SoCS on Sunday – MooDoo

I’ve been wanting to spend more time here on the blog.  I’ve been managing to keep up with Song Lyric Sunday, but that’s about it.  I feel sort of direction-less when it comes to writing and my blog.  I want to write more, but I feel like my energy should be spent on that book that I’m not really writing right now.  So, do I post more on the blog or continue down this path of not really doing anything?

It’s a conundrum for sure.  I suppose it’s good that I’m recognizing what’s going on.  Now the next step is to actually do something about it.  I’m just wondering when I actually will…

So, I wasn’t really planning on SoCS this week, but then I happened to see some of the posts from yesterday and realized that I surprisingly had something to write about the word “moo”.

Yesterday was a sad day for our family.  We met at the cemetery to mourn the loss of my nephew exactly 13 years ago.  I picked up Andru from his Dad’s house (it ended up just being me and him since Jaxon had to work and my fiance wasn’t ready to stand out in cold weather for an indeterminate amount of time) and from the second I picked him up, he talked to me about his computer game.

I feel like a terrible mother sometimes, but when he starts talking and keeps going on and on about a game that, while I’ve seen him play, I don’t have much interest in, it sort of all starts to blend together at a certain point.  He finally realized how much he’d been talking and asked if we could stop to get a drink.  We barely made it back in the car before he started in again.

I actually stopped him and reminded him he needed water… He managed to figure out how to open his water and then kept talking.  When we finally made it to the cemetery, I was happy to hand him off to his cousin.  They spent the rest of the afternoon talking and sharing everything about their games and whatever else teenage boys share.

We always go to lunch afterwards and since we were all going to the same place, both boys ended up in the car with me and I happened to overhear Andru tell his cousin about his online screen name, which is MooDoo.  When he first started playing games on the computer, he was young and he loved the name “Flames”.  I’m not sure MooDoo is a step up from that, but I think he believes it is.  Listening him tell his cousin how he came up with the name, I think about as much thought went into it as went into “Flames”… maybe even less.

But he seems to love his online gaming name and it gave me something to tell you all for this version of SoCS on Sunday.

I hope you are all having a fantastic day, however you are choosing to celebrate it or not.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill.  Yesterday’s prompt was “moo”.

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Gaming for the not-so-hardcore gamer

Thursday’s are my free day here on the blog – meaning I don’t have a blog hop I follow.  Last week I had something I’d been itching to talk about for a while, so that was easy.  I thought about not writing anything today, because who will be interested in something I’m not even interested in?  But then I remembered that unspoken “goal” I made back in January to post something every day, and I latched onto the first thing I could think of – gaming.

I’ve always really liked games, but it wasn’t until about six years ago that I was introduced to World of Warcraft.  I realized at the time that playing that particular game, or games like it, is one of those things that you have to do with your family and your loved ones; otherwise, it can really interfere in relationships.  It’s also more fun when you have a group of people you can kill mans with.

I started playing with my ex-boyfriend and we convinced my sister, her husband and her kids to play.  They, in turn, recruited my brother, and we all had a blast for about a year.  When my relationship fell apart, my interest in playing waned as well, and six months later I finally decided to close my account  (who wants to pay $15 a month for something they aren’t using?).

About two months ago, I was at my sister’s house and everyone was trying to make it through a tough battle, but they were having issues.  When they asked for my help, I watched them play for a while and the seed was reborn.  While I couldn’t really help with what they were doing, I remembered how much I loved playing that game!

So, I decided to reactivate my account; which led to the realization that I now need to  update two computers so I can play; because my youngest is also a gamer, and the computer I have is basically his while he’s here.  No one ever said gaming was an inexpensive hobby…

The other thing that I’m finding is that it gives my fiancé time to do things I don’t really like, i.e. watching the news and the current political debacle.  At first, I was really worried that it would come between us; but I think we are both finding more time for things we love now that I am playing.  I think that’s important in a relationship.  Sometimes people give up everything they are and love in order to make the other person happy and I don’t believe that constitutes a healthy relationship.

