Tuesday, April 29, 2008

global warming? not my problem

I guess we should have all listened to Al Gore because he was right about global warming. The oceans have already risen one-hundred feet and are expected to rise an additional hundred feet within the next three years. Most of Orange County is underwater now and I think everyone was surprised at how quickly we have flooded. Once a Mecca of business, it now lies halfway submerged with buildings rotting in the saltwater. Newport Beach on the other hand continues life as usual, well almost.

Can I just start off by saying that I am very happy to live in a city as affluential and wealthy as Newport Beach? Not because I am rich, I am far from rich when measured according to the world, but because since the flooding, I have been able to remain residing in the area that I love. You see, as soon as it was apparent that the ocean was in fact going to rise up and swallow Southern California, our residents came together in order to save our beautiful city. They built a two-hundred foot seawall around the city along with walls where all the roads used to be. The roadways are no longer paved, but are water channels that use locks, ala Panama Canal, and boat lifts in order to connect the channels for traffic. The resulting landscape inside of our seawalls is a beautifully terraced city that looks like the rice paddies of the mountains. Boats motor along the waterways much like Venice and life continues seemingly uninterrupted. The residents homes are all well below sea level and most are even below the channels, so there are little boat elevators that bring people down into their homes and communities. The residents of Pelican Hill are level with the wall and can see the ocean straight outside of their homes and can look down to the bustling city, below the massive ocean held back by its money.

I went for a bike ride along the top of the walls, touring the city, and marveled at what we have accomplished. Here we are living in a bowl in the ocean and it really is a sight to be seen. Sure, we create a large amount of pollution, but in order to not live in a bubble of noxious gasses, we pump that out of our paradise, over the wall, into the neighboring cities and enjoy beautiful blue skies practically year round. I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place as I ride my bike further up the walls in the city. I look out at sailboats on every terrace and it all seems so surreal. I begin to think, “what if the ocean rises even more or what if the wall breaks under the sheer weight of the ocean that it is holding back?” Then, I see the money of Newport Beach; I can smell it and can almost taste it. I feel secure in knowing that the money of this city will save us from anything. Maybe they will just build a glass dome to cover us with and we will turn into the lost city of Atlantis. Whatever happens, I hope they don’t figure out that I am not one of them and kick me out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

and i ate

Don’t you love General Conference? It gives us the opportunity to listen to those called and inspired of God to direct us in our own lives. After last Saturday’s morning session ended I flipped the channel and found that “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was on. As I was sitting watching the Grinch carve the roast beast near the end, Elder Russell M. Nelson walked into my house! Imagine that; an apostle of the Lord in my own home. As he walked toward me, “I am Ironman!” began filling the room as some sort of theme song. I was speechless, yet ready to be filled; and feed me he did.

Elder Nelson turned to the movie, reached into my television set, and pulled out a slice of roast beast that the Grinch was cutting. Good thing our television is not a flat screen, but rather one of the older tube TVs because otherwise there would not be enough room for all that roast beast. As he took out the slab of meat, Elder Nelson remarked how ham smells so much better than roast beast, so he waved his hand over the plate and the meat transformed to ham. He handed it to me and said, “Eat.”

And so, I did eat. With each slice that I cut for myself, Elder Nelson would recite a separate commandment and with each recitation, the words of that commandment were seared onto the slice of ham. As I ate each new piece of meat with the words seared upon it, those words became a part of me and I had a new found desire to live that part of the gospel. As I finished the final wedge and looked up, Elder Nelson smiled down at me and saying nothing, turned and walked out of my home, leaving me to ponder those strange events.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

rollercoasters, but not quite death

I absolutely love rollercoasters. Amusement parks like Magic Mountain are honestly my favorite places to go other than the beach. The thrill and the adrenaline that get me going help me to experience highs that I feed off of. Recently I was able to go to just an amusement park to get my fill of rollercoasters with Jessica Sorenson, but it wasn’t like any that I have ever been to. After waiting in line for Viper for what seemed like forever and a day, we finally got up to the front. It was a little odd that each rider had to check in at a front reception desk before allowed to go through the gate to the actual ride and even odder still that once we checked in, the receptionist told us that we needed to go downstairs to make our own parachutes before we were allowed on the ride. So, why is it that we need parachutes again? Jessica was a little reluctant to ride such a ride, but I assured her that they wouldn’t let us go on the ride with homemade parachutes unless it was safe. Um, right?

