Category Archives: Blunt Talk

Moving Time

Due to being “let go” by my company 2 weeks before Christmas in 2023, I am currently financially “pinched” and this means a few things have to be sacrificed until I get my groove back.

One of these things is a self-hosted website. In the meantime, I will be here adding to the Gaming Adventure and ranting about whatever gets my goat. As they say. Come join me!

Time Flies And It Is Not Always Because It Is Fun

And The One Where We Set Out On A Gaming Adventure

I was astounded when I checked the date on my previous post! So much has happened, and, as usual, that’s my weak excuse for not writing sooner.

Let’s start with the bad news, or at least, the things that were not so fun.

First thing, a few months ago we gave the dogs a nice bath in our new elevated dog bath (it works SO well, and takes a huge strain off our backs and allows the dogs to lie down if they want to, without getting covered in grass/dirt) and I noticed a lump between the toes of Gina’s front left paw. It had not been there a couple of weeks earlier, I was reasonably sure of that, and it was pretty large. We took her to the vet and the lump was biopsied – mast cell tumor, grade 2. It was terrifying news… these are aggressive and often reappear in the same spot after they are removed. We were given some options – surgery to remove it, or very expensive chemotherapy that is no longer sold in the US, only in the UK, that we would have to import, may not work, and would cause massively nasty side effects. Gina already has delicate kidneys and liver, and has a very sensitive GI tract, and these were the main things affected by the therapy. On the surgery side, Gina is 13 years old now, and a Bernese (so very sensitive to anesthetic) and surgery was a frightening thought. We discussed it at length, with both the vet and each other, and we decided to go through with the surgery and hope for the best. Thankfully, our tough cookie came through with flying colours. There was also good news – the tumor was grade 2, not grade 3, and they found no evidence of metastasis or lymph node inclusion. These were massive wins. However, we now have to keep a VERY close eye on her paw and look for any signs of recurrence. I have also started researching natural/alternative options to chemotherapy to prevent any recurrence of this nasty lump.

The nasty tumor
Postop “monkey paw”

Other bad news were the struggles that my cousin has been going through with cancer. She is such a fighter, and she has been through so much… but the punches just keep coming. Every time something positive happens… something negative comes along and derails the hope… but she continues to fight, and her family (and mine!) continue to hope for the best. I love you, cuzz, and even though I am far away, I think of you often, and I wish I could do more.

Now, some good things.

Firstly, after a wait of over 10 months, my new passport finally arrived from back home. Thank you, Home Affairs, for allowing me to continue my dream of learning to fly! I also (Very recently!) made the final payments and filled in all the final document requirements with the TSA and FAA, coordinating with my flight school, and now I wait, again, to see if everything has been approved and I can resume my lessons. Unsure if I need to do another background check and fingerprints… but we will see. And if I have to, I am happy to do it! No excuses here!

We added 2 more birds to our Budgie Cohort – Gaius, and Aulus (Bros for life!). They are delightful, sassy little spitfires, and we love them dearly. There were some hierarchical battles a few months after we got them as they all sorted out the pecking order (literally!) and the babies grew older. Their personalities have really blossomed, and the flock is now wonderfully loud and obnoxiously cute. Brutus and Commodus are tentatively rekindling their OG friendship (before Gaius came along and Brutus lost himself a little bit, completely spurning Commodus in the process) and Gaius and Aulus are living up to their ancient Roman graffiti and becoming very close buddies!

From L to R – Commodus (our first birb child), Brutus (second and most birb-like birb child), Aulus (youngest and our 4th birb child), and Gaius (our chunky 3rd birb child).

