Dee

So I have been quite the chicken. I have been procrastinating like crazy on writing this post. I think in part, it is that I am afraid that I won’t do it justice. And this one, over all, deserves to be the best.

I don’t know that I will achieve that – but please know that everything that follows is genuine, and honest, and from the heart.

See, in January, on Sunday the 25th, my dear friend Jenn and I were in our game, giggling madly while she tanked elite wolves on her shadow priest, and I did half assed dps and heals to help bring them down for trapping. We were having a great time – we hadn’t really played together one on one much in a LONG time. Her phone rang – it was her husband. She had to go away to take that call.

She came back, and typed “get to a safe place, and check your facebook. NOW.”. I was so scared, I had no idea what may be going on. So, I did what she said. Made sure my girl was in a safe place, and alt-tabbed out to facebook.

Scrolling through my feed, I get to a post from Steve, who has been thin on the site for a while. He is what Dee called her “radioactive sea monkey” – better known as a nuclear sub tech – and he had been deployed for some time. It took me a few read throughs to register what he was saying.

Our Dee – our dear and lovely Dee – had died on Friday – the day before her 37th birthday. I wanted it to be a horrible joke – I wanted it to be that someone with a nasty sense of humor had hacked the page, and had posted this for some sick and twisted reason. The post itself however, was so intrinsically STEVE – that I knew it was real.

I am pretty sure I screamed. I am also pretty sure I spent some time just saying NONONONONONONO. I don’t remember much – other than the agony that was my very being. I think what bothered me the most, was knowing that with Steve out to sea, Dee was there with her kids. It had to be one (or more ) of her kids who found her that morning, and that thought broke my heart.  We found out so late – because it does take time to surface a sub – and then get Steve back home.

I met Dee on the forums for the game I play most. (the one I work for!) I had started haunting the forum – and answering a question here or there. There was an “off topic” thread in that forum – for things not really related to the other threads. Kind of a coffee klatch/gathering place for the “regulars” and anyone else that wanted to join.

Y’all know me – and you know how I feel about groups of people I don’t know. That extends to online as well. Still – I screwed up my courage, and posted in that off topic thread. And Dee – gracious, kind Dee, was the one who first replied, and made me feel warm and welcome. I will always be grateful to her for that. She gave me – with that one kind post -a doorway that led to some of the people I love most in my life.

Dee was the best of us. As my friend Vicky said on my wall, she was what most of us wanted to be. She was just simply GOOD.

Now, that doesn’t mean she was stuffy, or boring, or anything like that. She could whip up a good solid dose of snark – and she relished doing so from time to time. She could be a bit raunchy, and had a wicked sense of humor. When teased, she would always come back with /halo!

BUT – Dee walked her walk. She lived her beliefs, but didn’t try to hold others to her views of how things were/should be. She loved everyone – and was kind to everyone even when they had gotten on her last nerve. (we saw this more than once on the game forums – she would try to help and the person would be totally resistant. She would finally just say something like “Ok then. I hope YOU have a nice day. /smiles sweetly.”) Then, she would come to our super secret out of forum group – and let the snark fly! ❤

She had total faith in her God – belief in her religion, and lived by those tenets as well. She wasn’t sanctimonious, or overbearing, or judgmental – she lived her life, and her beliefs, and was secure enough in them that she didn’t feel the need to try to sway or convince anyone of the “truth”. She trusted us to be good people, and to know our own minds in regard to faith – and loved us unconditionally, even when some of us held very different beliefs.

Dee’s other devotion was to her family. She loved them with all of her heart –  they came first. Hands down. And one can see that when they see pictures of the family. You can see how close they all are – you can see how much she loves her kids, and they love her. She had seven children – and from the earliest days, they were dubbed the “moonkinlings” for the spec of druid she played in our game..  And oh my heavens – the pictures of Dee and Steve could outright burn you with the radiance of the love shining in both of their faces.

I am so very glad that Steve has elected to keep all of us not only in his life (he has always been part of our group – but with being at sea for long periods of time, we of course had more time with Dee). – but in the childrens as well. He made a facebook page for them, so that we could interact with them without having him as the middle man. I now have to remember to try to edit myself on my page though – or change settings when I let loose with one of my more profane memes or rants. I haven’t always been immediately successful with that – but when I see it – I have always gone back and changed the settings for those posts – with an apology to Steve. And I have been working on being more aware.

