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Monday, December 24, 2012

Reflejos

En silencio hay veces que se aprenden las lecciones mas profundas; es uno de los misterios de la vida que la calma también puede hacer sentir como si uno si estuviera ahogando. Mi alma esta atrapada; encadenada por inquietud. No se lo que me molesta, y estoy tratando de encontrar la solución. En este año que muere, he pasado mucho, derrotes de la vida que me han dejado destrozada y en pedazos, pero aun así no he perdido el animo de seguir. Aun con animo, estoy cansada, perdida. Mi prima siempre dice que una persona debe ser su propio héroe, y es un idea atractiva, pero como puede ser alguien un héroe con un alma fatigada y que no suporta mas? Como seguir sonriendo, cuando lo único que ven tus ojos es la destrucción de todo lo que que creas, de todo que una vez fue tu fortaleza?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Olvido

Siéntate junto a mi
Aquí en el jardín de mi soledad,
Te voy a contar la historia de un amor fundido.
Hablemos de promesas hechas, murmullos de amor...
Convertidos en cruel traición.


Una vez no era lo que soy ahora...
Una mujer desencantada
Un alma sufriendo un exilio de calor
Y de cariño...


Una vez caminaba con propósito,
Mis pasos asegurados, fortalecida
En la promesa de amor de aquel que me amaba,
Y que yo también amaba...


No fui siempre el fantasma de tristeza
En cual me han convertido los años
De desilusión, y rabia.


Una vez, sabia como sonreír...
La risa me acompañaba siempre
Y las lagrimas eran lagrimas contentas...
No lagrimas de amargura, de perdida.


Una vez amé con certidumbre, y no la confusión
Que ahora me atrapa y me consume...
Confusión engendrada por un dolor mas fuerte
Que la puñalada mas traicionera.


Una vez fui, pero me olvido...
Me olvido
Me olvido
Me olvide.




Dedicado a las memorias di mi pasado en Noviembre 2012.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sola

In broken halls long since bathed by candle glow...
A Lady, walks; besieged by woe
Her step uncertain, her thoughts in disarray
She paces till the night flees the coming of the day

Finding no lasting solace
Her eyes glance to the empty corner
Where once stood he; and is no more
In reaching, she grasps only cold shadows

Longing for warmth and plagued by memories
Once, they were tender mercies
And not the treacherous echo
Of the one she loved, and has let go...

The silence broken by her sobs
She cries till tears no longer come
And the weight of her sorrow
Forces her to walk, again, alone

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elegy of the Broken Arrow

The world held its breath
To hear what you had to say;
The silence was heavy when you
Said you could not stay...

We said we were happy for you,
We did not lie; and yet the ground
Was wet with our tears when you
Passed us by...

Your humility as you exited the stage
Was worthy of an epic playwrights' pen, Not the verses of one with Such a hapless quill...

You said to me once...
You didn't know what inspired so many to follow you and follow after...
No matter where you would go;

And I remember saying that you were
A paragon we all aspired to follow and to please; that your trust and Belief in us was priceless and dear;

You said loyalty and respect you Prized above all else, and so we Strived to be a cut above the rest
In word and deed; but it was your vision that made us the best...

But now the arrow lies broken...
The bowstring has gone to dust.
And all that remains is the need
To guard your legacy, and what's
Left of us...

Dedicated to The Prince
17 September 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

One of my favorite poems, "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Latin 101: "Invictus" means "unconquered" in Latin.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gamers Who are Asking for It

In my previous post, I mentioned how I am playing Crystal Saga now,and how I really am enjoying a return to PC gaming as a result. Remember I said CS enables co-op and competitive play?

One of the events that offers an opportunity for competitive play is the Sengolia Battleground event which takes place daily at server times 15:00 and 19:00. The fancy name is meant to hide from noobs the fact that it's like being a really slow guy who manages to catch a football and run to the touchdown zone.

In the middle of avoiding fifty-million people whose sole desire at the moment is to eliminate you in the most efficient and utterly humiliating way possible, you have towers; towers that belong to your faction and to the faction that's opposing you. While you are running around trying not to killed, your job is to destroy your enemies' towers, along with the ultimate fortification, the opposing teams' Crystal of Life.

Anyway, I'm in there fighting on the Spirit side and I noticed that Player X from my previous post and The Prince are on my team. X and The Prince come up with some pretty sweet tactics and another friend goes off to draw Demon threat.

