Recharging… Fire!

The way I spend my breaks has been changing since I arrived at Rose. I just spent my entire week’s vacation holed up in my apartment, watching movies and television shows, playing video games, reading, and writing. I checked my email twice, and both times with dread. I free-formed once. I only stepped foot on campus once (with the exception of workouts), and that was for WO to grab a few things. Every other time he needed to go on campus, I stayed in my car and read. I didn’t log onto AIM after about Monday, although I stayed on GTalk most of the time.

One of the things I hate about the academic weeks is all the time I spend reading and responding to email. Not only are there the daily emails from professors that require work on my end, there’s the constant prattle I often need to keep up with my boss, newspaper-related matters (dear god, that damned newspaper!), and personal emails from friends that should be at least read, if not immediately replied to. And that’s just to my Rose account.

Then there’s my personal accounts. There are people who are highly upset at my distance from [insert place here] that I’ve promised to write weekly or monthly. I typically owe them more than mere hellos, so I get to write about all the boring shit that goes on in my life for their reading pleasure, as well as respond to their emails. There are days where I spend three or more hours dealing with email matters, even without those personal, periodic emails to people.

Not on my damn break. Hecky naw, to quote Andrea. I don’t care if my professors for the next term want me to do shit before their classes begin. I don’t care if grades are out. I don’t care if my class got moved to the basement of hell–I will find out on Sunday night.

Part of this dank, depressing way of spending my vacation is that I’ve absorbed WO’s habits in this regard. I avoided sleeping too much and I still exercised, but many of my activities (or lack of) were WO-inspired.

The end result of my near-solitude and extreme ass-sitting? I’m restless and tired of being in my apartment. I’m not ready to be getting up for an f’ing 8 a.m. class, but I am ready to be working outside of my home for a while. (This is good, because this quarter is going to be filled with pretty long days on campus which are made easier by the wonderful increase in the length of daylight.)

As always, I wouldn’t mind a couple more days in which to drive myself insane, but I’m okay with this upcoming quarter. It should be a decently light load: five classes, no team projects, no [chemistry] labs.

Unfortunately, those five classes put me out of too many hundreds of dollars in textbooks, which is kind of absurd. All but one of my books were small paperbacks–why did it cost so much? Ugh. I’m just very, very grateful that I had the ability to purchase them.

Classes this term? Introduction to Statistical Programming (squee), Chemical Literature, Computer Security, Great Papers in CS and SE, and Linear Algebra I. I even get to meet a new professor, which excites me.

My work schedule is almost nailed down, and there’s a good possibility I can fit in a couple of extra hours here and there for more money.

Things are looking up with the end of winter. Weather’s nice and classes should be fun.

Zork, Half-life, and Deus Ex

So I mentioned on Tuesday that I’d finished Elite Force and was looking for something new to play.

That night (or the next; the days blur), I installed Zork: Grand Inquisitor and Half-Life on my machine.

Zork is a standard adventure game, in my mind, and it took me two tries to enjoy it enough to play more. I beat it on Saturday, and was impressed–much like I was with Elite Force–with how short the game was. There were a few places where the “trick” seemed to be something kind of arbitrary, but overall, the game was pretty fun and made me lust a little for some interactive fiction. Anyone got any recommendations on that front?

WO and I wanted to play Zork in the special “Linked Play” mode, in which I would control the character’s actions and he would be able to point at crap and say, “Look over here!” (Undoubtedly in an annoying manner, like that green guy from the GameCube version of Zelda.) Alas, despite the installation of IPX on both of our machines, attempts to start with Linked Play simply crashed the game. Oh, well.

Half-Life… Yeah. I rapidly discovered that I can’t handle shit jumping out at me any better for having pwned Elite Force. Too much adrenaline. WO, however, was more than willing to let me play video game voyeur and watch him play for many an hour over the next several days (until even he was burnt out). Pretty game, seems awesome, not my style.

Later in the week, I installed Deus Ex, but by then I’d watched too many hours of Half-Life and just sort of putzed around in the training level before moving on to other activities.

Best thing about the training level? Movable houseplants, free to be arranged, thrown, and shot. WO muttered something about women liking construction in games, at which point I ordered him to “construct” me a cup of tea.

No, actually I didn’t. I just threw another houseplant into a corner.

I didn’t have much interest in the game itself, but then again, break was drawing to a close and I was restless as hell. I might play a little more as time permits; I haven’t uninstalled it yet.