I almost forgot to do this

And that worries me.

I got so wrapped in trying to make this epic mod for Skyrim FUCKING WORK that I almost forgot that I had not blogged today and still needed to do so.

And that would be crossing a line I dare not cross. Not now.

See, now that I will not be writing episodes of Uno for a while, the blog is all I have that is holding me together. That’s been its role for a long long time. No matter how bad it got, I had something productive (and therapeutic) to do with my time every day.

if I let that slip while pursuing my exciting (and frustrating, and challenging) new hobby, I will lose all sense of structure and my center will not hold.

And then I will go crazy,. I know this because that’s what almost happened recently. By any definition, entering a state in which you stop eating and sleeping because you are so rapt in pursuing a hobby is a form of insanity.

After all,. it meets two of the classic criterion :

a. It took over my life and made me lose interest in the world, and
b. It made me a risk to myself or others. Mostly myself, although I suppose that if, wjhen I was at my lowest point, someone had tried to get between me and my computer, I might have tried to brain them with my bottle of Febreze.

So until I settle on another daily activity which can absorb my excess creative energies, I must hew to this work of mine like a guilty Protestant.

What bug me is the irony of my situation. I had gotten my balance back. I did my blogging and my episodes and the rest of the time I messed about with Skyrim and it’s wonderful world of unfettered perversion.

And my lord, is there a lot of it.

Anyhow, so I was fighting back to a point of stability and even getting really into writing my episodes. I had talked myself through the inertial resistance to doing things other than Skyrim jiggery pokery and realized that I was really enjoying the writing. I was really starting to feel my power as a writer and I was stretching my wings and bringing things to a whole new level.

So why resist that?

But then, and this is where the irony sinks its teeth into my flesh, but then an objectively very nice thing happens and the whole thing comes a-tumbling down again.

That objectively nice thing is, of course, the my boss Prasad put me on paid vacation. Most people would absolutely love that. And I tried to have the normal reaction to that. And I managed to do so…. for around a day.

But the truth is, I would rather be working. I’m better off working. I am saner when I am working,. I have grown used to having a genuinely productive thing that I get paid to do in my life. I am going to miss it for the next two weeks or so.

It reminds me strongly of how too many days off in a row made me depressed when I was going to VFS.

Two days was fine. Three made me enter the bottom of the yellow alert zone. Any more than that and my odds of ending up depressed went up logarithmically. .

And it was because I didn’t know what to do with myself. The hours stretched ahead of me like a death sentence except without the happy ending. With depression blocking my energies, they built up inside, and with nowhere to go, they venting inward.

And that’s a bad thing. It rips me up inside.

My problem now is different in that I definitely have something that can absorb all the energy I want to put into it. My new hobby. The endless pursuit of Skyrim boinking. So my energies are not being blocked. They are, in fact, being expressed at an unprecedented rate and on a deeper level than ever before.

However, the form of their expression is not good for my sanity. In a strange way, it’s a relief that addiction has finally found me.

I have dodged it so long by conveniently and cleverly not having a life.

But nothing could have prepared me for this arena of endeavour that could suck up enormous amounts of drive and energy and be challenging to my cleverness and resourcefulness and creative problem solving skills.

And it has the most addictive thing in the world for someone like me : moreso than any video game, it rewards effort.

When effort yields rewards in some form of direct proportion – even if the conversation rate is pretty lousy – you get way, way more effort.

That’s why entrepreneurs work so hard. And why wage slaves don’t. The ideal model is a modest fix salary and a robust reward system based, at least in part, on the value the employee actually generates.

What a novel idea.

Now where was I. It’s hard to stay on subject when you mind naturally flollows the connections between things instead of the things themselves.

Everything branches out!

Oh right. Reward for effort. I have not known a lot of that in my life. Not in so direct and reliable a form. Often this has been because the things that are expected of me do not take very much effort on my part,.

And I have only recently grown to the point where I even realize that I can look for more rewarding things, let alone do them.

I have a strange combination of extraordinary mental powers and cowardice. Like I explore with my mind but that’s it. Anything outside my comfort zone – especially anything requiring an increase in stimulation levels do to unfamiliarity – and I freeze up and run away.

I’m like Descartes trying to deduce the entire world from his bed.

And I hate Descartes.

I think he was cogito ergo dum.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.



My sudden vacation

I’m on vacation right now. Paid vacation. And I will continue to be on vacation until the 12th of next month.

Let me explain.

I was contacted by my cool boss Prasad today, and he told me that since our voice actor Ryan has gone on vacation, I might as well do so as well.

That’s no big deal. It’s summer. Vacations happen. Or so I am told[1]  .I would have understood it if that had meant no scripts and no money from Prasad until then.

The big deal is that Prasad is going to pay me anyway, exactly as if I was still doing a script per weekday for him.

Is he a cool guy, or what?

So I am officially en vacance. It’s a strange feeling. Kinda cool, but also a tad disorienting. I know that I will miss the world unless I find something else to do that demands as much effort and focus as those scripts.

And I’d been having so much fun writing them lately.

So whatever I do, it will have to be just as fun. That means writing comedy. Perhaps I will use this time to try and write the Great Canadian Comedy Novel.

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing in the style of such hilarious Brits as Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. But I have never been able to get started.

Starting the writing is always the hardest part for me. Kinda of like how your car’s engine uses a lot of power just to get moving, or how when you are pushing something that has wheels on it, you have to push hard to get going.

