Sunday, February 27, 2011

Evil-slaying activities for Sunday, Feb 27

Here's a list of my activities today - could you all be awesome and assign me some points for each of these activities?  Thank you!

-Worked for 3 hours (yes, on a Sunday, stupid site was supposed to go live tomorrow but is delayed AGAIN because of technical difficulties, ugh)
-Played cello for 30 minutes
-Did one load of laundry
-Went out and bought a stick blender so I can make more smoothies and blend veggies easier
-Submitted an abstract for my paper to the International Digital Media and Arts Journal

I think that's it.... so what's my point total for today?

Also, I thought of a few non-monetary-related rewards, but I could still use suggestions.  I'm drawing a blank!
New ideas:

-An afternoon "off" - to read, play video games, whatever without feeling like I "have" to do anything
-A drive somewhere to take photos
-Trip to a bookstore

Fighting the Wolf

In my experience with people who have been infected by the Beast, I have found there are two paths to keeping the monster at bay.

First, you have to calm the Beast. Rage isn't only an Abiding Evil trying to turn you into a man-rending animal, it is a force that can slowly corrupt you into seeing people as prey, even on a slow burn level. The Beast can manifest itself in your flesh in several means... ulcers, hypertension, inflammation disorders, insomnia. Calm the beast to reduce the heat. I like music to this end, a historic remedy for the Beast. What music calms you? And I don't mean "satisfy", I do mean "calm". Is it baroque organ music, Italian opera, new age Windham Hill synth music, trance, Buddhist chant, or even the pipes and drums? Feed that into your body, and put the fetcher to sleep.

Second, you have to feed the blighter. A pet will turn on any master once it begins to starve to death. Likewise, to keep the rage from overtaking your humanity, keep it from forcibly lashing out and taking more than it can eat out of your hide. Recognize the anger that is human, and give it a place to exist. I'm biased, but I like music towards this end as well. Give it the hard metal, the brakes, the two-step country-western shuffle, the belt-out-loud Broadway. Choose the music that tends to make you physically move... this feeds it just enough to keep it from lashing out.

Food for thought...

LOOT: Broccoli Barley Soup

Coming home from the store yesterday, I walked in my house and saw the weirdest thing. One of my cookbooks was glowing. Right there on the bookshelf in the living room, just shining at me like the sun. I took the book off the shelf and it opened to a recipe I've never seen before - a nourishing soup with broccoli and barley. I wasn't sure at the time what was going on, but now it all makes sense...

LOOT: For using the Wild Berry Potion to defeat the vampire yesterday, you've earned a new recipe.

Broccoli Barley Soup
from Sunset's "Vegetarian Cooking: Nutritious Recipes with Flavor & Imagination"

3 Tbs Butter
2 medium Onions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 pounds Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
1 cups Vegetable Cups
3/4 cup Pearl Barley
1 pound Broccoli
2 Tbs Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water
2 cups Milk
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Parmesan Cheese (I use Cheddar)

In a 5 quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Add rosemary, stock, and barely and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until barley is tender (about 45 minutes).

Meanwhile, remove broccoli flowerets and cut into bite-sized pieces. Peel stems and thinly slice. When barley is tender, increase heat and add broccoli stems and pieces. Cook, covered, until broccoli is just tender and still bright green (about 10 minutes).

In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water. Add to soup long with milk and cook, stirring, until soup boils and thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle each serving lightly with Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Battle with a vampire, progress report, and mechanics update

This morning I felt pretty good.  Rested, strong.  I let my guard slip for a moment, and paid the price - this afternoon a vamp came out of nowhere, tackling me into the dirt.  It was a ballsy SOB - it wasn't even dark yet.  I wonder if they are getting stronger, or finding ways to circumvent their weaknesses.  At any rate, the fight was pretty intense, and for a moment I thought I was a goner.  But then I remembered a new potion that Matt concocted, and it worked marvelously.  I finished off that Beast like he was nothing.


Progress Report:
So this afternoon I got hit with pretty intense stomach cramps, dizziness, and nausea.  I'm almost certain it's due to a new medication that I'm on - the same symptoms hit me Wednesday night, when I started the medication, and have been coming and going ever since.  They are also listed on the bottle as side effects, so that's also a good clue. 

