I talk about life, sometimes. Be it serious things, or me poking fun at events in my life.
I risked my precious GBA SP by putting it in a new shellApr 12, 2021 at 8:11 AM
I think it's weird, what little memories end up really making an impact on you, and sticking around with you for years. I recall plenty of things from my childhood, but one thing that stands out most is the moment I got my GBA SP. When I was little, my parents were living tenuously, beyond just paycheck-to-paycheck; getting a new video game took weeks if not months of pleading and asking and begging. $30 was enough to make or break a whole week's worth of dinner. So it was a huge deal when my mom listened to my 7-year-old self's pleas to go to Game Crazy. It was even more shocking that as we passed by one of the aisles, I saw the brand new GBA...SP. Backlight and everything...what kinda magic was it that it could have a whole light in its screen, is what I thought back then. So, I stared at it longingly, and my dad, fresh off a nice lotto win, said we could afford it, just this once. I carried that SP around with me for years, I took it everywhere, like you would with a smartphone, these days. Softball practice? It was in my sliding short's pocket. School? I kept it in my sweatshirt pocket, even if it was against the rules.
So, obviously it would make perfect sense that I'd want to potentially risk ruining it forever, just for the sake of an hour of fun 15 years later, right?
But really, that GBA had been through the ringer, closed roughly a few times when rage quitting Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, chomped on by my dog Nopey who was a mere puppy at the time, somehow survived the hurricane by a stroke of luck, etc. The shell was beaten to heck and back--in fact, here's a picture of the little beloved and haggard thing.
...I like stickers, okay? I'm pretty sure the butterfly one is from a doctor, when they used to give out stickers and lolipops for getting your shots. And the super star one is definitely from like, getting all my English questions right in the 2nd grade or something.
But that corner that Nopey ate, along with all the wear and tear...I wanted to see...could I tear down my GBA and put it in a new shell? Maybe I could make it look how it did when I first got it, so long ago. I mean, it couldn't be that hard--though I've never been good at dealing with this kind of thing. But I had such a want to test myself, prove that if I followed directions, I could actually do it. Part of the idea came from seeing Jayro's blogs with his insanely cool GBAs and neat cases and everything. So I decided, I was going to buy the tools, let's freaking do it!
And I managed to, despite all odds, actually pull it off!
It was pretty nerve wracking--at least, when I was trying to get the ribbon cable out. That was my only fear, actually, because that's a pretty major part of it. The rest of the process was incredibly easy, though. Even getting the hinges out, which is apparently a major task, wasn't that big of a deal--it just took patience. I was really impressed with myself, honestly, even though it was so easy.
So, that's it really. I just wanted to make this blog to prove that even if you think you're bad at stuff like this, or you've always wanted to try something, go do it! You'll never learn if you don't try, and when you do, you get to have a lot of fun just seeing how these things go together, and the intricate process that makes you appreciate these little GBAs all the more!
My only regret is getting a cheap China shell...it does feel a little flimsier than the original, and I'm not a huge fan of the way the plastic creaks--you get what you pay for, I suppose! But heck, now that I know how to do this, later down the line I can buy a higher quality shell and do the process all over again!
I found an abandoned pants ipodApr 5, 2021
So, my mom likes to shop at goodwill. She buys random stuff from time to time, and yesterday, she bought some jeans. I was restless and couldn't sleep, so I decided to do some chores and tire myself out. When I was putting the laundry, and those jeans in the wash, I noticed there was something in the jeans pocket. A lighter? A quarter? No.
It was an ipod.
One of those little baby ipods, a Shuffle. Tiny little thing, hilariously shoved in some random pants to be forgotten about and donated. So I took it out, luckily had a cable for it, and plugged it into my Mac.
The ipod has a capacity of 1GB, first of all, legitimately amazingly funny to me.
Then I see the ipod is crammed to absolute capacity, with music all bought from the apple store. Van Halen, Gwen Stefani, Tom Petty, Selena Gomez. Totally random.
So now I just have a little baby ipod. Pocket ipod. Pants ipod. Last synced in 2013.
Has it been in those pockets for nearly a decade?
I'm cracking up. Maybe it's because it's 3am but I can't stop laughing at the pantspod.
I’m losing my mindMar 15, 2021
my cat has feline pan leukemia the survival rate is awful I’m admitting him to the hospital because I love him so much and it’s unfair and life sucks but that’s how it is but just please pray or share energy or love or happy thoughts help for my cat please it’s contagious and my others might have it already too and o can’t do this just please pray and hope and maybe it’ll be okay please
I spend more time covering games than playing them, or: there's just too much freaking media to consumeMar 4, 2021
Wow, what a first-world problem.
I have to stay up for the next 24hrs caring for a critical condition cat, and I have had ALL the caffeine. I'm antsy about having to put a needle in the little kitten in an hour. Rather than be productive about writing, I felt like typing words into the abyss of this blog post. It'll probably be all over the place but yknow, that's what a blog is for. Probably.
I love writing gaming news--covering the industry is genuinely fun, and it's a "job" that I enjoy for certain. But sometimes, while I'm writing, I think to myself, "WOW! That is a game I want to play but probably won't for the next few years. Cool!" I've had my eye on a handful of really fun games that have come out within the past year, and I keep seeing them either in press releases or emails and for a brief moment I think, one day I'll get around to it. And then I never do. For every game I want to play, there are 50 other things I want to write about or discuss instead. Or maybe I just want to sit in my chair and stare at a wall for what turns into 3 hours doing absolutely nothing worthwhile. Oops.
