Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Return of the BF

Not to be confused with the Return of the Jedi.

So today is the day my BF finally returns from his trip to China. I am quite happy to have him back. As you might have guessed from the few posts I did while he was gone, I was feeling lonely without him. Not that I just sat in the apartment and waited on him to get back. I went to three different social engagements over the past weekend, which is a lot for me. And while it was great to get out and be around people, coming home to an BF-less apartment was still lonely.

With all that said though, it will be an adjustment having him back. For the past week I've pretty much been in bachelor mode. I've enjoyed the silence of the apartment. I've done what I wanted without worrying if he wants to do it or not. I haven't had someone asking me 10 times "So what do you want to do today?" I've just done what I've wanted and enjoyed the freedom.

It will be even worse now that his school is out and I'm still unemployed. We will be together in this small apartment 24/7. One of us might not survive. ;-)

But for all my bluster, I am happy to have him back and happy to share this space with him. Now if only his plane would hurry up and land!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Class

Tonight is my first class in the Technical Communications certificate program at Bellevue College. And I am feeling anxious.

I felt anxious before my Writing Sci/Fi and Fantasy class too. But it was a different anxious. Even though I had no clue what to expect from that class, at least I felt I had enough skills to conquer whatever they threw at me. I know I can write, and writing fiction is easier in some ways. You get to create, you get to let your imagination run rampant. Technical writing, on the other hand, has rules and regulations and a right and wrong way of doing things. And I really dislike screwing things up.

I never know what to expect from 3 hour long courses too. In this case it is a 3 hour long course that only runs 5 days, so you know they will be filling up ever single minute of the class with something. I can't imagine that the teacher would just lecture for 3 hours, which means that there will probably be some form of in class exercises, which worries me. Our class room is not one of the class rooms with computers, so I don't really know what kind of in class exercises we could do.

Worry, worry, worry. I could make a professional sport out of worrying.

I know it will work out in the end and things will be alright. I just wish I could go ahead and get it over with. I hate sitting here knowing that in 7 hours time I'll have to drive out to Bellevue and go to class. It makes it hard to focus on anything else.

That and the yard people outside running their weed whackers. Do they really need to come once a week and make all that racket? It is so annoying.

Anywho, time to get to working on something.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Being Alone

I have a cat helping me write this post FYI. If I devolve into sentences of "meow meow meow" you'll know why.

So the BF has been gone now for roughly 3 days. It is odd being in the apartment alone. I feel I should add a caveat to this. Even without the BF around I have two loving, talkative, furry beings who live with me. So even alone I am not truly alone. And however much they may like to talk, it isn't the same as conversing with an actual human being. They seem to have very one track minds for one thing.

Hmmmm, maybe it isn't that different from talking to a human after all.

Anywho, when the BF was still in school I didn't see him that much some days of the week. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays we got maybe 15 minutes to talk before he had to go to bed to start the day all over. But we had the weekends and even if he was asleep there was someone here.

I can't say being alone has been a bad thing. It is certainly much quieter around here. But I do miss having him around. Doing things with someone else is better than doing them alone.

Okay, so the cat is about to drive me crazy with his begging for something, so I have to go deal with him. Later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation Time

Well, it isn't vacation time for me, but for several people in my life.

The BF left today on a week long trip to China. It is a trip funded by his school and part of it will be spent at their sister school in China doing cooking demonstrations. So it isn't a full on, total relaxation vacation, but they will have several days where all they are doing is sightseeing, so it is close enough. This is also the first time in our relationship where he is going somewhere and I am stuck at home. Normally it is me traveling to visit my family while he is left to babysit the kitties.

Friday my parents leave on a two week vacation visiting the Northeast. Their main reason for going is to ride their motorcycle in the last few states up there they haven't yet. Their goal is to ride their motorcycle in all 50 states, though I don't see them ever getting Hawaii. They did Alaska already, but Hawaii is much harder to get to. I think this also marks the first time in 2 or 3 years that I will not be flying out to spend part of their vacation with them. They like to see me at least twice a year, but with the economy and the price of airline tickets going up, it is getting harder and harder to achieve that.

