Chaos, Dust, and Sleep Deprivation

And we haven’t even left yet!

Everyone has gone to sleep so I am stealing this calm moment to update y’all on my adventure. I may or may not get a chance to post anything before we go tomorrow, and after that I certainly wont be saying anything until we get back.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of preparation. My own stuff had to be packed and re-packed with the supplies I had shipped here, and Duane had a lot of work for me getting his trailer ready and cutting the steel for our shade structure. It has pretty much been; Wake up, DO THINGS!, eat food, DO THINGS!, sleep.

Tomorrow we do the final things, pack everything up, make the traditional hundred last minute stops, and then we head north to the Playa.

I am one hundred percent not ready for this. A lot about this trip on the whole is well outside my comfort zone, and this part is no different. I am not used to being quite so dependent on others in an environment I pride myself for being super prepared for… but I am OK with this. This adventure is not about walking well worn paths, it is about being open to what the universe wants to throw at me.

OK, sleepy now, the morning awaits, with more dust, more steel, and frantic scramblings. Nighty night!

A quick update!

After three days or so of no sleep… sleeping in the back of a truck was heaven!

Network is way spotty up here so a quick update.

My flight was ideal. No layovers and the entire row of seats to myself… also instead of peanuts there was stroopwaffle.

Got a burrito, picked up Duane’s mom and sister and went waaaaay north for the wedding. Somewhere on top of a mountain, ¬†its lovely.

Slept… i feel SO much better!

Wedding is in about three hours, then we head back down on monday maybe? Then run mad errands and off to the desert on Wednesday.

It seems like my “downtime” in September is going to be pretty minimal before im back on the mountain working, and probably most of that will be in Fresno. Much less slow languid socialization than i had assumed and more ZOOOOOM!

That was a quick update? Shut up, it could have been longer!

 

Shop closed! Everyone out of the pool!

So I am not great at analogies…

Thank you everyone who ordered! Your goodies will be winding their way to you in one of a number of ways, possibly dream courier! So leave cookies and scotch out on your bedside table as is the proper convention for dream courier tips and enjoy!

When I return I will be making a new series or flickerboxes, more journals, and some other surprises :cough: stuffihaventthoughtupyet :cough:.

I’m off to the post office! Wheeeeeeee!

 

Stepping out over the edge!

Less¬†hours than I really need left before I am in the air. I still need to do about a hundred hours of cleaning, pack, go over the rest of my yard with a weedwhacker, maybe eat food, possibly nap… probably not…

So… just a few items left at Apocalypse Hive! And I will be taking them all off sale in about an hour… lets say… 3:45pm EST so I can get the final packages to the the post office before I don’t see them for a couple months.

Really really last moment now!

I think this journey will be the longest I have ever been away from my cats in an extremely long time, the most I have ever packed for a vacation, and the least I have ever packed for Burning Man. So many firsts.

 

On the edge, feet firmly planted, here we go!

Final paycheck in hand I filled out my exit interview and left Blooming Foods… I may be freaking out a little.

I am quite good at my job and well liked, so if jobs exist when I get back I am certain one of them has my name on it, but it is still quite stressful.

And speaking of stress! Three days to get everything done! Aaaaaaaaaah!

I have two big bottles of Uel Zing concentrated cold brew coffee to get me through this! I’m good! Oooh, product placement! Gimme free coffee guys!

Anyhow… with so much to do I may or may not get to add one last push of items to my shop, but there are still a few things left!

3 Flickerbox Hexes! One red, one grey, one white!

3 Robots?

8 Notepads!

If I can I’ll be adding a more deluxe notepad tomorrow, but either way the shop will be shutting down for the season (until I get back) on Wednesday, so if you are waiting until the last minute, this is pretty much that minute! Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

Damn the cliff! Full speed ahead!

I need to start packing… I don’t currently actually own luggage per se…

This problem is solvable, it will be solved, I will solve it, it may have already been solved by someone else, well then never mind.

Continuing to go a bit mad, but I carved out time to finish a few more items.

By popular demand! Notebooks!

They are smaller than the last batch, which is actually much more work to make, but people seemed eager to have some they could shove in a pocket.

So shove away! These are vaguely pocket sized! If your pockets are not tiny!

