Destiny 2

Destiny, part 16

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since the gameplay reveal of Destiny 2, and I figured it was time to put in my 2 cents on what we’ve seen so far.

I am freaking excited to play this game!

It was a little soul crushing to see the Tower in ruins, my home for the last 3 years, gone.  It was exciting to see the Vanguard in action;  Ikora blasting the Cabal ship with her Nova Bomb, Cayde firing the Golden Gun and Zavala using his Ward of Dawn to try to save everyone in the Vanguard room when the Cabal attack.

I’m excited to see what is (or was) in the north part of the Tower when I get my hands on the game and to explore what’s left of the Tower before we leave it behind.

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Definitely going to main one of these guys first!

I’m also excited to play the new classes and learn how their abilities work and interact with each other.  I’m a little bummed that Warlocks can’t self resurrect anymore, but I’ll trade it for being able to rain swords of fire from the air.  It’s definitely going to make things interesting trying to raid without the usual linchpins of self rezzing Warlocks, bubble Titans and tether Hunters.

I also can’t wait to explore the new planets and zones.  I’m happy that public events will have on screen timers now instead of having to rely on 3rd party apps that may or may not be accurate.  I’m looking forward to exploring the places and seeing what I can find.

Like this lovely place for example.

I’m happy that the director got a face lift and looks pretty snazzy now.

Slick!

And I’m so happy that we don’t have to go to orbit anymore to go to a new location.  We can just pick a new place and BAM! off we go.

A new raid, new strikes, new locations, new classes.  I can’t wait for September to get here.

In spite of all the negativity floating around the internet about the game, I can’t wait.  All the haters and trolls can suck it.  If they don’t like what they see then they can play something else (like the next Call of Dudebro)

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I can’t wait to play one of these guys either!

Life and Death, part 6

Ever text someone at just the worst possible time?

Yesterday, I asked my friend Alex if he’d like to get something for dinner before he went to work.  His response was something I didn’t expect.

I can’t, I have the girls until I have to leave for work because mom had to make an emergency trip to Canada to see aunt Yvette.  She has lung cancer and it has spread to both breasts and other parts of her body.  She’s opting for doctor assisted suicide at the end of the week.

Ouch.  Needless to say, he’s not taking this news well as after that he was more than a little upset at her decision.  Having witnessed firsthand what cancer does to a person, I feel like she is justified in her decision to end her life while she is still in full control of her faculties.  It’s what I would want were I in her place.  It’s what I will demand if I’m ever in that situation.

I still remember the daily living horror of watching my mother wither away while she had cancer.  Initially she was herself, only sick.  But as the last year of her life went on, the pain became unbearable and the sickness slowly eroded her humanity until what I was looking at from day to day was a husk, a shell of a human being, kept alive by drugs and our selfishness, our inability to let her go peacefully.  Had I had any say in the matter and any level of maturity (I was 17 when she died) I think I would have had that talk with my family about letting her go, whether they liked it or not.  I can still remember her last night at home.  I stood there with my father and watched helplessly as she went through her death throes and finally stopped breathing.  This is the personal hell I endure, that I live with from day to day.  Most of the time the flames don’t bother me, but today I feel their wrath.

My knee jerk reaction to Alex’s disdain for her decision to end her life was a simple question:  who would you be keeping her alive for, her or yourself?  It’s a painful question and not one with an easy answer to say the least but I think it’s one that everyone with a sick and dying relative should think about.

Life and Death, part 5

I feel really sad today.  My friend, my Gerrybear, is making a hard choice to have his 20 year old cat put to sleep.  I wish I could be there with him as he goes through this terrible time and I hate that he is going through it alone.  Yesterday when we were video chatting, he mentioned going through it alone and I hated that.  As empty as it is, I offered him my condolences and told him that I’m here for him.  Since I can’t physically be with him I just feel like that sentiment is worth nothing.  I’m also sad that I won’t get the chance to meet Rogue, the cat, in person.  She seemed like such a sweetheart in all the videos Gerry sent me of her.

