Monday, August 13, 2012

All The King’s Men Vs. Bolt

There are few things I hate more than being a disappointment. In fact in college one of my football coaches recognized this so well that he ceased being verbally aggressive with me and instead employed what I went on to call ‘The Grandpa Offensive’, where when I wouldn’t live up to expectations he would simply pull me aside and in a very Grandfatherly way would just say, “Ben, I’m just disappointed in your effort here, I need more.” This always was and still is devastating to me.

If you yell at me, or say a bunch of hurtful things, or motivate me through false means I just get angry. I get frustrated and like the small child, maturity wise, I am I will act out. However if you use this tactic, perfected by my own Grandfather, I will literally run through walls for you. I know this is a weakness, and even my rational mind will note that when it’s used against me. That being said it still feels like a thousand poison daggers directly in my heart.

I think it’s because I want to please other people. Go ahead David and insert your 5 out of 7 joke HERE. It is true though. I haven’t always been this way I went through a phase where that was FAR from true, and in the process hurt a lot of people, got a divorce, and recognized I had become someone I didn’t respect and even like. That’s a weird head space to be in, to loathe yourself so completely. It’s a low point to be sure. Since that point I made a concerted effort to make adjustments and changes.

That’s when this intense desire to NOT be a disappointment re-emerged. So this weekend was really hard for me. I was a BIG disappointment to quite a few people over a myriad of things. The thing is I’m not sure I disappointed anyone but myself. I’m not sure if I’ve been the best Friend I can be to certain people. I’m not sure I was able to give them the support they need(ed) or will be able to. I feel like I also let Cassandra down by holding these things in. Overall though I think it hurt the most because I disappointed myself.

It rips me asunder to not be able to help the people I care about out. I feel helpless, and that is the one thing I loathe above all others. That feeling of having no control is beyond frustrating, and that culminating with my smashing something. Very mature of me isn’t it? That’s the thing I answered frustration over being a disappointment, by further disappointing myself. Spectacular! When I let slip the leash on that beast in my breast sometimes I forget that it doesn’t give a good gawd damn about consequence or disappointment.

* = Random Meme break of me being horribly judged incompetent by Cobra Commander and his posse. 

Instead I get to live with the aftermath, the embarrassment, the frustration, and the further disappointment that for all the flowery talk, all the work, all the time, all the effort, all the bullshit that deep down I’m not that much better than I used to be. The thing is all I can do is try and figure out a way to patch these holes. I think they are ‘fixable’. I think I can learn to be better, and then BE better. I try; effort has never been the issue, its recognition and control. It is also being to rectify the difference between the things I can control and help with and the things that are beyond me.

I can’t see to let go of things. I wear my guilt, both real and imagined, like armor or a shroud. I use it as fuel to get through things. I wear it like a badge of honor at times. It’s a multi-faceted ‘Thing’ that hovers around me so much that I would say it has become almost a creature comfort. That has lessened over time as I get to these moments of clarity where I am able to let some of these things finally go. However I seem to replace them with all new, all different things at a frustrating pace.

Maybe this is My Madness. I’m always concerned about going crazy, about becoming my father, or becoming worse. Perhaps in my own way I already am. Maybe this re-occurring bout I seem determined to fight with myself is its manifestation. If it is, I think I’m ok with it. It could be worse, than to have too much of a conscious, to feel too much responsible, and to want to be overly accountable for not only your actions but randomness of existence as well.

There has got to be a balance. I just need to find that balance.


You know what, enough of this today; let’s talk about something more fun. So it was another week so that means we received another Paizo/Wizkids gem in the form of a Shattered Star miniature preview!
This week we received a look at the MASSIVE (large in mini’s terms) Gug! For those that don’t know the Gug is a creation of H.P. Lovecraft and Paizo has wisely integrated it into its fantastic fantasy setting. What I love here is they just didn’t give us one beautiful shot of the Gug, OH NO! They felt it necessary to blow our frakkin’ minds and give us a comparison shot with some medium sized adventurer minis. Holy BALLZ! First off just take a look at that face that only The Black Goat Of The Woods With 1,000 Young could love. The paintjob looks amazing. The way the inner mouth is full of blood and gore, the fading yellow of the teeth, the nasty grey of the body. It’s just spectacular.

I’m not sure of the rarity value of this miniature, but I HOPE that it is an Uncommon because I want at least three. Secondly, the stance, while static, is incredibly cool. It’s slightly stooped, yet the head is up as if its either trying to choke down its still writhing meal or as if it’s looking up to pay reverence to the stars! It’s just a really wonderful depiction of a truly nasty beast. It would be a privilege to have it grave my table, and it will. Oh yes my precious little Gug, YOU WILL!

So we took a slight detour into Crazy Town there, even more so than our layover in Neuroticville. What do you expect?

