Short Hair & Long Scarves

Photo credit: mgstanton
Here it is… [my] moment of Zen.
I was blown into the coffee shop by an obnoxious wind, a wind that did not care for the lesser people and things on the ground.  A wind that I perceived had a personal vendetta against me, given how difficult it was making it for me to open the door.  (The wind, in my perception, had not made it so difficult for the folks just in front of me; it was only I, and I alone, for whom the wind blew.)

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The February Fever

Here at my house, it’s been Fever City.  The husband was sick all last week, and even I am starting to feel a bit icky.  (Though, to be fair, I’m more sick of being stuck at home than I am physically ill..)

The weather down here in Dixieland hasn’t exactly been fun, either; it’s been raining for the past few days, nearly constantly!  So, between the two, I haven’t gotten a chance to write anything new.  I do have a few thoughts on what to write next, though:

— A review of Stephen King’s non-fiction book, On Writing.

Kindle 3 vs. Nexus 7.

— A review of the TV show, Supernatural.

As all of these interest me, hopefully I can get down to brass tacks with each of them.  Until then, here’s one of my favorite clips from Supernatural, which I’m very nearly caught up on thanks to Netflix and a rather twisted sense of curiosity:

Question of the Day:  If you could be a flavor of Campell’s soup, what flavor would you be and why?  (Please answer in comments below.)

The Dream Job Motivation

DREAM JOBS

Ever since October, I’ve been wondering what I should do as a career.  I was miserable at my old job!  So miserable that I was getting increasingly angry with Jon Acuff for telling me to give my best at my day job so I could give my best to my dream job.

There were a couple of problems with that.  (1) I didn’t have a clear-cut dream job to work on, other than the vague notion to one day get something published; (2) I’m prone to heavy bouts of depression which can come on despite one’s best efforts to keep it at bay.

Both of these problems have started resolving themselves.  I’ve realized that, while Jon is technically right, one must sometimes get away from the truly horrible situation and cleanse oneself of all the bad mojo before one can think clearly enough to plan for something better.  As a close friend of mine told me recently, “It’s amazing how a bad job can mess with your head!”  And, you know….she’s right.  Just like an abusive boyfriend or torture in a prison camp, a bad job can mess with your head in ways that actually prevent you from moving forward.  If you have to take meds to stay on an even keel even in a GOOD situation, it’s even worse.  Thus I suspect that Mr. Acuff most likely does not struggle with emotional problems beyond feeling a bit too proud of himself at times.  (This isn’t a burn; he’s blogged about this on multiple occasions.)

Let's avoid becoming this woman, shall we..?
Let’s avoid becoming this woman, shall we..?

That being said, God’s given me the opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree in graphic design, and I’m-a takin’ it!  As far as it looks right now, I can take free classes at the school my husband works at, and will only have to pay for books and such.  (Which, if available, I’ll be getting online for MUCH cheaper than they are in-store, hopefully!)

I’m not giving up on my fiction, but realistically I can’t depend solely on that alone to sustain me financially.  And if I must have a day job, then I need a creative one that doesn’t involve listening to angry people on the phone all day.

I did consider other writerly jobs….journalism, technical manual writing, etc….but it just doesn’t interest me.  In fact, it sounds like another recipe for a horrible job that I loathe from my core!  I’d rather go out and pick corn in the fields all day than do that.

I can’t tell you if Graphic Design is my “dream job”.  I’m not even sure such a thing exists for me any more.  But if it promises to be creative, and allows me the freedom to do what I want with my clothes and hair (for the most part), and provides a better paycheck in the meantime, then that sounds pretty dreamy to me!

So, what about you good folks?  Do you think Dream Jobs exist?  What would YOU like to do?  Are you working towards that?  

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So I didn’t update yesterday.  I blame Eve’s Curse.  Forgive me, dear Readers!

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Stephen King Isn’t A Satanist

STEPHEN KING QUOTE

For as long as I can remember, Stephen King has been a part of my fictional world.

