Tag Archives: Megan

The day Megan proved four of you wrong.

On Friday, I explained Megan’s Surprise Dilemma, a gambit wherein Megan had the option to unravel various surprises.

As a bonus, I included a poll to predict both Megan’s reaction and Jason’s plans. Only five people voted (despite >30 reading the article) but there were still interesting “trends.” (Can you say “trend” of a tiny sample size?)

  • Nobody voted either “surprise” was a lie. Everyone expected both surprises to exist.
  • Four readers predicted that Megan would not want to know and would abstain from checking the laptop bag.
  • One reader predicted that Megan would check, deliberating spoiling both surprises.

Neither Megan nor I voted.

Read More →

Interlude: Megan’s omelette.

Megan made me an omelette for dinner. That’s one of my favorites. This bears no relevance with today’s post, but it does for tomorrows. It will be interesting to see who my daily readers are! Also, I wonder if this sort of update is why people…Tweet. Just can’t bring myself to yet. We’ll see.

Poorest Customer Service Ever = Worst Move Experience Ever

BoxesIf you thought moving was painful, try it sometime with an anterior wedge fracture and a herniated disc. But setting aside my own self pity for the nonce, it’s been even more fun dealing with the moving company.

As of Thursday, our move day was scheduled for Saturday. The next step in the process between them and us was they were supposed to call us Friday to tell us what time we would see them Saturday.

No call ever came.

By 4 PM Friday, Megan called the only number we had for them, where she was getting voicemail only for a lady named Gloria.

By this morning, which is our move day, we had left three messages and heard nothing back.

By 9:15 I was on the internet looking for alternate numbers to this company. I found one.

I hold for 15 minutes.

Operator: How may I direct your call?

Jason: I do not know how you may direct my call, our move day is today and we have neither seen nor heard from the movers. I have a confirmation number. I read the confirmation number.

Operator: Please hold.

I hold for ten more minutes.

Operator: It appears there was a mixup in the paperwork.

Jason: What kind of ‘mixup’?

Operator: (continuing as if he hadn’t spoken) We don’t have anyone we can dispatch today. Can I schedule something for tomorrow?

Jason: My move is today.

Operator: Well, we don’t have anyone who can be there today. Not even this evening.

Jason: Fine, schedule something for tomorrow. What kind of mixup was there?

Operator: You’ll have to call [company name]. (Note that this is who I thought I was on the phone with.) We’re just the carrier, you’ll have to take it up with the company.

Jason: Fine.

I  call the number provided, which, by the way, does not match the number we were given as a contact number.

I’m placed on hold for 10 minutes.

Dispatcher: Dispatch!

Jason: Today is our move day but we’ve neither seen nor heard from anyone.

Dispatcher: Let me transfer you to that department… (What ‘department’?)

I now hold for THIRTY MORE MINUTES before anyone picks up.

Customer Service Rep: Thank you for calling customer service, my name is ________, how may I help you today?

I attempted to demonstrate considerable restraint by keeping my tone calm and cusswords out of my vocabulary.

Jason: Our move day… is … today. We…have…not…seen…or…heard…from…our…movers. (See? I did it. Although I think some of my teeth may now be ground into a fine powder.)

Confirmation number is given.

CSR: Alright, let me call the carrier and see what’s going on with that.

The CARRIER? That’s who I was JUST on the phone with and told me to call YOU. Before I can object, though, I’m placed on hold…for FIFTEEN MORE MINUTES.

CSR: Okay, I’m going to send them an email, it seems like the line is busy. (Gee, ya think?)

I’m placed on hold again for 10 more minutes.

CSR: Sir, did you, or your wife, just call them and reschedule for tomorrow?

Jason: I just called them. I do not want to reschedule for tomorrow, but they told me there was no other option.

CSR: Let me see.

I’m placed on hold for another five minutes.

CSR: There’s no way we can get to your move today, not even later this evening.

Jason: Fine. (Even though it isn’t.)

CSR: Will that work for you?

Jason: No, but what choice do I have?

CSR: I’ll speak to my manager about getting you some compensation. The movers will be out there between 9 and 10 AM tomorrow.

You mean like they were supposed to be today? I think I’ve heard this song before.

Jason: Fine. Can we expect a call?

CSR: They’ll call you between 7 and 8 AM tomorrow morning.

You mean like they were supposed to call today?

Jason: What kind of mixup was there?

CSR: Sometimes, what happens is, if a move takes longer than it’s supposed to, it can push your move back.

Note that she didn’t say this IS what happened. What happened is they LOST our paperwork for the move, but she doesn’t want to admit that. So instead I get this “sometimes what happens is…”

Jason: If that’s what happened, we should have been called and informed immediately.

CSR: I agree, sir, but all I can do now is apologize.

Jason: Fine. I’m angry, but thank you for your help.

Our paperwork from the move company arrived in the mail. Scheduled move date on the form?

Today. August 8th.

“Happily Ever After” is a lie.

Castle NeuschwansteinI love my wife. Far more than a simple blog post could possibly convey. In truth, I think she’s an incredible woman to put up with me, my constant rants, my acid temper, and particularly when I was plagued with chronic pain I know I was not pleasant to live with. I sure wouldn’t have put up with me.