There are also some Flickerbox Hexes and some Robots? left… those who have pinged me outside of the shop… I am vaguely aware that that happened but I am running quite ragged, the candle is burning at both ends and the middle and has been doused in kerosene and lobbed into a barbecue. the store is there and it tells me what has been sold and reminds me to deal with things, anything else is very hard to grab on to. I will try in the next couple days to turn my attention that way.

In the meantime I am still playing with pricing these things… I suspect I am underselling my efforts, but for now $8 plus shipping, still reduced shipping for multiples.

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

A few steps closer to that cliff!

There are still some Robots? left! Get em while you can! Eh? Eeeeeeeh?

I am juggling so many projects right now my mind may explode like an over ripe melon full of something that explodes. These next two weeks are going to be a ballet of time management and not going mad… neither of which are what I would call my strong points.

Fortunately it’s really really hot and humid so I am not left exhausted and drained of vitality at the end of every working day! Or is it that other thing where I am? So easy to confuse the two.

Today I offer you the fruits of something I have been working on for a couple of months now. I am really proud of them and wish my crappy phone pictures could do them justice. Has anyone seen my camera? No? Ah well, we work with what we have right?

SO! I present to you… for $10 plus shipping… The Flickerbox Hex!

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

The store is a touch limited in that I cannot post video there so here’s one here.

 

Aren’t they pretty? Don’t they beckon? Aren’t they for sale Right Here?

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

A running leap off that cliff!

In a little over two weeks I will be heading to California on an adventure that I can only really describe as moderately epic.

My last day of work is the 15th, I fly out of Indy on the 19th and I won’t be back until sometime after October. I say sometime because I am not actually sure how I am getting back or how long it will take yet… or exactly what I will be doing after that.

Burning Man is happening in there somewhere along with some other stuff. Exact stuff to be determined. I will update the world as details become less hazy.

I am by nature a fairly careful person, or at least I worry a lot about things. This uncertain leap into a hazy future is unsettling, but exciting.

I will be relying on the kindness of my friends and family for much of this adventure, but I am hoping to maintain at least a little bit of self sufficiency during this wild process. To that end I will be making some things this week to sell. The meager money made from these sales will be used to eat food, travel hither and yon on Bart, and to weather any sudden catastrophes that may need sudden weathering. Since I have this store thingy I set up to sell note pads, I will sell things from there… and in person if anyone feels like hunting me down. I will add things as I make them and figure out how to ship them, then I will point at them and say things like “Hey! Buy this!” or “Eh? Eeeeeeeh?”

First up! Something I actually made some time ago in Oakland but was always afraid to actually try to sell.

Robot?

This is Art pretending to be a crappy toy… or maybe a crappy toy pretending to be Art. I am not entirely clear on the difference. It will be interesting on a shelf, or nailed to a wall, or nailed to your shelf… I will leave display methods up to you. You don’t control your message you know? And neither do you control your crappy Art/Toy/Robots once set free on the world.

Buy one! Or two to save a bit on shipping! Nearly two points of articulation!

 

D&D and me part 7: This Is Not OK!

Sorry that I have been so quiet lately.

At first I was kept away from by sheer laziness and then a few things in my life became less than awesome and I did/do not feel like sharing them so I just went all CyberHermit.

A few ideas have been percolating in my brain during this time, and one of them was a post on the title/word/label of Gamer, what it once meant to me and what it had come to mean recently. It has been simmering on a back burner for months.

A conversation I had today coincidentally followed by a post that several of my friends have been passing around ignited something and cut right through my malaise.

Words Needed To Be Said!

So this is going to be a bit long and probably it will wander, such is life. Shall we?

LOAD”*”,8,1

I think I have commented before on my mixed feelings RE: the surge in popularity of things that once were obscure.

When I was a kid, even knowing what an Orc was could get you mercilessly teased, and now World of Warcraft is so mainstream it might almost as well be football… or at least rugby. I was talking to a co-worker about this, and about how much easier kids have it these days with nerdiness being kind of hip in general, and more specifically the acceptance of role playing games and the diversity of the players available. Even more specifically the fact that Girls Do Game.

