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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Greatest Lie...

Lies. We have all told one or two in our lives. There is no way anyone can get through life without ever telling a lie. If you deny it, you're lying. Seriously, don't even come at me with a "I have never told a lie" because I will call you out on that bullshit.

I am guilty of it. I lie quite often and about something people would find extremely important; possibly hurtful and damaging. Oh not to the person I am lying to. In fact, I'd be hurting myself but I can't help it and I am not alone in this lie.

Right about now you are probably making guesses as to what the lie is. Is it infidelity? Money? OMG what is it? Well.....

"I'm fine."

Or my other favorite:

"I'm okay."

I say these two sentences, or something similar, so often it's a knee-jerk reaction to that age old question..."Is everything okay?" 90% of the time it's not but I say it anyway. Why? Why do I, and a vast majority of everyone, repeat this lie over and over?

I can only speak for myself with any authority and very little at that since I can't seem to make sense of myself most of the time but, I think a big part is my not wanting to be a burden. You see, I view myself as insignificant in this big picture of life. My loved ones have far more going on, good and bad, than I and it seems unfair to foist my problem on them. Why bring them down or add to their troubles? They have enough of their own. As an adult, I should be able to deal with my own shit. Plus, letting people in too far means they can hurt you or let you down. I don't want my friends/family to let me down so why set them up for possible failure.

Add to that the fact I tend to be the one people come to for support or comfort, it's the perfect storm of isolation within a crowd. I also tend to get spiky and touchy when I am feeling lost or alone, so that tends to push people further away. I can't even find the words to explain myself and apologizing is all I can do. I usually make an excuse like I didn't get enough sleep or something similar.

A perfect example is when my husband asked me to come help him find a car. He's moving to Colorado soon because he's losing his position here in Ohio (company is shutting down). The kids and I will join him eventually but it will be an extended separation. He has to find a place to live, I have to sell this house, and I need money to actually move. Anyway, I told him no and that I didn't see the point in my going since it wasn't my car. I hadn't helped him buy his last few cars and I wasn't even there when he bought mine. He was irritated I said no and got snippy with me about it. Eventually he asked if I was okay and if there was a problem. True to form I told him no and that everything was fine.

What I couldn't tell him was that I couldn't BEAR to go with him. That buying this car means he's that much closer to leaving. My sadness and anxiety over this separation is eating away at my confidence and I just can't be a part of purchasing the thing that he will use to drive away.

Yet every time he asks, I tell him I am okay. Granted, in this instance I know what when I tell him how I feel I'll just get a "Don't worry, It'll be fine" which is almost as bad. He's coping too and this is how he copes.

But why do we, as a society, have such a problem discussing ourselves and our feelings? I was always shown that people don't talk. Unless you're discussing someone else's shortcomings, of course. I was taught no one wants to hear your problems, no one is going to help (trust me I asked for help from my extended family once when I was a teenager and I was flatly refused), and frankly no one wants to deal with the responsibilities that come with being helpful or a comforting person. Maybe its the way everyone is or maybe we start out thoughtful can caring but life makes us hard? We live with so much disappointment that we become jaded? Or in my case, I have always felt like a bit of a burden and now that I am an adult, I am even more conscious of how easily one can be seen as a bother.

At any rate, I am not okay. I am not fine. I will try to own that fact from now on.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sorry...

So I've been having strange health issues and symptoms the past several months and and still trying to figure out exactly what is wrong with me. However, I need to do something with myself so I need to kick my own ass into gear and start writing again. Don't worry, I am not dying (at least not so far) but the issues have really slowed me down. Anyway, on to better things.

While I (im)patiently wait for Fallout 4 to launch next week, I've decided to tackle some of my gaming backlog. My 360 has been getting a workout. I've managed to finish a few games on a more than one console.

EtherOne: This game is amazing. I purchased it on the PS4 because getting my hands on my laptop has been a real chore lately. One of my sons is always on it. This game is an exploration game with a few puzzles thrown in but the story is engrossing. The whole premise deals with dementia (lewy body, if I recall correctly) and the quest to repair the mind of someone suffering.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture: Another amazing exploration game. The art and graphics will take your breath away. Basically, you wake up in a town in England, alone. You must explore the area to try to piece together what happened to everyone plus you'll get a glimpse into the different relationships between people as you explore.



Borderlands Pre-Sequel: Finally finished this one. While it was fun to play, it wasn't my favorite in the series. The environment felt really small and the gameplay just felt, well dull in comparison with the other two titles.

Dead Island Riptide: I have had this one since launch and had started a game with a character imported from Dead Island. I truly had a Gandalf moment when I loaded the save. It took me a few minutes to piece together what I had been doing. I had a good time playing it and you can tell it's a definite launching off point for Techland's other title, Dying Light (another awesome game with zombies and parkour). I have seen the teaser videos for Dead Island 2 and had been wondering how California came into the story but after seeing the end of Riptide, I think I know.

Valiant Hearts: This game is a wonderful blend of historical facts with sidescrolling adventure. It's not a long game but you'll learn a lot about World War 2 playing it, more little known facts than the major stuff everyone already knows.

Tomb Raider: Okay, I had a blast with this. It's nice to see Lara Croft's origin story and see her less than invincible. As much as I love the old platformer/puzzler Tomb Raiders, having a full story campaign was so fantastic, I am looking forward to the next one. That being said, it'll have to wait since it launches the same day as Fallout 4 and I just don't have the time, or money, for 2 games at the same time.

Currently I am playing Until Dawn (OMGOMGOMG so suspenseful). This is a "must buy" for PS4 owners that love thriller/horror games. Plus, I have finally decided to finish playing the Assassin's Creed games. I have them all up to Unity. I have only played halfway through the first one. Loving the history so far but hating the repetition.

That's it for now. I am going to try to be good and post something daily, even if it's just a bullshit thing. I need to get back into practice.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Battlefield: Hardline is NOT a Battlefield game but....



So I finished the Battlefield: Hardline campaign the other day and, yes, I played it on veteran because I am a glutton for punishment. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, let's be honest...it's not a Battlefield game.

Hardline was only given the Battlefield moniker to sell the game but it should have been it's own entity. It should not have been tagged on the to Battlefield franchise like an unwanted stepchild. It was a fun game and a new experience so it should have been a new IP but I digress.

Battlefield games are military-based experiences. Sorry but setting up a police television series campaign about drug runners does not fall into that category. It made me feel that DICE was scared to attempt a new IP. It's like if a GTA game was released that was about saving orphans from dictators. It just doesn't work. People expect certain experiences when they play titles from a franchise. They like small changes, not totally new directions and canon. I heard many voices complaining about Hardline, and I found very few justifications for those complaints. I think people were stymied by the lack of military experience. It didn't fulfill their expectations, what they wanted, from a typical Battlefield game.

The story was intense because of the stealth aspect. Sure, you could go in guns blazing but rewards are higher if you took your time and tried not killing everyone. By the way, the Taser is totally fun. Trying to be stealthy also slows the game down and not everyone likes taking things slow. Those people would find the experience plodding and boring. I found it one part challenging and two parts frustrating. The enemies could detect me, crouched, through walls. I know it was the veteran difficulty but come on! It's not like I was stalking Superman. X-ray vision is unacceptable.

There is fairly high replayability if you are a completionist. There are quite a few collectibles plus the achievement/trophy for arresting all the criminals with warrants. Only a few achievements/trophies are for multiplayer, which is a nice change. So many games have now gone MP heavy with the rewards and honestly, some are near impossible to get unless you play on doing the same thing over and over ad nauseum.

Multiplayer offers up the typical game modes; team deathmatch, conquest, etc. There are some new additions, my favorite being Hotwired. I mean, it's keep-away with cars. How awesome is that? I was not a big fan of Rescue and Crosshair. The handful of times I tried these "objective" based games were a disaster. The teams were unbalanced (think 5 vs 2) and since all you really need to do is eliminate the other team, since there are no respawns, there really isn't any objective to try for. No need to complete, or even attempt, the objective to win so why bother? The unbalanced teams are a HUGE factor when there isn't a respawn. I was dropped into a game that was previously 5 vs 1 so I brought my team to 2. I was swiftly killed before I even gained control of my character after the load screen. Several experiences like this has left my unwilling to even play these modes. No desire whatsoever.