We went down the stairs and found ourselves in the basement of my fraternity house. I saw all of my brothers’ “decorations” strew about and we started sifting through their messy rooms looking for suitable, parachutable materials. Since there was a heaping pile of dirty laundry and blankets in the middle of the floor, this was the obvious choice in order to make safe parachutes. I had no idea what I was doing, so I shoved the entire pile toward Jess and got her some dental floss to stitch it all together. In a whirlwind of scissors cutting, scraps of shirts and blankets flying, and dental flossed, needle-threaded stitching, our parachutes started turning out pretty nice. Within minutes our parachutes were ready and I was feeling pretty confident about riding this new rollercoaster. Jessbugs on the other hand, was not. I kind of recall something about listening to women because they have better judgement, but can’t really remember the exact quote right now, so I will not relate it.

Either way, Bugs and I headed back upstairs to get on the ride. We were about to walk through the gate when the park manager stopped us. He told us that they had just closed the ride and were not going to be reopening it for a very long time. Something about having an “accident,” decapitation, broken bones, and death; I think. Jess let out a huge sigh of relief and I was totally bummed. She was glad that we were not on that last run and I was visibly upset that we didn’t make the last run. I mean, not everyone died on that last run, so we probably would have been fine and would have gotten to ride the rollercoaster before they closed it down for good. Besides, what better stories and bragging rights than to have ridden Viper on the very last run ever? She could tell that I wasn’t happy that we had to wait in line for so long without me getting my adrenaline kick and knew that the only thing to make me feel better, because it always does, was food. So Jess, being the kind and loving person that she is, took me to the snack bar to treat me to some of that delicious amusement park lemonade. It did make me feel a little better, but I sure wished I could have ridden Viper one last time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

parasites in the closet

So, my dad has a mild case of pack-ratitis. I don’t know where I got my genes from, but I like nothing better than throwing out old crap. In my home I love order and I am a fan of minimalistic style. Recently, I redid my parents’ living room in order to rid it of all the clutter and have been meaning to do the same to help my dad in his office and closet, and especially in the garage. So, you can imagine my surprise when I awoke yesterday morning and while walking bleary eyed into my dad’s closet, discovered that there was absolutely nothing inside. It was completely devoid of clothes, boxes, junk, hangers, shoes, models, and whatever else would normally be found in there. The shelves were all empty, all his things were missing, and oddly enough my clothes were gone from the single bar that I typically occupy. I was so happy that it was so barren and clean despite the fact that my clothes were missing. I simply thought, what a great way to start fresh and stay organized.

I was indeed happy for him, but as my brain slowly awoke, I realized that I would have to go to work naked that day. I walked upstairs to inquire of my dad as to the whereabouts of my personal effects and he was distraught that I had been in the closet. You see, they (and I don’t know who “they” are) discovered an incredibly dangerous parasite living in my dad’s closet and the only way to rid the closet of this deadly microorganism was to take everything out and burn it. We are not supposed to go back into the closet for a good deal of time for fear of this parasite latching on and literally sucking the life out of us.

I am not sure how much longer I must go without clothes, but I certainly hope that this parasite is not living inside of me right now. I wonder: how much longer I have to live?

Monday, April 14, 2008

dropping deuces and helping the homeless

I have recently been planning a trip to Europe this summer where I hope to be able to go on a cycling trek with my friend Kim, who works for Adidas. We will be cycling from Germany to Austria during the Eurocup 2008 and arrive in Austria in time for the quarter finals. So, I have thinking a lot as of late about purchasing a bike and finally did! I was going for a bike ride down PCH and was cruising along Mariner’s Mile when it hit. I had serious need of a restroom and I mean, soon! I had turtle heads poking and could not for the life of me hold it in. So what did I do? I dropped my sexy biking shorts, rotated backward on my seat like an awkward turtle, and dropped the kids off coating my bike seat all while maintaining my 26 mph pace. Luckily it was a flawless victory and once I sat back up discovered that I was as clean as a whistle.

