Icewind Dale tantrums, the phantom cat, and Monty Python...

After weeks of being absorbed by Icewind Dale, I am at the last battle...and looks like I'm going to stay there. I blame the stupid game...for some reason, it refused to give most of my characters more than 1 or 2 hit points per level, except on rare occasions. As a result, my party is going into the final fight with a bunch of pencil-necked wimps with 40-60 hp. My ranger was an exception...he has 105. I swear, I only got past the fire giants by taking advantage of the game engine...I attacked one giant, made a quick exit, then came in through the other cave door and had my wizard rain down ice storms on them from the top of a cliff. Well, if the game can play dirty, so can I, eh?

Anyway, I have fought the final battle with the same result time and time again: no survivors on my side. There was a suggestion online to cast the Word of Power: Silence on the big ugly villain, and my wizard actually survived long enough to do it...once. That was my best fight--the villain was actually 'Badly Wounded' when my last character met his gruesome demise. The 'Word of Power' doesn't last long, sadly. And I don't think I can stand to listen to the villain's 'monologing' or the sacrifice speech one more time. Cheats, anyone?

Icewind Dale is the first RPG I've bought since Realmz and Yipe! That's because they take over my life. In party-type games I always have a pair of fighters named Tom Slasher (dwarf) and Hack Finn, a cleric named Gertrude the Good, and a thief named Twilight Tillie. Those names have been with me since my C64 days, the good old Pool of Radiance times. The spellcasters' names vary more, though Friday the 13th was a name I used for several games.

Something else has been sucking up the rest of my free time: British TV. I buy the videos for a small-town library, and we recently acquired the complete Monty Python series, as well as the complete Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. Finished the last of the Monty Pythons today while cleaning up the bike (finished TotU long ago), and have a burning urge to put my hair in rollers, tie a babushka over them, and talk in a shrieky falsetto voice. Funny thing about the Monty Python guys...John Cleese is the only one I can attach a name to. I know the other names, but have no idea which is which, and if I ever saw one of them in something else, would only be able to say, "Hey, that's that Monty Python guy!"

Completely unrelated, I keep thinking I might get a cat. This is clearly an example of the reckless part of my brain trying to completely screw over the practical part. I don't need the expense, responsibility, litter odor or cat hair--I'm a bad enough housekeeper as it is, and have a German Shepherd to help me keep my apartment in knee-deep hair and muddy pawprints already. Moreover, it seems like many of the people I know who have cats end up spending fortunes on vet fees and prescription cat foods due to various urinary and kidney disfunctions cats appear prone to. And I keep reminding myself that cats in real life don't act the way cats do in books...coming over to cozy up on your lap when you're relaxing. No, real cats prefer to sit on your face when you're asleep, or jump onto your computer table and rub against your face, purring, as they step on the power button, or pretend you are a palm tree and claw their way to the top, or cozy up on your lap when you're trying to eat or do something else made impossibly inconvenient by the obstacle of a cat in the lap. Just like real dogs don't really put their head on your knee and look up at you adoringly unless they're nervous you're going to forget to give them their share of your sandwich.

I think it's because my dog is going to be 12 years old this year. I know I can't expect her to be around too many years more, and I don't want to have to come home some grim day to an empty, petless apartment. I live in an upstairs apartment with no yard (it's a miracle I could even keep my dog--bless my landlord!) so a new puppy is entirely out of the question. Unless it was a rat-sized or comatose breed. But it's okay for an old pooch, who no longer wants to run around outside for hours. And in her declining years, perhaps a cat would at least give her something to bark at when I'm not home...