Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Temporal Mastery

Almost a year has passed since I've last made a post here.  It seems to be a pattern that I ignore this blog for extended periods of time.  I really need to be like my friend Joel and his awesome blog he updates frequently (maybe even attempting his April post a day event).  I'm going to try to make this blog more about gaming as it is pretty geared towards that, the name and all.

Recently I've played in a few Pathfinder games which have all been rather unsuccessful as far as either the game itself or having time to finish.

Carrion Crown Adventure:  Luxalar, and his wife Paxia, lived again in this translvanianesque undead and occult adventure path.  We were able to get through two of the six modules but sadly the DM and the players all ended up with conflicts that once again (we had tried this a year ago for part one of the adventure) caused it to patter out.  Lux and Pax were originally created for the Return to Castle Ravenloft game for DnD 3.5, both were Aasimars with Lux being a cleric and Pax being a paladin.  Woe to any undead/evil things in our paths. 

Rise of the Runelords:  In this game I have a mediocre concept: Andeur a wizard of the illusion variety, but was quickly revamed into a conjuration wizard.  He was a runelord fan boy and tried to emulate what he learned about the runelords (which was very little for the start of the campaign) and try to become a runelord himself. I may not continue in this game if certain problems persist, which I will blog about later.

Rise of the Runelords Part Duex: This game was on a different night and was almost running parallel to my other game. I've had to leave this game for yet more GM problems.  The character concept however I had is one of my favorites that I've come up with in many years.  Pajar, an Oracle of Flame.  I took the "lame" oracle curse but instead of having a bad leg which reduced his movement speed instead he was extremely obese, very large and unable to move as fast as his regular human counterparts.  He was dramatic and friendly, jovial and especially passionate about partying and enjoying life.  I will hopefully be able to revive him in a different game in the future.

Temporal Mastery

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brass Herald

After a couple of weeks and a vacation to Muncie, I've learned something very interesting.  Not wholly useful in the modern world, but quite stimulating really.

Well, when I say learned, I mean "crash coursed".  It would take me a few years to really grasp it enough when I can look at a coat of arms and break it down or "blazon" except maybe the basics.  My friend Sebastian. is a herald for a medieval reenactment and education organization called The Adrian Empire It a is a national organization and quite nifty.  If you are able to find a group in your area, try it out!

Back to Heraldry.  Sebastian is quite knowledgeable about heraldry and can blazon almost any arms you give him in a few seconds.  So far I've learned that there are five colors, the colors often readily available at the time when heraldry first began:  Azure (blue), Gules (red), Vert (green), Purpure (purple), Sable (black).  They also had two metallic colors:  Or (gold) and Argent (white/silver).  There are rules governing what colors (if any) can be on top of colors and when metals can be on top of one another.  Other tinctures (colors and patterns) are things that emulate furs or other textures. It all sounds complicated at first but the basics are very simple.

Then there are the lines and ordinaries (field divisions) of the shield.  Quite a few in fact: Bend, Bend Sinister, Piles, Pallet, Chief, Fess.  It is really fascinating!  Here's a link to another resource that helps break down heraldry.

In America we do not have any laws that govern the display of arms, badges, or crests.  As such the Adrian Empire has free reign to make, display, and have arms both for their groups and the individuals in the Empire.  If however, one of the members were to go over to Europe and have a patch on their luggage of their own created arms, they may be arrested.  This is because in Europe they have laws governing the display of arms and heraldic items.  They get touchy if people start making and displaying their own.

However I do hope to get quite good at it and learn from Sebastian.  It would be one of those skills that while may not be entirely useful in this modern world, it is certainly fun and intriguing.

Brass Herald

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Giant Growth

Seventeen.  Seventeen months since my last post.  Ridiculous, I know. After all of these posts, one after the other, saying how much I was going to change and be more attentive.  Well, I have been.  I've more conscious about my future and I've been far more dedicated to my education.  I just haven't had much thought to post lately. 

