When The Rut Is A Chasm

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”

-George Lucas

Can we talk?

I’d like to think so, but I know the reality. This really is me typing for me and along the way some people stop by and read and whole lot more spammers attempt their nefarious, yet hideously stupid, plans to clog the interwebs up with shit and there are plenty of times where I look around and think to myself, maybe they have the right idea the interwebs at time do resemble a sewer system so why not clog it full of shit that nobody wants or needs unless you happen to be a Nigerian Prince, which how many of those are there? I’m going to guess not a lot, bordering on one or two, I guess I could look it up but I really don’t care because no Nigerian Prince is going swoop in on his…whatever Nigerian Princes ride on or in and save the day, not that my day needs saving, but princes saving things is what Disney taught me and Disney wouldn’t lie would they?

See I’m in a rut.

I finished Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek and realized that I was stuck in a rut. For those interested, Just a Geek is a good book if you like reading blogs written by Wil Wheaton and to a certain degree me, seems we have or had a similar writing style. Yet if you are a me you also come to the conclusion that the book is slightly depressing because…well you too have not done much with your life despite trying or in the case of Wil Wheaton tried and succeeded.

Me…I keep trying or do I? I’m not really sure anymore, just like I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up. This writing thing is pretty cool and I seem to have some talent for it, but then what? Write a book? That seems to be the catch all answer to the “What to do when you are a writer” question. What if and I am being serious here, see how I told you I was being serious, what if I don’t have a book in me?

What if, and pretend I did this because I did, I published five books and nobody bought a copy? Try to imagine how that fucks with that answer, because it does and I did. One book was full of naked women too…now how fucked up is that? Really fucked up.

The first four books just like Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek, copies of my “blog” at the time, in a very similar style, although I have to say mine have a bit more humor and anger in them than his does. See I don’t have a problem writing about me here or anywhere else. Despite what you may think about the tone and structure most of what I write is about me and how I really think about things.

I tend to avoid “controversial” things such as politics, the state of the country, state of the world and recent or trending events because I am not an expert and plenty of people can voice their opinion. I don’t like opinion. However those interested, downward slope is my answer to all of the above things I don’t normally write about, hell until now never write about.

So I am down here at the bottom of this rut which as I look up is more a chasm. I need to find the thing I should be doing now in addition to the other things I should be doing…

good example, I love being a parent even when I have to yell, which I don’t like doing (Yes some of you may think I like yelling and being a dick, I don’t-sometimes messages are received clearer at volume and from someone you can despise for a bit).

I think that ends my example.

I cook (not all of the food gets eaten we are horrible with leftovers) and to be honest the amount of cooking I do in relation to the good feels I used to get is slanted in favor of I cook, they eat it, I…I don’t know what

I write this blog, but honestly blogging has not been fun for a few years. It used to be fun when I wrote about sex and lots of people talked to and with me, only one person talked at me. Here nobody…okay that is not correct my mother (who asks when Puddles and Whiskers is going to be new, I directed her to their blog), and KDaddy who always has something I find funny or insightful to say and…that’s it.

I do write this for myself, but I really enjoy when people take part. Do you want to know how people take part now, they read to see if they are in the blog and my take on the events that they were witness to…except I don’t do that very often or I embellish the events so much in the interest of storytelling to obliterate what really happened…

Why? because I got tired of people telling me the only reason they read what I wrote was to see their name in print. This isn’t print. All it took to drive that home was a former friend who asked me to include his most horrible behavior to his soon to be ex-girlfriend, because “wouldn’t that be a fun blog?” No you dick, it would not and did not and forever altered my writing on here in the same way as my family reading the blog and then attempting to confront me about the things I did…

And what does this have to do with being in a rut? I sit here, now every other day, as part of a routine, a new routine to be sure, but still a routine and I write what is on my mind, but not everything that is on my mind and I feel NOTHING.

NOTHING at all about my writing. Okay that is not true, Puddles and Whiskers gets my attention and yes I am still working on them they have their own website with art (thank you children and Chris Cortright). Everything else…not a thing…other than I hate the Geoglyphs and Alpaca’s post. I mean I love that people are learning about

  1. Geoglyphs
  2. Alpacas
  3. and the answer to an Animal Crossing puzzle that is at least five years old

But the people, numbering in the thousands, who have visited the post for that answer, never read anything else…fucking Animal Crossing…

Any who, I blather on about nothing and then move on. I no longer read my own posts unless I am having some contemplation time (read reading on the toilet) and I do that because I cannot remember what I wrote most of the time. That right there bothers me the most because I put, over the years, a lot of time and effort into this blog and yet I cannot remember most of what I wrote in the last six months or so because it was mindless drivel about a day, a thing, or an incident.

