Monthly Archives: May 2015

Calm Like a Bomb

Tick Tick Tick.

I’ve got all this energy. Days like today feel especially “good”. But also very much like a manic episode. On my way to work I listened to Rage Against the Machine’s “Calm Like a Fire” (hmm, the origin of the title is no longer a mystery) and I rocked out in my car. The steering wheel became my very own drumset. I headbanged and thrust my body in various directions in accordance to the tune. Maintained my speed of course, don’t need to be overly dangerous enjoying life.

But then I get to work, and I’m just chipper. Can’t stop grinning, world is my sandbox. A few times the want to fight somebody surfaces, leaving me pondering if I am just in a really, really extended manic episode (what’s that 7 weeks now?). In a typical manic episode, there are in my opinion 3 red flags. This is to say versus feeling what I would normally deem a normal happy. One, increased libido. No need to explicate that, thanks. Two, inconsiderately spending money, even when I have bills coming up soon. Then I’m calling my mom asking for 20 bucks here, 40 bucks there. Number 3, I feel the need or fantasy to fight someone.

I never fight or strike people of course. I haven’t been in any sort of physical confrontation since middle school. But this idea keeps popping up on occasion since my new treatment, often puzzling me and leaving me to wonder if this is a good happy or a manic happy? Of course, I’m still largely rational and able to ignore it. I don’t have an increased libido right now, and though I’m spending money on things I want, I am also planning for the things I have the responsibility to pay.

So maybe this fighting business isn’t manic? Maybe it’s just some primal urge to compete physically with another and see who comes out on top. I kinda like that idea. There’s some primal version of me.

Sometimes it’s a full on scene I envision. I always need a context though, and a badass entry or exit. Let me play out one I had earlier.

I’m at the bar with friends. Someone acts untowardly with one of my friends. I stroll up.
“Look man, just back off, it’ll be cool” I say without pressure, gesturing with my hand for my friends to remain seated. As if to say “I got this”.
He scoffs. He looks around him, unused to this sort of confrontation, obviously incredulous.
“Uh huh” he says, obviously mulling over what he’s going to do or say next “and what if I don’t back off?”
I lick my lips briefly preparing to be very clear “I don’t start fights man”.
In a terribly brutish fashion, he replies that he does.
He smacks me on the left side of my face.
My anger swells, but I keep composure. I rock my jaw side to side as I consider my next move. “I could turn the other cheek right now” I finally say.
“Oh, you’d like another?”
“I don’t start fights” I say again perhaps dryly with any luck.
All this time, I’ve been noting particular things about him. How drunk he is. What his dominant hand is. General muscular stature. That kind of thing.
I glance at his feet, making note of his stance. He’s likely to swing slightly wild with his right hand.
I give him a smirk. “Pissant”

That starts him. He doesn’t bring his arm back far in preparation for the incoming punch.
I jerk slightly to my right, away from the incoming swing, while twisting my forearm, perpendicular to the ground, across my body and into the inside of his arm. I’m also sweeping my left foot slightly behind me.
He misses his punch, momentum thrown off, momentarily confused. I thrust my elbow into his sternum with additional torque from my left hand. As it makes contact I twist some momentum into my right hand, now a fist, to essentially smack him in the face before returning to a guard stance. I also duck during this same movement.
He gets a glancing blow with his left against my face as I prepare bring my left hand back for a punch.
Barreling my left fist forward, making sure to twist as I go to generate additional torque and overall contact force. I make contact just under his ribs before jumping my right leg behind and sending a roundhouse to the side of his head as he bends over slightly. Following through with the kick he stumbles over, hitting a table.

That’s about as far as the fantasy got visually before I laughed it off. And of course, after I won (hey it’s my fantasy after all) I would iterate “I don’t start fights” leaving for a pause before my follow up “But I can finish them” (crowd goes wild).

Obviously in reality fights aren’t nearly so precise. And though I would have surprising agility, form and balance, it probably wouldn’t be enough to overcome an angry drunkard, especially if they had something like a knife. But for some reason I have this confidence and occasionally get the impulse to test it.
Last time I was in any sort of confrontation, it was embarrassingly similar to the one I described, at least at the start.
In middle school I was in karate, but hadn’t the chance to use it until some kid picked on me. I mouthed off back. He slapped me. I glared. “Fuck off” I said. He threw a punch, sidestep and block, turned the block into a throw though to use his momentum against him. He fell flat face down. I kicked him once for good measure in the side. He rolled away, got up hesitantly, and walked off. That was that. And I wasn’t picked on anymore.

