Well, I think we can all agree that this year has not been anything close to what we expected it to be. I think we all could do with a mulligan on this one if the PTB allow it.
My work has been shut down for 2 weeks (minimum) as a non-essential service. Thankfully, I’m still getting paid for the time being, but there is a relevant fear that if this goes on for a prolonged period, I won’t be. :-/
Like everyone else on the planet, I did not expect to be hiding out in my basement while a pandemic spread across the globe. There is a surreal weirdness to this whole thing. Going to stores and seeing empty shelves because mob mentality made everyone buy all the fucking toilet paper and cans of baked beans. It is almost worse here, because the virus is still in the early stages (and hopefully doesn’t get a lot worse) so there is not a lot of impact outside of the enforced distancing. It’s hard to visualize and comprehend the images that we’re inundated with from various media sources when the people around you are all relatively healthy and yet the idiots abound and panic buy everything, leaving nothing for anyone else.
As I sit here typing this, my kids have now been out of school for a week. We won’t see an online curriculum for them for another two weeks and while we try to keep them to a routine, I’m already willing to hand them their phones and tell them to go play in virtual traffic. As much as I’m living the Introvert’s dream life, I realize how much other people get on my nerves. My family doubly so.
With all this time on my hands, you’d think that I’d be doing something productive like painting all my unpainted miniatures in my pile o’ shame, or organising and building the rest of the bookshelves / secret door in the game room. Nope. Rather than do that, I’m futzing about with Discord to try and get a Server set up so as my friends and I can continue to play our monthly Star Wars game remotely. Priorities right?
Well, there are worse things I could be doing I guess.
I guess I should go and check on the other prisoners in my cell block and see if they’re still alive.
So I’m going to try and resist posting a plethora of updates about my games room renovations. I’d rather just show the end result when that comes about and be able to contrast the before with the after. I feel it’ll have more impact.
As it stands now, we’re still in the demolition stage, though we’re pretty sure that we’ve torn everything up that we need to and barring a few small tweaks here and there we should start the actual construction right away… well, once we do another dump run or six. Hard to believe one room can generate so much garbage and construction waste.
A little over a year and a half ago, my wife and I started discussing what we were going to do with our basement. As it stood, it was a hodgepodge of tool rooms, odd shaped (and cramped) bedrooms and the world’s worst bathroom. It was in dire need of an overhaul.
We discussed options and talked about tearing down walls and expanding the master bedroom. We dickered back and forth on which way we would go and what we’d do. Ultimately her practicality won out.
We would renovate the old small bedroom that I was using as an office and the tool room and turn it into a new master bedroom. We’d revamp the bathroom and laundry room and we would turn the old master bedroom into a new office/nerd cave. It was really the only concession I got on the whole plan and I think I only got it because, I said I wanted a secret door in the bookshelf.
Last winter we tore into it and started on our master bedroom. We finished it sometime in March or April and it was glorious to have space to walk around in.
Summer came and we left the project alone to focus on the garage and other outdoor projects. However, we both knew the Stark motto was true: Winter is Coming.
Christmas was the usual hectic gong show but now that it’s over, we decided to get stuck in. As we had decided to leave the bathroom and laundry room for last due to the “fun”, finicky plumbing and tiling bits, the next job was my nerd cave
Eventually, it’s supposed to look something like this:
I’m hoping we’ll be done sometime in March or early April. I can’t wait! Mainly because then I don’t have to lug 40kgs of Star Wars books all over creation every time we game.
Well, I didn’t expect that. Firefox crashed while I was updating a wordpress plugin… and when I came back to the site, it was deleted. I managed to eventually recover a backup from December 9th, but it was a last ditch effort on my part. I had very little hope of it succeeding.
For the two of you who even noticed, sorry for the interruption. For the rest of you. Carry on!
I was going to blog tonight about the latest renovations going on in the house and progress on the Nerd Cave but all my time was spent trying to fix the error.
I shall endeavour to update you tomorrow. Until then, good night!
Oh look. There goes all my plans for regular posting. It’s been about a month since I last posted and it irritates me that all my good intentions and plans were derailed. I blame the holiday season. Working retail at Christmas messes with my routines, my sleep habits and my time.
Normally I’d come home from work, cook dinner, tidy up and then ensure the kids did their chores/homework. Once they are settled, I’d then disappear downstairs to my cave and type up something here, paint a miniature or work on my Star Wars game. Since the beginning of November though, I’ve not done any of those things. My RPG stuff sits stagnant in the bag I use to carry it all and has been there since the beginning of October. My paints sit similarly unused and obviously the blog has been silent for the past month as well.
There’s hope that as we near Christmas and the retail nightmare that is my life, subsides to little more than a bad dream I will get back to a much more regular routine.
In the meantime, have fun without me. I have laundry to fold.
I was supposed to go and see Neil Gaiman tonight, but my cat decided that I would be spending time at home with a tweaked back.
The little #&$@!! tripped me at lunch time in the kitchen today. I managed to catch myself but the effort twinged something painfully in my back. Then, one of the day home kids pulled a stupid and I had to haul him up from where he’d wedged himself in between the wall and the bed, further exacerbating the issue to the point where I’m hobbling and immobile.
You have no idea how much I hate and disappointment I have flowing through my veins right now. If Palpatine ran out of hate lightning, I could easily refill his supply about 1000 times over and still have some to spare.
This was something I was really looking forward to. Beyond anything else this year and it all comes crashing down because of a stupid cat.
