January Rain

I’ve always envied people who were content living a simple life, or even more, who could bear to be unemployed. It’s not only the having so little obligations that gets to me (although I’m envious of that too), it’s the mere being able to stand doing so little.

It took me a little over a week and a half of Christmas vacation before I was convinced I was losing my mind.

Anyway, if I’m behind on answering comments and emails (I’ll get around to it, I promise!) it’s because I dragged my insane, sobbing, loser self to Montreal for a few days to escape the turmoil factory that is the internet.

I had forgotten how terribly ugly, yet extremely delicious and convenient downtown Montreal is! From All-You-Can-Eat Sushi to an entire chicken in a bowl of soup (both within a couple of hours of each other), I nommed my way around the city for four days. I remembered why I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: if I lived near any place where good food was easily accessible, I’d have to waste money on a gym membership to avoid becoming the Chubby Pally and the Overused (Ice Cream) Spoon.

In between restaurants, I got to see Tron and Black Swan (I have such a huge girl crush on Mila Kunis now), aaaand I got to meetup with some awesome people.

Meeting Kurn

And by awesome people, I mean (among others) Kurn, my fellow holy pally and fellow sort-of-Anglo Québecoise. I was really nervous and not too sure what to expect… She’s always been a very strong and forceful writer, but writing styles can be deceiving. I’ve seen myself described as a comedy writer. I hope those describers never have to meet me and my serious, slow wits in person. Anyway, meeting Kurn was lovely, like meeting a long lost sister. I poured my heart out about my in-game struggles, we compared our guilds, discussed blogging and our blogging guildies, brainstormed about the future of holy paladinning and shared tales of growing up Anglo in the midst of the Québec language wars. By the time I looked at my watch, 4 hours had gone by!

Catching up with my fellow geek gamer girlfriends from high school

I also got to catch up with a few old friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. Two in particular have been characters in this blog as my dear fellow geeky gamer girls from high school.

Last time I saw A, who’d gotten me into Final Fantasy, was 4 years ago. At the time, she was super busy juggling jobs, living it up in the city and, well, not gaming. So I was surprised when we stumbled into this conversation:

A: I was playing *whispers* Starcraft 2 and-
Me: You play Starcraft 2?
A’s Husband: *grumbling* She always plays Starcraft 2. She plays for hours!
A: Yeah, I didn’t want to tell you, but when you called me the other night was in the middle of a cooperative…
Me: You could have told me! I totally understand! I get phone calls in the middle of coorperatives too!

Actually, I was sort of lying, I don’t do coorperatives, but I was trying to earn myself a Starcraft 2 buddy. Then we played Civilization V on her PS3 for 4 hours, and her husband teased me about how I went all the way to Montreal to do nothing but watch movies and play video games (but I’m still trying to figure out how going to Montreal to watch movies and play video games is a bad thing).

Later that day, I caught up with V, with whom I spend my last year of high school talking about Might and Magic. When I was 16, I idolized Val. She was gorgeous, brilliant and funny. She was also a free thinker, a natural one. One of those people who don’t give in to peer pressure because it just doesn’t occur to them that they’re being pressured to do or be anything.

I hadn’t seen her for 8 years. I was surprised she remembered me. Even more surprised she’d want to see me. I was anxious. Would she be the same person I looked up to 10 years ago?

Well, one of our first conversations went like this:

V: My favorite game has always been Sonic the Hedgehog. I loved Sonic! But I have this hole phobia so I won’t go near holes. …I never got very far in Sonic.

I told her I played WoW. She answered she loved WoW: she doesn’t play but it keeps her boyfriend out of her hair and lets her have the PS3 to herself. I hear Mr. V is quite the Blizzard fanboy. Maybe we’ll be seeing them at Blizzcon next year.

When the topic of Blizzcon came up, I told her about the cinematic panel I attended. About how they used to use dots to make water and now they use squares. Whatever that means. She then said something about polygons. Polygons? Yep. Turns out she attended video game college. Apparently it’s the best way to learn about 3D modeling. Whatever that is.

For those who didn’t read my initial post about V, it ended like this:

One day I’ll get in touch with that old friend, we’ll joke and laugh about old times. We’ll play the games again and relive those crazy days of high school.

We didn’t get a chance to game together: we were, after all, downtown getting kicked out of coffee shops. But we did those other things.

For both friends (actually, for the few other friends I caught up with too), nothing had changed in the many years since we’d seen each other, except for that we’d become calmer, more experienced and, in their case, even better versions of the people we were 10 years ago.

All that to say that I know I’m totally slacking on the blog, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got this overwhelming urge to play Civilization V.

