Spearmint: not a worm

My plant biology lab has taken a shocking turn. I did not draw a single plant or plant part today! Of course, I looked at plants and wrote words about plants but zero drawing! Also, I learned that spearmint is not worm and you cannot make two spearmint plants by cutting a stalk off of one and jamming it into some wet dirt. It just dies.

In an effort to wrap up this inexorably long flight course, I flew for an hour today. It was windy as hell. I almost made myself sick from all the up and down and round and round.

I am nearing the end of Dead Space 2. I’m on chapter 13 out of 15. I haven’t really branched out to use the new weapons the game has but I’m really loving the hell out of my good old ripper, and the contact beam is even more useful than before. The game keeps handing me contact beam ammo, so much so that I’m selling more than I’m firing. I could probably sell all of my other weapons and finish it with the contact beam alone.

I don’t have much to look forward to tomorrow. It’ll be windy and warm, so I guess I’ll enjoy the nice weather.

Lies previews tell

I rode the Sekai to school today and it was fannnnnntastic! I don’t know if I was actually going faster but I sure felt like I was.

Anyone who wrote a preview for Dead Space 2 before it came out ought to be shot. Every preview I read was about how this time Isaac was taking the fight to the necromorphs and the action would be heavier and the game would be less linear and Isaac would have a voice. Only one of those is completely true. Isaac certainly has a voice. But it’s still about escape and not taking the fight to the necromorphs. If anything, the game is more linear than the first one, because it all moves a long a critical path with no maps. That’s right, maps are out! There’s no need for them! As for the action, it doesn’t feel heavier but the necromorphs certainly have more variety.

I was almost turned off of this game entirely by the previews. I’ve written before about how I was going to pass on it because it sounded like Visceral was turning Dead Space into yet another 3rd person shooter, and that simply isn’t true.

Snot dripping out of nose

Last night, I didn’t stay up till 3am. In fact, I was in bed before 2am! So I was up just after 10am today. It was super nice out, near 60 degrees, so I took the racer out and lubed it up. I’m trying to decide if I should ride the racer or the mountain bike to school tomorrow. As long as tomorrow is a dry day, I will take the racer.

I also did something different today in that I did my homework relatively early rather than let it hang over me all day! I didn’t have much except a 3 page paper.

With homework out of the way, I could goof off for the rest of my day guilt-free! So I took my list of ingredients to the grocery store and got enough real food to last for at least a little while. I also got a neti pot.

That is a weird sensation, isn’t it? It really works great for clearing out all the snot plugging up my nose! However, the snot ends up dripping out of my nose rather than flushing neatly out with the salt water. Oh well. It’s better than spitting and blowing my nose a bazillion times.

I played a round of Dead Space 2 tonight and won both rounds on Marker! At least one of my teammates knew what to do so while the other two distracted the necromorphs and kept them off of us, we blasted the objectives. On my necromorph round, I kept respawning as Pack and slicing up the humans who weren’t making much apparent effort to destroy the objective! I got 1 execution and 4 kills and came out in first place. I got as much XP in that one round as I did in the last two games I’ve played so I leveled up twice.

It really figures that a game that has a multiplayer mode that I thought would be entirely unnecessary would be totally fun. Unfortunately, they didn’t tie any cheevos into the multiplayer. I would appreciate that more in a game like Condemned 2, but I like the multiplayer in Dead Space 2!

I am unreasonably tired.

Squawk 0314

What a day! I woke up early and finished my flight plan (which took entirely too long on my behalf) and got to the airport. The bad news was the winds up north were strong and turbulent. The good news was the winds out east were (mostly) stable and light. So my flight instructor and I crapped out a new plan and I flew to Evansville and Owensboro again.

It was super boring. I made this same exact flight once before and I’ve gone in that direction four times. There’s nothing new to see. I managed to find Evansville this time, which is good because the transponder wasn’t working.

That sucked up my entire morning and half of the afternoon. Something about cross-country flights just sucks the energy right out of me so I took a long nap.

