Tag Archive for relationships

Blue Foxdragon LFM for Heroic Social

So, I’ve never had a ton of friends, but it’s not ever really bothered me either.  I actually tend to be fairly introverted, so most of my friends have come from more extroverted friends and family introducing me to them.  When those aren’t involved, I tend to revert to being a dragon ninja, when it comes to social situations around people I don’t know very well.

I’ll slip in quietly, listening to nearby conversation, and if it happens to hit upon something I can discuss or like to(or an opportunity for a bad pun comes up <..<) then I strike!  If the conversation drifts away towards something where I can’t contribute, then I’ll do the same, vanishing like smoke.

Anyways, my last local friends outside of work have now moved away, as of last week, putting me back where I was a few years ago, with a couple differences that are making me feel the difference more strongly than back then.

You see, for a while I was gaming with a group of people at one of our local comic and game stores, but then our GM had some personal issues and the game sessions came to an end.  At the time I was also playing World of Warcraft, so I ended up just staying at home most of the time, playing and socializing via that.  While I didn’t get out of the house much outside work, it wasn’t a huge issue as I was still getting my “people fix.”

After a couple years of that, I was feeling the itch for a tabletop RPG, and heard from my dad(who had also been playing with this group) that a few of the folks were starting it up again, but this time playing at their homes.  At the time, I was on a shifting schedule for work so I couldn’t make it half the time, and didn’t pursue it, but eventually that changed, and I was able to start playing with them again.

Over time we started doing other things as a group too, and during that time I dropped WoW, picked up STO for a while, then kinda dropped that too to focus on my marathon run through ALL the Pokemon games(and my computer not wanting to run STO under WINE). End result was basically most of my social needs being met by hanging with the local group instead, and it got me out of the house too!  Somewhere in there I also spent a good amount of time on Second Life for a while, until some events and life being busy led me to neglect it for a large amount of time.

Now, I don’t have any local event stuff I really go to at the moment, and I don’t have any MMOs I’m currently playing(in part due to WINE’s issues with DirectX11 and most MMOs I’m interested in using that now), leaving me coming home to not much to do and no one to really see.

On top of that, I’m at the point where I feel ready for a relationship again.  Usually after one ends, I’ve tended to stay single for a while after before even starting to look, and it’s been a couple years now. Unfortunately, I barely have anywhere to even look currently, because of the above.

End result? One lost and somewhat lonely dragon.

It doesn’t help either that most “mainstream” activities for meeting people are not things I’m into.  I don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t really dance, which leaves people introducing me to people, and online gatherings pretty much.

Unfortunately, I don’t know where to go for those either.  I’ve logged into SL recently, but I don’t know where to go anymore. The Isle of Wyrms has been fairly quiet the few times I popped in, Aggro has been empty, and I’m a bit big for Luskwood. (Never saw many convos of interest there the dew times I went either.)  Most of the other places I knew are gone, and I have no idea where I can find other dragons, or furs in general that would be welcoming to dragons.

I’ve also wanted to look for Telegram groups, but I don’t know where to look to find them, as I have very few other people I actively talk to on it right now, and the one index site I found doesn’t give me a real good idea for what some of them are like.

I’ve thrown up a couple profiles on Pounced and elsewhere too, but not a single response from any of them, and Pounced has historically not done much for me in general.

As for work?  Well back when the chlorine gas attack happened at MFF a couple years ago, people here were making bad furry jokes, so I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable letting my furry side out among them.  Not that I haven’t left a couple hints, but only one person has even sort-of caught it, and he’s not around anymore.

(To be fair, being able to be open about being dragon in RL has been a luxury I’ve only had the past couple years, as it turned out most of that group I mentioned before had furry tendencies to begin with, to my pleasant surprise.)

Anyways, if anyone knows where all the dergs are hanging these days, hit me up on Twitter.  I don’t really look for comments on here anymore, after so long of getting nothing but spam attempts.

Also open to any tabletop RPG gaming – with the group basically broken up for now, it doesn’t look like I’ll get to play Jasmine in an actual tabletop game anytime soon, and I don’t want to let the awesome art of her go to waste.

Competition

So a while back my girlfriend mentioned I was very competitive. Now we play quite a few games often to spend time together, both with just us and with others, but I didn’t put too much stock in it at the time.

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and whatever I do, I try to do my absolute best at, though I will sometimes put additional personal restrictions in place on things.  For example, I prefer not to jump my dragoness’s pawns in parcheesi unless I’m forced to by the game not giving an out.  Within that restriction however, I try to play it the best I can, and everyone else’s pawns are fair game.

The other night however, we’d recently found this Monopoly clone and were playing it a bit before heading off to bed.  Unlike the first night, that night the dice were rolling well for me and not only did I get 2 full groups, I ended up through managing mortages(and a couple close calls) buying one out of every color group I didn’t fully control, This might not have been so bad, except it was just the two of us, and without considering it I’d totally blocked my GF from doing anything without buying or trading properties from me, which killed her interest in it, the the point that night where she was not wanting to ever play it again with me.

I felt horrible about it that night, but it made me recall her words before.

