Spring’s Dawning

It’s finally here. The weather is even starting to think about evening out here in North Carolina. Soccer is in full swing and the Boy is not acting like a complete goob now.

The Eldest is catching back up on school. I think finally giving some sort of medicine a go has been the best course. It’s a low dose. It’s been rather amazing to see her blow through homework, and to actually talk beyond some sort of muttered obligatory response.

I’ve been reading Dragonlance again. I got the new(ish) Lost Chronicles. I got to say it’s the sloppiest piss poor writing I’ve read since the first Chronicles. I’m not saying I’m disappointed, but I am they don’t seem to have gotten any better in thirty years.

I’m thinking I’m going to be giving the LARP a try. Or at least check it out. I’m feeling it might be a better fit than the other one. I’m pretty much just rambling at this point, I think I’m off the bed. I suck at this.

March, March, March

Is upon us. Spring is kind of already here.

I got a birthday coming up. Shit. I forgot for most of this year so far that I’m just now turning 38, and that I haven’t been there this whole time. I don’t think it’s so much a getting old and forgetful thing, but more than I generally don’t think about it. My kids love birthdays and they love to celebrate. So cake and stuff all around. I think I’m buying myself a hat.

I’ve always loved hats, but never really worn them. All it’s been for years has been ball caps, which I actually despise. But I got a derby a couple of year ago. I think I like interesting hats. My other issue has been my own head. It seems kind of big, and on top of that my hair is insanely thick.

The Boy got a haircut. And he seems to have my thick, unruly hair. I’m not sure what the change has been of late but I’m his favorite person at the moment. Or one of them. The Beast also got haircut, back to her short style she likes. She likes it so much she’s headbutted her sister over it.

I’m thinking of busting into the Missus’ V-day present, a complete works of Shakespeare. I’m not sure if I would start with Julius Caesar, but it would be fitting.

Barf, as far as the eye can see

Everybody’  sick. Except me. And give it time, I imagine. And it’s been like this for far too long. The Boy started it off, maybe. Or not, who knows. But it ran through the kids, the Missus, and a brief bout hit me back in January. Then the Boy came down with ‘a little pneumonia’ as the doctor put it. And then it all came back last week with the Boy throwing up in the middle of the night. And then again the next night, but not as much. It finally ended Sunday, but by then the Beast was puking. And then last night so did the Eldest. And in the middle of the night the Missus.

So I’m sitting here, taking a sick day to try and take care of them all. The Missus is out, finally. Sort of. She has to have some sort of TARDIS stomach to account for the amount of puking she did. I didn’t think it was possible to puke as much as she did and actually have something to puke. But me? I’m honestly feeling fine. So I’m hoping my superhuman immune system is doing its thing.

You’re Old & You Are Going To Die

Don’t get me wrong, the loss of talent in 2016 has been both horrific and devastating. But this isn’t about our favorite people, this about us. We as a generation, the youth (or not so youthful in some cases) who grew up with these colossal figures are getting old. Our heroes of old were getting older right along with us. The 80’s were thirty years ago. Thirty years. That’s three decades. The 70’s? Forty years ago. That beloved idol who might have been in their twenties back then would be roughly in their sixties.

And that kick-ass Rock N’ Roll lifestyle? The ‘Devil may care’ ideology that made you all warm and sticky on the inside? That’s shit is rough on a person. Even if that’s not the chance, humanity is saddled with some truly messed genetic material that lends itself to all manner of deadly conditions. Cancer. Heart disease. Diabetes. It’s like our own bodies are out to get us.

So yeah, 2016 has take a fair number of people who entertained us immensely. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The really scary, the really sad thing is that this year has been a big wake-up call. Teens aren’t the only ones who think they are immortal. Hell, I honestly don’t remember thinking any such idiocy as a teen. And I can’t think of any of my friends who did. No, 2016 has told the world loud and clear that life is still just as terminal a condition as it’s always been. For centuries and millennia and eons. Since the dawn of time, since the birth of the universe. If it lives, it will surely die.

