tek2way: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
Tonight, I put on some music for my trip home, as I normally do. Tonight, though, I decided to address the dearth of Manowar by adding a few more tracks to one of my playlists.

Going through what Manowar I had on the phone, I ran across "Warriors of the World United." As I listened to the track start, I felt something inside shift. I added it to my playlist, and found it in said list. I started it up, and left. The song was fascinating, and I started it over again when it finished. I kept it up until 1am, when I finally turned that one song off and got a shower (and bed).

What follows is a rough approximation of what was going through my mind while I was listening to that one song, over and over. I first shared these thoughts with Cynthia earlier. I'm not editing these thoughts, so there is a chance one or two may be missing context.

tonight, I feel a direction to work on my games, and fucking own my games. I feel gods-damned amazing.

this song has unlocked something that I was unsure of, or was purposefully ignoring.

Fuck.. so I walked to my altar, which I'd been thinking of dismantling, to get my tobacco, and I had a sudden urge to sob. Not from sadness, but from overwhelming emotions
The reason I am drawn to the Norse is that I NEED that warrior spirit. I am not, in my daily life, a warrior in the classic sense. I am absolutely a fighter, but that's different.

The Norse are there to watch out for me. They help me where I can't help myself.
Yet, for some reason, I've been pushing them away. Even last year, when I was thinking Odin was watching, I listened to others who said I had to include Loki. No, I don't, but I let myself be influenced so.
All I have to do is accept them, pick up my learning about them, and things will be back on track (oh, I may have to make a few sacrifices, but that's to be expected).

Athena and Diana were the warriors of my youth. I could and should continue to honor Athena (besides warrior, there's the learned one aspect), but the Norse have welcomed me in, and I fucking ignored what was staring me in the face.
Freyja may have been watching me initially, but that may have been because of my (unconscious and subconscious) connection to Athena and Diana. To ease my conversion.

I'll never be a classic heathen. But that's okay. They know what I am.
I never told you that when we went to see Iron Maiden inNashville, we went to the Parthenon. I was almost overwhelmed by being in her shrine.. tell me that I'm not connected..
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tek2way: Endless - Death (Bachalo) (Endless - Death (Bachalo))
A friend, Justin, changed his cover photo to one of Death, Sandman's older sister. Another friend commented that she loved Death. This isn't my attempt to outdo her or him. I just have to share this occasionally, and when the urge strikes, it's damned near overpowering.

I was going to say, but refrained from saying:

"I have been in love with her since 1993. I've never looked at anyone the way I looked at her. Good or bad, I have never been able to feel for anyone the way that I feel for her."

Ever since this panel in Sandman #56.. I can feel it every time I read the page below. I once did an LJ post about it, but I don't know if I could find it now, because I don't know when I did the post originally. Suffice to say that I woke from a dream that felt very real in which I'd been traveling with her. The thing that makes it feel real, even today, is that my heart was hurting bad enough it took my breath away, all because I knew that waking separated me from her.

Anyway, here it is.

 photo Funeral-Death-561_zpsylvgnp3b.jpg
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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: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
...or it makes for quite a lot of things to post!

Since my last post, it feels like a lot has happened.

First, I learned that one of the managers at my store thinks I don't have any people skills. Now, this may be true1, given that my patience has become more and more strained as time has gone by and I've not had any break from that job. Thus, when a clerk approaches me about how she is missing a vacation day, but hollers that she knows she was right when I try to explain what I found, I will lose my temper. I task myself with not losing my temper with customers, but I don't have quite as much success with associates.

Sometimes, it's not even directed at someone. I learned today that SCO is kept open till midnight, despite us closing at 11pm. I nearly lost my head, because it's something that should have been addressed. The checker who mentioned it thought I was angry with her, and so refused to stay over when the supervisor asked her today2. I know I am not the most centered individual, and that sometimes I really lose my temper, but I wouldn't expect that that would disqualify me for having "people skills". Oh yeah, telling someone with anxiety issues, who is stressed out from never getting away from the job, that they have no people skills is just going to fucking exacerbate the issue. The evening supervisor may not have thought about it before sharing, but it sucked all the same.

Another fun detail I learned today at work has to do with our cash deliveries. You see, we have to order our change now, instead of getting a standing order from the bank. Unfortunately, no one else has even bothered to even learn how it's done, much less place an order. As a result, we won't be able to get anything in until Wednesday. I made the morning accounting clerk order change, so I knew she knew what was expected. I told her, "I don't care if you ever fill another coin changer; I don't care if you have to leave paperwork strewn around accounting, you have to get change ordered."

That's when I was hit with her telling me that she has talked to all of her old managers, and wants to transfer. Oh, sure, that has to get approval from OUR store manager, but still, it means that she's already planning on leaving. I've also heard of two Guest Care clerks thinking about putting in notice, too, and we are down 5-7 cashiers and 4-6 baggers from where we were only six weeks ago.

Is it any wonder why I may not be the most approachable, the friendliest, person? I have said it before, and I'll say it again: LET ME HAVE A WEEK OFF, AND I GUARANTEE IMPROVEMENTS. I need rest, fuckers.

That brings me to some good news. I'm less than 60 hours from being on my way to New York, by way of Detroit. I can't wait. My brother told me his daughter's friend will be joining us, so I get to craft an item based on "The Vampire Diaries" for her3. I'm kinda excited about how this is turning out. I just need to make their characters, so I can print them out and have them ready for the trip. (IDEA! I can make them, and then level them, and have PDFs of each level (from 1-4, maybe?), so when they level, we can discuss how to do it, but I can hand over the new sheets so they're ready to continue the action!)

While I'm there, though, I have decided that I am very seriously going to see what the grocery store market it like, and not rule out moving up there. I don't know if I really want to move, but I know that is probably the homebody person who dislikes change. The cost of living may be too much for me to manage it anyway, you know? Since I'll be up there, though, it wouldn't hurt to explore my options. I've heard some unsavory rumors about Kroger (that I won't repeat here, filter or not), and weighing my possibilities may just be sensible.

Now, something simultaneously sobering and joyous and confusing and heartbreaking and, and..