Once I have a satisfactory starting point, the rest of the story tends to fall into place. It’s like that classic crystallization experiment from school science fairs. The one where the student supersaturates some water by heating the water up and melting a lot of sugar into it when it’s hot, then letting it cool.

The cold water is now in a supersaturated state. There’s way more sugar in it than could normally be dissolved into it. In a sense, the extra sugar “wants” to precipitate out of the liquid, but it can’t, because there’s nothing for the sugar to crystallize around. [2]

Enter the Small Length of Rough String… OF SCIENCE!

You dip the string into the supersaturated water, and sugar crystals immediately begin to form around it because the rough surface of the string has tons of places for the crystals to get their thing on.

Congratulations, you’ve official done some neato sciencing, and what’s more, you now know how to make rock candy.

Anyhow. Where was I? And how did I get here? Oh right, ideas crystallizing.

So if I had a good starting point for my comedic science fiction and/or fantasy novel, the rest would flow naturally from there. That’s how it works for me.

When I was at VFS, we were taught that in writing, events need to follow one another in a logical sequence that never leaves the audience wondering “How did we get here”? or worse, “WTF is happening and why should I care? “.

And I remember thinking, there’s another way of writing?

But I suppose there is, because I could easily imagine someone writing a lot of terrific scenes but skimping out on the connections between those great scenes, and that would destroy the narrative structure entirely.

For me, it has to make sense in a logical sequence because that’s how I write. One thing leading to another. That also happens to be how reality works too, which is why it’s so important to get it write.

But I would never claim that I have never broken the chain of causality in my writing. It’s just that when I do it, it’s because I don’t realize that what makes sense to me doesn’t always make sense to anyone else.

And that would be fine were I James Joyce. But I want to entertain people, and that means my inner audience must remain at least somewhat objective.

And even for a hardcore truth seeker like me, that can be painful.

Another challenge will be to keep the tone light. My most successful attempt to write something like Pratchett or Adams, my attempt at Pratchett type fantasy, started off with a very funny scene in exactly the right tone but rapidly devolved into stuff about death and ghosts and tortured romance and all kinds of dark shit.

What can I say, I got issue.

And it’s not like a funny novel can’t “go there”. Pratchett’s stuff proves that you can. People think of his novels as being light and fluffy and warm, and for the most part they are. But he’s also had scenes where a pregnant woman is beaten by her drunk abusive husband so bad that the baby dies.

So it’s not like I couldn’t get away with some dark shit in a funny novel. The best comedy, in fact, holds your hand as it takes you through dark and scary stuff, using the comedy as a kind of anesthetic, and thus makes the world a less scary place for people by confronting the scary parts of our lives and leaving them with the feeling that those things aren’t nearly as scary now.

Because they have been there.

The problem I had with the novel in question was that I realized almost halfway through that it had stopped being funny at all a long time ago.

It had become a serious novel, and that is not at all what I set out to write.

So if I decide to write this novel, I will be doing to while constantly reminding myself that it has to stay funny most of the time.

Then again, I might do something completely different.

Like look for better paying work on Upwork.

I have a career to think about.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.






Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. When you’re unemployed, there’s no vacation.
  2. A note for those of you who might be thinking of trying this at home : be sure to use  a pot or beaker with as few scratches and other imperfections as possible, so that the crystals can’t crystallize around them. 

All glory to the Jagoff

Patient readers know of what I speak when I talk about The Jagoff.

It’s the part of myself that convinces me to do stupid, lazy, shortsighted, immediate gratification leading to long term consequences type things by saying that it’s no big deal, no stress, just relax, surely you can put if off a little longer, and so forth and so on.

And that’s how I have traditionally seen it : as the devil on my shoulder that talks me into doing things that are not in my long term interest at all.

And of course, when things blow up in my face and I find that I have, once more, fucked up largely and not only hurt others but thoroughly humiliated myself,  he is nowhere to be seen and I am kicking myself – savagely – for listening to him yet again.

But after an interesting if mildly frustrating discussion with friends last night where I tried (and failed)  to convey to them the folly of the point of view that sees acting on impulse as the enemy (as opposed to acting on them poorly), it’s occurred to me that I have been far too hard on the Jagoff.

After all, he’s only trying to make me happy.

And if I am being honest, he’s been my greatest ally because he has been there in my darkest hours trying to keep me amused and distracted so that I don’t get too sad.

In that sense, he’s the wellspring of my comedic talents. He’s the voice that led me to my love of comedy and my desire to understand all there is about it. If I am, in any sense, a jester and a clown, it’s because that is what that part of me had done for me.

So he’s been the one looking out for me when nobody else would. Kind of the fun uncle whose job it was to keep me entertained that I never had.

Nobody gave a damn whether I was happy or not. How could they?

They had no idea how miserable I was as a kid.

And to be fair, neither did I. Like all kids, I did what I thought was expected of me. I went to school, got excellent marks, came home, retreated to my room, and spent my time with my beloved distractions of comics, books, and video games.

And, later on, porn.  Thanks, internet!

So it’s unfair to only associate the Jagoff with the bad results. That’s a clear cut case of selection bias. Most of the time, he’s been my only friend, and while his brand of comfort often leads me down the wrong path, he always means well.

He’s just not that good with the long term thinking.

And as for my own salvation, he might just lead me there if I let him. He’s more or less the voice of my id., inasmuch as the the id can have a voice, and while mindlessly doing what your emotions are telling you to do is obviously a bad idea, never doing what your impulses are telling you is almost as bad.

