Sunday, June 24, 2012


I’ve realized I haven’t put up a post like this in a while.  Maybe things finally calmed down enough in my life.  Maybe I’ve been too focused on more serious aspects.  Maybe a lot of things.  But this is one of those posts I originally envisioned for this blog.  Random stuff that leaves you scratching your head thinking, “how did that just happen?” whether good or bad.  And the last couple of weeks, I’ve had my fill.

Father’s Day

My stepfather is a great guy.  No, not perfect, but a genuinely kind and generous individual.  He may not have always known what to do with a little girl in tow.  He was more accustomed to baseball than Barbie.  …but then again…  so was I.  And if anything, that may have only made him all the more confused and uncomfortable.  Things have not always run smoothly between he and I.  In fact, there were moments that our relationship had bumps a Zamboni couldn’t iron out.  Like when my mother told me that he was angry with me for going to live with my grandparents for a while, “abandoning” the family after the car accident.  That he helped raise his siblings after his father died during his teens, and he expected me to do the same.  It took a couple of years before I wised up enough to realize my stepfather NEVER would have wished that responsibility on anyone, let alone his daughter.  In reality it was mother saying this, while pretending to be a ventriloquist.  I was not as wise then as I am now.

So, my dad?  Very friendly, patient man.  My mom?  Not so much.  And it takes a GREAT deal of energy for me to tolerate her.  I rarely make any kind of in-person appearances anymore, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t do it by myself sometimes.  So this father’s day, when my phone rang begging me to join the “family gathering,” I enlisted the help of a friend to accompany me to help keep me…  let’s just say “even-tempered.”  My mom tends to be better behaved when there’s a new face in the room, and distracted from saying or doing other things that tend to annoy us all.

This I knew would be the best gift I could give to my dad for Father’s Day.  This, is why I know he likes the rare occasions when I visit.  I serve as a distraction for my mother, so he isn’t hounded by her CONSTANT nagging and demands.  This, was possibly the only reason I mustered the strength to make an appearance at all.  For his sake.  It was Father’s Day after all.

My friend Nando would be entering, what I’ve likely given him the impression of as ground zero, for the first time.  Not many of my friends are allowed to meet my family anymore.  And often enough, those who do, are usually only introduced so that they may have a better understanding of things I’ve described from my childhood.  And thus the adventures ensued.  Actually, the day went rather well.  Rather strange, and tense at moments while Nando is a teacher, and my mother supports Walker.  …she also says she supports unions, which should illustrate plenty without me having to spell it out for you.  But the piece-de-resistance of the evening was when my dad put the food on the table, and we all started to dig in to the bounty of grilled meats.  (I never fully understood why I grew up to be such a carnivore until sitting down to this food and realizing an odd disappointment that there were no side dishes.  Just brats, chicken, hotdogs, and sausages.  I had not only grown to appreciate veggies in the last decade, but also miss their presence?)  Anyhow, back to dinner conversation, a smattering of polite compliments towards my dad’s grilling expertise issued around the table.  And moments later out of nowhere.

“Remember that Mother’s Day when I packed up the boys, and left you behind?”  My mother blurted out.

I couldn’t do much more than stop chewing for a second.  Give a short, “Yup.”  And hope to the Gods that she drop it.  But I felt that old inspiration for a nervous tic to develop.  You know, that cinematic eye twitch that allows an audience to grasp a character’s utter befuddlement.  REALLY?  You want to bring up my abandonment issues in front of the entire dinner table, including a friend of mine you never met before, and your visiting stepson that has NO knowledge of this history?  ON Father’s Day, you want to talk about how you left your husband on a Mother’s Day?  And abandoned me in the driveway when I asked where you were going?

“I shouldn’t have done that, I guess.”  My mother continued, completely oblivious to her own impropriety.  “I probably should have taken you with me.  But you wouldn’t have come anyway.”

Um, NO.  You shouldn’t have left your husband on Mother’s Day, period, is what you shouldn’t have done.  *Nervous eye twitch…  “Great brats dad…”  Though I wanted to follow that with, “do you have any alcohol in the house?”  But thankfully she dropped it from there.