Or at least bad timing. I’m one of those creatives whose brain doesn’t shut off. I drive to work, I develop characters. I’m working on my staff’s schedules at work, I mentally run through 17-18 different permutations of an encounter that I’ve planned for my characters that I highly doubt they’ll even attempt. I watch tv, I tune out and start rewriting the plot. I go to bed, I wake up at 3 in the morning with the cheesiest pun of a title for an episode of my star wars campaign that I have to remember.
And there’s the rub. 90% of the time, these ideas pounce on me at the wrong time. Or in the wrong place. You’d think that by now, I’d have learned to carry a notebook with me. Nope. I did that for awhile, then kept leaving the notes around. Yes, I even had one of those silly little digital recorders with me in the car for awhile. Couldn’t stand talking to the thing. Like most people, I hate the sound of my own voice. Plus I found that the batteries were always dead when I actually did try to use the thing.
I’ve called myself and left voicemail. I’ve scribbled notes on napkins in restaurants. Most of the time I just let the thought rattle around in my head until pen finds paper, or fingers find keys. A lot of times these days, I even will just text random burbles to friends without context or anything more than the briefest explanation.
Thankfully, the couple of friends that I end up usually sending things to are creative enough to understand and humour me as I go daft in my old age.
Can’t stop… Clowns will eat me.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about the gloriously bad pun title for my Star Wars campaign…
My two girls started the new school year this week. Grade 7 for the eldest, grade 4 for the youngest. Like all parents who look at their kids at this moment as they head off to school or board the bus, I too got a dose of “Holy shit, my children have grown so much!”.
Time is a subtle bastard. He sneaks up on you when you least expect it and bumps you just hard enough to jostle your comfy rose coloured glasses off and as you look around in a daze, you catch a glimpse of reality in the harsh light of day and see your children, not as you always see them: as your little girls, but as the young women they are quickly becoming.
It can throw you for a pretty big loop because you’re not expecting it. One moment, you’re holding this tiny infant in your arms, bursting with love and the next they’re giving you the universal teenage brush-off to signify how uncool you are: “Whatever, dad.”
Thankfully the eldest hasn’t fully crossed to the dark side yet and five minutes later she’s back to “I love you daddy. Can we play Little Big Planet together?” One of these days though, I’ll blink and even that will be just a memory. Ahh, Time, you bastard. I hate you just a little bit in times like this, but at the same time, without that subtle jostling, I wouldn’t see the beauty right in front of me and cherish the moments I do have.
No. You shut up! I’m not crying. You’re crying….
Errr. Anyways. I’m just going to sit in the corner here clinging vainly to the false hope that they’ll always be my little girls. At least until the next time Time comes along and knocks me spinning…
So, Tam and the girls went down to the states for a week to visit her mom on her birthday. Due to blackout restrictions at my work, I wasn’t able to make it.
While I was sad to not be going and enjoying some quality fam-jam time, the introverted nerdy recluse that lurks in the core of my being secretly reveled in a week without the wife or kids.
My week of bachelor life however started off to mixed results. I woke up on the Saturday and managed to pull a stupid: I locked myself out of the house. I knew I’d done it the second I closed the door behind me. Yay for having to climb in my kids bedroom window. Double yay for not having the neighbours call the cops on me.
Thankfully, the afternoon turned out somewhat better. Managed to have a few of the guys over and we played board games for most of the evening. Not something that I regularly get a chance to do, and the fact that we all had piles of shame we needed to work through was incentive. I would have liked to get through more, but we’re not as young as we used to be.
The rest of the week passed somewhat uneventfully. I mostly just worked and came home to an empty house. Too empty to be honest. When I’ve been alone in the past, I’ve thought nothing of it. It’s part of the background. This time though, there was definitely silence. Sure, the cats were racing about being shitheads, but the lack of people in the house was definitely noticable and once I noticed, it became somewhat disconcerting.
You know that feeling you get when you’re alone and your mind starts playing tricks on you and your imagination goes into overdrive? Yeah? Picture that amplified over a whole week. I’m not ashamed to admit that I slept with a light on. It didn’t help the silence, but as I’m a hardcore Doctor Who nerd nothing really does…
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that as much as I’m a nerdy introvert, having a connection to the world is a necessity. The noise and chaos of my life has become part of who I am and without it, I don’t feel normal. Who knew?!?!
Growing up I was shy, quiet and very reserved. These days, I’d be labeled an introvert but back when I was growing up I was a considered a nerd and had very few friends. I’d tried Hockey but it wasn’t for me. I’d tried Cubs and it wasn’t for me. I’d tried soccer and I liked it but I wasn’t amazing at it. While I was never picked on or harassed like the extreme end of the nerd spectrum, I wasn’t ever part of the cool kids cliques either. I was a blip on the school radar and that was it. Which made me very happy. I enjoyed the invisibility (though the slew of 80s teen movies had me secretly dreaming to be the hero of my own story). I survived by telling stories inside my head and hanging with the few friends I did have.
My mind was a far better place than this drab reality that we currently subscribe to. My cousin had turned me on to Tolkien and Lewis and they fueled my early imagination. Narnia and Middle Earth were my homes away from home, along with Treasure Island and a thousand other fantasies. My imagination roamed these worlds created by others and dreamt of something more. Then, in the summer of ’84, I met a kid named Brian Henderson and everything changed. Continue reading “In The Beginning…”