Oh hey, 2014.

It’s hard to judge this past year. Overall, it was terrible. I’ll remember it as the year of nightly apocalyptic nightmares, stress dreams that played out like movies. Every once in a while I’ll have another one, and I wake up feeling uneasy, the dream following me around like a deranged puppy. I’d sit up in bed and my heart would be racing and it would take me a while to reorient myself to reality; the dream would stay with me all day. I dreamed of fires and floods and zombies; I dreamed of literally fighting to survive. So I spent some of the year feeling sorry for myself.

It’s helpful to keep perspective, and I delivered many lectures to myself. Knowing I have a lot to be grateful for brought me back down to earth many times. And I ended the year full of hope, which was a refreshing change and I had so much gratitude for that.

New Year's Eve by the sea.

Grateful: New Year’s Eve by the sea.

I’m not asking a lot of this year. I know people hate New Year’s resolutions. I know they set you up to fail and it’s an arbitrary date and so on. But I LIKE them. I like starting out the year feeling like anything could happen, and although I may not stick to every goal like glue I will say that I’ve accomplished the spirit of them for the past few years. Here’s the spirit of things for 2014.

This year I’ve found some hidden talents that I didn’t know I had. I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone at work & I ended up loving it. And I’m continuing to grow in that role, which is awesome — I’m watching my skills improve minute by minute, project by project. I hope I look back at this post next year and roll my eyes at what I thought was “good,” just the same way as I look back at what I was doing 2 years ago and want to hide my head. I didn’t have the luxury of being too afraid to do what was being asked of me, because I just had to get it done and get it done quickly. I want to keep refining those skills and to really put as much energy and dedication into what I’m creating as possible, so I can feel proud of myself at the end.

Baxter had the winter blues, too.

Grateful: Baxter (and his winter blues)

I’d like to be more vocal in approval of people and things. You know when someone takes the effort to compliment you at work? And how great that makes you feel? I want to put more of that energy into the world.

I’d like to continue to cut back on mindless online consumption. Instead of refreshing feedly/sf_d/ditl/news sites every few seconds when I’m bored, I want to read books. Or play games. I love the internet, I’ll never be one of those “year without the internet” people, but I get too distracted by it. And plus there’s the whole getting too emotionally invested in drama online. Not good for me! Twitter is my safest spot online, because I’ve kept a tight grip on who I follow (and I unfollow liberally). I deactivated my Facebook account and made a fake one so I can continue to administer my work’s page.

A morning that took my breath away.

Grateful: A morning that took my breath away.

When I do consume media, I want to do so more thoughtfully. I feel like I’m using all sorts of stupid buzz phrases here (at least I’m not talking about curating my online collection…), but it’s true. Less watching movies while I tweet, more watching movies. Less reading while I listen to an audiobook (I know…) and more just reading. Already, in a few weeks of being more strict with myself, I’m reading more in one sitting than I have since before college. And I really, really need to finish everything I own before buying more — games, movies/tv, books.

Then there’s that whole thing about not being afraid to fail. I think I’ll have a fun year as a result.

Dogs that comfort.

Grateful: Dogs that comfort.

It’s a Friday afternoon and I’m done with one on ones for the week. I have roughly ten more hours of work to do before the weekend, and nothing major planned. I’ve been slacking on chores lately — a touch of a stomach flu, bad weather and general bleak midwinter blues kept me from doing much of anything. I’ve been soft with myself, and I don’t regret it — I ended the year on a high note and then had a touch of the blues. They descended when I saw my sister off for California — she’s not that far, really, and I didn’t see her daily before, but knowing she’s on the other side of the country was harder than I expected. I drove home from the airport sniffling, and the blues stayed with me for weeks until they drifted back away.

I think it’s good to ease into a New Year. I know I said that I like resolutions, and I DO, but if you require strict and immediate cleaving to your own goals, you will fail. Habits are learned over time, and you’ll never stick to eight new habits a day for long enough to learn them. Or, maybe you would. I certainly can’t, I get fed up. I’ve been good on the not being afraid front, as things crop up. I’ve also been working on the refining skills thing with Lynda, which means I spend my off time at work more productive than I was before, which goes into the cutting back on mindless online consumption. So, progress all around there.

