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Goodbye old friend   
07:06pm 09/09/2010
  I've been unable to write about cool things I've done or do anything productive because my kitty Half'n'Half was sick. We finally had to put her to sleep today.

For the last few months she's been limping progressively more, but it seemed that one of her feet had just become lame. She was really old (17) and that kind of thing just happens. A few weeks ago it got a lot worse, though. Her litter box was in the basement and she was no longer easily able to make it down the stairs, so she started having accidents. We tried putting a box upstairs, but by then she couldn't even make it over the 3-4inch edge of the box. We put newspapers around and made a makeshift, even lower box. She mostly lay around all day, and had to be carried to her food and water bowl, but I would see her walk sometimes. She was still having accidents.

While I was gone she completely lost the ability to use her back legs. Before she had been able to walk a few steps at a time, sometimes as much as 10-15 feet, now no one saw her move at all. My parents took her to the vet and they said there was nothing to be done. She was staying at the vet because my parents didn't have time to take care of her, seeing as she needed help to eat and drink and she wasn't able to get to her box.

When I got home we went to the vet to pick her up, even though I knew she wasn't going to get better. I wanted one last day. I spent the day petting her and taking care of her and giving her attention, to say goodbye. She was really in a bad way, I couldn't even put her to bed for an hour or so so I could sleep, she needed attention or help all the time. I almost didn't sleep at all for 24 hours, until finally I realized that, after she was fed and watered and had gone to the bathroom I could wrap her in towels and sleep with her on the couch. I did that for a couple hours before it was finally almost time to go to the vet. Then I petted and cuddled her for a bit and held her on the car ride.

I've had her since middle school, even if I was away from her for a while I'm glad I got to spend a last year with her and that I got to say goodbye when she was still coherent enough to recognize me and purr when I petted her. Still I will miss her very badly. I keep thinking I'm ok and then bursting into tears.

I will miss you, Halfie. I love you. <3
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03:02pm 10/08/2010
mood: quixotic
So I'm in Virginia. I'd forgotten how bad that drive is - it's always been just short enough to do it in one go, but long enough that by the last two hours you're cursing... whatever it is that made you drive. Rivendell helps a bit, being a little under that two hour mark, but it's still not pretty. Next time I'll try to see PA people both coming and going, to ease the six-plus hour stretch. Also, while CDs may do fine for the normal three-to-four hour PA stretch, if I'm going to be doing a six-to-seven again I need to switch back to audiobooks.

I've been out and about a lot this past year. I just got back from Kansas, and before that I was in San Francisco and before that, New Jersey. Interviews, cons and friends have made me something of a nomad. I've always been a good traveler and I like seeing people, but traveling makes it a bit hard to buckle down and make progress on anything, whether it be diet, exercise, or work.

I was trying to write a third paragraph here about what it all MEANS but really that's ruining the spirit of the thing. I can think of how to be a responsible nomad when I get home. For now, the open road.
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03:24am 05/08/2010
mood: optimistic
In the last 2-3 months I've lost about 5-10 pounds. I can't be specific because I didn't formally start this with a weigh in and a chart, I'm just going by the fact that last winter I was hovering in the high 180s (I was petrified of exceeding 190, which would definitely be the heaviest I've ever been) and now I'm down to 175. Since I moved to my parents house last year I've been eating pretty darn well: lots of fresh fruits and veggies, very few restaurant meals, less collateral junk food, less pizza, very little soda, all the usual. I hadn't been losing much weight, though, which was frustrating. You'd think that eating fewer cakes and less fast food would cause the pounds to melt off, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I'm not abandoning those changes, mind you. I just get annoyed when someone says "I cut one thing out of my diet and lost 20 pounds!" especially when the thing they cut out is something I haven't eaten in years (sodas, chips, McDonalds). Where's my automatic slenderness? I eat better than most people, aside from my love of chocolate, and my lesser love of other candies. Even at its worst that single vice was not bad enough to explain the weight thing.

About two months ago I decided to try to cut out High-Fructose Corn Syrup as much as possible. Sure, we don't know for sure that it's any worse than cane sugar, but a lot of studies suggest it might be. Part of that is related to how we process certain sugars, etc etc, but the real reason I singled out HFCS was that it was one of the main differences between how I eat in Japan and how I eat in the US. I've said this many times before, but in Japan I ate horribly - sodas, candy, and Ice Cream pretty much every day - but I also lost weight, about 20-30lbs in a year. A lot of this had to be the biking, but what if some of it was the HFCS?

I'm trying to start the biking up too, but my bike needs fixing and I'm recovering from a recent back injury. My chiropractor told me not to ride for a bit at first, but I'm better now and should be starting again soon. Still, while I was unable to exercise for various reasons I decided to at least cut out the HFCS (or as much as I can). It's also been hot and humid enough here that high-intensity exercise outdoors might have lead to heat stroke. All those things led to not exercising, and I still lost ten pounds.

This weight loss could be simply due to HFCS severely limiting my choice of junk: it makes sodas and candies easier to refuse, for one. The thing is, a significant portion of that time I'm replacing those sodas with similarly high-calorie juices, or coffee with low glycemic sweeteners (like xylitol and agave). I'm eating dark chocolate or dried fruit in place of Sour Patch Kids, that kind of thing. And it's working, at least a little. I'm less hungry than I used to be. I crave carbs less often, I can do without the candies (I haven't cut carbs and chocolates out completely, I'm just trying to eat non-refined carbs and only one "serving" of chocolate a day on average). I used to get RAVENOUSLY hungry all the time, to the point where I wouldn't be satisfied until I'd had three or four different snacks; that hasn't happened in months. It could just be the summer heat limiting appetite, but I hope not.