I haven’t played any Dead Space 2 today. I haven’t really done much of anything actually. Where did my Saturday go? Oh right, it dripped out of my nose. Snot management is sucking up a lot of my time.

A linear sequence of scares

Today wasn’t quite as long as I expected. My English class just consisted of turning in some homework, and my law class was an 80 question true/false and multiple choice exam that I blasted through in less than 10 minutes. What can I say? Between working in a law office, and an unhealthy obsession with courtroom dramas and Cops, I know a little about the legal system.

I made it to disc 2 of Dead Space 2. It’s really not that much different than the first one. It feels a lot more linear because there’s no hub and tram system but the first game was more or less linear. This one is just more transparent about it. I hope to finish it before the end of the weekend.

My sore throat has turned into congestion and sneezing fits. I’m plugged up and blasting spit all over myself. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t leave my apartment.

1500

Is there anything worse than having to write to a word count? Honestly, give me any number of questions that need answered or topics that need to be addressed but please, please, please don’t give me a word count and send me on my way. That is like guaranteeing that will add as many fluff words as possible.

Dead Space 2 is still pretty awesome, but I’m only halfway through chapter 3. Here’s a minor complaint: chapters in Dead Space were obvious breaking points. I get to the tram, I get to save my game, chapter completed. No such luck in Dead Space 2. Maybe they didn’t want to break up the action. I think making good stopping points shows the developer knows something about pacing. I can’t think of any game that I’ve run through from start to finish without taking a break. Obviously, the save points are stopping points but they often come right before an intense situation. That is the last moment I would want to stop playing the game.

I tried out a round of multiplayer, which was pretty fun. It’s set up like Left 4 Dead, with 4 humans fighting against 4 necromorphs. The necromorphs are obviously more fragile but respawn faster while the humans have to complete objectives to win the round. I had some moderate success playing as a killer child and slicing up humans while playing on the necromorph side but didn’t really hit a stride playing as a human. Maybe the necromorphs knew what they were doing better than I did. I’ll probably try to get in a few more games between playing the single player campaign, because I’d hate to finish the game and find that the multiplayer has dried up entirely.

Tomorrow should be alright. A long school day but hopefully the roads won’t be icy.

Skiing on one foot

Wednesdays are so long. Something about them feels longer than Mondays and Fridays.

It started snowing here sometime before 10am so my treks across campus became increasingly dangerous, culminating in a slip on Oakland that I caught with my hand. Oakland must be made out of greased ice, I have slid on that road twice now. I walked it until I got to Freeman and rode the rest of the way with one leg dangling because it’s a downhill ride. I really wish I had some knobby tires, I don’t think these slick commuter tires are doing me any good in this snow.

I took too long of a nap because I woke up in the middle of it and my throat felt worse than it had all day. It still feels awful.

Dead Space 2 arrived but I felt the need to wrap up Dead Space Ignition first. I kind of hate this game. The motion comic isn’t particularly well drawn, and the voice acting is pretty awful. There are three mini-games, one is puzzle type, another tower defense, and the third is a race. The puzzle type and tower defense are not bad, just really easy. The race is awful. AWFUL. It’s top-down, the view randomly swings around for different perspectives and control orientations, and the controls feel super sloppy. Every time I successfully completed a race, I felt as though it had more to do with luck than skill.

But I finished all that game had to offer so I never have to play it again.

I started Dead Space 2. I’m still not sold on Isaac Clarke having a voice but it is more Dead Space and god knows I love Dead Space. I am thrilled to see that Isaac’s Mighty Foot has returned and it’s more useful than ever! Stomping on chest cavities feels like busting morbid pinatas for their goodies. It is ridiculous and very satisfying.

I only finished chapter 1. I’ll probably play some more tonight.

Little red dots

What a day. Plant biology is, at best, a little ridiculous and, at worst, an excuse to give college credits to incompetents. There are online quizzes. I can take the quizzes in lieu of attending class. I can take each quiz three times and I get the average of all three scores. At the end of the first attempt, I can see what the answers are. Almost all of the answers are in the exam study guide to begin with.