When I was a kid this was an insane idea, even bringing up D&D to a girl was a guarantee of a dateless existence at best, and now I do not know anyone at all who plays in a male only gaming group.

I told my co-worker as much and she mentioned that in high school her friends would not let her role play because she was a girl. This was a concept I found crazy buckets. While I will admit to a prejudice when it comes to women in role playing games, it takes the form of assuming they will be playing an interesting character with emotional depth. (not that plenty of men don’t, but in my experience [and in my prejudice] nearly all women do) I have been proven wrong only a couple times in this, and I am generally very excited when I have a good gender mix in a game.

It was a fun conversation while the business of the day was gotten to. We both moved on to other things, many boxes were lifted, much lettuce was crisped.

Then, at lunch, I found that several of my friends had simultaneously referenced This Post.

I was horrified.

Now I was aware of some incidents of sexism, racism, and other negative behavior that had occurred at game conventions I had attended, but these were usually things a friend or a friend of a friend had witnessed… or stories of the Bad Old Days. Tales from another time or place or involving people who were relics that had somehow survived into the modern age like pleisosaur hiding in the depths, only to emerge for conventions.

I have spent a lot of time today thinking about this.

I am a White Male Player of Games, which means I live on one side of a filter that I rarely have to be aware of. In addition to this filter I swim largely in a bubble of carefully selected comrades (this metaphor is getting out of hand) so there is a lot I will never see. If I am aware of this handful of incidences, then how much is going on that I never see? Tips of icebergs and all that.

Notice I did not call myself a White Male Gamer… This relates to the post I was going to write originally and that needs to be touched on now.

The term Gamer used to have two real meanings. One was that you were a gambler, this term had no relevance to my life so I will just drop it and move on. The second meaning was that you played role playing games, board games, war games, or other tabletop games. The use of Gamer to describe people who played video games came a bit later, but there was a big overlap so using the Venn diagram of “Gamer” was still pretty useful. When a Gamer met a Gamer they had common ground. Both probably had interests the other could relate to and share as well as both being somewhat outside of what society called normal or even acceptable.

Pretty much from second or third grade on I have identified myself first and foremost as a Gamer.

In recent years a few things have happened to make me step away from that term. For one thing, it has come, in the public eye, to mean much more someone who plays video games. And while I do certainly do that, I mostly play one or two older games and generally think the industry stopped producing many worthwhile or fun games with the obsolescence of the Super Nintendo.

For the other big reason I have to bounce back to my misgivings about the increased popularity of things once obscure…

The title of Gamer has become Something Ugly.

By distancing myself from that world I could ignore the rotten elements that had been festering there… or so I thought.

Part of my conversation with my co-worker was about how inclusive the role playing, board gaming, and the like communities were. My perception was that We Were Better Than That.

And we should be.

Gamers, Fandom, Cosplayers, Anime Nerds… People who read too much, people who collect things, people who spend hours poring over obscure information for no reason other than they love it. We should be 100% inclusive and enthusiastic towards anyone who shares our loves and obsessions just our proclivity to have such loves and obsessions! This is true even if they don’t look like us, don’t talk like us, or have the same plumbing we happen to have! The world is full of hate and exclusion and horror, we should be the ones to take care of our own. No Matter Who They Are!

Our hobbies/ways of life are not damaged by the inclusion of others, they are strengthened and improved. Exclusion breeds stagnation and eventually death.

My eyes have been opened, I am going to keep them open. I challenge you all to do the same. If I see this bullshit I am going to act. If you see any of this in the way I treat others, please slap me the fuck down.

Lets play some games.

Launching the store!

So I mentioned my Sekrit Projekt a little bit ago and I finished it. And having finished it I am launching a store where I can sell it (and other things).

About a year ago I made a notepad/sketchbook because I was bored and I wanted to draw more. A year later It’s still in use and lookin pretty good!

P1010259

P1010261

P1010262

So I decided to make some more and offer them to the world.

NewPile

The full pitch is on the store blog, but in short these are tough little punk rock notepads you won’t be afraid to actually use!

This first product will be joined by other things I will make for sale. These things will include but WILL NOT be limited to art, toys, games, and maybe fiction or jam or something, we shall see as the future unfolds.