My heart still hurts, and I do believe it always will. When we lost Dee, the world became a little darker, a little smaller, and a little colder. This earth lost a shining light. My life has been infinitely blessed by having had her in it, and I know I will cherish my memories of her always.  But- my days going forward have had a little less sparkle.

I love and miss my friend so much.  Even now, months after the fact, it hits me, and fills me with such an ache  – I am unable to breathe with the pain.  I want to rage and cry – and sometimes, I still do.  And once the pressure starts to subside, I know that she is up there, doing what she loved best – dancing.   Through and around and with the stars.

I’m Still Standin’

After all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.

Not really. I am obsessing about the last 10 years, and how I have been a dumb ass when it comes to love.

Ten years. Ten years of burying my head in the sand – of convincing myself that the little things mattered, and that they were proof that I was loved by this man.

How he would clean the catboxes after arthritis/bad back started complaining that they were NOT going to cooperate with this sort of activity.

How he would get up – even after an hours sleep to brew the first pot of coffee, and then bring me my first cup. Because he knew my hands would rebel at picking up and holding the pot – I was so afraid of breaking the carafe.

How he would load/unload the dishwasher (or do the dishes, when we didn’t have one) because he knew I hated it.

Same with going to the laundry mat when we didn’t have washer/dryer in whatever unit….

Yes. All of these were thoughtful, and all of these were wonderful. However.

However – when he skipped out on a days work while we were in MA and had the home renovation business , leaving me to field the calls and even knocks on the door asking where he was – because the entire side of the house was gone and only covered in plastic –

when he would disappear for a day or two or three – once while I was sick with what turned out to be pneumonia and had asked for cough syrup to be picked up (only one car in this household.)

When my facebook would fill with ads for single women in the Austin area – and I would know that he had been perusing… thinking… hell. maybe even doing.

STILL. Me – the fool. I know that there is a good person deep under somewhere. THAT is the person I fell in love with – the one I stuck to for so many years. Almost 11 to be exact.

I should have known right away, when after just 5 months of him living with me, getting a call from a “friend” letting me know that I was going to be evicted the very next day, if I didn’t do something.

When I got back to my apartment (after leaving work early) – he immediately headed to the bedroom to pack. I asked what the hell he was doing. His reply? “You are going to tell me to leave, so I thought I would start…” My answer was “ Do you love me? REALLY love me?”

He said that he did, so I asked “What are we going to do now? How are we going to fix this?”

That was when he suggested we move to MA. We may be able to get people to help with loans to get us into another place in CO – but that wasn’t guaranteed, and time was short. In MA, we could stay with his parents for a few months, build up a bit of a cushion, and then start fresh!

I was scared, but I have to admit that there was some excitement too. New area of the country – one that I was promised was lower cost of living (NOT SO MUCH GUYS – just sharing that.) with opportunity – and a bail out. All it really required, was losing everything I had with the exception of a single box of books, and my clothes. (I drove a 1998 Metro at the time – and there wasn’t a lot of room for ANYthing).

So.

I am STILL standing. After all this time. I am picking up the pieces of my life though my husband is very prominently on my mind. I am heartbroken that he doesn’t love himself enough – or ME enough to work to make a life that works for us together. This too, shall pass. For now however, I shall have to drink a glass or three of wine, and remember that I – and my thoughts and actions DO matter. For me more than anyone else.

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah.

Yeah. I am. Barely.

I let myself, and my life be dragged out of shape by a man that (retrospectively) didn’t LOVE me – but loved what I represented. Stability. Security. Money set aside for larger bills…

EXCEPT.

Yeah. Except, the money set aside was spent The security was not there. The stability was not there. BECAUSE – the money was spent when it WAS NOT THERE.

Trufax people. I would have liked to celebrate my FIVE YEARS with my company – but couldn’t -because I can’t afford it, and didn’t have a way home. >.< I would STILL like to celebrate this achievement, but again, no money, no ride. (This too will change – and I may try to do this when I get the five year award.  >.>  )

Now, a couple of days after writing the first part of this – he has called. And is trying to wiggle his way back in. Asking for another six months to get his shit together.

I need to remember that I have done and tried this countless times. And – that I have been disappointed each time. I simply cannot afford to give anymore to this go nowhere money and emotional pit of a relationship.

And a little more of my hear breaks.

This too shall pass. I know this. It is living through until that happens. That sucks ass. Seriously.

