This is hard.

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The above is from an article I link below. I think 20,000 is low, especially if you include all of the negative messages we give ourselves.

So, you have probably noticed how terribly I have been failing in my daily posting. I have wanted to post, really I have. I didn’t even have a very good reason, other than a feeling of general anxiety and, yes, fear. It wasn’t even like I didn’t have content or ideas about what to write about. I even had the time. But you see, I had missed a couple of days.

Allow me to digress a moment here and share a story of shame from my past. I was supposed to graduate high school in 1989. I actually didn’t graduate until 1990. I know, you are probably thinking that I failed a bunch of classes, and am basically dumb as a box of rocks. If I were just dumb, that wouldn’t really be something to be ashamed of, it would just be who I was. Also, let me just say here also that I don’t think I have ever told anybody about this. I didn’t fail the classes (well, I guess technically, I did). Sorry, I know that I am kind of beating around the bush on this one, but this is really really hard to admit.

Okay, so back to my high school. Wait, before I do that, let me tell you that my birthday is mid-August. That is relevant, because it is a sucky birthdate when you are kid. It is at the end of summer, and usually corresponded to the first week of school. Nobody was going to have a party for you, the teachers didn’t know you, nobody cared. Okay, back to the story.

I decided to skip the first day of school. It was probably a pretty day. It was probably NOT my actual birthday. I can’t tell you why I did it, or what I did, but just didn’t feel like going. And for some brains, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t do it. And honestly, it might even have been the second semester of the year, making everything above simple prevarication.

Anyway, the second day, I thought, ugh, I missed the first day of school. Who does that? I didn’t want to face people – either friends or teachers and admit that I skipped. Then it was three, then a week. If you miss the first week of school, you better have been in the hospital or in Hawaii. Allow me to digress here as well, because by now, you are probably wondering “what the fuck were his parents doing?” The answer to that, is that I had a single mom and she worked really hard, and had no idea what I was doing.

Okay a week turned into two, and before you knew it, the principal, my mom (very unhappy), and I just kind of all agreed that maybe it would be best if I didn’t come back and just finished off school the next year. Honestly, I don’t know the logistics. My mom just cleaned it up, and I went back to school the next year and graduated. Barely. A side note here – you might think I could potentially have gotten invites to two reunions, but it turns out I have never gotten a single one. I wasn’t really popular, and honestly I doubt anyone even noticed that I wasn’t there, or cared.

Anyway, it turns out that I am not alone –  in fact, this is apparently fairly common for people like me with ADHD. I came across this article today (maybe it was yesterday, or the day before) “Children with ADHD Avoid Failure and Punishment More Than Others, Study Says” and when I read it, it resonated so hard with me. At the same time, Jessica from the How to ADHD youtube channel posted this:

So, I decided to just do a thing. I will fail again, I am sure. But I will try not to run, hide, or avoid.

Merging Blogs Here

You may or may not be aware that I have been writing on a couple of different blogs, namely geek blogs for my long-standing gaming group, the Sprue Posse.

When I started that other blog (well, restarted) a couple of the other members said they were interested in posting stuff, but that hasn’t really happened. That’s fine with me, but as I am “tidying” all areas of my life, having multiple blogs just doesn’t make sense to me. I would rather just post everything here, so that is what I am going to do going forward. There may be an occasional guest post, and it also means that this blog will get a fair amount of nerdiness but it simplifies my life so I am going for it.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be reposting some of those posts here (not all, but some). So you may experience a feeling a de ja vu and think “hey, this is crappy and lame, I have already seen this”. I am going to try and alternate new content and old content. And yes, this is probably cheating for my “post every day” but I am just gonna go with it.

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Mea Culpa

Well, honestly, I figured I’d make it a full week before failing on my daily posts. What can I say, I am an optimist and full of hope. ADHD definitely has it’s “pros”.

I could make lots of excuses about how busy I have been, how my back hurts, and how you should really pity poor me. In reality, I just chose to do other things. (I deleted that line about a ten times and rewrote it because it kind of hurts to look at it in this way. Some of the things I chose were more worthy than forcing out a post – working diligently at my job, making it to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, washing the dishes after dinner so my wife wouldn’t have to, writing on a Vampire story, and laying with daughter when she was scared from a bad dream. Some of them weren’t so noble – watching several episodes of The Dragon Prince (but y’all – that is SO good!), I absolutely HAD to draw this really cool picture of a thing that was in my mind. Watched a few episodes of Father Brown (quite possibly the best cop show on TV – and those costumes are always amazing). Oh and I had to redo a 500 point army list a million times, even though 500 points is too small for a real game and it is just going to be a silly exercise in throwing dice and having laughs with a few friends. So yeah, let’s just say I definitely missed the mark here.

