Wet spring

Bára

It is spring. It is wet.
It suits me.

I love the role play campaign I’m running.

It’s a weekly thing. Berglaug, Becky, and Hákon are my players, and their dynamic has become a source of inspired hilarity.

Set in a city, with interwoven storylines of political conflict, magical mystery, and exploration, it tells the tale of three unusual heroes who blossom into something amazing.

Dylan, the flamboyant kleptomaniac who fell in love with the shadows.
Amara, the librarian with the unexpected thirst, and talent, for adventure.
Willow, the timorous klutz who discovers her feral nature… and likes it…

I’d love to write a story based on their adventures.

I’m finding more time to write, now and then. Which is strange, because time has become such a limited resource. My energy, too, flags with all I try to do. Some days, it’s all I can do to get through the basics.

It’s a good life. A full life.
I am growing, with all the pain and reward that entails.

A thousand little things

Weather fluctuations. Snow and hail one day, then rain, then sun, then snow again. Every day is an exercise in wardrobe adjustment.

Finding a balance between my appetites and available time.

Work has been a rush of ambition and drive lately. Changing things around, working closely with interesting customers, getting a glimpse of potentially game-changing business alliances, collaborating with exciting innovations… lifelong geek that I am, I always have an opinion.

Spent a lot of time with friends, yummy food and watching things… Nanwich and American Hustle with Amanda. Mango chutney salmon and The Usual Suspects with Sandra. Dead Snow 2 and cheesy chicken chili with Mobus. Louisiana chicken and Da Vinci‘s Demons with Óskar. And Hákon and I even managed to finish season 5 of True Blood, finally…

Saturdays are children‘s party days. Last Saturday, we finally met Þórdís and Eiki‘s baby boy during his sister‘s 3 year old birthday. It was delightful to see how much she‘s grown, and to be reminded how incredibly small and fragile we are in the beginning. Cliché, perhaps, but poignantly true: they grow up so fast… Next Saturday is Þorkatla‘s 1 year old birthday. I can‘t believe it‘s been a year already.

In between, I lift things. I can feel myself getting stronger. I want to stay active. Going swimming with Hilmir, pole fitness with Amanda, going for the occasional solitary walk to clear my head… anything to keep moving. I love this momentum, and it‘s transferring into every aspect of my life.

Moving.

Weathering

You’d never guess I was an introvert by my social calendar.

My only ‘private time’ these days is in the gym. Which is hardly private, but I block out the world with music and single-minded focus. One more rep. Maintain posture.

I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine, about the ideal of happiness and actual happiness. If pursuing happiness is detrimental to your health, can it be happiness? It’s a pertinent question, especially to someone as relentless as me. I push myself too hard, but maybe the rewards are worth it?

A leap of faith is an exhilerating moment.
Unless you fall. Then it quickly loses its grandeur…

Flow

weight
I’m moving again.

I lift heavy things and put them back down. Three times a week.
Then I climb up a pole, and contort myself in a hot room.
Powerlifting, pole fitness and hot yoga.
An odd combination, but I have always been eclectic.

It feels good to move.
Effortless motion, quick and controlled.
There’s no wasted energy, no inert mass weighing me down.

woa

I can run like the wind.
Pull a dead weight chin-up or drop down for perfect-posture push-ups.
Flowing from sitting to standing as if pulled by a string, as if gravity had no hold on me.

 

It is a feeling of strength, vitality and control.

It’s a good feeling.

New Christmas

This is Hilmir’s second Christmas.

It’s also his second Christmas while he’s sick. Both times he’s been utterly miserable, with a fever and cough and limited appetite. Let’s hope the third time will be the charm.

This, like last time, is full of family. But, unlike last time, we’re also surrounded by our friends. We’ve managed to create this wonderful network of friends, from all sorts of unlikely corners of life. Life has never been so good.

The end-of-year round-up counts in Hilmir’s growth, with all the accompaniments. Motherhood is growing on me, slowly but surely. But that is far from the only thing. I’ve managed to stay healthy and fit, I’ve made so many wonderful new friends, strengthened bonds with older friends and made some surprising discoveries about myself in the process. I’ve taken up new interests, taken on new responsibilities at work, and learned a whole lot of advanced culinary skill.

What stands out the most are family and friends.

I am surrounded by amazing people.

I am so very grateful.

So much game

torment_kickstarterI‘ve got the MMO bug again.

Resubbed to both EVE and WoW this month. God. Wasn‘t this supposed to be the NaNoWriMo? But no, the eternal timesink of pixellated nostalgia sucked me back in…

Not that I‘m complaining.

It‘s a good feeling. Sitting in my pajamas after Hilmir falls asleep, with Hákon at my side, trampling any digital entity unfortunate enough to land in our path. Team Awesome, back in the game. It‘s looking like a very cozy Christmas, if we can steal away some time just for the two of us.

We‘ve always been a great team. We love playing together. It‘s like we slip into this familiar mode, where we align, perfectly, to each other. Enabling each other to push harder, do more, each excelling with the support of the other. I love that feeling. Shared nerdgasms.

With WoW: Warlords, EQ Landmark, Torment: Tides of Numenera and Project: Eternity scheduled for release 2014, I have no doubt that there is plenty of gaming to be done next year. It‘s been a while since I was this excited about this many upcoming games.

Bring it on.

