On a Break

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So, May is crazy.

Trips and changing things around and working on projects. So much going on this month, I’m not even sure I’ll make it out the same on the other side. I mean, April was  busy enough, but MAY? Holy Toledo…

Like that shit, right there. “Toledo.”

When did I start saying “Holy Toledo?”

Anyway, I’m going to take a month off from the blog. I have a few chainsaws in the air, so I want to have more time to focus on them.

What chainsaws you ask?

This one: RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

And this one over here: VRRRRM VRRRRM VRRRRM

And a few others that I don’t have anything definitive for right now. (I’ll add chainsaws as they come up)

Catch me on instagram if you want to keep up (it’s really the only social media I use anymore). Going to MegaCon in May, so probably get some good stuff on there soon that isn’t just me complaining about food related things.

I am going to try and still have content pop up, maybe some guest blogs. So we’ll see.

Catch y’all in June!

~C

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&Run

^^^Love this song.

Anywho, this post isn’t about the song, awesome though it may be.

I’ve started running again. Moreover, I’ve started running at NIGHT!

Cue “but what about dangerous muggers” talk.

Okay, fair, running at night isn’t for everyone. You certainly want to be in an area where it’s cool to do so and safe to do so. Be it safe from wild animals or wild muggers or the even more terrifying Wyld Stallyns, though then you just get a sweet party in a cool 1980’s styley.
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A Little Bit of Reprieve

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So, I’ve missed a few weekly posts lately.

Things have been intense. The Wife and I have decided to restructure our apartment so that it focuses more on function over form. We just came to the realization that the way we laid everything out was more based on “how rooms should be laid out” and not “this is how we want it.” So we shoved the computer and desk into the second bedroom of our 2/2, put the couch smack dab in the middle of the living room facing the TV, etc etc etc. However, two weeks ago we just decided it just wasn’t making it easy to do the things we want to do in life.

We had a dining room table that we honestly never use, a dresser that just took up way too much space, and a handful of other shelving things that were unnecessarily bulky. We shipped those away with some haulers to be donated somewhere, moved the desk out to the main area and set up stations throughout the apartment. There’s a small table for painting miniatures, a crafting desk for Tee’s cosplay and etsy stuff, a reading nook, and the full desk for writing and research and photoshop and whatever else. In our bedroom, we even managed a small music area with a keyboard and guitars. It’s fetch as hell.

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What we had come to terms with is that there are so many hobbies and creative things and productive things and yadda yadda that we want to do on a regular basis, but we have been hindered by honestly just being to lazy to set them up. I’d like to get back into piano, but getting the keyboard out of the closet and setting it up somewhere was dreadful. We both want to paint, be it minis or canvas or other things, but that would involve finding an area with good light, setting up a table, and hunching into it for a few hours. We were constantly barred from these things we want to do, and hell ENJOY doing, by simply not wanting to do any set up and tear down. That’s why the two of us don’t play many board games one on one, because getting the gaming table (a large foldable poker table) out was just a hassle through and through. Now everything simply boils down to sitting down and doing, no set up required.

And it’s super friggin nice. Being able to dive into things whenever. We replaced a bunch of the shelving we removed with more compact Ikea pieces and VOILA! Functional home.

However, I am now super pooped. We were doing this all while traveling to see family, dealing with holidays and special events, Tee quitting her old job and finding a new one, and me finally being fed up with my daily schedule and thus switching my sleep schedule around dramatically (a three-ish hour shift back so I wake up right before work instead of 3 hours before work).

With how busy I’ve been, I found that I was in this sort of mode where I’m trying to make sure everything is a rigorously planned itinerary. Every moment for the past few weeks has been “what do I do now” or “what gets built or moved or created.” My expectations for how I spend my time have shot through the freakin’ roof to the point where tonight I’m literally a bit light-headed from the fatigue of going full 110% for 20+ days. It’s not a good look.

It culminated today with me literally being in a panic about how I wanted to spend my Saturday. SATURDAY. MY WEEKEND had become something that needed a strict schedule. I was wracking my brain with what felt like the right choice. Should I go somewhere? Maybe play some video games with my boys. Perhaps go out drinking for the holiday. Maybe lie in bed and do nothing. All of these things, mind you, are things that are typically not approached the same way someone would approach a problem like “okay, which spreadsheet takes priority according to deadlines?” However, here I was, trying to rigorously fold it out.