While all this is going on, some lower-level player starts ranting about how Sengolia is rigged; (it's not) the developers have put in place controls that more or less equalize the playing field, probably because they got tired of drinking coffee brewed from noob tears...half the time, I get spanked in Seng too, because my teleport works the wrong way or doesn't work at all.

Anyway, after his ranting about that, he decides to take out his frustration on the Lunar Goddess. Who is on the opposing faction. And a nice person. But still SCARY to meet on a battlefield. I mean, her character's outfit is cute and frilly, but it's like a zombie Minnie Mouse that just keeps coming back. And zombie Minnie Mouse is distracting you with her cuteness so she can fire an arrow of doom right between your eyes...

While I'm pondering this and trying to avoid the Lunar Goddess and The Mightiest Disciple, it occurs to me that this idiot might be the one that appealed to The Plushie King to stop the Goddess from killing him in the Guild Resource Battleground. The Plushie King was not moved by these entreaties, and so the petition for clemency was flatly denied.

The GRB is another PvP event, and you must collect certain resources and transport them to the guild management guy. You have one hour, which is more than enough time to get everything you need even if you do get slaughtered a few times, which happens to everyone...hell, I was in their a few days ago and The Prince yawned in my direction and I died. It happened so fast, I couldn't even figure out how he killed me. I think he flicked a booger on me...but the best part; he whispers me and tells me, "sorry, I pressed the wrong key."

I still managed to complete the thing, even though after my unceremonious death, I scowled at the computer. In the words of the geektastic Wil Wheaton, "Don't be a dick." There really is no need for it and it makes people look stupid and immature.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gaming and Gender Issues

I recently started playing a new MMORPG called Crystal Saga. The game mechanics are complicated, the environments are beautiful and it enables competitive and cooperative play. Sounds great, right? I was playing the game the other day when an important topic came up that instantly attracted my attention.

There was a lively discussion brewing in world chat about vanquishing bosses and lesser players. One player, whom I shall refer to as Player X in this post, contended that using the term, “rape” in the context of defeating bosses and lesser/unskilled players was harmless and when used in gaming context, a perfectly acceptable term.

Some players immediately piled on Player X, decrying his use of the term as offensive and trivializing a traumatizing event that has impacted many lives. Some players hurled insults at Player X over his continued insistence that the term was acceptable. Other players attempted to compromise; they attempted to suggest alternate forms of expression that were less charged, and alternate forms of expressing the satisfaction that comes with defeating the impossible boss that has excoriated you the other million times you have tried to go against it.

I watched as the debate unfolded, seeing it become organized along gender lines. Males tended to agree with Player X, and said female gamers were being overly sensitive and narrow-minded. Female players asserted that while everyone has a right to free speech, Player X was simply being asked to find a different way of expressing himself without offending. Player X refused this request, and continued to state he was fine with the term and would continue to use it.

Player X was then muted and ignored by many of the female, higher-level gamers of the group, and the debate ended. Everyone began to get back to the business of leveling up characters and fighting through dungeons. Everyone except me.

I began to think about Player X's actions and the reactions to his actions. Being a rape survivor myself, I thought about what his usage of the term in such an offhand manner meant to me. For me, it's not about whether or not I thought his usage of the term was appropriate or flippant; it's about the fact that this word does not define me, and his casual usage of it does not make me any less of a survivor or any less of a person.

If someone chooses to make an asshat of themselves, we have the option of trying to persuade them to see an alternate option, or we have the option to excise their malignancy from our midst through the use of mute buttons and ignore features. It all boils down to what option works better for us as individuals.

As for me, I'm glad I was in a position to see this debate unfold. Female gamers are often a marginalized minority in the gaming community, so this was an especially significant moment to me. We have struggled to be let into this boy's club, but we will not be denied. We are here. And, we're not leaving.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Aerogarden Report

I am happy to report that I have several seedlings beginning to show through my Aerogarden domes. I had doubts about the Genovese Basil, but it's coming up. I will post some pictures as soon as I can. The thyme and dill seem to be coming up as well, but the mint seems to be giving me trouble again this year. Growing mint from seed is a really hard thing to do and it's often very unrewarding and fruitless. Mint doesn't breed true from seed, so it often takes several generations when growing by seed to find a plant with optimum taste and other factors, such as leaf and seed production. I only keep trying because I'm stubborn. Well, very stubborn...,

The jury is still out on whether I will see any Lemon Basil this year, but I hope so. Last year's plants were so leafy and aromatic. I have to buy some soil to set up my raised garden beds but I have a few new types of peppers I'll be trying this year as well as some salad greens and spinach.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Planting Season!

