Archive for the ‘Reckless Behavior’ Category

Day 14: Made Up for Yesterday

January 14, 2014

Me&Matt

Had more impressive Janathon fitness than yesterday, that’s for sure. I got a really good night’s sleep, had a productive day at work, then felt motivated at the gym. Win, win, win! I needed a day like today.

I’m back on my game with Tuesday night strength-training classes, now that Wednesday-holidays are over. My gym closed early on the Tuesday nights of Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, which got me out of the habit. After last week & tonight, my biceps & triceps are getting used to the idea of being used again… ouch! Lunges & squats didn’t quite tire my legs, however — so I did my 1st Jantastic run of the week right after class. Meant to do Week 4 of Couch-to-5K plan (what I’m using to ease back into running without injury), but I couldn’t remember it exactly. I guessed at 5 min. warm-up walk, 3 min. run then 90 sec. walk (repeated 4x), then 5 min. cooldown walk. Once complete, I stretched on the mat & hit the shower. At home, I did a 1/4 mi. dog walk with Zoe.

My reduced-cal diet didn’t go so well. I did fine until just now. Ate a whole sleeve of rice crackers while typing this. 420 calories, damn, almost a perfect day!

Tonight’s photo is me & my brother in the late 60’s. I was 2 yrs. old. My Mom loved that snowsuit, but the hood cracks me up. May have been the last time I wore pink, too.

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Thank-fullness (burp) & Violent Fun

November 26, 2010

It’s the day after Thanksgiving & I still feel full. No control. I actually had 2 Thanksgivings this year, less than a week apart. One here at home with my parents last Saturday & another with my husband’s family yesterday. Anyone out there wanna wipe out the last of the pecan pie? Please. I’m about done with desserts & will be running on the treadmill in about an hour to start my recovery plan.

I try to be regularly thankful for all the good things in my life. Thanksgiving seems like a good time to review, so I list them in my head. I remind myself of my overall good health. I remember special people in my life who come & go but have had huge, positive impact on my personal development… and those who come & stay, thru the good, the bad & the ugly (my spouse, my favorite family members, my closest friends). I remember how lucky I am to have a good job & be financially stable, to have my own home, to have creative talent, the desire & ability to learn, how lucky I am that laughter comes easily to me. So basically, Thanksgiving is just more of the same. The same good stuff, but with too much food. Did I mention I get plenty of food?

My belly hurts, but not from overeating. It hurts from laughing so hard with my niece. She was teaching me how to play an Xbox game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” It’s a shoot ’em up military thing. Totally not my style as a rule, but hey, what the heck, I hardly ever see her & it’s what she does, so OK, sure… show me. I’d never played Xbox before, barely knew what it was. She programmed my player for me, picked my weapons, explained the basics of the handheld controller. Then she set up a split-screen on the TV, so we could each see our respective players. She against me, for training purposes. Other players would be too fast paced & I’d get killed too easily, like a duck in a shooting gallery. What?

She shows me how to look around, how to walk, run, aim, shoot. I see a parked Jeep next to me. Can I shoot the tire? I shoot it. It shows a hole. I shoot it again. It catches on fire. “Wow, these special effects are pretty amaz” — BOOM! the Jeep explodes & kills me. My niece laughs. She forgot to tell me that if obstacles catch on fire, stand clear, cuz they can blow up & kill you. Makes perfect sense, of course.

More learning…
My niece: “Auntie, I’m right behind you. Turn around.”
Me: “I can’t, I’m dead.”
Niece: “You get another man, look.”
Me: “Where? (my eyes/gun were pointing at the ground) Oh, there… (my new guy is looking around)”
Niece: “Now shoot me.”
Me: “What?” (my character is face-to-face with hers)
Niece: “Shoot me, knife me, DO something to see how it works!”
I push the wrong button & lob a grenade over her shoulder. Oops. I find my trigger & shoot her. Point blank range. Ew, that was rude.

And weird. The handset vibrated, like… a machine gun? Cartoon blood sprayed from her guy’s head as he dropped like a stone. Wow. Um, no wonder parents are upset by this shit. It’s surprisingly graphic. Not good for little kids, not good at all… but my niece is 20, so I’m not worried… right?

She shows me strategy. Beginners tend to walk & shoot at shoulder level, swinging their guns evenly side to side. She dives her man low when she sees an opponent, then shoots up under him. She says “get behind me, so you can watch” & I’ll be darned, I can walk my guy behind hers & sure enough, see her in front of me, running, diving into a slide, gun pointing slightly upward. Holy crap, how do they configure animation this controlled yet so fluidly executed? Blows… me… away.

