A harrowing week and heeding the call of games…of one game…

Y’know those weeks where all the days seem to mash together into an incoherent pile of work and non-work activities? That was my week last week, and partially this week. I’m not even sure I could describe to someone in words just how bizarrely the days went. Things happened, and I’m still here. That’s about all I know. Sadly, I didn’t blow up any shit on the 4th. In fact, when it came time to, at the very least, watch the local fireworks display, I was pretty much all like “meh, seen it.” I was just too damn tired.

Meanwhile, things are going great with our bathroom renovation, thanks for asking.


Well, they are. Though the room still remains a hole without walls, and there’s no shortage of work left, we did finish up securing the concurrent attic repairs. This included a bout with our house’s electrical system and learning all about how many times we could trip the upstairs breaker in one day. (Turns out it was on the order of about a half-dozen, though I did stop counting once it got dark.) So this means we can finally start working on the bathroom space in earnest. Yay! But boo on the fact that its going to mean more fun with insulation, which is not fun. Not fun in the least.

Oh, and did I also mention that we’ve had to take on some outdoors repairs as well? Porch repairs, specifically, brought on by some damage we sustained during a recent storm.

Oh, and did I also also mention that utility crews came out to fix a gas leak at our neighbor’s house but then discovered another leak in our gas line as well? Now the street in front of our house is a mess and there’s backhoe tracks in our front yard. Just. Fucking. Lovely.

Y’know, I’ve been hearing a lot that young kids and couples are forgoing home buying in favor of renting. I can’t blame them one bit. I’m not saying our house is a nightmare — it truly, truly is not — but unless you happen to be made of money or don’t mind if your house falls apart around you, maintaining a house is a job in and of itself. And guess what? We already HAVE jobs. (And shit if we’re not made of money, either.) And guess what else? Sometimes, we like to SLEEP. Go figure with our lazy asses, huh? We occasionally get ribbed (for no one’s pleasure) for not being swift with our DIY house work. I just say goddamn whatevs to that. Shit’ll get done when it gets done. And once the utility crews leave. End of story.

Sorry. I’m not grumpy at you. And I’m not even grumpy at the house or the busted gas line or last week or anything specific. I’m just grumpy, generally. And recently, I’ve been taking out my grumpiness on Skyrim.

Wait…what? Skyrim??

Yep. For whatever reason, out of the shithole of the recent past rose a rekindled interest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Y’know, the biggest hit of 2011/2012? That one.

While I’d have to dig up a few old save files to be sure, it’s been a good three or four years since I’ve even thought of Skyrim. I played it when it was first released, and I didn’t find a good rhythm with it. I tried it again several months (a year?) later and had a much better time. Though, all I really did was play through the main story. I ignored nearly all of the side quests and extra exploring. And because of that, I never really understood what the big deal about the game was. I didn’t get how people could sink and were still sinking hundreds upon hundreds of hours into this single game. Over time, I came to understand the game’s modding community, but even then, the essence of whatever joy people found in this game escaped me.

So why Skyrim and why now? I mean, it’s not even like it’s the special edition or anything. It’s just the old PS3 version with all its washed out trees and glitchiness. “Escape” is my obvious answer. Because if there is one thing for which Skyrim is good, it’s escaping into a grand world of fantasy. But I think my real reasoning probably falls more within the realm of learning. I want to know what it is that makes Skyrim so great.

If anything’s to blame for this madness, beyond a hectic life, it’s probably the summer Steam sale. Though I didn’t get much from it, my husband did. And among his considerations was the special edition of Skyrim. Over the course of the July 4th weekend, we watched a bunch of videos touting the special edition and just how special it was in all it’s special specialness. Since my own time with the game fell flat, I didn’t see much reason to invest in it. But the more I watched, the more I wondered.

And then I started thinking of Fallout: New Vegas and just how excellent of an experience it was.

And then I started thinking about Dragon Age: Origins. Maybe my subconscious was in the mood for playing something all medieval-esque and dragon-y? But I wasn’t ready to jump back into the Bioware-verse. No. Not just yet.

Then I went back to New Vegas. Yeah, that’s what I wanted. I wanted Bethesda’s brand of grandiose and compelling storytelling, complete with funny and stiff characters, janky combat, and no boundaries. I wanted to build a hero who might just be a villain in disguise. And I wanted to play with different skillsets, go where I pleased, disappoint the rabble while becoming filthy rich, and hoard as much useless crap as I possibly could.

Turned out, Skyrim fit the bill.

I’m only about a dozen or so hours in, but I think the third time’s the charm, as I’m already having a fucking blast! And do you know why? Because I’m not following the rules. Not that there really are any rules in Skyrim, but, I’m forging my own path. I’ve gone through some of the main story, but have instead favored a highly intriguing side path involving the Dark Brotherhood. I’m stopping to investigate caves and camps and ruins. I’m upping my archery game, which is something I quite avoided doing before. My poor companion Lydia died somewhere, but I went and hired a very snarky mage who’s hilariously awesome and super helpful in combat. And though still at a low level, I’ve already beaten a couple dragons. +1 bravery for me! (Though with giants and frost trolls I’m all gtfo.)

Yes, I know that I have other, “more important” games to play right now. And no, I’m not completely shirking real-life duties (though I may be procrastinating a tad). But Skyrim feels like just what I need right now. Like therapy, only with less talking and more alchemy.


  1. Our house is one of those ‘constantly needing shit done to it’ nightmares too. I’ve found – and I appreciate this might not work for everyone – that if I mentally make everything into an 80s style movie montage (complete with over the top 80s rock ballad), things are a *bit* more bearable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Open-world games get a bad rap because there are quite a lot of them nowadays, but it is fun to just mess around in them, not following the dotted line that is the plot unless you feel like it. That’s one of the things I really like about Breath of the Wild as well; you get to discover things at your own discretion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I had Breath of the Wild, it would probably be a very strong contender for me right now. 🙂

      As someone who like to follow “rules” in games, it’s easy for me to forget that open-world are just that, open worlds. The joy of discovery is the appeal, as I’m re-discovering in Skyrim.

      Liked by 1 person

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