Back at the beginning of March, my best friend, Kevin, passed away, and I make no bones about the fact that his passing really fucked me up. I loved that man, and I finally have begun to understand what it means to never be over someone's death, to only be able to cope.4 Well, his widow invited me over to pick out things that I'd want of his as keepsakes. I met her and her family for lunch, and we went to the house.

She fucking gave me his entire RPG collection. From his oldest 1e books (including a Moldovay Beginner Set with Keep on the Borderlands in it), to his nearly-complete run of Hackmaster 4e (the first version in print, if you aren't familiar with the game made famous by Knights of the Dinner Table), to his collected notes for games he's run in the past, I got it all. It's easily four feet tall, and also includes such notable things as the Dragonlance Krynn trail map and the second edition of Talisman. Additionally, she gave me a chunk of his paperbacks and hardbacks.

I now own the very 1e books that we used when he ran me on my first game as an elven ranger (long before I heard of Drizzt, dammit), his Collector's Editions of Chronicles and Legends, his original copies of the Dark Elf Trilogy and Icewind Dale Trilogy (Streams of Silver doesn't even say it's part of a series!), and even the very copies of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive that turned me onto cyberpunk in the first place! I can't explain it, but though I couldn't think of what she might've intended me to get, this is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Every time I look at my bookshelves, I will remember him.

Hell! Did you know that, going through his notes, I found a fucking map that *I* had drawn and labelled, ostensibly for him? I didn't even know that fucking map existed!!! Then there's the original winding underground passages where my human fighter was led blindly through, because I didn't have a torch? I damn near broke down then, seeing that.

I've since thought about his dice, but you know what? I don't know if I could. I doubt I'd ever want to roll them, or even touch them. He was always so protective of them. I remember when his family was moving from Frayser to Munford, and his dicebag upended in his room. "GET OUT!" he bellowed, and insisted we stay away while he picked up his dice. I credit him to this day for my own superstition regarding dice. I'll give him points, though, for assembling some absolutely gorgeous sets.

Dammit, Kevin. It looks like I'll never be free of you. *raises glass in a toast* Hail and farewell, brother!

1 - "..from a certain point of view," said Obi-Wan Kenobi. :)
2 - Which is yet another reason why I feel like a fucking failure today. We could *really* have used her help.
3 - In the show, there is a candle called the "Hand of Glory", which lets you walk between worlds, to "TL;DR" it. Hers will be an amulet that she can use twice a day to use that "doorway" to teleport up to 50 feet away. Did I mention, btw, that she will be a rogue? :)
4 - What does that say about those who have gone before? (Grandmother, Granddaddy, Grandma, Paw-Paw, Pop Dunn, Mom Dunn, Uncle Jimmy) I love them all, but I guess Kevin's different, in that he was my first peer.
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: Nature - Daylit Clouds (Nature - Daylit Clouds)
Tonight, I played in our till-this-point-monthly Ravenloft game. It was a lot of fun, even if I spent the game being contrary and avoiding combat. (A dwarf? Avoiding combat? Well, when you take a fireball for entering a room, then take some magic missiles going across said room, only to watch your party mate take NINE magic missiles in one attack, I think most anyone would say "fuck this shit, I'm out!"*

Now, while gaming is the subject of tonight's post, it's also not about this game. You see, tonight was the first time we gathered since my last attempt to get us together to play MY game. Well, when the DM asked us if we were okay going to biweekly, I told them I was, since I had nothing else going on. When he looked puzzled, another player tried to explain that we'd missed my last game, and I quickly responded that I wasn't running that ever again.

Our pizza's arrival kept it from getting awkward, and by the time I returned to the table, I'd resolved to explain myself. I told them how I was just really upset because everyone cancelled last minute. I told them how my work week had been particularly rough, how I'd really looked forward to it, and how I fell into a serious depression as a result. I explained that I wasn't against running something again, particularly a new system (as our DM had just explained for Savage Worlds), but that I needed some downtime before I would run another game.

I'd like to think it went over well. We gamed, and I came home, tired and exhausted, but feeling pretty good (I helped a friend do some stuff related to her moving into an apartment, since I am working tomorrow).

The next thing to aim for is getting them to buy-in on another game at some point. Wish me luck!

* - For the record, I actually played that song when I was telling the DM that I was running away. :)
tek2way: Nature - Dark Sunset (Nature - Dark Sunset)
I might've actually posted today, but I got sucked into nerding out regarding a recent meme on Facebook. "What would my class/archetype be if I was a D&D character?" just begged for me to answer in as detailed a manner as possible.

I did it for my friend James. Then, I did it for Cyn. I briefly answered it for Jenna. I did it for Chase, and finished by mentioning something for Craig. Yet, now it's 130am, and I have to go to bed.

Still, though I must head to dreamland now, at least I spent the evening typing out thoughts in my head. That's always a sign of a good day, even when it's gone bad.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
I just finished watching the original Macross series.

I'm at a loss for words. I miss it already. 
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tek2way: DL - Raistlin (DL - Raistlin)

Das Schwarze Auge...or, The Dark Eye

Let me tell you a story. It's not terribly long, but it goes back a fair bit. You see, back in the very early 90s, I would get the latest Advance Comics and Diamond Distribution catalogs, and browse through them. I treated them as a sort of a wish list that I, realistically, never intended on completing. It was in one of those catalogs that I ran across a mention of some very popular German roleplaying game. Later, I was unable to recall the exact name, though I knew I'd remember if I ever saw the trade dress and title. I was fascinated. There was a very popular fantasy RPG other than Dungeons & Dragons?

However, as was often the case with foreign entertainment in the late 80s and early 90s, nothing ever showed up, and I forgot all about it after a while.
The Dark Eye RPG Core Rules
Then, in early 2016, I discovered a Kickstarter for something called "The Dark Eye". Reading the description, I learned it was none other than the German RPG I'd heard about all those years ago. Excited, I bought into the Kickstarter at a level that would get me a lot of the goodies and extras, such as spell cards, fate tokens, stickers, bookmarks, a soundtrack CD, and DICE!

