Doing laps in the LA Fishbowl

The Black Magic of Threes

“I have of late–but
wherefore I know not–lost all my mirth, forgone all

custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily

with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.”

—Hamlet, Act II scene 2

This entire week I’ve been restless and malcontent. Life has felt dull and blunted; the savor has gone from my existence. I have, of late, lost all my mirth. What could be causing me to skulk about like a Melancholy Dane?  Is it the limbo of a book on the verge of being published, but not yet so? The trepidation of the next project, ever-gestating but fearful of the page? The ending of one series (fond farewell, Kung Fu Panda!) without a new one in sight? Or does the fault lie in our stars, a retrograde Mercury or a Moon void of course?

Or, could I be swearing off of computer games yet again?

Ah yes. It’s time for another round of Give up Games for Lent. Last time was a few years ago, and since then I’ve managed to shed myself of flinging birds, vegetable-eating zombies, words with friends (and myself), even crosswords. In fact, with the exception of the Simpsons: Tapped Out, I’ve managed to steer clear of almost all games.

Until Threes.

Must. Get. To. 384!!! 

This little, simple app is a quick trifle— push 1 & 2’s together to make 3’s. Push 3’s together to make 6’s, and so on. Nothing, right? A quick one-off while waiting in the pick-up line in school, or as my Starbucks soy latte is being brewed. That’s what I thought. Then, these tiny gaming sessions, these insidious little grains of 1’s and 2’s, started expanding and filling up my head like so much digital quinoa, spiraling out of control. Soon, there was no time to read, to ponder the universe, to write; only Threes, Threes with its jaunty little soundtrack and ironic soundbites. Threes, the gateway game that led to me twisting texts, spelling towers and uniting runes. Damn you, Threes!

My beloved Springfield… surely all
this tapping is teaching me SOMETHING.

So I’ve stopped games until the Resurrection.  I haven’t gone cold turkey, though; I still get to play Simpsons once a day ( I do have a civic responsibility to my little town, after all) but nothing else. Serving as my Methadone is a great language app— Duolingo—which is teaching me Italian (it’s free!) and has a game-like interface. I tried to convince Doug that my mind game— Brain Fit— should also be allowed, but he has vetoed it, coal-hearted blackguard that he is. Maybe, just maybe, if enough of you think brain training apps are good and valid and tell Doug, I’ll be allowed to play! Post your comments! Clap your hands! BELIEVE! BELIEVE!

Duolingo, Italian: I’ve still got three hearts! Buono! 

It’s been hard. No little pop of excitement to cap off a chore, no endorphin release to look forward to between dinner and dishes. Just… me. However, this morning may have marked a turning point. I woke up (after having sprung forward an hour, no less) clearer in my head. The sky was roiling with white clouds, the outside was still redolent with jasmine, and there was an almost priapic sense of anticipation in the air. Maybe this respite is doing me good. Maybe I’ll get something productive done…

Or maybe I’ll just conjugate a few Italian verbs.

Che Buono!

March 10th, 2014 - Still Life Las Vegas

2 responses to “The Black Magic of Threes”

  1. rlsherman says:

    Io credo, io credo! (E credo Doug è aussi Essere un marito doveroso e ti spinge solo un po 'a riconoscere … qualcosa … sulla vita.)

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