tek2way: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
..what an oddly appropriate title to the journal entry in which I detail my trip to New York.

As much as I'd love to inundate you with a detailed retelling of the full eight days, I am going to break it up into manageable chunks, because too much of a good thing quickly becomes "TL;DR" instead.

We will start with...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

While some of this may be suspect due to the passage of time and lack of sleep, I am going to hold that this is the truth.. "from a certain point of view," at any rate.

I slept maybe a couple of hours that night, and woke at 3am instead of the much more reasonable 330am I had intended to use for my alarm. Oddly, from showering to dressing to finalizing packing to breakfast, I was pretty much perfectly on time. This meant, of course, that I'd originally subconsciously intended to rush and hurry to get to the airport. Thank the heavens I didn't give into that temptation.

I arrived, printed my boarding passes, and checked my luggage. Turning toward the TSA security checkpoint, I saw why my tickets said to arrive two hours early: the line to get through security was easily 40 feet long. To their credit, it moved pretty steadily, and soon I was headed toward my departure gate. (NOTE TO SELF FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: Your backpack has two straps, and you are carrying more than a pair of schoolbooks. Put that shit on your back, dork!) I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do at that point, because I was probably at least 30 minutes early for boarding, and I hadn't paid enough for my ticket to qualify for boarding as soon as they announce it.

Fidgeting, I watched the sun rise out of the window by the gate, and even thought to take a picture (which became the first of over 200). I was a good little Facebooker, and kept up photos of my trip, as well as posting updates throughout the day. The drain on my battery was significant, though.

Soon, I was on the plane, and had the entire row to myself! I learned, though, to my embarrassment, that the seat belt wouldn't buckle with me in it. I kept my calm, and kept trying, but finally settled for tucking the ends under my loose t-shirt and acting nonchalant, all the while praying that the plane didn't go down in a fiery ball of death, because I was totally going to get blown FAR away. I might have gotten up and looked more closely at the belt ends, but I didn't want to call attention to it, and I was deathly afraid that I was going to get thrown off the plane, and not get to New York after all, so I shut up.

I departed my first flight in almost thirteen years when we landed in Detroit, Michigan.  photo IMG_3002_zpswbskb4mq.jpg For those who have never been to the airport in Detroit, let me say that it is BIG. Thankfully, it all seemed to be in a straight line, with plenty of moving sidewalks to help you get from one end to another. I had to pee something fierce, though, so I opted to go to the restroom before making a mad dash for my gate (I was at A9, and my departure gate was A55).

For the second time that morning, I became horribly embarrassed. I tend to prefer stalls to urinals, because I'm rather shy when other people are around. The only unoccupied stall door, though, wouldn't fucking open. So, with a ton of nerd shit in a bag that kept trying to fall off my shoulder, I sidled up to an empty urinal, feeling horribly self-conscious. While I was peeing, my bag slipped off my shoulder twice. When I finally was done, I realized I'd gotten some urine on my shirt tail. Thankfully, it was a black t-shirt, so it didn't show up terribly obviously, but I was self-conscious until much later.

The second leg of the flight wasn't as bad, even though I had to share my row with someone. Thankfully, it was a thin girl. Also, my seat belt fit just fine, which perplexed me, and left me wondering if I really had grabbed the wrong belts before. They came in handy, because the plane came in so fast at Scranton that I thought the tires were going to explode from either the pressure of landing on them, or the speed at which we were slowing down. He also didn't seem to have lined up his landing, as we went from "in the air" to "on the ground" particularly abruptly.

Going down to baggage claim, I saw Ricky and Brittney out of the corner of my eye, and since they were pretending like they didn't know me, I played the game, and even walked around a post they were circling, so that they couldn't find me.

Eventually, they did, and we hugged as only those who truly have missed each other do. We grabbed my suitcase, and headed for his van. The trip back to Endicott was uneventful, except that I was completely blown away at all of the mountains in the region. (It's easy, at times, to forget that the Appalachian Mountains start up in that area.

We went to the Blue Dolphin, where Brandy was working, and had lunch. I had a burger and fries, which were pretty good. The strangest thing for me was that Ricky warned me off ordering the sweet tea, saying that up north, sweet meant "raspberry-flavored".

The food was pretty good, though, because I must have eaten too fast, for I got a horrible bout of gas. I wound up laying down for about an hour when we got back to Ricky's apartment. When I woke, I felt much better, and began to dig into my suitcase for the things I had brought people (an Iron Man shirt for Dakota, the D&D cartoon series on DVD for everyone, and three bottles of Dale's marinade for Brandy).

At that moment, Dakota came bursting in, thrilled beyond words that "Uncle Anthony" was there. He immediately wanted to show me his "Star Wars" room, since I'd sent so much to him. I was certainly impressed, and pleased that my gifts had such an enthusiastic recipient. Not to be outdone, Brittney pointed out all of the Doctor Who stuff in her room (where I was staying while I was in town -- she preferred to sleep on the loveseat anyway).