People seem to love my game reviews. I don’t. I’m not what I think of as an interesting reviewer.  I play the games. I write what happened. To me not very interesting. Thus I don’t know why people read what I write about when it comes to games. I’d like to know, but like I said somewhere up there, I get very little feedback at all

Sad thought of mine brought about by Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek is that I miss the old days. I don’t like living in the past. I love learning from the past, but here I have been for the past few months longing for the past when I wrote about sex and people spoke to me, spoke to each other, and there was general sense of reason, belonging, and that people were reading. Nothing says people reading like someones commenting on something you wrote in the middle of a three-thousand (yes 3,000) word post on threesomes.

Now…

 

 

silence

Why don’t I write about sex? Because WordPress is run by or managed by a lot of single minded puritans who…suffice to say some reader somewhere got their nose out of joint because SEX, complained and WordPress had a field day finding sex blogs and blocking, banning, or booting them (those were some fun months)…other than that because we have not had the resources for me to start my own hosted site…

So can we talk?

“Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.”

-Judy Blume

 

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Cats in Tanks…That Would Be THE Game For Us

The point of reading rules is to one day play the game, right? I certainly hope so because over the past week I have been reading a lot of rules. Since cleaning the library/office/gameroom and sorting the games into Go, Keep, and We’ve Never Played This Piles someone has to read the rules for Never Played This Pile. That someone is me.

Plus, I have other games that we do play that have rules that need to get read. One of my roles around here is teacher of games. Teacher of games comes with the lofty sub-roles of researcher of games, purchaser of games, piler of gamers, and eventually teacher of games. I take these roles semi-seriously.

Researcher of Games is the most fun. Taking into account the likes and dislikes of each family member, such as our girl loves games with tanks, but hates games where she has to build the pieces, I know I can be relatively certain if the game has tanks that I or our boy won’t mind building she will enjoy the game. Another factor, current interests around the house, for whatever reason around here diseases that wipe out humanity or humanity is attempting to wipe out is a current trend, perhaps having a pharmacist in the house pimping flu shots has something do with that. Cats or cute animals are also always possible. Thus, the day I find a game with cats driving easy to assemble tanks our girl and everyone else will be very happy indeed.

Other factors during researching games, replayability. How many times will we play a game before the game ends up on the shelf, is an important consideration. Unfortunately, other than legacy games which have a built in number of games, determining replayability is a crap shoot, aided by free rules online (if available), reviews, and years of experience. Suffice to say even with everything inline there are games that looked great for us and were total crap.

Purchaser of Games is the most serious role. Games are expensive.  I try to avoid paying full price if possible. You should to. Maybe one day games will come down in price to make them not only affordable but desirable to purchase. As it is, shopping around is a must.

What do I do with games when they arrive home? Toss them into a pile. Not the best method, explaining how we have a large pile of games that we have Never Played. Something we are working on.

Teacher of Games, I read the rules, I break out the pieces, and I teach the games to the family. Most of the time I enjoy the role. After reading the rules I generally want to teach the game to others. Lately though I am attempting to get the children to learn the rules and teach them to us. This is important to being a good gamer. Good gamers can teach games to other people, spreading the joy of playing games to others.

All of which leads me to where I started, I have read the rules to six games, mostly disease related and mostly with similar rules, and I am hoping that we play them before I catch the flu…guess that pharmacist has more influence on games than I thought. 🙂

 

We Have A Game Issue

I’m hoping this is a local problem. I hope in other parts of the States and World this problem does not exist. Keep in mind I made this sound big, but it’s not. What do gamers do when they have games they no longer want? My hope would be that they give them away, sell, them, or even better there is a store that takes unwanted games in trade or whathaveyou.

Around here there is nothing.

There are stores for DVD’s, music, video games, clothing, and so on. If you, like us, have board, role playing, and card games other than Magic the Gathering your recourse for unwanted games is to ask if friends want them, see if the local gaming group wants them, sell on Ebay or whatever sell site, or do like we have for a long time sit on them, watch them gather dust, and ponder how your back will be after another move.

Friends don’t want the games, the local gaming group is rather snobbish about games, Ebay is more a pain than a boon, and we are tired of sitting on them. After a move where a gaming cabinet ended up in the library we decided enough was enough and went through our games. We set up two and a half tables, brought out all of our games, and began sorting.

Each person was allotted a keep, go, and never played pile.

Surprisingly, we agreed on 98% of the go pile. A pile that kept growing and growing. There were games that everyone despised-Robotech RPG Tactics, Oregon Trail-there were games that were one off, meaning you play it one or two times and that is all there is to the game, and there were games that we liked a lot, but have not played for years because some other game came along and did the original game better.

The keep pile is an assortment of games that everyone agreed on such as Pandemic and games that one or more of us had to keep, for now, because cats. Yes, if a game involved cats it likely stayed, thankfully those are all small games. We have yet to find a large cat game.

