For if one is remembered by a friend, one is never truly gone.

-Star Wars: Thrawn

  • Finally broke the hour mark in Overwatch with Orisa.  In some ways she can be annoying, but her abilities can be useful.  I probably will play as her more often than I play as some others.
  • Weekend off coming up.  Hopefully going to power through some reading, writing and drawing that I’ve been putting off.  Getting closer to Comic Con season, so I stepping that up is a priority.  Might also start the process of selling off my comics.  That is a bit of a trickier thing, as I want to have a steady flow of books getting signed and graded as I sell them.  Maximize and extend my profit window.
  • I saw recently that Greg Rucka’s run as writer of Wonder Woman will be coming to an end relatively soon.  Part of me is kind of glad about that.  It’s not that he’s a bad writer, but I just get tired of him working with lesbian characters all of the time–I could argue Wonder Woman as more bisexual, but in the current storyline she has not necessarily shown an overwhelming interest in men.  Regardless, Rucka’s work–thinking of Rene Montoya, Kate Kane, Carrie Stetko–tends to focus on lesbian heroines.  I’m all for diversity, but I think there could be a bit more variation to the diversity.  Kind of goes along with my biggest complaint about Tracer from Overwatch.  I thought there were more powerful statements to be made with the character and the game in general.
  • Finished reading the new Star Wars: Thrawn novel.  Pretty solid stuff.  Think Timothy Zahn did a good job building up the characters and showing the functioning of the Empire at that time.  I was a bit taken aback when Disney announced that the novels and comics and video games from the last couple of decades were no longer canon, but I understood the need to declutter.  A lot of the material was clutter and detracted from the better stories of the Expanded Universe.  I’m glad they brought back Thrawn though.  The Thrawn books were some of my favorites from the novels, probably the most well written.  Makes me wonder if Thrawn or Eli Vanto will appear in Last Jedi or Episode IX.  In some form, maybe the character portrayed by Benicio Del Toro?

The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.

Dr. Stephen Strange: Which is?

The Ancient One: It’s not about you.

 

  • That exchange from the Doctor Strange movie keeps coming back to me.  Kind of hits a point most people keep missing and refuse to acknowledge when it smacks them in the face.
  • Taking a bit of break from Overwatch, playing a bit more Skyrim.  Put off working on my PS4.  I think I’ll try to play Overwatch more when I know people I actually know are playing.  Haven’t played very much as the new character, interesting power set though.
  • Came across an article last week that really got me thinking.  It was essentially discussing how difficult it is to study relationship without showing a bias towards monogamy.  The basic conclusion was that we are conditioned into believing that all relationships should strive towards a monogamous male-female set up and that’s the ideal.  That conditioning also makes it less likely for an unbiased study of relationships.  It just made a lot of really good points about how much of what take to be our cultural ideals are in fact things we’re conditioned into rather than what we determine are best for ourselves.  Not saying that everybody should go try a polyamorous lifestyle, but it does help to remind people to not take everything at face value.
  • I’ve written in the past about Tomi Lahren, mostly stating that I find her to have a limited understanding of the topics she discusses and more parrots her talking points than anything else.  Apparently she lost her job at the Blaze over the abortion comments she made on the View.  Glenn Beck has responded with some criticism of her remarks, citing a lack of intellectual honesty on Lahren’s part.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with Glenn Beck on that, but her comments were on par with her statements on a number of other issues and did not yield a response.  Why was this the line that she shouldn’t have crossed?
  • I’ve really avoided writing about abortion.  I don’t think nearly enough women have been a part of that conversation and that needs to change.  To a certain extent, I do think we need to reevaluate it from a modern viewpoint.  I do think the moral and religious arguments against abortion are too deeply rooted in a time where life expectancy was considerably shorter than it was today and the infant mortality rate was much higher.  With that in mind, it is important to acknowledge that there are more people alive now than ever before and they are living longer–to the point where we struggle to feed the people already living.  On that thought, I do think it is somewhat irresponsible to bring a baby into the world if it is not likely to have the opportunities we all deserve at birth.  I have also heard the argument that Roe v. Wade resulted in lower crime rates as there were fewer unwanted pregnancies and therefore fewer children at risk to get involved in crime due to growing up in a disadvantaged situation.  However, the choice is not society’s to make.  It should be between the parents and their doctors.
  • Finish today’s post on something a bit more… fun.  Starting to rearrange some things to facilitate more drawing.  I’ve been slacking, but hopefully that will be remedied soon.  Have been doing a bit of a series of drawings that I post on Instagram, calling them the “Pretending to be working” series.  It gets the stuff going at least.
  • Made tacos with Bison meat.  It was good.  I should make Tacos more often.

