Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Archive for April, 2012

Once more unto the blog, dear friends

Posted by Gerald on April 4, 2012

It has been nearly a year since I wrote anything here.  My film review project just fell flat – I was getting less and less interested in anything I had to say about those films and the whole thing started feeling like a job, so I just kept not doing it.  Still, I kept feeling like I wanted to get back to writing regularly.  This has also been a period in which I’ve been doing many things I’ve intended to do for a long time. So, I’m back once again, but this time with no agenda save to keep a journal that others may read if they choose.  The plan is to post once a week, and more if the spirit moves.  Now, I’ve said I was going to do this before, and failed, but I’ve also said before I was going to eat better and exercise regularly and failed at that too – but now I’ve lost 70 pounds and I’ve kept up with my health regimen for six months, so I’m a little optimistic about keeping it up.

Do, or do not, there is no try.

Okay, the big event in my life this week was the death of Ginger, my dog of some 13 years.  I really don’t know how old she was, since she was a rescue dog my mom adopted years ago.  She was at least 14 and might have been a couple years older than that.  She had really slowed down over March and then just crawled in a corner and died last Friday night.  This is a new avenue of personal loss that I’m exploring, and I’m still processing it.  I don’t have much to say at this point except that the house is really empty now.  I do want to add thanks to all of my friends who expressed their concern.  Seeing twenty-seven responses to my Facebook post about this was very touching.  I especially want to thank Steve and Mandy Kapica and Julie Dixon Grimes.

On a much less dismal subject, I made a decision this week.  I’ve been experimenting with playing MMORPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games) for about three years.  I started with EVE Online, then Star Trek Online, and finally a short foray into Star Wars: The Old Republic (which just launched).  What I’ve decided is to leave these behind.  I really don’t like the online multi-player format.  This was brought home to me last week when I joined some other players in TOR (short for Star Wars: The Old Republic) to run a multi-player “flashpoint”.  I was new to the game, which I told these guys, and I screwed something up.  I then found myself being called vile crap (“fucking idiot” was the mildest term).  While I’ve met some cool people in these games, most of what I’ve run into was more like this.  Add to this unnecessary static in my life the problems of having to coordinate my computer gaming with other people and this was quickly becoming too much like an extra chore – and I’ve got enough real ones.

I’m really not blaming the game or the fans – it just isn’t for me.  I still love, and will play, single-player games like Skyrim or Fallout.  Ultimately, I think that this isn’t something I want to do with other people.  Computer games provide an entertaining way for me to escape others.

The big exception is Star Trek Online.  First, the game is free to play, so no money lost.  Second, you really can play most of the content alone if you want.  Third – its Star Trek.  I’m maintaining my account there.  I’ve cancelled my other ones and the big thing here is that I’m not going to try any new ones unless I know people in real life who want to play with me.

Other notes for the week:

I started reading James Garner’s autobiography.  My friend Dana Hatcher loaned it to me awhile ago.  It isn’t a great piece of biographical writing, but it is fine if, like me, you’re a big fan.

I also started watching the new adaptation of Great Expectations on Masterpiece Classics.  No opinion so far beyond planning to keep watching it.

My friend Jon Foster recommended a documentary called “Shut Up Little Man” which I just finished before writing this.  It is interesting.  It details two guys who made audio recordings of their drunken neighbors fighting and the results went viral.  What makes this interesting is that all of this happened between 1987 and 1989 – no internet.  It was disseminated through people who traded cassette tapes of found audio across the country.  It then takes an interesting twist with the coming of money into the story.  Finally, the film-makers address the whole question of the ethics and exploitation inherent in all of this.  It was very good.

That is it for this week – probably.  Talk to you next week.


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