Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cable Thinks I’m Old, Skyrim Morals, Publishing Empire

I’ve given up on life this weekend, since I am fighting off terrible sinus pain, cramps, and a creeping, impending cough and fatigue. As such, I collapsed in front of the TV last night and watched, glassy-eyed, all two hours of “Twister” on cable TV. Two take-aways: High-waisted pants are best left in 1996 where they belong, and cable TV thinks I’m old. The copious commercials shilled medications for an alarming array of maladies, most of which seemed to be vaguely age-related: weak bladder, diabetes, hair loss, osteoporosis, “crepe skin,” leaky bowels, and weight gain to name just a few. They had obviously and shrewdly calculated that those of us with enough 90’s nostalgia to sit through “Twister” on a Saturday night have likely gone to hell in a health handbasket over the last twenty years. However, it only served to make me feel smugly fit, as I don’t take any medications, and knock wood, have managed to keep my bowels in check most days.

The movie actually holds up pretty well. Maybe it was the sinus pressure, but I was enamored of how brave Helen Hunt’s character Jo is. When I first watched the movie way back in 1996, I remember thinking she was annoying, but now I find her habit of rushing towards danger at every turn charming, and I would even say inspiring, had I any actual ambition or desire to place myself in harm’s way. And while I was sad for Bill Paxton’s fiancé when she realized that those two crazy kids were still very much in love, I think she was right to leave. She’s a nice a lady. I’m sure she found love eventually.  

Speaking of other media that holds up well, in my sick-induced hibernation, I fired up “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” to take my mind off my thudding sinus headache. After all of these years, it’s still a really fun game, and now that I’m just faffing around instead of trying to level, I’m getting a huge kick out of the all of the little extras the developers threw in. For example, my character, a Nord warrior, is pretty straight and narrow, but I’m not above palming a few health potions here and there, or filching an interesting book if I can get away with it. I recently pocketed both of those things in the basement of an inn—not an arrestable offence, but the bartender nonetheless shot down there in flash and said sarcastically, “Oh, you just happen find that stuff lying around, did you? Weeeeellll, good for you!” It was both hilarious and genuinely shaming. Oh, yes, there was also that time I stole a silver ring from a street vendor and planted it on an innocent townsperson in exchange for intel. Don’t judge me. I needed the information, for world-saving purposes, okay? It’s hard to be good in Skyrim.

As previously alluded to, I have set myself the goal of having my novel up on Amazon by the summer. The main issue right now is the proof-reading, which I have turned over to the eagle-eyed Mr. Typist. He’s only gone through five pages so far, and already it’s a bloody red horror show of slashes and question marks, but I’ve come this far, and I intend to shoulder on until this darn thing is published. I’m telling myself that it’s all in the service of learning for when the day comes that I have my own publishing empire. I don’t know what that means on any practical or material level, I just like the idea of having a publishing empire. I imagine myself sitting atop a throne made of gold-plated books, cackling madly and stamping my scepter.

I’m off to crawl onto the recliner with a cup of tea now. If you don’t feel up to committing to the entire two hours of “Twister”, you might enjoy this comical analysis of its myriad technical flaws and plot holes. (Warning: It’s bit risqué if you’re on the sensitive side.)


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