Happy give-the-natives-smallpox day. Yes, somebody actually gave me a good smile this morning by saying this as he came in for his five-shot Americano... Indeed. I couldn't help thinking a little Iron Maiden immediately. Then again, yesterday I caught half of Karn Evil 9 (First Impression, Part 2....you know, the only one they ever play on the radio) in my car and had it stuck in my head all day...which kinda dragged the rest of the album in there with it. It's a favorite LP to put on for a game of Bombastic. The majority of the songs, Toccata being a highlight for the panicky feel it invokes, just work so well for the game. Theoretically any other puzzle game for that matter, but hell, it's classical music...just think of the random electronic renditions of assorted Russian classical you've heard a million times whilst playing Tetris, but likely knowing them only by some game moniker like "MUSIC-A," "MUSIC-B," or "MUSIC-C." But I digress.

I just came back inside from sitting on my back steps, trying to enjoy this New Jersey pre-winter weather, but an ordinary winter coat and a bandanna are just not enough protection against the cold tonight. All the same, indulging in two basic legal vices in combination, whether alone or in the company of others, is always good for seven minutes or so of sanity. A single beer is only the point of light relaxation, not any point of impairment or even intoxication.

And you can always combine these with everyone's favorite plant. I'll likely recieve a few instant upvotes from those who can relate all too well, and a larger amount of instant downvotes for the naysayers for saying this, but it really does just improve your appreciation of whatever you're doing, for better or worse. But hell, if it's possible to derive infinite amusement from watching your thumbs fire off the fiftieth largely-friendly text message of the day to the overly-codependent girlfriend you've been trying to convert into an ex-girlfriend with no success because she's just that damn stubborn about everything, why the hell shouldn't I? It was great, having the lights off so the way i was laying the cellphone, with its glowing screen and keys, was the only thing i could see, and this caused me to lose all concept of the proportions of this phone, or for that matter, my thumbs. My glasses were off, it couldn't have been too far from my face, but it just looked like the phone and silhouettes of thumbs were enormous for a few seconds, and then i'd remember how small it was and it'd look smaller....pretty odd. A lot of barely-visible things in a dark room can look like that.

But hell, I'm a fan of dark or dimly-lit rooms anyway. Anything bright contrasts better, and there's so much that's hard to see...If you look with the right kind of eyes, it's easier to see things not as they actually are...minor hallucination. TV static superimposed transparently over everything, a field of visual white noise, disturbence in the signals your eyes are recieving. Such fun. Being tired doesn't hurt either. Well, it doesn't hurt your high, anyway....

But there I go again, letting my mind take a core dump of its random wandering thoughts at what may or may not be the wrong time, and I end up writing another one of those stoner rambles that few love and many find absolutely useless.

I'll talk games momentarily instead. I cannot give a hearty enough recommendation to Katamari Damacy, for any PS2 owner. It's different and original and retails for 20 bucks. I was both witness and party to this game at Magfest, and bought the game at first opportunity upon return home. One of my companions on the trip to this convention did the same. Several people among those I've shown the game to have followed. All who see, feel compelled to play; and all who play, want.

That's been a large chunk of my gaming time lately, usually with at least one more person present....alone, it's been mostly Viewtiful Joe. I found out the PS2 port was being sold for cheap, and I din't have an excuse anymore. It's refreshing to play a game that, while placating the masses with use of modern graphic technology, delivers old-school 2D platformer/beat-em-up action and improves on it by giving the abilities of slow motion, fast forward, and zooming in. Using the slow motion near a moving platform with a propeller on it, for example, makes the platform float lower in the air because the propeller is moving slower. Game logic, I know, but it works.

Between these two games, and an insane schedule that will involve serving coffee and being friendly from 5 am until 1:30 pm (it's 11:35 already....sigh. I was hoping to get another good five hour night, luxurious compared to the three or four I usually get.) tomorrow, and of course, arguing with the half-girlfriend and that little bit of sleeping, I'm kept busy enough that I haven't even seen the new GTA yet, despite a few of my friends having it; nor have I gotten around to even playing the demo for MGS3. These of course were the games I was saying were the big ones to come out, that I couldn't wait for. Go figure. Then again, I kinda suck at GTA anyway... not to say I didn't have a blast with 3 until Vice City came out, which replaced (for me, anyway) any need to play the preceding game. Must be the 80's music. And a lead character who speaks. But I digress again...I'm just too amused with what I've been playing to justify dropping 40 or 50 bucks each on anything new.