The Power of Words

We’ve all heard the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” chanted at us when we were young, and crying because someone had said something cruel.

Of course, that phrase is supposed to put us in a mind frame that says “what others say to/about me doesn’t matter!  I am __________________(insert the opposite of whatever was said)”

As we all know – this is not true.  Words do hurt.  They can cut deep, and leave scars to rival, or even surpass the physical.  Bruises fade.  Cuts heal, grow smaller, and some physical scars will fade away completely – even if the gaining of them stays sharp and clear.

Words however, leave no physical evidence.  They are sneaky and insiduous.  They worm their way into the head, and pop up when we are most vulnerable to them.  They take on a life of their own – especially when you are already unsure about/insecure about whatever it was that the words addressed.

Struggling with clinical depression – struggling with a lower self esteem, and second guessing all the time makes this even more invasive. I fight with myself over every mistake – every word I have uttered that may have been misconstrued – even years after the fact.  I worry about what and how I said something, because I know this to be true:

Words can indeed hurt.  A lot.

When those words are uttered by someone who is supposed to love you?  Devastating.

Why do those we love do this?  Is it because they are hurting, and know that it is safe to lash out at us?  I mean, we love them – we should forgive.  Right?

I ask, because this happened to me today.  I have been sick for going on a week now.  I don’t know if FMLA will cover the second part of the sick.  It overspans the covered timeframe for the month that we have set up.  I need to see my doctor to ask about having that amended.

My sister called while I was napping – so I missed it.  Called her back after I woke up – and she was screaming at me.

I am here, running a fever of 101 – 102, coughing, hacking, and generally feeling like crap.  She?  Is flinging mud.  Starts with the fact that she has been trying to get ahold of me (facebook and phone) for THREE MONTHS.  It isn’t a matter of her catching me – I just don’t give a fuck, and don’t call back!  (Truth is – I checked.  NO messages on facebook – and one, from JUNE, that was missed.  She had called when I was at work, with my phone off).

She moves on to trying to throw down a guilt trip about my mom.

See, before my mom died, she sent me a Logitech webcam for my computer, and Skype.  It was my birthday present.  I hooked it up, but couldn’t get it to work correctly.  Mom died before I could get the damned thing figured out.

My youngest sister was telling me that I broke my moms heart – denied her her dying wish – wouldn’t use the camera mom bought for me, so she could see me before she DIED.  Didn’t I feel bad that I denied that wish?

Yeah.  No.  Not going to accept that one.

Sorry.  I managed to get over/not fall for guilt trips a long time ago.  Not gonna fall for this one. My youngest sister was just trying to pick a fight.  So, I told her that I wasn’t gonna do this, and hung up.

She called back.  I answered, and the first thing I asked was “are you going to be a reasonable adult?”  “Yes!  Just answer the damned question!”  I hung up again.

The third time, I answered and said that I would speak – but only if she were civil.

Nope.  “Just answer…”  I hung up again, and turned off my phone for about 1/2 hour.

Turned the phone back on (because I was waiting for a call from my FMLA coordinator, to figure out how the messed up claim was going to work), and she called one more time.

“So.  Are you going to be civil, and speak to me calmly?”

“yes.”

“ok.  How are you?”

“Fine.  Just answer the question.  What about…”

“No.  I am sick – running a fever of 102.  I am not going to do this.  Check your facebook.”  and I hung up.

I think she got the message.  She hasn’t called back.  My facebook message to her is private, but basically says, “I love you – but I won’t do this.  I refuse to do this.  If you want to talk to me, I am happy to do so.  If you want to abuse me because you are unhappy with something in your life, don’t bother.  I am not the cause of your unhappiness, and I won’t do this.”

I do love my sister.  She has problems, and I understand that.  She has let those problems dictate her life, instead of trying to figure out how to overcome them.  She has trapped herself in a victim mentality – and now doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything.

I however, refuse to be her punching bag.  I refuse to let her try to drag me to that level.  AND – I know that she is doing this, because she has something that is bothering her, and feels that the only way to deal with it, is to make herself “better”.  Better than someone, or…  I don’t even know anymore.  I am sick, and I am tired, and I am so over drama.

And yet.  I know that while I loved my mother, very dearly – it was a LOT easier from a thousand or two miles away.  I did try to set up that damned camera, but did I try hard enough?  I know that I was ashamed of the way the thyroid issues I have developed made me look, and the weight gain they have caused.  Did I not try hard enough because of NOT wanting to be seen that way?

