Vacation Retrospective

June 24, 2017


It took so much effort, not to make an effort.

“Florida” by Modest Mouse

Alternatively titled, “Why Do I Have To Go Back To Work Tonight?”

It was a good vacation.  I had hoped to be done with the inking of Order of the Dragon #1, I am about four pages short on that.  Working on lettering the fourth page right now, redoing a bit of dialog that’s been bothersome.  Hopefully the next day or two and I will get that done.  I’d like to be getting something printed off in actual book form, but I’ll see where I am at that point.  I’m posting the pages I’ve got lettered.  Couple of minor things I’ve got to fix on those, but it is underway.

Wanted to go kayaking more.  Rained almost every day.  Never really got around to a few outdoor projects I wanted to.  vigilante lawncare and such.  Oh well.

Applied for a couple of jobs.  Mentioned something about the soap factory to my Mother, who said it was probably a good thing I didn’t go there because it “might bother my allergies.”  And all the cleaning chemicals I’m around every night at work doesn’t do that?



That song lyric from Modest Mouse has been bouncing around my head for a few days.  Basically sums up my thoughts on a few matters.  One of the things I think people like to say is that they put so much effort into something when it seems obvious they did not.  Not really.  In those cases, I do think people put more effort into trying to convince people they did make that effort in the days after rather than trying in the first place.  Trying to buy solutions rather than getting into the problems themselves.  I will admit to cases in my life where there was more effort spent to convince everyone else of the effort put forth.

Effort is obvious.  If you’re making an effort, there won’t be much question.  One of the things I tried to avoid doing is talking too much about what I did to make things work in a variety of areas because it is or should be obvious.  I have gone into detail about a few things, but it was nothing I thought was not obvious.  And I don’t deny there were times I could have made more of an effort.

In any relationship, professional or personal, effort works on reciprocation.  At work, I think it is clear I have made efforts to make my situation and make it better to no avail.  I think people know I’ve made the effort and am focused on getting into a better situation, but at this point there has been little matching of my effort.  With LMCBW, I think people know that I made a lot of efforts in that situation that were not necessarily reciprocated by her.  Business or professional, relationships are in trouble if one side is buying solutions or avoiding effort.

“Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”  I think Yoda nails it.  Point is, people can tell when you’re not making that effort.  I’ve been in a relatively bad situation in one way or another for most of the last four or five years.  As much as I’ve stalled out and had to make some adjustments, I’m continuing to make those efforts.  I won’t be wasting a lot of time explaining that I’ve made an effort.  If it isn’t clear, people need to start looking again.  I have no interest in explaining the obvious to people.


Some more ideas.

  • If all goes well, Order of the Dragon will officially relaunch this weekend.  I’m going to do some reworking of some earlier pages and crank out a few more.  Already overhauled the first page.  I’ve attached it to this post.  Going to start reposting pages over the next few days.  Hopefully getting more done if I can stop reading Star Wars: the Rise of the Empire long enough to get some drawing done.  The Tarkin novel is actually pretty good.  Probably going to try to maintain a Monday/Wednesday/Friday rotation.  Think that will be reasonable.
  • Thinking about the Star Wars prequels and I thought up these little plot devices that would have made it better.  Like how apparently Naboo democratically elects their Queen?  I’m wondering if it would have been a more interesting plot point to have Padme commit some kind of war crime while breaking the blockade and is forced to abdicate her throne, leading into a second movie where Anakin is helping her to get herself together after the events of the first movie and thus leading into their relationship.  A half-baked idea I thought up in the last couple of days, but it would help make Anakin more likable and give their relationship more depth.  Maybe even inspire better dialog.  I’ve been thinking of a few of these.  Might do a post about that later.
  • I got into a bit of a “discussion” the other day with a coworker the other day about politics.  Part of it was talking up Trump over Clinton–Despite my repeated statements that I have not intention of voting for either of them–and on to socialism and economics.  I call it a discussion, but it was really more a siege of his point of view.  I got a little sick of it and told him to read a history book.  Learn the basic structure of our country’s public service and military programs.  Socialist programs.   Trickle down economics has done nothing but worsen any situation where it has been used.  Remember that the last time we had somebody talking the way Trump does lead a country, that led directly to World War II.  And maybe Clinton has gotten Americans killed, but how many will Trump get killed given the chance?  How many do think his rhetoric has gotten killed already?  This is why I’m not voting for either of them.  It is a bit of an insult that these are our options.
  • Well, I had been wavering about going to NYCC by myself, but I’ve decided I will–unless something dramatic happens, which doesn’t seem likely.  Mostly I just want to make sure this is an actual vacation and in years past, it really hasn’t felt like one.  It felt too much like work.  New York is an awesome place and I want to get a chance to check it out more than I have in the past.  Maybe see a filming of the Daily Show?  Those things are free.  There’s a Bookcon at the same time–which apparently my NYCC ticket gets me access to–I just feel like I’ve limited my ability to enjoy it all in years past.  These are things that people I’ve gone with in the past wouldn’t be interested in.

