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Saying goodbye to our home

As you probably remember from last year, we’re in the process of moving (yes, still…). We’re living in a rental, and we close on the sale of our old house tomorrow. Last night we had our final farewell to our first true home, and it was completely fucking brutal. What makes it worse than just selling our home is the fact that we can NEVER see it again. The new owners will be demolishing the house and building a whole new one on the property. The home we lived in, loved in, laughed in, cried in, started our family in, partied in, etc will be completely erased from existence, only to be seen again in pictures and video from our time spent there.

Many of you already know that I’m an extremely sentimental person. As such, this is incredibly painful for me. You see, this is the third place the Lish and I have lived since we got married. The first was a one bedroom co-op that we lived in for 3 years, and the second was a small house we lived in for about a year before moving into this one. About a year after we got married, I developed a horrible panic/anxiety disorder. I was really bad for a few years, going to therapy once or sometimes twice a week, taking medication, etc. We were really in flux, and there were some truly dark times where shit was REALLY bad. By the time we were moving into this house, we were hitting the tail end of it. I finished working out my shit, and we started to rebuild. We hit our stride here, settled in, and started our family.

This was a house of firsts. We had our children here, raised them for a few years here, and watched as they hit their milestones here. We sat on the back porch while the kids played and just talked about anything and everything. We had amazing parties with our incredible group of friends. We adopted Sully, and said farewell to him. There were BBQs and birthdays, Christmas and Easter. I started my arcade hobby there, and built my side business there. We went there before we even moved in, with close friends and my mother in law, to read the latest Harry Potter book when it first came out. I spent some awesome times with a good friend remodeling our kitchen after I got laid off. It was the only thing that kept me sane during a really rough time. I remember sitting on our sky chair on the porch every weekend morning in the summer while I had my coffee. There were thunderstorms spent on that porch too, watching the rain fall and the lightning with the kids.

But these are all just memories, right? What makes that different that childhood memories, or memories of the apartment? Well, I’ll tell you. The difference is that this was actually the first TRUE home I’ve ever had. It was mine. I felt safe here, I felt like I belonged here, and I truly felt like I was loved and wanted. I made this place my own, and it really was the only real home I feel that I ever had. I’m absolutely devastated that we had to leave this beautiful place. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it wouldn’t work in our family’s best interests going forward, but that doesn’t change what it was to me. At this point, I can’t imagine any future house taking its place in my heart. Sure, I’ll have another home, and perhaps in ten years time I’ll be singing a different tune, but for right now I feel homeless in a way. I think a part of me dies with that house, a part that will likely never heal. It’s as if I’m losing a beloved family member, only to relive our time together through these small windows to the past and the memories they conjure. It hurts more than my words could possibly express, and I know quite a few words.

Last night, after the Lish and the kids left, I decided to have one last fire in the amazingly beautiful fireplace and video tape it. As it turned out, this was much more painful than I thought it’d be. I was lonely, I was broken, I was devastated. I was grieving at the bedside of a dear loved one while they slowly succumbed to sickness in front of my eyes. I wanted to stay until the fire burned down to mere embers, but I couldn’t do it. The pain for me was far too much, and I ended up putting out the fire and going back to the rental.

Now I can imagine some people will read this and think I’m just some sappy melodramatic bitch, and perhaps there’s some truth to that. The reality is that this is literally how I felt at the time, and how I feel now. Like I said, I’m deeply sentimental, and I tend to live in the past, so I have a shitty habit of focusing on what I’ve lost and not living in the moment or looking to the future. I dwell on things. I know I shouldn’t, and I try not to, but for me it’s not that easy. I’m trying to move forward, but it’s hard (haiyoooo). I think it would’ve been easier if the new owners didn’t demo the house. I’ve have loved to show them her beauty, how to care for her, and teach them about all over her little idiosyncrasies. Still, I’m sure that in five or ten years time I’ll be able to look back with love and fondness, and not with longing and despair. I guess only time will tell. Still, I say this to her. Goodbye my very dear friend. We shared much together, and you will live on in our hearts and the hearts of our children (who had a VERY difficult and emotional time saying goodbye). You’ll always mean the world to us, because you were there to provide everything we needed to start our family and grow it right and true. We love you now, and always will, and we truly do wish things had worked out differently. Goodbye…

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Uncle Chooch visits for Xmas 2014

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Lazy days spent chilling out together in the living room.