I began to tell my friends -- well, and whoever would listen -- about the system (you want 1s on a d20 and lower is better) and setting (one that has only advanced in time in-game the 30 years in real time it has been released). I found it a fun departure from the standard of D&D, yet still familiar enough to offer some kind of starting point to try it. I printed out the Quickstart rules, and tried to show them what it was like. I was extraordinarily unsuccessful. One person got up and wandered off, later claiming that they forgot because they got pulled into a conversation elsewhere in the house, and while the other two seemed to enjoy it (for the most part), their schedules were such that I wasn't sure I'd be able to get them in a game.

Despite being disappointed in the reception, I resolved to continue to explain details; this time, however, I would focus on those elements a certain person liked, and only that person, rather than trying to tell everyone everything about it. For my part, I found myself more ensnared by the ruleset and setting, every time I read more about it.

Aventuria Almanac, from Ulisses North AmericaLast year was disastrous for me from a gaming perspective as well. Nothing we did could get a regular game going, and the lack of anything like a regular game increased my stress level to the point I was beginning to have serious trouble sleeping. As you might have figured, I never did find a quorum for a game.

Fast forward to this evening. Another Kickstarter I had helped fund was the setting book, the Aventuria Almanac, had finally come in. It came with three coasters from prominent taverns in the setting, another die several maps, and a short story set in the world. For a short few minutes, I was all excited about it. Then, I began to think about what games I might run set in that world, and reality settled in again.

If you remember, I'd detailed a situation a couple of weeks back, where my hope to ever get a game going with my current circle of friends evaporated, leaving me a broken, sad man. A friend of mine, being candid because I asked, said that it was because I had no other responsibilities that I wanted a gaming group to play with weekly, and that gaming isn't important enough for most people to set aside time to play.

I still feel that it's no different than poker night or making a point to always shoot hoops with your friends: everyone's enjoyment is dependent upon your attendance. Oh, their enjoyment isn't completely ruined by your missing once, but I feel that there is a social contract when you agree to participate that you will be present more often than you're not.

Regardless, between my seemingly irrational hope for a regular group, plus people's lukewarm (at best) response to the game, I can't generate the energy to even read the books. And the books are GORGEOUS. I figure that I'll eventually want to read them, and when I do, I will enjoy them for their own sake. That day isn't today, though.

For now, I'm going to bed, since I work late tomorrow..

P.S. - I'm sure there's something I forgot to mention in here. Hopefully, not too much is missing.
tek2way: Anime - Ayukawa (Anime - Ayukawa)
So, the store I work at has a system in place that tells us -- and customers -- how many lanes we should have open at any given time. It's been a struggle at times, trying to meet the expectations of corporate, and my most recent serious bout of depression stemmed from the fact that every time I walked into my store, the manager repeatedly got on me about how we weren't making our metric in it. Obviously, that wasn't the sole reason for the depression, but it certainly didn't help.

I walked into the store on Sunday, expecting serious traffic thanks to the holiday, and wasn't disappointed. However, the managers were on the front, watching the traffic and helping to direct it (something that is expected of them ever since we got the system, but hardly ever see them involved).

Well, when I left today, we were on track to make our metric for the FOURTH day in a row! To say I'm pleased is something of an understatement. You see, not only does it mean that I won't hear from my manager about how we're not doing what we should, it is also an indication that the new approach is working, and that I have some sort of help in trying to make it.

Isn't it amazing how having some help can improve things for us?

In other news, I've been seriously diving back into my love of anime. I've picked up Oh My Goddess (OVA and movie), Tenchi Muyo (original OVA and most recent OVA), Macross Plus, and the Kimagure Orange Road TV series box set.

The KOR TV set is the highlight of them all, as it's an anime that I've loved since I borrowed the OVA series from Jason at Triple Play (now, it's Comic Cellar) way back in 1993 or so. Back in 1999, I went in halves with Kevin to help AnimEigo fund their production of the TV series on VHS/LD. He and I watched the series, and loved every minute of it. It also helped the OVA series -- which came out after the TV series -- make a lot more sense.

Over time, I wound up selling my half to him to cover a debt I owed him, and I told myself I'd get around to picking it up again, but 12 VHS tapes were quite an investment. I'd eventually relegate the idea to the back of my mind, as a took a step back from anime in general, due to a dearth of titles that held my interest. (Honestly, having formats switch from VHS to DVD also dampened my enthusiasm.)

Years later, I'd discover that the whole thing was released on DVD, but that the company releasing it lost their license soon after. I began to watch eBay, hoping to find it for a reasonable price, but individual discs in the 12 volume series (they kept the episode breakdown to how the VHS tapes were) were as much as $60-80 each, and the whole set was selling for $400+. I sighed, kept it as a saved search, and gave up any real hope for procuring it.

That's when this current anime binge comes into play. I was ordering a couple of anime from Amazon, when I searched for Kimagure Orange Road on a lark. One of the results was the box set for sale from a Goodwill in Seattle... for $180. That was half what the individual discs might've cost new, and $75 cheaper than I found the box set new, to say nothing of regular online prices.

I just finished episode 2, and I'm quite pleased to have found it. There are a lot of memories tied up in this series for me, and I am going to enjoy rediscovering each and every one as I work my way through the show.
tek2way: Anime - UN Spacy (Anime - UN Spacy)
So, in the interest of beating a dead horse, I'm going to talk about anime again today.

You see, I am (re)discovering the unbridled joy that came from watching it, particularly the stuff that I was into when I was in my late teens and early 20s (Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo, Kimagure Orange Road, Macross, Bubblegum Crisis, and similar). Only this time, I don't think I have any fucks to give for anyone who might naysay my choice of pastimes. That's not to say that I was overly worried then, but on my way home, listening to Two-Mix in my car, I found myself saying firmly, "I'm an anime fan. I'm an otaku. I'm a geek. I'm even a metalhead. I do not fear fandom labels, because they're the things I like, and --"

That's when I had to make the left turn, and focused on the oncoming traffic instead. :)

Regardless, though, there was a liberating feeling to that thought, and I liked it. I'm a Star Wars fan. I'm an RPG fan. I'm a gaming (role-playing, board, card, video) fan. I'm a Brandon Sanderson fan. I'm a sci-fi fan. I'm a Game of Thrones fan. I'm a Tolkien fan. I'm a Harry Potter fan. I'm a Marvel Universe fan. I'm also a DC Universe fan. I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman, and am generally in love with the cast of characters from his various books. I'm a music fan. I'm a fan of Iron Maiden. I'm a fan of Nightwish. I'm a fan of Helloween. I'm a fan of Sarah Brightman, Hayley Westenra, Josh Groban, Loreena McKennitt, and Enya.