I love gaming, but I spend more time writing about them or casually discussing games rather than playing them. It's weird. I tried playing BioShock the other day, and about 15 minutes into it I got distracted and instead went to watch an analytical video about Just Cause. I enjoyed listening to the game's mechanics than I ever did actually playing Just Cause. I never got back around to playing Bioshock.
I spent two hours hunting down games for my Switch, tricking it out with downloads of every cool game I've ever wanted to try. And then I proceeded to play none of those cool games. I can't motivate myself to even pick up the Switch unless it's to sate that weird productivity bug of wanting my Switch to HAVE everything cool "in case", rather than to actually make use of it. If not for reviewing Mario 3D World and promising to a friend to play with them, I don't think I would have even gotten around to playing it yet. Yikes.
Then there's the friendly recommendations. Not just of games, but of all media. "Hey Chary watch this show", "omg Chary this manga", "You have GOT to try this game!". I appreciate and love talking to friends about these things, but I hardly get around to actually reading/watching/playing any of it. I always feel bad, and then in my mind, it almost becomes a chore rather than a fun activity. There's even a bit of guilt when I end up doing something else. Do they get annoyed because I secretly binged an anime no one told me to watch rather than listen to their recommendation? It's not because I didn't want to, it's just because my brain craved stupid mindless derpage. I don't want to not be recommended things though. Is my brain making more out of this than I realistically ever should? Yes.
Is any of this coherent? Probably not. There's just so many things I WANT to experience, and since we're all locked down at home, media is the easiest thing to experience. It's all pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of life, but I still want to understand references, enjoy content, and be able to discuss things with friends.
I just wanted to type words. Words that were meaningless and without obligation or following any sort of thought process.
I got a memorial plushie of my dog NopeyFeb 7, 2021
Last month, my dog Nopey passed away after 16 amazing years of friendship. It's a loss that I know I won't ever fully heal from, but each day, the pain lessens, even just a tiny bit. The worst part is the lack of his presence in the house. and while I might want to adopt another dog one day, it's way too soon. So shortly after Nopey passed, and I had him cremated, I found this website that makes memorial plush toys of your dog. I'm admittedly a plushie fanatic, and something about having a stuffed toy that looked like my dog sounded like the best way to appreciate his impact on my life now that he's gone.
So I ordered from the website, called Cuddle Clones, who promised an identical lookalike scaled-down version of him. My biggest worry was that he wouldn't look quite right, or would look nothing more than like a Toys R Us min pin generic plush.
But I just got it in the mail today...and when I opened the box, it made me cry.
In a good way.
They made a really strikingly similar plushie of Nopey, down to identical leg markings and splotches of orange fur. It's even poseable. I'm so happy it came out as nice as it did. I also kind of wanted to share it with everyone here, after the huge amount of caring comments and well-wishes from the previous blog.
My dog is gone and a part of me went with himJan 18, 2021
No matter what happens in life, no matter what, I'll always love my dog.
My best friend, my buddy. He's the best, he's better than any human could ever be.
Sixteen years on this earth, and it wasn't enough, it'll never be enough.
But in those sixteen years, he lived the best life any dog could have.
When I adopted him, I was a little kid, an 8 year old who very very adamantly loved cats. I carried a cat plushie around with me everywhere.
That year, I carried my cat plushie with me to my great grandpa's funeral. I was small, young enough to understand loss. Prior to his passing away, we'd stayed two months in California, to be with him until the end. We weren't there when it happened, but we got to spend some amazing time with my grandpa, memories I'll cherish forever.
When I was 8, just coming back home from the funeral, my cat Lucky was hit by a car. We took him to the vet, and they said there was nothing to do but sit with him until the end. We brought him home, put him on a bed, and little me pet his head until he took his last breath.
After so much loss, my parents decided we were done with cats, with so much pain and grief, it was time to try another pet. A dog. So we went to an animal shelter, where a small Jack Russel Terrier caught me eye. Hyperactive and tiny and brightly colored, he seemed like an okay dog. But, it wasn't meant to be. We adopted him, and were told to come back the next day after he'd had his shots.
My mom drove me, skeptical 8 year old me, wary of these large barking animals that wagged their tails excitedly instead of being calm and collected like cats, to the shelter the next day. School had just let out. I had a miniature bag of Lays chips and was eating them in the front seat of the car.
By the time we got there, apparently, someone had adopted "our" dog. Rude.
The shelter begged for us to take a pick of another dog--in fact, they had this wonderful puppy. You see, he was in this fancy glass room. There was a nice pillow on the floor, and some kibble laying around. Boy, he sure must be special if he gets this big room all to himself, huh kiddo?
The shelter worker didn't tell me, but the reason the dog had this big glass room was because he shook terribly if he was in a cage. He was the only puppy out of his family of six to not be adopted. The mother was adopted sooner than this weirdo shakey dog. The dog's name was Nikki.
Dubiously, I walked into the room. "Nikki" backed away from me, afraid. I sat down on the messy floor, I can still remember how the whole room looked after so many years, and the dog approached me slowly. I reached my hand out to pet him, and instead of leaning into the pat, he ducked, lunged at my sweatshirt pocket, and shoved his dog snout into my bag of chips. He pulled away chomping at potato chips happily.
On that day, that dog met his best friend.
Me, on the other hand, was upset. This dumb animal just stole my lunch!! I paid 99 cents for those chips, give them back!
My mom was laughing. She told them we'd take the dog home immediately.
But that name just had to go.
As we drove home, I sat in the back seat next to the cage with the shaking chip thief. Every bump the car made, the dog whined and cried, and given that my mom drove a beat-up 1998 Geo Metro, there were a LOT of bumps on the way home...
The moment we got him home, my dad was excited. He took one look at the dog and cheered that my mom finally decided to make a good choice and pick a dog. Dogs were way better than cats! He ruffled the dog's fur, and he barked in reply.
