Sunday Morning Coming Down – Check Point

A round of Words in 80 DaysI’ll be honest I didn’t even look for a check in Wednesday. Nor have I managed to reply to the messages left on my last check-in post. It’s been a long week, complete with a couple of bugs going through the house. We aren’t just getting sick, we’re getting sick, getting better, and then getting sick again. Blech. The good news is it all seems to be swerving away from the little guy. A thousand cheers for that.

The other good news is even with all the crap going on and around, I’m still managing to stay in the groove. I can’t count it all — a lot has been over on my personal blogger account — but that’s ok. I think I’m still good with word count.

Let’s see. I should be around 2,800. I’m at … holy fuck.

4,179

Two weeks in and I’m a quarter of the way there.

stfy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I even hit on my not-official goal — a big chunk of that word count is a piece running Thursday at Perspehone. Plus I’ve been keeping up with my personal blog. Ok, mostly keeping up, I did take two days off, but I’m still going to count it as a win.

I’ll be honest I need all the wins I can get. I need a success. I need this to be a success. I’m slowing starting to realize just how far away  I am from where I want to be. That sucks but it’s fixable, you know? So long as I keep going I’ll get there.

But it’s a long strange trip, and sometimes it’s a hard one as well, and if I don’t get some blue ribbons along the way I’m very likely to just say fuck it.

So when I start thinking I’m Billy Badass and should just move the goal bar up a bit, I’m going to talk myself out of it. I can’t claim success until I hit the goal, so maybe I should just get there first – then I can break my arm patting myself on the back.

Until then, I’m just going to keep moving.

Wired

I wanted to get in some writing while waiting for my game to load, but the idea of having to transcribe is such a Debby Downer I was just going to say fuck it. But then I remembered it is the wired age and I can type on my phone.

Is it this wondrous for the people who grew up with the internet, the ability to plug in any time, anywhere?

I love writing longhand. I always have, even when it meant having to transcribe. But sometimes I just don’t want to fuck with all that. If it needs to be online I want to start from there.

What makes it so incredibly cool is that I’m using my phone. Not just able to plug into the world, but doing so on something small enough to hold in my hand.

Considering when I was a kid having a typewriter was a big deal, this is really awesome.

Technology has even made a huge difference in parenting. The amount of teaching material I have access to this time around is incredible — but the true worth is the ease in which I can connect to that material. Computer games, television networks designed as preschool teaching tools, DVRs that make having constant access to the shows not only feasible but easy as pushing a button. If I want to expose him to music from different areas or cultures I don’t have to hope the library has something or that the local NPR station will play it (and I can get it recorded). All I have to do is look online and I can find any music I want, any time I want.

If there’s a drawback it’s that I’m pretty much addicted. Last night my computer decided it couldn’t connect to the internet. The computer itself was fine, as was the router and every other internet connection in the house,  mine just wasn’t having none of that. It was a very short lived issue, but at first it seemed it could be my network card giving up the ghost. That an easily fixable problem, and relatively cheap, but the next couple of weeks we are living on beans and hope and any computer issue would have to wait.

Just the idea that I might not be able to get online was enough to make me want to panic. That’s never a good sign, and I have to recognize this could be a problem for me at some point.

But in true personal fashion, I’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now I can still plug in, and the world is waiting.

Sunday Check-In

A round of Words in 80 DaysI’m still not sure if I love or hate how close together the check-points are. Right now I love it because I always come off the line accelerating hard. I may not have been a very busy bee right here at M&S, but I have two pieces on the schedule next week at Persephone. I won’t cross-post them here, but fucking a, I damn sure will count them. Which makes my running count very comfortably in the black.

2,548/16,000

I can actually take most of the next week off if I want. The way the last couple of days have gone I just might need to, but … you know, it’s really not that hard to pick a random noun from my head — or the internet — and bang out 200 words. So even if I do one or two this week I’m that much further ahead.

I have to admit it’s so much easier to write when it’s merely padding the lead rather than struggling to hit last place.

Simple Twist of Fate

I first found The Sims through a friend. I had heard about it and was interested, but never actually went out and got it. When I mentioned it in passing, she offered the loan of her son’s copy. He had bored quickly and the disc was just sitting and gathering dust.

The Sims are like tattoos, I think: it’s either one-and-done or give-me-all-the-things.

I fall into the latter in both categories.

But like tattoos, my desire for more wasn’t always feasible. I had to stop playing the original because my computer couldn’t keep up. I kept going back as much as I could (which was too much, at times — more than once I uninstalled everything because it was eating too much of my time), but eventually I just stopped. When Sims 2 came out, I thought about going back, but there was still the computer issue, not to mention the time and cost. I just let it go, and when the urge came on I’d just go find something else to play with.

