Geek Love

So TLC recently aired a new two episode premiere called "Geek Love."  Probably the most interesting discussion point that came up after watching this show with her, well... I was more playing a game on the laptop called "Gratuitous Space Battles."  Basically, imagine a game where all you do is decide whether you want your Imperial cruiser to have powered armor, ablative armor, shields, reflective shields, regenerating shields, auto-repair systems, fusion lasers, quantum blasters, defence (silly Europeans) lasers, missile launchers, decoy missiles, rocket launchers, targeting lasers, missile defense lasers...

Okay, so now you're probably aware of why this show was so interesting to her, but anyway...  We were watching Geek Love and the interesting discussion point came up when I was asked a simple question.  "Do you ever wish you married a geek girl instead?"

RED ALERT! RED ALERT!  A trap question was identified to our port side.

Questionable questions aside, it was an honest question.   The simple answer was, "No."  The longer answer was, "No. Never."

Alright, so you'd like a bit further discussion on the subject matter? I certainly hope so as that's what I'll be doing for a few more paragraphs.  Basically, the unimagineable awesomeness of her largely comes from the fact that she isn't a geek girl, or much more importantly... she isn't what I wanted.  Or at least that I thought I had.

An oft told story is how I met her on a blind date.  Blind dates are, for the most part, innately random.  Almost like a dark splotch on our fantastically beautiful world that we call the cosmos.  I used to loathe whoever came up with the idea of "blind dates."  Granted, I loathed them moreso because I never got to go out on them, but the premise seemed flawed at best.  If I can't get a date with someone I know, who says that someone I don't know would even care?  Cause let's face it... there is probably something wrong with you if you can't get dates with people you know.

"Hey, want to go on a date with my friend?  He's a really nice guy but can't ever seem to find girls that want to go out with him.  I mean, he's got a lot of interesting hobbies but not used to talking to women.  I mean, he's got a great personality!  So... how about he picks you up this Saturday at 8?"

That scenario does little to inspire confidence, which consequently landed me in my loathsome state.  Of course, nothing was ever wrong with me.  It was everyone else who had the problems!

Internal monologuing aside, I had recently been hooked on a song by The Fray when I was dating her, and everything clicked.  The song is titled "She Is" and here's the chorus part"
"She is everything I need that I never knew I wanted
She is everything I want that I never knew I needed"
Granted, the body of the song paints a different picture, but disregard that for the moment.  Returning to my earlier sentiment, it's less about not wanting her, and moreso about all the things I had previously wanted not fulfilling what I needed.

Now I'm no Romeo, but it never worked out with any of the girls I pursued before.  Obviously, otherwise this whole trite dialogue would be non-existent.  No, what I did realize was the things that I wanted, or thought I wanted, were doing little for me.  They weren't the things I needed.  The things that would inspire confidence, courage, charm, curiosity, or compassion.  All these things I found in her; the one person I thought was so enigmatically impossible to find from such a random social encounter apart from societal norms. And our encounter was so ironically chaotic that it astounds me there was success at all, if not by magnificent design.

So to return to my previous answer, "No. Never."  Any thought of me marrying someone else or engaging the thought of a different person with which I might share interests is futile and furthest from my heart.  I've dated them all before, and I have no desire to return.  In truth, I am so changed  by her that I never will.

The Price of Games

This is a battle known well by her.  One that comes from deep within each moment upon which my eyes perceive to themselves a gem that is worth desiring.  A lesson from long ago, forever buried in my conscience.  How does one justify paying so much for a game?

Video gaming is an expensive hobby, depending on how you go about it.  For any real collector, you're bound to be spending quite a bit of money each year.  Significantly more than a subscription to Netflix, The Grocery Game, and probably even your data plan for that snazzy phone you bought (not realizing how the evil corporations that control the air waves are slowly bleeding you dry of your precious capital savings).  Honestly, it's quite hard to find any justification for buying a game which, after playing for approximately 10 hours, you'll probably finish, put on the shelf, and forget about by the time the "new hot thing" has arrived that you "simply must own."  The other problem with gaming is that the medium is not prone toward legacy value, unless you have something particularly iconic.  While years from now, people may still be playing (and even bidding on ebay for) the original Super Mario Bros., you're less than likely to find someone who will want to be playing Call of Duty 3 when they'll have moved on to better, faster, newer versions of the series (for those keeping track, the eighth iteration will be retailing in November).  With some exceptions, books are by and far, in comparison, much more likely to continue on into existence (either as they become completely free or as the electronic reading continues to advance in market share).