For one thing, they will get tired of being ignored and force you to listen to them one way or another. Like the man who doesn’t even remember stealing the loaf of bread when he was starving because his id simply took over and got things done.

Or all those people say their infidelity “just happened”, because their unmet need got so strong that it also took over.

This is why I think the only true path to inner peace and harmony with the universe is to satiate one’s desires.

It is only when a man has a full belly and empty balls that he can truly be patient, wise, and a good citizen.

I’m sure Plato said something like that at one point.

To the ego-dominated mind, acting on impulse can only lead to disaster. Again, this is selection bias at work. You don’t notice all the times when acting on impulse worked out just fine. Why? Because nothing unusual or noteworthy happened.

But when things go cattywampus, the ego-biased mind immediately blames it on letting the id decide something. We kick ourselves (savagely) and say things like “If I’d only thought about it for two fucking seconds.,… “.

But that’s not how life works. We can’t spend two seconds on every single decision we make. Life happens too fast for that. We have no choice but to make a lot of decisions quickly and in realtime and so to blame ourselves (and worse, our ids) for not thinking things through is absurd and unjustified.

Life is not a chess game, where there is always plenty of time to contemplate our next move. Decisions have to be made quickly, and only the fast circuit of the brain can do that. And the fast circuit is, as the name implies, very fast, but it’s not nearly as smart as the slow circuit of the brain.

So yeah. If you’d thought about it for two seconds, you would have made a better choice. No doubt about it.

But that was never going to happen. Ever.

It’s going to take me a long time to process this.

So all those mistakes you kick yourself over? You literally made the best decision you could at the time. Sure, in retrospect, the slow circuit of your brain can easily see what the right decision for the best outcome was, but it wasn’t there.

The quick circuit was. And it did what it could.

I’m not saying that there is no situation in which pausing for a few moments would be a bad idea. People make rash decisions unnecessarily all the time. The world could use more thoughtful pauses.

But by the same token, there are times when pausing to think things over would be a very bad idea.

The ideal solution, then, is to build a smarter fast circuit. And you do that by trusting it over and over again and evaluating the results.

Luckily, life forces you to do that anyway.

All you have to do is open your mind to the idea that sometimes, it’s right.

Then it will all fall into place.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.






But to never drop off

I’m in a very irritating state right now.

I am sleepy, yet I can’t actually get to sleep. Call it daytime insomnia. Given the vampire’s hours I keep these days, it would be highly appropriate.

Normally, when I feel like this, I just take a nap. But something or other is keeping me from being able to relax enough.

Maybe something is bugging me and I’m not aware of it.

I can’t think of any worries I might have. My life is pretty sweet right now. I have around as much work as I can handle. It brings me a little extra income, which is very nice. Recently my boss, Prasad, thanked me for my patience in continuing to write the scripts even though I hadn’t heard from him in a while. And he swears he’s had three episodes animated and will upload them real soon now.

That would be nice.

But the thing is, I am actually enjoying the work. For the most part. I mean, work’s work and there will always be times when you have to do it even though you don’t feel like it at all. But for the most part, I am getting a hell of a lot more out of it than money.

I’m getting a ton of highly valuable experience. My writing skill and confidence grows with every script, and at five scripts a weak, that’s really something. As I develop, I find myself using the instrument that is animation in a more strong and inventive fashion.

I have even, spontaneously, started writing cutaways. And that’s magical. And not just because that’s what the big boys like Seth Macfarlane do.

It’s because I write to pagecount/time, and cutaways fill that space quite easily, even with my trying to get them across in as few words as possible.

Tat’s because I have realized that we were told in Writing for Animation class that the animators don’t want us doing their jobs for them by visualizing in the script. They want us writers to tell us, in detail, what happens, but how it looks and how it’s actually is execute is their job.

I probably shouldn’t be using an inline markup system I pulled out of my ass in order to figure out how to write this stuff in order to tell them where the punchline is and where the visuals go and when they should go there.

But as a comedy writer, I feel like I have to control the timing of the gags. I can’t do that without pointing the animators at the right parts.

I realize that this is one of those control/trust issues I have. I should just trust that they know what they are doing and will not butcher my script with their own ideas.

Unless they’re funny. People are free to make it funnier. It has to be funnier to me, but I am always open to making things better. The play’s the thing… the show.

If other people’s ideas can make the show better, then I will take ther advice and I will thank them for it and I will use their ideas and it will still be only my name on the script.

After all, for the most part, people just wanted to contribute. They want to feel like they are doing their part to further the group objective. They want to feel lijke what they think and say matters.. They want to feel like a part of something.

I would be happy to give them that.

Compared to that, matters of who gets credit for what pales in comparison.  Myself, I am scrupulous about such things. Mostly, that is due to my own moral code.

But it’s also because, on a purely selfish level, taking credit for someone else’s work is gross to me. My work flows from myself into the world as a living, organic part of me.

Other people’s work is not part of that, and hence foreign and alien to me.

The only solution is to make sure everyone gets full credit for their ideas and thus make it very clear where their body of work ends and mine begins.

God, it sucks to be this sleepy. It must be the heat that’s doing it. Just pounding the life out of me, like it does. I am trying to stay hydrated, but it’s tough.

Mainly because the heat is making me too lazy to get up and get more water.

Summer is like that, at least for a fat old tubbalard like me.

I wonder if I will make it to the beach this summer. Odds are against it. There’s too much social anxiety in the way. Plus, I have never been to a beach all alone. It’s always been with friends and/or family and/or neighbours.

