the end of an epic

Last week-end, I finished playing Mass Effect 3. It is the final instalment in a trilogy of video games, which I would attempt to summarise here except that I’m not sure where to start, and I’m sure there are better explanations already on the internet. In basic terms, it’s a game in which you play as a character named Shepard, who has to save the galaxy from various evils.

It is very much like a “choose your own adventure” book but in game form — at various points in the game, you have to make decisions that will affect what happens next or what happens further along in the game. Even when your Shepard talks to other characters, you choose between different dialogue options to shape your character as more friendly (paragon) or mean (renegade). I suppose this makes it very easy to become personally invested in the game, as it feels like a unique experience shaped by your own choices, which are likely made based on what you would do if you were in Shepard’s situation. 

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happy days

It’s Sunday night here, but it’s a public holiday tomorrow, so it feels like Saturday. But yesterday also felt like Saturday, so I guess things are pretty good here.

I’ve been busy but not overly productive. I had the day off work on Friday, so I went to visit my friends who were preparing for their holiday to Canada (how I wish I could join them!) I helped them lock their windows, and get rid of rubbish, so they gave me cake and miscellaneous perishable food from their fridge.

A local brewery was doing a special Oktoberfest menu this week-end, so a friend and I went there for lunch on Saturday. We were there last week-end too, but the bar has such a relaxed atmosphere, and the staff are so chill, I’d happily become a regular. One of the owners was working behind the bar, and he actually remembered us from last week. I take that as a good thing. I’m sure they think our patronage is a good thing too.

Today (Sunday) I wanted to catch up with a couple of other friends. I reckon Sunday session friends are pretty high up in the unofficial hierarchy of friends. You know, the kind of friends you want to round out the week-end with, or the ones you can talk to for hours (hence the Sunday sesh should preferably start in the early afternoon, to allow ample time to chinwag until the sun goes down).

I’m not sure why, but I thought I’d be home early on Friday night, and I thought I’d be home for dinner on Saturday night, and likewise for tonight… But cleaning and other things went late on Friday, and we ended up at an arcade bar on Saturday, and I completely was not keeping track of time at all tonight. So the cooking and cleaning and blogging and writing that I had planned this week-end didn’t happen. Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

There is tonight, and there is tomorrow. And just now I got a feeling of deja vu, as if I’ve written this kind of post before, and very possibly I have because I guess this is the kind of thing I do not learn. But if I have a chance to go out and hang out with friends (and try some good beers), then I will take it. Chores can wait — I know I’m not that irresponsible that I’m never going to get around to them — and I will carve out time for writing.

Speaking of writing, I’ve started working on a new story. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make this novel-length, or maybe it’s better to just keep it as a short story, but it’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about an idea for a story, so I’m just going to write and let it develop into whatever it’s meant to be. I guess that’s kind of how life is…

the conclusion of a journey

On Thursday night, I (finally) finished proofreading my novel. In hindsight, I reckon it didn’t actually take that long after I forced myself to sit down and work on it. I didn’t really rewrite much of it, but there were a few (small) paragraphs that I deleted completely and, as reluctant as I was about deleting stuff (so many words that I’d probably agonised over for so long), it also felt quite good to rid my story of all this flotsam and jetsam. In the end, however, I’m pretty sure I added more than I deleted…  Continue reading

the scarf enigma

I was going to write this particular post earlier (as in, in the middle of winter) but kept forgetting or having other things to post instead. But now, since I have come to a week where I don’t really feel like writing about anything (just don’t have that spark, you know?), I thought this was a good chance to post this before winter is officially over.

It being winter is not actually that relevant to this post, but I’m reminded of this story when I see people wearing scarves, particularly small silk scarves.

I actually heard this story all the way back in grade 7 (which was still primary school back then), and it was told to my class by a substitute teacher. The thing that puzzles me (and perhaps the reason why the story has stuck with me for so long) is that there didn’t seem to be any point whatsoever in her telling us this story.

I’m feeling a bit tired/sleepy (I’ve been up since 5am, but somewhat awake even before that) so I’m just going to give you the abridged version (not that I can remember exactly how she told it, anyway). I’m actually quite interested in knowing if anyone else knows this story too, and if there actually is a point to it…

Just a quick warning: it’s not a very pleasant story, so don’t read it if you don’t like unpleasant stories. Also, if you really like scarves, you might want to preserve your good opinion of them by not reading this story.

There was once a woman who always wore a scarf, 24/7. She was pretty normal otherwise. She married a man who accepted her scarf-wearing. In all the time that he knew her, he never once saw her without a scarf around her neck. As the years went by, and they grew old together, he didn’t question her. However, one day, when she was on her deathbed, he asked her to tell him why she always wore a scarf – he had to know before she died.

She relented, but rather than tell him, she decided to show him. She promptly took off the scarf she was wearing … and her head fell off.

That’s seriously the entire story. Even as a kid, being told this story, I questioned it. Why on earth would she tell us that story??