I should probably be more careful about pre-ordering video games online. Tried to pre-order Pokemon Black 2 and Code of Princess (the former just came out this past Sunday, and the latter gets released today), and I stupidly forgot to split the packages up so that they’d get her within days of their release. Sure, I may have saved a few dollars on shipping, but I was so looking forward to playing them this weekend.
2011 was a pretty good Christmas, though not a completely fun one…I decided to go to work today in order to earn some extra post-holiday money. Luckily, there wasn’t a whole lot of work to do, so I got through the day pretty stress-free. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Stuff I gave out:
- two albums for Dad: Thin Lizzy’s “Shades of a Blue Orphanage” and Grace Jones’ “Inside Story”
- The Help on DVD for Mom
- Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs for Sara
- a $25 iTunes gift card for my sister
- Batman: Arkham City on PS3 for my brother
Stuff I got:
- an LG Optimus V phone from Mom and Dad
- a $10 GameStop gift card from my aunt
- Kirby: Mass Attack on Nintendo DS from Sara
- the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus collection from my brother
- some money and clothes (including a shaving kit)
Gift I’m most excited about: the phone, since I can use it to get stuff from the “official” Android App Market, which I can’t do with the tablet I bought a few weeks ago. That, and I can also upload pics properly again (Virgin discontinued the picture uploading service I used on my own phone).
Gift I’m the most surprised about: Kirby: Mass Attack. I’d told Sara about in passing in an e-mail one day, but I wasn’t sure if she would actually be able to get it. I hope she enjoys what I got for her, too.
My “where were you on 9/11/01″ moment:
I was just leaving a difficult art history class, and students were gathered around the TVs in the hallway (I think Good Morning America was on at the time), shocked and horrified out of their minds after seeing what happened. I remember being paranoid about low-flying planes throughout the rest of the day, as Penn State’s Harrisburg Campus is only a few miles away from an airport. I’m kinda embarrassed about it now that I look back on that day, but I think I’ve gotten over that fear. I had friends living in and/or going to school in New York back then, but fortunately, none of them were in the city when the towers fell.
I’m assuming that Upper Darby High School postponing its flea market until next week is somehow linked to this year being the 10th anniversary of that event. My mom and dad found out about this after coming away from another flea market up at Delaware County Community College, which was packed, undeterred (or perhaps even motivated) by the various 9/11 tributes in the area.
I was able to come away with a full starter deck of Pokémon trading cards – the Emerging Powers Toxic Tricks deck, which is full of Psychic- and Fire-type Pokémon from the Black and White versions, including Darmanitan and Gothitelle, a couple of my favorites. The lady who sold them told me that the box contained a code that lets you use that deck online. I don’t know anybody in my area who plays the Pokémon card game, so I went ahead and used the online code to try to win a battle in the Trainer Challenge (which I did). I needed the practice, anyway. Theme decks aren’t really my thing, but I don’t have enough virtual cards to mix-and-match yet.
I also got T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which is supposed to be one of the best retellings of the King Arthur mythos. It starts out with the “sword in the stone” legend, and that’s really the one story that most people think of when they hear of King Arthur, anyway. Now that I’ve finished reading Pokémon Adventures Vol. 1, I can devote some time to reading it this week.
And so, I did go on my journey to North “Joisey” to hang out with Sara for the weekend, and we both saw that it was good.
Getting there from Philly was a bit of an adventure. I’m used to getting my SEPTA tickets or tokens from the people at the booths at 69th St. NJ Transit trains have automated ticket booths at every station. So if you’re going to purchase a ticket that makes a connection at a different stop, you’ll need to buy them at the first stop instead of getting two separate tickets (I had to do that going into Ridgewood to get to my hotel, and then again from Westwood coming home on Sunday). With the connection times so close together and the on and off tracks at Secaucus Junction a few minutes of walking apart, I wondered if I were going to miss one of my trains and wind up late. Luckily, everything worked out in the end, so I’m happy.
We spent a lot of the day watching the first half of Season 2 of Avatar: the Last Airbender, making it roughly to the part where I had paused my Netflix viewing of the show (“The Great Library”). I got a chance to meet and talk to her parents at dinner. After that, we watched some Nostalgia Critic videos, a few of which I hadn’t yet watched before. The one that got me laughing the most was the anti-drug PSAs list. Honestly, you have to wonder whether or not some of the folks making these commercials were taking drugs themselves. How else would you be able to explain Paul Reubens, completely in-character as Pee-Wee Herman, talking deadly serious about the dangers of crack, while still doing the Pee-Wee voice?
I spent Saturday night at La Quinta Inn in Paramus, waking up feeling like a king. I had originally booked a room with a queen-sized bed, but at least one room with a king-size was available, so they let me stay in that room at no extra charge. Wasn’t really interested in watching TV, so I tried playing some Etrian Odyssey before going to bed I didn’t have enough strength to get past the Fenrir…I need to remember not to let my Landschnekt use his War Cry ability, even with his defense buffed to the max, or the Fenrir will surely tear him a new one.
I woke up the next morning close to 6 AM (I’m an early bird, see?) and had a hearty breakfast of waffles, cereal, yogurt and orange juice. I wonder if their waffle makers are sold in stores, because I want one so badly now.
Back at Sara’s place, we took a little tour of the stores on the street. Most of them were closed on account of it being the Sunday before Labor Day, but the good news is that she doesn’t have far to go if she ever needs a particular item. It was hot and humid outside, so we went back inside to watch The Neverending Story for the first time, and had a rematch in Pokémon Black and White (she won again, but I actually had a fighting chance because our Pokémon were auto-balanced to level 50, and only lost 6-4 as a result), finally ending by messing around with some of the functions of the C-Gear that I hadn’t tried yet. I also wanted to do a joint Entralink trip, but for some reason we couldn’t make a connection. Eh…that’s life, I guess.
If I were to give this weekend a report card-style grade, I’d give it an A-. The only thing preventing me from giving it an A was the wait I had to getting home. I really should have planned that out better. Other than that, I had a wonderful time, and I hope to meet up with her again one day.