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The Phoenix from the Flame
Did I dream this belief, or did I believe this dream?
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For those that care, the second installment of my board game column has now been posted.
Board to Death: 2009 in Review

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Hello dear Livejournal, dear neglected friend. I'm back.

*******
In February 2009 I went to Bali to find myself and realign. To give myself a clean slate and a new beginning, in an effort to refocus my life in a new direction.
Less then four days after my return, the Universe decided to call my bluff and started to strip away everything. Before it was over...
I had lost my career and my marriage.
A beloved uncle had died.
and I had lost my stability and (briefly) my sanity.

I was literally left with a clean slate. No job, no direction, and my best friend was in the process of removing herself from my life. I spent the next three months living out of my car and sleeping on sofas as I attempted to relocate back to Baltimore and start over. The true turning point was my birthday in September. That was when my beloved Tara threw me a party and I was surrounded by those that are dearest to me. So strange that it took Sarah leaving for my two circles of friends to really start to cross pollinate. Having all those loved ones together was amazing. Just having Emily, Tara and Warren in the same room about filled my heart to bursting.
(And somewhere along the way I reconnected with Jessica too, who seems to show herself at turning points in my life. I'll continue to be your Catalyst darling, if you continue to be my Muse, just as you have always been.)
Related to the above comment is the lesson I learned from Emily this year. In my arrogance, I thought I had sort of mostly figured out Love. Turns out, I hadn't of course. Love can come in many shapes and colors, and even romantic love (for lack of a better term) can be a deeply fulfilling thing even when not followed through on in the typical way. I discovered the use of the word to be oddly liberating instead of providing the nausea inducing emptiness that it would have given me in years past. Why is it that the English language only gives us one word for Love? It probably says something about our culture, though I'm not sure what.

My new job, though the very definition of mundane, meets the criteria I set out for myself. I wanted any new job of mine to pay the bills; not make me want to eat a bullet every morning; allow me to deal with people; and not make me compromise my appearance in any way. It's not some noble stand of mine on this last point, it's just that I'm 35 and I'm kind of over it, ya know? This is who I am, take it or leave it. So yeah, the job is good. My coworkers and the organization itself are great. I'm happy there, and it gives me the flexibility to pursue other things. Like my "other job" which is working at Ed's shop teaching board games to people every week and occasionally helping out with other projects or events. I'd love to be even more involved, but it's largely a matter of economics.

FaerieCon in November was an event which was quite meaningful to me. It was 2008's event that inspired me in no small way to really focus on that which I was passionate about, and in a way, this year's event was like coming full circle. I had an amazing conversation about art and life with Ian McCaig, who once again offered his assistance with keeping myself on target. My current goal is once I get my books and animals and everything settled into the new place, I hope March to be the point at which I pick up my carving tools again and really make a go at this thing.
Finally, FaerieCon also allowed me to meet someone who, if the fates are with me, I will continue to share space with in the coming year. And her better half too, I might add.

Things are looking up. I do live in Roland Park for fucksake, so that's kinda fun.
If only Sarah would talk to me more often I'd be pretty damn happy, but she's not ready for that yet. Time will tell.
I certainly feel no lack of love at the moment, I'll tell you that. Perhaps it's worthy of another post entirely, but I can't even imagine trying to date anyone (else?) at this point. I mean, really, why bother? :)
2010.
Bring it.

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Current Location: Roland Park, bitches.
Current Mood: hungover and happy

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I really need to update this thing. Soon, soon.
In the meantime, for those that are gamer inclined, please go read the first installment of my monthly board game column, BOARD TO DEATH, over at the Games and Stuff website.

Board to Death: Why Do We Play Board Games?
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(real post and life update thing coming soon, I promise...)

Futile meme! Hooray!

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."

* I'll respond by asking you three to five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity.
* Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
* Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions

Here's my response to painkillerjane's questions:

1. Which of your tattoos is your personal favorite?
The heart on my chest has always been important to me, but given recent events it is even more so now. It is a statement about my views on love, how it is not a finite commodity and how I have a lot of it to give. The big crack in the heart has had different meanings at different times, all of which are valid, and now I've got yet another meaning for it. And it's a big one.

2. Still working on your novel? About how complete would you say it is?
In a word, no. The events of the past year have rocked me from my creative wagon, but I hope to get back on soon.

3. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
HAHAHAHAHA! I have no idea. Things change for me on a daily basis these days. I'd like to see myself making a sizable part of my income from art, whether that be from mask making or writing. I do, however, see myself as a single person for the rest of my life insomuch as I won't have a steady, primary partner. I know I will have been back to Bali.

4. Have you been able to keep in contact with any of your classmates from your Balinese maskmaking trip?
Yup. Most of them I connect with on facebook.

5. What personal habit in a person do you find most irritating?
Geez. As a general rule, I don't let stuff like that irritate me too much, though I guess I've got a few pet peeves. I suppose mainly it's when people who are clearly insecure in their own skin adopt an affected air or an exaggerated manner or like to go on and on about something that they're clearly pretty ignorant about. I don't like people pretending to be more than they are. Fake intellectuals make me want to break things sometimes.
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that is all.
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Still puttering along here. I fucking hate the time that I spend in Jersey. Being in the same house with Sarah is just painful as all get out, and when she's not here, I'm unmotivated to do anything. And people wonder why I'm so quick to get down to Baltimore and get on with my life. Being sick doesn't help either.

I've only got a wee bit more to pack, but I've got some shit I need to grow through and clean out too (like the stuff that belongs to my dad, etc.) I'll be back in Baltimore from this Wednesday (8/19) to probably the following Wednesday (8/26). Looks like I'll be house-sitting for my aunt from Thursday to Sunday I think, and then house-sitting for Ed & Emily from Sunday to Wednesday.

I'm working this entire weekend, and will be quickly ramping up to full time at my new job in Baltimore. Yeah, I'm basically waiting tables. But they don't care that I've got tattooed arms/hands/forehead or blue dreadlocks, so yay. But man I'm not going to be making much money... with any luck the tips will make up the difference, but fuck me if I know where the hell I'm going to live. I need something that's relatively cheap, and yet will allow me to have my cat and small pile of snakes, plus enough room for my all my stuff (ie. art, books and board games) so something like a studio apartment is right out. I suppose a roommate is not completely out of the question, but fuck me if I'm gonna live with a stranger. Time will tell.

And finally... speaking of games, (*nerd alert*)
word out of GenCon has me simultaneously blessing and cursing Fantasy Flight Games. "Sea of Blood" for Descent looks absolutely amazing, but I will never forgive them for dumbing down and completely gutting the best fantasy roleplaying game of all time, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, with an absolutely dreadful new approach for a third edition.

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Current Mood: apathetic apathetic

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Sunday I got my book collection moved down to storage in Brian's house in West Virginia.
I still have tons more to pack/move: clothes, art, boardgames, furniture, aquariums.
Still not entirely sure what my living arrangements will be like. I imagine I'll be splitting time between a few different locations.
Not much luck yet with finding a job, (despite filling out a bunch of applications and sending TONS of resumes out electronically) although I have a few leads plus one interview on Monday, which I'm pretty optimistic about. I also have a few potential one-day-a-week things in the works. I need something soon. Like, yesterday. I am just about out of money, period.
The house... gah. What a wonderful way to squander $60,000. I don't even want to talk about it.

As for my mental state, I still kinda feel like this whole thing is a dream. I'm sleepwalking through my days rarely feeling anything. Although the Depeche Mode show was the first time I've really felt in the moment in a long time. And thankfully I'm blessed with amazing friends and at least a couple people whose mere presence makes me feel more alive.

And I actually feel kinda crappy today, so I'm gonna go lie down for a while.
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So yeah.
In case it hasn't been made clear, Sarah and I have broken up.
I will be moving to Baltimore in the very near future. Basically, as soon as I get my crap packed up and stored away where ever I can stash it. The next few weeks will see me traveling up and down 95 a great deal, and I hope to be mostly living in Baltimore by the end of the month. Though that will include frequent trips back up to Jersey to get the house sale-ready.
There will be much sofa sleeping, though I will likely land at my Uncle's place in Towson for the temporary midterm. Basically until Sarah and I can sell the house and I'm financially stable and working steadily. I suppose somewhere in there we'll have to deal with all the necessary legal crap of actually getting divorced.

Once that happens, we'll see. I've got a few crazy options on the table that are appealing (moving to Atlanta, going back to Bali... for good), but I'm guessing I'll be planted back in my hometown once again.

Discuss.
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There you have it.
It would appear that I'm for most intents and purposes, I am now single for the first time since 1997.
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Blue Harlequin
Name: Blue Harlequin
Living and Dying, We Feed the Fire
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