Thursday, November 19

Sad about SAD

It's been a week since my last blog post, and I don't know why I've been negligent.

Every fall my mood shifts from opportunity to gloom. I feel like I want to find a cave and fall into it for three months, until my ravenous hunger drives me to find the opening and the glorious spring beyond. It's also stressful that we are slowly moving into our new condo, which means that we are painting it red and green and purple. (Artists! Go figure.)

Also, the kids really are kids now. They aren't little babies that sleep most of the day. If I'm not keeping them entertained from morning until night, then they are parked in front of a T.V. or they will play together, and I'll be drawn into it eventually by the screams.

I realize that it sounds hypochondriacal (yes, that's a word, blogger) to say it, but I've always felt that I've had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is another way of saying that I get depressed in the winter. I'm not a doctor, so I tend to shy away from diagnosing myself of anything, however in this case it seems to fit. I always get reclusive during the winter, and my energy levels plummet. I want to sleep in, eat too much, and do nothing.

The reverse is also true. Come spring, I will bounce around the house, start projects (that I most likely won't finish), and ingest only air and water.

Now the danger here is that I use this as an excuse for not doing anything. I don't want to wake up tomorrow and say to myself, "I have SAD, so I'm not doing a damn thing," because that's a surefire way to never do anything.

Thursday, November 12

Puzzle Pieces

On a similar note to last post, I've always had a difficult time marrying my opposing interests in gaming and art.

(And by gaming I don't mean gambling. I'm not talking slot machines here.)

I enjoy all forms of games, including but not limited to, tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons and Storyteller, video games of all sorts, ranging back all the way to the 8 bit systems of my youth such as the NES, all the way to the games of today like Team Fortress 2 and Torchlight. I made a roleplaying game, I've tweaked even more rules than I can list, and I've made a couple card games.

I also have a Creative Arts degree, which means I've acted, made movies, written reams of bad fiction and poetry, studied music and art, what have you.

These two fields, though they have many things in common, like perspective and narrative, flow and feel, are almost impossible for me to combine in my everyday life. I'm not an artist in the sense that I don't paint, I don't draw (at least, very well), and I don't play an instrument. Likewise, I don't program computers. I'm in the middle ground of mediocrity, where I can see the specialists at both ends of the spectrum, and I'm floundering while trying to glue together disparate parts of a huge puzzle.

What do I do with my writing ability? How do I apply that to games? Or art? Or games and art? There has never been a clear path for what I want to do, and so many times I end up back where I began: with nothing.

I've been looking into things like game design, and I realize that these things are difficult. People don't do this because they are easy. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, if anything in my head is going to come to fruition, and that is a sobering thought. It makes me want to give up, which is the worst possible place to be.

Of course, even my son knows that Elmo says you should always keep trying. Elmo is a pretty

Tuesday, November 10

The Outdoor Contradiction

The back of the photo says September 2003, so I'm assuming this date is accurate.

It's difficult for me to incorporate the various aspects of myself, and my feelings about the outdoors are no exception. I have no desire to live in nature. We always looked down on kids that lived in the "boonies" because they couldn't hang out with us unless some parent wanted to drive, and we all knew that adults were lazy.

On the other hand, I feel that places like the beach and the park add something intangible to my life. (Not to mention that the wiggle demons that live in my kids are exorcised, if not pleasant, when outside. Justin told me, "Light melts monsters".)

The easy answer is to live in civilization and visit the outdoors, but this has its own disconnect, because I'm driving for an hour or more, belching toxic fumes out of my tailpipe as I incinerate my own allotment of dead dinosaurs.

Also, whenever I travel I'm frequently aware of the parasitic nature of tourism, and the locals all have the same bleak countenance that says, "If you stop coming here, we won't survive." Yosemite, and all of the hooplah that goes along with it, would disappear tomorrow if rubberneckers in khakis, carrying disposable cameras, decided that big freaking rocks are lame.

I have no illusion that the park I take the kids to was constructed by people with heavy machinery, that every inch of dirt was leveled to some landscaper's vision of nature. Similarly, the beach is a bunch of crunched up rocks, and yet, when I turn around 180 degrees from the ocean, I see millions of dollars worth of mansions hanging off the cliffs, out of place, like penguins in the sky.

Along these same lines, it's pretty apparent to me that "the outdoors" is synonymous with a patch of land that has no use. You can't grow corn on a granite mountainside, and you can't build apartments on the ocean. So humdrum valleys become our living spaces, while we glorify living in a forest.

I don't have an answer either, because of books like this, which made me realize that cities are inherently more environmentally friendly because all of the people are concentrated away from nature. Take man out of nature, and nature is saved. Go figure.

Tuesday, November 3

Belated Boo!

I took a three day weekend for Halloween, which meant I worked harder than normal taking care of kids. Whether it was carrying a one year old unicorn for a mile while she's trying to keep up with the candy acquisitions of her monster brother, or I'm running a marathon at the beach with a deranged three year old in his sand-encrusted Flash underwear, I'm generally kaput most of the time.

Monday I just crashed. "That's it! Fuck the internet!" was my battle cry, and I fought a tangled war across the ravaged jungle of toys, ripped up Kleenex, and dirty clothes to flop down on the couch and read my 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons books.

Which, by the way, I have been obsessing about. I memorized all of AD&D, and third edition, so it's pretty obvious that at some point in the future I will have this rule set stuck it my head as well. It gives me something to think about when I'm picking granola out of the carpet.

Two short poems:

Apricot apricot
Better not, tater tot


Harmony warmony woo.
Harmony had to go poo.
She went in her diaper,
Then did I wipe her.
Harmony warmony woo.

That is all.