I’ll try to do better.

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A New New Army for the New Year

As those of you who followed me before the upgrade explosion and glorious rebirth of this blog know, I decided this year to take part in #NewYearNewArmy for my Warhammer hobby, after almost quitting entirely due to time restrictions and just generally being in an unbalanced and bad place. Part of the reason for focusing on this is to bring balance and good completely non-work related hobby. As an aside, my core group of game friends here had decided to start new 40k armies and have quarterly meetups and games to keep us all on target to finish up a 2000 point fully painted army by the end of the year. Then my local GW store started their own #NewYearNewArmy set up, so doubly motivated I was ready to go!

I chose Nurgle originally as I kind of like their wicked cruelty mixed with humor in the background – I don’t usually mind playing the villain in games because I either win (yay!) or the bad guys the story lose (also yay!). I wrote up a fun background for them for the Vigilus Campaign at my local Games Workshop store in Glendale (which I may repost here later) but after playing a couple of games with them (and some other more personal reasons) I decided they weren’t for me.

I did a lot of soul-searching and and discussion with my good friend Shep about what army I should do. The army he pitched to me after doing some deep thinking was Harlequins. Not gonna lie, my first reaction was, “uh… maybe?” Don’t get me wrong, I have loved these guys since I first got the metal box way back in the late 80s – in fact, they were my first “big” Warhammer 40k army. They are an elite, tricky, speedy army which kind of ticks all of my boxes, so why wasn’t I more excited?

After unpacking some of my feeling and thoughts, I came to realize that the hang up was entirely because I used to have a full and awesome Biel Tan army that was stolen from me by a friend who left LA never to be seen again. After that happened, any time I thought about playing the Space Elves I ended up feeling a bit of that resentment. We are strange creatures, because I wasn’t even consciously aware that I was still holding a resentment and bitterness toward Mike and it was manifesting in my dislike for an army whose aesthetic and play style are totally me. Once I realized this and was able to process and forgive both him and myself, I found myself getting SUPER EXCITED about the idea. I built out my first models which are a Troupe, a Troupemaster, a Shadowseer, and a Death Jester. These models are ridiculously gorgeous and not a little bit intimidating to get going, but I’m looking forward to the challenge!

I have some catchup to play in order to get back on track for the New Year, New Army train, but I am confident I can do it – thanks in large part to the elite nature of this army. Beyond just the model and army, I am also really getting into the background and setting up a whole alien terrain set for my table. Here is what I have built and primed so far, with a bit more in boxes and ready to be built! A big thanks to Shep for his help and more importantly, his friendship and in knowing me so well.

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As an aside, I should have posted this yesterday, but it was a crazy day (can’t wait until Girl Scout cookie season is over!), so will likely make two posts today.

An Appreciation for the Feminine Genius

Happy International Women’s Day to all you ladies out there!

I have to admit, as a guy, I often overlook what you do. It is easy for us men to think of you as things* to acquire and possess. It isn’t intentional, it is just kind of how we have evolutionarily developed. We are made to protect and provide for our family, and sometimes we think that gives us ownership rather than stewardship and partnership of those in our lives.

I have come to realize over the last couple of years of introspection (and raising daughters!) how easy it is to overlook our differences and judge you on a masculine scale. It goes without saying this is a huge mistake that we as a society, and I personally have made in the past and likely will continue to make in the future. Thanks to a couple of great podcasts (in particular Abiding TogetherLove People, Use Things – and The Catholic Feminist Podcast) have really opened my eyes, and more importantly, my heart to the Feminine Genius. I admit I don’t always agree or relate with everything I hear but it is opening a dialog within me when I shut up and just listen.

One of the things I have been doing a lot to change my way of thinking around a lot of areas of my life is to try and see what things are not before assuming what they are. I am sure I will talk more about this in the future, but this line of thinking has really brought to my mind how amazing women are and how incredibly complementary our geniuses are when we work together. We are truly like a jigsaw puzzle and you can’t see the beauty of the picture using only half of the pieces.