Is she right?  Did I deny my mother the chance to see me – and ME of my last chance to see her?  Even subconsiously? (realizing of course, that mom died unexpectedly.  There wasn’t any warning.  Talked to her on Sunday night – Monday morning, sis called to tell me mom had died in her sleep.)

Still, I don’t know.  And not knowing, I guess that question will add itself to the other million little nibbling spiders of self sabotage in my subconscious – trying to weave webs of tangled doubt.

I guess congratulations are in order.  The guilt trip?  Seems to have worked.

Fear and Love

So.

I’ve had a real home for a few months, had a shift change, and am now held again to my IDP. (Individual Development Plan as you remember).

New team manager can be a bit of a stickler, and he is gonna hold me to it! (Thanks, Mr. Man. I definitely need the motivation/prods).

It’s not that I don’t want to write. I do! I really really do! There is just so much going on in my twisted little head…

First.

There is of course a fear of starting back up. Writing on a regular basis means commitment!

Other than my high and lofty goals, set out 1.5 years ago, I haven’t written regularly since 1993 when my best friend in the world, the mate of my soul, and one of the most loved people in my life Kevin, died.

He was so young. Just 30 when AIDS took him.

This was before the first cocktail went into trials. This was back when people were so afraid of AIDS that they freaked out at the mere thought of knowing someone affected. I remember my mom being worried because I used to hug Kevin, and even (OH MY GOD) kiss his cheek. She was frightened – afraid that I would contract the disease from that kind of contact.

Back then, people weren’t very informed. There was a LOT of hysteria about the disease. The docs didn’t know much, and the general populace, even less.

I however, knew that we were OK. If he didn’t have an open sore on his cheek (and yeah. Whose gonna kiss a cheek with an open sore anyway. Really?) I would be fine. It wasn’t airborn, so hugs were FINE.

And, at that time, we were both in need of hugs.

I had miscarried my first baby, and he was in the midst of an ugly breakup with his boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend was still his roomie – because they couldn’t afford to live separate. Ex-byfriend was bringing new boys home every couple of evenings – and in the end, had a “live in”. Poor Kevin. His heart was given, and he tried to be stoic, but I know he was hurting. His heartbreak was mine.

I loved Kevin from the first time I met him, at the Denny’s where my first husband waited tables early in our marriage. (He worked there, and I had a job as a subcontractor for the USGS, doing data entry). He worked there as well, and when I came in for all night coffee, waiting for Rick to get off, Kevin never minded if I had a table in his section.

We would talk about books, politics, religion… any and everything that could or would come up. Debate, and discussion, and even if we didn’t agree (which didn’t happen that often, surprisingly) we had a rousing good time, often ending with heading out to breakfast when his shift was over, to discuss more!

It was with Kevin that I saw the movie “The Accused”. Jodie Foster playing Sarah Tobias, in a film that was loosely based on a 1983 rape case, involving a woman gang raped in a bar in MA. SHE was the accused, because she “dressed and acted provocatively”. This movie had me in hysterics. Kevin was able to calm me down, talk me down, help me feel not so violated watching the movie. (I have some serious empathy issues – and when I can relate, Nellie bar the door!)

It was with Kevin that I learned about non mainstream religion (read paganism, in all of its forms) and started to come to an understanding of what the divine means to ME. It was with Kevin that I learned to be a bit more open. Kevin was like a brother I didn’t grow up with, but had he been NOT gay, or I a man, he would have been my love. My one and only. And I would have been his. In the bodies/lives we had however, that was not to be.

Kevin was also my writing buddy. Both of us had the fire. The need. The want. We would read, and critique, and edit, and then reread each others work. He was a maarvelous author, and he had faith in ME and my writing as well. Of course, thinking back on what I was writing then, I cringe. SO fraught with meaning – symbolic as hell, and oh my gods preachy? I should say SO! Ugh. I hope that when I get up the courage to try to write more than my little blog posts here, that I will have found I have grown, and that I am better for the wisdom I have gained.

Still, and most importantly, we were both writing. Kevin was in school – taking classes at the community college, and writing stuff for his Creative Writing course. He also had a filebox full of titles, snips and ideas, as did I.

