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Ovirew Blog

The Seventh Year.

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Now that we've reached November, and we're also nearing the end of the year, I feel very much like a chapter of my life is closing. One year ago I became single, and slowly started down this confusing new path in my life. Come February, I'll have placed a year between my moving out of my ex's, and getting my own place. Next year will mark the start of my 7th year, since moving away from home. And I begin that 7th year with a fresh slate - as a single albeit uncertain man.

Twenty-Sixteen was a rough and sobering time. I spent much of the year coming to terms with, quite simply put, "the way things are presently". I think the simple realization I had was that I'm not entirely happy with where I am presently at with my life, and that I would like to do better... Yet at the same time, I'm not fond of starting over and taking risks. I saw the ugly sides of myself re-emerge many times over the past couple of months, and I don't feel like I've emerged from this part of my life yet. Perhaps there is much to learn before I can say I'm not this person I am now.

It would be great if I could be more independent, but I feel like mastering some of that self-control and discipline isn't coming easy. Though it would be great if I hadn't gone to college and given myself that new added expense, I realize I can't really take it back. Either way, I've been playing tug-of-war with my credit card payments since before all of that - it's clear that I've never managed things as well as I would have liked. My disappointments in people, women, and my own short-comings as well as things I can't change... It really has become much more personal for me this year.

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The Previous Book.

When I think back to circa late 2009, I was probably not in a very great frame of mind then, either. I was unhappy with the disappointments of the real world, and how complicated things are once you're actually working and trying to do something that matters, when you figured it should all be much simpler.

I was eager to leave behind my failures and unhappiness back home, and to start anew. And, realizing that I had high standards that this imperfect world just can't live up to, I lowered my standards a lot... And accepted that maybe I needed to meet life halfway.

For the most part, I think that realization was the catalyst that changed my life and brought me to where I'm at now. I had to burst that bubble and accept things as they are to move on, otherwise I'd still be holding out for some perfect job, and some perfect friendship; some perfect life and some perfect woman. And those things just never would have come along. It was difficult for me, but once I gave in and accepted that I wasn't perfect, it made it easier to relate to people.

Of course, I overlooked things. We always do.

Sometimes it's possible that we give up too much of that dream. There are things we are passionate about, or that we strive for. There is a better version of ourselves that we all want to be, and sometimes we lose sight of that. I got used to feeling like I constantly had to stand down, and stay put. When nothing is perfect, you just kind of take what you get. You lower your self-value, and never think that maybe you could be capable of more, or deserve more. It becomes even more frustrating when people who don't seem like they deserve things are frequently successful and get the things you want. It becomes agony whenever you start to question whether you are doing enough to deserve even what you have.

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Striving for Inspiration

Sources of motivation and inspiration can be difficult to find, or even to remember. Often they are fleeting, or are things which we don't give enough thought to, or don't notice right away. Every once in a while it's as simple as seeing a really good movie that sticks with you. It could be something as complex as this inkling of a feeling you got from a random subconscious thought.

I'm not sure if my inspiration or motivation is as clear-cut as some living muse or role-model. Maybe it's just a broader collection of the things I like, that give me a lot of those inspirational feelings. I think in some way we are our own muse, since we are the ones that interpret this idea in our own unique way, and create our own things from it.

Not really sure what got me on this subject. I suppose it's because I've been thinking about drawing lately, which at one time I kind of enjoyed. Drawing and coming up with stories and things. That, and I have really been embracing music listening.

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I guess once upon a time, my main muse was animation - a lot of the really creative cartoons and comics and things that existed up to the time of my childhood. As far back as such wild classics as Felix the Cat, as mainstream as Hanna-Barbera, as cult as Bone, and as original as Herge.

I grew up with what I still consider to be one of the greatest times in the history of cartoons. Early to late 90's saw many original and innovative cartoons come along, as well as continued broadcasts of many great 80's action shows. It was a good time to be a kid. And towards the advent of the Millennium, East met West with the growth in popularity of Anime outside of Japan.

Between FOX Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and all of the big networks that showed Saturday-morning and after-school cartoons, it was a very creative time for animation. It was also a time when many intellectually-engaging cartoons were made that carried jokes and references that translated over well to the adult demographic as well as children. Some... Even had morals, or a heart.

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Animation changed a lot as traditional hand-drawn cells were abandoned in favor of computer animation. It reached many new and creative heights with various art styles - MTV's Cartoon-Sushi programming series comes to mind - and touched on political-correctness and social commentary with shows like South Park.

Though I feel like we kind of got back to that sort of uniqueness in recent times with shows like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Steven Universe and Rick & Morty, among others, I think we will never really have another era with the likes of Dexter's Lab, Captain Planet or Tiny Toons.

In middle school and high school, I had fully embraced anime throughout my teenage years. I think a real aha moment came later on, towards the middle of high school, when I discovered Megatokyo. The webcomic post format, the sketch-like drawings, and the unrealistic humor juxtaposed with inner-turmoil and depression really invigorated the child cartoonist within me.

For a time, I felt like I could make my own comics and gain an audience for them online. Maybe such a thing is still a possibility. Maybe I could even make an animated web-series, or something entirely different. A game? A series of novels? A TV show?