A few moments later, he peed all over the living room carpet.
And that's how he got his name--Nopey. No pee.
It's a dumb name--no one ever understood what it was. "Nokey? Hopey? Why did you name your dog that?" It was awkward to explain and hardly anyone thought it was as funny as 8 year old me did. But I still liked it. Nopey! I'd yell at him, and he'd look at me, turn his little head, and wag his tail. He had no idea his name was being called, but he liked being talked to!
Years would pass, and for every milestone, my dog was there for it. Graduating elementary school graduating middle school, skipping high school graduation and laughing at how overblown it all was. Nopey was there when my family called and told me I should be going to college already. He was there for every joy, every sadness, every single moment in my life.
When the hurricane hit and destroyed my home, Nopey was there in my lap. He sat with me on the couch as it began to float along the 6ft of water. I carried him to the kitchen counter--the highest place in the house. When the boat came by to rescue us, I yelled from the window, I begged the guy on the boat, please please don't leave yet. Please save my dog! The man laughed. Of course I can take your dog!
We stayed overnight at an elementary school, having lost all our possessions. I slept on the cafeteria floor, I took a donated shirt and put it on my dog, so he wouldn't be cold. He slept cuddled next to me in this scary new place, but it was okay cuz we were together.
Nopey and I were always together. To the end, I was there for him. I loved him so much, I loved him so so much.
I feel broken, I feel hurt, I feel destroyed. I feel numb. I feel too much.
I know the pain will lessen in time, I know it'll get easier--it'll never go away, never, though. I'll always remember my best friend, my little buddy. Forever. Always. And I'll never regret even a second of it all.
Thank you Nopey. Thank you for every moment we had together. I love you.
Hype check: 2021 gamesJan 9, 2021
When it came to 2020 wrapping up, I was left wondering what games I'd initially been hyped for, what games I'd dismissed as boring, or games I'd thought would just suck. I wanted to make this blog just for myself, so I could check back in around a year from now, and see how it all turned out! It's really just a mindless stream of thought I'm recording here.
Scott Pilgrim VS the World The Game is going to be a day 1 buy. There's...not really much else to say, unless Ubisoft fails spectacularly at porting an XLBA game to modern consoles...
Ys IX is releasing!! I really hope NISA handles it well, after their Ys 8 scandal. Won't be a day 1 purchase, but I'll keep my eye on it.
Persona 5 Strikers...I don't like Persona 5, but I'm a mindless fan, so I'm obviously going to play it. I do like Koei Tecmo Warriors games, so it'll probably be worth it for the gameplay and OST alone.
I hope by the time bravely default 2 releases, I'll have played 1, or at least gotten somewhat close to trying it? I hope they port the original to Switch or PC or anything that isn't the 3DS tbh.
Can Natsume ever make a good Harvest Moon? One World looks...actually better than their other attempts. It's no Rune Factory, though.
Prince of Persia SoT remake!!! I'm so super hyped for this. I know the footage looked really crappy, but I'm hoping...Ubisoft...fixed...things...before release...oh boy.
Disco Elysium: Final Cut. I want to try this a ton. All last year I heard was hype for this game, and now it's got a definitive release! Yes please!
Nier Replicant will be something interesting. I'm a little sad it's going to be specifically the Japanese version, and not the western one, but I don't know much about the series myself, just what I've heard from others. It seems like a great game, and maybe I'll like it enough to wanna go back to the og Nier?
Deathloop: anything that Arkane makes has my attention instantly. I was sad it got delayed, but hopefully they made the most of their time. It looked like Dishonored but with guns and repetition shenanigans. Hopefully having to redo sections won't be annoying.
RUNE FACTORY 5 FOR GAME OF THE YEAR DONT LET ME DOWN
I totally forgot Apex Legends was coming to the Switch. Can the console handle that? I'm really skeptical but who knows!
The Good Life has been something on my radar for what feels like years at this point. I'm really hopeful on it being good, but I'm super apprehensive as well. Maybe it won't be what I'm hoping for.
Gotham Knights looks like the Batman game I've always wanted--where you can play as Red Hood and Tim Drake Robin...even if he's in Damian's costume?
There's that whole Hogwarts Legacy game that I didn't care about initially, but now I've seen almost all the Harry Potter games and I'm actually interested. But the developer doesn't give me any confidence...
Kena: Bridge of Spirits was my favorite game revealed at the weirdo fake E3 last year. It looks adorable! I haven't heard much about it lately, though? Is it doing okay? I wonder.
Mass Effect has seemed like the most boring RPG series out there, to me. I've never really given it a fair shake though, and given the fact that EA games come with Game Pass now, it's free to try...why not. I don't think I'll like it.
Is No More Heroes 3 even real?
Oh my gosh I forgot the SMT 3 remaster was coming out. Heck yes!!!! And V? Gosh, I'm just gonna take my switch and disappear for months with my precious SMT goodness.
I'm not confident in Halo Infinite, purely going off the weird developer flip flops going on at 343. They keep losing people and that's never a good sign...
Nintendo finally joins the year of our lord 2007 as it adds online play to Mario 3D World. Maybe I'll actually beat it this time!
I'm sorry I don't like Monster Hunter...I'm going to try the demo for Rise...but I just am skeptical. I've tried World, I've tried 3U...ehhhh. I bet it's going to sell GANGBUSTERS though! ...not a shocking claim.
Oh, there's that LEGO Star Wars game! I saw it at E3 a few years ago and I really liked what I saw. I've played 2 LEGO games ever, and never really gotten into Star Wars outside of IV/V. Kinda excited for this one! It sure took them long enough to make it, but it does have a huge scope to cover!
