It’s Dada Moon’s birthday today! Let’s wish him a very happy 62nd birthday. You’re at level 62 now Dad, fair play to you. Pun entirely intended because my father is like a child when it comes to video games. Even before we were born, he loved video games. My mother got him an Atari the first Christmas they were married.
He passed his love of games onto his children, and we’ve not stopped since. Although we all have access to gaming computers, PS4’s and Xbox One’s, I can’t help but yearn for the time when games were 2 dimensional! Oh nosalgia, you cruel mistress, why must you give me these feelings?
Our father had an old dos run computer for many years until he finally got his hands on one that could run windows(computers were expensive in the 90s no judgement!). So he did what any reasonable father would do, he set up the old computer for his children with a rake of old dos games on it.
So I thought as a thank you to him, we would look back at 6.2 of the games myself and my brother played on rainy (and not so rainy) days. Hey, listen we turned out just fine!
1. Alley Cat
Exactly what is says on the tin. You were a little black alley cat and your goal? You needed to eat, as we all do. However because you lived in an alley, and not a forest, the only food you could come by, were people’s pets. So you would climb up on the fence and jump into people’s windows (you little rascal you!!) and try and eat their budgies, fish and other pets.
However, it was not all as easy as that. Many of the houses had guard dogs, and you needed to be as quiet as possible to get around them, or you yourself, would become the food.
2. Commander Keen
Myself and my brother adore Commander Keen to this day. I’m not so sure what was so particularly special about it, but we loved it none-the-less. We played Keen 1 – 3 which had graphics like the gif above. Then when 4 – 6 came out we played those.
Commander Keen was an extremely intelligent young lad, who snuck away from his babysitter one night to go save the galaxy from impending doom. Sure how could you not love him and his pogo-sticking ways?
What a wonderfully simple yet crazy game this was. All while on the back of an ostrich you would ‘joust’ with your opponent (player 2). In the meantime, there were other birds and pterodactyls trying to push you into lava. Maybe this game is where I get my terrific fear of lava? Perhaps we will never know!
The need was too great to include the gif with John Travolta in it. Sorry too funny. This game was both entertaining and good for the brain as it made you engage your problem-solving areas to help save your fellow lemmings. Otherwise, they would keep walking after their fellows and meet certain doom.
5. Dangerous Dave In The Haunted Mansion
I’m guessing from my adult attempt at this game that dangerous Dave was investigating the mansions to gather up some trinkets to sell on the black market. Armed with a double barrel shotgun(my favourite weapon in any dame), and a red baseball cap, Dave wanders on into the haunted mansion. Inside you face Frankenstein-esque monsters and Renfield knife-wielding lunatics.
You have infinite bullets but you do need to reload once in a while, and in order to do that, you need to stand perfectly still.
6.2 Hocus Pocus
Who doesn’t love to play a game where you are a wizard trying to each your wizard strips while performing the many tasks required? You shoot lighting out of your hands to defend yourself against the lizards, mushrooms and flying devils. A game for the ages.
Did you like this list? Might do more in the future, and let me know did any of you play these games in the 90’s?
There is a book I’m carefully reading this month called “A Life Less Throwaway,” by a lady called Tara Button. I included it in my 2019 sustainability goals which you can read about here. So far I’m really enjoying it and I plan on reviewing it completely once I’ve finished it.
In the meantime, Button offers wonderful exercises at the end of each chapter, and I thought why not share some with my Moonlings? The first one is very introspective, you write an email to yourself. The topic? The importance of non-material things.
“The best things in life, aren’t things.” Art Buchwald.
Now while I wouldn’t go full on Madonna and call myself a material girl, I do like things. Especially now that I’m writing a gratitude list every morning for 3 things I’m grateful for whether they are material or not. I find this helps me appreciate the things I already have and curb superfluous spending.
This opportunity awakened something in me, and rather than email it to myself, I thought I’d share, so here goes.