Then suddenly I had an epiphany: What if I just didn’t plan? What if one whole day I just let myself do whatever I felt like and didn’t worry about if it was the best use of my time?

So, I’m not planning SHIT for Saturday. I am a directionless floater. A leaf on the wind.

And it feels nice.

The message: Sometimes it’s good to leave a schedule blank. Let your whims decide the outcome. Feel like video games? Play ’em. Friend wants to hang out? Do or don’t based on how you feel (and be comfortable saying NO, it’s your life and they should understand that). Want to get some chores done? Cool! Weirdly adulty, but cool! Just ride the wave. Just exist. Let your feelings drive.

So, I’m gonna dial things back a bit with the go-go-fucking-go attitude I’ve had recently. Just coast a bit.

It’s good to start feeling back on track, to be honest.

~C

Steps

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I have a friend who wants to be an actor.

Anytime somebody asks what his one true goal in life is, that’s what he says. To act. To be paid to act. To have a career in acting to some degree.

However, he actively does nothing to progress this dream. He acted in high school and college, but ceased regularly auditioning for roles after that. He works in a field he isn’t interested in. He’s done some small videos for local productions and one theater production a couple years back. I’ve occasionally told him about productions I’ve heard about or paid commercial gigs. He appreciates it, but never actively pursues it. Over the years I’ve heard him mention time or long-term plans or not being the right fit.

The cycle always ends the same: My friend passes on opportunities and then laments not having the career he so desires.

Unfortunately, my friend’s story, while an extreme example, is not uncommon with many people I know and have spoken to over the years. People find something they want or something they’d like changed, but take no action to achieve it. They so desperately want their life to be one way, but they avoid taking any of the appropriate steps to do so. I myself still have plenty of things that I wish upon wish for, but seem to pass on constantly for various reasons.
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Calm

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[I wasn’t paid or asked to make this post. Simply sharing praise on my own accord]

Just want to take a moment to praise the Calm app.

Sometime last year I picked up this app out of interest based on their commercials. You’ve probably seen them: the soft sounds of rain falling on leaves behind a command to do nothing for 30 seconds or so. It’s effective marketing because it presents itself like a challenge. Whether you’re just idly watching TV or using it as background music, the isolated sounds of the drizzle pull your awareness to the screen and the countdown timer locks you in. I found myself stopping whatever else I was doing anytime this commercial came on and just focusing on the sound. Then it pops up with “Calm” and how to find the app. It’s effective marketing in the most simplistic because it’s jarring in it’s lack of noise and music like so many other commercials. It because noticeable because of its serenity, which is exactly what Calm is getting at: breaking from the noise of life to spend a small amount of time every day being calm.
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Busy-ness is My Business

I recently read an incredible article from Buzzfeed News titled “How Millenials Became the Burnout Generation” by Anne Helen Petersen. It was an extremely insightful article and really connected to me on a personal level. It was cathartic going through the piece and seeing feelings and struggles I regularly experience described and analyzed. The roots of issues sussed out and expanded upon. Honestly, it’s worth a read whether you are a millennial or not and whether you feel exhaustion or not.

I definitely understand the concept of “errand paralysis” and it’s connection to exhaustion. I have such little time day to day that I’ve had to throw a lot of the things to the wayside, those things often being matters of cleaning, organizing and general home upkeep. My time is a premium and I need to be dedicating as much of it as I can to the things important to me. I find myself, much like the examples in Petersen’s article, constantly so busy with other things that errands and chores become too mundane to factor in. The freaky thing is that I never even realized I was doing it. I was shoving things off to the next day or the next week without really comprehending why.
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A Year in Movies

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Toward the end of 2017, I got into the habit of seeing one movie in theaters every single week. It became a steady part of my routine, so much so that I dedicated myself to seeing one movie a week every week of 2018 and keeping a rolling list.

I failed.

