Hexagram 23

I participate in a few different groups and forums, a few related to game-specific topics (at least generally), a few on general topics.  Two are "safe space" forums, with the intention that people have somewhere to go for emotional, psychological, and/or financial support as well as all the lolcats and such.

One of these is in the process of imploding.

It started with someone trying to preemptively diffuse rumors, and ended up with a bunch of people who generally get along saying really hurtful things (deliberately or otherwise) to or about each other.  This began yesterday (I think; I've been tied up in work since I've been back, so less attentive to such things), and already today we've got longstanding members (who actively needed the safe space as a support group) who have dropped out, others thinking of leaving, and a few people who have been so upset by events that serious, legitimate concerns about self-harm have arisen (they've been contacted and are getting help).

Now, I missed the start due to work stuff and general "back from vacation"-ness.  By the time I realized what was going on, it has escalated to a point where I couldn't participate without making things worse (I have specific experience in my past with the kind of situation that was the flashpoint, but the facts of the situation would have just pissed off everyone rather than helping in any way).  And now, I'm not even sure I want to stick around.  I like these people, but the (very legitimate) drama and fighting and such isn't something I'm comfortable participating in or even watching.  I'm thinking, at this point, I'll probably just stop posting and, once whatever resolution comes around, just quietly slip away: member lists are watched, so if I drop out now, it'll be noticed and probably just escalate the collapse.  I don't want it to collapse - again, some people need this space for mental and emotional support - but I also don't know that it's someplace I want to be in anymore.

Yay for internet stuff.

Anyway, I'm back from vacation, at least physically.  Work's been pretty intense as I catch up - nothing really "went wrong" while I was gone, but there were a few things that had to wait for me.  Also, super-secret (not really) beta I'm in is finishing up the last phase before open beta, so I'm actually able to play it for 5 days in a row this week (which means I'm getting nothing else done).

Plants mostly survived; two of my tomatoes are already almost a foot and a half tall and producing flowers (after about a month), so apparently I'm doing something right.  I had caterpillars in one of the planters (for a type of moth, not horn worms) that pretty much shredded one of my
basil plants and chewed holes in a lot of the tomato leaves, but they've been ejected; I haven't seen any new holes since then.

Next planned trip is Blizzcon in November.

On the night shift

I'm in a small cottage in the middle of a coffee plantation / rainforest on the Big Island of Hawai'i.  It's 9 pm at night.  It's raining (it's a rainforest; it's what they do).

And the chorus is going.

If you've ever listed to one of those "rainforest at night" sleep/white noise tapes, believe me when I say they don't do it justice unless you have the volume turned up loud enough to wake the neighbors.  I've been sleeping extremely well.

My days, not so well.  I mean, my birthday wasn't bad - woke up, spend the morning playing a beta I'm in, then drove across the island to take a lava tour.  That was fun - it's not often you get to have the world's biggest birthday candle.  I didn't try to blow it out though.

But on the way back, I started feeling... off.  Woke up Saturday with a stuffy nose and sore throat.  Sore throat's gone, but still congested, and a 1-mile-each-way walk to a nearby restaurant kicked my ass (whereas I normally walk 4-5 miles for fun).  So, I cancelled my limited plans anyway and just lounged around; tomorrow, I may try driving a bit to see what I can see.  One stop may be the Mauna Kea visitor's center (not going to get to the summit - trouble breathing at sea level doesn't bode well for 15000 feet - but I can at least see the touristy stuff).  I may make it a volcano day and stop at Volcano National Park on the way back (passed it on Friday to/from the lava tour, but didn't have time/energy to stop).  The result would basically be circumnavigating Mauna Loa, but nothing wrong with that.

The place I'm staying at is really a cottage on a coffee plantation.  It's pretty isolated and private; there's a hot tub and lanai where I've been getting some sun (when I'm feeling up to it).  I didn't realize how much of a "rainforest" it was until the first morning I was here, when I realized that the 15 minutes I'd spent outside the night before resulted in quite literally 29 mosquito bites on my legs.  They're mostly healed away now, but I still have the red splotches.

Self-imposed isolation here is actually probably just what I needed.  I mean, Saturday was planned to stay in anyway (the beta I'm in is only open for a couple days a week, and I'm really enjoying it) (hey, it's my vacation, I can spend my time in Hawaii playing video games if I want), but I knew I'd likely have limited socialization while I'm here, and that's fine.  Gives me a recharge after a few months of being emotional support for people.

I'm on this island until Wednesday, anyway, then flying to Maui - where there'll likely be a lot of socializing, or at least the opportunity for it, for four nights.

I think I may have one more trip to the big island, but over to the Hilo side next time.  But that's for later.