Posted by: brianc74 | January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, 2011!!!

Happy New Year’s to everyone!

My New Year’s resolution is to be just as much of a lazy bum as I was this year. Why resolve to do something I can’t do? ūüėČ

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Posted by: brianc74 | December 31, 2010

2011 and 2012: The Year Of The Comic Book Geek

I mentioned yesterday that next couple of years was going to be great for comic book movies! Here’s why:

The Green Hornet – January 14, 2011, 2011

Although not originally a comic book it did spawn a series.

Thor – May 6, 2011

Priest – May 13, 2011

A graphic novel adapation involving vampires and warrior priests.

X-Men: First Class – June 3, 2011

If you’re not into comic books or following the whole comic book movie phenomenon, then you are probably not aware of the nerd rage going on in the comic book community about this movie.

Most of us have probably seen or are at least aware of the previous three X-Men movies and the Wolverine spinoff. Suffice it to say that Bryan Singer did a fairly good job with the first two movies, but the third was an abyssmal failure in the eyes of comic book geeks around the world!  The massive introduction of too many mutants, failed representations of beloved iconic figures (read: Juggernaut), misrepresentations of this upcoming movie, and the crowning fail that is Fox Studios*.

One of these things is not like the other...

This movie is to be a prequel to the other movies and follows the storyline of Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr’s friendship before their falling out and becomming Professor X and Magneto.¬† It will include members of the Professor Xavier’s first class of mutants at his new Academy. This is another sticking point with the fanboys as the original X-Men were Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast (before his blue transformation), Angel, and Iceman. I believe Beast is the only one scheduled to appear in this movie.

I enjoyed X1 and X2. X3 sucked donkey nuts! The introduction of some new mutants was cool, but the story got lost on itself, and killing off Professor X, Jean Grey, and Cyclops was the dumbest ass thing they could have ever done!!! (Not that anyone ever stays dead in the comic book world, but still…) And even though I expect this to be a complete flop of a movie regardless of how well it does at the box office, I have hope that it might turn out well even if Fox is at the helm.

Green Lantern – June 17, 2011

This movie’s getting some flack for what appears to be poor CGI, but there’s still time to touch it all up so I’m not too worried. It appears that DC Comics is finally getting their act together and bringing someone other than Batman and Superman to the big screen. Everyone’s hoping for that Justice League of America movie like Marvel’s planned Avengers movie!

Captain America: The First Avenger – July 22, 2011

I’m surprised that this one isn’t being released around July 4th. But they must have their reasons.

Cowboys and Aliens – July 29, 2011

Another comic book (graphic novel) movie that I haven’t read, but it looks really cool!

And That Was Just 2011!

We still get the following in 2012:

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance РFebruary 17, 2012
The Avengers РMay 4, 2012
Men in Black III – May 25, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises РJuly 20, 2012
Superman: The Man of Steel РNovember, 2011
Deadpool – TBA
Spiderman – TBA – This was supposed to be Spiderman 4 until Sony and Sam Raimi split on the project. It is now a reboot with a new cast.
Wolverine 2 – TBA

*Generally speaking it is the fanboys’ wish that Fox Studios return the rights to Marvel/Disney for the X-Men, Wolverine, and Fantastic Four movies and for Sony Pictures to return the rights to Spiderman. General consensus is that these studios have execs in charge that don’t know the first thing about why the comics work and screw it up in translation.

Posted by: brianc74 | December 30, 2010

Best Movies of 2010

The year is nearly over. And with it comes the endless “Best of 2010” lists including everything from books, games, movies, and if we search really hard I bet we could find one that includes best kitchen sinks!

Anyway I was reading this post regarding best movie scenes and the #1 pick was the scene between Woody and Andy during Toy Story 3.

Look I loved Toy Story. Toy Story 2 was pretty good too. And Toy Story 3 was rather entertaining and I suppose a nice wrap up to it all. But apparently I’m a bit of a cold-hearted bastard because I didn’t even tear up in that movie.

I didn’t see it in theaters, but I remember all the talk about it being the best movie of the year at that time. Everyone was raving about it! But I never saw it. Then we got it from a friend for Christmas and watched it. After all the hype and claims that it made everyone who saw it cry, I was expecting to get a bit choked up too. But at the end of the movie my wife and I looked at each other and went “Really?!”