I started up my Aerogarden 6 today with a selection of aromatic herbs I can't wait to cook with. I have Thyme, Genovese Basil, Lemon Basil, Mint, Dill, and Oregano. I think I will be planting some salad greens in my Aerogarden 7. I love growing as much of my produce as I can. It gives me a real sense of accomplishment knowing what I am putting on my kids' plates, and knowing that it's healthy and chemical free. In the meantime, here are some pictures from my wildflower garden in my front yard.






Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The First Day

Mom spent her first full day back at home today, and it was surprisingly pleasant. We listened to one of my favorite Putumayo CDs, one I bought at Earthbound Trading because it reminded me of her and she enjoyed it quite a bit.

After we heard the CD, I put on a Russell Peters comedy special and we both laughed quite a bit. I managed to get quite a bit of laundry done and folded. Mom told me that my sister mentioned that I was "ghetto" because I own a set of wooden TV trays. I'm sorry, I didn't realize being practical was such a crime as well as an indicator of socioeconomic status. This from the person who hangs out with the most festering pieces of human garbage the state of Florida has to offer...

I try not to go through life hating anyone or holding grudges, but at this point, I really do hate certain individuals.

A Moment of Weakness

It looks like Mom was able to get her stuff out of my sister's house safely. Now we are waiting on a discharge date from the hospital. I'm not to sure I'm thrilled about having her back, but I couldn't leave her there after everything that's happened. Mom says she is getting out of the hospital in a few hours. I miss T. I wish he was here. Somehow, I always feel stronger when he is with me. He's kind of a good luck charm, with inspiration thrown in.

In other news, I am trying out my laptop, but I have discovered a serious problem; it seems that it is not accepting the power cable. It does not seem to want to charge my computer. I don't know what to do. It says the status is plugged in, but not charging. I finally get the old girl started and now this. Can't anything ever be easy?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Soap Opera

Mom's back in the hospital again. Her blood pressure is through the roof. I guess all the problems with my sister are getting to her. She told me today that she was afraid for her life. T said she should come back to the house under those circumstances, but I am scared that if she does, things will go back to being the way they were.

T and I have been fighting quite a bit lately, especially about my family. My mom doesn't have the greatest track record, either. She has a tendency to be controlling and manipulative, and before she left, she didn't want to do any of the things she knew she needed to be doing for her health. I don't want to enable her to be detrimental to herself.

I also don't want any more damage to me and T's relationship. It's been seven years of hell with mom in the picture, especially with T's penchant for holding grudges...I understand that the grudges T has against my mother result out of a sense of loyalty to me, but that doesn't make it any easier to take when I get caught in the middle.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Setbacks

Lately, it seems that my whole universe has been flipped on its ear. I think it started going to hell when Danny died. I went even further into depression and my diet and exercise commitment suffered greatly. I am only now starting to feel better emotionally, but now the arthritis in my knee is flaring. I am going to try to work out regardless.

I haven't really had a chance to do much gardening yet, and my amaryllis was coming up nicely until the caterpillars discovered them. Now they are in pieces. Literally.

The poppies are coming along nicely, and I have a slew of beautiful visitors beating a path to my front door. It cheers me up to see them. I have several different species of butterflies coming to the flowerbeds. I wish I knew what this one is..it's so pretty!

Here is a close up of the poppies: The poppies are slightly windblown thanks to our lovely Texas wind, but I think their coloring is absolutely gorgeous.


As far as my relationship with my sister, I have come to the realization that the only course of action is to amputate that relationship. She and I are very different people, and I am at a point in my life where I can no longer tolerate the stress and negativity of being around her. This relationship has become toxic to me, and so, I'm giving up. I'm tired of being dragged into situations that I do not want to be involved in.