After a terribly boring period in a culinary rut, we decided to try a meal kit service (and yes, we were incredibly wary after the Blue Apron kale saga) called Every Plate – it’s made by HelloFresh, but far more reasonably priced, with simpler, more accessible recipes, simple steps, and NO KALE! We have had some great times with these recipes so far – and we’ve even made a few of the recipes on our own on the side! Once you get the hang of it, you can easily figure out what the steps will be and prep becomes a breeze. We’ve also learned some handy tricks and taste combinations that we will definitely be using in the future. Before Every Plate, we were using a service called Butcher Box (disclaimer – that’s a referral link where you can get some money off your first box, as well as New York strip steaks free for a year, and I get a small bonus) where you pick some select cuts (all hormone free, pasture raised, humanely kept and slaughtered) from small farms (and they often use local farmers where possible, which makes it even better) for a set rate, and it gets shipped to your door. We loved the service, but I put it on pause while we try out Every Plate for a few months. We will definitely go back to it when we have enough recipes from Every Plate to allow for a nice variety of meals every week. Each week, EP has some NEW recipes, as well as customer favourites, and you pick the meals you want for the week.

It was also recommended I try a subscription box with Japanese snacks, which comes FROM Japan and contains items from local and small mom- & pop-owned bakers and confectioners. You get a little booklet in each box with information about each treat and who made it and where it comes from in Japan. Each box is also themed – sometimes the seasons, other times the festivals, etc. It’s fascinating and delicious stuff! It’s called “Bokksu” (literally, “box” in Japanese) and I encourage you to try it out! (That is linked to a referral for Bokksu where you get $15 off your first box, and I get $15 off my next box.)

Our first Bokksu – Sakura celebration

Right, and now the cryptic “Gaming Adventures” reference…

I looked at my game list in GOG Galaxy (Which has all my various gaming accounts/launchers linked in one place) and I saw that I have over 600 games (643 to be exact) and I have never played or INSTALLED about 90% of them! Virgin games, so to speak! I felt bad for these games… scrolling through them all… games ranging from old beloved games like Baldur’s Gate (1 and 2) and Age of Mythology or Dungeon Keeper (1 and 2!), to brand new games like Icarus and Microsoft Flight Sim 2020, and indie games like Among Trees and Ashwalkers, or the Bad Dream series, and Deliver Us the Moon. The list goes on…

So, I was thinking of starting a Gaming Adventure where I load up GOG and start from the top (alphabetically and alphanumerically) and install each game, on its own, and play it. I will ATTEMPT to finish each game before moving on, but this may not always be possible. For MMO/MMPORG games, I may start by creating a character and playing for a week, just to say I played it. Yes, there are a few MMO’s that I have not played, like Black Desert Online, and games like that. These can obviously not be “finished” really, and I don’t think trying to complete any “main quests” would be viable if I want to keep a semi-regular schedule and not get lost in the abyss of the game.

Additionally, I will keep a few games permanently installed such as Microsoft Flight Sim 2020, because it will now be an install of over 300 GB with all the updates and addons, and I don’t have time or energy to go through that again, or to set up my flight gear, plus, I need it for flight training. I will also keep ESO installed to play with my friends, as we play this quite regularly, as well as American Truck Sim, to play with my husband. I will also skip certain games as I have played them extensively already and need to keep ticking off the list – games like Icarus, for example. It will actually be quite exciting to reinstall Icarus later on after a bunch of new updates have come through. I may also skip Skyrim, as I have played a vast number of hours in that game. I will consider each game as it appears in the list and decide whether it will be installed and played, and for how long, or whether it will be skipped.

Wish me luck!

My first game, according to the GOG launcher, will be 35 MM – I briefly played the game a few years ago (2018!) but something else came along that required my attention, and I uninstalled it after only a few hours of gameplay.

I will try and remember to post each time I start a new game with a few details about the game. I may save these posts when I am finished playing, before I start another game next in the list. That way, I can do a little synopsis and write down my feelings/impressions of the game.


During this time of Covid-19 – aka novel Corona Virus – people seem to be experiencing difficulty with the isolation part of the equation to minimise the spread of the disease. We can only “flatten the curve” (As I have read all over the place – it seems to be the latest buzz phrase) to slow and, eventually, stop the spread and get control of this, now, pandemic.

