She’s into it.

I just finished watching Warcraft again.  I love this movie so much.  Granted, there were some pretty scary moments.  But the f/x were outstanding.  It was like visiting a dream.  An unsettling dream, set in a realm where I’ve spent a lot of time while isolating myself from this world.  The scenery was beautiful, and I recognized the landscapes as well as the interiors of buildings, and cities that exist in the game.  Before a site was identified on screen, I wanted to shout its name, out of the sheer joy of familiarity.  I already loved the characters, but seeing them in live action solidified my obsession with Azeroth, and the ever expanding World of Warcraft.

I bought the Blu Ray with digital HD and DVD, because I’ll be watching the shit out of this movie.  I can’t compare it to Star Wars, because this film was only the beginning, (I hope).  It made me want to delve back into the novels, which have always helped me connect emotionally with the game.  I haven’t been playing much of late, but I’m still thinking about it a lot.  I’m mentally preparing myself to bring my main toon into the new expansion.  I’ve raised up my night elf demon hunter to the max level of 110, and continue to complete quests and increase my skills, while exploring the new area.  I do love to fly from the landing platform in Dalaran onto the floating island.

MMORPG’s are a lot more complex than non-gamers realize.  Experience is probably the most valuable asset.  There are lots of people, myself included, who have dedicated a decade of their lives to maintaining toons in Azeroth.  Having another world where I have power and magic, and where my hyperfocus and obsessiveness pay off in easily measured ways, is awesome.  I absolutely prefer Azeroth to Earth.  Not because I think Azeroth is better than Earth, but because in Azeroth, I fit.  In Azeroth, there’s a lot of killing, but death is more like an ice cream headache.  You’re useless for a few moments, then you’re back.  There’s a lot of killing on Earth too.  But it’s forever, as far as we’re concerned.

During the dark times, (Cataclysm), I played Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I liked it, but not nearly as much as Warcraft.  It felt shallow to me.  Like its creators were just doing their job, not sharing their passion.  I don’t have time for that.  Video games are not as good as books.  If they don’t grab my imagination and delight, they get abandoned for novels.  I’m disappointed that I won’t live long enough to read every book worth reading.  That doesn’t mean I won’t try.  This is why I’m always obsessing about Eyes 2.0.  My originals are wearing out.

There are disturbing things about Azeroth.  The fact that we’re constantly fighting an overwhelming foe can get frustrating.  The introduction to changes we have no control over can be meltdown inducing if I don’t read about them in advance.  Blizzard is good about informing in advance.  I can only think of about about 4 times in the 9+ years I’ve been playing where I lost the plot over a bug, or hacking incident.  That’s an incredible record when compared to reality.  The fact that I spend time I could be reading doing things like playing Warcraft, or repeatedly watching the movie, is the highest compliment I can pay to the creators of both.

Whenever life on Earth starts kicking my ass, I retreat to Azeroth.  Sometimes, it’s because I’m angry, but unwilling to direct my anger at anything alive.  So I murder the shit out of some pixels.  I tend to go solo after old raid bosses, and monsters that killed me over and over while I tried to figure out how to kill them.  Sometimes, I just need to go fishing.  It’s not something I would do outside, (indoor enthusiast), but it’s relaxing in the game.  Back to Azeroth.

You know, George told me that he thinks you’re totally cute.

I’m home.  I’ve met with my therapist once, since I’ve returned, and am probably going to meet with her again tomorrow.  The strangest part, is that I’m meeting her because I’m doing surprisingly well under the circumstances.  In my effort to do even better, and stay focused on priorities, I welcome her assistance.  My focus has been less than ideal of late, but I’m not allowing it to become an issue.  Instead, my strategy right now is to allow myself to chase The Shiny for a while.  So I’ve been playing Warcraft quite a bit, since the new expansion was released.  I won’t decide how I feel about it until I reach level 110 on at least 2 toons.  So far, it’s held my attention well, and the scenery is nicer than Draenor.

It’s also nice to get back to Dalaran.  I really loved The Lich King expansion.  It seems like so long ago that I griped about having to do a daily dungeon run.  Little did I know then that a farm, a garrison, and a shipyard were about to make that minor chore look reasonable.  I don’t mind doing these things in the game at all.  I just regret that I rarely find time to do as much as I’d like.  Role playing with my toons in WoW is so much more straightforward and logical than real life.  I feel like I have a good handle on things in the game, and that’s a nice feeling.  Talking is optional, socializing can be done on my own terms, and I rarely suffer from Foot-in-Mouth Disease when gaming.

