Friday, March 16, 2012

Dale reports on his post-surgery activities (which include hunting cougars with a knife)

For the last two and a bit weeks, I have been spending most of my time lounging around, in recovery mode due to a hernia repair on Feb. 28. My last post was the night before the surgery, which I was kind of freaking out over, since I have never had surgery before and the idea of someone slicing open my bellybutton and shoving bits of me from the outside to the inside of my body still gives me the heebie jeebies.

This was not helped, by the way, by my friend Donna, whose idea of a pep talk the day before the surgery consisted of telling me about her friend who had a similar surgery and that the pain was like going “to hell and back”. Thank you, Florence Nightingmare.

The surgery went well, with a slight complication that I can't discuss, only because the surgeon explained it to me while I was still heavily sedated, and my memory of this discussion is very likely inaccurate because I can't think of any legitimate way the subject of unicorns could have been part of that particular conversation. Also, I don't think that, during the discussion, I actually woke up back in high school and suddenly realized I was naked and had forgotten to study for my exam. The chances that that was real are slim at best.

The upshot is that I have been unable to sit upright for long periods of time, and so have done no writing. My time has been filled with watching TV, movies, and Red Dead Redemption.

After two weeks of this I was able to take my first long walk, and was exhausted when it was done. Plus my legs were sore for the next two days. After only two weeks of inactivity. Just to be clear, for almost two years I have been working out six days a week, and part of that workout is running between one and three miles every day, depending on my weights/cardio ratio for that week. And I'm not supposed to do any real exercise for several more weeks. So I'm mentally preparing myself for an uphill battle a few weeks from now, with much soreness in the cards.

In the meantime I've watched several of the films I've been meaning to watch, including Warrior, Bellflower, Kill List, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and The House of the Devil. I've also been catching up on and/or re-watching some of my favourite TV shows, like Spaced, Downton Abbey, Dead Set, Peep Show, and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. I'd love to discuss any of these (or other) titles, so feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section. It would be cool to get some lively discourse happening.

And, by the way, I know this post may come across like a diary entry, and in the last two weeks I've had at least three topics to write about pop up, but I did not write them down and, having a shit memory to start with (and lots and lots of Tylenol 3 do not help with this state), I could not remember any of them. So I figured I'd approach this with a sort of “let's catch up” attitude and see where it took me. Not very far, apparently.

As for Red Dead, I had planned on playing through it quickly, since I have a backlog of games I'd like to plow through. These are games that I started and lost track of and need to go back to, like Bioshock, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Arkham Asylum, GTA 4, LA Noire, and Modern Warfare 2. I am also told I need to play the Mass Effect games.

But I can't seem to play through Red Dead quickly, and for that I blame my completionist leanings. With the time I've put into the game, I could have easily finished the main storyline by now, but there are so many side missions and challenges to do that I'm barely a third of the way through the game. And six years of World of Warcraft just makes this worse. I am so used to games being work that I have no problem wasting time with repetitive tasks, like spending hours trying to hunt cougars with a knife, just for a challenge achievement (I need to kill two for the challenge, and still don't have the first kill. Cougars hurt very badly. Also knives just seem to make them angry).

I am also trying to capture (and break) all the breeds of horses in the game (mount-collecting being another by-product of WoW). Horses aren't prized companions in this game, like Trigger or Silver. They die frequently and must be constantly replaced. And much of the time there is nothing you can do about it. I've lost track of the times that I've been riding along, minding my own business, when a cougar (“COUGAR!!!” he screamed at the heavens, cradling his dead horse in his arms) attacked out of nowhere, killing my horse instantly.

My all-time favourite horse-death, however, was a few days ago: I was hunting bad guys in a canyon, and decided to whistle for my horse. A second later I heard his galloping hooves, and turned just in time to watch him plummet down the side of a cliff to his doom. And I don't mean that he leapt of the cliff and crashed to the ground. It was more like he had been killed at the top of the cliff and then was rolled down like a giant bag of wet laundry. Some people see these animals as majestic, noble beasts, but this game just proves what I've always said about horses. They're just big rats with hooves.

Well, that about catches us all up, and I'll keep you posted on my progress in the game. I'm going to go for a long walk now, and then it's back to the great cougar hunt.


  1. I thought I was mentioned by name - I'm sad now

  2. You don't like horses? That makes me sad ;)