Jeez, Roller champions didn't release already? It was like a bootleg Rocket League. I seriously hope they retooled it, otherwise it's going to suffer a very quick death in the esports lineup.
Dying Light 2 has some serious writer cred to it...or it did, before Avalone got ejected...Vampire 2, too. I don't know what to think when a creator gets accused of bad things...I love his work, and I can separate the person from the allegations, but yikes. Yikes? Yikes.
WHERE IS SKULL AND BONES UBISOFT? I assume we're getting its cancellation this year.
It Takes Two looked hilarious--I think it's going to be like Unravel 2 and will be a great little coop game. Not too much hype for it, but fun enough to be interested in it when it launches.
Why are cats addicted to Sennheiser?Dec 19, 2020
I love my cats, I really do. But I’m questioning what and why and how and what.
For, you see, they have a bone to pick with Sennheiser.
Every time there’s a Sennheiser cord, their little kitten brains lock onto it. And they won’t stop until they have CONSUMED IT.
There is something in those cords. 99% of cats agree; they’re better than any other brand of headphone cable. I’ve gone through six of them. They’ve eaten all six of my replacement cables. Every single time. I’ve kept my latest one locked up in a drawer. But this time, my cat ate it as I was playing a game. I was petting the small idiot, and he didn’t look like he was going to do anything that would cause me a mental breakdown, but out of nowhere he lunged, and bit the cable in half in one motion.
Please, why. What does Sennheiser put in their cables? I’m so confused. Why is it always these specific cords? They don’t care about the third party cheap ones. It’s only and always the official cable that my cats have a vendetta against.
If left uninterrupted, they TRY TO EAT it. No other electronic cord causes this kind of reaction. Does Logitech NOT slather kitten crack all over their cords? WHAT is going on at Sennheiser?????
The story and struggle of an incompetent government and an OculusDec 3, 2020
If I live through today may I never deal with troubleshooting the government’s tech problems ever again.
It all started with a phone call. My mom, who works with a city government, needed me to help set up something for the senior citizen division. They bought a VR headset for the seniors to play with, and take VR tours since they’re not allowed to take trips outside for now. Cute idea.
Except literally everything on this earth was actively working against it.
So, to set up the Oculus Go, it needs a phone app. Simply download the app and sync it. Easy!
But that’s a lie. For, you see, the government office is very particular. You can’t just have some random person use their own (my) account. It’s a breach of security, to them. So we need to use someone who works within the city to use their phone. They’re specific about this.
I ask for a phone to use, then.
My mom is using an LG Moto from 2013. Loading the Play Store just about murders the phone entirely. No way.
That’s okay though, her boss has a phone!
It’s a 2007 flip phone.
I walk down to the other side of the building—there’s someone there certainly with a phone not from the stone ages.
Except there’s not.
There’s a tablet though, whew. That’ll work.
Just kidding, it’s a surface tablet. It can’t run android apps.
But someone has a Galaxy Tab! Thank goodness! We’re saved.
It’s a Galaxy Tab first gen. The Oculus App isn’t supported, apparently.
We drive to another branch of the government center, where they most certainly will have a device. An iPad Pro, no way can this go wrong now! It will work certainly. They even give me the passcode to get into it, so there’s no room for error.
Until I see that no one is signed into the App Store. There is no Apple ID.
So, I call. I ask for the password. I’m given the password. It is incorrect.
I call the IT department. I ask for the password. It’s incorrect.
That’s it, I give up, I’m done! Screw the rules. I’ll sign in myself to the App Store. I get the app. It all works flawlessly.
When they ask how I did it, I told them I’m a hacker and made it work with magic.
Now I need a Facebook account. Of course. This will end well.
To my total shock and surprise that I was not expecting, the Facebook needs a 2FA code. Where did that 2FA code go? No one knows. The person who created the account does not know. Not a single person in this entire government workforce knows.
NO IT’S FINE OKAY I’LL USE MY OWN ACCOUNT WHATEVER. STALK ME HARDER, FACEBOOK DADDY.
It’s okay everyone, I’m a hacker. Don’t question this.
Now I need to connect to the WiFi. There is no public WiFi. I need a password.
I’m going to die before I set this device up.
Knowing it won’t end well, I ask for the WiFi password. “What is that?”, I’m told.
Deep breath, chary. Deep breath.
Someone. Someone out there created this WiFi password. They must know. Certainly. They must.
They did. The person who created it knew the password when they set it up.
They died nearly a decade ago.
I’m pretty sure they took that password to the grave.
Nothing is okay.
No one knows how to get into the WiFi.
I’m going to be here for the rest of my life.
There is no escape.
My dad bought a Pac-Man arcade machineNov 26, 2020
Neither of my parents have been what you could consider "gamers". My dad has only ever played video games at the behest of kid-Chary desperately wanting a P2 for Super Smash Bros, while my mom stood in line for the launch day of Sonic 2 on the Genesis, loved it to death, and then promptly never cared about video games again. (Except for animal crossing)
So it was quite a surprise when my mom and dad excitedly told me that they had purchased an arcade cabinet as an early Christmas present for themselves. One of those cutesy Arcade1Up ones, with 6 games. Apparently, they'd both really loved the idea of being able to play a video game without having to turn on a "really confusing game system and have to select one from the menu". Which, honestly, I think they just were having a lot of trouble with pointing the Wiimote at the TV and pressing "Animal Crossing". That, or the poor Wiimote ran out of batteries and they totally forgot to replace them.
Regardless, the Pac-Man machine arrived, and we spent the night before Thanksgiving setting it up. Meaning, my mom and I set it up, while my dad would occasionally hand me the screwdriver, so that he could pretend he was totally helping. The second it was ready to be plugged in, my parents were already fighting over who could play first. My dad decided in the end that ladies go first, but I think he just realized the longer they stayed in stalemate arguing, the longer it would take for anyone to play. Her first move was to immediately run Pac-Man face first into a ghost.
Mom: Oh no! The ghost guy got me!
Dad: Well, maybe if you played better you would have won.
Which I can only assume is the snarky boomer version of "git gud scrub".
Dad: Okay, is my turn now. I am Pac-Man champion, just watch!
Our reigning champion proceeds to stick Pac-Man in the corner.
Dad: See, the ghosts can't get me if I hide! Then ghosts go away.
Somehow, the ghosts see through my dad's genius ploy. So, his next great plan is...to run into them. To which he's very confused as to why Pac-Man can't beat them. I tell him to he needs to get the little pellets so that he can win.
Dad: So is Pac-Man bird?
Dad: He's eating all these bird seeds, so he must be bird.
His bird-headcannons are further reinforced when fruit appears, and he runs into it, because "Birds eat fruit! Pac-Man is bird. Fruit is good".
Me: Dad, did you know people used to have to pay quarters to play this every time they lost?
Dad: Every time? The Pac-Man must have made millions, no, billiards of dollars!
So, after a few rounds, we all say goodnight. Until I wake up, late at night, only to hear Pac-Man noises in the living room. My dad is sitting there, glasses on, chair pulled up to the cabinet. He'd apparently been playing all night, practicing, trying to break my mom's score.
A high score of 5,000.
After half a night, and through the help of my coaching, my dad finally gets to complete the first level of Pac-Man.
Dad: Oh! Oh! I won! I beat the whole game! See, I told you I am champion!
Dad: Wait what's happening? Why is there another?
Dad: There is more?! Why is there more!
To his horror, Pac-Man isn't just one single level. So, now he's on a mission. A mission to beat level 2 of Pac-Man, so that he may find further terror when he realizes there's even a level 3.
Maybe, one day, he'll even reach a level 4.
My dad and I questioned the humanity of a phone operatorJul 30, 2020
Given the crazy state of the world, a lot of people are unemployed, out of work, unable to do anything as the coronavirus wreaks its havoc. My dad is part of those unfortunate set of people, especially due to his age and all his health complications. We're lucky that he was only working mostly as a formality, really, as he's been "retired" for a few years now, and could afford to still make things work without that income.
Yet, unemployment benefits appealed to him (and honestly, at that amount, me too). But his retirement required us to have to call and talk to a representative. Which...isn't that easy.
You see, remember when I mentioned that "a lot of people are unemployed"? Yeah, it's a bit nigh on impossible to actually get through to an agent, to the point where they try to loop you around on one of those auto keypad response recordings. We've been trying for two weeks, on and off, calling every hour or two to try to get through to them. Except, it never works. But every day, my dad looks at me, points at my phone, and goes "money please", so we try to call, again, again, and again.
Today, I let him hold my phone while on the robo-dial portion, bored of trying fruitlessly after so many attempts. I kept it on speaker so he can hear it without trying so hard to press the phone to his ear, but he didn't seem to notice, still holding my phone as close as possible. In the process of doing that, he ends up hitting a bunch of numpad keys on the screen.
Usually, you press one key at a time during though, but he hit so many and so quickly that it ended up confusing the robo system so badly that it froze, and started ringing. Then, after so long, we were connected to someone who was talking. Their connection was cutting in and out, and I could barely hear what they were saying on the speaker phone. Were they real? Or was it some new script being read?
So, in my most genius moment, I yelled out across the room to the phone, "ARE YOU A REAL PERSON? YOU'RE NOT A ROBOT ARE YOU?"
There was a pause.
So my dad must have decided to make the executive decision that I'd ruined everything and it was up to him to fix it and make this possible human talk back to us. So he, as loud as I did, despite being centimeters from the phone, screamed, "PLEASE LADY. YOU'RE REAL RIGHT? I NEED MONEY. PLEASE GIVE ME THE MONEY!!!"
And then came the fairly levelheaded response of "excuse me...? What do you mean a real person? Are you okay?"
Nervous and slightly terrified, both my dad and I started talking at the same time, "ahaha...I mean you're not one of those auto scripted recording things, you know ehehe?" and "Hello lady I need the money. Can you helping me get the money from you?"
We must have seemed insane at best, and like deranged scammers on a drug high at worst to this phone operative.
And like, to her credit, she was pretty calm for being called a robot and being yelled at in very broken English.
So, I guess she decides to not hang up on us, and continue as usual, thankfully. She begins asking my dad the usual questions. "What's your name, when were you born" and all that. To which my dad tries his absolute best to sound American, and not have an accent, which just honestly sounds so stilted and awkward, like someone reading a teleprompter with a gun to their head. And that's sad, because my dad is quite proud of his "real Am-ar-he-can, yehaw!" accent.
Then, she asks the fateful question.
"What is your home address?"
Dad, the intellect that he is, replies earnestly and happily with, "Oh! My house? I don't actually know, haha!"
Yknow, like a normal, absolutely, completely, regular, average person would say.
The operator is understandably confused and concerned, and asks him if he can go outside and read the address on his place of residence. Dad, however, has heard enough warnings from my mom to know that outside = bad.
"Oh, I can't go outside, my wife telling me never go outside again"
I didn't think it could get worse, but then it did.
"What do you mean you can't go outside. Sir? Are you currently okay right now?"
I pray, silently, that he says something normal.
But this is dad, why would I ever hope for something like that?
