Oh, August…

Well hello. It’s been a little while, and let me tell you, that’s because this month has been rough.

That isn’t to say that it hasn’t had its fun moments. In fact, I think a lot of the “rough” moments that I’ve had so far this moment have been a direct result of going out and doing something fun. You see, over the last couple of years, I’ve adjusted to a schedule of working and playing from home, which has meant that I don’t get in a whole lot of movement. As a huge homebody, I tend to prefer it that way also. I love being at home. It’s where all my stuff is, it’s where my cats are. It’s where I can be ugly in peace and don’t have the anxiety of there being someone potentially watching my every step. Despite this, it also means I’m drastically out of shape when it comes time to actually go out and do stuff. And that has caught up with me twice this month.

My nephew and I at GenCon 2022!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to GenCon this year! I was accompanied by my nephew and we had a great time traversing the convention floor as well as seeing all the art and cosplay. We bought some beautiful metal dice from Metallic Dice Games, which makes me very excited. Unlike most people in attendance at GenCon, I’m not very into tabletop or board gaming as much as I am into video games, but I’d very much like that to change eventually. I want to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons one day if I ever find a group of friends willing and interested in doing the same! Attending GenCon was a little bit of dipping our toes into those waters and while we found that we were a little out of our element in the board game/tabletop gaming world, we still had a blast and were very glad that we went. It was my very first convention and I’m eager to do more! We’re hoping that something like a Comic-Con might be more in our wheelhouse. But seriously, if anyone wants to teach me D&D one day, let me know!

But as I mentioned before, post-GenCon was not fun. Not only were my legs sore for a few days from all the walking, I also felt a little sick for up to a week after the fact. GenCon had COVID-19 restrictions in place (masks and proof of vaccination were both requirements for entry), so I felt relatively comfortable in the environment, especially since we didn’t interact too closely with anyone else who wasn’t also masked up. By the Friday after though, I felt so bad that I wound up taking a COVID test just to make sure that I didn’t have it, especially since I had read on Twitter that there were quite a few people at GenCon who did contract the virus. Thankfully, my COVID test turned up negative and I started feeling better by the following weekend. I’m guessing I just encountered the regular ol’ “con crud,” which I’m told is cold and flu symptoms that people commonly develop after conventions anyway, even before COVID times.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and now school has started back up! Yes, I’ve re-enrolled in my local community college, as I mentioned I was going to try to do in yet another previous post of mine. This semester though, I’m taking a Photography class, which is very cool and has me very excited. I even bought a brand new Canon EOS 2000D (Rebel T7) DSLR camera for the class. You might think it’s a little bit of a hefty investment for an eight-week community college course, but I’ve been eyeing a really nice camera for a while now anyway, and this baby should last me a few good years. I’m excited to learn more about how to shoot in modes that aren’t just automatic, which is pretty much all I know how to do at this point. I’ll be learning more about Photoshop and raster graphics this semester too, so I’m hoping to get some pro skills in photo editing as well as taking the photos themselves. We already went on our first outdoor adventure around campus taking photos on Thursday, and that’s when my next “old person” incident happened.

Bee on a flower.

While getting down on my knees to get this shot of a bee on a flower, I found myself in one of the most awkward positions of my life — I was totally and completely unable to get back up on my feet. It’s like my knees and leg muscles had entirely seized up and didn’t want to work like they should. I wound up crawling over to a nearby bench to try and use it as leverage to pull myself back up onto my feet and, in the process, wound up falling back on my butt instead. A very kind fellow student who was walking by at that exact moment asked if I was okay and if I needed help. I declined out of embarrassment, but at the same time, I was sort of in a panic wondering if I was going to need a damn ambulance. After a few moments on the ground, I finally rallied myself back up enough to get up onto the bench where I could sit and collect myself some more. Finally afterward, I was able to get back on my feet and go about continuing the photo shoot, but not without my legs feeling completely wonky as I tried to walk. They felt like they could go out on me at any given moment.

Today as I write this, I’m still recovering from my legs feeling weird. I can walk on them fairly confidently now, but it still hurts to get up and down from a sitting position. My short time as a photographer has clearly taught me that getting down on my knees to get the shot is not going to be something we can do going forward. I’m starting to feel old and out of shape. I need to start walking more in what little spare time I actually have between work and school. That would probably help a great deal, especially since I’m really not that old. Certainly not old enough to start feeling this crippled. But hey, the most important thing is: I got the shot!

I’m hoping for a change as we move into September. More fun, more learning, and preferably a lot less pain. Be on the lookout for more photos and graphics from me too as this semester evolves!

Until next time…

Solo Shuffle

RTX has been ongoing this entire weekend, and last month, my sister was lucky enough to get to visit some friends at Dreamhack Dallas. I, on the other hand, have yet to make it to my very first convention. And that honestly makes me a little sad.

Back in early 2020, before the pandemic really hit hard, I was planning to make Indiana Comic-Con my first convention. Both because it was local and I figured it wouldn’t have been so huge that it would be overwhelming for an introverted first-timer like myself. As the pandemic started getting really ugly though, that convention was obviously canceled and I got my money back instead of waiting to use my tickets for whenever it was able to come back. Things with this pandemic have been so uncertain that I didn’t really know if conventions would ever come back, so I was playing it safe. Indy Comic-Con did eventually make its return, but I still haven’t been able to bring myself to attend. Not from fear of COVID, but because my anxiety and depression have probably been at all-time highs over the past year. But the last few weeks, especially seeing all the photos from RTX, getting to talk to friends and family from Dreamhack, and doing some little things like going to the theater to see movies by myself, have convinced me that it’s time to start getting back out there and doing things that I want to do again.

It’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll find the money or be able to take the time off from work to go to TwitchCon this year. That event is my ultimate goal, not just as a Twitch streamer myself, but also because so many other streamers that I love and admire would be there to meet as well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that happen in 2023. For the remainder of this year though, I’m turning my attention toward another local event: GenCon! I don’t know what the event will be like, and since I don’t have many friends or family who would go with me, I may be attending it by myself. But truth be told, as nervous as it makes me, that’s also part of the excitement. Having recently flown solo to see a couple movies, I’ve learned that it may be possible that I enjoy the experience better alone. There’s nobody chatting in your ear during crucial moments, it’s fantastic! Maybe going to a convention alone will be an excellent experience as well? I’ll be able to avoid being dragged to anything that disinterests me, after all, and when my own internal battery starts reaching critical levels, I can simply pick up and leave without disappointing the people I’m with. So whether I wind up attending the event alone or with someone else, it seems like a win-win and I’m excited to see what things will be like once the event takes place next month!

Over the last couple of months, my doctor and I have been adjusting my medication. While I feel like FOMO is definitely tugging at me pretty hard, I’m hoping that the new levels of my meds are helping me feel like it’s time to start getting out and socializing again. Either way, it feels like the world maybe hasn’t ended just yet so maybe I should keep living in it while I can. Maybe I’ll see some of you while I’m doing just that.

Until next time…