This entire week has been one big ball of stress.
See, it started out last Sunday, when I ended up working at night during the Fourth of July. 5:30 to 10:30 at night. It was 10:20, I was just starting to cash out, and suddenly five people decide they want pizza. The closer, of course, gets the two orders close by. I, who’s supposed to be off in ten minutes, get the three orders that are by the harbor. I end up coming home at roughly 11:30. Was it worth it? No. One of the orders gave me a hassle because I gave him only four packets each of cheese and peppers when that was all I had (and bear in mind, I still had two more orders left to deliver, so they’re SOL if they want that stuff). My last order was at the Sheraton Hotel, in the room on the very opposite corner of the parking lot, and I get there to find out that they had supposedly never ordered anything.
Dad takes the whole week off to paint the main bedroom. So no time to myself. Like I’d get any to begin with; because of the three days I needed to take off, they gave me four 11-8 shifts. I come home on Wednesday to learn that hey, remember how you spent your entire day off last week (and only day off, mind you) rearranging all the furniture in your room? Well, take it all down – they’re installing carpet tomorrow morning (first thing, of course) and they’re not going to move anything that isn’t cleaned out. Gee, thanks for rendering the 4 hours I spent lifting my bookcase and dragging my desk across the room pointless.
Thursday. I wake up at 8:30, take my shower, and get out just in time for the carpet guys to pull into the driveway. Fuck. I jump into some clothes and get the hell out of there, thinking that the last thing I want to do is get in Dad’s way at this time. I go out for breakfast, go to Golf ‘n’ Stuff to use up the $5 voucher we had left over from Jon’s visit two months ago, fail miserably on DrumMania, find the DDR Extreme out of order so I play 4th Solo (where two of the four arrows are malfunctioning), see Spider-Man 2 (damn good movie, although I don’t know if it’s as good as the first), then head over to EA to use their computers (since I can’t use it at home right now), argue with LJ commenters about tipping pizza people, and head back home just in time for them to finish carpeting my room. So now I have to reassemble my furniture a second time, taking caution not to unbox anything that would cause Dad to sneer at me when he comes in to clear out the dresser that he’s giving to me but still contains his stuff while it’s in my room.
Friday. I wake up at 7:00 to drive my Mom & Grandma to LAX, where they’re going to Chicago for the week (meaning another week alone with Dad. At least he’ll be working this week; I don’t think I could last entire week alone with him.) On the way back, I head to Office Depot to buy a new chair for my desk to replace the old dirty one I’ve been using, and a mat for the chair to put on the carpet. I then go to the mall and consider buying a poster for the room (since with the reconfiguration, my walls are pretty damn bare), but decide against it once again for the reason of not wanting to hear Dad sigh in digust when he sees a poster of Spider-Man or the Hulk on my wall. Come home, assemble the chair, crash for about an hour, then kinda laze around until 8:00, when I go to tonight’s LAN party.
Which is where our story reaches a climax.
I’ve been trying to AAA Miracle Moon for a month and a half now. And it’s getting damn frustrating to get that one Great on the same step Every. Fucking. Time. And if I manage to hit it right, I’ll pick up a random Great elsewhere. I play the song five times in a row (including Extra Stage). 10, 4, 2, 1, and a walk-off about a third of the way in after getting 1 again. I pass Club ver. Oni – miraculously – despite both my shoes coming untied during the course. Now, one of the DDR regulars at EA is getting pretty good at the game. I lost to him by one Perfect on Afronova during the tournament we had about three months ago. We play another Oni – From IIDX – on Versus mode. I trail him the entire way, get tied up on Burning Heat and fail. He ends up clearing the course and plastering me by over 1100 points. We then play Paranoia Brothers, the MAX2 version. I get tied up on Dirty Mix and fail, screaming an expletive as I walk off. He gets up to Evolution before the pads act up and fail him. He plays the course again (with me brooding on the sidelines) and clears it. The dude is 13 years old – half my age – and has been playing for 8 months – which is less than a third as long as I’ve been playing. And he’s beating me. He’s beating me consistently and emphatically.
I think I have a right to be pissed.
Seems like whenever there’s stress, it always bubbles over when I play DDR, mainly because at the same time I’m trying to accomplish something that is just out of reach. I know I can AAA that song, but it just doesn’t happen. It never happens. Meanwhile, others are blowing past me, and I can’t do a damn thing about it. Now I know I’m never going to reach JSB’s level – hell, if I ever placed in the brackets of a legitimate tournament I’d probably die of shock – but it’s extremely frustrating to watch as you constantly run into the wall that others are so effortlessly jumping over.
This seems to be a running gag in my life. I’ve been told that I have talent, I have skills and abilities that others would kill to possess. But if I ever try to actually use these talents, I fail, often spectacularly. Just once, I’d like to be a person that others look at and say, “Hey, there’s Tim/Loog. He absolutely rocks at ____.” Fill in the blank with anything. DDR, television, writing, making wicker baskets, walking on my hands, the history of rutebagas, anything. It doesn’t have to be terribly significant. I just want something that I can be secure in knowing that there’s something that I’m good at, I’m competitive at, that I have peers in. Not things that I think I’m good at, only to find that not only am I nowhere near the best at it, but people are getting better than the best I can muster every day.
I want to be good at something.