At the top of his lungs, he howls, "I AM SICK! SO VERY SICK. OH NO. OH MY. I CANNOT TALK. *fake coughing* Please, let my daughter talk for me!"
I'm frantically waving at him to please stop talking. Clearly, this makes literally everything 100% more suspicious to the operator. The end result is that I'm not allowed to talk on the phone on his behalf until my dad verbally agrees to it, but he has to prove his identity first.
He says his social number with ease, telling the woman that isn't he such a good American, knowing that number so well? He's truly the peak citizen.
An audible sigh rings through the speaker, and she ignores him to ask for his address, again.
Of which...he doesn't know any way to say it, or find out.
Peak citizen indeed.
He relays this by telling both me and the representative that he never really knows the address of where he lives. He just knows where to go home after being outside.
Kind of like a little lost puppy.
Quietly, I tell dad what the address is, and he parrots my words back over the phone. Except, that’s super mega illegal, I guess. At least, that’s what she interrupts us to say. No outside force can tell my dad what to say or how to say his identifying information. It all falls to him. He has to do this, all on his own. He heads outside to check the address, but the street name isn’t anywhere on the house, and he has no idea where the numbers are. Silently, I start holding up fingers to tell him the numbers of the address.
He relays them one-by-one, in the most unnatural tone that anyone has ever told an address in the history of the earth.
I frantically find some paper and write down the name of the street as well, but he decides to read the letters off one at a time, as well. After an agonizing few moments, he's gotten all his information, and it's correct. She says he's proven his identity and he can now pass the phone to me to act on his behalf.
Before I can yank the phone away from my dad, he tells the representative that she is very nice and kind to help her fellow American like this. He then immediately follows this heartfelt gratitude with a plethora of fake coughing, again yelling, "OH, OH NO. I AM THE SICK. I MUST LETTING MY CHILD SPEAK FOR ME. GOODBYE, NICE LADY. HAVE A GOOD DAY"
Although he'd sounded like a hostage at some points, and incomprehensibly and awkwardly incompetent at other points, he'd done it. Somehow.
Thank you, random woman, for not hanging up on my dad.
EDIT: And thank you, everyone, because apparently this is my 50th blog. Here's to blogging even more weird events about my dad in the future.
Playing games on release day feels more and more unfulfillingJul 30, 2020
Let me preface this by saying, yes, I fully understand the reason why publishers tend to have this drip-feed mentality. It keeps players coming back, it entices those who don't own the game to pick it up because a neat new feature was added. It helps put the game back in the headlines slightly after launch. I get it, I do.
But that doesn't keep me from feeling like it's pointless to play games when they do come out.
I'm the kind of person who agonizes over spending a single dollar. I'll mull over and debate a purchase incessantly, until deciding to finally commit, only to see the total I expected, but with tax added onto it, sending me into a spiral of internalized suffering. It could be the matter of a few pennies, and I'll still balk, mentally, before reluctantly handing over my card and dealing with the emotional toll of spending just a tiny bit more than expected.
Dramatic, I know.
But personal quirks aside, I try to make sure that every time I buy something, I'll truly enjoy it. That includes video games. And yet, it's come to a point where I'm starting to hate buying or even just ahem, playing games on launch. And that's not because of the typical disappointment from an overhyped E3 trailer, or overzealous promises from a developer. It's because of the post-launch content that slowly gets added, weeks, maybe even months after the fact.
Take for example, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. The second that game launched, I was booting it up. A DBZ RPG? Heck yeah, exactly what I've been waiting for. I played the game for an excessive amount of time, genuinely excited about every little detail. Within the month, I'd completed it entirely, start to finish. There was nothing left to do. And then, there was the announcement of DLC, oh but not just DLC, either, free updates that would add little things into the game, making things funner for the players. Players who hadn't beaten the game yet. Joy.
Or there's Animal Crossing New Horizons. A game that launched, with the expectation of it to be the full experience, yet new features keep spilling out every few months. And that's great! The game seriously needed some of these additions--it makes it better for everyone, and given that it felt a little lacking compared to some of its predecessors, it's almost vindicating to know Nintendo knows that fact, too, and wants to fix it. But when I think about returning to the game after putting in all the time I did back when it released, the thought seems tiring. I did everything I wanted to, and now I'm pressured by some weird online time-clock restrictions to do these new things now, or else I won't be able to later? I can't be free to enjoy it on my own terms. So the game sits untouched.
And what about Persona 5 Royal? It's been three years since Persona 5, and even so, I still feel burnt out by the game. There's so many mixed feelings about wanting to see the new content, but also the reluctance because it means another 100 hours of dedication, slogging through things I've already played before, just to see small glimpses of things I might not even enjoy. I'll need a few more years to really want to go back to it. Heck, maybe there'll be a PC version by then...
Even Sekiro is getting updates, and the game is more than a year old, now.
Thinking about it, my way of thinking is a bit petty. I mean, in a lot of these cases, I fully enjoyed my time with the game, I had fun, and the experience lived up to my expectations. That's what matters. But when I think about things that were added post-launch, I can't help but feel cheated. A lot of the time, some really neat features will be patched into a game as I mentioned above, and I'll look back and think, dang, I wish I could have gotten to enjoy that. I could, of course, go back to the game and replay it, although that's a lot of investment. But if I'd waited, ended up playing it next year or so, maybe even when some sort of definitive edition came out, then I could have had the exact same experience, but better in every way.
There are cases where I do like the post-launch content, though. Online games or games that you can easily jump in and out of are best suited to this structure. I look at the new updates that The Division 2 receives and I get excited, and every time I see something new in Rocket League, I want to get back into it, and see what's changed.
