Thursday, October 23, 2014

Five Nights at Freddy's: a Noble Fail

We've been having an argument with our son, Joseph, who is 10. He and one of his friends, who is a similarly-aged girl growing up in this neighborhood full of boys and who, as a result, is a bit of a tomboy, want to buy a computer game. They want to buy the game on Husband's account with Joseph's friend's money. The idea is either that the friend a) will be given access to Husband's Steam account so she can play the game at her house, or b) will come to our house to play it. Why this girl can't use her money to buy the game at her house on her computer has not been satisfactorily explained.

The name of the game is "Five Nights at Freddy's," which tells the tale of the gamer being assigned as a night security guard in a children's restaurant for five nights. Inside the restaurant, the gamer must avoid the animatronics, which come alive and view the gamer as a damaged animatronic and will attempt to fix him by putting him back into an animatronic costume. Unfortunately, the fix is deadly for a human. The game is incredibly stressful. Though there is no blood and gore, there is a lot of the thriller factor, which is sufficient to induce nightmares in, say, a certain seven-year-old boy who also lives in this house.

I know about this game thanks to Gabrielle, who is currently taking (and excelling in) a college-level game design class. I cannot thank her enough for introducing it to my boys. Thanks, Gabrielle. Thanks so much.

Anyway, Husband KO'd the plan right off for obvious reasons. I heard the conversation even though I was in another room, so I knew the score (ha ha! See what I did there?). Later, Joseph came to me with the same arguments while Husband was at work.

I told him he was talking to the wrong parent, because not only am I completely immune to the desire to play video games, I have absolutely zero desire for Joseph to have any more access to games than he already does. Besides, I told him, I had overheard his original argument to his dad, and I opposed the game for all the same reasons. Then I called him out for coming to me when he already had an answer from his other parent.

Today, frustrated by our close-mindedness, Joseph wrote up a little persuasive essay, printed it out, and slid it under the door while I was briefly using the bathroom (because why should the bathroom be the one place I can be alone for a moment or two?). I'm not persuaded, but I was pretty impressed with his writing skills and his desire to lay out what, to him, is a logical, rational argument in his favor.

Here is the text of his essay, unedited (though my editing fingers did itch just a little):

Five Nights at Freddy's
 I have many reasons that have many things to back them up, so just hear me out. You may say "It will give you nightmares!" Which leads to my first reason, many therapists say that the best way to get rid of fears is to confront them, so you want me so every time I think of it I get really scared? No.
You may think that "you will get even more scared if you play it too much." Don't worry I have more reasons to back this one up. It's a human urge to do what we are told not to, if you say "Don't do this!" than [editor's note: argh!] we want to do just that. It's actually proven that no smoking signs make you want to smoke more. If you constantly guard us and protect us from doing that then we will get overwhelmed with want that we will be grumpy. If we learn that it IS scary.
If WE get it with out OWN money then we have the right to play it, scary or not. I may be going on and on and on but we can both agree that I have good reasons. I hope you can agree, if not I will write another. (ha ha just kidding) only not really. Please agree THE END 
Well, kudos for trying, son. The answer's still no. Hopefully, telling you "no" will not overwhelm you with the grumpiness of want and force you to take up smoking near no-smoking signs, but that's a chance I'm willing to take. Plus, you're frequently grumpy enough that I think I've already got the practice I need to deal with it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Say Hello to My Inner Mad Scientist

My mother sent over a box of apples from her tree. These apples are perfect for eating out of hand or baking into a pie.

Mmmmm, pie. I still love pie with a fervent depth of passion.

So perhaps there will be a pie for dessert tonight--that is, there might be if by this evening I haven't decided that I'm too tired to be bothered whipping up a pie crust, the making of which remains my biggest cooking pet peeve of all time. Ugh, I hate making pie crusts. I have literally thrown a temper tantrum making pie crusts. It's sad but true. Husband doesn't throw temper tantrums whilst whipping up pie crusts, so maybe I'll hand that duty over to him and I'll be happy to peel, core, and slice the apples and mix the filling.

What I'm also hoping to whip up is some high-dose liposomal Vitamin C in the next little while. I have the ultrasonic cleaner, thanks to the in-laws, who got a good tip from Husband about what I wanted for my birthday, and they bought it even though it seemed like an incredibly odd gift. I ordered the sunflower lecithin yesterday (thanks to a gift card from one of my awesome brothers), and it will arrive tomorrow. The freeze-dried, powdered acerola cherries (a birthday gift from Sian) will take a little longer to ship, and this is where my patience will be put to the test.

At this point, I usually launch into some long lecture about the benefits of whatever experiment I'm trying now. This time, however, I'll leave it up to you to do the research. Suffice to say, I feel my family needs this desperately, and I'm very interested to see what happens.

(Well, "interested" is a bit of an understatement. Picture a mad scientist rubbing her hands together and cackling in nerdy glee. That's more like it.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm No Good at Teasers

Why are the forbidden books the sweetest?


I'm back.


I haven't decided yet, really, but I'm feeling more extroverted these days. These things go in waves and cycles. I remember at college or on my mission, when I was constantly surrounded by other human beings with little or no time alone, that I'd occasionally go off into a sort of mental fog. I'd feel disconnected from those around me, unable to really be part of the moment for a couple days at a time, even if I was in their company. It wasn't like I was thinking about something else in specific, it was more like my unconscious needed some meditation time without me present, like dreaming while awake (without any frightening hallucinations, thankfully). After a couple days, I'd snap back all of a sudden, ready to be social and present again. Weird.

So, what's new? you ask, sitting on the edge of your chair, breath caught in your throat as the sense of anticipation builds to a trembling crescendo.

Gosh, I hate to leave you hanging like that, but I'm just not going to tell you. Let's just move on, and you'll pick it up as we go.

Here's a teaser, though: I've read lots of books lately. Gobs. Stacks. Entire shelves. Husband had to buy yet another book case so I could deal with the increasingly dangerous pile of books next to my side of the bed as they spilled out of my nightstand and onto the floor.

When Husband got Jonathan Stroud's newest addition to the Lockwood & Company series, The Whispering Skull, he said very firmly, "I want to finally read a book before you do. Leave this one alone until I finish, please." But it wasn't my fault that he was gone to work all day and the book just sat there appealingly alone on his nightstand. I was very good for a few days, but finally I broke down and read it while he was gone. It was excellent. It was delicious, as all of Jonathan Stroud's books tend to be. And I didn't admit to anything until Husband came home and noticed his bookmark was in the wrong place because it had accidentally fallen out during my forbidden reading and I couldn't remember exactly which page it was supposed to mark. Then he forced me to admit I'd read the book before him, after which he tut-tutted at me for several evenings.

I'm afraid that I felt little guilt. I mean, I didn't tell him anything about the ending, did I? And I promise that I never steal his Jack Reacher novels, mainly because I feel like if I've read one, I've kind of read them all.

So it should be fairly obvious to you that some things haven't changed much. And that wasn't much of a teaser, either, was it? Again, not much has changed.

Here's a real teaser, though: why did my in-laws buy me an ultrasonic cleaner for my birthday this year? Oooh! Can't wait to tell you!