October 30th, 2008

gamer advance wars

If I could shoot deathbeams from my eyes, there'd be corpses everywhere

So the past week or so has been sort of a wash with positives and negatives. The main upside is that I had the chipped tooth taken care of and all it took was some dental cement. I'll probably never forget the smell of that stuff after using it to cement the heads of so many rats during surgery. Now I have a chunk of it in my mouth sealing up the hole. I wonder if it's pink like the stuff I used to work with.

Also on the positive side of the ledger is I went to the doctor and got some more drugs. I let him know that the increase in dosage for the pain patch wasn't really working. I'm still having breakthrough pain multiple times a day and over the past couple of days the severity of it had been increasing. He decided to ditch the patch for the time being and prescribed me a month's worth of Oxycontin, aka hillbilly heroin. I haven't had the prescription filled yet so I have no clue if it's going to work. It feels weird having a 'script for a drug that I know would be worth hundreds on the street. Again, I'm just brought back to the fact that it doesn't seem fair that there are so many people out there who seem to derive enjoyment from meds that never seem to do a damn thing for me in that area. Shouldn't I get at least a little euphoria or something? It just seems like a big waste overall. I've got to take the drugs anyway for pain management. You'd think I could benefit a little on the side too.

As for the downsides of the past week, I ended up missing my appointment at the SSA. In my last entry I wrote that the appointment was on tuesday earlier this week because that's what I recalled. Turns out that I must've gotten thursday and tuesday mixed up in my head so I actually missed it. The appointment had been the previous week and I'm not sure exactly what to do now. Calling up the place is always an exercise in futility. The last time I tried i was on hold for something like 4 hours and still never got a straight answer. I'm thinking it might be best just to show up there and sit around hoping that an on the spot appointment can sort things out. The downside there is that I could end up waiting for hours and then not have it mean a thing since the person assigned to my case could be out that day. What I'd really like to do is just pretend the notice had been lost in the mail, allowing me to avoid having to think about this and go into procrastination mode. I would if I didn't harbor the lingering thought that it'd end up biting me in the ass somehow.

Lastly, ubercon was a mixed sort of event. Overall the con went pretty well and the last day was certainly a highlight. One of the guys there freaked out and we got into an argument. All in all, I figure it was a net positive. I didn't like the asshole anyway and now Ive got a spiffy anecdote to tell. Actually, I think I'll save it for the next entry in which I'll just recap ubercon really quick. No real reason to drag it out here.
gamer kobolds

Ubercon XI

I'm really not sure how many more Ubercon's there will be. The entire thing was on rocky financial footing even before the recent economic problems. Add that into the mix and my personal guess is that there will be perhaps one more before it ends in flames.

THat said, this particular con didn't seem to go badly. The attendance numbers seemed to be steady if not up based on the number of people I saw in the main ballroom each day. That should mean that the revenue stream is steady. The problem is that I'll bet the costs to run the event have increased with changes in hotels and whatnot. I had really liked the previous location since it was close by and had a Harold's on site. If you look at the ubercon tag, you can see some past entries with pictures of the food provided at Harold's. Pancakes bigger than a person's head and heaps of dead animals parts all roasted to perfection. I ended up having a single meal at the new hotel's restaurant and it's not one I'm soon to forget. It was cheap as hell but also featured meat that was one step above dog food. This stuff was so tough that I could have spent half the day chewing on it and not made a dent. Never before had I had a meal that so brought into focus that old apocryphal tale of there being 5 pounds of undigested red meat in every person's colon when they die.

I seem to have gotten off on a tangent there. The point of the con wasn't the shoddy food after all. The point was supposed to be the gaming. I ended up playing a buncha various board and card games. Most of it was retreads and I didn't get the opportunity to play many things that were new. I did get to try Gill Hova's game Prolix, which was fun despite the fact I got my ass kicked. Other than that there was a game of Cash and Guns, Illuminati, Agricola, Munchkin, Hex-Hex, etc.

The conflict came on Sunday when Robert Washington was running a game of War on Terror, something I had signed up for on a lark. Right before the game started, a bunch of us at the table had ordered Chinese food and I was the one who was holding all the money and was going to go get it when it arrived. I didn't want it to disrupt the middle of gameplay so I let someone else get in on the game and decided instead to watch. I had mentioned to Robert that I wasn't sure about the quality of the game design in the first place since it seemed to be so heavy on theme. In my experience, theme-heavy games seldom make for ones with good game play. His take was that it was a fantastic game and that he had never known anyone to not rave ecstatically about it. He even questioned whether it was even possible for someone to not love it after playing it.