I still haven't stuck with it. Though on occasion, the creative bug bites me and I'm excited about some new idea or concept.

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The Next Step?

So I guess the thing I'm still uncertain of (and the thing that is actually literally keeping me awake today), is whether I should keep going with my life here, or move away and try something else.

It's true, not a lot has me tied to the place I've lived for the past 6 years... But I have put so much time into learning where things are here, and all of my important connections have my current address and phone number. It would be difficult to uproot. And, not to mention, I would miss the friends I have made here. Even my ex, who was still a major part of the last couple years of my life.

Moving back is such a difficult prospect for me because of the feelings that I would be back-peddling. It would be great because I would be closer to my family, but I would have to learn things all over again. It would be difficult to let go of the things I have that I can do here. But then, maybe it would be more affordable and less risky.

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Just thinking back to high school, when I still had dreams of accomplishing something with my life... Even with my lofty goals, I had lofty goals that I was passionate about and that meant something to me. Were they attainable? Probably not. Not in the way I hoped they would have been. I overlooked simple hurdles that existed, such as my social awkwardness and lack of high grades. I didn't know what life outside of school was like yet at that point, and didn't realize how complicated even simple things are to me.

...But I would have felt great if even some parts of those puzzles fell into place. Maybe I was never going to move to Japan or Seattle. But maybe I could have been a little more like that person I wanted to be, and gotten some of the things I really wanted - like women, or a foot in the door with some industry a bit closer to my heart than retail.

If you don't have a plan and take no action, you won't attain anything. If you put some effort towards getting somewhere, maybe you will.

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As I conclude this rather lengthy and personal blog entry, and try to fathom exactly what the main over-arching point was among it all, I realize I've spent a lot of time at work on this now.

I guess I'd say, from my own experience of being myself, that the main point is this:

Part of me has been hoping lately that I would meet someone new, and that would propel me to move on to the next stage of my life. The thing is, I don't think anybody wants you whenever you aren't sure what you want. I don't know if that's the only reason why women aren't interested in me, but I am thinking it's a big part of it. You can't really be open to meeting different kinds of people - they want to hear that you're looking for something specific. Otherwise, they don't feel special if any girl could fill that role. As selfish as that might be, maybe there is something to it. It would mean a lot more if I met a woman who is what I'm really looking for, who has a lot of the qualities I'm searching for, as opposed to a woman who I try to find qualities I can appreciate inside of.

For now all I can do is see how these next couple of months go, to determine if I should give this at least another year. But if it becomes clear that this is just a dead-end for me, then I'll only be wasting my own time if I overstay my welcome...

~ Andrew

Ryzing to the Switcheroo

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For the past week or so now, I've been playing League of Legends. This despite being uninterested in looking into the game for several years now. Thanks to some prodding from a couple of co-workers, I finally tried it, and I don't regret it. And though I'm still uncertain whether I'll ever be 'good' at such a competitive team-based online game, I'm certainly growing to like it.

Prior to this I didn't know much about the game, other than it was a MOBA. Now I know it boasts nearly 150 different playable characters, each with their own sets of skins you can purchase, and I understand the basics of how you play the game. And it takes a lot of work to get even decent at LoL - it might just be the most popular game in the world at this point, so there is a lot of competition.

My first character is Ryze, pictured above. I really like the character, and he is kind of considered to be the game's starting mage - though as my co-workers pointed out he is actually too difficult for a beginner to use. I want to get better at using him, but at the same time I've found a few other big favorites. I think my new favorite to play as might be Nunu, an eskimo that rides on the back of a yeti and who is apparently in dire need of updates. Despite this, Idk, I really just like playing as them - I think I could get semi-decent with Nunu. Ryze will take more practice. Master Yi and Annie are also favorites. There are more I would like to play as, but that will require me to save my points...

I think I will try to hang in there and keep practicing at the game, maybe focus on a few particular characters so I can maybe get good at using them. I have to work on getting more kills!

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And by now I'm sure most of you know about the Nintendo Switch, formerly the NX.

To be honest I am kind of interested in it. I mean, it is an exciting prospect, if it turns out well. I think there are really just a lot of unknowns at this point, many of which we won't get answers to until closer to its launch next year.

The main thing I'm uncertain about is that a console doesn't really fit into my living situation right now. The portability makes it especially interesting to me. But it's difficult to say whether or not I should jump on the Nintendo bandwagon again, given my history with game systems. For now, it's simply not in the picture - and it would take other changes in my life for owning this system to be a possibility.

But it is nice to dream. And the concept Nintendo has laid out here is a very good one. What we are seeing here, regardless of how well it succeeds, is a great concept that will probably see adoption in the gaming and tech world going forward, in one way or another. I'm almost certain of that.

A big thing for me, though, is the games. It depends on the games. Will I be able to play Pokemon Sun and Moon on this thing??? If I can play that, Zelda and Splatoon, then we've already got a really decent early line-up of ports. I wonder what new games are in the pipeline?

Between League and Nintendo, my interest in gaming has maybe become more hopeful. It's good to have games there, even when your life needs work.

