Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

With all the online stores making shopping so much easier today... why the heck would you venture outside? No, really. I don't see the appeal of dealing with the rampage of people when I can have a cup of cocoa, be in my pj pants and shop while I'm watching chick flicks with my mother.

...Guys, it must suck to not be a geek. I mean, badmouth the internet all you want, but really think about it, how much hassle have you skipped by knowing your way around the internet?

There were some weeks the past 7 months where I probably would not have been screwed were it not for Amazon Prime.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I frankly want to go curl up with a book while my vlog renders on poor dying Jane.

Pretty sure I'll be looking at new editing computers this holiday season--what's on your list?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Of Thanks and Thursdays

This seemed like an appropriate day as any to try to start up a more regular schedule again. After all, one of the things I am very thankful for today would definitely being getting back to a 40-hour work week. While I know everyone was understanding, I missed being able to write here regularly.

50 hours at work, plus videos on my personal channel on top of my Geek & Sundry vlogs, working on Terra Mirum... it gets a tad exhausting. So while I think taking a bit a break from writing here was probably the best thing for me at the time, I'm really excited that I'm going to be able to get back to a more regular schedule. 

If you're in the United States, today you'll possibly be celebrating Thanksgiving with your family or loved ones. 

Either way, it's fairly likely you're getting those warm fuzzy feelings you get around the holidays when we remember those things we're grateful for. 

Yes, it's going to be one of those cliche kinds of Thanksgiving posts.

But you know what? Thursdays are for Happy Thoughts and this is definitely what I'm vibing on today. 

Almost a year ago today, we were taking pictures for family Christmas letters. All five of us.

I could spend this post talking about how we miss my brother, and how the holiday feels different without him and while it probably would be a little cathartic at first, I'm not sure how beneficial it would be in the long run.

Of course we miss him.  

But I think more important than that is how as a family we've been repairing ourselves. It's been a slow and difficult process--and I don't think it will be over any time soon.

I know I say this a lot, but if anyone tells you how you're "supposed" to mourn, shut that down immediately. 

The point being that the house I came home to last night was not the one I woke up to this morning. 

When I arrived, my father was in my brother's room on his laptop, like he has been since the funeral, quiet and keeping to himself. We've all been sort of keeping to ourselves, I suppose.

But this morning I woke up to my mother starting the turkey and my father prepping grandma's famous roll recipe (Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where I say, "Sorry intestines" and just grin and bear the inevitable gluten and dairy induced pain). They were joking around with a movie playing in the background. 

Since then we made a modest breakfast, chatted, played with the dog...

For the first time in this house, we felt like a family again. And I actually knew that eventually we'd be okay. It wouldn't be the same, but we'd be okay.

I'm eternally grateful for that. 

It's been a hard year for all of us and we've got a lot to conquer ahead of us. But I think we'll get there.

This was a year of a lot of hard work paying off. I've met some amazing people who I'm looking forward to getting to know better and while the past 7 months have been stressful, I've had the privilege of working on a game franchise I'm exceptionally proud of.

And of course, and certainly not least, on top of my family and my friends who I'm very blessed to have, I have you. People I've never had the pleasure of meeting in person, who I still get to converse with. People who have extended their compassion to me even though we were hardly better than strangers.

In some ways, I'm the most grateful for you. You're constant proof that the world is full of good people. That even when it seems dark and bleak, there's hope. 

So thank you. 

I hope today is full of love for you.

Friday, November 22, 2013

First

So... by now you probably know I have a Dragon Age obsession. I don't know what it is. I honestly couldn't tell you--I just like it. And I feel absolutely no urge to excavate any further.

At one point they had a writing contest, which I wrote something for and didn't even make the top 20--honestly I probably made a semi fatal mistake by blurring the lines of what's 'cannon', or there were simlpy 20 stories told better than I told mine. Whatever the case may be. =)

But failing that I realized I now have essentially what is fan fiction and literally nothing I can do with it--not in the traditional sense, anyway.