Matt suggested making me Wild Berry tea, as it contains both blackberry and raspberry, which help with stomach issues.  Then I thought to ask him to grate some fresh ginger in there.  Mixed with some agave nectar and milk, the result not only made me feel better but tasted really, really good.  So we can add that potion to our arsenal, yay!

It's been one week since we started this game, and I wanted to document the results on me as we go along.  It may be coincidence, but I have felt happier and more hopeful this last week than in a long time.  I've told my coworkers about this game, and they comment on how awesome the idea is, and I feel... energized talking about it.  When those stomach cramps hit today, I started to feel emotionally upset because I wanted to do some things to day, but then I looked at Matt and said, "Hey, these cramps are a battle with a vamp, how do I fight it?" And that's how he got to thinking about the tea, suggesting it as a "potion."  So far, it seems like it's working! I'm not so anxious and upset about the surgery I may have in two weeks, and reading all the posts here by my friends have definitely helped me, more than I can put into words. 


Mechanics Update:
I have been reading Jane's book, Reality is Broken, and one of the things she identifies as part of a game is feedback.  I think it's really important for me to have that feedback mechanism to start seeing the things I do to fight the Evils as heroic, and not just because I "have" to.  This is kind of a hard thought for me to articulate, but just boil it down to say that I think feedback is really important for me.  So I want to assign points to achievements and missions that I complete, and then use those points to "buy" my rewards.  This is where I need your help though, gang.  I suck at rewarding myself fairly, so when I post an achievement or a mission completed, could someone chime in with how many points you think that's worth? And when we get the rewards up, could someone assign points levels to them?  For rewards, here's a list of things I've got so far:

-WoW sheet music for strings book (I CAN PLAY WOW MUSIC ON CELLO ARE YOU KIDDING?!)
-New cello bow
-New Macbook Pro
-Assassin's Creed
-Batman: Arkham Asylum (if my computer can run it, I'm still trying to figure that out)
-Dinner out at a favorite restaurant
-Going out to a movie
-Weekend away with Matt
-New sketchbook and pencils
-Hiking poles
-New perfume (this can be used multiple times because I love perfume)
-New wallet
-New road bike
-Gauged earrings
-Broken image necklace from Think Geek
-New tattoo
-Bottle of my favorite wine or a 6-pack of my favorite beer (can be used multiple times too)

And some achievements/missions I thought of:
-X points per hour of work
-X points for playing cello for 20 minutes (this is a power-up, but sometimes I'm so tired it's hard to play, even though I love it)
-X points for 30 minutes of working on my programming stuff
-X points per hour at doctor's appointments
-X points for posting to this blog

What do you guys think?

Power Mark

Allies of the Night Hunter,

I would like to call upon you. This is something that I have mentioned before, but would like to actually make happen. I was hoping we could come up with a simple logo or rune type design for Jessica's power and focus in the fight against the Evils. This is something that we could make out of metal or other simple material. This should be something she could take with her and draw strength from in her fight day-in-and-day-out. I was hoping it would be something she could meditate with/on as a focus for her healing and hope. The sign of her power in all this, and a constant reminder that she is never in this fight alone, even when the Beast is at her door or has her pushed back.

The singer, uh, McHaggis, I think, offered up the Cho Ku Rei symbol from here
Which others has liked as it could be done easily and also symbolizes one of her power ups in it as well. Any other thoughts?

I want us to try and do this soon, so that it can be a focus to us as well, in our aid to her fight.

Allies, for Jessica, please think on this and give feed back. Also anyone who may know how to make this or someone who does. I think if we make it a simple enough design, as above, we could cast it pretty easily.

Thank you, allies. May we continue in our good fight.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Character: The Rapier

I cannot remember a time when I was not aware of the evil that stalked the edges of this world. It seems like the darkness has always swirled around me, both terrifying and fascinating. I try my damnedest to push back at the Abiding Evils, challenging Them and side-stepping Their constant advances.

My best attack has always been my sense of humor. The stab of wit and the slash of jest are definitely my strongest weapons. I like to trip up the Beasts, watch Them stumble and falter, even if only for an instant. I am The Rapier. I like to taunt the nasty things. I enjoy the high.

Then the adrenaline wears off and it occurs to me that I’m kind of an idiot. When the laughter subsides, the cooking begins. Food is a source of strength, comfort and ritual for me. It helps that I can cook my ass off.