~ Rew

Searching for the New Me.

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In the past (nearly) year since I got my own apartment and moved on from my relationship with my ex, I've tried to just do whatever I can to hold on to the life I've slowly made for myself since I moved away from home.

Of course I have my dreams and goals yet - not nearly as ambitious now as they were when I had just entered the workforce, and there are things I would like to accomplish for myself to make my life happier than it sometimes is. I am still not as independent as I would like to be, a fact reinforced again and again by the fact that my parents have helped me on a few occasions to keep my post-marriage life possible.

And it's obvious that I still don't have all of my own personal stuff together. I still don't know what I want out of my life, or even if I should keep going with what I have here or return to square one - pack up and go back home. I still have hope, I still think things could work out, but I'm not really sure how.

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A few weeks back, I finally told a long-term crush how I felt about them. It wasn't glamorous, and it wasn't done in the best possible way. But I did it, and that is something I can't say I've been brave enough to do for most of my life. But this was probably one of the biggest crushes I've had in my life on someone, so much so that I developed some feelings for her, and was persistent despite signs that she never felt the same way.

We always want to hold out hope for the best possible outcome. But as is obvious, she just didn't feel the same way about me, as I did as her. I had spent a couple of years building her up in my head, and tried to build a friendship and a connection with her. She never really let me in, or considered me in that way. And, I think she is with someone else now. But, I guess it's just her loss, since I think I would've been awesome to her.

I guess I know deep down that finding new love isn't going to be so simple, and that I really need to find someone who is a better match for me. Someone who has everything I really want in a girl. Otherwise, maybe it will just be a repeat of what happened before.

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A problematic pattern that I've noticed I get myself into, is when I am rejected in some way in life, I become desperate to find something to fill whatever has been rejected. In the case of this crush - who I had feelings for late in my last relationship - I was so broken up about the reality of my current fate without this girl that I was desperate enough to kiss a girl I felt nothing for. And then start trying to talk to a girl I went on a few dates with who has since resorted to completely ignoring me.

It does get discouraging when women on dating websites never respond to me, or women in public never really seem to want to get to know me on a deeper level. And it sucks when I don't really have a whole lot in common with someone, and don't feel like I can really make much of a connection with them. I guess life becomes so uncertain that you aren't sure if you need to hold out for something particular, or give in to something that shows a little bit of interest.

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I guess right now I'm trying to get back to a certain amount of 'normal' in my life, since the past few weeks carried lots of changes. Too much change at once isn't good. At work, I switched to the overnight shift, and have had trouble maintaining healthy sleeping habits since. I got a new car and loved it. I wrecked it. And now I finally got another car and feel better about that again... except now I'm cautious. I started drinking coffee and eating different stuff, like my last post mentioned. And I have been hanging out with some different people than I'm used to hanging out with.

Ideally I would like to meet a down-to-earth girl, one that is my type and is into some of the same things as me, and who likes doing some of the things I like to do. We would date, have sex, and hang out at each others' places until we decide, "You know what, we should move in together!" And then maybe I would get some other job, or move to some other place. And then maybe we would have a baby, and start seriously building a life together. I don't know.

Two days ago I ran into this girl at the convenience store, and she seemed upset. I told her the inside of her car looked cool, and she was taken aback, but realized that I thought it had character because of the purple stuff she decorated the interior of it with. I thought she was easy on the eyes, and would have liked to have more of a conversation with her - get her number or something. I didn't. Not sure if I'll ever see her again. And I guess I don't know how I can ever meet someone if I can't manage to overcome this step.

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So, the lifelong journey continues. Of finding myself, in the moment. I guess for now all I can do is embrace the things I love. My rock n' roll music and my long walks at the park. My fascination with fantasy and JRPGs. My fanboyism of Game of Thrones. And keep my eyes open for girls who come along and completely complement me. And enjoy myself even if they don't.

~ Andrew

Nights and Discoveries

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My recent decision to work overnights has been the part of a larger plan to search for my "next step" in life. With so many changes occurring in my life recently, I want to take advantage of the momentum as much as possible to sort of zero in on an actual 'change' - all without changing jobs or giving up my life that I've developed here.

I think stagnation was a big reason for the switch to 3rd shift. I had been mostly fine with the way things were, but it's true that it was too comfortable. I wasn't really learning new things, and nobody really had me doing things I asked to do. And after a while people just kind of look at you like, "Why does he get special treatment?", and, "Why can't he do this when he's been here for half a decade?", whenever I was assigned to do something that I hadn't really gotten to do in a while. I wanted to stay as well-rounded as possible, but it became clear that I was just going to stay relegated to the role of "fixer" most nights, to try to smooth things out as much as possible while most of my coworkers booked it.