I’m a peaceful person, but sometimes I do get the urge to challenge someone to some sort of fight. I obviously don’t and haven’t. But you can see the results of my thoughts on the matter.
So maybe it’s just a primal thing. Need to assert some dominance, I don’t know. If it’s mania though, at least it’s lasting a good long bit, but I’m not interested in the ramifications if that is the case. So here’s to hoping it’s not, and fights are only a thing I fantasize about.

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Where’s the Kicker?

I was supposed to write another post today. Part of my largely unread series of the “Nerditorial”. Couldn’t decide what it would be about. Maybe I’ll make it tomorrow or some grand post next week. I haven’t really been busy, just able to preoccupy myself without wanting to write words.

Well… Actually that’s not true. I have started something I have termed “The Legacy Initiative”. It’s essentially heartfelt last words, requests and the like and will be presented in the event of my demise. Working on coding the delivery system myself.

So I’ve written a few thousand words in that regard. Maybe that worded me out for a bit because I didn’t feel much like posting this week. But here it is, the obligatory post.

Still doing grand, had a few hiccups in my opinion this past week, but nothing major. Still largely energetic and hopeful and considerably seemingly manic. My joints still hurt from whatever I got going on with me physically, but I’m doing my best to pay it no mind.

Beautiful words struck at me again and again this week. But as I attempted to manifest them…

They just…
…floated…
…floated…
floated away.
In an attempt to escape their paper prison.
I tried so hard to tame them. Begged them to remain until I erected a requiem. But they seemed the master of their own purpose. So I gave up, at least able to admire in the wonder and beauty and remnants left behind.

Some of them were songs. I just wrote songs in my head while I worked. Beautiful things, I liked what I had accomplished. And as my mind darted about the day, the song was just flittering away, leaving me only with a few lines and a chorus, and certainly no real musicality to it.

But, what can I do? I am content that I at least seem capable of this creation, even if only temporary and even if it can never be shared.

Certainly frustrating, but also quite soothing once I was able to accept it for what it is.

Anyway… My meds have me thinking the most clear I have in a really long time. Wanting to do projects and interact with friends. I’m even working out how to return to school to finish my computer science degree. Certainly my talent is squandered in the field of retail.

There have been interesting strangers in my life. I’ve had not once, but several times the situation where someone I don’t know approaches me and verbalizes that I am destined for greatness. I have had others with me, friends usually that can verify some of these encounters. I always dismissed it of course, just eccentric rambling. But I wonder how many people I know have had these same encounters. I would expect it to be similar, but in my search and conversation over the material, it’s very slim.

It seems silly, but maybe there was something about me, IS something about me that can be great. I would like to champion the cause of mental health. That’s an important goal to me. I would love to be an integral part of the community. I want to stay humble in my purpose though. While I intend to be only slightly better than human, I do not wish to forget all the help I’ve had getting here. And everyone is equal, even when I strive to be better than most.

To obviously better days, even should they remain cloudy, I will stand steadfast in my cause, and will be a champion of sorts.

I Feel Good…. Really good… Phenomenally Good. Astronomically Good. Astounding!

Yeah, so magically better? Maybe? It’s kind of odd. Last month I felt like suicide attempts were appropriate or in order. This month? Hell no! For the first time in God knows when. I feel normal. No, screw that (even deleted that expletive in place of “screw”) I’m amazing, far beyond normal.

It feels like a manic episode. And I kept waiting for it to bottom out. Just waiting, a slight paranoia creeping in. But then a week goes by. Championed a whole week! Nothing happens. Then a couple more days, still nothing. No, in fact it intensifies! Bizarre! I kept waiting for it to get worse. But, it hasn’t. Then I broke up with my girlfriend, it was the right thing to do. To be clear, she was being a great girlfriend, I have my reasons and I felt we were moving in different directions. She did nothing wrong, but it hurt to break up. I thought “This is the turn, this is where things go really south”. And I lamented, I cried all night and hurt so bad. Then the sun rose, and it still hurt a lot, but I found so much relief when she was going to remain my friend. I was able to accept it as doing the right thing. And there was no depressive episode.