I'll let you all know how I do. My goal is to reach my Japan weight, which was 135-145. I'm not saying I want to do that before the end of the year or anything, though a pound or two a week would be a nice goal. Last weekend I was in Kansas City and I went completely off the reservation - I probably had four or five sodas in five days and so much delicious fatty barbecue, but I'm still at 175. Since I got home I've been pretty good, and hopefully I'll start the exercise program in the next few days. Writing this got my blood up, so I just spent fifteen minutes walk/running around the outside of my darkened house. It's like ten degrees cooler at night, so I figured I might as well get in some exercise before the heat and lethargy comes back in the morning. I developed a good rotation - run around the 1/3 of the circuit that was well-lit by the solarium's light, walk quickly around the darker 2/3. I like the night and I want to run better, but running on hard surfaces tends to hurt my knees and feet. Night running like this is a nice compromise, for now, and a good way to work WITH my insomnia.

This weight loss thing isn't entirely related to dating: I have a bunch of old clothes that don't fit me any more and it makes me sad. Brandi gave me a bunch of size 12ish shorts, most of which fit, but would be more comfortable if I lost an inch or two at the waist. I have a size seven dress from high school that is my "ridiculous goal" garment, and a bunch of size 10-12 jeans that are my more realistic goal (I'm a 12-14 right now). Also, right now a lot of aspects of my life are out of my control - weight loss is the one goal I can achieve completely independently and on my own schedule. Finally I've been thinking a lot about cosplay - one of the things that limited my motivation and caused me to finish fewer garments as I gained weight was a dissatisfaction with how the outfits looked on me in early stages - cosplay clothes just look better the closer you are to the true body type. I know I'm never going to look like one of those 17-year-olds with perfect metabolisms, but I think Lina would look better as a size 10 than a size 14.

So that's my weight loss deal. Hopefully I'll write more about it here, get some positivity all up ons.
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Let me know that your heart's still beating   
05:46pm 03/08/2010
mood: contemplative
My trip was nice, possibly the nicest it's been in a lot of ways. So now I have to tell you the story of the bearded guy I hit on. It's sort of hinted in my tweets, but here's the whole thing:

I've gone to this thing in Kansas for three years now. The first two I was there with a guy I've called Silmaril before. Both times I had excellent conversations with Eofel, one of Silmaril's best friends and another officer in the raiding guild. I may even have thought that Eofel was cute before, but I was with someone else and my eye doesn't really wander. Sil is completely my type: pale, slender, floppy boy hair. Eofel is not: he's probably about as overweight as I am and he's had a beard two out of the three times I've met him. Needless to say, Eofel was very unlikely to distract me from Sil, and yet he sort of almost did. The second time I went to Kansas there was a night where I was feeling completely like I didn't belong - everyone was playing caps or talking about sports and I was feeling tired, drunk and nerdy. Eofel and I started talking on the porch and he said that he sort of envied the nerdiness... he'd always wanted to do things like D&D, but never really had the chance. It made me feel infinitely better.

After last year Sil and I didn't talk much. In January I finally tried to talk to him and he basically said he really didn't want to continue things but left a small vague opening that we might see each other again if things changed. This left me to brood a bit on our incompatibility, and realize that there was very little likelihood we'd ever actually be able to have a real relationship. At the same time I started to talk to Eofel again, and I remembered how much I'd enjoyed it, and how pretty much every interaction I'd ever had with him was more pleasant and less stressful than with Sil. The last few months I've been trying to hang out with Eofel more online, talk to him, sort of gauge my genuine interest in him. A month or so ago I also got firm and final closure with Sil, which was mostly a relief.

This was all complicated by the fact that Eofel's house is where everyone who can't afford a hotel stays in Kansas. So I was planning on staying with him, along with two to four other guys. I didn't know him terribly well outside of game, I didn't even have his email (still don't). It felt like sending a forum PM saying "by the way, I might have a crush on you. Welp, see you at your house for FIVE DAYS!" would be really awkward. I also wasn't entirely sure how I felt at the time - was I just looking for someone because I was lonely or did I genuinely like him? Would I still be attracted to him with the beard? If I knew him well and knew for sure I was already attracted to him the beard wouldn't have mattered, but since I barely knew him it did.

Ok, and aside about the fear of beards. It started out as a joke, but it's a serious thing. Not a downright phobia, but if a guy has a beard it's hard for me to really see them. Sort of... imagine someone had chicken pox. The first few times you saw them you'd only notice the chicken pox, more than the person's face. Eventually after you see it long enough you can start to filter out the startling weirdness of the chicken pox and see the person. For me beards are like that. I'm not saying this is reasonable, but it's true for me. This isn't some deliberate prejudice or arbitrary decision, it's a genuine mental reaction. I'm trying to get over it, but it's not just something I can just decide to stop.

I tried to get advice about the whole staying-with-him-AND-not-being-sure-awkwardness, and got answers as diverse as "Tell him ASAP," "Wait until you actually GET there and can get him alone" and "Don't touch this, you dated his friend." I decided to take the middle path and try to tell him face to face, when I was actually down there. I figured it'd be a good test of whether I was interested... if I'm not interested enough to actually ask him out, I'm not really attracted to him.