1993. Kevins HIV positive status had tipped over into full blown AIDS and he had Kaposi Sarcoma. It was invading his legs, feet… pretty much the entire lower half of his body, and with HIV, yeah.

There was a close call in November of that year – where I (as executor of his estate, and Power of Attorney for him) was told that his family should be called – he wasn’t likely to last much longer. He was out of his head – delirious.

Of course, this happened when we were in the beginning stages of a full blown blizzard in Denver. Still, I went to the airport (20 miles give or take each way) three times to get his parents, and each of his brothers as they flew in and take them to the hospital.

Turned out, the staff at the hospital had given him a drug that was dehydrating his brain, and hadn’t given him saline in his IV to help. Once someone realized that, he was more himself.

At that point though – I had another meeting with the hospital staff. His condition wasn’t going to get better, and they wanted me to choose a hospice facility.

It was a happy chance that the one closest to where I lived (only about 6 miles) was also rated the best. At this point, I was spending 18-20 hours a day at bedside, making sure he was never alone. After he got moved to the hospice, he became clearer, more focused. The staff there was awesome. He however, was breaking my heart. He kept talking about “when he got out”. I didn’t want to face it, but I had to.

“Kevin, hon. This is a hospice.”

“Yeah – I know. But when I get out – ”

“Hon. The reason you are here, is because there isn’t much time, and we want to keep you as comfortable as we can until…”

“You mean I am going to DIE here?”

“…” (with a squeeze to hand, and tears in my eyes)

“Why the FUCK didn’t anyone tell me? Mom and dad have been talking about when I go home. There’s so much I need to do before I die! So much I need to get out. Please. Make sure my stuff gets done? My books and stories get written? Finish them for me?”

(This is pretty much verbatim for how that conversation went. It is seared into my brain.)

And for the next week or so – I took notes. And listened. And committed to memory. And spent time with my best friend, my soul mate, as he slipped further and further away.

Finally, on December 3rd, 1993, we were in the sun room, and he was giving me more information about stuff he wanted written. Ideas he had, and novels that were conceived, but he was wandering a bit. A couple of nurses were in the room as well, having a smoke break. (This was back in the day – most places still allowed smoking, and in this hospice, that sunroom was the smoking room.)

They looked at each other, and then at me, and the sadness and compassion in their eyes told me exactly what I was afraid to hear/see. “Why don’t we get Kevin back to his room now for a bit? I think he is probably a bit tired.”

They got him back into his bed, and then went to hunt down his family. I stayed there, holding his hand, and a couple of minutes after everyone got there, he was done.

I leaned over, and kissed his cheeks, his lips, his eyes, and whispered into his ear that I would write for him. I would remember him, and I would love him forever.

Now, 20 years have passed. I still love Kevin, and I miss him every day. Some thought of him comes most every day for me still. He was and is, a part of my life that is precious, and beautiful. I have NOT however, fulfilled that promise. I stopped writing.

Apathy. Fear. Heartache. These invaded my life, until it became easier to make excuses than it was to make stories.

Writing this blog was supposed to be a way back to the joy – but I have been letting fear (and a bit of real life) get in the way of that.

Fear is the biggest part here. I have been left with a huge responsibility. Write his stuff – and do it justice. Write my stuff, and do IT justice.

I am afraid. He was such a marvelous writer – and I don’t know that I CAN do this. He had faith in me, but I am having a hard time finding that faith in myself. Can I write it – get it out, and get it READ? If I do, would it be what he wanted it to be? Would it be good enough?

These thoughts haunt me, and I find myself sinking into a quagmire. If I don’t try, I won’t fail.

If I don’t try however, I can’t succeed. I will also have broken a promise made to someone I loved, and still love with all my heart.

So Many Games, So Little Time!

AH MA GAHD!

All of a sudden, I have been inundated with games to play. And not near enough time to play them all, as well as try to get as ready as I can to move, and work, and sleep…

I am still moseying my way through Skyrim.

I am still trying out different leaders to be in Civ V.

I still have the girlies in SWTOR that I am leveling.

I still have my girlies in WoW, (though admittedly, only my semi geared ‘lock is getting love right now – too tired during workweek, and too BUSY during weekend to do more than the guild “fun run” on Sunday nights…)

Now, finally, after an eternity of waiting, Blizzard has announced a release date for Diablo III. /SWOON!

I have been waiting for this day for YEARS. At least a DECADE.

