Something that May Sound Weirder Than Usual

(...and that's saying a lot.)

Two weeks ago, I started Oblivion over again. You see, my son also likes to play it now and then, but he inverts the Y-axis on the controller (so it behaves like a plane rather than a mouse), and even thought it only takes 30 seconds to change, it annoys me that I have to do it. ...So I decided to create a new "user account" on my PS3, and start Oblivion over on that system.

Last night I was enjoying my game of Oblivion, not because my character kicks ass (she doesn't), but precisely because I found it slightly challenging... and because I was using some new skills that I had never tried before (Alteration, Alchemy). She's level 17 or some-such, and routinely gets her ass handed to her, unless she can pull off a Conjuration (still by far my favourite skill in the game), because she's a typical Breton: Magicka out the wazoo but less Health than most rats. It doesn't help that her blade and block skills are both around 40. She dies about once an hour (and only that often because her alchemy skill sure does come in handy in a pinch).

I don't like dying in games. Not normally, anyway. But this time, I'm appreciating the challenge. Not sure why.

This is when it dawned on me that I really enjoy playing Oblivion. And then it dawned on me that I wanted some diet orange soda. ...Because, you know, I really enjoy diet orange soda. A lot. Actually, it's a little disturbing: I get a touch of euphoria when I'm drinking it.

And it's not just orange soda. It's also Fresca. And Stash Raspberry Tea.

Nor is it limited to drinks. Sushi does the trick. Pizza, too. Yeah, definitely pizza. Slightly-cooled (definitely not re-heated) mushroom pizza. And any adequately-spicy pasta. Especially one with a side salad and a kick-ass dressing. (I recommend Brianna's Assaggio Caesar.)

Food clearly isn't the only thing in the world that brings about euphoria. Playing a good hand of Blank White Cards, finding incredible art, hugging a dog, writing a cool block of code, learning one of biology's dirty little secrets, and listening to music that unabashedly abuses electronic gear... these are all things that physically affect my neurobiology.

Point being, there are fairly simple things in the world that I can immediately appreciate and put me back into a "happy place".

I recommend identifying and enumerating these things.

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