Thursday, January 31, 2013

Waxwork Vs. Cross Of Iron

It has been crazy busy lately at the place that pays me. Today I have a big ole meeting that is might make or break my future here. It involves money. I’ll be upfront about it that I hate money. I hate what we have to go through to get it, and I loathe that it is so necessary to facilitating happiness. The thing I hate about money more than anything is talking about it. I am absolutely disgusted by the idea of walking into a room with people and trying to ‘sell’ them on the fact that they should give me more money. It makes me sick to my stomach. Today I have to do that, and I hate it.

See I know I deserve more, and I think in their hearts of hearts they know I deserve more, but that is not the way it works. Especially not in a company that is ‘For Profit’ and has a bottom line to meet, they are just like any other ‘Money Before People’, red-blooded, capitalistic, American corporation they want you and I to work harder, longer, and do more for less. I get it, I don’t bitch about it, and I don’t hate on it. It is the current system and I have to make my living in it. However I don’t think we can discount that in the past companies had a personal relationship with their employees, there was loyalty, and a sense of fairness. I think the place that pays me tries to be both. And I think in that attempt they might also fail at both. I am a pessimist when it comes to things like this so I could be wrong.

It doesn’t upset me that the fail, because I think what they are attempting to do is impossible. It is a schizo-effective management style that wants things to be a ‘family’ business, friendly, fun, and positive, but at the same time doesn’t believe in disclosure, is wildly inconsistent, passive/aggressive in its conflict management, and profit geared. They are in a ‘No Win’ situation and therefor so am I. So today when I go into this meeting I’ve come to the decision that should I be denied what I feel I’ve earned, and more importantly was ‘promised’, and by ‘promised’ I mean bribed, then I shall be leaving to different pastures.

They may not be greener pastures; they will just be new pastures. Before someone gets the feeling that I hate my job or dislike the management, etc. I’m not. 80% of the time I love my job, LOVE IT! I help better the lives of folks who are marginalized by society, I am given the opportunity to try and affect social change, and I am allowed to do something that I excel at. The other 20% of the time I can’t stand my job. The reason I get so frustrated with that 20% of the time is that 80% of that 20% is changeable. They are things that if there was a true commitment to positive change they would cease to be an issue. That 80% of that 20% is a killer. I’ve explained this to my superiors, as you can imagine it didn’t go over that well, but I stick to it. I believe that, just like I believe that deep down they want to change that 80% as much as I do, because they also know that 80% of love could easily be higher for everyone.

I’m going in as a pessimist, full of trepidation and dread. I’m hoping to come out with a feeling that my hard work, dedication, and honesty are valued and rewarded, that’s the optimist in me that my lovely wife fosters along. The realist in me expects to get very little, but enough to stay. The realist in me expects that there will be a concentration on my perceived ‘weaknesses’. The realist in me expects that I will roll my eyes and remind them that it has hard to judge my job performance when you don’t really even understand what I do. The realist in me expects the status quo to be kept in place and the 80% Vs. 20% to continue as a war of attrition both in the job itself and in my very work psyche. I really hope that in the end the optimist in my gets to enjoy the car ride home, but I’ll settle for the realist.

The other night I finally finished reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (Infinite *’s out of 5).
Let me just say it’s wonderful. The premise is brilliantly simple; the Old Gods of the world who found aspects of themselves brought with immigrants to the U.S. are at odds with the New Gods of today. They are competing for worship from a very small contingent of the ‘faithful'. There is a war on the horizon and it will be a bloodbath. In this world behind the world ‘we know’ the rules, the personalities, and the moralities are at best foreign, at worst monstrous or beyond comprehension. We walk that world with ‘Shadow’ a man just out of prison with high hopes to not just come back to his life as he left it, but better it. You can guess that it doesn’t happen. In fact that initial chapter or two are devastatingly heartbreaking on the surface. Gaiman is brilliant in the way that he made me connect with and feel for a character that I’d only really ‘known’ for less than 50 pages. When the ‘change’ comes it’s like a ton of bricks crushing you, and you end up feeling what ‘Shadow’ just can’t seem to. In a book full of Gods, so bigger than reality in all senses, our point of connection is a man steeped in loss and almost a stagnant indifference. He has an iron resolve to cope through focus. I’m not going to spoil the book for you because everyone who I know, or who reads this drivel, or who even looks at this book SHOULD read this. It’s that good. It’s about loss, trust, discovery, faith, family, and love. In the end it’s about humanity and what you find when you take that moment to look in the mirror a little longer than normal and see into your own eyes. It’s really about whatever you want it to be, and that is why Neil Gaiman is a genius. This easily has moved into my Top Ten Books All Time. I recommend, NAY demand that you all take the time to walk the landscape between the worlds with ‘Shadow’ being led by the magic that Neil Gaiman can weave.