The thing is, I felt good about our interactions from the start. I'm more comfortable around him than possibly any guy I know. I'm serious here. I have a LOT of great, close male friends and this guy made me almost as at home as any of them, within a few days. I was a bit distracted by the beard, but the whole time I was waiting for a moment alone to say something and it just kept not happening. I flirted with him pretty heavily, but I was also making beard jokes so I don't know how much he noticed. We played games and talked in groups a lot during the weekend, but never happened to catch a good moment alone. I will admit that the first instant I saw him he didn't physically match up to my memory, but as the hours and days went by that faded away and I just found myself more and more drawn to him.

On Sunday almost everyone was leaving, but I was staying one more night. That afternoon we were wandering around a bookstore waiting to take people to the airport. I caught him alone in the stacks and confessed that I'd been flirting with him the whole weekend, and that I was interested. I asked him if he was, and he said he'd have to think about it. That almost always means no, so I played it off a little. I didn't want the evening to be awkward, he'd told me previously that his brother's fiance and mother were visiting Sunday night so we'd all likely end up hanging out and playing board games, and I didn't want to make things any more awkward than they had to be.

We managed to largely avoid awkwardness, and for that last 24 hours Eofel and I talked about ourselves a lot. I had learned earlier in the week that he had been married once, and he revealed to me on Sunday that since his divorce he really hadn't been interested in relationships. It's not that he was broken or hung up, but he was happy being alone the vast majority of the time and didn't notice anything missing, so he didn't go after girls anymore. This sounds odd, but I in no way doubt his sincerity. Indeed, if I could trade and be at the point where I wasn't lonely the majority of the time I'd quit this tireless searching, second-guessing, and angst. I didn't want to push too hard and topple his equilibrium, especially considering that we live so far apart and I'd likely never be anything but an occasional guest in his real life. I was as honest as I could be about my history, my wants, and my own loneliness while not making him feel guilty about it. I was still hoping 'til the end that he'd somehow suddenly change his mind, but of course that didn't happen.

So now I'm home and it's still lingering with me. Usually when I know for sure that a guy is not interested I can concentrate on the fundamental incompatibilities that make us incompatible and lose interest myself. I was able to do that almost instantaneously with Sil, but the thing is, with Eofel the problems are distance and his generalized lack of interest, which are really hard to grab onto.

This wasn't some sullen, sarcastic, brilliant douchebag with a few redeeming qualities, this was a guy who was generally cheerful and kind to pretty much everyone, while still being brilliant. I felt like this was the right guy... the one who was supposed to show me how dumb I've been for the last few years. The universe lured me in with Silmaril's slender legs and soft hair, but that path led to brief periods of passion undercut with insecurity and doubt. Then, hoping my lesson was learned, it revealed a shaved-head, bearded, slightly podgy Eofel who was better in almost every conceivable way. My beliefs about what I tend to like (well other than the genius thing) would be nicely shattered, but at least I'd get something out of it. I like that narrative a lot, but it didn't turn out to be true.

Add to all this that I've recently realized that girls asking guys out has an ABYSMAL success rate, unless the girl is super hot. I simply don't have a single story from any girl I know where she asked a guy out and it worked, except in cases where the guy has already dropped VERY CLEAR HINTS or she had affirmative intelligence from some other source.

All this has sort of led me to think about whether or not I want to stop asking guys out altogether. I don't think that's a good idea, though, because asking out someone I've liked for a long time brings closure at the very least. But maybe I should look at it in that way... "really this is vastly more likely to end in rejection and let you get on with things" rather than having hope. Hope is the chekov's gun of emotion - hang it on the wall and you know there's a crushing disappointment in act three. That's a horribly melodramatic statement for what was a good weekend and a small sort-of-rejection, but CHRIST, universe. I really thought I was finally doing what you wanted and that maybe you'd cut me a break for a friggin WEEKEND.

How do you balance self confidence and hope with reasonable expectations? I know you're supposed to have self confidence and I did, I really did. I had hope, too. But I've done this "ask a guy out" thing like a dozen times now and it never has resulted in a relationship. I've done the thing where you go to parties and concerts and meetups and talk to people there, but that never works either. How do I continue to do it with the same mindset? When does it become the madness of repeating the same action and expecting a different result? If I hadn't had self confidence and hope and had approached this with the belief that it was basically a lost cause to start, maybe I wouldn't have built myself up so much this weekend.

The thing is... Eofel confessed that, at times, he does feel lonely for a few days and then it passes. If he was just completely disinterested or asexual that little glimmer of uncertainty wouldn't exist, so I still have a tiny sliver of possibility buried deep under my skin where I can't get it out.

There's still baggage with THAT though, too. It turns out that Eofel's ex-wife was a girl who Sil had dated for years, so the fact that I was seeing Sil before all this may be another negative loaded on top. The thing is, Sil and I never really dated. We just... talked on the internet and met up a few times. It's not like he'd jumping claim on some big, loaded situation. Sil and I broke it off because we wanted entirely different things out of relationships and life. I just worry that even if Eofel does find himself back on the market, my history will put me out of consideration.