Warmth and family is not a place. It isn’t four walls, windows and doors. It’s not the couch or the kitchen table, or the framed newspaper cut out of Michael Collins. Neither the ceramic bulldog in the porch or the hum of the computers. It isn’t between the books on your shelves or the clothes in your wardrobe.
It’s your mother’s hug in the morning when you come downstairs for breakfast. It’s the sound of your father’s laments as he loses his video game. It’s your brother sending you funny memes because he wants to share his laughter with you. Sharing with another makes it better, more real, even funnier. It’s the sleep talk of Le’Boo when he is deep in his REM and asks you “terra forma?” (When did he learn Latin?)
It’s the chorus of birds in the morning when you awake again. You remind yourself to be grateful. For a long time, a mantra you repeated to yourself, as you awoke to go to a job you hated was, “I’m awake but I’m not happy about it.” Almost like a joke, you told yourself, but in reality, that was wrong. Even though the job was awful, getting to wake up again was not.
It’s the love in your heart and soul when you make a darling laugh. The gratitude you feel when someone cooks you a meal. The joy of a family gathering, and the sorrow of a loved one passing. When we are old and dying we will not hold onto things. Not the brass doorknob we polished relentlessly, the extra hours put in at work for no extra pay or even the money in your account
It’s the memories, thank you all, for the memories. For the joy of now, and the promise of tomorrow.
*I invite you all to do the same. You don’t have to blog about it if you are too uncomfortable, but you can send yourself an email! If you do try it tag myself and Tara Button in it on Twitter!*
Greetings, all! Welcome to today’s episode of the God’s Grand Game blog tour. Today I’d like to introduce Jenni (also known as Jay C / J.C.) who runs a diverse and very interesting blog entitled Thinking Moon.
Jenni has a background in anthropology and is currently teaching as well as studying for her PhD. She has a Philosophy section on her blog and we have been connected on Twitter for some time, so it was a no-brainer to ask her to be involved with the blog tour. I’m grateful to Jenni for agreeing to review my book.
Good morning my Moonlings, how are you on this fine Wednesday? I am feeling very creative today, and although I am still a small creator over on TouTube I’m optimistic. I feel as though the internet rewards both consistency and growth. For me, this is my general learning curve anyway, but for those of you who are used to immediate results, you must have patience.
Also in case you didn’t know I have a YouTube channel, and I post there about twice a month. You need to bear with me I only have time for that, as a PhD student whose side hustles, have side hustles.
It felt like I needed to update you on what is coming for the channel in April, and in general for the channel. I’ve also got some featured friends so please check them out and subscribe if you are interested.
Also, do you remember Marie Keane? I interviewed her here, and her album came out in January. Well, it’s finally on Spotify, so there is no excuse not to listen now my friends!!! Here is a review of the album if you’re curious, honestly it’s so beautiful.
Welcome to Thinking Moon’s new category, Indie Sundays. I have pledged to read more indie books this year. I would like to discover and promote indie creators. They who are the next big thing, waiting in the wings of art to be propelled into the spotlight, and who am I to deny them their break? So please enjoy this new, albeit sporadic category. Filled with authors, movie-makers, poets, artists, and just the general misc of cool people the world would be grey without.
Speaking of grey without, our inaugural Indie Sunday extraordinary brings such colour to my life. N. F Mirza is the blogger Stoner On A Rollercoaster, and I have been following her for around two years now. They blog about their journey through depression and anxiety which I sadly empathise with. They create beautiful works of art, and I have been a fan of their aptly touching prose and gentle craft since I discovered them. When I heard that they had a book of poetry in the pipeline I immediately pre-ordered it.
Today I will be reviewing their debut poetry collection “Swinging Sanity,” which I devoured this weekend, over cups of coffee. Here is that review in all its finery, and can I say, dear Mirza, it gave me life.
Swinging Sanity – Review
As far as debuts go, this is up there with the greats for me. I am a poetry fanatic, and very sensitive about its conjuncture. This wonderfully cathartic, yet tragic piece of work filled the gaps of my broken heart, as she waxed about pain, love, life, and the pursuit of elusive joy.