Hiding seems to be a strange concept to most people – not to me, and, thankfully, not to my husband. We are hermits by nature. We have been socially distancing ourselves for most of our lives. It comes easy for us. We are quite content to stay at home, pottering in the garden, or playing on the internet, or playing games, or watching shows, working, doing college work, walking the dogs in isolated areas (as best we can), and avoiding people in general. We don’t NEED other people. I am trying to see things from other people’s perspective, and I understand that people are scared, but the reaction that the mob mentality is showing is leaving me cold and unsympathetic.

Like the companies that are begging for bailouts from the government – bullshit. Companies on the level of the airline industry, and other global billion-dollar companies, should be prepared for these kinds of global crises…. they shouldn’t just roll over and say “GIMME MONEY” so that they don’t have to face the consequences of their risk-taking behaviours. Business is a risk – especially business on that level – and these things should have been planned for.

And the people buying tons of toilet paper? Why? How does this help? One, you can’t eat it, people. Two, why do you need so much? You are creating the panic. If everyone took only what they needed (food, water, meds, TOILET FRIKKIN PAPER) everyone could have and there would be no FRIKKIN SHORTAGE! Just stop. Think. You are creating the conditions, so create conditions that WORK, not a panicked overreaction to something that doesn’t (or, DIDN’T) exist.

Just feeling very… disappointed with the world right now.

As my eyes open and I learn new things, I see more than I did before. And it’s not always good.

Be safe, humans.

Be kind.

The Hermit

While the Hermit Tarot card does ring true when it comes to me, in this instance I mean the behaviour/archetype I slip into when my husband is away.

And yes, he is away once again. This time for quite a bit longer than the other times.

We’ll be fine, we’re just a little out of practice for these longer runs as it’s been almost 3 years since his last major deployment or mission.

But I know that in a few days I will slip into my Hermit skin and silence will settle. It’s a comfortable silence, and I am not someone who needs people, so it’s a welcome silence as well.

I really don’t mind being alone – I’m never lonely, as I have my beautiful dogs with me – and I even like my own company.

It’s time for me to work to make some money, do some odd jobs and potter around our little cottage and the yard – try and get the grass to grow – and even do some chores for my mother-in-law at the main house while she’s away as well. I also want to get into an exercise regime to get back into shape like I was in Germany. I know I’m not walking nearly as much with the dogs as I was, even in Georgia, so I know that’s why I’ve gained weight (it’s not a lot, but it’s way more than I am happy with) but there are other ways for me to get fit and the dogs don’t have to go with me every time I go out! I can run on my own – even if it’s early morning or late evening when it’s bearable outside.

We’re heading into New Mexico’s infamous summer, where roads melt and cars bake and everything dies in the scorching sun. Luckily, our little cottage is generally pretty cool, and we have a little air conditioner that seems to be handling the heat well so far. Early mornings are quite lovely here in the desert, and the dogs have the choice to be inside or outside and when it starts really getting hot around 11, they tend to prefer to be inside. They go back out in the evening when the temperature drops to a reasonable level for us all, and the air conditioner takes a break while the fans blow the cool air in from outside. Azzie likes to be outside, even when it’s very hot, so I have to watch her a bit. She is not used to this weather and doesn’t realise she’s cooking until I bring her inside and she feels how cool it is and she falls asleep in the kitchen on the cool tile or on her bed in the main room with the air conditioner.

She’s an odd duck, that one, but she’s mommy’s girl and she’s already shown me that she’s there for me – the moment my husband left I had a wave of heartache and sadness and I couldn’t fight the tears. It was just a moment and just a sob, and then I was done, but Azzie came barreling across the yard and shoved her head into my arms and wriggled and huffed until I stopped. Gina was too busy waiting at the gate and Odin was too busy barking at cats in the other yard.

