Mama Bear Strikes Again

Did you ever wake up one morning with such a profound epiphany you got carried away and the rest of the world shut up? That happened to me on the glorious first day of June. But before I get there, let me take you back to a year ago.

Epiphanies are the best.


As most of you know, I came to Bethesda with the gift of cats… that’s right. I was the crazy cat lady. It was a simple and fun mod and I wanted to share it. Little did I even think I’d be here a year later. While Suzy would check the forums for mod requests and feed me information, I was importing mods, learning more about modding than I ever thought possible, managing a pharmacy and trying to keep up with my Spawn’s schooling. It was exhausting but I fared mostly okay. Suzy suggested I start a Discord to talk one on one with people so I could mod and chat at the same time. She would browse the forums and play her game. No problem!

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Not an actual depiction of Suzy on a computer. But close. She was totally cuddle-worthy and adorable.


The month wore on and Suzy deteriorated. Cancer is a bitch. But she always stayed as upbeat as humanly possible and tried to joke as much as she could. She would get into stitches over the littlest of jokes because she knew her time as a physical being was about to end.

I entered a very dark time. Suzy was the only person in this shit-hole country  I could relate to. She wasn’t polite to be polite- she fucking meant it. Probably the only Canadian who never said sorry but would say “excuse me” instead. She didn’t try to pronounce “Mazda” with a nasally ‘a’  (think past), but actually said it properly. She got me involved in community service and taking care of the homeless. We started a Weed n Seed community and worked with businesses owners to provide “relief backpacks” to the needy so they could get job interviews or  around town to shop for groceries. She was a goddamn angel and I dare anyone to find a more noble woman. So when she left, I had a massive void in my soul.

Fuck cancer.

I kept modding, but my heart wasn’t really in it. I was doing it for other people and yet a part of me did enjoy aspects of it. But I wasn’t happy. I was snappy and short, low of patience. What really got my goat is that I would clean and clean and clean my mods to perfection and get accused of crashing people’s games. I took this to heart. So I went about to figure out this “LO” thing that seemed to plague the community and I made one that was simple and to the point. I didn’t make it for notoriety (and in fact a previous LO thread had closed beforehand). I just wanted users to stop having crashy games. My heart was in  major pain but I still cared for people- I still cared that they had a fun game. Nothing is worse as a mod author than someone who can’t get their game to load because they were told crap advice as to where to put it. Not to mention that crashing was so rampant in the beginning every mod author wrote “put at the bottom of your LO”


I remember distinctly when someone came to me for advice and I gave it to the best of my ability and someone told them otherwise. Their game became unstable and I went to that other person and ripped them a new one. “How DARE you give false info?!” was the gist of it.

Mama Bear had arrived.

Hullo! I R BEAR! HERE ME RAWR! *burp*

I couldn’t protect Suzy, but I could “protect” the mod users. I made it a goddamn fucking personal Batman-esque mission of mine to keep up to date on every piece of modding info I could. A little spark was ignited in my heart and I  pushed on with modding instead of leaving. Vader knew; he saw me struggling from the get-go but he never lost sight of who I truly am as a human being. Others reached out to me like Doc who has always been available for me to talk to if I needed.

nanananna nannananaa 

Fast forward to December and I’m getting most of myself under control. I’ve had some time to grieve, but I’m still overly blunt with people and apparently I earned a ‘scary’ reputation. Knowing that didn’t help things, but I couldn’t do much but continue to heal.

Bethesda has some shite fucking “4K” update at the time I decided to do ONE minor tweak to Divine Cities.

Oh. My. God.

Everyone screaming it caused crashing. I wanted to bury myself in a hole. I had been so precise with making DC and making sure it wouldn’t harm the console or cause performance issues and suddenly I’m the cause of crashing. Talk about a kick to the gut. Instead of taking it personally, I started a mission… Mission: Crash Finder.

Apparently there’s no such thing as a Mission: Crashy movie

Fast forward.

The night of June 1st I had an epiphany. The kind that made the world stop and made me laugh with delight. Something I had lost sight on a year ago but came to me. You see, mod users are five year old’s. Mods are their Lincoln Logs. Most logs fit together, but some are broken and can’t be used. My goal as a mod author is to provide as many unique pieces as possible so that you can build the kind of buildings you want to play with. Of course! I thought…. and  then I set to do just that.

