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Lately, I’ve been looking up.

That’s not a metaphor, I’ve just honestly been trying to look up more.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I spend a lot of time looking down, even if just slightly. I’ve seen plenty of ground and floor. Watched my feet kick things around. Seen dust collected at the corners of rooms, stains on carpets. Observed bugs dancing across lines of asphalt.

It’s when I’m not immediately focused on something. If I’m waiting somewhere or walking. When I’m talking on the phone or bopping around to different projects at work. Whatever it is, my eyes tend to be either straight forward or down. A 90 degree field of vision  encompassing mostly floor. Maybe not 90 degrees, per se, because walking around looking straight down would be odd, but you get my point.

Recently, I’ve been changing that. If I’m idle, I’ve been trying to raise my head, look at what’s above me. I’ve especially been enjoying this when walking around outside, even just to go get the mail or through my parking lot at work. Trees I’ve seen every single day are suddenly a lot more majestic. I’ve been able to notice details about buildings that I otherwise wouldn’t, subtle flaws or hard to reach imperfections. I’ve watched birds zipping to and fro. I’ve observed weather building or dissipating at different times of day. Seen the light dance across the sky in different colors throughout the day.

All in all, looking up more just makes the world feel larger. When you set your gaze on a downward path, your line of site has a definitive end. You build a definable space where your mind and reality can exist, a bubble constrained by the presence of the ground and the edges of your vision. Only things in that bubble exist for you: a limited world of your  creation, made larger or smaller by a simple tilt of the head, but always confined. Directing things upward opens up the world immensely. A vast band of vision stretches out, encompassing so much more color and light. It seems like such a simple change, but it just adds so much more depth to the world, so much more life. Suddenly your world is rich and full of possibility. It’s vibrant and dynamic. All with a simple change of perspective.

Maybe it is a metaphor.


Roll Call: Table Rules

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When playing tabletop games, it’s understandable that people might not get along. Different people have different ideas of what a game night means. To some people it might be “hey, let’s get some brews and pay half attention to a game.” Others might see it as a focused and quiet experience, while others still might see the game as a background activity to something else, like conversation or watching a movie. It’s reasonable that a group of friends might not agree on exactly what sort of reverence should be put toward a game. As such, when they come into a session or an RPG or board game, they may be more or less focused than others at the table, more or less sober than others or generally doing something that is a pet peeve of someone else without them knowing.

The way around this is to establish some house/table rules when playing tabletop games. Now, your first reaction might be that this sounds too strict. Afterall, they’re just games. That’s definitely fair, and if your group is the type that meets to game once in a blue moon, then by all means, let people run rampant. However, if you are regularly meeting with your gaming group for more adventures in tabletopping, then you’ve gone beyond just games: this is now a hobby and your group is a club of individuals taking part in that hobby. You are a crew. A squad. A gang of nerdy droogs. As such, everyone at the table has some level of passion for the hobby, so it’s reasonable to have a discussion of what sort of parameters the group may need to put in place to ensure nobody’s experience is stifled. It might not be easy, getting people to agree, and then one of two things may need to happen.
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Breaking Coverage: Batman’s Nemesis

Well folks, it’s happened: The most ambitious crossover in history has hit the shelves. That’s right. Archie Meets Batman ’66 is finally here.

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Damn, Batman… chill.

Here we have some innocent teens in the 1960s just trying to have band practice and then BAM, in swoops Adam  West and a guy in man-panties and now Archie has to explain to his dad why the shed’s window is smashed. I mean look at them all, they’re terrified. What the hell did they do to deserve such swift, brutal justice?

Wait, hold on.

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Okay, so Jughead totally did something.
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I absolutely love the ocean. For some reason, my entire life, I have loved the ocean. The sounds, the smell, the cool water, all of it soothes me. In times of severe stress I find myself YEARNING for it, imagining it. I sometimes listen to ocean sounds while I read or write just for how it calms me. I’ve just always felt this connection, a strong pull to the shores of the world, where this endless blue abyss meets land.

What’s bizarre is that the ocean absolutely terrifies me. I will never be caught too far from land, and the idea of some sort of ocean voyage, cruise ship or otherwise, is completely out of the question. Rogue waves, horrible undersea beasts, the endless stretch on uninhabitable blue death. My single greatest fear is the idea of treading water in the middle of the ocean. Something about being stranded in a place where any number of things can take my life and I would be very much unaware of its approach, and even if I saw it coming, I could do very little to prevent my doom, since humans are horribly ill-equipped to handle water on our own. Seriously, fuck the ocean, man…
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Breaking Coverage: A Twist of the Knife

Batman #50 came out this week, and people are fairly disappointed in the result. For those Not in the know, Batman and Catwoman were getting married this issue, and the event was HIGHLY publicized, with news sites that aren’t even comic-specific reporting on the impending nuptials, most notably the New York Times. Throughout the 26 issues following the proposal, writer Tom King handle the relationship of Bat and Cat extraordinarily well and made their resolve to marry really just fit with their personalities and roles in crime fighting. It was a romance grounded in crazy world of killer clowns and patent-leather justice. Somehow, it just felt real.

So, what happened?
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