PAX 2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 No comments

Finally, I have returned to PAX!

This past weekend, I went to PAX for the first time in 4 years.  I think it was still referred to as PAX Prime the last time I went.  Now, it’s officially PAX West.  I wanted to go this year if I could get badges, but when I missed the onsale I resigned myself to staying home. Luckily, my friend Cory had bought extra badges and sold me one of his sets. I went with him, his partner Chris, and our friend Cody. We rented an airbnb in Burien, which is right outside of Seattle.

I drove to Seattle Friday morning on my own, parked at CenturyLink Field and took a Lyft to the convention center.  I met Cory and Chris to get my badges and headed off on my own to a Life is Strange panel.  This ended up being the only panel I saw that weekend.  There weren’t a lot interesting panels as far as I saw on the schedule.  Gearbox, Major Nelson, and Destructoid, some of my favorites from years past, weren’t on the schedule this year. Does Destructoid still exist? There was a Giant Bomb panel one night, but I think we went out as a group that night.  I spent the rest of the day at the convention center wondering around, taking pictures of cosplayers, and checking out video games.  I met the others (Cody had arrived by bus in the meantime and had been picked up by Cory and Chris) at the airbnb, and we went out to a brew pub for dinner.
D.Va cosplay

The next day we all went together to the convention center.  We split up shortly after we arrived. I really liked going around on my own.  If I’m trying to keep up with others, I might miss something I’m interested in, like an interesting cosplayer.  I did more of the same as the day before and I also played some video games and board games.  I actually waited in a long line to play a game, which might be a first for me.  I bought one of board games I played – Dice Throne.  We went to Pike Place (my first time) before heading back to the airbnb. That night we took a Lyft to the PAX Pink Party, which is an LGBT event.  It was an okay party.  Cory and Cody met friends of theirs.  I briefly met with somebody I’ve known online for a few months – the president of Seattle Gaymers. We stumbled upon another party downstairs, which was much better than the Pink Party.  I actually danced and sang in front of other people.  After this we got some food at Sizzle Pie and headed home around 2 in the morning.  I think we were all feeling old at this point.
Group Photo

On Sunday I was very tired and sore.  I tried to find activities that would allow me to sit down.  I did wait in another long line to play a game and get pictures of cosplayers.  Also, I played more board games, played some Jack Party Pack, and watched some fighting game competition in the Arena area, which was in the main exhibit area this time.  That night, they went out to eat with a friend of Cory’s, but I decided to go back to the airbnb.  I was pooped.
Cosplayers

I decided to drive back early Monday morning.  Xander had to leave Reese here by himself Sunday night because he had another dog to sit. This was the first time I’ve ever gone out of town and left Reese at home and not at a kennel or dogsitter’s place.  I didn’t want Reese to be here by himself too long. Also, I was exhausted and I don’t think I had another day in me.

It was so much fun getting to go back to PAX!  I’m glad that I went with people I know this time.  Just being around so many people who share the same passion as you is amazing. It was great rediscovering my way around the convention convention center. There’s so much there and it seemed like each day I found an area I had forgotten about, though some things had moved or changed.  I’m 4 years older and a lot more out of shape than I was the last time I went and it showed.  I was tired and sweaty a lot.  I needed to rest often.  When I was with the group, I had a hard time keeping up. I ended up skipping parties and panels I was interested in because it would be hard for me to get there.  I guess that’s motivation for getting in better shape before next time.  I’m really hoping that next time will be next year.

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Walla Walla Sweet Onions

Sunday, August 19th, 2018 No comments

As many of you know, I grew up in Mississippi and lived there pretty much all my life until 6.5 years ago, the exceptions being 15 months in New Orleans and a summer in Ohio.

I went to college in 1997, around the time the Internet was starting to take off. The summer before college, I would go one of the local libraries just to get online for a little while. At some point while in was an undergrad, I discovered IRC. I had barely been outside of the South, but I was able to chat with people everywhere. My favorite chat room (weren’t they called channels?) was one dedicated to pro wrestling.  I was a big fan at the time. If I were still a big fan, I’d probably have a wrestling podcast or at least listen to wrestling podcasts.  This particular chat room was mostly a guy named Sean and his friends in Walla Walla, Washington.  And me.  But most of the time it Sean and his close friend whose name I can’t remember and me along with the occasional stranger who popped in.  [I just listened to some audio files Sean recorded and sent me dated April and May 2000. One had a reference to an incident involving a user named after the Pokemon Psyduck.  You have to have been there, but  it’s why I still like Psyduck to this day].

We had fun chatting about wrestling and whatever else popped up in our mind.  I guess Sean was my first online friend.  In the social media age, I’ve made so many online friends.  I’ve met many of then, planned vacations with them, stayed in their houses, etc.  I never got to meet any of those guys.  At that time the Pacific Northwest might as well have been Australia in terms of distance and the idea of meeting someone from a chat room probably would have been weird to me.

Sometimes they would joke about Walla Walla and how the only thing Walla Walla is known for are its sweet onions.  Here in the Portland area, I see Walla Walla sweet onions in the grocery stores.  Maybe you can find them all over the world, but I never noticed them until I moved here.  Whenever I see them, I think about that chat room I used to hang out in about 20 years ago. I wonder that happened to those guys.  We lost touch at some point.  I wonder if they’re still living in the PNW.

Here’s Sean doing the DX “suck it” sign [a wrestling thing].  Look at that fine picture quality.
Sean from Walla Walla

Stress

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 No comments

The next month is going to be stressful, but at least I get a vacation after that. More then.