I realize there is a balance and I don’t play nearly as much as I’d actually like to, which is maybe a good thing.  It’s that thing I look forward to when everything else is done.

What about you?  Do you have games you like to play?

One-Liner Wednesday – The Simple Things

“Hey Mom, did you know that today is the day Madden releases who is going to be on their 2016 cover?!”

One of the very first things I heard upon waking this morning. I love that my son is so excited and it made me think that sometimes we get bogged down in life and it’s okay to focus on things that are exciting but not very “deep”, whatever that means for you. So, if you want to know about a video game cover, you can go find it today. According to Jaxon (and the updates he has set up on his phone) it’s going to be either Odell Beckham Jr. or Rob Gronkowski. Personally, I hope it’s not Gronkowski!


One-Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Feel free to click on the link and join in the fun!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Distractions

Some of you may remember this post here where I talked about gaming and how I get sucked in to a new game and spend way too much time playing. I happened to mention that I was about 751 levels into Candy Crush and had no intention of deleting it but that I had just that day deleted Clash of Clans from my phone. That one decision, however, led to a whole host of things that have changed the balance in my life, I kid you not; because once you purge one thing from your life, it’s almost easier to look at the next thing and think, “I deleted that one game, why not this one?”

I realized about a few days after I wrote that post that games are really just a distraction and it felt awful to play games all day and then be upset that I didn’t write or I haven’t read a book in about two months.

I’m one of those people, as again already stated, that just jumps in. I don’t waffle; I usually don’t second guess. I just do it.

In the two weeks since I deleted that particular game off my phone and anywhere else it was saved, I have started reading again; I have blogged more than I was and have actually enjoyed the process rather than it feeling like pulling teeth or grinding words onto a screen; I have also started doing things around the house that I’ve been thinking about for ages, like cleaning up the hard drive on my computer and downloading music to my phone.

I’m enjoying this time I seem to have found and wonder why the hell it took me so long to realize that a distraction can become something else entirely and it will start to eat away at your life if you let it. I’m not against gaming at all, there just needs to be a nice balance where you are accomplishing things and taking a few moments for the distraction, rather than letting the distraction take over your life.

Feel free to join in Just Jot it January by clicking this little linky-do here.

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Do You Want Your Phone Back?

Sometimes when I read the SoCS prompt, I have a pretty good idea what I want to write and it just flows onto the screen and maybe thirty minutes later, I’m posting it. Then there’s days like today when I sat and thought but nothing was coming to mind. In those instances I usually resort to playing games on my phone until I can work it through and then I immediately jump into it.

So, I was playing Candy Crush (horribly addictive game that I wish I could delete, but I’m on level 740, so it just isn’t happening) and Andru was playing a game on his phone. Andru is the serious gamer in the house. He spends most of his time on the computer on one of three games – Minecraft, Starcraft and Diablo III. He always likes showing me what he’s doing and can talk for hours about processes and what’s happening. He also does this rather annoying thing where he asks me for help. I love helping him, but what makes it annoying is that I have no idea what he’s doing. I don’t know his character or the abilities he’s working with and I tell him this, but it still hasn’t stopped him from asking for help.

He was playing a weird game on his phone so I was mindlessly listening to him and playing my game. At one point I told him, “I have no idea what you’re even talking about. I’ve never played that.”

Next thing I know, he shoves his phone in front of me and says, “Here, Mom, play it! It’s really fun. And look, it gives you a tutorial,” as he starts to press buttons and show me how to play. Sighing, I put down my iPad and proceeded to help him. And what do you know, five minutes later I’m a few levels in and I’m really working to try and figure this game out with Andru giving me pointers at my shoulder.

After about six levels I said, “Do you want your phone back?”

“No, Mom. You play it.”

About fifteen minutes later it was to the point that Andru asked, “Mom, do you want me to show you?” as he was wringing his hands because he knew the answer and was dying to show me, but I replied, “No! I want to figure it out!”