Another reason was my coworkers. After 3 years in that position, it became clear that we have serious problems keeping a crew together. The turnover rate is pretty lousy. And the quality of workers we hire leaves something to be desired. I think the final straw was realizing that one coworker who I considered to be decent was actually causing a lot more harm than good. Coupled with the fact that he cost our company a lot of money, got at least 4 other lousy workers hired there, and is calling in and taking off early just about every day now it became clear to me that he is the biggest problem associate on our team. Aside from him, most of the new hires have already called in at least once, and their performances have been a mixed bag. And the coworkers who we have had since at least the beginning of Summer have divided up into cliques and display sometimes questionable behavior. One long-timer who went away for a while and came back a couple of months ago got taken out of the store in handcuffs the other day. No question about it that we can't keep a good crew.

And then the last and most significant reason, maybe? My own embarrassment. Perhaps the only way I can find to move forward in life is to cut ties with things from the present. If things aren't going anywhere and I'm kind of left hanging on, I begin to resent all of the time I've spent having to live with those less-than-desirable moments I had throughout my run, that make me look like a lesser person than I know I can be. Maybe I haven't cut enough out of my life to truly move on, or maybe I simply didn't try hard enough to get what I wanted before? Maybe I am the thing that stands between me and what I want?

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Much of my attention recently has shifted towards music. Since I moved to New York state I've seen a lot of changes to my musical tastes and collection. In 2011 I had a small assortment of CDs, collecting whole albums for some artists and compilation albums for others. I developed more of an interest in 60's and 70's rock during that time, slowly drifting away from a period of interest in Radiohead and a mixture of modern rock songs. Eventually my CD collection bloomed and then subsequently imploded under my own poor disorganization from the get-go.

A few years ago, maybe 2013, I decided to embrace digital music and buy all of my albums that way. I never amassed quite the pile of music that I had owned prior to this, though I did a mostly better job at focusing on individual albums from an artist's career and explored many other musicians' works that I was not that familiar with up until that time, such as Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, The Who and even many newer artists that I was already a big fan of but who I'd never had the time to really explore before. I came to realize that I really enjoyed grunge and metal music from the 90s, and that in fact the early 90s sound was what influenced a lot of my musical background.

In 2014 I recall this one specific moment where I was listening to Internet radio stations, and realized this sort of appreciation for early 70s/80s punk music that I just didn't know was there before. And by sometime in early 2015 I'd mostly given up on digital purchases of albums, unhappy with many of the restrictions and complications it posed. Late last year, I began my CD collection once more - with a much different musical palate than I'd possessed in 2011.

Upon my recent visits to the local record store, I discovered a newfound interest in used CDs. I have always generally avoided the used section, but having had no problems with used CD purchases thus far, decided to embrace it. And I'm quite happy I did. It's given me the opportunity to flesh out my CD collection in ways I never thought possible, at a cheaper price point and with access to many otherwise hard-to-find albums. Now I'm still not that hipster that is looking for particular bootleg sessions of some obscure artist, but I have thought of many new artists I'd like to give a go, and am considering many studio, live and even remix albums of artists which I hadn't before.

Of note is a renewed interest in The Cure. I guess you could say it was the first group I ever really became a fan of in every sense of the word, and owned a CD of. That was back in like 2003. For a good many years, I have mostly drifted away from them. I guess I was so busy exploring other musicians that I had mostly let The Cure fall by the wayside. But maybe that's a good thing. I feel like I've been able to come back and appreciate their music with a more experienced musical taste.

I think as a group their material is sort of eclectic and has evolved and changed a lot over the years while, at the same time, retaining a lot of key elements. It is kind of deep music, and it's a little psychadelic and moody, and yet sometimes pop-y. Robert Smith and his group have been all over the board musically, and I think that is one of the things I appreciate about the group so much. I think it may very well be the finest example in existence of the evolution of a band from its teenage conception, to its self-aware maturity.

I also got an IPod Nano and have been loving the crap out of that thing. I think that was a pretty good decision.

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I guess my life has been a bit paralyzed as of late. As much as things have been changing, I have yet to truly move forward with many aspects of my life.

My intense longing to find this perfect love becomes obsessive sometimes. And then from time to time, I long for adventure, or happiness, or some great quality that will make me feel whole or accomplished. Perhaps the problem is, I want. I want, and I want too much. And I spend so much time wanting, that I never really stop thinking about it and get down to business to go get whatever it is that I want.

I keep thinking about the same 5-or-so women I've talked to over the past year, including my ex. I think about women I come into contact with on a daily basis, at work and at places where I like to go to shop. And I honestly don't know what I want. And maybe part of that is because I am aware that there is no such thing as soulmates. I know that I could put effort into getting to know any of these women better, but I'm paralyzed once more by the bondage and finality of relationships, and the aloofness and lack of any connection in a fling. The thing that's scary is that I don't know what I will want a few years down the road, or even now. I don't really want to put all of this effort in just to embarrass myself more, or to hurt another person.

The infinite possibilities of fortune are a blessing, but at the same time scary - because of the unknown. Sure, there are billions of people out there and that's great. But you have to keep narrowing things down - to looks, to personalities, to common-interests, to physical proximity, to hours of availability.... And then, the test continues as you get to know this person you've selected on a deeper level, and even then you realize that you might reach an impasse on something, and it could all just end right there. It's what we don't know about people that makes the process more difficult. As well as what we don't know about ourselves.