I began peddling again, but was a little weary from the extra energy exerted in the previous three minutes. Dismounting my bike in front of one of the yacht lots, I decided that I was too far from home to return that day and began looking for a place to camp. Yes, I realize that my house is only three miles from there, but just could not find it in me to ride home, especially after the ordeal that I had just experience. I walked my bike past a few tents set up on the side walk and found an empty site right next to a homeless lady, who was lying in her own vomit. She looked quite sick and I was relieved when a female cop backed her squad car up to her and began to help get her out of there and take her to a hospital. However, the cop popped her back trunk, yanked this poor homeless women up, and was trying to shove her into the back trunk. I thought this was terribly inhumane, but then noticed that this trunk was at least three times deeper and longer than a typical car’s, so what did I do but help the nice lady cop to get the homeless person in there.

Feeling pretty good about myself and having done my good turn for the day, I began setting up my site. Now, even though I had just relieved myself a few minutes earlier, all of a sudden I felt like I was going to explode again. So, I sprinted up the hill to Newport Harbor High School’s stadium and ran into the locker room. This locker room was huge and it wrapped halfway around the stadium, underground. There was a set of thirty stalls at the south end and another set of thirty at the north. Having entered from the north, I ran past the close stalls to the south just because it seemed like a good idea. You see, I have been there before and it seems that all the stalls in the north wing are usually clogged and overflowing. As I open the first stall door in the south wing, I am hit with an unbearable stench and just as I feared, this stall was clogged and overflowing, even though it was at the south end! Not being daunted, I pressed on opening door after door after door, finding the same result in each pot. The walls around each stall were only half height, so I started peering over the wall to look. This way I didn’t have to endure the rank smell and I could still see if I could use that particular stall. After running through twenty-nine backed up stalls and a single occupied stall, I felt like I was busting at the seams and ready to pop.

I hustled back to the north end not knowing if I would make it, cursing those stupid, dirty sailors the entire way; and guess what I found? You would be correct that those stalls were just as dirty, rank, and disgusting as the others. As peered over wall after wall, I saw every color of chunky, greasy, runny, slimy brown that you could imagine. I even saw some very interesting greens, oranges, and reds with bits of corn and little green leaves stuck in there. I have no idea what the unicorn reading the paper was doing in one of the stalls, but I can only assume that it was dropping little Skittle flavored poops in the toilet, because that is what unicorns poop (kind of like the theory that dragon tears turn into jelly beans.) Either way, I darted between stalls through this maze of sewage and held my breath as I slowly opened the door to the last stall. As I inched this door ajar, what lay before me, but a golden throne, spotless and beautiful. I nestled in ever so gently with the biggest grin ever on my face, let out a huge sigh of relief from both ends and absolutely destroyed that stall. Apparently, I was number sixty to use that restroom that day. I feel sorry for whomever was to be number sixty-one.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

i love technology

I have moved to many different houses in Newport Beach growing up, but my parents and family made each one of those a home. Other than the home in Corona del Mar on Jasmine Avenue that I was born and raised in, my favorite home was the one on Vista Grande. I had so many memories there and spent much of high school, college, and the time before my mission in that home. So, as you may deduce, I was very excited to be able to go back and visit recently. The home is located on a hill, so you walk in the front door on the second floor and can walk downstairs to the first floor, which has a door to our backyard (wow; that was a mouthful.)

During my last visit, I walked in the front door and heard music coming from downstairs. I went down to the first floor and noticed that there had been some remodeling and the living room now extended to the left into Malia’s old room. There stood a beautiful grand piano where Malia was playing and my mom was singing. I sat listening, not realizing that Malia could play the piano and watched as my mom sang herself to sleep. I thought this was odd that one could actually sing themselves to sleep, not to mention the fact that Malia was playing piano beautifully, and was getting a little weirded-out, so I stepped into my own bedroom to the right.