I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

I’ve never even been in the ocean without there being someone around to keep an eye on me and make sure I don’t drown.

I’m not sure if being on the beach by myself would make me feel really lonely or really free. Probably both, and in that order. I know that I would not be able to stop myself from looking around at all the happy families (and all the normal ones too) having fun in the sun, relaxed, taking the close bond they have with one another for granted because it has always been there.

And that would give me that deep feeling of being locked out of life, able to watch it but not to be a part of it. The sad boy alone at night looking into the window of a house where everything seems warm and happy and loving.

I wish I’d known what that meant back then. I wish I’d realized that I had a problem and it was up to me to solve it. That how I lived – lonely and isolated and miserable – was not normal and something should be done about it.

But like I would do for the rest of my life, I did nothing about it, and just kept on trudging forward because I was too timid to ask for help.

And I am still that way at 44.

But I am getting better.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.




Me for Mendetta

An amazing thing happened today.

I actually slept for eight hours.

In a row, even.

I went to bed around 6 am, and woke up just before 2 pm . That NEVER happens. Even with the aid of my sleeping pills, I never get more than 5 hours of sleep.

And the fact is, I am still sleepy. If it wasn’t for needing to eat, I might have gone right back to sleep after I took a leak at that point.

Drat those pesky concerns like actually wanting to do something with my day and the sure and swift knowledge that going to sleep when you haven’t eaten in  10 hours is a Very Bad Thing if you are a type 2 diabetic like me.,

And here I am a couple hours later. Normally, I would tough it out and not sleep until I had finished what I had started.

But I was so sleepy that not only did I keep falling asleep for a few seconds, I started to slide out of my chair when ti happened, and so I figured I had better get some damned sleep before I hurt myself.

That brings the total hours I have slept today up to ten, which pleases me. I’m proud of it. It feels like I accomplished something.

That’s how low the bar is for me, dear readers. Sleeping a lot is now victory.

I think I am past the worst of the fever-dream that was/is my Skyrim modding obsession,. I am still enjoying it quite a bit, but I don’t feel as driven to do it as I did.

Turns out the secret was to finally masturbate to completion. Who knew.

I feel pretty weird about the whole thing, to be honest. I am pretty sure I will look back on this odd period of my life as something that feels like it happened to someone else. Someone who I know intimately, but who isn’t really me.

Kind of like how, in dreams, I am very rarely actually myself, Michael John Bertrand, the dude what is typing at you right now, who grew up in Summerside and went to Three Oaks Senior High (go, the TOSH Whatevers!), and has friends and siblings and such.

And yet, it’s still me. The core me, the thing that is me, the true self. My core self. The me that is left over if you subtract all the normal things we use to identify ourselves.

The person I would be if I had no idea who I was.

One of the things that struck me about V, the protagonist in the movie V for Vendetta, is that he emerged from the burning wreckage of some secret government facility with total amnesia. Had no idea what or who he was. Tabula rasa.

And the weird thing is…. I envy him. Because he got to decide who he was from that point on. He could construct an identity entirely consistent with his true self and thus become a highly actualized individual.

What enormous freedom that represented. To be free of all arbitrary contexts such as personal history and accidents of birth, and be free to develop oneself unhindered by the accumulated refuse of life.

I realize how bizarre that sounds. It makes me sound like some kind of chilly alien sociopath. Well, I am certifiably insane, and have the medications to prove it. I often talk about the profound coldness within me in this space, but so far I have mostly kept its manifestations to myself. This is one of them.

In fact, the degree to which I identify with V frightens me. The fact that he (spoiler alert) does that whole fucked up thing of keeping the true protagonist, the girl, hostage and making her think she had been captured by the evil government and torturing her until she finally breaks and screams she’s not afraid any more – and the fact that he did it because she said she wanted to be free of her fear – makes total sense to me.

I’m not saying it was a good thing to do or that it was justified or anything. V is a monster in many ways. She was right to get super pissed at him.

But it is exactly the sort of thing I would do if something happened to me that made me lose my mind to an unprecedented degree. I would do it out of love, knowing the person would hate me for it, I’d be willing to make that sacrifice if that’s what it took to free them from their pain.

As you can see in the movie. that’s not exactly how it turned out. He might have extinguished her fears but it’s hard to say she was better off for it.

I also identify with his total rage at the horrible goddamned government and greatly admire the tenacity, intelligence, creativity, and above all tightly focused drive I would feel the same way about a government like that – we all would – but I doubt I would be able to turn that rage into action so effectively.

I’d want to do so. Like him, I would plot and scheme to destroy the system. I could do little else. I would feel, like Adrian Veidt did in that other Alan Moore story Watchmen, that I was quite possibly the only person who could do it, but definitely that I had to try.

And probably die in the process. But it would be the only way I could live with myself. I am well aware of the power that comes with my particular form of intelligence. The INTJ power to plot, scheme, maneuver, and execute a long term plan with many factors and moving parts and unbounded variables.

It’s the power of strategy, and if you have it and you know it – and you have a conscience and feel an deep and abiding need to live consistent to it – then you have no choice but to fight back however you can.

You know you can.

So you must.

That’s just how it works with me.

Now if only my life had as clear and unmistakable a group of villains as V does.

Then you’d really see some shit.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


My two worlds

I live in two worlds now. And it’s killing me.

