Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When Life Gets a Little Less Tangible

This weekend I greatly felt the shift of how life has gone from the tangible to the virtual. Not necessarily by choice, but life has shifted in this direction with the world around us.

I’ve felt it in almost every aspect of my life as I’ve packed up my stuff and gotten ready to move in the next month or so. I packed up my games for the PS4, but then realized I still have access to ones that are *on* my PS4. That felt like a nice security blanket for the interim, but then I realized I appreciate having access to the game without needing the disc. Weird! I also felt the reverse of that when I went diving back into the packed items to fish out my Star Wars movies. Who was I kidding thinking I wouldn’t want to re-watch them before Episode VII comes out later this year? That I should have known.

Going through my stuff has been great when I feel clear on what I want to keep and what I don’t. Old bank statements? GONE! Book I bought last week? KEEP! It’s a little more annoying when I don’t know if I want to keep it. There is the “will I need this?” level, the “do I want this?” level, the “can I replace this if I need to?” level and the added challenge of “how many of these do I have?” level that comes with having most of my stuff in storage. I've been able to let go of a lot, and also felt confident about what I want to keep a lot too. Having a more relaxed pace to packing has really allowed for being able to think through the choices, instead of the frantic "stuff it all in a box and figure it out later" pace I usually have while moving.

Although a lot of the decisions on what to keep and what to pitch felt great, I have found it challenging when it comes to things like journals and notebooks. Over the past two years I've filled tons of journals and notebooks. I wonder if I will ever re-read them. I wonder if they will mean something to me later. I can't know either for certain, so it made it hard to decide. For now, if it was too hard to decide I went with keeping it. I'll have time later to pitch it if I don't want it and it's better than regretting letting it go. It's something I can't re-buy or re-write, and it represents a particular period of time. I probably didn't need to keep as many as I did (and I did let a few go), but it was quite a sticky spot and I couldn't stay stuck too long and that defaulted to keep.

I’ve found that the sticky spot of keeping/pitching journals and notebooks has oddly had me a little bit in a bind over what I currently use. When I sit to my journal or a notebook, or even my composition book which I love using, I sometimes find myself pondering over that one day I might just end up recycling it. And if that's the case, why bother even using it now? I know that isn’t great thinking, and that there is something very valuable in the process of processing ideas, getting thoughts OUT of the brain, working with images to find out what is really going on, yet I still find myself hesitating from diving in. I may dive in, but I may just as likely find myself playing one more level of Farm Heroes Saga instead.

I know I’m at an odd point of transition, so this isn’t a standard or static frame of mind for me. But it is a great time to think about, work through, and talk through those questions. What is important to me? Will it always be important (and does that matter?), and do we ever know that? Does keeping it make me happy? Sad? Wistful? Forlorn? Tough questions.

The decisions on what to keep and what to let go of are now on hold as I've almost pared down to just what I need until I land on the flip side. I have my journal, my composition book, pencil crayons, my TV binder, all six Star Wars movies along with War and Peace. Plus clothes and tech. I think that will keep me busy for now.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Getting Some Gaming On

I've been itching to do some gaming, which is horrible timing given I just packed all my games away. Happily, I noticed a free demo available on the PS4 for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Although this looked vaguely familiar, I knew nothing about the game. After watching the trailer it had a bit of a vibe of Tomb Raider (adventure, ancient items, running away, lots of jumping and shooting) so I thought I would give it a go. And oh my, I had a hilariously good time ...even if it took me forever to do the first simple task it sets out for you. It's pretty violent and in a gun/shooting way so that might keep me out from finishing the demo but it was fun to try and figure it out and run and jump and... well... plummet to death. A lot.

Speaking of plummeting to death, I also tried the Trials Fusion demo which was a total blast! It's a driving game, but you are on a bike and end up spinning around and around a lot. At least I did when I played. And I fell off the track, sometimes into a new track, and one time I even got stuck *inside* the track. Good times. One of the simple routes I crashed 50 times before realizing I just wasn't going to make the next jump. The only drag with the demo is that when you start it, you have to do a tutorial ever time and although it doesn't take that long (and I often crash on the tutorial), it would be nice to go straight to the routes. I have a feeling I could play the demo over and over and be entertained for quite a while, but given that the game itself is one sale so I might just pick it up.

Trying the different games makes me realize how curious I am about the games out there. What types are available, what kinds of stories they follow and what the gameplay is like? The research I've done makes it feels like it's all in a different language. What is a platform game? What makes a puzzler a puzzler? How (or why?) do people describe games by how many hours played it was? Does that vary person to person? What's a cut scene? I'm also curious about characters. Are their games that you create your own character? Most games seem to follow a specific protagonist, would that be fun? Or is it more fun to pick from different types of characters? So many questions!

One of the reasons I'm trying some games is that I'd love to do gaming via live streaming. It is a lot of fun to watch live streams of people playing, but I often wish they would describe what they are doing and why. Perhaps they and their viewers all already know, but for me I'm just getting back into gaming and I have very limited experience console gaming so I'd love to hear the how and why along with seeing what a game looks like. For myself, I'm thinking it would be particularly fun to try games I know nothing about because it feels less intimidating and also because first reactions are always fun to see. Given that I like to try and figure things out, and I'm likely to figure stuff out by talking it out, it seems natural to share new gaming experiences. And since I know how to play almost none of the games out there, there are tons to choose from once I work up the nerve to do it. I have to figure out some tech stuff first including deciding which service to stream on. Until then, I will continue to fall off cliffs. In game, of course.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


I think it's pretty funny that when writing up my Morning Pages on Monday I wrote Tuesday. I am not sure how I thought it was Tuesday, I think maybe I confused the fact it was the 2nd as the 2nd day in the week which I think of as Tuesday. I am been often writing the wrong date for the MPs and then correcting it. Funny that.