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Portland Pride 2018

Sunday, June 24th, 2018 No comments

Last weekend was Portland Pride weekend, which ended a great pride week here in in Portland. Pride has become one of my favorite times of the year.

I actually didn’t do anything during the week, but I did live vicariously through people who were out doing stuff.

On Friday night, PDX Gaymers hosted a Pride weekend event at Guardian Games.  I put this together at the last minute. I’ve been in touch with the leader of Seattle Gaymers lately and he asked if we were planning anything for Pride.  I had never thought to do anything for Pride, probably because there are so many other things going on and I assume people would be more interested in that than gaming.  I rented a private room at Guardian.  I advertised the event as a stop before going to a party or just a quiet alternative to going to a party. We had a good turnout.  Everybody that came stayed until the end.  The room was cramped with that many people, but we made it work.  I think everyone had a good time.

On Saturday, Xander, our friend David W, and I went out to the festival and walked around the waterfront area. It was Xander’s first Pride. I like going to the festival every year, but there’s really not much to it and I don’t think they were into it as much as me.  We left soon afterwards and got some drinks at a bar and later got some ice cream.

On Sunday, I marched in the parade again with Intel.  We had a much smaller group than last year, but we were a lot closer to the front of the parade, so there wasn’t as much waiting around.  It was fun marching again.  It was touching to see how many people were genuinely happy to see us. I saw quite a few people I knew along the parade route, including someone I met at the game night on Friday night.  Some people shouted my name.  A couple of people came into the street to hug me.

Portland Pride 2018

That night, Xander and I went to see Kathy Griffin perform. I had never seen one of her shows in person, but Xander had.  Several of my friends were there, including some I saw along the parade route earlier.  Portland is a small city. Kathy was great.  She was on stage for a little under 3.5 hours.  The time flew by and we were laughing all the way through.  The show was mostly about her ordeal with Trump with other stories mixed in.

This was my favorite Pride yet. It’s great seeing the community come together and celebrate. Next year I want to do even more!

Remembering My Grandmother

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 No comments

I knew that we were coming on the 10th anniversary of the passing of my grandmother.  A few weeks ago, I went through old posts and figured out today was the day.  You can see what I wrote a few days after her funeral here.

I still think about her quite often. I wish I could go to Mississippi and visit her.  I’d love to know what she thought about my life these past 10 years.  I think she’d be proud.

Mr. Cameraman

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 No comments

Around Christmas time my co-worker Daniel told me that he had bought a camera and was taking up the hobby of photography.  Since then we’ve bonded over love of taking pictures.

A couple of months ago he told me that he wanted to make a video and that he wanted my help doing it.  He wanted to go to his hair salon and film a haircut tutorial video featuring himself and his stylist.  I had never filmed a video before, but I thought it would be fun.  We used his roommate’s camera and his lighting and gimbal. We got together at his house a couple of days before to practice some of the shots he wanted.

The day of filming was fun.  I was worried that the footage would turn out to be bad, but Daniel was very pleased with what we got.  He did all the editing.  Check out the finished video below.

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Flash Update

Monday, April 30th, 2018 No comments

Life is busy. Guitar lessons. Exercising. Taking on more responsibility at work. Moved desks twice. Planted a garden. I want to go to Mexico. More detailed updates as time permits.

Goodbye Portlandia

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 No comments

Portlandia

Last week I had to say goodbye to another long-running show that I really enjoyed watching.  I started watching Portlandia when I found out I was moving to Portland. Their second season was about to air on IFC.  They did a 8 seasons total. It wasn’t the funniest show around, but there was something funny in almost every episode. It didn’t just make fun of Portland. It made fun of modern life in general. As always, it was great seeing my city on TV. I even got to be an extra in one episode.  Check out the first sketch in Episode 7 for Season 3 or google ‘portlandia gay wedding’ if you want to see it.

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Starting Over

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 No comments

I started seeing a personal trainer again.  I’m starting over when it comes to fitness. I feel like I do better fitness wise when I have someone holding me accountable.  I at least want to get on a routine.  I’ve been eating healthier food as well, though I haven’t been perfect with that.  Hopefully, I’ll start seeing results soon.

I started taking guitar lessons as well.  I never had any formal training.  It’s been so long since I really practiced.  I think of myself as a newbie.  I’ve been having fun learning pieces of songs I listened to in the 90s.

I decided to retire my gaming desktop. I’m not planning on getting another desktop for the time being.  It’ll be the first time in 20 years that I haven’t had a desktop.  I’ve always kept a desktop around for gaming during that period.  Who wants to play games on a laptop? (I’ll admit that I have played some games that aren’t too intensive on laptops.)  Early on I would go back and forth from gaming predominately on a PC and gaming predominately on consoles.  Around 10 years ago that changed.  Even though I kept upgrading my desktops, I could never make PC gaming a lasting habit.  I haven’t given up on PC gaming, however.  Playing Overwatch at the Microsoft store has shown me that if you have a powerful enough machine, laptop gaming can be enjoyable.  So I invested in a relatively inexpensive gaming laptop and I am writing this entry on it. Trying something new.  I like that I can bring it downstairs to the living room and put it away when I’m done with it.  I’m installing games on it now.  Maybe I’ll review it once I’ve had a chance to play a few Overwatch matches on it.

 

So Much to Do

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 No comments

The year has gotten off to a busy start. As usual, there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it. I’ve known for years that I’ve havd too many hobbies, but I’ve had people comment on it recently.

I’m getting some stuff set up for photography. I want to start painting again. I’ve started playing guitar again. There’s gaming stuff that I want to do.

It’s going to be a busy year. Stay tuned.