Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Well, I'm back...kinda. An update 3 1/2 years later

Hello guys. It’s been a while.

So much has gone on since my last post, it’s difficult to even know where to begin. I’d like to say it’s all been roses and sunshine and all that rot, but I’d only be telling…well, 95% of the truth.

Life is great.

You all are well introduced to “Nina the College Student” and “Nina the Nerd”. Now, I’d like to introduce you to Nina Vox.

It started all the way back in 2012. I was flying to Germany to see Ashley (yes, that Ashley), and I was nearing the final leg of the journey. As it happens, because I fly standby, I just so happened to get a seat in first class on the way from JFK to Frankfurt. I was wearing one of my favorite shirts (a T-shirt with a robot throwing the metal horns, with the phrase “Heavy Metal” on it. It’s awesome).

I walked down the aisle, and noticed that I was sitting beside this dude who clearly thought he was important. Black jeans, black shirt, long black hair, sunglasses on, yammering on his cell phone. I was both excited and annoyed, because I didn’t believe this dude was actually a celebrity, but he did seem well connected. He paused his conversation, looked at me and my shirt, and said “Eeeeeyyyyyyyy, heavy metal!”, then continued his conversation. I already liked him more after that.

That was how I met Joey DiMaio, of Manowar fame, though I didn’t know it yet.

I’m terrible with faces and names, and of course didn’t know who he was. Once the plane took off, he turned his attention over to me. We bonded over a love of heavy metal, and he asked me about my desire to be a musician. When he heard that I wanted to be in a band, but was afraid I wasn’t marketable, he practically shouted at me: “Of course you should be in a band! Don’t listen to people who tell you otherwise. If you love music, then you should be making music.” This was a life changing moment for me.

While this story is a blog post unto itself, it’s not the story I want to tell.

When I got back from Germany, I immediately started putting out ads looking for a band. Eventually, I found one (which broke up a few months later), then there was a long dry spell for a couple of years. It turns out, it is a challenge to be a female singer in a metal band, especially in Texas (Oh yeah, I live in Texas now. Yay!).

After 2 years of looking for a band, I finally found one. Called Tracing Over Evil, it was the first band that was doing the genre I wanted to do, AND they wanted a female singer. We had a classic style metal sound (think Judas Priest or Iron Maiden), and I enjoyed being on stage with the guys. For a year, we forayed into the local metal scene and did our best to leave our mark. And I really got to experience being on stage.

I know now why people will do anything to be on stage. It’s the equivalent of a drug. I loved every second of it, and as soon as I got off stage, the only thing I wanted to do was to get back on stage again. Hell, I even played when I was sick and had no voice (I refuse to cancel a show if I can avoid it).

It’s a great experience, and I’ve made a lot of friends over the years. People like me for my voice, not my cosplay. They see the “real” me as opposed to a fictional character (though I can also make the argument that Nina Vox is a character as well).
As with all things, however, it all came to an end. Last Friday, actually. As with all relationships, we had our difficulties, and they became insurmountable.

So I am once again looking for a band. But now I have a year of good experience under my belt, and a reputation to uphold. And whenever I feel sad, I hear Joey’s voice in my head reminding me that at the end of the day, it’s all about the music.

This is who I am, now. Welcome to the new era!

(Oh yeah, I also lost 40 pounds and learned how to apply makeup. That's why I look different :D)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Have I ever mentioned that I water ski?

My childhood was not perfect. When I was 7, my parents got a divorce (don't worry, that's not the story). My dad quickly remarried, and I suddenly had a stepmom on my hands. Fortunately, she elected not to go down the "evil stepmother that hates the children from the first marriage and schemes to get rid of them" road and instead chose the "freaking awesome stepmother who does lots of cool stuff and lets us go places and do cool things too" route.

When I was almost ten, my dad and stepmom (henceforth known as Teresa) came down from Indiana with a boat in tow. I had never been on a boat at this point in time, and was actually a bit scared (car rides were enough to turn me green, so water would probably just make everything worse), but my excitement for getting to learn how to water ski more than made up for whatever misgivings I had.