I think the thing that has stood out to my the most about Hardline....it's almost a Bad Company. No I am not saying it's as good, or even close to as much fun, What I am saying is that Hardline has given me some insight into why fans love Bad Company so much. It comes down to the story. Bad Company was not your typical military game. The story had misfit characters that everyone could relate to and enjoy. It was a new direction. Same with Hardline. It is a new direction and NOT the cookie cutter, generic military-esque story with one-dimensional characters that leave little or no impression. DICE has stated they have been unable to figure out why people love the Bad Company series so much. Well, this is it. Bad Company was full of imperfect and unique characters punctuated with honest humor.

So that's it. That's my opinion. Love it or hate it. I enjoyed Battlefield: Hardline but I do think it needed to be treated to it's own IP.

Friday, March 20, 2015

So I Was On a Podcast....Again....




A couple weekends ago, I was at PAX East. I was there on a media badge for Structure Network and having a wonderful, though exhausting, time checking out all the games. Of course going to a gathering of the nerds has the added bonus of bumping into people (friends) you know in the industry. 

I managed ot bump into Aaron over at GameEnthus, a couple times in fact, and after PAX was over he asked me to come on their podcast. I had been on once before but that was ages ago. Needless to say, I had a great time...as always. Tiny (@Tiny415), Mike (@AssaultSuit), and Aaron (@Ind1fference) are awesome. They are the type of guys I could sit at a bar with, drink beer, and just shoot the shit for hours. 

Oh wait, I kind of did. You should have a listen at the shenanigans. 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Variables of Friendship



Friendship: Noun - 1. the state of being a friend; association as friends (to value one's friendship)

I consider myself to be a sensitive, friendly, comforting, honest individual. I like to help people and I enjoy the good feeling I get from knowing that I helped someone in need. I'd share anything of mine with someone I considered a friend. I'd bend over backwards to make them happy. However, sometimes the people that need me use me under the guise of friendship.

I consider myself a good friend. I step up to the plate without being asked and am willing to fade into the background when needed. I never make demands of my friends. I don't demand attention, or phone calls/texts within a certain said time period. I do like to be acknowledged though and all I do ask is that you are at least half the friend to me that I am willing to be to you.

My close friends are my family. I'd do anything for them. I don't expect that same dedication but I do at least expect them to inquire as to my health and well being from time to time. I do not expect to be relegated to being a tool to further your life and once my usefullness has worn off, to be discarded until you're bored or needy again.

Over the past few years I have learned that friendship has many definitions. Friendship is varible, fragile, strong, and fleeting. A friend can be someone you care about for your whole life, but that same person can decide you're inconvenient to have around so will only be your friend when they need you. That need for someone reliable is what drives their "friendship", otherwise you're just someone they know. Once they don't have that driving need, you're just "so-and-so" that I used to hang out with.  But when something comes up that you can't handle or you need someone super reliable, I'll the first person you call. You're not there when I need you though...and that's just selfish.

Honestly, I have spent my life trying to look past most of humanity's flaws in thie regard and I have tried to be above it but this shit is getting old. I am so tired of being someone's closest friend until one of their other close friends has reverted to middle school and won't allow for more than one friend. I am sick of being used by people that profess their affection for me, but dump me when I finish out my required "duty" to them.

Maybe this next year, I need to get mean. Maybe I need to start acting like those people around me. Maybe I should stifle my "goodwill towards man" and start being a user and abuser to those half-assed friends around me. Maybe it's time for me to stop answering their calls. I don't expect my friends to be there at my beck and call, but I do expect them to answer the call/text when it arrives. I do expect a friendly "hi" every month or so. I do expect them to let me need them as much as they need me.  I don't want to be the center of a friend's universe; I'd like to be at least part of the damn asteroid belt.

Is that so much to ask?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Changing Things Up

I usually talk about video games but I think it's time for my blog to change a little. I stopped blogging because I got caught up in other things, personal things, family things, life in general.

