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.

Some hardcore wondering going on today…

  • The Brexit case is in the Supreme Court over in the UK right now.  Basically deciding whether or not Parliament has a say in the conditions of their leaving the EU or leaving at all, which could complicate the issues at hand.  I will be keeping an eye on this if only because there is so much potential for problems on all sides.  Plus the EU has basically set a deadline for the Amendment 50 negotiations to be done.  When all is said and done, I have to wonder if Britain will be any better off.  I don’t think their trade deals will be anywhere near as good as they hope and the big wildcard in this is what what will happen with Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales–More so the first two, I don’t believe that Wales has discussed breaking away from Britain as much.
  • I saw something about how members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Trump to keep him from becoming President.  Sounds kinda weird, but he did not in fact win the popular vote.  And in an odd twist of history, the Electoral College was originally implemented to keep someone like Trump–an unqualified demagogue–from taking power.  Somebody said to me, “Hell would break loose” if the Electoral College did not vote for Trump.  Hasn’t Hell broken loose already?  Has everybody missed the twitter rants, massive spike in civil unrest and shady double deals?  It is far too late to worry about Hell breaking loose.
  • Taking a moment to ponder the legacy of Barack Obama.  I think he too often had to make the best of a bad deal and compromised too much early on.  First Black President, I think there was a sizable portion of the population that wanted to see him fail.  Maybe because he got the Nobel Prize so soon, maybe he was too ambitious…  It might not have been racism or ego, it could have been a lot of things.  I look back and I say, “You could have done worse.”  Really, that’s all you can say in the end.  He could have done worse with the hands he was dealt.
  • Enough politics.  My birthday was Sunday.  Other people tend to get more excited about it than I do.  Got the usual rounds of “happy birthday” posts on Facebook, a set of storage containers, cash.  Nothing too exciting.  Bought myself some workout stuff of Flex Comics.  Bought this shirt.  And Final Fantasy XV.  Those were my birthday presents to myself.  I really spent most of my birthday and the day after playing FFXV.
  • Enjoying my vacation so far.  Lot of FFXV.  Going to see Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them at some point this week.  Saw there was a bit of controversy about Johnny Depp playing a part.  Apparently playing Grindelwald?  He’s a fine actor, weird guy in general from what I’ve seen, but I’m kinda tired of seeing him in movies.  Heard that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might be coming to Broadway at some point.  That could be worth seeing.
  • Not really related to anything, but I’ve noticed over the last few months I cannot stand to be wearing much more than a pair of boxers when I go to bed.  I used to wear flannel pants and a shirt, but lately I can’t stand it anymore.  Might be a side effect of putting on weight/muscle in that my body temperature is higher than it used to be?  Just an odd thing I noticed.

Recovering from NYCC…

  • Been a bit burned out lately, but I think the NYCC trip has recharged me creatively.  At least a bit.  I’m hoping to do finish a few drawing in the coming days.  Want to finish those Catwoman and Black Canary drawings I was working on.  Going to try to do some shorter comics for the time being, rather than completely focus on longer works.  Might even bring back Chlorine and Acid for that.
  • Thinking of checking out some other gyms around the area, just see how they compare.
  • I did bit of a post about roles and responsibilities in relationships the other day, in part to sort out my opinions on Trump attacking the Clintons’ over Bill’s affairs.  May have gotten into some personal territory, but it felt like I accomplished my goal.  It was something I felt like I needed to do some delving into, if only so I can be a bit more clear headed on those types of expectations.  The issue of knowing how those roles and responsibilities are defined from relationship to relationship is one that I think has been hazy in my own life and in others.
  • I think over the next year I’m going to be moving along with my plan to liquidate my comics collection.  If all goes according to plan with the Stan Lee signings this year, I’ll have a considerable boost in revenue coming up as a result.  Planning to get moving on signatures for my New 52 Batman run, which I actually did pick up a couple more variant covers of.  I can get a lot of cash pretty quickly if I am smart about it.
  • I’m calling the going down to NYCC on my own experiment a success.  I didn’t die and I accomplished the majority of the things I wanted to.  I also got pretty well oriented to NYC.  Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind going with somebody next year, but I definitely want to make sure we’re all on the same page as far as what we’re down there for.

Restoring Balance

July 16, 2016

I’m lying in bed right now, wearing this “Swole Wars” t-shirt I bought off of Flex Comics and I’m pondering the balance of life.  Because what is more likely to get one thinking about balance than a fitness related spoof of Star Wars?  In a lot of ways, I just feel like working out is a Jedi thing to do.  Devoting and discipling yourself to bring balance the Force within yourself and around you.  I’m also on a bit of a Star Wars kick the last few days.

As I lie here, I wonder about the balances of my own life.  I’ve essentially overhauled my lifestyle to better focus on bringing about balance.  Working out, eating better, drawing, writing… These are all part of that balance.  I look and feel better than I have in a long time–having a weekend where I’m not working midnights, instead going in at 4am is helpful–and I hope to continue that pattern.

