Played by the Banjo

I’ve adopted a dog – unless the owners show up, but with the way this dog’s fur was matted, she’s been neglected and so the previous owners don’t deserve her. Mom decided to call her Banjo.

When I first got Banjo to her temporary home, she acted like the classic traumatized animal. She’s a tiny terrier breed and so she’s easy enough to pick up and hold like a toddler. She demanded comforting while I was around.

After going inside the house and returning, she acted happy until she saw me. Then the scared demeanor returned and it was back to comforting and petting. I held her like a toddler while Chris was cutting grass until she wanted down. And, when we left with promises to return the next day, her whimpering made my heart break.

Yet, Chris’s grandfather reported that, when we were gone and when no one else is around, Banjo doesn’t make any noise. As Chris put it, she found her sucker.

I’ve been played by Banjo, darnit.

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The function of music while writing

I have four articles to write today for the Banner, and likely will have to to write tomorrow. Last week, when faced with a similar workload, I discovered that listening to music, in and of itself, won’t necessarily help. When Spotify popped up with a cover of Anna ni Issho Datta no ni, a song I knew from ages ago when Gundam Seed first premiered in Japan, I decided a short writing break was in order. I headed to YouTube and found the original version.

I spent the next blissful hours typing happily away as nostalgia filled my core. Even when I finished my articles, I sat for another half an hour doing nothing but listening to the songs that YouTube pulled up from my childhood. No, not Backstreet Boys or N’sync. I’m talking about anime OSTs.

My first Japanese song ever was Just Communication by TWO-MIX, a song I hunted out because of Gundam Wing. This was back before YouTube even became a thing, so I searched fancies until I found the songs I sought. I was blown away and haven’t looked back since. Where others would be listening to MTV or the radio, I was burning CDs full of Digimon soundtracks.

Today, I’m trying the same thing. I pulled up the Digimon Adventure Tri version of Butter-fly (RIP Wada Kouji, you will be missed) and letting the auto-play take care of itself. I’ve heard Brave Heart and Biggest Dreamer, with Fire! from Digimon Frontier now playing.

I may have to make a Wada Kouji playlist, since he apparently was the voice of my childhood.

The Apathy of Laziness

Huh, that sounds like a book title.

Anyway, I’m trying to think of something to write for these things (like really, I’m not interesting, why) and I got to thinking about my life. Which is entirely uninteresting. But, it does contain one fact: I’m lazy.

Sometimes, it’s due to me forgetting to take my Adderall. I don’t get that kick-start of motivation, or I don’t take the second dose and kind of wither away into nonfocused tiredness. I just sit and do mindless things – playing games on my phone, mostly – for hours. I know that I need to get up and go do something, but I look at the clock, mentally shrug, and think, “I’ve got time.”

Other times, it’s caused by procrastination. Even medicated, I look at a clock and think the same thing. I fully intend to do the thing, but time goes by and suddenly it’s too late to do the thing. That’s how laundry piles up, dishes sit, and cats go unfed. Though I make sure to take care of my cats! And, if I don’t, I have a wonderful other half to watch out for them. It does make me question how good of a human baby parent I’d be, though. Ack.

The rest of the time, it’s just because I simply do not want to do the thing. I don’t want to wash the dishes that have piled up and wouldn’t have been so bad if only I’d done it before. The cat litter boxes are so bad that I really don’t want to dig out the chunks – if I owned the property I lived in, I’d just dump them out back and start fresh. Logically, I know that I NEED to do the thing. I try to work up the motivation to do the thing. Most of the time, I fail because of the other part of the title of this article: apathy.

When I’m in the depths of my laziness, I’m simply too lazy to care. It could be exhaustion, or it could be childhood defenses come to rise (you can’t be hurt if you don’t allow yourself to feel!). Whatever the case, at my worse, I simply don’t care enough to do anything, even eat or drink. Did that cause my dehydration that made me go to the hospital? Or was is overwork that caused me to forget to eat and drink? Whatever the case, I’ll have to remind myself, “Hey, you haven’t eaten since nine this morning and it’s four in the afternoon. You might wanna get a nibble.”

I don’t know what the end goal here is. Maybe I’m just trying to sum up my own feelings so they make sense to me. I’m certainly not going to use this as an excuse – as my favorite fanfic author says, “There are reasons, but no excuses.” I don’t want this to excuse my laziness and let it continue. I want this to serve as a reminder so that maybe I can get a kick up the ass and actually do stuff.

