The Inkwell


Spoilers, I suppose it is only fair to advise, for Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I was thinking tonight as I leapt off the Skyhold balcony and dove the the massive heights that assuredly would have killed me if I were of a sort to be killed about the first time I played the game.

I have wanted over the past few days, when the boss has been away and the holidays have begun to loom in their congenial way, to have a big game to play.  Dragon Age: Origins, when it first came out, was one of those event video games where if you let yourself go all in and immerse yourself in the story, you could be gone from life for a week.   That, I think I’ve mentioned before, has its appeal.  However, it is also delightful to watch a character progress through a story, to hit those carefully crafted story beats as intended and feel the joy you were meant to feel.

I remember being curled up in my bed, the lights were out, I’d been playing way too long, but I knew that there was a scene.  Or I expected there would be given what I know about how Bioware companions work.  Clicking there and finding my little Inquisitor up on that balcony, contemplating just what this odd elf was actually meaning when he was asking her about the impact of the mark on her hand, completely unaware of what this actually meant, I was enthralled.  I was learning just as she was learning in a way that obviously, I cannot replicate now.

When he grabs her to kiss her, one of his knee-knocking, earth-shaking, rend the world in two brand of kisses, it feels as though they’re unexpectedly creating something together.  It feels remarkable and urgent and tangible.  All the more tragic, of course, in light of what happens to tear them apart.  But that visceral quality, that fresh, unvarnished and brand-new sense of story engagement, I both want to experience that and want to learn how to create that for others because it is such a gift.

When the room is dark and you feel so unsure, to know there’s a path, there’s a process, there’s a change you can affect within the game.  I mean, that’s compelling shit.  You can’t just give up on reality for it, though, because eventually the game does end and eventually the Inquisitor’s heart gets stomped on for reasons that we as players know, but she is oblivious to.

If this life is a game, a sim, a treat for some girl in some other world to look in on as we look in at our hamsters, then I apologize.  It’s a dull as dishwater soul you got stuck with.

Still, if she ran my life, she also knows what it is to hear music and raise my arms in the air, what’s joyful about spinning in the living room, why spending an hour cleaning the bathroom can feel as rewarding as a $100 bill.  If she runs this life, I think she’s alright in my books.



strawberry-cake-2-1323179-1600x1200It is the things you do when you swear you can’t do anything that make your life what it is.

I think I may have posted that exact line verbatim before, but if that’s so, it’s only because it is a self-evident truth in my life.  A recurrent theme.

This is the middle evening of the three-day weekend that snuck up on me and has wrapped its arms around me in what may be a chokehold or just a secure swaddling.  I have left the house twice for food purposes.  I am, regrettably, not sure what exactly I bought, but I did go.  The sunlight did touch this skin which is no longer so alabaster after being peeled and scorched a time or two this summer.  I didn’t JUST play video games.

We called over to my parents to set-up my father’s birthday lunch at some Mexican restaurant the whole family is very positive on and got the sad, but expected response.  No, no, don’t spend your money on me.  I’m already working on my next birthday.  Sigh.  We could go without him and just have lunch, but that would be weird and sad and sigh.

So the timing of food got thrown off.   The grocery store after 8p.m. is always a dangerous proposition.  I ate my fast food / fast casual / not fast at all, hamburger which took 25 minutes to be passed in its usual brown paper bag of embarrassment over to me (though it was very good) late and felt rather unsure about what to eat for dinner, so I end up wandering the aisles hungry but feeling as though my stomach would immediately reject whatever I tried to throw down my gullet.  Eventually I realize I have to buy something because it’s about time to leave the store and I remember the carnitas in the freezer and think carnitas nachos! So I run about gathering the necessary ingredients, cheese, salsa, what have you, along with a nice bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper because it’s a three day weekend and let’s just fuck ourselves up but good.

Tomorrow’s the final hurrah of this piece of gaming property – Dragon Age: Inquisition and this is surely not a forum for any sort of formal review.  I just want to say that I love it and I hope I will love it even after I endure the events of the final piece of content, the epilogue where my character that I’ve written about and adored and hoped for will experience her final breath of animated life and the rest will be relegated to the mending powers of fanfiction.  This is not to say that I expect it to be bad – in fact, quite the opposite, but I do know that my optimistic hopes for the ending that satisfied the experience she and I have shared are not so likely to be fulfilled.

All of this means I will be staying up late to start playing it and probably a bitch for the rest of the week.  I wish it could be otherwise, but it can’t.

Or Is It Istanbul?

I’ve still got my boots on and I think that says something positive about today.

