Game Over

This is going to be a nerdlier blog post than I usually write. This one is about video games. Yes, I play a lot of video games in my spare time. I am Kevin Lee’s wife after all. It’s pretty much required.

Last weekend there was a sale at EB Games so Kev and I picked up a few titles that we’ve had our eye on for a bit but haven’t been willing to shell out $60 a pop for. One of those games was Catherine. I doubt that many of you have heard of this game so here is a quick description. It’s mostly a 3D platforming puzzle game with a story mode in which you make choices to influence the end of the story. There are eight different endings and it requires three playthroughs to get all of the achievements. (That meant nothing to most of you.) This is a notoriously difficult game. It’s rated 10 out of 10 in difficulty as long as you do not refer to walkthroughs. I have not been referring to walkthroughs.

Here is a video of Michael “Ragequit” Jones getting so frustrated with this game that he throws an Xbox out of a window and then smashes it to pieces with a field hockey stick. This is a completely reasonable reaction to playing this game. Warning: extremely foul language:

How does this all relate to pregnancy? I’m getting to that.

So on Monday night I was home alone so I popped the game in to give it a little test run. I started playing at about six. I stopped playing at around ten thirty. I didn’t intend to play that long but this game is very addicting and I was definitely on a roll – I’d played through around half of the game and gotten a bunch of achievements which is awesome because I am a completionist.

Last night I popped the game in again…only to realize that I’d been playing through on Kev’s profile the night before and hadn’t actually gotten any of those achievements for myself. Crap. Well, the only thing to do was start playing all over again under my own gamertag and get those achievements for myself. This time I played for a much shorter amount of time and gained back almost all of my progress from the night before. It went a lot faster now that I’m familiar with the game play and knew in advance which choices to make. Awesome.

Tonight Kev is home and as for me…my back hurts. It’s been hurting for days and not much seems to help it. I figure that it’s caused by a combo of lifting kids and objects at work and carting around the extra weight I’ve recently put on. Kev offered to give me a massage to try and work it out so I sat on the floor in front of him and he put an Xbox controller in my hands to give me something to do while he tenderized my muscles. He’s the best guy.

So I started playing Catherine and right from the start it was just a long series of fails. Keep in mind that I was playing through a part of the game that I breezed through on Monday night when my back was feeling a-ok. I made stupid mistake after stupid mistake, repeatedly falling to my death, getting impaled on spikes, and backing myself into corners which made the level unbeatable. I couldn’t even get through one stage of the game. And I was getting more and more frustrated because I just completed this part two nights ago but my back is in so much pain that I couldn’t focus on what I was doing.

After about twenty attempts at the same stupid part of the same stupid level the cursing started. This is where Kev’s “tantrum radar” went off and (I don’t know how he managed it) he diplomatically talked me into putting down the controller and going to get some Tylenol. This was very wise of him because I think I was getting pretty close to fully smashing the controller against the floor like a child.

Ten minutes later I was seated on the couch with an icy/hot patch on my back and Tylenol in my belly and Kev was exiting my game without saving. I hadn’t made any progress at all so there was nothing to save. Lame.

I’m much calmer now and my back is starting to loosen up a little. When I looked at a screenshot of the level that gave me so much grief I was easily able to see which move I should have made to get to the end. It was a simple strategy that I would have seen immediately if I wasn’t so distracted by back pain.

The next time I play Catherine it’ll be a snap to make some progress. But I will not attempt it again tonight because my back hurts.

Pregnancy, you win this round.


Here Comes Sickness

It’s been a while since my last post, mostly because I’ve been busy being sick. No, I don’t mean morning sickness. I’ve pretty much gotten accustomed to feeling nauseous. This was considerably worse.

Last week I was in the middle of my work day when I felt my throat getting scratchy and thought, “Oh fantastic. A present from the filthy children I work with.” And I wasn’t very surprised because there’s been something going around which has had them all spouting green stuff from their noses. I’m telling you, no amount of hand washing is going to help you when you’re kneeling down to help put on a kid’s shoes and they give a nasty, phlegm-y cough directly into your face. (So don’t tell me that I need to be more careful and wash my hands more because I wash my hands more times per day than most of you do.)

I figured that I was going to get a cold but I didn’t expect it to come on so quickly. Or for it to be so severe. By that evening I was completely stuffed up and could already feel my chest getting tight. By one in the morning I was unable to sleep because the pressure in my head was so bad. At three in the morning I got up to have a cup of hot tea to see if that would decongest my face at all. Apparently that was a mistake because I finished and went back to bed and within two minutes I was hurrying to the bathroom to puke, even after taking my anti-puking pills.

Seriously, who throws up tea? How offensive can decaffeinated tea possibly be to your stomach? Isn’t that what they say to give to people to ease an upset stomach?

It got to the point where I was sitting cross-legged on the floor beside the toilet, coughing up yellow stuff into tissues and lazily turning my head to vomit into the bowl whenever I felt the urge. It was at this point when I decided to call in sick for the next day. I figured that if my co-worker came in looking and sounding like I did I’d be kind of pissed that they were exposing me to their germs. It’s a good thing I did call in because the next day I was pretty much ruined. It wasn’t even noon the following day before I called in for the remainder of the week.

Now usually when I get sick I just take whatever drugs I need to take in order to get through the day. With the right combination of pills I can get to feeling pretty much fine and keep on working through it. However pregnant women aren’t allowed to do that. Pregnant women need to be careful. Being pregnant pretty much guarantees that you’re going to be uncomfortable in one way or another every minute of the day.  

There is so much conflicting information out there when it comes to what is and isn’t safe for pregnant women to take when they’re sick. Don’t even bother looking online – one site will tell you that it’s safe to take any decongestant as long as it’s only for a very short amount of time while the very next search result will tell you that anyone who takes cold medicine while pregnant is going to have a kid with three eyes and a tail.

So we decided to go down to the drug store to ask the pharmacist ourselves. While we were waiting in line I found a handy pamphlet with a list of things that are safe for pregnant women to take. I thought, “Great! If it’s in the pharmacy then it has to be good information!” But just to be on the safe side we talked to the pharmacist who immediately gave us advice that contradicted everything in the pamphlet. He said that I shouldn’t take anything to be on the safe side. And he said it with a grin.

I didn’t like the stupid pharmacist very much. He was a huge bastard. I also didn’t like the stupid pamphlet because why was it even there if it was full of nothing but lies? I didn’t like the giant aisle of cold and flu medicine which could provide me instant relief except I’m not allowed to take any of them because of stupid crappy pregnancy. I didn’t like anything at that moment except the idea of throwing a tantrum.

Sweet, understanding Kevin saw this. He bought me Otrivin spray which the one thing that I really am allowed to have, brought me out of the store, and bought me a video game. He’s the best guy.

Since then I’ve been gross. It’s been almost two weeks of mucus but it’s finally starting to get better. I’ve gone through five boxes of tissues around the house and even more at work. I have a cough that makes me sound like I’m dying of consumption. I used up almost the whole bottle of Otrivin even though you’re not supposed to use it for more than three consecutive days. (I used it for seven before I gave up and stopped. My face immediately sealed up in mucus-y protest.) I can’t sleep through the night because I’m not used to sleeping with my mouth open but I have to because I get so stuffed up when I lie down. My mouth gets so dry that it wakes me up.

But at least I’m sure that the baby is ok. It does feel good to know that I didn’t use anything that may not have been good for her.

By the way, it’s a girl. We’re naming her Millie.