Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I have learned from playing Candy Crush Saga OR "How not to let a game drive you insane"

A few months ago, somebody(I wish I knew who) sent me a game request for a game called, Candy Crush Saga. I figured, "why not"? It looked harmless enough and I love games, so I tried it. It is puzzle game created by The object of the game is to match candies, break chocolate and destroy gummies to move on to the next levels. It is an interactive game where your friends can help you progress by sending you, "lives" or "tickets" to continue your game play. It starts out harmless and easy enough. You get on, play a level and get off, no big deal.

For me and several others I know, it became an obsession very quickly. Soon, I was waiting until I could find a minute to play Candy Crush. (or Candy Crack Saga as some of us now call it) I was excusing myself from the dinner table just to have a "candy break". Taking longer and longer bathroom breaks. Staying awake until the wee hours of the morning just so I could play while everyone else was sleeping. I was going along just fine so I thought, until I hit the dreaded, LEVEL 65. 

This level was so evil and sinister, it had me questioning my intelligence. And, as I saw other players breezing through Level 65 with no problem, I grew even more despondent. It got so bad at one point my husband, (who also plays) was afraid to tell me that he too had beaten the level and left me in the proverbial dust. 

I vowed to never play Candy Crush Saga again. Actually, I vowed the same thing every time I picked up my ipad, phone or got on my computer and was sucked into playing again. Each time succumbing to lure of this addictive game and each time failing the same level for 4 WEEKS!!!

I decided to take a break and regroup. Surely I could not be defeated by a game. I mean, I know I may have lost a few brain cells after raising four sons, but I had to be able to beat this level. So, I decided to go zen. I had to remember how to breathe and unclinch my jaw which seemed to have been gotten much tighter over the past month. I began to relax and do other things. I even picked up and resumed reading a novel I have been trying to finish since last year. 

I felt a calm come over me. I hadn't played in a whole TWO days. One morning, after my husband had gone to work and the house was still quiet. I picked up my Galaxy S 3 and stared at the seemingly innocent Candy Crush app. With its' cute colorful candies covered in sprinkles I knew the true evil that lurked inside. I decided to open the app. I turned the mind bending music and sound effects all the way down, and began to play. I told myself that this would be the day I would beat it. I would take my time, strategize and conquer Level 65......Hopefully. 

I looked at every candy, I made my connections with the precision of a surgeon. I held my breath and when the last candy fell, I stared at the screen. Was it true? Had I finally done it? YES!!!! I was victorious! I had finally beaten Level 65! I wanted to yell, but I didn't want to wake up my children. So, I just sat there in my bed with a goofy grin on my face for about 5 minutes. 

It has been about a 2 weeks since I beat that level. Since then, I have effortlessly made it all the way to level 79 where I am currently stuck. However, the feeling is totally different this time. No stress, no feelings of inadequacy or moments of doubting my intelligence. I even go days without even thinking of playing. Well, not exactly days. Maybe a day or a few hours. BUT, that is progress. 

Playing Candy Crush saga has taught me a lot about myself. I learned that I definitely need to relax more. I learned that no game is worth making me feel that crazy and that games are supposed to be fun. Not require a stay in rehab. So, I will continue playing this game along with the literally hundreds of other friends I have playing with me. But, I will take it easy this time and not curse at the screens anymore. I will enjoy figuring out these brain-seizing puzzles candy by candy. Why stress it?

There are only a little less than 300 levels left to beat....until the next update. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Awesome Experience!!

A lot of you know that I sometimes work as an extra on television and in movies. It is my break away from my day to day life and I have been doing it for about 14 years. Actually my whole family has worked as extras in the past couple of years and it has been a great way for them to see how tv shows and movies actually get made. Plus, they like having a little money in their pockets. For the past year I have had the extreme pleasure of working on the NBC drama, Chicago Fire. I was cast as one of the Administrative Assistants that work in Chief  Boden's office. Chief Boden is played by British actor, Eamonn Walker. He is a very dynamic actor and also very nice guy. I can honestly say watching him prepare and deliver a scene has been an indescribable joy. If you haven't seen it, the show centers around a Chicago Firehouse. Engine 51, Truck 81 and Squad 3. There is lot of hot stuff going on over there and it ain't just from the fires! The show has gathered a very nice following and I was so happy to hear that it was renewed for a 2nd season. This however was nothing compared to how I felt when I opened up my email a few weeks ago and found an invite to the Chicago Fire Season 1 wrap party! I thought I would faint. Literally faint! It was held at the very nice Firehouse Restaurant (where else would they have it) My hubby and I got all "gussied" up. The entire restaurant was used for the private event.  It was a mixture of Directors, Producers, Crew members, real Chicago firefighters(my husband included), the Main Cast and some fellow extras that had worked on the show since the beginning. The party was great! Good food, music and the chance to FINALLY get some pictures with my favorite guys from the show. It was a night to remember and I feel so thankful to have been a part of it. Here's to Season 2 and hopefully more chances for me to work on this awesome show!

Chicago Fire airs on NBC Wednesday nights at 9pm (cst)

Me and Eamonn Walker(Chief Boden)

Eamonn Walker(Chief Boden) Christian Stolte(Mouch) and Me

Me and David Eigenberg(Hermann)

Me and Joe Minoso(Cruz)

Me and Charlie Barnett (Peter Mills)

Me and Yuri Sardarov

Paul and Christian Stolte (Mouch)
Paul and David Eigenberg (Hermann)

Paul and Eamonn Walker

My Leading Man