On cohabitaiton

Have you ever noticed that grocery shopping with your significant other is a lot like having tea with enemy soldiers? No?

Perhaps it’s just me.

No. I refuse to accept that I’m the only person who struggles with this. You just don’t want to admit it.

When I moved to Toronto, I had a roommate. He was a good roommate, but eventually we parted ways amicably, and I moved to my very own place in the city. Which was glorious. Total privacy, grocery shopping for just me and the cats, decorating to please myself alone. At times I felt a bit lonely, but I focused on being free, for the first time in a very long time.

There is something about buying groceries that I find ridiculously satisfying. I shan’t even try to explain, just know that I really enjoy it. Some of the stupidest, passionate, and most infuriating fights I’ve ever had revolved around groceries. Now that I live with Boyfriend, I am trying to remove the stick from my ass on this topic, but oh; it’s hard. How do I struggle with this? Let me count the ways.

1. Learning to share – combining two households into one means you have to put each other first. That lone waffle tempting you from the freezer? No longer can you just grab it. You ought to ask if the other person wants it, while secretly hoping they say no. I am convinced that sharing is one of those traits we like to think we have mastered, but take away the audience of friends and family, and we revert back to jungle law: leggo my eggo.

2. Learning to compromise – a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but compromise is a sanitized way of saying two or more people are in conflict, and to “reach consensus” at least one person must give in. When you like one brand of a particular food, and your better half prefers another brand, you’ll either spend double to buy both, or one person leaves the store unhappy. The battles we had over brand name ketchup versus generic were ridiculous.

How generous I felt on the day I announced that the budget would survive Heinz ketchup. And how infuriated I became, when Boyfriend spurned my gracious offer and said, “It’s okay, the PC ketchup isn’t that bad.” It took me a year of cohabitation to reach that moment and by the time I reached that selfless place, it did not matter.

Some time ago, as I was puttering around the kitchen, I noticed a dirty dish on the wrong side of the counter. Oh yes, there is a right and a wrong side, and I knew I hadn’t put it there. This transgression immediately opened the floodgates to mentally cataloging Boyfriend’s sins against the harmony of cohabitation; the ketchup fight, why is he a toothpaste fascist, is the convenience of pre-sliced bulk mushrooms was worth the expense, is the difference in said price actually worth a knock-down brawl in the grocery store? (This is not the first time I have clashed with a man over mushrooms, who knew they were so inflammatory?)

I had a brief sulk and got back to straightening up the kitchen. The only thing left to do was put away the huge bag of flour we picked up the other day. I hate transferring flour from the bag into the bin, it gets everywhere. I turned around to pick it up. And it was gone.

I looked all over. It wasn’t under the sink, or the microwave. It wasn’t in the living room where I left it. It wasn’t in the closet. I opened the pantry, and there is was, sitting in the flour bin. He must have done this while I was out.

My petty thoughts dissolved in a warm fuzzy glow. The happier you are with life, the more silly things you find to pick at.

 

 

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Gender parity in video games

Last night I was playing Diablo 3 with my fiancé and a friend, when I was asked a question.

“Why is your barbarian a female?”

The reason is that since the option to pick my gender in a game happens so rarely, when I can, I do. My heart pumps purple blood for Mileena, I adventure with Celes and Terra, I pop heads as a female cyborg, it’s just how I prefer to play.

This morning we continued the discussion, why do I play as a female? Because “it’s 2016” and my gender remains staggeringly under-represented in games. Why is that?

I heard the argument that I could play Lara Croft games, Metroid, Heavenly Sword… and so what? I’m not saying that no female game protagonists exist. I’m saying there are precious few. The proof is on my shelf.

I own 132 video games. I like to play RPGs, tactical games, fighters, dungeon crawling loot bonanzas, solo games, co-op FPS, simulations, all sorts of games. This is my shelf:

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I pulled every game to the edge. Any game with a male protagonist was pushed back in, now 61 games remain.

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Of what’s left, about half are RPGs like Final Fantasy, where you play as a large cast of characters of both genders, and there is nearly always a main male character on a coming of age quest.  The remainder are adventuring games where you can pick your gender, like Oblivion, Dragon Age,or Diablo, and games where you choose a fighter like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.

So I pushed back every game that did not have a clear female protagonist.

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4 games remain. Parasite Eve, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Since FF games have a large cast that knocks FF XIII and XIII-2 out of the running. Sorry Lightning!

What is left?

2 games.

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Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy X-2, arguably one of the worst, cheesiest FFs ever made.

Why is this? A mere 2 out of 132.

Hey Nintendo. While I was drooling over the E3 footage of your new Zelda game, I couldn’t help but notice that once again we’re going to play as Link. Where is “The Legend of Zelda: a Link in Chains“?  Where is the Zelda game where you get to play as Zelda?

This is not a problem limited to Nintendo. This is a problem and a responsibility shared by all game manufacturers. Not only is it a poor financial decision to continue making and marketing games mostly towards men (I’m looking at you Ubisoft), it’s a moral failing.

Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the game manufacturers are continuing to perpetuate the myth that women don’t exist, women don’t matter. Why?

Dear video game industry, why don’t my dollars matter to you? Why don’t I matter to you? Where are our games?

I’ve shown you my game shelf. What does your look like?

It arrived…

… with a capacity of 1.5 lbs, running at 110 volts, and 60 Hz; what could it be?

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Boyfriend Unit asked me what I thought about the two of use purchasing this, as a Christmas present to each other. Would I?!

I asked him, “Are you sure?”

He said, “Yup, I’m sure.”

Stay tuned until tomorrow.

If you know what this is, click Like.

If you don’t, leave a comment!

Penuche fudge round 5

Pictureless post is pictureless. There are two completed desserts from last week that won’t be featured on my blog because I forgot to take pictures. Oops.

Last week I wrote about my 4th batch of penuche which was successful, and my 5th batch which was setting. I forgot to take pictures of the 5th batch later that day, because I was too busy eating pieces since it turned out!! I was so excited, it was delicious, and more importantly; it set.

Stopping for photos was the last thing on my mind. It had that gorgeous penuche taste, such an intriguing flavour. It was not as firm as I would like, and I need to master the beating and pouring process, but I’m getting closer. ^^

I became fudge-fatigued and ran out of dark brown sugar, so a break was needed.

The other dessert I wanted to post but forgot was the apple crisp that Boyfriend made for Thanksgiving, which was delicious. I am going to push him to make another one soon and if he cooperates I’ll have something to post.

It’s possible I have the energy to bake something today. You’ll have to wait and see.