It’s already been a week? I’m not going to lie here; this week went fast. Not that I’m complaining. The long weekend in the country did me a lot of good. The most noise I had to deal with was a cow in labor and another cow about a half mile out sharing in sympathy moos. Ah, the peace and quiet out there (when mooing was not a thing)… it was bliss. I didn’t even mind the moos. True story: there’s no thumping bass beat in a moo. While there’s a constant threat of wild boar at night, there’s virtually no threat of being shot even though nearly everyone is armed. Go figure that one. In fact, I’m now contemplating how to move back to the country permanently. I’m under no delusions that’ll happen soon, but I’m officially keeping my eyes open for opportunities. The obstacle with moving to a rural area is that jobs that pay well enough to sustain a livelihood are few and far between. I mean, that’s why I left in the first place, to become financially viable. In hindsight, maybe not the best decision given how well that turned out, but it was needed at the time.
Since I know a couple of you will suggest it (you know who you are), yes, I’m including the idea of writing as a career choice. Writing “what” is anyone’s guess, but I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that a bad day of writing is better than a good day at an unsustainable dead end job. I even looked at the idea of writing trashy novels under a pen name. With no disrespect to the authors out there whom I greatly admire, it seems there are a plethora of truly bad novels and novellas out there on Amazon. What’s more, somehow there’s audience enough to make that sustainable. Wonders… they never cease. At any rate, I’ve come up with three distinct author personalities so far, so if I wanted to, I could slip into these characters and write some truly god-awful stuff to sell as only those characters could write them. One of the interesting things about decades of paper and dice role-playing games… creativity is rarely a problem. On the other hand, identity could be an issue later on.
I’m not at all serious about any solution at this stage, but the objective remains. That’s one of the things that came from my out-of-the-box thinking while I was away. If something comes of it… well, I have no intention of linking such things back to my name except on tax records. You’re welcome.
When I got back from my vacation, I should have known things would get stupid fast. There was a dead squirrel in my driveway. I didn’t need to dispose of it as the local strays took care of it for me. Also, my A/C wasn’t working. Again. I figured it was the control board, being the same problem the last three times. Nope. Burned out wire on the outside unit. Literally a two minute fix. And thankfully under warranty. All it cost me was some extended discomfort in the Texas heat… and thank the Force it’s not August yet.
In other news, the last couple of days I’ve been listening to George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones. People, if you have any interest in the Maker, this book is fantastic so far, and I’ve only made it as far as American Graffiti. I’ve got to give Jones some serious props on this. Excellent commentary from extant sources, lots of personal insight, and best of all there are all these connections between the life of the man and his art. That sort of thing is very important to me. To understand the art to its fullest, one must always understand the artist.
I’ve already got Jones’ Jim Henson biography lined up as well, that’s how engaging this is. Admittedly, I’m biased, but I find that Jones has made Lucas’ story completely approachable from a number of perspectives, and I’m learning quite a bit more about things I already knew. I would have loved to have this book years ago. Having a book on Henson… that’s just a bonus. I shamefully know very little about Henson beyond the basics. I trust that’ll change after this book.
Now it’s time for chronicles of my retro gaming misadventures, just because.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is officially a time suck. My half hour of retro gaming before bed has turned into an hour as I navigate my way over the same terrain over and over again in a bid to figure out where I’m supposed to go next. And then when I get there, how in the freak do I find the one hidden room I’m supposed to get to? *head/desk* I need a GPS navigator on this thing. This little pastime has turned into the same kind of obsession as when your computer breaks and you absolutely must fix it before the world can start turning again. You know, it’s funny. Back in the day, I remember my hardcore gaming friends would have these cheat manuals with maps and secrets and such. Today, there are all manner of resources online, including whole walkthroughs on YouTube, some of which will even explain what to do step by step. It’s crazy. And you’d think at this point I’d have referenced them. Nope. I’m a Capricorn. If there’s a meaning to my life, it’s that I must charge up the steepest side of the mountain and do everything the most difficult way imaginable. Apparently this extends to 16-bit life too. In the words of Khan, “He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him. I’ll chase him round the Moons of Nibia and round the Antares Maelstrom and round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!”
The side effect is that I have that little Zelda tune perpetually stuck in my head like one of Khan’s Ceti eels. You see, it enters through the ear and wraps itself around the cerebral cortex, rendering the victim susceptible to… suggestion. Later… as it grows… follows madness… and death.
Along the same lines, I’ve discovered I absolutely suck at Super Mario World. I have no skill set with that whatsoever. There are two places to go at the beginning, and I can’t finish either one because I can’t get the hang of the idea where you bounce twice on opponents’ heads. One bounce: easy. Two bounces: not so much. Super Star Wars… same kind of problem. I can’t get past the landspeeder level. If someone had told me Jawas on speeder bikes (speeder chariots?) would be a serious threat, I’d have never believed them.
I mean, I beat a sarlacc, and then Jawas are somehow a deadly menace? Really? If they’re this effective, how amped are the Tuskens?! “Rampaging Bantha attack: tonight at 11.” I guess what I’m trying to say here is this game is definitely NOT canon. lol. And then after multiple attempts to shoot down these Jawas with weapons this landspeeder shouldn’t have, I finally get a screen message last night that says, “GO TOWARDS THE SAND CRAWLER!” What sand crawler? I see no effing sand crawler anywhere in 360 degrees, my lethal Jawa count is finally zero, and I still somehow die by something that hits me from behind. WTF? At least with Zelda, I can pretend I’m making progress. (I’m SO not making any progress.)
Someday I’ll laugh at all of this. Perhaps tomorrow. Today, it’s your turn.