(I have to admit, it was a surprisingly good feeling to have someone that happy to see me. As adults, we've grown cynical and mistrustful, and so even the most heartfelt greeting has a hint of that cynicism layered underneath. Put another way, no matter how happy someone seems to be to see us, we automatically assume that they can't possibly be as excited as they are acting. With an 11-year-old, though, that cynicism doesn't have much room, particularly when he cites exactly how long it's been since he last saw you, and later extracts a promise that you not wait that long to see everyone again.)

I was asked not long afterward about playing D&D. Well, folks can't play D&D without dice, and I never had time to pick up any sets*. So, Ricky, Dakota, and I piled into the van to get some dice for the kids. We went to "SoundGoRound" in Vestal (literally the other side of the highway from Endicott). Let me tell you about that place. They sold new and used video games and systems, LPs, cassettes, CDs, comics, geek toys, anime DVDs and Blu-Ray, collectible card games, board games, and RPGs (like D&D). I've never seen a store so certain to get most of my discretionary income in my life.

All that was missing was a bookstore section (and I didn't get to check out the whole thing, so I may have missed something). The clerk who ran the RPG/CCG section had the dice by the Magic cards, and Ricky immediately began to ask about those as well as the dice. Eventually, we both left with a pair of preconstructed decks, and a few packs of the newest expansion. Oh, and we got dice (yes, almost as an afterthought).

We stopped by "Price Choppers" on the way home, and spent a little too long shopping. Part of it was because they didn't have a lot of groceries at home (it was time for them to shop anyway), and part of it was that I was taking pictures of the store, so I had some frame of reference for later, should I decide to put in an application and move up there. Those I told that I was considering this probably figured I was just stressed out, and didn't mean it, but I decided that I could do a lot worse than do some very preliminary legwork about moving.

When we got home, there wasn't enough time to play D&D that night. I explained that we would definitely play on Wednesday, bid good night to the kids, and went to sleep myself. At least, I tried to. Going from a room with a constant fan blowing in cool A/C to one that had neither fan nor a reliable source of A/C was significant. It was cool that night (mid-50s), so I made the most of it. Besides, I had too much to do while there to worry with something like sleep!

P.S.: Oh! I almost forgot. My first new beer in New York was Middle Ages Brewing Company's "Sparrow Wit". Good beer, but I wasn't quite in the mood for a witbier (think Blue Moon or Hoegaarden). Regardless, it was a tasty start to my introduction to all New York alcoholic beverages, as well as a nice nightcap before bed.


* - Sets for them, that is. I have enough dice to fill a large movie theater popcorn bucket. :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
It is effectively Monday now. I am basically 8 days away from leaving town for six days. It's finally starting to get real for me now. Despite the hour, I sent messages to all parties I anticipate seeing while I'm there, and began to plan what I want to do, and when. The list of things I want to accomplish includes the following:


  • Eat at the Pantheon restaurant, maintained by Rick's wife, Brandy.

  • Go to the comic/game store that Rick frequents.

  • Check out the Endicott grocery store, as well as hopefully find a Wegman's to visit. (Research for a possible move.)

  • Visit my cousin, Harriett, for at least a few hours, if not a couple of days.

  • Go see Niagara Falls.

  • Finally meet -- and have lunch with -- my friend Dan from Buffalo. (We've been LJ/FB friends for.. 15 years now? Dear gods!)

  • Introduce Rick's kids -- my "adopted" niece and nephew -- to Dungeons & Dragons.

  • Go see a movie in that awesome theater that Rick always bragged about.

  • Check out a local metaphysical shop


It's a full list, huh?

I know that some of the items seem positively pedestrian, considering I'll be visiting a state that I've never been in before, yet I figure that something as simple as having lunch at the Pantheon and seeing a movie, since it's in a small central New York town, will be unique enough to make it fun to try.

Now, I will also begin making out my list of things to pack. I've already kinda worked out most of what will be in my carry-on: iPhone (and ear buds & charging cable), Kindle (and charging cable), Nintendo Switch (and charging cable and games in hard-shell case), D&D 5e Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide, an adventure that I will run for the kids*, dice (mine; we will go get sets for them on Friday before we play), a pad of paper, and maybe a box of Magic: The Gathering decks.

Oh my! Look at the time! I better get some sleep!



* - My nephew is a big Star Wars buff, so his fighter will get a sword with a blade made of red light, which extinguishes when not being used, and my niece -- a Whovian through and through -- will receive a short scepter which makes a high-pitched whine while she's using a knowledge skill (Arcana, History, Nature, Religion), Perception, Investigation, or Medicine.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
Saturday went pretty well, over all. I went and saw The Avengers with Scott, Jon, and Rick. (OH MY GOODNESS!! That movie was AMAZING!!!) Afterward, I completed the paperwork so that Rick was registered for May Day. Later that night, Cynthia came by, and kept me company as I cleaned the crap out of my place.

Today, I woke up feeling FANTASTIC. I mean, I was in a great mood, felt good, and was happy to be alive. It didn't really go anywhere, though I realize now that I have to be careful. I had a smoothie for breakfast, and had some coffee later. However, I had no solid food until feast at SG's May Day. I wouldn't say it tanked my mood, but I definitely had a few moments where I was rather tired. From now on, I will have SOMETHING solid, even if it is "just bacon". (I'd almost made 3-4 pieces of bacon this morning, but scrapped the idea when I realized that I might get more sleep before getting up for SG's May Day.)

I'm going to bed now. I am planning on getting up early tomorrow and going walking at Shelby Farms, though I was just reminded that I am picking up Scott to take him to the doctor tomorrow at 930, so the walking may have to wait.

Regardless, I am going to bed now, and planning on reading a little bit before sleep claims me. We will see how I feel in the morning. Walking in Shelby Farms from 615-715 sounds doable, when it'll only take me 30 minutes to shower/dress and 30 minutes to drive to Scott's. By my estimation, that will put me 1 hour ahead of where I need to be.

Wish me luck, and good night, everyone!
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)

Yesterday, I woke in a funky mood. When I went to bed Saturday night, I'd dosed myself with a round of self-pity and no-one-likes-me, with a little I'm-not-good-enough for good measure, and it carried through till I woke. Frankly, I shouldn't be surprised. That was a classic Anthony pity-party.

I woke to a text from my girl, telling telling me good morning (something we do almost every day). However, I'd sent her an email the night before, telling her about some problems I was having trouble working through, so after the good mornings were exchanged, it got serious. We texted for about 30 minutes, at which time it was decided that I should get up, dress for work, and head over, so we could talk face-to-face. I'm glad I did.

In hindsight, talking about what was bugging me is just what I needed, and she did beautifully in listening to me, being patient with me, and giving me the love and support I needed. She really is something special. :)

After that, I went to work, where I learned we have two new U-Scan robots. I'd remembered [livejournal.com profile] marius_98 saying something briefly about it last week, before I shut down all talk of Kroger because I was on vacation. It actually worked out rather well, because we now were allowed another attendant down there. Also, the layout of the new U-Scan is a lot more friendly to the attendant standing in the middle to assist customers.

At any rate, I started my shift down there, and spent most of the first part of the day in a register. This worked out, because I needed the mindless work to get back in the swing of things. Ironically, I felt more... "with it" as far as making decisions and being okay with being the go-to second person on the front (since I last posted in January, the management and the CSM have changed, and I'm now the backup CSM). I must investigate this further...

I went to lunch at the cottage with [livejournal.com profile] marius_98 and [livejournal.com profile] una_con_laluna, enjoying the last little bit of Gremlins while I had my double quarter pounder with cheese. Being in that atmosphere, I was very relaxed and felt very safe and loved, and it helped center me and let me refocus for the second half of my shift.

The second half went smoothly. Even though it was the end of the month, as you'd expect on Hallowe'en, the only traffic we had was from folks buying candy. One guy even said he ne'er ate sugar, so the last kid of the night was going to get the rest of what he had in the bowl. OMG, I would've thought I'd hit the motherlode if that happened to me. #fatkid, indeed. :)

Coming home, I cleaned out the Jeep (which I'd been driving while my car was out of commission), because I figured Charles would be driving it this morning. I cleaned the kitchen, made dinner, and tooled around on WoW for a little bit. When they say things have changed, they're not kidding. I spent the whole time figuring out what I was looking at. It was kinda fun, exciting, AND frustrating all at once. :)

I crashed out around 2-230, and slept till I woke up at 630 this morning, when I decided that I should stay up so that I can get my car fixed. I will sleep a lot better knowing my car is driveable again.

So that's my Hallowe'en, or Samhain to some of my friends. Heh, or "Sunday" to still others. :) I'm gonna finish my coffee (Ugly Mug's Good Vibes, with some Carnation French Vanilla creamer and sugar), and see about conquering my car. See everyone later!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Me - In Real Life 2010)
It has been nearly 10 months since I last used my LJ for anything other than seeing the daily LOLcats (and that's because a lot of you don't post on here anymore, either!). I've migrated pretty fully to Facebook and Twitter. Twitter's more fun, perhaps because I have to figure out what I want to say in 140 characters or less. At this point, Facebook just copies what I tweet.

At any rate, I found a link on Facebook to LJ, and wound up browsing through various user info pages, adding folks. If I just added you, then you should at least be familiar with me. The new default user pic -- which I use on Facebook, Twitter, and the Summerland Grove site -- is recent enough that you should be able to match it to me. I know a lot of you from SG anyway.

The past almost-10 months have been.. different. I courted Christianity again, dated a devout Christian (the former admittedly DID halfway occur due to the latter), wound up giving up my D&D game on Sundays forever (I never have Sunday afternoons off anymore), met a great group of people in what I am apt to call the core membership of Summerland Grove, began smoking pipes for fun, became a pagan in name (I suspect I've always been one in spirit, whether I knew it or not), decided on a spiritual path (Asatru), began dating a wonderful woman, and have grown to despise my job at Kroger so much that I almost went to a job fair (my resume was... well, completely unmade and not gonna be ready in time, plus I got called on to help my girlfriend, which I had no hesitation doing).