We dropped the boat into the water, and made our way towards a place that wasn't very populated (Jackson Lake is rather large, and it's quite popular for people to take their boats out there on the weekend to fish, ski, tube, etc.). All three of us (my older sister, Ashley, my younger sister, Barbie, and I) sat in the very front of the boat so we could see what was going on. I was immediately a little disappointed, because we were going very slow and it was boring. Suddenly, we passed these buoys that were sticking up out of the water in a line. Dad told us to hold on, and suddenly we were thrust to the sky as the boat took off. The wind was slapping my in the face, my hair was going everywhere, and I felt invincible as the rush of adrenaline coursed through me as we raced across the water.

We finally found a cove that no one else was in, and my parents decided that this was as good a place as any to teach us how to ski. My older sister had gone up to visit dad the previous summer, so she already kinda knew what she was doing, so naturally she got to go first (the fact that dad and Teresa decided oldest to youngest had nothing to do with it). My younger sister and I watched in awe as she popped up out of the water with seemingly no effort. She weaved in and out of the wake (the waves caused by the boat propeller), which is honestly the only trick you can really do on two skis. After she got bored with that, dad suggested that she try and drop a ski (this is the best way to learn how to slalom ski). She tried this 3 or 4 times, and once even succeeded staying up once she dropped the ski (the other times she pretty much just plopped over). After she fell for so many tries, dad declared she was tired and her turn was up (What a wimp! I thought. I'll be able to ski forever).

Suddenly, as the middle child, it was my turn to shine. Teresa adjusted the skis to my feet, then I jumped in the water and she sent the skis after me. Putting on skis in the water feels like putting on the biggest, most awkward clown shoes that have gained sentience and want to fight you to the death. Eventually, as with most inanimate objects, I won the battle and suddenly had two pieces of fiberglass attached to my feet.

They tossed me the rope, and told me to hold on like I had my arms wrapped around a beach ball, and to make sure that the rope was between my two skis. They then pulled the boat so that the rope became taut, and continued with a gentle tug. My skis quickly decided that they wanted to go in opposite directions. After wrestling with them (and the boat) for what felt like forever, I was finally ready to say the words that they taught me to say when I wanted to defy physics: "Hit it".

I'd like to say that I made it up on the first try, and that I quickly surpassed my sisters, and that I'm the best skier that ever lived. Unfortunately, this is not one of my fictional posts, so I'm afraid I'll have to tell you that my skis drifted apart from each other and I ended up landing on my face after doing a split. Then I learned the next neat trick about water skiing: how to get the rope back in your hands after you fall. A good driver will drive around in a circle and bring the rope to the skier so they can grab it and thread it till they get to the handle. Well, dad is a good driver, but I'm not a good skier. I didn't see the rope until it was far too late to grab onto. So dad had to circle around again. And again. Finally, I figured it out and grabbed the handle. This time I managed to stay up for two seconds until I fell. My most successful attempt was the third. I was up for a good 30 seconds until a rogue wave came and I fell over. After that, I just kept falling and falling. Dad declared that I was tired and I got in the boat. I heartily disagreed with him until I tried to get in the boat, only to discover that my arms had turned into noodles and I couldn't lift myself at all. It took every bit of effort I had to finally roll myself back into the boat. I guess I was tired after all.

Barbie had her turn, but was no more successful than I was. Then Teresa had her turn.

Back when I was younger, I had this nasty habit that if I wasn't good at something right away, I'd get bored with it and quit. My failure as a water skier had gotten me pretty down (although I was better than my little sister, so there was something to feel good about. I was not a good older sister), and I was growing bored of it. Teresa's turn consisted of a type of skiing known as "swivel skiing". A swivel ski consists of just one ski that is wider than a traditional combo ski (what most people learn how to ski on), and the binding, instead of being attached to the board itself, is instead on, well, a swivel. This allows the skier to turn around backwards while still moving forward. It's often used in ski shows as a kind of water ballet. Needless to say, it looked pretty freaking cool. Teresa was still a newb herself at this particular kind of skiing, but she was still years ahead of where I was. I vowed that I would learn how to ski like that, no matter how long it took.

The rest of the weekend went by pretty much the same way. Barbie and I finally mastered how to get up (and stay up) on skis, and were even beginning to venture in and out of the wake. Ashley pretty much got dropping a ski down (though returning to pick up the ski was quickly becoming a pain in the butt). It ended up being pretty much the best weekend ever.