Arguably, this sort of metric can be expanded to criticize any pleasure spending.  My key weakness is food, as I enjoy food immensely.  I will pay for food.  I will pay people to make food for me.  I will pay people to make bad food for me.  If you feed me, I will pay.  For others, their weakness may be coffee, cigarettes, caffeine, CrossFit... the list goes on, creatively speaking.

Luckily, as far as gamers are concerned, there is a system much like Netflix for the distribution of games across the country to the various households of subscribers.  It's still quite expensive (though less than a data plan for your phone), but it helps ease the burden of buying games and selling them back for minimal return value.  In fact, such a glorified rental service provides the necessary venue to trying out games that you know you would like to play but would never buy (as they are too short, you're unsure if you would enjoy it, etc.).  For someone like myself, a recognized gaming aficionado, having a fairly inexpensive opportunity to keep abreast of the goings on in the video game world... this is certainly a cost that can be justified (if only vainly).

So without further ado, I signed up for the service and will be chronicling my experiences with it.  Hopefully, it will gain good remarks, but I will not hold back any biting criticisms if I believe they are relevant, necessary, and true.  Meanwhile, if you yourself would care to tread new ground alongside myself, I happen to be the holder of a "Buy 1 month, get 1 month free" web coupon (new buyers only).  For one game out a month, the price is a grumbling $16.95+tax.  The 2 or 3 game out plans increase by a grueling six dollars.

Much like Netflix, you set up a queue and get what is available (presumably in the order you've designated).  So what is available depends largely on your interests, but I was surprised at the number of readily available Wii titles that I have always had the intention of picking up but never did.  I signed up for the service, thinking I would put at most five games in my queue.  After looking through their wares, mine is now up to twenty-four games.

And only two of those were "low" in availability.

Upcoming Wizardry

So the latest Harry Potter movie will be gracing theaters this weekend, and it seems like every cable channel known to man is running movie marathons of the mightily magical miscreant himself (had to fit in a few more "m"s in that last sentence).  An exciting time for sure, that is if you enjoy crowded rooms with loud, annoying, obnoxious fans that hem, haw, laugh, cry, and comment on anything and everything that appears on screen.  I'm sorry, but I'm here to see a movie... not to hear some delirious person scream "It's HARRY POTTER!!!" every time Daniel Radcliffe comes on screen.

I used to treasure my midnight showings of opening releases.  Now, I treasure my crotchety old self who enjoys the visual and auditory exclusion of others as I experience a media exposure in mental isolation.  Besides, there are people who "dress up" for these movies (much like some do for Star Wars) with the least bit of actual creative inspiration.  Anyone can throw on a cloak and be a wizard, or a jedi, or a vampire.  Please keep your wands to yourself while we're waiting in line, thank you.  This is a public area and there are children present (or at least people who think they're children).  So I avoid these showings and prefer for the more "adult" ones.

Yes, I go to the movies at 10AM on Saturday morning because it's cheaper ($6 at AMC) and because this weeds out the much louder crowd (and crowds in general for that matter).  Which is a breath of fresh air considering that time I went to see Twilight with her.  Some people forget that this is a shared viewing experience, and I don't want your cowl blocking my view of sexy boy wizards.


I know it's probably cliché of me to keep philosophizing on this blog, but you all will have to indulge me for one more metaphysical memoir.

In each and every moment, whether breathing, sleeping, dreaming, or eating... I am uncontrollably moving through time.  No matter what I do, these moments are irrevocable save for a distant memory or tour of nostalgia.  Arguably, I consider this the world's most precious resource... time.

When pondering my chronological travels, it makes me reflect further on what I make of these precious materials.  It is impossible for anyone to feasibly make good intentioned use out of each second, yet how many countless minutes have I thrown away on insignificant endeavors.  When I could clean house, I watch television.  When I could design my game, I instead surf the web.  When I could blog, I fill my time with flash games.

Eventually, I think on all the time I allot for Him and for her, probably less than I should.  Probably less than I say I would.  Definitely, less than I could.  Yet no amount of self-centered reflection accounts for any recovering of lost moments.

