Sometimes This Happens

I sat down this morning to write up this week’s Take a Test Tuesday post. I took the test last week and I have my results and some notes written up so I wasn’t too concerned about leaving it until Monday to get it finished. Then, thanks to Tumblr, I discovered 2048.

The good news: I’ve gotten the 512 tile twice and I’m feeling pretty good about my chances of beating this thing

The bad news: There’s not going to be a Take a Test Tuesday post this week

This happens sometimes. Discover something new, accidentally lose a few hours, rearrange expectations for the day.  In this case, I think it’s part stim, part perseveration.  But sometimes it’s a new special interest or a new aspect of a special interest.  Whatever it is, I’ve learned to stop (eventually) and ask myself what I’m not doing and why. Because this kind of time loss tends to be a sign that I’m avoiding something, at least in part.

The answer this morning is obvious. Writing is becoming harder and harder. I find myself writing less, putting it off. The frustrating thing is, my desk and my drafts folder are strewn with ideas for posts. I want so much to write, but the mechanics of it are increasingly making it a slow (if you’re curious how slow, this took me close to 45 minutes to write and edit), difficult process. I’ve also started to lose my feel for words, which is a bit scary. I write by how language feels and these days it mostly feels flat and lifeless. That’s making my writing increasingly literal and (to me, at least) boring.

Okay, so this post took a strange turn for the morose but I’ll leave it because it’s part of the breadcrumb trail documenting my language difficulties.

I’m going to give myself this week off from posting, I think. My daughter and her boyfriend are coming to visit later in the week (yay!) and we have lots of fun things planned. I’ll be back next Tuesday with a test for us to puzzle over. Until then, good luck getting that elusive 2048 tile.

ETA:  Got the 2048 last night 🙂


78 thoughts on “Sometimes This Happens”

  1. Well it may seem like boring writing to you but the good news / bad news bit made me chuckle 🙂 And the overall theme made me cogitate. So you achieved 2 things in one piece of writing – sounds pretty damn good to me!

  2. Wow… I think you’ve found my soon-to-be new favorite time-wasting game for me! Now if only I don’t fall into the same trap, and accomplish none of what I need to get done today, LOL!

    Thanks for sharing!

      1. Definitely a much better description! And since, in my work, we are prone to overuse of acronyms, I’ll now be telling folks that I must take a break to complete my necessary CSET!

  3. Ahhhh this gaaaaame is amaaaaaazing. I am sad to hear that writing is a struggle for you lately, but I so incredibly distracted with this amazing new game that I am having a hard time putting together words to empathize. I’ve gotten 512 twice too, and I even got a 1024 once! We can do this!

    Sometimes you just need to play stimmy games. We all do.

  4. I’ve played three games so far and got to 512 each time but not past it yet . . . . and now I have to go to an appointment. The advantage it has over Planarity is an (elusive though it might be) endpoint.

    1. I had a feeling you would be good at it! I think the fact that it has an endpoint makes it more addictive than something like Dots which just kind of maxes out after a while.

          1. aaaaaaaaaaand that’s all the focus I have for today. I will surely play more tomorrow. Good progress: 1024 on every game and I can see right away when a new 2 spawn makes the current game unwinnable.

      1. It’s awesome. (Although I love Dots too and I will play that when I am really stressed out because the sounds it makes are just so soothing and lovely and calming).

        1. Dots makes sounds? I got bored with it so quickly, but maybe I should turn sound on and see if I like it more. I tend to keep sounds off by default because the world is already too noisy. But I like good sounds.

  5. Ha, this is why I’ve not yet allowed myself a smartphone. I know that feeling of ‘oh, hell, special interest coming on’ or ‘avoidance activity ahoy.’ It’s worst for me in terms of buying things. I’ve learned to sit down and think, do I really need to purchase this just because it fits in with my new special interest? My newest special interest is Buddhism–the nice thing about it is it actively encourages stopping to think first.

    1. Oooh, I had a long time special interest in Zen Buddhism and am still quite drawn to it. Oh gosh, and now I want to tell you about my favorite Buddhism book but don’t want to tempt you . . .

      1. I’m okay with being tempted 😉 This is the first time a special interest has felt like it might help me learn some really solid coping skills, so I’m reining it in too hard, yet.