A Day For Me.

I’ve been working on the text book for the professor, as well the illustrations for it, (as I have officially landed the contract now.  I LOVE what I’m doing.  Setting my own hours.  Working from home.  ….working from home.  ….hrmm…

There is some good and bad to be said about this.  The good is: No gas spent.  Make my own hours.  No one looking over my shoulder.  Take breaks whenever I need.  And the best of all, I can work in my underwear if I so feel the urge.  And don’t think I haven’t from time to time.  The downside…  I may not leave my apartment for days on end.  My whole world tends to be restricted to white walls and brown carpet.  Add a little stress over finances to this equation, and I get overwhelmed and need to bust out.

So, I called up that same friend mentioned from earlier, Nando, to see if a movie was possible, and the whirlwind of adventure to follow was amazing!

First it was to a quick bite to eat before seeing a movie.  This was uneventful, at best.  It was kinda crappy food, and overpriced as such, in my opinion.  But between this and the theater, I made a motion for getting some candy at the store.  We had some time to kill, and so sue me, I don’t have the cash to buy all my concessions at the theater.  (I do buy my beverage there.  I know they make the most profit from soda sales.)  Stopping at the local Walmart was where the real adventure began.  Pulling into our space, we noticed several tents and trucks set up in front of the store.  There was also a large fireworks tent at the front of the parking lot, so realizing this had to be something different, our curiosities peaked.  Then I saw one last addition. 


That’s right.  Spider-man.

A promotional stunt coupled between Walmart and Sony for a big push on both the movie about to release this summer, and the new video game that will release as well.  The video game, I had low expectations for when first learning of it.  Despite the fact that Bruce Campbell does a great deal of voice acting for the game.  …Let’s face it, the last few Marvel Comics based video games haven’t been,  “super” (pardon the pun.)  We approached the tents inquisitively, and were met with extreme welcome.  Rice Krispie Treats, Cheese Nips, Little topple guys…  There was SO much free stuff, and it was all shoved at us saying, “Please take more, we have truckloads of this stuff we need to get rid of.”  And yet somehow all I could bring myself to take was a couple of Rice Krispie Treats.  And then I hear, “Also there’s a couple of game consoles over there, if you’re gamers.  If you can beat the demo, you can win the Spiderman Mask that’s on the table.”

Challenge accepted.

Mission Accomplished!

I love this mask!  …okay, so I’m a big kid.  But whatever.  If you really want to make fun of me for it I will make it easier on you and confess that I was coincidentally wearing my Spiderman underwear that day too.

I remember once upon a time having a conversation with a friend where I confessed that I didn’t feel like I was as geeky as everyone thought.  I wasn’t afraid of being thought of as a geek.  To the contrary I feel that’s an honorable position in society.  Quite the opposite, I felt like a poser.  Like people were going to catch on that I didn’t know nearly as much about comics and things as they suspected I did.  My friend just blinked at me and responded somewhere along the lines of, “Nnnnnooo….  I don’t think so.  You’re pretty GD geeky.”  It still took me a year or two to trust I could hold my own around other geek circles though.  Problem is, whether you acknowledge it or not, geek circles can be DAMN territorial.  As if always guarded against infiltrators.  They will test you, throwing out random bits of trivia, seeing if you can keep up.  Are you truly one of them?  Or are you actually one of the jocks that used to pick on them in high school?  Or are you the dumb girl, that can tell you the name of every boy band member, but who’s favorite comic book character is “x-man.”  And if you don’t know what a D-20 is, chances are, you’ll be run out of the shop, chased down by replica Lord of the Rings swords.  *Mint in box!

And that last paragraph?  Had so many geeky references in it, I dare you to find them all.  ; )  But don’t worry, I won’t chase you off if you didn’t catch it all.

Off to BRAVE the movie theater.