As I walked into my room, I noticed that there were now mirrors on every wall and I could see forever in every direction, like a county fair’s funhouse. I also saw that there was a new side door leading out of the room. As this house shared a wall with the neighbor, I can only imagine that it lead into their house. I was greeted by Berley and Lauren Jarvie who were exercising. Kim was just sitting on the floor doing Yoga while checking herself out in the mirror and Lauren was standing by the other door in streamline position. Lauren started cavorting about in what looked like some sort of tribal dance. She started by jumping up and down whilst kicking her legs. Then the jumping stopped and she broke out into a river dance, all the while holding her streamline position. I watched, quite entertained, for a bit when all of a sudden, Lauren let out a gasp and ran out the side door saying that she needed desperately to change her outfit because it, "just wasn’t working."

did you read my first post?

Berley said she needed to leave and walked out of my room. I followed and stopped in the living room to wake my mom up and let her know that I’d be back soon. I tried to wake my mom, but she wouldn’t budge, so I left and went upstairs. I walked upstairs and out the front door, but could not find Berley to say goodbye, so I ambled across the street to where my car was parked in a carport. My Mini Cooper was parked next to my parents flame-painted minivan, both had their windows down. I grabbed my cell phone in its old school Nintendo controller case and my new iPhone. I wanted to send Berley a text goodbye, but as I stood there contemplating which one I should use to text her, I was distracted by an old Chinese man walking toward me yelling in Chinese. I placed the Nintendo phone in my Mini and the iPhone in the van and walked over to him. He started going off at me and I just stared at him with a blank look on my face. I had no idea what he was trying to communicate and was getting more confused by the second. It did not help any when his even older mother came out of the house behind him and joined in on the yelling. I thought a single person screaming at me in Chinese was hard to understand and bear, but the addition of a second had me thoroughly confused. In the confusion my dad slipped into my Mini and drove away. I saw him leave and was a bit distraught, never having let anyone drive my car before, so I left the yelling Chinese people and jumped into the van giving chase.

I never did catch up to him (obviously on account of the Mini Cooper S’ speed), so gave up and drove to my office instead. Gavan was waiting for me there and someone else that I didn’t recognize. I sat down on my couch and pulled out my iPhone to send Berley a text message, when I realized that I did not have her number on my new phone yet. In fact, I did not have anyone’s phone number on my phone. As I was messing around with the functionality of my new toy, I discovered that it had a preloaded flight simulator on it. I clicked on the icon to open the game up, the projector above my head turned on, and the wall lit up showing what was on the screen of my iPhone. It must have detected the signal from my gadget and started up automatically. Isn’t technology wonderful? As I scrolled on the touch screen of my phone, I shifted my gaze up to the screen and saw some of the most awesome graphics ever.

The opening screen of the flight simulator was a bird’s eye view of my plane sitting on the runway. There was a message on the screen that said "Refuel." I clicked the message and immediately, was zooming down to view my plane. It was a dog-fighting video game and as I got closer and closer I saw other planes flying past my view, leaving trails of smoke behind them. By the looks of the planes, this was obviously set in the future. As the view approached my plane, I saw myself accelerating down the runway, and the camera angle was directly behind my plane, getting closer. My cockpit looked like a fighter ship straight out of a Star Wars Movie, but the back portion was completely hinged and looked like the back half of an El Camino with mini wings. It was painted yellow and brown in a camouflaged pattern. As my plane hurled down the runway and lifted off, the camera angle entered into the cockpit and I found myself actually in the game, holding the stick in my own hands, looking around at the controls, climbing into the sky. The sky was darkened to a red, yellow, and brownish hue from the thick smoke and clouds surrounding me. As I followed what I think is my squadron up into the smoke and clouds, there are other jets darting in and out of the sky, passing within a couple of meters of my plane all leaving twisted smoky trails. There are thousands of them, like swarming bees and I cannot tell who is friendly and who is the enemy. We are climbing higher and higher into the darkened sky toward a ceiling of clouds and upon entering the cloud, I distinctly remember thinking that fly Mach Five with only a few meters visibility would be a wonderful way to die.