We thought it was touching, but neither of us cried, teared up, or even got a little choked up. Did you?

Anyway, I don’t have a top 10 list, but I wanted to reminisce on the movies I loved, liked, hated, and missed in 2010.

2010 Movies I Want(ed) To See

Avatar: The Last Airbender – I really, really wanted to see this! The cartoon is epic! But the reviews were soooo bad that I couldn’t bring myself to pay theater prices and last night I passed on buying the Blu-Ray. Now I’ll probably wait until it’s free to¬†stream on Netflix not even bothering to order the DVD from them.

Book of Eli – Unfortunately that post above spoiled a part of the movie for me, but I still want to see it.

Clash of the Titans – The original is a classic! I really wanted to see this, but when the reviews started pouring in I became very disappointed.

Cop Out – Bruce Willis. ‘Nuff said.

Defendor РSuperhero movie (sorta). Besides it has Kat Dennings!

Gulliver’s Travels – I love Jack Black!

Grown Ups – Looked stupid, but stupid comedy is sometimes the best!

Inception – Yeah, I’m probably the only person that hasn’t seen this movie yet…

Jonah Hex – Another comic book movie, but the reviews were less than stellar so… Another Netflix streaming special.

Letters to Juliet – I like romantic movies…well some of them…and this one looked good.

Predators – OK, the Aliens vs. Predator movie wasn’t that great (didn’t see the 2nd one) and Predator 2 was so-so, but this one looked pretty awesome.

Ramona and Beezus – This one sort of slipped under the radar. I remember seeing posters and reading a review that said it wasn’t anything like the books which is sad really.¬†I have found memories of reading Ramona books by Beverly Cleary as a kid. That and Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Come on! Superfudge? LOL!

Red – Another comic boko movie and Bruce Willis.

Robin Hood – A favorite as a kid, I loved the Errol Flynn version.

Salt – Angelina Jolie.

Shrek Forever After – It’s Shrek!

Shutter Island – Not a Leo fan by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I only ever¬†liked him in The Man in the Iron Mask. Every other movie he just annoys me and I’m not sure why. However, I finally decided three months before the film came out that I didn’t need to see it because I decided I had figured out the ending from the previews. My wife saw it and I think she confirmed my theory. I suspected that Leo was not in fact the detective (or perhaps he was at one point), but actually a patient at the mental hospital living out a fantasy. But now I don’t remember what she told me, but whatever it was I remember deciding I didn’t need to see it now.

The A-Team – I grew up on the TV show! I loved it! Howling Mad Murdock was my favorite! I still can’t imagine anyone but Dwight Schultz playing him, but I want to give this movie a chance. In fact, I picked it up last night at the store so I’ll probably watch it tonight.

The Expendables – Kickback to 80’s action films? Sign me up!

The Other Guys – Will Ferrell, who I think is hit or miss, but generally I enjoy him.

Tron: Legacy – I loved the first one. It’s a classic.

True Grit – I love westerns! I don’t think there’s enough of them anymore. I grew up on John Wayne westerns and love ’em! Although we get westerns every once in a while now, they’re almost always extremely dark and serious. Whatever happened to fun westerns like McLintock!? I still have a crush on Maureen O’Hara…

Wolfman – I remember wanting to see this, but after seeing a few reviews I hesitated and missed it.

2010 Movies That Were Meh

The Twilight Sage: Eclipse – Of the three this was probably the best one. Although I enjoyed it (and yes I’m man enough to admit it), it isn’t one that I really care to watch again so it doesn’t end up in the “Liked” section.

2010 Movies That I Liked

Alice in Wonderland – Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway? Oh yeah, I had to see this!

Percy Jackson & The Olympians – Enjoyable, but felt rushed. I can only assume there was much of the book they tried to cram in and I felt it didn’t work as well as it could have.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Tried the game, but never got into it. The movie was surprisingly enjoyable! My expectations were rather low.

Toy Story 3 – See above.

2010 Movies That I Loved

Despicable Me – Quite possibly my favorite movie of the year! The kids were adorable! And the minions were the funniest thing I’ve seen all year!!!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – OK, it probably should go in the Liked section, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt due to the fact it’s HALF A MOVIE! I love the books. And if you’ve never read the books this was probably a decent enough movie. My problem was when it was over I felt like it was half a story because it is. It was an awfully fast 2.5 hours though!

