Monday, July 21, 2014

Growing Up

Probably the most surreal experience I've been going through lately is that the people around me, people I consider to be in my age range, are starting to have kids by choice in their endeavor to start or grow their family. Now, objectively that doesn't sound weird. I was born in the 80s, it's now the 20-teens, and that means that even if I were born in 1990 I'd be 24 now, which is about wen that starts to happen (for those just turning 24, it starts with marriage and goes from there usually. Sometimes in reverse though.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Giving Up Videogames?

I apologize for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks. I'd love to say I've been busy, except that what I've been busy with hasn't really been stuff that couldn't be set aside. It would be more fair to say that I've been distracted rather than busy, and while I'm not ashamed of that it is something that has to be dealt with.

Like many people I have goals and aspirations. One of those is keeping this blog and Reality Refracted up and running. It doesn't take much. This blog only really needs a post a week. Reality Refracted needs three posts a week but about a topic I've proven I can talk endlessly about for four years or so now. Beyond that though I have other things I want to do and videogames are less and less a part of that.

Don't get me wrong, I still love games. I love the power they have. I love the narratives they can tell. But the thing of working 8-9 hours a day, going home, making dinner, and then videogames for the rest of the night just feels a bit shallow right now. Whats more is that, on my own, I'm not even sure I enjoy the game for the game itself.

For example, on Tuesday this week after dinner I was on my computer. My friend who I normally play League with wasn't around so I logged in to the apartment Minecraft server. I did a few things, but no one else was on the server and I grew bored fairly quickly. In the end I logged out, put on a movie ,and did other stuff for the evening. It was kind of awesome and very productive.

My thought is that with the exception of gaming as a social exercise that it doesn't hold the same sway it once did. Maybe that is just a temporary mood, but I can't help but think that making it a conscious choice could clear the way for other things. And yet, at the same time, that conscious choice could just drive me back to old habits if out of spite and nothing else.

It's a strange feeling. Kind of like growing up. Still, I did love the feeling of productivity I had that night. I guess time will tell where I stand but forward progress on dreams and aspirations can't be a bad thing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wedding Bells

Tomorrow is the big day. Not for me, but for two close friends. At noon they're being married by a Justice of the Peace, and then there will be a small party, and then who knows. I expect I'll be tired after. The wedding is set to take place on top of a local mountain and as a big person that doesn't walk enough that's bound to be tiring alone. Then there will be the wedding.

Still, it should be a good day. The forecast is for clear skies and not too hot a temperature. Hopefully the humidity will stay low, but that remains to be seen.

But yeah, weddings..what are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Made My Bed Today

I made my bed today. Bragging about it here on the blog sounds kind of silly, but it is true. I don't usually make my bed. I do it so rarely that the bed will get made maybe only half the time that the sheets and pillow cases get changed for cleaning. I'll also make the bed when I'm giving my room a thorough cleaning like I do every couple months. Beyond that though I rarely make my bed. I never saw the point in it to be honest with you. I mean, the next evening I'm just going to get back into the bed, right? No one is going to see my bed either, so it's not like presentation matters.

Monday, June 2, 2014

It's a Busy Busy June....

Without me realizing it the month of June has managed to fill up with all sorts of special events for various friends and family members. I've got birthdays, weddings, and family holidays all coming up. Beyond that, work is picking up this month as we launch this year's New Student Orientation program to welcome the incoming freshman for the Fall 2014 semester.

I've got family birthdays on the 10th, 15th, 25th, and 29th. My sister's anniversary is this month. Father's day is this month. Finally, a pair of good friends, and old friends for me, are getting married.

It should be fun. I'm looking forward to most of it in all honesty, but it is also going to be busy and leave me with not much in the way of weekends.

Hopefully it will work out. Still, I'm curious. How does your June look?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


This is a call for help. No, really! Please! Save me! No? Well then come join me in commercial doom.

Last week one of my housemates bought and brought home the starter pack for the "new" Skylanders game. His reasoning was noble. A good friend of his had recently left the company he currently works for and is now an employee of Vicarious Visions, the creator and developer of the Skylander line of toys and games. He wanted to support his friend's company, keep them in business as it was, and in doing so he may have doomed our entire apartment.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Climbing The Ladder

I have an obsessive personality. By that I mean I tend to obsess over something for a few weeks to months, consuming everything I can about it, and then I move on to the next thing. It's pretty rare for any one thing to keep my attention longer than that, and when it happens it usually means there is something special to it. Writing is one thing that I keep coming back to, but even in that my obsessed -> dismissed nature shows in how I change projects. Why say all this? Because I want you to understand what it means to me when I say I have been an avid League of Legends player for almost three years now.

I'm not sure what it is about the game. It could be the simple to understand premise with the depth of all the characters. It could just be it is the game that friends I have play, and play regularly. Something about League though has kept me coming back since before they started their second competitive season and while I maybe don't play the same raw number of games I once did, it is still the game I play the most and keep coming back to.

So much so that I've even tried my hand at the ranked ladder. My ranking isn't anything special. I'm Silver 3 currently, which means I'm just around the 50% marker for skill in the community. I am average. Half of the players are better than me. Half of the players are worse than me. Not a horrible spot to be in, but not the best either. The thing is though that I've been climbing the ladder lately. In season 2 I dropped as low as Bronze 5 (the lowest possible ranking) and barely made it back to Silver 5 by the end. In Season 3 I never climbed higher than Silver 3 and spent most of my time in Silver 5. I also didn't play ranked as much. Now, in Season 4, I've been bouncing around Silver 4 and Silver 5 until recently I started going a bit more seriously and climbed from the very bottom of Silver 5 to the very top of Silver 3.

Where before a failed promotion series would see me drop rank on a long losing streak until I hit the bottom of Silver 5, I've actually been staying near the top of Silver 3. I've failed the promos to Silver 2 twice now, most recently last night, but I'm still within one win of trying again, and I have a good feeling about this next shot.

So what changed? Mostly my reason and approach to playing. I'm not playing to climb the ladder - though I am taking joy in doing so. Rather, I am playing to see how far up the ladder I can go. I am playing to improve myself as a player. Losses mean less to me now because they're chances to learn. Wins are awesome, but it's just a step along the way.

It is an approach not unlike those shown by other characters aspiring to imrpove themselves. Ryu from street fighter isn't looking to be the best so much as he is looking to challenge himself, and overcome the challenge, of increasingly difficult foes. Maybe someday I'll get to the top. For now though, just climbing is a joy in and of itself. Even with the occasional slide back down.