O. M. G.

Back to the world of Sanctuary. Where fallen angels meet, and are defeated by heroes.

A true dungeon hack ‘n slash.

I have played on the Beta. Taken each and every one of the five classes through to the Skeleton King. (end of content released for beta.)

Multiple times.

And each time, I get more and more excited. I so very much want to see the rest of this beautiful, engaging, and FUN game! Not to mention – Collector’s Edition which will give me more toys for my WoW girls. Hooray!

My gaming started with pen and paper Dungeons ‘N Dragons. The original version. (Yeah. I have been around the block. I think of it as “seasoning”)

I was around when Atari released the first console for gaming. Remember well being SO JEALOUS of my friend Tami, who had it. We would play Pong while sneaking out to the living room to try to catch a few minutes of the burlesque show her mom was watching on that other new-fangled thing – Cable TV before being chased away.

My families first computer was the TI99 4-A – and I remember the night we got it.

My mom and I sat up ALL night, playing Space Invaders in the little “tag along” trailer that we were living in while we build our house in the foot hills of the Colorado Rockies. (I was a teenager at this time, in high school).

The look my Dad gave us, when he got up, and realized that we had been up ALL night…. would have taken paint off of the side of a building. Without thinner. He was so disgusted! (Love you, Dad!)

Mom was the one who bought me the original Nintendo for a Christmas present.

By that time, mom and dad were no longer married, but I was. The console was supposed to be for me and my husband – but I got WAY more use out of it than he did. >.>

HE didn’t get interested in video games until the PS came out. Then? Tomb Raider. Maybe he liked Lara Croft, but somehow I don’t think so. It just finally “clicked” for him. We started having “TR” nights – no TV, but he would run the controls and I would tell him where to go/look. It was fun, and the very beginning, I think, of my loss of interest in TV as a medium for entertainment. (Other than hooking the console up, of course!)

Now, I don’t console game so much. I had to leave all of my consoles (and I had several – including the Dreamcast) when I moved from Denver to MA. For a couple of years, I didn’t even have a computer. When I did get one, it was not a good one, and pretty much only the flash games, and puzzle games like those offered by PopCap would work on it.

I had dated a guy while in MA who was really into a new MMO – World of Warcraft. He would often ask me to log into his second account, and heal his warrior while he explored dungeons there. This was January/February of 2005- so just past launch.

I however? Didn’t have a system capable of that game until much MUCH later. I wasn’t dating him anymore – and had almost forgotten the game. My friend Brenda (Love you Brenda! ❤ ) suggested that I come play with her in a new game. We could make characters, explore the world, and talk in game, though we were a couple of thousand miles apart!

Of course, that reignited my love affair with computer gaming. Not only did I have a world that I could escape into when stress and pressure got to be too much – it was persistent! My girls could do what they wanted in the game, and they would remain… no save points, and unlike pen and paper DnD, if they died, I could always “resurrect” them. For a gold cost on armor durability, they would come back, just as they were before they died! HELLZ YA! DO OVERS! Without having to go all the way back to the save point!

I was faithful. For years, the ONLY game I played was WoW. My girls never had to wonder if I was out for the night with some other toon, in some other world…. never had to sit, fully rested and waiting for me to come to them. They KNEW that I would be there. As much as possible.

However. After several years, the wandering eye happens. I am not bored, really – just want to branch out. See my options. My girls, across three accounts, (five, if you count the newly resurrected, boosted to level 80 instantly toons on the Scroll of Resurrectioned accounts that were created to give mounts to my top two… ) always knew that I would be there. Day in, day out. And for the most part, I am.

However.

The call of the Civ V is strong. Cid Meyer had my heart before WoW did, and he still manages to captivate me, making me lose time in building a civilization.

My spacefaring girlies in The Old Republic are new, and young, and unsure of their place in the world. They need me to nurture them, so that they can grow strong in the force, and PWN Republic/Sith face (depending on faction.)

My girlies in Skyrim are young… needing guidance, and a strong hand to lead them through the civil war torn area of Skyrim.

And now – I must look to Amalur! The Reckoning is happening, and I have heard that it is awesome!

Add to this that this is the game that CURT SCHILLING – of the BOSTON RED SOX – Long time favorite pitcher, who pitched in an unforgettable game with the BLOODY SOCK – where he had torn his stitches from a recent surgery on his foot but still POWERED THROUGH…

FANGIRLGASM. Totally.