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Death Row, where my hobby took shape. So many hours spent down there working on games and playing!

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Summertime spent in the inflatable pool!!! We’d sit on the porch and relax while they had fun…until someone started shit and we had to get involved…

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Panoramic view from the sky chair. This is how I spent my summer mornings…

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Hanging out on the sky chair, having fun, relaxing, and being silly!

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Autumn, playing on the big rock. I’d build a huge leaf pile and they’d jump off the rock into it. Good times!

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The view from the couch, watching TV and playing games!!!

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The Lish and I after our first Halloween party in the house. This was our Gods and Goddesses party. My robe says “God” on it…

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First day of preschool!

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Here’s where it all started. We took this the year we moved in and used it as our Christmas card for that year. Seems like soooo long ago…

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Fires on Christmas Eve, waiting for Santa, snuggling up and watching holiday movies with the Lish while the wee ones slept and dreamed of beautiful things.

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The last fire this beautiful fireplace will ever know. So many memories of fires on cold nights, so sad it will never know another…

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View from outside during last night’s fire. Farewell my friend, we will always love and miss you…

What was I thinking?!

A little over a month ago, I swung by an internet radio studio to hang out with a good friend of mine while he did his radio show. During the show, he brought out a scale for him and another guy there to weigh themselves. Apparently, they were having a weight loss competition where they weigh in each week. Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to step on the scale. I regretted this immediately, of course.

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The actual scale said “You’re American”…

As it turns out, over the course of just a few months, I had gained 20 lbs. I’m not really the type of person to obsess over my weight for the most part, nor am I someone who always looks in the mirror. As someone with a slight case of body dysmorphic disorder, I try to avoid any chance to actually look at myself, since what I see and what actually is are apparently two very different things according to pretty much everyone I’ve asked over the years. Considering all this, my sudden weight gain came as a bit of a shock.

I’m not really sure why it hit me the way it did, but I got this overwhelmingly shitty feeling in my gut and just couldn’t shake it. All of my current insecurities about my physical condition flooded in, and soon I was drowning in my own inadequacies. I’m now overweight, out of shape, and physically weak. This is kind of a first for me when it comes to two of those. I’ve always been thin or average, and usually kept in fair shape. The clock has been ticking, though, and time is having its fun with me. As for the other bit, I’ve never been a strong guy. I have virtually no upper body strength, and never had any before either. Mostly I’ve learned to use my entire body to accomplish tasks most other dudes could do with one hand, while drinking a beer with the other. I’ve dealt with quite a fair share of shaming and ribbing about this my entire life, so it’s always been a sore spot. Problem is, it’s always been very difficult for me to build bulk muscle. I’ve done weight training before, and my body just doesn’t seem to give a damn about strength. Now, though, this is becoming more of a problem.

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True Story…

After the show, I decided I was gonna try doing something about it. I downloaded an app on my phone called Sworkit, and started working out. I’m just doing cardio, and the app basically chooses an exercise at random, like Star Jumps (aka the bane of my existence) or burpees (an exercise designed by Hitler and the devil). You do that for 30 seconds, and then switch to another exercise. After 5 in a row, you get a 30 second break. I started out doing just 10-15 minutes, and realized rather quickly that I’m a sad, sorry, sack of shit. I couldn’t get through the whole thing without taking short breathers during some of the sets because I either couldn’t catch my breath, or because the pain in my muscles prevented me from going any further. By the end I found myself praying for a burglar to rush in and knock me unconscious. This is why I started leaving the front door open learning to pace myself when I was working out. Eventually I was able to make it to 30 minutes, though I still have to take short pauses and feel dead at the end of it. This was the point I contracted the plague that was going around, and stopped for about 3 weeks.