When you’re playing a game, typically you are playing to win to some extent, but just having fun can outweigh that; especially since in that example we were ultimately just playing around to have a bit of fun with a new game and kill time.  While we were playing, since we weren’t chatting much I was looking at the board and thinking mostly in terms of the game, and planning ahead on my next step, rather than thinking about making sure she got to move forward too.   My actual goals though were more to build out some areas for the achievements.

Anyways, making me think about all this also made me think back to WoW.  I’ve been raiding for years, and for a while I was raiding with a casualcore group and what had kind of devolved into a more casual group, before it broke up because of the difference in opinion on progression value.

With the first group, we show up to kick butt, take loot, and push progression.  If you screw up you’re letting down the team.  You do your best for yourself and the team to do ever harder content, though we’re no world first guild, we do the best we can within our limits.

The other guild people were mostly going to kill bosses and have fun together, regardless of the progression. We weren’t getting anywhere compared to the other one because everyone was more casual about it and I had already found that sort of guild isn’t a great match for me, as I always tended to be progression-oriented, making the character grow in capability.

Those same traits that make me a good raider though, are what came back to bite us in the butt that night. When raiding seriously, competitiveness is good and encouraged, as it pushes you to increase your performance, especially as a DPS.  Lord knows I compared myself often enough on the charts after fights with my other raid members! But it can be a detriment as well, when you’re trying to play a game more casually, but without the clues of body language and tone of voice, it’s a lot harder to tell when you’ve crossed the line if you don’t catch yourself first.

It is kinda funny though that I ultimately don’t care for PvP in most games, given that, instead preferring co-op, but then that’s probably my natural tendencies towards empathy and avoiding direct confrontation warring with those competitive tendencies to instead turn to co-op and comparisons.

That may be part of why I didn’t really consider it at first, as in my mind when I hear competitiveness, I also mentally tie in confrontation and being a direct opponent to someone rather than the way I normally go about things.

We’ve since talked about it and I’m going to restrain myself further where she’s concerned on that game as well.  most of the other games we play are usually down to 90% luck, and less strategy, so they depend mostly on the luck of the die/draw.

That night she said “You are who you are” when I apologized again for “ruining” the game and to a certain extent she’s right; those traits have served me well in certain environments, but there’s a time and place for that, which is why I come up with additional restrictions to hold myself back.  I’m just going to have to do it more proactively.  I’m just glad that she knew that it wasn’t my intention, and she didn’t hold it against me at all.  Not that I would ever expect her to, but past experiences with other girlfriends have made me skittish about things, even if only subconciously.

In other news, I’ve started playing WoW again, and the 3 month break was what I needed.  I’m gearing up my druid for leveling after finding out about the new werecat talent, and I’m really hoping it turns out competitive DPS compared to the other two talents on that tier, so I don’t feel like I’m gimping myself for using it.  I’m also working back through and upgrading my priest’s gear, and I should have it done in plenty of time as the release date now is November.

I also already requested release day and the day after off so I can binge-level this time too on at least one character.  I’m looking at leveling 3 characters to cover all my bases in terms of professions, thanks to garrisons, and two of those are the druid and priest I’m already going to be leveling.  I’m just going to have to re-find a balance point between WoW to progress my toons and SL to spend time with my dragoness, but that’s no different from any other guy who plays WoW and has a SO.

Ultimately, it is what it is though, and I wouldn’t give her up for anything. So priorities will adjust, as they always have, and life goes on.

 

Censoring yourself

To be fair, this is something we do every day in our day-to-day lives.  If we were socialized properly and don’t have any interfering mental issues, we go around all the time and make think certain things, but our brain-to-mouth filter catches them before they get us in trouble.

As much as that does work though, we will still blurt out wrong things at the wrong moment in live conversation, which everyone knows as “putting your foot in your mouth” form wherever the phrase started.  Online interactions however add another layer on top of that.

With the way text chatting works, unlike in speech you get the entire message at once, rather than as the stream of words that spoken language is.  Rather than take it bit by bit, you swallow the message in whole and then respond.  ON top of that, depending on typing speed and message length, you could be communicating faster or slower than you would speaking, which can lead to you sometimes talking past the other person.  For example, you could be responding to their previous sentance but by the time you get it out they’ve already said something on a different subject, and then you end up with two conversations at once potentially until one resolves itself.

Of course, holding multiple conversations at once can be a side benefit of this as well.

Either way, online interactions give you more time to think of what you’re going to say, which can lead to a conscious word filter in addition to your learned unconscious one.  You may think more about what you’re going to say.. especially if you have an idea of what the other party is about to say and can see that they’re typing it(as most things, whether Skype, Second Life, or something else show it these days).

This isn’t always a good thing.

I for one prefer to try and keep my responses as close to what I would respond live, if possible, especially in an environment like Second Life. I try to avoid half-typing a sentence, then deleting it and starting over, though I admit it does happen sometimes… and there’s other times when what I’m about to say becomes pointless before I’m finished.  Because of this, it bugs me sometimes when I’m saying good night to my dragoness and I catch myself thinking over the wording ahead of time while she’s typing.  It feels like the time I have while she’s saying it is longer than if she was actually saying it, and I wouldn’t have near the same time, and then it feels like I’m overthinking it and meh.  Personal pet peeve at myself.

That’s not everything though.  Thre’s another instance of self-censoring that I only recently got myself over – the “L” word.  Love.