Later that summer, we went up to visit dad, and continued our water skiing education (he lived on a lake, so we could pretty much ski whenever). We then continued to visit him every summer (I even live nearby now that I'm out of college, but that's a story for a different day), and skiing became just an every day thing, something we could do when we wanted to relax.

I have a ton of water skiing stories, but I won't tell them all here (I'd run out of room). Instead, I'll spread some out here and there so you don't get overloaded with water skiing stories. But I do promise to talk about skiing in ski shows, competing in ski tournaments, skiing on vacation, etc.

See you next time!

A Post a Long Time Coming

Hi everyone (all 7 of you)!

I know, I know, it's been almost a year since I last updated. I'm really sorry about that. There has been a lot going on in the past year (and there shall be a post dedicated to all of them, I promise), and with the discovery that my computer can play video games, I've been pretty much neglecting my duties as a blog writer. My goal is to set up either a once or twice a week schedule and get back to blogging properly again.

I'm thinking Saturdays and Wednesdays.

I'll put up another blog after this one, and then we'll be back on a schedule.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Superblog 3

I'm so sorry this has taken so long! It was kind of a bit of a struggle to write this piece, because it ended up being way bigger than I intended. Anyway, I hope it was worth the wait!

Nobody ever saw it coming. Nobody had any idea that something like this was even possible. Names like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer were suddenly in the headlines again, though this time for completely different reasons. No, this time the news was cause for celebration.

Disney had been toying with the idea of sentient and intelligent animals for years, but they lacked the imagination to bring those ideas to fruition in the real world. They only thought about how to make them cute and witty, not useful. No, it took the brains of a bored college student to figure out how to tap into the psyche of animals and make them like humans.

Michael Williams was a first year graduate student in biology, and had, for some strange reason, decided to spend a year in Antarctica. He was part of a project which microchipped penguins so scientists could track them better. He had been on the project for about 3 months, and all the glamor of living in year-round freezing temperatures had definitely worn off.

It was a snowy (big surprise) afternoon when the idea hit him. What if the microchips that were being implanted into these penguins could be altered? What if they could control brain synapses in the animals, force them to think human thoughts? These creatures could solve problems like world hunger, or the global economy, or anything! That would be totally awesome! Then, like any college student stuck inside during a blizzard, he went to his computer and completely forgot about that idea.

Another month passed before the extreme boredom hit him again. He was supposed to be organizing the data and preparing supplies in order to go into the field the next day. Instead, he was sitting in his chair, legs thrown over one of the arms, and twirling one of the microchips in his hands. He got a little too excited in his twirling, and the microchip suddenly flew from his hands and skidded under the filing cabinet by his computer. Thanks to the existence of a meter stick  in the compound(because, for some reason, every science lab has at least one meter stick, even though it rarely actually gets used), he managed (after a good 10 minutes of trying, mind you) to slide the microchip out from under the cabinet. When he finally picked it up off the ground (and did a little happy dance at the averted crisis), he looked at the chip, and immediately saw a problem.

These chips represented a significant investment from the government, who apparently decided that penguins were worth this much money (perhaps they were just the guinea pigs for the tracking chips, and the humans were the real primary target, we’ll never know). Now imagine that you just broke a very expensive gadget, and you only have a limited number of these very expensive gadgets, and you can’t afford for any of them to break before they were even used. Now imagine you’re a 23 year old college student who just broke a gadget while you weren’t even supposed to be touching them. You’d probably do what Michael did: he tried to fix it.

Like any good scientist, Michael got the original schematics for the chips, as well as his own pen and paper so he could right down exactly what he did to fix it (for his own mental sanity more than anything). He tweaked. He soldered. He did this and that, until he finally fixed it. It looked just like the others, as well as matched the blueprint schematic, so he quickly placed it with the others and started on the task his boss told him to do three hours before.

The next day, everyone got bundled up and headed out for the penguin colony. It was pretty much your average day for scientists living in Antarctica: take a penguin, sedate them, put a chip in their heads, and set them free to live the remainder of their lives the exact same, albeit a little more trackable. Everything was going just swimmingly; none of the penguins were having any negative reactions. They only had 10 more chips for the day when it happened.