While the majority of it was spent playing video games – so much so that I finished one and went out and bought Assassin’s Creed: Revelation and now in the background as I type this post you can hear the tide rolling in at Constantinople , I did actually put some clothes on, including some knee-high brown boots that I really love from Clockwork Couture (hey, I should look at that for Christmas presents for myself – or a treat someday in the future because I feel really odd and awkward talking about it as though I’m dropping hints for my sister when I really just love these boots and steampunk and steampunk boots.)

At any rate, these boots actually went for another walk today with the dog and took me along with them.  Physical activity that nobody put a gun to my head and made me do! +1!  Also, I didn’t buy any food today! No fast food, no Chipotle, no hamburgers, nothing.  I didn’t eat horribly either, except, of course, for the caramel corn for breakfast/lunch when it came to me that I had absolutely nothing else to eat.   Not a good choice, but hah, when do you come to me for good choices?  Well, maybe not in the past, but hopefully in the future.  So, yes, bad breakfast but at least I didn’t run out and pay $15 bucks for it.   Then, for a late lunch, defrosted chili that was very good.  And then chicken noodle soup for dinner which was also very good and homemade in our crock pot.  And I don’t feel at this very moment like I’m going to rip out anyone’s carotids over it, except of course, for the overhang that comes from playing a video game all day.

And Assassin’s Creed is an extra extra mindfuckery sort of game, to boot (ahem) so I’m floating a little bit outside of myself and just trying to come back down to earth with plenty of time for going through proper evening rituals and getting some sleep so that I can face the day and not come home blind with rage and thinking I need to immediately medicate and regulate everything with a hefty, brain-eating dinner.

Mainly, I want to gain back a little bit of diet/healthy control so that January 1 I can do a year 29 amazeballs self-transformation, change my job, my life, everything without the help of some jerk from tv sort of thing. Another window leading into some good timing.   And I always have that first 23 days before my birthday when I start to think that I need cake to live.  So right now, trying to get through the holidays, start some good habits and start shaving off some bad ones.  I got rid of pop a year ago, if I could get rid of eating out, at least most of the time, get rid of some of this messiness.  I don’t know.  I just know I like myself better when I’m oriented to a goal.   The sourness, the bleakness, the despair, ha ha, I want to leave it for someone else.

Deathless Prose

It’s over.  Almost.  My poor Shepard.  Poor me, really, who has to wait these long months until she can can have another immersive adventure being the woman who can do anything and for a friend, would.  There’s nothing left to do, no planets left to explore, no new missions.  I told myself I wouldn’t allow myself this awkward post-game funk, but here it is.

Wait, what?!

Okay.  Okay.

Let’s talk about the new plans.

The new plan is a single thing.  Get through this week without falling into crazy food situations and I’ll consider it good.  This week is the culmination of six months of major events for me.  Once this Saturday is over, I’ll be my own person again.  Or at least I’ll go on vacation for an extended weekend and then I’ll be my own, home-bodied person again. Maybe start working on some writing projects.   I have been wicked stressed and…yes, wicked stressed…and dealing with everything has sucked.  Let’s be frank.  It’s been a huge catalyst for me not being able to be on track with anything the first three months of the year promised.  This is the cycle and while I haven’t been able to figure out a way around it, at least I know that it exists and until I do find a way around it, spring and summer –  event season – is going to throw everything diet wise out of whack.  And that’s a long time for a lot of damage to be done, believe me.

Today has been a fire sale day.  All carbs must go.   Just this aggressive eating.  You look at it from the outside and it sounds fucking nuts.  It is.  But when it works, it works wonders. We are racing towards surfeit because that’s the only stop sign I seem to yield to lately.  I’m pondering what the Shepard diet is.  She must have bad military-type rations and not really think about it that much.  I am fully aware that she’s just a computer generated badass, programmed to delight and inspire me and she doesn’t actually eat anything, but if we play along…Shepard has so much going on and she doesn’t have to have fire sale days.  She might drink now and again, but none of that froo-froo stuff that’s full of sugar.   She just eats when it’s time to eat and that’s it.   Does the best she can with what she’s provided and while she may drag the Normandy through some Ilium drive through now and again, she’s got a life and a mission and things are bigger than how many pieces of bread can she eat in a given day.  She wouldn’t even think to ponder that.

Shepard Diet starts tomorrow.   Survive and conquer diet.

Got a few non-gaming things done and vacuumed as was necessary.   Go N0t-Growing-Into-The-Couch team.

Time to pull on those knee-high combat boots, get our war paint on, and do the Sunday Night Dance of Denial and Eventual Acceptance of the Inevitability of Mondays.

I realize if you don’t play Mass Effect this is all meaningless, but I was never one for meaning much to other people.