How to Train Your Dragon РTough call, but my other possible favorite movie of the year!

Iron Man 2 – Loved the first one! This one wasn’t quite as good, but it was still great! It’s the comic book geek in me. I can’t help it. Man the next two years are gonna be freaking awesome!!!

Kick-Ass – This movie…well…it kicked ass!!!

Megamind – Another great animated movie!

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Based on a comic book I hadn’t read. The hype was so high that I absolutely had to see this! And although my wife didn’t quite get it, I absolutely enjoyed it! Besides, Mary Elizabeth Winstead…

The Losers – Based on a comic book I hadn’t read, I still had to see this. Another comic book film featuring Chris Evans! I can’t wait to see him as Captain America!!!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – I just saw this movie last night and I freaking loved it!!! I know Nic Cage gets a lot of flack for his acting, but I actually enjoy him.

Posted by: brianc74 | December 21, 2010

Taking It Slow (Sorta)

So the other day I took a stab at healing. It was awkward to say to say the least. However, it’s also something I’m sure I could get used to with enough practice. And therein lies the problem.

I’m healed out. I have little desire to pursue it. And although I could do it again and probably end up having some fun with it, the feeling of being forced into a role and then held there for the “good of the group” would quickly drive me to resent it.

My wife’s about to go back to work. The baby rarely sits by herself quietly for longer than¬†15 minutes unless she’s sleeping. So the nights my wife works is going to kill my raid availability. Top that off with a new calling to be a Cub Scout Leader at my church,¬†which meets once a week, and my nights are effectively dead.

This problem not only kills tanking and heals, but puts a serious crimp on dps as well. But dps is the most easily replaceable and I feel less responsibility there.

But to avoid getting burned out I’ve decided to take things a little slow. Some of my buddies are grinding heroics like crazy right now and I’m not too gung-ho about that right now. In fact the idea bored me to death the other day. Fortunately a pretty good regular run yesterday sparked a little excitement. But taking it slow on gearing up doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down elsewhere.

Last Saturday I spent roughly 12 hours leveling Archaeology and another 8 hours on Sunday to get it maxed. I was horribly sick over the weekend and bored out of my mind. Archaeology was about the only thing I could do that didn’t require a lot of concentration. On the plus side, I got the Fossilized Hatchling, Clockwork Gnome, and the Fossilized Raptor mount (which is really cool btw). But the Vial of the Sands still eludes me.

Well I’m on vacation starting tomorrow through January 3rd so hopefully the Tol’vir gods will be good to me! ūüôā (And my shaman will be my third 85 before the weekend. Priest dinged this morning before work while I was screwing around getting more Tol’vir digs.)

Posted by: brianc74 | December 15, 2010

85 And Healing; Welcome To A Real Game!

Quick post as I’m at work, I have a lot to do (still), and I need to get started.

Paladin is now 85. Loved leveling as Ret and Prot. I ran one regular instance as Ret. I dropped Ret for Holy because let’s just say that Mach knows how to push my buttons!

Broken Healing

The other day everyone was complaining about how apparently Blizzard has broken healing.¬† Evee was even saying that healers have been queueing for randoms and then afk’ing in protest.

Understand that I have not been following any blogs, websites, forums, etc. since my guild went boom. My anger with several people who I considered to be the problems combined with the hurt that resulted when my friends fractured into two groups (and believe me I was pissed at and hurt by both) increased my disgust with the game so much that I even had to remove non-guild related blogs from my list. Anything related to WoW just ticked me off! So to make a long story short, I haven’t known what’s going on in the game since about April.

I didn’t play Vanilla. I did play BC. And I healed as a pally through it. I remember 3 hour heroic Slave Pen runs. That was the extent of my farming for about 4 months! All the other instances were too damn hard! But I got good at it. Mana was always an issue. It was something you lived with. You carried lots of pots. This was before the pot nerf where you can only use one in combat now. (I still think this was a terrible idea!) This was when healing still took skill to be able to do well. Wrath broke healing to a boring spamfest!