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I've also discovered a newfound love for tuna recently. Discovering new things is definitely one of the pleasures of life!

Options and Loyalty

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I think it's important in life to keep your options open.

Time and time again, experience has taught me that putting all of your eggs into one basket usually doesn't end well. It's good to have many outlets and choices.

And yet still, much of me falls into that pattern of attachment and loyalty. I fall in love with certain options and devote a lot of my time and energy to them.

Being devoted is important, too. You need familiarity in life, someone or something you have history and a connection with.

The problem, however, arises somewhere in the midst of this balancing act.

Before you know it, you've flown too close to the sun. And now you're either damned because you were too devoted too one option - or damned because maybe you tried not to be too tied down to one option.

In the aftermath, it's hard to tell whether or not you used enough moderation. It's hard to tell if you were serious enough and got your point across. I guess all we can do is do the best we can do, and hope that people don't take things the wrong way.

Chaos and Anarchy

Many years ago now, when I was still back in 10th or 11th grade in high school, I learned about the theory of Entropy in science class.

Apparently a pretty widely-accepted theory, many in the science field who study life and the universe have come to the conclusion that our existence began with order, but as time moves ahead it becomes increasingly more chaotic and messy. And this effect multiplies and speeds up as time progresses forward.

I guess the verdict is still out on whether or not I think Entropy is a thing. But to think about my life and the world today, I can't help but feel that it is accurate. Time seemed much slower just when I was a kid, and as the years go on things just become more complicated and grey. And as we move toward this era of freedom and integration, there's really just more problems that arise frequently.

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At an Impasse

I'm beginning to wonder if I've accomplished all that I can hope to accomplish with my life the way it is now.

I don't think I'd realized until recently just how much I was holding out hope for a particular outcome in my life. But it's like with each crazy step that my life takes, I cling to my ideal world.

The past (nearly!) 7 years of my life have led up to this point. Much of my original point for moving here no longer matters. That part of my life concluded, and a new one began. I just decided to try to see if I could keep going with the remnants, and hold onto the life I had built here to start a new life for myself.

But over the course of half a year I've come to realize that I am still not that stable. I can't manage things in my life very well, and I haven't made it much further from where I was at the beginning of the year.

I will likely never be able to repay debts or prove my worth to the world. But I wish I could be more content with my entire situation than this.

Anyway, this is just some stuff that is rattling around in my brains right now...

~ Andrew

Hard to Let Go

Cling-wrap does a lot for us. It keeps things fresh. So why can't I???
Cling-wrap does a lot for us. It keeps things fresh. So why can't I???

As of late, I find myself becoming more and more clingy. I always have been to some degree - I think most people are - and yet it has really become more commonplace since my breakup.

I still think a large part of it is that I am getting older. Everyone else is, too. There is still time, I'm not even 30... But I realize that with each passing year, my options become fewer. I don't think I could ever date a woman who has kids already - I guess that's just one of my things - I'd like to meet someone who I could experience that with mutually for the first time. Of course, I always felt that way about sex - but unfortunately that was something I had to compromise on.

My own indecisive personality may be to blame for my inability to secure a new relationship. Of course, I don't think it's unreasonable to shop around until the sale is made. For some people, that means looking at an expensive sports car while shopping for a functional SUV. For me that means keeping the door open for the possibility of wild flings while also pursuing a dreamy new romance with a special woman. I've had no luck with either, of course.

Maybe this will make me a lot cuter...
Maybe this will make me a lot cuter...

I guess I'm baffled by why I'm not successful when it comes to women. I mean, not to be a complete narcissistic asshole here, but I think I'm a decent guy. I keep running over the same old conclusions I've come to for why nobody seems to want me: I'm short, I'm not athletic, I'm not financially successful, I have social anxieties, I seem too clingy, etc. But it seems that these are mostly just normal, everyday things that any woman in the right mind wouldn't necessarily let hold her back from getting to know me.

Over the last few weeks I even did something kinda selfless. I had gone on a date with this girl a few months back and, though I was disappointed that she didn't want to keep dating and we hadn't talked much lately, I decided to pair her up on a date with another person I knew who seemed like a potential match for her. Things seemed to go alright at first, though the guy I introduced her to quickly decided he wasn't interested. She really liked him though. I ended up feeling jealous because she seemed to like this guy more than me, but it was a bit difficult hearing how much she liked him immediately after he stopped talking to her.

And I became clingy again, with that girl. I mean, maybe the whole situation is an opportunity for us to keep talking? But it's like... She still doesn't feel that way. When we talk we have good chemistry, and we seem to be agreeable on a lot of things. But she doesn't seem to want to let things become romantic. And I don't know why. Maybe it's because I have unresolved business, and have been interested in another girl for some time. Or maybe it's just not what she wants at this stage of her life.

"What was the last move I made? Oh that's right, in my diaper!"

The whole lonliness thing also extends into the happenings in the rest of my life.

Sometimes my friends are busy, or are at work, and even when they are around we run out of original ideas for how to spend time hanging out occasionally. My two main friends from work both have kids of their own, and have other responsibilities that I don't have. The girl I mentioned in my last paragraph, who I had dated, mentioned that she may move far away in the next year or two, which is kind of a bummer.

