So this is the final night of my last vacation of the year. Normally this vacation is rather festive and enjoyable as Shannon and I close out the year, wrap up our Christmas shopping and celebrate our wedding anniversary. This year everything came to a screeching halt when our oldest cat Grixie got sick and died. This process took about 3 days and pretty much ruined the mood of the vacation.
2018 was all in all not a very pleasant year. The only real highlight was going home for Thanksgiving and reconnecting with an old friend. If it had not been for that trip, this whole year would have been a total wash. I am hoping the next couple of weeks go well and I can end this year and begin next year on a high note.
I recently bought myself a Tarot deck. A friend has reintroduced me to it. While I am not a particularly big believer in divination or predicting the future (after all, I believe in karma, kismet just pisses me off), I do think how we interpret the symbolism inherent in the cards can give us insight into our own psyche and perhaps light the path a bit.
This was my first layout. My intent here was the top card is my current state, the place where I am now. The bottom three cards are past, present and future. What I need is help with the path forward, i have been floundering for the last couple of years, dealing with depression and anxiety. Some recent emotional turmoil has really pushed me to get off my ass and do something instead of just wallowing in my own depression.
So the Fool at the top makes me very uncomfortable, but I have to admit it is a fair assessment of my current state. The King of Swords is where I have been, my previous assessment of myself; a soldier, a man who solves problems, often with brute force, but just as often with wisdom and Intelligence. The Nine of Pentacles is my present, I think this represents my wife, the person who tends my garden, keeps my house and loves me. I think this is an important reminder of what I have, because I think recently I have taken her for granted and been neglectful of our relationship.
The final card, the Five of Cups, represent my being mournful of the past. The spilt cups represent the years past, the standing cups represent the years to come, I am of that age where I have more years behind than I have ahead. More importantly though, in the background is a bridge and a castle. Maybe its just that 40 years of playing D&D has ingrained in me that wherever there is a castle, there a dragon close by, but when I look at that, I see adventure down the path.
Puberty was not kind to me, I was often seen stomping around the house with a scowl on my face. For you women out there who cannot imagine what it is like to be a boy going through puberty, I can only say, it is basically walking around with an erection for four years and no one willing to help you with it.
No Shave November is an annual event at work where the married men whose wives do not like facial hair, band together in solidarity and grow beards. I thought I would chronicle the progress. I think all in all I managed a pretty decent growth before I shaved today. For the record, it took 4 double sided blades to take it all off.
This my last day of vacation, I traveled home to Billings and spent some quality time with my family. I got to meet the newest member of my extended family, Haley, my Great Niece. Seeing the look on her mothers face as I was telling Haley that I would be the one showing her how to be weird, teaching her to swear and on her 16th birthday I would give her beer, cigarettes and condoms, was priceless. The whole trip was fun and after I got home, I immediately wanted to go back.
I saw a picture of this statue a few years ago, and an article about it popped up on Facebook today. The statue is of the Medusa with Perseus’s head in her hand. I think this is an interesting juxtaposition of the story. In the original Peresus Statue he is holding the Medusa’s head up high as he himself faces the sky in victory. In the story he is the hero who has slain an evil and vile creature. However, if you read the Medusa’a story, she is actually the victim. First she is raped by Poseidon in a temple of Athena. The Athena punishes her by transforming her into a gorgon, I suspect this was the first recorded incident of victim blaming. Medusa was then sent to live in exile because everyone who gazed upon her turned to stone. Finally Perseus was sent to kill her and was given several magic items to assist him. None of these events were her fault, but rather the gods playing with mortal lives like they were toys.
With this statue, it shows the Medusa as the victor of the fight, instead of holding Perseus’s head high and proclaiming victory, it is at her side and her eyes are cast down because she has won nothing, the gods hate her even more now and she was forced to kill an innocent man who is also nothing more than pawn of the gods, but she did what she had to to survive another day.
I went down a Youtube hole tonight, I did not even post a quarter of the videos I watched. I guess I must be feeling a bit nostalgic tonight, but it was fun. Maybe next Friday night I will do this again and see where it goes, maybe take some requests or do a theme.
I had to work last weekend, so my boss graciously gave me a four day weekend. So now I have to find something interesting to do with my time.
D&D Game: We are entering a new chapter in the current campaign, the stuff that was previously been happening has been cleaned up, with just a couple of dangling plot lines to be resolved later. I need to find something to run this Saturday, something for a 10th level party of 6 characters.
Computer Stuff: For some reason the GPU pass through on my system has quit working properly, so my Windows 10 virtual machine is being bitchy. So I need to sit down and figure out which update broke it and how to fix it.
Retro Computer Stuff: The Sinclair 1000 is still not working properly. I know what the problem is, the video output looks like a composite video connector, but its output is not composite. There is a fairly simple fix for it that requires me to find a couple of resisters and solder them into place.
Reading: I bought Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, I suspect this is going to fairly depressing, but my plan is to just power through it.
Writing: I try to write everyday, but I have been falling down on that lately, so I want to get three or four thousands words written this weekend.
Well Labor Day is here, this is generally a very depressing day for me. Memorial Day is the beginning of summer and I am always optimistic and hopeful. I mean what is not to love about summer, warm weather, cool water and scantily clad women. Unfortunately by the time Labor Day rolls around I find I really have done nothing with my summer. Heading into Fall and Winter, I really don’t have much to look forward to, Oh Well, maybe next year.
Today I was sitting a room full of Millennials, now normally I don’t rail on Millennials, they do have a rough life ahead of them and it is pretty much our fault. However, what occurred to me is, I was the coolest person in that room. Seriously, I am D&D nerd, I was never cool by any standard, but there I was and there was not a hip person in that room besides me. This is the real reason Millennials are pissed off, they are the first generation that has parents cooler than them and worse, their grandparents are cooler than them too. The Baby Boomers came of age in the 60’s, the era when the youth culture was born and rebelled against its masters, GenX came of age in the 80’s, the era the youth culture came into its own and dominated virtually every facet of life. The Millennials were born into a world that was already cool, everything they can think of has already been done, Recreational sex, been done, recreational drug use, yep, Rock and Roll, Oh yes, been done big. This is why “Retro” is a thing to day, Millennials simply have no where to go.