        1. Okay then, it’s “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha”. The author is Stephen Mitchell but it’s a collection of stories and letters from his teacher Seung Sahn. I literally read my first copy until the spine disintegrated. It’s now held together with a rubber band and I have second newer copy for reading purposes. If you’re interested in Zen Buddhism, it’s a good introductory book that you’ll be able to revisit later without it feeling like it’s too basic, if that makes sense.

          1. That sounds fantastic. I’ve been looking for something just like that! There’s so much out there on Buddhism, and so many variations, I haven’t known where to start.

  6. YESSS I know this feel… I just spent every spare moment of this week mashing buttons, trying to get 2048. AAAH

    Who needs sleep when you have down left right left left left down? (for the love of all that is holy do not press up D:) Many wasted hours later that elusive tile hangeth ever-splendored upon the horizon of ambition…

    It was almost a surreal experience finishing the game, in the middle of the night, like “let us never speak of this again.”

    Thank you so much for this post – I feel this so much. (esp that thing about avoiding something ahaha)

    sometimes this DOES happen and it’s both insanely fun and completely awful for productivity. Such is ze life… 😀

      1. ahaha after many, many hours! D: after a while it was hard to believe, but IT’S POSSIBLE! you can do it!! 😀

        aaahhh i love this game so much; i’m secretly super glad you asked about the down thing 😛 okeydoke here goes!

        my main strategy was to stick the biggest number in a corner and have the next biggest next to that, and build out this way where you get kind of a triangle with the hypotenuse being small numbers – that way you can’t get a tiny 2 trapped by big numbers. those 2’s take up space if you can’t get rid of em aaaahhhh the bane of my existence – orphan 2’s!!

        this strategy also creates a “simplifying path”: for example if you have a 4 next to a 4 which is next to an 8, 16, 32, and 64 in the corner, you can mash em all together, one after another, in a path, to end up with 128 in that same corner. and woohooo you just made sooo much more space 😀

        so in the beginning of the game i would just accumulate an 8 into a corner and build that number up from there, alternating simplifying and building the triangle, prioritizing simplifying because if you don’t your board fills up quickly.

        i noticed after a while that the orphan 2’s also occur left/rightways so i’d pick a side (left or right) and will just mash that button so that new 2’s will appear on the other side and will squish together to become bigger numbers. hooray! bc this incidentally preserves the bigger to small ordering (that simplifying path!)

        then after a while of this you can’t mash it anymore, so you start simplifying. this will differ case to case but usually i just mash down/left or first press right to align the numbers and then down. and get em all to that big corner number.

        there are times when pressing right is the only thing you can do so you might get some of those pesky two’s stuck on the left, but no worries! just simplify as quickly as possible HURRY 🙂

        anddddd after that explanation i can finally answer your question in a way that makes sense! for some reason (psychology maybe? like gravity is down etc) i’d always seem to put that big number in the bottom left corner so pressing up would stick a 2 under it and mess everything up!

        asdf i hope that made sense D: it’s weird putting this into words when it’s the result of hours of weird amorphous mashing intuition – i’m not even sure this sentence makes sense 😛

        Oh boy I really hope no one who doesn’t love 2048 as much as i do is reading my comment ahh it’s so long D: sorry guyssss

        1. Oh, thank you, that makes a lot of sense. I got further than I have so far – 1 512, 2 256s and 2 128s but I didn’t think far enough ahead and while they were all at the bottom of the block, I couldn’t line them up soon enough. But I’m getting closer!

        2. That’s basically what I’m doing, but as I build the triangle, I make sure to “lock” one edge of it by always keeping 4 in that edge row so I can safely move in three directions without disrupting the apex of my triangle.

          1. whoa! that’s a brilliant idea! it makes a lot of sense now that i think about it… i think when playing the game subconsciously you keep track of which ones lock so you can predict what happens next but actively creating that lock is just… brilliant! 😀 would never have thought of that XD

            aaaaahhhh let me know if you guys get 2048!!! it’s only a matter of time 😛

  7. I’ve been reading you pretty much since the beginning, and I’ve always been amazed at how productive you are – you’re a word factory:). But even factories need some down time. Enjoy your respite.

    Oh, about 2048 – maybe there’s a 12 step program out there somewhere…

  8. I don’t have games on my phone, tablet or desktop computer. I never know when I’ve had enough. So I prefer playing games with people. This limits the frequency of playing and the length of time any one game lasts. I suppose it prevents a game from becoming a special interest (I have enough of those already) and occupying excessive time. Many years ago I become involved in fantasy role playing which I thoroughly enjoyed, and when I wasn’t playing, I spent hours every day creating fantasy worlds and scenarios that we could play. In fact I probably enjoyed the creating and populating of worlds even more than actually playing the game. It wasn’t unusual to be in “creation mode” the whole night through without realising it until the birds started their dawn chorus.

