a pinball, and screwed up his back to the point that surgeries were necessary just so he could function. After that he tried fixing appliances, but there wasn’t that much call for that in Clay Center, so he branched out (pardon the pun again) into tree cutting and other various and sundry tasks he could do with his Bobcat skid loader, which isn’t terribly gentle work either.

Now he’s about to turn 62, and his mobility (he’s 6’4 and 300 pounds) is leaving him, as is his endurance, flexibility, strength, and … all those other things I don’t want to see him lose.

My Dad is getting old.

I wasn’t mad that I didn’t get to play Smackdown vs. Raw (by the way, despite what the whores at IGN and GameSpy say, it IS a definite improvement over SD: Here Comes The Pain, not because of the piss-poor online mode, but because of the face/heel tweaks made to the basic gameplay and the Challenge Mode), I was mad that my Dad can’t handle everything by himself anymore. I’m mad that I, the black sheep of this shop-oriented family, now have to be relied on to help get these rather modest home projects done. I’m mad that Dad can’t do them and I’m scared that I can’t help him like he needs it, living 120 miles away.

Dad’s going to start drawing Social Security in a couple of months, so maybe he won’t have to work as hard. Mom is still in fantastic shape, mainly because she’s bound and determined not to end up like her mom, the victim of heart disease for the last 20 years of her life.

Still, I feel like I should be there, but I have my own family to take care of too. And I feel like a brat for even bringing the PS2 in the first place.

More ways that growing up sucks.


Lucard doesn’t talk games anymore, but we still claim him.

L.C. outlines the long, sordid past of Link and Zelda, including the sex tape scandal back in ’98.

O’Reilly, I’m giving you a pimp even though Gambit is my second LEAST favorite X-Men character ever, behind Cyclops of course.

Guido needed more play.

Fernandez rocks.

If you’re an American ignorant of the English Premier League but want to know more, Trundle gives you the primer you’ve always wanted.

Misha lets you know what to spend your scratch on instead of that pesky ol’ rent.

And THERE IS NO HALO 2 … for another couple of days at least.

Don’t cry for me Alex Williams, the truth is I never left you.

Murphy and I agree on yet another thing: TCM is WAAAY better than AMC. And any aspiring screenwriter needs to watch “The Philadelphia Story.” Just my opinion.

Quasi-Random Thoughts

Man, I’m just so drained from the heavy Daddy stuff. I don’t know what I can put in here….

…. other than the Chiefs loss pretty much proves that there is no God …

…. unless there is. (It’s called “Pascal’s Wager.” Look into it.)

I was digging through my old Zen calendar and I came upon these quotes, which are fitting for … well … pretty much anything. Certainly fitting for someone in a scientific profession like myself:

“Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” – Zen saying

“Knowledge will not always take the place of simple observation.” – Arnold Lobel

“A man should look for what is, and not what he thinks should be.” – Albert Einstein

and my personal favorite:

“The most dangerous thing in the world is to think you understand something.” – Zen saying

Thinking about it, those apply pretty directly to Poker as well. Hmmm.

Everybody needs to e-mail Alex Lucard and tell him to name his new pet rabbit “Snakebait.”

My son is going to be two next week. Pray for me.

Yes, I’m still planning on getting those two reviews done. This year. I’m not kidding.

Those may be the last reviews I do for a while. We have a kick-ASS staff of reviewers here that aren’t even letting me get a word in edgewise.

I’m weary folks. I’m going to go home and do home things. Raking leaves, picking up toys, that whole bit, and then sit and play a couple more hours of Smackdown vs. Raw. And maybe call my Dad.

Next time, I promise I won’t bum everybody out so much.

Until then, get some sleep.