There was a sudden noise from one of their penguins that had just woken up from sedation. The scientists were baffled to see a penguin start soulfully singing scat like he had been born to skiddowopawannabeedoobedoodoowopshewannawanna. It honestly felt like a cheap knockoff scene from “Happy Feet”. Poor Michael felt such shame when he figured out that it was probably the faulty chip that was causing this penguin’s sudden musical aptitude. He thought he had wired it back together correctly. Apparently not. He confessed his error to the head of the research project, expecting the worst. Instead, he was pleasantly surprised that the chief scientist was ecstatic over this turn of events.

“With this technology,” said the researcher, “we can unlock so many secrets of the animal kingdom. Hell, we can even learn the secrets of the human brain! This is the best discovery made in recent history! Of course, that is if you can replicate it.”

When Michael showed him the detailed step-by-step instructions that he wrote down, the boss practically kissed him on the lips. This was the beginning of a brave new era, and the human race was changed forever.

It turned out that different animals were affected by the chip in different ways, some more beneficial than others. Penguins had an affinity for jazz music. The original prototype (named “Chip” after the microchip in his brain, because scientists have a very punny sense of humor) actually ended up getting a recording contract, and several of his songs topped the chart during his long life (that was another concern that animal rights activists had: the longevity of the animals’ lives that had the microchip implanted. It was a very smug day when the scientists could successfully conclude that they had no ill effects whatsoever in regards to the animals’ life span).

Lions, on the other hand, became a bit problematic. They immediately took to the rock star life. It started off simple enough: They looked at a time when there were some prominent animal-named bands, such as The Beatles, the Monkeys, etc., and decided to form The Lions. The music was simple, yet inspiring. The band made over 100 hits, 45 of them becoming number ones (this is really only the most famous case. Several other lions tried to roar their way to the top 40 charts, but they ended up succumbing to their addictions, as many young rock bands do).

The band struggled constantly with drugs, however. At first, they experimented with acid. This led to a very trippy feel, as well as a lot of very…interesting experimental music.  Soon after, however, they moved on to a more hyper and techno-sound, as well as a good deal of cocaine. When they got bored of that, they moved on to a grunge scene with a heroine twist. Many PETA people were very concerned about the well-being of these lions. Some brave soul even attempted to remove the microchip from the brain of one of the band members (the bassist, I believe). The carnage left over from the poor animal rights activist sent a very clear message to all others: leave the intelligent, sentient lions alone. Though it seems obvious in retrospect, it wasn’t until the stage lives (as well as their natural lives) were past that the scientists and anthropologists realized that the correlation of drugs and pop music cycled through the history of rock and roll in a more condensed way.

After lions were banned from sentience due to paranoid legislative executives, the fad quickly lost steam (the ban was lifted 5 years later after one of the few remaining sentient lions joined forces with a group of penguins to campaign for lion rights). Out of sheer morbid curiosity, a particularly mad scientist decided she wanted to talk to a cow before it became a hamburger. She implanted the chip, only to discover that the cow desperately wanted to live a wild and rowdy life. The scientist also discovered that cows absolutely loved to be milked. It was almost as good as sex for them. After reporting her findings, the scientific community rejoiced, as they now had a reason to see if all the cows were just as party-bound.

As it happened, cows do have a massive party streak to them. Most of the cows ended up getting multiple piercings (mostly on the udders), and branding quickly became a huge fad in both the cow-world and the human world. The bulls, unfortunately, took an unfortunately similar path. They decided to imitate the Jersey Shore bros. They’d roll in the dirt for that awesome fake-tan look, and they had tribal tattoos carved into their horns. They even had a special clothing line produced so they could wear the polo shirts with the popped collars. Let’s just say that rodeos from that point on were very interesting…

The greatest success for these chips was when they were implemented into giraffes. A scientist decided that giraffes were docile enough creatures that they wouldn’t harm anyone if they became sentient (this was during the great lion ban, so people were extra cautious), and he’d always loved watching them move around at the zoo when he was a little boy. So he commandeered a small tower of giraffes and implanted a chip into their brains.