 

Relationships, part 13

So it’s been about 3 weeks since the election results and I’m still not sure how to take it.  I still don’t know how anyone could have willingly voted for him.  I still don’t know how I’m supposed to work with people that I know voted for him without blowing up and biting their heads off.  I’ve been successful, so far, in simply not talking to them and avoiding them as much as I can.

I just want to wake up and have this nightmare be over, but I fear that it’s going to a 4 year descent into darkness that there won’t be any coming back from.  Once this is over with, you still have to share space with those people.  Still have to (either willingly or unwillingly) interact with them.  I don’t know.  I’m of the mindset at the moment to simply cut the ones that voted for him completely out of my life, or in the case of total strangers just dismiss them entirely.  I certainly don’t think I can help anyone that voted for him with a clear conscience.  I just don’t do second chances.  It’s like giving someone another bullet for their gun because they missed you with the first one.

People are angry, people are upset, people are afraid.  Battle lines are being drawn left and right and I really don’t know who I can and can’t count on anymore.  I really think that Tess Rafferty really hit the nail on the head:

I am so damn tired of trying to see it from the other side. I’m trying to discuss nuance while they paint us and our candidates with the broadest of hateful brushes.

I’m tired of pretending that it’s somehow reasonable to teach creationism in public schools with my tax dollars, while you tell me that two same sex people who love each other, getting married, somehow threatens your marriage.

You voted for Trump – I am tired of trying to see things your way while you sit in your holier-than-thou churches/white power meetups, refusing to see things mine. Did I just lump you in with white supremacists? No, you did that to yourselves. You voted for the same candidate as the KKK. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your life, you have to know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? Here’s a hint – it really shouldn’t, especially if you call yourself a Christian.

I’m tired of pussy footing around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine, because racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia offend mine.

Let me say it right here – if you voted for Trump, I do think you are a racist. I do think you’re homophobic. I do think you’re a misogynist. Racism, and homophobia, and misogyny are all a spectrum, and you’re on it.

Don’t like getting painted with the broad brush of racism? Now you know what it feels like when you get told that you want to rip a baby out of a mother’s womb at nine months when that’s not what happens. That’s NEVER, what happens.

I tried to be polite, but now I just don’t give a damn, because let’s be honest, we don’t live in polite America anymore. We live in ‘grab ‘em by the pussy America now. So thank you for that, being polite was exhausting.

And don’t come at me with how you just didn’t like Hillary, this was bigger than Hillary. This wasn’t your standard “I just want lower taxes and smaller government” Republican – we had Germans warning us that this guy was scary. And still you cried – emails and Benghazi or “that voice.” And still there’s been mountains of evidence proving that nothing that you think Hillary did was that big of a deal or even true. Some of the finest minds in the world have drawn you graphs and charts proving that no crimes were actually committed, and you were either too dumb or willfully ignorant to care.

And if you really cared about crimes, you’d care about any of the three pending against your candidate. Take your pick. I’d start with the rape of a thirteen-year-old girl, but if you voted for Trump, you probably don’t care much what happens to women. Doesn’t matter anyway, she received so many death threats from your political peers that she dropped the charges. But ask me again why more women don’t come forward.

And speaking of smaller government and lower taxes, enjoy not getting mine. If Trump actually does what he says he’s going to do, then your petty backwards state and your small angry town can pay for your own school to not educate your children. I live in California, the largest economy in the United States, and the sixth largest in the world. We’ll be fine. But have fun affording all those children your health insurance won’t pay for your birth control to prevent. I’m just kidding – you’re not going to have insurance. Won’t that be just great again!

The truth is, that for those of us on this side, there is no ‘when all this is over.’ Things are just getting started. We think last Wednesday was bad – we don’t know what bad is yet. This isn’t something you get over, this is something you endure. We’re going to face a tax on every right we fought the last sixty years to gain. The deck is so stacked against us that we may not win. The best we can hope for is gridlock. And that’s just nationally. Internationally, who the fuck knows what this lunatic is going to do. And the scarier thought, is that the only thing worse than this guy, is the guy who’s one angry tweet away from the Presidency – Mike Pence – advocate for gay conversion therapy and mandatory funerals for fetuses.

