February 23rd, 2009

Cats: Techno!

Left 4 Dead, deerstalker, furniture store adventures

On Saturday, Joey and I met hammond for an exploration of That Weird Old Furniture Store in Woollongabba. We'd been there before, years ago (I probably even wrote about it here) but it was high time for another visit.

The place is as musty and mazelike as ever. Of particular note are the signs that it used to be a factory of some sort: One of the back rooms contains an old conveyor belt leading down into the darkness, and also an industrial lift covered with "Warning, Keep Away" signs.

We found many freaky bits of furniture (and for some reason, about a dozen sets of lawn bowls) but nothing worth rescuing. Well, there was a particular Enid Blyton book, but I won't write about that here 'til I bring it in and scan it, because the cover was the reason I bought it, and it must be seen to be understood.

Afterwards, we piled into Hammond's car and went to the Elysium, a new 'net cafe in the Valley, where Hammond might be working some shifts soon. Joe and I joined up, and the three of us proceeded to have a fantastic zombie-slaying time in a network game of 'Left 4 Dead'. Joe played the grizzled hat-wearing veteran, Hammond was the Cool Black Guy, and I played the token female. I don't usually enjoy first person shooters, but this one was wall-to-wall fun. I'm not sure if it was the zombies (I love zombies) or the co-operative gameplay... probably a mixture... but I felt like I was able to hold my own in the game, and that made it more enjoyable.

Hammond had to skedaddle after an hour or so of this, but Joe and I stayed on and played the afternoon away. Steam went down for a while and we played solo games, which highlighted the differences in our playing styles: Joe had the "run through every level screaming and blasting whatever pops up directly in front of you" approach, whereas I was more of the "walk through, coldly and methodically killing every zombie ever" style. I think Joe's approach was better for general survival, but I found mine more satisfying. They were mercy killings!

There are four environments to work through, each one sort of a mini-game of its own. I had exceptionally rotten luck at the end of each level. I survived one, but in ALL the other three, I'd make it all the bloody way through only to be mobbed by zombies seconds before setting foot on the rescue plane / chopper / boat, and watch it go sailing away as I shouted, "Nooooooooo!"


Anyway. We decided to walk from the Valley back to the Gabba because we'd left our car there. This turned out to be an adventure; we made it across the Story Bridge alright, but then somehow wound up walking a huge circle back to the bridge exit! Straightening ourselves out, we managed to make it back to the Gabba after nightfall, and it was a really pleasant walk, even though every time we spotted other walkers in silhouette, I still felt vaguely like I should be aiming for a headshot.

We're thinking of doing regular Tuesday night zombie shootathons at the Elysium - my pole pump class finishes at 6:30, I can shower there, change and hop a train to the Valley and be at the net cafe by 7, and shooting some zombies would be an awesome way to reward myself for all that hard work! JB has already expressed interest, I'll have to see how many other workmates I can get along.

Sunday, we went to a short "Writing for Children" class at the State Library. It was only an hour long, but we got a few tidbits of good info out of it (and a nice coffee from the cafe next door). After we headed home, I did some more writing. Up to nearly 9k words now. A few hundred of those might even be good. ;) We didn't do much else, though on Sunday night we watched 'The Host' (better late than never) and it was both funny and riveting. Why can't Western cinema make such effective monster movies?

Today I got a parcel at work, and it turned out to be a Holmes-style deerstalker hat, a surprise gift from Joey. It's an 'Elope' brand hat, which I remembered from my MDI days - they always have a little fortune hidden in a velcro pocket inside. My fortune reads: "A good time to finish up old tasks"... I'm pretty sure my new hat is telling me to get back to work. D: