Monthly Archives: October 2013

Facing the Dark.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent a few free evenings reviewing some of the movies I’ve referenced over the last four years of writing.

One evening, I had a Meryl-fest with It’s Complicated and Julie and Julia.

The next evening was Eat Pray Love.

Then I rounded it all out with My Life In Ruins.

If you haven’t guessed yet, and I guess I did it unconsciously, but through watching all of them, I found that besides all having central characters being women, all of the movies have one outstanding quality in common: hope.

Have you ever noticed that hope is the one thing that dies hardest and last? That no matter how hard life becomes, hope always finds its’ way in to help us in our darkest hours?

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective, how we perceive it and if we open our hearts and become aware of it. I’ve found when I get to that point of awareness, hope always seems to be waiting like a friend wearing a warm and patient smile.  It then goes to work, closing doors that need closing in order to open up windows that show me a brand-new view of the world.  Ironically, I always find out later on it was important for me to see that view so I could embrace new ideas coming into my life.

I once wrote about my favorite section of Myst IV: Revelation‘s ending scene, you know,  where Atrus looks at us all and reminds us that endings are just another form of beginning? Well, remembering that, it makes one of  the Myst Universe’s taglines “The ending has not yet been written” even more poignant.

We all have to face the darkness. It can be inside of us just as well as outside of us. We all have to face endings that are filled with rude shocks which often leave us screaming about the scalding hot coffee that has just landed in our laps because of the size of the pothole we just ran through. But whether we like it or not, we can not enjoy the light without knowing how dark things can get.  Inner demons, addictions and a gamut of others, not forgetting just plain old fear. I’ve looked each one in the eye and I can honestly say that the cold, unyielding dark is nowhere I want to spend a lot of time visiting on a regular basis anymore. Believe me, I’ve spent the good majority of my life battling the dark – to the point I could publish a braille map I know it so well.

I’ve come to believe that those dark moments in our lives are scary and hard because it jars us back into reality and forces us to step into the light. They make us rise to the occasion; they inspire us to change the parts of ourselves that we don’t like and know those things must change for us to be happy in our lives.

And that’s where hope just loves to sigh with its’ patient smile and look at us as if to ask, “Hey, what took you so long?”

But that’s the lesson, isn’t it? Hope stands next to us like a trusted friend, always there, vigilantly giving us a much-needed respite from desolation. Even during the darkest of nights, hope is there.  All we have to do is remember to look up and see the stars.

Under Construction

You’ll undoubtedly notice that I’m working on my new presence.

Be patient.

While you’re waiting, here’s a piece I’ve been mulling over…

UruLive and “Cone Madness”

In my 10 years inside the MMO genre, I will tell you without hesitation that a game rarely ends up exactly the way it is envisioned by it’s creator. Often, a game asset just thrown in for fun can mean dramatically more to the community of players that interact with those assets day in and day out.

Take for example Uru’s orange traffic cones.

The cone. Who knew it would be so poignant?

Now, to the average person it’s just an ordinary traffic cone, but to someone from Uru, it’s so much more!

It’s a hat, it’s a way to play a practical joke on someone, it can be made into a Stonehenge-like “conehenge”, it can be used to create graffiti along with so many other things, and to be quite blunt, there are some days I sit back in awe over what Uru players can and have done with an orange traffic cone.

Inside Uru back in the day, a fluke in the physics engine revealed that if a player did it right, it was possible to balance their avatar on an inverted cone.  It took skill, timing and patience, but it was definitely possible.  Lo and behold, a whole new way to enjoy a traffic cone emerged, “Cone Balancing.”  Yup.  Don’t look at me, I didn’t do it.  However, there was one explorer by the name of Sudre that could take a cone and basically make it sit up and bark.

In the forums, there are long conversations surrounding “The cone”; tragic tales of “lost cones” and of course, there are more tales than you can shake a stick at about how someone went to the bathroom only to come back and find themselves “Coned” like poor MisterCloak in the photo.

What really gets me is that some folks hold the cone in reverence, like a Virgin Mary mysteriously appearing in a piece of Wonder bread…it’s odd to say the least.

It’s a cone made out of KI Markers.

But I’m the last one who should be saying anything at all!  Hell, I nearly took a photo of a stack of them in Lowe’s the other day to share with my friends inside the community! I once saw a pair of my friends, in real life mind you, run headlong into a busy intersection to save a single stranded cone in the middle of the street. I often sit back in sheer awe and wonder what folks in my online community will do, can do and have done for the sake of the orange traffic cone.

One fact remains: I seriously doubt the person who came up with the idea of having an interactive orange traffic cone in-game ever thought it would mean so much to so many.

By far though, my favorite photo of a “cone moment” is the one and only Rand Miller running from a cone.

Run Rand! Cone Madness has struck the community!

Migration Time!

Time to update everyone on what’s going on:

  • As we all know my world has been in-flux. Okay, since when can anyone take me down for the count? The fighter is back and I’m roaring my fool head off.
  • Next, my blog is moving…yup, just got the domain name… is going to go live in about two days, so look for me to be moving everything from here to its’ new home.
  • Speaking of new homes…yes, I’ve got a place to rest my head that is safe and familiar.  For the time being my folks have been nice enough to set me up in my old room.  Hopefully it won’t be a very long stay, but I’m grateful for their hospitality while I’m cleaning myself up and ridding myself of the final remnants of two years spent with a manifestation of my low self-esteem. 
  • Doc Kat once said, “Change is not only possible, it’s probable” and she wasn’t kidding.  In just over three weeks I’ve seen a tremendous positive upswing in my life. I taught myself how to crochet, making myself a gorgeous new scarf.  Also, on Thursday I enjoyed a very impressive performance in a debate.
  • The best parts? Doctor visits. First doctor was a therapist at school who is referring me to a trauma specialist and secondly, a MD who has already taken blood and I’m waiting to get my prescription to put me back on my thyroid meds.
My pal Haley will vouch for me when I said, “The first six weeks post-breakup are going to suck, but check with your doctor as results may vary.”
Three weeks and the epic suckfest still hasn’t taken hold…
Hmmm…I wonder why?
But, funds are running horribly low. Gotta find work or start taking orders for scarves.  Holler if you want one!
Okay, gotta go.  Success awaits, the only sucky part of the whole thing is that I’m a year behind because of being derailed.  Oh well.
Oh, final note.  With the new domain, I’ll be hosting EVERYTHING there…my Photoshop tutorials, my shop (coffee mug, scarf or t-shirt anyone??), my portfolio and of course the rantings, ravings and hopefully future cheer-worthy and comedic moments of your favorite eternal wise fool.
See you on the other side of the migration!!!!
Ladies and Gents, it’s time to ROAR!
Sing with me…