(no subject)
graemelion
Going friends only. If you want in, leave a note.

State of the Lion, Mid Year, 2011
graemelion
I never intend to get as hooked to the things I do. I've discovered in my life, there are things I do that I love, and things I do that I do just for the sake of doing them. You know, the "fit in with this crowd" type of crap. Now, mind you, I've never really HATED doing those "fit in with the crowd" activities. WoW, EVE, etc were all fun little pastimes that got boring quickly. So I dropped them. IRC is starting to get boring and annoying, so I've kinda stopped paying attention to it. Furry is in a phase for me that simultaneously is scary and extremely exciting.

All this is a prelude to a rebirth.

When I was in school, I didn't really concern myself with fitness. There was a "weight room", but only the jocks were allowed in there, and I was a nerd. School sorted itself into three categories. Jocks, Nerds, Indifferents. The jocks cared about the athletic and competitive side of things. The Nerds cared about competition too, but shifted the arena over to their strength. The Indifferents just wanted to get home so they could listen to NKOTB or BSB or Kurt Cobain. You weren't really allowed to stray into someone elses domain, either.

Now I'm 32. The warranty is over, the stuff is starting to get annoying. I weigh 214.6 pounds, the diet I'm on started at 224. My insurance costs me $318 a month. Do you know why it costs me that? It's because I'm fat. Yes. I'm fat. I can wear loose clothing. I can mask it. I can look around and laugh at the 500 pound fat-cart riders around here, but actuarial tables don't lie (on average.) This weight will make me check out early. The 500 pound fat-carter might check out earlier, but we're both checking out due to it.

I decided that needs to change. And I decided that the best way to change that is to aggressively pursue change. I also found that I have many self-confidence issues. I don't stand up for myself. I don't take pride in who I am. I don't fight when I should fight. I don't believe what I can do.

On May 17, I went to a CrossFit course and switched my diet to the Paleo Diet. I've never been the type to be a gym rat. Lion. Thing. But after just one workout, I was hooked. And sore. And the really scary thing? That workout was ONLY 3:53 long. That's right. Under 4 minutes of work and this lion is ready to rack out.

But the weight started to drop off me. New weight started coming on. The new weight was muscle, the old was fat. I started thinking better. I started sleeping better. I wake up in the morning and almost lick my lips at the opportunity that is out there. I don't fear workouts, I relish them. I DESIRE them.

I see people doing muscle ups, and squats with basically my goal weight, and sweet little women deadlifting 363+ pounds. Once I would have written them off, or been jealous. Now I see them as lessons, mentors, people who have skills that can make me better.

I signed up for the Warrior Dash in September. It involves fire. Running. Climbing, Jumping, Growling. Everything a lion needs. I'm eyeing Tough Mudders as an eventual goal, but that event scares the hell out of me right now.

I wake up in the morning and eat steak and eggs, and some blueberries. Lunch is a good salad with chicken. Dinner is fish or chicken and more veggies. I drink once in a while.

There has never been a fire inside of me burning as bright, or furiously as it is now. I'm angry at letting myself get this fat. I'm angry at missing out on life this long. I'm channeling that anger into change. I wake up and the first thought in my mind is the sign at Notre Dame Stadium that reads "Play like a champion today."

I'm a lion, and I'm going to show you all what that means.

State of the Lion 2010
graemelion
Well, it's been quite a while since I updated my LJ, and that's something I should be doing on at least a weekly, if not monthly basis. Otherwise, why even have the silly thing?

So.. what has the lion been up to for the past few months, and what does my future look like? I suppose we can call this thing the State of the Lion, though some might argue it's the state of confusion. Or denial.

I'm still in Tennessee, living in about the same place I was last year and the previous four. I find myself reading a lot, and have joined a few online groups with regards to that. I intend to clean out more books and run them down to the library at some point. Elliot eyes each new book that breaches the premises with disdain. I view them as cool opportunities. I've also re-added my subscription to Audible, so am getting a good dose on audio books on my way to work. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is well done. My hobbies still include coding, board gaming, reading, writing, and soccer. I'm working on getting into shape, and have switched to a more local-food / plant based diet. I've found a neat CSA that has sent us some yummy treats, including some good homemade pasta. I'm down to around 215 or so, but that number wavers. I plan on going down to 165.

