Stacking Time Vampires

I made the huge, life changing mistake of downloading a Tetris-like game on my phone.

Remind me again how Tetris didn’t come with a warning label?  How is it not classified as a highly addictive substance?

It’s been ages since I last played this one.  In fact, it was at a gathering with my cousins more than 5 years ago.  Four of us had been perusing the Target clearance end-caps and we found this Tetris game that plugged straight into the TV.  The rest of the weekend, a whole crowd of us was clustered around the TV either playing, or volunteering suggestions to players (there was trash talking too, of course).

Now, years later, I lost most of an evening trying to beat a high score, swearing copiously as I got a rash of those screwy offset squares that I can never deal with–you know the one, take the top two squares of a 4-square box and shift it over….instant crap.  The fact that I just digressed to describing the piece I hate ought to be a clue as too how far gone I’ve been playing this frakkin’ thing.

Another win for a useless (but entertaining) destroyer of time.

Trying To Bust a Time Vampire

I made a mistake.

A big one.

I downloaded a game on my phone.

I never thought I would.  I mean, other than Angry Birds, which I downloaded primarily to see what the hype was about.  I was amused, but the pigs piss me the heck off when I don’t destroy them.  That smirk is just too much.

With that potential addiction taken care of, I figured I was safe.  My phone-time-wasting would be on something like Twitter or Wikipedia or reading freebie e-books from Amazon.

But, in a fit of insanity, I wound up downloading a freebie game called Marble Buster.  It really is nothing special.  You launch little colored marbles up from the bottom of the screen, if you hit to connect three or more of the same color, the set disappears.  You’re trying to clear the screen before, as you might expect, the screen moves down and the marbles already on screen touch the bottom.  It’s what happens when brick-break and connect-4 have child.

A demonically addictive bastard child.

It’s just simple enough that it’s easy to start it up and play for a bit.  It’s just frustrating enough to keep you wanting to move up another level, without becoming so much of a piss off that you abandon it (like Angry Birds).

I really do detest myself for doing this.  I’ve lost hours to this game.  It once distracted me from an entire episode of Castle, and not a lot really does that.  More precious minutes, vacuumed away….

Ending Our Summer Drought With A Drink (or 2, 3, 4…) for the Olympics

We are breaking in from our summer hiatus* to raise a glass in celebration of the Olympics.  What better way to enjoy the opening ceremonies than with a nice cool beverage?

Answer: With a drinking game** to better tie together your Olympic viewing experience and that beverage.

For now, we’ll start with the obvious stuff for the Opening Ceremonies (about which we have read no spoilers, so these are predominantly born of brainstorms between the two of us on what we expect London to show us).  Check back for more supplemental sections to enhance your viewing throughout this year’s games.

 

Preliminaries:

Take a drink if-

  • In a non-Olympic year, you watch less than 4 sports events a year.
  • The opening ceremonies will be the only think you actually watch from this sporting extravaganza (other than the closing ceremonies)

Parade of Nations:

Take a drink:

  • Every time the commentators mention the political situation in the country that just entered.
  • Every time a commentator trips over the name of a flag bearer.
  • Every time they tell us a sob story about a flag bearer.
    • Twice if it’s a sob story about the whole team.
  • Every time they mention the whole “US uniforms made in China” scandal.
  • Every time they mention a well known member of a country’s delegation who is not in attendance at the opening ceremonies.
  • Every time you see an athlete on his/her cell phone
  • If the Germans have ugly outfits. Again.
    • Twice if anyone has outfits significantly uglier than the Germans.
    • Three times if the Germans are actually stylin’
  • If NBC cuts to commercial when your favorite country should be walking in and you have to kind of peer at the background the rest of the show, trying to pick them out. (Include swearing at NBC should you feel like it.  I will.)