Far more than just tolerating me, Megan makes my life amazing. She takes care of me, manages the house, and does amazing work at a full time job and takes classes. And somehow she manages to make me feel special and adored at the end of the day.

I’m telling you, it’s not fair in the slightest.

But we aren’t living “happily ever after”. Because it’s a lie. It’s a myth. A fairy tale, if you will.

In movies, in sitcoms, even in many books, if there’s a romance, how does the story end? In every happy ending, the guy gets the girl and they ride off into the sunset, literally or proverbially.

What they don’t show you on screen is that four hours later, the bride and groom are cranky and saddlesore. In reality, “happily ever after” is not the end of the story. It’s only the beginning.

Our first anniversary is less than a fortnight away, and I can now tell you (finally from experience) that marriage is work. We do far more poring over finances and schedules than we do snuggling or snogging, and I doubt we’re unique in that regard. A wife isn’t just a make-out buddy, she’s also a business partner. And a roommate. And a best friend.

So if you’ve ever felt friction between a business partner, or a roommate, or your best friend, imagine rolling them all into one.

Popular media has lied about this from verbal tradition to high definition. That’s because it’s easier to give fiction a satisfying end than it is in real life. Consider it: No matter how great triumph you experience in your life, afterwards you will still have to get up and go through the next day’s routine. Being elected President of the United States is arguably the highest prestige in the world. But the reward for it is arguably the hardest job in the world.

I chose Neuschwanstein Castle, pictured above, very deliberately for this blog post. It is often held as a paragon of fairy tale beauty, so much so that it’s the model for the Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is featured in many other movies, and in 2007 it was a finalist for the New Seven Wonders of the World, and is now advertised as the “8th Wonder”.

It is rightly considered a work of art, but beautiful as it is, that castle is an unfinished project. Only 14 rooms were fully furnished before its commissioner, Ludwig II of Bavaria, died.

Marriage is likewise a beautiful, unfinished project.

World of Warcraft vs. Jason R. Peters: Two playstyles enter, one game leaves.

World of Warcraft

This weekend, in a moment of weakness/boredom, I renewed my WoW account. Unfortunately, for all my love of the game (and finding questions like “We have the technology” and “We can rebuilding him” shortly after logging in reminded me of Azeroth’s immense charm), I had very little fun for the 6+ hours I stayed logged in to WoW on Friday.

 

 

It might be necessary for me to come to realize the possibility that there is NO niche in World of Warcraft for someone with my particular personality and playstyle. I don’t know for certain whether this is the case or not, but I am starting to believe that it is.

 

I’m an elitist in that I like to run with the big dogs and be the best at what I do, but I don’t like to raid constantly. Also, I’m an introvert; I can do extroverted activities like Game Mastering, leading  worship group, or giving speeches, musical performances, but being around people leaves me emotionally drained. When left to my own devices, I’d prefer to be by myself most of the day, and keep a very small/close group of friends nearby to hang out with occasionally. I’m picky (sometimes to the point of being asinine) about my time commitments and I have high standards for others as well.

 

When I say, “I’ll raid at 8:00 PM”, what I mean is that EVERYTHING ELSE IN LIFE is put on hold for the raid. My phone is turned off, I’m fed, my drinks and meds are right by the computer, Megan knows I’m unavailable for the next 4-5 hours, and I’m going to log in at 7:15 PM to get all my mats and ammo and the right pet so I can sit at the stone by 7:40 PM. If my apartment is on fire or a friend is in the hospital, (or if my router dies) then yes, “Real life happens.” But as far as my word and my commitment goes, “real life happens” is not going to stop me from keeping my commitment. I was brought up and trained and taught that if you aren’t early, you aren’t worth taking along; and that if you aren’t on time, your word is no good. As an adult, I recognize that this doesn’t make me “better” than people who don’t operate in this fashion, it’s just a difference of personality.

 

Most other people, when they say, “I’ll raid at 8:00 PM”, they mean they’ll log in at 7:55 PM, may or may not have ammo, may or may not have the right pet, may or may not have food buffs and elixirs, and don’t really care if they aren’t at the stone til 8:15 or 8:30 and are content to start an “8:00” raid as late as 9 or 10. And this is not because of real life emergencies, but just lack of planning and preparation.

 

This seems to be the majority of the WoW community.

 

This is their choice and I will never convince them to change these habits. But if I’m online an hour early and ready to roll, I am unhappy to sit around waiting for everyone else to get their collective act together. And I don’t play video games to be unhappy, I play video games to have fun. Waiting for half the raid group isn’t fun to me. An alternative method of operation is for me to be just as late to arrive and be ready as those with a more relaxed sense of duty and commitment, but when I play that way, I am unhappy with myself, and I don’t play video games to be unhappy; I play them to have fun.

 

I’m  a loner who believes in the power of personal merit. This idea is not (currently) supported in WoW. It is not possible to get the best gear by soloing, no matter how much time you put in, how skilled you are, or how intense your work ethic. ONLY by grouping with a variety of other people (whom you are bound to like and dislike) is it possible to advance to get the best stuff available. This has always been true for PvE, with Arenas and the constant nerfing of the honor system as a source of gear, they’ve made it true in PvP as well.

