Gotta stop it early

(scene opens in messy kitchen)

Gamma: (excited) Beta! I’ve been watch Minecraft YouTube! I know more Minecraft now!

Beta: (sweeping the floor and shitty about it) Oh yeah, how many blocks does it take…

Me: WE WILL NOT HAVE GATEKEEPING IN MY HOUSE!

Beta: (pouts)

Me: Hey Beta, do you know Dr. Who?

Beta: (pauses, lies badly) No.

Me: (knows his game) Try again. Hey, Beta, do you know Dr. Who?

Beta: Yeah.

Me: Oh yeah? Name them all.

Beta: (guilty grins)

Me: Oh, I guess you don’t know dick about Dr. Who. (gives the “understand?” look) That’s what it sounds like. Don’t. Do. It

(looks at the camera, breaks the fourth wall)

Me: Parents, don’t let your kids Gatekeep. It’s a dick move.

But Complaining is More Fun

(scene opens in cluttered parlor, three kids, two player Skylander)

(Beta, Gamma, Delta arguing who’s playing)

Delta: You need to stop! My turn!

Beta: No. Stop. I’m telling you that this is my character and you can’t play it.

Gamma: But you’re not using it and I want to use it.

Beta: But its mine and I don’t want you using it.

Delta: I want a turn.

Me: (can no longer stand the bitching) ENOUGH! (rises from her chair) Gamma – get back to the table and finish the breakfast you forgot about. Delta, you play her character. Beta, we share our characters and you were using another one, so finish playing this level and you can use it later.

Beta: (bitchy) You know what? Never mind. (Gets up from chair) Just forget it. I quit.

Me: (enraged) Goddamnit, sit your ass back down. You made such a fuss I had to come over here and solve all your damn drama. You don’t get to quit now, you could have quit fifteen minutes ago before I had to get involved. Take your win, play your game, and next time keep your damn mouth shut.

Beta: (sits back down, pouts his entire way through a level)

I showed them

(scene opens at cluttered dining room table)

Me: (frowning over embroidery hoop)

Gamma: (sitting stupidly close, poking at her tablet) Mom, which is a German horse breed? Shetland, Holsteiner, or Gelderland?

Me: (stops, perplexed) Why on earth are you asking me that?

Gamma: I’m playing Horse Haven and I can earn coins for answering horse questions.

Me: Oh. (thinks) Uh, I’d guess Holsteiner. (turns back to embroidery)

Gamma: Yes! (silent a moment) Mom? What’s the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? Is it…

Me: (doesn’t look up) Bucephalus.

Gamma: (jackpot noise from tablet) You’re right! I got a thousand coins! You’re so smart, mom.

Me: There have been times in my life I’ve been mocked for knowing that.

Mommy’s Little Helper

(scene opens in cluttered basement, laundry baskets overflowing with clean laundry)

Me: (folding) Boys, is the basket of laundry in front of the washer clean or dirty?

(pause for processing delay, Alpha muttering complex tactical plans into headphone)

Beta: Clean.

Me: Then can you move it off the dirty laundry pile?

Beta: (into headphone) Hang on, Online Friend, Mom’s talking to me. (pause for digital slaughter) Sure mom, just let me finish this.

Me: (casting about to appropriate basket) That’s fine. I… (stops to remember) Oh, right. Some of the clothes in that basket…

Beta: (into headphone) You need to get up to the platform.

Me: (interrupted, resets) There’s clothes in the basket that aren’t….

Alpha: (into headphone) I’m about five steps ahead of you, we’re running out of time.

Me: (starts to sweat) Delta’s clothes are in the basket…

Beta: (into head phones) Hold here a sec. (mashes some buttons) What did you want mom?

Me: (dazed blank stare, struggling to remember temporal placement)

Delta: (calls from the stairs) You need to se’arate Delta clo’s from you clo’s in ‘a bas’et, Beta.

Beta: Ok. Will do.

Me: (poleaxed) Thank you, Delta. I’m glad someone’s got my back.

For Whom

(scene opens in cleaned parlor, new grandfather clock against the wall)

Beta: Now where did this clock come from?

Me: (dusting the wood gently) My grandparent’s. You probably never noticed it because Busia had the chimes off.

(clock strikes the half hour, Westminster Chimes ringing clear)

Beta: Ohmigod! Alpha! Come here! The clock got its ring from the clock in Five Nights at Freddy’s!

Me: (irked) No, the music comes a tower clock in England….

Beta: (interrupting hastily) Right, right. But that’s where we know the chimes from.

Me: (dismissive) Learn you some.

(multiple cut-scenes follow, shots through out the day of the chimes at the quarter hours, Alpha and Beta shouting out “Freddie clock!”)

Me: (completely unhinged) I SWEAR BY ALL THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW THAT THE NEXT ONE THAT CALLS THE WESTMINSTER CHIMES A “FREDDIE CLOCK” WILL BE SACRIFICED TO ERII SO HER REIGN MAY LAST FOREVER!

Interpretations

(scene opens in cluttered basement)

Beta: (narrating Minecraft) And a door here and then move some blocks. I should put in some bookcases too.
Me: (ignoring him, ironing pattern pieces)
Beta: Mom! I’m building Gamma a panic room!
Me: (vaguely) That’s nice of you.
Beta: Where she’ll never find it.
Me: (pause) That kinda defeats the point of a panic room, maybe? In a panic and can’t find the panic room?
Beta: I’m going to hide in it the next time we play and scare her! See? Panic room!
Me: You might be a bad brother.
Beta: (evil laugh) I know.

