Monday, October 15, 2012

Zombies Of Mora Tau Vs. Mark Of The Vampire

* = Ah, it's as if Mr. T. can read my damn fool mind.

I am in a tremendous amount of discomfort. It feels as if someone is trying to play the harp with the muscles from the back of my left knee to behind my left shoulder blade. I can’t really remember when I’ve felt this invasively physically miserable. It hurts to stand, to sit, to sleep, to go to the bathroom. I drove to work today with both of my feet feeling numb and tears in my eyes. It’s just non-stop, unrelenting, and unwavering. It’s affecting my sleep, my mood, my ability to get things done and my overall attitude towards all people, places, and things.

Don’t’ get me wrong I normally deal with pain rather well. I have had a lot of surgery done on this old bag of bones, I’ve put on the ‘brave face’ and competed when I shouldn’t have, and I’ve sucked it up and dealt with things rather well for the vast majority of my life. My ankles, my knees, and my shoulders are shot. To get out of bed in the morning is a process, making it down a flight of stairs to get to my bathroom an endeavor. Over time I’ve developed a mental process to shut out that ache, pop, burn, repeat that I get from the betrayal of my body. I have a process I go through on a daily basis to cope and strive with pain. I take that black blot of pain in my ‘white room’ and force it into a black rectangle, which I force into a triangle, which gets pushed into an octagon, which then goes back into a circle. I concentrate, I accept, and I re-focus my attention on the things I can control rather than this burden I get to endure. All that being said, when ‘new’ pain arrives it can throw my little internal system out of whack.

When I can’t cope I tend to really hate life. I just want to check out and become disengaged from almost everything. People become annoying, problems become things to ignore, and all I want to do is find a comfortable hole to crawl in, lie down, and ‘die’. The thing is we don’t appreciate each other’s pain. We really don’t. When you come to me and tell me how much you hurt, there is a part of me that internally goes ‘suck it up, I’ve had worse’. The thing is, much like beauty, pain is in the eye of the beholder. What might seem like nothing to me might seem like the end of the world to you, and vice versa. No one appreciates the physical suffering you or I struggle with when we are at our worst.

I’m not sure I even want them to. I can remember watching my father, stooped, suffering, shuffling, unable to stand erect, breathing hard just to get ten feet. I remember watching him and thinking, ‘someone put a bullet in me if I ever get there’. When I feel like this I’d like that bullet sooner rather than later. I can understand why people self-medicate, I know I want to. Feeling like this makes me want to rip my own skin off to feel anything other than that ache that is currently overwhelming everything else.

The thing is I should be happy. Money is handled, debt is disappearing at break neck speed, my friends are happy, my family is healthy, and most of my daily stressors are in a state of ‘remission’. However this black cloud of constant pain is breaking me down mentally. I’m losing my ability to find joy in things. Food doesn’t taste good, the company of my lovely wife has become an irritation, and sleep has gone from a moment of respite to a place where symptoms are exacerbated. Maybe I’m just tired and therefor feeling this far more acutely than normal. I need this to get better though, and I need it to happen fast, because I’m not sure how much longer I can ‘do’ this.

The thing I’ve realized is that by and large I can’t talk to people. I have an incredible wife, uncanny Friends, and a plethora of friends. However I have a hard time talking to them effectively. I listen well. I compare and contrast decently. I do ‘guy’ things well communication wise. However what I don’t do well is express my negatives in the moment well. It’s like they are stuck in my mouth and fall out like soundless sand. I think perhaps I’m terrified my thoughts, feelings, and emotions will be disregarded or invalidated. The reality is that I don’t think this will happen at all, and yet I fear it. Perhaps it’s a holdover from previous relationships, perhaps it’s mimicking the behavior of family members, or perhaps I’m just a stubborn fuck, who knows? All I know is that this blog becomes my refuge. It’s a place for me to shout these things out and not have to respond to the slings, arrows, or even life lines that get tossed my way. And it’s not that I don’t care about you, the readers of this schlock, or your opinions it’s just that in the moment I can’t see beyond my own bullshit to process it.

I am intensely egocentric. I have a very defined view of myself. I am selfish, stubborn, and as has been pointed out to me often by Friends VERY judgmental. I also can be caring, magnanimous, and selfless. In short I can be human; very, VERY human. It’s just that when I feel like this I don’t feel human at all, I feel like a thing, a broken, beaten, and tired Thing. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Well that was ‘happy fun time’ wasn’t it? How about we look at this week’s Shattered Star previews? Good, I thought you’d agree.
So first up is the Caulborn. I’m not familiar with this particular beastie beyond Mr. Mona’s write up. It is apparently an Underdark dwelling beastie that feed on the minds of others. The mini screams that. I LOVE IT! It’s got a creepy sort of stooped stance, the long fragile fingers are spooky, and that Cyclopic eye with the gaping slack-jawed maw has a menace to it. This is a mini that I want a slew of to make use of in my current campaign. Perhaps humans who dwelt to long in the Astral Sea and began worshipping an Astral Dreadnaught, subsisting off of unwary travelers, Githyanki pirates, and the remnant energy off of dying Gods. Something to think about I suppose. If you can’t tell by my write up this one is a ‘MUST BUY’ for me.
The second preview we received was the mighty Mesmalatu, a dreaded Demi-Lich. That was a lot more alliteration that I originally intended. I’m not really sure how I feel about this mini. I’ve got a handful of the old DDM Flameskulls, tiny miniatures, and I’m not sure I’ve used them outside of in skirmish games. Perhaps I should use them soon; I’ll have to think on that. Anyway(s), I like the energy boost of clear red plastic that gives this mini its height; however the skull itself is really busy. There is a LOT of color glaring out of that little head, it’s almost a bit garish. That being said, it SHOULD be garish. It is the skull of a Lich and the incarnate of its undead might. It should glow, be full of gems, and be radiating power. This mini does that. I think though for me it is going to remain a ‘PASS’.