I am feeling somewhat mixed emotions about all of this. I like traveling. I like visiting new locations and doing the touristy stuff. However, being unemployed means I simply can't travel anywhere right now. I don't have the money. So that means no vacation for me. I get to sit at home while these other people are getting to travel somewhere new. And while I would never begrudge my loved ones their trips, sitting at home alone is boring. And lonely.

On the upside though I have a jam-packed next few days. I have an information session about the new school program I am getting started on, a house-warming party to go to, a gathering of friends on Sunday, and my first class on next Tuesday. Yay for stuff happening!

Still not quite as good as going to China though.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thoughts on Colors

Back in April I took a workshop to help me identify my personality in hopes it might lead me to a new career. The workshop was based around colors. Personality traits were divided up into 4 colors and then everyone was tasked with figuring out what mix of colors they were. Everyone has all 4 colors in them, however generally they have one color that is their dominant color, with another color as a close second. These were called our primary and secondary colors and one of the main focuses of the workshop was finding those colors.

I bring this up because I've been thinking about the personality colors lately and how I relate to different colors. I will admit I found a lot of truth in the workshop and it has explained a lot about myself and my interactions with people.

My primary color is green and my secondary color is orange. Green is the color of logic and analytically thinking. Since green is my primary I spend a lot of time up in my head and I very rarely make decisions without thinking them through. However, my secondary color is orange. It is easy to ignore the secondary color and focus on the primary, but that is a mistake. Orange is fun loving, happy-go-lucky color. Orange people do not like rules, restrictions, or tradition. They are impulsive, free-spirited people. I don't have all the traits of an orange person, but I do not like restrictions, I can be impulsive, and I am definitely fun-loving. Mix the two colors together and you get a deeply thoughtful person who doesn't see the point of following rules that don't make logical sense and who doesn't see the point of performing activities that might not bring enjoyment or fun. You get a person who doesn't like to be tied down, yet who also doesn't like to do anything without a plan first.

One quick note: I am making some generalizations and assumptions in this post. Yes I realize that isn't always a wise thing to do, but just go with me.

In looking at my relationships I have concluded that I get along best with other 'green' people, with one notable exception. I have difficulties interacting with people who are green/gold. Gold is the color of family, tradition, and duty. Gold people strive to be the best at what they do. Gold people like to follow the rules and will do things simply because they are "suppose" to be done. Gold is the color I have the least of in my personality. In general I have trouble understanding gold people, but it is worse with green/gold people. Green/gold people are people who appear to me like they should be logical people, but who do things for what I consider to be illogical reasons. For instance, a green/gold person would defend a family member regardless of what they had done simply because they were family. Whereas I would defend a person based upon their merits and what they had done, not whether there was a blood tie there or not.

Gold primary people I don't have a problem with, in general. My BF is a gold primary person. He does some things I perceive as illogical, but that is okay because his primary motivation is not logic, it is tradition and family. Expecting him to be logical and think everything through all the time would be the same as expecting a dog to meow. That isn't to say that he doesn't think things through or that I don't hold him to standards I shouldn't. But that is another conversation entirely.

Bottom line, I think the only way to understand yourself is to process why you do the things you do and how you interact with people. By looking at myself and how I judge and interact with people, I can understand the reasons I act like I do. And then I can either enforce or discard those reasons. By looking at what is happening behind the scenes, I can learn to understand myself better.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Science Fiction or Fantasy

Random thoughts today folks.

Typically the phrase is Science Fiction AND Fantasy, but most of the time I consider the two fairly separate. The two often share common themes and plots (Hero out to save the world/universe) and it could be argued that Sci/fi is just as fantastical as Fantasy. However, there are striking differences in the two. One is often set in the future, and concerns space travel or some high technology. The other is often set in a medieval setting and most often features magic and/or swordplay.

In the past I have often found myself gravitating towards fantasy. I've always loved the idea of waving my hands and shooting fireballs at people. I like the ideas of riding around on horses and men in spectacular suits of armor and dragons and elves and all that jazz. Science fiction tends to focus on the science and as such there worlds are more grounded in rules and laws. Fantasy worlds have always felt more wild and free, where you can get away with just about anything and call it "magic".