I’m also playing No Man’s Sky on Playstation 4.  I rarely pre-order console games, but this one caught my attention long before it was released.  I’ll review my thoughts on it at another time.  I’ve been sleeping more than is normal for me.  I must need it, but I’m not enjoying getting up later.  It’s shifting my entire schedule a few hours forward, leaving me feeling out of sync.  I know it’ll self correct in a few days, but in the meantime, it’s taking a toll.  I’m off to read.

Boy, she’s a whacko!

Today was good.  The Depression Monster lost again.  I’m still struggling with insomnia and nightmares, but since I set the criteria for a good day, most of my days are good.  If I’m still alive, and can think of one thing I’m looking forward to witnessing, it’s a good day.  I’m looking forward to leveling my new Demon Hunter to the new max level 110.  I created her yesterday, and then did all the quests available so far.  It was at least 50, because that’s an achievement.  It didn’t seem like that many, but several quest givers gave multiple quests.  I had no trouble figuring out what to do, and finished by doing a battle scenario with several other players in a field just outside of Stormwind.

That battle was intense, and I must have messed up when picking my talents, because I have no healing ability whatsoever, and my health doesn’t regenerate over time.  I was so close to dying, but didn’t have any food, potions, bandages, etc.  I didn’t even have the necessary skills to create them yet.  So I started begging low level players who were watching us to heal me.  Fortunately, someone did.  He was far lower in level, and couldn’t heal me much, but I thanked him profusely for giving me enough life to make it through the battle.  I love it when other players are cool like that.

After that, I spent time acquiring some skills.  I went with skinning and leatherworking.  Then I got first aid, fishing, cooking, and archaeology.  I did the cooking and fishing dailies in Stormwind, and then logged out.  I play standing up or else on my treadmill now, which is working out much better for me.  It just never felt right to me to play while sitting in a chair.  I can play with the sound on now, and use a headset.  For the first 9 years of playing, I had to not only have the sound off completely, I also had to play Abba: Gold on a low volume at the same time to keep from getting too excited/scared/panicked.

The guild I was in back then was mostly guys from Canada, and they thought I was hilarious, when in reality I was freaked out.  Blizzard has a strange dichotomy of funny and disturbing content within WoW.  I love the geek references, jokes, and funny voices.  But the torture scenes are disturbing.  I focus on what I like in the game, and ignore the rest.  There’s plenty of content for everyone to find something they like.  Every so often, I pay attention to people whining in trade chat about the “good old days” when the game was more difficult.  Then I remind them of Cataclysm.  I took a year off from playing when that expansion came out.  I bought it, installed it, and played it for about an hour.  Then I ran into an extremely frustrating quest, and quit playing for a year.

They’ve nerfed the game periodically because their obvious goal is to make as much money as possible, and the ones who bring in the most are casual gamers.  We just want to play, have fun, and not have to spend too much time doing research/reading/studying videos in order to play.  There will always be the hard core players who make those videos and websites the rest of us rely on, and they are probably justified in resenting us a little.  I, like most other casual players, am grateful, but we’d rather play than spend a lot of time stroking their egos.  Yes, they’re way better at raiding, and have the highest gear scores on the server.  Yes, they notice when the game has been nerfed in order to keep us casuals from getting too frustrated and quitting.  Yes, they’re awesome gamers who don’t get enough credit for their skills.  There.

I’m allowing myself to enjoy my interests without the usual limits for a while.  That means a lot of reading, gaming, and coding.  It will never cease to amaze me how much even a single day of doing these activities can help me when recovering from a meltdown.  It does mess up any hope of my keeping track of time, though.  I still have that military paranoia about being late for anything.  It’s unsettling how upset I get when I see I’m going to be late, before I remind myself that I’m a civilian now, and any potential repercussions are no big deal in comparison.  But it’s also fascinating to me.  I have a twisted sense of respect for the tremendously effective brainwashing the military has mastered.

I’m reading the 3rd book of Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn Trilogy.  I’ve read the majority of his novels, which is a good thing, because I don’t think I would have finished this trilogy if I didn’t trust the author.  The subject matter is disturbing af, but he doesn’t traumatize his readers.  He’s one of my favorite space opera writers.  He holds my interest from cover to cover, even when the material is horrifying.  Had it been an unfamiliar author, I would have bailed long ago.  Hamilton is good with details and descriptions.  His stories include diverse characters, and he doesn’t lace them with primitive mindsets and agendas.  It’s refreshing, and has become something I require from all authors I read.  I quit reading the series by Robin Hobb because I got disgusted by the gay shaming.  In the back of my mind, I wondered what it would do to the psyche of a gay teenager, and recognized how damaging and irresponsible it is.