The result was magnificent: they decided to pursue law. It somehow makes sense that giraffes should wear little brown suits and glasses and carry briefcases. Their minds were absolutely brilliant for upholding the law and interpreting its intent. Everyone wanted a giraffe to represent them (there was even one crackpot who brought in his own giraffe during one case. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a chip, so it didn’t do a very good job).

Their truly remarkable moment was when they represented the case that threatened to overturn Roe v. Wade. Thanks to their legal prowess, the legislation wasn’t passed, and choice remained legal. They also countered the potential illegality of birth control and helped to pass laws implementing the permanence of these options.

The only quirk (as it seems every animal has its own idiosyncrasies) was their choice of names. They decided to take already famous names (or infamous, rather) and change their connotation to a more positive one. And who is more infamous than serial killers? So they chose names like Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Gary Ridgway, etc.  The serial killers still living weren’t too happy about the commandeering of their names, but since they were in jail, there wasn’t too much they could do.

Eventually, every animal got a chip. Most reactions were mundane, or what you’d expect (cats were aloof and dogs were clingy, etc.). Every once in a while, something extraordinary would happen. I’ve listed the most remarkable examples. Eventually, humans wanted microchips as well (“We could be even smarter than we already are!”). Of course, this eventually led to the great mental takeover of 2055, but that’s definitely a story for another day… 

Hope you enjoyed! I'll be (hopefully) posting more frequently now that school's out forever!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

HvZ 2011: Day 5

FRIDAY (Links to the rest here):

Well, today was the final day of Humans vs. Zombies for the semester. It was a bittersweet morning. I put my zombie makeup on, I braided my pigtails, and I put on my fingerless gloves. I tied my bandanna around my head for the last time. Finally, I was ready for school.

My zombie-related day didn't really begin until after my first class ended. Josh and I walked over to the primary zombie hunting ground and got some breakfast (out-of-game breakfast, that is, not any delicious brains). As we were eating and working on homework, I see a guy with a Nerf gun walking around. It was a little suspicious to me that he wasn't looking behind his back paranoidly (is that even a word? Oh well, it is now), but the gun was all the evidence I needed. I successfully executed a sneak attack, and then I realized that he didn't have an armband on, nor a headband. The guy then tells me that not only is he not playing, he's just trying to sell his gun to the highest bidding human. I was a little miffed, because he could get us in trouble if the cops saw him, but I couldn't really do anything about it. Disappointed, I went to my next class.

After the class that lasted 25 years longer than it should have, I went back outside and joined up with a miniature horde. We gave chase to a couple of humans, but they both made it inside before any of us could get them. Then there was one human who hunted us. He managed to pick us all off before we could turn him, and then his reinforcements arrived. We talked about the final mission, and we agreed that in this instance, so long as we didn't try and chase them, we could be unstunned as soon as they were out of sight. It seemed reasonable, so we agreed.

Finally, we saw one human above us on the walkway between the SLC and Tate. He drew both of his weapons and challenged us, as if it was his final stand. It seemed like he wanted to die. We decided to oblige him. Most of the zombies went up to fight him, but I stayed downstairs, just in case he survived and decided to run for it. Turns out my foresight was wasted. I walked up the stairs to see a freshly turned zombie putting away his guns. We all remained up there, keeping a lookout for humans, but they remained elusive. Finally, I had to go to class again (the downside of going to school :p).

After the longest class in the history of ever, I decided to solo to Boyfriend's office. I didn't see any humans along the way. Nor did I find my boyfriend. I waited around for a while, but after a lack of response, I headed back up campus to the primary hunting ground. As I walked, I ran into 8 humans who were armed to the teeth with Nerf and other various forms of weaponry. I was a lone zombie armed with only my hands. I decided to play smart. I pulled my bandanna into the stunned position (getting shot with 50 different darts in about 5 seconds didn't sound like much fun) in order to call a temporary truce. We taunted each other about the final mission that night, but we all survived without a single shot being fired.

I arrived to the middle of campus to find nobody around. Not even a civilian. By that point, Boyfriend finally got in contact with me, and I decided to wait until the final mission at his place. I walked all the way back to where I just was. I saw a lot of darts, but no humans. Finally, I met up with Boyfriend at around 5, and we went back to his place and watched some Doctor Who.

