Tag: reggae

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rockstar Games (2004/15), Xbox 360. A third-person, open-world action-adventure game set in 1990s San Andreas, a fictional US state based on California and Nevada. I am playing single player.

Welcome to Month 9 of the TLYW Year of Console Gaming, which thunders through history like a juggernaut, or, more accurately, like 14 juggernauts, carefully arranged in order of the precise moment of history that they are attempting to blow up.

Having left the Batman of the 1940s behind, we unhesitatingly leap forward 50 years this month, entering the 1990s and things that happened within living memory. This month’s game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was originally released in 2004, only about 10 years after the period in which it is set. It was then remastered for the Xbox 360 in 2015 and in fact this monumental game is the reason why I even own an Xbox in the first place and why I eventually set out on this year-long quest to become better at console gaming.

GTA: San Andreas follows the adventures of CJ, a member of one of two rival gangs based on the Crips and the Bloods, in a city based on Los Angeles. The game features gang warfare, police brutality and events inspired by the 1992 LA riots that followed the beating of Rodney King. This game might be the centrepiece of the Year of the Console. This will be my second or third attempt at carving out time to play it, over the course of two years, and nothing will stop me this time. I will give it as much time this month as I can make available.

Upon its release in 2004, San Andreas won a string of awards, including Game of the Year, Best Soundtrack, Best Action Game (VGX), Ultimate Game of the Year (Golden Joystick), Best Action Adventure Game, Funniest Game and Best Voice Acting (GameSpot). It has an IGN rating of 9.9. The Best Soundtrack award is for San Andreas’s incredible radio stations, which you listen to while driving stolen cars around Los Santos at 200mph and mowing down rival gang members and the police. There are 11 fully-functional radio stations, 20 DJs, the largest track listing of licensed music ever featured in an action game, hilarious spoof commercials and the genres span rap (of course, it’s LA circa 1992), reggae, rock, pop and country. The radio stations are in themselves a reason for playing. Here’s my favourite, reggae station K-JAH West. So many TLYW favourites on this station.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: K-JAH West ft. various artists (2004)

gta_grand_theft_auto_san_andreas_characters_graphics_15843_1920x1080

Tribute video commemorating the game’s 10th anniversary, this is what I am in for all this month. Excitedly awaited.

 

Merry Xmas, readers.

Tidings of comfort and joy, etc. A very happy Xmas to everyone. Thanks for being with me through the year. Let’s have a Xmas choon.

Jacob Miller & Ray I: Deck The Halls (1978)

Right, I must get on with some stuff. I slept until midday and all I’ve done since then is chat to cute boys on Whatsapp and collect my presents from under the World of Warcraft Xmas tree. It’s already 2.30pm and I should have a shower and put on my new Xmas pyjamas, check out that print. It is irony city around here today. Dinner will be served later.

gingerbread-pyjamas

Moving forwards to a solution.

As my two full-time jobs are very much in full swing, I am still completely exhausted. I think nothing of getting up at 4am or even 3.30 every day and putting in a full day of work before I go to the office. My head aches, my sense of humour is suffering.

  • Three more weeks and counting until I don’t have to go that office several days a week. Just three more weeks to go. I can physically survive until Friday 9 December, then I can sleep all weekend, then I can work from home and do more tax returns.
  • Business is booming. New client talking about a project in January. Current client happy. Previous client talking about sending me back to Africa because they want me to become an expert on African brands, retailing and shopping, so that means visiting lots more countries. We are looking at Ethiopia (Selassie I! Rastafari!), Cote d’Ivoire and another one TBC in the first instance. This would be great for 2017. Send me home to Africa. I feel it is where I need to be. I might have an epiphany in Ethiopia and stay there.
  • As long time readers may remember, the one shining light of 2016 that kept me going while I endured a whole year of daily work hell was the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with. We were together all day the other day and it was a really nice day, then the same evening he suddenly became unpleasant. He had a funny turn like that, where he just became a complete bitch out of the blue, in August, that lasted two or three days. At that time, I complained. He apologised and made an effort to be nicer. Then this week he did it again. I have no words, except I do, actually, and complained quite bitterly, but he doesn’t have the balls / cognitive and language skills / necessary motivation to take any action to make amends, so I take it that we are through with each other. Thanks, buddy. You really could have waited until December because I have another three punishing and thankless 80-hour working weeks to get through. I really didn’t need you being a little bitch right now.
  • ONE OF MY CLIENTS HAS FINALLY PAID ME. Fucking hell. I finally got paid for that US trip I did in the summer. As a result:

my-plan

It is the obvious solution, isn’t it. I haven’t counted but I think I go on holiday on average every two years and it has proved to be great at restoring my health and helping me to resolve life’s big problems.

  • Jordan, 2013. 2013 was a tough year, in lots of ways. It was pretty horrible. The Head Honcho didn’t help. At my lowest ebb I went to Jordan and stayed at the Intercontinental in Aqaba. It was great, the weather was great, I went to the gym every day and lost weight and fell in love. One of the best holidays I’ve ever been on.
  • Spain, 2015. I returned to the UK, was the victim of major crime, flirted with anti-depressants and my business went off the rails. By Easter of 2015 I was having a one-woman economic crisis and career apostasy so I went to a resort in Spain, read some business books and re-designed my life from the ground up.
  • Destination tbc, 2017. Following Spain, took a second job which could have been the start of a second career, but wasn’t. Worked insane hours. Got my business back on its feet and started believing in capitalism again. Quit the second job. Experienced romantic trauma. Went on holiday to a luxury resort in (TBC) where it is hot and I can swim in the sea and get some outdoor exercise and also rest.

