‘Tis the Season

It’s that time of year again. Rush to get the gifts for the family, the friends. Spend far too much money on other people. Receive gifts from others that paid far too much money. It’s a tradition, a cycle, and despite the tone of the first few sentences, I love it.

I was up on Friday at 9 a.m. I had to go to the casino to pick up my bonus check, and boy, it was nice. More than last year; this year I got $1700. After getting that cashed, I went straight to Jason’s house, whom I owed $500, and paid him. I then came home and figured out some bills that I needed to pay, and also went through a mail-order catalog that Gina had, and ordered a bunch of shit for the relatives for Xmas. We headed back to the bank to deposit money for bills and the order, and then went shopping.

I went to Cool Cat to see what I could find for Gina. I ended up getting a few gifts for her there, along with picking up the new nin album Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (year zero remixed). I was pretty impressed with some of the mixes on the disc, all of which were done by other people. It also included a DVD with the raw source files from Year Zero, which would enable you to make your own mixes, provided you already have the appropriate software. It’s something I’m interested in toying with, but I lack the resources at the moment.

Gina ended up going to a clothing store as I was picking out gifts for her. I told her I would wait in the car, and she came out to collect some cash to buy some clothes. So she got a gift early (the first of many). We headed to Wal-mart afterwards, to shop for the kids. We picked out a bunch of stuff for them, and I also picked up a couple other gifts needed to round out relatives’ collections. I ended up spending $200 there. After I felt I had gotten enough for everyone, I went hunting for my Xmas gift to myself (aside from the cd). I actually owed my Aunt some money, but when I offered to pay her she told me to keep it to buy something for myself for Xmas, that would be from her. I wanted to buy a new game system, but I couldn’t decide which. The PS3 was going for $400, the 360 was going for $350, but I couldn’t find a standard model anywhere, only the arcade (cheaper, but with less options) and the elite (expensive, and for pretty much nothing). The Wii was no where to be found either. Eventually I decided that I would be better off spending the money on computer upgrades, since I already have the computer and it would be more bang for my buck. Me and Gina decided that we are going to invest in a Wii after the holiday season, because it seems to be an attractive social activity. A guy at work told me his favorite thing to do with his friends is drink and play the bowling game, and shit like that sounds appealing to me.

During my hunt we spent more money. We went to target and I bought Gina a purse and a new bed set, both of which she got immediately. So overall she only has the few things I purchased at the record store to open on Xmas. But I guess something is better than nothing, and all of the gifts count regardless of time received. And it’s not like I get anything to open on Xmas either, so I don’t feel bad.

Later we came home and I did some research on the consoles, and then came to the conclusion of buying the computer parts. I also decided that I would go buy Call of Duty 4. So we headed back to Wal-mart and I picked up a copy. I did a little research that night on parts, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will probably only spend about $200 for a new video card and another GB of memory. Thankfully my computer’s technology is a little old, so the parts are cheaper. This is only a stepping stone at the moment though, as I will have to update everything else within the box within a year or so.

I was surprised with Call of Duty 4. I didn’t think it would run very well on my system as I just barely exceeded the minimum requirements, but it ran just as good as number 2 did.  The single player campaign was a little on the short side, I beat it in about 6 hours, but the multiplayer seems to have a lot of depth, and I think it will keep me entertained for a long time to come. I think if I have some money left over after buying my computer upgrades I might buy another game, as I saw quite a few I was interested in when I was picking up CoD4. So I’m content not buying a console at the moment.

I haven’t played EQ2 for shit. Aside from my lack of Internet last week, I ended up being busy all weekend, and went back to work today. I was at John’s house almost all day Saturday, and Gina went to her friend’s house in Beaumont. We didn’t do much, just vegged out and drank beer. And then John brought me home in the wee hours and we crashed out here. Before work today, I did finally log in, but I wasn’t in the mood for the endless quest grind of ROK. When the expansion first released, I enjoyed all of the quests in Kylong Plains, because they were soloable, and it gave me something to do. But there really weren’t that many quests in that zone as compared to Fens. And after doing all of the quests in Fens, I went to Kunzar Jungle, where I began to become sick of all the questing. I was beginning to not have much fun. I even considered playing, *shudder*, WoW after having watched John and his buddies playing battlegrounds and arena matches. The game over there was looking really fun. I did end up changing my mind though after Saturday, and all the bitching and moaning that ensued during their matches. It appears WoW is incredibly unbalanced, and that makes me not want to play it, though the appeal of knowing a bunch of people over there was a decent pull. But I digress…

Anyway, I hadn’t played EQ2 in some time. Part of the time was beyond my control, but part of it was because I wasn’t in the mood. My guild was making leaps and bounds, and I was falling behind before my small hiatus, and now I’m sure over half the guild is level 80, and I have 5 levels to go. I will eventually get there, though I know the pressure of a guild that wants it’s “raid brigand” is going to start to get annoying. I’m flattered that I am seemingly the chosen Brigand for our raid force, but I also am beginning to want to move at my own pace, and not have to worry about shit. I’ve actually avoided logging in the past few days to avoid the grief I may end up getting. And that’s a sad thing.

So I played today before work. After having watched my roomie and his buds playing so much wow pvp, I reminisced of my times on Nagafen. Reading the test update notes for GU#41, and the essential demise of lockers, I was inclined to roll something on that server again, if for no other reason than to escape from the doldrums I was having. So I rolled me another Brigand (though a Kerra this time), as I know the class well and I enjoyed it, and I know I was able to solo my way through the entire game for the most part. It may be a bit of a drag leveling the same exact class again, but the pvp aspect is what I’m concerned with. Not raiding, just grinding for the pvp rewards. It’s just too bad I don’t know anyone in real life that plays EQ2 and is interested in pvp. Maybe I’ll end up converting John once he gets all moved in. Time will tell.