Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nearly Back

Which is to say: jet lag is a bitch.

Got back into Paraguay...what? Sunday? No...Saturday night. Took me a couple days to get acclimated to the environment, but I'm still having a hard time getting to sleep at night (with the three hour time difference). And since the kids are having the same difficulty, well, it's made for some rough nights for the wife and me. Mostly the wife (she had to get back to work, after all). Coffee helps. Lots of coffee.

I say "acclimated to the environment" but I'm not talking about the climate. No, I'm talking about settling down once again in this third world hell hole. Okay, yeah, that's an exaggeration...there are plenty of worse places to live (even on this continent). But the contrast between home and here is so great, the initial splash-shock of arrival is pretty extreme. We were not looking forward to leaving Seattle for Asuncion. As we drove to our house from the airport (I in a separate vehicle from my family because of the amount of luggage...we'll be here till November at least), I found myself sinking into a kind of depression as the realization of the situation sunk in. It ain't no Kansas, Toto.

Thankfully, that depression was (mostly) dissipated after 24 or 48 hours. There's a trick to living here: you forget the things you might miss as you adapt to the environment. The "lack of conveniences" fade into the back of the memory and "life as usual" takes over and you stop pining-whining. Besides my mother-in-law is with us and she brought a shit-ton of good eats/ingredients from Mexico with her...the cooking the last couple days has truly been exemplary stuff.

And there are other perks to life here: if you're a fan of association football ("soccer," as we call it in the States), and there's any kind of big tournament in which you've got an interest (like, say, the Women's World Cup or the Copa America...both going on right now), you couldn't do much better with television coverage than Paraguay. Futbol is a passion of most Paraguayans, and from the live TVs above the checkout lines in stores and supermarkets, to the general enthusiasm of the people (you should have heard the screams and fireworks when the national team beat Brazil to advance to the semi-finals)...well, that's a lot of fun. Plus, if you like the occasional slab of steak served to you on an iron skillet, Asuncion is probably only a little behind Buenos Aires in that department.

[tonight is Argentina versus Paraguay in the semi-finals by the way. Considering the Pope (who is Argentine) will be visiting Asuncion in the next couple weeks, the game could be said to have religious implications for the country...ha!]

ANYway...I'm back, more or less. Sorry to the folks who were worried or thought I was dead (and thank you for the concerned emails). No, nothing bad happened to me...I was simply, selfishly, enjoying my vacation. God, I was enjoying it. It was so good to be back in Seattle. Other than my daughter taking a little time to get used to it (she's spent eleven of her first fourteen months in South America, after all), the whole family had a helluva' good time. Gosh...family friendly brew-houses? Baseball and (real) pizza? On Demand cable TV? Self-serve checkout machines at the grocery? Paved streets? Customer service?! Oh, my! Not to mention my very own bed in which I slept like a baby every night.

[I strongly recommend anyone invest in a Tempurpedic mattress. I know they're expensive, but your back will sooooo thank you in the long run. The wife and I first got one close to eight years ago and...oh, man, do I miss having one down here. They just don't have shit like that here!]

Just good living. And it was an absolute pleasure to be able to spend time with family. My crazy brother is a little less crazy when I'm around, my mother a little less stressed and a lot happier with the grandkids toddling about her house. Hard to believe that in 24 hours, one can be more than a quarter the Earth's circumference away from the place you grew up.


Anyway: blogging stuff. Lots to get to. I spent much of my relaxation time reading and researching super-hero RPGs and comics and the genre in general. That will be an upcoming post. Continuation of the Kloane War Knights series, of course...though I'm not sure anyone missed it (in reading back over the blog role for the last couple weeks, it appears the whole "space gaming craze" brought about by White Star may have cooled somewhat, at least with regard to posting. Not sure what that means). I'm tempted to get back to Crowns of Blood as well (had the chance to catch up on my Game of Thrones watching, and I've some thoughts on that). A couple of SciFi related things are on my mind (conversations with Steve-O and my older child's current fascination with the old Star Blazers cartoon is responsible for this).

[just as an aside, my Frontier Space micro game has been downloaded nearly 500 times since it went up. Reading over it again, I find that I really, really like it, especially the combat system. I kind of want to develop this into something, or at least play test it. Also, after re-reading Knight Hawks I find I'm not terribly interested in converting KH in any way, shape, or form...which means the starship skills in FS probably need to be re-written. Yet another "something to do" on the list]

Finally, my most recent obsession of the last couple days (besides watching soccer) has been the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon and some ideas/concepts the thing has given me. I want to blog about that this week as well.

But all that's going to have to wait a bit: it's market day (only comes one day a week here) and my suegra is finally awake and coffee'd up (she's got the jet lag, too). More later!
: )

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