Twice Shy

Ever since Ren bit me, I’ve become conscious of whenever he growls. I’ve been disengaging him whenever he does, but then he wants to re-engage me immediately, and that’s to me dissonant and confusing. So yesterday, he was (as is typical) hiding under the covers when I came to bed, but (as is uncommon) he got between the sheet and the blanket, and since he gets hostile to anything he can’t see, he made quite a row until I fished him out. This woke my sweetheart, who’s just about had it between Ren and I regarding our contention thing.

So we went online to consult doggie psychology, and there are a lot of opinions about why he’s being crabby (which wouldn’t be a problem if he wasn’t crabby enough to randomly bite me). Ren’s lost bed privileges for the forseeable future, and I’m back to where I was just after the bite incident, in which I don’t give him any attention or regard except to put food in his dish and to walk him.

But then I was doing it because my feelings were hurt and I was angry, but didn’t want to be angry at him. Now I’m doing it intentionally to show him his place in the new hierarchical order. And I’m something of a cuddly guy. Despite my introverted disposition, I like to engage my friends and neighbors* and that includes local pets. And Ren is desperate for attention, so he wants me to cuddle him…except when he doesn’t. And besides he bit me was when I was waking up from sleep and he was up against me, so not due to over- / understimulation.

That’s to say that this process of ignoring him and his desperate loneliness throughout the day as a method to establish doggie hierarchy is harsh on someone who tends to be empathetic, and my brain is always going You are worthy, little doggie. I regard you. And I’m not going to smack him around, but I don’t know what else to do. And I don’t settle for the Simpsons logic that some people are just jerks.

Depressed again

Also my Ethernet went down again last night, and compounded with the personality conflict with Ren and the undercurrent of the looming Trump era, I got depressed. Depression is one of my common responses to compound crap happening to me or around me. (When it’s profound crap, it doesn’t need to happen in numbers.) I tend to take it personally (not by choice or logic) and then I feel like the universe is just generally too harsh and I am unworthy to survive in it.

Which might be why I default to validating a problematic dog.

Firewatch

I got Firewatch for Christmas!

I started playing it today. That said this will include some minor plot spoilers for the beginning of the game.

There is a notoriously large number of first-person games (not to be confused with a large notorious number, or a large number of notorious games) in which the player starts with little or no personality or background. Firewatch is not one of those. In it, you play Henry, who has a life and for whom I got to make decisions for as he hooked up in his twenties, fell in love, got a dog, contemplated kids and was ultimately struck by tragedy, which is a common theme among those who take this crazy firewatch job: people who want this work are all trying to get distance from something.

And there’s surprise penis. I think it even surprised Henry.

Thumbsmaster and ace-musician Chris Remo is credited with writing, scoring and co-designing the game. The game feels strongly informed by Chris’ hiking hobby, but so far it also feels that Henry’s build, attitude and voice might be an expy of Chris.

Henry’s stocky form, stubby limbs and digits are really conspicuous in comparison to the more vitruvian hands and bodies the player occupies in other games (most first-person games still don’t feature a body at all!) This neatly implies to the player that he’s just an ordinary guy (as opposed to Batman or James Bond).

On the first mission, (someone’s shooting off fireworks in a heavily wooded area!) Henry is supposed to fetch a rope from a supply box. To read the note he pulls it off the lid and then casts it aside, and I found no way to put the note back into the supply box (preferably taped where I found it). Also, I can’t resecure the box with its combination lock — or even find the lock — which bugs the crap out of me since my work ethic compels me to keep materials and stations in good working order.

That’s all I did so far.

PS: I’ll still be resuming Subnautica, but I wanted to look at Firewatch and my gaming routine is mixed up while my Ethernet is down again.

* …that want to be engaged. I was rather more forward in my youth until I learned it creeped some people out, and now I tend to be more withdrawn lest I creep someone out for being too forward… (Because, yes, I’d rather creep someone out by being too withdrawn. Don’t judge me!)

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