In some small way, listening to anime music (and watching anime) has reminded me that it's okay to like the things I do, no matter what society has decided is appropriate for someone my age. For gods' sakes, if I was to truly measure myself by society's standards, I really would be planning to end it all, because a car is about the only "grown up" thing I can say I've "accomplished". House? Nope. "Grown-up" job making enough to support my family? Nope. Significant other? Nope. Kids? Absolutely not.

All this from listening to anime soundtrack music? Oddly, yes, more or less. You see, some of this has come from self-reflection since that thought, but the principle still applies. I also want to stress that I'm in no way suddenly "better", and free from my depression and anxiety. First, today was a stressful work day, but I was able to manage it, and I never got overwhelmed. Second, the pragmatic side of me reasons that this could be -- to use older parlance with which I'm at least passingly familiar -- a manic mood, or "high", that's a counterpoint to the abysmal low I was living with last weekend. I suppose that the main thing is that I'm not questioning it.

I'm off Monday. I am going to get up, pick up my Kimagure Orange Road TV box set from the post office, get my brother and take him to replace his cell phone, and then I'm going to run by Best Buy and pick up an external DVD/CD-RW. I considered going for a Blu-Ray drive, but 1) my anime is only DVD, 2) a DVD drive is over half as cheap as the Blu-Ray player, and 3) the Blu-Ray player needed USB 3.0 to run, and I only have one port for that (which is given over to my 1TB HDD, which would run horribly on USB 2.0).

P.S.: It doesn't hurt my mood at all, that management has responded to my more resolute and positive outlook by being more positive and understanding. Basically, the worse I'm doing on an emotional and mental level, the less understanding and the more hurtful they get. Yeah, this place does *NOT* deserve my loyalty at all.

Next up: taking stock of what all I have, and weeding out what I don't need/want. However, unlike last time, I'm going to keep it all, but separate it from the main collection. Then, if I still am disinterested in it in, say, six months, then I'll see about selling it.
tek2way: Anime - Ayukawa (Anime - Ayukawa)
Since I migrated my entire journal from LJ over to here, I guess I'll call this a fresh start.

I have been absolutely horrid about posing on my blog since establishing a regular presence on Facebook and other social media. I recall, shortly before I quit bothering with LJ on any kind of regular basis, something that would pull the day's tweets from your Twitter account, and post that on LJ as your post for the day. In our desire to have a meaningful existence online, we have decided to phone it in, and just pretend we are doing anything noteworthy.


Taken together, my LJ and DW-original posts tally to 2000 (1955 LJ and 45 DW, who'd'a thunk it?). This means I just am going to abandon the numbering completely. The idea was to keep up with how I was doing, but I also realized that people who might not see a filtered post would be able to easily figure out that they were cut from one. Besides, it's incorrigibly dull to dutifully number each post like lines on a sheet of notebook paper. You spend so much trying to make everything pretty, that you lose the thread of what you want to do.

In my case, I have become painfully disconnected from my creativity. I struggle daily to come up with ideas that I consider worth converting into some kind of story. I'm easily discouraged from pursuing ideas that I do have. Things just feel... too big. I'd like to dismiss it as a non-issue, but it's honestly gone on for too long. All I know to do is start typing something in here every night, if I can.

Today, though I just bought a plane ticket to go to New York, I spent almost $200 on the Kimagure Orange Road TV series complete box set. I feel horribly guilty about it, but I have a justification for it. You see, I've been watching the KOR TV DVDs on eBay for well over a year. Not only did I never find an English-language box set for sale, I never even saw individual DVDs for less than $20-25 each. That's $280-300 minimum for the series. To find it for only $15 a piece, and from a reputable seller (Goodwill) was surprising.

I still feel guilty, but this is my favorite series, I'm not avoiding paying bills to do this, and this is also something I did with Kevin. You see, back before Kickstarter, AnimEigo had to talk people into preordering the TV series to make it. I went in on the VHS set with Kevin. We technically each owned half of the series, though I think he left them at my house initially. After I fell on some hard times financially, I ceded complete ownership of the series to him. I always meant to get some blank VHS tapes to record a copy, but never got around to it.

Years later, AnimEigo released them on DVD, in what I can only imagine as their swan song from anime publishing, because they folded soon after finishing the DVD releases (in fact, I think I've read that they were trying to get them out before their license for KOR expired). I knew about the OVAs they released, but I never heard or thought about the TV series. So, for years, my OVAs have been sitting on my shelf, surrounded by other anime, but nothing else.

So, I will finally have everything released for KOR in a DVD format. It's something that I cannot deny that I've wanted for a long time, so I will just accept the monetary hit and count my blessings at finding it so cheaply. Next, I will start saving everything I can, for I like having money in savings, and giving my money to McDonald's and Wendy's for the convenience to eat the crap they sell is no longer as satisfying as it used to be.

Well, work comes early tomorrow, so I better call it a night.
tek2way: Nature - Dark Sunset (Nature - Dark Sunset)
This is an entry I posted on April 25, 2016. I added it to this journal on April 25, 2017, but backdated it, so it was inline with any other posts I may have made, to better understand my mental state at the time).


I was off of work today. Much like Peter Gibbons from "Office Space", I spent it doing nothing: sleeping, absentmindedly browsing Facebook, or running Molten Core on my WoW characters to obtain some rare item so I can make a Nifty Thing before my account expires on Sunday. I switched from one thing to the next as the urge struck me, or as I got tired.

This feels like one of the first days off I've had in a while. I can't explain it, since I'm getting my two days a week without fail. In an attempt to explain it, though, I guess it's because I've had Things to Do most of my off days this month. Until this week, Saturday was my one definite day off every week. What is particularly telling is that I can't remember my other days off each of those weeks.

