Dad’s made a birthday post consistently for over ten years, so, on one hand, it feels natural to make one of my own. But, on the other hand, it feels like elbowing into a spot I don’t belong, like my cat trying to “share” my recliner with me. Like, sure, okay, you fit, kind of, but at what cost? Nothing feels natural or right, and you literally have a bed right over there. Derailed cat analogy aside, maybe I’m overthinking it.
The longer I write here, and the more time I get away from the shock of ‘wow, my dad is gone’ the more I think he’d actually appreciate I kept up the torch. I hope. A therapist would have a field day with my recurring dream where he comes back from the dead and reads the site on a toaster he’s using as a computer, and I wake up before I can find out what he thinks of my writing. No really, that keeps happening, and he keeps using different appliances, toaster, hair dryer, air fryer, just plugs into a screen and starts reading. Don’t ask me how, it’s dream logic. I guess dream me is smart enough to realize he can’t read it on his computer since I’ve commandeered it. But honestly, if my father reanimated from the dead some random Tuesday, I’m pretty sure I’d just give him his damn computer back. Not being able to play Skyrim anymore wouldn’t exactly be my top priority in that strange eventIt would obviously be my second priority.
The first time Dad made a birthday post was in 2007. I was nine, and DM of the Rings wasn’t even done yet. The picture of me on the far left up there was taken just a little bit before that time. It’s over ten years later, Dad’s gone, and I’m writing my own. Lately, I find myself constantly getting the song Older, by They Might Be Giants stuck in my head. It’s a song that is both deeply pertinent, and that I heavily associate with my dad. This video that my dad made when I was a kid was a staple of my childhood. Funnily enough, it was at the core of several lighthearted family arguments. See, often when Dad was working, I would sit behind him and offer an endless supply of child-style advice. Usually, this was composed of things like advising him to use the ‘prettiest’ weapon, or piece of armor or buying/adopting a pet in a game that didn’t even allow it. I ‘helped’ him decorate his houses in Skyrim and Fallout, and deck out several Garry’s Mod maps. But on the day he made the roller coaster video, my advice was actually taken. ‘Add balloons!!’ I demanded ‘Make them all different colors!!’ I begged. I remember because I was so excited he’d taken my advice and that it made it into the video. That fact was my pride and joy! I didn’t have a concept that the video was a hit until years later, but I remembered helping him with it clear as day.
He, of course, didn’t remember my help at all, and insisted until he died that I was completely absent of the creative process. Plagiarism I say! Plagiarism! Who plagiarizes a nine-year-old? Today I set the record straight! Sue my widowed mother for my $1.23 of owed profit!
Obviously, my participation in the balloons in the video doesn’t really matter, but we often playfully argued about the subject.
As for turning 25…? Meh. I looked forward to my birthdays till I turned 21, then…not really.
Of course, 21 in the US is the year you can legally drink. It’s not that I’m a big drinker or anything, in fact, I seem to be strangely immune to the stuff physically, and it usually doesn’t taste good enough to justify itWith the exception of alcoholic root beer, it just really cuts the sweetness.. So, why so excited to turn 21? I don’t know, it unlocked something, that at least felt meaningful. Now, birthdays just feel like a poorly designed leveling system with too many unlocks near the beginning and end, and one long grind in the middle. I guess my next exciting birthday will be 65, the senior discount. Until then it’s just fetch quests and the endless grinding for XP. Not loving the ‘recurring Dad dream’ sidequest or the ‘permanently disabled’ special events, either.
 It would obviously be my second priority
 With the exception of alcoholic root beer, it just really cuts the sweetness.
The game was a dud, and I'm convinced a big part of that is due to the way the game leaned into its story. Its terrible, cringe-inducing story.
The Truth About Piracy
What are publishers doing to fight piracy and why is it all wrong?
Why I Hated Resident Evil 4
Ever wonder how seemingly sane people can hate popular games? It can happen!
Linux vs. Windows
Finally, the age-old debate has been settled.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.