Silly I know, but I've learned that I am growing as a person.  I've come more out of my shell and while I am still struggling with the weight loss schtick, I am no less dedicated to it.  Some very important people have appeared in my life in the last few months and I feel I am growing up.  Incrementally, but still growing. 

I know I am a great person.  I know I have a great deal of work ahead of me but I know I can do it.  I'll post more later, but for now, this shall have to do.

Giant Growth

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wall of Frost

Today is the first of December, and it would seem that Mother Nature decided that this would be a good time for the first snow of the Winter season. The roads were... slippery and as usual it appears many people just can't handle driving in such conditions.

It isn't that hard to take your time and not, for example, take a turn so fast that you actually spin around and face the opposite direction to which you were intending. Yes, I'm speaking you to you soccer mom in the big SUV. It would seem that as the temperature goes down, so does driving knowledge. Sure it took me a half an hour to drive just ten miles, but I arrived home safely, even if I did cuss up a storm.

Anyway, I've been going to the gym pretty regularly these past two weeks. I know I can keep it up. I am down to 36% BMI; that's 3 % lower than two weeks ago.

Yes, this is a short update, but it isn't like anyone even reads this. Do you?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soul's Majesty

As I've posted before, I admit to being someone who procrastinates. A lot. However, I have yet to really delve into the reason about why I do. My only thought is that I don't wish to fail at whatever I attempt. This is foolish because I know I am smart, clever, and resourceful. I know I can achieve the goals I set forth because I can.

Today I had a serious session at the gym. I didn't wimp out on the elliptical machine, although I had to do my weight exercises from memory as I didn't have my sheet with me. However, I did full sets and reps and I felt very good. I like the feeling that the gym gives me. I'm tired, sweaty, but I feel accomplished. I know I can continue, I just need to make sure I consistently go.

The consistency of my inconsistency has been a very large blemish on my overall character. Thankfully, I've come to accept that that was the past me and I'm working to resolve it. Hell, I'm 26 years old and still living at home working at a job that quite frankly isn't going anywhere. I need to get my life in order.

This "new beginning" is very much similar to the steps a player takes during his turn in the game Magic: The Gathering, (a game I used to help name this blog).

Step 1: Untap - In this the player resets all of his cards into a "Ready" phase. I feel that slowly I am untapping myself and my potential. I'm getting prepared for the many decisions I am going to be faced with as I grow up out of this extended adolescence.

Step 2: Upkeep - During this phase of the player takes care of small abilities of spells, creatures and artifacts (gaining life, making tokens, etc). For me this represents solving current issues with finances, weight and fitness, and overall career aspects.

Step 3: Draw - The player then draws a card from his deck and puts it into his hand. I am slowly drawing conclusions and making plans about what I want to do with myself. Setting forth goals and hopefully meeting them.

There are other steps (pre-combat main phase, combat phase, post-combat main phase, end step) but I just wanted to draw some metaphor from these first few basics.

My hand is spread out in front of me, my future sitting there like a deck of cards. I know I may get mana screwed, I may even have to discard previous assumptions about what I wanted; but I will finish this game. I will, and I'll do my best.

Come Jokulhaups or Wrath of God.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gathering Specimens

Once again, I've decided to try venturing into the world of fitness and health. This time, however, I met with a very nice personal trainer who helped to set me up with a routine to start with.

Over the last four or so years I've had memberships to three different gym facilities. Those memberships have been one after the other; and there really hasn't been a month that goes by without my checking account seeing a payment to the gym I was and am a member of. My experiences with each have been vastly different. Hopefully this recent venture back will be much better than my last. The last four years, I've maybe gone to the gym a total of two months combined.

In the spring of 2006, almost a year after coming home from Indiana University, I realized I had gained almost 75lbs. I decided to make a commitment and get a gym membership. So, I went to American Health Fitness. With two locations, one had a pool and a steam room and the other just had a steam room, I figured I would be able to go regularly. I even invested in a personal trainer.