Fail & fail.

I mean, it’s a human trait to be afraid to fail, I know. And countless TED talks, inspirational books and earnest celebrities will tell you that the only way to move forward is to fail & learn from that failure. Me, though, I’m pathologically afraid to be bad at things. A friend once offered to teach me to play guitar and I refused because I was too scared of being bad at it. I avoided multiplayer online games (with the exception of WoW) because I was sure I’d be terrible at them. That is pretty much the reason I never played LoL, after all, despite friends good enough to be playing in tournament leagues, offering to teach me. I assume the worst about all my skills, real life or online, because that way I don’t ever have to do anything with them. And then I get stuck in a place where I feel competent but not amazing and nothing changes, nothing.

I woke up frustrated yesterday. I felt sick and cursed the customer who was so ill they had to lean over the counter for me to hear them. I was hopelessly confused about what day it was, and work was full of people that tested my internal goal to be kinder and less judgmental. I was having issues keeping things in proportion again, so a bit of online drama that has nothing to do with me made me feel heartbroken. Nonsense, in other words. The logical part of my brain threw a fit and then I ranted to a good sounding board, who tolerantly listened to me repeat myself. “Look, it’s like video games,” was the message. “Just print yourself a poster: ‘We were all noobs once.’”

I think in video game terms a lot, so this cracked me up. And then I made myself that poster, and I’m going to hang it up right over my desk.

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Good old Terry Pratchett:

“You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world? … It’s all the people who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it is they’re really good at. It’s all the sons who become blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. It’s all the people who could be really fantastic flute players who grow old and die without ever seeing a musical instrument, so they become bad plowmen instead. It’s all the people with talents who never even find out.”

-Moving Pictures

Video Games. Redux.

I’m hanging around in Ft. Rapture in Bioshock, right. And I’ve got Sander Cohen in my ear giving me attitude about being a moth to the flame and also just generally being a madman, and there are corpses covered in paper-mache everywhere. With blood coming out of their fatal wounds and staining the white. And Sander tells me that I have to track down his enemies and kill them and then take photos of their corpses for his masterpiece, so I figure ok, no one in this whole godforsaken city is a good guy, including me and DEFINITELY including Atlas, so I’ll do what the mad man wants since I’m fairly sure he could snipe me. He’s got spotlights following me everywhere. So I go and kill the folks, getting stuck into a frozen sculpture by one and attacked with splicers on fire tumbling out of the ceiling like some sort of monstrous waterfall by another. (Misplaced modifier, -10). There’s a strip club habited by ghosts, and there are houdini splicers throwing flames at me from the theatre rafters, and some poor fool on a piano wrapped with explosives who can’t seem to play to Cohen’s liking. (Spoiler: he gets blown up because he can’t play correctly). Plus the big daddies wandering around without their little sisters who I have to stalk until they find one, and then I kill them. And save the little sister, because I like Tenenbaum more than I like Atlas. And so I finally get to the end, and I kill Cohen because of course I do, I’ve killed everyone I’ve interacted with except for Ryan, Tenenbaum, and Atlas (or the ones that Ryan killed himself). It takes me a couple of tries because Cohen comes with about 10 other splicers who set things on fire (nice reference back to being a moth to the flame), and I figure ok, that was the creepiest place so far, it can’t get worse. I have nothing to be scared of.