So now’s the time you might want to see things from my side. Because, if we’re all going to have to be friends after this, imagine me having to be polite and having to respect your vote to take away my rights and freedoms and those of my friends, while we fight desperately to try to hang onto them, because that is what you did.

I honestly just don’t think that I can be friends with anyone that voted for him.  I know I’m pretty upset at the people that voted third party and the people that simply chose not to vote.  My anger toward them is such that I created a new Facebook account and added them all to it while simultaneously kicking them off my main account, just so I don’t have to interact with them again if I don’t want to.

I know that everyone is one this whole “we need to unite and come together” kick right now, but this is personal.  If I can find a way out of this country to Canada, then I’m leaving as soon as possible.  “Do you think that even if you go there, you won’t be affected?”  Of course I know I’ll be affected if I go there!  I’m not dumb, but I am tired of my tax dollars going toward a country that apparently hates my guts even though they don’t even know me.  You want this country to yourselves?  Fine.  I just wouldn’t bother asking me for help if the need ever arises, because I’ll willfully stand by and watch you drown in your own blood and I won’t lift a finger to help.  Maybe humanity as a whole is the scum of the Earth and deserves to be wiped out.  Right now I just feel like we’re beyond any sort of redemption or reconciliation.

Make no mistake, you’ve definitely made yourselves an enemy.  And I don’t mean just myself.  Marsha P Johnson started this fight and it’s not going to stop, not anytime soon.

Relationships, part 12

Jeffery,

I’m going to go on. I’m going to go on living to spite you. To spite myself. I’ll never forget what we had. How could I? You have me several firsts. Several intimate moments. Special dirty things that we used to do together. Sorry our ending was what it was, but I feel that’s what you wanted. I will go on living, go on loving, I will go on this journey alone if that’s what I must do, but I will go on regardless. I will go on regardless of the fact that part of me is missing, that I am damaged. Hopefully my next love can see past that and help me put the pieces back together, the way I tried to help you.

Life and Death, part 3

“What is it like to lose someone you love?” he asked.

The Oracle replied:

“It is a long process.  First, your insides are replaced by burning rags wrapped in barbed wire.  As the realization reaches you that your loved one will not return, the whole burning mass begins to burn hotter and rotate inside you, ripping your soul to pieces.

As time passes, as MUCH time passes, the burning shredder spins more slowly and the fire dies down a bit.  Often, you will hear a sound or a word that reminds you of the departed, and the mass spins faster and burns hotter.  Eventually, when there is so much of you ripped away, that the pain becomes familiar, you actually got for MINUTES at a time without feeling it.

Finally, after many years, the rags burn away, and the barbed wire burns away, and you discover what was at the core of it.  A bright, glittering giant diamond made of light.  Dazzling and beautiful.”

“What is that?”

“It is the love you always had for who you will not see again.  It was smoldering at the core the whole time.  It still burns, and spins and hurts terribly, but you would never choose to part with it even if you could.”

“I do not wish to suffer this.” he said.

“Neither did I.” said the Oracle.

m pinheiro – 2002

GRATITUDE


This is a post from a Facebook friend that really hit close to home.  Maybe someday I’ll know the gratitude of which he speaks.


GRATITUDE

It has been almost 6 months now since John and I went our separate ways. It has been the longest 6 months of my life. And, in many ways, some of the greatest growth I have ever experienced has occurred over these 6 months. Most importantly, I have learned gratitude. More on that later.

But I digress. Some history. I thought I had been in love before. I realize, now, until I met John, I had never truly been in love. It was a fast and furious love. I am sure the kind that made others scratch their heads and say slow down. It was the love I always wanted. All consuming. The kind that starts out with furious text messaging, then moves on to picture and video messaging. And then the phone calls. The first Facetime conversation. The first cross country trip to meet in person. And several months later moving in together. One person totally uprooting their life for another. That was the love. And it was intense.

