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January 06, 2006

Pure Joy

I have never heard Fishbone's 'Black Flowers' quite like I did last night. I heard it as a song by Radiohead. As I listened to it about three times on the drive home, and to Rite Aid and Whole Foods, I reimagined the whole thing that way. It's a perfect song for Radiohead to remake, beginning to end. If you're listening out there, Radiohead...

Speaking of Whole Foods, I find it to be the polar opposite of Wal-Mart and yet both I think are critically interesting parts of our economy. Every time I go to the Whole Foods in Redondo Beach, I see some man or woman in the joint who looks like they're just dripping with moola. I mean why would anyone else pay 5 bucks for a loaf of bread? The place just looks delicious, and it's obviously piercing and tatoo friendly. It's ironic that people who apparently care so much about what goes into their bodies have so little respect for their skin. Nevertheless, I picked up a relatively cheap loaf of organic honey wheat and a six pack of (I kid you not) Hairy Eyeball beer. The bread was delicious. The wife fried it in butter and I ate grilled American cheese and baloney sandwiches for dinner.

After 938 minutes and 32 seconds, or so, I completed Half-Life 2. That game was astounding, and now I see what all those people were talking about. Yes I do see how in many ways it is far superior to Halo 2. The narrative is more compelling, the interactivity with the environment is far superior and the ways in which your character plays the game is more varied. I'd have to give Halo's AI the slight nod, simply because there are so many more enemies that it manages, although I also have to recognize how HL2's AI deals with hiding its injured characters and attacking turrets you control.

I've never been in a game that induced vertigo so well. In the Highway 17 segment with the battle against the gunship from the girders under the steel arch bridge, the effect was dizzying. Just as I realized what I was going to have to do, I said to myself that it's a good thing that I'm not afraid of heights. Two minutes later I was afraid of heights. Same thing with clinging to the edges of the hole at the foundation of The Citadel. There is really jaw-droppingly awesome stuff in this game, reminescent of the Krell Machine's core.

I'm kinda mad at Adam Sandler and Morgan Webb for not putting enough scenes in their reviews of the game, because I definitely slept on this. Damn. Now I'm going to have to have another look at Counter-Strike.

I still haven't finished reading Overworld, which is about three times more complicated than Syriana. Just how I like it. I think I've done my share of gaming. Plus I'm giving up french fries and potato chips this year. Honey roasted peanuts and beef jerky will have to do.

Posted by mbowen at January 6, 2006 07:58 AM

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