7 o'clock refused to arrive for the longest time. Finally, the time arrived. I drove back to my normal parking lot (the final mission took place at the edge of campus, so my parking spot was useful for once). I arrived at the top of the parking deck, only to see about 20 humans all doing target practice with very big guns. Fortunately, there was a ceasefire enacted so everyone could meet up without fear of being turned (though we did tag a bunch of humans anyway, just to watch them freak out before they remembered about the ceasefire. It was lulzy). Then we waited for the mission to begin.

We ended up waiting there for over an hour. We passed the time getting to know our enemies and compatriots. At one point, one of the humans (who was duel-wielding two identical guns) and I reenacted the killing scene from The Boondock Saints on another zombie. He was less than pleased to be shot in the back of the head by two close-range darts. Finally, it was mission time.

The humans' objective was to collect two out of three pieces of DNA (red blinking flashlights) from the woods and bring them back to the "lab" (the top of the parking deck). Our objective, naturally, was BRRAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIINS. The zombies were given spawn points. These points were two people, and the timer for respawn was set by the first person who arrived at the spawn point. Anybody who joined the spawn point after that was part of that spawn group, and got to go back as soon as the timer ran out for the first person (much better than the 15 minute wait time that the rest of the week had).

The zombies were led into the woods, shown the location of each piece of DNA, and were told to hide. I was part of a group that was camping the third piece of DNA. We found good hiding places, and we waited. And waited. And waited. We heard no signs of any activity whatsoever. No screams for backup, no screams for brains, nothing. It was disconcerting. Finally we heard the sounds of a walkie talkie. A mod came to us, and said that the police were called to the parking deck and were doing a crime scene sweep, so we weren't allowed to use it anymore. The final destination was moved to a field much closer to the DNA location, and we became DNA number one instead of three. We were the first line of defense. We were screwed.

Finally, after everything was re-set up, the game began. The humans' strategy became apparent right away: they all had LED lights strapped to their heads, and they all moved as one. The bright light blinded us, and they bombarded us with darts. The first DNA didn't stand a chance. Fortunately, we managed to turn a couple of them, and we Zerg rushed them back to the main bridge (did I mention that there was a lake?). The first DNA was lost to the humans. The new strategy was "keep the humans on the bridge and make them run out of ammo". Most of the zombies just rushed the humans, got stunned, ran to the spawn points, ran back, got stunned, etc. There were only a few zombies left to protect the other two DNA pieces.

It was only a matter of time before a human decided to take the water route. One brave human decided to go knee deep into the water and attempt to recover one of the DNAs. Fortunately, we had a zombie willing to go the extra mile as well, and he went underwater trying to sneak attack him. Unfortunately, that zombie was our spawn point zombie. I took up the flashlight in his absence and watched in total amusement as these two constantly played a game of sneak attack, stun, respawn, sneak attack, etc. He finally got the DNA, but he also finally got turned into a zombie as well, so that entire fight was all for naught on the human's part.

After that, I was relieved from Spawn Point duty, and I went back to the Zerg rush team. We were slowly dwindling down their numbers, but it was mostly a standstill. Finally, we were all called back to the final destination. Both humans and zombies were confused about the instruction, but we all headed to the field. It turned out that the ROTC was doing an exercise in the woods, and they kicked us out. So for the second time that night, we had to improvise the mission.

The final mission involved the zombies at one end of the field, and the humans at the other. The humans had to get the DNA piece past the line of zombies to the human behind us. There were probably over 100 humans left, and there were only 20 zombies (most of the zombies left because they thought the mission was over when we got called from the woods). We had no chance. The humans didn't even have to try to get the DNA over to the end point. The humans let out a loud cheer because they saved the human race. We all cried braaaaains because we were now going to starve to death.

The final mission ended at 11:30. The zombies ran around for almost 3 hours, trying to prevent the humans from succeeding. Needless to say, we were all completely exhausted. Most of us were all scratched up, myself included. I found Allie and Wayne after the mission. Turns out, Wayne successfully turned Allie just before the end of the mission. Allie was not happy.

I went back to Boyfriend's completely exhausted and covered in red clay. I took a shower and passed out. It was a great final mission, and I really wish I could play again. I know this is only going to get bigger as time goes on, until it becomes a school tradition (either that, or someone's going to ruin it for everyone). I was really glad to be a part of it for the short time I could.

