The game is afoot.

  • I collect Magic Cards, but I haven’t really played since college.  Mostly I just put decks together.  I’ll buy a booster pack or holiday box or whatever and start seeing what cards go together.  I’m not even really up to speed on a lot of the new abilities–energy counters, etc.–that have been added in recent years.  I might try to sell a few decks at some point.  I really don’t need the two dozen or so decks I’m working on.  I mean, I might like to play a few of them (the Chandra one, the Elf Deck, the Vampire Deck, Red/White Angel Deck) but most of them are ones I don’t really need.
  • Going to start working on a series of Magic the Gathering drawings soon.  Already did a Chandra sketch card, planning to do some some of those.  Maybe something more complex.  Going to try to get back to page work in the near future.  Problem is I always want to do ten pages when I should do one.  And burn myself out.  I have no pacing whatsoever.  Working on that.
  • Officially done bulking.  Got up to 180 pounds.  Pretty pleased about that, although I did briefly hope to get up to 200 pounds.  Combination of factors got in the way, but 180 was the goal along.  My general plan is to cut down to 170 or so.  The biggest thing has just been trying to learn to work with my body, not against it.  The big issue is still sleep, but not much to be done about that for now.  Kind of a body and mind thing.
  • Tried a new pre-workout that somebody gave me a sample of.  Stuff called 5150.  I think I read that it has 8 different types of caffeine.  Very powerful stuff.  If anybody wants to try it, be warned: it is very intense.
  • Thinking about trying to make Meatballs or something different than I’ve been making.
  • I wrote the other day about my experiences growing up on the family farm and been pondering that a bit more.  Basically I’ve gained more insight into a lot of what unfolded regarded my family’s history in farming and it has given me some new avenues of thought.  I don’t deny those experiences did give me a more pessimistic view of farming–and also of opportunities I was presented with, but that’s a story for another year.  Trying not to get into what ifs, but I do believe there were opportunities I could have done a lot with.  And maybe new options will present themselves.  I’m always keeping an eye open.
  • I find myself pondering options and opportunities.  The average person will change careers seven times.  I have to wonder if in trying to create a stable workplace, do employers limit the ability of workers to find better options and opportunities.  I get paid $22 and some change an hour with good benefits where I work, but does that pay rate keep me from seriously considering a job where I might be happier?  Where I might have better opportunities for advancement and more flexibility to pursue other endeavors?  And does the effort to maintain a stable workplace keep employers from finding people who are potentially better fits?  Stability and comfort can be as much a hindrance as a help.

Resolution Post?

December 31, 2016

I suppose this could the “New Year, New Me” post, if the meteor doesn’t wipe us all out before midnight tonight–this year has really softened us up for it, so I wouldn’t be surprised.  So yeah, I really question the validity of a post detailing any real resolution for the coming 2017.  I mean it really shouldn’t take the arbitrary determination of the passage of a rotation around the sun to get your shit together.

I do have some ongoing goals for the coming year.  Some of which are more realistic than others.

  • Get to more family gatherings.  Strangely enough, I miss going to family gatherings on a regular basis.  Working nights disrupts most human interactions on a variety of levels and I’m feeling like that’s been one of my biggest issues is the lack of person to person connection.  Family gatherings in specific, I’ve come to like those more than I used to.  I would like to make sure I get to more of them in the future.
  • Somewhat related, try a new vocation.  While I am ramping up the job hunt in recent weeks, I’m also tempted to… inquire about some part time opportunities.  Farming is one that sticks out to me.  One of the bigger eye rolls I had about my ex and the farm was that she never took the hint that if her parents had made a real offer on a job with the farm, I would have taken it.  Kind of a ridiculous thing, but I took that whole dynamic seriously and did not feel right initiating that process.  So I’ll see if there’s potential for some kind of part time gig.
  • Continue to get into better shape.  I’ve accomplished a lot of goals in the last few months, but I’ve no intention of stopping.  Kayak more too.  I still have an interest in archery that I would like to explore a bit more.  I have a coworker who keeps trying to talk me into shooting guns, but firearms don’t really hold that much interest to me.  I acknowledge my politics might influence that, but I honestly think guns are overrated.  If I’m messing around with weaponry, I’d rather it was something I was putting more effort into than a flick of a finger.
  • Do more art.  I’ve made a lot progress and I’d like to continue with that.  On me to keep that going in the right direction though.

So, it has been a bit of a down year all around.  I was going to wait until after Christmas to reflect on the year as a whole, but I get the feeling December is just going to be going through the motions and mailing it in.  The United States and Britain seem destined to complete their self-destruction as the icons we grew up with continue to pass away.  So 2016 really has become the year where we lost ourselves.

Bowie, Rickman, Prince, Castro, Cohen, Glass, Henderson…  We have lost a lot of people who defined who we were and how we feel about ourselves.  People get annoyed when people get upset over celebrities dying, but it is important to remember that these people form a part of our culture and how we regard ourselves.  After a bad at work I’ve been know to put on Bowie’s Hunky Dory and listen to “Kooks” and that usually makes me feel better.  Or unwind to an episode of Serenity.  Or quote any number of Rickman’s memorable lines.  And so on.  Even Fidel Castro, in his own way, had his role in the formation of our culture.  So it is reasonable to feel something significant when people of their presence in our lives pass away.

2016 was really a wash year.  We were so self-destructive this year.  Even in my personal attempts to turn the anger and angst into something productive were heavily caught up in the waves of… whatever.  For lack of a better way to put it, we drowned ourselves in our own bullshit this year.  This whole year was about self-destruction.

Some predictions:

  • I think that on a global and national scale, we are poised to see a lot more instability.  I just look at the players involved and some what’s unfolding and those do not bode well in my mind.
  • I think I will be in some kind of relationship in 2017.  How serious of one, I don’t know.  I’ve gone on a date or two, but things have been a bit too hectic to really get a read on anything.  Who knows?  Somebody was telling me that it sometimes takes a up to a year and a half to get over a break-up, depending on how long and serious the relationship.  Part of the reason I’m glad I haven’t gotten into a relationship yet.  I think I did need the time to figure out how responsible I was for the state of things there and I do feel I’ve reached a point where I’ve shouldered my share.  I’ve taken responsibility for my mistakes and learned from them.
  • Probably will be getting a new job next year.  I’ve been ready to move on for a long time and I’m feeling more and more like it has been dragged out longer than it should.  I’m not foolish enough to state a time table without a plan in place, but I’m thinking it will happen.
  • I will be doing something more productive with artwork.  We will see.

Just some general updates and thoughts.

  • Liking the progress I’ve made with the Skyrim drawing.  Hoping to have a finished version of that soon.  I also did a Catwoman drawing that I’m probably done playing with.  Still working on building up a selection of drawings to sell as prints at VTCC, so hopefully I will have that and a comic sampler or something ready to go by August.  I figured I would send in the table application once I had a couple more sketch cards and prints ready to go.
  • Ordered some Art Paper to test printing off the drawings I’ve scanned.  A $40 test order.  Only found out later I could probably order smaller samplers.  Oh well.  Going to see how that goes.
  • I said not too long ago that I thought the Trump Presidency would get bogged down in distractions.  I didn’t think it would happen so soon.  On a related note, anyone else surprised that Mike Pence went to see Hamilton?
  • Probably going to see Doctor Strange this weekend.  For one reason or another I missed my chance to see it the last couple of weeks.  Probably do that during my brush with death for Black Friday.  Making it sound more exciting than it actually will be.  Probably won’t hit up any shopping until the afternoon, when the mess has been cleaned up.  When I do my online shopping, I might pick up the Doctor Strange Masterworks.  Get the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko reprints.
  • Already starting to think about 2017 as being a good year for a fresh start.  2016 kind of blew it in a lot of ways.  My patience wears thin over a number of issues, and I’m hoping to make some changes in the coming months.

Drawings I’d like to be doing soon:

  1. Magic The Gathering themed.  I’ve been wanting to draw some of the Planeswalkers–Chandra seemed interesting if only because of the potential to play with a flame effect–for awhile now.  Might go through some Magic Cards and see what I can get for ideas.
  2. Skyrim stuff.  Been thinking about a drawing of M’aiq the Liar to go along with the Aela the Huntress stuff.  Again, might see what other ideas spring to mind.
  3. Keep wanting to another Captain Marvel drawing, this time get it a bit more where I’d like it to be.

Reflecting on what we’ve learned…

  • Working on some short comics.  Think I’ll get rolling on those in the coming days, probably after I finish a few smaller projects.  Continuing to work on some sketch cards and more sellable stuff for the potential table at VTCC.  Skewing towards more Skyrim art right now.  Got some coloring work to finish up on a couple of things that might happen on my days off.
  • Been playing a lot of Skyrim.  Derailed my NaNoWriMo stuff.  Had a good concept worked out for it too.  Hazard of buying a Playstation 4 just at the end of October, I guess.
  • I’ve been thinking about the Election as more Hillary Clinton’s loss, than Donald Trump’s win.  I believe the Clinton campaign has pointed blame at a variety of things–FBI, Media, Bernie, etc.–but those weren’t the deciding factors.  Well, various members of the media have owned up to being less than their best, but that was not the whole problem.  I think Clinton took too much for granted and expected things to be handed to her.  She didn’t earn support like Trump or Sanders did.  True she actually did win the popular vote and lost some key electoral college votes by less than one percent, but it was the failure to truly earn those votes that hurt her.  I mean, the difference really was Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, who I’m not convinced made a public appearance without some level of marijuana in their systems.
  • Speaking of third parties, I’m fairly impressed with them right now.  The easy copout would be to blame them for Trump being elected, but as I said, it was really more Clinton’s failure than anything.  But regardless, I’m glad they had a strong showing even if it did skew the results.  I was a bit dismayed to see them nominate the people they did though.  I had an open mind about Johnson and Stein, but they kind of let me down.  I think the Green Party and the Libertarians can get stronger candidates on the ballot next time around and Make a much more serious impact.

Some updates, I suppose…

  • I am surprisingly proud of myself for voting for Bill “Space Man” Lee.  He won’t win and probably would be a disaster if he did, but I’m glad I didn’t vote for the more of the same from Sue Minter and Phil Scott for Vermont’s next governor.  I wish I had more thought to voting for Jill Stein.
  • I really think Congress needs to have term limits.  My primary reason: imagine if Bernie had been running for President ten years ago.  People wonder why Washington is so corrupt, but don’t think about the fact that they basically set themselves up for life and have incredible job security.
  • I got to draw a coworker as He-Man.  He seemed pretty pleased by it.  Wants me to print it off and get it framed for him.  He’s offered to pay me for it.  Basically became the excuse I’ve been looking for to get a Printer for larger format drawings.  Need to get some higher quality paper for these print jobs.  Feeling good about art again.
  • Was thinking about the post from a week or two ago about a Woman’s Responsibility.  I said something about my ex and how I felt like she hadn’t really taken responsibility for how her own choices and actions.  Though I might not have articulated it properly, I do think there’s a point there to be made.  No matter how good or bad the relationship was, responsibility should be equal.  That was the point I wanted to make and in break-ups it can be easy to assume it was the fault of one person or the other, but it should and usually is equal.

Just some ranting.  Been a bit sick the last couple of days, starting to feel better.

  • How are we still discussing emails?  Seriously.  If the FBI wanted to bring this up again, they should make sure they have that proverbial smoking gun.  Otherwise, they are just embarrassing themselves.  While I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the Clintons, I do think the negativity about them is a bit hyperbolic.  I’m not saying there isn’t some truth to it, but I do think there is a heavy presence of conspiracy theory and smear campaign nonsense.  I also think the alternative is worse.  Policy wise, I think Trump has the wrong ideas.  The deciding factor for me has been that Trump’s proposal in most areas seem poised to crank up the deficit and that is certainly not a direction I would like to see us going.
  • Did actually get a Playstation 4 on Friday.  Coincidentally, that’s when the Skyrim Special Edition came out.  Well, not really.  I’ve dabbled with playing some Uncharted 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, Call of Duty, and one of the newer Final Fantasy games, but it has mostly been Skyrim.  Loving the Special Edition so far.  Was kind of annoyed to get attacked by the Cultists from the Dragonborn Expansion just after meeting the Graybeards–was only level four or five at the time–but it’s still been good.  Graphics look really good.
  • Started doing NaNoWriMo.  We’ll see how it goes.  Bringing back an old idea about werewolves.  It was something I toyed with years ago as a collaborative thing, but it never got going.  Might see if I can do it myself.
  • Working on art stuff.  About the same as ever.
%d bloggers like this: