Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Holiday Depression

All the trash bins are overflowing with wrapping paper and boxes, Christmas trees are drooping and all the chocolate eating has mysteriously prevented me from fitting into anything other than my holiday stretchy pants. Nothing has changed from previous years.

As in classical mechanics, p=mv, or the product of the mass (me) and velocity of an object (me), i.e. meeting year-end goals at work, shopping, cooking, wrapping, driving, mailing cards and gifts, and don’t forget to call everyone who will be offended if you don’t.

The natural side effect of all of this momentum is what I refer to as post holiday depression. Strangely, it feels as if time has stopped. Newton’s Law can’t touch the emotion that one experiences by flipping from momentum to inertia. Inertia meaning, that an object (me) will always continue moving at its current speed and in its current direction until some force causes its speed or direction to change (the party’s over).

But, enough of that, this blog isn’t about physics and it’s not really about depression. I just needed to get that off my chest.

I’d like to talk about the endless hours of computer use that go on around the world. I’m afraid in time, there will be an announcement that long term exposure to electromagnetic fields definitely causes, brain tumors, leukemia, chronic fatigue, headaches, cataracts, heart problems, cancer, stress, nausea, chest pain and forgetfulness. Oh, and before I forget, there is a public service announcement I heard. Saliva causes stomach cancer but only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. Will I ever get to the point?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced a conflict of interest, especially where computers are concerned. One of the presents my boyfriend (BJ) received this year is the computer game put out by Blizzard, called StarCraft. I know, it was actually released in 1998, but I haven’t been into video games since Ms. Pac-Man and I think I became obsessed with that because it involved eating dots and chasing after bouncing fruit. Nevertheless, my boyfriend loves his StarCraft game and asked me to try playing because if I can get up to speed, we can play online with others. Heh.

He sat with me, offering helpful tips as I completed the first two missions, which took me three hours!
It went something like this:

BJ: Okay, click on your SCV.
Me: What’s that?
BJ: That’s your energy collecting vehicle.
Me: Where?
BJ: Down at the bottom of the screen.
Me: That little thing?
BJ: Yeah, left click on it and then right click on the minerals.
Me: Oh! He responded to me.
BJ: Yeah. Now build another worker.
Me: I wish I could have done that a week ago. How do I do that?
BJ: Go to your menu, then click on build and select a worker.
Me: That’s easy, now what?
BJ: EXPAND, always expand! Don’t be afraid to.
Me: Do I look like I’m afraid of expanding? I pulled at the waist band of my sweat pants.
BJ: Okay, now you want to collect gas for energy.
Me: That isn’t hard after aunt Birdie’s green bean casserole.
BJ: You’re gonna need all your resources to defend yourself while you’re being attacked on your next mission.
Me: I’m gonna be attacked?
BJ: Big time.
Me: You know, before we get into the attacking mission, I need to switch over to FarmVille and harvest my Pattypan Squash.
BJ: Squash!
Me: Yeah, I have to plant rice too. I’m just forty points away from level one of Rice mastery.
BJ: Okay, baby, but look, you’re being attacked by the Zergs.
Me: Oh my God, this is worse than being attacked by the Goldman’s at my office holiday party. Where’s my SUV?
BJ: No, you have to build Marines and bunkers.
Me: I’ll bet my squash is starting to wither.
BJ: Defense, defense! Where are your firebots?
Me: What are those?! I was madly clicking on the enemy, not realizing that it was a useless exercise.
BJ: Those guys throw flames. Build some!
Me: Does it have to be so violent? My marines are being splattered all over the ground.
BJ: What is your SCV doing just sitting there? Mine more minerals. Go, go, go!
Me: They’re demolishing my power depot!
BJ: You need minerals to build more. You should have been doing that all along.
Me: Now you tell me.
I kept clicking on the Zergs knowing it was futile.
BJ: That’s okay baby, you’ll get ‘em next time.
He patted me on the head and went to our hobby room to work on some music.

I just sat there panting, and reliving the stress I had just experienced from my total annihilation. With a shaky hand, I opened my browser and went to Facebook. I clicked on the FarmVille icon and there it was, my peaceful little farm. All the cows, chickens, goats and horses were in their places, right where I left them. All my ducks were in one straight row, and my Pattypan squash was ripe for harvesting. There’s no place like home.

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