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.

Yeah, it wasn’t really surprising to see a lot of Harley Quinn cosplay at the Vermont Comic Con, but at the same time it was.  I really only know a specific number because the 501st Imperial Legion was taking bets on how many there would be and I asked them before I left.  It’s impressive, but also a bit disappointing not to see more variety in the Cosplay.

There was a lot of really cosplay.  Saw a really good Iron Man, an amazing Jawa, a very impressive Mystique… And there was a guy there who was in this elaborate Jack Skellington getup where he was on stilts.  I was on elevator monitoring duty for a time and got watch him duck in and out of the elevator on a regular basis.  Should have gotten some pictures, but I didn’t.

Anyway, the overall volunteer experience was successful.  I got to experience the con as part of the team putting it on, which gave more perspective.  Would have liked to have done more actual more enjoying of the con.  Maybe if I volunteer again next year, I’ll only do it for one day.

Got to sit in on a couple of panels.  One where Jeremy London was discussing acting.  He had some really good stories.  After that was the Naomi Grossman panel, where she talked about playing Pepper on American Horror Story and meeting Lady Gaga.  I only got to stay for half of the Naomi Grossman one before I was reassigned to another area.  Bought a handful of comics–Three Batman Rebirth variants, and Angela: Queen of Hel #1.  Might bring those down to get signed at NYCC.  We will see.

Also bought some prints.  I’m developing a bit of a collection of prints.  Might get some frames for them.  It would be nice to have a more effective way of showing them off.

Got another segment of my science fiction novel typed up.  Still needs some beefing up, introduce a new character.  We’ll see who the good guys and the bad guys are before long.

Bit of annoyance that I feel the need to reiterate my stance on:

I was asked the other day if I had plans to start dating soon and when I reiterated the whole plan not to date until I’m done with nights, I basically got the “you’re getting older, you shouldn’t wait around” speech.  I’m 29 years old, and in a pretty good place.  However, I choose to be patient and avoid what could potentially be the same mistakes that have caused problems in the past.  Is there anything wrong with that?  No.  I’ve bettered myself in a myriad of ways and I will continue to do that.  What I won’t do is set myself up to repeat the same mistakes and irresponsible decisions that have made me a miserable fuck to be around.

Anyway, here’s the next bit of that novel.  Going back and forth on calling it “Knights of Shame”, “Soul Wars”, or something else.  I have had a really hard time giving this one a title.

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Kayaking Reflections

June 3, 2016

I’ve gone kayaking three times this week.  Lightly sunburnt as a result, might have to even that out a bit.  Twice on Lake Dunmore, once on Fern Lake.  Lake Dunmore is larger lake and has a lot of boats and waterskis going on it, which was a bit of a challenge.  Water was a little rougher than I would have hoped for someone who hadn’t done this in years.  Fern Lake was much smaller, a lot calmer.  Definitely had a much easier time today.  Also, didn’t have to pay, which is nice.  Was going to head down to Lake Bomoseen, but I’ve heard that’s more of a challenge, so I’m putting that off until I’ve gotten a bit more practice in.  Would like to get a crew together and go on a regular basis, one more reason to get my hours back on some kind of human cycle.  Time and energy would be better managed that way.

Dunmore was full of all kinds of nostalgia, given that I worked at Branbury State Park–where I launched from–while I was in college.  The last summer I worked there was 2008, so eight years ago.  I remember that summer fairly clearly because it was the year it rained everyday and the park flooded.  That was an interesting  time.  There’s a reservoir on Mount Moosalamoo–some of the camp sites were at the base–and the day it flooded we got a call the might have had to open up the levies.  Washed away what was left of the campsites basically.  They didn’t end up doing that, but it was a concern.

Anyway, the next day, a couple of the other attendants and I were wandering about and we were looking at the picnic area.  The water level of the lake had risen significantly enough that the picnic area was flooded.  I believe it was me–eight years ago, so I can’t be 100% certain–that observed that we could have gotten kayaks in there.  Took a little work, but we quickly found a spot in the shoreline where we could get in there and paddle around the picnic tables.  Place was wrecked, so we had the time to do it.

It was a good time.  And I’ve been having a good time with this.  Kayaking is amazing.  Good time to start doing it too.  It occurs to me that at some point next week it will have been one year of being single.  And I’m at peace.  I remember I brought up the idea of getting kayaks to my ex once and she was very discouraging of the idea.  Something about her sister flipping her in an attempt to teach her to right a flipped kayak–little skeptical, because my understanding is that the technique for that is somewhat advanced and nothing a beginner should even be attempting.  I mean, stability is a major selling point of a kayak.  And two things would happen if somebody tried that with me:  one, whoever tried it would get a good whack to the head; two, I’d probably be getting a new paddle because those things aren’t really that solid.  Anyway, I thought it would have been a fun activity for us to do together.  She didn’t see it that way.  She clings to negativity too much and I pity her for that.  Or at least she did when we were together.  I’m just glad I did this eventually, because it is a lot of fun.

Anyway, plan to be doing a lot more kayaking in the future.  Hopefully I’ll continue to get any number of things in order to improve that experience.  I enjoy the relaxing simplicity of it.

Easter Sunday

March 27, 2016

I’m beginning to realize that holidays in general are kinda weird.  Easter is in the sense that they do not have a set day for it.  I’d imagine that there’s some kind of controversy or has been among the upper echelons of Christianity about what the date for Easter should be.  I’m actually almost certain there has been, but don’t really feel like reading up on it right now.  Anyway, happy Easter.