In fact this seemingly manic episode got even crazier. Despite feeling sick physically, I have been dancing at work for the past couple days. I did the Carlton, I did this thing where I pumped my fists and shuffled my feet. And the people who saw me? I could give few fucks, pardon the language. I even had this swagger to my step as I went about my day. Two days ago, I even smiled so much, my face hurt. Can that even happen?

Jeeze, it feels so great to know that there’s hope. I know this could go south, I know for any number of reasons this could end. But here it is, going on 3 weeks, not only no incidents, but not even a glimmer of self harm or hopelessness. That’s going to be documented here now. So if it does go south (hopefully not when) I can see, I was doing fantastic.

If I have any friends that know me from recent times and they are reading this, they are probably wondering what in the serious eff. I am too. But I can’t really care. The meds have got to be working. It’s nice for once. I sleep well, brain works, feel good, even dance, I don’t dance, that’s not a thing I do! But now, maybe it is, and I kinda like that.

Even last night I spent a couple hours drawing while listening to electronic music. That’s another thing, music is amazing now. I get goosebumps when I listen to some songs. I get pumped up, it for all intents and purposes feels like a manic episode that won’t end.

I hope it’s more than that. Right now though, just time to enjoy it. World, you’ve been a hard place for me for the most part, but I am closer than ever to being happy, and certainly to accepting who I am and being proud of it!

I’m a Geek, spelled Gee double three Kay

Here’s a picture, the first in fact I’ve ever posted.
Nerdcard in Polyhedral format

There. Isn’t that neat? A good class nerd or geek definitely has their own set. In the very least they recall what they are and used them a few times in their past to transport themselves to different worlds, where no matter how powerful they were, they still never wanted to roll a 1 on any attack roll or skill check (if we’re talking D20 systems at least). You’ll see a variety of dice in that picture. The orange and yellow ones are the full polyhedral set, Toxic Chessex variety. The others are mostly D6s or D20s, I have several for both the purpose of rolling for baddies as Dungeon or Game Master and also to share with players who don’t have their own.

I have given more than a handful of sets of these dice away. If you received one, I felt you were a true nerd. And I will admit there are some friends who I would consider true nerds that have not received this gesture, for that I do apologize. My first set of polyhedrals, I remember it so fondly. Frosted lime green Chessex set, purchased as an adolescent at the Purple Cactus in San Antonio, a veritable place for the gathering of nerds. Anyway, I purchased it because I finally got friends that were playing some D&D, and it seemed a good idea to pick my own out. They looked like candy. They were the most beautiful dice I ever beheld at the time. And the texture was comforting, they weren’t slick like most dice, but not really quite rough either, it’s a smooth texture with some slight friction.

I lost them in the move. I never found them. So I bought a new set, some royal blues with gold pips and some color swirled in that I don’t remember. Again, Chessex, all I ever bought. I made a few friends in my new place and gave one of them a set to acknowledge him as a friend and fellow geek. Then I bought my now current toxic set at a local anime and gaming store. I hadn’t been able to track down those frosted green ones I longed for and gave up settling on the toxic look.

Over the years I’ve tried to get various campaigns going, Star Wars saga RPG, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Marvel RPG, strangely never did a straight up D&D attempt. But it didn’t matter, I’ve never got the lasting power beyond a session or two, someone would always not show up, then we couldn’t do it with so small a group so we played video games or some other tabletop to pass the time for the evening. My most recent attempt I still have the stories and some of the characters built, but then I moved away from my player base, it was gonna be such a great campaign too!

One of such attempts at starting a campaign was with GURPS, Generic Universal Roleplaying System. I made a new friend, a definite geek, with quirks and all and decided to buy him a set of polyhedrals. Lo and behold, the old green frosted chessex, just how I remembered them. Only the one set. I bought it for myself, saying that I would give him the toxic ones. But instead, told him a story about the greatest of escapes and fantasy and how I had entered that world, and somewhat emotionally handed him that set of green frosted ones.

I bought my ex a set as well, and my newest best friend too. You’re definitely receiving my stamp of approval if you’re ever in receipt of these. Essentially they’re just random generators to accompany a varying set of rules for a system in which a game master would create these stories amongst other things. But, to me they’re also a sort of rite of passage for geeks…

I know hardly anyone will read this, and if you’re not a geek or nerd, it’s terribly dull and void of life that you might find in my other writing. But, these dice are sort of a symbol of who I am, and I could care less if you the reader find that to mean nothing. I’m proud of being a geek, even if I had some serious suffering to endure through all of it.

