This Resembles “Normal”

Ah, Day Shift.

Today is my first day off since transferring shifts, and I can’t express how happy I am about the change.

My new hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., whereas I started at 4:15 before and worked until 12:15. The upside is having (what feels like) a whole lot more free time. I also started with weekends off, though there’s a “merit” system that will probably result is the loss of those days (more on this later). The downside is trying to adjust my sleeping pattern. It’s been a bitch, to say the least.

Last Sunday was my last night on Swing shift. I requested to use PTO to leave a couple hours early so I could attempt to get some sleep, so I went home at 10:15. I ended up in bed by midnight, but I couldn’t sleep. I’m used to staying up until 4 or 5 a.m. and sleeping in til noon or 1. So needless to say my world was turned upside down.

Monday was my first day on Days, and I was up at 7 a.m., feeling pretty good. I learned one of the “day shift only” details right off the bat, and it went pretty smooth. I had to go into the Card Destruction Room, where old playing cards from table games are verified and shredded. It ate up about half of the shift, and I understand the process now. I spent the rest of the day on the floor, and it was relatively dull. One of the major differences between shifts is the fact that it’s really slow for the first portion of the day, and then picks up slightly in the afternoon. Compared to Swing, this took a little adjusting to, as I was used to coming into a busy casino, and dealing with a higher volume of calls. But it’s actually pretty nice, because if I happen to stay up late the night before, I can pretty easily float through the first portion of the day without having much to worry about. By noon I tend to get a second wind, and I’m fine for the rest of the shift.

Tuesday I learned another detail that Day shift handles, which involves the armored truck picking up money from the vault. It was easy enough, and now I’m familiar with the only real differences between the shifts. There are many other idiosyncrasies I’ve discovered, but for the most part their negligible.

Wednesday through Friday was just more of the same. By Friday I had pretty much learned everyone’s names and call signs (put two and two together), and I started getting to know mostly everyone. It’s been a great experience, and will be better once I get acclimated to the sleep schedule. Getting off in the afternoon has been strange, but I have a lot of free time after work, enough to be able to go see a movie, go to a bar, or do something else that’s fun. I get all that I need to done, and then I get to bed at a decent hour.

Another great part is that the shift is a lot less strict about things, so I’m able to talk to other officers for longer periods of time, and I’m starting to make new friends. Within a couple weeks I’m sure I’ll know everyone on the shift pretty well. I’m actually happy to get up and go to work again; it feels like it did when I started working at the casino in the first place.

Thursday night after I got off, I came home and changed. I had to go back to work to get my check, and got that deposited, and then me and Gina decided we would go out to eat and have a beer. We ate at Jack in the Box and then went to Louie’s for a pitcher. We talked, and drank, and it was a nice little evening.

Friday I didn’t have plans, but I did want to find something to do. I ended up going to Cool Cat and picking up As I Lay Dying’s first album, “Frail Words Collapse”. It’s more of the same goodness I’ve come to love, but now I’ll have to find a new band’s music to start buying up. None of the bands I’m currently listening to have anything new coming out any time soon. After buying the cd, I bought Gina some food (I had a late lunch and wasn’t hungry), and then we headed over to the bank to pull some money out, and then to All For Show, to see what Howard was doing for the evening. We gave him a ride back over to his apartment, and after he cleaned up we set out to find something to do. Everyone we called was busy or not doing anything, so we decided to just hit up a bar and see what trouble we could get into. We ended up going to the Palms, which is a relatively new bar in town. I had never been, and it was a pretty cool place, the “hot spot” in town right now, if you will. We got some beers and hung out, and then found out that Amanda and some of her friends were there, and they came over and hung out with us. After a couple pitchers, I suggested we go back to Howard’s, since it would be a lot cheaper to drink somewhere else. So I bought a couple 18 packs and we headed to his apartment. We drank some more and played some Guitar Hero 3, until about 2 a.m. Me and Gina headed home afterwards, and hit the sack.

Today we got up around 11, which is now considered sleeping in for me. I had borrowed my step-dad’s screw-gun previously, and he had been bugging me to bring it back, so we headed to his house first thing. Then we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we needed, and I also picked up Saw IV. Then we came home and ate some lunch, and I started dicking around on the computer. I filed my tax returns, and I’m getting a whopping $900 back, though that’s better than last year. It’s already spent though, I’m buying these rims for my car.

We made some plans for tonight. Howard has been hanging out with Amanda for a while now, and last weekend she took him with her to a bar out in Temecula, which he said was pretty cool. Last night, I suggested we go there tonight and check it out again, and Howard said drinks would be on him. Since I paid for mostly everything last night, I’m not going to refuse the offer. So we’re supposed to go out there tonight, and I’m hoping the place doesn’t suck. But then again, having free drinks in a new atmosphere isn’t much different than having them in an old one.