PS: I updated The Vees Big Adventure page as well.

A Personal Light Bulb Moment

I finally admitted to myself something that I’ve known for pretty much my whole life but never had the courage to say out loud – especially not to myself.

I’m a perfectionist with an enfeebling fear of failure.

I fear failure so much that quite often I don’t even begin a project because I’m too terrified it will go wrong or I’ll make a mistake of some kind.

I reached a clear understanding of my “condition” with my recent fevered work search.

I’ve applied for many, many jobs – all within my wheelhouse, or at least expertise-adjacent – and while I have received about 90% of the “thank you, but we’re not hiring” or “thank you, but you’re not what we’re looking for” and (my favourite) “thank you, but we want US citizens only” responses, the other 10% have responded with “You sound perfect for this! Please complete our short entrance test/exam and we’ll see where you stand and where we can use you!”

I’ve completed two so far. Two.

I’m the queen of excuses; the duchess of rationalization; the empress of reasons to dilly-dally.

I’ve started another test; “set up” (by downloading the files and filling in the forms) for 3 others, but whenever I find the time my brain starts to look for excuses: I have no space on this tiny desk to work properly (the movers took our nice big table away, so husband and I are sharing this tiny rickety desk and we barely fit, even sitting on opposite sides of it); the glare on my screen is too much for me to accurately see what I’m typing; I’m tired; I’m restless and the dogs need me to… do something; the laundry needs folding; the kitchen needs cleaning; I can’t use my pedal correctly and it makes my legs or my back ache sitting at such a strange angle.

And the excuses just roll on in.

The thing that REALLY pisses me off is that once I START on something and get rolling and into it I’m just fine! I can churn out a great deal of excellent work when I focus!

I enjoy my work! I studied hard; I worked hard; I learned a great deal; I actually ENJOY the subjects I’ve trained for, and the other work is interesting as well because I CHOSE them specifically because it was something I knew about or was interesting in! It’s just getting over that “Well, what if I make a mistake? What if they don’t like my work? What if I do it wrong?” initial emotional mental blast, that’s what’s driving me nuts.

I even put off doing another entrance test today so I could write this blog post.


I can honestly partially blame this self-doubt on my head injury – because of the nature of head injuries, there was a long (YEARS) period where I couldn’t trust my eyes/ears/understanding. I would hear words that were not there, or not hear words that were. I would forget the meaning of the most basic, daily words. I would forget what I was saying AS I WAS SAYING IT. I would start something and completely forget what it was for. I couldn’t read because I would lose the story after about 3 lines.

I called the bank once to check on some strange activity on my account (which was not strange at all, but stuff _I_ had purchased) and about 1 minute after the lady started speaking to me, I forgot why I called. I could NOT remember.

As soon as I hung up… it came back to me.

But it’s been 14 years (end of this month) since my accident and I have made incredible progress in my recovery – built new neural pathways and discovered new ways of looking at things and doing things that I didn’t think I’d ever master again. I CANNOT hold the excuse up anymore. I am stronger than that; I am MORE than just a “survivor” of TBI.


The time has come to move on; to get over it, under it, or through it – whichever works.

Tomorrow is a new day and I must embrace it.

Counter the excuses, the ill-formed reasoning.

I must stop being afraid of making a mistake; stop being afraid of failure.


I can still strive for perfection, but not at the cost of efficiency or progress.




