Category Archives: General

maybe it was the end

This image from Reddit got me thinking a bit about my school days, specifically 8th Grade. In the U.S., this is the last grade before High School which marks the end of compulsory education. I was trying to remember what I felt like back then and whether I had any of the feelings that seem to be embodied in this image. Feelings of joy and boundless hope.

sakura flowers [original] from r/awwnime

I could only vaguely remember some general optimism and something that now feels like an echo of innocence. I think that maybe this was the end of that innocence because my first year of high school was full of disillusionment. More and more, the real world and all of its failings came crashing in on me.

NYT and catching up on things

I was catching up on the news today, following an article in the New York Times about the bodies of the murder suspects wanted in Canada had been found. Over the course doing this, I decided to take advantage of the $1/week offer to subscribe to the New York Times digital edition.

That lead me to an article about Victoria’s Secret hiring their first transgender model, which in turn lead me to an older article about Playboy’s first transgender and most recent transgender models.

Hefner tweet screenshotThis then lead me to remember that I met Hugh Hefner in an elevator at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont during Anime Midwest on July 9, 2016. I sent a tweet about it at the time.

I was cosplaying Android 18 heading back to the convention when I stepped into the elevator he was riding in. We were the only ones in the elevator, and I immediately recognized him. I asked him if he was the real thing to which he humorously replied that we wasn’t always sure himself. He also complimented me on my cosplay!

Hefner was there for the Exxxotica convention which was taking place in the Stephens Center during the same weekend as Anime Midwest. I told some friends about my encounter, but some raised the possibility that I had met a Hefner impersonator. But up until today I had not verified that Hefner was actually at Exxxotica that year. My curiosity was piqued by my NYT reading and a quick search turned up a video (on a site I won’t link to, lol) that seems to indicate that the Hefner I met was the real deal. So there ya go!

What Am I Thinking?

It’s funny how the mind works. Yesterday, there was a big moving truck across the street. A neighbor was moving away. Perhaps the house, which has a For Sale sign in front, had been sold. Or maybe the neighbors had found a new place already. I didn’t think about it very much.

Today, a much smaller U’Haul truck is in front of the house. Now my mind is puzzled. What could it be? So my currently gloomy mind cooks up a scenario wherein my neighbor’s marriage has ended and the smaller moving vehicle is here to haul away an ex-spouse’s belongings to a new place.

My mind is always making up stories to fit what I see. I guess everyone does this, but I really need to make up some happy stories right now.

A Long March

Another long stretch between postings, another long march into a new year. The just past holiday season was a bit of a challenge. I always feel like Charlie Brown during the Christmas holiday season. Once it’s over, I’m pretty glad to get things back to normal. But therein lies the rub. Life doesn’t seem to have a lot of normal for me these days.

I feel like up until this point, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid a lot of the really icky things about life, and especially the end of life that seems to be slowly rising to the east of this current existence. Oh, I probably have at least another 3 decades left, which is fine. It just seems that maybe I’m not as happy as I used to be.

Otakon and A Miss

Right now I’m profoundly disappointed and depressed that I’ve had to cancel my plans to attend Otakon this year. I was really looking forward to a much needed vacation and a chance to express myself in a way that I don’t usually get the chance to. It would have been fun I’m sure.

I’m trying very hard not to be bitter. I did what love duty and logic has required. Family comes first, but that doesn’t really make me feel any better. Not at all. I hope I can hold on until Dragon Con.

Saddle Up for Otakon 2017

It’s been four years since I last attended Otakon, and after having to cancel last year, I’m finally getting a chance to return, sort of. I say that because this is the first year of Otakon in its new convention home in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.. All of my familiarity, and relative comfort, with Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is right out the window!

As always, concerts, cosplay, and karaoke are all on my schedule. And I hope to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones along the way. I only hope that our Dunce in Chief doesn’t start a war with North Korea while I’m there!

Hold the Sauce

It’s been two years since the biggest wake up call my life has seen. I’m still happy to be here for the most part, but I’ve come to the realization that some things are never going to be the same. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to continue my journey and see where it goes. Can’t complain too much. I don’t need any blue pills and my family is complete as it is. My cup runneth over and the carpet has stains that will never come out.

The thing I notice the most on a daily basis is the feeling in my right arm. I can move it and use it normally, but there are parts of it that will probably never have feeling again. I like to think of it as the arm that touched the other side. A daily reminder, sometimes a depressing one.