I’ve been enjoying my free time a lot more lately. I’ve been able to get out and socialize a lot more, and it’s been a blast. I love good times, good beer, and good friends. Tomorrow is going to be “hangover day”, where me and Gina lounge around and do a whole bunch of nothing. I intend to sleep until I feel like getting up, then eating food and watching movies all day. There might be some gaming in there to break things up, but I don’t intend on leaving the house at all. It should be relaxing. I need to get to bed at a decent hour, so I’m going to try to stay low key so I don’t get riled.

That’s about all I have for now kids.

Day Shift Cometh

So today is officially my last day as a swing shifter. I have to go in tonight, and then tomorrow I work in the morning. Thankfully, I thought ahead enough to request going home early tonight, so I can wind down earlier, and get in bed with enough time to have enough sleep. I’m going from having to be to work at 4 p.m. to 8 a.m., so it’s going to be a bit of a change of pace, and will take a little adjusting to.

I was told I’m going to have weekends off, so that means I have to work 6 days this week, which kind of sucks, but I’m looking forward to getting on the day shift. This means me and Ted can play chess again, bullshit on the floor, and hang out more often. There’s also a bunch of other cool people on days that I have hung out with in the past, or used to be on swing shift as well, so I think it’s going to be a walk in the park. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. With my luck there will be some hidden catch, but I guess I won’t find out about that until I make the move.

So my weekend has come to a close. It was an interesting weekend. Me and Gina sort of made plans to do our own thing on Friday, but there was some confusion, and I ended up being the only one with something to do. I went to my buddy Howard’s shop, and hung out with him there until he got off (which amounted to about 45 minutes). Then I gave him a ride to his pad, where we hung out for the remainder of the night. His room mate Shawn got home shortly after we arrived, and we drank some beers and shot the shit. Eventually more people came over, one being Shawn’s girlfriend Crystal (who also lives there now), my ex-girlfriend Amanda (who just so happens to work with Crystal and they’re friends), and some other bitches I didn’t know. It was an ok time, I pretty much just talked with the guys and the girls pretty much did their own thing. I got a pretty decent buzz going, but nothing too major. I ended up coming home at about 1 a.m., and John was still up when I got here, so we hung out for a little bit. Gina had been drinking and had already passed out by this time, so I called it early.

I had made a promise to Gina that we’d hang out all day yesterday, so when we got up we prepped some food and watched a movie. Later we got dolled up and went to the store to pick up a few things. After killing some time there, we came back home, and hung out watching a movie with John, and then decided on finding something to do. We called some people and no one was really doing anything, so we just decided to go over to Howard’s again.

When we got there, it was just Howard and Shawn, but shortly thereafter Joey and Amanda came over. There was talk of going and playing some pool at either a bar or the pool hall Great Shots. We said we would be down for that, but then Amanda got a call from a friend who was at some place in Temecula, and she decided that’s where she wanted to go. Howard decided to go with her, and no one else wanted to go, so we just stayed at the apartment with Shawn and Crystal. We drank some beers and played some Guitar Hero III and it was pretty chill. We ended up at home at around 2 something, after having picked up some grub from Taco Bell. Once again, I hung out with John for a little bit, but then we called it a night.

Overall it was a pretty decent weekend. My last as a night person I suppose. I know things are going to change considerably in coming weeks, as I adjust to being a “normal” person again. I’m going to be off work at 4 in the afternoon, so that’s going to be weird in and of itself. Hopefully this means I’ll be able to commit more time to this blog, along with some of my other hobbies. But I have a feeling more social interaction is going to come of it, not that it’s a bad thing. So that’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I’ll have more in a day or two. Stay tuned.

Not yet, but soon…

So originally I was told I’d be going to day shift two weeks from today. Then, I was told there was a possibility I’d be going today. My boss was supposed to get back with me before the end of shift that day, but didn’t. At work, I asked a supervisor if he knew anything about it, and he said that I’d be going in a week. So a week sooner than expected. He also mentioned that he thought I was getting weekends off. This would be the best case scenario, getting to go to day shift and getting the weekends off. I’d be ok with Friday/Saturday though. The only catch is, day shift does their day off scheduling differently. Instead of giving the days, and then being stuck with them forever, they do bi-annual performance evaluations, and you get to pick your days off based on this. I suppose that’s nice for the newer people, so they aren’t stuck with crappy days off, but for those of us with some seniority (believe it or not, I’m pretty high up on the list, having put in almost 3 years there), it’s kind of shitty to lose your days off. Then again, those of us that have been there a while should have better performance than the newbies. Anyway, I’ll be going to days soon, and I’m starting to get excited about it.