My horde from Wednesday doing the Thriller with the Scout Trooper.
Thanks for reading these posts! Hopefully the superblog will be up soon! Later!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HvZ 2011: Day 4

THURSDAY (Start from the beginning here):

Today was another slow day, unfortunately. I guess not a lot of people are on campus for Tuesday / Thursday classes. Anyway, the day started exactly the same way the last four did, with the exception that I had a Chinese quiz, so I studied on the bus instead of keeping an eye out for vulnerable, delectable humans. Our teacher showed sympathy for Josh and I, because we were both lost souls to the inevitable hunger for braaaains.

Our last class of the day, we discovered that the other player in our class was still a human. She looked petrified when she realized that she was the lone survivor in the classroom. The best part was that she sits beside me in that class. I taunted her a good bit, telling her how there was no way she could escape the both of us. She kept saying she was going to call for backup, and there was no way that either of us were going to turn her. In the end, she left class 20 minutes early (missing vital information in regards to our homework assignment for the weekend, I might add). I was a little saddened by her taking the coward's way out, but it is all about survival, so I guess I can't blame her.

Josh and I decided to go get some food (real life food, not just humans) at the campus center. We didn't see any players along the way, and pretty much just wrote the day off as unsuccessful. We sat for a while, just talking and joking around, when Josh suddenly became alert. He said one word: "human". We both bolted from the table, and took different exits so we could surround him. Josh pulled a flawless sneak attack, and got his first kill of the semester. We decided to call it a day after that.

Tomorrow is the final day. We learn whether the human race survives, or if the zombies take over the campus, and then the world! Last semester the zombies won hands down. I'll let you know tomorrow night what went down. Till tomorrow!

HvZ 2011: Day 3

WEDNESDAY (Previous entry here):

Today, fortunately, was a great day for hunting humans. The sun was bright, the sky was clear, and humans and zombies alike were seen hunting and being hunted. But before I go on about today, let me give you a bit of background info...

Last night, I received a call from my friend (Brandon), saying that there were two possibilities for me to turn human again. One of them was finding a random stormtrooper and asking him the question "What does one snowman say to the other?", and the other was to find one of ten random bottles hidden all over campus (in case you didn't know, my campus is pretty big. So big, in fact, that you can't walk end to end of it in under an hour...OK, 45 minutes). Brandon mentioned that if I turned human again, he was going to loan me his good gun, because he couldn't play this semester due to time constraints.

Me with the scout trooper (not the most flattering pic of me,
but better than nothing. Pics, so it did happen :D)
I got up extra early this morning so I could get to campus as soon as possible. I looked around the bus stop, and didn't see any sign of a bottle or a stormtrooper (I park at literally the furthest end of campus, which is advantageous for providing the most opportunities for sighting bottles / humans / stormtroopers). I asked people sitting beside me on the bus, and fortunately, they were very understanding, and even pointed out the stormtrooper to me (I wouldn't have seen him otherwise). I got off at the next stop, ran balls to the walls to where the stormtrooper was, and asked him the enigmatic question. He responded with "I don't know, you tell me" and then told me the bad news: he was out of vaccines. I realized at that moment that I knew the person in the helmet. Turns out, my friend Brandon was the stormtrooper (well, scout trooper to be precise. Several jokes were made about how many bikes / scooters he'd crashed in the past week). He was very kind and agreed to help me hunt for my only hope at rebirth: the elusive bottles. Also, he was still in his stormtrooper gear, so he had an amazingly handy secondary role: zombie bait.

Brandon drinking his Sprite through his helmet.
I decided that being human was more important than German Cultural Studies (just this once), and decided to spend the afternoon looking around. We walked all across campus, looking in all the possible hidden places. Our biggest setback was Brandon's costume. We couldn't walk anywhere without several people stopping him and asking to take pictures with him. He was very gracious and took it all in stride. It made me miss Con Season so much. He even got a free drink from the cafe, because he was so awesome.