 

Just about the only area of WoW it’s possible to solo excel in is leveling. Every time I’ve created a new character, I’ve dazzled people on now a dozen different servers with the trail I can blaze while leveling away a new toon if I’m completely devoted to it. How many times have my friends made fun other players for having four or five level 70 toons, but all of them in green gear? But that’s honestly how I would prefer to play. Not that I mind having good gear, but I’d prefer to do it in a way that involved personal – not group – merit; I’m a capitalist, not a socialist. So in a way I envied Stoney his multi-level 70s (which I’ve had in total, but strung across different factions/servers/accounts, never all in one place).

 

PvP was the only thing to do AT 60 and AT 70 that I could do by myself and still excel and advance via effort and skill and patience. That’s gone. The best pvp gear is now available – and faster – by raiding. To PvP effectively, I have to raid constantly, and I have no desire to raid constantly. Furthermore, even the BEST pvp gear is now completely second-rate compared to the PvE gear available based on the way Resilience was calculated into Item Level starting with patch 3.0. This was not the case in BC days; when I got my Kara PvE gear, it was mostly side-grades from the PvP gear I already had, and eventually I was able to get even better PvP gear still.

 

Besides merit, the other thing I enjoyed about PvP was it fit my schedule. If I had 5 minutes or 12 hours, I could PvP as much or as little as I wanted. In PvE, that applies only to farming. Even REP GRINDING now requires you to run dungeons for some of the major reps that exist.

 

My Personality

WoW Community

Arrive early.

Arrive on time.

Start on time.

Start whenever.

Personal merit.

Group cooperation and achievement.

Introvert

Need group to accomplish anything or advance.

Keep to myself.

Chat it up on Vent

Competitive

The only way to advance is in large groups; since I’m a loner I am always behind.

Raid once in a blue moon

Raid several times per week

Play in short segments

Play in huge sweeping sessions of 6+ hours

Prefer to work in pairs or threes at most

Smallest group is 5, largest is 25

Play a part time game

Play 24/7 when not working/sleeping

 

The more I look at it, the more it just seems like there isn’t anything there for my personality. I think this is why I get:

·         Frustrated

o   Almost NOTHING happens the way I hope it will; that’s a hard way to live in ANY community.

·         Bored

o   All the ways which would be “fun” to me give you nothing meaningful in the game, and/or nobody else feels the same.

·         Exhausted

o   I recharge my “how good I feel” batteries by solitary activities; reading, writing, painting, music. When I’m in a group of 5, I feel my batteries slowly draining away. They drain away twice as fast if I’m on Vent, even if I’m not “grouped” in game (because it has the same emotional effect on me as grouping, but without the in game rewards).

·         Drained

o   When I’m bored, frustrated, and not having fun, WoW suddenly becomes even harder “work” to me than my REAL job. When heroics take two hours, I dread going on one. When raids never start on time, I hate them even more than I already did. When accomplishing ANYTHING requires me to be social for hours at a time, I start to hate all related goals; heroics, raids, arenas, even battlegrounds when we had enough people on the same Vent channel stopped being any fun for me. WoW becomes like a second job not just due to the time commitment, but due to the fact that I have more fun at work than I do in the game.

§  Ouch?

·         That’s not why I play video games, fo’shizzle.

 

 

The more I think about it and look at it and analyze it, the more it seems like WoW isn’t right for me or I’m not right for it. This isn’t anyone’s fault but mine, but the deeper into WoW (the way it is now) I get, the less fun I’m having.

 

I was sucked into the game by methods and goals which DO fit my playstyle; leveling, playing the market, learning tradeskills, finding short-term groups of 2 or 3 people for 20 to 30 minutes to do an outdoor group quest, and otherwise exploring a big wide world by myself, with my wife, or with a best friend. Not in huge conglomerates of people necessary to take down a ginormous dragon/demon in a world where you must group to advance, and spend a minimum of an hour online (assuming everyone starts on time) to accomplish even the smallest of goals (like a single heroic).

 

What do I want to accomplish in WoW? I have no idea whatsoever. What is there left for someone like me TO accomplish?

Outtakes

ttile-lolThis morning, Megan and I were discussing necessary steps to make sure a story is presented seriously.

For example…Woman’s Best Friend would hardly have the same impact if the dog was named, “Mrs. Snugglebunny.”

Here are some “outtakes” from the story.

______________________________________________________________

Mrs. Snugglebunny paced restlessly by the window.

“Mark, Mrs. Snugglebunny is acting strange!”

“Yeah, whatever, woman. You name a dog that, of course she’s going to act strange.”

Naomi went out the next day to investigate the clearing. At first, she saw what appeared to be a plume of smoke. But upon closer investigation, was actually a handful of circus balloons being held by a grinning hedgehog.

“Hello, Mrs. Snugglebunny!” the hedgehog said brightly. “I see you’ve brought a human with you!”

Bark, bark! said Mrs. Snugglebunny.

Naomi checked herself into a mental institution the following day.

(Mark lived happily ever after.)