This past weekend was pretty chill. I got paid on Thursday, so on Friday it was bill payin’ time. We finally got caught up on pretty much everything, having been behind for some months now. We returned our second computer to Aaron’s, and now only having to pay for the furniture brought the bill down considerably. We decided that the computer wasn’t getting enough use, and Gina really wants a laptop anyway. So she’s going to try and get one of those with her tax return. After paying off bills and whatnot, having a little bit of cash left over, we ran some other errands and bought some shit. I ended up grabbing another As I Lay Dying cd, this time their previous album “Shadows are Security”. It’s pretty good, though I think I like “An Ocean Between Us” better. The cover art for SaS inspired a new tattoo idea though, and I think it’s going to fit nicely where I decided to put it.

After dicking around a bit we went to Wally World and got some grocery shopping out of the way. Then we came home and chilled out. Gina ended up going to her friend’s house, and me and John hung out and played some video games. Gina came home after a while and we all had some drinks and hung out. We watched a movie before bed, and called it a night pretty early.

On Saturday, Ted was having a party. I got up in the afternoon and hung out for a while, eating some food, watching some movies, playing some games. Tyler ended up calling me later in the evening and told us we should head over at around 9, since the party should be going by then. We arrived a little after that, because I wanted to make sure to make a late arrival, as the first few parties we went to there were boring until later on. They got a keg of Blue Moon, which isn’t a beer I really care for, but I drank it anyway. Shit, it was free. There weren’t nearly as many people at this party compared to some of the others, but it was more comfortable. We bullshitted with a variety of people, and got a pretty good buzz going. Highlights of the night: Shot Ted’s airsoft gun in the back yard, watched Ted and Brett rocking out upstairs (Ted on guitar, Brett on drums), talked even more shit to a guy I made fun of at a previous party for wearing a cowboy hat.

Overall it was pretty fun, but somewhat lame at the same time. It died out early, and we were home by 4 if I had to guess. I ate some food before bed and crashed out. This morning I was pretty well hung over, and I really didn’t feel like going to work. But halfway through the night I felt a lot better, and I’m fine now. Glad I don’t have to work day shift tomorrow though.

EQ2-wise, I haven’t been playing. I’m definitely past the burn out, I just have been busy, and though I do intend to play, I never get to it. I think changing to day shift will be a good thing in that respect, as I’ll be able to play during prime time, and hopefully that means getting more shit done. But who knows. That’s all for now.

The Light of Day

Last September, I put in a request to go to day shift. I told my Manager that I wanted to go to Days, and he told me to “put it in writing”. I did so, and then I didn’t hear anything about it for sometime. Not wanting to push the envelope, I let it go for a couple weeks. When I asked again, my boss said “we don’t have the bodies”. So there was a slight excuse for the wait. It took up until this week for something to finally change.

Earlier in the week, One of the day shift officers quit. They suffered a couple other losses recently, so there was a change in the officer count. This coupled with the fact that we got some newbies, put me in a better position to push the envelope. So, I talked to a day shift supervisor, and told him that I already had a request in, and asked him to look into it. Sure enough, two days later, my Manager came to me and said “two weeks from Monday”. So, officially, I start day shift on Monday the 28th. The boss also said that there was a possibility it would be sooner, but that may or may not happen.

So I’ll be functioning like a normal human being soon. My days will be worked, and I can have my nights off, the way I like it. I will have to go to bed earlier, but it’s going to be pretty cool otherwise. I can see a movie after work, or do some errands if needed if I wanted to now. At this point, I usually rack up a bunch of errands by my days off, and I end up killing my first day on necessary stuff, instead of with relaxation. It’s going to be a pleasant change of pace.

I was looking at my Myspace, and there was an ad for a new George Romero film, and yes, it’s zombie related. The film is called “Diary of the Dead”, and looks pretty damn decent. You can see a trailer here. The official release date is February 15th, if you’re interested in this sort of thing. Personally, I’m a fan, I own all of his movies.

I’ve been playing EQ2 again, but more sporadically than I did before. I used to play in a more “hardcore” fashion, where I’d spent every free moment, losing sleep sometimes, in long sessions. Now I’ve been playing here and there, and not usually for more than an hour or two at a time, which most would call “casual”. It’s been fun though, just dicking around with my toons, not worrying about what anyone else is doing, just actually enjoying the game for what it is; a game. I created two new characters because of a simple realization. This realization comes in two parts though: 1) I realized that I’m not into caster classes (this including healers), I really, really love melee. 2) I thought of a neat pattern.