The first two Saturdays of the month saw me trying to wrap up my 13th Age game (which somehow grew into a Real Game™, even though my plan was "fun little bullshit game we do for 2-3 weeks"). Of course, the first of those two sessions were broken up by Justin showing, and a great deal of discussion on matters spiritual. My heart wasn't in it the next week, and it ran longer than I wanted, due in equal parts to the story being longer than I anticipated and because I wasn't able to rein things in and propel the game forward when necessary. To say I was dissatisfied about how that game ended would be an understatement.

The next week was the first session back with Travis's game. We'd had an impromptu party at Jon's the night before, and again had discussions of a spiritual nature to go with our alcohol. We started the game back at level 15, and it was fun, but I realize now that we had one direction to go: into battle, which took up the whole session. Craig participated as a stand-in for Justin, who was feeling under the weather, and we laughed and gamed until we had to call it a night.

This week was Dane's birthday weekend, and my Saturday was supposed to be spoke for all day. However, I'd begun to have trouble sleeping again, and was getting exhausted quite severely during the week. I found my neck and shoulders were in an almost sharp pain at times, I was so tense (this whole thing coincided with the District Front End Coordinator staying on us all week about what we weren't doing right or turning in -- even other CSMs were commenting about it in our group MMS messages). Heck, I'd even gotten used to a near-constant stabbing at my right temple, that only abated when I dozed during my lunch. I had hope that being off from work, and being able to just be around people I liked would help.

The Friday night before Dane's birthday, though (despite spending the evening at the Leaky Cauldron and feeling somewhat recharged), I still had trouble sleeping. Or rather, I had trouble sleeping WELL. I was spending more and more time asleep, but wasn't feeling any better when I woke. I'd wake during the night, and maybe mess around on Facebook for an hour or two, but I was going to bed early enough that a brief interlude in my resting shouldn't have mattered. I woke at 10am, and promptly fell back asleep after I finished breakfast. I woke enough to rouse myself sometime after 11am, which just had me agitated, since I knew I was running late.

I was late trying to get to the place for Laser Tag (after struggling to find clothes I could "get dirty"), and Google Maps misdirected me something fierce. I gave up and came home, only to fall asleep HARD for the next two hours. That should have been a sign. I woke, picked up something for Dane, and grabbed Brian so he could go. We had the most difficult time getting there, because it seemed that every direction I chose to get us there was congested with cars, all the way up to the section of Winchester right before the last major turn. That probably was a sign, too.

We talked and ate and had a good afternoon, which was pretty fun, because it was unstructured and spontaneous and had no purpose besides fellowship. When the discussion turned toward starting the game, I realized I had NO energy. I wasn't just tired, but I was kinda flopped like a rag doll on the couch while people began prepping things like bringing in the table and wiping surfaces down.

I joked about playing from the couch, and was told as long as I "don't fall asleep" there. I *knew* I was going to fall asleep, so I got a chair and sat at the table.
My heart wasn't in the game, from the moment we started back up. First, I couldn't remember what we did the previous week. Then, I knew absolutely NOTHING we could do to overcome the first immediate obstacle. I said something in frustration, and Travis asked if that was in-character, so I decided it was. Turns out, that was something to move the story forward. Despite that, though, I felt my energy draining faster and faster. I tried eating some more dinner (love Julie's potato salad!), and it helped a scant hair, but the lethargy returned.

Finally, I wanted nothing more than to get up and go home, in the middle of a combat round. I wanted no more part of gaming at all. I wanted my bed and at least the hope of 9-10 hours of sleep. I used the bathroom, where I realized it was only going to get even worse. I could have literally fallen asleep in there, sitting on the toilet. I came out and said I was going to pumpkin after combat.

I don't really recall what happened after that, until Brian and I were leaving. My eyes hurt, my neck hurt, my shoulders hurt.. I couldn't make myself feel better. What I do remember is that Brian and I talked about how much work has grown to suck, and we talked from when we left until we pulled into his driveway. I explained how overwhelmed I felt about work, and how I didn't know how to fix things and make it better. Brian vented a bit, too, but I only remember he did, because I can't recall what his specifics were.

I left, and made it home alright, but when I got in, I went STRAIGHT to sleep. It was only around 1am, and I didn't have to get up until 11am for work, but I slept almost all of that, and STILL felt tired when I got up.

Work wasn't quite as bad for me Sunday, so I left feeling not as exhausted, but I still came home and went to bed. And today has been, as I said, off and on sleeping all day. I'm about to go to bed again, and hopefully I'll sleep until I have to get up for work.

My problem is that, in the last week, my stress related to work has ramped up a great deal, and things that were helping to take the edge off, no longer do the trick. Gaming should be my release, but instead, I just can't care about it, especially the idea of my own game. I almost don't even care about Travis's game or Leif's game, for all that I called myself excited about them. I'm short-tempered and miserable. What exacerbates everything is that I just *know* that if I quit the games, I'll get worse.

Between stress related to maintaining my job (so I can afford to live where I do and keep my car), the stress of doing my job (that place is a fucking madhouse at the best of times), and the stress of knowing my lease was coming up (and it was only Thursday that I learned that I'm okay there), I don't really enjoy being at home much, and I *really* don't enjoy being at work. Those few hours where I spend time with Leigh Ann or at the Leaky Cauldron are pretty much the only times I'm not constantly reminded of how much pressure I'm under.

I don't know if I can keep playing, if something doesn't break to relieve me of some of this stress. The spiritual discussions helped, as did fellowship with fellow Norse tradition folks, but it either isn’t enough, or isn’t happening enough. I'm unhappy about it, and I may still head over to sit on the couch and watch (if allowed) or nap as necessary, but I can no longer promise I will play.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
I had a post in mind for tonight. I was going to share it, and it was going to touch on some things that have followed me most of my life. Yet, the second I was about to start typing, I had writer's block kick in, and shut me down. It looks like I'm not ready to share anything about that, yet. Maybe another time.