Cut to April 2011, a very bored night when I absolutely had to be awake for a while. There was nothing to do, so I went window shopping (monitor shopping? ) at Amazon. I don’t remember how I got to video games; I might have been looking for a new game for the little guy. At any rate I stumbled across Sims 3, realizing not only did I now have an adequate computer, but also that  I could buy it right that second and download it. I didn’t have to wait to go to a store to buy a damn disc, I could be installing it in less than a minute.

I jumped on the impulse quickly, before I could talk myself out of it.

Here I am, not quite two years later. My computer and I have managed to keep up with all the expansions so far (although my graphics card hates me like poison). I’ve found the same things hold true as my last go around.

While I love creating Sims and the whole playing with dolls aspect, what always, always draws me in is the ability to design and decorate living spaces. There’s only so many things you can make the pixel people do, and it just gets boring after a while. But designing rooms? That never gets old because the possibilities that come with custom content are endless.

And I’m actually learning about interior design as I “play.” I’m learning furniture placements, how to mix styles, how to dress basic areas. If I ever do go to school for ID I’ll have a leg up, as well as a good way to showcase my ideas.

~*~

There is one other aspect/possibility of The Sims, one I’ll be looking into more as my little guy gets older:

Can The Sims be used to teach adult daily living skills?

I think it’s a good possibility. I don’t know if J will need help in that area, but if he does, this might be a way to model behaviors. Just like real life, a Sim needs food and bathroom breaks, they need to clean themselves and their houses.

Ahh, I just went Googling – yes, there are many autistic people who say it helped them figure things out. They cited what I suspected – that seeing the hygiene bar go from green to red helped reinforce the need for routine bathing, that the moodlets for dirty room helped make the connection between mood and surroundings.

It’s amazing what one can learn from a game, isn’t it?

 

Checkpoint

I’m off like a rocket, which doesn’t surprise me. Starting has never been the problem for me, just continuing and finishing. But hey, that’s one of the reasons I didn’t set daily or weekly goals — this great start will be a nice cushion when the struggling starts.

Three days in I’m at 1018/16,000, with one piece in the uni at Persephone.

dance

Fingers crossed I’ll still be on track come Sunday. Goals still stand as is.

Louie, Louie

Not too long ago I came across a writing post on Tumblr — the author suggested it might help your writing to find an “anti-author,” someone you’d rather cut your fingers off than write like. For her it was Anne Rice – she mentioned how she saw Interview with the Vampire before she read it, and when she tried reading it, it bored her to death.

That just blew me away. I forget … not so much that I’m older than people I follow, but that I have totally different references because of my age.

I read IwtV when I was 12. It had just come out in paperback; my mom bought it for me for a road trip we were fixing to take. I read it between Florida and Mississippi, sprawled out on the backseat, absolutely lost in the story. It’s one of the few books that I can say changed the way I looked at the world. Nothing was the same after I read it.

The idea that so many people didn’t get to experience it as something unlike what had come before, something that stood all on its own, was a jolt. How many people never lived in a world where Lestat was not the one you rooted for?

But I have to say, not too long ago I picked it up and tried to reread it, for the first time in, well I don’t even know how long, years and years and years.

Friends, I couldn’t do it. Not for the reasons my tumblr person couldn’t read it, but because this time around it was Louis I couldn’t stand. Louis de Pointe du Lac on his own is fucking boring, an angsty, emo boy who can’t get a grip.

But I didn’t know that at 12. On it’s own, with no other references, with nothing to go by but what was in my hands, the book — and Louis — was the perfect dream for the dark quirkiness that was just starting to show itself in me.

Music

I have a tendency to title everything I write or create with a song title – and by tendency I mean every single thing. There have been times I’ve spent longer trying to find the right song title than I have writing the piece I want to attach it to.

Music is everything. I don’t remember much at all from childhood, but I remember the music that was always there. My father listened to country, my mother listened to show tunes and light classical. I can’t remember my birthdays, but I can remember the album covers . I remember the songs.

The Nutcracker SuiteThe Monkees Mantovani - Today - Frontgreatest hits front(us)

By the mid-70’s I was adding my own tastes to the mix. I was big into AM radio, r&b, cheesy pop. At one point I owned every single Barry Manilow album – and amazingly enough I don’t feel horribly embarrassed to admit that. I also listened to Bay City Rollers and Captain and Tennille and a lot of other crappy music that would make me want to claw my ears today.

It’s part of the process, the shitty music we’re reluctant to cop to. We have to listen to crap to get to the good stuff. Although I’ll be honest, these days I don’t have the time or patience to wade through crappy music to find something good. Which, unfortunately, means I’m missing out on a lot of good stuff.

That’s almost inexcusable in the internet age. It’s easily accessible  yet I can’t always access. Or, I don’t take the time to access, I just sit back with what I know and love. Maybe that should be a goal for the year: find at least one new artist/band/whatever to groove on.

(wc 278)