Posted in Picture, Writing

Marriage is for Quitters

Being a 32-year-old, unmarried, childless waste of a human life, I am often asked when I’m going to sort my shit out.  I would like to take this opportunity to tell these people that I do have my shit sorted out, and said shit is divided up as follows:

Billy and I have been together for over 12 years with no intention of getting married.  Like none at all.  I have no interest in wedding dresses, flowers and colour coordinated fabric swatches all crammed into a room full of relatives who don’t particularly like each other.  We already have the mortgage, the dog and the joint bank account, why would I want the piece of paper that gives Billy permission to take a shit with the door open?   Now, this is not to say that we won’t ever get married.  I’m sure once I’ve popped out a few kids and my vagina looks like the blown out remains of a Baghdad government building I will give in and accept my fate, but until then, I would rather spend wedding-money on things like this:

Plus, I quite like being someone’s girlfriend.  It gives the somewhat exciting illusion that it could all come to an end at any minute* (*update: it did) and it also makes me feel like I have loads of time until I have to start breeding* (*update: I still don’t).  We did get engaged about 7 years ago, but that was essentially just so people would stop asking us when we were going to get engaged and also in the hope that they would back the fuck off my uterus and stop making unrealistic demands of it.  I wasn’t ready for kids then and, even though it won’t be long before my ovaries shrivel up and disappear in a little *puff* of dust, I still don’t know if I am.  Not long ago, I was accused by a complete stranger in a bar of being “selfish” for having this attitude towards having kids.  He said, and I quote:

“So you’re 32 and you don’t have any kids yet?  So you’re selfish then?  You’re a woman, it is your responsibility to have children.  Every man does not necessarily have to have a child but, as a woman, you do.  Right now, while you’re sitting here with your pint and your little job, you are depriving a child the right to human life.  How does that make you feel?”

I proceeded to explain that I felt it was more selfish to sit in a 2 bedroom council flat with no job, pumping out 5 kids who will then be brought up in cramped and poverty-striken conditions, but he was too busy staring at his sister’s tits to pay attention to anything I was saying.

When it comes down to it, money is the issue here and I hate myself for even saying that.  For the majority of our relationship, Billy and I have had no money.  At one point we were living off £30 a week between us.  In order to try to make the situation a bit better, we decided that I would go to University and Billy would take on a second job to pay the bills.  I graduated in 2009 and Billy is now free to start his own business, something he has always wanted to do.  It is only in the past year that we have bought a grown-up house and have money left in our bank account at the end of the month.  Do you have any idea how fun that is?  I’m still not over the novelty of being able to buy something I want for the simple reason that I can.  I just bought this teapot.  Don’t even need it:

All I want is a couple of years to enjoy this feeling before I spend all my free time being skint again and going to coffee mornings slightly drunk on wine and completely covered in shit-spew. I want a god-damn video game room before it gets turned into a nursery.  I want to go on a grunge pilgrimage to Seattle.  I like my boobs, my vagina is top-notch and I wouldn’t mind keeping it that way for a little while longer.  On top of this, I love my job and, right now, cannot bear the thought of leaving it.  I appreciate that there are people out there who can’t have kids, and I may live to regret putting it off for so long, but is having kids because other people can’t have them healthy motivation?  Probably not.

Maybe that sheep-raping Yorkshire dickhead in the bar was right.  Maybe I am selfish.  So what do you do when your head is that of a 14-year-old boy but your body is that of a middle-aged female?  I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t start a family and, let’s be honest, what the world needs in these hard times is a Jillian/Billy combo-human (or ‘Billian’, as they will be known).  I am genuinely excited about one day having a baby, just let me buy a few more pieces of Lionel Ritchie crockery first.

Posted in Writing

Halo Reach – Bit Shit?

Back in 2002 I had my first encounter with Halo and I knew instantly that the extra-marital affair I had been having with my Xbox behind Nintendo’s back would not be short-lived.  I loved it a lot, right down to the grass – I sometimes still think about that grass, it was more realistic than real grass.  Anyway, the point is that this is not going to be a rant about disliking the entire franchise because of its masculine, science-fiction storyline or gratuitous violence.  I find games such as ‘Kinectimals’ or ‘High School Princess – An Introduction to Statutory Rape’ far more offensive.  This is more of a superfluous, knee-deep piece of writing discussing, amongst other things, the parts of Halo Reach that I found a little bit annoying.

