A Wedding…by the numbers

Life is about perspective and being an academic who has had to train himself to get better at quantitative analysis, I do…at times…try to think of the common or exceptional through a different lens. This exercise usually ends up providing a glimpse into myself, my biases, my thought process, and allows me to view the world at a slight off kilter view. This new view is important when considering my recent nuptials…naturally this data is important and affects the in depth analysis.

On Saturday, November 9th, 2013, at 11:15am…Mr. and Mrs. Sublimemonkey were married in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. This ceremony was quick and in front of close friends and family…but that is only a quick summary. Here are the numbers:

Number of invites mailed – 58 

Number of RSVP “yes” replies  – 29

Number of no-shows – 3

Number of total  people invited  – 138 [total includes small children and unicorns]

Number of total attended – 60 [total includes small children, midget wrestlers, and unicorns]

Number given to caterer – 60 [damn I love being right]

Mileage of longest travel (one way) for a member of wedding party – 1,187 miles

Total mileage of wedding party travel – 3,229 miles

Average mileage of traveling wedding party – 807 miles

Average mileage of whole wedding party – 403 miles

Number of chairs at reception – 54 [a lot of us never sat down until we fell down]

Number of tables at reception – 6 [yes we made strangers sit together]

Number of table decorations made by bride – 0 [thankfully her groom and 16yo daughter have some decorating skills]

Number of tiers to wedding cake – 3 [the girls wanted 4, but analysis of weight of cakes and number of actual tiers on wedding cake stand determined otherwise]

Number of wedding party who worked on cake – 5 [bride and 16yo daughter did most of the hard labor…11yo daughter did the decorations…groom and friend did precision work]

Number of Lego Michael Jackesons on wedding cake – 1

Number of Lego witches on wedding cake – 1

Number of cats rambling among guests during and after ceremony – 1

Number of dogs that would not shut up their barking regardless of the amount “relaxation” drugs given – 1

Number of tiny dogs carried around by numerous young girls attending wedding – 1

Number of grooms’ mothers kayaking at the reception – 1

Number of male guests required to ensure groom’s mother doesn’t go for a swim – 7

Number of bottles of bourbon before reception – a metric assload

Number of bottles of bourbon remaining after reception – 0

Hours of wedding reception – 12 [seems a few guests stayed until most alcohol was consumed and all food consumed]

Time of bride and groom’s trip to Waffle House following reception – 4:06am

Conclusion: We have some truly great friends. We have a good time and life is grand.

For those of you who haven’t given us a gift yet…we could really use some more bourbon.

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After 6 hours I am a Bad Ass…Call of Duty’s Ghosts “Review”

I purposely made myself wait until I had finished laundry and dinner. I cleaned the litter box and ensured the cats had food and water. I checked email and Facebook statuses. I called my fiancee to confirm wedding plans were on track. During dinner I watched an episode of Brickleberry. All of this was nothing more than a delaying tactic…because I knew once I started playing CoD’s Ghosts…I would be rooted to my couch with headset on and controller in hand. Now I know why gamblers, who are addicts, shit and piss themselves in casinos….when you are getting fed your “entertainment” drug…bodily functions become secondary. CoD’s Ghosts is a drug…and like any addict, I am going to be…at best…partially inarticulate in my review of my new drug of choice. If you have any desire to read a well-written review of the game…go here.

Once I considered the evening’s tasks were completed, I sat down and started Ghosts. First I went straight to multiplayer. Getting my ass beat by 14 year-olds is my perverse pleasure. The only character I had “open” to use was a female named “Buchanan.” She wore a blue cargo pants, blue ball cap, blue tshirt, and blue jacket…basically she looked looked like a postal carrier. She had an annoying voice that seemed to scream out high-pitched commands such as “targets on the patio!” or “we have movement in the tunnel!”…”you’re missing the target!”…if I wanted to listen to a woman complain and scream I could go to a Nordstrom’s shoe sale and tell the assembled estrogen-fueled crowd “yo, bitches pick a pair and move out!”

It wasn’t until later, when a friend (Turp) got on that we figured out that the 10 squad members you are “assigned” (when you start the game) could be modified by gender, race, equipment, and camouflage. The longer you play the game and the more points you accrue, the more squad members you can unlock and use. Basically, Bitch Buchanan became Zulu, an Asian-American warrior decked out in SpecOps ball cap (made famous in Afghanistan), sweet urban camo, and tactical gear that made him look almost robotic. With a quick modification, I no longer had to listen to some bitch scream about targets, and instead I got to listen to my cool and calm American Ninja identify and eliminate targets with my limited proficiency at multiplayer gaming.