Been playing a lot of Overwatch.  Making it a goal to play at least one hour as each character.  That could take awhile.

  • Started getting serious again with the Order of the Dragon stuff.  Drawing it out in pencil, rather than on the computer.  I just like the feel of it better.  Going to try to do more of a hybrid workflow.  The mix has worked well in other projects, I’m hoping for the same here.  I always found a more hybrid approach more appealing, as there are some details that I can get better in pencil and some I can get better digitally.  If I have what I consider to be a healthy start, I might start posting new pages in the next week or two.  That’s kinda dependent on me stopping with Overwatch long enough.
  • Still giving some thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid in some form, just want to make sure I get it right.  One of my main goals with that–and in writing here–is to get some more self-evaluation going.  I might be too open and honest at times, but there is a goal at work.  Try to share the ideas that will help people grow.  I feel like that I failed that in the first go around, but I wonder if a more focused attempt might work for the comic.
  • So I heard there will be Star Wars: Rebels Season Four.  Is there enough story left to tell?  I mean, I feel like the storylines for each character are wrapping up now–we got the freaking Obi-Wan and Maul showdown coming up–and the Rebel Alliance has essentially been formed.  I just have to wonder if there is going to be enough story to tell and if it is really going to justify a fourth season.
  • So I live the next town over from Middlebury, where there were protests recently about Charles Murray’s speaking engagement and a professor was injured in the course of events.  I am honestly not that familiar with his views, but those I am aware of are ones I don’t necessarily agree with.  I get the impression that his beliefs influence his research and potentially skew it.  Not to fault having beliefs, but there are times when beliefs can interfere with your ability to observe, think and develop ideas.  I would personally prefer to see people challenge his ideas than resort to violence, but I can understand the strong feelings.
  • Freedom of Speech should be about ideas, but do when certain individuals aren’t really bringing ideas, should they be entitled to a platform?  Is Murray really bringing ideas to the table?  Was Milo Yiannopoulos anything more than an exploited and troubled individual?  (Not to dismiss anything he said, but I do think there are some real personal issues at work there)

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.

Right now the song “Battle of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