And yet, here lately I have found myself drawn to more science fiction stories in my writing. I blame part of it on the fact that most of the video games I'm playing now are Sci/fi. I'm in Star Trek Online and Mass Effect 2 and how could you not be daydreaming sci/fi after zooming around the galaxy in a starship. Yet I've often struggled when writing sci/fi. I have trouble visualizing what future tech will look like. Half of the inventions we have currently to me look futuristic and strange. And I struggle with the science of it all. I don't want to write a story that is full of bad science.

This has all come up because I have two stories circling in my head. The Sci/fi one is more developed in terms of plot and is on the forefront. The Fantasy one only really has a beginning and I haven't fleshed it out like I need to. I think I should start the Sci/fi one, but I find myself hesitating.

And writing all this down has helped me figure out why. Which is the whole point. I'm sure my wonderful readers like to think this blog is for them, but really it just a way for me to get my thoughts out and help make sense of them. Sorry.

So today is a day to get back to work. I've slacked all week for various reasons but it is time to put that aside and dive back in. Tally ho!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Single word titles appears to be all I can manage these days.

As I sit here and rack my brain for something to talk about, I am struck at how dull the past few days have been. I have not left the house since Sunday. Which wasn't so bad when I thought today was Wednesday but now that I realize it is Thursday, well, it seems bad. And due to it being a major video game week, I've spent copious amounts of time sitting in front of the idiot box.

That's not to say I haven't done things. I finished the revisions on a short story and sent it to my Mom and BF to read. Mom said she was really impressed which made me happy, the BF has yet to read it. I spent an hour yesterday working on various emails to people. Yay for a social life I suppose. And I have done a spot of dusting and sweeping. So it hasn't all been sitting around.

Nothing just feels important enough to comment on. I don't want to get out of the habit of blogging though. I know myself well enough to know that if I go for too long without making a post, then I will just forget about it all together. And I do want to keep doing this. I suppose I need to come up with a list of topics to talk about whenever I don't have anything else going on.

And lastly, on a bit of a side note, on two separate occasions in two separate places in our apartment I have found an ant on me. I have no idea where they are coming from and if it were just the one I wouldn't have worried, but with it having happened twice I am a bit concerned. Is it possible for them to just be crawling out of my skin? Do I have ants inside of me? I would prefer that to them coming in the apartment from outside somewhere. They can be such a bitch to get rid of. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I play video games. I have for as long as I can remember. It started with the Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers. I moved from it to the Super Nintendo, and then I got a computer and discovered the world of computer games. I'm not sure why, but I've always preferred computer games. The computer led me to games like Warcraft 2 and Diablo. I still have very fond memories of Diablo.

Then a curious thing happened. In my senior year of high school I pretty much stopped playing video games. I know part of it was just how busy I was with both marching band and being in the senior play. I went for a 3 or 4 year stretch where I just didn't really play many games. Oh I still had a couple that I played on the computer now and then, like Heroes of Might and Magic (4 I want to say, but I can't remember). For the most part though I was too busy doing other things. I think it was around my junior or senior year of Undergraduate that I picked up games again, playing on my Xbox, PS2, or computer.

The thing I remember sparking my resurgence of gaming enthusiasm the most was a game called Star Wars Galaxies. At the time I was in a Star Wars fan club and several members played. I had always been strongly opposed to games you had to pay a monthly fee to play, MMORPGs, but after watching a friend play I knew I had to at least try it. I was hooked immediately. After a good deal of time in that game I moved to City of Heroes and then on to World of Warcraft, from which after over 6 years of playing I am finally freeing myself.

I mention this because this week is E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo. It is a huge convention in California where game developers meet to talk about what they are working on for the next year or what games are coming up for release. It is a week filled with delicious morsels of gaming news. And like the fan I am, I pull up a chair to the table and gobble up as many of these delicious morsels as I can.

Yesterday was spent glued to the TV watching the broadcast of the expo and today will be spent much the same way. They are also running shows tomorrow and Thursday I will watch too. It doesn't matter that over half these games I will not play and/or have no interest in. I just like seeing the excitement people have over them, see the trailers where characters are doing fantastical things. I like seeing the innovation, or lack there of. I like the experience and enjoy soaking as much of it as I can up.

