Tuesday, December 25, 2018

If you ever wanted to give me a gift

[I can be contacted via email at cpw (at) maine (dot) rr (dot) com.]

First off, I don't actually expect anyone to get me something.  I'm just using the fact that Christmas is a deadline I can't delay to hopefully get this written and out there.

So what is this?  Well, when I'm in a bad place emotionally but not necessarily financially, sometimes people ask if they can do anything to help and, even though finances aren't a top concern at that moment, there's not a lot I can point to other than the donate button.

It's not that I don't need money, I usually do, but I'd like to have other options.

The obvious solution is to have a post of "These are some things you could do to make my life somehow better other than giving me money."

The hard part has always been writing it.  It's not exactly a happy topic to begin with, it feels like I'm saying I should be given things I don't deserve, my brain always freezes up, and so on.

And then there's the fact that a lot of time I don't have the necessary information.  It ends up seeming like I'm saying "I could use one or more new pairs of shoes" (this is true) "I have no idea what my shoe size is" (this is also true.)

I do need things.

My clothing is threadbare at best and full of holes way more than anyone would like.  My backpack is falling apart in at least three different ways (busted zipper that leads to many headaches, holes in spots, and one of the straps is tied together because the plastic thing that's supposed to allow you to adjust said-strap completely died while I was waking somewhere with it on my back), my . . . wheeled luggage thing with the extendable/retractable handle that doesn't appear to have an actual name decided to take a different approach and combined the "gaping holes" with the "zipper problems".  It also dropped a screw from the handle, which is apparently all it takes to make the thing impossible to retract.

When I'm doing badly emotionally, I'm not always as careful as I should be with things.  (I often set things down in less than safe places, for example.)  When I'm doing badly emotionally for more than 22 months straight . . . all of my glass bowls (I think it's all of them) have broken.  I have no glass bowls.

Lists sort of go on.

It would be nice to have a comforter that's actually still recognizable as a comforter.

I cannot begin to describe how good it would be if I could put all of the back ups from past computers in one place that was simultaneously safe and easy to access.

Games are fun.


The obvious place to start is things that are free.

Feedback is a huge one of those.

It's hard to give feeback when I haven't produced anything in what feels like forever, and I haven't produced with any consistency for almost two years, but hard is not impossible.  Especially because something that I could really use right now is reminders of when I used to do things right.  Also reminders that I used to do things right.

So if I ever produced something that you liked, if you could take time to go back to it, reread it, and then make a comment telling me what about it you liked, that would mean so much to me.

I think other free things require more functioning brain to elucidate than I've had for a week or so.

I could use advice on some things, but getting them from brain to page isn't easy right now.

Cameras is a thing.

The cameras I've had in the past had sunset modes that, somewhat surprisingly, were actually really good at capturing Sunsets.  The Canon PowerShot I have now does not have one of those, and I have yet to discover how to take sunset pictures that don't look like crap.

I've always done handheld photography, but the new camera is good enough (and my hand unsteady enough) that it seems like I might want to work on changing that.  I know nothing of tripods.  I'd need something that's light, portable, and quick to set up break down.  Anyone have suggestions?  (Relatedly, anyone have suggestions I could actually afford to pursue?)

There's a lot of computer stuff, but I'm really not braining enough to describe any of it.

In the realm of similar to no cost but not the same, there's a very good chance that people have, but no longer necessarily need or want, things that would be useful to me.

This has actually worked out pretty well a couple of times.  I've said that I could use something someone already had but wasn't using, the person contacted me (cpw [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com) to get my address, and I got the thing.  Some those things were helpful at the time, some I still use to this day.

I already listed some things in the "I do actually need things" bit.  A backpack, wheeled luggage one might take on the subway with them, a comforter, glass bowls.

I can immediately add large glasses and cups.  (The fewer times I have to refill my water to become and remain hydrated, the more likely hydration is to be achieved and maintained.  The more times, the more likely it is that depression will prevent hydration.)  Ceramic plates have suffered some of the same fate as glass bowls, but I have plates in reserve.

While it's entirely possible that someone reading this might have clothing or shoes that could help me, figuring that out would require me to know my sizes.  So . . . electronics?  That sounds good, right?

When it comes to electronics, especially computer stuff, if you've got something that is merely outdated (as opposed to nommed on by a dragon, dipped in acid, or used a lightning rod) I'd be interested in hearing about it.  Unless its something I specifically spent more money than probably wise on (like my new camera) the outdated thing you have is probably worlds ahead of whatever I have.  (If I even have something in that category.)

Specific things that would be useful right now are robust external storage, a wireless USB mouse, and . . . well, computers themselves.  I'm not expecting anyone to give me a computer.

Outside of electrionics . . .