Stepping down at my job is probably for the best, but means I will likely need to find a new source of income. I am not entirely sure what yet, but it's likely to take up much of the free time I could have used for meeting people and hanging out. I might meet new friends at a second job, so there is that. Of course, I know it took me a long time to find acceptance at my current job.

At home, I just get kind of mopey.

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The guy I know, who I set up on a date with that girl. He feels that we shouldn't have to settle for just anyone in this life. He said we shouldn't give into despair or desperation. And in a way, I felt a little inspired by him saying that. He didn't like her that way, he moved on quick. It gave me some hope that maybe I will find what I'm looking for yet - that there is still some woman out there that'd be a great match for me.

Of course, in that same breath, I'm not him and I don't have the same philosophies as him. I need to make a deep connection with people I like, and I do. This, of course, becomes draining over time. I think of special things to say and do, and use them up with new people. Case in point, I wanted to take this one girl to this place she had never visited. I wanted that to be our date. She wasn't interested, or else didn't seem to be. I ended up taking another girl on that date. And then a friend, and then another person. The original value of that date has fallen significantly, and now I only see that place as somewhere I can go with whoever - it isn't 'special' anymore in my mind.

But I keep putting myself out there. And having conversations. And sharing little pieces of myself with new people. And I still haven't run out - yet. But the magic of many conversations seems to be getting exhausted. It seems like the right time to spill my guts to someone when we get on so well, but apparently I don't know what love is, or a unique mutual bond.

I guess that's kind of where I am now. I realize it's okay to be alone, but I'd like companionship in my life. Just maybe those pieces aren't matching up. Or maybe it's for a reason - maybe there is someone better for me who I just haven't found yet?

Pokemon NO!

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When I was a kid, I was never good with people. I loved video games, and preferred playing them to talking to other people much of the time. I enjoyed consoles as well as handhelds. I can remember several family functions and receptions where I kept my trusty Gameboys close by, and stayed in the corner for much of the night. I spent much of my high school years talking to people on message boards and in chatrooms, and was of the mindset that having online friends was the same thing as having real friends. I still fully believe this is a part of the kind of person I am, though. I have gotten a great deal better at communication over the years, I've made actual friends, and I've grown more mature as a person. But as recently as 2006 I found myself still being scolded for my anti-social behaviors.

Fast-forward to the now. It's 2016, and probably in those 10 years since my struggles to be understood as an introverted gamer, life has played a cruel, cruel joke on me and turned the tables. While it was seen as generally uncool and immature to play games and surf the web in the 90's and early 2000's when I grew up, it has since gone mainstream - leaving me dumbfounded and behind the times compared to the vast majority of society. Everyone nowadays pretty much owns a smartphone. They act like I did, but perhaps, maybe even worse. When I sunk my nose into a good handheld game at the cost of human interaction, I still was myself. It almost seems as though people who are more social and casual, cannot handle technology and its convenience as easily as those of us who grew up geeks and nerds.

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And I think this damn game is really a wake-up call for me, as to just how bad-off things have gotten. Pokemon Go's overnight success and immense popularity among smartphone owners has propelled it to the top of Google searches and weekly topics.

A few years ago we had the first main-series Pokemon game with 3D character models in X/Y. A few months ago a brand new game was announced in the form of Sun/Moon. Despite the fact that these are likely better games than Pokemon Go, they never accrued quite the following that this smartphone game has.

Put a popular IP on a smartphone, no matter how lousy the game - as long as there is some novelty involved, it will go viral, it seems.

It worries me. Because years ago, you guys - you social butterflies who made fun of us geeks and our anti-social behavior, and scolded us for it - you casual people were our rock. When we got too carried away with technology and fantasy and enriching concepts that had nothing to do with reality, you guys brought us geeks back down to the real world. We don't have that anymore. Now you guys are distracted by the creations of uber-geeks, and those of us geeks who didn't embrace the popularity of social media, smartphone apps and Youtube are just left dumbfounded as we're now the ones forced to try and stay grounded in a careless world.

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And I don't mean to make myself sound as though I am the most outdoorsy, tech-avoiding citizen of this nation. I know that is far from the truth. I know there are people out there who eschew technology in general much better than I ever have to this day. Likewise, I am not a social person. I am not an extrovert. I do not know tons of people, and I struggle with people sometimes.

But I mean... The results of what is going on nowadays are pretty obvious, aren't they? It's clear that mainstream technology has done a lot to harm society. Perhaps, society wasn't ready for this technology - perhaps we, as people, were not good enough for today's technology to be able to handle it yet. Or maybe the problem is that the technology we are creating and being given is the wrong kind of technology.

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In closing... Admittedly, I'm already debating the relevancy and obnoxiousness of this blog entry. ...But, I think this is a valid subject and concern. The thing is, I don't actually know if there is a way to ever get back to the way things are, and maybe in all honesty I don't want to. No going back - we go forward.

Still, I hope in some small way that this blog serves as a reminder that we need to hold onto humanity, and make a real effort not to become slaves to technology and convenience. The thing is, games and instant messages are nice and all, but they are no replacement for a kiss from a beautiful woman, or a laugh with a goofy pal.

