Yesterday I am pretty sure a rift opened up and somehow transported us to another universe. I would think that it was one or two limited events happening… but the entire freaking day was bizarre. For starters we were supposed to go to a wedding with some family at 1:30 in the afternoon. From the moment we woke up, my wife had text messages waiting from her family wanting to know if we were on the road yet. We have no clue why they were wanting us to be on the road at 8 in the morning… for a 1:30 wedding, but apparently they did. So I go out, get breakfast, write yesterdays blog post and go shower. We leave the house around 10 am, which we think is pretty damned good for a 1:30 wedding. While in transit my wife texts them saying that we should be there somewhere between 11:00 and 11:30.
You would think that the same family that was concerned that we were not on the road at 8 am… and continued to text all damned morning wondering if we had left yet, would be happy to know exactly when we would arrive. NOPE! We get up to my wife’s mothers house and no one is there. My nephew-in-law at some point ended up behind us, he was returning from working an early shift at the prison and was coming home to change. He was literally the only other person there, we had no clue where anyone was. Finally we get a text back stating that they are at a garage sale and that they have our least responsible aunt in tow with them… and her adopted daughter… and her hyperactive child. So quickly what I thought was only a few people ordeal ballooned into a massive family group. At this point I was wishing I had begged a way into just staying the hell at home and playing Wildstar… which launched yesterday.
Shortage of Chicken
Our family keeping to the insanity of the day decides that we are going to go eat before the 1:30 wedding. They pick what appears to be an extremely busy restaurant, roughly 15 minutes away from where we were at the moment, but in the same town as the wedding. Problem is we have a party of roughly a dozen people in a very small town, just a few minutes after noon. I remark before we go on this journey that there is no way in hell we are getting out of the restaurant before 1:30 as it is a little after 12:30 when we actually arrive and get seated. To make things even more surreal… most of us end up ordering the Chicken Strip basket. Apparently they assumed no one would ever order that… because they only actually had a dozen chicken strips. So we set about with the waitress to do some complex math and steal a chicken strip from each 3 strip basket trying to somehow divide the “loaves and fishes” enough to feed the family.
Somehow STILL we ended up short on chicken strips, but that doesn’t really matter considering the moment we got our food… we needed to ask for to go boxes and go pay out. Our family knowing that we were under a time crunch… apparently decided to talk incessantly instead of eat. I knew I was under a constraint so I scarfed away until I managed to down the two chicken strips and a basket of fries in record time. Everyone else walked out with food barely touched… so I am still wondering what the hell the point of eating before the wedding was since literally no one but myself and my nephew-in-law who also ate rapidly in silence, managed to get done with our food. I went to pay out as everyone else attempted to load up their stuff and get on the road. I don’t know where we are going… so I opt to follow my mother-in-law who takes us on another one of her “shortcuts” that end up taking twice as long to actually get anywhere.
Clinging to Past Glory
So at 1:40 we arrive at the site of the wedding, which thankfully was a very untraditional one. Due to some rain and some technical difficulties they had yet to get anything underway. Ultimately we arrived at just about the perfect time. One of the things you need to know about Oklahoma and our culture is that we absolutely worship at the altar of High School football. I am using the global we here because I could give two shits about sports in general, and the sportcentric culture made my own high school days miserable. Given my size I was constantly recruited to the football team, which I wanted nothing to do with. However I am very much not “joe everyman” when it comes to my area, and the majority of men eat, sleep and breathe football. In fact the entire reason why everyone was showing up for this wedding was the fact that it was being held at the local football stadium… with the 52 year old groom wearing a football uniform and the 38 year old bride wearing a prom dress. There were lots of jokes being made about “Redneck Weddings” but I feel this was a missed occasion, as it doesn’t get much more Redneck than this.
If you have never attended a high school homecoming game… then this won’t make much sense to you, but traditionally each of the candidates for the homecoming queen are brought in one by one in a convertible of some sort that has been decorated with their name and grade on the side. To keep with the homecoming theme of the wedding, each of the bridesmaids were driven in similar fashion. The thing is… normally in a homecoming game when one candidate reaches the center of the field the next candidate starts behind them. They say a few words about the candidate and them move on to the next one. The bride in this case had written long rambling walls of super personal text… which when read by a male announcer just came off as surreal. The thing is it took me about three bridesmaids to figure out that the announcer was not the person who wrote the text originally.
At first I seriously thought he was just rambling off the cuff, and as such could not figure out why he was going so slow. In all seriousness this phase of the wedding took roughly an hour. Each bridesmaid arrived in a car that fit their personality with a song playing in the background picked out by the bride. I fully understand the whole “her special day” aspect but it was 85* in the hot sun, on metal bleachers. She could have had a little common sense and kept things brief. Today I am fairly sunburned thanks to this madness. What made it even worse is the fact that she had roughly ten different bridesmaids that she had written two to three paragraphs about as they rode in. Once they had all arrived the bride came in packed into a Rolls Royce. When they opened the door it was like there was this giant poof of dress and tiny little arms sticking out from it.
