Sunday, May 2, 2021

Body Space, Poetic Lettuce, My Dwarves are Unhappy

If it hadn’t been for my gym training session yesterday, I would not have even bothered to get out of bed. My weeks are getting more and more mentally and physically exhausting and I am either sleeping like the dead or lying awake in a cold sweat, obsessing over my failure to keep up with the workload. My trainer seemed to know what was up and had designed a session for me all about “making space in the body”--opening my chest, lengthening my spine, and stretching my perpetually tight hamstrings. She eschews the gym machines and prefers to take me through exercises that involve balancing and stabilizing, which I have come to appreciate. I have advanced to the point that I don’t need someone to stand there with a clipboard counting my reps on the lat pull-down. I’m now very comfortable with the machines that I used be baffled and intimated by, and I’m happy to work those on my own. I’m enjoying learning the subtle, small movements that get to the more obscure but important muscle groups that provide a platform for stability. Her style was a bit of an adjustment at first, but I’m finding that it’s a big advantage to have a Yoga instructor as a trainer--even if she does torture me with ab work every single session.

I was Shopping While Hungry this week and decided I was bored with the pale green head of Romaine I usually get. In a fit of impulse, I bought something called “Artisan Lettuce: Sweet Gem, Tango and Oak.” It had deep, vibrant shades of purple and red and it came packed in a neat cellophane box. Mr. Typist is easily startled by any variance in the weekly groceries, so I felt the need to warn him ahead of time that I had bought a different kind of lettuce because it looked “fun.” To which he scoffed and said, “Fun? Fun? Did it come with a roller coaster and a carousel?” Obviously not, but who wouldn’t be suckered in by lettuce with such a poetic name as “Sweet Gem, Tango and Oak”? It’s such a beautiful-sounding phrase, and as it turns out, the lettuce is really delicious. Come to think of it, Tango and Oak would be a good name for some sort of shop. Maybe I’ll open that store. I would sell tangerines and strong cheese and hearty crackers and imported salami. Now I’m hungry again.

I’ve been having problems in Stardew Valley with an emotionally withholding bunny and a Golden Walnut shortage, so for a break, I downloaded a cheap builder called “HammerHelm”, the premise of which is that you are a dwarf who decides to go rogue, move above ground, and build a town of your own. I was doing pretty good for a while, getting all of my fellow dwarves to move in and go to work, putting in farms and metalworking shops and fending off the Orcs. But now the game won’t allow me to build any more houses because my dwarves are “too unhappy.” First of all—ungrateful much? After talking to them, they all seem to want a brewery, which involves installing a well and growing wheat and amassing all manner of other resources that are not quick and easy to obtain. I don’t need this sort of pressure in a video game. I didn’t bargain for a town full of depressed, alcoholic dwarves. Maybe I’ll go back to Stardew Valley, where at least my emotionally withholding bunny occasionally drops a lucky rabbit’s foot that I can bribe the Junimos with. My real life and my gaming life are both just way too complicated these days.

Here is an idealized version of what I’m dealing with. It doesn’t show you the dwarves rebelling and refusing to chop wood anymore, and also getting in fistfights with each other. Managing a settlement ain’t easy.

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment: said...

You deserve a break, Kristen!