Finally, I said, “Here, let me give you your phone back and I’ll download it on my own phone, damn you,” which he thought was so funny we spent the next few minutes laughing.

Now, I have another game on my phone/iPad and have spent far too much time this morning playing it. And just in case your curious and maybe wanted to check it out (haha) it’s called Lightbot One Hour Programming. I’m actually thankful there weren’t that many levels so it wasn’t too hard to actually finish before it sent me to an ad to buy more games.

Most of the games on my phone have been suggestions from other people; but let’s be honest, mainly my kids. Adelle and I were sitting at her school waiting for a play to start, I don’t know a year ago, and one of her friend’s was playing a game so we both decided to download it. For the next two weeks, I played 2048 whenever I could and it only let up when I actually got the 2048 tile. I was less annoying about getting the next two big tiles, 4096 and 8192 and don’t have much interest in getting the one after that, but it’s still on my phone and I will play it every once in a while.

The next one my kids geeked about was Don’t Step on the White Tile. That one wasn’t as addictive for me because it actually gave me a headache, but I spent a good two weeks and almost an entire evening playing it with my kids, trying to get the next best score. I don’t have that one on my phone anymore.

I’d heard about Clash of Clans but didn’t really think anything of it until Adelle started playing it. I had surgery after Thanksgiving last year and was bored, so I ended up downloading it and playing it quite a bit. It was on my phone until about an hour ago. As I was thinking about games, I realized I didn’t get any enjoyment out of that one anymore and there was no reason to keep it on my phone, spending time every day collecting resources to upgrade something that took days; that’s not to mention how long it takes to save up enough resources while you’re getting attacked and… well, it goes on and became not so fun. I wasn’t much of a “let’s go attack this clan” kind of player, which ultimately doesn’t make for happy fun times at the level I was at. I feel very liberated now that it’s permanently been deleted from my life!

This post has really gone on, and the sad thing is, I could keep going. In the end, I’ve realized what types of games I really enjoy and I’ve also realized that it’s harder than you would imagine to delete the ones I don’t really like to play anymore simply because of the level I’m on.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back to simpler times when my afternoons consisted of reading a book and watching a movie rather than “Yes! I have five lives in Candy Crush. I need to see if I can pass this insanely ridiculous level!”

This was brought to you courtesy of Stream of Consciousness Saturday where our wonderful guest, Pav, prompted us with “back”.

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My Son’s Imaginings

Normally, when I pick the boys up from their Nana’s house after work, Andru will sit in the back seat of the car right behind me and Jaxon takes the front passenger seat.  A few weeks ago, Jaxon was off being a teenager so it was just me and Andru for the short ride home.  He went to get in the back seat, but I told him he could sit in the front if he wanted.  I’ve offered before when it’s just the two of us, but he doesn’t always take me up on it.  That day he did.  We exchanged the normal conversation we have every day when I pick him up…

“How was your day, buddy?”

“Great!  How was yours?”

“Boring.” (Or something equally not fun to describe my day job)

Normally the conversation pretty much ends right there and we drive in silence or I turn some music on, but that day was different.  He was bubbling with energy and he looked at me smiling and said, “Mom, have I told you about Electro lately?”

“It’s been a while.  Why?”

“He’s changed so much, Mom!  I have so much to tell you…”

Andru is a wondrous kid with a unique imagination that blows me away.  He will spend hours by himself spinning stories in his head and acting them out.  His cousin is his partner in crime and when they are together we pretty much don’t see them until I yell “it’s time to go”.  My niece is almost six years older than Andru and she gets involved sometimes too.  I asked my sister why my niece would want to hang out with her younger brother and cousin and she said it was because it was like role-playing, which my niece is really into.

Role playing has never really been a part of my culture.  I dabbled in it a few years back, but it was really only to appease the person I was with at the time (the whole, I love what you love, even though… not really…).  I don’t know why I didn’t like it, given how much I love reading stories and writing stories and stories in general.  I don’t know if I can explain it, but the one time I did it, I lost interest pretty quickly.  It didn’t even dawn on me until my sister commented about my niece that this was precisely what my son was doing.

In the car  that day, Andru proceeded to tell me all about his changes and updates to Electro and still wasn’t done by the time we arrived home.  He not only has a main character, he has supporting characters and an enemy and back stories.  Now, some of it is definitely young, but for a ten year old, hell even some adults I know, it is pretty damn cool.  I was so astounded and in awe of my son that I decided to write it all down for the blog.  However, life happened and two days later I still hadn’t done it and I pretty much forgot most of the details.

So, I boosted the kids’ ego and actually interviewed him.  He was pretty stoked about it, but I procrastinated again (that’s totally a thing I do that I really shouldn’t).  He asked me last night if I had any likes on my blog and I had to regretfully tell him I hadn’t written it yet.  So, here is my son’s imagination pretty much jotted down straight from his brain.

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Electro used to be human – his human name is John Schmidt.  There are different stories on how he was actually made, but it has something to do with Photons.  He is made of Photon energy or light energy.  He has a human-like body but he is taller than the average human.  He has spiked hair and his eyes are hard to see (Andru had a hard time explaining this one but it had something to do with slits and set really far back in his head or something… anyway, we both just decided it was best to just say the eyes were hard to see).   His mouth is really big – it goes all the way up to his ears – and he has really sharp teeth.  He has a tail that ends in a triangle shape and spikes on his spine that go onto his tail.  He can change into four different forms:

  • Demonic – He is bent like a raptor,  has razor teeth like chainsaws, and magnified spikes.  He has small feet but he’s fast.  When he is in this form he takes in fear through his spikes and turns it into light energy. (Pretty damn cool!)
  • Eternal – He has super buffed out armor.
  • Collossal – Everything in his normal form is just magnified.
  • Ultimate – When all three forms mix together.  This is the only one that can destroy the Shadow Lord.

The bad guys are called Shadow Lurkers.  They are clones of Electro made of shadow energy and they are most powerful at night.  They are led by the Shadow Lord.  He was originally Electro’s brother and he became jealous of Electro which made it easier to corrupt him.  The Shadow Lurkers turned him into one of them, but he became greedy.  He wanted to be more powerful so he took the shadow lurker’s souls against their will, changed them into dark energy and sucked it up.  He did this so much, he eventually became a Shadow Dragon and made himself their leader.  (Actually, I can’t remember if they made him their leader or if he proclaimed himself, but it was one of the two.  I personally think this is the coolest part of his made-up world.  My ten year old actually thought of a guy made of shadow lurkers’ souls!)

The Heroes:

  • Flames is made of fire, duh
  • Spike is made of metal
  • Rocky is made of rocks
  • Virus is made of plants, or a plant virus I guess.   She actually died by a tree and a very rare virus inside the tree seeped into her rotting body and transformed her into something new.  A new life.
  • Marina is made of water
  • Windy is made of air.  She gathers up wind to have form, otherwise you can’t see her.
  • Shady was originally the only female Shadow Lurker but she didn’t want to do bad things anymore.  She had a run-in with Electro in which he almost killed her, but she survived and told him she wanted to be one of them.  He talked it over with the group and they all agreed to have her.

Some of the heroes can mix their powers together to become something else.  Brightest Light is when Electro and Flames mix together to become a light that can never be extinguished.

There are four boys and four girls so there is obviously some romance going on.  Electro is with Virus; Flames is with Windy; Spike is with Shady; Rocky is with Marina.

I think he is super heavy on the characterization and hasn’t thought much about the world they live in because when I asked him about it, he said they live in the normal world.  Which, I guess is possible…. maybe…

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed his world as much as I have and do.  He will talk about it with anyone who will listen for longer than you were expecting – this, Starcraft, Diablo III, and, oh yeah, Minecraft.  My son is a gamer, which most likely helps his vivid imagination come to life.   I hope he never stops dreaming and creating worlds in his head.

End Note: I read this to Andru and got a thumbs up and a huge smile.