I don't remember his name, he was nice, and kind of short. About two weeks into our meetings, however, he left for a job in Indianapolis. I had been abandoned, which caused me to feel fat and depressed. So I stopped going. A few months later, I got the gumption to return to the regime and inquired if there was another trainer available to help me. Indeed there was.

This time it was a very hunky firefighter who did personal training as a second job. He was very macho, muscular, blonde and over all sexy. Which is intimidating and (me being gay) made me tantalized and a little uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the sense that, if my eyes lingered too long he might realize he was training a gay and maybe beat me up. Irrational; yes. So, again I stopped going.

Well, it was a year after I signed up to the gym and I decided not to renew. Instead a new gym was opening up in my hometown (New Haven, IN). So, I signed up there. It was a small, locally owned affair with one side all cardio and the other all free weights and weight machines. The hours, were bothersome, especially weekends (Sundays they were only open for 4 or 5 hours). I tried to go regularly, but seeing people I knew was a little off-putting. So I stopped, but continued to pay. Another year went by and once again I decided not to renew my contract.

Then I got a job that promised to go places (which didn't and eventually led me to my current position). Next to the office building there was a gym "Anytime Fitness"; perhaps you've heard of it. They're all across the country and the great thing is, you can go anytime. This as you can imagine spreads out the gym population around the whole clock. So, at anytime you could go and there may only be a handful of people around.

I got a trainer to show me around and to put together a routine for me. The initial gentleman was very uninterested in talking and only showed me a routine. He was a scrawny thing and I barely remember him. But for a while I was doing his routine. It seemed to go well. Then again something caused me to stop going.

Yesterday they had a special "30 minutes for $10" with a personal trainer. My trainer's name was P. A fit, shorter gentleman mid to late 30's. Quite handsome and he actually seemed quite earnest while he talked with me. I had met him a few weeks prior when I decided to go and switch locations. One thing that puzzled me though, he mentioned that a client of his knew me from when I used to work at The Olive Garden. I nodded it off but then I wondered how he found that out. I had only met him once before and that was with no one I knew around.

I think my big problem is that I expect goals to happen right away. I've come to accept that this will never be the case. So, after many months of not going. I'm putting my foot down. As I have designs on a relationship in the future and not succumbing to the obese tendancies that my genes can dictate; I need to lose this weight.

Not to mention I have a whole closet full of clothes I would like to wear again. . .

I just need to keep my motivation. Maybe if I go when P is working it might be easier. Seeing a friendly, honest person there (who isn't just after my money for training sessions) would be helpful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Forethought Amulet

In the past few days I've had to come to a series of decisions. I just need to buckle down and take control of my life. I've been making bad decision after bad decision, with no heed to my own future. Today that ends, it has to. It has to end or I will just be doomed to repeat these stupid mistakes and make nothing of myself.

I have two people in my life I care for deeply, other than my family. Although I am not sure what to do just yet about them, they both mean a great deal to me. Let's call one C and the other L.

C, I've known for over three years now. We met online, of course, where most people tend to meet their friends these days. We got to know each other, C would often use my shoulder to help cope with love, loss, and his personal struggles. I would do the same for him, but not as much. I'm a private person for the most part really. Hell, it was hard for me even being honest to a councilor I was seeing a few years ago.

C and I don't have terribly much in common, but I enjoy hearing C talk about his hobbies and what he likes. We share interests and we appreciate what differences we have. It's nice. We are both romantic, and while I am an openly gay man. C is still trying to find himself and who he is.

Anyway, over the years I've been there for C when his relationships would turn or his job sucked that day. Through all of this, our relationship grew. I've come to care about him a lot. Strangely I get jealous when I hear he has been talking with other gay men or his involvement with potential girlfriends. It's irrational for me to feel this way; but I still get that small knot of irritation that forms in my stomach when I hear it. These are probably just my latent fears of abandonment manifesting as jealousy. I don't want to lose contact with him, even if he finds himself a nice person to settle down with.