After getting out to do some shopping I took a break to rest and caught up with some old Star Trek, and one I didn't remember very well: 1.14 Balance of Terror, which showed the first ever encounter with the Romulans. Hearing the news of the new Star Trek TV series that is coming in 2017 had got Star Trek on the mind and I guess I just couldn't shake it (and who would want to?). I'm curious about the new series, especially given that it will follow new characters and therefore isn't part of classic, Next Generation, or the reboot. New characters and mew stories works for me! Right now the info seems mostly about how it will be distributed through CBS All Access, something likely unavailable to us here in Canada. Hopefully it will air here in an easy way to watch, because if there is new Trek I'll certainly going to be watching it!

After Star Trek it was time to make dinner, and I went with one of my go to's: Green Curry with chicken, brocolli and peas. Yum! I don't think I'll ever get tired of this one. The sauce that PC makes for this is just great! Spicy, and very tasty. Of course just as I start putting stuff together, the cats came bounding into the kitchen thinking it was time for *their* dinner. They hung out for a while, but finally figured out that it wasn't their dinner time quite just yet.

Monday, November 02, 2015

October 2015

I've been itching to get back to blogging in a more bloggy style. I get really wound up in having a schedule, a pattern, a plan, however I know that right now that isn't he best way to go. But because I wanted to do it that way and know I shouldn't, I get stuck in a brain loop and then just don't do anything. To break that cycle, I'm to got share some bits and bobs from October 2015. I may do another post like this in November, or I might post now and again, or I might find something else that works. But for today, I want to look back and October. Hang on for the ride!

The big highlight of the month was getting out to see my Auntie Laima! Jamie and I went for a visit and were treated to a lovely lunch, shopping for yarn and fabric, and had a lovely dinner out. It was so nice to have a visit, catch up on what we are all doing, talk about projects, arts, crafts and so much more. Plus, I came home with so much yarn I'll be set for projects all through the winter if not longer. So exciting!!!

Another exciting outing was to get out to see The Martian with Jamie and Justin. I loved it! I don't get out to the movies all that much these days, so when I really like the movie it really feels good. Plus, this is one that I chose for the 2015 Book to Film Challenge, and it was quite a good adaptation. Not quite what I expected from reading in terms of perspective, but they really did a great job. It was so much fun to get out and see the movie, and of course chat about it all the way home!

I would be remiss if I felt out a HUGE outing and happening this month, which was getting out to vote for the Federal Election. I will be very exciting to see the changes that will be happening.

I watched a fair amount of movies in October, and one that I absolutely loved was Jupiter Ascending. It came out earlier in the year to mixed reviews by my buddy Marina said to give it a go and I did and I loved it. LOVED IT. I rented it, but now I really want to buy it. I was also happily surpized with X-Men Days of Future Past, and I say surprized because I love the X-Men generally, but really was disappointed with X-Men First Class, so I'm glad they got it back to the spirit of X-Men here. Another biggie for October is watching scary movies, and I tried to do the 31 Days of Horror again. I only got about halfway through the month doing the videos, and stopped for a few reasons. A big one was running out of steam to do the videos, but I also didn't want to get locked in to only watching horror (especially if something new and not horror-y popped up on Netflix). But I did make it through 7 of the Children of the Corn films, and I think that's a triumph in it of itself.

It has been really fun to have Art Day's with Jamie on Sunday's. We've been continuing through the Year of the Spark and also Making Art a Practice. A huge theme this month has been faces, faces, and more faces. I've also done a lot of drawing faces while I'm watching TV or movies. It's amazing how themes turn up in life like that. To see/hear more of what I'm creating you can watch my sisters Suzie, Jamie and I on stART: Creating As We Go where we share our creative projects.

There was a lot of new and returning TV to enjoy in October, and although I'm still a bit off kilter with shows I have a lot I've been enjoying a lot of great shows including Season 9 of The Voice, the return of Arrow and a new fave is the House of DVF (Diane von F├╝rstenberg). Actually, House of DVF really took me by storm, even though I knew nothing about it other than it would be fashion related. Turns out, it's a reality competition series to find the new brand ambassador for DVF. I have found Diane von F├╝rstenberg and her staff totally inspiriting. They are fabulous, professional, on point and really want to see the contestants succeed. I really hope they renew it, because I would love to see more of this world.

My reading this month has been pretty dismal. I only finished one book and a handful of short stories. I didn't even start my 2015 Book to Film Challenge selection, and made minimal progress of my reading of War and Peace. I'm trying not to get to down on how I did reading-wise this month, especially given I've read 60+ books this year already. My reading has been pretty consistent for over a year now, so I think I just hit a bit of a lull. I think all the movie and TV watching might have had something to do with that. That's okay, I can get back on track when the energy shifts again.

One of the huge highlights of any October is Halloween! This was a really fun and laid back year, we watched Jurassic Park and Jurassic World (first time watch for me, and really enjoyed it). It was also cool to see the cats have their first Halloween, they definitely took an interest to anything with feathers or fur. Jamie created a Facebook page for the kittens if you'd like to see more of them (and you should, because they are SO CUTE!).

That's what October was like. I have a feeling November will be more chaotic, with a move on the horizon and I will be doing lots of work around that this month. We'll see how it goes!

Weekly Catch Up: Welcome March!

Whelp, we made it through February and all the SNOW, so I'm happy it is now March. I'm not fooling myself, I know March is still ...