Of course, outing myself on my LJ as a pagan could be considered... unwise? foolhardy? I dunno. Anyone with half a brain who has watched my Twitter feed/Facebook posts will have picked up on it long ago, though I deliberately don't come right out and say it, because I live in Memphis, TN, where you're accepted for who you are...

...that is, if you're a monogamous heterosexual Conservative Christian who is intolerant of others' lifestyles and points of view. (I still classify as heterosexual, though that's the only part of that statement that still applies to me.) I have far too many Christian friends on Facebook who I suspect will try to help me "see the error of my ways", so I am mum on the subject there, but I realize I don't give a flying fuck outside of being harassed about it on Facebook. I keep quiet at work as well, just because things already are a cluster fuck there, without adding "OMG IT'S A PAGAN!!!11" to the list. I've not dedicated to a specific god, which admittedly bothers me quite a bit (to the point that I can get downright moody/depressed about it), but I'm reading everything I can get my hands on that I think will help me understand my choice of path more clearly. (I'm currently reading "Our Troth, Vol. 1", and Tyr *STILL* looks like a reasonable choice, though he no longer feels like a perfect fit.)

About two weeks ago, I went to Festival of Souls. I'd never been, and even though I had to work two days and missed the workshops, I had a lot of fun. I made a point to attend the rituals, and was.. well, "blown away" is appropriate, if a little cliched. My brother, Ricky ([livejournal.com profile] titus_the_mage, though he's never used it), went as well, and surprised me. He'd always referred to himself as an agnostic, or as he put it, a "chicken shit atheist", but apparently *REALLY* took to the pagan point of view. I'm still processing that he has come to that realization, though I'm glad to have a longtime close personal friend with me in this new life.

While I enjoyed every ritual, I was absolutely thunderstruck by the candlelight labyrinth held after the ancestor ritual on Friday night. The solemnity covering the field, where the candles were laid out in concentric circles that slowly led to the center, was absolute. I didn't hear any voices (consciously), nor did I have any brilliant immediately-life-changing flashes of inspiration (again, consciously), but when I had gotten out of it, I felt different. Two weeks later, I wish I had the labyrinth still up to walk again, like I have a new appreciation for it, and if I could just walk it again, even more would become clear to me.

On the D&D/RPG front, I eventually had to drop [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's 4e D&D game, because work began jumping around on Sundays for me (I don't get to do payroll like I used to, though no hard feelings for the new clerk). I briefly attempted to get a game going involving [livejournal.com profile] nyminal, [livejournal.com profile] strieson, [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak, and [livejournal.com profile] disker and his wife, but that fell through due to lack of motivation on my part. I just no longer "feel it" where D&D is concerned. I am far more likely to wax nostalgic over my old 2e games, and how engrossing they were back then. Perhaps, when my schedule settles down some, or I change jobs, I can start a game again with some folks, perhaps even including [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn, [livejournal.com profile] tannenwynn, [livejournal.com profile] marius_98, or [livejournal.com profile] lostgamers. I have access to a larger pool of folks, and if I mix and match 'em a bit so I'm not stuck with the same collection of people I have played with for the last ten years, things might get interesting. (I have *NO* problem with my old D&D group, but the reality is that lack of fresh blood caused things to get stale, and we all know it.)

Well, that's my life this year so far. It's an oversimplification, and you'll notice I didn't post about work. I'm on vacation for at least two more days, so I refuse to acknowledge it until then. :) Welcome to all the new people. I hope that you add me back. I want to get to know each of you better than I have so far.

Oh yeah, I also, at the urging of my girlfriend, am going to begin writing again daily, even if it's just in here. I am one of the worst procrastinators you'll ever meet, but I want this. I miss writing something down, reading it, and going "holy crap, this is GOOD."

P.S. Holy crap. I've had this account for over 8 years now. I feel damned old suddenly. :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I)
Last night, my roommates and I decided to grill bratwursts and have some beer for dinner. It was fun, but I really got carried away. I had way too much to drink, though I managed to drink water throughout the evening, too. I don't get carried away like that often, and I was beginning my vacation, so I'll chalk it up to that.

Today, I'm hanging out with Troy and Dana. It should be fun, since I *think* the last time I saw them was shortly after I cut my hair short in 2002. Biz is out of town, so no biking for me, unless I go solo (which I might.. there's a park a mile or so away that I've been wanting to check out, since it's basically just bike trails). The rest of the week still looks mostly open, too.

Now, I'm gonna finish my coffee (Ugly Mug™ Good Vibes is the best!) and get ready to head over to Troy's and Dana's.

Ja matta ne!
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Dead Winter Dead)
I begin my vacation today. Oddly, my internal clock switched on to "day off" mode, so when I woke up at 345a, I didn't feel remotely like going back to bed. Instead, I took my shower, shaved, and got dressed for work. As a result, I have time to do this nifty post. :)

I heard back from a childhood friend, and traded phone numbers. Must find the time to hang out soon.

