Monday December 27, 2004

Winter Wonderland.

Image: Call of Duty: United Offensive

I am happy to report that another lovely Christmas was had by all at the Christensen bungalow this year, full of gifting, eating, movie- viewing and even more eating.

Jessica and I surprised each other this year by exchanging gifts that we never thought the other would willingly give. For my part, I gave Jessica the Pride and Prejudice DVD boxed set. It is a film that I know she enjoys immensely. She’s been hinting at it for months, but never thought I’d get her because of my well-publicized dislike of the genre. But I knew she would love it, and that’s really the whole point of giving on Christmas. Likewise, Jessica gave me an unexpected gift: the Call of Duty expansion pack, United Offensive. My zeal for video games has, in the past, taken away time that Jessica would have liked to spend with me. But she knew I would love the game, and that’s the whole point of giving. And I promise to go easy on the all-day gaming marathons in the future.

And so it was that Christmas morning became a mishmash of proper English voices navigating the ins and outs of Victorian love in the living room and the sound of grunts shouting over the din of machine gun and mortar fire in the bedroom. Heaven.

I only got through the first two missions in the short time I got to play on Christmas morning—even fighting on the “Greenhorn” difficulty level (go ahead, laugh). It’s a lot of fun though; the new missions are very immersive and challenging. Sometimes it’s hard to get your bearings, which is both disorienting and quite realistic. The multiplayer games are improved as well, with new sound effects, weaponry and gametypes.

Mom & Dad came over later in the afternoon for Jessica’s delicious turkey dinner with all the fixins and after-dinner entertainment a la The Fugitive (for the men) and Pride and Prejudice, Pt. 2 (for the ladies). Jessica and I topped off the night with a late viewing of Back to the Future, which brought back some hilarious memories of the 80’s for me.

So what did Santa bring you this year?


Jeff Smith » 6110 days ago #

Glad to hear that you had a great Christmas Jared! We had a pretty quiet Christmas here in St. Albert, Krista and I decided that we wouldn’t buy gifts for each other this year, but rather purchase furniture and other things to try to make our apartment feel a little more like home. Since we couldn’t fly back east to be with our families, we spent most of Christmas morning on the telephone with the folks back east. Then yesterday, the Ikea fairy visited our house with a new dining room set, coffee table, and end tables among other things. So the remainder of my boxing day was spent assembling furniture.

One great gift I did receive though was a job, finally. Starting January 4th, I’ll be assuming the web designer position at a firm in the city (Edmonton, Alberta), I’m extremely excited!

Jared » 6110 days ago #

Ooooh, that is a great gift! Congrats on the job… I bet that takes a load off your shoulders!

Jeff Smith » 6110 days ago #

You bet, I couldn’t have asked for anything better this Christmas.

Fernando Dunn II » 6110 days ago #

I’m glad to see that you guy’s holiday was a blessing. I did very little gift giving and I surely wasn’t expecting anything, but there was something so peaceful about Christmas this year.

I planned on getting myself a PS2 or an XBOX yesterday, but couldn’t decide on which one to get. I haven’t even researched the existing games. Maybe I should just get some upgrades for my PC and get addicted to Unreal Tournament (not 2003) again.

Abel Rios » 6109 days ago #

I managed to score some much needed tools and accessories, along with Ghost Recon 2 & Underground 2 for the XBOX. I did have Call of Duty on the ol’ wish list, maybe I’ll pick that up sometime soon. Glad your Christmas was great, I know mine was.

Have a Happy New Year man! :)

Joshua Rivera » 6109 days ago #

My friends and I we’re just talking on Christmas Eve about how movies like “It’s a wonderful life ” were played out and needed to be replaced. Top Christmas movie of according to us in our infinite wisdom: Back to the Future. Classy choice as always Jared.

I got a few movies and games, my favorite being the one from my sister, The complete Superman collection.

This was the first year I had to the opportunity to spend more on people than recieve, so I took advantage and gave my dad and sister an xbox + nfl 2k5 + dance dance revolution. They we’re surprised to the say the least and I was pretty happy to catch them off guard.

Abel Rios » 6109 days ago #

Oh yeah, it’s always WAY better to give than receive. I was fortunate enough to be able to give nice gifts this year. The whole family was surprised with what they got, and that made me feel great.

Angad » 6107 days ago #

Good to hear you had a great christmas Jared!
Wasn’t much of a christmas for me this year, I had a paper on the very same day!
And oh I just watched the Back to the future Trilogy again yesterday!

Jeff Gates » 6105 days ago #

I bought my kids the Pee Wee Herman boxed set. A new generation exposed to Chairy and Jambi. I also bought them their own domain names. They’re too young to understand the importance of this last gift. But they will. -g

Best to you guys for the new year.

Jeff Smith » 6104 days ago #

I picked up the United Offensive pack a couple of days ago, now that I finally have my PC back, and wow! It’s definitely as good or better than the original. The fight scenes are incredibly immersive and realistic. It’s just too bad that I don’t have more time to play around with it.

Jared » 6103 days ago #

Jeff- I know! Isn’t it great? At one point, I saw about 50 German troops charging me from across a snowy field and just about wet my pants. Later, I saw some very cool volumetric smoke and fire effects while chasing Germans through burning buildings. Etc. I’ve considered writing a review for the game, but I’m afraid that all I’d end up communicating is “Dude, it’s awesome!” But, dude, it is awesome!

Jeff Smith » 6103 days ago #

Totally. I got a little more time to play it this afternoon. I started into the British missions, I’m not sure if you’ve made it this far in the game, but let me tell you, you thought the American missions were tense? What till you get into the British.

I hope that they’ll continue to release a few more add-ons for this game. It’s definitely one of the best to be released in quite a few years. I think that my interest in the second World War also contributes to my enjoyment of this game.

Tyler Lee (capty99) » 6092 days ago #


I love you.
I came down to Austin for ACL, i was planning on throwing a huge bash at your house but i couldnt get in touch… apparently your trying to avoid me.

Yes, this is a random place for this comment, but your my favorite person in the world.

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