I had within me this belief for the longest time that I could purchase things that would then make me a happier person. And to a certain point, I think I still believe that that is true. It’s just that the things that it would require to achieve this are horribly expensive now, and most are rather illegal. That having been said, in the recent past, I’ve still purchased a number of items with the sincere belief that my life would be noticeably altered for the better because of said purchase. So for this little post, I thought I’d rate how these purchases actually faired:
- Handspring Visor
I bought the Visor thinking that with it I would organize my life, and consequently be more on top of things, be more organized, aware of things going on, and thus miss less important dates/happenings, and therefore be happier. Seems sound enough, no? So I bought the thing, and felt pretty good about it. The first problem was quickly encountered… where and I supposed to put the thing? It doesn’t fit in a pants pocket very well. I’m not going to add it to my belt like I’m Batman or something. If I just held it in my hand I’d decrease my productivity by around 50%, and that’s unacceptable. It was winter, so it did fit nicely in my coat (speaking of which, my coat is one of the 3 redeeming features of winter. I love my coat.) So anyway, I solved the ‘where do I put it’ problem with a clever schedule of cargo pants and coat wearing.
Figuring out how to use the thing was easy. Getting phone numbers and lists, etc.. into the thing was easy. At the time I didn’t have a home computer with USB, so I never synced the thing. So come one fine morning when I find the thing refusing to start up.. and realizing the batteries had just zapped themselves to death, erasing everything I had put in there, I was less than pleased. Considering the only time I actually used the thing was when I was given a new phone number, or when I was ordering pizza, the thing was not really proving itself worth more than a handy piece of paper. But, nevertheless, I pressed on. My brother used his religiously, so I figured I just had to get used to having it, and I’d find more uses for it. Turns out I eventually did. It is currently propping up my computer’s microphone an extra inch almost. Certainly worth the investment. I guess when it comes down to it, I just like using a piece of paper better, and there are better places to store phone numbers… like on a phone.
- Nintendo Gamecube
Ok… I don’t know if this is particularly fair, because really, I bought the Gamecube for Zelda, which doesn’t come out until February of next year. I can assure you that next February you’ll not be hearing from me for a while. (For the record, as far as my employers need to know, I have Mono.) But even so, I’ve had the Cube for almost a year now, so I can give at least a little grade to how it’s done in its mission “to make my life happier”. I’ve got a number of games, including Star Wars Rogue Leader, Super Monkey Ball, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Starfox Adventures. No denying that the games look amazing. Some of the scenes in StarFox are downright breathtaking. And the games are fun. Monkeyball was the highlight of many a long, late night gaming session back when I got it. But as happens with many games, it fell out of the rotation, and now sits, collecting dust. Star Wars was exactly what I wanted it to be… Fun, gorgeous, true to the movies, and hard as hell… but then I beat it. And once you beat a hard game, there’s just no real reason to play it again. Besides, if you aren’t playing it every day, then when you try picking it up again a short time later, you just realize that you suck at it again, and it’s not worth playing anymore. So the game itself gets a big thumbs up, as it served its purpose, but only for a while. (The purpose of Video Games –> To take my mind off of all other stresses in my life, including, but not limited to: Work, Money, War, Crime, Women [woman] and what the hell is going on inside their [her] head.) So as I said, Star Wars served this purpose, as did StarFox, for a time. I’m 50% through StarFox, but was forced to take a break a break, and I lost interest.. and now it’ll take a little work to get back into it. But between Star Wars and StarFox there was a giant chunk of time where there wasn’t a game to take my mind off of my so-called life, and my complete inability to live it correctly. Were it not for the fantabulous Jedi Knight 2 for PC coming along, I don’t know what I would have done. So far I guess the gamecube passes… but just barely… and based mainly on its promise of shiny Zelda goodness in the next year.
- My Cellphone
I was long overdue for a cellphone, and my repeated inability to keep myself, my keys and my car locks all in the right locations finally forced me into getting one. Once I got it, I instantly loved it. (though not in a sexual way.) The best part was that people called me. Suddenly, having a phone was actually a good thing. It was grand. If you’re reading this, than odds are you’ve seen me spring to life when the thing started ringing on at least one occasion. As the weeks went on the thing continued to prove useful, and I grew to treat the thing like one of those eggs high school kids have to take care of like it was a child, much to the amusement of my compatriots. But time went on, and the thing stopped ringing. So that now it just sits there, mocking me like the Raven perched on the pallid bust of Pallas. (and my phone shall ring Nevermore…) Anyway, the thing is useful, but it just seems like yet another way to be ignored, ultimately. Sometimes it’s kinda nice having a decent excuse why no one is trying to get a hold of you. But then again, sometimes I think it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
Thankfully, despite everything, you always know there’s something you can count on to get you through the day.