One world is vivid, strong, and full of joy and fun. Marvelous toys abound, new discoveries are made almost continually, and the world is full of novel delights, amusing follies, and wonders I didn’t even know existed before they were close at hand. A world which is richly engaging, highly rewarding, and fun to tinker with. A world where I can think of something I want to exist, Google it, and then discover not only does it exist, there’s several competing versions of it and a lively debate as to the merits of each. A world in which I can be a (big) kid in a (very adult) candy store. A world where I can act without worry about what people think or what the real world consequence would be because no matter how vivid or actualized it is, it’s still a video game and therefore nothing more than an interactive illusion, with less reality and substance than the shadow of smoke.

A world that I can customize to be exactly how I want it to be. A world where everything in it can be made to serve my pleasure. A world that revolves around ME and my needs and desires – every oral retentive person’s darkest dream. A world of endless mental stimulation of such an engaging and powerful form that it overwhelms all previous psychological barriers and makes me feel both all-powerful and weak, amazing and repulsive, in control and completely out of control.

A world that’s the ultimate poison paradise that diabolically tempts me – successfully – to take my escapism to a whole new level and whispers to me of finally abandoning reality altogether  – my worst nightmare – except for the bare minimum needed to survive.

A world where I am God.

That’s the world that is killing me.

The  other world, of course, is reality. The world we actually live in. The world that has limits, requires effort, calls for things like courage and sacrifice and compromise and doing things that are scary and/or hard and/or depressing. The world where things like money and work matter. The world where everything has a cost.

The world that, by its very reality, is fixed and cold and unresponsive to my mind’s extraordinary strength and power. A world of limits, scarcities, challenges  enemies, complications, overstimulations, and boundaries. A world that does not revolve around me like the other world does. A world in which I am not, in fact, God.

That’s the world I am trying desperately to cling to.

Last night was my wakeup call when I realized that due to the all-devouring compulsion of my new addiction, I had completely forgotten to do the very tiny amount of work it would have done to organize FRED for that week because that would have required leaving that other world and coming back down from my trip, and when I am in the zone, that seems laughable.

That’s why, despite what all reason and common sense, this last saw me forgetting to eat, neglecting to sleep, and turning the minimal routine I have developed to keep me moving over the years into nothing but an inconvenient memory.

But that’s not the worst thing. Not at all.

The worst thing is that, because of the way this unreal world fires my imagination, rewards my inventiveness and creativity, fits in with my deepest fantasies and lets me indulge them, and is in every way more rewarding and fun than anything I have ever done before…. it feels more real to me than reality does.

And that scares the hell out of me.

And yet, stopping is out of the question. I would have no idea what I would do with my time if I stopped. There is nothing I could do that would be even remotely as rewarding and fun and stimulating. The real world pales in comparison.

And that REALLY scares the hell out of me.

And if I can’t quit, then the next best thing would be to strike a healthy balance. To that end, I have a plan.

It starts with me resuming my routine and sticking to it religiously. That means meals at noon, six, and midnight. No matter what. It means spending social time with my friends on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. It means spending measured amounts of time indulging this hobby and strangling the voice of the Jagoff when he tries to convince me that I can spend a few more hours at play and thus delay that traumatic period of disengagement where I have to come down from the high of the game and the sudden drop in engagement and stimulation makes me feel like somebody just died.

Maybe it was me. I don’t know.

So here I stand, at the gates of the sort of Heaven that is also Hell. The kind of place where Satan, dressed as an angel, offers to give you everything you ever wanted, but only at the cost of your soul.

There’s a short George Bernard Shaw play where a man dies and his soul is greeted mt a perfect servant who is loyal and true and gives him whatever he likes without him having to exert the slightest bit of effort, like a genie who gives unlimited wishes.

The man indulges himself on every level, but like in a Star Trek episode, he soon becomes dissatisfied by the lack of challenge and effort in his life. Finally, he breaks down and says something like “I’m utterly miserable! What kind of Heaven is this?”

To which the servant replies, “Whoever said this was Heaven?”

My new hobby makes me feel like that, in a way.

Of course, it also reminds me of the Star Trek episode “I, Mudd”, where Spock, Kirk, Cheov, and Bones end up on a planet of robots who promise to give them everything they want except for freedom and challenge.

Kirk being Kirk, he has to put an end to THAT.

Personally, I would hang around until I had used to opportunity to really work on some serious psychological issues of mine via fantasy fulfillment.

I suppose I could claim that was what I was doing with Skyrim.

But we all know that would be bullshit. I’m really just masturbating my imagination. Etc.  And that’s no way to live – not all the time, anyhow.

Life needs more than pleasure and excitement and fun.

It also needs meaning. Worth. A sense of one’s own value.

And no video game can ever provide that.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.





Sleep is for the weak

Heard that at a convention a few times. Rings rather true right now, because I have not slept at all. Not one wink. And the weird part is, I feel great.

No, really. It seems like not sleeping for a while did me a world of good. Of course, I am going to have to pay a heavy price for this at some point. It’s a good thing I don’t have anything social on for tomorrow, because I got wicked sleep debt.

Honestly, I am hoping that the break from the intensity of my new hobby will give me the chance to slow down and maybe crash.

After all, once I am done here, I got nothing on till 5:30 pm or so. Eh, I have to shower, so better make that 5:20 pm. Then it is off to dinner with the local clutch of pasty faced nerds whom I consider friends.

Nerds are my people, man. My tribe. Inasmuch as a thirsty dog with a broken antennae can have one.

Connecting with others has never been my strong suit. I can connect with them better through my writing than I ever could in real life, and only a handful of friends read my writing, so there’s that.