Really, this was just an outlet for me to express my feeling warier and warier of buying anything on launch that isn't an online game, and that's a bad mentality to have--there are so many games and companies I want to support, but there's also the question of it even being worth it for me, as the player, wanting to get the best gaming experience possible.
Of butts, breaking GBAtemp, and cached imagesMay 29, 2020
noun: an information technology for the temporary storage (caching) of Web documents, such as Web pages, images, and other types of Web multimedia, to reduce server lag.
I still have not healed from the emotional trauma that this incident has brought upon me.
But I feel the need to clear my name. For innocence, for purity, or the sake of my sanity.
It all started in the distant past, the far-flung era of a few days ago. A news thread managed to get by without promoting the image to the little preview box you normally see. Even after going back to edit the image in, it stayed broken, refusing to change despite the fact an image had been added multiple different times. So, the issue was something to do with the site's way of caching images. Resident code-wizard tj_cool had it fixed pretty fast--instantly fixing the broken front page image from earlier. Yay, problem solved!
Except things were just a few hours from spiraling into an unforgettable mess.
In an early-morning rush to get a thread posted, and for the first time in an incredibly long while, I'd missed centering the image for the news post, so it went up without a preview. And apparently, that was pretty no bueno with the new caching code that'd been added hours ago.
Putting it dramatically, I'd single-handedly killed GBAtemp into an error-code coma with my mistake. The site wouldn't load, and instead gave some techy message spitting out some sorta text that might as well have said "good going chary, you broke EVERYTHING"
So, at 4am, in nervous-awkward fervor, I screenshotted the error and asked Costello to please fix whatever horror I'd inflicted upon the image cache. It was easy, just press control+printscreen, boom, ShareX created a nice little Imgur screenshot for me to send, showing what went wrong.
Except that didn't happen.
Something far, far, different did.
And I wasn't even aware.
I knew something went wrong when every single supervisor and admin left me on read, only for Costello to break the silence with, and I quote,
"are you seeing a naked woman showing her butthole?"
No, no I don't, Costello.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN.
Slightly rattled, I thought this was some weird webdev joke? Maybe he saw something in the line of code that made him think of those old website hacks that would redirect to porn? Maybe it was just some guy joke that went over my head?
Then Shaun added the final nail in the panic coffin,
"I see it too"
that doesn't sound like a joke
WHAT DOES ANYTHING MEAN ANYMORE?
(I've been using the internet since I was a little kid--I still remember getting a computer for Christmas 2001. The first thing I did was AOL-search for Pokemon.com. Ever since that day, I've mercifully avoided any form of "scary stuff", aka any porn, raunchy images, anything explicit in nature. We're talking the kinda strict parent filter active and parenting that led me to think that Harry Potter was all sorts of evil and corrupting, or that South Park was the scariest thing on earth. That porn was the worst sin in the whole wide world. There was a time when I hadn't used the internet for a few years, having gotten service back in 2012, only to find a certain yarr-harr site with some roms on it. I happily found a download link, only for ads to pop up on the side. I'll never forget the horror when I saw some woman, scantily clad in lingerie with the bold words of "hot singles in your area".
Slight tears forming in my eyes, my 16-year old self couldn't believe the internet had become such a cesspool in those years I hadn't used it. Except it had always been that way--I just had never seen such graphic content of a clothed woman in underwear on my personal computer.)
So, that was all built up for the grand moment where I'd apparently just sent every higher up staff on GBAtemp a picture of a naked woman, somehow. And then, the screenshot of my screenshot was sent back to me, full butt viewable. Right there. Just like that, butt.
But(t) how did that even happen? To answer, we have to come full circle back to the original issue: caching.
My link was fine, but Telegram must have seen that Imgur link used once before in the past, and it must have, at the time, been used for someone's nude photo, sent through Telegram. Thus, caching it on their servers.
What are the odds?
That meant the link showed up fine for me, since I was the one sending it, but anyone else on the receiving side heard my cries of "help i broke the site with the cached image" paired along with the image of the backside of a woman. Hopefully, presumably, not assumed to actually be myself. Gosh why.
It wasn't an image of me, of course, but the reaction to the incident certainly felt like I was becoming a walking advert for young women to be careful when sending risque pictures on the internet.
I'll lay awake at night, years from now, unable to sleep, just thinking about the confusion, panic, and terror of this.
My dad might as well be a Disney Princess when it comes to birdsMay 19, 2020
We've previously established in dad-blogs that my father loves birds. Like, birds bring him utter joy. To the point where he yoinked one out of a parking lot and brought it home and turned it into a pet. That, in his complete excitement at finally owning a bird for himself, he struggled through reading books about birds and how to best take care of them, despite having a very hard time understanding most of the words.
Owning one bird isn't enough bird joy for him, though. With quarantine, he has decided to become "king of the bird". He bought all sorts of different birdseed and found all sorts of random knickknacks around the house. Then, my dad tied the objects to our five trees outside, creating multiple places for the birds to safely eat. Sometimes, I'll just find him awake at 6AM staring out the window, excitedly looking at all the different birds on the trees. I've seen cardinals, grackle, bluejays, doves, birds I can't even name, and dad's favorite, the regular everyday pigeon.
As a side-note, when my dad was a little kid, living in Iran, he lived in a large home, with a big field. He asked his own dad, as a birthday present, to build him a small barn without a roof. So he did, and my dad would bring bread and pita out from dinner, and leave it in the barn. Birds would then fly in through the top to eat the food. According to my uncle, my dad had "at least a hundred of the darned things", pigeons and assorted birds of all kinds coming and going from the barn each day, and it was my dad's favorite thing in the whole world. So I suppose it explains why he loves birds so much.