We break free of the clouds and I am temporarily blinded by the bright sun. I see those around me begin to slow and I likewise ease off the throttle. The camera angle changes again and I am outside of my plane watching as the squadron decelerates. As I get to the crest of my accent, I notice that my jet hinges and halfway doubles up on itself like an Olympic diver in the pike position. Apparently, my plane can do this in order to corner and turn tighter. After the turn, it stretches back out and begins to dive down through the clouds once again. I see my plane turn into an electric blue color and it hurtles faster and faster toward the surface and I reenter my cockpit. I see missiles whizzing past me as I expertly maneuver to avoid them and recognize the enemy because they are the ones trying to shoot me down. I engage, darting and weaving between jets and explosions. Taking many enemy fighters down, I feel like Maverick and invincible. Then I see a wall of what must be a dozen missiles headed straight at me. I weave through three or four of them, but the fifth clips my wing and time seemingly slows down as the sixth barrels directly into my nose. I manage to eject in time to see my plane explode beneath me and as I hurtle away, I pull my ripcord. The string breaks and my reserve shoot does not open. As I fall with my back toward the Earth, I see the fight above me getting further away. I see explosions all around me, then get smaller as I fall and fall. I take in all the red and brown smoke, the beautiful, bright, fiery blasts; floating in the beauty of it all and then, blackness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

wanted dead or alive

During the months of January and February, my friends and I religiously held “band practice” for our band, the Homebodies. A couple of times a week, we would get together at Hotel Kettley, go into their theater, turn the volume up, strike our widest power stance, and jam out until nights end. Rich and Kim’s skills were obvious from the beginning. They, having previous experience with Guitar Hero and their natural musical talent and background, easily found their groove and were able to branch out to other instruments. Tyler Waldron and I had a late start in our music careers, so we were the ones holding the group back from “going big.” However, within a few short weeks of practice, with Tyler as lead vocals, myself playing lead guitar, Kim on drums, and Rich on bass guitar; we were ready for the big time. We were consistently hitting well over 90% of our notes on Hard, so you can imagine that we were feeling pretty confident.

We got a bus, a plane, completed our outfits, and hit the road. Even though we have only played a single concert, the entire experience was very euphoric. So much so, in fact, that I cannot even remember the venue in which we played, but I remember the experience. As we walked out onto the stage, the crowd started going wild. Screaming fans and fainting women jumped, cheered, and sighed. The colored lights flashed around the concert hall and I could feel the vibrations from the noise pulsing through my own body. Sure I was a little nervous, but this is what all of those long nights of band practice had been for. We were ready and we knew it.

Our opening song was to be a cover of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” The lights went black and the entire venue fell silent, waiting in the darkness, for history to be written on this momentous maiden performance. You could hear the hum of the amps and then the hiss of the fog machines. Then, the spotlights slowly lit up and tracked over to Kim aka “Most Gutsy” Kettley at her place on the drum kit. As she started the beat in that song, the colored overhead lights began to flicker and pulse in time. Next, as the lights hit me, I come in, Kawika “Top Performer” Tarayao, with my opening riff. With this familiar progression, the crowd recognizes the song and goes wild, screaming with enthusiasm. They quiet down in time for Rich “Band Savior” Kettley to join in with his bass rhythm. Finally, Tyler aka “Authentic Strummer” Waldron steps out into the light with his shaved head, mustache, and Aviators and hits the first stanza, “It’s all the same, only the names will change …” as the crowd screams uncontrollably.

At our feet, we have little screens that show our Rock Band screens and behind us the screen is being projected for the fans to see. As we enter into the first chorus we all use our overdrive at the same time and hit a unison bonus. Soon thereafter, Rich gets into his Bass Groove and we are all seriously rocking out. This song goes just as rehearsed and at the end you could tell by the cheers of the crowd that we had definitely scored five stars (we had five stars a full minute before the end of the song.) As we finished our concert (yes, it was only a single song concert) and walked off the stage, our loyal fans start chanting for an encore, “Home Bodies! Home Bodies!” We listen to their chants, pumping us up even more and head back out onto the stage.