I suspect that a lot of writers are cramped up urban hermits like myself.  Introverts who are perfectly comfortable spending a lot of time alone because we generate our own energy instead of taking it from the environment, like introverts do.

Extroverts require a lot of stimulation to keep themselves going. Introverts are often quite fond of a profound lack of stimulation as it makes it easier to think

And like I have said before. there has to be something wrong with you to be a writer. At least, that’s true in my case. If I was better at expressing myself, I wouldn’t have this terrible need to put it into words on a page. All that latent emotion fuels the engine that pushes me forward into writing and learning then writing some more.

For me, writing could never be a hobby or an exercise. In everything I write there is an attempt at expressing some deep emotion and the crackling humming power station of my electric mind takes that emotion and turns it into words.

It’s harder than you would think.

Putting my thoughts into words has always come easily to me. I come from a highly verbal, chatty family. Comes from us being a bunch of intellectuals, I suppose.

I think that comes from my mother. She’s a teacher and was always happy to fill our minds and stimulate our mental growth.

Emotional growth, on the other hand, was not her forte.  And she could not teach us the social skills she, herself, did not have.

Like I have said many times before, she and I are a lot alike. We’re both sweet, shy people who have trouble connecting with others in non-intellectual terms. Intellectualism is, on some level, a defense mechanism, I think.

Your answer to life’s horrors is to find them so very fascinating.You detach emotionally and look at the world from afar.

Wow, the sleepiness is kicking in.

I suppose I should tell you about my latest fuckup. Turns out there was a meeting for Secret Informant yesterday. I didn’t know this until today, because I forgot that I needed to keep a Facebook tab open at all times so people can get a hold of me.

Also, there’s a meeting today, and I just can’t.

And I am feeling lousy because I had all this time to come up with a better script and I didn’t do it because my new hobby had such a hold on me that it drove all other things out of my mind.

I mean, I haven’t slept, for fuck’s sake. How crazy is that?

But I am getting better. I at least have been eating right and staying hydrated. For a few days there, this was not the case. I would spend so much time on my new hobby that I would forget to eat, which only made things worse.

Once I got some decent food into me, I started feeling a lot better. Surprise surprise, life goes better with food.

There is something about the mental state I get when pursuing my new hobby that makes me feel like nothing can stop me, physical limitations are a product of the mind, and  surely I can keep going for another hour or so.

It’s madness. But that’s what addiction is like. It makes you do stupid things. Things that are not at all in your best interests because you are trying to find the fastest route to getting your next fix.

Luckily, when I finish this entry, I am going to sleep, and only get up when it is time to go to dinner. Then, after dinner, I will be hanging with La Gang until midnightish, so I can say with certainty that I will not be getting a “fix” until tomorrow.

And tomorrow, I am going to SLEEP. Even if I have to chain myself to the wall and swallow the key.

I’d get the key back… eventually….

I really feel like I am failing the folks at Secret Informant, and the reason is the same as why I fucked up so bad at school : memory.

I forget stuff. Like, all the time. It kills me that I seem to be doomed to have this happen over and over in my life. I try to fight it, but nothing seems to work. There’s something about my mind that makes it really hard for me to retain things.

Like my mind can’t store things in a fixed state. Like there’s nothing I can do to keep it from dumping things out of my medium term memory when it sees fit.

Of course, that’s wrong. There’s a million  things I could do. The world is full of them, But I don’t do those things.

Maybe part of me wants to forget.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Oh, and sorry there was no blog entry yesterday.

I just plain forgot.



Imagine the day

My new hobby is making me very happy lately. Nuff said.

It’s taken over my life. I am beginning to feel kinda weird about it. Guilty, almost. Like, “this is not normal” kind of guilt.

But before my new hobby came in, I would spend all that time. playing video games or reading. So it’s not like there’s been a drop in productivity or anything. I still do my episodes and my blogging.

My copious free time is just spent differently. I have this one thing that I do all the time, but that’s no big deal. I used to play video games for hours on end. And I still do.

The only difference is that this video game has a huge number of fun things to add to it that make the experience… special.

Special in a simply amazing way.

I do worry about some of the little things. I don’t socialize with the fuzzies online nearly as much as I used to. That’s not good. It used to be that a lot of my free time went to checking out stuff on the Web, and that easily multitasks (well, job swaps) with hanging out with my furry friends in our virtual world of text.

Anything that makes me even more socially isolated has got to be suspect.

On the other hand, I haven’t felt this engaged and alive in a very long time, if ever. And I hardly ever nap any more, which is a very good thing.

I also hardly ever sleep any more, and that is a very bad thing.

The problem, as I have said before, is disengagement. When I am hunting mods or playing the game, my level of engagement is at peak levels. I am seriously more into it than I have ever been into anything in my entire life.

Which is a little scary, to tell you the truth.

And when I am at that level of engagement and mental stimulation, stopping seems like absolute madness. Like the worst thing ever. Why would I stop if I am having so much fun? And so I just keep going and going and ignoring the limitations of my body in order to stay in this happy place filled with so much to see and do.

It is truly the greatest playground ever for a guy like me. All that is missing is the other children. But that’s fine by me.

I never got along with the other kids anyway.

When I look back on my childhood (as depression forces me to do constantly), I find myself wishing I had just given in and been an asshole. A smug, sarcastic asshole who liked to show off how much smarter he was than anyone else by running rings around them logically, mocking them in ways they don’t even understand, and generally being an intellectual bully who is way, way too pleased with himself.

Yup. That’s an asshole all right. I could only hope that over time I would have enough bad life experiences to realize that I have serious problems.