Get over it

I will probably “lose friends” once again because of this opinion, but I am SO TIRED of keeping my mouth shut about this RIDICULOUSNESS! So if you take “offense” at me having an opinion – feel free to remove me from your list (whatever that list may be) and if you have a CONSTRUCTIVE response that you would like to share, feel free. I am always willing to listen to a considered, eloquent argument against my rant. And yes, it’s a rant. I was reacting (and yes, I know that’s never a good idea!) to the news my husband shared with me about the story below, after a long week of similar stories and incidents of pointlessness:

Karlie Kloss having to APOLOGISE for  “cultural appropriation” in a “racist” PHOTO SHOOT?!?!?!?! WTF? For BEING DRESSED (as a model, she doesn’t  even have a bloody say in the shoot parameters or ideas) as a Japanese Geisha in a shoot. THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND SHOOT COORDINATOR should apologise (if there WAS ANYTHING TO APOLOGISE FOR!!!) if anyone should… not the model! The model does her job, she gets dressed and set up in a shot and she poses, she puts her stamp on it with her looks and her attitude and sometimes, with some models, with their personal touch. THAT’S IT. How is that RACIST?

I am SO TIRED of this “cultural appropriation” crap! As long as it’s not done to DEGRADE or malign or KNOWINGLY offend a “people” WHY DOES IT MATTER if you wear your hair in two braids, wear fringed clothing, wear a Stetson, cowboy boots, a sarong or a sari, or dress up as a Japanese Geisha?!?! The photos were BEAUTIFUL – classy, simple, elegant, Vogue at their usual – they weren’t making fun of, or “sexualising” the image of the geisha or Japanese women! They were showing the simple beauty and classic imagery of these iconic women. Nothing more! Yes, perhaps they didn’t get the make up PERFECT (it takes years of dedication by a true geisha to do that) and the clothes were not TRUE kimono (which are also an intricate process and ceremony in themselves!) but their simplicity and elegance were meant to be an HOMAGE to their craft and incredibly dedicated lives, not a BAD COPY.

I am SO BLOODY TIRED of “internet crusader people” jumping on ANY LITTLE THING that they DEEM is “OFFENSIVE” to SOMEONE – most of the time the people who are supposedly meant to be offended DON’T GIVE A SHIT! It means nothing to them! If it’s not making them look stupid, or backward, or hurting their culture in some way…. GET OVER IT – THEY DO!


Stop jumping on a CAUSE that DOES NOT EXIST!

Oh man, if everyone who should SUPPOSEDLY be offended by things that MIGHT be deemed (by the EVER WISE INTERNET  CAPED CRUSADERS) “cultural appropriation” was to get all up in arms about every little thing “stolen” from their culture.. the world would be SILENT AND NAKED. And that would probably bloody offend some TWAT somewhere who it had NOTHING TO DO WITH!

*deep breath*


End of rant.

Blunt Talk Sessions Episode One

Blunt Talk Sessions

Episode One

Welcome to the first installment of the Blunt Talk Sessions. I had a whole post planned on something else (inverted nipples, if you must know) but then after a moment of self-doubt and a little bit of depression about something going on in my life, I decided to write instead about Failure, and how to deal with it. More importantly, when do we say to ourselves that something isn’t working, and when do we make the decision to stop trying so hard? When do we give up? How do we know when enough is enough, what we are doing is just not going to get the results we were after when we started? When do we accept failure? How do we move on from it, especially when we have invested a lot of time (and money – not even OUR money in some cases) into our endeavour?

When things don't work blunt talk sessions

We wanted it to work, but clearly it’s not going in the direction we wanted. Not even close. How long do we keep throwing our time and effort (and more money?) at the problem? Have we tried every avenue? Have we thought outside the box? We need to be honest with ourselves – not everything we do works. Not everything we want will happen. Sometimes the will/idea/passion behind it is not enough. We need to think about the whole idea, the big picture and truly think about whether this was “us” to begin with. Why did we start on this road? Why did we jump in? We hoped for the best, right? We wanted to be a success!

