Thursday, November 13, 2014

Can't Talk

Although everyone under 25 years of age will disagree with me here, it is my belief that real communication comes in the face to face spoken word, which includes both words and body language.  Nothing has ever confirmed my belief more than a recent bout of laryngitis.  After about four hours in my forced vow of silence, I started wondering what would happen if we only had so many words to use over a life time, and what if I’d used all mine up.  Then I started wondering what words I would never have said if I’d know this fate was to befall me.

Did everyone in my senior class need to know that Kathy Mae slept with the entire football team as a bonus for a game well played?  Kathy Mae and I did not travel in the same circle, so I really don’t know if this is true, however, don’t tell anybody, but I heard from some very reliable sources...

Did I really need to call Frances Belle Wilkinson “fat so” and “zit face” because she uninvited me to her pool party?  Wouldn’t it have been better to tell her “you’re mean?”  Two less words.

After three days of texting and e-mailing my needs, often being misunderstood because my voice inflection was not present, sound returned to me; all my words intact.  I’d like to say that I “wax eloquent” and I speak the poetry of another famous Dylan all the time, but that would be lying; I hate lying.  What is true, is that when I start to gossip or yell at someone, there is an unpleasant twist in the pit of my stomach that reminds me, “This could be your last word.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Minecraft at 50 something

I am madly in love with my nephew.  Because of this, I was willing to spend hours hovering over his shoulders, while he created amazing universes that include museums, libraries, coffee shops and hot dog stands.  Once in a while, he'd tire of my loitering, and suggest I purchase a game of my own, then we can be co-maestros of worlds yet to be founded.  I'd always decline, preferring to champion his next effort (that's what I told him anyhow.  The truth is, I had a love affair with the Mario Brothers in my 20's, and spent many a sleepless night trying to save the princess. Yes, you could call it gamer addiction).  My other excuse, was that my 2004 laptop couldn't handle the massiveness of Minecraft (this was 100% true).

When I purchased a new Apple, the hard sell began (read - I know I have you wrapped around my pinky finger and I've decided it's time for you to cave).  So, I plunked down the $20 at, and as suspected, I'm hooked.  Yes, we do spend Sunday afternoons creating villages, complete with villagers, water features and high rises, and we laugh and he complains when I do something terribly un-expertly-Minecrafty (aka "n00b").  But as I feared, I'm hooked.  When he goes home, I mine and search for diamonds and hidden shelters filled with lava and water falls, sometimes until midnight (which is two hours past my bedtime).  

This is totally different than my former days though.  This time, I'm exercising my brain.  After all, the use of tools such as mathematics, logic and creative acumen is intrinsic to Minecraft play.   Minecraft is surely better than any crossword, and I'm improving my skills so that my darlin little guy can complain less and fun more.  And, he designs "mini-games" that force logic, fun and to his credit, they're better than any thing available on the market.  This is not addiction, this is improvement, growth and perhaps even spirituality.