Needless to say, C and I are very close. Our relationship is... a complicated friendship.

Then there is L. I've known L for close to six months now. L is currently unavailable. He also lives some distance away, but it's feasible should I wish to visit. Both of us are going to school. He is going for an architecture degree and I am going for Therapeutic Massage. His degree will take sometime and with me going to school only part time for now, it will be a while for me as well. L and I met online through a friend and we began to talk.

We discovered we had a great deal in common. We like the same hobbies, we are both romantic. He likes the fact that I am taller than him, and I love his large, Romanesque nose. As I have met with him on quite a few occasions when he can come up here, I can say that we both share the same bedroom preferences. He is a smart, funny, adorable human. My feelings for him have been growing daily since we first kissed. Sadly, his schedule and living circumstances don't permit him to visit much, but we talk a great deal online and through texting. I don't believe he is out to his family, which is a pity, but understandable. Though, I have no reason to doubt that my parents would adore him completely.

L and I are growing very close. However, I am not sure how this will/should affect my feelings for C.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sword of Mind and Body

Yet again, another month has come and gone with only one update. So, in lieu of such sparse information, I will share some random things:

1) I admit I have a mild addiction to Magic: the Gathering cards. I have been trying to cut back however from purchasing them, but it's such a deal to get three packs for $10.70. Still, want to start doing some trading in of cards I don't think I'll ever use for some cards I *may* use; that is if I can ever make the decks I intend to.

2) Over the weekend I played my very first game of "Paranoia XP". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Paranoia system and universe, it is as if "2001: A Space Odyssey" meets "Tom & Jerry": wacky, violent, and just plain fun.

You basically play a lowly peon who was chosen by the Great and Glorious Friend Computer, to rout out and destroy commie, mutant traitors; but you, yourself, are a commie, mutant traitor. You are also given teammates (other players) who are out to destroy commie, mutant traitors as well (you must kill them before they find out). It was a lot of fun. I was one of the only people who made it to the next security clearance (level), without dying too many times or being accused of treason. Also, in this game you have six clones in case your current character's body meets undue harm, all but two of us went through their "six-pack" of clones.

That's it for now. Tonight is board/card game night at Game Quest (a gaming store here). I think I'll bring Illuminati. Illuminati is a card game where you are one of the great Illuminati that may control the world. As the game progresses your power and influence over organizations grow and you attack and may destroy other Illuminati who are fighting against you. It's fun, but I've never been able to play with other people who as excited to play it as I am. Oh well, hopefully tonight that will change.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Scandalmonger (or Judi Dench Said the "F Word")

Judi Dench said the F word? It's more likely than you think. Recently I just watched a delightful movie call "Mrs. Henderson Presents". It is about a rich widow who, with nothing better to do, purchases a theatre and decides to show nude women en tableau. Bob Hoskins is also charming as the impresario who is chosen to direct the shows. All of this takes place around the mid to early 1940's in war torn London. If you have not seen it, or even heard of it, I recommend it for your next rental or Netflics do-dad thing.

Yes, it has been months and months and months since I've posted anything. I had gotten off to such a good start too. Well to tell the truth, shortly after the last post I had had an series of interviews and competency tests for a job which would have been great to get. I was amped and pumped and psyched and all those lovely words to get the job, which didn't happen. Rest assured I was still "on file for future openings". Yeah, sure I am.

Anyway, I vowed myself to go to the gym and afterward post on my blog. That turned into, tomorrow. Which turned into a week, a month, then almost seven months. Seven months, over half a year against wasted on feeling sorry for myself and spend on moping. I had also re-upped my subscription to City of Heroes, but thankfully I hadn't been playing as much as I expected.

However, now I'm in school *again*. I am doing rather well, despite my own intellectual misgivings. Math, while slightly remedial, is something I've needed to get my brain out of it's slump. It's as if the variables, equations, answers are helping to exercise long dormant parts of my brain. I am also in a medical terminology course that I seem to be falling a little behind in, despite the fact that I'm making the effort to study. We'll just keep trying.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Open the Vaults

On Role-Playing. . .

