Three Days

I feel a lot better now about things in general.

The thing about bad situatinos is that they are what they are– what really makes them worse is how much emotional involvement I decide to have in them beyond what’s useful.  I mean, I don’t want to become a feeling-less monster, but the fact is, it’d help sometimes.  And that’s what exactly what sleep deprivation does to me– it makes me focus, as if every act I do in my daze is one of survival that demands my utmost attention (because why, god, why else would I still be awake if it wasn’t for some life or death situation, right?) and that’s what drags out every moment of downtime into hours, days, or a week.

A couple of days ago I went to work. I was the surgical coordinator.  In the past, the surgical coordinator’s job was easily argued as the easiest of all the coordinator jobs– basically, he/she took care of the logout of surgical sheets, and keeping track of the surgical patients.  But that’s all changed since Andrew, one of my trainers at the MCH, left.  The position now involves running break replacements, which means that the surgical coordinator is basically replacing the primary as well as receptionist’s posts for chunks of 1 hour and 30 minutes (for the long break and short breaks).  The thing about replacements is that when you sub for someone, you need a situation report before you can relieve someone of their post.

The sitrep itself isn’t a problem, it’s an easy procedure, but manning a position for only one hour is problematic because you never know the ‘big picture’ of what the previous person was trying to accomplish before you went on break.  So, for one hour, or for half an hour, you’re basically trying to be useful but you’re also trying to stall or figure out how to accomplish the more complicated tasks of the position without messing up because you don’t know the ‘big picture’, since you just came on just then.

On the other hand, the surg coord position has gone from one of the most boring positions to one of the most action packed.  I am not kidding when I say that the other day when I was working SC, I didn’t stop running around the hospital.  Because you shift positions 4 times throughout the 8 hour shift, that’s really a nice way of keeping your day interesting because you’re always being dumped in the middle of a situation with your guns bnlazing.

Speaking of guns blazing,

remember that game I used to talk about, Gears of War 2?  Well, I’ve apparently managed to addict my three roomates to it.  We even have friends who come over to play.  They’ve never actually played anything except horde mode yet (not even campaign) but they’re having so much fun with it.

It’s really nice to see people excited about something I like– I don’t even necessarily need to play, I can just watch them do it.  The best part is that since I saw them staring out, you can really see how far the’ve come.  They used to panic on Wave 1, but nowadays, they can actuall make it to about Wave 16 without my help. 

(Of course, I’ve finished all 50 waves, but anyhow.)

Like watching someone as they progress in martial arts or music, watching someone become a better gamer is something that is simply beautiful.

FPS has it’s particular learning tree.  It varies from person but you can see all the markers.  First, they become more familiar with the controls.  The character moves around less awkwardly.  You can see that the virtual environment seems closer to a second nature when there’s a definate direction to their runs.  You can see as they focus their weapons that the crosshairs line up on targets with less sweeping swings and with shorter, precise taps of the stick: a long big one, followed by two or three small adjustments to compensate for overleading.  As they get better, the long track becomes shorter until someone just starts focusing almost directly on their target and then uses one or two calibration pans before sniping a head off.  They’ve got a long ways before they can do the latter, but they’re getting there.

And then there’s the main fun part of Gears of War 2, which is when players start realizing that when you’re outnumbered by an intelligent, almost omniscient AI, you need to use teamwork.

And it’s not that their teamwork is great.  It’s quite the opposite– it’s quite hilarious actually.  They have instances where by fluke they manage to save eachother with a well placed rocket or grenade, or sometimes someone in a panick will run into a fray without knowing, and just pull out a chainsaw by accident…

Anyway, it’s fun to see.

I should mention that I also borrowed a copy of the latest Prince of Persia and I must say, it’s been a long time because I’ve seen a game that felt this good.  The game itself is simply fantastic.  Camera angles, which were the weakness of it’s predecessors on Xbox, have all been fixed up and I must say that as far as controls go, this new PoP is probably the best game I’ve ever tried.  Controls are responsive, the gameplay is frighteningly intuitive after a while.  I kind of all this game “God of Rock Climbing” because the Prince is a rock climbing beast in this game, and that’s part of what makes this game so fantastic.  It’s so easy for you to run a kilometer on walls, swiging from bar to bar, scaleing sheer cliffs, all the while with a girl in tow hundreds of kilometers off the ground.

Hard to explain.  Try it, and you’ll like it, I’m sure.  This is a genre of gaming that I haven’t seen in a while, and the most impressive part is that in an age where games seem to want more attitude (swearing) and realism (violence), the latest PoP is actually a game I’d rate G.  It manages to keep you up with just execution and the magic of moving around.  There isn’t actually much fighting, to be honest– it’s mostly about running, and never stopping.

I went to a new martial arts gym last week for the first time, and this thursday I signed up for a ‘pay as you go’ plan which includes 10 lessons for 120$.  It’s not cheap, but it’s on par for the industry.  The place teaches kickboxing, boxing and grappling.  With the closure of Numac until further notice, it’s good to get back into something and to feel sore once in a while.

We’ve rearranged the living room and the apartment seems now a lot more livable, a lot more cozy.  It feels a lot less ‘temporary’ and a lot more like a home now.

Christmas lights that I ordered from eBay for the conversion of my backyard into a south american themed terrace arrived, and they’re quite good!  Kim’s also going back to her parents’ place this afternoon to obtain their Christmas lights.  Perhaps tomrorow we can begin construction… she seems as keen on the whole idea of I do.

I went to visit my parents yesterday during my first day off in 8 days of work. Despite having slept a fair amount the night before, I was still exhausted and had to take a nap when I got home.  My parents are in higher spirits nowadays, because the repairs to our duplex are finally underway and we’ve found a few solutions to the tenant problems at hand.

Before dinner I swung by my grandparents’ house too to check up on them, and helped them with some work around the house.

My grandfather asked me to help him do the yardwork– that being the grass mowing, mostly– so I went down to the garage and got started.

It’s the wierdest thing when your grandfather has a newer lawn mower than you do.  You expect everything that your grandparents to be back from the World War 2 era but frankly, his lawn mowever, made of a combination of plastics and lightweight metals, weighs less than half of the lawnmower I have back at my parents’ place or at my apartment.  It’s so easy to expect our elders to simply be old, when, in fact, they were once young weren’t they?

I had a ‘moment’ yesterday with my grandfather.

It was the first time I’d done yard work with him since I was in elementary school I think.

I mean, sure, I’ve cut his grass before, but I never did it with him helping me and giving me orders in the background.

Back then, the backyard of my grandparents’ place wasn’t just flowers and terrible grass– it was a full of chinese vegetables, row on row and in racks.  Mostly melons.  My grandfather would tell me to hold the melons as he cut them down, or he’d give me a knife of my own to cut down the vines at the end of the season and stack them in a corner.  I’d get splinters from the chinese melons sometimes and, back when his eyes were better, he’d dig them out with a needle he’d sterlized with his cigarette lighter, from back in that lifetime when he used to smoke.

This time was different– it was more him holding the extension chord so it wouldn’t get in my way.  He was telling me to zigzag this way or that.  It wasn’t necessary of course– who hasn’t been mowing lawns since they were teens?

But it’s the connection, I suppose. To the past, to the present.  Elders wouldn’t be elders if they didn’t try to give you advice, even if it wasn’t needed, right?

Mind you, a lot of the problems going on right now in life haven’t been resolved.  But at least I’ve got my morale back.  Let’s go forward.