Now how long is it going to be before I genuinely like another guy? It's really hard to get to that place, and I realized this weekend that all but one or two guys I've liked or dated were guys who would either 1) never put a profile up on a dating site or 2) if they did, I'd skip right over it for some stupid reason. But I can't just date everyone on a dating site regardless of whether I feel any interest in them based on their profile... it's just hard. It feels like the lack of a relationship if my biggest problem in life, but it's one that I can't do anything to fix. Other than losing weight (which I am doing veeeeery slowly) there's nothing I know of that I can do. I try harder than anyone else I know but I don't get any results or feedback as to what I'm doing wrong and it's starting to wear on me. I'm almost thirty and that haunts me. It's just a random number, I know, but I feel like it rings differently in everyone's minds. I'm starting to doubt I have any chance, anymore.
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C-C-C-C-C-Combo Breaker!   
12:19pm 31/05/2010
  So, I'm not sure if I'm going to go to Otakon this summer. It sucks, the one other event I might want to attend during the summer is the same weekend, and I have to chose between them. Right now I figure only Brandi, Andrew, and Ali might potentially have been able to go - everyone else is long ago and far away. Without a big group of people I don't feel like it'd be the same.

These last few years I've felt that Otakon is more about a big gathering of friends, and it just feels like there might be a better way to do that than to spend hundreds of dollars being hot, eating bad food, and not getting into panels. I'm probably sour grapesing this, but I was actually half-considering skipping it even before I knew I had a conflict.

If any of you were planning on rooming with me at Otakon, please let me know right away. I'd say right now there's a 40% chance I'll end up at Otakon, but if more people are planning on going it might change my mind. My mom and brother will probably end up attending with his friends anyway, and I still have some rooms I need to get from Julia, so it's very likely we'll be able to set something up where you guys just pay my mom for the room. Right now Amanda and Brandi want to go for sure, let me know if anyone else was planning on rooming with me.

Heck, if anyone is planning on going to Otakon at all, let me know.
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Productive... sort of   
08:50pm 28/04/2010
mood: determined
I sort of wish I'd written this entry yesterday. Yesterday I would have been all light-hearted and upbeat and productive-feeling. Today I feel a bit more worn out and less optimistic. I hate that this journal has become a problem catalogue, but meh. What can you do?

This week I've been getting in contact with a few recruiters. One I've worked with before and two that were recommended to me by a friend. It's very interesting, we have some leads, but it feels to some extent like I'm slowly eliminating the possibilities. I mean, I look at my list of companies I've already applied to and it seems like it's most of the major MMO players. Yesterday I was looking at a job that would have been conveniently located, but that I wasn't particularly excited about. Turns out one of my old recruiters apparently showed them my resume six months ago and they passed on it, without me ever knowing. It's not a huge loss, but it still makes me feel a little down.

Most companies seem to have a system wherein if they don't hire you for one job, even if you were one of the final candidates, they're unlikely to look at or consider you again (at least for the next year). There do seem to be some notable exceptions to this, but it contributes to the feeling I'm getting where every rejection cuts off a major door.

I'm also getting the feeling that I should have been more aggressive with more studios right after GDC. At the time I was spending a lot of time thinking about and working on design tests for the studios I was most serious about (and who were most serious about me), but I could have spared some time to follow up with more of the other studios. I heard from one recruiter that a few of my fallback studios have finished their hiring for this quarter, which makes me feel bad for not chasing them earlier. Ah well, I can't do everything, I know. If I don't have an actual offer by the deadline for the cheapest GDC Austin pass, I'm going to buy one. Worst case scenario I can't go and have to get a refund.

I'm also going to try to play a bunch of non-WoW, non-Japanese games, made by studios who I think I'd like but who I'm not as familiar with as I should be. I also have a blog that is almost-ready-to-start. I've realized something else - I really have to condition myself away from what I call "the refresh cycle." I have to mentally condition myself to believe that playing video games for companies I'm interested in is MORE productive than "miscellaneous internet." The problem is that often I'm working on something that is very taxing and specifically important, intend to take a ten minute break to clear my head, and end up miscellaneous internetting for an hour.

One of the recruiters I just started working with also requested some writing samples. This is great, but I'm having some trouble figuring out what to submit. Everything I have seems too project-specific, but I'm a bit uncertain as to how to create samples from scratch. Right now I'm just polishing a few of the quests and docs I find the most approachable outside of the context and lore of a specific world. I may try to come up with some good scripts in a non-fantasy setting eventually. Based on how I feel contemplating my portfolio right now, I should probably make fixing it a major priority.

I've been asking for tons of favors these last few months and I hate to ask for one more, but if anyone is willing to look over some of the stuff I've prepared for my portfolio and offer a brutally honest critique of its quality, I'd appreciate it. You don't necessarily have to be a games person, (as long as you have some vague idea of how RPGs work). This will probably be an ongoing project for the next few months.
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Pax East and Write Fright   
02:25pm 26/01/2010
  If anyone wants to stay with Brandi and I for PAX East, please let me know within the next week or so. If no one we know is interested I may ask Brandi if we can look for more people through some message boards I frequent... so if you come in wanting to stay with us at the last minute we may have a place for you, but you may have to room with (dun dun dunnnnn) strangers! We have a close con hotel that (reportedly) has connectors on the TV that you can plug consoles into. Hurrah! I have it for Thurs/Fri/Sat and it's 190 total a night pre-taxes-and-fees.

I've been noticing a problem lately... let's call it writing anxiety disorder or write fright. As you know, Bob, I am fairly outgoing socially. While I possess the awkwardness of most nerds, I can overcome it somewhat in con or club situations and talk to new people. I interview fairly well and am friendly. I also never had stage fright, in my years of drama and dance.