Anyway, after all that complaining my first thought was it can’t be that hard. It’s probably just challenging like it was in BC and the majority of current healers either never experienced true healing or have totally forgotten how to do it. So quit your bitching ’cause I’m gonna prove you bastards wrong!!!

Proving You Wrong

So last night I tried my first regular instance (Grim Batol) as a healer. As I was trying to get used to it, Zoja and Mach died to the first boss, but after that it was fairly smooth sailing.

So was it as hard as people are saying?

OK, first off it was regular and to be honest I think most of the healing comments were directed at heroics, but I’m not sure. Was it difficult? Yes, but not for the reasons they were complaining about.

First, I haven’t healed on my pally since Naxx. Combine that with the way things are now and it’s well…FREAKING WEIRD!!!

Pally healing to me is, and always should be, the spammer. We are the mana efficient class! We are the tank healer! We are the Flash of Light spammer! That is what I’m used to. That is what I expect.

What I got was a slow ass healer that I’m not used to. Instead of four heals ala BC (Flash of Light, Holy Light, Holy Shock, and Lay on Hands), I have 9 heals now (not including my copycat heal which I totally forgot to use)!!! So yeah it was difficult trying to figure out what to do.

I also had mana issues. In part because of my inefficient healing due to unfamiliar spells, but also due to my gear.

Remember how I said I leveled prot/ret? Yeah, I mentioned in the forums that I wasn’t going to heal this expansion. I wanted to try something new like tanking or dps. I told Amber these bastards were gonna make me heal! (Mach, I hate you btw…) So I don’t exactly have the best gear. But because I suspected these guys would convince me (read: guilt me) into healing I started collecting healing pieces whenever quest rewards didn’t offer me prot/ret gear. So I healed the instance with holy/prot gear.

Overall I’m Happier

So my analysis? Granted I haven’t done a heroic yet. Item level is only 319 (with Prot gear mixed in mind you). But healing feels¬†a lot more like BC than Wrath and for that I am grateful.

I hated Wrath’s endgame. Normal 5-mans were group quests. Heroics were less than normals. Naxx was fun, but a bit too easy. Ulduar was fun, but the challenge jump from Naxx was a bit too much (although I suspect it was more¬†the gear upgrade issue).

The round room Amber got lost in was fun the very first time and the most broken, boring instance in the entire game! (Except the time Amber got mad at me in the middle of a pull and literally told me to stand in the corner! That was freaking hilarious!) And IC was fun, but unfortunately by that time I was so fed up with the endgame it was hard to enjoy.

With a change in gear, moving my healing buttons around, and a little practice I think healing could be a challenge again. So I suppose I’m being an elitist and saying that all those whiny ass healers that are saying this game is too hard:

Welcome to a real game! Thank God we’re done with Wrath!

Crap, this was supposed to be a quick post…

Oh and for those that claim pally healers are best in game right now? Leveling my shaman now too.

Posted by: brianc74 | December 9, 2010

Day 2 – Cataclysm

After an extremely hard day of work, I came home exhausted and ready to try relaxing…

…(I say try because the in-laws are over this week and have been since last Thursday)…

…so I throw on my sweat pants and lay down for a quick rest before logging in to WoW and messing with my UI…

“Brian. My mom wants to take the kids and go see Santa and get something to eat,” my wife says.

Crap!

“OK,” I say with a heavy sigh. Now where did I put my jeans?

As I stumble around she asks me why I don’t want to go.¬†My reply has to do with too much work and the stress involved with it.¬† Also, I think I’m still recovering from our late night excursion to downtown D.C. Saturday evening.¬† In the end, it was decided we’d just go out to eat.

So after getting home around 8pm, I decide to stumble in and play around with my UI. About 1.5 hours later I can honestly say I’ve royally screwed up my UI and still haven’t played Cataclysm…

Posted by: brianc74 | December 8, 2010

Re-subbed

Yup. I did it. (Still asking myself why though…)

So I got home late last night, got ready to go to Best Buy and pick up the expansion, when I got real lazy and just downloaded it.

I then spent the next 3 hours updating addons, mailing glyphs to all my toons, learning them, spec’ing my paladin as prot/ret, glyphing him, getting to Stormwind, and buying flying. Once there I accepted the initial quest, found the guy, looked into the waters to see Thrall at the Maelstrom, turned in another quest at the docks, and accepted a quest to go to the underwater area.