I intend to make better use of mine.  While intentions will not slow my journey forward, they may better guide me toward the paths I would rather travel.  Cause eventually I will be out of time entirely.

Years Later

I graduated in 2008, five years after I entered college (and after I subsequently dropped out and re-enrolled).  Five years of piddling around trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life.  This was a primary reason I considered enlisting in the Air Force instead of going to college (a decision I sometimes regret).  But I made it through and got a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders.

Last week, two of my friends became doctors (one of which was my best man and freshman roommate).  A few others are finishing up getting their CCC's (which is what you're supposed to do with the type of degree I got).  Honestly, the biggest thing that came across me this weekend is how fast time goes by.  Some of my friends have already finished 4 years of graduate school.  However, inevitably it came to... gee, what have I accomplished.

When I got out of college, I landed a job that didn't even require a degree.  It was (and has been) a sore point for me, which has only been somewhat offset by health and dental benefits.  Previously, I felt like I had wasted five years of my life in college, and now I felt those fears confirmed.  However, I was determined to not let this get the better of me and proceeded to create a short-term plan (since that's what every self help source seems to say).

In fact, I considered my job as a stepping stone on my three year plan.  The plan was to work at my university for three years, moving up or laterally through various offices over that time, and then finally seek employment elsewhere when time was up.  By that time, I would've explored other career paths, discovered what my dream job would be, and could attempt to pursue it.  Unfortunately, my job became less of a stepping stone and more like a stop sign.  There was no moving up or laterally, and in some ways there was only moving down (see a previous post on this blog about how my net gain has diminished).

Come August, my three year plan will have ended... and ultimately be derailed.  I'm no closer to finding my dream job (let alone acquiring it), or even just figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

My friends are doctors... and I'm the guy, wearing a tie, not even sure who he is trying to impress anymore.

One of Those Days

There are some days where I just don't want to get out of bed, where I don't want to wake up, where I don't want to take the extra effort to wear a dress shirt and tie, where I don't want to drive for half an hour to a job I don't particularly enjoy, where I don't want to spend half a day working on things and accomplishing little, and where I just want to pretend like this day never even started.

Then I get home and realize that the one thing that makes it all better is coming home to her.

The Great Food Truck Race

There's a phenomenon driving across our country that I have rarely partaken in.  That is about to change...

A while ago, the Food Network hosted a show about food trucks.  It was an interesting show to watch, and one that led her and I with whet appetites.  Unfortunately for us, many of these trucks were far away or catered to neighborhoods not near our own (no way I was driving to downtown LA just for some food).

Reluctantly, this desire to sample some of the racers fell back into "wish it could be, but probably won't" status.  That is until I found out that the runner-up truck (and indeed, the truck that seemed most appealing) would be in our neck of the woods city.  While I don't consider myself a "foodie," I certainly have a personal love for food (just ask my thighs).  I simply couldn't let this chance pass me by.  Unfortunately, it ultimately would.

When we arrived, this scene greeted us.  Look at the chaos!  Look at the frightening sights of crowds!  Look at how maliciously that child in the center of the frame is dragging her mother as if her arm was merely a leash!  Actually, it wasn't that bad.  There were some lines here and there (and parking was nuts!), but we were able to move freely about and peruse the finely cooked wares.  Within seconds, our prey stood before us like a magnificent beast waiting to bless us with its bounty.

What's this?!  The doors aren't even open yet?!  Indeed.  That treasured sandwich we lusted after most was not yet being served, and the line only continued to grow. I don't have any pictures of it, but you'll have to believe me when I say that it would've probably taken us at least an hour to get food.  The Nom Nom Truck wasn't ready for our awesomeness.

This was terrible news!  I was hungry, and the belly monster was ready to burst forth in Hulk-like fashion (you wouldn't like me when I'm hungry).  With our stomach-defeated hearts, we instead turned to our next best (and cheapest) option: a Brazilian food truck that was next door.

It was called... Ta Bom.  I'm not exactly sure what made my street tacos "Brazilian," but I didn't mind so much. They were small, but it was to be expected.  In fact, "street" is probably synonymous with "small" when it comes to food truck fare.  Regardless of their menu's vocabulary, the important part was that it was readily prepared and hastily devoured.

Overall, a 7 out of 10 in my opinion.  The food was good but hardly "ta bom".  They lost a point for not having their whole menu available and not easily decipherable (I wasn't able to get a burrito for her).  We also snacked at a place serving fresh fries (consequentially called Fresh Fries).  Probably 7 out of 10 on the fries too, but how does one rate fries by themselves?  Mine were curly, but the sweet ones were for her.

Sad because we didn't get our food of choice, we decided to make it up to ourselves with treats from Cool Haus.  Yet we had to leave that food truck equally disappointed.  Their line, while short, was moving too slow.  Already an hour had passed, and we had things to do and video games to play.

Moral of the story:  While appetizing and appealing, the Food Truck Experience™ (you're darned right I've got a trademark) takes a long time to...  well, experience.  Future adventurers should remember to provide themselves with ample time.  I know that's what I'll be doing.

In the words of Doctor Claw, "I'll get you next time, Nom Nom!  Next time!"

Confessions of a Cat-aholic

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I sing to my cats.  Sure, I bet there are many other feline fans who do likewise.  But I take it to a-whole-nother level.

I change the lyrics of  popular songs to be about cats (and sometimes specifically my cats).  Hopefully, these lyrics say more about my cats then it does about my music preferences.  Some examples include, but are certainly not limited to...

I'd catch a toy mouse for ya,
Rub my hand through your fur for ya,
I'd chase you 'round the whole house for ya,
You know I'd do anything for ya
(Bruno Mars, "Grenade")

Cause baby, you're a cu----te kitten! Come on, show them your fur mittens!
Make them go aw-aw-aw, as you snuggle cross their lap-lap-lap!
(Katy Pery, "Firework")

All the single kitties (all the single kitties), put your paw up (up), up in the house (house), gonna go lay in the sun...
If you like it, then you should put catnip on it,
If you like it, then you should put catnip on it
(Beyonce, "Single Ladies")

She take my lap, when I'm in need,
Yeah, she's a purrin' friend indeed.
She's a small kitty, cute as can be
And she digs on me...
Now I ain't saying, she's a gold kitty...
(Kanye West, "Gold Digger")

Now, I do sometimes come up with original songs, but radio tunes are the things I most often catch myself singing to one of my furry companions.  However, I may be broaching even new depths heights, as I recently caught myself quoting famous poems (with interjected "cat-tations").

Let's just say, it's a good thing that Edgar isn't alive to hear my rendition of "The Raven."  Though it was certainly amusing to her.

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if some kitty gently rapping, scratching at my linens' door

To which I replied, "Nevermore!"

The Incredible Shrinking Paycheck

This past weekend, I discovered that may most recent deposit was... smaller than I would've liked.  In fact, it was smaller than I had anticipated.  To put it frankly, the revelation was depressing.

But while it's easy to get caught up watching the black ink going down, it's important to remember the bigger picture.  While I'll admit that I don't envy myself for the job I currently hold, there have been some significant benefits from my current employment (despite what may appear to be diminished returns).  Here is just a sampling:

  • My job has given me a job (which is surprisingly more significant than unemployment)
  • My job has provided the three things I desired before getting engaged:
    • A job (see how handy these things are?)
    • Health and Dental Insurance
    • Money for rent
  • My job has granted a large discount graduate tuition for her
  • My job has supplied multiple venues (and incentives) for carpooling
  • My job has a good environment
  • And more...

It's important I never forget or discredit what my job is providing for me and her, but I should not accept complacency or cease to strive to better myself.  I may certainly have a good job, but it is not the "best" job (and especially not the best job for me, personally).  There is a career out there for me somewhere, perhaps in fields I've yet to experience.

I should not look down on my present, but in turn look forward and upward toward my future.  It may be difficult or even arduous at times, but nobody ever said life was "easy."  In fact, they've all said it was hard.

The Lunch Blog

That's probably what I should change the title to, since it's the only time I ever seem to find to blog.  Today's lunch is brought you by the letter "P" for pesto chicken and potatoes.

If you don't know it already, I have a Twitter account.  I can't say I'm the tweeting type, or the kind of person that Twitter was designed for... but that won't stop me from trying to use it.  You can find me here.  I would add a button on here, but it messes with some of the design layout and look ugly because of my custom CSS settings (I really wish I knew more about webdesign).  I'll figure it out eventually or just be mysterious and keep my tweets a secret.

Also, BlogLovin' has got this as well.  So feel free to connect there (or here).

All the Things I Don't Want to Do

There's a part of being married that sees this inevitable problem come to fruition.  With her, this happens quite a bit.

This past weekend we did a mini-vacation (or as I will start to call them, "minications"), where we went down to Sea World San Diego and generally just got away.  This wasn't something I wanted to do, and I'm not even sure its something I would've planned to do had it all been up to me.  I'm normally fine just staying at home being productive watching TV or playing video games or fulfilling my weekly quota of laziness (I'm a licensed procrastinator after all).  The last thing I would want to do is do a bunch of things all weekend, including walking around a parking lot, walking around a theme park, finding a crummy hotel to not stay in (don't ask, long story), finding a better hotel, returning to said theme park and parking lot the next day, spending time getting reacquainted with traffic and California freeways, and spend my last day before returning to work schmoozing with extended family and going to church.

Had I planned my Easter weekend, it would've been much much different... and I would've hated it.

That's the funny thing about being married, especially with such a complementary spouse.  She says good things about me all the time has this nasty habit of bringing out the better in me, which always seems to happen particularly at times where I'd rather she didn't.  I didn't want to go away for the weekend, but I did.  All those things I thought I wouldn't like, I accepted and they became some of the better moments of my life (okay, maybe not the freeway traffic).

Spending a day at Sea World?  Fun!
Finding a better hotel in a nicer area with a better view and better food options and better customer service and better things?  Awesome!
Having a good Easter at church and then with family?  Great time!
Getting to do all of this, and more, with herIncredible!

I used to be this ho-hum, stick in the mud, stay at home, do nothing exciting (except beating a video game boss at midnight), boring kind of guy.  In many ways, a part of me still is (just ask her).  But now I find that all these things I thought I really didn't want to do, I now want to do.  I'm not talking about saying "I want to do them" just to get her off my back, but a legitimate, genuine, excited, ecstatic, and even anxious emotion of desire.

No more do I find myself protesting the slightest change in plans, possible afternoon whim, or otherwise suggested occasion with a disappointed gaze or interjected "but" (my butt is large enough already).  Instead of being a crab apple, I just accept it and go along for the ride.  Sure, after a long day's work, I can probably think of something better to do with my time (like relaxing), rather than going out with friends or driving across town to get a pizookie.

But the secret is...  I can't.
These are now all the things I want to do.

Dreams of Success

For as long as I can remember, I've always had this nagging desire to be successful.  Be it penning a novel, publishing a board game, developing a video game, or managing a popular internet site, I have a craving for success.  In what medium is largely irrelevant.  It is the recognition that comes with success which is most palatable.

I'm not sure where this urge came from, if some byproduct of my birth.  I was an under achiever in high school, not applying myself as one normally should.  In this regard, my parents often chided me for not living up to my potential or making the most of my abilities.  I could care less what they thought, but that word would linger in my deeper recesses.  Potential.  It wasn't until I graduated from college after five years and ended up with a job that required little more than a high school diploma, that its utterance returned to my ears.

What is potential?  Or more specifically, what is my potential?  There are many sleepless nights where I wish I could return to the day I was born and read the instruction manual or look at the back of the packaging to find out what my "potential" is or would be.  How do I know when I'm "living up" to it?  Will doing so make me feel "successful"?  These philosophical drippings continue to drizzle my windshield, and I am left with little but the cloth rag of "let's not think about it" to clear the road ahead.  It is so disappointing to feel disappointing, particularly in regards to her.

Green is my favorite color, perhaps not surprisingly so by how often I turn to its shades when hearing speak of others' successes.  Thankfully, I'm young enough that I'll live long after this quarter-life crisis, though in what form has yet to be perceived.

A Man of Many Dreams

Irony is no stranger to me.  One of my pocketed ideas yet to be unveiled was the idea to start a webcomic.  The irony in my ineffective art skills, but I considered good writing to more than make up for it (there are quite a few comics floating around that make use of minimal art capabilities so perhaps I have a shot).  I even did the leg work to set up the server space, and I mapped out and designed the marketing logo and everything.  In a given window of time, I can imagine almost anything.

The problem was never if I could do it.  Certainly, I had led myself to believe that was the problem.  I'd dawdle over the art direction, vacillate about whether my abilities were up to snuff, and generally straddle the fence.  You see, the real problem was actually doing it.

Like too many of my pet projects (you'd claim I was a practicing necromancer with my inability to let old ideas go), I would doubt the execution.  I would doubt the effectiveness.  I would doubt... me.  One of my greater flaws is the hardship I have in doing things "just for me."  Largely, I think that phrase doesn't even exist in my mental database.  I would never start a webcomic and keep it going "just for me."  Clearly, I'd need to know if I have an audience, what my audience is looking for, if my pseudo-philosophical, poorly-drawn, metaphoric, mental soliloquy of a comic is even properly formed enough to be understood by someone who doesn't live within the confines of my skeletal cranium, and all other manner of seemingly-important-yet-probably-mostly-insignificant-to-a-start-up-project kind of things.

And to think that with this idea, I sold myself on the idea of just that.  Doing it just for myself.  I even made an unspoken vow to just put up at least one image every day for a whole year, just to prove I could commit to a project.  Since my previously expanded upon and set up web host has suspended my account due to inactivity, I think you can easily deduce how "successful" I was in that particular field of development.

Still, in the deeper regions of my self-inflated ego, I occasionally return to these less-than-attempted ideas pondering how magnificent they could've been.  Yes, there are times where I will readily admit a bad idea when I can find one, but it's especially less rewarding to find yourself patting yourself on the back for not doing a given thing.  Or at least it feels like such to me.

Who knows, perhaps one day these things will see the light.  I did just renew my database for another two more years.

Postcard from Polar Opposites

While I may at often times wear different hats, I sometimes find myself unfortunate to wear different moods.  Beneath my stoicism, it may be hard to discern.  It's a lesson painfully born by her, but others may have felt the soft tremblings of disquiet self proportions.

I'd like to think that any amount of self-reflection, or self-understanding, would make any future dispositions totally within my realm of self-control.  But whether it is these images of shattered self that slip through wooden cracks while I find myself amidst my inner realm or some other means breaking through my emotional seams, I have yet to concoct a cure.

Perhaps that's why I'm so capable at juggling so many, varied ideas of whimsical things from card games to board games to tabletop games.  Or perhaps it's merely a vague idea flaunted as an excuse for self-excession.

While the greater efforts of my blogging at large are purely self-referential, I do aspire to attempt a more regular routine of posting.  Once I find an acceptable mobile platform on which to keep up my activities, there should be less rests.

Greener Pastures

One of my many secret identities is a bit greener than I'd like to admit.

Where men are excelling and women are achieving, look out below.  When accomplishments are recorded and successes are garnered, never fear... the Green Monster is here!  Lurking behind every blogger, hiding behind your Facebook page, and peering over your garden fence.  No achievement is too small to be envied!  No award is too insignificant to be desired!

Sure, he may not have a bat-signal, but there's emerald in his eyes.  If you'd ask her, she might feign ignorance about my lesser, masked villain hero's existence.  Unfortunately, his presence is insured when the grass is looking green.

The dreaded "J" word does linger incessantly over me.  And while I'd rather be writing about some infernal Jell-o addiction, I must admit I'm blogging about the eight-letter variety (no it's not jaundice).  Jealousy.

The truth is I'm easily envious, deliriously jealous, and charitably chartreuse.  It doesn't take much to bring out this side of me you don't want to make me angry, and it always rears its petulant face.  I'm sure it stems from some deeper aspect of my self that I have yet to scratch the surface of (read: come back tomorrow for a new blog post that ties in to this one!).

Looking out the Window

In any given day, I like to spend a moment enclosed  in my mental abode, peering out the small, glass window.  There, roaming through the countryside, exist a number of dreams I've long sought or passively considered.  It is a greener pasture, though largely removed from my habitat.  Sometimes it is nice to just cozy myself on a windowsill, perched silently as I take in my surroundings; a place where time looses its hold on my feeble existence.

Unfortunately for such day dreaming, my office space is in a basement room with no windows or doors.

Comic Books and Captain America

Here's another secret for you, but I'll be charging for the next.  I know less about comic books than others might have you believe.

Yes, I'll spare a moment so catch you breath, it was written here first.  My knowledge of comic books is rather limited.

