Thursday, December 23, 2010

We're All Gonna Die!

Let's talk about the end of the world.

I've been playing too much Fallout 3 and watching too many things with zombies. I'm starting to get paranoid.

I absolutely adore Fallout, and I'm jonesing for a copy of New Vegas, though I'm not even half way through Fallout 3.

You ask why it has taken me six months to get to Three Dog? Because of shit like this.

I'm paranoid with an overactive imagination. I have had to give myself an indefinite hiatus from the game because of this. A few nights ago I went to bed in abject fear of the end of the world. I was fairly certain that I was going to awake in the middle of some sort of apocalypse, be it zombies, nuclear holocaust, or a world war on our home turf. I also realized that we have no way to really survive. We live in the middle of a highly populated urban area, we have no range weapons and no ammo, and we don't have a large supply of food. I'm pretty sure we're doomed. I fell asleep straining my ears for sounds of impending doom. Excessive sirens, screams, car crashes, or possibly no sound at all. When I woke up in the morning I was actually surprised that nothing had happened.

A few weeks ago I watched the first episode of Walking Dead, and Oh My God, it was awesome. Probably the only Zombie anything that I REALLY liked. However, I still spent several days terrified of a zombie breakout.

I am also counting down the days to December 21, 2012. We have 1 year and 363 days. I have no idea what, if anything, is going to happen that day. However, I'm predicting one the highest suicide rates of decades, possibly longer. Also mass hysteria and panic. I have a feeling as we get closer to the date we will be seeing and hearing more and more people talking about it and their predictions and in the week leading up to it the media will be inciting said panic and  hysteria, and the world will be holding it's collective breath.

There has go to be something wrong with me, I swear. Sometimes I think I'm going to turn into a Doom Sayer, complete with cardboard sign. "THE END IS NIGH!" I mean, they're the only ones that actually believe this stuff?

I have been told if I'm so paranoid I should prepare. Build up an arsenal, 3-4 years of non perishable food product, buy a house and fortify it adding in a bomb shelter, store 5 years worth of filtered fresh water in airtight containers, store several seasons worth of seeds. You get where I'm going with this. My only issue with this approach is that in preparing for the worst I become MORE paranoid.

So, do you fear the end of the world? The Zombie Apocalypse? Nuclear Holocaust? How do you prepare for it? What are your plans for survival?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The things we don't talk about.

I find it frustrating, unhelpful, and unfair that there are so many things that we don't like to talk about. Or if we do it's in hushed tones and as though we are ashamed to be having the conversation. Certainly there are some who talk about them loudly and openly and productively, but not many, and they are often hard to find.

Depression is one of those things. Even though a high percentage of Americans are diagnosed, and even more are suffering undiagnosed, with it we don't talk about it. Give them a pill and let's be on our way is often the attitude, along side the brush offs of "Everyone gets sad." or "If you just tried you'd get over it." and any number of other things.

I don't often talk about myself and the personal stuff going on in my life here for two reasons. One, I am depressed and I don't want to sound as though I'm whining. It's a fine line between reason and excuse, and I often feel as though all I'm giving are excuses for my behavior. I have a LiveJournal that I have recently returned to updating regularly with this sort of thing. Feel free to look me up if you can find me.

Reason two! I don't know who, exactly, reads this. I don't know what friends and family I have that might be following me surreptitiously on here, and while I'm an open book to just about everyone, I'm not so much to my family. So even though my LJ is public, I'm not quite ready to go all in over here and blast my personal business on the interwebs.

However, this is something I want to talk about, because no one does. (Remember, this blog isn't ONLY about geeky things. It's also about me.)

I've been diagnosed with depression since I was fairly young, also ADHD. Halfway through college I stopped taking meds and convinced myself I was fine for many years. Only recently have I realized that no, I'm really not fine, and that I do need medication and therapy. It's been long and painful getting to this realization and acceptance of myself and my wonky brain chemistry, but here I am, and here I shall stay.

Depression is a hard thing to deal with. It's hard on the person who has been diagnosed, and it's hard on the people around them. I often find it difficult to do some of the most basic things for myself. Showering, cooking, cleaning, not to mention I have a child and a husband that need me. The guilt of not being able to do take care of myself and them is killer, and it feeds into the depression and general feeling of worthlessness. It's a self repeating cycle and it is SO hard to break out of. At some point it becomes familiar and comforting, it's easy to keep feeling the same things over and over.

