Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Wisdom of Video Games

I had the best of intentions yesterday. I finished work, finished paying bills online, finished balancing the budget, and finished emailing people, which pretty much meant that I was finished sitting in this computer chair for a while. At least until after dinner. Then, I planned to return to write some no doubt mind-blowing, inspiring blog post that would leave you breathless.

Dinner came and went, but instead of returning to my computer, I switched on the PS3 and turned on Portal, a puzzle game that comes as part of the five-game Orange Box along with Half-Life 2 and a few other games.

Four hours later, I was stuck in the game, Cody was stuck with me, and I finally decided to turn it off. I stood up...and nearly fell back to the chair as feeling came back into my legs, my back tried to stiffen into a warped plank, and my bladder—my woefully neglected bladder, which I'd steadily been filling with glass after glass of water—reminded me of its existence. It was after midnight, so even if I had raced (okay, staggered) to the computer, I still wouldn't have gotten a post in yesterday. And despite the fun and challenge of the game, there wasn't a lot of anything left in me to write.

The experience, however, left me a little wiser:

1. Portal is dangerously addictive (though, that's okay now, because Cody and I beat the game this morning, so that addiction is out of my system).
2. Just like when sitting at the computer for long stretches of time, I do need to stand every once in a while and blink a little more often than I did.
3. Most important: We need new chairs!

The recliner that I sat in came as part of a package with Cody. It is 15 years old. The footrest has broken in the middle to a permanent dip. The arm padding is worn away enough that you can tell that the wooden boards beneath are no longer connected properly and have a tendency to give out if you attempt to use them to assist your upward momentum. But most important, any lingering traces of back support are gone.

My chair, which is now Cody's chair when we sit in the front room, is not a lot better. It's older—it was used before I got it 10 year ago. It will recline only with extreme force and a grating metallic sound that scares the cats. The handle to release the footrest broke, so Cody must reach under the chair and press a sharp lever to put his feet up. The footrest itself is crooked (I call it the Harrison Ford smile—take a look at his Indiana Jones smile, and you'll know what the front of my chair looks like when it is closed), so it doesn't like to close and must be mule-kicked into submission. And like my chair, there's only a wistful amount of support left in the back. The spring in the seat are rapidly giving up hope, too, so that it's gradually morphing into something that resembles upholstered quicksand. Not to mention that my cats thought the back of the chair made a great scratching post, so now it's shredded up both sides and a blanket is permanently tucked in around it to give it some semblance of class.

The time has come for new furniture. The surest sign (if this wasn't enough): the pieces selling for a mere $50 on Craig's List look like floor-room models compared to our furniture.


TikiBird said...

Sounds like a new couch or chair is definitely in order. What would be perfect is if people could buy it for you as a present! ;)

Incidentally, I've seen that chair, and I've seen Harrison Ford. That chair is not nearly as hot. LOL

Rebecca Chastain said...

You're right. The chair's got zero sexiness in it. LOL