In other past relationships I’ve had it’s come out probably too soon, and while it may not directly have contributed to the end of those, it never helped in the end either.  Especially since I wasn’t even fully sure of my own feelings at the start, I firmly sat on it and fought against using it, even in the privacy of my own thoughts.

A slight side note here; the english language really should have more words for the various forms of love.  Without adjectives and context, it can me romantic love, familial love, a really deep like for something, or just appreciation for really good friends. It’s all just very imprecise and can leave the way open for misunderstandings, compared to various other languages where each of those is its own word.  In fact, it’s kind of amusing that Japanese, a language way more context-sensitive than English, actually does this.

Going back to the romantic use of the word though, there’s not much further a relationship can go at that point emotionally, in American culture.  There’s still growing together and more the relationship can do to grow, but feelings-wise that’s considered to be it.  That’s also why telling someone that too early can be considered creepy, as if you’re trying to force your feelings onto them.

So, as I said, I fought against and argued against using it even in my own head for a long while, even though it may have been the truth about how I was feeling towards her.  In part that was because there’s other meanings of love that can affect a relationship – infatuation and lust.

The latter isn’t even a factor apart from whatever desire is caused by my already existing feelings for her as, hell, I still have yet to even see a picture of her.  I know there folks out there that think me crazy for feeling this way about someone I haven’t seen, and they may be correct from certain points of view, but the heart is anything but rational.  Back when I first started this relationship, I came to the conclusion that it’s not going to matter, after some thinking on that fact.  Same thing with age – it might feel a bit weird if it turns out she’s as old as my parents, but nothing I couldn’t handle.  I know she’s not hugely older than I am form some activities she did when she was younger, so there’ snot going to be a huge age gap either – the only downside of that at my age is the larger the gap, the less time we may have together at the end of our lives.. assuming everything works out at least.  I’m not going to make any assumptions, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think ahead sometimes. I just have to know that at the moment it’s just a pleasant fantasy.

Anyways… back to the point I’ve been sidestepping towards.  Infatuation at the start can seem like love, or even lead into it, but it wears off fairly quickly. Another reason that it’s bad to commit too fast and too heavily too early.  At least now I’m at the age where I’m not fighting hormones to think with the larger head.  Either way, I been into her long enough that I can pretty much write that off now – whatever comes, I definitely do care for her as my love and mate.

Fairly recently I finally started allowing myself to use it in my thoughts and when I’m by myself – to finally allow myself to use it and admit that I really did love her.  In regards to that our goodnights had become a lot more affectionate, and basically we were referring to each other in every way but that.  I kept wanting to say it but I also couldn’t help thinking that I should wait until the right moment.  Even still, some of our goodnights felt like the right moment but I chickened out before saying it.  I’d start typing, then change it before I finished because I had too much time to think about it.  That was stopping me from using some other related words I wanted to use too, such as calling her my love, or beloved, and so on.

The funny part is that when I finally got over it, I added it onto one of the times I was saying goodnight, and while I didn’t feel nervous about it, it didn’t feel as good to finally say it as I thought it would… probably because I’d been holding off so long.  Still it’s a relief that I don’t have to censor myself anymore, though after doing it for a while I find myself occasionally wanting to avoid the word again, just out of reflex.

In short, it’s way too easy to censor yourself online, even when you shouldn’t or don’t need to.  Try not to give yourself time to overthink about what you’re typing, just roll with it and let your natural self-censor kick in instead of overthinking, and you’ll be much happier.

Commitments

Been a little while since my last post, but there hasn’t really been anything other than minor life updates that I felt were worth writing about, and I felt like just writing a few sentences would be a waste.  I’ve tried to keep up a blog before that petered out, and when I started this one I told myself I’d make sure that wouldn’t happen with this one.  It’s a commitment I still intend to keep, and actually that’s what the theme of this post will be revolving around.

Before I dive into that though I may as well mention those life updates.

First, in the matter of art. Besides the badge I’ve been waiting on, I’ve got 2 more adult pieces I’m currently waiting on.  One I’m not expecting anytime soon, as the artist both has school issues and issues with his tablet.  He’s done awesome work(both for me and others) so it’s worth waiting.  The other was more of an opportunity thing.

You see, I’ve been considering getting my reference sheet redone as there are a few things that need correcting now, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for artists I might like to do it.  Most of the ones that I feel would do me justice I haven’t gotten art from yet though, and ref sheets seem to typically run between $150-$200.  I’m not about to blow that much on an artist when I don’t know how I’ll look in their style, bits and all.  One of the artists I was eyeing though had an issue come up and opened emergency speedpaint commissions, so I jumped on that to see how it comes out.  One thing interesting is instead of a pose description, we gave them personality traits and reference sheets, and they go from there.  It’s not first-come-first-serve, though I am in the first round, so I’m not sure how soon they’ll get to me.

… And actually, you know what?  I just realized I do have a non-adult picture I can share, that I totally forgot about listing here!  When I was doing my ref sheet searching, I found another artist I liked had a couple commission spots open so I snagged a pic I’d been wanting: a nice flying picture.