And then I take the metro (bathysphere) to Ryan’s office. And so far it’s not as creepy, that I’ll grant you. I mean, sure, there are dead splicers nailed to the walls outside his office, but that’s fairly mild by this game’s standards. BUT THEN. But then, I go into the heating regulation area and the screen goes black. F, think I, I’m screwed. So I stay VERY STILL because I have a tonic that makes me invisible when I stay still. And the lights come back on and no one is there, and I figured I was invisible and so whatever mass mob triggering the game did got fooled. So I go a little further, and it happens again, and same thing — no one there. SO, I go a little further still and the screen stays on so I shrug to myself and go to loot the already dead bodies that litter the floor AND THEY JUMP UP AND TRY AND KILL ME. Mobs playing dead are NOT OK. Of course I panic, spraying electroshocks everywhere while trying really hard to find a place to hide. I think I had to use four first aid kits against three mobs. The worst part is, as I wandered the floors in circles completing quests, I’d see a body and think, “I don’t remember that body, let’s check for loot” and then I’d still be surprised that they were ACTUALLY ALIVE. Because, you see, I am a moron. I started wasting eve by pre-shocking everything just in case.
Anyway. Video games are great, is the point. They just are. I have such a list of games to play, and I do go through phases with them, but I’m always playing SOMETHING.
I feel so vindicated by this game’s storyline. I’m not sure if it’s video game instincts, blind luck or an absolute telegraphing of plot by the writers, but my innate distrust of Atlas was wise. I’m  in Olympus Heights now and moving very slowly, although I suspect I shouldn’t be because I keep getting nerfs to my health. fu2 atlas. But I really don’t trust anyone or anything and I have to kill big daddies and find Sujong and there seems to be a LOT of mobs.
Will you KINDLY.

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I also played a bit of Dead Rising 3 in which I dressed my male character up in a child’s superhero costume, red high heeled go-go boots, a fur coat, aviators and a fedora. Because I could. When my partner-in-dead-rising-crime saw me again, he sighed and said: “Annie, I feel you aren’t taking this game seriously.” Correct. It’s a game that doesn’t want to take itself seriously anyhow. I’m not hugely impressed by it, but it is fun.
 I have some game time lined up for January with Choo, who is going to teach me how to play Magica in what will surely turn out to be maddening sessions. We also have Starbound & King Arthur’s Gold lined up, and I’m recording because I wish I had recordings of our Portal 2 playthrough, which was often hilarious and exasperating.
Speaking of games (this will link around, eventually): I went to the Hobbit yesterday afternoon (one of 3 people in the theatre).Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 11.39.37 AM I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. I loved Martin Freeman, but that’s hardly a surprise, I love him in pretty much everything he does. He’s pitch perfect as Bilbo — brave, foolish little Hobbit. I loved Smaug, which sounds correct when pronounced by a British person and sounds foolish when an American says it. He matched my mental profile for that sassy dragon (charmed by flattery, because of course dragons are, they are ENORMOUSLY vain) (and enormous). Plus, that was 20 minutes of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice coming through the speakers, full blast, and I’d watch anything for that. Anyway, when they got to Thaundrial’s kingdom (I keep calling him Fandrel in my head, which actually works because Fandrel is ALSO an asshole elf leader, albeit from a different story), I realized something.

When I played WoW for the first time, all those many years ago, it felt magical. I felt like I was a LotR elf (well, I didn’t actually because I hadn’t/haven’t seen LotR, but generally speaking) embarking on a grand adventure. Everything was so new and so perfect. There was so much STORY to be had. The elves were beautiful. The music of Teldrassil still gives me weird nostalgic pangs — I remember running to Auberdine and feeling my jaw drop. It was purple and green and GORGEOUS. And then I accidentally ran into the emerald dragon enclave there with the ?? leveled dragons, and learned about corpse runs. No other game has been able to recapture that feeling, including all of the WoW xpacs. I think that’s why I kept going back, hopeful, and why I’ve been hopeful for every other MMO or even general RPG. Skyrim didn’t do it for me, but I am hopeful for ESO. But they’ll never be as new as WoW was to me, and so I doubt I’ll ever get that feeling back.