Now, enter in my coworker who goes around trying to convince everyone to do Tough Mudder with him each year. This time someone asked him if he was doing it this year, and he said he wasn’t because he had nobody to go with. I’m not sure where the stupid idea came from, but for some ungodly reason I told him I’d go with him and I signed up. Since then, I’ve been reading articles on what kind of shape someone has to be in so they can do this, and I’ve come to the realization that I’m pretty much fucked. This thing sounds brutal for someone who rarely makes 5000 steps a day, let alone be in the condition required for this to happen.

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While I’d like to be the guy on the left, I’ll end up being the guy on the right, face down in the shit…

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Let the hate flooooooow through you…

I started hitting Sworkit again, but yesterday hit a wall. After about 21 minutes, my phone died, and I was never so happy about that. I was WIPED. I couldn’t eat, I felt dizzy, I was really shaky, and overall felt like I was gonna pass out. I went to lay down for a bit, and after some time I began to feel better. While I was laying there, though, I came to a realization that I apparently knew but didn’t wanna face. I fucking HATE working out. HATE IT! It’s not the whole being physical thing, and it’s not the pushing myself to the limit part. It’s what I’m actually doing. Whenever the app says Star Jumps, I wanna go to the voice actor’s house and punch her in the face because it’s fucking miserable. I used to rollerblade a lot, like 14 miles a day every day, and that I love doing. Even though it’s brutal and hard to do that these days, I love it, but I don’t live in an area where I can do that right now. I used to do martial arts, and loved that, even though it was physically punishing. But regular workouts suck ass. Part of the reason is because I’m in awful shape and can barely fucking do it without needing an EMT on standby. Part of the reason is because I lack the physical strength to do more than a few of certain exercises, like diamond pushups. And, best I can figure, part of the reason is that it’s just not fun whatsoever. Skating is fun. Martial arts is fun. Just Star Jumps and Push-Ups? No, that’s boring as fuck.

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I dream of a day when I’ll know…

While I was ruminating on all this, the Lish came in to talk to me. I told her how I was feeling, and she said she felt very much the same way when she started working out at the gym. She said she hated it, and felt weak, incompetent, and miserable for quite awhile. After some time, though, she began to love it. Now she goes 4 days a week, and works out at home the other 3 days. She’s in killer shape, and blows me away in endurance. Occasionally she’ll do Sworkit with me, and she’s just a non-stop juggernaut through it all. Anyways, she told me that I’m just being too impatient and hard on myself, and that this will all get better in time. I guess part of my problem is that I don’t see much of a difference right away, and that frustrates me. I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over, and just not getting any better. I really don’t wanna be the guy at the end of Tough Mudder who’s barely dragging himself along, only to collapse at the end and require medical attention. I also don’t wanna be incapable of pulling myself up over an obstacle or something like that, so strength training is a necessity now too. I’m just as bad at that as I am at cardio. I know a lot of what’s driving me through all this is my own self loathing. I hate myself, I hate the shape I’m in, I hate that I let myself get this way, and I hate that I’m finding it so difficult to progress. It’s so frustrating and infuriating. The problem with using my anger as fuel here is that, with such slow progress, all I end up with is more anger. Soon that evolves into being depressed about my current situation, and then all I wanna do is cancel my registration, say fuck it (preferably out loud), and just accept that I’m a bag of shit who’ll be out of shape the rest of his life.

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Let’s face it, folks, NOBODY wants me reenacting this scene in the buff…

What’s stopping me? Well, the answer is both simple, confusing, and complicated. Pride. I’d be willing to bet that people with depression don’t usually care about such a thing, but sometimes I can be a very contradictory dude. I try like hell to preserve some semblance of pride and honor, and I can’t bring myself to quit this yet. I know it’d be a huge regret in my life, and I’d look back on these years when I’m older and likely sick, and wonder if keeping with it would’ve let me live a longer, fuller life. I can’t handle the thought of that kind of regret, so for now I’m still gonna try. I still utterly hate everything about this right now, but I can’t bring myself to throw in the towel, if for no other reason than not wanting to deal with the shame that will come with it. I’ll try and post a few more times before the run, which is in late July, and I’ll include my progress. Hopefully there is some…

Stepping back up to the plate

Surprisingly enough, I haven’t written about this yet, so I figured I’d do so now. Last March/April I got sick. Nothing unusual, just a cold or infection or whatever. As such, I had to take time off from singing with my band while I recovered. Problem is, I didn’t recover. My throat was a horrific blasted wasteland for week after week, and I had issues just talking, not to mention singing. With this happening, and the move about to kick off, I decided to tell my band mates that I needed time off. I told them I didn’t know what was going on, or when I’d be able to play again, and if they found someone else in the interim I’d be totally fine with it. I didn’t want to hold anyone back because of my issues.

