Thoughts from a tree

Archive for October, 2010

Rock Band 3

Our copy of Rock Band 3 arrived in the mail yesterday, hence I spent a lot of time yesterday patching, exporting, looking at available songs, and playing (I’m a singer usually). The last time we played rock band was probably in late 2009; by December we had switched to crappy satellite Internet to save $ and shortly after that was the layoffs and the decision to move. For most of 2010 therefore, the components have been in a box, and our good drum kit still is. Gary tried the keytar some and seemed to like it; the main problem I have with it is that you can only play the new RB3 songs if anyone is using it. I found out that a bunch more of Jonathon Coulton’s songs had been put in the store (through RBN) and I wanted to play those, so Gary switched to drums, but he needs a different chair or exercise ball to play very long without his back hurting. Anyways, it was a lot of fun! One of the greatest things was that the leader boards are all new again, so if you do a song well on expert, you have a pretty good chance of ending up in the top 10 (whereas previously, even if you were flawless, you could still be pretty far down on the list). I even got the #1 spot on a couple of songs (mostly Coulton ones); very exciting, even if it won’t last long!

We had everything off the trailer by Tuesday night, and I unpacked a TON of boxes, so we should be set to get our last load this weekend. Most of what is left that is unpacked are books – not only do we have more of them than anything else, but they will be one of the most difficult to place and organize due to weight, quantity, and varying heights. Theoretically, we should have enough bookshelves for all of them, since they fit in VA, but several of the bookcases are currently holding other things or are in the room that we know still needs work done to it (and would therefore have to move again at some point).

Btw, “The girl with the dragon tattoo” – I have no idea why everyone raves so much about this. We watched the movie the other night and I had to watch The Last Unicorn afterward before I could try to go to sleep. It’s not that it’s a “bad” movie, although I don’t think it’s great either, but it shows a lot of graphic violence/rape done to women in unnecessarily vivid detail. That is something I can totally do without, along with violence towards animals. Also, most of the “mystery” was stuff we figured out fairly early on, and the only “smart” thing that this supposedly brilliant female character manages to do is something that I figured out pretty much as soon as I saw the numbers. Maybe I just watch/read too many mysteries, I don’t know, but it seemed pretty obvious. Why is it that for a lot of “acclaimed” movies, the only thing that really sets them apart from other movies is depictions of graphic violence/rape? Is there a fascination with human misery? Is it supposed to be “brave” or something if movie producers decide to include such scenes? Also, in this particular movie, although the women manage to “escape” for themselves, they do little to prevent other women from facing the same treatment. The main villain keeps on raping/killing for FORTY years; what kind of justice is that?

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Randomness

We are almost fully moved in now, with one more trip to storage remaining – this week will be a big push as we have to unload the trailer we filled up yesterday and then be ready to go again by the weekend. Halloween completely crept up on me and I didn’t realize it would be the same weekend until recently, not that we have any plans for it, since we don’t. This year we are actually in a place that might have trick-or-treaters, if people do that anymore; it seems like more and more families go for mall excursions and things like that instead of the traditional house-to-house. Some of my best memories are from traipsing around the neighborhood in the dark of Halloween (sans parents) – it is also how I met some of the nearby kids who later became good friends. I remember one year in particular when a tropical storm came through in the midst of it; we tried to outrun it and failed and I fell down a ditch in the dark and was mostly upset about the candy I lost; exciting times! I must have been a lot less shy as a kid too, for we seemed to end up talking with our adult neighbors quite a lot. One time a guy felt bad about not having candy and showed us his model trains to make up for it. Nowadays, people would freak out over that, since everyone is always at suspect for abducting or molesting children. Paranoia and over-sheltering are of course the reasons why fewer kids are allowed to trick-or-treat in the traditional way anymore, or if they do, the parents come with them. A lot of kids aren’t even allowed to walk to or wait for the school bus anymore. I don’t know if this behavior is as common in FL as it was in VA, but we could see lines of cars near school bus stops on the way to and from work, as parents watched and waited to make sure their kid(s) got on or off the bus safely. Children are constantly told to stay away from strangers, but, ironically, strangers are not usually the problem: 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members (http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics#gen-stats). Also, the likelihood of a child being the victim of a stereotypical kidnapping is about 1 in 347,000 (http://www.suite101.com/content/statistics-on-child-abduction-a147599), whereas the probability of a female child being sexually abused is about 1 in 5 (male children are 1 in 10) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse). Personally, I think the media is mainly responsible for inflating the fears of parents so much about kidnapping, and I think its sad and unhealthy in the long run. Constant supervision makes it more difficult for children to grow mentally and socially, to learn to be independent, mature, and capable of handling problems on their own.

Sorry for that long tangent. In other news, I just got and watched season 2/final of Dollhouse – It was awesome! I highly recommend it; it even has Summer Glau! If you haven’t seen season 1 (including the 13th unaired episode), get that first of course. We finally got around to setting up our TV just so that we could watch it; it’s that good! Since we setup our TV and PS3 (I got it on bluray), we went ahead and setup the other consoles and patched everything as well. I’m really excited about Rock Band 3 coming out, but I don’t know if I’ll have much time to play it before December, particularly with Nanowrimo likely taking up most of November.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I think I’ve decided which story idea I want to pursue for it and I’ve written down a few loose notes for the plot and general ideas. I work really well under deadlines, so I’m hoping the goals and pressure of Nanowrimo will be a good starting point for me to get back to writing seriously. I’ll probably try to do daily updates on here once it starts, with the daily wordcount if nothing else.

On the income front, my unemployment funds end in January. We should be able to scrape by without them, but it will be tight, unless I start making money with my tie-dye. I have listed several things (anevergreen.etsy.com), but I should list a lot more and maybe start going to flea markets and craft fairs. On the plus side, we might actually be able to sell our house in VA, which would be such a huge stress and monetary relief! Apparently its been getting a fair amount of interest since we switched realtors, particularly for purchase rather than renting (previous realtor wouldn’t even list it for sale – grrr)

Starting to feel like home

Most of the painting for our new place is done, and what is left either has to be done in small chunks or is waiting for something to get fixed first.  Everything is in pastel shades of blue, green, and purple.  I stayed away from dark colors because they are both a LOT harder to do and they tend to make rooms feel smaller – this house is already quite a bit smaller than our previous one and I didn’t want to increase the cramped feeling.  Some people may think its  too much color, but oh well, I LIKE a lot of color.  I will try to take some pictures soon and post them.  Also, most of the major repairs have been done, with the exception being a garage conversion that wasn’t done very well and leaks.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do at this point to fix it, especially since we’re running out of money for repairs…

We still have probably two trips worth of stuff to get from the storage unit, which we need to be out of by the end of the month (or pay another month of fees).  We weren’t able to get anything last weekend because my husband was oncall and this weekend I think he is going to be too tired and need a break from a miserable oncall week.  Plus, we haven’t even unloaded all of the last load yet (we were waiting for my painting to be done).  That leaves us with two weekends in a row that we’ll have to get a full load for each.

We switched realtors in VA, so I’m hoping we might actually get the house sold or rented someday.  Here is the listing for anyone curious.

I just realized that Nanowrimo is coming up fast and I’m wondering if I should participate (probably) and what story idea I should use…I also really need to get on the ball and start posting stuff for sale on etsy!  I quit facebook games (finally), which means I also pretty much quit facebook itself, and I still don’t ever seem to have any time, where does it go?