Above The Clouds

Just look at that happy dragon!  Such a nice day to fly on~

I’ve got other reasons to be a happy dragon too.  Things are going great between my dragoness and I, and there is most definitely an us now.  Sunday for example we got to hang out together most of the day; playing cheezi, wandering around the Raglan art walk, and other such sundry things.  We were thinking about hitting the Fantasy Faire together this evening, but it’s a Tuesday, and that means Raid Night.

Since 2008, most of my Tuesday nights, Thursday Nights, and Sunday Nights have been spent with 9 other folks in WoW fighting internet demons and greyhawking their bodies.  The guild I was with in Wrath raided up until the xpac changeover, as it took us a long time to get the Lich King down.  Then in Cata I raided up until near the end, but in Heroic at the end, only taking a break about a month before the new expac came out.  Now with WoD not coming out until Fall, unlike previous xpacs I’m feeling pretty done with WoW until new content comes. Most of my current raiding guild feels the same, so as of last week we’re done with progression until nerfs or new content comes.  As a guild we’ll probably faceroll through some old content and faff around still, but I’ll be taking a break from WoW and canceling my sub for the first time since I started in a couple weeks, once my current time runs out.

Now I’ve got no idea who’s going to show up tonight or what we’re going to do, but I’d honestly prefer to wander the Faire with my dragoness, barring a few specific runs which I don’t know if we’ll be doing.  I also feel a bit bad about putting the raid over her suggestion, but I’d basically already committed to showing up, so I’m going to see what my guild’s doing and decide then.

You see, once I commit to something I always do my best to follow through on it.  I’ve long admired the idea of honor and I try my best to live to my word if I give it.  Because of this, I don’t always jump up and volunteer or can waffle on things, because I know what committing to it means.  It also means I sometimes get annoyed when I get voluntold to do something and it’s something I can’t do(which happens sometimes at work) or if other people don’t keep up on their commitments when they should be able to- especially when it affects me too.

Of course there’s times when it’s unavoidable, due to conflicts that come up later, as in the case of tonight.  In those cases, all I can do is prioritize.  In general, Most people say(and I agree) that RL > online. This makes sense, as typically anything RL can have an immediate effect on you, while most online things are either for entertainment or something that is not immediate.  Especially when you’re on-call – after all, work is what keeps the bills paid!

The distinction blurs though in my opinion when real people are involved.  A WoW raid team is more like a sports hobby team than a bunch of guys getting together to shoot the shit.  If you don’t show up, it’s not just you, but 9 or more other people that are affected, that are just as real as you despite their distance.  In the same vein, my dragoness owns my heart fully, and whether she’s by my side or several hundred miles away doesn’t matter in that respect.  I’m still hers, and she still has the same place in my life as any other guy’s girlfriend would have in his.

A second layer though then adds on to this: lost opportunities.  Every moment we live, we’re deciding to do one thing, and losing the opportunity to do something else.  Every tick of the clock, another slice of our time in this world spent.  Tock, a doorway closes and another opens.  When we choose to do something, we’re giving up whatever else we could have done.  So, opportunities that may not come again should have priority, as once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Looking at tonight as an example, while my dragoness is important to me, we could wander the Faire just as easily tomorrow as today, as far as I am aware.  Raid night is every week, but with dropping my sub  I probably won’t be running this stuff with these guys for a while.  On the other hand, if it’s something I’m not interested in running, like Cata content, I’d much rather be with my dragoness instead.  In other words, this time there’s no easy answer, and there won’t always be either.

I don’t really have anything else to add, so I’ll leave it at that, and see how things work tonight.  Tomorrow might be a better night anyways, as we have a couple gigs tonight with maybe an hour between them, but we’ll see!

 

And now for something completely different…

It’s random bullshit time!  In other words, not much philosophy, more general cheering and bitching and random life events and wait is this thing on?

Anyways…

If you live in the US, it’s tax time!  This year is probably the easiest I’ll have it from here on out, as I didn’t have anything really to give me any extra tax breaks, so I just had to enter the W2 info and answer no to a lot of things.  However, because of that I apparently ended up even-steven with the state, and owing the Feds $1, which is already taken care of.  No refunds, but on the other hand I didn’t really owe anything either.  $1, big whoop.

Second bit of news is that apparently there’s a true spiritual successor to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri coming out!  They can’t use the name since it’s owned by EA, but it’s due out in the fall, but teh screenshots look promising.  Then again, I haven’t touched a Civ game since Civ2 and Alpha Cen, so there’ll prolly be all sorts of new things too.  And even better, it’ll be supported officially on Linux from the start!

Speaking of Linux, this Thursday the 17th is the release date of the next (x)ubuntu LTS, 14.04.  I’ve made it a habit to stick with the LTS until the next one or until something major needs some library that hasn’t or won’t be backported.  I’ve managed to make 12.04 work fine on my desktop until this week, when I found out that apparently my media players fail at Wavpack in MKV, at least however Over-Time does it.  Just means I’ll have to drop a resolution to watch it, and presumably it won’t be an issue after this week.

One nice thing is that I can upgrade straight from 12.04 to 14.04, as long as my install is up to date, which I’m actually doing right now as I write this.  When I went from 10.04 to 12.04 I had to go through the intermediate distros I think… didn’t matter in the end, since I did a fresh install when I got my SSD drive anyways.  My laptop is actually still on 10.04, but I’m planning on backing that up and giving it a clean install coming up here.  Really tempted to do that before I upgrade my desktop, but we’ll see.

