A Drive to GameStop

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Last night, Wyatt and I took a drive to GameStop (which we used to do all the time before the pandemic). I got to learn the latest from his adventures with Apex Legends. Specifically:

  • How Wyatt loves using the character Seer.
  • How he might use his Apex Coins to buy Ash.
  • Or maybe he will just get the battle pass.

As talk of Apex Legends died down, Petra whispering quietly on the stereo background, I asked:

“How was school today?”

“It was good.”

And then:

“How are guitar lessons?”

“They are going great.”

We talked a little bit more as I pulled into the GameStop parking lot. Grabbing my copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to trade in, we went inside the store. A few moments later, we were the proud owners of Metroid Dread.

We spent the next hour passing the controller back and forth. Dying. A lot. But we had fun playing Metroid Dread, learning how to jump (it is an art), and getting our heads around the spastic movements of protagonist Samus Aran. Just as we were finally comfortable with the controls it was time for Wyatt to take a shower and go to bed. Overall though, we had a pretty solid night.

Percy Jackson Vs. “Percy Jackson”

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I had a dream about blogging the other night. A dream in which I compared and contrasted Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Book 1) (Percy Jackson And The Olympians) versus Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

I noted that there are some book series where the series author and the movie’s director work hand-in-hand. Listing examples such as:

  • Harry Potter
  • The Hunger Games

And then went on to describe how bad the Percy Jackson movie is versus the book.

The movie is basically the story of a wannabe Zac Efron, who turns out to be the son of a god, who goes on a quest to save the world. Beyond the Zac Efron part (in the Lightning Thief, Percy is 12 years old), this lines up with the book so far. But then the movie strips out everything that made the first book special. Down the toilet. Flush. It takes names (literally), skimps on essential story and characters, and rushes to the films conclusion. The film borrows key elements from the book without ever owning them. Don’t even get me started on Pierce Brosnan’s character. Ugh.

If you want to watch a movie that misconstrues characters, plot, and has a bunch of CG, then this is the movie for you.

As for me, sign me up for author Rick Riordan’s Disney+ series. Should be good.

The Day After I Turned 40

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I never know 100% what to write here. I go back and forth between writing about video games/board games and then about personal stuff. How many readers who read my stuff about video games want to know about our adoption journey? How many readers want to read about my thoughts on worship music?

Yesterday, I turned 40. I spent my day working. Came home after, ate dinner, went out for ice cream, and then I was on the phone for an hour and forty-five minutes with a family member. By the time I was done, I put Wyatt to bed (we went over his devotional, prayed, and he read for an hour) and soon went to bed myself.

Television makes a pretty big deal about your birthday. I mean, not your individual birthday but birthdays as a whole.

“Your birthday should be all about you.”

“Your birthday is your day, relax.”

I mean just the other night my wife and I were watching Season 3 of Virgin River. The first episode is all about main character Melinda “Mel” Monroe’s birthday. Through out the episode, her boyfriend, Jack Sheridan, is unsure what to do. So he schedules her a message, flies lunch (sushi) in via bush pilot, etc. Towards the end of the episode, Jack surprises Mel with tickets for a dinner cruise. She doesn’t want to go. What she has told Jack all along is that all she wants is a cupcake and a bath. So what does Jack give her? A cupcake, a bath, and Jack’s house catching fire? One could say that Mel got what she wanted and some smoke inhalation as a bonus. How sweet.

I am learning that being an adult, a now 40 year old adult, is about unexpected things that come up in life. Be it a phone call or your boyfriends house catching fire (and burning to the ground). Happy Birthday to me.

My Vampire – Musings from having my blood drawn

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When you go to get your blood drawn, the last thing you want is someone with shaky hands.

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

Today, I went to the doctor’s office for my quarterly diabetes appointment. My appointment went well. All good there.

After checking out of my doctor’s office, I proceeded down the hall to go get some blood work done. I noticed that no one was in the waiting area outside the lab. Yes, I thought, I’m going to get in and out today.

Soon I heard my name called. “That’s me”, I said smiling (with my mask on).

Walking back to where blood is drawn, I asked, “How are you today?” It was then that I noticed that my blood technician, my vampire, was a tad upset. Uh oh.

“Which arm is your good arm?”

I thought about that for a moment.

“No one has ever asked me that before. Definitely my left arm.”

“Okay.”

“Sometimes, I’m hard to draw blood from. If you have to, you can pull from my hand.”

She looked over my hand before deciding on a point in my arm. Her hands were shaking.

One. Two. Three. She plunged her needle into my arm. Not finding the vein, she slowly moved the needle around exploring further. Which then caused me to move (it hurt). She muttered something and then another something. Hurriedly told me to hold a cotton ball against my arm while she surveyed my hand. She plunged her needle, again, this time into my hand. Success!

“I’m just so frustrated. We’ve been dealing with a lot here.”

I looked at her, “I’m sorry.”

“Honey, you don’t have say I’m sorry.”

“I’m just saying that it sucks that it has been hard.”

Her body language changed, perhaps softened.

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“Have a good day!”

Lack of Communication at Work

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Lack of communication slowly rots an organization from within. No one knows what is going on nor what anyone is doing. The silence invites questions of:

  • What is going on?
  • Do we have enough work?
  • What is everyone working on?
  • Am I doing a good job?
  • Am I going to be fired or let go?

Without knowing what projects are coming up, without proper feedback, the employee’s themselves rot from within. A once useful instrument dulled from a lack of use.

For more than a few months now, I’ve sat in the midst of a non-communicative environment. No one seems to know anything except for the upper management. The “upper management” in my case is two bosses. They have meetings with one another; they know what work items are coming up. Their communication however is not being shared with the rest of the company (me and another employee).

This lack of communication has made my workplace stressful. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted from being in the environment… and I take that home with me.

I long to feel creative again. To take on creative projects. To write.

There is the saying: “Fake it until you make it”.

I’m done faking it.

I’m just trying to make it.

And the lack of communication in my workplace is rotting the company from within… and my soul.

*Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash