Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Confessions Of The Obsessed

So, what have you been up to, Diana? We used to hear from you 2-3 times a week. We got non-stop drivel about the mundane and banal in your life and now you can barely condescend to throw something up once a week.

We are not sure what we are complaining about, as who needs to read about your trials with detecting which appliance was leaving the rust smears on occasional articles of clothing all those months (turns out it was the nefarious dryer). Or that the dog has been taking to grabbing 2-3 pieces of kibble in her mouth and just leaving them in a cluster here and there in the kitchen and dining room (there can be no possible answer for that). For a while, we kept hoping you would forget your vows of confidentiality and blog about the patients and all, for we all know that there must be scads of good work stories, but we've given up on such sensational and gruesome fodder. We are just wondering why the change.

Ah, dearest darlings, many reasons. Work has been busier, I've been duller, and I found something to replace the hours in front of the computer at home, at least for now.

Actually, that's not entirely true. It's sort of computeresque, it's just small and hand-held and I can curl up in the Big Chair with it and a blanket and consume hours and hours that way.

Yeah! Mama got a DS.

Actually, mama stole the Animal Crossing game her daughter got from Santa.

See, it has reading in it. Sara can't read. Therefore, Sara can't possibly enjoy the game as much as she should. Therefore, the game should, nay must, go to the one person in the family who would really enjoy it.


The control freak.

Well, actually, Colin would also enjoy it, but I'm bigger than him.

To be honest, I did let him play with the game for a short time and, as I handed it over to him, actually heard myself tell him quite sternly that he could on no account get that axe and cut down a single tree. OR trample a flower. OR pick any of the valuable apples or coconuts that I'd so painstakingly planted (the cheap oranges he could do with what he would). OR touch anything in MY house (which he shared).

That weekend, I went and bought him his own game. And, as I didn't actually have my own DS, we had to get me one, so I wouldn't have to share with the small-handed ones. Now we play curled up together in the Big Chair. Harmony.

Soooooo, what is the attraction to this game?

Tcha! It's brilliant! You get to inhabit your own little town and order it just the way you want. Sort of. Well, at least your house. Sort of. Actually, you are completely dependent on the proprieter of the single store for all your furnishing goods, and he only offers a few things each day. But! You get to run around with your shovel and fishing rod and butterfly net and catch fish and dig up fossils and catch bugs (Well, you can catch the bugs when the weather is warmer. Currently, it's snowy and the bugs aren't out. Except the flies.) The flowers still bloom, though, and the orange trees fruit, which is good. The coconuts do, too. On the snowy beach.

And you get to weed the town! And water the turnip plant that you hope to sell for a fat profit. (In fact, you'd really rake in the dough if that sow, Joan, would sell you more than just one turnip seed at a time.) And you get to re-arrange your furniture. And (squeal!) pay your mortgage! To the slumlord that also owns the company store (Anyone feel the urge to sing 16 Tons?)

You do get accosted by the other townies, who are annoying and animal-shaped, but you can ignore them or hit them with your butterfly net, which causes them to shun you for a bit. (Sadly, you don't get to wack them with the shovel.) Also, sometimes they give you stuff, which you can turn around and sell off. They have short memories and don't seem able to hold a grudge for more than 5 minutes, so pissing them off will only buy you a modicum of peace.

So, that's what I've been doing of an evening. Pulling weeds and watering the turnip.

Maybe, if I'm really, really lucky, I'll get to buy a lawn mower and mow the town. Or maybe a vacuum?

Sad. So very sad the life of an obsessive-compulsive control freak.



Anonymous Kathryn Jaehnig said...

Compost/haiku Kathryn here again, Diana. (I fear that de-lingering may have been fatal for my cherished anonymity.)

If you like games, you might enjoy one of these. ( I found my own journey to the wilddivine quite compelling.

(I'm also from the PNW originally -- born and raised in Seattle. You?)

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no, we've lost another one. Whatever you do Diana, STAY AWAY FROM THE LIGHT!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

Shaking my head in shame for you... When is the intervention? The last video game I played was Frogger. Hmm.. maybe I am missing something...

11:30 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Kathryn!- (giggle, giggle. It's seductive, this commenting thing, no?)

I love the idea of biofeedback games. For me, I think that's the only way it'd really work for me. Powerful stuff, if you can do it.

Me? I was a Portland girl for about 25 years, also I did a year in Bellingham, WA, (fresh from residency). We do not speak of that miserable year, though.

Seattle is wonderful. May I enquire what area you currently live in? (Well, yes, I can ask, but you can choose to answer, or to answer but not truthfully. The beauty of the internet. I'll never know...)

Johnny- Your own post was cryptic, you evil woman, but you sound better, so I'll take that. Yes. The dark side, apparently. So tragic. We knew her well. Sit her in the corner with a cloth over her head and call her an end table.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Kate- Your shameful head shaking is nothing to my own. I'd be horrified but I'm too busy pressing tiny buttons and waving my miniscule stylus. (Ooooh! The slumlord-grocery store proprietor has a totem pole on sale, today.) Frogger and the others of that ilk are too stressful. This is so wonderfully dull. And orderly.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Kate- Believe me, I am shaking my own head with more shame than you are shaking yours. I'd be horrified but I'm too busy selling fish and coconuts to the slumlord grocery proprieter and pulling weeds for a cleaner, nicer town.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know as a video game addict myself (Madden NFL..where I play as my fave team the Green Bay Packers) and Double agent - Splinter cell, I can identify.
And if you can play it with your kid, all the more better. We on the other hand your blog readers, love whatever you have to say and will always be here. :)

7:03 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Well that explains where you've been - kind of - I have no idea what you are talking about. The whole video/computer game thing has totally passed me by, unless you count the zillion of freecell games I play each day.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

oh. you. are. evil.

I am now, based on your description, hopelessly enamoured (how the hell do you spell enamored? Is that right?) with the game.... twitch, twitch. must. resist.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the obsessive compulsive desire to play a game, over and over. OCD, I know thee well. And for it to be planting turnips! How proper! Come up for air once in awhile.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are too funny. This sounds like the perfect video game for you if I dare say it out loud.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell is DS? asks your old Da while having another go at FreeCell and Solitaire. Hearts is starting to get under my skin after 40 years of abstinance. I was wondering where you had gotten off to, too. I do now demand a very long and revealing email ASAP.

The Ole RF-er

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love video games. I spent 5 hours playing this evil game Beth showed to me this weekend. I am a huge Ages of Empires fan and could spend hours playing, if it wasn't for the Seraquel and Keem yelling "DANA! Go to bed!"

This game, however, sounds too organized for me. Where are the villagers that you can send off to work and then kill when you have amassed all of the gold/food/wood/stone that you need? Where are the grueling battles where you get to look at history from Atilla the Hun's point of view (he's a bit of a frightening man, by the way)? I can't wait to get my hands on Ages of Empires 3, that has a campaign based on Portugal. Oohoohoo (that was my weird geeky laugh. Did you like it?)!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn Jaehnig said...

Kathryn, once more (and yours is the ONLY blog I've delingered from, so yours must be particularly seductive).

I live in Carbondale, Illinois -- the place where the glaciers stopped pushing up topsoil all those eons ago. Makes for challenging gardening (let's all play with the clay, children), but on the other hand, we have hills here and cypress swamps and all manner of creatures.

Seattle, yes. Everyone says it's a wonderful city, and I suppose, compared to most 21st century cities, it is. But I liked it better when it was smaller and less well known. I have a collection of postcards of my city from that time (1904 to 1962) -- two archival boxes full. If I can ever master the Web, I'll put up a postcard site so I can take people there.

By the way, I have a new house this year, which means a new garden I haven't yet touched. So far, I see I have snowdrops! What's up in yours?

(Oops! Sorry, PifflePeople! Didn't mean to take up all the bandwidth!)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

So this is how you satisfy your gardening addiction while waiting for Spring?!!

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Psst! I LOVE video/PC games! But I kill them all. My SIMS never had enough money for anything and starved. My Zoo Tycoon animals all became ill and were pining for mates - me! - and the public was starving as well - but oh serves them right for being too fancy to eat off the vending machines, what am I, a chef? I used to play so much Tetris that when I went to bed I'd keep seeing the pieces fall, s l o w l y. I've recently bought Dune, don't know if it's any good, am resisting till after the exams or will fail everything - and am being so serious it's a scary insight into my personality.)