Before the exam, the professor posted the practice exam. I can take the practice exam as many times as I want and I can see the right answers at the end of each attempt and it’s not scored. ┬áI took it about five times so by the time I showed up for the exam this morning, I’d had most of the questions and answers memorized.

The exam is based entirely off of the practice exam. The practice had 100 questions, the real thing only had 50. The questions and the answers are entirely the same as on the practice exam. I will be downright shocked if I didn’t get an A on it.

That’s the lecture/exam part. The lab is even worse. Every lab is the same. Look at some stuff under a microscope, draw what I see. I feel like I’m getting improving more in my freehand drawings than in my plant biology knowledge.

I had to pop out a couple of papers tonight to make up for missing classes on Monday. That was miserable but I hope no one really cares about page count. For the second time, I’m turning in more than the required number of pages. I can’t tell whether I talk too much or I’m just printing really big.

I have a sore throat. I blame Katie. But Dead Space 2 is showing up tomorrow, so everything is going to be A-OKAY.

Water sloshing around

I finished Hydrophobia so I guess I don’t have to play that anymore. What a weird game. The controls are super loose, and this after it has received an extensive overhaul. The whole game is just running through a series of similar looking corridors and either shooting dudes directly or shooting the barrel or transformer or hanging wire right next to a dude. And water sloshes around and you have to swim in the water sometimes. It’s really kind of ridiculous. And it just ends. It almost stops in the middle of a sentence, then roll credits. It’s so short.

As I drove back to Carbondale this morning I listened to Giant Bomb’s game of the year deliberations. I decided that I can probably get the most enjoyment out of Dead Rising 2 by playing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. It’s only $5 and it’s short and there’s only one psychopath. I’ll probably derive as much enjoyment out of Case Zero as I would through the entirety of Dead Rising 2. I played the demo and it lasted until I got about 15 minutes into it, and at least 7 of those minutes were cutscenes.

I also got a speeding ticket on the way back to Carbondale. That’s so embarrassing. How old am I?

Grandma’s funeral

Katie and I slept in a little later today than we probably expected. I told her last night that we had to be awake by 11am and she acted as though sleeping in till 11am was impossible. We woke up around 10am. She made biscuits and gravy and tofu scramble for breakfast and it was pretty awesome. Lauri came over around 12 and we got out the door on our way to Carrolton at 12:30. The visitation started at 1pm.

We got to the funeral home around 1:30pm. Pretty much everyone was there already. Everyone looked so different but I hadn’t seen most of them in over 7 years. I barely recognized my dad and I’d seen him in the last 5 years. I recognized Beth because we’re friends on Facebook. She introduced us to her fiancee Alan. I recognized Gloria and Aunt Diane and Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bill. They pretty much never change. I did not recognize Valerie or her husband Chris and I never knew her children, whose names I can’t remember. I hadn’t seen Louie since I was a little kid. It was all pretty insane.

The ceremony itself was relatively short, not that I’ve been to a lot of funerals. The pastor kind of droned on about Jesus and grandma’s mansion, but the parts Aunt Sharon and Gloria said were nice. At the end Aunt Sharon asked us to take either one of the porcelein birds or a necklace that had belonged to grandma as a keepsake. I got a porcelein owl. Lauri got a necklace with a lens on it.

Afterward most of the family was meeting up at a restaurant 20 minutes away. On the way to the funeral Lauri and I discussed that we probably wouldn’t go to it but after the ceremony we decided that we would. So we sat there and talked and talked and talked. It was relatively pleasant. We left around 6pm because Lauri still had to drive back home to Bloomington and we were an hour and a half away from Springfield.

When we got back to Springfield we went straight over to Jim and Andria’s for the superbowl party that we’d missed half of. Commercials were played, The Black Eyed Peas reminded me why I never listen to The Black Eyed Peas, a ball was moved around, and some team won. Then we watched some Puppy Bowl and some Pawn Stars. Nick brought a video camera and a shirt that played air guitar.

Tomorrow I get to drive back to Carbondale and look forward to another exciting week of class!

Ne Cede Malis