December 29th, 2006

Moa: The King of Destruction

(no subject)

As if I haven't been through enough this week, I spent today sick. Painfully sick. After throwing up twice because it didn't all come out the first time, Mom gave me some tea to soothe my throat, and it did a decent job both directions. I just plain couldn't feel my throat at all after that - I'd inhale, and it felt like the air wasn't getting in, but I wasn't choking, so I assume it was working. Still, the taste wasn't pleasant, and leaving me weak for the rest of the morning didn't help matters. I could have done without that. In any case, everyone else took care of morning errands while I ran down my DS batteries pre-recharge with Portrait of Ruin (interesting game, but why all the effort to "teach" me to use such a weak weapon?) and Touch Detective (I completed the second mission, did as much stuff as I could find in the bonus mission, then started the third one) before moving on to Final Fantasy 12 for a while. Then I had no choice but to get active and go get the rental car. Hertz gave me a plus/minus. They upgraded me to a full-size Monte Carlo with a CD player for $3 a day more than the midsize cost, which is $6 I'm happy to part with, but Curt isn't allowed to drive it at all, and the tire pressure light was on, so we asked them to check it before we left. The guy reset the dashboard display and told us we were fine. But the warning light stayed on, making me think the emergency brake was still on (because they're both circled exclamation marks in parentheses, and I didn't know the underline meant it was a tire problem), so Curt suggested stopping at the Wawa to check the brakes. Good choice - they had free air, so we filled up the tires, and the warning light well and truly went out. So I think the Hertz rental counter at the Atlantic City International Airport could use a new mechanic. (It reminds me a bit of when my grandpop used to explain that the seatbelt warning light man would eventually get angry and go away if he started driving without fastening his seatbelt. Just because the light goes out, it doesn't mean the problem's fixed.) Other than the slight inconvenience, it's a very comfortable car and should fit all of our luggage without a problem. It has lousy visibility, though. I turned my head left and couldn't see a thing past my periphery. So backing out of parking spaces won't be easy. I also haven't worked out the headlight controls yet. There's a knob with dials and buttons, but the pictures could mean anything.

After we got back, I felt up to seeing "The Pursuit of Happyness", so I got a large Sprite to keep my throat irrigated and tried not to cough so much. The family that came in during the previews and sat in the row in front of us needs to die. They carried on some sort of conversation that went right through the opening credits and into the movie, after which they lapsed into short bits of conversation every few minutes until they left, mercifully early but not nearly early enough. They weren't the only ones talking, but they were the closest, and unlike the family behind us, it was the adults who started it every time. The movie itself was depressing for the most part, and really put my life into perspective... again. If that guy could manage to make ends meet while living from dollar to dollar, I should be glad that my biggest problem is finding a company who will let me throw large amounts of money at them to secure my needs. Speaking of which, most of State Farm doesn't seem to know what's going on, but the car was totaled and I'll work out the details of that when I get home. I'll either carpool with Curt all week or rent a car for a while until I find something I like enough to buy, and I hear that at this time of year, there should be some good deals on new 2006 models. Mom was concerned about dealerships driving up the interest rate if I skimp on the down payment, but there's enough selection in Bloomington that they'll have to be competetive. I have preferences, yes, but I have reasoning too. And great credit.

The FF12-ness was mostly wondering how they manage to put out these impossibly tough bounties in a town that sells little more than the basic weapons and armor. I beat the second bounty by exploiting the system and what must have been luck - I lured its cronies away by fleeing into town, recovering, and returning to find the "guard wolf" half-dead. I followed it back to its master, killed it with one swing, and fought the bounty one-on-one. I got off three Fire spells that mostly killed it, but then it called for help and started using its Saber attack that was nearly enough to kill me (a potion barely kept me alive long enough to lose all the HP it had recovered), and when I finally attacked as a last-ditch effort while I waited for the game over screen, it just died while my action meter was half-full. I think its own attack killed it. One of those "use so many of your own HP to boost your attack" skills or something. Anyway, the third bounty is just way too strong, so I may pack it in and plot a bit instead. I know where I need to go, thanks to the in-game help (I don't remember anyone, anywhere, mentioning that this was the next step), so I've got a lead for once I get back and get everything set up again. Let the new wave of video gaming begin! (I still plan to seek out a Wii, though.)

So everything's packed, including a handful of old DVDs from the garage that I'll catalog when I get home (Sorcerer Hunters and a bit of Urusei Yatsura, mostly), and I'm very full of wonton soup and a little rice, so I'm going to see how getting some sleep works. I have a long drive tomorrow with a bit of rain expected. I think I've earned the right to laugh in the face of rain now, but with the cap of wisdom, naturally.