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Minecraft: A World You Never Knew (and maybe never wanted to)

But now that you are reading this, it is too late.

If you don’t have a tween/teen/young adult around the house, you are probably living your life in utter bliss, knowing nothing about a mythical figure called Herobrine, or things called creepers, or the vast network of people who are utterly obsessed with this video game.

Like my son.

I like to think of it as Lego on steroids.  The main principle of the game, as far as I can tell, is for you to survive and build your own world that can encompass pretty much anything that can be represented by blocks.  There are attacks on your personal kingdom by things called creepers and other things called zombies that you are probably more familiar with.   And uh, I think that is pretty much it in a nutshell.  Survive, build, defend, and build some more.

And did you know there are homemade videos on YouTube that represent hundreds and hundreds of hours of work on the part of the people who created the custom worlds for each one?  And that many of them have millions and millions of views, some of them even more than Jennifer Lopez?

Here are a couple of the better ones…

It is somewhat jarring for me to admit that all of these are actually quite enjoyable to watch.

Monday Teeny Poll

38% of you are equally split between loving where you live and hating where you live, which I find interesting.  I think I would love where I live more if we were closer to my husband’s job.  As it stands, he has an hour commute and the price of gasoline is eating us alive.

I asked last week’s question because very soon I will embark on a whole-house remodel of a place we should have moved into months and months ago, but have been prevented by various circumstances not under my control.  A place that is ten minutes away from where my husband works.

Why I Didn’t Get My Son an XBox

Because man, did he ever beg for one for his birthday.

And I get it, I really do.  He wants to be cool, video games that are not Wii-related are cool, and he loves video games in general.  I was in a similar situation back in the caveman days when the Atari first came out.

Except naively, my parents bought us one, not fully realizing the addictive powers of the video game.  How could they?  But my generation, we know better.

And really, I think my son can get addicted to playing his video games. The more time he spends with games, the shorter his attention span and the less willing he is to listen and do his schoolwork and chores.

Besides, his Kindle has no shortage of them, his most favorite being Minecraft. Now Minecraft is actually a game I don’t mind as much.  You have to use your brain and your imagination a bit, and even though there are apparently zombies out to kill you, you at least have to work and create things in order to stay alive.

Which is to say that it is absolutely nothing like a game such as the Halo series, which I believe is just people killing the crap out of other people just for the heck of it.

I could be wrong.

My husband and I were actually going to get my 10 year old an Xbox as an easy way out.  We had nothing else we could really think of getting for him, and we felt that the first double-digit birthday should be treated as a bit of an occasion.

But then we got to talking about the whole uncensored XBox Live thing, because apparently it isn’t worth playing unless you can be online,  how he doesn’t even have a television in his room, how many of the XBox games are fairly violence-prone, and some other stuff.

So about a week before his actual birthday, we called off the XBox purchase.  As I said before, he has plenty of mind-numbing things loaded onto his Kindle, and when he is truly bored, he can come and kick his parents’ butts at Mario Kart.

Instead we will take him on a trip somewhere.  Somewhere where he gets on a plane and experiences something unlike he’s ever experienced before.

I’m glad we changed our minds.

Monday Teeny Poll

78% of you felt that a college professor who breastfed her child during a lecture acted inappropriately.  Some of you also disagreed with a sick child being brought to the workplace.  You know, I sort of see that viewpoint, but it just underscores how most women have few options when it comes to childcare, so I’m thinking it could bring attention to their situations.  17% said she was just fine, and only 4% didn’t know what to think.

Yesterday we had my son’s 10th birthday party and it was 99 degrees!

Things I’m Not Necessarily Looking Forward To

When my daughter gets older, it is almost certain that she will have an unreasonable, all-consuming crush on some sort of horrible boy band.

I’m not a huge modern pop music fan, and the thought of having to listen to that type of stuff already makes my ears want to shrivel.

Huh.

Maybe that’s what iPods and headphones are for.

And, that poor guy second from the left has been forever immortalized as the one with crop pants and no socks.  In fact, that entire outfit wouldn’t look out of place in a Land’s End catalogue.  For women.

Toys With Skeletons

Artist Jason Freeny, just in time for Halloween…

OMG! Want!

via Buzzfeed

Babies and Caaaaats

Just to show that I am an equal opportunity baby and animal photo person…

 

via Buzzfeed

Home Alone?

I take my daughter to speech therapy twice a week for an hour.  The office is less than five minutes from my house, and because of the whole homeschooling thing, I have to bring my soon-to-be 10 year old along with us every time.

Which, you know, on the grand scale of things, is not really that big of a deal.  They have an observation room that we sit in, and we either read books or play games on the Kindle.  Well, usually it is me reading a book and him playing the games.

For almost all of my upper elementary years into high school, I was a stereotypical latch-key kid.  I would take the bus to my grandmother’s house, go into the backyard and over into the garage, where the house key would be waiting for me, tucked into a compartment in the water heater cabinet.  I would let myself in, watch television, maybe get a drink, and my grandmother or grandfather would be home from work in two hours or so.  My grandparents were very young, and didn’t hit retirement age until I was almost in high school.

I never had any issues or problems during those latch-key years.  No person trying to rob the house or salesmen knocking on the door.  Or, if there was someone purporting to be a salesman, I simply didn’t answer the door at all.

Even though he will be 10 in less than a month, my son has a fairly good head on his shoulders.  I know he is definitely not the type to light something on fire just for the hell of it, or make prank phone calls.  He just doesn’t have that type of temperament, and never has.

I was toying with the idea of possibly leaving him here for the hour that I am away at speech therapy, what with being so close and it admittedly being quite boring for him during the sessions.

My state has no age limit as to when a child can legally be left at home alone.  It’s more of a “you can make the decision yourself, but there will be hell to pay if you make the wrong one” type of thing.

At what age, if ever, did your parents leave you home alone?

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