Last night I couldn't sleep and thought that maybe it was time for me to start writing again but instead of just sticking to video games, start getting more personal. So many of us out never really open up to anyone, not even those that are supposed to be the closest to us. We are afraid of judgment or maybe we think no one else would understand. I think its time to be brave and possibly give someone confidence through the knowledge that maybe they aren't alone.

Not sure where I am going to start or exactly what I am going to say. This isn't going to be planned thing. I will write when the mood strikes me but I will try to write something daily, even if it's just a "hi" or to talk about what I am currently playing (I have an Xbox One and PS4 now, by the way).

Bear with me while I adjust to being a more open book and pushing myself to write. Hopefully I will, at the very least, amuse you. My life is fairly mundane, full of housekeeping and kids, but I do have some interesting ideas and thoughts. I have issues just like any other person. Sometimes those issues are hilarious and sometimes they are sad.

Hey I might even toss in an opinion about a beer too....stay tuned!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Posted Pictures of Myself in a Bikini and Why I Did It



Yes, I did that. Today I broke down and posted pictures of myself, on Facebook, wearing a bikini. This is something I swore I would never, ever do. My reason for not doing it were many. Most were because I didn't feel my body was good enough to be seen in a bikini, in short - embarrassment and shame.

I am 41 years old and have had five kids. My body certainly wasn't good enough to be seen...right? This is what the internet and society would have me believe. Unfortunately, it is something I believed and it had to stop. I am not 6 ft tall with legs up to my neck. I am not a super model and I am shaped like a pear, not an hourglass and certainly not a freeway.

A few weeks ago, I started getting serious about getting into shape. I enlisted the help of my buddy Shawn. He's extremely fit and I know he would force me to keep going even when I wanted to give up. Still, I just couldn't visualize the progress I was making. This past week a lot of things happened that gave me pause about my anti-pictures-of-me-in-a-bikini stance. My friend Dan has been working out and posting pictures of his progress. I think he's doing a great job. His body isn't perfect yet either, but here he was embracing the progress he was making and being proud of it. Owning it! Then yesterday I watched a video of a "big" girl pole-dancing on Britain's Got Talent. That woman was out there doing stuff I could never do. I don't have that kind of upper body strength. Her confidence was amazing to watch and I admired her for putting herself out there.

I have been working hard too so why shouldn't I be proud of my progress and show it off? Well, there came that nagging idea that my progress wasn't good enough to show off yet. I hunted around the internet and saw many sites recommending taking pictures to give yourself a better perspective. We are all so hypercritical of ourselves that sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

Of course, I also witnessed the internet being cruel. Shaming people for their size, lumps, bumps and imperfections. Girls being shamed for not having breasts, breasts that were too large, being fat, having cellulite, etc and you know what..it was happening to men too. When did it become okay to belittle people for trying? There is a heavyset, older man that I see at the track nearly every day. He comes there to jog and is obviously trying to get healthy. The other day a group of teenagers were making fun of him. They were laughing at how slow he ran, his jiggling belly and how hard he was breathing. I dearly wanted to slap them silly and felt protective of the man that was just trying to better himself. We were both trying to accomplish the same thing and  no one has any right to shame him for being a work-in-progress.

After all this, today I decided I needed to put up or shut up. I needed to get a better perspective of myself, my body, and realize that I am worth being proud of. My hard work needs to be celebrated and the naysayers can bite me. I need to not worry what some insecure, immature idiot is going to think of my body so long as I can stand up proudly and say, "Look at what I have done so far! Look at what I accomplished!"

I did this for my daughters, myself and those friends/family that are trying to do the same thing I am...get healthy. I did this for all the people out there that just don't feel good enough. You are good enough and fuck what the internet says. Put down the fashion magazines and embrace yourself. If you don't like something, by all means change it but don't compare yourself to society's idea of perfection. Be your own perfection.

So I my body isn't perfect and it will never be perfect by everyone's standards, I accept that. Just look at what I have done so far. Eat a dick if you think my body is disgusting because I am proud of it.