Just realizing the importance of being at balance and connected with the world.  Creativity helps.  So does solving problems.  I’ve been in a self-imposed exile for the last year or so and I have used that time to better attune myself.  I have learned and studied and pondered the arts I lacked mastery of–even if I have yet to take full advantage of those studies.  I have waxed philosophically.  I let go my anger.

And then there’s how people fit together… It can be amazing how the right people at the right time can bring about and maintain balance.  In relation to this, I do find myself thinking about dating again.  That’s something I’m going to be very conscious of, is how we fit together and balance each other out.  While I am still sticking my decree of not dating until I’m done working midnights, I think the day is coming when I won’t be doing that anymore.  There is someone I’m actually interested in and I may yet pursue that if the opportunity does present itself.  However, balance and compatibility does maintain a presence in my mind.  Not that the whole midnights thing–which is more a self-motivator to get done with a bad idea I never should have pursued in the first place–doesn’t negate that whole idea.  The big thing is, where am I in my life?  Where is she in hers?  Does that fit together?  How would that facilitate balance with both of us?  Even bad ideas could have a good result in the end, I just want to make sure it is the right bad idea.

Continuing to ponder the nature of ideas and beliefs a bit, a brief thought on gun control, some random workout stuff, a drawing and work update.

  • I revisited the Ideas theme I last week and I was thinking about that again.  The process of thoughts and ideas have been something I’m thinking about a lot.  I quoted Obi-Wan Kenobi, which I should do more often.  Anyway, I was thinking the quote I used.  It’s a line from Return of the Jedi where he’s talking to Luke about Vader and he’s explaining how how truth is dependent on point of view.  That’s a bit of a key point that I’ve been circling around.  Beliefs can solidify a point of view too much.  I am trying to emphasize ideas over beliefs if only because a belief limits and don’t necessarily work when new information does not fit those beliefs.  Ideas expand consciousness and perspective.  Create more possibilities and opportunities.
  • I was thinking about Gun Control and this idea of MAD popped into my head–when there’s a shooting every day, it can be hard not to think about guns and gun control.  By MAD, I mean Mutually Assured Destruction.  I’m applying the basic concept of the nuclear arms race to gun control.  We had nukes, so Russia needed them.  India had them, so Pakistan got them–or maybe it was the other way around.  Israel has them, so the entire Middle East thinks they need them–maybe it was the other way around and unconfirmed, but the point is still there.  That’s a bit of what I think we’re crossing into, where gun ownership has moved beyond self-defense and into a territory of an arms race.  “The criminals might have bigger and better guns, so I need them.” I can’t help but think that we’re just playing out the Cold War mentality with the escalation and increase in firearm circulation.  I think it is important to remember how close the Cold War came to ending the world and how that mentality could play out in our society today.
  • Enough serious talk for today.  Cranking on some pages.  Hoping to have a firm rotation and start date to be posting Order of the Dragon again.  I’m a bit angry with myself for letting work side-track me so much.  Also about the dragging out of the process of me changing jobs.  One day back at work and all the momentum from the weekend vanishes.  Mostly I haven’t made Stroganoff in almost a year and a half and I really want to.  Anyway, I’m going to start posting pages on a new Tumblr page I have going.  Did some testing already, not much happening with it right now though.  Going to slowly upload some pages over the next few days.
  • I got TimeHop on my phone and it occasionally pops up with some flexing selfies I took years ago.  Mostly ones I sent to my girlfriend at the time.  I just look at them and think, “Wow.  I look so much better now.”  And it is true.  Despite the general increase in my susceptibility to illness, I am pushing 160 lbs right now and I generally look and feel better than I have in a long time.  Definitely more definition.
  • Kind of amused by the whole Crossfit vs. bodybuilding back and forth.  I do look at Crossfit and see a few things that make me cringe.  As much as I try not to discourage people from exercising or getting in shape, there are things in Crossfit that just seem like a good way to hurt yourself.  Just throwing that out there.  Mostly I just feel a bit whiny because I didn’t kayak this last week.  Combination of work and storms.
  • Good idea I had for a post workout meal, Tuna Salad.  I basically make a big batch of it and have it ready to go for the next week.  My usual mix involves carrots, celery, cheddar cheese, minced onions, relish, mustard and garlic powder.  Lately I’ve been using an olive oil based mayonnaise, which has not been bad.
  • My parents have bit of field land they don’t use for much of anything.  They’ve rented it out for crop land, but there are spots they don’t do much with.  It is a bit swampy at places and a lot of hillside, so my mother has been wanting to pasture it off.  I’ve thought that would be a cool project to get into at some point.  I was thinking about it a bit more, and I would like to raise some goats.  I think it would be a really good area for goats and in general I think they would be fun to have around.
  • Quick add-on.  This afternoon, I got phone call.  It was from a relative, who worked with a state agriculture agency.  She does work with my ex’s farm.  She wanted to know the ex’s cellphone number.  I deleted it from my phone after a couple of months of us making fools of ourselves every time we exchanged words.  Now that I think about it, I think I could find it if I had to–not going to, but I think I could.  My question would be, after a year of us generally making asses of ourselves every time we exchange words, should I have her phone number readily available?
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