Monthly Archives: May 2008

Hermaphrodites only?

I have finally caved in. I bought a package of Midol.

For my non-US readers, this Midol contains 500 mg of acetaminophen, 60 mg of caffeine, and 15 mg of the diuretic pyrilamine maleate. It advertises itself as “Menstrual Complete: maximum strength relief of cramps, bloating, fatigue, backache, headache”.

For the record, it works. It was well worth walking up to the shelf in the store, search frantically for 15 minutes, and finally decide to buy the only product I could find that had both lots of painkillers and caffeine that could help my body absorb said wonderful drugs. (And no, I don’t care how stereotypical this makes me. The pain stopped. Nothing else matters.)

Ever careful, remembering my mother’s constant warnings to treat over-the-counter drugs with as much caution and respect as prescription medications, I turned the package over to read the warnings on the back before making my decision. Among the warnings I found this:

Ask a doctor before use if you have

  • glaucoma
  • a breathing problem such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis
  • difficulty in urination due to enlargement of the prostate gland

Now, please correct my if I am wrong, dear family and friends who work in the medical profession and know this better than I do, but isn’t it extremely unusual for a person to have both a menstrual cycle and a prostate gland…?

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In the Land of Midgets and Pygmies

We went out to a nice restaurant last night, to celebrate the new house. We invited Froli’s parents, since they were the ones who found the house and helped us to get everything set up so we can buy it. A nice dinner seemed like the least we can do. The restaurant in question has a dress code, so we did our best to accommodate. I dressed in a skirt, nice top, boots, and a dress jacket. My outfit created a problem.

After a very good meal and wine (snow-crab stuffed rainbow trout and a glass of sauvignon blanc), I excused myself and headed out to the ladies room. The counter by the sinks was lower than my hips. I am 5′7″, and in the boots I was wearing I became a bit taller, but a bathroom sink below hip level? Come on!

To make matters worse, the sink was position so I had my back towards the door into the ladies’ room. My options, in other words, was to squat very low, in an uncomfortable and highly undignified way, or to bend forward and moon whoever happened to walk in.

This is one of my biggest gripes with this town. Don’t they know that not all women are midgets?

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In the Land of Midgets and Pygmies

We went out to a nice restaurant last night, to celebrate the new house. We invited Froli’s parents, since they were the ones who found the house and helped us to get everything set up so we can buy it. A nice dinner seemed like the least we can do. The restaurant in question has a dress code, so we did our best to accommodate. I dressed in a skirt, top, boots, and a dress jacket. My outfit created a problem.

After a very good meal and wine (snow-crab stuffed rainbow trout and a glass of sauvignon blanc), I excused myself and headed out to the ladies room. The counter by the sinks was lower than my hips. I am 5’7″, and in the boots I was wearing I became a bit taller, but a bathroom sink below hip level? Come on!

To make matters worse, the sink was position so I had my back towards the door into the ladies’ room. My options, in other words, was to squat very low, in an uncomfortable and highly undignified way, or to bend forward and moon whoever happened to walk in.

This is one of my biggest gripes with this town. Don’t they know that not all women are midgets?

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Big News

Today we bought our first house together. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice. For anyone who is interested, and has time on their hands, there are more photos of the house in the album on Froli’s blog.

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Brief blog host musings in the morning

I am more and more tempted to move to WordPress every day now. What stops me is mainly that is seems like such a big project, and I already have a lot of them in my life. I don’t need another one, and I suspect that if I do pick up another one, I will have to drop one of the existing ones first. That would not be good.

I am trying to resist the temptation to at least check out WordPress by creating an account for myself there and play around with the many features. It’s hard though. It just seems so… shiny.

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The Ultimate Showdown

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Get a job? I have a job!

PC Gamer, my favorite gaming magazine for several reasons, featured a column about Fable 2 in its latest issue. It was written by staffer Yahtzee Croshaw, after attending the Fable 2 presentation by none other than Peter Molyneux himself on GDC, and the column made me choke on my afternoon coffee, cough and then blink, and then finally think to myself, “what is wrong with that guy?”

Then I decided to research the matter. I went to Gamespot’s coverage of the Fable 2 presentation on GDC. I looked at IGN, I went to the official Fable 2 website, but none of it convinced me to change my initial thought: From a fantasy gaming perspective, there is something wrong with Peter Molyneux’s vision.

The first thing that is wrong is that the man scoffs at mini maps. If you tried playing Overlord on the 360, you know why scoffing at them is just wrong. Because without the mini map there is no way of knowing where we are, where everything else is, and where to go in a game. Apparently the reason the mini map is not there is to encourage players to explore, with the help of the marvellous dog that an entire 20-minute video was dedicated to. The video was submitted to Xbox live, in an effort to make other players as excited about The Vision as Peter Molyneux is.

But as far as I am concerned, he has lost me, my enthusiasm, and the time I would have spent playing the game, and here is why: He has told me I will not be able to earn an in-game living on adventuring.

According to PC Gamer’s column, and supported by everything else I find, it is not possible to earn a living simply by adventuring. Especially not if you marry someone and start a family, because now your income needs to support them as well. As an extra bonus, by the way, if you play as a female, the extra weight, loss of agility, and over-all vulnerability of being pregnant will be a very noticeable factor in game-play.

It appears that I am going to need a job to finance my death-defying adventuring life-style. According to Croshaw’s column, Peter Molyneux spoke proudly, “with breathless enthusiasm”, about the many extra features of game, and all the things that you can buy in the game… houses, furniture, villages, or dungeons. Monsters are not going to drop gold at all, instead you need to find gold elsewhere, either by hiring out as a henchman to another hero, by using the multi-player co-op function of the game, or by playing the Xbox LIVE Arcade mini-games, that will allow you to start amassing in-game cash for purchasing armor and weapons, long before Fable 2 hits retail shelves.

I refuse to believe that I am alone in asking Mr Molyneux, in stunned disbelief: What the hell are you trying to do? If you are aiming for realism you are so far off it is not even close to making sense.

Conan never settled down with a family, whom he then had to provide for, neither did Elric, Red Sonja, or the Grey Mouser and his far less mousy friend. Geralt of Rivia spoke for all of them when he stated that his high-risk profession, with extensive traveling, was not conducive to marriage, and if you want realism, shouldn’t you factor that in? In fact, if you want to be realistic, shouldn’t you take into account that none of the above mentioned adventurers want to settle down and start a family? They’re all adrenaline junkies, commitment-phobic, not to mention that they are constantly broke. The reason they are broke all the time is because an adventurer has no retirement to save up for. Slaying dragons is a risky business, not to mention that all the loot inevitably is used up too repair or replace the armor and weapons that were damaged while slaying said reptile. Whatever is left over is used up on babes and booze (and if you are Conan, a second babe the same night, for good measure), and that is why adventurers go back out on adventures, and why they take on mercenary contracts. They have nothing to save for, and no one to share with, and nothing to anchor them to any particular place, and that is the appeal and romance of sword & sorcery fantasy literature and games.

But apparently in this game, I will have to take a second job to be able to go adventuring once in a while. I will not have a mini map to help that adventuring, and as an extra realism-bonus I will have to put up with an unhappy spouse who complains that I am never home.

Once again Peter, what the hell are you trying to do here? Didn’t Black & White 2 make it clear that however pretty your vision might be in your head, the rest of the world doesn’t want to spend money on it?

This is supposed to be a fable! A fairy tale! Give me a high-fantasy world, with high-fantasy realism. If I wanted to raise and feed an ungrateful family, I’d be playing The Sims.

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