And yes, that person would be a horrible person in many ways. But you know what he would not be?

A loser, that’s what.

I know how bad that sounds. It is exactly what assholes tend to say and think. And it is the opposite of who I really am,. Perhaps that’s the appeal. I don’t like being myself and I resent being stuck with being me till I die.

So why not go whole hog and embrace the dark side?

Luckily, the thought of actually being that person disgusts me. That’s everything I hate in the world. I can picture being that person so clearly in my mind that it makes my skin crawl and I feel a cold kind of contempt.

If I had become that kind of person, I would be a nightmare. Someone who toys with people for fun then throws them away when the fun level started to fall.

The perfect oral retentive villain, actually.

I already know how downright diabolical I can be. My mind is devious and powerful and possessed of great insight into what makes people tick.

That is a very dangerous bag of tricks to put into the wrong hands. And these would be some very wrong hands indeed.

God I am sleepy right now. I have not been getting nearly enough sleep, and now it is catching up to me. Not five minutes after disengaging from my new hobby, I felt like I wanted to lapse into a 20 year coma.

I should have counted my chickens when they were flying the coop, not when when they came home to roost.

So the words at not coming so easy today. In fact, I have to battle to stay awake. O am constantly having to wake myself up because I keep falling a little asleep whenever I stop typing for more than few seconds.

I want to sleeeeeep. But Felicity is on her way over.  This is one of our social periods. I can’t miss out on that. I would feel so guilty.

When I woke up. But before then…. sigh. Bliss.

I wish I could borrow one of those stasis cells from Red Dwarf but have it work in reverse. Instead of my being frozen in time, the world would be, and I would be able to take a nap whenever I wanted and be able to go right back into normal timeflow when I was good and rested.

That better be the only thing I can do there, though. Otherwise I might never come out. It would be way too easy to slip into thinking that reality is too much of a hassle and preferring to stay where it’s safe.

In a sense, that’s my life turned into science fiction.

Trade secret : that’s what a lot of science fiction writers do. We take our life and translate it into science fictional metaphors in order to make the ideas bigger and thus easier to see.

Well, time for me to go make myself some supper.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.







My life, such as it is

Another day, another…. day.

I wish I could talk more about my new hobby. But it would hardly be appropriate. It’s all very sexual and vividly perverted. I enjoy the hell out of it but I am pretty sure that nobody would actually want to read it unless they, too, were into this kind of thing.

And I am going into a lot of taboo areas. The sort of thing that would get me arrested in real life, not to mention becoming a laughingstock for the press and the internet.

There’s really only one thing you can’t do in a Skyrim mod. I mean, they have mods that let you eat people for crying out loud, or get eaten. There’s all sorts of rape and violence based sex (referred to as “combat sex” sometime), murder galore with as much gore as even a highly refined psycho could want. Stuff involving bathroom bodily functions, crazy levels of BDSM, many many forms of slavery and even the adult baby diaper lover type stuff.

I downloaded that one just for the heck of it. The novelty wore off pretty fast. Then I couldn’t get the diaper off my character.

That… got in the way of my enjoyment.

I can do all sorts of fun things now. I can turn into a werebear, which is super fun because not only do I look cool as a werebear, I can kick serious ass as well, and it makes for a highly amusing contrast to my character being an effete elven mage.

I kinda wish I had gone for being a warrior instead. The character I beat the game with previously was a mage and I have done it to death. And the character I had previous to my current one was a warrior but he went the way of the dodo when I had to delete the game from my HD and reinstall.

It was a bit of an extreme measure, but the dingdongs done disappeared somehow, turned invisible, and that’s simply unacceptable.

You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.

Being a warrior was a tough adjustment at first, but I began to get into it. In some ways it’s a lot more complicated than being a damage-dealing spell using wizard whose battle strategy can be summed up as “zap them till they are dead”. A warrior has to think more because his attack is not ranged. Means he has to get up close to the enemy, where they can hit him back.

And that means you have to dodge in and out, duck behind cover, use your shield, and so forth and so on.

Plus, being a high elf is boring. I was a khajjit. They are a race of cat-people and they are the only “furry” race that comes with the game. There’s also the Argonians, who are lizard type people.

And lizards don’t have fur. It’s a reptile think. Kind of like their lack of homeostasis. Or how they need to moult now and then.

Reptiles just gotta be reptiles, yo.

When I am done blogging, I will take a nap. Was up till 9 am this morning. I want to get better at stepping away. But it’s hard when there’s so much fun to be had.

I realized last night that this ability to download all this amazing stuff has brought out the latent hoarder in me. I hoard mods now. It’s my current version of the eternal Taurus mandate to accumulate value. A lot of the stuff I have either doesn’t do much or overlaps in function with other stuff or doesn’t really deliver much value.

Yet I keep getting more, more, MORE! Sigh.

This only confirms that I have a reason to fear that the only thing that has kept me from becoming a non-virtual hoarder is lack of funds. I feel the pleasure of acquisition of value very intensely. It’s that magical feeling of “more” that is the root cause of hoarding.  That’s the drug to which hoarders are addicted.

Then again, I have a lot less patience when it comes to collecting physical things. Actual real-world objects take up space, need to be organized, need to be moved with you when you move. All that stuff.

Virtual objects that exist only as files on my computer are a lot easier to deal with. They weigh nothing, never need to be cleaned, and organizing is a snap when you have the right bits of software..

So I have over 4000 mp3’s, and it’s still not enough. I want more. I guess that makes me a music hoarder as well, but without the inconvenience of a physical storage medium that I have to find space for and look after.