I started seeing doctors, and went through test after test. Initially, it started as an allergy issue. I got on allergy meds, but that didn’t do enough. After more tests and discussions, it was suggested that it’s perhaps a GI issue, that I’m having reflux that’s burning the back of my throat all the time. I went on meds for that. Slowly, as the summer ticked on by, I got marginally better. It was a fight the whole way, trying to sing constantly, getting frustrated and angry when I’d be done after a song or two, and then waiting for the next day to try again.

Fast forward to October, and the insanity that ensues during that month for us, I started to forget to take my allergy meds. It just wasn’t routine enough, and it slipped out of my conscious thought. Good thing is, though, it looks like things have gotten better. Not all the way, but enough that I can start rebuilding my stamina and getting my voice back into shape.

This brought up another question: Should I return to the stage? I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Part of me says no, because I’m older and who the fuck really WANTS to come see me on stage and hear me sing, aside from the Lish. Not that I’m really that much older than I was a year ago, mind you, I just hadn’t really thought about it before. Don’t get me wrong, I love that my friends come out to see me perform, and they never complain about it whatsoever. But me being me, I tend to think people only come out because they want to support a friend, and not because of what they’re hearing. If they didn’t know me, would they still come? I tend to think they wouldn’t. I hope this doesn’t come off as me being unappreciative, because I’m not. I love that they come to support me, as I’d do for them. The question is, though, is coming back worth it? Sure, I love to sing and be on stage, but a big part of that is what I get from a crowd. It’s an incredible feeling to play in front of people, and see some of them get really into it, screaming along and exploding with energy. It’s like standing in the sunlight when you’re cold.

On the other hand, there is music still in me that I feel the need to express. If I did go back, I’d want to do a mix of originals and covers. The problem is, I’d want to do a wide range of covers, from metal to alternative to classic rock. My music tastes tend to be eclectic. I’d wanna do some Faith No More, STP, Alice in Chains, as well as Maiden, Metallica, Slipknot, and even some more mainstream shit. I’ve been in bands awhile, and sets like this are hard to come by, and it’s tough finding players all on the same page with something like this.

So I have a decision to make. Do I hang up my mic and just do more youtube covers for my channel, or do I step out on stage again? Right now, I don’t know what I’ll do. To be honest, a part of it, quite possibly a big part of it, has always been me seeking acceptance and validation. Formative years believing I’m not worth a damn cause that to be taken as fact. This belief carried on throughout my life, and is still just as relevant today as it was back then, so I seek validation and acceptance constantly. My logical side wars with this internally, but emotions are silly things, and don’t really give a shit. Being told you’re stupid, ugly, worthless, and disgusting tends to leave a mark. Even something as seemingly provable as being told you can’t sing, or are a shitty singer, leaves its mark. The irony is that when people validate me, I tend to not believe them. I truly feel as though they’re just being nice, or sometimes as if they are patting me on the back and saying good job as if I’m a child in an “everyone gets a trophy” sort of activity. This is made easier because I set high standards for myself, and mostly never meet them, so my emotional response has that in mind, as if everyone knows where my bar is set for myself. Anyways, enough of my pity pot bullshit. Hell, who knows, maybe subconsciously I wrote all this just to garner sympathy and attention. It’d make sense. I guess the real question is this: If my need for validation and acceptance wasn’t there, would I have ever taken that stage in the first place? I don’t have an answer for that one.

Finding the right pub

Finding the right pub is one of the most important things in life. It’s something that can happen right away, or take quite some time. The key part here is to find a good location, with a good atmosphere and people you can really relate to. The establishment should be run well, and those in charge should have a clear focus on doing their best to ensure everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves, while also having a good time themselves. It’s also very important to have an open environment, where anyone can voice concerns to the management or others in the bar and work out any issues without it resulting in a fight where the cops have to be called, or worse, an ambulance.