Tectonic rumblings

http://www.focusedonlight.com/

Photo from http://www.focusedonlight.com/

I met a person from my past the other day. Someone I haven’t seen for twenty years.

I practically grew up in his house. His family was like a foster family to me. His sister and I were inseparable.

We grew up together. I don’t know him at all.

Such a strange disconnect.

It’s led me to think about the past. People I knew. People I’ve lost contact with. Some I miss, some I don’t. With some I have no idea if they’re even still alive…

There are a couple of people who meant the world to me, that I stopped talking to along the way… for stupid reasons or no reason at all. Fear. Distraction. Confusion. People I wish I could talk to, just to feel the familiar patterns of their minds play against my own. The ones that still evoke a smile and a sigh, and I wish I could hear their voices again but don’t think I can. Those are the sore spots in my heart. The ones I brush over lightly, with aching tenderness, entirely unbecoming a cynic like myself. On dark, oppressive winter days like this, those are the ones I miss.

There are a couple of people I am glad to be rid of. People I expressly, and repeatedly, asked to leave me alone. The clingers. The stalkers. The ones who turned to threats and manipulation when they couldn’t get their way. But I don’t think of them much. I don’t think much of them, either. There is a line that is crossed when threats enter the picture. I can forgive, but I don’t forget.

And then there are all the people whose lives have touched mine. Old friends. Their families. Classmates. Coworkers. People I practiced TKD or BJJ or boxing with. People I gamed with.

My old LiveJournal friends. A special group of beautiful souls that will always have a place in my heart. Ta, Melyssa, Merry, Jer, Eylul, Elina… the ones whose creativity and passion sparked my own. The Finnish forest sprite. The lush womanwitch. The haunted ones. The ones whose raw confessions mirrored mine.

I miss them all.

All the people who have brought me where I am today. Living a life I have constructed out of all my favourite things, my surface smoothed to hide the transform faults in my identity. On most days I am joyously confident and delighted with this.

But today is one of those days…

I am loved. I love. I am grateful and happy and so so humbled by the kindness in my life. But I am also growing older, and I am acutely aware of how much loss I have yet in store.

Loss and bounty. Life and love.
Big stuff in my brain today.

Halloween & Happiness

Bára Halloween2Halloween.
Our favourite holiday.

I was steampunk, H was Totoro.

We attended Halloween Iceland – a no-costume-no-entry event, gathering the greatest costume nerds in Iceland. The costumes were amazing. The people were wonderful. We had an amazing time.

My life is full of wonders these days. Exploration, fearless and passionate. Building happiness out of my present moment. Finding.

Precious things; new discoveries. Good friends, good people.

And always, the beating pulse in my heart:
Hákon & Hilmir.
My loves.

Nobel, Munro, Murakami

impressionismI was so excited by the Nobel speculations for Literature, when I heard the buzz around Murakami. Haruki Murakami is one of my all-time favourite authors, for reasons that should be apparent to anyone who knows me and has read Murakami…

Alienation, isolation, the fragility of the mundane… the paper-thin veils between realities, and how easily one can slip between them. A writing style that is engaging, descriptive, immersive… what’s not to love?

Instead, the award went to Alice Munro. While I did give a little sigh, I’m not displeased by the decision. Munro is a brilliant short story writer (I’ve only read her short stories, perhaps she is a brilliant novelist, too). I think of her almost as a painter, as her stories read like an impressionist painting.

Drawn in by her initial strokes and charming colour palette, I find myself engaged by subtleties and nuance, hunting for meaning in scenes that are at once too simple and too complex to be easily unraveled. When I read them, I feel ‘There is meaning here. There is truth. This says something, if only I can understand it.‘ Her points are poignant, but never forceful, and never blunt. Truth wrapped in all the layers of human experience, until we can only see a vague outline of it, but we nonetheless feel its solidity underneath. And I part ways with the story, pensive and reminded to be kind to others.

That is a good quality in a writer.
That is the kind of art we should revere.

Even if I do prefer Murakami…

Some geekery

d20My gaming habits have changed.

It’s moved into the real world, for the most part. Computer games take a back seat to tabletop games, and pen and paper role play. I’ve been DMing quite a bit. It suits me.

It may be that with my departure from WoW, I simply haven’t found a suitable replacement. I’ve tried – I tried SW:ToR, Aion, Rift, Guild Wars 2 and EVE. In all of these, I found something compelling, but it just wasn’t the full package.

Rift was mechanically brilliant, but devoid of real flavour. I really couldn’t have cared less about what I was doing.

Aion was beautiful – aesthetically wonderful, but it lacked immersion and degenerated into PvP gank-grinding at higher levels that was wholly uninteresting to me.

SW:ToR was a wonderful leveling game, with great story, and very little else.

Guild Wars 2 is fun and cute and great for playing with friends. But it doesn’t have, nor does it want, the level of engagement and commitment, progression and theorycraft inspired by WoW.

EVE has all the hardcore you could possibly want. It’s the “newest” thing I experienced, which is ironic, considering it’s the oldest one of the lot. It’s doing things differently. However, far too often I found myself battling the UI, wrestling with the game mechanically in order to be able to play… in the end I found I just didn’t have the time for that. It was an unnecessary level of effort – the effort not of playing the game, but being able to play the game…

I’m waiting to see what EverQuest Next brings. In the meantime, I guess I’ll stick with all these “real life” games.