The Multimedia, Dancing, Musical with Flying and Flashing Lights Main Event:

Take a drink:

  • Every time a Bobby or Palace Guard is represented in the program
  • Every time the camera zooms in on a member of the royal family
    • Twice if it’s a woman wearing a strange hat.
    • If at any time in the show the Queen is mocked, chug every bit of alcohol you have in the house.
  • Every time the camera zooms in on some other world leader
    • Twice if said leader is clearly not paying attention.
  • Every time a British landmark is represented
    • Twice if it’s Big Ben.
  • If the Beatles or any single member thereof is shown, featured or represented
    • Three if you are not a fan of the Beatles.
  • If Elton John is shown.
    • Twice if he is actually part of the program. (Yeah, we know it’s inevitable).
  • If a commentator mentions that this is a smaller production than Beijing.  (No, shit.  Really?)
  • If there’s an aerial act (Also inevitable for everything post Albertville).
  • If an adorable British girl sings a solo.
    • And have a double bloody Mary tomorrow when it’s all over the news that she wasn’t actually the singer
  • If a commentator makes a remark about Britain’s diverse population
    • Twice if the commentator attributes this to the British Empire having subjugated peoples around the globe for hundreds of years….
  • If something in the program involves a representation of a pastoral scene with a sheep.
  • If any famous British literary figures are represented in the program.
    • Twice if it’s Shakespeare.
    • Three times if it’s Jane Austen.
    • Finish your glass if it’s Tolkien.
  • If there’s a Round Table.
    • Twice if it’s part of an identifiable reference to Arthurian legend

 

Be advised, this list could grow real-time depending on what we see while actually watching this beast….

 

Updates:

  • SIP for everytime the NBC commentators make remarks that are way too negative/make you cringe for being American (SIP mind you, or you’ll be on the floor in no time)
  •  HOW did I forget to include the pastoral scene?  Drink for that.
    • Twice for any sheep you see
*Reasons for this are the subject of some other post
**Non-alcoholic may be the more wise choice if your weather is as hot as around here.

Time Vampire: Google Chrome Game Plugins

I know what you’re thinking:  “How can Cammy possibly have more stupid ass games she’s addicted to?”

Beats the shit outta me.  All I know is that I need to stop because I really do waste an inordinate amount of time playing ridiculous web-based games.

And then Google had to go and make it that much more tempting with the plug-ins for Chrome (my browser du jour).  There are plenty of helpful time management plugins through the google web-store, but no.  Oh, no.  I get started playing addictive stuff like “Entanglement”–a crack induced puzzle game of linking curvy lines.  Or Mr. Fancy Pants 2, which has the kind of two-d simplicity of the old Super Mario days, but which much cooler movements.  And then there was Poppit.  A game that addicted me eons ago right out of college (Megan, if you’re out there, do you remember playing poppit late at night and having conversations in the public chat window under bizarre assumed identities….I seem to recall one night when I was pretending to be someone who’d just moved to Topeka with the husband and kids).

At any rate, I’ve frakked off for way too many hours (once again) this week.  Time I should have spent getting the house clean and writing.

Time vampire strikes again.

Time Vampire: Magic Pen

I need to find another addictive online game about as much as I need another 6 inches of snow to shovel off my driveway.  But, like the weather, some things are just beyond my control.  The latest in the list? Magic Pen.

The object is simple–which is always key in the addictiveness of a game–you get the red ball to roll across the little flags.

You, armed with a crayon and some vague idea that making things bump into a ball will make it roll, are in charge of drawing in whatever shapes you need to guide that red ball as well as figuring out how to get that ball rolling.  It’s the most subtle lesson in Newtonian physics you’ll ever find yourself loathe to part from.  It’s so addictive that I actually found myself paying more attention to manipulating the path of that stupid red ball than I did to the new episode of Bones (which is unheard of for me).

And with that, I will leave you to get your own ball rolling.  I have a game to get back to.

A Very Clever Time Vampire

I have a love/hate relationship with riddles.  They’re fun, and I enjoy the blissful moment of feeling smart when I solve one.

But.

The self-esteem degrading blows and hair pulling agony of trying to figure them out is a total bitch.  And I can’t walk away from it.  It mocks me, drawing me back when there’s a house to clean for my soon-to-return bi-continental parents.

The massive, 1000 level riddle-quest at A Clever Waste of Time has been doing the mocking lately.  I’m embarrassed to say I’m a mere handful of levels into the thing and that I definitely needed some of the hints in the first 5 levels (I had no idea how to even start).  After that there’s a forum where you can seek guidance, but I’m avoiding it, though it’s a very tempting beacon….So far basic web knowledge has been the key to moving forward–I have no idea what lies ahead.

Simulating a Time Vampire

Hello, my name is Cammy, and I have a Sims problem.