However, the MAJOR key here is the people. People who GET you. People who are there for a variety of reasons, but value having a good time and letting go of the crap in their daily lives. People who can give you advice, or listen to yours with an open mind and respect your opinions. Not at all an easy thing to find. For me, one of the biggest things is feeling not only accepted there, but wanted there. Those at the bar, people I respect and whose company I enjoy, wanting me to come down there as often as possible simply because they enjoy my company, is one of those things I find incredibly important. Along with that, truly being appreciated for who I am and any help I give is also huge. For me, these things are important for reasons that many who know me don’t really know about. I was one of those who never really had this. Most people, during the majority of my life, were….less than accepting of me. I was mostly disliked by my peers, with the exception of the choice few, and even then only very few gave enough of a shit to really try to understand me and value what I brought to the friendship table. Many times I was just treated like the entertainment. I was the dancing monkey, the court jester, and everything in between. So, because of this, I never really had a place where I felt like I fit in. I could adapt to sort of fit here or there, but it never really felt right. It was like being a multifaceted key, where one side would fit one thing, but the other sides wouldn’t fit it at all. It made being in certain groups both fun and taxing at the same time. A few groups fired on more than one cylinder, but not many, and most times it wasn’t the core cylinders that really matter. This all changed, of course, when I found just the right pub.

Now, I can let myself be me, and not only is it ok, but it’s enjoyed…sought after, even. Sure, I have had friends before who felt this way, but having people who are virtually strangers to me feel this way has had a slightly different effect, and this little difference ended up making all the difference (fuckin A, I use that word a LOT!). This isn’t to say that my friends aren’t as important, or haven’t helped me and healed me in ways, because they absolutely have. This is more to say that even though you have great friends, finding a group of people who know fuck all about me, and having them not only welcome me but want me around, despite me really being myself around them, heals a very deep and very old wound inside. A wound that’s never started truly healing because of how specific it is, and how rare the treatment for it is. Finding the pub you can call home really really doesn’t have much to do with the alcohol, since you can find that in a variety of other places, or even on your own. I can go elsewhere and have scotch, or learn about rum, or whatever. But that right pub will make all of it so much better, so much more gratifying, and more fulfilling than any self discovery of such things. I finally feel like I found mine, and hope I’m not jinxing myself by writing this. I can not only be myself, but I can be who I want to be when I’m there. I can genuinely be me, all beliefs and thoughts intact, and all core cylinders firing. It’s a freedom of sorts, and I’m diggin’ it right now, so much so that I take great pleasure in giving back in any way I can. Truth be told, even if something does happen to fuck it up, at the very least it will have given me hope that this is something that CAN be healed, and that’s far more than a scarred and beat up cynic like me could have ever hoped for. For that, I will remain eternally thankful.

I suck at making decisions

TRUTH!

TRUTH!

actual picture of me...with my makeup on, of course...

actual picture of me…with my makeup on, of course…

I’ve always had problems deciding things, ever since I was a kid. Whether it be something arbitrary like “What do I want to eat right now?”, or serious like “What should I do with my life?”, it’s always a conundrum. Part of the reason is that my personality forces me to look at all my options, all possible outcomes, and all possible points of view I can possibly come up with. Because of this, I end up with these maddening wars of indecision inside my head. Results of this led me to split up and grade the decisions I need to make into multiple categories. Some are left to a day’s worth of contemplation. Some are set to be fully researched projects. Then there are many that I decide to just do the first thing that comes to mind. As you might guess, this got me in a lot of shit throughout my youth, especially when I was under the age of 18. I knew that I could do just about anything and not have to worry about jail time, so I did just that. It was quite the crazy time. Anyways, let’s move on before I incriminate myself. I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is for some of that stuff…..

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these signs are fucking everywhere….