We finished Justified Season 3 (Infinite *’s out of 5!) last night.
This show NEVER fails at blowing me away. The characters are robust, interesting, and multi-faceted. It is SO well written that even though Raylan Givens is the main character, played by Cassandra’s masturbatory fantasy Timothy Olyphant, you always feel there is a tangible sense of danger. Every time he gets ready to get into a confrontation you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach like THIS could be the time he doesn’t ‘win’. I think what helps with that is the secondary character and pseudo main antagonist Boyd Crowder, played mesmerizingly by Walton Goggins, could be the star of the show himself. He radiates complexity and charm, and at the same time is about as menacing as it gets. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the rest of the reoccurring cast of characters or even the amazing characters who have come and gone, mostly at the wrong end of a bullet, through the first three seasons. This is routinely the best non-comedy on television. There is a vibe in this show that is playful and dangerous, the dialogue is witty and rapid fire, and it pulls you into these characters in a way that most non-genre shows have a hard time doing. So after all that I’m sure you’re asking ‘well what the F’ happened in the season’? Well intrepid reader let me tell you in the BROADEST of overviews that the crap hit the fan in Harlan County. Boyd made his play for taking over the Oxy trade, we had the introduction of Robert Quarrels, a gun thug from Detroit played incredibly by Neal McDonough, who might have been one of the scariest characters on all of television while being strangely sympathetic. We learned about Mr. Limehouse, and how he is to be feared and respected. Raylan’s relationship with Winona got really complicated, and as it goes in every season of this show not everyone made it out alive. By the end you are left really questioning whether or not Raylan being Raylan has been worth it due to what he has lost. The thing is you see a little clip of Olyphant playing Raylan and that reckless joy and rage just spills out of the screen. It is an intensely flawed and human character, as are all of the characters on the show, which captivate you and leave you breathless by the end of the season. I can NOT recommend Justified Season Three, or ANY season for that matter.

Let’s wrap up this cluster F’ up with some…

- Well apparently Dave's new gal, Joltin' Jen, is good with Photoshop.  So am I.  You know of course that images like this can mean only one thing?  WAR!
- It was Sean’s birthday party on Saturday. Man he has grown up. He and Maddy just blow my mind whenever I get to spend time around them. It’s like you are seeing life in fast forward. Not to mention Gus, who is GIGANTIC now. That little rug rat is already crawling.
- I didn’t get my banana bread. I’m beginning to think I might take a stab at it myself.
- However we did partake of the pulled pork, crock pot style. It was really good. I had to sharpen it up a bit with some heat and some background flavors but it was addictively good. I think it would have been even better if we had used a pork shoulder rather than a pork loin. Although with the lack of fat on the loin it made pulling it far easier.
- I hate raking.
- DREAD is on Friday and the roster is starting to fill up.
I’m intrigued by what ‘professions’ have been chosen already. It will be strange to see how it all plays out. I think I filled the potential 'professions' list with enough benefits and drawbacks to make an interesting Zombie Apocalypse game.  In addition, Dave is putting together the soundtrack, and I’m really excited to see where he takes it. I need to get my hands on a map of Duluth as a reference point.
- I’m re-listening to Waves Of Mercury “The Great Darkness”. I had forgotten how hauntingly beautiful it is.
- Zack is BACK in the D&D group and I couldn’t be happier. He has constructed a very interesting and intriguing new character. We’ll see how it all fits together in next month’s session.
- Paymaster Games has a really cool looking Kickstarter called Going Native, any of you who like really interesting miniatures should give it a gander.
- I’m contemplating attempting to write some more lyrics for Dave if I can muster up some inspirado.
- Little to no painting got accomplished this weekend. I just couldn’t set to long on the chairs. I’m slightly frustrated by this current dilemma. Especially as March 2013 continues to speed towards me as Miniature Armageddon! That is when my Reaper Bones Kickstarter order will arrive.
- Warhammer Quest this Sunday at Steve’s! I’m excited to die horribly.

And with that I think I’m run the gamut of emotions enough today. There is a mug of hot tea and a handful of Ibuprofen awaiting me.

I) The Warning

All that falls and all that wilts
So begins in decay
As above and so below
Shooting stars from the House of God
Those who stand before us shall pay
The Judgement of Gods

II) The Observation

I saw mankind die
Awash upon the shore
I dwell within the wait
I know where you stand...
Along the broken path
I will see you again
Cut you down to size
And know this...

I have watched you as you grow
I've seen you fall before
And yet you rise up high
Only to fall back again
Down to your knees
I have seen your ways

I will remain forever, forever

And there you stand alone
With your faith and hope
That you will rise again
But soon I will pull you down
And you will all come to rest
Awash on this bloody shore
Then I will pull you down
Awash on this bloody shore

Now as you crumble away
You will see how it begins
And how it ends in pain
These words I have told you before
Each time you repeat yourself
At times we think you will learn
But it's always far too late

III) The Reckoning

Beheading of sanity
Desecration of virtue
The end of reason
No reason for the end
Cries of the lost
Mourning of the skies
Ashes of mankind
Float in bitter hues

The worlds you walk
The gods you pray
They are as nothing
Before the Undying
Eyes may witness
The glory that is ours
Beyond your knowing
We are magnificent”

    * = Those that don't know this pain have never picked up LEGO's out of the carpet after Dave, Jen, & Hailey have used their basement living room as a staging ground for LEGO warfare.

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