23 October 2006

A Nice Change of Pace

This weekend was both pleasant and extremely frustrating.

Midway through last week my brother and his girlfriend rang up to say they'd be coming for the weekend; we see them rarely enough so it was a nice change from the usual. However like all changes might, it came with a downside - that is me doing a lot less work than planned, precisely because I see them so infrequently and thus could not afford to shut myself away and get anything done.

But to concentrate on the good - it'd been a long while since I've actually particpated in any real discussion as opposed to idle conversation. Actually talking about things - current affairs, politics, old times, whatever else, made a change and it was nice to have my mind and ideas challenged for a change. When the majority of my social interactions consist of idle chatter over meals or side banter whilst really doing something else I find my brain switching off, and I'm sure that contributes to the malaise I described here. Opportunities to fight back against that kind of slow braindeath are to be welcomed at every turn, and it was a pleasant chance to exercise the old grey matter.

Another thing that was really good about the weekend was that I just didn't end up ploughing any significant length of time into WoW... the time spent not working was ploughed into other pursuits - both while the guests were here and before they arrived as well as since they left last night. This is another good fight I want to make myself fight - the "MMO as default activity" syndrome that both sucks all enjoyment out of the game itself and contributes to the mental dullness and general lack of motivation. I'd like to get back to the point where I either only log in when I am going to enjoy it - i.e. it's a choice of something I want to do at the time rather than something I'm doing because I can't think of anything else to do with my free time (hence the default activity line) - or I cancel the account again because I'm not enjoying it under any circumstances.

Instead, whilst my brother was here we played a few games of Carcassonne (Hunters and Gatherers edition). It never, ever, ceases to amaze me how amazing the Carcassonne games are. Dead simple in principle, dead complex to master, great fun, endlessly replayable and accessable to everyone - keen player of games or not. Tiles FTW!

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