It also affects work performance in ways that you might not expect. I'm a designer, at least it's what I went to school for, what I so desperately want to do with my life, what I'm trying to do with my life, but I haven't been able to. Recently I've received several projects that I'm incredibly excited about, but I find it difficult to work on them and complete them in a fast and efficient manner. How can I work when I can barely pull myself out of bed? I also fill in temporary office and call center positions and watched as the people around me get hired full time, but I don't. Why? Because I often exude a demeanor that screams "I don't care about this job! I don't want to work here!" Do I ever, really, like the jobs? No. Do the people around me? Likely not. However, the difference is that they are able to push through and do the things they need to do to get a full time job. I, on the otherhand, can't seem to focus enough to be as effective as I know I could be. So my attempts at getting a full time job to fill in until I get my graphic design career going fail.

I don't think I fully realized how much the depression was affecting me until recently. Oh, sure, within the last couple years I acknowledged that I could certainly use some good therapy sessions, but I didn't accept that I might actually need medication. I was afraid of it. My experience with it growing up was less than pleasant and I resented everything about it. Sometimes I still do. I trained myself to forget to take it, which is why when I got to college it became completely ineffective and I suffered withdrawal symptoms constantly.

I don't know what changed, but over the last month or two I've realized and accepted that I cannot function. I often can't do basic things, and that I'm not just lazy. That it's not just a matter of changing my habits, but it's also an actual problem. I think the trigger for my realization came in the form of mild panic attacks and anxiety. I suspect I may have a mild anxiety disorder as well as ADD, but I'm not sure. All I can say is standing in the middle of the kitchen with nothing but an overwhelming sense of impending doom and being convinced that the world is going to fall apart if everything doesn't get done RIGHT NOW is a sobering experience.

Depression is not something that can be defined by a specific set of behavior. It's not something people can really understand or relate to unless they've dealt with it themselves. It's not a broken arm or a seizure. It's not an addiction, though addiction and depression often go hand in hand. It's not the sort of thing that people really talk about. Instead they brush it off claiming laziness and bad habits and if the person would just put a little more effort into things they'd be fine. However, it NEEDS to be talked about. There needs to be open discussion about it, not just on the blogosphere, not just on forums and websites, but in our homes and communities. Everyone knows the word, everyone knows theoretically what it is, but there is little community support for those who have to deal with it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Super Powers

I was just thinking about what super power I'd want to have. There's so many to choose from, that I don't know which I'd want most! Basically anything you can think of could be a super power, and even various combinations.

If you look at Super Man, he had at least a half dozen  different powers that made him the icon that he is. He could fly, he was invulnerable except to Kryptonite, he had super hearing, super speed, super vision, and super strength.

Then there's Spiderman who could climb walls (although their explanation for this made no sense while he was wearing gloves. How did the little feelers get through the fabric?) He also has "Spidey-sense" which is basically super hearing, super reflexes, and super sight. And then, of course, the shooting webs from newly formed glands in his wrists.

However, your average hero has only one ability that can be put to use in various and clever ways to their advantage.

So what one ability would I want?

There are some questions you need to ask yourself before you make that decision. Am I the only Super? What power would be most useful? Do I want an obvious power? Or do I want something more subtle that can be passed off as something else?

After contemplating those questions I have two choices.

My first choice, assuming there are lots of other Supers I'd be running into, would be an Empath. Think Peter from the first season of Heroes. All I have to do is hang around someone with an ability and I suddenly have that ability. I could fly, turn invisible, teleport, super strength, super speed, eidetic memory, muscle memory, telepathy, telekinesis, everything! I would be way cooler than Superman.

Of course, the likelihood of running into a lot of other people with super powers is likely pretty slim, so my second choice would be automatic muscle memory. All I'd have to do is watch someone do something and suddenly I can do it perfectly. Heck yeah! I'd be a master at just about every martial art I chose to watch. I could parkour like a champ, and have killer dance moves. Also, lockpicking, contortion, acrobatics, gymnastics, and sleight of hand.

