Dr. W's Space Travels
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2020-05-25 00:48:00 (UTC)

Space Cadet Turns 15 Again

Dr. Wood XIV

What a weekend it’s been! Actually, nothing major happened, but there’s still (for some reason) a lot to talk about. This was Memorial Day weekend, and while I do have to go back to work tomorrow, I’m feeling pretty good. First off, I noticed that my Sunday blues (yes today is Monday, but it’s still “Sunday blues”) seem to last only around like noon to maybe five? The last few Sundays have been similar in that regard – the afternoons would be kinda morose, but the evenings would be all right. It’s like I need that midday slump to accept that I’m restarting my workweek and get on with life. Luckily, this is a shorter workweek, so I’m pleased about that. Also, I think I need to start planning my next vacation time. I don’t think the outbreak is gonna let up enough to allow a trip to Maido or to Somerville, so I’ll just have to surrender the thought. A chunk of time off to stay at home could do me good, though, just like it did before. I will say that I feel more optimistic about my ability to take each day as it comes – I’m gradually becoming less focused on the weekends and more focused on savoring each day. It helps that I’m not so mentally and emotionally burdened. For now, the problems in my life will be mine to create. That’s something that I need to take advantage of. Anyway, let’s talk about what went down this weekend.

I’ve started to develop a genuine affinity for Call of Duty tournaments. It started perhaps a year or so ago, but I would say that I’m now officially a fan of them as I watched my first full COD tournament on my own initiative. I think I made my bro proud haha. It’s funny, because I really don’t play COD at all… but I am immersed in the experience of watching the pros play it. I’ve even gotten a few favorite teams of my own! Aside from that, let’s see… I played some Super Mario 64! It wasn’t for long, but it’s always such a calming video game to play. I’m on Rainbow Ride right now, and I’ve just started with one star from that stage. There’s something about playing games like that that just put me so at ease. Like it’s pure fun, and there are no feelings of rage even if I continuously die. I also make it a point to play alongside a few plushy friends: my frog Freddy, my snowman Snowy, my frog Tadpal, and my Charmander. The first three are OG plushies, and Charmander was a gift from work friends for my… 25th birthday? I keep them all cuddled up with me in my desk chair (there’s plenty of room, as Art Smith from Christmas Vacation might say), and it puts me at ease even more. I’m well aware that it’s odd for someone to do something like that, and it’s not something I would tell most people, but it’s just something that simply brings me joy. There’s also something about Super Mario 64 in itself that is just acutely nostalgic. It’s probably the first N64 game that I recall playing, and it takes me back to the days where I was in my childhood house’s old game room (which was a living room at the time! THAT old!), playing on the big screen TV. At least, that’s how I remember it. For some reason, my memory goes to me playing on Tiny Huge Island in that setting. I’ve played that game many times as a child, and I remember being so scared by Unagi the Eel and the haunted house piano, but also so immersed in the world that the game had to offer. Naturally, I retrospectively appreciate those times more than I probably did then, but nonetheless over time it has become a game strongly reminiscent of my childhood.

Perhaps I’m a bit nostalgic right now (as I often seem to be!) partially due to news my mom told me today (that my brother foreshadowed the day before). She and Bailey have moved out of my Aunt Sherri’s house – which is great news for them! It’s been ten years that they lived there… wait, no, it had to have been longer than that! Ten years ago was when I left for the army… I suspect it was much longer than that. But anyway, I always associated them as a unit: my mom, Bailey, Eric and Aunt Sherri (and Lulu, although she’s the newest member and wasn’t around during the times I would visit every other weekend). If I visited my Aunt Sherri’s house, I could expect to see them all there. It’s been like that for so long. Oh – and Eric is planning to move out perhaps by September. It’s all such great news and I’m genuinely overjoyed for them. At the same time, it’s so bittersweet. I think back to all the memories of going there, and how warm it was to be in the presence of everyone. Again, it’s another retrospective appreciation, I realize. But I’m just gonna take it at face value right now. There were so many extraordinary memories from our times together: going to community yard sales, eating heavily buttered everything bagels, getting my first laptop, going out to eat as a family, going to the Landis buffet on Friday afternoons to kick off the weekends, playing tons of video games, pushing off homework until Sunday, playing Wii games with the family, hearing Bailey and Eric say something funny, planning our South Carolina trips, listening to rap songs in the mudroom, hearing the soundtracks from Eric’s racing games (which we did re-listen to a few months ago), eating lots of snacks, eating ice cream, going to bed at 2am, and embracing everyone. It was also a time period where I got my Nintendo DS and played Sims: Urbz, WarioWare: Touched! and, yes, Super Mario DS, which is like Super Mario 64 but with plenty of extra features and more refined graphics. Man, what a time that was. And I realize that some of what I mentioned is individual-oriented rather than family-oriented, but it was all grouped together and I still value it so much.

I ended up talking about that a little more than I anticipated, but let’s keep it rolling. I also finished “Life Is Magic”, an autobiography by Jon Dorembos, which was a wonderful read! What an admirable attitude towards life he has – I might not be immediately changed by his words, but I believe my mind will allude to them later on. Might be more to follow on this in another session. What else… I’ve been watching a new anime – Asobi Asobase – which is probably the funniest anime I’ve ever seen. I thought Nichijou was top tier – and it is, don’t get me wrong – but Asobi Asobase may have even topped that. Although, Nichijou is more wholesome and cute, while Asobi Asobase is more edgy and irreverent. Love them both though. I’ve also been writing more of my story! I am nearly done with chapter two, which is great progress in my opinion. I think I might lean towards eleven chapters, based on the story draft I have in my mind. I still don’t know if I want the ending to be applicable to real life, or just be powerful for the story’s sake, if that makes sense. I’m sure I will continue to refine the message as I approach that part of the story. For now, I need to stay focused on writing and just continuing to “do”. Perhaps there’s an applicable Dorembos-ism – “just fire it in there, don’t be a [wussy]” (edited to conform to the innocent feeling of this session). The dude played in the NFL, got third place in the 2016 season of America’s Got Talent for his magic, learned how to fly planes, and faced quite the array of adversities during his lifetime. He embraced change, he kept an open mind, and (one thing he mentioned that I just absolutely adored) he made it a point to look at the world with a sense of “wide-eyed, childlike wonder”. This captures it perfectly: “[w]hen you do that, when you can’t find your car keys and you say to yourself, Isn’t this interesting? Instead of cursing your bad luck through gritted teeth… suddenly the world becomes a kinder, gentler, more amusing place.” I realize I kind of just transitioned from the concept of “just doing” to the concept of seeing life in this manner, but as always, I’m just letting the stream of thoughts flow.

I think that’s all for now. I don’t really want to exceed two pages on these sessions; I like having at most two so I can see them side by side and not scroll. Just a weird quirk of mine. So yeah, that was my weekend, another weekend surviving the outbreak. Life is still so good to me, and I’m grateful for it. Weirdly enough, things are starting to become quite peaceful for me, inside and outside. I plan for that feeling of peace and fulfillment to continue.

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