But lately when it comes to writing I'm never satisfied with what I've written and end up laboring over something or procrastinating, terrified to show it to anyone. I know I should be able to bang out a cover letter in an hour, especially if I already have a default template, but it sometimes takes me over a day to be satisfied with it. This is also true for blog entries, messages to people on dating sites, even emails to friends sometimes.

I just registered the domain name I've been thinking about, and hopefully I'll get it set up in the next month or so. If I do, I pledge to write SOMETHING ever day, to try to get over this. It's always been a problem, but never this severe. I wonder what's causing it.
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12:48pm 28/10/2009

I may have a plan.

So right now I live less than two hours away from New York City. It's almost Halloween. So why not go to New York for Halloween? There's the Greenwich Village Parade, dozens of parties, and generally the coolest city in the world on its wildest night.

Now there are are a few minor questions I'm still thinking about. I'd like to go to the parade as Coraline, but the party I'm most interested in is the Gorey-themed one, which suggests pseudo Victorian oddity costuming. Possibly I could find someplace to change midway through the night.

The real question is whether or not I should do anything about company. What if I messaged some interesting guys on a few dating sites and asked them if they would be interested in a last minute Halloween adventure? Are random guys on dating sites
more dangerous than random strangers? Would the guys think the idea was crazy, even if I couched it more subtly?

I may message guys whether or not I mention Halloween, but asking someone to go exploring seems more fun and useful than dull coffee sessions.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

     Read 2 - Post
01:36pm 04/10/2009
  And now I'm on Martha's Vineyard, waiting to begin my writers workshop. On the way here my car overheated again, and I'm afraid it may be the end for her, which would be very very sad.

I'll let you guys know more about what's going on here... so far I've been here two and a half hours and I've mostly chatted and fed my internet addiction. I'll try to update more this weekend, but we'll see how that goes.
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Another loser anthem   
07:42am 12/09/2009
mood: whiny
Elite Beat Agents has taken ahold of me unlike anything for a long time. The only times I'm not playing it are when I'm waiting for my DS to charge. Ok, Ok, I occasionally pause due to crippling hand cramps or to hold brief, annoyed conversations with loved ones, or during an especially difficult song when I can tell that I'm actively getting worse due to strain and rhythm erosion. I'm writing this to escape from Jumpin Jack Flash on Sweatin' mode. If that means anything to any of you, you know what I'm going through. If I have to hear that you were raised by a toothless, bearded hag one more time... that's a great thing to call the person who raised you, and apparently things turned out all right, so why are you whining over and over about your crappy childhood? Get over yourself, Jumpin' Jack Flash.

So my month of travels is concluded. For anyone who missed out on the itinerary... I moved around August 1st, went to Kansas around the 10th, went to the Gathering of the Gargoyles the 20th, immediately went down to Florida to finish out the month and begin September, and returned for a single day before leaving again for PAX. I was almost, ALMOST convinced by Joanne to go to the Austin Game Developers Conference, but the lead time was too little and the conference fees too high; also I was afraid that I would die.

PAX was fun but I did more partying and less networking than I thought I would. Ah well. I'd like to talk about all my adventures in more depth, but I'm never sure what's interesting about them, so I'm just going to use PAX as a jumping-off point for updates on my existential crisis.

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their kind words on my last entry. I'm bad at responding to compliments and thanking people for them, but there we go. You guys rock.

That said, I have to make a clarification here: I haven't ever believed that nobody likes or is attracted to me, or at least not since the end of High School (a period of time where that was, at least to all outward appearances, true). My problem centers more around the kind of guys I like and the idea of... a sort of relationship equality? I dunno how exactly to describe it, but it's the theory that you shouldn't expect more from your significant other than you expect from yourself. And well, as one of my friends put it a little while ago, I like "waifs." Not universally, no... some of the guys I've liked and dated in the past have been on the pudgy side of normal weight. But the last guy I was with was the first guy who I would actually find myself staring at, and he was pretty goddam thin. Right now I'm between forty-five and sixty-five pounds overweight, depending on who you ask. So if I'm expecting my partner to be thin, then there's an inequality there.

So it's not that I don't think anyone would like me, it's that I have a lot of trouble attracting the guys I do like. At PAX two guys tried to pick me up... one was a little cute but not "I'm going to stay the night with a drunk guy I just met, even if we aren't going to do anything" cute. The second guy was a super creepy game design student my age. He was nice at first, and they both bought me expensive drinks, but neither was my type. At the same time, at the party where the second guy tried to pick me up, there was a smoking hot guy sitting alone. Thin, nice face, good hair, accent, shy... I'm sighing just thinking about it. I managed to talk to him, hit on him a tiny bit and give him my card, but the creepy guy kinda distracted me and I don't really think the cute guy was that interested in me.

And that's where I think being cuter would help... when I've got an hour and a few shouted conversations at a party to get a guy's initial interest. I'm still a bit doubtful that I'll be able to manage. Of course theoretically this can all be fixed, but I saw a doctor about my recurring shoulder pain, and she said I may have a small tear in one of my tendons. She said to try physical therapy again but if it doesn't work I may have to have surgery. Even then it may never be entirely the same. This sucks big time, because just about any physical activity... even walking or biking... makes the shoulder hurt. My mom has a good local Physical therapist, though, so I'm hopeful.