What better song to end to than an Iron Maiden cover of “Run To The Hills.” The song completely energizes the mass as we rock on. There is crowd surfing, head-banging, and rock-on signs being thrown up all over the pulsing multitude. As I am jumping, throwing scissor kicks, I see Rich shaking his guitar because the batteries must be low or loose and his guitar is not communicating with the game consol. The crowd just thinks he is getting into the song and get into it even more. Kim’s hair tosses as she feels the beat and she twirls her drum sticks in between riffs. Bras are being thrown up on stage and adrenaline courses through our bodies. As we end the song, chaos ensues. The four Homebodies members just stand there, taking it all in, knowing that tonight we made history. Tonight we were immortal. Tonight we were alive!

Monday, April 7, 2008

long division emergency

There is this girl that works in my office, who will be referred to as Gina. Somehow, just as is the case with the other hot girls that work here, I don’t particularly think that she was hired on account of her intelligence, because she is nothing short of gorgeous. Typical of these types of girls, I can always hear her talking about celebrities, parties, shopping, and boys. Also, she seems to be a little slower in understanding any process that takes more than a few steps or anything requiring jumps in logic, but at least she looks good the whole time. One particular occurrence completely made my day. Gina burst into our office and looked rather frazzled. She ran in and said that she was working on a project and urgently needed some help. Gina asked in desperation, “Does anyone here know how to do long division?” It was an emergency! Her project was running a little late and she couldn’t finish it because of her poor math skills. I tried to explain that even though I know how to do long division, we now have calculators that can do the math for us. However, Gina insisted that her project could only be done correctly if long division was used. I told her to just use a calculator, or even Excel because that is what she was already using in her project. Also, I am not going to use long division to complete her project for her, no matter how good looking she is. Gina looked at me with those beautiful puppy dog eyes, welling up with tears, and burst into sobbing as she ran out the door.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

i never reveal my sources

Back in October (but officially in December), I was promoted to a Senior Associate at work. I feel so lucky to have found a job that I absolutely love, working with people that I genuinely enjoy being around; not to mention the great opportunities and speedy career path. Along with this promotion, I was given the opportunity to accept a position in the finance side of the firm. My job would be split: ½ finance, ½ technology; and of course I leapt at the chance! So, now my new mentor on the finance side is Peter Rothemund, who is probably the smartest finance mind in the US, and that is not an exaggeration. So, not only do I have the best job in the best city with the best co-workers and the best opportunities, I also am able to work with the brightest minds that this industry has to offer.

When at work, if I ever have questions, I always turn to my mentor Peter. He directs me to the particular model that I need and explains the financial concepts behind them, or he shows me which website I need to go to in order to get the information. There was one particular data request from a client that needed a historical record of housing prices in the US. I knew what site I needed to go to in order to pull down the data, but could not figure out exactly what data was being used for this request. I went into Peter’s office and asked him about the data and where it could be found and he looked up at me with a grimace and said, “Sorry. I never reveal my sources.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

mission reunion

This past weekend I was so excited to be able to attend another mission reunion because I could see all of my old mission buddies. We love to talk about members and investigators that we taught, share humorous stories, and catch up on each others’ lives. This reunion was no different. Usually the reunions are held at a church building, but this year we all met at a fast food joint located in a mall. It was a little bit nicer than a Del Taco or McDonald’s and was a little like Chuck E. Cheese’s because there were video games, bowling, and Ski Ball behind the seating area.