The player/squad member modification and load out system of Ghosts will enthrall those (primarily males) who find an unbearable urge to rack up kills and points so you can collect/unlock more shit…so you can get better and collect and unlock more shit….AND the game is barely over 24hours out…and already there are some people (adult male children who live in their mother’s basement) out there who have done nothing but play Ghosts for the past 24 hours…these muthafuckas have collected/unlocked a lot of shit…and they are killing the rest of us like sheep at the slaughter.

Once I had figured out the player/squad member modification with Turp’s assistance, we endured multiple hours of ass-beating in multi-player gaming. Seems there will always be some 13yo boy…or 21yo college kid…that will have more experience and more nimble fingers that will make you his bitch over and over. I find that my best tactic is to run blindly into buildings…or across courtyards and hoping some true gamer is going to be looking the wrong way and I can shoot him in the ass. More often than not I finish a 10 minute game with 7-10 kills coupled with 15-20 deaths. My kills-to-deaths ratio is woefully lacking…but when I die…I die in style. I spin, I fly, I explode…I make my clan proud.

Speaking of clans, basically throughout the COD game franchise has allowed you and your friends to name your “team” as long as it is only four letters or numbers…”FART” is not allowed (yes I tried to name my clan FART)…which I find odd…cause who doesn’t want to be part of the FART clan? Back when COD Modern Warefare 3 was the newest game, my clan…which numbered about 8…was the “TARD” clan. Then when COD BlackOps II came out, “TARD” was not allowed…well seems the COD designers have backed off and “TARD” is once again allowed as a clan tag. Right now Turp and I are the only members of the TARD clan…but soon my BFF (Happydingo) will get his copy of the game and a 3rd TARD clan member will join. Trust me, any clan named “TARD” does little to instill fear in the hearts of its opponents…and we are sort proud of our inability to compete with other clans.

Speaking of competing…within the 6 hours I played last night…4 hours were filled with me just being utterly amazed by the graphics. Unlike former versions of COD games…and other first person shooter games…there is nothing but seamless flow of scenery, movement, and explosions. Wind shifts cause realistic smoke to waif across the battlefield. Explosions change the map…a precise or accidental grenade or missile strike will destroy a wall or topple a gas station cover…one minute the scenery is pristine and sedate…the next moment shit is blowing up and shit is toppling over. Every time a new series in this franchise comes out I expect very little upgrade to graphics or gaming experience…and every time I am wrong. Shit be looking real yo!

Multi-player gaming with friends is why I buy these games and spend countless hours sitting on my ass dipping Skoal, ignoring two cats attempting to sit on my lap, and drinking endless Cokes; however, I do play the campaign version of the game…and last night I spent an hour doing the first chapter of the campaign. Supposedly, experienced gamers can complete the campaign in about 10 hours…for me this means it will take me about 20 hours. I die as much in the campaign version as the multi-player version…thus I have to redo a lot of missions until I get it right. Seems screaming “YOLO” and charging into a room full of bad guys is not how one completes the campaign…who knew?

The campaign premise is Red Dawn on steroids …and instead of Middle Eastern terrorists, Russians, Chinese, or Koreans being the bad guys…a federation of South American nations in the near future have become a world dominant force and turn a US-designed and -owned space-base weapon system against us…and then they invade. Basically, Southern California becomes a destroyed and apocalyptic wasteland that you and your brother (now soldiers in what is left in the American defense forces) traverse in an attempt to link up with this ultra bad-ass group of American warriors called “Ghosts” and kick South American ass. No spoiler alert necessary, cause like I said…I spent most of my time fighting 14 year-olds instead of Huego Chavez’s computer warriors. Basically, from what I can tell…the ultimate goal of the campaign is to prove you are bad ass enough to be a “Ghost” and get opportunity after opportunity to kick Spanish-speaking muthafuckas who have invaded America…which makes me think that COD Ghosts might be trying a bit too hard to appease the Tea Party mentality of America…or the game designers got tired of using the same ol’ baddies (Russians, Chinese, Muslims, and North Koreans). Regardless, the campaign is interesting enough to keep you focussed and allow you to consume Coke after Coke…and fill Skoal spit bottle after bottle.

This is nothing but juvenile entertainment…primarily male juvenile entertainment. Kill people…get better weapons and abilities…to kill more people…and then just like paper dolls…you get to dress up your character like some modern digital Barbie Doll. I am 43 years old, I am a military veteran, I am professionally published, I teach college, and pretty much considered a contributing member of society…yet as P.O.D. says “…here comes the boom…”…yeah I am a bad ass that can kick your teen’s ass and South American computer AI warriors…it don’t get harder than that. If you are looking for a fight…come calling cause the TARD clan takes shit from no one!…well unless you live in your mom’s basement and you’ve collected more weapons, perks, uniforms…and shit…or unless I have to clean the cat litter, do laundry…or go to work. Being an adult makes it kind of hard being  a Call of Duty Ghost bad ass…life be hard and shit.