So to all you daughters and mothers, sisters and aunts, grandmothers and godmothers, wives and lovers, bosses and friends, please accept my love and my gratitude for your compassion and empathy. For your ability to do the things with a joyful heart which I find hardest. For showing me the greatness inherent in being receptive. Thank you for bringing the soft edges of beauty to my world of hard edged competition and daily struggle. Thank you for showing me the example of true strength through loving me when I least deserve it.

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* I just wanted to clarify my use of the word “things”. It’s not intended to be derogatory, nor is it just female, because we often view other males in the same light as a challenge to accomplish, and obstacle to overcome, or a prize to be won rather than a living human being.

Lentanies

Don’t worry nerd friends, tomorrow will be a geek post.

One of my other Lenten observances is to learn and pray different litanies. I have been just writing them in my bullet journal (for all two days of Lent) but it occurred to me that some others might find comfort in the structure. At its most basic definition, according to the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) is “a litany, which, in its original Greek means a “supplication” or “petition,” was used for a wide range of liturgical occasions, as well as for penitential processions, for visiting the sick and the dying, and for private devotion.” I should also note that there are only six litanies approved for public use by the Catholic Church, however, they are typically not condemned for private prayer. The intent in posting these here are to aid in private prayer. For those wondering, Pope Clement VIII forbade them by decree of the Inquisition in 1601 in order to prevent them from being abused and dividing the church. My opinion also is that one must take care that recitation of litanies (like all prayer) doesn’t become vanity as that is a very real danger of just saying the words without the spirit.

Okay, so that takes care of the background and what it is. The first one that really blew my mind and opened my heart came courtesy of Father Josh Johnson from the podcast Ask Father Josh and is the Litany of Humility. For bonus points replace the word “others” with the name of a person you are envious of or dislike. This is a really hard prayer for me, because I have been rightfully called both condescending and arrogant. Anyway, here you go. I am not sure if I will post all of them as I go, or just occasionally, or not at all after this one.

Litany of Humility
Litany of Humility

Hello Again Again

This time it will stick. I am sure. I hope. One of my Lenten observations this year is not bury my talents (see Matthew 25:14-30). This post is kind of a re-introduction and a first step on my journey to do better, and be better.

It is important to me to tell you a few things about what this blog isn’t, as I think that helps to define it as much as what it is. This will help you discern whether you want to stick around for the ride or if you want to close this window now and be done with it. No hard feelings either way, I assure you.

This blog is going to be a lot of reflections and thoughts, mostly, with the occasionally self-indulgent pitch for something. While I am restarting this during a deeply important time for my Catholic faith it isn’t going to be a Catholic blog, although there will clearly be posts from me as a Catholic exploring ideas, talking, seeking, it isn’t going to be the main focus. There will also be posts about my kids, my miniatures wargaming hobby, my writing, and my daily struggles as an individual with ADHD. And while the previous sentence was entirely my my my and me me me there may even occasionally be posts about something other than me.

So, I’ve talked about the “why now” so what about the “why at all?” As I mentioned at the opening, one of my observations is to not bury my talent. I have been struggling with writing for the last couple of years (a future post will delve deeper into this) but ultimately, one of my talents is writing. And out of many fears and much indecision and second-guessing myself I have buried this talent to keep it safe, rather than growing it as it was entrusted to me to do. I firmly believe that all writers must write daily. I used to be very good at it, I am not now for any number of excuses (and you know what they say about excuses). My Lenten Intention around this is to post daily. This is me digging up the coin, you might say. I’m sure I will miss the mark, but I’ll keep trying.

I’m setting this up to auto-share on my social media as a way of reaching out to my family and friends both real and virtual and inviting them to go with me on this journey, but I am fasting from Facebook for Lent. I mention these two facts because I want to set the expectation of someone who sees this on Facebook and then leaves a comment and is disappointed or hurt that I didn’t respond to them. Likewise, I am blessed to have friends from a wide variety of faiths and across the political spectrum. It seems to me that comments are the modern equivalent of the Coliseum and I implore you, though you have the best intentions, please don’t fight amongst each other in the comments.

Finally, no doubt someone(s) out there is saying “Matthew 6:5, bro, don’t tell us about your fasting and prayer. Go into a closet and shut the door”. My response beyond what I have already stated above is that ultimately this is for me, this blog is my closet and my journey. 