I did finish cleaning my apartment today. For the first time in a long time, I'd actually call it, "Tony-clean." My level of attention to detail, when I'm feeling well enough to focus on things like cleaning, can be intimidating to "normal" people. :-p Regardless, I'm pleased with the results, and actually feel the necessary motivation to keep it like this.

One tiny bit, that probably snuck out from the first part of this post: If I'm pressed, I will acknowledge that I don't really think I'm all that smart. When I make mistakes, I get angry with myself, because it's clearly because I'm too stupid/inept/incompetent/uncoordinated to do the thing.

...yeah, I need to do a full post soon. I may just make it a free-writing exercise, so I am not paying attention to what I'm writing, so it'll actually get written.

I must say, I never realized how much I missed being able to use HTML in posts, until I realized I had a way to actually make a word italics, rather than ALLCAPS or *surrounded by asterisks*. :)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
I created this journal several years ago (almost 5!), with the express purpose of chronicling my spiritual journey. As I learned more about my path, I figured, I'd update the journal and post my revelations.

That lasted all of a year or so.

In 2012, I had my first crisis of faith, and found myself sliding towards becoming what I would call "an unwilling atheist" -- that is, one who doesn't believe there are gods, but desperately wants to. Just as I want to fly unaided, I also know that it's a physical impossibility, no matter how much I wish it. Over time, I'd swing back and forth between the two extremes of believer (in gods) and atheist. This journal ultimately was effectively abandoned, as wrestling with these questions left me unwilling to put anything down.

So, fast forward to 2016. A friend expressed an interest in getting her online journal going again, and mentioned coming to DreamWidth to "start over". This seemed like good motivation to do the same, myself, because I have been wanting to get back into journaling. I used to post several times a day back on my old LJ, up until I discovered World of Warcraft. Then, as I played through Vanilla and Burning Crusade, my posting frequency plummeted.

What will I post about, now that I have made the conscious decision to start blogging here? I will start to post about spiritual matters again (starting with a "who I am and where I stand" post), but I imagine that I will also post about my D&D/Pathfinder/13th Age/Star Wars RPGs, both current and in development. I will also post about my day from time to time, and even touch on some events from my past, which have come to shape who I am.

My goal right now is one post every other day (on average; so if I do 3 days in a row, I'm off the hook for the next 3).

I will not count this one, but I won't be starting to post until Sunday. Tomorrow is my brother's birthday, and I'm spending it with him. I work Saturday morning, and tentatively have a game that night. I get off at 5pm on Sunday, so I will post then. Right now, I'll plan for that post to be the "state of Anthony as he is in 2016".

Welcome, friends.. let's make this fun.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
 Just reminding anyone lurking that I'm still alive, and that I still use this journal. I'm a different person now than when I created this journal, but that's life. Hang in there, and you might see new content in the near future. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
First come, first served.
Comment on the Facebook post, please, to indicate what you want. Comments here will be ignored.

Blu-Ray ($3)
Immortals 3D

DVD ($1; $5 Season)
Fist of Fire/Touch of Death
The 40-year-old Virgin
City Hunter
Dude, Where's My Car?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Finding Neverland
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Monika Karni
Guess Who
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I am Legend Monika Karni
Johnny English
Kill Bill, Part 1 Justin Milam
Kill Bill, Part 2 Justin Milam
Madagascar Justin Milam
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Night at the Museum
Stranger than Fiction Monika Karni
Wing Commander
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
(Anime) Kodocha, Vol.1
(Anime) X the movie

The Big Bang Theory, Season 1
Chuck, Season 1
Supernatural, Season 1
Supernatural, Season 2
Supernatural, Season 3
(Anime) Soul Hunter, Complete Collection

RPGs ($10 Hardback; $5 Paperback; $2 Adventure)
H - D&D 3.5: Complete Warrior Laura Beth Hinton
H - D&D 3.5: Complete Divine Laura Beth Hinton
H - D&D 3.5: Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss Laura Beth Hinton
H - D&D 3.5: Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells Laura Beth Hinton
H - D&D 3.5: Tome of Magic Laura Beth Hinton
P - Goodman Games: The Complete Guide to the Fey Laura Beth Hinton
H - Green Ronin: Advanced Bestiary
P - Malhavoc Press: The Book of Eldritch Might
P - Malhavoc Press: The Book of Eldritch Might II: Songs and Souls of Power
P - Malhavoc Press: The Book of Hallowed Might
P - Malhavoc Press: Requiem for a God: An Event Book by Monte Cook
P - Perpetrated Press: Factory: A d20 Compendium of Magical Computers, Robots, and Dweoware
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H - Sword & Sorcery: The Tome of Horrors

d20/3.0/3.5 Adventures
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A - Fane of the Witch King (Adv)
A - The Last Initiate (Adv)
A - The Treasures of Elbard (Adv)

d20/3.0/3.5 Setting Books H - Arcana Unearthed Core Rulebook
P - Arcana Unearthed DM's Screen and Player's Guide
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H - Iron Heroes Core Rulebook
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P - Midnight d20: Crown of Shadow
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Paizo (d20/Pathfinder)
H - NPC Codex
H - Ultimate Campaign
A - Tower of the Last Baron (Adv)

Other Games
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P - Serenity RPG: Out in the Black (Margaret Weis Productions) Justin Erik Nichols
H - A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game (Green Ronin Games) Justin Erik Nichols
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H - Werewolf: The Forsaken - Lodges: The Faithful (White Wolf)
H - Werewolf: The Forsaken - Lodges: The Splintered (White Wolf)
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d20/3.0/3.5 Bundles (Items below come together, for the specified price)
Ptolus: City by the Spire (600+ pages; setting)
Ptolus Player's Guide (x4)
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Queen of Lies (Adv)
Curse of the Crimson Throne (Pathfinder 7-12)
Curse of the Crimson Throne Map Folio
Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide
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Fables: The Last Castle
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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol.1
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Meridian: Flying Solo (Digest-size; #1)
Meridian: Going to Ground (Digest-size; #2)
Mystic: Rite of Passage (Digest-size; #1)
Sojourn: From the Ashes (Digest-size; #1)

Love Hina vol.1-14 (Complete Run) ($40)
Maison Ikkoku, vol.1
Maison Ikkoku: Welcome Home, vol. 14
Oh My Goddess!: Mara Strikes Back!

