July 14, 1999
Resolution and Vid Games
Mark decided to tell me, today, that he was going to just stay off-line unless something interesting appeared that he thought might be interesting to me. It's not like this is anything new. Months ago, we were only exchanging notes now and again, when something interesting showed up, some cool URL, some article. Years ago, it was an entire year between emails.
So I said, fine. As long as I know I'm okay, and it was true.
When I asked him what he would be interested in and he answered, "Change. Growth. Creativity." with the implication being that I wasn't providing any of that for him, by his definitions, I just put my head in my hands. If moving 1200 miles into another state, another job, another culture isn't change enough; and growing into my own as an engineer on a project that really challenges me and getting the gumption to get over my knee isn't growth enough; and creating something bigger than I've ever made before isn't enough creativity for him to be interested, there really is nothing I can do. He's made up his mind and there's nothing I can do about it and I'm, now, very sure I am giving up. There's nothing I want to do anymore about it. I have too many other things to do.
It's also not bothering me nearly as much as it would have last week, though, at least Jenn got him to actually *say* it and tell me and tell me that he was open to my writing or calling on him when I thought I had something he'd be interested in; and now I know how things are going to be for a while, rather than just the uncertainty. So it's settled now, and I can just go and have my own kind of fun and not worry about this anymore. He said he doesn't need or want to have daily contact anymore. Jenn and I are probably going to continue talking and writing and doing fun stuff.
Fezzik also woke me up at 5 a.m., so I was tired, groggy, and half-way sick. Not fun, all together.
Raven wrote me a note that had me crying a bit. Simple, really. Just nice and solid and there for me for the moment I needed it. Genevieve also got in touch with me for just a moment. Carl also re-related to me some advice that is going to help in the long run in a way that really made it easy to follow. I guess I have the whole of the Eyrie Mafia, the Fiat Game, the tooMUSH crew, the folks on Tapestries I talk with, and Cera and John and Tom and Raven as well to talk with and play with and create with. It's not as if I'm going to be alone, which was one of Mark's arguments and he was right about that.
Cera and I talked a bit and I realized that I wrote something that was indeterminate and could have been interpreted in a number of ways, some of them unintended.
It actually was with some of her comments about books that we mildly disagreed about how much we liked them that I learned that disagreements about subjective calls don't have to hurt the way I've had 'em hurt in the past. Some of it is my fault, as 'being wrong' is kinda bad and painful in connotation and it gets even worse when both parties have reasons to defend being 'right'; but when both parties figure out it's all just subjective anyway, it doesn't have to be 'wrong'. My recent exchanges with Mark were very much on my mind which is why I named him. Cera gave me a very, very clear life example of how it can work well, without tearing down either of us and still getting something interesting from it. And I actually went *on* to talk with Gryn about the movie, having seen it work with Cera, in part because I've seen Gryn be really reasonable about subjective things as well.
I didn't mean that she had to, in any way, learn that, and have found that she's learned it the hard way, her own way. In fact, that because she taught me that once already that I have some hope, on my part, that I can be in a relationship that works that way in the long-term.
Talking it through helped both of us. She said very clearly that it helped her, and I knew that just talking with her kept a part of me sane while I was talking with Mark and Jenn. I think... part of me thinks that Cera really anchors the 'real me' in place while the sixteen-year-old wants control simply by talking with the me. It's the part that is sane, careful, and thinking rather than just feeling. She does it mostly by not treating me like a sixteen-year-old that hasn't a clue what she's feeling. Which part of me is, I sometimes think, as I'm finally getting a real handle on how I feel, not just what I think.
Amid all this...
I also worked. Got things done, had an early meeting and an early afternoon meeting and a nice lunch with Bob to talk over things, and it all actually went really well. Bob also interrupted the midst of the most heated exchanges, and I was looking all glassy-eyed and I had absolutely *no* desire to hear about the differences between linked-in libs and dlls. But he persisted, entirely unknowing, and he got my brain out of the pain loop, totally. Eventually he got me out to lunch and talking entirely about work and doing stuff and how fulfilling it's been working with this stuff so far with these schedules, and it all just went away.