If I could combine it with an eidetic memory, fuck yeah. Not only could I DO everything I watch, I could also REMEMBER EVERYTHING I hear and read. Bad. Ass.

Who needs super strength when you can move faster and more efficiently? Who needs school when all you have to do is read a book or article or anything and you suddenly retain all the information there in? Of course that's really only useful for things other than basic fact if you're smart enough to understand and comprehend the information.

So what is your preferred super power(s)?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeping Perspective

I have clearly been slacking in the posting over here. Though, to be quite honest, I haven't been in the headspace to put out posts. I've been over at the LJ brain dumping.

Lucky for you, I have something to talk about.

The new forum game. Hooray! I know you're all just as excited as I am.

After my experience with the last one I couldn't pass up another opportunity to do it again. This time will be very different, though I hope just as fun and intense.

It will be a new character, a new game, a new story. Same players.

One thing I have to be careful of, as I'm finding myself falling into this already, is to separate the last game from this game. I need to keep EITS and my emotional ties to it out of the Blackwater game. The characters are not going to be the same, and my character is not going to be the same. Whatever kind of character I make there is not going to be a Coen and a Rudyard. Oh sure, she MIGHT have a love story that unfolds dramatically and tragically, or maybe she has one that ends up with a happy ending, but I CANNOT go into this game expecting the same sort of experience I had in the first one.

These are not the same. What I must hope for is the joy of playing. The love I felt for my character and the love I felt for those closest to her. They will not be the same this time, and the players behind the ones she befriends are not necessarily going to be the same as the ones before.

It's very easy to transpose one experience onto another. It's similar to transposing your emotions for a fictional character onto the player behind the character. It's important to keep a perspective in all things. To separate not just reality from the game, but also one game from the next, and from one character to the next.

Whatever character I play in this new game will not be Detective Leoma Stetson, childe of Rudyard Hawkins, childe of Adana de Sforza, lover of Coen White, Silverfang garou. They will not be the same. The concepts won't be the same. And their stories most definitely won't be the same.

I truly love my Leoma, and Coen, and Rudyard. I think I always will. However, it is time to put them to rest. To let them live on in my memory, and make way for a new experience with new characters and stories and adventures.

From what I've read of the new game so far, it looks like it will be a good one. We just need to keep it in perspective.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Arsenic Based Life

Apparently scientists have found some.

Up to this point we believed all living matter was carbon based. Clearly, we were wrong. How cool are these little buggers? No longer will the cockroaches be the only ones surviving the nuclear holocaust. I betcha the little microbes will be chugging right along with them, perhaps one day becoming the primary life forms of the planet.

I wonder if these are the basis for the creatures that will eventually replace us.

Okay, I'm getting away from myself.

However, this discovery leads to so many more questions, just as all good science does. A good answer makes you ask more questions. Anyway. I digress.

Getting down to the nitty gritty of the report I googled it. I immediately found this article.

Basically the guy explains that the organisms aren't entirely based on arsenic. They are still totally carbon based, require oxygen, nitrogen, and some other basic stuff. However, they can be coaxed into substituting arsenic for phosphorous. Still really cool, but not quite as ZOMG THIS IS SO AWESOME as people have been getting hyped about.

There's definitely some really neat science going on here that should be explored further, but let's not get all excited about the new life form.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Human Jukebox

How would you like to walk around blasting music from inside your gut? More specifically, how would you like for people to send in requests about what songs to have playing from your gut?

Well. That's what this guy did.

On November 27  Fredrik Hjelmquist, CEO of Pause Home Entertainment, swallowed the worlds smallest wireless sound system.

I first heard about him from Wade who read about him on Gizmodo. The whole article, complete with video, can be found here.

Apparently this guy loves sound, and to him it's not about size. In this instance, apparently it doesn't matter. What matters, says Hjelmquist, is the quality. Of course, he says this with a GIANT speaker system behind him. Right.

The sound system he swallowed is a capsule shape roughly the size of a large horse pill, and now people from all over the world can go to his website and make song requests via facebook.

Pretty cool, right? Guy's got balls, that's for sure. He even stocked up on laxatives and ipecac to make sure he could get the thing out.

Of course the guy's got a cause. No one does this for no reason, it's too good a gimic for that. He's doing it for publicity.

Rock on, Frederik. Rock on.