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to hang out with Troy and Dana, though Troy has yet to get back with me to iron out the final details. I'll be mailing him my cell number soon. Later this week, I have tentative plans to hang out with Maria (& Co., if I know Maria at all :) ) for the midnight release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Sometime this week, I hope to nail down a day to hang out with Stephen. Oh yeah, and I should get in touch with Biz about going bicycling!

Meanwhile, Alex is also on vacation, so I hope to rope him into playing some LotRO with me while he's off. If we can get to our 30s, then maybe we can get Scott to come back to the game (Scott's been taking an extended hiatus lately to play Left 4 Dead and Neverwinter Nights 2).

I got most of my payroll work done yesterday, so all I have to do is an hour of opening the safe and putting out tills, maybe one page of errors, and finalize the spreadsheet. In other words, I aim to be walking out of there by 9am. If things don't work out, then 10am will be okay. But the 11am time I'm "scheduled" till? Ain't happening. No reason for me to stay that long. I'm only there to do payroll. If I could avoid opening the safe, and get done by 8am or so, I *would*. :)

OH! And if you're local, and you want to do something, CALL ME! (Or leave a message, and I"ll send you my cell number.) I know I'll spend some time at home this week, but that's no excuse for spending MOST of it at home! :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Dark Side of the Moon)
(Crossposted to Facebook; find me there by searching for my name: Anthony Adkins)

This is day #2 of my days off this week. I have just two full days, and a day of doing payroll, between me and a week of vacation. I'm really looking forward to this. I know that, at some point next week, I'm going to meet up with Troy and Dana, two savvy froods I've not seen in years (and why not!? I have no excuse.). I'm also going to see about beginning to go biking with my buddy Bizz. (I might even swallow my pride, and take another look around my home neighborhood for a simple bike route I can do, even though I really don't like street riding.) Oh! And on the night of May 1 (or morning, whatever's appropriate), I've plans to see the midnight screening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Maria and company.

My vacation is shaping up to be a rather social one, rather than my typical "vacation so I can play my current MMO nonstop". Let me tell you, that is NEVER satisfying. I am left wondering where my vacation went. That said, I do plan to play a little bit, since I want to get one character leveled up to run high level things with Jason, Heather, Jeremiah, Brandon, and Charles. (Scott and Alex have both put LotRO on hold while they gorge themselves on Left 4 Dead and (for Scott) Neverwinter Nights 2.

Finally, I suspect that next week, since my roommate Charles (no relation to the LotRO player) is quitting smoking, will be a prime opportunity for me to really push my plans to begin eating better, and fill the house with appropriate food (less carbs, more vegetables, less prepackaged stuff).

Well, we're due to get rain today, so I think I'm going to run outside now, and attempt to get the front yard done before it gets here (provided that the ground isn't too wet -- our front yard holds onto water like a sponge sitting in the sink). Take care, folks!
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Sturm)
While I *should* only be working another half day today, today is still the day that I have to put work clothes on again, and go to work. It's been a rather enjoyable few days. While I played WoW a lot, I made it a point to get up and do a few things around the house and shower first. I also tracked what I ate, and attempted to eat better on most days. Granted, the exercise bit didn't REALLY happen but, uh, baby steps. :)

See folks in a while. (Should be 10am, but I am mentally prepping myself for being stuck there till 3pm. Mainly in a "that way I'm happy when I see what I really work" way. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Raistlin)
Today was a change of pace, for sure.

I woke up, and began to immediately clean my room. Not just pick up things, but I dusted and wiped down and changed linens and did laundry. I guess part of me wanted to begin my vacation in a fresh, clean room. (That's not to say that my room is a wreck. Rather, I did a "pseudo-spring cleaning" on it.)

After I got things mostly done, [livejournal.com profile] capedory1181 and I went to the store, and stocked the house with food and stuff. I came back, grabbed a quick bite, and headed over to [livejournal.com profile] disker's mom's house, which is a little under half a mile from where I live. Since it wasn't really cold (yet), I grabbed my gloves, layered a couple of shirts and a pullover, and bicycled there. Yep, I got some exercise today. :)

There, we just talked a while, catching up about things. A decision was made to go back to [livejournal.com profile] disker's place, so I quickly rode home to drop off my bike. I am definitely happy I rode my bike today, though dang it was cold.

Once at [livejournal.com profile] disker's, we talked a bit, I got some new music, and we watched Rush Hour 3 (pretty fun, though not as good as 1 or 2). Talk afterward eventually got around to RPGs, and how D&D isn't as fun as it once was. We talked about what might have changed, and reminisced about old games and what was fun about them. Before I left, I'd come to the conclusion that I'd like to give a D&D game one last chance before I write it off to something I "used to do in my 20s". Geek mid-life crisis? I hope not. :)

So, I'm going to give some thought to a game. One thing that might be done differently is that we'd do 1-2 adventures, and either take a break or change games/DMs, instead of aiming for these epic-length campaigns that can't be finished in 2-3 years, let alone one. We'll see who is interested, and take it from there, I guess.

