Five Reasons I Love Dating a Fellow Gamer

As my fella removed his headset tonight to abruptly depart for a moment I heard him call, “Cover me!” And I realized something. I really love dating someone I can game with. I am psyched to have a nerd buddy! Let me break down the awesome for you a bit…



1.) Shared interests. This is the painfully obvious one for me. I’ve tried the whole ‘Opposites Attract’ thing and for me it was over rated (more power to you if it works for ya, we’re all different). I mean..having your own interests is great. I imagine our brains like a landscape. We both have a few territories neither of us are interested in visiting (though everyone should TOTALLY give Corny Elvis Movie City a chance). Then there’s a few places I’ll call Community Property where we mirror or overlap (wait, he has a Classic Literature Library on his map too? *swoon*). Having things we will be able to bond over without effort is priceless. After all, even the gaming world is incredibly diverse so I’m doubly thrilled to find someone that is into my brand of nerdom. (MMORPG’s if you’re curious. Emphases on the RP, we’ll get to that dears!)

(I could have put a relevant meme here. I didn't. Gaze at his glory. GAZE DAMMIT!) 




2.) Breaching Distance. Even though we are nearly two thousand miles apart (I didn’t just google that in forlorn fashion) we can inhabit the same virtual world. Hey I’m a geek, I readily admit that! I enjoy getting to pal around in multiple universes with my honey. Maybe we can’t walk down the street and grab coffee in the real world, but we can meet up with friends in “local” taverns. (If you play Wildstar - The Drunken Boulder is the best!) Sometimes just seeing our characters run around together and explore, makes the distance seem not quite so far. Even when exploring new areas means me getting lost and falling off mountains (directional sense of a drunk clam) or poking everything I shouldn’t. “Why are you running!?” Never ask dear...just flee, because I probably made something big very angry!





3.) Aaaadventure! You’ll often hear how adrenaline during dates is a good way to bond (oh look a wild article appears!) So this starts on the same principle. A lot of games are action packed adventures, and some are very immersive. They make for great bonding experiences. One night we might be hunting Lovecraftian horrors off the coast of Main, the next we’re shooting it out as space cowboys against rampaging hordes of alien monsters, perhaps we’ll be surviving a zombie apocalypse, bringing some centaurs to justice for raiding a village, or traveling the galaxy putting things right as a noble Jedi Master and Padawan. I am perfectly content with a date involving the slaughter of evil rodent geniuses rather than...whatever is considered ‘normal’ these days (what do young people do now, anyways? Is it the clubbing thing? social...stuff? Note to self: ask normal friends.)





4.) Creativity. Awwww yiz. Back to the RP part of MMORPG. The part that stands for Role Play. (Some people may know of RP because of tabletop games like D&D. Nodding at you my beauties!) These types of games usually have a broad back story going on in them, a well developed world with a rich history, diverse races, and so forth. Some people choose to just play as spectators as they complete tasks and read the story tid-bits. However, if you’re my particular kind of dork...you join the story. When you Role Play in a game, you give the character you’re using their own personality. Example time! In the game Star Wars the Old Republic I play a twi’lek smuggler named Aantelah. So I created a story and personality for her that is played out in the game. (Cliff-notes version because full details would take forever!) Like a lot of members of her race, she used to be a slave. She had some dicey times on a planet that is basically Space Vegas, and eventually made enough connections and money to buy a ship and start smuggling. Aan is sarcastic, saucy, brazen, a bit in your face, guarded regarding her past and at times defensive. But hey, deep down she has a heart of gold! Now as for why RP made the list, because I get to share this creativity with my honey! We both love to write, and so together we play various characters and make up stories. For some of you this will seem incredibly nerdy. Maybe it is, but it’s also a great creative outlet. Who wouldn’t have fun being a viking like warrior, a bounty hunter, a practitioner of various varieties of magic, a werewolf, a giant cat person, a spy...the list is nearly endless. Though convincing him to play a Sith and go to the Dark Side can be a struggle. “Oh God, what have I done! My mother raised me better than this!”

(Aantelah and Zangdo - Partners in Crime fo'sho! Drawn for us by ataraxicare of DA)




5.) Comradery. This one is short and sweet. No matter the game and characters, it’s nice to know that someone has your back. A companion, a sidekick, a partner in crime. The Jayne to my Vera.