So if you want to find me over the next few days, that is where I will be. Sitting in front of the TV absorbing as much as I can.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I was unbearably lazy this weekend. It was one of those rare weekends in Seattle where the sun is out and shining bright and the temperature was above 70. We opened all the windows in the apartment and there was enough breeze to make the heat tolerable. There was something so good about the sun on my skin I just wanted to roll around in it. It is rare for me to enjoy the sun, being more of a darkness kind of guy, but I do have those days when I just love it.

Saturday we went out with a group of friends to a local park and enjoyed the weather. We went to St. Edward's park, which is near a local college. I had never been before and found the park nice. It wasn't the best park I've been to, but the grass was soft and green and there was plenty of shade so I didn't turn beet red. What more could you ask for? Getting to the park was a bit of a nightmare, as the local college was having a festival so parking was nonexistent. But it all worked out and it was a delightful day.

Sunday I mainly sat by the open window and played on the computer. I had several other projects I could have worked on, but no, all I did was play games. It was relaxing. The BF had a school project that took up most of his day. And he baked a cake which we took over to a friend's place for our weekly Game of Thrones episode. I truly love that show. It was a good night with good friends.

Today I need to get some work done. I told my mother that I would send her a short story I did for class, which means I need to actually get one revised and ready to go. Revision is harder than you'd think. Often times it is more than just changing words and cleaning up sentences. The story I am working on now needs some structural work, and I am not convinced I won't have to completely re-write the whole thing. But this is part of learning and part of becoming a better writer, which I want to be. So I just need to knuckle down and do it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Art Overload

So yesterday was the big trip downtown to go to the free day of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). All in all the trip was a rousing success.

The first step was to jump on the bus and head downtown. I have mixed feelings about the bus. On the one hand, it is nice to be able to travel around the city fairly cheaply. The bus ride downtown only cost 2.25, which is much less than I would have spent on gas and parking. And it was nice to be able to sit back and look outside as the bus rumbled down the street. I got to see places I wouldn't have if I had taken my car. On the other hand, I dislike being crowded into spaces, surrounded by smelly people. The bus ride started out with just a handful of us, but by the end the bus was packed with people, some of which had to stand because there was no seats. Ick.

Overall the bus ride down was fine. I hoped off at Westlake and proceeded inside the mall there to have lunch. Now the food court there at Westlake really isn't all that. However they have an Emerald City Smoothies there which makes a great peanut butter and strawberry smoothie. Normally it is one of the best things I put in my mouth, however this time it was somewhat watery and bland. I was disappointed, but what can you do eh? Normally they are quite tasty.

Having been fed, I walked over to the SAM and stepped inside. I wasn't sure what to expect. From the outside it looked smallish, especially next to the mega tall buildings in the area. The lobby was neat, with these white cars suspended from the ceiling with blinking rods of lights shooting out of the sides. Being free day, they just handed out tickets to whoever walked up and ushered us in.

The SAM's exhibitions are divided amongst two floors. The first floor was their more modern pieces with their native american art, glass work, and some colonial pieces. The second floor was where their special exhibit was, their renaissance art, the porcelain room, Grecian art, and Egyptian art. The place is huge. I just kept finding rooms upon rooms with art in them. The outside was very deceptive. One of the first things I noticed was how eclectic the SAM was. They had at least one example of every art I could think of, and not just paintings. They had some beautiful cabinets and wardrobes, some fantastic silverware from colonial times, some fancy chairs, even an entire wooden robe that was a replicate of a room in Italy. And the porcelain room was an entire room filled with porcelain bowls and statues and knickknacks. The variety was delightful.

The special exhibit was by an artist called Nick Cave. He specializes in wearable art by making what he calls soundsuits, The different types of suits are named for the different sounds they make when people move in them, hence the name. The suits were amazing. They often had very tall headpieces attached to them and were made from a variety of furs, buttons, twigs, and sequins, normally in very loud and extravagant patterns. And there were an army of them packed in the exhibit. After looking at them for a while I had to sit down and close my eyes because my senses were just going into overload.