Four hours are all that stand between me and a week off from work. Huzzah!
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Transcendence)
I'd originally asked to go on vacation this week (01/04/09-01/10/09), but was turned down. As a result, I had no idea when I was going to get to go, but I knew it had to be soon-ish, since I'd requested my first vacation officially in either January or February. Then, yesterday I talked about putting off getting into my new habits of eating right and exercising properly (even if it's just walking at first).

Talk about being called out.

I got to work yesterday, and what'd I see? I work 6a-11a tomorrow to do payroll (and I'll be leaving at 10am, you can bank on that!), and then I'm off the rest of the week. Yup. "Vacation" came a LOT faster than I suspected. :) All in all, though, this is a surprise that I can live with.

Now, I am cleaning my room more thoroughly than I have in a few weeks (while I've not let it get nasty, it's not been in tip-top shape, which is what I'm rectifying), getting my laundry done and put away, and planning on going to the grocery store later, so I'll have proper food in the house for next week.

Anyone have any ideas on how to reintroduce someone to vegetables? I'm good about the canned kind (green beans, carrots, corn), but 1) I don't like spending a lot of time cooking or dirtying dishes, especially on work nights and 2) I'm not sure how to prep vegetables in an appealing way (I usually just heat and add 'em on the side of whatever meat I'm eating). I know my biggest hurdle is to get into the habit of eating more vegetables, as they'll fill me up and are almost universally good enough for me that I could gorge on 'em and not suffer ill consequences.
Something interesting I learned the other night is that Low Sodium V-8 juice (original, not the fruit juices) has twice the potassium as the regular, in addition to half the sodium. Oh, and it tastes about the same. Talk about win-win. :)
I have finished sortingmy currently clean clothes away. Now, to start a load of laundry, take a shower, and change my bed clothes, though not necessarily in that order.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art (Royo) - Two Vamps)
Lately, my stress level has been extraordinarily high, and I knew I had to find an outlet before I did something I'd regret. Two weeks ago, I decided to help Charles clean his guns, since WoW is holding my interest less and less as the days go by (how many years CAN a person play a game and not get tired of it?). I cleaned his .40 caliber pistol, and he cleaned his hunting rifle. It was a lot of fun, and a welcome change from the tedium of day-to-day life.

So, when I learned that I was off on Saturday, August 16, I checked with him, and we planned a trip to the "babin" (cabin converted from a barn) in Corinth, where I'd finally learn to fire a gun, get to ride a 4-wheeler, and just cut loose for a day or so. The week leading up to it seemed to drag. I was actually excited about the prospect of doing things I'd never done before.

The day came, and I was in a funk, but not so much so that I didn't want to go. I figured (accurately) that my mood would settle once we got on the road. On that Friday, it stormed and rained all afternoon, so we left in the rain. It was very relaxing since I wasn't driving (I had no experience towing a trailer -- which had the 4 wheeler, my bicycle, our ice chest, and other sundries -- much less in the rain).

On the way out there, we passed all kinds of things. The most notable for me was a "Primitive" Baptist Church. That's actually what they had on the sign. Oh, it had a name, too, but it was "Blah Blah Primitive Baptist Church". What the heck does that MEAN? Kinda strange. Oh, we also passed a place where Charles told me they hold tractor races. Shame we couldn't stop, ya know? :)

Detailed breakdown of my trip -- it's LONG )

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my Corinth Road Trip. I enjoyed it, and wouldn't mind going back when I have more time. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II)
So, I had to work from 6am to 3pm today, hot on the heels of getting back into town from my trip, which I know I still have to write up. I *wish* I could have slept in today. No such luck, though. Work was okay, though I was grumpy for about the first half of it, and only mostly better for the last half. When I got home, I took a nap, and felt worse (emotionally, not physically.. I felt rested somewhat) when I woke up. I had steak with Charles and his girlfriend, and we watched Pan's Labyrinth. I loved that movie, though it was definitely jarring at times.

Now, it's too late to properly compose a post for my trip, so I'm gonna apologize, say I'll do it tomorrow, and get some sleep tonight.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Storm)
So, my road trip to Corinth, MS, was a hell of a blast. However, I have work in the morning (boo!), so I am just saying that all went well, I feel much better, and that I'm alive and breathing (at home!). :)

Someone bonk me on the head if I don't get a writeup of the trip done by Monday.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Pleiades)
Ha... what a boring title! I bet you don't even read this! :)

Today was a seemingly nonstop day of checking, Uscan, and Guest Care. I survived it alright, and managed to keep an even temper through most of it. My only issue came when I found myself having to key ring (push a price and hit a department key) a $125 whole ribeye some customers were buying.

They had nothing else, and the label, while in perfect shape, had no barcode or number sequence to key it into the register. Since that was all they were buying, I tried calling the supervisor to get a barcode, but he never came, and I didn't feel right making them wait for a single item, especially since I got the impression that they didn't see what the problem was. So, with the customers' shopping experiences in mind, I key rang it. I printed a second copy of the receipt, and told someone (the girl who opened Accounting this morning). She said, "Ooh, you're supposed to send it back for a price." Well, I thought, I tried. "They can write me up for it if they have to." I acknowledge that I lost my temper a bit then, and broke off the conversation. Perhaps if someone was watching the floor like they were supposed to, I'd not have had to do that. *shrug* I stand by my decision.

Other than that, though, things went rather smoothly. I have just relaxed since I got home from work, and plan to get to bed soon, so I can get a reasonable amount of sleep, for tomorrow when I get off, I have to pack for a day trip to Corinth, MS, where I will learn how to fire a gun, ride a 4-wheeler, walk trails, ride my bike, and just unplug entirely.

First, though, I plan on preparing an e-mail for Charles that he and I discussed earlier.

Good night, folks.

Also, in a non-sequitor: April's e-mail signature includes a reference to voting. I noticed that tonight, and was reminded that I've yet to register. (Bad Anthony!) I've got my form filled out, sitting next to me. I plan to get an envelope and mail it off in the next couple of days. I can't miss out on THIS presidential election!
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Sky - Orion Nebula)
The last few days have been relatively uneventful, over all.

Monday, I had lunch at El Porton with [livejournal.com profile] dragonpurr and her charges: her son, and another rug rat who she watches during the day. It was fun to catch up with her.

I came home that day, and decided to clean my car. Now, I admit that I didn't wash it, though I hit the inside with a vacuum cleaner, Formula 409, Windex, Tuff Stuff Spot Remover, and brushes and rags. It took me around two hours, during which time I ran through a substantial bit of my "Metal Overload" playlist, got to see the gorgeous neighbor walking her dog, and sweated a great deal. I grabbed a sponge and the hose, though, because I realized I had neglected my poor car long enough that the top was covered in slowly oxidizing dirt. Fortunately, it didn't eat into the finish, though I have to be vigilant against that happening again.

I cleaned up and did a little grocery shopping at the Neighborhood Market around the corner from my house. I spent the whole time listening to my iPod, which was a lot of fun, and reminded me of the days when I was a teenager, shopping with my dad. I would have my cassette walkman on, and would push the basket around the store, while my dad chose what went into it, more or less. But I digress.. I felt rather accomplished, because I also came home, cooked a simple Hamburger Helper dinner, but actually made some corn to go with it, and managed portion control decently (though not as good as I know I should/could).

On Tuesday, I did the same sort of thing, but for my room. I've been good about cleaning things around the house, but my poor room suffered greatly. That morning, though, I assaulted it with Febreze, Windex, Formula 409, a vacuum cleaner, and rags. I cleaned the tops of picture frames, dusted under my monitor and printer, made my bed, and generally scrubbed the room until it shone.

Then, that afternoon, I had a pleasant surprise in that April, Charles' girlfriend, was off work early. She picked me up, we had a small pseudo-lunch of appetizers at O'Charley's, checked out a metaphysical shop here in Bartlett, and just talked a bit. For some reason, I'm comfortable around her, and am able to confide in her some of my problems/fears (I'm sure it helps that, despite dating Charles, she's not actually part of the household, so there's a certain detachment). We met up with Charles around 7pm, had dinner at Logan's, and called it a night.

The subject came up -- and I am inclined to agree -- that I need to go on more "real" vacations when I get vacation time off from work. I can count on my thumbs how many times I've done something with my vacations in the last 8 years. Of course, I'm giving that a shot this weekend, when Charles and I are going to go to some land he and friends have in Corinth. There, I will be learning to shoot, ride a 4 wheeler (ATV), hike trails, stargaze (despite the full moon), and even testing my bicycle's off road capabilities. It's only from Friday evening till late Saturday, but it seems like it could be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to getting away from the humdrum of everyday life, even if it's only for a day.

Work today was rough, because the morning checker called in. However, things went VERY smoothly. I decided that I wasn't going to get bent out of shape, just because I couldn't start working in accounting first thing like I'm supposed to do. I knew it'd get done today, I knew I wasn't at fault for its delay, and I knew someone was coming in who'd help me get done, so I pushed it out of my mind. I honestly think that I actually managed not to worry about things that were out of my control. Oh, it may seem like an easy thing for some of you, but I cannot function unless things are going as planned, and I worry about everything. I feel like I'm making progress. :) I came home, decided I was tired, and took a nice little nap -- that turned into a three hour mega-nap. Thankfully, I don't work until 10am tomorrow (Thursday), so I have time to sleep once I do lay down.

Now, to explain the title of this post. My phone is about three years old, and I've not had to change the battery in all that time. It runs quite well, considering it's probably past its last leg. :) Today, the battery had run out of juice, so I cut it off while I slept. I stuck it on the cable on my computer to charge it when I woke up later, and found the message "Unable to Charge" on the display. This worried me, because I know that the battery has got to reach the point it won't hold a charge at all, and I am not really ready for it to be now. However, I took the battery out, cleaned off the contacts, and put it back on, and it booted up properly (though still lacking in charge). Thankfully, once it reached this state, I was able to get it to start charging off the USB cable. Seems like a phone battery -- if not a full upgrade -- is in my future.

Time for bed, folks. Have a good night.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Beneath the Remains)
Last night, I left you with a bit about work being really stressful (enough to cancel two different games).

Here's the short of it. I really don't think my Customer Service Manager likes me. Or, she's so wrapped up in how things affect her only, that she's incapable of empathy. When I first got there, I was "one of her backups" and things seemed like they'd be really nice.

For about a week.

...and the long of it... )

Time will tell what comes of all this, though I can tell you that I don't plan on silently putting up with this anymore. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it's time to dust off my resume. It's time to look at course catalogs for Southwest Tennessee Community College. It's time to find a way out of this pit of debt, and get the fuck on with my life. This stagnation has GOT to come to an end, PERIOD, starting with my job/education/money management.

I have a 6am-3pm shift tomorrow, so I'm going to try to get some rest tomorrow evening. Maybe I can talk Charles and April into going to see Dark Knight (which I have yet to see).
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Beast with Two Backs)
I've been thinking about how I miss D&D for its own sake, and was gonna post an update regarding how things have been going in that quarter, but I realized I was getting unnecessarily grim. So, instead, a bulleted list:

  • I wound up dropping [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's Sunday 4e D&D game, due to work-related stress.

  • My own 4e/3e game was stillborn, due to work-related stress.

  • I found out today that a variety of publishers are not going to 4e, and -- given the public's tendency to use the most current version of anything -- I'm left wondering if there will be a future for those companies.

  • Being really tired cools my enthusiasm for D&D in any form.

  • I came up with an idea for a noir-style Eberron game set almost entirely in Sharn. I've since decided that it'd work best as a short-term campaign (maybe levels 5-10?).

  • I want to use Pathfinder (Paizo's 3.5 continuation), but I like encounter creation in 4e a *LOT*. Enough that I'm still conflicted regarding which I'd rather use.

  • I miss D&D when it was "Dungeons & Dragons" because there was a real honest chance you could run into one or both of those in a game session.

  • In January, 4e is going to market "Power Cards" -- nonrandom decks of cards featuring powers for a given character class. While I can appreciate the utility of such a product, I confess that the thought of pushing an RPG to use both miniatures and cards makes me nervous, and miss the item above just a little more.

  • I miss those days when all I needed for a game were some willing players. We'd happily roll characters, and the action would bring itself. If I had a module, then we'd work our way into that, but the fun was simplified. Now, it's "noir-style Eberron game" or "4e game using a home brew campaign in which the PCs must save the world" or "massive module to take most of the guesswork out of the game".

I'll post more later, and not just about D&D.

Work is a touchy subject for me this week, for example. Let me just say that I'm really ready for a little time off. REALLY READY. >.<;;
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
So, I got some sleep, and still felt a little off-kilter when I woke up on Monday. However, I think I just needed to get some (more) sleep, because I felt a lot better on Tuesday. I am weighing the pros and cons of each system for that Eberron game, and I'm asking my potential players for input as well.

In work-related news, I had to be at work at 3am, so that I could be done with all the morning bookwork by 6am, when workers were to begin ripping out one wall of accounting so that we could get our new safe. I got to skip my lunch (How could I go anywhere? We had a hole in Accounting. I was a guard! :)), and I left at 11am. I still ate lunch at McAllister's, though, and enjoyed a bacon spud. Still, it's been kinda nice, because of today's day off, I've had almost two days in a row. :)

I'm definitely more settled now at work than I was, and I am thrilled stupid about that. Again, as I am going to say every time until I get off my ass and do it, I still want to find another job. I figure if I keep bothering MYSELF about it every time I talk about liking the job, I might actually get around to following through. Still, I am not looking forward to tomorrow's 6am-3pm shift at work. I just don't want to get up that early right now.

Actually, I want to take a vacation. I am desperate for some time out of this city, away from the people I normally see. Since I've used all my vacation time for the year already (surgery in April), I would be willing to take the time off unpaid, if I could, just to go somewhere. My biggest problem? I don't know where I want to go. :-p "Away" is about the only thing I know for sure. I've been invited to go on a trip to New Orleans in September, but I worry that I could get the money together in time. :(

After taking a nap (I woke up too early, but stayed awake against my better judgment), I deep cleaned my bathroom, dusted and vacuumed my room, and got my laundry done. I feel rather accomplished, and look forward to sleeping in my clean bed. :)

I also spent part of today finalizing my "Metal Overload" iTunes playlist: 1100 metal songs, ranging from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Amon Amarth and the latest from Symphony X, with W.A.S.P., Morgenstern, Type O Negative, and KISS thrown in for good measure. It's not a "greatest hits". It's just "my favorite songs from what I call metal on my own iTunes, with some extras tossed in from hard rock". I'd love to post it, but 1) I don't think folks would want to see 1100 songs, 2) I don't know how to export it from iTunes except in tab-delimited text and XML, and 3) I don't think folks would want to see 1100 songs. :) Suffice to say, I'm going to spend a lot of time listening to this playlist.

Now, I need to get some sleep, or I'll be even crankier in the morning than I am now. But hey, at least my bed's clean!
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