When he came back he was sure to thank me for keeping him from sudden and gruesome death. Because he’s a gentleman like that. Of course, no droids are taking out these Jedi tonight! Onward! To Adventure!






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I Like Water





Who writes this shit?

To quote Justin Booth, who must be a really rocking individual for the comment he left on this prize: "Who makes these?! Of course you wanna get married once. Is there one that says I want to get married three times and have plenty of cheating and divorce? This is like a meme that says "I like drinking water"." 

This annoys me almost as much as the memes out there that say how marriage is hard work and love isn't easy and if you just believe in happy dancing unicorns you too can make ANY damn situation work. Let's suggest that divorcees didn't try hard enough or bleed themselves dry trying to make it work. 

Nooooooo shit, people want things to work. 

See, here's the thing. This kind of sentiment has always annoyed me, but of course it's doing more so right now because I'm divorcing. I get so tired of the obvious statements and assumptions. Tired of people that insist anything can work. Important word that, can. Doesn't mean it should. And yes relationships are hard work. Let's say it again together in chorus: No Shit!

It's time to get rid of this mentality that we should stick it out when two people are miserable! Not every relationship is redeemable. A culture that makes people feel guilty for doing what is best for their own emotional/physical/mental health and stability needs to stop perpetuating that guilt! Consider having some empathy. Maybe your marriage is great. Maybe it wasn't always great, but you managed to make it work. That doesn't mean everyone else will or should manage the same. 

Everyone wants Happily Ever After, or at least the happy part. Sometimes life has other plans. 


#grumpybritches <-- that's probably not a thing, but totes should be. 

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Give Me a Beast

I love Beauty and the Beast for a great many things. A classic fairytale where the femme lead isn't being rescued, hot damn! Not that I'm oh so against the old tried and true. I simply like variety and the acknowledgement that a woman not only doesn't always need rescuing, but can save a man. And let's be honest, that's what Belle does. She saves the beast from himself. From self loathing, anger, solitude. 


I also identify a great deal with Belle. I adore and share her love of reading. I admire her kindness and ability to stand her ground. I like to think I'm getting there on the latter.

Despite all my love for this story and it's many forms, one aspect always sat wrong with me. 

I don't want a prince. 

I mean, how could it not be disconcerting? You fall in love with someone for who and what they are. And then they change quite dramatically. We all know how easy change is. I wouldn't want to be rewarded with a handsome stranger.

I've heard the points against my little ramble.  Such as: well his true self was the prince. Was it? It had supposedly been ages and the curse was to bring out the beast he behaved as, in a way more himself than he was before. Alright maybe some merit there in reclaiming the man, but after living as the beast and being accepted for it which would be the more accurate self? An entirely different argument. 

I may just have too large a soft spot for beasts. I find them much more lovable and comforting than princes. A beast doesn't win you over with his face. He has no charm to rely on. He's rough around the edges, but there's often a lot more beneath the feisty exterior. To quote a movie my son is watching entirely too often lately, "His isolation is confirmation of his desperation for healing hugs!" He might roar and growl and carry on, but far more often than you realize it'll be because he doesn't know how else to show his concern. More women really should give them a chance.

In the meantime, look up a book by Robin McKinley called Rose Daughter. Possibly my favorite version of the tale. 








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Let's Parent Like Piccard



Mr. Kessler, ashamedly I did not know who you were prior to this post I stumbled upon in the swirling information hole of Facebook (seriously people go look him up, he's amazing). Anyone that can bring attention to something I consider vital as a parent in a way that makes people take notice deserves a few nods. Humor can be one of the best languages! And this got me on my own train of things I would say to my little Ambassador:

Señor Ambassador, the Febreeze is for the freshening of the air, not your genitals.

Señor Ambassador, we do not absorb nutrition through our nostrils here.

Señor Ambassador, our culture prefers the use of words as opposed to guttural noises and thrashing.

Señor Ambassador, in our society we differentiate between want and need. 

Señor Ambassador, dogs and horses are a seperate species on our planet.