Furry has been an interesting group for me for the past year. I find myself reaching the mid-30s, and the fandom that once had everything to offer me has gone on to find younger kids to offer everything to. I still am reading and writing furry fiction, and still attend conventions. This year coming up, we're going to attend MFM, FWA, Furry Fiesta, and possibly a weekend escape to another convention. Most likely RCFM… but we'll have to see. The drama on FurAffinity finally tugged me under, and I now exclusively am at SoFurry, which will mean something if I posted stories instead of just kept them secret. I also have a top secret plan which will be revealed in a few weeks or so. It'll be NEAT. I look forward to working with the furs involved on that project. Finally, I'm getting a murrsuit/fursuit/status enhancer. I've wanted to do it for awhile, and so has my husband, so there you go. I'm getting a lion partial from Lacy and CP, and I think all of you should too. That's planned to be in by FWA, and I'm chuffed to get it.

Lately, I've gotten more and more political. My parents are political, being somewhat noticeable in the Democratic party, and I tried to emulate them. However, I've grown so sick of the Democrats and their inability to act like people who care about people instead of corporations, and so have switched allegiances to the Green Party. Now, I know that a "vote for green is a vote for ", but I disagree. A vote for green is a vote for green. If enough people stopped falling for the "voting for the lesser of two evils" argument, perhaps we could enact some real change in the country instead of the same change under a different letter. The lame duck session of congress has proven how silly this is all gotten, when the Senate Minority Leader congratulated Senator Harry Reid on playing an "excellent game." Really? This is a game? I kind of thought it was real life. I know that the Senators have it so hard with their public option for life health care, but down here on the ground, I'm tired of watching two very rich fatted calfs playing a game of tennis while we suffer. But that's that. No more. Now, I think global, and act local. I'm working on getting onto a few committees here, and maybe if I can get myself injected into the local politics, I can make some real changes. We need a greenway around here, and we could stand to have a local currency to enhance business. Oh, and a community run garden.

Professionally , the last year has been quite adventurous. I left the job where I worked for 5, almost 6 years, and went to a place across town. I make about 15% more, and the work is challenging. The team is burnt out right now, but that happens all the time with work like this. You go in waves. Right now, the wave is going out. We're overbudget, late, and have more work than people to do them. If anyone wants a job in Tennessee, lemme know. I might be able to offer you a path in. It's a good team, with smart people, and a very laid back boss. He'd have to be to suffer us through this. My plans are still the same with regards to this job, and what it means to my overall career, but I'm enjoying things now. The last job was good, but it just didn't feel like people were acting on the same team anymore.

Finally, that brings me to the overall assessment. This year was an amazing and fun year, and the high point was getting married. Yes. That's right. I'm married. Elliot and I snuck up to Connecticut, and we got hitched on 10/29. That brings up numerous questions about what our plans are politically, but right now, we're just enjoying the new status. CT has moved onto our radar as a great state to move to eventually. Perhaps someone has something in the insurance industry and wants to give a lion a chance ;) I'm certainly looking for places that offer me more rights than less or current. If any of you are interested in getting married in Conneticuit, let me know, and I'll tell you exactly how we did it.

And that's that. That's the state of the lion for 2010. 2011 is just getting planned out, and I hope things work out well. Have a happy holidays, and a great 2011!

Read a story.
graemelion
So, I bought a book called "The 3 AM Epiphany" which has some writing prompts. One of them is called "Imperative." It must be done using only imperative phrases/sentences. Commands. Generally the second person is assumed. Here's what I came up with.

-------


Sit at the piano. Pound out chord after chord while drunk people sing. Wonder why parents bring their kids to a piano bar. Remember that you’re not in the old place, but the newer place that is far better. Drink some water to clear your throat. Open up your fake book. Get out that typed set list. Look past the novel that you wanted to write. Don’t contemplate what life would have been like if you stayed in college. Try hard not to think about Jennifer. Cross the piano rendition of 867-5309 off your set list. Laugh a little at how silly life can be. Pretend to ignore the blond who has been staring at you from the moment you finished that song from Casablanca. Ignore the band of discolored skin on her left hand, the beautiful hair flowing over her shoulders. Ignore her because you don’t like women. Ignore her because she’s an obsessed fan. Ignore her because you’re not supposed to have fans. Wave casually to your boyfriend behind the bar. Don’t blush as he blows a kiss back at you. Wince as a drink is set down on the piano “compliments of the lady.” Wave back at her like you are a pro. Notice the tip jar on the piano. Smirk, because that’s not the kind of pro you meant.