    1. I totally understand the appeal of the creating phase, even at the expense of time spent playing the game. I’ve always been drawn to the “setting up” part of things. And you’re smart not to install any games! It’s way to easy to lose a few hours without realizing it.

  9. Friend of mine shared that link last Saturday, I have been playing it off and on ever since. I love powers of two. They’re so elegant. I also love having friends who love this kind of thing. He got 2048 on Sunday afternoon and posted his results on Facebook. I also love having friends who perseverate even more than I do. 😀

    1. Haha I’ve been wondering why this game is so addictive! It might actually be the powers of two thing… How do you feel about numbers divisible by three? is somehow less fun for some reason, even though it’s the original!

      1. I’ll have to exercise caution as I’m all agog about 3s!

        I am finding all this talk of staying up all night with an obsession fascinating. I remember the days before the hypernychthemeral syndrome, when I used to stay up all night with an obsession or fascination. I can’t allow myself to do that anymore because I pay for it quite severely for three or four weeks after, with my entire life thoroughly shredded for a month in exchange for one night of deep focus. There was a time in my life when it *still* would have been worth it to me. Alas, no longer.

      2. I think I like this threes one better–maybe because it feels a little bit more complex? Probably also because I’ve already reached 2048 and started trying to get 4096 on it. It’s probably a good thing I’m seeing all these games over my spring break.

  10. Oh man this is so addicting! I’ve only made it to the 256 tile and every time I think I’m doing well or I’m on a roll, all of a sudden, game over! lol play again! again!! I may or may not have added that webpage to my iPad home screen :}

  11. A friend of mine made me discover the Doge version yesterday. Right now I don’t know whether I should love him or hate him!

  12. I like games and puzzles but I didn’t even try this one because I figured I would lose the rest of my night working on it. I don’t have games on my computer because my 10 minute break playing a game turns into an hour. I do the puzzles in the newspaper because once I finish it I have to wait until the next day for a new one.
    Enjoy the week off and the time with your daughter.

  13. SO addictive! I loved that game! Started on Tuesday evening and tonight I got to 2048. So much fun but I was in danger of some seriously obsessive behaviour there 🙂 I love doing the codewords in our local paper and the non-cryptic crossword, but I never really play any other types of game.

    Anyway thanks for that and I hope you are feeling happier and integrated today x

    1. Yay! It seems relatively quick to solve once you get the hang of it. Puzzles are so much fun. And thank you for the kind words. This week has gotten better with each passing day.

  14. I’ve been hooked ever since reading this. I was visiting my friend two weekends ago and showed her, and said, I just need to get to 2048 so I can stop.” I got it. I stopped for maybe an hour, then pulled it back out. She just shook her head.

    It’s a very stimmy little game, and works to relax my brain in a similar way to Tetris. But I noticed something weird early on – I think it upsets my stomach. Bizarre, right? I’m not sure why. . . I don’t know if it’s motion-related; there was one photo-real video game that would make me feel motion-sickness, but in general I’m not prone to that. I don’t know if it’s an anxiety response; I do feel physically ill sometimes when anxious. *shrug* I should probably go back to playing Tetris.

    1. I said the same thing! And then immediately decided that I needed to get the 4096 tile, which has been illusive. 🙂

      That’s interesting about the motion sickness. I find the movement really pleasing in a stimmy way. One night after playing just before sleep, I had a dream that cars along a road I was on by joining into other matching cars like the tiles in the game. No idea how that would actually work but in the dream it made perfect sense.

  15. I am going insane over the fact that I just reached 1024 😉 KhanAcademy offers a course of building this game yourself, by the way. They claim it will take 30 minutes. I have not tried it out yet, will probably once I beat it once.

    1. That must be how the Robert Downey Jr. one was created. 🙂

      I’ve gotten to a 2048 block and a 1024 block but can’t get the elusive 4096. I also can’t seem to stop trying.

      1. The only way I managed to stop (sadly, I had made a very stupid mistake, so soon the 1024 was stuck between a 256 and a 512, and even though I even had two 128s, I could not manage to join them all up for that very reason) was by reminding myself there was a book I was in the middle of.

        The Robert Downey Jr. one? What do you mean by that?

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