An August Update

Posted on August 25, 2011


Double-entendre intended, perhaps.

Nothing too crazy to report. The big news is that I have a job interview with a small design and marketing firm tomorrow. RAWR! Very excited about that. I’ve been an editor for four years now, and it’s been a while since I’ve flexed the kinds of creative muscles that marketing requires. Editing is very objective and aloof, generally, involving the appraisal and correction of other people’s creative works. I’d love to be back into something a bit more emotionally invested and subjective.

On that note, though, I now have published credit as an editor. Outrider Studios released Remnants, a tabletop roleplaying game, this summer and did pretty well at GenCon ’11. The publisher was so pleased I’m being asked to edit a revised edition of Edge, their first RPG.

I watched Captain America a week or two ago. I quite enjoyed it, though I’m someone who differentiates between a “good movie” and a “good comic book movie.” By the way, it was a fun movie and a very good comic book movie. I really liked the idea of using a Captain America figure to sell war bonds and as propaganda. Very cool addition to the movie. (Never read the comics, by the way.) I’d have made a few small changes to the script but overall it was effective. Chris Evans was surprisingly good in the role, and I love that he was portrayed barefoot in his first scene as super-soldier’d Steve Rogers, running through NYC. (His barefootedness was actually a pair prosthetics made to look like bare feet. Fucking retarded. The guy’s a stunt double. He can jump off buildings, endure pyrotechnics, be slammed into stuff, but can’t fucking run for a few seconds in his bare feet? Fucking pussy.)

As a result of embracing a mental (and perhaps emotional) state of reasonable minimalism, I’m moving out of my 2-bedroom apartment and looking for a bachelor or cheap-ish 1-bedroom. I just don’t have much stuff anymore, and I love it. It’s very freeing to think that I wouldn’t be devastated if my stuff were to be destroyed in a fire or something. I wouldn’t be pleased, exactly, but I’d be over it pretty quickly. It’s just shit. Plenty more shit out there. Reminds me of my favourite line from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delivered by Granpa George (David Morris): “There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket. . . There are only five of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”

Just replace “ticket” with friends, family, rib steak, sexy women in summer dresses, et cetera. You know — things that actually fucking matter. In reading The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, I’ve come across an interesting concept called “sunk costs.” The idea is that people hate to give up things — even harmful, uncomfortable or unsatisfying things — that they’ve sunk or invested time and money into. “I can’t leave my girlfriend, even though things suck. We’ve been together for five years, have a cat, an apartment and a car together!”

Or here’s one I hear as a gamer, and one you’ve probably heard: “I’d switch to that MMO, but I’ve got six level 80s in World of Warcraft! I just got my Tier 11 gear for my Druid and a new expansion is supposed to come out soon. I’ve invested too much time in this to give it up.”

“Are you having fun?”

“Well. . . .”

The point there being that you’ve spent the money; it’s gone and done with. It’s a weakness of human psychology that we feel we have to carry on with or hold onto something simply because we’ve paid for it at some point or because we once derived value from it. That’s how I was with my books. I collected them; I didn’t read them all. Hell, I had no clue I even owned certain volumes! I just had to have them — possess them. In trying to choose which to get rid of, my hand was trembling and I was stricken with anxiety. Then, once I’d chosen a few for the sell/discard pile, it became easier. Then it became almost euphoric.

. . .then I had to fucking restrain myself and keep a few of my favorites (and first editions and signed copies) because I was on the verge of just getting rid of them all in one clean, joyous sweep. It’s truly addictive because it sets us free. It’s cliché because it’s true: We don’t own things; things own us.

Moving on. In terms of Primalness, I’m down to around 162 lb (and very healthy, thank you very much, Mom!). I was a tad concerned about my waist (ha! but seriously) because I imagine I’m down to around 30 inches. Thing is, I see abs now and have overall body/muscle definition. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I have more stamina than I’ve ever had. I’m happier with myself than I’ve ever been. I’m just not used to being this lean as an adult. It’s kind of surprising, and I still startle myself when I see my reflection first thing in the morning.

Okay, what I’d intended as a short update has gone long. Catch you all on the Primal side!