In other news, work’s looking to get crazy real soon too… one of the people on my team left end of last week, and we have a bunch of upcoming projects which were gonna tie us up some even without that.  For once, our sales team was just too good!

Getting away from that a bit, since I’m not really looking forward to tomorrow, art is pretty much still in a holding pattern.  No word yet on the pic from Syrinoth, but considering they just moved a little over 3 weeks ago, they could still be busy settling in, or just getting all the commissions done at once for one huge art dump!  Just wish I knew how far down the list I am, and like I mentioned, that pic is one that won’t be reposted here due to content.

The only other piece I have out being worked on is the conbadge, and that artist is still clearing out her queue, so no doubt it’ll be a while longer before she gets far enough down it to get to mine.  There’s people that have been waiting far longer for their stuff after all!

I’m also still keeping an eye on Natoli’s progress through her commissions… I’ve got a specific pic in mind still that I’d like to get, once she finishes.  Form the looks of the progress, it should hopefully be within the next month.  Barring that, if they get around to doing another weekend stream sketch session, I’ll probably snag a slot.  Not for myself, but as a gift for a certain dragoness who apparently hasn’t gotten any arts done before.

Speaking of which, last week I took a long, hard look at how I felt, and manned dragoned up and let her know I was possibly interested in something more than friends.  She didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no either, and the feeling I got from her replies is that she felt at least somewhat similarly, but she hadn’t fully looked at it before then.  Basically the comments that got me to say something was something she’d come up with in a moment of kinda-sorta-not-really panic when a mutual friend almost threw a wrench in the works without realizing that’s what he was doing.

So basically to sum it up we’re still keepin on keepin on, so to speak, and seeing where things lead on its own.  And honestly?  I’m fine with that.  If things work out for us, great, and if they don’t, I’ll still have a great friend, so it’s win-win!  My worst fear was that I’d been totally misreading things and that I’d scare her off, but thankfully that wasn’t the case, and that was a huge relief.  The entire day before, even though it was such a simple thing, I was nervous as all hell, and kept reminding myself in the words of  a favorite song of one of my friends, to “get up and try, try, try” because in the end it’s worth it.

I could probably write a bit more, but it’s late, I got work in the morning, and I don’t want to be drowsing out at my desk in the middle of the day.  Been thinking of taking vitamins or something, since Gatorade of all things seems to help, and I don’t drink coffee(or any caffinated beverage, really), but again, something for another time. So, I’ll leave you with this reminder, which helped me get through things, and that a certain pair of hatchies I know would like everyone to remember:

Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame

Where there’s a flame someone’s bound to get burned

Just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die

You gotta get up, and try, and try, and try…

Remember 16… Why?

There’ll probably be a life update type thing in the near future(or there may not be, if I’m no longer in the mood by then) but first I had an idea that was tickling my brain for a little while.  I’d pulled out my old Fire Bomber CD for driving, and while I was heading home “Remember 16” started playing.  This happened to dovetail with a conversation I’d had the night before where someone was commenting about what if you could go back in time and change one (minor?) thing in your life.

16 is supposed to somehow be a magical age we should be nostalgic about.  It’s when we’re supposed to be making our first explorations of relationships, learning how to drive, basically starting to become more of an adult than child.  The key phrase there is “supposed to”

At that age, I was kind of an idiot in some ways.  I’d just come off of somewhat heavy bullying in middle school, which had followed on from a couple years of teasing in 4th and 5th grade, and was in my second year of high school.  My freshman year I’d started making an actual friend again and was just starting to fall in with a “geek” clique of sorts, but I still had a lot of paranoia born from those years of bullying, looking back.

In short, though I knew how to drive, I didn’t have a car, I did not have many friends, self-esteem was hovering in the lower third of the range, and I tended to assume anything positive or someone approaching me was someone being sarcastic, or the setup to a joke, outside of certain environments.

My academics was great, but my social life was a mess.

Thankfully the friends I had made had dragged me out of my shell and cleared me of most of that, or I’d shudder to think how I would have been in college.  But for me, 16 was far from a time to remember, though I do have some good memories from gaming and my friends of that time.  It was far from the sugary teenage utopia that pop culture pushes, though.

Going back to the idea of changing something though, someone I care about had brought up the idea of having never met her ex.  Combining those lines of thought had sent my thoughts back to when I was 18.

Now I was young and horny as most teenagers still are at that point, and started spending time on an adult MUCK looking for some “fun.”  No, I’m not proud of it, though I have to say that involved text RPing with no visual aids is awesome for developing your descriptive writing skills.  Setting all that aside, my “character” was basically me for the most part with a slightly different background, and I got in a session with this one gal who dropped the “l” word during it.

I was (and still am, mostly) kind of a romantic at heart, and that combined with thinking with my smaller head led to what I consider one of my stupidest moments – mixing IC actions and intentions with OOC ones.  I’d never really had anyone express romantic sentiments to me at that point due to the previously mentioned facts about how I kept myself fairly isolated through high school, thanks to misplaced paranoia, and took the whole exchange deeper to heart than I should have.  I basically went in totally blind and while she was playing a character, I treated it as if it was the person behind the character, until eventually someone on an LDR forum pointed out the “picture” she had sent me was a cropped model image.  When I confronted her about it, feeling betrayed, she disappeared, cut off all contact and changed her character name. I never even found out if she was actually a “she.”