This weekend, I am planning on starting up the Aerogardens with some herbs and vegetables, but I am saving one of the Aerogardens to plant with flowers. I haven't decided what kind of flowers yet. Any ideas? Leave your flower suggestions in the comments. My oldest son is trying to get me to plant bluebonnets, but I didn't have any luck with them or the forget me nots I tried to grow last year. I also learned last year that growing mint from seed is a very frustrating and ultimately fruitless experience.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Love Letter

Dear Danny,

Today marks a month that you left to cross the rainbow bridge. I want to tell you that I know you tried to hold on for me, but that you don't need to worry any more. I still miss you so much, and I keep looking around your favorite spots expecting you will be there.

I beat Mass Effect 3, and the victory was hollow because you weren't there to headbutt the controller at the crucial moment in the game. I know I wasn't exactly thrilled when you used to do that, but I'd give anything if you could be here to do it again. I have no one to con me into giving them cans of evaporated milk and no one I have to watch out for when crawling into bed. I miss you, but my life was so much richer for having you in it, that now that you are gone, it's hard to remember a time when I was without you.

I want you to know that I love you and that I will never forget you. I keep your portrait in my room and in the craft room. Thanks for letting me love you, and thank you for loving me.

You will always be my Danny Boy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mass Effect 3 and the Obliteration of Sense

Mass Effect 3 launched in the United States on March 6th, 2012. I started playing my copy two days later. The game was beautiful, the relationships with the characters seemed even more realistic and poignant. Except for the relationship with Thane, that is. But more on that later... The game was beautiful and it quite possibly would have been the best game of the series, except for the end...

I'm not sure how Bioware managed to get everything right only to screw it up in the last moments of the game. If this is Shepard's last story, how could players be treated to endings with no closure, and which two of them are essentially the same? I also don't understand how Bioware can't see how this would be upsetting to fans of the franchise. Bioware writers are incredibly gifted at writing characters that make you believe in them, that reflect all that's wonderful and all that's awful about life. The writers make the characters matter to us. So after executing a literary coup that leaves our hearts firmly in their grasp, they seem oblivious to the fact that it HURTS when they rip those hearts out by the roots.

ME3's larger scope means that Shepard's decisions grow more painful and harder to arrive at than in the previous games; and the effects on Shepard's character are more pronounced as the game goes on. As the countdown to the final climax comes, Shepard's outlook gets grimmer, and lonely. This is one time the Commander needs someone to lean on and there is no respite to be found. I don't believe that life is sunshine and unicorns, but many of us play these games to immerse ourselves in a life that's different than our own, maybe even better in some ways.

Is hope that detrimental to a storyline?

Here is my personal wish for Shepard:

Shepard, if he/she survived the events of ME3, retires, and undergoes therapy to help with the PTSD he/she is suffering from, and the survivor guilt. Shepard marries their love interest, has a beautiful honeymoon, and a kid. This makes Shepard think of the boy that died back on Earth. Shepard doesn't retire completely from the alliance, but serves in a consultant role. However, the years and tragedies have taken their toll and Shepard is deeply scarred and broken. After bringing deliverance and salvation for so many, the Commander is grasping for whatever bits of happiness and normalcy he/she can find... Thane once told the Commander that there comes a time when one must rest from war and conflict, that it wasn't Shepard's time, but that it was his. It is finally Shepard's time to rest. The Commander has earned it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I killed the Archdemon with The Butterfly Sword

Today was T's last day with us, after a blissful leave that had its rough moments as well. I finally got to show T DA I and DA II. He seemed into it even though he says they talk too much in the game. He also decided to be a dwarf. Let me be clear; I friggin' hate the dwarves. The only things I hate more are the wretched Deep Roads. May the Blight infest the mind of whatever Bioware developer decides to put them in DA III! Okay. Personal rant over, I fought my way through Origins several times THE HARD WAY...no cheat codes for this gamer chick. By the time I finished, it felt that I had accomplished something on a legendary level. Oh, and it also felt like I needed therapy... Enter T, the creator of Durango the exiled dwarven noble. T hasn't even fought one serious battle yet, and here he is padding the dwarf with exploited and grossly inflated experience points. Alistair WOULD NOT approve. I have watched this man, (T) use the same exploit for ten minutes now. And he has the nerve to tell me watching my games are mind-numbingly boring. All I can say is that DA III better be co-op multiplayer, or we are going to need marriage counseling up in here... I will be trying to slay the Archdemon with The Butterfly Sword when T goes back though. Minus cheat codes. Oh, and Fenris, if you are out there, come over and we will play gin rummy. I promise I'm not a mage; well, most of the time I'm not... :)