but we haven’t got real friends, and now even the fake ones have stopped calling

CL2 was on Saturday.

Among the Bristolly things I intended to do on my visit home was make a trip to Scrivens the opticians and sort out the cancellation of contact lenses I’ve been failing to do for many expensive months. So, I arranged to leave the LAN and meet with Mum at Scrivens around noon, which would also allow me to get noms from the chip shop. For whatever strange networking reason, we couldn’t get online for most of the morning, so I phoned Mum, hastened our rendezvous and with her found a “back in 15 minutes” sign on the door.

Which, pretty much par for Scrivens, meant waiting in the mounting rain for three quarters of an hour. We stood and grumbled damply until an extremely nice, accomodating and bedraggled young man appeared, upon which we shouted at him until we felt better and then sorted out something approaching a solution. I think. I hope. Then, with a slightly clearer conscience, my gas mask, greatcoat and some bags of chips for me and Hovercraft I returned to the now-functional LAN.

I didn’t enjoy CL2 as much as I had CL1, but that was because of me failing rather than COGS. MR5D wasn’t as cramped as I remembered it, I sat next to Wild Bill Hovercraft (and we bought each other meals) to emphasise our status as the premier gay couple of COGS, Andy gave me a delicious ID card, Kim-Kim, creator of many many hilarious youtube things graced us with his rare and delightful presence, and used my computer to play TF2 for a while.

We played some L4D2 demo and some original L4D, the latter rather marred by certain retarded parties a) insisting on playing Versus b) telling me that my objections to this were entirely because I was bad at it rather than because Versus is a wretched abortion of a gamemode. I was quickly and comprehensively vindicated by a mass ragequit caused directly by Versus being a wretched abortion of a gamemode and really should have gone I TOLD YOU SO [more]. But that was the end of L4D for the day. Even at a LAN with its good feelings, lulz and easy camaraderie, L4D versus is ususally wank.

There was a Supreme Commander game I watched over Wildfire’s shoulder which seemed really rather fun followed by a Supreme Commander game I played which was a boring, futile porcfest and would’ve been even if I had somehow won and Rainmaker hadn’t kerb stomped me with a legion of bricks and bevy of monkeylords. The game fails, I think, because of the immense power leap between high and low tier units and the general stupid resilience of all higher tech units, which makes combat entirely about numbers rather than positioning, terrain, maneouvre or even range. TA, which I still maintain is with a little tweaking the finest RTS ever made, got that right. Supcom, even with its fantastic graphics and incidental attempts at a plot, failed at it hard, and is still in my opinion a significantly worse game.

On Sunday afternoon I went clothes shopping with Mum. Though I insisted that I was able, willing and prepared to pay for my own stuff, she still ended up offering to pay for two thirds of it, and I accepted these offers. Self-sufficiency is all very nice and proud and morally defensible, but my parents have reached a position in life where a few dozen pounds here or there is almost completely immaterial. I have not.

Sunday evening, I walked down to Temple Meads for the Jonathan Coulton concert in The Tunnels, a new venue built into a forgotten orifice of Temple Meads station. A nerd-music duo called Paul and Storm, who I’d not heard of but are apparently quite popular, opened for him, making up for their unmusic by being really quite funny, especially with cheap, painfully accurate shots at the stereotype of JoCo fans. Then The Man Himself played. The chorus of Re: Your Brains was loud and heartfelt; he didn’t even have to sing for Still Alive. At the end I bought some cake-scented stickers and Vikki got him to write COGS a love-letter. He did.

Yeah, we’re nerds.

Total expenditures for last week: £68.47

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