This is probably a little ironic in a post about video games, but one of the things I want to do in this new year is increase my concentration levels. I don’t read for as long as I used to, and when I do I don’t feel as immersed as I used to. I thought it was just natural — but it isn’t, right? You can exercise your imagination. Because sometimes I do recapture that feeling, if only briefly. So I want to read a little bit more deeply, keep my focus a little bit tighter. I want to watch more movies where I don’t spend most of the movie also reading my twitter feed (AT HOME, not in theaters, I promise). Um, I want to be immersed in the games I play instead of wanting to get to the next boss fight? That one sounds a little weird, but it’s true. It’s really cliche to say you want to slow down, and I guess I’m not so worried about not doing as much, I just want to actually enjoy the things I do. I don’t want to disconnect from the internet, but I don’t want to spend more time reading stuff than I do playing stuff. It all makes sense in my head. And Christmas (well, post-Christmas as I work retail) is the perfect time to commit to more slow things. To read for hours in front of a fire, to spend days off in video games, etc. It’s all a fond dream.
It’s snowing now, and although it’s not really supposed to collect I wish it was snowing hard enough for a snow day. I’d love to go home, have a hot cup of tea and honey, read (I’m almost done with my Pratchett collection re-read, up to Moving Pictures which I read SO long ago I’ve forgotten literally all of it), work on finishing Bioshock, etc. It’s pretty right now, though. Falling all gently. They say it’ll turn to rain but that was supposed to happen an hour or two ago.  We’ll see!

Thankful

I took Baxter for a walk in the woods this weekend. Across the street from my grandparents’ house were a pair of cranberry bogs fronting Harwich conservation land, and on holidays we’d bundle up after the meal and go for a long wander, a huge mix of people and dogs and kids. And of course, there are a million other times I walked them, with my friends, with my dog, with myself. And I guess that kind of imprints itself on you. We won’t be in those woods this year, and that’s not my grandparents’ house anymore, but I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be, walking under the familiar trees. They’re still mine. I still know the paths and turns and views and sounds and the feel of the dead leaves and thick mulch. I love the other walkers and the dogs that come rocketing up and down the path, happy as … um, dogs. The big wood bridge that goes over the marsh and river. The little wood bridge that goes over the run. The smell of fresh water & the smell of trees and dying leaves and really cold air. The herons that stalk the shallows. Fragamites choking out the marsh grass but looking lovely as borders to the road. The herring that spawn and die in the run, the swans on the lake.

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I need to live near the ocean so that I can feel it and see it and hear it. But I guess I forgot how much the woods mean to me, and how much walking them makes me feel like I’m all my ages at once. I felt so peaceful when I got home.
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It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and if you had told me this summer that I’d be looking at this holiday with more thankfulness in my heart than I ever have before, ever, I would have laughed at you. It’s the things that seem big at the time phenomenon — I couldn’t conceive of a time when things would feel better. I wasn’t sure they ever would, even a month ago, even two weeks ago. But oh my god, I’m SO thankful. And I’ll be with my family on Thursday, and I’ll get to hug my nephew who is a million reasons to be thankful all by himself. And then all weekend we’ll be cozy and warm, against the cold outdoors, with fires in the wood stove and fireplace, a snoozing dog, movie nights, games — wholesome fun that I didn’t think we could have anymore. And a burden lifted.

I haven’t stopped fretting yet, because it takes a while for that to go away. But the fretting is less, and all of a sudden my brain has time to think about other things, to devote energy to other things. And I’m really very grateful for that too, because I feel more like myself. I’ve been worried for years — first my grandmother, and then the latest crisis which has been happening for so long that I didn’t even realize. Years of worry, and they’re slowly starting to melt away.

Demand to see life’s manager.

Life’s been giving me a lot of attitude lately and I don’t seem to have the required sass to … sass life back. That sentence got off track somewhere in the middle. It probably got off track when I started it. I’m trying to convince my brain to think like Cave Johnson (who was full of sass). DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M THE MAN WHO’S GOING TO BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN. WITH THE LEMONS.

I’m still kinda wading in the crisis mode area of living and that saps your energy. It would probably shock no one to know just how much energy fretting takes up. Even on a slow day at work by the time I get home I’m almost completely drained, because when it’s slow I have time to worry.