Wally Doi and I were sitting catching up when we were ushered over to the Ski Ball area to play some video games. The seating area behind the Ski Ball lanes were staggered much like a bowling alley. Wally sat at the game console for our lane and I took the seat behind him. Each lane had its own console that looked like the front end of a Harley motorcycle, but the handle bars were much wider. Apparently whatever game we were to be playing (I assumed that it would be a racing game) used the handle bars for steering. There was also a laser pointer attached to the console via a curly plastic cord that would be used in the game for something. The cord was very tight and using it looked awkward. It reminded me of the wrist cords that you use when riding jet skis so that the ski stops when you fall off. The console in the lane next to us was out of order and the side panel was open, so I could see inside. All I saw was a standard, white-box PC that was used to drive the video game.

As I was taking in my surroundings, Kimberley Kettley came and sat on the ground by my feet facing me. As she was tapping my foot with her shoe, her mother came over and yelled at her, “You are not allowed to touch him! You cannot sit like that Kim. Here, turn around and slide over.” With that Sheri pulled Berley across the floor so that we were not in close proximity and walked away.

Next, a funny little man jumped up onto the Ski Ball lanes in front of us and told us to get ready for the greatest virtual reality video game on the market. A screen lowered behind him and he explained that we would be playing a first person shooter game that was more realistic than any we have ever seen. The handle bars of the "motorcycle" would steer our character and the laser pointer is what we could use to shoot. With that little introduction, he started the game. At first it looked like the movement of the character was difficult and the laser pointer on such a tight cord made it hard to aim and actually kill the enemies. I could see the screen in front of Wally and it looked like we were on one side of a wall with an opening directly in front of us. The two walls to our sides funneled toward the opening. Through the gap in the wall you could see an open field with men in the distance running toward us. They had little blue triangles floating above their heads much like any first person shooter to identify the team. Far to our right we could see the green team, but our main objective was to defend against the blue team, so we focused back on them. Wally walked right to the middle of the opening and started shooting the blue opponent. As he took a few indirect hits from the enemy, I told him that he needed to hide behind the wall on the right side for protection, peer around the corner, and pick enemies off one by one. As he was walking over there, he got hit with a head shot and blood oozed down our screen.

I could tell that Wally was going to need some help, so I sat in the open lane next to him. I rebooted that console and it began to work. I waited for the next round to begin and we started playing on the same team. I discovered the cord on my laser to be too tight, so I ripped it out of the console and found that it still worked for game play, but as I did this I felt myself being sucked into the video game. I was a character in the game and had a little laser pointer to wield against the enemy. As I saw the enemy approaching in the distance I dove behind the wall to the right. I peaked around the corner and started shooting the approaching blue team. I also found that I had grenades on my belt, so when they were within range I threw one killing half a dozen.

We exchanged gun fire for five minutes with men falling on both sides. Then there was a malfunction in the game and the digital world that was being projected ceased rendering. Everyone stopped and looked around as the lights came on in this world. All that was left of the walls were their frames and I could see that to my right past two walls was a large group of the yellow team hiding ready to ambush the greens. Then the game started up again, all projection returned and the gunfire resumed in full force. Because I knew where the yellow team was now located, I lobbed two grenades over the walls to where they were hiding and saw my kill count instantly increase by a baker’s dozen. Pleased with my cunning plan, I turned my attention back to the blue team as they drew closer. As I shot around the corner, two men climbed over the wall directly above me and luckily I got them before they got me.

As these two men fell from the wall, I stepped aside and another jumped over the wall and tackled me. It was Bridgette Briggs and she wrestled me to the ground trying to knock the laser out of my hand. As she reached for my weapon, I was able to grab her laser from her holster and shine it into her eyes. This stunned her and she stopped fighting me. Then, another female wearing a cat woman suit leapt over the wall. Lunging at me, I was able to grab my laser and shine it in her eyes just before she took me out. It seemed these lasers would not only stun, but also made the victim begin to go delirious. Their eyes grew large like a Japanese anime characters and they started to look loopy. They both began to plead for their lives and say that all they really wanted was a cigarette. They both said that if they could only have one smoke they would not try to kill me anymore and we would all be free to leave and to please just spare their lives.

did you read my first post?

As we were conversating, the world morphed back into reality and we all agreed that honestly was the most realistic video game that we had ever played.