It all started out with random assortment packs of comics my parents would lug home from Costco (or was it Fedco back then?).  My sister and I would pilfer the assorted goods, find parts three of six or issue numbers in the hundreds.  Any semblance of timeline was lost on us, but for mostly good reason.  We didn't care.  In fact, I barely read them and looked mostly at the pictures.  I didn't care who X-Factor team was, or what was going on in the latest Mickey Mouse comic.  I liked Daredevil for the glossy red cover, though I would never have imagined he was blind.

Then Marvel brought their series to the animated world, and suddenly I was caught up on the ins and outs of X-Men.  I would delve through the monastery that Nightcrawler hailed from, always wondering if he would ever find his real mom (spoilers: he does).  I would watch the Phoenix saga, and wonder how anyone could possibly stop Apocalypse (progenitor of the "Mutant Virus").  It didn't matter that certain elements were changed from their comic book origins, but now I was thrust into a new world.

The same would happen with Spider-Man, as well as DC heroes Batman and Superman (though these two held less to pre-established story lines, or so I am led to believe).  Suddenly, I had enough knowledge to get a Geek permit and later received the highly regarded Nerd license (more on account of my vast experience with video games).  From here, I was established enough to carry myself through most any intellectual, yet socially awkward, topic of conversation.

Fast forward a few years, and I've striven to reeducate myself in this field.  Thanks to the increase of comic book movie adaptations (and the greater resource at large known as Wikipedia), it's fairly easy to introduce oneself to the medium at large (if you can wade through the plethora of options available).  Speaking of which, I even have a somewhat recent addition to my collection courtesy of her.

I leave it in the plastic when I'm not flipping through its pages; a phenomena that never seems to leave her without mocking me (or claim I don't appreciate the gift).  I simply like my things neat and orderly, and free of wrinkles and page creases and all those other little things that annoy me when a book gets well read mistreated.

In the same vein, Marvel released their trailer for the upcoming Captain America movie, and I find myself waiting with anticipation.  I've included it below, incase you have yet to see it.  Personally, I think Chris Evans will do a good job as Steve Rogers but feel free to weigh in.

My Secret Place

Shhh, let me share with you a secret.

At times, I like to hide away.  You see, I have my own personal timeshare in the back of my mind.  One in which I have the luxury of running away to at a moment's notice.  There's no other tenant, save for old dreams and cobwebs and a comfy, rustic chair perfect for reading and thinking.  In fact, I own more of it than I might like to admit.

It's accessibility is a comfort, though perhaps also a curse.  With ease I slip from public view, into a world far away.  Behind watchful eyes and ears, I sit secluded with my thoughts.  My artist's table here is full of many ideas, while my typewriter is curiously perched next to a trash bin full of copy.  But most of all, here the inner turnings of my brain are strung out like laundry needing to dry.

I've made trips while at work, or simply while at home.  At parks, and plays, and some beach days, I have stepped aside to my shaded abode.  Sometimes boredom encourages me to move, and sometimes emotions will urge me to leave.  Unexpectedly-unmet expectations can also find me rapping on my own door, where I retire my presence for a while.

At times, it is a benefit for me to have this alcove of my own.  Here I spread my creativity like seeds and water them, waiting to see how they grow.  Their roots may become entwined and breed new ideas, budding in different seasons.  On more despairing occasions, I bottle emotions like forbidden wines never to be opened or sampled.  Vintages most terrible and abused, though something seems to unseal them from time to time.  They always have a way of unsettling her.

A product of younger years, my hideaway is never far but there are days I wish it were.  And then there are days where I go to my secret place.

Chasing the Wind

I have this really bad habit of sailing my ship to the whim of changing winds.  It's not something intentional, and I'm sure it drives her crazy.  One week I might be raving up and down about a particular project, item I am considering buying, or game I would like to play.  Maybe it's a product of my "boyness," or perhaps I'm irreversibly, attentively disordered.

I also like words.

Personally, I perceive my willfulness as an extension of my empty-headedness or maybe it was thick-headedness.  Largely, I apply myself poorly... if at all.  A lazy mind, is afterall, the devil's plaything.

For example, I love to visit blogs and websites on a myriad of topics.  Pick a week, and it might be a new topic.  Or it might be one I previously read about and am returning to.  I stopped reading political blogs for awhile, but then I started covering video game news.  After that, I moved on to board gaming sites, while ultimately resuming my political readerships.

And though I enjoy sharing my sea-faring tales, one day I hope to find an anchor.