Maybe Pokemon Go is just a fad, but it could be a sign of things to come for our world in the social realm...

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General Update - 6/29/16

Those of you who may have read my blogs occasionally over the years are aware that I moved away from home 5 1/2 years ago, and have spent a great deal of that time trying to adjust to a new location and the ups and downs of a relationship. Scattered throughout, of course, were the moments where I went from owning this game system to that game system; searching for - and yet never really seeming to find - what game system I was happiest with. But of course for better or for worse, this blog has become an outlet for my life thoughts more than anything.

Even with as much focus as I've accumulated through my life experiences, there is still a lot in this world I don't understand.
Even with as much focus as I've accumulated through my life experiences, there is still a lot in this world I don't understand.

But as much as I've lived and experienced for the past half decade, the picture is still not so clear to me about what to do with my life. I always feel frustrated by other people and my circumstances, and cling to things that give me gratification for the time being. Life is, let's face it, becoming more and more polarizing these days as people debate over ethics and world issues. My thoughts on life and relationships have also become much more polarized and contradictory. And yet, maybe this is all just the natural progression of the world and my outlook on it that I've held ever since I was a kid.

Sony's line-up looked the best, from what I can tell. What? I'm being honest!
Sony's line-up looked the best, from what I can tell. What? I'm being honest!

Oh yeah, somewhere along the lines there E3 happened. I think this may be the first year ever where I just didn't really care too much about it.

I mean I have heard some things from it that sound exciting. Horizon Zero Dawn still sounds cool, though admittedly much of my knowledge of that game still remains from 2015's E3 showing. I saw a bit of the new God of War demo and thought it was kind of a clever continuation of the Kratos plot. And I heard about Microsoft making a new version of the XBOX One and Nintendo showing pretty much exclusively the new Zelda game.

Even last year I would delve in deeper to learn more about quirky little games announced at E3, or to watch presentations and determine which games I might be interested in getting a year or two from now. It's just not the case anymore. And maybe in a way that's good because it would mean information overload on games, and make them less exciting for me by the time I do actually get around to playing them. I'm not really forming any sort of opinion on games right now, I'll just play what I have and what looks interesting.

"Ishmael, don't be using the shitting pot while the nice man is trying to take our picture."

I guess no matter how difficult things get with money and my living situation in the immediate future, at least I don't have to worry about it getting as bad as this anytime soon:

For what it is, I love my studio apartment. I suck at living right now, but maybe in due time things will get better. I wonder, though, what the catalyst of that will be? What will pull me out of my slump just enough to make me improve myself and take care of business?

Maybe something as simple as a nice haircut will be enough to make me take pride in my life once again, and spur me on to clean up my place and buy a new wardrobe that screams "That's right, ladies, I do know what I'm doing!" I doubt it, but you never know.

Lately a strong concern of mine is becoming whether I can maintain my current life for much longer. The debts and bills I've accumulated, while still not bad when compared to a lot of other peoples', could be enough to sink me in coming months. My parents have already talked about the option of me returning back home to Pennsylvania, if not to go back home then at least to move somewhere closer and less expensive.

The thing is, any small strides I've made towards a life of my own have happened because of choices I made that brought me here. A lot of the original reason why I came to New York state is no longer relevant, but I think I know that deep down part of the reason why I made the decision to move out was because I needed to get away from the dead-end life I was stuck in before. I wanted to do something, anything else. (It would be hilarious, then, if that very same reason ends up bringing me back to my home state.) And while my relationship ended, the remnants of my time here are what keeps me here: my job, my friends, and the freedom and personal space I have just being here. I'm hoping to keep all of that, but I realize that sometimes in life, in order to move forward I might have to move backwards first.

You said it, Jackie!
You said it, Jackie!

My slight foray into the dating world has been disheartening, but for as little as I've really managed to put myself out there and as short of a time I've been at it, I'd still have to argue that I've been doing fairly successful at it. I had dates with two different girls, and while neither of them really talk to me anymore (and at least one of them is seeing someone else now), I still feel like it was a learning experience.

Dating women is frustrating though. A lot of women on dating websites are extremely picky, searching for really particular things in a guy. They have to make this much money, have this sort of personality and outlook on life, and be THIS tall in order to even be considered for a date with these women. ...Which is funny, because we men (who are all so often accused of judging women based on their looks) are much more willing to date or sleep with women who aren't that attractive, who don't have every quality we'd like them to have, and we don't even give a shit about how tall they are or how much money they make!

I have no idea what I want still, after all of this time. There is one girl who, whenever I'm around her, I feel like we really 'get' each other and connect on levels beneath the surface - but at the same time, she never seems to want to get close and sends mixed signals. By contrast, I don't want to be alone forever, but I realize that getting into a relationship right now is probably not right for me - and I should explore.

"Enlarged to show the finger."