Maybe I’ll go play tennis – well, hit the ball at said other half and watch it go out of bounds, or get the swing-and-a-miss treatment, and then wait for it to come back. Then I miss it, and the cycle continues. Lack of exercise can cause lethargy, right? Right?

Ah, who am I kidding.

Belated updates, whoo

It’s been ages, I know, but I have a good excuse this time.

In addition to being an overworked and underpaid Walmart Associate, I am now a reporter! The Pointe Coupee Banner thinks my writing is good enough to write articles for them, and I’ve been doing it for the past nine or ten months.

Let me tell you, though, writing nonfiction articles is a much different beast from writing fiction. With fiction, if I don’t know the exact circumstances behind something, I can fudge the details under the guise of creative license.

With a newspaper, and especially the official journal of the parish, the details matter. If you’re not sure of the truth, it can’t be printed, it’s that simple. The attention to detail – who, what, where – can mean the difference between an article and an opinion piece. I can’t speculate to make the story more interesting. I can only work with the facts, no matter how bare or uninteresting they are.

All I can do to make my articles interesting is to have a good writing style. Hopefully, the positive responses I’ve received from the articles I’ve written are an indication that my style is good enough to keep people reading. I now have people requesting me, specifically, to write their articles. How strange is that?

Decades from now, people may look into the archives and see what I’ve written. People may clip my articles for keepsakes. It’s… daunting and terrifying. Every author wants to have their writing read in the years to come. Before, it was an abstract concept. Now I have that reality in front of me and I wonder if I’m good enough to deserve that.

There’s no point in wondering, or having doubts. All I can do is keep writing.

Chilling and chatting

Once a month is better than every three, right? Things are still so hectic that I’m still trying to settle into a schedule. I haven’t been playing many games, though, so I don’t think I’ll do a game review every week. I would have to delve pretty far back into my gaming past for that! I’m trying to think of other topics – comment below with your suggestions, please!

This post, I’ll forgo a game review as well. I don’t have anything really to say about my recent games. I want to play them a bit more before I write a review. So, I suppose I’ll do something that I don’t really do often: talk about myself.

It’s difficult to talk about myself, really. I don’t find myself very interesting. That’s why I talk about more interesting things like games and movies and everything else. However, I suppose I’ll make an effort.

As I sit here writing this, I’m munching on a hamburger and eating homemade fried potato disks. My desk, newly set up in my and my fiance’s apartment, has already started to accumulate clutter. I’ll have to clean it off soon, I expect, or else try to write in a pigsty. That can wait until after the nummy food is eaten yet.

My plans for the night are pretty simple. After I eat, I’m going to sit with my love and play a game with him. It’ll be a good night, one where I’ll likely beat him again. I beat him last night at Mass Effect Risk (his game!) and he wants revenge.

Hm, this seems like a nice place to end it. Good food, good company, board games. There’s something to be said for board games in this digital age. After that, it’ll be to bed for another day at work.

I look forward to the board games, at least. Night, folks!

Observations In Gaming

I got a guy to like me yesterday. 

We were doing the usual things and I wanted him to really like me. I heard good stuff happens if you get people to like you. Getting his affection was happening too slow, so I did something I normally wouldn’t.

I drugged him.

After the drugging his affection for me increased exponentially. We even had a nice little chat. He didn’t seem to mind being drugged, which made my guilt even worse. 

This guy’s name is Jude Mathis. He’s a character in Tales of Xillia and its sequel. It was in the sequel that the drugging happened. I gave him friendship potions and it didn’t even seem to bother him. It bothered me a lot, though. I realized something about myself: I think about the most minor details of games far too much. I found myself thinking about this thing that sounds so simple, but in practice has horrifying consequences.

I focused my attention on Jude for a simple reason: He’s cute, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Xillia 2’s protagonist rolling around somewhere, preferably without clothing. Most people will get squicked out by that, I know, but we all like what we like. After drugging Jude, I couldn’t help but wonder: what if I’d used those friendship potions on female party member Leia? Or Milla? How would that have sounded, then? 

Games that have a mechanic that let you drug your party members into liking you seem innocent enough. In most cases, you do something genuinely nice for that character. Pokemon lets you massage your pokemon once per day, which is a nice thing to do. It provides a valid reason for your pokemon to gain affection for you. Star Wars: The Old Republic allowed you to buy your companions gifts to win their affection. 