It was shortly after her attack that I met Jess in a cooking class called “Vegetarian without Shame.” The Beast had left its mark inside her, but she was determined fight back by learning everything she could about how to make her body stronger. She wore her scars well and I recognized a kindred spirit.

We ended up being class partners and bonding over our shared hatred of Tofurkey. I cracked her up a bit and she eventually let her guard down and told me what had happened. It was amazing to watch her pride, her ability, her middle finger in the face of the Beast. I knew that I would help Jess in any way I could, even if all I could do was cook her a good meal and take her mind off of the struggle for a little while.

So that’s what I do. I remind Jess that laughing in the face of the darkness is a powerful weapon.

The Rapier.

Character: Jamie Arktis

There is only one thing you need to know about me: I never give up. Ever.

I trained hard to fight the Evils in one of their manifestations. I spent three years walking the streets of a major city, looking for those whose minds, rather than bodies, held the Beast, who had become pariahs, shunned even by their own families. Those I found I helped to fight, to try to regain some semblance of themselves. Some improved, though they will never be the same. Some lost their limbs. A few lost their lives. And I started to lose my faith.

I started to realize that the weapons we were using to fight were woefully inadequate. I started advanced training in the hopes of finding the right combination, whatever it might take to prevent the loss of any more minds, any more souls, to the Evils, but instead I'm finding how little we really know.

I've known Jessica for a long time, since long before the Beast. It's a testament to her strength that the Beast hasn't changed her. I've never seen anybody fight like she does. She's the only one I've ever seen who can hold back the Beast--she says it's because of the magic, but I know it's because of who she is, who she's always been. Who she's destined to be. I do what I can to help, but it's not much. This isn't the Beast I was trained to fight. I don't have the right weapons.

But it's different this time. Because if anybody can beat it, Jessica can. Because I won't let a lack of weaponry make this fight harder for her. Whether I have the training or not, whether I have the right tools or not, I will help her fight, no matter what, because I know she can do it. Even if we have to make our own weapons this time.

I am the Armorer. And I never give up.


Character: The Medium

"They always come to you."

The words of the Oracle rang through my head the first time I encountered Jessica. I knew the sound of anguish when I heard it – and for a moment, my horrible past enveloped me into the cry resonating in every fiber of my being. It was a moment later I realized that, for the first time, this cry was not my own.

My own heart had made that sound many times in the past as I watched loved ones decay, and I knew - though I had most of my training with the Enduring Blaze still in front of me - that this person was my first charge. My passion to learn about the unexplainable pain I had witnessed, and the dangerous whispers of evil temptation I had experienced led me to study the texts of the Enduring Blaze. My suffering led me to the Oracle, who taught me the role the Abiding Evils – all three of them - played in my life. So too did Jessica’s suffering lead her to me for help and relief.

Jessica met me not in person, but in a chatroom discussing the latest political storm overtaking the country. During what was a very pleasant conversation, I suddenly felt the same impulse of anguish I had experienced for the first time only months before. Moments later Jessica excused herself from the keyboard, and explained briefly that she was “experiencing pain.” I got goosebumps. “I KNOW YOU!” I exclaimed, and brought her into a private channel to reveal myself, and explain that I wasn’t a stalker. Fortunately, it didn’t take much convincing. My gut told me it was safe to share the Enduring Blaze’s mission in depth.

The Demons recognize just how big of a threat we are to the mission of the Abiding Evils. The Enduring Blaze keeps a relatively modest presence because of this – learning from many witch hunts past and present. The reason we are a threat is because we learn how to re-purpose the tactics of the Abiding Evils for the greater good – dissipating the venom of the vampires and altering it to support life instead of steal it.

We deal extensively with the rage of the Werewolves as well – bending the primal anger and fear into a discerning love of the pack. In addition to our commercial presence (we are a major sponsor of the Global Healing Conference, under a different name), we work underground to spread information to combat the Demons’ influence on the political system. While the Oracle and the Elders are practiced enough to be legally safe from the Demons’ grasp, I am not. I must remain underground for the time being to be safe from the Demons.