Time-Life Books ($1 each)
Myth & Mankind: Celtic: Heroes of the Dawn Leigh Jenkins
Myth & Mankind: Egyptian: The Way to Eternity George Humphries
Myth & Mankind: Greek & Roman: Titans & Olympians George Humphries
Planet Earth: Arid Lands George Humphries
Planet Earth: Atmosphere George Humphries
Planet Earth: Continents in Collision George Humphries
Planet Earth: Earthquake George Humphries
Planet Earth: Edge of the Sea George Humphries
Planet Earth: Flood George Humphries
Planet Earth: Gemstones George Humphries
Planet Earth: Grasslands and Tundra George Humphries
Planet Earth: Noble Metals George Humphries
Planet Earth: Restless Oceans George Humphries
Planet Earth: Rivers and Lakes George Humphries
Planet Earth: Solar System George Humphries
Planet Earth: Storm George Humphries
Planet Earth: Underground Worlds George Humphries
Planet Earth: Volcano George Humphries

Board Game ($3)
Da Vinci's Challenge Monika Karni

Serenity Merchandise
Serenity: The Official Visual Companion ($10)
Serenity: The Official Movie Magazine ($5)
Serenity: The Novelization ($3)

CDs ($2 each)
2nu - Ponderous
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Bangles - Different Light ($1; case has wax on it)
C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
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Dream Theater - A Change of Seasons George Humphries
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Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity George Humphries
Celtic Heartbeat - The Celtic Heartbeat Collection Laura Beth Hinton
World Rhythms - Celtic Moods
Celtic Treasure - The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan
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Iron Fire - On the Edge
Ivory Moon - Human Nature
Jewel - Bits and Baubles
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Leann Rimes - You Light Up My Life
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Sarah McLachlan - Afterglow
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Testament - Practice What You Preach George Humphries
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DNA^2 - Original Soundtrack (SonMay)
Love Hina - Spring Special Soundtrack
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Marmalade Boy - Original Soundtrack (Ever Anime)
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Speed - First Live (Ho Son Stereo)

Pewter Gaming Miniatures ($1 each)
RAFM 3720 Fire Dragon Yearling Laura Beth Hinton
RAFM 3720 Fire Dragon Yearling Travis Banderob
RAFM 3725 Forest Dragon Yearling Laura Beth Hinton
Adiken AF 011 Necromancer Travis Banderob
Magic: The Gathering #9132 Nettling Imp George Humphries
Arcana Unearthed 67-009 Male Sibeccai Travis Banderob
Chaz Elliott #5003 Elf Magician Laura Beth Hinton
iKore Celtos 12525 Fir Bolg (open) Travis Banderob
iKore Celtos 12501 Morrigan, Priestess of the Horned God Sterling West
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Exalted 61013 Lady of Darkness Travis Banderob
Big Ass Bag of knights and steeds (literally fills a sandwich bag, and weighs about 2-3 lbs) $2 Travis Banderob
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-512 Toxic Spirits 5 pcs (open) Tom Williams
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-551 Blood Mages 4pcs Tom Williams
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-506 Street Mages 4pcs Tom Williams
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-503 Mages 3 pcs Tom Williams
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-589 Lofwyr 9pcs Travis Banderob
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-589 Lofwyr 9pcs Tom Williams
Ral Partha - Shadowrun 20-585 Dunklezahn 9pcs Tom Williams

Mythology & Folklore Books ($3)
King Arthur and his Knights, by Sir James Knowles Leigh Jenkins
Egyptian Legends and Stories, by M.V. Seton-Williams George Humphries

Fiction ($5 hardback; $2 paperback)
Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop (never read)
Big Trouble, by Dave Barry
Fragment, by Warren Fahy
Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson (never read)
The Wayfarer Redemption, by Sara Douglass (never read)
Sir Apropos of Nothing, by Peter David
Knight Life, by Peter David
Daggerspell, by Katherine Kerr
Loamhedge, by Brian Jacques
Myrren's Gift, by Fiona McIntosh
Wizard's First Rule, by Terry Goodkind
Stone of Tears, by Terry Goodkind
Soul of the Fire, by Terry Goodkind
The Painter Knight, by Fiona Patton
To Ride Pegasus, by Anne McAffrey
The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams
A Caress of Twilight, by Laurell K. Hamilton
A Kiss of Shadows, by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Ring of Five Dragons, by Eric van Lustbader
Conquistador, by S. M. Stirling
Timeline, by Michael Crichton (Hardback)
Shadowplay, by Tad Williams (Hardback)
Otherland, Vol.4: Sea of Silver Light, by Tad Williams (Hardback)
Wicked, by Gregory Maguire (Trade Paperback; $4)
A Stroke of Midnight, by Laurell K. Hamilton (Hardback)

Spirituality & Philosophy Books ($5)
Celtic Moon Signs, by Helena Paterson Sterling West
Northern Lore, by Eoghan Odinsson Jen Turner
Northern Mysteries & Magick, by Freya Aswynn Jen Turner
Brothers of the Sun: Pagan Men Mysteries, by Rev. Terry Riley Held by Jack Blackthorn (Pending)
Drawing Down the Moon, by Margor Adler
Njal's Saga, or the Story of Burnt Njal, translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent
Game of Thrones & Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords, by William Irwin
Star Wars & Philosophy: More Powerful than you Can Possibly Imagine, by William Irwin George Humphries
The Sayings of Confucius (Barnes & Noble edition)
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
Today, I am doing the schedule.

I loathe doing the schedule, because it's essentially herding cats combined with no physical labor, resulting in my brain hurting and my body deciding to shut down for a nap spontaneously, simply because I'm sitting still. I sit up straight. I lean back. I don't use the chair back. I drink caffeinated sodas. I get up and walk around every so often. Nothing works to keep me from being in a slothful torpor by the end of the day, and I hate it. You see, I'm normally on my feet all day, running from one thing to the next. When I take lunch, I usually wind up taking a 15-25 minute power nap. Schedule Days™, usually Wednesdays, are the complete opposite, in terms of activity.