Virtual objects are extremely low maintenance.

I have been thinking about self-forgiveness lately. Everybody knows it’s the route to happiness. You have to forgive yourself for being human and flawed and limited and by no means up to the standards of your ideals.

But that’s just the arrogance of the ego talking. Reality can never live up to our perfect ideals because our perfect ideals are just ideas, and therefore do not have to partake of any limitations at all.

But reality does. And I am too much the pragmatist to hold that against it.

I might be a dreamer…. actually, I am definitely a dreamer… but a practical one. My motto is : Idealistic goals by pragmatic means.

Because that’s how you make dreams actually come true.  You face the facts, assess the situation, then dream up the steps that needed to be taken in order for that dream to become a reality in the real world.

Anyhow. Self-forgiveness. A lot of it has to do that you are not nearly as different from others as you think you are. You are comparing their public face with your private life, and trust me, their lives are not nearly as perfect as they seem.

They are kids playing the grownup game, just like you are.

I will talk to you nice people tomorrow.



The game’s begun

Strangely enough, now that I have gotten some more sleepy, I feel a lot better about my situation re : my new hobby.

I am learning to set boundaries. Every time I find myself thinking “the wrong way”, the addict’s way,. I gently stop myself and tell myself to relax.

Specifically, if I find myself feeling panicky because something in my life is going to take away from the time I spend pursuing my new hobby. I tell myself that it’s fine, that it will still be there when I once again have free time, and that my life does not have to be about maximizing my time doing this very fun thing.

This maximizing pattern has come up many times in my life, although never in so potent a form as all the fun I am having right now. It has, however, almost always involved a video game of some sort.

I get a new game that I am really enjoying, and that plus the anhedonic void left by my depression plus my inherent resource maximizing skills means that this new game threatens to crowd out the rest of my life, and I begin to divide my world into “playing the game” and “all the lesser things I have to do in order to get back to the game”.

Before I discovered my new hobby, the effect was never very severe and I had no trouble chasing thoughts out of my mind. Some part of me might wish I was playing the new game when I was doing other things, but the effect was mild and easily dismissed.

And besides that, when I am out in the world, part of me is always wishing I was back in my small safety zone where there’s a lot less physical stimulation and I feel calm and secure and safe.

Inasmuch as I ever do, anyhow.

But this new hobby of mine is of an altogether different scale than any video game I have liked playing in the past. In fact, I am not sure what I like more : playing my marvelously perverted form of Skyrim, or the hunt for more mods to make it even more fun for me.

The hunt really is fun. I page through websites dedicated to the sort of mod I enjoy, think of new search terms to find other things I might be interested in, and occasionally agonize over choices between two fun things that can’t be installed at the same time.

And the thing is, these are just the adult oriented mods. They are but a subset of a much larger Skyrim modding community that makes all sorts of non-erotic enhancements. New spells, weapons, characters, followers, pets, enemies, environments, and ways to make things more realistic or “immersive”.

And then there’s quest modules that give you more adventures to have. Some of those are so big, they are practically an entire new game.

Even bigger (in scope) than that are the massive conversions that do things like turn Skyrim into the Games of Thrones world, Westeros, or transform it into a science fiction adventure, or turn it into a world populated by Simpson characters.

There is even one that turns every single character in the game into an anthropomorphic furry version of themselves based on race. [1]

So basically, it turns Skyrim into Zootopia. Astounding.

I have downloaded that mod but I haven’t tried it yet because I have too many other things installed and this furry mod is MASSIVE.

Turns out there’s a limit to how many animations you can have installed at the same time. That limit is 8000..

You can see I’ve been busy.

There’s an expansion that raises that limit to 12000, and I will probably get that at some point. But for now, I am rather nervous about what it might do to my computer.

Nothing permanent,  I would hope, but still, I don’t want this game I love so much to start ugly-crashing on me. That has happened a lot as I have experimented and it is very distressing to me.

What can I say, I am prone to “oh no, I broke it!” panic.

So yeah.  The hunt is fun. So many amazing things to explore. You can see how I could become addicted to such variety, and how I end up spending hours looking around for new fun stuff to get.

And that would be true even if the adult stuff didn’t exist.

But I am sure glad it does.

I have recently discovered, though, that the pursuit also causes me a lot of physical tension. I guess I get so excited and overstimulated by all the possibilities that it translates into a background panicky feeling.

And well, patient readers will understand why getting myself all stimulated in a sexual way is problematic because relief is not always at hand, so to speak.

I might not “get there”.

Plus there is always something new to discover, so I tend to rush around trying to experience as much of it as I can instead of stopping to smell the metaphorical roses and taking care of myself.

Then again, taking care of myself has never been my strong suit. I have all the intellectual hardware to be a sensible, orderly, tidy person, but the truth is that while those might be my ideals, they are not my personality.

My personality is that of a silly, fun-loving, self-indulgent artist. A real dreamer who walks around with his head in the clouds and therefore is at the mercy of the puddles in the road. That side of me is at least as strong as the smart and pragmatic side, and so, as in most things, I tend to inhabit a twilit realm somewhere in between.

Some of us, due to our indecisive natures, are destined to always dwell in the space between things. That’s why we get so mad at false dichotomies.

It’s because we don’t want to have to choose unless it’s absolutely necessary.

So do I have a problem with indecision?

Well yes and no…

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.



Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. As in, characters who are Race A become dog-people, Race B turns into horse-people, and so forth and so on.