I got a little poetic there, but the reality it is that damn good. So there was some final Shattered Star previews at the end of last week, but really they were just pictures of minis we’d seen rendered digitally before. I made my order for two ‘Bricks’ from Hot Comics, Richfield & New Hope locations, (SHILL!), and now I’m just waiting for them to arrive. I also picked up some really cheap singles off Ebay and I have to say I really am happy with what I’ve gotten so far. The Caulborn look fantastic and will find a place in my new D&D Campaign. I’m a bit disappointed with the two Derros for no other reason than that they are REALLY small and therefor only have a spotty paintjob. They aren’t bad at all, but I just wanted something a tad larger with a bit clearer paint job. The Cat Folk Rogue, Shadow Hound, and Pallid Path Cultist were exactly what I thought they’d be and I love them. That Cat Folk Rogue is going to get MAJOR run in the new Campaign as an NPC. The Shadow Hound looks good, but a little flat being that it really is just one color. The Pallid Path Cultists are wonderful and I MUST find a way to use them immediately. The opaque sculpt with those creepy eyes make it just amazing. The two final pieces blew me away. The Glass Golem is fantastic, its ‘frosted glass’ paint job really stands out in hand, the sculpt is active and dynamic. Again it is a mini that will find its way onto my table as soon as possible. Last, but not least is the Troll Champion and it might be one of my favorite pre-painted miniatures of all time. First off it is enormous! That thing dwarfs Hill Giants, it truly is a Champion. Secondly, it is essentially a miniature representation of Skanderbrog The Troll!
He was my favorite character in the Pathfinder Tales book ‘Song Of The Serpent’ by Hugh Matthews. Honestly look at that picture and tell me you DON’T want a massive miniature, much larger than a ‘Large’ sculpt, of that Troll glaring down at your PC’s looking to grind their bones between its gore stained teeth. See you CAN’T tell me that because it would be a lie. This miniature has made me rethink my feelings on using Trolls in a campaign. So much so that I’m trying to figure out which of my groups will have to deal with this Troll Champion and its regenerating brethren. Imagine a war party of 20 Trolls, most of them Large, all starved for food, by the by ‘food’ usually means intelligent beings, like PC’s. They come storming out of the mountains using hit and run tactics, tricking entire regiments of mercenary troops into following them into mountain passes where they decimate and devour them, not even leaving the armor. Trolls themselves are a fascinating and frightening enemy, now add a Champion, possibly with Divine blood, which is smart, crafty, and has larger plans than just living a life of random raiding. He wants a kingdom, and a throne built on the bones of his enemies. That is what is sort of beginning to turn in my mind, because with a mini that looks that good it DEMANDS a tale worthy of it. Well done Paizo & Wizkids, WELL DONE! Now I await my ‘Bricks’ and hope that the rest of the set is close to living up to my new expectations.

Well this ended up being a lot longer than I planned how about we wrap it up with some…