Ironically, though, Wednesdays are also when I dislike being called downstairs to help out on the Front. You'd think that, with my battling the torpor, I'd appreciate the diversion and chance to get the blood flowing again. However, they usually occur when I'm deep in concentration on something about the schedule, and the break disrupts my flow of thought, ultimately causing me a delay, rather than helping.

Why am I telling you all of this? It's really a simple answer. Despite planning on sleeping until 730a before I woke up to get ready for work, I got a phone call from work at 607a. Factor in another call at 621a (I use my phone as my alarm clock), and I gave up all hope of falling back to sleep. Perhaps I could have managed it, but a simple breakfast of peanut butter and crackers helped mitigate the lost sleep.

Tonight, I go to my near-sister's home for dinner. I think we're even going to watch Dracula Untold. Then, tomorrow, I'm going to take a dear friend for some outpatient/same day surgery, whatever it's called. I just know I'm picking her up, waiting while it happens, and then bringing her home afterward.

Now, based on the clock, I pretty much have to go get started getting ready. The commute to work is always fun during rush hour. >.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
...since my last post here. I only did two posts over on my Dreamwidth in that time, either. I had to recover my passwords for both accounts, too.

Of course, I spent so long doing that, I can do little else but post that I'm posting, and go to bed. Tomorrow is Schedule Day™.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
(I noticed the fact about 21 as I was looking for a title of the post, and well, 42 answers everything, so... :) )

Today is Litha. Some call it Midsummer (which it is), while some simply say it's the first day of Summer. All are correct, in their own fashion.

Around a fortnight back, I wrote a post where I explained where I was, and how I'd gotten there. It was a kind of "the state of me" post. For those who read it, it allowed them to see how I'd gotten where I am (conflicted almost-athiest with norse and celtic leanings, and a skeptic wanting desperately to believe in magic). For me, it gave me a chance to analyze my choices that brought me to this point, without the emotions roiling around when an event is fresh in my mind.

I ended that post by saying that I hoped to have something in mind by June 21, because that date has been feeling important to me for over a month now.

Well, it's just past 9pm local time on June 21, and I can sum up my day in less than five seconds: slept, read, slept, played WoW, ate, slept, read, baked, read, slept. I was going to list specifics, but after working on it for 10 minutes, I decided it doesn't really matter. I spent the day alone, slept when I needed to, and spent more time reading than I have in one day in several months.

I don't know much about what Litha means historically. One of my Norse friends just calls it "the barbecue of the gods", and many consider it an excuse to have a pool involved. While I seem to recall that my Norse friend said it was more like Beltaine, because of the shorter growing season, that doesn't work for someone living at the 35th parallel. I could have done some research on it, like I'd suggested in the previous post, but I didn't, because I am still uncertain about what my next step is.

This time of year has a lot of meaning for some reason that wasn't immediately clear when I started writing this post. Apparently, I tend to get things or do things around this time of year.

Four years ago, right around this date (I beleive it was June 23), I got my first hammer in the mail. It was from Alchemy Gothic. I thought it was nice, and a pretty cool hammer, though my Norse friend had a note of contempt in his voice for Alchemy Gothic. I should have ignored that, because it was MY hammer, for ME. I didn't, though, and the fact that I recall that detail four years later is really telling.

Three years ago, on this date, I ordered The Druidcraft Tarot. I like the deck, but I don't "feel" Tarot. I won't say I "feel" the Runes, either, but I get a much better feeling from them, perhaps because of my association with words over images. When I work with the Runes, I'm assembling words and sentences. (Whoa, cool. Didn't see that before I wrote that.)

Last year, I got my Freyja statue for my altar. I love that statue. At the time, I believed that I was fully in love with Freyja. Even now, I feel a sadness at the thought that those feelings were transient. It's simple to suggest that they aren't, if I'm questioning it, but I just don't know. There are varying degrees to which I could have misinterpreted things. It may not have been as a lover. It may have been another deity, and I just assumed it was Freyja (after all, what do I know about all this?). It may have just been my imagination, and I was just finding something to give me comfort in a world without gods.
One thing I did today, was actually something I did NOT do. I have not opened my door or any window since the last gamer left at 100am last night. Normally, I open it for a moment, just to literally stick my head outside and look around. I almost did, but felt an urge to stay sealed away.

As I was reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight, I felt something of a version of myself from years ago trying to return. Oh, with the old book and music, one could argue it was bound to happen, but I was struck by the realization that I could see and touch my more creative side that used to be much more open and exposed. I didn't immediately have a million ideas running through my head. Rather, I felt that I could do that, if I wanted it. I wanted to write a D&D campaign or standalone story. I saw how the novel broke down into a gaming session (and even noticed some glaring typos/misused words), even as I reveled in the walk down memory lane.

This feeling culminated in this post, as a way of chronicling (no pun intended) my day on this special day, opposite Yule (one of my favorite holidays). I don't quite feel different, nor would I really say I feel better. I just am, as I exist right now. I have joy at times. Other times, I have boundless sorrow.

I can say, though, that I am slowly discovering that I am not comfortable sharing anything that looks like love with anyone. My jokes, my wit, my nonchalance about emotions, my burying of emotions that aren't scary, all work together to protect me from being hurt again.

It has occurred to me that this probably goes back to my childhood. My mom left us for California. My father never was there emotionally (except, interestingly, in the ways I listed above). My aunt cut ties because of her husband. My first girlfriend (over the phone -- ha!) broke it off the second she thought I wasn't pretty. My first real girlfriend fucked around on me, for literally no reason but she liked an ex-boyfriend and felt like it. The girl I had a better connection with than any other in my life, was gone from my life after the one night we hung out and cilcked like peanut butter and jelly (and I never learned her name). The list goes on. Whenever I've stuck my neck out, I get it chopped off. After a time, I think that I shifted gears, and became the aggressor, so that at least *I* was the one doing the hurting. Yeah, that helped.
There is more I have yet to discover, but that's probably a post for another time.

Happy Midsummer Solstice, all.