What a summer so far. And by summer i mean the colloquial version of it. This year’s solstice occurs on June 21 at 5:04am. Which of course means it’s still spring right now. But with the recent run of consecutive sunny days, summer classes, and the season of blockbuster films in swing, it’s kinda like summer has already begun. But unlike childhood years of blissful days of freedom, or traditional student years of well-deserved breaks, i’ve been pretty darn busy. So busy, in fact, that the Long Shot got shunted down the list of Things i Have To Do.
After graduation i want to spend a week here. i don’t know where this is but it looks very nice.
In its place, stuff like “school,” “work,” and sometimes even “sleep” shot up a few notches. But right now, as it was about two weeks ago, i find myself with a rare bit of extra time. Curiously, at the very moment i tapped out that last sentence, my phone began to ring. Instinctively i reached for it…but then withdrew my grasp.
i’m writing, dammit!
That’s something i’ve actually done a lot this summer so far. All told, i’ve tapped about 42,000 words in the last five weeks between my advertising class, articles for the Stater, and the little bit of blog posting i managed to squeeze in. According to Convert Words to Pages that’s about 105 pages. Bear in mind that doesn’t include correspondence emails to article sources, transcribing interviews, and other miscellany.
Okay, confession time: i have taken several nightly excursions to a galaxy far, far away after discovering Star Wars: The Old Republic, upon which i am hooked. What a terrific, well-crafted MMO. Color me impressed. Probably the best aspect of that game is the story, or stories, that your character crafts for themselves during a playthrough. Gotta hand it to Bioware – they know how to put a story together and immerse players. i’m an unabashedly gigantic Mass Effect geek, unhesitating to name it as the best game(s) i have ever played. By the time my beloved FemShep sniper brought about galactic synthesis, it felt like she was a real person. The decision-making choices throughout the game became a non-issue; it was very clear what my Commander Shepard would do in any of those situations. And even though she was kind of a bitch, she would never do anything to endanger the crew of the Normandy. Everyone made it through to the very end (except Kaiden). Ahh, Kaiden…i should have let you live. If Barda Shepard was a bitch, that would make Ashley, well, it’s not polite to use that sort of language (unless you’re British, but that wouldn’t mean the same thing). Once i learned that Jennifer Hale lends her excellent voice acting to the female trooper, i just had to make one of those.
So yeah, SWTOR. It’s a sandbox game and it’s got something for every taste. Player-versus-environment, player-versus-player, minigames, co-op, space combat, customization, collecting, crafting, you name it. i settled on the Imperial Agent for my main toon because it offered my #1 favorite role of any combat-inclusive game: the sniper. But you know what? When it came time to choose an advanced class, i went the other direction and chose the Operative. Why? i don’t know. In the moment, i thought i ought to branch out a little and try something different. i am regretful. Picking off baddies from a mile away is certainly more my style. But i stuck with my decision and i’m having a lot of fun mixing it up. Sure, i could have re-rolled but i was already in too deep. My agent had developed a personality that i liked and i couldn’t bear to delete him. He is a complicated fella, cold-blooded Imperial assassin one minute and defiant operative the next. Mostly this is due to the fact that Force-users in general rub me the wrong way, and he’ll go out of his way to thumb his nose at orders handed down by the Sith. Why the empire (or the republic for that matter) leaves important decision-making to Hatfield-and-McCoy zealotry is beyond me. Lest he ever get too vicious, my stalwart RL friend and DDO partner – also a newly converted SWTOR fan – is usually there to choose the goodie-two-shoes conversation options.
Go ahead. Try it.
As for other snippets of relaxation during this hectic time, i’ve got a big ol’ backlog of Dr. Who to catch up on. Coming in eight years late, i picked up the series with the ninth incarnation of the Doctor (not counting the fourth doctor that i watched as a kid). Like it is with so many things that are widely loved, i felt pretty skeptical that i would like the show when i started watching them. i could not have been more wrong, and now proudly consider myself a Whovian. There’s just something special about the series, and countless others have already described it much more eloquently than me. It’s just fun. i will say though, part of the hook that got me literally one minute into the revived series episode “Rose” was immediate nostalgia for London. When i visited there in 2001 i absolutely loved it. The memory of emerging from Victoria Station will forever be burned into my mind, and right away i thought “i want to go back to London.” Who knows, maybe after i graduate next spring, fate will find me a gig there. i’m certainly open to relocating outside of America. In fact, that’s my main plan.
So silly, yet so compelling.
Outside-the-home entertainment is another thing i’ve had the opportunity to rekindle this summer as well. Used to be i went to the movies a lot. A LOT. Like, there’s so many times i’ll see something on cable and think “gawd, i actually paid money to see this in the theatre?!” Over the years i’ve become much more selective in what i’ll shell out money to see. In the last couple of years, i think i went to the movies twice, to see Drive in 2011 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This year, i’ve seen Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Man of Steel (shocking choices huh?). Liked it a lot, a little too pandering, and loved it, respectively. Looking down the pike i’m very excited to see Pacific Rim, and The Wolverine looks pretty good too.
Huh. In light of all that, i guess this summer hasn’t been too bad after all. i found a great new game to sink my teeth into, saw a bunch of cool movies, and discovered the wonderful gem that is Dr. Who. Why was i thinking it’s been so rough so far?
Oh yeah. Sleep! Or, the distinct lack thereof. Up until…yesterday…i hadn’t slept more than five hours in one night. Granted, that was often due to my own method of over-doing things. But that’s how i do. Sure, i could have banged out those articles for the Stater using press releases and sorta phoned them in. And maybe it’s a sign that i’m not all that great at journalism, but i really took my time to craft the best articles i could muster for those and i hope that showed. And yeah, i could have half-assed my advertising class assignments. “C’s get degrees” and all that. But most of them were writing assignments and, as you may guess, that’s something i enjoy doing. Plus, i’m a big time nerd and i want to keep my straight-A streak going as long as possible.
Yesterday, i decided, would be a much-needed mental health day. i do not work at my job on Mondays (during this semester anyway), and i could manage to miss our not-strictly scheduled class meetings. With the whole day off, i could have gotten really ahead with school work and/or put together a much nicer post for you to read (thanks for getting this far today btw). Instead, i slept in, took a walk through the Metropark, finally got that stubborn video card installed, went out for tasty coffee beverages with a friend, caught up on gaming with another, and watched three Dr. Who episodes – in a row! i felt a bit guilty about shirking my other duties. But lo and behold, by 4pm today i’m all caught up again. Sort of. There still remains one more article for next week’s Stater, a couple of writing assignments, and a Powerpoint. But i’ll get ’em done.
As long as i get five hours of sleep, i’m golden.
At least for the next five weeks until i can sleep in again.