The work is divided into five parts, each a protective canopy over its subject matter. Beginning with “Screaming Numbness” we are treated to exquisitely painful lyrics about suffering and mental illness.
“I am numb, I miss pain, Oh Pain!” – Just Like A Drop Of Water
“Then I hold the little spear, like a plume in the hands of a poet.” – Celebrating The Curse
“That horrid vortex finally spat me out I am stunned to be alive.” – Anything But Sane
We press on into the pages of “Love & Loss” as she tells her tales from the world of love. As humans, we are never free from pain. We are allowed moments of beauty as a reprieve between the senseless chaos of the universe.
“My ebony hair free from confines, as you like it, now don’t rush, watch how the end unfolds.” – A Poem I Can’t Name
“I saw a glimpse of excruciating agony.” – “A Dying Heart
“And I saw your last breath, Ascend to the sky, flying away, with a piece of me.” – When You Slept
“Where Earth would cradle my soul, to the rhythm of screaming water.” – This Is How I Want To Sleep
When the flushes of pain and joy are over we are treated to poems about the “Day and Night“. Her suffering mind remembers these times so vividly, and her fascination of the night sky appeals to fellow insomniac in me.
“The sun tirelessly shone all day, Still failed, To Ease this murky dark abyss, That’s made my mind it’s home.” – A Long Wordless Day
“I Remember those tiny fireflies, chasing each other into the darkness.” “When time wouldn’t fly, and the clocks were noiseless.” – Those Enchanting Nights
“Squalling for mercy.” – Nightmare Again.
Life is a dazzling series of confusion and clarity. Mirza’s section, “C’est La Vie” has some hard truths about the world we try to live in. When I read these lines they ignite in me my own fears, wonders, and imagination.
“My smouldering blistering tears…were ignored and denied, now sear my skin, in the dead dark cave of my anonymity.” – Cave Of My Anonymity
“They didn’t tell me, This demonic ritual, will slowly morph me, Into another fierce royal blue dragon.” – Fierce Royal Blue Dragon
“My nails look dirty too, Like I dug my way, Out of a grave.” “But I look great, prettier, happier than I ever looked, just like the rest of the crowd.” – Carnival
The final section “Random Thoughts,” is just that, and we see the author grappling with the suffering of now, hopefully, one day leading to the freedom of tomorrow. Out of struggle, so will the time of quiet victory, and self-assurance be born. Where those of us with kindness, walk alongside those of difficult persuasions. She closes the collection strong leaving us both elated with hope, and sturdy with solidarity. Please buy this poetry collection, it is too exquisite to remain unread.
“And one day, we will wake up, From this grim nightmare…Embellished with grime…But Hearts, Clear as glass.” – One Day
“Fueling my soul, I wait for my turn, I don’t waste tears.” – Waiting For My Turn
“Or to be, Like Ocean, Deep and blue, Holding a chunk of universe, In its womb.” – Blue
“And I see you…High on ignorance.” – A Million Dead Stars
“I pull out the last scroll, And scribble few enduring syllables…” – Last Poem Of October
Recently I received the new Audible original series by Scarlet Curtis called “To The Woman,” in which women read open letters to other women. One of the letters was heartbreaking, spoken to her mother who had recently passed away. I was driving home from work at the time and I sobbed openly in traffic while people stared. I’m newly moved out of my family home to live with my partner and this letter hit me where none other could have.
So this is an open letter to the woman who raised me, the mother that everyone should have, and my humble tribute to her today, on her 55th birthday. Mama, I love you more than these words could ever convey, and it’s you that made me this way. So if you are feeling down about your age today, just know no matter where I stray, I’m your little girl from May.
Most people find their first big love when they are older, and that’s their partner. How lucky was I that from the day I was born, I already had one of my big loves. As I grew you loved me, and I loved you too. How fortunate for us to have one another. I don’t have to worry about sounding conceited because I know how much you adore me, it’s a fracture of my adoration of and for you.