I can look back on it now and see how she was basically humoring me, and so, to answer that question, I wish I could go back and slap the me that was then with a clue-by-four before I even got involved with that.  At one point, I blamed them for the whole mess, but now I can look back and say it mostly was my own damn fault, and their only portion of blame was from not setting me straight early on when they should have realized how I was taking things.  The only good thing that ever came of it was that I learned that LDRs were possible, thanks to finding said support forums’ existence, and that I had finally fully grasped internally that others could actually care for and about me.  Both of those I likely would have learned eventually regardless, but in a much less painful manner.  It did show me also that it was a good idea to not only make sure I kept a solid wall between any RPing and being myself online, but to also make sure everyone else knows where I stand on that as well, in whatever environment I may be in. In other words, I’m just being myself unless I’m explicitly RPing.

Of course for some people if you’re being something other than what you are in meatspace, they consider that RPing.  Being ‘kin, and with my views on identity that I’ve already covered previously, not so much.  To me, RPing is when you take on a different character entirely, with potentially(but not necessarily) different goals, backgrounds, or attitudes.  RPing is like writing a story, but with control only over whatever portion of the narrative your character encompasses. Hanging out on SL as a frog is far different from presenting yourself as Jor’Nath Frogwalker, Amphibian Champion from the Third Galaxy and Master of the Cheezi Death Games.  In my opinion, wearing a different skin is just assuming(or revealing) a different aspect of your identity. Hell, if transhumanism takes off, we’ll be able to do this in meatspace as well!

There’s an easy example of this, actually, within the furry community: Goldfur, the originator of the chakat species.  On one hand, Goldfur is hirself; being a chakat is a significant portion of hir identity, from what I have seen around the community.  On the other, shi also has written stories about Goldfur the chakat who has 2 chakat sisters in Federation service and has two foxtaurs and a human Federation admiral as mates in a Star Trek-like universe.  Now the two may be similar in some ways, but the Chakatverse Goldfur is still hir own entity compared to the furry who wrote the stories, with different experiances and family, not to mention a completely different history.

That may be the actual best way to describe the divergence point. An RP character is a separate entity from the person playing it.  It’s like acting out a script that you’re writing as you go, while being yourself requires no extra thought in doing so.

That said, if my avatar is a certain shape, when I act, that is my shape.  While humans don’t nuzzle to show affection, dragons do.  Dragons may not have arms as such, so they may hug with wings or tail, or use them to wave rather than a forepaw. However, I would not do those things in a fully human body, as it is not built for it, nor is it appropriate.  The shape of the body does not have to be the shape of the soul, and the former can be changed, even if only virtually at this time.  So the way I look at it is to use the right tool for the right job – after all, while you can use a hammer on a screw, it doesn’t exactly produce the intended result over a screwdriver.  Of course, some of that also probably partly comes from having spent so many years among the furry community in the past.

Either way I’m now older and wiser and… well, that’s a post for another time.  Suffice it to say that for me a lot of the past is simply the past and my future at the moment is looking fairly promising, if murky.

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

IT Foxdragon

 

Combination update and overdue art post.  I actually got the above picture about a month ago, but I held off because I had thought another commission might finish soon as well.  In the end, it didn’t, but I got another recently, so I figured now was a good time.  I also have two more being worked on, so there may be another art post in the near future, depending on when they get finished.

The above was from a Dragonlovers stream sketch.  As for the other, I snagged a picture from Aaros now that he’s got his tablet mojo working.

1394664705.aaros_dekafox

*poses* Just look at these wings!  Rawr!

Other than that, I have a couple more in the works as I said, and at least 2 more definite ones I want done, as I actually have an image in mind for them, not to mention specific artists in mind. So, it’s back to playing a waiting game for slots to re-open.

In other worlds, I’ve officially got the promotion now to go with the work I’ve been doing.  There’s other changes too that may be going through, though I can’t go into details as they’re not set-in-stone yet.

Relationship-wise, still in Limbo – in other words, technically there isn’t one yet.  So far, I’m still just coasting along and seeing where it leads.  From what I’ve heard if there’s nothing deeper to it it’ll die out in another month or two, so that’ll be a good time to either push forward or let it drop completely into just being good friends, with no real look towards anything more.  In the meantime, I’ll just keep on being myself, and try not to let any feelings cloud my judgement and vice versa.

And speaking of Limbo, I put together a little filk song about the Isle of Wyrms today, and that makes a good thing to round out this little post.  There’s no tune made for it yet, though if it gets put to music there’ll probably be some mention made here!

Limbo’s the land
Where dragons were born
And grew and built and played;
There’s always a gathering of friends to be found
If the lag would just stay away!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
-when Limbo isn’t in limbo!

Cathedral’s the place
Where dragons have settled
And shared their land with others
There’s plenty of forms and shapes to be found
Just watch out for Mr Spiky!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
-as long as you don’t get eaten!

Suilven is the land
Of the Winter Wyrm
Full of mountains and snows
Dragons dance to the drums in her towering lair
But be careful to see where they step!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
-as long as you watch out for tinies!