In another instance, a few years ago right before, or on Easter Day, there was a parakeet in our backyard. My dad was amazed that such a weird bird happened to be hanging around, so he set out some bread and climbed a tree, waiting for it to land. He was out there for hours, and my mom was convinced that my dad was insane. But, eventually, he came back inside holding a parakeet, holding it with clear adoration in his eyes. He even walked around our street, bragging to everyone outside that he caught a parakeet. ...Until he found the owner of the parakeet, who was amazed that my dad had managed to save his pet. He ended up giving my dad 50 bucks for the return of the parrot, to which my dad excitedly claimed that the Jesus Bird had blessed him with free money.
But today, he was looking out the window, and was very, very upset. He looked me in the eye, dead serious, and said "THERE IS A MONSTER IN THE YARD!!!". Of course, hearing the word monster is startling. What could it mean?! Was there a raccoon? An armadillo? feral dog?
It was a small, tiny, squirrel.
But it was a monster because it had decided to steal the birdseed. The worst possible sin that could be committed, in the eyes of my dad. So he shooed it away. And it ran. And it came back. And dad shooed it away, and it came back. An endless cycle, of two determined beings. One wanted to just eat birdseed, the other wanted to protect the bounty he had left for his precious birds.
Currently, my dad is outside trying to tie the birdseed holders to things that the squirrel can't get onto, but to give the little guy credit, he sure can jump far, and has foiled my dad at every point so far. Godspeed, dad, may you win in your fight against the evil monster.
1 year anniversary of moving into my new house - happiness amidst quarantineApr 15, 2020
I think, if you told the world's population a year ago that we'd all be stuck at home, unable to go outside unless it was for short walks or essential shopping, you'd get laughed off as some nutjob spewing 4chan-tier doomsday speak. And yet, here we are.
Speaking of a year ago, exactly 365 days ago, I moved into my new home, closing out the final chapter of the part of my life that was dominated by a life-changing hurricane. In just a few more months, that hurricane and the devastation from it will be 3 years ago, isn't that crazy? It feels so long ago, and yet still like it was only a week ago. I've pretty much moved on from everything that happened, though, outside of still having a bit of PTSD when it comes to rain. Whenever it rains, even a little bit, or even in video games, I find that it makes my hands shake, and I feel this horrible sense of unease. Given what I lived through, and all the support I had throughout and all the positives that came after, I consider a little fear of rain to be incredibly minor, all things considered.
Back to living in my home--every single day, I wake up feeling super joyful because holy cow, I live in a real house again! It's so nice! I have my own office, isn't that the best??! There's something so relieving to know that after all the craziness that happened, I got back to normalcy. That getting past that hard part of my life led to so much happiness and gratefulness.
So, when it comes to being stuck at home all day for weeks on end, I'm not that bad off. I haven't been making the best use of my quarantine time--I try to do things like improving my drawing skills, or trying to learn how to crochet again, but I just find myself playing VR or having fun playing random games online with friends, which is totally okay! But I don't feel quite so productive, lol. I'd like to better learn how to budget my time and plan things, though.
Something I had planned out a year ago too, was to get my teeth fixed. See, I've had my wisdom teeth start coming in for quite a while now, and I've been to the dentist multiple times, but there was always something else (you need a root canal first, or, that previous dentist was an idiot you needed this procedure instead, or that other dentist was a super idiot and did the root canal wrong gosh) getting in the way. Which is, well, a freaking pain, if I'm being honest. It's not like it's easy to get an appointment during corona, either. But I find myself really tired easily, from the constant pressure that having my teeth push against each other. It's almost like combining a stress headache, a sinus infection, and a tooth infection at once. It's not fun, and I think my existence is fueled by ibuprofen some days, but at least I'll be able to get that fixed, soon, I hope. Moral of the story: get your wisdom teeth out asap if you can afford insurance.
But back to happier topics! Animal Crossing finally released!!! It's so fun, and I've loved every minute of it. I wasn't given a review code, but I do kind of want to write a review on it nonetheless. There's so much customization that it's insane to consider how far the series has come. Then again, there are some steps back...no gyroids, less furniture, less villager dialogue. Hopefully, we get some content patches in the future, but I do miss some things from older games! I was actually playing the GameCube version and I was so amused by the dialogue and snark in that game. I'm excited to keep putting more 100s of hours into both games, and refining my village, either way. How is everyone's village looking? I'd love to see other GBAtemper's designs, indoor or out!
Really, I've just been sitting around waiting for some friends to ready up for a game, so I decided to write a blog rambling my thoughts because I caught the calendar date offhand and it made me think of the significance of today. So I suppose I'll just leave things off here, lest I ramble TOO much. Thank you for reading, if you did, and have a wonderful day <3
My dad tries to understand what the U.K isMar 23, 2020
Hello British people and dad-blog enjoyers. I’ve got a blog that both of you can enjoy especially, today. As most of you probably know, your President prime minister thingy guy just announced that the UK is on lockdown. So, mildly bored and wanting to keep my dad informed, I decided to tell him. He had no idea what I was trying to say. Clarifying what exactly a UK is...was more trouble than I thought, though.
Me: hey dad they shut down the UK
Dad: I’m okay, are you okay?
Me: no...like...the U. K. country?
Dad: what’s a you Kay?
Me: uh Britain?
Dad: no clue?
Me: tea people? Tut tut Cheerio with the accent?
Dad: never heard of it
Me: Sherlock Holmes? The country we fought a war against?
Me: ...Manchester United’s home country
So, I’ve learned, whenever I need to tell my dad what place on the map I mean, I’ll just get a list out of sports teams. Thanks, soccer. Er, football.