Adios and tune in next week to discover the next epic entry for the nerditorial to find out what life is like as a geek!

The Statusing Post

I recently broke up with my girlfriend, nothing bitter though. We had been back together for a couple months and were weathering some difficult times. She was doing nothing wrong in my opinion, but I realized at some point after getting back together that we were kind of headed in different directions, at least for the immediate future and likely for the distant one as well.

It was this sort of thinking that began my drifting apart so fast as it were. I had a talk after I had been thinking like that for a couple weeks. I told her I wanted to separate while I thought things through and got my bearings. Ultimately that conversation didn’t end us, but it did make me afraid to do so. I didn’t want her out of my life, I still needed her as a friend, she’s still a wonderful person and very important to my support structure. So I stayed with her out of fear essentially.

But the thoughts kept returning. And when she visited, it was great, I did enjoy our time together. That wasn’t really the issue though. Anyway, now we’re over, permanently this time. She’s still going to remain my friend though, exceptionally grateful for that. I’m not happy with us being over, but there is a sense of relief right now. That I’m not hurting her worse later on, that I was able to do it and didn’t have the urge to do anything stupid after. There’s relief for a few things, but I think we parted amicably, and that’s the biggest thing to me.

I’m not a person who makes friends really. Not so much out of my general frustration or anger with people, but I’m very particular with who I invite into my life. It’s not that I consider you “unworthy” if I don’t really befriend you, just that you aren’t the type of person I want to consider spending my time with. I try to broaden my choices or whatever every now and again, but the same result every time, it’s just a person I’m not really comfortable with. Which sucks, cause I really have so few friends, and most of them don’t live in the same city now.

I got one here who does and he works too often to really hang out or do friend activities with. But, I’m not going to dwell on that too much. I got really great friends elsewhere anyway. Maybe it will be a really long time before I date again being that I don’t have friends here to introduce me to a girl and am not extroverted myself. By the way, I know I could land a decent girlfriend, I will admit I’m decently attractive, the hopeless romantic, smart and charming guy that could land a girl he feels is above his tier (out of my league).

But, I don’t really do any of the things that would expose me to those possibilities. Yes, it concerns me if I’ll really be able to find the “girl of my dreams” doing this, but I’ve just got to let that be for now, changing myself to simply afford the opportunity of that is not worth it, I like who I am. Maybe that’s part of the lesson I need to reinforce, I’m ok and enjoy me. I shouldn’t have to change myself just to get the girl after all.

Anyway, dating is off the table for a while. Friend making is hard for me. And I hate going out places. All in all, good talk, I’m gonna stay this way and enjoy it for a bit. Want to add though, this new med I’m on for my bipolar disorder has me feeling like I’ve been stuck in a manic episode for weeks on end. Could this be happiness? I really like it, I hope it doesn’t go away, haven’t felt this good for so long in I can’t remember.

The Force is Strong in This One

So it’s Star Wars Day. May the 4th what have you. I didn’t do anything in particular for the day last year, but I regretted it. This year, I’m watching at least A New Hope on the old non remastered VHS, of which I own 3 copies, can’t be too careful. But, I thought this would be a good opportunity to show people what Star Wars means to me and to kick off a new section I’m hoping to do weekly referred to as the “Nerditorial”.

So, yeah, I’m a nerd. A big one. Especially where Star Wars is involved. Let’s take a trip through the past and examine my love for Star Wars. First off, I was born in ’90 so I didn’t get to take part of the original theatrical releases or get any of the original action figures or involve myself in anyway with that good stuff. But my family owned the remastered VHS trilogy, the ones where Lucas has interviews at the start of each film.

At the time of watching it, I recall I was confused why I was watching a gray haired man talk when I was promised lots of space lasers and action. As a kid I never paid attention to those interviews, but I really enjoyed the films. They were probably my favorite. Like all kids I had a “goto” movie, and it was Empire Strikes Back, I loved the AT-ATs at the beginning and seeing these other little ships zoom around with tow cables to trip them was fascinating. But as a kid, it was just that, my favorite movie, I had little exposure to it otherwise.