We were met with several obstacles along the way. We were not deterred. Not able to spend nights together initially, John suggested we use Dropbox and watch movies together via factime. We were creative. My mailbox filled with hand written letters from thousands of miles away. Hand written? Who does that any more? Time seemed precious for many reasons. John has a stage 2 glioma brain tumor. It is still in remission thanks to years of chemo but he knows its there and the constant reminder of a daily regime of pills to thrwart off seizures makes sure he never forgets.

It was a love unlike anything I had experienced. We filled our walls of Facebook with beaming smiles and pictures of all the places we travelled. For a short time all seemed right in the world and nothing bad could happen to us.

But the novelty of something new often masks things and I had failed to notice John was homesick. He had left his entire family, friends, and job to start over with me. Perhaps I didn’t try hard enough to help him adjust. Perhaps I tried too hard. I am not sure either of us will ever know.

In February, John decided he wanted to move back home and I was not to come. It was painful news to hear. My world screeched to a halt. His world screeched to a halt. I was angry. Very angry. I had done so much for him. How could he do this to me? When we are angry we tend to think more about our sacrifices in a singular sense than the sacrifices of the couple together. Over the next few weeks many tears were shed. We cuddled. We made cutting remarks. In the end, he still left. I will never forget that Saturday morning. We hugged and kissed goodbye and I watched him leave. It was like sending a child off to college except he wasn’t coming home. I cried. I screamed. I wanted to smash things. I wanted to hurt myself. I wanted to die.

The outpouring of care and love I received from my family, friends and co-workers was incredible. Seeming strangers came out of nowhere and shared secrets and stories of their losses. It seemed everyone wanted to help. I was humbled.

I often wonder if I am a good friend to people. A good neighbor. A good son. A good employee. I only hope I have been a hundredth as supportive as so many were to me.

A young pup I had chatted with many years prior on Scruff reached out to me and shared a blog he had written about his breakup. It was raw. It was hard to read. It was painful. It was me. In this blog titled “My breakup, My body, Everything Hurts,” Alexander Cheves (https://www.facebook.com/beastlypup) discusses a book, or rather a series of short stories or musings, entitled Gratitude written by Oliver Sacks during the last months of his life as he was preparing to leave this earth due to the terminal cancer that was rapidly shutting down his body. I purchased the book on Amazon. It sat on my nightstand forever. I vowed to read it on my vacation in Fort Lauderdale. I did. It was powerful and I read it in one sitting.

Gratitude is what happens when we have accepted our fate, our lot, our situation, and we are not angry but rather thankful for all the good that has happened. Whether we are faced with our own immortality, the loss of a spouse, child, pet or other loved one, gratitude comes at the tail end of the healing process.

Gratitude is the feeling I have for originally speaking to this insightful young man who came into my life for reasons not yet fully known. For he shared a story with me with which I can relate. Gratitude is my friends and family who listened to me go on and on about my loss. Gratitude is for coming out at work to my boss and it not being a total disaster. Gratitude is knowing so many people cared about me. I never realized how many friends I had until John left. Gratitude is the world bringing me John to begin with. For he had a curiousity about the world that was unmatched by anyone I have ever met. He taught me to appreciate nature, to comb the beach for shells, to take the path less travelled in the woods, to take chances. Gratitude is knowing that John is getting back on his feet and is doing well. Gratitude is everyone that has come into my life the last 6 months. I have learned to judge less, love more, and open my heart to new experiences.

A new friend asked me this morning if I was ready to date again. I didn’t know how to answer him at first. I don’t think we ever know when the time is right. But I do know that I wish to once again love so intensely it seems foolish. I miss the “second set of eyes” (quoting Alex) that helped me see the world around me. I miss the warmth of someone next to me in bed. I miss my best friend. Am I ready to experience that again? I am. I hope I do. And I hope I can be a wonderful partner to someone some day. I forgot who sent this to me but I love it:

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
–Maya Angelo

I hope that someday soon I will post new travel pictures that John will be a part of as my friend and for that I will have the most gratitude.