At that point I was really tired and the last thing I wanted to do was redo my UI and castbars, so I logged off and went to bed.

I’ll be level 85 sometime after New Year’s…

It feels daunting. Everything is new. I didn’t have the chance most of you did goofing around with the changes before the expansion so it’s almost an entirely new game for me. It’s weirdly intimidating. So much so I’m actually nervous about leveling again.¬† Roll a Tauren paladin and start over? No pressure and more inviting.

Posted by: brianc74 | November 24, 2010

Update

*sound of feet walking across a stage*

*sound of tapping on microphone as it screeches with feedback*

“Test…test…this thing still work?”

Yeah it’s been a while. Life has just gotten so hectic and to be honest I lost the drive to write. But Kimberly was nice enough to prod me the other day so I’m at least driven to give you an update on what’s going on.¬† Where to start…

Work

My last post I was pretty excited about a project we were awarded in Utah. Although I had what at the time were very good reasons to leave Utah, there are portions of it that I miss a lot. Add in the chance to save some money with a lower cost of living and the same pay, and you have yourself a very excited guy! I’m really wanting to get into a house and out of an apartment.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that I will be one of the lucky ones to go. My current role doesn’t allow for an easy transition based on the way the project is set up. I could have a spot if I was willing to accept a major pay cut, but then I end up not saving the money for a home. Oh well.

Work is busy. We just finished an office move. I was pretty worried about going from an environment with offices and doors to an open floor plan where even the executives are in cubicles, but it’s working out pretty good so far.¬† Add all the purchasing I have to do with the jobs we’ve won and my days are pretty full.

Family

The baby’s here and she’s beautiful! She’s also very good at training her mother. She cries whenever she’s put down. We named her Zoey. She looks at me funny as she’s definitely used to her mom more. But I have been able to get her to smile a couple of times which just makes my day!

House Hunting

Ever since finding out that I probably won’t be going to Utah, I figured it was time to look at finding a home. So I contacted a real estate agent and found out what preparation I needed to get in the market for a home. Looks like I might be ready as early as next March so I find myself spending a lot of time looking at homes for sale online. (I remember a time when I thought $150,000 was a lot for a home…stupid, expensive D.C. market…grumble…)

Gaming

Picked up Call of Duty: Black Ops for PS3. I wanted it for XBox, but I’m so sick of my XBox scratching discs, having disc read problems, etc. that I’ve decided I’m done with it until the next system comes out. Don’t play a whole lot, but it’s a fun time waster!

I’ve been playing League of Legends a lot. Last night was amazing as I went from losing almost every match the past few weeks to losing only one last night after a buddy had to drop out. Switching from a squishy to a tank has vastly improved my mood. Apparently I nerd rage when I die so even though I may not perform as well in kills, dying less and being harder to kill has greatly improved my attitude. ;P

Minecraft, for those who haven’t ever played it, is a great time waster! Even though it’s an 8-bit game, it’s a load of fun creating stuff. If I can ever figure out how to screenshot stuff in that game (I swear it doesn’t work for me!!!) I might post a couple of things I’ve done.

Global Agenda. I’m the only one playing this right now. I still have loads of fun with it, but I play a little less now. Everyone got so into League that no one touches this anymore.

Warcraft. Seriously, I don’t miss it in the slightest. I can count the number of people I miss on one hand, because the rest of them hang out in Vent with me. So I made the decision a while back that I’m not going to get it. Then it occurred to me last night that most of my League buddies will and since no one’s playing Minecraft, Global Agenda, and then probably League, I’ll be left playing the games alone…

/sigh

…must…resist…the dark side…

Posted by: brianc74 | September 27, 2010

Stay In School (Math Skills Are Important)

I know I’ve been quiet for some time. Work has been extremely stressful. I’m getting ready for the new baby. I’ve been keeping busy. But the following news is just too exciting for me not to write about!

I work for Balfour Beatty Construction (managing partner for the project linked below). Turns out we found out late Friday that we won a very important job that we’ve spent the last couple of years pursuing.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700068893/Utah-firm-to-work-on-NSA-data-center.html

Since my wife is from Utah, her family all lives in Utah, and the cost of living in Utah is much less than Northern Virginia we’re all pretty excited!