But this weekend, this lovely, much wished for weekend, I have nothing planned. I have nothing I have to do. Of course there are things I probably should be doing, but I’m giving myself a break and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. My last few “free” days weren’t really free — they were filled with good things, mostly, but I really need a couple of days where I don’t talk to anyone. Maybe not even the dog. (He doesn’t require a lot of conversation but he does require some. He gets huffy if you ignore him and REALLY huffy if he feels he hasn’t gotten his required pets for the day, which equal about as many pets as you can pet before your arm falls off).

I have three hours left in this work week. I’ve got three books lined up for the weekend, along with finishing my top gear rewatch and finishing playing Ocarina (I’m in the spirit temple now, so nearly). I’m going to NEST this weekend. Windows open (70 during the day, 50 at night), blankets piled up, tea and popcorn, the whole nine yards. Extroverts just won’t understand how amazing that sounds to me right now. It probably sounds depressing to them: not speaking for 48 hours. But introverts understand: the recharge time has been seriously lacking and I need it desperately. The crisis built so slowly that I didn’t realize how long I was living it till it (kind of) ended. I haven’t truly relaxed for months. I’ll be honest: I seriously thought about renting a hotel room to completely disconnect, but any of the non-seedy Cape places are still pricey on weekends since the season hasn’t quite wrapped.
I’m struggling to put into words what things feel like right now. I’m fine — more than fine. I’m happy at work (got a raise!), I’m feeling challenged and fulfilled most days, it’s my favorite season. When I haven’t had a chance to recharge, though, I start feeling like the world is too full of stories, too big, and I feel a bit overwhelmed. The silence lets me put things into their proper proportions again, so a traffic jam and a tragedy don’t feel equally unbearable.

Naval Gazing: Zelda

Everything I ever learned about gaming I learned from Zelda. I paused in my Bioshock play because, honestly, the idea of sitting in front of a computer for more than ten seconds at a time is abhorrent to me right now. Well, I say abhorrent, but what I mean is I have no focus and all my energy is still being used up on the whole surviving and taking care of myself thing, and less so on anything that requires thought. Which isn’t to say that I’m down in the dumps or anything; things are improving and my mood is ok but I haven’t shaken myself out of crisis mode, and there are still times when I feel overwhelmed by unreasonable panic. So I’ve focused all my energy on taking really, really good care of myself, and right now that includes not shouldering any unnecessary tasks — things that feel like a chore. But curling up in bed with a 3ds and Ocarina of Time, that I can do. It’s five minute play blocks followed by half an hour of reading twitter. It’s GREAT.

The Zelda series rewards exploration, non-linear thinking and checking everything. Twice. Three times. EVERY TIME YOU PASS BY THAT SPOT TRY TO PUSH THE GRAVE AGAIN. That statue you see might not move now, but down the line it’ll open a dungeon. The rocks you can’t blow up you can pick up and toss when you get the special gloves. Eventually, you get so familiar with the small world Link travels in that you could walk it in your sleep. In my Ocarina replay, I could probably make the trek from Lon-Lon Ranch to the palace without looking at the screen. I could certainly make it to Lake Hylia and back to Death Mountain in a brisk and efficient manner, and the timed quests present absolutely no difficulty. Because you spend so much time in each location, the excellent music imprints itself on you, until the Lost Woods theme soothes you and the Forest Temple theme makes you feel uneasy. I can understand why video game concerts are so popular. Music can elevate a game completely.*

Plus, Zelda has one of the best creepypastas out there: Ben Drowned.

When I still had energy for MMOs, I was a total achievement chaser. It was that same Zelda trained urge — do everything. Get every heart piece. Kill every skulltula. Buy every special piece of gear. In non-MMOs, I finally broke the urge to get 100%, but I still spend a lot of time exploring nooks and crannies, hoping to find something cool. Exploration helped me find the Turret symphony in Portal 2. It helped me beg mages and warlocks to get me underneath Stormwind back in BC. I still wish I had taken the time to explore under Kara and see the Hall of Upside Down Sinners in person. I also have a huge amount of patience; I’ll spend an hour wandering four rooms to figure out a puzzle before I’ll consider looking it up online.*

I’m still relearning my way into single players. I played WoW for long enough that non social games felt a little empty and I didn’t have the attention span for them. But I’m enjoying them now, enjoying the way I can play when I have time, even if it’s just five minutes. I’m sure when things settle down again I’ll want to get back to those social games, but for now single player is the distraction I need.


