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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Threads unraveling

I was disappointed when I logged into my Facebook page months ago to find that Threads of Mystery was no more. This game was the hidden object persuasion—the scenes (fashion institutes, sidewalk cafes and theaters) very colorful, French themed with facts about Paris popping up each time the scene would change. As you would go through each scene finding the designated items, stars would be earned to advance to the next level. The back story was a ghost of a famous clothes designer was trying to figure out who murdered her. Though it was a grim back story, the scenes were very pretty!
I would play this game frequently. I felt it was not a waste of time, but rather brain training. It fascinated me how many items could be hidden in plain sight. Also, interesting how I would automatically look at the top of the screen if the clue was airplane. Many a time,  I would have to reset my thinking--the airplane was a picture located in a magazine on the bottom of the screen.
The one thing that was annoying to me was the “fashion house” that you had to fill with furniture and clothes making machines (you are an apprentice clothes designer, don’t you know!) I must have made about 5 red cocktail dresses, but in order to more to the next level, I needed material for yet another type of dress. To get this material, I needed to place more furniture in my pretend house. Then, once these items were placed, I needed to upgrade! There was no way I would live in this house in real life—I couldn't move around with the many foot stools, potted plants and looms rooted in the living room! Also, it would be eerie to touch the mists and see a ghost open up more rooms to fill up with more decors!
I figure that’s why this game went out of favor—maybe other people were bored becoming digital hoarders. When playing this game, I was only able to convince 3 Facebook friends to play along.  I had much better luck gaining help for other hidden object game, Criminal Case.   In this game, the player finds clues among the hidden objects and solves cases along the way, moving up in the ranks of the police force.
Is this game more popular because we all secretly want to be detectives? I believe games like Criminal Case feed our logical side of our brains in wanting to place things in order. We feel we've accomplished something by solving one case at a time.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see the lovely scenes of Paris. The next time I want to see the Eiffel Tower, I’ll need to go looking for it on my own, either surfing the web or seeing it for real.  
Maybe that’s what I need to take away from this cancellation—instead of viewing a digitized version of Paris, maybe I need to take steps to see it for myself.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Open Wide and Say Aha!

A dentist appointment has never been my friend.
I would love to be one of those people, like my son, that can go to the dentist and be told, “Good check up! See you again in 6 months!”  No, what I got to hear from the dentist was what my next painful procedure would be! One dentist put a digitized picture of my teeth onto the office computer screen. He was using technology to draw attention to all of the work needed in my mouth. As he would draw circles around the bad teeth, like a swirling Doppler radar, he would summons his dental assistant to see the decay displayed on the screen.  I would remind him, with gauze in my mouth, he should be happy that there was so much work to be done; I was responsible for sending his kids through college!  After that appointment, I found another dentist. Sorry, kids, no Harvard for you!!
I couldn't understand why I had such teeth trouble. It wasn't like I ate rocks coated with sugar every day! One dentist answered my question by stating I had decay prone teeth. Well, talk about a real downer! No matter if I brushed and flossed every hour on the hour, they were destined to rot. I really began to hate my teeth!
A few days ago, I was recovering from an extraction.  With each throbbing in my gums, I began to curse my teeth. Suddenly, I realized my choice of words—did I really hate my teeth? No, not really, it’s not like my teeth were rebelling against me, I just hated being in a situation of pain.
I decided to try something: when I ached, I sent thoughts of love to the pain source. This simple act changed my way of thinking about my teeth. No longer was I feeling powerless, but rather aware that I had options.  Maybe that dentist was wrong about my teeth being decay prone-- no other dentist had echoed that opinion.

I’m very careful not to say I hate my teeth anymore, but rather they’re a work in progress.  Or a scholarship to Harvard for my new dentist’s kids!