Pixar’s name shouldn’t have been put on this film.  We all know that certain flair that Pixar has to its storytelling.  It is the original voice, when we no longer thought original voices were possibly left.  We also know the feel of Disney’s storytelling.  I’m not saying one is better than the other.  Just different.  Personally I appreciate both styles respectively.  Perhaps it’s because Pixar has never really gone with a “princess” storyline before.  This is obviously much more a Disney trait.  This is also what makes me laugh a little because Disney worked SOOOO hard on getting its hands on names like Pixar and Marvel with the intentions of “butching up” its image.  It needed to better grab the male demographic and all those dollars they carry along with it.  …And then it does THIS?  Fems up the pixar aspect?

Now yes, the character Merida, is a strong independent type of typical ideal female role model.  Who as a result of which becomes a whiney brat.  Until lessons are learned and blah blah….  I’m not going to give a full review.  Because on the whole, I really did enjoy the film.  It had a good deal of humor.  Billy Connolly was hilarious.  The triplet brothers were fantastic comic relief.  But there just wasn’t much… originality.  No memorable lines to take away.  Chances are if I say, “Fish are friends, not food” or “Shark Bait! Hoo-rah-rah!” you know that’s Finding Nemo.  Or “Hi, my name is Dug, I just met you, and I love you.  SQUIRREL!” you’re ready to jump out of your seat and answer, “UP!”  And of course who could forget… “The cla-a-a-a-a-aw!  OOOOoooooooooh!”  So on the whole, it was a good movie.  And there were parts at which I was bouncing in my seat for the excitement of it.  The 3-D was expertly executed and the adventure was on par.  My only recommendation is, go in expecting Disney, not Pixar.

On To Conquer Lands

After the movie, it was time to head off to the comic book store with Nando to play a round of Game Of Thrones.  I haven’t gotten much chance at playing many games like this.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them.  But the problem is this.  Either I end up playing with a group where the guys can’t play so much as hit on me.  (*Gasp!  Here we get rare footage of the mythed female geek, entering the herd of gamers!—Next on National Geographic!)  …Actually one of our conversations during the game DID go something to this effect.  But, no…  I don’t like playing in a group where it’s implied I’M the prize.  Playing with girls is fun…  But I don’t have any female friends in this area that like to play.  …Not enough, by far, anyway.  And every other opportunity I’ve had to play…  well, that’s usually been with guys I actually WAS dating, and it was dictated as “Boys Night.”  …No girls allowed.  ….*really?

I suppose this pisses me off more than I’ve ever let on.  I mean, I COMPLETELY understand the guys needing to be guys and have a night away from the “women” folk.  …but can’t there be the occasional game set up where everyone is welcome, in addition to “boys night?”  Must I be excluded from ALL games? Either being a female means I’m welcomed in overenthusiastically, or banished to the outlands.  I suppose the reason it really gets under my skin is because the message I’ve been sent with this hot cold reception I have personally experienced is, “female gamers are more than welcome, but only if we all have a chance at sleeping with you.” ….I guess in the end, it just shows how much those former romantic interests to exclude me from the activities I love were beneath my efforts. 

So, this is why I like this group of gamers.  This is why I like hanging out with Nando.  It has become a rare thing indeed for me to find a male friend that includes me in the geeky activities I adore without doing so just in attempts to try and date me.  In fact, Nando is the only one that doesn’t give ANY kind of pressure towards the “romantic” and just lets me be me.  And don’t get me wrong, because I admire any time a person works up the courage to show someone they may care for more than friendship to ANYONE…  But chances are, and I know this is hypocritical but, if I didn’t give you some clue that I’d be interested back?  You likely just threw our entire friendship out the window.  NOPE, sorry.  Can’t go anywhere with you anymore without me panicking that you’re trying to date me without officially dating me.  I refuse to give false hope a chance to grow.  But I refuse to rant anymore on that front.  I’ll save that for my next post, when I decide to rant about some of the wholly inappropriate communications recently delved out to me.

For now, I will just cap this post off with my pitiful notion of possibly entertaining the idea of hosting a game night once a week.  Of course this will dictate that I will have to break my rule of how many people will be allowed to know where I currently reside.  …Not sure if I’m ready for that and it will take some meditation.  But as the comic shop I’ve been enjoying is closing, something must be done.  Best I can say for now is…  we’ll see?

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