Build your own world! Yay!

I had been reading about how BSA’s are loaded and while that’s never been a secret, a thought occurred to me: what if all this overlap is causing issues with X users? Or users in general? What if something is breaking on the console like they did with the first CC update that broke the decompiler??? WHAT IF!!! Oi did my head swim!

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WTF is going on?! sum1 pls halp!

So I worked ALL DAY on creating four texture packs to work with people who use ETD or HPP or SMIM because somehow it got into my brain that all these meshes and textures are loading at once and I was the cause of these problems. So I was gonna fix it. I wanted to make sure that people could use whatever fucking log they wanted to. I love modding and I love seeing people enjoy their game and by hell or high water I am going to facilitate that!

Through rain or sleet or snow or internet dying or being on an airplane, I will deliver mods!

So the mama bear inside me roared again, determined to protect her cubs from the evil Bethesda monster; she was gonna make so many fucking customised texture mods people wouldn’t know where to begin.

Well… mama bear was wrong. While the BSA’s are loaded at run time, the Engine is smart enough to only load one table at a time. Isn’t that a relief?!! At the same time it taught me to stop. Slow down. Ask more questions. Lucky for me Vader is a voice of reason and can articulate questions far better than I can. Me? I push buttons and watch results. Silly mama bear!

Crap. What do you mean I had to take a left at Albuquerque??! Well this just shits on the whole day doesn’t it?

So at the end of the day, I felt it was my responsibility to fix the crashing issues because I thought I was causing  them by having overlap. Happily, thankfully, I was dead wrong. So now I have to tuck mama bear back into her cave and hopefully she’ll hibernate.

For a very long time.





4 thoughts on “Mama Bear Strikes Again”

  1. Before anything else, my heart truly goes out to you and your friend. Cancer blows in ways that many will never truly understand. I am a 3X cancer survivor and a long-term Lupus antagonist. Fighting both, my kids called me Mama Bear, since my approach was a lot of growling, swatting and generally hating a lot, but the fuzzy, cuddly side was in there and I found it through gaming. I focused on solving problems in games since my RL issues I had no control over. When I missed my life of running around outside, riding a horse and being a part of nature, I played Skyrim, when I was angry and wanted to lash out, I fired up Mass Effect and punched that reporter every single time across all 3 games (rawr) and so on. So the Mama Bear part of this made me laugh while my heart was breaking for you and your friend too. Life, so much pain and suffering and so much joy and happiness always swirling around together.
    I hope and pray you find your balance, love, and life and hope you do continue to make mods as long as you find joy in it and you always have a, or more, fuzzy feline close by because they do truly help make life better. Also, the cat picture is amazing. I actually have one similar of my 17 yr old monstrosity sitting on my bed with my laptop looking like he got caught using it. Ah, cats!
    Also, if you ever need someone to listen about cats, games or even the life of a living bear, I am always around. I have found much hope and happiness working in many types of support groups and when I was at my worse a random stranger online helped me find a light again by doing nothing more than listening. If I can pass on her favor she blessed me with before she died by listening to someone in need, I am more than happy to do so. Tammy taught me much about being there when someone needs you, whether friend or stranger and I am happy to honor it however I can.
    May the 8 (or 9, depending on your allegiance) always guide and bless you.


  2. Actually I don’t know what to write here other than thank you Tarshana. I love your amazing work. God bless. P.s. I love the milk drinking snowflakes;)


  3. Hi Tarshanna,
    I love your beautiful mods. When I read this posting, I heard the pain in your words and felt your pain with you. I cried. Even later on when you talked about getting mad bc of mods crashing and you were trying to get to the bottom of it. Even though your anger seemed directed at the crashing/loading order issues, I could feel your anger still for the disease that took away part of your heart and I cried for you and with you… Tbh I’m still crying. I love the way you’re trying to help people with their game crashing and load order issues. I still don’t quite get exactly which mod or order my problem is, but I know that I can neither blame the mods or the mod makers. It will still take me awhile to figure out, xb1’s limitations are a pain. Skyrim is really the only game I play, so I’ll understand it all eventually. Thanks for all your hard work and all your help. My heart goes out to you and the part of your heart that you lost, but just remember she didn’t really leave you… She just moved on to another plain and she’ll never be far from your heart.

    Renee’ aka Shy Kitteh


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