Not literally, of course; I do not personally know the man, nor have I spoken to him.  I’ve never been to a book signing of his.  The closest I’ve gotten to meeting him is a rather twitchy woman in an auto repair shop in Dixielad claiming to have known him once.  Intimately.  (Like I said…she was twitchy.)

Despite this, I feel like I might as well have known him personally, for as much as his fiction has been a part of my family’s library since long before I was born.  So, when I say I was somewhat raised around SK, I want you to understand my full meaning.

For a long time, SK’s material freaked me out, partially due to reactions from family, and partially because the man’s stories are often quite freaky.  It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to give his novels a real go, starting with The Dark Tower.

So.  Much.  Wasted.  Time.  I could have been reading him all along!  I could have started realizing that the craziest novel ideas are often the best, no matter how crappy I may think they are.

I could have realized, too, that just because a book has foul language in it occasionally doesn’t mean it should be avoided at all costs.  As a young Christian, this is what I believed:  Avoid it all, because it may cause you yourself to slip up, to say a word that may be displeasing to the Lord.

Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think God likes foul language any more than I do, but I *do* think there’s such a thing as taking things too far.  What SK’s books did for me, I couldn’t have found in a Christian book store.  And trust me, I tried.  Hard.

But the same rawness, the same delving into the darkest part of humanity to find that the light still exists, the same assurance that mere humans can still conquer evil….I couldn’t find that in Lifeway.

Is there foul language?  Of course!  But if I’m going to try and completely avoid foul language, I’d have to actively avoid all my family members.  And that’s simply not what Christ has called me to do.

Is there disturbing imagery?  Ohh, man, like you wouldn’t believe!  But, let’s be honest with ourselves:  The Bible itself has disturbing imagery.  (If you’ve never sat down and really visualized some of the more violent, disturbing things in the Bible, I highly recommend it.  Sit down, and really think about what happened during the ten plagues of Egypt.  Look up pictures of boils, or think about what a swarm of locusts would look and feel like.  It will completely change your perspective.)

But, along with all of that, there’s also the story of Good vs. Evil.  Of overcoming fear with courage.  Of standing up to that bully.  So on and so forth.

Will these books help you in your walk with Christ?  I honestly can’t answer that.  I *can* say that they haven’t turned me into a demon-worshiping Satanist yet…but they’ve definitely put the fear of evil in me, as well as a healthy appreciation for all things of the Light.

And, in the end, isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do for Christians?

Question For The Reader:  What Stephen King books/movies have you read/seen?  Did you enjoy them?  Did they scare you?  Analyze that fear!

Casino Wars & Robot Friends

!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!

The following post contains

VERY HEAVY SPOILERS

for all expansions from Fallout: New Vegas.

I've never wanted to punch a building in the face so badly..
I’ve never wanted to punch a building in the face so badly..

Over the past month or so, I’ve really gone to town with Fallout: New Vegas.  I’ve defeated the Legion AND the NCR at Hoover Dam with my robot army; I’ve walked The Lonesome Road and dealt with some Old World Blues.  Now, I’m currently trying to avoid getting my head blown off in the Sierra Madre.

However, it seems I’ve done everything backwards;  I did Lonesome Road first (the clouds reminded me of the ones in The Dark Tower.)   

The Lonesome Road is even wastelandier than The Wastelands.  It may even be the wastelandiest of The  Wastelands. What I’m saying is, there’s junk.  EVERYWHERE.  And also these teeth…things…with claws….EVERYWHERE.  I’d give it about a B+, though, because it really took the whole idea of being a courier (i. e., a glorified mailman and package deliverer) to a whole new, weirdly philosophical level.

The correct response to this is “AAAAAAAH!’.

Having finished walking with ED-E and black Bane Ulysses (and, by proxy, blowing the ever-lovin’ PANTS off of both Caesar’s Legion and the NCR), I moved on to that curious satellite that kept showing the video of the upside-down eye.  I have to say, I was NOT disappointed with Old World Blues!  Undoubtedly the most fun of the three, I found myself loving my little psychotic robot friends…even if I *did* have to keep battling robo-scorpians.