I wanted to be a success! I wanted to be proud of myself and I wanted my husband to be proud of me too. If I am honest with myself, I thought it would be easier. What could be easier than selling things online? I mean I understood that business is NOT easy, but what I meant was that I thought it would be SIMPLER. Convenient, stress-free, safe, comfortable – I thought it would be SO SIMPLE and that it would work like a charm and I could FINALLY contribute and not feel so reliant on my husband for everything. Yes, I know he says what’s his is mine and vice versa (and that’s totally true, believe me) but I wanted to ADD, not subtract. I wanted to heap on the pile, not burn it slowly from the middle. So to speak. I haven’t burned anything, promise. Except a candle.

candle_Which smells really nice, by the way. And that’s the thing – the stuff should sell itself! It’s seems to work for everyone else. Just not for me for some reason. So far, anyway. I haven’t given up yet, but I am truly tired of seeing the enormous sales made by other members of my “team” while I just sit there at the bottom of the list with the SAME AMOUNT that I started with. So much as been invested. My time. Money. Patience. Social mechanics. I am not a Facebook fan and yet I bit the bullet and took the step to sign up for a business page, after nearly 2 years of being Facebook free. I am trying. I really am.

What got to me recently is that the people who want to support me can’t really, and the ones who I thought would get involved haven’t even bothered to take a look. Perhaps my friend G is right: I’m not made to sell other people’s sh*t. Perhaps I have a different path to follow, but I know I don’t want to give up just yet. I have a strong will and I am very proud and this is perhaps a dangerous combination when it comes to these things, but it means I won’t give up until I am absolutely sure I cannot make it work and things are bleak and going backward. As I work out what that point is, I will see how to recoup some of the losses and bring something to the table so that I don’t feel so low and useless.

I guess that’s how you deal with it – failure, that is. You make sure that YOU understand the reasons behind giving up. You make sure YOU are happy with the decision you have made and that you really did give it a good college try. So to speak. When it comes to failing, the only person whose opinion you need to worry about, is you. The only person who has the right to question you and knows how to push your buttons (and oh how we know how to make ourselves squirm, don’t we?) is you. But if you can honestly say that you DID do your best and that things just didn’t go the way you were hoping/expecting despite your BEST efforts – then suck it up, take a breath, have a think about how to make it better next time, and MOVE ON. The only thing we control is our own opinion of ourselves. Make it a good one. Be your own best friend. 


Do you need me to be more specific about a topic like this? Something so psychological/esoteric? If you do, let me know and I will elaborate more bluntly. I’m starting off slowly and getting into the swing of this Blunt Talk. As I mentioned, I had another topic (more straight forward and tangible… so to speak! :D) planned but I am someone who lives in the Now, so I felt compelled to write about this topic that was on my mind today. I’ll get to nipples next week.

Blunt Talk Begins

I have decided to create a new category/post type/segment/blog series called ‘Blunt Talk.”

I’m going to talk honestly (thus the “blunt talk”) about the things that people want answers for, but are too scared/ashamed/embarrassed to ask. The weird things, the gross things, the interesting but slightly scary things. You know what I mean, good reader. Things like… ingrown toenails (and how to get rid of them) and yeast infections, and why it’s good to clean your ears (but not with cu-tips ) and better to use headphones rather than earbuds. Maybe it’s things you never learned from your mum (or dad) or it’s things that you heard ABOUT but never really understood, or perhaps urban legends that you’d like to know if they are true. I’ll answer as best as I can (after much research if necessary, of course) and try and come up with reasons and/or solutions if it’s something that can be fixed/cured/treated. Some topics will be from personal experience, some will simply be things that I know people don’t “talk about” but would like to know the answer to (because I know I would!) and hopefully some topics will be from you, the reader.

I’m going to set up an anonymous question thingy, and of course you are free to email me or comment (if you’re feeling brave or your question is something you don’t mind being associated with) on this post and I’ll include it in the next sessions of Blunt Talk.

I’m also going to start handing out my natural herbal/plant remedies where applicable. I’ll talk about what I am/what I am doing too, if anyone is interested.

I’ll start tomorrow (Saturday) with my first topic. Come back tomorrow if you want to know what it is, or subscribe to my site feed 🙂