Those are all okay. You’re doing something nice for that character, so it stands to reason that they’d like you more for it. 

It was different with Jude, though. As I used those potions, I imagined the ways in which Ludger was getting Jude to drink them. Perhaps it was mixed in with another drink. Maybe they’re actually pretty good drinks in their own right and Jude didn’t mind drinking them on his own.

What if Ludger was forcing those potions down Jude’s throat?

Affection from a potion, not from an act of kindness, has that sort of vibe. It feels all kinds of date-rapey and not very honest. I wish this system had been implemented in a way that didn’t drag out these sorts of impressions. After the sixth potion, Jude initiated a private skit with Ludger (aka me, the player) and told me how much he was growing to appreciate me. I wish I could take those potions back. That convo made me feel even worse.

Next playthrough, if my attention span holds out, I’m going drug-free. Those friendship potions are going into a salesperson’s inventory (might as well get some gald for that hefty debt the game throws at you, am I right?) I’ll win Jude’s affection the hard way, by agreeing with him, fighting at his side, and making sure monsters don’t mess up his pretty face.

Con Report: Mechacon X

Hello again! I haven’t put up any promised reviews yet because I’ve been busy preparing for the title of this post. Mechacon X was a blast! Disclaimer: My experience is not indicative of anything but my experience.

My first day, there weren’t many panels I wanted to go to. I ended up hanging around Artist’s Alley, where Trust was on sale alongside my mother’s crafts and my cousin’s artwork. The first day I made no sales, sadly. When I wasn’t in Artist’s Alley, I was walking the con floor. My major disappointment was with the game room. It was moved off to the side this year and it lacked its defining feature. Without the mecha simulator pods, the game room was just another game room. Sleeping Samurai was a good addition in its stead. I took my fiance on in a bout and won him. Things I learned about myself: I go for the gut. Even so, fake sword fights and a round of Dance Central couldn’t completely fix the mecha pod disappointment.

On day two, I’d planned to cosplay the whole day. However, an early Yu-Gi-Oh sealed deck tournament took up a ton of my time. It was okay. I got a pretty good stall and token deck out of it. (Translation: I could bring up stuff to absorb damage while I got my own attackers out of it.) It was fun, but I felt like it took too much time from me. I had to skip a few panels I’d wanted to go to. After the tournament, I went up to the room and got into my cosplay. Only one person recognized me as Quatre Winner from Gundam Wing. I went to the Eien Strife concert as Quatre and found out something cool. I share a birthday with the lead singer of the band! I told her about it afterwards and it was like, birthday bonding moment is go! The rave was fun. I don’t dance, so I sat to the side with my fiance and enjoyed the music. I had glowsticks!

Day three was the winding down day. Vendors were discounting things, people were leaving, and I sold a few books. I didn’t cosplay that day. I went to two panels throughout the whole weekend on sunday: Eien Strife’s retro gaming challenge, where I failed horribly at Contra, and Spike Spencer’s voice acting panel. I gave Cheydra of Eien Strife a copy of Trust for her birthday. There was some disappointment as well. I got Spike to sign my copy of Tales of Vesperia without issues on Saturday. On sunday, however, I walked away from two actors when they demanded my hard-earned money for their signature. I told Scott Menville to his face that if they wanted my money for their signature, I’d be walking away – and I did.

The best part of my weekend was on Sunday. There was a Mecha Maid and Host Club on the third floor. I went there with my fiance in part because we wanted to see what it was and in part because we were hoping for free food. The food wasn’t free, but we had fun. I mentioned that it was my birthday and about halfway through the show all proceedings were brought to a halt. I’m not sure who she was, but one of the maids who wasn’t in a dress was on stage making this huge spectacle about secrets being kept. The next thing I realized was that I was surrounded by maids and hosts. They got on the floor and sang Happy Birthday to me. I got the cutest little treat for free and it was overall just very adorable.

Next best thing was seeing a booth for TeeTurtle in the Dealer’s Room. I got a Pocket Fury shirt – in short, when I where it, it looks like I have Toothless in my pocket. His tail with his prosthetic sticks out of the pocket and down the shirt. It’s officially the cutest thing I own.

I had a good time during the weekend, in short. There was some disappointment, but overall it was a very positive experience. I already can’t wait for next year.