Easter was celebrated in the customary fashion, I woke up and declined to go to Church.  I made some crack about Zombie Jesus day and was told I was going to Hell for it.  Dad was told this too, but for different reasons.  Then a family gathering with the usual goings on.  Nothing terribly spectacular.

On a more serious and personal note, I find myself evaluating the ideas of resurrection.  I’ve spoken about having a crisis of identity the last year or so, figuring out who I was.  I’m not saying I was crucifying myself or anything, but on some level I did put myself on trial for the way a number of things went down.  I said something about how I was done doing penance or atoning for mistakes.  I think working midnights for so long was more of a punishment than anything.  I mean, it sure as fuck isn’t because I’m good at it or that I want to do it.

The time is past due for me to be the Man.  At the end of the day, that is what I had forgotten.  I am the Man.  People are going to start figuring that out soon, if they haven’t already.

Just a thought.  We all go through resurrections of our own on a regular basis.  Happy Easter.

Sound Body and Mind

March 7, 2016

I had my monthly pilgrimage to the Dermatologist this morning.  Had developed a pretty extensive case of warts last spring.  He decreed I am sufficiently cleared up enough that I can go back to over the counter methods and no longer need to travel up to Colchester to get blasted with liquid nitrogen–pretty sure that’s what he was using.  Feels good.  Well, except for the two or three blasts he gave me.  Those not so much.  But it is a bit more of an outward sign of improving one of the many health issues that has quietly harassed me over the last year or two.

In semi-related news, the process of me getting off of working nights has officially commenced.  Finally got some acknowledgement about it the other day.  Mostly it was just a situation that did not work for me at all.  Being an operator was something I felt like I had to give a shot, but I’m not one to deny when I’m in a situation that is not good for me–mentally, the commitment was too much of a distraction from the things I really should have been doing.  I’ve been with the company for six years and I like to believe I have earned the right to say, “no, I was better off where I was.”

That should continue to help with my health.  The hit I’ve taken in regards to quality sleep has been substantial, as well as just a few general routine things.  Who knew the big thing I was missing was something as routine as cooking dinner?  You might wonder, “why don’t you sleep in the morning?”  Simply put, the sun comes up, I wake up.  Seriously, I will be dozing off all fucking night and step outside into the sunlight… wake right up and can’t sleep worth shit until 8pm that night.  But anyway, I miss making dinner.  Ranch Chicken, Garlic Bread, Mashed Potatoes, Cheese Steaks, Stroganoff, Chicken Parm, Tacos, Shepard’s Pie… It feels weird making those things around noon.  A lot of that is evening meal material.  And it feels weird to eat dinner around noon–especially the heavier stuff I like to make.

Kinda wonder if that was part of the issue with living in Shoreham.  I was never really there in the evening/night, so it never really felt like I christened it with a proper evening meal.  I did a comic loosely based on some of my feelings living in those months–admittedly, when I wrote about it in the past, I went a little overboard because the face falling off the cat kinda scared the shit out of me after I drew it–and it occurs to me that that might have been an effective way to overcome some of that.

Ties in with my current efforts to revamp my diet.  Essentially I’m trying to eat healthier and take in more calories as I try to add muscle mass.  Unfortunately the erratic and inconsistent sleep cycle does facilitate the proper processing of raw materials in that effort or the recovery from illness.

Anyway, it feels like I am solving problems and getting healthier.  Was going to get a kayak today, but getting the rack set up on the Night Rider in a snow squall seemed less than appealing.  Maybe on my days off, although it might be smarter to wait as I’ll just have to stare at it longingly until I get the chance to use it.

Not much new to really get into, just basic updates.

  • Wrote out a pretty epic essay type thing about ideas the other day.  Really did not intend to get quite as political or make as much of a statement on things as I did, but it happened.  Regardless, I liked how it came out.  Just a number of thoughts I felt like needed to be shared, I guess.
  • Continuing to work away on comics, reevaluating my strategy a bit.  Planning on a bit more focus on doing trades rather doing a page at a time.  Will continue to post pages in Order of the Dragon, but it will likely be less frequent as I focus more on marketable products.  Thinking about a few new projects to work on.  Also entertaining the idea of a collaborative work.  I actually really want to do something where I team up with someone else.  The biggest issue of Chlorine and Acid was that it was became too much me in the story–well, one of the biggest issues–and part of the reason I had to stop.  Admittedly LMCBW might have had some of the same issues, but I like to think we would have balanced out.
  • Working on a novel or two now.  The bodybuilding one continues to trudge along.  My general plan is to have a novel self-published by the beginning of summer, which should be doable.
  • Voted in the Vermont primary yesterday.  A bit irrelevant, if only because the guy I voted for was locked in already–86% of the vote.  Thought about voting Republican, but that’s almost as irrelevant.  As sad as it is, Trump is the likely nominee.
  • Plans are starting to come together.  I’m a bit more confident my plan to pay off the majority of my debt by the end of the year will happen.  First pieces are falling into place, working on the next few.  I like where this is going.  Stashing away plenty of cash while paying off debt, it seems like things are going in the right direction.  I think I can get another piece in place today, so we’ll see how things go.
  • If all goes well, this could be an awesome summer.  If the numbers do work out, I will be buying a Kayak and/or archery gear in the near future–hopefully without adding another card to the mix.  Shopping around for those now.  People might ask:  why archery?  Because it is cool?  I’ve always had a fascination with it.  Guns just never excited me.  For some reason, archery does.  Kayaking is more because I’m looking for something more complex cardio workouts for during the summer.  Good cardio is something I’ve been lacking for a long time.  Probably won’t buy either until the weather is bit more accommodating to such activities.
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