My Christmas when I was 6 I believe, I received a ton of star wars action figures. As well as an X-Wing that made Artoo noises and the modified YT-1300 Corellian Freighter belonging to a certain scoundrel and his Wookie copilot. I speak of course of the beloved Millenium Falcon. Best Christmas ever. I remember going to bed sometimes with those action figures which eventually resulted in some broken hands and stuff like that, but I didn’t care, they were mine and they were Star Wars.

Just within the past couple of years I sold all of those toys, still in mostly good shape, obviously they were well loved and played with though. I liked the idea of some other kid getting those toys and thinking they were a passage to dozens of different planets and adventures featuring the Force.

Anyway, then episode 1 came out, I was still a young kid, it was before my dad’s accident. He wanted to take me and we all went. I loved it, granted I’ve a few issues with it now, but it’s still Star Wars, and I certainly loved it without hesitation then. My dad had his accident shortly after that, I remember I had to see Attack of the Clones with my big sis from the “Big Brothers, Big Sisters” program. And then I saw Revenge of the Sith a few times in theaters.

However, it was sometime after episode 1 my love for Star Wars shot through the roof. My dad had his accident and even after he awoke from the coma, we were still spending lots of time in the hospital, then subsequently the nursing home. I needed things to distract me, so I took up reading. My mom would take me to the downtown library every now and again and eventually I would stumble on “Tales of the Bounty Hunters” a collection of short stories from different authors featuring those that do best in a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”.

Then I wanted more books featuring these characters I loved as a kid. I had spent some of my birthday money to get 3 of the “New Essential Guides” to various star wars things, I don’t rightly recall which 3, characters, vehicles and weapons I think. And I took those books everywhere. On the covers of the new ones it reads “Updated for the Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and The New Jedi Order!”

The first two I recognized as the newest Star Wars movies, the third struck me as odd. Perusing through more Star Wars books later on I found out it was a series of books. So, I of course bought the first, Vector Prime. I’ll be honest, I never went through the full series, I read like the first 6 or 7 books, that was it. But it was captivating, it allowed me an escape from the world where my dad was more than just handicapped and more than that it allowed me escape from the bullies.

I was bullied a lot in middle school, A LOT. I’m talking randomly punched in the face, shoved against lockers, used condoms thrown at you, take your lunch away kind of bullied. But Star Wars helped me.

The bus rides were the worst by far. Bus driver didn’t give two shits if a kid was being assaulted on his bus or anything else for that matter. That was pretty frequent unfortunately. Amidst all the name calling and slaps to the face, choke holds and wads of gum or lollipops being flung into my hair, I remembered Star Wars.

Sometimes they’d ask me rhetorical questions where I would get the bad result regardless. I would just talk about Star Wars, at first it perplexed them and bought me moments of reprieve while their brute brains tried to discern what I just said to them. Was it an insult? They couldn’t comprehend.

Soon though that lost its novelty, but I continued to do it. It was partially about defiance and partially about being proud of these things I loved. When I would get accosted in whatever variety, I might pretend I was Luke Skywalker and merely being put through trials. I would imagine I could feel the flow of the Force and it would sustain me long enough to get home where I could then fall apart. I would remind myself of various trivia to put my mind somewhere else, escape what I was enduring. Han Solo has a DL-44 Heavy Blaster, don’t you forget that.

Between my father’s accident and my constant bullying, I had a dire need to escape. And that’s just what Star Wars could provide. Now, I’m older, a bit more mature, my interests slightly more refined. I sit at a desk with two monitors placed on it, behind there is a wall covered in Star Wars action figures and memorabilia. I have a Star Wars designer watch just to my left of the keyboard. On the inside of my door, mounted to it is Boba Fett from the re-release of the movies in the theaters, it’s one of those cardboard standees. Glancing behind me at my bookshelf yields a couple dozen star wars books, some read, some not, my Star Wars RPG books, a few figures from the Star Wars X-Wing miniature tabletop game (which is effing fantastic) and a few more star wars action figures. I have star wars variants of common board games, including Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, a measuring cup set my friend got me that stacks together to make Artoo. I have dozens of those burger king toys and a few of the watches. I have star wars pins from various events. I have lots of star wars comics and posters and other things that are easy for me to forget about, but I know one thing, Star Wars is part of me, who I am, it’s a culture and way of life, and I’m glad to say that.

Whoo, that was long winded, but I think a good entry to the Nerditorial, hope you had fun reading it and of course, May the Force be with you!