It's funny, writing all this, actually. As I'm pretty sure that no one at work noticed a darned thing other than Bob, maybe, but he knows me pretty well and he knows how distracted I can get when something's 'going on'. Besides, he does read here, which is kinda interesting as well.
The afternoon meeting on usability is now comfortable, even, to lead. I really liked that. We also came to a good consensus on a few things.
John showed up a bit after 3 and just looked at me. Ooops. 3:30 meeting with the natural gas man to get an estimate of how and when he could hook up our gas BBQ. We had to get home fast, and we did and he, luckily, showed up a bit late, just as I was about to close the gate after picking up a big UPS box from Beth, who often plays with Genevieve, and lives in New England. She promised me maple syrup and 'things'!
So while John puttered about the house with the gas guy, I unpacked my box happily. Yay! Real Grade B maple! Maple candy! And!!?
I can't figure out what it is. It's very cute, a cotton tent with two sleeping bags inside it, all miniaturized and hang-upable. John took one look at it and laughed, "It's a Beanie Baby tent! You can stuff them in and hang it up!"
I have no idea how he knows these things.
I'm not sure I want to know.
So I might take it with me to work and hang it up and stuff my Beanie Babies into it and have everyone at work laugh at it. Which can only be good, right? It's kinda cool that Beth actually thought about my Beanie Babies. Tagless playtoys that they are. Hee.
Turns out that the gas hookup won't be until next week, so all my dreams of a Memphis-style BBQ party for everyone in the group who's moved to Boulder this week may have to just wait a week. Better than the fates of some dreams. Besides, it'll give folks time to get settled in.
I then fell over on the couch and napped. Resolutions make for a peaceful mind, and I slept a good two hours straight with Fezzik watching over me. Then went upstairs to write and get things out.
After that we went out walking with Fezzik, as Ray called and said that they'd arrived and were there. It was a mile-long walk, that was partially on busy road, but mostly on back, dirt road, so that was nice, and Fezzik was bouncing along like he was happy and doing well. Joints are now moving pretty freely and he's not having a problem getting all happy and active when he hears another dog. That was really cool to see.
We got there and then talked with them until about 9 p.m., got a tour of the house and yard and it was really, really cool to know that someone we knew was living that close and we could rely on each other in need. That was really reassuring and a nice side product of being good friends with the folks that we work with. That was very nice.
Ray gave us a ride home, and it was dark and cool enough to think about eating. So I re-heated crab cakes, John ate jambalaya and just looked at me quizzically when I called the crab cakes 'fish sticks'. They really are, just breaded and tastier than commercial fish sticks, but just as reheatable and versatile and crispy. I just stuck 'em in the toaster oven and they came out lovely and hot.
After dinner I was pacing around going, "I should feel worse than this..." and John laughed. "Play the game!" he said, "There's absolutely no reason to actively try and get yourself to feel worse when you feel okay."
So I sat down and played Parasite Eve for two hours straight and thought of nothing but how gnarly the darned carry-over gun and armor are. Walked through the first two levels without anything getting a single hit on me, that was pretty scary. Blowing away five birds at once with two shots from my scatter-shot rifle. It was pretty weird. Less intense than the first time through, knowing that I couldn't get hurt; but when I went back to the Precinct, when it was really messed up, I finally ran into competition that was tougher, yet still fairly non-adrenaline causing. I know it's only going to get harder, but for now, I'm still just steamrolling over things. Maybe I should hit the Chrysler Building earlier than I really 'should' just to get the adrenaline and decision-making highs.
They say adrenaline increases the chance of one remembering something. That it somehow increases the ability for a memory to be imprinted, solidly. Carl was talking about someone else that used vid games to erase depressive thought paths, or at least get out of them; and I could really, really see why it would or could work especially when adrenaline is involved. It's cool to figure.
And when I went to sleep, it was fairly easy, which surprised me, but probably shouldn't have. I've been working this out all week. This was just the finish, and it's good to be done.