Times that I've stopped writing this entry to go play Elite Beat Agents again: 4
04:18am 31/08/2009
  I'm having myself a couple of existential crises.

I hate that I only write and use my livejournal to complain. That's not one of my crises, but it does bother me. I'm always thinking "I should write something" but then there's some new news article to be read or site to be refreshed, and the only time I ever get down to typing things is when something is "eating away at my liver."

The Gathering of the Gargoyles was great. I'll post about it later in detail. This is a promise, to myself and to a lot of other people. But right now, the whining.

The first crisis is about my weight and appearance. Now I don't think I look hideous. When I'm posing myself in front of a mirror I can look downright decent. But for girls... that's not good enough. Everywhere I go I see dozens and dozens of cute girls, much cuter than me. Until recently I could tell myself that they weren't geeks, but lately I've been seeing these girls at cons or on geek dating sites. And then I catch a glimpse of myself in a candid photo, and I almost always look like I have a double chin. I want so badly to lose weight, but I've been trying for a long time - eating better, lots of small meals, getting some exercise, etc. I can never seem to do well enough to make a difference, and I hate being hungry all the time. I'm getting these things sorted out, and I have a doctor's appointment in mid-September which will hopefully get me to the point where I can exercise heavily and see a physical therapist if the shoulder or ankle complain, or at least figure out what I have to do for the shoulder and ankle to get them to stop complaining permanently.

But the point is there are a ton of cute girls, and until I can manage to lose 40-60lbs, what chance do I have? It doesn't help that I don't often find anyone attractive. So while there IS the occasional guy who finds me cute despite all the crap, the odds against me finding them attractive in return are staggering. And yes, there is the guy in Kansas... but that's not a serious thing. Why is complicated, so just trust me.

Not that I'm not insanely glad that Kansas guy happened. I am, and I attribute my remaining shards of sanity to him and my college boyfriend. They provide me with proof that lightning can strike and there's a chance that I can find a guy who I am genuinely attracted to who will like and respect me. But I used to go to every con, every meetup with the idea that maybe I'd meet someone. Now that seems so spectacularly unlikely that I'm a little depressed about PAX.

And that relates to the other thing: I genuinely don't know what I'm doing career-wise. When I first started it seemed like there were so many great possibilities. Now when I look I don't see nearly as much interesting stuff around, and a lot of the stuff I thought would be perfect is stuff I've already applied for so clearly... it wasn't perfect. I haven't properly started with a recruiter yet, sure, and I haven't given up hope but... I just don't know. This has all been exacerbated by my relatives giving thoroughly unhelpful advice and suggestions all weekend, displaying that they have no real knowledge of any of the fields I'm involved or educated in. Which makes sense... they're all newish, weirdish, rapidly changing fields. I could start explaining and enumerating their misconceptions, but that would probably be a bad idea. Let's just say they think I should take my career in directions I'm not really interested in at all.

So now PAX is on the horizon, and I convinced myself to splurge on it partially because it would be an opportunity to network. This presents a wealth of other problems. Firstly I have no idea how to network effectively in that kind of an environment. Secondly, I'm not as hardcore as most PAX people seem to be: I've only played a hundred or so games in my life, I'm not familiar with all the great creators and studios. Thirdly, I'm starting to worry that I'll come off as a poser, or a crazy person... my skill-set and position were so weirdly defined, I can make so few real claims.

So if I'm not going to PAX for boys, or for being hardcore, or for networking (ok, I'm still going to TRY all three of those but... see above) then why am I going? I was looking forward to this, now I'm almost slightly dreading it. I'm sure I'll be fine when I get there and the con wave sweeps over me... even if I spend the entire weekend sitting alone in panels and video game rooms.

But every moment when I'm not distracting myself I'm thinking about my looks, my romantic situation, and jobs. And having one of your classic existential crises. Or maybe that's giving the whole situation too much dignity. Maybe I'm just depressed and whiny.
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12:25am 14/08/2009
  So. A lot of things have been happening.

As almost everyone knows, I moved back up to Connecticut with my family. As a few of you know, a day or so after I got here I immediately left for Kansas City to hang out with my old WoW raid at their second annual meetup.

My kind of undefinable thing with my old raid leader continued. Once again it was fun and a tiny bit frustrating... we aren't the most inherently compatible people and there are frequent moments of awkwardness. It's weird though, it feels like some of the silences there are just on that bare threshold between awkward and comfortable and, given time, we'd eventually relax. We don't have time, though, and never will... so as I said, frustrating.

Going there also awakened another realization... I'll never be as good as they are at WoW. Well, I'll be as good as some of the worst of them, but most of the people who actually showed up were the best of the best in the old days and... I just can't reach that. I don't have the reflexes, the instincts, the single-mindedness, the lack of ADD. But they're all talking about starting up again, throwing some toons Horde Side and starting the old gang going on Mal'Ganis. I'd like to play with them there, but can I? Is it worth trying to live lives on two servers at the same time? I'm not even playing at ALL right now. I need to get my computer set up, get me some Epic Gems, relearn to play. How much better than I've ever been can I get?

Anyway, I'm back home now, and I'm slowly sifting through stuff I have to get done: fixing stuff I've let lag with COBRA and Unemployment, cleaning house, going through all my old pre-college junk trying to decide what to toss... I've got so much to get done, it feels like I never get anything started. Plus there's the extra bonus of my family starting long conversations with me all the time. There have been so many times I was trying to take a two minute break to get a snack that turns into half an hour of listening to someone tell me some story.