Granted nothing is set in stone. There is no guarantee at this time that I’ll get to go, but there’s a pretty good chance. And even though I do miss the mountains and some of the other aspects of Utah, the main reason I’m excited is this could be a potential financial windfall for me! With the cost of living so much less and I assume that I would keep the same salary, I can get my debts paid off in record time and save up for a home when I come back!

Let’s face it, living in an apartment with two kids is rough. Living in an apartment with three is going to drive me into an early grave! ūüôā My wife and I have struggled to get back into a house since moving out here, just like many other Americans do. Things are just looking up for us now! ūüėÄ

Oh and why is it important to stay in school? The article I linked reports that the project is expected to complete June 2012. Check this out!

http://cryptome.org/dodi/nsa-utah-award.pdf

This is the contract award notice. It states that the project has a 1100 calendar day duration from Notice to Proceed (NTP). Using a date calculator online if the NTP were to be given today then 1100 days from now is October 1, 2013…

Stay in school, kids! Math is important!

Posted by: brianc74 | September 2, 2010

Let It Go (Part Three): A Weight Off My Shoulders

It’s been an interesting week for me. Work has slowed down a little…well actually¬†it reached a point of “hurry up and wait”, but a break in the stress is still a break and I’ll enjoy it while I can. ūüôā

But what’s really made it interesting is while work slowed down my personal life seems to have sped up. Maybe it’s karma? Or maybe it’s I don’t have anything else to pay attention to so it decided to slap me! Either way it did and I suppose in some ways I’m happier for it. In other ways…

Have you ever reached a point in life where you realize you’re a damned fool?

Holding The Grudge

When I was in college I went to work for my cousin’s husband for a while. He’s a vet. It was pretty good job. There were aspects I didn’t like about it, but it got me interested enough in veterinary science to at least take classes for a couple of semesters.

During one summer my cousin invited me to stay with them so I could save up some money and live closer to work. This unfortunately turned out to be a big mistake.

My cousin is a neat freak! No you don’t understand! I didn’t have a lot of stuff while staying there, and what little I did have I was storing in boxes in the unfinished part of their basement. But apparently I was a complete slob!

Anyway, I had gotten bored during the summer I started working there. I didn’t have anything to do in the evenings so I got a second job working at the pizza place next door. It was part time and kept me a little busier. So one evening after a long day of working two jobs I plunked myself down on the couch in the basement in front of the TV, took off my hat, and started to relax. After a few minutes I got up and headed to the shower.

The following week my cousin stopped talking to me. She would whisper to her husband around me. I could tell she was upset about something and I could tell that something was ME! I refused to confront her about it. It wasn’t the first time she’d done this. A week later she called me upstairs to talk to me. She was upset with me for not cleaning up after myself, etc. When I asked her what messes I had left around her response left me dumbfounded.

A week ago I had come home from work and left my cap on the floor next to the couch.

That was it! That’s all she had! I didn’t know what to say! We had already had a couple of other instances that annoyed her and I’m certain it just added to this hat thing. For example she expected me to scrub the downstairs shower pretty much every day even though she told me once a week. But when one is reminded on a daily basis to make sure to clean it, it’s pretty obvious she wanted it done every day. And I’ll admit I’m not exactly a clean freak, but the shower was never clean enough after I cleaned it anyway. My bed making abilities were also called into question and I would often leave a mess under the bed every morning.

I slept on a futon couch in their kids’ roughly 8’x10′ play room. Instead of attempting to make the bed every day I folded the blanket and sheets and placed them at the end. The mess under my bed was the book I read every night before falling asleep. Apparently walking past the kids’ play room and seeing that book under there was enough to get the silent treatment for a week.

But the cap took the cake! And I sorta lost it. I looked her in the eye and asked her “Really?! This is why you wouldn’t talk to me for a week?! Because I left one baseball cap on the floor by the couch which was picked up by morning?!” I then proceeded to tell her that she was a¬†control freak and that nobody could live up to her standards. I told her if she didn’t loosen the grip on her kids they would rebel beyond her control by the time they were teenagers. (Rumor has it that her daughter did just that and got into drugs pretty bad. I say rumor because I lost contact with them.)

After having it put that way I think she realized she had probably overreacted a little and started trying to smooth things over. But I was at the end of my rope. I politely told her that it was fine. This was the way she was. I was a guest in her house and if I couldn’t live up to her expectations and in doing so was making her miserable, then it was time to leave.

I didn’t have anywhere to go and she knew it. When her husband got home she talked to him about it and they both came to me saying I didn’t need to go, they didn’t want me to feel like I was being kicked out, etc. But by then I had already gotten an offer from a lady at work to live in a back room of her house. A house in which she had umpteen billion cats, three dirty dogs, and a loud disgusting bird all living inside. They continued to offer to let me stay even up until the last box was placed in my car. I haven’t talked to her since. It’s been 12 years…

I’ve sometimes thought about what it would be like if I ever saw or spoke to her again. But my pride keeps me from ever extending that olive branch. Besides she lives on the other side of the country. I have nothing in common with her. I don’t suppose that I’ll ever see her again. So why bother?

That’s a sad look on life if you think about it…

Old Friends

So to top off my week a friend I recently felt like I had lost permanently reached out in an attempt to mend the fences, albeit dare I say a somewhat clumsy one. I don’t recommend extending the olive branch by hitting the guy with it. ūüôā (Oh you know it’s true! Let me remind you!)

After a brief intro the basic opening statement was:

The only reason this friendship will end is because YOU choose it to, so it is entirely under YOUR control.

My response to this was somewhat long and I won’t go into it. Suffice it to say that I explained my version of how the friendship had started to end oh so many months ago and basically how it wasn’t MY fault. ūüėČ

An e-mail exchange went back and forth over the next day or two where she expressed her feelings how it was a shame none of this was brought up before¬†bid me farewell because “[she didn’t]¬†get the impression that¬†[I wished] to mend¬†it now.”

My response was, “It’s a shame I didn’t bring it up. It’s a shame you didn’t bring stuff up too. It’s a shame the whole thing happened. But as for not mending it? That ain’t true and you know it. You just wanted confirmation.” Some people are expert fishermen! ūüėČ

Regardless of how clumsy the attempt might have been it still worked with me. I think partially because I was so relived she broached the subject first lifting a huge weight off my shoulders, but probably more so because I remembered to keep an open mind. And I suppose therein lies the trick.

The Damned Fool

People are different. They see things in different ways. We may not always understand those ways, but it doesn’t make them any less valid.

I can still see my cousin’s point of view even though I still think she’s a bit of a whacko. And even though part of me feels like she owes me an apology, I don’t really care if I ever get one because I’m fine with the fact that I’ll never speak to her again. Besides I don’t want an apology for flipping out on me or kicking me out. I need the apology for the hurt that was caused by it.

As for my friend¬†she didn’t once apologize for what happened and she shouldn’t have to. I’m sure she’s sorry I was hurt and upset by her and others’ actions, just as I’m sorry that she was hurt by my rather seemingly “couldn’t care less if you’re my friend” attitude since.

There are times when the apologies we want are often not the apologies we need. And if we can’t learn the difference a lot of friendships can die. But if we know and recognize the difference a lot of friendships can be saved and grow stronger than before.

In my case even though I was angry at my friends for leaving, and in some cases the manner in which they left, they shouldn’t have to apologize for leaving. Being sorry for leaving and being sorry for the hurt I¬†felt by their leaving are two totally different things. Making sure one knows the¬†difference between getting the apology one wants versus the apology one needs is of the utmost importance. Don’t ever expect someone to apologize for something they didn’t believe was wrong to begin with. Expecting them to apologize for the resulting hurt is another matter.

But being the damned fool that I am, it’s difficult for me to apologize for anything anymore. Like I told her, “I’m a proud ‘old man’. It used to be easy to extend the olive branch for me. It used to be easy to ignore things like they never happened and pick up where I left off. It’s not anymore. I’ve become set in my ways. I’ve reached a point in life where if someone doesn’t make the effort first, then I figure since it isn’t worth it to them it’s definitely not worth the effort for me. Sad? Yeah, I know.” But I’m a damned fool.

And on that note, I’m pretty sure I owe Andy an apology…

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