Saturday, February 18, 2012

After a long absence, Dale's voice cries out from the Darkest Depths of Saskatchewan

I’ve been on the road for a while now and, I gotta tell ya, find it super hard to write from hotel rooms.

Part of the problem is that I’m one of those writers who can’t take any distraction while writing, not even music. I need complete silence to get anything accomplished. And hotels are rarely distraction-free. In fact, as I am writing this very sentence my next door neighbour has decided to go out for the evening, announcing this to the rest of us (“the rest of us” being everyone staying at this hotel) by slamming his door multiple times, presumably to be sure the job was done right, and then yelling to whoever is outside waiting for him. I think one of them has beer, or has plans to get beer. Their words were hard to make out, but a lot of intention can be read through tone.

Meanwhile, down the hall, some parent, or group of parents, have decided to send their kids out to participate in the ongoing Hotel Corridor Olympiad that seems to  have been running during the months of January and February in various hotels throughout Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. I myself have not been following the results, but am guessing that the home teams have been doing well, judging by the frequent sounds of celebration ringing through the halls. And two weeks ago, at the Days Inn in Regina, there was a team of eleven year old ringette players whose victory was so glorious that the celebrations went on well into the night.

So yeah, there are distractions.

The other problem is that when I’m on the road I’m stressed out and depressed. I miss my kids, I miss my wife, I miss my friends, and yes, I miss my stuff. And with a brain that’s always clanging around like a pinball on a 10,000 point run at the best of times, things like stress and depression make it almost impossible to achieve the state of near-nirvana that I need to get to to write.

It used to be easy, when I could just eat my feelings. The best cure for road-blues used to be going out, buying a big bag of whatever salty, snacky, comfort food struck my fancy, and gorge myself on it alone in my room, away from the judging eyes of others. Others whose high and mighty “my body is a temple“ outlook would never allow them to understand the need to occasionally crush up a bag of Doritos and pour the results directly from the bag into my mouth like I’m chugging a yard of ale.

But goddammit, that’s not an option anymore. It’s hard enough to eat right on the road as it is, but piling on a 1200 calorie bag of cheetos is just not in the cards for this guy these days.

Quick note: I just noticed that Microsoft Works auto-corrected the word “goldsmith” in the last paragraph and replaced it with “goldsmith”. Just thought you should know.

Anyway, I haven’t posted anything for two weeks, and above is my feeble-ass excuse for that. I need to keep reminding myself that, one: I am allowed to write a short post (in fact, I assume most people prefer shorter posts), and two: once I get going I end up having plenty to say. Too much in fact, the result being that I have broken my 1000 word limit promise twice now.

So I’ll quickly update my recent gaming and movie-watching progress.

Firstly, in GEEK TALK news, the item I mentioned sarcastically two weeks ago, the cloth shoulders my priest in WoW needs? They still have not dropped, and my kill count on that boss is now 31. I had no plans on discussing the issue again, but come on! Thirty-One times!

Aside from that, I’ve been playing some retro games on Steam. My eldest recently bought me the Serious Sam collection on sale and I’ve been running through the first one of those lately.

Serious Sam is a first-person shooter from a few years back that combines the massive, monster-filled battles of the original Doom with the laid back, comedic, misogynist tone of Duke Nukem, and the frantic pace of what I imagine Gary Busey‘s dreams are like. This is a game that features headless kamikaze bombers who run at you from a mile away, holding big cartoony bombs in their hands, screaming at you as they rush you, even though, since they have no heads, they seemingly have nothing to scream from. But that is a large part of the game‘s charm.

Since I am nearing the end of my word limit, I will wait until next time to discuss Atom Zombie Smasher, a fun little game that I was obsessing over for a few weeks of this trip.

But before I sign off, I’ll update you on my progress regarding Friday movie night: So far I have managed to get a movie watched every Friday, even if that meant putting a DVD into my laptop and watching it on the weeny screen. Last night I finally got around to watching MacGruber, which I liked very much, even though much of it was more miss than hit.

I have also watched Choke on the laptop, which I thought was okay, but it’s based on my favourite Chuck Palahniuk book and I didn’t feel the movie lived up to the book.

I also saw some movies in actual theatres, though the selection has been limited lately, unless I want to break down and see The Vow or Phantom Menace 3D. And since I feel no urge to fight the desire to pound railroad spikes into my eyes, I’ve stuck to the laptop. But I did manage to see Soderbergh’s Haywire a week or two ago, along with Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Maybe we can discuss those movies next time, along with a discussion of the Oscars that, since we’re dealing with me, seems inevitable.

1011 words. God. DAMMIT!


  1. This post made me laugh out loud to a sleeping house. Hockey teams and 1200 cal Doritos :)

  2. You've been with me on several of those trips Meggy. You KNOW what it's like.