SO….lately, my big problem is deciding what to do with my time. Currently I’m into so many fucking hobbies and time sinks that my head spins with the possibilities of what to do, and rather than actually make a fucking decision, I just do something stupid like watch an old movie. I hate being overwhelmed with shit, and it ends up aggravating the hell out of me afterward. I berate myself with “why the fuck didn’t you do THIS or THAT?!”, and I just feel worse about myself. Still, it doesn’t help me make decisions, cuz I do the same fucking thing again the next time. This also makes me super paranoid about making the wrong decision, regardless of how subjective that concept may be…

Most recently, this has brought up some bigger decisions, though. Right now, apart from the various home projects I have, there are a few major time sink hobbies on my plate. First is my music. Right now I’m in one active band, one semi active band, and one inactive one that’s starting to ramp back up. Aside from this, there is also the recording projects I was working on at home, one for original music and one where I cover songs on vocals and post them to youtube. Second is the SCA. Right now, I’m not really involved much with it, but there is much about it that I find very interesting and would like to be more involved with. There’s fighting, leatherwork, metalwork, garb making, archery, games, and others that I find interesting and wish I had the time for. Next is my arcade hobby. This has taken a back seat lately, since it’s cold in my basement and it’s tough doing work like that while freezing my ass off and having numb fingers. I do have heaters I can run, but I just haven’t felt compelled to venture down and do the work. Then there’s the myriad of other shit I could be doing, like prepping the house so we can eventually show it, tackling the dozen or so computer projects I have, working on Victoria, etc.

decisions, decisions....

decisions, decisions….

Meanwhile, some¬† of my older hobbies have all but disappeared. I used to be an avid gamer, and now I have piles of games I’ve either barely played, or played a bit but never finished. My gaming has been on the back burner for quite some time, and now when I look around the living room for stuff to do, they stare at me from the shelf with those accusing eyes, moaning in guttural voices “plaaaay with ussss…..whyyyyy have you forsaken ussss, banished usss to the shelf of the unwanted, not to be played….I mean, seriously, where are we? Gamestop?!”. OK, maybe that’s just me hallucinating, possibly due to oxygen deprivation brought on by horrific clouds of dog farts, but fuck off! It’s a factor, damnit! Anyways, I still end up getting weird looks from my gamer friends when I tell them I haven’t finished Destiny, or GTA5. I also love to do shit like fishing, paintball, and skiing, just to name a few, and I rarely ever do any of those anymore.

always a fear...

always a fear…

So here I am with this conundrum. I have so many interests, and very little time to juggle them. Many of these require commitments, and aren’t things I can just do a day here or there, especially considering my personality. If you don’t already know, I have an abysmal memory, so I’d have to really delve into something for a bit to get back up to speed. Another problem is that when I get into something, I REALLY get into it. It’s all I can think about, talk about, and worry about. I get obsessive over things like that, and that makes it even harder to make accurate decisions. The reason being, I give the stuff I’m currently obsessed over more weight due to my emotional state. So now I end up stuck, spoiled for choice, and rapidly going insane over the constant turmoil in my head. Pretty sure this is a huge reason why I’m so strangely moody sometimes, since this is always going on. The sad result is that I’m gonna look back on this later in life and curse myself for not taking fucking control and just doing shit.

TL:DR I think too much, and can’t decide on a damn thing as a result.

Now I know some people will read this and get angry, possibly saying I’m over-privileged, spoiled, possibly pretentious, or whatever. All I can say to those people is this: Piss off! Love and kisses, PNG….

At least my main priorities are solid: I choose to spend time with the Lish, Peanutty, and the beast above all else, and my time with them is seldom ever used for my hobbies. That decision was the easiest to make, and one of the best I’ve ever made.

Been a long time since I rock n rolled

Wuzzzzzzaaahhhhhh

Wuzzzzzzaaahhhhhh

As some of you know, I dropped off the face of the blogosphere (I can’t believe I actually just used that ridiculous word) a while ago. Lots of shit happened since then, the biggest of which being my change to a new place of employment. I’ve had a bunch of stuff to write about, but just haven’t had the space or time at work to do so, and my personal time at home is pure insanity most days. I’ll try my best to sum it all up here, so bear with me.

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Lish showing off the guns!!!