  • Getting political again.  I’m making plans to get more involved in some political stuff.  Looking into some local groups, going to try to help out.  Advocacy groups and the like.  Voices need to be heard.  Thinking of starting a new blog with more focus on politics.  Might help to organize and focus my thoughts.
  • I was watching Bill Maher’s season premiere the other night and he said something I found interesting.  Talking about the Clintons, he expressed the thought of, “Thank you for service, now I never want to see you again.”  When Bernie Sanders really began to pick up momentum in the primaries, I read that as a sign that the political world was changing.  The era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties was coming to an end.  For a number of reasons, I look at it less as Trump winning and everybody else losing.  Trump’s election was less the will of the people and more… backlash from the attempt to resist the natural direction our political landscape was trying to go.  Trump is very much an establishment figure.  Power is going back to the people, but Trump is not the champion of that.
  • Enough political talk.  Let’s talk about sex.  Was working on a comic script and there was a sex scene.  In writing it, I was going through a bunch of sex positions I had bookmarked at various times.  One stuck out to me.  This has intrigued me for some time.  I think there was a variation where the man and woman are reversed, but it makes me wonder how likely a back injury would be with this.  Admitted I’m in pretty good shape right now, but I’m not sure whether or not I have enough body fat to pad myself or enough flexibility.  It would be a hell of a reason to call out from work though.
  • After being sick for most the last two weeks, I did end up losing a bit of weight.  I had been hovering around 180 pounds.  Now I’m sitting at 175.  I was going to do a bit of a cut, not to serious of one because I like where my weight is.  Basically I’m going to use up what I have left for Serious Mass and maintain for the foreseeable future.  175 was right about where I wanted to be anyway.
  • Reading about how lack of sleep affects your stomach bacteria.  Hint: it isn’t good.  I have noticed I am more prone to upset stomaches and related issues lately, despite improving my diet.  One more reason it was a big mistake to make the jump to working nights.
  • Thinking a little further on the post I did on Monday, I’m going to make a bit of a declaration.  I’m going to think of myself in one word: Human.  Stop with seeing myself as a male, absurdist, romanticidal, feminist, nerd, athlete, artist, writer, loser, etc…  Just see myself as “Human.”  We’ll see how that goes.
  • I realized the other day I actually do have fifty-something followers on this blog.  I find that mind-boggling sometimes.  I mostly do this more for myself, so I’m never really sure how to feel about people actually reading it.  I hope I’m putting some good ideas out there.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  • So this flu–going to call it that based on the myriad symptoms I’ve exhibited–has dragged on for about a week.  I’m getting tired of it.  Mostly I just want to breathe again.  Haven’t been able to bench for a few days, lying back on the bench when you struggle to breathe is quite the challenge.  Hopefully I will be back to doing a flat or decline bench at the end of the week.  Did a pretty decent workout today, which is a very good sign.
  • Got the last of my NYCC books back from CGC.  This round of books were the set I got signed by Jim Starlin.  I got a 9.2 on Avengers Annual #7 (Conclusion of the first Thanos Saga and the “Death” of Adam Warlock), Infinity Gauntlet #1 got a 9.4, Infinity Gauntlet #2 got a 9.4, and Infinity Gauntlet #3 got a 9.6.  Not a bad hull.  The Avengers Annual actually has Thanos’ first “death” as well as his assembling the Infinity Gems, although he does not use them as the Gauntlet until the series of the same name.  Very pleased, fits right along with my plans for these and the books I got signed by Stan Lee as well.
  • Trying to budget more time for drawing, optimize my abilities.  I’ve been doing a lot of side stuff, but I’d really like to get back to comics.  I’m going to try drawing more by hand, with actual pencil and paper.  I’m not necessarily a fan of being purely digital.  Definitely feel like I draw better in pencil first, then pretty it up in Photoshop.

So random…

  • Started working on a new comic.  Kind of a western type of thing.  Only really got rolling on one page so far.  I’m just glad I’ve been able to keep drawing and writing.
  • Been listening to a lot of Hamilton lately.  My biggest disappointment about NYC was that I didn’t manage to get tickets to see the show.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously expensive and sold out.  Then the whole thing with Mike Pence happened and I started listening to it again.  The song “Non-stop” sticks with me.  Primarily the line “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea that time has already run out.  In a couple of situations, I think that might be the case.  I try to think of it as meaning there’s nothing left to lose, which can be nice in its own way.
  • Made Shepherd’s Pie a couple of weeks ago, that was really good.  Put some bacon cheddar cheese on top.  I’ve missed being able to cook on a regular basis.  Threw together some Ranch Chicken and baked french fries the other day, planning on some more cooking too.  I got a couple of ideas I want to try at some point.  Something involving seafood.  Hopefully I’ll be able to prioritize more time for that in the future.
  • Trying to hit 200 pounds for my body weight before I really start cutting and toning up.  It was kind of exhilarating to actually 180 pounds on my driver’s license when I renewed it last week.  Kind of a weird thing.
  • The other day, a supervisor told me he’s been hearing complaints about me, apparently thinking I’ve been slacking off.  Regardless of my opinion of that assertion–*cough* bullshit *cough*–I never take complaints like that seriously.  The big reason being that my dad works at the plant.  Basically, I acknowledge that there’s a lot of back-stabbing politics in any work place and having a parent there makes me a big target.  So I’ve come to expect such if only because it is human nature and I choose not to really care.  I put in my 40 hours a week and do my best for those hours.  That’s it.  I’m already in a situation I’m not really that keen on and I have no interest in getting into pissing matches over delegitimized nonsense.
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