To hell with the drafts, I'm starting next year with an up-to-date blog. Even if this means deleting all but the drafts I manage to finish tonight there will be no incomplete posts by midnight. There are only two drafts I care about completing anyway: the much delayed conclusion to Smoke and Mirrors and the extended comparison of sex and driving that I thought up on the drive to see my brother from another mother. Before I can get to either of those, though, I feel like reflecting on the year as it winds to a close.
We’ll go over the fun stuff first. Notable games of the year for me were Skyrim (hands down the best game out this year), Dead Island(not as good as the hype had me expecting, but still engrossing), and Arkham City. There were likely more, but those were the ones I see sitting on the shelf nearby that I particularly enjoyed.
Movies this year is a more difficult choice, as I spent much of the early part of the year in the theaters. I was disappointed that Transformers 3 didn’t include Unicron as Michael Bay had stated it would after the release of number 2, but it was still a solid movie if you didn’t expect anything more from it then explosions and action. The Hangover 2 followed the exact same recipe as the first one, but once again you don’t go into a movie like that expecting depth. Since I listed three games I’ll add Rise of the Planet of the Apes to round out this list. If nothing else, it was nice to watch Draco Malfoy come to a shocking end.
I think the only book I read that came out this year was The Wise Man’s Fear and it was amazing. It’s quite a daunting project for the casual reader at nearly 1000 pages, but there is nothing left to be desired in this sequel to The Name of the Wind. I have two hardcover first editions that I’m sure will be worth a healthy sum( the first editions of the NotW certainly is going for a high price), but even then I’m not sure I’ll part with either. I’d also heavily recommend Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry, but you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for that one. I can’t really count that one since what I read was essentially an ARC (Advance Reader Copy). I’m behind on my reading, I know. Maybe I’ll get caught up next year.
Now onto the dear diary aspect of this entry; it’s time for the personal stuff.
One year ago I was battling, and losing horrible, depression. My ex was still living with me after having broken our engagement of three years and it was not fun times. Her son, whom I still consider to be my own even after everything she put me through, was on the coast with his biological father. The ex and I had agreed to be friends, but I’m sure everyone reading this had been there and knows just how awkward it is. Especially when her definition of friendship seemed to be me taking care of her ever whim while she answered with bitchiness and hostility. I knew there was no way the arrangement would work, but I was determined to endure it for the same reason I stayed with her throughout everything – my son. I would have done anything to remain a part of his life.
That was a weakness she capitalized on even after she finally moved out of my house. He was with me a minimum of 4 days a week and we enjoyed every minute of it. I blew up my Facebook profile with pictures and videos of us playing and having a blast together. I’ll admit I even took him along on dates but I had little choice when she always had a reason not to watch him when it was her turn. It was during this time I met Pinky, who is the best female friend a guy can have. I should have seen the writing on the wall when the ex started to show angry toward her son talking about Pinky all the time. I refused to believe she was capable of hurting her son by taking me out of his life though, and I ignored all the signs. Yet one month after she moved out, a married man moved in with her and she found herself without need of me as a free 24/7 babysitter. She picked him up on day for his turn to stay with her, and she never let me see or talk to him again.
Mere hours after receiving the text that I was no longer needed to watch him I was sitting in a jail cell with a visiting friend in another state. Those twelve hours in the drunk tank(I was completely sober, unfortunately, that’s just where they were throwing everyone that night), were spent in boredom and reflection. It wasn’t my first time spending a few hours behind bars, but this was much different than the time my brother and I shared a cell singing “I Shot the Sheriff” just to listen to the echo. The charges were trespassing, which we got dismissed because the cops liked me, and open container which I took the bullet for since the owner of the vehicle and alcohol was 19. End result: a couple hundred dollars gone and a lesson learned. The lesson being don’t trespass on the estate of a man that owns a good portion of North Carolina and is rumored to have mob connections on his payroll. That’s right boys and girls, I was stupid enough to explore the Biltmore Estate without permission or notice. I would’ve gotten away with it scot free, too, if we hadn’t left our third friend in the car in a nearby parking lot to spill the beans when the cops rolled up. Amateur.
The rest of the year seemed to stretch out for an eternity and vanished in a blink at the same time. I made a ton of new friends, returned to college after dropping out so my ex could go, reconnected with friends lost due my ex and rediscovered myself. I had lost my identity in being a parent and partner. I have given the relationship my all and gotten nothing back in return. When the biological father contacted me with an offer of allowing me contact with my son if I helped him get sole custody, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been severely tempted. I decided in the end that a clean break and cold turkey was the easiest on my son and in the end I refused on the grounds of not wanting to be a yo-yo in his life. I was not going to let him be used as a bargaining chip. Without any counting on me I regressed to my psychical age this year and indulged in all the partying I missed out on over the years. My tolerance isn’t as high as it used to be, it turns out, and I’ve made an ass out of myself on a few occasions. After feeling like I went from twenty years old to forty over the course of a proposal, it was nice to have the freedom to be young and stupid again.
This was the year I took the plunge and quit the day job to write full time. Freelance writing has had its ups and downs, due mainly to Google and its thrice damned updates, but I would trade the freedom for any salary. I haven’t checked in with my partners in a week or so but last I heard our site should be ready soon. Time permitting, I intend on launching my review site as well and will focus on the three sites for the majority of my income.
One notable mistake I made this year is a current pain in my side. An overconfident wager and a boxing match with loaded gloves left me with cracked ribs around early summer. I won the match and the bet despite the cheater’s advantage, but since then my ribs on that side have been prone to injury. Even stretching or moving the wrong way sends a red hot lance of searing pain through my side. Falling on it during the tussle at Pinky’s apartment left me with bruised ribs that flare with agony at pretty much every sneeze, laugh, cough or deep breath. It won’t be enough to slow me down, but it’s not fun to see the look of concern on my friends’ faces when they witness me swearing through gritted teeth after a yawn sends excruciating pain through me. There were other mistakes, of course, but I think this is the only one with permanent consequences. I hope so, at least.
I could go on about my year, the lessons I learned and the adventures I had but I think I’ll save the rest for other posts so I can do justice to those stories. I’ll leave this one with a picture of a couple of the gifts Pinky got me for Christmas. I would wish everyone a happy New Year, but I prefer 365 celebrations of the New Day as opposed to one celebration of the New Year. We don’t need the calendar to validate our goals and choices: every day is an opportunity.