My sister is ill, and in the hospital.  It’s a big part of what caused my meltdown.  I’ve lost so many close family members already, and even though I don’t know if her illness is serious, my mind instantly went to the prospect of losing her.  It’s probably ironic, considering how much I whine about the amount of control she has over my life.  It’s made me aware of how much I still need her assistance.  Between that, too much traveling, and other things going on… Well, I’m not going to focus on that.  Distraction is my buddy right now.  I’m off to read.

You’re gonna need the jaws of life to get out of those things.

As predicted,  more crappy photos.  I ordered a treadmill workstation that will also accompany me to Denver when I move.  It will be going in my office at work.  Three of us ordered them, but we’ll probably all use them sometimes.  I got mine delivered here, because I want to make sure I can actually walk and do something productive simultaneously.  So far, I’ve managed to do my garrison chores in World of Warcraft: Draenor.  It didn’t go smoothly by any stretch.  My ability to control my toon was pathetic.  It forced me to use the WASD keys, rather than my mouse.  I got stuck in my own mine under a lamp at one point, and was just running in place.  I always suspect the game devs are aware of this “glitch”, and figured it was easier to call it a feature.  I have to admit, it’s amusing to watch.

I wish I could get that giant tree wandering aimlessly through my garrison to uproot and leave.  The first time I saw him, he scared the shit out of me.  He’s huge, and when he walks, the ground shakes.  I like having a garrison, and wish they’d add more content to it regularly.  Such as, the mini scavenger hunt for resources that cute little dog was burying.  I mean, they did put a lot of fun content to explore in there.  I just want more.  Maybe if I finally finish the quests I still had when I hit level 100, I’ll find something new.  The new expansion pack comes out at the end of August.  I’m looking forward to it’s release.  Okay, here are those crappy pictures.

q w e

That’s the Logitech Spectrum mechanical keyboard.  I just got it, and I love it.  The switches are something I never heard of (proprietary), but no clicking sound.  It’s a joy to type on.  It’s the first thing I’ve purchased from Logitech in over a year.  I got disgusted with them after purchasing the Z906 surround speakers, and having the control box (defective design), break 4 times while still in my 1 year warranty.  The process of constantly waiting for them to send a replacement, only to have it stop working almost immediately, was so exasperating.  So I switched to Razer gaming peripherals.  I’m glad I gave them another chance, assuming this keyboard continues to function properly for at least a year.  I love the Samsung monitor.  It’s a 32″ TN panel, but Freesync and curved.  Perfect as a mirrored display for my Alienware laptop.  I’m off to play Pokemon Go.

Goram depression

It’s been a productive day.  It’s been an overwhelming day.  I weighed myself.  I should have thought that through before stepping on the scale.  My weight is too low, which means I won’t be able to run for a bit until it’s up again.  The timing sucks, because running is the best way to combat depression.  I almost allowed myself to entertain my frustration and disappointment by spiraling further down the depression chute.  But, I caught myself.  I still have a military mindset in some ways.  When I mess up, I internally rip myself a new one, then laugh at myself.  But when I’m already fighting off a wave of depression, it’s not amusing.  So instead of getting down on myself for not eating enough, I’m going to make some meals in advance, and use my Apple watch to remind me.

I get too absorbed in coding and lose track of time.  When I start to get hungry, I ignore it until I feel dizzy or my stomach hurts.  It’s not a conscious act.  It just has to smack me about the head and neck for me to notice when I’m busy.  The Depression Monster is riding my back, which is pissing me off because I have shit to do, and I’m SO FUCKING TIRED of fighting it off.  I’m going to play Warcraft later just so I can kill the shit out of some monsters and vent some rage.  I know how it’ll go.  I’ll massacre a bunch of poddlings outside my garrison, and then someone will say something funny in chat, and I’ll laugh, and realize I’m not angry anymore.  Then I’ll do my garrison and shipyard chores, and run some dailies.  By the time I log out, I’ll have beaten off The Depression Monster for another night.

I’m going to order some nuts.  And some pizza for dinner.  My cat just licked my neck and cheek.  She’s laying on my desk between me and my keyboard.  She’s so cute.