OotD 01-001 Redux.jpg

Vacation is going. Selfie of my new tank top has been posted.

  • Been getting a few drawings done, and have been working on comic pages.  Vacation is going to be a bit of a catch-up phase.  Should be able to make up some ground.
  • Went kayaking, mostly just getting my feet wet–literally and figuratively.  Probably didn’t spend much more than an hour of the time I was there on the water.  Decided I probably will end up picking up crossbars for the top of my Jeep at some point.  Mostly just getting a feel for the boat, making adjustments and reacquainting myself with the with it–I last did this on any kind of regular basis when I worked at Branbury State Park back eight or nine years ago.  Has it been that long?  Fuck, I feel old.
  • I’ve been formulating this idea that Trump and Clinton are very much the same.  When you think about it, they are.  Trump won’t release his tax returns, Clinton won’t release her speeches to Wall Street–I won’t speculate too much on that but I suspect the reasons are very similar for withholding them.  They have both taken money from Saudi Arabia–for different reasons, but I think it will be to the same result.  The Clinton Foundation and Trump University have both come up heavy suspicion for various issues.  I’m sure I could go for days on this if I really tried.  But at the end of the day, you just have to look at the way they carry themselves.  The way they talk.  They really are the great Millenial Candidates.  More the perception of Millenials–I do take some issue with that perception, although there is a bit of truth to it.  With Trump and Clinton, it comes down to their sense of entitlement.  To me at least, they come across as not really believing they have to earn people’s votes and should just be elected by supposedly obvious superiority.  Crooked Hillary… Dodgin’ Donald… I look at the way they carry themselves and I think, “This is the way that Millenials are supposed to act, not seventy year-olds.”  So yeah, my feeling is that unless Sanders somehow gets the Democratic Nomination, there will be a legit third party contender.  Who that will be–The Libertarian Johnson or Sanders himself or someone else–I don’t know.
  • My parents anniversary is today.  I think it has been 31 years?  Sounds right anyway, numbers tend to get jumbled in my head a bit.  Suppose I should get a card.  Might want to do something special, given the last week.  My sister closed on the house her and her husband were buying, plus there was the stuff with my grandfather last week… It was a long week.
  • Bought a Tank Top off of a website called Flex Comics the other day, a Deadpool themed shirt that says “Maximum Effort” across the chest.  Fit perfectly in my usual size, if you’re ever interested in getting some of their gear.  I’ll post a selfie at some point.  The comic itself isn’t bad either.  Anyway, I looked at the slip and there’s a hand written note that says “Thnks Ross”.  Small gesture, but I found myself somehow very appreciative of it.
  • Reflecting on relationships a bit.  I feel very content to be single.  This isn’t to say I won’t be dating or in a relationship soon, I just feel okay to be single.  Really just acknowledging simple facts.  I’m 29 and ready to actually settle into something that could go pretty far.  Point is, I want to make sure whatever happens next isn’t caught up in making a point about the past.  Avoiding that trap is part of why I won’t date until I’m done working midnights.  I have entertained the idea of some kind of relationship with a couple of women, but there are certain aspects of those dynamics that I want to make sure I am more capable of dealing with.  I have been in situations where I could not meet my own standards, I do not want to do that again.  I don’t want to be in a relationship where I spend more time proving it is a good situation and that I made the right choices than just actually enjoying it.
  • Saw something about how Nathan Fillion was apparently a real dick to people on the set of Castle, especially Stana Katic.  A rumor, but it sounds like there was truth to it.  Disappointing really, shatters that idealized image I had of him.  Another reason I think that last season should never have happened.
  • Glad I’m on vacation, I can actually get some of the things done that I’ve been meaning to do.Max Effort