What caught all of us off guard, the number of games that one or more, often all of us, have never played. How is it possible to own games that you have not played? If you are us, you buy games on sale or that you really find interesting, get home put them on the shelf and well…forget about them.

Which brings us to today and the next few weeks, maybe months. The go games are bagged up and heading to Good Will. Yes, Good Will. I have been on a “if nobody wants this and I cannot easily get value out of this, donate it kick.” If you happen to live where we are or nearby travel to Good Will in a few days for board games…that is if Good Will does anything with them.

Meanwhile, we have several stacks of games we have not played, which you will end up reading about, starting with the “Disease-friend or foe” a selection of games revolving around curing a disease or being a disease.

Recycling Games

We have a lot of games and things collected over many years. Over time games and things get left behind. Forgotten on a shelf or in a box until one day you stumble upon them. Sometimes the forgotten get a new life, but more often than not the game is put back on the shelf or back in the box to be forgotten until you have to move at which point…the whole process starts over.

I do not like to keep things I am not using. A lifetime of moving drilled into me do not carry around more than you need or want to move, mostly the second one. Recently I have been looking at reducing our extra games and stuff. If we aren’t playing it or using it we should find something to do with them.

Our form of recycling. Thankfully there are a few places to unload games and stuff. My favorite part of the process is seeing what happens to stuff that nobody wants. Hold on a sec. Way back in the day, when I lived in apartments overrun with kids who had less than nothing to do to keep them from hanging outside my door and lighten my load I gave them games and such that I no longer had a need for. Best time was two kids playing Magic the Gathering with about 10 cards between them. The look when I gave them a box of commons, uncommons, and lands. They didn’t hang outside my door again.

So with that in mind, I enjoy seeing how much stuff is worth. I don’t care. If I cared I would take care of the price/sale myself. I’m just looking to lighten my load. Whatever I get is more than enough. At the end of our last trip we had a box of cards that they didn’t want and we didn’t want to cart home. We asked if they just take them. They, being the store people, said we have a box of stuff we give to new players. Perfect. That’s what I used to do.

Meanwhile at home, the Robotech RPG Tactics game has found a second and third life. The books went into starting a series of fires and as packing material. The food was good, so turning bad into good. The miniatures have languished in a box for a while now. The kids pulled out a few to practice painting on, a good use for them. They did not want to learn how to build using them, a good decision on their part.  Back in the box they went until someone else wanted to learn how to paint.

Instead of them purchasing expensive miniatures and practice on them why not use these? No reason why not. With one stroke I lighten my load by giving the miniatures away and they have something to practice on.

Slowly, but surely, we are lightening our load of games and stuff not used by us and turning them into something of value to us or giving them away to people who can put them to us.

Home To Chaos

We made a conscious decision to stay at home or at least as close to home as we can stay today and probably tomorrow as well. Typically, when Barb has a day or two off we go out so she can see the world beyond her counter. However, we have over the last few weeks seen a lot of the world beyond her counter and the world at home has suffered. Thus, we aim to correct, meaning clean and organize, the home so that the next time we go out to see the world beyond her counter we do not have to come home to chaos.

Two comic cons has seen an influx of posters. Sad thing was we went to both saying, “Not a lot of posters.” Not because we are lacking wall space, but because posters mean having to purchase poster frames and that means measuring posters and trust me when I say no poster ever fits the available frames. I bet if we could take all of the extra spaces around the posters on our walls we could put many of the new posters into frames.  Alas, we cannot, thus measure, go to the store, and hope to find enough frames and enough frames that are close enough.

The cons also saw a much desired and needed increase in reading material. Before we left, I cleaned and organized all of the bookshelves. I know I should have waited until we got back. In my defense, we rarely found books, let alone a lot of books, at previous cons. Which is probably why we found tons. Between the comic books, graphic novels, novels, and oversized books I am or was in the process of attempting to keep on row of books from falling off a shelf with one hand while trying to simultaneously create a space and insert new books into place. Yes, my books are organized.

Games. Why did we purchase games at comic cons when we have games and brought games with us to con? Part of me thinks that we like to carry large, awkward, and heavier than when we arrived bags. The other part of me says, some games were unique, some games were games we were on the fences about and with the sale price were worth trying, and others, the smallest amount, were just so cool looking that we had to get them.

Around here games are kind of organized. There is the cabinet, bookcase, and stacked cubes of must play and are playing games. There is the bookshelves and closest of we played it and may play it again. Lastly there is the never again box and shelf, currently occupied by Robotech RPG Tactics and Oregon Trail. I know Oregon Trail will come out of the box, because we are mad it at for the last game, and we tend to forgive our games. The other one…there forever.

And keep in mind the above is just the stuff from cons that we are cleaning up. There is still laundry, mowing, writing, painting, dishes, and cooking to go.