I also did some reading the last week, and even managed to finish some books;

- The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker (***** out of 5) –
I love Clive Barker. I really do. In a lot of ways I love him so much that I have a hard time objectively looking at his work. This is NOT one of those cases. So if you’ve seen the movie Hellraiser (**** ½ out of 5) then you know the story already, and let’s face it if you have basic cable you’ve SEEN Hellraiser. The thing is even though Barker wrote and directed the adaptation of his own tale it lost something that the book has. There is this visceral miasma that hovers around the book as you read it, it reads like a story you shouldn’t be allowed to see. Like some account of events that leave a film of the ‘unclean’ upon you when you are done. That alone is enough for me to recommend it, but that doesn’t really do it justice. The way Barker is able to make not just Frank, but Julia as well, sympathetic and human. Make no mistake they are truly horrendous characters; morally deplorably, vice driven beasts, who would gladly sacrifice anyone or anything to get what they want. The true moments are in viewing those glimpses of Franks regret, or Julia’s confusion about her ‘love’ and the loss of what she thought her life was supposed to be. The reality is the Cenobites aren’t even the real monsters in the tale; they are just simply the end results of getting what you ask for. It’s Julie and Frank, their degradation, the addiction to their own lusts and greed for it, and in the end the loss of their very humanity that marks the true terrors of the tale. And that is Barker’s greatest trick. He holds up that looking glass darkly and allows us to see the potential for evil that lies in the worst impulses in all of us. It truly is a masterpiece.

- The Samarkand Solution by Gary Gygax (*** ½ out of 5) –
Yup, you read that right Gary F’Ning Gygax. The co-creator of D&D was also an author if you didn’t know. I haven’t had the pleasure of delving into his Gord The Rogue novels yet and instead decided to start with his Egyptian detective Magister Setne Inhetep’s tales. The setting is really pretty genius. It’s a fantasy world built on the back of if Egypt was the world’s foremost power. Inhetep is a magister, a prince, a cleric, and a wizard. WHEW! I know that is a crap ton of jobs. He is also sort of a Sherlock Holmes like figure in his world. His genius, insight, and magical talent are basically unparalleled. Therein lies my issue with the book, in order to give him a challenge the plot becomes entirely to convoluted, and rather than have him discover details about certain players on screen he deduces it ‘in his head’ and then springs it on us as he does those characters. It’s slightly annoying. That being said I really enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to reading the other two tales of Inhetep. The main reason I grabbed these from Paizo, was they had a really incredible sale on their Planetary Stories collections. They were/are $3 a book currently! That’s crazy person prices. So if you are reading this and like hard to find Pulp stories then go to their website and spend a boatload of money like I did.

Cassandra and I finally finished the first season of Falling Skies (**** out of 5).
I don’t think it is too big a surprise that I liked it. I think the bigger surprise is that Cassandra really dug it. I was worried it would be just a tale in the vein of The Walking Dead substituting Aliens for Zombies, and at first I felt pretty justified in that assessment. However as time went on I really had to change my tune. It’s a tight little drama that has overtones of war, tales of humanity and its loss, as well as the other classic tropes that it seems like all shows HAVE to have. The Aliens are mysterious bastards, and as we came to the end of the season there were no shortage of shocks, just as there of course was a HUGE cliffhanger at the end. Sure it can be a frustrating show as some of the characters are way more fleshed out than others, and sometimes they seem to do the dumbest things possible at the most inopportune moments, however it isn’t so glaring that it’s hard to watch or not ‘fun’. It reminds me more of Jericho than The Walking Dead, and since I really like both of those shows that is high praise from me. So you’ve hooked me TNT, now you just have to hope your second season doesn’t suck stinky donkey cock.

On that truly disgusting visual how ‘bout some…


- Movie-A-Thon was brilliant on Friday night. I’ll review the movies maybe later on the week, but I just have to touch on the fact that it was a really great time.
- Saturday night we grilled and had a fire in the drive way. It was a subdued little gathering, but also was a good time. It was full of a lot of laughs, a remarkably intense discussion on the Muslim faith, and some good grub. If the weather permitted I would do this EVERY weekend for the rest of my life. There is something relaxing about just hanging out around a fire and being with friends, it is truly magical.
- I had planned on painting minis this weekend and failed to do so, perhaps this week I’ll emerge from my painting funk.
- I was all excited to see the pre-order cost of the Rise Of The Runelords minis. Yeah, not so much now. The singles are ridiculously expensive. It looks as if I’ll be waiting awhile before I pick up what I was interested in, and that’s a damn shame.
- Cassandra and I are halfway through the Eccleston season of Doctor Who. It is even better than I remember it.
- The Trivia Death Match belt will be arriving this week. Then Cassandra can get to her ‘customization’ of it.

I think I’m done…

“Went to the doctor, to see what could be given.
He said, "Sorry, but you've got to do your own livin'."
Went to the pastor, to hear what he would say.
He said, "Sorry, son, come back later sometime after judgment day."
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.
No mother ship will save you. So goes the rapture of Riddley Walker.
Churchyard was empty, schoolyard was bare.
Wind in the streets, wind in the air.
Pockets of diamonds, nothing to buy.
Scream out hello and get no reply.
Victims of zombies convene in the park
While any man with dignity makes an easy mark.
Heaven is a long ways away. Heaven is a long, long, long, long ways away.
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.
No mothership will come save you. The rapture of Riddley Walker.
How many-cools of Addom? Party cools of stone?
Hart of the wood shudder. Eusa roam.
Drop-John been climbing on Riddley's back. Follow the power, a natural fact.
Orfing & Ardship, hardship is plain. Hardly Goodparley is ever the same.
Shadows and phantom's convene in the snow.
Among the low whispers are voices you know.
Heaven is a long ways away. Heaven is a long, long, long, long ways away.
There is no safe way out of here. No passage below the dungeon.”
No mothership will come save you. The rapture of Riddley Walker.
How many-cools of Addom? Party cools of stone?
Hart of the wood shudder. Eusa roam.”

* = So Mittens, THIS is the best that you can come up.  Well you at least your making it easy for me...

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