Look down to learn what’s next on the list. Remember that you didn’t need to. Sip from the drink that sits on top of the piano. Gaze at the keys. Wonder again why you left school. Flow into the music as you start to play. Let your fingers drift. Let your mind linger into the music. Remember why you do this. Smile to your boyfriend. Watch the woman get upset as she figures it out. Judge her harshly for cheating on her husband. Wonder if you would have been a pity fuck. Wonder if your parents set you up with Jennifer to try to make you straight. Laugh in the middle of the Celine Dion song about hearts going on at the thought of being “made straight again.” Remember your mother sitting in the chair next to the fire as you learned piano from Mrs. Rosinski. Finish playing Celine Dion. Take a break and wander over to the bar to talk to your boyfriend. Nod appropriately. Drink water. Eat pretzels. Wonder about the future with him. Gaze at him another minute or two. Kiss his cheek and turn. Dodge that waitress who almost ran into you again. Tell your boyfriend to fire her. Shrug as he tells you that its just her first day, she’s learning.

Play more music. Play some Elton. Play some Billy Joel. Play Stevie Wonder. Entertain drunk people. Help people get drunker. Make some people forget what life is like outside. Make some people remember. Sing happy songs. Sing sad songs. Sing songs that make no sense. Sing songs that make too much sense. Listen as the boyfriend calls out last call. Blink. Swivel head to gaze at clock on the wall. Wonder how time flies. Laugh again at thoughts of Matthew Broderick lecturing people as Ferris Bueller.

Help boyfriend clean up bar. Mop up beer from the floor. Pick up trash. Put chairs up on tables. Put pool cues back where they belong. Unlock door to apartment upstairs while he locks the front door. Climb up stairs. Brush teeth, wash face. Floss. Watch him disrobe. Climb in bed next to him. Feel his warmth. Hold him close. Make love to him. Do it again. Fall asleep having figured it all out.

Been a long time..
graemelion
Wow.

It's been a long, long time since I updated this. Since back around FWA. And what have I done since then?

How about completely shift my life around? :)

I'm writing more. I'm far more confident than I was before. I'm planning on attending MFM as a super sponsor for the first time EVER. It'll be great. All because I've learned to say "no" to some things and yes to others.

Which brings me to a point. A lot of people have noticed that I'm not gaming lead this year, and I'm going to clarify what a few people have asked / said.

One, I did not get "fired." How you get fired from a free convention that you volunteer for, I'll never know.. but I assure you, my performance was just fine. :)

Two, I . Love. MFM. But at the same time, the last few years have burnt me out. So, what was I to do? Continue on the path of burn out? That's silliness. I've SEEN conventions burn people out before. They become mean, and dark, and brooding, and depressing. It only ever ends up hurting them, too. I needed a change of pace, and so I took this year off.

Three, "Took this year off? Does that mean you're coming back?" Okay. I am going to MFM, right? Follow me here. There is no "coming back" or "leaving" going on. I'll try to be a hardass about not doing any volunteer work or anything, and just being on "my time", but that'll make it to midday Saturday, I bet. If that long. I'm going to still be at MFM, I still love those guys, and I still will help where I can when I want ;)

Four, the ladies that took over gaming from myself and Elliot are AWESOME. I do not have any ill feelings towards anyone, or anything. I hope to say hi to them, and I plan on playing tons of board games, and bringing a few myself to share. Here's a hint, folks. If I didn't like the con, I wouldn't leave my property in the gaming room :)

So.. enough of these little whispers going on, please? I'm going to MFM, I hope you do too, the new hotel is _AMAZING_, the gaming room is _SPECTACULAR_ , and I cannot wait.

CANNOT WAIT.

And there will be outdoor spaces for sports. LOTS OF SPACE. And maybe, just maybe, there might be an outdoor track next year. And if that happens, well.. wouldn't that be awesome?

So chill. Relax. Be cool. It'll be fun if you let yourself have fun!

FWA !
graemelion
Okay, less drama filled post now :)

FWA was amazing. Quite easily one of the best cons I've ever had the privilege of attending.

I got tapped by Rama to be on staff this year, and I worked as his second throughout the weekend. It started with me coming in Thursday and doing gaff work for about four hours, and then just continued until it let up Sunday at 6PM. I enjoyed it. We had a relatively drama free dealers den, and had what is becoming our usual party during one of the nights. I look forward to continuing on next year as FWA staff.

Elliot and I got to see Matthew Ebel in concert, which is always awesome. We got hot dogs from the Varsity, rode Marta to see his family, and ate dinner at Fire of Brazil.

I got pretty much every Kyell Gold book, Matt Ebel's "Songs from the Vault volume 1", and a new commish from White Wolf. Graeme has a badge!