Yeah, this is sad enough that it was close to being billed as a Secret Heresie, but then I decided to let my shame go and just dwell on the hours I’ve lost to Maxis games.

It started with Sim City 2000.  My brother bought it.  I had played the original Sim City and it was okay, but I rocked Sim City 2000.  I had a massive Metropolis named Ivanoville (in honor of Ivanova from B5.  Because I’m so shamelessly nerdy).  I played iterations there after (although not to the level of success of Ivanoville, I’m sad to say).

And then came the Sims.

Sure, Sim City was fun, but who wants to be a city planner?  A minor god in the lives of mini people however?  Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.  From laying every detail of their computer generated homes, to literally controlling when they went to the bathroom, this was simply brilliant.  And the control has gotten better as time has gone on.  I’m now up to Sims 3 and my demi-god-micro-managerial tendencies show no signs of ceasing.

The upside of any Sim game has been that I go through cycles.  I’m unfortunately hitting an upswing right now.  This means that I will find hour upon hour of a weekend simply vanished into a lot of nothing as I try to get sleep deprived simulated parents through the infancies of a set of twins, and try to get two completely dissimilar Sims to fall in love.  Minutes tick away as I click.

It’s probably a sad commentary on some kind of control issues in my own life, or something to that effect.  I prefer to be more positive and call it some kind of innate need to formulate stories of lives and orchestrate them in an entertaining format.  Alternative story-telling if you will.

The upside is that I do get tired of it and walk away, but only after somewhere between 20-30 hours of my life have whizzed by as I huddle before the computer.

And on that not, excuse me.  There’s a computer generated baby that just messed her diaper, a father who is “fishing indefinitely” and a set of three boys who all seemed to think that ice-cream for dinner was a good idea…..

A Keen Time Vampire

As a kid, I never had a Nintendo.  My parents are thrifty.  To them, computers should be for doing work, so we had a home PC.  But dedicated gaming consoles?  Not so much.  Eventually they did give in, but Nintendo’s were higher than the Atari 2600.  If they were going to “waste” money on a game console, it was going to be as little as possible.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Atari (viva Ms. Pacman!), but I felt left out of the side-scroll adventure world of Super Mario.

Then came a substitute–something similar, but, honestly, cooler, for the home PC:  Commander Keen.

It had the same side-scroll action as Super Mario, but it was different–and I liked different.  A kid in a Bean & Bacon Mega rocket, crash landed on a planet, battling with wolfmen and toothy-green aliens armed only with a blaster and pogo-stick.

Hours of my life were poured into this game.  My brother and I even managed to find the “secret” level.

And now, far more years having passed than I like to admit, I found out that some clever souls have put Commander Keen online.  Apparently it’s sans sound, but already I’ve wasted several hours of pleasant frustration as I try to get my fingers to replicate the old moves.  I still haven’t found my pogo-stick and I’m getting zapped by the clammy things too often for comfort, but it’s worth it.

Time Vampire of the Week….Virtual Bubble Wrap

Sure, this is an oldie, but it’s a goody. Virtual bubble wrap.  Especially when you’re having the kind of week where you need to just turn off your brain.  The soothing sound of rhythmic mini-explosions at the click of a mouse?  It’s simple.  It’s beautiful.  And I’ve just gone through two virtual sheets.

I happen to enjoy manic mode–yes, there are modes!–where I don’t actually have a click, just the cursor moving over the virtual-plastic-goodness is enough to yield the happy crackle.  There’s also a self timer, because, well, it’s really important to know how much bubble wrap you can obliterate in a given amount of time.

It may not be challenging or visually stimulating, but after a long day of meetings and thinking fast?  It’s just what I need to vampire away the few minutes before you crawl into bed.

Time Vampire Defense

Defense of your property is rarely a waste of time.  Except when the property is a virtual desk and you’re building little pellet-launching towers to defend it from little dots.

Yes, I’ve found myself a victim of the time-suck that is Desktop Defender.

I made the mistake of clicking a link from some little blurb or other referring to this addictive little game.  At first, I really didn’t see what the attraction was.  I didn’t think it was possible to become addicted since I didn’t think the concept was that enthralling….

But once I got started I couldn’t stop.  I take way too much delight in mowing down little creeps in my amazing maze of death.  It’s therapeutic.  If only I could defend my real desk from real creeps as easily….