Slight shift in gears here- My Beast became aware of mortality far too early. I’m not sure what did it. It wasn’t a death in the family or any such thing, those are understandable revelations. I guess she just realized it. It’s been a thing ever since. It’s hard trying to explain how it all works. It’s hard explaining why, especially when there’s not really any reason beyond the simple fact that such is life. To live, and eventually to die. No escaping it, it’s part of the package. I try to emphasize the good bits in between. Fun, family, friends, chocolate. It seems to help. And that’s the other part, we are in it in together. All of us. Slowly, inexorably, shuffling our way towards an end.

So here’s hoping not to avoid that end somehow, but that when it comes it’s a damned good one.

So This Is Christmas

Because when in Rome. Don’t get me wrong, I did my Winter Solstice thing. Or a thing. It was nice. I sat alone in the dark, save for the crackling of a nice fire.

But on to Christmas! I don’t think we overdid it this year, and I think the in-laws at least kept it to the same amount of overdoing it, which is quite an accomplishment. Believe me. And my mom did a great job as well. She seemed down about it, but everybody assured her that the reduction from previous years.

The kids themselves had a blast giving each other the presents they had picked out for the others. The Boy in particular seemed overly excited, going so far as to chase the Beast into a bathroom to tell her what he got her. That was five days ago. And he screamed it under the bathroom door.

Currently as the holiday winds down the kids are in bed. Mounds of goodies all around, exhausted from the sheer excitement of it all. The Eldest took it upon herself to try and occupy the other two this morning, under a Claus guise of her own. I’m thinking she’s past the myth and living legend that is Santa Claus, but I also think she’s aware that magic is just as much about making the show as is there being some one to watch it.

The Littlest Treehugger

My boy, all of four, has this thing about trees. He also has a thing about hatchets, trust me it’s related.

I caught him outside a while back with said hatchet. He just loves his ‘widdle ax’, and tries to get at it as much as possible. This time he was trying to scrap away bark from a downed tree just on the edge of the woods. As I came up he’s explaining that he’s just trying to help ‘this guy’ out, and when he gets back on his feet he’s going to hug him. Needless to say it was incredibly sweet, though an odd method of showing affection. Also it should go without saying that I’ve decided to take a chunk of that trunk and carve a figure or some such for The Boy.

It didn’t hit me until recently just what an amazing thing this whole scene truly was. There’s the easily to joke about notion that my son sees trees as people, or some sort of equally ‘alive’ thing. But I’ve come to think that it means he has an instinctual awareness of an inherent worthiness of all living things. Note, this isn’t some sort of vegetarian/vegan rant. Believe me, I’m very aware of what goes into the taking of an animal’s life to provide sustenance for me and mine. And while he might not be at that particular level, he’s a great deal closer than I probably was at that age. Or a great many after.

Or maybe I was there. Maybe we all were. It’s not until we are older and molded by the world that we begin to have the indifferences and dislikes rife in the lot of us. Who knows? I’m trying to keep this post light, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a challenge.

Completely different directional segue! Well, this is a bit more abrupt, but still. Shifting gears, hang on and buckle up. School has been going well. The girls both made A/B honor roll! The Eldest has really broken through this year, and I couldn’t be more proud. The Beast has a long term sub, who seems to be there regardless of parents’ concerns. As for me, things are going great. I finally got my emails in regards to accepting the position. The class is largely adjusted, I think. There’s a ton of behavior issues to start slogging through, and there’s a ton of strategies to try and utilize to get around some of these deeply ingrained antics. I think there’s already a noticeable bit of progress. Just enough to have a toe hold, not even a foot. Not even toes. Still, progress is progress.

And on that positive and striving note, I’m off to do more laundry while listening to punk on Pandora. Wish me luck…

P.S.- The kitten is an insufferable food stealing shit.

Autumnal Something or Other

I got nothing for a title. But I do have a lot to tell.

Job is trucking along. I’m really liking this kids. They are pretty good crew and I think we are all definitely making strides towards getting a good groove going on. There’s been what I’d consider progress, but there’s also been plenty of rougher days.

