Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 20th Birthday, Nemesis!

Online friendships are great things, not the least of which is their complete fun and geekiness. Where else but online can you make friends worldwide without ever leaving your computer? It's like the ultimate in penpals without the postage, unless you collect stamps, in which case it doesn't work quite as well. The only bad thing is dealing with all the different time zones when you're IMing someone.

Me: I have to get to bed. It's getting late.
Trusty Nemesis Emperor Devon: What? It's only 10:30!
Me: Dude, it's 12:30 am by me--I'm in Central. I have to get up in 7 hours to get into my geeky mini-van and drive the kids to swimming class.
Trusty Friend Jasra: I don't want to hear any complaints. It's 5:30 am here and I've been up all night IMing you. Do you know how much it sucks being 5 or 7 hours ahead of you all?
Emperor Devon: Bah! You all can sleep late--it's Saturday!
Me: Some of us get our lazy bones out of bed before noon, you ornery cuss!

Now, when I signed up for Lucasforums, I was interested in learning about the Knights of the Old Republic computer games. I thought if I met some decent people there, that would be a plus. I didn't realize how many friends I'd make who are truly as geeky as I am, and I definitely never anticipated acquiring a Nemesis, friendly or otherwise.

Emperor Devon was a friend prior to becoming a Nemesis. He joined quite awhile before me, and so I'd gotten to know him through various posts and replies, and he kindly helps out with editing my fanfic, The Adventures of Jolee Bindo. He's also an ornery cuss at times, besides being a lot of fun, and I take great delight in making sure he doesn't get a little too full of himself, since that is one of my duties as a Geeky Forum Mom. He, in turn, takes great delight in pointing out that it took me forever to learn how to recolor those stupid red shoes that Exile wears at the very beginning of the Kotor: TSL game. He is quick to point out that it took him a whole two minutes to accomplish the same. I retorted that not all of us have $650 to spend on Photoshop for the sole purpose of changing pixel colors in a game. I have to spend my hard-earned dollars for things like, oh, feeding the family, paying the mortgage, making sure the electric bills get paid, that kind of stuff.

Anyway, we became friendly Nemeses when Emperor Devon decided one day to have a little fun in the "Male or Female?" thread. He declared he was now "Empress Devon." "She" even made up a female avatar (Lumiya), because as we all know, having a female avatar on the internet automatically changes your gender and makes you female. Apparently it's some Man Law (tm) that males are not allowed to upload female avatars. I should note that Woman Law (tm) does not specify this, as we are savvy enough to realize that yes, people actually do lie on the 'net.

Well, having changed thousands of diapers, I know crap when I smell it, and the patented Jae Crap Detector red-lined. This called for action. I started a forum search to find any historical evidence that he--rather, she--had actually posted anything that indicated that 'she' was actually still a 'he'. I would like to note that this is one of the few times in life where the research skills I learned from my history major actually paid off. So, for those of you that are history, philosophy, or Greco-Latin majors, or worse, grad students, take heart. The enormous sums of money and time you've spent on your degree will actually get justified at least once in life.

It took me exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes to find the evidence showing 'she' was really still a 'he' and post said evidence in the thread for all the world to see. Well, truthfully, it took less time than that, since I had to cook and eat dinner with the family. I think it took me a whole 5 minutes or so to find a good post. Actually, I did it to protect 'her' from getting hit on by the other forum males, because 'she' was inexperienced in the matters of handling horny male teens, 'her' previous experience as a horny male teen notwithstanding. It was my duty!

He, naturally, was suitably and amusingly annoyed that I'd busted him so quickly. When he asked rhetorically about what to do with his Lumiya "Dark Lady of the Sith" avatar, I PMd him and said something about probably deserving the title after calling his bluff. I think I joked about being his nemesis. He cheerfully sent me the avatar and I uploaded it, changing my title to "Emperor Devon's Nemesis". It was not long before he changed his title to "Jae Onasi's Nemesis." This prompted Trusty Friend Char Ell to comment "You guys are too funny--'I'm your Nemesis!' 'No, I'm _your_ Nemesis!'" I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at that post.

So, we have been Nemeses ever since, even going so far as to make it our greeting to each other when both of us show up on IM.

Me: Nemesis!
Trusty Nemesis Emperor Devon: Nemesis!

And I only have one more thing to say in this post to my Nemesis:

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

You Know You've Played Neverwinter Nights 2 a Little Too Long When....

Weird things happen when you play a computer game for awhile and then Skype with a Nemesis a little too late, like really strange dreams. This all started yesterday when I played Neverwinter Nights 2. In my current campaign, I'm playing a female Sun Elf wizard and my PC casts spells a lot--well, pretty much all the time. For those of you not familiar with the game, when you play some of the spellcasters in the game, you choose your spells from a large list to fill up slots in your 'spellbook'. You can change the spells in your spellbook as needed to adjust to the situation at hand. Once you fill up your slots, you then 'rest' to activate them. This means that you can pick a bunch of nasty fireball and lightning spells to take out all the bad guys. When they're all dead, you trade the spell out for one to unlock all the locked treasure chests in the area if the rogue isn't handy. Then you rest, unlock all the chests with your unlock spell (which, for some reason I can't fathom, is called 'Knock' in the game instead of the more sensible 'Unlock'), scoop up all the goodies, switch back to the killer spells, rest, and go on to the next area of monsters.

