In large conference room of the Portland, Maine Doubletree hotel, standing in front of a powerpoint presentation and a room of hotel chairs, a bearded man in a baseball cap was speaking to an assortment of nerds in a quiet voice. In November of 2012, I snuck into the back of the room as he started telling a story.
A close friend organized the event, Coast City Comicon. In the room I was coming from, an artist watercolored a page from a Doctor Who/Star Trek: Next Generation crossover comic. The new panel featured a game developer sharing his wisdom with would-be game-makers. In his Scottish accent, the man told a story about a former colleague who took a trip to Japan between game projects, and studied briefly at a Samurai temple.
Chief among the lessons this colleague picked up–which the speaker echoed on his powerpoint slide, in more polite terms–was this:
You need to call yourself on your own bullshit.
The lesson percolated in my mind over the last year. It inspired me to work on writing projects–helped along by a tweet from the dev himself featuring the cast of the Avengers saying “You should be writing.” I had to acknowledge that my social calendar was more likely a culprit for my other projects going by the wayside than my previous job was. That negative voice in my head took it on, and actually earned its keep by reminding me that some of my excuses were, in fact, excuses.
2013 has been challenging my lack of superstition–it has been a difficult year. The corollary lesson of this calling your own bluff technique has been determining which excuses are legitimate, and which are in fact bullshit. There are some unavoidable challenges–shin splints, for example, can knock you down for a bit; but I do have control over my own schedule.
The moment popped into my head while thinking about running earlier in the week, and apparently the lesson has stuck pretty well. I have to call myself on not having enough time (we’re talking about an hour three times a week). I need to call myself on physical limitations (I can actually do it). However, I held off on slowing down with a stitch in my side until I couldn’t anymore (it hurt). I need to keep calling myself on wanting to give up (running is hard).
In the past year, the developer was at the helm of a massive superhero game, and unfortunately missed the 2013 convention. I had hoped to see him, to thank him for this story. As well as remind him about the drive home from the bar the night before, and a conversation which ended with the phrase “German porn dungeon.”
There was a light fog hanging over the reservoir when I arrived last night. After fussing with the zombie running app, I set out into the world of Abel Township. Runner 7, the unofficial head runner, was taking me on a tour of the town. I ran until I gave up–a little past the “mission” itself–and into the radio add-ons. The “radio missions” are a fun touch, wherein two DJs (I am not certain whether they are meant to be partners in the romantic sense, or the BFFs sense) chat about the safe zones and life in this world.
After Monday’s post, I was linked to another blog which noted that some of the items you can collect during a mission in Run, Zombies 2 are a little odd. With a new running program, I feel like a new stat is worth recording. So, along with the shirt of the day, I’ll keep track of the weird stuff I find in the z-pocalypse.
Shirt of the Day: It Came out of Nowhere (TARDIS/Delorean crash)
Weird Item of the Day: Newspaper article (…not that odd)