We did a single day LARP at MACE. While fun was had, it was also rather dead. We had three other players other than those we brought with us (two friends, one of which is husband to one of my other Storytellers I usually work with). Still, fun was had and fun was had later on in the evening sessions. We played an RPG based on A Song of Ice and Fire, or whatever. I was very surprised it wasn’t all about finding dragons and exposing boobs. No, seriously, it truly was amazing. The first battle was a social one, and it was easily the most engaging fight I’ve been involved in game-wise in years. I think the sheer concept of treating social encounters as a battle in its own right was something, but that they made a system of mechanics to convey that is just wonderful.

I snagged a small collection of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition books at MACE. I’m torn between giving them to a friend whose first gaming experiences were from those books, or actually putting them to use myself and running him a campaign. I’m leaning towards the second notion. I know my friend, and while he would love the books they would just sit on a shelf alongside other gaming nostalgia I’ve given as gifts over the years. Also, while my initiation into gaming was via Vampire: The Masquerade LARP I always felt it should have been AD&D. But that’s another post all together.

Autumn has well and truly settled in around us. The leaves are shifting to their less green hues, and just as quickly falling to the forest floors. Deer are in abundance. I’m waiting for them to try and come in the back door. The air is crisp, there’s be a few smatterings of frost. Needless to say I’m loving it.

Turkey day is just barely a week away. The missus doesn’t work, which will be nice. It’s going to be a short week for all of us school-wise next week. I’m looking forward to spending some time during the day with my kids. Maybe I can get a turn raking up some leaves and jumping in wit h them. Hopefully. Oh, and more s’mores. We did s’mores the other night, and it simply has to be done again. And soon.

“Pray for me, Mr.”

I think I’ve made it obvious that I’m not really a praying type. I also hope I’ve managed to convey that this isn’t from a lack of faith, but more from that feeling that I need to throw words at the Divine (in Its many, many forms) in order to make things better. Fuck that. That’s dumb. If something’s not working, get up and fix it. If that doesn’t work, reevaluate. Can it be fixed? Or do you need a new one? Or do you need to remove yourself from the situation? And so on. Do Some Thing About It.

I think I mentioned a new job the other day. I probably can’t go into many details, and I largely think it was just that this one kid talks nonstop, but there was the request. “Pray for me Mr.”, and I got to admit I might make an exception. I have the impression that this kid has had a rough life, and it’s a long way from being over. I also think things are moving in a good direction for him, but it’s out of my hands. So yeah, a word or two might not be out of place. This time.

This Is Halloween…

So it’s tomorrow. Get over it. Also, I was thinking of Marilyn Mason’s version. It rocks.

It’s been crazy of late. The kids are still doing well in school, I’ve been doing some metal work, I’ve been plugging away at con notes, oh and apparently I got a job. Boom, huh? Yup. A nearby school got another EC assistant position and called me about it. I start tomorrow.

Finally- Accomplishment!

I did it! I finally finished something! Okay, I finally did something that will let me finish. Close enough.

I did a massive clean-out of upstairs. The kids will probably cry when they realize I took three bags full of stuffed animals to Good Will, but fuck almighty that leaves at three more bags’ worth. And that’s just in the playroom, that’s not what they each have tucked away in their individual rooms. There’s other things gone as well, including a large box full of books. Some duplicates, some the kids have simply outgrown, and others just because they don’t seem to end up in the rotation of books the kids read. They just sit there. No sense in letting the sit there when someone somewhere would greatly appreciate them.

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It’s not done, but it’s almost there. And I know the pic’s a touch blurry, but here is the start of the wife’s bottle tree. I’m thinking about four more branches at least, and some significant bits of bending to get it where the bottles will sit nice enough. But still, I WELDED. Again. Finally. Finally again. I can’t believe how much I missed it. I knew I did, but I didn’t realize just how much.

And again, while it’s not done I’m chipping away at my end of the upcoming con LARP. I’m hoping it comes together well enough, we are only a few weeks out. In fact, I’m off to email the dude with an update. Enjoy the rest of your week…