So, I spent a good while doing just that in order to get to Act 2 and meet up with Sand, who is hands-down my favorite NPC in this game. He has an acerbic wit, and the game developers gave him some of the best lines in the game. His quip when you encounter a red dragon in the fire giant mountains made the price of the game worth it alone. Anticipating more witty comments from him since I planned on keeping him in my party more this playthrough than my first, I played quite a bit yesterday to get to the point in the game where he joined my party.

Then I finally took a break from the game after dinner and Skyped with Trusty Nemesis Emperor Devon for awhile about the existence of God, debate styles (and my lack thereof), and general Lucasforums gossip, not necessarily in that order, but definitely far too late into the night. I finally went to bed and got about 6 hours' sleep when Jimbo, husband-god that he is, brought me a cup of coffee. I was still in that twilight stage of sleep where you dream for awhile just before you wake up, and the coffee woke me up the rest of the way.

Me: Honey, you are a husband-god for bringing me coffee.
Hubby: Thank you. I like being called a god, you know. I didn't want to wake you up too soon, though.
Me: That's OK, I was having a really weird dream.

Hubby scooted me over on the bed a little to sit down next to me. Apparently he thought 'weird' meant 'bad-dream-nigh-on-nightmare' and was prepared to comfort me. He didn't quite understand that in this case when I said weird, I meant 'really, truly, it's weird'.

Hubby: So tell me about this dream.
Me: Really, it was weird.
Hubby (soothingly): I understand, dear.
Me: Well, I dreamed I was in the bathroom, and I had to blow my nose. I had two spells--stoneskin and 'blow-my-nose', and I had to use the 'blow-my-nose' spell to, well, blow my nose.
Hubby: You had a spell to blow your nose?
Me: Yeah--isn't that weird?

At this point, hubby, who has played Neverwinter Nights 2 and knows about the stoneskin spell and the general workings of the game, started howling laughing. Thank goodness he had sat down, because I don't think he would have been able to stand laughing that hard. It was like he'd turned into a giant muscle spasm.

Me: So I blew my nose, and it was really gross. If my sinuses had been that bad, I really would have needed a spell to get all that stuff out.

Hubby continued laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.

Me: So I got all the stuff out. then I changed the spell out for a new one--don't remember which one--and rested on my knee in the bathroom to activate the new spell.

Hubby was now lying on the bed twitching, past the point where he could make much more than squeaky sounds as he laughed.

Me: I'm not quite sure why 'blow-my-nose' was a level 4 spell. I mean, it was ranked right up there with stoneskin, for heaven's sake. I think at the very most it should be level 0. I was also amused that I had the foresight to change that spell out and rest. Not sure which new spell I picked.

I finally had to stop talking and drink some coffee so Jimbo could recover.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sharing Birthing and Baby Experiences the Geeky Mom Way

It's a Required Mom Thing. All moms are required to discuss baby information and birthing experiences with each other. Put two of us moms together, and we will without fail end up discussing a. how horrible it really was to give birth, b. how jealous we are of those women who say they just breezed through a two hour mild labor and pushed the baby out in one big grunt, c. the baby's poop consistency at any given time and/or how old the kids were when potty-training finally, Praise the Lord, happened. It's like it's instinct or something.

Me: Man, I'm glad my kids are potty trained.
Other Mom: How old where they?
Me: Three for each. You?
Other Mom: 29 months.
Me: You're so lucky!
Other Mom: Well, not so lucky--I had really long labors with each one.
Me: Trust me, it couldn't be worse than my first. 36 hours, got to 10 cm and pushing, and I still ended up having a c-section. It's like running a marathon, getting 3 inches from the finish line, and having them yank you out of the race. Granted, it's for a good reason, but still, it sucks.
Other Mom: Wow. That is a bad labor. Mine was only 35.
Me: Epidural?
Other Mom: Absolutely. The only breathing a woman has to learn for labor is 'epidural'.
Me: You got that right. We don't get Hero Points for being in pain.
Other Mom: What do you think of the new baby food packaging?
Me: They got rid of all the cute glass jars, but at least plastic doesn't break in the diaper bag. Which, happily for me, I never have to carry again.
Other Mom: Watch out--saying 'I'll never have to carry the diaper bag again' is a surefire way to end up pregnant again.
Me (ducking my head and looking around to make sure no one else heard): Oh, you're right. Better not say that!

Most of the time, we moms will get together in mom-friendly settings like playgroups, church functions, meeting in the grocery stores, that kind of thing. We'll stop the shopping cart and talk to other moms for 45 minutes (while the ice cream melts) about the merits of breastfeeding. Playgroups and church functions are lovely excuses for us to talk about who potty trained, who's pregnant again, who had the easiest and hardest labor, who's weaning, and a host of other mommy things that we could never talk to others about, such as men. Men just don't get some of these things, not having the ability to a. give birth and b. breastfeed.

We Geeky Moms, however, have a new outlet for our Geeky Mom-ness. The internet. Where else can we send emails to have these kinds of conversations? Blog about the latest potty training techniques or IM a group of mothers about our kids going to kindergarten? Check out websites on different birthing options? It's hard to contain myself with all the Geek options available to me. I just login and go, and it's instant electronic mother-bonding, and I don't even have to get out of my PJs to take the kids to a playgroup.