First and foremost, the Lish decided to try out for a roller derby team. I’m, of course, fully supportive of this, being a straight male and all. She made it onto the team, and has been balls deep (metaphorically speaking) in derby ever since. She’s currently working on passing her skills test so she can be cleared to play in games, and I have no doubts that she’ll pass and kick ass. The team she’s with is great, with some real top shelf people involved, and I’m happy she got involved in it. I kinda wish some of my hobbies had the same feeling of camaraderie, but alas I have geek hobbies,¬† so the power playing and dick waving (again, thankfully, metaphorically speaking) is always prevalent. That brings me to my next point.

The forecast on audition day....

The forecast on audition day….

My bands have been in a sort of flux lately. The cover band is doing ok, and we actually played shows recently! The original project I was playing keyboards in took a turn for the worse. We lost our drummer and bassist, and have yet to find replacements. Our searching has so far turned up a large number of complete lunatics, wackjobs, and dudes who really need to learn what it means to say they play an instrument. Some dudes came in and just had no idea what the fuck they were doing. Some had personal issues, such as the guy who was pushing 50 and had to work out with his daddy, whom he still lived with, what nights and times he could come out to play. And some were just plain bat shit crazy, who looked like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s 2 having a seizure. Finally, my old original band has had some movement lately. We broke up a year and a half ago, leaving an album unfinished and without playing a last show. Recently, we all got together to discuss our next steps, if any, and we all agreed to finish the recordings and play some shows. Where it goes after that is anyone’s guess, but at least we have something good on the horizon. I’m honestly stoked about it, since this is really the only band I’ve been in that I really felt was “my” band. Here’s hoping something good comes of this.

Aside from that, it’s pretty much been business as usual. We’ve been attending a few SCA events, and enjoying that. I haven’t been to fighting practice really, with only one attendance since Pennsic, because the timing never really works. Lish usually has derby practice that night, and I’d rather save the sitter than go to practice. I do wish I was able to get into it, since whenever I see guys fighting at events I kinda wish I could suit up and join in for a bit. A close friend of mine got into it the same time I did, and is having a great time and really enjoys it. I must admit that part of the reason is me being grossly out of shape, as well as being not physically strong. Much of my training would just be straight up strength and endurance training, and let’s face it, I’m a lazy fuck. I’d much rather sit at my bench and rebuild PCBs than do squat jumps and burpees…

You've been warned...

You’ve been warned…

I’ve seen a few movies that I’d like to share my thoughts on, stuff like Snowpiercer, Europa Report, 5 armies, etc. I’ll do my best to get those going, as well as some other shit. I’m also going to post some more arcade related stuff on my other blog, so if you have any interest in that crap, give it a look. Otherwise, I’ll see you freaks around soon!

Pennsic 2014, the drunkening

So once again we ventured into the wilds of Cooper’s Lake campgrounds for a vacation of drinking, debauchery, food, violence, learning, etc, etc, oh just fucking get on with it. If you know me, which most of you do, you know I went to Pennsic again this year. This was round 3 for the Lish and I, and this time we spent an entire week there. Since you should already know what Pennsic is all about from my previous post, I’ll just comment on the highlights.

Pennsic from above. You can't see half of it because it's covered by trees. The white dots are the larger tents...

Pennsic from above. You can’t see half of it because it’s covered by trees. The white dots are the larger tents…

We once again camped with Honig and Serpentius. When we got to camp and met up with everyone, it was as if no time had passed, which is amazing in and of itself. The entire week was awesome, with no drama that we had to deal with in the encampment. We brought some more noobs with us this time around, and they all had a blast. We spent the week partying and relaxing, and really saw it for more than we did before. The interactions between people, the politics that go on, the honors that are given, and the victories that are won, all tie into what I now see as a sort of alternate universe. It’s like a dream world that we get to live in a week out of the year. We made even more new friends, drank way too much at a few parties, got caught in the rain and mud, and spent more than we could afford. Basically, Pennsic as usual!

Also, this year we camped out in a different tent, a SoulPad we purchased from our good friend Honig. It’s a 16′ round canvas tent, and it was awesome for Pennsic. We had plenty of room for our 2 oversized cots, 3 small tables, and all of our gear. It wasn’t as stifling during the day like a regular camping tent would’ve been, and it held up to the wind and rain rather well. We’re looking forward to using it again, especially since it’s cake to put up and take down.

Our new digs!

Our new digs!

