Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

I have taken a liking to playing mahjong, even though I consistantly manage to prove that I am absolutely no good at it.

The problem, I think, is that when I say "playing," I don't mean to imply that I open up a new game and specifically choose a certain layout, then spend the next hour pouring over strategy options and thinking through each painstaking move to ensure that it is indeed The Right Move and that I am guaranteeing myself some semblance of a win with it. No, what I mean to say is that I will find tiles that match and click on them furiously, sometimes with absolutely no regard as to whether or not I am actually able to USE those tiles according to game play rules. Of course, eventually the game gets through to me and I stop ignoring the pop-up warnings that scream, "YOU ARE A MORON," and always blabber something about blocked tiles. I do not use a strategy, nor do I make any real attempt to necessarily win the game - my only concern is with matching tiles. I tend to ignore my score and the time clock (which, unlike good ol' Solitare can apparently NOT be switched off) and only glance at the number of matches that I have left. If the number is low, that's a good warning sign to me that I probably ought to get ready to lose the game soon, because I can almost guarantee you that I will not be anywhere near winning by the time the "moves remaining" count has hit zero.

Never mind, too, the unspoken rules about pictures of flowers and seasons: just because they aren't exact matches doesn't mean that the tiles don't technically MATCH. As long as it is some semblance of a flower, it can go with any picture of bamboo and vice versa, unless of course it is a CERTAIN small single flower, in which case, while it is still a flower, it does not match bamboo or ANY OTHER FLOWER IN EXISTENCE. "No, don't click that, those flowers don't match and if you try to match them I will probably empty your bank account out and go to Bermuda," threatens my computer after the tenth time I have mistakenly tried to match that certain little flower with any other flower, after constant warnings that THESE FLOWERS DON'T MATCH. They don't, they can't, they never will, despite all of the vague help information that so cheerfully states that any picture of a flower can match any other damn picture of any other damn flower. Don't tell me I'm wrong! The help states that I am RIGHT!

And the seasons tiles? Well, apparently the seasons have been whittled away to pleasant countryside images. No matter; there is some sort of bright and relatively happy picture of green foliage and a blooming tree and somesuch, another of a winter countryside dappled by snow, a pleasant and lovely red-and-orange autumn image, and then a final tile of BROWN AND GRAY DEATHFOG.

No, really. Look at the tile.

I have to wonder sometimes; was summer too much of a drag for these people when they created the game? Or is this representing a season that we don't experience here, one of death and gloom and overwhelming haze? Most people tended to enjoy summer when they were younger, because it meant no school and fewer responsibilities. No homework, no getting up early, all that jazz. Apparently for the people at Microsoft, summer meant that they were probably going to die in an emo, hormonal rage.



Wow, I love you!