I am technically still a beginner - though at the beginnings of the Oracle’s time teaching, I would have been considered knowledgeable enough to practice on my own. Even though I have much to learn, this will not stop me from helping Jessica with every ounce of knowledge I possess for as long as I possibly can. Using the internet as my main form of communication - to explain what I know about channeling and re-purposing the energy of the Evils – even as I protect my identity, it is not without bemused irony that I call myself…

The Medium.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Epic Win!

I'm loving the character outlines you guys are posting here, but I have to interrupt for a moment to tell you of my awesome epic win today.

I've used up all my sick time at work, and in the last two weeks, I missed about 20 hours.  I had previously been told that I wasn't eligible for FMLA because my one-year anniversary isn't until March 29.  So I was partially freaking out and really struggling to make it to work 8 hours a day.

Today I had a meeting with my boss, my department head, and a senior manager from HR.  The HR manager had worked some kind of magic and got me approved for FMLA early! So this means I no longer have to freak out about missing work and worrying that I'll get fired, I'm going to work a reduced schedule (half days for now, we'll see what the doctors say next week) so that I can rest and heal, and I can go to my doctors as needed.

My boss and department head totally stick up for me with all this, so whether they know it or not, they're playing this game too, because they just gave me this:

Achievement Unlocked:
Rest for the Weary

Now someone (cough-JP-cough) needs to help me put this into game terms, haha. I know I kinda created this achievement for myself, but this is a HUGE weight off my back and will go a long way towards defeating the bad guys of exhaustion and job stress. (I am also so going to make some achievement- and mission-related graphics.)

Back to character narratives - keep 'em comin'!

Character: Courtney Strayweather

Structure is key. Structure of mind, structure of body. Together they can make you strong. Strong enough to keep fighting. Strong enough to send the Evils running for another day.

After years I learned this, but too late. Too late for the one that counted on me. Jeremy. He had fought back the Evil’s for years. I trained him, but let him be a boy too. My mistake.

He became the Beast. He’s now a part of the darkness that threatens everyone. There’s no Jeremy left, only the Beast seeking its next victim.

I thought I was done with all this. Packing up, telling the fight to go screw itself. But my “retirement” didn’t last long.

Jessica came out to a last lecture I was giving. Basics, not that anyone cared about the basics anymore. But she did. She was so full of knowledge, but was seeking more. Becoming strong. Caring. Smiling back the darkness that threatened everything she was. She was a light.

But a fragile light.

That’s where I came in. Together we spoke for hours as I learned of her fight. How many battles she had won single-handedly already. It was amazing. She was amazing.

She wanted more. More fight, more tools, more structure. She was the one. The one that could beat it all. I could see it in her eyes, her mind and her soul.

Together I will teach her all that I know, and most importantly, work night and day to provide the structure that destroys the path of the Beast within.

I am Courtney Strayweather. I will not fail this one. She will make the difference.

Character: J.P. McHaggis

I met Jessica after the attack... the Evil had damn near killed her. But she survived, because she's too damned cussed to let the Evils win. She found me at a Global Healing Convention in the campgrounds outside of Middle-of-Nowhere Bumfug, PA, playing my pipes in my battle-green kilt among the mud-covered tents, the hemp-smoking neo-hippies, and the crystal-dripping New Agers who were convincing themselves that the Earth loved them and wanted them to be happy.

I know better.

So did Jess.

My name is J.P. McHaggis. I'm a shaman. I don't mean that in a native American sense, that all Western Americans seem to assume. I was born in Argyle, moved to Soho when I was four, Bruges when I was six, then finally Portland, Oregon, by the time I was thirteen. Why did I move so often?

The Abiding Evils had taken my mother from me, and my father fought for the rest of his life to keep the Beast at bay. He lost his fight before I finished high school...

Since then, I have spent my adult life learning how to beat back the Beast. I've learned one of many ways to leech away the Vampire's venom. And it's the last thing you would possibly imagine... sound.

I play my pipes with an alt metal band that tours North America and Europe, spreading the specific harmonic convergences that feed the soul and beat the Evils into submission. At least for a while.

When she heard my music, she felt the venom release its hold. And I knew what she was the moment she spoke to me. She had that look... that need to feel normal. Those eyes that understand what is Evil, and what is not.

I try to keep her human, every day though I'm across the world. Hers is a tough case... the venom is deep in her blood, and she has the double affliction... the Beast bite that threatens to turn her into what my father had become.

But that's not going to happen.

Not on my watch...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Character: First Draft and Missions for Allies

I was just like you once.

I had a normal family - well, normal by the modern-day standard, which probably isn't all that normal. I did a little traveling, had boyfriends, went to college. I spent my time consumed with all the mundane, boring minutia that occupy the time of those who don't know better.

And then everything changed.

I discovered, purely against my will, a whole other world, living right on top of this one. A world of darkness and terror and such amazing things that I never thought could exist. A world of vampires, and weres, and demons that live in the shadows of our lives, pulling strings and creating machinations right up to the very top of society. Nearly eight years ago, while walking home from a summer course on macroeconomics at university, I was attacked. A beast that moved with inhuman speed overtook me, mauled me, and left me bleeding on the cement. I don't know why it left me alive. Maybe it got scared off. Maybe I just didn't taste very good.

The doctors said it looked like an animal attack, but I knew they were wrong. Fire ran through my veins, and pain unlike anything I had ever experienced wracked my body. I felt different. Something moved through me, slithering under my skin. The docs released me from the hospital, but I didn't get better.

I changed.

Scared, hurting, and not knowing what was happening to me, I thought I was going to die. An animal lived inside me now, one that I could not control, and when I changed, the toll on my body was unbearable. Fortunately, a group of people found me soon after I left the hospital. They had been attacked too, and they taught me about my new life, and this other world. Some of the other newbies couldn't take it, and left to go hide away from everyone, to give up and moan the loss of who they previously were. For a while I felt like joining them.

I learned that I had been attacked by a werewolf, and that its virus now infected me. I learned about the Abiding Evils, about the secret movements of demons controlling our country, about vampires spreading their disease, and about the rage that my Wolf brought forth. I learned small amounts of magic, learning to concoct potions and spells to soothe the Wolf and keep me me. I learned that the same thing that made me strong, that made gave me incredible power, could also cripple me if I lost control. The more I learned, the more I wanted to fight.

Over the better part of a decade, I've built up my knowledge to fight these dark forces. And I've gained valuable allies to help me. I used to be like you. But now I'm a Were, leading a double life as a creature of light and darkness, and I fight for you, though you'll never know it.

My name is Jessica, and I am a Night Hunter.
So I'm open to suggestions, and to any other ideas besides Night Hunter - Erin also suggested Shadow Hunter.  Thoughts?

I thought rather than assigning missions to people, I'd post what I needed help with and let you all decided what you wanted to do.  Here's what I've got so far (I know some of you have already volunteered for some of these, so no worries, we'll just make a record of it in the comments):

-Come up with rewards (small and large) for achievements
-Research medical info
-Find me good food to eat that adheres to my soft-foods and Crohn's restrictions, and is nutritionally balanced
-Txt me to remind me to get up and walk around during the day at work (between the hours of 8am and 4pm Mountain Time)
-Help me with WoW
-Keep me motivated for a little exercise at least 3 times a week
-Coordinate mission/achievement-giving and brainstorm other missions/achievements among other players both to give me and for each other
-Call or email me 3x per week
-Tell me funny stories or find me funny stuff on the Internet
-Help me with web programming
-Find me good music
-Help me clean my house - this obviously has to be local people, but I thought maybe we could have a big cleaning party and Matt said he'd bribe participation with tasty food
-Help me learn stress management techniques AND USE THEM
-Help me to not overexert or overexhaust myself

Feel free to add to this list - sometimes I think you guys know better what I need than I do.

*Terminology: I use "missions" to signify the things I've asked you all to help me with,as well as the tasks you given me to do, and "achievements" to mean something kind of one-and-done. In WoW terms, missions would be like quests (both for you and for me) and achievements would be, well, achievements.  Matt knows my daily routine, so he and JP can help coordinate what missions or achievements to give me, or you can look at my Superhero To-Do List.

I hope this makes sense.  Any thoughts? Feel free to claim missions in the comments - and don't worry, multiple people can claim the same missions! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Abiding Evils

In the Dark Ages, a force spread across Europe spreading a disease that consumed people, bringing them despair and death. People at the time called it The Devil. But mankind rose above it. During the time of Bram Stoker, people were stricken with Consumption, reducing them to frail shadows, bringing doom and death. Stoker took this slow diminishing death and put a face to it... the Vampire. Mankind found a way to overcome. Once again, we overcame polio in the 20th century. And we face the decay as it evolves again and again...

