Since the XBox 360 came into the house I have been hooked by Viva Pinata. You begin the game with a shovel and a small plot of dirt and grow it into a garden of pools, fruit trees and a variety of pinata animals. As incredibly stupid as this sounds, it’s massively addictive. I’m not blessed with hours and hours to waste away so I put my time to good measure, and have scored 27 acheivements by Level 34 with a little research from fellow pinata tenders. Growing new things in your garden attracts larger and more exotic pinatas, and I’ve just tamed a couple of chameleons that I plan to mate. Mating your pinatas is the swiftest way to level up because, you know, it’s a kid’s game. One of the ways I keep myself entertained is by naming my pinatas after my co-workers. It makes game play that much more interesting to know that Reid the bee is my most productive honeymaker, Phil fights every newt that gets in his pond and I can’t get the two sparrows to romance any sooner than it would ever happen with their namesakes. There is technically no end to this game but I plan to consider it fully accomplished after I bring in a unicorn. Now you must excuse me, because if I don’t grow an oak tree I’m pretty sure that eagle will never make my garden home.
I’ve been getting a lot of sweet notes from people who have heard about the lightning. So here is the story: I had meetings over lunch so I ran an errand late in the day. I couldn’t find the store I was looking for so I was over an hour gone. A storm started up as they often do in the Florida summer afternoons. I was already late back so I thought I would risk running through the rain to get to my office. I almost took an umbrella but I decided against it. I took off, and I’m not but a few steps when a flash over my shoulder makes me look behind. I see sparks trail up the ground about eight feet away, there’s a hiss as it runs up the pavement. The air is full of static. I wonder did I really just see lightning hit the ground? And I heard the crack of thunder louder and closer than I’ve ever heard it before. I yelled out a curse word and kept running. When I hit the building there was a crowd of astonished people just looking at me, I stood in the doorway and for a moment, just stared back. Then I shook it off all over. I saw the company lawyer on the way to the elevator, he said hello and I was panting. So for the rest of the afternoon, I thought maybe I was just shook up, even though I wasn’t scared. But my faculties didn’t come back. I tried to talk to people but just trailed off, I tried to work but I couldn’t. I stared at a hole in the wall for thirty minutes. I began to suspect that there was something really wrong. I went to the emergency room and eventually I came back together, they said it was a temporary short circuit of the brain. So for all who’ve been writing in asking about how I was struck by lightning, I did have a brush with it and I am fine now. It makes a good story anyway.