- I’m rooting for the 49ers on Sunday just so Moss gets a ring and shuts Jerry Rice up, and that way it’ll mean Gawd is as tired of Ray Lewis talking as I am.
- The last Podcast has gotten a lot of attention from different folks. Let me just re-iterate here what I’ve told some of my friends who have contacted me about it. In my life only one person’s opinion truly matters to me, and I married her. The rest of the time I try to keep my friends & Friends on the best terms with me as I can. That being said I try to live my life honestly, “Men Have No Secrets”. I don’t hide who I am, what I believe in, so why should my relationship be any different? Believe me, we didn’t pull the ‘curtain’ to far back on our lives by having that conversation on the Podcast, we just opened it a smidge. We kept the mystery of what we do behind closed doors just that, a mystery. I appreciate all of you who listen, and even more so those that e-mail and message me with their thoughts; good and bad. So BIG Thanks to Duke, Dewey, & Hides. And of course to David for being the best partner a guy could ask for and to Cassandra for being the most amazing woman alive as well as my Best Friend.
- I think I’d slug a baby for some sushi right now.
- On one more Podcast note, to the girl who now won’t talk to Dave because of the Podcast; get over yourself. You seriously will live a much longer, happier, and healthier life if you realize just how crazy you sound in those e-mails. THAT might be why you are endlessly single and slightly paranoid. I wish you the best and I hope you figure out that the world doesn’t really care about you or your feelings, just like the rest of us. And to David, bullet OFFICIALLY dodges Golden Palomino.
- F’ You Cartoon Network! Cancelling Young Justice is just another in a long line of decisions for why I refrain from watching your lame ass channel.
- D&D on Saturday. I’ve got my Monsters done. I’m punching out my new Terraclips tonight. I’ve got to get my miniatures pulled out, I’ve got to clean up the tables and move the rest of my painting stuff, and I have to get my ‘rooms’ built. Otherwise I am ready for the climax of the first 9 levels of this group. Is it weird that I’m nervous?
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIAMOND DAVE WHEELER!  Remember to think Mindblow Studios for all your custom action figure and art needs.  SHILL!
- As I continue to watch old CHIKARA I’m really anxiously awaiting the disbanding of the Kings Of Wrestling stable and seeing just when Claudio gets his revenge on Chris Hero. On top of that how long does Claudio remain a ‘face’ before forming the dreaded B.D.K.? On a side note the Eddie Kingston/Hallowicked feud in 2007 was amazing, and the ending was utterly and completely perfect. CHIKARA is just a joy it leave me with so many questions and all I have to do is keep watching to get the answers.
- We had Al Baker’s the other night and gorged ourselves on chicken wings. The thing is I’d do it again right now.
- Cassandra and I are watching the 2002 Masters Of The Universe cartoon. It is right up there with Thundarr as a sort of Sci-Fantasy cartoon that sets my imagination on fire. If I was rich I’d go out and buy every damn Four Horseman MotU action figures I could find. It’s just such an interesting setting.

I think that’s all I really have to say today, wish me luck.

“Cracks in the ceiling, crooked pictures in the heart
Countin and breathin, I'm leaving here tomorrow
They don't know, I'd never do you any good
Laughin is easy, I would if I could

Ain't gonna worry
Just live till you die, wanna drown
With nowhere to fall into the arms of someone
There's nothing to save I know
You live till you die

Live till you die, I know

Loosing a feelin', that I couldn't give away
Countin and breathin, disappearin in the fade
They don't know, I'd never do you any good
Stoppin and stayin, I would if I could

Ain't gonna worry
Just live till you die, wanna drown
With nowhere to fall into the arms of someone
There's nothing to save I know
You live till you die”

    * = Sometimes this seems like an elegant solution to an annoying problem...


  1. Wow, Dave is so indiscreet that I get a mention here? Maybe that is why he remains single...

    1. Anonymous it might possibly be. I'd really hope that before casting a shot across the safe haven of a keyboard you would take some time to realize just how fruitless an endeavor it. I guess whatever makes you happy. I hope you find what you're looking for I truly do. Everyone deserves happiness, but if trolling someone's blog is what does it TROLL ELSEWHERE. When you do this it just makes me want to talk about it more on a Podcast or on my blog. Which really is counterproductive to all of us. So for future reference if you don't have anything nice to contribute, just don't. Again good luck and may you find what you are looking for.

  2. Wow, that's just odd.

    I tend to move on when things don't work, though recent events have made me a tad bitter, but I think it's for the best that people should just go their separate ways (like the Journey song)before I turn into the dick Ben knows I can be.

    Oh and by the way, I love being single. I wanna find someone that rocks my world, but I can wait.

    I am a patient boy
    I wait, I wait, I wait
    My time is like water down a drain
    Everybody's moving, everything is moving
    Please don't leave me to remain

    In the waiting room

    I don't want the news
    I'm not a part of it
    I don't want the news
    I have no use for it
    Sitting outside of town
    Everybody's always down
    They can't get up

    But I don't sit by idly
    I'm planning a big surprise
    I'm gonna fight for what I want to be
    I won't make the same mistakes
    Because I know how much time that wastes
    Function is the key

    In the waiting room