Although you didn’t have it easy, money was never ample, the times were tough and the climate was tougher. In a world where being a mother and a wife was not celebrated as it is now, you were expected to bear children and be happy about it. Not only did you do this with grace and love, never for one moment making us feel like we weren’t your priority, but you instilled in me my own worth.
The women I am today is a fragment of the woman you’ve been all your life. Your resilience, beauty, and elegance astound me. Your laughter and humour have filled me up when I was emptier then wine bottles after we’ve been at them.
I’m telling you this because when I heard that woman, crying for her mummy, I cried for mine. I wanted to squeeze you and tell you how wonderful you are, how beautiful you are, and how perfect you are in all your imperfections.
Here I am Mama, begging for you to recognise your worth because in my eyes you’re everything, you’re all I’ve ever wanted to be. Fierce little woman. Forgive me for any time I’ve hurt you, you broke your body for me, and I unaware tore you asunder. You let me go my own way, but I’ll always find my way back to you.
My first big love, my Mama. Thank you, and happy birthday.
“I love you.”
“I know.”* I hear you whisper.*
*This is from The Empire Strikes Back, in case any of you troglodytes didn’t know.
If you didn’t know already, I have this messages category where I talk to you all directly and give you updates to my life. If you are behind and want to catch up on them you can check them out here.
500 Follower Special
So I am fast approaching 500 followers, and for me it’s surreal. This time last year, I had my most viewed post at the time about snow, which had 56 views! I added my Buffy the Vampire Slayer category, and my follower count was around 30.
Now as I sneak towards 500 I once again reflect on how lucky I am, and how much I want to celebrate each one of you. The first 10 people to comment below on this will be made part of my 500th follower special.
What does that mean do you ask? Well hold on, I’m getting there friend. Basically, you comment and tell me something you want me to promote for you (your book, blog, art), and I will promote it in my 500th follower special.
A very emotional blog is coming on Friday, I mean it made me cry while I wrote it. So stay tuned for that.
My book is coming along nicely, and I hope to have it published by the end of 2019 so when my first draft is finished I might post a little portion of it for you guys, would you be into that?
Finally I will be adding a new day, and it will be called… *drum roll* Indie Sundays! I’ve been reading a lot of indie books as of late, communicating with a lot of indie creators, and just all round realised how important it is for indie creators to support each other.
This will be debuting this Sunday so I hope you’ll tune in and support the creator I’ll be showcasing. Until then, stay safe my darling Moonlings.
Also, don’t be disappointed there are no Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters in my tag below. I intend on doing a whole separate post for them! Yay! So dem rules are pretty simple and they are seen below.
Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, Webtoons, etc.
Tag as many people as you want, but at least one person.
Name a heroine you like, but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.
Quinn Airgon (Tika Sumpter) from Final Space. This show hit us with real feels, crazy antics, and the unforgettable baby green squish. Yet I rarely talk about the amazing character of Quinn. She is intelligent, tough, beautiful, and loyal. Throughout the series, she is surrounded by male energy which is equal parts ridiculous and reckless. Without her, I’m pretty sure the whole team aboard the Galaxy One would have perished.
As you can see, her facepalm game is real.
For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.
Donna Moss(Janel Moloney) from The West Wing. This show had wonderfully powerful females, from press secretary C.J Cregg (darling Allison Janney), to First Lady Abigail Anne Bartlet (the incomparable Stockard Channing). Yet Donna Moss was always my favourite.
She was tough, funny, and infinitely capable. Her role to offer comic relief in a show known for its heavy topics, but boy was she a great character when the chips were down. Her relationship with Josh Lyman(Bradly Whitford) resulted in some of the best scenes in the show.
Although she was ‘only’ an assistant to Joss (and I say ‘only’ lightly), she ran a tight ship, anticipated her boss’s every move, and was a sharp as a tack. Her full title was Senior Assistant to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, for many seasons. I won’t spoil the show for you (but if you haven’t watched it what are you doing with your life), she gets bigger and better jobs.
Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.
Kaywinnit Lee Frye (Jewel Staite) know affectionately as Kaylee is one of my favourite Firefly characters. (Yes I am still salty Firefly was cancelled). Throughout its short run Firefly grasped us by the heart and never quite let us go. Of course, Joss Whedon would have said there were no main characters, but for me, Kaylee always got the back seat.
Mal was the Captain (loveable rogue Nathan Fillion), and his first mate Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) badass extraordinaire, usually took centre stage. Kaylee, while essential to the upkeep of the ship, rarely went on missions. That was left to the captain, his first mate, and their hired hand Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin, no not one of THE baldwins) who got to be centre stage.
Along with that, you had the transcendently beauty Inara Serra(Morena Baccarin), the ever more mysterious River Tam(Summar Glau), her brother Dr Simon Tam (Sean Maher) who with his medical training was thrown front and centre, finally the enigmatic Derriel Book (Ron Glass). This leaves Kaylee in the back seat.
Now I’m sure if we’d gotten more Firefly the character of Kaylee would have been expanded. She is fiercely funny, loyal to her space family, regardless of their less than above board activities, and a brilliant mechanic. We may not have gotten much time with her, but she knew how to get into our hearts regardless.
Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.
Minerva McGonagall (portrayed by the legend Dame Maggie Smith in the movies) is my favourite Harry Potter character. There is very few who even come close to her, in both the novels and the movies. Her name is the same as the Roman Goddess of wisdom, and like Hermione Granger(Emma Watson), was almost placed in Ravenclaw. Ultimately we see her courage and integrity which to me, means she was correctly placed in Griffyndor.
She is an exceptionally brilliant wizard, even beside Albus Dumbledore she holds her ground. She is warm and loving, yet tough. Her obvious concern for not only students of her own house, but for all the students, endears her to me.
Even though Harry was not her child, she bought him his first broom in first year. A child who never had anything was given a broom which put him in touch with a talent that gave him pure joy.
She defends the unfair removal of Hagrid in book 5, in which she fights back, but is ultimately put in the hospital. We must remember she was an elderly woman at this stage. During the battle of Hogwarts McGonagall is fighting alongside the rest, loyal to magic, Dumbledore, and good to the very end. When the fighting is over she is made the Headmistress of Hogwarts.
Name a character who you want more backstory on.
Emily Gilmore(Kelly Bishop) from the Gilmore Girls. Although her life is alluded to in the show, really the focus is on Lorelai(Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Of course, I love both Lorelai and Rory for different reasons, but I feel Emily’s hard done by. We are given her story from Lorelai’s perspective and of course, that’s going to be of an overbearing mother.
In some cases, we get a glimpse of maybe how difficult it may have been to be Emily. Richard Gilmore(Edward Herrmann) her husband, while he adored his wife, had a mother (Lorelai the first portrayed by Marion Ross), appears in several episodes and is quite cruel to Emily. I can only imagine what that was like when Emily was young and newlywed.
Also, Lorelai ran away from Emily and Richard’s controlling hands, but this hurt Emily more than she’s ever cared to admit. She adores her granddaughter Rory but loves her daughter no less. For me, the Gilmore Girls needed to include more about the eldest Gilmore Girl, Emily.
Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.
Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan) in Charmed. My love affair with Rose McGowan has only grown over the years, and her acting skills were what first lead me to her. After the death of my favourite Halliwell when I was a teenager, Paige was introduced to fill the huge shoes of Prudence Halliwell (Shannon Doherty).
Although Piper Halliwell (Holly-Maire Combs) was my favourite sister (I think she was everyone’s favourite, to be honest), I felt Paige was always overshadowed by her older sisters. Piper had reason to be front and centre as her powers were great but Paige’s powers were just as defensive. Somehow though Phoebe(Alyssa Milano) always got more attention, and I think that may have been directors choice somehow.
For me, even taking Piper’s powers of freezing, combustion, and her talents with potions, Paige’s powers were arguably the best out of all four sisters. As she was a mixture of White-Lighter and witch, her powers of telekinesis were therefore enhanced, she could orb anywhere at will and eventually learns how to heal.
She was also very level-headed for her age, kind when it came to those in need, hence her career in social care when we meet her first, and finally her fire. She did not grow up with the Halliwell sisters, and her adoptive parents died quite young. She didn’t have the attachment issues the other sisters had, and this worked to her advantage sometimes when it came around to making hard decisions.
It was toyed with a bit, showing her first as an active social care worker and then White-Lighter. Ultimately this was abandoned for one reason or another, but when watching Charmed, I found myself enjoying Paige’s stories more than those of Phoebe.
Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti-hero!)
Louise Belcher(Kristen Schaal) is the youngest member of the Belcher family and my personal favourite. Each and every member of the Belcher’s is funny in their own way, but Louise has a special place in my heart. For someone so young and adorable, she is quite evil.
For me, I love a girl with a bit of spunk and Louise Belcher has malice in her that makes me chuckle every time. Her parents are wonderfully accepting of their children and their various quirks and let them all be themselves. Louise is highly intelligent but uses her smarts for evil instead of good. You go Lou, we love you.
A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.
Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley McClane) from Steel Magnolias. I know she probably is famous to some degree, but she doesn’t appear in enough gifs in my opinion. Steel Magnolias is one of my favourite movies, and I’ve cried more times then I can count at that movie.
Overall the female power in that movie is incredible with the cast consisting of Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah. Feel good isn’t even the word to describe the character of Ouiser’s throughout the movie. She does and says things we all wish we had the balls to.
She is the grumpy old lady I aspire to be and spends her time not giving a shit about who she insults or what she says. Although abrasive, she is the best friend of Clariee Blecher(Olympia Dukakis) who appears ladylike and demure but is just as twistedly funny and Ouiser.
They also have one of the best friendships immortalised in the history of the big screen, and one of the best lines. “You know I love you more than my luggage.” I demand more Ouiser gifs and appreciation!
A character from a piece of fiction you’re amazed isn’t more famous.
Ellen Riley(Sigourney Weaver) from the Alien franchise. I can hear you yelling at the screen, “but she is famous, she’s in four of the movies, blah blah blah.” Ok, can you whist for a second and let me explain myself? Please and thank you.
When you watch Alien for the first time, you don’t know who the protagonist is going to be. That’s the beauty of that movie. Each character is carefully drawn with their own limits and flaws.
Ellen is no different and in fact, she’s not a kind or soft female character. She’s tough, pedantic, and not particularly well liked. Perhaps this is the reason she survives, but for me as a young girl, it was wonderful to see someone who wasn’t the typical female in a horror movie.
She never has makeup on, she’s filthy by the end of the movie, and covered in a film of greasy sweat. She wore baggy ship clothes, wore her hair naturally, and didn’t spend 90% of the movie smiling to show off her beautiful teeth.
Don’t get me wrong, Sigourney Weaver is a beautiful woman, but she wasn’t the typical Hollywood beauty, and that’s what made her so amazing. She was one of the first proper female badasses, written like a real person, portrayed like a real person, and gave zero fucks about what she looked like while fighting for her life. Along with being one of my most favourite movies of all time, Alien gave me one of my first strong females. She paved the way for many more, and I’m arguing that she isn’t given enough credit as far as heroes on movie franchises go.
Captain Marvel might have been the first Superhero movie about a woman, but Ellen Ripley was out here being a badass since 1979. I think I feel a tattoo coming on ladies…
A mixture of everyone because anyone can be a feminist and support women! Don’t feel obligated, but I would just love to see all your takes on it!
Nicole from Mullen Crafts – Another strong female who surprises me time after time.
Lee from Lee’s Hall of Information – I feel this would be right up your alley, maybe even some strong female characters of your own?