Isle of Gazoo
Is a land old and new
Rescued from destruction by tinies
A welcoming home, to many a folk
As long as you share your cookies!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
-where baked goods are never safe!

Hatchie Haven is where
Many hatchies call home
In huts or caves or towers
There’s mountains, and lakes, and a marketplace too
If you can fit in the door!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
-sizechanging has never been so handy!

The Isle is more
Than dragons and wyverns
There’s fae, and hedgies and tinies
All are welcome, no matter the size
Just don’t fill up the entire sim!

Where the gryphons cry
And the dragons fly
And the hatchlings search for cookies;
There’s always something at the Isle of Wyrms-
Big or small, we welcome you all!

 

Being self-masochistic

It’s time for another of those self-analysis, thought-sorting posts, where I shout my feelings and thoughts into the great void of the internet, to be swallowed up in the vast sea of 1s and 0s, signifying nothing.

Anyways, on WoW raid nights my free time is fairly limited, between work and WoW.  A natural consequence is that it means less time spent with the dragoness I’m kind of interested in.  Well, we both have our own lives to live too, so like usual I do other stuff while waiting.

Now a little while later I notice she’s online, but she does some performance stuff regularly, and one of the other people that’s in that same group(and had been nearby) had disappeared right around then too, so I figure there’s a show going on, and they’re busy on stage and stuff.  Here’s where things take a sharp left.

I know from several of my relationships in the past that I have a tendancy to be a bit clingy, and I don’t want to let that mess anything up.  So, I hold off so I don’t bother her.  Just because she’s there doesn’t mean I have to be, though the music is good and I kinda like going to support her and the band(and maybe show off my full size dragon self a little to help advertise the IoW exists).  However, as it goes on I start feeling down, and then start feeling annoyed with myself for feeling down, and so on.

Now here’s where I started looking a bit harder at myself.  I’ve IMed her before when she’s been on stage, and it hasn’t been a problem.  I know I probably could have asked her where the show was and she would have told me and I could have gone there.  Like I said above though, I don’t want to get all clingy on her, and stalkerish.  But was that just an excuse?

I’ve caught myself beating myself up(emotionally) before, probably because of all the bad times I had back in school years ago – time heals that sort of thing, but still leaves scars.  I(‘d like to) think she wouldn’t want me to be not… not sure the best way to put it, but in short, not do what I was doing, but that might just be wishful thinking, or- I dunno.

ANYWAYS, it makes me wonder if maybe there’s a part of me still buried somewhere that likes to see me feeling down. Like there’s some portion of myself that likes playing the martyr and self-sacrifice card, and I know down that road lies nothing but poisoned relationships and heartache if it’s not kept on a tight leash.

Maybe it all comes back to balance.  That I’m recognizing the potential means I have the ability to resist it, as much as one can.  One of my tenets though has always been to be true to myself though, as well, but- rargh, I dunno.

Whether you follow astrology or not, the crab(my sun and moon sign) actually are a pretty good analogy for how I live my life, emotionally.  I’m very careful about who I let get close enough to me that they could potentially hurt me, and I tend to be very protective, or something like that.  Like I said, this is more one of those “put my thoughts in order” entries, so lots of stream-of-conciousness here.

I don’t want to hurt myself, but I don’t want to smother what we have going either by being overzealous.  Then again, we may not actually have anything, since I haven’t officially asked her at all.  I do realize I probably should dragonman up and ask her directly, but… not quite yet. With all the time we’ve been spending around one another, and since you can’t exactly take someone out for a meal/etc online, there just really hasn’t been a right time yet.  (Of course knowing my luck, someone else will notice and ask if we’re an item, and force the issue.)

Still, my gut tells me that there is definitely something there.  I could be totally off base but that’s not the feeling I get from her seeing what she does and how she is.  And like I said before in the head vs heart post I’m not going to let me talk myself out of a good thing.  I’ve seen enough working couples around IoW to know this can work, if we put in the effort.  An LDR takes a lot more work than a local one, and part of that is communication.

Rather than deciding for her when I’m being too clingy, I need to just be myself, and let her decide when I should be buggering off elsewhere.  It’s not my place to decide for her, one way or the other.  Which again, is not a license to be clingy.  The watchword, as I always seem to come back to, is balance.

And honestly?  If she hadn’t even been on or I knew she was unavailable it wouldn’t have really bothered me at all, apart from maybe a wistful “oh well” before logging over for raid.  So after thinking about it, the answer is yes, I was being masochistic and denying myself what I wanted to do.  I should have IMed her and at least said hi, but shoulda woulda coulda, as the saying goes.

There’s always tomorrow!

Head vs Heart

Things seem to be going well right now in many ways.  There’s actually someone that I think might be into me and that I might be into.  I’m playing things slow and easy right now, just letting things happen at their own pace and see where they lead.  If it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, oh well, though I admit I am hoping for the former.

Being back in this sort of situation however has pointed out some things to me that I never looked at all that closely in the past.  Namely, my head and my heart tend to be at odds with each other, when left to myself.

I think a lot of this comes back to the way my personality is.  Besides anything draconic, I’m a engineer; a problem-solver.  I analyze problems, and look logically at what’s going on and why.  It’s part of why my favorite toys growing up were things like Legos and Transformers, and why when I started working I gravitated towards troubleshooting.

Okay, maybe I don’t 100% work off logic, as sometimes my intuition will kick in and get me to a solution even if I can’t quite articulate how I came up with it, but close enough for government work, as the saying goes.

Anyways, it’s all fine and dandy in the professional world, but my mind is one of those that only seems to have two gears: idle and GO. So, when sitting around with nothing specific, it tends to wander to random subjects, and off kicks the analyzer.  Again, not an issue if I’m working on a story I’m writing or trying to figure out some point of something I’ve read recently.  NOT a good thing however if my mind wanders towards things I’m emotionally involved with.

That’s where the second part kicks in.  I’m not sure whether it’s just some small masochistic part of me, or it comes from that engineering background where you have to examine all possible outcomes and risks, but I’ve tended to worry at times over various things.  Did I lock the door when I left?  Is there something I forgot or am forgetting that I needed to do?  Harmless with minor things, but not a good idea when applied to matters of the heart.

So this time, I’m actively working to keep that in check.  I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in the past with some of my ex-gfs due to this, but I don’t intend to anymore.  Life is too short to spend worrying myself over imagined things, when there’s plenty of good things and people right there in front of me.  If things don’t work out this time, it damn well won’t be because I let my head dictate terms to my heart.

On the other hand, I’m not the kid I was at 18, when I let my feelings blind me to everything until I got the proverbial bap on the nose with a newspaper. Going to the opposite extreme is just as bad, as it can easily lead to heartache and being walked on more often than the doormat in front of the Sears tower.  My heart won’t be leading my head around on a leash either.

Instead, what I need to find and keep is a balance between the two.  Thoughts and feelings, working in harmony.  Sounds nice, but it’s a bit harder than you’d think, and I don’t mean only me.  Emotion overriding logic is why we can end up with crazy laws/lawmakers, but pure logic leads to neglecting the personal sides of matters.

So where am I going with this?  I dunno, but writing it out tends to help me think through things like this without going into a descending spiral of navel-gazing.  Putting it in order for other people helps me put it in order for myself, sometimes.

Sometimes, all we need to do is just to take a long, hard look at ourselves and recognize where we need to grow.  Then, do so.  It may not be simple, and it may not be easy, but the rewards can be worth it.

It’s that time of year…

It’s Valentine’s Day again, or as a lot of folks in my position know it, Singles Awareness Day!  Not sure if it’s a backronym or not(as it can be written as S.A.D.) but it amuses me enough as it is.  The day when you either spend extra to show someone how you feel about them, or are reminded you don’t have anyone, whether you care about that fact or not.  Oh, and cheap chocolates the day after!

Yep, this dragon is still flying solo at the moment.  Have been for nearing two and a half years, but I did have almost a three year gap in the past as well once before.  My hobbies just aren’t as conducive to meeting people as bar-hopping and clubbing, but neither of those is my scene.  As people have pointed out in the past, chances are if you meet someone at a bar, they tend to be the type to go to bars, and if you aren’t that may not work out so well(unless you’re just cruising for a bedwarmer, which I don’t do).

Honestly, I hadn’t even really thought about it (outside of S.A.D., and the occasional thought about what life might be like 50 years from now if nothing changes) until my emotions decided to jump up and thwack me on the head a few weeks ago.  Just because you may not be actively looking however, doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eyes open for a glint of hidden gold.  In this case however, as I said my hobbies meant that chances are lower since there’s not a steady stream of new people of the female persuasion going in and out of my life.

I have to admit I started actively looking again, but without throwing a huge amount of effort behind it.  My initial tries were checking out the furry community as they tend to be a bit more accepting of… alternate beliefs, but it’s almost scary how many young folk are on there and how few there are my age.  I also had been excluding single mothers, as I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to be(even a surrogate) father, but that also seems to be a disproportionate amount of single furs my age that seem potentially worthwhile.

Well, we’ll see if we find someone worthy of this dragon, hopefully sooner rather than later.

And speaking of tomorrow, tomorrow is US Toy Fair, which means- TRANSFORMERS!  We’ll get to see a preview of what’s coming for the toyline(s) over the next half-year(or more) and given the leaked list of coming toys, there’s still a lot we’re all waiting with bated breath to see.  For me personally, I’m waiting to see if the Jhiaxus figure is going to be in RiD colors or G2 colors, and what Arcee, Brainstorm, Roadbuster, and Gnaw look like.

I’m really hoping that Brainstorm is a headmaster, as we’ve only had two since G1, and both of those were in the Unicron trilogy.  Gnaw I’m hoping is a (fairly) faithful recreation of the original Sharkticon design so I can have one on my desk without having to worry about it getting damaged by co-workers messing with it.  Roadbuster is a character I’ve not been overly fond of, but with Whirl and Springer, I need him to add to my Wreckers group.  Arcee, if it’s the G1 version, I just want for my future 1986 movie display.  The animated one works okay, but the proportions are slightly off compared to the CHUG designs. The movie designs on the other hand I’ve not been overly fond of, so I’ll likely be saving a bunch of money thanks to that this year.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  I do have more arts to show, but I’ve got another one on the way(as far as I know) so I’ll wait a bit longer and see if I can do a double feature or not.  After all, what’s better than bloo dragun other than MOAR DRAGUN!!11