Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Things I Want To Accomplish Before the Baby Gets Here (That I Know I Actually Won't)

As of today, my wife and I are exactly two weeks out from the expected due date for our son. In 14 days (or possibly less I’m told), life for Team Brennaman takes dramatic turn. The footloose and fancy free adult lifestyle I’ve come to know and love filled with doing whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want will give way quite literally over night to diaper changes, 3 a.m. feedings, and the 24/7 care of another human being. Ready or not, here he comes.

But, shit. There was so much I wanted to get done before the kid got here, ya know? Back in January, when we found out we were having a baby, it seemed like we had nothing but time before this kid's arrival. I made mental note of all the things I wanted to accomplish before his arrival with the absolute, fullest of intentions of getting them done. Oh, not important things, mind you. No, I’m talking about the accomplishing of completely useless, inconsequential and ultimately meaningless goals. I’m talking goals like:

Finishing Final Fantasy VII

I feel like there's an analogy between Cloud looking at the seemingly insurmountable obstacle before him and my own inability to complete this game but I'm too lazy to fully identify it.

Final Fantasy VII was a pretty big reason I picked up a PlayStation in the wayback days of 1997. A few guys on my floor in the freshman dorm were hooked on this, and not just the nerdy, mouth-breathing types. Take our resident advisor, Neil, for example. Neil was, for all intents and purposes, an all around cool guy. He played the guitar, played lots of sports and had lots of sex. But when he wasn’t doing those cool things, he was playing Final Fantasy VII. So when I got a PlayStation, I made sure Final Fantasy VII was one of the games I picked up with it. I played it with zeal and I played it with joy.

And then, one day, I stopped playing it all.

Every few years since Christmas of 1997, I’ve returned to Final Fantasy VII, with the fullest of intentions of completing the game. It’s become something of an obsession, and one I’ve even tried breaking. I’ve sold the game multiple times only to buy it back via eBay or Steam. At one point I even spoiled all the plot points in the hopes that it would quell the urge see it all the way though, but nope. Not even knowing all the outcomes stop my heart from aching to check in with Cloud and the gang every few years. Stranger still is the fact it’s the only Final Fantasy game I feel incomplete having not completed.  Since 1997, I’ve played installments VI, VIII, IX, X and XIII. And like VII I’ve completed not a one of them. Yet I don’t feel any obligation to complete those other installments. None.

Odds are pretty solid I’ll fire up FFVII in the next few days but odds are even better I’ll tire of the turn based combat, the grinding, the incessant leveling and everything else that comes with the game and walk away once again. But, hey, I’ve waited 17 years to finish the game. What’s18 more, right?

Finally Watching the Entirety of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I get it! You're the unsung heroes of the Trek universe! Stop looking at me like that!

I’ve seen most of DS9, but not all of it. Or maybe I have seen all of it, but just not in order. I don’t know. I do know that I while it’s not my favorite Trek, I do see the argument folks make for it being the best Trek as being more than a little valid and as such, feel a need to see it in it’s entirety and in order. Since it was added for streaming on Netflix it’s been on my queue. For years, I’ve glided past it while looking for something to watch, and each time I say, sometimes aloud, “tomorrow.” But that tomorrow? It never comes. If it were possible for dust to collect in the Netflix queue, DS9 would be completely obstructed by the stuff. Now that I’m two weeks out from being a father, I feel like now is the time to fire up season one, episode one and let the long haul begin. Seven seasons in two weeks? Oh, yeah. That’s totally doable.

I’m not going to do it, though. At best, I can hope that, years from now, my son will show an interest in watching Star Trek and maybe, maybe I’ll finally sit down to watch the entirety then.

But I probably won’t.

Playing a Game of Diplomacy

If your friendship can't survive a board game then you probably shouldn't be friends to start with. Or maybe you should play a different board game. I'm kind of uncertain what the takeaway is here.

I first learned about the board game Diplomacy earlier this summer thanks to a piece on Grantland of all places. You can read about it here. It’s a long read so if you don’t feel like slogging all the way through, here’s the short version: Diplomacy is a strategy game not unlike Risk or Axis & Allies but seemingly designed for the sole purpose of annihilating the bonds of friendship, oftentimes completely.

I’m a huge fan of board games and I’m an even bigger fan of strategy games like Risk, Axis & Allies and those obscure,so seeing that there existed a game that’s considered the grandfather of that entire genre, I had to own it.

Too bad it takes roughly eight hours to play and requires the full attention of all players at all times. When I bought the game, I had this plan that at some point before Baby Brennaman’s arrival, I would be able to set aside an entire day to get a game in. However at this point, that’s just not happening. Between getting in last minute grown-up time with friends before the kid gets here or taking care of lingering baby related projects, having a full day to dedicate to a game seems like a luxury I’ll never have.

Which makes me sad, because I was looking forward to testing a friendship or six.

Successfully Capturing all 718 Pokemon in Pokemon X/Y

Uh... lot's of 30-something-year-old men play Pokemon, Mr. Judgey McJudgerson.

The catch phrase of the series might be “Gotta Catch’em All” but I’ve yet to come close to doing just that. Like, not at all remotely. Oh, I’ve earned all my badges. I’ve beaten all the gym leaders. I’ve entered into combat with the Elite Four and shown them what elite really means. I’ve even caught a Legendary Pokemon or two. But caught’em all? Not at all.

Like everything else on this list, I had hoped to get this done before the kid’s arrival, but it’s been months since I’ve pulled my copy of Pokemon X out of the case. That, obviously, makes it a little hard to catch’em all. I have gone as far as to set the game on my nightstand with the hope that I’ll log sometime before bed, the idea being that seeing it there will spur some kind of action. Instead, I just keep checking on the people of Awesome, my humble little Animal Crossing burg. Gotta Catch’em all? Never gonna happen.

Reading Crime and Punishment

A new afterword by THE Robin Feuer Miller you say?!

What? I’ve never read this Russian classic but have always intended to. Oh, don't act like this is the weirdest thing on this list.

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