Continuing with the list of Random Things I'm Thankful For in 2010, or what I like to call LOFTY 2010, until someone else blows me away with something better. These aren't in any order as far as importance, I just wrote them as they came to me.
Now...on with the thanksgivingfulness...
#11 - Thanks for The Right Mix of Medication
Even though Jesus is on the Pill Box, the real thanks go not to the Lord and Savior but rather to my latest Psychiatrist, who went out on a limb and prescribed for me, not an anti-depressant, but something entirely different. He saw in my history a pattern of anti-depressant failure, and decided not to TAKE that path again.
Instead he tried a drug I had never used before, but ironically one my 2 year old son HAD...Topamax. Used to control Epilepsy, it is also used as a mood stabilizer in some cases of people with Bi-Polar Disorder. Even though he believed I did not have Bi-Polar, he felt I should give the medicine a try.
Maybe it was the medicine, maybe it was the timing of a LOT of things, and who knows...maybe it does have something to do with powers beyond my understanding. Perhaps a combo of all of the above. All I know is that here I sit, making conscious effort to be positive despite all there is to BE negative about in our lives.
That means something.
#12 - Thanks for All Things Small and Still So Great
Smaller is better. I keep telling myself that...it helps, as many men know.
And as much as drugs help you cope, it also helps to have other outlets. Hobbies are always a good thing, no matter what your situation. I've always been a collector of toys. In fact, I used to go totally bananas with what I collected and displayed, but familial responsibilities change your priorities.
But MiniMates have remained a constant for me.
I still love 'em. I still collect 'em. I still anxiously await each and every release. And it's the only toy/action figure line I can still say that about. I only wish they could do more of them. And of course, I wish they could get the license for Star Wars.
#13 - Thanks for the Hours of Diversion and Cheap Therapy
Oh X-Box, how I love thee. If you were a woman, I would marry you. If you were a man...well, I might swing from the other side of the plate. Yes, I admit, for while, you sucked me in, very unhealthily, and I almost lost myself in your sweet embrace, but if I can maintain control over you and keep my distance, the soft green light of your green cycloptic gaze is oh so very mesmerizing.
You are always there for me, with adventures at the ready in endless variety. We can fight together on Reach against the Covenant. We can explore the leaky depths of Rapture, avoiding the Splicers and searching for the precious Adam to enhance our abilities. We can suit up in the purple and black together and face the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game...and WIN.
Thank you, X-Box 360. You are as much a coping mechanism as you are a curse, and I have never had such a love/hate relationship with anything in my entire life.
#14 - Thanks to Rockstar Games for the Greatest Game of 2010: Red Dead Redemption
And what's interesting to me is that they also gave me the Greatest Game for 2008 with Grand Theft Auto IV. (In 2009 I was far too consumed by Bennett's seizures to play that much, but I would say if I had to pick a 'winner' for '09 it was probably Batman: Arkham Asylum if you need to keep score). And it was Mike, Father to Marissa, gamer and author of Marissa's Bunny, who finally helped me figure out why. In one of our recent communications he explained it to me rather succinctly.
'You're a Sandbox Gamer.'
A what? Huh?
I'd never heard the term before, even though I play video games. See, I play games, but I would never call myself a 'gamer'. I'm not hardcore enough. I don't play a lot of X-Box Live matches against strangers, I don't buy a lot of games the day they come out at full price, etc. I love playing, don't get me wrong, but I do it at a leisurely pace.
And Red Dead Redemption was right up my alley BECAUSE, apparently, I'm a Sandbox Gamer and RDR is a Sandbox-Style Game. And what is that? Essentially, it refers to an 'Open-World' or 'Non-Linear' style of game, where you, as the character, have the option to go wherever you want whenever you want and engage in mini-games and also engage in various story-related challenges that can be completed in a number of different sequences.
Just how good is RDR? Well, I bought it in May. I STILL PLAY IT. Some other games have worked their way in, like Halo: Reach, Bioshock 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (which I finally got used for $12.00 on eBay) and Alan Wake, but I always go back to Red Dead Redemption.
#15 - Thanks to Friends Who Never Ever Go Away
The X-Box 360 is a machine, and I always talk about how it is always there for me. When you can say the same thing about a being made of flesh and bone, then clearly you are speaking about a relationship that is truly special. And Richard, who is the author of Daddyspeak, is one of those individuals.
He came to mind while writing this mainly because of the X-Box. He is a PS3 guy. I SO want him to be an X-Box guy, because I would love to be able to play with him on X-Box Live. But it's like Mac and PC. Getting him to convert would be a big expense, one that I just can't make happen.
One of these days, I am going to write an extremely long blog about Richard, a man with whom I have been friends since I was around 12 years old. He is an astounding human being, and we have a lot of history. I have many stories to tell about him, all good, but one in particular that I have been putting off and putting off and putting off...all because I have yet to figure out exactly how I want to shape it.
But I will give you a little taste of it. He lives in Texas, where I met him. I lived there for a mere 3-4 years in my youth. Our friendship has endured all this time, and even though it has sputtered a couple of times throughout our lives it had found resurgence in recent years thanks to the World Wide Web.
Last year, as Bennett was wheeled back to have his brain cut into, Richard was standing by my side, his hand on my shoulder. I don't think I have ever actually said that here in these pages. I've never publicly thanked him, since I wanted to wait until I could 'weave it' properly.
And though I still intend to tell the 'full tale' and all that accompanies it, I don't think acknowledging my deepest of thanks here, in this Random 50, for his loyalty and sacrifice does any of that a disservice.
Thanks Richard...you are one of my greatest friends. I have been, and always shall be, yours.