OK, I’m sorry, but in the context of a game played by adults, this is fun. The visuals show us on a compound in winter, so there’s snow. I’m running & belly-sliding in snow with a submachine gun. I mean, c’mon, it’s not my usual Saturday night! I start getting better at it. I shoot my niece spontaneously, while she’s innocently demonstrating another tactical move. We both laugh. Another interesting feature is the automatic instant-replay of each kill. If someone kills you by surprise from behind, you can watch the replay to see exactly how you were killed. Tell me that’s not sick, funny & helpful in preventing future deaths?

“Is there a ‘talk-smack’ button? What about a ‘kick’ button?” I ask. “After I shoot you, I wanna kick & tongue-lash you. Do they accommodate for poor sportsmanship?” Her boyfriend laughs. “No. A kick-feature would be pretty funny. But you’d probably get shot while kicking dead opponents.”

True enough. When we started playing with online opponents in a group, standing around gets you picked off in short order. So does reloading your weapon. Or trying to help a downed teammate with your med-kit. Some players will “bait” opponents by staking out an injured guy & popping good Samaritans that stop to help him. Talk about lousy ethics! I later read more about MMOGs & their regulations being based on a mix of cyber-psychology issues. Jump back, Jack… another world I know nothing about!

What’s not funny: real young men with real machine guns trained to really kill people, while defending citizen rights to religious freedom, diverse ethnicity, land ownership, self-governance & what-have-you… as the rest of us take it all in stride, with the help of this nonchalant video game. If I was an active-duty military serviceman, would I be amused by these combat-scenario games which give players unlimited lives within game-time duration, I wonder? Also interesting: shoot ’em up play isn’t new. Decades before video games were invented, endless generations of little kids were “having fun” playing Cops & Robbers or Cowboys & Indians, simply shooting each other w/broomsticks, toy guns or their own pointy fingers. Is this really all that different?

I’d like to say I had an epiphany about violent play in our society, but I didn’t. Fumbling with my controller, I just had a ball laughing, as my niece tried to protect me from getting slaughtered by other players, to no avail. And when she wasn’t doing that, she had the back of my head locked in her own crosshairs as she easily dodged my slow aim. Geez, show some respect, girl! No pie for you.

Newbie Paranoia Blows Up in my Face(book)

October 10, 2010

Man, this month is kicking off roughly. I’ve locked myself out of my own Facebook account, gained 7 lbs., gotten backed up at work & have a trip to Detroit coming up, never mind that winter is at my door & I’m not ready for it (garden, chicken coop, winter closet, they all need work). I can’t seem to get organized. I’m trying to take it day by day.

The Facebook thing is by far the most annoying. As a very green & paranoid newbie, I opened an account a while ago, to see what all the fuss was about. FB required my name, which I gave, but then decided giving my birthday was unwise. I didn’t trust FB to protect my identity from theft, so I gave a random date… & didn’t record it anywhere… never thinking I might need to know it someday… you see where this is going, don’t you? Still, all was well for over a year. Until my trip to NC last month. When I tried to access my account from an “unrecognized source” (my sister’s laptop). Causing a roadblock of security hurdles, to protect my account. Asking me to prove I’m me, by re-entering my birthday. Um… my birthday? Crap. When I click “Use a different verification method” I get no other choices, cuz I gave no other profile information. So, that’s the end of that little experiment, huh?

Not sure what to do next, since there appear to be no actual people at Facebook. No live tech support at all, only FAQs that don’t match my problem, auto-replies that are not applicable. I can’t even deactivate my own account, cuz you have to be able to log-in to do that. They did have an auto-answer link for “Deactivating the Account of a Deceased Person.” I confess, reporting myself dead has some appeal, just to see what happens… but it also seems like bad karma?

If I do start over with a new FB account, I’ll consider using my Henniemavis name, since my real name is used by my locked-out self (& many other Heidi’s, I might add). Heather & others have asked where “Henniemavis” came from, so here’s the story:

Back when I was signing up for a Yahoo email account, I was having more newbie trouble. If you’ve ever signed up for any free online account, you know that getting your actual name isn’t always easy or original, cuz most likely, it’s “already taken.” I didn’t want to use numbers after my name, so I tried multiple variations of my name, to no avail. At the time, I was reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer (great book, btw), so on a lark, I plucked a character name from it, Hannie Mavis. No joke. In the book she’s nothing special, but her name is unusual. So I typed it in, with a twist reflecting my own fondness for chickens: Henniemavis. Surprise, it was available for use!

Bite my lip, Henniemavis has worked for me ever since: Flickr, gmail, Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, any time I try something new, henniemavis@whatever.whatever has been available. I hope that keeps up, as I think about getting back on Facebook as Hennie Mavis. Now all she needs is a memorable birthdate…