 

(sorry if this double posted, I am trying to fix something)

Hello Again for the first Time

This time it will stick. I am sure. I hope. One of my Lenten observations this year is not bury my talents (see Matthew 25:14-30). This post is kind of a re-introduction and a first step on my journey to do better, and be better.

It is important to me to tell you a few things about what this blog isn’t, as I think that helps to define it as much as what it is. This will help you discern whether you want to stick around for the ride or if you want to close this window now and be done with it. No hard feelings either way, I assure you.

This blog is going to be a lot of reflections and thoughts, mostly, with the occasionally self-indulgent pitch for something. While I am restarting this during a deeply important time for my Catholic faith it isn’t going to be a Catholic blog, although there will clearly be posts from me as a Catholic exploring ideas, talking, seeking, it isn’t going to be the main focus. There will also be posts about my kids, my miniatures wargaming hobby, my writing, and my daily struggles as an individual with ADHD. And while the previous sentence was entirely my my my and me me me there may even occasionally be posts about something other than me.

So, I’ve talked about the “why now” so what about the “why at all?” As I mentioned at the opening, one of my observations is to not bury my talent. I have been struggling with writing for the last couple of years (a future post will delve deeper into this) but ultimately, one of my talents is writing. And out of many fears and much indecision and second-guessing myself I have buried this talent to keep it safe, rather than growing it as it was entrusted to me to do. I firmly believe that all writers must write daily. I used to be very good at it, I am not now for any number of excuses (and you know what they say about excuses). My Lenten Intention around this is to post daily. This is me digging up the coin, you might say. I’m sure I will miss the mark, but I’ll keep trying.

I’m setting this up to auto-share on my social media as a way of reaching out to my family and friends both real and virtual and inviting them to go with me on this journey, but I am fasting from Facebook for Lent. I mention these two facts because I want to set the expectation of someone who sees this on Facebook and then leaves a comment and is disappointed or hurt that I didn’t respond to them. Likewise, I am blessed to have friends from a wide variety of faiths and across the political spectrum. It seems to me that comments are the modern equivalent of the Coliseum and I implore you, though you have the best intentions, please don’t fight amongst each other in the comments.

Finally, no doubt someone(s) out there is saying “Matthew 6:5, bro, don’t tell us about your fasting and prayer. Go into a closet and shut the door”. My response beyond what I have already stated above is that ultimately this is for me, this blog is my closet and my journey. 

Shoes Challenge

Eglentyne did another word challenge – this one on shoes. I posted the list over there and then she followed up with another one. Here is my response to that.

She was squatting low to the ground and taking a long drag off of a short cigarette as I approached her. Her shoes were almost comically oversized with platforms and heels that took her well over 6 feet. They completed the stripper uniform as much as the glare she shot at me.

“I am on break, man.” She sounded tired. She called herself Velvet or Satin or Silk. Some kind of material. It could have been Plaid or Corderroy for all I knew. I never care about their ghost names.

Her name was Analise Stracken. Ani to her family; my employers. She was pretty in the pictures they showed me. Not quite Hollywood pretty or even Broadway pretty, but would definitely turn your head if she walked by you on the street. Those pictures were obviously taken before the work. Her breasts belonged on a woman twice her weight and her chin had been narrowed almost to a chisel point.

I wondered who told her that was attractive. I am sorry to say that I still wanted to fuck her.

Finding her here was a relief – most of the ghosts I find are literally Ghosts. Ani dropped off the face of the world 16 months ago from Carnegie Mellon where she was studying dance. She was good enough to get in but mediocre enough to have to pay for it.

“Me too.”

I pulled out a pack of Marlboro’s myself and asked her for a light. One of the things I like about LA is that my tats help me blend in. Even the neck ones. Probably especially the neck ones but why shouldn’t they? I grew up in Chatsworth.

I am never sure why, but nothing brings people together like a shared vice. We chat for a couple of minutes and I decide that she is nice. I am glad that she’s not dead.

I can tell she likes me, too, which is always part of the job and will certainly make what’s hurt her even more. She stands up and sure enough, I am now eye level with her left boob. I decide to call it Maria.

I am about to say something else to her when the whispers start. I sit down on the ground and put my head between my knees before the nausea hits.

My Ghost is about to become a ghost.