So I decided to share it with you:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bottled

I'm an expert bottler.

You know the sci-fi channel movie of Alice in Wonderland? Where they're taking human emotions and distilling them into 'teas'?

It's like that.

Only my bottles would look something a great deal more like, "Stress", "Heartache" and "Depression".
I grew up in a culture that believed in sweeping problems under a rug and not talking about them. There are matters to this day that my family--my extended family--will not talk about or pretend doesn't exist.

Of course back then I was young enough to go along with it without knowing what exactly was happening. And despite some truly horrible things/experiences--I was an exceptionally happy child. I was perhaps a bit lonely at times--but I had my family and my imagination and while neither were perfect, I was relatively content with both.

And then puberty hit.

Both of my siblings suffered from bi-polar, manic depression which struck, as it tends to, around high school.

So when I also rolled around to that age, all eyes were on me. Waiting. And then proceeded a 4-year long lesson in tough love. And I learned about emotional manipulation, I learned about what people will say or do to get what they want, I learned what it meant to have someone you love not respect you and vice versa. I learned there was a great difference between my beliefs, my friends beliefs and definitely my parents beliefs. I felt different and alone. When I brought up this concern to a church official--oh back when I still went to church every Sunday with my parents--I was quietly accused of "trying to not fit in". And so I grew depressed and sunk inward.

And my parents started asking questions. But not the questions I had answers for. They started asking if I was tired all the time, they started prodding about all the usual symptoms, it was never a "Did something happen at school?" or "Is something going on you need to talk about?". And at some point during my routine denial, I decided something incredibly stupid. Instead of sitting down with them, having a heart-to-heart about what was troubling me--the many things that they were--I bottled it.


My parents were (rightly so) concerned that I had depression like my other siblings--they wanted to make sure I got the help I needed, if that was the case since I had always been such a happy person. My mother especially would have always been open to hear me talk, so to this day I'm a little bewildered why I chose to clam up. Maybe I just didn't want to add weight to her shoulders.

My mother's a damn rock. I don't think we'd have much of anything if she wasn't the foundation. But she also doesn't get a lot of time for her as a result and I guess... I don't know.

The point is, bottling is stupid. Pretending to be okay when you aren't, is stupid and extremely damaging. My brother bottled--he didn't want to talk to a therapist, he didn't want to get help and he's gone because of that.

So I'm attempting to get a little better. I'm attempting to reach out and open up and be a bit more honest about when I'm having trouble. And as a result I occasionally post something vague on my social media. Usually facebook.

So really I think the weird tie-up of this odd ramble is to simply say, before you make fun of someone for that trend of behavior--give it a little thought first. You'll know them better than I do, so I'll leave the final judgement of how to respond up to you--but from my own experience... it's an attempt to reach out... without really knowing how to go about it. Or it's something I actually can't talk about--but need to vent out the emotion so it doesn't linger and percolate.

Yes, there are people who may just be looking for attention. But I think most of the time someone just needs to talk and isn't sure how to start the conversation.

Monday, November 4, 2013

After the storm (Post-Extra Life ramble)

So Extra Life is over. And I was pretty blown away. Over 1,300 raised--and the entire team raised over 8,000.

So... that's pretty awesome.

I'm really tired, I'm still recovering from being up for 25 hours straight.

These thoughts are not grand or coherent.

My life needs more Catbug. And puppy-cat.

Maybe 'recovering' is a generous term.

... and now believe that I may need to livestream my entire Bioshock: Infinite experience. It was bizarrely well-received.

Still need to finish Longest Journey though too.

I have too many games I want to share with the world. I played LA Noir on my own last night--well, not on my own, but without the internet. I'm addicted to the puzzle-solving nature of it. (I ended up playing it until midnight last night and didn't notice the time passage)

I had to turn off the music when tracking down the Black Dahlia murderer in the catacombs below the church. It was making me anxious.

Music is freaky that way. And brilliant

God, I need sleep.