So the game unwound and other than a few tidbits here and there, I wasn't all that impressed. During the game, I was chatting with a couple of the players closest to me about the game design and they were showing me the various cards they had. There seemed to be some monstrous sized flaws including the fact that it was all but impossible to really beat anyone in the game as a terrorist player since at any time they can choose to change sides and join you. That ended up happening quite a few times as someone would be on the brink of losing and then just switch and now they were winning. That seemed a little weak to me and to some of the terrorist players who had done all the heavy lifting up to that point. There were also a bunch of issues with card balance and we were discussing ways it could be changed to make it more balanced.

Anyway, Robert was clearly unhappy that the people playing the games were not having an unalloyed fabulous time. He started to make comments that he was starting to see a correlation because it was the only time he had ever run the game where people didn't love it. Basically, he claimed that the only reason to players didn't love it was because I was watching the game. Soon after, he told me that he would prefer if I stopped watching the game. I should have told him right then and there that I would prefer if he went and fucked himself. Instead I simply refused and he threatened to call security, which I thought was a fabulous idea. Of course, the wanker didn't follow through on the threat, but he did go off whining to the head of boardgaming and nothing game of it. The game wrapped up soon after that with basically all the remaining players changing sides so in effect, they all won. Despite the fact that the other players all told him that my presence had no impact upon their lukewarm reactions to the game, Mr Paranoid continued to insist that the only reason they hadn't loved it was that I was there. You'd think that if I really had such powers of mind control, I'd find better uses for it. I'm just not sure what is wrong with the guy. He must seriously be fucked in the head. I can understand liking a board game and even becomming attached to it, but actually believing that it's humanly impossible for anyone to not like it is insane.

All in all, I was relatively happy about the altercation. I've never really liked that asshole but I've never really had a good solid reason why. I did have a run-in with him at the last ubercon where I couldn't get rid of his crazy ass but it didn't feel like sufficient reason to loathe someone. Thankfully, now I feel fully justified in thinking he's a psychotic spazzcase. Seriously, what a fuckup.
dance centipedes vagina

Hi ho, hi ho.....

After a subject line like that I feel like I should making some sort of dead whore joke or at least something along those lines. In actuality, my day consisted of trekking over to the social security office and experiencing some of that soul tarnishing that I mentioned previously. I arrived at the office somewhere around 9:30am and was finally able to leave around 3 hours later. The scary part is that is probably considered a quickie as far as these things go.

The obnoxious part of these visits is that it's not really necessary. I mean, there's nothing that's done at the interview that couldn't be handled over the phone or by email or even by snail mail. It's just a set bunch of questions asking if my situation has changed at all as far as finances go. I could very easily have just sent them a one-word email and wrapped it all up in 5 seconds. Instead, I got to wait with the other masses of humanity until my number was called. I then spent around 5-10 minutes avowing, affirming, and averring that I'm not secretly some sort of millionaire who's trying to bilk the government out of a handful of nickels each month.

About the only good thing that came out of this visit is that I know I won't have to go through another of them for at least another 8 months or so. I also picked up some needed information on how I can get my payments boosted a bit. As of now, I get a lower sum because I receive material aid from family. If I put the funds to paying an equal share of the household expenses, then I get a couple of hundred more dollars. That sort of money could come in handy and it all sort of stays in the family anyway so there's no reason not to go and pick it up. Hell, that sort of boost would be bigger than any interest payment I could ever get or anything along those lines. It would also help to ameliorate my drain on family resources, which while I've never done the tally, I'm sure is substantial. I'm not a huge spender or anything but there are the bits and pieces like electricity, gas, water, etc.

So, all I have to do now is start assembling all the bills and tallies so I can get an estimate of the average household expenses. After that, I divide by the number of people there and see if I can finagle my share. If so, poof, raise. Knock on wood anyway.

Oh, on a sidenote, it seems that hillbilly heroin has to be special ordered by the pharmacy. I won't get my prescription until tomorrow evening and the patch has already wore off as of 5-6 hours ago. I haven't been having a good last few hours and I think tonight is going to be unpleasant.