That latter part sounds kind of retarded, but hear me out.

I really like two races in the game. Dwarves, and Ratonga. One good, one evil. My first toon to 70 was my Dwarven Paladin. Dwarf, Melee, Tank, Good. My second was a Ratonga Brigand. Ratonga, Melee, DPS, Evil. As you can see, these were my favorites out of the countless I’ve made, and their also both melee classes. I’ve always wondered how a high level Shadow Knight would play as compared to my Pally, so I rolled one. I made it a Ratonga, because Dwarves can’t be SK’s unless I betrayed. I also wanted to see how a burst DPS class would be end-game, and my good friend is already an Assassin, so I decided to try out a Ranger. I made him a Dwarf, because their honestly the only good race I like, and I wanted to keep with the pattern.

Dwarf, Melee, Tank, Good.
Ratonga, Melee, DPS, Evil.
Ratonga, Melee, Tank, Evil.
Dwarf, Melee, DPS, Good.

You see the pattern now?

Yeah, that whole last paragraph was retarded, but it made sense before I let it out of my head.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying things with the new toons, though I haven’t been able to bring myself back to the quest grind of Kunark. I really want to level my Paladin and Brigand up to 80, especially if I do end up leaving EQ2 for WAR, so at least I can say I “beat” the game. I just haven’t been able to do it yet. The SK has been fun, but the Ranger has really been floating my boat, that and I started him in Kelethin, and I’ve never fully completed that zone before… the Fae I made didn’t make the cut.  

That’s about all for now. My weekend is here and I’m going to relax. For those of you who know me in game, The Ranger’s name is Bariz, and the SK is Scabz. Look me up.

The Life of a Nerd

Since it’s been a couple days since I posted last, I figured I might as well throw out a few updates.

I maxed out my level on Call of Duty 4. I’m still playing the game, but now it sort of feels like “I beat it”. John got paid and decided he needed a copy as well, so we’ve spent a few nights blastin’ fools. It’s been pretty fun, and I definitely like it a whole lot more than #2.

I’ve played TBFME2 a little here and there. I’m about half-way (if I had to guess) through both the good and evil campaigns. It’s a pretty decent game, but after all of the RTS games I’ve played, it kind of feels like “played one, played ’em all”. I’m hoping Starcraft 2 doesn’t fit the mold, because some game needs to break out of it. Then again, SC is what made me truly love RTS, so I’m sure they’ll figure out some way to make it ground breaking again. If nothing else, I loved the story around that game, so it will be more entertaining I think.

I bought a new cd. Discovered a new band, sort of. I’ve been listening to Metal (including sub-genres) for a little over a year now, and I’m constantly looking for new bands. Usually if I like a band, I spend a little time going back and getting all of their cds as well. The new band for me, is As I Lay Dying. The way I would describe their sound is like a mix between Unearth and older From Autumn to Ashes. They music is similar to the former, nice and heavy, but they use dual lyricists (either that or the guy sounds drastically different when he sings as compared to screaming) like FATA does. Despite the fact I always try to compare things to make things easier to understand, it’s irrelevant. You’ll either like them or not, and I happen to like them. They recently released the album I just picked up, called “An Ocean Between Us”, but I found my local record store carried all of their other releases, including a re-issue deal of their demo type stuff. Those are most likely the next cds I’ll buy.

Well, I bit the bullet. I went just over a month without playing EQ2, and last night I re-subscribed. The good news is, I’m having fun with the game again. I logged in my two main toons and disbanded them from their guild. The reason for this is that I don’t want the added pressure of feeling like I should be grinding out levels so I can raid. I realized that when EOF released my Paladin wasn’t max level, and I wasn’t in any real hurry to get there. Once I did hit max level, I was doing group oriented stuff, and getting some pretty decent gear. I was playing at my pace, and enjoying things more thoroughly. This is what I should have been doing when ROK released, but instead I was trying to “keep up with the opies” (guild name: wrath of opie). So I’m playing around with lowbies, and I’m going to keep my mains unguilded until they’re level 80. Fortunately, I know I’m not the only one out there who isn’t level 80 yet, and hasn’t raided the new content.

The other good news is that since I’ll be playing the game again, I’ll have more to write about. My blog was slipping into nothingness, much how it was before I started blogging about gaming. I’m sure you noticed a lack of posts, if you’re one of my faithful readers.

The only bad news, is that I never see anyone online that I know. Maybe that will change soon. I have a feeling that I’ll finally be getting transferred to day shift soon, as my Manager was asking me some questions about it today. That means I’ll be on during peak time more often, and that should make things a bit more interesting.

 That’s about all for now. Stay tuned.