Chaos Attraction

Gaming Birthday

2020-04-24, 3:11 p.m.

”I am so happy to hear it helped. We wanted to make sure you felt as awesome as you are today. We're sorry it's during stay at home order time.” --Jess

This has been a pretty good birthday, under the circumstances. I slept in, got birthday texts from coworkers. Opened my presents from Jackie and the ones I bought myself. Made more popcorn chicken and broke open the Martinelli's blood orange I was saving, which sadly went fast. (I also attempted to eat the cake I had in the fridge...that did not go as well. Don't tell Jackie.) I had a spinning group meeting at lunch and hung out with Vera and Meg and one other girl, talking about craft projects and Zoom fatigue and managing to go weeks without going to the grocery store. Vera had some amusing commentary along the lines of, "I don't know why I share anything with my work people. Why, why, why do I make these mistakes?" and how she and her housemate are just avoiding and hiding in the bedrooms these days. "People are already getting sick of each other." Like I say, it's going to be a drastically different experience for us loners vs. the ones trapped with each other for months/years on end. I was also introduced to the joys of Shitpost Sampler.

Per my therapist, I do a birthday craft that’s supposed to be only done on my birthday. Today’s was a square from the Arne and Carlos knitalong now that it’s back on again.

I'm not really gonna comment on the news today because fuck that today, but I did laugh at "Apple News Spotlight" on my iPod: "Injecting disinfectants? Not a good idea. Here's how to spot coronavirus misinformation, no matter the source."

I briefly talked with Dawn, but the connection was very bad, sigh.

I got an utterly random email from Bridget inviting me to some kind of quarantine cooking recipe chain? Um, me of all people? I brought Chinese takeout to the last potluck we had, for chrissake.

I wrote this in response but haven't hit send yet, not sure if I will?

"I think I will have to bow out, as I haven't the faintest idea how to do recipe anything and the last home baked good I made was a Krusteaz corn muffin mix from 2012.... no joke.
Unless (a) open can of tuna, (b) throw a bunch of salad dressing in there, (c) grab some crackers, and (d) throw some of that onion stuff people put on the top of casseroles on top of that counts as a recipe?
But thanks anyway! "

Except I fear that it does?

After that, Meg and I got onto Skype and played the Transformation Game for hours, with my question pretty much being "how do I manage the stress going on right now?" Meg kept saying things about releasing the stress and I was thinking, "yeah, that's not going to happen, my goal is just to not start screaming, and stopping crying would be nice."

Meg isn't feeling too angsty compared to the rest of us about being trapped indoors, she says she's enjoying being an introvert, hasn't had that much contact with people, and that this way nobody gets annoyed at her for being "a black Lab," i.e. naturally cheerful. I pointed out that really, she's not annoying like that at all, and where I get annoyed is when I am feeling poorly and then someone is being perky in my face insisting I do the same when I am not up to it, and she doesn't do that.

Points made during the game:

* She said, "When something's not working, you drop in deep," (an analogy from doing mountain rescue), like dropping below the raging river: it doesn't change it, but it lets you be part of it while not being pushed around by it.
* Finding other things to do helps a lot.
* "This moment is all we've got."
* We need to find ways for people to answer their own questions--this was after me ranting about answering portals.
* "If you do a lot of mindfucking..." which I certainly do.
* Meg: time doesn't exist and isn't linear. Believe what you want to believe.
* "That's nice to have a friend get you out of your pain."
* "You have to risk emotionally to get the support you need."
* "It takes one person risking before the other does it."
* I have inner conflict between "I'll leave" and "I'll be there no matter what."
* "Even if he says no, I don't want to, ignore it," as he doesn't know what he wants yet. "You know it's the relationship that should happen."
* She told me I should send him a card or something and was kind of insisting that I do it right now ("you have to do this, you have to"), and I said I just cannot do it. Seriously, if I am getting "bug off and go away" vibes, then I take the hint and leave. If he doesn't want to be bothered, then I won't. No one wants to be creepy stalker who won't take the hint and go away. How many times do I have to poke him and get no response and feel awful that I tried and acted like a creepy stalker?

After that I had some phone calling with Mom and then went on to the Florida gaming party. God bless Claire because otherwise this wouldn't have happened. I got a few emails from California people saying they couldn't come, but Ashley was the only one who did. God bless Ashley too. Claire, Rich/Bottom/Algernon (I guess Claire was visiting Rich that weekend? Looked like his bookcase behind them and they were together) and Garrett (Lysander/Chausible) all broke out the funny hats and we played Scattergories and then several Jackbox games. We did one called Guesspionage that I was ridiculously terrible at, as I can't guess other people's stuff for crap. Then we did "Trivia Murder Party," which indeed is what it says on the tin...the idea is a psycho serial killer makes you play trivia, generally murders the participants and brings one back from the dead if everyone dies so that someone "wins." Very perverse game there. I'm not sure what to make of it. My favorite was "Quiplash 2," which is one of those "make up silly smartass answer" games and I am down with that.

After that, the Florida contingent went to bed, and Ashley and I did a bit of karaoke. She is doing well, doesn't have to go to the doctor at least, and finished her tank top (no, dad hasn't seen it yet, but she did a good job with it) but doesn't know what to make next. She made a cool iridescent dreamcatcher. We tried out YouTube karaoke since Jim was occupied. She did "Part Of Your World" and I did "Let It Go" because nobody can kill us for doing that one now :P At one point Ashley said that she wished we could all do karaoke again, "with Robert and Janene and--" Name redacted. So even she knows, sigh. Fuck.