And now on August 20th I'm heading out to LA for the final Gathering of the Gargoyles convention. This show influenced me hugely, possibly more than anything else in my life. I'd been putting off going to the convention, but it was pointed out to me that this is the last one ever so I said, what the hell? When in my life am I ever going to have TIME again?

That brings me to the last thing on my mind at the moment... PAX. You all know me... I'm up for adventure, very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I haven't made concrete plans for PAX yet, but it's still POSSIBLE to do so... grab tix, grab a room from the room share thread, easy breezy. The special thing about PAX that isn't true about Otakon or the Gathering is that it could be a networking opportunity. My problem is that I have no real idea how to network at a show like PAX. If I was confident I could figure out what to do at least enough to give things a trial run, it would be easy to decide to go. As things stand, I'm not sure... should I just bide my time for PAX east? (note, i'll be going to PAX east whether or not I make it to PAX west).

Side note: the canadian comedy troupe I'm kind of obsessed with will be at PAX west, but probably not PAX east... and they're having a panel and a meetup. /sigh

So things are full of chaos. I'm not even going to bother copyediting this entry because if I do I"ll get caught up in it and never publish it... just like every other LJ post I've attempted to make in the last few months.
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Like your blood knows the way from your heart to your brain   
04:04am 01/08/2009
  Well it's official. I'm all moved out of my apartment, and feeling sad.

I want to write a big dramatic entry about this, but I don't have it in me right this second. Panic was sustaining me 'til now, and with it dissipated all I can do is implore people to distract me. Heh. Hopefully I'll be able to see a little of everyone tomorrow, and get over things.

Maybe in my new town I'll meet some David Tennant look-alike. The thought sustains me, a bit.
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03:30pm 03/07/2009
  Hey guys, I'd like to get a finalized list for Otakon. Adam didn't prereg, so he's canceling... Larry also said he might not come, and there was some uncertainty about other people? I'd like to know for sure what is happening and who all is coming ASAP.

So far the list that i have is

Is there anyone on this list who shouldn't be? Anyone I'm forgetting?

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Everything that's right is wrong again   
11:01am 02/06/2009
  So, when I went to sleep at 9am yesterday everything was right with the world. When I woke up at 8pm it'd all gone to hell. Not major hell, we're not talking about serious drama here... we're talking about the petty annoyance of collectors and fans. When I fell asleep I was winning a bid on an auction for a Kino statue I wanted and I had a hardcover copy of Girl Genius vol. 7: Agatha and the Voice of the Castle on its way to me. I wake up and I'm outbid on Kino and the book has arrived with a decidedly soft cover. Ugh.

It's funny that I really have to learn the opposite lesson from most people... when I see something I want, I should buy it right away, without thinking. I'm certain enough about my own tastes that this is usually the right thing to do, and most of the time I don't do it I regret it.

Ah well. I am finding some of the other Girl Genius hardcovers around here and there for reasonable prices... so maybe in six months or whatever someone will list the damn thing for less than a king's ransom. I just have to stay vigilant. Still, I'm bummed.
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There's only yes, there's only this   
05:56am 29/05/2009
mood: contemplative
So I made the mistake of starting to read Tramps Like Us tonight. Needless to say I didn't get anything else done, I'm done with the two volumes Brandi started me out with, and I'm craving more.

So a few weeks ago I was having a conversation with an old flame, and he brought up Garden State and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as movies that really get to him every time he watches them. He's one of those people who is a hopeless romantic at the same time that he's a cynical bastard who really doesn't understand women. Anyway, after that I was trying to think of romantic stories that got to me and I realized they're pretty much all drawn. There's Whispers of the Heart, and Blankets, and Kodocha... and now there's Tramps Like Us. A part of me wants to show him all these things, see what  he thinks, what he gets from them. There's a problem, though.

This is the one who hates comics and cartoons (yeah, I know. I can pick 'em, right?). And he's usually pretty good at predicting what he'll like, as much as I hate to admit that. I still have this weird urge to try to get him to try these things, though. It's just a pity that all of them are drawn.

I mean, romantic comedies often have their desired effect on me... I think they're cute, I swoon over our star du jour (or at least the 'best friend' character), I develop unreasonably exaggerated and unhealthy ideas of what a relationship should be like... you know, the industry standard. They make me lonely. But very rarely do I look at something like that and think "Oh. That relationship. I understand that."

Maybe it's the way the physicality is represented in most hollywood movies? It's always flirt-flirt-flirt POUNCEUNF. You don't often see someone standing behind someone else and putting their arms around them, or whatever. You see distance and then you see passion, but you miss... closeness. That was actually something that struck me about Rent... how much more intimate some of the scenes are with the actors there on stage holding each other. During Another Day and I'll Cover You I was practically transfixed.

Ha. I just realized the one thing all those shows and movies and comics I mentioned had in common. It may sound stupid, but... all those couples communicate their affection primarily through hugging. I'm sure that's not all of it, but it made me laugh to think about it.
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The Laws of Con Reg   
01:51pm 28/05/2009
  I'm a little bummed. Comicon full memberships sold out in March, which was way before I embraced my whole "Treat this as a vacation" thing. I might have tried to squeak in under a professional membership if I'd thought of that before May, but I'm a foolish fool. They sold out two weeks before opening last year, so I should have assumed it'd be four months before opening this year. Apparently I never learn.