I think the helmet is the best part about this whole picture.
Epic Home Alone face!
At some point, it had to happen. A human, desperate for a free life, ran up to the stormtrooper to ask the magic question. As he was chatting, I hid, trying to sneak attack him. I was just about to pounce, when another zombie ran up and started trying to attack him. He started shooting at the zombie, and I thought I had my opportunity to still be able to sneak attack, but the other zombie got to him before I could tag him. Oh well, one less meal (not the first time I've skipped one :p). Fortunately, it wasn't too much later before another human tried to get a free life. She didn't even see me until after I'd tagged her (and I wasn't even hiding this time. In fact, I didn't notice her until she was asking about snowmen). She looked to Brandon, confident that she was still safe, because she got the question out before I tagged her. Brandon looked almost apologetic (if trooper masks can look apologetic) as he said "Sorry, I'm out of vaccines. Ummm...Welcome to the horde?". I finally got my first blood for the semester.

I did manage to stalk a human on my own without the aid of a costumed medic. Brandon needed to use the restroom (and you can imagine how long it takes to take off armor), and so I was just waiting outside, when I see a human pass by. I decided to follow him. I played the casual game, staying pretty far behind. Just as he was about to enter a building, I attacked. I only managed to dodge one dart before he shot a bullseye at me right in the boob. He seemed genuinely surprised when I handed him his ammo after he stunned me. That made me a little sad, and wondered about the people who are playing this game and taking it a bit too seriously...

My last class of the day has a mandatory attendance policy, so I had to take a break from human hunting. I said goodbye to Brandon and thanked him for his noble work. It was then I discovered that my friend Josh had fallen just before class started. 'Twas beauty and noble friendship that brought him down (his girlfriend and their friends were all chatting outside, and he joined them instead of going inside, and he got sneak attacked). We entered the class together, once again fighting on the same side. The class dragged by slower than usual. I couldn't focus very well on the allomorphs and the suppletion and vowel shifts...All I could think about was getting back outside and finding some humans to nom.

Finally, the class ended, and Josh and I made our way to the main exit...only to see a very large group of humans...and a larger group of zombies. They were all waiting for the other to leave first so the game could begin. Josh and I headed outside and waited for a few minutes, hoping to catch a stray human who wasn't part of the group. We then saw a large group of humans taking the passageway to the next building. We took a guess as to which door in the new building they would come out, and then waited by that door. Time passed, and no humans came. I went inside, and nobody had even seen them come through. I got a call from Josh, saying that the humans were back in the original building and the other zombies had them trapped. We met up with the horde. Half were inside, taunting the humans, and the other half were waiting outside (about 8 of us or so). After waiting for a few minutes, we got impatient and decided to find someone else to hunt.

Fortunately for us, a random human just happened to pass by right as we decided this. 6 of us split into groups of two, and we surrounded him. He was duel-wielding two semi-automatic guns, and had them trained on the original decoy. He saw us appear one by one, and you could see the "oh ch**z-*ts" look cross his face when he realized he was surrounded.

We tightened the circle, and one of us ran in for the attack. The game plan was to make him run out of ammo before we were all stunned for 15 minutes. The first zombie was good at dodging the darts, but he was taken out quickly. The next zombie who ran in got a nice head shot. The third zombie was brilliant. He used his jacket as a shield, and then threw it at the human. A lot of shots were wasted, but he was eventually taken out. I decided to go next. By this time he was down to one gun. He wasted a good 5 or 6 shots, but I miscalculated and he stunned me as I was running in to tag him. He ran out of darts on the next girl, and while his attention was focused on her, the final zombie swooped in and made the kill. As soon as he was turned, we all congratulated him on his epic demise, helped him pick up his darts, and invited him to hunt with us. He readily agreed.

Our horde grew steadily in size, and I somehow started being the one giving the orders for reconnaissance. We canvased the entire campus, but we didn't see another human for the rest of the afternoon (we did run into Brandon again, though, and took a picture of our horde with him and we were all doing the Thriller pose). By the time I got to Boyfriend's office, I was sore, tired, and sunburned beyond belief, but I was so happy. It's games like this where you realize how awesome people really are. You get to make new friends, and bond closely with old friends. Plus, it's combating obesity, one panic-attack-based chase scene after another, and getting hit with a dart is good moral fiber. Anyway, that's all I have to report for today. Until tomorrow!