Day in the Life, Number 13278, recovering from sickness, an idea for a vlog project that will likely never get off the ground, Parasite Eve, and Under the Skin

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Summary: I was meant to be at a family reunion this weekend. Instead, I sickbedded it. Played (and finished, essentially) Parasite Eve, read some Under the Skin. And this week's plan that probably won't be acted upon goes to...Movie vs Book.

BLOT: (06 Oct 2013 - 11:21:50 PM)

Day in the Life, Number 13278, recovering from sickness, an idea for a vlog project that will likely never get off the ground, Parasite Eve, and Under the Skin

The assumption was that I would have went down to see my family as part of the Bolden Family Reunion this past weekend. In reality, I had been fighting off a cold [the real reason for the frequent nosebleeds I had jokingly blamed on Project MKUltra] and I was still sick enough that the road trip would likely have done bad things to me. Amongst a constant sore throat and a regular headache, I had stopped up sinuses and a general tendency to be half-out-of-it. The dust of lower Alabama could have done me no favors. Instead, I mostly sat around and played Parasite Eve while zoning in and out of consciousness.

If you don't know Parasite Eve, the video game,you play as a New York cop who is at the site of a weird incident involving an opera singer setting people on fire with her mind. You investigate, genetics gets weird, and squishy things get shot with increasingly powerful guns. After you beat it the first time, you can bring some weapons and equipment over, and eventually you get powerful enough to take on a Roguelike optional dungeon that contains both the best equipment an the "real boss" of the game, unlocking the true ending. Partially because of the replay mode, and partially because it was short [6 or so hours] and had a modern setting and a fairly unique protagonist—a female cop who wasn't merely trying to save/get a boyfriend, etc—I ended up playing it quite a bit back around 2000. Six total playthroughs, though a couple of those were so brief that they probably only took a couple of hours.

This time around, I did find out about one particular {glitch | oddity | bug | easter egg} though: The 39+ Level issue. Basically, you are meant to get to about level 35ish in game. Most everyone who plays would get there. You start out getting lots of levels, and then the amount of EXP per level gets bigger and bigger, and since running back and forth is sort of an intentional concept for the game then most playthroughs get about the same amount of levels. Getting up to level 38, from level 35, takes as about as many EXP as it did to get to level 35 to begin with (roughly 300,000EXP). Once you hit level 38, though, it only takes about 4500 points to go up to the next level, all the way to level 96, and then you skip 97-98 and jump to 99. It does take a bit of grinding, though I found that relaxing, occasionally with podcasts going and taking these little micronaps in during loading screens. I did beat the final boss, the real one, and with such aplomb that I tink it might be time to retire the game at least until I feel like starting completely back over. Which may be never.

Playing through the game did make me think about a long thought about project, roughly called Movie vs Book. In its basic form, it would just be blog posts, though I have thought about trying for something like a Youtube series with clips from the movie (and stills of quotes from the book), being used to make the points. The points being where the book and movie differ with certain common difference assigned names, and with possible "features" about the way suspense is handled differently in the two mediums. If I did it as a vlog, it would probably have two levels of video. The first would have only shallow spoilers, possibly with annotations set up to skip them. The second would have deeper spoilers. I cannot imagine myself having time to get a web-series off the ground, so let's call this on the backburner, but I'll give it some more thought.

A perfect candidate of which would be Under the Skin, the 2000 Michel Faber novel that has been turned into a 2013 Jonathon Glazer film. I am not linking to any information because there is one huge caveat: ANY INFORMATION YOU READ ABOUT THE BOOK/FILM SEEMS FINE WITH SPOILING THE WHOLE TWIST. And while that twist shows up kind of early on depending on how carefully you are reading, the book is still best to go in not knowing. It takes about 100 or so pages of the book to really be outright with the behind the scenes, and that's part of the charm, its ability to be completely understated with language and to be perfectly honest with the reader in a way that leads to assumptions and sinister glimpses. It's likely too late, as you've already gone off to find out what I'm talking about, but there you go. Sucks to be you. Loser. At any rate, Isserly, the woman who is picking up hitchhikers for some foul reason, is described in the book as a short woman with spindly arms and legs and big hands, with a ugly scrunched up face and big glasses, and massive breasts that are a little too perfect. In the movie, it is Scarlett Johansson. No, not in ugly makeup. Not even glasses. I've not seen the movie, yet, though it is getting some pretty mixed to negative reviews so far, but I want to see it. In fact, it is probably the only theatrical release I want to see any time soon, though I'm hoping for more for a VOD release of it. Here is a teaser trailer for it, that spoils pretty much nothing but leaves you with a bit of a "Why?" on your tongue...

With that, I am off to bed. Well, to read for an hour and then get some sleep. Some big things afoot at work, which I will hopefully explain in better detail later.

Me in 2013


Written by Doug Bolden

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