Also, this year scalping is illegal. Which is understandable, but also annoying. I would have been willing to pay a little extra at this point.

So that's off the schedule, unless I luck out and they decide to resell canceled memberships or I win a radio contest in the San Diego area. Well their contact has promised to send me info about those contests, so who knows!

Bah. I guess it would have been silly to spend all that cash primarily for a Lost panel, but I'm still a little sad. Ah well.
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08:57am 30/04/2009
  The West Wing makes me feel good. It's all someone I like making up stories he'd like to hear about people he likes. Everyone in it is great.

"If I see one victory balloon before he's elected... yeah you better run."

My shoulder started acting up again last night. Twinged up something SERIOUS, and I had a weird pins and needles in my wrist and near my pinky. I put heat on it and the pinky died down, but it's still twingy this morning. Everything seems to be against me getting in shape. I've gotten into a good workout pattern how many times? Four? Working up slowly from half an hour twice a week, get to the point where I'm doing two hours four times a week and then WHAM... unrelated injury. Or related injury. Or whatever.

I'm bad at doing this thing with diet alone.

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06:21am 30/03/2009
  Boo, the listing for the localization editor for Nintendo of America has been taken down. I had submitted a resume, but it wasn't as good as it could have been, and I wasn't as active as I might have been about following up.

I'm having a lot of trouble with this job search for a few reasons, but the number one problem is that I want to leave... and yet I don't want to leave.

I've never been that good at making friends and contacts, and I've always been worse than that at meeting guys. This area... this span of Virginia/Washington/Maryland... hasn't made that any easier. I feel like most of the people around here are boring government types, and my hopes for meeting someone are pretty low. At the same time, though, I have an excellent group of friends here now. I'm within a not-too-difficult day's travel of my family, and I've got a good roomate. Everything in life was pretty good with the exception of my love life, until I lost my job.

But not everyone around here is necessarily going to stay around here, so I'm even more confused.

I don't know why, but I feel like a change of scenery might help me find what I'm missing, especially considering that many of my close friends may be leaving here soon anyway. But is that hope... the "there are more geeks on the West Coast" idea, just the generic hope I get whenever I go to a new place or do a new thing?

I try not to talk about it, but I have to say that being mostly single for the past, oh, seven years has been weighing heavily on me a lot. During that period I've had two fairly brief relationships where the amount of real-life facetime ultimately numbered a few days. My efforts in finding like-minded organizations and single people in DC have all fallen flat, and I've cleaned out the dating sites in a 50 mile radius. I've all but lost hope of finding anyone around here. But would a change of scenery really help? This may seem insane, but the potential dating pool is one of the biggest factors I'm considering when thinking about where I might be living.

I can take some solace in not getting the Nintendo job because for every Fire Emblem there are likely dozens of Nintendogs I'd have to be looking at, but at the same time it was a job I might have liked, and because I was lazy I didn't do as much as I could have to get it. I've got to come to terms with two things:

1. Good positions don't grow on trees. If I want something, I have to go for it all out. The universe isn't going to do me any favors, and I don't want to be stuck with regrets.

2. If I am looking for jobs at any company other than the scarce few local ones around here, I have to be prepared... mentally and emotionally... to just pick everything up and GO. There's a chance I may have to move away from here on very short notice in the coming weeks if I want to seriously consider 90% of available jobs. I can't dilly dally about an opportunity just because I don't know if I want to move. I can't have my cake and eat it too.
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More Information Than You Require   
02:09am 25/03/2009
  So last night I was heading to the store with Adam. It was dark and stepping off the curb into the parking lot of our apartment, I slipped. I think it's posible I might have slipped on one of these weird little cylindrical pinecone things, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I ended up on the pavement.

The pain in my ankle was intense, and I decided it was dumb to try to go to the store. Adam helped me upstairs, so I sat there, iced my ankle, and elevated it. I thought I had an ace bandage somewhere, but I couldn't find it so I didn't get a chance to wrap the foot. It went from feeling a bit wobbly to hurting like a BITCH, depending on how I stood on it. So when it got to be morning, I called the doctor. I saw her in the afternoon. She poked at my ankle in a doctorly way, and that hurt like HELL. She then told me to go get x-rayed, and that it might be a break or it could just be a really bad sprain. She gave me a splint-like thing called an "aircast" and said that it would help hold my ankle steady while I walked around. They didn't have crutches that fit me, so I had to go to the CVS to buy them. How have I never noticed that they sell crutches at the CVS?

Also, crutches are less fun and easy than I remember. They hurt your arms like nobody's buisness.

Eventually I made it to the x-ray place and got x-rayed. I should know what's up with my foot by tomorrow. The Aircast has made it a bit easier for me to walk without stepping the wrong way and whimpering, but it still hurts.

This is a bummer for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I know that once you hurt an ankle it becomes much much easier to hurt it again in the future.

Secondly, there was this really cool thing I wanted to do on Sunday. This one meetup group (the Adventure Meetup) was having a vampire tag game. This sounded like the first one in a long time that I'd really have fun with, (and as close to league hide and seek as I was likely to find). There's no WAY my foot will be run-in-the-dark-worthy by Sunday. I'm so disappointed. The disappointment is worse than the hurting.

I keep TRYING to do these things that are important to me... get in shape, meet new people, etc, and stuff keeps happening that totally messes me up. After all that's been up these last few months, this last thing is really bringing me down.
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