Life blows sometimes. My mid life crisis happened at 26 when I got real scared of impending reality, and bought a modded Turbografx-16. I didn't fuck anyone behind my wifes back, unless you count humping a dry shampoo bottle while crying "making love." Personally, it looks a lot more like one big step before suicide to me, but I'm not cool or brooding enough to try and end my life. I avoid anything that remotely resembles pain, which is why it was so damn hard to finally go back to work.
By that, I mean REAL work. The kind of work where you are physically active, accomplish several tasks, and actually feel sore at the end of the day. After working in an office for a year, and kicking crackheads and skaters out of business complexes for several years before that, I kind of forgot what it was like to actually move the bloated unattractive misery vessel I call my body. Smoking pot in the boiler room and reading a novel a day is hardly what I would call "productivity", but I did learn the wonders of Chuck Pahlaniuk, Jack London, and realized just how fucking stupid and pointless Naked Lunch is.
When my wife got pregnant, it was decided pretty quickly that I was going to stay home with the baby; fair enough. As a complete social shut in, I was right at home sitting in a living room all day and getting excited by the prospect of sweeping the kitchen. My wife on the other hand, not so much. She happens to like people for some reason, conversation, and all the other frightening nonsense I wouldn't touch with a forty foot pole unless it had a bayonet firmly attached to the pokey end.
We are coming up to the end of a year now, and when my six months of paid parental vacation expired a couple of weeks ago, I knew I needed to find work again. I have been working since I was fourteen, and have literally never gone more than a few weeks without employment in between things. My personal philosophy is that work builds character; "arbeit macht frei". Historically, that didn't really work out so well for a certain group of people, and in retrospect, all it has done for me is to be able to afford more bullshit. But having to provide for another living human has taught me to appreciate the value of a dollar, mostly because of it's "oh shit!" reaction inspiring absence.
So back to work I went. This time, I got a family member to hire me, and the locale is a grocery store. Grocery stores are one of the most woefully under-appreciated jobs around, at least in Canada. I know quite a few people who work in them, and my brother in law specifically makes the same as his Dad who has worked for the fucking railroad for the last fifteen years. You move up the ladder fairly quickly, there are decent benefits, and it is the type of employment that will always be around in some capacity. After seeing the bullshit that big business, office types environments provided, I swore to never set foot near a cubicle again. I would be perfectly happy to make a career out of putting grapes on a shelf, and I am not ashamed of that rather proletariat way of thinking.
But goddammit, does it have its drawbacks. My wife is still the primary bread winner, with me playing second banana so to speak. I still clean the house, do the laundry, cook the meals, and when I feel up to it, properly care for my daughter. When that is all over, I work for eight hours, bust my ass, and come home conscious just long enough to slam back a scotch and go the fuck to sleep.
There is something missing here, though. And if you are as anal about me as seeing these blog thingies stay topical, I'm sure you have figured out what it is by now.
I used to have hours of time devoted to games, and now I have minutes. On breaks, I go stand with the smokers. In the daytime, I play with my daughter. During naptimes, I write shit like this or listen to music, have a coffee. On days "off", which are never totally free of any work, I spend time with my wife, or my stupid friends. I don't have any time for video games, and I am already missing them so very bad.
Now I'll be the first to admit that I never spend a lot of time playing them to begin with, but my point of comparison is usually other gamers who are admittedly "hardcore", I.E., people who don't think Farmville is time well gamed. Even then though, I usually tend to get an hour a day in, so it really sucks to see that time fly the fuck out the window and into unreachable places. I was really getting into simulations lately, mostly stuff like Sim City 4, and Microsoft Flight was piquing my interest too. The game of the year for me is likely going to be Power of Illusion, and my friends finally turned me on to the new Soul Calibur which was a buttload of fun. Now, I'm lucky to squeeze in a five minute round of Dolphin on the 2600.
Growing up kind of sucks sometimes, and this post is really my realization of that. When I was young, I had so much time to kill that all the eighty hour RPG's in the universe couldn't satiate my hunger for introverted fantasy. Now, I consider playing Kirby's Dream Land on Game Boy "a tad too involved." What the fuck, man? What happened? I still drink Guinness every day, listen to Black Flag, and swear. Yet some little fucking punk called me "old" on my first day of work. I'm not cool, I'm not "hip", and I can't even be a gamer anymore? Life really blows.
I feel like the "hip, cool, 45" year old guy from Kids in the Hall, and I'm not even 30 yet. Fuck my life, I want my games back!
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