I’m usually a pretty relaxed guy. I’m not as stressed about unemployment as some people are, and I try to take hardship in stride. But I have curious eccentricities like anyone else, and I’m sometimes stressed by things that others would find trivial or even enjoyable.
1. I HATE travel
I find it immensely stressful. Partly this is because travel is so difficult. If I’m separated from my medicine, I become, basically, an invalid. And it’s terribly hard to GET prescription meds on the road. Even moreso during the weekend. So, losing a small item can render the entire trip worthless. You can keep pills in more than one container for redundancy, but you can’t split an inhaler in half. And drug stores have become overbearing and nanny-ish when it comes to “stocking up”.
But most of my stress comes from the basic difficulties of moving around. Getting lost. Making sense of foreign public transportation systems. Securing belongings. You might lose your stuff. Or lose yourself. Or get stranded someplace.
Then there’s the challenge of finding accommodations. They need to be close to your destination. They need to be affordable. And in my case, I need to be able to make sure there haven’t been pets in the building for any length of time for the last several years. Animal dander can reduce me to helplessness in very low doses, and finding out my room is poison after I check in is a mess.
It’s expensive, time consuming, confusing, and risky. No matter how fun the location is, if I’m the road, I’m stressed until I get home.
2. I get stressed in crowds
Some people thrive in a crowd. I don’t.
3. I HATE last-minute plans
One of my ways of coping with the stress of travel or crowds is to plan it ahead of time. I want to have lots of time to find just the right place to stay, plan just the right route, plan our expenses, and pack all the right stuff in order to avoid complications. I can cope with these things better if I see them coming and have time to mentally prepare myself for them.
And yet, here we are, planning a last-minute trip to PAX East. Months ago we scrapped our plans to attend, because we just didn’t have the money. Your recent generosity has changed that. We’ve got enough to pay the bills for a while and still have some left over for the trip to Boston.
But doing this at the last minute is messy. PAX runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 11-13. Three day passes are sold out. Saturday is sold out. Application for press passes is closed. If we go, we’ll have to miss Saturday.
We don’t want to get tickets until we’re sure we can find a place to stay. We don’t want to book a hotel until we have the babysitting worked out. But we need to get tickets soon before they sell out.
I have a bunch of emails from people asking if I’m going to PAX East. Lots of people want to meet me. I want to meet them. I want to see the exhibits. I’ve wanted to go for years, and now that I have the free time it seems like a good time to go.
It might not fall together, but we’re working on it.
The Best of 2013
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2013.
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
Gamers Aren’t Toxic
This is a horrible narrative that undermines the hobby through crass stereotypes. The hobby is vast, gamers come from all walks of life, and you shouldn't judge ANY group by its worst members.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
The Terrible New Thing
Fidget spinners are ruining education! We need to... oh, never mind the fad is over. This is not the first time we've had a dumb moral panic.