* FTL is a charming game with lo-fi graphics and an AMAZING soundtrack. I would never have made it through the first few plays without that music. Also, Final Fantasy — I think those of us who didn’t cut our teeth on Zelda probably did so on FF, which had an equally amazing soundtracks. The chocobo song still makes me twitch as I remember the hours spent breeding ’em.

* In Portal 2 co-op, there is a hellish level. This level involves light bridges, platforms and slanted walls, and the solution is so blindingly simple that I have never felt dumber. But my partner and I spent an absurd amount of time on this level, banging our heads together and wondering what the hell we were missing. If I had looked up the solution, I would still be hating myself today. The moment we figured it out it was like sunshine coming out.

Things that seem huge at the time.

I keep writing and abandoning things. Half an email to a friend, forever left in the drafts folder. Tweets edited to be under 140 characters, and then edited again to not exist. Texts pending to people (do they see the … of a pending tweet and get annoyed?). It’s such a hard line between letting everything out and also respecting the privacy of people I care about and also also not hurting anyone any more than they are already hurting. Since I don’t feel comfortable spilling details out, I am not writing at all — and I don’t want to do that anymore. It used to be that I wrote all the time, and I like going back and reading about the things that seemed enormous and all consuming at the time that have since faded away. Welcome to Night Vale, in between all the weirdness, sometimes is comforting:

“But, and I’m going to get a little personal here, that’s the essence of life. Isn’t it? Sometimes you go through things that seem huge at the time, like a mysterious glowing cloud devouring your entire community, and while they’re happening, they feel like the only thing that matters, and you can hardly imagine that there’s a world out there that might have anything else going on.
And then the Glow Cloud moves on. And you move on. And the event is behind you. And you may find, as time passes, that you remember it less and less. Or, absolutely, not at all, in my case. And you are left with nothing but a powerful wonder at the fleeting nature of even the most important things in life, and the faint but pretty smell of vanilla.”

Towards the end of my grandmother’s illness, when the comfort pack from Hospice was already in the fridge and helping her walk from one end of the hallway to another left me shaking every morning, I learned that I handle crisis pretty well. I got frustrated and selfish and annoyed in my head, but I could push it aside for when I had time to be a bit of a baby. I also have a fairly deep well of patience and compassion to draw on when needed. Right now, though, I’m really struggling to get anything out of that well, which doesn’t make me feel too good about myself.

It’s especially hard when the people you love are all in the same boat. You worry about them and then you worry about yourself and you know they’re doing the same thing, this web of worry (and love, which is the silver lining) connecting us all. And that silver lining is pretty big; I’m lucky to have the family I do.


In other news, I finished Half Life 2 and was filled with incoherent annoyance at the ending (due to the absence of a Half Life 3, not due to a poor ending. Although the mechanics of that last fight made me roll my eyes). Now I’m on to Bioshock, which I am playing poorly.

 

But enjoying. I have enough play recorded from my first two days with the game to take a second video. I’m very carefully not calling it a let’s play because I don’t play on a let’s play level. Yet. Maybe when I make it through my current game backlog (which somehow keeps growing…)

 

Things 2

I keep seeing glimpses of other people’s lives  (“I was at Panera for a leisurely lunch on Saturday when the military helicopters flew overhead,” “Do you ever just sit and watch the canal go by?”) and I get this strange burst of longing to know what that life is like. It’s fuzzy thinking I try to avoid, but sometimes it’s irresistible. I have endless curiosity about people’s lives — the things they think, the things they do, how they parcel out their time. That’s a) why I read insatiably and b) why I find things like A Day in the Life so fascinating. And twitter*. Because what is twitter but an endless update of how strangers (in my case) spend their time?