Decision made. I am very tired and a bit broken. I’m going to start looking at destinations with the right weather for this time of year. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to visit my brothers and sisters in Jamaica.

Sing along. Jah. Jah. Jah-maica.

Dr Alimantado: Johnny Was A Baker (1978)

Romance

Work is very full-on, as I knew it would be. I am trying to satisfy my commercial clients and pay some bills in time to resume working at the world’s most horrible company next week.

Despite my packed schedule, I’ve managed to form a relationship with someone who isn’t the Person Who I Am Illicitly In Love With, so I thought I should quickly come online and share the good news while there is some.

I have a new companion. We have had three dates and are enjoying each other. He is a tall Scandinavian scientist. He is actually 33, I knew this before I met him. Then I immediately forgot and for some reason in my head he became 28. Then I started talking to him like a 28 year old and saying things like ‘don’t trust anyone over 30’ and ‘try not to grow up’. He didn’t correct me, which I find very amusing. I only realised my mistake yesterday. LOL.

Anyway so there we go, there is a new romance. So far so good. He’s now out of the country for about 3 weeks so I will report more news when I have it. This is just what I needed and I bought a new ultra-boosting bra to celebrate.

Tippa Irie: Hello Darling (1985)

Miss Congeniality

Jesus Christ. I am busy today but I really have to get this down somewhere.

So I went to the World’s Worst Company today to have a performance review with my new line manager. He’s quite a plain speaker, which is good. He patiently revealed to me that I still understand nothing about the organisational culture, after a year of being absolutely battered by it. He broke it down for me like this. I wish I were joking. This is what he said. No word of a lie.

In this company, there are 3 classes of people.

There’s an underclass that has no qualifications and no business experience. These people are cheap to employ and some of them have been there for 20+ years and are scared of losing their jobs, as well they might be. They hate the classes above them.

The middle class has qualifications but no business experience (are you noticing a theme here). These people are also quite cheap to employ because they are young. They are not quite as scared of losing their jobs, but they are still scared. They hate the class above them.

The upper class has qualifications and business experience. It’s a very small class indeed, comprising me, him, the new CEO, aka The Terminator, and a very small handful of other people.

Now here’s the shocker. Within this organisation, which has been muddling along for a long time, there are not one but two measures of success. The first one is performance – big surprise, right? It never crossed my mind that anything else would matter. The second one is congeniality. That means popularity. That means ‘people think you are nice’.

So in theory, I said to my new line manager, I could be terrible at my job, deliver crap performance, but as long as everyone thought I was nice, my job would be safe. Yes, he said. Fucking hell, Brian, I said, with my head in my hands. What are we doing? I don’t understand what we are doing.

So – in order to win at this game, I have to get these two lower classes to agree that I am nice. And they absolutely hate me, to a man. The reason they hate me so much, my new line manager revealed, is because (1) I talk about business and show my experience, this is like a red rag to a bull, and (2) I haven’t been participating in the popularity contest that I didn’t know existed.

There are formal scores for congeniality – I wish I were making this up, I swear to God, I am not making it up. So for example you can win points by going out for drinks on a Friday night. So this leads to the most incredibly surreal situation where groups of people who absolutely hate each other’s guts go out for drinks every Friday night and are fake nice to each other, because if you don’t do that, you aren’t Congenial.

I feel completely exhausted. They hired me BECAUSE of my business experience. Brian’s advice was this:

  • Don’t talk about business ever again. Don’t mention it. I can obviously mention it to our customers, who are not stupid and know what they are paying for, but don’t mention business ever again in front of a ‘colleague’.
  • Be more fake. Don’t say what you really think. Don’t say things in emails or on forms or in conversation which suggest any hint of displeasure with the most hostile working environment I’ve ever experienced. Say that everything is perfect and do whatever it takes to convince everyone that you are their best friend, no matter how much they quite obviously hate you.

At this point I’m completely drained of energy. Then we filled out the rest of the so called performance review form and there was some shit about my career aspirations. Being in this organisation is putting my career at risk, Brian, I said frankly, possibly for the last time. Okay, well don’t put that, he said, patiently, just make something up. Make something up that this organisation can actually do and say that’s what you aspire to.

Okay, I said. So then I filled out this form saying that this company is the happiest place on Earth and its staff are the nicest people I’ve ever met. I think that should do the trick. He’s going to take a look at it and if I lied convincingly enough, he can sign it off.

I wish I were joking. This goes against everything I believe in and it is one more item in the GET THE HELL OUT column. I should stop talking and get the hell out.

Choon.

Lee Perry: Vampire

Babylon a fall.

It’s not really the best or most ideal of days at work when you have explain to your employer what the implications are for the office bully if you have to take legal action against the organisation. However, it needed saying. The employer is going to talk to the office bully and tell them back off. Also I think I just negotiated a lighter workload for myself for the coming season at the same time, which isn’t a bad result.

Playing hardball is hard work but my self-esteem is intact. You can’t manipulate me using fear, all you will do is demolish your own credibility and eventually cause me to call my lawyer. I have nothing to lose and nothing to fear.

Lee Perry: Babylon A Fall