MUST MUST MUST have this game. I need to show my support for this up and coming company (38 Studios, and Big Huge Games). I know some people from my own company who have gone to Rhode Island to work for this company. I have heard amazing things about this game.

I just got a (very small) bonus. Looking to add a bit to my “nest” in the way of some throw pillows for the comfy, non butt eating furniture, poster frames for the Karazhan Movie Posters and DIII/Skyrim maps, and FINALLY ecigs instead of the real, lung choking ones.

All in all, looking forward to the next few months, though they are a bit scary too.

STILL haven’t found a place to move to, and it is already the middle of the month. TWO WEEKS! Need to remind hubby of that. Ugh.

Still KoA: The Reckoning. /drool.  I forsee a lot of time in a new world, with new girls.

And in two months DIABLO!  **SQUEEE**

My First Love

I love to read. Reading for me, has always been my escape. It has been my magic wardrobe, teleporting me AWAY. Away to worlds of magic, and space. Future and past. High adventure, and deep learning. When the world around seems too much to bear, escaping into a book, and being elsewhere for a bit is one way for me to calm and recenter.  Add a warm cat (or cats) on the lap, a glass of wine, and a nice rainy afternoon, and you have something very close to heaven, in my opinion.

I have been reading a lot this week. The bout of Bronchitis that I had at the first of the month? I thought it was gone, but I was wrong. It came back with a right to the kisser – complete with fevers, aches, coughs, clogged ucky blechy non goodness. I have been out of work all week on doctors orders. God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I will be back to work on Tuesday. (Monday was already scheduled off. Felt the need to celebrate the birth of some presidents, don’tcha know!) Most of this week has been lived in my chair (laying down was and still is a no go – drown in my own blech). Asleep for a couple hours, awake for an hour. Only in the last day or so, have I been awake more than asleep. Reading has been filling the waking hours, when there was no energy for anything else.

Part of reading for me, is the sheer sensual pleasure of a book. The smell of the paper, the rustle of pages, the feeling of progression (and some little bit of sadness for inevitable endings, with a gripping story) as pages transfer from the right to the left through the reading, The look of a well stocked bookcase, inviting browsing and finding that perfect world to fall into for a while…

I had put off getting an ereader because I wasn’t sure that I would like it. So many of the tactile parts of reading would be missing. At this point, it would be… words on a screen.

When my Dad sent me a Kindle for my birthday, I decided that it was time to try. I am glad that he went with a basic Kindle. These have what is called “e ink”, not backlighting. This means that I need to have ambient light if I want to read, but I don’t have to worry about the lighted screen headaches. I already look at lighted screens a LOT. Reading gets me away from that.

I have been getting good use out of my Kindle. As I stated in a previous blog, my anniversary present this year was The Dresden Files collection, and I got it on the Kindle. I have to say, I had an enormous amount of fun reading these books, and will definitely be reading them again!

I read, and re read, and re re read books. I love to revisit places, and always find some new thing that I hadn’t noticed in previous visits. I don’t have any one particular genre I read. I love anything that is well written. It doesn’t have to be weighty, or full of hidden meaning. Sometimes, a good story can be just a good story and valuable for that alone, regardless of what my lit teachers tried so hard to get me to believe. So there. Pbfthpbfthpbfth. (See how mature I am? RASPBERRIES!)

One of the pluses that I found right of the bat, is how light and portable this thing is.

I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both of my hands, and holding books, especially large meaty ones, tends to make my hands cramp up, fingers get numb, and things just all round unpleasant. This is alleviated somewhat by using a book holder from Bookmatesplus.

I found these marvelous book covers when I still lived in Denver. They have thin but flexible strips of metal in them, that allows a book to be closed, and yet will hold rigid when open. Add a see through, snap on plastic strap, and the book is held open, so that if one has a place to prop it, no hands at all are needed. If no place is available, it is still easier on the hands to hold the book like a platter – resting on the palm of the hand rather than cupped between fingers and thumb.

I still have a couple of these lying around, and of course Bookmatesplus isn’t going to lose my business any time soon. I go through these things. When I say I read a lot, I mean a LOT. This does cause some wear and tear, and eventually, I wear and tear them to pieces. And while I do see myself buying books for the Kindle more often, I still love used bookstores, and still have a large collection of books that I am not going to duplicate on the Kindle. I just can’t see paying a new book price for a book I already have, or can easily get from a half priced bookstore due to popularity/age. (especially since publishers still have these electronic books priced at regular, printed book prices.)