It’s one of the things that keeps me sane at work. I deal with people all day, and since technology is frustrating I deal with people who are often angry or scared or completely unreasonable. But it’s my job, and I get paid, so I try to overcome my introvert personality and be helpful and patient and friendly. and all the while I wonder about them, these people. The couple who is working on an enormous ancestry project, complete with fact finding trips to France and Ireland and Canada? I love the idea of them sitting side by side in front of their iMac, documents in orderly piles around them, as they update trees and talk about their shared history. The woman who takes a yearly safari? I love listening to her talk about sitting down in the winter and going through the photos to create a photo book, reliving every moment. I don’t think everyone in the world is equally interesting, but I find people as a whole fascinating. We obsess over celebrity lives(*) and details because they seem to live so differently on that glittery plane, but I tell myself that if any of my customers were celebs people would find the mundane existence of their lives equally fascinating. For some reason this gives me much greater patience with them.

I’m jealous of the projects outlook; I love the idea of settling into a long term project and actually following through. About the only one I’ve ever done is NaNo, and realistically I don’t ever follow through once November ends. There’s something so cozy in the word project. It conjures up winter Sunday afternoons before football, curled up with a computer. I suppose it says something about my current levels of tech addiction that I think curling up with a laptop is cozy.

Mostly, though, even though my life is ok and things are mostly good, I have sand in my shoes and a desperate urge to escape to something else, somewhere else, and to live a life that doesn’t equal work/home/work the way mine does right now. Someday I’ll gather up the bravery to follow through. That’ll be the day I can shed unreasonable guilt about letting people down if I leave.


*I always feel a little defensive of my twitter usage, because I don’t interact with a ton of people and don’t have a ton of followers, but my family all read it and I mostly use it is a micro diary. I’m sure I could gain followers with better hash tagging and more @ tweets but that’s just not why I use it.

*side note: Speaking of celebs, I was horrified on twitter to read an apparently earnest tweet to an actress I follow: “How does it feel to breathe the same air as [actor]?”. My jaw literally dropped. It makes me so uncomfortable. I think fandom has always had a bit of a crazy edge (screaming teenage girls chasing the Beatles) (I have the opening intro to Hard Day’s Night rolling through my head right now) but social media and instant access to celebrity makes things extra awkward. Actress seemed completely exasperated.

 

Thing 1

Things on my mind lately:

1) I have listened to Trouble Will Find Me approximately 80 times in two weeks. It’s suiting my mood in all its strange, occasionally dreary and occasionally manic moods. The album’s moods, not mine.

2) I’ve overcome the biggest hurdle in my “Watch what you own/play what you own/listen to what you own before buying anything else” plan by finishing a rewatch of Sherlock that included a first time watching Reichenbach Falls all the way through for the first time. I have a lot of FEELINGS about this show.

See, no "unwatched" dot anymore. Only took two years.

See, no “unwatched” dot anymore. Only took two years.

 

3) To my great shock, I’ve found I enjoy shooters; hunting zombies in an abandoned mining town with nary a bullet to be found was hugely satisfying. I got very good at bludgeoning monsters and headcrabs to death with a crowbar.

 

4) I’m rewatching Nevermind the Buzzcocks, despite the fact that I know probably 10% of the songs/bands they’re talking about and even fewer of the presenters. However, it did introduce me to Sparks, and jesus christ if it wasn’t for the National this would be the only song I’ve listened to for a week, just because of its great bonkers-ness.

5) I’m nearly done with a re-read of 1984, which I last read in high school. In high school, I found it haunting and romantic; I find it much less so as an adult. And while I can see why so many people are making reference to the work now, I think the depressing thing about the book isn’t that Orwell predicted parts of the future so perfectly, but instead that human nature has been so consistently awful for so long that he COULD. That’s very much an unfinished, unoriginal thought, though.

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6)  I only did this entry this way because the first entry is always so hard to write.

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