notes from a man who spends too much time playing video games

<< current

This is where you stick random tidbits of information about yourself.

A Few Points Shy of the High Score
Friday, August 20, 2004  
Having a hell of a time getting to sleep this week. Blame it on anxiety. I'm anxious about a whole host of things: moving, trying to find a new apartment, trying to find a job, etc. Been treating myself to the occasional 20-oz. Coke in the afternoons, which probably isn't helping matters. (My delicate constitution just doesn't handle caffeine very well...)

Without a doubt Tuesday night was one of the worst nights I've ever had. I wanted to sleep, and couldn't. I'd worked all day, I was incredibly tired...but for some reason, sleep kept illuding me. I felt like I could *see* it off in the distance (in an abstract sense), but I just couldn't get there. Like a mirage in the desert, I couldn't seem to get any closer to it, no matter how hard I tried. It felt like my bed sheets were trying to strangle me. I fought with them, kicking and punching, trying to get them off me. I looked at the eerie glowing hands of my watch. One o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock... The night was passing. I had a hectic day lined up for Wednesday, and with a growing sense of nausea and despair, I realized that the later I was awake, the more damage I was doing to my Wednesday... Things were getting desperate. If I had any beer in the house, I probably would have drank it. I do have a dusty old bottle of Jack Daniels in my cupboard, but I knew it would probably only make me sick...

Finally, I gave in. I got out of bed, switched on the TV. I sat here in the dark, bleary eyed, watching a water polo match between Croatia and the Canada. Once the match was over, coverage of the olympics ended for the night. The morning news came on. "Good morning, New York!" the anchor woman said. I looked at the windows. The sun was coming up.

Well, fuck me, I thought. It's fucking dawn already.

Millions of people at that very moment were waking up. Showering. Fixing coffee. Going to work.

I took a benadryl and actually did manage to pinch my eyes shut for about four hours. Wednesday was terrible. I walked around in a complete daze all day. I felt drunk, like I'd had five or so beers. Whenever I talked with people, I found myself going off on bizarre, chatty tangents. I felt completely unselfconscious. A few times I felt like I was even hallucinating a little--I'd see movement in my peripheral vision, but when I'd turn my head, there would be nothing there.

So today's public service announcement: This is your brain. Now this is your brain without sleep. Any questions?

12:07 PM

Monday, August 16, 2004  
My six months of free AOL--complimentary with my shiny new Dell--is expiring this week. With the clock ticking down, I decided to switch to a cheaper, no-frills ISP. Netzero, at $10 a month, seemed to be the way to go. I have friends who swear by Netzero.

I downloaded it, got it running...and now my computer is completely vexed with spyware.

Goddamn spyware.

It's like my computer is haunted. The CD-ROM drives--no kidding--open and close of their own volition. The other day I was doing a google search when a full-screen window of a topless Asian woman suddenly popped up with the pulsing words ME SUCKEE LONGTIME! CLICKEE NOW!

Whoever invented spyware deserves to have a fucking pox on his house.

And I can't get rid of this shit. I'm running a program called Ad-aware, which seems to clean up some of the junk, but now it seems like every time I go online, I come off with more clutter. I've uninstalled Netzero (and have demanded a refund), and now it looks like I'll have to uninstall AOL too.

I'm at the end of my rope here. Hell, I'd call an exorcist if I thought it would help.

12:15 PM

Tuesday, August 10, 2004  
I had a physical last week. I felt fat sitting there on the examining table in my underwear. "I've gained a lot of weight," I said to the doctor, as if this were obvious to anyone.

He told me to step on the scale. Doctor offices in New York are always the size of broom closets. The entire office is like one long series of broom closets linked together.

When I got down off the table, the doctor moved closer to the door, allowing me to reach the scale.

I wrestled in high school (I was a terrible wrestler, prone to hyperventilating on the mat during my matches), so I knew how to work the scale. I played with the little weights, shifting them around. The doctor and I stood there waiting for things to balance. I held my breath for some reason.

"201 pounds," he said.

"I told you I've gained weight."

The doctor paged through my file. "The last time we weighed you was two years ago. Back then, you weighed...200. In two years, you've gained one pound."

Two years of not taking very good care of myself and all I've gained is a pound. The doctor phoned yesterday with the results of my blood work. The doctor is a morose, distant man in person, but he's even more morose and distant over the phone. He specializes in cardiology (his desk is covered with a bunch of dirty looking heart-shaped squeeze toys from some pharmaceutical company). "Your results are all fine," he said. Cholestoral: good. White blood cell count: good. Sugar levels: good. Etc.

Everything: good. I'm 35 years old. I haven't exactly been a health nut the past few years. I drank a lot of beer in those years. I didn't get to bed early, didn't eat right, etc. But somehow, despite all this, I'm still intact.

Maybe my genetic material is exceptional. Or maybe this is Fate's way of saying, "This is your last f*cking chance, a-hole."

7:59 AM

Wednesday, August 04, 2004  
Been awhile since I've mentioned videogaming...

Been playing a bit of Spider-man 2 lately. I have no real interest in seeing the new movie--the previous one soured me on the whole franchise--but the videogame is really something else. Making my way around New York City, swinging through the neighborhoods--Chelsea, Grammercy Park, Tudor City, even Roosevelt Island--and solving random (although somewhat repetitive) street crimes is great fun.

Swinging feels extremely awkward at first--be prepared to hit the ground a lot--but stay with it. After a few hours of practice, it really becomes second nature.

The PS2 version, from what I've read, is the worst of the three out there. The Xbox version is by far the best (though the copy I have tends to crash occasionally).

12:06 PM

Tuesday, August 03, 2004  
It's August. Hot as balls. I'm still unemployed. Haven't even tried looking for a job, maybe because I'm afraid what the answer might be, afraid of what I'll find. My savings account is running dangerously low. My threadbare existence. Paid my bills last night, assessing my situation. This won't last much longer. It can't. The days of sitting around in my underwear in front of the air conditioner have to end soon... I wrote checks last night and felt the old familiar tightness in my chest, like I'm drowning. My credit card debt is on the verge of being unmanageable. It feels foolish, a little indulgent, this not working.

Sure, I'm writing, working on things, but I have nothing to show for it thus far.

One of my freelance stories from earlier in the year got picked up by a London newspaper called the Sunday Herald, so I earned a little cash from that. That's good. Otherwise, it's been a long, dry summer.

Construction on the bridge outside my building started today. The jackhammers--a pair of them--were going full bore at 8 a.m. this morning. Glory be.

9:48 AM

This page is powered by Blogger.