BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
Yes, December is STILL BUSY
I've been pretty busy with Christmas traffic, shopping, parties, etc. It's kinda crazy. But hey, that's how it goes sometimes. I'm sure YOU'RE busy, too.

For me, a lot of it's been kung fu. See, we started lion dance again (I mentioned before), so I've been practicing regularly with that, as well as helping with the kids' class. Because it's growing, and we don't have a lot of instructor students that can help. So I'm putting in what time I can. Which MEANS I go there straight from work, and don't get home until close to ten. It's reminiscent of my earlier days, the horrid combination of school/work/kung fu. Although instead of doing homework when I get home at ten or so, I get to play. Yay!

Speaking of playing, yeah, I got those four games, but I've only played one, and one other one I got. Hitman 2 is one. It's all about being sneaky, which I am, naturally, so I like it quite a bit. For instance, your first mission is to take out the head of a mafia crew. He's in his mansion, which is surrounded by a wall and guards. So you have to be creative to get to him. You could be silly and pull out the biggest weapon you have and try to just Rambo your way in, but the COOL way is to pick a different method. For instance, you could hit the flower delivery guy before he gets to the front gate, take his clothes and flowers, drop all your guns (so they don't frisk you with bad results), and get in like that. OR you could go to the food delivery guy and do the same thing (all mafiosos have lots of food, duh). OR you could do my personal choice, take out a guard when he steps out to take a pee in the bushes, and take his clothes. So once you've got that, you can just wander the area, as long as you're not doing weird things. Running around carrying a large weapon would qualify as weird. So yeah, you just stroll about, make your way upstairs, and slowly take out all the guards you need to. I like using the silenced pistol, so you can just walk towards a guard like you want to ask him something, and then just pull the piece out and double tap him in the head. Then, of course, move the body so nobody's the wiser. The way I did it was to do all that, then head into the boss's office when he left for a moment, step out on his patio, waited for him to return, then snuck up behind him and use the fiber wire to do the dirty work. Then it's time to get out before anyone realizes what's wrong.

Yeah, it's pretty fun. Sneaky sneaky. Then there's the other one I've been putting time into: Metal Gear Solid 3. If you've played the first one and liked it, you'll probably like this one. It's the closest thing to an interactive movie I've ever seen. The cut scenes are all top-notch, quite good voice acting, and even a soundtrack by Harry Gregson-Williams. There are a lot of them, but I think they're well done enough that they're worth watching. And the actual game involves being dropped into the jungle in Russia (at the beginning) to take care of some things. This one involves a ton of realistic options. You have to worry about camo, making noise, fixing injuries, even hunting wildlife to eat and survive. You can still be sneaky in this one. There's a ton of options. In many cases you have an abundance of choices on how you want to handle a situation. I prefer sneaking up behind soliders on patrol, grabbing around the neck and kicking the back of the leg out, then dragging them away to put a knife to the throat, then hiding them in the shrubbery. Kind of like Hitman, but more detailed. It's more than just that, but that's still an element that's in there.

Man, I guess my vicarious aggression is just abundant in my gaming. Stress from holiday season, I guess. Although today I did get to do some real aggression. We had our standard lion dance practice today, and then a student asked to spar me afterwards. He's the other Eric in our school, and he's pretty young, tall, lanky, and very quick. He's the most flexible guy in our class, if I remember correctly. So he wanted to spar. And we did, no pads. It was a lot of fun. He tried a few high kicks (which he throws very fast), and then realized he might not want to do that against me after I countered by snapping a few kicks in the wide open groin area he left exposed. Yeah, high kicks are generally not a good idea, although I managed to land a high snap kick to his chin. Hee hee! Yeah, my toes grazed the tip of his chin, it wasn't too hard, but he knew it was there. And I think I conditioned his shins a bit, because I'm used to countering kicks by putting my shin up against his. I know he felt it at least once. But it was a lot of fun.

And yesterday was the birthday day. My sister's birthday was yesterday, so we took her out to Osaka (after Royal Dragon was discovered to be closed for a wedding something or other). I forgot how good the food there is. Our chef was pretty cool, too. The rice and shrimp there are luscious. Yes, luscious. And while we were there, Marni gave all of us some gifts. Yeah, it seemed kinda backwards to me, too. She gave her boyfriend a small plaque, with a Saint on it (I don't remember which, which is bad), she gave me a necklace with St. Joseph on it, my dad got a full framed set of pictures of her with an inscription between them, and my mom got a necklace with gold and a small diamond. It was sort of crazy, but I guess she just appreciates the family that much. Which is cool. MY present to her is waiting, because it's rather large (not physically), so she's getting it for Christmas. And I can't tell you what it is, because it's SECRET.

Yesterday was also Sandra's birthday (you know my sister just loves that)! She was not in town, though, so I had to send her a letter, in lieu of my presence. Just birthdays everywhere.

And I think it's time to get back to chilling, because I want to. Mmm, good. I rented the Bourne Supremacy and Collateral, which are both sort of sneaky movies, but I like them. I guess I'm in a sneaky mood, being Christmas and all. Sneaky sneaky!

Okay, time for random link. Christmas shopping? Did you try online? If you're not sure where to look to find good deals, try this. It's pretty new, but I think it's not too shabby. Oh! And bonus random link - this is a movie I think might actually be pretty good.

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as of 10/23/03

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