Next convention for me is MFM, and I'll be there as a normal every day attendee for the first time in five years.

(no subject)
graemelion
Last night, I was hanging out on IRC, and I learned a lot about people. Or rather, what people thought of me.

I also learned why I have friends that refuse to go on IRC.

I want to be a writer. I am writing. I don't have time to really do the IRC thing, so I'm going to shift some channels around (since some people are jerks :P ) and let it sit like Ben does. I won't really participate any further.. it'll just be there.

It's a shame, too. I kind of thought one guy had the guts to not be a drama-queened up furry. Wrong. :(

Oh well. I guess I can't pick the good ones all the time :)

Here it is, the great RPG sale
graemelion
Okay.. .here we go.

All items listed below will go for $5 a piece + $2 s/h per piece.  Minimum 3 item order.     Must live in the US.  Books will all be shipped via media mail. Shipping fees will be waived if I can get them to you at FWA , or if you can get them from me.   Payment must be made before I even bring them to the convention.  All sales are final and all products are sold "as is."

When you place an order, I will mark it as pending and strike through the items.  First come, first serve.  I will contact you with payment information, you will send me money via paypal (please include street address.), and then I will send you the shipment or coordinate a meetup with you.

Thanks Kovu, I forgot this: All D&D Products are 4th Ed except of course for the dungeon tiles which can be used anywhere, and Eberron Setting Guide, which is 3.0

Here it is:


Albedo 20th anniversary
Avoirdupois Ironclaw Supplement
Battletech: Strategic Operations
BESM REvised 2nd Ed
CBT: Dawn of the Jihad
CBT: Introductory Box set
CBT: Jihad Hot spots 3070
CBT: Map Set Compilation 1
CBT: Map Set Compilation 2
CBT: RPG
CBT: Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
CBT: Starterbook: Wolf and Blake
CBT: Tactical Operations
CBT: Techmanual
CBT: Tech Readout 3050
CBT: The Succession Wars, Tech Readout 2035
CBT: Total Warfare
Doloreaux Ironclaw Supplement
D&D: Arcane Towers dungeon tiles
D&D: Caves of carnage dungeon tiles
D&D: Dungeon Delve
D&D: DM Guide
D&D: DM Guide 2
D&D: Eberron Campaign Guide
D&D: Eberron Campaign Setting
D&D: Eberron Player's Guide
D&D: Fane of the Forgotten Gods Dungeon Tiles
D&D: Halls of the Giant Kings Dungeon Tiles
D&D: Manual of the Planes
D&D: Monster Manual
D&D: Player's Handbook
D&D: Player's Handbook 2
D&D: Streets of Shadow dungeon tiles
Ironclaw
Jadeclaw
Phelan Ironclaw Supplement
Pathfinder Core Rulebook
Pirates of the Spanish Main
Rippers
Robin's Laws of good GMing
Slipstream
Spycraft 2nd Ed
The Burning Wheel Character Burner
The Burning Wheel Fantasy Roleplaying System

The Savage World of Solomon Kane
Usagi Yojimo Limited Edition Release
Werewolf the Apocalypse 2nd Ed
World Tree

(no subject)
graemelion
 I'm not the kind of man who cries.  It's just not something I do to handle things.  I tend to have more inward expressions of emotion, that I try to shape into something productive and meaningful.

But for Patrick "Furp" Reed, I made an exception.  

I miss you, Furpy.

The Simplification of my Life
graemelion
 Well, here we go.  

Lately, I have been reading Leo Babuta's book, "The Power of Less", and reading his blog. (www.zenhabits.net)  I look around my house and I see a lot of neat stuff, but much of it tends to take up space.  I liked when I was able to fit my possessions into two fully loaded cars and a UHaul.

So, to that end, I'm beginning the great reduction.

Here's how this will work.  Over the next week, I will select five books in the following categories:

Gaming
Writing
Cooking
NonFiction
Fiction
Programming
Wildcard

That's it .  Just 35 books, down from the nigh hundreds I have here. 

Of those books going away will be plenty of interesting things.  A lot of D&D 4th edition books will be available.  I hear tell of a Pathfinder RPG that might also be available.   There will be Battletech books open too.  

After this, I'm going upstairs, and selecting FIVE board games.  That's right.  FIVE.  And Five Card Games,if I have that many.

I also am going to be selling my Casio Privia keyboard, some song books, and omg there's a sale on at Penny's!

Please note, this won't count my AMZN kindle books, as those take up no space.  

Elliot shall be thrilled.




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