I could go on for days. Which really only makes this resonate all the more. That's  why it is golden. We need more people to make us stop and think. Children are not idiots, and more importantly infants are not.

Some of the things my two year old is capable of baffle those I speak with. His language skills, my expectations for him, the small chores he's already capable of. What did I do to achieve this. Very little in my book. I let him. I let him and assumed that if he was ready to try and it did no bodily harm, why not? And maybe this is a good point to mention that yes every child is different. This is in no way me saying you should pressure a child or a return to the overdone: look my offspring is so much more advanced than yours, neener neener!

The fact is that children are little sponges, always watching and listening and they accept the limits they hear us place. I'd love to put an end to: oh you can't expect an (insert age here) to be able to do (insert whatever the Hell here). Of course I would also like to see better balance between imparting how to think and what to think. 

So thank you Mr. Kessler. Here's to doing the best we can for our wee Ambassadors. I sincerely wish this picture was an actual literary work, I would read the Hell out of it...








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Cartoon Charisma

You know you've been watching copious amounts of children's television when you can name every one of the trains on Thomas and you know more theme songs than anything off the Top 40. It can easily be argued that it's better than sinking into the show hole of daytime television. But still, you might be slipping when you start thinking things like "that Victor train is kind of distinguished, rawr." (It's totally the Spaniard bit.) 


I'm not going to lie. Nine times out of ten when choosing what to watch on my own time I wind up with an animation. They're usually happy, I like to laugh and something about less people suffering and hating their lives just does it for me. 

However, prolonged exposure to my son's entertainment choices has lead me to some terribly deep quandries. Such as...How does it rain underwater? Looking at you Bubble Guppies. Why is Mr. Crabs selling Krabby patties, is he a closet cannibal? How is it every member of Caillou's family has a different hair color and he is bald? Can Curious George really be a monkey without a tail?  Do you think Gadget got freaky with Chip and Dale, or maybe she went for the accent on Monterrey? Pokemon is still on, damn when is Ash gonna catch em' all?

And the most recent, and perhaps one of most drastic importance. Which cartoon single dad is the most appealing to a single mother?

After really mulling it over. I mean agonizing hours of thought here people, I decided it had to be Dave Seville. Sorry Ted you were a close runner up, but the quirky love of yellow would wear thin and George is probably waiting to star in the next Outbreak. 


Dave has it going on ladies. Gainfully employed, great father. You know the man must have the patience of a saint, and look at that hair! 

Maybe I need to start watching things with real people again...

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Meness

Where to begin. 2016, you snuck up on me and you bring a lot to talk about. But before we begin on what’s new, it seems more fitting to look back on our old friend 2015. It was, quite the year. I’m not sure if I should call it good, or bad, or simply say that it was.

At some point as we crept toward the beginning of 2015 I realized that I had lost myself. My “meness” as it were. It’s hard to pinpoint when it happened, and it’s very likely that it didn’t all at once, not really. It was slowly eroded and chipped away. All the easier to go unoticed.

I am well aware of some of the reasons why. And I know I’ve ever promised to be truthful and open here, but there are some things...some things my dears, that even I think should be left burried. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I don’t want to dredge up, or blame. What matters is simply that it happened and that I realized “me” was worth fighting for.

And it was a fight. Every step of the way, every little bit reclaimed and put back together. Something I find interesting is that...it’s not exactly the same as it was before. The broken pieces reassembled resemble the same thing, but their shape is slightly different. I am me, and I am more. I had to make room for pieces I didn’t know were missing, and the glue itself that helped me hold together has made a difference…

There is so much in that glue.

Family, friends, love and support that I never thought to open up to or trust before. Silly girl thought she could hold herself ...and everyone around her, all together on her own.

I learned crazy concepts this past year as well. Like the astounding fact that I deserve to be happy. That other people’s happiness is much less my responsibility than formerly believed. And that I deserve to be loved for that “meness” as aforementioned.

But mostly, it all comes back to the glue. To those that know who you are, thank you. To those that may not, I pray I get the chance to show you.

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The Misery of Masticating on Mammaries

I have always planned to breast feed. No question about it. I am ample chested, my mother breastfed me, her mother breastfed her, I believe in being natural when possible, so on and so forth.

Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned...

When my baby was born distressed and overdue with low blood sugars he had to spend time in the NICU immediately. Because of this, we didn't get our initial skin to skin contact, or introduction to the breast. Instead he was bottle fed, when he would take food at all.

I asked for a pump at the hospital, and one was provided. However, I wasn't taught how to use it properly or told just how often I should be using it between trying to get him to latch when we were visiting him in the NICU.  As a result my milk not only came in more slowly, but not as fully as it should. Of course, him not feeding also inhibited it coming in fully.

During our hospital stay I saw three lactation consultants and had my breasts groped by more people than I care to recall, each with their own brand of advice. "You should hold him like this." "Hands go here." "No, hold your nipple this way." "Have you tried self expressing?" To the latter, may I just add that when one has tiny hands and DDD's...it's just hella hard to do, mm'k?

We also tried nipple shields which baby just flat out refused to have anything to do with. And I was sent home with a rented state of the art pump that a consultant insisted would help more and be better for me than the one I'd borrowed from a friend.

After I brought him home we saw yet another lactation consultant and tried a technique that involved a syringe of my breast milk feeding a tiny tube taped to my breast so he would associate feeding with gratification. I called it the baby camel back, you know...like the backpackers use? Anyway. That of course frustrated him as well.

We learned that he could latch and was a natural rooter and that I wasn't doing anything wrong. The problem is that our son had not learned to suck properly. He simply doesn't know how to use his tongue. The consultant suggested a physical therapist, that naturally didn't take insurance.

I stared at this woman's contact information for days, deciding when I would call her. Meanwhile pumping every time I woke up to feed him no matter the hour, and never getting more than an ounce of milk between both breasts.This equated to about a third of the food he needed in a day.

During this time I also tried the copious amounts of Fenugreek that one nurse had recommended. I tried a marathon of pumping every hour that had worked for another friend.

After the first week it also became clear that my husband wasn't going to be able to help with night time feedings. Suffice to say he's not an easy person to wake up. Even when he wants to help, he's barely capable and I literally cannot stir him. This made my time awake even longer, and my nerves even more frayed. 

To top it all off I began to feel guilty. What type of mother was I, that I couldn't even feed my child? How bad was I for giving him formula, which contains soy (something I try to avoid adamantly and believe is unhealthy)? Why couldn't I do this simple thing when so many others could?

I know I'm not the first and far from the only to feel this way. What gets me is how few talk about it. You always hear people talking about the benefits of breastfeeding and the pride in doing so. But I've rarely heard anyone talk about their difficulties with it, or the associated guilt and depression with the inability. Which makes it twice as hard when you are one of those that cannot.

I found myself crying every time someone posted something about how good breast milk was for a baby. Getting more and more depressed every time I offered my son my breast and all he could do was chew on my nipple and get frustrated with the poor amount of milk and his lack of ability. 

It finally took my husband and both mother and mother-in-law to convince me that I was not a terrible parent and that giving up the pumping and letting myself dry up might save my sanity.

My breasts still leak and ache. And at times it seems like a cruel reminder of what I can't do for my child. But looking back at how hard we tried, I know I'm not a bad mommy. That really doesn't make it easier. I still wish I could do things differently for him. The difference is now I'm more aware of my support network and I know I'm doing well for my baby. As my mom aptly pointed out, children have survived far worse than having to eat formula.

And before anyone suggests it. We have looked into alternative things like organic formulas. Sadly none of those claiming to be organic are truly enough to make me comfortable. Some are even worse for the processes they use. And we did consider goats milk, but would have to then blend in other ingredients to make it nutritionally sound and that would sadly be too expensive as well as difficult to keep up with. 

Baby is now getting Gerber Good Start - Soothe, and seems to be plenty happy. He's up to nine pounds. A far cry from his skinny little NICU self!


These are not the jowls of an underfed infant ;)




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Welcome to my little corner of the crazy. I can't promise I will always have something intelligent to say. Or that my wit will always leave you laughing. But I can say this much...what you see is what you get. I am me...and I'm going to endeavor to share that uncensored. So, pull up a seat. Enjoy yourself and if I perhaps entertain you feel free to...

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