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12 Comments on “January Rain”

  1. Talarian Says:

    Minor nitpick, Civilization V is only available for PC. If you’re play a Civ on the PS3, it’ll be Civ Revolutions. Both good games, and in the same vein, just very, very different details.

    • Ophelie Says:

      They were calling it Civ V, but yeah, they were probably just using the wrong name. I broke down and got the PC Civ V and it is really different from the ps3 version! Not just in details! The whole gameplay is different.

  2. Naithin Says:

    I’m glad you had such a good time by the sounds of it, Ophelie, and even more pleased that meeting up with the various friends went so well!

    Also? Yay Civ 5! Interesting timing on this post, since just the other day brother and I broke out the Civ5 again and played a few games. :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      I’m so addicted to Civ V now. Which is kind of a problem since the games are soooo long. I can’t bring myself to play strategically and focus on one end goal, so my games drag on forever…

  3. Janyaa Says:

    That’s lovely. Sounds like a great break. Glad you got to see your friends and meet Kurn! :)

  4. leah Says:

    sounds like a great trip :P

    incidentally, from a perspective of a professional slacker – the key to not going insane while unemployed (temporarily or permanently – it still applies) is hobbies. lots and lots of hobbies. video games and books especially tend to take up a lot of time that you might have difficulty tracking. some creative hobbies do as well, depending on how into one you are (I once found myself painting for something like 4 hours, didn’t realize, until natural light really started to go)

    however, word of caution – once you do go back to working, you will have to put a tight reign on your hobbies again, as far as time consumption is concerned. that can be somewhat challenging at first, especially if one of your hobbies is an MMO (much easier to adjust with single player game, though still will take some effort)

    also, simple life (country life at least) doesn’t always mean not busy life :) some of the things you might take for granted, like takeout, preserves, fruits, veggies and meat, laundry, cleaning – they do it the hard way, otherwise known as time consuming way, so they are still busy. just different busy :P

    P.S. then again, I suppose some people are happy doing nothing at all :/

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hobbies are kind of the problem. When I don’t have work to do and I do hobbies, I get overwhelmed with guilt. I was brought up to see hobbies as a reward, so doing them without earning them doesn’t compute in my head. Plus, some interpersonal conflicts in WoW were what was dragging me down. When I’m not dragged away from the computer by school or work, I just get into fights with everyone online.

      By simple life, I meant more like not going to college, getting married young and working a minimum wage job. To the nerdy city girl that I am, country life does not sound simple at all!

      • leah Says:

        oh I see what you mean by simple life. sounds pretty boring even to a slacker who married young (college sweethearts :) ), like me O_O. as for hobbies being a reward rather then a means in themselves -> productive hobbies :)

        for example, if you like knitting – knit useful clothes, then you are having fun AND making something useful. same for sewing, cooking, various crafts, even painting can be justified by claiming that you’re doing it to prettify your living space. reading, naturally, expands your mind and knowledge base, even if all you read is fiction.

        Cooking, well – if you experiment with various cuisines, means you’re not buying takeout, means you’re saving money, and saving money is almost as good as making it.

        This is the longest I’ve been unemployed (only partly by choice – At the moment, the only jobs I could safely take are the “part time, close to home minimum wage” kind and after discussing it extensively hubby and I decided that we’re better off waiting it out for now), so I had a long time to develop coping mechanisms.

        sorry about the online fights :( I see how that could happen, given enough free time…

  5. Skip Cocoa Says:

    Haha. I love reading these posts, if only because I get answers to questions a few days after I ask them. :P

    Rough synopsis of our conversation:
    Me: Haven’t seen you around. It’s the holidays, I bet you’ve been traveling.
    Ophelie: Yeah! I was in Montreal!
    Me: That sounds fun, what was that like?
    Ophelie: I got to see old friends. **** says hi! I played lots of PS3.
    *short conversation about how Civ is awesome on PS3, followed by long silence because she was busy being reabsorbed into overworking herself*

    Insider Hint: She actually is at least as funny and witty as she is in her posts. You just have to get her talking, and it’ll come out like a fountain.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hmm I think I’m one of those people who don’t do it on purpose, but who amuse others with their weirdness ;D

      I blame my inability to keep conversations going on the fact that we rarely talk before midnight. Stupid 4.5 hour time difference :(

  6. Oestrus Says:

    No, that’s cool. You mention the V but leave out the O. It’s fine, really. I’ll just delete Skype, since you’re the sole reason I got it and I’ll have to get rid of all the giant spoons in my kitchen because they will do nothing but remind me of you.

    *sob*
    :P

    • Ophelie Says:

      Now, now! I spent a little bit of time with the V but I still love my O! And if the tendency continues, it’ll be another 8 years before I talk to the V again.


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