Discuss vacation plans, long term goals, etc…  Odd bit of reflection…

  • Got a few things planned for my vacation.  Going to check out this Sled Dog Rescue and Education Center I found out about online.  I’m thinking of going another route anyway, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Huskies and Malamutes…  Going to try to get some serious writing and drawing done…  Also planning to do a lot of kayaking and hiking…  See X-Men: Apocalypse…  Memorial Day is during the week as well, so I will do something with that as well… Probably grilling…  Going to see about getting my push mower fixed up…  Might even get rolling on one of the dozen of projects I keep putting off in that area.
  • Got a kayak.  A 9.5 foot Perception Swifty DLX.  I’m sure that means nothing to 90% of the population, but it’s decent kayak.  Didn’t go too cheap or way over budget, just got what looked like it would work best.  Was planning to go to one of the lakes and paddle around for a few hours, but it started raining just as I was going to load it back onto the Jeep.  Probably jinxed it by saying it had better not be raining.  Looks it will be next week before I can take it out.
  • Still looking at dogs, just focusing in on what I think would be the right fit for me.  I think I’m zeroing in on an Australian Shepherd.  Seems like the right combination of look, energy and practicality.  Been looking at a few breeders in the state and I’m thinking that’s a route I’d like to go.  Going to start getting more serious about that in the near future, mostly just trying to get the money and housing situations where they should be.  The idea of building a house remains the ideal scenario in my mind.  Still learning about training right now, more of long-term plan for once I’m back on my own again.
  • Thinking I’m going to start liquidating my comics collection soon.  Or at least a majority of it.  I have the entire run of the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Batman series, so I’m going to be getting a bit more heavy into getting all that signed and graded.  I got some of the key early issues signed, looking to get a few more signed over the summer and fall.  Also keeping a close eye on upcoming Marvel movies to see if a couple of key characters are going to show up.  I’m planning on doing this in the next six months or so.  Might get my Civil War and Winter Soldier copies graded… It is past due that I start making money off them.
  • So, I got a bit of a story here.  My parents got a wedding invitation in the mail the other day.  It was for the nuptials of my ex’s cousin and one of my sister’s best friends growing up.  One of those “it’s a small world” type of moments.  I had a small role in getting them together, as he was asking about her at a gathering before they met.  My ex and I knew her a bit, but most of our info was out of date–then it occurred to me that my mother probably was still in touch with her mother.  She was at this gathering–a going away party for the sister and brother-in-law going to Nevada, who had worked with my dad and I–so I called her over and she had plenty of details.  It was a bit of welcome distraction from all the heavy stuff going on at the time.  It was nice not to be agonizing about whether or not I bring up all the stuff I had been reading about that area of Nevada or about Lyme Disease.*  Anyway, they’re engaged and my parents were invited to the wedding.  Mom has said she has little interest in going, I think in part because of the way things ended with me and my ex.  I would hope not, but that’s the way of things if it is.  Although she did suggest I use the invitation instead–as a joke, I assume.  I mean, these are friends she’s known for years.  There is my ex’s family…  One would hope it wouldn’t be a distraction.  Mom did have a role in getting the bride and groom together, so I’d like to see her go.



*At the time I had read up on Nevada and learned a few things, some of them not so pleasant.  Never really shared that until now.  Debated whether or not to put this into writing, most of it doesn’t really matter I suppose.

First was the kids that came down with leukemia back in the early 2000s.  Over a six month stretch there were a dozen or so cases of kids developing leukemia.  My numbers might be a bit off in memory.  They thought it might be a bit of an Erin Brockovich type of situation with an environmental factor of some kind–something to do with the Navy base–but investigation ceased when new cases stopped emerging.  It was something like fifteen years ago, so I questioned whether or not this was ancient history and therefore relevant.

The second was the plant that the brother-in law was to go work at.  I read a handful of articles about it, primarily learning that the place was intended to give the local farms and ranches a chance to expand if they didn’t have to ship the milk to California.  Problem, the Southwest is always in a drought.  They do not have the water available to expand as planned–or at least that’s what the article at the time indicated.  Basically the situation might not be as stable as advertised.  Again, I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure of too much and they had already put so much on this.

As far as Lyme Disease is concerned… My mother and grandfather both had Lyme Disease to some extent, my grandfather having a case that was more severe and caught later after infection.  In his case, it accelerated the onset of dementia.  He is 94, but still.  Point is, Lyme Disease is a nasty motherfucker that is difficult to diagnose and does a ton of damage.  I don’t know what else to say, all you can really do is hope for the best.
Was keeping that stuff to myself the right decision? Would it have changed anything? Who knows? Such speculation is pointless.

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