Be-Screwed

September28

There are three diamonds and Bam! A hyper cube – jewels tumbling down and – oh no the scary Jafar guy says “THIRTY SECONDS” and I scamper like a terrified rabbit… swiping, looking, jewels explode and roar and OMFG – I am topping 300,000 but then the dreaded drone signaling the end but NO! THIRTY SECOND BONUS! I am a God at this thing and —-

Oh, sorry, you were just listening to my inside voice. Welcome to my Bejeweled addiction.

I first saw the game on a flight from Lima to Miami. As I read books and watched movie, a woman two rows ahead spent six hours swiping cubes on the screen on the seat back in front of her. Like pensioners in front of nickel slots in Vegas, her eyes glassed over as hour after hour she pawed at diamonds, squares and stars.
I internally clucked to myself. “So sad,” I thought, “and she’s an adult too. Where is the music, the novel, the conversation with her traveling companion?” (My internal voice is clearly from a Jane Austen novel. “That will never be me!”

The game just appeared on my iPhone and my initial interest started innocently enough. The kids have Subway Surfer and Red Ball – idle games to kill time in the take-out line. (Okay, did I just even write that sentence? What would my Waldorf friends say??) I started noodling around with it — a game so easy my cocker spaniel could score 100 by lolling his tongue over the touch screen. The graphics were old school, the sounds simple bleeps and bells. I joked to Brad that I hated myself for doing wasting time in such an inane way; my father read Emerson in the bank line and now I chased hyper-cubes.
Brad said I should take up something way more self-destructive if I was going to go to the bother of hating myself.

I put it down for a while, but then tuned back in during June in Austin. The hours for Leftovers were long and in perpetual night. (It seems Damon Lindelof’s imagination fires nocturnally.) Anyone that’s tried to stay alert night after night on a set knows it’s not easy; espresso, stale crullers in the morning and fluorescent Cheetos at night. My make up artist and I would have in depth conversation about chicken coop care and how to stay cool in Texas’ infernal summer heat. We stimulate our nervous systems at such things at 3 am, so that when we are called up – like Navy Seals – we can bounce up and can put two words together. In the bad old days, there was smoking and cocaine. Now there are screens.
Like people everywhere, the crew bows reverently before their devices. Face booking, gaming, tweeting, emailing and texting, texting, texting, texting. It’s what we do now. And there one night, seated on an apple box drinking an orange Fanta, I rediscovered Bejeweled with a zealousness that surprised even me.

The graphics were now sinuous and sparkling! The sounds explosive and juicy! Now there were gaming options; I stumbled upon Diamond Mine and dove deep, deep, deep into that particular shaft. I told myself it was a way to stay awake, it was a way for me to focus my brain while keeping my ears open, like prairie women darning socks. I told myself I could listen to important direction from the director (“Uh huh, oh really good point!”) while I chased down the golden explosions.
After wrap at 4 am, alone in my hotel room deep in the heart of Austin, I put on the tube (it was Seth MacFarlane on every channel) and again, tried to beat my high score. If my children were glued like I was I would take away the phone for a week. But hey, I’m the parent. I played until my eyes bled.
Back home, Bodhi teases me about it and every chance he gets deletes Bejeweled. (I know he’s been on my phone because it’s gone.) Two minutes later, left to my own devices I re-install it and waste another 20 minutes.

Bejeweled has been my dirty little secret. Until, clearly, now.

When I stop judging myself (nearly impossible) and ponder my affection for this mindlessness, here’s what I come up with:

For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to schedule my kiddo’s lives.
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to worry about climate change.
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to worry about my sweet, aging folks.
But mostly:
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to listen to fucking Donald Trump.

Let’s hope that bully is almost through with his 15 minutes of fame. Then we can get some grown-up, intelligent and well-informed political leadership, and I can stop playing this idiotic game.

Donald, it’s your move.

Be-Screwed

There are three diamonds and Bam! A hyper cube – jewels tumbling down and – oh no the scary Jafar guy says “THIRTY SECONDS” and I scamper like a terrified rabbit… swiping, looking, jewels explode and roar and OMFG – I am topping 300,000 but then the dreaded drone signaling the end but NO! THIRTY SECOND BONUS! I am a God at this thing and —-

Oh, sorry, you were just listening to my inside voice. Welcome to my Bejeweled addiction.

I first saw the game on a flight from Lima to Miami. As I read books and watched movie, a woman two rows ahead spent six hours swiping cubes on the screen on the seat back in front of her. Like pensioners in front of nickel slots in Vegas, her eyes glassed over as hour after hour she pawed at diamonds, squares and stars.
I internally clucked to myself. “So sad,” I thought, “and she’s an adult too. Where is the music, the novel, the conversation with her traveling companion?” (My internal voice is clearly from a Jane Austen novel. “That will never be me!”

The game just appeared on my iPhone and my initial interest started innocently enough. The kids have Subway Surfer and Red Ball – idle games to kill time in the take-out line. (Okay, did I just even write that sentence? What would my Waldorf friends say??) I started noodling around with it — a game so easy my cocker spaniel could score 100 by lolling his tongue over the touch screen. The graphics were old school, the sounds simple bleeps and bells. I joked to Brad that I hated myself for doing wasting time in such an inane way; my father read Emerson in the bank line and now I chased hyper-cubes.
Brad said I should take up something way more self-destructive if I was going to go to the bother of hating myself.

I put it down for a while, but then tuned back in during June in Austin. The hours for Leftovers were long and in perpetual night. (It seems Damon Lindelof’s imagination fires nocturnally.) Anyone that’s tried to stay alert night after night on a set knows it’s not easy; espresso, stale crullers in the morning and fluorescent Cheetos at night. My make up artist and I would have in depth conversation about chicken coop care and how to stay cool in Texas’ infernal summer heat. We stimulate our nervous systems at such things at 3 am, so that when we are called up – like Navy Seals – we can bounce up and can put two words together. In the bad old days, there was smoking and cocaine. Now there are screens.
Like people everywhere, the crew bows reverently before their devices. Face booking, gaming, tweeting, emailing and texting, texting, texting, texting. It’s what we do now. And there one night, seated on an apple box drinking an orange Fanta, I rediscovered Bejeweled with a zealousness that surprised even me.

The graphics were now sinuous and sparkling! The sounds explosive and juicy! Now there were gaming options; I stumbled upon Diamond Mine and dove deep, deep, deep into that particular shaft. I told myself it was a way to stay awake, it was a way for me to focus my brain while keeping my ears open, like prairie women darning socks. I told myself I could listen to important direction from the director (“Uh huh, oh really good point!”) while I chased down the golden explosions.
After wrap at 4 am, alone in my hotel room deep in the heart of Austin, I put on the tube (it was Seth MacFarlane on every channel) and again, tried to beat my high score. If my children were glued like I was I would take away the phone for a week. But hey, I’m the parent. I played until my eyes bled.
Back home, Bodhi teases me about it and every chance he gets deletes Bejeweled. (I know he’s been on my phone because it’s gone.) Two minutes later, left to my own devices I re-install it and waste another 20 minutes.

Bejeweled has been my dirty little secret. Until, clearly, now.

When I stop judging myself (nearly impossible) and ponder my affection for this mindlessness, here’s what I come up with:

For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to schedule my kiddo’s lives.
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to worry about climate change.
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to worry about my sweet, aging folks.
But mostly:
For the time that I play Bejeweled, I don’t have to listen to fucking Donald Trump.

Let’s hope that bully is almost through with his 15 minutes of fame. Then we can get some grown-up, intelligent and well-informed political leadership, and I can stop playing this idiotic game.

Donald, it’s your move.

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