One difference this year is that, prior to Pennsic, we requested permission to join the house of Serpentius. To our surprise and delight, we were voted in successfully and are now members of the house. We are deeply honored to be allowed to keep such awesome company, and are looking forward to more events and time spent with our now-fellow snakes. Hell, we even got a little teary when Omega and Rox came up to us after the ceremony to embrace us and welcome us into the household. Truly an awesome time!

Our new colors!

Our new colors!

Another great thing about this year was our first official court attendance. We didn’t really know what to expect, and were surprised at how awesome it was. There was a bit of pomp and circumstance, and it was definitely a serious event, but it still felt somehow light and laid back. Part of it was that the king and queen of our kingdom are absolute riots, and have no problem joking around as well as being respectable and serious. We saw Honig’s son get honored before the king, and it was a really great experience. Of course, for me, it really helped that I’d been drinking steadily for awhile, and I had a knight sitting next to me to answer all of my questions. I’d have been totally lost otherwise.

Breeder's coffee when creamer is added, magnified under a microscope....

Breeder’s coffee when creamer is added, magnified under a microscope….

Some other highlights of this year. Breeder’s coffee, which crept and walked on its own (sorta like the soot balls from spirited away), and got us going every morning in the most chemically violent way possible. If not for that, we’d have loafed the mornings away in camping chairs. The Loch Ness Monster beverage at Loch Laven, which after 3 pints of it left me thoroughly annihilated. The Roxy tear, an awesome night out drinking with the members of our household. The birth of the Serpentius Party Girls *throws up the shocker*. The knowledge that you may grab anyone’s ass so long as you say “good game” afterward. Napping in public can, and will, result in all toenails on one foot being painted with black nail polish. Talking someone into buying new armor can end up in looks of death from said person’s significant other, right up until she sees him in it and forgets her name for a moment. An entire week of not wearing underwear feels incredible and awesome, so long as baby powder or gold bond is readily available. SoulPads really ARE that much better than regular tents. We also learned that you don’t technically NEED to bow to the king if he’s running over to pants the duke running your household. And finally, we learned that when in short supply, two straight men will share a cheddar brat Lady and the Tramp style just to have some.

Yes, this happened. I left it on until the day we left.

Yes, this happened. I left it on until the day we left.

Oh, and mind your surroundings. We were heading to the car, and I was being vulgar with a bottle of Gatorade, making it appear to piss all over the Lish (we have a very “special” relationship), when we walked right past the fucking queen of the east kingdom. Something to note for next year.

So overall, it was an awesome trip. We made some new friends, reconnected with some old friends, and had a blast all around. All this, despite the fact that it rained most days we were there, and the whole place was muddier than our current political climate. It didn’t dampen our spirits, though, since other spirits were always a-flowin’! Anyways, returning back to our everyday lives was a sort of culture shock, and it brought something into stark contrast. At Pennsic, we are who we REALLY are, deep down. We are lighthearted, fun, silly, respectful, and we live every moment to its fullest extent. We’re happy, and not just because we’re not at work or cleaning up after the kids or whatever, but because being there allows us to be whatever we want to be. With that in mind, I chose to be the REAL me. I let myself go, and it was amazing. Being truly freed like that is something everyone should experience in their lives. It reminds us that being adults, and growing older, really doesn’t mean shit in the grand scheme of things. We’re all the same kids we always were, we simply get buried under piles of responsibility, stress, and anxiety from our day to day lives. When you can let all that go, you’ll find yourself. It’s not an easy thing to do, since we as humans tend to try to be in control all the time. However, if you can let your control slip, and release the fear of really being yourself around others, you may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. This is a HUGE reason why being at Pennsic makes me so happy, it’s because I get to really be myself, and despite that, people enjoy being around me and welcome my presence. For me, that’s something I’ve always wanted and never got as a kid. To get it as an adult is probably THE most awesome thing! This is why I come home happy, and it helps me to appreciate my life more. Sure, it may be different for others, but this is what it means to me, so if you don’t like it, refer to the image below.

Haters on the left, me on the right!

Haters on the left, me on the right!

Cheers, from the Lish and I!!!

Cheers, from the Lish and I!!!