And now I am left alone to watch Love Never Dies. (Bullshit on that title, btw.)

Notes on "Love Never Dies," the second time I've seen it (first time snark about it over here.)
* I honestly think Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted an excuse to do a freakshow theater show and then maybe just slapped the Phantom idea on top of it/ Like if you wanna do a freaky circus show, fine and dandy, but it didn't necessarily have to be Phantom? Anyway, clearly the fancy circus version of the opening opera scene.
* Oh god, NOBODY CAN EVER GET OVER CHRISTINE, THE INCOMPARABLE CHRISTINE. You know what? She's a nice girl, she's pretty, she's got a beautiful voice and all that, but I dunno if i were the Girys if I'd be that obsessed with her after ten years? More like "Yeah, I remember my friend Christine, nice girl, got menaced by a psychopath, thank god she got married and got out of it, we lost touch since the bad old days, hope she's okay."
* Honestly, one of the worst things about this sequel is that Raoul was turned into a total asshole. I liked having one good guy in the first one. It's very weird that this show is switching Raoul to the bad one (okay, so he drinks and is broke, but he's not like, kidnapping) and that makes the Phantom um....what....exactly? So weird.
* I did like that moment of Raoul and Christine having connection/chemistry again, briefly. I miss that.
* I repeat: WHY THE FUCK DID YOU HAVE SEX WITH THE PHANTOM, WHO YOU KNOW MURDERS AND UNFORTUNATELY HAS SOME SCREWS LOOSE. Of the plot elements of this show that suck the most, that one is #1, with you-know-what's-coming-after-one-night being #2 and Raoul being turned into an asshole as #3. Of course the music's lovely and the costumes are kickass and Christine is beautiful and all that jazz, but frankly, trying to regard them as heartbroken exes...or WHATEVER this is...still fucked up. All this....fondling. Gawd. I find it hard to imagine that this was consenting on her part, but of course if it wasn't that's even worse, but ... Also, then he basically did Drive By? I get that the Phantom is fucked up enough to run from the one thing he threw giant fits about wanting all his life, mind you, but it's still fucking stoopid.
* I am sick of scared males, incidentally. I am done with that shit.
*This dynamic made a lot more sense when I watched it on Jane the Virgin with Rose and Luisa.
* Phantom, YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF THAT YOU MADE YOURSELF PINE FOR TEN EFFING YEARS. Even if I go along with the idea that she voluntarily slept with you, YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF. Fucker.
* "Why does he wear a mask? Is he a magician?" "Yes, darling. In his way." Oy.
* For all the problems I have with the plot of this, I do enjoy Meg and Christine reuniting.
* I seriously don't get Madame Giry and what her motivation is for being loyal towards the Phantom. What the shit is going on with this woman? Is a buttload of money involved?
* Gustave and the Phantom kind of makes me think of a kid being taken around a bunch of pirates. SIGN ME UP FOR THIS, the kid probably thinks.
* Yeah, the "oh great, the Phantom reproduced" is inevitable but still bad.
* Ironic that Raoul is now singing about the mask HE wears. Since when, sir?
* "I'm afraid her music has always been a bit of a mystery to me." Where the fuck have you been?
* "He's not Mephistopheles, you know. He's just another circus freak." Good job calling THAT out, brah.
* "I still think "Devil Take The Hindmost" is a lulzy title.
* Also, she already chose Raoul, so "finally choosing" is not a thing.
* "My god! What have I done? I could lose her forever! CHRISTINE!" And the fucking clue bat drops on Raoul's head. NO, DUMBASS, DON'T AGREE TO SHIT LIKE THIS.
* "Bathing Beauty:" "I went from doing ballet at the opera to this." Also, mood whiplash, anyone?
* What's there to like about this? I do like quick changes.
* Madame Giry is a fucking buzzkill.
* Plot element #5 I don't like: Meg going off the rails.
* "Once this is over" means "I AM DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED."
* "I'll do anything, my darling" = bullshit
* No, seriously, THIS IS A BAD IDEA.
* I still think Christine and Raoul making out is very sweet, even with the way this is going.
* "What answer can I give?" How's about no? Would no work? No would be a good idea right now. Seriously, I don't get why she isn't all running from the hills because this is kinda in horror movie territory.
* One of the few things I genuinely like: peacock dress.
* Yeah, still icked out by Christine and the Phantom making out.
* I hate this "Meg snapped because she wanted to be the star" plot. What did she fucking expect?
* "Always Christine!" sums up all of this shit.
* And there she goes, shot.
* Yeah, I wouldn't want that guy to raise a hamster, much less a kid who will need therapy for the rest of his life.
* The production value is lovely, the plot's just bad. That's all I have to say about this again.

Today's Pick A Card reading, card deck 2.... Should I believe stuff like this? The "they know they did you wrong, they want another opportunity, they love you, they're just feeling like a basket case right now and can't do anything and you have to" stuff that's in all the readings?

Look, I get that he can't right now, for whatever awful crappy reasons. But that doesn't mean I'm not annoyed and seriously thinking I need to take the hint and go away and not fucking bother. Or feeling a bit like crap that he didn't do anything, and that applies to my theater friends too.

I have been at near-tears at points during the day but didn't totally lose it today. Yay. But some folks really came through today, so let's celebrate those people instead.

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