I like puzzles.  Have I ever mentioned that?  I don't think I've put together a jigsaw puzzle in years.  Also twisty puzzles (Ruibik's cubes and the like.)

Continuing in the vein of "Joy giving things" Legos are something I doubt I'd ever not want.  The more ordinary blocks you have, the more you can do.  For specific lines, I love the colors (and dragons) of Lego Elves.  (Unless there's been some sort of sorting error, every other thing on this wishlist of mine is Lego Elves.)  I love Spaceship! and superheroes and buildings one could theoretically make a town or city out of, and the sculpted pieces (dogs, cats, dinosaurs, bunnies, dolphins, so forth), and . . . I just really like Legos.

Unfortunately, so do most of the people who actually have Legos, so it seems like the chances of people simultaneously having them and not wanting to keep them are probably low.

When it comes to actually buying things . . . that's actually an even more difficult thing for me to write up than the rest of the post.  There are definitely people who need money and stuff more than I do, so it always feels like anyone could find better places to spend their money than on me.

~ ~ ~

The simplest thing on this front is just to link to the Amazon wishlists I have.  They're not necessarily up to date, or sorted, or any such thing, but they at least exist.

(Note that in the top right corner there should be the option to sort a list in a way other than the default.  This could be useful to you.)

This one has all sorts of things all mixed together.   We've got lots of lego sets, books on math, 50 years of Doctor Who art (I love concept art) a lot of games . . .

I should talk about games.  Games are a form of storytelling that can reach me emotionally when other things can't.  They don't always work, but the past 22 months of everything being kind of shit would have been much, much worse if I didn't have games to turn to.

The same also goes for my life as a whole.

I could really use more of that sort of thing in my life right now.

Everything on that wishlist is there for a reason, but some things that stand out in my mind right now are these:

I haven't played Tomb Raider, Shadow Thereof yet in spite of loving the first two.  I have some trepidation about it because, while it was quite good, the second game definitely left me with the impression that that the people in charge either didn't understand (or, perhaps, didn't particularly like) what it is the series gets right.  That said, the second was good in spite of that so hopefully the third will be as well.

Also, hey, it's half off on Steam right now.

Kingdom Hearts III and the Resident Evil 2 remake (underground labs and convoluted conspiracies!) both coming out in January.  Monster Hunter World and Persona 5 are both things that would be nice to have firsthand experience with in order to better connect with some people online.

~ ~ ~

The other list started off as divination, hence the name I gave it, but it ended up more being "Pretty cards and pretty rocks".

It is in general that the answer to the question "Would chris like these polished rocks?" is, "Yes."  Especially if they come in green, purple, orange, or blue.  Though, truly, if I were to list all of the colors I like, I would produce a list of all colors.

"Would chris like these rune stones?" has the same answer for obvious reasons.

At some point I really need to locate good references for runic divination.  A problem with rune stone divination, though, is that as much as I like rocks, traditional runic divination was done with sticks.

On the other hand, I'm not a diviner.  My interest is definitely more along the lines of "utter fascination" than "belief."

Important question:

Is there a term for divination stones with runes on them other than "rune stones"?  Because this is what actual runestones look like.  Note that they're big, heavy, and contain lots of runes that go together to form a coherent inscription.

They're not small things with one rune each.

~ ~ ~

List "more or less the last" is called absurdly expensive Lego sets.  Truth be told, some of them are not actually absurdly expensive (while others definitely are) but instead simply intended for people in significantly better economic places than the one I occupy.

~ ~ ~

Off of wishlists . . . um . . . I could really use a wagon.  Something I could load groceries into and pull behind me on the sidewalk for the walk home.

If my brain were working better I could populate this part better.

Some of the time things I what I want totally doesn't match what's reasonable.  For example, if a rich person were shopping for me I'd ask for one of each of these.  Probably also an Alibre design licence.

There are other things that aren't expensive but even at low prices aren't necessarily worth paying for.

Any of the books I do fic of would be useful in both physical and electronic forms.  (There are some things I want to do that require several physical copies of the same book.)  At the same time, I wouldn't recommend spending even thrift store prices on any books from the big three series (Left Behind, Twilight, Narnia.)  They're more of "If you see it at a yard sale" things.

The exception, I guess, would be reference material.  Not for Left Behind, but
The Official Illustrated Guide for The Twilight Saga and . . . I know that a variety of reference books for Narnia exist, and I'm sure that some of them are quite good, but I don't actually know anything specific about any of them.

Uh . . . that's probably good enough, right?

I'm posting now.

Come back tomorrow.  I want to end the year on a high note, so I'm going to try very hard to post fiction every day for a week.  Since I'm still in the same creative dry spell I've been in, I'm probably going to acomplish that by looking through old files to find things I've written but never published.