I realize I sound complain-y sometimes, but I still don't think I'm that bad. This picture really reminds me of a friend of mine. While I constantly debate my future and my problems with women, work and society, at least I don't blame all of the people in my life for my problems. And I try to make an effort to be attractive and likable. Anyway, don't know why I thought of that just now. I guess the picture was too good not to use though. I like that they are "Postal...Ill Tempered" Gripe Nuts. XD Maybe I just needed to complain a bit about a complainer.

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My final topic for the day, to end on a good note? Burger King is now selling fried Cheetos filled with mac & cheese, appropriately called Mac n Cheetos.

I know where I want to go for lunch!

~ Andrew

A Bolder State of Mind

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Once again I find myself in a familiar place, putting gaming back onto the backburner as I deal with heavy life stuff. Uncertain about whether the choice I made was a rational one , or one that will make a difference, I nevertheless decided that right now in my life a game system is not something I really need.

I have a lot going on in my head these days, more than enough for someone with such anxieties and eccentricities. Managing my life and interacting with others is one thing, but having unfinished business and lacking confidence is a bit more taxing with age. It is difficult to lead when you care - perhaps that is why there are so many sociopath tyrants from throughout history.

The reality is that time doesn't slow down for you. I didn't grow up in full bloom as fast as most people my age, I fell behind a bit. I'm still finding myself dealing with some issues that I was dealing with 10 or more years ago. And by some people's observations maybe that means I'm not "fully baked". But I am still here, fighting the good fight, believing in things I've wanted to believe my entire life. I'm just a bit less perfect than I'd imagined.

But I've always embraced my gut feelings, and I must continue to trust where they lead me will be the right way. I made bold decisions here and there in my life that have led me this far. Might not be best-possible-outcome, but is definitely not the worst. And that is as much as any believer in God would ask for, I imagine. Reasonable and fair and bearable living. Perhaps I am even a tad luckier than most - perhaps much of me yearns for something special in this world. But this life is what you make it. Maybe my life feels unique and special sometimes because I make it that way for myself. I treasure things that matter to me most. ....Maybe I am still not entirely sure what those things are, exactly. Maybe, those things change as you grow.

My hope for the remainder of this year, however it goes, is to make it special for myself. Special and good.

General Update - 5/18/16

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Having restarted my save file on Fire Emblem Awakening this past week (and nearly making it back to where I was previously in the game), I now find myself stuck on a level which I have probably restarted about 50 times now.

A side-mission, Paralogue 3 is irritating because you have to protect 3 NPC villager characters, who move West and then South with each passing turn.

On my last play I had completed the mission, but only managed to save 2 of the 3 villagers. I still haven't succeeded in keeping them all alive. And I'm determined to complete this level with no villagers left behind!

The funny part? Saving 1 of the villagers is all that really matters, since you get a useful item from them. The other two just give you horrible joke items. But even still, I want to accomplish this feat and save everyone for some strange reason.

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Yesterday I also managed to complete season 2 of Game of Thrones, well behind the rest of you, I know. Enjoyed it of course, this is pretty much my new favorite TV series now. I think the big thing I noticed about season 2 is that characters spent the vast majority of the season in one situation, with circumstances changing significantly by episode 10:

Daenerys went from being in the scorching desert, to finding refuge in Qarth, to ultimately leaving with newfound lessons and spending money. Jon went from trudging around beyond the wall as a servant, to hanging with the rangers and becoming a captive of the Wildlings - and killing his first kill. We went from Winterfell being simply abandoned by most of the major characters, to being razed. Jamie Lannister was in a cage, now he is escaping. Theon...enough said. And the thus-far undisturbed Wall is now being approached by a horde of White Walkers.

The biggest moment of the season was, of course, the battle between Stannis Baratheon and the Lannisters at King's Landing. I think the most difficult part of the whole ordeal was how conflicting it was, because in a way, you kind of want both sides to win. Seeing Tyrion have a moment of success against the enemy forces was great, but it was crushing when one of his own men turned on him, and things went downhill - and then he was robbed of any claim to victory once Daddy Lannister came to rout the remaining forces. It would have also been good to see any number of Lannister assholes get their payback. And the scene with the wildfire potion - that was just awesome!

Looking forward to season 3...

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Admittedly, somedays it gets boring and lonely, being inside of this small apartment all day. Not nearly as bad as in this photo, but still. I guess I kind of took for granted just having more rooms to walk around in, before. I wish I could just be brave enough to step outside and do whatever some day, but then I don't know if I have that in me at the moment. Perhaps feeling some discomfort is my punishment.

Today I thought for the first time in a real long while, it might be nice to go somewhere else. Maybe somewhere far away, even. I found myself on Gaia Online for the first time in ages this evening, just for nostalgia's sake. I wish I had more memorable places I could go to physically, whenever. Or different places, worlds away, right down my street. It would be cool to go to Scotland, or something. But then, I already know that moving didn't solve any of my problems before - I just discovered whole new problems to add on top of existing ones.

I wish I could make better use of my free time, really make the most of it. Do more of what I'd like to do, and not just completely internalize and shrink away. Maybe what I should do is plan a trip, or go somewhere and do something with someone, something and anything to get me out of the house for a bit. Maybe it would be nice just to breathe in some fresh air, and to have plenty of room to walk around in again.