I was at the SAM for roughly 2 hours. I barely got to see all the pieces. The only reason I left when I did is because my brain just quit on me and I couldn't process another piece of art. I literally felt like someone had poured art into my brain and it was leaking out the top and dribbling down my head. I was in art overload. Plus my feet hurt. So I trekked back to the bus stop and managed to catch up to the BF who was busing his way back home.

The bus ride back home was less pleasant, due to having to sit near a drunk mentally ill woman who was loudly talking to herself. It was a stark reminder of why I will never ever ever ever work in the mental health field again. But thankfully she got off quickly and the rest of the trip passed without comment.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend the SAM. If you have never been go. I know I will be going back on the next first Thursday of the month. I still got pieces to see and process after all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seattle Art Museum Ho!

That is Ho as in "Onward", not Ho as in "Prostitute."

Today is the first Thursday of the month and that means that the Seattle Art Museum, known after this as the SAM, is free for whoever wants to go. Or at least that is what I have been led to believe. I have never been before, so I can not confirm or deny this statement. I am going to be changing that today.

The plan is to hop on the bus this morning, head downtown, have lunch at Westlake, then make my way to the SAM and browse around. Having never been I have no idea how long I will be there, or even if I will enjoy it, but I want to try. Ever since becoming unemployed I've turned into a homebody. I suppose the tendency was always there, but work forced me out of the house. Now, most days, I have no reason to leave so I just squat here in the apartment. It gets old quick.

Though I have to say that it isn't as simple as that. Staying home means not spending money, and since money is tight that is a very good thing. And I have lots to do at home, from writing to cleaning to playing with the cats to more writing and then let's not forget the multitude of video games I have to play. So it isn't like I sit here just twiddling my thumbs. When your daily world becomes a small two bedroom apartment though, you start to feel cramped.

Getting out will do me good. I could stand to be a little more adventurous and to get around people. The more I sit in the apartment the more I feel like a hermit crab, clutched up tight in my shell never doing anything. I need to change that.

So I'm off for an adventure. Wish me luck and that I shall see something amazing at the museum. I'm sure I shall have lots to talk about tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Last Class

This is the last class....the last chance....for loooooooovvvveeee.....

A little Donna Summers to start your morning off.

So last night was the last meeting for my Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy class. I was sorry to see the class end. When I started the class I was in a bit of a dark place. I was struggling to find my path and coping with the feeling that I had no skills and was not good at anything. Through the course of my class I learned just buckets about writing, such as what good writing structure is, how to avoid traps, and how to make my stories more interesting. And more importantly I learned that I do have some skills and I am good at something.

I wish I could say that after presenting my last short story in class everyone jumped to their feet and proclaimed it the best story they had ever heard. I can't. I liked the story I had written, but it had flaws and while everyone else seemed to like it too, I did get some much needed, but disappointing criticism. I think what I wanted most was someone to say "I can tell you are improving as a writer." I truly believe that I am improving with every piece I write. I know a lot more about the editing process now and I feel I am churning out better manuscripts. But even though I believe it to be true, it would have been nice to hear someone else say it. Sometimes validation goes a long way.

That is one of the downsides to writing I suppose. You do so much of it in a vacuum. You may think you are doing great work, when in reality you story has flaws that you just can't see. Part of that is training yourself to see the flaws. Learning self-editing is important. I also believe that finding a good writing group is important. Getting other people's opinions and perspectives can be invaluable to a writer. That isn't to say that your own opinion isn't important, just that other people can sometimes see what you missed. There is another end to the spectrum though, and taking everyone else's opinion and not listening enough to your own voice is just as bad as never listening to anyone else's opinion. As with everything in life, there is a balance.

I can't say taking this writing class helped me figure out my path completely. I can't say it healed all of my wounds and gifted me with the knowledge of the ages. But I do feel better having taken it. I came out the other side with more ideas and more knowledge than before. I think I have a path to walk down now. I have some direction to go. And for now, that is enough for me.

(As a sidenote, I would like to point out to my mother that I did not use the word "really" once in this post. :-P)