Archive for the ‘ Photos ’ Category

NaBloPoMo + New digs

ImageSo, in an effort to resurrect this blog from where it’s fallen quiet due to a whole slew of things, I’ve joined NaBloPoMo which I’ve done once in the past and it was really fun. Plus I should have plenty to write about now, right? It’s strange looking at my last entry, wherein I’d just returned from visiting Seattle. Now I’m there, officially moved in for the better part of two months.

I came out at the end of August to attend PAX Prime 2013, as well as stay with a friend and begin my job/apartment hunt. It was pretty fun, although being three hours behind the East Coast took some getting used to. The weather’s been fantastic for as much as everyone immediately raises their eyebrows and goes “Oooh, Washington. Rainy.” as if they are giving me the inside scoop on a place I must know nothing about to want to live there. Well, that, or it’s just the only thing everyone knows about Washington and therefore is the default response. Smalltalk 101 stuff. But it’s been beautiful, and only just now as we head into November am I really seeing a rainy sort of trend. Even so, I don’t mind. My mom was worried the grey skies and drizzly weather would make it hard for me to shake off depression when it gets ahold of me. She’s been very pro-sunlight ever since I went on anti-depressants back in college, reminding me how much being indoors all the time can scientifically make you feel worse. I’m sure there’s truth to it, but the way my mom reminds me of it like she reminds me to make my bed or something kind of makes me laugh.

At the end of September, I hadn’t found a job (and still haven’t) but I did manage to grab a cozy 2-bedroom with my friend Chris over in Redmond. It’s on the “East Side” – that is, of Seattle, and of Lake Washington, and it’s much more suburbany than living in the city, but it’s 2 minutes from where Chris works and I like not HAVING to go into the city for everything. Traffic out here is ridiculous (and don’t even get me started on their street signage). So I flew home, spent 2 weeks saying  couple goodbyes and packing up the stuff from my old apartment to ship it out west. Then, Mom, Dad and I piled into the Prius that belonged to my grandfather, then my brother, and now me, to make the 3 day road trip.

That road trip could encompass a fair few entries all on its own, and I don’t feel like rehashing it at the moment, but despite a rocky start and a satisfying conclusion, I’ll say this: I’ve never actually cried when saying goodbye to my parents before. I’ve never been homesick. I’ve gone across the country to college for four years, not batted an eye missing the occasional holiday, not really cared if my parents and just happen not to chat for a month at a time. But there were some tears this time. I signed a lease. We know I’m out here for a year, if not (hopefully) longer, and that would have never THAT big a deal until we lost Ross.

I’d hoped to write more tonight, but Chris and I ended up FINALLY going grocery shopping to stock the fridge and cupboards after being in our place for a month and mostly just grabbing snacks and eating out, and then we watched the first couple episodes of Sleepy Hollow, but since I was out until midnight last night for Halloween, as per usual didn’t actually fall asleep until early this morning, and woke up at a decent hour thanks to a friend I hadn’t chatted with in awhile texting me (not being sarcastic, btw, seriously, so glad they texted) – I am exhausted. And being exhausted at 11pm for the first time since being on the road for 10 hours a day with my parents feels great. It was a year since we lost Ross on October 8th, and I did not want to go through this month again. But at least by the end I had a reason to smile about what was previously one of my favorite times of year

Now let’s hope I remember to write again tomorrow.

Gaming through my Grief….

My brother, Ross, died in October 2012 in a house fire at the age of 21. Since then my life has been turned on it’s head, and yet one comfort aside from loved ones has stuck with me above all others: my gaming. Ross was a big gamer, and we spent hours upon hours talking, arguing, laughing about the games we played as kids and the ones we were playing now. This shared hobby kept us connected when I went off to college, and then when he did the same. Gaming now feels a little bit like… a way to stay connected. Somehow. To play the games we loved, or ones that were his favorites and I never managed to get around to it, or ones that I look at and know I’d have recommended to him….

My mom keeps asking me if there’s a hobby or a project or something I’d like to do in life that I’ve never gotten a chance to do before. Aside from visiting Europe or something hugely expensive like that, all I can think of trying to make the dork proud by gearing up my mage in WoW, or finally sitting down and getting through more than the introduction of Fallout 3. And that doesn’t even begin to involve the way gaming has given me a way (and a great excuse) to stay connected to the friends who’ve supported me through this. We’re all across the country, and having a game to log in to, and a reason to sit on skype and ramble about whatever we want, however meaningless or important it might end up being, has saved me from sitting alone and dwelling on things more than is healthy.

Now there’s obvious downsides if I take too far, obviously, and those tend to be the ones my parents are wary about when they saw me sit on my laptop every night in the months after the fire, but I can’t help but feel like it’s helping me more than they understand. Sure, I don’t want to resort to a sedentary lifestyle, or escape completely into these fantasy worlds, but it’s always been a coping mechanism for me, and I think I need it now more than ever.

I’ve also been really wanting to journal about the sort of feelings that I find bubbling up time and time again, but it’s an overwhelming thing to try and accomplish when you sit down and feel like doing so is akin to drowning in all the emotions it brings up. I thought, you know… what if I looked at it a bit differently… what if I explain why I spend hours gaming these days, and why I’d categorize it much more as ‘coping’ rather than ‘escaping’. That seems much more tangible, and doable in a time where some things feel impossible. And I can forget that he’s gone for a little bit every once in awhile, almost 5 months after the fact, but playing games I know he’s gone but at the same time he’s not. He’s always right there with me, laughing about a stupid glitch, naming characters ridiculous things with his tried and true animal+verb formula, or geeking out over the pros and cons of the latest RPG.

And maybe, if someone else out there has felt or is feeling the same, they could find some comfort in the fact that I’m there with you. Or enjoy the stories and memories about my dorky little brother. Or just have a smile at a girl’s awkward attempts to talk about her lifelong hobby.

This blog will be part gaming hijinks, part grieving sister. Cause I feel like that’s what my life is right now, and I’m okay with it. How much of each varies with any given moment and probably will on here too, but I’ve always been a pretty open person, taking comfort in telling stories to other people. There’s parts of myself that are private and for me and my loved ones alone, but this can be for the other stuff.