No one else can see. Maybe that’s why I write. Notes to myself mostly, that some future self can use to remember the me of now. A message in a bottle, addressed only to myself.

Left Behind Again

How do you put your contacts in when you want to cry? I guess you don’t. It’s just one of those mornings when the hard reality of linear time travel sets in. I’m being slowly, but not slowly enough, left behind.

My youngest son has been home for Spring Break this past week. I’ve enjoyed having him back here and seeing how he has grown into an exceptional young man. I also enjoy getting to do some of the things we had so much fun doing together once more. Most of this involved watching shows and talking about tech stuff, etc..

It has been fun, but there’s been less and less. He’s got more of his own things to do. And I sense a pulling away. The pulling away I’ve already experienced time and again with his older siblings. It never gets any easier. But perhaps there are more tears this time because he’s the last one.

I know this is the natural order of things. Childhood ends. But knowing that does nothing to dampen the emotions I’m feeling. And it doesn’t change the facts. I’m being left behind again, for the last time.

My Calendar

It’s been a year now, but it probably happened months ago. As I struggle out of bed each morning, I get the day of the week from my pill box. Not my phone, not my computer, but my little yellow pill box. Hmmm, I had hoped it would have taken my longer to get to this point. Nevertheless, I guess I’m still winning this survival game to have made it so far. (Nervous laughter.)

And Another One Goes

Today comes a day that I’ve been expecting with quiet reservation. Today my youngest goes off to boarding school. He was so proud and happy when he got in, as were we all. But the price is his leaving home a few years earlier than originally scheduled.

He’s such a great young man, smart, and courageous. I’ve so enjoyed the time we’ve had together, watching him grow from a little boy, to this tall man with a deep, dramatic voice.

I’m already missing him.

A Reluctant Lottery Winner

Maybe reluctant isn’t the right word. I have a wonderful spouse and beautiful children. Even my boys are pretty. And they are all very talented. But two of them have signs of mental illness. After a particular hard week, I feel like the reluctant winner of a rich lottery of some sort.

I’m going to say right now that God’s been too good to me to regret having a family and children now. There’s no turning back, and I’ve already learned some valuable lessons. For one thing, mental illness needs to be treated like any other illness.

If someone catches the flu, we don’t judge them. We don’t point our fingers and chastise them for intentionally behaving in a flu-like manner. No, we hold them blameless, and treat that illness with love, compassion, and medicine. So should it be with mental illness. It’s not their fault.

Still it isn’t easy. Flu doesn’t insult you and curse you to your face.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Dragon Con

A funny thing happened to me while preparing a costume for this year’s Dragon Con. I had a minor stroke. Nothing too dramatic. I was cutting off a sleeve and lost the feeling in my right arm and the right side of my face.

That was over four weeks ago. I was in the hospital for five days and now with blood pressure meds, I’m a lot better. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance because except for a few twinges in my right arm, everything works and tomorrow morning I hit the road to Atlanta for Dragon Con!

God’s given me another chance to get my second 50 years on this planet off to a great start. And I’m gonna take it!

reBootzing

It’s always a fun trip to visit old sites one set up and mostly forgot about. So it is in the case of reBootzu, a site I set up to learn how to use various Amazon widgets and, perhaps, to sell some sexy boots, or socks. Chicago winters demand stylish footwear!

Before long though, Amazon and the State of Illinois got into a row over collecting sales taxes which led to the cancellation of Amazon’s affiliate program in the state.

In 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court decided that the state wasn’t playing nice, and the Amazon Affiliates program is back in Illinois. Probably time to update the site’s garish pink motif!

A Passing Era

I was home sick today which left too much time to think about things that don’t make me very happy. This past weekend, I missed my first Otakon in 9 years.

It felt bad to be on the outside looking in. But there were good and logical reasons for not going. And the validity of those arguments has not changed. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants. Hopefully I can go again in the future.

Time is passing and there’s still a lot to do. I know I won’t finish it all, but it felt important to at least acknowledge that there’s no going back to the past. So with a heavy heart, I started throwing out my old textbooks.

My time as a physicist was all too brief. And I’m never going back to that time again. My children are on different paths and the universe has changed so much that my books are hopelessly obsolete. The very media itself, the printed page, is rapidly passing away. I may yet cry, but there’s no denying the logic of the situation.