I can see how handy it could be for traveling too. When I go anywhere, I take a mini library with me. I am terrified of running out of stuff to read. Even here in town, if I am half way through a book, I will have the next one in my bag as well – even if I am just going to work, and may only get a few pages read in the time I am gone. It is kind of a security blanket for me. Going somewhere for a week? I will usually have at least 10 books in my bags. My husband laughs at me, but hey! I am prepared!

Now, once my collection has grown a bit, it could very well be that all of my reading material for a trip will be easily stored in one small thin, light little doo hickey! It is going to be a while however, before that happens.

I am kind of anal about reading. I like to read things in order – from first to last. I will often hold off reading a series until they are all out. If the series is protracted, I have been known to read each book as it comes out, after having read all the predecessors immediately prior. (Yes. This does mean that when I read the Harry Potter books, The Sorcer’s Stone was read at least 7 times before I read The Deathly Hollows.) Laugh if y’all want to, my husband does. It amuses some of my friends as well. What can I say? I yam what I yam.

This does pose a problem for some of the longer lived series I have. Take for instance, Jean Auel’s Earth Children series.

I started reading these books back in 1980, when she wrote Clan of the Cave Bear. It has taken her 30 years, but she finally published the last book last year. I hadn’t been able to get it, but it was on my list of things to do. I finally broke down, and bought it, for the Kindle. Now of course, I have to reread the first 5 before I can read the 6th on the kindle. (I do cheat a bit. She repeats herself sometimes, and I kinda glaze over that stuff. Still, the meat of the story gets re read.) If I were going on a trip, I would still be lugging the first 5 (or however many of them I had left to read) and the 6th on the Kindle. Still, one less multi inch thick book is that much less weight. Am I right?

Eventually of course, I will have more series, like The Dresden Files, that are completely on the reader. However, I won’t be choosing books to read based on portability. As always, I will make the choice based on what world, or kind of world, I want to visit this time! If that means 10 or more regular old books, and the trusty old cover, so be it!

For now, I am roaming the Continental steppes of the last Ice Age, with Ayla and Jondalar. I am spending the winter with the Mamutoi, in agonies about who will win the girls heart? The tall blue eyed Jondalar? Or the flashing eyed, dark skinned Ranec? Of course I know. Still. I can be excited, and breathless and find myself eager to read what comes next. I can muse, in the very depths of my secret child heart that some book fairy maybe waved a wand and changed it… Even if that didn’t happen, I KNOW that I will find some little nugget, some treasure, that has been passed over, or not seen in the previous readings of the book. Old beloved friends, who even after a lifetime of knowing, can astonish and delight.

How much better than that can it get?

Favorite

So a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook today.

What is your favorite movie? And why?

He asked that it not be answered lightly, but thoughtfully.

My answer? Life is Beautiful. Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi. Awesome, inspiring stuff.

This gorgeous, amazing, haunting, uplifting and tearful movie has been my favorite since I first saw it in 1999.

What a story. A Jewish man, in Mussolini’s Italy during World War II. Falling in love, and winning the love in return, of a gentile. A description doesn’t do it any kind of justice at all.

Life, and love, and imagination, as well as the fierce protective love of parents for their child, and spouses for each other.

A serious and thoughtful story, told with humor, and hope and a joie de vivre that lifts the heart, soothes the spirits, and makes one feel!

Of course, when I wish to rewatch, the hubster doesn’t want to be around. Not his cup of tea. Not enough gunfire and explosions, not to mention sub titles. /sigh.

Oh well. I know that I have it, and can watch it any time I start to feel a bit down about life. Any time I start to slip into the kindergarten “it’s not fair!” mode that can hit. This movie soothes my soul, making me laugh while I cry, and renews faith in the good that can be found in the world.

I have been uncomfortably fascinated with World War II (the European theatre of the war) since I was a child. In part, because I still can’t understand how hatred, and mob mentality, and following orders, could reach that extent. Not going to Godwin this post, however. This post isn’t about not understanding, it is about beauty!

Guido. His “Principessa “. Their beloved son. Love for each other, and for son, and sons love for father, and mother. Just memories of this movie tug my heart. Think I need to cut this short, and go watch it for the twenty eleventh time.

What’s your favorite movie, and why? If you want to share, I would love to see!

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