Not miserably so, I ended up being just 5 shy. Various weeks of extreme business and the inevitable business of the holidays prevented me from fully reaching my goal. Still, 47 movies in a year is not bad.
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The Ultimate

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With Into the Spider-Verse receiving insanely high and much deserved praise from critics and viewers alike, I wanted to take a quick moment to talk about Miles Morales and why we need to do whatever we can to keep him in the mainstream limelight.

Miles is by no means new. He’s been in the comics since 2011 and in cartoons since 2014 or so. However, his appearance on the big screen, as a main character at that, is the first time Miles has become a household name. A whole movie focuses on his origin, from bite to getting his own costume and saving the day. This is Miles’s moment, and it is blowing up around the internet. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Miles is the superhero kids today need to know about and look up to. He is the absolute best superhero role model for today’s youth, much more so than Peter Parker.
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Guide to Nerd Shopping

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I don’t have very long to write because I still have a Podcast Episode to finalize and packing to do for traveling south for Holiday stuff. Busy time of year. Yeesh.

I did however want to do a quick community service post. This topic hits really close to home for me as I get approached about it quite a lot, specifically like so:

My [FRIEND/RELATION] is really into [HOBBY/COLLECTIBLE]. Which one should I get them?

Okay, at the very get-go, this is nearly impossible for someone to just SOLVE. Namely, the question just doesn’t have enough information. Whether the person is into board games, comics, movies, figures, roleplaying games, or anything, simply approaching someone also familiar with those things and saying “find them a gift” is not going to cut it. Typically, I respond with three questions:

  1. Do you know what they need?
  2. Do they frequently by new [PRODUCT] or just have an extended library of classics?
  3. Do you mind getting them something they potentially already have?

I ask these questions because it helps me dictate what the appropriate item to purchase for a gift should be. To alleviate the NEED for the questions, I’m going to give you the three key gifts for someone with a hobby. This can be anything from tabletop war games to stamp collecting to shoes and clothes. Essentially if there is something that someone spends a distinct portion of their time gathering, learning about and engaging in, here is how to shop for them once the Holidays roll around.

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Excelsior!

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The big news this week is that Stan Lee, Marvel mastermind and general imagination advocate, passed away on Monday at the age of 95. By now, we’ve all heard about it, and most people appear to be responding in the same way.

All this week, I’ve had people come up to me or message me asking what I think. I’ve had a lot of people telling me how the news ruined their day or generally bummed them out. People on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit have been sharing stories and pictures of Stan Lee. A myriad of artists have posted tribute pieces to Stan the Man. There has been a massive, collective vigil across the comics community and it’s impressive to see. Honestly, it’s a testimony to the effect he had on the world.

I think what’s important when a celebrity passes is to focus on their achievements. Focus on the fact that they were able to put something into the world and watch it grow. They were able to cultivate so much love and admiration simply out of their talents and determination. Look at them for inspiration and drive forward. If they truly touched your heart or inspired you in some way, then make them proud. Focus that grieving energy on living the life THEY would want you to lead.

In the case of Stan Lee, we have a man who was actively working and creating all the way up to his passing. While his last year may have seen him slowing a bit as he dealt with pneumonia and some conflict with people close to him, he still continued to interact with fans and do what he can to inspire people. Stan Lee passes having left behind a massive legacy that he got to watch rise, nearly fall, and come back even stronger. He got to see the birth of a whole new way of telling the stories he had helped cultivate. He got to expand and refine his abilities, dipping into everything from Manga to poetry to video games. This man was an absolute power house of imagination and passion. It’s really no surprise so many feel the way they do right now.

Hell, I want that. The truth of the world is that we all have to go sometime, and honestly that right there is the perfect way to go out: still passionate, still creating, still watching your legacy thrive. Going out on top. Being a superhero all the way to the end.

So let’s all try to live our lives the way Stan did. Let’s all find our passion and spend every waking hour with it. Let’s give back into the world and expect only happiness in return. Let’s challenge ourselves and break out of our comfort zones from time to time in the name of extending our reach. Let’s build legacies that touch as many people as we can. Not for us, but for them. Let’s use our talents to give people something to look toward or escape to or find comfort in.

We all, each and every one of us, has the power to bring joy to others.

We just have to find the responsibility.

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~C