After being done with both of those, and thus hearing a great deal about the Sierra Madre, I decided to check out that last expansion.  I had heard it was the least fun of all of them, but hope springs ever eternal….as does a gamer’s pride in being able to finish it all.

They weren’t kidding.  Dead Money is just the WORST!

As it is right now, I have only *just* entered the casino itself, and only by realizing that I no longer care about making it through this expansion with my pride intact; my pride died out along with the brains of folks stuck in

Otherwise known as, “My bestest friend in the Mojave!”

biohazard suits!  I, who have sworn off god modes, found myself pressing the ol’ tilde ( ~ ) button, and typing in ‘tgm’ … ‘the god mode’.

That, and I added about 20 stimpacks and my old friend, the Q-35 Matter Modulator, to my arsenal.

I just…I couldn’t take it any more!  I think that the game designers realized that taking all of a courier’s equipment and armor away from her was a Bad Idea, which is why they haven’t tried that crap with any of the other expansions.

I plan on just getting through this expansion as quickly as I possibly can, so I can get back to the Mojave and do everything I haven’t done there yet.

Pray for me, that I don’t lose my temper with Father Elijah…the nuttiest one of them all.

Friggin’ bomb collars, man…seriously…

QUESTION FOR THOSE WHO READ:  Have you played Fallout:  New Vegas?  Did you make any robot friends?  Have you gone through hardcore mode?  

The Microsoft Mistake

MICROSOFT

They did it.  I don’t know how they did it, but they did it.

Microsoft actually managed to make an operating system worse than ME. 

I didn’t think it was possible.  I thought they had learned their lesson 12 years ago…

But perhaps some lessons need to be learned.

Perhaps, some terrors need to be remembered.

The horror.....the horror....
The horror…..the horror….

It seemed innocent when it came out.

It seemed as if it would change everything.

But we weren’t expecting this. 

We assumed that Microsoft had an understanding with us.  Much like misguided lovers, we thought we knew where we stood.

We were not expecting the ultimatum.

What had we done to deserve this?  Had we slighted our lover in some inconceivable way?  Why were we being treated so harshly?

Not for the first time (but perhaps the first time in a long, long time), we found ourselves flipping to Apple’s number.  Sure, Apple was snooty and stuck-up, but at least we always knew where we stood with him.  Plus, we had to admit, he always had the coolest toys.

Rest In Peace..?
Rest In Peace..?

But we shut that door long ago, when we realized how few games we could play with Apple.  The games it wanted to play were childlike, simple.  Shooting birds at pigs or dropping misshapen blocks on to each other.

We craved more.  We knew we’d never be complete without Steam, Microsoft’s new friend.  (Steam had tried to be friends with Apple as well, but Apple had snubbed it for reasons unknown.  Perhaps it was the blue-jean jacket that Steam favored over silk-lined ones..)

So, we sent an ultimatum of our own to Microsoft.  We told him that he had no right to treat us like this, and we weren’t going to put up with it!

He may think that we must change in order to stay with him.

He…is dead-wrong.

QUESTION FOR THE MASSES:  What do you think of Windows 8?  Have you played around with it yet?  Do you think it is a viable option for laptops and desktops? 

Ye Olde Video Poste

After considering what to write about today, I’ve realized I haven’t given a shout out to one of my favorite video series’ on Youtube:  The Flog!

I started watching some months ago after realizing that, while the game vids my husband watches are funny and informative, they’re also very male-dominated with little room for a woman’s touch.

The Flog, a vlog presented by Felicia Day of “The Guild” fame, provides the perfect remedy for that!  So, if you’re craving some nerdy, geeky news from a cute redhead that has more of a feminine touch, start with episode one below!

In other news, I had my Hubby home for MLK day this past weekend.  It was awesome!  In between us taking turns yelling at Fallout 3 (me) and Far Cry 3 (him), I ‘discovered’ the following amusement.  (Thanks, Cracked.com!)

QUESTION THOU SHALT ANSWER BELOW, IN YON COMMENT SECTION:   What did YOU do for MLK Day?!