I have been role-playing off and on for the past twelve years of my life. That's roughly 45% of the time I've been in existence here on earth. I've had many different personae, but I wish to just recount and reminisce about a few of my personal favorites.

Part I

Talisen Armatugé: This gentleman had three incarnations. His first was as a purely textual being in the word of American Online Role-Playing/Fantasy chatrooms. We rolled virtual dice and had a gay old time. I remember posting a grand escape of his as a way to withdraw from the "guild" that he was currently in. With that, he and I vanished from the AOL community in general both character and Mun for a while.

Talisen's next version was as a silver-haired sorcerer in my first Dungeons and Dragons campaign run by a friend of mine in High School. He eventually went into Dragon Disciple but sadly the campaign was short lived.

The third and final form happened after this. We were all kind of bored playing a low-level campain, so our DM (same from above) had us roll level 20 characters. It was all great fun, Talisen became a level 20 Lawful Evil Half-Fiend sorcerer. It was great fun, except for the moronic, metal-loving dwarven druid (don't get me started). The campaign however, turned into a game of SimCity, but we concluded that all of our characters became gods.

Quilliant Armatugé: One of the most prolific of my characters I've ever played. He has had many different versions and existed on many different planes and games.

Quilliant first came about as an idea between me and a fellow camp attendee at the "Midsummer Theatre Camp" in Bloomington, IN in 2001. She was a hobby artist and was making a little comic strip about her socially shy wizard. She lamented that she didn't have a foil for her wizard to really get out and adventure and I suggested that perhaps she should have Izzy (not the real name) get an out-going companion. Thus Quilliant was born.

Quilliant that year became a new RP character for me when I went back to the AOL community, which had changed somewhat. It was all well and good, but I hardly remember any of it. Very general, mundane RP.

Then along came Neverwinter Nights. Truthfully, I never beat the actual campaign in that game, I just joined for the online aspect. There I found a server called "Dragon Coast" (not to be confused with Forgotten Realms' Dragon Coat, which I later found out). The community was amazing. And they embraced me as one of their own right from the get-go. Quilliant in this world was characteristic, intriguing, funny, bardic, and just fun. He also had blue hair, bestowed from some magical curse or hex.

Quilliant was my only character on there for close to a year. In that time he "died" four times. Each time (except for the last) coming back when I was ready to rejoin after a short break. The last time was fun as he had been turned into an evil undead minion for a demon. He ended up being destroyed by the epic level paladin Fenia (a drow at that). Anyway, I wrote that his good soul soared into the heavens, free from the earth at last; his evil soul was thrown into the void. So I ended my time there at the Dragon Coast. I still miss them terribly, but they have come and gone and I believe are now on the NWNII system with a different world.

The next incarnation hardly used Quilliant's name at all. Instead he went by "The Skald" a superhero that appeared under the atlas statue to help defend Paragon City. This was of course my main hero in "City of Heroes". I made so many friend's through that game, as I have said before, and they are all wonderful. Then "City of Villains" came out, a perfect time to incorporate a storyline from The Dragon Coast, "The Enchanter" appeared this was of course Quilliant's bad soul come back to terrorize the world once more.

It was all very fun, then about a year ago I thought I was leaving CoH/V for good, so I deleted Skald and Enchanter, thus freeing up their names for someone else to take. I came back, of course (as is my habit), but the names were no longer free. Oh well, all good things must come to an end.

Quilliant's last incarnation came as a bard who used two whips as weapons. He was alot of fun to play and the DM was pretty creative as well. However, when Quilliant burst into a magical fire and consummed the evil dragon army (its always dragons) and himself, I officially retired the name. The only place that I use it now is on my AIM name and my G-mail, though I am considering changing both.

I think that is enough for now, I have a few more but they're a bit shorter than all of this. Anyway, I hope you three enjoy reading.