If she gets the jokes, we’re bad parents

(scene opens in chilly kitchen, hear Gamma off screen talking to her new Kindle)

Gamma: (runs into kitchen) Daddy! Daddy! Look at my boobs!
Parents: (freeze, share concerned look)
Husband: Your…what?
Gamma: (proudly) Boobs! She’s my new pet! (turns Kindle to show off screen and cartoon blob dressed as Harry Potter)
Me: (at Husband) Boos. As in scary ghost “Boo!” The game is called “Boos”.
Gamma: Mom, I want to change her name from Boos, but it won’t let me I want to name her after me!
Me: Let me try. (several minutes of trying to edit a stubborn profile)
Husband: Just put her name after Boos if it won’t let you erase it.
Me: Awesome. Now we have Boos Ser as a name and it won’t let me erase that either.
Gamma: (impatient) I’ll just play mom. (Grabs Kindle) C’mon, Boos Ser! Let’s play! (runs off)
Husband: Boozer. Good job.
Me: Well, now she’ll want to show off her Boozer instead of her Boobs. (throws up hands) Not my fault the clicky game has a shitty interface.

Musical Inspiration

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen, lunch in progress, Irish folk played offscreen)

Alpha: This music reminds me of something.
Me: (cutting tomatoes) Oh yeah?
Alpha: Yeah. Ornica of Time. Legend of Zelda.
Me: (processes that for a moment) It’s pronounced ocarina. Ocarina of Time.
Alpha: (incredulous) Really?! You played Legend of Zelda?!
Me: No, I played an ocarina.
Alpha: Those really exist!?

Mentoring

(scene opens in destroyed dining room)

Me: Alpha, I have something to talk to you about.
Alpha: Yeah?
Me: Remember the hard time you used to have in school? The yelling, the running out of the classroom?
Alpha: You’re going to tell me that Gamma is doing the same thing?
Me: Yeah. For the same reasons. She’s got some kids picking on her. I thought that maybe you could talk to her and give her some advice on how it feels and how it’ll get better and how we’re trying to help.
Alpha: Okay. (leaves)

(short time passes)

Me: (heading downstairs to cluttered basement, finds Alpha) You’re playing Xbox?
Alpha: Yeah. Where else would I be?
Me: I thought you were talking with your sister and trying to help her out by sharing some of your hard earned wisdom.
Alpha: I have to do that now?

Date Night with Diablo

Husband had gotten a copy of Diablo III for Xbox One. The last time I played Diablo, they had just come out with the expansion pack for the second one. I ended up in a lan party with not-yet-husband and friends where we played through from character creation to finally boss in a marathon 14 hr session.

You have no idea how much street cred that buys a chick. Even now.

Also, after 14 straight hours, your ears will hear the roar of monsters exploding and gold dropping for hours afterwards. Not to mention the aforementioned actions etched on your retinas making the drive home a little difficult. I’m sure that’s material somewhere for some pamphlet on the dangers of video game playing.

But onto Diablo III

The hardest part of any game, as any true gamer knows, is the character creation. I really wanted to play a demon hunter, I really did. Seemed to be a little obvious given the overall theme of the game and probably very useful. Know why I didn’t? Her high heeled boots. Seriously. I get that this is nothing more than digital escapism fighting the denizens of a fantasy hell and my suspension of disbelief is expected in the process of slaughtering the rotting undead to acquire magical loot. But I can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to envision slinking through haunted woods and cursed ruins in my perfect kitten heels. What are they, Spiked Heels of Eternal Comfort +3? Peep Toes of Never Turning an Ankle, Just Undead +2? Espadrilles of Strength +5?

So I went with the barely clothed mage. Because she had sensible footwear. It’s the little things that really speak to a character.

Oh, did you know you can customize your character banner too? It was only the ridiculousness of it all that kept me from making it magenta with hearts, but I was sorely tempted and Husband was itching to start playing. Fear me, for I am the foretold Mage of the Bearclaw Butterfly tribe and you can call me….

Muffin.

Because nothing strikes fear into the twisted souls of the undead like Muffin the Mage.

To the important stuff – the graphics are beautiful, but I expected as much. I’ve only played through a few quests (on Hard mind you, because Easy seemed ridiculous even for casual play) but the maps are nice and twisty and the undead ravenous. Not a whole lot of loot dropping – compared to my dim memories of Diablo II so long ago – but I haven’t found it to be an impediment to upgrades and acquisitions.

The skill trees are taking some time to figure out with slots for everything and the various triggers/buttons of the Xbox controller eventually getting it’s own power. I feel like I’m playing piano moving through my various magics waiting for my mana to replenish or everything to get close enough to be hit with my area affects. I’m still a little awkward on getting everything active and running, but I really like the ability to compare the items I find with the things I’m already wearing as it makes the min-maxed wardrobe easier to put together.

My favorite part of the game, though, is the fact that Husband and I can play together. Diablo on my own is kinda a mindless grind. Follow the map, slaughter, loot, repeat. With a party in play, the evil ratchets up, so it’s even harder to plow through, but a lot more fun.

Highly recommended for those Gamer Dates.

I talk about it all the time

(scene opens at last night’s Fight Club)
Me: (clanks around in random armor bits)
Alpha: Wow! Mom! You look totally boss! Like the Dragonborn! Except no ebony sword, hand of flame, or Lydia.
Gamma: (wearing my gauntlets, holding sword) Mom! I want to be a knight! (swing enthusiastically at the pell)
Husband: (shouts a thu’um at me)
Me: Yeah, love you too. (proceeds to accept level one beating)