The irony is that he’s not even retired yet

Nor has there been any mention yet of his retirement, or shown any legitimate signs that retirement is really imminent, either. Ironically, you’d think I write something about Chipper Jones, my favorite player on my favorite team, in my favorite sport, who actually has declared that 2012 is his last year and that he’s retiring when it’s over, over writing about Tim Duncan. The world works in strange ways sometimes.

But this Deadspin story about how Tim Duncan sat out of a game due to “being old,” makes me realize that the end has to be near for Tim Duncan, who is without question, one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, and one of the few that I actually still like.  Maybe one reason why I actually feel inspired and melancholy about the notion of Tim Duncan retiring is because unlike Chipper Jones, I’ve actually been witness to pretty much his entire career.

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Photos: Carolyn & Joe’s pre-show

Holy Deer Park holy water, Batman!

The day before the wedding of two of my longest and closest friends was met with the typical shenanigans of a wedding rehearsal where planners and the priest met the idea of incorporating Filipino traditions with some of the most painfully obvious indifference and resistance I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Regardless, it was a fun occasion and gathering of friends, and tons and tons of food afterward while we watched Duke choke yet another NCAA tournament and David Otunga flexing.

Also, a glimpse of the air-land-and-sea burger.  From Wendeez.

I never said I was a good photographer, but I’m still getting used to my usual array of candid crap with a decent camera.

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Forcing upon myself, a break

I have literally spent a quarter of my entire weekend doing nothing but playing Mass Effect 3.  And there is still time for me to play more.  I have played more ME3 than I have slept this weekend, but that’s okay, because whenever I’ve waken up, it’s because of pretty sunshine, and not the obnoxious chiming of an alarm clock in the darkness.  But for the sake of simply doing something else, I have forced upon myself this break, so I can clean some stuff and maybe do something productive.  Instead, I find myself doing the e-rounds, since I haven’t even touched my computer all weekend either, and here we stand.

What I really love about the Mass Effect series isn’t so much the game play itself, although I do find it enjoyable, but it’s really the simple fact that it’s a very good story that you the player, play through.  Truthfully, so much of the ME series is spent running around the galaxy doing odd jobs and menial tasks; without question it’s feasible to blow through all three games in one day by doing solely the core missions.  Whether or not you get the best outcomes is up for debate, but the fact is that they’re not entirely long games if you stick to the main goals.  But the way the game is designed, players like me find that they want to do all the side missions, explore the stories of your supporting cast, and do the things that make you a boy/girl scout or a cold mercenary.  And the fact that so much of the game and its succeeding games remember your outcomes and decisions to a degree to impact your current stories leads to some actual thought behind the player’s actions.

In the past, people deferred to the idea that good video games only came out of Japan.  In terms of the list of great games and series that came from there justifies the notion, but the truth is, Japanese people can’t write a story worth a shit.  They’re always full of holes, the same generic tropes and plot devices, and getting an ending that isn’t completely WTF confused-face inducing is about as likely as winning a lottery.  It’s not just video games, but in their literature, television and movies.  People cry about The Hunger Games being a Battle Royale rip, to which the premises are clearly similar, but the integrity of their core stories can’t really be compared.  I enjoyed BR, but after the ending passes, and the Dragon Ash song is over, I’m left thinking, “wait, what was the ending again?”  Spoiler: If you liked Battle Royale at all, DO NOT WATCH THE SEQUELI did, and it fucking blows.

But anyway, back to Mass Effect 3.  I loved the Resident Evil series, and I still do.  But these days, it sits in the backseat to the Mass Effect series, mostly because of the story.  RE’s stories are full of holes and some sketchy patchwork; believe me, I’ve analyzed the shit out of all the games ad nauseum, but I still defend it as one of my favorites due to simply how fun the games are.  But Mass Effect’s storytelling blows Resident Evil’s out of the water.  It’s really no contest.  I don’t care about any RE character like I do about ME characters.  ME’s storytelling and plot twists are capable of pulling on some heavy emotional heart strings, whereas I spend a lot of time laughing at how lame some of the dialogue in RE games can get.

And on that note, this break is over, and I think I’m going to play some more ME3 now.

Sweet justice

There are few things in life­ that makes me as happy as seeing someone busted for violating the HOV lane.  So imagine my pleasant surprise this morning.

Traffic was especially sweltering, probably due to the fact that in the state of Georgia, it’s spring break for most schools and colleges.  After the section of Interstate 75/85 known as the “Grady Curve,” there are occasionally strategically placed cops sitting in the shoulder, attempting to capitalize on unsuspecting HOV lane violators who can’t see them just ahead, only to come out of the curve to see them way too late to even attempt to get out of the lane for their indiscretion.

I didn’t even suspect that the brand-new 7-Series BMW with temporary tags in front of me was violating the HOV lane.  I wouldn’t have been able to tell, since despite the newness of the vehicle, no time was wasted at getting the side and rear windows tinted.  I didn’t really think much of it either, considering it had literally been years since the last time I actually witnessed someone getting busted.  But then I saw the cop, immediately after coming out of the Grady Curve; he must have felt like being extra vigilant this morning, or he was enjoying the morning weather of high-60s and pollen counts slightly lower for the time of day, because he was outside of his car, facing oncoming traffic, vigilantly looking into the front windshields of the parade of cars, seeking out those with only one warm body in the driver’s seat.

As we crawled closer to the cop, I noticed that his head was following the BMW in front of me.  This, I did notice, because typically they’re stoic and maintain vigilant to all cars, so maybe he just caught someone.  Upon passing the cop, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the deliberate motion of the officer removing his hat, and his body lowering itself into the cruiser.  At this point, the BMW in front of me quickly got out of the HOV lane.  Glancing back again, the cruiser had begun moving, and was entering the dearth of morning traffic.  The lights popped on, and I let out a rejoice and a fist pop simultaneously, as the police cruiser sidled up right behind the BMW and initiated ownage.  Passing the BMW now, I glanced over to indeed see, just one person, a pompous-looking black guy, with nobody else in the vehicle, with a deep cringe in his face – QQ moar, noob, your arrogance just got you busted.

So imagine my pleasant surprise indeed.  Black guy douchebag in douchebag BMW 7-series, brand new, but already its windows tinted to obviously obscure visibility into the vehicle, still gets caught and busted for violating the HOV lane, meant for responsible carpoolers.  After running behind and feeling cranky, it was the perfect remedy for turning my morning around.

Plant jizz, everywhere

My car is literally green now.  It was way worse in the morning.  I’ve washed all the windows in hopes of tempting Mother Nature karma and triggering some cleansing rain to wash my car before I can wash my car, but I have a feeling it’s not going to work.

It’s 84 fucking degrees in March with pollen counts shattering records.  I fear that this is the summer where it begins to average 102F temperatures, while gas floats around $4 a gallon for months.  I’d snidely say what a great time it is to be alive, but for the current, I actually am not feeling that pessimistic yet.