In what feels like the textbook definition of “clinging to past glory” the groom arrived by running out of a giant football helmet. This is a tradition here for high school games that the entire team runs out of one of these insane inflatable helmets and then runs through a paper sign held up by the cheer leaders. They asked all of the guests of the wedding party to go down on the field and make a “spirit line” as they call them… and then slowly the groom lumbered out onto the field breaking through the sign, having to stop a few times before making his way to center field where the rest of the wedding party was waiting. I can’t say anything though because there is no way in hell I could jog from the end zone to center field without damned near collapsing, so the fact that he made it in good time while squeezed sausage casing like into a football uniform is damned impressive.
My niece captured a better picture of him actually breaking through the banner. From there the wedding ceremony finally proceeded and after all of this setup… it actually went pretty quickly. They did the standard “sand” ceremony thing that has become so popular lately at weddings. Which I guess is fitting since it is a fairly blended family. This is the fourth or fifth wedding for the groom, so in part we were shocked they were making such a big ordeal out of it. The ceremony itself was proceeded by a preacher wearing a referee uniform, and every so often during the ceremony another ref would step up and throw a flag on the play. The preacher and the ref would confer for a moment before the second referee would give a ruling. Since it took them three years apparently to get to the point of actually having the wedding, one of the flags throw as for “delay of game”. It was cute little thing, but at that point we had been out in the hot sun with no shade for over an hour and most everything had lost its mirth.
All told we were out there a little over an hour and a half, but I feel horrible for the folks who didn’t arrive at the last minute like we did. In fact during the ceremony it rained a few times, and was raining before we arrived so not only did the early birds get cooked in the sun, but they also likely got drenched. We were surprised just how big of an ordeal it was, but I wish the bride and groom the best of luck. They certainly provided a memorable occasion, but one that was extremely strange to watch. While all of us have deep Redneck roots… you don’t expect to see a wedding in a football stadium. However I guess for some folks, the football stadium is their church, so only fitting that folks get married in it. As interesting as it was… I would have gladly stayed home and played Wildstar instead. Unfortunately part of being a responsible adult is showing up for this sort of thing even when you have zero interest in being there.
Peafowl on the Play
To add to the strangeness of the day, while driving back home we stumbled across this walking through a field. For those not familiar with Oklahoma… I guarantee that the peacock is very much NOT a native animal. In fact this was not even in someone’s yard, but instead in a random field out in the middle of nowhere. I assume the little guy is a pet and had wandered a bit too far out of his domain. Later on my wife posted this picture on facebook and found out that apparently it is in fact owned by someone in the vicinity, and that another person sees it almost every day when driving home. Seeing this however just seemed to underline just how strange the day was. Today I am meeting my mother for lunch, and I am hoping that we have a much more normal outing.
Finally after all the madness I got to come home and play some Wildstar. At this point I had done nothing but create a couple of characters to reserve my names on Evindra the Role-Playing server. I of course created Belghast the Chua Engineer, and really it is the animations that make this game enjoyable for me. The most adorable thing so far is the dogpaddle animation when you try to swim. I managed to get far enough along to get my robots… and I love them so much. The game itself… I am still not just head over heels for. It has improved drastically since switching from Deadlocked to Steer… and it works so much cleaner. Deadlocked involved toggling back and forth between mouse look by clicking your left mouse. The problem is I always forgot to do this before entering a dialog with an NPC. So I would have to escape out, click off mouse look and then re-enter the NPC dialog box.
With Steer it works so much better in that if you are moving or in combat… you have mouse look on. If you are standing still, it gives you back your cursor so you can interact with NPCs or any other window. This addon alone greatly improves my enjoyment of the game, and makes the entire experience rather enjoyable. I feel like Wildstar is like a much better World of Warcraft. This is no slight to either game, because I still feel like WoW does an amazing job of what it does. However Wildstar seems like it might give it a run for its money. Out of the box I feel absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of things to do in every zone. The game just oozes complexity, and in part this is what made me dislike it quite a bit in beta. It felt like I was entering the game and already at a disadvantage and trying to catch up quickly in learning what everything did. I look forward to playing over the next few days and seeing exactly how much I do enjoy it after a week.
I call this one Contemplating Red, because once we delve into Transistor we discuss the nature of the character of Red, the Transistor and the way the game treats gender roles. In the time before we started recording, Kodra wanted to know if we could talk about whether or not Transistor was a deeply sexist game. He was concerned that I might shy away from the topic, but I gave him the flag to go ahead because while I don’t want to necessarily dwell on controversial topics… I don’t want us to shy away from them either. I think in the end we all reached a point of peace with the themes of the game, and after bringing all of our thoughts to the table… realized the entire game was so much deeper than any of us thought. The end result is I am even more in love with this title. If you’ve beaten the game, I highly suggest you listen and share your own thoughts either here in the comments or over twitter.
#StrangeWedding #Transistor #Wildstar #AggroChat