Call it the Vampire, the Devil, the Third Horseman... one of the Abiding Evils seeks to destroy our flesh, stealing our life, causing us to despair, lose hope, and ultimately to surrender our humanity.

Another of the Abiding Evils dwells within our hearts, waiting to blossom as we allow our anger, rage, our animalistic aggression to overcome our humanity, turning us into beasts. Described in folklore as man-beasts, or werewolves, those who succumb to the beast within can spread their rage and avarice. The beast has evolved in our time, as well, finding glory as man crushes man in our climb up the ladder. We turn on one another over simple disagreements, no longer valuing civility, but instead shooting our representatives, blowing ourselves up for religion, turning our backs on our friends when we learn they are different.

Call the Beast, the Werewolf, the Second Horseman... one of the Abiding Evils seeks to rob us of our humanity, turn us into animals, and allow their masters to rule.

And their masters continue to move among the leadership, confusing the system, bringing fear into the fore of our thinking, twisting religion and politics into a sick vehicle for greed and intolerance.

Call them the Demons, the First Horseman... they are the force of Tyranny that seek to keep us from curing our diseases, caring for our poor, or treating each other with acceptance.

The Abiding Evils live, and appear in many faces.

And those whom they attack are made aware of their existence.

And a very few... choose to fight.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The SuperBetter Journey Begins

My name is Jessica, and I'm on a mission to save the world transform my life through gaming.

I've been a gamer girl pretty much my whole life, ever since my parents bought me an original Nintendo system way back in 1986.  I played console games, computer games, table-top games, you name it.  In 2004, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive tract. My health had its ups and downs, and but 2010 was possibly the worst year of my life.  Since 2008, I'd been plagued with infections, and last year I developed osteomyelitis in my lower jaw.  From May 2010 until now, I have had 3 surgeries on my jaw, a dozen rounds of oral antibiotics, a PICC line put into my arm, and 7 weeks of superpowerful IV antibiotics.  I was hospitalized last week for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the PICC arm and a pulmonary embolism in my right lung.  I'm on a soft-foods diet because the bone in my jaw is so thin (which is probably the worst part of all of this, because I LOVE FOOD and my husband is an amazing cook).

It's been a rough road.

The day that I was admitted to the hospital for the DVT was one of the lowest points, emotionally, I've experienced.  I'd reached my limit for what I could deal with.  I posted as much on my Facebook page from the hospital, and a friend linked me to this video from Jane McGonigal:

I knew who Jane was, having seen her mentioned by Mashable and TED Talks, and generally thought she was pretty awesome for being a female game designer.  After watching the video, I Googled SuperBetter and found her blog post that gave more details about the game's origin.  I cried, a lot, while reading that post, because Jane articulated so much of what I feel as a sufferer of chronic illness: the need for help but the reluctance to ask for it, the fear of being a burden on loved ones, the feeling of powerlessness.  Chronic illness damages us more than physically, and I had reached a point when the emotional toll was threatening to overwhelm me.  Hearing about SuperBetter, I felt hope and excitement.  I loved playing games, and here was a way to try to tackle my illnesses that used a gaming paradigm!

My situation is a little different than Jane's.  Jane had a serious injury that had potential for recovery.  I will never be cured of Crohn's, and while I have a team of doctors trying to determine what is wrong with my immune system that is making me so susceptible to infection, I may never be cured of that either.  The fact that this is a lifetime struggle for me doesn't change fact at the heart of Jane's game though: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  I'm a firm believer that while I may always be sick, I don't have to suffer. 

This is the place where we will chronicle the SuperBetter experience, flush out our game, and I will document the effects it has on me.  Currently, I'm on limited activity at work, I'm sleeping 10-12 hours a day out of sheer exhaustion, and I still feel like my emotional rope is pretty frayed.  I'm facing another surgery in 2 weeks, and I have some degree of pain in my jaw, but even the prospect of this game is making me feel more hopeful than I have in a long time.

I'm lucky to have a great group of friends that are undertaking this journey with me, and with their help, and Jane's incredibly clever idea, I think that I can make my life SuperBetter.