“Chase me, chase me!”

As with all of the Halo games, I played this offline and in co-op campaign mode with Billy. I don’t like playing Halo online because everyone else seems to be freakishly better than me at everything.  I tend to get nailed within about 10 seconds of appearing on the screen, usually by herds of angst-ridden teenagers with dehydration headaches from the sheer volume of semen they have excreted into their bedsheets during their short lives.  I much prefer to play in co-op mode because, well, Billy is way better at Halo than I am and, crucially, he’s on my side.  I find it a more enjoyable experience if he is involved, even if he is always Player 1 and therefore chooses the standard green-coloured Master Chief outfit, leaving me with the slightly gayer pink one.  Not very intimidating unless The Covenant think I’m going to bum them to death or force them to listen to Kylie on a loop until they voluntarily throw themselves in front of a turret.

Of course it is a good game, Bungie would be hard pushed to make it shit with the success of the previous instalments having done most of the work for them. The graphics are ridiculously impressive as always, the story line is decent – if a tiny bit boring at times – and the cut scenes aren’t too long.  The weapons, vehicles and enemies haven’t really changed which means that you can just pick up the controller and get on with it from the beginning.  There is no start-of-game fannying around trying to figure out what the hell is going on or what buttons to press.  This is handy if, like me, you’re about as patient as Christian Bale in a Marks & Spencer supermarket on Christmas eve.

Enough of the good points though, I much prefer to focus on the insignificant negative details and I’m going to start with the female character, Kat.  Why is she a Polish one-armed lesbian?  I’ve had a good think about this and I’m not really sure it’s essential to the plot. I reckon some muff-diving, Eastern European and limb-challenged gamers wrote in complaining that the characters were not representative of their audience so they just kind of threw Kat in there to make it look like they give a shit about minorities. Well, I’m not buying it Bungie – you forgot about ginger, Asian burn-victims. What a bunch of irresponsible bastards you are.

*sigh* I just don’t think my dad will understand.

The dialogue is also a bit cringey.  I know that we have come to expect cheesy one-liners when playing these types of games but it doesn’t get any easier for me to listen to.  One particular line that ruined my day was this attempt at stopping two guys from arguing:

“Lock it down, both of ya!”.

Lock it down?  Who even says that?  Why not just say “Can you two stop arguing please?” or “Shut the fuck up”? They did slightly redeem themselves later on in the game by using the term “slag heap” but it is an American game so it was probably more of a mining term than a reference to heaving mounds of sexually promiscuous women.  Whatever though, I’ll take it.

The biggest problem I had with Halo Reach is not entirely the fault of the game but a total pain in the arse nonetheless.  Having avoided the internet like the plague for fear of stumbling upon any spoilers, Billy and I began The Pillar of Autumn completely unaware that it was the final level.  Instantly upon completing it, Billy went for a pee and I went to source a packet of pickled onion Monster Munch that I had forgotten about at the bottom of one of my handbags. We missed the credits and returned to the living room to see ‘Lone Wolf’ which, to us, was the next level but in reality was a bonus level that is specifically designed to be unbeatable. I think we tried to complete it for over four hours before we eventually caved and had to google it.  We still didn’t get it.  Wait, that was the final level?  The final level is unbeatable?  It’s a bonus level?  There were credits?  What the fuck?  This transformed what was supposed to be an epic, original and emotional conclusion into a seriously deflating, confusing and utter shit ending.

Although this was highly disappointing for me, I do see where they were coming from. This ending was clearly aimed at the social outcasts who wear Master Chief pyjamas, use Cortana as wank-fodder and know the storyline inside out, and that is how it should be. I wasn’t die-hard enough to deserve a satisfying conclusion – I sometimes even feel guilty for killing Grunts when they run around all cute with their arms flapping in the air.  On reflection, I probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Halo. Ignore everything I have said about this game.