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooo my favorite game of all time tetris....
p.s. missed you :)

11:05 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Everybody!- I'm being held hostage by a diseased internet connection. Please bear with me! I've been unable to reply for 2 days and am taking nothing for granted.

Sanjay- You and Charles have way too much in common between the games and the Packers. We do have fun playing the group games with the kids as well as curling up together with our individual games, and talking back and forth.

Listie- Oh, freecell (and evil spider) count. Charles gave me a collection of different solitare and other card games for the DS/GBA. Like crack.

Teri- You, mon cher twin, would love it as I do. The cool thing is that you can go 'see' others at a distance, so I could come visit you over the ether, with the right connection.
Beth- (gasp, gasp) All the cool people are OCD.

Lauren- Oh, yes. It's as though they made the damn thing just for me.

Dad- (click on the link in the post) The DS is that silver hand-held game that Colin had when you visited. (Try spider as well. Play it 20 times and you'll never forgive the person who turned you on to it.)

Dana- Colin is also HUGE into A of E and all of that ilk. Me? I know better than to even consider launching into it. Colin has A of E III. I'll have to see what he's done with/to Portugal. There's a reason why 8 year old boys shouldn't control the world.

Kathryn- Carbondale! Not far at all. My garden in Portland was all clay, all sorts of different colors, like blue, green, gray, yellow... Now it's nearly solid limesone. A new house and garden! How exciting! That first spring is always so terribly exciting. Nothing (thank goodness) is up in mine. Except a foot of snow. Nothing should be stiring for 2 more months. Hence the virtual garden.

Ruth- Yes! That's exactly how I've been justifying the whole damn thing.

Johnny- There's a SIMS DS game. I may have stolen it from Colin. It's not the same, though. It's more of a mission to run a hotel than the wonderful day-to-day feeding, working, don't catch the drapes on fire beauty of the SIMS for the PC. We had Zoo Tycoon, but it crashed our system, so we had to chuck it. Colin adored it, especially letting the animals rampage around the neighborhood. Again, 8 year old boys shouldn't be in charge of lions and rhinos. He's also got the DS one, which I've not YET pilfered. Yet.

MOJAVI!- HONEY! (smooch) Missed you back. I can't access your site (just tried, internet connection refusing me, will keep trying). Tetris=Evil.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

EEEEEEK! It posted the replies!!!!! I'm now terrified to disconnect. I fear I will never see you until Monday but I have to go do things like put Sara down for a nap and exercise and all that sort of thing, so I will brave the wrath of the internet. I will be back later, fates willing.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your writing and blog, so it pains me to type this, but, well, it sounds like you've found more meaningful work. We'll just have to spare you every now and then.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Bah!! I can't hack these newfangled games you kids have these days.

Whatever happened to the Days of Yore when we played Yon Sega Genesis, eh??

Toejam and Earl.

Now THAT was a game, missy!!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This doesn't mean that your own real-life garden is going to lie fallow this year while you cater to that lone, virtual turnip, does it?

3:34 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jocelyn- Isn't it pathetic? How can someone get so caught up in a little virtual world? A world where your house stays clean, you can run and hide from your neighbors if you don't feel like talking to them, and you can be as industrious or lazy as you feel like. And you can design your own clothes and umbrellas. Oh. Guess I answered my own question.

Babs- Can you believe it? Charles was into el Sega Genesis, but not me. Me? I was, er, slogging away in el hospital, eating crap-on-a-tray and such, while he mastered the intracacies of Madden Football and what ever else there was. (Had we had Toejam and Earl, I'd have let the sickies just lay there and fester, I'm sure.) (And, HEY, Missy, I'm like ages older than you, you young thing.)

Rozanne- (sniff) If the damn real-life garden doesn't do better than it did last year, what with all the horse poop I dug out of the former horse shed and tossed over it last fall, I damn well AM going to give it up and lavish all my love on the lone turnip that appreciates a good daily watering and doesn't seem to mind much if I step on it on accident. (stupid controller.)

8:39 PM  

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