Call off the posse, my friends. I’m finally back from a two-week vacation from my blog. I’m not exactly missing in action, for crying out loud.
In case, you’ve not caught on, I’ve sought refuge in FarmVille, the bread basket of the blogosphere right in the heart of Facebook.
First, let me thank friends who play good cop – bad cop, making me realize the folly of being a fugitive from my own blog:
- George Angus featured this blog in his Blog of the Week, noting the high level of engagement WritingToExhale has with you dear readers in An Exhalted New Blog of the Week.
- Jena Isle perhaps noting the lack of new updates applied gentle pressure by waddling deep into my archives to come up with a list of posts that resonated with her. She summed them up in this post, Serendipity and Writing to Exhale
- Gerson Garcia who on two occasions was on the receiving end of this writer’s withering critique tried humoring me with his latest post, When Farming Uproots You From Your Blogging Chores.
- Holly Jahangiri heard someone wisecracked that I could be merely preoccupied smoking crack and suggested intervention. Holly, however, has a different take on my disappearance in her Monday News & Views post. Word of caution: Don’t be too trusting of someone who amuses herself by eating raw tripe on a dare. Her latest feat? She made the Western Hemisphere go ewww by eating balut on a dare.
Thanks a lot, spoilsports. Remember this: No good deed should go unpunished.
My FarmVille Roots
My late father used to drive home this point: Plant fruit trees. Always plant fruit trees. When they bear fruit, you’d always have something to look forward to.
So many years after the fact, I’ve made good, Father. I’ve a big plantation in FarmVille. In your time, you couldn’t plant grapes, could you. Well, I can. Every crop that can be had only in temperate zones I can now plant in my farm.
I just wish my own virtual farm is swathed in magic and superstition as my father’s acreage was. He used to keep us in awe how naughty spirits had kept him from finding his way home. He kept circling and circling practically nearby farms in the dark. No, he’d protest, I know my land like the back of my hand. I’m not that drunk! And yet he’d spend hours before finally finding his way home.
And how I wish the social aspect of FarmVille opens itself up to more realistic activities and oddities of farm life. Happy Farm, another flash animation game in Facebook, allows its users to steal the crop of their neighbors. My blogging buddy Gem was unfriended in Facebook by another user when she helped herself to this neighbor’s produce. It’s my only game in Facebook, it’s all I ever care about and my produce were stolen, the user said in spirited exchange of Facebook status updates.
In his time, my father would drink with the farm hands after a long day’s work. If you’ve a landlord as guest in your farm house, you’d serve him first before your children and husband, giving him the choicest servings of adobo. That’s farm protocol. Well, my eldest brother noted, when it’s time for the other members of the family to eat, they’d ask my father to join dinner. This is good form in Filipino homes. No matter how sated your guests are you always have to ask them to join you at the table.
Without fail, according to my eldest brother, father would always be a good sport and come to the table, oblivious that he already had dinner. Perhaps this was true because I didn’t hear father blaming bad spirits for his stunts. After all, he laughed the loudest when he was teased about it.
Bringing my inner demons to FarmVille
Don’t laugh now, but I find that repetitive clicking in FarmVille – plowing, seeding, fertilizing your neighbors’ farm, harvesting – relieves tedium. It tames the inner turmoil and makes the demons of modern life manageable. Well, at least till harvest time. If you stick to it, day in day out, you’d get to own a villa for your farm. It’s every farmer’s wet dream in FarmVille.
I know writing does the same thing. But without the certainty that a grand villa can be had. Scary prospect indeed.
Just the same, I will not have it bruited about I refuse to disengage from FarmVille because of a well developed affection for a certain cow. Simply not true. Yet.
Hey, if you happen to drop by my farm – er plantation, fertilize my farm, will you?
- FarmVille Tips, Tricks and Cheats – A Beginner’s Guide
- FarmVille: The Unofficial Strategy Guide
- ScamVille: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell